Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No New Signing After All

Morning all. While for most of the summer I have been so supportive of Arsene Wenger and figured he would certainly improve the squad and make it competitive before the transfer window closes, I've found myself drifting further and further over the other side, and today is no exception.

After the first leg against FC Twente, Wenger had this to say to

“Will something be done ahead of the second leg? Certainly yes, but before Saturday, no.”

Yet the match is today and there isn't a new signing here. Don't tell me about Silvestre because he doesn't count. There is no improvement on the squad from the time of the last leg until now. Not only that, but the transfer window closes in four days. I know Wenger likes last second deals but why wait so long? It never seems to be the case at other clubs who come in and buy our players all summer. When you wait till the last minute you can't always get the player you want at the price you want, and it seems like it would be much easier to start earlier so you have time to negotiate and get exactly what you are looking for.

I don't know why Wenger has consistently misinformed us about the transfer dealings this summer. Very early on in the transfer window he said we would have a signing in the next couple weeks, and that didn't happen. Also, he said we would sign a "creative player and a powerful defender." Well we got our creative player in Samir Nasri, who I think we're all happy with, but we haven't gotten anywhere close to a powerful defender. There is just something shady about all these quotes with no results to follow them. I'm starting to think that it may actually be the board that is causing all these problems. I know Arsene likes a youth policy but this is getting ridiculous.

When asked about any new possibilities for signings today he had this to say:

“There are no names and there is no news,” he reported.

“We do not have to worry about too many other players. I believe we have the needed squad and a strong squad. I believe in the players I have instead of always looking at who might be coming in. It is not one player who makes a difference. It is up to us as a team to show personality, strength and belief. If we can find one more, we will do it, if not we will not limit our ambitions because of it."

Don't you think something is wrong there? He's said all summer we need a couple of signings and every time he says it he changes it to how we don't need any new players, we just need strength and spirit. Either Arsene has gotten too stubborn for his own good or the board isn't letting him spend any money.

Arsene also spoke about Phillippe Senderos being sent out on loan. You already know my feelings on that, I think it was a bad move for us.

Today we face FC Twente though in the 2nd leg of that tie with a 2-0 lead. It shouldn't be an extremely difficult fixture for us with the lead and the home field but you never know. Cesc Fabregas is back fit so hopefully we'll get to see the return of our savior tonight. I'm hoping for a 3-0 or 4-0 win to get the confidence back up after Fulham. C'mon you Gunners!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Working With What We Have

First things first my fellow gunners, Don’t Panic. There is no need for some of this in-fighting that I have witnessed on different blogs and message boards between those of us who truly love the sport and are passionate about the Arsenal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, regardless or not if it questions the wisdom of our fearless leader Mr. Wenger. He has been doing this a long time and our season is just getting started. Remember if you will last season, Chelski and ManUre both got off to rocky starts and finished above us in the table whereas we shot out from the gates untouched and did not falter until the second half of the season. Perhaps we need some perspective on the fact that this is a really long season with plenty of opportunity to right the ship.

That being said, I do not think that I have EVER seen the Gunners play so poorly in my life as they did against Fulham. We should give credit to Hodgeson and his squad, they came out and put pressure on our inexperienced midfield, causing havoc on any and all attempts to play out of the back, and forcing our boys to play the same kind of calamity football that we make other teams play.

The most disturbing thing about Saturday was the passing completion rate, only Nasri’s 81% (53 passes) was of the level that we were used to seeing last year whereas Walcott’s 81% (16 passes) was basically a waste of space on the field. He is still not in form yet this season and I am not sure when and if he is going to be able to cut it at this level day in and day out. I think he adds a great spark off the bench but as a starter he just does not have the muscle.

I must agree with Arsenole about one of his latest posts, Gallas is shit. Why he has the armband I will never know. I wonder what it must be like on the practice pitch everyday. From all of my days of playing football, the captain must be the engine on the team, the one least likely to make mistakes, and the one who inspires greatness. Gallas is none of those things. Toure should have the band but I also feel that Cesc could also carry that weight especially since in his absence the wheels have come off the bus. He should be back soon so… DEEP THOUGHT #1- Cesc is coming back! I know that we should not be so dependent on one player but shit ya’ll, he is Cesc-fucking-Fabregas! This is a player who can change games and get everyone on the pitch involved in a positive way.

Keeping up with the positives, Adebayor can still play and he will get goals when he gets the service. We all know how good he is, we all know how fast he can change a game. So here it comes…DEEP THOUGHT #2- Our target man up front is still of the highest quality! Let Cesc give him a few well placed balls and watch him blow up the back of the net. We can put the off season drama behind us and get behind him despite his greed. Not all of our players can be like Cesc and we must accept that.

Of all of the points I could make to lift the spirits of those who still get goosebumps when Arsenal take the field, this is my favorite… DEEP THOUGHT #3- We got NASRI!

This kid is good. He has almost made me forget about Hleb leaving us (although I almost cried when I heard he was leaving, he is a remarkable player). The way that Nasri cuts and attacks will be such an asset once we get our midfield sorted and I have a really good feeling about the partnership between him and Clichy. One would be hard pressed to find a better left side of the pitch than when those two are firing on all cylinders.

