Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Arsenal Transfer Window Preview Part 2- January 2009

Morning all. Last day of 2008 has come and I'm still alive and if you're reading this so are you so congratulations on making it through another year. Yesterday I ran down the first half of our January transfer preview for Arsenal and today I'm going to finish that off with the second half of who we should buy and maybe even a little who we should sell. We did central defenders and central midfielders yesterday, so that leaves us our wide and attacking players for today.

Let's look at what we have so far out wide. We have Nasri, who is certainly a quality player as long as he can stay healthy, which hasn't been as much as you'd like. There is Eboue, who is really a right back and has been forced onto the wing and really isn't very effective out there. Rosicky is ALWAYS hurt and probably won't play for us anymore barring a miraculous recovery from his injury that has kept him out for a year. And of course we have Theo, who is out for a couple more months but he really looked great at the start of this year until the time of his injury. Diaby is also used out wide occasionally but he is a central midfielder and we really shouldn't accept having to play someone out of position so much.

So it is clear that we really could use a wide player, at least to add some depth while Theo is out and hopefully to create some competition for places with say, Eboue. There has been a ton of talk about Andrei Arshavin ever since Russia's run at Euro 2008. He was good at the Euro's, yes I'll give you that, but do we really know how he would adapt to the Premiership? He's 27 years old and would command a huge fee, yet he hasn't been tested in a top flight league. I'm going to come right out and say that I don't want Arsenal to buy Arshavin. Sp*rs bought Pavlyuchenko because of his performances in the Euro's alongside Arshavin and he hasn't worked out great for them. I just don't see him as the best option and I hope we look somewhere else. That somewhere else could be Mikel Arteta of Everton. Reports are in already that we will make a 12 million pound bid for him, which could be enough to get him from Everton. He's a huge player for them who they won't want to part with but for the right price they would have to accept, especially since the player would most likely want to come play for Arsenal. He's been playing in the Premiership for a long time so he has that needed experience which would hopefully mean he could make an immeadiate impact. He is very versatile as well meaning that he could play in Cesc's role while he is injured and move out wide or alongside him when Cesc returns. He's also good on set pieces and he really just looks like a better option to me. Another option I could think of hasn't had as much talk as the other two but as I said yesterday, Valencia are strapped for cash and a very good player on their team just happens to play on the wing. I'm talking about Silva, who plays with Cesc for Spain. I have no idea what kind of fee he would command but he is a great player and would surely benefit any team he was in.

Moving on to the strikers and you'd have to say that if we were totally set for players in a posititon then it would be at striker. We have two good strikers in RvP and Adebayor who can get the job done at the top flight as well as Eduardo, plus some youngsters like Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner in waiting. I'll admit though that I'm not a big Bendtner fan. I think he gives off the impression that he is not trying hard a lot of times when he is on the pitch and it really bothers me. A lot of times when he plays it is up front by himself and when you're up top by yourself it really requires a lot of movement from you, which he doesn't seem to have. Sure he scores the odd good goal sometimes but I think his attitude of entitlement is a problem and if we received a decent offer for him I suggest we take it. If we were to bring in a striker, which we won't, then my personal choice would be Sergio "Kun" Aguero.

Last but not least we need to talk about which players we want leaving if we had our choice. Players that are not Arsenal calibre who are playing for Arsenal and should not be. Alex Song immeadiately springs to mind. He's not good enough in midfield or in defense to ever be a first eleven player and really makes me nervous even when he comes on in reserve or as a sub. When you look at other top clubs do you see players of Alex Song's skill level? Not really, and if there is one, then they don't play nearly as much as Song does for us. I also think Eboue would do well with a change of scenery. He hasn't really improved on the wing ever since he was moved there and he certainly won't ever be better than Sagna at right back. He's decent cover but even when Sagna has been out the boss has chosen to use other people instead of him at right back, which should tell you something. As I mentioned, I don't think Bendtner has much of a future here at Arsenal and I think an offer for him would see him gone.

Now by point behind this is that we can't afford to sell ANY players without having signed or having every intention of signing quality replacements for them. Our squad has shown that it is too then and we really need to grow it not sell more. We sold Hleb, Gilberto, and Flamini (I know, he left, he wasn't sold) without really bringing in any replacements and we can't have that again.

So that's about it. The transfer window opens in 12 hours, while we'll all be ringing in the New Year. I hope all of you have a fantastic 2009 and that Arsenal do as well. Everyone drink up, hook up, do drugs if that is your thing, just make it a great start to the New Year! Make sure you check out the forums if you never have or leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are! Cheers! I'll leave you with this video to go into the New Year. Warning: Semi-offensive and also hilarious material.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arsenal Transfer Window Preview Part 1- January 2009

What's up everybody? As there is only one day left in 2008 and we move to 2009, I figured I'd take the time today to put together a little bit of a transfer window preview, looking at some options that could come in. Obviously Arsene is one who normally surprises everyone and buys players that nobody expects and/or have never been heard of before, so this could be way off but like I said, it's just possibilities and will hopefully start some good discussion.

So to start off, we have to figure out which areas of the squad need to be addressed. I think the two glaring holes are in the center of defense and in midfield. Some people say we need a keeper but I think Almunia has shown that he is a quality keeper worthy of his spot in the team.

So for the defender, we have to look at what we have and what we need in turn. William Gallas is a 31 year old smaller center back who has shown a penchant for scoring goals and also allowing goals on set pieces. Sometimes he looks great and others he looks like the worst player on the pitch. He's not getting any younger, and his leadership has certainly been questionable. Kolo Toure used to be a very stable defender for us and is in the same mold as Gallas in terms of size and style. He seems to have lost some of what he had before in terms of quality in the past year. Mikael Silvestre is pretty bloody awful and shouldn't really ever play in a team that has title ambitions every year. Johann Djourou looks quite good and is still young. He's bigger than Kolo and Gallas and should only get better with time. Fairly good on the headers and pretty good at marking.

I think what we need in defense is another player in the style of Djourou who can win the long balls that have become a staple of the Premiership. An experienced player who maybe wouldn't command a huge fee. Sol Campbell's departure, while he was getting old, really did take a lot of experience and physicality out of our defense. We need somebody who can rough up opposing strikers. Now who that is I don't know. In the summer we were linked with Raul Albiol, who plays for Valencia. He's got good size and speed and can play in defense or as a defensive midfielder. Valencia have also had some finanacial troubles so they would probably sell if the right offer came in. Steven Taylor is a young player with Premiership experience that has good size and strength and looks to have a bright future as well. Hard to tell how much he would cost but it could be an option. Cristian Zapata is another player we have been linked with in the past year and could still be an option. I think any of those three could be real possibilities due to the fact that they are all currently playing at top level clubs in top leagues which gives them the experience to play for a club like ours in a league like the Premiership. They all have size and strength and will probably all get better over time.

If you have any others you can think of feel free to leave them in the comments.

The other main area we need to address as soon as possible is in midfield. We've been sorely lacking in the holding role since the departure of Mathieu Flamini AND Gilberto Silva left in the summer. Looking back, that was not the best idea to let Gilberto leave after Flamini left, but now we have a hole there that needs to be filled. I have seen mention of Scott Parker, since he can play in that role and he is used to the Premiership since he plays for West Ham. He's 28 years old so that might reduce the fee for him some, but I don't know how he would fit into the Arsenal style of play. Of course we had all the talk of Xabi Alonso in the summer, but it never worked out, reportedly because of a 2 million pound difference in what they wanted for him and what we offered. Let me tell you, it's not going to happen. Liverpool are fighting for the title and he's been playing quite a lot for them this season. I doubt they'd sell him and even if they wanted to then the fee would be higher now than it was and I don't know if he'd want to come and battle for 4th instead of a title. Marcos Senna of Villareal has also been linked with us, and he could be an affordable option because of his age. He wouldn't be a long term solution by any means but he could be at the top of his game for another two years or so.

