Posts Tagged ‘Almunia for England

01
May
09

Friday Pre(i)sser

Bit of a different format today, owing to the deluge of news that always happens on a Friday so let’s get stuck in, shall we?

Injury Update

Eduardo and Silvestre are both out for Saturday. Dudu is being rumored to be out for the rest of the season with his  groin strain while Silvestre will be a late test for Tuesday. I had wondered why Eduardo was such a late sub on Wednesday and I think now it’s clear: he’s never really been fully fit since ‘recovering’ from Martin Taylor’s horrific tackle. And that makes sense. He needs time to get the tendons and muscles back into shape. More rehab, more light practice, rest, recovery, etc. I don’t know a single Gunner who isn’t proud of the courage that Dudu has shown this year and would gladly wait to see him fully fit at the start of next year. Get better Eduardo, we’ll wait.

Robin van Persie is another who’s going to have a late fitness test to see if he can play on Tuesday.  Either way, I doubt he’ll start and instead will need to reprise the super-sub role he played against Cardiff. I know, Man U are not Cardiff, but I mean get a goal, like he did against Cardiff.

Gallas and Rosicky remain out for the season, and the boss is now saying Clichy will be out for three weeks as well. That basically means that Arsenal are without Eduardo, Clichy, Gallas, and Rosicky for the rest of the season.

Fabregate

Cesc has spoken out about the FA charges against him saying that if he should be suspended then 8 others who came on the pitch should be similarly suspended. The FA responded by basically saying, it’s not that you came on the pitch it’s how you acted.

With that said, I am now confident that Fabregas will get a 3 match ban here, the same amount that Martin Taylor got for intentionally breaking Eduardo’s leg.

Because those two things are equivalent.

Maybe next time he should come out and break a player’s leg. At least then he’d deserve the ban.

Transfer News? In April?

The papers are all reporting that Wenger will sell Adebayor and buy Roque Santa Cruz.  The selling point in this story?

Wenger has been an admirer of the 27-year-old for some time. He had Santa Cruz scouted and is particularly impressed by the player’s work-rate after studying his ProZone statistics.

Well, Wenger is a lover of hard work, how do you think Bendtner keeps getting a shot?

Speak of the Devil

Bendtner is featured in this week’s free video on the dot com. A word of warning: clicking that link caused my browser (Firefox) to crash. Actually, that’s about what I’d expect, even Bendtner’s videos suck.

Almunia for England

And finally, the big story of the day is that Fabio Capello would not rule out Almunia should he get an English passport when he becomes eligible in July.  Legally and morally, I don’t see how he could exclude him.

First off, my name is Tim. I’m an American, and I’m a Gooner. I’ve been a Gooner now for 10 years. I’ve seen matches at Highbury and the Emirates and I fly every year to see my beloved Arsenal. I also support France in world competitions, rather than the U.S. team, because, well, because I want to. And so I think I have a bit of a unique perspective on this Almunia situation.

Whether Almunia wants to become an English citizen or not is about choices and not about birthplace. That’s just the way the world is today. The old days of nationalism are dying slowly and people now have more freedom than ever before to choose the country they want to naturalize in. Personally, I’d like to see it be even more open. I have never understood why capital could move freely from one country to another but people were restrained by quaint old notions of borders. So, if Almunia wants to become an English citizen and renounce his eligibility to play for Spain, knowing the stick he’s going to get from xenophobes and nationalists, then I say more power to him.

Moreover, the old notions of “identity” that surrounded certain things, like being a Gooner meant that you were probably from North London, have changed radically as well. Now, you have millions of Americans, Indians, Chinese, Africans, and Spanish devoted to following English teams and thus the identity of English clubs are no longer associated with place. When you have millions of Africans wearing Liverpool shirts and identifying with Steven Gerrard it both takes a bit away from that old identity as “scouser” and adds something new to their identity. Again, you can wring your hands about this, you can jump on the Platini xenophobe bandwagon, and you can scream about how your identity is being taken over by Yanks and the Africans. But unless you are willing to stop broadcasting English games around the globe and shrink the English game back into something provincial and small (something that will never win a world championship) then you’re going to have to deal with the fact that football is a global sport with a global following. And that means that clubs now have global identities. And more radically, that national teams now have global identities.

