Arsenal season ticket price hike rumblings | No left back… no signings?

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Happy Saturday to you all! Arsene Wenger has gone on an all out attack on the television companies for their unfair scheduling practices. I think he’s specifically citing the issues surrounding the Villa game at the moment and he makes a fair point.

‘You cannot have decisive games with one team playing on Friday and then again on Tuesday and another team on Sunday and then Tuesday. That does not work. You can try and convince me that it is right but I can tell you working in football for 30 years, it is not right because it is not fair.’

I agree with what the man is saying here. TV schedules aren’t fair on the fans either. No consideration is given to the people who have to pay out to buy tickets, then have to stomach the cost of switching them over. No one cares that some of us have to work early on the Monday morning… and would prefer not to be messing about at a football ground until 20:00.

What can you do though? You can whine on that football has sold out, but the simple fact is, it’s not the fans who are a benefitting, it’s people like Arsene Wenger and his players who have. Those monster contracts aren’t dished out on the back of a good summer of selling Arsene Wenger flags… they come from the TV companies spending obscene amounts of money to do what they like with the schedule. It’ll be interesting to see what happens if the rumours about Apple buying the rights to football. I wonder if the league will have more bartering power if two power houses are going for the contract?

The manager also took some more time out to praise the efficiency of Andrey Arshavin. Apparently he has stats that he can’t share that are surprising. Now, I’ve always like Andrey, but efficient he ain’t… well, at least this year. I do agree that his game is based on confidence and we’re starting to see a bit of that creep back into his game, but the manager is kidding himself if he thinks anyone is going to tow the line that Arshavin is the wing equivalent of Gilberto (Invisible wall). I’d like to see him start tomorrow. Swansea will give us plenty of space to roam, so it should be a good game for Andrey to rediscover his form.

The manager also took time out to praise the progress of Aaron Ramsey. He’s accepting that people get frustrated with him, but he justifies this by saying it’s his first season due to the injury issues. He’s a year behind where he should be.

“What I think people forget about Ramsey is it is his first full season really. For me, he is growing month to month and people are a bit impatient with him.

I think what Wenger actually meant to say there was this…

‘What I think people forget about Ramsey is Denilson. Remember that useless clogger falling over, playing side ways passes and being beaten in sprints by players 15 years older? Yeah, I know you all do because you  moaned constantly, some muppet even put him on eBay. So how about you give the Welsh lad some time or I’ll start dishing out punishment, you know, like I do to those water bottles.’

He’s played about 70 competitive games across the board. Compare where he is now to where Denilson was after 200 and I think you’ll agree that we have a very handy player on our books. Jack will be back soon, so I’d guess Rambo will compete with Arteta for a starting position.

Arsene went out of his way to quash dreams of Ravel Morrison, Mathias Suarez and Salomon Kalou… they sound like a crap boy band and they look like a really bad player unveiling nightmare. I’m not really fussed about any of them. Especially Suarez. We all saw what a unit Lukaku looked in the Belgian league last year and he can’t get a look in over at pensioner united in front of the lost Spaniard.

The only slight murmurings that may have had a hope are the ones about a left back. To be honest, we’re scrapping the barrel here so badly, I think I’d rather not. Bringing in a player from the Oman second division tells you all you need to know about Wenger and his intentions.

“It is very simple in a situation like that. You might take a player who doesn’t play at all somewhere, who is not necessarily fit quicker than a player who is injured. Or you take a young, potential player who has not made it somewhere.”

Sounds a bit like Wenger telling us there won’t be a left back coming in.

He also confirmed that he wouldn’t sell Chamakh and there was also the upsetting news that Zaragoza couldn’t afford to take on Squillaci. DAMN OUR GENEROUS CONTRACTS!

On the rumour front, there’s a nasty one doing the rounds that the club are looking to up the season ticket prices again this year. I haven’t had it on any good authority, but I don’t think anyone is going to tolerate an increase after the sh*t sandwich of a summer the club served up to us and the rumoured £75million profit we could unveil if we sell off that last bit of property before the results. If the club want more revenue, take it out of the TPA account you never use.

Anyway, I’ll be doing to digging on that front, hopefully it’s just a seriously distasteful rumour.

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That’s your lot until tomorrow! Have a great day!

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Scott Dann… gulp | Arsenal say no to Chamakh loan | Wellington given the shoe… I mean boot

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Today is an even meatier challenge than yesterday, the whole of fleet street is Thierry’d out and they’ve given up on Arsenal news. Where is a good N’Zogbia rumour when you need one?

I guess we can all take solace in the fact that hardly anyone has made a move this window. Is that because everyone is too skint to buy, too cautious to sell, or have Europe taken note of the big name signings of last January and made an executive decision to avoid an Andy Carroll or Fernando Torres like balls up?