For my final ray of sunshine, DEEP THOUGHT #4- We have two of the best outside defenders in the world. Sagna and Clichy are still stunning players. Their ability to defend, their speed, and their attacking skills are second to none. Again, once the center of the field is fixed we can go back to dominating our opponents.

So the question is what do we do in the meantime?

The problem is our soft gooey center. Denilson is not ready but he did show signs of quality against Twente in the Champions League. Putting Eboue in the center was Arsene’s biggest mistake. With Cesc back on Wednesday, Denilson will do behind him supporting the attacks. Eboue can sit out wide with Nasri on the other side and Walcott can come on in the 70th min. I would like to see Adebayor up front with Carlos Vela. Let’s see what this kid has got. Van Persie looks terrible and if he gets one more chance for a free kick and blows it, he must turn in his boots and sit the fuck down. In the center of defense, Toure and Silvestre could be good together, so let’s get a good look during Champions League play when we are up on aggregate and playing at home.

-Contributed by fellow Gooner Paul

Monday, August 25, 2008

Arsene Wenger Has F***ing Lost It

Ok that is just about enough Arsene. I'm one of your biggest supporters and have stuck by you through the summer and every summer before when you have sold and let players leave without sufficiently replacing them, but this is the final straw. Letting Phillippe Senderos go to Milan on loan for the season is absolutely ridiculous. The Kolo-Gallas partnership DOES NOT WORK! And what have we been saying we need next to one of them (Kolo is by far the better choice), a big, strong defender who can handle long balls and headers! That's what Senderos does!

Signing Mikael Silvestre is supposed to be defensive cover, but that doesn't mean you let all the other defenders leave on loan! I wonder what Arsene is thinking...

" know our squad does seem a little thin, and our defense is shite, so we might as well let Djourou and Senderos go out on loan."

You've lost your mind Arsene. Big Phil gets a bad rap from a lot of Arsenal fans but he's a competent defender that certainly wouldn't be any worse than the awful William Gallas is doing right now. No, he isn't the fastest player on the pitch and he isn't that assured on the ball, but he can play the high balls and he's the only one strong enough to handle strikers like Drogba, etc. Kolo Toure is there to partner him and provide the speed for cover that Senderos doesn't have. That's why it is called a partnership, and the one we are using now doesn't work. It just doesn't. You can say they are both world class defenders, and some of the insane ones will even say that Gallas is better than Kolo (which he isn't), but they aren't a good pairing. So the candidate that would be the best replacement for Gallas in our squad is now being sent away for the year. Is that going to help his confidence? Certainly not. How much will he even get to play at Milan? I can't see how this benefits Arsenal or Senderos at all.

I'm freaking pissed off. I can deal with having to wait until the deadline to sign a midfielder but this is the last straw for me. Something needs to change. Arsene isn't running this club like he used to when we won things. Give me Tony Adams. This is shite.

Exactly my feelings Phil.

To clarify this post since nobody seems to understand it...I am not saying Arsenal will never win again. I am not saying that I will not support them because even if Arsenal was relegated to the Conference I'd still support them. I'm also not discrediting anything that Arsene Wenger has done for this club. The point of the article is that our defense has been consistently bad and now we are loaning out one of our best four defenders. It isn't a smart move.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cesc Makes Me Forget About Fulham...Well, Almost

Morning all, or afternoon or whatever it is where you are. Yesterday was a miserable day for us. I'm sure you read my rant about Captain Gallas, and that about summed up my feelings for the day. Gallas shouldn't be playing at all and Eboue shouldn't have to play central midfield. Robin van Persie seems to have forgotten how to score and overall the whole thing was bloody awful. But today something made me smile, and who else could it be but Cesc Fabregas.

Cesc gave an interview to The Guardian's Amy Lawrence and it really was wonderful to read. Regarding the current state of the squad, he said:

“We have to accept we have lost some big players who are difficult to replace but the boss knows what he’s doing. For me, Arsenal is Arsenal and this club has something special that no others have. We have to take care of it, that’s why you have to be intelligent in your decisions.”

But the best part was when he spoke about himself and his love for Arsenal Football Club:

“I have friends in Spain, in Italy — and they speak to me about other clubs and I know that I’m privileged to be where I am and I don’t want to lose it. I’m still young, I want to win things for the club, I want to get experience and I want to compete. Because when you see football around the world you see very few teams that play the way that we play. And I just enjoy the way we play."

“I came here when I was 16 and I feel it’s my home now. I think I will be lucky to be here as long as I can, to play for Arsenal. I don’t even want to think about whether I would find a similar environment elsewhere because I’m happy where I am. Whenever people say another team is the best in the world, I know where I am and how I feel here — which is the most important thing.”

Is there anything you could hear that sounds sweeter to your ears? You want club loyalty, well there it is. He knows his place, he loves the club, and he wants to do the best he can to bring trophies home to OUR club, not to whichever club will pay him the most. A lot of other players would do well to learn a lesson from our young prodigy. Gallas could learn from his dedication to work hard for the club, and Adebayor, Hleb, and Flamini could do with a lesson on not always just going for the most money.

