Something might happen

Morning all,

it’s exactly one week until the start of the new season and it’d be hard to say we go into our final pre-season game in tip-top shape. There are injuries, absences and a distinct lack of new arrivals. The preparation has been, and continues to be, dominated by the Cesc/Nasri transfer sagas, and at this point we really ought to have been in much better shape.

We don’t know what our best XI is because we don’t know who’s going to be here this time next week. but perhaps it’s telling that tonight’s game will see Arsenal line-up without either Cesc or Samir Nasri. Something we may have to get used to. Nasri, apparently, has a ‘muscular’ problem, while Arsene Wenger insists Cesc is not fit enough to play tonight. This is despite the fact he was all set to travel to Portugal until yesterday. The manager said:

Everybody is free to think what they want. We cannot stop people raising questions. He is just coming back from injury and is not ready to play in a game. But he is not injured.

Well, what I think is that it’s hard to take that seriously. If he’s lacking fitness why prevent him from doing something which would build his fitness? Even if he played half an hour. He looked pretty fit on members day, and clearly trained with the team yesterday, so my gut feeling on this is that it’s coming to a head now and that a deal is close to completion. Not playing him tonight means there’s no risk of injury scuppering a deal but Arsene refused to be drawn, saying:

I do not want to speak about the transfer of Fabregas because I have done that three years now in every press conference so I don’t think there is any more need to add something. I love Fabregas and I want him to stay, that is basically it.

Is that a final public plea to Cesc or just an honest statement of his position? Either way it’s all gone on too long now. It had all gone on too long weeks and weeks ago and instead of focusing on our preparations and tonight’s game we’re still dealing with this.

As for Nasri there are reports of a bust-up between him and Wenger on the flight back from the Asian Tour but how much truth there is in that I just don’t know. And if I had to guess, I’d say the ‘muscular’ injury he has probably wouldn’t keep him out of Man City’s game next weekend if we agreed to sell him there.

I had genuinely thought both these issues would have been sorted out this week, ‘a big week’ for Arsene and Ivan etc, but so far nothing has been resolved and there have been no new arrivals. I think what worries people most is that it’s easy to see the departures but there’s not much faith that those players will be adequately replaced. A record cash surplus won’t win us games and Arsene was as frustrating as ever when talking about signings.

He talked about the difficulties of the process of signing new players, which I get, but other clubs seem to manage it well enough. I know it’s not as simple as supermarket shopping but you can’t help thinking we make it much more difficult for ourselves than it should be. He said he understood the impatience of fans but then hit us with this old classic:

I am positive because we have good quality and a style of play that is known by the players. So we want to add not quality but super quality.

I don’t know how many variations of this we’ve heard down the last few years. The old “I will only buy players who are better than the ones we have” line. The thing is, in some cases that really wouldn’t be too difficult. I’d love for us to sign ‘Super Quality”, don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard to listen to Arsene talk about those kind of signings after he’s spent real, actual money on players like Sylvester. Maybe he means Squality players like the fella he bought last summer. And as to when this might happen?

We hope to give you some good news soon. Next week, something might happen.

Something might happen. If that doesn’t encapsulate the summer thus far I don’t know what does. We’re not close to making any signings yet, the season is a week away, our best player is most likely on his way out, Nasri wants to go to, and something might happen next week. The indecisiveness and apparent lack of direction is concerning and  it’s very difficult to be anything other than worried right now. I think it’s almost time for the hand-waving and the shrieking, I’m working on a venue. You bring the orange squash, I’ll get some biscuits. We’ll need to keep our strength up.

Update: Having watched Arsene’s interview on Arsenal Player what he says, and how he says it, makes it less frustrating. Not not frustrating, just less so.

Also worrying, the news re: Jack Wilshere’s injury doesn’t seem to be very good. Arsene said of the players who were missing with actual injuries:

Koscielny and Nasri might be back for the start of the season. Walcott might be back and, as for Wilshere, it is very difficult to say.

I believe Wilshere’s injury is more Achilles than ankle, so it could the club being ultra-cautious after what happened with Thomas Vermaelen, but it’s certainly a step away from the ‘few days’ that were mentioned earlier in the week. Let’s keep fingers crossed over that.

And before we all descend into total misery on a Saturday morning, check out squad list for tonight’s game on which is, apparently, in alphabetical order. Spotter’s badge to Ollie.

