Footballing Clichy’s From Gael & Bacary

A quiet weekend, one where Arsene must hope that the unlikely occurs with Blackburn beating Manchester United at Ewood Park. Some may draw comfort from their recent match with Chelsea where the points were shared but don’t hold your breath too much as (a) United tend to do well there, (b) Chelsea battered Blackburn, especially in the first half and (c) Fat Sam wouldn’t want to upset his drinking buddy. Oh and United have won seven of the last eight meetings between the two sides. But this season has shown little sign of ending its ability to spring surprises so we shall see.

Arsene gave the media some transfer fodder this week following the defeat at Barcelona and it was duly lapped up with around a dozen centre backs already linked to the club. Some pundits went further, Glenn Hoddle telling everyone that Arsene could go for David Villa which he may do but is rather like me saying that I may go for a curry tonight. A nice to have but not one you would bet your shirt on especially as Valencia’s financial position is improved since the raft of stories linking him to every major club in England and Spain last summer. The Chamakh transfer seems to be the worst kept secret in football, even more so than the Real Madrid getting a new manager next season, which is saying something.

Gael Clichy jumped onto one of Arsene’s favourite hobby horses, the winter break.

I don’t want to hide behind anything but when you are having two weeks off during Christmas you have time to recover, but we are playing game after game every three days and so of course you are going to get injuries.

The Premier League believes it to be unworkable, the football calendar too crowded for this to be manageable. Which is bureaucratic bullshit. Spain has a similarly sized top flight and manages to incorporate a Christmas shutdown so there is no reason for this not to happen. Oh hold on, they don’t have any equivalent to the Carling Cup.

Well, perhaps the Premier League needs to put pressure on the Football League to have this competition over, done and dusted by the end of November, allowing all fixtures to be rescheduled before the festive holidays. Such is the paucity of competition it is not hard for this to happen, the majority of clubs competing in the Quarter Finals can be guessed before the first round kicks off. Move the FA Cup to a midweek competition after the Winter Break and there is the solution since asking the Premier League clubs to vote for a reduction in their number to 18 is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas.

A glance at the injury list in the two weeks over Christmas and New Year shows how the break might benefit Arsenal in particular. The list of players who go missing at that particular point in the season indicates just how damaging it can be. William Gallas (2), Denilson (2), Arshavin, Gallas, Toure, Clichy, Song, Adebayor and van Persie have all reported injuries at that time of year. More relevant is the number of strains which account for twice as many absences than any other category and 60% overall. Quite simply, the players display the wear and tear at this hectic time of year and that cannot be acceptable.

Critics of such changes point out that the squad system should accommodate such eventualities but this would require thirty or forty players to be available for selection, something the Premier League will not allow since they are limiting squad sizes through regulations. A vicious circle for managers and little wonder that all of the top coaches want such a break.

Bacary Sagna believes there is an absence of a Plan B at times:

Sometimes I think we play too much. We just want to do that and do not think about what is good for us – sometimes we just need to cut out the football, stop playing for a bit and just consider what will help us achieve what we want

There is an element of truth in that but it is too simplistic a view to take overall, although Sagna was talking to the media and it is quite understandable why he kept it on a basic level given the inability of some of them to understand anything vaguely tactical. This has been one aspect that has changed this season, the ability to mix the game between short and long passing.

Too often the long pass in the English game is derided, no distinction given between an intended longer ball and the hopeful punt. Derision, based in the nightmarish influence of Charles Hughes, is a powerful inhibitor yet international class players need this ability. Arsenal players possess it and Arsene holds no aversion to it being used in the right circumstances. Intelligent players know when this situation is at hand and should not be fearful of taking this route.

The truth is that Arsenal are getting used to having an outlet for such a pass. Adebayor for the first season and a half was not providing such an option but did so in his prolific season. Circumstances though mean it is not always possible for such an option, little point in the long pass that requires Arshavin, Nasri or Walcott to outjump the typically English centre back from a static jump. Using this option requires thought from the players, something they are more than capable of. Perhaps it is a confidence issue, more comfort required in retaining possession, the bedrock of the current formation.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 10, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 78 Comments.

