01.31 - What a year 2002 has been for the Gunners. Now, it's time to put this year behind us, and carry on the good work into 2003. I've been thinking of my favourite moments from this last year, and I've tried to collate them in some kind of order.
1 - Winning the league at Old Trafford. After finishing runners-up so many times, to win it there was something special and no more than this Arsenal team deserved. Unbeaten away all season, and a 1-0 to the Arsenal in Manchester to top it all off. Sweet.
2 - The two goals (1 - 2) that won the FA Cup final were special, and deserved to win any final. But of course, "It's only Ray Parlour."
3 - Dennis Bergkamp's goal against Newcastle (right) summed up all that's good about a player that has graced THOF. It deservedly won goal of the season.
4 - Robert Pires' goal against Aston Villa. You just knew it was going to be our season when he showed the poise, skill and touch to lob Schmeichel and score the winner in that game. Although his season ws cruelly cut short, he still won player of the year and the Arsenal team's extraordinary gesture on the last day of the season showed they recognised what a contribution he'd made to the success.
5 - Seeing Tony Adams lifting the Premiership trophy, and although he hadn't officially announced anything at that stage, you just knew you were watching a true legend go out the way he deserved to. Right at the top.
Of course, there were many other memorable moments, Freddie's scoring run, Edu putting all the terrible things behind him and helping us win the Double, Igors getting a few games and hardly putting a foot wrong, Lauren's trickled penalty against Sp*rs, Arsene Wenger's terrible dancing when celebrating the league at Highbury, finding out White Hart Lane is a haven for Islamic terrorists, spanking Sp*rs 3-0, all the records we broke and made, Freddie inspiring the name change here by replying "It's fuckin' excellent" live on Sky when asked how it felt to win the FA Cup...and loads more.
We said goodbye to Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Gilles Grimandi and Bob Wilson, and 'sayonara and thanks for all the shirts' to Junichi Inamoto.
Here on Arseblog we had us a few larfs an' all. My 3 favourite bits from last season were the fox in the box, D'Urso's dartboard, and the shamelessly terrible exposure of match fixing by Korea in the World Cup. Introducing the comments and the forum has been a highlight too, what a nice bunch of people you all are, and it's been my pleasure to get to know some of you 'arsers'. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to the site.
I'd just like to say thanks to all of you for visiting, from a couple of hundred visitors in March, we've had over 50,000 this month. If only you all knew I was in fact a load of monkeys in a room with a load of typewriters and I used to write Jeffrey Archer novels.
Anyway, feel free to chip in with a comment about your favourite bits of 2002, and I wish you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
11.25 - Well, there's nothing like the bitter whine of the scousers, especially after an Evertonian wins a dodgy penalty to prevent them stealing 3 points.
Look at it again though. Riise definitely pulled Jeffers shirt. Only slightly and well before Frannie fell over like he'd been hit by a cannon ball. Riise told Houllier he didn't pull the shirt, and Houllier said Riise didn't pull his shirt. Look at the replay boys. Riise is lying, and Houllier is having another one of those moments when he fails to see anything wrong. It seems Mr Boggly eyes is suffering from from a case of severe Wengerific Myopia.
If I was a Liverpool fan, I would be very dubious about Houllier's ability to bring the title to Anfield. Anyway, word is he's moving upstairs and David O'Leary is going to take over as manager. Maybe he can do something about the negative style of play, which must trouble the Liverpool fans as much as the fact they haven't won the league for going on 13 years now.
heh. 13 years. hehehehehe.....mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha......BWA HA HA HA HA HA (repeat to fade).
At the bottom of this Sun article, Teddy Sheringham says "I really don't know what has happened with Sol. I always got on fine with him. It's as if he has got something against me." How many times do we have to explain this to you, Tedward? Click here, then click on any of the coloured bars 5 times....sheesh.
Tomorrow, we'll do something about the top 10 moments of year or something like that, seeing as the fabulous 2002 is coming to an end...
I've just seen a disgusted looking Houllier on Sky saying Francis Jeffers took a dive to win Arsenal's penalty. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. He did dive as well. And we scored. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha. Well done Frannie. Anyway, if Liverpool had come away from that game with 3 points, it would have been the biggest injustice since OJ Simpson got away with killing his missus and her boyfriend. Whatever you thought of Liverpool in the past, they always played nice football. This team is dour, defensive and horrible to watch.
Notice how Houllier stood outraged on the sidelines when Vieira gave El Hadji Diouf a little kick, yet somehow failed to see anything wrong with this? Then he said Liverpool deserved to win on the basis of their 2nd half performance. The bloke is mental, and not in a charming, skittish kind of way. It's an annoying kind of mentalness he suffers from - the kind that makes you want to spray him with some kind of skin eating virus and watch as his face melts off.
Arsenal should have won it right at the death when Gilberto shot wide and Danny Murphy is a cunt. Not that the two are related, but I don't see what that has to do with anything. Still the scousers languish 9 points behind us, and 3 points from Chelsea on New Year's day would round of the crimbo period very nicely.
AW says we'll be in the market for a keeper as soon as the transfer window opens. Good stuff. The injured Stuart Taylor was on the bench today, so it's a good thing nothing happened to old Spunky. A word about Steven Sidwell. The Arsenal youngster is spending his second season on loan withg Steve Coppell. Last season he made headlines at Brentford, this year it's Brighton, and he scored 2 goals in the last 2 minutes to rescue a point for the Seagulls yesterday. Well done sir.
Dennis to get his 100th Arsenal goal against Chelsea. And his 101st. And 102nd.
Well, that's if you believe The Express, which I don't really. They tend to talk a load of interminable bollocks, and not just about football. Will Rustu move mid-season to sit on the bench behind Seaman? Doubt it. Anyway, the longevity of Seamo's career makes it harder and harder for Arsenal to sign a decent replacement for him - but with Taylor and Shaaban out, we need somebody other than Craig Holloway. So AW has to convince any potential signing that they have a long term future at the club, and that Seaman will retire sometime before 2014. A manager's job is a hard one, eh?
Anyone heard any good Bosnich jokes then? Surely there must be a few one-liners going around....
