Wednesday Woes… Apparently…

Fulham take on Manchester United at Old Trafford tonight, and can they pull off a suprise win, which would leave the table looking a little bit healthy. Villa and Sp*rs are also in action tonight, so a few injuries for both teams maybe a good thing - a very tiring affair - extra time isn't possible as it's the first leg, but maybe Agbonlahor out for four weeks would be a good thing. Listen to me, I doing the worst thing that someone can do and wishing injury on professional footballers. Is this what I am reduced to?

Well, I say this in light of Arsene comments, whereby he has officially conceded the title and said that his aim is to finish fourth...

“We are on a very strong run at the moment and we have promised to give everything until the last day of the season but at the moment Manchester United look untouchable.  They are 12 points ahead of us and they have a game against Fulham (on Wednesday) which they will certainly win. If they win that they are 15 points in front and that means they need to lose five games. Let us say they lose one against us, that still leaves four. They still need to lose four other games, which they haven’t done yet this season. But our basic target is to get into the Champions League and therefore the championship remains a priority.”

At which point did Arsene realise this? We’ve been saying it pre-transfer window. With 3 draws in the last 3 league games, adding a player or two at the beginning of the window could have seen us only 6 points behind United. Interesting stuff, and maybe a few words of inspiration for Fulham tonight? At least an injury to…

Talking about injuries – the infamous Martin Tyler – the guy who “did that” to Eduardo has never actually, personally visited the Crozilian. Eduardo said this recently:

“Some friends told me he was saying he’d spoken to me – but he never did. I’ve never met him. And someone at Arsenal received an email from him when I played for the reserves at Barnet a short while back and it said he was pleased I was playing again. I have received lots of mail from other people. I’ve had around 25,000 emails – from Croatia, Brazil and England – wishing me a speedy recovery and I’ve had letters by the sackful. But he’s never sent anything directly to me. But I don’t want to talk about the incident. It’s probably best left alone now.”

What a little twat – to lie about it all just makes me sick!

Anyway, time to heap a little praise on one of my least favourite players, Niklas Bendtner… I have to admit that he has been playing a little better recently. He has missed a few sitters recently and apparently his bad form came during a stage where he was carrying an injury. Apparently, he didn’t say the previous quote about him playing every single minute for Arsenal and being the best striker in the world….

“It makes me upset because it comes across really bad. None of it was said like that. Basically, I did a long interview for the Danish press recently, they asked me a lot of questions and the press over here have taken my answers and twisted them out of proportion.

Apparently, Alex Hleb is the “laughing stock” of Barcelona. Apparently, nobody likes him and he is a bit of an outcast to the team. Toure’s agent recently belittled him publicly when he said:

“They are waiting to extend the contracts of Eto’o and Toure, but all they do is wait. What is going on? The players will leave, and then who will play? Hleb?”

Well, good on ya son… hope you enjoy your quiet life in Barcelona, we’ve got Nasri, Vela, Arshavin, Rosicky, Eduardo and Walcott, you got… slammed.

I’ll speak more on the boardroom antics tomorrow, but here’s a little useful list of who owns what now… in order of their share…

  1. Alisher Usmanov – 25% 
  2. Danny Fiszman – 24.11% 
  3. Others – 17.49% 
  4. Lady Bracewell-Smith – 15.9%
  5. Stan Kroenke – 12.4%
  6. Richard Carr – 4.4%
  7. Peter Hill-Wood – 0.8%

So, after a very exciting match on Monday night, we must turn our attention to the game on Saturday. We’re still lagging behind the top four, and Hiddink’s Chelsea and O’Neill’s Villa won’t be easy to catch. Games between the top 5 will be even more decisive this year and when Chelsea take on Villa this weekend, who do you want to win?

And for those of you who didn’t spot it… the Arsenal.com site had Emmanuel Adebayor out for a slightly longer time that he’s actually out of action – about 5 minutes after publishing it, they did change it back to weeks.

It was funny at the time.

Emmanuel Adebayor
Friday, February 13, 2009
Arsène Wenger expects Emmanuel Adebayor to be out for “three or four years” after suffering a hamstring injury during the North London derby against Tottenham. The Togo striker was stretchered off during the first half at White Hart Lane.
]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Hm...as for injuries...players getting injured on other teams will be good for Arsenal...but i prefer to hope for a serious dip in form from the other sides instead lol And AW has taken some time to notice that Man U r pretty much cruising to the title at the minute. It's funny that Liverpool are so close to them, yet most ppl don't think they have a good chance at the title...more like an outside chance actually.

