perhaps you gain some perverse pleasure in charging Arsenal players, and Dennis Bergkamp in particular, at any opportunity. Your latest charge of 'Improper Conduct' against Dennis Bergkamp comes 6 weeks after the West Ham game, and is quite frankly ridiculous. The incident itself was trivial. Lee Bowyer, self styled hardman and general oik, ran into Dennis Bergkamp's hand.
Bowyer then fell to the ground as if he had been hit by space shuttle debris. Not once did Bergkamp look around to see where the player was. He had his arms out to protect the ball, Bowyer ran into him and tried to cheat the referee. I might respectfully suggest you look to stamp out (pun INfuckingTENDED) this kind of gamesmanship from football if you want to be taken seriously. It seems to me the FA has bowed to media pressure and has chosen to believe those people who called it an 'elbow'. It wasn't.
If you would like an example of a player using an elbow deliberately, why not take a few moments to look at Newcastle v Leeds from last week and keep a close eye on Alan Shearer? I'll tell you why not, because he's an ex-England captain managed by an ex-England manager who you've absolved of serious foul play before. How can you charge him now after all the stuff you've let him away with? When one referee decided he'd had enough of Shearer's sly elbows and sent him off for persistant fouling, you relegated him to the Nationwide league. Nice one. What about David Beckham's elbow on Lee Bowyer? Oooh, sorry, forgot. England captain, golden boy, plays for Man Utd. Rule 1.a - though shalt not charge a Man Utd player with anything (except for Roy Keane, but he's just a thick, angry Paddy so it's ok).
Also, I expect that in a few weeks time we'll see a charge for Ruud van Nistelrooy's forearm smash on Lauren during the FA Cup game at Old Trafford. But then again, probably not. It seems Arsenal beating Man Utd is punishment enough, as your relcutance to even make a comment about van Nistelrooy's punch on Freddie Ljugnberg during the title winning game last May quite clearly demonstrates. Despite the fact countless Arsenal fans asked for an explanation for this, you simply ignored them, or sent them a letter or email with some obscure rule from the FA's 'make it up as we go along handbook'.
Far be it for me to suggest there is a culture of favouritism and xenophobia within the FA, but the various charges brought against Arsenal players whilst blatantly ignoring other more obvious, and serious, incidents show that this really does appear to be the case. I'm not saying Dennis Bergkamp or any other player is beyond reproach. It would just be nice if you applied the same rules to all teams, or at least made it look as if that was what you were doing.
Anyway, in the interests of Arsenal Football Club, if you could find it in your hearts to provide Dennis with a 3 match ban I would be most grateful. Every season we've done the double, Dennis has been suspended for 3 games. You might remember last season you suspended him for 3 games for not stamping on Liverpool's Jamie Carragher who then got a 3 match ban for throwing a coin into the crowd. It's easy to see how not stamping on somebody, and behaviour that could incite the crowd, not mention seriously injure somebody, both merit the same ban.
Carry on the good work.
ps - you are cunts.
09.02 - "Feb 27th.....2002. A date that will live........in infamy."
Well not really, but it was 1 year ago today that I typed the first words here on Arseblog, and unfortunately for you I haven't stopped since.
Over 350 separate postings have been made, more than 30 wallpapers, countless pictures, jokes, cartoons and other images, over 6200 'arses' have been left, more than 5000 postings have been made on the forum, there have been over 350,000 page views - with 100,000 coming this month alone, you can now get Arseblog on your phone or PDA and I've become an international celebrity and playboy with my own yacht and access to the world's most beautiful women....er....well, that last part is a lie. Stupid reality.
Anyway, thanks to you for making the site so popular. I expect my fabulous present is in the post.
And where would be without Arsenal? Another disappointing night in Europe for the Gunners. Held 0-0 by Ajax in Amsterdam, and Arsene Wenger has blamed Ajax's negative tactics for the result. Ajax coach Ronald Koeman disputes that by saying "I’m not worried if anyone says we are negative as we got the maximum out of our two games against Arsenal." Does anybody want to tell Ronald that 1+1=2 and not 6?
Dennis Bergkamp's return home might have seen him get a nice welcome from the Ajax fans, but nothing more. Martin Keown says he has plenty of time to win the Champions League. Not so sure about that to be honest. So Ajax top the group with Arsenal second. Roma's 3-0 away win at Valencia opens up the group, but there's still plenty to do.
I have ventured the opinion to one or two people that Arsenal have a bit of a mental block when it comes to Europe. Whether it's the players or whether it's the way AW sends them out to play in European games, I just don't know. What I do know is that there can be no more excuses if this Arsenal team wants to be seen as one of the top teams in Europe. We've done the learning curve thing - this is our 5th consecutive Champions League campaign (I think), and while previous eliminations could be attributed to a certain naivity in terms of European football, the same can't be said now. It's time to deliver, and with 4 points needed from the final two games - home to Roma and away to Valencia - the Arsenal players are not making it easy for themselves. However, that is quite often when we're at our best. Fingers crossed.
Right, I'm off to eat cake, pin the tail on the Donkey (many thanks to Man Utd for lending me Ryan Giggs for this) and drink fizzy pop laced with rubbing alcohol.
09.38 - Gah. Drank a few beers last night.
Slept it out this morning. Had a dream that Ajax beat us. Left us reliant on other people's results. Bah.
Cole and Seaman fit. Wenger says he wants to win with style. Keown says this is best Arsenal team ever. All this talk making me feel sick. Could be the beer. Doubt it. The Times say it's now or never for Arsenal.
Off to vomit. In a rush. Have mission of intense international significance to complete this morning. More later. Maybe.
08.55 - Man, I'm tired.
I think it's because I had a dream I was playing rugby for Ireland against Scotland. I was the manager of the team as well, and Robert Pires was playing for Ireland. Scotland were playing in long, sueude coats with big fur collars and the pitch was the size of 20 football pitches. Tiring to say the least. I have no idea who won, but seeing the way Scotland have been playing rugby in recent years, it's safe to assume my team of unfit Guinness drinkers won.
It's Ajax tomorrow. We've had reports that Dennis is safely ensconsed in the dining cart of the Channel Tunnel train, eating eccles cake, having a cup of scald and doing a wordsearch in a giant book of puzzles. According to ex-Ajax player Kanu, Dennis will get a great reception from the home fans. He says "Ajax fans always follow players that have left and want them to do well." For the most part I like to see ex-Arsenal players do well when they leave the club, except when they play against us. I'm sure there isn't one Ajax fan who wants to see Dennis Bergkamp play the way they know Dennis Bergkamp can play tomorrow night.
