Category Archives: Features

A Tribute to Eboue’s Hand (artist formerly known as)

Arsenal stand at a crossroads tonight heading into tonight’s crunch second-leg decider against Liverpool at Fortress Anfield™, with our season gone all Zimbabwean on us since my continued cyber-absence. I guess we’ve all learned now that Mr Jammathon is a plastic fan who is really a closet Chelsea-supporter (what can I say, Zombie managers just do it for me), but such is life. Continue reading

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Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, Champions League, English Premier League, Features

10 Reasons why Spurs do not deserve to even play against Arsenal

It’s hot in this part of the world – and it has been for quite a long, dreary stretch of time. The kind of hot that puts you in the right kind of bad mood for a good old fashioned rant, Third-Gen style. Continue reading

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Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, Carling Cup, English Premier League, Features, Tottenham

Adebayor’s in need of a Fan taking his side: Here I am…

There’s the usual news round up today – followed by a complete (overdue) revamp of the site’s design – but I thought I would take the time today to defend a player who has come under the harshest criticism of late, for a generally unjustified reason I feel.
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The Signs are there: Wenger is Staying…

Another chilly morning Down Under…

It’s a Wenger-flavoured blog today – and with good reason (comes good news). Predictably, the journos immediately ask him if he’s staying for the umpteenth time. Again, Wenger has reiterated “I have shown since I arrived here that I am very faithful. I will speak about the future at the right moment. You have to respect my decision.”

A crash-course in key-demographics for you: The part that Arsenal fans will typically highlight is ‘I am very faithful.’ The segment Spurs fans will subtly remark upon is ‘You have to respect my decision.’ Alarm bells! Every man for himself! The fact is, Wenger has done this all before. Prior to the 2003/04 season (Invincible Sombrero), Wenger’s contract was also doing that annoying thing contracts do near to their closure, and the media wouldn’t give up on the fact that Arsenal were heading for catastrophe come the ‘imminent’ Wenger departure. He signed in October, we won the league. In this case, expect Wenger to sign around December/January or so. To win the league? Well, ever the optimist.

How can I be so sure of his staying, apart from precedent? Wenger’s analysis on the team is incredibly encouraging: On the team’s mentality, he remarked upon “…the desire and anger for success, the togetherness of the players have been greater than ever. I am very excited because of what I feel and I saw during the camp. I am impatient.”

Impatient? Screw us all sideways, this is pep-talk and a half! Wenger feels the minimum requirement for this season is the League Title. Yes, the League Title. Unlike those neighbours down the road who are convinced they’re on their way to overtaking us. If it was down to pure, unadulterated ambition, Tottenham wouldn’t come close to the denotation. Darren Bent, of Ipswich Town and Charlton-fame, believes Arsenal need to watch their backs in the forth coming league season. Apparently Tottenham are ‘aiming’ to get forth place. Here lies the crucial difference between the two clubs. Arsenal quite clearly has a different definition of ambition, and one club clearly has a Freudian-case of inferiority-complex.

Back to Wenger, and further evidence he is staying – in spite of whether we get taken over by the Cookie-Monster or Frankenstone – in the form of more Wenger quotes:
“It is important that I concentrate on what is my role. The players and myself are focused on what we want to achieve together. I stay in my role. I don’t have to take part in the financial sphere.”

One has to carefully read between the lines on some other interviews on Arsenal.com. If you want some insider information, look no further than Paul Le Guen. Close friend of Wenger’s, possibly on the shortlist to replace Wenger’s fifth bionic clone three centuries from now, and with a telling quote to spill:
I am optimistic for them. They have a very good team and a very young team. They will do well despite the players who have left. They still have enough good players to have a strong team. I talked to Arsène and he is very confident. He really, really loves coaching this team. I like to see happy managers and Arsène is a manager who seems happy.” Appropriate bits and bobs highlighted.

Yes, it was an in depth view on what we already knew. No, it wont make the speculation go away. But I wont have much breath to deal with any more tiresome speculation, unless it’s just particularly hilarious. Or ironic. I hope for the former.

Meanwhile, ANR reckons Ryan Garry is on trial with Bournemouth with a view to a one-year deal. A little sad, really – injuries robbed him of almost a certain role in the Arsenal team, which could have arrived as early as three seasons ago. That and we’re being linked with Chelsea’s remarkably overhyped and rather mediocre player, Lassana Diarra. I never got what was so great about Obi-Mikel, neither. Oh well. Interestingly enough, we’re allegedly still waiting on a work permit for Eduardo – though that link is pinkfootball.

Arsenal.com continues to claw its way back to the days of 2001/02 when it was actually worth reading through – with the Emirates Cup beginning tonight, three players are set to miss the entire competition (a grand total of two matches in two days), them being Adebayor, Walcott and Rosicky. Apparently they should be ready for the last friendly against Ajax. Two days over two matches means we’ll be seeing two completely different Arsenal XIs playing, as well.

Additionally, Diaby talks about his time with PSG, and it’s nice to see an old, friendly face again. And of course, the small matter of Gilberto being captain.

