08.34 - Arsenal admitted everything yesterday.
All the charges from OT Disaster™ - all rights reserved, the kidnapping of Shergar, the murder of Pope John Paul I, the unexplained years of success that Steps enjoyed, the deliberate sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off the coast of Spain in order for David Dein to pay off a cribbage debt to Peter Hill-Wood, Jill Dando, Lord Lucan, Kevin Kilbane and Gazza's lobotomy.
The FA have withdrawn charges against Jens Lehmann, but he's been warned as to his future conduct. Certainly the next time he puts Ruud off his penalty by doing his space invaders routine up and down the line he'll be in serious, serious trouble. All the other will discover their fate in the next exciting episode of 'Making it up as we go along starring The FA'.
It's a sensible move I suppose. Given the fact that the FA let Rufus Brevett off with a fine and warning for punching a West Ham player and biffing a copper, our lot can expect much the same for their over enthusiastic jumping around. Except for Lauren, he's fucked good and proper I reckon. However, The Sun reckons that the decision to admit the charges was made at board level, and against the wishes of Arsene Wenger. Whatever.
Rivaldo really is desperate. Tottenham is good enough for the cheating cunt.
Ray Parlour seems set to miss Saturday's game against Chelsea after picking up an injury in training on Monday. This probably means that Jeremie Aliadiere will keep his place up front, with Sylvain Wiltord moving to the right hand side of midfield (provided Freddie Ljungberg is still out). According to Tribal Football Arsenal will battle it out with Liverpool for the signing of Djibril Cisse. Isn't he just a young Wiltord? Can't see the fuss about him myself. Martin Keown talks about Arsenal and defends the reputations of the players who have been painted in the media as thugs. "It's a great bunch of players here. There isn't a bad apple amongst them. They are all really nice people and they are like an extended family. They are world-class players and great people to be around."
Two new columns, Kali Korbis on the
enigma mystery pain in the arse Sylvain Wiltord that is Sylvain Wiltord, while Steve E goes B crazy.
And that's yer lot, so it is.
10.39 - "Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest of them all?"
Why, that would be Arsenal. Despite being the most evil and downright nasty team to ever play the game, The Gunners find themselves top of the Premier League's fair play table. With 53 red cards this season alone, and 6 players facing sentences of life in prison for the savage, barbarian flesh eating riot at Old Trafford, it doesn't fucking say much for the rest of them, does it?
Arsenal have responded to the FA over the various charges which followed the OT Disaster™ - all rights reserved. It's believed Arsenal's response was delayed due to a typo which had seen the FA's Video Advisory Panel referred to as 'those stupid blind cunts' all the way through the document. The FA said "The FA will now give full consideration to the information provided by both clubs over the next 24 hours before discussing this further publicly and confirming any hearing dates."
Arsene knows. Arsenal and Leeds will discuss the future of Jermaine Pennant this week. Having spent some time calculating the odds, my best guess is that there's a 50-50 chance of him either staying there or coming back to Arsenal. Hasan Sas spat at Ashley Cole after the Turkey v England game at the weekend apparently. Better to do it in person than to wait and spit in his kebab when he's not looking, I suppose.
Chelsea drew 0-0 with Birmingham to put them top of the table ahead of Saturday's clash with Arsenal. Rami Shaaban is close to full fitness after his leg break last Christmas. Arsenal reserves drew 2-2 with Coventry. Jerome Thomas did his chances of a first team place no harm at all with 2 goals. Match reports from arsenal.com and Arsenal-Land.
Not much else going on. I'm now nice and refreshed after a good lie-in. Hurrah for sleep.
08.34 -If you don't see the animation after 30 seconds, click here to refresh.
08.54 - So, another weekend over, a new week ahead of us. 5 days of work. Maybe you work in a shop and you have to work 6 days. Perhaps you only work 4 days, or part time, or maybe you're unemployed and you get to stay at home all day wallowing in your own filth and drinking cans of cheap Dutch beer. Whatever your circumstances, it doesn't alter the fact that this is a MAPI (Monday afer poxy internationals) and there is no Arsenal news.
