Good morning friends of Le Grove, Arsenal blog to the working class masses of yesteryear. Welcome to Tuesday, a day famous for match previews… and Monday night match reviews. Not today though. Why? Because there’s no match tomorrow and there was no match yesterday.
So what shall we talk about? How about corruption in the game? Yeah, sounds like a good start…
So, Europe has been ripped open by a Europol investigation into betting cartels. Up to a million matches over the past 5 years could have been rigged in a very sophisticated gambling cartel master plot. There’s one game in the UK that’s under investigation. That was a Liverpool game against Debrecen. From what I can tell, the only reason it raised so much suspicion is because Fernando Torres scored a goal. You can imagine how hard it must have been for a keeper to offer up a sitter to that man.
Anyway, I spoke to a prominent journo this morning who informed me that there’s not a lot of heat on the English game, though one referee might be feeling hot under the collar. Interesting that he reckoned there are players that have been involved in dodgy dealings over the years. Not so much referees for a few reasons. Firstly, they’re mostly on six figure salaries… who’d be that desperate for cash that they’d risk the glamour and cash (referees are getting laid believe it or not)? Secondly, it’s not really in our culture to take bungs. I think the shame it would bring on a person to get caught disrespecting the greatest game on the planet would be too big a turn off for most Brits. I know there are always exceptions to the rule… but compared to some European countries, I think we have far less tolerance for the backhander.
I’m always open to them though. You want me to write positively about you two bob brand, just tell me how much budget you have.
On a totally different topic, I really, really like Tesco Value burgers. They’re so succulent and tasty. A fine dish for any day of the week.
Back onto the football. Theo Walcott has come out defended his manager in the wake of me calling him a sadist. He said that he actually enjoyed the weekends game… you know, the getting kicked about.
“I enjoyed getting whacked around the other day at Stoke,”
You kinky ba*tard…
I like comments like that. Anyone who has played Sunday League to a bad standard will know what he’s talking about. You like to know you’ve been in a game. As long as the challenges are fair, you generally don’t mind if the game is a bit rough. Football is a contact sport… someone shoves you, you shove them hard back and pinch their nipple when helping them up. It’s what men do. Arsenal fans and their disgust for a bit of rough and tumble is a bit weak. Bar that Shawcross challenge at the weekend… I thought the game was ok. It ran nicely… we won.
Wenger once again proved that when the chips are down, he thrives on winding the fans up. Firstly, this is what he had to say on scouting the ACN.
“We worked very hard on it, we were everywhere. I would have loved to take somebody else but we didn`t find anyone.”
To be honest, I’m not fussed we’re not signing players who are at a competition that goes on mid-season. However, it did strike me that we couldn’t find anyone at a whacking great tournament. The standard of African football is still pretty poor, but there are some seriously good players who come out of the continent. I find it a bit scary Wenger couldn’t even muster a wry smile… ‘we don’t give away our targets’… type comment.
Anyway, he saved the best for last…
“In the Africa Cup of Nations, the best player is Gervinho. It`s simple. Why should we go there when the best player is Gervinho? We already have Gervinho.’
INCREDIBLE! Gervinho is a player who boasts pretty shoddy technique and the inability to stand up when running in a straight line. He’s really not a great player. He’s a bit of a scatter brain. Does Wenger really think saying things like that are going to do anything else other than lead to Gervinho getting ripped by his team mates? Because that’s what footballers will do. It’ll also reflect badly with the rest of the Arsenal squad.
‘Did you hear Arsene say Gervinho is Africa’s best player?’
‘Yeah, what a mentalist… do you reckon this is a good time to ask for £80k a week?’
‘Sebastian, I think you’ve pushed it far enough, but I’d give it a go regardless’
In other news, Michael Owen escaped a ban from the FA for his punch… I am, however, reliably informed that the ‘Man up’ Police raided his house at 4 a.m and confiscated his testicles on suspicion of throwing a ‘sister’ punch. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of that case…
In transfer news, Cavani has been quote in the press talking nonsense.
“Arsenal? I didn’t follow anything personally, I discover now. Now in Naples, along with my teammates, we try to give a dream to the people.
“My future? I have four years of my contract but in football you never know where you end up and what to expect. But I think only of the present and work to get better.”
Give a dream to the people? What are you talking about? Still, he said you never know. That’s what my dad said when I asked for go-kart. I’m still waiting…
A player who we won’t be seeing is Dutch Moroccan midfielder Adam Maher. He’s said…
I have already said that I do not want to go [to Arsenal]. I want a good stay in the Netherlands, at least another two to three years – I am only 19,”
Bad times. He wants to go to PSV. He’s scored some goals, he plays in midfield and I can confidently tell you what he’d look like in an Arsenal kit.