Tuesday Muesday

It's been a week of ex-players reflecting and talking about the club. First Hleb told us how he wants Cesc at Barcelona (You Tosspot) and then he told us that Walcott is awesome (Cheers). Now it's Patrick Vieira's turn to talk and he's been talking about Cesc:

“The best midfielder I would say is Steven Gerrard. I really rate him as a player and as a man.

“I think Fabregas is learning every year. Now he is a top quality player. He is one of the best. In the years to come he can be at the top.”

Of course, Cesc is the successor to Vieira, a legend in my eyes. Cesc has all the potential in the world to be the best player in his position. He’s getting better physically and it’s quite clear that when on form, he is the heartbeat of our team. He has a similar effect as Vieira had to the team.

Someone who many people would like to see play along side him is Aaron Ramsey. He’s supposedly been man of the match as Wales drew 2-2 with England (England win 5-4 on aggregate), and scored a great goals. The reports read:

“But Wales hit back to make it 2-1 through a brilliant Aaron Ramsey 20-yarder and a Simon Church effort set up by rising young Arsenal star Ramsey.”

Although I am yet to see the goal myself…!

Anyway, not much else going on… It’s the England game tomorrow…

Come on Theo!]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Viera's tripping if he sees Gerrard as top midfielder in Europe at the moment. His performances have been patchier than a quitting smoker. Lampard has been by far and the most effective and consistent midfield in the Prem so far this season.

    Unless he means generally, I guess then Gerrard is up there.

    Ramsey did indeed play very well and showed that bit of passion thats so important in a player. He shone in the field, and to be honest nearly made headlines by dumping England out.]]>

  • James

    < ![CDATA[Some conversations stick in your mind and inspire you. Gael Clichy has revealed how Dennis Bergkamp gave him some advice and it spurred him on, eventually he won a first team place.

    Looking at the current squad it is full of talent but has a lack of experienced heads to pass on some much needed advice.

    We need players who have been there and done it. Players like Bergkamp and Vieira, players who know how to win things.

    Some Gooners doubt Gallas but he is one of few in the squad that actually can pass on their knowledge.

    Arsene Wenger is building a very talented squad but they need leadership. In previous Wenger sides we have had several leaders in the side at once. Take the invincibles, that side was full of leaders, players that the youngsters could look up too.

    I've never had the privilege of being a professional footballer but I can't imagine there is anything better than training and taking advice from someone like Dennis Bergkamp.

    We need more leaders.]]>

  • James

    < ![CDATA[First the press do an interview with David Taylor, then one with Lord Triesman, and in these interviews ideas are born and articulated. But then this birth of ideas is always followed up with the inevitable afterbirth; an interview with a drunken Michel Platini. He must be drunk when he speaks nowadays because it’s the only way that he makes any sense. Here’s his latest bon mot:

    Do you want in Liverpool an Arab sheikh as president with one Brazilian coach and nine or 11 African players? Where is Liverpool in that?

    I am reminded of a quote I read some time ago that was attributed to Rick Rubin (American music producer). On the set of making Run DMC’s movie “Tougher than leather” Rick argued that the film needed white rappers the Beastie Boys included because “Nobody wants to watch ten niggers play basketball, do they?” Set aside for a moment the racial epithet. Rick Rubin was arguing in a not too subtle manner that identity mattered and that an audience needed to identify with characters in the movie or the movie would be a failure. Which is, to some extent true. However, Rick and Michel’s assumption is that the audience cannot identify with someone who isn’t, basically, a white dude because basically the audience is all white.

    The layers of assumptions in Platini’s statement are so thick that it’s difficult to peel them away. First, the big assumption is that there aren’t Africans or Brazilians, or Arabs who live in Liverpool and consider themselves Liverpudlians. Second, Platini uses Nationalism to drive home his point. If he’d have said “an Irish president, a Welsh coach and 9 or 11 Scotsmen for players” it wouldn’t have had the same impact, because most Brits consider those countries to be part of the kingdom. But, in his final layer, he uses a fear of immigration, of the foreign, of the “dark continent” to really seal the deal. They aren’t 11 Welshmen on the team, they are Africans.

