Daily Round-up 31/07/07

Evenin’ all.  Hope you’ve had a good day.  Have you?  Bet you’ve not had to spunk a wedge of your shiny new pay packet on car tax like I have.  Stupid car.  Stupid tax.  Stupid government.  Gah!  And what the hell is with those tax discs?  Why can you not rip along the perforations without ripping the disc itself?  What’s the point in them being round anyway?  Where is the need for the roundness and the ripping?  Square tax discs is what I say.  I shall call them Squiscs™©.

Right then.  In non tax related news…it’s all gone quiet again.  Except on Arsenal.com.  They gone news-mental over there.  Of particular interest is this from Lukasz Fabianski, saying that he wants the No. 1 spot.  Fair enough I guess.  You can’t really blame a player for wanting to be the best in his position at his club, can you?  The thing is, he didn’t feature in the Emirates Cup games games so you’d have to think that Arsene is going to use him as third choice this season, probably rotating him with Manuel Almunia in the Carling Cup games.  However, Manuel has been looking in tippity tip top form this summer so maybe there might be a bit of rotation in the league between hm and Jens.  What is clear is that Jens is on the 30+ 1 year contracts now and did look like he might leave at one point, so contingency planning would b no bad thing.  I’ll miss that krazy kraut when he does go.  Not only is he a good ‘keeper, but he’s pure comedy genius too.  And his experience is invaluable as the age of the team seems to be getting younger and younger.  But Wenger has given Fabianski a glowing endorsement, so we might yet see him between the sticks for a few league matches.

Man of the moment, Robin Van Persie, has said that Arsenal can win things this season.  And he’s right.  We can.  He decided to elaborate on that sentiment however, and said to Arse.com,

“Football is not about age. It’s not about money. Football is about if you want to run for each other, if you want to fight for each other, if you want to really play some ball… We are young. So what? Age doesn’t matter. It’s about the way we play football and the way we like to play together.”

This soundbite-tastic statement from Robin is kind of a bit obvious, insofar as it’s the sort of thing you would expect him to say, as every man, woman and child wants to talk to him after that goal.  That doesn’t mean he’s wrong though.  Read more here.

The fianl offering (that I can be bothered to mention) from the offical website lists the possible opposition, and who we’ll avoid in the Champions League qualifiers.  Now, there are a lot of options, and if you expect me to write them all down then you don’t know me very well.  Not even a tiny bit.  Jump from here.

In transfer news, Jose Reyes has actually gone to Athletico Madrid.  Not the Madrid team he wanted, but he’s trying to make out it is.  Never mind Jose, it will be just as sunny as in the Bernabeu.  What is slightly annoying, is that although the fee is undisclosed, it will unlikely be as much as we paid Seville for him.  Still, it’s good to finally get rid of what can only be described as a massive pain the the collective Arse(nal) hole.

More comedy as AC Milan join the list of clubs with blind managers and board members.  Why do they keep doing this?  Is it a joke?  Seriously, is it?

Finally, Myles Palmer has decided to write something about the signing of Pedro Silva…weeks after I and many, many others have.  OK, so he actually didn’t write it himself, but it’s his site so…  He also reckons we should sign Ricardo Quaresma.  No shit, Sherlock.  I wonder where I’ve heard that before?

Right, time for me to do the Frank.  Thanks for allowing me to waste your time.  Have a good ‘un

Will Van Perise Goal Propel Him Inter Big Time?

Hello one and all.  I trust you are well?

You should be, seeing as Arsenal won their first trophy of the season yesterday!  Whatever happens over the next 10 months, we will finish the season with something in the trophy cabinet.  Can it get any better than that?  Well yes, yes it could.  A lot.  Let’s not belittle the fact we’ve beaten PSG and Inter Milan, but realistically all we’ve done is win 2 ‘friendlies’ on the spin.  Hardly earth shattering and let’s face it, the Emirates cup is hardly the Champions League.

What we can take away from the tournament is that there were some good individual displays from some of (what we hope will be) the key players for the 07/08 season.  We’ve seen Emmanuel Eboue show that he can prove a menace to defences playing on the right wing, we’ve seen Clichy do the same on the left.  Alex Hleb has been good so far in not demonstrating the flaws that wound us all up last season, Abou Diaby has looked quality in the centre of midfield, Bacary Sagna has shown that he combines all the good stuff of Eboue and Lauren but none of the bad and Niclas Bendtner has shown that there is reason to hope that he can be an asset for us up front.

Crucially though, it has been Robin Van Persie that has stood out head and shoulders above the rest, including the established stars, to really gives us hope that we can challenge for titles next season.  2 goals against Genclerbirligi and a breathtaking strike against Inter show that Robin is firing on all cylinders and is just the man to step forward and be counted, and carry on from where he left off last season.  Before his injury against Man Utd, RVP was joint top scorer in the league and was on red hot form.  I firmly believe that had he not got crocked, we would have easily finished third.

