september 16th

The only bit of news around yesterday, bar the post-match musings, was the fact that young Italian striker Arturo (am I the only one who thinks of Geek Love when I hear than name?) Lupoli signed a professional contract with the club. He's impressed since arriving from Parma in July and he's been banging in the goals for the reserves and youths.

Reserve team coach Eddie Niedzwicki-wicki-wild-wild-west also broke the heartening news that not only is he a great prospect, but we've got the new Charlie Nicholas on our hands "He has taken up the challenge and he is going to be a player."

Does this kit look familiar to anyone? That's right. It's the bog standard blue away kit Nike have foisted upon us. Except that's Pavel Nedved and we're not sponsored by Tamoil. That means that despite the huge money Nike make from Arsenal and all the other clubs they can't be arsed spending the time to design an individual kit for each club. The socks and the shorts are the same as ours too. I really hate the blue away kit, I think you all know that. I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of it now, but I hate it even more because we're sharing it with those Brady stealing, match fixing bastards of Juventus. Maybe next year Nike will provide generic away kits and when you buy it you have to ask for your iron-on badges. "One set of Arsenal, please."

If I'd bought that away kit (let's pretend I had some kind of seizure and couldn't figure out how to set £40 on fire) I'd be really pissed off. Could the fact that people are fed up with blue kits and Nike's lazy products be an explanation for the reduced merchandise income? Whatever it is we shouldn't have to share our kits with anyone, least of Juventus and even more least of all a kit as shitty as this one.

Patrick Vieira, who seems determined to say the right thing as often as possible now, has hailed the 'mature' Arsenal performance in the Champions League the other night. There was a lot of negativity after the game from some fans, but I'm happy with the 3 points and anyone who has followed Arsenal's previous CL campaigns will know this is the sort of game we conceded a late goal in in years gone by. We can't dazzle every single game but if we can take 3 points from teams that come to frustrate us then that's good enough for me.

to vampiric drivel

september 15th

I watched the game last night in an Irish bar called Scobies on Ronda Universitat here in Barcelona. The majority of the people in the bar were there for the Celtic v Barça game and when that game was delayed for a while the bar decided to play music as loud as the could.

Sadly the music was utter shite. Gerry and the Pacemakers doing 'You'll never walk alone', The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York' and of course a number of U2 songs accompanied the first 15 minutes of the match. Still, I watched the game in the fine company of a Swedish football journalist and a very secret special guest star and there was beer, so it wasn't that bad. I lie. It was fucking terrible listening to that shite and thankfully they put on commentary when the Celtic game kicked off. It wasn't much use for the 3 of us interested in the Arsenal game, but it was better than the music.

As expected PSV took their cue from Ajax last season and played with 11 men behind the ball whenever we were in posession. This lead to very few chances and it was late in the first half when we took the lead. A Pires goal had been wrongly ruled out for offside when an Henry corner was turned on by Vieira and then scooped into his own net by some PSV chap. 1-0 Arsenal.

In the second half PSV were determined to preserve that 1-0 defecit no matter what, so the 11 men stayed behind the ball pretty much all the time. I don't really remember any chances for either side, although the Dutchsters had me biting my fingernails in the last couple of minutes as they at last realised they needed to score to get something from the game. In the end the mad ref blew the whistle and we started our campaign with a highly satisfactory 3 points and an utterly forgettable game.

Dennis Bergkamp summed up PSV's tactics perfectly when he said "In my opinion they had no intention to get anything out of this game." And they didn't. So their plan worked perfectly. That Guus Hiddink is some coach, let me tell you.

The boss reckoned we were haunted by the demons of last season's opening game. When you consider that the players had to cope with the 11 PSV players plus the ectoplasmic manifestations that the TV cameras didn't show it makes it a very good 3 points.

