Posts Tagged ‘Gallas

05
Mar
09

Nobody told me there’d be days like these

That's SIR Ted to you, son. Now, where'd I put that alcohol related joke?

That's SIR Ted to you, son. Now, where'd I put that alcohol related joke?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one… Sir Edward Kennedy! That’s right, the Queen and Gordon Brown have conspired to give Teddy an honorary knighthood for all his work in Northern Ireland, in bringing health care to America, and.. um… bringing educations to the childrens. Huzzah!

But then in a cruel twist of fate, it turns out we’re not allowed to call him “Sir” because only British people can be called “Sir.”

WTF?

So you make him a knight and then you’re all “oh but no calling him Sir” even though your own Prime Minister called him Sir Edward Kennedy? What was it, Sir for the day?

I’m sorry, but you gave him the title and I’m calling him Sir. If I have to call some horrible c*nt like Alex Ferguson “Sir” then I’m sure as hell calling lovable lush Ted Kennedy “Sir.” Besides, I earned that right when someone else’s forefathers kicked someone else’s forefathers British asses! I remember it from High School History, ‘Merica broke away from King George because we wanted lots of taxation, guns, free speech, no-knock searches, the price of tea in China, we were tired of being forced to house British troops, and we wanted the right to call each other Sir if we so choose. It’s in the constitution, it’s the 14th amendment, I think.

While all this Sir-a-baloo was going on Arsenal got handed a leg up in the race for our fourth place birthright when Man City conspired to beat Aston Villa 2-0. Am I the only one who thinks “Man City” is funny? Like maybe San Francisco should change its name to “Man City?”Anyway, erm, yes, Citeh beat Villa 2-0 and it sure looks like Villa is collapsing. Huzzah!

Yesterday’s collapse signaled all the “told you so” folks to prepare their long winded speeches about how us doom and gloomers were wrong and how they are always right and how we need to stand by our man (Wenger). Start prepping boys, I want some real fire and brimstone from you lot.

I’ll admit that it is a spectacular collapse and as I said nearly three weeks ago Einstürzende Aston Villa has a bit of a rough patch coming up schedule wise — facing all the other top teams in the next few weeks — while Arsenal has a bit of an easy patch coming up. In their next four matches Einstürzende Aston Villa face a resurgent and hungry Tottenham, Liverpool at fortress Anfield, Man U at Old Trafford, and an angry Everton. Arsenal on the other hand face Blackburn, Newcastle, Citeh, and Wigan.  Arsenal are on  a 14 match unbeaten run, Villa have taken just 5 points from their last 5 matches. Anything could happen but I have to think that Arsenal’s luck is about to change and that 3 point difference is about to be erased. Huzzah!

It doesn’t hurt that Sir Theo Walcott and Sir Eduardo might be fit enough to play against Burnley on Sunday and thereafter provide Arsene with some much needed depth and pace in attack. Just having the option to put Theo on rather than Eb*ue is enough to get me all excited about the run in to the end of the season.

In other injury news, Toure is being ruled out for Sunday but Gallas is being ruled in. Adebayor is out for another two matches. Cesc isn’t being touted as coming back any time soon (how much you wanna bet he’s a surprise inclusion for the Roma match?) and Rosicky has dropped off the radar completely (April was last word on him). Can’t wait for them all to be healthy and kicking butt in time for our sticky patch in the Premier League. Huzzah!

And finally, I’m not going to rub in the story about Cesc saying if Wenger leaves he leaves, what’s the point? Rather, I’d like to point out that Ashley Cole is the only person in the history of mankind to get arrested for being drunk and disorderly at a charity event.

cashley

Huzzah!

A  knighthood for Sir Teddy Kennedy, Villa close the gap between Arsenal and their 4th place birthright to 3 points, good news on the injury list with Sirs Theo and Eduardo returning, and Ashley Cole getting arrested at a charity event.

Now, if the youngsters can top off the day with a FA Youth Cup win against old rivals Tottenham we can all exclaim Huzzah!

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10
Dec
08

Happy 700, Arsene!

A little known Alsacian Frenchman blew into Highbury on a September breeze in 1996. The club was in disarray having suffered the loss of a popular and powerful coach to scandal and supporters were hoping for a big name to come in and clean things up.

In what would become “typical Arsenal style” the board instead signed a relatively unknown coach who’s last job was as coach of Japanese team Grampus Eight Nagoya. And, much like the unknowns who would become famous on the pitch for us later, what a terrific signing he would be.

