Posts Tagged ‘Adebayor

17
Jul
08

Official news

Alex Hleb is officially a Barcelona player. The club is being very professional about this departure and even treating it like it’s a sad day by giving him the normal farewell with one of those “looks back at his career” articles; that said, when you read the thing it’s almost a backhanded compliment. In three years he scored 11 goals and got voted Belorusian player of the year twice. 11 goals in three years. In the last three years, William Gallas has more goals than Hleb. Because when he gets a chance, HE SHOOTS.

I’m not trying to get down on the kid, but damnit, watching him play for the two years prior to this was insanely frustrating. I only need to say that he averaged 25 shots… a year… in all competitions for the Arsenal fans to shake their head and mutter “shoot. SHOOT!”

So, he took his passing boots to Barcelona, away from the hustle and bustle of his home in Hampstead Heath, and it could be said that Hleb was a Wenger failure. Well, not a complete failure but a sort of half-assed failure. Wenger was never able to work his magic on Hleb and transform him from a central player to a wing player, he never could get Hleb to take chances when he got them, and in the end Arsenal couldn’t even really cash in on his transfer.

Afterward the boss had this to say

Yes, it is true that some of the things he said painted him to be a completely coddled, rich, knob. And yes while he was at Arsenal only the Holy Spirit took less shots on goal but Everyone at Arsenal wishes Alex the best of luck for the future.

I may have misheard parts of that quote but I’m pretty sure that’s what Wenger said.

And that’s the whole of the news. There are rumors that Gilberto will sign for Panathinaikos today but nothing concrete just yet. Honestly? Losing Gilberto will be a much bigger story for me than losing Hleb, but I’ll write about that when (if) it happens.

All news has gone dead over the Adebayor transfer saga. Yesterday, Galliani was quoted saying that AC Milan was done buying after landing Ronadinho and today Barca signed Hleb, so where Ade would go at this point is only left up to the wild imaginations of the football press corps. Maybe they’ll link him to Chelsea. Oh I know, Adebayor is going to Man U! You heard it here first! Tell everyone. I have the inside scoop: my brother’s cousin’s sister’s fiance saw Adebayor pass out at the Manchester Baskin Robins, it’s very serious.

What happens to Adebayor when he doesn’t get a transfer? After all that’s been said and done I have to wonder how he scampers back to the club with his tail between his legs? An understanding manager might take a look at this whole situation and see that here was a young man, who grew up very poor, fresh off a great season, who had his agent telling him things, other agents telling him things, clubs promising him things, and basically everyone in his inner circle convincing him of a bunch of stuff that was completely false. They did all that in order to unsettle the player so that they could get him for a bargain. AC Milan paid a mere £16m for Ronaldinho. Now, I know he’s fat, but this is a guy that Chelsea reportedly offered eleventy billion pounds for just last year — no, they were bargain hunting and they figured if they unsettled Adebayor enough, Arsenal might let him go for a similar amount. Meanwhile Barcelona smelled the blood in the water and let it be known that they too would buy Adebayor, if the price is going to be stupidly low, like £16m.

An understanding manager might put a crazy valuation on the player (say £35m) in order to let everyone know that he’s not only not interested in selling but also that he understands that you all are up to your old tricks and that it’s not going to work this time. Because once you put a huge value on the player, there’s no way that you can sell him for half the price and still save face.

That same understanding manager would probably have a clear-the-air meeting with the player before the begining of the season, to make sure the guy was still on board and to let him know that he understands. And then he’d re-introduce the player to the team as if he was a new signing. Which is what he’ll be because there’s no way that you can go through something like this without it being a transformative event.

Anyway, that’s what I imagine will happen. And when Adebayor steps out onto the pitch in an Arsenal shirt, we should all give him a warm, understanding, welcome back.

Just don’t do it again, Ade.

My Obsession With Robbie Savage

It looks like it’s time to hang up my Robbie Savage kicking boots because there’s no kick I could deliver that would bite nearly as much as the fact that he was dropped by Derby County. I expect Tottenham to sign him for £16m any moment now.

