february 16th

Thought you might like a little bit of the coverage of Reyes from the main sports papers here in Spain.

“The first of Reyes’ goals was one of the most spectacular of the English season. With his potent shot from 25 yards, he made Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cuducini’s dive useless.” - Marca.

“Olé, Reyes, Olé - The ex-Sevilla player puts Arsenal into the 1/4 finals of the cup with 2 goals, one extraordinary, and wins a huge ovation at Highbury” - El Mundo Deportivo.

“Reyes smites Chelsea” - AS (Literally the translation was 'Reyes thunders against Chelsea, but 'smites' works a lot better).

Spaniards, and Barcelona people in particular, tend to be a bit insular about their football, but Reyes is certainly going to raise the profile of Arsenal over here, and already I’ve educated my kids classes about football in England. “Arsenal good, everyone else bad, especially Manchester United”.

I’m sure if Thierry Henry had been fit, young José would have started on the bench against Chelsea yesterday. Maybe it’s a bit early to say this, but you can see the difference between this number 9, and the previous number 9. Jeffers just never looked like an Arsenal player, José has something about him that makes him look the part. Even Arsene Wenger is a bit surprised at how quickly he's delivered.

I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot more of him in the coming weeks, and no doubt he’s given the manager a headache when it comes to selecting the team for the league game against Chelsea. I expect TH to be fit and ready for that one, and normally you’d expect Dennis Bergkamp (who was in fine form yesterday) to get the nod. But when a player cracks in a goal like that first one, you have to think about giving him another go. A tough one, but that’s why AW gets paid all that money to make those decisions. I suppose it’s a better problem to have to choose between Reyes and Bergkamp than it is to choose between The Dead Snake and Kaba Diawara.

Sol Campbell is out of England’s friendly against Portugal on Wednesday with an injury that threatened to keep him out of the Chelsea game. Obviously he’s had a post-match ...er...reaction...*cough*...and won’t travel. Good news for us though. International friendlies at this stage of the season are nonsense anyway. More good news for us is that Sol is in talks with the club about extending his contract. Bad news though that Ray Parlour could be out for up to 6 weeks after damaging medial ligaments in his knee, the same injury that's keeping Jeremie Aliadiere out of the side.

Don't forget the 1971 DVD competition, you have until tomorrow night to enter, the winners will be announced on Wednesday. This week is the start of Carnaval here - processions, days of flinging eggs and flour and meringues at each other, costumes, and most importantly, beer. Olé.

february 15th

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Reyes 2)

Thierry Henry scored his first Arsenal goal against Southampton, and rather a good one it was too. I’d venture that José Reyes’ debut goal was even better. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a better debut goal for the club than that.

José Antonio Reyes celebrates his first Arsenal goal...

Arsenal were 1-0 down to Chelsea when he picked the ball up on the right hand side of Chelsea’s area, stepped inside and buried it in the top corner. It’s a shame the game wasn’t on Sky coz we might have got one of those readings to show us how fast it was moving, but Cuducini couldn’t get near it. A brilliant goal.

Then a couple of minutes later Vieira won the ball from Scott Parker just outside the Chelsea box, clipped a lovely ball through to Reyes who knocked it first time past Neil Sullivan. The keeper got a bit of a touch but it crawled over the line.

Two goals in 5 minutes from the Spaniard. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we’ve got ourselves a player here. You could see the confidence the goals gave him and he got more and more involved in the game.

Chelsea, well once we went ahead they played like a team of mercenaries. They may have assembled a collection of players that look good on paper, but they bottled it. They didn’t have the fight or the spirit to make a game of it, and they never troubled us again really. So it’s into the 6th round of the cup for the Gunners, and Chelsea again at their place next Saturday. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, gooners.


february 15th

So this morning I’m battling through a Beefeater induced hangover to bring you the blog. Beefeater and Tempranillo. And beer. *boilk*

The bad news to start with is that Thierry Henry is out of today’s game against Chelsea. He picked up a bruised foot against Southampton, and he also seems to have injured himself so Arsene Wenger is not going to risk him today. We’re also without Wiltord, Aliadiere, Kanu and Freddie. Likely starters up front are Bergkamp and Reyes, although David Bentley could get the nod to play with Dennis.

