Posts Tagged ‘Joey Barton


Go outside

There’s nothing going on today. Go outside and kick a football around. Take the family to the park. Do something, anything other than sit here and wait for no Arsenal news.

While you’re kicking the ball around, think of this…

Joey Barton earned £675,000 from Newcastle for his “image rights.” Which they negotiated AFTER he was convicted of assault.



Getting Down to Business

Joey Christ Pose

Arsenal’s players and coaches are a little over 24 hours away from the biggest game in their young careers and yet, it’s the business end of the club that’s receiving all of the press.

As I reported on Saturday, Stan Kroenke is now the largest, no wait, the mostest shareholder having purchased some 4,000 shares from the Carr family and pushing his total up to just over 28%. How all this happened I’m not sure, but I do know that however that transaction occured it ticked off Arsenal’s largest, no wait, fattest shareholder and he reported the transaction to some kind of board (the takeover panel) that I’ve never heard of.

It reminds me of this one guy who was going to go to the prom with this hot chick and then at the last minute she called and said she was going to go with the star football player and you’re left holding a ton of shares that you paid a ton of money for.  Something like that. Anyway, it makes sense that he’d pursue legal action; he is essentially the jilted lover here. So, the courts will suss it out and everything and there isn’t much we can do.

I do want to mention, however, how funny it is that places like Arseblog and the Arsenal Supporter’s Trust were firmly against Stan Kroenke (HA HA SATAN KROENKE!!!) buying into the club, until they got a load of who else might try to buy Arsenal. I’m sure this is mostly down to the fact that Kroenke was duped by Dein in the early days but it’s still interesting how pretty much everyone is now firmly in the American’s corner. Kroenke, as it turns out, is a huge Arsenal supporter and will be good for the club. Just look at what he’s done with the web site, that’s what he’ll do with the Arsenal; update it, while keeping the heart of the team firmly rooted in Arsenal’s history.

Now, if only he could do something about the rumored green kits…

Meanwhile, Setanta is edging closer to going out of business. My regular reader knows that I make fun of Setanta but the reality is that I like having choices and if Setanta goes out of business I’m afraid we will lose choices. Before Setanta came along Americans got to watch Arsenal whenever Fox Soccer Channel wanted to let us watch them, or if we bought a match over PPV. But since Setanta got in on the action I’ve basically, over the last several years, had the fortune to watch pretty much every single Arsenal game. If Setanta goes away I’m afraid that priviledge will go away as well. We’ll have to see how Fox handles the new contracts they won, but if Setanta can’t make all those games pay, I wonder if Fox will be able to?

Finally, I have a little Arsenal America business to attend to. Some of you may know that I am the Seattle rep for Arsenal America. As the Seattle rep, I’ve been asked to take an accounting of the local supporters here in the PNW. So, if you’re a local (live in the Seattle/Tacoma area) and an Arsenal supporter, please send me an email (bostelle at gmail) so I can get an account of how many Arsenal supporters we have in our region. You don’t have to be a member of Arsenal America, just a local.


Ok, so tomorrow Arsenal play some kind of “huge” game or something and pretty much everyone’s jazzed. Wenger’s keeping the faith, Walcott’s keeping the faith, and I’m just like frequent reader, Connoly’s Agent; tired of all the talk. Let’s get it on, gods damn it.

One final note, Setanta is reporting that Robin van Persie is fit and will start tomorrow. Now, I don’t know where they got that information, but I don’t think it can be trusted. We need Robin no doubt, but I’m not getting my hopes up until I read it on the dot com. So, take it with a grain of salt.

With that, I will bid you adieu. Until tomorrow!


The Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements

Good morning Kickers, it’s Thursday and apart from some UFIA Cup matches between some of the worst teams in Europe there’s nothing going on. No injury news (thank the Gods), no team news, nothing, just a bunch of footballers who’ve had their say after this week’s action. Given all that I thought I’d try a new column, an occasional column about all the bat-shit insane things that footballers say and believe. Thus, today’s blog is the first ever installment of the “Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements.”

First up is Arsenal’s future England number one, who, coming off a game in which he let in two goals and was lucky not to let in more, is quoted as saying that the match against Fenerbahce “seemed like a training game” and, he went on “Personally I had a strange feeling, everything seemed much easier than normal in the Champions League.” Maybe this is the lesson he’s learning from that new age book “The Secret:” no matter what happens, stay insanely positive!

