21.15 - So, last night eh? I swear I thought I'd developed Parkinson's disease my leg was shaking so much. That unstoppable kind of shaking like when you rub a dog's chin or belly and his back leg just starts thwacking off the ground.
What more can I say about Freddie that hasn't already been said by everybody else? How can I add further praise to Bergkamp's sublime passing? How did Wiltord score when it was easier to miss?
I don't want to really say much more about our league position or the game at Old Trafford, coz I feel that if I'm too confident, I'll jinx us in some way. Suffice to say, I'd much rather be where we are.
For a bit of a laugh, have a look at this.
Sadly I have to go back to all the extra course-work for now, but next week it's all over and more normal service can resume.
23.54 - Bolton 0-2 Arsenal (Ljungberg, Wiltord).
5 points clear at the top of the league, with 2 games left to play. That'll do, Pig. That'll do.
We love you Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedie, because you've got red hair............................"
10.24 - It's no surprise that Sunderland are struggling this season. When Peter Reid says, "Right lads, it's time for shooting practice", some of them get the wrong end of the stick altogether.
So, Liverpool got done 1-0 by Sp*rs yesterday, wonders will never cease. I watched the game, and in fairness, Sp*rs were by far the better side, despite the fact they have as much pace as my granny, and she's dead. Houllier looked most unhappy, and is it just me, or does Hoddle's head appear to be getting bigger by the week?
Then it was all eyes on Ipswich v Man Utd. Now, any United fans who might happen to chance this way will have to admit that the 'penalty' given after RVN flung himself through the air like a car bomb vicitm easily balances out Kanoute's 'goal' against us during the week. The consequences of a poor decision are much more serious for Ipswich than for middle of the table West Ham. There is a positive from an Arsenal point of view though. That result means Bolton can't be relegated now, so they're not going to be fighting for their lives against us. Not that it's going to be easy by any means, but it could have been worse.
Utd are now 2 points behind us, but we have a game in hand - against Bolton on Monday night. Perhaps we should re-sign Chris Wreh for this one.
Ipswich's Matt Holland says nice things about Freddie Ljungberg here.
Non-Arsenal, but check out this for an unfortunately shaped trophy.
09.45 - Eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I missed yesterday's update. Let me explain.
"Let's go for a beer after work"
"Yes, let's. We shall sup a few ales and then get home to care for our families"
"That sounds like fun"
(5 hours later)
".....and I'll tell you shumthing elsh...............*hic*..........that bloke is a c*nt. I hate him. He makesh me shick......"
So there you go. The novelty of finding a half decent pint of Guinness in Barcelona was too much for me.
Arsenal stuff. We're rolling along waiting for Monday's game against Bolton, and hoping that Ipwich and Sp*rs can get something from their games against United and Liverpool today. Arsene Wenger says that Fergie's mind games wont' affect the team, they're just concentrating on the next game.
Robert Pires' operation has gone well and he can now start his recuperation. Danny Baker tries to be funny in his Times article today. He fails. He's not funny, but he is a big, fat, pie eating muppet. I'd just like to take this opportunity to wish Milwall the very worst of luck for their playoff games.
Wild rumour time. I got an email to say that Tony Adams' testimonial will be against Celtic and that Thierry Henry will play up front with....Ian Wright. Now, that would be something to see. Thanks to "AA" for that.
The sun is shining, so I'm off to the beach. Talk to you all later.
21.19 - The Ronaldo to Arsenal rumour - as brought to you by A R S E B L O G on April 20th - is gathering pace.
Nice to see Tony Adams is being given a second testimonial by the club. It seems more likely now that this will be his last season, and you'd have to think that if Arsenal won the league this season it would be the perfect time for him to bow out.
Bob was to undergo his operation today to fix his damaged cruciate ligament. Hope it all went well and he gets back soon. I don't think Ipswich or West Ham would have held us at 0-0- for so long if he'd been playing. Still, the boys keep winning, so it would be churlish to moan about anything. Especially considering the run of luck we've been having.
Ferguson and Houllier must have pissed themselves with rage when they saw Kanoute's goal during the West Ham game last night. Still, I don't suppose Alex will stay quiet. He's surely not going to stun us all with another 'Arsenal run football/referees/the FA/UEFA/FIFA/The FBI/KFC' rant. Ah, of course he is the miserable old bollix. He'll probably come out with something along the lines of 'If Arsenal win the league, they'll know it's tainted', mark my words. If Arsenal win the league, it can be as tainted as it damn well likes, coz then I can go to Manchester, burst into Fergie's office and doing my best Marc Almond impression sing"TAINTED LEAGUE....WOOOO HOOOOOO....TAINTED LEAGUE .........WOOOOO HOOOOOOO..............." until I get kicked out by security.
There's a West Ham fan here, it's non Arsenal, but he always has good links on his blog and sometimes there are pictures of naked chicks (small chickens that have had all their hair plucked out). He hasn't mentioned last night's game, but I bet he's pissed off.....heh.
Didier Six for President of France. Tell your friends.
23.05 - Arsenal 2-0 West Ham (Ljungberg 77, Kanu 80).