Sol Campbell faces a late fitness test, which if he fails would mean a central defensive partnership of K-lo and the Cyganbot. Robert Pires talks about Arsenal's togetherness this season in a very interesting interview in the Independent.

Anyone else see the funniest moment of the season yesterday when Gary Neville got sent off against Citeh? When he dived to try and get the penalty his kicking and rolling around on the ground in temper when the ref wasn’t fooled was just hilarious. If anyone can make a video clip of that I’d love to put it on the site permanently. The subsequent red card just capped one of the finest few minutes of the season thus far.

Important: Can any Macintosh users who use Arsenal+ to listen to the radio commentary please let me know if they have any problems with the radio coverage today. Get in touch via this form.

Right. Beach. Papers. Hair of the dog. Then the match. More later.

february 14th

Gah. It’s just after 8am on Saturday morning. I have a poxy cold and I have to go to work now in a little while. Life bitch-slaps me at every turn.

Not a huge amount going in this early. Arsene Wenger has praised Frank Lampard for not being a useless, fat cunt anymore. Thierry praises Terry and talks about new signing Jose Reyes settling in at the club, while Martin Keown misses the FA Cup clash against Chelsea. After his agent went on a charm offensive last week, saying how much he’d changed and learned from being at Leeds, it seems the only thing Jermaine Pennant has learned is how to get into more trouble than before. He’s been done for drink driving, the fool.

That’s about all there is at this stage. Congratulations have to go to Stevie C for reaching the landmark 50,000th new-arse yesterday at 18.09, with the profound and dyslexic ‘who wil it be?’[sic]. If you’ve never arsed, check out the bottom of each day’s entry and say hello.

Finally, don’t forget you can win a copy of the 1971 FA Cup final on DVD. Just go to this page and answer the very simple question. The prize comes thanks to NostalgicTV and the DVD is multi-region, so readers from far and wide can enter and win, and if you don’t win you can just buy a copy of what was a magical day for Arsenal FC.

Right, work. Boooooooooo.

february 13th

Can you believe that piece on Arsenal America about selling Thierry Henry to Real Madrid? That bloke was obviously just using NewsNow to get hits to his site. You’d never catch me  resorting to such behaviour. Oh no. The other thing is, I think he was trying to be serious in some ways. Which is kind of sad, because no Arsenal fan could ever advocate the selling of the world’s best player, no matter what kind of money was offered. In this article on arsenal.com Henry talks about how he struggled when he first arrived, so those people thinking twice about Jose Reyes should think twice about thinking twice. Patrick Vieira has revealed that the Arsenal team used to take the mickey out of Henry when he went through his Jonny Missalot phase. We used to take the mickey out of this guy in school who had a really, really wide head. ‘Wide-Head’ we used to call him. I’d always cycle home behind him because his wide head would block the wind.

Apparently the club are working on another European partnership venture. As well as the mighty Beveren, it seems we’re going to link up with Willem II in Hollandia. The Dutch league is certainly a higher standard than its Belgian equivalent, so we could see a number of our kids go over on loan to give them experience of first team football. I’m not sure why we didn’t send any to Beveren this year, but they seem to have a team full of players from the Ivory Coast, so I suspect the place is being run by modern day slave traders.

Good news on the injury front is that Dennis Bergkamp should be fit for Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Chelsea. Jeremie Aliadiere and Whatshisname Wiltord are still a good three weeks away from making their returns. Jose Reyes was not included in the Spanish squad for their upcoming game against A N Ation, as the Spanish manager reckons his time would be best spent settling into life in a new country and at his new club. He’s also just started taking English lessons, according to arsenal.com. I hope they’ve got him a good teacher and not some embittered Mick.

Ashley Cole talks about how he's become the new Vieira. That doesn’t mean he’s shot up to 6’4” and will now play in midfield, it’s all to do with the fact he’s a bit grumpy on the pitch from time to time. People forget that he is still a young lad even though he’s played so many games for us. He’ll learn and anyone who thinks he’s a bit of a pup might just cast their minds back to the 4 decades Nigel Winterburn spent at left back winding up everyone who came within 30 yards of him.

Fridays are good. No work for me. Can start drinking...erm....now.

february 12th

I had planned on opening today’s blog with a quote from Thierry Henry from the article that appeared on arsenal.con (still no reply to my email about lack of radio commentary, the slack bastards). However, due to my internet connection being dodgier than a Manchester United transfer deal, you’ll have to let me paraphrase for you.

