Ade officially out — post your memories here

adebayor-matchball

Sorry about the late post today, but I was working on a different article and chose to scrap it because the dot com announced today that Ade has officially signed for City. So, instead of some self-important BS or pointless transfer rumoring I have decided to invite everyone to post their favorite memory of Adebayor as a farewell. You can say anything you want, but a really classy fan, someone who respects what he did for us and not how he left, would try to post their favorite memory.

Ironically, I have been accused of being a “hater” in the comments, but that’s about as far from the truth as possible. I am angry about the way he left, I am angry about the corrupting influence of insane amounts of money that some football teams have, and I am sad that his Arsenal career ended this way. But I can still find something good to say about the guy. Everyone talks about what a classy club Arsenal are, so let’s show them.

Wenger kicks this off with his remarks:

Firstly, we must thank Emmanuel for his contribution to the Club. Whenever he was on the pitch, he always gave absolutely everything to the team and since joining us in January 2006, he produced a number of match-winning performances. Emmanuel leaves with our best wishes and we now look forward continuing our preparations for next season.

Me? I’ll never forget the second goal against Charlton at Highbury. Totally inconsequential game to everyone except me. It was my first trip to London, my one and only trip to Highbury, and here’s this lanky guy that has just recently transferred in from Monaco working till his heart is nearly bursting alongside Arsenal greats like Pires and Henry. It was on that blisteringly cold spring day, as the sun was setting on the final season at the hallowed old ground, and the final season for many of those Unbeatable players, that Adebayor netted his first ever home goal for Arsenal. It was what would later become a staple of Adebayor’s goal scoring: he used his muscle and pace to steal the ball from Hreidarsson and then side-footed into the net with cool grace.

Ha! Let’s hope he doesn’t have too many more of those now that he’s sleeping with the enemy!

Anyway, enough about me, I want to hear your story, get some closure on this saga and post your memories below.

Ade breaks the glorious silence of my quiet Sunday

After the ho-hum 2-2 draw away to Barnet and the ho-hum “we all knew he was leaving because he acted like such a jerk” transfer of Adebayor, it’s pretty quiet out there today.

I would like to direct your attention to Adebayor’s interview over at Man City’s home page, because three things stick out. First, in talking about what he’s going to do for City supporters, he claims he’s always given his best at every club, and so he will keep giving his best. I really do hope he gives them his best: his top quality offsides, and his very best dressing room strife. Now that he’s the top paid player in the EPL, I also hope that guys like Tevez, who work their asses off, get super frustrated with Adebayor and the huge paycheck he commands for lounging around.

Second, don’t be surprised if Mark Hughes is incapable of motivating Adebayor and we see him slip down the bench behind Roque Santa Cruz after the first 5 games of the season or so. If he puts in the kinds of performances for them that he did for us, there will be no room for him at the strikers table in a City squad that has 9 men to fill the chairs. Typically, a manager would be embarrassed to sit a player making £170,000/wk but this is one case where they will sit him if he becomes a distraction.

Third, the watch he’s wearing in that interview is, well, ostentatious. If you’re going to leave the club who nurtured you, stood by you when all others thought you were crap, and go to a team that pays you double, a team of mercenaries, and sit in an interview and talk about how you’re not doing it for the money — you may want to take off the $100,000 diamond studded watch.

Oh well, it’s over now, he’s one of the enemy. Thanks for the goals big fella, may you lose a step in your stride and may you always find yourself offside.

The question on the lips of every Arsenal supporter now is “what will Wenger do with the money?” And so I’m sure many of you have gone to the trusty ole Football Manager and are ready to tell us all who we can get for £25m.

Go for it. In the past I’ve said that you can’t speculate because you don’t know how much so and so is worth, but now you know. Here’s £25m, spend it how you see fit.

You should know, however, that after the Barnet match, the boss publicly said that Arsenal will only buy “if we find the right players and we feel it is needed, but we are not in a hurry now.” Of course, I think we’d all like to believe that this is because he’s playing things close to his chest and doesn’t want to artificially inflate the price of any target. But given his recent history, sigh, it might just be true that Wenger thinks this squad can handle the pressure. As the unofficial Wenger Weatherman, I’d say that the transfer outlook is partly cloudy with a 50% chance of not buying anyone.