Whatever the problem, it seems everyone is in the same boat. It’ll either stay this way or we’ll see a spicy last few days with a few panic buys. Spurs are rumoured to be be sniffing around Loic Remy, the man Arsene likened to Thierry. I’ve got to say that I’ve rarely been that impressed with him when I’ve seen him play. His goal record doesn’t exactly scream ‘he’s the answer’… I guess the problem for Gooners the world over is that against the backdrop of Chamakh, Eddie McGoldrick in a suit with an ankle brace could be the answer.

Talking of Chamakh, Fiorentina have been knocked back in there attempts to sign the Moroccan. Apparently we’d rather sell him. Jeez… of course we’d rather sell him, but it’s hardly like the back history of the player will allow that. The Italians want a bit of try before you buy… I don’t blame them… you wouldn’t buy banged out old car on eBay without a test run, especially if the outlay was £75k a week.

Talking of strikers that arrived with a lot of hype. How about Wellington? He’s been booted (<- haha) out of Levante and forced to take a loan move to Velcro… or some pointlessly irrelevant team in Serie B. The great hope of Brazilian football, a legend in the blogosphere, a player rated higher than Neymar… being demoted a league.

This is why young players aren’t of interest to me anymore. When you think about it, we really should be doing better at this developmental stuff.

1)  We have the best facilities in the world
2)  We don’t really develop most of them, we pinch them from clubs at 15-16 when they’re best in class

Shouldn’t our team be littered with Barca like kids by now? Jack Wilshere is the only kid of note we can truly be proud of. Rambo, Theo, Chamberlain and Gibbs were all bought and cost about £27million and the rest all came in much later.

The conveyor belt of excitement that goes with ‘another kid’ is just too boring these days. It blows expectations of fans out to the wildest extremes and it always has us dreaming of next season.

The FA have been p!ssing around with fixture lists. They’ve moved the Villa game to Sunday at 1600. A great time to watch a game, then they’ve followed it up with Bolton away on the Tuesday night. That’ll now probably be moved. Great if you’ve booked your train ticket or holiday.

Swansea this weekend should be a fun away trip. A town of steroid abusing Welshman will be great for banter. The Welsh side have looked great in patches this season, they’ve got a lovely style to their play and they nearly took points off us at the Emirates earlier in the year. Thierry, in typical cringe out fashion said they were amazing… not quite, but it’s great to see a team being rewarded with points for playing entertaining football.

Rumour has it Thierry will start, due in part to the poor form of Andrey and for the content managers at who so far only have 124 pieces about the man lined up for next week. A sneak peak at some headlines…

  • Thierry tales: I bought my first cat from Wales
  • The Welsh air made me cry
  • Thierry Henry the second coming: I love everyone

Back to football… I thought Andrey had a pretty good game against Leeds. He worked really hard, fed some nice ball into the box, he just didn’t have anyone who could finish to play to. We’ll see I guess. I just don’t want to become Thierry dependent.

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The final round up. Benik Afobe has sparked the interest of Glasgow Rangers. That would be a very good move for a young player, we’ve already read how much Arteta learned about the game from his time in Scotland… they physical side at least. It’d be good for him to get some goals and games under his belt as well. There’s also the slightly disappointing news that Chelsea are in for Eden Hazard for £30mill. If he was a target, you’d have thought we’d make more of an effort. There you go… another one potentially biting the dust. There’s a bit of talk about Scott Dann again. I’d rather not play up to this story, but at the same time, I know if I dismiss it, like Geoff did with Silvestre when he called it the worst rumour of the summer, it’ll happen. So here it is football gods…


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On that note, have yourself a terriffic Friday. It’s about time you shook off a few of those resolutions!


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Henry euphoria settling down / reality kicking in | Chamberlain staying | Aly Cissokho on the cards

by & filed under News Review.

Well, well, well… January has been the total opposite of exciting so far, it’s not often you go into a Thursday with this little news to work with. Today’s post will be a bit like making a Sunday roast with two ingredients today, but providing those two ingredients are beer and meat, we should be ok!

So first up is the story that made its way onto the Daily Star site about Oxo wanting out. I firstly thought it’d be a play on words… Like ‘Oxo wants out of the cupboard Thierry locks him in after losing a race’… but on opening the article, it went all out in a ‘he demands a loan move due to lack of first team opportunities.’

How queer I thought?

Well, the Daily Star forgot about the awesome power of Twitter and watched on in embarrassment as the little scamp outright damned the report.

Just to confirm, any rumours about me wanting to leave are completely false, couldn’t be happier at Arsenal #AFC #VictoryThroughHarmony
Alex Chamberlain

Go Twitter, go the truth.

Why anyone would write a story like that when Arsene played him against Leeds and is on record as saying he’ll get games. Now, I’m reasonably excited about watching him start, but a big fat dose of reality needs to be taken. He won’t save our season, he’s not built for that pressure yet and being young doesn’t mean he’s as capable as Anelka was at that age.

