Lehmann – Walcott – Dein

Mornin’ all

Quick one this morning becasue I’m in a rush.

First up, Jens Lehmann has been saying that he’s not bothered by the pressure of the mistakes he has made.  As he makes his first appearence at Wembley for Germany against England tonight, he is stoical about all the talk that has surrounded his high profile errors in his first two Premier League matches of this season.

“After the first minute I had two very good games against Fulham and Sparta Prague. Even on Sunday I felt fine.  So I don’t feel under any pressure at all. I do not read comments which people make about me. I judge myself. That is enough.”

No one can say that Jens is not a professional, and I hope that tonight provides a chance for him to move on and leave behind the stigma of being a bit of a “Teflon”.

Theo Walcott played last night in a game analagous to the one gainst Blackburn.  The England U-21’s faced Romania and drew 1-1, with Theo being booted all over the place.  Is it going to be the norm now for good, quick players to be kicked and hacked until they can no longer play their natural game?  I thought all that died out back in the 70’s.  Yes, football is a man’s game, but it shouldn’t be the case that players can get away with victimising a flighty winger or striker and negate their impact by simply kicking them.  Thankfully, Theo came through it without serious injury and had quite a good game by all accounts.  These U-21 games are very important for the young Englishman, as it provides an opportunity to hone his skills against opposition commensurate with his own ability.  Hopefully this will stand him in good stead for future Premier League appearences where he can build on what he has learned at International level and gain some confidence, which does seem to be his main problem at the moment.

Finally David Dein will be attending this year’s Soccerex.  It will be interesting to hear what Dein has to say when he is inevitably quizzed about what happened at Arsenal.  The format will be a ‘one-on-one’ which I imagine will be a Q&A.  If Joe Public gets to ask the questions, then we might see Mr Perma-tan squiming a little bit.  And who wouldn’t like to see that?

Right, must dash.  Have a good day

UPDATE: Thanks to Arseblogger for pointing out that that Gallas was probably referring to the next France game being 6 weeks away, not his recovery from injury and subsequent return to the Arsenal squad.  Good work sweary-Dublin-based-Arsenal-blogging fella!

And thanks to GilbertoSilver over at Gunnerblog for bringing us the rumour/news that Arsenal have been trialing Honduran winger, Wilson Palacios.  Head over to Gunnerblog for more.

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Gallas – Walcott – Dunn

William Gallas has admitted that his injury is worse than previously thought.  The club reckoned that he’d be out for 3 weeks, but gallas reckons it’s more like 6.  Talking to French paper, L’Equipe, Gallas said,

 “I believe it is over for Italy.  You will not see me again until October. It is a bad blow, it is always difficult to accept, but now I have to rest.”

Right then.  Brilliant.  Captain out injured for a long time.  Hmmmm, where have I seen this before?  To be fair to Billy G, whilst I was all for getting rid of him this summer because of his whinging and his mediocrity last season, he’s turned things around, and has even looked like being quite a good captain.  It is  a blow that not only our captain, but a first choice and experienced centre back will be missing fo such a long time.  Hopefully, Gallas is just telling porkies and it’s really not as bad as he’s making out, but if it is, then we will be seeing a lot of Big Phil Senderos over the next few weeks.  If you cast your minds back 2 seasons, Phil partnered Kolo Toure for a long time and managed to get us to the Champions League final.  He’s a good player, but one who is susceptible to lapses in concentration and these really, really need to be cut out if he’s to make the grade. He does bring ariel prowess to the defence though, and in a team that genuinely lacks height, that cannot be underestimated.  When he gets a good run of games, Phil can look like a class player but he struggles when thrown in at the deep end.  Hopefully breaking him in this season against teams that don’t contain Didier Drogba might be just what he needs, and with hard work on the training ground he could prove some of the naysayers wrong.  If he doesn’t get his act together, we might find ourselves ruing the decision to let Johan Djourou go out on loan.

Whether AW is up to some japery is unclear.  What is clear though is that he has definitely said that he’s surprised that Theo Walcott didn’t make the England squad.

“I was surprised last week when people were talking about a striking crisis in England and nobody mentioned Walcott…”It has taken him some time but now in the last week I can see he is really coming back [from a shoulder injury]” 

Now, Le Boss could be making a subtle joke about Theo’s inclusion in the World Cup squad and all the uproar that caused, or he could be being 100% genuine.  Sometimes it is hard to tell with the laconic Frenchman, but from wha I’ve seen, he really is a big fan of Walcott’s and to be fair he does have a point.  With all the injuries to front men for the Germany game, Theo was in with a shout of selection due to two simple facts:

1. He’s a striker

2. He’s English

He probably doesn’t merit a place on current form, but we all know what he can do on his day, and I’m sure McClaren does too.  He also has the added bonus of being able to play on the wing too.

Finally, hideous git David Dunn has been spouting shite about Arsenal being moaners in the Mirror.

“It’s getting a little bit funny because every time we play Arsenal, they’re the ones who say we’re violent. But we’re not, we’re committed and that’s what you would expect from any team.  It always seems to be the Arsenal camp who come out with that kind of comment. I wouldn’t be so sure Alex Ferguson would say that and he would expect that from his team as well.”

He obviously doesn’t remember 3 days ago and the comments Fergie made about Ronaldo getting lumps kicked out of him.  And will someone tell him that being commited doesn’t constitute allowing your team to foul and cheat your way around a pitch.  When he follows it up with statements like,

“They have better players than us with more ability going through the team so we have to close that gap and make it into a little bit of a battle.”

You can see that the man is as stupid as he looks.

Ok dudes.  That’s it for today.