Champions League draw took place yesterday, it’s Udinese with the second leg away from home. It could have been better, it could certainly have been worse, but it remains a tricky enough obstacle to the Champions League proper. Especially when you consider the players who are definitely missing from the first leg, and the ones who might potentially miss the game.

And that’s about that. Just remains to let you know there’ll be live blog coverage of tonight’s game, a chance to test out some stuff before the season begins (as long and drawn out as the summer has been I can’t believe that real football is almost upon us again!), and there have been some changes. I’ll explain more in a post later on with links to the live blog.

Until then.

Beards, moustaches, members and more

Morning all, welcome to the penultimate Friday of the off-season. This time next week we’ll be all like ‘Hurrah! Football’s back tomorrow. Where are my lucky pants which aren’t that lucky at all now that I come to think of it?!’

Despite it all – and ‘it all’ being the all day, drip-drip torture of not signing anyone and the having the same arguments over and over again so many times that Paddy actually sat down – I’m looking forward to it. At least there’ll be something new to complain about if it all goes wrong exactly the same way as it always has. Oh.

I’m doing my bit to force Arsenal into the transfer market by refusing to shave until we make a signing. I really hope we sign someone soon, not just because we need some new players, but because it’s all getting a bit itchy now. Still, these are the sacrifices we make for the team we love, right? And if we sign someone really cool and awesome, I’ll shave it into a fulsome handlebar moustache.

Wasn’t it the captain of Brighton years ago who refused to shave as long as they were on their FA Cup fun? He sported a massive grizzly by the time they got the final which they drew 2-2 (Staplecunt scoring for United, I remember) then they lost in the replay and his beard did him no good in the grand scheme of things. In which case, my point is that the beard will have absolutely no effect on our transfer business and I’m undergoing the itching for no good reason at all. I might shave this morning.

So, Members Day took place yesterday and the weather meant that the team picture didn’t take place, thus saving Cesc at members dayeveryone from getting their collective knickers in a twist about a photograph. Would Cesc be in it? Would he not? Would he be smiling or scowling? Would he lift up his shirt when the photographer said ‘Say Cheese!’ to display an Amnesty International logo, showing the world he was a prisoner of conscience in the ruthless, despotic Arsenal regime?

Most likely he’d have sat there, with his teammates, and had his picture taken. And then where would we be? What inferences could we draw from it other than, you know, he had his picture taken. I watched a bit of it on the Arsenal Player and he took full part in the training, running up and down, stretching, playing some football. Sometimes his facial expression was serious, other times it was not serious. Many of the papers this morning use photographic evidence of him ‘not smiling!’ as proof positive that, well, he’s not smiling.

Like most of the players he was very open and relaxed with the members, signing autographs for kids and the whole shebang, so really, yesterday didn’t tell us too much. Samir Nasri was there but didn’t train. OMG. So was Eboue and neither did he. OMFG. Manuel Almunia wasn’t there at all! TFG. And Nicklas Bendtner was there and spent the morning spanking in goals from all over the place. TGSTEL!

Also in da house was Ownery Joe, or Stan Kroenke as he’s better known. Did he, as Gunnerblog suggested, only come to see Eboue? If so he’ll have been disappointed. His presence suggests boardroom activity but whether that’s related to our transfer market activity or if they’re simply discussing the installation of merchandise vending machines in the toilets remains to be seen.

One would hope that we might hear something from our new owner. Or if not, some demonstration of his plans for the club that speak more than words. Come on Stan, how easy it would be to show me how you feel? The issue of players coming in still hinges on players going out, of course. The squad limit of 25 means we’ve got to find room somewhere, the the main problem being that money is in short supply throughout the game and the transfer market is very quiet this summer.

Players we want to move on are finding it difficult to attract suitors, obviously Bendtner has been given permission to speak to other clubs but his presence at training yesterday is quite telling. Maybe Eboue might go, I think we’ve genuinely put Almunia into the Witness Protection Program, and there’s still the futures of the big two to sort out. I’ve said all that needs to be said about Cesc for now, but Nasri still causes problems.

From a financial point of view it’s very difficult for a club like Arsenal to turn down £20m+ for a player in the final year of his contract, even if keeping makes some sense from a sporting perspective. This morning’s L’Equipe (French link) is running a story which suggests Arsene has ‘opened to the door’ to a move to Man City with Nasri having already agreed terms with Mancini’s Mercs. Que sera, sera, I guess.

