Arsenal America Helps Haiti

In a time of despair, death, and destruction, it does my heart good to see all of the Arsenal America lads and ladies coming together to support people in need.  Tuesday, January 12th marked one of the most horrific earthquakes in the modern era, hitting one of the poorest nations in the world, Haiti.  With no real infrastructure, people are looking for life amongst the devastation.  Thousands are dead, and many more are injured, hungry, thirsty, and in need of aid.

I couldn’t put it any better myself so, I just quoted right from the article @ Arsenal America.

The bottom line is that Arsenal America are trying to help out the Haiti relief effort through some fundraisers and this awareness campaign. If you live in Maryland, San Fran or New York and you have time and money try to get down to their events and help out. If not, you can contribute directly to any of the many reputable relief organizations.

Thanks to Arsenal America for their part in helping to end some suffering and to the rest of you for your part, no matter where you live.

Friday Fun Links

Caption this photo!

Write a clever caption for the above photo, put it in the comments, and if it’s genius enough I might even send you a free tee-shirt. My caption is in the meta, and no you can’t use it.

EVERTON RAID!

Everton are reportedly going to “raid” Arsenal for Senderos. What are they going to do paint their faces blue and come down the Thames in long ships? I don’t know why they need to raid us, they could just ask and we’ll probably let them have him, for cheap. Which should appeal to Moyes, on account of the whole Scottish thing.

Adebayor, “My Bad”

Evidently, Emmanuel Adebayor has admitted that it was actually him in an Arsenal shirt being interviewed on television. Though his excuse was that he didn’t realize what he was wearing. All this makes about as much sense as Gilbert Arenas saying he kept guns in his training room locker because he wanted to “keep them from his kids.”

And Now For Something REALLY Weird

Avatar FC, ’nuff Said.

Nominate Me!

Ever felt like you want to give this blog the recognition it deserves? Well, now you can, by nominating me for a Soccerlens award, I’m thinking that I’m a shoo-in fot: Best male model under the age of 40, who blogs about football from a country which calls the game ‘Soccer.’

Rats, looks like they got rid of that category. Oh well, you’ll think of something, I’m sure.

Bolton v. Arsenal Preview

Back on the 6th, when the Arsenal v. Bolton match was called off for, uhh, weather, one reader suggested I cut and paste that preview for today’s match.  Today is a day that I wish I could, but can’t because things have changed: they have a new manager, we have a healthier squad, it’s an away match, and Phil Dowd is the man in charge instead of the hapless Howard Webb.

The whole idea of the new manager syndrome is complete and utter Tottenham. Remember when Kevin Keegan brought his god-like powers to Newcastle and was promptly whupped by Arsenal 3-0 in the FA Cup and followed that up, three days later with another 3-0 whupping? I bring this up because it’s a very similar situation to Coyle and Bolton: both clubs were built on “direct” football and both clubs brought in an iconic former player who wants to play a more attacking style. The point is that Bolton is still Bolton, Kevin Cyrill Davies is still a huge, well, you know what word I want to use there, and the rest of the squad is going to play the game the way they have always played the game; by kicking lumps into everyone. So, while they may “give 10% extra” 110% of crap is still crap, it’s just a bigger pile of crap.

Frankly, I hope they get relegated, it’s a side with absolutely no redeeming qualities and they and their fans don’t deserve to even be on the same pitch as clubs like Hull, who at least bring us great joy in laughing at their crazy orange manager.

As for the injuries situation the Theo Walcott injury continues to perplex everyone. The press is reporting it as an abductor strain or an abductor strain related to his shoulder surgery, or alien abduction, no one seems to know what the deal is with England’s greatest hope for a World Cup. Arsene puts him back in 1 to 2 weeks, which some suggest will see him play in the aforementioned FA Cup match. I remain skeptical, the Arsenal sick room just doesn’t work like that. He’ll be back in training in two weeks (maybe) and then it’ll be another week or two before he gets on the pitch. Basically, I’m saying that he’ll come on as a sub against Chelsea, the only team he’s ever scored a goal against.*

The good news is that Cesc is back in the squad as well as Clichy. There’s not much to say about Cesc, obviously it’s a huge boost. As for left-back, Wenger said that Clichy will make the bench “at least” which means that he’s battling Traore for the starting spot. I’m not ripping Traore here but he’s had a few poor defensive outings the last few matches and it’ll be good for he and Clichy to push each other for starting spots there.

Just having Cesc back, alone, is enough to cause me to re-write the whole story, isn’t it?

Then there’s the fact that it’s an away match, in January. Remember back in August when Tony Cascarino was making his bold predictions that Arsenal would struggle, oop norf, in the dark days of Winter? Well, it’s time to shove that column down Tony’s throat and beat the piss out of Bolton. Wenger puts it much more diplomatically than I

Every team is highly motivated against us. So, we are used to that. We don’t expect any weakness from Bolton, we just know that if we play at our best we can win.

Right then, let’s do it. I don’t have to tell you that this is an important match if Arsenal have title hopes. Arsenal are just 3 points below league leaders Chelsea and we no longer have that magical “game in hand” to bandy about as if we were going to automatically get three points. So every match counts from here on in. With the game in hand gone, we now have two tough matches against a “committed” Bolton side who will be looking to get points from us. Meanwhile our opponents have a bit easier road. Man U has a guaranteed 3 points in the Burnley match on Saturday, in fact, I’d be surprised if Burnley don’t take Mick McCarthy’s model of playing Man U to it’s logical extreme and just forfeit, thus giving their whole squad valuable rest.  That said, Chelsea have been making noise lately that Arsenal are the team to beat this season (they must have read my column) and they have a tricky tie against Sunderland on Saturday. You can bet your ass I’ll be watching that, it’s live on Fox Soccer Channel over here.

By the time Arsenal kick off on Sunday, we’ll know more about the league picture and will come out fighting for all three points.

For my American readers the Arsenal match is live on Fox Soccer Channel on Sunday at 8am (PST) which means no dicking around with Setanta this weekend and it means that I will try to do a liveblog. Those are usually fun, tune in here if you remember.

*This is patently untrue, though his goal scoring record against Chelsea is very impressive. Oh and we always lose to Chelsea when Walcott plays.