october 16th

Twice in recent memory this Arsenal side has gone through a campaign without losing away. This time around we can't win away for love nor money. I didn't see the game, only the goals, but we had plenty of chances apparently. We weren't helped by losing Freddie Ljungberg who joins the mile long injury list with a hamstring strain that will keep him out for 2-3 weeks.

Having taken the lead with Philippe Senderos' first goal for the club they equalised through old boy Kanu, isn't it always the way, and on 76 minutes Darren Carter hit a rocket of a winner.

Afterwards the boss put the defeat down to a lack of maturity and experience. He said "I feel overall we played well with a good spirit but we were punished, a little bit lack of luck but as well a great performance from Kirkland and mainly I feel a lack of maturity. We had a little bit too much inexperience to take advantage of the situation we created."

And with the injuries mounting, particularly to the experienced players, this looks like something we're going to have to suffer for the coming weeks unless the players learn very quickly from games like this. Of course the young players were always going to have matches where things didn't go well and the lack of experience would show but, while there are no easy games in the Premiership, West Brom is one you'd look at the fixture list and think anything less than 3 points would be a disappointment. No points at all is not something that you'd consider and that's not being arrogant or anything, just realistic.

Wenger looks happy

But what to do? When we've got our first XI fit I think we've got a very good team. Where we're suffering is the lack of depth to the squad and an injury list that nobody could have foreseen. Hleb out for two months meaning there's no pressure for Robert Pires to improve his increasingly limp performances, Freddie out so our right back goes to right midfield and a true rookie comes in at right back meaning we had two inexperienced full backs in the back four yesterday, Thierry's out and the goals have dried up, Robin van Persie who always looks like scoring is out and José who works so hard and tries for the whole 90 minutes just hasn't been able to contribute in the goalscoring department. Some defensive mistakes go unpunished, this season every tiny error we make seems to end up being a goal for the opposition.

My opinion is the problems we're having are 50% down to a lack of personnel and 50% down to bad luck. Yes, I think we need to improve the squad in January but I think we're just plain unlucky at times as well. I don't think it's as bad as some people think. I think when we get our players fit again we'll consolidate and results will improve. We need to start scoring goals though.

As well as that the manager has got to think long and hard about how far he wants to take the experiment with youth. For my part I was quite happy to go with his decisions this summer despite the fact I wanted us to bring in players. He's been manager for 9 years, we've never finished below second, he has earned the right to our support because we know that he's always had the best interests of the club in mind. He felt giving these players experience this season would stand us in good stead in the seasons to come and I'm sure he still feels that. The players will learn from days like yesterday. What is obvious though is that the balance is wrong and that some of the more experienced players aren't doing enough to help counteract that.

Come January I think he needs to be active in the transfer market. He needs to spend some of the money everyone knows is there. The squad needs some fresh faces. People need competition for places. I love Cesc Fabregas, I think he's an exceptional talent, but he knows at 18 that he's going to start every game. Now, I'm not suggesting for one second that he's culpable or that he's been slack in any way, I'm just saying that some competition in midfield will give everybody - Cesc, Gilberto, Flamini - that little bit of edge.

Giving young players a chance is admirable and it's something I support, as regular readers will know. But, at the end of the day, the best players will play no matter how old they are. If we add to the squad and the young players push for their places and take their chances when they're given then that's all right with me as well. We have a lot to live up to this season. This is the last one at Highbury, we're moving to the Grove next summer and that stadium without Champions League football just doesn't bear thinking about. When we're looking to renew the contract of probably the world's best striker next summer we simply have to be able to offer Champions League football. That's why in January, if the manager buys, he can consider the players he purchases as long term investments, not only in the team, but the club in general.

It's not all doom and gloom though. There's still a long way to go this season and I do believe there's enough quality in the squad for results to improve in the coming weeks. It means working hard though, it means experienced players helping the young players, it means some of them need to get their heads up and not just go through the motions because they're near the end of their careers. It means we as supporters have a role to play as well. The 38,500 at Highbury can help. Yesterday I watched the first half of Chelsea against Bolton. At half-time Chelsea were 1-0 down and as they went off the pitch there was a ripple of boos. Not too many, but enough. This is a team that's won 8 on the trot and their 'fans' booed them because they were losing at half-time. Don't be like them.