Peas out.  Or whatever those krazy kidz say

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William Gallas Is No Idiot + Wednesday Round-Up

Stupid work.  Stupid job.  I’m in a really bad mood today, after I started out all bright and cheerful.  I hate it when that happens – you go into work actually not minding being there, and then things happen that make you want to draft a resignation letter and walk out right that minute.  Gah!  I can’t believe I’ve got to go back there tomorrow and suffer it all again.  I sometimes wish I’d been better at football as a kid – then all I’d have to worry about now would be trying not to swerve off the road if I only got offered a £5000 weekly pay rise.

Anyway.  Enough of that.  Onto some football.

Mouthy git, William Gallas, is proving that he’s not stupid.  No, far from it in fact.  The astute Frenchman has realised that the fans were getting a little narked about his constant complaining and mediocre performances, combined with lengthy periods out through injury.  For a player of his obvious talents it was a little galling to hear him criticise the younger players in the team, when he wasn’t showing what he could do on the pitch either.  Now, he’s clearly realised that we expect more from a seasoned international player – thanks in no small part to the power of the internet.  Gallas has hs own website.  He ran a poll recently asking what his most memorable moments were in the season gone.  I don’t know what the winning option was, but I can assure you it wasn’t “His uncontested leadership of the Arsenal defence” or “His magnificent 3 registered league goals”.  More likely, the winning option was “His absence through injury”.  This, combined with the weight of opinion floating around the internet that he was being a dick, must’ve filtered in to the brain of the net savvy Gallas.  Now the Frenchman has become the Official Youth Spokesman™ for the club.  Speaking at a Premier League event, Gallas said,

“This season, the young players really, really want to win one trophy. They won’t be bullied this season. They don’t want people to keep saying Arsenal are just young kids. When I train with them, I don’t see them as young kids. I see only players who are ready to fight.”

Sure, he caveats his comments with “this season”, but it is a nice change to hear one of the most experienced players in the squad get behind his teammates.  For way too long, Gallas was a bit of a twat, insofar as he would constantly blame shift, never admitting that he himself should shoulder some of the criticism that was aimed at the gunners – particularly the defence.  This term, he seems keen to take on that responsibility and with it the currently vacant captain’s role, by adding,

“I have a lot of personality. When I’m on the pitch, I want to win everything. I want to fight because I like to win. I don’t like losing. Sometimes, you have to speak with the other players and explain to them how they can be in joy at the end of the game.”

I’m not really sure who is the best man for the job of captain.  But I reckon Gallas, if he can practice what he preaches, would be a good choice.  And that’s taking nothing away from Kolo or Gilberto, who are both in with a good chance of wearing the armband for next season.

Another player who can’t seem to shut his gob, but for the right reasons, is Robin van Persie.  Henry’s replacement (soundbite-wise) has been bigging up little Theo Walcott.

“I have been practising with Theo since June 18 and I can assure you that he is up for it big time. “When we were doing tests over the summer it was very hard. We were running every day with the fitness coach and I could see it in his face he was really going for it…His ambition is one of the biggest things about him. He is just 18 but I see in him a big, big desire achieve his goals.”

The Guardian is running an article about the 10 best summer signings.  They’re not in any particular order (as far as I can see), but featured among them is a certain Mr da Silva.  It remains to be seen whether he can really live up to the hype generated by his storming season at Zagreb last time around, but the player himself says he’s not afraid of what awaits him ove the coming months.

Arsene Wenger has given his backing to Gael Clichy for a France call-up.  The young left back had a great 06/07 season, and really grew into his role.  In the pre-season he seems to have picked up right where he left off, and augmented this with some great displays playing on the left flank.  If he continues to develope at this rate, and if Gallas can show he’s prepared to step up and put in some big performances, then we will finally be able to laugh at Chel$ki and their “second best left back in the league”.  All the while counting our clean sheets and our extra £5million we found down the back of Arsene’s sofa.

Another player off on loan, this time to Colchester, is Matthew Connolly.  Break a leg, Matthew.  Actually, on second thoughts, don’t

Right.  That’s it for today.  Have a good ‘un

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Its Started Already – Here We Go Again

In the words of the great Homer Simpson; Boring!

There’s not a great deal going on, and rather than re-hash what I wrote yesterday, I decided I just would try and find some news.  I did, but it’s not good.

First up, the return of the striker crisis as Adebayor and Walcott are set to miss The Emirates Cup.  The boys are said to be done in by the heat and exhaustion caused by the Austrian training camp.  Heat eh?  Should’ve stayed in good old Blighty – there’d be no problem with heat.  Water yes.  Heat, definitely not.  So that means that we’ll be seeing a lot of Eduardo and RVP at the weekend, which is a good thing really as I reckon that they’re are best chance of scoring goals next season.  I rate Ade, but just have a hunch that Eduardo will do really well for us this coming season. 

The Pedro Silva and Angel Di Maria thing has re-surfaced and depending on who you believe we signed them both!  Or we haven’t.  Everyone is claimnig they started the rumour, and for all I know they did.  Except they didn’t.  I did.  Except I didn’t.  Confused?  Join the club.

So to avoid looking like a dick (again) here’s a hilariously translated Pedro link and some spanish and translated Di Maria links (here too), and you can make up you own minds – I can’t do it for you.  Although why you’d want to wear make up on your brain is quite beyond me.  How do you even get at it?  Some kind of skull hinge?  That in itself is odd and I encourage you seek medical help.

 Yes, I am struggling to write anything interesting or factual.

Thierry Henry re-signs for Arsenal in £27million deal!  Yeah, ok, that’s just a lie.  Sorry.

Er…any plans for the weekend…?

UPDATE: Found some quotes from Di Maria on ESPN saying he’s in talks with Arsenal.  Quite a reliable source, but then everybody’s prone to being suckered by hoaxes.  Ahem…