Well, it’s almost like we never had a break this summer at all.
Normal service was resumed yesterday with a a 4-1 thumping of a pretty toothless Everton at Goodison Park. Goals from the evergreen Dennis Bergkamp, a flashing header from José, a typical Freddie finish from close range and Le Bob’s first of the season made it a fine opening day for the Gunners.
It was pretty obvious that proper match fitness is still a little bit away but we looked sharp, passed it well and always looked like we could step it up when need be. Mightily impressive in midfield was Cesc Fabregas whos performance displayed a maturity beyond his 17 years. The fact that he is only just 17 is a great indication of the talent he has and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Arsene Wenger. The boss says “Fabregas is mentally very hungry but he still a young boy physically, so we will have to protect him. However, the more they try to intimidate him, the more he comes back. He is good enough to be a regular now.”
I’m really looking forward to seeing more of him this season and I do think we’ve got a special talent on our hands here.
It’s strange to see Arsenal score 4 goals without Thierry Henry’s name being on the scoresheet, but his contribution was excellent nonetheless. Two ‘assists’, and it was his shot that Nigel Martyn spilt to allow the fourth to be scored. I think he’s probably still a couple of weeks away from full fitness too.
The boss also spoke about how the young players are going to push the senior players for their places in the team, adding a hunger to the squad that maybe you don’t get with a group of established senior players. He says “We have other youngsters — like Jermaine Pennant, Gael Clichy and Robin van Persie who are ready to become regulars. That is good because they’ll push the senior players. It is about finding the right balance but I wanted to open the door for the young talent at the club. That is why I allowed the likes of Martin Keown, Ray Parlour and Kanu to leave."
So, you couldn’t really ask for a better start to the season than that. Now we have a stupid round of internationals on Wednesday so fingers crossed all the Arsenal players involved in those and the U-21 games with come back unscathed.
So how was your weekend then?
I said I was going to do a bit of a preview for the season ahead, so here we go.
Squad: Obviously with Patrick Vieira staying our squad is stronger than we thought it was going to be, but we’ve lost some experience in the summer. Out have gone Keown, Parlour, Kanu, Wiltord, Jeffers, Stepanovs, but in have come van Persie, Flamini and Almunia, to add to the young guys like Cesc, Hoyte, Senderos and Clichy. Pennant is going to challenge in midfield, which can only be a good thing, Cole gets better every season, Gilberto looks fit and sharp and Kolo is ready to do it all again. We may lack a little nouse but we more than make up for it with pace and ability.
Even though they went through last season unbeaten this squad should still feel like it’s got something to prove. Become the first Arsenal team to win back to back titles. Get beyond the 1/4 finals of the Champions League. Do it playing the same kind of wonderful football we saw last season. The reason Manchester United were so successful for so long was because they were hungry for silverware every season. They knew there were no points awarded for being Champions the previous season. I’m sure Arsene Wenger has told the lads they won’t be resting on their laurels and we’ve got a core of ambitious young players who know they’ve got a chance to win a haul of medals in their careers with Arsenal at this time.
It’s a fantastic time for the club, we’ve already heard the scoffings of ‘Oh the most he’s spent is £3m on van Persie’ and even though we’re the team that went unbeaten Chelsea and their dirty money have been installed as favourites. Suits me.
Players to watch: Like everyone I think José Antonio Reyes is going to be the player to watch this season. We’ve been blessed to have a striker like Thierry Henry who has scored lots of goals consistently for the last 3 or 4 seasons, and it’s right to think that one of these seasons he might not be as prolific. If that happens I’m not worried because I think Reyes has the goals in him to negate the ill effects of any kind of slump in Theirry’s form. He’s fast, he’s now quite powerful having spent lots of time in the gym this summer, and his sheer enthusiasm and willingness to just attack people is a joy to watch.
Watch out for van Persie too. I have it on good authority that his free kicks are sensational, so if he gets a chance or two this season expect fireworks.
Finally there’s Cesc Fabregas who may not play as much as we thought he might with Vieira staying, but this lad is prodigious. Fast tracked to the first team at the age of 16, he’s going to feature quite a bit in the cups and after his display in the Community Shield the boss won’t be afraid to use him if needed. He reminds me of Pep Guardiola crossed with Norman Whiteside. He’s clever and not afraid. A real star in the making.
