Category Archives: Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer and Injury Roundup

Officially, the transfer window is closed but it looks like no one told Arsenal, players, or their managers because every morning I get up and read about so and so signing for such and such team.

Now, before you point out that players who are in the last year of their contracts can negotiate with other clubs I already know that but it seems like a lot of players who aren’t eligible for negotiations are signing deals and “making verbal agreements.”

Last week we had our monthly “Cesc is off to Barcelona” story which is quickly followed up with the “Cesc makes statement about loving Arsenal” story.  This week, we have out daily “Chamakh to sign for Arsenal” story, which, oddly isn’t being followed up with the normal “Chamakh hasn’t agreed to anything” story. I suspect that Arsenal are very close to signing him and after all the fuss he better be damn good.

The other transfer story today is that Mikael Silvestre is upset about playing time and is set “to quit” Arsenal. I don’t blame him for wanting to play football, nor do I blame Arsenal for not letting him on the pitch. If you look at his game log over the last two years at Arsenal he has been involved in an alarming number of 3+ goal defeats. I’m sure that’s just coincidence.

What isn’t coincidence is the fact that Arsenal are clearly looking to line up some young central defenders this Summer. We know for a fact that Wenger tried to sign Chris Smalling in the January transfer window and were pipped to the player by Man U. Immediately after that deal fell through there were reports that Arsenal had signed a 19 Montenegrin named Stefan Savic. That turned out to be the player talking himself up and he has since been binned by Arsenal with the player admitting

Everything is still very much open. There is the possibility to sign the contract [with Arsenal] now, and to return to Borca until the summer. However, the coaching staff concluded that it is better to see me again in the summer.

That quote happened after the player was taken on a 10 day trial and apparently bombed out.

The latest rumor is that Arsenal are going back in for Borussia Dortmund’s giant American center half, Nevin Subotic. Competition is supposed to be fierce with Arsenal reportedly willing to offer £15m. This whole rumor has been denied by the player’s agent and frankly, this isn’t how Arsene does business anyway. We all know he’d be more likely to sign someone like Thomas Vermaelen than Nevin Subotic.

The point is, though, with Silvestre unhappy with his playing time and Gallas reportedly unhappy with Arsenal’s latest contract offer, Wenger seems to be poking around looking for replacements. That should make a lot of Goonah’s happy since defense is one area that Arsenal have really struggled with over the last two years.

In injury news, ESPN is reporting that both Song and Arshavin are set to miss out on the Porto match on Wednesday. The Arshavin injury has been confirmed by the dot com but the extent of Song’s injury is still unknown. Finger’s crossed he doesn’t join the long-term injury list with Gibbs, Djourou, and van Persie.

The good news is that Eduardo and Nasri are back and Dudu can fill in for Arshavin on the left next week.

Oh and I forgot about Vela. Vela has an injury as well, though the dot com is not telling us how long he’s out for which makes me wonder if he’s really injured.

Anyway, that’s your rumors and injuries updates for today, now, if you don’t mind Robbie Savage has taken time off from swimming in his pool and banging his sex bomb love goddess model of a wife and is “playing football” and I’m going to watch.

The Savage of The Cup

Stop staring at his penis.

What’s an Arsenal supporter supposed to do on a Saturday when there’s plenty of football but none of it features our beloved Arsenal? I suppose we could watch some FA Cup matches.

Here in the States the early match is Soton v. Pompey and it’s a decent contest between two mid-table League One sides. There’s little chance that we’ll see the Pardew Shuffle because the chances are pretty good that Avram Grant’s Portsmouth might just bury them.

Overshadowing the actual football match is Portsmouth’s deep financial troubles. They are currently on a 7 day stay of execution by the tax-man and it’s looking like the FA might step in and put them in administration rather than let the club go out of business and subsequently throw the Premier League into turmoil.

To hear ole Harry Redknapp tell the story, he did nothing wrong building this team and doesn’t know where all the money went from his “wildly successful” team from which many profits were generated. Of course, Harry is full of it. Fratton Park has a capacity of just over 20,000 and even a Liberal Studies Major could figure out that even if you pack the stadium for every match you still couldn’t afford the salaries that were being paid to the FA Cup winning side. In fact, in that season, they spent £87m and earned… just £70.

It was like that, but worse, for Harry Redknapp’s entire tenure and the fact is that Portsmouth fans look like they will be paying a long-term price for Harry’s short-term success. That’s what happens when a club doesn’t plan for the future, when they simply placate their fans, and when you have a manager who cares more about personal glory than the bottom line.

It’s a story that is playing out all over the country at the moment with Notts County, West Ham, and to a lesser extent Crystal Palace and Cardiff all showing signs of financial trouble. Don’t be surprised if you see clubs like Sunderland and Fulham and Villa added to the list here in a few years. Those clubs are in a similar situation to where Pompey was a few years back: rich owners piling money into the club in order to help them build success despite relatively small turnover.

You won’t see that happen at Arsenal, thanks to Wenger and this board’s very conservative approach.

The other game on today is the Derby v. Birmingham match and the big story is that Robbie Savage is still playing football!

Not only that, but did you know that Robbie Savage is also very wealthy, has a hot wife, a huge house, is one of the keenest footballing minds on the planet, is well hung, has wonderful teeth, perfect hair, top notch cars… I could go on, but why bother when Robbie Savage will tell you himself:

Robbie Savage is the overall package. He likes doing the television, he likes doing the radio, likes being in the headlines. When all that’s flowing it’ s fantastic. I remember when I was doing a column in FourFourTwo magazine, Brucie said to me: ‘Any chance of you concentrating on your football?’ But it was the whole package. That’s what it’s like here now. I enjoy my media work but it doesn’t affect my football. I love football, that’s what people don’t realise. They just see the hair and the teeth and the tan and the big house and the car and the Dolce & Gabbana clothes, the model wife and houses all over the world. What they don’t see is when I go home. I go for a dip first in the indoor pool, look out over my golf course – what they don’t see then is that I watch ESPN, Spanish, German football. everything. Since 1990 I just watch any league in the world, any football all the time. My knowledge of the game is up there with the best and that’s why I want to stay in it.

