09.25 - “I went over to see Robbie in Liverpool. I risked getting my tyres nicked and my wheels gone to talk to Robbie and his wife."
Possibly the funniest thing Kevin Keegan has ever said. Shame those lovable residents of Liverpool don't quite see it like that. Actually, it's not a shame, the giro swindling, eat their young, bin dipping spunkhounds. la.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst says Liverpool were 'outclassed' the other night and refutes any suggestions they were wroth a draw. "Anybody who said it was a fair result against Liverpool on Wednesday night doesn't know what they are talking about." More from icons.com (registration required).
Despite an offer from Galatasaray, Kanu looks likes he's going to be staying with the Gunners. His agent insists that the lanky Nigerian is finally over the niggling injuries he's had to play through. To be fair, his form was very good at the start of the season, lots of goals and assists, and the more options we have up front, the better. Sylvain Wiltord reckons he still has something to prove at Arsenal. After a great start to the season, the goals have dried up and his form is patchy as a leper's back.
It looks like Arsenal will sign Guillaume Warmuz. He used to play for Lens, but gave up football after making too many mistakes. Lovely. Just what we need. I assume he'll only be cover, and barring injuries, it'll be Taylor and Seaman right through till the end of the season. Anyway, we'll find out later as the transfer window closes at 6pm this afternoon, I think.
Another milestone today, somebody will leave the 5000th 'arse'. I'll let you know who.
11.16 - Right, now I've had a decent night's sleep in my own bed and gotten over the pants wetting turbulence we encountered flying into Barcelona, some thoughts on last night.
We are a top, top side. No matter what the result, you can see which team out there is capable of winning the league, and which team doesn't even come close to the required standard. The fact that Liverpool were celebrating a point at home says it all.
Seaman had a really good game, and it seems his form is like that of the club over the last few years - much better in the second half of the season. Cygan did well. He looked sharp, good in the air, could have scored a goal, and while I still reserve judgement on the big baldy, I am more encouraged by his performance than I thought possible. Don't go baking those humble pies yet though. I think Oleg should get a run at right back, Lauren was a bit poo last night and most of Liverpool's dangerous moments came down our right.
Anyone watching on Sky see the niggling between Niall Quinn and David O'Leary? Quinner was surprisingly pro-Liverpool in his outlook while O'Leary, in fairness to him, was gutted about the last minute equaliser. You could see on his face how much he hated it. Don't know why Niall Quinn was so pro-Scousers though. So, a couple of extra marks and a gold star to O'Leary, and it's 6 of the best for Quinn. Remember who you used to play for Niall?
23.44 - Cock sucking, piss drinking, shit eating, hubcap stealing, uncle fucking, shite song singing, dole signing, bin dipping, pox riddled, pus filled, malodorous, arse picking, snot chewing, vomit inducing, scabby, rancid, phlegm-esque, bile munching, plague carrying cunt sacks.
I hate Liverpool like I hate Phil Collins. Except more.
We should have won that. Some more rational thoughts on the game tomorrow. Too tired right now.
How are you lot?
08.28 - Brazilian goalkeepers? Has the world gone mad?
See, the problem with that is we need a goalkeeper now, so Mr. Marcos, either join now, or fuck off and stay where you are. The fact that his club has just been relegated, while probably not all his fault, doesn't fill me with confidence either. Anyway, we'll see.
Right, well I'm out of here for a week. I'm going back to the 'auld sod to fill myself with Guinness and spuds. I may be able to post the odd update here and there, but don't forget there's the forum to talk aboot Arsenal and there are plenty of decent Arsenal sites to your left that will keep you up to date with all the news without using the word cunt once. I fully expect a sound thrashing for Farnborough on Saturday, with a Jeffers hat-trick the turning point of his Arsenal career.
Anyway until next week, take it handy, and I'll be back for the game against the scousers.
08.56 - "What Bergkamp did to Bowyer was not karate, but it wasn't far off karate. Having decked his opponent with a smack in the face, Dennis turned round and crossed to the far post where Henry headed in for 2-1."
What Myles wrote was not complete shite, but it wasn't far off complete shite. While he makes a good point about Dennis seeing red and yellow a bit during his 'purple patches', there was nothing in the Bowyer incident. Compare that one with his deliberate elbow on Steve Lomas in the 97-98 season. Now, that was fuckin' karate let me tell you. This time, he didn't look up, Bowyer ran into him, tried to con the ref and failed. End of story. The referee was standing 3 yards away and didn't give a thing.
I think people are too quick to think of footballers as precious, delicate little ballerinas instead of fit, athletic, muscular grown men. Although many of them tend to go down quicker than a White House intern in the Oval office, we can't lose sight of the fact football is a physical game. For somebody like Bowyer who has commited acts of cowardly violence on the pitch, stamping on opponent's faces, over the top tackles and the like, to crumple in a heap because of a hand pushing him in the face is ludicrous and hilarious at the same time. Rugby players use the 'hand off' to protect themselves from tackles in every game, and the opponent gets up and plays on because 1 - it doesn't hurt and 2 - if they lay on the ground rolling around like Bowyer did, they'd never live it down. They would be castigated and mocked as a wimp who couldn't put up with a bit of physical contact in sport. And quite rightly too.