My loyal reader knows that I couldn’t possibly write a Ministry of Preposterous Pronouncements and not include something from both David Bentley and Joey Barton, so…

Fresh off a 74 day stay in the Crossbar hotel for brutally beating a stranger on the streets of Liverpool while drunk, ready to make an appearance after serving his 6 match ban for brutally beating his teammate while sober, and 10 months without a drink, Joey Barton is ready to “be a shining beacon for kids who have been in trouble like myself.” Frankly, the repentant Joey was doing just fine until he started talking about being a light unto the world. He was saying all the right things, he seems to be apologetic, truly remorseful for what he’s done, but then he starts talking about how he’s special and he can reach the unreachables because he’s a common thug and the Beckham’s and the Owens’ aren’t. Please, Joey, it was at least partially your ego that got you into this trouble, that would be one of the first things I’d work on if I was you. Trust me, as an American, I know a thing or two about an over-inflated sense of self.

Meanwhile over at Spurs, the once cock-sure David Bentley is suddenly, erm, unsure of what he or any of his teammates are doing.

It’s been shocking. It’s been difficult, especially for me. I wasn’t enjoying it. We’ve not been together; we didn’t know where people were running, what people were doing. But I think we’re slowly starting to get settled.

I love that he’s able to turn Spurs’ team tragedy into an opus on him. You know, all the losing and suckage, it’s been hard on the fans and all, but it’s been real hard on him. He’s not enjoying this period.  I wonder if he is still looking forward to the North London derby in two weeks?

But not to be outdone by one of his brace of overrated Englishmen, Spuds chairman Levy is set to unveil his cunning new plan: fire Comolli and build the biggest stadium in the Coca-Cola Championship! You really think 60,000 people are going to show up to watch your team crash and burn every week? Are there 60,000 people who love to watch a team fail to qualify for Europe and blame it on the lasagna?

Actually, I take it back, more power to them, build a 100,000 seat arena you’ll need it when you finally spring your fiendish plot to “break into the top four.”

Ok, well, see that was an easy blog. I’ll have to take people’s quotes and paste them on here more often!

See you tomorrow.


Fener 2-5 Arsenal; the Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good

First, there’s the statistical “goodies;” 5 goals from 5 different players and 3 points against a team that has not been beaten at home in the Champions League in two years. Theo has a goal in each of his last two matches, Aaron Ramsey got his first Arsenal goal, Cesc got off the snide and picked up two assists (his first assists of the season? I find that hard to believe), AND NO ONE GOT INJURED!

Each of those three (Theo, Ramsey, and Cesc) along with Diaby and even Denilson should be singled out for praise here as well. In fact, the whole 5 person midfield made Arsenal really click and hum and sing right from the start. I haven’t seen that much enthusiasm from this Arsenal team all season. It reminded me of the way that the team went to the San Siro last year and really put themselves out with a display of passing and tackling unlike anything in world football right now.

It helps that Fener were playing a high line and were attacking Arsenal because it gave us lots of space to play into. It also helps (and Wenger got this right) that we played a 4-5-1 because I think it gave Cesc the kind of cover he needs in order to operate in that space behind the striker(s). Denilson cannot do it alone and neither can Diaby but together they do a fair job patrolling in front of the defense. We can’t play a 4-5-1 all the time but it’s been fairly successful when we have. Just so long as Adebayor can do the dirty work up front (holding the ball up, making runs, staying active, and providing a big target) and not get too jaded it’s a great lineup.

Just briefly, I want to drop some kudos on Adebayor, he opened the scoring which was so important in this kind of game and he scored in a very workman like way. In fact, I admire Adebayor’s very quiet manner in which he does his job — be the big target up front. Sure, he could get less offsides, and sometimes he can be frustrating but he’s a real workhorse for this team and I love watching him play.

Theo, on the other hand… What a goal! If you didn’t see the goal, or just want to re-live it over and over, go over to the Arsenalist and check it out. He dribbled the ball around the keeper and drilled it into the near post on about as acute an angle as humanly possible. Heady stuff there. Afterward, Theo reflected on how he terrifies small children and little people named Roberto Carlos:

All the teams in Europe will look and see the 5-2 win by Arsenal, away and with a young team, and I think they will be scared to play us. AND YOU WILL KNOW MY NAME IS THE LORD, WHEN I LAY MY VENGEANCE UPON THEE!

Or summat. Arsene, get out the checkbook, this kid is a keeper.

By the way, I’ve decided to get a Theo away shirt as my jersey this year and my one loyal reader knows what that means: Theo is as good as sold. It’s the curse of the shirt, any player shirt I buy they leave (Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp — to be fair I knew he was retiring, and Flamini). The only player to escape the curse so far is Fabregas. Fingers crossed that Theo joins him.

