08.39 - Not even Thierry the Vampire player could save Arsenal last night.
Arsene Wenger was unusually caustic when talking about last night's referee. He says "The referee made the difference, all credit to him. He scored a good second goal and deserves a mention. It was a good dive for people who accuse us of diving."
I suppose we've been lucky enough, in that two of our 4 defeats in a row have come in Europe and that we're through to the second phase with a game to spare. We play PSV at home next Tuesday and I reckon we should make a couple of changes.
Let's see Shaaban have a go in goal. Let's give Jeffers a run up front. Let's give Gilberto a rest - previous to this AW has always said a player who comes from South America needs a few months to settle in, but Gilberto has played almost every minute of every game. Give Edu a few games now, he was a fixture in the team that went unbeaten for so long last season.
Give Thierry a rest. Give Wiltord a rest. Give Pennant a lash. We have a big squad, the PSV game means nothing in terms of qualification, and if we can't give the other squad players a chance then, when can we?
From reading the reports, it's fairly obvious that Jan Koller dived over Seaman to win the penalty, but all these things that are happening to poor old DS are now happening so regularly it's getting quite worrying. The problem is, we don't have anyone better. I'm convinced that the presence of Richard Wright, who potentially could have been Arsenal's #1, kept DS on his toes last season. This season he has no competition for his place, and I think that's a factor. Carini would have provided that competition, Shaaban and Stuart Taylor don't. With the best will in the world, I think Seaman's time has passed, it's time to look for a long term replacement, not another short term stop-gap, and the sooner we do that the better. Rüstu in January?
Anyway, it's all a bit worrying at the moment, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a crisis....yet. We'll see what happens on Sunday against Fulham in a game that Arsenal have to win.
Happy Halloween Gooners, but last night was fright night.
Mixed feelings right now. Happy that because of PSV''s victory over 9 man Auxerre, Arsenal are guaranteed a place in the 2nd phase of the Champions League. Unhappy that Arsenal have lost 4 games in a row for the first time in 19 years.
Tonight sounded like another comedy of errors. A Gilberto own goal gave them an equaliser after Thierry Henry's free kick had put Arsenal ahead. David Seaman's nightmare goes on as he gave away a penalty when he was outpaced by Jan Koller to a ball in the box. 2-1 the Germans, whose stadium announcer sounded like something from Hitler's rallies.
A couple of half chances, but nothing more. We didn't spark again tonight and the manager has got some hard work to do and some big decisions to make before Sunday.
Oh, and the comments thingy appears to be a bit bollixed at the moment. Sorry. However, there's always the forum.
08.55 - Arsene Wenger takes charge of his 100th European game as a manager tonight, and has provided a rather funny soundbite to celebrate.
"A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her so, she forgets she is beautiful. It is the same with a team. When you do not tell them they are good, they can also forget."
He reckons Arsenal need to focus on what they've achieved over the last 7 months, rather than dwell on what's happened in the last week. Robert Pires is likely to start from the bench again, making my team prediction on the forum completely wrong. Sheesh.
No word if Jeffers is fit again, but hopefully he'll have overcome whatever career threatening virus/injury/knock/disability/strain/niggle he's been suffering with lately. You know, with those ears, he really could become Arsenal's white elephant. Of course, Patrick Vieira is free to play tonight and with the a nice rest behind him having sat out Saturday's Blackburn defeat, our captain should be raring to go in Dortmund tonight.
Arseweb is running a story to say that PSV Eindhoven are going to appeal against the fine of £22,500 imposed on them for their fans chanting racist abuse at Arsenal players. Scabby bastards, just pay it and get on with it. In funnier news though, those lovely folks at Bayern Munich are out of the Champions League having been beaten 2-1 by Deportivo last night. Ha. Love it.
A big night ahead for the lads. A draw will see us through, a win would be lovely, defeat unthinkable. I'm nervous already.
13.45 - A little guessing game.
1 - A player elbows another player in the face in full view of the referee and TV cameras. The referee does not book the offending player, and the FA wait until the referee makes his report to announce they will not pursue the matter further because the referee in question saw and dealt with the incident at the time, as outlined in the FA's rules.
2 - A player tussling for the ball appears to 'stamp' on another player in full view of the referee and TV cameras. The referee does not book the player, but before he makes his report the FA request a copy of the video as they feel the incident merits futher investigation, contrary to their own rules.
Which one of these players is England captain?
When Edu scored the equaliser for us on Saturday against Blackburn, making up for his earlier own goal, you might remember he fell to his knees in prayer. I've been looking all over for the picture, and I've found it. It's a really top class shot, and it's now available in the 'other' section as a wallpaper. Enjoy.
He cites Dennis Bergkamp's feather like 'stamp' on a Blackburn player and Patrick Vieira's made-up suspension for not swearing at referee Andy D'Urso as reasons why Arsenal will fall short of their objectives this season. Now, Sadler has been reporting on football since World War I, and has lived through the era of 'hard men' like Chopper Harris, Tommy Smith, the Leeds team of the 70s and the rest. If football was played today the way it was then, we'd end with 6 a side in most matches.
Anyway, Sadler prefers to wag his self-important finger at Arsenal while there are far worse things going on. Take George Boateng for example. He spat at the feet of Leeds players going off the pitch last Saturday, attacked Nick Barmby in the tunnel, told the press he'd been racially abused to take away from his behaviour and compounded his lie by saying he'd made up with Barmby after the match in the player's bar. None of which is true. Leeds were prepared to drop the whole thing until they heard Boateng's catalogue of lies. Maybe Sadler might be better of getting on his high horse about this sort of outrageous behaviour than taking any opportunity to knock Arsenal and a player who has graced the premiership for the last 7 years.
Dortmund's Tomas Rosicky has revealed the Germans view David Seaman as a weak link ahead of tomorrow's champions leauge game. "I am told he had eight shots at his goal and that six of them went in. I hope he will play in the same way against us." I'd call him a German cunt, except he comes from Czechoslovakia.
Right, somebody suggested yesterday that we should have a kind of a forum where regular readers can post their match reports, opinions etc. Being the kind and obliging sort that I am, here it is. We'll see how it works out because I don't want to take too much away from the comments feature on the main page, but have a go and let me know what you think. Feel free to make any suggestions, either by email, in the 'arses' section or on the forum itself. Ideally, it'll be used for off-topic stuff, while the 'arses' will be used to comment on my normal day to day ramblings.
09.01 - Here's an interesting statistic - at the same point last season Arsenal had 4 points less than we did now. The 11th game of the season was a 4-2 home defeat by Charlton. It seems that after the game on Saturday, Arsene Wenger kept the players in the dressing room for an hour for a post-mortem on the game and current form of the team.
Taking it as simply as I can, I reckon we need to focus more on how we play without the ball. The midfield need to protect the back 4 better, and the forwards need to hassle the opposition defenders more. Defend from the front and all that.
