Posts Tagged ‘Arshavin

09
May
09

Arsenal v. Chelsea preview

I'm sure there's something about swine plague in this message!

Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge back in November, a win which kicked off Arsenal’s 21 match unbeaten run. Some folks say Arsenal were given a bit of good fortune as Robin van Persie’s first goal was widely seen as offside, but sometimes good luck is exactly what a team needs to kick off a winning run.

That said, these are not the same two teams that lined up against each other. Arsenal have added some serious quality in Andrei Arshavin (who will be out with the “flu” tomorrow) and Chelsea have abandoned the Scolari/Deco experiment in favor of the more direct approach of Hiddink/Essien. Both clubs are in good form now and both clubs have something to play for: 3rd place in the Premier League.

The absolute gulf in class between the two clubs is evident not on the pitch, where Chelsea have spent “magic money” as Wenger put it to win exactly zero trophies in two years, but in the board room, where Arsenal fined Bendtner for his off field actions but Hiddink is asking Roman to go easy on Drogba after his disgusting on-field actions after their crash out of the Champions League. It’s always been that way, though, and we should expect no less from the world’s most classless club.

Drogba may miss tomorrow’s game as Hiddink thinks he’s not mentally stable enough to get involved in a huge clash like this, which begs the question, is he ever mentally stable?

Meanwhile, the tin-foil-hatters will be in full tin-foil-hat mode over the fact that Arshavin is being left out of the clash having come down with the flu. Add in that Arsene left Andrei off the starting XI during the Chelsea/Arsenal FA Cup clash and there is some strong circumstantial “evidence” that Arsene is afraid to play Andrei against Hiddink. The theory goes that Hiddink knows some weakness in his Russian star’s game and would exploit that weakness and show the EPL how to beat Arshavin. Personally, I think it’s just coincidence.

First, why would Hiddink expose his star player’s weakness?  Wouldn’t doing that also hurt his Russian team too? Second, I think the FA Cup match can be explained simply as a tactical mistake by the boss. He probably figured that Arshavin would have more impact as a super sub, exploiting tired Chelsea legs at the end of a hard fought FA Cup match. And third, it is possible that Arshavin is just sick, in fact, it’s more than possible, it’s the most likely answer!

One player that Arsenal will absolutely use tomorrow is Gibbs; owing to the fact that Clichy is out for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his back and Silvestre is shit. I think this is a wonderful inclusion, if Arsene project is to bring along youth players then we might as well use some of them. Plus, he made a mistake, yes, but nothing will help his confidence more than the manager putting him right back in to the starting XI… in a London derby… which may well decide the title… and which will certainly decide the all important 3rd place.

NO PRESSURE

Right, that’s pretty much it, if you want to read Arsene talk about “magic money” or “bringing in one or two players” or hear him talk about what will almost certainly be a heated and prolonged summer transfer period, head on over to the dot com. There are more articles on that topic than Carter has little liver pills.

03
May
09

Pompey 0-3 Arsenal; it’s a News News News News of the World

Match Reports

News of the World: Nicklas Bendtner fires up the Young Gunners

Match Video

I would link to News of the World, they claim to be #1 for video, but territorial restrictions prevent us Americans from seeing their video.  As it turns out the only videos I can watch on their site are videos of scantily clad women. Go figure.

Man of the Match

Aaron Ramsey… I KEED, I KEED! Arshavin was brilliant in the roles that Cesc is currently playing on the team; as captain and as the player “in the hole” behind the strikers. I’m not taking anything away from Cesc, but Arshavin showed everyone how that position was supposed to be played yesterday. Everytime I watch him play he impresses me more, his long passes, his short passes, his vision, his understanding of the game, his shooting, his dribbling, basically he’s the complete player.

Basically, Arsenal sold Hleb, who scored a grand total of 7 league goals for Arsenal and who demanded to be played in the spot that Arshavin occupied yesterday for £12m and used that money to buy an actual football player.

The Good

Bendtner scored… Arsenal kept a clean sheet… undefeated now 21 in a row… 4th place secured… 3rd place still within reach… no one was injured… it was a good day!

YAY!

