Arseblog: Friday 15th March 2002

march 15th

20.33 – Still no Francis Jeffers. He’s got a back problem now and is not in the squad for the Villa game. It’s very rare that AW makes a mistake when he pays a lot of money for a player. I know Wiltord has his critics but none of them could question his contribution in terms of work rate and goals this season. Technically he’s poor but he tries hard, and at least he’s fit most of the time.

Has Francis Jeffers just been unlucky with injuries this season? Well, he had plenty of injuries at Everton, so you’d have to assume he went through a fairly stringent medical before he joined Arsenal, so what’s going on?

Hailed as the fox in the box we needed to progress, he’s only started 2 games all season – and for £8.5m Arsenal fans expected more. Most of us are a fairly patient bunch though, and nobody’s written him off yet, but unless he gets fit and stays fit, he’s going to go down as Wenger’s first big money transfer blunder.

A R S E B L O G pays its own tribute to Francis Jeffers here.

10.21 – Morning. Head hurts. Much beer last night.

This is London is reporting that Patrick Vieira is in talks about a new deal at Arsenal. They say he could sign a one year extension to his current deal which would expire in 2005. Fine, but welcome and all as that would be, we’d be in exactly the same position next summer, where Paddy has 2 years left on his contract, and all the speculation will begin again. However, signing a one year extension is something – better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish as my Grandfather used to say.

Onefootball.com – a good site, lots of stuff about European leagues, have this great story about Lazio fans and that well known paragon of race relations, Sinisa Mihajlovic. The Lazio fans were most ticked off having been spanked in the Rome derby, and invaded the training ground. Cragnotti’s son went to reason with the fans and come back covered in spit, while the fans smashed up the players cars. Mihajlovic meanwhile was taken out of the training ground by the police clutching a baseball bat which he was going to use to batter his way out if he had to. The cowardly Yugoslav said “He brought me home safely, but I don’t know what happened to the other players.” So he escaped leaving his team-mates to suffer the wrath of the angry mob. The A R S E B L O G pussy of the week award is on its way to Rome.

Recommendation: If you’ve never read Eamon Dunphy’s ‘Only a game?’, you should. You can order it here. A really, really good book which chronicles Dunphy’s season as Milwall player in 1973-74.

I sent another email to ITV and still they haven’t responded. I’m not sure they’re taking me at all seriously.

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