Henry makes it 5 in 2 games, with another top class free kick and a cheeky chipped penalty, after Pires had put us in front in the first half. Some German scored for Villa to make it 2-1 for a while, but it all came up roses in the end. Lovely.
Don't forget, if you were at the match or you saw it on TV, you can leave a match report for others to read over on the forum. If you fancy doing it, feel free. Then when you become famous and totally awesome like me, you'll pay me a percentage of your fortune in cold ones. Seriously though, there's so little variety in match reports, it might be cool to have a whole collection in one place. So, if you saw the game, and feel like telling us how it was, go here, and go the 'match reports' forum.
Well, you don't expect me to contradict the captain, do you? Some more fabulous wallpaper for you, featuring the mighty Thierry. A large version of picture 3 below is available now here, and because 1024x768 looks 'goofy on iMacs', here's a version with a different resolution (1240x1024).
David Seaman is likely to miss the game against Villa due to injury, not because he was dropped. Rami Shaaban, hallelujah, continues in goal, and while Oleg pulled out all the stops to be fit enough for Roma, he might well sit this one out. That means we could see Volz or Tavlaridis in at right back.
I like the story of Big Fat Ron thinking he was off-air, and referring to Roma's Totti as a 'twat' and asking for Sarnies. More from the The Sun here. In fairness, with his diving antics and his pretty boy hair, 'twat' would be quite low down on the list of names I'd call him. Hey, remember you can learn to speak Ronglish anytime, thanks to those nice people at DangerHere, and don't forget our competition where you can win a copy of the Arsenal football management game. We got about 4 or 5 correct entries in yesterday, so keep 'em coming and you have until Dec 2nd to try your luck.
Did you know it's impossible to get worcestershire sauce flavour crisps in Spain? It is.
Well, that sounded like an awesome performance last night. Sadly I didn't get to watch it because they turned off the ITV news channel on my Irish Sky Digital subscription, and my dish is too small to pick up the Irish channels properly.
What can you say about Thierry Henry? Without doubt the best all-round striker in the world right now. Last night he scored right foot - left foot - free kick. Forget Ronaldo, forget Vieiri, forget can't score from outside of the 6 yard box van Punchalot, only Raul comes close. Henry is something special gooners, enjoy him while you can.
I'm glad to see my reverse psychology worked wonders on Pascal Cygan, as he had his best game for Arsenal according to many observers. He just needs to show some consitency now. A word about Oleg who was injured enough to be a big doubt before the game, but turned in another cracking performance. Well done Sir. On this form he deserves to keep his place in the team even when Lauren is fit again.
Quite literally the perfect start to the 2nd phase. The rest of Europe will sit up and take notice of Arsenal again, and Valencia won't fancy Highbury on a cold December night. Bring it on.
Don\t forget the competition to win a copy of the Arsenal management game. Lots of entries so far. Not one of them 100% correct. Most of you seem to be getting the nose and the mouth wrong. A small hint - all the pictures this hybrid gooner was made from are available on this site. If you have already entered and got it wrong, feel free to have another go.
Finally, how can we not mention Craig Bellamy, who got sent off after 6 minutes of Newcastle's game against Inter Milan? He then burst out crying and walked off the pitch blubbing like a 10 year old. Ha, and indeed, Ha.
The winner will be announced on Dec 3rd. Or thereabouts.
08.48 - Despite the deepening defensive injury crisis, Arsene Wenger says he will not be buying any new players when the transfer window opens. "Not one." Any chance of bringing back Matthew Upson then, boss?
The latest to hit the treatment table is in-form right back Oleg Luzhny. He's pretty much a non-starter for tonight's game against Roma, and young German Moritz Volz (who actually looks like Oleg in that pic) may get a baptism of fire in the Arsenal first team. His only previous appearance was in the Worthington Cup. Well, if we want to see how good the kids from Chippy's academy are, now's the time it seems. Wiltord and Henry are likely to start up front as Dennis didn't travel to Rome, so that means a place in the starting line-up for Bob. Hurrah.
El Tel the big spoofer looks set to quit Leeds. Anyone for a Robbie Fowler? Ledley King says he didn't stamp on Freddie Ljungberg. Well, he would say that wouldn't he? For what it's worth I reckon he's right, it all looked accidental to me.
Well, he doesn't actually say that, it's just a mildly amusing headline thought up by some sub-editor. Anyway, the point is, Dennis doesn't think Arsenal are a dirty side. I agree. I've seen worse. O'Leary's Leeds were far dirtier a side than any Arsenal team I've ever seen. Still, rumours abound of a post match punch-up after the Spurs game last week, and Ashley Cole has been brought up on charges of using naughty words by 'referee' and waddling ginger bloke, Paul Durkin.
In an an attempt to find out exactly what Ashley Cole said to find himself charged like this, we sent an undercover reporter to interview one of Paul Durkin's pubic hairs (left).
According to our anonymous source, he says Ashley Cole told Durkin that he was an annoying little man who took pleasure in sending Arsenal players off the field of play and suggested that the referee bend his cock back as far as he could in order to go and fuck himself.
In return for his information, we have placed this poor pubic hair in a sanctuary from where he can enjoy his life and no longer be prisoner to the sweaty groin of a crap referee. Last we heard, he was hanging out on the side of a bath with his friends.
Next time we talk exclusively to Graham Poll's crabs. Well, I heard he had a tank full of crabs, what did you think I meant? I was going to talk to Andy D'Urso, but he's gone o'er 'ere to see Phyllis.
