08.49 - So it all went pretty much as expected yesterday for Arsenal as the FA handed out their punishment for the players behaviour after the Battle of blah blah blah.
Lauren gets a 4 match ban for pushing somebody. Martin Keown a 3 match ban for jumping too high in the air and for calling Ruud van Nistelrooy a bad name, Patrick Vieira got a one match ban for not being sent off enough and Ray Parlour one match for excessive gingerness. Along with that there was a fine of £175,000 for Arsenal FC for not controlling their players, while the players who got banned, and Ashley Cole who just got a warning, got fines totalling £100,000. Does anybody know what actually happens to the money that players pay in fines? Is it used for *cough* 'supporting grass roots football' or is it, as I suspect, blown on foie gras and high class hookers?
Of course, the whole thing is bollocks. A 4 match ban for Lauren, for that? Why is Ray Parlour banned? For calling somebody a cunt? Fucks sake. You wouldn't mind so much if he'd been calling Mother Theresa, or somebody who wasn't a cunt a cunt, but it must be hard to take being banned for calling the biggest cunt in football a cunt. Anyway, nowt we can do about it now. Just get on with winning football matches. There's a whole pile of stuff on what games are being missed by who over on Arseweb.
Lauren's four match ban we've got a problem at right back. With Arsene Wenger unlikely to break up the Kolo - Sol partnership in central defence, it means that Arsenal will have to play youngster Justin Hoyte, or perhaps Stathis Tavlaridis who's a reserve centre-half by trade. It's possible that Moritz Volz could be brought back from his loan spell with Fulham, and the
pet shoppers Cottagers have confirmed that the German U21 international can be recalled with just 24 hours notice.
Jermaine Pennant - "I was just a reserve and it’s hard to accept that when you score a hat-trick you’re dumped back into the reserves. But my loan spell here is going great. I cannot wait for the weekend to come around.”
Celta Vigo are after Kanu again and want to make a bid when the transfer window opens. According to 'a friend' of Kanu, "They (Celta officials) sent word to Kanu's agent over the weekend that they are once again interested in signing him. He (Kanu), however, told me that he would take a final decision after he studied all the offers carefully and weighed everything up properly."
Away from football, I'd just like to wish a fantastic halloween to the cunts who are building the house at the back of mine. Yes, 8am is just the right time to start drilling you fucking wankers. Of course, the drilling will stop at around 9 when they all fuck off to a bar to have their 2 hour breakfast which will consist of beer and pigs feet. The big bitches.
Anyway, have a spooky one.
08.47 - Arsene Wenger has dropped another hint that Jeremie Aliadiere is going to see more first team action after his display against Rotherham. He's one of the names, along with Pennant, that Arsenal fans have been bandying about for the last couple of seasons as a youngster that can make the grade. "He can put pressure on everybody in the first team now. It's the first year that we've had him without injury. Jeremie is just maturing now physically. He is much stronger physically now and is not knocked off the ball. He is very quick, very mobile and has a lightning start over the first 10 yards."
Fingers crossed he can do the business in the first team. New boy Cesc - who has to wear his surname Fabregas on his shirt - has revealed he was mightily impressed with the Arsenal fans during his full debut. "It was incredible. They never stop encouraging you even when you're losing. I loved it."
Patrick Vieira is desperate for a quick recovery, but is promising to be a good patient having admitted his comeback in Kiev was a little rushed. Some people are unhappy about the fact that Jermaine Pennant can play against Arsenal this weekend. Arsene Wenger has said it's 'immoral' to stop a player playing for the club he's on loan with, no matter who they're playing. Personally, I'm not that bothered. If he's out on loan to get experience of playing top flight football, what better way for him to hone his skills than playing against us? Maybe he'll be out impress. We just have to figure out who he'll be trying to impress though. He says it's going to be weird playing against his 'pal' Ashley Cole.
Apparently the Russian's aren't after us, we're after them, with Double-D doing all the flirting. Arsenal will find out today what's going to happen to the players charged after the Old Trafford Disaster ™ - all rights reserved. Some bans, some fines, some slaps on the wrist.
