Last season Arsene Wenger made a comment about how he thought his team could go unbeaten for a whole season. Like a game of Chinese Whispers, it soon became commonplace to misquote the Arsenal manager and make it appear as if he said Arsenal would go the whole season unbeaten. He, and Arsenal, were labelled arrogant, swaggering, cocky and too damn French.
Well, this season we’ve done it. We’ve gone through the entire season, 38 games, without losing a single one. An unprecedented achievement in modern football. Preston North End went through their 22 game season unbeaten back in 1889, but in recent times it just hasn’t been done. We’ve made history. We’ve won the league, and won it without losing a game.
And not only have we done it without losing a game, we’ve done it by playing a brand of attacking football that’s so the opposite of what people have associated with Arsenal for years. The magical talents of Bergkamp, Henry, Pires et al, backed up by the steel and grit of Vieira, and the meanest defence in the league. When you’ve achieved something like this it’s easy to pick out the big names and say it couldn’t have been done without them, but every player that got a medal today contributed something to our season, to staying unbeaten, to winning the league.
Players like Kanu, Cygan and Wiltord – they haven’t featured much in the latter part of the season, but they’ve all done their job well when called upon this season. Without them we wouldn’t be celebrating now.
|| Arsene Wenger has created a team spirit I don’t think I’ve ever seen anywhere before. I’ve written previously about how one of the things I really like about this squad is how they come back from disappointments and come back hard. We had a barren spell in the late 90s and early 00s, but we won the double in 02. We chucked away the league last season, had people bleat on and on about how we were saying we’d go unbeaten, then come back this year and do exactly that. That’s a focussed team, a team that can respond.
I listened to people on TV all day yesterday saying Arsenal wouldn’t be a great team unless we won the Champions League. That hairy handed cockgoblin on Sky had to bring it up as many times as possible, that clown Ray Houghton was talking about it on Irish TV, well, I don’t agree. Anyone who’s seen this team play football this season will realise this is a great team. A decent side doesn’t go the whole season without losing a game, a great side does. Yes, the CL is the last major trophy we haven’t won. I’m sure the manager and players know that fine well, but what we’ve achieved this season is special.
Nobody has done it before. I’m sure someone will do it again, eventually, but we’ll always be the first. Be proud of the boys, remember how they pulled victories out the fire; remember how well we fought to get back into Europe after the first three games; remember that our kids, and it was our kids, beat Wolves 5-0 and had the balls to get through a penalty shoot-out in which both keepers scored it went on that long; remember they got to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup; remember that it was Manchester United and Chelsea that beat us in knock-out competitions, not Scarborough and Carlisle; remember that we’re Champions, unbeaten; remember that we’re the Arsenal.
It’s been a great season, to the players, the manager, the coaches, the backroom staff and to all of you who come to read this site every day, I’d like to say thanks. It’s been a blast. Football, this site, Arsenal and you lot have helped make what’s been a difficult year for me at times bearable and enjoyable. I’ve had a laugh, hope you have too.
For your viewing pleasure, I've got some Arsenal Championship winning wallpapers. The Kolo Toure one is already on my desktop. Enjoy.
Team wallpaper 1 - Team wallpaper 2 - Team wallpaper 3 - Team wallpaper 4 - Team wallpaper 5 - Kolo Toure backflip wallpaper.
So it’s the last day of the season. We’ve seen [insert number here] matches, scored [insert number here] goals, won [insert number here], drawn [insert number here], and lost [insert number here]. We’ve had [insert number here] yellow cards and [insert number here] red cards.
You know, it’s bringing the stats to you, my loyal readers, that makes this blogging lark worthwhile.
Arsene Wenger confirmed yesterday that Martin Keown would be making his final appearance for Arsenal tomorrow, and even though he’s such a loyal servant, there’s no room for sentiment and he’ll start on the bench as we look to go the whole season unbeaten. AW said "He went out and did extra training yesterday, even though he knows he will only be a substitute on Saturday and that tells you everything about him.”