There's a wee bit from yesterday about Dennis Bergkamp not wanting to retire at the end of the season. Unless he starts scoring some goals though, it's hard to see him being offered another deal. 02 still love the Arsenal after the last couple of weeks "We look at the Arsenal squad, we look at the fans, the club and all it stands for, and we feel exactly the same as we always did." Grrrrrreat.
Man Utd have beaten Arsenal in the race to sign young WImbledon midfielder Lee Martin. England's top 2 could battle it out for Ajax full back Hatem Trabelsi, according to Tribal Football.
So, Rio faces his FA hearing today. Having read more about it in the Sunday Times yesterday, Rio's story that he forgot seems less and less credible. According to the Sunday Times Rio was reminded of the test, to which he replied 'No problem'. His, and United's excuse for him having his phone off - Rio receives a lot of nasty calls from Leeds fans, still bitter about his move acrosss the Pennines. Er, get a new fucking number, you dope. Oh yeah, he was moving house, and that's what made him forget. Moving house must have also made him forget he was moving house because he was pictured at 4 o'clock in the afternoon out shopping.
Manchester United's behaviour has been less than becoming too. They accused the FA and Sport UK (who carry out the testing) of leaking Ferdinand's name, when it seems Ferdinand was first named on the Manchster United website. The subsequent Nevilling in the England squad, no doubt egged on by his club manager, and Ferdinand's refusal to make any kind of apology for missing the test show the arrogance that runs right through Old Trafford. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Hang him, I say.
How desperate is Rivaldo?
If we do get some Arsenal news during the day, you can always discuss it with the lovely people on the forum. There's nothing like reasoned, intelligent football debate, and the forums are nothing like reasoned,....blah blah etc.
08.37 - So England go through to Euro2004, Ireland's two early losses under Mick McCarthy proved fatal (the curse of Phil Babb) and Scotland and Walesland go through to the play-offs. France beat Israel 3-0 last night, no idea who played or scored for them though.
There is pretty much nothing going on that's Arsenal related this morning. The internationals have taken care of that. There's a story about Lauren getting involved in a chairty to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS among young people in Africa. He joins up with Sven and Yoko, Gareth Southgate and former Crystal Palace manager Alan Smith. What an odd bunch.
Moritz Volz wants to be like Steve Finnan. "There are lots of things about him that I'd like to emulate."
Seeing as we're going to need at least one striker for the start of the new season, I think we should take a serious look at Nihat from Real Sociedad. He was well handled by England last night, but he's got the lot. I reckon he'd score a ton of goals for us. During the week the Spanish press has us linked with Kluivert again, speculating that a deal could be done in the January transfer windown. He's not having a happy time at Barcelona t the moment. While he feels (quite rightly IMO) that he should be applauded by the fans for taking a wage cut and not screwing the club over for money he was entitled to, the Barcelona fans wish he'd pissed off somewhere else in the summer. Wiltord + € = Kluivert.
And with that simple equation I bid you good day.
07.32 - Sylvain Wiltord says "I will reach the end of my contract in June 2004 and, at the moment, I don't believe I will sign again."
Arseblog say "Au revoir. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen. Arrivederci. Adeus. Smell ya later, so long and thanks for all the goals."
While I appreciate the job he's done for us, he'll never go down as a favourite of mine. His head was just a bit too pointy for that. Meanwhile, Robert Pires wants to play more for France, or something. Jerome Thomas hopes his attacking versatility can win him a place in the Arsenal team. "I think it's important to be versatile. Look at Kolo Toure, Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires. They can all play on the left or right side."
John Halls is hoping to impress Arsene Wenger during his loan period at Stoke. "My aim is to try and impress Tony Pulis and get a regular place in the side and also impress Arsene Wenger because he has said I am still part of things at Highbury."