Right, I have to go lambast somebody. Later.
08.37 - Well, I reckon last night's game against Rotherham was value for money.
27,000+ got to see Cesc Fabregas break Jermaine Pennant's record and become Arsenal's youngest ever first team player - as revealed exclusively here on Arseblog yesterday. At 16 years and 177 days old (yesterday) the Catalan youngster seemed to make a pretty solid debut. I didn't hear the game, see the game, and followed the penalty shoot-out in the arseblog IRC channel, so if anyone who was there wants to fill the rest of us in, please feel free to arse.
Jeremie Aliadiere said he wanted to give Arsene Wenger something to think about with his performance, and a goal and penalty (at the first time of asking) may see him in contention at the weekend.
Then there were penalty kicks. I don't need to tell you how popular Wiltord was when he missed the first one, but without that miss maybe we wouldn't have seen the youngsters like Spicer, Clichy and another 16 year old, Ryan Smith, all step up knowing that if they missed Arsenal would be out. They all scored. Class.
Kanu scored one, even Cygan fer crissakes scored one, and when both keepers had taken one, and Rotherham's first man went again and missed, it was up to Sylvain to win the game for Arsenal. Would he impale the ball on his tongue? Would he run up in a giant circle and make himself too dizzy to score? Nah, he buried it. A hero once again. Arsenal through, Northerners gutted. A fun night out for all the family.
When's the last time we won a penalty shoot-out 9-8 then? Arsene Wenger said "I'm very happy that we won the game, especially as the team we finished with must be the youngest to have played for Arsenal. I feel sorry for Rotherham. They had fantastic spirit and gave everything until the last minute."
About Cesc, AW said "He looked very comfortable. I think he had a little bit of a timid start but after that he looked great. Of course he's only 16 and has not played for one month because he was not qualified, but over all he looked very good."
Tribal Football says we're after Miroslav Klose. Arsenal's players will face their FA hearings tomorrow with regard to the Old Trafford Disaster ™ - all rights reserved. Expect bans for Lauren and Keown while the rest get warnings. Proper punching between Blackburn and Southampton, Rufus Brevett getting away with decking Joe Cole and a copper and other proper bad behaviour should see the Gunners slapped on the wrist and nothing more. So, they'll all get 5 match bans now...
How are the heads this morning then?
14.00 - Exclusive: Cesc will start in midfield for Arsenal tonight.
08.46 - The other day we told you that newly
poached signed youngsterling Cesc Fabregas '.. may feature in the Carling cup.'
It's an extra 5 bob note for my
snout man on the inside, as Cesc has been named in the squad. If he does make an appearance, he'll break Jermaine Pennant's record of being the youngest player to play for the first team. It's a very young squad for the game against Rotherham. Edu, Kanu, Cygan and Wiltord the only established players with John Spicer, Graham Stack, Craig Holloway, Gael Clichy, Jerome Thomas, Olafur-Ingi Skulason, Ryan Smith, Cesc and Quincy "MD" Owusu Abeyie all called up. It should be a good test for the kids. We would have seen David Bentley, but unfortunately he picked up an injury in training.
Jeremie Aliadiere is using tonight to show AW what he can do. He started at Anfield, but hasn't been seen on the pitch since. He says "I must do everything to show the boss I can play more and that starts with Rotherham."
Steve Sidwell on Arsenal's youths - "A lot of the lads met up recently for Stacky's (Graham Stack) birthday and some of the players who were still at Arsenal were saying they wish they could move on like Rohan has done with Tottenham or I have at Reading." Interesting stuff. Especially this bit, which is something I've said here before, "Nobody can argue with signings like Nicolas Anelka or Patrick Vieira, who were unknown when they joined. But what about foreign players like Stefan Malz, Igor Stepanovs and Stathis Tavlaridis who hang around for years and stop youngsters from even getting reserve-team experience."
The boy's got a very good point.
