Posts Tagged ‘Spain


Great Caesar’s Ghost!

I realize that I’ve moaned quite a bit about this Euro 2008; how it’s boring, how Arsenal players just get hurt, how much I can’t stand Platini and Blatter and their insane proposals, and how at it’s worst this competition is nothing more than an exercise in nationalism.  But how could an Arsenal supporter see last night’s match and be anything but moved?

The first half started as a droll affair, Spain dominated possession but never really threatened, meanwhile Russiarshevin looked very, very ordinary.  Things had brightened a bit — literally — with the introduction of Cesc for the injured David Villa.  Cesc was easy to pick out of the crowd because, since he came off the bench, his top was dry and thus his jersey was easily twice as bright as everyone else’s muted, wet, tops.  Spain brightened “footballistically” as well with the introduction of the Arsenal youngster: with Xavi, Iniesta, and Fabregas roaming the midfield it seemed like they made every pass and won every challenge.  In fact, I think I remember Arshevin touching the ball maybe once in the whole first half.

Still they didn’t score.

The second half picked up where the first half left off; more Spanish possession, more Russian frustration, still no goals.  And then Cesc took over.  Sure, the first goal came from Xavi’s shot that Iniesta put in, but it was Fabregas who won the ball and put it in to Xavi.  Then on the 73rd minute Cesc had the commentators babbling about how he couldn’t possibly have meant to do that when he chipped the Russian defense and Güiza chested it down and wrong footed the Russian keeper.  Arsenal fans know that Cesc did that on purpose: we’re used to seeing the 21 year old maestro set up his teammates like that.

After the second goal the result was academic but Cesc added another assist to his tally when he crossed in for Silva on the 83rd minute.  It was the perfect cap to the perfect game for Cesc and has all the pundits scrambling to name him in Spain’s starting XI against Germany on Sunday.

It doesn’t seem to matter if he starts or not.  His class will show through.

Another player that I’ve been very impressed with is Spain’s Marcos Senna.  Playing at the holding midfield spot he’s been very solid both defensively and in distribution.  Too bad he’s almost 32 years old, or maybe Arsenal would pick him up.

Arshevin, on the other hand, looked very ordinary under the watchful eye of a steady Spanish defense.  Still, Barcelona is supposedly interested in the 27 year old.  I don’t know, maybe Barcelona are going to take another look at Hleb.


Anyway, it was a great day for Cesc and I will be rooting for him to both win and come through uninjured.  A trophy here would be a great start to Arsenal’s season.


It’s a sign!

It’s true, as Alex pointed out in the comments, Aaron Ramsey was officially unveiled yesterday afternoon. Yay! A signing! Of course, so far his only accomplishments are “youngest player to do such and such” and he’s only 17, so I suspect it will be 3-4 years before he’s a full-time impact player for Arsenal. The cool part about this signing is the glowing review he gave of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal’s youth policy.

Arsenal is a club which always gives young players an opportunity at the highest level of the game and I am going to work my hardest to be part of future successes here. I recently met with Arsene Wenger and he was a big factor in my decision to join Arsenal. He talked to me for a long time about the club and the plans for the future, which really excites me.

Hard work + opportunity = success? Aaron, you should ring David Bentley up and let him in on the secret. He seems to think it’s: Ladbrokes + wasted opportunity = whinging about foreigners.

Aaron seems like a good kid and all the pundits agree that he’s got a ton of talent. So, here’s to a signing by Arsenal! Cheers! Oh, and here’s to doing one over Man U who said that Aaron had signed with them a week before any decision was made. Cheers!

Adebayor Watch 2008

The dust is finally settling on the “Adebayor to Milan” story and it’s increasingly looking like that dust was nothing more than the agent’s attempt to extort money from Arsenal. Player and team are now said to be “in talks” over a renewed contract worth £80,000/wk. I’m treading lightly over this story as the sources here are a mixture of speculation, hearsay, and quotes; typical British football reporting. Arsenal fans (at least the 5-10 of us who actually think Adebayor isn’t a “lumbering oaf” etc etc) should be heartened by Adebayor’s latest official statement:

My future with Arsenal has never been in doubt and I want to assure fans I will be here for many years.

Yay! And equally disheartened by the follow up:

My agent has met with coach Arsene Wenger about a new deal and I am happy about how the talks are going so the fans can rest assured.

Boo! So, basically, all this stuff about Milan was to get an improved deal from Arsenal.

Other Transfer News

Gervinho is claiming that Arsenal have spoken with his agent. I don’t know, he looks pretty good in this video, we should break the bank to bring him in.

Euro 2008

I got to watch Netherlands v. France yesterday and here’s my report: we saw two teams that play like Arsenal. The team that played like Arsenal at their best beat the team that played like Arsenal at their worst 4-1. I was really hoping to see Nasri play but Dominich is tactically retarded and he played some other guy — who did absolutely nothing. Oh well.

I did love seeing van Persie in full fitness even if he was playing with some guys who I despise. The goal he scored was vintage van Persie: run full bore at the goal, pick the ball off the volley, and smash it as absolutely hard as you can — devil may care. It brought a smile to my lips, he literally blasted it at and through Coupet.

Today, we’ve got Spain and… uhh… I don’t know and I don’t really care. I might try to pick up some of the Spain match so I can see Cesc come off the bench on the 85th minute.

And finally, James Lawton has proclaimed that International football is more successful than ever! No doubt, this is the first in a series of articles calling for a quota system, or the expulsion of Arsenal, a demand that Arsenal change their “communist” ways, or at the very least the installation of an English coach at the club or some such. Whatever it is, I will dissect it tomorrow. Because today, I just don’t feel like it and frankly, I need something big, and fun, and important to talk about for my Sunday roast.

See you tomorrow.

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