Yes, Arsene Wenger has set high standards for this club over the years and watching us fall below those standards is not easy. I'm not suggesting that everyone sing and dance and hold hands and have some kind of love-in for the team. The internet is a great place for everyone to vent their spleen and armchair manage but at the games we need to get behind the team. What good will boos do? The players and the manager are intelligent people. More than anyone they realise they shortcomings and the last thing they need, especially the younger ones, is more pressure. The pressure should come from within. The pressure should be competition for places and from the manager.

Over to you, Arsene.

october 15th

Good morning Arsers and welcome to the weekend. We've got West Brom later and we're almost, but not quite, down to the bare bones for this one. Joining Thierry and Ashley Cole on the injury list are Sol Campbell, Robin van Persie and Alexander Hleb, all of whom picked up knocks on international duty. Hleb is the most serious as his knee injury requires surgery and will keep him out for around 8 weeks.

Publicly the boss is less than impressed. Privately, I'm told, he's furious. He says "We have lost many players during the international break when they should have come back refreshed. With some, it’s a question of days. Others it is a question of six to eight weeks, like Cole and Hleb."

It means we're going to have a fairly young bench today. We could see Quincy and or Lupoli and or Bendtner and if we need cover in the midfield I hope the boss gives Swede Seb Larsson a chance rather than Alex Song. Gilberto, van Persie and Campbell should all be ok for Tuesday's Champions League game though. Arsene Wenger is looking at whether or not bladed boots are to blame for stress fracture injuries suffered by Cole, Clichy and Senders. He says "All the three wear the blades. We haven't made any studies, so is it coincidence or not?"

I know that Manchester United have banned their players from wearing them because they're concerned they cause injury so there might well be something in it. In other news Sam Allardyce calls Arsene Wenger a 'conman' for saying that Arsenal play the most attractive football. Arseblog calls Sam Allardyce a fat, walrus looking cunt for being a fat, walrus looking cunt, the fat, walrus looking cunt.

The boss on FIFA's, and our old friend Sepp Blatter's, plan to make teams play a certain amount of players from the country they're in: "I am completely against the rule because it artificially protects mediocrity. It’s an injustice that you play just because you were born somewhere."

Blatter has recently hit out at the greed in football which is quite ironic when you think that FIFA is as corrupt and greedy an organistation there is in the game and that Blatter's greed for TV money created the useless, ridiculous, player killing Confederations Cup. He's a cunt.

That's about it then. No league game for my team today but we have a friendly somewhere at sometime. Enjoy your Saturday.

october 14th

There was mixed news on the injury front yesterday with Arsene Wenger in positive mood about Sol Campbell and Thierry Henry. Sol could be back on Tuesday for the game in Prague but will definitely miss the West Brom game on Saturday. According to AW "Campbell's absence will be shorter than expected. He could be fit for Tuesday", while "Thierry’s progress is remarkable but I want to be cautious with him and see how his body responds to training. The signs are very positive."

However, Ashley Cole is confirmed as being out for 6-8 weeks with a stress fracture while Alexander Hleb is out for an unspecified length of time after picking up a knee injury on international duty. We'll be without Gilberto too as he only gets back from Brazil today so will be jet-lagged and stuff.

Transfer speculation links us with young Southampton player Theo Walcott, according to his agent, and he is somebody whose name has cropped up before. At 16 though he's probably best staying where he is for the time-being.

And now the moment you've all been waiting for. The winners of the Football Manager 2006 prize packs will be announced in about 5 lines time.

The question was: If Arsene Wenger is AW, Terry Neill was TN, Bruce Rioch was BR, who was SH?

Naturally I wasn't thinking back before 1900 and Stewart Houston was the answer I was looking for but so many people replied with the answer 'Sam Hollis' who was Arsenal's first recorded manager from August 1894 – July 1897 that I had to accept that too. Can't imagine he had a monogrammed tracksuit though. And I know Stewart Houston was only a caretaker manager but still. Anyone know what he's doing now? Last I remember he was at QPR and Bruce Rioch was his assistant. Football really is a funny game. It's amazing how many people guessed Stephen Hughes as well.

