march 31st

Hurrah, the stupid internationals are over and we can get back to real football at last. Of course it'll be tomorrow before we have any real news ahead of our game against Norwich (Let's be aaaaaaavin' ya!) but at least we're on the right track. Once the players get back and have their fitness assessed then we get some team news. Thierry Henry didn't play for France last night but was on the bench so there's the possibility he might be involved in some way but like I said we'll have to wait and see.

In a brief round-up of what is around Bob Wilson has told Stuart Taylor he should leave Arsenal for the good of his career. It just strikes me that if Taylor was as good as Wilson says he is he would have made more of an impact at this stage instead of being stuck behind Manuel for the number 2 (heh) position.

The boss has spoken about David Bentley, currently on loan at Norwich and recovering from a knee injury, and he thinks he can make it at Arsenal, saying "My hopes for him are very high. He has the technical level to play for Arsenal Football Club, the mental approach, the personality and is very keen to work hard. For him it is down to how he has improved physically. He has all the rest.”

Goodplaya reminds us that is was four years ago today when David Rocastle died - why not check out this book which recalls that fantastic night at Anfield in 1989 and helps raise funds for sufferers of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the disease which took him so young?

Regular readers will no doubt be on full alert for tomorrow's blog waiting for the traditional April Fool's joke. Well, as this will be the fourth April Fool's day it's becoming harder and harder to think of anything which might actually fool people so I think it's only fair to tell you that there won't be an April Fool's joke tomorrow unless I think of something incredibly original and easy to perform between now and then. Which I won't. So I repeat - no April Fool's joke tomorrow.

Till tomorrow then.


march 30th

The most interesting story yesterday was Freddie Ljungberg saying he might quit the international game soon and let's be honest it wasn't that interesting. However he's since denied the story saying "That is not my intention. I have never said I wanted to quit playing for Sweden."

So there you go. Meanwhile Jeremie Aliadiere has revealed why he didn't got West Ham on loan and has said he's going to talk to Arsene Wenger about his future at the club. "I am waiting to see how the end of the season will be. If he (Arsene Wenger) doesn't make me participate, I would tell him that I want to leave to play. But I think I can make a name for myself at Arsenal. Besides Thierry Henry there is a place to take."

The Telegraph reports that Edu is still likely to sign for Valencia despite the departure of Claudio Ranieri. Their sporting director, Eduardo Macia said, "Edu is an excellent player. The definitive closing of the contract will take place in the next few weeks and everything is already solved by his agent."

One of the Barcelona friendly daily papers called, Sport, yesterday ran an exclusive story about Thierry Henry signing for Barcelona this summer and how Arsenal were quite happy to sell him to finanace a complete renovation of the team - the fee they mentioned was €35m. They also said that Henry is keen to move and one of the reasons they gave was Arsenal's continued failure in the Champions League. Obviously Thierry has seen Barcelona sweep all before them in the Champions League for the last few years and is jealous that they're still in the competition this season and ....oh. The whole story was nothing more than a PR job for Joan Laporta and his chums, full of speculation presented as fact and with little basis in reality. A more likely scenario is that Barcelona will sign Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid.

In other news it should be made illegal for the people above me to drill at 8.30am especially when they fucking started yesterday afternoon but obviously they've hired the typical Spanish workmen who prefer to do as much noisy work first fucking thing in the morning so they can spend the rest of the day sitting on their big, fat arses, smoking fags and tut-tutting about how the job is going to cost more than they first thought and it might take a week or so longer than they first advised. It should also be legal for me to go up there right now and punch them in the face. Repeatedly. With a plank of wood. Did I mention in the face? Wankers.

See you when I get out of prison.


march 29th

Well, I hope you're all recovered from your Easter break, having gorged yourselves on Easter Eggs and Easter Beer and Easter Gin and Tonics and Easter Mojitos. We're still slap bang in the middle of another bunch of internationals so things are still pretty slow Arsenal-wise.

Freddie Ljungberg has hinted he might retire from the international game soon, saying "It would allow me to focus more on my club side. Arsenal want to extend my contract and we're negotiating. It has been a great season for me and I've scored more goals than last year. But I would have traded it all if we had progressed in the Champions League."