10.45 - A really good Christmas so far for the Gunners. Boro did United last night, which gives us a 7 point lead over them where there was only 1 point last week, and Liverpool's draw with Blackburn gives us 9 points over them. With Chelsea and Liverpool coming up in the next week, the next couple of results could be vital in the destination of this year's title.
Keeper speculation continues, with Channel4 claiming we're going to bring in Roma keeper Antonioli, along with a defender who plays for the 'flying donkeys' (no, really) called Nicola Legrottaglie. Having seen Atonioli gift a goal to Ajax in a Dudek stylee in the Champions League, he can stay in Rome thanks very much.
Arseblog has been reviewed by The Weblog Review. Nice to see you don't have to know too much about 'soccer' to appreciate the sweary goodness of the Arseblog. The reviewer gets right into the spirt of things as he says "There is a forum to discuss games, players, coaches, everything Arsenal. In another area you can find pics, wallpapers and other fun stuff. I couldn't imagine what else Arseblog could cram up its arse. A great sports blog ....."
Also, I'm being sued by Dublin City Council for non-payment of Household Waste Charges, amounting to €165...despite the fact I don't live there. I think I shall enter into a lively correspondence wth them. I'll let you know how it goes.
Francis Jeffers may not have started many games for Arsenal, but I think he's scored in most of the ones he has. He equalised for the Gunners, and Henry grabbed the winner after Danny Dickhead had put the Baggies ahead in the 3rd minute. Didn't see or hear the game, so can't comment at all. I'll leave that up to you lot.
A real shame about Rami Shaaban, we wish him all the best. It now means AW will have to buy a keeper with Stuart Taylor out injured as well. He would have had to buy one in the summer anyway, so let's hope he makes a sound, long-term purchase. Paul Robinson maybe?
6 points out of 6 for christmas so far. Nice. Back to the beer now.
15.12 - While the turkey is roasting, just popped in to tell you to check out Leopold's Yultide message, over on the all new ANR.
Get any nice presents then?
10.05 - I read this from Tom and it made me feel all Christmassy and nostalgic and stuff.
For me, Christmas Eve usually means a trip into town (where town = Dublin) in the late morning. Walking down Grafton Street, shopping in all those little shops I go to every year, buying a little cuddly toy for my daughter's christmas stocking like I do every year, looking at the crowds of people in HMV desperately trying to buy last minute presents and laughing at their tardiness, then realising I've forgotten somebody and joining them in the 50 yard queues to buy a CD, having lunch in Davy Byrnes or Judge Roy's, meeting friends, meeting my brother, pints of Guinness in The Bailey and always managing to get seats and a table despite the fact the place is always packed, getting dark, lights coming on, walking home up Grafton Street, the smell of Dublin, stopping to buy flowers from the ladies on the stalls on Harry Street, looking at all the people queueing for a taxi on St. Stephen's Green, bit jarred, the lights at Christchurch, big open fire, wrapping presents, dinner, a glass or two of wine and eventually it's time to hit the sack.
This year, we're not in Dublin, my brother is on the other side of the world, there's no Guinness, but my daughter is as excited as ever, I'm off to pick up the turkey now, my folks have just arrived in Spain and I reckon it'll be all good.
Wishing you and yours all the very best for the festive season.
"Although I did go in with my studs showing I have tried to pull out at the last minute - I can honestly say that". Fuck the fuck off, you nasty little fucker. He never came close to getting the ball, you could see him look up and quite deliberately go in with two feet on the Everton player, and not for one second did he try to pull out of the tackle. If anything, he made sure he got the player. Look at it. It was a cowardly, nasty, deliberate and quite horrible attempt to injure a fellow player.
Gerrard ought to get a serious ban and a fine from the FA. Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier said "The linesman was only two yards away and didn't see anything. I certainly did not see anything reprehensible." Quite unbelievable really. Nearly as unbelievable as Gerrard escaping without even a booking from one of the most card happy referees in the game. I wonder as well if the FA will do anything about Milan Baros' Lee Bowyer impression, when he raked his studs down an opponents face. Nice to Liverpool showing their true class at the moment. 2 points from 21 and behaving like a bunch of scumbags.
Speaking of the referees, did anyone see their Christmas carol on Sky Sports? Oh my god. What a bunch of cunts. We don't care about you, we'd rather not see you at all, singing about 'our great leader Philip Don', and wearing santa hats to make you all look like even bigger cunts than you already are. I wonder will the 'great leader' Philip Don do anything about Graham Poll failing to send off Steven Gerrard for that 'tackle' yesterday? Will he bollocks. This whole celebrity referee thing is sad, shameful and almost beyond words in its cuntosity. It's just a shame that nobody took the opportunity of blowing the cunts up when they were all in the same place at the same time. The cuntish cunts.
Nice to see Liverpool websites upset about us signing Philippe Senderos. Apparently Houllier though the Swiss lad was going to join them, but surely even the most ardent Houllierite must now recognise that the bloke is just a bit mental. And most probably some kind of a cunt too.
Good stuff from Sol Campbell here. He's not a cunt.
Right, I think that's enough for today. Haven't had a sweary rant like that in ages. Tomorrow will be full of Christmas cheer, I promise. Unless some other cunts do some cunty stuff in the meantime.
14.31 - Gotta love Robert Pires. Not just for the goals, the assists, the wonderful freeflowing football he brings to this Arsenal team, for his gallic shrugs and floppy hair, but for his capabilities as a wind up merchant. Today he says Everton are a bigger title threat than Liverpool. Love it. I hope he's right and the blue half of Merseyside are celebrating a 10-0 victory over Inspector Clueless's men later today.
Many thanks to Jeff for providing this top new wallpaper, featuring the one and only Bob after his goal against Boro yesterday. Available in 1024 x 768 and 1280 x 1024.
In other Sunday news, Arsenal are after Geremi according to the Sunday Mirror according to Ananova. A couple of days ago Arsenal confirmed the signing of Swiss wonderkid, Philippe Senderos. He'll join the Gunners in June after turning down offers from Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Juventus amongst others. Undoubtedly a young man with taste, and clever enough to spot that central defenders are something this Arsenal side will need sooner rather than later.
heh - look at the very last piece on this article. Whoever you are Dan Johnson, we salute you.