And Finally…

In at number 2 of the Gunner’s all time greats is Denis Bergkamp. I couldn’t possibly write a more fitting tribute to the man so, please go read it. The only thing I would add is “grit:” Bergkamp had it whenever Arsenal needed it, and the club could use a man like that right now.

Until tomorrow

Update:

Gilberto has officially left for Panathinaikos.  Far more so than Hleb, Gilberto will be missed.  His leadership (he was club captain 2 years ago) on and off the pitch, his skill as a midfield stopper, and his knack for scoring a goal at just the right moment all made him an important player for Arsenal during his 6 years with the club.

But possibly the most important quality that Arsenal need to replace, especially now when the likes of Adebayor threaten to throw the club into turmoil, was his quiet professionalism.  The way he went about playing, practicing, and coming on when asked (in whatever position the boss asked him to) after he had been stripped of his starting position and his captaincy at the start of the season speaks volumes about the class and character of the man.  It is fitting that the first we all heard that Gilberto wanted to move on was just the other day, when the deal was nearly done.  Not a peep to the press about it.  No agent angling for a better deal.  No complaints about “mistreatment” or “slavery” by his former employers.  Just a “hey thanks I had fun, I’m going to finish my career in Greece if you don’t mind.”

Arsenal need more men like that, especially now.

Good luck, Gio, your class will be nearly impossible to replace.

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30
Jun
08

“Finally, football has the success he deserves.”

Fabregas Spain Euro

Congratulations to Spain and Cesc Fabregas for proving to the world that beautiful football can win trophies.  I only caught the first few minutes (enough to see Torres’ goal) and so I can’t comment on the match but I will say that I hope this trophy heralds a new age of football.  One in which passing, movement, fitness, and technique are more important than lumping and crunching and defending.  I honestly thought Germany would beat the Spaniards, they seemed to have it all; giantness, organizational..ness, and divingness.  But all credit to Spain who just simply outplayed them.

Afterwords, Cesc hailed the win as a victory for football and the sweetest of his career.

It was a long time since we have seen a team of that quality trying to play beautiful football – I dont think we’ve seen many teams have success (playing that way).  This the best day of my life as a football player.

On the other side of the field Old Sour Grapes had a go at the Ref, Torres, George W. Bush, and the boot boy.  You leave the boot boy alone you big German meanie!

In transfer news, Arsenal have been targeted by some dude named Amaury Bischoff: he claims that a deal is imminent and that he’s in London getting a physical.  This guy is a complete unknown because he basically played in the Werder Bremen reserves (when he wasn’t in the sick room) last season.  He’s also young and a central midfielder: which makes him the perfect Wenger signing.  Wenger will probably transform him into a keeper and sell him on for £100m in 2 years.

Seriously, though, if you want to know anything about the kid, you’ll have to rely on reports from die hard supporters like the blogger at Young Guns who interviews another blogger from Germany who has seen Amaury actually play… a little.

Tired of the Adebayor story yet?  Well, I AM NOT.  I WANT 24/7 ADEBAYOR COVERAGE.  What did he eat?  What’s the composition of his stool?  Will he go to Chelsea? How’s his mom handling all the pressure?  Will Obafemi Martins tell Newcastle that he wants a transfer, thus triggering a £13m buy out clause which would free him up to fulfill Wenger’s reported dreams of bringing the world’s shortest striker to Arsenal?

I NEED TO KNOW…

29
Jun
08

Bye Buy Adebayor

I had a great day yesterday.  I had some friends over, we cooked up a mess of chicken on the grill,  and we sat in the living room with the fan on watching television and trying to escape an oppressive Washington heatwave.  After the morning blog(s) I didn’t turn the computer on all day.  A day of sweet bliss away from the news stories, the football sagas, the constant work emails.  Ahhhh…

So, I woke up this morning, ready to do my preview of the Euro 2008 final and have a bit of a kick around myself, and I found that Emmanuel Adebayor was all over my computer.  Like a case of herpes, I keep putting him down, only to have him pop up again at the most inopportune times.  It’s official: Arsenal have Adebayor Simplex 2 and I think it’s a terminal case.