That aside, there's not too much going on this morning. We've got the internationals later on, of course. I think I'll watch England v Turkey. The odds on there being a good scrap on the pitch arer pretty high, and if it's not an England players versus a Turk, it could well be two England players. A Beckham v Neville punch-up on the right wing would be jolly entertaining.
I, sadly, have to go to work now. You'd think people would have a better way of spending their Saturday mornings than learning English. Jeez.
08.59 - Do not make contact. Repeat. Do not make contact. The underground mammal discovered. Abort mission. End.
Robert Pires has been speaking about football in general, and all the things that have been going on in recent weeks. He believes the Grosvenor House incident and the allegations made have tarnished the English game. "It's very heavy to bear and gives a very bad image to us."
He also talks about Arsenal and Manchester United saying "There is no hatred between us but we (Arsenal) are always the targets, perhaps because it is a team where there are not enough English players. Manchester (United) are the favourite team of the English."
Is the new majority shareholder in Manchester United an Arsenal fan? The Irish Times (via ANR) reckon he is.
After an international break, Arsenal tend to suffer a bit. Results have gone against us a bit, due to the amount of players we have away. Arsene Wenger wants the good results to continue after these insignificant games are behind us. He says, "When we come back we have Chelsea and then there is Dynamo Kiev after that so it will be important for us to be at the top of our game then."
I was thinking during the week about this Grosvenor House business and how the press was essentially gagged in the UK, while newspapers and TV stations elsewhere in the world were able to name the players involved, even going so far as to put pictures of one player taking from a previous unsavoury incident. Anyway, as I'm in Barcelona, and my server is in the US, am I outside the jurasdiction of such a press ban? I remember another case a couple of years back about some crazy stalker woman who said she had an affair with a famous player/tv presenter, and while the press in the UK were not allowed name the person, press, radio and television were able to name him in Ireland. I don't want to find out so I can start naming and shaming, everybody knows who they are now anyway, but I'd just be curious to see where I stand.
Jermaine Pennant was questioned by police but released without charge after an alleged assault saw Leeds' Jody Morris arrested by police and then suspended by his club. I know he's up there to get experience, but I'm not sure this is the kind of experience Arsene Wenger had in mind.
This morning sees the long awaited arrival of The Boilerman. Well, that's the idea. Knowing this country it could be next Friday. Fingers Xed.
08.37 - When you arrive at the party, don't hang up your coat. The shepherd will tend to his flock by the large bishop.
So, Sol Campbell got fined £20,000 for his flick-out blah blah blah. About time they got that sorted. Sol said "I was given a fair hearing and I'm happy with the decision."
Kanu vows to improve. Not our Kanu. Oh well. Great news that Kolo Toure has signed a new 5 year deal with the club.
England players threatening to strike over Rio? The biggest load of shite I've ever heard of. Chaired by Dumb and Dumber (and you can allocate Neville and Beckham to whichever role you choose), they wanted old clam face reinstated in the squad. Twats. They should have been told to fuck off there and then. Since when did England players have that kind of power? The cult* of Beckham is dangerously insidious.*(possible spelling error here Blogger. Please check before publication - ed).
Cannavaro to Arsenal. Not the good Cannavaro. Some web site which has stopped working said we were signing (Insert young name here - ed) Cannavaro and sadly not his older and far better older brother (Insert old name here - ed). Oh well. Jeremie Aliadiere on his debut. Lauren says nice things about Ruud van Nistelrooy and reveals he might need an operation on his knee.
Apparently bid4sport.com have a signed Freddie Ljungberg shirt up for auction with all proceeds going to charidee. Good luck finding it though. I can't see it on the site.
Apart from that there's not too much going on. Now I have to be a crazy foreign bastard, ring the boiler repair company and shout at the lady. Should be a larf.
07.57 - Drink personal fortune when normal tigers attack. Look lengthways before you cross the young armchair.
Arsene Wenger has revealed himself to be 'quite pleased' with the debut of Jeremie Aliadiere against Liverpool. "He showed what you want from a young player - hunger and determination. He also put in some good runs and worked very hard."
