Welcome to another football filled Saturday.
Arsene Wenger has been talking. Firstly he denies making the remarks attributed to him yesterday. It wasn't even so much the remarks that were the problem but the stupid headlines that the articles were posted under. 'WENGER WRITES OFF UNITED' and 'WENGER MOCKS MANCHESTER UNITED' screamed some of them. In fact he did no such thing.
To clarify he said "I said that Liverpool were the team of the 1980s, Manchester United were the team of the 1990s and it's open to us to be the team of this decade. We are far from having done what United or Liverpool did."
You have to wonder at the headlines writers though. Take Arsene Wenger's denial that he's interested in signing Michael Owen from Madrid. I'm surprised we didn't see 'WENGER SAYS OWEN IS TOO SMALL AND CRAP AND CUNTY TO PLAY FOR ARSENAL. AND THAT HE SMELLS FUNNY.'
I might try something like that with today's headline. The boss also spoke about life in England, how much easier it is for foreign managers to come here now and how things have changed in the eight years he's been at the club. 'WENGER SAYS HE MADE ENGLAND A BETTER COUNTRY'.
He also spoke about Luis Aragones and felt the Spanish coach should apologise to Thierry Henry. 'ARSENAL BOSS SAYS PAELLA LOVING, SIESTA TAKING SPANISH BOSS IS WHITE POWER BASTARD'
Ahead of the game Freddie Ljungberg is definitely out, as is Manuel Aluminium. 'SWEDISH STAR COULD BE FORCED TO RETIRE, SPANISH KEEPER DITCHES ARSENAL TO FISH FOR COD IN OUR WATERS'.
Will we see Pennant or Pires on the right. Reyes or Bergkamp up front? We shall see. Enjoy your Saturday. More later.
Woken this morning, after a poor night's sleep, to downstairs hammering. Then drilling. Then more hammering. I'm just waiting for the angle grinder to kick in. Quite frankly I hope their loins become infested with maggots and their eyes fall out. The cunts.
So real football returns after the internationals and we have some injury worries. Freddie Ljungberg is a doubt with a hamstring strain, but he's not definitely out yet. Edu's late flight back from South America means he won't play against Villa and Gilberto is still out with his back problem. Pennant seems the obvious replacement for Freddie if he doesn't make while Cesc will probably continue in midfield.
The war of words has been started, by the press I should add, after AW made some comments about Manchester United not being the force they were. He reckons their best years were '99,'00 and '01 because their players were at their peak then. I don't really see how even the most blinkered United fan could argue with that. At that time Keane, Scholes, Beckham and Giggs were awesome. Now Beckham is gone, Keane's career is winding down and Giggs and Scholes haven't quite reached the heights they did back then. The boss isn't writing them off though, as is being reported, saying "They do remain title contenders.”
The boss also talks about winning back to back titles - "We’d like to win two Premiership titles in a row — but we know it won’t be an easy challenge because some clubs are getting stronger like those with a big infrastructure, like Manchester United and Chelsea. However I’m confident we can be even better than last season.”
Meant to link to this yesterday but forgot. It seems to be a cleaned up Babelfish translation, but Robin van Persie talks about life at Arsenal. And yesterday it appears he wrote off his car on the M25, then panicked and left the scene until the cops tracked him down at Arsenal's training ground. It seems like he's had a lucky escape.
That's about the size of it. If you're going to the Villa game I should warn you there may be a Canadian there. So watch out.
It's an early start this morning as I'm off on a top secret daytrip.
Arsene Wenger has backed Jens Lehmann in his bid to oust Oliver Kahn from Germany's number 1 shirt for the World Cup in 2006. The boss says "Consistency is always the best indication for class. Jens has been hugely consistent at Arsenal and that is why I believe he is a great goalkeeper."
If I was the German coach I'd pick Lehmann simply because Kahn is so ugly I'd be afraid I'd turn to stone if I had to look at him for 90 minutes, so he'd be better on the bench behind my line of vision. It makes sense, you know.