Discipline: The players know the importance of it and they’ll have learnt a lot from Old Trafford last season, but there’s nothing like a bit of a scrap to engender team spirit and that ‘us against them’ attitude that works so well. Expect something to kick off early enough in the season.
Top of the table: Last season I predicted us to finish first and it seemed to work. So obviously this season I’m going to do exactly the same. Arsenal top, followed by Chelsea, Manchester United then Liverpool. Boro and Birmingham could make Newcastle look over their shoulders as the established fifth team.
Bottom: Crystal Palace, Norwich and Everton. I’ve been predicting/hoping it would be Spurs for the last few seasons so I’m hoping by saying nothing it might just happen. I’d love to see Bolton go too.
First Arsenal player sent off: Patrick Vieira or Jens Lehmann
First Arsenal goal scorer: José Antonio Reyes
First manager to lose his job: I got Hoddle right last season, this time around I reckon it’ll be Sturrock at Southampton, followed by Kevin Keegan losing his rag, throwing another mickey-fit and walking out on Manchester City.
First new rule about offside: Sometime in October.
That’s it for the predictions. Some quick bits and pieces of news. Double-D on the whole Vieira saga – Arsenal are going to stop Edu and Gilberto playing in Brazil’s meaningless friendly against Haiti (uh oh, watch out for that voodoo, Arsene) - Kolo Toure has reportedly signed a new deal which will keep him at the club until 2009, while Sol Campbell is also expected to put pen to paper on a new contract.
Apart from that there’s nothing else going on. Apart from the first game of the season against Everton. Hurrah. Football is back. I can’t wait. More later.
Well, all the Vieira stuff is behind us once and for all. Until next summer at least.
I’m going to refrain from commenting on it any further. I think you all know my opinion on it, which I know some of you don’t agree with, but then that’s football. It would be very boring if we all had the same view on things. There are plenty of Vieira pieces in the news this morning, so if you haven’t already had enough of it you can sate yourself there.
Don’t kiss the badge – a Vieira piece not by me, but by regular Arser and Forumer Femaiden.
In all this hoo-ha I had been meaning to write some kind of a preview to the season, but I never got around to doing it. Maybe later I’ll have a few beers and thrash something out. That’s unless I have too many beers and I decide I can’t be arsed.
News ahead of tomorrow’s season opener against Everton is that Mathieu Flamini has received international clearance and may play, although the impressive Cesc Fabregas may retain his place after the Community Shield display which had many drooling (in a good way, not in an old man in a home kind of way).
Right, as it’s Saturday I have to go to the market and barter for my weekend grub. Have a good one till it all kicks off again tomorrow.
Well, it’s official now. Patrick Vieira is signing for Real Madrid...oh, wait. No, he’s not. Oh look, he’s decided to stay at Arsenal.
In a statement to Arsenal.con he said “I’ve spent the summer considering my future and a possible move to Real Madrid, but my love for Arsenal and the ties which I have here were too strong for me to break. I am proud to be captain of the Club and I’m looking forward to achieving my football ambitions with Arsenal.”
The statement from the club goes onto say “Patrick also wants to thank the Club for their patience and understanding during recent weeks and his decision is purely down to his desire to stay at Arsenal.”
Right. So it’s nothing to do with Vieira not being able to agree personal terms with Madrid. Nothing to do with them offering a wage below the Galacticos like Zidane, Raul, Beckham et al? That statement is best served with a very hefty pinch of salt.
You’ll forgive me if I appear a little cynical but our captain has been playing us along all summer long, trying to engineer a move to Madrid, and now we’re supposed to jump for joy because he’s deigned to stay with us. For the love, of course. Not for any other reason.
I stand by what I said earlier in the summer. Patrick Vieira wanted to leave Arsenal. He wanted to join Real Madrid. You may choose to believe it or not, but I know what I believe. Our captain, his agent and all the other assorted representatives have put the Arsenal fans through the mill this summer, not to mention the disruption he must have caused to the manager’s plans. Vieira’s behaviour was not acceptable for Arsenal’s captain and to my mind he’s made his position in that role untenable. We should have a new captain, one who is 100% committed to Arsenal Football Club, not one who’s staying only because the deal to go to Madrid didn’t work out for whatever reason.