Let’s hope the presence of Stan adds some decisiveness to our summer and that we can do the business we need to do before the season kicks off. An active week would go some way to making everything feel better and, most importantly, putting us in a stronger position as the new campaign starts.

In other news, the draw for the Champions League qualifier takes place this morning. The potential opponents are: Odense, Udinese, Twente, Rubin Kazan, or FC Zurich. I’m keeping fingers crossed we avoid the long journey to Russia as they’re probably the most tricky team of the lot. The draw takes place at 11am this morning, so follow on Twitter if you want instant updates.

And finally for today, less than 24 hours after signing a new deal Kyle Bartley has gone to Rangers on loan for the season. I’m sure those who reacted to his new contract by declaring our transfer business done because he was going to be the centre-half we needed (cheap option, you see) will be delighted this morning. Wrong, but delighted. The best of both worlds.

And that’s about that. The team head for Portugal today ahead of our final pre-season game against Benfica tomorrow night. There will most likely be some live blog action for that one as we test out some new stuff, but more on that tomorrow.

For now, have a good Friday.

Why Barcelona smell worse than anyone else

Morning all,

members day takes place today. The fans get to watch the team train, there’s a bit of a game, maybe some half-hearted crossbar challenge like last season and it’s a nice PR exercise. At least it should be but this year’s is dominated by two transfer sagas and a general feeling of malaise and frustration amongst fans.

Arsenal have apparently denied reports that two photos would taken, one with Cesc, one without. That this report emanated from Spain and not the English press was probably proof enough that it was a bit of mischief making. Was it Balague who reported it first? It probably was. Yet still the whole thing rumbles on.

I have been critical of the club’s handling of the situation. Whatever Cesc’s desire to return home, he’s also an intelligent man who knows that the club is far more important than any one individual. Had Arsene and Arsenal sat him down and told him, “We’ll let you go if the price is right and the offer comes before X date. We can’t be in a situation where, just 8 days before the start of the new season, we still don’t know if our captain and best player is going to be at the club”.

I think Cesc would probably have accepted that as reasonable, because it is reasonable. However, while I feel we’ve been indecisive and a bit weak about the whole thing, I do not have the words to express how unseemly Barcelona’s behaviour has been. For a club that sees itself as ‘more than a club’ they really are a classless bunch.

Even yesterday Zubizarreta said:

We need to be respectful of the team Cesc belongs to. We won’t comment on the Fabregas negotiations. There will be time for that in the future.

This, after a summer of non-stop commenting on it. Everyone’s been at it, the players, staff, the manager, the president, everyone. And if you take a look at the front page of the Sport website this morning there are no less five stories about Cesc, including quotes from Xavi and Iniesta about how great it would be if Cesc signed? Respect indeed.

And all the while Barcelona’s drip-drip approach is designed to make Cesc’s position at our club more and more untenable. They make low offers, talk down his worth, haggle over stupid stuff that is so stupid it’s clearly nothing but a delaying tactic, and leave the player himself in limbo while all this is going on. They spent €30m on Alexis Sanchez knowing their transfer budget was limited. A big two fingers to Arsenal who, I’m sure, have told them how much Cesc will cost.

What they’re doing is poisonous, basically. They have had a major and quite negative impact on our summer and our pre-season preparations. They’ve certainly damaged Cesc and his relationship with some fans who are now just tired of the whole thing and want to move on. And to me that’s both sad and frustrating. Rosell can send all the smarmy text messages he likes to our captain but to get what he wants he doesn’t care if Cesc has to be painted as the bad guy.

They know the ‘hamstring’ thing was Arsenal protecting its player, the way it should do, but Arsenal returned for pre-season training on almost a month ago. Do you really believe that a club of Barcelona’s stature couldn’t do a deal with Arsenal for Cesc if they really wanted to? The thing is, they don’t really want to. Not yet. They want to cause more problems, continue to undermine every aspect of the club, from captain, to manager, to pre-season, to our basic preparations for the new campaign, just so they can pay a bit less.

And while you can certainly criticise us for letting them have such an impact, you can’t overlook the fact that Barcelona’s behaviour throughout the summer has been little short of appalling. It might be just ‘business’ and the way of the world when you’re dealing in tens of millions of pounds but that doesn’t mean it’s not disgusting. And the worst part of it all is that it’s probably going to work.