You’ve heard all the stuff before, he’s a visionary leader, a man who transformed Arsenal into a 38,000 seat club in North London to a club that has a modern 60,000 seat Golden Goose and supporters clubs the world over who are so in love with the club that they will get up 8 time zones away, sometimes at 4am, to sing and cheer their beloved Arsenal. You already know that Wenger did that. And most of you already know that Arsene Wenger coached the club to three league titles, four FA Cups, and an unbeatable 49 games without a loss. That unknown coach from France, via Japan, did all that.

In these eleven years there have been ups and downs: losing the UEFA Cup Final on penalties was pretty down but most of those players went on to eternal glory as the team that went 49 unbeaten. Some would probably say that this year had been a down year, 5 defeats already, the captain stripped bare by his suitors, many people say a derelict transfer policy and the booing of Eboue all mark some of the lowest moments I can remember as an Arsenal supporter. But if Arsene Wenger has shown us anything, it’s that those lows always precede a high. So, despite the 5 losses, we’re beating the “top four” and are right there in the thick of the Premiership race, about to take a step into the knockout stages of the Champions League, and we have an exciting young team players coming through — with a fair number of English on the team which should make the Triesman’s and Platini’s and Bleater’s of the world happy.

Good times are ahead. Hell, we might even win something this year!

Despite the highs and lows, it’s been a great 700 games and for those of you who like stats, just take a peek at that link above. In 11 years, Arsene has notched up a nearly 60% winning percentage. With all the Sheffield Uniteds and Wigans who want nothing more than to get away from this Arsenal team with a draw Arsenal under Arsene Wenger have managed to win 58.4% of their games.

It’s been a great 700, Arsene, and may Arsenal get you a win for your 700th matchday.

Feel free to share your favorite moments in the comments below. Hmmm…. the Pardew Scuffle? Winning the league at the Lane? Pizzagate? 49 unbeaten? So many to choose from!

Porto v. Arsenal

Arsene is fielding a weakened team today against Porto, well, weakened because they’re not including Adebayor, van Persie, Sagna, or Cesc. For some, it’s clear that Saturday’s match against ‘Boro is more important to Wenger than winning the group stage tonight. To others, maybe he feels that this team has enough quality to get the job done and is just throwing them on the fire to see how they react.

I’m going with the latter.

Including Eboue in the starting lineup is the type of bold move that Wenger is know for. A sort of stick in the eye to us Ebooers. But at the same time, note what position Eboue is playing: right back. It’s an admission that Eboue is a good right back, but is not a winger. Whereas before Wenger would scramble and play anyone else at right back in order to play Eboue in the midfield, now he’s just playing him, from the start, at right back. It’s a good move and I expect Arsenal supporters to support the player tonight no matter where you watch the game. I’ve argued all along that the reaction was a one-off reaction and Wenger argues that as well in the link above, we wouldn’t want to let Arsene down on the eve of his 700th game would we?

And if they do boo him? Well, Nick Hornby, who has been watching football longer than most of my readers have been alive puts the booing into context.

Getting away from all the Eboue stuff, Wenger has targeted Carlos Vela for great things and is hinting at  starting the player tonight. I’m happy for the kid, I just hope Bendtner passes him the ball once or twice.

And finally, Alumia will be captain, even though Gallas is playing. Ow. That has to hurt worse than any boo boo.

I can’t get away to watch the game today, work calls and all that, I will check after work to see if Doyle’s was able to record the game for me but no promises there. And I will try to give a “Good, Bad, and Ugly” tomorrow but as is my policy, if I don’t watch the game, I don’t give you an analysis, it’s just plain dishonest. Either way, I’ll see you tomorrow, though the blog may be about how I solved the mystery of the leaky DNS and not about Arsenal.

28
Nov
08

Great Zombie Arsenal

One day Ballack is throwing dirt on our coffins and the next day Scolari is resurrecting us, which is it, are we dead yet or not? Somewhere in-between.

I have maintained all season that more than any other year, there has been massive compression of talent in the Premiership. So, more than any other year, any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday Saturday. I know that my friend T-Town Alex (among others) disagrees and sees Chelsea as the clear favorites but already they have struggled at home, winning only 3 of 7 home games and spectacularly losing to Liverpool for the first time since man walked with dinosaurs.

