march 16th

If you had your own theme music (but which was also the theme music of something else, or an already existing tune) what would it be? I reckon mine would have to be the theme from The Flumps.

Craig Short is having a hard time with the fact that a referee gave a free kick against him. He’s been beating around the bush about Thierry Henry, supposedly maybe perhaps sort of not really but all the same yes, diving. The bitter man says “Henry said I pushed him and if he felt a nudge then he's going to go down. Some players would feel a nudge and just carry on with it."

Some players wouldn’t be able to stick a 28 yard free kick past your goalkeeper if they didn’t either, which I think is the whole point. ‘Less nudging, more tackling’, that’s what I’d be saying to Shorty if I was the manager of Blackburn. I wouldn’t want a reckless nudger like him in my team at all, come to think of it. ‘You’re listed, Nudger’, is actually what I’d be saying to him. ‘What’s that Sir Alex? Need a defender? I’ve got just the one for you here, comes with a 3 year nudge-back warranty*’

In a move that’s surprised nobody and shocked even fewer, Arsenal announced they were engaging the services of a naming rights specialist for the new stadium (thought of giving them a call, Dan?). The Los Angeles based Envision company will be ‘...charged with obtaining a multiyear deal offering the prospective partner exclusive naming rights and significant marketing benefits connected with the Club's new stadium.’

In the fine tradition of The Lurpak Stand and the Walker’s Bowl, we’ll be have the North Allied Irish Bank, The Jade Lantern Far Eastern Takeaway Stand, The West Pharmaceutical’s Stand and the Stainsbridge’s Grandfather Clock End. The home team will be Kit to the away team’s Kat. The managers will sit in the Ben and Jerry’s dug-outs, the Dulux 'Green Meadow' emulsion pitch will play host to the teams and the penalty spots will be brought to you in association with Oxy10. Sounds like a blast.

Good win for the rezzies last night. Our Catalan chum Cesc Fabregas is making people talk about him, and at 16 that’s good going. Adam Birchall impressed with two finely taken goals, but Cesc’s mazy dribble to set up the second was just awesome. Diego himself would have been proud of it. They’ve been showing it on Sky Sports News, so if you can get a glimpse of it, I recommend it.

Some random ramblings from Kali.

I can’t think of a way to finish today’s blog, so I’m just going to ...

march 15th

Well, it now looks as if the title is a two-horse race as Man Utd’s 4-1 spanking by Citeh leaves them 12 points behind us in third place. I know we still have to play them, but even an unfavourable result at Highbury would surely leave too much for them to do. It’s been some season for United, they sold their best player, replaced him  with middle of the road players, saw their manager go head to head with the biggest shareholders over the rights to horse spunk, crash out of Europe and now this. They’ll be super-hyped for the two games against us though, and I suspect their season now revolves around making life as difficult as possible for us. Expect two very physical games.

Nice to see Liverpool showing their worth as well, I wonder how Gerard Houllier will explain the 31 point gap between his side and Arsenal at the top of the table? So long as the Liverpool board buy it and keep him on and allow him to spend another £15m on the new Wiltord that is Dribbly Cissy, I don’t mind.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me to tell me about St.Totteringham’s Day, the time during the league campaign where it becomes arithmetically impossible for Spurs to finish above us in the league. This happened mid-week when they drew or lost or something. Their results are just insignificant now, until the end of April anyway.

Other than that there’s very little going on this Monday morning. No mid-week games this week and we
entertain our old friends from Bolton this coming weekend. I won’t be happy with anything less that 18-0 against the Walrus and his ramshackle mercenaries. More on this during the week, I suppose.

So, how was your weekend?

march 14th

So Blackburn got doubled 2-0 yesterday. That’s the 7th time this season Arsenal have done a home and away double over their opponents. The first goal was tinged with controversy as Graeme Souness called the referee’s decision to award Arsenal a free kick ‘poxy’.

I’m not quite sure why he was complaining to be honest. It’s the kind of free kick that’s given all over the park, there wasn’t much contact, but sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. We did, and the world’s best striker cracked home a perfect free kick which left Brad Friedel grasping for air. The second came late on, with the master of the follow up poacher goal, Robert Pires, getting his 14th of the season. Not a performance that hit the heights of recent ones, but more than sufficient to remain top of the table by 9 points.