    As for Martin Taylor, if he apologises, gud 4 him and if not, he's not the "nice bloke" every1 talks about...as simple as that. Looks as if B'ham are coming back to the Prem nxt yr actually...so Arsenal v B'ham should be interesting. Point is, Eduardo is back & firing on all cylinders. What Taylor does is his business... If i were him and i really "came" to see Eduardo, but Eduardo says he has no recollection, the least he can do is visit "again" if he did in-fact visit initially.

    Hleb's dream seems to be going pretty well doesn't it? lol He should not have left us in the manner he did...now he's suffering for it. We were building something special, he left...but we got a surplus of creative/attacking midfielders. Imagine...Flamini & Hleb having a tuff time now that they left us...tsk tsk!

    And Ade out for 3 or 4 years....that just class rite there! Haha!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[LOL. I do hope it was years in fact. Useless as he is.

    I don't hate Hleb like some here seem to enjoy doing. He gave us 3 good years where the whole team was unstable. We were going through a transformation and he was one of those who found it hard to acclimatize. Plus he was on the receiving end of some horrible challenges, very consistently. And he never got the protection he deserved from any referee. Anyone in that position would find it difficult to carry on. Not all players are 'one-club' players. And supporters should try to accept that. I don't see reason to be spiteful that he chose a different future for himself hoping it would be better. We'll never know what circumstances and sort of scenario he was facing, never mind the money. So I think it's best we not judge someone when there's no way we can get into his brain.]]>

  • zohaib

    He had probably the best ball control and dribbling skills I’ve ever seen. It’s a shame he wasn’t able to convert his talent into goals but that’s what we mean when we say ‘he might find it hard to adapt to the English Premier League’. It’s a different league to others. The defences are the strongest. There’s never any space because the lesser teams are so negative. And any player will find it difficult to penetrate defences when they’ve parked the bus. He was never consistently played in the position he was used to playing in, LM, either.

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib, the spite is related to the manner in which he orchestrated his move and lied to the fans and the clubs whilst also threatening to use the Webster. He also said he didn't like London because it was noisy and then moved to even nosier Barcelona!!!

    In regards to his tenure at the club, don't get me wrong, we acknowledge that he wasn't a bad player and did have decent games.]]>

  • devday

    Indeed, at his best, he was one of the best dribblers in the league!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[That would be the same as Wenger and the board lieing to the fans about money for one, and countless other problems, like deflecting from questions the fans want answered, or saying 'I didn't see it' when it's a foul or red card to one of our players.

    I don't think we come anywhere near feeling spite towards him.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Ade out for 3-4 years? lol! That is actually funny! Imagine if that actually happened? Being out for 3-4 years, that would be absolutely horrible! But then, on current form, he'd not be missed much! But yeah, good thing that wasn't for real though!

    i'm sure Hleb and Flamini must be ablsolutely kicking themselves, even though I'm sure they'd be consoling themselves at the moment with the fact that we're languishing just outside the Champions league position at the moment, but i'm pretty sure they'd rather be here than be laughing stocks and bench-warmers where they are. But well, it's their loss, and I hope the other players learn from what's happened to those 2 that it rarely gets better than Arsenal out there!

    The whole Martin Taylor thing is probably being blown out of proportion though. Apparently he got death threats after the whole thing and the media bringing it up isn't going to help matters.
    I doubt it if Eduardo wants to speak to him at this point in time, cos he's said time and again that he doesn't want to remember what happened that day. but if Martin hasn't actually apologised directly, that's just dodgy. (Sending an email through a physio or whatever just doesn't cut it!) But I wouldn't be surprised to see him at the next away game (I doubt if he's show his face at the Emirates) to try and do so... But anyways, it's all in the past, I hope, and I'm sure Eduardo just wants to get on with his life, and playing football, really.

    Boardroom drama- just the wrongest of times really. Hope Wenger signs a new contract soon to make us that bit less worried!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[And I'm not sure why you feel it was him and not his agent that 'orchestrated his move' in the manner that he did. What I know is, the media can put as much twist and spin on things and they can publish stories which are lies without feeling any sense of responsibility. They will take comments and actions out of context for fun.
    Then there are the agents, who we all know, can be very cunning.
    So, I can't say it was all him, without any proof.]]>

  • Debs

    I don’t think it’s spite Zohaib, it’s just the fact that it really wasn’t in his best interests to leave when he did- you don’t see anyone getting on Henry’s back for leaving. Hleb was one of our best players at the time, there’s no denying that, and I’m sure the fans will always be grateful for all he did for us. I sure am.

  • zohaib

    I just don’t think I’m comfortable in a position where I think I should be the judge on what a football player decides for his future.

