A Weekend Round Up

Lots to get through this Monday morning. Jack Wilshere played a few minutes on Saturday against the meatheads, went out and got involved with some meatheads. Arrest and bail followed, it’s really not clear what happened other than the Arsenal clean up crew released quite a polished statement regarding the player acting as a peacemaker. Hopefully it’s a case of wrong place / wrong time. We’ll have to wait and see.

Regarding Meatheads FC, lovely win for the boys on Saturday. We looked like we struggled a touch when they kept hoofing the ball into the area, but no more than any other team would. Ironic that their goal came from a passage of smooth play including a dribble from a central defender that went past three of our players. Why someone didn’t kick him up in the air is beyond me. Koscielny looked a touch naive as Diouf #1 went past him fairly easily, and Clichey showed he still hasn’t learnt how to defend, letting Diouf #2 run past him and tap in. Why Clichey started berating big Tom in the middle I have no idea. Vermelean had three players to mark, and given recent escapades was probably half marking his own keeper as well just in case he tried to score. Bags of pace is no good if you’re not going to get yourself in the way of the striker.

Anyway we scored twice, Theo looked good again – confidence is an amazing thing. Anyone watch Match Of The Day? Alan Shearer counted the seconds Walcott had on the ball. In a slow motion replay. Hey Alan, if anyone passes this to you to read, just so you know, time is slower in slo-mo replays, so he didn’t really have 6 seconds on the ball. It was more like 2-3. The BBC really is assembling quite the team of footballing brains.

A few times we were climbing all over the Blackburn players in our box, With Chamakh cuddling Christopher Samba quite tightly at times. To be fair to Samba he gave Chamakh a hug at the end and seemed quite cordial. If you act like a meathead with ten elbows I guess you should expect to be held down on the ground. It was as much for his protection as ours I’m sure. Anyway, a different ref would have probably given them 10 penalties (not Chris Foy), but we simply gave as good as we got. It’s fantastic to see the Arsenal players compete physically against a team like Blackburn. We effectively nullified their aerial threat by playing them at their own game, to such an extent that the only way they looked truly dangerous was on the ground.

Almunia looked good as well. He was back to his best, again, confidence is everything. Do not underestimate how destabilising it will be for all this talk of other keepers to keep bounding around his head. Is Schwarzer any better? Really? He’s 37. The best club he has ever played for is Fulham. I’ll leave you to do the math, but considering how hard it is to find a truly decent keeper, I think anybody any good would not still be playing for Fulham at 37. Almunia got quite agitated with Diouf #1 (the twatty one) and it seemed to spur him on. Free kicks and corners, he was clapping his hands loudly, bellowing and stamping his feet. He wasn’t bullied once and he got every ball he came for. Keep your Schwarzer, Brillo head, we don’t want him.

Allardyce was fairly magnanimous at the end of the game – he didn’t mention the P word at the end either, probably because he knew he’d look a bit of a hypocrite. He defends his clubs climbing on defenders to score goals policy, so i guess he accepted the Arsenals policy of climbing on attackers to stop them scoring.

On a side note, does anyone read the Independent? I subscribe to the football blogs. Ian Holloway has been writing some good stuff about his newly promoted team Blackpool. Writing after we welcomed them to the premiership with 6 goals, he said

It was great to sit down with Arsène Wenger and talk football for a few minutes after our game at Arsenal. He had a glass of wine, I had a beer and he was lovely to speak to.

As well as being someone whom I hugely admire, he is simply a very nice man, a total gentleman. He is quietly spoken, very thoughtful and he was very complimentary about us, despite the scoreline.

Proof then that the Walrus from Blackburn was entirely wrong to start bleating on about how Arsene Wenger won’t sit with the managers after a game and have a drink all those months ago. Sorry Sam, it seems he does, it’s just the pricks he avoids. Why it’s anyone’s business other than Walrus/Wenger I’m not sure, but it’s a measure of the man that he would publicly cry about being snubbed. If I was Wenger I’d have sent him a bucket of shit. So it could have been worse.

Quite a bit of talk about Stoke/Pulis threatening to sue Arsene Wenger over his comments midweek. HA HA. HILARITY. If the Yoda faced prick didn’t send out his players with mischief on their minds, people wouldn’t criticise them. Apparently Stoke are ‘sore’ about Wengers comments. Ramsey’s leg is still quite sore. Meatheads.

Finally, Spurs provided quite a stern test for Wigan, a team who had so far conceded 10 goals without reply, who were limited to a single goal against the European Champions in waiting. Amazing. This is the team who’s fans think they’ll take 12 points from their group in Europe? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. What isn’t so funny is Jussi “Hammer Hand” Jaaskelainen getting sent off. My fantasy league team lost points for that. As someone else said, why waste it on a slap on that useless get? Why not make it something special if you’re going to get sent off and run the entire pitch to drop kick Bowyer? WAIT. Next game is Bolton right? And he’ll be suspended, arguably their best player? Lovely.