And speaking of ex-Arsenal players, Nicolas Anelka says Man Utd are not in the same league as the Gunners. He says "We beat United 3-1 at home and then drew at Old Trafford. They bear no comparison with Arsenal."No doubt there's a bit of Gooner left in him, and as a Man City player this kind of comment will do nothing but endear him to his own supporters. Maybe the tide has turned, and it's our turn to be the top team in English football, but until we win the league again, I'm saying nothing.
Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorenson says he's flattered to be linked with Arsenal, although he's had no direct contact with the Gunners. Damn right he should be flattered, he's shite. The words 'rat', 'sinking' and 'ship' spring to mind here.
It's 2 days till our birthday here on Arseblog - I'm off to get the Rice Krispie cakes ready. Oh, and cheers to Tom, Kermit and others for an explanation of the C3PO erection card thing. You can find out more here. And I realise that this contant mentioning of the C3PO erection card will do nothing to stop the people visiting here looking for the C3PO erection card. Sorry about that, but anybody who wants a card with a picture of a robot with a diamond cutter needs their head examined.
08.45 - There doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on Arsenal wise this morning. A few more reviews of the game against Man City. The Telegraph calls it a massacre, and wonders why Richard Dunne earns the wages he does. A bit harsh I think. Dunne was pretty crap against us, but so was that Chinese fella. Maybe it's not as politically incorrect to pick on the Irishman though.
SomeMan Utd fans think that Man City deliberately didn't play as well against Arsenal as they did against against them. Maybe they didn't, but it's exactly the same situation when Sp*rs play us, and then go to play United. They're full of running and fight and determination against us. When they play United, they're like 11 half crippled old women. Slow, weak and stinking of their own piss.
Anyway, here's a new wallpaper featuring Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp during Arsenal's 5-1 win.
Liverpool. heh. It just gets worse and worse for our boggly eyed friend. Now it seems there's going to be demonstrations at Anfield ahead of Thursday night's UEFA Cup game. The best thing Liverpool can do is get in a new coach, a new assistant, and totally change the way they play football. Even Wimbledon of old didn't hoof it like this Liverpool team hoof it. Personally though, I'd be happy for Houllier to stay in charge forever, coz they'll never win the league with him in charge.
Is it not possible for somebody to punch Avril Lavigne in the face? Her pubescent Alannis Morisetterry is really beginning to annoy me now. And speaking of stupid cunts, how stupid do you have to be to dump Kylie for this? From delicious pop princess, to Annie Lennox crossed with Brigitte Neilsen. Poor Kylie, there's always an arse for you to cry on here if you need it. Shoulder. I meant shoulder. No, I didn't. I meant arse. I really meant arse.
I did mention this on the forum, but again just looking at my referral logs, 18 out of the last 20 searches have been for C3PO erection card. Can any of you Star Wars nerds who will no doubt pass by looking for C3PO erection card take a moment to explain to me what a C3PO erection card is? Even though you won't find any C3PO erection cards here. Cheers nerdlingers.
15.59 - A small Sunday round up.
According to the Sunday People, Arsenal will sign Turkish goalkeeper Rustu as David Seaman's long term successor. Having seen the highlights of yesterday's game again, I don't think we need him. Stuart Taylor made some quite outstanding saves, had much more presence about him than he did last season, and overall looked more than capable of taking over the number 1 shirt from David Seaman.
Robert Pires has ensured the already frosty relations with our Manchester rivals remain as cordial as those between Washington and Baghdad. Speaking about last weekend's FA Cup game on his radio show he said, "Van Nistelrooy's violence was a disgrace. In the space of a quarter of an hour they really tried to intimidate us, with Van Nistelrooy's tackles and Scholes' tackle from behind on Patrick Vieira. If you're talking about butchers, you should look at what Scholes did to Vieira." You won't find too many Arsenal fans who would disagree with that, but it's not often you hear a player express the same thoughts quite so vigorously. Nice one Bob.
Despite yesterday's good results, AW says the title race is not over. He's right too. There's a long way to go, and one slip up from Arsenal and a Man Utd win could close the gap to two points. So, while we're all exceptionally impressed with the way we're playing now, let's not get cocky and assume the title is as good as won. He also confirms that Ashley Cole and David Seaman should be fit for the game against Ajax on Wednesday. Dennis Bergkamp will travel to Holland, as as we speak he is cruising down the motorway in his Morris Minor. He's expected to arrive in Amsterdam sometime on the Wednesday morning.
I'm off to eat dinner and drink wine. Enjoy your Sunday evening and let's hope Arsenal old boy Matthew Upson can make Liverpool's day as much fun as having colonic irrigation performed with an old hoover.
Well, it was all over within 19 minutes. Arsenal were 4-0 up and cruising. Bergkamp put us 1-0 up after 4 minutes, Pires made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later, Henry then Campbell made it 4.
Captain Vieira scored early in the second half to make it a very comfortable 5-0 win for the Gunners against a team than Man Utd only managed to take 1 point from this season. Anelka scored a late consolation goal for the blues, but he must have looked on at this Arsenal performance and rued the day he ever left Highbury.
All in all it sounded like a top class Arsenal performance, and although he could be forgiven for being a bit rusty, it sounded as if Stuart Taylor had a very good game. Which is good news should Seamo not recover in time for Ajax.
I suppose the only crumb of comfort the City fans can take from this is that it gives Arsenal a 5 point lead in the Premiership after United could only draw with Bolton today. It could have been even better for Arsenal had it not been for a last minute Solskjaer equaliser.
09.14 - The papers do make up some crap sometimes, but the idea that Arsenal would spend £30m on David Beckham has to rank as one of the most inane pieces of journalism ever. So, well done to the Evening Standard for the most ludicrous transfer story of the season. Arsene Wenger even told arsenal.com that it wasn't true. Anyway, we could spend £30m far more prudently, and even if we did sign him, he'd play wide on the right and fire in his crosses to find nobody in the box. Unless we made Kanu into the new Niall Quinn or something.
Speaking of Kanu, he's just back from a spell out with injury, and has laughed off claims he's unhappy at Arsenal. He also is determined to help Arsenal win the treble this season, to show that we've improved as a team. I really don't like the idea of talking about trebles. It's all a bit presumptuous or something. While I think we're certainly capable of winning the league and the FA Cup, I have my doubts about the Champions League. I know the players and manager really want it, but we're just a bit fragile in Europe. I don't know if it's a mental thing, or if it's something to do with the way we play, but I just can't see us winning it.