    It is a deeply disturbing thing for a man of any authority to state, made all the more disturbing by the fact that I don’t think this was some prepared statement. This was glimpse in to his soul, what Platini thinks in private moments when he’s not feeling vulnerable. Almost like what you’d get if you spoke to your racist friend after a few drinks.

    Sensing this, I think, Platini tries to rescue himself by throwing a rope around identity politics and drawing that close to him.

    Where is Liverpool in that… What is football? Football is a game and this game has become popular because of the identity. You have to have identity, that is where football’s popularity lies.

    In Platini’s world, identity is confined to a narrow area directly around the sacred ground of the pitch. If you’re from Liverpool, you could never love Arsenal, or worse some Spanish team. If you’re from Ireland, why don’t you just support your local Irish team? That’s your identity isn’t it? And, of course, if you’re an American who blogs about an English football club, owned by Englishmen, run by a Frenchie, and overrun with 9 or 11 African Francophones, well then you must be a truly mixed up individual. Why don’t you just go and support the Seattle Seahawks you nut?

    Platini’s statement really stabs at the heart of what this blog is about — that identity is not a small area around a stadium. Identity is not something that can even be constrained by the boundaries of something as large as a country. And certainly, identity is not something that is defined for you by some drunken Frenchman.

    Identity is something that we are free to choose and I choose Arsenal. No narrow minded bigoted nationalist like Michel Platini is going to change that for me now.

    Statements like that have no place in football and only serve to discredit the game. Is there’s any wonder why UEFA didn’t do anything about the racists in Zenit when there’s a racist at the helm?

    While we’re on the topic of stupid nationalists…

    I’ve said before that I don’t think it would be a good idea for Almunia to put himself in the pool to be England number one; not because I don’t think he’s better than the dreadful David James (he is) but because I don’t think he wants the bubbling cauldron that he’ll have to endure every day. It’s bad enough to just play for the England team (look at the crazy stories about Theo — should he play, shouldn’t he, should he have gone to the World cup, on and on) but to both play for the England team and be a foreigner, (NOT PART OF THE KINGDOM) well that’s a whole ‘nother level of crazy to endure.

    But that’s not Rio Ferdinand’s problem. Rio Ferdinand believes he can look into the soul of Almunia and predict what kind of decision he will make.

    So if Spain had picked him now and he had a choice of playing for Spain or England who is he going to pick? I’m sure he’d pick Spain so that means he is not English.

    I think that’s a non-sequitor. It’s not an option for Almunia and we cannot pretend to know what’s in a man’s heart. We have to base our opinions on the rules and observable data. The rules are that Almunia is eligible to play for England. The data is that he’s a far better keeper than David James. End of story. All this kerfuffle that I keep reading from fans about Hargreaves and his “English Blood” (which blood type is English?) is beside the point. All this talk of knowing what’s in Almunia’s heart is beside the point. Is he eligible? Can he make the cut? If so, then shut your fucking mouth Rio, he could be your teammate and the last thing you should be doing is undermining the confidence you have in your teammates. Right?]]>

  • RIo OOO

    < ![CDATA[So Rio is horrified at what a circus the World Cup was, is he? And he apparently loves the new professional approach from Capello. As a result, the media are now fawning over Rio, saying how mature he is and what a great leader blah blah blah.
    What a load of rubbish. Why did noone ask Rio whether he has been merked recently? Arranged any club Christmas parties where you bus in local girls? Kicked a hoarding or injured any fans? Made any homophobic comments on national radio?
    He is right about the WAGS, but to act as if he was not part of that squad and was just a horrified onlooker is so ridiculous as to be quite funny.