Yesterday, Adebayor gave yet another interview — this one an exclusive to the second least trustworthy news source on the planet News of the World — in which he contradicted himself and/or his agent for the third time in the span of two days.  Friday: “I’m staying at Arsenal, you will see me in an Arsenal shirt next season, oh yeah, I don’t play football for the money.”  One hour later: “I have to meet with Arsene Wenger and sort a few things out but I love Arsenal and love playing with this group of guys, and there’s more to life than money!” Yesterday: “Did I mention that I’m as good as Thierry Henry and that I deserve to be paid £120,000 a week and oh yeah, I want to go to Barcelona?  Umm, yeah, all that stuff, plus I have to think of my retirement and stuff.  Money money money, I’m worth it!  Money.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to reiterate that I have supported Adebayor in the face of a great deal of fan opposition and so I am biased here.  As I mowed the lawn yesterday I was listening to the the official Arsenal O2 podcast and they reminded me that not only does Ade add the aerial threat to the team that they lacked for so long but the way he makes runs and his ability to hold the ball up for his teammates creates space for the midfielders, like Hleb and Cesc, to work their magic.   There are a lot of fans who think “sell him and we can get David Villa (or Santa Cruz, etc etc.), it doesn’t matter who we have up front!”  Those fans are very wrong.  It does matter, having Adebayor on the team matters.

I also sympathize deeply with a man who came from some of the deepest poverty in Africa.  The temptation of a huge contract in the face of a career that might last 10 years would be overwhelming for even a man raised in wealth and luxury.  It must be even more difficult for a man for who stated that if he hadn’t had a career in football he’d have had a career as a gangster.  £6m a year means that he, his family, and probably all of his extended family will have to want for nothing ever again.  Frankly, giving all of these contradictory interviews has convinced me that he is acting like a man torn by his love for football and Arsenal and a sort of primal desire to never want again.  So, for all the people calling him greedy, walk a mile in the shoes of his childhood: they were dilapidated, the roads were sand, and all around he was surrounded by death and destruction.  Now tell me that you wouldn’t be tempted by an offer from Barcelona?  Liar.

So that we’re clear, I’m biased in favor of Adebayor.  I know that I’ll be accused of pandering to him with the above sympathetic plea so let me get this out of the way:  I like him but I don’t think he’s a Theirry Henry type of player.  He’s damn close, but not quite there.  His stats are spot on (for one season); the number of goals, the goals per shot ratio, etc. all match the greats like Henry and Wright.  The main difference is that players like Henry have the unique ability to put a struggling team on their back and carry them.  Henry did it most famously at the Bernabeau during Arsenal’s Champions League runners up campaign, or that time against Spurs, or… you get the point.  Walcott has already shown sparks of that type of greatness such as with the run against Liverpool this year but Adebayor doesn’t really do that type of thing;  he’s a great role player but we all know that it’s Fabregas who is shaping up to be this “sparkle” player at Arsenal.

Adebayor is no Thierry Henry so why then does he feel like he deserves Henry type money?  The sudden reversal of Friday and Saturday have his agent’s fingerprints all over it.  One day you say that you don’t play football for the money and the next you think you deserve to be paid the same as an Arsenal legend while claiming to have a substantial offer from Barcelona?  That smacks of the player telling us his true feelings and then his agent taking him aside and saying “oh, erm, Ade, Barcelona just called and they say that they want to pay you £100,000 a week, maybe you should soften your statements a bit, whattya think?”

The worst pat of all this is that I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with nothing at the end of his career like Eric Djemba-Djemba.  His agent, Barcelona, and everyone who stands to gain here are taking advantage of this guy’s weaknesses.  They are playing on his childhood poverty to engineer a move to anywhere that will garner them a fat kickback.  Once you let leeches like this into your life, they will drain you and you won’t even notice it until one day you’re playing football in Qatar for peanuts.

I have a bad feeling that Adebayor’s story will end the same way.

