december 31st

Doesn't look like Arseblogger is quite back from his Christmas hols yet so here's some new arses.

Have an excellent party tonight and all the best for the new year.

december 28th

Another arse update. Hope everyone had a good Christmas.

Newcastle tomorrow night. Edu may be fit again and Ashley Cole returns from suspension.

december 24th

Some fresh new Christmas arses from me, Tom, just for you.

Have a good one!

december 22nd

So what's going on early this morning? Not much, really. The players are resting up ahead of the hectic Christmas schedule and news is short on the ground.

Which is just as well as it's time for Arseblog to take its holidays. I'm off back to Ireland today to stuff myself with Christmas food, as well as Guinness, black and white pudding, brown bread, proper sausages, Jonny Onion Rings, Meanies, Star Bars and all the other stuff you can't get over here. I'm back on the 30th and there may be an update between now and then but I can't promise anything. If I can't then Tom, who ably and gallantly (if not so handsomely) stood in for me during my house move and internet drought this year, will post something so you can have fresh arses.

It's been a great calendar year for Arsenal, I don't need to remind you what we've achieved this year and how much we've all enjoyed it. It's been a great year for Arseblog too. Over 10,000,000 pages viewed between January and today and there's still a bit to go, I've gotten loads of cool free t-shirts from my t-shirt giving friends and the site has won an award , spawned many other Arsenal blogs and most importantly brought Arsenal fans together from all over the world.

Thanks to all of you for helping to make the site what it is, from those of you that have been here since day one and those of you who are new to Arseblog, it's greatly appreciated, especially when I clamber out of bed with a hangover to write the day's blog only for somebody on the arses to call me a lazy cunt because it might be 10 minutes later than they expect.

Happy Christmas to you and yours and here's to a peaceful, prosperous and silverware filled 2005. See you soon.

december 21st

Well the most interesting thing this morning is that Thierry Henry finished second to Ronaldinho in the FIFA World Player of the Year award. While it would have been nice to see an Arsenal player win this it's not a big deal really. We all know that Thierry scored more goals than Ronaldinho, created more than Ronaldinho and won more than Ronaldinho. One day our man will get the recognition he deserves and even if he doesn't we know we've been watching the best player in the world for some time now. The man himself said "I'm happy to win this [second place] award but the main thing is always to win things with your team and I would rather win the Premiership again or the (UEFA) Champions League."

In other more important news José Antonio Reyes has been ruled out of the Christmas schedule with a minor knee injury while there's better news as Freddie Ljungberg looks set to return to the squad after his headache problems.

The Sun reports, not in great detail, that Arsene Wenger will refuse to play fit again Edu because fit again Edu won't sign a new deal with the club. Is he cutting his nose off to spite his face with this one? It's hard to tell. If Edu doesn't want to sign and wants to go somewhere then that's fine, but although I have no doubts about his professionalism there is the problem of his mind being elsewhere. He could sign a contract with Valencia, for example, and for the next 4 or 5 months of the season a bad performance doesn't make any difference to him. I'm not suggesting he'd slack off or anything like it, but there's no pressure or motivation to perform. On the other hand with Gilberto out for so long and two relative rookies in Cesc and Flamini then we could use his experience. Whatever happens I'm sure the boss knows best.

Elsewhere Jens Lehmann says he's happy to stay at Arsenal and fight for his place, saying "I'm working hard and I assume I will play again soon."

In the Independent James Lawton asks 'What's happened to Patrick Vieira?' and although I can't abide Lawton, the way he writes and his constant use of Manchester United as a yardstick for all that's good in the game, I do have my own worries about our captain which I may elaborate on at a later date. I'm just too tired this morning and frankly having even vaguely similar thoughts to Lawton has made me feel quite ill and dirty. Even stats won't make me feel better.

I think I need to lie down again. Finally, may I just take the time to call the people who live underneath me and who have been hammering on their ceiling since 8am this morning 'utter, utter cunts' and I wish them plague and pestilence this festive season.

december 20th

Not exactly a classic Arsenal performance yesterday but three very nice points nonetheless.

If you were scoring like boxing you'd have to have given the first half to us, but we didn't really create really clear chances.

In the second half Portsmouth took the game to us and had a number of chances. Lucky for us Ricardo Fuller is shit or he'd have put them one up early in the second half, a Toure block foiled Yakubu (I think) while Manuel Almunia made good saves from Patrick Berger and Steve Stone's bobbling effort.

I think we missed Cesc in midfield. Flamini worked hard and got about the pitch very well and he looks more and more an Arsenal player with each game but Patrick Vieira's worryingly poor form continues. With Cesc in midfield we have someone who can pass the ball forwards and find an Arsenal player, something that's not Flamini's job and something, that at the moment, seems beyond Vieira's ability.

At the back today Sol was magnificent. He provided the solidity we've been missing for so long, he made a number of great clearances from corners and free kicks and to top it all off late in the second half he came forward, picked up a (sideways!) pass from Vieira, took a lengthy stride forward and hammered it from 25 yards and at nearly 80mph past the Portsmouth keeper. Leading by example. Considering all his other Arsenal goals have been headers from set-pieces this was something special and on days like this one that's the difference between one point and three. So it stayed 1-0, we got the three points and it was nice to see the togetherness of the team at the final whistle.

