All charged up and ready to go!

When it rains, it pours, and as soon as we get a bit of sunshine, we get doused again: that’s the life of an Arsenal supporter.

You’ve no doubt seen the reports that Our Fair Captain, Cesc Fabregas, has been formally charged on two counts of improper conduct by the Football Association. These charges are for spitting and for coming on to the pitch after the match. The FA have also charged Phil Brown with bringing the game into disrepute for the comments he made about Mike Riley after the game. Both people have until May 12th to respond to the charges.

At the Friday press conference, Arsene Wenger spoke about the charges and seemed incredulous that his player would even be charged

I personally looked at the reports, at the video evidence and there is nothing in there against Cesc.

I have personally looked through as much of the FA records as I can find and I cannot find a single incidence where a player was charged for “ his behavior in coming onto the pitch after the final whistle.” This is the Arsenal captain, coming back after a long layoff with injury, congratulating his team after a hard fought victory over a pack of lying, cheating, overly orange scumbags. In my mind, the captain of the team has every right to be on the pitch to celebrate with his team after the final whistle has blown.In the history of exceptional charges brought against Arsenal players, and that is a long history indeed, this first charge is the most preposterous charge I have ever seen. In addition, when you consider the behavior you have seen this year, the racism that players have suffered, homophobia, xenophobia, the drink driving charges, betting scandals and all of the other ills in football for the FA to take a captain of his team to the bar for “coming onto the pitch” is ludicrous. These ass-clowns can’t even get the pitch right at their centerpiece stadium, and they’re going to charge the Arsenal captain for being on the pitch after the game?

And the worst part? He can’t deny that he was on the pitch. I think this charge will stick and Cesc gets a 3 match ban. Just think about that. Could you imagine for a second Ryan Giggs getting a ban for coming on to the pitch after a game?

Exactly.

As for the second charge, that he spat at or near or on or in the general vicinity of and in the direction of which toward could be described as “at” the Assistant to the Loser (depending on the day and how many drinks Phil Brown’s had before the interview) everyone keeps saying that there is no video evidence. Which means that it’s Cesc’s word against their word.

He’ll probably get a month ban for that, after all, he’s an Arsenal player and foreign to boot.

And what will come of the indisputable fact that Phil Brown by word and deed has brought the game into disrepute? You could color me surprised if he got off on that charge, because the evidence is overwhelming. That said, if there’s any wiggle room here, the FA will find it and give him a lighter punishment.

Incidentally, the May 12th deadline for submitting the facts is after the Chelsea league game and before the Man U league game — Arsenal’s penultimate game. Now, if I was a paranoid man, I might say “hmmm… that’s pretty fcuking convenient, for Man U, that Arsenal’s Captain will be, in all likelihood, suspended for what could be the title-deciding match of the season. Pretty fcuking convenient.” Thankfully I’m not a paranoid man!

This whole sordid tale has been one disgraceful minute after another and I will be glad to see the back of it. If Fabregas is found guilty we all know what his real crime is: being a foreigner on an Arsenal team. And if he’s found guilty we will no doubt hear the highly ironic charge of “Arsenal’s Indiscipline” from quarters such as Chelsea. In other words, same stuff different day, and who cares?

What I actually care about is the fact that Arsenal might have Djourou, Almunia, and Adebayor back for the ‘Boro game on Sunday which, if true,  is huge boost to our back line and to our attack (if Adebayor actually gives a rat’s ass). And like I said at the outset, as soon as the sun shines on us we get a deluge: the boss has confirmed that Thomas Rosicky will be out for the rest of the season. At this point, Rosicky has been in and out (mostly out) of the team for over a year and a half and Wenger faces a decision: cut our losses or stay in for the long term. Wenger is very loyal so I wouldn’t be surprised if Rosicky got another year to try to recover. What else can I say but get well soon little fella.

More damaging are the reports that Robin van Persie is going to be out now for what looks like two weeks, missing the first leg of the Man U Champions League semi-final. This is a huge blow for a team who’s only other real options at striker are a chronic grifter, a dofus with the touch of a defender, and then a bunch of children. Ugh.

There is a match directly in front of us and from a distance, I really hope ‘Boro find a way to stay up this year. I like the team and what Gareth Southgate has done with the club is nothing short of amazing. Moreover, I am actively rooting for Newcastle and Blackburn to make the drop so, I really want ‘Boro to get some points between now and the end of the season. Just not on Sunday!

The match on Sunday will be tape delayed here in Tacoma and Doyle’s is showing it at 8am. Perfect time to have a cup of coffee, some breakfast, and get in an Arsenal match before the Sunday kickaround. For the rest of you, the game kicks off at 5:30 am (PST) and is exclusively on Setanta (and/or some illegal video stream). So, if you’re in town, come on down and join the fun.

And finally, I just love this quote from Nicolas Anelka

Arsenal are composed of young players, aiming for third or fourth place, but we do not really speak about them for the title. Chelsea are like Real Madrid – the pressure here is huge.

