by .


So part two of the world cup was certainly more interesting than part one. And when I say part two, I’m not going to pretend I was watching the Mexico game… which again, was beseiged by terrible, terrible refferring decisions.

… but hey, how can you expect video replay progress with a man like Sepp Blatter at the top of the game?

I watched the Holland vs Spain game. But before I smash into that, I thought the officials in for the Chile game were exceptional. The referee reminded me of a black Collina. He nailed all the decisions and his linesman were bang on with the offsides. Brilliant work. The question that poses for me is that if there are brilliant refs in other countries, why can’t the Premier League buy them in? Why can’t refs work all around the world? Totally bizarre I can buy in a player from anywhere, but if there’s a shortage of refs who definitley showcase bias… I can’t swap them out for better officials? What’s up with that? TELL ME SEPP! STOP TALKING ABOUT SPACE FOOTBALL.

I was also surprised about the efficiency of spray painting the ten yard line at free kicks. Players didn’t budge. A hilariously basic innovation.

Anyway, what about the game? Totally outrageous. Watching one of the greatest international sides  (Spain Holland game) of a generation move into the… ‘we’ve just seen a cycle’ phase. Really tragic. Their posessions stats were embarrassing for a Spanish team… like, what, 57%?  They just looked dated. I felt like I’d seen what they do before. It was predictable and it didn’t work.

Holland on the other hand… wow. They have a pretty average set up in comparision to any side they’ve had over the last ten years and they spanked the Spanish out of site. Their passing was sharp, their tactics were spot on, they utilised pace and they played with incredible passion. What I liked about Louis Van Gaal is he’s clearly noted that Dutch efforts tend to fall down around team spirit… those boys yesterday loved every second and every goal. Amazing unity and excitement.

I also like the Louis Van Gaal discipline. All his backroom team, wearing shirts and ties. It’s only a minor thing, but it certainly says something about your approach and it definitely breeds a type of attitude if set up properly.

Finally, on that game, Robin. Oh Robin. You totally brilliant bastard of a man. The first goal he scored, you saw the floated ball over the shoulder, you’re expecting him to unleash a volley, instead he nods a header over the keeper from 15 yards. Majestic. I told you United insiders were worried that Robin was playing for the world cup last year, so he wasn’t giving his all for the club in a bid to protect himself against injury / fatigue… well, if the end result is games like that, maybe his gamble paid off. Holland… a team to keep an eye on.

Sorry, one more thing. I know it’s only one game, but what Louis Van Gaal has proven is that it’s not about the best players. It’s about the best ideas and the best plan. I wish Arsene had a bit more of that about his game. Holland had no right to win that game. I barely knew a single player in their back five. But that didn’t matter. Van Gaal isn’t about names, he’s about looking at what he has at his disposal, and working it into a system.

The second game I watched was the Chile game. Now, I won’t lie, I was pretty trashed by this time, but it looked a good spectacle. Chile went two up pretty sharpish. Austrailia gave it a good go and pulled one back. Now, I don’t want to get too excited about Chile, but they really were good at stages. I’d prefer to see them against a great team, but their approach is interesting and the technique on display was amazing at times.

Alexis Sanchez is an absolute dream of a player. If Barca are feeling generous post Cesc sale, I’d mostly appreciate us signing him because he’d fit right in. His turn of pace and his skill crafting space is unbelievable. I’d also be pretty into getting Vidal over to Arsenal. How about it Arsene? Have a word please. I appreciate their are difficulties in scouting South American countries… I’m just surprised we don’t tap into that area a little more. Maybe have an Italian or Spanish feeder club. We’re pissing around with people like Joel Campbell when there’s far better talent on offer.

I got chatting to a Portuguese DJ during the game who thought I was Dutch. My hipster edam earrings probably fooled him. He was giving me the lowdown on the football scene around here. He was telling me some things about Jose Mourinho and what the rumour mill is about him. Not sure I can print it, but he wasn’t good at making male friends in the cities he worked in. This guy also thought his star might be fading as well. He had a lot of praise for the new Monaco coach, reckons he’s a special talent. He also said there are rumours about CR7. Big rumours for gossip mags. Again, I can’t print, but I think you get me. Do you? You do? Ok. Nice one.

