Are you done with the Arshavin thing?

Sick of it all

Yesterday’s blog was meant as a sort of piece of performance art; a commentary on how wild eyed we’ve all gotten over the signing of a man who hasn’t played a lick of football in several months, who’s never played in the EPL, who is undoubtedly a decent player but is by no stretch a savior, who’s fitness was questioned by Arsene Wenger, who’s current club is bat-shit insane AND racist, and who’s agent is really starting to get on my pecs.

I kind of figured I’d deconstruct the entire affair, by making an ironically over-the-top, Twitter-esque, running commentary of the nothing that was going to happen. Make nothing into something to show us all that this was really nothing. Right?

And of course, it turns out that there is something to all this because at the height of my ironic absurdity, things literally got absurd when blogs started reporting craziness like “Usmanov buys Arshavin” followed by Zenit’s absurd (is there something beyond absurd?) statement that the clubs have reached a deal but that the player hasn’t reached a deal even though both parties have previously said that the player reached a deal and it all boils down to the same old crap; Arsenal refusing to cave into Zenit’s insistence that they pay Arshavin’s agent, who is negotiating on behalf of Zenit, a £3m finder’s fee. At least that’s the latest from Gunnerblog who is a very reliable source and has a pretty good piece of speculation today.

At this point, though, I really couldn’t give two fucks. TWO FUCKS. I’d much rather that the club didn’t deal with such a bunch of amateurs and assholes and racists. I’d much rather that Arsenal swooped in on Bolton who are making a £12m bid for Veloso and plucked him from their greasy little pie stained hands and left them lying bruised in a steaming pile of Davies.

But it seems like I can’t escape this gold-plated-turd of a deal. I had a bad taste at the beginning of this Arshavin saga; whenever a player publicly threatens his team over a transfer it leaves me feeling uneasy. Then some of you made some good arguments, which sort of glossed over the whole thing. And now I’m back to “I have a bad feeling about this whole thing” and “this will end badly.” The only facts I have to back this feeling up are the numerous contradictory statements that have come out of the mouths of all three Russian parties in this agreement (Zenit, Arshavin, and his Agent) and we could argue over them until the cows come home.

Let’s not? Let’s instead pay attention to the fact that Arsenal travel to Liverpool to take on a very resilient and currently plucky Everton tomorrow, shall we?

Right. Moving on then — unfortunately, it’s a mid-day match and I have a super busy schedule tomorrow so I cannot get off to see it live. That said, I have a super busy schedule tomorrow so hopefully I can avoid a score line and will be able to see the match with fresh eyes at Doyle’s after work.

If you live in town, come join me around 5pm and watch the replay. You know who you are (only two of you came out for the Cardiff match) and yes, I am shaming you into coming out tomorrow.

Match preview tomorrow, Good-Bad-Ugly on Thursday, and transfer window closes on Monday. T-minus 6 days and we won’t have to talk about He Who Shall Not Be Named ever again, except maybe his name will be the answer to some trivia night question like “Who was the most over-rated, media-frenzied, unlikely to break Arsenal’s transfer record since they had previously refused to pay over that amount for Xavi Alonso who is undoubtedly a better player, transfer target in the history of Arsenal FC?” A long question I know, but it’s only fair as there have been so many crazy ass transfers in our history.

See you tomorrow!

Liveblogging the Andrei Arshavin deal deadline

Today is Arsenal’s self imposed deadline for something to happen in the Andrei Arshavin transfer deal. Follow along with me as I obsessively hit “refresh” in my Google Reader, hoping for a nibble of fact in this deal.

6:10 am — ZOMG HAVE YOU HEARD??? Charlie N’Zogbia, who has been angling for a transfer to Arsenal for the last 4 years, has told the world that he would rather play for Aston Villa, because they are going to win the Champions League or something. This is proof for the doom and gloomers that Arsenal are going to miss out on recruiting “top players” and start the downward spiral toward empty stadiums and relegation. No news on Arshavin.

6:12 am — No news on Arshavin.

6:15 am — SPUDS SIGN CUDICHINI!!! Another top player that Arsenal have missed out on. No news on Arshavin.

6:18 am — I should give this mess an intro… done. No Arshavin news.

6:21 am — I have to get ready for work. The FA 5th round draw has been made and if we can get past Cardiff we’ll either face Jay Simpson with WBA or Carling Cup nemesis Burnley. Funny how that works, eh?

6:24 am — nietski newski Arshavin

6:26 am — Philippe Senderos played a whole 90 minutes for AC Milan: I heard his performance was a bunch of Bologna. Uhhh, all the other kids on loan played too, no one scored or did anything spectacular.

6:35 am — @leon, yes, the deadline is Monday, today is Monday! Did you guys hear that Arsenal supporters had a stand off with Cardiff supporters after the FA Cup match? What decade is this?

6:38 am — OMG ARSHAVIN NEWS… Zenit have abandonded their £20m overvaluation of Arshavin and the teams are “locked in talks.” Maybe Wenger heard all of your frustrations about how spending the extra few Million won’t break the bank?

6:43 am — Dan in the comments mentions that the deal is being reported “good as done” in the Russian press. Too bad I don’t speak Russian. :(

6:45 am — I scooped L’Equipe! No Arshavin News, in English.  Also, I went to that Russian newspaper link that Dan supplied and then on to another link and got this (edited for content):

nooooooooooo

THANKS FOR NOTHING DAN.

6:51 am — got to go to work, will check my Google Reader when I get there. How many of you use Google Reader? No Arshavin News.

7:45 am — dang, it’s freezing out here, took me 10 minutes just to warm the car up for my 10 minute drive to work! No Arshavin news, but the comedy of Spurs just keeps delivering; looks like they have signed Chimbonda back from Sunderland. This confirms, what? That Spuds are bat-shit crazy? Who’s next on Spurs “Oh crap we screwed up” transfer list? Gazza?

