An open letter to Phil Brown

Dear Phil,

Good morning, how are you feeling today? Better than yesterday? Still hungover? I ask because I can only imagine that it was drink that fueled yesterday’s incredible BBC 5 Live interview in which you quite clearly accused Cesc Fabregas of poor dress and Mike Riley of intentionally throwing the Arsenal match.

I just want to take a few minutes and respond to each of the accusations that you leveled against Arsenal in that 7 minute interview. Do you have time for that, my Darling?

Good.

First, let’s talk about your most factually based accusation: Cesc Fabregas was in fact “dressing in the manner he was dressed.” Here’s a picture to prove it:

fab-u-lous dress senseWhat a gross outfit! It totally is unflattering to his body type. What is up with the cuffs on that jacket? They make the puffy jacket look more puffy and the cuff on the bottom of the jacket makes it look like he’s smuggling a ham in the mid section there. If I weighed 11 stones I’d wear things that showed off my body a little more, rather than something that makes me look like I have a keg under my shirt. Good eye, Mr. Brown.

And while we’re on the topic of fashion do you mind if I point out that your spray tan is just a little too orange? What you want is a a healthy glow but not to make it look like you obviously tan. That’s difficult to do in a climate like England but it can be done, just cut back to like once every two weeks, rather than the daily treatments you seem to be taking. If you don’t slow down you’re going to start to glow in the dark, my Darling.

Now, another thing you mentioned in your interview there was how Arsene Wenger “never” shakes your hand

He wouldn’t shake my hand when we beat them fairly 2-1 at the Emirates. He wouldn’t shake my hand when they beat us, fairly, 3-1 at the KC Stadium.

The problem I’m having here, Philly, is that we have photographs proving that Wenger did, in fact, shake your hand after both of those matches. Is there an alternate definition of “shake” or “hand” that I’m missing?

Now, to the “spitting” incident, the meat of the matter at hand. Cesc has denied the allegations, categorically, and you have no witnesses as you admitted to Victoria Derbyshire in the interview above. I mean, I know that you tried to redirect that conversation with the whole “are you calling me a liar” tactic but everyone listening knows that just means you actually don’t have any evidence. Do you have any evidence that Cesc spat on anyone, near anyone, or toward anyone or do we all have to take your word for it?  Because, I’m just saying that your word isn’t too good right now.

As for Gallas’ “offside” goal, remember that Hull City might not have even been playing Arsenal had it not been for a controversial decision that went against Sheffield United back in February. I didn’t hear you complaining about the officiating when you got the benefit of what Sheffield supporters think was a poor decision to rule Naughton’s header an own goal. That’s how this stuff works, Phillie, sometimes a decision goes your way, sometimes it goes our way and when the final whistle goes we all have to be man enough to say “well, crap” and get on with our lives. Not go whingeing to the press about how poorly dressed Cesc was (which is true) or how he slathered Horton Hears a Who with a gallon of Catalan Saliva (not true).

And finally, no, you didn’t “get up our noses” — your team scored a lucky, deflected goal and then attempted to play anti-football for 77 minutes. Arsenal bettered your goal for the better part of those 77 minutes, resulting in some 70% of possession and the best chances of score by leaps and bounds. Arsenal deserved that win and everyone knows it.

I know you claim to have your coaching medals and if that’s true you would know that time wasting is a bookable offense because it’s cheating. Now, if you’re going to cheat and break the rules you have to be crafty about it. See, the problem is that your team doesn’t have the required craft of a team like Blackburn in order to pull off the whole anti-football thing and not pick up a host of bookings. So, Mike Riley was 100% correct to book 5 of your players, your team showed an indiscipline in it’s cheating that I haven’t seen since Arsenal last played Chelsea. Don’t blame Riley for the things he did right when there’s so much he did wrong in that game!

Anyway, Phil, I really hope you feel better today. You’re going to need all your strength to answer the charges that the FA are likely to bring against you for calling Mike Riley a cheat, for lying about Cesc spitting, and now it’s being reported that your assistant, Horton Hears a Who, called Cesc an “arrogant Spanish ____” and by ____ I don’t think he said “International.”

