Does anyone out there read Frank Stubb's diary on Arsenal.com? The latest enthralling edition features Frank looking like some kind of demented red Indian with the Arsenal players on the Austrian tour. Have a look in particular at the picture with a rather bemused looking Lauren. You can almost see him thinking "Oh Oh, this bloke could scalp me any minute".
Anyway, is it possible to have an authentic diary on the official site, when they can just delete anything they don't want you to say?
11.45 - There's a rather odd article about Gilberto Silva's obsession with cheese in the Standard. So many jokes, but I'll brie edamed if I'm going to start roquefarting around with cheese puns. You can see how our new recruit is getting on with these pictures of the training camp in Austria.
Other than that there seems to be very little happening in Arsenal news. Last month I was talking about that cool football game that used to be in the arcades, Football Champ/Hat trick hero. Well, now you can play it on your own PC or Mac. First, download Mame (Mac, Windows*), then download these two (1 - 2) files. Put the Zip files in the ROMS folder and off you go.
I'm not 100% about the Windows link coz I don't use it, so if it doesn't work, try another one from here.
Arsene Wenger has again said he thinks Richard Wright should have stayed at Arsenal to fight for his place. He says he's given no assurances to Fabian Carini, and the Uruguayan will have to compete with Stuart Taylor for the right to dislodge David Seaman. Personally, I find AW's comments about Wright a bit odd, especially when you take into account the words of Jerzey Dudek's agent.
The BBC have a feature on young striker Jeremie Aliadiere, who has the potential to be as good as Henry or Anelka according to his former coaches at Claireaine. He scored 2 in the friendly the other day, and with Wiltord likely to start the season in midfield, Kanu's form as dodgy as George Michael's new video and Jeffers always injured, he might well get a chance quite early in the season.
New laws are being passed in the US to combat software and music piracy in the digital age. Has it never occurred to record companies that the solution is in their hands? Stop charging us €18 for a CD that costs 0.79¢ to produce. Miserable cunts. Anyway, I'm sure the level of music piracy is not that much different from when double cassette decks became the norm. How many blank tapes filled with dodgy, skipping copies of vinyl LPs do you still have lying around your attic somewhere? Exactly.......(for anyone born after 1985 or so, have a look at this).
Finally, another wee game to help pass your busy day.
12.08 - I'm fed up with not having any kind of magical or superhero type powers.
09.49 - Did you know Gilberto Silva used to work in a sweet factory? Me neither, but thanks to Soccernet we can add to our knowledge of our latest recruit. Meanwhile, a court in Brazil is trying to stop the Silva transfer because they say Athletico Mineiro owe money to players and staff. It didn't occur to them that the $7.5 the club are going to receive as a transfer fee might be a good way of paying off those debts. Stupid judges.....
What a great pre-season Spurs are having, not only are Hoddle and Pleat fighting like an old married couple, Tim Sherwood (supposedly an Arsenal fan) has blasted Hoddle for being too weak to stand up to ENIC (Spurs owners) for more transfer funds, they lost 3-2 against QPR in a friendly and now it seems they are going to break the heart of the Spurs physio by selling longtime lover Darren Anderton to Leeds. If only relegation could be coupled with extreme torture....and it still wouldn't be good enough for them.
As it's Monday and you no doubt have a load of work to get done this week, I thought I'd share this with you (via burnt toast). Have fun.......
14.19 - The name of Frank McAvennie cropped up in the comments this week, and today I recieved this email from an anonymous source.
"....I got a job running a warehouse that sub-contracted to the Home Office. Our job was to take all the prisoners weekly orders for sweets, tobacco etc, make them up, security seal them and deliver them to the prisoners for all the nicks up here, and as boss I spent a lot of time in the nicks (with keys - but it's still weird).
Anyway, the warehouse was based in Durham and most of the workers were mackems (Sunderland fans for those of you that don't know).Now for some reason that I forget they hate Frank Mac with a vengeance, so his order was 'abused' every week.
Packets of biscuits were smashed, dead lighters put in, empty baccy packets - the works. As the rules say that any complaints have to come forward before the bag was opened, he never had a biscuit he could dunk the whole time he was in there!"
heh...poor old Frank.
10.10 - Arsenal's pre-season friendly against Rapid Vienna turned out to be anything but friendly. The match was abandoned at 0-0 after 65 minutes when Vienna fans stormed the pitch and started fighting with police. Arsene Wenger and David Dein will decide today whether to play the remaining fixtures on the tour. I never knew Austrians had it in them to be honest.
The Gilberto Silva signing has been confimed by AFCi (factfile here) and our new signing seems to be a modest chap who's looking forward to playing for The Gunners. A word for Edu who it seems spent some time encouraging his fellow Brazilian to join, good work sir. It's funny how a week can change things. When Arsene Wenger said we might only sign Cygan I was worried that our squad wouldn't have the same depth as last season and with Richard Wright's transfer we looked dangerously weak in the goalkeeping department, but we've signed Carini and Silva this week to add to the Cygan signing, and now I feel a lot more confident about the upcoming season.