Too tired to say much, so I will be brief and to the point.
I love Freddie Ljungberg. He's my hero.
We are 4 points clear at the top of the league. I like that. I like that a lot.
Tony Gale singing the "We love you Freddie because you've got red hair" song on Capital Gold was mental.
Listening on the radio is bad. That was more nerve wracking than drinking rohypnol at a date-rapists convention.
I'm seeing double now. G'night gooners.
23.15 - Just watched Barcelona get beaten 2-0 in the Champion's League semi-final. Overmars had one of those games he used to have for Arsenal i.e - he'd do loads of stuff to make you think he was having a good game, but when you think back on it afterwards, he didn't do much but run fast and lose the ball a lot.
In Barcelona, this result will go down like a cheap whore in Hugh Grant's car. Today is Dia Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalunya, and the whole city has been buzzing building up to the game tonight. Ah well, just as well I'm not a Barca fan or I'd be rightly pissed off now.
Arsene Wenger says he feels guilty for not voting in the French elections. He's got enough problems with right wingers at work without having them when he goes back home too. Anyway, if we have any regular French readers, here's my suggestion. Start a campaign to have Didier Six elected as President of France. France doesn't need the right-wing fascist leanings of Le Pen, nor does it need the sleazy lies of Chirac.
France needs the curly haired dribbling skills of Didier Six. Didier Six can lead France into the future with style, with grace, with balance, and a powerful shot. Come on Frenchies, you know it's true. Tell your friends, your family, your many mistresses, DIDIER SIX FOR PRESIDENT.
Today's edition of A R S E B L O G has been funded...er....brought to you free of charge and with no strings attached by the letter D and the number 6.
20.45 - A slow enough day in terms of Arsenal news, but Le Boss says the target is to win all the remaining games. Obviously that would mean we'd be champions, but it could come sooner than that.
If we beat West Ham on Wednesday, and Liverpool and United fail to win their respective games this weekend, a win at Bolton would win the league for Arsenal. It would be nice, but I honestly can't see the others dropping any points against Sp*rs or Ipswich. Of course, we're taking nothing for granted for the game on Weds, and we're gonna need to play better than we did against Ipswich. Now is when the mettle of this Arsenal side is going to be well and truly tested.
The difference this season and others though is that we have more players who can win games for us. We were criticised for being too reliant on Thierry Henry, but Bergkamp's form, Freddie's continued goal poaching, and Lauren's scuttery penalties are all match winners. We're without Robert Pires who adds another dimension to the side, and Vieira has popped up with vital goals over the last few weeks. So this Arsenal team is exactly that. A real team. Not a collection of wonderfully talented individuals, who don't always gel.
In terms of personell, the only real difference between this season and last is Sol Campbell in the centre of defence. None of the other summer signings have really made any impact, so credit for this improvement has to go to AW's man management skills. He's made the perennial runners up into a side that really believes they can win the league. Like the fans, the players are fed up coming second.
Fingers crossed and lucky socks in the washing machine already.
22.05 - Arsenal 2-0 Ipswich (Ljungberg 2).
A nervy game and once again we didn't fire on all cylinders, but that spiky haired Swedish genius Freddie Ljungberg scored twice to send us top of the table again. It also means Ipswich have to win their last 3 games to have any chance of surviving, so Liverpool and United can expect tough games against the Tractor Boys.
We really never dominated the game like many people expected. Edu had his poorest game yet, but still showed some nice touches. Not as many touches as Ray Parlour though, who has the ball control of a dead elephant. This Arsenal side has outgrown Ray I think. Any of the Grimandi slaggers care to comment on his lovely pass to Freddie for the 2nd goal? Ashley Cole looked like it was his first game for ages, and overall they looked tired. Lovely to see Tony Adams back, he's such a leader on the pitch and his experience is going to be vital over the coming games. Hopefully he'll be fit enough for Wednesday's game against West Ham.
Some more reaction to the days events here. A word on Freddie though - he must rank as one of Wenger's best signings for Arsenal. He's improved every season he's been at the club, and while most of the plaudits go the way of Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira and Pires, this guy is as vital to the team as any of them. He may not be spectacular, but he's seriously effective, and 14 goals from midfield this season is testament to his form and consistency.
A R S E B L O G loves Freddie Ljungberg.
09.54 - Ok, let me just clarify something. I didn't say that Ronaldo was definitely signing for Arsenal, I merely passed on some interesting gossip I had heard. I know it sounds a bit far fetched, but then so did 'Bergkamp for Arsenal' all those years ago.
Ipswich today, who are fighting for their lives and have a pretty tough run in with games against Liverpool and Man Utd as well. Sadly, both the scousers and Fergie's lot won yesterday. I know it keeps the title race interesting for the neutrals, but who gives a rat's arse about them. I was fervently hoping that both of them would drop points yesterday, but it wasn't to be. I saw some of the Chelsea v Man Utd game, and the Chelsea players should be ashamed of themselves. A team of crippled, alcoholic, blind schoolgirls would given Utd a better game. Let's just hope they play like that in the Cup Final though.
