Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Following Cesc Fabregas On Twitter

He's never had a single update but he has managed to get 202 followers somehow. Such is the magical power of Cesc Fabregas. If he ever does update it will probably be in Spanish like Sergio Ramos' anyways, meaning that I can't even read it. F my life. I like twitter but there's not a lot of things you can do with it. 140 characters is not a lot to speak your mind so you can pretty much only say things like "off to the Grocery Store" and "Robbie Keane is a cartwheeling cunt." However if you do want to take part in the twittering you can follow me here.

Not a whole lot in the way of news today besides that Adebayor is going to play for Togo. He wasn't going to supposedly when we allowed him to go join up with the squad last week but now it has come out that he will indeed be playing even though he's been out for quite a while with a hamstring injury. It pisses me off a bit because if Arsenal didn't want him to play then they shouldn't have even let him go to Togo. At the same time though, if Togo said that they wouldn't play him to Arsenal and then they decide to play him later, then that is just wrong.

It won't matter at all in the long run as long as he makes it through the match without getting injured again. In fact, then it will be a bonus that he plays because he can regain some match fitness. When he returns it opens up another whole debate about which strikers (Eddy, RvP, Adebayor, Bendtner) should play the majority of the matches the rest of this year. Personally I like RvP and Adebayor together and I think they compliment each other pretty well, but a lot of you will probably disagree with me.

Oh yeah, this is completely irrelevant but I figured I'd throw this out there. That 4-2-3-1 I was talking about yesterday? I said I would try it out on Football Manager and indeed I did. I went with this as my default lineup:

Nasri-Maxi Rodriguez-Arhavin

I signed Maxi Rodriguez because Walcott is still learning to play center attacking mid plus he's incredible so that helps too. The formation has worked remarkably well though, having beaten Liverpool, drawn away to United, and not lost a league match through eleven games. Unfortunately we're not top of the league though because Chelsea haven't drawn a game all year and they've only lost once. Eduardo is getting pissed because I never play him but I do try to get him in for the cup matches and group stage games.

That has nothing to do with anything really but there really isn't a lot to talk about during these long breaks so sue me. You know who I hate? Tim Tebow. That's right.

I don't have anything else to say really. Time to make some coffee. My last exam of the quarter is tonight, on safety and sanitation in the kitchen. I got that on lock though. Cheers all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who sits, Nasri, Theo, or Arshy? Should Arsenal Play 4-2-3-1?

Morning all. Not a whole lot going on this week. I really wish I had a lot to write about but there just isn't anything to write about. Everyone is away on international duty for the next week plus, so stories are few and far between, but I'll try to come up with something mildly entertaining as I drink my morning coffee.

First off we may as well start with some transfer rumors, and the first one is Raul Albiol of Valencia saying he would be interested in a move to one of the "big clubs in the Premiership." While I don't watch him week in and week out I do think he's at least the type of defender that would be a good addition to our squad, and with Gallas not getting any younger and Valencia being cash strapped, it could maybe happen.

Gael Clichy has been linked with a move to AC Milan, and was asked about it by a reporter.

"I don't know anything.

"I am very happy at Arsenal. It is true AC Milan are a great club. It is flattering to know you are followed by such a team."

I think Clichy is the type (hopefully) that would like to stay at Arsenal for a long time so I don't really see a lot to this story. Hopefully we'll secure our Champions League spot for next year pretty soon and that should kill off some of these transfer rumors of our big players leaving. Clichy hasn't been at his best this year but there is a reason that AC Milan are following him and a reason he was in the team of the year last year, and that's because he's absolute quality. Not only that but he's a perfect team player, never runs his mouth, and always has a great attitude. He's the type of player great teams are made of.

Alright so on to my main topic today, and that is one I have been discussing with Joaquin over the last few days. With the return of Cesc soon after the international break, where do all of our attacking midfielders play? Obviously Cesc, being the captain and being brilliant and amazing, gets in the side no question. But what about Theo, Nasri, and Arshavin? While Theo was out and Cesc was out there was lots of space to move Nasri and Arshy around, but with all of them healthy, as well as having Adebayor back up front, it does give you lots of options.