We may see him back at some stage in the future as the boss would like to offer him a coaching role at some stage, but it seems likely that Martin will wind down his career elsewhere. Portsmouth and West Ham seem likely destinations. All we can do is thank him for the memories, this one in particular (although maybe he’d rather forget it) and wish him all the best for the future till he’s back at the club teaching the youngsters how to scare the bollix off opposition strikers.
Of course today is about seeing whether or not Arsenal can go the whole season unbeaten, something that has never been achieved before in modern times. I remember us winning the title in previous seasons then getting beaten by Villa and the scousers, but the boys have kept things going this time around. In front of a packed Highbury, in celebratory mood, they just have to remain undefeated by Leicester to write their names in the history books. Football is a funny game at the best of times so I’m not going to make any kind of prediction, nor am I going to comment on it, but I’ll be very proud of the lads, and the manager and his staff, if we can pull it off.
I have to work this morning, but I'll be back later to listen to the game and have a chat on the Arseblog IRC channel, which is #arseblog on DALNET if you want to join the rest of us nerds. More later.
I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day of the season. Then there’s no more proper football until mid-August. This season really flew by though, didn’t it? From the first day win over Everton and another red card for Sol, to Le Bob’s winner at Anfield, to Inter in Milan, to Chelsea in the CL and winning the league at White Hart Lane, the whole thing seems to have just whizzed by.
Of course, it would have been nice to see the final game of the season, but then those thundering clusterfucks at Sky did their PPV thing, so it’ll be one last game on the radio and the Arseblog IRC channel.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about how the lads must stay focussed for tomorrow’s game to achieve the feat of going unbeaten all season. He says “It would be great if we could do that but we can't say that we've done it yet as we've still got to get through 90 minutes against Leicester.”
Ex-Arsenal left back Kenny Sansom was gushing in his praise of the boys and the way we’ve played this season, saying “Some of the football they have played this season has been out of this world. To win the league you have to be head and shoulders above the rest and they are.”
And in a show of good sportsmanship and decency, Gary Neville has been fullsome in his praise of Arsenal’s title winning season. He says “I don't care if Manchester United had had one of our best ever seasons, it still would have been impossible for us to win the league. Manchester United haven't lost the league, Arsenal have won it.”
I remember last season he was quite gracious when United pipped Arsenal to the post in the last few games, and as annoying as he is on the park, you have to acknowledge he’s not as bad off it. Sometimes.
So one more game to go. Then we get the trophy, have a dance, spray the champagne around and start the countdown to next season.
Picture the scene. It’s summer 1995. I’m sitting in the newsroom of the radio station I was working in at the time, listening to the cattle prices. The girl doing the sports news is getting her bulletin together. She knows I’m an Arsenal fan.
“Erm...you should come and have a look at this!” she says. So I wander over and she’s got Ceefax on with the headline “Arsenal sign Dennis Bergkamp”.
|| Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. Dennis Bergkamp, signing for Arsenal? How? What? Why? Was Bruce Rioch more respected in European football than we’d realised? An amazing signing, just amazing. And it’s been a signing that’s meant a lot to the club. To have a player of his stature and ability join us made other players want to come here, made Arsenal a more desirable place to play football. And he’s certainly made it a more desirable place to watch football.
So now he’s signed a new one year deal which will mean he’ll have spent ten years at the club. In an era of mercenary foreigners and club swapping we sometimes forget how loyal Dennis has been. If he’d walked away last summer when the club were fucking him around, could anyone have blamed him? Anyway, we don’t have to worry about it, he’ll stay, the youngsters can learn so much from him, and he’ll grace the turf of Highbury for another season. Glad to have you on board, Den.
Also set to sign new deals are Edu and Sol Campbell. The Evening Standard says that talks with both players have gone smoothly and new contracts will be chugging out of the Arsenal printing press in the next couple of weeks. No deal has been made with Sylvain Wiltord though, and his hopes of making Euro2004 look a bit slim as he’s suffering from the same ankle problem that kept him out for so long in the second part of the season. Kanu and Martin Keown could both end up at Portsmouth as long as Harry Redknapp stays in charge there.
