Arseblog: Monday 31st January 2005

january 31st

So the Ashley Cole story rumbled on all day yesterday as you might expect. Firstly Cole’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, denied any meeting had taken place saying Cole was happy at Arsenal. Then José Mourinho said there was no way it could have taken place because he was in Italy tapping up talking to Adriano at the same time the meeting was supposed to have happened. The denials are of course what you’d expect from both of them so we’re really none the wiser. I wouldn’t trust an agent’s statement if you paid me and of course Mourinho is going to say nothing happened.

I saw the bloke from the News of the World who wrote the story, Rob Beasley, on Sky yesterday morning and he seemed quite certain the meeting had happened. He went to the FA about it – they told him it was nothing to do with them and told him to speak to the Premier League – and he also rang David Dein to tell him what was going on. Beasley is hopeful of a meeting with Dein to show him the evidence the paper have. Until such time as more facts emerge I suppose there’s nothing really to say apart from that like every Arsenal fan I hope the story is not true because if it is it really opens up a huge can of worms. If it is true expect Arsenal to pursue it vigorously with Chairman Peter Hill-Wood saying “It has been reported in a very definite manner and that makes you think something untoward has gone on. If the club are presented with evidence that those rules have been contravened, I am sure we will take the matter further. These are very serious allegations and we will be investigating the matter as quickly as possible.”

Some good news yesterday as it emerged ITV/Granada have to pay us the £30m they owe us as part of the deal made a couple of years back when they bought 9.9% of the club. Funny thing is they’re paying about £20m more than the shares in the club are worth. Good work, Double-D.

“We’re up for this one.. If we beat them it will be one of our sweetest ever wins – especially because of how we lost to them up there.” Sol Campbell talks to the Guardian ahead of tomorrow’s game against that lot. And if there are any worries about discipline Arsene Wenger was quick to point to the statistics which show we’ve commited the least fouls in the league and have been the most fouled against side too. This comes over Demento’s laughable assertion that his club has always had good discipline. I don’t really need to go through all the examples, do I? There really just isn’t enough space on this server to cope. We’ll see how disciplined they are when they’re three goals down tomorrow night.

So how was your weekend then?

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