Graham Stack looks certain to make his first team debut, and it'll be good to have another Irishman in the team after so long. It's also a good chance for him to make a claim for the number 2 spot. Stuart Taylor is always injured, certainly too much so to ever be considered for the Number 1 jersey, so it's an opportunity for a player who got rave reviews during his loan spell at Beveren. If only some Arseblog readers were going to the game, they could give me a report on how he did. Oh well.
Some bad news regarding Philippe Senderos, he's done his leg in training (nothing too serious though), and he's likely to be out action for another little while at least. Ladies and Gentlemen, Vivas has left the building. Ashley Cole says there's more to come from Arsenal. Arsene Wenger talks about how the strikers are going to start scoring again soon, easing the burden on our poor pack mule Thierry. "It's difficult to say why the other players don't score at the moment, but I think Wiltord, Bergkamp, Kanu and Pires can all score goals and they will score again."
And on that optimistic note...
08.54 - Still top of the league.
Arsene Wenger yesterday had a little pop at Matt Holland for his tumble in the box to win Charlton their penalty. He said "If I was the manager of Charlton, I would be very happy. There was no water underneath him but it was very nice. I don't rage about it, I can't change anything now, I am just saying what I honestly think."
Alan Curbishley said "Over the years, we've had some right tussles with Arsenal but they are a great club and I don't want to get involved in talking about these things." Which is about right, really.
News from yesterday as well that Patrick Vieira's injury is a new muscle tear, just above the old injury. This means he's going to be out for around 3 more weeks. He might be ready for Birmingham on November 22nd. Three days after that we go to Milan. Fingers crossed he makes a quick recovery.
We're not going Russian. A spokesman for Vladimir Potanin said "Vladimir Potanin has no plans to acquire any sports clubs whatsoever." So, he's buying Tottenham then. That's not to say Arsene Wenger wouldn't like to see a Russian billionaire wandering around Highbury. "I didn’t meet any billionaires in the corridor but I would be happy to see one.”
Monaco defender Sebastien Squillaci links himself with the club. "They [Arsenal]They have been following my progress for some time."
Of course, this week sees probably Arsenal's most important game of the season so far. Rotherham in the Carling Cup. Anybody who's nobody will be there to see the stars of the future take their first steps towards a cup final in Cardiff. It's got game of the season written all over it.
17.31 - Charlton 1-1 Arsenal (Henry)
Henry to the rescue again. I don't know what we'd do without him, but I know we wouldn't be top of the league.
His 39th minute free kick gave Arsenal a share of the points after Charlton had taken the lead with what the radio said was a pretty dodgy penalty. Jens Lehmann hasn't been around long enough to know that Di Canio was going to chip it down the middle and that was that.
Not a whole lot in the way of chances really, Lehmann made a couple of saves, but Chalrton worked hard and deserved their point from the game. Which brings us back to Henry again. We don't have anyone to take the pressure off him and I'm worried he'll burn out. He always looks angry after he scores now. That can't be right. Why is Ashley Cole walking away without so much as looking back in this picture?
Thierry is carrying the team and he can't do it forever. We need the others to step it up and shoulder some of the responsibility. I read a column by Terry Venables in the NOTW today, and he menmtioned some pretty interesting stats. It was October 2002 when an Arsenal player apart from Henry scored in Europe. Wiltord has scored one goal in twenty Champions League appearances. It's plainly obvious we need somebody else who can score goals consistently. Wiltord has proved he can't. Dennis doesn't score anymore. Kanu is Kanu. We need somebody new in my opinion, and if there's any chance of signing Kluivert, the club should do everything they can to bring him in (if they haven't already).
Still, we're top of the league, so everything in the garden is rosy. Right?
09.57 - Hey, I got up at 10.30 only to discover that it wasn't really 10.30 at all. Have you put your clocks back?
Exciting news this morning in that Arsenal have been targetted by a Russian JR. According to the Independent on Sunday (via Yahoo), Vladimir Potanin, an oil and mining magnate is considering investing up to £120m in Arsenal in reeturn for a share in the club. Obviously that would be seriously handy money to have around the place, but there's just something a bit suspicious about this rush of Russkies to invest in football. We'll see what happens.