He also spoke about the possibility of Arsenal signing Xabi Alonso:

'I'd love it!. What can I say. He is my friend and apart from that he is a great professional, a great passer of the ball, he works hard defensively, he's scoring goals now, he's experienced and he's only 26. For me he would be perfect.'
If Cesc wants him, everyone should want him. Let's get him in here. Obviously I wanted Alonso even before Cesc mentioned him but let's think about it, who would possibly be better for us? They play together in the same national team, they are friends, he has Premiership experience at a top club, and he can play the Arsenal way. Sounds like the perfect signing doesn't it? Let's make it happen. You know Marseille fans tried to raise money for the club to buy Didier Drogba from Chelsea...maybe we could put together something similar for Xabi Alonso! Seriously imagine all the Arsenal fans that could pitch in and then we could just give Liverpool a check courtesy of Arsenal since Arsene Wenger doesn't seem to want to do it. Just an idea.

Lastly he spoke about the possibility of becoming Arsenal captain:

'I would love it. I respect all decisions. I am a player that accepts nearly everything. I am happy with everything, my No 4, playing for Arsenal in centre midfield and giving 100 per cent every, every game. But if the boss thinks in one or two years I am ready to be captain, I will take the armband.'

I wanted Kolo to be captain this season, but I have to say at this point I'm convinced that it has to be Cesc. While Kolo also loves the club and gives his all, I just think Cesc has the raging fire within him to lead the team with passion and fervor. How about we just sit Gallas the rest of the season and give Cesc the armband today? Sounds good to me.

In other news, Arsenal legend Tony Adams talked about how he would love to succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Arsene quite possibly has lost his mind recently, and while Tony Adams hasn't been the most successful manager in the past, I think he has probably learned a lot from his time under Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth and maybe when Arsene does end up leaving he could be a possibility.

Alright that's a lot for one day, I'll get back to you tomorrow. Let me know what you think. Cheers!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Am SO Sick of William Gallas!

I am. I'm absolutely tired of him playing for Arsenal. After watching his terrible marking allowing a goal versus Fulham yet again today, I've decided I've had enough. I'm not the manager obviously, but if I was I'd sell him right now. I'd rather have Senderos than Gallas back there. He doesn't work well with Toure and he has no commitment to the club. Wondering why we've surrendered so many shite goals the last few seasons? Well look no further.

What does William Gallas bring to the team? You can't say he's bringing leadership, and I don't think many people want him as the captain. A lot of people say he's a "world class defender" but where has that been since he's been at Arsenal? I haven't seen a hint of it. Terrible at marking on set plays and long balls, so what on earth does he do that Toure can't do better? Either Gallas just doesn't care or he's just not as good as he used to be. Give me f'ing Mikael Silvestre partnering Toure for all I care, I just don't want to see William Gallas allowing one more poxy goal for this club.

PSG wants him don't they? If I was Arsene I'd be calling them up at half time to see what they'll offer for him. We're playing a team that lost to Hull last week! But yet again shoddy marking on a set play from our "captain" allows them to take the lead.

I know he isn't solely responsible for us being down, but you can't blame the goal Fulham scored on not having a defensive midfielder or another keeper, it was simply poor marking. He let his man go and he put it away. Honestly I think I would have marked him better. At least I care about winning or losing when I play, I think that's more than I can say for William.

Time to go watch the second half. Hopefully the rest of our team cares a lot more than Gallas does and we'll go on to win this. Come on you Gunners!

Actual quote from an Arsenal season ticket holder I read today, here's what is wrong with our club right now:

"seriously I don't give a fuck about my season ticket i'M giving it up. why would anyone wanna go to a game at the moment our team is fucking wank"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Predict the Top Scorer and Win Arsenal Cash

Morning all. There isn't shite to write about today. Seriously there is nothing. I thought about doing my Fulham match preview today but I'll save that for tomorrow morning.

There is a hurricane going on outside my house right now (not even joking there really is) and it sucks because I haven't been able to leave my house at all. But that is beside the point, the point of this is yet another ArseNole Contest!

Today I've thought up a dandy. Pick who will be the top scorer in the Premiership this year and how many goals they will score.

Adebayor: 24 goals
Torres: 24 goals
Rooney: 1 goal

Something like that. You only have to enter who you think will be top of the scoring table and exactly how many you think they will get. If you are the closest at the end of the year you'll receive a 10 pound gift certificate for's shop. If you get the player and number of goals exactly right then it will be 20 pounds!

To enter, you can email me using the contact me link, emailing me at ArseNole{at}, or leaving it as a post in the comments or forums.

Also, I still am looking for a new banner for the site, so if any of you know anything about graphics please make me a new banner and you will be justly rewarded I assure you!

That's all I've got. Hopefully we'll get a lot of entries

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why I Love Arsenal and Hate Fake Fans

Sometimes when I write the blog, I scour the internet for news on, NewsNow, a bunch of other Arsenal blogs, etc. trying to find the latest Arsenal stuff to present to you all. Sometimes something just comes to me that I think I should write. This is one of those times.