Of course this is a good problem to have, much better than having everyone injured like we did, but I really want to know what you all think. What is your ideal first eleven for Arsenal with everyone healthy? I suppose mine would look like this:


But Joaquin had an interesting idea that I'd like to throw out there now. What if Arsenal switched it up and ran a 4-2-3-1? I know 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 are Arsene's ideal formations but with the players we have a 4-2-3-1 could work effectively. Have a look at this:


Obviously RvP and Eddy at least have the ability to play in that line of 3 instead of Theo, Nasri, or Arshy too if needed and Ade and Nik can both play a lone striker role fairly well. I think it's something that should be considered maybe because the possibilities are endless. Imagine what all of those guys on the pitch at the same time could create. I'm actually about to try it out on football manager now and see if they can pull it off. Not that that is a good sign or anything but its still fun for me.

So I want to know your opinions on this one. If we stick with 4-4-2, where does everyone get into the team, and what do you think of at least the IDEA of the 4-2-3-1? It gives you something to think about over the international break at very least.

Hope you all have a good day. Cheers.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Arsenal Draw Villareal, Then Man United

Morning all. The Champions League draw was this morning for the next two rounds, and would you believe it, we've avoided another English team and drawn Villareal. I don't think it could have happened much better for us. Barca get drawn with a tough team in Bayern Munich, either Chelsea or Liverpool HAVE to go out since they are drawn against each other, and we won't have to face the Mancunian scum until next round as long as we both get through!

I have to say that I'm thrilled with the draw. I think Villareal are a team we should be able to beat if we're playing at our best, plus it means the return of Robert Pires to Arsenal! Everyone loves Robert Pires, so it should be just look Henry or Vieira returning in terms of the warm reception he'll get.

Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, who remember is somewhat newly arrived, said this could be our year in the Champions League after he saw the draw this morning, and although this quote from his is really long, it's really good so I want to include the whole thing.

"We are laser-focused on the next round. We think we can get a result, but when we played them in 2006 we only just squeaked by. It will be a difficult test.

"The one thing we do believe in is not just the quality of the team, but also the character of our team. I think we saw that in the really difficult environment in Rome.

"Young player after young player made their penalty kicks when they had to. And we will have to draw on those reserves of character to get past Villarreal.

"We have never lost belief in ourselves. We have a superb group of young players. We still believe there is a potential for a really great season for us.

"We can beat anybody on our day. But we can't think beyond Villarreal. We will worry about the next step if we can get by the Yellow Submarine.

"In 2006 we missed out on this trophy by a nose. It might be our year this year. But it is not going to happen just because we want it to. Don't underestimate the depth of character we have."

He's absolutely right I think. The draw sets up favorably for us, and Roma I think really did give our players a leap of confidence. Remember Theo after we won the shootout said it was like celebrating winning the World Cup in the dressing room. I'm getting really f'ing excited about the chances of winning the FA Cup or the Champions League this year. Obviously I want the Champions League more but just winning a trophy again would be magnificent.

Liverpool vs Chelsea for the 5th straight year is really a worry for me. Don't they know that these ties between these two teams are the most boring ties in the history of football? What's worse, I'm sure these will be the matches choosen for television coverage here, because they always favor Liverpool, Chelsea, and United over here in the states. So with two of them in the same match it's a given, which leaves me watching Arsenal on my computer. I'll live through it though, because I think we have a good chance to make it through to the semi-finals for the first time in...I think ever, since 2005.

In other great news, Cesc Fabregas was back in training for the first time yesterday. That's the most welcome news I've heard in months. Imagine him back playing with Arshavin. Won't that just be amazing? I hope we have room for Arshy, Nasri, Cesc, and Theo though once they're all healthy. It would be a crying shame to have to leave any of those magicians out.

There is however, some bad news today, as Theo Walcott suffered a knee injury in training. Arsene Wenger says it locked up while walking back from training, and thinks it could be a cartilage problem. He said he is "surprised and worried" which is never good, and it makes me surprised and worried as well. Theo has been great since we got him back from injury and he brings a whole new dimension to our attack when he's able to go on the right side. They are scanning the knee to see how long he'll be out but fingers crossed that it's only minor.

