Tuesday, 31 May 2011

IL BUNO IL BRUTTO IL CATTIVO

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Before I get on the plane I thought I would look back at the Season; not all doom and gloom style though. I’m reflecting on the good bits (yes I know they were few and far between) as well as the dirge.

 
GOALS
1st PRIZE “Arrrrrshaaaaviiiiiiiiiiin!”- V Barcelona. A sweeping example of hitting them on the break
Honourable mentions
RVP- V Barcelona- Scoring through the eye of a needle
Nasri v Fulham-Individual skill and a ridiculous spin
Walcott V Chelsea- A nail in the coffin of the Chelsea hoodoo
Ramsey V Manchester United- A sweet return for the Welshman reminds us that there’s nothing quite like beating Man U.

 
BLUNDERS (Where to begin)
1st PRIZE Almunia- body checking Squilacci at the Hawthorns
Dishonourable mentions
Fabregas-handling in the area against Sp*rs
Eboue-Against Liverpool in the 102nd minute; what was he thinking?!
Diaby-reacting to Barton, and not even hitting him properly, and being sent off against Newcastle
Fabianski-Doing a Shilton against Andy Carroll
Koscielny/Szcezny-Carling Cup confusion
 
GOOD GAMES
1st PRIZE ARSENAL V BARCELONA ECL
Honourable mentionsARSENAL V CHELSEA PL
ARSENAL V MANCHESTER UNITED PL

MANCHESTER CITY V ARSENAL PL
SP*RS V ARSENAL CC

 
BAD GAMES-poor performances and general lack of common sense
FIRST PRIZE ARSENAL V SP*
RS PL
Dishonourable mentions
ARSENAL
V WIGAN PL
ARSENAL
V BLACKBURN PL
ARSENAL V ASTON VILLA PL
ARSENAL
V SUNDERLAND PL
 
UGLY GAMES-Debacles!
1st PRIZE NEWCASTLE UNITED
V ARSENAL PL
Dishonourable mentions
STOKE
V ARSENAL PL
ARSENAL
V LIVERPOOL PL

BOLTON V ARSENAL PL

 
PLAYERS GOOD
1st prize Jack Wilshere-Thrust into the spotlight and showed star quality
RVP- 18 since January an injury prone star

PLAYERS BAD-hopeless
1st Prize Almunia-incompetence personified
Squialacci-just because
Fabianski-and accident waiting to happen
Most of the squad

PLAYERS UGLY-legends in their own minds
1st Prize Denilson-did nothing and did it badly
Dishonourable mentions
Eboue-the joke isn’t funny
Bendtner-If you were that good you would have scored at Camp Neu (mitigation; he’s not a winger though)
Most of the squad
Special mention to the Manager Arsene Wenger, without whom this would not be possible.

Adios.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Sunday, 29 May 2011

NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS

Far be it for me to reach into the larder and select a can of Heinz worms in tomato sauce and then apply the Brabantia can opener to them with the express purpose of opening said can, but, yesterdays post garnered some responses bordering on the hysterical. Oh, dear it seems that one must not, repeat, must not challenge the status quo vis a vis his nibs.

Of course his holiness is an exceptional player, and at present there is no argument that he is not the best player in the world. Although whenever these pronouncements are made it is usually designated to a player plying their trade in Europe, those actually playing in South America still remain rather unknown to most.

It’s also clear that Barcelona are the best team in Europe; they’ve proved that.

My point is still that being the best does not mean I have to like him; I don’t. That’s my opinion and I would guess that anyone who takes time to express an opinion in writing has the right, nay the duty, to write what they think.

Courting a little bit of controversy is not a bad thing and yesterday’s view certainly seems to have done that, thankfully. I will leave the predictable praise bordering on obsessional man love to Clive Tydsley whose commentary on the Champions League final was an excruciating example of obsequious flattery bordering on limerence, towards the diminutive doyen.

As for arsenalism; little old me will continue to write what I want, put it out there and see what bites.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A RIGHT OLD MESSI

I don’t like Lionel Messi. There I’ve said it, I have gone and stated that the chosen one; the greatest ever player to pull on a pair of socks doesn’t do it for me. Le Petit prince, the Little Argentinean gets on my nerves.
Why? You may say. I’m glad you asked. I don’t like the fact this he has the same first name as Lionel Blair, let’s face it since when has a top sportsman been called Lionel? I don’t like the fact that he has the hair cut of a 1970’s US college nerd. I don’t like his face either; for a so called legend he’s no Beckham, Ali or Pires. He looks like a stout Copernicus. I don’t like the fact that he looks so pleased with himself when he scores; he does not celebrate in a cool way. In fact, on the subject of cool, he is so unutterably uncool; which is not cool.

I don’t like the fact that he plays for a club that are as pleased with themselves as he is. A club that competes on an unfair playing field, a club that has players such as Daniel Alves who is to sportsmanship what Hitler was to childcare. I don’t like the way he runs; like a plump toddler speeded up on super 8 film.