There was another moment of controversy when Thierry nicked the ball from between Friedel’s hands and his feet as he was about to punt it downfield. He put it in the back of the net, but the ref wouldn’t allow the goal. I’m not sure he did anything to contravene any laws of the game, but I suppose it’s one of those goals that if it’s scored against you you’d go mad, so fair enough really. Maybe if the game had finished 0-0 we might be talking a bit more about the rights and wrongs of it.

After the game the boss said "Our legs were heavy, but our desire kept us going. We are solid defensively this year and even if we are not as fluent as usual we always know we can score."

The Independent seems to love Jose Antonio Reyes, they have another piece about his rags to riches story here. An interesting quote from Robert Pires can be found inside. Speaking about José and his future at the club, Le Bob said “He’ll have to work hard. Francis Jeffers is proof that talent alone won't make you an Arsenal star."

Finally, congrats to our 2 players who won you know what, and the manager who also won you know what. Didn't want to say anything before the game in case it jinxed us. I'm away to drink some early morning beers. Have fun.

march 13th

It’s an early start for me this morning. This is my Saturday on, and by god I’m already not enjoying it one bit. I’m just a bit tired, so I’m not going to write a lot this morning.

David Dein says the draw against Chelsea is anti-climatic. I suppose I know what he means, playing an English team in Europe, especially one you’ve already played 3 times this season isn’t quite the same. I suppose we should  just be thankful Boro aren’t in the Champions League.

It also sets up an incredible sequence of games – Chelsea twice, Man United twice, Liverpool, Newcastle, and the bastard b-based bogey teams, Bolton, and today’s game against Blackburn. Team news for today sees Dennis Bergkamp miss out after suffering a rib injury when Celta Vigo’s goalkeeper tried to impale our Dutch matser on his foot. Maybe Reyes to start, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kanu. Gilberto may come back into midfield with Edu being rested – and we have to say ‘Congratulations’ to our happy Brazilian as his celebrates the birth of his first son.

Right, I’m away to work. More later.

march 12th

No doubt you've probably all seen the pictures of what's supposed to be our new kit by now. If not, see below. Clicking on the picture makes a big picture, try it.

Arsenal's new's minging.

According to my chums over on Arsenal Mania, the new kits are based on the new Brazil shirt and Nike are making all their new kits look like this. Now, just because something is good enough for Brazil doesn’t mean it’s good enough for us. Those two new shirts look fucking horrible. This gold piping down the front of the home shirt makes it look like a unfinished pattern from Woman’s Way, and as for the away kit...well....

Our away kit should be yellow and blue. Mostly yellow, with some blue. Like a yellow shirt with blue shorts. Like this year’s very cool away kit. I am increasingly flummoxed by Nike’s insistence on making blue kits for us.

Blue is a colour for cunts like Everton, Chelsea, Birmingham, Leicester and half of Blackburn.  It should never be used in an Arsenal away kit for two reasons:

1 – It’s minging and has about as much to do with Arsenal as Tottenham do with the top of the table
2 – We never win anything with a blue kit.

If we manage to win the league this season, you can put money on us losing it against next season if we’re playing in a blue kit. Who makes these decisions? Who at Arsenal Football Club said ‘Hey, let’s have another blue kit?’. If anyone knows, please leave a message in the arses, or contact me via this form.

So, the conclusion is that both the new shirts are tacky, horrible, tasteless and one of them is the wrong colour entirely. The badge in the middle of the shirt is a big pile of wank too. Not impressed at all.

Three interesting pieces in the Independent. One about the transfer of José Antonio, another about AW’s cosmopolitan Arsenal compared to the 89 Arsenal side, and the last about Patrick Vieira and how he feels Arsenal have learned a lot in their previous European campaigns and how that will stand us in good stead going into the 1/4 finals. Dennis Bergkamp, who may or may not be fit for the weekend’s game after getting studs in the chest, is looking for a new one year deal. There really aren’t too many players with his craft, so another year would be a good move for both parties, I reckon.