3 very handy points for the Gunners today. Sol gave us the lead just before half-time with a bullet of a header, and then I suffered the whole of the second half listening to Arsenal have corner after corner, chance after chance, until right at the death, Robert Pires made it 2-0. Thank god, I was just waiting for their last minute equaliser...
A good start to the festive season then, and another 3 points against WBA on St. Stephen's Day (or Boxing day as you pagans call it), would be very nice indeed.
Top of the league for Christmas is traditionally not a good place to be, but I wouldn't swap it. Anyway, after a wonderful root canal this morning, I'm going out to get drunk tonight. Have a good one folks.
10.12 - Life in la casa del Arseblog has taken a noisy and rumbunctious turn this morning. With some friends heading home for crimbo, we now have the pleasure of minding a 6 month old Boxer pup for the next 10 days. Add him to the 3 cats and a dog already here and it makes for some fun let me tell you. There's enough fur flying to make Burt Reynolds a hundred toupées.
In the world of Arsenal we've got a few injury problems heading into the Christmas period. Patrick Vieira may not be fully fit until the new year, and with Edu suffering from a groin strain, it means Gilberto may not get that rest he needs until the new year. Stuart Taylor has broken a finger ...again...and with Rami Shaaban (¡salud!) still making his way back to fitness, we could have a keeper half the age of old Seamo on the bench. Craig Holloway is standing by.
The good news from yesterday is that although the FA trial by TV department found Dennis Bergkamp guilty of stamping on that Blackburn player, they didn't ban him and merely fined him £5,000. Given that Dennis has a bit of previous, and the FA's fair and equitable treatment of Arsenal players, it's better than I expected. As a matter of interest, does anyone know exactly what happens to the money that players pay in fines? Does it go to the FA's coffers, or into some kind of trust to help grass roots football, or crippled ex-players, or what?
I guess a lot of you will be finishing up work and so forth today, and may not have internet access over the festive period. To you I say, Merry Christmas, and get a computer at home you cheap fuckers (buy an iMac, you know you want to).
08.55 - "I've decided I want to keep playing. There's no doubt about that, otherwise I would have called it a day right after the Brazil game."
David Seaman talking in a BBC documentary last night. Didn't see it myself, but some comment here from Stevie C. Bearing Seamo's words in mind, Arseblog have taken the liberty of producing a portrait for arsenal.com for the 2012-2013 season.
I sincerely hope that he finds his form again, then decides to call it a day at the end of this season. His legs just don't have the spring they used to, he's becoming slightly erratic and flapping around his area in a way he never did before, and in my humble opinion, 39 or 40 years of age is just too old to play top flight football. He's going to be number 1 for the rest of this season no doubt, let's hope he goes out in the style he deserves to.
According to The Sun, Francis Jeffers is set to be flogged. Sadly, this doesn't mean he's going to beaten severely with a big stick or a whip of some kind, but he's likely to be sold when the transfer window opens in January. Seems a bit of a shame if it's true, he's never really had a run in the team, but then he's never been fit enough to push for such a run. I did hear AW say last week that nobody would be leaving in January, so this could be just more speculation now that it makes sense to fill the newspapers with transfer rumours. Still though, if he hasn't made any sort of impact on the first team by the end of the season, you'd have to think it would in everyone's best interests for him to move on.
Dennis Bergkamp meets those nice people from the FA today, to answer the charge of deliberately stamping on that Blackburn player. Despite the ref seeing it and dealing with it at the time...blah blah blah. Expect a 3 match ban so Dennis can spend Christmas at home with the kids. High praise for Thierry Henry from Johann Cruyff. The original Dutch master says Henry should have been named European player of the year, and not the buck toothed, eat an apple through a tennis raquet, chunky arsed cunt that is Ronaldo. Cruyff said "Ronaldo had a good World Cup but he has played very few matches this season, whilst Henry has had a fabulous season."
Thanks to everyone for their feedback, suggestions, help, advice and opinions on the colour and style of the site. For the moment it's going to stay the way it is, but I will work on adding 'skins', so you can choose your own colour scheme. Also, for those of you with poor eyesight, I've changed the style sheet so you can make the text larger in your browsers. Now, can we get on with the important stuff like calling people we don't like, 'cunts'? Ithangyew...
15.25 - Would be much obliged if you could take a look here, and please let me know what you think. Having had many an email saying the red background was giving people epileptic fits and such like, I thought I would let you have a say on this. See how nice I am?
08.45 - "Who could question Arsene's judgment when in the six years he has been here we have either been first or second and won two doubles?"
David Dein on Arsene Wenger's admission that he won't be buyng anyone when the transfer window opens. To be fair, he makes a good point. Once this decision is down to AW and not due to lack of funds or boardroom restrictions, I guess we have to concede that the manager knows more about football management and his squad than any of us. Hard as that may be mind you...
Something that passed us by over the last couple of days was Ronaldo winning European Football of the Year, and also FIFA's World Player of the year. So, he spent 4 years injured at Inter, scored some goals in the world cup, fucked Inter over to go and join Real Madrid for more cash and he's won the two most prestigious awards in world football. You would have to say at best the whole thing is flawed, at worst a load of old bollocks. If Nike didn't have their grubby hands all over this I'd be surprised.
What about the players that have performed outstandingly over the last 12-18 months? Surely the likes of Thierry Henry, Raul, Zidane, Robert Pires, van Nistelrooy, Roberto Carlos, Michael Ballack and Oliver 'wrath of' Kahn deserve it more. Our Thierry reckons Germany's Michael Ballack should have won. "Ronaldo showed in the World Cup that he is a great attacker. He deserves the prize if it is judged on the World Cup alone - but it is supposed to be for the whole year. The prize is given for the period from December to December. Ballack was consistent for the whole season."
According to reserve team coach Eddie Niewesiessisischsieski, Francis Jeffers is the new Vialli. That explains why he's not getting a game then. He's too busy chain smoking and being a multi-millionaire international playboy. You might remember earlier in the year, we had a small conversation with one of those Nigerian email scam chaps. Well, this is just first class. Hats off to Normy...