David Seaman should be fit to face Ajax next week, which is a boost, but Stuart Taylor will play this weekend against Citeh. Those of you planning to travel to Span for the Valencia game, should take a moment to read this Arseweb article. It seems Valencia want to change the date of the game because of a local fiesta. They are quite mad with their festivals here in Spain - towns quite literally shut down and go mental. Fireworks, sideshows, music, kids having meringue fights, burning stuff ...it's all great fun really. If you can spare a few days, take the Arseweb recommendation and stay in Valencia for the festival. I was going to make the short trip down for the match, but unfortunately I can't take the time away from a new job to go.
In more shocking news, Saddam Hussein has ordered all Iraqi women to shave their vaginas. A US spokesman said that it was just further evidence of his anti-bush campaign. Boom and indeed Boom.
09.06 - It's keeper crisis time again at Arsenal. It looks as if David Seaman has aggravated groin and hip injuries and according to Pat Rice, he only got through the game against Man Utd on Saturday through pure adrenalin. So, it looks like it'll be down to Stuart Taylor to fill the nets in Seamo's absence, and young keeper Craig Holloway has been promoted to the Champions League squad because new signing Warmuz is not eligible to play in Europe.
It raises a couple of questions though. Firstly, if Seamo was so bad, why did he play at Old Trafford when AW was prepared to rest Henry and Bergkamp? We've got plenty of back up for them. Secondly, why the buggery fuck did we sign Warmuz when he can't play in Europe? Surely there must have been at least 1 keeper good enough to sign for us who could also have played in the Champions League. Personally, I think we should have bought somebody last summer who could have challenged Seaman for the No1 jersey. Now, I hope we don't regret not having signed Seamo's successor in the hope he could do one more year.
Ajax striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taunted the Gunners and said that while the attacking part of the of the team is great, we're weak defensively and that the Dutch side will go through at the expense of Arsenal. Now, my normal reaction would be to tell this bloke that he's one of these, but he makes an interesting point. By stopping the full backs playing the ball, Arsenal's distribution from the back had to come from the centre halves. Sol is a good stopper, but he's not much on the ball, and Cygan is...er...Cygan. I love the fact we have attacking full backs, and Ashley is solid enough most of the time. I do have my doubts about Lauren's defensive attitude at times though, and a right full back that can go forward, but also defend well would be on my shopping list this summer. That, along with a goalkeeper and a decent centre half.
Anyway, I've decided that Zlatan's thoughts were interesting for about 18 seconds, and he is in fact one of these. I hope we stuff the fuckers in Amsterdam, and the travelling gooners smoke themselves into a victorious stupour after the match.
Kudos to Arsenal's stadium announcer Paul Burrell who explained to the Arsenal fans ahead of the game against Ajax that Arsene Wenger's normal pre-match interview wouldn't take place. He said "Mr Wenger has lost his voice - as opposed to Mr Ferguson who has lost his head." Good stuff. The bigwigs at the club weren't too impressed though, and gave him a warning as to his future conduct. Any more slip-ups and he'll have to go back to raiding Princess Diana's possessions and selling them on the internet.
Finally for today, please take some time to look at this. These are the 5 choices of music that Arsenal.com has for you to vote on. This music will be played every time Arsenal run out at Highbury. For fucks sake. What poxy middle aged, Radio 2 listeners did they get to make these suggestions? Tina Turner - get fucked. Robbie Williams - horse piss in a bucket full of donkey spunk. The A-Team - old hat, it's been done before. The 1971 Double squad - great players, but footballers can't sing. Tchaikovsky - when was the last time he had a song in the charts? Take a moment to email email@example.com and tell them these pieces of music belong on hospital radio, not in a football stadium to welcome the champions to the pitch.
13.58 - Ok, so near the end of the month, Arseblog will be one year old. When I first started it I had no idea it would become as popular as it has. I also had no idea if I'd have the time or inclination to update it nearly every day for a year. I thought perhaps it was one of my passing fads, like learning to play the guitar or frequenting massage parlours. Anyway, it's been nearly a year, I've managed to post something nearly every day, and the number of visitors gets bigger every month. On Monday, we had over 5,000. A new record.
I think it's fantastic, and a big thank you to all of you who visit every day. However, this does add to the costs of running the site. Now, I'm not going to go cap in hand and beg for money with Paypal because I hate that, and I have turned down advertising because I want to keep the site pop-up free and reasonably pleasing on the eye. So, what to do?
Well, in order to mark the upcoming birthday, there is a whole new range of Arseblog merchandise for you to choose from. It features our favourite swear word and the whole idea and concept of the new design is totally and utterly original...oh yes. If you buy something, Arseblog makes $2. This means you can get top quality Arseblog stuff, and you get to help the site. Prices are in US$ so that makes everything really cheap for those of you in the UK.
Anyway, if you want to buy something that's great. If not, don't worry about it. Me and the wife and 6 kids, and the dog and 3 cats will continue to forage through the woods at the back of our house shack in the hope of finding an old squirrel or some non-poisonous berries to eat.
From all accounts it sounded like a fairly lacklustre performance by the Gunners, never reaching the heights of the Old Trafford stroll. Wiltord put us ahead early on, de Jong equalised about 10 minutes later, and Ajax showed that they're a good team with good players. The return fixture in Amsterdam now becomes vital after Valencia beat Roma to top the group.
Dennis Bergkamp played his first competitive game against his old club and hit the post late on, before being replaced by another ex-Ajax man, Kanu. And while old boys scoring against their old club is common enough, it didn't happen this time.
Hopefully we can continue our good away form in Europe, but the fact we're not winning the home games worries me slightly. David Seaman was replaced at half time by Stuart Taylor after picking up a hip injury. The only good thing about this sort of injury is that Seamo is old enough to have a replacement done on the National Health, saving Arsenal a few quid. It's early days, but he looks doubtful for the game against Citeh on Saturday.
Apparently Arsenal's improved disciplinary record this season is down to a series of motivational speeches by a psychologist. Dave Elliot - dad of ballet dancing wonderkid Billy - has been brought in by AW to help players avoid the red cards that were handed out all over the place last season. He says "I teach a method of self-control called response-ability. You could call it anger management but I prefer to describe it as learning to respond in a positive rather than a negative way." Guuuuuuuruuuuuuuuuu. Seems to be working though, eh?
Finally for today, here's a tip to stop spam. I have been receiving emails from a particular company and somebody at the company called Sarah Williams. I have been mostly just deleting them, or using the 'Junk' filter in Apple's mail program to sort them out. However, when they managed to send a mail to all 14 accounts I have at another domain , that was too much. So, I sent this email to their support address:
Would you please stop sending me emails. I hate you bastards with all my heart.
For months you've been sending me shite. Who the fuck is this Sarah Williams anyway? Some cunt no doubt.
