The Lehmann Show, Arshavin sells Pepsi, and Premier League Debt

Kickette has the scoop on a bunch of Premier League players who posed for Pepsi and one of them was Arsenal’s very own Andrei Arshavin. I don’t know about you, but for me that photo seriously needs a caption. Feel free to add one in the comments.

Gods, I miss Lehmann

You really need to hang on until the very end with this video: funniest fucking tackle I have ever seen.

Serious Debt

Let’s actually be serious for a minute… ok, there has been a lot of talk from UEFA over the last two years about addressing the problem of debt in the Premier League but up until now it’s just been that: a bunch of talk. Well, as it turns out a secret agreement among the top clubs and top leagues seems to have been hammered out with UEFA and it looks like everyone is going to agree to do something about debt levels. This secret deal has been leaked to the press and is currently making the rounds — I even saw a watered down bit in ESPNSoccernet.

If you want to get the real skinny on how this is going to play out, you need to check out Tony’s article at Untold Arsenal.  According to Tony, Arsenal are going to be fine but several other clubs are going to need to do some major revisions if they want to play in Europe:

Anyway UEFA are now going to publish this report in full, and come out with a new set of Financial Fair Play rules, which it says are agreed in principle by the big clubs and their leagues.

These require clubs to break even financially from 2012-13. There are suggestions that the loophole of putting money into shares so it doesn’t show as debt is being closed in the new regs.

What’s more the report specifically (and yes it is specific on this) identifies Manchester IOU and Liverpool Insolvency as catastrophic in its own right, and there is implied criticism of the way the EPL and the FA have simply closed their eyes and said and done nothing about the disaster.

Ouch!  If I’m a Chelsea fan, first I’d kill myself, but then I’d be shitting my pants right about now. How, exactly, are they going to break even much less turn a profit when they have the second highest payroll, no academy, no prospects coming up, and are bankrolled entirely by a Russian Oligarch? And Liverpool? And Man U?

Hmmm… looks like Arsene Wenger’s fiscally prudent approach to football is going to pay dividends sooner that I thought.

Oh and one more thing, you should fully expect Arsenal’s name to be lumped in with the other financial dopers in all the papers. Despite the fact that Arsenal are one of only a few clubs who are managing their debt, used the debt for improvements rather than leveraged buyouts, and are turning a profit every year.

That’s just how reporters work.

Letters from you, the readers

Dear Tim,

Your site is absolutely awesome. I’m trying my hand at blogging over at could you please give me some advice?

Yours Truly, A. Blogger

Blogger, I get this type of letter all the time and my advice is always the same:

  1. Spelling matters — sure you can make a few typos, even the greats like me make misteaks, but that’s why the gods invented spell-check. Use ot.
  2. Use proper grammar — Sentences should not prepositions end in. Neither should writing be passive voice in. Unless you want like Yoda to sound.
  3. Use irregardless, A LOT, it is a word and it gets me at least 300 hits a day.
  4. Boobs, lots of men like them and even some girls don’t mind them, who knew?
  5. Find your voice. To do this, I created a character; he’s part sci-fi nerd, part Anglophile, and part Arsenal obsessive. He’s also 13 years old and laughs at words like cock a snook, cock sandwich, and cuckold. Oh and he likes boobs, who knew?
  6. If you’re going to write an Arsenal blog, you should probably know something about Arsenal and football. This last point is often confusing to the new blogger because if you look around at some places like Arsenal News Review you might think you can get away without any understanding of the game and the sad fact is that you can’t. Unless you want to be a laughing stock

Dear Tim,

Who is your favorite Arsenal player on this team? Of all time?

Yours Truly, A. Fan

Dear Fan (if that is your REAL name) I’m caught in a bit of a dilemma with my favorite player on the current side because I like Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen pretty equally. If you’ve read the blog you’ll know how important I think  Song is to the midfield this year. He doesn’t make too many spectacular passes (though he did set Eduardo up for that side-footer against Burnley last year) but rather he’s sort of the glue that holds the defense and the offense together. Thomas Vermaelen has simply transferred from Ajax and come straight into the Premier League and done a really nice job all over the pitch; scoring goals, mopping up defense, attacking, heading the ball, and generally being Arsenal’s hard man. Tough choice there. I’m going with…. Emmanuel Eboue.

Favorite player of all time? Patrick Vieira.

Right, keep the letters coming, if you need advice on anything (how to buy a home, relationships, family problems, Arsenal, etc) just use the “contact me” form above or simply send an email to 7amkickoff care of gmail dot com. I try to respond to all of the fan mail I receive, unless it’s really untoward (you know who you are).