Finally, if any of our regular readers happen to work in advertising, and wouldn't mind giving up some of their highly creative time to answer a couple of questions for me, I'd really appreciate it. Get in touch here.
08.55 - Hurrah, more transfer speculation. Back in August, Sebastian Saja was linked with Arsenal. We didn't have a clue who he was then, and we don't know much more now. All we know is that he's a goalkeeper, he's Argentinian and he looks a bit like the bloke from the Monkees in this story. Back in August, Arsene Wenger allegedly told him Arsenal were looking for a goalkeeper for 'the next 10 years'. Sometimes it feels like we will be looking for another 10 years. Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, but that's a different story altogether.
No doubt it's all just made up given the fact that AW has said more than once he won't be buying anyone when the transfer window opens, but maybe the story is out there to keep David Seaman on his toes. What am I saying? He's always on his toes. His feet just don't leave the ground these days. Ashley Cole still reckons Seamo is the man.
It looks like Patrick Vieira is going to be fit for the game against Boro, and this should see Gilberto get a well deserved rest. Our new Brazilian has played 25 games so far this season, and remember, he's the only one in the squad who played in every minute of every world cup game. AW always said it takes time for South American players to settle into English football, and the bloke definitely deserves a few games off. With Vieira fit, and the likes of Parlour, Edu and Gio to partner him, we're not short of options for midfield.
Francis Jeffers scored two as Arsenal reserves beat Sp*rs reserves 3-0 last night. If we're thinking of resting players, and the manager has said he's going to have to rest Thierry Henry at some stage, let's give old glass ankles a run out (for as long as he stays fit at least). In this Sun article - you can ignore all the shite at the top from hideous monster Steffen Freund - it seems Matthew Upson may have to complete with Ashley Cole for a place in the team. Le Boss says "He did well at Reading in the centre of defence but the only area where we are short is at left-back behind Ashley Cole."
Without trying to second guess the great man, I reckon we're short in the centre of defence as well, and with Keown growing older by the day and Cygan being Cygan, I think he's got a good chance of making the grade alongside Sol. Can't see him doing much as a left back, although I always thought he'd make a decent central midfielder...but that's another story altogether.
"I feel overall this is a good point for us. Spurs had a quick start and I think the fact they lost 3-0 at Highbury got them up for it". True enough. It doesn't stop Arsenal fans being slightly concerned with the way we're playing at the moment though. Still, we're top of the league and you can't really ask for much more than that. You could ask for Liverpool to take 1 point from their last 18, but that would never happen. Oh, wait...hahahaha. It did. Stupid boggly-eyed Houllier and his crazy ways.
Somebody on TV made a good point about United's return to form. With the big stars out injured, the other squad members are being given a chance to show what they can do, and have responded and performed really well. That level of performance isn't sustainable though over a longer period, and perhaps when the likes of Keane and Beckham return, it might interrupt their flow a bit. Either way, it's a right battle at the top this season, and credit to Claudio Ranieiri for getting Chelsea up there. He had no money to spend in the summer, has to put up with working for that bearded bitch Ken Bates and has to look at the sulking, weird lipped face of Graham le Saux every day. Still, you've gotta hate Chelsea.
Freddie Ljungberg - what's happened to him? From being the most excellent and totally awesome player in the world last season, he now looks a shadow of his former self. Time for him to take a bit of a rest I reckon. I know he's had a bad injury in the summer, but it's quite clear he's struggling both physically and with his form. Let old mekon head Wiltord have a run on the right, or even stick Parlour out there, but give Freddie a few games off and get him chomping at the bit for another sensational goalscoring run in the second half of the season.
Now, we all know monkeys are great things. Not only are they delicious and nutritious, good for testing toxic perfumes and new medical procedures on, and dressing up in bowler hats and suits to make them look more dignified so they can sell tea-bags, they make good video games. Here's something chimptacular to help make your Monday a little more enjoyable.
Finally, many thanks to Lisa for all her help with CSS and the new ANR (Arseblog News Review) page.
Sounded like that lot ran the show in the first half, which I suppose is fair enough, as this is the biggest game of this, or any other season, for them. A Ziege free kick from 4kms beat Seaman all ends up. I know he's never been the best at saving free kicks, but again there are question marks over the positioning of the wall. Right at the end of the second half, Keller brought down Henry in the box, yellow card, penalty.
Robert Pires stepped up and made it 1-1. Not sure why Thierry didn't take it, if he lacks confidence, surely there's no easier way to build it up again by scoring from 12 yards, but no matter. A goal is a goal. Arsenal sounded a lot better in the second half, Seaman made some cracking saves and reminded us what he is capable of, and it was always likely to end as a stalemate.
Disappointing in some ways, but 4 points out of 6 over the course of a season against the scum is respectable enough. It seems like Arsenal can't get out of 3rd gear at the moment though. We know they can play better, we know they can create more, let's just hope they sort it out soon. If you saw the game and want to leave a match report for the Arseblog readers, please feel free to type your head off on the forum.
Now, I have to go stuff a bird up the arse. It's roast chicken for dinner tonight.
Update: Just seen on Sky Sports News that a group of Arsenal fans were hemmed in by a large group of Sp*rs fans outside the stadium, and had to be protected by a circle of policemen after the match. It doesn't seem as if anyone was hurt, but if anyone was there and saw what happened, please let us know.
09.45 - Arseblog is proud to announce a regular new columnist, to cheer your day and to fill your life with more Arsenal goodness. Leopold Mendacious will bring you the Arseblog News Review on, we hope, a pretty regular basis from now on. He kicks off his spell on the soon to be most popular Arsenal site of all time with his preview of today's game against Sp*rs.
Arsene Wenger has appealed for calm between old chums Sol Campbell and Teddy Sheringham. They used to be mates but now they hate each other. The fued started when Sol moved from his small boyhood club to a proper football team. Teddy didn't like it, and when Sol sent him this link in a friendy email, the bad feeling really kicked off. Then Teddy was substituted at Highbury when Arsenal beat Spurs 3-0 last month, and instead of just accepting the fact he's a hollow faced has-been, he waited in the tunnel to have a 'few words' with Sol. They resume pleasantries later today.