Anyway, if you could please refrain from sending me any more emails, I can refrain from emailing you to call you cunts.
You fucking cunts.
ps - you are cunts.
I haven't received anything since. Hurrah. Beat Spam, call a spammer a cunt today.
08.59 - heh - it's all kicking off in the Ferguson v Beckham incident. Fergie says he kicked a boot, and it was a 'freak act of nature', but this seems to be closer to the truth. This article in The Sun adds fuel to the fire. So does this one. And so does this one. And it gets worse for Fergie as he's about to be done by cops for talking on his mobile phone while driving.
Anyway, a 'freak act of nature' is a Tornado in London, a blizzard in Kenya or a sunny day in Dublin. What happened in the United dressing room was a lout going that one step too far against a player who won't put up with his crap. For years he's ruled that dressing room by instilling fear into his players. Doesn't look like it's working anymore. Oh well....heh.
Arsenal take on Ajax tonight, and it's the first time Dennis Bergkamp will have played a competitive game against his former club. He talks here about how the Champions League is the ultimate goal for him, and how Arsenal won't have a better chance of winning it than they do this year. In terms of the squad, we're at more or less full strength. Only Freddie Ljungberg and Super Oleg are absent. Gilberto is likely to go back into midfield alongside Patrick Vieira, and despite his fine peformance at the weekend, Edu will drop to the bench. I got an email during the week from an Ajax fan who wanted to do an exchange of links for the game. His all time idol is Dennis Bergkamp, so he's a man of some taste. Anyway, check out Ajax Showtime. It's all double Dutch to me though....
Chelsea in the cup then. Would it be cynical of me to suggest that the draw has been kind to the FA who would like very much to rekindle the magic of the cup by having a smaller team win it? The last small team to win the cup was Sp*rs in 1991. Since then it's been either Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool or Chelsea (and one win from Everton who are a much bigger club than Sp*rs). Having the two favourites play each other in the 1/4 finals increases the chances of a win for Southampton, or Watford, or Fulham or tiny, tiny Leeds.
Arsene Wenger has already said he'll 'rest' players like he did against Man Utd. Let's just hope Claudio Ranieri can hold his temper if we win. Oh, and any chance Sky might get Tim Lovejoy to do the fanzone commentary again - you could always email them and ask.
08.46 - It goes from bad to worse for 'Sir' Alex Ferguson. After seeing his side dumped out of the FA Cup on Saturday, he stormed into the dressing room, ready to let rip with one of his infamous tirades. As he came into where the players were getting changed, in a fit of temper he kicked a football boot as hard as he could. The boot flew through the air, whacked David Beckham on the side of the head, leaving the England captain with nasty cut. Beckham went mental at Ferguson, and there was all sorts of madness going on before he had the wound stitched up by the United doctor. He left Old Trafford with his missus and son Brooklyn soon afterwards, and there are fears a major rift has developed between the two. Hahahahaha.
It's all far removed from the calm style of Arsene Wenger, who reveals that he met with the Arsenal board after George Graham was sacked. At that time, the idea of a foreign coach was just a bit too daring and out of the ordinary for boring, stuck in a timewarp Arsenal. Still, when Rioch got the boot, in came AW and the rest is history. He also talks about how the target this season is the Champions League. His influence over Arsenal can be illustrated by Robert Pires saying Arsenal was never a club he'd envisaged joining. We didn't have the profile of Man Utd, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan etc. Now we have Ronaldo talking about how he'd like to move to Arsenal. How times change.
The draw for the 1/4 finals of the FA Cup takes place this afternoon. You'll get reaction and info on the forum. Bet you anything we'll get Leeds.
Has Myles been reading Leopold....again? The line between reality and parody grows ever closer. Soon, only their wives will be able to tell the difference.
10.02 - First off, make sure you check out our new wallpaper, featuring Arsenal players celebrating the first goal and Ryan Giggs holding his head in his hands after that fantastic miss. Get it here.
The Sunday Mirror calls Giggs' miss 'The miss of the century'. I've been having a read around some of the Man Utd forums, and there are people there slating Giggs, saying he should never play for the club again. Now, while I was delighted to see him fuck up like that, I can see what a great player he's been for United over the last 10 years. Now that's he suffering a dip in form, there are boo boys who want him out. Like the people that saw fit to boo Arsenal and Thierry Henry earlier in the season, these are the worst sort of football fan. Know nothing Johnny-come-latelys who should just fuck off and die.
According to the Telegraph, Arsenal showed superior class to United. Of course, the funniest quote of the day come from 'Sir' Alex Ferguson who said "I didn't think the Arsenal players handled the referee well. They were surrounding him in numbers and it just creates havoc. We would never do that."
Now, seriously. Even the most ardent, passionate United fan passing through here would have to agree that the quote above is the biggest load of bollocks of all time. Ferguson's United are masters of intimidating referees, especially at Old Trafford. Has he forgotten Keane, Stam and Co chasing Andy D'Urso halfway around the pitch, screaming at him, veins bulging, simply because he gave a penalty to the opposition? I'm all for team's getting stuck into each other - I love watching that - but too many United players were out to settle personal scores to the detriment of their team. Van Nistelrooy and Scholes couldn't make a tackle from the 3rd minute onwards. The Dutchman was only saved from a second yellow card by Lauren's over dramatic rolling. United tried to out muscle Arsenal and it didn't work.
After suffering replays of 'that' goal from Ryan Giggs for weeks and months after the FA Cup semi-final in 1999, it will be nice to watch replays of his quite outstanding miss in today's game.
With an open goal in front of him, Seaman, Keown and Sol Campbell flat on their arses and van Prickstelrooy just outside him, the Welsh 'Wizard' conspired to knock the ball over the bar from the edge of the box. My, how I laughed. In fact, I'm still laughing.
And to make it even sweeter, less than 2 minutes later Arsenal scored. Keane chopped down Vieira on the edge of their area, and Edu's deflected free kick made it 1-0 to the gunners.
Arsenal went 2-0 up early in the second half. Lovely build up play, a sweet pass from Edu and Wiltord stuck it past Barthez to score his first goal since 1876. I was surprised to Edu play to be honest. He hadn't even been on the bench for the last few games, and I was expecting to see Gio in the team, but well done to the Brazilian. He slotted in superbly alongside Vieira and our central midfield pair rendered Keane and Scholes more or less anonymous.
Obviously the referee was being kind to United when he failed to give a penalty when Wes Brown chopped down Wiltord late on. It was comfortable enough for Arsenal in the end. Not the classic everyone had hoped for, and I've seen United play better than that to be fair. But who cares, we're through, they're out and we got to hear the 'We won the league on Manchester' song again.