So, instead of getting Arsenal charged with stuff, it looks like you might get a charge or three yourself. That would add insult to injury wouldn’t it? My Darling?

Cheers,

Tim

Arsenal 2-1 Hull; there must have been a second spitter

Holy Christ what shit storm have I awoken to? Cesc is accused of spitting, Phil Brown is spitting dummies, Arsene is spitting mad and not shaking hands… have you people all lost your minds?

Because instead of focusing on a well deserved 2-1 win over a pack of notloB bred, time-wasting, lucky-goal having, lying, cheats we’re now dredging up video of Cesc supposedly spitting on Ballack back when Cesc was 12 years old, or spending time reading about how Brown claims Wenger “never does” shake hands even though there is photographic evidence to the contrary, and most incredibly, an accusation that will literally make your mind boggle, is Phil Brown calling it a disgrace for Wenger to complain about time wasting when his pack of talentless hacks had started wasting time from the moment they scored the goal!

To recap: Phil Brown is a proven liar, a moaner of such epic proportions that he puts Fergie and Wenger to shame, and Arsenal still won the match 2-1. End of story.

Man of the Match

Unlike other matches, this is a bit tougher. I really liked Song’s poise in the game and feel like he has made tremendous strides in the last two weeks. He has added forward passing (he picked out a beautiful pass to a streaking Gibbs that made me remark to the local Arsenal supporters) to a reprotiore of good tackles and tracking back. He also seems to have gained pace and defensive awareness. I don’t know who’s handling this kid but whoever it is is doing a heck of a job.

Another obvious choice is van Persie, he scored the equalizer and I really liked his perseverence in the face of all the missed chances. There was a period there where I swore that Arsenal was going to have another one of those games — 100 shots, 0 goals.

Gibbs too was outstanding and is turning into quite a likeable replacement for Clichy at left back. He put in several crucial tackles and showed the requisite ability to get forward. I also really like his crosses, they seem to come in at better pace and with more accuracy than Clichy at the moment.

Honorable mention goes to Bendtner who still can’t score but at least he really, really tries. His perseverence in front of goal is directly responsible for the equalizer.

As good as those guys played, I have to give the award to Andrei Arshavin. He started slow and at first I thought it was a mistake to include him in the lineup as he looked to be suffering from the cut on his foot but as the game wore on he took over. He was the most creative player on the pitch and more than once threatened to score — the best of which was a volley that only needed a whisker less curve to go in the net. But it was the equalizer which made him MotM for me. Instead of taking the shot, he made the right decision and put the ball on van Persie’s chocolate leg with just the right pace for him to pass the ball into the net. Then he calmly gathered the team from their celebrations and reminded them that the game wasn’t over yet and spurred them on to victory.

Selfless leadership. Fuck it’s been a long time since Arsenal had some of that.

Match Video

If you need to see the ball played off the Hull keeper, go to The Arsenalist, of course

Conclusion

Before the match I read a great interview with Phil Brown where he was humble and talked about how when he was earning his badges they did a review of him and the reviewer mentioned that Brown’s training was down the line exactly the same as Wenger’s at Arsenal. Then the reviewer asked how many shots Hull did during training and Brown said 250 or so and the reviewer said Arsenal does made 60-70 and scores twice as many. In the interview he was being humble and said that that’s how much class Arsenal have and what the difference between the two teams really was all about.

What a shame he couldn’t keep that same humility after the match. Any good will he earned from that interview he burned by falsely accusing Arsenal of all kinds of crap after.

During the match I had some English guy near me complain about how Gallas was offside and how the linesman had bungled the whole match. I disagreed and he wanted to press the point, so I just grabbed the Arsenal crest on my shirt and showed it to him. I don’t care if the world thinks Gallas was offside (he wasn’t) I don’t care if the world thinks what’s his cunt was onside (he wasn’t) I support Arsenal and after all the shiat we’ve been through in the last few years a little good luck was well deserved.

In conclusion, f*ck Hull and f*ck all the detractors, bring on Chelsea.

