april 30th

09.09 - Hmmm, where to start today.

Robert Pires I suppose. In today's Sun he talks about Patrick Vieira's injury and how a club like Arsenal should not have to play an injured player for 2 months. Pires says "Pat has taken risks with his knee for nearly two months for the good of the team. That is a magnificent thing for him to have done. But it is something a club like Arsenal should be able to avoid."

True enough, and I think if it had been any other player, they wouldn't have played as much. But this is the captain, the leader, Henry's goals aside he's the most important player in the team. A player who makes tackles, Robert.

Bob then goes on to say "I want to stay but I would like to know the club's ambitions for next season and the following ones. That's because what we have done in the Champions League and during the end of the season shows we need reinforcements."

Again, true enough to a point, but I seriously have to question the timing of these remarks. It may be a tall order to win the Championship now, but keep going until the very end for fucks sake. Then say what you have to say. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if the club didn't offer Pires a new contract. He's been talking about wanting to stay for ages now, and so far there has been no movement from the club to hand him a new deal. There were rumours last week about Valencia as well. We'll see. In the meantime though, keep yer trap shut and play football.

Thierry Henry expresses an opinion that many an Arsenal fan will share. He says "Against Bolton we conceded two goals in 10 minutes, that's the story of our season – we do not know how to hold a lead. If Manchester win the title we will have given them a present." I would beg to differ, there's a difference between not knowing how to hold a lead, and not being capable of holding a lead. What's required is a better and more organised defence. George Graham is doing bugger all these days - let him lose with the back 4.

Anyway, the summer will no doubt be the usual frenzy of transfer speculation, made up rumours, second-hand information and plain lies...and that's just on Arseblog. The tabloids will be 10 times worse. And it's starting already - according to the Guardian, Arsenal will bring in £4m Freddie Kanoute from West Ham, a move which will spell the end for Dennis Bergkamp and Nwanko Kanu's Arsenal careers. A source close to Kanoute said "He is going to Arsenal."

Thomas Sorenson to Leeds. Paul Robinson to Arsenal. All sorted. Provided Leeds don't get relegated. Then it will simply be Robinson to Arsenal. Who cares about Sorenson?

Finally, fingers crossed we don't pick up any injuries in tonight's ridiculous international friendly matches. Stupid cunting international football. Ban it now.


april 29th

08.57 - "I wish we'd beaten Bolton" - Thierry Henry.

The goalmeister says he'd gladly have swapped his PFA Player of the Year award for 3 points against Bolton. Quite frankly, I'd swap my first born to get the 3 points against Bolton back, but it ain't gonna happen. Still, Terry is defiant about the title race not being over yet, saying "It is a fact that the league is not in our control any more and that if United win both their games they will be champions. But we have to keep going and keep the pressure on them right to the final day."

He also talks about Wayne Rooney 'doing us a favour'. Let's face it, stranger things have happened, it's just down to whether or not Arsenal can keep it going until the final day of the season. John Sadler tends to write an awful lot of stinking, fetid crap. This article is no different, but he does make a good point about Matthew Upson and how much we could do with him in the squad now. He could save us from this, as Arsenal's injury crisis threatens any chance of holding onto the title. Both the Sadler and McArra articles may have been written by blokes you wouldn't piss on if they were on fire, but the point about not investing enough in the defence is unarguable really.

Some information regarding transfer targets Ronaldinho and Philip Mexes, both linked with moves to Arsenal this summer, can be found in this Guardian piece. Contrary to rumours, Mexes has not bought himself out of his Auxerre contract, but it seems that the £1.4m buy-out clause does exist, and Auxerre only realised this 2 days after the contract had been signed. They went mental and have been asking the French league to rescind the contract, which has left Mexes less than impressed. "When you sign a contract it should be the end of the story. It's not in Auxerre's interest that this all comes out in public and it's difficult for me to imagine staying at Auxerre after this season."