Keown and van Nistelrooy renewed aquaintances, although the Dutchman's early booking put paid to it being too physical. He is hilarious to watch though. A 6'2" athlete falling over like a drunken spastic that's been spun round and round on an office chair. He wants a free kick or a penalty for everything. Anyway, nice to get revenge for the 99 semi-final, and the league game earlier in the season. Ferguson's scowling face at the end was priceless.
08.55 - Fergie's at it again. No, not the Duchess of York having her toes her sucked by a swimming pool, but the other Fergie. The foul, reprehensible one. He's seething that Martin Keown was only given a fine and warning for the van Nistelrooy clash. According to this Guardian article he "believes the FA is being overly lenient and is privately appalled about what he perceives to be preferential treatment for the London club."
Right, I know he's prone to talking shite, but this is ridiculous. He thinks that the same FA that requests a video every time an Arsenal player so much as looks funny in the direction of an opposition player is biased towards Arsenal? The same FA that quite blatantly employed double standards to punish Dennis Bergkamp, but wouldn't punish David Beckham for his blatant elbow on Lee Bowyer?
The same FA that requested a video of Thierry Henry 'elbowing' a Charlton player even though the Charlton player said nothing happened? The same FA that completely ignored Ruud van Nistelrooy punching Freddie Ljungberg in the stomach during the game at Old Trafford last May? The same FA that suspended Ashley Cole for foul and abusive language, the only player from any Premiership side to be punished for this, despite the fact you can clearly see players calling the referee a 'fucking wanker' every five minutes?
The same FA that punished Patrick Vieira for using 'Insulting words' to 'referee' Andy D'urso? You might remember that D'Urso alleged Viera called him a 'fucking wanker with no personality'. The FA's disciplinary commitee decided that Vieira didn't call him a 'fucking wanker' but that he did say he had no personality. So, instead of looking at it and thinking that the referee had falsified his report - which by dismissing the 'fucking wanker' part that's what they're saying - they made up a completely new punishment that nobody had ever heard of before. 'Insulting words'? I mean, seriously.
This is the FA that gives Arsenal preferential treatment is it? Go have a fucking stroke you whiskey soaked old cunt. I hope we stuff you tomorrow. It certainly raises the stakes for a game that while neither side wants to lose, isn't likely to be the most important meeting between the two in the next few months.
A sign that the people who run international football are becoming desperate. If England's midweek loss against Australia illustrated one thing, it's that friendlies at this time of the year are a waste of time. The senior players didn't care. They care about their clubs. That's not to say they don't care about their countries, but club football is more important these days. International football should be scrapped if you ask me. Who gives a shit?
Finally, to put a little bit of perspective on things, some members of congress in the US want to ban French water and wine because the French won't play 'Battle of the oil barons' with them. Fer fucks sake.
10.59 - England's sporting humuliation at the hands of the Aussies is complete. Cricket, Tennis, dwarf chucking, and now football. Still though, Francis Jeffers made his full international debut and scored England's goal, so from an Arsenal point of view it was a decent night.
Elsewhere, Gio van Bronckhorst scored Holland's winner against Argentina, Bob, Paddy, Tel and Wiltord took part in France's 2-0 defeat by the Czech republic, and it was nice to see Gilberto's trip to the far east was not in vain as Brazil stormed to a ...er....0-0 draw against the mighty China.
Anyway, now that the shite internationals are out of the way, we can get back to more important things. Like the FA Cup game this weekend. Freddie Ljungberg could be back in the squad after playing 45 minutes of the reserves 3-0 defeat to Ipswich Town last night. His comeback can't come too soon if you ask me. Like many, I think the right hand side of the pitch has become weak over the last few months. Wiltord is playing like a spastic monkey of some kind, and he and Lauren don't seem to link as well as they should. Consequently, too much of our play comes from the left hand side, and we lack the variation of earlier in the season. It was around this time last year when Freddie came back from an injury and went on a fantastic run of form, so let's hope he can do something similar this time around.
Martin Keown will be free to renew aquaintances with his old pal Ruud. You might remember in the league game at Old Trafford Keown pushed the giant faced Dutchman in the face. Obviously van Nistelrooy has incredibly sensitive pain receptors and a highly tuned system of exposed nerves all over his body, as the slightest touch from an opposition player has him writhing on the ground as if somebody had stapled his scrotum to a table. Keown was fined £5,000 and warned about his future conduct. Well, I too would give Keown a warning about his future conduct. None of this slappy shite Martin. If you hit him again, you'd better knock some teeth out or break his jaw or something. Or else.
Ex-Arsenal striker Chris Wreh has been told he won't be taken on by Northampton Town because he's too fat. He scored a couple of important goals for us in his time, but with each season, his arse just got bigger and bigger and bigger. I shudder to think what size he is if he can't get a game with Northampton Town.
08.49 - Jeez, if you thought yesterday was a slow news day....and I didn't even have any entertaining dreams to tell you about.
Anyway, listen to this: "He [Bergkamp] was very cunning and unfortunately for me, the referee fell in the trap. I had just equalised, I had had a great game and I took this booking as a staggering blow." Laurent Robert tries to convince people he's not a fucking idiot, and simply succeeds in convincing people he's a fucking idiot prone to high drama. "I took this booking as a staggering blow" - I mean really. Did you ever hear anything so melodramatic in all your life? Ponce.
Internationals take place tonight. Yaaaawn. England play Australia, Ireland play Scotland, France play somebody and all we can do is hope our players come through their respective games injury free. Once again we have international friendlies in the middle of the season. A truly pointless exercise, highlighted by Sven's decision to play the second half of England's game with a group of young players who normally wouldn't get near the England squad.
Does anyone else remember when toothpaste used to be so minty it would actually burn your mouth? Why do we have such wimpy toothpaste these days?
Leopold has surfaced from the marijuana haze and put down the Jules Rimet bong to bring us another installment on the all new ANR.
Finally for today, this is a bit freaky. If anything Arsenal related happens today, chances are it'll be discussed on the forum. If you haven't ever visited, and you really have nothing better to do, why not join today and join in the intelligent, witty banter (ppppfffffffsss) that takes place every day. You can call people names too.
08.34 - So, I come out of the train station on Passeig de Grácia in Barcelona and I'm feeeling a bit thirsty. I decide to go into this nice little bar I know on Carrer D'Aragó for a coffee and a crossiant. I go in and I'm sitting at the bar, when I notice 3 blokes sitting at a table. They're staring at me as if they know me. I look over and imagine my shock when I realise the 3 men are Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars and Martin Keown.