Tony Adams says in the News of the World "George Graham drove me to drink". I understand, selling Anders Limpar and signing Eddie McGoldrick to replace him would drive anyone to drink.
09.15 - So Fergie's at it again. He's trying to play his psychological mind games again, saying Arsenal are 'due a blip' and also that Chelsea will win the cup final. If Arsenal do win the Championship, wait for his 'Arsenal didn't win it, we lost it' speech. One can only hope the varicose veins in his face burst during today's game with Chelsea. Mark Bosnich has a right pop at Fergie here.
AW has slated Roger Lemerre for making Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira play the full 90 minutes for France in their meaningless midweek friendly. He says "They (Lemerre & co.) are always right, even when they are wrong". The fact that Sylvain Wiltord is out having pulled a hamstring during one of Lemerre's tough training sessions hasn't helped Le Boss' mood.
Interview with Freddie here, and ahead of tomorrow's game against Ipswich, Richard Wright says he's glad he's joined Arsenal.
Now, here's a class A piece of transfer gossip. I have a friend who works for the parks and gardens department in Barcelona, and one of his workmate's brothers works in Camp Nou in some kind of administration role. He says that Barcelona have been trying to re-sign Ronaldo, but the buck toothed Brazilian has already agreed to join Arsenal this summer. In fairness, it sounds like a typical Arsenal signing, great player with injury problems, struggling in Italy (Kanu, Bergkamp, Vieira anyone?), but I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
18.49 - So, the new sponsor is....O2, who used to be called Cellnet, who used to sponsor Middlesboro's stadium, who used er.....I dunno. Anyway, they're paying £10m for a 2 year deal with an option to renew if they like.
Arsenal have also revealed the new home and away kits, here. I like the home kit I have to say, it's quite 'Ajax' though. The away kit is a different bucket of phlegm altogether, what the hell is that about? It looks like some kind of 4 year old's experiment with the gradient tool in Photoshop.
Call me old fashioned, but Arsenal's away kit should be yellow and blue, not this vomitous mess. We've dabbled with blue away kits before, and they've been less popular than Osama Bin Laden at a New York fireman's ball.
Finally for now, Bob has decided to have an operation on his cruciate ligament, so it looks like it's gonna be 6 months before we see that master at work again. Buena suerte, Robert.
22.45 - The Man Utd v Arsenal game has been fixed for May 8th. However, the agreement wasn't reached the way you might think.
A R S E B L O G has acquired a brand new and ultra secret source of information, I call him the arsephantom. He's going to provide us with some irregular inside info and shockingly biased opinions in the future, and he gives us this exclusive about the fixture negotiations.
He sent me this official webcast transcript of a secret meeting, especially arranged by Alex Ferguson and the FA, between the two team captains and managers. All we've got to go on is a crackly piece of poor resolution, undercover footage, so let us set the scene:
A secret location, a hotel in Salford, Manchester (a neutral venue chosen by the FA) where Alex Ferguson is quietly talking with David Beckham, who is sporting mock crocodile skin Prada crutches, and a Burberry checked plaster cast on his foot.
'Look Dave, I've already rigged this with the FA, they owe me a few favours, ahem... anyway so, the 10p they are using is a double headed coin, right...? Got it...?'
'Leave it to me boss'
Ok, you sure you know what you are doing...?'
'Give me some credit chief, we can't lose then can we...? That means that the game has to be on the 7th...?'
'Exactly my son, I knew you weren't as thick as everyone says, oh, I meant to say, how's that irritating disability of yours by the way?'
'Oh, she's fine boss, thanks for asking...'
As Fergie shakes his head, the FA Official says 'Ok, gents, can we get started?'
At this point, Tony Adams and Sir Arsene Wenger enter the room and stand opposite Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and two FA Officials.
FA Official: 'Right then, David, as you are the England captain, obviously, you get to call - winner gets to choose the date...'
As Arsene Wenger gulps, and takes a last look at his captain, Beckham winks in the direction of the FA Official and Fergie as the coin is spun, in slow motion into the air and calls...
More from the arsephantom soon.
Sol Campbell could be back for the Bolton game, but Sylvia Wiltord could be out for 3 weeks. A more comprehensive injury round up here.
23.45 - Despite my scepticism about the Microsoft story below, I got another email to say it was true. Should the fact that the address was firstname.lastname@example.org put me off? Hopefully all the Arsenal players came through tonight's friendlies ok, and hopefully Michael Owen ruptured his spleen.
There's some debate over the Man Utd v Arsenal fixture. They want it brought forward a day to the 7th coz they might be in the Champs League final the next week. On the other hand, we've got the cup final on May 4th and we could use a few days rest. Still, this wouldn't be an issue if the FA hadn't fucked around with the great tradition of the Cup Final being the last game of the season. It takes away a lot from the competition in my opinion - effectively, the FA decided the demote their showpiece competition for TV cash. I guess we're just lucky it's not ITV digital eh?
00.05 - Is this an exclusive? Just got a mail telling me that Arsenal's new sponsors will be Microsoft and the deal is worth £40m over 4 seasons, a new record by a long way. To make the story even more.....er....convincing, this picture was included.
