Posts Tagged ‘Bendtner

04
Jan
09

Kolo gets a touch of the Irish, plus the FA Cup draw

You know a story has credibility when you read about it in the last paragraph of a story that quotes another story that quotes anonymous sources.

See, it turns out that Theo Walcott’s cousin’s sitster’s boyfriend saw Theo at 31 flavors last night and Theo is really mad that Arsenal haven’t opened negotiations over his contract which expires in 18 months.

He was doing well for both his club and country but still nothing happened on the contract front. The fact is, he feels as if he’s being taken for granted at the moment, as if people simply expect him to sign a contract.

Theo’s anonymous source is absolutely correct, Wenger is taking advantage of the player by giving him playing time when he’s healthy and paying him a salary while he’s out with a shoulder injury.

Seriously though, my suspicion is that Arsenal were waiting for new CEO Ivan Gazidis to come on board before negotiating contract extensions with Theo and RvP. Given his comments earlier in the week about how he’s building this team on a budget I’m 100% certain that Wenger wants to keep Theo at almost all costs. Comically though, the Telegraph raises the spectre of Theo pulling a “Webster” and buying out the final year of his contract. I’d be worried about that happening if all signs didn’t point to Theo Walcott being a very well balanced young man who appreciates all that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal FC have done for him. You know, if he was more of an asshole like Alex Hleb.

As if that story wasn’t funny enough, the Telegraph throws in a transfer bone at the end there, linking Arsenal to Stephen Ireland in a straight swap for Kolo Toure.

I hate Stephen Ireland… when he plays against Arsenal.

Ireland’s a good little player who has some steel in his game, a decent passing range, a good shot, an understanding of the game, and is having a career season on a dreadful Citeh squad. Why Citeh would let him go for Kolo Toure is beyond me. Also, there’s no evidence that Arsene Wenger would buy a player like Ireland, he’s just a little too, well to be frank he’s not continental enough. Also, his character is questionable and Wenger has placed a very, very high value on character.

The story that surfaces every time there is a transfer window is that N’Zogbia will be coming to Arsenal. This transfer window has the player speaking to the French press and describing Arsenal as his dream club: it’s all cotton candy clouds and technicolor dreamscapes for Charlie! Unfortunately, N’Zogbia as a player is more of a nightmare than a dream so this transfer has -0% chance of happening — no matter how much the player dreams of it. Hell, I dream of being on the Arsenal board, eating prawn sandwiches with the big boys while we take in the game from a luxury box.  IT COULD HAPPEN.

My other favorite story is Mathew Upson coming to Arsenal in exchange for Bendtner. I just want to remind you all that Arsene Wenger has categorically ruled out taking players back once they have left and so there is no chance that Upson will come back to Arsenal.

Further, add in that Arsene Wenger has ruled out anyone leaving the club over and over this week and the fact that Silvestre picked up an injury that will see him out for 3 weeks in yesterday’s match and you have to think that rather than a defensive player leaving, Arsenal will be bringing one in. I mean, where do they get these stories? Don’t they read their own press reports?

FA Cup Roundup

Arsenal swept aside Plymouth with either a commanding performance or a steaming pile of shiat, depends who you ask. I didn’t watch it, but did listen to the match on the BBC5 online audio stream. My only impression is that we went into the half at 0-0, came out and got 2 goals, and then did the thing that is now epidemic at this club: lost concentration immediately after scoring and let our opponents back into the game.

Losing concentration and conceeding goals in general is now a hallmark of this team. This happens when a team has no leader or when a team has other internal problems. It’s also something that can’t be solved by bringing in new players. I’m not saying Arsenal don’t need new players, rather that just bringing in some new faces won’t fix the concentration problem.

Chelsea seem to be suffering from the same problem, managing only a 1-1 draw against Southend United at home. It’s so bad over in West London that pretty much everyone is claiming Scolari’s reign is over. They just seem to throw good money after bad over there, don’t they?

Anyway, the Arsenalist has the highlights of the Plymouth match, saunter on over there and take a gander if you are so inclined.

Right, that’s it for the day, oh yeah, I nearly forgot, Arsenal travel away to Cardiff in the next round of the FA Cup.  I’m sure Aaron Ramsey will get a warm reception on his old stomping grounds and here’s hoping that Arsenal get a win as well.

