Posts Tagged ‘Senderos


Real Madrid’s Magic Money Could Top $400,000,000

member... ship

It’s pretty rare, but occasionally I agree with Michel Platini. Maybe it’s the hangover I’m nursing, but I think I heard him on the Beeb this morning say

These excessive transfers are happening almost every day. It is very puzzling at a time when football faces some of its worst ever financial challenges.


These transfers are a serious challenge to the idea of fairplay and the concept of financial balance in our competitions.

I don’t want to make a habit of it, but I agree with Platini on this. The more I dig into this deal the more frightening it looks. At a time when unemployment is nearly 18% in Spain, one man is set to make £29m a year, over £500,000 a week! Of course I’m not suggesting that the money Real is spending on the team should be used to hire some Spaniards to, erm, do something. Rather that football at its best is about connecting to average people. Anyone can play football anywhere in the world. Short folks, tall folks, men, women, rich, poor, grass, dirt, concrete or sand, all you need is some space, a ball, and some feet (hence the name foot-ball) and you can play. I don’t know what they are doing at Real Madrid but it doesn’t really look like football to me.

More frightening than the distorting effect that Ronaldo and Kaka’s unrealistic lifestyles and the bizarro “team” that Real will put together is the inflationary effect predicted in all aspects of the transfer market. Basically, the market is going to get really crazy, really quick and with pretty much every team in the EPL already burdened with huge debts the only folks who are going to be able to afford anything will be the billionaires.

And, of course, Sepp Blatter sees it exactly the opposite. He sees it as a sign of a healthy market, you know, “damn the financial consequences! People need stars” and all that.

Meanwhile, the sickening money that Real is projected to spend may come to our beloved Arsenal. No, I don’t mean Cesc, he’s Arsenal through and through and has rejected a move to Real, again. No, I mean Clichy. It would depend on the size of the offer but with Vermaelen reportedly able to play the left fullback position I’m not sure how I feel quite yet. Despite scoring a goal, Clichy didn’t have the best of years, and with reports of Toure outgoing, Gallas outgoing, and Hangeland and Vermaelen incoming (not to mention the return of the Senderos) the boss could be looking at a complete remake of the back line. It would be a risky move, to overhaul 3/5 of your defensive unit, but given the deficiencies we saw back there last year it could just be the spark the team needs to push for honors. And if Clichy was part of a remake I guess it would be ok.

I don’t know.

I do know that Fabianski signed an extension, that Wilshere wants to follow in Walcott’s footsteps, and that the idea of a 17 year old looking up to a 20 year old is, well, unsettling.

It’s funny, when I first started watching football and Arsenal were the team that won me over, my friend here (an Everton supporter) said “no, not Arsenal, they’re like the Yankees, or the Red Socks, they just buy up all the talent in the world.” And now we have 17 year olds looking up to 20 year olds, how times have changed, eh?

Oh and hey, if you’re a red level member, now is the time to renew and make sure you’re eligible to get tickets next year. Get on it.


Return the Villans

Senderos Own Goal Aston Villa

It was this fixture last year that the wheels came off. Well, at least partially. Ok, almost completely but only for poor Phillipe Senderos. If you remember, Villa came to the Emirates in the match directly after the sickening tackle by Taylor had struck down Eduardo. Travelling Villa fans showed their intelligence by chanting sickening songs comparing Eduardo to Heather Mills. This in turn sparked fights, ejections, and a tranche of condemnation by all thinking people on the planet.

Furthering the psychic pain that Arsenal felt at the time, Senderos scored an own goal in the 27th minute, was sacrificed in the 80th minute and was only spared blushes by an injury time goal by Bendtner. Arsenal recovered enough to go to the San Siro and put two past their Italian hosts but really this fixture set a course for the season that would see us crash out of all three competitions. Further, this match was the penultimate last straw for Senderos (he officially broke the camel’s back against Liverpool in the Champions League one month later). He would never recover the form that Arsenal supporters and the boss expected and during the summer was dispatched to Italy to rot on the bench. 

Getting rid of Senderos haven’t cured Arsenal’s defensive woes and the back four will need to be on the watch for Ashley Young’s pace and ability to put in a cross, not to mention his ability from set pieces. Sagna has the most direct responsibility here but whoever Arsene puts in the center of defense will need to rise to the occasion and put in some clearances. If Almunia is still effected by the knock he took against United then I would expect Fabianski to come in and show the same youthful vigor he showed against Wigan and be the main Arsenal player to handle corners, crosses, and set pieces.  If Almunia is healthy then that responsibility lies with Gallas and Silvestre. That’s right, I don’t expect Toure to get any starts for ther time being; the boss clearly thinks he’s to blame for Arsenal’s aerial woes.