That's about it for part 1 of the transfer preview. I'll get to part 2 tomorrow. If you have any ideas of who YOU would like to sign, feel free to leave it in the comments or any other thoughts you want to put out there. One more day in 2008, enjoy it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick Arsenal-Portsmouth Preview

Morning all. Just a quick one today as I've got a busy day ahead and honestly I'm really so tired that I can barely write. We play Portsmouth in 45 minutes and see the first return of Tony Adams as an opposing manager. Pompey have been pretty terrible since he took over, and since we're playing at home we really need this to be a win.

While you never like to see anyone injured, I can't say I'm too bothered that Alex Song will miss this game through injury, and possibly Johann Djourou as well. Clichy should be back giving us a back four of Sagna-Toure-Gallas-Clichy, which on paper looks really good but we have seen that it is clearly otherwise. Emmanuel Adebayor is back after serving his suspension for a B.S. red card against the scousers. Obviously Eduardo, Rosicky, Cesc, and Theo are all still out.

We really need to pull off a win today. We're on our best run of the season, 5 games without defeat, and Pompey have had three straight defeats. Our class needs to show through to get a result here, and we could really use a Villa loss; and while we're at it how about a United and Chelsea loss too.

Arsene Wenger has said that Tony Adams will one day become a great manager, and I hope he does. I just hope it isn't today against us.

"He [Adams] was a great leader but there is a difference (between being a captain and manager).

"He will certainly be a great manager and he has the qualities needed to become one."

Alright that's about all the time I have this morning. Match is in thirty minutes so everyone kick back and enjoy what we'll hope will be a convincing win. Come on you Gunners!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No Defense for This Type of Defense

Well if you forgot we had a match yesterday, woke up knowing we didn't have Cesc or Adebayor, and saw that we had drawn 2-2 at Aston Villa, you would have thought it was a good result for us. However, if you actually watched the match, then you realize that we should have been able to hold on for a win. Was it our best performance? Hardly. But anytime you are up 2-0 in the second half you need to be stout enough to hold on for a win. Gallas brought down Agbonlahor for a penalty that Gareth Barry converted, and then our ultimate failure came in extra time. A cross came in from the right side to the left of the box and a simple one touch back in to the middle of the box for Zat Knight spelled our demise. He took the chance well and hit it right into the back of the net as the clock was about to run out.

Looking at the replay just makes you feel sick. It's the 92nd minute in a match that you are leading and we only have three defenders in our box when they are sending crosses in. Why are we so far up the pitch when there is so little time left while defending a lead? It's coming down to the wire and we're letting them pass it around in our box like they're on a damn training pitch. Can anyone really argue now that Senderos is not as good as Silvestre? What was the purpose of buying him? Did Wenger really still think he was a quality player or did he just want an extra body to put in defense? I can only imagine, but he just isn't very good.

While Arsene Wenger is still talking about winning the title, I think our goals must now change. Liverpool are ten points up on us halfway through the season, and are playing much better than us. And while we have shown that we can play with the best teams on our day, our consistency has been awful this year and a realistic expectation needs to be just qualification for the Champions League next season. We are three points behind Aston Villa and Manchester United now, with United having two games in hand. We have only nine wins and five losses so far, which is hardly a statistic to brag about. It will be an uphill battle with Villa playing so well, and I am hoping that a couple of buys in January will strengthen our squad enough to overtake them. In the end I still think we are the better team with better players, but it is the mental side of the game that we must adapt to in order to take back our Champions League spot.

While a lot of the fault does reside in our defence, our midfielders must also be back helping to close down and defend. When we only had three in the box on that last goal they were all defenders. You would hope that you would have some of your midfielders coming back to help in that situation but none of them are even close to the ball.

We've all been over who we think we need to bring in. Some have said Arteta, some have said Xabi Alonso, and still others have been wanting a defender. I think we could probably use all three, but I still want a defender more than anything. Gallas is very incosistent, Toure has not been at his best all year, and Silvestre is just not very good. The problem is, which defender would you buy? I'll leave that up to Arsene Wenger, because he is one of the best at finding talents from abroad. But let there be no doubt that we cannot continue like this.

I must have a little bit today on Bacary Sagna, who was truly inspired yesterday. I've always loved Sagna and he put on one of his best performances for Arsenal yesterday. He was brilliant from start to finish and definitely was man of the match for me. I also will give some credit to Denilson for taking the advantage when a little opening was given to him in the first half. Against the run of play, he struck and we took advantage of it. Credit to him.

So it's on to Portsmouth next, who have been pretty dreadful since Tony Adams took over, unfortunately for him. It is however, a chance we need to take to get three points. The January transfer window is only days away, and we may, for the first time in awhile, see some new players coming in in that window. We need to fight on. The Champions League is not far out of our reach and we have to want it more than Aston Villa wants it. Let's go Arsenal, Come on you Gunners!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Arsenal Christmas List

Today is Christmas Eve, and I will be departing in an hour to go spend it with my entire family, but I figured I'd do a quick Christmas post before all the festivities begin. I think an Arsenal Christmas list is in order so I've put one together for the rest of the season. If you think of any fun additions go ahead and leave them in the comments. These are in no particular order by the way.

1. Someone who can play in place of Cesc while he is out. Diaby is not Cesc, nor is Denilson, Ramsey, Song, or anyone else on our team. We need to buy someone to play the rest of this year in Cesc's spot while he is out. I could think of a couple of names but Arsene never buys anyone that we've heard of so I think it's best to just say we need SOMEONE there.

2. To stay undeafeated against the rest of the "Big Four." We've done it so far, with 2 wins and a draw, and I think it'd be great to be able to keep it that way the rest of the year. It will obviously be tougher without our captain but at least we would be able to say we didn't lose to any of them even once.

3. To beat Tottenham Hotspur at Shite Hart Lane. They screwed us over at the Emirates and we really owe them a beating. The only thing better than destroying them at home is destroying them on the road.

4. To stay in the Top Four. We've struggled this year, and fallen out of the top four, with Villa slipping in our spot. We NEED to make it into the Champions League next year, and so we really need to get back into at least 4th spot.

5. A new defender. I think that goes without saying. Djourou has turned in some good performances but since I think Gallas' time at Arsenal is nearing it's in we could use a good, tall, strong defender.

6. A holding midfielder better than Alex Song. Sorry, but Alex is just not good enough to be playing this much for Arsenal. Give us somebody better please. Again, not going to name names but a quality DM is just what we need.

7. Keep Usmanov out of Arsenal. There has been some drama within the Arsenal boardroom lately and it may be an opening for Alisher "As Large As Russia Itself" Usmanov to buy his way into the boardroom. We can't have it. He's a wanker who knows nothing about football or Arsenal or how to not be a cunt. Please Arsenal, do not let him in, at any cost.

8. A Trophy. It's going to be tough without our captain, but we still have at least two chances for silverware in the FA Cup and the Champions League. We'd all love a trophy, so let's do it Arsenal!

That's my Arsenal Christmas list. If we could get half of those things it'd be awesome but all of them would make it the best Christmas ever.

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you enjoy spending time with your family and I hope you all have wonderful times! Cheers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Eduardo Returns Tomorrow!

Hooray, the day has finally arrived. Well actually it is still a day away but we can start the official countdown now. Eduardo is making his long awaited return to playing for Arsenal, albeit in the reserves. After that horrific injury he went through I think everyone has been looking forward to see how he would recover and come back and he's recovered more quickly than I thought he could have. He's been in training for a while now and Arsene Wenger thinks he's ready to take to the field in a match situation, and I can't wait.

I'll admit, before Eduardo's injury I wasn't his biggest fan. Not saying I didn't like the guy, he just wasn't my favorite player, but now he's right up there. How can you not respect and like a guy who fights back from an injury like that? Plus he is a good, proven goal scorer and we could certainly use that. I'm certainly going to be nervous every time someone goes in for a tackle on him though. I'm sure he will too but hopefully he is not too apprehensive and gets through it without any problems. A lot of times after you recover from an injury you play trying NOT to get hurt and not playing naturally and a lot of times those are the times you end up getting injured, so we'll hope he is in a good state mentally. I haven't heard an interview with him lately so I really don't know how he is feeling but I'm sure he's glad to be back.