Despite the fact I think we should have told them COuCO a long time ago I have a feeling the only outcome now is a sale at a price which will feel like a kick in the teeth. There’s a suggestion Cesc could play this weekend in Benfica and I think if he’s still here then it’s right that he should. I have no doubt that there have been promises made to him from Catalunya about getting the deal done, which would explain, but not excuse, why he hasn’t been involved this pre-season, but Barcelona have failed, singularly failed, to put their money where their mouth is.

August 31st is no deadline. It should not be acceptable to Arsenal Football Club, it should not be acceptable to Arsene Wenger or the board, and we ought to be telling Barcelona, Cesc and all the scuttery agents involved, that it is now or never. Or now or ‘next summer’, at least. If last week we were ‘close’ to calling the whole thing off, surely we’re on the very edge by now.

Really, nobody is coming out of this whole thing smelling of roses, but above all else, Barcelona come out of it smelling like a piss-strained tramp who’s spent the night sleeping on a mattress covered in gnu spunk and Exorcist vomit before dabbing itself with Eau de 15 year old Basset Fart and showering in Trainspotting toilet water.

Maybe we’re just too nice, I don’t know, but with August such a crucial month and the CL qualifying draw taking place tomorrow morning, we have to turn the focus back on to what’s best for Arsenal and nothing else.

In other news, Kyle Bartley has signed a new deal which is good news considering he had just a year to go on his old contract. Whether he makes the first team squad this season remains to be seen. I suspect a loan spell initially, maybe short-term, maybe until Christmas, and if he progresses well enough he could play a part in the second half of the season.

There are also renewed whispers regarding Eboue and Galatasaray but we’ll wait and see if it comes to fruition this time before making any further comment.

Bonus reading (if you haven’t already): Tim Stillman’s new column.

No doubt there’ll be stories a-plenty from members day today, catch up with them throughout the day on Arseblog News and here on tomorrow’s blog. Until then.

60,000 pitchforks climbing Everest

Tim Stillman Column

Another week, another set of worries, pugnaciously poured out of every sweaty orifice of the interweb. The forums are alive with the sound of unamused-niks. On Sunday, some of that discordance made its way pitch side to the ears of the manager. This last weekend of course saw Arsenal tragically, horrifically toss away the Emirates Cup in a result that history will surely mark as the nadir of our 125 years.

I dunno, what would Big Tone and Ray Parlour have done about this, eh? Aside from drink ten pints of lager and have a whizz on someone’s driveway, naturally. I’m being melodramatic of course, but then again, I am an Arsenal fan so what do you expect? The weekend brought us the Emirates Cup and the first thing to say is that both games represented a good challenge for the team. The Boca game exposed us to high quality opponents who play a different style. Whilst New York Red Bulls were only ever intent on parking the bus – a challenge we will face more than once in more competitive home fixtures next season.

Of course neither game really went the way we wanted it to if we’re to view the games competitively. I realise the club and the sponsors try to present the games through a veneer of importance, which might explain why so many saw them through such a prism of intense scrutiny. That’s not to say there weren’t worrying signs of history repeating, with leads tossed away in both games, possession recycled ad infinitum without sufficient penetration etc. However, for their to be boos at the final whistle, of a friendly, that is drawn, is an hysterical reaction in my book – symptomatic of the malcontented mindset that has come to characterise our support of late.

Arsenal Fans Riot

Arsenal fans were unhappy at the final whistle

There are those that argue the boos weren’t about the result or the concession of a meaningless trophy. The boos were apparently about the club’s transfer policy and another summer of inaction. So let me posit you this, if Kyle Bartley had turned that ball over his own crossbar, or else Arsenal had replied immediately with an 89th minute winner, would there still be cat calling at the final whistle? I’d bet my bollocks to a barn dance not one individual would trouble their larynx in that scenario. Not. Fucking. One. Yet neither of those scenarios would have told us anything different about the team or the club.

The rights and wrongs of booing your team have been done to death and I’ve neither the inclination nor the sanity to produce a meditation on that here. Suffice to say it’s not something I tend to do myself. Not because I’m some moral gladiator, but because, to be honest, I think it just sounds kind of childish. The aural qualities of it put me in mind of a toddler who has been presented with a plate of broccoli. I concede that if you pay your money, you’ve got the right. I guess I just don’t see the logic of making your home ground a hostile environment for your own team, different strokes for different folks I suppose.