The Bad

Everyone is hailing Ramsey as having a great game but the stats just don’t add up: he only won 1 challenge all day and his passing percentage was below average for an Arsenal central midfielder. In addition, I felt like Wenger subbed him out because by the 60th minute he was looking jaded. Yes, he’s young and he certainly shows flashed of brilliance, but yesterday was not his best game.

Also, Pompey should have gotten at least one goal.

The Ugly

Real Madrid were mauled by Barcelona yesterday and promptly made Arsene Wenger a huge offer, according to News of the World. Also according to NotW, Wenger promptly told them to piss off. This isn’t a surprise because Wenger is under contract and has said time and again that he will honor his contract.

Injury Report

No new injury news, Arsene Wenger is saying that Robin van Persie is a late test for Tuesday but that if he’s not 100% fit, he won’t be played.

We don’t know if Van Persie will be available, if he is 100 per cent fit he has a very good chance, if he is not he will not play in a game of that stature, that is for sure.

That’s a bit of a strange thing to say. I mean, it’s not like we’ll have anything left to play for if we don’t win on Tuesday. Moreover, we need to win 2-0 to go through outright so scoring is crucial. So I can’t see the logic of reserving one of Arsenal’s most prolific scorers, unless the player doesn’t want to play, or… if maybe you think you’ll have to remove him too early.

The rest of the team remains as reported on Friday: Gallas, Dudu and Rosicky are out for the season, Clichy is out for several more weeks (read “the rest of the season unless we play in the Champions League final”), and Silvestre is “short” for Tuesday with a groin pull.

So that’s about it for today, see you tomorrow.

P.S. Newcuntsle lost to Liverpool and are now pretty much assured of going down. I feel bad for the supporters but that’s what you get when you have a team with more criminals and lawbreakers that the Bush administration.

02
Apr
09

Back to reality, nearly

Less than 24 hours after I make a statement about how Barcelona would be the preferred destination when Cesc leaves, Joan Laporta is quoted in the press saying how much he’d like to see Cesc in a Barcelona shirt.

I’m sure he would.

What I don’t get is how much outrage everyone seems to have over this quote. Barcelona say this kind of stuff every three months and yes it’s distasteful but as far as I know it’s not illegal. Real Madrid’s President calling Cesc to chat about his progress, that’s illegal. Barcelona’s President saying “I’d like to see Cesc in a Barca shirt” is not illegal. Sure, he’s a jerk for saying it, but he was already a jerk, this is not news!

Besides, we all know and should accept that Cesc will leave Arsenal one day and that his likeliest destination is the club he supported as a kid: Barcelona. Right now, he’s under contract until 2014 and if Barcelona want him, they will have to pay a huge, retarded, sum in transfer fees. Which I highly doubt they will do, especially given the fact that Joan himself says that Barca “have the best midfield in the world” (along with the best keeper!).

So, let’s all calm down and focus in on football, which we shall have on Saturday I say! Saturday!

Saturday, we’ve got Manchester City for a good olde fashioned 7am kickoff. If you’ll remember, City was the last team to beat Arsenal in the Premier League: a run of 17 matches unbeaten. That City game was one of the low points of the season. With the club in turmoil after Cappy Gallas’ outburst, they were outplayed in the midfield by Stephen Ireland, toothless up front, and defenseless in the back. We went to City (who were terrible at the time) and got an old-fashioned ass whoppin as we say in the States.   3-0.

After that, Wenger made some changes. They took a while to take hold but Arsenal are a different team now and not just in terms of players on the pitch, though the addition of Arshavin has proved crucial. Tactically and spiritually this is a different Arsenal side. They have scored 15 goals in the month of March and the club has a belief about them they they did not at the last meeting. I have to think that more than most rematches, Arsenal will be looking for revenge.

Personnel wise, we have our Crozillian back, and scoring goals. And more importantly, we’ve got our young captain and midfield maestro back and raring to go. Wenger is saying that Cesc needs three games to get back to top fitness and the next three games are his best bet: home to City, away to Villareal, and away to Wigan. We should expect Diaby and van Persie to miss at least the Saturday game against City but after that is unknown as there’s no news on those two. Bendtner, on the other hand, subbed in at the 33rd minute in Denmark’s 3-0 win over Albania so whatever injury he suffered on his knee must have healed, right??? And any rumors of Arshavin picking up a knock are false, as he played the whole match against Licktinstien.

And if you want to get REALLY excited, there are rumors that Theo could be fit to face City.