That's all I've got. I'll try to get a match preview up for Newcastle tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the fact that we got a good draw and Cesc's return! Cheers

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Phil Brown vs Cesc Fabregas

Morning all. After our great comeback against Hull all the talk has been about Cesc Fabregas' alleged spitting instead of our comeback win to get us to Wembley. It's a shame but that's just how the media is. I wanted to be a journalist once, then I realized that if I ever had to write bad things about the Jaguars or the Seminoles or the All Blacks or Arsenal then I'd want to stick my head in a fryer, so I decided I'd rather be a chef. Maybe Phil Brown should have stuck his head in a fryer at a young age too so we would never have to listen to his horrible lies.


So the story is as follows, apparently as the teams were walking down the tunnel, Phil Brown says that Cesc Fabregas came and spit at his assistant manager's feet. Cesc of course denies any such incident occured.

"I will leave it in the FA's hands for the time being - I will wait to see what they say," he told The Sun. I've absolutely nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. The simple fact is I did not spit at the assistant manager of Hull City."

And of course Cesc is completely right. Phil Brown was just pissed off that his team can't win a match to save their lives or their season and so he made up a story that he knew would be damaging because it's our captain, even though he didn't play in the match.

Phil Brown's story, on the other hand, went like this:

"The pictures in the national papers verify the aggression he was showing towards players and staff after the game."

"I could go on but I am not one for crying over spilt milk.

"I then witnessed him going down the tunnel and turning around and spitting at my assistant manager's feet.

"Whichever way you want to look at it, he addressed that spitting incident at my assistant manager, who has managed probably 1,200 games in his career. Disgraceful act.

"I am not going to report it, I am not going tittle-tattling to the FA - if they want to investigate that is their decision, and if Brian Horton wants to take it further he will get the full support of Hull City."

The problem is that he DID go report it and the FA IS investigating the incident, or lack thereof. He's spent the last two days moping about telling anyone who will listen how terrible Arsenal is and how they need to be punished for doing nothing wrong. If Cesc had spit at Phil Brown he's still be right, because Phil Brown clearly deserves it, the cunt.

Brown also claimed that Arsene Wenger refused to shake his hand after both of the matches against Hull in the league this year, even though there is video and pictorial evidence showing that handshakes did indeed take place. He also decided criticizing Cesc's attire would help his case, which is totally unfair because I think, in a non-gay way of course, that Cesc looked quite good in his jacket and jeans, while Phil Brown looks more like Vince with ShamWOW.

The headset really makes the resemblance there. In fact that's possibly the only thing they have in common, but whenever I see Phil Brown and his queer headset I think of Vince with ShamWOW.

The moral of the story is that Phil Brown is a cunt, who's charges will not lead to any punishment against Arsenal or our beloved captain, and it would be nice if he would just do the world a huge favor and pour meat all over him and jump into a tank full of sharks.

Champions League draw is tomorrow morning. I'm hoping for Barcelona but I think most of you want Porto or Villareal. I want to see Henry come home though. Plus I think we can take Barca. Maybe I'm just hoping, but I can see it happening. Cheers all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day From

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! By the time those of you in Europe and Asia read this it'll already be night and you'll already be very drunk, so hopefully that picture of the leprechaun will make your day. I must warn you before you read any further that this post is going to have almost no Arsenal content at all. In fact, it is going to have almost no content period. I'm going to put a lot of shamrocks and such and maybe have a bit about Arsenal here and there.

I just tried to dye my coffee green, and that didn't work out so well. I have to go to the dentist in an hour so it's just coffee for me this morning. I suppose that Cesc Fabregas, Aaron Ramsey, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, and Eduardo could start early on their beers, since they aren't playing tonight vs Hull.

What's your favorite beer to drink on St. Patty's day? I know a lot of people roll with the Guiness, being Irish and all, but some people keep it cheap and go for whatever they dye green at the bars, usually Pabst Blue Ribbon or Natty Light. Personally, I'll probably do it like this:

6pm tonight: Using 25 dollar gift card for Olive Garden at the bar to order several Guiness. Might as well have the good beers while I'm still sober.

9pm tonight: Meeting friends at Ale House where they will be serving pitchers of green beer. As mentioned earlier, this will be a ridiculously cheap beer that they have dyed green.

12am tonight: Heading over to Zack's house for the after-party and some more drinking, probably champagne. Very cheap kind though like 5 dollar bottles of Andre.