Matthew Upson is set to return to Arsenal from his loan spell at Reading. Good news if you ask me. The nightmare scenario has happened. Sol will be out for the Man Utd game, leaving only Pascal Cygan, the Latvian Pascal Cygan that is Igors Stepanovs and an unfit Martin Keown for the centre half position. We're worryingly short staffed in that department, and it's been a worry all season.
Looks like Gerard Houllier has gone off Jerzy Dudek. You might realise that Houllier has a tendency to buy players, sing their praises, then discard them like a child who gets fed up with a new toy. Nick Barmby, Igor Biscan, Diomede, Westerveld etc can all testify to that. Well, after his heroic performances last season helped Liverpool to 2nd in the league, Jerzy Dudek has made a couple of errors, and instead of supporting his keeper, Houllier says "I'm not able to say whether Jerzy will be axed. We need to know how his confidence is because, like the rest of the team, he made some errors. We will have to see how he responds to what I have to say. There were a lot of reasons for the goals we conceded against Fulham but the keeper could have pushed the first shot round the post."
Now, this is why Liverpool will not win the league. Houllier thinks he's being ruthless, but he's not. His players will come to think that he doesn't believe in them at all. He's always at it now. Steven Gerrard was rounded on by his boss last week, only for Houllier to try and worm his way out of it by having a go at Sven. I think he's gone a bit mad since his operation.
Anyway, my point is this. We all know how close Arsenal came to signing Dudek last summer and we all know how much we need a new keeper. Maybe the best thing for us is for Houllier to unceremoniously drop Dudek, play Kirkland (the son of James Bond baddie 'Jaws') and let us nip and buy his keeper from him. Maybe we could nick that SS officer they have playing centre half too.
Francis Jeffers is off to Tottenham apparently. Word is Hoddle and AW talked about it after the 3-0 Gunner win in the recent derby game, Arsenal are willing to sell, Sp*rs just need to find £7m. How about a swap for Carr and Rebrov?
UPDATE: Hoddle admits his interest in Jeffers "There is no truth in this. We have not enquired about him and there are no plans to. I don't know where it has come from." Just what he said about Robbie Keane.
AW knocks Paul Durkin of his christmas card list as he gets card happy with Arsenal players yet again. Sol now misses the game against Manchester United in a couple of weeks time, leaving us with big problems in the centre of defence. Pascal Cygan's form still fluctuates from pretty good to pretty ordinary, Martin Keown's 36 year old body is just about recovered from a hamstring injury and if he does play he's hardly going to be match fit, and then we have Igors. With the best will in the world, I'd rather see AW himself play there. Now, it really is time to bring back Matthew Upson from Reading, and I would suggest that the manager should have a look at bringing in a central defender in January when he has a chance.
Not a word about Solskjaer's WWF style forearm smash on a Newcastle player in yesterday's game. He took him out, left the player flattened in the middle of the park, and neither the ref or the linesman saw fit to give a free kick, allowing Solskjaer to go on and score. Maybe it's just me, but if that had been an Arsenal player...well, you know the sort of coverage it would be getting now.
A miserable, rainy, grey day here and the rain sadly is not falling mainly on the plain, but mostly on the coastly...or something. Next up, Roma away. Hurrah.
Kick off. Zzzzzzzz. Seaman save. Some stuff not worth mentioning. Southampton corner sounds dangerous. Light cigarette. Put out cigarette. Light a reverse cigarette. Paddy elbowed in ribs by south coast ruffian. More boring crap. Commentators voice gets all excited. Bergkamp volleys Arsenal 1 up. Spin around on chair. Look at some optical illusion website while listening. Begin seeing things I shouldn't. Cygan gives away free kick. 30 yards out. Beattie takes and of course, scores. Flaps. Halftime 1-1.
Coffee and M&Ms.
Vieira shoots, keeper saves, Vieira shoots again, keeper saves again, Vieira shoots yet again, keeper saves yet again. Bob warming up. Delgado breaks into the box, Sol touches him. Penalty Southampton. Red card Mr. Campbell. Beattie takes and of course, scores. Immediately remember what a bitch Paul Durkin is. Ashley Cole yellow carded. Oleg moves into centre back position, Toure comes on for Edu and goes to right back. We came back against Chelsea with 10 men, surely we can do it against this lot. Am confident. Need Pires though. Henry trickles shot at keeper. Seaman fails to come for free kick, Delgado rises above Ashley Cole and of course, scores. 3-1 Southampton. Am considerably less confident. 22 mins to go. Jeffers and Pires on. Freddie and Dennis off. Delap really close for Southampton. 12 to go. Corner to Arsenal, Pires scores. GOoooooaaaaaal. 3-2. Am confidenter although more crapper at English. Marsden flattens Vieira, Durkin keeps second yellow in his pocket, the poxy ginger spunkstain. 6 mins to go. Smoking like Kylie's arse. Henry intercepts back-pass, shoots...wide. Argh. Henry hurt, Arsenal have 9 men on the pitch. Tel back on. 3 mins stoppage time. Fulham 3-2 Liverpool. Which is nice, but a goal would be nicer. Vieira booked. Full time.Bollocks. Blame pair of ex-lucky socks. Vow to wreak terrible and deadly revenge against Paul Durkin. Think better of actually writing that down. Change mind. Of course I'm only joking. Uncross fingers. Still top though.
Barca v Real tonight, goodie. That Thierry pic was very popular yesterday, over 1600 downloads. If my hosting wasn't so fantastically affordable, I'd be in trouble...