Well… lol… Wenger just passed both Almunia and Adebayor as fit. Oh well, I was kind of hoping to see Fabianski in the sticks but it looks like England’s Future Number One will get the start; Adebayor is a game time decision.

The rest of the squad picks itself, really. Everyone is rested and I don’t see any reason why Arsenal won’t play the same squad they played against United.  We will probably see Vela, Wilshere, and Ramsey on the bench and I suspect that Arsene will start Bendtner and bring on Vela and Ade late in the match if Arsenal don’t have a lead.

Either way I’m looking for a modicum of revenge here for last season’s game. Plus Arsenal really need to put in a good performance and show some consistency after the win against United. I would like to see the first team play with the fire that the kids had on Tuesday but I don’t expect it. I expect that the players will play their measured, moving, passing type of game.

WOO HOOO! It’s a 3pm kickoff over in England which means that we get a 7am (PST) kickoff over here! The match is live on Fox Soccer Channel and I will be doing the liveblogging thing from home, so stop by if you’re into that sort of thing. Local fans will have to wait until 9am if they want to catch the match at Doyle’s because they are playing some Liverpool match at 7 or something. Meh… I’ll be at home with some sausages and stuff.

Ok, that’s it, see you all tomorrow.


I’m officially worried

The squad was announced ahead of tomorrow’s match and normally I don’t do an extra blog but this is big enough news that I feel like I need to share it right away. It was revealed today that Toure, Senderos, Nasri, and Fabregas all picked up injuries and will be unavailable for the match tomorrow. Add them to Eduardo, Diaby, Rosicky, and Song and I think we can confidently say (with 8 players out) that this is a thin squad. At least Wenger sees the humor in the situation when he says that we have a “big squad at home.” Har har Arsene.

The squad was named and the boss has said that Ramsey is likely to start; if he doesn’t pick up an injury tonight somehow. For the record, Arsenal are starting a 17 year old in a crucial Champions League qualifying away match against a hungry team with a hungry manager. A 17 year old who’s closest experience at this level is a cameo during an FA Cup semi-final.

It’s official, I’m getting worried.

Arsenal squad
Bacary SAGNA
William GALLAS
Justin HOYTE
Kieran GIBBS
Emmanuel EBOUE
Carlos VELA

The lineup will probably be:

Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy

Eboue, Denilson, Ramsey, Walcott

van Persie, Adebayor

I could also see the boss playing a sort of 4-3-3 with Walcott up front since that’s what he played last week against Juventus.

What else is there to say?  Up the Arse!


Vincenzo Morabito, super agent

“Trevor here has generated a lot of interest from Arsenal.”

Lately it seems like every time I turn around I see the name Vincenzo Morabito. Alex Hleb? His agent is a friend of Vincenzo. Adebayor? Vincenzo is his agent. And just today Arsenal were linked with Alberto Aquilani. His agent? Vincenzo…

Someone please muzzle this guy? He’s running rampant in the British press, linking everyone in and out of Arsenal in some lame attempt to raise their contract prices.

Since then, Morabito told Roma that his client expects an improved contract if they want to retain the player’s services at the Stadio Olimpico. “Aquilani is speaking to Arsenal,” Morabito confirmed. “We will have to see if Roma will be able to match his demands.”

Dude, if you’re going to be so obvious about lying to the press about interest from other clubs you’re only going to hurt your client’s chances. I have to wonder if Vincenzo represents Nasri?

The only good part of his transparent attempt to inflate their contract value is that maybe the Adebayor story will finally die. What am I saying? That will never happen. The press have nothing else to report about Arsenal so EVERY FRIGGIN story says “since Adebayor/Hleb is leaving, Arsene is signing (fill in player’s name here).”

This is really nuts.

Today’s replacement for Adebayor is Rocky Saint Cross. I dig the Arsenal supporter’s comments on that story, they’re more accurate that the story itself.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for transfer speculation today. Slow day, Vincenzo must have taken the morning off.