Thierry Henry has a few words for the critics in today's Sunday Mirror. We'll be back later on, after the match.
14.36 - Since the introduction of the transfer window, there hasn't been the same speculation each week about who's coming in and going out of Highbury. Now, with the window set to re-open in January we have some dubious transfer rumours again.
Arsenal and Man Utd are 'slugging it out' to sign Turkish midfielder Basturk from Bayer Leverkeusen. The Stephen Carr rumours just won't go away, and with Oleg Luzhny's contract set to expire in the summer, and the whispers that Mr and Mrs Lauren would like a return to Spain, a close season bid seems likely. Although many of us would like to see a new central defender, it seems Matthew Upson is very much in AW's plans and may save us a few quid...so we can buy a decent keeper with any luck.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy says they'd consider a ground share with Arsenal. Now, I'm sure there's not much Spurs and Arsenal fans agree on, but I think there'd be a united front on both sides for this one. A resounding "No thanks" and a large "Are you out of your tiny mind?" from both I would imagine.
"We've had two big games in a week at United and against Valencia, which we badly wanted to win, and feel disappointed that we haven't done it. But there is another big game coming up now and we have to do our best not to disappoint our supporters this time". Wise words from Freddie Ljungberg. Tomorrow is a seriously important game. With Man Utd 3-0 up on West Ham at the time of writing, nothing bar a miracle is going to stop them being level on points with us going into this one.
Spurs will want revenge for the 3-0 hammering they took last month, and no doubt will attempt to kick Arsenal off the park tomorrow. A win for Arsenal would go a long way to restoring confidence after a difficult few weeks. A loss is simply unthinkable.
09.14 - According to the Telegraph, Arsenal want to sign Danny Mills from Leeds when the transfer windows re-opens in January. Not very likely really. We've already got one useless bald cunt at the back. Portsmouth meanwhile are interested in taking Matthew Upson on loan, with a view to a permanant move. The Pompey Chairman was at Highbury on Tuesday night to sound out David Dein about a possible move. This comes from Teamtalk so it could well be just made up shite, but when it comes to Upson, he comes and goes rather a lot.
The Upson situation is a funny one really. He's obviously been sent on loan to build up his fitness after a long struggle after breaking his leg last season. He comes back to find himself behind Cygan and Keown to partner Sol. Cygan is not at all convincing, makes errors, sometimes costly ones, yet stays in the team. Keown is coming up on his Eleventy First birthday. One goal versus Aston Villa last season apart, I can't ever remember Upson making the same kind of errors. Nobody is claiming that he's the answer to all of Arsenal's defensive problems, but I think most Arsenal fans will be very unhappy if he's not given a chance to prove himself worthy of a first team place before he, or AW, decides his future lies elsewhere. He's young, has something to prove, is English (and it is important to keep a core group of English players in the team) and should be given a go. So there.
Matthew Reed, an Arsenal fan who sells merchandise outside Highbury, has won his appeal against a European ruling that he cannot sell anything with the name Arsenal, Gunners or with the colours red or white, or any of the letters of the alphabet in it, or cannons or things that look like cannons, or...well, you get the idea. I understand the club want to protect their interests, but maybe they'd be better off doing something about the ticket touts that populate N5 for every home game, or the factories that produce dodgy replica kits in the far east. But then, it's much easier to just pick on one bloke with a stall outside the ground, eh?
This is incredible. And with that in mind: "Free Kylie wanted, for various sinful pleasures of the flesh and to pay me €50,000 a week and to give me a brand new motorbike and 6 Heinz boil in a tin strawberry puddings". Well, if some bloke will agree to be murdered and scoffed, it's worth a try.
09.21 - Ray Parlour says he's ready to stand in for Patrick Vieira, should the skipper's injury rule him out of Sunday's clash with the minging Totts at White Hart Lane. To be honest, it might be a good idea to add a bit of er...local experience to this one. Not that our foreign stars don't appreciate how big a game it is, but Raymondo is a gooner and he'll do his damndest to ensure that Hoddle's men don't get anything from the game, except humiliation and the bitter taste of defeat.
With Paddy almost certainly out, it will be interesting to see who captains the side. Maybe David Seaman, but I don't like the idea of the captain being in goal. With that in mind, I think we should make Sol Campbell captain for the day, purely for reasons of the team and not to wind up the scummers or anything. Anyway, with Martin Keown likely to start alongside Sol in defence (this is one game too far for old baldy I reckon), he might well get the armband.
Before the Man Utd game, Arsene Wenger said he had no regrets in signing Francis 'Christy Brown' Jeffers instead of Ruud van Nistelrooy. Maybe he was trying to boost the confidence of the Arsenal man, or talk down the danger of the United man, but surely he can't have been serious. His performance last night against Deportivo was just the kind of goal-poaching, blunderbuss striking Arsenal need at times. Still, at the moment I'd take John O'Shea ahead of any United player - he's going to be a class act that lad.
Ireland and Scotland's joint bid to host Euro2008 has been scuppered by Man Utd fan and Taoiseach (pronounced C.U.N.T) Bertie Ahern. After effectively putting an end to a new 60,000 seater stadium which was all set to be built in west Dublin so he could be build the so-called 'Bertie Bowl', an 80,000 seater stadium in more nother wester Dublin, the downturn in the Irish economy and the lack of private financing has meant that project is more or less fucked too.
Now Ireland cannot promise the two top quality stadia needed for the bid - despite the fact that Croke Park, a recently redeveloped 80,000 seater stadium is just sitting there. However, Croker is home to the GAA who will not allow any games to be played there except 'Gaelic' games, Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie and the ritual abuse of altar boys by members of the Catholic Church. Euro2008 looks set to be held in Austria and Switzerland. Nice one Bertie, you stuttering clown.
13.55 - Now, regular readers will be aware that Pascal Cygan has not really impressed me so far, and reading back through the archives, I'm sure it's because of his resemblance to that other bald French centre-half, Frank le Boeuf. I think it's mostly the baldness, and perhaps this is working in a reverse Samson type fashion. Maybe if he had some hair, he'd be a better player.
So, with that in mind, I gave Pascal some hair transplants. Whaddya reckon?