Well, the poxy grey weather appears to have gone back to northern Europe where it belongs. The sun is shining here today, the clouds are non existent and the sky is blue. Here comes the summer.
This Saturday I have to work. Painful, but I was looking forward to coming home, having a beer or two and watching Arsenal play Leicester. Now, thanks to those greedy, covetous, craving, parsimonious, avaricious, miserly, prehensile, gormandizing, insatiate, gluttonous cunts at Sky, I won’t be able to.
The Arsenal v Leicester game is only on Pay Per View. Despite the fact we could make history by going the whole season unbeaten, despite the fact they’ve covered almost all of our last games in the last couple of months on normal Sky channels, and most importantly despite the fact that’s it’s fucking impossible for me to ring them up and ask for the PPV game, they’re still putting in on the PPV channel.
I hate them so much right now I’m thinking of building a giant catapult and firing boulders at the Astra satellite. Apparently they'll go back to Highbury to cover the presentation of the trophy etc, but that's not much consolation.
For some strange reason a rumour spread that the Premiership trophy would be presented to Arsenal before the game against Leicester, which obviously makes no sense for lots of different reasons. The club have now confirmed that the presentation will take place after the match, and Ashley Cole is well aware there’s still work to do. He says “We all want to set the record now, so we’ve all been concentrating in training. We can’t party yet so we just have to keep on plugging away and we can celebrate on Sunday.”
Arsene Wenger has been impressed with José Reyes’ contribution to the side in recent games. While other players have visibly eased off, José still has something to prove and has been our most dangerous attacking option. The boss says “I am happy because Reyes is getting better and better.”
After Norwich declared their interest in taking David Bentley on loan yesterday, it’s now emerged that Walrus head up in Bolton quite likes the look of him and may make an attempt to bring him on loan to the Reebok Stadium. I hope Mr Wenger politely tells ‘Big Sam’ where to go. Then tells him how to get there in a less than polite fashion
Thanks to forumer brin for digging up this picture of Liverpool’s number 1 Thai fan and possible investor in the club. A true Red, you have to say.
That's about the size of it for today. I'm quite dreading the summer even though we've got "Euro2000" - ©Stevie G - to look forward to. It's going to be tough times for blogging, I think.
It’s getting to that time of year again. Player of dubious quality at another club is unhappy at not playing as much as he’d like. Thinks about it for a bit, says “Arsenal have been speaking to my agent.”
The latest one is AC Milan keeper Christian Abiatti, for whom Milan turned down a ‘mega offer’ from Arsenal last year. Allegedly. He reckons we’ve been in touch with his agent about a move, but then he was just one of about 54 goalies we were linked with last summer before we signed Jens Lehmann. Anyway, you have to ask why we’d be interested in a bloke who’s rotting in the reserves at AC Milan.
Hearty congratulations go to Thierry Henry who has made history by winning the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award for the second year running, attracting nearly 90% of the vote. Quite a winning margin. He's not the first player to win it twice, but he is the first to win it in successive years. Henry said “It’s a real honour but it would not have been possible without my team-mates and the manager."
David Bentley is attracting the interest of newly promoted Norwich, and with AW saying he wants to give him a chance out on loan next season, it seems like a deal could be a good move for both parties. Bentley can get the first team football he really needs at this stage of his career, and he can return to Arsenal a more complete player.
And I've just had a heart attack as a stupid, fat bird has just flown into the window beside me. Looks like it's chaffinch for brekkie. Mmmmm.
So our unbeaten run continued yesterday with a 1-0 win over Fulham. It most certainly wasn’t a pretty performance from us, but it was definitely functional. As much as the slick passing and nice goals have been a feature of our play this season, so has our solid defending. Fulham never really created any dangerous openings, apart from one chance for the Dead Snake in the first half which Jens made a good save from, and a cross shot from the impressive Moritz Volz (who looks like Luzhny with pace) in the second.