  1. What was controversial about man utd’s elimination from the Champions League? Bayern Munich made a poor start, and gave utd a few goals; but as soon as Bayern scored, there was only one team in the match. The completely justified red card was incidental to the result.

  2. first?

  3. BB



    Ferguson didn’t like the way that Bayern ‘bullied’ the referee over the red card, something no Manchester United side has ever done.

    Apparently, the self-styled Godfather of English Football had a run-in with a journo at the press conference yesterday and was bemoaning the fact that the English media were happy that United had gone out and lost last season’ ECL Final. For once, the media appear to have caught the mood of the footballing nation…


  4. I’m hoping for a massive 22 man brawl in the Chelsea semi resulting in plenty of red cards and lengthy suspensions. If not, at least extra time to wear down some of those ageing Chelsea players.

  5. YW;

    Man United players surround the ref every single game. Every single game.

  6. The one Man Utd senior player who ever shows respect to the ref is Paul Scholes. All the rest show endless disrespect to refs.

  7. Old thingy majig at Wolverhampton Strays certainly likes to see his name in the paper. He knows that making a comment about AW will get him to the top of the herald’s scroll. Wasisname again? Fucking coot.

  8. I see some obscene seductive moves by Bolton on Jack Wilshere. First, Owen Coyne, now Kevin “Elbows” Davis.

  9. Tony Pulis eh? credit where it’s due.

  10. Haha – “We all need a special friend from time to time. ‘Specially at a club like Bolton”.

    Yeah, sounds like Kevin’s been having a good look at JW’s physique. Only a month to go Jack. Stay safe.

  11. What’s this? Kevin Davies has developed a soft spot (or should that be hard spot?) for Little Jack’s Willy?

  12. He might be respectful to refs, Ole but he is a dirty little bastard.

  13. The red faced cunt expects to win every time.He is nothing but a bully and has been using money to buy the title. Now he is finding it tough because the other teams can also buy the top players. In the past he had a monopoly on such players but not any more.
    When Robbn scored I jumped with joy. So did my neighbours screaming away for Bm>Franklly he has passed his retirement age and I would love it if he were to quit.

  14. JW should remind him that Arsenal players don’t like it up ’em.

  15. Unlike Tottenham players who love it up ’em.

  16. YW

    What on earth are you implying by “Fat Sam wouldn’t want to upset his drinking buddy”?

    Surely you’re not prey to an evil suppurating suspicion that Blackburn’s enthusiasm to deny points to ManU will be muted?

    You should be ashamed to allow the vile thought to enter your head. I suspect paranoia.

    Blackburn have only lost two league games at Ewood Park this season. Diouf and his acolytes will surely be scything away as normal.

    When the heralds proclaim Blackburn victorious in a fight to the death in which several ManU players are seriously injured, we will all know that you were wrong.

  17. Merlot is quite the wit.

  18. I never would have had Kevin Davies down as a twink.

  19. He’s always been the hard man in the Bolton dressing room.

  20. When all the other player’s heads dropped, he held himself erect.

  21. Are u lot implying that k davies has a thing for lil jack? Homo is he?

  22. Well dAvies is an up and at em type isnt he? Lil jack better watch his back…side

  23. By the way, male walruses are known to mate with the same gender.

  24. On a more serious note, i dont expect anything from blackburn. Fat Sam will throw away this game as usual and pick his bag of dosh from his master at a quiet motorway rest stop somewhere. We all know fat sam is crooked and will help out fergie.

  25. if Davis wants JW to be Bolton’s peg boy we better get the lad out quick!

  26. Jack needn’t worry. All he needs to remember is that a northern proposition usually contains the term “rugby league”.

    Someone change the subject please!

  27. I say, its somewhat quiet around here, what? A bit of an anti climax dont u think eh what?

  28. Max Gunner,

    not much going on outside as well footballing wise, never an easy weekend without an Arsenal game

  29. Totally pointless but anyone else here things our player of the month is a dead ringer for Hurt Locker’s Jeremy Renner??

