Posts Tagged ‘Appiah


City goes for £100m Brazilian, owch.

The funniest story this morning is that City offered £91m for Kaka, Gattuso, and Dida.  Gattuso is injured and Dida is shite, so, let’s be honest and just admit that this is a $100m bid for Kaka. Now, depending on who you read, Kaka is either willing to talk to City or has rejected them outright. City is trying their level best to get to the player by offering him an after tax salary of £13m but when Kaka’s agent publicly says

Kaka wouldn’t do anything based on money. He would never do something like Robinho, who, just to earn more, contented himself with a solution that was not a winning one. (emphasis added)

I rather doubt the player will be tempted.

Honestly though, it’s not the money, it’s not that City are struggling to stay in the Premier League, it’s that established Italian players do not want to come to England in the prime of their careers and have their legs broken by the Mathew Taylor’s and Kevin Davies and Joey Barton’s in this league. Add in that the pace of the game and demands of English football are harder than in Italy, that the English refs are biased against foreigners, and the food and culture is continuously a sore spot and really, even £14m after tax isn’t enough.

In Italy he’s a god. In England, he’s a great player on “the other Manchester team.”

Which leads us to Arsenal target Andrei Arshavin. Sadly, news reports are circulating now that say Inter are getting involved in the bidding and if true I think we have to say our hopes for landing the player have diminished. I really wish Arsene would just look elsewhere for a player. Dealing with Zenit is distasteful at the least and at best it’s starting to look like they are using Arsenal to get the max they can from Inter or City after the Kaka deal falls through.

The team would be better served if they would spend their time on getting a player in, for a reasonable fee, who would shore up the defensive end of the squad. Hangelaand is often linked, a defensive midfielder maybe, you know, that kind of player. Maybe if you want to get realy crazy, recall Traore from Pompey and have him compete for Eboue’s spot.

Cesc Hates Football

Ok, not really, but Cesc did make a rather incredible statement in the match program on Saturday against Bolton and rather than cut it up, let me just give it to you whole

Of course I love watching Arsenal, and I will never miss a game when I can help it, but apart from that I’m just forgetting about everything to do with football. Even my girlfriend is surprised because it’s unusual for me, but to be honest when it comes to football at the moment, I am off it until I can start to get fit again.

I just have to be patient and try to enjoy a holiday. In the last five years I haven’t been able to take any type of holiday because even during the summer I have been playing for the national team, so it’s been constant.

I think in six years I’ve only ever had three consecutive weeks without football. That’s not normal for a 21 year-old. For Arsenal and Spain at all levels I think I have played 270 games – for a 21 year-old that’s not normal so I guess at one stage this had to happen. I want to relax as much as possible, and I’m sure I will come back stronger

Wenger gave Cesc some time off to start the season but clearly it wasn’t enough. I think we all saw a dip in form for Cesc at that time and now we know why, he’s burned out on football. I don’t know what Cesc is thinking but it looks to me like the burden that Wenger put on the young man, playing him 250 times before the age of 21 has started to tell. We all have to hope that these 4 months off see him return refreshed and hungry.

I’d also hope that Wenger sees this statement and understands that we need to bring in some experienced players rather than just throw Wilshere, Vela, and Ramsey out there to the wolves.

Yes, for those keeping tabs, I have changed my mind here.

Rapid Links

Simpson is doing well, winning matches, and earning plaudits from W.B.A. He supposedly scored a great goal, anyone have a link? I’d love to see Simpson help W.B.A. stay up this season and then be recalled back into the Arsenal team and give Ade some competition for his target man spot up front.

Spuds are being cautious with Appiah and will test him out tonight in a friendly to see if they want to sign him permanently.  I have to think that there’s something really, really wrong with him if the normally profligate Spurs are being so cautious. So, erm, good job not signing Appiah, Wenger!

Howard Webb admits he was wrong. No, not about the piss poor refereeing at Old Trafford but about his piss poor refereeing in a Wolves/Birmingham FA Cup match where he admitted that he failed to give a penalty for a clear violation. Now, if we could only get him to admit that he’s Wayne Rooney’s bitch we’d all be better off. “Best ref in England?” That’s an insult to England.


Racism and Ramsey runs riot over the press

Good morning kickers, we had a greenlight on yesterday which always results in a ton of clicks and a few new readers. If you’re one of those new readers, welcome. Today’s big stories are Cesc has something to say about racism and Aaron Ramsey is the new Walcott.

Cesc Says Spain’s Not Racist

Us Americans like to believe that we live in a post-racist, or even racially transcendent culture. We see stories like what happened in Spain in 2004 with Sean Wright-Phillips and shake our heads in disgust. “That would never happen here,” we like to say.  But it does, Bethel School district, here in the glorious post-racial northern paradise of liberal Washington state is awash in racism. The simple fact is that racism exists in America, just like it exists in every culture.

But just because there are racial incidents doesn’t mean that we are all racists. If Bethel School District has a race riot with 2% of their student population participating it doesn’t mean that the whole school district is racist, does it? No and I think that’s what Cesc was getting at when he sort of mangled the quote that’s making all the rounds today

I don’t know if racism is the word, I wasn’t in the team when that match was played, but one of my team-mates was playing for England and he felt a little upset. They see us as racist, but I don’t think that we are. That is a bit extreme.