Wiltord to get the winner for Lyon against United tonight.

game drier

september 14th

Thanks to all of you who emailed me about the pitch thingy. The bottom line is that Arsenal's pitch is too small according to UEFA requirements but the pitch at Ashburton Grove will be like Baby Bear's porridge. So there you have it.

It's PSV tonight as the Champions League gets underway and Arsenal have injury worries over Freddie Ljungberg. He picked up a back injury against Fulham and may not be fit to play. Still, we've got plenty of options if he's not. There's Pennant, Pires could play out there with José on the left and we've seen Gilberto out there before which would mean Cesc or Edu in the middle with Vieira.

I'm sure what's more worrying for Arsene Wenger is the fact that the referee for tonight's game is the Italian Domenico Messina. You might remember him from such refereeing shambles as Wales v Northern Ireland last week when he managed to send off 3 players for nothing much in the first half. He did make Robbie Savage cry but he's quite clearly the worst referee in the world (unless you're a Fulham fan) so who knows what will happen in our game.

The boss also hopes José Antonio Reyes will be the piece of the puzzle that lets the team progress further than in previous seasons. He says "He gives us a different offensive option as he's now used to the way we play the game, so he can be an addition. The talent is there to be very influential."

And JA himself reckons this could be the season when we do ourselves justice in Europe. He says "I certainly think we have the team capable of winning. Arsenal will play the same in Europe as we play in the Premiership. We will not temper our style and be more defensive. I believe Arsenal are more galactic than Real Madrid."

I'm not sure if I'll get to see the game as it clashes with Celtic v Barcelona which is going to be a very popular game here. What domestic channel is it on in the UK? Anyway, considering I didn't sleep well at all last night because of the most defeaning thunderstorm I've ever heard I might just get an early night and wake up to news of our impressive victory.

mr sup on ale

september 13th

I think it’s quite well known that Arsenal have one of the smallest pitches in the league, but apparently it’s too small for UEFA. This article popped up on a Scouser’s site on NewsNow and basically it says that Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea’s pitches are all below the required minimum size for UEFA, but don’t worry, we’ve all been granted exceptions to play our Champions League games because there’s lots of money involved in those clubs.

Not so lucky were poor old Hearts up in Scotland. But nobody cares about them because they’re cunts. I wonder why we’ve never heard about this before though (our pitch being too small, not Hearts being cunts). Can anyone who has the time or inclination to look this kind of thing up confirm that the Highbury lawn is smaller than the 105m x 68m minimum? If nobody can be arsed, don’t worry, it’s a slow Monday morning and I’m just trying to fill up space.

Be thankful I haven’t resorted to using pointless sentences like this one. Or this one.

Ahead of the PSV game Patrick Vieira has issued a call to arms for the Arsenal players, Arsene Wenger wants the team to be focussed and to fulfil their potential in Europe, while former Gunner Sylvain Wiltord is looking forward to playing for Lyon against Manchester United. PSV boss Guus Hiddink has a plan for tomorrow night’s game and I suspect he’s taken a few pointers from the way Ajax, amongst others, played last season. They’re going to sit and sit and not allow us any kind of space. Here’s hoping we get off to a good start in Europe this season. Last season’s heroics were fantastic, but sometimes I prefer when we do things the easy way.

I was going to go to the gym this morning but I seem to have caught the plague sometime last night, so I’m just going to sit on the couch and snuffle. How was your weekend then?

gay clap scan

september 12th

I suppose when you have an unbeaten run like Arsenal’s you need some luck along the way. Yesterday we got lucky a couple of times against Fulham.

Andy Cole, Mark Halsey, Patrick Vieira...

First when referee Mark Halsey awarded a penalty to Fulham then changed his mind after consulting the linesman. Replays showed he made the right decision, it was never a penalty, but how often do you see a ref change his mind?

You see players arguing with the ref and you think there’s not much point, but this time Halsey paid some heed to the players and was prepared to take a second opinion. I know the Fulham fans and players were cheesed off but it is nice to see a referee prepared to hold his hands up and admit a mistake during the match, not afterwards when it's too late.