Dennis says to me "Hey, you're that bloke who writes Arseblog, aren't you?". "Yeeeees" I reply warily, not sure sure if he's going to give me a hard time for being not nice to Pascal Cygan. "Greeeeaaaat" says Overmars, "I've always wanted to meet you .... you big bastard cunt". The little fella then dissolves into peals of laughter. Martin Keown looks at him, then looks at me as if to say 'What a fuckin' twat'.
So we get to talking. Dennis is a wonderful chap, full of great stories. He and Keown are marvellous company. Witty, intelligent, captivating. Overmars just pipes up with the odd obscentity every now and again, and while for the most part it's fairly irritating, his description of Christian Vieri as a "cheese knobbed cuntbubble" is quite amusing. We talk about the website, they have loads of questions for me, and we talk about the expenses involved in running the site. Dennis tells me all the Arsenal players love the site and Keown suggests they'll have a whip around to raise some cash. Somehow they do this without leaving the table and present me with an envelope which must contain at least €25,000. I'm thinking 'Wooooo' and indeed 'Hoooooo'. We drink some beer to celebrate. I'm rich, these dudes are my new friends. It's all good.
As we're talking and celebrating our new found friendship, Overmars insists on telling me the time. What do I care if it's 7.45am? What does he mean it's time to get up? I'm looking at him as if he's insane. Why would I want him to put the kettle on, the poxy little hobbit? Dennis, Martin and Marc disappear. I'm awake. Without my envelope of €25,000. Bollocks. Cunt. Shit.
Stupid real life is so disppointing sometimes.
08.59 - It is funny the way people see things differently eh? Bobby Robson has accused Dennis Bergkamp of unsporting behaviour and deliberately kicking the ball against Laurent Robert to get him sent off. Dennis says he was trying to pass to Thierry Henry. Alan Shearer says Robert 'couldn't get out of the way.'
Some points. Robert could easily have got out of the way, Dennis tried 3 times to take the free kick and each time Robert deliberately got in the way. Not only did he did he get in the way, he then attempted to boot the ball as far down the field as he could, only for it to hit Lauren. So, not only did he prevent the free kick being taken, he was also guilty of kicking the ball away. That's two yellow card offences, just minutes after getting his first yellow card. That's not harsh, it's sheer stupidity from a player who should know better.
I understand Newcastle feeling aggrieved at having such an important player sent off. God knows it's happened to us plenty of times, but Sir Bobby and Shearer have a bit of a cheek trying to blame it on Dennis Bergkamp when it was entirely Laurent Robert's fault. Maybe they're trying to protect a player who for all his talent and skill has found himself on the wrong side of the Geordie fans more than once. Arsene Wenger is on Bergkamp's side, naturally enough.
Still, 1-1 seems to be have been the scoreline of the weekend, with Liverpool held at home by Boro 1-1 and Fergie is fuming as the blue half of Manchester nicked a point, and could very well have taken all 3, in the Manchester derby.
Gerard Houllier was missing from the Liverpool game at the weekend, and if rumours are to be believed, he's totally lost the dressing room at Anfield. Hamann wants out, he's looking at a move to Bayern Munich - and the other players are most unhappy with Houllier's threats and moodswings. An article in the News of the World yesterday revealed there had been a team meeting after Liverpool's game against Middlesboro earlier in the season. Jerzy Dudek made a mistake which allowed Boro to score the winner. In the team meeting Houllier told him in front of all the other players "You know what happened to Westerveld, so watch out". You might remember Sander Westerveld was sold to Real Sociedad after making one error too many for Houllier's liking, despite being the keeper for Liverpool's great trophy winning season (spit). Also, I have heard rumours of a serious dressing room incident which is being kept hushed up big time. So, all is not well at Anfield, either on the pitch, in the dressing room, or 'on the terraces'. Which is funny.
On the face of it, a point at St James Park is a good result. But on a day when Man Utd were held at home by Citeh, and you're playing against 10 men for most of the second half, it's a bit disappointing.
However, Newcastle aren't where they are in the table by accident, and to have gone from being a side that came to Highbury and defended with 11 men behind the ball a couple of seasons ago, to the well drilled, attacking team like they are now is nothing short of remarkable. Credit to Bobby Hundreds.
Arsenal took the lead with Thierry's 18th league goal of the season. It was a lovely pass from Wiltord, but our number 11 is looking less and less like the player he was at the start of the season. Freddie can't come back too soon if you ask me.
Dennis took flak from the crowd for Robert's sending off, but quite how anyone can have any sympathy for him is beyond me. A definite yellow card for the foul on Lauren, and I don't think he'd have been booked for blocking the free kick if he hadn't then gone and hammered the ball as hard as he could at one of our players. It's odd that watching on Sky, neither Andy Gray or Martin Tyler mentioned that. As usual, Shearer was fouling, holding, niggling and moaning like the bitch he is. Jeffers, Parlour and van Bronckhorst came on but contributed little. Newcastle defended well and could have nicked it at the end but for a marvellous save from Seaman after Bellamy's cross had been deflected. It was one of those 'Oh bollox, it's not going to loop over him' moments. Thankfully Seamo was up to it.
Lauren and Ashley Cole both picked up bookings which mean they'll more than likely be suspended for the game against Charlton. In Lauren's case, that might not be a bad thing. So, the gap at the top stays at 3 points.
15.45 - I dunno about you, but I find people who lack the most basic of manners or ability to show common courtesy really fucking annoying. Twice in recent weeks I've read somebody's blog and they've asked a question or looked for advice, to which I have sent a reply via email because I happened to know something about their particular problem. Neither of them have bothered to acknowledge my email. I'm not looking for a flowery, supplicant reply gushing with goodwill and gratitude, but a simple 'Thanks' is not too much to expect, is it?
Anyhow, on to football. Arsenal nearly sign another Polish goalkeeper, according to Football365. Bobby Robson is full of praise for this Arsenal team, saying they're one of the best teams he's ever seen. High praise, from a man who's been around so long, he's seen practically every team there ever was. In another article, he reveals that he could have been Arsenal manager. He was offered, and accepted, the job, but Porto, his club at the time, reneged on an agreement to let him go if a bigger club came in for him. I suppose it's all worked out for the best. We have Arsene Wenger, and Sir Bobby is managing his home town club.
Anyway, we've got more or less a full squad to choose from. The only notable absentee is Freddie Ljungberg, who has suffered a slight reaction to his achilles injury, and so sits this one out. Ashley Cole though will play, despite nursing a groin inujry that could see him miss games between now and the end of the season.
Right, that's it for today. My red wine induced hangover is just getting worse as the day goes on. I'm gonna go sit in the sun, and see if that helps.
