Journalists Unearth The Arsenal Hoard

Following closely on the discovery of the remarkable Staffordshire Hoard, which is widely considered the most remarkable discovery of 7th Century Anglo-Saxon rich people’s stuff  ever, Journalists have unearthed a find that they are tentatively calling “The Arsenal Hoard.” The most significant discovery of mid 2000′s Arsenal footballers in, literally, months.

The Arsenal Hoard’s main three pieces are a creaky-kneed cup winning holding midfielder and legendary Arsenal captain which they are calling “Patrick Vieira,” a former England international center back and walkabout champion which had been last seen spotted in the hands of wealthy Notts County financiers and which is known as “Sol Campbell,” and a Bigfoot-film-esque grainy video of the once feared red-hair-striped Norse attacking midfielder which legend has it was named “Freddie Ljungberg.”

The first discovery, Patrick Vieira, has long been rumored to be kicking around the parlors of the mega-rich in Milan and was most recently the surprise target of Twitchy Harry Hotspur, who wanted to put him in his hospital ward next to his Ledley King. That deal fell through when it was revealed that Harry Hotspur’s twitch is so great that Lloyds wouldn’t insure anything so fragile as this ancient Vieira in his hands. Now it’s almost certain that mega-rich Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich is going to add the Vieira to his vast collection overpriced antiques. There is some debate among rich art lovers whether the Vieira would actually be a bigger prize than Roman’s world famous £30m Shevchenko.

Meanwhile, the Campbell, which has quite the dodgy history, was lost to it’s original collector Harry Hotspur when it was stolen by rival London collector, Arsenal. Arsenal, in turn, lost this once highly valued item when it was plucked from the dressing room and whisked away to Belgium during half-time of a West Ham v. Arsenal match. The Campbell briefly re-appeared for a Champions League final before being shipped off to Lord Pompey on the South Coast of England amid rumors that it was going to some Continental collectors. The Campbell then knocked about in Pompey’s dusty attic until it recently, and most unexpectedly, re-appeared in the hands of shady collectors at Notts County which sought to make the Campbell their prized collectible alongside their well worn Ericksson. As has happened so many times with this fragile piece, it slipped from the hands of its new owners and is now rumored to be re-surfacing in the hands of the Arsenal in order to put some spit and polish on the item for re-sale at auction this January: Caveat Emptor, this piece has vanished right from under its owner’s nose more times than the Maltese Falcon.

The final piece is a great Norse God-like item which legend has it once used the boot of Thor to score a goal in the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea. That said, the Ljungberg (as it is known) is purely a legend and no actual evidence of its existence has ever been scientifically documented. The most recently updated story has it that this artifact is in the Rainforests of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Repeated attempts by this author to verify this have been met with the same type of obfuscation and redirection normally reserved for that other Northwest legend, Bigfoot. This video supposedly shows Ljungberg in clearing in the forest, but experts are saying that the video has been “photoshopped, you can tell by the pixels.” Judge for yourself.

Whatever the truth, and wherever they may find a final resting place, these three important pieces of mid-2000′s footballing artistry will always capture the imagination of collectors and enthusiasts alike. “The Arsenal Horde Hoard” indeed represents the most significant Journalistic discovery since Joan Laporta’s proclamation that Cesc Fabregas will be signing for Barcelona, imminently.

Which top 4 club to be sacrificed to the Barbarians at the gate?

Tim the Barbarian, what's his main threat? That he'll eat fried chicken with his fingers? It's not like the name "Tim" is too terrifying is it? "Oh no, put away the fine china, here comes Tim, the Bar-barian!"

Hardly a day passes without someone, whether it be pundit, friend, colleague, or bitter rival, talking to me about how vulnerable Arsenal is and how they are the most likely to be booted out of the top four by the Barbarian Hordes at Man City and Tottenham. These fair minded prognosticators like to make their predictions before the season had even started, before a single face had even been stamped in anger! Who would stoop to such a level?

Wenger, in his wisdom, likes to wait until the 10th match of the season before declaring a trend in the league and with two of the top six clubs having played only seven matches most people would be inclined to agree with him. Still, with that caveat firmly in place I think that we can see some emerging trends in these first eight games and draw some conclusions about who, if any, of the top four teams are most likely to face relegation to the Europa League.