For now, I have to wonder how this is going to play out over the next few days.  Arsenal replied to Adebayor’s Friday conference with a strong stance and Wenger publicly stated:

He (Adebayor) is under contract. That’s quite simple. I’m not worried. I can tell you as manager of Arsenal Football Club I am not worried.

Asked if he needed to meet with the player to clarify Adebayor’s ambitions he said

No. I met him already, on Friday before his press conference

So, he met with him before the conference in which Adebayor promised his future to the club.  Wenger must have been reassured by the player at that meeting, because as we know Wenger doesn’t try to keep players who don’t want to leave.  Arsene also made a bold statement about making bold statements, when he challenged United to stay strong in the Ronaldo case

United have been strong and I give them credit for that, but maybe they know as well that the desire to leave doesn’t really come from the player. It could be from another environment, from a club that’s tapped him up. It is not right and there comes a point where someone has to make a stand

Someone has to take a stand?  Is it going to be Arsenal?  No. The chances of that are pretty much gone as of yesterday, because Arsenal’s Togo International then switched his story and he gave a definitive answer to Arsenal in an interview to News of the World (linked above) in which he dropped the Barcelona bomb.

Barcelona have made a good financial offer and there is also the chance to play alongside great players. Yes, I am still under contract to Arsenal but it’s up to the directors to satisfy my demands or I’ll leave.

And there you have it.  He wants to stay but Arsenal aren’t going to pay him the money that his agent has convinced him he’s worth.  I’m alarmed that he’s publicly admitting that Barcelona have illegally negotiated a contract with a player who Arsenal have repeatedly stated is not for sale.  He’s either tremendously stupid or tremendously confident that what’s happened isn’t illegal.  I’m also saddened that he both lied to Wenger on Friday and that he’s now threatening Arsenal.

Threats, cheating, lying… that’s the fast track to end a career of someone who could have been an Arsenal great.  Instead of being written into the Arsenal history books, if he leaves, he’ll go down as yet another player that left the club on bad terms.  His great goals will fade and people will remember him as just another Anelka, Cole, Campbell, or that other guy who I used to like but he bogged back off to Spain because he didn’t like the weather.  I forget his name.

23
Jun
08

How to take a penalty part two: don’t think

Fabregas at Euro 2008

It was a very dry match, which is exactly what the Italians wanted it to be. Everyone watching knew that the Italians weren’t playing to win as much as to “not lose.” It was the type of game that any Arsenal fan recognizes immediately: a ton of great movement, great passing, loads of possession, chances not taken, and great defending by their opponent. Now, think back to any of Arsenal’s away matches up ‘norf last season and that’s what this match reminded me of. It even featured that same kind of bad luck where you just can’t seem to score a goal no matter how well you’ve broken your opponent.  Quite amazing actually.

That bad luck, though, was nothing compared to the way the Italians used the ref to turn the match into a grotesque charade of football: diving, pushing, cheating, and when the Spanish got a break away? Feigning injury. Huh. Wait a second… that’s what Bolton do! The Italians are the Bolton of international football! No wonder I hated them so viscerally from the very start.

Unlike a typical Arsenal/Bolton clash, however, this tournament must have a conclusion so, they played a useless 30 minute overtime period, followed by this year’s ubiquitous feature: the penalty shootout.

First, due credit to Iker Casillas. The impartial observer must admit that Casillas’ two saves won that match: they were as great of saves as I have seen any keeper make in any international tournament. Too bad the press is all a twitter with Fabregas’ “winning” PK because Casillas really deserves all the credit.

That said… what a stone cold penalty by Cesc! I had told my lady earlier that I thought Cesc might win it for the Spaniards but never would have predicted that he would take the fifth and decisive penalty, in fact when it went to penalties I almost left for my own football match (we won 9-0) because Cesc has never taken a penalty and I had no reason to believe that his coach would let him take one now.

