Category Archives: Blogging

The John Terry dossier: Arsenal desperate to face Chelsea captain

OMG! It’s John Terry

Ahead of our crucial match against Chelsea tomorrow, I suppose there’s no news as unavoidable as John Terry’s suspension for making racist comments to Anton Ferdinand.

I’m not one who’s going to go on about Terry being a racist (though I don’t write it off). The UK courts settled that he ‘was not’ a racist, and I can live with that. I can also live with the fact that OJ Simpson didn’t murder his wife and that Joh Bjelke-Petersen wasn’t a crook. But even putting the whole Anton Ferdinand debacle aside, there are plenty of reasons to goad the Chelsea captain on Saturday.

For starters, he’s of despicable character, regardless of what Theo Walcott says. Just ask Wayne Bridge in one of the immortal handshaking snubs. He even wears shin pads underneath his suit. He’s quick to whip said suit off for photo ops when his team-mates win him a Champions League. A trophy he was so determined to spoil by getting suspended for making stupid tackles.

Then of course, there’s the crap he does on the pitch. Arsenal are subject to the ‘same old Arsenal, always cheating’ chants in almost every match, even for fouls that break our players’ legs and ankles. So it’s only natural for the bitter, twisted brat inside of me to point out the odd occasion when it happens from the other side of the fence. Continue reading

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Does Theo still think he’s worth £100K a week?

Theo Walcott’s demands for a £100,000-a-week contract is seriously sticking somewhere awful in my head. I don’t know what his agent is telling him, but in the vain hope he’s looking around the bottom of the barrel of Arsenal blogs (he isn’t), I’d hope some of these home truths become apparent to him.

  1. Theo is not deserving to be Arsenal’s highest-earning player
  2. The team is not reliant on him and thus he should accept a salary more in line with reality
  3. The rumoured £70,000-a-week offer is hardly ‘peanuts’, unless he’s been talking to Ashley Cole
  4. A season spent on the bench won’t get you that move to Chelsea. Liverpool might be a different matter.
  5. His competition for a spot on the Arsenal flank is exceeding him. One is a player who has recovered from the same sort of criticism Theo received (Gervinho), the other is a street smart kid who earns less than him (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain).

Player profile: Theo Walcott

Even within the England squad, Theo has yet to surpass his competition. While age had the beating of David Beckham and mediocrity proved too much for David Bentley, Walcott now finds himself behind the likes of Ashley Young and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Both have pace to burn, but possess greater improvisational skills and acumen than Theo. Young too has a much better sense of where the goal is; a talent Walcott could have possessed with a bit more confidence. Meanwhile Oxlade-Chamberlain comes close to matching Theo’s pace, while adding the brains of a central midfielder. Continue reading

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Anger over Szczesny’s blunder is healthy

Wojciech Szczesny

After a 6-1 thrashing of Southampton in our first home-win of the season, you’d think I’d be a bit of a spoil sport for complaining about the one goal we did let in.

But after Wojcech Szczesny’s howler to allow the Saints a scant consolation goal, I’m still feeling fairly ticked off that it happened at all. Now, for the rest of recorded history, Arsenal’s collective defensive effort will have a black mark on it because of one moment of slack concentration.

I remember feeling similar angst over conceding a consolation goal in the 2009/10 season when Arsenal, comfortably leading 4-0 away to Wolves, succumbed in injury time to a Jody Craddock goal from a corner.

The game was in the bag, the win was never in doubt. It was a great performance by the Fabregas-led side and complaining about a meaningless goal in added time seemed like pulling at straws at the time.

Yet it stuck in the craw. With the win secured, the clean-sheet became the next “primary objective”. It didn’t happen. We failed to show a resolute streak at the back and put a blemish on an otherwise excellent performance.

Today, my feelings on Szczesny’s slip-up are a little different. Two years ago, those frustrations came from wanting to prove the doubters wrong about our porous defence. Today, I have so much more confidence in this team, coached to the sweaty limit by Steve Bould, of smarter defending that Szczesny’s blunder brings out a different anger. Continue reading

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Biglia scouting mission? RVP must be forced to wear purple

Henri Lansbury and Nico Yennaris

I’m back after a lengthy spell away from a computer. WordPress insists that it’s just as easy to blog with its mobile phone app, but I assure you it’s beyond my patience to type out a 500-word, grammatically correct post on a faltering connection.

There hasn’t been that much to report, though. Even Arseblog was forced to write up features so the amount of news floating about was pretty slim.

Nevertheless, Arsenal won the Something Something Something Dark Side friendly cup overnight, beating Anderlecht 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Southampton in two 45 minute matches. Henri Lansbury took his one chance to impress with a well-timed run into the box to smack home a Carl Jenkinson cross against the Belgians, while Gervinho scored a good goal to equalise against the Saints. Continue reading

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Arsenal cast adrift in the ambition economy

Christ, those were the days. The days when a manager would pick a fight with the chairman over £300 a week for a top player.

Ever since those dark years of dropping that gold standard of soccer meritocracy, the footballing world has been sucked into a spiraling economy of ambition, where those at the head of TV rights and oil reserves bring in the big bucks. The day of the pound sterling is long gone and the euro remains on shaky ground.

This is the era of ambition credits. And Arsenal’s ambition credit rating is stuck in a bog.

If the topic of ambition is not coming out of Robin van Persie’s mouth, it’s in Alisher Usmanov’s blatant propaganda open letter to the board, or on The Sun’s forums where every Manc, Spurs and Chav flocks to have a go at Arsenal every day of the week for lacking the stones to play with the big boys. Continue reading

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