Don’t get me wrong, Chelsea is a dangerous team and when they smell blood they pounce — winning several times 5-0. I think they might even be the second strongest team in the EPL, right behind a healthy Liverpool. Also, I certainly don’t need to chronicle the difficulty that Arsenal have had so far this season to any of you, you’ve heard it all before and even mentioning those team names evokes winces of pain among the faithful. Chelsea may be struggling and Arsenal may look resurgent but let’s not kid ourselves, even a struggling Chelsea is 10x the threat of Kiev. Imagine for a second that William Gallas gifts the ball to Anelka as he did to Bangoura on Tuesday: that will be a goal against Chelsea.

Arsenal will need to be in top form to pull out a draw and will need some luck to get the win. I think that they can do it, especially if Adebayor, Nasri, and Sagna are all healthy and they all show up to play.

If the matches of the past are any indication it should be a spectacular match too — full of piss and vinegar and probably a few yellow cards and possibly a red. The good news is that Fox Soccer Channel is showing the game so I can watch it from the comfort of my home. I hate going to important games at Doyle’s because there’s a combination of fantasy sports people rooting for individual players, hangers-on who just root against Arsenal (or Chelsea) and of course, there will be Chelsea supporters — some old school, some new school, but nearly all of them unbearable.

Nope, I’ll be at home, with a nice breakfast, a cup of coffee, and my family, which is a great way to watch an Arsenal match.

Gallass

Yes, I saw that Gallas’ book came out or something and all the newspapers are a-blubber about Gallas v. Chelsea. You know, I’m not going to get into the whole Gallas thing again, the quotes in the press make him sound like a little kid crying with stuff like “they didn’t even let me get my clothes.” I don’t know if it’s true, I don’t care, Chelsea are a classless organization who have racists in the grounds crew, who defend their players throwing coins at fans, and who are currently on a downward money spiral and firing every coach and scout outside of the first team. And obviously, some of that classlessness and greed rubbed off on William Gallas. But so what? He won’t be a Goonah much longer (maybe he never really was) so unless he reveals something truly shocking — like Chelsea put on a show of classlessness and are actually a decent organization that adopts puppies and feeds hungry orphans — there’s nothing to report here.

Platini the Cheat

And speaking of blubbering to the press, Platini is desperately trying to remain relevant and is still calling for “financial fair play.” Put aside for a moment the fact that English clubs operate on a more purely business model than any continental clubs — who receive funds from cities and townships for stadiums and past player transfers, who have newspapers do the tapping up for them, and have favorable tax rates legislated for the players so that they can attract big names. Put all that aside because all you need to look at is how quickly Chelsea are unraveling to see the detrimental effects of a single owner piling debt onto a team can and does have. Michel, my belle, that business model is not sustainable, it eats itself.

Currently Chelsea are cutting costs at the periphery but killing off your international scouting is a death knell. In the old days Chelsea would wait for Arsenal to bid on a player (Essien, SWP, Drogba, etc,) and then swoop in with triple the offer. But as Roman’s fortune dwindles and his interests start to wane, that won’t be a viable option anymore. He’s already said that Chelsea need to sell to buy this January and with his net worth tumbling from $23b to a “mere” $3b, it’s safe to say that the well is drying up. With the club losing millions nearly every week on overpaid salaries, a too small stadium, and the fact that they are out of one competition and hanging by a Cluj to the Champions League, Abramovich cannot possibly continue to throw millions at them.

Further, at the cost of nearly a Billion US dollars, Chelsea has only back-to-back Premiership titles and one FA cup to show for it. Despite their billions in player salaries and transfers, they won exactly the same number of trophies that Arsenal did last year (0) and they haven’t won a single Champions League trophy, which is what Platini wants to protect, right?

If anything, the Chelsea model is definitive proof that the model fails on its own merits and needs no regulation. Just watch as they unravel this year, Platini and save the rubbish regulations scrubbing the scourge of racism from football.

The fact that Zenit-St. Petersburg openly will not employ black footballers, has a huge contingent of the world’s most racist supporters, and yet is still allowed to play in Europe is an affront to the notion of “fairness.” Any head of any organization that would allow that scum to play in any tournament they sponsor has no right to lecture others on the notion of fair play.

F*ck off Michel.

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.