Alleged midfield target, Michael Essien, is now the most wanted player in Europe with nearly every single club in a race to sign him while only Birmingham are in the race to sign Jermaine Pennant with Steve Bruce saying "Our managing director Karren Brady has virtually done a deal for Jermaine and the next step is to agree terms with the player."

He's out of contract with Arsenal but because he's under 23 we'll be entitled to some compensation for him. Spanish coach Luis Aragones is to appeal against his fine for remarks he made about Thierry Henry. Obviously he feels very strongly that he hasn't done anything wrong but he really ought to just cough up and get it over and done with. When you consider Robert Pires was fined £35,000 for wearing the wrong shirt then £2,000 for Aragones' comments seems like a bargain.

And that's about all there is to report at this stage. I wish the real football would come back...


march 28th

As you'll have gathered there's precisely 'fuck all' (very old fashioned measurement) going on this bank holiday Monday. One story rolls over from yesterday and that's Inter Milan's interest in Patrick Vieira. Apparently they'll offer Edgar Davids, Emre and goalkeeper Francesco Toldo for the captain. Sounds like a load of bollocks to me and if there's one thing I know it's bollocks...erm...

Just found something in the Mirror about the Ashley Cole case. Apparently his legal defence for meeting Chelsea will be that 'the Premier League have no legal or moral right to prevent the player from exercising his human right to talk to other potential employers'

Now there's a can of worms. Bottom line is the players, clubs and agents know the rules and I really fucking hate when people get caught doing something then bleat about 'human rights' as a defence. Robbie Savage did it when he was suspended after being given a red card. It's the last defence of the desperate hippy. Give it a rest, Ashley. It's just typical of the world today that nobody is prepared to accept any responsibility for their own actions, preferring to blame somebody else or use legalese to try and slither out of it. Arse.

Anyway, yesterday was a scorcher here in Barcelona, so today I am going to go to the park with a book and catch some rays.


march 27th

Morning arse chums and happy Easter to you. There's very little to report in terms of Arsenal this Sunday morning. Yesterday, as you know, was international frenzy and now Joe Cole is the best player in the world, EVER, after scoring against mighty Norn Iron. Freddie Ljungberg scored twice against Bulgaria as Sweden won 3-0 and Philippe Senderos made his debut for Switzerland as they held France to a 0-0 draw.

Gilberto talks about Patrick Vieira while Arsene Wenger talks about Steve Sidwell, a player we sold to Reading a couple of seasons ago but who the boss has kept his eye on.

I hope you remember that the clocks went forward last night so if you feel like you've somehow had an hour's less sleep then that's why. The only way you'll get that hour back is if you convince Superman to fly around the world really, really fast.

Till tomorrow.


march 26th

Well, not a lot happening this morning of any great interest.

Sven says Ashley Cole's performance for England today won't be affected by all the hoo-ha surrounding the Chelsea/tapping up business, Freddie Ljungberg has reaffirmed his commitment to the Gunners and hopes to sign a new deal and Robert Pires has again spoken out against the £35,000 fine he received for wearing the wrong shirt while miniscule fines are handed out for much worse offences.

Jeremie Aliadiere wants to leave Arsenal and join PSG. The brittle striker says "I am in contact with PSG. I have also had approaches from other clubs, but PSG is the only one I have discussed with my agent. I would be delighted to join them."

He's obviously got some talent but he's had terrible luck with injuries during his time at Arsenal. For that reason alone you can't really say we'd miss him if he went and at 22 I don't think anyone could begrudge him a move to a side where he'll get more games than at Arsenal.

And that's about it. A day of tedious internationals ahead. I think I might just got to my new favourite bar and stay there till midnight. Have a good Saturday.


march 25th

And a Good Friday to you all. Unless your name is Jesus in which case I'm sorry to say your afternoon is going to be particularly unpleasant.