Right, a busy day ahead as I start the process of moving Arseblog, and all my other sites, to a new server. You may notice some weirdness over the course of the weekend. The Arses may go back and forward in time, there may well be two arses, unless I close the arses, and the forums will be closed for a little while. Fingers crossed, wish me luck.

march 11th

I only saw the second half of last night's win and it was all over as a contest by then thanks to two Thierry Henry goals in the first half, his first at home in the Champions League for 2 years. That makes it 28 for the season in all competitions for him now. The second 45 was nice to watch though, without ever being exciting. We played some nice stuff, but didn’t really make too many chances – although Freddie should have done better with a free header. You always got the impression that we were playing well within ourselves, and if we’d really needed a goal we could have got it. Anyway, you can check here for more media fawning than I care to condense for you.

After the game Arsene Wenger was very pleased at making the quarter-finals, especially when you consider our position after the first three games. He said “What is remarkable is bouncing back - from nearly being out now we're in the last eight. We will enjoy this...we were professional and we did the job."

After the game bookies William Hill installed Arsenal as 5-2 favourites for the big cup. They must be colluding with Paddy Power, they’re all out to jinx us, and the boss insisted that we were not favourites at all. “Just look at the (trophy) cupboard of Real Madrid and Milan and you become humble again, considering European Cups. Real Madrid have nine, Milan (six)....and us none.”

The draw takes place on Friday, and there’s none of this keeping teams from the same country apart, so it could well be Chelsea. It could also be Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, er..Porto, Lyon, Monaco, Deportivo la Coruna or AC Milan. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us up against the Galacticos, although I’d much prefer Monaco or Lyon, natch.

That said, I don't think there'll be too many of that 7 who will fancy taking us on at the moment. For me MIlan are probably the most dangerous - not quite as good as Madrid in terms of attacking, but they can defend like so many foxes. Madrid are obviously the most dangerous up front, with Ronaldo, Raul, Figo, Zidane and Beckham, but suspect at the back. We could probably beat them 8-7.

Anyway, it's feet back on the ground time now as it's Blackburn away at the weekend, a game which caused us some problems last season. It'll be a different looking Arsenal side this time around though , and according to Lauren the boys will be full focussed. "We're just thinking about the next game against Blackburn Rovers, and that is it. We have to think about Saturday's game: the Champions League is out of our minds for now. Arsene doesn't talk about the treble, he just talks about the next match, which is always the most important in our minds."

And that's the kind of attitude that could win us things.

march 10th

There had been some talk about the semi-final moving to the Millenium Stadium, but that proved to be unfounded as it was announced that Villa Park would be the venue. Good enough, I think. I’d rather play them there, and I’d rather the semi-final was not in the same place as the final. Kick off will be either 12noon or 12.15, not sure why there’s a problem with deciding on that now, but I’m sure it has something to do with TV coverage.

So, it’ll be a determined Man United we’ll face as they crashed out of the Champions League when Porto scored a last minute equaliser. Arsenal are entertaining Celta Vigo tonight, of course, with Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires set to return to the starting line-up. I suspect it’ll be the same as we saw against Portsmouth, but with Bergkamp instead of Reyes, Pires instead of Gilberto and Freddie back out on the right hand side. 3-2 is a nice lead to hold, and I just hope we can get an early goal to settle the nerves a bit. People are writing off Celta, especially when their current form is as sparkling as a glass of Spanish tap water, but football is funny. We can’t afford to even a little bit complacent, because you can get punished. I certainly don’t hold with the prescribed logic that we only need to turn up to go through, I’m not counting any chickens because this Champions League has given us a few kicks in the bollocks over the years.

9-0 to Arsenal it is then. Arsene Wenger though has insisted nobody is getting carried away with the media hyperbole, but has laid down the gauntlet a bit to his team by saying they won’t be considered a great team unless they win the Champions League, and do it with style. “'The great teams are the ones that won with style. Ajax really had perfect players everywhere but there's still no comparison between us and them as we haven't won anything yet.”

Reserves played Fulham last night and won 3-1. Two goals from Catalan youngster Cesc Fabregas would certainly have caught Arsene Wenger’s eye. Kanu sayshe’d sign ‘tomorrow’ if the club offered him a new deal. I can’t see the harm, to be honest. He’s an experienced player, and has shown some good form in the last two seasons. Giovanni van Bronckhorst wants to stay at Barcelona. Fair enough, not much of a future for him at Arsenal, but then this is old ground and we’ve covered this plenty of times before. The boss says it's up to Sven to decide whether or not to play Sol Campbell in the ludicriously timed international friendly which is sandwiched between the two United games. Again this is old ground we're covering, but to schedule these friendlies at this stage of the season is nothing short of Blattery, and that's the worst swear word I can think of.