That said we still have the services of one of the best midfielders in the world and our squad is undoubtedly stronger with him in, but Patrick Vieira has stained his reputation with lots of Arsenal fans. That’s all.
The main news this morning is that reports from Spain suggest that Real Madrid have broken off negotiations regarding Patrick Vieira. The reasons seem to vary from Vieira not being able to agree personal terms (unlikely) to Arsenal suddenly hiking the price up after already agreeing a fee. I doubt that story too. Dein is a shrewd negotiator, he’s not just going to ask for another €5m after supposedly reaching an agreement with them. Some reports say that Arsenal have even offered Vieira a huge pay increase and a contract extension to entice him to stay at the club.
In the Spanish press AS say that this whole story is reminiscent of the Ronaldo signing when Real broke off negotiations with Inter only for the player to end up at the Bernabeu. And would it be beyond the realms of possibility that this is another Madrid tactic to force the price down? Not at all.
Arsene Wenger is quoted as saying "I wouldn't say I am genuinely optimistic Patrick will stay. Today I would bet he would go rather than stay. But the deal with Real isn't done and if it's not done by this weekend, he is staying at Arsenal."
Whatever the truth of it this story has had more twists and turns than the Monaco Grand Prix, I’m utterly bored of it now and I just wish we’d get a definite conclusion to it one way or another.
In other news Freddie Ljungberg is hungry for silverware this season. He says “We're not thinking about remaining undefeated now, we're thinking about winning the Premiership again."
Harry Redknapp has had a pop at Arsenal for our half-hearted attempts to sign Michael Carrick from West Ham. He was on the verge of joining Portsmouth but Arsenal’s supposed interest messed with his head, now the lad doesn’t know what to do. It appears he’s so confused he might even join West Brom.
Norwich boss Nigel Worthington has tipped David Bentley to be a big star in the future. Our new DB is currently on loan in Alan Patridge country and Worhthington says “I can say, first and foremost, that I have been very impressed by the young man himself, you can see the ability he has got. He's has got lots of it."
So that’s that. It’s bound to be a busy day today, keep an eye on NewsNow and if anything big happens I’ll update here. Unless I’m lying around in the sun drinking, natch.
Note: Sorry for the server problems. It appears the rush for first arse each morning is making the database unstable and overload the server. I’m looking into a solution. At the moment we're without arses though. Sorry.
There’s very little going on this morning.
No further news on Vieira. No news on who, if anybody, is going to replace him. No news on the team selection for Sunday’s Premiership opener against Everton. No news at all really.
Which is a bit of a pisser.
So....erm....how ‘bout that weather we’re having?
If things don’t go well for Francis Jeffers at Charlton does anyone else think he should get into the cattle business and open ‘Jeffers’ Heifers?’ Just me then, fine.
If anything happens during the day, I’ll update. Meantime, some random thoughts from Kali. Later.
Fresh Arses. Update to follow.
Update: I’d love to tell you the delay in today’s update was because I was holding on until I got some confirmation of some big exclusive news, but it wasn’t because of that.
It wasn’t because I was getting my boiler fixed either. Or my car. Or moving house. It wasn’t anything to do with giant space ants, roaming packs of killer Labradors, the lead singer from T’Pau, Bod, a one eyed cat or exploding custard bombs.
What was it? Only time will tell. So you’ll just have to wait and see. Or not see. It may just be my little secret forever and ever.
So Francis Jeffers has gone to Charlton. We’ve got a decent few quid for him in the current market and given the fact he’s got a lot to prove at his new club. The fee is around £2.6m and he’s signed a two year deal with Alan Curbishley’s side.
Cesc Fabregas is happy with life at Arsenal and he reckons he’s learning a lot from the boss. He says “Wenger has helped me a lot, I am learning a lot of things with him and I have to see this year whether I have the luck to play more and learn more.”