For too long we've had to put up with FIFA trying to turn football into netball. Ban the sliding tackle? What a good idea. That will prevent players from being injured. Er...no, it won't. Players get injured more these days than they ever did. You can't touch a goalkeeper these days. Why not? They won't break into a million pieces like fine china. When was the last time you saw a good old fashioned shoulder charge without the referee or one of the linesmen (oh, sorry...'assistant referees') give a free kick one way or the other? I bet you can't remember.
People lament the passing of these things from football, yet insist on video review panels and appeals and FA discplinary panels for the slightest contact that they deem unfair. It's a crock of shit. Grow up, remember you're watching adults play football, not your precious Tarquins and Jakes and Alistairs in the school team.
Good luck to Steve Sidwell who has joined Reading. He says AW wanted him to stay, but with so many good players in front of him, it's understandable. The Matthew Upson saga rumbles on, and the latest is that he could go to Leeds who are selling Woodgate to Newcastle and Steve Bruce will buy Derby's Danny Higginbotham instead. Apparently.
Matthew, just do us all a favour and stay, please?
08.51 - Despite the best efforts of some sections of the media to focus on Dennis Bergkamp's supposed elbow of Lee Bowyer, it's nice to see that Thierry Henry is getting the credit he deserves. "In years to come men will tell their sons about Henry's exploits in exactly the way they were told about Stanley Matthews or George Best."
How true is that? It really is a privilege to see him play in red and white, and he's well on course to go down as one of, if not the greatest Arsenal player of all time. Pace, power, finishing, free kicks, penalties, assists for other players, he's got the lot. And now he can even score headers. He's a team player, witness his cajoling and helping of Jeffers when he came on yesterday. He's the man. There's nobody else like him in the world today. And he's a gooner.
As for the Dennis Bergkamp thing, it's laughable. A self-styled hard man like Lee Bowyer lying on the ground crying like a girl, because he ran in to Bergkamp's hand. Dennis didn't once look around to see where he was, there was nothing intentional, and if Bowyer had stayed on his feet, he might have made a tackle to stop the cross from which Henry scored. There's an old saying 'play to the whistle'. West Ham didn't do that and got punished. Bergkamp himself said it was 'an accident', while Glenn Roeder preferred to blame referee Mike Dean for his team's defeat, rather than accept any responsibility himself. I mean, any manager that buys Gary Breen to help them try and stay in the Premiership has got to be having a laugh, right?
The Sun says Arsene Wenger has lost his power struggle with David Dein over the transfer of Matthew Upson. Power struggle? Don't think so. Maybe Upson will join Birmingham, but I doubt he will be sold without the approval of the manager. This is something that was touched on in the forum last week. Anyway, with Keown suspended for the Liverpool game, I would expect to see Matty play against both Farnborough and Liverpool. He wanted a chance, here's his chance. Time to stand up and take it, and not pussy out of it and go join som no-marks who'll only stay up this season due to the complete crapness of other teams. It's fairly obvious AW has doubts about Cygan - he hasn't been near the first team since Keown's return - and only the truly naive would believe it's because he's been injured all this time.
This game had West Ham fan Tony Gale in fits on Capital Radio. And it was funny. Arsenal took the lead in the 13th minute when Thierry Henry tucked away a penalty. Ginger twat Steve Lomas then got sent off, and although West Ham complained, having him off the pitch could only improve their team if you ask me. Poor old Tony was apopleptic about the red card. "Eeees kiwwwwllled the gayem", he screeched about the referee.
He obviously underestimated Arsenal's ability to make life as difficult as possible for themselves, and Edu's attempted backpass turned into a lovely through ball for Jermaine Defoe and he made it 1-1 at half time. "West 'am 'ava chance" said Tony.
In the second half David James seemed to make save after save after save to deny Arsenal the goal that would put them back in front. Unusually, he didn't make one of his trademark colossal cock-ups, which would have come in fairly handy. He does 'em against everyone else. Typical.
Then Arsenal got a corner. The ball came out to Dennis Bergkamp, who crossed for Thierry to score his first ever headed goal in the Premiership. Looking at the replay though, Tony spotted something. "Dennis Bergkamp's gorn an' given Lee Bowyah a stiff arm in the fayce theyar. 'Eee should be ap in frant of the FA's video panewl for that"
No matter, the goal was good. Then Lauren got booked late on. He'd committed a number of yellow card worthy fouls before that according to Tony. "Faw toimes, that's faw toimes. 'ee shud be sent 'orf". Arsenal then broke clear in the last 5 minutes, Pires put the ball across and Henry made sure of his hat-trick.
West Ham are paying the price for having a shite defence and a shite manager. I hereby propose that Dead Kenny be appointed manager until the end of the season. He couldn't do any worse than old rat boy and if nothng else, he'd entertain the team with lesbian arthouse movies on the bus home from each defeat.
Arsenal stay 5 points clear, and if Kermit could post this kind of thing before every match, we could have the league sewn up by the end of March.
15.55 - It looks like it's a two horse race for the title now, after Man Utd grabbed an injury time winner against Chelsea today. Typical blues got themselves in front, then gave away a soft goal before half-time, and Forlan then put paid to their title chances for another year with a belter in the 93rd minute.
Arsenal take on West Ham tomorrow, and although he could play, AW hasn't made up his mind whether or not to risk Patrick Vieira. I was going to give you a link to this story on Soccernet, but at this stage I'm so pissed off with having to choose my region every time I go to that site, I'm never going there again. I urge you all to boycott Soccernet as well, or if you do visit, choose the wrong region. That'll teach them. Freddie is also missing after suffering a setback with his achilles injury.