Then Fulham’s Collins John had a goal disallowed for a supposed push on Kolo Toure. That looked pretty generous to me and had an Arsenal goal been ruled out in the same circumstances I wouldn’t have been at all happy. We could also have had penalty late in the first half when former Gunner Moritz Volz got Thierry Henry’s ankle rather than the ball, but to be fair to Halsey that only became apparent after watching the replays from a couple of angles.

After 60 minutes Jose Antonio Reyes came on for Robert Pires and 5 minutes after than we were 1-0 up when Freddie Ljungberg stayed onside and swept the ball past van der Sar. A couple of minutes later it was two when Freddie made a trademarked run into the box and in the confusion Zat Knight put through his own net from close range. Then Dennis put Reyes through and his pace took him clear of the Fulham defence and his neat finish continued his amazing scoring run. That’s 6 in 6 now for the Spaniard.

It wasn’t all Arsenal though. Jens Lehmann made some excellent saves during the match, Fulham created chances but in general I thought we looked pretty solid at the back.

I watched the game in an English pub with Spanish Canal+ on the telly and the commentators love our Spanish players. When Cesc came on they were talking non-stop about how good he was, how he was so young to be playing in central midfield for a team like Arsenal and how bright his future is. Between him and JA9 we’re making lots of new fans in Spain.

So on we go. 15 points from 15 and the first game of the Champions League on Tuesday. That’s about it really although there is a fine piece on Arsene Wenger in the Observer. Till tomorrow.

september 11th

Met up with a friend and went exploring Barcelona last night. In particular we explored some very interesting bars, including one where the Finnish bar girl simply refused to make me another Mojito just because she didn’t feel like it. I had a gin and tonic instead. And then another one. And another three. Then we went somewhere else.

As such I am typically hungover, so this morning’s round-up will be brief.

Arsene Wenger has challenged Patrick Vieira to show his commitment to Arsenal on the pitch after his summer long flirtation with Real Madrid. His return to the side for his first game of the season means Cesc Fabregas will miss out and after his performances Paddy has it all to do. The evergreen Dennis Bergkamp talks about Vieira, retirement, and other things, in this Independent article.

Jeremie Aliadiere is out for the season, more or less, after having surgery on his cruciate ligament. We wish him a speedy and successful recovery. Another youngster, John Spicer, has signed for Bournemouth on a month’s loan.

Fulham this arvo. It’s a holiday here today, the national day of Catalunya, so it seems only proper to celebrate by watching football and raising a glass or two of beer to my Catalan chums. More later.

september 10th

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that I’m all interneted up in my new home and regular updates can resume forthwith, saving you the occasional tales of ‘How things don’t get done in Spain’ and other tedious details of how I have to wait around for stuff.

Big thanks to Tom for providing new Arses and his arse related updates even though he’s had to put up with a fairly lean spell in terms of Arsenal news given the funstrous internationals we’ve had to endure. Now those are all out of the way for time being and we can concentrate on real football again.

The lads are going cottaging on Saturday as they take on Fulham. Patrick Vieira, fresh from his red card against the North Atlantic Egyptians, and Pascal Cygan, fresh from his ..., are both back from injury and should go into the team as Cesc and Justin Hoyte make way. Sol Campbell is still a couple of weeks away from full fitness.

Arsene Wenger is not being drawn into making comparisons between this year’s good form and the unbeaten league run of last season. People are talking about Arsenal being shoe-ins for the title this year, but we’ve only played four games. Yes, we’ve won them in some style, scored lots of goals and impressed nearly everyone along the way, but we still only have the same amount of points as George Graham’s Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. It’s early days still, according to the boss, who says “It is difficult to compare the two sides because we are only four matches into the season. Instead, we must judge the team at the end of the season.”