Anyway, the Random Number Generator did its thing and the winners are Steve Mitchell, David Nolan and James Whitfield. I'll be in touch with you lads soon to get your details.

For the rest of the you the game comes out on October 21st. Go buy.

And that's it. Another week over and real football starts again tomorrow. After suffering so much international football only a 43-0 victory will suffice. No pressure though, lads.

october 13th

Hurrah! The internationals are over. Ireland failed to qualify after a listless, insipid performance against the Swiss for whom Senderos looked composed, unflappable, just fantastic. Sol's absence is not so worrying when we can replace him with a talent like that. Can I also just state again right now that we shouldn't be looking beyond Shay Given when it comes to signing a goalkeeper next summer. He's still only 29 and would be a great investment.

Anyway, we can now get back to normal football without too much interruption between now and next summer. Still not much happening. Cesc is up for a BBC award as young London footballer of the year. You can go here to cast your vote today.

Mihir Bose, Tottenham fan, loves nothing more than a financial story about Arsenal and here's another one of his specials. Some people have been buying shares in the club. For those of you interested in things like you can download the club's annual report here.

The Sun reports, briefly, that Sol Campbell and Thierry Henry could return against Manchester City in about 10 days time. Which is good.

Last chance to win a copy of Football Manager 2006. Answer this question: If Arsene Wenger is AW, Terry Neill was TN, Bruce Rioch was BR, who was SH?

Answers via email to footballmanager@arseblog.com and the winners will be announced tomorrow when the random number generator does its thing. Right, off to work. Joy.

october 12th

International interest centres around Ireland v Senderos. I might just sneak out and have a beer and watch that one. Is it Sky Sports or RTE, anyone (comments please, no emails!)?

In the other game in that group France take on Cyprus without Thierry Henry who is, of course, injured. However, according to Chairman PHW Arsenal will be offering Thierry a mega-deal when contract talks begin on the twelfth of never next summer. He says "We've not talked about the offer yet but it is fair to say he would become the highest paid player in Arsenal's history - and deservedly so."

I'm don't think it's all about money with Thierry. He's got enough money to last him the rest of his life already so as much as we're willing to pay him top dollar he may want to see us splashing a bit of cash to bring in some new faces, if not in January, certainly next summer. As for his return from injury he says "For the past two weeks I have been working in the gym on an exercise bike and with weights. I have restarted running outside only today. I have no schedule to return to playing again. I cannot predict or programme anything."

Thank you to everyone, and I think 'everyone' is the right term here, who has emailed me to tell me about some rapper called Jay-Z (sounds more like a brand of easy-chair) wanting to buy shares in Arsenal. I just don't have time to answer all the emails. Cheers again.

My Norwegian spy tells me Arsenal had scouts at a recent Start v Vålerenga game a couple of weeks ago. Apparently they were looking at two players in particular, Kristoffer Hæstad and Fredrik Strømstad. More than that I just don't know.

Finally, please look back at the last couple of day's posts for details of the Football Manager 2006 competition. Question and prize details to be found below.

It's a holiday here in Spain today. Not for me though. Slave to the corporate grindstone, so I am. Or maybe I'm just working coz we get paid extra and there's fuck all to do on a Wednesday anyway.

october 11th

Still nothing much happening Arsenal-wise as all the focus is on tomorrow's games but we did have a victory over Sp*rs last night. The reserves took on their lily white counterparts at Stevenage and ran out 2-0 winners - lengthy report from a Sp*rs site here. Nicklas Bendtner and Arturo Lupoli kept pace with each other at the top of the scoring charts with a goal each and Lupoli had a first half penalty saved. It looks like we've got two players with a real eye for goal who, if they keep it up on a consistent basis, will surely start to push for a bit of time in the first team squad before the season is out.

Certainly they'll get a chance in the Carling Cup and young centre-half Mathew Connolly is hoping he'll get a run too. He says "My aim is to just carry on playing consistently for the reserves, get more games under my belt and to keep improving all the time. If the Carling Cup comes along and I play I'd be very pleased. If not, I'll just carry on working harder."

