Friday Round-Up, Wenger, UEFA and Injuries…

Yesterday was an eventful day in the World of Arsenal.

It was Arsene’s real first press conference since the Barcelona game and it was clear that nothing had changed in regards to his view about the game or the referee. I’ll start today’s blog with a quote from the gaffer – when asked what he thought about being charged by UEFA:

“I don’t understand where that comes from. It is the kind of thing that is difficult to understand. It is a shame the referee took the decision to send off Robin van Persie because it was the wrong decision. The first game was a fantastic advert for football and the second game has been destroyed. The only thing that people remember is that the sending off killed the game. This decision frustrated us and frustrated everybody who loves football. It would be good for UEFA to show some humility, to apologise for what has happened, not charge people who have done nothing wrong. Who has been punished is Arsenal Football Club. We are out of the Champions League – we have lost one of our big ambitions. We have been punished with a lot of damages and, on top of that, we have to say sorry to UEFA. We have done nothing wrong. They organised the competition, they named the referees who come to the games. When you have a football game of that stature, you cannot come out with decisions like that and show a lot of arrogance on top of that. We can all understand that we can make wrong decisions, but after that it becomes dictatorship. It’s not any more common sense.”

Of course, we all know that there is more to what happened than we know. There were exchanges between Arsene and between referee and there were also amicable discussions between the fourth official. I for one, don’t know what happened – or why Arsene was charged… Arsene is not taking this lightly – he will be contest the decision and in addition, believes he has done nothing wrong.

“I will keep that for UEFA if they really want to know because I will have some interesting statements to make about some statements made by people who were not supposed to say what they said. You can check any statement I made on television after the game. If I have done anything wrong I am ready to be charged. As for what is said in the tunnel, if you can get just one [time] where I have come out on what has been said against me or against the referee [in a tunnel] during my 15 years in England, I will pay for you to have a big holiday.”

Arsene is right with his statements, but this season, there really has been a lot of abbreviation and a lot of controversy – as an Arsenal fan, I really do think some really bad decisions have gone against us. But as fans and as the manager, what can be done about it? We aren’t asking to be favoured, but we are asking for fairness. 3 Barcelona players grabbed three Arsenal players by the throat (which is a bookable offence), all seen by the referee but no cards were given – please UEFA, explain!!!

Okay, I will stop ranting, and concentrate on today’s news a bit more…

Injury wise, we officially have a goal keeping crisis – Szcznesy isn’t going to recover any time soon… Fabianski and Mannone are both out for the season, so out of 4 keepers, we only have one fit goalkeeper and will only have one fit goalkeeper for the next month or so. Arsene is now considering an emergency goalkeeper – but who can fit the bill? I know a lot of us have been debating this – but we literally couldn’t find a third choice keeper from any club that wasn’t injured and available. Arsene says he knows who he will loan – but we won’t find out until he does it…

Arsene has also revealed the injury news that Cesc and Song are still out injured, as is the trio of keepers and Theo Walcott and Vermaelen… but Van Persie is fit to play and you’d imagine that Diaby and Rosicky won’t start tomorrow after their dismal performances against Barcelona – I’m sure we’ll find out later today…

Man United gives us an opportunity to show the world that we’re not also rans – whether or not we’ll take it or not is another question all together…

I’ll be back tomorrow with a Man United preview and more reaction… until then…

  • goonerman

    Peter crouch seriously believes tottenham could beat barcelona over two legs??? hmmmmmmm keeep taking that smack mate! i hate barcelona i think they are a horrible club with no class but i cant deny that they are utterly amazing and to watch them completley dismantle tottenham would be a joy to watch. even if not tottenham then watching them completley abuse man united or chelsea would be equally satisfying! we have been ripped by media and opposing fans over the last couple of days and i would love to see them wiped of by barcelona giving one of the three a complete pasting!1

  • pires

    I have just seen on some other forum some gunner fans giving Cesc the stick for Cesc in the tunnel before the game? Going round shaking hands and cuddling all the Barca players one by one – WTF was that all about???

    Would you have have seen a real captain like Tony Adams doing all that shite? I think he realized he was playing for the wrong team on the night – maybe thats why he gifted barca the first goal. This so called captain of ours is a A Class disgrace and the sooner he pisses off to Barca the better – dont need his type at our club

  • devday

    @ pires:
    That’s the one thing I hate about Cesc + Barcelona. Even in the Emirates he went up to all the Barcelona players first before the Arsenal ones and even the fans to talk.