“For the last fucking time, I love it at Arsenal. I’ve signed a new fucking contract for fucks sake. I'm not moving anywhere. Now, why don’t you donkey raping, cock smoking, shit faced ass-masters in Madrid, and you scuttery press wankers with nothing better to do than write ‘HENRY TO MADRID’ headlines, go and fuck yourselves. You cunts.”

At least that's how I remember it.

Last night saw our old chums Middlesbrough do us a favour as they beat United 3-2 at Old Trafford. Juninho, all 3’4” of him scored two headers to put Boro 2-0 up, United got back to 2-2, but then Joseph Desire Job scored the winner with about 10 minutes to go. In the 94th minute, Diego Forlan, who reneged on a deal to join Boro just before he signed for United, hit the bar from 4 yards out. You have to laugh, really. Maybe Demento would  have been better off splashing some cash on a defender in the transfer window, it’s not like United have ever had problems scoring goals. So we’re 5 points clear now, and while no Arsenal fan is going to get carried away – there’s a long way to go and we know fine well that 5 points is nowhere near enough of a gap yet – it’s still nice to see.

Kanu looks like he’s on his way back after Nigeria were beaten in the semi-finals of the African Cup of African Nations from Africa playing for a Cup. They lost on penalties to the hosts Tunisia. Don’t forget our 1971 FA Cup final competition – you can win a copy of the double clinching game on DVD thanks to Nostalgic TV.

Now I have to go and teach the two ladies who lunch. Phrasal verbs, anyone?

february 11th

So I rushed home from work, leaving behind me pre-intermediate students with their heads full of comparatives and superlatives, so I could listen to the second half of Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Southampton. Having paid my money to arsenal.com a few weeks ago, I was confident that top class radio coverage would await me and entertain me for the second 45 plus stoppage time.

Nope. Arsenal.com had no commentary last night. No matter how many times I tried, Windows Media Player would spit back the very helpful ‘An error has occurred’. Nice one. Thankfully the UK based people in the arseblog IRC channel who had access to an old fashioned wireless kept the many of us who had paid for arsenal.com’s radio commentary up to date. I’m not that interested in downloading goals, or seeing interviews with Igors Stepanovs about his time at Beveren, or all the other crap in the Arsenal Plus area. The only thing I want Arsenal Plus membership for is listening to the games and when it doesn’t work, it’s more than a bit annoying.

'What about the game?', you say. Well, I dunno. I only know what I read on the IRC channel. Henry scored his 100th Premiership goal, Southampton huffed and puffed, Jens made a couple of good saves and refrained from whacking Kevin Phillips, Jose Reyes had a poor first half and was better in the second before being replaced by Clichy, Ray Parlour clattered Danny Higginbotham and as he was lying, gasping for air, the very life force of him draining away, Henry scored his 101st Premiership and lots of Southampton players went mental. Or something. No doubt Gordon blew his ginger little top, but don’t ask me for more details as arsenal.com robbed them from me.

More stories about Real Madrid wanting Thierry Henry flashed around the newswires yesterday. Well, they can want in one hand and shit in the other and see which gets full first. How many times does he have to say he’s happy at Arsenal and won’t be going anywhere? After last night’s game Arsene Wenger described him as “World class, a top player.”

Tell us something we don’t know, boss.

He has also hit out at Real Madrid and the underhand way they conduct their transfer dealings. They've acted the bollox over so many transfers, Anelka, Figo, even Beckham, and the boss says "If I want a player from Real Madrid, I would call Real Madrid first, I wouldn't come out in the newspapers first. It's unfair to his own players firstly and, secondly, it's unfair towards Arsenal. You'd expect a bit more class."

I like the last line, but let's face it, when it comes to Real Madrid and their Galactico purchasing, none of us really expect any class at all, do we?

So Arsenal are 5 points clear at the top of the table, for now. Manchester United play Boro - who knows, our smoggy chums might just bore a result out of Old Trafford - while Chelsea take on Portsmouth.

Finally for today, with thanks to NostalgicTV, we've got 3 DVD copies of the 1971 FA Cup final to give away. You get the full 90 plus extra time, Charlie George's famous winning goal and celebration, plus loads of stuff like pre-match TV coverage, on-pitch celebrations and much more. To win, you just go to this page and answer the relatively simple question. The competition is open until next Tuesday, Feb 17th. Winners to be announced on Wednesday 18th.

