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Fabregas Tribute

I do not want to go into a waffle about how much about Cesc, but I will write a little (until I stop).

Now I feel I have been on a bit of a journey with our former captain.  I remember hearing of us signing him and before we knew it he was being played in a Carling Cup tie against Rotherham United, becoming our youngest player.  In the next round against Wolves at Highbury I watched live, a young Spaniard  score a goal in a 5-1 demolition.

Cesc really came to promise in 2004-5, he was given the number 15 shirt.  He started the Community Shield and the Premiership opener against Everton.  Fabregas showed maturity beyond his years and playing brilliantly.  Cesc also sported a rather disgusting mullet hairstyle throughout the season until he won his first and only winners medal in the FA Cup Final, a game in which he started.

I could go through and through his career…From his first Champions League goal against Rosenborg, single-handedly giving us closure that he is indeed better than Vieira, single-handedly coming on against Villa and winning the game for us, his assists OH MY HIS ASSISTS, his goals against Spurs, his performance against his current employer, nutmegging Savage and my biggest memory personally was the day after he scored against Sunderland.

I drove past him on the Ridgeway in Enfield and I shouted at him “GOOD GOAL YESTERDAY”  He gave me the dirtiest look I have ever seen.  Was so funny.

Goodbye El Capitano and have a fantastic career.  I am going to miss you.

Watch this and drool.

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Joey Barton-What a man

A week has gone by with a 0-0 with Newcastle away a 1-0 win against Udinese at home and our brilliant captain has left.  So not a week that will live long in the memory, but it could be a lot worse.

Our draw with Newcastle really only has one talking point and that was Gervinho v (Guess who?) Joseph  Anthony Barton.  It all started with our new number 27 going down far too easily for Barton’s liking.  Joseph decided that he did not like this, so he lifted Gervinho up by the scruff of the neck and continue to do so whilst shouting, what I can only imagine to be, the most disgusting language only 2 inches from Gervinho’s face.  After a few players came between them, Gervinho’s long arm reached below Barton’s Hitler styled hair and slapped the Scouser in the face, with the lightest of touches.

What happened next, is what you expect to see from Deco in the 2003 Uefa cup or Rivaldo at the corner flag in the World Cup.  Barton fell to the floor a good 2 seconds after contact had been made.  A very embarrassing act from a man who prides himself on being a tough midfielder and one who is fully against cheating.  As I do when I see a Spanish player (Segio Busquets) fall to the floor in extreme agony, only to stand up the next minute when nothing is given, I get extremely annoyed about how they can be considered men in their own countries.  Do people look at them and go, “WHAT A MAN!”  Or do they the same as me “What is wrong with him?!”

Off the point slightly but, I struggle to comprehend this notion, maybe English football is behind times when it comes to “Showing the officials what they need to see” For example, when the pressure is on in a match that a team is winning and the opposition start to get on top and they get more and more possession. As soon as a team like Barcelona would win back the ball and if they are being pressurised by the opposition, any of the slightest touches (which are hardly fouls) they would go down.  This would waste time and to be honest you cannot moan at them for going down because the opposition player has not touched the ball.

It is a way of playing which teams in Spain, Italy and Portugal have perfected.   I think that we are both blessed and punished for having referees that let the game flow and not give as many fouls as other European officials.  I think this does harm us when it comes to playing in Europe, because it frustrates our players when fouls are given away in European fixtures, this will ultimately put our teams off our game.

Our teams need to either learn to play differently in Europe or we can keep waiting till the referee’s change the way they manage games.  In my opinion this could never happen.

Now it sounds like I am suggesting that Joey Barton is ahead of his time, because he almost definitely is not, he is far too dumb.

 

Grand Master Arsene

As I sat up late last night, watching Falling Skies was not enough to make me tired till much later, Arsenal’s twitter posted a new article.  I was interested.  It had information regarding Saturday’s team news.  As I read I found out nothing more that I already knew.