What I also don’t like about Messi is that he is being compared to Pele, Maradonna and Zidane; do me a favour! Win a World cup, win a league that is contested fairly by more than two teams then we can talk about it. All the above mentioned were around when there were more than a dozen absolute quality players knocking about yet they managed to be the cream of the crop.

What I dislike the most about him is that he has attained the status of a Christ like figure within a footballing landscape where there is little competition for the title of greatest; there has never been such a dearth of truly world class players as there is now.

So come on all you disciples of Messi, show a bit of perspective; yes he’s good, there’s no denying that, but let’s make judgements later down the line.

And if you think I have been unreasonable in my dislike, then you are wrong; I just don’t like Lionel. So there.


20 REASONS WHY FOOTBALL IS EATING ITSELF


POP FOOTBALL WILL IS EAT  EATING ITSELF
After a deeply frustrating season it is time to reflect. Success tends to feed the fan and, repleat, we head off to summer with a positive view of the season to come. When things don't work out to plan there is space for reflecting. I feel dissillusioned; not just with Arsenal but with the beautiful game in general. I believe that things will come to a head, South Sea bubble like, as things continue the way they have been going. Greed is king in the football game and there has never been such a disparity in the sport, between the people involved in it and the man/woman on the street who keeps the faith. I think that there are many reasons why a gluttinous sport is eating itself. Here are twenty reasons; I'm sure there are more. 


  1. FIFA-Corruption in high places
  2. EUFA-An unfair playing field
  3. Agents-Parasitic creators of player power
  4. Players-Little lord Fauntleroy syndrome
  5. Club Corporate-draining the cash at all costs
  6. Marketing-New Kits and panties
  7. The FA-Meaningless fixtures and short sight
  8. Branding-B52 wears pink shoes ergo: kids want them
  9. Champions League Final tickets-Robin Hood in reverse
  10. Season Ticket prices- don’t like it? Someone else will take your place, so there!
  11. Stadium naming rights-Sell your soul for a pot of gold
  12. TV-You’ll play when we tell you; sod the inconvenience
  13. Simulation-call it what it is; cheating!
  14. Plastic glasses-Never trust a Football supporter
  15. Alcohol free European night- Never trust an English Football supporter
  16. Catering-Good food reasonably priced anyone?
  17. Match day Announcers-Fake and embarrassing
  18. Tweeting Players-Nothing better to do with your ego?
  19. Programmes-Bland, costly and soul less
  20. Contempt for fans- Don’t matter what you think; they don’t care!
Things will only get worse before we reach crisis point. Modern Football is the Mr Creosote of the sporting world and the day that it ingests that last wafer thin mint is just around the corner, with the same messy result.
wafer thin mint

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Invincible underachievers?

Nearly men?
Referenciing Captain Kirk at toboldlygo some may be aghast by that question but a treble was within the grasp of this set of players and tactics & selection cost dear in two games. Firstly, in The Champions League having taken a draw away from Stamford Bridge and scored, courtesy of Reyes in the second leg at Highbury just before half time, Arsenal needed to shut up shop in the second half to progress to the quarter final of an eminently winnable ECL. Failure to do so led to a late Bridges winner and Chelsea progressing and subsequently being knocked out.

Second was the FA cup game against Man Utd and some baffling team selection resulting in an exit. The team did bounce back magnificently against Liverpool at Highbury in the league and go on to claim an unprecedented  unbeaten season though.

It’s noticeable that Ferguson, when speaking of United’s achievements says that he feels the club should have had more success in Europe. That smacks of a winning mentality and a desire to keep on reaching.

When you consider the level of players at the club; winners of World Cups, Titles, European Championships.  Internationals throughout the squad not just the starting eleven; players with a winning mentality , backbone, desire on top of talent you have to say that they should have and could have won the ultimate trophy the Champions League, that this didn't happen puts them into the category of the Dutch Total football side; underachievers at the highest level.
The foundations seemed to have been laid to move forward; Domestic success then European to follow.

For example players like Gilberto, Pires and Lauren could have stayed at the club much in the way that, Scholes, Giggs and Neville did at Man Utd, that experience could have supported the younger set and shown the way. You only have to look at Campbell’s and Lehmann’s  brief returns to see what a ‘mentality’ of success can add.

But that’s conjecture. Had this group not been dismantled so quickly they may have achieved even more. The invincibles could really have  been an unstoppable force.


Monday, 23 May 2011

CAPTAIN QUIZ

QUIZ

It’s the last game of a dissapointing season your Captain is injured would you like to see him at

A)   The game?
B)     In Spain watching the Grand Prix? McLaren's Jenson Button

Answers on a postcard to the usual address

Sunday, 22 May 2011

DRAWING THE CHALK LINE AROUND THE FRESH CORPSE OF A SEASON


And that’s that.