Dennis Bergkamp will not travel to Dortmund for the game on Wednesday and looks set to be charged by the FA for allegedly stamping on a Blackburn player. I saw it on TV and it's pretty innocuous, so expect a 3 game for Dennis - which might itself not be a bad thing, because every time we've done the double, he's picked up a 3 match ban somewhere along the way. Seems a bit odd to leave Dennis at home though, especially when we need a result against Dortmund and we don't play in the Premiership again until Sunday.
This is from The Sun - "... there is little doubt they [Arsenal] require some sort of result in Dortmund on Wednesday to prevent a series of hiccups becoming a seizure. Especially since the coming month is traditionally known at Highbury as Black November. To do that, they will be helped no end if certain of their so-called supporters stay at home. There can be little argument that a section of the Arsenal crowd in the East and West Stands are an uncouth, bully-boy lot whose knee-jerk reaction to things not going their way is to pick on the easiest targets."
I don't think I need to add to that.
09.25 - I thought it was the new logo that was causing us problems. It wasn't. Turns out it was Dead Kenny putting Thierry Henry on his fantasy team last Saturday. Why I outta....
Apparently, I'm the sort of Arsenal fan that needs to 'wake up' according to one bloke on the Arsenal World message board. It seems remaining positive after what had been a pretty crappy week for the Arsenal is not allowed. I should not say 'Watch out Blackburn'. I should not have any faith in a team that 10 days ago was on top of the world, playing the sort of football that would bring us glory at home and in Europe. I should not say "We will not lose to Dortmund", even though I didn't say that at all.
He says "Concerned fans critise the action, not the players. If you are not able to separate the two, you are one miserable person in real life."
I'm not sure exactly what he means by that to be honest, but it strikes me that he's the miserable person, doing his best to spread his gloomy outlook far and wide, unable to put the last week into perspective. He goes on to say "If we keep on considering our losses as FLUKES, we will never acknowledge our weaknesses and improve." Who said anything about the losses being flukes? And as for acknowledging our weaknesses, feel free to tell us all what they are, so we can pass that information on to Arsene Wenger who obviously doesn't have a clue.
Look, the last thing I want is to spend my time defending the way I support Arsenal to another Arsenal fan. If he thinks the last week is a clear indication that we 'may be heading for the shithole', then fair enough. Personally, I think his reluctance to offer even a screed of support after a week like this says it all.
Me, of course I'm a bit worried - there's no doubt we're not performing as well as we can, but I have confidence in the manager and the players' ability to turn it around. Haven't they proved themselves well capable of doing it in the past?
The joy of listening to a football match on the radio. Not the best of weeks for the gunners. The first time we've lost 3 in a row for 2 years. Still, maybe after everyone pronouncing us invincible just a few weeks ago, they'll be writing us off now.
I think I prefer it that way. Let's be honest, at some point in the season we had to go through a sticky patch. I'd much rather it happened early in the season than in the latter stages. It's not as if this team doesn't possess quality in abundance. We're not a bad side overnight. A test of mental strength as much as anything now. This is really going hurt them. Are they gonna sulk or are they gonna use that hurt to pick themselves up and start performing again?
I don't think we'll lose our next game.
09.54 - Good news for Arsenal fans is that Andy Cole and Damien Duff are likely to be missing for Blackburn today. Robert Pires is likely to start for the gunners, although he's not sure he'll last the full 90 minutes.
Myles Palmer urges the Arsenal supporters to make some noise today, to get behind the team, to stop "sending text messages, stop talking about what was on TV last night, stop waving at the TV cameras, stop passing round bags of sweets, and doing all the other dopey TV-generation things that so many fans would rather do than concentrate on the game and GIVE THE TEAM THE VOCAL SUPPORT THAT THEY NEED AND DESERVE!!!!!" Superb use of the exclamation mark, eh?
If they made a movie with John Wayne about an Arsenal supporter set in Ireland, it would be called 'The Quiet Fan'.
George Graham reckons Stephen Carr could 'do a Sol' and move to Arsenal when his contract runs out. He could keep Jeffers company in the treatment room, I guess.
09.03 -<rant> Barry Bright, John Davey, Peter Heard and Alan Turvey.
'Who the fuck are they?' I hear you ask. Well, they're the 4 members of the FA discipinary panel who dished out the 2 game ban and £25,000 fine to Patrick Vieira. Just thought I'd tell you.
Anyway, this article in The Sun clears up the 'insulting words' - 'abusive words' puzzle that we pondered yesterday. When referee Andy D'Urshole made his report on the Chelsea game, he claimed that Patrick Vieira called him "..a fucking wanker with no personality".
Those 4 men listened to the evidence and decided that Paddy did tell the 'referee' that he had no personality, but did not call him a "fucking wanker". So, the FA's disciplinary panel have made it quite clear that Mr D'Urshole was lying when he said Paddy called him a "fucking wanker". His report was inaccurate. False.
Is there some reason why the FA won't punish a referee for making stuff up in an attempt to make life worse for a player he's booked or sent off every time he's in charge of an Arsenal game? You might also remember that when he was sent off against Chelsea, it was because Jesper Gronkjaer kicked the bottom of Vieira's boot as he cleared the ball, and the Chelsea player went as far as admitting this afterwards.
Despite that, D'Urshole would not rescind the card, because obviously he has magic powers. Even when he's completely wrong, and TV shows him to be completely wrong, and the opposition player tells him he's completely wrong, he's always right.
I would suggest emailing or writing to the FA about this, but as I'm sure you're all aware by now, you'll just get a bog-standard reply which will leave you none the wiser and more frustrated. At the end of the day though, The FA are employing a referee who has quite blatantly falsified a match report. Why should supporters of Arsenal, or any other team have to put up with that?
Also today, FIFA are UEFA are discussing plans to limit the number of foreign players clubs are allowed to field. One suggestion is that a minimum of 6 players should be eligible for the national team of the league they're playing in. Quite apart from the whole Bosman - free movement of trade within the EU rules thing, and the legal minefield that would open up, who the fuck are these cunts to tell us who can play for our team. Supporters pay their money to watch the best players, irrespective of nationality.
If this went through, Arsenal would have to choose 5 from Lauren, Cygan, Vieira, Edu, Pires, Wiltord, Henry, Kanu, Bergkamp, Toure, van Bronckhorst, Ljungberg and others to play alongside 6 English players. Man Utd would have to choose from Veron, Keane, van Punchalot, Solskjaer, Barthez, Silvestre, O'Shea, Blanc, Forlorn, Fortune etc. Chelsea & Liverpool might as well give it up. It would damage English football to no end. FIFA's only interest in football is in national teams, and now that the standard of league football across Europe is superior to international football, the fat cats are worried how it will affect their income for the World Cup etc.
God, I hate them sooooo much. They just can't help themselves meddling when there is no need. I'm going to lie down now.</rant>
17.55 - Paddy cops a 2 match ban and a £25,000fine from the FA. He was found guilty of using insulting words to the referee, but cleared of using abusive words.
Just to clear it up, insulting words he might have said to Mr D'Urshole include "Wanker, prick, twat, muppet, shithead, pox riddled spunk master, cockgoblin, gashface, poo eater, pig fucker, Barrymore, dick, window licker, spasmo mentaler, vomit drinking whore, cuntfaced cunt with the face of a cunt and referee."