Arsenal’s goal came from José Reyes who nicked the ball off a lumbering Edwin van der Sar and tapped home for his second in two games. Afterwards, AW spoke about what it would mean to go the whole season unbeaten if we do Leicester at the weekend. He said “I don't think the players fully realise what is at stake as there is no history of it happening before. For me it would be something massive. There is real history to be made and certainly, football-wise, immortality as I don't think it will be done again.”
So one more game to go and we’ll have done something no English side has done before in modern times. Yes, I know Preston did it many years ago, but their season was just 22 games back then. To go the whole season unbeaten would be remarkable, and while the exits from the Champions League and the FA Cup were disappointing you have to remember they’re knock-out competitions and these things happen. Arsenal fans hardly need reminding of that. If we complete the season without losing a game, we’ll have achieved something nobody ever thought possible, especially at the start of the season when we were being written off all over the place. Chelsea were signing all the midfielders in the world, United were making lots of signings (which luckily for us turned out to be pretty shite) and everyone thought keeping the same squad of players and adding only Lehmann and Clichy wouldn’t be enough to see us challenge.
It’s nice to prove people wrong sometimes.
Today is also a new day for me. I’ve decided that a number of things have to change in my life. I’m no longer willing to put up with the shitehawks and wanklords that I have to deal with day in, day out. I’m making lists of things I have to do and trying to figure out ways of doing them. There may be some risks ahead, but you don’t get anything in life by sitting around waiting for people to hand you opportunities on a plate, you have to go out and do it yourself. So I am. Not quite sure why I’m telling you this, maybe it just makes it more real. Having thought about it all weekend and discussed it with the missus, I’m now excited and nervous about the future, instead of tired and bored in the present.
So how was your weekend then?
Mmmmmm, Mojitos. Arrrrrrgh, ‘angovers.
We’re off cottaging this afternoon. More later.
So parent’s evening went swimmingly. 4 meetings, parents turned up for 3 of them, we talked, they listened, I explained and said nice things about their children (mostly). Then I went to meet Mrs Blog who had just come back from the garage. Long term readers may remember that our car went into the garage in January (I think) after I tried to change the battery and exploded the alternator.
Well, we brought it to the garage to get it fixed, as you do, and at the time they told us they needed a piece that might take a week or two to order. So we waited, and waited and waited and nothing happened. The part had to come from India, and it seemed to make from India to Spain in reasonable time. The problem was that it got lost somewhere between Madrid and Barcelona. Honestly. It took over 3 1/2 months for the part get from Madrid to the garage here. Anyway, you kind of get used to that sort of thing here, and quite honestly we didn’t miss the car that much. And we certainly haven’t missed it enough to pay the cunts the €850 they’re looking for now that everything is fixed.
I suspect the bill breaks down something like this: Parts €25 – Labour - €50 – Parking €675. The big bastards. I don’t have €800 to pay for the thing, so if anyone in Barcelona would like to buy a Tata TelcoSport 2L diesel jeep, drop me a mail.
So obviously we had to cope with the news of this giant bill by going to a bar and getting shit-faced, once again neglecting to check if there was water in the house. You have to drink bottled water here, there’s no question of drinking anything from the taps. We had a kettle that after 3 months of use was utterly useless. The amount of limescale on the element meant it didn’t heat the water properly, and what it did heat had this minging metallic taste. I’m now the thirstiest man alive, the only thing we had to drink in the house was half a carton of orange juice (which I’m sure my missus will be delighted to discover has been finished...somehow) and milk. So now I have to go to the shops to buy some water, and the worst thing of all was that I made a drunken arrangement to go and play tennis this morning at 10 o’clock.
When will I ever learn?
Jermaine Pennant is quite the conundrum. Talented enough for Arsene Wenger to pay £2m for him as a 15 year old, but going on five years later he’s still made just a handful of appearances for the club. He’s been dogged with rumours of ill-behaviour (Renegade Master styleeeee), lack of application, poor attitude, and basically acting the flash Harry when he’s done nothing to back it up but make a good salary at Arsenal.