Can't fault the attitude, can you? Other than that a big fat nothing happening so I'll remind you of the Football Manager 2006 competition. See yesterday's post for prize details but to enter you just need to answer the following question:

If Arsene Wenger is AW, Terry Neill was TN, Bruce Rioch was BR, who was SH?

Given it was early yesterday morning when I thought up the question it didn't occur to me that there were two possible answers so in the interests of fairnes either answer will suffice. If you know either email footballmanager@arseblog.com and the winners will be announced on Friday.

I will be glad when these qualifiers are over.

october 10th

Gah, more internationals this week. What a great load of bollocks. Most interesting game of the week has to be Ireland v Switzerland in Dublin. The group is tighter than a camel's arse in a sandstorm and we get to see Philippe Senderos v Robbie Keane and the mighty Clin-ton Morriss-on. England have already qualified and that's good because it'll be fun to watch Sven try to squirm his way out of another 1/4 final failure (at the hands of Ireland - haha).

No word yet on how serious Sol Campbell's injury is although the frequency he's beginning to pick up knocks is a little bit worrying. It seems that every time he gets back into his stride he lands on a snake and goes back down again.

Aside from that not much happening with the Arsenal but as you can see from the picture to your left it's time for another competition. My chums at Sega have been in touch and given me three Football Manager 2006 prize packs to give away. Each one contains:

  • A copy of Football Manager 2006 (PC and Mac)
  • Football Manager 2006 T-shirt
  • Football Manager 2006 mouse mat
  • Other goodies

A jolly nice prize and one that all the would-be managers can use to go back to the start of this summer and buy the players that AW didn't. To enter please answer the following question:

If Arsene Wenger is AW, Terry Neill was TN, Bruce Rioch was BR, who was SH?

Answers by email to footballmanager@arseblog.com. You have all week to enter and the winners will be announced on Friday. I've been playing the demo and it's quite fun indeed, there are some new features like half-time teamtalks so you can give your overpaid superstars a good bollocking when they need it. I tried doing that when we were beating Blackburn 4-0 at half-time and nearly caused a mutiny led by Cesc.

Ok, that's it. No point hanging around waiting for more no news to appear. The week begins...

october 9th

Morning Arsefans. As predicted earlier in the week Sol Campbell made his return for England and promptly picked up an injury which certainly keeps him out of England's game against Poland and probably our next couple of games too. He pulled a hamstring and typically those take a few weeks to clear up. Grrrrrrreaaaat. If he is out though it seems that Philippe Senderos is fit again as he played in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with France.

Away from internationals the News of the World invents a story about Real Madrid making a bid for Thierry Henry in the January transfer window while Nigel Winterburn reckons Thierry is happy at Arsenal and will lead the club into the new stadium 'provided he gets the right assurances from Arsene Wenger first'.

And that's about it. Aside from that if anyone who uses Logic Express 7 on a Mac has the time to answer a question for me please get in touch via the contact page. Update: I think the problem is sorted. Thanks to everyone who got in touch. Enjoy your Sunday.

october 8th

Happy Saturday to you all.

Really not much going on. The boss has denied there's a rift with Thierry Henry over his decision to wait until the end of the season to discuss a new deal. He says "Our desire is to talk about it earlier but you can only talk about it when both parties are ready. We will do it when he is ready. You have to respect his views."

So we'll just wait until the summer and that's that. No point stressing about it between now and then but it would be a massive PR boost to hav Henry sign a new deal just as we're moving into the new stadium. Of course it would be a massive pain in the hoop if we had to sell him but that's football. We have more important things to worry about, like who knocked up Tom Cruise's girlfriend seeing as he's a Jaffa?

Ashley Cole's broken foot will keep him out for 4-6 weeks giving Gael Clichy his chance while Monday's reserve game against Sp*rs could see the likes of Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, Lauren and Manuel Almunia get a run out as they're not on international duty this weekend. The boss says "It's always good to get 90 minutes under your belt in quite an intense game without being under pressure."

And there you go. Enjoy your weekend and the internationals if that sort of thing floats your boat.

october 7th

Hurrah! Friday, day of mellow fruits and lobster pots. Or something. Certainly a day for a few post-work cold ones.