It will be a last ever Premiership game at Highbury for Nigel Winterburn. A true Gunners legend, who like so many Arsenal players before him is seeing out his career at the retirement community at Upton Park. This will probably be his last season before retirement, and I wish him well for all the remaining games in his career. Except for tomorrow. Spurs try again to gain some revenge for the Sol Campbell transfer by signing another Arsenal youngster. No doubt Jamie O'Hara can at least equal Rohan Ricketts' marvellous achievements since joining Spurs last summer. Imagine swapping Arsenal for Spurs. It must be like being married to Kylie, then dumping her for this.
And on that charming note....
09.41 - Friday is a funny day for football news. Most of it tends to emerge much later in the day when the managers gives their press conferences ahead of the weekend's fixtures. All I can tell you about Arsenal right now is that Arsene Wenger is pissed off because Gilberto may have to go to China to play a friendly for Brazil against....er....China. And, er that's about it for now.
But fear not, I'll just pop over the forum, and totally nick the stuff that the regular readers have been posting there. From Omid, comes this fantastic goal. Jonathan spotted another episode in 'The Madness of King Houllier' in The Sun. "Entitled" my arse, you giant eyed fool. And after a recent discussion about ne'erdowells and busybodies campaigning to have 'The Two Towers' movie renamed in light of the Sept 11th tragedy, comes this from Timo. So, for those of you who don't visit the forum, look at all the fantastic stuff you're missing out on. Go register now, join in, call someone a cunt. You'll feel better. It's good for what ails ya.
In other non-football nonsense, why not have a look at the top 20 ad campaigns of the last 20 years. They're all fairly much American ads, but a lot of them made an impact beyond the US. In particular, this Coca-Cola ad, which Pepsi then tried to sully years later with a similar ad featuring David Beckham. No class those Pepsi people. Remember the Pepsi challenge? It was easy, just choose the one that tasted like goat's piss strained through a hospital bed pan. That was your Pepsi.
The Chemical Brothers go back to basics with their new album. We do try and stay away from political stuff here, but this is kind of ironic. And finally, drunks are smashing into windows at a Swedish university. Not students though, crazy birds who are eating some kind of berry which makes them drunker than an Irishman at a free bar on St.Patrick's Day and they're exploding themselves off the windows. Cool. I hate birds.
11.51 - According to the Daily Mirror, Arsene has 'lost patience' with Francis Jeffers and is ready to sell him for £6m.
They don't provide any quotes to back up their story, which is now one of the most tedious around. Whenever there's little or no Arsenal news, out comes the 'Jeffers for sale' story. The last thing AW said about Jeffers was this: "He has the chance to show in the next three or four months that he is an Arsenal player. I want Jeffers to be part of Arsenal's success and prove I was right to buy him."
I think Jeffers has until the summer to prove he's worth a place in the squad. Scoring goals for fun in the reserves is one thing, but he needs to take his chances in the first team when he gets them.
The Independent has us linked with French goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau. I don't know too much about him to be honest. Any French football experts out there want to fill us in a bit?
Youngster Liam Chilvers has gone on loan to Colchester United, with a view to a permanent move. It looks like Steven Sidwell is off to Reading, for a cut price £75,000. Brighton fans will be upset, as he's been playing very well for them during his loan spell, but you have to wonder at the price we're selling him for. He looks well capable of playing in Division 1 at this stage, and will only improve, so why let him go for a price that probably doesn't cover Sol Campbell's weekly wages? Good luck to him anyway.
Russian man freezes penis to bus shelter. I don't think I need to add anything to that. Thanks to Dan for the link. Cheers to everyone for clicking the link to LaughFC.com - we're miles out in front there. heh. Viva la revolución. And today, check out News at Ten - a kind of spoof news site. The 'Puff the Magic Dragon found dead in seaside poverty' headline made me laugh. Out loud.
11.55 - It's funny. When Dennis Bergkamp was sent off last season against Liverpool, Arsenal could not appeal because you're not allowed to appeal when a player is sent off for 'violent conduct'. However, not only were Chelsea allowed appeal Carlo Cuducini's sending off, but having reviewed video evidence (which the FA say they only do when the referee has not seen an incident, and Mark Halsey most definitely saw this incident), the Italian's 3 match ban was quashed but the red card was not rescinded. Not only that, the dismissal will not count against Cudicini if he is sent off again, meaning he would not face an additional one-match ban for a second red card of the season. Work that one out.
Now, having received no booking or caution from referee Paul Durkin, having committed no act of 'violent conduct', Ashley Cole received a 2 match ban for swearing. He now misses the FA Cup game against Farnborough and the West Ham game. Quite how they can still justify banning a player, a grown man, for swearing is just ridiculous. We're not living in Victorian times. People swear all the time. I fuckin well swear like a cunt all the time. And in work too. I don't get suspended. Quite frankly it's a load of shit.
Chris over on Arsenal-World makes the same point, and has handily included the section from the FA rulebook which shows exactly why the FA are making complete twats of themselves. Also, have a look at this message board thread (thanks to Tom).
Now, back in September, Thierry Henry was warned by the FA not to display messages on his T-shirt after he scored a goal. With his 100th goal coming up for Arsenal, he asked for and was refused permission by the FA to display a message on his T-shirt to celebrate this milestone. He said "I would have loved to have raised my shirt to show '100 goals'. I have done this before and it is a nice way of celebrating. It would have been nice to go over with the fans, with Dennis Bergkamp who has also scored 100 goals, and both raise our shirts."