He may not be top of the line, but from all reports this kid could be something special, and if AW wants to sort out our defence long-term without spending a hugh amount, this could be the place to start. He has long been coveted by the evil-empire though, so expect Funguson to make a bid to take him to Manchester.

Boo-fucking-hoo. Prick.

When you stir a cup of tea, do you stir clockwise or anti-clockwise?


april 28th

08.55 - This week could be quite insufferable as Arsenal's title chances all but disappeared at White Hart Lane yesterday. Typically, Spurs held out just long enough to make me think they might just sneak a draw, but United had too much for them in the end. A win for United against Charlton on Saturday would put them 8 points clear and you'd have to think there was no coming back from that.

Scant consolation after such a promising season is that Arsenal players dominate the PFA Players team of the year. Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry are all selected, while we have to say congratulations to Thierry Henry who was named PFA Player of the year. Thierry says "This means a lot to me because the other players have voted for me." It's well deserved too.

Transfer speculation around Arsenal will be intense this summer I suspect, and it's started already. According to Planet Football, Arsenal want to sign Banik Ostrava striker Michal Papadopulos. No, I've never heard of him either but he's Czech and according to quote attributed to AW in the Czech press "He will be a star within a year." Also on the cards is a move for his Czech mate, goalkeeper, Peter ..er...Cech. Agent Pavel Zika says "Wenger and other people can't understand the fact that Petr Cech is the best (keeper in the world) now, when he is just 20. It's interesting. They are not sure with Petr Cech but, with Papadopulos, they want to sign a contract immediately. Michal attended a training session with Arsenal on Wednesday, and Wenger was very pleased."

Could well be just agent speak, but it would be no surprise to see AW shopping in Woolworths rather than Harrods this summer.

Freddie Ljungberg feared he'd broken his leg on Saturday against Bolton. Watching the replays of the challenge, I thought he broken it too. It was a nasty challenge by Okocha (of course Walrus face Allardyce had nothing to say about that coz it wasn't spoon fed to him over a game of golf by 'Sir' Alex) - and as we've reported earlier, it seems unlikely he'll play again this season. An interesting piece in relation to the Bolton game and some of the inconsitencies of the FA on ANR, written by Ian Grant.

Of course the miracle sitatuation is that it all goes down to the final day of the season, and in some kind of roundabout karma type thing, Wayne Rooney scores a wonder goal in the last minute to give Everton a win while a late Gilberto 40 yarder wins the title for the Gunners. The big question is, with the injuries we've got, can we keep it alive until the final day? There's no point defending now, mostly because we're not very good at it, so it's all-out attack from here till the end of the season.

Here's my predictions for the last 3 league games: Arsenal 8-5 Leeds; Arsenal 7-6 Southampton; Sunderland 12-15 Arsenal. Could be fun.


april 27th

09.08 - Quite rightly, Arsene Wenger is a legend and well loved by Arsenal fans. His achievements have been fantastic, his witty, edrudite style a complete contrast to the gum-chewing foul-mouthed British manager and he's changed the way Arsenal play football, making us nice to look at instead of dour, boring and merely functional.

He does make some odd decisions at times though, and yesterday, no matter how much anyone wants to try and defend it, his substitutions were all wrong. When Freddie was injured, Dennis should have come on. Cardinal rule number 1 -don't disturb the back 4 when you don't have to. Especially don't disturb it with a player who has hardly kicked a ball in 3 months.

I like Oleg, he's super, thanks for asking - but Dennis should have come on and Wiltord should have gone right side. Then when Lauren got injured, he left Dennis on the bench again and put on Gio van Bronckhorst - another player who has hardly played any football recently. Once Pires moved to the right, they killed us down that side of the pitch, partly because Oleg was unable to pick up the pace of the game at all, and partly because Bob decided not to tackle anyone. Maybe his ankle injury hasn't healed properly, but I lost count of the number of time he jumped out of the way rather than challenging for the ball.