Papa's got a brand new arse.

february 10th

I keep getting this feeling that I’m forgetting something this week. It’s kind of annoying. Especially when I leave the house, I have to double check I’ve got my keys/phone/pants on. No doubt I’ll discover what it is once it’s too late.

Arsene Wenger talks about pressure, having seen his Chelsea counterpart Claudio Ranieri put under the thumb by his new Chief Executive Peter “I’m a United fan” Kenyon who said today that not lifting a trophy this season would be a ‘failure’. Our boss said “I know only one thing - if I don't win, then I'm disappointed. The pressure coming from everywhere else is different. All the rest you can deal with.“

Poor old Claudio. He strikes me as a really nice bloke, it’s a shame he has to work with such cunts at Chelsea. Bates, Kenyon, Championshipmanavich, Hasselbaink et al. Still, no matter what he does he’s likely to replaced by Sven in the summer, which can only be good news for us as Sven’s teams will always be as spineless and fond of saggy breasted ex-weathergirls as he is.

Edu talks about Arsenal’s current form, the boss confirms Bergkamp’s injury for tonight’s game and Reyes likely start, while the agent of Gerard Pique Bernabeu, the young Barcelona kid we’re supposedly after, plays it dumb and pretends he doesn’t know anything about Arsenal’s very real interest. Poor old Merse.

Thierry Henry could reach 100 Premiership goals for Arsenal tonight. There's an interesting breakdown of who he's scored against at the bottom of this article in The Sun. Even that Guardian reading Fowler baiter Graeme Le Saux thinks our man is a bit special.

I suspect I won the lottery this weekend, although I haven't checked the numbers yet. I might toddle off doon toon to collect my millions. More later.

february 9th

It’s the typical Monday morning scenario. Not much news this early, but I’ve got a website to fill with the latest Arsenal stories. What to do?

There’s a small story in The Sun about Real Madrid wanting Freddie Ljungbergwhich seems to have originated in the Swedish press. It makes sense really, Freddie is a great player, but he’s also very marketable. Just the kind of signing Real like to make. With Figo on his way after Euro2004, they need somebody for the right hand side of midfield. Can’t see it happening unless the money is ridiculous, but then I’d rather have Freddie than a load of money.

Shameful. Shocking. Appalling. Provocative. None of these words were used to describe Man United’s players taunting of the Everton fans after their last minute winner. You can be sure there’d be double page pull-outs if it had been Arsenal. Not that I blame United’s players for taunting Everton fans, but by the same token how can I condemn the Everton fan who threw a bottle at fake Ronaldo? Who wouldn’t want to hit him on the head with something hard? I say ban them all. Everton fans, United players, the lot.

It’s Southampton tomorrow night, and with Kanu away, Bergkamp, Wiltord and Aliadiere injured, Jose Reyes will make his full Premiership debut. AW says “I want to play him one game yes, one game no. At the moment I have no option if Dennis is not ready."

Obviously we’ve got to be mindful of the time it takes to adjust to a new team, a new country, a new style of play, but anything less than an electric hat-trick tomorrow and we should get rid of Reyes and bring in a proper goalscorer like Peter Crouch or Emile Heskey.

Off for a run. Maybe. Later.

february 8th

A quick Sunday morning round-up as I’m a little bit on the hungover side, and the first game of tennis of the year takes place in about an hour. Medical teams are on alert.

Arsene Wenger said he’s proud of the Arsenal players for showing the fighting spirit to win yesterday’s game in the second half. Meanwhile, Wolves boss Dave Jones was proud of his players for giving us such a tough match. One man in the crowd was very proud as his son was named west-midland’s Ludo champion, while a Lion said he was proud of his pride.

Read about Mortiz Volz, if you like. Other than that there’s bugger all else going on so early. Have a good Sunday.

february 7th

Wolves 1-3 Arsenal (Bergkamp, Henry, Kolo)

From the time it kicked off I just had this feeling we’d win this game. So when some cunt playing in gold equalised after Bergkamp opened the scoring, I wasn’t that worried. Especially when I played a game of PES3 at half time and said to the people in the arseblog IRC channel that the final score of my game would be the final score of the Wolves game. So I played, and I won 3-1.

