Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Arsenal - Porto Match Preview

Morning all. We've got the Champions League again tonight and I'm pretty excited about it. Not only is European competition great to watch but it gives us another chance to rebound from the defeat to Hull before we play in the league again. It's FC Port tonight, a Portuguese team known for producing great young talents such as Deco, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Maniche, Costinha, Benni McCarthy, Jose Bosingwa and Ricardo Quaresma, and won't be an easy match to say the least. However, if you follow the "10 points and you qualify" rule in the group stages, this is probably a match we need to win. At the moment Porto are 4th in the Portuguese league but they are undefeated and will definitely be looking to have a crack at the team after what happened to us on Saturday. Arsene Wenger stated how important this match was:

“In this Champions League group you know you go through with 10 points,” said Wenger.

“The calculation is quite easy. You win your three home games and you are through.

“In some groups you have two good teams and two weak teams. In this group you have four strong teams. That is why home form will be vital.”

He's right, we really do need to take all three points from this one. I'm hoping for a really good atmosphere at the Grove tonight to get all the players' spirits lifted and push them on to a good result.

Injury news is as follows: Samir Nasri is fit again, but Abou Diaby (he's been out forever hasn't he?), Eduardo, and Tomas Rosicky are all out. Alex Song has also been ruled out for this one. It will be nice to have Nasri back again because he provides creativity in the way that Cesc does but is also capable of a good long dribble or a powerful shot from distance, which is always a bonus. I think we've missed him in the side and while Theo has of course done well for us, he does need a rest sometimes too.

Speaking of resting, the boss has said he will rotate players for tonight's match. He says the changes are simply for resting players and not for punishment, but I think certain players probably could use the rest along with the punishment. He wouldn't really say which changes would be made to the eleven we had against Hull but I'd like to see Gallas get a rest, along with one of the strikers and maybe Denilson. The problem is who do you put in their place if you do sit them down. Striker is easy because we have Bendtner and Vela on the bench who are both of immense quality. Midfield could maybe be Aaron Ramsey, but we don't have many other options there. In defense we have Djourou and Silvestre, and I'd love to see how a Djourou/Toure partnership would do, but I doubt we'll see it. The boss really seems to hate "resting" Bill Gallas.

So even with the rotation I'll try to go out on a limb and pick the lineup here:


It's probably wrong but I think I would probably go with that if I was Arsene today. It'd be nice if Clichy or Sagna could ever get a rest but they never really can. I suppose Silvestre could cover at left back so maybe the boss should consider that one match. Seems like if anyone would need a rest it'd be those guys. They run the full 90 minutes every match.

This is Porto's 11th trip to England in their history. They have never won. We need that to continue. While they have lost maybe their best player, Ricardo Quaresma, to Inter Milan over the summer, they still have lots of quality, notably Lucho Gonzalez. It's going to be a tough match for sure, but one that we have the quality to win and need to show it.

My match prediction: 2-0 to the Arsenal. I think we'll have enough quality and the defense seems to do better with Djourou in there, so I think we'll be able to keep a clean sheet. Scorers are Adebayor and Nasri.

I'm excited for this one so let's go out and get three points! Cheers all!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Blame Gallas, But Not Only Gallas...It's Effort Too

Ok so it's been a busy weekend and I haven't had a chance to post. I had to coach my team on Saturday, then go to the FSU-Colorado game, then Sunday I had the Jaguars-Texans game so I didn't get a chance to do a match preview. My bad. And maybe I'm bad luck because we lost...to Hull City...at home. I'll admit I didn't get to see the game, so I won't bother going into a match review or anything like that. I have seen highlights (if you can call them that) and got to read a lot of other match reviews, and by the sound and look of it, it seems that the team went out and played like they did against Fulham, without effort or passion. Hull have had a good start to the season no doubt about that, but when we play a recently promoted team at home you expect a win by a good couple of goals no matter who they are.