I tend to agree with Arsene that Arsenal don’t need another forward, but I sincerely hope he sees the need for reinforcements in the midfield and possibly defense. After all, pretty much everyone on the planet, including the team captain has said so. And, no, I’m not condemning Song and Denilson, they are good players who would grow exponentially under the careful, quiet, tutelage of someone like Toulalan.

Anyway, there’s really nothing going on today. The team is flying to Austria for their annual tour of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s birthplace, where they will start their twice a day workouts and get into shape. The next pre-season friendly is on Tuesday and you can see it only on Arsenal TV Online.

One last thing I want to mention is that the Sounders v. Chelsea game yesterday was pretty neat. No, I don’t mean that the Sounders got beat by the Scum, I mean that the fans were singing the whole time! I barely even heard those annoying horns! Now, that could have been accomplished through strategic mic placements but even if it was, it indicates a commitment on the part of the club, and ESPN, to make MLS matches more watchable and interactive for the fans. If it was genuine raucous support by 70,000 people, well then I’m proud of the fans!

The other really spectacular thing is that the match was broadcast in HD. I’ve seen matches in HD before and frankly they are always eye-poppingly beautiful.  I can’t wait to see Arsenal in HD and if ESPN gets the EPL feed over here that will happen sooner rather than later.

There was only one sort of black mark on the game and that was the pitch. I guess they brought in a real grass pitch and laid it over the top of the plastic pitch they normally play on. There were clearly problems with the temporary pitch as several players were unable to control the ball and even one time the goalkeeper Keller put his foot on the ball, to stop it, and promptly fell over.  I guess they are donating that pitch to a local school, which is nice, and they’ll bring it back in for the Barcelona game, which is also nice, but as an American, I guess I’ll have to wait and just dream of the day that “soccer” is played on grass here.

That’s all for today, see you all tomorrow.

Liveblogging Barnet v. Arsenal

Good morning!

Holy crap, I’m excited, and it’s just a pre-season match. I have the stream up, the commentators are already blah blahing about what they will talk about at half time and kickoff will be underway in 10 minutes, just time to fry an egg!

Back in a sec…

6:55am Latest on Adebayor is that he flew to Manchester for a medical. I reckon if he could fly to Manchester he’s fit enough, isn’t he? Also, why was he holding out on us, I mean we could have used someone who could fly to knock out some of those corners on defense.

6:57am Well in, MATT! Yes, “he’s (Rosicky) like a new signing innit?”

7am Well, already bad news… they’re wearing the Yankees away kit.

Here’s your starting XI: Almunia; Djourou, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre; Wilshere, Randall, Frimpong, Rosicky; Arshavin, Watt.

Interesting.

7:06 — I can’t tell where Vermaelen is playing but Djourou is at RB and the announcers said that Silvestre is at LB, so CB partner with Gallas?

Must be, Frimpong is playing holding midfield.

7:09 — got it now, Rosicky is playing in Cesc’s role, Arshavin is up front, and Randall is mopping up in midfield. Doing a good job of it too, put in a good tackle a few moments ago.

7:12 — Sanchez Watt gets a great low cross on a counter from Arshavin knocks it down one time and clips in a left footer, nearly went in made the keeper work there!

One other thing to mention, Vermaelen is good in the air, he’s clearing most things — except that last corner there!

7:19 — Not much happening, a bit of back and forth, I will say that when they get the ball settled and Rosicky starts the counter, Arsenal look amazing. Rosicky made a great pass into space for the runner, who returned the ball to him and he was wide open, but the keeper smothered him. Too bad the end product wasn’t there, it would have been nice to see Thomas get a goal.

7:24 — I swear to the gods that I’m going to count the number of headers that Vermaelen wins, it’s pretty incredible. Not much going on at the moment, Arsenal’s attack keeps petering out because, well, because Arshavin’s being a bit lazy.

7:27 — Randall puts in a rash challenge, from behind, after getting dispossesd for being slow to move the ball on. Should have been booked there, doubly so for tackling a 40 year old!

7:31 — Still 0-0, Barnet’s holding a high line and we really should be picking them apart, but they are battling hard in the midfield and denying our midfield players time to create. Randall is having a bit of a rough stretch. As good as he looked at the start he looks terrible now.

Matt, there’s a button at the bottom, right of the screen that plays the video full size.