We make no claim as to the authenticity of those insulting words, but if we were Patrick Vieira that's what we would have said, but we're not so we didn't. Not even just now. That was someone else. Anyway, in a situation like this where it's just the referee's word against the player's word, how can they impose such a ban and fine? Not even the most basic court of law would convict on one person's word (apart from all those courts Amnesty International are complaining about, but they don't count.)
Here's the statement from Arsene Wenger who says Arsenal will consider appealing. The games Paddy is scheduled to miss are Southampton away and ...how typical...Spurs at home.
08.55 - Patrick Vieira is up in front of the FA's disciplinary panel today to answer claims that he verbally abused 'referee' Andy D'Urshole after his sending off against Chelsea. Some sources say Arsenal will be employing the services of a lip reader in Paddy's defence.
Lip reader: "Mr. Vieira said quite clearly that Mr D'Urshole was a wanker with no personality"
FA Panel: "Well, we can't argue with that. Case dismissed".
Robert Pires scored for the reserves last night as he works his way back to match fitness. Gio also played as he makes his comeback from a cruciate injury and goals from Bob and Edu gave us a 2-0 win. More here from Arseweb.
Going back to an earlier post this week, this is an interesting point of view from Arsenal World's message board. It's quite staggering to think that there are fans - and I use that term lightly - who would boo this team. For me, going to Highbury to see Arsenal play is a treat. Obviously I don't get to go that often, so when I do, I'll shout my head off for the 90 minutes, supporting the team. People who boo aren't supporters. They're self-serving, post Euro 96 'football fans' who just happen to have chosen Arsenal as their team. They exect us to win every game handsomely, perform like the Harlem Globetrotters and when we don't their fragile egos take over because they're worried about what their Chelsea or Tottenham or Man Utd 'supporting' friends going to say at the next dinner party round at Tarquin's town house.
The best part of this bloke's post is this "As for those who boo isn’t it about time the rest of us took these people to task?" Couldn't agree more. These people need to be told to support the team or to fuck off back to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon.
Websters dictionary definition of supporter: "an adherent; one who sustains, advocates, and defends; as, the supporter of a party, faction, or candidate." Defends, not criticises. Sustains - implying a constant, not part-time support. Advocates - gives assistance, help, lift, support, promotes; it doesn't involve calling players 'useless cunts'.
It is time to take these people to task, isn't it? Losing a game of football is terrible, nobody likes it. What makes it worse though is having to listen to the worthless, ill-informed, cringeworthy opinions of the 'new football fan'. Discuss.
16.14 - The people have spoken. The old logo returns. Watch out Blackburn, that's all I'm saying.
Thierry Henry says the defeat last night was down to the players being tired. Another reason to piss all over international football, douse it in rubbing alcohol and set it on fire. Without doubt the recent internationals have interrupted our momentum, but with the return of the new logo, I expect the players to be fit as fiddles come Saturday.
Here's a thing sent in by Derek from One-Nil. A quiz on what Premiership team you should support. Like Derek, I ended up with Southampton. What a load of shit. No wonder people won't pay their licence fee if the Beeb is wasting money on stuff like that.
Finally, a quick reminder that on Sky One tonight there's a program called 'Football Years' or something at 10pm (GMT). Anyway, it's looking back at the '88-'89 season. You know the one, last minute winners, Mickey Thomas and his fish out of water celebrations, dejected scousers.....sweet.
"...and here comes Thomas, charging through the midfield...."
See Arseweb's cool Anfield 89 page for downloads of the goals and more. Enjoy.
00.15 - Now, I'm not really the superstitious type - if you leave aside the fact that I try wear the same pair of socks my daughter bought me for Christmas for every home game, the extremely well groomed and immaculately cultivated 'Pires chin stripe' that I grew after the Newcastle game last season (3-1 defeat at THOF and we didn't lose a league game from then on), my countless 'lucky' Arsenal shirts and the charmed 1970 World Cup Brazil shirt which seems to work quite well to be honest. Leaving those things aside, I have no superstitions.
So, I am somewhat disturbed by the recent chain of events. Here's what happened. Last Friday I was kind of bored, so I made a small change to the Arseblog logo on your left. So small that nobody seemed to notice enough to pass commment.
You can see the old logo to your right -------->
Anyway, I change the logo, we lose our magnificient unbeaten run to a last minute goal from a 16 year old scally, and then lose at home to Auxerre meaning we've lost two games in a row since God knows when.
Coincidence or did the old logo have magical, unbeatable powers? Now, here's the dilemna. I prefer the new logo in terms of how it looks, but obviously it hasn't proved itself results wise yet. Can I afford to give it another chance against Blackburn on Saturday, or should I revert to the less spectacular but undoubtedly more effective old logo?
As I'm not a superstitious person - and I think you can tell that I'm not - we'll make it democratic and take a vote. What say you, old or new?
Two defeats in 3 days. Well, we're not used to this. Not even the return of Bob could save the day. Sounded like Auxerre played pretty well, and we didn't exactly spark again. Maybe those of you who saw it can leave a comment about how it looked, rather than relying on my purely aural judgement.
One comment from what I heard though - perhaps it's time to rotate Edu and Gilberto in midfield. I like Gilberto, but maybe Edu gives us a more offensive edge in the centre. Whaddya reckon?
We've waited 6 long months for this, and the good news from Arsenal's training ground yesterday is that Robert Pires is in the squad for tonight's game against Auxerre.
I don't expect him to start the game, but I'm quite sure he'll get a decent run out. If we're winning, he'll come on and it'll be party time. If we need something from the game, he'll come on and give the place a huge lift.
Not that any of us have forgotten how important he is, but given the form of the team over the last few months, it's been easier to cope without him. When you look at the stats however, you see what an influence he is. Arsenal scored 54 of their 79 league goals last season when Pires was on the pitch — and he set up 44 per cent of them. That's a bit brilliant really.
Dennis Bergkamp says "Robert is nothing short of a football genius", while Arsene Wenger says "He is like the oil in our engine, we are more fluent when he plays". It's great to have him fit again, but just a word of caution - he's gonna need time to get back into the pace of things, so be patient (you realise I'm hoping that's a phrase that comes back to haunt me as he picks up just where he left off!).
For some sweary fun before the game, try this (via Diamond Geezer) - and although most of you have probably seen this already, it's quite simply the only way to behave in court. See you after the match - come on you Bob-powered goooooners.....
08.54 - Well, the morning papers are full of Wayne Rooney. We've been nice enough here on Arseblog about him, so no further words of praise will be coming from this neck of the woods. It's easy to see though that there are plenty of people out there who have taken great pleasure in the fact that Arsenal's unbeaten run has come at the hands of a kid that age.