And finally, what more can be said about King Ramsey I? That kid came on and seemed as cool as the other side of the cucumber. Sure, he gave the ball away a couple of times, but he fought to get it back. And sure, his passes in the final third weren’t perfect, but he more than made up for that with the only goal Arsenal have scored outside the 6 yard box in three years (thanks to Russ for that joke!). But seriously, he reminds me quite a bit of Fabregas when he was younger — the way he’s fearless and the way that time seems to just slow down when the ball is at his feet. The main difference is that King Ramsey I is willing to shoot which Cesc didn’t develop until last year. Long live the King.

The Bad

I know, it’s against the rules to talk ill of your team when they win 5-2 but there were two ills that need mentioning: Almunia and Song.

I’m not too sure if I actually watch the same games as the rest of the world. Did no one else see Almunia get beat severally? I counted at least two times where Guiza should have just dribbled around Almunia but instead elected to shoot. One of which was such a kerfuffle that Almunia opened his eyes somewhere like 20 seconds after the ball had caromed off of him only to watch haplessly as Eboue and Clichy came to the rescue and cleared a poor shot off the line and then followed up with a very brave challenge.

Add in that Guiza chipped him twice and on the second (which counted) Almunia didn’t even raise his hands and I have to say that Almunia had a horrible game. It wasn’t skill or talent or hard work that kept Fener to two goals it was just blind luck. Almunia won’t get away with that kind of play against a team like the one that demolished poor Celtic 3-0.

Of course, had Almunia been presented with a defense that actually kept its shape, or understood man marking, or could clear their lines from a set play he would have looked a lot better. But instead Alex Song was at the back doing his best impersonation of a Toreador. What the hell was he doing back there? Fener basically ran the same play at them time and again and time and again Song was either out of position to defend or springing the offside trap 20 seconds too late. I don’t want to take away from him the fact that he obviously played his heart out. I just don’t think he should be put into that kind of position ever again. Or at least not until he’s had a chance to work on some of the basic moves.

The Ugly

Uhh… none?

Wait, Joey Barton is ready to make his return… in the Tyne-Wear derby… where just last year he tried to permanently injury Dickson Etuhu… this should end well.

Next match is on Sunday and it’s against Wet Ham. Thank the Gods that Alan Pardew isn’t in charge of that club or we might have to watch the Pardew Shuffle (WARNING: this video is known to the state of California as a strong emetic) over and over and over…

Cheers — hey and stop fighting in the forums we all love each other.


“It doesn’t happen in America.”

Mmmmm… coffee.  I live near Seattle (a city called Tacoma) and it’s state law that we Washingtonians drink at least 5 cups of coffee per day.  I’m just enjoying my second cup.  Ahhh.  Hey, also, in case you’re curious coffee has been shown to protect your liver from alcoholic cirrhosis. So, drink up!

Sorry, this is an Arsenal blog right?

Lessee, internationals week gives us the following wonderous news stories for today: the Daily Mirror is reporting that Theo Walcott may get the start in tomorrow’s match against the Andorians. If that happens then Theo will get a start over 7am Kickoff’s ubiquitous whipping boy David “the gambler” Bentley. So, I’m rooting for that. I’m also hoping that the Andorians are banned from using their telepathic antennae this time. Last time it nearly resulted in a full scale England riot.

Welsh international Aaron Ramsey may also get a start against Azerbaijan. Or he might not. “Experience” is the buzzword in that article and I suppose that if you’re going to blood the kid, do it against the 138th ranked world team in a pointless international friendly. Unless you lose that match and he has a horrible game, in which case, OH GOD DON’T PLAY HIM!! I’m sure he’ll be fine, he’s a great talent and did really well in the pre-season run up, so I’d give him a go.

That’s it for Arsenal news today, yawn.  

In non-Arsenal news stories that I love to follow, Joey Barton’s got a date today, a date with a magistrate, and I hope he gets a nice lengthy ban with a warning that any more bad behaviour and he’s going to get a permanent ban.  Sadly, I don’t think the FA have the balls to really stick it to Joey and he’ll probably get some paltry 3-8 match ban for an unprovoked beating on his teammate. I wasn’t even going to report this story though because it’s not really news, until I read that he’s up to some of his old tricks again. This time, poor Joey Barton was “so afraid” of the press that he slowly drove through down town Newcastle, using the bus lane and ran a red light to get away from them. Or maybe he just really needed a Big Mac? He only ever seems to commit crimes when a Big Mac is on the line.

