This is Your April Fool's Day Bomb Shelter

You will find no pranks in this post; 100% of what I write is true, no matter how fantastical it may seem.

First, and most unrealistically, Alan Shearer has been appointed as manager of Newcastle. This is so unbelievable that I’m still convinced this is a prank by Newcastle.

First, Alan Shearer was an incredible footballer, but he is a mental midget of epic proportions. I can’t wait for him to give a Friday pre-match press conference because the shiat he says is priceless. Second, there are 8 games left in the season. Newcastle don’t need a comedy tour, they need an experienced manager. Third, they tried the messiah thing already this season and it failed… miserably. If they aren’t careful, they are going to run out of Tyneside legends to run this club into the ground.

Wait, what am I saying? I should be happy about this appointment, Newcastle are a pack of c*ntheels who deserve relegation and Alan Shearer will do his level best to ensure this happens. I wonder, if there are two games left in the season and relegation looks inevitable, do you think they’ll fire Shearer and bring someone else in?

The second strange story of the morning is that Kieran Gibbs played 90 minutes for England U20′s… in central midfield.  I’ve seen him play on the wings but never thought he’d make a good central midfielder. Shows you what I know! I don’t want to hear about how you knew he’d be a great central midfielder, because no one, no one (except U20 boss Noel Blake) saw that coming.

The third bizarre story is that Tottenham’s new Naming Rights Stadium is going to have… an ice skating rink. They are building this park around the stadium because they want people to hang out. That makes sense, right? Because when I think of the Tottenham end of Seven Sisters Road, I think “This is a place I’d like to hang out, maybe do a little ice skating.”

And finally, for some reason Robin van Persie is being linked with a move away from Arsenal, and Ivan Gazidis is reassuring supporters that Cesc is staying. The Robin story is very strange. Papers are reporting that he’s waiting to sign a new contract “but only if they (Arsenal) match his ambitions.” The problem is that that’s not what he said, what he actually said is:

Financially Arsenal’s last offer is fine but that isn’t everything for me. It’s about my ambitions and how they can be fulfilled… The club and I want the same and it’s our intention to achieve that. We have all the other factors in place: fantastic stadium, dedicated support and money in the bank. Now it’s about making that final push… It’s difficult to explain but I certainly feel I can play an important role in taking Arsenal to a higher level.

This is a guy who has passion, wants to win, and most importantly wants to help Arsenal win. How does that equate to “van Persie threatening to leave unless Arsenal promise him trophies and rainbows and back rubs?”

As for the Gazidis story, well, what else would he say? “Cesc is leaving?” No. With Real Madrid having a presidential election and obviously willing to spend huge on players  I have no doubt that there will be huge offers tendered, via the Spanish press, in order to try to pry Cesc from Arsenal.

Will he go? Gazidis is confident that he won’t. Cesc has always been quick to kill any rumors of his departure. And I have to believe that he’s not satisfied with just 10 or so games as Arsenal captain. Also, he’s Catalan, if he’s going anywhere it’s Barcelona which means he has a few years before their current central midfield pair fall off in performance and he’s guaranteed first team football. I can’t say he won’t go, but the deck sure seems stacked against it at the moment.

Right, I promised no April Fool’s pranks and in the end I didn’t need to pull any; the real world was so much stranger. See you tomorrow.

Down goes Diaby

I wasn’t going to do a blog today because A) there’s no evidence that the Fabregas quote about being tapped up is real (it’s been picked up but not widely AND Arsenal are being quiet on the topic) B) I got up late, owing to the fact that I now put in 14 hour days between work/school on Mondays and Wednesdays and C) because there should have been fuck all to report.

Unfortunately, there isn’t fuck all to report as Abou Diaby has picked up a hip injury during training for France. My regular readers know how highly I rated Diaby over the last few weeks, going so far as to say that he was the key ingredient to our midfield success lately. So, even with Cesc coming back I imagined Diaby would keep a starting spot. Especially with Arsene hailing Diaby as the new Vieira. In my dreams it would have been Cesc/Diaby in the “holding/box-to-box” spot and Arshavin in front of them. Now it looks like we’re back to defensive midfielder by committee for a few weeks.

No news on Bendtner and whether his national team will see fit to let the guy see the doctors on the team that pay his salary. Robin van Persie, on the other hand, has been flown back to London to have his groin looked at <insert joke>.

I would say “knock on wood” that no one else picks up an injury but each time I’ve said that we’ve picked up another so now I’m going with a more traditional English phrase: touch wood.

I’ll be touching wood all day today. Hey if that’s what it takes to keep Arsenal’s players safe, I’m willing to make that sacrifice, are you?