I'm loath to go any further with all this, because it's not all over yet. Funny things happen in football, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that United could drop points between now and the end of the season. Once it's all done and dusted I'll write something about the future of the team and how I think we need to freshen things up a bit.

Of course, even if United do drop points, we have to win all our games, and the bad news in the injury front is that Freddie and Lauren appear to be out for the season, while Pascal Cygan has a small chance of making a comeback before the Cup Final. That means problems at the back, with an unfit Martin Keown the only central defender worth talking about on our books. Selling a Mr M.Upson was another strange AW decision, but regular readers will know my feelings on that one. We could see Oleg or Igors at centre half, and Toure at right back. Maybe Oleg will score the winner in the cup final. Maybe I'll win the fucking lottery.

All we can do now is hope Spurs don't take it too far up the arse today and lose by a hatful. Then we can sacrifice things to the Gods to enable Charlton or Everton to nick a point or 3 from Man Utd.

Still, there is the comfort of knowing Sir Alex is as thick as a German sausage - as illustrated brilliantly on the forum by Tom.

Online 'Rock, paper, scissors' - amusing enough to keep you away from the Sunday papers. Or not. Have a good one, although I suspect too many people have sore heads for that...


april 26th

16.26 - Bolton 2-2 Arsenal (Wiltord, Pires)

Oh dear - or to put it another way - shit fuck snatch piss wank arse cunt bollocks twat fanny spunk goat-sodomy fisting shitebag.

2-0 up and cruising with less than 15 minutes to go, and we blew it. Not only has this cost us 2 points today, but it means that for the first time in a long time, it's no longer in our hands.

Bolton worked hard and the first half was pretty poor from Arsenal, but two early goals in the second half should have been enough. We weren't helped by losing Freddie, Cygan (who did well) and Lauren through injury, but that's no excuse.

The players who came in are more than experienced enough. Despite 6 minutes of injury time - the longest I've ever seen in a Premiership match - Arsenal couldn't find a winner, and the title looks almost impossible now.

I would love to be able to analyse this result, but at the moment I can't even bear to think about it. Essentially we gave away sloppy goals and we took our foot off the pedal at 2-0. Now we have to rely on somebody else taking points off Man Utd, and I just can't see that happening. As usual, Tottenham will roll over like the bitches they are tomorrow, and then Charlton and Everton....I don't see them dropping any points at all.

Obviously it's not all over yet, but it's going to take something Anfield '89-esque in terms of drama and excitement for us to hold onto the Championship now.

 


april 25th

April 25th

08.59 - Arsenal's hopes of having Sol Campbell available for the final games of the season have all but disappeared as, according to The Telegraph, the FA's video advisory panel have decided to uphold referee Mark Halsey's decision. Fucksocks. May I suggest you start lighting some candles now, and saying rosaries and novenas, to ensure Martin Keown stays fit....or else we could have Uncle Fester and the Latvian Lurch at the back.

It really doesn't bear thinking about.

Whoever decided it would be good to have friendly internationals at this stage of the season, should be skinned alive, rolled in salt, doused in their own piss, and dragged along a cobbled street from the back of a horse, all the while being forced to listen to Phil Collins via a small earpiece. Freddie Ljungberg says he'll be 'unpopular' at Arsenal if he goes to play for Sweden, but what choice does he have? Clubs are at the mercy of the national sides in situations like this, which of course is a load of pigshit, so if Sweden says he has to go, he has to go.

France are playing, so Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Robert Pires will have to go, as will Gilberto who's got to go all the way to Mexico. At this stage of the season, with the games so important, it's simply ludicrous. The sooner international football is resigned to the 2nd rate scrapheap it belongs on, the better. A full list of international call-ups is available here from arsenal.com.

Good news for tomorrow is that Seaman, Cole and Keown are all available. Vieira is not however, and he's struggling to be fit for Leeds. Edu is out for the season, so Ray Parlour should continue in midfield.