But there was number 10, walking toward the spot. The camera focused on him as he backed away from the ball, his lips were blue and he had the 100 mile stare, I said “breathe Cesc, breathe!” Then… Buffon, never having seen Cesc take a penalty, guessed the wrong way and Cesc, unlike Modric, Ronaldo, and John Terry, found the back of the net at the time when his team needed it most. He didn’t shirk his duties like the horrible Nikolas Anelka. He didn’t fall down on the spot like the hapless John Terry. And he didn’t shoot wide and proceed to cry like the World’s Most Annoying Footballer ™ Ronaldo. Nope, he stuck it. He won the match.

Good for him. I was hoping that Spain would get knocked out of the tournament and Cesc could join Robin van Persie on vacation prior to the start of the season but if he had to go on playing, well… that was simply the best way in the world to do it.

Adebayor Week at Arsenal.com

Meanwhile, back in sunny old London, the fans were busy voting on who should be player of the season and after Clichy comes Adebayor in 3rd place. Bit of a mystery to me as to why so many people voted for him at all since you all seem to hate him so much but vote you did. And, erm, third place he won! Passive sentences no more shall I write!

Anyway, it’s Adebayor week at the old dot com and if you follow that link there’s a link in there in which you can spew your invectives. Just remember, he’ll be the guy in the number 25 shirt scoring goals for Arsenal next season, so you might want to hold back some venom for the two game streak where he fails to convert. Also, you might try to think of some of the positive things he brought to the team; like the winning goal against Spuds, or the 11 game scoring run, or the fact that he fundamentally (and for the better) changed the way that Arsenal played football last season. Stuff like that.

… oh yeah, they released the official squad numbers — looky there, Hleb and Adebayor are still on the list.

Transfer Roundup

And why shouldn’t Hleb be on the list? After all, Arshavin is the one who’s going to Barca and given the choice between the two, I’d probably pick Arshavin if I was Barcelona.

But that news does leave the Hleb situation in doubt, because I honestly can’t see Barcelona turning down Arshavin for £10m and buying Hleb for £8m. They would be foolish. How much you wanna bet that Hleb is with Arsenal next season?  A pint?  You’re on.

Meanwhile, over on the smelly side of London, Tottenham is ready to swoop for Arsenal fan target and £10m rated goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. I approve this transfer as it will hopefully stop people in forums from linking us to him.

What am I saying? Arsenal fans will never stop linking Arsenal to Gomes!

And that’s it for today, perhaps Barcelona will announce that Adebayor just text messaged their cousin’s brother’s agent’s tea lady to ask for a spot of fresh tea.  Which is a CLEAR SIGN he wants to play with Theirry Henry next year.  It’s all so obvious, isn’t it?

19
May
08

Vincenzo Morabito, super agent

“Trevor here has generated a lot of interest from Arsenal.”

Lately it seems like every time I turn around I see the name Vincenzo Morabito. Alex Hleb? His agent is a friend of Vincenzo. Adebayor? Vincenzo is his agent. And just today Arsenal were linked with Alberto Aquilani. His agent? Vincenzo…

Someone please muzzle this guy? He’s running rampant in the British press, linking everyone in and out of Arsenal in some lame attempt to raise their contract prices.

Since then, Morabito told Roma that his client expects an improved contract if they want to retain the player’s services at the Stadio Olimpico. “Aquilani is speaking to Arsenal,” Morabito confirmed. “We will have to see if Roma will be able to match his demands.”

Dude, if you’re going to be so obvious about lying to the press about interest from other clubs you’re only going to hurt your client’s chances. I have to wonder if Vincenzo represents Nasri?

The only good part of his transparent attempt to inflate their contract value is that maybe the Adebayor story will finally die. What am I saying? That will never happen. The press have nothing else to report about Arsenal so EVERY FRIGGIN story says “since Adebayor/Hleb is leaving, Arsene is signing (fill in player’s name here).”

This is really nuts.

Today’s replacement for Adebayor is Rocky Saint Cross. I dig the Arsenal supporter’s comments on that story, they’re more accurate that the story itself.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for transfer speculation today. Slow day, Vincenzo must have taken the morning off.