If you follow that schedule, I promise you you can have an amazing night that you will not remember and will probably regret tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will be playing, and I'll probably only see the first half. I'll check the score of course but I'll admit that I won't stay home to watch the whole thing.

I don't really have much else. Time for the dentist and then we'll see where the day takes us. C'mon you Gunners! Cheers all and be safe.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rosicky Injured Yet Again, Theo Walcott's Birthday

Morning all. Been a busy weekend I'd say so I haven't written anything. I actually had time to write something Friday but I just wasn't feeling it. Sometimes that happens. I actually didn't even get to see the Blackburn match because the match started at 11:00 here and I had to coach my team at 11:30, so I missed the whole thing. And it wasn't worth it either because my team got crushed 10-2 and Arsenal won 4-0 and unbelievably Eboue scored two goals! What is this world coming to? Then to follow that up I had to cheer for the Scum from the Lane to beat Villa! They did, thankfully, which kept us in fourth place, but it meant that I had to go puke for hours on end. My body doesn't react well to supporting Sp*rs, even for two hours.

So on to today's news then now that I've recapped the weekend. The first one is really some shite news...Tomas Rosicky has had another injury which will prevent his return to full training for an additional two weeks. *Sigh* It's really tough for me to come to grips with this. Every time he has come the least bit close to regaining match fitness, his hamstring flares up again. It has happened at least four times that I can recall just during this season. I don't see how it is ever going to get better if it hasn't yet. I think Rosicky could help us out this season if he could make it back to fitness ever but it doesn't appear that he will and I'm going to say that I think we've probably seen the last game Rosicky will ever play for Arsenal, and maybe in football period. If he can't get healthy and stay healthy than how can he ever be counted on to contribute to any team? Paying him to nurse his hamstrings for 14 months is getting a bit old. I'm sorry Tomas because it's not your fault, but please stop stealing your wages while you set in ice baths and never heal.

In other news, Andrey Arshavin has been getting some praise heaped on him from Arsene Wenger, and he has heaped right back.

"I like players like him who, in the final third, can give you hope and create something you don't expect. I felt we needed that with the players we have and with the type of game we like to play. But also he has won before and he has experience. We are very, very young. We sold (Alexander) Hleb, and (Tomas) Rosicky we have lost for 14 months. They were in the right age category, between 27 and 30, and we were a bit short at that level."

I won't even throw in the "no shit" that is deserved when he says our team is very young and needed some experience, but it's true about what Arshavin does give us. I watched his goal against Blackburn several times and it really is a fantastic goal that I don't know that any of our other players could have scored. He wasn't scared to take on the defender by himself and when he made his move he went with it to the goal and made sure it went in. We could use a bit more of that from the rest of the team. He's going to be a big factor for us the rest of the year.

Today is Theo Walcott's birthday! C'mon you guys, let's bust it out for him:

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Lord Theo, happy birthday to you."

I'm sure he does really appreciate that, because he reads this site every day of course. He's not a teenager anymore, as he's turning 20. Arsene Wenger was talking of Theo on his big day:

"He gives us something that is important as well when we play at home. He goes behind the defenders and creates room and he has a direct game. We need that, especially at home. It is important to have him back and he gives you something that can make a difference in any game. Compared to one year ago there is no comparison, which is what people sometimes have problems to accept. At that age, every three months you go higher up but how much, you can never predict."

If you have read this site before you know how much I love Theo and think he's going to be amazing. He really made a huge difference in the Blackburn game, and while almost anyone would be an improvement over Eboue, Walcott is a HUGE improvement over him. With Arshavin on the left or up front and Walcott on the right...oh just imagine when Cesc gets back...think of how much better our team will be instantly.

So our next league game is Saturday at Newcastle, who are shite but not so shite that we can just say we'll win easily, especially since we have played badly against the worst teams in the league all season. Our next match though is tomorrow night against Hull City in the FA Cup. It's the quarter finals and the winner gets to head to Wembley to play Chelsea and I'd really love to win this. It looks like a lot of youngsters will play, including Gibbs and Fabianski, but the full squad hasn't been released. Andrey Arshavin says he is "desperate" to play against Hull, but he had eight stitches at half time against Blackburn so we'll have to wait and see. This is a really big match for us. Just getting to Wembley I think will give a big boost to this young team. C'mon you Gunners!