Loads of speculation about David Beckham in today's papers, which makes this story all the more interesting. It seems Ferguson is willing to get shot of Giggs as well, as he lines up a bid for Harry Kewell, and looks to partner van Nistelrooy with Dutch team-mate Patrick Kluivert.

But fear not Gooners, we've got some serious transfer gossip of our own - according to this 'arse' yesterday, the deals for Rustu, John Terry and...get this...Ronaldinho are as good as done. Looks like Arsenal might splash the cash in the summer.

I'll believe it when I see it though.


april 24th

08.53 - Funnily enough, heading to work yesterday evening, I saw a bus full of school children being set upon by a dragon, a roc, a killer unicorn and a pack of dwarf clowns. A little voice in my head told me I should help me. I ignored it, natch.

Yesterday's Pires to Valencia story isn't worth commenting on except to say to this Presidential candidate, 'Chupe mierda de mi culo, hijo de puta'.

Let's hope this doesn't stop Arsene going out and buying a really good centre-half this summer. I reckon the boss is just talking the talk, which is fair enough. There are some whispers that we've been talking to Jaap Stam. Could we not just buy somebody with hair?

Arsenal should hear today whether or not Sol Campbell will have to serve a 4 match ban, effectively ruling him out for the season.

Thierry Henry is ready to lead the charge for the title. He says "I feel good because the manager has been able to rest me in some matches this season and I have felt the benefit. I feel I can go out there and keep scoring and I know that it is important that I do."

Obviously not all the responsibility lies with him, we could do with a few more goals from Dennis as well, whose season has been less than prolific. Freddie seems to be scoring a few at the moment, and surely Gilberto will get his first Premiership goal before the end of the season. In Premiership terms, he could be the new John Jensen you know.

Away from football, kudos to the bloke who hacked Madonna's website. Serves her right. Her new song is like holding an amplified stylophone too close to a concert speaker, and then processing through Daft Punk's arse... "ooooh, bleeep sounds', how original. The Onion - hahaha.

Finally for today, another question. You are playing for Arsenal against Man Utd. The final game of the season, there's 20 minutes to go. It's 1-0 to the Arsenal. Enough to win the league. 1-1 would give the title to them. Suddenly, van Nistelrooy is steaming clear, you're the last man chasing him, but you're not going to get in front of him to make a tackle.

You have two choices, do you 1 - rely on the ability of your goalkeeper and hope he can make a vital save, while making life as difficult as possible for the Dutchman to make a shot, or 2 - chop the cunt down outside the box Willie Young style, knowing that it's going to be a definite red card and your team will have to defend their lead with 10 men?

I have to say it's number 2 all the way for me.....


april 23rd

08.59 - Watch out for them dragons today.

The FA have called for a video of Sol Campbell's sending off against Manchester United. What exactly does 'calling for a video' entail? Does the head of the FA summon a young employee, and say "You there, fetch me a video of yon incident", or do the clubs have to provide the tape? Either way, Arsenal's hopes of having Campbell available fro the final few games of the season rest with the FA's video advisory panel.

*gulp* - we should know something late today, or tomorrow.

There's not a whole lot else that's Arsenal related going on today actually. Turns out Glenn Roeder had a stroke, explained in Evetacular detail in yesterday's arses.

Manchester United take on Real Madrid tonight, and far from wishing them bad luck, I hope they manage to sneak a winner in the very last minute of extra-time, taking them through to the semi-finals. Then I hope they win that semi-final with winner in the last minute of extra-time, then I hope they lose the final in front of their own fans at their own ground on penalties with Ruud van Nistelrooy missing his first ever Man Utd penalty in Brian McClair style.

Leeds won yesterday against Fulham, not sure if that's good or bad. Good because it means they're safe now, more or less, bad because it means Bolton really do need something from the game on Saturday. Anyway, whoever you play at this stage of the season, whether they're scrapping for survival or looking for a European place or just playing for pride, it's going to be a tough game. Arsene Wenger says Arsenal need maximum points to clinch the title. Not only that, I reckon we need maximum points and need to give somebody a 3 or 4 goal spanking on the way.