We’ll have Ade and Spitting Mad Fabregas back, probably Eduardo too, if the Hull match was a cracker, Chelsea will be a test of these boy’s manhood.

After this week?

I’m putting my money on Red.

Arsenal v. Hull; the FA Cup semi-final and revenge await

Stupid, yes. Also dumb. But it is something I've gotta do

As usual Wenger’s playing the starting lineup close to his chest; only giving out little bits and bobs of who will be included today. From the article linked above, we can see that Fabianski and Gibbs (who have featured in the FA Cup) are the only two who are certainly being included in the starting XI. From there on out it’s a matter of fitness, rotation, and tactics that will decide the squad.

For fitness, the boss spoke of Arshavin’s desire to get on the pitch despite suffering a gash from a Ooijer tackle (link possibly NSFW) that required 8 stitches on Saturday. The Fonz spoke openly about the events of Saturday saying of the wound

It’s like a knife cut – not very deep but quite painful. Ooijer tore my boot and the skin, too. At half-time, our doctor had to do a lot of work on my foot. So when I scored the second goal, I ran over to thank him for a job well done.

That explains why he was late coming out of the tunnel and his sort of tearful hug of the team doctor after he scored, I was wondering about that. Arsene wants to include him, Arshavin wants to play, but ultimately, he’s going to be a game-time decision.

Rambo, on the other hand, has been ruled out owing to the fact that he is “growing in stature” and needs a rest. I remember some talk from Arsene about Rambo’s lack of fitness when he came in to the squad and so I’m guessing the boss means that and not that Aaron has literally grown and needs rest. 17 year old’s sometimes do have growth spurts and they are very painful. Either way, he’s not even included in the team.

Robin van Persie hasn’t played since the 11th so I expect him to get the start, no sense leaving him to rot on the bench, but after that the Gods only know who Arsene will pick. He could play a 4-5-1 with RvP as the lone striker, Vela and Arshavin on the wings, Nasri in the middle (or switch Nasri and Arshavin) and the two-headed-hydra in central midfield. He could put Diaby in the middle, could start Djourou and rest Gallas, etc. etc. Wenger has a lot of choices today and that’s a good thing. If he rests those folks and starts Vela and Bendtner up front, that leaves him RvP and Theo Walcott coming off the bench.

Wait…

Squad depth?

Whoa.

For their part Hull and their manager have a great deal of belief coming in to this match:

Win this – and don’t forget we’ve already won at Arsenal this season – and we’re at Wembley playing Chelsea, win that we’re in the FA Cup final

…our performances were good, but results were hurting. The Cup run reminded us of how good we can be. It meant players were still bouncing, still coming into training looking forward to the sessions we were putting on. A smile on a player’s face is priceless to me. There’s no question that the FA Cup maintained spirit.

Hull will be up for this game and we should expect a spirited, attacking team who see the FA Cup as a light in the dark tunnel of Premier League survival. Buoyed by their surprise result at Emirates at the start of the season and their run of form to get them this far in the FA Cup this is by no means a walk in the park. Arsenal will need to closely mark danger men like Giovanni in open play, be prepared for Hull to mark them closely in return, and defend well from set pieces: three things we didn’t do well last time.

Hull will want to score early in order to take some pressure off so, look for them to come out hard in the first 5 minutes. This isn’t the same team that Hull shocked earlier in the season and I expect that this Arsenal team can handle that pressure — considering that they just got back from Rome and played a world class team in an unfriendly stadium, Hull, at Emirates, should be considerably easier.

So, for our part, Arsenal will look to soak up their pressure and hit them on the counter early.

What are the odds for van Persie to get a goal in the first 10 minutes?

Right, that’s it, I’ve been sick basically since I got back from London (two different colds I think) and finally got on antibiotics for this crud that settled in my chest. I am feeling a lot better and need to get in and put in a half day at work… which is perfect since kickoff is 12:45 PST.

The match is being shown live at Doyle’s so come on down and join us if you’re in town. It should be a cracker!

Oh yeah, happy St.EveryoneInAmericaIsIrishAndDrunk Day!