08.47 - Dennis Bergkamp says the title race is between Arsenal and Manchester United. Craig Bellamy says Newcastle are in there too. No doubt they'll have a say in where title goes, we play them on Sunday and they've got Man Utd in a few weeks time. Fingers crossed they play like Sunderland against us, and Craig Bellamy has one of these days. Captain Patrick Vieira says he won't be thinking about the fact that a booking against the Toon would see him suspended for the FA Cup game against Manchester United. He says, "I realise that I could be back on the sidelines with a suspension if I get booked but you never approach games with that in your mind - never." No doubt he'll get booked in the first 5 minutes.
Lumbering Greek defender Nikos Dab-his-arse says about Bergkamp's goal at St James' Park last season "To tell the truth I was never 100% cent convinced that Bergkamp meant to do what he did". Riiiiiight. And you think saying that will make you look any less of a chump? No chance. Dennis, quite literally, left Dabizas on his arse before scoring the goal of the season. It's hardly a coincidence than Newcastle's best form this season has come when he's been on the bench.
Crystal Palace's Julian Gray reveals that he was speaking to old team mate Thierry Henry before their game against Liverpool the other night. Tel told him to run at Carragher because he didn't like it. Julian took those words of advice, did exactly that, and not only did it result in a goal, it resulted in Henchoz's own goal. Class. Arseblog is proud of you Julian. Thierry meanwhile has picked his all-time DreamTeam and has included only one English player? Bobby Charlton? Nope. Bobby Moore? Kevin "Keegan"? Nope. Chris Waddle, the man whose penalty in the 1990 World Cup is still in orbit around the earth. How odd. He does pick a rather tasty forward line of Romario, Cruyff and van Basten though.
Perennial reserve team left-back David Grondin has left the club. He seems to have been around as long as AW, but will now sign for Dunfermline after being released from his contract. Finally for now, for those of you with dogs, check out www.footballfangs.com, where you can buy football t-shirts, bandanas and other stuff for your four legged friend. Tops. I reckon my hound would look good in an Arsenal shirt. Beats seeing those litte bastard dogs in their Burberry coats anyway. And footballfangs....heh.
08.59 - Oh man, the life of a professional footballer at Arsenal is a good one. Robert Pires talks about how each player is designated a 'Father' and a 'Son' whose job it is to make sure the player's kit is laid out properly, both on matchdays and for training. They probably hold an umbrella over them as they're walking out to their cars on rainy days. They're the equivalent of the Secret Service, ready to take a bullet to protect their player. Fantastic.
Bob says when he was at Metz he had certain superstitions, such as using the same towel or underpants - ah yes, the lucky y-fronts, we all have those - but now it's impossible. He says "...how can you stick to 'lucky clothes' if you have spanking new kit for every match?!"
Dennis Bergkamp wants Arsenal to make history, and win back to back titles. "All our exceptional performances this season will count for nothing if we don't win any trophies. Nobody will talk about a great team in years to come if we do not win anything." True words, and let's face it, this Arsenal team is probably the best any of us are ever likely to see in our lives. There is such talent right throughout the squad, if they don't make this era the Arsenal era, they never will.
United have a...er....massive game against Citeh at the weekend. They'll be keen to avenge the 3-1 defeat from earlier in the season. I'm just hoping old Nic can do us a favour and keep up his great scoring record against them. We've got Newcastle on Sunday, live on TV an' all. Sweet. They have such a good record at home, and Bobby Hundreds has done such a good job, it'll be a tough game. Keep Shearer quiet though, and we have enough up front to cause their defence a few problems.
Houllier and Liverpool's season is well and truly over now. Knocked out of the FA cup by Crystal Palace, at Anfield. And not just that, Palace's first goal was scored by former Arsenal youngster Julian Gray. And not just that either, the decisive own-goal came from Stephan Henchoz, who you might remember took on the role of goalkeeper and made one of the finest saves the FA Cup final has ever seen in 2001. And not only that, little Mickey Owen continued his cracking form by missing a hatful of chances.
What goes around, comes around, you miserable scouse fuckers, and the shit has hit you right between the eyes. I just couldn't be happier. Houllier's shamefully vehement defence of Steven Gerrard's leg-breaker this week really just shows how desperate things are at Anfield. All we can hope for now is that they manage to actually play well for their game against Man Utd later in the season. Maybe they can make the UEFA cup....heh.
14.59 - <plug>For those of you that fancy getting in on this football blogging business, here's something that might be of interest to you.
A brand new site called blogfc.com. Basically, you get a subdomain e.g http://arseblog.blogfc.com, proper web space without any nasty pop-up ads or banners at the top of your page, your own control panel to set up email addresses, easy to install forum and chat room, site stats and loads more. There's a technical support helpdesk if you have any problems, there's a support forum for your hosting questions, there's a web design forum which is handy for everyone from the real beginner to the super experts (like me....*cough*) and there are forums to just talk about football, from the Premiership to the Nationwide to La Liga to national teams. The whole idea is to build a community of football websites, have some fun on the forums, and for people to use the knowledge and expertise of the other members to help make their sites better.
All this, starting from as little as $6.95 per month. That's less than the price of a pack of cigarettes in England. You can start a website about Arsenal, about your local team, about your Sunday league team, or really anything to do with football (computer games, ISS, FIFA2003, Championship Manager etc).
Check it out, it comes with my heartiest recommendation ;o) Also, if you're one of the first 25 people to sign up, you could win a year's hosting for free.</plug>
09.06 - Headline is today's Sun, "Fergie on the offensive", after United's 1-0 win over Birmingham last night. When I saw it first, I read it as "Fergie an offensive, red nosed, gum chewing fuckbag". Funny the way that happens, eh?
Also in the Sun, Arsenal are prepared to hijack United's bid to sign the scariest looking footballer since...er....Luke Chadwick. They claim Arsenal are prepared to offer £11m for Ronaldinho, and Arsene Wenger is confident the lure of playing with fellow Brazilians Gilberto and Edu will be enough to make the goofy, famine looking playmaker join the Gunners. Can't see it happening meself though, but then what do I know? The ever reliable Planet Football has us linked with Real Madrid's Guti. No chance.
It seems there's little hope of Gilberto being granted permission to miss Brazil's meaningless friendly against China next week. Games like this, which serve no purpose except to bolster the coffers of a national association could spark all out war between FIFA and the G14 group of clubs. A G14 spokesman said yesterday "We now want to really alarm FIFA because it is very unfair. We will not withdraw players from the game in China but if in the future there is a game taking place in another continent in similar circumstances we may not release them." I don't think it's going to be long before FIFA is told to go and play with the traffic. The big clubs have all the power now, and if FIFA insist on running the game the way they have been, a split is inevitable.