1. Everyone is fit except Diaby (of course) and Wilshere.

2. Nasri and Cesc would not be included in the travelling squad due to unforeseen circumstances (they are both leaving)

Therefore, I do not understand why some Arsenal fan’s get annoyed by the fact that Wenger was secretive during his Press Conference this morning.  We know Mr Wenger is the Grand Master of saying lots without saying anything at all.  I some what envy him.

I would love to be able to waffle on about a subject that everyone wants to know about, without actually saying anything at all.  But then again that could be why I hate most people that do this.  You know the ones that think they know everything, but realistically they know as much as you, but they are more self obsessed that they feel the need to feel good about themselves. [Wooahh, what happened there]

But yes, we know he can get a bee in his bonnet and be arsey to the press so I do not see why people are so annoyed.

Let everyone just think in the worst possible scenario (or the one that everyone wants).  Where Cesc and Nasri leave for around about £50 million.  Because it is becoming increasingly likely that it is going to happen.  We need to realise this. As much as I want it to not be true.  It more than likely is.

To be honest as long as we spend at least half that money on a 24-27 year old playmaker and a defender.  I will be more than happy.  Everyone knows we need a stronger defender.  I feel we need a playmaker of that age to replace Cesc, yes we have Ramsey and maybe other players can play there but we need that creativity in the midfield and someone with a few more ideas than our current options.

The next few weeks up to the 31st August when the transfer window closes will be very interesting.  Should we have waited till after the season starts to replace them.  Yes I think so.

In other news I have bought a new pair of football boots for my first full season in the 1st team at Southgate County (see below).  They are a pair of Adidas Predator Adipower’s I bought them for £114.99 (RRP £154.99).  I love them so far.  I will let you know how they get on at the weekend when I have my first pre season game against Croxley at Potters Bar FC.

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Joey Barton, No Thank You

Waking up to the news that Joey Barton is being linked with your club is never good.  Especially if you are an Arsenal fan.

Thinking of our links to the 28 year old from Liverpool, the one that sticks out is the relationship between him and Samir Nasri. You would like to think that Mr Wenger would not purchase a man, that is quite hated at the club. Well I would like to think that.

I do not want to go down the road of thinking what benefits he would bring to the club, because to my honest opinion, apart from a pretty good free kick, I cannot see any benefit what so ever of him in a red and white shirt.

I cannot imagine many players would welcome it and fans almost certainly would not. Apart from those who think that he would be perfect at tackling hard and roughing up teams. Not what Arsenal are about.  I repeat.  Not what Arsenal are about.

I think we have a 100 x better player in Jack Wilshere who can quite easily step up, roll his sleeves up and show his class, when the big boys start to get a bit gritty and physical.  A midfielder is not what we want in my opinion, I just believe we just need a shoot on sight striker.

Much has been said about the Ivorian Gervinho.  To be honest, I have not seen much of him.  I have only seen the few snippets of him on on YouTube and he looks like the shoot on strike policy kinda striker.  African players have a tendancy to be this kind of striker, think Eto’o and Gyan. Even though we do not really need a goal scoring striker as we have one of the best in the league in Robin Van Persie.  I just believe that when he is not on form that we could do with someone to bring off the bench and if he gets a chance to smack one on target.

In my thoughts, I am a bit jealous of Hernandez.  A player who came to England with no real repuation and scored 20 goals in his debut season.  He had the killer instinct that we have looked for in the past.  Such players, as Defoe and Owen have/had this clinical-ness.  A player, who is not afraid of AND is good at shooting from the edge of the area when we are struggling to score.

So if we do sell our big Dane Nicklas Bendtner (which I am not happy about), then please Arsene buy us more Hernandez than…

A look ahead

So a season that initially promised little, then promised a slight chance of a title shot, then a two horse race, finally finished in huge disappointment when we ended the season as the forth best team in the country.

Everyone argues about where it went wrong, was it the 4-4 away at Newcastle after being 4-0 up in until the 68th minute?  Or was it the last minute loss to Birmingham in the Carling Cup Final?  In my opinion these results were simply a result of us not being strong enough when it really counts.