That's about all the news today. Maybe a match preview tomorrow but we'll have to see. I've got a midterm later on tonight, wish me luck. Cheers all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arsenal - Roma Wrap Up, With Video Highlights/Shootout

Morning all. That was some match yesterday huh? Well, not really the first 120 minutes or so but the shootout was good for us. We played pretty much like complete shite throughout the match, with rare moments of good build up play and the occasional half decent chance.

Roma got their equalizing goal early on, in the 9th minute from Juan, who had just right before that gotten himself injured. Somehow he managed to get all the way up the field, then convince Gallas to not even touch the ball as it went all the way across the box in front of the goal, and finish past Almunia. I was astounded how Gallas and also Toure could just leave a ball rolling in front of our goal like that. It's defending 101 and it's one of the first things I teach my 8 years olds, that you have to clear the ball from in front of your own net. I don't know what they were thinking and we're really lucky they got their heads on straight after that. The defending was just awful and it didn't look good for the rest of the night, but I think it was a bit of a wake up call for the defence because Roma didn't look all that threatening for much more of the match. The odd chance here and there, but nothing Almunia couldn't deal with. He actually is a good keeper regardless of what some of you say.

There was a chance Roma could have had a penalty right before half time for what looked like a foul from Clichy on Marco Motta, but after watching the replay Clichy didn't even touch him. I think diving should be a red card. It just makes the game sissier. Stand on your feet and try to score a damn goal.

The match wasn't very exciting after that. Eboue was crap, Bendtner was crap, it wasn't Nasri's best day, or van Persie's for that matter, but we managed to keep Roma from scoring again, and that was the main task. Eventually we got through to extra time, at which point I had to leave for class, but I brought my lap top you see! Luckily my professor is an Aston Villa supporter and understands how important this was to me and let me have the match on my computer in class.

So right when I plugged it in and got everything up and running we were preparing for the penalty shootout, and boy was that nerve wracking. I'm sitting there, right in the middle of a test on viruses, bacteria, and sanitation, and meanwhile Eduardo is missing the first penalty of the night! It was awful, and I hated it. Right up until the point where I loved it. The video tells the story better than my words can.

Vucinic's penalty was just awful wasn't it? I'll admit, I wasn't the most confident to see Denilson, Diaby, and Theo taking a penalty. I've seen Kolo take plenty, and RvP, and I knew Nasri could handle it, but for some reason when I saw Theo and Denilson stepping up I was nervous. So brilliant work by them to convert those penalties, and the joy the squad showed after it was a great breath of fresh air. You haven't always seen that from this squad but you could tell this win really meant a lot to them. Penalty shootouts will do that to you. I was elated of course and put my test to the side so I could celebrate in my chair for a couple of minutes. And I still got the best grade in the class. Boom, Outta here.

So it's on to the quarter finals, where we'll face either Porto, Bayern, Barca, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United, or Villareal. I don't want any of the English teams next round really. I want Barca but I suppose it's safer to get Porto or Villareal. We'll probably get United or Liverpool though.

That's all I've got for the day. Enjoy that video of the shootout and leave me your thoughts. Cheers.

Oh yeah, and apparently an Arsenal fan got stabbed by some Roma fan that jumped on a bus of Arsenal supporters. Yeah, that's a good way to get over your loss Roma. "Hey, we just blew our chances in the Champions League, let's go stab a guy!" Apparently it's not a match in Rome until someone gets stabbed! That is the best solution by far Roma, anytime you can't win just stab people until you feel better, because that makes football much better. You really are presenting a good image for your city before the Champions League final. I hope you all kill yourselves.

Follow me on Twitter. Out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Champions League Preview - Second Leg v Roma

Morning all. I am still sick as a dog. Not cool, not cool. What is pretty cool is that I went to WWE Raw last night and it was awesome. Not only did my friend mark hit on a fat girl and two 13 year olds, by favorite wrestlers, R Truth and Shawn Michaels, were both in attendance. Add that to the fact that we get Champions League today and tomorrow and it makes for pretty good times.

We have a 1-0 lead from the home leg, which is a good spot to be in but certainly not one that can't be overcome. Getting an away goal will still be important and we're going to need to come out and play to win, not play for the draw. Arsene Wenger agrees:

''We need to go there and play our game - it is very important for us to focus on scoring and going forward,'' said the Gunners boss. ''Roma are a very good team offensively, so if we allow them to spend 90 per cent of the time doing what they like to do, we will expose ourselves."
If we are able to get that away goal that will pretty much put the tie to bed, because they'd have to score three goals then. So it is an all important goal.