His agent put it into perspective for us

Why are they following him? It is a disgrace. What would you do if people followed you in a car? What is the guy meant to do? He doesn’t know who is in the car, does he?

You know that’s the exact same excuse that got him off in May for a March attack on a taxi cab that reportedly refused to take him to the McDonald’s drive through. “I was scared,” and “I wanted to get to safety.” It’s not like you live in Bagdhad, Joey. It’s England… yes there’s violent crime in England. Yes, Footballers get held up. But, it’s also broad daylight and if you’re afraid, go pull into a police station.

All that said, it’s still a non-news story; so what if arrogant rich guy breaks some traffic laws? That happens all the time: he’s late, he can afford the fine, it’s only a moving violation, etc. It’s not something serious, like beating up a teammate in an unprovoked attack.

It’s what the agent said last that really made me laugh.

Who do these people think they are to hound people for a story for a newspaper? It doesn’t happen in America.

What doesn’t happen in America? Celebrities hounded by the press? Bad boy celebrities hounded by the press? What? What kind of drugs is his agent on? That’s like America’s forte for Christ’s sake. We’re the world’s leaders in following around untalented people who have serious emotional problems and rampant substance abuse issues. How do you think Paris Hilton got famous? Britney Spears? It certainly wasn’t talent.

And while we’re on the subject of what would happen in America to Joey Barton, I firmly believe that if a player attacked a teammate in the way Joey did, he’d be looking at a one year ban from the sport. During that year he would then be hounded relentlessly by the press, hoping that they could catch him doing something stupid like using an HOV lane and running a red light because he’s late for his parole hearing.

“It doesn’t happen in America” my ass.


Rumor and innuendo prove Arsenal are collapsing

The wheels are surely coming off Arsenal now.  I know because I read it in the Mail; they heard that someone told them that Newcastle have bid £4m for Senderos, which is clear evidence that the rumors they heard that Arsenal are in financial trouble are true which is a rumor that was sparked by the “sacking” of Keith Edelman.  Yes, that’s what they actually reported this morning. But fret not Arsechums, David Dein and Alisher Usmanov can save the club because Dein is a close friend of Arsene Wenger and would handle all of these transfers and Usmanov is so rich that he could actually just purchase a trophy off the shelf.

Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas is leaving for Real Madrid unless Arsenal win a trophy this season.  Me too; if Arsenal don’t win a trophy I’m changing the name of the blog to “7am jugador” and cashing in all my Arsenal stuff for Real Madrid gear.  Sure, the quotes attributed to Cesc were completely and categorically denied this morning by Cesc but that doesn’t mean they aren’t true!

Sticking with the Mail Online as my main news source I see that Sir Alex Ferguson is prepared to bid for the services of Thierry Henry.  Forget for a moment that Henry has ruled out playing for another Premiership team, that he’s past his prime, and that he has stated that he’s staying in Barcelona, the logic employed by the Mail is impeccable: this story is true because Fergie is known to take chances — like when he took Cantona from Leeds. Air tight logic there.

Of course all of this transfer talk is moot, the Mail also reports, Arsenal have their replacement ready and waiting in the wings: Denilson.  I know this might seem to contradict their earlier article that Arsenal are collapsing but in the Mail newsroom two wildly disparate stories can coexist.  It’s like magic.

Joey Barton Watch

Poor Joey Barton, the Premier League’s most unlucky player, was released from prison today having served 75 days of a six month sentence.  You’ll remember that he was sent to prison, unfairly, for having a man’s face hit his hands in a McDonald’s parking lot after someone had forced him to drink too much.  King Kevin Keegan reacted swiftly to the news that Joey was finally released by saying “I look forward to giving Joey a second, second, second, second chance.  There’s no doubt the lad deserves it.”

And finally…

Malaria?  HA!  That can’t hold Kolo back.  Kolo Toure flexed his biceps and simply squeezed the Malaria parasite out of his body.  Here are some pictures of him in training with the team.  I’m pretty sure that Senderos couldn’t beat Malaria, hell he couldn’t beat octogenarian Sami Hyypia last year, so maybe the rumors of him leaving for BartonKeeganCastle are true.

Man, it’s good to be back!


He’s baaaaaack!

I love it.

The Adebayor story is back on the front page of every paper and we now have more “facts” at our disposal.