I live in Jacksonville, Florida, in the United States of America. I have never been to the Emirates Stadium, or indeed to Highbury, the home of football. In fact, I've never even made it to anywhere in Europe at this point. So why do I write this blog about a team I've never even seen? Because I love this club with all my heart, much more than some who get to go to matches every single week. When I read the shite that's been posted all summer on some sites it makes me wonder why these people ever started watching Arsenal or any football at all. Isn't football supposed to make you excited for new seasons to start and happy even if your team only scrapes a 1-0 win over West Brom on opening day? Arsenal used to be a team with seasons full of 1-0 wins, yet now to many it seems more like a loss. No, we haven't won a trophy in the past three seasons, but isn't trying to achieve that trophy the whole point of it? Everyone says they don't want to be Chelsea and buy a title, yet when the squad isn't exactly as they think it should be then the solution is to buy, buy, buy. My enjoyment from Arsenal comes from winning yes, but also from watching players like Theo Walcott, Gael Clichy, and Cesc Fabregas develop from school boys to what they have become now.

Is complaining all summer about the lack of new signings really going to make people loathe the new season as much as it seems by what some write? Yes, there is a very real chance that Arsenal will not win the title this season. In fact, only one out of twenty teams will win it. I'm an optimistic supporter though so I think we have a good chance to pull it out. I don't think we've gotten any worse than we were last year and we did pretty well then didn't we? If van Persie can stay healthy, Eduardo can come back, and Rosicky can play a couple of matches in a row it's like three new signings that we didn't have at the end of last year. Xabi Alonso is a great player, no doubt, and he'd be great at Arsenal, but if we don't get him it isn't going to make me dread every match day. When you read daily batches of shit from sites like Le-Grove and other blogs that clearly hate themselves as well as just watching football for the fun of it then it is sometimes hard to be optimistic about anything with the club, but we must push on.

Maybe the reason the noise in the stadium is an issue is because too many fans don't really look forward to being there. As someone who hasn't ever gotten to go, I can tell you that when I do get there I'll be fully dressed in red and white and will be signing every Arsenal song I know the whole match, because that's how I support this team, not by bitching about off season transfers and complaining about an incompetent manager. Instead of singing about how greedy Adebayor is, maybe we should try cheering our own players to encourage them to perform for the club? What a novel idea! At the end of the day we all (supposedly) support Arsenal, and should always support Arsenal. I'm not a fan of Arsene Wenger, or Cesc Fabregas, or Gael Clichy, or Kolo Toure ahead of being an Arsenal fan. If any of those guys ever left the club, I'd still be here supporting Arsenal. So why are we getting oh so upset about our team instead of looking forward to another successful season?

My point is that I'm sick of everyone being down on Arsenal and feeling like the season is a wash already. Are you supporters or not? If so, then you should be happy the season has arrived, happy we won the first match 1-0, and thinking that with a little bit of luck, maybe we can bring home that title to the Emirates. And for those of you that continue on with your downtrodden attitudes about the club you "support," I know for a fact that Chelsea still has lots of tickets available, so please go park yourself in one of those seats.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arsenal Sign Mikael Silvestre...WTF?

Alright I'm back. Went to Tampa for the past like five days for the girlfriend's 21st birthday, and I've come back to quite a shocker...Arsenal have signed Mikael Silvestre from Manchester United. Yes, I'm serious. And I'm frankly astonished. Yes, I've been saying we need a new defender all summer, but this wasn't what I had in mind. A player I've been hating for as long as I remember is now a member of my beloved Arsenal. Not only that, but he's 31 and far past his prime. Would anyone say that Silvestre has been in his best form over the last few seasons?

No, this isn't a case of Wayne Rooney or John Terry showing up at Arsenal, but it's not what I would have asked for. I wanted a fairly young (27 or below would have done) and experienced defender that had several good years to come. This isn't that signing.

I do worry about this being our "one new signing" before the end of the transfer window. Surely this isn't the one Arsene has been talking about? I know I joked the other day about how funny it would be if Arsene signed some other position than central midfield, but now that it really happened it isn't funny at all. I think this must have just been a bonus signing that wasn't expected and it just happened because the price was so good or something. The fee was undisclosed of course but I can't imagine it being much at all. Buying Manchester United rejects is disheartening.

Arsene spoke about the new signing to, saying:

“We have a strong squad but a young squad and Mikael’s versatility, experience and calibre will provide the extra depth we need to reinforce our challenge for honours this season. His defensive adaptability will serve us well and it’s a big plus that Mikael has top level experience and a great understanding of football in the Premier League.”

Yes he does have experience, which is the bright side of all this. If we win the title I reserve the right to take all of this post back. Hopefully he can provide a lot of good help to the youngsters and can maybe even teach Kolo and Gallas a few things. I think he'll be decent cover too, but I wouldn't expect him to start many games.

So I'm still hoping for one more signing. I really really hope this wasn't the last one. I'll get something else up tomorrow. Let me know what you think about Silvestre's signing. Guess I'll go add him to Arsenal on my FIFA game.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Arsenal-West Brom Preview, New Signing?

Well here it is, the start of another season, finally. It seems like it's been ages since the last one, but probably just because everyone's been bitching and moaning all summer about how Wenger can't manage a team. Even with the Euros this summer seemed ridiculously long. But tomorrow that's all over because the Premiership starts, and we've got West Brom up first. Newly promoted West Brom I might home...where we've only ever lost once...should be three points right? Well you would think so but it's not a given by any means. You could tell from the match against FC Twente that we weren't at top Arsenal form but that will come with games and the same team being able to go out there.