Not much going on as normal. Yesterday the word was that Sol was going to miss out for England, today it seems he's going to start and wonky-lips is out. I fully expect Sol to pick up another injury that will keep him out for three months as England crash 3-0 to an Alex Manninger hat-trick. Can anyone explain to me why Peter Crouch is being touted as the next big thing? He hasn't scored a goal all season yet the press and pundits are drooling. I don't really care but still...

And speaking of keepers Jens Lehmann says he wants a new deal at Arsenal and will begin talks in the winter. The Mirror says he has 'demanded' talks and will 'quit' if he doesn't get a new deal. Have a read of his quotes in the article though and it's not as exciting as all that.

And that's all there is to tell you aboot the Arsenal. I have had the RNG out, that's Random Number Generator for the uninitiated, and the winner of the Wunderground t-shirt from harderthansatan.com is Joss Croft who correctly advised that the real underground stop was 'Cockfosters'. I'll be in touch with you to get address and size details. Thanks to everyone who told me about a stop called 'Mudchute' on the Docklands Light Railway line. Shame you can't get up the Arsenal from there.

Right, last night's curried noodles will do for lunch today. Have a good Friday, Arsechums.

october 6th

You might have noticed how most other Arsenal blogs have simply pulled down the shutters and are putting their feet up until international week is over. Not Arseblog though, oh no. Can't think why though because there's fuck all to talk about and I could do with a rest. A man of my advancing years can't cope with all these extra-early mornings, you know. Or I could use the time better to make meself a nice breakast of kippers and toast rather than just a hastily munched bowl of cereal. Ever get cornflakes on your keyboard? I don't recommend it.

I was going to say something about the Highbury Auction thing but it all seems a bit cheap and tasteless to me. I might bid €2,50 for Pascal though. He could be my version of Jack Nicholson's butler from The Witches of Eastwick. It might even attract a stray Pfeiffer too, who can tell?

In what little Arsenal news there is the Chairman reveals he wasn't keen on going after Chelsea following the Cashley Cole affair saying all clubs tap up players. He also says the manager has money to spend, but says "Arsene Wenger is not going to buy players to make up numbers. He wants players who can play in the Champions League and, apart from Hleb, he has not found anyone."

Sol Campbell looks set to miss out as Sven picks Rio and John Terry for England's game against somebody on Saturday and that's about it.

Don't forget the competition to win the Wunderground t-shirt from harderthansatan.com. See yesterday's blog for the question and where to send it.

Right, off to work. Getting a bit chillier these mornings. No sandwich today. Will have to buy one out there. Lunch alert finished. Arseblogger over and out.

october 5th

International weeks are dull and do not make for easy blogging. Not much going on really apart from the news that Ashley Cole has had to withdraw from the England squad and looks likely to miss the next month because of a stress fracture of is right foot. I'm not sure whether it happened during the Birmingham game or training with England but it will mean an opportunity for Gael Clichy and that'll be good practice for him for next season when Cashley buggers off to Real Madrid for a world record fee.

If anyone is interested there appear to be some problems with the Belarussian team, according to Arsenal new boy Alexander Hleb.

Well, as it's international week and we're all as bored as fuck why not have a little competition to brighten up your week.

My good chums at harderthansatan.com have given me one of these 'Wunderground' t-shirts to give away. A joint celebration of Highbury and the ...erm... tube station close to the ground.

Anyway, if you want to win the shirt just answer the following question:

Which of the following is a real stop on the London underground: a) Marble Arse - b) Cuntsington - c)Cockfosters.

Answers to wunderground@arseblog - winner announced on Friday.

So there you go. Please try and remain calm. The excitement of the news stories above may cause heart palpatations and runny poo. Hopefully something will happen for tomorrow. No sandwich today. Pasta and pesto. Mmmmm, basily. Boom boom.

october 4th

So in we go once again to a thrill-a-minute international week. Arsenal news likely to be thin on the ground.

The boss reckons Sol Campbell should get the nod for England and pretending to be at all interested I have to say I agree with him. Sol and John Terry has got to be the most solid partnership England have. Rio Ferdinand can sit on the bench and not head the ball, not make challenges and jump out of the way of dangerous crosses to his heart's content, the fucking poser.