Patrick Vieira has spoken out about the strength of the Arsenal squad and, in so many words, been critical of Arsene Wenger for his failure to reinforce the team after winning the league last season. Vieira says "I wouldn’t say that this Arsenal side is too young but there is an imbalance between older players and youngsters. As far as our ambitions are concerned, we are still awaiting reinforcements."

Perhaps if the club hadn't spent all summer tied up wondering whether or not Vieira was going to move to Madrid we might have had time to make another transfer or two. Talking about his own indifferent form this season the captain, who has carried on the perpetuating cycle by ruling out a move to Madrid this summer, revealed he's been playing through the pain barrier after picking up an ankle injury. Some people, myself included, have questioned his commitment to the club and his performances this season, but Paddy's quite happy to be the scapegoat. "There have been plenty of occasions when I’ve had to grit my teeth. In my case there was the perfect excuse of my potential transfer to Real Madrid last year. People said I should have joined them as my mind was no longer on Arsenal. I knew I’d be a target. We’d won everything in England at Arsenal for 18 months and the moment we fell away a scapegoat had to be found. But I’ve broad shoulders.”

Now, without wishing to dent his fragile ego any further, any criticism levelled at Vieira was nothing to do with finding a scapegoat. There were other issues in the team that had to be addressed too. With him it was about seeing our captain fanny around the pitch like he didn't really care, it was about lazy play, passing the ball to opposition time and time again and not doing anything to win it back, it was about seeing him jog back watching the play, about seeing him playing too far up the pitch. After his third consecutive summer of flirting seriously with Real Madrid, and after previously saying he had no intentions of doing any such thing, is it any wonder some people asked questions of him? Anyway, if he's decided he's 100% commited to Arsenal then great. When he's on form he's a top, top player. I just hope this marks a return to the kind of form we know he's capable of and isn't just another example of Vieira talking the talk in the papers.

Peter Hill-Wood has spoken about the Ashley Cole saga and said "We only want players who want to play for us. I would just hope that it is sorted out sooner rather than later. Those charged have 14 days in which to respond and I hope a decision will come soon after that. For Ashley Cole's sake as well as Arsenal's sake I want that to be the case."

The Sun, very briefly in its online edition, reports that Cole has decided to let his contract run down and leave on a free in 2007. I can't see the club letting that happen. If no agreement regarding a new contract is made this summer then he'll be sold. No question. The Mirror reports that Chelsea have sewn up the £20m signing of Shaun Wright-Phillips. Good little player, I'd be seriously pissed off if we paid anywhere near £20m for him though. If the fee is true then it's just another reason why Arsene doesn't buy English players. Young defender Frankie Simek has joined Bournmouth on one month's loan while another young defender, Dominic Shimmin, has signed for QPR. Good luck to them both.

From Marca (link in Spanish) with regard to José Antonio Reyes: They ask him "Is one of the keys to your leaving Arsenal that you haven't acclimatised to the country?"

José replies, "Yes, it's for this reason I said I wasn't happy. Not for the team, or the pople because playing football there is fantastic. With the people there is no problem. But it's true I haven't adpated to the climate or the language and I think this is the main reason for me. I\ve had the opportunity to talk the President (I think he means Double-D) and the boss and I've told them everything."

What happens next is anybody's guess. Finally for today point your browsers in the direction of my esteemed blogging colleague, or blogeague if you will, over at East Lower. He's back up and running after Easyspace lost two years of his blog then blamed it on him. Just a quick note to him though, 'Needs more red'.

Have a good one.


march 24th

The main story comes this morning with the news that FA have charged Ashley Cole and Chelsea for their little get together in January.

Chelsea have been charged under rule K3 meaning Arsenal didn't give permission to Chelsea to meet Cole.

Cole has been charged under rule K5 meaning Arsenal didn't give Cole permission to meet Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho has been charged under rule Q which deals with the conduct of Premiership managers while Peter Kenyon has been charged under rule K9 meaning he's Roman Abramovich's bitch. Jokes aside it means that the panel have decided that Cole was well aware of who he was going to meet and didn't buy his 'I was surprised when they walked in - I thought I was meeting an Italian team' defence which always seemed a bit madey-up.