Wenger on drugs...er...Wenger chews the smack with Patrick Barclay....er...AW talks about stuff. Amy Lawrence on Kluivert. Not literally. Not much else going on this morning. Chalrton away later on. Freddie fit, Paddy and MK5 not.
08.31 - It seems unlikely that Arsenal will be making any signings when the transfer window opens, despite furious speculation and rumour. After increasing chatter about Patrick Kluivert Arsene Wenger said today "A fee of £1.3 million is not expensive but we cannot afford those [wages]. It's a situation created by the media at the moment though. I'm not out to buy anyone."
Kluivert was in London midweek though, commentating for Sky Sports. A strange coincidence, especially when you take into account what Myles said at the bottom of his latest piece. "Late on Tuesday night I had a phone call to say that Arsenal have signed two players. They've been to Highbury, seen Colney, and signed. But nobody knows who they are."
With the best will in the world, it seems unlikely that Arsenal have signed somebody like Kluivert, along with another player on Tuesday, without anybody finding out by now.
It seems more likely that the fresh blood the team needs is going to come from the youths. With Aliadiere already beginning to get some action, Jermaine Pennant, Mortiz Volz and Sebastian Svard are likely to be the ones to get games when they return from their loan spells. AW said "If I can get Pennant, Volz and Svard back with six months' experience behind them, I'm quite relaxed about putting them into the side."
Interesting Bob Wilson piece in the Telegraph. It touches on the fact that a couple of interviews he did didn't go down well at all amongst the Arsenal squad and management, and at the moment he's not welcome at the training ground despite his many years at the club.
Those of you looking out for news of our recent Catalan signing Cesc Fabregas will be interested to hear that he's training with the first team squad on a daily basis, and may feature in the Carling cup. As it is, he'll play today against Coventry in what will be his first official Arsenal game. I'm unsure what level that's at though. Kolo on Chalrton, Wenger bemoans Vieira injury, PIres tells Chelsea there's only one team in London and Rami Shaaban returns (to you and yours).
Working on a Saturday morning is unnatural. Gah. Later.
08.34 - After the cracking result in the Chumps League on Tuesday, we now have the fantastic news that Patrick Vieira is likely to be out of action for at least 2 weeks after suffering a recurrence of his thigh injury. His 30 minute run-out against Kiev came a bit too soon it seems.
Arsene Wenger said "We don’t know what is happening with his muscle. But he is not right, and it will be at least two more weeks. He definitely misses this weekend; there is no doubt about that."
Martin Keown is also out with a calf injury, but Freddie Ljungberg should be fit for Sunday's game against Charlton. We also hear that Phillipe Senderos is pretty much back to full fitness and could feature in the first team squad soon.
Patrick Kluivert has ruled out a move to the Premiership for the foreseeable future anyway. He says "I have not spoken to Arsenal, or to any other Premiership club. There is no chance of my moving to the Premiership in the near future." That's what he thinks.
Thierry Henry is puzzled by Arsenal's European form. "It is so strange. Trust me, we are trying to do well. Maybe, instead of playing how we know we can play we're trying to play too well. We should maybe come back to the basics."
Jens Lehmann says Arsenal's failure to qualify (should they fail) will be all his fault. Poetically he mused "My mood is as grey as the skies over London. I did not sleep at all on the night after the game.”
I've woken up late and I have to see a man about a dog 20 minutes ago. Later.
08.49 - The captain still reckons we can do it. In a rallying call to the team, and I suppose to fans too, he said "We still have a chance to qualify. Mathematically, anything is still possible so we will believe in it. It's going to be hard but we still believe we have a good chance to go through."
I don't know that it's a good chance. A good chance is having to lose by 12-0 not to qualify, maybe that's just me though. If they do manage to win the two home games against the Russkies and Urkraininnies, it's off to Milan for make or break game against Inter. We never do things the easy way, especially in Europe, and while the eternal optimist in me - the one that kept me going through the 80s, always thinking at the start of the season we had a good chance of the league - can see us making the 2nd round with a last minute goal at the San Siro, the realist in me tells me we're pretty fucked. So, I'm going to take more drugs and drown the realist out. He's a stupid cunt anyway. Pay the bills. Be responsible. Don't bunk off work. Fuck him. Stupid realist baaaaastid. It's all good. We're going through. I believe. Praise Jebus, I believe. Oh yes.