Wow, Robbie Savage is such a douche that Robbie Savage referrs to Robbie Savage as… Robbie Savage. Read the whole puke inducing interview over at the Daily Fail.

Who says that there’s no magic left in the FA Cup?

Arshavin’s injury, Arsenal’s #1 fan, American Footballers, and more!

Good morning, how’s everyone then? Still basking in the afterglow of beating Liverpool 1-0? Me too, unfortunately there’s injury news and whatnot to report so, let’s get right to it.

Injury Update

According to Andrey Arshavin’s own web site he suffered a hamstring injury against Liverpool and will probably be out for two weeks. The player wants to come back on the 20th for the Premier League game but how long he’ll be out remains to be seen.

I’m not surprised that he pulled his hammy because the strain of playing center forward the last few months had to have taken a toll on him. It will be a well deserved rest and now that the majority of the team are healthy he will be missed but he’s not as crucial as before. Get rested and come back for the run-in, Andrey.

The Run-In

I’ve been sitting here looking at the table and the points and trying to figure out how the title race is going to shape up and to be honest, it’s looking like a crap shoot. Arsenal, ManU, and Chelsea all have 12 games left and I’d be lying if I said that I thought any of those teams will win out.

On paper, Arsenal have the easiest run-in, Man U the second, and Chelsea have the hardest. It’s true that in the last 12 games Man U play Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manciti but they have the edge there because they are playing Liverpool and Chelsea at home. Chelsea on the other hand have to play those two away and their away form has been hit or miss. Arsenal’s toughest matches are the North London Derby away and Manciti at home but there are other teams in there which have caused us trouble in the past and we play them in quick succession; Stoke away, Hull away, and Birmingham away.

I’m not going to make a prediction, I’ll leave that to you, but I will say that it’s going to be close and probably all three teams will be within 4 points of each other at the end of the season. Hey, maybe Arsenal will win out?

Arsenal, I’m Your #1 Fan

Those of you who were watching the Liverpool game probably saw this guy on their television screen before kickoff:

Arsenal's Number 1 fan

His name is Aby Baby Kuruvilla and he won a competition called “Barclays Fan of India” by submitting this video and an essay and some other stuff.

Here’s the thing… I’m not going to make fun of him for the video. Yes, it’s a bit wild and there’s weird aspect to the video with the homemade paper scarf, the Arsenal shirt with a Puma logo and the fact that he’s obviously whispering his enthusiasm so as not to upset his neighbors. No, kudos to him, he got to go to Emirates and watch the Liverpool game and even correctly predicted the final score.

What I do want to point out is that it’s easy for Arsenal supporters who don’t live in England to go online, look up the lyrics to the Arsenal songs and then go to YouTube and find video of someone singing that song. So, for example, he starts the video singing Good Old Arsenal which is actually one of the easiest songs to find on the internet.

It also happens to be properly sung to the tune of “Rule Britannia” which, uhhh, is a bit odd for an Indian to sing, much less an Arsenal fan. I mean, well, let’s not get into the whole colonial past, shall we? Suffice it to say, that song isn’t sung much around the Arsenal stadium anymore. Here’s a song that I can proudly recommend


It’s one of those misconceptions that a lot of people hold and a question I get a lot; what would happen if America’s top athletes played “soccer” instead of football?

The question is based on the assumption that all American athletes are 6’6″ weigh 220 lbs and are chiseled out of solid alabaster. But the reality is that that American Football physique is not something inherent to America but rather just that our training regimens that are different.

You could take any American football player and if they had been raised in England and wanted to play Football proper, their diet and training regimen would sculpt them into the types of players you see week in and week out.  American football requires sprinting speed and brute strength to play so players lift weights for bulk and work on sprints for speed.

English Football requires more stamina and stamina and bulk training regimens are at odds with each other. The example used in Studs Up today was a comparison between Drogba and Chad Ochocinco and it illustrates my point exactly: Drogba is 6’2″ and weighs 185, Ochocinco is 6’1″ and weighs 192.

You put Drogba on the same weight training program that Ochocinco is on and he’ll be 6’2″ and probably weigh 199. You put Ochocinco on Drogba’s diet and regimen and I bet he’d weigh 170 or so. Basically, your average footballer.

Now, Sol Campbell? Hell, he could probably come in and play linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.

Locker Room Clearout

In yesterday’s post match write-up, I mentioned that it looked like the players had had a no-holds barred discussion about defense and that it seemed to help the team perform more as a unit than they had over the last 2 matches. Several of us even saw Gallas and Almunia fist-bump at one point which was bizarrely refreshing!

Well, Almunia confirmed that prior to the Liverpool match there was indeed a team discussion.  He’s not exactly forthcoming with the details of what was said and that’s fine with me. What is great, though, is that it’s looking like Cesc is maturing into a real captain and little things like this go a long way to confirming that.

It’s amazing to think that one of our most experienced and mature players is just 22 years old. Well, it would be amazing unless you already had put the pieces together as Grimbo pointed out in his guest column today. It’s all been part of Arsene’s plan for 10 years and will be part of the plan for the next 10.

And that’s why I love the Arsenal!