The injury list for the game sees Senderos, Fabregas, and Diaby missing the match tomorrow as well as the long-term injuries Rosicky, Eduardo, and Bischoff. Alex Song is at the Olympics so he won't be making it either. Arsene Wenger says Kolo Toure is not 100% but he will be rushed back for this match. Let's just hope it doesn't lead to a long term injury. Samir Nasri could also make his Arsenal debut so that would be fun to see.

So the lineup will pretty much set itself:


Yeah I know that's the exact same lineup as we had against Twente except for Toure but I think that's what he'll go with. If Nasri is even a little bit injured I don't think Arsene would start him. It could be Djourou in place of Toure depending on how bad he is feeling tomorrow but if he was hurting badly Arsene wouldn't play him.

West Brom are an interesting prospect. They have a good manager in Tony Mowbray but a squad which just isn't that good. Better than Derby last year? Probably yes, but not a team that should beat Arsenal at home.

I think this is a game that Denilson and Ramsey should be able to handle in midfield. If this was against Man U, Chelsea, or even a team like Villa, I might be a bit worried about them starting the season in midfield, but this is a good test for them. They didn't exactly run the game against Twente so they'll have to step up their play, but they are two that have the ability to run a midfield game with their balanced play. They both can do a lot of things for the team and I think the strikers we do have will help them a lot.

It'll be interesting to see the Kolo-Gallas partnership again. I don't think anyone, including myself, was convinced of that pair in the center of defense last year, so we'll have to see if it has gotten any better. The main problem for them last year was long balls yet again so we'll need to improve on those if we want to go anywhere in the competitions.

Theo Walcott needs much improvement over the game on Wednesday, but I won't really fault him for that because it was the first match of the season. I do worry though that he'll always be a "super-sub" player and not a starter because he definitely seems to have more of an impact coming off the bench.

Match Prediction for me is going to be 2-0 to Arsenal. I think Adebayor will score both of them and I think Almunia will have a fairly easy game. Let's hope so.

So people have been really worried about our midfield or lack-there-of and there is some good news for you straight out of the mouth of Arsene Wenger. We will have a new signing before the return leg of FC Twente. Obviously we're all expecting it to be a midfielder but how funny would it be if it wasn't even a midfielder but it was a striker or something? People would REALLY lose it then. But seriously, it'll be a midfielder.

That's about all I've got. Nastia Liukin won the women's all-around at the olympics last night, and Shawn Johnson got the silver. It was awesome. And yeah, I really did say women's gymnastics was awesome. And Michael Phelps is up to a ridiculous six gold medals. And those Chinese gymnasts were certainly not 16...

But anyways, enjoy the match tomorrow, and let's start the season with three points!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Arsenal-FC Twente Preview

Doomsday has arrived. At least that's what a lot of you seem to think, that the start of the season is a horrible time because Arsenal haven't strengthened enough and we'll never win another trophy. Personally though I'm really happy the real matches start tomorrow evening. We've got the 3rd round Champions League match versus FC Twente of the Dutch league, who are managed by Steve Mcclaren. And you know what? We'll probably win. Even if we don't, it isn't the end of the world. A draw on the road in your first match of the season wouldn't be a bad result at all. I have a feeling if that does happen though that everyone will come out and act like it's the worst result in the history of Arsenal Football Club.

A quick look at the injury situation and we've got Kolo Toure, Phillippe Senderos, Samir Nasri, Abou Diaby, Cesc Fabregas, and of course Rosicky and Eduardo all out of this match. It does leave us a bit short-handed for this match, but we'll make do.

Let's look at the probable lineup for Arsenal:


It's a very young midfield to be sure but Ramsey and Denilson have looked a decent pairing so far and I think Vela and Walcott will do a good job on the wings. Of course our two strikers are world class so that will help out the youngsters in the midfield. Djourou has looked decent in preseason, but not great. We'll get to see what he's made of in this match, but it's always good when you have full backs like Clichy and Sagna helping you out. The main thing with Johann is going to be his communication with Bill Gallas. When they played together in preseason the communication wasn't there and they didn't work well together. They need to talk and be on the same page and they are both capable of doing well.

I think Denilson will prove his doubters wrong tomorrow. A couple days ago I said he should be the one starting next to Cesc and got blasted for it of course because "he's not strong in the tackle." He'll show that he can tackle I think, and not only that but I wouldn't be surprised to see him lay on an assist as well. We bought Aaron Ramsey because Arsene intended to play him, and now he's getting his chance. You don't spend 5 million pounds on someone you don't think can play, so if Arsene thinks he can play then who are we to say he isn't ready to start?

Robin van Persie talks about how important this match is and how we must get into the Champions League. He's absolutely right, but it doesn't all have to be done this match. There are two legs to this fixture.

I think the final score will be 2-1 to Arsenal, and I think Adebayor and van Persie will both get one. We'll probably go down a goal but we'll fight back. I'm sure you will all be sure to tell me how wrong I am though if that isn't correct. You love doing that so much.

So that's about it. I'm really looking forward to the match and like I said, if we don't have a blinding performance, please remember it's on the road in the first match of the season against a team we hardly ever face. It's going to be fairly difficult. Keep the faith fans.