Freddie Ljungberg is a doubt for Sweden as he's suffering an achilles injury. He says "It is not that good. I have got problems behind the right Achilles tendon and it is hurting."

I'd rather he missed Sweden's game than any of ours but I suspect he'll play against Croatia. Meanwhile Fulham midfielder Barba Papa Boupaloupa Whamalamadingdong Dioup says he's not bothered by transfer speculation linking him with Arsenal. He says "I am not thinking about Arsenal and all the talk has not affected me. My objective is to progress every game and to play for Fulham."

Long may he stay there, the lanky streak of shite. And that's about all there is. I'm off to make me sarnies for lunch. Till tomorrow.

october 3rd

Three points yesterday as we beat Birmingham 1-0 but didn't they make it hard for us? Well, by they I mean Maik Taylor, who despite having the ponciest spelling of the name 'Mike' I have ever seen put in a goalkeeping performance that's unlikely to be bettered in the Premiership this season.

He made great save after great save. His first from a José free kick after Kenny Cunningham was rightly sent off for a foul on Freddie Ljungberg. Then he saved a Robert Pires penalty after Freddie had been chopped down in the box and continued to do so for most of the game.

In the second half he made a couple of good stops from José (who had something like 7 attempts on target in the game), one fingertip save from Robert Pires which saw the ball bounce off the post and go clear and one absolutely outstanding save from Freddie after he'd been set up by José after a lightning Arsenal breakaway. You were left wondering what it would take to beat him and Robin van Persie showed us.

We had a corner, Birmingham failed to clear, the ball came to Robin whose shot deflected off a defender, wrongfooted the keeper and even though he nearly got back he didn't get back enough and it scuttered along, bounced over him and went in. Heartbreaking for the man of the match but anything that makes Steve Bruce upset is all right by me. They had a goal disallowed when Tebily headed in a Pennant corner which had gone out of play and that was about it.

A decent enough performance although we didn't click until they went down to 10 men. Again we didn't do enough in the wide positions. I wish the real Bob Pires would come back, he needs his stripe back Samson style, while Alexander Hleb had a bit of a nightmare and showed he still has a way to go before he can really push for a first team place. I'm a fan of van Persie and even though Freddie was excellent up front I'd prefer to see him out on the wing and let Robin do his stuff in his natural position for longer.

Still, the three points are the most important thing, especially as Liverpool took it in the arse from Chelsea later in the day. Are they just a good cup team? Certainly they look like a league challenge is a long way away and they need strikers. Especially as Dribbly Cissy is going to do a 10 year stretch for assualting an Arsenal fan.

Thierry Henry has revealed that talks about his new contract will not take place until the end of the season. He says "At the start of the season I said I want to concentrate on football, help my team and focus on winning trophies, rather than worry about contracts. At the end of the season we will talk about it and look to sort something out. I will speak to the boss, ask him about things, but my mind isn't on that at the moment."

Obviously the end of the season doesn't really suit the club seeing as how he can let his deal run down and join somewhere else on a free at the end of the following season. Still, que sera, sera. It's up to the boss to convince him to sign based on the ambition of the club, who we might bring in in January and the idea of leading the club at new stadium. Speaking of which...

I mentioned an article in the Sunday Mirror yesterday about the ticket prices at the new Emirates Stadium. Back in August Keith Edelman, who is slowly gaining a Kenyonesque reputation amongst Arsenal fans, said "Part of our ethos is that we always want to keep ourselves as affordable as we can. We are trying to ensure that there will not be a huge increase if any [at the new stadium]. The hope is that we can go in on the same prices as Highbury."

With that in mind please take the time to read The Emirates Stadium Mystery – whatever happened to The Arsenal? - an article written by a season ticket holder who was distinctly unimpressed with the way he was treated by the club when he went to visit the reservation centre for the new stadium. For his own reasons he has asked to remain anonymous. It does not make for pretty reading and the club need to get their house in order very quickly. Fans cannot be taken for granted like this. There aren't an endless supply of eager-beavers willing to pay whatever it takes. This isn't the way the Arsenal are supposed to do things. Nobody is naive enough to ignore the business side of football these days but they are in danger of milking it to death. Anyway, read and make your own minds up.