  30. Could Burnley still have an outside chance, they are 3-1 up at the KC Stadium. They’ll probably be four points behind the Spammers though.

    But Hahahaha for Hull, even though Phil Breakdown and that ‘orrible Brian “Spit-Gate” Horton is gone. I mean it’s not like I feel much for whichever orch they have there now….

  31. arsefoot, there is the el Classico today so not such a bad day after all.

  32. Plus all the c*nts playing at the Wembley.

  33. Is there a cup semi at wembley? Tiny totts playing are they? Hope they go to extrA time and they get battered. Couldnt be bothered really.

  34. Arsefoot

    Nope but a lot like the blonde haired woman in The Bill many years ago – one of the bosses…


  35. gee, i almost forgot about the el classico today.

    Too busy working out the various permutations of the top three’s fixtures that would eventually, realistically see Arsenal on top.

  36. anyone got a link for elclasico tonight?

  37. JET scored for Doncaster again today, though they lost 2-3 to WBA.

  38. Limestone Gunner

    Arsefoot, how are those calculations coming?! Eventually and realistically!

  39. Limestone Gunner,

    I’m trying but don’t seem to able to (realistically) find a scenario where we can drop any more points and still win the league.

    I guess we DO have to win all our remaining matches, which puts more pressure to win at the sp*ds then there needs to be.

  40. Howard Webb is at it again, clear penalty denied for Villa.

  41. Well done to champion gooner Tony McCoy for winning the Grand National after the umpteenth time of trying.

  42. A gooner is he dups? I didn’t know that.

  43. Anaconda, the word you are scratching for is ‘coot’.

    Cbob, how was your thai curry. My wife Jen makes a fantastic Tom Ka Gai (chicken soup with galankal).

    The Minister of Finance in Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti (from the democratic opposition I hasten to add) is probably the most publicly famous Arsenal supporter here. He is said to be able to name, with enthusiasm, every single member of the squad circa 98-02, even the forgotten ones.

    I have never met him to check this out, but he’s a brave and reasonable man in general.

  44. Excellent. Now if only I had put some money on him

  45. We will win all our remaining matches.

  46. Merlot, your words truly trip off the palate like a good merlot.

  47. Howard Webb is England’s best referee? And he’s going to the World Cup? I can’t believe it.

  48. Merlot @ 2:50 pm – Irony as wit. Brilliant!

  49. Luke@5:59 pm – You stole my post.
    I told myself, we have nothing in this game so you can be ice-cold objective about Howard Webb. I came to the conclusion the man is either incompetent or corrupt. Like 3-card Poll, he will be found out at the world cup.

  50. I just read the bigging-up of Jack Wilshere by “Elbows” Davies. Rather than taking the low road of some of the ACLF regulars, I must say the response of Groverider is perfect:

    “Jesus Davies you really are one walking clogging cliche. ‘get stuck in’…’dish it out’…..Are there any more tired overused phrases in English football? Why don’t you just take up kick boxing if violence is all you are blatantly interested in you ‘orrible thuggy little oik? I guess Jack needed to learn some of the dark arts side of the game as well as the beauty, but the thought of the lad taking his lead from ‘elbows’ Davies is bizarre.”

  51. I think he’s just lost it shotta.

    He thought he was the bees knees, then started to finesse decisions to suit his own agenda and now he couldn’t referee a match properly if he tried. Maybe he is, how can we tell?

    Completely lost himself up his own arse.

  52. Consols – You’ve got a point there. Having worked himself to his present position, no doubt with the help of a few in the establishment, Webb knows more than anybody else “lonely is the head who wears the crown.” Those who made him can break him. No wonder he seems to be thinking rather than blowing instinctively.

  53. Limestone Gunner

    Arsefoot, it sounded like a futile venture, alas. So win all remaining games, increase goal difference, end the season strongly whether we win or lose is our best and only plan.

    Losing to the spuds, however, would really be unacceptable for so many reasons, apart from any title chase implications. We’d practically be handing them a CL place if they also beat Man City later.

    On the other hand, Man City are the real dangers in the fourth spot. They’ll be able to attract real quality players and not just good mercenaries as well as a good manager.