Despite saying he would never buy a player based solely on seeing him in a World Cup, Arsene Wenger admits he didn't know much about Gilberto Silva before Japan-Korea. You'll find his comments at the bottom of this Mirror article about Thierry Henry's desire to put the steaming load of cat poo that was France's World Cup behind him.
Arsenal beat SV Neuberg 7-2 in Austria last night. One of our youth hopefuls, Jeremie Aliardiere, had a storming match by all accounts. Full match report from Arsenal.com.
13.15 - Further thanks to Tony for pointing out that of the brothers Cannavaro, Kanu and Inzaghi, it's the elder brother that is considered the better player. The Jack and Bobby example was merely a fluke and now my theory is back on track, although it is giving me a headache.
11.33 - Thanks to e barry for pointing out in the comments that Jack is actually older than Bobby Charlton and I have actually disproved my own theory by trying to prove it in the first place.
What about brothers and sisters in showbiz? Despite somehow having avoided being captured, tortured and burnt like a witch, Anthea Turner is better than her sister and er....Kylie is better than Dannii.....er......Lenny Henry is a better comedian than his long-lost French brother Thierry. Actually that last bit is a lie. Thierry is a much better comedian.
09.11 - Morning news round up first.
The Sun says we're battling it out with West Ham for the signature of Johan Micoud, while The Scotsman picks up on the fact that we've apparently signed Gilberto Silva. Glenn Hoddle is telling lies again. After David Pleat admitting that Robbie Keane was on their 'list', Hoddle has insisted he's not. The same way that Gareth Southgate was injured during World Cup 98 Glenn, you pathalogical spoofer you?
Now for my theory. I propose that in most cases of footballers who are brothers, it's normally the older brother that's the better player. Not that the younger brother is always crap, just not as good as the elder sibling. Here's a few examples.....
Alan Kelly (Rep. Ireland)
Gary Kelly (not the one that plays for Leeds)
Arseblogger's younger brother
As you can see, it's generally the older brother than has the best footballing genes, and these are diluted as the parents produce more offspring. Certainly in my case I am a far superior footballer to my brother - I used to give him a 49-0 head start in games up to 50 in our back garden. Granted, there's 3 years age difference between us, and when he was 5 or 6 and falling over all the time, I was a quick-footed child prodigy who would win every game 50-49.
Can anyone think of a younger brother that's better than elder?
21.48 - There's some egg on face over at Arseweb. Don't worry lads, these things happen, but regular readers here will know that idle speculation and made up gossip would never grace the hallowed turf that is index.html here at A R S E B L O G. Now, where did I put all that Ronaldo merchandise I got made up?
I've been looking at the stats for the site, and it seems the fox in the box has been picked up by a load of Everton and Liverpool websites. They're all laughing at Frannie. I think they're just jealous of his impressive goals to games statistics. 2 league starts for Arsenal, 2 goals. Can't ask for more than that from an £8.5m striker. That's a 100% strike rate in the league. Perhaps Arsene Wenger should get the medical staff working on inventing the cripplectomy, then we'd have the world's best striker if he kept that scoring rate going.
Tomorrow, I have an interesting theory to share with you.
Robert Pires says his recovery is on schedule (not 3 weeks ahead as some have reported) and has backed Arsene Wenger's opinion that the French squad's trips to Chile and Australia contributed to his injury. Tiring trips like that mid-season have no benefit to club or country, with Bob's injury and France's total failure at the World Cup highlighting the point perfectly.
Fergie wants Carini according to The Sun. If true, it's fairly typical of man who just seems to look at who the other managers want to buy and then outbids them with his great wad of PLC cash. Forlan, Ferdinand, van Nistlerooj, Veron and now Carini. When was the last time Fergie discovered a great player for himself in the way that Wenger has made stars of Vieira, Petit, Ljungberg, Lauren and to a certain extent Henry and Pires? Oh, how silly of me, I forgot Quinton Fortune.
Anyone with loads of cash can buy good players. Look at the way Dalglish & Jack Walker bought the title for Blackburn. When Dalglish didn't have the same resources at Newcastle, he struggled. So while some of us might question the signing of Cygan, I don't think any of us would be surprised if he turned out to be a top player.
12.01 - The niggling has started already. Arsene Wenger says Rio Ferdinand was too expensive at £30m. When you consider that Leicester's new stadium was built for £35m, you can see what he means.
He has also said that Arsenal will probably buy a midfielder before the start of the season, but he doesn't know who yet. Obvious candidates are £14m Marc van Bommell, £6.5m Gilberto Silva (nice to see someone with a sense of humour at Arseweb..."ooooh, you're a bad dog baby") or even Lee Bowyer.
Richard Wright will decide today whether or not to join Everton. Perhaps the news that reported target Fabian Carini has been released by Juventus might help make his mind up?
Arsenal are playing a pre-season friendly in Austria on Friday, so we'll wait and see if anything happens before then.