Patrick Vieira has spoken about how proud he is to be Arsenal and France captain. He says "I don't know if people can understand the level of responsibility I have, in a club of such standing. I am the opposite of Tony Adams - who shouted. I prefer to lead by example."
So that'll be the entire squad trying to bugger off to Madrid next summer. Great.
It seems all the lads came through the internationals without injury, which is good news. Ashley Cole's cross gave Michael Owen his goal as England struggled against the mighty Azerbaijan. José Reyes came on for about 25 as Spain struggled against the mighty Lithuania, while Thierry Henry was on the scoresheet as France beat the mighty Cyprus. Beyond that, I care not.
T-shirt winner: Congratulations to Roger Phillips whose random number was the one chosen by the random number generator. The correct answer was, of course, 'Why fly? When you can walk on water.' Thanks again to the chaps at harderthansatan.com for the prize, and if you didn't win then you can always buy one.
Right, I'm off. Till later.
So tonight England play Azerbaijan, Ireland take on the Faroe Islands, Wales play Poland, France play Cyprus and Scotland lose to Moldova and I'm supposed to be interested. The England game might have been slightly interesting but Sven choosing Michael Owen as captain just illustrates what a star fucker he is and I can't be bothered. I think I'll drink a bottle of meths instead.
Lots of fuss this morning over David Beckham, who cleverly got booked when he realised he was injured, then stupidly told everyone exactly what he'd done. His quote yesterday about 'I do have the brains' was just pure Zoolander.
Arsenal's reserves played Fulham reserves the other night. We won 1-0 with a goal from Geek Love Arturo and the most impressive man on display was Philippe Senderos, although Arsene Wenger was delighted to see 17 year old Ryan Smith back from serious injury. More from Rob over on Arsenal-Land.
Arsenal America, an Arsenal site in America, have done a Q&A with Nick Hornby which they'll be publishing this Friday. Here's a snippet: "I'm very disappointed about the Emirates thing, though. I understand the commercial pressure the club is under, but I'd hoped, foolishly and naively, that there might be some sense of romance and dignity left."
Right on, Nick. Thank God he'd retain enough dignity and romance not to sell the rights to Fever Pitch to be made into a movie about baseball starring Drew Barrymore or anything. Oh...
T-shirt junkies, last chance today to win the Bergkamp shirt from harderthansatan.com (I hope they've registered harderthansanta.com for their Christmas range). See October 11th for details of how to enter. The winner will be announced early tomorrow morning.
Still not a lot happening, although there are a few snippets of news about.
We'll start in Germany, where the man who never has anything nice to say about anyone, Franz Beckenbauer, has slated Jens Lehmann (who allegedly faces the end of his international career for wearing the wrong gloves). The Kuntzer says "Lehmann had a strong performance in Tehran, but what has he accomplished in his career? Nothing, aside from a few international matches and one English championship at Arsenal."
He's a very annoying man, so he is. I'd certainly find room for him in my special* room for football characters (also including Sepp Blatter, George Best, Alan Mullery and many, many more).
Robert Pires has had a niggly start to the season, suffering a thigh injury, a foot injury, a kidney infection, an achilles problem, spina bifida and whooping cough. He reckons this sick list might be hindering his form at the moment.
Sven Goran Erikkson has called Ashley Cole 'world class'. I'm choosing to overlook all of Sven's short-comings to agree with him on this one.
And that's about all there is. Don't forget the t-shirt competition, see yesterday's blog for information on how to enter. We'll accept entries until Wednesday night at midnight and the winner will be announced on Thursday morning.
*Special room contains giant scorpions, starving ocelots, Phil Collins music on endless loop, vats of PCP and chainsaws. And assorted kitchen and surgical implements.
So, we're back into the swing of a normal international week after a weekend of duller than dull football. And a normal international week means no real Arsenal news and no real Arsenal news is what we've got.
There's another round of games on Wednesday which means until then things are going to be pretty barren.