And lo, there was a light low in the sky, and God said ‘Right you are, blogger’, and verily we didst score two goals in a short space of time, from Thierry and Kolord Almighty. 3-1 final score, as it was meant to be.

United won 4-3 against Everton, but not after the blues had come back from 3-0 down. Nobody else matters. Still top. Have a good one tonight gooners.

february 7th

"Believe me this boy Reyes has both the monkey and the organ, and when he grinds it the music he makes is passionate, enchanting, provocative, rich with the heady erotic scent of myrtle and roses. As our great poet Federico García Lorca remarked: "To see you in the nude is to be reminded of soil." So it is with Reyes."

Riiiiight. Read more madness here. And it is quite mad. No wonder nobody can understand a word those Andalucíans say. Also read a very good piece with Dennis Bergkamp who talks about Arsenal, Inter and his hopes for the future. Patrick Vieira says he’s a Gunner for life and that in order for Arsenal to be considered one of Europe’s great teams we have to win the Champions League. Some bloke in the Telegraph writes a piece about Arsenal, and because this site is about Arsenal, I’m telling you all about it.

Arsene Wenger says he’s not going to sign a contract. Well, he’s not going to sign it this season anyway. No bother really, but of course the red tops will jump on it with “WENGER: I WON’T SIGN" headlines. Unless something extraordinary happens, this man is going to be in charge for a good few years yet. Ashburton Grove is as much his project as anyone else’s, and for him not be around to manage us in the new stadium is inconceivable. He also talks about Jose Reyes and how he’ll probably be fit enough to play some part today. He’s also dismissed talk of records, saying they’re not important. The only thing that does matter is winning the league and other trophies. People will go on about our unbeaten record, but our opponents today have a record of their own to be broken. Unbeaten at Molineux since the opening day of the season, and they’ve done United and taken 2 points of Liverpool – although the latter might be likened to the whole candy/baby situation.

Right, I’m off to the market to buy Sea Bass. Wolves kicks off at 3pm. More later.

february 6th

Last night I had a very strange dream, so I did. I was walking down Kensington High Street and Peter André, Justin Timberlake and Limahl were following me down the road  using Jet Packs and flinging water balloons at me on the orders of Fat Tony from the Simspons. I was getting soaked, and it was one of those ones where you can’t run because your legs are so heavy and the ground is all sticky. The usual dream stuff. André was shouting at me and Timberlake was singing a version of All Along the Watchtower. Limahl was just Jet Packing and chucking water bombs. The wetter I got, the more pissed off I was getting because I couldn’t do anything about it.

Then, out of nowhere, came Charlie George and he had one of those things that the Ghostbusters used to trap the ghosts before dragging them down into the traps. When he fired at them Timberlake quite literally burst, covering passers-by with his innards. Limahl turned around and scuttled away over the rooftops, but Charlie didn’t miss Peter Andre, who when he was captured in the beam went mental, and his almost hare-lip that he has in real life turned into the Predator’s fanny mouth. I woke up then. Weird.

In football news, Jose Reyes could be missing from the game against Wolves. He was unwell during the week, and according to Arsene Wenger spent all Wednesday day in bed. I would imagine the change in climate has frozen him from the inside out. He was back in Sevilla yesterday and he apologised to the Arsenal fans for his own goal against Boro. I don’ t think anybody would be stupid enough to hold it against him anyway, but it was nice to hear.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has said he thinks Reyes will be a good signing for the Gunners, but will need time to adapt. He’s also admitted he’s unsure about his future once the season ends. I can’t see much of a future for him at Highbury to be honest, and if we can get a couple of million for him I think that’s probably best for all concerned. Sol Campbell talks about the much improved Arsenal defence, and how signing Reyes is a sign that the boss has confidence in them.

According to the Sun, Barcelona want to sign Edu this summer. They claim face to face talks have already taken place between David Dein and Sandro Rosell and a fee of £5m is being mentioned. I sincerely hope this isn’t true. I really like Edu as player, but if he decided to go, who could blame him? To my mind he’s been the best of all our central midfielders this season and his performances have been consistently excellent. He’s played mostly in the cups, but when it comes to the league he’s often found himself dropped in favour of Gilberto. But he doesn’t complain, he gives 100% every time and is a credit to the club. I know the opinions of Gilberto are mixed to say the least, and it’s difficult to argue against him when we sit top of the league, but for me, Edu is a better player and I’d pick him ahead of his country-man every time. Please don’t take that as Gilberto bashing of any kind, because I like Gilberto too. I just prefer Edu.