I hope nobody expects too much from him. Remember that he hasn't played since February and his leg was horribly injured and it's his first match back. Successfully completing 45 minutes should be considered a success and should help him get his confidence back in his ability to use the leg in a match. Anything he can do on top of that is just fantastic and I can't wait to see him back for the first team soon. We're all rooting for you Eddy, knock em dead!

In other news, Emmanuel Eboue says he is going to silence the fans who were booing him at the Emirates.

"It was sad. I did not expect that reaction from the public because I have always given all for Arsenal. But I am a professional and I have respect for the reactions of the crowd. The manager has encouraged me in the last few days and told me that you get over these things by working harder and fighting. He has promised me that if I give 200 per cent in every game, the fans will applaud me again."
Yes indeed, the fans will applaud you if you give 200 per cent in every game. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be your thing really so we'll see if you stick to it. Fans cheer for players who give everything for the team, so try it.

And the last thing for today is Salamanca wanting to take Carlos Vela on loan again. He's been on loan there last season but I can't see him being sent out again this year. Our squad really isn't deep enough to lose anymore players so I'll expect him to stay with Arsenal. He's a great player with a great future and I hope we get to see more of him in the weeks to come.

That's all I've got for today. I'll probably try to get something up tomorrow so I'll talk to you then. Everyone support Eduardo tomorrow! Cheers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Champions League Draw, And a Youngster Could Be Leaving

Morning all. 2-0 loss to Porto yesterday with a sub-par side shows us finishing second in the group. It really was an abject performance and I'm pretty sick of seeing a midfield of poor players (Song) and out of position players (Ramsey, Diaby). It didn't help that we had Clichy and Sagna out in defense either but the fact of the matter is the game didn't mean a whole lot since we were already qualified. Being in second though gives us an option of Roma, Panathanaikos, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the first knockout round. Obviously you'd think the easiest draw out of all of those would be Panathanaikos, and it would also see a return for Gilberto Silva, who would certainly get a good reception. I'd like to see us draw them but I really wouldn't mind Roma or Juventus. Panathanikos finished top of their group over Inter Milan and looked really good throughout the group stages, so it wouldn't be an easy tie for certain but I think we are the better team there. Plus, I want to see Gilberto back. If we HAD finished top of the group, the possible opponents would have been Inter, Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Lyon. Probably a bit easier as a whole considering you have the second leg at home then but that's what happens when you play a below par squad in a Champions League match, you lose.

So the draw for that knockout round will be made next Friday, and I'll try to get the results of that up right after they come out if possible. Who would you all like to see us face?

Johann Djourou says it doesn't matter to him that we finished second in the group.

"I don't think it matters.

"When you get through to the last 16 they're all great teams, so I don't think there's anyone in particular we want to avoid."

Right you are Johann and the moral of the story is to win the competition you have to get all the other teams out at some point anyway, so it doesn't really make much difference who you beat first.

In some young gunner news today, it appears Jay Simpson will be allowed to go out on loan, and it will probably be to a Premiership club. Hull and West Brom are thought to be the favorites to sign him for the rest of the season according to Sky Sports. I think it would be fantastic if he could go out and get some playing time for either of those teams, particularly Hull. Playing time at a young age is very valuable especially in a side that is overachieving and willing to go and attack like Hull is. If they put the offer in I really think Arsene should accept it. He won't play here so we might as well let him go somewhere and play in the same league to really see how he does.

And last but not least, Mike Silvestre says there is still time for the squad to "grow up" before the end of the season and win some silverware. Maybe if Silvestre was a better defender then it would help contribute to that hypothesis. Still though, his point is valid. There is still a lot of season left to go and we can still win the FA Cup, the League, or the Champions League.

C'mon you Gunners!

One more thing, if you are into theme parks then please do check out the link at the right for Amusement Life. They are a great up and coming hub for all amusement news, reviews, reports, and information. It's being run by my best friend, so please do check out his website. Cheers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Reaction To Eboue, and More

Morning all. It seems people still want to talk about what happened with Emmanuel Eboue in the match Saturday, and since there isn't much else to write about today, that's what we'll continue with. I said yesterday that paying fans should be allowed to boo if they want, and when a player plays terribly and/or doesn't show effort, then why should he not be booed? Just because they play for Arsenal means ANY type of performance is acceptable and we should just clap them off? The way I see it, we want players who want to play hard and play well for Arsenal, and while everyone has a bad game once in awhile, Eboue's appearance Saturday was absoultely abject.

Richard Williams of the Guardian says that Eboue's treatment was unfair and his tears shamed all of the booing fans. Richard Williams is wrong. There is not a single case I can think of where it would be acceptable behaviour for a proffessional footballer to cry over being booed, no matter who does it. You get paid more than most of us can even dream to do something most of us would do for free, playing for Arsenal. Man up Eboue. Crying like you are ten years old and just missed a penalty is not going to make anyone feel sorry for you and regret booing your shite performance. Man's game bitch. Eboue isn't good enough to play in our first team anyway, and if we actually had a deeper squad he probably wouldn't, so it's not like this is his first bad performance for Arsenal. If you pay tons of money for tickets and you get pissed off at Eboue, go ahead and boo him. He needs to play better or accept criticism better.

Emmanuel Adebayor says it doesn't matter how we play, it just matters if we win. I think he's half right. We all want to play beautifully yes, but I think more importantly we want to win. It'd be nice if we could always do both, but that isn't going to happen. I think against the sides that go out to defend against us we need to have a "score at all costs" motto going into it. These seem to be the games where we have great build up play that leads to nothing. In the second half of the season we really need to get results against these weaker teams and Adebayor is right on there, we need to win, not play beautifully.

So we have a match against Porto tomorrow that will determine who finishes top of our Champions League group. It's a rare match we can all enjoy without any stress at all. We're already qualified and I don't really think it matters much if you finish 1st or 2nd in the group. You have to beat every team left in it anyway at some point, so I don't think it matters in what order they fall. I'd like to see Kolo get to play with Djourou again, and I'd suspect some fringe players like Bendtner and/or Vela will get to play. I think we can get a win. We beat them 4-0 at the Grove and we are the better team. It is tough to play in Portugal though, so it may turn out to be a draw. Either way I'll just enjoy watching the match.

And for the people like C10-Goona who think you are not an Arsenal supporter if you don't agree with their definition of a supporter, please go read another blog or just keep your mouth shut on this one. Just because I have an opinion different from yours does not mean I am not a supporter. I don't think I would write an Arsenal blog for over a year if I wasn't a fan. I don't have that kind of time and neither does anyone else. So like I said, Arsenal fans need to quit telling other Arsenal fans they are "not supporters" or should "go support Chelsea" because it's just stupid. Last I checked there isn't a chairman of Arsenal fans that decides whether you are a fan or not. So please shut your mouth or get a new site to comment on.

That's about it for the day. Hope for a win tomorrow and hope Chelsea, Liverpool, and United all lose just because life is better that way. Cheers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rosicky Out Until At Least March, Eduardo Back Soon

Morning all. Bad news today. Coming off our 1-0 win over Wigan we find out today that Tomas Rosicky will be out until at least March. He's been out since last January so it'll be at least a 14 month recovery (longer than Eduardo's broken leg) for a hamstring injury. I think it is fairly safe to say that Tomas' career is in serious jeopardy. They have set dates for his return before now and each time they have pushed it back so we really can't even hold our breath for march. It's a shame that he's injured, but he's had a habit of that since coming to Arsenal and honestly I'm more worried about the health of Arsenal as a whole than the health of Rosicky's hamstring. Being injured really messed us up last year as we were short of wide players going into the title stretch. It's also forced us to buy Samir Nasri (who I think is a great player) when we maybe could and would have normally used it to buy a defender or central midfielder. If he doesn't make it back before the end of the season, then I can't see him ever playing another match for Arsenal. His constant injury problems make him not worth the quality he provides when healthy. So for his sake and the team's, let's hope he can make it back by March.