So it means I have to write about non-Arsenal stuff today. I often get emails from people asking me about places to go and things to do in Barcelona. Most of the normal stuff you'll find in your regular tourist guides, and if you're into the routine tourist stuff that's great. But there are lots of you who want to know where the nightlife is, where the cool bars, restaurants and barrios are and where to sample the delights of the Barcelona you won't find in Dorling Kindersely. Well check out this really nifty new guide book called 'Le Cool changed my life - a weird and wonderful guide to Barcelona.' It's got loads of info about offbeat and different stuff to see and do here, and it's well worth picking up if you're planning a trip here or you've been and you want to see what you've missed. Click here for more. The website gives you a sample of what the book is like too.
And I promised you more t-shirts and more t-shirts we have. I've got at least one of these Bergkamp t-shirts from harderthansatan.com. This question is a little trickier than last week's though. Look at the t-shirt, it says 'Waarom vlieg? Wanneer u op water kunt lopen.' Tell me what that means, and it's not as rude as it sounds. Send your answers to 'email@example.com'
And if t-shirts aren't enough I'm 99% sure I'll have copies of Football Manager 2005 and associated goodies to give away in the next week or two as well. We've got more prizes than Blankety-Blank. More details on that when I get them.
So how was your weekend then?
More weekend brevity.
Edu - "It's not about money. If another club offer you, say, a million and Arsenal offer half a million but indicate you can be in the team and win things, you're happy to stay. Winning trophies is the most important thing. I'll just fight for my place, do my best."
Internationals last night. The French couldn't break down a dogged Ireland, Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell came through England's game without injury while Jens Lehmann performed heroics for Germany during their friendly against Iran. Pennant pushing for the first team?
And that's that. Have a good Sunday.
Urgh. Slept it in. Have written lots this week. Brief round-up to follow.
France play Ireland today, French camp not a happy place. Sort of. Double D wants FA to lodge complaint against Aragones. Henry Winter on racism, sort of. FA to introduce tests for EPO after Arsene Wenger's comments. Kevin Costner loves Arsenal, gave Thierry acting tips. Wrath of Kahn, Oliver fed up with our Jens. Cesc on target for Spain's U-21 side.
Lots of internationals today. Might just lie on couch. Watch. Perhaps stop talking in telegram style. Stop.
Ok, the AGM took place yesterday. If you missed the report on NewsNow you can find it here. I'm not really going to comment on it because it speaks for itself really. Some interesting stuff there though.
The Henry - Aragones race row rumbles on. Robert Pires was less than happy with the Spanish coach's remarks and late yesterday Aragones issued an apology. I don't want to keep talking about this as any attempts to try and explain the difference between a Spanish person making these remarks and, for example, an English person are quite difficult. I want to stress that in no way am I making excuses or condoning what was said. What I do want to say is that if there are Arsenal fans who feel aggrieved at José's response to the comments then you must take into account that there are cultural and idiomatic differences which, when translated directly into English, make Aragones comments seem worse than they were. And that's all I have to say about it.
Better news yesterday was that Sol Campbell is moving closer to signing a new deal. According to the big man "It's going well. There are still a few things we've got to organise but it's going in the right direction and hopefully it won't be too long."
Some more info on next year's shirt - according to an email I got today from somebody involved in the market research it's going to have a picture of the Clock End clock. So there.
Arsene Wenger talking about possible doping in football. "We have had some players come to us at Arsenal from other clubs abroad and their red blood cell count has been abnormally high. That kind of thing makes you wonder."
He's obviously referring to performance enhacing drugs like EPO which is endemic in cycling. Given the fact that the drug testing regime in football seems to be hit and miss at best it's not really shocking to think that players are taking, but more likely being given, drugs. Anyway, it's another can of worms that's bound to be opened properly at some stage in the near future. For now we'll just think of football as a nice clean game. Apart from the booze. And cocaine. And marijuana. And roasting. And drunk driving. And sex videos. Apart from all those things. Yes.
Thanks a million for all your entries to the Cesc competition. Thanks as well for your kind comments and offers of delicious bribes. You won't be surprised to hear that everyone got the answer right. Well, almost everyone. One person chose 'Dermot'. Well, it made me laugh. So there were 500+ correct answers and only two t-shirts, so in traditional fashion each entry was given a number and then the reliable random number generator did it's stuff. Congratulations are in order for Gary Howe and Paul Davies who will both receive one of these 'Highly Fabregas' t-shirts courtesy of goalhanger.com. I'll be in touch with both of you to get addresses and size information.