So, I was just wondering why the FA didn't do anything about James Beattie revealing a T-shirt with a message on it last week? I think it's quite possible that the FA are a bunch of making it up as they go along, one rule for one club, one rule for another, inconsisent, crack whore loving wankers. I could be wrong though.
Alex Manninger has joined Torino, and he faces another relegation scrap with the Turin side 2nd from bottom in Serie A. Last season, despite good performances from Alex, Fiorentina were relegated. He then went to Espanyol who let him go without paying Arsenal and he's been in limbo ever since. I hope it goes well for him out there. Good luck you floppy haired Austrian.
Finally for today, two things. Firstly, check out the Drunken Rant. It's by an Irish man, so you can be sure he'll get a drunk a lot and do embarassing things all the time. And he's a Gooner too. Secondly, if you could all just click on this link to Laugh FC - they do a league table of referrers every week and Arseblog is languishing behind Fans FC (you know that site where they have monkeys at typewriters making up transfer rumours) and some other no mark sites like the Observer and Rivals.net . So, like a South American presidential election, let's rig the vote. Cheers folks....
12.23 - Hurrah, it seems Matthew Upson has rejected the crooked nosed overtures of Steve Bruce, and according to his agent, he wants to stay and fight for his place at Arsenal. Barry Neville, no relation to the ugly sisters oop norf, says "He is hoping he gets a chance to prove he can be an Arsenal player. That is where he wants to stay.."
I am glad to hear it. I suppose the easy option would have been for him to go to a smaller club and play regularly, but his decision shows ambtion and belief in his ability to become a first team regular at Arsenal. I think he can do it too.
Lee Dixon talks about Thierry Henry in the Telegraph (registration required I think). He says that he's spoken Ian Wright about Thierry breaking his scoring record. WWW said "Dicko, it is no disgrace whatsoever to be second to such a great world-class player as Thierry Henry. No one can take my goals away, but to be behind a player who won the World Cup and the European Championship for France by the age of 23, would only be an honour. When he overtakes me, I won't be crying in my soup." You've still gotta love Wrighty, eh?!
Ashley Cole will find out today from the FA if he faces a ban for swearing at referee Paul Durkin. Anyway, even if gets cleared for the swearing, he'll probably get a 3 match ban for being grammatically incorrect and for poor syntax.
heh -old, but good. And the war on Iraq has begun, with a Spam offensive. American is bombarding Iraqi officials with messages like "HOWDY PARNDER. ME AN' MY OL' PAPPY DONE FOUND A GOLDMINE AFORE PAPPY GOT HIS SELF KILLED BY THEM THERE VARMINTS IN WASHINGTON. I NEEDS YOUR HELP TO RECLAIM THAT THERE MONEY AND I AM OFFERING YA'LL 10% OF THE $22,500,000 HELD IN A VAULT ...." etc.
13.25 - "Matthew has all you dream of if you play at centre-back. He has all the attributes any centre-half in the world could possibly wish for. He has pace, power and his technique in the air is extremely good. People describe him as not having established himself. But don't forget he has already won two championship medals with us. He is looking really sharp and fit and all the reports I had while he was on loan at Reading recently say he did very well for them. I was responsible for bringing Matthew here when he was at Luton. Now I believe Matthew is back to his best and I want to give him a go."
AW said this less than a week ago. Then what the fuck is this about? If you want to give him a go, why not just refuse to sell? Why give cheapo foreign imports like Cygan a better chance to prove themselves? If he has all those qualities, why are we even entertaining Steve Bruce's offers?
It's very hard to criticise AW for his transfer dealings, but this is very disappointing news. We need a core of good, English players. Upson has shown himself worthy in the past of a first team place, some of his performances last season were top class, until he got injured. The jury is still well and truly out on Cygan, Stepanovs is simply not good enough, and after that we have Oleg, who does a fine job as a full back, but is NOT a central defender. Should anything happen to Sol and Keown at the same time, ...well, I shudder to think.
Upson should stay. Selling him would be a mistake. Sadly, it looks like the mistake has been made.
08.55 - "What I like about him is that he is not only a goalscorer but also a team player who provides chances for other players as well."
Arsene Wenger is full of praise for Thierry Henry after he reached the 100 goals mark yesterday. I've been thinking about my favourite Thierry goals. So many brilliant ones, not so many crappy ones. Having tried to put them in some kind of order, I came up with the following.
3 - vs Man Utd. The turning of the Neville inside out and the shot/lob that spun like some kind of crazy orbiting planet before it landed in the net and gave us a 1-0 victory.
2 - vs Southampton. I think it was his first goal, if I'm not mistaken, and what a way to open your account. He took a pass from Tony Adams, turned and buried it. Again I think we won that one 1-0.
1 - vs West Ham. This season. Arsenal 2-0 down with about 15-20 minutes to go. He took a pass from Vieira, controlled it on knee, turning at the same time and hit a shot at the speed of light past David James, sparking a fightback which earned us a 2-2 draw.
Honourable mentions go to the goal against Tottenham this season, his goal vs Boro in the League cup, his header vs Lens or Lyon or Auxerre or some bunch of Frenchies in the Champions League where he nodded in an Ashley Cole cross, his goal from the edge of the box v Leicester from a Pires corner and his the winning goal against Villa in the 3-2 last season which was just a sublime finish under so much pressure. What a player. Make the most of him Arsenal fans, because players like this don't come along too often.