In better injury news though, Eduardo will be playing in only eight days! Arsene Wenger says he'll play December 16th against the Portsmouth reserves. I'm pretty excited about watching it (thanks ArsenalTV Online) and I'm really really hoping he comes through with flying colors. He's been out so long with such a devastating injury and you don't really know how he'll react to being out in a competitive situation again. The best analogy I could come up with was Top Gun. In Top Gun, when Goose and Maverick eject from the plane and Goose slams into the canopy and is killed, it really rattles Maverick, just like Eduardo's injury will have undoubtebly rattled him. Viper gets him back in the air though as soon as possible but Maverick is still a little tentative and not at his best, but with time he becomes more comfortable being back where he belongs and succeeds in battle. Eduardo, too, will be a bit nervous about his leg and how it will react to playing a match. With time though he'll feel comfortable on it and make a full recovery, and return to top goal-scoring form. Good luck Eddy, can't wait to have you back. I put in the great clip from Top Gun here in case you haven't seen it.

One last thing, Kolo Toure wants the fans to lay off the "heckling" of Eboue. In all fairness, it was his first game back in six weeks but when you play badly then people are well within their rights to boo you. If you pay for a ticket to the match you should be able to boo someone for a poor performance. Eboue was absoultely awful on Saturday and the boos were warranted. You never see a player substituted on and then back off later in the match, and he was. That just shows you how bad he was. If he can't handle a few boos then he is in the wrong proffession. Man up Eboue and play better, and try harder, and then you won't hear the boos. If you keep playing how you have played for us for the last year or so though, it will continue.

That's about all I've got. Maybe I'll do a podcast at the end of the week but I haven't decided yet. We'll see if I get enough emails from you all. ArseNole{@} Cheers.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Questions Remain About Arsenal

Morning all, or afternoon, depending where you are and when you read this. I really need to write more on here. I'm still trying to get the new site ready for it's debut and it's taking much longer than expected so I'm going to be sticking with this one for awhile.

So what has happened in the past week? Well, we played Chelsea last Sunday. It was one of the rare Sunday matches I got to see and I even got my girlfriend to watch it with me. And the match was stressful and fantastic all at once. Coming off defeats to Villa and Man City I'll admit I wasn't too optimistic going into the match and when Djourou was unlucky with the own goal I figured there wasn't much of a way back considering the opposition. I was wrong however and we got a gift to make it 1-1 on a goal where RvP was clearly offside but I haven't heard one Arsenal fan complain about it. Just a minute later we scored again and this time nobody could have any complaints about the referrees or anything else, it was just brilliant. RvP acted out of instinct I think and just sent it in the far corner and I got a rug burn from sliding on the carpet when it went in. We held on pretty easily after that and it was another great result which brought about yet more questions.

Why is it that we can lose 2-0 at home to Aston Villa and 3-0 away to Manchester City but win 2-1 against United and Chelsea? It's frustrating to no end and there isn't a clear answer in sight. Is it a lack of effort against the "smaller" teams or is it only being able to really get themselves up for a match against the top top clubs? When your losses on the season are mostly against teams from the bottom half of the table you really have to question a lot. It's wonderful beating all our big rivals but when you are losing to Stoke and Fulham it doesn't mean nearly as much.

We know that our squad isn't deep enough, certainly, but we've had lineups like the ones that beat Chelsea all season. It was lucky to have Sagna and Adebayor back for sure, but we should have a large enough squad to make up for their absences when they do get injured. January I think will probably see us buy a couple of players, although the victories against Chelsea and United I fear may lead Arsene Wenger to vindication for his experiment and say that no changes are needed. But two wins do not make a season. Sylvestre was a useless buy, and we still need another defender. I think if an offer comes in for Gallas, we should probably take it. Djourou should be starting every game for us now. We need a new midfielder or two as well. Song isn't good enough to play for Arsenal consistently and while I love Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, having a 16 year old on the bench isn't a good sign. I think with Eduardo coming back we will be set at striker, as Vela has shown his quality plus we have Ade and RvP. I think Bendtner is a terribly frustrating player who looks lazy every time he comes on the pitch, but he does have his moments. His pink boots though, are awful.

So to sum it up I suppose, is that the team needs to be able to get itself up for matches against the lower teams just like it has for the top 4 teams. Cesc is undefeated as captain and may his reign be long and prosperous. May the footballing Gods shine on Arsenal through this busy christmas season and January transfer window, and let's hope we keep playing like we did against Chelsea! Up the Gunners!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving From The ArseNole

Hello everyone, just wanted to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to wherever you all are going. We all have much to be thankful for, like Cesc Fabregas getting the captaincy and January fast approaching, so everyone enjoy your Thanksgiving and I will talk to you all on Friday. Cheers!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fabregas Named Captain, And Rightfully So

Morning all. I told you I was redesigning the site and everything, and that is still the case, but it is taking longer than expected so I'm going to continue posting on this one for a while. Today it was confirmed that Cesc Fabregas, one of the greatest people to ever live, is the new captain of Arsenal Football Club. And I don't really think anyone can argue with that appointment. If you look at the potential benefits compared to the potential problems the benefits far outweigh them. He's young and could potentially be the captain of the club for a long time, granted he stays at Arsenal. I think this will encourage him to stay at Arsenal and give him the spotlight that he was going to eventually want anyway. He's fiery and can not only lead by example but is also not afraid to yell at someone when they need it and praise someone when they deserve it. He won't ever do what Gallas did and bitch to the press about a dressing room squabble, and, perhaps most importantly, he loves Arsenal Football Club in the same way that Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira do.

Arsene Wenger confirmed the decision, stating that William Gallas would still play for the club (unfortunately) but that he has been permanently removed as captain:

''William will play against Kiev, but the captain of the team will be Fabregas.'' I do not think I have to especially explain why I make the decisions, but it is a permanent thing.''

Wenger also spoke about how we still need to have a team full of leaders even though Cesc will be the voice of the club:

''I believe the captain is the voice of the club towards the outside, and is one of the leaders of the team. However, I do not believe in just one man in the dressing room who sorts out all of the problems. A successful team is a shared leadership inside the dressing room. He (Fabregas) will be one of the leaders, but not the only one.''
I feel like there has been a huge weight lifted off mine and a lot of other people's shoulders this morning upon reading this news. The Gallas captaincy was marred by the Birmingham game last year, the ensuing results which cost us the title, and a terrible start to this season. With a new captain, and the new captain being Cesc at that, it really feels like a whole new era for Arsenal, one that will lead us to glory.

Gael Clichy supported the decision to give Cesc the armband:

"It is a new start and I am sure Cesc will do well."

"He has been fantastic for us over the last couple of seasons. I think it is a good choice from the boss and I am sure all the players will give all their support.

"When we were losing 1-0 to Sunderland this season and he scored to get us the draw, that showed his character.

Now the rest of the playing staff is still a problem, don't get me wrong, there will have to be changes. Players need to be brought in to improve our depth and talent as well as to show Cesc our ambition because his quality far outweighs the majority of the rest of the squad's. We most certainly need another center back, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Gallas sold in January if a decent offer comes in. He's a team cancer and isn't good enough to play in the team anyway.

Another midfielder and another wide player certainly wouldn't hurt either. With Eboue and Walcott injured, it really exposed our lack of depth on the right with us having to play Diaby out wide and Song and Denilson in the middle. That midfield couldn't start for Wigan at the moment, so it certainly shouldn't be starting for Arsenal. It would be nice if we still had good old Gilberto, because he could certainly be useful during this trying time for the club.

But the fact is that it is now a new era of Arsenal Football Club and it's up to Arsene Wenger which way we go with it. He's changed the captain, but his next move is the most important one. Does he strengthen the squad in January and make the additions neccessary to be competitive, or does he "keep faith in his youngsters" and "try not to hurt their development" by refusing to buy yet again. The wise choice would be the former, because the latter could put his position at Arsenal in serious jeopardy.

Come on Cesc and come on you Gunners!

Friday, November 21, 2008

F**k Off William Gallas

After William Gallas' outburst yesterday, he has been removed as the captain of Arsenal Football Club. I'm absolutely thrilled, I can't wait to see the back of him and I hope Toure or Cesc gets the armband. Gallas has brought so many problems to Arsenal and a cancer like him had to be removed. Arsene, it appears, finally woke up and saw what everyone else has been saying for a yeah and a half, that Gallas is no captain and is a disgrace to our club. If you want to read more about it, read Arseblog or this article on SkySports.