Plenty to get your week started there. How was your weekend then?

october 2nd

Birmingham today, the team with ming in their name. Of course we meet three old boys, Matthew Upson, Julian Gray and Jermaine Pennant. Pennant, brain of the century, has been mouthing yet again about how he wasn't given a chance at Arsenal and that his behaviour was perfect. He says "I felt I left Arsenal having done my best and not having done anything wrong. I didn't get a chance. The fans know that."

Hmmmm, the fans know he used to arrive at training late, the fans know that he used to go out nightclubbing a lot, the fans know he got arrested for drink driving, the fans know he got arrested along with Jodie Morris after an unsavoury incident with a girl, the fans know he got sent home from U21 international duty and the fans know that when he was banned from driving after being caught drunk he wrapped a car around a lamp-post while over the limit again and then tried to tell the police he was Ashley Cole.

But apart from that I suppose he's right, he didn't do anything wrong. He was going to be offered a new deal at Highbury until the last drink driving incident. Arsene Wenger explains more here.

Arsene Wenger on Chelsea: "I am convinced that the championship is not over yet but we can only catch them if we believe we can do it. Let's have a real go, play with belief and not accept that Chelsea have won the title. Everyone in England seems to accept that and it's ridiculous."

Hard to argue. I can't believe people are so accepting of Chelsea's 'title win'. The players certainly won't accept it and I hope that goes for every team in the league. If not we might just all drop our pants and present like a cat in heat. And I'm not going to done up the chuff by a cat's penis, let me tell you. If that's what you're into fine, but not me.

Cesc talks - "My special objective this season is the League. I know it's going to be difficult, but we believe in ourselves. Chelsea are doing great, but I think we can come back."

There's a small piece in the Sunday Mirror about ticket pricing at the new stadium. Tomorrow we'll run a more in depth story on that here on Arseblog and it doesn't make for pretty reading at all.

Arsenal aside we kicked off our league with an 8-0 victory. Officially the tightest defence in the league. Until next week probably, but still. Right, papers, breakfast, then back home for the match. Later, Arsefans.

october 1st

Welcome to a brand new month on Arseblog and there's lot of football this month. Sadly not all of it is Arsenal as after this weekend we have yet another international break. I think the only solution to this is a total breakdown of nation states. That probably means some mad dictator needs to start a war and have the entire world as his empire. Seeing as none of you cunts seem willing to get things going it looks like it's down to me. Typical.

Ahead of tomorrow' game against Birmingham Arsene Wenger has hit out at the bookies who have already paid on Chelsea being champions, saying "They are taking a big, big risk. I remember the last time they paid out [against us] we won it so that's a good sign for us."

Irish bookies, Paddy Power, ironically one of our sponsors led the way and their confidence seems to have topped up the arrogance down at the Bridge with William Gallas claiming Chelsea could be Champions by January thus leaving them to concentrate on Europe. All I'll say is that there is a lot of football left. I remember some years ago now Manchester United starting the season like this, they piled on win after win at the start of the season and looked irresistable and unbeatable. It was so long ago I think Liverpool ended up winning the league that year but anything can happen between now and May.

The boss has also claimed Thierry Henry's absence will make us stronger ... when he comes back. Can't really argue with the logic, I suppose. He says "The others have to take more responsibility as the main stress is on him to score when he's fit. But don't forget that Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg both scored at Ajax. Last season, they scored 17 goals and 14 goals respectively so it's not such a coincidence."

Yesterday Arsenal goalkeeper Graham Stack was cleared of rape and sexual assault at Croydon Crown Court. He's currently on loan at Reading and a permanent move looks likely now that his future is more certain. Afterwards he said "I would like to sincerely thank all of my family and friends who have shown me unconditional support throughout the case, and also Arsenal, Millwall and Reading who have shown a great deal of understanding to my situation."

Another Saturday without Arsenal but our league season kicks off today at 2pm. Last night I had a dream that every time I tried to kick the ball it stuck to my foot. Stupid realistic, true to life dreams. Till tomorrow, enjoy your Saturday.




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