To be succinct, for once, I’m targeting Liverpool. Not out of some hatred for Liverpool, I think they have some of the most loyal fans and a team full of players who are very talented, hard working, and dedicated to the cause. Rather, I think the loss of Alonso combined with the frailties in defense are not nearly enough to support Fernando Torres’ amazing rescue act so far this season. Which doesn’t even get started on the turmoil in the board room and the subsequent possible turmoil in management.

Staring the season off with a loss, even to Tottenham, was not really that big of a deal, but losing to Villa 3-1 at Anfield was a huge blow to start their season. Anfield, fortress Anfield, was their rock last year and if they have any hope of holding off City for a top four spot they will need to regain a foothold in their fortress. That’s down to willpower more than anything and you should always count on Liverpool’s willpower.

That said, If the Tottenham match showed their weakness in midfield with Lucas Levia looking to be a poor man’s Denilson and getting the run around by Luca Modric, the Chelsea match showed a more disturbing side to the club. They played that match with a desperation that I haven’t seen from a top club in a long time. Chelsea do that to people, when they are clicking in midfield as they were on Sunday, and when Drogba is rampaging through defenses as he was, they are the toughest team to play and they make your team look desperate. But the fact remains that Carragher and Squirtle looked poor then, looked poor against Tottenham, and looked downright bad against Villa. You have to wonder just how important Alonso was in shielding those two last season and how much of the defensive load that they can handle.

But perhaps more problematic than the defense and their midfield is the problems that they have in the boardroom. I was driving around to doctor’s appointments with my daughter yesterday and thinking about who would be the first manager to get the axe this season. After my initial “LOL Phil Brown!” I settled on two others: Rafa and Ancelotti.

Ancelotti, simply because Roman Abramovich has already, incredibly, flown in to a practice session and basically made himself known after the loss to Wigan. I’m not saying it’s right, but you have to think that if Chelsea had lost to Liverpool on Sunday, his job was in serious danger. With Ancelotti secure until and if he loses again, my mind wandered to Rafa.

Under Benitez, Liverpool have spent a ton of money and have only an FA Cup and the incredible comeback against AC Milan to show for it. Moreover, I hear a lot of grumblings from Liverpool supporters every year about Benitez’ rotations and seeming lack of tactical nous. Throw in the three losses and the questionable summer transfers and I can actually see some Liverpool supporters tiring of the old Spaniard.

That is, until George Gillett opened his big, dumb gob last week. Maybe he sensed a moment and decided to strike, or maybe he felt super defensive. There’s been a lot of bad blood between Hicks, Gillett and Rafa Benitez since they tried to bring in Jurgen Klinsmann a few years ago. Then the fans rallied around Rafa and called for Gillett and Hicks to go rather than the boss. But Gillett’s latest “Blame Rafa” outburst, while containing some patently insane proclamations, could be indicative of where the owners plan to take this club. And far worse than Lucas Levia giving away a stupid free kicks in the area, Liverpool losing Rafa right now would certainly seal the deal on them dropping out of the top four.

It’s being widely reported today that in front of the Spirit of Shankly supporter’s group Gillett defended his and Hicks’ record at the club by saying this:

In the last 18 months, we have invested £128m on top of what has come in. That means it should be getting better. Now if it’s not getting better, it’s not Gillett and Hicks, it’s the manager, it’s the scouting. You have to make sure you balance out your analysis. There was plenty of money, so if you have any complaints, take a look at the ins and outs.

The thing is, what they are saying is true. Liverpool have spent an insane amount of money on transfers over the last few years and really haven’t gotten any better. In fact, Arsenal look the better bargain in the transfer market this summer than Liverpool, by a huge margin. But the problem is that Gillett and Hicks are so reviled by the Anfield faithful that I wonder if this outburst won’t drive them deeper into the arms of Benitez, rather than the other way around.