  • zohaib

    I wasn’t too pleased that Henry left. I thought he should’ve stayed. He was Arsenal through and through. His relationship with the fans and the manager and the sort of person he was generally, I’m sure all the fans were sad to see him go. Most seemed to accept that because he didn’t want to play for us anymore, that we couldn’t force him to, or feel spite or feel that his decision was wrong or unjust for us. Just like Hleb, who didn’t want to play for us anymore. I don’t understand why we couldn’t feel the same for him. Why couldn’t we just wish him all the best like we did with Henry. Afterall, a lot of players came to Arsenal because of all the big names like Henry, Vieria, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Pires etc. When they started to leave, the newcomers must’ve felt a bit strange with all the kids around them. When you’re 25 I’m sure you want to start winning things if you haven’t already. Because after that there’s not much time left. Who knows when a player might get a nasty career-threatening injury. I don’t think it’d be right to feel spite or a sense of unjustice towards Hleb.

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…it’s the manner in which he left us that left the bad taste in my mouth. He did well for us and seeked new pastures but i just don’t like how it happened. Ah well. I wish him & Matty well at the end of the day tho.

  • zohaib

    All I remember is Wenger saying that he and Hleb had spoken or something and that he wasn’t going anywhere (or to Inter Milan). I don’t remember a direct quote from Hleb himself saying he wasn’t going anywhere. So I don’t understand how he lied, in the first place.

  • Fabrez

    Henry was different. Henry left saying he had so much appreciateion for the fans…that special understanding was there. I guess Hleb was less of character so he wouldn’t have had that connection…but i never heard him say how much he’d appreciated us supporting him. His behaviour was as if to say…”Finally, Barca, a great club with great fans, unlike Arsenal!” Whether it is or isn’t how it was supposed to come across, it is what you say as a player that makes the difference…and that is partly why Henry’s departure was different to Hleb’s.

  • Fabrez

    And that meeting in Milan…with Hleb & Inter…that was always going to hurt the fans…u didn’t hear about Henry having ice-cream with Barca’s ppl!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I think there's a certain amount of room for error in anyone's judgement. So I wouldn't want to put words in Hleb's mouth and say that I translate his actions as 'Finally, Barca, a great club with great fans, unlike Arsenal !'. That's unfair.

    Hleb was here 3 years compared to Henry's 8. They are different people with different personalities and characters. It's wrong to assume that they should have the same friendly attitude with people who they don't know, or haven't had time to develop a relationship with.]]>

  • zohaib

    Hleb didn’t seem to make an effort to get friendly with the supporters. But he doesn’t have to. Everybody is different. Maybe he didn’t know how to get the media to interview him in that way, or maybe the media never fancied him because of whatever agenda they had. Who’s to say.

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…but all he had to say was thanks to the fans man…that’s all i’m saying. Simple. I meant that is what his actions seemed to say, not neccessarily meant. We don’t know and i accept that. Point is, he’s gone and we got great players at the club now & that’s my main concern! :)

  • devday

    So Zohaib, what do you think about Reyes?

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[I always felt a bit sorry for Reyes, he was a decent player and did well for us, especially in the run to the CL final (which he was dropped for I seem to remember).

    Henry had a massive problem with him after the whole Arogones racism thing. You could see that whenever they played together the atmosphere was not friendly.

    When Reyes took a shot, Henry would scowl like "why didn't you pass to me" and when he passed Henry would look back like "why didn't you pass it better" and when Henry scored he would hug everyone except Reyes.

    Which of those players was gonna get the Boss'/Fan's/Team's support? Not Reyes!

    In the end he clearly didn't want to stay and we got in Rosicky who is better, but injured the whole time. Another example of the a player who hasn't acheived much since he left Arsenal.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[To an extent I agree with you Steve, but that negative attitude lasted only a few games. It was okay after those few games. They were hugging and celebrating normally. It took a bit of time.

    Dev - Reyes and Hleb were very similar in terms of getting kicks consistently and not being protected by the refs enough. There are players that don't go down easily and there are players that do go down easily. But there are also times when players who normally don't go down easily, do. And sometimes it's because they're trying to protect themselves against a bad kick, so they'll make a meal of a lesser challenge to let the referee and the opponents know where their limit to taking tackles lies. That's a normal part of the game. Just like bad decisions won't ever go away, you'll always have players who make a meal of challenges. If the referee's never made a bad decision, nobody would feel injustice and hence nobody would need to take justice into their own hands and try and make something happen. That said, there might still be the odd few malicious players who would try to get someone hurt or sent off without much reason.