In other news, still working on the new setup for the site so thanks for your patience. Leave your thoughts on Gallas if you want. Cheers.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ArseNole Temporarily Closed For Renovations

Hello everyone. I haven't posted in a while because I am working on the latest chapter of the ArseNole, in which the site will be completely renovated and redesigned. I am hoping to have it up and fully operational in the next week, although there is no telling how long it could take. If you have any ideas for the new design or some features you would like to see on the new site, please email me at ArseNole{@} Thank you for your patience, and I will let you all know as soon as the new site is up and running. Cheers!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Disappointing Draw, But On To United

Morning all. It's a nice day here in Florida, which puts me in the mood to look ahead as opposed to looking back on the last week, which saw 3 crappy results for us. Our most important stretch of matches so far this season takes place in the coming month, starting this Saturday with Manchester United. It could either be the end of our title challenge or the start of some new momentum that could push us on to glory. It's a fixture where they really separate the men from the boys, and we'll surely find out what our squad is really made of.

We'll be without RvP, Adebayor, Eboue, and probably Gallas and Walcott, which leaves us in quite a bind for players. This isn't a match preview so I'm not going to predict a lineup or a score yet but the point is it's time to really show what kind of character we have. I'd love to see Djourou get to play in the match with Toure, but the boss seems to not like playing him very much. We need our key players like Cesc, Clichy, Toure, and Almunia to really have good games if we're going to win this one. I'm excited for the match, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about it as well.

The good news for the day is that Arsenal are top of the table...the Fair Play table. Arsene Wenger talked about it because he was still mad about Stoke "intentionally" trying to hurt our players, which was really just playing tough.

“You can look at the Fair Play table, who is top? Arsenal Football Club. So first of all we have no lessons to learn from anybody on that front. Look at the team with the least fouls in the Premier League - it is Arsenal Football Club.

“I am responsible for the behaviour of my team and when you look at the Fair Play table, you see that Arsenal are top. And that [includes] the behaviour of the manager on the touchline and the players on the field. I do not make that table."
A couple quick things on this point. First of all, you don't win any trophy for being top of the Fair Play table Arsene, and I don't think any of us fans are busy celebrating being top of that table either and thanking you for your leadership in guiding us to this accomplishment. Second, when we were winning titles, we got loads of cards. Patrick Vieira, the last real captain we had, used to get red and yellow cards all the time. There is nothing wrong with fouling as long as it leads to wins. Would anyone be mad if we were last in the Fair Play table and top of the Premiership? No we'd all be thrilled to have won the title. I've got a new slogan for Arsenal to use..."By Any Means Neccessary." We should go into every match thinking that and we would be a lot better off. If you have to foul someone and pick up a card, then do it. Quit worrying about the Fair Play table and make sure you win matches you should win. Get physical and grow a pair.

That's about all I've got. I may do a podcast tomorrow if you guys send some emails in, if not then I'll just do one next week. But yeah, send some emails in or leave some comments so I can use them in the next one. Let's hope some players get healthy before Saturday. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Will Arsenal Win Trophies Under Arsene Wenger?

Just the title alone will bring out the morons who think "true fans" can't question anything about the club, but I'm willing to risk it in hopes that we get some real, honest, thoughtful, opinions. I really want to know what people think in regards to if we will ever win another trophy under the management of Arsene Wenger. I don't feel like I need to reiterate the fact that I am thankful for what Arsene Wenger has done for this club and acknowledge that he has made us a more attractive and succesful club.

Having said that, Arsenal, for the last few years, has been on the decline. In my last post I compared our current squad to the one from a few years ago and it wasn't even close. We are much worse off now than we were a few years ago. Our best player, Cesc Fabregas, will not stick around and battle for 4th spot in the league every year when he could make more money and win trophies somewhere else. He's been very loyal since he came to Arsenal but we can't expect that to last forever without winning.

We've had some seriously confusing dealings in the transfer market, like selling Gilberto Silva because of his age and then buying Mikael Silvestre who is the same age. Arsene Wenger has ignored our deficiencies in defense and midfield, as well as overall depth, and it has hurt our squad. Now yet again our depth will be tested, with Adebayor out for three weeks, RvP suspended for an act of abject stupidity, Walcott out and Sagna out as well. Gallas and Eboue are out this match as well and who really knows what sort of squad we'll have out there. A midfield of Nasri-Denilson-Cesc-Diaby is not acceptable at a top club in the best league in the world. While other clubs improve their squad year after year we settle for letting players leave. I'm not saying spend as much money as Chelsea or Sp*rs but it's no excuse for sticking with a weakened team. It should be common sense that when a key player leaves you should replace them with another key player. FFS we could've gotten Senna to replace Flamini for pretty cheap, and what was wrong with that? He was too old? Silvestre apparently wasn't, and Senna is a much better player than Silvestre.

Arsene Wenger's stubbornness is causing him to continually stick with a youth policy that isn't working. Yes, some of the youth players will one day become good key players in the squad, but not all of them are going to be great players and we shouldn't assume that. He seems determined to prove that you can win without spending any money at all, but it isn't going to happen. When Cesc Fabregas leaves, what do we have left then? Is that going to get other players to want to come play for Arsenal when our best player is leaving? We need to adjust this problem now, yet I can't see Arsene going out and really spending in January to try to help our cause either.

Wenger has lost the plot. Instead of saying "yeah we fucked up and lost to Stoke and Fulham" he blames them for trying to injure our players intentionally, which is absolute BS. Just because they try to play tough doesn't mean they're trying to injure us. Even with my Under 8's team that I coach, before every match I tell them to "Man up!" I think a lot of the current Arsenal squad could use someone telling them to man up. Beautiful football is wonderful and I love it as much as the next guy but it makes little difference when you don't win anything. A state of decline for Arsenal is not acceptable.

Somebody needs to tell Arsene Wenger that he isn't guaranteed a job forever. If bad results continue then something has to be fixed. If players can be sacked, then managers can be too. This isn't a call for his head, but it's a call for the board to tell him to wake up and realize that this isn't cutting it.

So I ask you all the question, will Arsenal win anything while Arsene Wenger is still the manager?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Arsene, It's Time For Change!

As Samuel L. Jackson would say, "Enough is ENOUGH! I have had it with these motherf$%&ing goals from these motherf$%&ing teams!" 2-1 to f'ing Stoke City? You've gotta be kidding me. This is Arsenal Football Club? I'm halfway convinced it's just random people pretending to be a quality football club. The time is right to realize that there are holes in this squad and in this club that need to be addressed.

As almost every single Arsenal fan knew over the summer, when we lost Gilberto, Hleb, and Flamini we needed to sign some replacements. Arsene, however, decided he didn't need replacements for any of them. While Walcott has been better than Hleb on the right side, it still puts more pressure on him to play more games with little to no cover behind him in the squad in the form of Eboue. Gilberto was our experienced leader and a good defensive midfielder who had seen just about everything there was to see in the Premiership, yet he was let go for a minimal fee. Flamini you can't do much about because he could leave if he wanted, but after he does leave, a replacement needs to be brought in. The squad just isn't deep enough to have three key players leave and everything be ok without getting replacements for them.

Arsene continually says this is the most talented squad he has ever managed, but this clearly can't be the case. Let's compare the starting eleven from the invincibles team to the team Arsene says is his most talented team, the current one. The one in bold is, in my opinion, the better player at the position. Left back for me is a toss up because they are/were both brilliant.