Anyway, today is about INNNNGGGUUUUURRRRLLLLAAAAAND FC, WE’RE BY FAR… you catch my drift. I’m turned into a full on xenophobe today.

‘Where the fack is my Stella you Portuguese slag?’

‘Don’t you talk that foreign shit near me’


*slam fresh pint of Stella at pub screen at first opp to showcase PASSION


All that jazz, you get me?

I’m pretty excited about seeing what we have to offer. We’re either going to smash it out the park with a Dutch performance, or it’s going to be oh so sad and depressing tomorrow morning when I have to write a review around how we melted in the heat.

I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for a more interesting experience. I dont’ want to see the same old dross rolled out with the same old tired cliched reviews of the death of English football afterwards.

Finally, watch James Richardson totally mug off Martin Keown in his intro on the World Cup stuff.

Ok, some more finally. FINALLY, Emirates are utilitsing their sponsorship deal with Arsenal and actually doing something. This time, for a well known fan called Jill. Very nice piece of content. Well played.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. sanmi

    This isn’t the 1st time I am saying this, I said it affter PSG vs Chelsea, I don’t get the hype around Cavani! Why would any coach pay anything above £30m for him?

  2. Marko

    Dissenter there would of been no point in him being involved preseason since he wouldn’t get a work permit and needed another year on loan. Around Christmas he got the EU passport so he’s able to play for us now. No doubt he’ll be part of the squad next season.

  3. kwik fit

    I think England will rip apart a very slow Italy midfield. Sterling and sturidge will a goal each in a 2 nil win.

  4. Carts

    By the sounds I things, JC turned up tonight.

    Makes you wonder why Wenger held onto Bendtner, Park and Sanogo but sent JC out on loan. Didn’t even recall him in January.

    Shit like that what get me mad with Wenger.

  5. Arsene's Nurse

    I don’t think the young Campbell has a work permit yet. Maybe that’s something to work on this summer. He delivers far more than the postman.

  6. london gunner

    Italy are slow but great defensively.

    Back 4 is solid they have some of the best (pure) DM’s in world football.

    They also have Pirlo who can score set up from dead ball opportunites.

    If they bring Insigne on and keep Candreva on they suddenly have a big injection of pace

  7. Dissenter

    Emirates stroller,

    Do you expect Theo to be back to his best so soon.
    Gantry faded out last season. He needs to go on loan too.
    Podolski doesn’t bring as much to the team than Campbell. His German 100-cap pedigree counts for him though. Campbell feels more like a player that can really explode to that World Class quality if we’ll managed. He’ll be 22 in two weeks time.
    The best team Campbell has been around is Olympiakos and he’s already this good. Imagine if he trains with Ozil, Carzola and Ramsey for 3-6 months. He might go to the next level really fast.
    Sanogo, enough said. Other than being a nuisance (whatever that means). He has no business around Arsenal.

    I would keep fill the space Park occupied with Campbell.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    After that if he wasn’t signed by anyone there’d be loads of offers. Hope he’ll rip it up in next couple of games as well. Then we know we have a player ( smiley face )

  9. Marko

    Carts he couldn’t play in England till he got a European passport which he got at some point during last season

  10. Dissenter

    Arsene’s nurse,

    He has a definite work permit.

    He’s played at least 70% of Costa Rica’s games this year. Costa Rica are ranked 22nd in the rankings currently and will definitely move up on current form.

  11. Revving Kevin

    Dear friends from a noisy pub. What a night eh?

    By the way, Pedro really is a great judge of talent. Apart from wanting Moyes, Laudrupp and lambert as manager, now this classic:

    “We’re pissing around with people like Joel Campbell when there’s far better talent on offer.”

    Looool. What like Cavani?
    But on a serious note, Campbell was the best player on the pitch wasn’t he? looked a handful. That was a cock result and how poor was Cavani? No way he’s worth £30m he was shit tonight and looks about sixty.