PSGPSG tonight (I think that’s Afternoon for our European readers…). A slightly more reserve-batch expected in this one, not listing an entire team, but Hoyte, Fabianski, Randall, Traore, Bendtner, Barazite and Walcott might take the field, here. Bit redundant, trying to guess – but there might be less wholesale changes at half time than usual in a friendly, given the space between games.

I trust you’re all sleeping well?

{incidently, the spell checker in Mozilla doesnt like ‘Tottenham’. It suggests, instead: ‘Misbegotten’, ‘Rottens’, ‘Rottenly’, ‘Rottener’ and ‘Hottentot’.}

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For God’s Sake, Spend…

18 million sterling, gents.The law of crystal-ball success in the realms of fandom seems to be on money spent, and then some, these days. Manchester United have already spent a staggering £50million before June’s end, and are currently being linked with the disaster that is Michael Owen. All that dosh has been splashed on the adequately talented Owen Hargreaves, the potential of Anderson, and what can only be described as ‘potential-as-spun-by-mega-ManU-P.R’ in the form of Nani. Forums everywhere will have you know of the ‘mindboggling’ show of skills that will be paraded before the world when Nani, Anderson, Rooney and Ronaldo start tearing up the Premier League and Europe, having practically won everything already, before a ball is even kicked. Torres is on his way to ‘Pool, as is some Lucas kid who apparently is the next big thing. The irony here is that the only team I can say has bought clever is probably Chelsea, having secured a handful of free transfers in the form of Sidwell and Pizzaro.

What really baffles me is the constant outcry from certain sections of Goonerdom. Success, or whatever it is that will sate the appetite, is being linked in direct proportion to Pounds Sterling spent. This seems the case, the endless hype that surrounded Jeffers (9m), Reyes (between 10-16m) and Walcott (up to 12m) – though the latter may prove to be justified – is evident enough. “Can you just think of the carnage we’ll unleash on the league with the likes of Jeffers, Smith, Sidwell, Thomas, Svard, Volz, Taylor and Grondin in tow?”, I’ve been want to hear on several occassions. Sidwell and perhaps Volz aside, none of these cut the standard required, and even those two are bench players at best. The current crop of youngsters can be associated with similar hype – Bendtner and Vela are often mentioned, as was Lupoli, followed by Merida, Traore, Connoly and Lansbury. There’re at least three players that definitely could make the grade out of those, if not more, but what must be emphasized here is the need for caution.

What Wenger has over Ferguson (and almost all other managers) is the ability to bring youngsters in, especially foreign youngsters. Ferguson got lucky with Ronaldo, as the kid did the scouting himself by demolishing a defense of Silvestre and Brown in a preseason friendly. But the actual scouting seems to be done by the media for them, and Anderson and Nani do not excite me nearly as much as the ability of van Persie, Rosicky and Fabregas. The point is: Man Utd have bought youth and potential, at an absurd price that is hardly justified. Ferguson has bought many bad players that often go unreported (Kleberson, much?), and his record in uncovering youth is abysmal. So why panic?

Fans seem to want big money to be splashed around. I cannot remember a day when Arsenal was associated with this. Big names, sure: Bergkamp, Campbell, Kanu, Henry to an extent, Gallas, Suker, et al. The want for a big signing comes as a result of frustration and a lack of immediate success in Wenger’s rebuilding of his squad. Only Ljungberg and Lehmann really remain from the ‘old firm’, as such, the former no more than a bench player, the latter with some heavy competition from the reliable-when-called-upon Almunia, and the very exciting Fabianski. What’s been done here is quite incredible – only Chelsea, with their millions to spend, could rebuild an entire squad as Wenger has done. Perhaps Mourinho should put that in his pipe when smoking on Wenger’s ‘ability to win zero trophies’. The ponce.

Tevez - ...please?

Spending does not necessitate success. Look at West Ham and their Argentine double-coup come beginning of last season. Damn well nearly sent them down the drain, before Tevez dragged them out kicking and screaming, and could yet end them in trouble anyhow. Speaking of Tevez, he’s getting linked to Arsenal strongly by the day, lately – I for one would welcome him with open arms. He reminds me somewhat of Zola, but that’s more than likely down to his stocky build rather than a god-ordained ability…having said that, Carlos is a bloody good player, and the only transfer rumour that is really exciting, right now.

Does Arsenal need some big signings? We should expect one to replace Henry: That could be anyone…Benni McCarthy, Nicolas Anelka, Carlos Tevez, Samuel Eto’o (long shot that it is), and a winger is essential. Malouda is named again and again, but I’d rather chew on a shower rug than find out we bought him. But spending big is not the answer. Spending big is nigh on an impossibility, given our debt, and would you really be confident with Darren Bent in your ‘all-conquering-strike-force’, cough cough?

Old adage, but true: Spend well. Wenger is the proven master at this. If you insist on calling for his head, you’re more suited to Real Madrid. And what a class act they are.

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