Over at the dot com, they are having “season review week” and so far my favorite article is the comparison of this season’s stats with the other title winners. Arsenal supporters should memorize some of those stats so that when we hear our local pub pundit trot out the tired warhorses “Arsenal needed to score more” or “Arsenal need to spend $$$ to win the title” we can reply with:

Really? Because Arsenal earned money in the transfer market and they improved their team a whopping 15 points over last season. And despite the common misconception that Arsenal need to score more, they scored more on the road than last season and garnered 11 more goals in all than the previous seasons. In fact, if you compare this season to the Invincibles they rate very highly: scoring more goals and keeping the home court advantage equally as well.

And finally I will leave you with a little piece about Senderos. He claims the boss loves him and that despite what the haters might say, he’s staying at Arsenal until his contract is up. Suck it, haters.

28
Apr
08

Like rams to the slaughter?

It may seem like a life time ago, but there was a day back in September that Arsenal beat Derby 5-0. Diaby opened the scoring on 10 minutes and from there on in the result was inevitable. Well, three points was inevitable, who would have pegged Ade to score a hat trick? Pretty much no one since, at that point Ade was still considered “horrible” by most Arsenal fans.

Back in September… the season was wide open, Arsenal were on a winning streak, and hopes of glory were still in front of us. 7 months later and now we’ve come full circle: hopes for this season have been dashed (though mathematically Arsenal COULD still win the league title since there are 9 points up for grabs and Arsenal are only 7 points off the leaders), and hopes for next season are in front of us; Arsene is promising to blood some young players, and the old players have all been granted awards.

It should be a fun match to watch. I suspect Arsenal will play the way they always play; open, attacking football (Wenger’s teams never change style regardless of the personnel). And rumor has it they will showcase some young talent, which I always enjoy watching because those young players will be trying to convince Le Boss to give them a few starts next season. On the other end of the pitch, I expect Derby will put in a good performance, hoping to give their long suffering (but no less faithful) supporters something to talk about next season. So, a lively match is on tap. Kickoff is noon local (Pacific Standard) time and the match is a Setanta exclusive here in the states. Which to my loyal readers means that the game is being shown at my favorite Tacoma Football pub — Doyles.

In really great and cool and fun news Cesc has earned himself the PFA “Young Player of the Year Award.” Kudos to the young man, who doesn’t turn 21 until May 4th. Really? He’s only 20?

Along with Fabregas, the PFA named Adebayor, Clichy, and Sagna to their Premier League Team of the Year. So, wait, does that mean I got 4 out of 5 right? I guess it does. And why is it that a man who is described by some “supporters” as having the “touch of a rapist” pegged for Team of the Year along side the likes of Fernando Torres? I can’t quite figure it out myself. In that article, even Ronaldo (who won Player of the Year) revealed that he voted Adebayor for Player of the Year. That must be one of those “lost in translation” things because Adebayor couldn’t be, you know, actually a good player… could he?

There’s some rumor floating around about the Flim-Flam-man signing with Milan because they want him to replace Gattuso. Yep. I’ll believe it when I see it revealed on The Dot Com.

(WARNING — STRONG LANGUAGE ADVISORY)

And finally, my favorite pack of utter douchebags (Bolton) has revealed that they enjoy being douchebags. In fact, they say that their only regret is that they felt they could have been bigger pricks and are right now desperately seeking a way to play an entire season without scoring or conceding a goal, pick up 11 yellow cards a match, not have anyone sent off, and permanently injure one opponent per match.  Lofty goals.  It must be gripping stuff for their supporters to watch a bunch of no talent clod hoppers hoof the ball forward to despicable cheats like El-Haji-Diouf and utter cunts like Kevin Davies. GRIPPING.

Sorry for all the language there, I’m suffering from a form of Tourette’s syndrome; whenever I think of Bolton I have to curse. Also, read the linked article at your own risk, spontaneous projectile vomiting is a known side effect of statements like “We (Bolton) were a top eight side and no one can ever take that away from us.”

If there’s a god, that team will be relegated… along with Birmingham.

God?

20
Apr
08

A 2-0 win isn’t good enough?

what more do I have to do for god\'s sake?

What a great performance!  After two weeks of painful losses, Arsenal picked themselves up off the floor came out and played their game,  scored two great goals, and (most importantly) kept a clean sheet.