Injuries and Fabreflap make me Kroenke

...in a fire, after being shot out of a cannon

If today’s news reports can be trusted Arsene Wenger has his work cut out for him over the next few days.

First, and worst, is the injury flap surrounding Nicklas Bendtner. Bendtner was substituted at the 30th minute of their match against Malta (pop: 410,000) because he had suffered a knee injury. Word on the street is that Wenger/Arsenal tried to recall the player at that point, probably to do a scan and prevent further injury. Well, Danish national team sub-coach Peter Bonde responded with a huge middle finger to Arsenal, saying:

He is here with us right now, if he is ready then he is ready. We cannot be thinking about Arsenal. We treat players well, but we will play them if they are fit. We have set a deadline of Tuesday. He is not training today [Monday] but he is receiving treatment. We will see how he responds.

Now let me make myself very clear Mr. Bonde: go fuck yourself. Arsenal are the reason that Bendtner is even in your team, so you should be worried about Arsenal. If it wasn’t for Arsenal playing Bendtner week in and week out while he has sucked ass you wouldn’t have a world class striker on your team.

But more importantly, this should be Bendtner’s decision, not yours. If Bendtner wants to risk his football career in order to play Eastpodunkia in the next match, then that’s his choice. But he needs to be given a choice, without threats of losing his national team spot, you don’t own the player.

Also, please note in that story there’s an aside about Robin van Persie picking up “something in his groin.” At least it was against a team that had some chance of getting into the World Cup.

UGH

So far, Arsenal have suffered just two injuries, knock on wood that we don’t suffer any more. I guess we should be happy with just two injuries so far, some of these matches are starting with riots.

Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas is embroiled in two, or even three, flaps at the moment. The Hull Shiatty flap is still ongoing, with Hull submitting their “evidence” to the FA that Cesc spat at one or all of their coaches — and that he also cursed out Ethel the tea-lady, after spitting all over her. I have no doubt that this is going to be a he-said-she-said case and will be dismissed by the FA. Though, there in the back of my mind is the fact that Cesc is not English and thus, unlike Rooney’s disgraceful and caught on tape disrespect of himself, his club, and the referee, there’s always a chance that the FA will punish Cesc based on Phil Orange’s good word — despite the fact that his word has been dragged through the mud and spat upon by the man himself.

A bit of a bigger story, though, is that swirling around the constant speculation that Fabregas is leaving is some quote attributed to Cesc that he was tapped up by Real Madrid last year. At the time of the supposed incident, Cesc denied Real contacted him and Arsene said that he spoke with Cesc and that Cesc denied contact was made and that for him (Wenger) that was case closed. However, Arsene did leave the door open for future action saying

I did not allow Fabregas to talk to anybody. He denies he did. If you can get the statement he has done that and that Real Madrid, more than ever, has done that, then we will sue Real Madrid (emph. added).  His agent might have spoken to Real Madrid. But Real Madrid are not entitled to do it without our permission.

Now, it could be a slip of tongue, could be a mistranslation, could be the media making up something but Cesc (ironically while trying to put transfer rumors to bed) is being quoted as saying

It’s true that the president of Real Madrid called me personally, we spoke on the phone, but I never gave him my word, I never said to him that I was going to sign for Real Madrid. He asked about my progress and that was it.

I have not given him nor anyone else the expectation that I will join them. The same goes for anyone who represents me. I am a person of my word and I can assure you that I have never given any club reason to believe that I would leave Arsenal. Nobody can say that they have agreed with me that I become part of their project. That is clear.

There’s something funny about the quote though, I don’t see a date associated with it like “Cesc was talking to a reporter on Friday and said…” so it is possible that this is just a recycled quote from last year making the rounds (I searched and found nothing). It could also be a mistranslation, misquote, or even something made up: the Spanish press are actually more notoriously cuntish about transfers than the British press.

That said, if it’s true and recent and Real Madrid did contact Cesc Fabregas without Arsenal’s permission and Arsenal have evidence of that then Arsenal should sue the shit out of Real Madrid. End of.

More on this story as it develops. My gut feeling is that this is a non-story. Let’s hope my gut is right. But if it isn’t then the road ahead is clear: sue them, sue them into submission.

Finally, in the “meh” news category and included here just to bring you down from your emotional high; Stan Kroenke has bought some shares from Danny Fiszman.  YAY! At least it’s not Usmanov.

Well, that’s it for today, let’s all hope that Arsenal escape the rest of the week without any more injuries and without any more stories about Phil Orange or Cesc transfer rumors.

Gods I hate the International Break.