Yes, the pressure at Chelsea is huge, because the owner has paid $1bn to raise his Johnny Come Lately supporter’s expectations only to have them dashed on the rocks of 2+ years without any silverware and a put together a team that, frankly, looks ripe for Arsenal to overtake at 3rd place. But, really, the thing that make me laugh the most is the delicious, delicious, irony of a player on a team that is in 3rd place calling out another team for being a “3rd place team.”

Maybe that can be our ray of sunshine for the day, we’ll need something to protect us from the deluge of know-it-all pundits who are about to hit the papers with column feet of know-it-all punditry about how much spit Cesc could have possibly spit and what this means for the future of English football and how we need an immediate return to the good old days — when teams were mostly English (read “British”) and the only thing you had to worry about was a barroom brawl afters.

Ugh, it’s going to be a long weekend.

Thankfully, Arshavin brought jokes

Read between the lines, Man U.

We all know that Arsenal’s defense needs work, hell the whole team could step up in that regard: even Cesc is talking about the need for a team defense step-up ahead of the Champions League clash with Man U. So, us fans fretting over it is probably not going to do a lick of good and us bloggers writing about it is pretty much pointless.

What I would love to tell you is that there’s a 100% chance of Eduardo, Almunia, and Djourou this weekend. But I can’t do that either, which is a bit of a bummer. What the hell is going on in our injury room gods damnit!?!?

I suppose that news will have to wait as well.

*sigh*

Which leaves us with nothing… well… we’ve got Arshavin cracking jokes and actually he’s a funny guy. I don’t know who he was talking to but in that link above he is both be humble about his place on the team and shows some self deprecating humor there at the end. And in this article he talks about his desire to succeed and how he’s not going to be another Beast.

Pretty cool stuff from a funny, smart, and driven young guy.

Which makes me wonder how I was so completely duped by the English and Russian press this January? I guess it just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read, and even less of what you read in the papers.

Match preview tomorrow, see you then.

Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal; the Quad, Quad, and Silvestre

Match Reports

ESPNSoccernet: Arshavin hits four

Telegraph: Liverpool’s title dreams suffer setback as Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin stuns Anfield

Match Video

See four of the sweetest goals and four of the worst goals you will ever see over at the Arsenalist.

Man of the Match

There’s no question that Arshavin gets the Champagne here.  He put Arsenal ahead three times only to be outdone at the back. He worked every minute of that game, defending his ass off up front, tracking back all night and even sprinting forward at to 90th minute to score an absolutely brilliant left footer that should have seen Arsenal bag all three points.

Yesterday, I wondered if Andrei might do something to show Arsene the error of benching him in the FA cup on Saturday but I never expected him to come out and put in the performance of a lifetime.

And as for scoring four goals in a league match, well, that makes him the first player to score four this season, only the second Arsenal player to ever score four, the sixth player to ever score four in an away match, and in the long history of the Premier League only the 19th player to ever score four.  Oh yeah, and to take a huge dump on all that he’s the first player ever to score four in a game and not get a win, which sucks.

The Good

I believe it was a game, not only with goals but with technical quality at a high speed and for me it was top, top level tonight. Did that provoke the mistakes at the back? I don’t know but it was at a frenetic pace and it was enjoyable to watch and it’s a credit to the Premier League tonight.Arsene Wenger on Arsenal’s 4-4 draw with Liverpool.

I shudder to think how many goals Arsenal would have let in had Song not been back there to shield Silvestre from himself. Which is my way of giving a shout out to Song.

The Bad

silvestre denilson sagna

Conclusion

If I told you before the game that Arsenal were guaranteed to get a draw at Anfield you probably would have taken it. Similarly, if I told you before the match that Andrei Arshavin would score 4 goals, you certainly would have taken it. But if I told you that Arsenal’s makeshift back four would gift Liverpool 4 goals you would have ripped me a new one.

Overwhelmingly, it seems, most Arsenal supporters are upset about that last bit but for me, as I was watching the game, I just felt that Liverpool were not going to be denied and that the Arsenal defense was not going to be able to hold the door shut against them. So, I just kind of let go and just let the game happen. I put aside my partisanship for a bit and just watched as both teams poured on the goals. I mean, Arsenal was going for a 5th goal at the end there, and if not for a poor decision by the linesman would have had it. Liverpool too, had at least one good shot at a 5th goal. And it was really enjoyable to watch two teams play that hard for 90 minutes.

I’m not forgiving Silvestre his multiple transgressions, in fact I’ll be the first to point out that this is his second nightmare match in a row, but what I have done with this player is just take a step back and look at it as objectively as I can: he sucks but he’s all we’ve got. I guess I could bitch and moan about it and complain about how Wenger not only didn’t bring anyone in but let Senderos go (maybe forever) but that’s not going to change the frightening fact that he’s pretty much all we got going into a Champions League match against Man U next week.

He’s all we got back there and you have to laugh. Because if you don’t laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, it might drive you mad.

The only thing I feel bad about is that we saw what is in all likelihood Arshavin’s finest ever game and it was in a 4-4 draw.

Oh, and by the way… Arsenal are unbeaten in 19 consecutive league matches now. Which is something else to laugh about.