See what happens when Overmars tackles?

Finally, if you had to choose between saving a bus full of school children from being eaten by a dragon or Arsenal winning the Double, what would you choose?


april 22nd

08.56 - So yesterday's results weren't as kind as I'd hoped they'd be. Bolton picked up a point against Blackburn, but West Ham beat Boro 1-0. That means Bolton still need soemthing from the game on Saturday, and should Leeds lose against Fulham today, that would leave them only 3 points above the relegation place and it means they'll be scrapping (more than usual) for points.

West Ham manager Glenn Roeder was taken to hospital after their game yesterday with chest pains. I suspect it's the shock of actually seeing his team win a game. Anyway, we wish him a speedy recovery.

James Lawton writes about Arsene Wenger in The Independent, saying his 'hypocrisy is simply without bounds' as the Arsenal manager tries to have Sol Campbell's ban overturned or at least reduced. He says Wenger fails to see Keown or Cole play-acting or some 'gut wrenching venom from Dennis Bergkamp'. Far be it for me to accuse a veteran sports writer of talking shite, but Lawton's fatness, and quite probably his cholesterol, are simply without bounds.

If you want hypocrisy, look no further than "Sir" Alex Ferguson, whose bleating about being worried about the prevelance of elbows in the modern game would have had them rolling in the aisles if he'd been on stage. Roy Keane was sent off for a deliberate elbow this season, David Beckham deliberately elbowed Lee Bowyer and Ruud van Nistelrooy deliberately elbowed Fulham's Legwinski before scuttling up the pitch to score last month. If he can't see the difference between Campbell's 'elbow' and those of his own player, I suggest he gets stronger glasses. Or he could tear his own eyes out. Either way suits me fine.

That new Honda ad (low res Flash version here) - they say it was all done in one shot, although it did take something like 600 attempts to get it all correct. How do they make the tyres roll up a ramp then, if not without some kind of camera trickery, and if they're using camera trickery, why did they need 600+ takes?

Finally, some classic Merson quotes, via Danger Here (love that front page pic and caption of Fergie as well).


april 21st

11.19 - Oh man, the summer has arrived here. It's roasting today. Sweet.

Lots of people have been fullsome in their praise of Pascal Cygan's performance against Boro on Saturday. Now, you all know I've been most dubious about his ability to withstand the rigours of Premiership football, and I'm not going to start praising him now just because he had a game without some sort of disastrous error. We'll see how he goes in the last few games of the season before there are any olive branches issued from here. Still, AW reckons 'he's the one'.

Having seen the highlights of the Boro game, there is no difference between the incident involving Freddie Ljungberg and Nemeth, and the Campbell - Solskjaer one. Make of that what you will.

Arsenal are convinced Solskjaer has been 'gagged' by United and is not allowed say the incident was accidental. Which is fairly normal I would have thought. Would Arsenal speak up on behalf of Ruud van Nistelcunt if the situation was reversed? I would be pretty pissed off if they did....or I'd wait until the end of the season to do it. Just to be really annoying.

Ray Parlour says 'It's all in our hands' as he discusses his performance and Arsenal's win against Boro. According to some sources, Razor was seriously pissed off at not even making the bench for the Man Utd game, but he put those differences behind him as he captained the side on Saturday. He may not be the quickest, the best passer, or the most creative, but he brings something to the team that all the Samba skills and Ooo La La don't - lots and lots of running around and tackling at top speed. He hasn't scored since the cup final last year either, so he's due a goal or two surely.

Right, here's hoping the results at the bottom of the table go our way today. I think I might sit outside in the sun for a bit.


april 20th

11.59 - Happy Easter to you all. May your eggs be chocolately and sweet and any raising from the dead after being crucified on Friday go really well for you.