Sol Campbell has his FA hearing today. I'm so unbelievably bored of it all now. How many more times can I call the FA names? Still, I hope they throw the book at that Ferdinand character. As a demonstration of how the FA is going to stand up against any kind of drugs in the sport, they should make Rio really pay for his behaviour. I'm not just saying this to generate headlines or anything, but I really think he should be banned for life or perhaps have one of his legs broken on the pitch, by a young player who would have seen Rio as a role model and was so badly let down by his behaviour. I know it sounds extreme, and you might think this is just a wind up, but I mean it. How many more players would 'forget' a drugs test if they thought they'd get banned for life or have one of their legs broken on the pitch, in front of their own supporters, with family and friends watching in the stands, by a kid with lump hammer? Exactly. It's a tough way to make an example, but you don't make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Arsenal reserves beat Nottingham Forest reserves yesterday, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
A friend in need is a fucking pain in the arse. I hate, and I mean HATE, being put in a position like I was last night. Last minute plea for help - when they could have asked me weeks ago and at least let me plan around it - and I just couldn't say no. So now I have to spend the morning in Barcelona rather than at home doing the work I had planned and waiting for the cuntfaced shitbagged wankhammer who's supposed to fix my cunting boiler which hasn't been working for over a week now and I'm a bit sick and fucking tired of having cold fucking showers, let me tell you. Last week some fucking Carlos or Miguel came out to look at it and declared that they needed a special machine to fix the thing, but the company only had one of these machines so they'd come back this week on Monday or Tuesday. Typical Spanish because I haven't head a fucking peep from them since. Cunts. Will I get a chance to ring them this morning? Will I bollocks. What will happen when I ring them later this afternoon? They'll tell me somebody will come out on Monday or cunting Tuesday. Wankers. And the boiler company are fucking pricks too.
08.49 - Random blue leotards still present family entertainment. Hope promotion will take place around the evil mackerel.
After an incident that happened on the 10th of August, the super efficient FA have announced that Sol Campbell will face his disciplinary hearing over his little flick out at Djemba Djemba blah blah fucking blah. I'm predicting a nice let-off for Sol now. Not even the FA could be stupid enough to hand him anything more than a small fine and a warning when he's due to fly out the next day to play for England. Not that I'm suggesting Sol is anything other than a consumate professional who gives his all in every single game, just that it would be a bit stupid to piss him off by giving him a ban for it. Coz it would piss him off.
Who the fuck is Patrice Evra and why should I care?
Edu has been talking about getting picked for Brazil. He's done his cause no harm with the way he's been playing. I like him a lot I have to say, he's an intelligent player, very good defensively - although people tend to gloss over that part of his game - a great passer and he gets well stuck in. I prefer him alongside Vieira to Gilberto, and it speaks volumes than when the two Brazlians play together, he assumes the role of senior partner.
Former Arsenal striker, and brother of Doctor Who Tom, Joe Baker has died at age 63 after catching a lethal and quite literally fatal dose of death. He scored 100 goals in 156 games for the Gunners.
Pots and kettles galore as Emmanuel Petit says "What happened in Arsenal’s game at United was uncalled for. EVERYBODY involved is guilty. Players have a duty to show the public we are capable of controlling ourselves."
His name is Rio and he's about to get banned.
Dopey Stupid Rio claims he forgot to turn up to give a mandatory drugs sample, and now faces being kicked out of the England squad and could face a 2 year ban from the game. Man Utd fans gutted? Not too many. Rio said he was 'moving house'. Riiight. This one is set to run for a bit.
Finally for today, A full court press - a column by Safety.
08.46 - So once again we're into the doldrums. Proper football stops and international football takes over. Turkey v England is interesting only because there might be some good fighting. If Ireland beat Russia/Switzerland and Switzerland/Russia fail to score 15 goals in one half against some other cunts, then the Republic will qualify. The French boys are going to take part in a nothing game, as they've already qualified, so hopefully they won't have to play the full 90. But generally, ZZZZZZZZ.