7:38 — Not much going on, 10 minutes left in the half and everyone’s looking a bit jaded. I think I saw Vermaelen miss a header…

And as for the players looking fat, I think it’s the new kit, Gallas looked preggers when he walked out. Now, maybe he’s been doing nothing but smoke cigs and drink lager for the last month but I doubt it.

7:44 — Wilshere makes a great run down the left flank, dribbles in and lays off to Arshavin, who switches to Rosicky wide right, one-two and his left footed shot is wide. Rosicky looks pretty strong, he’s had some good challenges (given and taken) but just rusty. That’s what pre-season is for, right?

43′ — Goal! Arshavin pokes home a good cross from Sanchez Watt after another run down the left flank. Clinical finish. The announcers are right to mention the movement of the other players to draw the defense apart.  Good play from Arsenal.

46′ — Goal Barnet. Randall gives up a stupid free kick and no one deals with the set play. Yakubu outjumps Gallas for the header and puts in a nice goal. This is a familiar refrain from the Arsenal…

Half Time…

Half-time analysis:

Vermaelen — The communication between he and Gallas isn’t quite there, but then they’ve only had a week to practice. He wins pretty much every header, except the one that Barnet put in to Gallas. His pace hasn’t been tested yet so we’ll have to see if he’s got the wheels. I think many people will be surprised by his size when they see him; he’s smaller than I expected.

Rosicky — The only effect I’ve seen from his injury is that his shots are off. He’s tackling well, he’s been tackled hard and gotten right back up, and he’s running just fine. I like him in the Cesc role.

Randall — He’s a crap.

Watt — good player, lots of movement, fun to watch and bagged the assist with a delightful cross.

There’s a whole ton of changes at the half, the announcers said that only Vermaelen will continue! I’ll have that lineup in a sec.

  • Sub: Emmanuel-Thomas on for Watt
  • Sub: Simpson on for Arshavin
  • Sub: Barazite on for Rosicky
  • Sub: Henderson on for Frimpong
  • Sub: Coquelin on for Randall
  • Sub: Sunu on for Wilshere
  • Sub: Cruise on for Silvestre
  • Sub: Ayling on for Gallas
  • Sub: Eastmond on for Djourou
  • Sub: Mannone on for Almunia
  • Vermaelen is captain.

    8:05 — Second half is underway, I’m excited to see JET in midfield. Barazite has a shot deflected and calls for handball. He likes scoring in this competition having done so in each of the last two.

    8:10 — HOLY CRAP… Barazite scores a magnificent goal, right footed curling into the side netting, unstoppable. The whole buildup was mouth watering. These kids were moving the ball around, basically at will, playing keep-away from the Barnet players.  Classic Arsenal.

    8:15 — 40 year old Paul Furlong is giving Arsenal’s defense nightmares in the air, this can’t be happening, can it?

    8:17 — Gianni, if you do run around the office with the shirt over your head, have someone take pictures. Barnet has stepped up the pressure and closed down space, Arsenal struggling to string together passes now.

    8:20 — 60′ Barnet subs 5, who cares?

    8:25 — Vermaelen plays a dangerous cross over the bar, bit of desperation there from the captain…

    8:30 — Yawn… Nothing going on, lots of passing from both clubs, no real teeth.

    8:35 — Come on boys, 15 minutes, put in some work here and get a third goal. Everyone is playing lazy right now, which plays into Barnet’s hands, they just need a free kick to score…

    8:40 — Coquelin wins the ball in midfield, passes to Jay E-T, who slots to Simpson. His early shot is blocked and the resulting corner dealth with by Barnet.

    8:42 — Arsenal defense is a shambles and Barnet get an ugly, ugly, ugly, goal. 7 minutes left and Arsenal come right back with a shot on goal… I guess the plan is to outscore our opponents.

    8:47 — Come on boys… 3 minutes, play hard for three fucking minutes.

    8:50 — That’s it, match ends 2-2, Arsenal have never allowed Barnet to score 2 on them. I know it’s only a pre-season friendly but the defense clearly needs some work, especially from set pieces. Hopefully, Wenger sees that.

    Right, see you lads tomorrow, we might have some news on the Adebayor situation, or maybe Arsene will buy 15 new players.

    1 would be nice…