With Richard Wright seemingly on the way out, that leaves David Seaman and Stuart Taylor. Graham Stack, next in line in the youths, has joined Breveren (Arsenal's feeder club in Belgium) on loan.
DS1 is 38 now and prone to injury, and while most Arsenal fans will say Stuart Taylor did well when he came into the team, he remains an unconvincing option. He was well protected by a defence that finally started to gel, and for me he lacked presence, looked unassured and never actually seemed to make any kind of a save for the goals that went past him.
If Wright does go, we obviously need another keeper, but who is going to come and sit on the bench? If we do buy a keeper, we should be looking at somebody established because AW's tactic of buying young keepers with potential doesn't seem to be working. But what established keeper is going to sign for Arsenal when it's clear there is no competition for the position. It didn't matter how well Manninger, Wright or Taylor played, as soon as he was fit, Seaman was first choice. Is it going to be any different this season? Only Arsene Wenger knows, but he's going to have a hard job convincing any potential signings.
Now, I'm beginning to get worried about next season. So far we've lost Adams, Dixon and Grimandi - 3 experienced players (I'm disregarding Inamoto coz like, he was as close to first team action as I was). The loss of Adams' influence on and off the field cannot be underestimated. Pires, Ljungberg and Gio are injured. We're about to lose our number 2 keeper, and we've brought in 1 player, a bargain basement gamble in Pascal Cygan.
Now before you all start, I'm not advocating going out and spending money like Man Utd are spending money (ie £30m on one player), but I think our squad at this moment is considerably weaker than it was last season. We're champions, teams will raise their game against us next season, games will be harder, more physical. We can't put ourselves in a position where one or two injuries at the start of the season cripple our title defence.
I've said we need a ball playing centre-half alongside Sol Campbell. Maybe Cygan can do it, but we know Edmilson could do it. What if Cygan is another Stepanovs, or fails to find his feet in English football like Vivas? Does Arsene even have money to spend?
Pennant might get a chance, and I'd welcome that, but that still leaves us short in my opinion. The only other youth who looks like he could break through soon is Jeremie Aliardiere, but he's got Wiltord, Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu and Jeffers to get past. Maybe Tavlaridis and Kolo Toure will add some depth to the squad, but they're unknown quantities for the most part.
Maybe I'm worrying for no reason. If I harbour these doubts, and I know some of you reading do too, then surely it must be obvious to AW and the rest of his staff. He knows the players better than anyone, and I guess after what we achieved last season we have to trust him to know what he's doing.
Finally, thanks to Steve for the HTML help - hopefully none of my inane ramblings will be hidden from you in the future.
It appears as if another goalkeeper with great -albeit unfulfilled - potential is about to be lost to Arsenal because of the extended career of David Seaman.
First Manninger, now Wright. If the deal goes ahead, it leaves us with an injury prone 38 year old, and a flapping 20 year old in Stuart Taylor. I really hope Arsene Wenger knows what he's doing.
Could goalkeepers be his blind spot?
If Wright does leave, it will be hard to blame him. There isn't really competition for the goalkeeper's jersey - a fit Seaman will always play, as AM13 found out. But Seaman can't go on forever. He had a great run of form at the end of the last season that seemed to make people forget about some distinctly dodgy performances in the two previous seasons. If he can keep up the good form and stay clear of injury, then we have no problems. It's a big 'if' though.
It's never been quite clear why we actually signed Wright - Wenger's attention last summer was firmly placed on Jerzy Dudek, and we all know how close we came to signing him. Obviously he knows he needs to find a replacement for DS1, but so far hasn't found the right candidate. Anyone got any suggestions?
19.45 - So despite saying Rio was not for sale, despite reavealing a clause saying he couldn't be sold to another Premiership club, and despite setting a deadline which was passed today before any deal was made, Peter Ridsdale got what he wanted all along - £30m to help pay for the debts Leeds accrued speculating with Champions League money they never got coz they didn't qualify.
When you pay £9m for Seth Johnson - a poor man's Grimandi - you know you're going to have to pay a price. Leeds couldn't afford to turn down Man Utd's offer because they overspent on average players. It cost them Rio Ferdinand.
Still Alex Ferguson seems to be spending money like he's playing Championship Manager. Rio @ £30m + Veron @ £28.5m + RvN @ £19m = £77.5m in the last year or so. That's big money, and could all of those people who go on and on about Ferguson being fantastic for producing his own talent now please shut the fuck up? Since that extra-ordinary group we've mentioned before, he has produced Higginbothams and Wallworks and Chadwicks - today's equivalent of Hillier, Morrow and Selley.
Anyway, nice to see United try and shore up their defence for next season - but once they keep playing Silvestre, Neville 1 & 2, Wes Brown, Laurent Blanc and the sure hands of Fabien Barthez, Rio will have his work cut out for him.
Nice to see Dennis Wise up to his old tricks. Not content with knocking the shit out of taxi drivers, he's now progressed to his own team-mates.