Over at the dot com, they are having “season review week” and so far my favorite article is the comparison of this season’s stats with the other title winners. Arsenal supporters should memorize some of those stats so that when we hear our local pub pundit trot out the tired warhorses “Arsenal needed to score more” or “Arsenal need to spend $$$ to win the title” we can reply with:

Really? Because Arsenal earned money in the transfer market and they improved their team a whopping 15 points over last season. And despite the common misconception that Arsenal need to score more, they scored more on the road than last season and garnered 11 more goals in all than the previous seasons. In fact, if you compare this season to the Invincibles they rate very highly: scoring more goals and keeping the home court advantage equally as well.

And finally I will leave you with a little piece about Senderos. He claims the boss loves him and that despite what the haters might say, he’s staying at Arsenal until his contract is up. Suck it, haters.


I lied!

Well, I was going to do a post match blog but so much happened yesterday that I feel obligated to “report” the “news.”

Basically, the Boss gave his usual pre-match Friday press conference and said some very unusual things.  Normally very reserved and tight lipped, Wenger rambled on about Theo, Gallas, Flamini, the pain of losing, Senderos, and David Villa.  YIKES.

The fan’s favorite whipping boy, Senderos, received a boost from Wenger yesterday. Arsene explained why he rested him for the Man U match saying,

Senderos is a genuine and dedicated guy, of course he was extremely disappointed by his performance at Liverpool but only time will get him over that. He is very strong mentally but the first mistake he made at Liverpool played a big part in the second one. Everybody is a confidence player and the young even more so because they have less experience to rely on.

He has enough experience but it has been so intense. He has had a lot of critics. He had two outstanding games against Milan home and away and then on Sunday he was not good anymore for anything. That’s not right but it’s our job. If a guy makes a mistake because he doesn’t care you treat him differently. But he made a mistake and he cares a lot

Wenger is dead on here.  Senderos is not the best defender I’ve ever seen at Arsenal, but there’s nothing wrong with the kid — and he is just a kid.  But a lot of Arsenal “supporters” love to jump all over Senderos whenever Arsenal lose a match.  He made a mistake, get over it, and get over yourself.  Arsene Wenger is a tremendous judge of talent.  I’ll take his opinion about our players over some guy on the internet any day.

In the exact opposite direction, a lot of stuff is being made of Wenger’s statement about Gallas’ captaincy.

I cannot answer that question at the moment. I want to analyse the season after it has finished. At the moment he will be my captain until the end of the season.  I believe he has learned a lot this year and I can only say that his commitment and desire to do well was exceptional. For the rest, I wouldn’t like to go into any individual assessment at the moment.

It was a leading question and this has to be the most honest and diplomatic answer possible.  I know that I have been pretty critical of Gallas in the past and I think I’m going to follow Wenger’s lead here and give it a rest.  I will say this: the only way I can see Gallas accepting the captaincy going to another player is if that player is a world class player and widely recognized leader.  Which is to say, Wenger would have to buy John Terry or the like OR Gallas will have to be traded.  My money would be on the latter.

Speaking of signings, Flamini has refused to put pen to paper so far and Wenger is getting restless.  In fact, he gave the midfielder until the end of April to sign the terms. That’s such a highly unusual thing to do, publicly set a deadline for a player to sign a contract, and really makes me feel like the curse of the shirt is in full effect and Flamini will be going elsewhere next season.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Oh yeah, read my lips: Arsenal are not buying David Villa.  Arsene figures that Walcott and Bendtner will do the job up front and besides… As many of us have been saying, it’s not a LACK of goals that’s the problem.  What Arsenal don’t want to turn into is another Tottenham where 4-4 draws are the norm; and that’s when the team is on.  The point here is two-fold: press speculation is almost always wrong and usually just used to boost the player’s transfer value and Wenger knows where the weakness is in the team.

Theo, like Wenger, figures he should play up front and he’s ready to do what it takes to get there.  The linked article is long and rambling but the more I hear come out of Theo’s mouth the more I like the kid.  Instead of whinging to the press about playing time or going down to Ladbrokes to have a wager with his pals and then wondering why he can’t break into the first team he goes to the boss and asks “what do I have to do to get some playing time?”  That’s real maturity there.  Kudos to the boy.

Lastly, Nike is doing some campaign with Cesc.  UGH.  It’s hideous.  The “no more mr nice guy” video in the link actually made me cringe.  Who comes up with this shit?

Well, that’s it!  I have wasted an hour, brought you some “news” and now I can go watch the tape of the Arsenal game!  WOO HOO!

Up the Arse!

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June 2020