    Come in Engerland, good line up with plenty of pace. Got to keep Pirlo quiet and wind up Balotelli and games ours.

  12. monty

    Im not even english and im nervous. Goodluck boys really hoping for a win. Keen to watch barkley and sterling in particular. My tip 4 goals to 1 for england

  13. Arsene's Nurse

    It’s funny, the last WC was dire for England and my expectations are low this time around, but I’m getting a bit nervous for the first time in a long while. That nervousness I think is partly down to thinking that we actually look like a half decent side and could beat Italy.

    After the Dutchies smashed Spain I’d love us to do the same to Italy. Maybe that’s wishful thinking and the old patriotism coming through, but I’m surprisingly positive. That’s put the kibosh on it and it’ll either be a boring 0-0 or Italy do a number on us.

  14. Dissenter

    I think this English team is so unpredictable that they might get a hiding tonight. They might spank Italy 5-1 or go down 3-1.
    I honestly don’t know what to expect.

  15. salparadisenyc

    The Azzurri back four pretty inexperienced, coupled with Buffon. I’ve no idea where this ones going.

    The triumvirate of Pirlo, De Rossi and Verrati is pretty boss.

  16. Arsene's Nurse

    Dissenter June 14, 2014 21:24:31

    Arsene’s nurse,

    He has a definite work permit.

  17. Emiratesstroller


    Leaving aside Campbell’s versatility what impressed me tonight was his ‘football intelligence”.

    At the end of game he was instructing defence to stay back whilst he kept ball in corner and the other interesting thing about his game is how deep he is able to play. With that powerful strike he is not someone who will be easy to
    man mark.

  18. Carts


    If Cavani did (and continues to) have stinkers, that will only lower his price further.

    But there’s no denying his pedigree!

    As for JC, I fully expect a contract renewal as well as a squad number come August

  19. NYCgooner


    Uruguay as a team was poor but it’s a little bit of a knee jerk reaction to say Cavani isn’t good anymore. Does one bad game erase the past few years as one of the most dominant CF in world football?

    Try to keep a logical perspective people!!!

  20. kwik fit

    Just hope Woy doesn’t deploy his typical negative tactics. England should have full confidence that they can take this Italy side and should be on the front foot from the start. Glad to see Sterling in from the start,

  21. MidwestGun

    For being in the middle of nowhere, that stadium looks pretty cool from the outside with the snakeskin affect. They said tales of the pitches demise were premature. Guess we will see.

  22. Marko

    Carts my understanding is when he signed he was given a 5 year deal so withbeing on loan 3 years to get that eu passport he’s got 2 left. At least I hope so. It’d suck him being involved for the first time while his contract is running down.

  23. Arsene's Nurse

    Looking at the heavily bearded Pirlo I wander whether the heat and humidity will play a part. I had a really heavy beard 2 years ago and it was great during the winter. However, once the hot weather came in it was too hot and the clippers and razor came out.

  24. Dissenter

    One thing for sure, Prandelli has a first rate footballing brain.

    Props to Roy Hodgson, he’s picked an attacking lineup which is contrary to his DNA.
    I expect a red card in this game.

  25. Dissenter

    I expect Mario will terrorise the English defence.

    Sterling will a have a good game too, it he does not get overwhelmed with the big stage.

    Ox would have a field day, instead of Wellbeck.

  26. Arsene's Nurse

    salparadisenyc June 14, 2014 22:00:18

    Where’s the Arsenal English core?
    On the bench and in the treatment room. Shame Ramsey is Welsh.

  27. Arsene's Nurse

    Looks like we are set up to stifle Italy and then break on the counter. Means we don’t expend so much energy.

  28. MidwestGun

    Hmmm not sure Pirlo can get tired he never moves faster then a jog. Lol.
    Game is gonna be missing a Legend when he retires for good.
    Love the pace of this game.

