Get Nik a chocolate orange | Striker deal back on?

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NYC Head Office

Wow, another quiet morning of nothing. I’d start on the FA Cup, but it’s only Wednesday, that’s like putting the kettle on before you go to bed (for a morning tea. Jeez, what a bad line to start the post!).

So the transfer window does seen to be very quiet. The Vucinic deal fell apart which opens the door to us moving for him, if we were ever interested. He’s a good player, sure, but I can see why we’d pass on him. Expecting a 30 year old who has plied his trade in Italy for most of his career doesn’t feel like a fit.

I watched Serie A highlights last night. What a weak league. It really has lost its sparkle in a big way. The standard of keeping was beyond embarrassing. It was like watching a bloopers reel. Not only that, the stadiums were empty like an FA Cup replay between Norwich and Fulham. Sure, some of the big teams might fill their grounds, but my lord, playing away for those massive names must be hard work.

Anyway, I think the vibe on the striker is that Nik B can fill in. I think the feeling is that he’s newly focused on winning a contract. Life has clicked for him as a player and he’s fully up for contributing to the side. And look, Adebayor was hated as much at Spurs as he was at Arsenal 4 weeks ago, now he’s an absolute hero after being shown a bit of love by the new ‘Arry…

‘I just gave him a hug and chocolate orange… now the boy’s mustard’

… Arsene, get that man hug out the loft and send Jenkinson down to the newsagent for that chocolate orange. We have a title to chase!

The contract front seems uncertain. Sagna is after a 3 year deal and we’re offering him two. Rosicky is after a deal and we’re looking to play ball. I like both of them and I think we’re now in a position to afford to keep experience on. See, point is, if we sell them, we’ll only bring them back on short contracts in 2 years time. Keep em’ on Arsene, deck the training ground out in players who know the values you instill in them.

Did I mention the other day that the Lewandowski free transfer is worth €81m over 5 years! Mega money eh?

Aaron Ramsey selected ex Cardiff captain Graham Kavanagh as his footballing hero.

‘He was the Cardiff captain and played in my position, so that’s who I looked up to and wanted to aspire to be like.’

Humble as ever! He also picked out Scott Parker and Michael Ballack as great competitors. I was harangued on Twitter for suggesting Scott Parker as a signing a few years ago. People are now taking players that were good, but are now old and using them to make a point against the site. What a laugh.

Speaking of laughs, I’ve been asked to write one side of the FA Cup argument on Friday in an evening paper. You can guess which side. I think there is a compelling case for a full strength attempt and for not taking it seriously. Just know that before you tear up your Le Grove subscription.

Talking of things that aren’t a laugh. Stan Collymore abuse on Twitter. What the hell is going on here? I was talking to someone the other day about it, it’s like the new internet meme to racially abuse Stan on Twitter. I don’t care for the man, I think he’s a scumbag, however, this ‘well, he beats up women, so racism is ok’ is just a horrible thought process.

The point isn’t about who he is, it’s that we’re in the 21st century and certain people think there are negative connotations associated with skin colour. Twitter is a great platform, it’s help push this website from underground Arsenal blog, to mainstream opinion source single handedly. However, unlike most other platforms, it’s struggled to deal with abuse and it’s pecking order structure almost encourages extreme behaviour because it’s an attention proposition. Couple that with anonnymity and you’ve a recipe that tastes good to the nutters. I have two accounts, and it’s definitely the football account that’s the worst. But I’d imagine it’s the same issue for politics and religion. Facebook certainly did well forcing people to use their real identity to have an account. Half the idiots online wouldn’t behave the way they do if their real name was shown.

… but hey, I’m not going to suggest web passports because that opens the us up to a far worse problem. I just wish people would be more responsible with anonymity. But hey, whatever gets you attention I guess.

Right, rant over. Have a blinding day.

 

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Arsenal Fulham 2-0. Comfortably numb. Entrance music!

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Santi celebrates...

Santi celebrates…

Hello hello – a late and short post from me today.

Well that felt routine didn’t it? Refreshingly bog standard, comfortably numb. I mentioned yesterday that Fulham were a team that arouse few emotions, and it certainly felt like that yesterday.

Not only the fans but the team seemed like they really couldn’t be arsed with the game. A better team would have punished our casualness but Fulham put in such a lacklustre, tepid performance that we were able to get away with some pretty poor play.

Conversation with the chaps around me was focused on potential signings. There was talk of Draxler, of someone called Ntep, of Cabaye and of poor Joel Campbell. What happened to him? Could he provide some offensive cover?

Someone also pointed out the curse of the Arsenal number 9 shirt. Everyone knows the duds who have occupied the shirt – Suker, Baptista, Park – but apparently the goal return for Arsenal number 9s in the last decade is something like 4 goals a season. An incredible stat.

In terms of line-up I was surprised to see Monreal keep his place ahead of Gibbs, especially as he had been an injury doubt. Less surprising was seeing Gnabry get the nod ahead of our current number 9.