New keeper Guillame Warmuz says joining Arsenal is "...a consecration." I really don't know what to say to that actually. Well done to Moritz Volz who went on loan to Wimbledon, started the game against Brighton last night, and scored a cracking 20 yard goal in their 3-2 win. Good stuff. I wonder if he's been sent to get some match experience, given the fact that Super Oleg is in the twilight of his career and Lauren is as reliable a right back as Michael Jackson is a babysistter.
More later probably.
08.59 - Let's start with the good news then.
Freddie Ljungberg is on his way back. He played 60 minutes of the stiffs 1-1 draw against Chelsea last night. If I recall correctly, he was out for a similar period last season around this time, and came back into the team like a lean, mean goalscoring machine. Same again please, Fredrik.
Robert Pires says he's not quite at his best yet, but not too far away from being at the top of his form. Considering how well he's playing, it's nice to know he's got a bit more still to come. There was always the danger that after a serious injury like that, he might not regain the sort of fitness and mental strength to play the same way, but he's worked hard and now he - and Arsenal - are seeing the rewards of that hard work. In celebration of the Bob, here's a new wallpaper showing him just after scoring the winner against Fulham.
German defender Moritz Volz has gone on loan to Wimbledon for a month and looks set to go straight into their first team for their game this weekend. A case of Dons and Gerry?
'Should Jeffers start at Newcastle?', asks ANR. Doubtful, considering Bergkamp's wonder goal up there last season. Purely from a psychological point of view, he's got to start. He'll put the shits up the Toon defenders any time he gets near the ball. Nice to see Jeffers starting to make an impact though, and he really does bring something different to the team when he comes on. Unlike Kanu, who's impact as sub has dwindled as his tricks got found out, Jeffers is quick and instinctive in and around the box. Looks like he's got a future in N5 after all.
Birmingham take on Man Utd tonight in a game that should have been played last week. No doubt the old boys network will kick in and Brucey's boys will put up a gallant effort but end up losing 8-0 or something. All we can hope for is that our old friend Matt cripples a few Mancs before the night is out. If you could do Keane and van Nistelrooy, I'd be much obliged Mr Upson.
Finally for today, for those of you who use PDAs and other hand held thingimajigs, you can now get arseblog on your browser. I have to thank Tom for sorting this out. He travels a lot, I'm not sure if it's for his work or if he's some kind of gypsy, but either way he's written a nice script so all you other travellers out there can read Arseblog on the move. Cheers Tom.
To get it, go to http://www.arseblog.com/handjob/index.php
Please let me know if there are any problems with that.
08.56 - Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnn.
As reported back in January, Arsene Wenger was most unhappy about the prospect of Arsenal's French contingent having to go play in the Confederations Cup in the summer. Well, it's not just Arsene that's unhappy. Robert Pires says he may not go to the tournament at all. He says "The competition starts five weeks after the Premiership season ends. It's really awful."
Anyway, the French were so quick to blame Arsene Wenger for Bob's injury last March because he played so many games for Arsenal, but seem not to mind flying them half-way around the world for meaningless friendlies or to take part in competitions nobody could give a fish's tit about. You might remember Roger Lemerre was keen on patching up Pires so he could play in the World Cup and then sending him back to Arsenal for his major surgery. I think my idea of making the Confederations Cup an event for Under21s is a good one, but then I'm not a product of Clairefontaine School of Coaching Theory and Advanced FIFA Bollocks. Good on ya Bob, I hope Thierry and Paddy tell them the same thing. At the moment Wiltord can go take part, but as soon as he starts scoring again, he's telling them 'Non' as well (you see what I'm doing with the Wiltord thing here?!).
Alan Hansen talks about Arsenal and the shift in the balance of power - sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings that - in today's Telegraph. Tony Gale talks about Arsenal and how important Martin Keown is because Pascal Cygan is a bit shit really in today's Sun. David Seaman talks about how he keeps his hair so soft, silky and dandruff free in today's Hairdresser's Gazette.
Sorry. Anyway, got some good stuff coming soon here on Arseblog soon. Hopefully, we'll be able to make the site compatible with those wee hand-held jobbies and mobile phones, and if you've ever wanted your own football blog, I'll have details about a cool new service in the next week or so. Bet you can't wait.
Oh, and it's been a while since I posted this. Still the best thing ever.
9.45 - There's nothing quite like getting up nice and early on a warm, spring, Sunday morning. Unless you've had a couple of bottles of wine too many the night before, and it's as pleasant as licking the poo off a sheep's arse. Gah.
AW is full of praise for Robert Pires and Francis Jeffers. I think yesterday's brace made it 7 goals this season for Bob, which is pretty good considering his season didn't start till October. Jeffers came on and shook things up a bit, had a couple of chances and set up the winner for Pires (not sure if it was deliberate, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt). Nice to see.
A change in attitude from Jermaine Pennant? "I aim to prove to Arsene that I'm worth a place in his squad, which is the best in the country. But the only way I'm going to do that is by working my socks off in training and doing my best whenever I get the call.'' There's never been any doubt about his talent, but there have been question marks about his application. Perhaps seeing Kolo Toure steam his way into the first team on a regular basis on the back of sheer determination and hard work has made JP think again about what it takes to make it at Arsenal. A £2m transfer fee won't do that for you, son.
The Sunday Mirror links us with son of WWW, Sean Wright-Phillips. There's nothing there to back it up, and he just strikes me as being a bit too small for this Arsenal side. AW likes his players big and strong. Like Justin Fashanu did.
Finally, for those of you with nothing else to do on a Sunday, have a lash at this (via Diamond Geezer).
Well, there's leaving it late and there's leaving it late.
Not much left in the way of fingernails round these parts, a serious amount of coffee has been consumed, children have been thrashed to within an inch of their lives for daring to disturb me during the game (I don't care if you're projectile vomiting all over the bathroom right now. After the game I care), and it was all a bit tense.
We took the lead through Bob, Malbranque or Marlet or one of those French M dudes equalised for the Cottagers....heh, cottagers....and it was a second half of despair, hope, more despair and finally mad jumping in the air as Bob scored the winner in injury time after we'd gone close loads of times through Jeffers, Henry, Vieira and a Gilberto shot that hit the post.
An important 3 points as United beat Southampton 2-0 at St.Mary's. No doubt their fans will be as gutted as we were when they scored last minute winners against Chelsea and Sunderland.
Welcome to a brand new month by the way. It's the customary greeting at the start of the new lunar cycle, and this month sees Arseblog reach the ripe old age of...er....one. I'll tell you later how to send birthday presents....*cough*.... Enjoy the rest of the weekend gooners.