  • vj

    Fantastic article Kieran, really fuuny. I completely for got bolton was our next game and they will have that ginger dude in goal, lol. Cesc RVP and Walcott will tear them apart. Hope nobody gets injured in the dreaded internationals, though im fully expecting cesc, theo and vermaelen to come back with knocks. Glad to have drawn spurs. If we lose, its the carling cup, big deal, if we win we can laugh at spurs how our kids beat them. Hopefully spurs will crash out in group stages, or even better if we beat them in the quaters. I reckon spurs will fail to make top 4 again, liverpool will do it

  • CON-MAN

    If Arsene wants a keeper he should enquire about Given. Hes younger than schwarzer and better. He should be a bit more expensive but he’ll be good cover until our younger keepers are better

  • Kieran

    VJ Spurs have 2 games in the 7 days before and 2 games in the 7 days after the Carling Cup. Two of those matches are Champions League games, so I would be very surprised if they field a full strength even against us. I fully expect the carling cup to be kids vs kids.

  • ny

    I agree with u Keiron.Almunia is a decent keeper.I prefer him to any other keeper we are linked with.Also remember Given is nursing a shoulder injury and it is a high risk for any team to buy him.

  • Kieran

    Almunia was voted 2nd in our player of the season two years ago. He has his faults but there is no point making a mountain out of a molehill. Are there better keepers? Yes. Did he have a bad season last year? Yes. Is Schwarzer a better keeper? Not in my opinion.

  • Kieran

    What any player needs is confidence. Almunia had some against Blackburn and looked a different keeper. Walcott had some and looks a better player, scoring four times in two games. I don’t think everyone lobbying for a 37 nearly was to replace him will help Almunia.

  • Kieran

    Oh my, oh my. What an incredible moron. Brilliant video.
    http://threeandin.com/2010/08/30/harry-redknapp-not-a-wheeler-and-dealer/

  • Berth

    one performance and its all Alumnia is good and very decent, bla bla bla. IMO his not the best for us at the moment. I do think Shwart could do a better job than him. Lets see how things turn out in the next couple of days. As for Theo his done well so far this season, but lets not conclude his arrived – confidence could be sky high now, but it could also be sky low later. I do wish him well.

  • Kieran

    Have you actually read anything I’ve written? Of course it’s not based on one performance. It’s based on three different things.
    1) He was our second best player 18 months ago. As voted by the fans.
    2) He had a torrid twelve months where he performed well below his own standards, which did not indicate his true ability.
    3) He commanded the box and showed that he is capable of leading from the back.

    Schwarzer is certainly no better. Schwarzer conceeded 45 goals in 37 games. That’s 1.47 goals per game he played. Almunia conceeded less than one goal for each game he played.

    What has Mark Schwarzer ever won? 1 league cup. He’s 37, and he’s only ever won the tinpot cup, a cup we field the kids in.

    I would love to inhabit a world where buying a mediocre goalkeeper would solve all our problems, but buying somebody just to make an unhappy fan happy again is ridiculous. We need a better goalkeeper, not just another almost-was.

    Almunia is not great, but he is capable and is a good shot stopper as he proved against Barcelona in the first half at Arsenal. If he learns to catch crosses then he’ll be a better goalkeeper.

    What Arsenal need is a world class keeper, the best, or one of the best in the world. We don’t have that in Almunia and we wouldn’t with Schwarzer – we’d be better off not wasting £6m on a player we could pick up for free in 12 months time.

  • vj

    Just type Mark Schwarzer into google guys, it looks like its a done deal. He may even start against Bolton. I reckon that whatever happens, Schwarzer or Almunia we back them completely for the season

  • Sam

    Looks like Schwtz transfer is pending for Shay Given’s medical at Fulham.
    We all wish we could get Given, but ManC wouldn’t sell to us. Only time will tell if Schwtz will be any better than Almunia but in the meantime, I wish AW would keep Almunia and make a competition between them!

  • Bergkamp4Eva

    BAD NEWS Time again :(

    Robin Van Persie will be out for at least a few weeks after injuring his ankle whilst training with the dutch side. Brilliant, just when he was getting back to full fitness again. Argh!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8954958.stm

  • Pete

    vj wrote:

    I reckon that whatever happens, Schwarzer or Almunia we back them completely for the season

    Hear hear!

  • Nick

    Given has turned down a move to Fulham and is staying at City. Looks like no GK movement for us. We should go after Maarten Stekelenburg at Ajax. I thought he had a very solid World Cup, he’s young and very promising.

    Not surprised at all about RVP. That guys ankles are made of glass.

  • devday

    @ Nick: Apparently we enquired about Given last week but were told he’s not for sale and not for loan. Man City convinced him to stay.