Other countries have already accepted this change and I have no doubt that Croatian fans love their Brazilian born striker.  It’s time for England to let go of the old, small way of looking at football and join the modern world. And time for fans to embrace their future England Number 1; Manuel Almunia.

Tomorrow’s Match

Right, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 7am (PST) is being broadcast on FSC. I’ll try to do a quick update before kickoff and then do a liveblog of the match. If you’re into that sort of thing, join us here at about 6:30.

See you then!

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26
Mar
09

UEFA Insane Proclaimation #1 Welcomes us to International Week

Big Platini is Watching You

For those of you who follow my Google Reader shares (link there on the left to my page and an RSS Feed on the right of the blog) you’ll already know that we’ve got a lot of stupidity to get through today. But before we get to the stupidity, I just want to say that if you want to follow my shares on Google Reader you can either subscribe to the RSS feed or if you’re already a Google Reader and want to be friends (so we can comment together) you’ll need to send me an email (bostelle | gmail) and then we’ll need to chat. Stupid I know, but once we’re sharing together it’s actually a lot of fun and for my money more relevant than getting “I’M POOOPIN” updates off twitter.

Ok, where did I put the stupidity???

Oh yeah here it is: one of the main things I despise about the international break(s) is the sheer number of times Arsenal players are shipped off to play against some micro-country and come back in pieces. These weeks ahead hold great promise for us to suffer horrible, season ending injuries to players who are currently being held together with duct tape. No player exemplifies this worry more than Emmanuel Adebayor.

Today, the Togo manager is promising to use Ade, despite the fact that he hasn’t played since he suffered a hammy tear in February. Now, I know a lot of you will straight dismiss this story because you feel like “we don’t need Ade” but you’d be 100% wrong. We need every player on this Arsenal team in order to win a trophy and we especially need Adebayor in the Champions League where his size and speed pose problems for European squads and he always seems to step up his game (3 goals and 2 assists in just 3 CL appearances this season). Like it or not, we need Adebayor 100% healthy and not pulling a hammy for Togo.

Similarly, Eduardo’s Croatian manager is saying the Dudu is “perfect” and “showing no sign of injury” which indicates to me that he’s going to play the living crap out of him over this next week and a half.

Yeah, he’s perfectly healthy if you don’t count the fact that he’s been in and out of the Arsenal lineup with niggling little injuries picked up every time he plays because he was sidelined for a year. While I share his enthusiasm for having Dudu back, I’d rather see Eduardo used sparingly over this international break so that he could be available to win something for the club which pays his salary.

And then, of course, there’s Andrei Arshavin. Who’s agent described him as “60% fit” which I would also describe him as.. erm… fit as. Given that level of fitness, every Arsenal supporter is holding their breath hoping that Chelsea/Russia coach Guus Hiddink uses Arshavin in a responsible manner and that he is returned to us safe and healthy for the run in.

Of course, not everyone is off on international doodie and that makes them very sad. Sad enough to contemplate getting a passport for a country they weren’t born in and praying for a call up. You know, I think Alumina should get the English passport. Not so that he can get an England call up (which he might, given that he’s probably the best “English” keeper in the world right now) but so that he could count in Arsenal’s 6+5 scheme. Just in case that xenophobic, protectionist, and racist idea is passed. Think about it, we’d get to say “Hey now, Arsenal have TWO English players in their first team, the same number as Uber English Liverpool.” That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

But the big story, the one we’ve all been waiting for, is “what insane ideas will come out of UEFA/FIFA during the international break?” And, of course, they don’t let us down do they?

This month we have “Let’s do an American style salary cap based on, of all things, BASEBALL, despite the fact that it would be impossible to manage and ignoring the fact that baseball’s salary cap is the laughing stock of world sport.” Luxury tax… yeah, that hasn’t stopped New York and Boston from having payrolls that are the shame of the world.

But let’s think about this for a second. Either a club would have to adhere to the salary cap (LOL) OR a club’s supporters would be attending games at great personal expense and at least a portion of that expense would be going to some club like, say, Blackburn.

This idea is so mind-numbingly stupid and untenable that the only conceivable reason why they would announce it is because they need to make it look like they are doing something. So, they travel to America, talk to a few people, pick a plan that could never possibly work, come back, and wait until international week to announce that they are looking into implementing it.