If you didn't win, you can always buy one, because they are cool. And as this is the blog that keeps on giving, we'll have more giveaways next week. Details on Monday.
And I did score a hat-trick, so I did.
Still lots of stuff going on this week. Now we have the 'Spanish coach in Henry race row' headlines. The stories, as we're seeing them and which originated in the French press, say that Luis Aragones said to José Reyes "Tell the nigger (Henry) you are better than him. Tell him from me".
What he said in Spanish was "Dígale al negro que usted es mejor. Dígaselo de mi parte."
Now you don't need to be a cunning linguist to know that the Spanish word for black is 'negro', but the Spanish have other words they use to talk about black people in an offensive way. If you look in a Spanish dictionary at the word 'negro' it says that's it's used to talk about a black man or people with black skin. I suppose the confusion comes about when you look up the word 'nigger' in the English part of the dictionary at the translation is, yep, 'negro'. If I had read that without seeing the headlines first I'd never have thought for a second there was anything racist about it - it's more 'tell the black guy' than 'tell the nigger' for me. Of course you can ask the question why he didn't just use Henry's name, but I don't think there was anything really sinister intended. In Marca Aragones says he doesn't understand the reaction to his words, emphasising that he's not a racist and he didn't want to insult anybody.
Update: The Spanish press are now reporting that what he said was ''¡Me cago en su puta madre negro de mierda!'. Which really is not a nice thing to say in Spanish - rough translation means 'I shit on his whore of a mother the black shit'.
Going easy you'd say his words were injudicious at best, downright stupid would be more like it.
Edu spoke to El Mundo Deportivo yesterday. Here's some of what he had to say.
- "I respect Arsenal and I won't say I would like to play for Barcelona because tomorrow all the papers will report on this, it's happened to me before."
- "What's attractive about Barcelona is not just the club, there's the city, the climate....lots of things."
- "I am an Arsenal player and I have a contract although from January I can negotiate my future freely if we don't agree to renew."
- Speaking about a possible move in the transfer window he said "First they must come to an agreement between themselves (Arsenal and Barcelona), until then I can wait."
Barcelona have lost 3 midfielders with serious knee injuries in the last couple of weeks. Thiaggo Motta, Edmilson (who's been playing central midfield) and Gabri are all out for at least 6 months and Barça's squad is threadbare. They need somebody and although Edu won't be able to play in the Champions League he seems to fit the bill. Good job he didn't say he wanted to play for them though, we might have come away with the wrong impression entirely.
Today is the AGM at Arsenal. With any luck Arseblog will have a representative there and it's bound to be a jolly, festive occasion after the last few days. All things going well we should have a report for Friday morning. Today is also the last day to get your entries in for the cool Highly Fabregas t-shirts - thanks to our chums at goalhanger.com for the prizes. See Tuesday's blog entry for the question and email address to send to. Winners will be announced tomorrow.
Football tonight. I'm going to score a hat-trick, so I am.
You know what? For an international week there's lots going on, which makes a nice change if you have to write an Arseblog blog every morning.
So yesterday saw confirmation of the Emirates Stadium deal, but instead of the £3m a year being quoted in some papers yesterday we've landed ourselves a £100m long terms sponsorship deal. The stadium will be called 'The Emirates Stadium' for the next 15 years, while from next season onwards and for another 8 seasons afterwards 'Fly Emirates' will take over from O2 as the shirt sponsors. It is a huge deal and while it does feel odd having them as sponsors the length of the deal will ensure their association will be more Arsenal than Chelsea. Sort of how it's difficult to remember Sol Campbell as a Sp*rs player. As for the name of the stadium it'll develop it's own fan-friendly name in time, whether that's Ashburton Grove, the Emigrants Stadium or something far wittier than that (which wouldn't take much).