Fact 1: according to AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, Arsenal are telling rival clubs that Adebayor is only for sale at the staggering price of €45 million (£35.6 million).  Galliani then whines about how Milan cannot afford those prices.  Boo hoo.  He then says “while I once said that I ‘only have eyes for Adebayor’ I am now kind of staring at Ronaldinho.  It’s hard not to stare because he’s so fat.  What happened to him over the last few months?  Did he discover the chip butty? Anyway, that’s all us poor Italians can afford, fat, washed up, broken players, I really wish FIFA and UEFA would do something about this problem.”

Fact 2: Arsenal have offered Adebayor a new contract worth a reported £45,000/wk.  He isn’t signing it right now, preferring to wait and see what happens with the whole transfer/wage increase saga.

Fact 3: Arsenal rejected a £25m offer from Barcelona.  Barcelona are now preparing a £30m-ish bid for the Arsenal striker, supposedly.

Fact 4: I had it wrong, Vincenzo Morabito Super Agent is NOT Adebayor’s agent, Ade’s agent is Stephane Courbis and he is seriously nuts:

It is vital that Arsenal show their motivation (£££) to keep him.  There has been a love story between Adebayor and Arsenal and his relationship with Arsène Wenger is based on trust and respect. Emmanuel is a man of heart, not of money. (???) He is not greedy. He is a kid from the street, has sensibilities and is humble. (???) If this was a money problem, then he would have asked to leave (which he did), I know that Arsenal’s political position is that they don’t pay high salaries. Whatever they decide, the decision will be taken with respect. (???)

That’s simple then, since it’s not about the money, since Adebayor is in love with Arsenal, and since Adebayor is humble, he’ll just go ahead and sign Arsenal’s £45,000/wk offer that’s on the table.  But if he doesn’t I’m sure his humility, love, and respect for Arsenal will force him to just go ahead and play out the rest of his contract without any complaints about salary or transfers to other “dream” clubs like Barcelona.

Fact 5: Like I said, Barca are reportedly putting together a £30m-ish offer for Adebayor which means that both Arsenal and other teams (like Barcelona) rate the player very highly.  I don’t know how the Hater-Ade’s (get it? HAR!) feel about the fact that professional football managers at the very highest level (like Arsenal and Barcelona) rate Adebayor so highly.  Likely they either ignore it or think “Barcelona is crazy!”

Those are the facts as we know them right now: 7am PDT, July 2nd 2008.  Those facts may change without notice in which case I will write about them.

If Arsenal receive 1 pence over £30m, I say they should do the deal.  At that price Arsenal could buy 4-5 people you’ve never heard of, raise their price, and sell them on for a huge profit.

Speaking of dudes you’ve never heard of: Amaury Bischoff has been released by Werder Bremen and this supposedly means that he’ll be coming to Arsenal.  What do we know about Amaury?  He’s “highly rated,” he’s Portuguese, he played for the Portuguese U21 team, he’s been injured for most of his career at Bremen, and he claims he’s coming to Arsenal to play in the reserves.

In squad news, Eduardo’s early comeback is garnering some press with pretty much everyone saying that he will be able to participate in training camp and may even be ready for the start of the season.  I sincerely hope the young man recovers fully from Martin Taylor’s vicious attack.

Clichy week is in full swing and Arsenal have released a statistical look back at the Left Back’s amazing season.  You all know how much I love statistics, so check it out.

Also on the Dot Com is a podcast of the Gunner’s Greatest Players no. 50 through 21.  I like listening to the Arsenal old timers talk about their fellow professionals even if the official Arsenal podcasts are often of shockingly poor quality.  Hey!  They should call me, I’d love to produce those segments.  I couldn’t possibly do any worse.

Maybe I should call SATAN Kroenke, my fellow American, and ask for a spot on the Dot Com.  He’ll have more pull with the club as soon as he’s on the board.  Oh yeah, Stan’s not looking to takeover Arsenal, so go ahead and relax English fans.  My favorite part of that article is the 720 degree turn around that Peter Hill-Wood has taken on Kroenke.  He’s gone from “we don’t need his sort” to:

He is quiet, not ostentatious He could be a very good ally and colleague. There is some logic in him getting close to us. He is a sensible man who is a sportsperson and has got some expertise in his business and that has helped him to develop a fanbase there [in Colorado]

And finally, Joey Barton is reportedly being courted by Bolton.  I was thinking about Joey Barton and his many, many, many transgressions and I wondered “how long would Arsenal keep a man like that on their payroll?  Hell, how long would any of the top 4 clubs keep him on their payroll?”  Then I realized, that’s what separates top clubs from bottom feeders like Bolton: common sense.

I’ll leave it on that note, see you all tomorrow.

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