Top class stuff from the lads today. Birmingham were well and truly outclassed. Thierry Henry opened the scoring in the 5th minute with his 99th goal for the Gunners, Robert Pires added a cracking second to put us 2-0 up at half time.
Despite a bit of posession early in the first half, Birmingham never looked dangerous. Dugarry must have been wishing he was playing alongside his French buddies, and for all his charging around and fouling Edu at every possible moment, Robbie Savage couldn't get near our two Brazilians in the centre of midfield.
Midway through the second half Lauren headed a 3rd, then a couple of minutes later some beautiful quick passing set Henry up and he scored his 100th goal for Arsenal, an achievement for which he was eager to praise Arsene Wenger. You very rarely hear Arsenal fans say a bad word about Dennis Bergkamp, but some people are quick to find fault with Thierry. When you take into consideration it's taken Dennis since 1996 to score 100 Arsenal goals, and Thierry didn't join until August 1999, it shows what a fantastic achievement it really is.
Arseblog loves you Thierry, here's to the next 100. Congratulations.
So, we're 5 ahead of Man Utd, and a mere 14 points ahead of Liverpool, but that's only because we're lucky with referees, obviously. The only downside of today was a booking for Martin Keown, who will now miss Liverpool away. This leaves AW with a choice. Upson or Cygan. This is the chance Upson has been waiting for. Not an FA Cup game against lower league opposition, but an important league game. Rumours are still circulating that Steve Bruce still wants him for Birmingham (and today's showing highlights how much they need a decent centre half), but I reckon he has to stay. No question.
Ex-Gunner Stefan Schwarz has been arrested after chasing some 'youths' who threw snowballs at his car. One of them suffered a broken ankle in the chase. I'm not sure if he chased them in his car and ran one of them over, or ran after them and did a crunching sliding tackle on them, but either way, fair play to him. Former Spurs keeper Espen Baardsen says Arsenal wanted him to join, but asked him too late and he'd already signed for Everton. Oh well. Anyway, with Stuart Taylor fit enough to be on the bench for every game, you have to wonder if we need a new keeper at all.
13.15 - Houllier says "...it will be difficult to catch up with them (Arsenal), particularly because they seem to be very lucky with referees at times."
Popular Liverpool site says"It's nothing to do with the fact that Arsenal have a much better squad than his or that they play free flowing attacking football. Instead the boss believes that luck is on their side and that's why they have such a lead over his team which has dropped down the Premier League table"
Shove it up your hole, Houllier. You're fooling nobody, not even your own fans. If you want to talk about being lucky with referees, how come not one of the referees in the last 2 years has seen any of Henchoz's goalkeeper impressions? How come Steven Gerrard didn't get sent off for this? What about when the referee gave a penalty to Roma, then changed his mind and gave a corner in the UEFA cup? How come Milan Baros got away with standing on an Everton player's head (well, it got overshadowed by the even luckier Gerrard decisions above)? If we're so lucky with referees, how come Dennis Bergkamp got sent off against Liverpool last season even though he didn't touch Carragher? How come Giovanni van Bronckhorst got sent off against Liverpool last season for nothing at all? Perhaps before you open your big fat mouth Sir, you should put what's left of your brain in gear. If I was Liverpool fan, I would be embarassed by Houllier now. As I'm an Arsenal fan, I just think he's a wanker who's lost the plot.
He doesn't make too many headlines, but it's nice to see Oleg get some recognition for his fine performances. Is Nigel Martyn the man to take over from David Seaman? His agent says "He would probably be on the bench initially, but he feels - as he is three years younger than David Seaman - he could play for Arsenal for two or three years." Funny how the BBC website has his age at 32, then. Anyway, do we need replace Seamo with a bloke who is also looking at his best days pass him by? No thanks. Ashley Cole talks about Arsenal, England and ..er....being a man.
09.25 - Let's start the day with some comedy and the hilarious goings-on down the road at Spurs. Yesterday, Tim Sherwood's agent, Eric "Monster" Hall revealed to The Sun that David Pleat told him Sherwood would never play for Spurs again while Glenn Hoddle was in charge. Pleat said it had nothing to do with footballing ability, but all to do with Hoddle's personal feelings towards Sherwood after he criticized the club in a newspaper article at the start of the season.
So Hoddle then released a statement saying, "I will not stand for this, it is another example of an injustice. I have not spoken to Eric Hall since I was manager at Chelsea and at no time have I ever said to him or the player that Tim would never play for this club again," completely missing the point that it was David Pleat who had told Hall about Hoddle's personal grudge. Nutter. As for it being 'another example of an injustice', what the fuck is he on about? The Birmingam 6 was an injustice, OJ getting away with murder was an injustice, Hoddle being exposed for the mad, spiteful bloke he really is, is NOT an injustice. Remember when Liverpool boss Roy Evans pulled Steve McMananananaman and Robbie Fowler out of the England squad at short notice? Hoddle's reaction, "I don't get mad, I get even."
Now, it gets even funnier because all their attempts to sign new players are being hampered because nobody knows exactly who is in charge? Is it Giant Jaw? Is it Pleat? Is it Chairman Daniel Levy? Nobody knows and it's just too funny.