Let’s see, Arshavin, Theo, Cesc, and Dudu? Yes please, I’ll have two!

Finally, in the above link, Wenger also made a remark about how the next 8 matches in 25 days are make or break for this season. It’s true, we’ll have had both legs of the Champions League, 4 EPL matches, and an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea. Uhh… yeah, that’s slightly important.

But given that all our players returning to top form and have a renewed spirit I feel confident in quoting George W. Bush: bring ’em on.

P.S. Adebayor is fit as well.

14
Mar
09

‘Kolo, we’re going to win’

My co-workers make me sick, maDe, made, sorry about that. My co-workers made me sick by coming in to work while coughing up a lung. And now, I’m sitting here, unable to sleep, but tired, coughing up what little lungs I have left, high on nyQuil.

This will either be the best or worst blog. evar.

My two favorite quotes ahead of the match today are the one in the headline, spoken by Eduardo, and this gem from Wenger

To be professional is to do what it takes for your team to be successful, no more than that. It does not mean that you go to paradise together. (emph. added)

To the first, after an injured Eduardo missed his penalty, he came back to the group, clearly distraught and instead of the woe is me that we saw from Ronaldo last year in their penalty shoot out with slippy boots Chelsea, simply said “Kolo, we’re going to win.”

I’ve been calling for a leader to step up on this team and it looks like we finally have one; a man who overcame the horror of Martin Taylor’s lunge to step back on the pitch and face hundreds of Taylor’s and score on them with flair.

Guts, Dudu’s got guts and sometimes guts are enough.

I’m also quite liking this Toure renaissance. Yes he spoke out about his feud with Cappy and I don’t like that, but he didn’t reveal much and in fact said that what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room. It was exactly the kind of clear the air that was needed.

Now, he’s out here, geeing up the club with all this positive talk. I see a lesson there for us gloom and doomers and the folks who like to jump on us: in ‘Merica we say, you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Never mind that I don’t like flies because flies means fly eggs and fly eggs mean maggots, which are gross.

(BRING IT HOME, NYQUIL)

The point is, we could all use a dose of positive thinking and certainly some of the signs are there so it’s really good to see our stand-in captain saying really positive things. Sort of shining sunshine on those of us who have been a bit negative  of late.

I have some maxims and one is that “In a leadership vacuum, leaders always emerge.” It looks like we’ve got a few leaders suddenly emerging, and that give me great hope.

And them of course, you have to have a laugh at Wenger’s quote. “Go to paradise together” what does that even mean? Screwing on top of a rainbow? Unicorns and ponies for everyone?

I don’t get it, is that a French-ism?

Maybe it’s the nyQuil, but for me it sort of conjures up Kolo and Gallas walking off into the sunset, hand in hand, bluebirds are tweeting nearby and unicorns look up from grazing in a field of poppies by a deep blue lake.

No wait… isn’t paradise Kolo and Cappy raising Ole Big Ears while streamers pop-off near by and Cesc drinks from a giant glass of champagne held up by Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott and the final score was 13-0 and everyone scored except Eboue who scored a hat trick and the press write about Arsenal’s “miracle season” and we all go off into the summer sun singing

“We love the Arsenal we do, we love the Arsenal we do, we love the Arsenal, we do, oh Arsenal we love you!”

In that case, I actually want Cappy and Kolo to go to paradise together.

Back in reality, Arsenal face Blackburn today and they will need all the positive imagery they can muster to overcome Sam’s lump and crunch football.

I’m imagining an early goal from Arshavin… that would be a mini paradise wouldn’t it?

26
Jan
09

Liveblogging the Andrei Arshavin deal deadline

Today is Arsenal’s self imposed deadline for something to happen in the Andrei Arshavin transfer deal. Follow along with me as I obsessively hit “refresh” in my Google Reader, hoping for a nibble of fact in this deal.

6:10 am — ZOMG HAVE YOU HEARD??? Charlie N’Zogbia, who has been angling for a transfer to Arsenal for the last 4 years, has told the world that he would rather play for Aston Villa, because they are going to win the Champions League or something. This is proof for the doom and gloomers that Arsenal are going to miss out on recruiting “top players” and start the downward spiral toward empty stadiums and relegation. No news on Arshavin.