It doesn’t take too much of a leap to think that the press boys who’ve hammered us over stupid little things in the past are doing a very nice job of building us up so they’ll really be able to take a pop when we do eventually lose a game. I think AW is well aware of that and is doing as much as possible to keep everyone’s feet on the ground, especially after our rhythm has been broken up by the internationals.

Beyond that there’s little else going on this morning. So how have you lot been then?

september 9th

Eugh. I feel terrible this morning and I have to interview people this afternoon. Ace.

Ashley Cole's cross went in off a Polish defender at the near post to get the winner last night as England won 2-1 against Poland. Cole again played behind Wayne Bridge on the left wing and they worked well together. Evil pigmy Jermaine Defoe scored the first after an excellent turn in the box. Sven's job is safe it seems, at least for now.

Patrick Vieira was sent off for France as they thrashed the mighty Faroe Islands 2-0 last night. The French team look to be in trouble right now despite still having some of the best players in the world. Its not something that's just happened, of course - they've been struggling since the World Cup in Japorea.

Thierry Henry has hit back at Delia Smith, accusing her of being a big fat liar. Apparently she complained that he wasn't nice to some disabled kids or something and he says she's talking nonsense.

Still no Blogger. I think he just dreamt that he bought a new computer.

september 8th

There is absolutely nothing Arsenal-related happening this morning. Arseblogger's new computer still hasn't arrived because it seems they're actually making one especially for him.

You have to wonder whether Sven will finally get the sack if England come up with anything other than a win in Poland tonight. The knives have been out for him ever since The Sun learned that he's not in fact an asexual celibate as they clearly assumed. I suppose it depends whether The FA thinks it can afford the gazillion pounds it will cost to pay him off. Speaking of Sven, he's given Jermaine Pennant a 'massive boost' by talking about him.

That's your lot. In the other internationals, Wales play Norn Iron and Ireland play Switzerland. Roll on the weekend when there might be something more interesting (hopefully for Blogger) to talk about.

september 7th

So the ADSL saga continues. This morning I received a lovely package from Telefonica with details of my new configuration settings and all the other gumph they send along.

So I sat down on my computer, twiddled the zeeble and everything was as it should be. Small problem, no green light on the router to say the ADSL connection was live.

Phone call to tech support, spoke to the lady, she advised me that they would have to send a technician out at a cost of 89 euros. He'd be out within 4 days.


So a little while later I decided to phone back to see if a more technical technical support person could help me out. This time the lady took my phone number, put me on hold for ages, then came back to tell me that I couldn't connect because nobody had ever asked for ADSL from that telephone number. After I stopped shouting at her she put me on hold again and then came back to tell me that it would be functioning within 24 hours.

I'm a little bit suspicious as well, because the details they've sent me seem to be for an ADSL modem. Is it actually possible to make a PPPoE connection with a router?

Anyway, I'm going to phone back later when the evening shift comes on to see what new story they'll tell me. It would be quite entertaining if it wasn't so frustrating.

Also, I'm in possession of a new 20" Apple monitor. No sign of the actual computer though.

Football - at least we can now write off Newcastle with Souness in charge.
United may have signed Rooney, but if you asked me to choose between that fat, stupid cunt and JA9 there's no contest, is there?

Back later in the week, I hope. Take care.

september 6th

Arsene Wenger has defended new France captain Patrick Vieira after he was given a less than rapturous welcome by the French fans during their 0-0 draw at home with Israel: ""Patrick has been out for two months and I think he did some positive things for a guy playing his first match after all that time,". Hopefully he'll have shaken off his lack of fitness while playing for France and will come back to us raring to go.

And that's it.

september 5th

Still no new computer for Blogger but there's approximately fuck all happening anyway because of the international fixtures, so you're not missing much. Arsene Wenger confirming he's going to play some young players he's already played is about as interesting as it gets.