08.55 - Listened to the game last night, then watched the whole thing delayed on the TV here. It's funny how different your perception of the same game can be. On the radio it sounded like we battered them, chance after chance. On TV, we had lots of the ball, but again we were lacking something in the final 3rd, and the chances weren't as clean cut.
Sometimes I'd like to see TH really hammer a ball, not finesse it all the time. We know he can belt it, look at West Ham away, he should do it more often. Last night he looked hesitant at times, like he didn't know what to do with the ball. When it doubt, boot it at goal.
AW took a risk on PV, and it kind of backfired, although he couldn't have predicted he'd pick up the same injury on his other leg. It's too early to say if he's going to be fit for Sunday, but AW is hoping for a 'positive surprise'.
Ray Parlour came on and stormed around the park. He passed the ball really well too, which is not typical you'd have to say, and he certainly brought a bit of urgency and much needed energy to the Arsenal side.
Cygan did OK I thought, but worryingly was turned a couple of times by the 'Norwegian Carlton Palmer' that is John Carew. I agree with Myles - a really top class centre forward would murder him. A couple of times the ball over the top caught him out completely, a better opponent would have really punished us. His lack of pace would be comical were it not so bowel-looseningly scary.
Freddie's wonderful turn in the box deserved a goal, but their keeper, whose name sounds like Plop, made a good save. He made a good save from a Bergkamp header too, but it looked like a Ray Clemence save to me. One of those that he could have just stood there and caught, but decided to make it look like he was Jonny Springheel. I suppose when you're trying to take your chance with Canizares out, it pays to look more spectacular.
A crazy minute at the end saw Wiltord fluff a chance with the goal gaping, then David Seaman was nowhere as the ball was crossed into the Arsenal box. Carew stuck out one of his club feet, knocked it over Seaman back towards goal and luckily for Arsenal Sol Campbell cleared it as it was heading for the net. Arsenal will be disappointed not to have taken 3 points from this, especially as Valencia played the last 15 or so with 10 men. Angulo was sent off for elbowing Cygan right in that dippy bit in your chest that knocks the wind out of you. Still, a much better performance than on Saturday, although after 55 consecutive games in which we scored, we've now gone 2 without any goals at all. It's a crisis...*cough*...
If you fancy yourself as a match reporter, don't forget the match reports forum. Hopefully we can get a few regular reports for each game, so don't be shy.
More later. Probably.
09.09 - Well, nobody seemed to like the black text, even though I thought it was quite cool and groovy. After all I've done for you. Wallpapers, pictures, match reports, forums, links to cool games and stuff, and you couldn't just say "Oh cool Mr Arseblogger, we like that a lot". You bunch of bastards. I am so upset. I really am. *sniff*
Bad news ahead of tonight's game against Valencia. Patrick Vieira picked up a thigh strain in training and looks set to miss out. AW says "If we play him we risk losing him for longer." I suppose Edu or Gio will come into midfield alongside Gilberto. David Seaman though is fit.
Martin Keown has admitted that he 'threw' giant faced Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy to the ground during Saturday's 2-0 defeat and now faces a 3 match ban. Great stuff Martin. It's funny, he's such an intelligent, articulate man off the field, you have to wonder why his IQ drops to just above Neville level on it.
Lauren hits back at Ole Solksjaer's 'revelation' that the Arsenal players were 'shouting at each other' at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Dwayne Dibley lookalike says "We are focused on this game now. When you lose against your biggest opponents, as we did at United, obviously everyone gets a little bit angry. But we must forget about that. This is our chance to get revenge for Valencia beating us in the quarter-finals a couple of seasons ago."
Hopefully the game is on the telly here tonight, so this will be the first Champions League game I'll have seen this season. It's gonna be tough - they're not Spanish champions by accident - but like United against us on Saturday, we owe this lot a beating.
This is good, but still not as good as this Sherighamtacular link.
10.19 - Thought a new look like might bring a change of fortune. It fuckin' better, this took me ages.
08.44 - A new week. Time to put the poo of last week behind us, and make some new poo. Or not.
The draw for the FA cup was made yesterday. Arsenal will play Oxford United at home. Obviously it's a game you'd expect to win without too many problems, but as Arsenal have found out, it doesn't always work that way. Wrexham and York spring to mind, and we scraped a 1-0 against worst team in the world Carlisle a couple of seasons ago. Still, I love the FA cup.
Congratulations to Arsene Wenger who won 'coach of the year' in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards. A well deserved award after his second double in 4 seasons. Didn't see it myself, but apparently it was a fairly cringeworthy ceremony last night, with old jug ears Lineker doing his best to be smug and jug eared.
"Matthew is the best loan signing this club have ever had". Reading's assistant manager pays tribute to Matthew Upson who returns to Highbury after 3 months on loan with the Royals. There are many of us who hope he will be given a chance to stake his claim for a place in the side, especially as Pascal Cygan is struggling to adapt properly to the English game. His Highbury future is uncertain though. He says "There are some decisions that need to be made, not just by myself but by the management at Arsenal. We need to find out where I am heading. I don't think I'll be able to go back to Arsenal and wait in the wings for much longer than Christmas really."
Let's hope he gets his chance and takes it. Good luck Matt. A huge Champions League game tomorrow against Valencia. A win would put the Gunners on 6 points going into the winter break and in an ideal position to qualify for the 1/4 finals. Valencia are a really, really good side though, and it's going to take a top drawer performance from the boys to take all 3 points.
10.25 - "...they were committed. In the end they wanted it more.”
Arsene Wenger talks about yesterday's defeat at Old Trafford. Maybe they had revenge on their minds, maybe they knew that a 9 point gap would be too much to make up. whatever it was, it begs the question why the Arsenal players weren't as commited, weren't as prepared to make the tackles, to work together as a team. Didn't the Arsenal players realise that a 9 point gap would have gone a long way to help retain the title? I dunno, I'm still a bit shellshocked by yesterday's performance.
Rami Shaaban will be out for 3 weeks with a thigh strain, so undoubtedly David Seaman will come back into the side for the game against Valencia. Stuart Taylor showed enough yesterday to suggest that his game has improved a great deal since his run in the side last season, which is good news, because for many of us, Seamo's time has well and truly passed now.