6:12 am — No news on Arshavin.

6:15 am — SPUDS SIGN CUDICHINI!!! Another top player that Arsenal have missed out on. No news on Arshavin.

6:18 am — I should give this mess an intro… done. No Arshavin news.

6:21 am — I have to get ready for work. The FA 5th round draw has been made and if we can get past Cardiff we’ll either face Jay Simpson with WBA or Carling Cup nemesis Burnley. Funny how that works, eh?

6:24 am — nietski newski Arshavin

6:26 am — Philippe Senderos played a whole 90 minutes for AC Milan: I heard his performance was a bunch of Bologna. Uhhh, all the other kids on loan played too, no one scored or did anything spectacular.

6:35 am — @leon, yes, the deadline is Monday, today is Monday! Did you guys hear that Arsenal supporters had a stand off with Cardiff supporters after the FA Cup match? What decade is this?

6:38 am — OMG ARSHAVIN NEWS… Zenit have abandonded their £20m overvaluation of Arshavin and the teams are “locked in talks.” Maybe Wenger heard all of your frustrations about how spending the extra few Million won’t break the bank?

6:43 am — Dan in the comments mentions that the deal is being reported “good as done” in the Russian press. Too bad I don’t speak Russian. :(

6:45 am — I scooped L’Equipe! No Arshavin News, in English.  Also, I went to that Russian newspaper link that Dan supplied and then on to another link and got this (edited for content):

nooooooooooo

THANKS FOR NOTHING DAN.

6:51 am — got to go to work, will check my Google Reader when I get there. How many of you use Google Reader? No Arshavin News.

7:45 am — dang, it’s freezing out here, took me 10 minutes just to warm the car up for my 10 minute drive to work! No Arshavin news, but the comedy of Spurs just keeps delivering; looks like they have signed Chimbonda back from Sunderland. This confirms, what? That Spuds are bat-shit crazy? Who’s next on Spurs “Oh crap we screwed up” transfer list? Gazza?

8:06 am — HA! Not Gazza, Keane! I don’t know, I couldn’t make up something that funny. I just hope Liverpool charge Spuds like £25m for him. Since Arsenal are not doing anything, I have to wonder, does it get any better than watching our North London “rivals” try to assemble the “dream team” that got them to the lofty heights of 5th place 2 years ago and 11th place last year? I say no, it doesn’t.

8:17 am — @Patrick, the odds are 100% that Arsenal supporters will find something to whine about regardless of what happens with this deal. Wenger could buy the entire Man U squad and supporters would complain about something: “Ronaldo doesn’t look like he’s giving 100%! Sell him to Real!”

9:02 am — “first again” goonerforum is recylcing reports that I have seen other places that has Usmanov buying Arshavin. This is not news, this is speculation, news happens when the club report Arshavin has signed.  Also, goonerforum should get their own look — The funny thing about them is that I think they wanted to do a link exchange but I found their content to be, well, stupid.

10:48 am — ArSHAVIN NEWS! Dangit, no it’s not… ESPNSoccernet is reporting the quotes that were attributed to Andrei earlier in the week in a cheap stunt to try to generate hits, just like I’ve been doing! HA HA I scooped ESPN!

10:54 am — Setanta has reported that they will be showing the Arsenal – Cardiff replay on Tuesday the 3rd of Feb.

10:58 am — Micah Richards is denying that he’s coming to Arsenal. There was a ton of speculation that the England CB was the target of Arsene during the summer when he made his famous remarks about “getting someone from the EPL” which turned out to be a failed bid for Alonso. I’m not sure how I feel about Richards, on the one hand I’ve always though he sucked. On the other hand, he’s sucked even more this year than any other. Now would be the perfect time to land him, because I doubt he could possibly suck any more than he does now!

3:37 pm — HOLY CRAP!!!! I’ve been gone all day “working” and suddenly check my gReader an WHAM Shitanta is reporting that Arsenal and Zenit have agreed to terms and all that is left is for Arshavin and Arsenal to agree to terms… {record scratch} what? That’s not right. That’s not what anyone has been saying all along, Arshavin has been saying all along that he’s already agreed to terms and that the clubs need to agree. What kind of football jokers are these Zenit people?

GOD DAMNIT this is going to last longer than a bad case of crabs, innit?