I think our main problems are what they have been for the last year or so. We don't have a natural partner for Cesc and our center backs are not compatible. Gallas, as I've stated over and over again, should not be in the starting eleven. The reason he is of course is because he is the captain and essentially has to be played. The problem with that is that he and Kolo Toure are very similar and it throws both of them off when they are in there together. Remember how good Kolo was when he was next to Sol Campbell or even Philippe Senderos? Hell, we set a Champions League record for not conceding with Phil and Kolo at the back. What has Gallas done to earn his spot in the starting eleven? Last I checked being over 30 doesn't automatically qualify you to be given a starting spot and the captaincy, but in Gallas' case it appears to be just that. Unfortunately, we don't really have any options but to leave him in there. We got rid of big Phil and our only cover is Djourou and Silvestre. I wouldn't mind giving Djourou a run in the side alongside Toure to see how they operate, but I can't see it happening, again, because Gallas is the captain. It's like a problem where everyone sees that there is a problem, but the solution can't be obtained even when you realize what it is. Gallas has not earned a thing at Arsenal in my opinion. I don't think he plays well for us as a defender, and I don't think he has shown the leadership to be captain of this club. Even Thierry Henry lead the team better than this clown, and I don't think anyone would say that Henry was the best choice of captains.

The whole of the blame though can't be placed on Gallas. Our strikers have been on and off, Cesc Fabregas hasn't gotten up to the form we need him to be at, and we don't really have enough options off the bench to make an impact when we need it. We have been playing some great football lately. Newcastle was a great performance, Bolton and Blackburn were both quality victories, but when you see results like against Fulham and against Hull, you have to wonder what is wrong on those days. And I don't really know what the real problem is. Do the players just think it will be a walkover and they don't have to give full effort? What is it with proffessional players where they don't feel like they have to try all the time. Isn't that what they are payed for?

If only all Arsenal players were all Arsenal fans like we are. I couldn't imagine myself playing for Arsenal and not giving 110% every time out there. Why? Because I live and die by Arsenal's results. I feel like it kills me much more than it kills say, William Gallas, when we lose 2-1 at home to Hull City. Obviously it isn't possible to field a top level team of all Arsenal fans, but as fans I think we all want to see more passion for the club than what we see from the current crop. Arsenal is different than say Chelsea. We can't put out a whole different starting eleven of equal quality if our first choice eleven doesn't show effort. Maybe the "first team" is growing complacent and feel like they don't have to work as hard for their starting spots. As a fan though, and I'm sure most of you agree, we just want to see the players give it their all when they are out there.

I'm definitely bummed about the result, but there is still a lot of season to go and it is not the end of the world. We need to play better certainly, but the good news is there is a lot of time to turn this around. Like the Fulham loss, we'll need to see how the team responds to this defeat. We've got the Champions League midweek this week and that will give us a good chance to rebound from the loss before our next league match. Let's pull together and get a great result that we know we are capable of. Porto are a good team but it's a game we need to win after the draw in Kiev. Nasri is back so hopefully that will help.

I'm sure a lot of you Gallas defenders will come out of the woodwork and call me all sorts of things for blaming him, but you can't say he has lead this team well. It's time to try something new. Like I said though, this isn't a gloom and doom post, this is a "I want to see us put in more effort and turn it around after this result" post. So don't tell me I'm not a fan or whatever because that will make you sound stupid. Plus I really couldn't give a shite what you think. My opinion is that Gallas is a bad captain and not a great defender either. Deal with it.

I'm going to try to do a podcast today, since I haven't done one in ages, but I can't promise one since I don't know whether I'll have time or not. Let me know your response to the Hull match though, and Gallas, and the lack of effort and all that. Cheers all, and up the Gunners!

One last thing, I have an interview on Gun Diary, a Russian Arsenal blog. You can check it out here. The first part is in Russian but the second part is translated to English so you can all ready it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Michel Platini Is A Disgrace

What an absolute wanker. I know I'm a day or two late on this but I'm busy sometimes too. This man, who somehow weaseled his way into the job of Uefa President just because he used to be a great player, should be removed from the game. If you haven't heard, Platini went on a rant attacking our manager Arsene Wenger.