The wonders of Photoshop eh? You'd never catch A R S E B L O G doctoring pictures and stuff like that. We're as honest and truthful as they come. Stop that laughing.
20.09 - I got an email during the week from a Sunderland fan called Danny. He's got a signed Arsenal shirt and is looking for bids to raise money for Niall Quinn's testimonial. For those of you thinking 'Well, big Niall hardly needs the money', he is donating all funds from his testimonial game to charity so it's for a really good cause. If you want to make a bid - it's currently at £250, drop him an email at email@example.com or talk/text him on 07980393983 - that's a UK number, so do the international access code thingy if you're abroad.
I see we've been given the 'lucky' North Stand in Cardiff, hopefully Chelsea will get 'lucky' bubonic plague just before the game. I can't find a link to it, but I saw on Sky Sports that a man was arrested during the Chelsea v Fulham semi-final for throwing celery onto the pitch. So many vegetable jokes, so little time...
I've received a ton of emails about retiring the number 6 shirt if Tony Adams retires at the end of the season. Every single one reckons the shirt should retire with the man, apart from one which said, and I quote 'We can't retire the shirt because we're only allowed have numbers up to 50 and then we'd have to have 1 player less per season than everyone else'.
And on that note........
11.55 - Hi there, struggling to keep up at the moment. This course is hard work and leaves me little or no time to update the site. But, I'm doing my best, and doing what I can at odd moments, like now.
According to Myles Palmer on ANR, Tony Adams is definitely going to retire this summer. He also says that Nesta scored the own goal for Boro yesterday, so maybe we can take it with a pinch of salt. He reckons that Kevin Phillips, a documented Arsenal fan, is going to sign for Spurs. He's a decent player is Phillips, but going to Spurs isn't going to do him any good, they're not much better than Sunderland, so he should stay where he is.
Apparently, Sol Campbell is going to be fit for the World Cup. England fans, please forgive me, but I couldn't give two shits about whether he's fit for the World Cup, I'd much rather he was fit and well to play for Arsenal. It's funny, but after Sol's injury and Beckham's injury, all the talk has been how much of a blow it is for England, with little regard to how their clubs might miss them. Unless Tony can play from now until the end of the season alongside Martin Keown, we're going to find life a bit more difficult. Maybe though, if Tony is going to retire, he can be kept fit with some injections and things like that.
And if the retirement news is true, A R S E B L O G reckons the number 6 shirt should be retired for good as a mark of respect. Tell us what you think, should Arsenal do without a number 6 if Tony does call it day?
06.50 - Breaking news - Ruud Van Nistlerooy has won the Player's player of the year award. Should have been Bob, but to be fair RVN has had an outstanding season as well. No time now, more later.
21.50 - Middlesboro 0-1 Arsenal (Festa o.g)
Not exactly a classic by any means, but it certainly had me on the edge of my seat. First things first, well done to Boro who played better than I thought they could and just didn't let us play our own game.
They had some good chances and Richard Wright made an excellent save from Dean 'face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle' Windass, and some kid called Wilkshire put one wide when he should have done better. We had a couple of half chances ourselves, but never quite got any momentum going.
Then we got a corner, Henry whipped it in, and Uncle Festa stuck an unstoppable volley past his own keeper. Then Oleg got injured and wheeled off like Stephen Hawkins, Sol Campbell did his hamstring in, and various Boro players decided to see how often they could split Martin Keown's head open.
Wiltord had the worst game I've seen him have for a long time. The kind of game that makes you realise why you thought he was crap not so long ago, but he's done his bit this season and he wasn't the only one to have an off day. However, he was the only one to stick the ball over the bar from 6 yards out with only the keeper to beat when a blind monkey with a club foot could have scored. Vieira moved back to central defence when Sol went off, Ray Parlour came on and got his customary yellow card, and Kanu came on with obvious instructions to hold the ball in the corners.
But we hung on and went through even though that was our poorest performance for some time. Yes, we were lucky with the goal, but considering our injury list this season and the two picked up in this game, I think we deserved that bit of good fortune.
Once again though, a fine victory is spoiled by injuries to two important players. Campbell has been outstanding, and it looks like he could be out for 3 weeks with a pulled hamstring, and Oleg, whose performances have been good enough to forget that we've been without Lauren/Dixon/Cole for so many games this season. The casualty list is so long, we should change our name to 4077 Arsenal.
Still though, it's another cup final and hopefully we can put the memories of last season's robbery to rest this time. Night gooners.
09.20 - Urrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghaaaaaaaaaa - sorry, just stretching.
Timing. If your boss was in a foul mood one day, you wouldn't go ask him for a raise would you? If your girlfriend or boyfriend was ill, you wouldn't ask them for sexual favours. So why the fuck has Marc Roget chosen today to release a statement to say that Patrick Vieira is going to reject Arsenal's offer of a new contract? He says that Arsenal have only offered a one year extension to his contract and that's not good enough.
