Villa at home to start, plus other stuff

Barclays Premier League

Morning all,

not much going on here as we wait for the fixtures to be released at 9am this morning. We’ll come back to that later in the blog.

We could talk a little bit about Yaya Sanogo, the Arsenal player who isn’t officially an Arsenal player yet but keeps talking about being an Arsenal player and how much the contact with Arsene Wenger made the difference. He revealed that the Grimster had been in touch with him and then:

One day he called me for a meeting in a Paris hotel and Arsene Wenger was there. I was very impressed. Wenger told me I would get opportunities and reassured me about my injury. He told me he had followed me for years. That meeting was very important and today I am an Arsenal player.

I am 20, I had not played for a year and a half, I had scored some goals and Arsenal had contacted me. Could I really say no? I don’t believe so. It will be a magnificent adventure.

He also spoke about how he was on the verge of giving up the game because of his knee problem, and how visiting Arsenal and meeting the likes of Coquelin, Sagna and … er … Diaby helped too. This is a cliché ridden world we live in and signing a young player from France of African origin who has a bad injury record gives rise to plenty of ‘gags’, but it’s a summer of two halves and it’s not over until the fat Grimster sings.

Anyway, let’s hope it’s a return to form for Arsene’s injury gambles. People forget he signed Marc Overmars on the back of a very serious knee problems, and at a time when those injuries had much more impact on players. We can’t overlook Kanu either, it turned out that instead of a heart he had a coconut with wonky valves but that worked out ok. And, of course, Amaury Bischoff who was signed despite the fact HE NEVER EXISTED AT ALL.

Elsewhere, as we bemoan the rise of the ITK and the fakers on Twitter, what about the other nasty creatures that scuttle about the undergrowth and muddy puddles of the web? Clearly there’s enough material for a dissertation of some kind, but I don’t have time for that – still, it’s worth mentioning the parasites. The people who take other people’s content, without any kind of acknowledgement or attribution, and look to profit off it.

You’ll no doubt have seen Gunnerblog’s Squillaci video at this stage. So what to make of a ‘prominent’, if not in any way respected, Twitter account who took the video, posted it on his own Sulia page without any link to the creator, just so he might make a few pennies from clicks? FourFourTwat, is what.

It’s not really just a football phenomenon, we live in an era where we’re pressed constantly to share content. Facebook share, RT it, re-blog, etc and that’s a good thing for people who create stuff. Whether it’s blog posts, videos, songs, art, or whatever, the more people who see it, the better. But without any tip of the hat to the creators it’s little more than sponging; putting it on a service which pays you every time people click through, well that’s sad, desperate and lame.

Right then, the fixtures have been released and Arsenal start with a home game against Aston Villa on August 17th, that’s followed by a trip to Craven Cottage before the first North London derby of the season on August 31st when Sp*rs come to the Emirates.

Other stand out fixtures include Liverpool at home on Nov 2nd with a trip to Old Trafford just a week later, we go to White Hart Lane in March, while games against Chelsea take place in Dec (H) and March (A).

The final game of the season is away to Norwich but by that stage we’ll have the title already won so we’ll play a team of kids ahead of the Champions League final.

More thoughts on this tomorrow and remember fixture dates are subject to change once TV gets their grubby hands on them.

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