As always it seems to come at a bad time for us. Two great results in the league against Newcastle and Liverpool and you just want the next game against Chelsea to come straight away.
Last night I had a dream that Sylvain Wiltord got injured and would be out for 3 months. He got his foot caught under a lawn mower and shredded his toes.
Robert Pires on his Liverpool goal: "I was surprised by my goal. I don’t normally shoot from so far out. It was more like the sort of goal Thierry Henry scores." Ray Parlour on the Liverpool game "Getting three points at Liverpool when they really wanted it and played well is a massive result for us." More good stuff from our pal Henry in the Telegraph.
John Halls has joined Stoke on a one month loan. Apparently Arsenal and Man United are locked in a transfer battle over 16 year old Wimbledon midfielder Lee Martin.
And there you have it. A new job starts today. Teaching. Off to find my corduroy jacket with the leather elbow patches. And my morphine.
11.09 - The Sunday round-up on a fairly slow day. Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand why injury prone Michael Owen getting injured again gets more headlines than Arsenal's win.
Arsene Wenger has backed Pascal Cygan to come good at Arsenal. He said, with a straight face, "I think he has adapted well. At the moment Pascal is facing unexpected competition from Kolo Toure, but I rely on him. He is clever, anticipates well and is an excellent player."
Wenger on Matthew Upson on Jan 13th 2003: "Matthew has all you dream of if you play at centre-back. He has all the attributes any centre-half in the world could possibly wish for. He has pace, power and his technique in the air is extremely good. I believe Matthew is back to his best and I want to give him a go."
Gerard Houllier reckons Arsenal were more clinical than Liverpool. "They were more clinical than us" he said. Told you.
A nice piece by Henry Winter in the Telegraph about Thierry Henry. Henry's a gooner, you know. Winter, too.
Twat of the week award goes to Sky's Geoff Shreeves who asked Sol Campbell in the post match interview, "How have the last couple of weeks been for you, Sol?" How do you think they've been Geoff? Wild parties, hookers, drugs and gun fights? Moron.
16.24 - Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (Hyypia og, Pires)
And Harry Kewell said he joined Liverpool because he wanted to win things.
It was fairly typical that the bloke involved in a long running summer transfer saga involving Arsenal should put Liverpool ahead in this game. So intevitable that you were just hoping it would happen early so we could do something about it. A lucky deflection, a cool finish from Kewell and it was 1-0 to dem scousers after 13 mins.
Liverpool pretty much dominated the first half, had some good chances but were kept at bay by a very solid Arsenal back 4. I can't remember a player to have exploded into our team like Kolo Toure has, again he was outstanding, against Michael Owen this week, and his all round defensive game keeps improving.
On the half hour Arsenal had a free kick on the right. Pires played it in, Edu got a touch on it, it landed on Hyypia's foot, 1-1. Couldn't happier to nicer bloke.
Late in the first half Igor Biscan was lucky after a trip on Jeremie Aliadiere was ignored by the ref. Young Jeremie was starting his first Arsenal game ahead of Sylvain Wiltord. He did ok, worked hard but didn't really have a chance to show his attacking prowess.
Into the second half and Liverpool came out strongly again, but they couldn't keep it. Slowly we got more of the ball, and began to pass it around very nicely. We got lucky with a bobble on the edge of the Liverpool box after some nice possession, the ball came to Pires who came inside the Liverpool defenders and curled an absolute gem into the top corner of Dudek's net. His first goal of the season, and a little reminder of his class to the people who have doubted him recently.
From then on it was lots of Arsenal possession, Wiltord came on for Aliadiere, did some good stuff. We defended brilliantly, one moment when they skimmed the post apart, the midfield worked really hard and overall it was a great performance from Arsenal. Nail biting stuff at the end, I was waiting for Kewell to score again, or that lump to nick another late equaliser like he did last season, but the boys did more than hang on.