23
Oct
08

Good news on Eduardo

Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal’s Crozilian goal poacher, Eduardo, could be playing “competitive football” again as soon as mid-November. Obviously, this is great news. Also obviously, with all the strikers that this team currently has I fully expect him to be brought back into the team VERY SLOWLY. There is absolutely no reason to rush Eduardo back into the team when we are loaded with Walcott, Vela, van Persie, Bendtner, and Adebayor. And the boss has said as much:

What I mean by competitive football is joining in completely with a normal training session. After that he has to come back to match-fitness. But he is ahead of where we expected him to be and that is fantastic news

So, he won’t be in the red and white in mid-November but what this does signal is that this long nightmare for Eduardo may be coming to a close. Fingers crossed.

More good news is that both Gallas and Toure will be available for the West Ham clash on Sunday. Sure, Sagna is not scheduled to return until Wednesday against Spuds which is a bit of a disappointment but after Song’s dreadful performance against a mediocre Fenerbahce squad, I can confidently state that I will be excited to see Gallas in defense (now I need to take a shower.)

It can’t all be roses, can it? There’s also some bad news; the boss has clarified that the Goal-Scoring-Elf (Rosicky) is not really progressing as they had hoped and will be out until January… at least.

Thought you all should know, now back to work!

13
Oct
08

The new David Bentley

Welcome back, kickers. I took the day off yesterday because I woke up at 8am and felt like utter death. My friend was on a brief leave from his military training and of course we had to go out: this meant copious quantities of beer, shots of booze, more beer, more booze, and so on. I swear, I’m never drinking again…

So, stop me if you’ve heard this one; promising young English Arsenal player, has a serious attitude problem, quits the academy and is courted by Blackburn and Tottenham. That’s right, 7amkickoff’s perennial whipping boy and failed professional gambler David Bentley has made the news again. As it turns out the Arsenal academy has a kid in it named Jason Banton, this kid has already once quit the academy — in order to join Tottenham — and is reportedly ready to quit again, for Blackburn.

Well, he’s got balls that’s for sure. But seriously, I hate to break it to you Jason, but if you were really good enough, you would have already had a chance with the first team. Enjoy your time on the bench in Blackburn.

Meanwhile, Ashley Cole is making the news rounds this morning because of his poor performance at Wembley on Saturday and the subsequent hails of boos that rained down on him after his gaffe. Oddly, the press make it out that it’s the way he left Arsenal that caused this latest round of hatred but I don’t see it that way: that’s just the press typically whipping up anti-Arsenal hatred. No, his disgraceful departure from the Arsenal was simply the story that kicked off his infamy. It’s was his shameful actions against referee Mike Riley last season that I think is the real cause of this latest enmity. The press would like to paint fan hatred of Cole as if he were the icon of greed in the EPL but that’s not even logical: his teammate and overrated midfielder Mr. Badge Kisser pulled a huge flip-flop this summer in order to get Chelsea to pay him $1m a week or whatever he earns. If anyone is the icon of greedy footballer it’s Frank Lampard. No, I think the fans hate Ashley Cole because he’s the icon of disrespectful modern footballers. I kind of wish he was available for selection against Belarus, just to hear more boos rain down on him. He deserves it.

Speaking of England v. Belarus, Theo Walcott had the most disgraceful game of his short career and probably won’t be allowed to ever touch a football again, at least that’s the story I’m getting. I watched the England v. Borat game and I thought he did very well. Coming off that hat trick the expectations were insanely high but he started very well, got plenty of free kicks, defended well, and even put in a cross that Heskey should have put in the goal except that Heskey hasn’t scored a goal in any competition since 1988. Man, you England fans are frickin nuts, why don’t you just appreciate what you have?

Appreciating what I have is what I’m trying to do with Arsenal! Now, let’s see… we have… two injured central defenders (Djourou and Gallas) and a halfling who claims that size doesn’t matter. YAY! First, it’s a little early to say that Gallas and Djourou are crocked, both of them are going to sit out their mid-week internationals and then fly back to Arsenal where they will receive a fitness test no doubt. Second, Kolo makes a great point

When you consider set-pieces, it’s not just the centre backs – it’s everybody who has to defend.

He’s right, Bendtner has been at fault several times in defense of set pieces and why isn’t Adebayor winning the ball? Most of the problems come from lack of organization: both of the headed goals seemed to come when the defense was scrambling to figure out marking. That’s the captain’s job and I don’t care if he was 7’2″ it wouldn’t change the fact that Gallas isn’t a very good captain. So, I agree with you Kolo, why don’t you step up and help organize? You’re the co-captain, right?