3 points was an absolute must yesterday and having seen Thierry Henry fire a free kick practically out of the ground against that lot on Weds, I was privately ruing the fact we don't have a consistently good free kick taker. Then up pops Tel and scores a cracker yesterday. Today I am privately ruing the fact we don't have anyone who can score a hat-trick in each of the last 4 matches.

A good win for Bolton yesterday leaves them 6 points and plenty of goal difference clear of the final relegation spot, occupied by poor old Dead Kenny's West Ham. Looks like Roland Rat has fucked you good and proper mate. And Joe Cole is off to prison. If Bolton can beat Blackburn on Monday and West Ham lose to Boro, it would make the Trotters mathematically safe by the time we play them on Saturday. Which can only be good for us, I suppose. I hope.

Robert Pires talks about signing a new Arsenal contract, while The Grimster's move to America seems to have hit a few snags. He never seemed like the sort to cause trouble when at Arsenal, he was quite happy to play when needed without moaning. Maybe it's because he was a smaller fish in a big pond, so to speak.

Finally for today, just to let you know the members area has undergone some work and has tons of new features and cool stuff. It only costs $20 to join. See here for more. Be one of the cool people, you know you want to...


april 19th

17.59 - Middlesboro 0-2 Arsenal (Wiltord, Henry)

At this stage of the season, listening to football on the radio is like sliding down a razor blade and using your balls for brakes.

It's still on.


april 18th

10.26 - Bad news for Sol Campbell as referee Mark Halsey declares himself 'happy' with the red card decision. Not as happy as Sir Alex mind you, but happy all the same. Arsenal will still appeal using the transcript below as evidence. The real one of course, not the childish home-erotic one. Or will they?

Arsenal have accused Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of 'making the most' of the Campbell challenge. Sol said "...he got up straight away and if I'd really elbowed him one he'd have struggled." Which is exactly the point I made here. Also, Ruud van Nistelrooy ran over to the linescunt making an elbowing gesture. You didn't see Arsenal players running around making punching gestures after his bodyshot on Freddie last season. Anyway, it's going to go to the video panel, and seeing as it normally takes them 3 months to do anything more than pick their arses, Sol's ban should come into effect sometime during the summer.

Better news concerns Patrick Vieira. It had been feared he'd be out for the season, but it now seems as if he's just going to miss 2 weeks, ruling him out of the games against Bolton and Boro.

Despite the prospect of missing two of our most important players, the rest of the lads are defiant. Thierry Henry talks about scoring more scrappy goals, Freddie Ljungberg says the players definitely believe they can do it, while Robert Pires says "We have two titles to defend - the Premiership and the FA Cup - and we'll defend them to the finish."

There really is very little between the teams at the moment - and it's being suggested that should things finish level on goal difference, goals scored, goals against, games won, size of choppers etc, that a play-off could be needed to decide the winner of the championship. If that happens, it'll time to break out the lithium. I'm not sure I could cope...

Arsenal will wear red in the Cup Final against Southampton. Hurrah.

Right, finally, you might notice most of this month is missing. It's not missing, it's just moved. I haven't quite figured out where I'm going to move it to though, so I'll keep you posted on that one. Also, we're trialling something at the moment for the members area where you can subscribe and receive Arseblog via email each day. Will keep you up to date on that one too.


april 17th

14.19 - With thanks to StevieC...

 

 

08.59 - The game may have finished 2-2, but there's still plenty to talk about. They took the lead through Ruud van Nistelrooy after a mistake by Sol Campbell. We equalised early in the second half when Ashley Cole's shot deflected off Thierry Henry - it's got to be Ashley's goal in my opinion - and we went 2-1 up when a marvellously offisde Thierry Henry picked up a pass from Gilberto and stuck it past Barthez. A lack of concentration at the back let Giggs score almost straight away. 2-2 and all to play for at that stage.