Cole's agent, Jonathan Barnett, has not been charged with anything at all because he 'does not fall within the jurisdiction of the FA Premier League for the purposes of this matter.'

Now, while I would not condone the behaviour of Ashley at any stage it seems entirely ridiculous that his agent, who more than anyone has shunted his client in the direction of this meeting, gets away Scot free, or so it would seem. Barnett's only concern in respect of Ashley Cole is financial. I know, for a fact, that Ashley Cole was offered an extremely healthy contract. Forget what you read about £5,000 increases or the amount offered being £5,000 less than was offered verbally. Cole was offered a contract which would have more than doubled his current salary and he, no doubt at the behest of his agent, still turned it down. They then went to meet Chelsea, got snared rapid, and Barnett has been using the press ever since to spin stories about how Arsenal went back on their word, how it was all Chelsea's fault this meeting took place and so on.

While I have little time for Chelsea and how they've behaved throughout this whole affair I have far less for greedy agents who with a few choice words and some consistent prompting can make an Arsenal player, who is also an Arsenal fan, practically destroy everything he's worked for at the club. We all know Ashley is a fan. We've seen the pictures of him as a kid holding up the Championship trophy. We know he's been at the club since he was tiny, tinier than he is now, and it was always his dream to play for the club. Would he, when it comes to making a footballing decision, ever think about leaving Arsenal to go to a London rival? I don't think so. Could he be swayed to make a non-football decision? A financial decision? I think so. Whose head wouldn't be turned by offers of £110,000 a week, especially when your agent is the devil on your shoulder telling you to go for it.

Now, the club know Ashley is a fan. They know the high regard he's held in by the fans. Does it make sense, especially in a time when home grown players are so few and far between, that the board would offer a player who has so obviously improved and become one of the best in the world in his position, a miserly increase like Barnett claimed? No. It doesn't. People are quick to accuse the board of being tight-fisted but we've heard nothing from them about what Ashley Cole was offered. Contracts are deemed to be private and confidential until they're signed. What we have had is a load of spin from Barnett talking about Arsenal offering less than was verbally agreed, David Dein sending back a fax with a figure on it and the words 'not negotiable' scrawled across the bottom. This is the same David Dein who has negotiated with players like Vieira, Henry, Campbell, Pires, Bergkamp and other top players at Arsenal. Does it make sense that he'd do what Barnett said he did? No, it doesn't. We've had silence, quite rightly, from Arsenal about Cole's contract but nothing but spin and obfuscation from Ashley Cole's agent. Sadly people will believe what they read and when they don't read anything to counter it it becomes fact. The fact is Cole was offered an excellent contract. It wasn't derisory. It wasn't less than they expected. It just wasn't as much as Chelsea were offering.

An agent's job is not just to make as much money as possible for his client. It's to ensure his client is happy in his job, his ambitions fulfilled and is sufficiently recompensed for his work. It's not to make money for himself. The new contract Cole was offered by Arsenal certainly reflected his standing in the club and in the game today and would have put him on a par with some of the top earners at Arsenal but a greedy agent can think '10% of £x per week from Arsenal is not worth as much as £xxx,000 per week from Chelsea (back-dated, don't forget) plus 10% of the £X,000,000 signing on fee'. So how do we expect agents to give their clients the best advice in terms of their career when they're thinking of the best way to line their pockets? Anyway, the chances of Cole moving to Chelsea are now slim to none and his position at Arsenal has got to be under serious question after yesterday's revelations.

And that's my little anti-agent rant over with. There were more reports yesterday about José Antonio Reyes and Real Madrid with Marca suggesting Reyes' agent had met with Florentino Perez etc etc. I read the piece in the paper and I didn't see the quotes attributed to Reyes about 'keeping doors open' and so on while Reyes' agent has dismissed the story as 'all lies.'

UPDATE: Today's edition of Marca carries this front page. The quotes from José translate as: "I have told Arsenal that I'm not happy and I can't adapt" and "I hope that after these declarations Florentino with strengthen his efforts to sign me."