  29. Dissenter

    Arlene’s nurse,

    “Looks like we are set up to stifle Italy and then break on the counter. Means we don’t expend so much energy”

    I’m not so sure. You spend more energy and mental acuity chasing the ball. If England give Italy possession they’ll tire quickly.

  30. karaul

    “Can’t stand the Italians. Fans are an utter disgrace, real scum.!

    why is that? when i was in palermo last summer italian fans there were great

  31. Jaroda

    Since 1966, england have only managed to beat decent teams on two occasions at a world cup.
    France 1982 3-1
    Argentina 2002 1-0
    Thats it in the 48 years since winning the world cup.
    By decent i consider the teams
    Brazil germany, italy, spain,holland, france, portugal, argentina,

  32. kwik fit

    Wenger on French TV “We have a world class striker joining us next season. He played tonight. Joel Campbell”

  33. Arsene's Nurse

    Dissenter June 14, 2014 22:10:44

    Arlene’s nurse,

    “Looks like we are set up to stifle Italy and then break on the counter. Means we don’t expend so much energy”

    I’m not so sure. You spend more energy and mental acuity chasing the ball. If England give Italy possession they’ll tire quickly.
    It’s a more tactical game and we look like we are trying to contain them. I agree that chasing the ball will expend more energy, but you can close out the attack through better positioning which is what we look like doing.

    We’ve created some good chances.

    The heat and humidity naturally supports the Italian style of greater possession, yet we look more dangerous when the play breaks down and we are able to use a burst of pace. I expect to see Wilshere/Oxo/Barkley/Lallana to come on later.

  34. Arsene's Nurse

    Former Arsenal physio gets injured celebrating! Hey, Revvin Kevin should I add him to the injury list!

    Hope he’s OK but the telly are saying suspected broken ankle.

  35. goonerDNA

    Pedro I think your wrong about Campbell even against United he was a danger, us Arsenal fans tend to fear cheap young players because usually they shit but I think JC is the 1 in 10

    Anyway FUCK this world cup is crazy loving every game so far, as much as want England to win I wanna see Balo to go balls deep

  36. Arsene's Nurse

    Oxo to come on instead of Rooney on the left? Hmmmm we have a good chance to win this if we are solid at the back, The Italians don’t have a turn of pace like we do.

  37. Jaffa

    It’s well balanced, both teams fancy it for sure. Poor old Gary, you could not make it up! C’mon England .

  38. london gunner

    “Phil Neville makes Ray Wilkins sound like he has ADHD, fucking mogadon or what.”

    Haha so true! Just what I was thinking! Guy sounds like his commenting on snooker

  39. london gunner

    Anyone else think Sterling is really good

    His pace and dribbling are exceptional but then his also got an amazing pass! Aka his through balls!

    Can see why he can as a CAM as well as a winger

  40. California Poogs

    Really cagey stuff. Italy going for subtlety while England choose to rely on pure power the duels are somewhat even but Italy seems to have more cohesion and passing fluency. England are faster tho. I think England have a slight advantage, football is evolving. Into a style closer to that favored by England. But Italy’s experience…too early to call but I suspect Sturridge isn’t done yet.

  41. Arsene's Nurse

    Henry is great in the studio, so laid back and with great insight.

    We have to have Titi as an Arsenal ambassador and fully involved with the club when he retires.

  42. Jake

    Baines has never had a good game for England. Champion’s League experience (Gibbs) trumps the ability to take a free kick.

  43. london gunner


    Ashley ,might be a right prick but I certainly would of brought him to the World cup his always great for England. Baines for me was a 1 season wonder! His a good player no doubt but not as great as that season when he was playing out of his skin

  44. Jake


    I would have gone for Cole and Gibbs, the only two with top level experience. That way you get the established experienced star and the young promising one. Both players are better than Baines and Shaw, just less fashionable at the moment.

  45. Arsene's Nurse

    MidwestGun June 14, 2014 23:21:08

    Nurse –
    They said on Espn Ox tried to warm up but couldn’t go before the game.
    Shame, he’s labelled as being on the bench but I didn’t know he wasn’t fully fit. The game is crying out for him.