12.30 - As promised, here are the pictures from last season. They're all quite hi-res JPGs so if you're on a dial up connection, they may take a while to load.
Other than that, it's too hot to think, so I'm off down the beach.
14.12 - I know I said it was kind of quiet in terms of Arsenal news, but this is some kind of drought. There are those that will think the silence from Highbury speaks volumes, and that the club are putting together some deal that will stun us all before the season starts. Most probably though, there's just nothing going on....
Sometimes I think of new things to try and do with the site - to keep myself amused and hopefully raise a smile at your end too. Sometimes I think of something, and I'm not quite sure whether I should go ahead with it. This* was something I thought of a while ago, but I dillied and dallied over it and didn't do it during the season when it needs to be done. Do you reckon it's a runner for next season?
* for those unfamiliar with the subject, he's a celebrity chef on UK TV and an Arsenal fan who gets wheeled out on Sky Sports for stuff like the FA Cup final coz he's big and jolly.
22.02 - Despite this, I was emailed again by the same person offering me the same deal. 'How odd,' I thought, then I saw this. It seems I wasn't special and everyone is getting Nigerian emails....oh well.
Did you ever see two people walk down the street arm in arm, obviously very much in love, and think to yourself 'I really hope those people don't breed', because they are the two ugliest people you've ever seen? If you want an idea of how ugly they were, she had a mullet and a face like this, while he was some kind of a hunchback who looked like Jeff Goldblum with his face inside out. Shudder.
For some reason Apple have pulled this ad "Ellen Feiss" (3.5mb download) from their website. I can't understand why....now, where did I leave my skins?
Oh, and my Mac is running slower than Ben Johnson without steroids - can anyone recommend some decent software to try and clean it up a bit? Something like Norton Utilities.....ta....
09.34 - It's very difficult to argue with anything Alex Manninger says here.
When he got that run of games in the 97/98 Double season, I was convinced we were looking at Arsenal's number 1 for the next 15 years. Would it have been different if Alex had kept his place? I think so. Whenever we saw him again, we saw a goalkeeper totally lacking confidence, making mistakes and generally suffering a nightmare time until he moved to Fiorentina on loan last season where he rebuilt his reputation, confidence and form.
There's no disputing the fact that Seamo is a world class keeper, and his superb form at the end of last season was vital in securing the Double again, but like any other position on the pitch, the form player should play. Manninger played brilliantly, but as soon as DS1 was fit, he was back in the team. Richard Wright was excellent in the FA Cup, but was demoted the bench for the final.
AW's loyalty to his number one is commendable, but this season I would like to Richard Wright stay in the team if he gets a run of games, rather than being dumped on the bench the moment Dave is available again.
Only Tottenham could buy one of the world's form strikers in Sergei Rebrov and leave him rot on the bench while their born-again wanker manager plays Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham and Stefan Iversen instead. Well, Oleg did warn him.....
Oh, and some shocking news, the fox in the box is injured and will miss the start of the season. Quel surprise....
15.05 - The seal of approval or the kiss of death? A R S E B L O G presents Pascal Cygan wallpaper here.
We mentioned Jermaine Pennant earlier in the month, and reckoned this was a make or break season for him. I'd be temted to start him on the left hand side of midfield while Freddie and Bob are out - they're both right footed, so that's not a problem - and these two articles from Soccernet and ANR suggest he might get his chance.
That aside it's all quiet on the Arsenal front. Now, look at this. Gordon Taylor - Chief Executive of the PFA - has landed a pay increase of £120,000 taking his weekly wage to £12,000. So while 650 players get the boot this summer, Taylor can slurp caviar and have slave girls fan him like some kind of Egyptian pharoah on the back of the TV deal he nearly caused a strike over last season.
Why does the head of the PFA need such a huge salary, and how can they justify running a union where the yearly sub is just £75? That's £75 if you earn £250 per week or £60,000 per week.Am I right in thinking that most unions take a small percentage of your weekly wage? If footballers contributed more to the union, for example 1% of their wages, then surely they'd be able to offer more help to the players who have found themselves unemployed after ITV Digital essentially bankrupted clubs up and down the Nationwide league.
As it is, clubs are telling players that are lucky enough to still have a job that they can't have an increase in wages, while the head of their union gets a 36% raise with the players' contributions. It's not right, is it?
It looks like Rio is heading for Old Trafford. I don't think Rio would have left Leeds if O'Leary had still been in charge, so it looks like Venables will have some money to spend with the sale of Rio and Bowyer, but Leeds look a much inferior team without those two. Ridsdale's folly......
18.57 - I've got some more really good pics from last season to put up this weekend - including a great team shot, Freddie scoring against Ipswich and a top class shot of Tony Adams.
In the meantime though, can anyone suggest what Arsene Wenger might be saying here?
As Gazza said, a bit of 'industrial language' is inevitable, but the idea of players being sent off for swearing is all a bit kindergarten in my opinion. And is it only when you use 'offensive language' at a referee, or are players going to be dismissed for swearing at a member of the opposition?