He’s spent the last season on loan at Leeds and didn’t get called back even when we did have a bit of an injury crisis. But our eary friend wants to make it Arsenal (after saying he’d like to stay at Leeds all season, but he obviously doesn’t fancy the Nationwide). He says “The manager has said he wants me back as long as I am prepared to fight for a place I can have a future there, and I definitely am.”
Maybe he's learned a lot at Leeds, maybe he's seen Kolo Toure show what hard work, dedication and apllication can do for your career. Maybe. It’ll be interesting to see who he’s fighting for his place and whether he’ll be prepared to fight if we sign a right sided midfielder.
He won’t be fighting against Sylvia Wiltord though, who’s attracting the interest of some Germans. There’s a bloke we probably should have tried to get a few bob for last summer. Not taking anything away from him, he’s given us some good moments, but was the value of keeping him for one more season worth writing off the couple or three million we might have got last summer? Not sure that it was, to be honest. And another departure could be Stathis Tavlaridis, who has impressed during his loan spell at Lille. He’s got choices according to his agent, as Lille, 3 other French clubs and a couple of English sides all fancy a bit of Greek in the close season.
AW has hailed José Reyes' budding partnership with Thierry Henry, and warned that they're only going to get better. THe boss says "Jose still has to adapt because on occasions he is still caught with his back to goal and he needs to get used to the physical side of the game. He also has to mature as he is only 20 years old, but it is very promising. He gets better and better."
Right, I have a private class this morning, then parents evening this evening. "Sorry Mrs Fernandez, your son is an interminable maricon and most likely an hijo de puta."
Should be fun.
Barca want Gio. Gio wants Barca. AW wants Gio to stay at Barca. AW also wants a few bob from Barca. Barca will most likely offer some cash that they’ve printed themselves, a large botifarra and an oak barrel of half-decent Rioja. They may even chuck in the young defender, Gerard Piqué Bernabeu, that Man United are sniffing around.
Whatever happens it looks like Gio’s time at Arsenal is finished. I never really saw him as an Arsenal player to be honest, and while Sol Campbell was obviously a success, the rest of AW’s purchases that summer did not give us value for money. Richard Wright and Frankie Jeffers are keeping each other company as they don’t play for Everton, while Gio suffered with injuries before being loaned out at the start of this season. It looks as if Barcelona suits his game more, and he’s playing his football and living in a nice place. He always seemed like a decent bloke, so let’s hope there’s no real hassle over a fee and we can wish him all the best in the future.
Thierry Henry has called on the critics to lay off Jens Lehmann. Yes, he’s made a couple of mistakes this season, but no more than any other keeper whose played the same amount of games. It just seems that he’s been tagged as a ‘dodgy keeper’ when the majority of his performances have been anything but. Henry says “It is hard for goalkeepers because they are not allowed to make a single mistake. I can miss a chance and no one says anything. But if a keeper makes a mistake it’s a goal and he is treated as a sinner.”
Elsewhere, Edu and Gilberto have been called up to the Brazil squad for the FIFA centenary game against France. I can think of better ways to celebrate 100 years of FIFA, most of them include re-enacting Mel Gibbon’s ‘The Passion’ with Septic Blatter as Jebus, but I suppose France v Brazil would be more enjoyable from a footballing perspective.
Ooooh, I nearly forgot. Chelsea. Take it away, Nelson.
You'll be pleased to hear that the clouds that have blanketed Spain for the last 10 days appear to be gone. Looking all around me, there's nothing but blue sky, and I can see quite clearly now. Hurrah. Is this the start of the summer?
So Arsenal maintained their unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth last night.