Right, that's about the size of it. I've got to work until 9.45 tonight, which means I might get the last half hour of the game. Hurrah. More later.

march 9th

The 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park is a game Arsenal fans remember as clearly as any great victory we’ve ever had. Another almighty battle with the great enemy, and after the fantastic double-winning previous season we had every reason to feel excited. Neck and neck with United in the league, playing some great football and scoring great goals, you felt like we were really catching up with them.

Then Dennis missed that penalty and Giggs scored that goal and United went on to that unprecedented treble. And that defeat did something to the team. Overmars and Petit were never the same again.  I know he’s struggled a bit with niggly injuries, but that penalty miss did something to Dennis Bergkamp too. It took him a long time to recover. While we were on the brink of building a team that could really, really challenge, we fell back for a couple of seasons to rebuild.

And what it also did was allow United to quite rightly call themselves the best team in the country. They won successive championships like we haven’t done yet under Arsene Wenger, but Arsenal consolidated, added well in important positions and came back to win the double the season before last. Last season you have to feel like Arsenal gave the title to United, but at the same time taking your hat off to their incredible run of wins at the end of the season. There’s a lot of history, winning the league at Old Trafford put many of the ghosts to rest, but this inevitable FA Cup draw could be a moment of perfect symmetry for this Arsenal team.

To my mind United aren’t the same as they were. Still a very good side, capable of beating any team in Europe when they click, but they’re far more flawed than they’ve been for a long time and the days when they really click are fewer and fewer. Arsenal are edging in front now though. This team has taken the pain of finishing runner-up last season (and some of them know the pain of it from the 99 season, and the one after, and the one after) and are using it as their motivation. They’re playing great football, but nobody is getting carried away, even if those bastards at Paddy Power bookmakers are trying to jinx us.Winning this semi-final could be significant though. It could be Arsenal’s way of announcing themselves as the best in the country, the Arsenal that can win back to back titles, that can seriously challenge in Europe. The team that nobody ever wants to play. The way United were for so long.

A Robert Pires wonder goal in the 2nd half of injury time would do the trick, although I don’t think my heart could stand that kind of excitement. A Reyes hat-trick and a couple from Henry and I’d be happy enough.

BBC's team of the week is made up of players from different teams, normally. Now that everyone loves Arsenal though things are changing. For the first time ever their team of the week is just one team. It's possibly the greatest honour this club has ever achieved. The crowning glory which proves beyond all doubt that Arsenal are the best team in the cosmiverse.

After telling you the story of Joe Kinnear wanting Jeremie Aliadiere on loan at Luton, it now seems he wants him on loan at Nottingham Forest. It was reported he was after David Bentley too, so it'll be interesting to see if the boss is willing to let either go at this stage of the season.

Not much else going on this morning.

march 8th

I had written something all about team-spirit and the way Arsene Wenger has forged it among his squad this season, but I stopped half-way through. Every newspaper in the land is praising us, ITV are praising us, BBC are praising us, the people who normally hate us are being really, really nice to us, and about us. This kind of tricksy behaviour makes me suspicious, so it does.

Do you think they’re up to something?

Robert Pires talks about the team-spirit at Arsenal and reveals how every time they score they repeat the word ‘together’ because that’s Sol Campbell’s favourite word. When we score Sol arrives saying ‘Together, together’. Imagine if Sol’s favourite word was ‘radish’ or ‘blunderbuss’. Anyway, it’s nice to see a squad so..erm..together in their togetherness.

Freddie Ljungberg was very happy with the win over Portsmouth and very happy to be back on the scoresheet. We’re certainly very lucky to have two wide players in himself and Robert Pires who can be counted on to weigh in with double figures in goals every season. Freddie’s double put him on 10, which considering his injury problems is a good return so far.

According to The Sunday Mirror that Ajax lad Trabelsi is mulling over his options for the summer, with us and of course Chelsea likely destinations. Apparently he’s a very good player, but apparently we also have a top centre-half in Philippe Senderos to accommodate in the near future, so that would certainly be in the manager’s thinking when recruiting this summer.