One more class. Then it’s the weekend good and proper.

february 5th

You know, when you write a blog like this day in, day out, you can find yourself becoming a bit insular in terms of the things you talk about. This Arsenal player is injured, this Arsenal player is playing well, this Arsenal player is a useless, bald cunt, and so on. Sometimes it’s nice to look beyond Arsenal, and this morning I only have to look a little way down to London N17 to find an amusing yet footballtacularly satisfying story.

Our old chums Tottenham are playing Man City in an FA Cup replay at White Hart Lane. You know, the same Man City side that haven’t won a game since 1987. Anyway, Sp*rs take a 3-0 lead with goals from Ziege, Ledley King and Robbie Keane. Their fans are happy, and happier still when City’s answer to Denis Wise (Joey Barton) gets himself a red card. Well, that’s that, you’d think. Not so. Back come City and and Sylvain Distin nods in what you would think is a consolation goal. Then Anthony Gardner deflects Bosvelt’s shot past Keller, but surely Sp*rs can hang on at home, against 10 men and only a few minutes to go. They didn’t count on son of WWW, Sean Wright-Phillips scoring an equaliser and they certainly didn’t count on John Macken scoring the winner in injury time.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. The BBC text commentary “The full-time whistle blows at Spurs, and Man City manager Kevin Keegan rushes on to the pitch to congratulate his players after their astonishing display. The home fans leave the stadium in total disbelief.”

So Sp*rs season is well and truly over now, one can only hope they go on a West Ham style run of defeats that will see them ply their trade in the Nationwide next season.

In the world of Arsenal we have a funny piece on 365 about Martin Keown (City win, and now this. Wonders will never cease); the news that Freddie Ljungberg could be out for up to two weeks with bruised, and thankfully not broken ribs; Thierry Henry named in the top 100 living players by Pele and his ever erect penis; the very young reserves drew 2-2 with Leicester last night, goals from Stephen Bradley and A N Other; Ryan Smith talks about how happy he’s been with his progress this season; Cesc dos?; Stacky for Ireland; and Razor says Reyeser will bounce back from his own goal disappointment in no time.

Right, I've got a new class this morning. Two middle-aged women who insisted on a hunky male teacher. Unfortunately for them, they got me.

february 4th

As the second half began I said to my missus ‘I bet Reyes scores’. And by God I was right. Unfortunately his perfectly placed toe-poke was at the wrong end and wrapped up the tie for Boro. Oh well. These things happen and I’m sure nobody is going to make him feel bad about it. It was probably not exactly the full debut he’d have dreamed of, but he’s got plenty of time to show us what he can do. According to Arsene Wenger he was ill all night before the game it was only a last minute decision to play him.

Postives from the game – Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira who was back to his imperious best, Edu was fantastic again (what more does he have to do to win a place in the first first team ahead of Gilberto?), another very promising performance from Graham Stack that must surely leave Stuart Taylor's position as first choice number 2 up for grabs, and Quincy clattering the walking, lumpy headed, spleen faced cunt that is Danny Mills. The other big positive is that we don’t have to play Boro again until next season. They may have beaten us in the Carling Cup, but hammering the fuckers three times in the competitions that matter is far more important. I'm glad to see back of them. Familiarity breeds more contempt, as they say.

I suppose the most saddest part of the evening was Martin Keown’s sending off (about which the boss had no complaints). It really does look as if his time is up now. He was all over the place really and although the contact with pastaman was pretty minimal, the ref had no choice but to show him the red card. It’s such a shame when players who have served us so well over the years reach the end of their Arsenal careers, but I think the only way we’re going to see any more of him this season is in the event of injury and/or suspension to Kolo, Sol and Cygan (who had one of those games, but hopefully that’s out of his system now). Also, Dermot Gallagher is to refereeing what Phil Collins is to music. Bald and fucking shit.

So that leaves a Bolton v Boro final. I hope they both lose, somehow.

Is it any wonder Liverpool are in the shit they're in when Swiss goalkeeper Stephane Henchoz makes statements like this?