 I remember a few years back, there was this little Italian kid who everyone thought would do special things.  He’d be labelled ‘The New Baggio’ and what not, but he hadn’t quite made it into the super star status people thought he would.  That was until one night in the Champions League (against Rangers I think) when he was stuck against the left touchline with nowhere to go, near enough facing his  own goal.  In the blink of an eye he’d turned his man, swivelling on his left foot, dragging the ball in an arc with his right – the old pig’s bladder never leaving contact with his foot for a nano-second – and he was on his way.  This was the moment that people in England sat up and began to notice this kid.  Who was it?  A diminutive little magician called Alessandro Del Piero.

Yesterday afternoon, Robin Van Persie repeated the trick Del Piero had used all those years ago, and finished it with a blistering strike with his weaker foot.  All those that doubted we had the cutting edge without Thierry Henry should pay attention.  It’s very possible that in that short moment when Robin made Toldo curse his left and centre backs for being made to look foolish, that he has finally arrived as the Robin Van Persie we’ve all been waiting for.  With elements of both Henry and Bergkamp in him, Robin is the man to do the business for us.  He can link the play and he can score the goals.  Let’s just hope that he does make the step up up to the big time.

Also, I’d like to say a big ‘well done’ to Kieran Gibbs.  I thought he had a good game on the left side.  Sure he made a few mistakes, but in all, I thought he did himself proud to play as he did against a team with the stature of Inter Milan when he’s only 17.  Fair play to you Gibbsy – keep it up and you could find yourself playing a lot more often.

 Arsene was understandably pleased with the result.  Did anyone else notice his wry smile when interviewed on the pitch?  You could tell he was thinking “here’s one in your eye” for all those doubters who’ve criticised his youth and transfer policy.

In tranfer news, The Lassana Diarra rumours persist.  He is apparently not going to renew his contract and move to us on a free or for a reduced price this summer.  I have to say that I rate him, but do we really need him?  With the other midfielders we have, can we really give him the first team football he wants?

Jose Reyes is off to Athletico.  Allegedly.  I’ll believe it when I see it.  Don’t get me wrong, it could well happen, but he’s been linked with every single club under the sun in the last month or so and I find it hard to believe anything about his move at the moment.

Kerrea Gilbert is off on loan to Southend.  It’ll be interesting to see how Hoyte gets on this coming season, because Gilbert is highly rated at The Emirates and with the signing of Sagna, there really is room for only one back up fullback.

Ok, I think I’m done.  Thanks for reading

Emirates Cup Stuff And That

Argh!  There is nothing more annoying than having to re-install software so you can spend a little time blogging about your favourite football team.  I think Netgear are excellent and it is probably my prehistoric machine that is a fault (hello, Santa, are you listening..?) but when you try and update the wireless adapter software and it downloads only to tell you that it fails a validation check, smashing the tower case with your head seems like a reasonable option.  Thing is, it only dents a bit, and your head dents a lot so there is only ever going to be one winner.  But I take pride in knowing I gave it my best shot.  Still hurts a bit though.  However, the sun’s out so beer garden anaesthesia is a distinct possibility.

So to day sees the opening game of the Emirates cup, and the boss has promised us strong teams will be fielded.  However, what with Ade, Theo and Tomas all injured/otherwise crocked, Gilberto off on holiday and Eduardo apparently not having a permit to work, it looks like the teams won’t be as strong as we first hoped.

Eduardo can’t play because the game is in England.  Some people reckon that he can play because it’s only a friendly, but other’s reckon that it still counts as work and therefore he is subject to the normal work permit regulations.  I have to say, I do find it odd that the player has been signed and has already played a part in 2 games in Austria, yet he doesn’t have a work permit.  When Arsene thought that Baptista could actually play football, part of the reason the deal fell through was because of work permit issues, so why has Eduardo been signed when it’s not all straightened out?  Seems a bit weird, no?  He’ll probably get some more game time in Amsterdam and after that it will hopefully be all sorted and we can get back to seeing Dudu in front of goal.  And I’m not talking Jeremie Aliadiaire.  AW is confident that there won’t be any problems with it, so you’d have to think that’s why he pushed the signing through without the permit being in place.

So with us missing all the players that are missing it’s easy to miss the fact that we aren’t missing Niclas Bendtner.  I’m expecting him and RVP to get the full 90 today.  This is a good chance for Bendtner to show us what he can really do and impress the boss while he’s at it.  I think that from what I saw of him in The Championship last season, he looks like a good finisher and a good target man.  He does that the pace of Adebayor, but overall their game is very similar.  However, I am not alone in thinking that he needs to up his work rate to that of something approaching Ade’s to prove really useful.  Perhaps playing in the Premiership for Arsenal will inspire him to do so.  I hope he does because he’s proved he can score goals, even at international level, so to see him fail at Arsenal would be a shame.