A draw at Craven Cottage brings this most frustrating of seasons to a conclusion.

Played 38, Won19, Drew 11, Lost 8, Goals For 72, Goals against 43.
Those are the stats of the season that matter. The drawn games column makes for grim reading when you consider some of those games and the position we were in against Newcastle, Sp*rs and Liverpool. The games lost column includes some shocking defeats by so called lesser sides; West Brom, Newcastle, Stoke City, Wigan, Bolton and Sp*rs in a game we lead 2-0. So we end the season having to go through a potential banana skin pre-qualifying round of the ECL.
As for the Carling Cup, we lost to a team that have gone on to be relegated. In the FA cup we were undone by virtue of putting in a lack lustre performance. As for the Champions League; after a storming first leg against EUFA’s chosen ones we lacked that bit of quality to take us through.
Even there is also frustration in knowing that we are the only side to have beaten the two teams contending the Champions League final, being top of the nominal ‘Top four’ league and having the best away record in the league.
The autopsy will have to wait for a later time. The season is over and Arsenal have finished fourth with no trophies in the cabinet. What happens next? Who knows? I suspect a long summer of conjecture and wishful thinking awaits.


The Curious Case of Amaury Bischoff

Amaury Bischoff
30th July 2008-20th June 2009

Following the departure of Flamini, Hleb and Gilberto Arsenal signed the Werder Bremen bench warmer, presumably to fill the gap.

He played 26 minutes of first team Premier football
Two appearances as substitute in the league cup and one appearance as sub in the FA Cup

In these games he came on when we were winning 3-0, 2-0, 4-0,3-0

Why he was bought by Wenger and paid for a year is beyond anyone’s knowledge. This is a player that exemplifies the myth of Wenger’s unerring eye for a player. Spotted, bought, barely played, well paid and then released on a free.

When Wenger purchased him he said he was “a gamble on talent” one of many gambles that did not come off for Arsene.

He was another nippy ‘compact’ midfield player that the club has been awash with over the last five years “Killing" players anyone?

Saturday, 21 May 2011

ULTIMATE ARSENAL


ULTIMATE ARSENAL
JENNINGS
RICE
McLINTOCK
ADAMS
COLE
VIEIRA
BRADY
PIRES
ARMSTRONG
BERGKAMP
HENRY

My Ultimate Arsenal what's yours?

Friday, 20 May 2011

DENILSON GONE


Today that master of the ineffectual Denilson (in fact the only thing of note he ever did was have a ridiculous hairstyle for a couple of games) revealed he is leaving Arsenal after his transfer request was accepted. He is on his way to Rio Sunday night apparently. I  imagined myself being the interviewer and this is what I would have said in response to his quotes.

“This has been the worst season of my life and I am so upset, so frustrated. I am a winner and I came here to win trophies but I’ve been here for five years and won nothing.”-Denilson

“No this hasn’t been your worse season; the last four have. You’re not a winner; one has only to look at how you perform. The fact that you have won nothing is directly related to your lack of ability.”-arsenalism

"I was fed up of coming home and feeling down.”-Denilson

“Yes we all were!”-arsenalism

"Let's be honest, some of those games were shocking, shameful. We are better than that. But until Arsenal stop throwing away those silly points in those stupid games nothing will change."-Denilson

“Yes your performances have been shocking and shameful. You are not better than that. Yes you are part of that team throwing away silly points!”-arsenalism

flying down to Rio
What is so funny about all this is that it is Denilson who has asked to leave, rather than the club unceremoniously hurling him out the back door of London Colney with the words “never darken our doorstep again”. His interview about his decision to leave is full of criticism (most of which is true to be fair) but not one iota of recognition as to his own part in Arsenal’s failings. Now he does seem like a nice young man but, good bye son and good riddance. I just hope there are more departures in the weeks to come.
Rio
Chucking out time at AFC

CHEAP HUMOUR

When you do what Arsenal have done this season you set yourself up for cheap humour, and cheap humour is what you get!


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK

Due to incompetence of the highest order Arsenal will, in all probability, be facing a qualifying round for the Champions League. Some of the teams we may have to face are
Bayern Munich
Dynamo Kyiv
Benfica
Villareal
Udinese/Lazio
PSG
Now, given how we have been playing of late would you bank on us qualifying? I for one would find it hard to tolerate Channel 5 late afternoon kick offs and dull trips to Albania.
If that's what happens there is no one to blame but Arsenal football Club. The assumption that the Champions League is a given, sums up all that is currently wrong at the Emirates.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

ENDS OF SEASONS PAST


Hey, anyone remember when the end of season meant something?
That sums it all up on the final home game of a remarkable season 
Patrick scores and the Unbeaten season is complete 
Another comeback to ensure Champions League and leave Highbury on a win
Michael Thomas against the odds
Dennis completes the comeback to clinch Europe

Views, opinions and that...

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