John Lydon, I salute you. Whether he was referring to the general public or Caahnt 'n' Dick is not important. It's the thought that counts.

A week ago my mother arrived in Spain with a suitcase full of contraband sausages, black and white pudding, brown bread and bacon. Today she goes back to Ireland with a suitcase full of red wine, olives, artichoke hearts and other Spanish goodies. Bye mum.

february 3rd

He was linked with moves to Arsenal during this transfer window. Back in the summer there was talk of a £10m move to Manchester United. However, I think it speaks volumes for the talent and ambition of Jermaine Defoe that he’s moved to Sp*rs for £7m. Long gone are the days when playing for that lot meant a call up to the England squad, no matter how mediocre or Anderton you were. Firmly entrenched in mid-table for the rest of their existence, Defoe and the Lily Whites deserve each other.

On transfer deadline day Jerome Thomas clinched his move to Charlton after rejecting Arsenal’s offer of another year at the club, while elsewhere a bunch of no-marks left some no-mark clubs to  sign for some other no-mark clubs.

Freddie Ljungberg has a rib injury after a collision with a Man City player on Sunday and has needed painkillers to help him sleep. The BBC suggests he could be out for up to three weeks. Tonight though sees the delayed 4th part of the Borothon, and the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final. Those Arsenal fans making the long trip north will see Jose Reyes make his full debut, while other definite starters include Stack, Vieira, Clichy, Edu, Bentley and the Cyganbot. The boss is confident that our new Spaniard can handle the pressure, saying "I have no question mark over his talent or his ability. What we want from him is to create goals and score them, and he's shown that straight away."

Despite some confusion, it appears Edu was booked during Sunday’s game, and therefore can’t face an FA kangaroo court video panel invesigation. Which is good.

Yesterday I noticed a problem with sending mails from arseblog.com and other domains on my server to hotmail.com. The mails go off ok, but are not received by the people with hotmail accounts. I contacted the data-centre where my server resides and explained in great length exactly what was happening. This morning I had an email waiting for me:

“Are you sure your [sic] spelling hotmail correctly?”

Lord help us all. I used to work in technical support. I managed a team of helpdesk monkeys agents, and if any of them had responded to a customer like that I’d have given them a clip round the ear. Today I will attempt to make contact with somebody who isn’t a complete and utter simpleton.

february 2nd

A tough weekend for the top clubs, all three teams winning by just a single goal. Chelsea left it very late against Blackburn, United had Graham Barber and his incompetent assistant to thank for van Nistelcunt’s late winner, while Arsenal found Man City a tougher prospect than normal as they sat back and defended like your common or garden Aston Villa.

Still, the manager was happy with the display while Kelvin Koogan was unhappy with the performance of referee Alan Wiley. Can’t say I’m too surprised. I know if a player raises his hands he’s asking for trouble, but a few yellow cards would have solved the problems. Now we’re going to get a load of crap about Ashley Cole, melees, brawls, fisticuffs and the whole lot. And we didn’t even have a player sent off. Expect something from our old friend James Lawton in the coming days.

After game Cole said "I feel sorry for Anelka. He shouldn't have done what he did but he shouldn't have been sent off. I only did the same as him. We should both have got red cards or both yellows."

The win yesterday means Arsenal have equalled their best ever start to a league campaign, 23 games unbeaten. In 1990-91 we had 15 wins and 8 draws, this time round it’s 16 wins and 7 draws.

The boss was also happy with the debut of Jose Reyes (whose song seems to ‘José Antonio’ to the tune of ‘We’ve got Silvinho’), saying “What he did, he did well. He created a chance and had one chance and the 20 minutes were positive. It is a new atmosphere and a new physical test for him.He was surprised by the cold and he knows it will take a little time to adapt."

Even Alan Smith was impressed. I suppose we’ll get to see him against Boro on Tuesday. Anyway, to celebrate his Arsenal debut you can download a wallpaper of the momentous occasion by clicking on the image on your left.

Yesterday’s News of the World ran a story about Sylvain Wiltord which prompted other news feeds to run with the ‘Wiltord expects Arsenal exit’ stories. I’m pretty sure these are the same quotes that were bandied about a couple of weeks ago (see January 19th), so there’s nothing new there. I have been told that he’s more likely to sign a new deal than leave, but that was before the signing of Reyes, so we’ll just wait and see what happens with him.