However, booing a friendly does strike me as kind of pathetic. It’s difficult to replicate the intensity of a real game in a non competitive match; particularly one in which a plethora of substitutions are made prior to the final third of the game. If we twirl the periscope and look around at other pre season friendly results, I ask you, would Manchester United lose 8-2 to Marseilles in a Champions League game? Would Liverpool lose 3-0 to Hull City in the League Cup? There are issues to be analysed for the coaching staff, but let’s not make a chuffing great Everest out of a mole hill.

The flipside of this of course is that, if the club didn’t realise it before, they are now acutely aware that they have some way to go to get the supporters onside. The club have created a good deal of that pressure for themselves. I wrote on these pages back in May that pressing ahead with a price rise at a time when supporters were at the threshold of their disenchantment was a risky PR move. The club handed 60,000 pitchforks to a baying mob.

The upshot is that those being asked to reach a little deeper into their pockets will have demanded tangible gratification in the transfer market. In other words, evidence that those extra funds were contributing to an increase in the quality of the product. The transfer market looks very tough at the moment; there hasn’t been much activity anywhere and it seems Arsenal have been working hard both to bring players in and move some on. But punters are less understanding when asked to part with more of their pound sterling and that’s entirely understandable.

Following the transfer market has been a frustrating experience for Arsenal fans this summer, but there again, the way the media saturates us with misinformation; it’s all become a lot like Pavlov’s Dogs. They ring a bell and we all roll over look good little pups and have our bellies tickled. For instance, on Tuesday, in the space of 7 hours we had heard that; Juan Mata had agreed personal terms with Arsenal, that Juan Mata had committed his future to Valencia, that Arsenal had missed the deadline for his release clause and that Arsenal had had a bid for Mata turned down.

It’s crazy making and it’s foolhardy to get sucked in by it so consistently. The next time some goatee sporting twerp, let’s call him, Guillem LeBlag, outs some nugget of “inside information” please refer to the bullshit-o-meter before going doolalley. Alongside a prospective deal for Mata, Arsenal’s answer to Prince Philip, Mr. Hill-Wood confirmed the club had bid for Phil Jagielka. I have to say I find the link to Jagielka more enthusing than the likes of Samba and Cahill. I know the party line is that we want a caveman of a centre half who feasts on the blood of oxen, but playing at centre half for a club like Arsenal is different to sides in the lower reaches of the league.

The reality is for defenders at Arsenal is the same as it is for goalkeepers. You’re going to be under deployed for large parts of an average game. That sets a different kind of challenge. Let us use the goalkeeping example as a paradigm and take Manuel Almunia. His best performances in an Arsenal shirt were Champions League matches at Old Trafford and the Nou Camp respectively. These were games in which the team were under the cosh and Manuel was deployed consistently. They showed that he has good qualities as a goalkeeper.

His issue arose in games where he was likely to be standing idly by for 85 minutes plus. When he had that one shot to deal with, he came up short. This of course is where Seaman excelled. Take the 2003 F.A. Cup Final. Sod all to do for 89 minutes. Brett Ormerod smashes a shot towards the top corner in injury time and Seaman’s concentration remained at its utmost. It’s similar for defenders and I have my reservations as to whether it’s a challenge the likes of Cahill and Samba would be able to meet. Jagielka I think, has that nous to his game. A cool head. But I guess we’ll wait and see how that deal pans out.

We’ve another big week ahead. Tomorrow sees the club’s annual Members’ Day, which I will have the pleasure of attending in Club Level. In the event that anything vaguely exciting happens, I will be tweeting live in between mouthfuls of salmon and watercress sandwiches. I think it’s fair to say all eyes will be live on the photo call there. Don’t forget that Friday morning at 11am sees the draw for the Play-off Round of the Champions League qualifiers. Inevitably this means I will be wandering around the Great British Beer Festival that afternoon on the blower desperately trying to book flights to Kazan. Until then, Booooooooooooooo! LD.

Follow me on twitter @LittleDutchVA

I never thought I could feel so free-eee-eeeeeeee

Morning to you, shall we start with some good news this morning?

It’s not much, but it’s something. Jack Wilshere’s injury is not thought to be too bad and he reckons he should only be out for a couple of days. This will then allow him to recover in time to injure it properly playing for England next week in the round of senseless international friendlies that take place.