Today sees the draw for the semi-finals of the FA Cup. There will be lots of people who’ll talk about warm balls – I mean the ones in the draw you filthy minded fools – and are convinced that with two first division sides as opponents, keeping Arsenal and United apart will set up a showcase final. I’m not convinced though, I reckon we’ll get that lot in the semis and maybe it’ll  be a way of laying the ghosts of ‘99 to rest. A last minute penalty winner from Dennis Bergkamp would be nice. The draw takes place around 1.30pm GMT.

So, how was your weekend then?


march 7th

As an Arsenal fan watching last night’s hammering of Portsmouth you can help but admire the kind of football the team plays, the spirit created in the squad that lets them play like that, the consistency, the skill and the ability of our players from front to back. Really something special to watch.

As much as that was to be admired, so was the behaviour of the Portsmouth fans. At 5-0 down games can go a little flat at the best of times, but the Portsmouth fans sang their heads off, supported their team, sang songs of support for manager Harry Redknapp and his erstwhile assistant Jim Smith and were an absolute credit to their club. I’ve never seen anything like that before in all the time I’ve been watching football.

Neither has Thierry Henry who said “Their fans were outstanding. I have never seen that in my life - even when they were four or five down they kept singing. I hope they don't get relegated, they deserve to stay in the Premiership with fans like that."

Arsene Wenger was also quick to praise the Pompey fans, who applauded the Arsenal players at the end of the match. "The result is wonderful, but it is even more enjoyable to see opposition fans cheering our team.”

When you see the way they behaved last night it makes you realise how spoiled and churlish some of our fans are. We’re top of the league, unbeaten all season, into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, in a good position in Europe, yet some people still find it necessary to berate Gilberto or Parlour, or to criticise the team when we only win 2-1. Portsmouth were outclassed on the field, absolutely taken apart, but they made it a night to remember for themselves. Harry Redknapp summed it up perfectly when he said “It was good to see our fans cheering people like Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira. Football must not be all about hate.”

He also claimed Arsenal were the best team in the world right now saying "I think they could win everything put in front of them. In fact I think I could pick six of them to win the Boat Race. The only trouble is you would struggle to find anybody small enough to be the cox.”

I’ve always liked Harry. He may look like an old bulldog, but he’s a funny bloke and an Arsenal fan too, you know. I hope he keeps them up.

In other news David Bentley could go on loan to Nottingham Forest – there’s the Joe Kinnear link again. I don’t think it would do him any harm, and it would certainly toughen him up a bit and give him some more experience. Arsene Wenger has spoken about the Leicester City players and their arrest in Spain for an alleged rape, and while it’s good to give players a chance to unwind, you have to say Arsenal have it right with a total ban on alcohol during the season.

That's about the size of it for today. I'm off to get the papers and have a cold one, or two. Later.

march 6th

There was a moment yesterday when we realised that there were no painkillers in the house. Both my wife and I were fully aware of that before we had few drinks last night. Then we ordered a pizza and a man who looked like Steptoe arrived with the food and spoke to me in some kind of dialect I’d never heard before. The pizza was washed down with some more beer and then that beer was washed down with even more beer. This morning I am ruing the fact that I didn’t go out and purchase any painkillers. I’m looking at some dog antibiotics and thinking ‘maaaybe....’

So today’s game doesn’t take place until the evening. Plenty of time to go out and buy some nurofen, I suppose. Arsenal will be without Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp and the expected line-up is: Lehmann, Lauren, Kolo, Sol, Ash, Ljungberg, Vieira, Gilberto, Edu, Reyes, Henry.

No word as to who will be on the bench. Arsene Wenger says that leaving Pires out has nothing to do with the warm reception he would have received from the Portsmouth fans who bought the media tripe that Pires is the world’s biggest diver. Granted he made the most of the incident at Highbury, but when you compare it to Gary Neville’s swan dive against City the other week, Gudjohsen’s at Stamford Bridge against us, or the countless incidents involving van Nistelrooy and Owen, master divers, then Pires is clean. He never goes looking for penalties, doesn’t sit on his arse appealing to the ref and even when he was taken out of it twice (I think against Birmingham) he doesn’t complain.

The boss has also spoken of how he received death threats while managing in France. This comes in the light of the threats made against under fire Liverpool boss, Gerard Houllier. Poor Ged, I think he should know that he has the support of all the fans of every other Premiership side. Keep it real mediocre, Mr H.