Oh to be a Gooner! got a makeover, it looks nice I have to say.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Arsenal Sign New Manager!

Morning all. I have a very special announcement for you all today. Arsenal have decided that Arsene Wenger has no idea what he's doing, and they're moving on. They've found a new manager, and he's just what everyone has been hoping for. He's got a much better track record than Wenger, who of course only won three league titles and four FA Cups and is Arsenal's most successful manager ever. This manager has guaranteed that he will win the title, the FA Cup, the Carling Cup, and the Champions League every year. Losing a single game is unacceptable, which is good because he has never lost one in his career.

He's also promised a whole host of signings. Clearly Denilson, Diaby, and Ramsey are no good so he will bring in Gareth Barry to partner Cesc in the middle. Barry might not be enough though because our "squad" still won't be big enough, so he'll also invest in Xabi Alonso AND Yaya Toure. At striker he's going to fulfill everyone's desires by buying David Villa, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Samuel Eto'o. That should make us stronger up front. Never mind if it affects Vela or Walcott or Bendtner's development, because our new manager doesn't concern himself with the future.

Arsenal's debt they had to pay off was clearly made up, because the new manager has spent over 150 million pounds on players to make sure our squad is "strong" enough right now and wants to make every fan happy. So it turns out Arsene Wenger just used that whole "debt" thing as a way to not spend any money and not try to improve the club. In fact, the whole thing was his attempt to sabotage Arsenal and make them never win anything again. He figured he had won enough to get away with never winning again, so his new goal was to last as long as possible without a trophy.

And perhaps best of all, this manager is an Englishman. Clearly these foreigners don't know how to manage football clubs, because every time they try in England (Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez) they fail horribly. He'll probably use the rest of his alleged 300 million pound transfer budget to buy a lot of English born players who are clearly top quality, like David Bentley, Jermaine Pennant, and maybe even John Terry, who we all love. So we have that to look forward to because Arsenal should definitely not employ all these foreign types.

So now the presentation of this new manager who we will all love for years and years to come, who will fulfill all of our ambitions and buy every player we've ever wanted to see in an Arsenal kit...

Here he is!!!

Oh wait, he doesn't exist. There isn't a manager like that. Man, I was really excited there for a minute. Guess we're stuck with Wenger for now....


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Denilson Should Start In Midfield

Morning all. I'm taking a break from watching the Olympics because they are showing rowing right now. Is that even a sport? Rowing. Some of these sports are just awful...beach volleyball, handball, synchronized diving/swimming, fencing...I love the Olympics but some things just should not have medals given for them.

So what happened over the weekend? Well we won the Amsterdam Cup, so that was good. I've honestly only seen highlights and read match reports so I can't go into detail over the performances, but I can tell a few things. Both of Ajax's goals were bloody outstanding. I know we should have closed down better but how can you stop shots like those two? Adebayor looked fantastic in his two goals and with his assist. He's going to be great again this year and everyone will forget what a wanker he was during this summer. In the second match we got a draw with Sevilla with Carlos Vela on the score sheet for Arsenal. He's looked good every time I've seen him this preseason and I'm looking forward to seeing him get into some real games.

So those are our last preseason games for the first teamers, as we start Champions League football on Wednesday and the Premiership on Saturday. Isn't that exciting? We pretty much know what we have to work with for this week's matches because I think even if we made a new signing they probably wouldn't be ready to play right away. Besides, Arsene Wenger says he is much too busy to sign a midfielder. So who's starting then? If you're Arsene Wenger to you try to go full strength on Wednesday and on Saturday? And what is the full strength lineup anyway? If I had to pick a lineup Wednesday I think I try to leave Cesc out until Saturday. Mine would look like this:


I can explain leaving out Cesc and RvP, so don't bite my head off just yet. Cesc has been in training the least out of anyone that is healthy, as he came back just over a week ago. I think we should (should) be a far superior team to FC Twente and should wait to have Cesc ready to go for Saturday. Ramsey has looked capable next to Denilson and I don't see why that partnership couldn't make it through the away leg of this tie with a good result. A scoring draw or a win almost certainly sees us through to the group stages. RvP I think could be another player who could wait until Saturday and wouldn't cause us too much trouble. I'd rather have him fit for the league opener than risk him against a team we should be able to beat without him. Vela has looked very capable as well as Bendtner and I think either of them with Adebayor should be more than enough to score a goal or two.

But now it's getting a bit late in the transfer window and it hasn't looked like we're bringing in a new partner for Cesc, so if not, then who's it going to be? Has Denilson won himself the job with Diaby being out injured (as always)? I know not a lot of people have faith in him to do the job but he's looked good so far and maybe it's his time to shine. I really thought Diaby would be the guy but he just can't stay healthy and we can't rely on any more of those type of players. I'm not sure what will happen but if we don't sign anyone else, Denilson gets my vote.

Piers Morgan actually writes an article about how much he hates Alex Ferguson, and I actually kind of liked it. I didn't even know he was a Gooner.