Arsenal will be without Patrick Vieira and Freddie Ljungberg for the trip to Birmingham on Sunday. Not sure what injury Freddie has, but he's missed the last few games with a heavy cold, so he could have a badly chafed nose. Young Irish striker Graham Barrett could move to Preston in permanant deal soon. He's on loan at Brighton until the end of the season, but Preston need strikers like Saddam Hussein needs a giant, mega strong forcefield around Baghdad and they're set to make an offer. According to Fox Sports, Arsenal are set to sign another young Swiss lad, to add to the signing of Phillipe Senderos. Johannes Djourou will join in the summer apparently.
Finally, for now, after a period of recuperation, chanting and some time in a sensory deprivation tank, Leopold returns to tell us why 'Arsenal are like a tree' on the real ANR.
08.55 - Well, Sky's attempts to blackmail Farnborough into staging their 4th round FA Cup tie against Arsenal at their home ground have failed. The conference side asked for permission for the game to played at Highbury and the FA have agreed to the switch. There's a nice quote from the Farnborough boss who says "This is a classic David v Goliath battle. Why stage it in a toilet when the Coliseum is available?"
So the match will not be shown live on TV now, and while this won't affect Farnborough financially (they'll get 45% of the Highbury gate receipts), it does deprive people of seeing the most interesting tie of the round. Literally David vs Goliath, well, it would be literally David vs Goliath if Arsenal changed their name to Goliath and Farnborough changed their name to David, but you know what I mean. The BBC have passed up the chance to do something worthy of their licence fee and Sky are set to show Gillingham vs Leeds in an attempt to create some kind of big club v small club magic, but who gives a fuck about Leeds or Gillingham? Anyway, they're both at about the same level if you ask me...
Old boggly eyes is at it again. He complains about Sheffield United, but still doesn't see anything wrong with this? He says about Michael Brown's tackle on Chris Kirkland "I'm just pleased Chris hasn't had his leg broken." Oh, I didn't hear David Moyes say "I'm just pleased Gary Naysmith hasn't had his testicles mashed" after Steven Gerrard's lunge. If your players want to dish it out Gerrard, they have to be prepared to take a little in return. Not that I'm condoning Brown's challenge you understand, I'm just shocked at the sheer hypocrisy of Hoofier. Actually, I'm not shocked at all. The wanker. Thanks to Jonathan for the link via the forum.
Arsenal are after Boavista goalkeeper Ricardo according to the ever reliable Soccerage, Thierry Henry has vowed to stay a Gooner for life, and bad news for the ladies is that he has 'found his soulmate' as we find out in today's Sun.
Finally, in relation to yesterday's question about whether you'd prefer Upson or Cygan, Upson got 100% of the votes. However, it has to be said that if we did the same thing about Cygan and Stepanovs or Cygan and an inanimate carbon rod, I'd put my money of the baldy. But not all my money.
Congrats to The Grimster who has found himself a new club at last. He rejected a move to Middlesborough to go and play for the Colorado Rapids, home of fuzzy haired Colombian Valderrama. Anyone know if that's near Boulder, Colorado? Coz if it is he could pop in on Mork and Mindy and see how they're doing these days.
Still no word on if the FA Cup tie against Farnborough will be moved to Highbury. The FA say ties can only be moved if there are concerns about security or safety or some such thing, and it seems Sky want the game played at Cherrywood (sounds like a home for virginoholics) as they have chosen it for live coverage but will only cover the game if Farnborough play at home. Farnborough boss Graham Westley says "The view of our directors is that the infrastructure of the club isn't big enough to handle a match of such magnitude". The pictures in this Sun article seem to prove that. Looks like it will move, and whatever TV money they would have received will be recouped in increased gate receipts from Highbury.
Looks like those Birmingham City rumours were right, but for now, Matthew Upson stays at Arsenal. Which is good in my opinion. I hope he's given a proper chance to prove himself, but how do the rest of you rate him? It's obvious Sol and Martin Keown are the first choice centre halves, but who would have as 3rd, Upson or Cygan? Leave a comment and let me know. And Pascal, no leaving lots of comments from different names eh?!
Right, I'm off to drink Lemsip. And hot whiskey. And beer. And Gin & Tonics. Soon, I will be too pissed to realise I'm sick. Excellent...
09.22 - No doubt you've all heard the FA Cup draw by now. Those FA bastards. Man Utd as usual get a walkover against non-league 'West Ham', while Arsenal have to take on the mighty Farnborough United. Their boss Graham Westley says "I see Wenger rested Thierry Henry on Saturday. He must have seen this draw coming." True enough. It's going to be a big struggle for the Gunners to maintain their defence of the cup now. There are no easy games in football any more and....wait........sorry, can't keep that up any more.
Whatever happens, it's likely to be a day to remember for the Farnborough (from the Conference) players and fans. Because their home ground only holds 8 people and some rabbits, the match is likely to be switched to Highbury. People might criticise the FA Cup, but imagine being a player for a team like Farnborough and having the opportunity to play at Highbury, in front of 38,500, against top class players. It'd be deadly. I hope they have a great day out and really enjoy themselves...as we score a bucket load of goals.
"I need to be playing League football and I think this is possibly the last stage in my saga here. I must start being relied upon. It all depends on the selection process and who will come into the frame when Martin and Sol don't play. That's the big question that needs answering and I'm sure the manager will have to make a decision on that soon."
Matthew Upson talks about his Highbury future here. Another player whose Highbury future is in the balance is Francis Jeffers. Despite AW saying last week he saw him as an 'Arsenal player', it seems he's been offered to Rangers who are interested in taking him on loan for the rest of the season. Not sure it's a good idea to be honest, we need our squad to be as strong as possible for the rest of the season, although there is big speculation that the reason Kanu hasn't been in the squad for the last couple of games is that a deal has been done for him and he's not playing so he won't get injured and scupper the transfer. We'll see what happens.....