For one thing, I can't understand why Arsenal would only offer a one year extension. Given the new transfer system, it makes sense to offer as long a deal as possible. And as for the timing, Roget has surpassed himself in his ability to infuriate Arsenal fans. If anyone sees him at the game today, can I suggest that you greet him with a winning smile, introduce yourself and then kick him in the bollix.
Silvinho speaks to Soccernet here. At one point he says "I don't stay in touch with anyone there." That's a shame, because he always struck me as being a very likable and popular bloke, and the rumours that he was sold because his passport was false continue. However, he goes onto say "As everyone knows, it wasn't my problem but it was really difficult to stay there. I had to leave but it was because I couldn't stay on the bench at Arsenal - nothing else." It's also a pity that the Arsenal fans never got a chance to say goodbye and thanks for the great memories. He scored some fantastic goals in his time at the club and proved himself to be an excellent player.
There's another Edu interview, this time with Arsenal fan Amy Lawrence, in the Guardian.
Right, I'm gonna go get the newspapers and wait for the match. There will be a post match update, so talk to you later.
21.27 - Amazingly, Peter Schmeichel has signed for Man City. Surely this is a dastardly plot hatched between Red Nose 1 - The Scottish gum chewer and Red Nose 2 - The Danish pig farmer. If I was a City fan, I'd be very suspect of his motives. He must know the reds aren't gonna be happy with him, and how will the Blues take to a man who was with their old enemy for so long? It took Sol Campbell some time to break the ice with the Arsenal fans, and the minute he makes a mistake the City fans will be sure he did it on purpose. A signing from hell for all concerned I would have thought, but then Keegan is mental.
Time travel anyone? Check this out.
Sadly Liverpool won today, that puts them just a point behind us now. That poxy near dwarf Welsh twat got the goal. I curse him and his suspect hamstring.
09.45 - Is there anything better than the 'lie in' on a Saturday morning after a long week? Well, winning the lottery and somehow finding yourself in bed with Cameron Diaz and Kylie is better, but you know what I mean. And if you think '9.45 isn't exactly a lie in', it's better than 6.30.
Sol Campbell speaks to the foppish Henry Winter here. Matthew Upson seems to be back from his injury, he's named in the squad for tomorrow's game.
Next season will see a new home and away kit for Arsenal, and a new sponsor. The BBC is saying it's likely to be mm02 which used to be Cellnet and part of British Telecom. Personally, I'd love to see the Apple computer logo on the Arsenal shirts, it would provide that touch of class that peddling the name of the least popular games console in history surely didn't.
Semi-Final tomorrow - Boro have improved over the course of the season, have beat Man Utd twice, are going to give us a hard time. They don't have Ince who is suspended and Carbone who is cup-tied having played for almost every single English league club in the last couple of seasons, but Boksic is back and he is always dangerous even if he moves by osmosis these days.
However, the boys have had a rest now since the Sp*rs game, and should be really fired up for this one. Freddie to open the scoring tomorrow.......
22.51 - Was almost too tired to write anything tonight, having left the house at 6.30am and arrived back about an hour ago, but then I saw this. Spurs fans going mental coz their new sponsor's logo is in red and red is the colour of all evil, don't you know. Please feel free to sign the petition, we don't want them wearing red either.
Some more Freddie related goodness from Soccernet, here. A nice interview with Edu here although Planet Football is linking our Brazillian with a move to PSG. I think not, AW didn't show that much faith in him to flog him off now, especially after his recent performances seem to have quietened those who thought we'd signed the wrong Edu.
Must sleep. Bye for now.
21.49 - The Gooner nation mourns. Gilles Grimandi has announced he's leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. He says "It is the right decision and the right time for me to leave. There are many good young players and it would be difficult for me to play. I think I have got only two or three more years to play football and that's what I want to do."
Arsene Wenger says: "He has been hugely underrated and hugely precious because if you look at the number of games he has played for us it is quite amazing. And the number of games he has won is amazing as well. He has gained a lot of respect here and in France, his career at Arsenal was a big success and we wish him very well".
A R S E B L O G says - "ALLEZ GILLES". My personal favourite Grimster memory is right here, although I also remember with fondness his being sent off within minutes of coming on for headbutting Alan Smith of Leeds. That goal against Crystal Palace in the double season will not be forgotten, and I agree with Arsene Wenger, he was much maligned - unfairly in my opinion - found a place in the team and was underrated. People seem to forget, his form was so good the season before last he was on the brink of a call up to the French squad. He was always made the scapegoat when we lost, but got no praise when we won. Au revoir Gilles, merci.
Congratulations to Dennis and Mrs Dennis on the birth of their 3rd child, a baby girl. She's starting up front for the ladies next weekend....
Got an email or two about the Woodgate picture. I'll just take this opportunity to reply to Jim from Leeds "No, but I bet yours does" and to Safraz xxxxxx "You're welcome".
21.45 - There's a remarkable interview with Freddie Ljungberg on Football 365. It's remarkable because it's so shit and predictable, you don't even need to read the answers. Well done Sarah Winterburn, I hope your Uncle Nigel does a sliding tackle on you when you're walking down the street one day carrying a box of eggs and some fine china.