It's funny how one defeat can make people a bit crazy. On the Arsenal mailing list, somebody sent an email with the lyrics from 'Everybody Hurts' by REM. Seriously, have you ever heard anything so melodramatic? I've also had a few emails from people who instead of stopping to think what an achievement 31 games unbeaten is, immediately go slagging off the players and unbelievably the manager. An example:
'The defeat against Everton was caused by the manager believing his own hype. He's not as good as he thinks he is and if he continues to play Kanu, we'll win nothing". This is the double, double-winning manager, and Kanu who's scored 5 goals so far (more than Michael Owen for example), set up a few (remember the winner against Bolton?) and done very well so far this season. Jeez, give me a break.
Now, we all know success brings new fans, and that's fantastic. The more Arsenal fans out there the better, if you ask me. But, I find it a little hard to take when 'fans' start mouthing off about players, the manager, the lack of commitment etc, when we've just lost one game. Maybe some of them aren't used to Arsenal losing games. Maybe some of them don't remember the years when we had shite players playing shite football and we had as much chance of winning the league as Michael Barrymore has of getting his 'Kiddies pool party' TV show off the ground. I remember.
This is a glorious era for Arsenal football club. Accept the fact that every team gets beaten. We got beaten 3 times in the league last season and still won it, so there's no need for panic. No need for OTT reaction. No need for lengthy email diatribes to me, as if I can do anything about it. Some people think that the first duty of being a fan is to criticise and complain, rather than support. If you can't find any pleasure in watching this Arsenal team, and are just sitting waiting for things to go wrong so you can mouth off, might I suggest a career in politics where at least somebody will listen to your shite.
I feel better now.
09.25 - If you haven't seen Wayne Rooney's goal yet, don't worry. You will. You'll see it countless times this week I'm sure. In fairness, it was a goal that deserved to win a match from a player that Arsene Wenger has called 'a very special talent'. It's hard to believe he's just about to turn 17. Enjoy him Everton fans...
David Seaman says he won't quit international football. He's quoted in The News of the World "Critics have never worried me and it has always been something you have to learn to live with as a keeper. I enjoy playing and I have no doubt in my ability." A word about the Everton fans yesterday as well. They could have given him a hard time but instead welcomed him to Goodison Park with generous applause. That wouldn't have happened the other side of Stanley Park I'm sure. Top marks Bluenoses. Andy Gray says his piece in support of DS1 in today's Sunday Mirror and like me, he reckons Paul Robinson is too young to take over as England's No.1.
So, Arsenal have to regroup now and get set for Tuesday night's game against Auxerre. The good news is that Robert Pires could make the bench, although AW hasn't made his mind up about that yet. Arsenal have done so well without him, but maybe a tight game like yesterday was crying out for a piece of Pires magic to make the difference. A win or a draw on Tuesday will see Arsenal through to the second stage, and I expect Auxerre to feel the backlash of yesterday's defeat.
Finally, fancy a pair of Arseblog boxer shorts? Or an Arseblog frisbee? How about an Arseblog mug or clock? Nah, didn't think so....
Anyway, now you can impress the ladies with your stylish, comfortable yet 'fuckin' excellent' underwear by visiting the Arseblog shop at Cafepress. And ladies, don't worry, we've got a stylish...*cough*.... ladies t-shirt thingy there too, but sadly no 'fuckin' excellent' knickers at the moment.
All proceeds go to covering the costs of the site and a little will go into the jar marked 'Lawsuits'.
Well, it had to happen at some stage. Let's be philosophical and not go over-reacting like a bunch of tabloid journos. We hadn't lost a league game for nearly a year before this. Shit happens. It's all about how we react, and this Arsenal team is nothing if not spirited. This will hurt, but it won't kill them.
All the same, last minute winners from 16 year olds are a bit sickening really.
09.06 - Yesterday, Arsenal held their usual pre-match press conference. Arsene Wenger went through the usual team stuff, Bergkamp still injured, Pires won't be risked etc. He also spoke in defence of David Seaman.
After Arsene Wenger had left, Patrick Vieira sat down to speak to the press to express his extreme displeasure at press coverage of David Seaman in light of England's poor result against Macedonia. You can read a transcript of it here on arsenal.com. Anybody who might have had any doubts about Paddy's captaincy can rest easy now as he launched into the assembled press corps. He said "I just want to say that it's has gone too far. There has been no respect for a guy who has given a lot to his country. That is the feeling in the dressing room and all the players are behind him."
Now, as is normal given the nature of this website, we've given players from other teams a hard time now and again. None more so than Gary Neville, but kudos to him for this. Fair play. Also, in an article for the Guardian, Leeds' Danny Mills calls the reaction to Seaman's 'error', sickening. The English press have outdone themselves this time, using their gripe about the fact that a Swedish man is managing England to castigate and humiliate one of England's greatest ever players. Anyway, DS1 will be in goal for Arsenal today against Everton, the travelling gooners will give him great support I'm sure.
Meanwhile, just to give you a laugh, Alex Ferguson reckons the FA pick on Man Utd. Seriously. He does. Because they're always punishing players like David Beckham for elbowing Lee Bowyer, Ruud van Nistelrooy for punching Freddie Ljungberg and giving lesser bans to Roy Keane for deliberately trying to cripple someone than they do to other players for spitting. Give me a break, you rancid red nosed old goat.
Come on you goooooooooners.....
08.55 - Well, if there's one thing the English press are good at, it's finding goats. Scapegoats.
Poor old DS1 has been slaughtered for the last 48 hours. Peter Shilton reckons it's time for him to quit. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't that fat, curly fool play until he was 40-odd? It's fairly typical that Seamo is getting all the blame, without anyone asking why Paul Scholes actually ducked rather than trying to head the corner clear. He might not have got it, but he could at least have tried. There has been no mention of golden boy Michael Owen's toothless performance, or why a team filled with supposedly world class players couldn't score more against lowly Macedonia.
Yes, Seamo made a mistake, but football is a team game and as such others on the pitch should take their share of responsibility for England's poor result. Sol Campbell has backed his Arsenal team-mate, and Arsene Wenger has also come out in support of our number 1 saying "....he will be brave and react well on Saturday". Bobby Robson has also come out in defence of Dave saying "The lad will be distraught and the criticism will hurt so I feel for him because he is a very capable goalkeeper - I just wish he would get his hair cut." Maybe it's his hair that's weighing him down...
Anyway, those critics how are having a field day at his expense might want to stop for a moment and look at England's options. David James....bwa ha ha ha. Paul Robinson - a good young keeper, but he's proved nothing yet after 3 months of playing Premiership football. Russel Hoult...come on. Chris Kirkland....Liverpool reserve. Richard Wright...well, Arsenal fans know all about him, but of all them, I reckon he's the most likely candidate. And that's about it.
Hound David Seaman out then press boys, stick David James in there and wait till you go play in Turkey and he drops one of his Nintendo clangers in the furious atmosphere in Istanbul and you'll all be crying out for the calm, collected DS1. Has it not occurred to any of them that of the 20 Premiership clubs, only 4 play with an English keeper? Is there a reason for that do you reckon? Is it because there aren't really any good English keepers out there? We'll see....we still love ya Dave.