  • devday

    Transfer news: New reports suggesting we’ve upped our Schwarzer bid from £2m to £3m to £4m to £4.5m… Really? For a 38-year old? Much better than Almunia?

  • devday

    Transfer news: Italian news agency Ansa has reported that Juve have paid Arsenal 500,000 euros to take 20-year-old left-back Armand Traore on loan.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Apparently Shay Given is staying at Man City. So that could mean no Swartzer. Other option is Hugo Lloris.

  • Nick

    Hleb has signed for Birmingham. Good call going to Barcelona!

  • RVP

    schwarzer is staying at fulham so i doubt a goaly will be coming.but i still feel were gonna buy someone.something taht will shock.wouldnt be surprised if we get a striker

  • Nick

    I think if we were gonna land Schwarzer it wouldv’ve happened before today. Not surprised to hear he’s staying at Fulham.

    I doubt we’ll see any more players coming in.

    Hopefully RVPs injury won’t be an extended absence and Chamakh will step up and show his worth.

    Could we deal away Bendtner and sign another striker today please!

  • Goonerman

    I’m not gonna lie I’m just as pissed off as the next person over the keeper no show BUT is there any point in completely writing off the team for the league and putting wenger up forthe chop! I’m not saying it’s going to happen on here but it’s already started on many other forums, apart from the goal keeper we have strengthened and look pretty decent and also other than the ngog goal which people did over react to almunia has had a fine start and excellently dealt with blackbucks box bombing lol. Sooo like we always do not listen to others and get behind almunia because he is the best we have and if he can carry on anything like the form he’s in at the moment the outlook might not be so bad!!

  • Berth

    what form?

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    @Berth

    hahaha, i can understand you thinking he isnt in form at the moment because he hasnt been consistant enough for far too long, however, we didnt sign a keeper and now we have to put 100% faith into almunia. Lets just hope he doesnt get injured because i cant be doing with fabianski, he is shocking

  • Kieran

    To be honest, if you genuinely think having Mark Schwarzer at Arsenal instead of Almunia is an improvement your judgement is very clouded.

    In January he’d be off for 4-6 weeks for the Asias cup. Leaving No.2 Fabianksi in goal.

    He makes mistakes just like our current goalies. You’ve got short memories if you’ve already forgotten him rolling the ball to Arshavin last season.

    He’s had an injury recently, despite paper talk his national team coaches have confirmed it is a real injury.

    I’m sure Wenger considered all of those points and decided that £4m for those three problems just to make a change that wouldn’t actually improve the team would be a wasted £4m.

    We’ve bought in two defenders and a striker, to complement an already thriving midfield.

    Koscielny is a great passing centre back. He’s a little naive still in the premiership as we saw against Bolton, but he looks confident and composed on the ball and can pass incisively through the middle of the pitch.

    Chamakh looks like a lovely centre forward – I watched him last season and thought he looked sharp in an otherwise mediocre team, I’m excited to see what he will bring to a team like Arsenal.

    Overall there are far more positives from this summer than negatives.

  • Bonathan

    I thought we might have seen one of our young keepers go out on loan.

    Anyway, no schwartzer, i must say, i thought it was deffo gonna happen. I really don’t think there’s much between schwartzer and almunia though to be honest. Given would have been nice but that wasn’t gonna be allowed to happen.

    I would have liked to see schwartzer and almunia here this season. With fabianski and maybe one of the other two going out on loan. But nevermind, it’s done.

    For me, the signing of schwartzer wouldn’t have give us much of a difference in terms of the quality of our number 1, but it would have meant a good relaible experienced number two to come in for that often crucial time in the season where the number 1 gets injured, Which cost us dearly last season.

    It’s not as if we’re short of numbers back there though. We have 3 promising young keepers and almunia. I just hope Fabianski can do a better job when called upon this season. Mannone did well when he came in but wenger seems to favour fabianski. There must be a good reason for this and hopefully we’ll see it this season.

    Looking at our squad, there’s no doubt that people will continue to question our goalkeeping department. and that probably is where the big question mark lies within our squad. I think we’ve stregthened pretty well in other areas that needed to be sorted. I really can’t see united winning the league this year, i just hope we can be the ones challenging chelsea, who have got to be there or there abouts. Yeah, us or chelsea this year i reckon.

    If our new players can settle in pretty fast, almunia can find his fom, flappy can up his game for this season, van persie can avoid any long term injury, i see no reason why not.

  • Berth

    There are far more positives undoubtedly, but a GK was clearly needed. Alumnia is not good enough to be my number one maybe he is for you Kieran.

  • Kieran

    Berth, I simply said Schwarzer was no better. It’s undeniable that I would prefer a better keeper but Schwarzer is not the better keeper.

    Feel free to keep making up what I’ve said though if it gives you a point.