*Do check out his Twitter background on his home page. It’s all very London Riots. If anyone saw him stealing chewing gum, don’t report him, it’s a 3 month custodial sentence.

Ryo Miyachi would have suited the Daily Star story a little more. The one thing we know about this chap is that he’s at least shown he can play in a reasonably competitive league. He’s started featuring on the bench after injury issues and as far as I’m concerned, pace off the bench is always a great thing to have. He’s a skillful player and again, I’ve heard exciting things about him from people who’ve watched him train recently. He’ll be a very good player if accounts are to be believed.

Rumour were flying around yesterday after people caught wind that Park Chu-young had been yanked off at half time. Was it injury? Was it freshness preparation for a weekend start? was it because he’s an utter disaster of a player? Who knows…

One thing is for sure, everytime I ask my lady in the tea room, she says that he’s not a bad player, he’s just not getting game time because of the risk he’ll struggle. Wenger isn’t indulging new players this year unless he knows they’ll fly. In seasons gone by, we’d be complaining an impending Oxo or Frimpong breakdown due to over use, not this year. Oh, and remember, Pam was the one who told you at the start the training staff had high hopes Koscielny could be better than Thomas Vermaelen. I’m not saying he is, but judging by the embarrassing amount of damp pant blog action over the boy, you’d have to say he’s coming good.

Big Tone of ex-Captain notoriety has been on the charm offensive. He likes Big Per, our German centre back. He likes him a lot, he interests him in a most philosophical way, a way in which only a defender could interest him.

“I’ve seen Per Mertesacker a few times now, he interests me and I think he is a good player,”

“I think he is very intelligent and he knows how to play central defence.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing more of him because I don’t think Thomas Vermaelen has actually played enough with him just yet. But they could be a fantastic central defensive partnership and would certainly excite me.

Well I’ll be damned, Tony says all the things I say about Mertesacker. He is intelligent, he is a good player, he’s just slow and football fans equate slow with crap. Which is a shame, though I have no fears about his future, he’ll be a very important player for us over the coming years.

In other news there was quite a fearsome debate had last night on Twitter. It seems the fan hangover has finally started to kick in. The haze of Thierry euphoria is slowly dying down and the realisation that we’ve only hot him for 5 games has settled in. For me, I’m not sure there is a player out there who could come in and lift us in the way he will over 5 games. He knows the league, he’s world-class and he has a presence. However, the relentless gonnerganda on tells you all you need to know about how little we’re likely to see on the transfer front this January.

Fans are sentimental, not stupid. We should be pushing the boat out to ensure we have a squad capable of overhauling Spurs. They’re doing well because they have great players and a great squad. They’ve done it on a budget and they’ve done it with the oldest team they’ve had for 8 years.

Was Scott Parker a risk over the length of his contract? Yes. Was he as risk on the pitch? No. Was he overrated? No. He’s the sort of extra body we should have been snapping up. Instead, we allowed our summer to carry on in shambolic fashion and we are where we are.

Now its January, the month we were all told the manager would definitely know what needed to be done and Thierry is the only ‘major’ signing. Not just that, but we’ve now got Bobby Pires back at training. Is there anyone we won’t invite back to the squad to remind us of what we’re now not?

“Will I make it like Henry? No, it’s sure. It’s not at all my intention, nor that of Arsene Wenger. His team is complete in midfield.”

One player I have enjoyed this season is Arteta. Though he didn’t replace Cesc in any way shape or form, he has shown Arsenal fans what could have been. Why he wasn’t in our squad last year or the year before utterly perplexes me. Diaby should have been relegated to second string long ago for a player like Arteta. Our trouble over the past 5  years is that we’ve normally got a very capable first team 11, outside that, we don’t bring in the players who can make a difference. Arsenal fans say, ‘where do you expect that striker to play’, like rotation isn’t a tried and tested concept.

Talking of Diaby, who we should rename, Diaby Facesfreshinjurysetback… He’s now out in Qatar getting more treatment. Delist him. If he comes back, loan him the Beveren. He’s a waste or £60k and a waste of a squad number and undoubtedly his injury record combined with Wenger’s faith has cost us over the years.

Just to perk you up more than a double shot of espresso, how about me telling you about the left back we might be signing. His name is Aly Cissokho, he’s supposed to be quite good and let me tell you for free… the boy knows how to smile. JD has competition on his hands.

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This guy makes sadness smile

We’ve also seen this blog about Suarez the non-racist and his so called pre-contract which I’m not sure I believe.

Finally, I thought I’d leave you with a cracking poster of Jack Wilshere to get you excited about his impending return. I couldn’t find one of Jenkinson for some reason?

Jack poster

P.S. This video of Nasri getting ripped by Liverpool fans is also a day cheererupper.

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