09.19 – Auxerre’s Guy Roux, who founded the club in 1865 and has been coach since WW II, has said Arsenal are changing the way English teams play football. In fairness, I remember a quote from some foreign player who said English football was ‘Big kick, big kick, goal’, hinting not so subtly that the clubs lacked the skill and technique posessed by continental teams.
Well, not any more. Arsenal’s football is of the highest technical quality at the moment, so much so that even my Dad who had to put up with years of me watching not so fluent Arsenal teams at home, has now looked beyond his blinkered view of a back 4 with their arms up in the air to actually enjoy watching them play. Big Fat Ron in The Guardian even speculates that Arsenal would beat England but lose to Real Madrid. Although it’s strange to be on the same bus as BFR, it backs up my theory that top level club football is now superior to international football. I’m not sure we’d lose to Real Madrid at the moment either….
Let’s just take a moment today to laugh at Chelsea. After Ken Bates refused to pay the players their bonus for UEFA Cup games, saying it was in their contracts that bonuses would only be paid if they qualifies via the league and not the FA Cup as they did, the players returned their chairman’s goodwill by getting knocked out in the 3rd round for the 3rd year running, to Viking FK of Norway. Stop laughing any time you like. Even better was Chelsea’s local rivals Fulham making it through to the 4th round, with ex-Gunner Monchichi Inamoto the hero again, making an incredible goal line clearance in second half injury time. Fair play to the fella, he’s one of the only players to have left THOF in recent years to go on and actually improve (are you watching Stephen Hughes?).
Back to the Arsenal and Edu is delighted that his Brazilian brother Gilberto Silva is banging in the goals from midfield this season. As Gilberto has more or less taken Edu’s place alongside Patrick Vieira in midfield, it’s refreshing to hear him say “there are many spaces on the pitch. Left wing, left back, up front! What the boss wants, I have to do. I don’t want to fight with anybody I just want to help the team.” Top man. Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s improved discipline, especially in Europe, is a big factor in the team’s success at the moment. In the 3 Champions League games, we’ve only had one yellow card (Lauren). That’s a huge improvement on last season when we seemed to have a player sent off in Europe every 20 minutes or so.
Finally for today, scientists have revealed the world’s funniest joke. Remember that Monty Python sketch where they were fighting the Germans in a war and they used a joke so funny it actually killed people? Well, this is nowhere near that funny. My favouite joke in the world is far too offensive to post here….no, it’s not Tottenham Hotspurs either (although they’re close).