We are fine when it comes to the beginning of the season when the manager always mentions:

“We do not look at the league table yet.”

Because our players play without a worry. The mentality that,

“The result does not really matter… it is so early in the season …we can make up for it later on.”

This play without care attitude is what our players are brilliant at, they love just entertaining and pretending it is like a training match.  We usually destroy teams playing this way.  This was shown with a 6-0 win at Blackpool, 3-0 away at Manchester City and 4-2 away at Villa.

When the pressure is off we are class.  This is also reflective in our brilliant away form.  Playing away you do not have the anxiety of the home fans being impatient and wanting a goal from kick-off.  Away, teams come out and have a go against us (especially against us!).  We come under a lot of pressure and we can hit teams on the break when they have high defensive lines.  We were also able to take a few shots on target against us and then go down the other end and score with our first shot.  In whole, this seemed to desert us a in the second half of the season.  When we started to believe we could be in with a chance of winning something.

Which brings me perfectly on to the Carling Cup final; we bottled it.  I am fed up with saying the word pressure, but we just cannot handle it.  Is this because we are too young a squad? Perhaps. Is it because we are not a squad full of Winners? Perhaps. Or is it because we do not have enough English Spirit? Not so much.

In my opinion I just believe we do need those couple of additional old players who have won trophies.  Players that have experience of winning trophies, be that in England or in other countries.

Paper talk of losing players like Nasri and Fabregas would destroy us.  Their experience in the Premiership would be sorely missed.  We would also not be able to attract as high class signings as we could previously.  Players from clubs seeing us finishing fourth and losing players left, right and centre might see Arsenal as a bit of an Ajax.  In as much as a training club who buy players young and cheap and sell to a bigger club a few years later.  We need players who want to stay at our club for years and years to come.

I think this summer is going to be very busy in terms of transfers.  I believe we are going to see a lot of players going and almost certainly less players coming in.   It will be sad to see some players go but maybe, it is time for them to move on to another club where they have a better chance of playing more games (Bendtner and Denilson) or to develop their career at a different club (Nasri and Cesc).  In both cases, you do want them to look back at their time at Arsenal and think “I should have stayed”

Whatever does happen, I do hope Arsenal fans will not be disappointed with the amount/quality of incoming players.

Speak soon

Cup Run Over

Something a little different tonight.

I thought I would let you read my Saturday team’s match report which I was in charge of writing…

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So the excitement was brewing, it was a Saturday and it was a Cup game.  As we waited around for our Captain to arrive we eyed up the opposition, and not in a Graham Norton way.  It was soon apparent that they were all around 25 years old, young, energetic and confident.  This scared us.

As we began to get changed more and more of these young people joined the oppositions half of the changing room.  Our old boys were quick to leave the changing room and get out as soon as possible to warm up their muscles in preparation for a busy day.  As the oppo came out to join us there were cries of “They are gonna destroy us” and “I don’t fancy playing Centre mid against these lot”.  After an inspirational team talk by Thirgood we were ready to NOT get knocked out this cup competition.

We started the game well, not really letting the opposition get a touch on the ball, for at least 30-40 seconds.  Then, after some neat passes in midfield and a through ball Carl Young leaped at the opportunity to get a shot away and scored; 1-0.  Maybe this lot weren’t as good as they looked.  We were on top.  We were winning.   We must keep winning.

The opposition soon calmed themselves down and decided to play some football and up their work rate.  We had a throw on from the left back position where Frame through to Dickinson, whose pass back to Bellinger was intercepted by the keen Parkonian winger and he decided to keep running across the edge of the area.  Bellinger tried to slow him down by getting himself in between the man and the ball and the Parkonian decided that he couldn’t be bothered to shoot with his left foot and dived.  Penalty.  They dispatched 1-1.

After some moaning by the ref we had a several breaks in play to remove Dog muck (diversion tactic by us) and time for the ref to moan about our flaccid balls.  Half time 1-1.  Thirgood furthermore told us we were playing well and we just need to keep it tight in the second half.  We were ready.