Ray Parlour says "We definitely need seven points from our last three games but I imagine we need to win them all. Going back into the UEFA Cup would be a bitter pill for us all to swallow.''
The Sun and noted Arsenalyte Mark Irwin talk about how Arsenal's exit from the Champions League at such an early stage could mean the end of Ashburton Grove. Of course, it's a load of made up shite, but since when did that stop anyone?
Uses for Wiltordbot part 1: The Wiltordbot's patented 'always-offside'™ chip makes him the perfect tool for practising the defensive, arms in the air, "Oi linesman" drills. You know no matter how close it is, your Wiltordbot will always be offside.
To order your Wiltordbot, contact arseblogindustrialglobalcorp.com
*please allow 28 light years for
recovery discovery delivery. |
'Are you watching Arsenal?' asks this Chelsea site. Who the fuck else would we be watching, you twats?
Misfiring gunners needs a new approach, says the Guardian. Can't argue with the headline anyway. More on Kluivert. He's having an unhappy time at Barcelona, and at this stage he could score a hat-trick against Madrid and they'd still give him a hard time. Barça spokesman Juanjo Mebanjo said "Arsenal and Chelsea have been in touch with us regarding Patrick and we hope the whole thing will be resolved quickly.''
The papers here have been talking about Arsenal and Kluivert for some time now. January isn't far away, so we'll see what happens. It might be too late for Europe, but I think some fresh blood would give the the team a bit of a lift. As it appears unlikely this is going to come from the youths, you can only hope AW is allowed go shopping when the transfer window opens.
08.56 - What is it with Europe?
Why is it that a team that's top of the Premiership hasn't won a game in Europe since 1854? If Wiltord is suffering so badly with his confidence while he tries to make up his mind whether he'll let Arsenal pay him thousands and thousands of pounds per week next season, why play him in the first place? Where was Jeremie Aliaidiere?
All questions to which I expect answers from you, because I didn't see it. Stupid Irish TV channel showing Celtic. I mean, what's that about?
It all sounded very close in the last few minutes, Tony Gale said on Capital Radio that it was an excellent game and that we played very well, but bottom line is the result has gone badly for us again.
Is it time to try something different in Europe? Will that even make a difference? Dynamo Kiev are no better than Chelsea, if they even come close to being that good. Why is it we can grind out a result against top Premiership sides, but once we play midweek it's like we're scared and timid and nervous? Would he help? Answers on a postcard to Mr A Wenger, Arsenal Football Club, 7, England.
So we need 3 wins to go through. It's not beyond our capabilities, but given our recent form it's a seriously tall order. Sol Campbell said "We are playing well in the Premiership. But in Europe, for whatever reason, we just can't seem to get going at the moment."
Arsene Wenger was upbeat. Well, if not upbeat, undownbeat. "There is still a lot to play for. We face Kiev and Moscow at home and those are good chances for us to take three points and then see what we can do in our game away to Inter Milan. I still believe we will go through, I just don't know who with." He has also defended keeper Jens Lehmann whose error cost gifted Kiev their second goal. "Jens is very down but people make mistakes and all of the boys are behind him. He is an experienced keeper and we have to stick together - not blame him."
So yet another European disappointment for Arsenal and Arsenal fans. Of course, I blame Myles.
08.37 - "It's true that if you look at our goals, they come mainly from one person." - Arsene Wenger.
True enough, but then you could say that about United with van Nistelrooy, Liverpool and Owen, Newcastle and Shearer. When you've got a truly world class striker at your club, chances are he's going to score most goals. Off the top of my head, I can only think of Madrid - Raul and Ronaldo - as the team with with two truly world class strikers playing together.