They took the lead in the first half after the ball bounced off Kolo Toure’s head into the path of Yakuba who boinked it into the net off Jens Lehmann. Arsenal equalised in the second half when Jose Reyes volleyed home from the edge of the box for his first Premiership goal. From the bits I saw it was a scrappy game played in poor conditions, and Arsene Wenger admits that the unbeaten run is playing on the minds of the players a little bit. He says “It is (affecting us) a little bit. The players were not prepared to lose and you saw the determination of Arsenal tonight. They realise that they have achieved so much and are determined to not lose a game through a lack of concentration or determination."
David Bentley got a start and did reasonably well on his Premiership debut by all accounts, while Martin Keown and Jeremie Aliadiere inched ever closer to the magical 10 appearances needed for a championship medal. It does seem a rather antiquated rule to have to play 10 games to get a medal. One goal in one game might be enough to make telling contribution to a season, and that player should be rewarded for it. Let’s hope the FA review this rule when they see players like Keown having to come on for a couple of minutes at the end of a game to get the medal they deserve for what they’ve done earlier in the season.
And some top class saves from Jens Lehmann ensured Arsenal remained on course to stay unbeaten all season. The boss says "I am happy for Jens because he made some great saves and I am convinced he is a great keeper. I am sure he is on the way to getting the reaction out of his game. He is a winner and he showed that again. The criticism he has received lately didn't affect his performance."
Not much else going on at this early stage. I'm wrecked, took me ages to get to sleep last night. Need more coffee. Later
Well, the boilerman came around yesterday. I’m now €151.33 poorer, but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing my boiler is fine for at least a couple of months, as whatever part they’ve loosened up this time to ensure a return visit won’t go too haywire just yet.
Arsenal take on Portsmouth tonight at Fratton Park without Robert Pires (he didn’t play the cup game down there either, did he?), Dennis Bergkamp or Gilberto. We’re likely to see Jose Reyes, Jeremie Aliadiere and possibly even David Bentley all take part. The boss says “David Bentley is a great talent, technically a top, top player but he needs to play in the first team now. Jose Reyes needs to adapt to England and Jeremie Aliadiere has an English spirit and must play games too."
With no real pressure on the young players, and the league already won, it seems like the perfect time to give them a run-out. And although there will be some people worried about losing the unbeaten record, our back 4 will be the same as ever, and with Vieira, Parlour and probably Ljungberg in midfield, there’s plenty of experience there.
Apparently the FA have changed the dates of next season’s FA Cup semi-finals to the week after the Champions League quarter final second legs have been played. Erm...great, I suppose. I’ll worry about that next season though.
Being slightly bored last night I commenced the summer overhaul of the site. Obviously you’ll have to wait for the season to be over before you get to see it in all its glory, but after trying many things, I settled for a minimalist, no-nonsense design which I think you’ll get used to quite quickly. Here’s a sneaky-prototype peek for you.
Man is it raining here today. I’m hoping this is just the Gods being generous and filling the reservoirs before the 4 month drought kicks in and the sunshine arrives.
The only real Arsenal story around tis morning is the news that AW has a job for life at the Gunners, according to Double-D anyway. Our vice-Chairman says “He has got a job for life, simple as that. Other clubs would not only like Arsene but half of the team to go with him. He has transformed Arsenal Football Club."
No arguing with that. And I think transformed might be underplaying it a bit. Revolutionised might be a better word. Under him we’ve been Champions three times (two doubles included), won the FA Cup, reached a European final and never once finished outside the top two, which shows incredible consistency. The only thing missing from all that is the Champions League, but I believe that will come in the next couple of seasons.
So this weekend saw the relegation places sorted out once and for all. Wolves and Leicester went down on Saturday after Man City beat Newcastle, and Leeds United’s 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the mighty...er...Bolton sends them down to the Nationwide (unless they can make up 35 goals in their next two games). It’s hard to believe that Leeds were contesting a Champions League semi-final just a couple of seasons ago. They were title contenders, and top of the league when they sacked David O’Leary. Since then though we’ve seen how badly mismanaged the club has been, both on a financial level, and on a football level. Ridsdale’s folly left them with enormous debts, and even after selling Robbie Keane, Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate and others for big sums of money, the debts remained. They brought in Venables and sacked him. They brought in Peter Reid, and sacked him. They owe O’Leary, Venables and Reid something like £7m in pay off money.