    Reyes' problem seemed to be the damp, cold weather and lack of sun. But again, that's what I heard through several people other than Reyes himself. Assuming it was the only problem, it isn't every day that you hear about it, so people would seem surprised and disappointed. But hey, maybe the guy just couldn't adjust. Maybe it got a bit too depressing for him. I can completely relate to him. But because I don't know all the factors and what else was going on in his life, I don't know whether it was him that wasn't strong enough mentally to cope with it or whether it actually was too much for him or whether it was a different problem.]]>

  • CON-MAN

    < ![CDATA[agree with you zohaib...reyes was a good player but i dont understand all this 'its too cold/wet/noisy' talk, i mean look at all the biggest clubs- chelsea, man utd, inter, ac, real, barca, even bayern etc wat do they have in common? a) all in big cities so theres bound 2 be noise b) all those countries go through seasons as do we, its not like spain or italy is 100 degrees all year round isit?

    that said, i preferred hleb to reyes and to be honest id swap hleb for rosicky now, as hleb didnt spend half his time on the treatment table]]>

  • Debs

    Despite all though, it’s good to see Flamini start alongside Senderos for Milan in the Eufa Cup tonight.

  • zohaib

    Okay point proven. Berbatov’s just missed a sitter. That makes Bendtner as good as Berbatov. Woohoo.

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Nice one, Zohaib. Totally agree. It's a win/win situation for us. If a good player wants to stay, then we have a good player. If he wants to go, we avoide problems in the dressing room.

    I've never grown to dislike any player that decides to leave. I'd rather them go then have us stuck with players that don't want to be there. Hleb might not have been to everyones taste, but he played well alongside key guys like Cesc (as did Flamini) and helped create a lot of our goals last season. It's sad, yet not surprising that both these guys aren't starters for the teams they play for now. But in all honesty good luck to them (apart from when they play Arsenal).

    Every player/situation is different. I cant honestly speak highly of, say, David Bently's attitude towards Arsenal, as he seems to have a real chip on his shoulder regarding all things Arsenal. Starting ahead of Llundberg and Bergkamp wasn never going to happen, so in that regard I dont blame him going to Blackburn. But his attitude since hasn't been complimentary, and seems to have worsened since joining Sp*rs. But then he's the one who suffers, not us. As I said before, good luck to him, apart from when he faces us.

    Even the whole "Cashley" Cole banter seems old now. Even he's quietend down a bit. He doesn't need reminding that as it currently stands, he's still won more medals/trophies with Arsenal than Chelsea. If we're not careful we'll end up bitter and resentful towards these guys in the same fashion that Sp*rs fans are towards Sol Campbell.

    As for wanting rivals to have their players injured, I understand what you mean, but I'd much rather our team at full strength and playing to their best ability, because we are good enough to beat anyone on our day.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[David Bentley seemed to have little patience. It seemed from the interviews, the press coverage, the articles and stories, that he was unhappy that he wasn't getting a chance ahead of, as Pete said, Bergkamp, Ljungberg etc.

    And it's okay to want more chances, but I never though he had the quality to be an Arsenal player. He had skill and could shoot with both feet, but had little else to offer. He couldn't go past people, and he's supposed to be a winger. If he's a support striker, he's okay. So the feeling I got was, this guy isn't all that special and he thinks he should play before Bergkamp and Ljungberg, which obviously makes him look arrogant and full of himself. But I'm not sure if Hleb and Reyes had the same arrogance. Which is why I feel in Bentley's case I was actually content to see him go.]]>

  • Marriich

    I just don’t understand some of you so called fans, Man U beat Derby 4:1 and they are able to win all 4 trophies, we beat Cardiff and our own fans saying it was just Cardiff. Where lies Cardiff and Derby? Stop those stupid talks , Chelsea beat Watford 3:1, Please let us support the team and we will move forward.

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Marriich, I don't think people are talking about Man U winning 4 trophies because of their performance against Derby. The difference has been their consitency in the league (how many clean sheets?) and ability to put out a strong team even when they have injuries.

    The Cardiff game was a very positive performance, but the fans should not change their moods based on one game. It could be a turning point, especially if the (re)introduction of Arshavin and Eduardo give us back that creative spark that the team on Monday night had.

    The priorities now are:
    1. getting into the top 4
    2. getting to past Roma in the CL
    3. getting to the SFs of the FA Cup]]>

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

    < ![CDATA[JOKE!

    He had skill and could shoot with both feet, but had little else to offer.
    That’s more than Bendtner! :D ]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I think we should win the champions league to secure our place in next years competition so when we finish outside the top 4 we still get to play CL football.

    lol...how much would that annoy Villa if they finish in 4th place.]]>

  • zohaib

    Kieran – you mean you’re joking right ? Bendtner’s playing better than Bentley ever managed at his best. He’s got better movement than Bentley anyway. So what if he can’t use his left foot as much. Big difference that makes. Some of the world’s best players are/were one-footed. (Maradona, Messi)

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

    < ![CDATA[Yes. I was joking. Calm down.

    I think neither of them are fit for Arsenal, whoever's best.]]>

  • zohaib

    If you put it that way, I’ll have to agree.