Bottom line is when you've got a £400m stadium and redevelopment project to take care of you have to ensure the finances are in place. I'd much rather we sold the naming rights to our stadium and allowed Arsene Wenger a heftier chequebook than scrimp and save and not be able to provide a team to live up to the standards of what's going to be a fantastic new stadium. See what I said yesterday about money helping us forget?! It's funny that had another club done this it would have been hailed as a groundbreaking sponsorship deal negotiated by clever businessmen. The Sun has Arsenal's chiefs 'defending the decision to sell out to big business'. Typical.
Even better news was the confirmation from Arsene Wenger that his new contract just needs a couple of 'i's dotted and 't's crossed. It's his vision for the club that sees us moving to a new stadium, his work with the players that's turned us into genuine title contenders every season, his genius that's developed players like Vieira, Henry, Cole, Toure and improved players like Pires, Campbell and all the others that came before. With the finances secure and the future of our greatest ever manager secure it all bodes well for the club. It's expected the new deal will take him as far as the 2006/7 season and I'd imagine we'll get confirmation of it at the AGM on Thursday.
Some more info came my way yesterday about the shirt that we're going to play in next season to commemorate the last season at Highbury. Apparently it's going to be maroon in colour, long sleeved (and the sleeves will also be maroon, not white) with either a button or lace-up collar. If it's lace-up it'll be like the shirt Brazil wore for the FIFA centenary game. Basically it's going to be a replica of the old Woolwich Arsenal shirt from days of yore. So there you go. Then this picture emerged last night, so now I don't know what to think. Update: This pic is apparently a fan made effort and not the real thing, but well done to whoever made it, it's a nice looking shirt.
And speaking of FIFA, the nominations for World Player of the Year were announced yesterday. Two Arsenal players, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, are among the nominations, which include some quite ridiculous candidates like Beckham, Owen, Raul, Roberto Carlos, Wayne Rooney and others who are just there to make the list marketable and nothing else. I suppose Thierry has a good chance of winning it, but no doubt it'll be Oliver Khan or some other cunt.
Finally, don't forget you've got a chance of winning one of these 'Highly Fabregas' t-shirts. See the bottom of yesterday's blog for the brain numbingly difficult question and the email address to send to. Good luck.
So all the news yesterday was about the fact that Arsenal PLC have had the domain names registered for 'emiratesstadium.com' and they have to co.uk flavour in there too. The club did say when they were looking for a stadium sponsor they'd be looking for a company or organisation they could work with and who 'are compatible with the Club in terms of their philosophy.'
But obviously we'd be willing to forgive and forget the very suspect philosophy of being Chelsea's, and the referees', sponsor. Money, like beer, helps us forget.
Then up popped the competition on Arsenal.com whereby young Gunner can predict the kit we're going to wear next season to mark our last at Highbury. There are all sorts of rumours about us playing in a kit with, wait for it, no white sleeves, but arseblog.com can exclusively reveal the new kit for you today.
Our new sponsors, Nike and the club have come up with a design and colour scheme which will celebrate the great history of the club, using colours only associated with Arsenal and with a retro style that screams 1913 but has a modern elegant look for the naughty noughties.
Sorry to ruin the fun for all the kids who wanted to enter, but to see the new exclusive new picture of the new kit just hold your mouse over Freddie over to your left there.
Well, would you put it past them? I'm told that the new kit will be all red and will not feature white sleeves. I don't have confirmation of that though, but I'm hoping that's not going to be the case. Anyway, apparently there's going to be a press conference this morning at 10.30am to announce details of something, no doubt the stadium sponsorship. You can find out what happened by keeping your eye on NewsNow.
By the way, The Emirates Stadium is something that I just put in a headline this morning, we don't know yet if that's the official title. I'd imagine at the very least it will be The Arsenal Emirates Stadium, and that will be only how it's known formally, on paper and in speeches. I can't imagine too many fans calling it that, it's just unfortunate that Emirates have such an association with that other lot, and while they've obviously come to their senses and decided to go with a club with a bit of class... *cough*...it feels a bit strange. Sort of like how I'd feel if we signed Teddy Sheringham. Anyhow, let's wait and see what they all have to say.