There's an interesting article on ANR about the atmosphere at Highbury. It's not by our old friend Myles, so half of it isn't about a gig he went to in 1978 or a band he managed in the 80s. Check it out - he makes a good point, no?
Is he just experiencing a terrible run of fluke goals that it would be unfair to expect any other keeper to save? It's hard to say, but the unfortunate thing is at 39 years of age, nobody is prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. Maybe it is time for him to step down from the international stage, let someone else come in and then sit back and enjoy his football at Arsenal in what's likely to be his last season.
The saddest part is that people are so quick to forget how important he's been for England over the years, and when pundits are calling for David James to come in and replace him...well....David James is a comedy goalkeeper if there ever was one.
In Dublin, it all went a bit Seamo for Mick McCarthy as well. 1-1 with Switzerland with less than 5 minutes to go, he takes off his left back (Ian Harte), puts on a midfielder to try and win the game, Switzerland get the ball, go up field, pass it to where our left back would have been and score the winner. Like his classic substitution in Russia last month when he sent Phil Babb on to win the game only to watch in horror as the ex-Liverpool man scored an own goal to seal the game for the Russkies, it was another 'D'OH" moment for big Mick.
What made it worse was the fact that a large percentage of the Irish crowd were singing "Keano, Keano, Keano" (and they were not shouting encouragement at Robbie Keane) as the final whistle blew. The best moment of the night was the thunderous roar that greeted Kevin Kilbane's substitution earlier in the game. He could have put on Ian Paisley and the crowd would still have cheered. Time to go, Mick. So long and thanks for all the fish....or something.
Anyway, the main thing is that there are no more international games until next March, so all football inbetween will be proper football. Starting on Saturday at Goodison Park against Everton. Arsenal bring back the in-form Francis Jeffers who insists he's a better player than the one who left Everton, while the boys will be up against former team-mate, Richard Wright. Here we go again.....wooo hooo.
08.45 - Well, as I'm sure you all know by now, Robert Pires played his first 90 minutes since rupturing his cruciate ligament in March. He scored one and set up one in a 5-1 win over a QPR side at Arsenal's training ground. I expect he'll need another couple of games before he's ready for first team action, but he could be fit enough to make the squad for the Champions League game against Auxerre.
Francis Jeffers did as much as he could to catch the eye of Arsene Wenger by scoring a hat-trick for England's U21s last night. When fit his scoring record is superb. 12 goals in 12 games for the U21s, 21 in 40-odd starts for Everton, and people seem to forget he's scored in every Arsenal game he's started...although he has only started 2 games.
So with Bob on the way back, Jeffers fit and scoring, Gio to come back shortly as well, it's going to make AW's life a little bit difficult ... in a good way. Once fit Pires has to start, and that means disappointment for either Freddie or Sylvain. Still, I'd rather we had that sort of problem than the kind that meant we had to play the likes of LBM or Chris Wreh.
Our old friend Royston Keane got found guilty on both charges of bringing the game into disrepute yesterday. A £150,000 fine and a 5 game ban means he'll be back just in time to face Arsenal at Old Trafford. Quel surprise. It's nice to see the FA have got their priorities right. Remember Patrick Vieira being banned for 6 games for gobbing at, but not on, the very gobbable-on Neil Ruddock? Well, according to the FA, a deliberate, pre-meditated foul with the intent to seriously hurt the opposing player, then writing about it in your autobiography and making money from it is not as bad as spitting on the ground in front of someone.
Now before you start accusing me of being biased, I couldn't really care less how long Roy Keane was banned for. But, if you want to hold up those two incidents, and they were both pretty unsavoury, and compare them, you'd have to think Keane's behaviour was worse. Vieira reacted badly in the heat of the moment and deserved a punishment. Keane by his own admission waited 3 years for Alfie, took his chance, hobbled him with tackle that still makes you wince when you see it and got away with a lesser ban than Vieira.
It's all well and good the FA getting on their high-horse about Slovakian racists and bully-boy police tactics, but when they get a chance to demonstrate that poor behaviour on and off the field will not be tolerated, they bottle it big time. The media friendly sound bites that are now the trademark of the FA, thanks to ex-BBC man David Davies of course, are wearing thin now. Still, they can probably use that £150,000 to add to the £750m they're wasting on a new Wembley while football clubs up and down the country go bust.
09.23 - I can't say it often enough. I'm bored stupid of international football.
What has international football given us so far in the last week? Racist Slovakian stretcher bearers making monkey noises at Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey. England fans involved in more fighting. Mick McCarthy saying he'll quit Ireland whether or not he qualifies for Euro2004 - do us a favour and fuck off now Mick. Crap football, the England coach's 3 in a bed fantasties with Ulrika, the FA on their high horse, UEFA promising to investigate and no doubt they'll cripple the Slovakian FA with a hefty fine of €13,000 and a slap on the wrist. Top stuff.
It's all a load of dwarf shit. The only Arsenal news I could find today is an interview with Sol Campbell, and a badly spelt wee story on Arseweb about Robert Pires playing in a specially arranged friendly against QPR at the Arsenal training ground. Francis Jeffers will be in action tonight for England's U-21s against Macedonia, but there's no sign of Stuart Taylor in the squad.
In other non Arsenal stuff, Microsoft's attempts at copying Apple's switch campaign have stumbled, bashed their head off the bannister and fallen down the stairs in a heap. See here for more...heh, stupid Microsoft. And if you really have nothing to do in work today, or you just don't feel like doing anything, why not spend some time here or here. Have fun.
08.54 - Normally of a morning, I get up, feed the cat, make a coffee, come upstairs to my office, light a cigarette and look at the Arsenal news that I'm about to share with you, my loyal readers.
This morning I got up, fed the cat, made coffee, came upstairs to my office and bypassed the lighting a cigarette part before looking at the Arsenal news. See, I'm trying to give up smoking. So expect random outbursts of intense crankyness along the way.
Firstly, my thanks to Jonathan for bringing to my attention the fact that Man Utd's official website was hacked this weekend. They did sort it out quite quickly, but if you want to have a look at what they did, click here. Good work....
Matthew Upson says he fears for his place at Arsenal and says he can't bear to watch us play at the moment. He particularly can't bear to watch Pascal Cygan come in and do so well having just joined the club. Hopefully his loan spell at Reading will help him back to full fitness and challenging for a place. Sol Campbell is back in training with England is expected to start on Wednesday against Macedonia.
This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
God, I would kill any one of you for a Marlboro light right now.
22.05 - On topsitelists.com - Arseblog is ranked 165th out of the 169 sites they have listed about Arsenal.
11.35 - Well, one bunch of international games down, another to go. Watched England last night, horrible pitch, terrible weather, two jammy goals and not a mention this morning of example-setting Captain David Beckham's nasty two-footed tackle on one of the Slovakian players for which he should have seen red. Only Ashley Cole seemed to show any adventure. Once again though, racist chanting from the away fans overshadows the football. What an enlightened age we live in eh?
