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New Arsenal Shirt Leaked

5 Apr

The 2012-13 Arsenal home shirt was leaked yesterday and no matter how you look at it, you cannot avoid the obvious fact: it looks very much like a Manchester United jersey. More specifically the away kit from 2010-11.

Perhaps this is a new strategy for Arsenal seeking a bit of luck in claiming their first piece of silverware since 2005. After all, their whopping outlay of transfer funds in that period on sub-standard talent has brought Arsenal to a very proud and consistent level of mediocrity (yes, losing to Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final and celebrating 4th place each year is a sign of mediocrity).

On the surface it seems like a good idea. Make yourselves look like the champs and maybe you’ll play like them. Maybe the players will enjoy court-ordered injunctions to keep their mistresses quiet, much like the United players have benefited from over the past decade. Or maybe it will simply anger Arsenal supporters. I vote on the latter.

Photo courtesy of arsenalnews.co.uk

A German Champions League Welcome

13 Sep

This year’s Champions League group stage features a number of mouth-watering match ups, highlighted by the ideological battle between three English Premier League and Bundesliga clubs. The debt-ridden, price gauging, heavy spending English vs the financially sound, responsible Germans. While Manchester City are made to wait until the end of the month to face Bayern, Arsenal and Chelsea face stiff competition this afternoon and their opponents have approached the encounters in differently.

Chelsea host Bayer Leverkusen and the return of Michael Ballack. Midfielder Sidney Sam decided to stoke the fires with this post on his Facebook page:

Unfortunately, the fire Mr. Sidney stoked might be big enough to light a birthday candle at best. The black manikin is more intimidating than that school boy smile and 1990’s thumb down. He would have been better off tweeting the contemptuous remark without the photo. Now he just looks like an idiot.

Borussia Dortmund, who last faced Arsenal in 2001-02 in much the same circumstances as reigning Bundesliga champions, host the north London outfit in their 80,000 strong Signal Iduna Park today. To welcome the Gooners, Dortmund created this  video:

Pretty cute, no? Might work better as a homage to their home fans in anticipation of a new campaign. Then again, the cheery and uplifting nature of the video is still probably frightening to a Gunner team stripped of all confidence and wracked with pressure. Apart from Barcelona vs Milan, this is easily the must-see match of the afternoon.


Barcelona Has Bankrolled Almost Half of Arsenal’s Transfer Kitty Since 2000

16 Aug

While Arsenal supporters are irate at Barcelona’s penny-pinching over the transfer of Cesc Fabregas, they should in fact be grateful to the Catalan club for the amount of income they are responsible for over the last decade. Since 2000, Arsenal has generated €310m from the sale of players. Of that total, a whopping €128m or 41% has come from Barcelona through the sale of six players:

Marc Overmars (2000) – €40m
Emmanuel Petit (2000) – €15m
Gio Van Bronckhorst (2003) – free
Thierry Henry (2007) – €24m
Alexander Hleb (2008) – €15m
Cesc Fabregas (2011) – €34m

Arsene Wenger has always displayed an astute sense of timing when selling his players, but has experienced a mixed bag of results in dealings with Barcelona. Three on that list – Overmars, Petit, and Hleb – were duds at the Catalan club. Van Bronckhorst was a field general at left back for Frank Rijkaard and won two league titles as well as a Champions League. Henry began slowly only to shine in his second season helping Barcelona to the sextuple. As for Fabregas, the sky is the limit.

Shrewd business for sure on the part of both clubs. In the end, Gooners should be more thankful than spiteful for all the cash in their club’s bank account on behalf of Barcelona, and can now justify with some statistical backing the incessant chants of “spend some f**king money.”

Photo courtesy of Sport.es

Stan Kroenke and Arsene Wenger Parody

12 Aug

 

A tasty nugget to take you into the weekend. Enjoy the matches!

Where In The World Is… Arsene Wenger?

7 Jul

Off the coast of Corsica having quite an enjoyable time as his club falls apart piece by piece (or at least he was). It seems that in all aspects of life these days, Wenger is heading down a slippery slope. (Boy that was too easy!!) The Fabregas saga continues to drag out with the player becoming more frustrated each day. Clichy has already shipped off to the Middle Eastlands, while Nasri seems destined to follow – which side of Manchester is yet to be determined. Inter outbid them for Ricardo Alvarez, and it appears the previously considered surplus requirements now can’t find an interested buyer, yet Arsenal may be forced to keep them to fill roster spots as more players leave. At least Gervinho, another French-based unproven player, is en route to the Emirates.

And Wenger? Carefree as ever by the looks of these photos. Always the optimist, I’m sure that once the exodus is complete, he’ll claim that the current squad is as strong as it has ever been and will challenge for trophies.

Where are the reassurances that all will be well at the Emirates, as the rest of the big clubs in England bolster their squads? Where is the new great talent to convince supporters the 6.5% increase on season tickets is worth it?

Wenger’s silence is criminal, and his actions this transfer period are preposterous. He does not deserve this pirates of the Mediterranean yacht trip with Arsenal’s former Vice-Chairman David Dein while his club look set for a Europa League spot this coming season. But then again, Arsene knows best right?

