This a public announcement: "Could I please shut up?!"

I know we’re all probably sick and tired of it now but the headlines this week are going to be about Cuntley Cunt as his ‘book’ is serialised in The Times. If we’re supposed to feel any sympathy for him or his situation then he and whoever actually wrote the book for him have done a pretty poor job.

He says he never felt wanted by Arsenal, how he had rows with Double-D, how Arsenal never bought him one dinner despite wining and dining Thierry Henry to show how much the club wanted him and that at the end of the season he went off to get ‘hammered’ (what a professional!) and ended up with Chelsea players because no Arsenal players went out to get obscenely drunk with the World Cup on the horizon.

Well, boo hoo. He really sounds pathetic and whatever happened with Henry and Barcelona happened in private. Not in public. Then lied about and Henry didn’t appear in the same taboid that exposed his covert meeting slagging off Arsenal and saying he wouldn’t play for the club again no matter how much money they offered him. The Times also mentions the fact that fitness coach Tony Colbert doubted whether or not Cole’s injury was genuine or not. Cole says that was the final straw. Colbert probably wouldn’t have been the only one to suspect that and I remember a number of discussions on the forums here wondering the same thing.

The whole £55,000 thing is going to come up a lot as well. Let’s remember that Arsenal agreed to pay Cole £60,000 a week until Jonathan Barnett said he wanted his cut for his part in renewing the deal. Arsenal said Cole should pay his agent or if Arsenal were to pay him it would be reflected in the pay rise he was getting, hence the £55,000. I know some people might think our board is a bit stuffy but if you seriously think they’d quibble over £5,000 a week for a player of Cole’s quality then think again.

I would imagine the club will not respond to any claims or allegations in Cole’s book so I think it’s important that the one-sided information it spreads should be addressed. More to follow, no doubt.

Back to football and Arsene Wenger says the new pitch at The Grove isn’t helping the way we play football. It’s something to do with the grass being a bit too long and the ball not rolling as quickly as it did at Highbury. Now, some people might laugh but I prefer this to the fact that the internationals caused our problems. I have no doubt that players being away with their countries makes the boss’s job more difficult but that’s the price of having top class players.

The pitch thing is more interesting though and I think it’s a factor. I’ve said here before that when Arsenal are on form the way we pass the ball is a big factor in how well we play. We really smack the ball quite hard for even the shortest passes giving the player in possession just that little more time before he’s closed down. At the moment we’re lacking the sharpness to do that and it’s obvious that we’re finding it difficult to break down teams who play with 11 men behind the ball. Whether the pitch is more of a factor than the players I don’t know but no doubt he’ll be having words with the groundsman as well as working with the boys on the training pitch.

He was also furious about the stadium announcer’s constant ..erm.. announcing during the game, saying:

I think he has to respect people and not talk too much. We are not on the radio here. There are people who want to watch a football game without a debate going on. It’s really disturbing. I don’t know if it puts the players off but for people watching it’s disturbing. Nobody is interested in what he says.

It’s good that the manager has addressed this and although the new stadium has been an intricately thought out project there are bound to be issues which nobody has foreseen. East Lower mentioned the difficulty of half-time refreshments and he’s not the only one to have said it. Perhaps the club needs to meet with fans groups in a few months time and take on board their concerns or suggestions in order to make things better. Top of the list must surely be to do something about the bare concrete that runs around the various tiers of the stadium. Even a bit of magnolia paint would make it look better but surely painting them white with a red border at the top and the bottom would make it look properly Arsenal. Over to you RedAction.

Thierry Henry says playing at the new stadium is weird but he’s happy that we’re creating chances but not so happy that we’re not taking them.

And that’s that. We’ve got Hamburg away this week and I’ll talk about that tomorrow, I’d imagine.

Until then…

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