In fairness, if you scream 'YOU FUCKING WANKER' at the ref, you're looking for a red card (unless you're Roy Keane), but if a player is tackled badly and shouts something at the player who tackled him, that's perfectly acceptable in my book.
Swearing is part of everyday life This is just another attempt to sanitise the game beyond all recognition, and Philip Don and the rest of his Nazi coven can go fuck themselves, the cunts.
I await my red card via email.
08.50 - All change in the goalkeeping department for next season?
According to The Times, Arsenal want to sign Turkish keeper Rustü which would almost certainly end the Arsenal careers of David Seaman and Richard Wright. Dennis Bergkamp mourns the loss of Adams and Dixon, but says Cygan looks promising in pre-season training, while The Grimster wishes the new #18 all the best, and reckons that Rohan Ricketts will have no problem getting into the Spurs first team. Nice one Gilles.
Peter Ridsdale accuses 'somebody' of dirty tricks over the Rio Ferdinand transfer. He couldn't mean 'somebody' as in Manchester Uited could he? I mean, it's not like they tried to tap up Vieira last summer, or they tapped up Jaap Stam, or spent time with Ruud van Nistlerooy without the knowledge of PSV, or poached Forlan from under the noses of Middlesborough. They've always conducted their business properly and professionally, so what on earth is the Leeds Chairman on about?
Just discovered that one my my favourite football sites, www.onefootball.com, has been closed down. It hasn't been updated since last Friday and it looks like it's curtains. It's a shame as it really was one of the best sites, especially for interesting little stories on European and world football. There's a niche in the market there for someone....
09.31 - It looks like Rio Ferdinand is set to make himself and outcast in Leeds and join Man Utd. Yes, he's a fine player and he'll make them a stronger team, but he's always going to be playing alongside a weak link. Blanc is too old and too slow, Brown is overrated, O'Shea is still young and the I don't need to say anything about the Nevilles or Silvestre.
Also, asumming Rio will cost them around £30m, it would take their spending to close to £80m in the space of a year on just 3 players. Even for a club as wealthy as Manchester Utd that sort of spending is unsustainable without winning things. Another trophyless season at Old Trafford could see the money-men get on the manager's back and insist on players being sold. One can only hope that's exactly what happens.
There's hasn't been even a whisper of news from Arsenal over the last few days - which leads me believe there's something going on. A strong rumour persists that Stephen Carr's 'training ground bust-up' is merely a smokescreen so Tottenham can sell him to Arsenal without suffering a backlash from the fans. This bloke is less than happy about it all...heh. (note: this site takes ages to load coz it's chock full of crappy scripts and stuff).
11.25 - Here is a transcript of a recent email conversation I had. I've Xed the name out in case he really is some kind of international gangster and he comes to get me....heh.
00.40 - Does anyone know what's happened to bloke from @FC ?
The last update was the FA Cup final - positioned just above a headline saying "Now we're back for good". I've been patiently waiting for his end of season - Man Utd away - double winning report, but he seems to have gone underground like a common Bin Laden. What's the story?
And why won't Arseweb give me a link on their comprehensive links page? I emailed more than once and asked really nicely, but they seem to be ignoring me. I should be used to that by now, I suppose. First ITV Digital, then the FAI, and now Arseweb. Quite a hall of shame....*cough*....
17.55 - Tottenham website celebrates the signing of Arsenal reserve midfielder Rohan Ricketts. He was released by Arsenal - and among the many rumours that abound it's said his attitude was a problem following an outburst on his website last summer. He couldn't get past Vieira, Edu, van Bronckhorst, Parlour, Grimand, Lauren or Inamoto for a central midfield place at Arsenal, but I have no doubt he can break into the Sp*rs first team almost straight away ;o)
Non-Arsenal from here. It's quiet, what can I tell you?
You know the way people might 'smoke some shit', to get high? Well, this is going a bit too far really.
Tell me something I don't know, and maybe you've seen something on the news, but Sesame Street is getting with the times. Maybe some people think it's a bit much to have a HIV positive character on a kids show, but frankly, all the information we have as adults hasn't stopped people being stupid and spreading the disease. Maybe the kids will have more sense.
That's a bit heavy to leave things on, so for a good laugh, look at the state of this fucker. May he forever have an itch upon his testicles.
11.20 - Arsene Wenger is worried that the French players will come back for pre-season training feeling bad and upset over their World Cup exit. The players that won the double are going to suffer a World Cup hangover? If they'd got to the final and lost, then you might understand a certain amount of post-tournament stress disorder (that's a brand new disorder you know), but the fact is, they've had much longer holidays than they would have expected, and they should come back fit, rested and raring to go.
If Wiltord hasn't scored 15 goals by the end of September, I'm going to give him such a reverse-cripplectomy he won't know what's hit him.