He started off by claiming that Arsene Wenger wasn't about football, just about business:

"I like to talk about football, him (Wenger) about business. We must stop with Wenger and all that."

He said he would never support goal line replay technology in football because:

"It would make me happy that Arsene Wenger never sees it."

When asked about Romanian side Cruj's victory over Roma, the massive cunt said:

"That is what makes football so great," Platini said. "It is what people like Wenger do not want, little clubs beating the big clubs, because they want their business."

So clearly the Uefa President has it in for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger and he should be forced to resign. Why is he allowed to say anything he wants attacking a manager with no reprocussions? This attack was unwarranted and entirely untrue. Wenger doesn't care about the football side of things? Well we're top of the leauge, have the best youth setup in England and also run a profitable business. If you've seen the number we're making quite a hefty penny from ticket sales and will be making more from the Highbury square apartments starting this year. So is he mad because our club is self-sufficient and doesn't rely on a fat Russian oligarch? Would he prefer for the club to be taken over by someone who will spend hundreds of millions on new players so the club goes into debt like Liverpool and United? He needs to be held accountable for these statements.

The League Manager's Association has defended Wenger, as has the rest of the world outside of the insane asylum that is Platini's mind.

"Platini has made serious and personal comments about one of football's greatest ever managers, who is also counted among our most respected members. "If Platini wishes to address certain issues with Arsene Wenger this would better be done privately and not in the public domain. "I believe Arsene has always acted in the best interests of the game."

So the moral of the story is everything thinks Platini is a cunt, and you should too. Fact is, you can't say Wenger doesn't care about the football side of it when he's won almost everything there is to win in this league. And most people support the use of goal line technology you wanker.

And the last bit for the day is Arsene Wenger talking about Jack Wilshere. He compares the young man to Gooner Legend Liam Brady and says that he'll nurture the boy's talent by not putting too much pressure on him. Little Jack scored his first goal against Sheffield United and I have to say he's the most exciting young player I've watched in a long time. Wenger is right though, he has all the talent but he has to keep applying himself and not be weighed down by all the expectation on him.

So that's about it today. Remember to check out SoccerPro.com for all of your Arsenal and football related needs. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Arsenal Do Sheffield United Dirty

Arsenal are currently winning 5-0 in the Carling Cup against Sheffield United. It's absolutely brilliant considering it's out youngest ever side. Bendtner has 2 goals, Vela has 2 goals and Little Jack has 1. I'll get up a match report later tonight. Up the Gunners!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Top of the League, the Foul On Clichy, and Sheffield United

Well another win up the shanties of Bolton. I will have to mention that I did predict the score at 3-1 as well. So that win, combined with the rest of the results from Saturday and Sunday, put us top of the league. Liverpool found a way to draw with Stoke, and ManUre and Chelski played out a 1-1 draw, so it was great for us to get all 3 points away from home. It's obviously a good place to be, and we should be happy about it, but we also need to look at it in perspective. Man United have had to play Liverpool and Chelsea in back to back games away from home. In fact, we're the only top 4 team to have not played any of the other three. So there will still be lots of measuring sticks, but I think it is good for the squad to have these "easier" fixtures first. It's giving Denilson and Song time to develop. It's letting RvP and Theo get into their strides. I think when we do play the other big teams, we'll be ready.

The thing that still worries me the most is in central defence. Even when we win they look shaky at the back, and we don't have many options going forward to strengthen that. Djourou could be good partnered with one of Kolo or Gallas, but he would need a lot of games in a row to get used to that. Silvestre is not the answer at center back, and I think we shouldn't expect anything more than cover for all the defensive spots from him. Gallas' performances lately have really bothered me. The goal they scored against us this weekend was again because of a lack of marking on his part. He pretty much just watched the corner and it seems he is afraid to get up in the air and challenge for a ball. The rest of the team at least made an attempt to jump in the air but not Gallas. I'm running out of suggestions for Arsene but it seems that he is determined to stick with this partnership anyway.