    And then he goes and misses the point about the England approach to tournaments, by saying they need to be more withdrawn so they can "focus". The whole problem with this generation of players is that they are completely separated from the fans. What would make great sense in South Africa is if the England team don't book out an entire hotel, if they don't hide themselves away from the fans and the locals. And instead of appearing with their bodyguards to go to designer shops with their WAGS, why not try engaging with the local community in a productive way - training sessions, autograph sessions, visiting schools etc. That is how they would get the most out of the experience and also reconnect with their fans.

    But don't worry, Rio, because I'm sure JT (as the press love to call our captain fantastic) will show you all the right way to behave...just keep him away from the disabled parking spaces]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[Is this some kind of new internet craze? Hijacking peoples blogs, with random irrelivant articles...

    Yeah i'm not sure about Gerrard being the best. I don't think there is a standout CM in the country. Deco has looked wonderful in his 5 minutes so far. Lampard misses tons more than he scores. Gerrard is consistently quiet these days. Man Utd have a rotation thing going on, and none have stood out. Fabregas isn't quite there yet, while being the most talented, he doesn't always deliver. Vieira's is right that he will probably be at the top one day though.

    Good news about Ramsey. Even a yiddo was raving about him at work today.]]>

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[Why do people post other people's articles on this blog? It makes no sense. I swear I just read that article somewhere else... maybe it's a blog virus type thing!

    Come on Ramsey!!!]]>

  • Fo

    Is it to win the coveted Best Commentor Award…? It must be!

  • ray

    < ![CDATA[frankly, it doesnt matter where the article is from as long as its to do with the gunners.

    iN my opinion if you dont like it then dont read it.]]>

  • ray

    and to be fair James comments are a bit long winded

  • sam

    < ![CDATA[Let's see here. If its not racism, then why is Ashley Cole widely considered a "pariah" by English football fans and media, yet Wayne Rooney is considered the "saviour"?

    Ashley Cole agreed to $60,000 per week with Arsenal. Then Arsenal turn around and piss in his face by offering him $55,000 per week. Remember now, Cole was Arsenal's only English product of their academy and arguably the best full back in the world. So he goes behind their back and negotiates with Chelsea where he eventually transferred too.

    Wayne Rooney wore the infamous "Once a Blue Always a Blue" t-shirt, then he engineered an acrimonious departure by handing in a transfer request. Also, let's not forget David Moyes successfully sued Rooney for making up spurious lies that Moyes leaked confidential conversations between the.

    Ashley Cole supposedly cheated on his wife. Wayne Rooney supposedly cheated on his fiance.

    Wayne Rooney has been guilty on numerous occasions of running around the pitch like a bloodthirsty thug trying to break an opponent's legs. Ashley Cole does nothing of the sort.

    Ashley Cole often "dives" to win a free-kick. Wayne Rooney often "dives" to win a free kick.

    Ashley Cole was once seen acting like a petulant child whilst showing utter contempt for a referee. Wayne Rooney almost always acts like a petulant child berating referees with way over-the-top swearing and abuse.

    Ashley Cole rarely makes a mistake for England and he usually plays well for England. Wayne Rooney was crap for about 3 years for England until he recently had a few good games (one of them against Kazakhstan).

    Was Rooney ever booed by England fans s after another pathetic effort from him missed the target during his 3 year scoring drought? NO, but Ashley Cole gets booed for one mistake that meant nothing to the result of the match.

    It goes beyond this though. Why is Ashley Cole widely considered a "despicable human-being?"
    Why is Wayne Rooney not widely considered a despicable human being? Arsenal crapped on Ashley Cole. Wayne Rooney crapped on Everton. Yet Ashley Cole is the worst human being in the world and that vile thug Rooney receives no such abuse?

    Good ol' fashioned English Racism is still alive and kicking.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Sam - mindlessly reposting a blog article is one thing, copying an article out of a national newspaper is quite another. I already buy the Gaurdian, I don't need to re-read their biased football reporting more than once.

    Original thoughts only please!]]>