Monday, 30 April 2012

CASH OF THE TITANS

I suppose I should mention tonight’s much hyped ‘showdown’ between the two Manchester Clubs. It’s a big game of course and in the last twenty odd years of the Premier league there have been a few of these games, generally involving Manchester United. Chelsea and Blackburn have been involved as have Newcastle but in all honesty there have never been any games that come close to those great clashes between Arsenal & Manchester United.

The intensity and quality of those games were always something to behold, for both clubs. Vieira v Keane, Ljungberg and Giggs, Henry and Van Nistelrooy, Keown & Campbell, Staam & Ferdinand, Wright v Schmeichel, Dennis and Cantona. So many great games and great memories; even reflecting on the games we lost I have to say those games were simply unmissable.
Punch ups and Pizza, amazing goals and contentious decisions, managerial mind games and misdemeanours. Oh how I miss those days.

Coming back to tonight I have never had any antipathy towards Manchester City and still don’t in terms of the club and fans as a whole, however what I would say is that the story of the current Man City challenge is perhaps a timely reminder of the nature of the modern game and the effects of money upon it.

The blueprint was laid down when Abramovich arrived at Chelsea with this impressive CV:

Allegations of blackmail
Allegations of Bribes
Allegations of illegal share-dilution
Arrest for theft
Allegations of loan-fraud
Antitrust law violation in Russia

Don’t get me wrong, it is naïve to think that anyone with the wealth of Abramovich would be squeaky clean, never the less this plutocrat changed things by bankrolling Chelsea so that they turned from a team in blue from a big city who where in the shadow of neighbors in red, to being League winners.

Perhaps then Arsenal Vice-Chairman David Dein summed it up best when he said "Roman Abramovich has parked his Russian tanks on our lawn and is firing 50 pound notes at us"

The same financial impetus arrived at Manchester City, courtesy of Sheikh Mansour, and we have seen another team in blue from a big city who where in the shadow of neighbors in red, becoming League contenders.

The thing that irks somewhat about Man city is that they seem to make allowances for players that smack of a lack of sense and decorum. The tolerance of Balotelli’s oafish behaviour and the allowances made of Tevez, the bickering between team mates and the petulance of players during substitutions all point towards a culture of Big time Charlies. Similar perhaps to Chelsea when Mourinho left. Add to the mix Nasri, who ill advisedly criticised the Arsenal supporters, Adebayor and his antics and you have a club that have become somewhat unlikable. Should they win the League rather than Man Utd I won’t really care if I’m honest. More of a concern would be that it proves once again that money talks and it talks loudly in this league. Arsenal are the quiet ones of the big clubs and maybe we need to clear our throats over the summer and start shouting.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

CROSSING THE LINE




1
 Manchester United
35
26
5
4
86
32
54
83
MAX
92
Manchester United
Club links
Next fixture
v Man City (A) TV & RadioTickets30 Apr 2012
Form guide
HAHAHH
W
Fulham
Powered by EA Sports
2
 Manchester City
35
25
5
5
87
27
60
80
MAX
89
Manchester City
Club links
Next fixture
v Man Utd (H) TV & RadioTickets30 Apr 2012
Form guide
AHAHAA
D
Stoke
Powered by EA Sports
3
 Arsenal
36
20
6
10
68
44
24
66
MAX
72
Arsenal
Club links
Next fixture
v Norwich (H) TV & RadioTickets5 May 2012
Form guide
AHAHHA
L
QPR
Powered by EA Sports
4
 Tottenham Hotspur
35
18
8
9
59
39
20
62
MAX
71
Tottenham Hotspur
Club links
Next fixture
v Bolton (A) TV & RadioTickets2 May 2012
Form guide
AHAHAH
D
Chelsea
Powered by EA Sports
5
 Newcastle United
35
18
8
9
53
46
7
62
MAX
71

6
 Chelsea
35
17
10
8
62
39
23
61
MAX
70


Two fixtures of chilling simplicity; two wins and third place in the Premier League, with European Champions League Qualification, is assured. It won't matter if Chelsea, Newcastle or Sp*rs win all their remaining fixtures. It will matter not one jot if Chelsea win the ECL, we will be planning for Champions League football. Again.
The fact that our destiny is in our own hands is a good thing, yet, make no mistake, we have to win both games. We have to disregard cross cancelling equations, form guides, crystal balls and tea leave reading. The Arsenal just need to go out and win on Saturday, gird our loins and go up to West Bromwich the following weekend and stamp our quality on them. Given that next season is a tipping point we need the ECL as a bargaining tool.

We also need to acknowledge the fact that we have lost (so far) 10 games; that's Over a quarter of our matches! A third place finish would, frankly, be a major achievement. I for one feel that, after our disastrous start, there have been enough members of this team who have responded to adversity and put us in our current position. Sagna at 0-2 in the North London Derby deciding 'f*ck this' and producing that towering header, Vermaelen grabbing a late one, Arteta knocking it past Joe Hart and many others who stood up and where counted.
That's why I believe that if we can just get over that third place line we can regroup over summer and try to get our great club back in the thick of things. That process starts on Saturday against Norwich. Let's make the last game at home a cauldron of support, let's show Delia what "let's be having you" is all about.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

THOUGHTS ON A RAINY DAY

WET & WINDY
Another wet weekend another trip to the home of anti-football. Thing is, Stoke are just one of the many teams in this league who are all about doing the best with a motley crew of players. It's the survival strategy that many a side employs; their task yearly to stay in the top flight by whatever means is within the laws of the game. That Stoke are managed by a boorish oaf and that they fielded a thug who shattered Ramsey's leg gives them a touch of the Pantomime villain. The Arsenal have had these kind of nemesis' before; Bolton Wanderers when managed by Allardyce for example. The trick is to go to these kind of irritating matches, do the job and get the hell out of Dodge. let's hope we handle today like pros and take that further step towards the Champions League.
MANAGING (BADLY)
Seeing the mess that Villa are currently in I wonder just why is it that ex Ferguson players make such awful managers? Take McLeish, Hughes, Bruce, Souness, Keane, Sturrock, Ince and Robson; appaling the lot of them.
BALE OUT?
 Gareth Greatest thing since sliced bread©  Bale has intimated that should Sp*rs fail to qualify for Champions League he may well be off. At what point will footballers take a view that perhaps they are responsible for failure and that they should stick around to make up for it?

Friday, 27 April 2012

adidas arsenal 2nd half

A fair amount of feedback on yesterday's post about adidas and Arsenal. Some preferred Nike as they didn't like the adidas three stripes some thought Nike guilty of many an ill considered idea. Always Nice to have feedback from fellow Arsenal supporters even those that don't agree with me.

I think my age is a factor in my leaning towards the brand as my first pair of football boots were adidas as were my first pair of football trainers; adidas samba.Thinking about my preference for adidas it occurred to me that much of the appeal is by way of association. I have always thought that in the pretty small world of sports branding adidas tended to have a cool connotation; a great deal of it not actually to do with athletes.I remember Bob Marley, Muhammad Ali and Run DMC all resplendent in adidas.

So here's an example of some adidas cool.

Marley
Snoop
Ali
Run DMC
Vader
Ice-T
Castro
Having said that here's
my favourite sports symbol

Views, opinions and that...

To Contact me you can
E-Mail
twitter
@realarsenalism

Loading...