Speaking of Johan Djourou, he's signed a new long term contract with the club.

As for Kevin Davies' tackle on Clichy...I honestly didn't think it was the worst thing ever. Yes, it was certainly a foul, but I didn't think instant red card or anything like that. Kevin Davies is definitely a cunt, but he did go in to get the ball and succeded in doing that at very least. The best news out of all of it though is that Clichy isn't injured too badly. That's very important, especially while Traore is out on loan, because he's a huge player for us.

So we look forward to Sheffield United in the Carling Cup tomorrow night, and Arsene may field the youngest side in Arsenal's history. The manager talked about how young the squad will be:

“There is a possibility [it will be the youngest side ever],” said Wenger. “In the first team there are many players around 20. In the Carling Cup we will keep a few in there but the side will be more between 16 and 19. At Arsenal you can say 20 and 21-year-olds are the experienced players.

“You are likely to see Gavin Hoyte, Abu Ogogu, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida and Carlos Vela. Maybe Bendtner will play. Song, Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski will be the experienced players. But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas so it will be a very young side.”

So it should definitely be a fun one to watch and I'll be rooting hard for the youngsters because I love watching them progress through this cup and seeing them mature right in front of us. I'll be back tomorrow with a full match preview and some more stuff. Until then, Cheers!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Early Bolton Preview, and Kroenke Joins The Board

Morning all. The match preview is a day early this time because I'm headed to Tallahassee tomorrow to watch Florida State beat Wake Forest. I'll be back Sunday and will hopefully get a match preview up then.

So we've got Bolton at the Reebok Stadium tomorrow. This used to be really a tricky fixture for us, although since Fat Sam left for Newcastle they haven't been the same. Last year was that incredible game where we were getting murdered in the first half, then had Abou Diaby sent off, so we were 2-0 down, away from home, and playing with 10 men. In the 2nd half however we made the greatest comeback I remember seeing from Arsenal, with Gallas, RvP, and an own goal somehow giving us the win 3-2.

Injury news ahead of the match isn't too bad as we haven't lost anyone that was healthy for the Kiev match. We still have Nasri, Diaby, and Silvestre out though. Nasri is one that I'm worried about. I think the injury he picked up was supposed to just be a little one but it's putting him out for a lot longer than expected. I really hope it isn't like a Rosicky or RvP injury that never really goes away and we end up having to give him a bionic leg.

The lineup will probably look like this:


I actually really liked the setup we used against Kiev with Song in the middle and Denilson playing out wide and Eboue not on the pitch. It was great but I think we'll probably see Eboue back in the side since it's a league game.

Like I said, Bolton haven't been the same since Fat Sam left, and it's a match we could really use three points from. Bolton are pretty much shite, and we are of course, not shite. Cesc was in and out of the game a little bit against Kiev so let's hope he gets back on track this match and hopefully the ref won't give any terrible penalty calls like the one he called against Sagna. That said, I think my score prediction will be 1-3 to the Arsenal. I think we just have too much quality for Bolton to match up with man for man. They will put everybody in front of the goal and try to make a wall but I think we'll be able to break them down. I really hope I'm right.

So that's enough for the match preview. There is a SLIM possibility that I'll be able to get a podcast done before I leave for Tally tomorrow but I have to pack and have practice today, then I have to coach my team in the morning and leave right after that. But there is a slim chance still because I haven't gotten one done in a while.

The other big news of the day is that Stan Kroenke, that's right, an American, has joined the Arsenal board. I think it's great because not only am I American of course but Mr. Kroenke has had a very successful career running sports franchises here in the states for those of you who don't know much about him. Kroenke has agreed not to increase his stake beyond 29.9% of Arsenal's share capital in the next year unless a takeover bid is launched by the fat Russian cunt, in which case he could buy more of the club with the consent of the rest of the board. So basically this is all to prevent Usmanov from trying to get into a bidding war for the club because guess what, the shareholders will sell to Kroenke before they would to Usmanov, and the board clearly feel that they can trust Kroenke.