The best example ever of how not to run a football club. This means that Leeds will play in the 1st division next season. They’ll lose the likes of Smith, Viduka, Robinson and others, they have the financial clout of a common Rochdale and making it back to the Premiership seems an almost impossible task. And quite honestly, it serves them right. It serves that fucking wanker who made me say ‘I love Leeds’ when I was a schoolboy in Yorkshire right too, the prick. I hope he cried yesterday, and I hope they caught it on the telly.
Goodbye Leeds. I won’t miss you one bit.
Last night I was unable to sleep when I went to bed. Thinking about the Arsenal v Birmingham game had me in the land of nod in seconds. Which was actually quite unfortunate, as I had the weirdest nightmare ever. I discovered that I was the proud owner of a talking toilet roll, which was shyly communicative at first, but soon was confident and able to read my mind, answering my questions before I even asked them.
People began to come from far and wide to witness the thing, which spoke in a manner not dissimilar to Hal from 2001. I’d just look at it and it would creepily say “I’m fine Blogger, how are you?”
In the end I tried to throw it over a balcony at which point in turned into a retarded boy with the head of Matt Damon who tried to dispose of me in the same fashion. I woke up at that point. I’m still not right, and quite frankly I’m afraid to go for a number 2 just at the moment.
Not much Arsenal news this morning. Yesterday’s game has bored the writers to death I think. The only thing I can think of commenting on is Diego Forlan’s miss yesterday. He headed over from about 2 feet. I don’t think you should underestimate the talent it takes to do that.
Right, I’m off the airport to collect my lovely wife, then off to drink a few beers. Shame the sun still isn’t shining over here. I blame the previous government. Have a good one.
Arsenal 0-0 Birmingham City
Well, I've seen some dull games of football in my time, but that was probably the dullest. Duller than a Phil Collins weekend on VH1. Well, nearly.
Can't blame our players, they've done all the hard work already, and there was never likely to be much urgency about us, but Birmingham's 1-10-0 formation put paid to any attacking opportunities and they got the point they obviously came for.
The most interesting thing about the game was that Jeremie Aliadiere got another apperance closer to his championship medal, while Arsene Wenger put the shits up Martin Keown by conspiring with Ray Parlour. As we'd made two substitutions already Keown was waiting to come on as he needs to play a part in every game to get his medal. As he was warming up, Wenger told Ray Parlour to get ready to go on in front of Keown, who then pretended to strangle the boss when he realised what was going on. Keown got 2 minutes at the end to bring his total appearances this season to 7.
Next up Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Welcome to yet another brand new month here on Arseblog. We seem to get these every 30 days or so. Strange. Today is a holiday here, the day of the worker, which is really quite ironic because they really do try and do as little work as possible for the rest of the year.
With regards to the Arsenal, AW says Freddie Ljungberg is not for sale and he's looking to bring in at least one and possibly two more players during the close season. He said he'd like to sign David Beckham, but he can't afford him, and hinted at the exits of Martin Keown, Kanu and Sylvain Wiltord. It does look as if Dennis Bergkamp will stay though, as the boss says "He is a great influence in the dressing room and will help Robin van Persie when he arrives in the summer. He is Van Persie's idol and he will be able to help him settle in and give him advice."
There's an excellent piece in The Guardian about Patrick Vieira. Asked why players like himself and Henry stay at a club that is not hte richest or biggest in Europe, he says "Because I look at the players here and I know we can achieve our dreams. With the new stadium and the young players coming in, this club has the potential to be one of the biggest in Europe. You'll see."
For today's game, Edu is out with a bruised eye, whiole Freddie Ljungberg returns after a hand operation. Jose Reyes could start up front with Thierry Henry. Anyway, I'm going to get some brekkie, then chill out downstairs and watch the match.