08.55 - Over the past few months, I have strived to bring you the best Arsenal pictures I could find. I have scanned pics from my own collection, trawled the web to find the image du jour for your wallpaper needs, shamelessly used nepotism and called in old favours to get the right snaps, just for you, my loyal and most excellent readers. Now, having being sent this picture, I feel as if my work here is done. It's not going get any better than this, let me tell you.
For your viewing pleasure, Thierry Henry celebrating in front of the Sp*rs fans after his wonder goal in the 3-0 win last weekend. Right here, right now. Ithangyew.
There's an intersting article in the The Sun about how Fergie has spent £70m+ on 3 players, while Arsenal have spent £10m less on the entire team. Veron, van Punchalot and Rio cost close to £80m actually, and while all 3 are good players (although you have to doubt Veron's appetite for the Premiership), it has failed to cover over the shortcomings in other areas. At times it seems as if Ferguson has been playing real life Championship Manager, spending fortunes just because he could. They compare his purchases to those of AW - as we've done here in the past - and the only player Utd have signed for a small fee that has gone on to be a success is Solskjaer in 1996. In the same period, Arsenal have bought Freddie, Vieira, Gilberto, Pires and Henry for the price of Veron.
This week, Utd have reappointed Terry Phelan as coach after downgrading him in the summer, and poached a coach (how poetic) from Sunderland in an attempt to reverse their current fortunes (not Quinton). It makes you wonder about the importance of Brian Kidd and Steve McLaren in Utd's success, and casts serious doubts over Ferguson's coaching abilities. Has his style of gruff, teacup throwing management seen it's day? Do today's multi-millionaire footballers have the same fear of the boss they did 10 years ago? It's hard to believe they do, and while he will go down in the annals as a supremely successful manager - his record speaks for itself - he's now in danger of doing a Cloughie and making the mistake of staying too long.
Team news for tomorrow - Bergkamp is fit, David Seaman could return in goal, Edu looks set to replace jet-lagged Gilberto in midfield while Super Oleg contuinues at right back in place of injured Lauren.
08.59 - Eeeeeeeeeuuuuuurrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhh.
I hate mornings sometimes. I also hate the fact that they're building a house about 5 yards away from mine, and for whatever reason, they always seem to do the loud stuff first thing in the morning. You know, like bashing the poxy cement mixer to loosen up the cement, and angle grinding and all that. I am sorely tempted to let loose a cauldron of boiling oil from the top terrace. Bastards.
The gunners away on internation duty all seem to have come through unscathed. Brazil beat Korea 3-2, don't know how long Gilberto played for. Igors was up to his old tricks again as Latvia won 1-0 against San Marino. He chopped down a player in the box for what should have been a dead set penalty but the ref didn't give it. A bit like last season at Everton. No idea what jappened in the French game, but no doubt the Arsenal players played for 90 mins + extra time + a mini marathon.
Dennis Bergkamp's rib injury was caused when he fell and elbowed himself as he landed. The FA are expected to charge him with self-abuse or something later today. He should be fit for Saturday though.
I want one of these. I remember reading that the US post office had pre-ordered a load of these for their posties. Gone are the days of black, cast iron bicycles, this is the future. Although, I have to say, I'd be sorely tempted to Segjack the postman, lock him in a basement and whizz around on his 'human transporter'. That'll teach him for bringing me nothing but bills.
Yesterday, I received an entirely unsolicited email from a bloke who wanted to tell me all about a brand new Arsenal football management game (you may have seen it mentioned over here earlier in the month). So, I sent him an email back chancing my arm and asking him for a copy to give away as a prize on this site, and to his eternal credit he agreed. So, as soon as I get the game, I'll run a competition and one lucky winner will get a copy of Just Football's Arsenal management game. Actually, I think he's sending two copies, and as the game works on PC only it means me and my Mac can't play it. So there'll be two copies of the game to give away. Hurrah, and thanks to Peter for being such a sport. No doubt they'll be porting it to the Mac just for me...*cough*...
Having watched Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones the other night, it struck me that the makers of the Oddworld games, Abe's Oddysee etc, would have quite a successful case against George Lucas and co. for the shameless rip off of their characters. The Viceroy blokes are like the big boss baddies, that scene where they're on a conveyor belt and have to avoid being crushed is pure Abe, some of the rolling metal baddies are tremendously similar and the flying dude who was the slave trader and Anakin's boss looks just like the sligs except with wings. Is it just me, or is it a bit of a rip off?
Finally, here's something to help pass the time today - the Museum of Hoaxes', Hoax photo test. Dubya's upside down book is a classic, although you know it's a fake coz he's reading with a 10 year old and that's just a few years above his level.
Here's hoping everyone comes back in one piece and ready to spank Southampton on Saturday.
08.55 - Now, you all remember a couple of weeks ago when Arsenal played and lost to Blackburn, ITV''s naff Premiership show took it upon themselves to be defenders of fair play by highlighting Dennis Bergkamp's alleged stamp on some no-mark Blackburn player.
There was no damage done, the ref saw it, dealt with it and that should have been that. On Saturday, Sp*rs Ledley King stamped on Freddie Ljungberg, injuring his knee badly enough for him to miss Sweden's international this week, and possibly putting him out of action for some time. Did ITV highlight this? Not a chance.
I have no problem with TV going back over contentious incidents in games, but only if they're going to do it for every incident in every game. I saw George Boateng flatten Zola with a forearm smash last weekend too. If that had been an Arsenal player, we'd be saturated with it by now. Hoddle, the man who had an Arsenal fan's season ticket confiscated after inciting the crowd by giving them the finger, says there's nothing in it. Well, he would, and that's fair enough. I'd expect AW to do the same. But Des, Ally, Andy, Robbie and the rest of the two-bit crew that manage to make the Premiership look second rate, what's your excuse?