Over-reaction of the year so far goes to Nicky Butt, who says about his ankle injury "I have felt like hanging myself." What a melodramatic bitch. Perhaps your £30,000 a week and your big house and big cars and never have to work again lifestyle aren't enough for you, Nicky. Leave the hanging to people with real problems or next time don't just talk about it. Do it.
10.38 - Today is the last day of the festive season. Time to take down the tree, tuck away the tinsel, haul out the holly and ...er....shite out the lights. Or something.
Good news for Dennis Bergkamp is that Oxford midfielder Bobby Ford says the elbowing incident was '..accidental'. Er...what elbowing incident is this then? It's fairly typical that on the day he reaches a landmark 100 goals for Arsenal, some sections of the media will try and poo all over it by highlighting a nothing incident.
Anyway, after hinting a couple of months ago that this season might be his last, it looks as if Dennis is set to continue for another year at least. Good news if you ask me. Maybe a few years ago it was difficult for players of his age to make an impact, but when you look at what Zola has done at Chelsea this year, it shows age matters not a bit.
In the wake of Arsene Wenger's comments yesterday, Arsenal have issued a statement to say they have no intention of quitting the Premier League. It says "There is categorically no truth that Arsenal has ever contemplated quitting the Premier League. We are the current champions of the best league in the world."
Still though, there is bound to be unrest amongst managers about the demands placed on players by international football. Thinking about though, wouldn't it be nice if we heard the players express a dissatisfaction about it? Imagine if senior French players like Zidane, Vieira, Barthez and Desailly said something along the lines of "We love playing for our country, but tournaments like the Confederations Cup are of no benefit to us after a long hard season. We need time off and should FIFA really care about the interests of the game, this tournament should be made optional for senior players so that younger players can get a chance to experience international football."
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Unlikely to happen though, which is a shame.
12.09 - "One day FIFA's chief medical officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak, says players are playing too many games and the next the same body is organising another tournament. It's a joke."
Arsene Wenger warns football's governing body that Arsenal and other clubs could break away from their national leagues to form a European super league. He's furious that Arsenal's French players will have to take part in the FIFA organised joke of a tournament, The Confederations Cup, next summer. So instead of their few weeks of holidays before the new season, these guys will have to train then play an entire tournament against the likes of New Zealand and Japan. For what? Coz FIFA says so...
Regular readers will know my feelings about FIFA and their 'influence' on the game. I've said it here before that a breakaway from FIFA would not surprise me one bit, and perhaps the sooner it happens the better. All it would take is for UEFA to breakaway and FIFA is fucked. Who wants to watch a 'World Cup' without the European sides? NOBODY. If the new UEFA co-opted Brazil and Argentina into their ranks, then Sepp Blatter and his fat cat cronies might as well give it up. Even if this Confederations Cup goes ahead, they should make it a tournament for under 21 players or something, but then that would be to the benefit of young players and the national coaches, and not FIFA's bank balance from TV rights and ticket sales....
Nicolas Anelka might have upset a few gooners with his protracted transfer saga a few summers back, but I'm sure he'll win a few friends back if he continues these kind of scathing attacks on our favourite boggly eyed French manager. Well played old chap, hope you get a hat-trick today, then Liverpool's season can be over at the same time as Sp*rs'. Speaking of which, according to some bloke on the Arsenal mailing list, the front page of The People newspaper's football section in England today has the headline "LET'S ALL LAUGH AT SPURS". That's it. No pics, nothing else, just the text. If somebody could scan and send me a pic of that I'd appreciate it like a fox.
Oh, and well done to Jermaine Pennant as he scored in Watford's FA cup win against Maccelsfield. That, along with the performances of Sebastian Svard, Matty Upson, and David Bentley yesterday are proof (if any was needed), that the future of Arsenal young players looks very good indeed.
Not the glut of goals many people expected, but Dennis did manage to get his 100th Arsenal goal today, after some nice play from Francis Jeffers set him up. Congratulations Dennis. Apart from that it all sounded extremely tedious and boring and a second half own goal made it 2-0 and safe for the Arsenal. We saw young 'next best thing' David Bentley make his debut, Sebastian Svard in midfield, and Francis Jeffers miss a few decent chances to score. All in all though, zzzzzzzzzz.
I wish somebody at Arsenal would actually listen to the commentary on arsenal.com - the poor bloke tries hard, but he really doesn't have anything interesting to say. Perhaps they should get a co-commentator in to make it a bit more interesting, because apart from a bottle of Scotch and a giant spliff, or a Phil Collins song, there aren't many easier ways to be put asleep.
Earlier on, AW had some nice things to say about Matthew Upson and Francis Jeffers. It's particulary nice to hear him speak about Upson in such a way. Hopefully now he'll be given a chance to establish himself in the first team again, and it's hard to believe, but apparently he's the second quickest player at the club behind Thierry Henry. He's no Paceless Cygan, that's for sure. Still no joy with a goalkeeper, although you have to wonder how bad Stuart Taylor's injury is if he's on the bench for every game.