  • pires

    @Dev – exactly – imagine what the arsenal players behind must be thinking! I’m sorry but the sooner we get rid of this mercenary the better. We need english players who won’t be a bunch of slags like the ones we have currently – I am really worried about this team if we lose on saturday. That’ll be us out of 3 comps in space of few weeks –

  • Davidinlondon

    @Pires – – There’s a reason why it was on another forum and not this one: a total waste of time.

    If people are going to criticise the attitude of the player that has given more than anyone else for this club over the past six years because he is greeting his friends before a game, they don’t deserve to be heard. That stuff happens all the time when a player meets their old team, it’s nothing new and has nothing to do with his performance on the pitch.

    You say we don’t need “his type” but if we had a team full of players of “his type” we’d be a lot better off. That you can even question his dedication to the team annoys me more than anything that has been said on this post. If anyone is a Class A disgrace it is you for not using your brain and simply rehashing the thoughtless, brainless comments of another person on another forum.

  • Fo

    I don’t think we need to get rid of him, but I don’t think his attitude is right – and he really shouldn’t have played the second leg – he was unfit and wasn’t in the right frame of mind – in fact, it was his worst performance in an Arsenal shirt. He obviously didn’t care about being injured for future games – as long as he got to play against Barce! Same happened last year!

  • devday

    @ Davidinlondon:
    Cesc’s attitude hasn’t been great, but I don’t think he has to leave – I just don’t want to play Barcelona next season – there is too much nonsense surrounding those games!

  • yemi

    I think Cesc should leave, because if a player has stopped being loyal, then there is a problem…. If he really wants to stay , he should show it !!! not show the opposite. All he seems to be doing is going in the opposite direction, back pass to iniesta, shake all barca players at emirate and at the nou camp, don’t celebrate goals, drooping shoulders. He is the number one person i want to leave. I am sure we might not even be able to sell him cos his market value would have dropped but we will still be asking for big bucks. Just sell him and move to buy someone else worth the same wages and skills. No loss… We still got
    Song – Rambo – Wilshire – Nasri in midfield.

  • Vazy

    @yemi “Just sell him and move to buy someone else worth the same wages and skills. No loss…”

    just exactly who… and how much? do you really think theres anyone out there for an affordable price that comes even close.. say we get 35-50 mil for fabregas. who out there is an out and out replacement factoring in age and hyper inflated market values…thats such a ridiculous idea at this stage..

    i agree that we have cover… and fantastic potential with wilsong, nasri and (hopefully due to injury)ramsay but fabregas isnt just a throw away player.. wow.. everyones going mental again, i swear people look forward to us losing so they can complain and whine and call for peoples heads (that last part is not necassarily to you yemi just an observation about arsenal fans on the internet)

    i have no idea whats going on anymore to be honest.. its driving me spare.. yes there are faults with wengers philosophy but the pros far outweigh the cons in my book


  • yemi

    @ Vazy:
    I LOVE cesc, don’t get me wrong. BUT His body language has not been OK for a while now and coupled with the fact that bar ca are constantly bargaring us for him and his mind seem to be off emirates, i’r rather have a commited player than a player who is not putting in 100%…

    Except he is passing thru a phase at the moment… But look at the commitment of jack in that barca game, That is what cesc ought to have been doing and that coulda motivated the other players when you see you captain digging in to bring out extra !!! You could tell that jack was tired in that game, but he was ready to drop dead on that pitch !!! That is what you need from a captian,

    Case note: John “terror” Terry, fit gerrard,

  • Vazy


    thats fair enough, no denying anything you said there.. but still i would hope arsenal wont just keel over and give barca what they want especially now, or if so for a staggering fee… you cant get anyone amazing for 35 mil anymore (very rare exceptions of course) .. i mean look at carroll… and at risk of jinxing it but 50 mil for torres and he cant score! (ok both strikers but still you get my point) there is no one in most peoples price range at the moment
    so in short i guess this is my rant… just to say SCREW YOU BARCA! haha oh god how i hate them

  • Fo

    With Cesc – Arsenal win % = 78%
    Without Cesc – Arsenal win % = 36%

  • Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    For a fee somewhere in the region of £15-20 million (an amount Arsenal can easily afford), we can snap Eden Hazard. Baring in mind, Real Madrid secured the services of Mesut Ozil (a player whom Wenger had hoped to replace Cesc with) for a bargain price of £15 million, following his World Cup heroics, last summer.

  • Berth

    And what about my baby Ramsey!!

  • Berth

    Tomorrows game – No Park, Nani, Rio (hopefully)- wow thought their where more. we don’t have Fab and Theo and Song- the thing doesn’t look good at all. Personally I would advocate for a Ramsey start ahead of Rosicky and Diaby or better still a move for Nasri to the midfield; a push to the right for V.P and Chamack to the central role. A bit of a tinkering will hurt no one.