It really is the quietest summer I can ever remember for transfers, with clubs worried about the money in the game. Over the last few years, big clubs have overspent, and are now faced with depreciating assets who are costing them a fortune in wages. Real Madrid only cleared their debts with the controversial sale of their training ground to the local government, Lazio spent like they had won the lottery and now have a wage bill of £98m per year, and look at Fiorentina, who a couple of years ago knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League, but are now bankrupt and playing football in Serie B.
On a lighter note though, Chelsea are said to be nearly £80m in the red, have had to pull out of two transfer deals because they can't afford them and have put their best player, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the market at £20m. Couldn't happen to a nicer club and one can only hope Ken Bates ends up some kind of medieval pauper begging for alms up and down Kensington High Street.
I suppose Arsenal fans should be glad that Arsene Wenger has never spent crazy money on players. Last summer saw an outlay of £25m that brought Sol Campbell, Francis Jeffers, Richard Wright and Giovanni van Bronckhorst to the club. Alex Ferguson spent £28.5m on misfit Veron. That says a lot.
The main beneficiaries of this transfer freeze could well be the younger players at the top clubs. Previously there has been a reluctance on the part of big clubs to bring young players though, preferring to buy established talent instead. Say what you want about Man Utd's supposedly brilliant youth policy, but they haven't produced a decent player since the Scholes - Butt - Beckham - Neville class broke through in 1995 (?).
Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal and inherited a shambles where there should have been a youth academy. With Liam Brady and Don Howe he has created a top class facility for young players, who may not make it at Arsenal, but will have had a first class football education that will stand them in good stead in their careers. The potential of players like Pennant, Aliardiere, Barrett, Sidwell, Volz, Halls, and Stuart Taylor is evident, and wouldn't it be sweet to see an Arsenal team containing one or two of these players win something this season?
But then, "...you'll never win anything with kids".
Lastly for today, please check out this new Freddie Ljungberg fan site. It's quite literally full of Freddie goodness, go visit.
11.11 - We love you Freddie, because you've got ...er....no hair.
To your left is a crutch bearing Freddie Ljungberg, pictured after his recent operation. He's hoping to start some light training next week, and hopefully he'll be back by September.
Some further quotes from yesterday reveal that there might well be one more signing before the July 31st deadline. We're light in midfield for the start of the season, because of the injuries to Freddie, Bob and Gio, but when they come back, we've got healthy competition in that area of the field.
It looks like Kanu can go for any reasonable offer, so I would expect someone like Aliardiere to take over the 5th striker position if the big Nigerian leaves. I still don't like Wiltord up front - he really was most effective on the right - so perhaps the young French striker can make a big impact this season. He's bound to get a few chances once Jeffers starts picking up injuries again ;o)
One of Arsenal's original Musketeers shows he's not too shabby with a sword either. Well played, Sir. We at A R S E B L O G most heartily endorse this kind of behaviour.
Finally, Arsenal yesterday unveiled a proposal for a winter break in the Premiership. It's a nice idea but the ideal solution would be to reduce the number of teams in the league, meaning it could start later and give the players a decent holiday at the end of the season. The summer break is bad enough, I couldn't even contemplate going through January without football. Just say no.....
He was unveiled today during the dullest press conference ever to be held anywhere. He's tall and bald and he'll wear the number 18 shirt, and that's about all we know.
It also seems that the report in the Guardian might have been correct. Arsene Wenger more or less ruled out any further signings before the start of the season. The club confirmed new deals for Oleg Luzhny, Martin Keown and David Seaman.
With regard to other new signings, one central defender is not exactly strengthening the squad a great deal, so perhaps we're about to see to emergence of some of the younger squad members like Pennant, Aliardiere, Sidwell and Volz. Let's not forget Tavlaridis and Kolo Toure as well.
There will be those that will criticise for not spending more, but no clubs are spending big so far this summer, and anyway, if we keep buying players, how are the youngsters going to get a chance? Ashley Cole has proved that the academy is capable of producing top quality players, let's hope we see one or two more this season. The only problems we have with the squad at the moment are
Alex Manninger's move to Español seems to have broken down, with the Catalan club failing to provide financial documents in time. They're notoriously tight-fisted in this part of Spain, so maybe there's still a chance. Celtic are said to be interested, but you have to feel sorry for Alex who was in Barcelona waiting to be presented to the media when it all broke down. Imagine thinking you're going to live in Barcelona, only to end up in Glasgow instead. No offence intended to any Scots reading, but you surely know what I mean......
09.35 - A brief news round up for you this morning.
Martin Keown has signed a new 2 year deal with Arsenal. At 35 he's done well to get 2 years, so let's hope he can stay fit and avoid the aging process over the next couple of seasons.
Everton want Richard Wright. Can't see us selling him to be honest. He obviously has a lot of potential, and I remain totally unconvinced by Stuart Taylor. Freddie is recuperating after his recent surgery, and he hopes to be back within 2 months.
