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April 2008

2 English teams in Euro Final: disaster for Europe; but Henry might return

There is a hilarious piece on the Daily Mail’s web site saying that the Euro Final should be held in England. What the writer forgot to do was to read up any of the recent stuff about where Euro Finals are held.

None can be held in the UK, because UEFA and FIFA demand that […]

“I’ve never heard of Arsenal” – Blatter

The name of Sepp Blatter, top man in FIFA, is most generally linked with his fetish about suspenders and women’s shorts, corruption, bribery, and the comments by a judge in the American courts that FIFA lies and lies and lies in its dealings with the outside world. You can get some of the background on […]

Four Arsenal players in Premiership Team of the Year

Here is the official Premiership Team of the Year as voted by the players in the Premiership…

David James (Portsmouth) Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd) Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd) Gael Clichy (Arsenal) Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd) Ashley Young (Aston Villa) Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal) Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

So […]

Derby County 12 Arsenal Reserves 20

That was shots – which shows why people think Arsenal are entertaining – you get lots and lots of action.

OK Derby are fairly feeble, and they have a belief rating at somewhere around minus 20 on the Belief Rating scale, but still, not everyone puts six goals past them while playing a reserve team […]

What’s wrong with football 1: The fans

Trying to take a view on fans over a lifetime of watching Arsenal is difficult – but for me, personally, football is going wrong when the fans become more important than the club and the team.

Of course I like it when the Emirates is noisy, and I like the funny songs, and the jokes […]

Why the newspapers never understand Arsenal’s sales.

Wenger sells players. He sells players we want him to sell, such as Stepanovs, Wray, and Boa Morte. And then he sells players we are shocked to see go. Vieira, Henry, Petit…

It is always a shock, but six months later, it is always clear why he did it.

Of course the newspapers always react […]

Schizophrenic FA shows contempt for Eduardo

Eduardo, as you may recall, was violently assaulted while playing for Arsenal against Birmingham City. As a result the player who committed the assault was given a three match ban.

Now Hleb, the Arsenal player, has been given exactly the same punishment for a dainty tap on the face of a Reading player.

So there […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 8: Wenger & the £££££

To understand what is going on at Arsenal you have to understand a decision that Wenger made upon arrival. He was offered a pot of money at the start, and he spent some of it on players like Vieira, Grimandi etc. That got a lot of attention in the press.

What got less attention was […]

Arsenal 12 Reading 2

That was a bit more like it – 12 shots on target to the opposition’s 2, and another 8 shots off target (again to the opposition’s 2.) That is the same sort of stats that we used to see through the good part of the season – until the violent attack on Eduardo and a […]

Arsenal curse begins to hurt Birmingham City FC

The Arsenal Curse is rarely used – for its power can be significant and there is always a danger that the innocent might get hurt. But the attack on Eduardo and the subsequent actions by the Birmingham City management in fighting off any enquiry was so awful that we couldn’t let it all just slip […]

Arsenal v Reading; Bikey, Gilberto and the stretcher bearer

There is something utterly wonderful about Andre Bikey. He is the only man ever in the entire history of football to be sent off for assaulting a stretcher bearer – and that is something unique to have on your CV.

It happened during the Africa Cup of Nations Semi-Final in which the […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 7: The ground

The Emirates is a great stadium – but that’s not the half of it. The benefits we have got from the planning and organisation that went into the new stadium are easy to forget – so here are some:

The research was done properly. No one really knew if Arsenal would fill a 60,000 stadium […]

FIFA ask for rule change to stop Arsenal

According to a report from Reuters, Sepp Blatter is going to try and force through his plan to limit the number of non-national players in football clubs. From Arsenal’s point of view this means a maximum of five non-English players in any one game.

This development would be against the law within the EU which […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 6: Injuries

At the end of 2006/7 – our first season in the Emirates – there was a long spell where we couldn’t find a forward. Everyone was injured and we played games with a loan midfielder up front.

We really thought – surely 2007/8 won’t be this bad – Van Persie won’t be so injured, Henry […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 5: The media

There is little doubt that the collection of ex-players and failed managers who make up the pundit trail, have got virtually no idea what makes Arsenal tick.

Their prediction for 2007/8 was universally one of failure – failure to secure a European place next season, failure to get within a million miles […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 4: The board

Remember all that hype about Arsenal being sold to the Russians. About Dein upsetting everything. About Usmanov getting 25% of the club and then doing… well, what exactly?

One of the great things about British football journalists is that they make stuff up. Like saying that when Usmanov has 25% of Arsenal, he owns Arsenal. […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful 3: the players

We have a squad, and it has some rather good players in it. What’s more it is the youngest squad in the league – between 13 and a staggering 38 years younger than the first team squad of other top teams. It means there is a lot to come from them.

Coming up we’ve got…


Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful part 2: The money

A couple of years ago there was one financial story about Arsenal – the club was bust. It had over-stretched itself with the grand plans for the new ground, the bubble was bursting, Henry was finished, it was all over.

Now we can see exactly what the story is. Arsenal have more money than everyone […]

Arsenal’s reasons to be cheerful (part 1)

A year ago we had a team that was falling apart. Henry had been injured and looked lost – as well as having personal troubles. We were even doubtful about making 4th in the league, and there was talk of Tottenham over-taking us.

We’d previous lost Vieira, and clearly Henry was going to go – […]

Birmingham post-Eduardo assault; a club in freefall

Just before the dreadful tackle that could have caused Arsenal’s Eduardo to have a leg amputated, Birmingham City FC was just another struggling EPL club.

Since that moment the world for the club has turned upside down. Numerous people tried to have an investigation into the awful attack on Eduardo, and for a while it […]

Arrests at club that crippled Eduardo

Birmingham City FC, the club whose player took Eduardo out of football for at least nine months has been raided by the police.

After the attack on Eduardo there was a strong attempt to have a FIFA investigation into the tackle and the club, with the hope of long-term action being taken. In the end […]

Kronenke buys more of Arsenal

ITV has sold its 50% share in Arsenal Broadband to Stan Kronenke who already owns a chunk of the club. It was ITV which sold its 9.9% stake in Arsenal last April to KSE..

Although this does not give Kronenke a higher number of shares in the club it does show his complete committment […]

Kicks, pushing, fouls, long balls – the Hoofs played at the Emirates

It was fairly awful. Endless pushing and shoving. Ankle taps, elbowing, and the long balls up the pitch. And a ref who really couldn’t grasp that this was not how football was supposed to be.

Yup – the Hoofs (also known as as Liverpool FC) were back in town for another boring, horrible exposition of […]

Two huge signings for next season at Arsenal

Arsenal are now certain to have two new major players for next season. They will of course be ignored by the media, who will bang on about Arsenal not signing players, but their names will be known to Arsenal fans.

The first is Mexican Vela who signed in 2007, but who played this season […]

Arsenal will put out a reserve team against Liverpool

Arsenal FC have decided to play a reserve team against Liverpool in the EPL on saturday. There will be no Sagna, no van Persie, no Rosicky, no Adebayour, no Eduardo.

With five major figures missing the chances are that Arsenal will use Walcott and Hleb as an alternating midfield/ forward duo alonside Bendtner.

Wile Arsenal […]