Thierry Henry is likely to miss out on the season’s opener as he’s stillsuffering with an achilles problem. That means Dennis Bergkamp and José Antonio Reyes are likely to start up front. Speaking to El Mundo in Spain José has said how much he enjoys playing with Thierry Henry. Our number 9 says “It’s great playing with him. He’s the best player in the world and little by little we understand each other better.”
The latest from Spain on the Vieira saga is that the transfer should be completed for a fee of €33m. Apparently there was a problem with the wages offered, Vieira wanted the Galactico wage of €6m net, but Madrid would only offer €4.5m. Now some bollocky business about image rights means that’s all been sorted out. The sooner it’s made official the better now. I was reading back over some of the archives and this whole thing has been going on way too long now.
That’s it. I’m off to get some free frying pans. Don’t ask.
The shocking news this morning is that the giant Arsenal shirt is missing. It failed to return home after Sunday’s Charity Community Shield game and fears are growing it may have been shirtnapped. If you see a giant wearing an Arsenal shirt please contact Arsenal.con. Do not approach the giant as he might steal you and make you his dwarf helper. Be careful out there.
Bad news as well for Jeremie Aliadiere who looks set to miss most of the season with a ruptured cruciate ligament. The lad is very unlucky with injuries and we wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery.
Robert Pires has denied making any comments about Patrick Vieira leaving. In a statement released on Arsenal.con he said “I have never said a word about Patrick's situation - I have too much respect for him to give an opinion. As far as I know Patrick hasn't signed for Real Madrid. I really hope, as do all my team-mates, that he stays at Arsenal.”
It’s a strange one though as the article was written by Xavier Rivoire, the author of Pires’ biography. If there was one person you’d think wouldn’t just make up quotes and attribute them to Le Bob it would be him. Still, we have to take what he says at face value. The latest from the Spanish press this morning is that Vieira could be announced on Thursday as a Madrid player.
According to the Sun Arsenal and Charlton have agreed a fee for Francis Jeffers and the player will move subject to agreeing personal terms. Dennis Bergkamp on our young talent at the club. Joe Cole thinks Michael Carrick will play for England if he joins Arsenal. The sometime Chelsea midfielder says “Michael is a wonderful player and getting back to the Premiership will bring the best out of him again. It won’t be long before he is knocking on the door of the England squad again.”
Update: Standard says Carrick deal is off.
Not a whole lot more going on this morning. I just have to battle through the hell that is August in Spain – not weather wise, but trying to get anything that involves any kind of paperwork done. Hurrah.
Sorry, but hungoverness makes it short and sweet this morning.
We won the Charity Community Shield yesterday with a 3-1 win over Manchester United. Lots of good things to take from the game even if we have to say United were playing with their Champions League qualifier in mind. José Antonio Reyes looks like he’s really settled into the side and he was deservedly man of the match yesterday. He scored one, made one and waltzed through the United defence with a dribble that would have made Darren Huckerby proud before finishing into the side netting with a right foot shot that would have made Darren Huckerby proud. Can’t wait to see more of him this season.
Cesc Fabregas started in midfield, as we told you, and he didn’t even look slightly out of place.
He’s just 17 and his performance means he’s going to play quite a bit this season. Assured, calm on the ball, strong in the tackle and all round he looks very, very promising. Good stuff too from Jermaine Pennant who’s working very hard to make the most of his opportunity, and it’s nice to see. All in all a 3-1 win over United is always nice, but we can’t go all Houllier and claim this as a major trophy.
After the game Arsene Wenger made Patrick Vieira’s position clearer , saying “If Patrick is focused to leave, there will be an open door. He's got until Saturday to make up his mind.”
Robert Pires seemed to confirm Vieira’s departure when he spoke to somebody from some newspaper sometime last week. Le Bob says “All the players wanted Patrick to stay. Arsenal without Patrick will be very different... but we can adapt to a life without his leadership. This is not the end of an era.”
All I can say is that after seeing the fantastic young talent we’ve got at the club it makes it less easy to understand why Vieira wants to go to Madrid. Still, as AW said during the week “I think any player who leaves Arsenal makes a mistake.”
It looks like we’ll complete the signing of Michael Carrick today. Good player in my opinion, needs to work hard to make his mark on this Arsenal team though, but with him, Cesc, Edu, Gilberto and Flamingo we have good options in the centre of the park.