There were some surprising squad changes with Theo and Kolo starting at the right, Song in central defense, and Lehmann in goal.  But right from the start, the squad looked assured and prepared for the game.  The whole world knew that Steve Koppel was going to play route one football and that, so far this season, that has been Arsenal’s Achilles.  When the first pass came to Kitson though, Song dealt well with it and from there the team always looked unlikely to concede.  Jens didn’t even have to make a save until well in to the second half.   Good stuff from the defense there.

Arsenal’s first goal came from the man people have loved to criticize all season: Adebayor.  Of course, he didn’t do it alone!  Theo went on a bit of a run, passed to Kolo, who lobbed in to Ade and the big man showed his superb touch by controlling the ball with his thigh.  Then it was “cool as you like” as Ade slotted home his 27th goal of the season.

There could have been more goals too, Song had a gilt-edged chance and just nodded wide of the net, Cesc had what seemed like a dozen chances (in reality it was just 3), van Persie hit the woodwork on a superb free kick, and even Theo got into the act by having a shot saved by the crossbar.  Oh well, shit happens and getting down about the “profligate” shooting when the team wins 2-0 just makes you seem like a moron.

The second goal came when Gio (who looked very assured in the middle and seems to have come out of his “funk”) was teed up by Cesc and decided “what the hell!” and had a shot.  To be fair to Hanneman, I think he’d have stopped that goal had it not taken a deflection.  Oh well, shit happens when you shoot at goal.

It’s pretty clear that what some of these players need is a consistent run; Song’s miss, Theo’s miss, Robin’s miss, all were by inches.  Next week, I really believe that van Persie free kick finds the net, Theo will get a goal, and with a run of a couple games we might even see Song get a goal.

In defense, Lehmann had a couple of very nice saves and apart from a moment of confusion where Bendtner lost his mind and failed to make an easy play on a corner kick (the WHOLE team yelled at him for it too!) the defense looked solid.  I’m not foolish enough to make a prediction based on two games but I have to say that Song looks much improved over last year.

After the match, the Boss was rightly pleased with his team but the fans were in their usual form.

We responded well after massive, massive, massive disappointment, it is very important for us, because the next season starts now.

So next season Walcott will be a starter?  Cool!  He had another good performance and has clearly put in the work to deserve the chance.  Who knew that hard work would pay off?  I thought you were supposed to complain to the press and then demand a transfer to a lesser team.

Some of the fans though, just seem to be missing the point, or all three of the points really.  Arsenal should have won 34-0?  Really?  You still riding Adebayor’s back after that great goal and goals in 3 of four Champions League legs?  REALLY?  Saying that the manager who has won 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA Cups has lost the plot.  REALLY REALLY?  I think I speak for a lot of supporters when I say: fuck off and support Man U.  And that’s the last I’m going to talk about that.  Have a go at whomever you like, it’s only going to make you look like a tiresome little cunt.

There was some bizarre post-match controversy as Cesc was mis-quoted and the press ran with a bunch of stories saying that Cesc wants to leave.  Tipped as captain one day, packing his bags for Barca the next; is that the British version of “fair and balanced?”

Continuing in the vein of “fair and balanced,” ESPN is reporting that disgraced former Tottenham, Leeds, and Milwall manager George Graham is calling for Arsenal to buy 4 huge stars to compete with Man U.  Saying that Arsenal need to strengthen everyone in the middle but that he doubts they have the resources to buy 4 big stars.  Of course, Arsenal cannot afford to do something like that unless they get some rich benefactor who is willing to put huge piles of debts on the backs of the club and its supporters.  Honestly?  That model is failing left and right — just look at the turmoil surrounding Liverpool.  So, go fuck yourself George: I wonder if Usmanov paid him to make those comments.

Spending loads of money isn’t the surefire road to success: just ask Billy Beane or, hell, have a look at the success of Arsene Wenger.

Anyway, that’s it for today.  Tomorrow I’ll resume regular service on my top 5 players of the season.  See you all then!




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