Sol Campbell has had to put up with a lot since he joined Arsenal from Sp*rs. Winning the Double, improving as a player, playing Champions League football and for the first time, captaining Arsenal when Paddy went off on Saturday. It's all been too much for some Sp*rs fans who have spent their time spreading rumours and lies about his private life. Sol responds here.
Did anyone else see the footage of Steffan Freund during the game? Chest thumping, primal screaming, gurning encouragement at his team mates. It's no wonder they lost. He scared the shite out of them. Still looking for a pic of that Spurs kid who was crying on the telly, if anyone has it please send it on.
Finally, a word about Anders Limpar. One of my favourite ever Arsenal players announced his retirement from football yesterday. He brought flair, excitement and skill to a fairly dour Arsenal side, before shamelessly being flogged to Everton and replaced by Eddie McGoldrick.
He scored wonderful goals, the FA Cup games against Leeds and his 50 yard lob of Liverpool's Mike Hooper spring to mind. He was like an Overmars you could warm to.
Good luck Anders.
08.55 - Instead of having a nice, relaxing week after demolishing Sp*rs, most of Arsenal's squad will be flying to the four corners of the globe to play internationals. Spit.
Frenchies Wiltord, Henry and Vieira will be playing Yugoslavia, Gilberto flies to Peru to play 45 minutes for Brazil, while Igors Stepanovs travels to Milton Keynes to pick up a new wardrobe from Ikea.
From the Arsenal mailing list comes the story of an Arsenal fan arrested and ejected from the ground for giving Glenn Hoddle the finger. The fact that the fan was reacting to Hoddle turning around and giving a one finger salute to the Arsenal supporters seems to have been neatly overlooked. Hoddle says"I don't know anything about these claims. I didn't make any obscene gestures to the Arsenal fans. It's ridiculous to suggest otherwise."
Well, we all know that telling fibs is not in Glenn's nature. He definitely wouldn't tell Gareth Southgate to pretend to be injured during a World Cup press conference for example, or he wouldn't constantly deny any interest in Robbie Keane before going out and buying him. Just two examples of Hoddle's non-fib telling nature. Did anyone else out there see the giant-jawed buffoon's gesture?
Good results for the Gunners yesterday, as Sunderland had a 90 minute defensive work out against Liverpool and the might of Phil Babb stopped his old club from scoring, and Man Utd could only draw with West Ham as Jermaine Defoe (who looks like a very handy player) scored a beautifully offside equaliser in the last 5 minutes. Sweet.
Finally for today, worrying news for our millions of Chinese readers, Arseblog is now unavailable in China due to their strict internet guidelines. It's a travesty and disgrace is what it is. I've ordered their food, eaten in their restaurants, bought crappy plastic toys, and set off their fireworks, and this is how they treat me. The world's gone mad madder.
12.14 - Still smiling.
And that's just from looking at the picture below. Thierry Henry's goal was something special, and after struggling to find the net in recent games, what a way to get back on the scoresheet. Pace, control, trickery and a superb curled finish. Definitely one of the goals of the season so far.
In today's Observer, Thierry talks to Spanish journalist and Sky Sports presenter, Guilleme Ballgue. I read this article during the week here in Spain, but to translate it all was a bit beyond me. This quote sums up Thierry perfectly, and hopefully heaps shame on those 'fans' who were giving him a hard time when he wasn't scoring: "I have only one life and in this life I am going to play with Arsenal, if I can, till I retire. You have to be respectful with what your team has given you and I owe a lot to Arsenal. Since I arrived here, my name and my career have changed; they know me now because of Arsenal."
Remember Greg Lincoln? He was tipped to be a big star of the future for Arsenal, but with the likes of Vieira, Petit, Edu, van Bronckhorst, Edu, Parlour and now Gilberto Silva ahead of him for a central midfield place, he's had to move on. He talks about Arsenal and life after Arsenal here.
Another forgotten man is Alex Manninger who finds himself in the football wilderness after a bizarre chain of events that took him from Highbury, to Fiorentina, back to Arsenal, to Espanyol, nearly to Celtic and then nowhere. It's a shame to see him struggle like this, he hasn't been paid since January as nobody knows who holds his registration, and at the moment he finds himself without a club and unable to play football. Here's hoping he gets it all sorted out soon. His contribution to the 97/98 Double shouldn't be forgotten. Good luck Alex.
Right, I'm off to watch goals on Sunday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and don't forget to laugh at Sp*rs.
No matter how good you feel right now, having thrashed a motley crew of top 6 wannabes, doesn't looking at the spiteful, sneering Sheringham to your left make you feel even better?
He might be a 'clever player', but even at his best, he was never the quickest. Now that extra yard in his head is no good coz he needs about 5 extra yards the miserable, decreptit, taken off during the second half and mocked by the crowd, ex-player.
The crowd sounded brilliant today. The minute I heard the singing at the start of the game, I knew there was no way we were going to lose. When Thierry Henry announced his return to form with what sounded like an absolutely incredible solo goal, I knew there was no way we were gonna lose. When, Jonny Over-rated, Simon Davies got sent off for two bookings in 4 minutes, I knew.....well, you know.
Freddie popped up for the second, after Bob replaced an injured Dennis, and Wiltord sealed the deal with the 3rd. Spurs humiliated, abject, troop off the pitch with Sunday training with Eileen Drewery on the menu.
It's a tough group. Valencia are as good a team as I've seen in the last 4 or 5 years, Roma are always dangerous even if they are a bit under-par domestically, and Ajax, well....I suppose we really should take 6 points there. Anyway, we're the Arsenal. You can be sure none of those teams will be happy about facing us either.
Obviously I was hoping for Barca, but they can wait. Further to this AW to Bayern story, Eve was kind enough to fill us in properly in the arses...er....sounds dodgy, but you know what I mean.
Jermaine Pennant could be on his way back to Watford in another loan deal. He's not getting much in the way of chances at THOF, so he might as well. Right, now all we have to worry about is how many we're going to score tomorrow.
08.59 - A rather worrying story in today's Sun, by a "sunsport reporter" quotes Arsene Wenger as saying "The Bayern job would hinge on whether I would be given sufficient freedom to work and enough power. Working for Franz Beckenbauer would present no problems as I know him well".
Er...what? I think I'm right in saying these quotes are more than a few years old and this appears to be an attempt by The Sun to rock the steadying Arsenal ship after our run of poor results. The big bastards. However, on further investigation, the Guardian are running a similar story claiming the quotes come from a German sports magazine called 'Das Boot' or something. AW''s contract runs till 2004.
The Champions League draw will be made later on this morning. Back later on with reaction ... here's hoping it's Barca.
09.05 - These Champions League permutations are easy, I don't know what everyone is fussing about.
Arsenal will definitely play Roma, Valencia or Barcelona, and any one of a number of clubs whose names I forget right now. As group winners, we'll play our first game at home, so that means the first game has to be against Roma or one of those clubs whose name I forget, as Valencia and Barcelona both won their groups. Then you simply divide the sum of two small squares whose mass is equal to a right sided triangle, carry the one, and bob's your uncle. Easy eh?
The draw will be made tomorrow from the back room of an old brothel in Geneva.
Arsene Wenger wants to talk to the Brazilian federation to see if they'll let Gilberto stay at home while the rest of their squad fly to Peru or somewhere for a friendly. Most likely he'll have a 13 hour flight to play half a game, and as such will probably miss the game away at Southampton. Dennis Bergkamp is considering an appeal against his ITV powered misconduct charge.
Rami Shaaban is full of praise for David Seaman, and says he's a great teacher. In return for this goalkeeping coaching, Rami is teaching DS how to swear in Swedish. Seems like a fair trade to me. I suspect he'll get the nod for Saturday's game against Sp*rs, but then my predictions are nearly always wrong, so take that with a hefty pinch of salt.
This is funny. Say what you want about Roy Keane, but who amongst you can honestly say you've never felt the same way?
08.59 - Last night's 0-0 draw with PSV and Auxerre's 1-0 win over Dortmund means that Arsenal top their Champions Leauge group. Unlike Liverpool. heh. Nice to see the Liverpool fans back to their best in Europe as well. Scallies.
PSV were a bunch of fouling, diving swine, and on the evidence it's a good job AW didn't pay £15m for van Bommell, who found himself emroiled in a post-game row for spitting at Thierry Henry. Kolo Toure became a true gooner, earning his first red card for 2 bookable offences in the first half.
Jeffers failed to shine, Rami Shaaban seemed to do well in goal despite some nervous distribution early on and made one important 2nd half save, and Igors was, well...Igors. Listening to the game on Capital Gold last night, the commentator and his sidekick Tony Gale were laughing every time he got the ball.
Maybe a tad unfair, but it's mystifying why a manager as clever and successful as Arsene Wenger insists on playing him when he's clearly not good enough, and when Matthew Upson is out on loan to Reading and could surely do a better job.
Ask any Arsenal fan to choose between Matty and Igors and I guarantee you 100% of them will go for Upson. Robert Pires played a full 90 minutes, and must surely be in line for a start against Spurs on Saturday. Did I mention Liverpool being knocked out by the tactical power of Christian Gross and European football might that is FC Basel? I did? Oh well, hahahaha. The draw for the second stage is made on Friday. I want Barcelona.
Finally for today, ahead of Saturday's derby, an open letter to Teddy Sheringham.
please visit this link. Then, click on the 5 different coloured bars in any order you see fit.
That's you that is.
Thanks to Dan for the link.
08.44 - "Well tonight for the first time, just about half-past seven, for the first time in history, it's gonna Rami Shaaban......Rami Shaaban, Hallelujah.."... and so on.
What a campdiscotacular start to the day. Basically, with old 'safe hands injured we get to look at new at our new Swegyptian keeper for the first time. AW says “Rami is a very good goalkeeper, with a good leap and good hands”. If he puts in a good performance, his Premiership debut could come on Saturday against Sp*rs. There's a baptism of fire if ever there was one.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Robert Pires are set to start tonight as well, as they both continue their comebacks from cruciate injuries. A word for our tiny Brazilian left-back Juan, who is out for at least 6 months having suffered the same injury last week. Get well soon little man. With Kanu injured, and Dennis Bergkamp still not 100% after his achilles injury, Francis Jeffers should start up front with Thierry Henry.
However, there's no place in tonight's squad for Jermaine Pennant, who instead will line up for the reserves this week. Given that the PSV game is not a must-win, I thought he'd at least make the bench, but it's not to be. With Pires and Gio on the way back to full fitness, and with Arsenal out of the Worthington Cup, it gets increasingly difficult to see how Pennant will ever get a game. Maybe it's the burden of expectation, a £2m price tag as a 15 year old and everyone dying to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe it's the fact he's making loads of money already, without being in the first team. Maybe he doesn't have that extra drive or self-discipline needed to make the final step up. Maybe it's a little from column A, a little from column B - but I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to try and get first team football elsewhere at the end of the season.
Oh well, you can't miss what you never had, anyway.
And for larks today, why not email Saddam Hussein's son, Uday. Apparently Yahoo and MSN are breaking US trade restrictions by providing the son of Dubya's arch-nemesis with an email address. Expect a US invasion of Yahoo and Microsoft's headquarters, where no doubt they'll manage to accidentally blow up a Chinese embassy or something.
08.55 - Oleg got Man of the Match from The Sun too. Oleg is good for you ...
Despite the injustice of it all, Patrick Vieira seemed to be fresher and sharper after his two game suspension. We all know he's not the same kind of captain as Tony Adams. TA was motivational, able to pump the guys up on the field with his talking and pointing and cajoling. Paddy leads by example with his football, and if he keeps that kind of form up, he'll raise the game of those around him.
Next up is PSV on Tueday. There are injury doubts over David Seaman, Sol Campbell and Dennis Bergkamp, and given the fact we're already through, I'd wouldn't expect them to be risked ahead of Saturday's derby against the foul and fetid Sp*rs. Maybe we'll see Jeffers play with Henry, which would be nice. And maybe we'll see Shabba Ranks in goal, which would be nice, and maybe we'll see Igors Stepanovs in defence, which ...well, you know.
AISA (Arsenal Independent Supporters Association) is surveying Arsenal fans for their views and suggestions for the new stadium. You can download the PDF or Word files from Arsenal- World. I'd like to suggest an Arseblog stand, where swearing is compulsory, the beer is free and the view is fuckin' excellent. Not sure they'll go for it though.
Congrats to Oleg Luzhny who must have picked up his first ever Man of the Match award for Arsenal, duly presented by the News of the World in today's super edition of that quality newspaper.
He comes in for some stick from some lesser minded fans, who fail to appreciate the wonder and sheer force of nature that is this 15 stone Ukrainian bombing down the right at Highbury. He's a decent guy by all accounts, sending 10% of his wages back home to his small village church to help them out. The cynical amongst you might think of an Andrei Kanchelskis type Russian mafia thing, but you'd be wrong. Oh yes.
Oleg is the man. All hail Oleg. In Oleg we trust. An Oleg a day helps you work, rest and play. I can't believe it's not Oleg.....etc
There's a really good interview with Edu in today's Sunday Times. It is on their website, but it says you have to subscribe to be able to read it. So, buy the paper I suppose. At least that doesn't cost £39.99 like their subscription fee. Miserable sods.
Anyway, this has been a good weekend for the Gunners. Comedy goalkeeping from Jerzey Dudek cost the scousers their first loss of the season, comedy defending from the Neville brothers let Citteh run riot in the Manchester derby, so we're 1 behind the Poo, 7 ahead of Utd and it all seems so much better now, eh?
All rise please, this court is now in session. The Honourable Sir Desmond of Lynam presiding.
08.59 - Dennis Bergkamp has reacted angrily to the FA's decision to charge him with misconduct.
He says "The FA are nothing but a bunch of scurrilous, plague carrying cuntsacks". Well, he didn't really, but he is a bit cheesed off with the whole thing. He really says "We (Arsenal) don't want to seem like we are feeling sorry for ourselves but we do feel there have been some harsh decisions against us." Yes, like Patrick Vieira being charged even though comedy ref Andy D'Urso agreed to drop the charges, and Dennis being done for something that the referee dealt with at the time, therefore it shouldn't have gone as far as the FA's trial by TV department.
Other good news is that Sol Campbell and Lauren are struggling to be fit for tomorrow's game against Newcastle. We can cope without Lauren, but I'd put Sol out on crutches rather than play Igors, who quite ridiculously is next in line for a centre half spot in the team. Without Keown, and with Cygan taking more time to find his feet in the Premiership, we're desperately short of cover at the back. I've said this before, I really think we need better quality if we want to be a force in Europe, and let's be honest, the thoughts of Shearer up against Igors and Cygan fills my bowels with fresh poo. Let's have Upson back please Mr Wenger. Please. And if you've got a few bob to spare, start looking for a centre half to bring in during the January sales.
Myles Palmer is growing increasingly eccentric in his column on ANR. What used to be a fine site about Arsenal, with clever insight and some forthright opinion, has now descended into a mish-mash of football in general, Myles' anecdotes about gigs he's seen and in his latest effort he starts talking about the upcoming Newcastle game, and all of a sudden ends up talking about Robert Palmer singing in the back of a van after he left a Jethro Tull concert because it was too loud. For God's sake man. We know you're not an Arsenal fan, but you used to write good Arsenal stuff. Get back to basics Myles, do the simple things, let the ball do the work, and so on....
"Johnny's always running around, trying to find......" ....argh, it's catching. I've caught 'Robert Palmer' from ANR.
08.55 - Well, another defeat. 2-0 up and cruising, and then 3-2 down and losing.
You could say it's just the Worthless Cup and it doesn't really matter, but what it does illustrate is that some of the reserve squad are just not up to the job. It all started so well, Robert Pires scored a goal and Francis Jeffers took his chances with Arsenal's second and you thought it was going just as well as it could.
Then 3 Sunderland goals in the 2nd half put us out. Losing games is never nice. I hate it, no matter how insignificant the competition. Igors Stepanovs returned the starting line-up and from what I've heard and from what other people have said, he had a bit of a nightmare. Charging around, missing the ball, fresh air kicks, the whole lot. Now, I'm not one for slagging players off, but what I will say is that Igors is just not good enough for the Arsenal. He's had plenty of chances, done well sometimes but for the most part he just looks like a fish out of water. AW said after the game "Defending was our weak point." That's because we were playing weak defenders.
The scariest part is that he seems to be next in line should anything happen to Sol or Cygan. For a team that wants to win the Champions League, that's not good enough. Either bring back Matthew Upson and give him a chance or spend some money in January and bring in a decent centre half. Imagine Igors facing a decent team. Shudder.
Also, why not give Rami Shaaban a game in goal? We all know what Stuart Taylor is capable of, i.e looking gormless and picking the ball out of the net. If the new lad can't get a game ahead of him, then I worry about his capabilities as well.
Even better news is that the FA have charged Dennis Bergkamp with misconduct after his supposed 'stamp' on some Blackburn player. The absolute cunts. Unfortunately, they'll cite the incident where Dennis didn't actually stamp on Jamie Carragher as 'previous'. Did I mention the FA were absolute cunts? Still, I said it before, when we won the Double last year and in 97-98, Dennis got a 3 match ban for misconduct so maybe it's a good omen. You hear that? That's the sound of me clutching at straws.
Anyway, could be worse. At least we didn't get beaten by Burnley like the Sp*rs or get knocked out by a team managed by a tremendously ugly ex-player like West Ham. Time for Glenn to go Dead Kenny?
Newcastle next. Must win. No excuses.
08.45 - Last night, just before I went to sleep, I had the most fantastic idea for the blog. It was something that would run and run without ever getting tired. It would amuse, entertain, astonish and enthrall. It would change the blogging world as we know it, and I've only gone and forgotten what it was. Gah.
The only thing I can tell you with any certainty from last night is that it's practically impossible to take a piss, brush your teeth and take off your shoes at the same time. 3 very simple things that just cannot be done together.
Bad news about Martin Keown, he's set to miss at least another 4 games after suffering a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Old bodies take time to heal, and Martin ain't getting any younger. Time to BBM (Bring Back Matt). Arsenal look set to field a pretty strong side in tonight's Worthington Cup game. Gio, Bob, Edu, Jeffers and more all set to start, and we'll probably see Swegyptian keeper Rami Shabaan for the first time.
AW has been criticised in France for not allowing Arsenal's French players to go and play in a charity match to raise money from French flood victims. Patrick Vieira played apparently, but AW refused to let Pires, Wiltord or Henry travel over for the game. Quite right too. He says "I haven't done anything wrong and, frankly, I'm not at all concerned what people say about it."
Could the Victoria Beckham kidnappers have been Peterborough fans? Hard to blame them if they were, especially when you read this. Oi David, sort your missus out, eh?
Everything you ever needed to know about cartoons here. I love cartoons. You can still see some old faves like Hong-Kong Phoeey and Inch High Private Eye on Nickelodeon or the cartoon network. What's your favourite?
08.55 - Years ago, back in Dublin, I used to work as a DJ in a number of really dodgy nightclubs.
Imagine my surprise last night when I was watching cool TV show about a funeral home, 6 Feet Under, when one of my ex-bosses popped up on screen. He was playing a writer/doctor dude, spouting useless self help crap and he got to shag to the bird from Muriel's Wedding in the toilets. Not Muriel, mind. Anyway, well done Tim. Can't help but have a soft spot for a bloke who gives you a job when you're pissed out of your mind and chancing your arm.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Robert Pires, the cruciate twins, are set to start tomorrow night's game against Sunderland as they make their way back to full fitness. AW says of Gio "Van Bronckhorst will play against Sunderland on Wednesday because I want to rest some of my players. He had a different operation from Pires and it has taken him six weeks longer to recuperate"
Matthew Upson is happy with the way his loan spell at Reading is going, and given his comments here, he's gonna be back at Arsenal in a month or so. I did read somewhere that Arsenal can call him back at any minute, should we need him, so that's good, because it's now emerged that Pascal Cygan could be beaten by both classic combatants in a hare vs tortoise race.
Meanwhile, Freddie Ljungberg is giving up the nightlife and the musicals to stay in from now on. He's concerned about safety and reckons he'd be better off with his feet up at home, just in case there's a kidnap attempt a la Posh Spice. He seems particularly worried about invisible baddies, as he says "There are always threats, even if you can't see them." Riiiiight.
Finally, for those of you in the UK, enjoy the fireworks tonight. Try not to lose too many fingers....
08.45 - Ow, stupid beer. *blegurrgle*. Sorry, that's my stomach.
To your left Edu looks triumphant as Steve Marlet does his...er....Edu impression, Thierry looks on slightly bewildered, and the old Fulham fan in the background wishes his ears weren't so big and pointy. Seriously, look at his ear.
Arsene Wenger said he was relieved that the lads got the win at last. You're not the only one boss. Luis Boa Morte caused our defence all sorts of problems yesterday and could have had a couple of pennos, and Monchichi Inamoto showed us all what we missed when we let him leave Arsenal. That being precisely, fuck all.
LBM was always a bit light on his feet though.
Some worrying reports about Pascal Cygan though. Again, the big Frenchman showed he's as quick on the turn as an 18 wheel lorry going round the hairpin at Monte Carlo. Matthew Upson has apparently been performing well for Reading during his loan spell, I reckon it's time to bring him home and give the bald lad a bit of competition for his place. Lauren picked up a knock, which might be a blessing in disguise given the way he's playing at the moment. Expect Oleg to step in with his blinding pace and slight frame.
It's a week for those lovely folk of the North East to visit London. Sunderland come down for the Worthless Cup on Weds, while the Toon army will pillage their way to Highbury for Saturday as Arsenal look for revenge for last season's dramatic defeat. Finally, if you missed it yesterday, there's a great article about Robert Pires here.
I had the pleasure of listening to the first half from the Fulham site - and was treated to a comedy duo the likes of which I haven't heard in ages. A Fulham fan who would yell stuff like 'GET IN THERE STEVE' as the main commentator, and an Arsenal supporting, Julian Clary sound-a-like co-commentator called Carmello. Seriously. The Fulham dude kept going on about a penalty they should have had, and sounded so miserable when we went 1 up. "If ownly we'd 'ad that penawltyy". Ha Ha.
Anyway, Steve Marlet's own goal must be some kind of sign that our luck is changing. It didn't sound at all convincing, and apart from one or two saves, Van der Saar seemed untroubled. Still, a win is a win and 3 points is 3 points and all that. Remember, it was a flukey goal against Everton from Wiltord that started our unbeaten run last time round.
No place in the team or on the bench for Francis Jeffers. Hard to see much of a future for him at the club, but I reckon he'll start against Sunderland in the Worthless Cup. It's not much of a chance, but it's a chance all the same. We'll see how he goes.
I'm sure you all know what a big fan I am of football bodies, like FIFA and the FA. Well, this says more about the English FA than all the swear words I could muster.
I feel at peace now, we've won again. Hurrah. I'm off for a beer. Or eight.
09.31 - Arsenal take on Fulham tomorrow, and Arsene Wenger is confident that the recent run of defeats will come to an end.
The gunners will be up against old team-mates, Luis 'the dead snake' Boa Morte, who says "I am an Arsenal fan still and, if Fulham can't win the title, then I want Arsenal to". We like Luis here, the crazy Ian Wright lookalike. Also, Monchichi Inamoto says he wants to show Arsene Wenger what he's missed out on. Well, we won the league without him playing a single Premiership game, so you could say we didn't miss out on anything. Except for shirt sales in the far east of course.
David Seaman says he has no intention of quitting international football. On his recent form he opines "It is not the end of the world. When I finish football I go home to a happy family." Ahhh, good. The rest of us go home wondering how you got outpaced by Jan fuckin' Koller. I'm of the opinion that the lack of competition for his place has made DS1 a touch complacent, and it doesn't look like that problem is going to be addressed as AW says he has no intention of buying anyone when the transfer window opens in January. Personally, I think Seamo should call it a day at international level and give 100% to Arsenal for the remainder of his career. His unwillingness to do so pisses me off a bit, I have to say.
At least one punter remains confident in Arsenal this season. According to this report, some bloke put £64,000 on Arsenal to win the league. He stands to make a profit of £80,000 if we do. Not great odds for such a huge layout. Cheers to Marcus for the heads up on that story.
Myles Palmer reckons Francis Jeffers has no future at Arsenal. I'd like to see him start against Fulham with Dennis. Thierry needs a rest big time. For his body and for his mind. At least give jug-ears a chance before selling him on in January - look what happened with Edu. Everyone thought his Arsenal career was over before it began, but he took his chance when it was there. As for the rest of his article, Just say 'No', kids.
Dopey fucker of the week award goes to Aston Villa's Darius Vassell who is out injured after trying to drill a hole in his big toe. Seriously. Finally, back to Arsenal friendly blogs, and how could I forget the brothers Fodge, John and his Fauxhemian Rhapsody and Roy, who seems to be growing a moustache for some reason.
08.55 - Welcome to another month here on Arseblog. November already....jeez.
Still, can't be any worse than October. Not much going on - all the papers are going on about "Arsenal's fatigue", "missing Tony Adams", etc etc. Paddy says we'll get it right for Sunday's encounter with the homeless Fulham, so what can we do but hope he's right. The reserves won 2-0 the other night with Giovanni van Bronckhorst playing the full 90, and Jermaine Pennant scoring both goals - a timely reminder to Arsene Wenger of what he's capable of.
When Arseblog started in February this year, I think I'm right in saying it was the first Arsenal blog. Now, there seem to be a number of Arsenal and Arsenal friendly blogs. New Arsenal blogs include One-Nil, Arsenal Shorts (sort of) and I hate Spuds, which is not another Irish man sick of his staple diet, but a gooner's blog about his loathing of Sp*rs.
Arsenal friendly blogs, by which I mean blogs by Arsenal fans but which aren't necessarily about Arsenal include, Diamond Geezer - whose link you'll find on the right now in place of Steve's eatmypiano.org which hasn't been updated since days of yore due to the lack of anything interesting happening in Steve's life; Loopy Librarian which is about library stuff and secret projects; Gman, which hasn't been updated since we lost to Auxerre, so it's quite possible he's topped himself after the Blackburn and Dortmund games; the award winning Scaryduck is another gooner; there's an Arsenal blog in Portugese here; the fabulously titled 'Charging through the midfield'; and maybe this chachacha fella is a gooner too, but I'm not 100% sure about that.
I think that's the lot of them, if I've forgotten any, feel free to leave a comment and tell us about your Arsenal or Arsenal friendly blog. Anyway, I think it's fairly obvious that Arseblog is the Daddy...oh yes, and this lot are my bitches, or something. Anyway, another word of thanks to all of you for visiting Arseblog, last month saw us top 30,000 page views for the first time which is pretty cool. We've come a long way from this. 'tis much appreciated.