Arsene Wenger wants revenge against Valencia on Tuesday. You do get the feeling that this season the focus is well and truly on winning the Champions League, at times at the expense of domestic results. This debate has gone on for a while over on the forum, and to be honest, I'm still more interested in winning the Premiership. The sight of Fernando Hierro or Roberto Ayala lifting the big cup wouldn't bother me really, the idea of Roy Keane or Hyppia or god forbid, Desailly lifting the Premiership trophy makes me want to vomit.
If we want to make an all out effort to win the Champions League, then it should come after we've proved ourselves good enough to retain our league title. If the balance of power has shifted in the English game, as AW claimed after we won the title in May, we must win the league again this season to justify that.
And as for Pascal Cygan, he's an Andy Linighan, a Grimandi, a Colin Pates. A decent player, who's just not quite good enough to be first 11 material at Arsenal. I'll leave it at that.
Nobody has yet graced us with a match report of yesterday's game (no surprises there really), but don't forget you're free to write your own report after every game on the match reports forum.
Well, that was fucking shite. Two early chances aside, one which Henry should have buried and a Pires lob which landed inches wide, Arsenal didn't trouble Utd at all today. Pascal Cygan made another horrendous error, giving the ball straight back to Man U for their first goal. Quite how the referee didn't see Ruud van Nistelrooy control it with his hand is another question, but if Cygan had got rid of the ball instead of trying to be all fancy and play his way out of trouble, it wouldn't have happened.
Some decent pressure in the second half from the Gunners, but we created nothing. Vieira and Gilberto were out-fought in midfield by Phil fucking Neville, Henry and Ljungberg were anonymous, Dennis came on and played like Lee Chapman, Wiltord looked like Chris Wreh's crapper brother and overall it was a bad, bad day for Arsenal.
We talked about the experience of Martin Keown, but Christ only knows what makes him get involved with the stupid stuff he does. In the first half he slapped RVN in the mush, quite clearly. It wasn't enough to knock a child down but of course the giant faced Dutchman made the most of it. Still, it's complete idiocy for Keown to do something like that in the first place, and no matter how many times people say he should know better, he still does it. Expect another trip to FA headquarters for trial by TV, but there can't really be any defence this time.
Their second goal came when Cygan was turned far too easily by RVN, he played it into Scholes who turned Keown far too easily and his shot deflected off Martin's foot past Stuart Taylor (who came on for Shaaban who injured himself taking a kick out).
To be fair, United worked harder, looked hungrier and more determined and deserved the win. 4 league defeats so far for Arsenal this season. Maybe this will prove a defeat too far, like the one against Newcastle last season, but this time there can be no sense of injustice or unfairness about the result. We were beaten fair and square, and by a United team without Keane, Beckham, Ferdinand and Butt, with a rookie centre half at left back, a left back at centre half and Phil fucking Neville in the middle of the park.
14.01 - I hope you'll all welcome our newest columnist, Giles Palmer.
08.55 - The build-up and hype is starting to get into full swing now.
Despite having nothing to do with the anything at the top of the table, Teddy Sheringham says "I hate Arsenal". What a surprise. Anyway Tedward, the feeling is mutual. We hate you too. We hope you catch botulism , rabies, cholera and explosive dystentery and spend the rest of your life shitting your insides out, you Skeletor looking cunt.
Former Man Utd scout Les Kershaw, father of bequiffed 80s pop star Nik, has revealed he passed up the chance to sign Thierry Henry when he was a young lad at Monaco. Hate that. It's a bit like Don Howe passing up the chance of signing Ruud Gullit for Arsenal for less that £100,000 because he felt he wouldn't fit into the Arsenal system of play at that time. Jeez, what a mistake.
Martin Keown will play alongside Pascal Cygan as Sol Campbell is suspended. It's hard to know how they'll fare together. Whatever happens, Keown's experience and sheer unwillingness to be beaten should rub off well on the LeBoeufalike. No word yet on who's going to keep goal, but I suspect Shaaban will continue. AW says of DS1 "Seaman is available but he has not played a game in training yet so I will see how far I can go with him on Friday before I decide" A slight change in attitude there? Normally, if Seaman was available, he'd definitely start, no question. We'll found out later on no doubt.
Finally for today, an article in the Telegraph claims that Arsenal could be set to ditch the whole Ashburton Grove project, and set up their new home at the new Wembley. If you ask me, that's a load of shit. With corn in it. Arsenal Football Club should have its own home, not a ground share with those wankers in the FA. Given the fact the whole Wembley project has been an unmitigated disaster so far, wouldn't it make more sense for the FA to play internationals at Arsenal's new stadium, helping the Gunners in terms of future income and finance for the project? Let's hope this is just speculation, because I'd rather stay at 38,000 capacity Highbury forever than move to the white elephant that is new Wembley (I'd rather stay at THOF anyway).
08.39 - Yaaaaaaaaawn. Super tired today.
David Seaman is set to have a fitness test today to see if he'll play against United on Saturday. In the past, most of us would have been hoping he'd pull through, but now....well...it's all a bit different. Part of me thinks his experience of big games like this is vital. Another part of me thinks he's always a bit dodgy in his first couple of games back from injury, he's too old and too slow, and Rami Shaaban has done pretty well so far. What do you reckon folks, Seamo or Shaabo?
Pascal Cygan makes the right noises ahead of the biggest game of his Arsenal career so far. "The game here is also very passionate. You play with your heart and you play for the shirt." He's been a bit hit and miss so far, and hasn't really convinced everyone he's got what it takes to be a regular in the Arsenal first 11. A good peformance on Saturday, like the ones against Roma or PSV and not like the ones against Blackburn or Southampton, might help. It still won't alter the suspicion that the rough and tumble of the Premiership is a bit much for him.
United will be out for some measure of revenge for the events back in May when the Gunners clinched the title in their back yard, unfurling the most excellent 'Champions section' banner. Old wonky mouth Rio says that hurt the United players. No shit. Anyway, it's always a titanic game, it's a shame we'll miss out on the usual Vieira vs Keane battle in midfield, but I have no doubt Quinton Fortune will do his best to look like a Premiership player.