Now… see you tomorrow.

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27
Nov
08

Gazidis Starts Shopping and I Make a Case for Appiah

turbaconducken

The traditional Turbaconducken -- a bacon wrapped Turkey stuffed with bacon wrapped chicken and bacon wrapped duck.

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! Hey, do you know what the Brits call Thanksgiving?*

Anyway, while Americans are gorging themselves on what should have been our national bird the rest of the world is hard at work, playing in the UEFA Cup, complaining about their teammates, angling for a move away from Arsenal, you know, a typical day at the office.

Plucked from his Thanksgiving table and flown across the Atlantic to enjoy Square Pie in dreary London, Arsene Wenger gave Ivan Gazidis his stamp of approval during a face-to-face meeting. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until January before Gazidis will be officially taking over many of the duties left undone by David Dein’s departure in 2007 and Edelman’s departure earlier this year. This January is such a crucial time for the club and everyone knows it. Quality reinforcements are needed and Gazidis will certainly need to hit the ground running as Wenger targets players and Gazidis is instructed to go get them. His experience handling all MLS player contracts will help in this regard.

In addition to his financial and business acumen, he sounds like the right personality for the job as well: born in South Africa, raised down the street from Highbury, and educated at Oxford Gazidis’ very first quotes speak volumes about how the man sees his place at this venerated old club:

The great thing about Arsenal is that it has been run to sustain itself. It is not dependent on an outside investor to pump money in year after year. That position is inherently a little bit unstable because it depends on one individual. Arsenal has positioned itself not to be dependent on one individual. It’s essential if Arsenal is going to be respected. This is not going to be an American coming with no understanding of Arsenal looking to make it in to a Disneyfied version of Arsenal.

Excellent start Ivan, now go sign us some talent!

Given the on-field struggles so far this season and the very acrimonious self-destruction of Gallas it’s only natural that there are already rumors flying about that Arsenal is looking to move some players. Newcastle is reportedly interested but not hopeful that they can sign Djourou and Song on loan. No, Joe, you f*cking c*nt arse cocksandwich prick, you can’t have Djourou, but maybe you could have Alex for a Song? Seriously, this is a plan with no drawbacks, Arsene and Ivan, let Song go. Then we can all stop pretending that he’s is anywhere near Arsenal quality.

There’s also a rumor that Bendtner might be going to Spartak Moscow for £5m. Seriously, this is a plan with no drawbacks, Arsene and Ivan, let Song Bendtner go. Then we can all stop pretending that he’s is anywhere near Arsenal quality.

While his play might not be Arsenal quality, Bendtner has reached a personal zenith at Arsenal saying

But I don’t think anyone at Arsenal is going to be able to compete with me on that front. I have reached the top of the outstanding boots. The only way they can beat me now is to play in diamond-encrusted boots. And I don’t think that’s going to happen for a few years.

+1 to Bendtner for having a sense of humor. Have fun in Siberia, I’m sure your pink boots will be extra outstanding in the snow.

And finally, William Gallas, the man whom Gael Clichy said “Shattered” the Arsenal team with his dumb comments, is being linked with a move to AC Milan. I suspect that a move of some sort is in the works with Gallas, he’s lost all credibility with his teammates and more importantly with Clichy. I don’t know how a central defender could stay with a club after losing the support of his partners at the back — trust there is absolutely vital and might be a clue as to why Arsenal have struggled in defense this season.

Gazidis and Arsene have their work cut out for them but I trust that they can take care of the on-field problems with just a few key signings.

Stephen Appiah

Why not? I’ve been beating this drum now since T-Town Alex convinced me to take another look at the player but I’ve been beating it from a talent perspective only. What about the financial implications? I know that Wenger supposedly has a sort of salary cap in place — that they basically have a pay scale at Arsenal with William Gallas at the top, Cesc not far behind and every other player on the team earning slightly less than the top two. Egalitarian, Wenger called it.

That said, it was this egalitarianism that prevented Arsenal from keeping Flamini. Flamini argued that since he was a free agent, and since he pays 43% in income tax to play in England, and since it would cost £10-20m to replace him, Arsenal should just pay him the transfer fee spread out over the remainder of his contract. At the time, I agreed with Flamini. It just makes sense. Damn the salary cap Wenger, say that you’re paying him a transfer bonus or whatever but keep this guy at the club.