Frankly, this plan has as much chance of happening as the 6+5 rule, or me giving a shiat if Amaury Bischoff leaves for one of the, literally, hundreds of clubs who want to buy him. Which is to say, 0%.

Hey, at least with this proclamation out of the way we can officially say that the International Break has well and truly started. Because it’s not an international break without a retarded idea coming out of FIFA/UEFA.

22
Aug
08

Sneaky, sneaky, Wenger

In his Friday press conference, Arsene Wenger spoke frankly about Silvestre and the in code about his interest in Barry/Alonso.  First to the Silvestre story, Wenger let out that the player had already “been released” by Man U and was virtually at the signing table with Citeh — rumor is he’d even already had a physical with Man City — when Arsene swooped in and offered the player a spot at Arsenal.  So, one of the questions that I had was completely put to rest; how on earth did Ferguson allow a player of any value go to a title rival?  Simple, the player was released by the team and anyone who would pay the agreed upon fee (£750,000) could negotiate with the player. The fact that Fergie corroborates Wenger’s story makes me feel really good about this signing.  Not only does Arsenal get a vastly experienced player who plays his heart out on the pitch, but they got him dirt cheap and the pulled one over on Ferguson’s acolyte Mark Hughes.  I’ll bet if Silvestre stays healthy he will be seen by Gooners as yet another master stroke by the boss.

Meanwhile, the boss was more circumspect with his statements about Barry/Alosno.  I’m lumping both players together here because, they are both 27, both play midfield, both are cup tied, both are Arsenal targets and both players fit Arsene’s quotes.  Thus, I consider Arsene to be chasing both players and whichever one we get, I think Arsenal fans will be happy.  I’d prefer Alonso because I think he’s a technically superior player, he’s Spanish, and he would fit right into the Arsenal midfield.  On the other hand, Barry would bring steel and English-ness to the team, and let’s not let the importance of having Englishmen on the team fall to the way side.  Rumor has it Arsenal have already negotiated a contract with Alonso but Liverpool is refusing to lower their value of the player at £18m, even though, as Arsene points out he’s cup tied.  Villa, similarly, are stuck with their £18m valuation since they have already turned down a lesser bid from Liverpool.  I suppose they could offer Arsenal the player for less, but wouldn’t that allow Liverpool the same chance to swoop for the player that Arsenal just did for Silvestre?

More importantly for me is I don’t get the sense that Barry wants to play for Arsenal.  No.  He wants to play for Liverpool, you know, to “fulfill his dream.”  I think Barry is a smokescreen.  Arsenal are in for Alonso and Alonso only.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Just the other day I was preparing you all for a summer with no more signings and now here I am hopeful that the team will sign the one player I wanted all summer — starry eyed optimist that I am.

On the injury front, Diaby is getting better, Song is back, Silvestre has a strain, Rosicky is two weeks away and Cesc is being evaluated day-to-day to see if he’ll play on Wednesday against FC Twente.  If there’s any chance he’ll get hurt, don’t play him.  End of story.  As for Diaby/Song, I suspect that Song will play in the holding midfield position but you know, after Wenger put Eboue there, it’s pretty much a crap shoot as to who will play where right now.   In which case, I’m going with… Gael Clichy in the holding midfield spot.  Why not?

It was inevitable after the signing of Silvestre but there are now two rumors about Senderos.  One has him going to Milan (Vincenzo Morabito anyone?) and the other has him going to Newcastle.  I think Arsene really likes Senderos, in spite of the collective wisdom of the Football Manager playing population, and wouldn’t be shocked to see him stay at the club.  If they let Senderos go, there will only be 6 defenders left, right?  That’s not enough depth to make a serious challenge for the two big trophies.  Sorry, I’m skeptical.

The Story That Won’t Die

Almunia is making noise about playing for Engerland again.  Dude… you don’t want that shiat storm.  Almunia would have a better chance winning over Spurs fans after a switch than he would of convincing English fans that he should be the English #1.  He would have to be the best keeper England ever had in order to just keep the blatant xenophobia down to a low roar.  No, I think Capello would lose his job if he appointed Almunia and I stand by ready to eat my words.

Finally

Just an honorable mention to Rambo, who was selected to play for Wales in their World Cup run up.  Good for you, son.

And I only got 7/10 on this quiz about Silvestre’s transfer to Arsenal.  How many can you score?




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