8:06 am — HA! Not Gazza, Keane! I don’t know, I couldn’t make up something that funny. I just hope Liverpool charge Spuds like £25m for him. Since Arsenal are not doing anything, I have to wonder, does it get any better than watching our North London “rivals” try to assemble the “dream team” that got them to the lofty heights of 5th place 2 years ago and 11th place last year? I say no, it doesn’t.

8:17 am — @Patrick, the odds are 100% that Arsenal supporters will find something to whine about regardless of what happens with this deal. Wenger could buy the entire Man U squad and supporters would complain about something: “Ronaldo doesn’t look like he’s giving 100%! Sell him to Real!”

9:02 am — “first again” goonerforum is recylcing reports that I have seen other places that has Usmanov buying Arshavin. This is not news, this is speculation, news happens when the club report Arshavin has signed.  Also, goonerforum should get their own look — The funny thing about them is that I think they wanted to do a link exchange but I found their content to be, well, stupid.

10:48 am — ArSHAVIN NEWS! Dangit, no it’s not… ESPNSoccernet is reporting the quotes that were attributed to Andrei earlier in the week in a cheap stunt to try to generate hits, just like I’ve been doing! HA HA I scooped ESPN!

10:54 am — Setanta has reported that they will be showing the Arsenal – Cardiff replay on Tuesday the 3rd of Feb.

10:58 am — Micah Richards is denying that he’s coming to Arsenal. There was a ton of speculation that the England CB was the target of Arsene during the summer when he made his famous remarks about “getting someone from the EPL” which turned out to be a failed bid for Alonso. I’m not sure how I feel about Richards, on the one hand I’ve always though he sucked. On the other hand, he’s sucked even more this year than any other. Now would be the perfect time to land him, because I doubt he could possibly suck any more than he does now!

3:37 pm — HOLY CRAP!!!! I’ve been gone all day “working” and suddenly check my gReader an WHAM Shitanta is reporting that Arsenal and Zenit have agreed to terms and all that is left is for Arshavin and Arsenal to agree to terms… {record scratch} what? That’s not right. That’s not what anyone has been saying all along, Arshavin has been saying all along that he’s already agreed to terms and that the clubs need to agree. What kind of football jokers are these Zenit people?

GOD DAMNIT this is going to last longer than a bad case of crabs, innit?

My inside source tells me that Arsneal threw in two black players as a makeweight and that Zenit was so horrified by this prospect that they cut the deal down to £8m. Or maybe I made that last bit up.

Anyway “full” analysis of this massively important and ground breaking development in the morning, I got more stuff to do.

Cardiff 0-0 Arsenal; the Good, Bad, and Downright Pathetic

Match Reports

ESPNSoccernet: An Emirates Stadium replay will now be required after an entertaining repeat of the 1927 final, which the Bluebirds won 1-0, failed to produce a goal.

Setanta: City ran themselves into the ground

Man of the match

Ross McCormack. The Cardiff supporter there at the bar turned to me and said that they had signed McCormack for £100,000 which is an incredible bargain considering how well the midfielder played for the Bluebirds.

The Good

There was no news about the Andrei Arshavin transfer saga which is a welcome respite.

The Bad

I really feel for Aaron Ramsey. This kid is only 18 and there he was thrust into the middle of a heated cup tie, against his old team, with the supporters giving him a hard time, and his old teammates roughing him up. He had an Eboue of a game and Wenger was right to take him off, though I can’t quite figure out why the Cardiff fans booed him off the pitch.

His inclusion at the start was very perplexing since Wenger had said the day before that he would only include him if it was for the best and clearly it was not for the best. With Rambo in the midfield the team played the worst 20 minutes I have ever seen an Arsenal team play. No, I take that back. The second worst, the worst was when Arsenal lost 5-1 to Man U and that fuck Nani did the seal dribble and was damn near kneecapitated by Flamini.

A bad day for the young man, but lets hope he learns from this and comes back stronger in 9 days; if Wenger risks him again.

The Downright Pathetic

This is hard because there were so many pathetic players out there today. For example, while Eboue was diving all over the pitch and generally looking like he doesn’t give two fucks, Adebayor was fluffing wide open shots. And when Arsenal did break and get an open shot it inevitably was hit straight at the keeper or right into the crowd. Or how about a defense that was shockingly inept for large stretches of the game and only kept a clean sheet throught the bad luck of their opponents?

It was so bad all over the pitch for long stretches that I actually started to enjoy the play of Alex Song and Abu Diaby. Figure that.

But I can forgive poor play, it happens, what I hate to see is 20+ minutes at the end of the match where Cardiff are huffing and puffing around the pitch and the whole Arsenal team just looks disinterested. Passing the ball side to side and not taking the match up another level. That was infuriating.

Incredibly, Wenger didn’t see it the same as me:

I feel in the first half we started very well, but overall Cardiff had a good committed game and created some chances. In the second half we were on top and it was the quality of their defending and their commitment that stopped us scoring. The pitch, too, was not easy, but it was a great cup game and showed what this cup is about.

Really? Arsenal started well? Nearly conceding 2 easy goals and the midfield in utter disarray? That’s “starting very well?” This has to be his version of a pep talk, because there’s no way he saw that first half and thought Arsenal were positive.

Like I said at the outset, it was the second worst performance I have seen from an Arsenal team and they will have to be a lot better if they think they are going to win anything this season.

Conclusion

Well, Cardiff get a rematch at the Emirates in 9 days and a good bit of the gate receipts, which is good for them. Arsenal, on the other hand, get a crowded fixture list right at the time when they have half the squad out injured, which is bad for them. But hey, it was a clean sheet, and our “not losing” streak is still alive, right?