In the World Cup qualifiers, England capitulated tamely to Austria last night after being 2-0 in front, Wales came back from a trip to Azerbaijan with a point having been 1-0 up and Ireland easily won 3-0 in Cyprus. Fortunately the excitement isn't quite over with another round of fixtures on Wednesday. I can't wait.

september 3rd

Before I moved house:

Me: "Hello, I'm moving house. Can you please transfer my telephone line to my new address?"

Telefonica: "Yes, yes we can. Would you like your ADSL service transferred at the same time?"

Me: "Yes, yes I would. Thank you."

Telefonica: "No problem."

So I moved house. And remarkably I had the telephone line within 2 days. Unheard of here. The dude that came that day reckoned Telefonica would activate the ADSL the week after, which is this week. So just to make sure I rang on Tuesday and spoke to them and the girl I spoke to said "Ok, two or three days and it should all be fine."

Now, bear in mind they only need to activate the line. Everything is set up, the router, the configuration on my computer. Everything. Anyway, it's best to stay on top of these things, so I rang customer services again today.

Me: "Hi, I'm just ringing about my ADSL service blah blah blah (I explained the sitation to them)."

Telefonica: " should have your ADSL by September 14th."

Me: "But you said two or three days. Please put me onto somebody in the ADSL department."

Telefonica: "Hello, ADSL. How can I help you?"

Me: "Hi, I'm just ringing about my ADSL service blah blah blah..."

Telefonica: "Erm... *clickity click*. Seems there's an unpaid bill here from August 5th. You'll have to speak to accounts. *transfer*"

Telefonica acounts: "Hello, how can I help you?"

Me: "ADSL, unpaid bill, moved house, transfer of line blah blah blah..."

Telefonica accounts: "You can pay by credit card, is that OK?"

Me: "Y,YII etc"

So I sort the bill out. Then I ask them to transfer me back to technical support, which, of course, they are unable to do. So I have to ring again.

Telefonica: "Hello, ADSL. How can I help you?"

Me: "Hi, I'm just ringing about my ADSL service, I've paid the bill blah blah blah ZZZzzzzz..."

Telefonica: "Erm...there's no petition for an ADSL service on the number you've given me."

Me: "Arrrrgghh...."

The lady then took pity on me, took all my details again, informed me that from Sept 29th we'd be getting double speeds on our ADSL for no extra cost and that she'd personally sort this all out for me as soon as possible. As she said herself "...they only need to activate the line."

'Hurrah', I thought. So at the end of the call she says "You'll receive a card with your new details in around 15 days."


So there you go. I guess we're just lucky there's no real football on at the moment. Hope you're all well, I'll be back soon. Ish. I hope.

Double update this morning as I (Tom) thought I'd do a quick round up of the Arsenal news seeing how just posting the link to the arses is getting a bit boring. Since there's only line-Sepp-Cunter's-pocket football on at the moment there's not too much going on anyway:

Jose Reyes, Thierry Henry and Bob Pires
have picked up the top three spots in the monthly Opta stats, showing Arsenal's excellent start to the season. Myles reckons Shrek signing for Man Utd is a turning point in English football. Thierry says he considered quitting international football after Euro 2004 and then didn't. Cesc Fabregas dreams of playing Barca in the Champions' League. And ... that's about it. I didn't choose a very good morning for this, did I?

Finally, as an Englishman living north of the border, this made me laugh. Quite alot.

In other news, Arseblogger has come up with a novel solution to having no internet access. Rather than simply buy a dial-up modem, he's gone out and bought a shiny, new Apple G5 which comes with a modem built-in, so hopefully he should be back soon - as I'm sure you'll be very pleased to hear.

september 2nd

Fuck, fuck, fuck. Late for work and important meeting at 9am. And I drank far too much lovely red wine last night. *boik*.

(See, its like he was never away).

september 1st 2004

Welcome to a new month on Arseblog.

Sadly Arseblogger is still ADSL-less so it looks like you'll just have to settle for new arses again.




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