This is a tough topic for someone erudite to write about much less for a Spanish footballer, who feels the need to defend his country, to speak about off the cuff so let’s give Cesc a little room here and agree that what he was saying is “even though there have been incidents, not all Spaniards are racist.”

In a sense, I agree with him, what really counts isn’t the reaction of the 1% of fans who are racists but the reaction of the leadership of the team, school district, or other organization. If the leadership doesn’t do anything about it, then it’s pretty safe to say that the whole system is corrupt.

In Bethel, the administration has been working with the teens through education and, if needed, expulsion in order to try to put an end to this. That’s where it gets sticky with Spain. I haven’t seen the type of concerted effort to stamp this out that I’d like to see. First, what has anyone done since 2004? I mean, the FA (who should have been on this issue from day one, demanding change) the Spanish FA, UEFA, FIFA, team hierarchy, etc, what have they been doing for the last 4 years to stamp this problem out? Nothing. It’s a disgrace to see them suddenly refusing to play at the Bernabeu when the problem has been boiling for the last 4 years and very little was said and even less done about the problem.

And now, along comes UEFA and they want to take strong action against Athletico Madrid for their racism. You’re joking, right? This is the same UEFA who allowed a Zenit St. Petersburg to play in and win the UEFA cup even though the manager publicly refuses to hire blacks because the fans won’t have them.

I’m sorry but $30,000 fines and threatening to make teams play in a neutral place (it’s not a done deal yet) is just putting lipstick on a pig.

So, while I agree with what I think the sentiment was behind Cesc’s statement I completely disagree with his analysis. As far as I can tell, given the combined (non) actions of most of world football’s governing bodies, racism is not only very alive and well, it’s basically condoned. It is the shame of the modern game that such sentiment exists and it should be stopped through points deductions if necessary.

King Ramsey the First

Stuart Pearce has said that Arsenal youth, and soon to be Welsh full international, Aaron Ramsey is worth his weight in gold because he makes little tiny shirts out of whole cloth, or something. Meanwhile, some blogger at Setanta also feels like Arsene’s keen eye for talent may have spotted the best player of his generation on the evidence of that same England-Wales game which saw Rambo’s team lose 3-2 and yet him pick up man-of-the-match honors.

I’m happy for the kid that the press have caught on to his obvious talents. Now, his job is to keep his head down, ignore those press clippings, work hard, and help make Arsenal’s midfield of Ramsey, Wilshere, and Walcott the envy of world football. With Wenger’s patient guidance, I have no doubt this will come to pass.

Transfer Rumors, That I Made Up

The Mail is linking Arsenal with Sochaux cum Turkey striker Melvut Erding. I can’t see any credibility to this though, because Arsene has publicly stated that Arsenal have all the strikers they need (RvP, Ade, Bendtner, Vela, Walcott, Eduardo, and all the kids he’s bringing through).

No, the transfer rumor that I’m starting is that either Yaya Toure or Xavi Alonso are going to surprise the world and come to Arsenal in January. Both players have been linked to Arsenal before and both players are making no bones about their desire to leave their current clubs. The speculation in the press is that the two teams will do a straight swap but that seems a bit crazy if you ask me: both teams would have cup-tied players in that case. Unless there’s something seriously wrong with one or both of those players (so wrong that you wouldn’t play them in the Champions League) why would you intentionally cripple a crucial part of your team?

No, if either player moves on, it’ll be to a third party, like Arsenal. Then they could use the money to buy a non-cup-tied player. Come on Alonso — you could rule England at Arsenal with Cesc at your side!

Stephen Appiah is the other player that Arsenal has been repeatedly linked with but again there’s something not right with this story and I am going with “player wants too much salary and/or isn’t really fit.” Last month, he said that he was going to be signing with a team any day now and since then the story has changed pretty drastically from “I was going to sign, but now I’m looking to Italy” to now the wire has gone completely dead.  Since then West Ham have signed Tristan (a forward) and Arsene has publicly downplayed signing anyone else. Sorry kickers, as much as I’d like to think that Appiah would have rode in upon his steed and slew the dragons ‘oop norf’ I can’t see anything but the end of his career at this point. He did play 85 minutes for Ghana on the weekend and talked of being able to play again the next day but I’m sceptical about his fitness to be honest.

And finally, the Thomas Rosicky injury sideshow rolls on for another week. My loyal reader knows that I think his career is done, the injury he’s sustained is so unusual and in such a critical area that I cannot see him recovering (I hope I am wrong). And now, his agent has picked up on the rumor mill and is stating that Rosicky’s recovery is going along just as planned, his career is NOT over, and oh yeah, he’s even got another specialist working with him. Maybe he will play again. I’m not a doctor but I do know that January will be his one year anniversary of fitness. That’s a hell of a long time to be out. Good luck Thomas, yo’re going to need it.

Ok, well, that’s it for today. Until tomorrow.