It’s also a good chane for Robin to hone his skills for the beginning of the league season.  He was scoring well last season before he got crocked and there’s every chance that he can go on this season carrying that form over.

The game kicks off at 16:15 GMT and is on ATVO (4pm) and Sky Sports 2 (knowing Sky the build up program will start at about 2pm, when they will proceed to talk for 2 hours and 14 minutes about Ronaldinho playing for PSG once, and how they’re French and so is Thierry Henry who doesn’t play for Arsenal)

In other news, Jose Antonio Reyes’ agent has said that he doesn’t think Jose will go to Lyon, which is interesting as reports are coming in that Real Madrid and Arsenal have agreed a fee for the player.  9.2 million Euros does seem a bit crap but it’ll probably rise depending on appearences etc.

The Di Maria saga, whilst getting extremely tedious, seems to have reached a solution.  It appears that Benfica have secured the signature of the Argentine.  To be honest, I don’t really care anymore if he comes to us or not.  To say that negotiations are going well, and then to sod off to another club is a bit Reyes-esque and amidst all the shenannigans with hoax hoaxes etc I’ve kinda lost the will to give 2 shits about it.  Hopefully he’ll be crap and Benfica will be gutted that he’s not the Simao replacement they had hoped for.

Arsene has also responded to the comments made by Freddie Ljungberg.  He said,

He was a great fighter and did extremely well for us. The club did very well for Freddie. But football is a team sport. I didn’t make any promises. The company works well when everybody does what he’s responsible for. The player is responsible for his performance in the team, not the policy of the club

Fair play gaffer.  I would’ve been less diplomatic, and probably said something the papers would’ve had a field day with.  But then I’m not the manager of Arsenal FC.  Yet.

Ok, I’m absolutely starving.  All these software issues and stuff really work up your appetite.  It’s a wonder that more computer geeks aren’t fat.  Wait.  Oh

Clichy Puts The Boot In – Reyes – Rosicky – Captaincy

I noticed that yesterdays post was a bit all over the place.  I would like to blame the hosting or net gremlins, but I can’t.  It was just me being a ‘tard.  Apologies, and thanks to those that took great pleasure in pointing out my inability to use WordPress.  I blame using IE instead of Opera.  Yup, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

 That aside, there isn’t a lot going on today, so this will be a quick one.

Gael Clichy has spoken out in retaliation to the comments made by Freddie Ljungberg upon joing West Ham.  Clichy is clearly narked about Freddie saying the club lacks ambition, and in his reposte said,

I don’t think Arsenal lack ambition.  I don’t know why Freddie said that.

“He has had nine great seasons with Arsenal and he’s entitled to his opinion but I’ve got a different opinion.

“For two years we hear Arsenal are not competitive any more but last season we won both matches against Manchester United and drew both against Chelsea with what is supposed to be a young team, so I don’t know what’s wrong with that.

“We know we’ve got the quality, the strength. Everyone is confident, we have signed great players and we are going to have a great season.”

Too bloody right.  It does seem to be conveniently forgotten that against the bigger teams in the league we had a good record and like Arsene said, if you made a mini-league of the top 4 teams, we’d be at the summit.

The Daily Mail is going some way to redeeming itself in my eyes, by saying lots of nice things about Eduardo.  Hopefully they will be saying the same things come May time.  They are also running an interview with ol’ purple nose, Alex Fergusson.  What is interesting is where he says in response to a question about Utd’s rivals, that we have signed “a striker, a midfielder and a defender”.  A midfielder?  Really?

Confirmation that Tomas Rosicky’s hamstring isn’t seriously injured can be found on Arsenal.com.  This is good.  As I said yesterday, I am expecting big things from the Czech technician this season and if he can manage to stay injury free then I am sure there will be a lot of superlatives flying about regarding him.  I can’t wait for the Real Madrid rumours to start.

The Reyes saga continues.  This is getting seriously old now.  He’s a good player and proved he is worth more than the handful of magic beans Real have offered, so why it is taking so long to find a new club for him is baffling.  However, Lyon are the newest side alledgedly interested , and should offer more than the piss-taking £8million Real have tabled.

Finally, I omitted to mention yesterday that Billy Gallas was given the captain’s armband for the Salzburg game.  Why?  Could be because Kolo was a late addition after Djourou pulled out.  Could be because Arsene is thinking about giving him the job full time.  The boss said,

William has all the ingredients needed to be a captain along with Kolo (Toure) and Gilberto. He has a lot of experience.

“Also centre back is the best position to captain the team because you are in a position to see all the problems on the pitch. It is a better position than a centre forward or a wide player.”

Crikey.  Billy G as captain?  Not on my watch.

Ok, that’s yer lot for tonight.  I do so hope you all have smashing evenings