France beat Slovenia 5-0, with Wiltord and Vieira on the scoresheet. Sol Campbell has taken the opportunity to make a few bob this weekend, signing up with a sponsor very close to his ...er.....arse.
For any Portugese speakers out there, there's another Arsenal blog in your native tongue. It's oddly designed, well it looks odd on my computer, but apparently it's "Lock, Stock and the fucking lot!". Trabalho bom meu amigo, longo vivo o arsenal. Correct?
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. I've just bought the papers, I've got a poxy cold and I ain't getting off the couch for the rest of the today.
10.15 - Right, let's get the Arsenal news out of the way first.
Big Phil Scolari, Brazil's World Cup winning coach will not be working as a consultant to Arsenal. Who cares? We don't need him.
And finally, Sol's shits have slowed to a mere trickle with the odd follow through when he farts. Hurrah.
Now then, there is one other piece of news, not directly Arsenal related, but boy are you going to enjoy it. "Sir" Alex Ferguson is alleged to have indecently assaulted a woman while on his er...goodwill mission to South Africa. Obviously he has strenuously denied the charges with his legal representative in South Africa dismissing the claims as 'blatantly false'. The allegation was that he 'touched a woman on the leg'.
Now, for years Man Utd fans have taken great pleasure in singing their 'packet of sweets, cheeky smile' song at Arsene Wenger after allegations about his private life when he first joined Arsenal. You might remember the story of AW on the steps of THOF challenging any journalist or newspaper to print the stories, and because they were entirely false, nothing more was ever said.
Still, it hasn't stopped the United fans singing the song which refers to AW in a most unpleasant way. Now, I'm not one to cause trouble or anything, but it strikes me that a song of our own might be nice. Any suggestions?
08.45 - Having scoured the web for interesting Arsenal news, I am sad to report that there is approximately bugger all to be found anywhere, due to the tedium of international football. The only mildly interesting thing about this international week is Sven being under the spotlight again for his dalliances with Ulrika Johnson, the saggy breasted ex-weather girl.
Most of the football news involves Sunderland's forward thinking appointment of Howard Wilkinson. Expect there to be one less North-East derby next season. It's just a shame they didn't take their time, wait until Ireland got beaten this weekend and then give the job to Mick McCarthy.
International week sucks more than a hooker in a room full of cocks.
ps - Sol still has the shits.
12.01 - International week drags on, and the biggest Arsenal related sory is that Sol Campbell has the green apple splatters and won't play for England on Saturday. He should be ok for the game next Wednesday though. Er...hurrah, or something.
There's a multi-gooner article in The Sun which features Kanu pledging to stay at Arsenal and keep scoring goals, Dennis Bergkamp talks about Kolo Toure, and also reveals that since his hip operation Freddie Ljungberg is now the fastest sprinter at Arsenal ....over 5 yards. We had the technology, we could rebuild him.
West Ham's Joe Cole talks about Francis Jeffers here, and he reckons that once our fox in the box starts playing regularly for Arsenal he'll score goals a plenty. Frannie seems to have been written off by some Arsenal fans as a bad investment by Arsene Wenger, but to be fair, with his injuries he's never had a real chance. The jury is still very much out, but at Arseblog we remain cautiously optimistic that he can repay the faith shown in him by the boss.
Arsenal's vice-Chairman and secret weapon, David 'Double D' Dein, calls for clubs whose fans chant racist abuse at players to have their games played behind closed doors. That's exactly what I said here on Sept 29th, so it's nice to know we have regular readers in the Arsenal boardroom.....*cough*.....
Finally for today, despite being retired for many years, Pele is set for a scouting role with West London giants, Fulham. Apparently he's going to find players 'wiz erection problems', then blackmail them into joining Jean Tigana's men.
"Join Fulham you floppy fool....I know I would."
11.25 - FIFA set down yet more new rules for the game of football. This leaked document is exclusively available here on Arseblog.
09.45 - As the rainy season begins here in Barcelona (well, it's pissing down today anyway), the BBC unveil Arsenal's secret weapon.
Arsene Wenger's new coaching methods? Nope. A shit-hot kid who's going to take the world by storm? Nope. It is the man with the hair, the ready smile and the big double-D gold pendant. Word up, to er...David Dein. Not always a popular figure amongst Arsenal fans when he first became part of the club, you have to say that it's unlikely the modernisation of Arsenal would have taken place without him. He was responsible for bringing Arsene Wenger to the club, and such has been the success of AW that he's set to be offered a job for life. And that's about all the Arsenal news around because we're stuck in international week. I hate international weeks.
After our trip down memory lane in yesterday's comments, where we covered crappy old TV shows, 80s music and so much more, here's another couple of questions to help pass some time.
C3PO - kind hearted but cowardly robot, or uncanny pastiche of Hugh Grant?
Mousetrap vs Frustration vs Hungry, Hungry Hippos? (For our older readers, you can replace this one with hula-hoop vs a stick vs a football made up of old socks).
Speak on friends.
08.56 - So once again we're stuck in the Twilight Zone that is international week. Our next game is against Everton (who managed to keep Utd at bay for 86 minutes last night, then conceded 3 in the last few minutes) in 11 days time. Is it true that the Chinese fella who played for Everton last night has to play because of some contractual agreement with Everton's new Chinese sponsors? Makes sense, coz he was absolutely one of the worst players I've seen play Premiership ball for a long time.
One of the big surprises this season has been the amount of headers we've scored. So far 5 of our goals have come from headers, which is more than we've scored in the last 6 years or something. In the other little bit of Arsenal news around. Sir Robert of Pires reckons other teams in the Premiership are afraid of the Gunners, while in the same article, Dennis Bergkamp is effusive in his praise of born-again striker Kanu.
Elsewhere, Peter Reid has been sacked by Sunderland for being a bit crap, leaving the door wide open for David O'Leary (who has no doubt been sending flowers and chocolates to the Sunderland Chairman's wife for the last few weeks) to make his return to management.
The lack of Gooner goings-on allows us to sidetrack a little bit and try and find answers to some of the questions that have puzzled us for years. You know, simple stuff like 'If God created everything, who created God?' and 'Who decided that Vinnie Jones can act?'
Yesterday I saw a video from A-ha, the Norwegian pop combo who burst onto the scene in the 80s with their cartoon strip video for 'Take on me'. Can anybody explain to me why lead singer Morten doesn't appear to have aged one bit in the last 18 years? Must be the lashings of delicious antler-soup or something. It's kind of spooky really.
08.55 - Yesterday's win was Arsenal's 30th Premiership game without defeat, eclipsing Man Utd's record of 29. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to keep up with all the records we've set over the last few months. Luckily, there's a full list of our Roy Castle-tastic achievements over on Arseweb.
The tabloids - who have a bit of history when it comes to bald, French central defenders - have decided that Pascal Cygan is another AW's gems, and not another moaning bitch like Frank le Boeuf. The Sun says "Cygan's only weakness is that, from a distance, he bears a passing resemblance to former Chelsea centre-half Frank Leboeuf." Regular readers will know that this similarity was profoundly disturbing to me when he first joined, but I'm happy to see that the resemblance is merely physical and not related to footballing ability or attitude...so far.