One of the reasons we were so good last season was our ability to graft out results when we didn't necessarily play well. Yesterday showed that we're still capable of that and it bodes well for the coming months. The boss reckons we're back in the title race now, saying "We have to go from game to game. We also have the belief and we can come back. You have seen that anything can happen and it's down to us."

In other news Jurgen Klinnsman is concerned that Jens Lehmann is spending too much time on the bench while later today the FIFA World Player of the Year will be announced. It should be Thierry but don't be surprised to see it go elsewhere. So how was your weekend then?

december 19th

A very brief round-up this Sunday morning as my aching limbs (from playing football and not from a night on the town at all) will permit nothing more.

The People reports that Edu will sign for Manchester United, doubling his money to £60,000 a week. The less said about that the better. Arsene Wenger says if we wanted to buy Ledley King there would be nothing Spurs could do to stop it but as we don't want to buy him it's not an issue. Right. The boss also talks about Thierry Henry and how much he deserves the World Player of the Year award, although he thinks TH will miss out this time around because there's a bit of 'anti-English' feeling.

And that's about it. Portsmouth away later on. A recovery pint or two might be in order.

december 18th

So it's Bayern Munich in the first knock-out stages of the Champions League. Not the worst draw we could have had but they're always going to be a tough side to come up against. The last time we played Bayern was probably one of the worst European performances of AW's reign even if we did scrape through to the next phase after being beaten. The boss is hoping for an improved performance (and result) against the Germans and was quick to defend our European form. He said "We know we are not as dreadful as everybody says we are in Europe. I concede that we have not won it, but when I saw the (draw) announcement it said only three teams have not lost a game - Inter Milan, Juventus and who? Arsenal."

Good work. Bayern also deals up the battle of the keepers, Lehmann v Khan and even though our German is out of the team Arsene Wenger has been quick to praise his reaction after being dropped. He's also ruled out a move for Ledley King during the transfer window. Myles, over on the fake ANR, has been told the deal is done and dusted, and to be fair I heard there might be something in it too (although I can't see us spending £22.5m on a central defender), but the boss seems to be quite definite. In fact he's suggesting he won't be spending anything at all during the January window preferring instead to give opportunities to Flamini, Senderos and Hoyte. I'm not 100% sure I believe him. We will be bringing in Eboué, and it's possible we might see Marco Né if Edu's situation sees him leave in January. You might remember similar denials last winter and then we went out and bought José so while I'll take AW's word as gospel on most things when it comes to transfers I'm not sure he always tells the truth (in public). It's a bit of tricky one for a manager. We're talking about young players with great talent here who won't improve unless they play. Signing more established players basically closes the door on their Arsenal futures so let's hope they can step up to the plate when needed.

One transfer story that can definitely be knocked on the head is the one linking Ashley Cole to Real Madrid. Double-D says "He is our player and we intend to keep him our player. It must be feeding time for the agents.''

And that's about it for this morning. Tomorrow's game against Portsmouth is on the TV. I'm off to get a haircut.

december 17th

Buenas Dias chums, yo am el cleaner del blogger y estoy typiendo el blog hoy. What suerte I have. De hecho...ah fuck it. I just can't be arsed.

So no doubt you all know by now that Arsene Wenger was fined £15,000 and told never to call Ruud van Nistelrooy a cheat again. Apparently it makes him cry and gives his fetlocks terrible jip. Arsene has said he'll be better in future, especially with Santa coming to town next week. There's little need to mention how his original quote has been twisted and propagated to make it sound worse than it was. We know better.

Edu says he'd like to stay at Arsenal and that Arsenal have made him two offers but he's holding out for a third. I understand he's got a big decision to make about his future, his next contract is a very important one, but you can't help thinking he might have been better off not batting his eyelids so publicly at the Spanish teams interested in him (although according to one Spanish paper a move to Madrid seems unlikely after he's asked for too much money). He'd certainly be better off not mentioning Manchester United. I'm sure he's being offered a handsome contract by Arsenal but maybe once all the other people get their cut it's not as handsome as what he might get in Spain. Anyway, it's boring now. He'll either stay or he'll go. And that's that.

Better news about Freddie Ljungberg whose neurols seem to have checked out fine and even though he'll miss Sunday's game against Portsmouth he should be fit and ready for the festive season. Ashely Cole could miss Sunday's game too, he's got a knee injury, and that should mean a call up for fit-again Gael Clichy. If you're looking for some Arsenal reading material this Christmas here's a couple of books I've read recently which might interest you.

Of course the main story this morning hasn't happened yet. The Champions League draw which sees Arsenal with a 60% chance of playing somewhere near me, some nearer than others, and a 40% chance of ending up in the home of Die Fantastischen Vier. Personally I'd like a nice trip to Madrid as our road to the final stretches out in front of us. We'll update once the draw takes place but if you want to find out as it happens I assume the BBC is probably the best place to refresh constantly. Let's wait and see what happens....

UPDATE: Champions League draw is made. Arsenal get Bayern Munich, first leg away in Munich. The other English teams involved: Barcelona v Chelsea - Liverpool v - Bayer Leverkeusen - Manchester United v AC Milan. Reaction tomorrow.




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