To be fair the young German justified his selection, and looked like our liveliest player in the first half, finding space well and firing off a few shots without ever really threatening. A nice one-two with Wilshere saw Ozil find space, but his cut back across the 6 yard box was too weak to reach Giroud. Other than that nothing really happened in the first half. Sidwell threatened with a shot, Sagna and then Giroud had shots saved well by Steklenberg.

All in all it felt like Arsenal were saving their energy for the second half. They started much better after the break as we started to turn on the pressure. Our first good chance came from a Cazorla free kick which he floated into the back post. Sagan crept in and made a good connection. The save bounced back to Gnabry who was able to create some space but had his shot blocked by a defender.

The opening came a few minutes later. Brilliant link up play from Giroud saw him release Wilshere down the left, whose cut back rolled across the penalty area for Santi – who had been having a bit of a stinker until that point –  to dispatch the goal.

The boys took time to acknowledge the huge contribution I’ve made to the season by coming over to our corner for their celebration. A classy touch, much appreciated boys.

Santi was able to double the lead a few minutes later after he latched on to a Fulham clearance and hit quite a weak shot from the edge of the area which seemed to take an age to reach the net. Should the keeper have done better? Probably. Do I care? Not really.

There was just time for an appearance from the Pod who seemed determined to prove a point and had a fierce shot hit the post and then for Darren Bent to not do what he usually does, which is score irritating goals against us.

Other than that, Fulham reverted to training mode and we were able to see out the game quite comfortably. 2-0; 3 points; 10th clean sheet; Top of the league; Wham bam thank you mam.

Concluding thoughts?

Santi

Is it possible to say Santi was poor despite scoring two goals? Well im going to try. The smiling Spaniard was poor in the first half giving the ball away a lot. There’s no need to worry, he is such a fantastic player that he will get back to the level he was last season but he just looks low on confidence at the moment, hopefully yesterday’s goals will help.

Giroud

The Giroud hate started up again yesterday. He’s become the target for the boo boys. I’ll admit he can be frustrating, he needs to work on his shooting (hint: don’t lean back when you shoot Oli) but he quite frankly works his bollocks off for the team. If you want to know what contribution he makes, see Santi’s first goal.

Podolski

Contrast this with Lukas who does not work hard but can do no wrong with fans. I said yesterday that I couldn’t understand the manager’s frustration with him but there was a 5 minute spell yesterday, after he hit the post where he ambled back from the by-line, failed to provide cover for Monreal, and then stood on the halfway line as Giroud struggled to hold up the ball on his own. I thought he was injured but it seems he was just being extremely lazy. Not good enough considering he had only been on the pitch for 10 minutes. Yesterday saw the best and worst of him. He made an immediate impact, nearly scoring and adding verve and energy to our attack but he didn’t seem that arsed about providing defensive cover which is increasingly important to how we play.

Entrance music

Remember when we used to play “The Wonder of You” before each game? It was kind of crap wasn’t it? Nonetheless I would love us to revive this tradition with a better song. I’ve been doing some brainstorming and come up with a few options each of which would make a statement about the kind of club we are. Here’s my initial list:

 

In Dreams – Roy Orbison (vintage class)

Ways to an End – Mirrors (hipster football)

Inhaler – Foals (super hipster football)

Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin (scary bastards)

 

What do you reckon? What song would you like to hear before kick off?

Right that’s me done. Apologies again for the late post. You can follow me @aldo_doel

Have a good Sunday x


Fulham preview. Podolski aha. CB love in. Evil transfer gossip

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Why not?

Why not?

Morning good morning! Alex here, emerging early from my winter hibernation – a lot like the John Lewis bear. I’m tired, hungover and when I find the bastard rabbit that woke me up I’m going to kill it.

It’s been a while friends so I thought I’d do a quick preview of today’s game then run over some issues with you. Agreed? Ok great thanks.

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Diego heading west?

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Where I sit...

Where I sit…

There’s very little going on in the world of news this morning. Sad story eh? If I have nothing to write about. You have nothing to read, so I’m going to bust out a blog regardless and see where we can go with this.

The interesting news this morning outside Arsenal is that Chelsea are now lead favourites for Diego Costa. They’ve opened provisional talks to nab the Spanish striker before the world cup. According to reports, their close relationship with Atletico looks set to steal them a march over all others. They’ll also let them keep the Belgian keeper Courtious (spelling?) as part of the deal.

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Draxler move unlikely before summer | What might happen transfer wise

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tumblr_mxid1eRn0O1qhebo9o1_500

How goes it sports fans?

Not sure what the answer to that should be… good? I think that works.

So, what have we today? Errr… transfers. Now, obviously it’s really hard to get anything out of the club when it comes to deals, but the noise I’ve heard is that Draxler is probably looking pretty unlikely for this transfer window. The young powerful German is apparently injured… add to that the issues you have settling a young player and also factor in that the Premiership is way more intense than the Bundesliga.

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