Your pain, their profit

The British media have caught on and are now using the collective psychic pain felt by Arsenal supporters over their lack of signing a Defensive Midifelder to push their papers. Over the summer, the press have stated that Arsenal have bid on Inler, Barry, Alonso, M’Bia, and Appiah. There’s some question over how serious the interest in Barry was, so, for the sake of argument, let’s just drop him as a target. Still, that’s no less than three players that Wenger put in a serious bid for and one player who may yet join us on a free transfer if he doesn’t choose London’s fourth best Premier League team. These revelations that Arsenal were so agressive in the transfer market have shocked many people, including those folks in the press. After all, we all heard Arsene say, time and again, that the team was good enough as it stood. The press though are now running with the story and we’re again being linked with each of these players — in January. Plus, the Telegraph throws one extra in, Sebastian Giovinco, just for fun. YAY, it’s like the transfer window is still open!

The only way this works for the press is that we’re all on such pins and needles about not signing a defensive midfielder this summer that we’re still begging for news, any news, that Arsenal will sign someone. It’s great press, and whenever Stephen Appiah takes a dump the reporters are there waiting. So they can publish such blockbuster stories as “No Decision Yet” and “Decision Some Time Next Week, or Later.” 

Let me help you all the best I can. Alonso is not walking through that door. Inler was too afraid to play in the Premier League, so we don’t want him any way. M’Bia? Who? And Appiah will either sign for Arsenal and have a real shot at winning the Champions League, or will choose to play to keep West Ham from making the drop. If he chooses the latter, we don’t need him because it would mean that, like Inler, he just wasn’t confident enough to play under the bright lights of the Emirates. Sure, he may say the contract was better at West Ham and he wants to “build” West Ham, blah blah, but honestly? Sometimes, like Adebayor did, you take a pay cut to play for a team like Arsenal, that’s what Arsene means when he talks about building a culture at the club.

So, Appiah will either sign or he won’t. If he does, then we’ll all welcome him with open arms.  If not, oh well, it’s for the best.

World Cup

Theo Walcott is ready to be battered and deep fried on Wednesday, if Capello plays him. Typically, I couldn’t care less who plays where in World football. I do however like that Walcott said the following

I always get battered. I’m used to it now and it doesn’t bother me at all. The main thing is to ignore them and get up. If you don’t, they know they have got you in their pocket. You just have to get up, give them a little smile and they know you will be at them again. That’s what you have to do – remind them that you won’t go away. I will keep doing the right things and maybe the referees will recognise it. 

YES! Get up and get on with it. The FA should have adopted this statement as their mantra for their ridiculous “get on with the game” program. As I’ve said before, this type of simulation (the Ronaldo style of “I feel contact I go down”) is the most destructive, disruptive, and difficult to stamp out. But if the FA just adopt Theo’s statement as their philosophy and book anyone who is rolling around on the ground, remonstrating the ref or generally simulating injury then the game would be 100% more enjoyable to watch. Hell, Theo’s statement almost makes me want to watch him play on Wednesday, almost. 

Enough about that… I guess there’s a lot of matches tomorrow in which a lot of Arsenal players have a good chance to get injured. Let’s hope they don’t because Arsenal have to play Blackburn on Saturday.

That’s it for the day see you on Wednesday.


Two Stephens

No one is injured (knock on wood) and no one has signed for Arsenal. All the news stories today are about Manchester City branded sodas, restaurants, underwear and sports cars. So… hm….

Here’s a video of Stephen Appiah.

With the revelation that Rennes rejected Arsenal’s late bid for Stephane M’Bia it does look like Arsene seriously TRIED to sign someone this year, but that his various bids were rejected. This brings the total number of players that Arsene tried to get in the defensive midfield position to 3, which is as much of an admission from the boss that he doesn’t feel the quality is there with our current squad as I would ever need.

It all makes a certain sense now in retrospect: Wenger’s bluster about this squad being good enough is just talk to keep the spirits up — he saw the deficiencies and took care of them. He traded a ball holding Hleb for a goal scoring Nasri, brought in a defender with a lot of heart and premiership experience in Silvestre, got the obligatory 16 year old with a ton of potential in Rambo, took a chance for free in Bischoff, and did due dilligence to get a defensive midfielder in for the right price. In the last instance a series of teams just didn’t want to give up their water carrier for various reasons. You could go back and look at that last part about the defensive midfielder and cry about how Wenger didn’t try hard enough, but I feel strongly that the Boss is a man of principle and wouldn’t do anything to harm the team.  Whether that be not signing someone he should, or paying over the odds for someone he shouldn’t. Also, it’s really hard for me to blame Wenger for not signing Alonso when it’s not really his fault that Gerrard went down, and the whole Barry deal went so sour. 

So, the boss talking up the team makes a lot of sense now, because unless we sign a free agent like Appiah, like it or not, this is the squad we’ll have this season. We can all hope that we sign Appiah but don’t expect it to happen. That way, if it does happen, you’ll be surprised and if it doesn’t you won’t be disappointed, right? 

One last thing, for the record, I’m now on the Appiah band wagon. 

Ok, I’ll post another if anything happens today.  Until then…

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May 2020