In other FA Cup news, I saw Stathis Tavlaridis play for Portsmouth against Man Utd earlier. He looks a handy enough player, Everton and their poxy, thick necked striker Wayne Rooney got knocked out by Shrewbury, and Dead Kenny will be well chuffed as West Ham win their first home game since 1976 as they beat Nottingham Forest 3-2. No doubt Glenn 'Roland Rat' Roeder will say they've turned a corner now. Knowing him though, they've probably turned the wrong way up a one-way street. With Ninjas at the end of it. With bombs. And pointy sticks. And dogs that shoot bees from their mouths.
09.26 - Tomorrow sees the start of the FA Cup. Perhaps its importance has faded a wee bit in recent years, but I still love this competition and it's one I always want us to do well in.
We take on Oxford United at Highbury, and I would imagine we'll see some changes in the side. Patrick Vieira is set to be rested, Thierry is injured so it should mean a starting place for Francis Jeffers, and I would like to see Matthew Upson get a game in the centre of defence. However, with Parlour, Cygan and possibly Freddie all still out, there isn't much room for manouvre. Edu is fit again though, and perhaps we'll see him and Gio in midfield (the first time we'll have two left footers in there since ...?)
For Oxford striker Jefferson Louis tomorrow's game is a big one for him. A year ago he was in prison for driving offences, now he's going to play against the team he supports, at a ground he used to go to as a lad. Good luck to him (but not too much luck, I could live with him scoring in a 7-1 Arsenal win).
Robert Pires was upset at being substituted against Chelsea on New Years Day and wants an explanation from le Boss about it. Given the fact we ended up playing the most defensive midfield we have, and in the end we had 5 across the middle, I think it's fairly obvious. Greek defender Stathis Tavlaridis has joined Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth on a month's loan, and he could go straight into the side to face Manchester United in the cup tomorrow (live on Sky). Still no work about a new keeper, but Planet Football has us linked to all sorts of strange characters. The bald Bulgarian, some bloke with a giant mouth from Paraguay, and Lazio sub Angelo Peruzzi. We shall see...
Finally for now, the 2003 bloggies are upon us. 'The what?' you say. Well, they're awards for ..er...blogging and people with blogs and such thing. Anyway, feel free to nominate Arseblog for any categories you like, but I reckon we could do well in best tagline, best topical weblog, most humorous weblog (once the judge is an Arsenal fan of course) and best new weblog. Some funny categories there, even one for best Canadian Weblog. What's that all aboot then?
10.15 - I suppose we should start the day with the bad news. Thierry Henry has picked up a hamstring injury and is definitely out of Saturday's FA Cup tie against Oxford. Maybe it's not such a bad thing, we all know he needs a bit of a rest having played mostly every game so far this season, and with the next two league games against Birmingham and West Ham, it should give Francis Jeffers a decent run in the side to show what he can do.
Strong rumours circulating that Matthew Upson is set to join Birmingham City. Will refrain on commenting on this until it's confirmed one way or the other, but I would be very surprised and disappointed if this happened. We'll see.
Arsene Wenger is confident that we can retain the title, after coming through the Christmas period unbeaten, and with 10 points from 12. On the other hand, Liverpool boss Gerard Hoofier admits it's as good as over for the scousers this season. The Liverpool fans are obviously most unhappy at their meagre 4 points from 30, and having been 7 points clear at the top not so long ago, now trail the mighty Southampton, and Everton, in 7th place.
Away from football, the first 'most stupidest story of the year so far', goes to a man called Jack Ass, who is suing MTV and the makers of their show 'Jackass', because it was 'liable for injury to my reputation that I have built and defamation of my character which I have worked so hard to create.' Riiiiight, you mad fucker. I just hope their isn't a Mr C. Unt reading this too often....
january 1st 2003
18.12 - Welcome to a brand new year on Arseblog. Hope you had a good night last night and happy new year to you all.
What a way to start 2003. An extraordinary game at Highbury today.
It looked as if Dennis had scored his 100th goal for Arsenal in the 9th minute, but it turned out to be an own goal from Marcel Desailly. The game then continued at 1-0 until the 81st minute. With Chelsea pressing for an eqauliser and dominating the game, Arsenal broke forward, Toure made a dummy run, Henry fed Gio who buried it past Cuducini. 2-0 Arsenal and I was thinking that was it - 3 points nice and safe.
Less than a minute later, Henry runs, turns Gallas, shoots and it's 3-0 Arsenal. All the nerves are gone, and even my New Year's hangover and ever loosening bowels felt better. Listening to football on the radio isn't so bad after all.
Then Chelsea get a corner, Seamo doesn't get it, Stanic makes it 3-1. Oh well, a small consolation is ok for Chelsea. Then, less than a minute after than, Seamo drops the ball, Petit is left with an open goal, 3-2. Now, the bowels are screaming, my headache is back, fingernails are being bitten, and I'm thinking it would be just typical if we threw away a 3-0 lead with 9 minutes go, especially as the moaners scored 2 in the last 9 minutes to nick their 2-1 win over Sunderland earlier.
But, we hang on. 3-2 to the Arsenal. 3 points to kick off the new year. But buggering jaysus, I could have done without it being so close.....
In other Arsenal news, Patrick Vieira says again he wants to stay at Arsenal, we've got a big, bald Bulgarian keeper on trial, The Sun says Leeds want £12m for Paul Robinson, and Arsene Wenger talks about transfer targets and the players being offered to Arsenal all the time here.
Right, time for a hair of the dog I reckon, and some dinner before I settle down to watch Liverpool get stuffed by Newcastle.
Oh, my new year's resultion. To eat less grapes. It'll be hard, but I'll try. What's yours?