Myles on ANR does his half-term report on the Arsenal side, and promises some hot gossip, which most disappointingly turns out to be about Les Ferdinand and Wolves. Jesus H. What makes you think we give a rat's arse about Sp*rs, Les Ferdinand or Wolves, Myles? I'd rather read about Robert Palmer again.
08.47 - Ok, a quick round up of today's news before we get to the best story of the day.
Ray Parlour (remember him?), is close to full fitness again after an 11 week injury lay off. Which is good, for Ray I guess. I'm not quite sure how exactly he's going to get back in to the team without an outbreak of bubonic plague round N5 though.
Martin Keown is all set to play against Man Utd on Saturday. Which is great news. The thoughts of a Stepanovs & Cygan partnership at Old Trafford would curdle the bowels of any Arsenal fan. Lauren played in the reserves as well, so we'll wait and see if he plays or if in-form Oleg keeps his place.
Now, here's the real story of the day. To your right is Arsenal and Republic of Ireland Under 21 goalkeeper, Graham Stack (not Barrett). He's currently on loan at Arsenal's Belgian feeder club, Beveren.
So, Beveren are playing Royal Antwerp (which happens to be Man Utd's Belgian feeder club) and true to form, the Belgian gunners are cruising to a 3-1 victory. Suddenly, a bunch of Royal Twerp fans invade the pitch after showering our brave keeper with various missiles during the game. Graham confronts one of them, telling him to get off the pitch. From the corner of his eye he sees another one charging towards him and realises this bloke is not going to stop.
So, he swings a punch, knocks the fella flat on his arse unconscious and the game is then ended due to the fact there are riot police everywhere. Fantastic.
Football needs more stuff like this. Seeing as the FA, FIFA and UEFA are trying their level best to make it a non-contact sport, it's up to the players to keep the proud traditions of thumping people alive. How long has it been since we've had a proper brawl? Man Utd in the 91 season? 21 blokes going mental, while little Anders pretends to invisible.
Proper thumping, like this (many thanks to Ashburrn, who has changed this from a 1mb MPEG to a 200k WMV file). Enjoy.
08.59 - Ashley Cole has been charged with misconduct by the FA.
This comes after he swore at referee Paul Durkin after the Southampton game. Yes, Ashley was stupid to swear and I've said here before he should maybe keep his mouth shut a bit more, coz his head goes a funny shape when he's moaning and giving out, but Durkin seems to take great delight in dishing out the punishment to Arsenal players. Oh well, he's going to burn in ginger-hell while the rest of us can piss on him from Arsenal heaven (which may or may not contain ginger Arsenal fans).
Robert Pires reckons he's not far away from being 100% fit again, after his injury and surgery and his knee. He says "I am getting stronger and will last the whole 90 minutes at my best very soon. I'm feeling better and better." Good news for us, bad news for everyone else, and hopefully for Manchester United this Saturday. No word on who's going to keep goal, but you can have a look at yesterdays comments for discussion on that, and how to explode a goldfish with sparkling water. No, really.
Congratulations to purpleneutron, who has won himself a copy of the Arsenal football management game, in our competition. For the record, there were 8 Arsenal folk in there. You can find the answers here. Thanks to everyone who entered, bad luck to those who didn't win, and as soon as I can blag more free stuff off people, I'll have some more competitions.
Finally for today, prepare to do no work thanks to this top online wipeout style game (via Grayblog).
08.55 - The world has gone mad, methinks. Marc Overmars, fleet of foot and afeared of the tackle, was sent off last night as Barcelona's crap league form continued with a 2-1 defeat by Real Sociedad. The only time I ever saw Overmars make any sort of bad tackle was during a Holland v Belgium friendly, when he launched himself kung-fu style at one of the opposition. Of course, he's so small the Belgian suffered just an ankle injury, but what a way to get back in the Barcelona side. The grass is not always greener when you leave THOF, although the bags of cash probably are. See you in Sitges at the weekend for a beer, Marcy?
Big Fat Ron reckons Gilberto allows Vieira more room to get forward and their partnership adds another dimension to Arsenal's play. He says Vieira should get 10 goals a season. Have to say I agree with that. If he could add that to his already impressive game, there wouldn't be a central midfielder in the world to come close to him. Anyway, it promises to be a reasonably quiet week - the lack of Worthington Cup action means the gunners have almost a week off until the big one against Utd on Saturday.
Many thanks to CruEL, who defrocked our match reports forum with a highly entertaining account of the 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Go have a read, and you can see a report of Roma 2-2 Juventus from the fantastically named 'Volzwagen' - who I am assuming is making a delicious pun with the name of our German defender and not the car manufacturers. Last day to enter the competition, I'll announce the winner here tomorrow morning.
Finally, Hungarians think the Simpsons are 'anti-gypsy'. What nonsense, I'll have to get the 'Potato Man' after them.
16.55 - Welcome to yet another brand new month on Arseblog.
And what a month coming up. Man Utd, Valencia, Sp*rs, and Liverpool all coming up, and let's hope those 4 end up like the turkey that lives as we speak, but is set to end up on your dinner table later this month. Ripped apart and stuffed up the arse(nal).
Arsene Wenger reckons Thierry Henry should be a leading contender for European Footballer of the year. The current favourite is 3 week wonder, and scoffer of most pies in Madrid, Ronaldo. Fair enough, he had a spectacular World Cup, but 3 weeks of good form doesn't come anywhere near Henry over the last 18 months.
His performances have been outstanding, his goalscoring record second to none in England, and if he finishes below the goofy Brazilian, we can write this award off - however prestigious it thinks it is - as not worth a fish's tit.
As it's a new month, I better give you one more chance to enter the competition. Full details here. Also, if you've fancied yourself as a bit of a match reporter, why not visit the new match reports forum, and give us your version of the last match you saw, whether at the game or on TV. It's still virgin territory, so who will be first to deflower our forum? Go on, you know you want to....
Today, as you may or may not know, is World Aids day. Tell your kids about it. Scare them a bit, because it's a scary thing. Learn some more about it. Give a few quid to an AIDS charity. Just don't think it's something that can't happen to you or your friends, because it can. Don't just ignore it. Look at the facts. Told you it was scary.