I don't really know what else to write, I'm just looking forward to the matches this week. Almost time for the start of the season so you better sign up for the Fantasy Football League now. Go USA in the Olympics and I'll see you all tomorrow. Cheers.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Freddie Ljungberg to MLS, Amsterdam Cup

Mornin all. It's been very very quiet on the Arsenal front lately. Tomorrow we start the Amsterdam Tournament, which matches us up against Ajax and Sevilla. It should be the final preparation for our Champions League match next Wednesday against FC Twente. We'll be seeing what will most likely be our starting eleven out there Saturday or Sunday. So if you want to know who will be starting in midfield, then you will be able to find out this weekend. Jack Wilshere is again traveling with the squad to Amsterdam, so we'll have another chance to see the youngster work. I love watching him. He might already be in my top three players, although Sagna, Clichy, and Cesc are a hard trio to break into.

Recently released by West Ham, former Gunner legend Freddie Ljungberg is looking for work, and it looks like he may sign with Major League Soccer. I have to say I'd enjoy it if he came to the US. While it's not the best league to watch, it would make it more watchable with Freddie in the mix. I've tried to get into the MLS supporting Colorado (because they have that agreement with Arsenal) but I just can't do it. If Freddie came though I'd have a team to root for, so that'd be good. Either way, I wish him good luck. He's just had some really mad luck with injuries for the last couple of seasons and it hasn't worked out well for him after leaving Arsenal. So best of luck to him, no matter what he decides to do.

Justin Hoyte looks like he could be on his way to Middlesbrough after their sale of Luke Young to Aston Villa. While I am personally a Hoyte fan I think it's probably best if he goes. He's good cover at all of the defensive positions but he will never be a first choice player at Arsenal. He can start week in, week out at Boro and I think he'll be happier being able to play more. He's an Arsenal man through and through though and has been a top class professional during his time here, so I wish him all the best regardless of what happens.

I don't really have that much else to write about honestly. Predictions for the tournament? I say we beat Ajax 3-1 and beat Sevilla 3-2. Adebayor will score in both games. You heard it here first.

Please remember to sign up for the ArseNole Fantasy Premiership League, of which the winner will receive a brand new home kit with any name they want on it. It takes about 2 seconds to sign up so there really is no reason not to. We're going to watch all the matches anyway so just play some fantasy along with it, have some chatter and smack talk, and maybe win a new kit.

There should be a new podcast sometime soon I just haven't had a chance to get it done yet. Let me know what you wanna hear on the next one. Cheers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Contests, Season Predictions, World Soccer Daily

Morning all. I don't really know what to write about today honestly. I went to bed all excited thinking, "Wow there's a match tomorrow plus I'll have time to write the blog in the morning, that sure sounds exciting," just to wake up and find that there really isn't that much to talk about.

First off, there is a radio show here in America about football called World Soccer Daily, hosted by Stephen Cohen and Kenny Hassan. I listen to it pretty regularly but yesterday Stephen (Chelski fan) said "Tottenham Hotspur will finish ahead of Arsenal this coming season." He's absolutely lost it. When's the last time Sp*rs have finished in the top four? I'm pretty sure they haven't finished above us since 1995. But I suppose it's good to set lofty goals, eh? They sold their captain and they're going to lose that sulking cunt Berbatov as well. Who is going to play striker, Darren Bent? You're havin a laugh. Cohen you wanker, go back to your Russian chums and stop making stupid comments like that one.

Anyways, moving on, I suppose we could talk about the match against Huddersfield today next. It's quite the drop off from Madrid and Juventus isn't it? You can tell though by how the squad is put together. It's almost all youngsters, and I don't mean youngsters plus Bendtner, Clichy, Sanga, Denilson, etc. The oldest players in the squad are Vela, Djourou and Theo, and everyone else is, for the most part, a reserve player. We have Little Jack in there as well as Aaron Ramsey, but it's basically another good chance to see what the youngsters can do.

Speaking of Jack, he's been given Gilberto's old number 19 which means he's listed officially as part of the first team squad. I guess not even Arsene Wenger could deny how well he's played this preseason and decided to include him in the first team. He could see a decent amount of action this year I think, with seven subs on the bench in the league plus hopefully a sustained Carling Cup run. Arsene always did say if you're good enough, you're old enough, and that's certainly the case with this young man. I really feel like I'm getting old, a kid five years younger than me is in the first team squad, whew.

Can you believe the first match that actually matters is one week away? We've got the Champion's League qualifying stages against FC Twente on the 13th! Exactly one week away and I can't wait. I'm even more excited about West Brom at home on the 16th to open the Premiership season. Football is finally back again!

Today I'd like to hear your season predictions. I want to know where you think Arsenal will finish, who the top scorer will be, how many goals he will have, and what (if any) trophies Arsenal will win. Let's get some discussion going on just how successful this team can be. Will Diaby or Denilson start next to Cesc? Will we bring in someone new? It's all crazy isn't it, which is why it's more fun to discuss with other mental Gooners.

Also, I'm going to have not one, but two new contests today, just off the top of my head here. Whoever can make up (make up, not steal off the internet, believe me I will check) the best new banner for the top of this site will receive an ArseNole Stein Mug which is absolutely fantastic. I have one myself and it's great looking and can hold coffee, beer, or whatever else you choose to drink. You can email it to me at ArseNole@{remove this} So let's get lots of banners in so I can spruce up the site a bit. All you graphics people out there get to work.