Competition time: Thanks to my new best friends at goalhanger.com I've got two of these ace 'Highly Fabregas' t-shirts to give away. All you have to do is email 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and give me the answer to the following question. What is 'Cesc' short for. Is it a)Dermot b)Francesc or c)Cescito. Get cracking. Winners announced on Friday morning, so last entries will be accepted midnight on Thursbury.
And that's that.
Well, no sooner have we sorted ourselves out and got back into our stride than up comes that most irritating of complaints, international week.
So instead of good old Arsenal news we'll have the week dedicated to stories of whether or not little Mickey should play for England, Beckham and co lauding Sven the spoofer and Robbie Savage crying his shaggy little eyes out about how unfair it is he's suspended from the England v Wales game when in reality most of the world wouldn't think it unfair if he were suspended from the Severn Bridge by his testicles.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about his players going away on international duty and in his opinion the Champions League produces higher quality football than international games. The boss says "In recent years, the competition has become weaker in international football and stronger in the club game."
I couldn't agree more and I do believe any hypothetical match-up between a top club side and a top international side would see the club side come out on top more often than not. Back in the league Chelsea continued their series of 1-0 wins when Joe Cole's goal was enough to defeat an insipid Liverpool, while the second coming of Rooney in a United shirt could hardly have been more different from the first and they needed a late Alan Smith goal to save a point against Boro.
Not a lot else going on, hopefully this week I'll have some competitions for t-shirts and games to help pass the time while we wait for the proper football to begin again. How was your weekend then?
The Emirates Stadium - it looks like they're the corporate sponsors of Arsenal's new stadium. The domain 'emiratesstadium.com' has been registered and the DNS look up on the domain name gives the following information.
The Emirates in question are the same Emirates that have been sponsoring Chelsea for years. Their deal with Abramovich's bitches runs out at the end of this year and now we're going to have a stadium with their name all over it.
Later on I'll exclusively reveal how the only beer on sale will be Holsten, all electrical appliances will be provided by Sharp and the computers used will be from Hewlett Packard.
And you thought we were going to get a cool sponsor, eh?
Saw the game in The Philharmonic on c/Mallorca in Barcelona which is fast becoming the home for Arsenal fans to see the games. There seems to be a regular crew up there every week with the weekend visitors thrown in.
And it was back to business for the lads as we put Euro hangovers and bus-bashing behind to us to give Charlton a bit of a spanking.
Charlton looked like they didn't quite know which way to play and the defensive stlye they tried out was obviously pretty alien to most of their players.
There was only one goal in the first half, despite us having most of the ball and creating chances, and that came when Dennis Bergkamp chased an Henry pass, cut back inside and crossed it low for the onrushing Freddie Ljungberg to finish in lethal style.
Minutes into the second half Arsenal got their second. Henry got the ball in the box and with his back to goal and the defender climbing all over the back of him he backheeled it past Dean Kiely from just outside the 6 yard box. When I tell you the pub exploded with a mixture of cheers and laughter I'm not doing it justice. There were howls of laughter as the replays were shown and even the Spanish commentators were chuckling away at the sheer cheek of it.
We had to wait 20 minutes to make the game really safe when Henry and José had a game of pass the ball to each other on the edge of the Charlton box and as their defenders stood off Henry cracked one in under the crossbar to make it 3-0. Then just a minunte later Dennis put José through and he drilled a low shot first time past Kiely to make it 4-0. He could have had another a bit later but skied a right foot shot from 8 yard with only the keeper to beat. So it finished 4-0, we go 5 clear at the top for now and it was the kind of performance we needed.
Some observations - we're very lucky to have two classy left backs. Gael Clichy is so good that we don't miss Ashley Cole when he's out, and that's saying something. Cesc Fabregas is just awesome, his passing is superb, not just in terms of accuracy but the weight he puts on the ball is almost always perfect and for a 17 year old that's not par for the course. He always wants the ball, he has great vision and I don't think it's any coincidence that our form picked up when he was back in the team. Finally, Patrick Vieira had his best game for us in a long time which is another reason we played so well. Keep it up please, Paddy.