To laugh, or to really laugh, that is the question. It's quite incredible the lengths Michael Duberry will go to get a game. The finest example of Karma for a long, long time. The only thing that would top that is the 'Bowyer breaks every bone in body falling down the stairs.......of The Empire State building" headline. Anyway, as always A R S E B L O G brings you the exclusives that no other website can. Here, is a genuine picture of the incident in which Jonathan Woodgate got his face smashed in.
Some FA cup thoughts tomorrow.
20.15 - A hard days slog will not silence the arseblogger. The overall tiredness might.
Got hold of some hi-res Arsenal images over the last few days, will stick a few of them up here at the weekend, when I have a moment to myself. Being not busy for ages, then incredibly busy all of a sudden is a right pain in the hole. I much prefer life when I can sit around and drink coffee and generally loaf about the place. This stupid reality is not suiting me at all.
Anyway, onto things Arsenal, and Patrick Vieira says he wants to stay and win the Champions League with Arsenal. Very positive news, previously he's been a bit guarded regarding his future, but this seems fairly unequivocal. Check out this story for more details.
He also says the squad are expecting a new goalkeeper and a striker. Richard Wright must feel great, but I can't help thinking if we'd had Dudek the league would be as good as won by now. I always thought Wright was error prone - he performed the greatest fresh air kick I've ever seen in professional football in the Worthington Cup against Birmingham last season or the season before when he played for Ipswich. The ball came bobbling back to him on the edge of his area, he took a swipe, completely missed and the Birmingham player nipped in and scored. He made a fanstastic penalty save (on his debut?) in the Champions League, and has played very well in some games, but for me he will always be the fresh air king.
Regarding the striker, I'm predicting the return of Anelka along with the departure of Wiltord and Kanu and the promotion of Aliadiere. Then again, I'm also predicting I'll fall asleep before I finish this sente.......................
22.20 - Robert Pires has won the much coveted...ahem....Sky Sports.com Player of the Year award.
Classic quote from Thierry Henry - "I want to see Spurs' penalty again because I want to have a laugh."
The Standard has an exclusive interview with Marc Roget, Patrick Vieira's agent. He speaks about PV and his other clients, and stronly denies having anything to do with last summer's stories about Vieira wanting to leave. Well, he would, wouldn't he?
A well written article does not hide the fact that this guy whored Vieira around the top clubs last summer, tried to destroy his relationship with Arsenal fans to facilitate a move (there are many Arsenal fans who still feel their staunch support of Paddy was tainted) and will probably do it all again this summer after the world cup. He already hints at his tactics in the interview when he says "..what is wrong if Patrick decides to stay at Arsenal and honour his contract? Why should he not be able to do that? Okay, Arsenal could sell him for more money this summer but would the supporters be happy with that? Why can't he stay as long as his contract allows him to stay? I can see nothing wrong in that, nothing at all."
He knows the club simply can't afford to let a £40m asset depreciate in value to £0 on a Bosman, therefore forcing them to sell. But of course, that will be Arsenal's choice - he would have nothing to do with it. For me, this bloke is a French Terry Venables, an absolute spiv with nobody's interests at heart but his own and his bank manager's. May he forever have an itch upon his scrotum.
01.05 - A couple of good articles in The Sun. First, a profile of Edu who is really beginning to shine in the centre of midfield, and second, a story that says Arsenal are going to sign Kevin Hofland from under the noses of Man Utd. He'll come as part of a package deal with Marc van Bommell, and it also says Arsene is hoping to buy Trezeguet, Barry Ferguson and Stephen Carr. Has someone at Arsenal won the lottery?
18.45 - Saw the highlights on Sky earlier on - funniest moment - when the ref gave our penalty and Tim Sherwood jumped up and down waving his arms like a child that's been told he can't have more ice-cream. How I laughed. I also laughed at Glenn Hoddle with his earpiece and microphone. Must be the first time a manager has called The Samiritans during a game.
Super cool penalty from Lauren, it was nice of Keller to fall out of the way though. He was talking about it on Sky this morning and he said he was very frustrated and the Sp*rs dressing room afterwards was like a morgue. Unlike the Arsenal dressing room - see the bottom of this Arseweb report.
Can anyone identify this footballer? Don't they have toilets at his club?
An A R S E B L O G bulletin. I have to do a course for my work which is going to take up a lot of time, so the updates may not be as frequent as they have been. I hope to do one per day still, but may miss a day or two here and there. So I apologise in advance, and normal service will be resumed ASAP.
22.00 - A few beers down the town and the heartbeat is back to normal. Some reaction to today's victory here.
Meant to post this earlier on, but forgot. A rather good interview with Tony Adams in the Guardian. And for some more Arsenal reading, check out this interview with our recently arrived Ivory Coast midfielder, Kolo Toure.
I'll have to wait till tomorrow to see the highlights on Sky, but for now, enjoy that post-Tottenham glow, and check out the league table.
18.15 - Arsenal 2-1 Sp*rs. (Ljungberg(24), Lauren(84) P - Sheringham (82) RFDP*)
Sorry for the lack of updates, but I was too nervous before the game to say anything without jinxing the result somehow.....