A statement from the club read:

"Mr Kroenke fully supports the approach the board has taken in setting the direction of the club," the statement read.

"The board believes Mr Kroenke's experience in sports team commercial management, sports marketing, media and new media rights as well as real estate development will be of great value."

So we'll see how it works out but I think it is a great move for the club.

Again, please visit our new sponsors at SoccerPro.com for everything you need football related. They have the new Arsenal kits at good prices and everything else you could want.

So that's about it. Hoping for 3 points tomorrow, and a big win for FSU. Go Noles. Cheers all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dynamo Kiev Preview

Morning all. It's a fine day for football. My Under 8's are 2-0 to start the season with a +14 goal difference so far, so that's going well. And on top of that, since the disaster at Fulham, Arsenal have looked good too. We need that to continue tonight in Ukraine against Dynamo Kiev.

Injury news for Arsenal is as follows: Mikael Silvestre is out, along with Samir Nasri. Clichy and Eboue were both questionable but they both are in the 18 man squad. Silvestre hasn't been healthy since he signed for us. As for Eboue, I just wish he'd stop diving. Yes, it got us a penalty, but it's over the top, melodramatic, and just plain cheating.

Kiev are a good side and it's always tough to go to Eastern Europe and play. I've honestly never been to Eastern Europe so in my mind I picture it as very dark and cold year round. In fact Arsenal.com had this line on there: "The Ukrainian capital was grey and dreary..." That probably isn't the case all the time but it's still a tough environment to go into and get a win. That said I think we should be looking to take maximum points from this game. We are a far superior side now and our quality needs to win out. Walcott should be given another chance to shine in place of Samir Nasri and I think if he uses his pace well like he has been it could be another banner day for him. Kiev aren't as good as they once were with players like Shevchenko (below) and it's a match we need to win.

Arsene Wenger had this to say about the environment there:

“Football in this region can be a little bit destabilising,” he said. “If you do not prepare well mentally you can be surprised by the level of commitment here and in Russia."We have had some bad experiences in this part of Europe before. When we lacked experience we were surprised by the commitment and enthusiasm we got from a side like Kyiv."But I believe we have learnt that any place in the world is difficult and I believe mentally we can cope with that better now."

The lineup should go something like this:


It's a full strength lineup pretty much and I think that's exactly what we should be going for. We need to make a statement that we're taking the game seriously and are there to take all the points.

What I'd like to see continuing is the runs by Walcott, using his pace and energy effectively from the start. If he wants to make the jump from good substitute to quality starter, then he's going to have to produce like he did against Blackburn week in and week out. I also want to see more out of Adebayor and RvP. They both had good games (Ade was fantastic) against Blackburn and their partnership is only going to get stronger playing together a lot of times in a row. Denilson I think should occupy a more holding role with Cesc in there next to him, but I do like how he gets forward and isn't afraid to take a long shot if the chance arises. Defence has looked a little shaky but let's hope they use this opportunity outside of league play to correct some of those mistakes.

My prediction: 2-0 to the Arsenal.

So that's that. Hopefully we'll get off on the right foot in this Champions League group. One last thing for the day is I'd like to mention that we are now in association with SoccerPro.com. They are the leading provider for all your football needs, including football boots, equipment, Arsenal kits (as well as other teams) , balls, and everything else you could possibly ever need to play, watch, referree, or anything else to do with the sport. I do encourage you to visit their site and check out the great deals they have. Cheers and let's go Gunners!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blackburn Review and Walcott's Brilliance

Morning all, I'm finally back. I'd like to say I have a great excuse for not writing for almost a week, but my excuses aren't that good. Friday I just didn't get a chance to do my match preview, Saturday I woke up to watch the match and then coach my Under 8's to an 11-2 win, and yesterday I went to the Jaguar game. But today I'm back and hopefully I'll be able to keep it up.