That's it. I have to go see a man about a dog.
A quick Sunday round-up for you.
AW has spoken about Madrid’s underhand tactics in trying to buy Patrick Vieira, and he’s not happy at all. He accuses them of not knowing what they want and making signings for commercial reasons. He’s ruled out a move for Porto’s Maniche and hinted that he’s going to sign a new contract at Arsenal which for me is the best signing we could ever make.
Ahead of today’s Community Shield, José Antonio Reyes talks to Guilleme Balague about life at Arsenal and how he felt so awful when he first arrived that he wanted to just go home. He’s happy now though and reveals that Thierry Henry and Lauren are his best friends in the Arsenal squad. David Bentley talks about his loan move to Norwich and how he’s glad to be playing regularly.
That’s about it at this stage. It’s Manchester United in Cardiff this afternoon (check out Demento's claim we didn't show 'championship form' last season - what a cock) and Cesc will start in midfield for us today. Let's seee how he goes against Royston. More later.
Where to start this morning?
With AW’s renewed talk of how he’s confident Patrick Vieira will stay and how he’d be making a mistake by leaving Arsenal? Does he really think Vieira will stay or is this just classic Wenger, making the player sweat and making it as difficult and awkward as possible for him to make the move he wants away from Arsenal? Why did we take two team photos yesterday – one with Vieira, one without? The headline in today’s edition of AS (Madrid friendly sports paper) is “ WENGER DECLARES WAR ” - using the same quotes you’ll find from yesterday’s press conference.
The boss said - “It's my personal opinion that Patrick will stay here. The player is not unhappy here. He has shown that for the past eight years. Players who leave Arsenal do not always go on to have success.”
However, we know that Vieira has said his good-byes to his team mates and Ashley Cole is quoted as saying “I suppose, though, after eight good years here, maybe he feels that it’s time to move on.”
The boss also admitted his interest in Michael Carrick yesterday, saying “Michael has always been a player I love. If we sign him it could happen even if Patrick stays - but nothing has been done on that front.”
So it drags on and on and on and on.
Robin van Persie on Dennis Bergkamp: "I've bought a DVD of him at Ajax and also of his 100 goals at Arsenal. It was quite amazing. I was watching it with a friend of mine and every goal I was saying 'Jesus'. It was unbelievable. I knew he was good but didn't know he was that good."
Let’s hope the little Dutchling makes the most of training and playing with Dennis and learns as much as possible from him.
Right, that’s it for today. More today if anything happens, but it’s the
Charity Community Shield tomorrow and it looks likely that Cesc, who will wear number 15 this season, could start for Arsenal in midfield. Should be fun.
Just a slight touch of an enormous hangover this morning, so this is probably going to be short and sweet.
It looks like there’s a fairly big problem between Arsenal and Real Madrid regarding the transfer of Patrick Vieira. According to Florentino Perez “We have made our offer to Arsenal and that is as far as it goes. We will not be raising it as they want so for the moment talks have broken down." jus
AW was quoted in L’Equipe saying “ I categorically deny that Arsenal have accepted any proposition from Real Madrid about Vieira. I won't say anything else."
So it drags on and on.
Better news though is that Freddie Ljungberg has insisted he’s staying with the Gunners. Speaking to Arsenal.con he said “I don't know where these stories about me leaving Arsenal have come from. I enjoy playing football here. I have never had a conversation with the boss at any time about wanting to leave the club and, at the moment, I am just focusing on the start of the new season."
According to The Sun we’ve made a £3m bid for West Ham’s Michael Carrick. Surely we’d be the most left footed side in the league if that one went through. Bad news for new signing Mathieu Flamini as he’s not allowed play for Arsenal as the French Football League is refusing to release his registration. It seems he was obliged to sign a contract with Marseille. No doubt it’ll all be sorted out as it’s probably just another example of the bureaucracy and red tape you have to go through to get anything done in Europe. I’m not even going to start that rant.
Now I have to go help a friend move furniture. Hurrah. *boilk*
Vieira: “You never sign world-class players.”
Wenger: “You weren’t world class when Arsenal signed you.”