And now, the rumor is that Stephen Appiah is making similar demands; asking for an outrageous salary due to the fact that he’s a free agent, he’s good, and whatever club signs him won’t have to pay a transfer fee. It’s a logical argument, really. Why shouldn’t Appiah make £4m+ per year? At 27 he’s pretty much at the top of his game and while there might be some fitness questions you have to think that a club could recoup whatever salary Appiah asked for in the transfer market. Think about it: you pick up Appiah, pay his outrageous salary and play him. If he’s good enough, you keep him on, if not you sell him. You sell him! You make money off his transfer. Even if it’s a £2m transfer, you still made £2m in profit. Subtract that from his retarded salary and it seems like a good deal to me.

Of course, all this hinges on Appiah playing well and not asking for a truly outrageous salary. If he played really poorly you might be saddled with a huge salary and an under-performing player and no one who wants him. And if he asked for some kind of truly insane salary (like £8m a year) you’ll never be able to unload him, because there’s only a few clubs in the world who can pay that.

So, that’s my case. There are a lot of known unknowns but I think Appiah could turn out to be a good on-field deal and a good bit of business to boot.

Arsenal had to have thought of this, right?

Ok, I’m going to have some breakfast, lay about, then pip into Doyle’s to watch a predictable and injured Tottenham lose to some other team in a competition I couldn’t care less about. It’s my birthright as an American.

*Thursday.

06
Jan
08

6am Burnley v. Arsenal

This is a very early match and I’ve promised a few people that I’d meet them at Doyle’s so this will be a very short blog. All that, and there’s no news. Here’s the BBC sport preview a match recap will follow at 8:30 am PST.

Up the Arse!

Update: an away win in the FA cup, that’s the important thing, right?  Eduardo is really picking up now with 6 goals in 4 starts and this was nothing less than you’d expect from him if you’ve seen his last 3 matches.  In the 9th minute the ball was played in by Toure, Dudu juggled it with his right knee, got pushed in the back, and regained enough composure to slot the ball into the left corner.  Sure, the keeper should have done better and come out to stop the play but I think last season Arsenal might not have scored that goal: which is exactly what Dudu was brought in to do… do.

After that there was a long stretch of mediocre play by Arsenal and a few decent chances by Burnley.  Arsenal did their level best to make Burnley look like a decent side.  During this spell there was some seriously deficient play down the right side and Eboue has to be goat of the game.  Unimaginative, unskilled, common, lackadaisical, what other adjectives can I use to describe the play of Eboue?  I mean he did it all!  Honestly, I think he probably completed less than 5% of his passes.  But that wouldn’t be unusal for him, no he took it a step further.  The moment of the match for him came when he was slotted in down the right side, managed to get around his marker, evaded a tackle, and then dribbled into two defenders instead of playing the ball anywhere.  Then!  THEN!  He started yelling at Eduardo.  He really is a cunt.

This was the same Eduardo who only moments earlier had played in an absolutely perfect ball to Bendtner who dribbled around the Burnley keeper and side footed the finish.  So naturally, he just shook his head derisively at Eboue.

If you’re looking for match video and want to see the two goals, I always recommend the Arsenalist.

There was some drama in the 60th minute when Lafferty got a straight red for a rash challenge on Gilberto.  In live action it looked like a two footed challenge and straight red.  In replay it wasn’t really that bad of a challenge but Lafferty did lunge, studs up, over the ball and the ref was right on top of it.  It may be a bit harsh from a Burnley perspective but it was a dangerous tackle and Burnley were rightly reduced to 10 men.  Not so that you’d notice it by the uninspired play that followed.

Lastly, Lehmann looked very shaky.  In fact, the whole defense looked shaky with him in goal.  He flapped at the ball early in the match and escaped with a bit of luck when a Burnley player headed a free ball into the crossbar.  Even worse than that no one wanted to play a ball back to him which led to a few sketchy moments at the back with players dribbling around rather than back passing and letting Jens clear the ball.  Clearly the squad is uncomfortable with him in goal.  Adios Jens, you nut.

That’s about it.  Just note of thanks to Mike, and his two friends Mike and Jesse for coming out at 6am to watch the match it was fun to watch a match with company rather than sitting here in my livingroom in the dark.

Till tomorrow!




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