Injury news is good, with Kolo Toure expected to be back, and Eduardo and Theo will both be in the squad. Things are looking better every day for Arsenal aren't they? We keep getting players back and we're managing to at least not lose even if we have drawn a lot.

The full squad list for the match can be seen here.

Arsenal has warned the fans going to the match in Rome to avoid certain areas of Rome due to the Roma supporters being absolute cunts. Remember 2 years back when United played Roma they had a bunch of fights in Roma and in Manchester. They're probably just pissed that they'll never win a big match like this and they can't win the league either. But seriously, stay away from those Italian bastards.

Last thing is Theo saying that he'll need time to get back to his form he had before his injury, and he's right. We can't be expecting too much from him and I'm sure I'll be guilty of this too. When you know how good a player can be, anything less than great performances and we all jump on them. Theo will be a big player for us the rest of this season, so let's give him some time. He's been out for 4 months, poor guy, so let's just be glad to have him back.

That's about all I've got for the day. Time for some coffee and some homework. Cheers.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Arsenal Beat Sp*rs In FA Youth Cup

Check it, you know how I be. Hello everyone. How is everyone doing today? That's fantastic I'm actually doing ok but I'm a little sick, sore throat and all that fun stuff. Not a whole lot going on in the world of Arsenal today, but I did watch the FA Youth Cup game Arsenal versus Sp*rs last night and it was great, so I figured I'll talk about that a little today.

When I turned the match on it was just about to start but I had to shower so I missed the first part. When I came back we were already 1-0 down. We settled in though and we were playing well. I thought our passing was as good as, if not better than, our first teams passing and movement. Watching Jack Wilshere among the rest of the younglings is like watching men against boys. While he isn't THAT much better than all the rest of them, every time he touches the ball I still half expect him to score.

I was talking to Joaquin throughout the match and we picked out a few players that really looked the business to us, and had a chance of making it to the big time. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored a great goal to give us the win in extra time, and I thought he played a great game. His versatility is astounding, as he looks comfortable really at any position on the pitch. There was no better example than in extra time in the 2nd half. He was playing up top as a third striker, brought the ball in, dodged two defenders and launched a cannon into the net to give us the lead. Next thing you know, he was back playing as a third center back to make sure Sp*rs didn't get another of their own. That doesn't even mention that he played in the midfield almost the whole game. It's fantastic and I really am looking forward to seeing what he can do in the future.

Gilles Sunu looks like he also has a great future. The guy is just electric quick and can accelerate and turn on a time. He should have had a goal probably late in the first half but he still looked very good when he was out there. I wouldn't be surprised if he maybe went on loan somewhere in the lower divisions next season.

Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin pretty much ran the midfield along with Thomas and Wilshere and they both look pretty good too. Coquelin was the one to set up the final goal with a long ball to Rhys Murphy on a counter attack. Rhys Murphy is one of the top scorers for the youth team for the season and his finish after bringing in that long ball was out of this world. Bendtner and Adebayor could use some tutoring from Murphy on half volleys like that.

So it's on to the FA Youth Cup Semi-Finals for the youngsters. We'll face the winner of Manchester City and Norwich city, who play tomorrow. It'll be a two-legged affair, with the second leg of it being back at the Emirates. Liverpool is already into the other semi-final, and they await the winner of Birmingham City and Ipswich Town/Watford. It'd be great for our youth academy to win the whole thing. Imagine the kind of talent you can attract if you have the best youth academy in all of England, and maybe all the world judging by how they have come through in the last few years.

The matches really are enjoyable to watch and as soon as I get the date of the semi-final matches then I will get it all to you.

Tonight I have my first practice with my new team of 8 year olds, so it's time to whip them into shape. Let's go Green Monkeys!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Villa Lose, And The World Is Bright Again - Man's Game Time

Morning all. I could lead into this post with a headline like "It's funny how things change" or "Football really is a funny game" or something else, but apparently all the other blogs beat me to that one so we'll just go without. I did predict Villa losing and us winning on Tuesday, so boom, outta here, correct. We're now within 3 points of Villa after their loss to City and our injured players are all going to be coming back at just the right time to really give us that boost.