An alleged exchange between the captain and the manager, according to The Sun. Not sure I really believe it, to be honest. After all, we just went through the whole of last season in the league unbeaten without signing a ‘world class’ player. If Vieira has ambitions of winning the Champions League he’s clever enough and experienced enough to know that Arsenal have just as good a chance of anyone else. It’s all well and good him wanting to leave, but I do wish that it wouldn’t be portrayed as the end of the world and that Arsenal are going to crumble without him, because it’s not and we won’t.
Some reports this morning say Arsenal are going to make Madrid wait before signing him and according to AS this morning we’ve asked for €6m more with AW playing hardball with the Spaniards. Florentino Perez is said be tired of the whole thing and they want to make an announcement to say Vieira is now a ‘Blanco’, but they’re waiting for the green light from David Dein. There's even talk of AW refusing to sanction the deal, with the blessing of the Arsenal board. Vieira is waiting nervously for news, having had a private medical in London, and the whole thing drags on. Fair play to AW and DD though, they’re not making easy for Madrid, nor should they. Let them all stew a bit.
The delay in the announcement is said to be because we want time to sign somebody before we let Vieira go. Some papers are saying it’s going to be Maniche, some say Maniche is not a target at all. Some are saying Ruben Baraja, some are talking about this Argentine kid Javier Mascherano, others about Xabi Alonso. Bottom line is, nobody knows who the boss might have in mind, and I suspect this is an occasion where he’s going to keep his cards even closer to his chest than normal.
The Sun are also saying that Freddie Ljungberg wants to leave now and that AW will be ‘helpless to prevent the midfield star leaving if he receives a £15m bid.’ With the greatest of respect to Freddie if we got a £15m bid for him you’d have to think very seriously about it, especially when you’re talking about a player who cost £3m. Inter Milan, Roma and Juventus are the sides looking for Ljungberg. Apparently.
Some upbeat news though comes in the form of pledges of loyalty from Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, who have told staff that they have no intention of doing what Vieira’s doing, and despite the loss of Wiltord and Vieira this summer, it doesn’t mean they’re going to move on. We might be a good percentage less French than we were but the two boys love the Arsenal.
Not much else going on. I’ve got a busy morning ahead. Catch ya later.
Well, I’m sure you’re all well aware by now that Spanish radio station, Cadena SER, reported last night that Arsenal had agreed a £23.1m deal with Real Madrid for the transfer of Patrick Vieira. We’ve still yet to hear anything official from either side, but this brings the story to a whole new level. Cadena SER is not, as some people would like to believe, a Spanish Talksport, but it is probably Spain’s leading radio station.
I told you on July 17th that he was likely to leave and sadly nothing has changed in that respect. The only chance of him staying was the persuasive powers of Arsene Wenger but this time around the boss hasn’t been able to change Paddy’s mind. He’s going to join Real Madrid unless something extraordinary happens in the next few days.
I have to say quite honestly that I’m not even slightly upset about the deal going through either. Maybe it’s because of the long, drawn out media saga that we’ve had to put up with this summer (and the summers before), but this doesn’t feel the way it felt when Liam Brady left. I was inconsolable then. It doesn’t even feel the same as when Paul Merson left, and that transfer was one that was easy to rationalize when you looked at it from the manager’s point of view. Yes, Paddy’s been a fantastic player for us, he’s been a major part of our successes in recent years, but I just don’t feel terribly sad about him going. Is that just me?
I’m more interested in seeing what Arsene Wenger does to replace him. What is he going to do? Make a point of signing a big name, established player like Xabi Alonso or Maniche, or bring in somebody that we’ve never heard of? Is he going to sign a big name centre-half and move Kolo to central midfield? Who’s going to be captain? It’s going to mean our style of play is going to change somewhat. You can’t replace like for like, there isn’t another Vieira out there, so how is that going to affect the team next season?
I also hope nobody feels too bitter towards Paddy. Lord knows there’s a time in everyone’s life when they just feel like a change, and that’s what seems to be the case with him. Yes, Real Madrid have tapped him up big time, but that’s just part and parcel of modern football. Even his silence, which has been frustrating to say the least, is understandable in the context of the whole thing. If he said he wanted to leave it would weaken Arsenal’s hand at the negotiating table. He’s been a big player for us, he deserves our respect and thanks, not misplaced vitriol which would be better saved up and served on opposition players when the season begins.