Right, the dogbiotics are looking more and more tempting. I have go collect my scooter this morning (Huzzah for Alberto Correcto) and I think it’ll be time for a hair of the dog. Have a good Saturday, Portsmouth this evening. More later.

march 5th

Joe the lion
Went to the bar
A couple of drinks on the house an' he said
"Tell you who you are if you nail me to my car"

So, on we go with the Arsenal news du jour. The latest instalment from an increasingly tired blogger. Robert Pires says playing for Arsenal gives him something to live for, which is all a bit Morrissey really. Surely his millions of pounds and fashionable facial hair give him something to live for too. He needs a blog, so he does. Anyway, he says he’d happily stay at Arsenal for the rest of his life/career.

Martin Keown and Jeremie Aliadiere could return to the team for the FA Cup game against Portsmouth at the weekend. That’s according to anyway, but I’m sure I mentioned this earlier in the week. There’s really very little else of Arsenal interest around this morning.

I did quite like the story about Clinton Morrison who had to put up with a load of verbals from our old chum Danny Mills. During the Birmingham v Boro game the other night Mills was giving it loads about how good he was, how he was England’s right back, how England went further in the world cup than Ireland. After a while Morrison said “You are only England’s fifth-choice right-back anyway”,which seemed to shut Mills up. The truth hurts I suppose.

What a shame we’re not playing Leicester this weekend.

march 4th

That midweek lull kind of thing is going on at the moment. There are no Premiership matches this weekend, and the build-up to Arsenal’s FA Cup game against Portsmouth probably won’t start until tomorrow at some stage. There’s no early team news, but given the fact we’ve got Europe on the agenda, as well as tough matches against the bollocky bastards that are Bolton and Blackburn, it’s safe to assume we’ll see a few changes made.

I would imagine Henry will be rested, Jose Reyes will start, and considering he’s got an ongoing groin problem, Sol Campbell will probably have his feet up (or be on the bench). Coming in will be Pascal Cygan for whom Arsene Wenger has some nice words here. Maybe we’ll see Graham Stack in goal, and he’s done well enough this season to get a call up to the full Irish squad. It will be interesting to see himself and Stuart Taylor battle it out of the number 2 spot. From what I’ve seen there isn’t much between them.

Arsenal are the 7th richest club in the world according to this report featured on ANR. Considering we didn’t have two shillings to rub together for a long time I’m not paying too much heed to it, but I suppose the new stadium should see us climb this chart once it’s all completed. Top of the rich list are Manchester United who yesterday appointed Walter Smith as number 2 to Demento. A strange appointment to say the least and maybe the first thing he has to do is calm the waters between the manager and best player as rumours of another dressing room bust up gather pace.

That’s about all there is this morning. This morning I have to go teach, then get my woolly hair cut, then go and find out if my scooter is fixed and how much I have to shoplift to pay for it.

march 3rd

There was a piece in the Sunday Times at the weekend about Joe Kinnear, now manager of Nottingham Forest, famously ex-manager of Wimbledon and sufferer of heart attacks. The article mentioned how he was one of those manager always ringing up other managers to check on the availability of players, looking to bolster his squad with loan signings.

Anyway, they mentioned that he had a good relationship with Arsene Wenger, and when Kinnear was manager of Luton he rang up Le Boss to ask him if he could take Jeremie Aliadiere on loan. He told AW it would toughen him up a bit and prepare him for first team football. Doing his best French accent, Kinnear said that when he asked, AW said “No Joe, not zis one, ‘ee ‘eees too special”

Good news for us then is that young Jeremie is in contention for a place at the weekend in the FA Cup and was by all accounts sensational in the reserves the other night. I do feel a bit sorry for him. He would have had a spell in January in the first team with Kanu away for African Nations Cup, Wiltord still injured (and not getting any better it would seem), and Bergkamp out injured. Instead he picked up a knock, saw us sign José Reyes, saw David Bentley score an FA Cup wonder goal and Wiltord aside has got a full compliment of forwards fit and healthy to challenge for a place in the team. Still, if he’s as good as they say, he’ll get his chance again, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Ashley Cole has praised the team-spirit at the club and has some nice words for his understudy Tony Gale Clichy. Also talking about team spirt is Dennis Bergkamp who says "I have a feeling that this team is really gelling together", which is a bit like saying "I have a feeling that Jordan's inflated knockers aren't real", but I know what he means.