Within 10 minutes of starting the half we conceded after some poor passing in midfield which allowed them to counter.   Thirgood brought on Elliot in place of Tony and Darren in place of debutant Rich Gaughran.  After some battling hard, in what turned into an end to end game, we changed formation to 3-5-2 in order to create more chances and pack the midfield.  It soon worked, some good work down the right from Darren saw him deliver a driven right footed cross into the near post where Thirgood flicked it on to a defender and it looped over the keeper  2-2!

The game looked to be going into extra time when, with 2 minutes left on the clock and an expectant Chairman and the board watching, a free kick as given against us on the edge of the box.  Their tricky left winger tried to get the ball over the wall only for it to hit a head and loop in over Mullin in the Southgate game.

The Chairman left and so did our cup dream.

Shall we make a DVD


We done it, we done it, we done it!  We won at the shite hart lane!  Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!  Who would have thought it, we won a Carling cup game at SHL.

What a game it was.  We started off so so well, playing the most beautiful football.  Sometimes I just cannot understand why other teams do not just play the way we do.  Is it our movement so good that the player on the ball literally has 4 options.  If that player has not got 4 options he will simply beat a player and then have 2 or 3 options!  Quite astonishing really.  I cannot seem to get my head round it.  Particularly the way Wilshere Denilson and Nasri pinged the ball about between them is really good to watch.

Speaking of young Jack.  He was the key to our opening goal.  Gibbs recieved a beautiful crossfield ball and played in Rosicky.  Young Jack made a great overlap and Tomas played him in and our little wizard from Hitchin delievered a beautiful low cross for Enfields very own Henri Lansbury to slide in and make it 1-0.  It was a great off the ball run by Wilshere who was then out shone by Henri’s run from right wing and across the six yard box to poach a goal to go with his fine performance on the night.

I liked seeing him on the right, Arsene Wenger claimed he was like Ray Parlour.  Arseblog said he was more like Ljungberg.  I would agree with the former.  He was a work horse and he had a little bit of grit to go with it.  Would never give up would block challenge a full back to stop the ball going up the line.  Defended and attacked with simplicity.  Recieved the ball, played it simple.  I guess he has been at the club long enough to know how we play, but he implemented it perfectly. Played Lansbury.

After our breathtaking first half which we really should have increased the scoreline with, we started the second half.  The other lot brought on Keane and Lennon, which scared us for about 5 minutes.  But that was all it took for a little arguing Irish midget to score an offiside goal.  So it was 1-1.  We continued to play attractive football, really showing them lot how to play the way they can only dream of.

It is funny how much money they have spent and yet it seems to go unnoticed and they are praised for their English talent.  That is because Mr Sky man they spend millions on Bentley, millions on Walker,  Jenas, Huddleston etc! But hey ‘Good old ‘arry’

So extra time came and I to be honest was worried.  I did not want our boys getting too tired for our busy period.  But thinking about it we did make 8 changes from the Sunderland performance, so we could have coped.

About a min into extra time we got a penalty for a pull on Nasri’s shirt after Arshavin played him in one on one with the keeper.   Nasri stepped up, after refusing to take the pen against Sunderland, and dispatched it perfectly past the keeper 2-1.

About 5 mins later after a beautiful move and an Arshavin throughball again, Chamakh was tugged back and a SECOND penalty was given! Crazy. I could nto believe it.  I then got really nervous at Nasri taking it again.  I thought that the keeper would then have the upper hand.  Nasri would be pooing himself and the keeper would save it.  But no, our star of pre-season was the coolest person in North London and passsed itto the otherside of the net.  3-1.

Then things went crazy when Arshavin was fouled by Walker, Arshavin got up and ran behind Walker and Wilshere (who thought about this about 6 months ago) played him in and Arshavin fired the ball into the net with his “weaker” left foot.

4-1 FTaET.  As I said earlier we played beautiful football and it was cracking game in my opinion. Hopefully we can recreate our performance at the Emirates tomorrow against WBA and shove it in Adrian Chiles’ chubby cheeks.

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