Second funniest moment of the game was when Robin van Persie thought he'd scored although Dennis Bergkamp had been given offside in the build up. He got pushed over by a Charlton defender and when Dean Kiely bent over to have a word the young Dutchling didn't hold back with his 'FUCK YOU!', did he? I like his style I have to say. Finally, Thierry Henry in Observer Sports Monthly.
Sundays after winning 4-0 make the Sunday papers more excellent, so I'm off to get some brekkie and bask in the 4-0y goodness and warm October sunshine. Later.
After yesterday's reports of the 15 rounds between Lauren and Patrick Vieira, Arsene Wenger was quick to play it down as a "...minor, minor incident," which is pretty much what everyone expected. Apart from those people who expected the 'I didn't see it' answer.
The boss claims it was down to players being passionate and caring about what happens on the pitch, but refused to be drawn into giving details, saying "If I ask what was going on in a disagreement in your family do you come and say it? No. You have to respect what is happening inside the team and keep it inside the team."
So despite something happening Patrick Vieira then claimed nothing happened at all and that him and Lauren are best friends and they're always over at each other's houses playing soldiers and swingball in the back garden. So that makes everything clear then. Still, I suspect it was nothing serious and these kind of arguments happen all the time in football, at every level, this one just happened to be a bit more public than we might like.
Team news for today is that Pires, Cole and Edu are out. Cole has an injury while Edu and Pires are 'rested'. Clichy will come in at left back, Cesc Fabregas will start in midfield (which will make the Spanish commentators happy) and Dennis will start up front with TH and José should continue out on the left. The boss was thinking about giving Sol a break but the idea of Cygan alongside Clichy gave him the shits and Sol is likely to play.
"Obviously we do not have a lot of English players any more, but, in the end, we’re all wearing the Arsenal shirt. I may be French, but I’m playing for Arsenal.” - Thierry Henry talks to Observer Sports Monthly this Sunday, talking about Arsenal, France and Patrick Vieira. It looks a jolly interesting interview and the filthly lucre the Observer paid me to say that has nothing to do with it. I should be honest, they didn't pay me anything at all but maybe now is a good time to say I will heartily endorse any product or sentiment for the right price. Just get in touch.
Arsene Wenger says Francis Jeffers missed the train. Amazing, with ears like that he should have been able to hear it coming from miles away. Boom boom.
That's it. Exciting shopping for groceries lies ahead this morning, then it's off to the pub to watch the game. More later.
Welcome to another brand new month on Arseblog.
This morning starts with news from Norway that two Arsenal players are supposed to have had a bust-up on the team coach. Eyewitness say that the players involved were Lauren and Vieira, so Paddy must have been feeling very brave because of all the players in the Arsenal team the last one I'd fuck around with would be Lauren. He looks like he wouldn't even think twice about killing you with his bare hands. In the article above it says the players requested to be seated in different areas of the team coach, which sounds a bit odd. Did they sit there glaring at each other until somebody came and moved them? I know Arsenal players are well looked after but that's just taking the piss.
A Norwegian policeman said "I can confirm there was contact between the two players. But by the time we boarded the bus they had been separated and it was over."
Naturally Arsenal are playing down the incident and are said to be 'mystified' over reports of a bust-up but it seems something definitely went on and reports suggest Arsene Wenger is considering disciplinary action against the pair. If I hear any more about it I'll let you know.
Back in the real world the Arsenal reserves were in action last night and despite having a man sent off they ran out 2-1 winners. You can get a full match report over on Arsenal Land.
Away from Arsenal ex-Gunner Martin Keown has apparently been sacked by Leicester City after a series of rows with boss Mickey Adams. It seems Martin accused Adams of not being as good as Arsene Wenger and was therefore given the boot for stating the obvious.
Not much else happening. Played football last night so I'm aching a bit today. Sadly my two goals couldn't prevent us getting beaten 10-7 and I have a big bruise on my shin from some last ditch defending. I'm glad I bought shin pads yesterday before I went to play.