So what has happened during my last post? Well we slaughtered Blackburn away 4-0. I have to say I was a little nervous going in. I always hate playing the teams that just try to kill us at all costs like Blackburn, Bolton, etc. I need not have been worried though. We played pretty fantastically throughout and Theo was on display again after his England hat trick midweek. His first little scamper and pass through to van Persie was magnificent. When I saw him pick out that pass it really showed some maturity from Theo because I don't think he would have made that pass in the past. So not only did he beat 3 or 4 defenders but he was able to finish it off in quality Arsenal style, and van Persie made no mistake with the finish. You can watch that fine goal here.

Adebayor of course got his hat trick. It was good for him to get off the mark and he did it in splendid fashion. I think most of the fans have forgiven (if not forgotten) his actions over the summer and I think if he has more games like this one it'll make it even easier to forgive.

So a great 4-0 and we're looking great even with a depleted squad. Granted it is still early and we haven't played any of the big teams, but for now we're looking good so you have to be happy with that. Third in the league behind the scousers and Chelski after four games is not a bad place to be.

We've got Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday for our first match in the group stages of the Champion's League. I'll get a match preview together for that tomorrow but looking ahead at the injury situation it looks like we could have Nasri out for sure as well as maybe Eboue and Clichy. Mikael Silvestre looks set to make his debut so if Clichy isn't able to go I'd guess that's where he will play. I honestly wish he would never ever play for Arsenal but I suppose if he makes it out onto the pitch without tripping and breaking his leg or something then it's going to be inevitable. What a shame. Kiev are a team that has a good chance to get a result. It's tough to play away in Ukraine, but the weather should be much better than it would be in say, November. I think we'll probably win, but I'll save my prediction for the morning.

Silvestre talks about the reasons he decided to come to Arsenal, which hopefully isn't to sabotage the squad or something sinister like that.

"Arsène Wenger wants me to play more centrally and that's fine by me. I wasn't having enough opportunities at United, even if Sir Alex Ferguson wanted me to stay. But I wanted to play a bit more which is why I felt it was time to move. I'll also have the chance to help the younger players. Experience comes naturally as you develop and the younger guys will look up to senior players like myself and William Gallas as we're the ones who have been around for a while."

Great...so our young players are looking up to Silvestre, the Man United lover, and Gallas, who played for Chelski and isn't even a good captain. Something is severely wrong there.

Not much else to write about today, but I'm thrilled with the Blackburn match and really hoping we'll get off to a good start in the group stages. Thoughts on Theo? I'd love to hear them. Cheers all. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Still International Week...

There is nothing to write about! This is the longest international week I think in history. The leading story on Arsenal.com is ANOTHER story about Amaury Bischoff. I can't even be bothered to watch that. Only four days to go until we finally play again. Then I can go back to being sane, at least until we have another bad performance which will drive me insane, but that's a good insane.

The only semi-news story out there is that Stephen Appiah will probably sign for a club in the next few days, but not neccessarily Arsenal. West Ham is looking like a strong favorite to sign him but I suppose there's still a chance he could come to Arsenal.

I think they play some more internationals tomorrow but I can't be arsed to pay attention or even watch. England are awful and I hate most of their players anyway. I used to like watching France but Domenech should have been fired by now. So hopefully we'll get back to some real news very soon.

For today though I'll leave you with one of my favorite musical selections.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Want Stephen Appiah At Arsenal

Morning all. International breaks are simply awful. The good news is the Jaguars and the Seminoles start this weekend, and the Under 8's I coach start this weekend as well. So that will attempt to keep my mind off of the lack of a game this weekend for Arsenal.