Aston Villa aren't a team who are used to fighting for the Champions League places near the end of the season, and maybe the pressure is getting to them a little bit. They have a good team to be sure but none of those players have ever been locked in a battle to get into Europe like this and all that comes with that honor. They don't have it easy the rest of the way either.

Tottenham - Home
Liverpool - Away
Man United - Away
Everton - Home
West Ham - Home

I figure they probably lose to United and Liverpool away and probably either Everton or Sp*rs will take some points off of them. That's a lot of chances we have to take that 4th spot from them. While we still have to go to United and Liverpool, I'd take our schedule the rest of the way over theirs any day. Ten games left in the season, it's Man's Game time.

Theo Walcott and Eduardo are back in the squad Sunday for the match against Burnley. I can't wait to see Theo back. I feel like he's been out about ten months and it'll be great to not see Eboue out there and to have someone that is actually a cool guy that has skill, pace, and ability, unlike Eboue.

"I will see how they (Walcott and Eduardo) look tomorrow and Saturday but they will certainly be in the squad, especially Theo. We have to wait and see how Eduardo reacts and responds to his injury."

On the defensive front, Arsene Wenger says that Gallas should be back for Sunday and Kolo should be back for Roma next week, which is great news. Djourou had been playing well earlier in the year but last match he was a bit shaky. It's probably just because he hasn't gotten many matches lately but for the Champions League I'd prefer to have Gallas and Toure, who have been doing well together. Never thought I'd say that.

The next league match isn't until the 14th against Blackburn, so we have to wait a while for that. Maybe by then we could have Adebayor back as well, and who knows what Rosicky's status is. (By the way, calling him Rosicknote or some variation like Rosick List is not funny or imaginitive, so please come up with something original or just call him by his name) Cesc could be back in April for the stretch run against the other big guns so all is looking up.

Optimisim is the key now! Remember 2005-2006? Sp*rs thought they were going to be Aston Villa that year and steal our Champions League spot. But the lasagna saved the day then, and the lasagna will find a way to infect Villa as well. 4th place here we come!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Optimistic Outlook on the End of the Season

Morning all. We're going full out optimism today. It's a good day so far. I just got my final roster for my team of Under 8's which start Saturday, I'm making baked ziti for lunch as I write this, and my six pack abs are looking nice. So those are all good things. What would really top it off though is a win today against bottom club West Brom.

The good news going into the match is that Arsenal have a thirteen game unbeaten streak going in the league! The bad news is that we have drawn five league matches in a row, including four 0-0's in a row. That is all going to change today. You know why? Because West Brom are shite. You know what else? I'm going to take Man City to beat Aston Villa on Wednesday too. That would put us within three points of them and I'm feeling confident.

I can't see us not winning this match today. If you can't get up for a "must-win" like this, then none of these players should be playing for the club. I can get myself up for coaching an Under 8's match, so these guys should be able to get up to play in Europe next season. Theo, Cesc, Eduardo, Adebayor, Rosicky...all of them need to be at their best when they get back, and I think they will.

Adebayor said just today that we need to win every game the rest of the season to get into the Champions League. He's probably right. While we've been counting on Villa to drop points, they haven't dropped many at all and when they have we haven't been able to capitalize. And unlike most of you, I actually DO think Adebayor cares about the team and wants to win. All of you that hate on him every day should piss off. He's way better than Bendtner, he pretty much made our entire season last year, and he's still potentially our best striker along with van Persie.

He also spoke about the booing that came after the Fulham match, saying:

"It is difficult for the boss, difficult for us as players, for them as fans - so they just have to keep doing what they love the most which is keep pushing us on."
Maybe the fans should actually try that. I live in Florida, so I don't get to go to all the matches obviously, and nothing makes me feel worse than watching games on TV when the Emirates is completely silent. We have 60,000 bloody supporters in the building and we can't sing a few songs? Come on you guys. I know it isn't the difference between winning the league and getting fifth place but it could at least push a team on to a winning goal against a team like Fulham.

Andrey Arshavin says he's still finding his fitness in the English game. That was certainly clear in the second half of the Fulham match, where he pretty much couldn't move at all. I don't blame him, I don't think I would have put him out there for 90 minutes so soon, but it isn't my call.