Back in March, somebody asked me to do a Lauren wallpaper, and I refused, coz I couldn't make up my mind if I liked him or not. At that time I wrote "So, for the moment, Lauren wallpaper is a non-runner. Of course, when he scores the goal that wins us the league, I might just revise my way of thinking....."
I think he might just have scored the goal that wins the league for us. 3 points was vital today and after they came back to 1-1 I feared the worst. Then the ref evened up the penalty count and with Henry off the pitch getting treatment, Lauren stepped up and drilled it down the middle.Expect a Lauren wallpaper ASAP.
2-1 to the Arsenal was the final score, after 4 light years of injury time. So, stick that up your arse Teddy, you might have won a load of medals playing for Man Utd, but I still hope you catch ebola. Sounded like a good performance today - Oleg sounded like he
had a stormer at the back and nearly scored, Edu was spraying
passes around like some kind of pass spreading machine, Henry
was causing mayhem, Wiltord was running around a lot doing bugger
all, Freddie was making those runs....and the radio coverage was
nerve wracking right to the very end.
I've run out of rizzlas - so I'm off down to the tabac. More later.
* = really fucking dodgy penalty
15.35 - Some good news, and some better news.
The good news is that Dennis Bergkamp has won the player of the month award for March. He looks like the Dennis of yore, creating chances, scoring great goals and generally running about with purpose rather than sitting on his arse looking for free kicks like he spent most of the last 2 seasons. Well done Dennis.
The better news is that the Houllier - Thompson (Clouseau - Pinocchio) double act has won the manager of the month award. Thankfully, the panel have completely ignored Arsene Wenger and Arsenal's impeccable league form, and put the hex on Liverpool now. I fully expect the curse of the manager of the month award to strike down the scousers. Hurrah.
11.19 - The nerves are starting already - Arsenal v Sp*rs tomorrow. A huge game for both clubs. For Arsenal it could be another 3 points on the way to the Championship, for Sp*rs it's a chance to put a dent in their old enemy's plans. Teddy Sheringham has said Sp*rs season is not over because they will have '..a big say in the Championship' as they still have to play Arsenal and Liverpool.
A R S E B L O G translation: We'll play our socks off against Arsenal, but won't bother our arses against Liverpool.
Sheringham has also told Hoddle not to subsitute him. I think I can speak for every Arsenal fan when I say I hope that doesn't happen either. I would much prefer to see him carried off on a stretcher in a full body cast, the poxy fucker.
From Keith re: Stadium names - how about Arsenal at 'The Smith and Wesson Stadium' or 'The Canon Complex'? Love the last one. Thanks Keith.
23.45 - Totally non-Arsenal related and a bit of an odd request, but if anyone is a bit of an expert on search engines and wouldn't mind answering a question for me, please drop me a mail. Ta.
21.18 - With a new stadium on the way for Arsenal, it's with much trepidation that we see Leicester City's new ground called "The Walkers Bowl". What if Arsenal decide to go for this corporate sponsorship thing? Granted, it's a way of raising cash for a project that's gonna cost hundreds of millions, but can you honestly look at 'The Lurpak Stand' at Elland Road without laughing?
After the tradition of Highbury, can we accept the 'Nike Arsenal Stadium' or the 'Blu-Tak Arsenal Arena'?
Would Liverpool move to the 'Kwik-fit hubcap Stadium', or Spurs to the 'Armitage Shanks Bowl'?
If Arsenal do go down the road of stadium sponsorship, who's name would you like to see, or would you rather it didn't happen at all? Let us know.....
For all you Championship Manager addicts - take a look at this.
12.25 - Watched Liverpool's bore their way to victory in the Champs League last night. They are so dull these days - effective, but dull. It makes the prospect of an all English semi-final against Manchester United a distinct possibilty. It's just a shame one of them will have to win that match. Franz Beckenbauer gives his tuppence worth on Liverpool here.
The latest of a huge line of goalkeepers to be linked with Arsenal is Vallodolid's Ricardo - is there a keeper we haven't been linked with?
Take a look at this, might take a while if you have a slow connection, but it's worth it.
12.05 - The A R S E B L O G spies have been out and about, and we can exclusively reveal to you, Sp*rs confirmed line-up for the crunch game on Saturday.
09.27 - After wondering yesterday if Arsenal players were internet friendly I received the following email:
this is Igor Stepanovs and I love to read your site. If you want to do an interview with me, meet me at 12 midnight at Finsbury Park and I'll give you an exclusive you'll never forget. Nudge Nudge - Wink Wink
Quite. Anyway, the fact that the email address contained the words 'ihategooners' was a bit of a turn off I have to say. That said, we are always glad to get your emails, so feel free to get in touch.
00.29 - Ashley Cole's injury isn't thought to be serious, which is good news. He's gonna miss the game against Sp*rs on Saturday and won't get to play against his old pal, Ledley, but should be fit after that.
Deportivo the non-trying Spaniards 0-2 Manchester United.
A good and bad night for United and Beckham - he scored a brilliant goal, then got chopped in half by Diego Tristan in the last minute and picked up what looked like a nasty injury. Roy Keane had already been taken off with a suspected hamstring problem and could be out for 4 weeks.