Goalkeepers: Jens Jehmann - Manuel Almunia

Right back: Lauren - Bakary Sagna

Center back: Toure/Campbell - Toure/Gallas

Left back: Ashley Cole - Gael Clichy

Right Midfield: Freddie Ljungberg - Theo Walcott

Center Midfield: Patrick Vieira - Denilson

Center Midfield: Gilberto Silva - Cesc Fabregas

Left Midfield: Robert Pires - Samir Nasri

Striker: Dennis Bergkamp - Robin van Persie

Striker: Thierry Henry - Emmanuel Adebayor

You may not agree with all of those but I think most people who watched that team in 03/04 will agree that almost that whole starting XI is better than our current one. There is a serious lack of talent right now when you consider what we used to have. And Arsene wants us to believe that the current squad is the best he's ever managed? You're having a laugh. With the exception of Cesc, Sagna, and Clichy, where are the top class players in the squad? It seems lately that Arsene has a habit of buying injury-plagued underachievers (see RvP, Rosicky, Diaby).

You'd like to think that with our talent level going down, our wages would have gone down as well, but this isn't the case. The wages actually rose from last year to this one, even though we lost three big players for us. Who are we paying all that money to? Not many of them deserve a raise and quite a few deserve a pay cut probably.

Arsene Wenger has confused me so badly with the moves he has made the past few years. Some moves were good yes, it was the right time to sell Ljungberg, Vieira, and Henry, but his buying has to be brought into question. It seems as though he wants to sell, sell, sell and never buy to replace. Anyone that has played a couple hours of Football Manager in their life knows that you can't just have a starting eleven and nobody to back them up because injuries and suspensions happen.

What are we going to hear next year, that Jack Wilshere is like a "new signing" because he's 17 now and not 16? I'm sick of all that. It'd be ok if we were doing well with what we have Arsene but we aren't, we're losing to Fulham, Hull, and Stoke City. I want to know the REAL reason we don't sign anybody! It isn't because there is no money available, and all Arsene says is "we couldn't find the right player." Well come on Arsene, I could have found a lot of better players than Silvestre in defense!

It's f'ing ridiculous that we can't even secure wins over the likes of Hull at home and Stoke City. In years past they'd be walkover games that we didn't have to worry about, but now we look at the fixture list and say "oh shite, tough game against Torquay in the cup this weekend, hope we can grind out a result." If only that really was the fixture list. The real one contains Man U, Chelsea, Man City, and Aston Villa this month. It could get ugly. The way things are going right now, it will get ugly. Do something about it Arsene.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Absolutely Gutted...Mental Mistakes Sink Us

Morning all. It's still early in the day and it's already been terrible. This is of course compounded by what happened yesterday at the Emirates...which we shall discuss.

If you didn't get to see the match, in which feelings went from distress to glee to absolute disaster, then you missed one hell of a match, if you were a neutral supporter. I, however, am not a neutral so the match was absolute shite for me. We were up 4-2 with 2 minutes to go in the match and managed to let them score 2 goals in those two minutes to tie it up, which was as good as a win for them. Let's face it, Tottenham are not a good team, they were way behind us in possession, never really looked that threatening, and yet came into our home and came away with an undeserved draw.

Some people will say that I should maybe give Sp*rs some credit for their comeback, but let's face it, it wasn't their efforts that created this result, it was mental mistakes by Arsenal players that let them come back and snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Manuel Almunia has been a fine keeper for the last year or so, but yesterday he went back to the Almunia that was from a few years back. He pretty much gifted them their first two goals. The first one he should have been able to get back and make the save on. The ball was so high in the air it seemed like it took an hour to come down yet he couldn't get back for it, and Lord knows what he was doing that far off of his line anyway.

Then we got back in it through Silvestre of all people and it seemed like order would be restored. This proved to be the case when we came out and scored early in the second half through William Gallas who seems to be able to attack set pieces much much better than he can defend them. We got another on a great play from Nasri and finished by Adebayor and you figured that 3-1 up at home was going to be a win.

We didn't want to make it easy on ourselves though so we let them get a goal on yet another gift from Almunia. Huddlestone shot from outside the box and Almunia just let it drop in front of him after making the save and Darren Bent knocked it in after just coming on. It was a save he really should have been able to hold on to and it made you a little nervous at 3-2. Robin van Persie made it 4-2 just a minute later though and it was comfortable again.

What happened next was absolutely shocking. Arsenal went into a period where we held almost all of the possession, just trying to run the clock down, and it was working. Heading into extra time with a 2 goal lead and they couldn't even get the ball. Then the unthinkable happened. Gael Clichy had the ball stopped and was looking around for where to pass next and came under some pressure from Jenas, the cunt. Next thing you know Clichy trips over the ball, Jenas steals it, dribbles 25 yards or so and knocks another past Almunia. So 4-3 at this point but still almost know time left...we'll be fine right? Not so. A header dropped to Luca Modric who had a shot come back off the post which we failed to clear or save and Lennon came in to snatch a draw. They celebrated like they had won the league and I wanted to kill myself.

It's not just the result that really makes this bad though. Of course I want to beat Sp*rs, who doesn't? But the point is the WAY that we drew the match. Mental errors and not being able to have the strong mentality to close out a game. Where is the leadership in the 89th minute when up 2 goals that says, "Let's close this game out and make sure we don't let them even have one chance of getting back in this." How do we let them score on 2 rebounded goals, and trip over the ball while trying to play keep away, and let David Bentley, the talentless cunt, score from 40 yards away when no other team has had trouble with them all year? I don't care if they got a new manager or not, it's the same players that have them bottom of the table and we made them look like title contenders with that comeback.

How much would a player like Gilberto Silva have helped in this situation? Imagine if he came on instead of Diaby or Eboue, would he allow them to make a comeback like that? He's the kind of intelligent, experienced player we need in these situations, and we let him go. I just can't see him coming into the match up 2 goals with 2 to go and not making sure everyone knew to keep their heads on straight and to hold onto the ball, and if they did get the ball from us I know he'd be fighting tooth and nail to get it back.

Everyone has a few bad games but Almunia was absolutely shocking this match. I thought Theo Walcott was fantastic but of course he came off to be replaced by Eboue who did nothing. I actually thought Gallas (who you know I am a critic of) had a very good game. He looked solid at the back and scored a great header. He is the captain though and some of the blame for a meltdown has to go to anyone in a leadership role. The team as a whole was at fault though. Silvestre could have closed down Jenas on the 3rd goal, Almunia and Clichy could certainly have had better games, but the fact is we completely blew it.

Arsene Wenger was as pissed as he's been in some time:

Well I am angry. I believe we produced an outstanding game and got the minimum result. We didn't keep the ball. We were there for the taking. We should have had a negative passing game but instead we exposed ourselves by trying to go five or six up. The team has outstanding potential. They learn from moments like that tonight.
It comes down to leadership and experience. You have to keep the ball away from them up by 2 with 2 minutes to go, and certainly after they pull 1 back. It should be common sense. My 8 year old team knows that.

I'm absolutely sick about it is the moral of the story. I don't want to think about the match anymore so I let all my feelings out on here. Feel free to do the same in an email or the comments and I'll read em on the podcast tomorrow. We've gotta recover from this loss and get ready for the next one, it's still a long season. Up the Gunners.

Friday, October 24, 2008

ArseNole Podcast Episode 5

Hey everyone. I've got another podcast out today. Yeah that's 2 in 7 days. I'm trying to get better about it. In this podcast, I talk about the Everton and Fenerbache matches. I also go over some of the newsworthy items from the AGM and talk about William Gallas' smoking habit. I preview the matches against West Ham and Sp*rs and read your emails. You can get your emails in for the next podcast by emailing Thanks for listening.

You can listen to the podcast here or download the podcast here, or you can subscribe in iTunes by clicking here. Or you can even just listen to it right here in your browser by clicking play below.

Get your emails in for the next one, leave some feedback, all that good stuff. I'll try to get better each time. Cheers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Podcast Out Tomorrow, Get Your Emails In!

Hey all. Just wanted to remind everyone that there will be another podcast coming out tomorrow sometime in the afternoon/evening. I'll be going over the Everton and Fenerbache matches, the Arsenal General Meeting which took place today, Eduardo's return in 3 weeks, and I'll be reading everyone's emails. We've gotten some pretty good ones in so far but there's always room for me. If you have something you want to say, whether it's a joke, a comment, a rant, or anything, email it to and I'll read it on the podcast tomorrow. The best emailer will get a prize each episode so get them in. I'll get back to you all tomorrow. Peace.