"Even before the end of the first half I felt as if I had spat my lungs out. It was a hard match for me. In the second half my legs simply refused to serve me."

Hopefully he'll find his fitness soon or it'll be a waste of a signing. We signed him to help us this season, and if he can never play 90 minutes then what's the use? But I'm sure he'll get it together soon.

But on to the match today. Injury news is Gallas, Eduardo, Walcott, Rosicky, Fabregas, Adebayor, Silvestre all out. Arshavin could also be rested, which leaves us a little bare.


It's not a great lineup when you look at it but we'll win. Trust me. We just will. I can feel it. I'm going to use a different coffee cup and wear my Kolo away kit today. It will definitely change our fortunes.

2-0 to the Arsenal. Still rockin the clean sheet, and getting the win too. You heard it hear first.

Come on you Gunners.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nil-Nil Has Become The Norm, And That Needs to Change

What's up all? I'm now 22 years old, having had my birthday last Friday and contributing to my absence from writing for almost a week. I had a great time, got to hang out with my best friends in Orlando and it was pretty much awesome/crazy/hilarious, so what more can you ask for?

But while I had a good weekend, Arsenal yet again did not. We played Fulham at home and you'd normally expect a win there, but as I was turning the match on I just had a feeling with this team that it wasn't going to be good. After three straight nil-nil draws in the league and four draws in a row overall, I'll admit that I wasn't too confident even against a weak team at home. Fulham actually played decently, their passing was pretty good but we really still could have won. RvP had a couple of chances, Bendtner had a chance, Arshy had a chance, but the theme of this season seems to be a lack of goals and we were fruitless in our efforts yet again. While our defense looked fairly solid again, we just don't look at all confident going forward.

The problem with the current team, as has been said by many, is that they play down to the level of our competition. We get up for Chelsea, Roma, Man United, etc; but then we lose to teams like Fulham and Hull City. Take a look here below. I've gone over the points that what we would consider "weaker" clubs have taken from Arsenal this season. It's quite stunning really.

Fulham - 4 points - Lost away, Draw at home
Hull - 3 points - Lost at home, won away
Sunderland - 2 points - Drew home and away
Sp*rs - 2 points - Drew home and away
Stoke - 3 points - Lost away
Boro - 1 point - Drew away

Not to mention the loss at home to Villa, the five straight league draws in a row, and more. All those teams I listed above are in the bottom half of the table and are teams we should be taking maximum points off of, especially at home, yet we have taken less points or the same amount of points from all six of those teams.

The most frustrating part of the whole season is that this team doesn't really have an identity. Half of the time we can't defend a lead against anybody (the 4-4 against Sp*rs comes painfully to mind) and now this second half of the season we can't score against some of the worst teams in the league. So is this Arsenal team one that can only do one thing at a time, whether it be attack or defend? Wenger buys Arshavin to help us score more goals yet we can't win any matches once he's in the team. I'm not blaming Arshy by any means, because he's been decent for us, but the fact is that buying Arshavin hasn't helped us to win matches at all.

The good news in all of this of course is that our injured players will all be returning in the somewhat near future. Walcott, Theo, Eduardo, Rosicky (hopefully) and Cesc are all big players from us that should be back in the coming month or so. When they all return that will take Bendtner, Eboue, and Song all out of the team which can't possibly be a bad thing.

We play West Brom tomorrow, another weak team that we need to beat. We actually beat them 1-0 the first match of the season, and I'd take another 1-0 win for us in a heartbeat. We've said lots of matches are must win matches lately, but I'd say this is the final must win. If we blow this one and lose or draw, we can go ahead and make plans for the UEFA Cup next season, although we really need to watch out for Everton who are sneaking up on us for 5th place.

Even Arsene Wenger seems at a loss lately, which is something I've never seen before from him. If you listen to his press conferences he really seems bewildered, and if he is bewildered then everyone is. It is his job to right the ship here though, so we have to hope he can do it quickly. Come on you Gunners.

Cheers all. Oh yeah and Justin I added your link. I've been meaning to do it before now but there you go. Oh and by the way wasn't it great watching Sp*rs miss out on the Carling Cup, even if it had to be to United? Love it. Peace.