Speaking of French central defenders, it seems The Grimster is travelling the world looking at football clubs. Lately he's been in America training with the Colorado Rapids (where 41 year old and still wooly of head Colombian Carlos Valderrama plays), but he's sure taking his time making up his mind. Allez Gilles.
Finally today, I've updated the fabulously foul-mouthed weird searches with some new stuff I've collected from my referrals log over the last week or so. 'Ian Botham bizarre arse' is my new favourite.
The Gooner machine rolls on with a near flawless first half performance and a leisurely stroll in the second. Two early goals from Kanu, who is playing out of skin, made the game reasonably safe after just 9 minutes. Vieira scored his first goal since March just before half-time. His last goal was against Sunderland at THOF too.
Arsene Wenger was quick to praise new recruit Pascal Cygan for another impressive performance at the back. We'll have to wait and see how he goes over a longer period of time, but he looks like he has the stuff.
Elsewhere, Liverpool kept up the pressure with a jammy last minute win over Chelsea. I watched the first half and it was utter shite. I might as well have been watching park football so little happened. At least in the park you're guaranteed a bit of a fight at some stage. Still, all we can do is keep winning.
09.32 - Some pre-match links for you early this Sunday morning.
I reckon that'll do for now. See you after the game. Come on you gooooooooners......
10.32 - Today's Sun is like an Arsenal special.
First, Thierry Henry says Arsene Wenger is the transfer king, then he says he's almost like a father to him as they celebrate winning the Manager of the Month and Player of the Month awards. Also in The Sun is a story about Robbie Keane and how he's staying at the same hotel as Arsenal's Gilberto Silva. Robbie has yet to score for Sp*rs, but Gilberto is banging them in like a sailor on shore leave.
Thierry faces a fitness test ahead of tomorrow's game against Sunderland, but Martin Keown, Dennis Bergkamp and Ray Parlour are all still out. David Lacey in The Guardian says that Arsenal are close to perfection, while in the same paper Pascal Cygan marks his own card by saying he'll use his elbows to protect himself against the more physical forwards in the Premiership. Expect our stretched out Uncle Fester to see red sooner rather than later then.
Heard a strong rumour from a friend today that Claudio Ranieri is on the way out of Chelsea after their embarassing UEFA cup exit, and coming in to replace him is none other than gorgeous George Graham. We'll have to wait and see.
Oh, and something I meant to mention earlier in the week. Last weekend I saw a player from a lower division team go clean through on goal, past the keeper and as he got to the goal line, he did what we always used to do as kids - bent down and headed the ball from the ground into the goal. Absolute class. If anyone knows who that was, please let me know.
09.19 - Auxerre's Guy Roux, who founded the club in 1865 and has been coach since WW II, has said Arsenal are changing the way English teams play football. In fairness, I remember a quote from some foreign player who said English football was 'Big kick, big kick, goal', hinting not so subtly that the clubs lacked the skill and technique posessed by continental teams.
Well, not any more. Arsenal's football is of the highest technical quality at the moment, so much so that even my Dad who had to put up with years of me watching not so fluent Arsenal teams at home, has now looked beyond his blinkered view of a back 4 with their arms up in the air to actually enjoy watching them play. Big Fat Ron in The Guardian even speculates that Arsenal would beat England but lose to Real Madrid. Although it's strange to be on the same bus as BFR, it backs up my theory that top level club football is now superior to international football. I'm not sure we'd lose to Real Madrid at the moment either....
Let's just take a moment today to laugh at Chelsea. After Ken Bates refused to pay the players their bonus for UEFA Cup games, saying it was in their contracts that bonuses would only be paid if they qualifies via the league and not the FA Cup as they did, the players returned their chairman's goodwill by getting knocked out in the 3rd round for the 3rd year running, to Viking FK of Norway. Stop laughing any time you like. Even better was Chelsea's local rivals Fulham making it through to the 4th round, with ex-Gunner Monchichi Inamoto the hero again, making an incredible goal line clearance in second half injury time. Fair play to the fella, he's one of the only players to have left THOF in recent years to go on and actually improve (are you watching Stephen Hughes?).
Back to the Arsenal and Edu is delighted that his Brazilian brother Gilberto Silva is banging in the goals from midfield this season. As Gilberto has more or less taken Edu's place alongside Patrick Vieira in midfield, it's refreshing to hear him say "there are many spaces on the pitch. Left wing, left back, up front! What the boss wants, I have to do. I don't want to fight with anybody I just want to help the team." Top man. Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's improved discipline, especially in Europe, is a big factor in the team's success at the moment. In the 3 Champions League games, we've only had one yellow card (Lauren). That's a huge improvement on last season when we seemed to have a player sent off in Europe every 20 minutes or so.
Finally for today, scientists have revealed the world's funniest joke. Remember that Monty Python sketch where they were fighting the Germans in a war and they used a joke so funny it actually killed people? Well, this is nowhere near that funny. My favouite joke in the world is far too offensive to post here....no, it's not Tottenham Hotspurs either (although they're close).
22.15 - I love football video games.
I've gone on about them here before - especially my arcade favourite 'football champ' (there is a link to the game and an emulator back in July or August here on Arseblog. Have a look yerself, I'm too lazy).
Anyway, they've become more and more realistic over the years. From the little stick men of Football Manager on the Spectrum, to the Playstation 2 realism of today. Actually, my PS2 is up the swanny, it won't read any of the discs. I suppose I should try a lens cleaning disc or something. Anyway, the point is the games have been getting more realistic, and over on Lisa's blog, you'll find 4 screenshots of Arsenal players from a new game from Codemasters (It's a good job they don't make prosthetic arses eh?).
Good eh? Even if Bob looks like the evil twin of the lead singer of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
AW has been fullsome in his praise of our new Braziliian, saying he didn't expect him to score as many goals as he has so far. Certainly he seems to have been bought as a holding player in midfield, allowing Paddy to get forward more, but 3 goals since his Community Shield debut has shown there's more to his game than simply stifling the opposition.
Listening on the radio, it sounded like a fairly dull sort of game, but then that could have been the commentator as he sounded distinctly uninterested from the start. Still, nice to see us grind out a 1-0 away from home, against a side I reckon are much better than PSV or Dortmund.
The only slight worry on the night was Thierry Henry having to go off with what looked like a problem with his left hamstring. However, Tel reckons it's not too serious and is hoping to fit for Sunday's game against free scoring Sunderland (well, free scoring against lower league opposition in the Worthington Cup anyway).
So 3 wins out of 3 gives Arsenal their best ever start to a Champions League campaign and a place in the second phase seems more or less assured. A point against Auxerre at THOF in 3 weeks time should do the trick.
Ormondroyd is back and most amusing as usual. He used to do a weekly comic strip, but now he only seems to do one once a month. Still, the Ferguson/Forlan gag in this month's column is worth the wait.
I guess this is fair enough. I suppose I should count myself lucky he didn't mention the fact The Hammers were in the old 2nd division when they won that cup final. Still, I obviously upset him coz I didn't get an invite to his 'ladeez night'. I have a college degree in cloakroom management you know ;o)
After their recent dictate about red cards, FIFA - in their wisdom - have now decided that referees cannot use video replays to overturn decisions. Instead, they're going to conduct an experiment in next years Confederations Cup where two additional linesmen will be positioned behind each goal. No, really, I'm not making it up.
The new scheme is the brainchild of Michel Platini, who was without doubt one of the greatest footballers I've ever seen. However, he now seems determined to make a name for himself by trying to make up all sorts of new rules. He was one of the big supporters of the 'World Cup every 2 years' scheme which fell by the wayside due to it's high Neville of stupidity. Message to Michel - Bosman is a more famous name in football than you, you curly bitch.
It's absolutely ludicrous that in an age where we can now see matches from every conceivable angle, FIFA seem determined to turn their back on technology and have essentially made referees dictators (not that some of them aren't already) whose decisions cannot be questioned or overturned - even when video can prove them to be completely incorrect within seconds. But it doesn't stop there. Video replays will still be used to punish a player retrospectively. A FIFA gobshitespasticheadwanklordshitforbrainsspokseman said "There has to be a clear distinction between using video evidence to impose sanctions on players who break the rules behind the referee's back, and using video to change referees' factual decisions at a later stage." Er...why? Give me one good reason. Twats.
Much better news is that Robert Pires is fit again, but AW will make him wait another 3 weeks on the advice of doctors. 21 days till the return of Bob. I'm marking the days off my iCal as we speak....
09.32 - I've just woken from a dream where I was playing football in a car park and Dwight Yorke was playing for the opposition wearing a purple paisley shirt with a Lloyd Cole style black polo neck underneath. I'm glad to be awake.
Arsene Wenger says it's 'easy' to manage this Arsenal team because of their mental strength and spirit. No doubt people will take that out of context, without thinking that it's taken nearly 7 years of hard work to build a squad like this one. He has also told Francis Jeffers he'll have to be as patient as Arsenal were with him if he wants a first team place. So, expect to see Frannie some time around 2004 then.
Liverpool's Danny Murphy joins the Neville brothers at the back of the class on a stool with a big pointy hat with the letter 'D' on it. He says about the Gunners; "Whatever they say does not wash with us. We know we would be ahead of them by now if we had not dropped points at home to Newcastle and Birmingham." Well, duh. Point is Danny, you bottled it. Arsenal haven't said anything. We know we have no divine right to win anything. Maybe if you'd beaten us at Anfield last year when we had 10 men, you might have won the league. But you couldn't and you didn't. He outdoes himself by declaring Arsenal are 'only human'. Oh, and I thought we were looking at a team of X-Files type super soldiers. Dopey cunt.
So it's Auxerre later on tonight and Arsenal travel to France without Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Keown and Ray Parlour, although Edu returns to the squad after a groin injury. Should be a cracking game, Auxerre are a lovely team to watch and dangerous from all areas of the pitch. Sadly, I won't be able to see it so it'll be me and my Mac trying to find somewhere with live commentary. For anyone else in the same boat, I seem to recall comms being available from UEFA's website last season. If anyone has any other suggestions (and not arsenal.com thank you very much), leave a comment and let us know. Ta very much.....
Oh, one last thing. Does anyone know what's happened to Alex Manninger?
18.15 - As an Arsenal fan, there are teams it's just natural to hate. Sp*rs, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea etc. But over the years, I have added to the list of teams I hate for a number of reasons.
Leeds United - when I went to school as a lad, it was a small Roman Catholic school in Yorkshire. There were loads of Leeds fans there, and one big stupid cunt called Ian who made life for anyone who didn't like Leeds as difficult as possible. Many was the day where he would grab the back of your neck, squeeze really hard and say "Say thee likes Leeds or I'll not stop". When someone is far larger than you and quite determined to leave thumb and finger indentations in your neck, it's wise to do ashe says. I hate Leeds because that big cunt made me say I like Leeds.
Juventus - they signed Liam Brady. May everyone connected with the club burn in the depths of hell and suffer atrocious hemorrhoids that burst hot lava down the back of their legs. I hope Newcastle stuff them tonight, then set fire to the stadium and then drench them with elephant piss from one of those fire fighting helicopters.
West Ham - they signed Liam Brady when he came back from Italy, starting a trend that continues to this day as old Arsenal players move across to Upton Park for a bit of a kickabout before they retire.They beat us in the 1980 cup final with the softest header of all time from Trevor Brooking. The only good thing about that final was Willie Young's fantastic saving tackle on Clive Allen's little bother Paul. (Sorry Dead Kenny!).
Scarborough Scunthorpe (thanks to Hootie) - I don't think they're even a league team anymore, but does anyone remember Ian Botham playing for them, in a bizarre, reverse Roy of the Rovers summer type affair? During the summer Roy Race and his Melchester chums would end up playing cricket, coz they had no football to fill the comic with. Then one year, Ian Botham did it the other way around. Ihate when comics come true, especially in reverse.
Who do you hate, for whatever reason?
ps - thanks to David O'Leary for his fine fill-in job. I'm sure something decent will crop up sooner or later Dave, if not, there's bound to be a job up in Sunderland soon enough.
00.01 - Welcome to a brand new month here on Arseblog from me, Dave O'Leary!!
Oi'll bet yiz are all wonderin' what Oi'm doin' here, but the lad arseblogger couldn't make it today, and Oi say, he's asked me to fill in for him.
Lovely chap that arseblogger, uses the word 'cunt' a bit much, but he's just a baby, and as Oi say, he'll learn or by jaysus Oi'll clatter him. Anyroad, he's got to learn to control himself or he won't play for my team.
Have yis seen me on Skoi dese days? I'm bleedin' great so I am, always talkin' and as Oi say, goin' on about de Arsenal.
Every toime Oi'm on, Oi say wot a great club de Arsenal is, wot a great tradition it has, wot a great toime Oi had when Oi was dere, but for some reason de Arsenal fans tink Oi'm a big twat. Must be because Oi jumped up and dowen when we beat dem in a game dat meant nuttin' to Leeds but cost Arsenal da league, but as Oi say, it's a great club wit a great tradition and Oi loved my toime dere.
Anyway, Arseblogger told me dat you wanted some decent links and to be fair to me, here's a very decent one. Patrick Vieira is in talks with de Arsenal about extendin' his contract. Looks loike Oi was spot on when Oi said dat Arsenal's French players would all feck off sooner or later...*cough*. Some udder good news for de Gunners is dat Dribbly Cissy fella is bollixed and he can't play for Oxhair on Wednesday. Still, Oi've seen Oxhair on Eurogoals on Eurosport (comes free on the auld NTL) and dey look loike a handy soide, so dey do.
Roight, I tink dats it from me. My tanks to Arseblogger for givin' me dis opportunity, and as Oi say, Oi'll do my best and dats all Oi can do. Love de Arsenal so Oi do, great tradition, great club so it is.....(repeat to fade).