The Best Football Boots I've Ever Tried - Nike Talaria IV

Hello all. Recently, I received an offer from the great folks at to try out some of their products, and I was of course more than happy to agree to that. For the last few days I have been able to try out the Nike Talaria IV FG, and they are the most fantastic football boots I've ever worn.

When I first tried them on, brand new, fresh out of the box, I just wanted to get a good feel for them and break them in a little bit, and the first thing I noticed about them was that the fit is a little tight on the arches of your feet. You don't notice this as much after the cleats have been broken in a little bit. This was really the only downside to them though. As for appearance, I think Nike has the best looking boots by far and these are no exception, with a great seamless design that looks very sleek. I really felt like Thierry Henry while I was wearing them, and this was even before I started playing with a ball.

So after I had walked around in them a bit I wanted to give them a good run to get them in a little more broken in, and when I started running, immediately I noticed that these are as light as a feather. I felt like I could run faster and more easily, and I really felt like I was gliding. I've never been so fast as I was when I tried these on, and they are extremely comfortable while running as well! The inside has cushions around your ankles to keep them from rubbing up against the sides of the boot while you run which really makes them much more comfortable than any previous cleats I've had.

Finally I took them for a run out in a scrimmage and I really don't think I've ever played better. The quality of the design allowed me to play better passes and have crisper shots. Not to mention the speed I gained from them allowed me to be more dangerous going forward and easier to track back on defense. I was so impressed with how they really did improve my game, something even my brother noticed as he struggled to defend me.

So if I was summing them up into just pros and cons, it would probably look like this:

Pros: Great looks, wonderful design, very light weight, improved control on the ball, increased speed

Cons: Tight fit around arches of feet, needs longer shoelaces as they seem to come undone if you don't have them wrapped up

So to reiterate, these are the most amazing football boots I've ever worn or tried and they really allowed me to raise my game to a new level. If you're looking to step up your game as well then I'd highly recommend you try out the Nike Talaria IV's or check out the rest of the selection of soccer shoes from, who have all the top brands like Nike, Adidas, Diadora, Kappa, and more. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Toure Out Until November, Almunia Made Captain

Morning all. Just a few hours till match day 3 of the Champions League. Just a couple of things to run through this morning before the match.

First of all we do have some bad news regarding Kolo Toure, who will be out until November. He injured his shoulder against Everton and had to come off, and now he's going to miss at least two weeks. While this isn't anywhere close to our toughest 2 weeks of the season, you never want one of your starting defenders out of the squad, unless it's William Gallas. Speaking of which, I was hoping while Gallas was injured that Djourou and Silvestre would get more time to work with Toure so we could see just how bad Gallas is, but this totally blows that whole plan.

"I hurt my shoulder badly, it was very painful but it is a job of a defender to take pain."

"And we won the game after going behind in our own stadium, and the injury is not too bad as we think I should be fine in ten to 15 days and ready to make a challenge."

Yes, it is your job to take pain. And to kill people. People such as Dimitar Berbatov. Get well soon though Toure.

So our back four for the match today will be Eboue, Song, Silvestre, and Clichy. Not the ideal back four but it is servicable. Fenerbache has a lot of skilled players and they aren't as much of a "score from corner kicks over William Gallas" team, so I think we'll be ok. We're top of the group right now on 4 points so a win would take us to seven points with two home games still to go, which you would expect us to win. A draw wouldn't be awful, especially with the amount of injuries we have at the moment, but I'd like to see us go out that and take the game. I think it's certainly a winnable one.

The captain for tonight's game will be Manuel Almunia. Good for him too. I like Almunia and think he takes way too much stick for nothing. He's played well for us last year and so far this year and if he is the captain while Gallas is out I have no problem with it. In fact I'd rather him be captain than Gallas all the time. Actually I'd rather anyone else be the captain. But that's neither here nor there. Almunia says he'll feel "nothing but pride" while wearing the armband for Arsenal. Don't really know what else he would feel but there you go.

Luis Aragones, the little shit who called our beloved Henry a couple of awful things very similar to what I just called him except with more racism involved, says he's not worried about facing Arsenal. He's a terrible person and I hope we run them into the ground. The only thing better would be if Thierry Henry was here to do it. Don't get me wrong, I was cheering for Spain in the Euro's but it was in spite of Aragones, not because of him. I can't stand the man.

Andy Gray writes an article about how bad Sp*rs are and it pretty much says what everyone else says, that they're moronic for letting their two best strikers leave and not replacing them. I just can't resist laughing at the cunts though.

That's about all I have. We're getting some good emails in for the next podcast in so keep them coming, Anything funny, informative, inventive, or anything else that would be interesting to read on the podcast this Friday, get it in to me. The best emailer will receive a $10 gift certificate for, and maybe a little something else from me. Also I still want to hear more feedback as to what you think of the podcast, so those comments are appreciated too. Enjoy the Fenerbache match, and cheers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nasri Makes His Impact, Fenerbache Preview

Morning all. It appears Arsene Wenger is quite happy with Samir Nasri's start to his Arsenal career. While it sometimes takes time to settle in for foreign players in a new league, especially younger players, Nasri has caught on to the system quite quickly.

"I didn't count Nasri in here for the first six months of the season, like I do for everybody we buy at such a young age.

"When you look at the impact he had already here you can say he's ahead of what I planned for him."

Yes, Arsene I agree with you, he's a really, really good player. The scary thing is since he's come here he's been injured a good bit. It's a scary thought because of what has happened to the last player we've bought from another country and played on the left wing...When he has been fit though he's been great, and I've already ordered my Nasri home kit and am looking forward to it. We need him to have a big match for us if fit against Fenerbache.

The best news heading into the match against Fenerbache tomorrow is that Johan Djourou and Nicklas Bendtner have been declared fit after missing the last match against Everton. Djourou's return is especially key because Gallas and Toure will both be missing the match. So Djourou should slot right into the center of defense, probably along with Alex Song or Silvestre. My guess would be Silvestre.

Here's how the lineup will probably look:

Rvp, Adebayor

I know Walcott is worn out and Arsene really wants to rest him but he can't really afford to at this point because we don't really have much cover there. If he knew Walcott would get tired during the season he should've invested in another winger during the transfer window. Plus, right now he's our biggest impact player and we need him in the squad. Big ups to Theo, keep it up lad.

Want to hear some funny stuff? Tottenham have played 8 games this season so far, and guess how many points they have...TWO! That's right, they lost again yesterday, this time to Stoke City, and they are still without a win. It's one of the worst teams I've ever seen in the Premiership, and even Derby had more points last year than Sp*rs have after 8 games. I really hope they get relegated, because I hate them so very, very much.

Some transfer rumors you say? Well it appears that we are scouting Standard's skipper Steven Defour. He's only 20 years old of course, because anything older than that is much too old for Arsene Wenger. He's a midfielder and has an 8 million pound value stuck on him. I've never seen him play before, and don't really know anything about him. I know he's about the average age of our squad and that's about it. Maybe he's a holding midfielder though, or could at least play there. He's a Belgian international already, so that can't hurt.

Some other weird transfer(ish) news comes from Julio Baptista who says he would have loved to stay at Arsenal. He says the only reason he didn't get to stay was because Real Madrid didn't want to buy Jose Antonio Reyes.

"I wasn't fed up and don't regret it at all. I learnt a lot of things from Wenger, one of the top-class coaches in Europe today, and I wanted to stay.”
He wasn't very good for us when he was here, but it does make me feel a bit more fond of him hearing these nice things. I give you props Julio.

Alright other than that I don't have much else. Get your emails in for me to read on the next podcast, just whatever shite you want, funny stuff, talk about Arsenal, make fun of Sp*rs, or just leave some feedback. Email me at and it'll be awesome. Best email gets a prize from So get them in and enjoy the match tomorrow. Cheers all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

ArseNole Podcast Episode 4

Yeah I told you there was going to be a podcast today and there actually is so that is awesome. I think it's pretty good but that's why I need people to listen to it, so it isn't only my opinion. I go over a lot of stuff in a little time, including Gallas, the injuries, a review of our fixtures so far this year, internationals, preview the Everton match, the salary cap situation and a couple of other things.