José just keeps saying the right things. "I think Mr Wenger will help me improve as part of the team and maybe I can become a star in the same way Henry has. It is very easy to play with the best players, such as Thierry. We speak the same language - the language of football."

Kolo + Sol = Colossal. Joe + Cole = Joke Hole. Ken + Bates = Mike Hunt. Adios you old fucker, you won't be missed.

Not much else going on this morning. I'm as tired as the fox who's been chased all over the countryside by his former best friend but now turned ferocious enemy, the hound.

march 2nd

You will all be glad to know that young José managed to call to my house today and take my scooter away for reparation, a mere 4 days after he said he’d be here. Perhaps he stopped for a sandwich and a weekend of debauchery on the way? Either way the bike is gone, and I’m not holding my breath until it’s fixed.

Also, some of you might have noticed a few problems with the site over the last day or two. Those problems should be fixed shortly as I move my server to a new data-centre that isn’t run on solid fuel and tin cans with string to carry the data.

In the world of Arsenal there’s a bit going on this morning. An interesting piece in the Telegraph from Henry Winter (who is an Arsenal fan you know) about Arsene Wenger driving off on two goal hero Edu while he was trying his best to piss into a paper cup. Seriously. Thierry Henry talks about how much he owes the boss (presumably for not driving off on him when he was trying to piss into a cup), and the recently rumoured link-up with Dutch side Willem II has been put on hold for the time-being because Willem II can’t piss in a paper cup, or something. This all-in-one article from The Sun has Henry on being a Streetfighter, Platini on how Arsenal are a beautiful team to watch, and Rami Shaaban (bless you) on his desire for showdown talks with AW.

Meanwhile young José - the classy footballer and not the tardy motorbike mechanic - has spoken about how much he wants to win trophies at Arsenal, and how the biggest adjustment he's had to make to life in England is the weather. He says "It is very cold here in London. I had seen snow before when I played abroad with Spain. But in Seville — never!"

Those of you who remember May 26th 1989 might be interested in this bit on Arsenal World. They’re putting together a book of people’s anecdotes, stories and reports from that night with all proceeds going to the Mark Fisher Trust which raises money for people with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Hodgkins disease, the disease from which former Gunner David Rocastle died. It's for a great cause, and it's about probably the most nail-biting, exciting, arse-clenchingly brilliant night I can remember as an Arsenal fan. Get busy though, they want to get the book out to celebrate the 15th anniversary coming up this May. I’m currently finishing my story about how I was pissing in a paper cup, Mickey Thomas scored, and well....I just don’t want to go into the rest of it.

march 1st 2004

Weclome to a brand new month on Arseblog, but there's not a whole lot going on this morning. I had a strange dream last night whereby I was sending out an informative, but handwritten newsletter, to all Arseblog members on a monthly basis. It included pictures of the new stadium building site, team news, interviews with Martin Keown about his dancing school for gifted children and much, much more. Of course, the idea of producing a monthly newsletter on top of the site itself was truly terrifying - especially when I realised that whatever world I was living in hadn't invented the photcopier yet and I would have to write each one out by hand. Fair made me shudder, let me tell you.

The only Arsenal news around is more of Arsene Wenger talking about how last year's hurt will ensure Arsenal don't make the same mistakes again and become complacent. Patrick Vieira reckons Arsenal can win the Champions League within 3 seasons, while Alan Hansen says Arsenal need to win back to back titles to be considered one of the great teams, like United of the 90s, or Liverpool of the 70s.

Speaking of last year’s hurt, it was nice to see Boro win the Carling Cup yesterday, as they beat Bolton in the process. And how nice to see Sam Allardcye spend the rest of his Sunday moaning about referee Mike Riley and how he cost them the match. It’s no wonder he’s friends with Sir Alex Ferguson as they’re a two of the most objectionable and ungracious managers in the game. I’m not that fond of any other teams, or any other players, but it’s a hard heart that didn’t feel a little bit happy for Juninho winning something at Boro at last. 43 cup finals, relegated 20 times, him crying on the pitch after every game they play – at least now he’s got a shiny Carling Cup medal to to pride of place beside the one he got for winning that little-known World Cup with Brazil.

Right, that’s your lot. More scooter repair man fun ahead this morning. I can’t wait.




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