I mean, what better preparation for a new season than to disrupt training the week before the league kicks off by having players called up for their countries and traveling thither and yon to play stupid games that nobody cares about? Only stupid people with stupid heads, like Stuart Pearce and Lily Allen’s dad, probably.

If we’d had any sense we’d have ruled Jack out for the season to ensure he missed the international then cited the work of some healing lady who used the blessed placenta of the holy goat of Ballymebollix as the reason for his sudden recuperation. Still, as long as we have these problematic things called countries we’re going to have to put up with internationals.

In other news it’s not looking promising for the Phil Jagielka transfer. Despite swathes of rumours and necks being put on the line online about his arrival The Mirror says that he’s ‘ready to snub’ a move because he’d prefer to stay at Everton. I have no idea how true that is, although the little bit of scouting round some Everton websites suggested he is indeed very happy there and in that part of the country, and that it would surprise many if he left. And if that’s the case, if he likes playing for Everton and feels he’s earning enough then fair play to him. Can’t argue with that one bit.

Of course it leaves us still in need of a centre-half and The Mail say Arsene is going to send Steve Rowley to watch Birmingham’s Scott Dann this weekend. Now, I may not know the ins and outs of transfers and scouting but it strikes me that if we had a genuine interest in a payer we’d probably have scouted him well before now. There’s a suggestion that we’re looking to see if he’s recovered from an severe hamstring strain but wouldn’t the fact that he’s playing at all be an indication of that?

And not that I’m being overly picky or anything but Scott Dann? He sounds like a bit part actor who had the odd role in stuff like The Greatest American Hero and Simon and Simon. He was probably a weak chinned guy who was the boyfriend of some girl who fell for the main character, or a really shit villain. I know, you can’t judge a man by his name, but signing a centre-half called Thor Smashington or Ironfist Murdereyes would at least give the player some immediate awesomeness as he tried to adapt.

It may be just guesswork on the part of The Mail, or indeed pure fiction, but if there is even a hint of truth in it, it suggests we’re not quite on Plan A when it comes to our potential centre-half signing. Or Plan B. Or C. There are only 26 letters in the alphabet, sadly. Or Plan Z19. I would hope we’re not quite flying by the seat of our pants as this would suggest but it’s hard to be too confident considering we’ve had all summer to sign a defender and haven’t done so yet.

The Cesc thing rumbles on and on and on with no sign of anything happening. Some outlets are reporting a final bid from Barcelona of £35m + add-ons, The Times this morning says Barcelona’s final, take it or leave it, offer is £29.6m + £5.4m. In which case I would say “You know what? We’ll leave it, thanks for your time, buh-bye now!” and if they ever rang me again I’d simply blast an air-horn down the line until they got the message. Cheap-arsed cunts.

That’s just me though. I suspect Barcelona’s relentless cuntery has worn Arsenal down (Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?) and it wouldn’t surprise me if it all moved this week.

Arsenal’s team photo takes place tomorrow and much will be drawn from the presence, or lack thereof, of Cesc and indeed Samir Nasri who is apparently back in Man City’s sights. The thing is though it’s just a photo and we’ve had players appear in it before who haven’t started the season. I mean, will Bendnter be in it? Eboue? Almunia? And if they are or they aren’t does it significantly impact on their futures? Bottom line is that time is running out for all these players this summer and thus far the much hoped for revolution has been vague evolution and little more. Let’s see what happens.

In other vague and spurious transfer news The Express reports that Joey Barton has his heart set on an Arsenal move (sorry, no link because they use those horrendous auto-playing videos which are designed to increase ad revenue but which probably have a negative effect because no fucker will link to your site as long as you have them), while The Mirror says Mauro Zarate’s agent is in London to talk to us and Sp*rs.

Another Spanish youngster linked, this time a young Real Madrid striker called Jose Rodriguez.

Going back to the team photo there was a competition yesterday to give you, and your mini-Gooner, a chance to be part of the proceedings tomorrow. The answer to the question was b) Gunnersaurus – although many people feel Chompy Joe is a far superior name – and the RNG has done it’s thing.

Congratulations to Stuart Laidlaw, I’ll be in touch this morning with more details. Commiserations to the rest and thanks for your entries. More competitions to come.

And that’s about the size of it for this morning. Have yourselves a pleasant Wednesday, more tomorrow.