Maybe it's too much to expect another Henry, or a Raul or Ronaldo or Shevchenko. But is it too much to expect Arsenal to have another striker who could score 20 goals a season, consistently, for us? Dennis Bergkamp is a fantastic player, but not a prolific goalscorer by any means. Kanu got a good few in his first full season, but for various reasons has never come close to that tally again. And in my opinion, Henry and the in-form Wiltord go together like Lee Harvey and JFK.
In this Arsenal team, given how well we attack, how many chances we create, I think a striker who's good in the air would add an extra dimension to our game. Even Robert Pires said this week that teams have us rumbled in Europe. We only have one way to play; quick precision passing. I know it's a little bit the antithesis of Wenger's football, but having an aerial option wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if the lad up top could play a bit too. More Vieri than Hartson, y'know? Seeing as we've saved ourselves around £10m on a centre-half now that we've got Kolo, wouldn't it be nice to stick a few quid on a striker? Zlatan? Kluivert? Eto'o? When it comes to football transfers, striker speculation is the most fun. Like if someone came up to you now and said "I'll trade you Bergkamp, Kanu and Wiltord for a really top class striker" you'd go 'Yeah Yeah' without thinking before they handed you Stephane G'uivarch and legged with your 3 players. Anyway, the point is this. If we could get a 20 goal a season striker to play with TH we'd have a better chance of winning stuff. Easy. Somebody just needs to tell Mr Wenger.
Dennis Bergkamp on Kolo (from icons.com, registration required). "Sometimes young players in football are criticised because they have it too easy, make too much money and take things for granted. But Kolo is one of the players who realises for every second of the day that he is very lucky to be doing this job."
Jermaine Pennant has shown how much he wants to make it at Arsenal by declaring he wants to stay at Leeds for the rest of the season. As his loan deal was extended for another month (thanks a lot for Sunday's story you TribalFootball muppets), Pennant said "I definitely want to be here for the whole year – the next month will pass too quickly and it might only be for two games anyway. Hopefully, Leeds can keep me all season and then we will see what happens from there." It's all 'I' and 'me' with that lad. Kanu has been given some words of praise from the boss after his Chelsea run out. As well as being a damn fine player, Edu seems to be one of the real nice guys in football. Read what he has to say about the goal that might be Parlour's.
Kiev later. 10-0 to the Arsenal. Easy. Wiltord with 9.
09.41 - Arsenal travel to the Ukraine today ahead of tomorrow's must-win game with Dynamo Kiev. Ray Parlour says "A draw wouldn’t be so bad but a win is what we really want. Whatever happens, we mustn’t lose."
Arsenal will be without Martin Keown and Dennis Bergkamp, but Vieira and Ljungberg could return. It will be interesting to see who makes way in midfield if Paddy does play. On current form it's got to be Edu, who's playing as well as he did during the run in to the double in 2002. I'd play Kanu up top with Henry too.
Arsene Wenger has said that Sylvain Wiltord's contract problems are affecting his form. No shit. The boss says "Once Wiltord’s contract is sorted out, you will see the real Wiltord back. He is a confidence player. I do not want to offload him, though. I want him to stay here."
All well and good, but he's playing like a crippled dog at the moment. As far as I'm aware he's been offered a new deal at the club but has refused to sign it and just the other day he said some thing along the lines of 'We're not even talking about a new contract.' Even if he does sign a new contract, it won't be greeted anywhere as enthusiastically as he might hope. Yes he's scored important goals for us, but I won't shed any tears if he leaves, plus I think we could do with some fresh blood.
Lucky Arsenal? Maybe, but you make your own luck in this game. It's not over until Kathy Bates sings, and it is quite literally a game of two halves. Unless there's extra time when it becomes a game of four halves.
10.55 - My bizarre dreams continue. This time I was world table-tennis champions, having easily beaten Trevor Brooking in the final. That'll teach him to score the winner in the 1980 FA Cup Final.
Carlo Cuducini's Jerzy Dudek impression gave Thierry Henry the chance to score the winner yesterday. Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal were a little bit lucky, but based on the performance there's no doubt we deserved all 3 points.