If you haven't heard, former Fenerbache midfielder Stephen Appiah is a free agent. I don't see why we shouldn't sign him. He's been a good player and although he's had some injuries lately, you can't deny the fact that it would be a good move. He would be free for one thing, except for his salary, and he would add depth to our midfield. I think he could step in and partner Cesc, if not right away, then at least for the second half of the season. It looks like Arsenal are interested in signing him, so if it is going to happen let's hope that it will be soon so he can get in and learn the way we play and try to get some training under his belt. Arsenal Insider disagrees with me, saying that Stephen Appiah would be an embarrassing signing and compares him to Amaury Bischoff. But Appiah is not Bischoff. Appiah is the captain of Ghana and has played well during his career, while Bischoff has never even really had a career. Appiah is a much better player and why wouldn't you want to add depth when we so desperately need it? Still, just shows that not everyone is convinced that he is [part] of the answer.

Speaking of Bischoff, Arsenal.com says he will be back in full training in a few weeks.

Since Keith Edelman left the club in April, Arsenal have been looking for a new managing director to replace him, and the search could end soon.

“It is progressing quite well. We are getting to the end of the story. I am involved in it and I am consulted for it but it is down to the board to make that decision. Having consulted me, they will take the responsibility to name the right person. I think the decision will be made soon but I don’t know exactly when.”

So he doesn't really give us any hints about who it could be or even an estimate of when it will be but it does seem that Arsenal will have a new managing director soon. I still haven't gotten the call offering me the job, somewhat surprisingly, but I will accept if they ask me.

I don't have that much else to write about really, since there is no much to look forward to, no transfers to talk about, or very much of anything actually. But let me know what you think of Appiah and stuff and I'll get back to you tomorrow. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Signings Before the Deadline...What's Your Response?

Hello all. I'm still alive if anyone was wondering, I just haven't had a good chance to write in ages. Since I last posted we won 3-0 against Newcastle which was a great result, and the transfer window closed last night. I waited up watching the news tickers on and off all day hoping for Xabi Alonso, or anyone else for that matter, and it just never happened.

So we're stuck with the squad we have. Heaven forbid we get an injury to Fabregas or Denilson because then we're stuck with Diaby/Denilson/Eboue/Ramsey starting against Manchester United, Chelsea, etc. We're too weak in midfield and we all know it. All of us, it seems, except for the boss. I know I have never been a proffessional football manager but I have watched a lot of football and I know when there is something needed in a squad. I think Denilson and Diaby can become great players for the club, but they aren't there now and if they get injured the squad just isn't deep enough.

Eboue, poor guy, has had to go from right back to right winger to center midfield. This just shows how thin the squad really is. Versatility is great but forcing a player to play in positions where he is far worse is a bad sign.

I'm not preaching doom and gloom here, I'm just awfully disappointed. I think 95% of Arsenal fans expected some sort of move before the deadline, but the only move we made was to re-sign Mark Randall and Kieran Gibbs. Sources say that Arsene tried to make a move yesterday for Xabi Alonso, but they couldn't sort out a fee before the deadline passed. This brings up the question though, why didn't Arsene try to work it out before 10pm on deadline day?

But that isn't even my real complaint. My real problem is that there hasn't been ANYONE brought in at all. There are players out there who would be cheap and could deepen the squad at very least. Marcos Senna was out there for a good price, and there were a lot of other players who could have at least added depth even if they weren't ready-made superstars.

I'll admit I'm nervous. I'm a member of the Arsene Wenger Fan Club but he has really puzzled me lately. Danny Fiszman said the money is there for him, yet none has been spent. Has he gotten so stubborn that he just wants to be the complete opposite of the other Top Four clubs and spend ZERO money while they spend big? I don't want to spend zillions either like I said, I just want a deeper squad, and maybe a good defender.

There is good news, however, as Arsene Wenger says Emmanuel Eboue has become a "pass master." Is there a more clear hint that Arsene is failing to see a lack of quality in the team? Eboue is not, and will not be, a pass master, ever. He isn't the solution to the midfield problem either, but it sounds like Arsene is making him out to be just that.

But that's about it for the day. Are you disappointed or just fine with the lack of moves? Let's hear your thoughts. Cheers.

Oh yeah, and please for the love of God nobody try to convince me that Amaury Bischoff will be the answer. He hasn't played in ages and he isn't the answer. Don't be a moron.