Finally, there was a brief story and I don’t want to get too excited about it until we see something solid, but it looks like Alisher Usmanov may be close to ending his interest in Arsenal. Even the fact that this story is being reported should be proof enough that he was never really interested in the club, but only wanted to leech off our support: as if you needed “proof” after all the stuff we’ve been through with him. No, this was always going to be the outcome. In some sense, I feel bad for Usmanov, because I think he was the victim of David Dein’s machinations. I would not be surprised at all to learn that Dein manipulated Usmanov with promises of riches and glory at Arsenal in order to sell his stock for $150m. That’s all speculation, mind you, and we’ll have to wait until Usmanov or Dein writes his tell-all book. I suspect it will be Dein and it will be called “If I did it, here’s how I would have done it: how to bilk a billionaire and get away Scott free.”

See you tomorrow.

25
Apr
08

You’re making him mad, you don’t want to make Gallas mad.

It looks like it’s going to be all rumors, innuendo, and recrimination until August.

First, Captain Gallas has had a go at the press:

They (the media) can say what they want…they will not bring me down, I’m stronger than that. It makes me mad because I don’t think (what happened in Birmingham) was our problem. How can you summarise our season with that thing at Birmingham? That is not why we stopped winning matches.

Good for him. I might disagree with the man occasionally (often) but I think parts of what he’s saying here are right on. The first part about the press saying what they want? Right on the nose. The second part about making him mad? Again, right on! The third part about Martin Taylor’s vicious mauling of Eduardo and Gallas’ subsequent emotional reaction are not what caused Arsenal to start losing matches? Hmmmm…

Look, William, Bill, can I call you Bill? good. Look, Billy, one of the hallmarks of a good leader is the ability to admit it when you are wrong. You say, “I’m sorry” shake hands and try to work on it so that you never do that sort of thing again.

If you look seriously at the last 2 months and cannot see the effect that your petulant display at Birmingham had on the team — specifically the defense which went to tatters after that match, doubling the goals allowed numbers — then I really don’t know what to say to you other than “bon voyage.” The captain of the team, who captains both the team and his defensive squad — where he plays — went to pieces at the same time that the defense went to pieces and you seriously can’t see that people would make that connection?

Bon voyage.

Admitting that you were wrong means that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and make yourself into a better player and a better captain. When you were winning you were a great captain but the measure of a man is not in the high times but in the low. And at Arsenal’s lowest moment, you reverted back to the old Willy; petty, petulant, pompous, and prevaricative. Or what I call “The 4 P’s of Bad Management.”

Speaking of Arsenal captains who practiced the 4 P’s of Bad Management: the press are linking Henry with Arsenal because he said that he “only has Arsenal in his heart” or something.

Let me be very clear (ahem): Thierry Henry is not walking through that door, folks… and if he does he will be old and gray.

Henry is not going back to Arsenal because Wenger has a strict policy against taking back former players as he reminded us all in January when Anelka was again linked to Arsenal.

Nicolas wanted to come back here and I considered buying him because he wanted to put things right, but we have a strict policy that once a player has gone we have to accept it

The “Thierry to Arsenal” stories are worth less than an American Dollar, case closed.

On the injury front, apparently Arsenal will be playing the U-18s on Monday instead of the first team.  Arsene has committed himself to resting players who are set to play in Euro 2008 (Fabregas, Bendtner, van Persie, Gallas, and Clichy) plus Arsenal are missing Hleb, Diaby, Rosicky, Djourou, Sagna, Flamini, and Eduardo due to injury or suspension. So many people are injured I seriously can’t keep track. I need a “who’s injured for Arsenal” widget on the blog so I can keep a running list. I’ll get right on it.

Oh yeah, I told my friend John that the Arsenal game is on Sunday, it’s not, it’s a Monday game, noon kickoff local time. The match is against Derby who are playing for Pride (pun intended) and I don’t think it will be a 6-0 thrashing if everyone is resting. It could be a good match.

Lastly, the Arsenal Women have won the league after a 4-1 come from behind lashing of the Chelsea women. This is the Arsenal women’s fifth consecutive league title. Impressive.

Coaching the Women’s team, Vic Akers has now won 10 league titles, 8 FA cups, and 9 League cups. My GF and I are having a little girl in May and I can only hope that she would one day want to play for a team with that kind of pedigree.

See you tomorrow!

Update: there’s a report coming out of Italy that Juventus is NOT signing Flamini but that AC Milan is… for 4m Euro, which is less than he is reportedly offered from Arsenal. I think this is just further proof that you cannot trust anything you read in the paper.

T-minus 5 days for him to sign with Arsenal.




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