There's some confusion surrounding Tony Adams. Apparently it was announced on the BBC that he was to become the new manager of Watford, but no official statement has come from either Arsenal, to say that Tony has retired, or from Watford confirming the appointment. I guess it would be the ideal job for him, as Watford train right next door to London Colney, so he could always pop over to AW for bit of help if he needed it.
Finally, is the delay in announcing the Cygan signing due to the fact that Arsenal want to announce the signing of a Brazilian midfielder at the same time? We shall see....
Worrying article from the Guardian which says that the arrival of Cygan - when it eventually happens - will be the only new purchase from Arsene Wenger this summer. They say that the financial restrictions put in place by the new stadium project mean that Arsenal have to sell before they can buy.
But who could be sold?
Wiltord for £10m? Kanu for £3m? Parlour for £6-7m?
What if Patrick Vieira won't sign a new contract? Do we cash in now while he's still worth a lot of money, or wait for his contract to run out and let him go for free? I'm glad I'm not a football manager...
Still, our relative poverty doesn't stop The Sun linking us with that crazy back-flipping dude, Julius Aghahowa, again.
Congratulations to Steve as he becomes only the second person in history to use the word 'cripplectomy' on his website. What about the rest of you?
16.29 - Pascal Cygan still hasn't signed for Arsenal. Oh well. Anyway, I refuse to get excited by the cut price signing of the son of LeBoeuf.
There really is very little else of interest happening in the world of Arsenal. The BBC has a nice piece about the famous back 4 of Dixon-Adams-Bould-Winterburn, and that's about it really.
I saw Steve Bould and Paul Davis interviewed on Sky News this morning, and one of them - I can't remember which - hinted strongly that Arsene Wenger was looking for someone for the left hand side of midfield. Damien Duff perhaps?
Maybe something will happen tomorrow.
13.55 - Pascal Cygan will complete his move to Arsenal today, according to Planet Football. They quote a price of just £2m. Hopefully it's another case of Arsene Wenger getting a good price for a player we don't know much about who turns out to be tops, rather than a case of getting what you pay for.
David Seaman wants to carry on playing, despite having thought of retirement after the World Cup. Richard Wright says.....
Elsewhere, Terry Venables, that loveable rogue/usedcarsalesman spiv, has taken over at Leeds. I hope he bankrupts them, brings in loads of dodgy Australian players that in no way benefit him financially of course, and gets them relegated.
A R S E B L O G is still the only place where you'll find mention of Cripplectomy. Wouldn't you like to be second? Have a cripplectomy on your website today.....
"I am a rage-oholic. I'm addicted to rage-ohol."
14.30 - Zzzzzzz. Having a lazy Sunday.
Just popped on to tell you I've uploaded some decent sized JPGs of some of last season's action. Click here for more. I'll get some more pics up during the week as well.
Signing count = 0. Boredom factor = CRITICAL. Need football. Have resorted to Battleships.
Sky Sports News are reporting that we've been asking Valencia about Kily Gonzalez. I'd love to give you a link, but I can't find one and you'll just have to take my word for it. I saw it on the telly not 15 minutes ago....
He'd be top class cover for right and left wings, but where would he fit in when Freddie and Bob are fit again? I wish we'd sign someone soon, just to ease the total boredom of close season a bit.
08.45 - Worrying news about Freddie. A former Swedish team doctor says he's never seen a footballer with this particular injury, and he suggests that if Freddie does recover fully it may take a lot longer than 2-3 months.
The same article says that Van Bommell, Edmilson and Cygan are Arsenal's transfer targets, and also that Martin Keown is set to sign a new 2 year deal. Other rumours say that the Stephen Carr signing could happen this weekend, while Kevin Keegan could bid £7m for Ray Parlour.
01.02 - It has begun.
If you search Google for the word 'cripplectomy', it returns with one result - arseblog.com.
Please feel free to use this fantastic word that I invented on your own website. With your help, we can make 'cripplectomy' one of the most popular words in the English language within 18 months. I'm already designing a range of 'cripplectomy' sports wear to be manufactured deep in the Peruvian jungle by some underage Inca children, who will be paid in soiled rice and goat meat. I'll cut you in on the deal....I swear.
09.20 - If I was American and in America now, I'd be asleep. Happy 4th of July, Yanks.
Last year Myles Palmer predicted the signings of Van Bronckhorst, Sol and Jeffers on ANR. This year he says he hasn't been following the rumours, but he's speculating that the players coming in are Pascal Cygan, Marc van Bommell and Stephen Carr.
The Carr story in particular is interesting. Back in May there were rumours that Carr had been pictured wearing an Arsenal scarf, and that the Arsenal players were talking about his arrival after Tony Adams' testimonial. During the week, a Sp*rs website ran this story, so maybe there's something in it.
He's a good player, and no doubt the Sp*rs fans will be exceptionally pissed off if this transfer goes through. The only thing I want to say to them is this.
Bad news on the injury front though. Freddie Ljungberg needs a hip operation after being savaged by the Swedish team's doctors. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with him, so they pulled and poked and probed, made it worse, then sent him back to Arsenal who immediately decided that surgery was the answer.