Now, obviously this has an impact on Arsenal, as Keane and Beckham have both been outstanding for United recently. I wouldn't wish injuries on any player...well....I used to wish injuries on opposition players all the time, then all of our players got injured, so I stopped. Stopping seems to have done the trick eh?
Will Fergie's men be as effective with Keane and Beckham? They could definitely handle the loss of one, but both of them might be too much. Now, I just need somebody to hide Gerard Houllier's asprin and the title is ours.
10.35 - After his comments yesterday, it seems Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has a bigger role planned for ex-gunner, Manu Petit.
09.00 - Just watched the goals from the Charlton game, courtesy of www.arsenal-mania.com.
What a tackle from Sol Campbell in the run up to the first, and Henry's pace is too much for any defender. He seemed to enjoy the goal, as he ran away pumping his arms then booted the corner flag right out of the ground before showing off his 'Gio, Robert - thinking of U' t-shirt again.
I was thinking the other day about which members of the Arsenal squad would be internet friendly. These are young guys with lots of time on their hands, do they trawl the Arsenal websites to see what the fans are saying about them? Do they go to the message boards and join the mailing lists? Are they reporting back to their team-mates what they have read? Do they all have shiny new iMacs?
Are there any Arsenal players reading this? If so, how about an exclusive interview with A R S E B L O G? Go on, you know you want to...
I'll just sit back and wait for the emails to roll in.
00.15 - So most of you twigged the fact that the Kluivert story was an April Fool's joke. Maybe it had just about enough credibility to be believable for a few minutes, but 'twas fairly see through really. However, not everybody realised it was a joke. Certainly not the major 'soccer' website that emailed to ask me to comment on the story.
That aside, I got plenty of emails about it, and there were some choice comments, a few of which I'll reproduce for you here. Names have been omitted for obvious reasons.....
"You f****ing w*nker, Kluivert is going to Liverpool. Arsenal are piss"
"That fax looks like something you just made up, but I can't figure out why you'd do that, so I'm assuming it's real"
"Kluivert is spelled wrong you dummy. It's actually spelled Kluivert" - which is exactly what I had.
"Nobody uses fax anymore."
"If Kluivert is coming to Arsenal, do you know how I can get some tickets?"
"you stupid prick arseblog prickhole you wont win do you hear you wont win"
So there you go. Next year I'll have to do it on March 31st so it won't be so obvious. Of course, telling you about it is fairly obvious......
Before I go, have a look at this - quite cool - and they don't make footballers like this anymore.
18.33 - Charlton 0-3 Arsenal (Henry 15, 25 Ljungberg 20).
It could have been a tricky one today against Charlton who haven't lost a game against London opposition all season. Arsenal fans don't need reminding of the 4-2 at Highbury.
Again, another accomplished performance and we won the game in 10 minutes in the first half. Henry scored on 15, Freddie picked up a rebound from a Bergkamp shot to make it 2-0 and Henry again in the 25th minute after some good work by Wiltord.
So we go top of the league, a point ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand. 3 points against Spurs on Saturday and we're really in with a great chance.
Regarding the Kluivert story below, I've haven't heard anything from Arsenal or from Barcelona, which is odd......
00.15 - Welcome to a brand new month on A R S E B L O G - and what an EXCLUSIVE we have for you. If you read yesterday's update, you'll know I've spent most of today looking around for a document that I had heard rumours of on Friday.
A few calls to some journalist friends and some sweet talking and I have what I was looking for. I thought about checking with somebody in a legal capacity about whether or not I should put this on the site or not. Having thought about it myself, I figured they'd probably tell me not to do it, so I have ignored the little voice in my head that speaks with caution and reason. Here's the story - Arsenal and Real Madrid are locked in a transfer war over Patrick Kluivert.
Some time early last week, Arsenal faxed a bid for Patrick Kluivert to Barcelona. I'm unsure of the exact date. On Friday, Joan Gaspart faxed a return to David Dein accepting the bid. A R S E B L O G has a copy of Gaspart's fax to David Dein. I can't say from which end I have obtained this document as it will place my source under great pressure, and I am expecting to hear from both clubs when this goes live on the site, so it may not stay up too long.
The fax tells Arsenal that their bid has been accepted, but that there is also another bid on the table from an un-named club. However, it seems fairly obvious that the other club is Real Madrid as the fax says at one point"...the board and everyone at FC Barcelona would prefer him (Kluivert) to go to Arsenal".
I have tried to contact Arsenal's press department, but given the time I received this document, and it being Easter weekend, I have been unable to get any sort of comment from the club about this. I would imagine they will have to make some kind of statement when word of this gets around.
I did wonder whether or not to even put this on the site, because obviously it may affect the deal going through, but you don't come across stories like this every day. Hopefully it all works out, because Kluivert is a player I would love to see at Arsenal.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Here is the fax.
One small note, I've changed the way the date is displayed for each day. From now on, you'll find the latest update underneath the date, rather than working up the way it did before.
Right, on with the show, folks.