Category Archives: Arsenal

Racism, Xenophobia, and Labor Day

You don't labor on labor day

It’s labor day here in America (or labour in England) and it’s a tradition that we don’t work. Conveniently, there’s also not shite happening with Arsenal this morning.

So, just a quick round-up of Arsenal players and their international duties. Followed by a round-up of Arsenal’s team injuries. All washed down with a bit of Thierry Henry taking the piss out of Raymond Domenech.

Now, since you’ll probably want to talk about something while at work and since I don’t want to write something I will instead just ask a question and let you all respond.

During yesterday’s kickaround I had no less than two people say that this whole Rooney/Terry/Eduardo controversy has made them so sick of the EPL that at least one is swearing off the Premier League this year. The one guy said that the English xenophobia has gotten so strong and so obvious that he’s just not going to watch it while the other guy pointed out that he felt there was also an element of race in this whole thing. I have written about this topic quite extensively; UEFA and FIFA’s seemingly pro-racism policies when it comes to Zenit, the seemingly racist and xenophobic reaction to Taylor breaking Eduardo’s leg, or Phil Neville’s insane proclamation that “foreigners” tackle dirty, and of course last week’s crazy statements by England captain John Terry that only foreigners dive. It seems like I have to write about this pretty much every month and it seems like English players and the English press love to blame “foreigners” for all of the EPLs ills (even foreign owners are to blame for the credit crisis!). Since I’m tired of writing about this every week, this is your chance to write in and talk about what you think.

So…

As an Arsenal supporter, what part do you feel that race and/or xenophobia play in the EPL, in decisions on the field, on the comments made by iconic players, and in the post match commentary by pundits?

Rambo draws last blood and another caption “contest”

Good morning.

I SAID GOOD MORNING.

That’s better, now where were we. Oh yeah, interlull, ugh. Well at least no one has gotten hurt, yet.

Well, Djourou underwent surgery for the knee problem that has kept him out up until now and he will now be out until March. So technically, he didn’t get hurt in this international break. No, he was actually hurt in the LAST break! March is the perfect amount of time for Arsenal to really miss him whilst simultaneously being the exact amount of time Arsene needs to point to in January and say “well, we can’t very well buy a central midfielder because Djourou will be returning in March.”

I’m being a bit negative here and I don’t want to turn this into a full bore hand-wringing event but I think this whole thing raises a ton of questions.

What’s up with the Arsenal physios? Did they just miss this diagnosis? What if Djourou intentionally held off on surgery until the end of the transfer window? It seems unthinkable, but at the same time, they have all known about this injury for a month. Why is he now going under the knife?

Anyway, it’s not the end of the world because we still have, uhh, Senderos and that other guy and if they don’t work out I hear Wenger’s going to strap on some boots and reprise his role as sweeper.

Anyway, some other people from Arsenal played for their international teams and as I’ve already said, no one got hurt (fingers crossed). Aaron Ramsey played for his Wales U21 in their amazing 2-1 win over Italy and scored the following audacious goal:

Someone should show that video to Wayne Rooney and let him know that you don’t have to dive to score goals.

Speaking of which, Rooney is “on fire” having now dived in two consecutive matches. This last one is a classic Rooney-Dida-esque fakery which, of course the English press is making excuses for. I actually agree with Martin Samuels’ commentary on the Sky Sports Sunday supplement that there was some contact and that under our current rules it should have been play on or maybe a foul on Rooney (depending on whether you think there was intent). But, as I have maintained for years, the real problem is in this exact kind of play. No one argues that Dida didn’t dive, or Rivaldo, but in a play like Rooney’s yesterday, because of the contact (which was less than Boruc on Eduardo) there arises some doubt. In my mind, there’s no doubt, he could have kept his feet and instead went to ground, it’s what Rooney does, he’s a proven diver.

Well, that topic is sure to be put to bed for a couple of days. At least until Rooney dives to win a penalty against Croatia. Oh and if you’re waiting for UEFA to intervene, they can’t in either this match or the Arsenal match. It turns out that FIFA have jurisdiction here and they don’t allow video evidence to be used after the match. So, until Rooney dives in a European Cup competition or in a Champions League match, Arsenal can’t ask UEFA to examine the video. I am 100% behind them if they do.

Enough of that, on with the caption contest! The rules are simple: come up with a witty caption for the following picture, then read and vote for your favorite from among the others. What do you win? Love and admiration, what do you want???

Tony: Look at the balls on Eduardo! Wenger: I didn't see them.

Enjoy!

John Terry; open mouth, insert xenophobic boot

Caution, John Terry

I really don’t get this.

John Terry makes an inexplicable statement about how Englishmen don’t dive, a statement which defies all reality, and the English press pick it up as a sort of light-hearted story — jokingly pointing out some of the fallacies while leaving the gaping aporia at the center of the text alone. Is it too much to ask for someone in the press to hear John Terry say:

That’s something the England lads don’t do (Dive). Sometimes we’re too honest. Even in the Premier League, we see the English lads get a bit of contact and try to stay on their feet and score the chance. The foreign mentality coming in is that any little clip you can go tumbling over, because of the speed of the game nowadays

and cock their heads quizzically and wonder what kind of xenophobic dope he’s smoking?

I’m not going to repeat yesterday’s column inch for inch and simply substitute “Rooney” for Steven Gerrard, Lampard, Owen, and Thomas Daley. That would be boring. I am just going to say this; Steven Gerrard, who is English, dived against Andorra.

Andorra.

Which, until last year, I thought was a planet in the Star Trek universe with little blue people (it’s not). Irregardless of my ignorance about Andorra, diving against Andorra is the moral equivalent of me or you diving against an Elementary School recess pickup game.

I rest my case, your honor, Englishmen dive and John Terry is a turd.

A turd I will be watching play against Slovenia at 9:30am this morning and a turd who will be playing world footballing giants Croatia on Wednesday. Wednesday should be a dive-fest of epic proportions. I can’t wait for Eduardo to get tackled knee high by some English player and as he’s on the ground in actual pain, one of these holier-than-thou English gods can come over and scream “get up you fake” or some such. It’ll be “great” to hear the press go on about how if he hadn’t “dived” he wouldn’t be getting such a reaction and how great the English players are for being English and all.

The only other news story today, that doesn’t involve something in The Sun, is that Amazon removed Fat Willy’s disgusting CD from their shelves, not because people complained, but because an Arsenal solicitor complained. In the future, I guess we’ll have to direct our complaints at Arsenal.com rather than the retailer. Speaking of which, we should point out to the dot com that iTunes is still selling the CD.

Anyway, I don’t want to leave today on a sour note so instead, I’ll just point to this story about three footballers who overcame adversity to play the sport they loved. I can’t pick any one of Gilberto, Ribery, or Messi’s story as better than any other despite the fact that Gio was an Arsenal player. They are all truly inspirational.

Do you have a similar tale? I’d love to hear it. I love hearing from fans about how they fell in love with football, so share away!