My inside source tells me that Arsneal threw in two black players as a makeweight and that Zenit was so horrified by this prospect that they cut the deal down to £8m. Or maybe I made that last bit up.

Anyway “full” analysis of this massively important and ground breaking development in the morning, I got more stuff to do.

19
Jan
09

Arshavin saga gets… fatter?

Not much Arsenal news to report today.

The Arshavin deal is “progressing” I guess. According to several sources, Zenit invited Arsenal’s negotiating team to Russia and they have accepted the invitation and… well.. yeah that’s about it.But don’t let facts get in the way! Arshavin’s “omnipotent” agent claims the deal is done! I am going on record as saying that Setanta does not know what the word “omnipotent” means. In factm I think they have confused omniscience for omnipotence. It’s a minor detail, I know.

I guess the sticking point in the deal was that Arsenal offered £10m in cash plus £5m in incentives. Zenit said, give us all £15m in cash and you have a deal. We said, hmmmm….

Then, according to The World’s Least Reliable Newspaper, Alisher Usmanov got involved.  I know what you’re thinking but hear them out, this is how their logic works: Zenit is owned by Gazprom, Gazprom has a subsidiary company called Gazprominvestholding, Alisher Usamanov sits on the board of that company as Dudedonutholding, therefore Alisher Usmanov is brokering a deal between Arsenal and Zenit for Arshavin.

No, seriously, that’s their logic. Never mind that Usmanov isn’t even on the Arsenal board, much less involved in transfers. He sits on a board for a company that invests money for Gazprom. It’s as solid a connection as The Sun has ever run.

In other transfer news… there is no other transfer news! It’s an odd occurrence I have to say, everyone must be taking Martin Luther King Jr day off.

What else is going on? Chelsea are either for sale or they are not for sale. Supposedly the asking price was £800m, which is a lot of money for a club with no history, huge annual debts and a team of overpaid, underperforming superstars. £800m would get Arsenal I reckon, why would anyone want a Chelsea, when you could have an Arsenal?

What else, Ashley Young is now valued at £82m according to Martin O’Neill, which completely scuppers one of my commenters idea to take him from Villa. Get him now, his price is just going up!

And finally… Evidently, Joey Barton has learned his lesson. He no longer stubs cigars out in teammates eyes or sucker punches them during practice, instead he just attacks them on the pitch, during a game, after they make a mistake!

Right, that’s it, I have the day off and there just so happens to be a Liverpool derby today. Kickoff is at noon and the match is exclusively on Setanta. It should be a good crowd and a good match, so if you’re a local head on down to Doyle’s and catch the festivities.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!

11
Jan
09

Arshavin deal going pear shaped?

fail

With the Man U v. Chelsea match looming large and Rafa Benitez’ comments about Sir Alex Ferguson dominating the news cycles there is precious little Arsenal news to report this morning.

In fact, I have no facts. I have rumor and innuendo. The most disappointing rumor of the day is that Arsenal only offered £10m for Arshavin, which has been rejected by Zenit outright. If it’s true, it’s actually a hilarious bid, I mean, this is a guy who Zenit wanted £24m for this summer. Sure, his value is lower because he’s cup tied and he wants to get away from Zenit, but £10m? Even as an initial offer it’s hilarious.

Of course, Zenit are clearly now playing the whole thing up in the press, in order to generate other offers, like from Man City. Considering that Zenit have told City how cheaply (for them) they can have the player, and considering how much more City can pay Arshavin, I think the whole deal now has to have been thrown into question. Like they say, when you lie with rats you get up with fleas, and bubonic plague, or something.

It’s a real shame too, I was watching some video of Arshavin and he really does have the skills that Arsenal need up front right now. More than ever, if Arsenal want to get this guy, they are going to have to play hardball: or start looking somewhere else.

In other rumors, Arsenal are being linked to Jimmy Bullard and Jack Collison. Bullard has a ton of heart and that alone would make him an improvement over Diaby. Collison? Well, Collison is tall, which seems to be the only qualification for getting linked to Arsenal right now.

Short blog today, I’m going to start breakfast so that I can be well fed for the big match. One final note, my prediction of dysentery was very close… seems like a fire alarm went off in the Chelsea hotel, disrupting their sleep.

Now, if they could get some bad lasagne for lunch…




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