Le Boss said "In the end we were lucky because Cudicini is usually reliable but he made that mistake, but I felt we wanted the three points whereas they would have been happy with a point."
Chelsea may have gone out and spent a fortune in the summer, but this was proof of the benefit of keeping the same players together. It caps a fine series of results for us. 3 wins and a draw against United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle. You can't ask for much more than that.
According to the News of the World, PSV striker Mateja Kezman wants to join Arsenal. He says "Joining Arsenal would be exciting." Apparently he scored 35 goals in the Dutch league last season, which is impressive, even in a 2nd rate league like that.
Coming up on Tuesday is a make or break European game for the Gunners. Dinamo Kiev in Kiev, and the boys are feeling the pressure. Robert Pires says "I don't even want to think about us not qualifying for the next round." It's rare to hear Sylvain Wiltord talk and not go on about himself, but he makes a good point when he says "We need to stop talking about our European form and get out and play. For a few years, we've been blocked at the quarter-final stage or before and it's time we went further."
AW says "It's a massive game for us as we must get at least a point." Kiev players are confident after seeing us draw with Locomotiv Moscow.Tribal Football says Jermaine Pennant is returning to Arsenal after the club and Leeds were unable to agree an extension to his loan deal.
Right, enjoy your Sunday. It's grey again here in Spain, nothing to do but play PES3 all day, which is quite simply the best football game ever.
18.09 - Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Edu, Henry)
10.31 - Morning has broken, and it feels like my back has too. Stupid sleeping like a contortionist.
A quick pre-game round up. AW has called for more drug testing in football. "I think, deeply, that the football authorities have a responsibility to keep the game clean. At the moment, they are not doing that, either in England or Europe."
There's a nice piece about Edu in the Indo. For the second month running, Kolo Toure has won arsenal.com's player of the month award. Well done K-Lo, keep it up. Robert Pires revealed he rejected a move to Chelsea during the summer. Jermaine Pennant's loan spell at Leeds is set to be extended unless we're 'decimated' with injuries and suspensions. Thierry Henry on Chelsea and other stuff.
In team news, Dennis Bergkamp returns and could start, with Sylvain Wiltord on the right hand side of midfield. Freddie Ljungberg is still out though, and Martin Keown has a calf problem.
08.57 - Flies are utter, utter cunts.
And you know who else are cunts? People who look like Matt Damon. You know, the kind of person that looks a bit special, looks like they might have the strength of ten men when they lose their temper. I went to school with a bloke like that. His name was Boothead.
Arsene Wenger is still waiting to see if he is going to be charged after his comments about Ruud van Nistelrooy being a diver and a cheat way back when. Maybe the FA have realised that it's a bit difficult to charge somebody with telling the truth. Edu says Arsenal are like England. "It is very similar to the England situation with the Turkey game. When they thought everyone was against them they got a result. We have a very big match this weekend against Chelsea and we have the same sort of attitude going into this match."
Dennis Bergkamp says Chelsea are serious title contenders. "There is a lot of talent in every position and depth in the squad. If you have that, then you can challenge for the championship. They are doing well, so why not?"
Sol Campbell isn't that bothered by them though. He says "At the end of the day you can only play 11 against 11." He also talks about the possibility of a couple of signings soon, saying "I honestly feel that Arsenal will sort out the stadium and then have money to acquire some other players when the transfer window opens."
Jermaine Pennant wants to stay at Leeds. He says "I'm being treated well and that gives me a lot of respect for the gaffer and the players and they've a lot of respect for me." Coz that's what it's all about, respec'. Almost every day Tribal Football have us in a race with Man United to sign some new wonderkid. Today it's Osasuna midfielder, Valdo. Vere's Valdo?
Somebody's been putting something in the columnists tea, I reckon. There's new one from Mike Rocks today called - Press, lies and stereotypes.
I had a dream last night that I was on tour with Jonah Lewie, the drummer from Echo and the Bunnymen and Robert Fripp. I was the Stylophone player. Strange.