I've just found the story on the website and they say Arsenal have decided to put Reyes up for sale. Again, Michael Owen is mentioned as part of a potential deal but I'd be very surprised to see that happen. Now, while I'll take a lot of what the Spanish press says with a pinch of salt if they're directly quoting Reyes and using a picture on the front page then there's probably something to it. I spoke last week about various factors are contributing to José's current difficulties in England and more and more it looks like a return to Spain is the best option for all concerned.

Right, random number genator did its thing and I have three winners of the Football Manager 2005 prize packs, which includes a game, a t-shirt and a mini leather football. The winners are, *drum roll*, Simon Potter (England), Omid (Sweden) and Roy Pilott (New Zealand). Well done to all of you, I'll be in touch to get your addresses and so forth. Thank you all for your entries and to some of you for your entertaining messages therein!


march 23rd

Midweek. Internationals looming. The football world couldn't be any more boring if we were forced to watch Bolton v Liverpool over and over and over again. The most interesting thing is Wayne Rooney allegedly beating the crap out of some bloke in a nightclub and even that's not particularly gripping. Unless Rooney ends up in jail at which point it becomes fascinating and hilarious.

In Arsenal news Arsene Wenger has backed José Antonio Reyes to come good and has promised to stick by the Spaniard. The boss says "I feel I have to persist with him. This guy has so much talent and is still so young. With that big a transfer fee people expect you to give them your best straight away. They forget he is only 21 years old."

There's no doubt his performances and his goalscoring record can seriously improve. Perhaps a good run in the team as a striker will help. In inane transfer speculation we're linked again with Greek defender Trianos Dellas who looks set to leave Roma in the summer. I really have nothing to say to that except 'no thanks' and that's about the extent of Arsenal news this morning.

For those of you wondering what's happened to my esteemed blogging colleague from the East Lower he's having a nightmare time with his hosting company, Easyspace. They've fucked up his account, left him without access to his files, refused to answer any emails and are about as much help as glasses for blind man. Rest assured he'll be back soon, probably with a new domain because he can't access the existing one due to Easyspace being useless cock-knockers, and I'll let you give you the details when he is.

Finally, last chance for the Football Manager 2005 competition. Full details on Monday's blog. Winners announce tomorrow.


march 22nd

Ok, a few stories around this morning. Patrick Vieira reckons finishing in second place and winning the FA Cup would represent a successful season for Arsenal. I suppose given the circumstances we're in now you'd have to agree but as defending champions it wouldn't have been anyone's idea of success in August. He also spoke about a couple of the young players in our squad:

Vieira on van Persie - "He is learning a lot, and is still really young - but he is a boy with a lot of talent and you could see that in the goal he scored."

Vieira on Senderos - "I think Philippe has played really well since he came into the first team. He has shown how strong he is and the quality he has on the ball."

And it's with those youngsters in mind that Arsene Wenger will make his summer signings. While he accepts the need for new players he's got to be careful about who he signs. "To put (new) players in front of Cesc Fabregas and Philippe Senderos just because they have a name would be a mistake. We must be wise and not destroy what we have built up with our intense work.”

Some people might see that as an indication that we're not going to make the superstar signings we've been linked with. To me though it makes sense. The boss has said all along he's got to go down a different road to the Chelseas and Man Uniteds of this world, for whom money is no object. That road was youth and it's going to be interesting to see how he strengthens the squad with the signings he will make and continue to develop the young talent. Meanwhile Thierry Henry has said the only way he'd leave Arsenal is if the club went backwards and even though this season's title defence hasn't gone quite according to plan he's confident for the future, saying “We can do a lot of things here. A huge number of things."

The reserves got beaten 2-1 last night by Southampton's reserves, Italian Arturo Lupoli getting his 945th goal of the season. QPR are hoping to sign youngster Dominic Shimmin. Finally, don't forget the Football Manager 2005 competition. See yesterday's blog for more details.


march 21st

So after a fun-packed few weeks of football I'm sorry to have to tell you we're now beginning the dreaded international week. Our next game isn't until the 2nd of April and in the meantime we have little to talk about but how Emile Heskey has managed to get bck into the England squad despite doing nothing much to merit it. Actually, we're not even going to talk about that because it's boring and what Sven does shouldn't surprise anybody now.