Anyway, no doubt there’ll be plenty more on this story as the day progresses. Keep your eyes on the news feed for more.
In other news David Bentley’s loan spell at Norwich seems to be going well and he got himself a rather spectacular goal in a friendly against Peterborough. Let’s hope he keeps it up.
And that’s about it. It’s enough though, eh?
I’ve previously stated my dislike for Arsenal’s away kit being blue.
Everyone knows that blue kits are not kits for winning things in, they’re kits which allow Robbie Fowler to score a hat-trick against you in less than 5 minutes. So imagine my surprise when I saw some pictures from the Ajax game and our lads running around in the brand spanking new blue away kit.
It’s even more minging than I had previously thought. It’s a pig’s abortion of a kit. Why do the club insist on lumping us with a blue away kit? I’ve asked before, but who decides it? Is it someone at the club, or do Nike say ‘Hey chumps, this year your away kit is going to be blue’?
Look at the pic of Kolo to your right. He doesn’t even look like an Arsenal player. That doesn’t look like an Arsenal kit. It’s poxy. As has been pointed out by many other people, it's just too much like a Chelsea kit, and I don't need to tell how wrong that is.
In the interests of research I took to the streets, as it were, and in old fashioned journalistic styleee, got some vox pops from Arsenal fans about the new kit. Here's what they had to say...
"It's shockingly bad. I wouldn't wipe my arse with it." - Anne Gree, Tunbridge Wells.
"My first impression was that it was horrible. Having taken a second look I was wrong. It's fucking horrible." - Al in Sunderland
"You couldn't give me a suitcase full of them." - D.Hillier, Heathrow
The fact is that blue kits are for cunty teams supported by cunty people. For example Chelsea, Rangers, Birmingham and Leicester. I won’t be buying it. I’ll never buy a blue away kit and there are thousands of people at €50 a pop who feel exactly the same way. So there you go. Not only is the blue kit crap, it also costs the club money. They’ll probably have to use generic brand urinal cakes in Ashburton Grove now. See what you’ve done Arsenal and Nike? Hope you’re happy now.
In other news, there isn't any. Yet.
So the Amsterdam tournament finished goalless for the Arsenal as they played out a 0-0 draw with Ajax last night. I didn’t see any of it but by all accounts it was a decent performance from the lads and Jose Antonio won an award for being the best player of tournament
Afterwards Dennis Bergkamp confirmed that Patrick Vieira is thinking about moving to Real Madrid, but the captain is undecided still about whether to stay or go. Dennis said “I don't know if he will stay or go. We, as players, have been telling him to stay. No one wants to see him go.”
And acknowledging the fact that it’s been difficult for Arsenal fans to suffer this speculation, Dennis said “It does not help him saying nothing but neither do all the stories. It is up to him."
Arsene Wenger has said that Arsenal don’t need the money that Vieira’s sale would generate, but then it’s not about the money now. It’s about whether or not our captain wants to play with us anymore. If he wants to go then there’s not much point keeping him at the club. The boss says "We don't need money, so money will not decide this situation. Our desire is to keep Patrick - not to make money out of selling him.”
It looks like we’re in for another week of speculation regarding Vieira. Hurrah. Nothing like having something new and exciting in your life, eh?
Not much else stirring as of yet. How was your weekend then?
Welcome to a brand new month on Arseblog. August, where everything closes over here, the heat becomes unbearable and the new Premiership season is just a couple of weeks away.
Arsene Wenger starts the new month in a grump with the FA who misdiagnosed Sol Campbell's injury which means the rock at the centre of our defence is likely to be out for at least 6 weeks. AW says "The injury was much worse than the medical staff thought in the English camp and if he was treated earlier he would have had a better chance of starting the season."
It looks likely that Philippe Senderos will play alongside Kolo Toure as the rumours increase that Pascal Cygan will be on his way before the start of the season. Maybe now the club will be reluctant to let him go as we'd be short of cover if he did leave.
Not much else going on this early. You can see the lads in action against Ajax if you have Sky Sports. Let's hope it's a more interesting game than the one against River.