More photos below: Continue reading

Pope Benedict XVI Supports Arsenal

9 Feb

The Pope has finally revealed his true colors in an attempt to sabotage next week’s mammoth Champions League clash between Arsenal and Barcelona.  Many people believed that as a son of Bavaria and former Archbishop of Munich, Bayern were his club of choice. However, a sudden turn of events has exposed the North London outfit as the true identity behind the red and white cloak he wears.

Pope Benedict has arranged for the Spanish World Cup winning squad to visit the Vatican next Monday, just 48 hours before the first leg at the Emirates. Without a doubt, such an invitation is both an honor and privilege for any individual, and you would be forever lambasted for turning it down. However, such a decision now confronts a number of players – specifically the eight Barcelona players who will miss an entire day of training just 48 hours before kickoff. Fabregas is another, but one man, as pivotal as he may be to Arsenal, is not nearly as detrimental as eight players – all of whom are starters for Barcelona.

It should be no mystery as to the timing of this event. The Pope surely watched Barcelona’s demolition of Arsenal last year, and the manner in which they are crushing records in La Liga to date. It seems that only an act of God could slow this team up. Well, just short of divine intervention, the most senior figure in the Catholic church is using his influence and close relationship with the man upstairs to derail the Catalan freight train by inviting the team to the Vatican seven months and three days after their World Cup final victory over the Netherlands.

Seven months and three days later… Coincidence?

Are Barcelona becoming Arsenal?

5 Oct

The concept seems preposterous, especially coming from a Barcelona supporter. Yet after watching Arsenal’s display at Stamford Bridge followed by Barcelona’s draw at home to Mallorca, you could not help but notice some cringing similarities between the flag bearers of beautiful football. And whereas during the past few seasons you could characterize the North London side as a Barcelona “B team” of sorts – an identical style of play but just a class below the Catalan giants – the first six matches of the La Liga season have revealed that the “A team” may not warrant the pleasure of such a title.


Excessive passing, wasted opportunities, soft defending, conceding midfield possession, lack of desire and thrust, failing to finish off opponents. No, I am not bashing the Gooners but rather Barcelona. Each and every limitation has plagued the Spanish side all season. Over the weekend, Messi bagged another picturesque goal twenty minutes into the match, and it looked as though Mallorca would be put to the sword. But thirteen shots later, none of which finding the back of the net, Mallorca found an opening and equalized from a set piece.

Then the unthinkable happened. Barcelona looked timid and nervous in the face of adversity. The ball did not move as quickly and smoothly along the floor as it once did. Mallorca out-muscled and pressured Iniesta, Keita and Mascherano off the ball to gain an advantage in midfield and create chances of their own. When Barcelona did get the ball back, they passed and passed and passed, and got as far as their opponent’s 18. They lacked creativity and ingenuity. Sound familiar Arsenal fans?


Injuries and depth also add kindle to this argument.  Eighty-one minutes into the match, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replaced Wilshere. At nineteen years old, it was only his 2nd appearance for the club as he entered such a massive derby.  Sixty-six minutes in, Thiago (19) replaced Seydou Keita to make his 4th ever appearance with the Barcelona’s first team.  Twelve minutes later, Nolito replaced an injured Pedro to make his first debut with the club after a career on the B squad. These are the answers?!

Were it the Carling Cup or Copa Del Rey, you would understand such decisions by the manager. But this is Chelsea. This is a sub-par, debt laden Mallorca bossing the champs on their own turf. Fans expect quality in the ranks when the starters are injured, and these kids were all the teams could muster. Unfortunately, reality dictates that these teenagers, as gifted and promising as they may be, cannot replace seasoned professionals on teams fighting for trophies.

Barcelona sit in 4th position behind Valencia, Villareal, and Real Madrid. Arsenal sit 4th behind Chelsea, City, and United. Both have conceded more than the teams in front of them (Arsenal is tied with United at 9). Barcelona has scored less than any team in front of them. Even worse, they have dropped all their points at home and have been outscored in the process.

I am beginning to wonder if Arsenal should still aspire to match the level of Barcelona, because at the moment, you will be hard pressed to find a reason how that would be an improvement.

More Cesc tapping up. Only this time it’s an ex-gooner!

14 Sep

Barcelona’s tapping up of Cesc Fabregas over the summer is well documented. In fact, pretty much everyone except his pet dog made a public statement to woo the Catalan back to the Camp Nou.

Messi started tapping even before the end of the season, then admitted to sending his buddy text messages. Xavi played prophet during the World Cup. Gerard Pique got dreamy. Captain Puyol led the charge. Pedro claimed it was a no brainer. Biscuits spoke up over tea. Even Coach Pep threw his weight around in South Africa.

With nobody left to talk up the Arsenal skipper and the transfer window closed, one of Wenger’s best has admitted the ex-Barcelona youth star will undoubtedly make a return to his hometown club.

Gilberto Silva, admitted Fabregas’ fate is sealed.

“‘He is a great player and a good guy. I wish him well at Arsenal, but sooner or later he will return to Barcelona.”

First off, I love that Silva wishes him well at Arsenal. It sounds like he’s just arrived there and has yet to prove himself. Heroic PK with a broken leg at the Emirates against his former club? No good. Cesc still needs some encouragement to play well since he’s been AWFUL…

In any event, it’s nice to finally hear an Arsenal guy say what everyone is thinking. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the Daily Mail, who published this story, comes out tomorrow with breaking news that Barcelona players paid Gilberto Silva to make these comments. Would you doubt it?!

(photo courtesy of the Daily Mail)

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