A couple of quick texts to my Liverpool supporting brother in Oz, watching in a bar, probably crying now like a little girl. Hahaha, that'll teach you to break my Arsenal mug when you were 6. YOU SLAAAAAAAAAAG.
Top of the league, we can' t be knocked off this weekeend, the rest still to play. Nice.
08.51 - So Arsenal's AGM took place yesterday and while many people were expecting a definitive answer with regards the new stadium, the news is more circumspect.
According to arsenal.com, work on the new stadium should commence next year. Arsenal director Danny Fiszman said "We now have a stadium design that is fully developed. We have a fixed price contract agreed with Sir Robert McAlpine. Depending on financing, we are ready to start construction of the stadium in the first quarter of next year."
Speaking about the funding Keith Edelman said "It is a complicated process. We are dealing with a number of banks who have to go off to credit committees. We are making good progress and we would hope to be able to come to some kind of conclusion by the end of the year"
The Independent runs a story saying Arsenal are looking at foreign banks for the financing. Nothing new there then really. Anyway, all this planning permission and high finance crap bores the life out of me. What news of players and the team and the boss from the AGM. Some points as were posted on the forums by Supasonic (real name, oh yes) who attended the AGM and spoke to Arsene Wenger afterwards.
- Senderos - He is special and will figure. Should push Kolo all the way
- Aliadiere "...he will get his chance sooner than you might think"
- Sidwell "...he may even come back - he is a great player but i felt he needed to play"
- Pennant - an excellent prospect who needs experience
- Discipline - we do need to learn not to back chat the ref/retaliate.
There were also reports of Wenger raising an eyebrow when Philippe Mexes name was mentioned. Most interesting though was the boss's straight out admittance that he was looking to bring new players in during the January transfer window. "I will definitely be buying players and signing out-of-contract players. We need two forwards at least and new players will give us the final push for the season."
Needing two forwards is as good an admittance that Wiltord's Arsenal days are drawing to a close. We know for sure it's the end for DB10 and Kanu at the end of the season, and I don't expect to see Sylvain in an Arsenal shirt next August. It's also a message to the board, I think. We have to spend now to maintain our current standing in the game. As much as having the same team helps because all the players know each other, there's a lot to be said for adding a bit of fresh blood every now and again. Wenger's take on using kids, and a top one liner from the Chairman in there too. There's another AGM report to read over on Arsenal World.
We told you on September 4th that he'd signed, and yesterday arsenal.com announced it on their website. Cesc Fabregas is an Arsenal player. But then you knew that already.
Team news ahead of the game against dem scousers is that Bergkamp, Vieira and Ljungberg are all definitely missing. Sol Cambell is available though if selected. Philippe Senderos is making progress with his back injury and should be fit within two weeks.
Sometimes I can't think of a way to finish a day's post.
08.34 - Something you'll find most Arsenal fans in agreement with at the moment is the fact that Kolo Toure has been doing a great job at centre-half. His performances have belied his relative inexperience in the position. He seems to be learning as he plays each game, he's fantastically quick and he wins far more ball in the air than a guy of 5'11" should do.
His performances haven't been lost on Martin Keown either, who is fullsome in his praise of K-Lo. "Kolo has all the tools to be a top player and he’s a willing learner, and it’s a joy to play with someone who wants to ask questions and wants to learn."
According to Toure “It’s very good for me to play alongside experienced players like Martin Keown and Sol Campbell. They are both really good players and have helped me a lot.”
We all said we needed a centre-half in the summer. It's obvious that Arsene Wenger was far more willing to try and young, inexperienced guy rather than play Pascal Cygan, and maybe the fact we didn't have any cash this summer meant Kolo got a break he might never have got if we'd gone out and spent lots of/some money on another defender. Obviously it's very early to lauding him as the answer to our defensive problems, but he's brought a new energy to the back 4 this season.