Then came the big talking point. Sol Campbell came back and won the ball from Solskjaer. He took it up the line and realising that the Norwegian was behind him, stuck his arm out to protect the ball before he hoofed it up the park. I don't think he realised how close Solskjaer was and there was contact. The Utd player went down like he'd been shot, the linesman, who according to this article is a policeman who was able to cope with the stress of a running a line at a Premiership game but not at his own job, told ref Mark Halsey it was a deliberate elbow. The ref had no choice but to give a red card with that info. He's also one of the assistants for the Cup Final. Hurrah.

Now, while I will accept there was contact, I don't accept that Sol swung an elbow at him deliberately. If he had done, they'd still be picking up Solksjaer's teeth from the Highbury turf. For an example of a deliberate elbow, see Beckham on Bowyer earlier this season, or RVN on Legwisnksi a few weeks ago. "Sir" Alex might do well to remember that before he treads on our pitch to shake the referee's hand.

According to AW, Sol is 'destroyed' as he'll get a 4 match ban for this, he misses the last 3 league games against Leeds, Southampton and Sunderland and of course, the FA Cup final. Arsenal will appeal, the referee has said he'll look at it again, but I'm not confident anything will change. It means that we'll have to play either Oleg or Gilberto in the centre of defence - I can't even contemplate playing Cyganovs. It might be neck and neck, but some people think that without Campbell we've got no chance. It's certainly going to be more difficult, but not impossible. All we have to do is match their results and goals per game. 5 wins should bring us the title. Although we'll have to score a few goals as Sp*rs will do their usual trick of rolling over.

Lost in the red card madness is the news that Patrick Vieira will definitely miss the Middlesboro game with a recurrence of his knee injury. "There is never a good time to lose Patrick," said AW. "But we have to be realistic. If he cannot really play, it's unfair to put him on the pitch and say you play."

So, 2-2 was probably fair enough on the night. The consequences of the Campbell sending off are yet to be seen. He's a big loss. What would you give for Matthew Upson now? I'd certainly trade a bald Frenchie and ginger Latvian, that's for sure.

Time to concentrate on ourselves now, forget about Man Utd and make one final push for the title.


april 16th 2003

08.59 - Ahead of tonight's game comes the rumours that the Ashburton Grove stadium project has beens scrapped. There's been nothing official to confirm or deny this from the club yet, but on the Arsenal mailing list a spokesman for AISA (Arsenal Independent Supporters Association) said: "Up to now we've refrained from commenting on all the various rumours, including copy in the Standard and trade press. We don't have any official access to information but very local sources now indicate that there is some bad news on the horizon. Expect an announcement of some kind tomorrow or very soon."

All we can do is wait and see what the club say, so I'll refrain from commenting on that, and move on to something far more important instead.

Arsenal v Man Utd tonight, at Highbury. A game that could go a long way to deciding the destination of the title. Pat Rice has dismissed any notions that Fergie's mind games work on the Arsenal players. He says "The players just laugh. It doesn't affect them one iota." While the United manager and various players continue their mouthing off to the press, Arsene Wenger does the talking for the Gunners and says "We want to be a team which makes history and achieves great things. We have something in front of us where we can do that. We don't have any fear. We are very positive about what we can achieve together."

We need big games from our big players tonight. We need Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira, Ljungberg and Pires to cause them problems up front, and we need Sol and Martin to be strong at the back. Can Freddie continue his great scoring record against them? Will van Nistelrooy punch anyone in the stomach again tonight? Will it be Wiltoooooooooooooord?

Tonight's performance will go a long way to convincing people that this Arsenal team is the real deal. A while ago people though the title was sewn up, there were Arsenal fans getting cocky. We only ever had a 5 point lead, and we all know what happened to Newcastle and their 12 points. Personally speaking, if we'd had a 28 point lead with 18 minutes of the season to go, I'd still be convinced there'd be some way of losing it.

I'm bricking it already.


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