Category Archives: Deadline Poetry


Blood and thunder (Plus: Arsenal missed Arteta and Ramsey)

Bursting through the Villa lines
Wilshere’s gossamer touch
froze the ball in perfect silence,
a moment of anticipation,
split by the thunderclap of his shot.

Then Delph let cry and slipped.
Wilshere again paused time, a trick
he must do by clicking his boots together.
Giroud cushioned Wilshere’s diagonal
like cotton candy. Then, draped in men,
he coolly slotted
between their legs.

Villa pressed and Arsenal folded,
an ill-conceived backheel
and Lowton poked and hoped.
Mertesacker’s telescopic legs
just a wisp away from clearing
Benteke’s diving header.

And Per’s face contorted in
rage, as he turned to howl:
You will play like men
or I will end you!”

Swarbrick stood over Rosicky
must have seen his Picasso nose
and didn’t stop play. So
Rosicky staggered to his feet
and played on. Our warrior,
his nose Bruced by Agbonlahor,
giving everything to the team.

The Villains tasted blood
and in a frenzy nipped at
Arsenal’s heels.
They bombarded
Arsenal from above,
from the side.
But Mertesacker and Koscielny
rose to the challenge and
headed everything away.

The fans watched on
tight and nervous but
This is not the Arsenal
who gave up four
to Newcastle.
This is not the Arsenal
who conceded a late penalty
to Birmingham.
This is the Arsenal
who plays with
gossamer and guts.
This is the Arsenal
who plays with
blood and thunder.
This is the Arsenal
who are
Top of the League.

Arsenal really missed Aaron and Arteta

Cazorla is getting a lot of stick this morning for the errant backheel that let Villa into the game and certainly that move was not the brightest: he could have played the ball back to Gibbs but instead elected for a tricky pass in a dangerous area between three defenders. For a player of his experience that was fairly unacceptable. He should know better than to play a ball like that in the Arsenal defensive final third. But part of the problem was that overall I thought the Arsenal midfield looked a bit timid in that second half. There were just too many players who didn’t seem to want the ball.

Villa sussed out that Swarbrick wasn’t going to call any fouls on them and so they got physical with Arsenal — eventually breaking Rosicky’s face. It’s a well-worn tactic that Arsenal should be prepared for having seen it incessantly for the last 15 years.

Flamini tried to rise to the challenge and impose himself on the match and at the end so too did Wilshere but what was needed was a little bit of calm possession rather than huffing and puffing and physical violence. Slick passing would have broken the Villa press easily and probably created more clear-cut opportunities on counter attacks. But without either Ramsey or Arteta, who work tirelessly to make themselves available for their teammates and who are excellent with the quick pass and move, Arsenal really struggled to string passes together.

To be blunt, it looked like some of the key players were hiding. Wilshere and Özil in particular needed to step up and make themselves available as an outlet for Cazorla. Arsenal’s 79% second half passing didn’t make itself, it was a product of players hiding.

I was also not impressed with either of their defensive contributions. Wilshere won Arsenal the game but he’s chronically unwilling to do the dirty work that’s required of a center mid. He only even attempted one tackle, which is really crazy when you consider how much of the ball Villa had in the second half. I know, you’re going to be apoplectic with rage over me daring to criticize the game winner but I’m sure you’ll get over it eventually.

Look, there are a lot of folks who are hand-wringing over Podolski being left out of the squad but Poldi is left out because Cazorla plays both ends of the pitch and Podolski just doesn’t. You can carry a player like that, Vieira admitted that Arsenal did it with Pires during their halcyon days, but you really can’t have two or three of those players on a team or the defense suffers. So, while I understand that people want to see Podolski given a chance “on the back of Cazorla’s disastrous performance” I completely disagree. Wenger has been dropping hints that Podolski is basically lazy and as long as Wilshere and Özil are shirking their defensive duties the team needs Cazorla.

Yes, Cazorla made the error which led to the Villa goal but he also shouldered the burden for Arsenal and led the team in passes, was second in attacking third passes, led both teams with 11 ball recoveries, led Arsenal with 3/3 tackling, and even had 4 clearances. Wilshere and Özil combined for 0/1 tackles, 13 ball recoveries, and one clearance.

You can have one or maybe even two players who are basically not doing their defensive duties or who don’t really want the ball but three is right out. At least until Arsenal can get Ramsey and Arteta back into the game: Arsenal’s two best tacklers and two best passers.


Lukas Podolski

Mourinho, Rosicky, Poldi, and Dean: a children’s treasury of football verse

Jose Mourinho King of the Britons

mourinho held an audience
with the gathered scribes
excalibur he claimed i pulled it
from the cornerstone of stamford bridge
and this brittanias shield
athena wished it in my arms
he paused and the sound of tapping
keyboards filled the room
we are the britons he
said we dont dive
our lion hearts would shrivel
at the thought of young
or rooney taking a tumble
divin is for them
foreigners like drogba

Rosicky Offered Like, a New Contract

Life without
would be a
drag, man

Goldi Poldi

Goldi Poldi pudding pie
kicked the ball and made it fly.
Arsene says his shots are best
after Poldi gets a rest.*

How to get a yellow card in the Premier League

Clattermole flies in
both feet off the ground
Dean sees nothing
wrong going down.
Johnson, though, is a beast
yellow for removing his chemise.


*This is true. Since coming to Arsenal Podolski has been subbed on or off 53 of the 58 games he’s appeared in for both club and country. In the two seasons prior, he was subbed on or off just 25 of 86 matches.

NewsNow’s headlines have the scoop, on the Arsenal’s latest swoop.

He’s highly rated,
the bid’s audacious,
it’s a surprise,
but Arsenal’s voracious.
The move’s a shock
but the Gunners are a lock.

So we are eyeing him
and preparing a bid.
We are one step closer,
and on the verge.
Ready to submit
a formal offer.
We are going to dip
into our coffers.
(our warchest!)

Don’t let our delays
give you pause…
We are making our move,
to prepare to activate,
an unknown clause.

This is no kid,
no like a new signing
we are preparing a bid,
there will be no whining.
We’ll hijack the player,
you’ve been eyeing to swoop
We’ll trigger his clause
and keep the press in the loop.
He’ll snub all others
and join the cause.
As Arsene remakes Arsenal
into the Arsenal that was.

Our target is simple;
the new Vieira,
the new Henry,
or the old-new Cesc.

And we are poised,
on the verge,
it’s understood,
that it is our plot
to snap him up.

Don’t let hope fade,
he’s a marquee name!
A bid’s being readied!
We are going to table!
We will sign him soon!
(as soon as we’re able)

I know you’re skittish
but don’t be wary!
Because no other team will hijack
our audacious bid,
for the highly rated,
Gareth Barry.

All phrases used above stolen directly from NewsNow’s ‘Arsenal Transfers’ section between 6:30am and 7:30am PST on 11 July 2013. Any likeness between that site’s headlines and Arsenal’s actual transfer dealings are purely coincidental and any inference that Arsenal are after Gareth Barry, Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Rooney, or Luis Suarez is for entertainment purposes only. Hang in there Gooners, the transfer window doesn’t close until September 2nd. That’s right, the 2nd: Arsene gets one more day to drag his feet!