Remember to submit your emails for the podcast with whatever you want, good jokes, funny emails, rants about Arsenal or Sp*rs or some other twats, whatever you want. The best email that I read on each podcast will win some sort of prize from So email anything you think is good to, but if it's garbage and spam then I'm going to block you and eat your children.

But yeah, leave your comments about the podcast, or anything else you want. The more feedback I get the better the next ones will be. Cheers.

You can listen to the podcast here or download the podcast here, or you can subscribe in iTunes by clicking here. Or you can even just listen to it right here in your browser by clicking play below.

More Injuries On The Internationals, And Diaby is Back!

Is anything more frustrating then playing two shite games against Hull and Sunderland, then going into an international break and having a bunch of you starting eleven get injured? No, there isn't. No Gallas, no Sagna, and no Bendtner for the match tomorrow, not to mention that Cesc has a broken nose and Djourou has a concussion. What is it with internationals and players getting injured? When they play for Arsenal Gallas, Sagna and Bendtner don't get hurt. Go off for a week and a half or so and they all come back set to miss games. As if our squad isn't thin enough, we now have a probable back 4 of Eboue, Toure, Silvestre, and Clichy. Not the worst defense I've ever seen, I think my Under 7's defense is probably worse but it's not ideal. And who will be on the bench as a defender? Justin Hoyte and Phillippe Senderos? Oh damn, they aren't on the team anymore, so that means we'll get Havard Nordtveit and the concussed Djourou probably.

The good news is Abou Diaby is finally back in the squad. Do we even know what injury he had? It took him about as long to recover as Eduardo and I know who's injury was worse. Arsene Wenger said he may have to go straight into the team because of injuries, which will be interesting to see. I thought Diaby could be the answer next to Cesc, but I think now he's more of the answer of "Who can keep Tomas Rosicky company?"

Arseblogger says Tomas Rosicky is practicing yoga now to try to qwell his injuries. I tried to figure out how that would look like and in my head it looked like this:

It's kind of scary and I don't know how that's going to help his injury, but hey if that's his thing then more power to him.

Arsene Wenger says we can still challenge for the title:

"If you ask me how many games you think we can lose, I would say zero because I always start a season thinking you cannot lose a game, but we have lost two already and we are in a position where we have given ourselves a handicap," he said.

"However, I still think it is manageable to get back to the top and I want to lead this team knowing that there is not a lot of margin of error left - but I still think we can do that."

Yeah, we have given ourselves a handicap. Problem is it's against teams that we are supposed to be able to beat like Fulham and Hull. Not to mention dropping points at Sunderland. It won't cut it. Now we have injuries and we already have a thin squad. It's going to be a real test for us in the next month or so. Will the team be like Cesc and rise to the challenge and refust to lose, or will they kick and scream on the pitch like Captain William Gallas.

Craig Bellamy says he is keen to guide Aaron Ramsey. Now you might think "Oh shite, what's that cunt Craig Bellamy said about our player now?" In fact though, he says some good things. He says Aaron has the ability to "glide and show balance." Wouldn't that be nice if we were all special like Aaron and glide? I don't think we'd worry as much about gas prices if we could all glide around. Except maybe in the rain. No gliding in the rain to work. Bellamy goes on to say that Arsene Wenger is "the best manager in the world" for him and that if Aaron ever needs anything he just has to ask. Surprisingly nice words from Craig and it made me hate him a few points less, but only a few.

That's all the news for the day pretty much. The rest of it is all made up, unimportant, or irrelevant. I'm actually going to do a podcast today. I want to hear what you have to say about the start to the season, international breaks, or just anything you want to rant about. Email me or post it as a comment. Best comment we get for every podcast episode will win some sort of prize that I'm still working out but it will of course be awesome. Almost as good as "Changes" by Tupac. That's really f'ing good. So get your emails in to ArseNole{at} and keep them coming. I'll read it on the podcast and you'll be famous. Cheers all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why Arsenal Fans Should Hope For a Salary Cap

Morning all. After quite a busy week I am back. I haven't missed much though because Arsenal didn't have a game for the last week. So what's been going on you ask? No you probably didn't ask that at all because there are 75,235,298,235 other Arsenal sites out there for you to get your lack of news from. Due to the financial issues though, there has been quite a lot of talk lately about a salary cap in football, and a lot of debate on both sides. I for one think Arsenal fans should be supporting this, if not just because it will be better for football as a whole, but also because I think Arsenal would be one of the teams least affected by it.

First of all, I don't support any form of a salary cap that isn't worldwide or at least Europe-wide. If you have a cap only for England then players will just go to Spain or Italy or Uzbekistan or wherever they don't have a cap and can pay loads of money. So if that is the case then a salary cap is a restriction on where you can work and would hurt the business of English football. Not good. Our beloved Arsenal would go back to a team of all Englishmen, and I mean not even the best ones. It wouldn't be like Theo Walcott, it would be like Craig Alcock and Andre McCollin. Not many people have ever even heard of those guys. And that would be who was playing for Arsenal if there was only a cap in England. So forget about that point because it needs to be a worldwide cap.

So let's look at what would take place with a worldwide salary cap. We'll start with the big 4 of Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal. As of last season, before the re-working of some contracts, Arsenal had none of the top 50 earners in the world of football. Chelsea, on the other hand, had 8 of the top 50, and still have 7 since the departure of Shevchenko. Manchester United have 6 of the top 50, and Liverpool have 3 since the addition of Robbie Keane. So out of the big 4, Arsenal pay the least in total wages, and don't have any really exorbitant fees (with the exclusion of Fabregas who I believe makes quite a lot now, and rightly deserved). So if there was a salary cap, and I don't know exactly how it would work, set at 100 million quid per year, a lot of those players would have to take drastic pay cuts or need to move teams to get the team under the salary cap and wouldn't just go to the highest bidder. You want club loyalty back in football? If Arsenal can offer the same as any other club then why would they want to leave Arsenal, who play the best football in the Premiership?

The youth squad would also become more important because very high profile transfers would probably happen a lot less. Arsenal just happen to be developing a world-class youth squad that is just lying in wait. Players like Wilshere and others out of the academy are young, aren't paid too much yet and can already contribute, but they don't really get much of a chance because we're playing against the likes of Ronaldo, Deco, and Torres all the time. With a salary cap though all those players would be a big hit in salary for their teams, a home grown youth player like Wilshere would not.

One of the biggest benefits of a salary cap from a Premiership fan's point of view is that match day tickets could feasibly go down quite a lot in price. If you have a look at this chart from Sport-Magazine you can see the income of the big 4 for the 06-07 season.

Since this was published the Arsenal numbers have gone up for Match Day revenue and the revenue will go up again next season due to the Highbury Square Flats being sold and opened. So Arsenal already have the least in salary of these clubs, and are right up there near the lead as far as income is concerned. So if you take away some of the wage bill because of the salary cap, (you would hope) that Arsenal could afford to drop the ticket prices some. If you read this post, we were the richest club in all of Britain last season as far as total turnover.

So it is an interesting thing to think about, but with the financial outlook worsening it seems that this may become an issue. If you are an Arsenal fan I don't see why we would have any problem with it, because clubs like Arsenal who make a profit and run a good business model are not the reason it would be created. Clubs like Chelsea and Tottenham are the reason, and who wouldn't love to see them relegated?

One last little piece for you all, and if you don't watch American football you'll probably not enjoy this part but the NFL does have a salary cap, and the salary cap works. It promotes parity among the teams and keeps teams from going bankrupt. If you look at each team's salary you'll see a few notable things. The Chiefs have the most room under the cap and are terrible, but the Lions have the least room and are also terrible. So spending the most money doesn't mean you are always going to win. It shows the value of scouting talent and making shrewd business moves, which is exactly what Arsenal does. Let me know whether you agree or disagree. I'm sure there are many differing opinions on this subject, but it could become a critical decision for the football bodies to make in the upcoming years, so it's something that should be discussed. Cheers!