The only Arsenal related news I can find this early is that Ashley Cole will not be charged with any wrong-doing with regard to the Chelsea tapping-up affair because no specific complaint has been made about his behaviour. The Times reports that Chelsea will be charged by the FA for making an illegal approach to Cole. It'll be interesting to see how much balls this panel have. A fine means nothing to Chelsea. If they are found guilty then there has be a more realistic punishment meted out. I'm loathe to see anyone docked points but what else can punish Chelsea? Perhaps a transfer ban for a period of time. Anyway, we'll see.

Now, if you want to make like Jose Mourinho a Premiership manager and tap up players before offering them bigger wages than their current club why not try Football Manager 2005?

My good chums at SI Games have given me three prize packs which include: an updated copy of the game with new transfers etc, a FM 2005 t-shirt and a leather mini-football. There are three to give away, if you fancy one just answer the following question:

From which club did Arsenal sign Robin van Persie last summer? Was it: a) PSV - b)Feyenoord - c)Ajax

Answers in an email to manager@arseblog.com. Winners will be announced on Thursbury.

So there you go. To ease the boredom, tedium, ennui, listlessness, monotony, fatigue and dullness of international football and all that surrounds enter this competition and your life could become rich and full again. How was your weekend then?


march 20th

A quick Sunday round-up for you.

As you all know by now we beat Blackburn 1-0 at Ewok Park yesterday. The winner a sublime goal from Robin van Persie who only played because Freddie Ljungberg was injured in the warm up. Arsene Wenger was pleased with his performance, saying "This was part of his rehabilitation and he did show he's capable of a team-oriented performance, not a selfish one. He has a talent and I feel more is to come out - there's something special in there and there are good ingredients still to show."

The young Dutchling was a happy boy yesterday, saying "I'm very happy that we won and also that I scored. My last goal was two months ago I think so I'm glad to get another one." He was asked on Sky after the game if he'd learned anything from his sending off against Southampton the other week and he said "Yes. Not to do tricks in the midfield." Good answer, I thought. I said before I thought the reaction to his sending off was over the top and it was nice to see him make amends, to some degree, yesterday. He's got to work on his spazzy celebration though.

We had some other chances. José had a couple well saved by Brad Friedel and apart from one at the end from Steven Reid Blckburn offered little in attack. Senderos was impressive again in defence, Gael Clichy did well at left back and Jens looks like he's got some of the confidence back that he was obviously missing for a time this season. Overall when you look at the players and experience we were missing this was a very good win and yet another clean sheet. Is that 5 in a row now? I think it is.

In other Sunday tittle-tattle Shaun Wright Phillips is going to Chelsea for £20m or to Arsenal for £10m depending on whether you read the People or the Sunday Mirror - which is kind of like asking if you read the back of a box of Cornflakes or Coco Pops for all they're worth. The People also reports we're after Dutch defender Jan Kromkamp. They say we'll play him at right back but we've already got more right backs than George Best has sober moments so maybe he's the central defender. The same report suggests we're favourites to sign keeper Silvio Broto who is obviously no relation to Silvio Proto who we've been linked with before.

And there you go. I need food and possibly some beer. Have a good Sunday.


march 19th

Saturday greetings to you all. While you rest after a hard week take a moment to reflect that Arseblog never takes a weekend off so you're always arsed up on your days off. That's how much I love you all.

We'll start with team news for today. Ashley Cole could make a return to the side after recovering from his 'hamstring' problem and his 'cold'. The boss reckons he's put all the distractions of meeting Chelsea behind him and he's now thinking about football again and not how to spend £110,000 per week. AW is also confident Ashley will stay at the club and sign a new deal. Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires miss today's game but Gilberto could return in midfield.

Speaking about José Antonio Reyes, Real Madrid and his poor form, the boss said "I am not so sure that Madrid want Reyes, but if that is the case they have to pick up the phone and call us. His form is not as good as we hoped. I spoke with him to ask him what had happened, but he said he did not know why he had played so badly."