Finally, if I told you about a site called arseratings.com you’d be right to think of a place where we could see pictures of Kylie’s posterier, compare them to other peachy behinds, rate them out of 10 and have a great old time altogether. Sadly it’s just a place where you can rate Arsenal players performances. Check it out if you can stand the disappointment.

Right, another week of grammar, punctuation, tenses, conditionals and subjunctives ahead. I simply can’t wait.

february 1st 2004

Arsenal 2-1 Man City (Tarnat OG, Henry OMG)

The same scoreline as last season at Highbury, and from earlier this season in Manchester. A scrappy game because of the terrible weather, and a scrappy game right at the end when Ashley Cole wouldn’t give the ball back to Citeh when they scored, Anelka grabbed him by the head and got a red card for his trouble. No doubt we’ll hear more and more about that as the week goes on. As I type I can hear Richard Keys on Sky going on and on about it, and really it was a nothing incident. Ashley was doing a bit of time wasting, like any player would have done. The last thing you want to do when the opposition score so late is give them the ball straight back. Still, expect burnings at the stake, the whole works. Keegan's face at the end was a picture though. I reckon he'll quit before the end of the season.

Arsenal took the lead through Tarnat’s own goal late in the first half, and doubled the lead with an Henry screamer 5 minutes from time. With the Highbury pitch looking more like Hackney Marshes, or just regular old marshes, the players were slipping and sliding all over the place. We got to see about 20 minutes of Jose Reyes as he replaced Bergkamp, and he did his stuff very well. Everything he was involved in was very positive, he had a good chance and forced a good save from David James. He played in Pires who unusually seemed more interested in trying to set him up for a debut goal than scoring himself, and he looks very, very quick. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of him.

So 3 good points for Arsenal, we’re back on top of the league. Now we just have to sit back and wait for the inevitable FA charges we’ll get for wilfully beating another team.

february 1st 2004

Welcome to a brand new month on the new look Arseblog, and I’m sitting here with a quite minging hangover, brought on by lots of beer and a bottle of red wine. Good jebus my head hurts.

Looking around this morning we have the news that club has just made £100,000 by selling youngster Jerome Thomas to Charlton. You’d think we might have stiffed them for a few quid extra considering they’re more than a bit flush after selling Scott ‘Spurs and Chelsea are shit’ Parker, but I’m sure the boss knows what he’s doing. Good luck to young Jerome, and it’s nice to see one of our kids go to a decent Premiership side rather than a lower division club. There's also a rather good interview with Ashley Cole in the Independent.

I love this story on Arseweb about the young Kenyan striker who was said he’d love to play for Arsenal because he likes the way we play football. Apparently there were some Chelsea scouts there and when asked about joining them he thought for  a while and said "...Chelsea is in London so then I could talk to the Arsenal coach and go and play for them". Class. Kanu’s Nigeria thrashed South Africa 4-0, but old Nwanky had to come off after being injured.

Guillem Balague on Reyes "People in Spain used to say Romario was a cartoon player. You have only seen that sort of footwork and amazing skill in animated film. José Antonio Reyes is a PlayStation footballer. Give the ball to him and he will take it as close to goal as he can at the highest pace."

Gary Lineker on Reyes “Reyes ought to fit into the Premiership fairly comfortably and should find goals easier to come by than in Spain”

Double-D says the boss could spend again, although it seems we’d have to get rid of some of the dead wood first. It’s hard to see any future at the club for Jeffers, van Bronckhorst or Kanu, while there have to be serious doubts over Wiltord and Bergkamp. A few bob for Gio and Jeffers, and the savings on wages if the others were released at the end of their contracts would make a signing or two possible. Last night I was talking to a taxi driver who swore blind that Kluivert would be signing for Arsenal at the end of the season. “Todo hecho” he said (“all done”). We’ll see.

Patrick Barclay writes an interesting piece on Demento and the problems at Old Trafford. “While awareness that the lunatics are to conduct a thorough health check on the asylum is reassuring we could do with just a little more detail, such as the identity of the investigator-in-chief: Ferguson's secretary, perhaps, or his brother Martin, who for many years has served as the club's globetrotting scout.”

Right, Man City this arvo and hopefully we’ll see our new boy make his debut. More later.




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