The second contest is just about being humorous, if you can think up the funniest story about Wayne Rooney's death and put it in the comments, I'll pick whichever I think is the best and that person will receive some sort of Arsenal or ArseNole gift that I can come up with. I'll figure something out depending on just how good the stories are. Just leave it in the comments or you can email it to me, either way.

So there is lots to win today so get on your stories, your banners, and your season predictions. Good luck to the young guns today against Huddersfield and here's hoping Little Jack scores about 230582 goals. Cheers!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh How I Hate Tottenham....Plus Emirates Cup Stuff

Morning all. Yesterday we beat Real Madrid 1-0 through a beautiful penalty from Adebayor. I don't care how much you hate him, he makes our team better. If you boo him then go to hell. I don't boo Arsenal players, even Eboue, so piss off for booing our 30 goal scorer. He isn't perfect by any means but who is in today's footballing world? Point is he is our best striker for the time being and everyone should deal with it. As Arsene Wenger said, "A plane load of money wouldn't buy him right now."

RvP won us the penalty and went down like a rag doll. I thought he was going to be out for the rest of the season judging by the way he went down and stayed there. I've lost my confidence in his ability to stay fit. Luckily he's fine as far as I know. He's a great player, but for God's sake, play a whole season.

But the main point of this article, which I'm writing now because I can't sleep, is how much I hate Tottenham Hotspur.

1. I hate Sp*rs more than I hate Barack Obama...which is a ridiculous amount.

2. I hate Sp*rs more than I hate skanks that put up facebook pictures in bikinis. I hate that a lot.

3. I hate Sp*rs more than I hate the last two Eminem albums, and I really hate them.

4. I hate Sp*rs more than I hate Bolton, which is saying something.

5. I hate Sp*rs more than I hate that Thierry Henry left Arsenal, and I that just about killed me.

6. I hate Sp*rs so much that I wish their manager was Steve McClaren so they would lose every match.

7. I hate Sp*rs so much that I wish Juande Ramos would be hit by a bus, then run over with a lawnmower...that would hurt.

I could think of more reasons but that's enough for the night.

Jack Wilshere is going to be a legend. I love the kid. I don't think that Cesc even had the skills this kid has at that age. If he did, then it's comparable. I expect big things. I don't want the pressure heaped on him at this age but I know he will be incredible.

That's all I've got. Cheers.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Arsenal Need A New Defender - Eduardo Returns

Hola. I'm writing this during half time of the Arsenal-Real Madrid match and it's still 0-0. Yesterday we lost 1-0 to Juventus on a goal that was CLEARLY offside by David Trezeguet. Referee is clearly in preseason form as well. I'm not going to bother with a match report but if you want to read one I'm sure you can find one somewhere.

What I am going to talk about is the defense, which has looked shaky at best against Stuttgart, Juve, and Madrid at times. Going forward we have looked fairly strong. I think Denilson, Wilshere, and Ramsey have all had exceptional preseasons along with Vela and Bendtner. Adebayor and RvP don't have their full match sharpness yet so we haven't put goals in yet in this tournament but they will come with more games. The chances we have created will be put in the back of the net during the real season. Offensively is not where my concerns lie, however.

There have been several cases this preseason where the defensive marking has been questionable. I realize that several of the center back pairings haven't played with each other much and it is only preseason, but they are mistakes that you don't often see from solid defenses at this level. Too much space has been given to opposing strikers, and I remember especially against Stuttgart they had several good chances with strikers getting free behind the defense because of poor marking. Our problem last year was our inability to cope with long balls and pick up the strikers when the ball was on the way in, and that vulnerability seems to remain. I don't know if it is a communication error or just not having the familiarity, but it is something that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.

At the start of the transfer season Arsene Wenger was asked about his targets for the summer and his answer was that we would sign "A playmaker and a powerful defender." Well we have our playmaker in Samir Nasri but it appears that Wenger has forgotten about the defender. Djourou and Senderos have never been convincing over an extended period of time and the Gallas/Toure partnership hasn't ever been as successful as it should be with two players of their caliber. We need a new defender. It's as simple as that. More than we need any holding midfielder, our first priority HAS to be a defender. There are loads of good ones, who have been solid consistently, that can play at high levels, and one of them needs to be brought in. Another season of leaking long balls that turn into goals is unacceptable. If it happens again than Wenger has to be blamed. He said himself that we need a defender and he has failed to bring one in. I'm a Wenger guy 100% but after watching the defense in these matches and having the same problems as we had all last year, I realize that a change has to be made.

Some other observations...As I said earlier, I think Denilson has been great this preseason. He has looked strong in the tackle, comfortable on the ball and with his distribution, and not afraid to take a shot when he has a sight of goal. We haven't gotten to see a whole lot of Diaby, but I think Denilson has made the most of his run in the team. Do you think he could be up to the job of playing beside Cesc? Judging by his play so far I'd say he can.

Last, I wanna talk about Eduardo, who returned today to a massive reception. It was great to see him walking around and they interviewed him as well. Great to hear from him and especially great to hear the roaring of the crowd when they saw him. Big ups from myself to all the fans who showed him how much we are all rooting for him. Get well soon mate, we're all praying for you.

Let me know what you think about everything. Hope Arsenal go out and win in this 2nd half. Cheers.