AW has also blasted England's end of season tour to America as money grabbing exercise and there won't be too many who would disagree with him. Blackburn boss Mark Hughes in claiming victory having secured Arsenal's 'lucky' hotel ahead of the FA Cup semi-final. He said, putting his thumb on his nose and wiggling his fingers in the direction of Highbury, "It was my lucky hotel before it was their lucky hotel." Once that's the only victory he's celebrating then I'm sure nobody will care.

And that's as much as I have for you this morning. Enjoy your Saturday. Yesterday was a scorcher here in Barcelona, more of the same please.


march 18th

Urgh. Bleeurf. Sploilk. Buf. Shlliup. Boilk. And other hungover, head-hurty noises. Hope you all enjoyed your Patrick's day celebrations, if you had them, and like me found a bar not 3 minutes from your house which is not only comfortable and nice but sells bottles of beer for €1.12 as opposed to the €3 the local Irish bar charges. What larks. It means you can drink 3 times as much. Hurrah.

No doubt you're expecting all kinds of Arsenal news this morning but I'm sorry to disappoint and advise you there's very little happening at this early stage. I can tell you that Arsenal turned down a bid from West Ham to take Jeremie Aliadiere on loan, the agent of Belarus international Alexander Hleb says we've expressed an interest in signing him and according to The Sun we've put Jermaine Jenas under 24 hour surveillance to see if he's suitable for a move to Highbury (I suppose that's to check if he's been infected with Dyeritis or Bowyerperosis.)

Steve Bruce has rejected speculation that Mathew Upson will leave Birmingham for Liverpool or to return to Arsenal (seems unlikely) and as we hinted the other day Philippe Senderos has been called up to the senior Swiss squad for the first time so congratulations to him.

In other news Arseblogger is awake far too early and most of today's news, including team news for tomorrow, has not yet been published therefore today's blog is likely to be short and sweet. See?


march 17th

May the Guinness flow freely and your shites turn as black as Satan's ringpiece on this most sacred of all days. Our third St Patrick's Day here on Arseblog and while most of you around the world are in work, as normal, my fellow Irish men and women are by now on their ninth pint. The only people working today are barmen and in solidarity with my countrymen I too am going to do nothing but drink beer all day and not go to the parade coz it's a load of shite. I was going to make up a funny image of Patrick Vieira as an Irishman but then I realised I did that last year. Anyway, if you're Irish have a good day. If you're not Irish watch out for the Irish wherever you are. They're dangerous cunts.

Not much happening really. Having, most surprisingly, been the first person to use the term 'Colegate' I'm rather upset I didn't patent it as ITV (Sporting life and Ananova) stole it, the bastards, as they report a commission is to be set up in the next few days to investigate the Chelsea/tapping up/Kenyon being a shifty bald cunt claims.

Robert Pires - who has hit out at his £35,000 fine wearing the wrong shirt - has been left out of the French squad for their upcoming games against Switzerland and Israel. He's not happy but there are whispers that Philippe Senderos could be called up to his national squad for the first time so he can face Henry, Vieira and not Pires. Speaking of Vieira we all know the rumours of Real Madrid's interest in José Reyes - reports suggest we're willing to sell him for £10m - at the moment but it seems they'd be willing to try, yet again, to sign Patrick Vieira to shore up their midfield. President Florentino Perez said "With Vieira, you never know. Arsenal are out of the Champions League and are not going well in The Premiership."

Peter Hill-Wood has poured scorn and boiling oil over suggestions that Arsene Wenger's future at the club was in doubt. Fiddling with a hole in the elbow of his jumper he said "It is absolute nonsense to question Arsene's future at Arsenal. He has been with us for eight years and we have never finished lower than second." He also reiterated the fact that there's money to spend, saying "The money is there but Arsene, thank goodness, is not someone who spends money just because the media, or whoever, says he needs to buy more players. He only buys players he thinks are going to improve our situation. We have sufficient funds to buy the players Arsene wants."

And there you go. My breakfast of a pint of Guinness and a potato milkshake is ready. Happy St Patrick's day to you all.


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