He's not due back until mid-September, so our options on the left are a bit limited for the start of the season, with Bob and Gio still out. Anyway, we'd like to wish Freddie all the best in his recovery. Get well soon.
Amazingly, he'd been with Arsenal for 5 years, having been signed not long after Arsene Wenger took over. The story goes he'd been playing for a 2nd or 3rd division German team when a friend of AW told him to have a look. Arsene saw enough in him to take him to Arsenal, but he never really looked like making the grade.
He did score a rocket of a free kick in a meaningless Champions League game a couple of seasons ago, but has spent most of his time out on loan. Interestingly enough, he has his own website, and now that he's out of contract, he might have the time to do it up a bit.
Hasta Luego Alberto.
David Seaman is being offered a new deal by Arsenal. Not happy news if you're Richard Wright I suppose, but with the possibility of losing Adams and Keown, it makes sense to keep hold of Seaman's experience.
08.39 - Hmmmmm.......
We have been reading your website for some time now, and it has become apparent that you are exactly the person we're looking for to take the final place on our fantastic voyage.
We are going to travel to Auckland NZ, via the centre of the earth, in a specially adapated Nissan van. During our subterranean experience, it is our belief that we will find a new race of half-human, half-old pop star, living somewhere between the mantle and the outer core areas.
Unconfirmed reports have already hinted at a number of Debbie Gibson like creatures, an energy mass that sings Bay City Rollers songs, and a cyclops Joe Dolce who goes around singing "Shaddup a you face" in a language not disimilar from Greek.
The main focus of our voyage will be to find and capture the legendary underworld Chris Isaak. Once captured, we will have to wear industrial strength earplugs as Isaak will attempt to shatter our ear-drums with the high-pitched bit from 'Wicked Game'.
If we bring him back alive to the financiers of this operation, we stand to make $3.5m. As this is a 3 man job, your cut will be 33% - the other 1/3% can be donated to a charity or organistaion of your choice.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in becoming part of history. You will have to bring your own sandwiches and fizzy drinks.
Captain Terence Trent from Derby."
I am tempted. Meanwhile, a transfer target that first cropped up in May, has cropped up again. According to the Telegraph, Arsenal have stepped up their interest in José Reyes. Edgar Davids' name has been mentioned again as a possible summer arrival, but I can't see how we need the baggage that comes with a player that has done very little to enhance his reputation over the last few years.
13.55 - Well, I'm just back from an intensive cripplectomy, and I feel great.
Robert Pires is alive and well and ready to sign a new Arsenal deal. Good news. Elsewhere, it seems Middlesborough are ready to bid £8m for Owen Hargreaves, but Bayern Munich say he's not for sale. Personally, I can't see what all the fuss is about....he's no better than Ray Parlour, and we've already got a Ray Parlour.
As well as Ray Parlour we've also got Jermaine Pennant and I think next season might be make or break time for him at Arsenal. He's been with the club a long time now, and he's come close to the fringes of the first team from time to time. He obviously wants to start playing first team football now, and I think he's the kind of character that will go elsewhere to get it if it's not at Arsenal.
Will AW give him a chance on the right for next season, or will he stick with an out of position striker in Wiltord? Was Pennant's loan spell at Watford at the end of last season specially arranged to get him match practice before this season? With options on the left still limited with the injuries to Bob and Gio, the right side of midfield becomes a battle between Parlour, Wiltord and Pennant. Who would you prefer to see?
july 1st 2002
21.49 - Did you know there's no such word as 'cripplectomy'? For some reason I'd always thought there was, and now that I've found out there isn't, I'd like to claim to be the maker-upper of the word 'cripplectomy'.
Cripplectomy. It's a good word. Would you say no to a cripplectomy today? I thought not.....
14.59 - Normally when Arsenal are linked with players in the transfer market, I almost always imagine that player in an Arsenal shirt. Just to see if it looks right, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I've found some pictures of Pascal Cygan (1) (2) and I just can't see him in an Arsenal shirt (except for maybe that terrible blue one from a couple of years back). It doesn't look right in my head.
I think it's because he reminds me of Frank LeBoeuf. Is that a good enough reason to actively hope we sign someone else?
09.54 - Welcome to yet another new month here on A R S E B L O G.
The World Cup is over. It may not have been the best footballing tournament, but there were plenty of memories. Robbie Keane's goal against Germany, the Roy Keane saga, Rivaldo's face clutching antics, Ronaldo's spectacular return to form, Joao Pinto's run in with the referee, Beckham's penalty, South Korea's march to semi-finals, the Italians going mental with Graham Poll, the Spanish going mental, Seaman's blunder, Inamoto's brief rise in fortune, and many more.
Now we wait and see if any of the players we've been linked to over the course of tournament (Rustu, Edmilson, Emre, Ronaldo etc) end up playing their football at THOF next season. So let the transfer speculation intensify, the rumours multiply and the tabloid stories...er.....printiply for the rest of the month. First signing within a week anyone?