    Have to hope for Liverpool, perhaps the best option. What do your permutations say for this chance?

  54. Villa are continuing their annual late season swoon despite Randy Lerner’s huge loans to the club. Someone should advise them to use their money to do do some worldwide scouting and build an academy rather than trying to placate the xenophobes by buying a squad of B-class British players.

  55. Betwee us we may have nailed that one shotta.

    Whatever, he is a crap referree.

  56. Long ball O’Neil found out again.

  57. Watching the Chavs beat up on the Villains again is a pale immitation of watching my beloved Arsenal!!! Even the great El Classico is scant consolation. Watched Brave Burnley thrash Hull Shiteh, have to admit that did cheer me up 🙂 Looking forward to St. Totterhingham’s Day being next wednesday!!

  58. 3-love to the Chavs.

  59. say what you will about itv but at least they get decent sports on there unlike bolloxbc. got the ipl on there now.

  60. The chavs know no love. They only know deceit, betrayal and rape.

  61. Chelsea win The Battle of the Long Balls.

  62. what a shit ‘classico’


  63. At least we got a draw at home against Barca. Real Mad fans leaving now.

  64. 250 million yoyo and still cannot beat Barca.

  65. Mind you that Pedro goes down easy.

  66. Can you believe this quote:
    ‘James is very sore and very lucky. He’s got away with it because his leg was in the air at the time, which helps. His knee bends out with the challenge.
    ‘I have spoken to my doctor and he says James is a very fortunate boy. It was about 15 yards outside the Chelsea box and James was turning away from goal. It was a pointless challenge.’

    Sounds a lot like Arsene Wenger, but good god it is Long ball O’Neil. Karma – she is a bitch.

  67. Limestone Gunner,

    sorry, I had to turn in early last night (I’m based in what you guys would consider the Orient). Those permutations troubled me to no end as my sense is that we would likely (don’t shoot me) drop 2 points in one of the remaining five matches.

    And you know what, once we kick those sp*d asses, we got to get right behind them (again, don’t shoot me) They’re playing both the mancs and chavs and are actually decent enough to put up a fight. They’re incredibly inconsistent, that’s the beauty i guess.

    I can’t say I prefer one team over the other between Shitty and Poo. Benitez is a such a shite manager and not a week passes by without some (ex) player speaking out against him, and vice versa. If you’ve watched them play recently you will find that apart from Torres nobody really cares about playing much football anymore. It’s poor really.

    Shitty will continuing attracting the wannabe-superstars; the Chavs brought in much better players for the money during those spending spree years, for some reason Shitty can’t quite land that ace player they’re looking for. Still, wannabe superstars may just give them that edge over liverpool’s demoralised and understrength squad, which looks unlikely to get strengthened much with their financial woes in mind.

    Too long, uh, in summary. I think Shitty’s going to get there. Liverpool to end up 6th with Benitez and Torres leaving – hopefully the latter ends up in Arsenal shirt somehow. One can hope.

  68. The consistent mistakes from Premier League referees makes you think, are they really just genuine mistakes, or intentional and trophy deciding mistakes?

    How much HM’s Revenue gets from player’s wages? I heard it’s %50 in England, is that true?

  69. MoN is quoted in F365 as saying – “It was an horrendous challenge on an England team-mate”.

    What does this mean? It is ok to dish out such challenges to players who are not your England team mates?

  70. That would be correct, G4E.

    You think Gordon Brown is directing results?

  71. As a neutral, I must say that Burnley’s Graham Alexander has a unique and effective technique of taking penalty kicks. He scored from 2 of 2 yesterday against the Tigers. 😀

  72. Wow, there really isnt much arsnal news is there. Very boring.

    Does anyow know when song will be back, wll he be back for the spuds game?

    If the worst haqppens and song misses out, I would play:

    Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Cliche
    Denilson Rosicky Diaby
    Eboue Bentdner Nasri

    zzzzzzz no news watsoever

  73. caman blackburn, just a point v manu will be fine

  74. New Post Up following a Sunday morning lie-in!

  1. Pingback: Top Posts —

%d bloggers like this: