With Saturday's game against Wigan coming up Arsene Wenger is confident the title race is still open and it's not all over and done with yet. He feels Chelsea's run of relatively poor results have given the chasing pack hope and with the Abramobitches heading to Highbury in December a lot could change in a short space of time. However, that's for the future. Before then we have to make sure that match still means something. As the boss says "If we beat Chelsea next month but lose our games before that, it would have no meaning."
Still no official confirmation about the extent of Gael Clichy's injury but today I got an email from somebody I've never heard from before who says a bloke he works with lives in the same apartment block and got it from the horse's mouth that he was likely to be out for 3 or 4 months. So there you go.
After Arsene Wenger went to watch Feynoord the other week everyone said we were after Dirk Kuyt. It seems Chelsea are following the Real Madrid school of scouting and are poised to make a bid themselves.
Leaving Arsenal aside you may, or may not, have noticed that as websites go Arseblog is particularly ad free. It's not plastered with those hideous Google ads. That's for two good reasons. One is that I don't want the site plastered with hideous ads, the second is that I'm fucked if I'm giving Google at that information about me. However, as the site grows it does become slightly more expensive to maintain and given the fact Arseblog does at least 1,000,000 page views every month there must be some way to
make some money out of it leverage the enormous potential for financial gain. Now, my personal preference would be to have a sponsor - e.g Arseblog in association with So and So or Thingamijig. So, if you are interested in sponsoring Arseblog or if you know somebody who might be interested please get in touch via the contact page.
Naturally I want to cream it in and retire in 12 months but if that's a little unrealistic I'm certainly willing to discuss a fair price. Of course the love of doing the site keeps me going but the love of the site and the love of money would certainly ensure your high-quality Arseblogging (this Monday excepted) continues unabated. Don't miss this fantastic, thrice in a lifetime opportunity - call now!
And there you go. Pizza for lunch. Hi-ho.
A much less hungover Arseblogger means a slightly more in-depth look at what's going on this morning. We'll start with the fantastic news that Gael Clichy appears to have broken his foot while playing for France U21s and will be out of action for quite some time. The Sun suggests it could be 4 months. Yikes. With Ashley Cole still recovering from an operation that leaves us a bit short in that department. More annoying though is that it's yet another injury picked up while a player is away on international duty. It's hardly the first time it's happened this season and I think Robin van Persie might also have picked up a knock while away with Holland but I'm not sure about that.
It will be interesting to see who plays there against Wigan on Saturday. Cygan seems the most likely candidate, frightening as that sounds, unless Eboue players there, Ryan Garry gets a first start in something like 18 months or we dig right into the youths and play one of them.
I think we've all enjoyed Patrick Vieira calling Ruud van Nistelrooy a cheat, because that's what we all think, but I'm sure lots of you, like me, had a bit of a cringe at Vieira calling Wayne Rooney a diver. Now, I'm not the greatest fan of the enormous Shreklike cunt but one dive does not a diver make. Patrick, it has to be said, was gaining a reputation for his tumbling and to me people who labelled Pires a diver after one incident against Portsmouth were blind to the fact the captain was much worse. His dive against Liverpool last season was shocking. The Times has a bit about it and it's hard not to agree with them when they say it's all good sales material for the book he could surely have waited until his career was over to publish.
Not a lot else happening. Hopefully we'll get some info from the club about the extent of Clichy's injury. I'm off to make a cheese sandwich. Till tomorrow.
Good job there's no news anyway.
Ahhh Sunday. Lashing rain here in Barcelona, so it is. We'll start with congratulations to Philippe Senderos whose goal set Switzerland on their way to a 2-0 win over Turkey in their World Cup qualifying first leg game. Nice header it was too. José Antonio Reyes started for Spain in their Luis Garcia inspired 5-1 win over Slovakia while Thierry Henry started for France as they drew 0-0 (I think) with Germany. I have no idea if he played the whole game though.
The News of the World continues its serialisation of Patrick Vieira's book. This week he's talking about how Arsenal sold him to Juventus this summer and how this time they didn't fight to keep him like other seasons because he wanted to stay at Arsenal for life. According to our faithful, loyal captain "I wasn't too pleased by what I was hearing. It sounded as if the deal had been done already behind my back."
Imagine, Arsenal doing a deal behind the player's back. Especially a player that would never, ever consider doing a deal behind the club's back three summers in a row. Oh no.
Also in the NOTW this week is a story linking us to St Etienne midfielder Didier Zokora. According to his agent "Arsenal are watching Didier very closely and I know Wenger likes him a lot." Apparently the Grimster has been watching him and we'll be battling Manchester United for his signature.
And that's about it. At least this week we can get back to real football. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Good morning, Arsefans. A week into the international dullery but there are still a few bits and bobs going on. There's been a lot of talk about Fernando Torres joining in the January transfer window and the player himself doesn't seem to be averse to a move, saying "If a club like Arsenal and a coach like Arsene Wenger want to speak to you it’s really flattering. Arsenal are in the Champions League every season and I want to play against the best teams and challenge for biggest titles."
If a signing like Torres goes some way to making Henry sign a new contract then it's almost worth it on its own. That aside though he's a quality player and while people might ask what would happen to Robin van Persie if we signed him I don't think that's even an issue. With José looking increasingly like a left-winger and this being definitely Dennis' last season having three top quality strikers over the course of a season is hardly a problem. At the bottom of that Sun article Robin van Persie says "I have scored six but that’s not a lot. We are still in four competitions so a minimum of 15 to 20 goals isn’t an unrealistic target.”
Robin is cool. Robert Pires reveals he came close to joining Juventus this summer and says that he'll sit down with the boss in January to discuss his future. If nothing is agreed with Arsenal he'd fancy a move to Spain or Italy.
And that's about it. Early kick off for our game today. Best have some breakfast to fuel my aging legs. Till tomorrow.
More on the Meheecan to begin with as his club confirmed that he was an Arsenal player and that he's signed a 5 year deal. It also has a clause giving Chivas first option to buy him if we decide to sell and they seem to confirm the plan to loan him elsewhere for the timebeing. There's nothing from Arsenal yet but that's only to be expected.
The Mirror claims that Arsenal are in touch with Fernando Torres' people despite his agent saying no contact had been made. Steve Rowley was in Madrid last weekend to watch him to play and José Antonio Reyes is in no doubt about his quality, saying "Right now only Thierry Henry is superior. He is the best forward in Europe but he is 28 and has a great deal of experience while Torres is only 21. But already Torres is a great player and he has time to progress. With him we could have the best forward line in the world."
It seems that Sol Campbell has been dropped in favour of the hopelessly overrated Rio Ferdinand for England's game against their old Argentinian friends tomorrow. Not good for Sol but good for us and that's all I care about.
And there you go. Thankfully today is Friday. The weeks just seem to be flying by, don't they?
Let's start with more on the Vela story with the BBC quoting the player's father who says "These chances appear only once in somebody's life. Guadalajara wanted Carlos to stay, but we have reached an amicable agreement."
The player himself says "My desire is to go to Europe and it’s all set up with Arsenal. They are an extraordinary club."
So there you go. That's something. Something else is an injury free Sol Campbell. Will it be third time lucky for him as the last two times he's been on England duty he's picked up a knock? He's hoping his good pre-season will stand him in good stead and says "The main thing is that I have to stay fit -- and it's as simple as that. Because once I get a good head of steam and start playing games, I feel more confident and I can do more on the pitch."
Arturo Lupoli continued his reserve goalscoring as he bagged a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Charlton. That brings his tally to 734 in just 8 games this season.
Thierry Henry played the full 90 for France last night and scored a late winner as they came from behind to beat Costa Rica 3-2.
No doubt he'll play the full 90 of the next match, do his groin again and be out for 6 weeks. Hurrah!
That's it. I'm off to work.
Morning all. A few bits and bobs to tell you about this morning.
Let's start with the news that the Mexican Carlos Vela is strongly rumoured to have signed for the club. There are no confirmed details yet but a story in Spanish daily El Mundo suggests that he signed yesterday but will play, on loan, for Valencia until he reaches the required age to play for Arsenal. Now, given the fact we signed Cesc at 16 and gave him his debut at the same age I'm not sure what that means. It's not as if you have to be 18+ to play for Arsenal. If that is what's going on it's more likely he's going there to gain European citizenship or get enough caps for his national side until he can get the work permit required to come to Arsenal. All a bit weird and terribly continental of us to sign a player then loan him elsewhere. No doubt we'll hear more about this soon enough.
Meanwhile The Sun is reporting an upcoming £20m bid for Fernando Torres in the January transfer window.
In other news the boss is worried about burn out for Kolo Toure and Thierry Henry. Given Thierry's injury struggle we all understand that but Kolo faces a couple of pointless friendlies, then the African Nations in January and the World Cup next summer. He's certainly one of the best athletes at the club but everyone has their breaking point. Arsene Wenger is asking the respective national associations not to play both players for both of the upcoming friendlies. Here's hoping they listen for once.
Finally, the September Part 1 archive is pretty much fucked. I'm trying to piece it together again using RSS scrapes but stand-by for a plea for help. Not just yet but if anyone, for some reason, has got it all saved please keep it saved. I'll let you know more if need be.
Right, pizza for lunch today. Mmmmmm, cold pizza. No really, I love it.
Ow, football training last night. My old legs can't take the punishment.
Not much happening as we ease our way into the 43rd international break so far this season. We know Arsene Wenger was in Holland the other day and it seems he was watching striker Dirk Kujt. The player says "I do find it special that a top coach like Wenger takes the trouble of coming from England to Rotterdam to look at me."
He's scored 56 goals in the last two seasons so he knows where the net is, but we saw Kezman (who scored about 6,000 a season) struggle when he came to the Premiership so there's no guarantee he'll do it in England. Still, it gives us something to talk about.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, else going on. This could be a slow week, friends.
Here's hoping Mourinho has some kind of a breakdown and calls Arsene Wenger some other ridiculous names...
A decent weekend all round then as United did Chelsea at Old Trafford yesterday which, while not exactly blowing the title race wide open, did enough to make sure it's not all over and done with yet. A good win for them if not a good performance and Chelsea will have to start over again to get near our 49 unbeaten record. It also might just give other teams a bit more heart when playing them.
Arsene Wenger wasn't watching that game yesterday though. He was in Holland watching Feynoord draw 0-0 with Vitesse Arnhem and the smart money says he was watching Egyptian midfielder Hossam Ghaly while Sky Sports covers all bases by linking us with around 5 players.
Ruud van Nistelrooy may sue Patrick Vieira after the former Arsenal captain called him a 'Horse-faced, cheating, diving, stinking wanker of a coward son of a bitch motherfucking cuntbashing skankhammer', or something similar, in his new book which was serialised in the News of the World yesterday.
Now, once again we have a big gap until our next game which is away at high-flying Wigan. International friendlies of all things. This season just seems to be stop-start and there's no need for this round of matches. It's a fucking pain in the hole is what it is.
Oh well, we'll just have to grin and bear it and if it gets too boring we'll just make up our own news. Hurrah!
A very brief one as my hangover will allow nothing more. A good win over Sunderland yesterday. Robin van Persie showed he can do it when he starts as well with the opening goal and two for Thierry Henry who Arsene Wenger called the world's best. All good and it looks like we're picking up a bit of momentum right now.
Patrick Vieira on Ruud van Nistelrooy: "Everyone thinks he is a nice guy but, in fact, he's a son of a bitch."
I have to commend his restraint.
I'm sure I could think of much worse things to call him.
My team won 2-1 yesterday against our arch-enemies. Tremendously satisfying I have to say which is probably why I was able to drink much more beer than I should have. Some breakfast now then the couch awaits for the rest of the day. Till tomorrow, arsers.
Lies-in are good, even if it's just a bit more than an hour. It all counts.
Responding to Moaninho's half-arsed offer of an apology Arsene Wenger was forthright in his reply. He said "I will still give my opinion about Chelsea if I want to. Nothing will stop me doing that. We are not in a dictatorship."
And he's right too. We're beginning to see the real Mourinho now and the boss expressed his amazement that Chelsea had compiled a 120 page dossier on Arsenal and the manager's comments. The more you read about it the more it smack of paranoia on a massive scale.
Anyway, the whole thing has been great copy all week but we have more important thing to focus on today such as Sunderland at home.
AW took some time off from talking about Mourinho and Chelsea to talk about Robin van Persie who looks set to start today's game. He said "He is making huge progress at the moment. He is a kind of guy who can play centre-forward and knows enough football to play a little deeper. At the moment, I see him more in front as the first striker. I bought him not to put him on the bench, but to develop him and bring him into the side."
And Robin is happy to bide his time, saying "If the boss puts me on for the whole game I'm happy with that. If he plays me for 15 minutes I'm happy with that. I know he has faith in me, trusts me and that's the main thing."
Refreshing attitude from a player who is fast becoming a big favourite with Arsenal fans after not really convincing some on his arrival. I've said it before but I think he's got incredible potential and given the games certainly has 20 goals a season in him.
And that's about it. Big match in my league today. We're playing the Chelsea/Man United equivalent. Wish us luck! Till tomorrow.
Brief blog this morning. Jose Mourinho has offered to apologise to Arsene Wenger if Arsene Wenger apologises for making him spend all his time making a 120 page scrapbook filled with AW's witty quotes. He says "If he is ready to apologise from Highbury about the quotes and quotes and quotes about Chelsea, I'm ready to do the same."
The only thing I'd send him from Highbury is a plague carrying poxmonkey, the fucking cunt. Earlier AW was critical of the press for distorting his comments saying he never called Mourinho stupid. "Have I said he is stupid? By implication? You have to respect what I say and not what you think I have said."
He went on like that for a while and quite frankly I have no idea what he was on about but for me life is much easier if I just go on thinking he called Mourinho stupid. I suggest you do the same.
In other news Dennis has been talking to Arsenal.con about the tough tests ahead in the Champions League and the form of fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie who is not giving up on the Premiership just yet. He says "Everyone is saying Chelsea this, Chelsea that, but so what? They have a good squad if we're honest but we have a good squad as well and will fight for it. In the end we'll see where we are."
Sol Campbell, sensitive soul that he is, says the taunts and abuse he receives at White Hart Lane still affects him. Next time we go there he should drop his pants at the end of the game and shit in the centre circle. Then the taunts he gets after that will take his mind off the taunts he gets at the moment.
After Colegate Ashley is determined to do everything he can to make himself look good and now he's given his support to a campaign called, and I'm not making this up, Give Landmines the Boot.
Considering the injuries those things cause it's pretty tasteless you have to say. Next up Ashley opens a Children of Chernobyl House of Horrors.
Injury news ahead of the Sunderland game tomorrow sees Jens Lehmann return but Freddie Ljungberg is still out with his hamstring strain.
And that's it. No so brief really. And thank fuck it's Friday, this has been a long week.
It's a strange feeling not breaking out the usual post-Champions League game template here on Arseblog but I'm enjoying. A 3-0 win over Sparta Prague ensures our qualification and only two late Ajax goals stopped us qualifying as group winners with two games spare. This isn't the Arsenal we know but who's complaining.
Thierry opened the scoring after 23 minutes. As the ball rolled across the pitch he curled it into the bottom corner having started it at least a couple of feet outside the post. Another class goal from the captain. Previously Dennis Bergkamp had hit the bar and had another couple of chances as he was surprisingly preferred to Robin van Persie up front. Almunia, in goal for the injured Jens Lehmann, made a decent stop from a Sparta player in the second half but they didn't do much more.
It was all very scrappy for most of the second half, the Arsenal fans made their own entertainment with 'FUCK OFF MOURINHO' songs. That all changed when Robin van Persie came on though. The boy has got a real eye for goal and within a couple of minutes he cracked a free kick in which would certainly have been a goal had it been a foot or two either side of the keeper.
His first came when the ball broke to Dennis Bergkamp who played it through to Robin on his right foot. He came back inside one defender, then another then finished brilliantly into the top corner. A really, really great goal. Then just a few minutes later Eboue broke down the right, cut the ball back into the box and it fell to Robin who finished neatly with his right foot. He nearly had a hat-trick too but the keeper spoiled that. Not bad considering he didn't come on until the 65th minute.
He's surely got to start starting games now. He always looks like a goal threat, he's a clever player and when he's benched he never complains but comes on and makes sure the boss knows what's he's capable of. His emphatic reply to being left on the bench last night was two goals. You can't ask for more.
The second half wasn't all one way traffic, it should be noted. Prague hit the bar, put one header over when Almunia's one bad kick of the night put us under pressure and from another corner one of their lads was free in the box but blasted it over because he was crap. They also had lots of long shots like the game in Prague. Apart from the one Manuel saved the rest were not in any way troublesome.
Afterwards the manager was quick to praise the two goal Dutchman saying "Robin is improving. We've made big steps with him, he's found his confidence and it's very positive." He also said that Thierry Henry had suffered no reaction to the injury which kept him out of the Sp*rs game and that early qualification in Europe would help us concentrate on the Premiership.
He was slightly concerned about the shakiness of the defence at times. Bring back Senderos. That'll see us right.
Going back to the topic of the week I totally forgot to the put this quote in yesterday from Arsene Wenger when talking about Mourinho. As it's one of the boss's great quotes I need here for posterity. He said "I just think that when you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent."
Beautiful. The latest is that Peter Kenyon, of all people, is set to give Chairman PHW a call to offer an olive branch. If he rang me and offered me an olive branch I'd shove it up his arse, the wanky, Uncle Fester looking cunt and it wouldn't be an olive branch but a 12 guage shotgun. Yesterday our Chairman said
"I think it is best people don't talk about individuals. For instance, I don't think I should make comments about other chairmen."
He may have a point although I'd love to have heard him call Martin Edwards a peeping Tom and Ken Bates a smurf fucker. Maybe that's just me though.
As for AW he's still considering 'action' but will take some time to think about it. Elsewhere United's poor form continued as they got beaten 1-0 by Lille. Not such great preparation ahead of Sunday's game with Chelsea where, much as it might pain us, we need them to get a result.
And that's it. Sunderland ahead this weekend. Tonight is a PES5 tournament against the Italians in work. I will destroy them, oh yes.
"Out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful".
Arsene Wenger reacting (video of press conference - the last 30 or 40 seconds are particularly interesting and those quotes have not appeared in print as of yet) to Jose Mourinho's 'voyeur' and 'sicko' remarks yesterday. He also didn't rule out taking further action over Mourinho's comments but I don't think it will come to that. As I mentioned on Sunday Wenger was just answering a question put to him about Chelsea. He didn't call a press conference specifically to make remarks about Chelsea. As he said ""I will see whether I take any action about that. I don't know yet, but I leave that door open."
And at the moment Chelsea are the main topic of conversation. Can they be caught? Is the title race over? What does the self-styled 'special one' expect? That people shouldn't say anything about his club when asked? I don't think so. What this does show us is a definite paranoia on Mourinho's part. It's easy for him to be cocky and self-assured when his £270m team is winning all the time but they won't win all the time (starting with last night, har har) and when things start to go a bit wrong it will be interesting to see how he reacts. Remember, Chelsea fans were the ones who booed their team off at half-time when they were losing 1-0 to Bolton. No pressure there then. Imagine what losing a game would be like. Worse than some of the pityful over-reaction of some Arsenal fans, that's for sure.
People have called Mourinho a breath of fresh air. Personally I think he's arrogant, rude and without the slightest ounce of humility. Maybe that's what makes him successful and if it is then good for him. Don't expect anyone to like it though or expect people not to see through it. I think the wealth at Chelsea gives him a cushion to behave in a way he wouldn't at another club. We already know he's a liar after the Ashley Cole incident and his remarks about Wenger were childish and unnecessary.
Arsene Wenger has always been very honest in his press conferences. It's why the journos love them. He's always got a quote for them. They ask him about football and he gives them an answer. It might be Chelsea, it might be Man United, it might Real Madrid, it might be racism in the game, it might be anything but they know he'll give them a good, honest answer. Maybe that's to his detriment when smug cunts like Mourinho take what he's said the wrong way and the journos love Jose too because he's a rent-a-quote of a different kind.
And he just won't stop, claiming to have a dossier of 120 pages of Arsene Wenger talking about Chelsea within minutes of Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Real Betis last night. Hasn't he got anything else to do? Or rather couldn't he have his lackeys do something more productive? At the height of our rivalry with Man United it was almost inconcievable that another club or manager could be more loathsome than them but Chelsea and Mourinho are making a really fuckin good go of it.
If you asked me 100 times to choose between Arsene and Mourinho as Arsenal manager I'd choose AW every time. No question. He's clever, witty, a great manager and he's got a sense of right and wrong that I like to think most Arsenal fans share. Mourinho is working for a club funded in a most dubious fashion by a man whose ruthlessness is well documented elsewhere. They lack morals. When the man at the top is the type of man he is it's no wonder Mourinho feels he can say what he wants, when he wants.
I'm glad Arsene gave him both barrels back. It was no less than he deserved. I hope it doesn't go as far as legal action. I'm not sure the comments merit it but I'll give the last word to our manager who says "There wasn't anything malicious in what I said. I was asked a question about Chelsea and I gave an honest answer, just as I expect any other manager to do when he is asked about Arsenal. I can't see what is wrong there, or we would all have to close our press conferences."
Injury news ahead of tonight's game is mixed. Freddie Ljungberg is out with a hamstring strain while Thierry Henry has a 'good chance' to play after missing the North London derby against Sp*rs.
Safety's new Mac has taken a hammering again as he brings you another fine article. Is it better to have loved and lost? Read it to find out.
I wish I had words to describe this. Absolutely shameful. Nearly as bad as his performances on the pitch this season. Arf.
There you go, a busy morning.
Welcome to a brand new month on Arseblog. Only 8 weeks till Christmas and only 365 days until this day next year. So what exciting news do we have to bring us into what has been, in the past, a traditionally difficult month for the mighty Arsenal?
Well, the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) dismissed Marseille's appeal over the Mathieu Flamini transfer. They wanted the deal overturned and for the player to return to them. They also upheld the $480,000 fee that Arsenal paid for the time Marseille spent training him. In a statement yesterday the club said "The decision shows that Arsenal Football Club and Mathieu Flamini have at all times acted appropriately in this matter. Both the club and the player are looking forward to putting this behind them and moving on."
So all's well that ends well in that case. Kolo Toure on Robin van Persie - "Robin is a great young player and we will definitely see more from him."
Hopefully he'll get a start tomorrow against Sparta Prague.
A question and answer thingy with former captain Frank McLintock (yes, it's a quiet day and I'm desperate to fill space).
The big non-Arsenal story of the morning is Roy Keane's interview for United's own TV channel in which he blasted his team-mates as not good enough to play for Manchester United. He singled out Alan Smith (har, blue lipped twat), Kieron Richardson, Darren Fletcher, John O'Shea and Liam Miller as being way below the standards expected at a big club like United. The boss of MUTV decided it was too inflammatory and pulled it from schedules to be replaced by Gary Neville's Prank Phone Call hour, or something.
Keane was said be upset after seeing United get battered by Boro at the weekend. Maybe this is his way of motivating his colleagues, can't see that it would be particularly effective though. And as funny and hilarious as it is to see things like this it's slightly worrying in that United play Chelsea next and they are one of the only teams who we can realistically expect to take points of the blues. With this latest incident on top of Ferdinand's dreadful form (substituted 3 minutes from time just so the manager can make a point) and van der Sar now showing he's actually as dodgy as fuck it doesn't bode well for Sunday.
And you thought we had it bad?!
Right, holiday here today but I'm off to work because I'm a dedicated professional. *cough*...