That the faithful would gather around Rafa might actually turn out for the best. It could end up “rallying the troops” and keep that team afloat. With the defense so susceptible at the back, with the rotations so crazy and tactical awareness so, well, indecipherable, Liverpool they need something to hang their hat on.  Because after the first 8 games, from what I’ve seen, it’s Liverpool who look most vulnerable to the barbarian horde and not Arsenal.

Good News, Everyone! Walcott, Cesc, Fergie, Allardyce, and Citeh, oh my!

Good morning, quick trip through the “News of the League” reveals that after Arsenal’s 6-2 stomping of Blackburn on Sunday, it’s more good news for the Arsenal. Let’s get stuck in.

Walcott Won’t Get Injured This Week

After Sunday, I was praying to the gods that I would be gifted the opportunity to watch some crappy internet stream of Theo Walcott getting injured against perennial footballing powerhouses Belarus and Ukraine. Unfortunately, my prayers went unanswered as the current God of English Football — Fabio Capello — has chosen instead to go with the in form, and much more eyebrow stripey, Aaron Lennon over Theo Walcott.

I guess Theo will have to just work harder and score loads of goals in the league to get in the National team. Either that or go on loan to AC Milan like David Beckham does!

Cesc Kisses-off Barcelona

He may have “Barcelona genes” but for the time being he certainly has an Arsenal shirt, erm, in his mouth.

Yesterday’s badge kissing was a public display of affection for the club, and a not too subtle “fuck you” to the press who continue to speculate that Cesc is leaving. There is no doubt that completely unlike Adebayor’s badge kiss, which he did in a meaningless match, after scoring a penalty, and after a summer where he vacillated between interviews saying he had no plans of leaving Arsenal and that he was happy to be moving on (sometimes in a span of minutes, LITERALLY), Cesc’s badge kiss was a genuine display of affection, nay loyalty, to this club. Still, the press have to twist it! My favorite twist is over at the Telegraph where they compare Sunday’s display to John Terry, Thierry Henry, and Adebayor in order to claim that Cesc is certainly leaving.

When I saw their headline, I literally LOLed.

The FA to Grow a Pair?

This morning it has been announced that the FA are going to think about maybe looking into having a discussion about forming a committee to look into whether they should look into Fergie’s outrageous comments that Alan Wiley was “unfit” to be a referee and (comically) that he didn’t add enough time on to the already comical 4 minutes of Old Trafford time. This blogger expects at most a strongly worded letter along the lines of:

“Dear Lord High Ferguson The Most Exalted,

We hope that this epistle finds you adequately healthy and are sorry for the inconvenience of straining your eyes with our words. Please, in the future, could you possibly refrain from speaking ill of our referees in public and instead just send a messenger to our London office? It would save us all a spot of bother when we do your bidding and fire the referee.

For the record, we are happy to report that we did find Alan Wiley guilty of both of your charges A) not adding the correct amount of time to the end of the game (the correct amount being “enough for you to win”) and B) being fat and slovenly.

His head has been dispatched from his neck, your Worship, and he will bother you no longer.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, Love and Kisses, The FA.”

Meanwhile Sam Allardyce, who called for a referee to be fired, will actually be shot to death by a firing squad of 21 blind cripples.

Justice will not be stopped!

Citeh to play Aston Villa today, how many times will Ade kiss the City badge?

The dreadfully pompous Moneybags City take their sideshow circus of miscreants and criminals down the road to last year’s top four challengers Aston Villa. It should prove to be a fiery match with Villa and City having exchanged captains in the off season, and what with City having an entire team of utter cunts (except you Kolo, we still love you!).

7amkickoff’s odds for this match are as follows:

1-1 Adebayor offside 3X or more
1-4 Craig Bellamy gets angry about something
1-100 Gareth Barry is booed and after the match goes out and buys a City Blue Bentley to soothe his conscience

Honestly, I’ll be rooting for Aston Villa, they are a nice enough team, ably managed as they are by that Irish guy, ole what’s his name. And besides which they aren’t Man City which is enough reason to root for them — it’s like rooting against the Yankees, the Patriots, and SerenaVenus Williams all at the same time!

Epilogue

That’s it for today, why are you still here? Oh, you want my prediction of who is going to win the league, who will be relegated, and who will comprise the top four? You’ll have to check back in tomorrow for those bits.