Another thing you'll find a large number of Arsenal fans in agreement with is that Sylvain Wiltord needs to spend less time on the pitch at the moment. He's done his usual trick of starting the season really well, then playing like a total cunt. He's had a contract offer from Arsenal on the table for months now, he hasn't signed it. I doubt if he has any intention of signing it, and quite honestly, I'd be a bit pissed off if he did sign at this stage. I've never been one to hold his transfer fee against him, we got caught at the top end of a hugley inflated market (£28.5m for Veron, anyone?), and to keep beating him with the £13m stick isn't fair in my opinion. That doesn't alter the fact that he is playing like a cunt, and looks like he doesn't care that he's playing like a cunt.
Earlier in the summer Wenger warned about players with 1 year left on their contracts. He said in September they were thinking about January, in January they were on the phone talking to other clubs, and before the end of the season they're not focussed at all on the current club because they know they're going somewhere else. It could be called Overmars Syndrome. Anyway, that's what's happening with Wiltord. I hope AW plays Alaidiere or Bentley ahead of Wiltord, and soon. I know they lack experience, but they can't possibly play any worse than SW11 is at the moment. If we want to use him to the best of his ability, we should hand him the mower and get lovely concentric circles on the pitch before the next home game. Otherwise it's play the kids and/or get busy in the January sales.
An interesting piece on Arsenal World. Is football all business? Is football 'like it used to be' gone forever, and is that completely a bad thing? Lauren likes Lehmann. Arsenal's AGM takes place today and there are plenty of issues on the agenda, not least of which is the new stadium. If we can get a report from there we'll put it on the site.
Ok, more inductioning today. Later.
08.51 - Another new month, I don't know where the time goes. Hopefully everyone this morning will be seeing this on the new server, rather than some lost souls in one Arseblog, some other 'lost souls' in another Arseblog.
So a first Champions League point after a scintillating 0-0 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow.
It was a pretty uninspired performance by Arsenal, typified by the head-in-clouds running around of Sylvain Wiltord. He looks bored. He looks like he's thinking about where to play next season. How about he looks on from the bench and watches Jeremie Aliadiere play with some enthusiasm and spirit?
Still, it's a clean sheet, a point away from home, both good things. You do kind of have this feeling that you expect Arsenal to beat a team like Lokomotiv Moscow, but because it's in Europe, you're not especially confident. That's kind of how Arsenal played. They knew they probably should win, they just weren't sure how to do it.
Defensively we looked pretty solid overall, Ashley got in some good tackles, Kolo was all you could ask for again and Keown looked as sharp as he has for a while. I do wonder why Lauren insists on falling over all the time though.
So there's 20 minutes to go and Arsenal have Jeremie Aliadiere and David Bentley on the bench. Two forward prospects that Arsenal fans badly want to see make it in the first team. Wiltord is having a shocker. Nobody's saying take off a defender and put on another striker. Just take off the striker who's playing like that bloke in your class who always got picked last at lunchtime. Give one of them a chance. Sometimes I think AW might be a little too cautious with the young players.
Introducing Bentley or Aliadiere will, at the very least, make Wiltord (and Bergkamp when he's fit) realise that there are two talented, hungry young players who want a place in the team. They don't care that Bergkamp has done all he's done in his career, or if Wiltord has scored in a European Championship final, they want to play football and score goals for Arsenal. If they get a chance and score goals, bingo, winner. If they get a chance and make the others buck up and score goals, bingo, winner.
Of course you just know it'll be Henry and Wiltord against Liverpool on Saturday.
Le Boss said "I feel frustrated as we felt that we had enough chances to win the game and that's what we came here to do. The spirit in the whole squad was fantastic. The boys gave everything and I can't fault their commitment, desire or spirit."
Martin Keown speaks about the Old Trafford saga. "It was a very unfortunate situation but I don't think I really hurt anyone. I think we were a little bit intoxicated in the last three minutes and we've been hammered ever since."
Ok, today is an 'induction day' for my new job. I'd like an induction of morphine, please.