World Cup, Cesc & Ibrahimovic, No Mata Who & Win A Home Shirt

World Cup Round-Up

The World Cup received its first shock according to the Eurocentric media. Some of us think that Japan’s win over Cameroon, a result which may just eliminate them from the competition, was the first but those Swiss minnows, they were the giantkillers, felling the Spanish with their Toblerone, sinking the fleet of foot with a scrambled goal.

Spain had the possession yet their clearest opportunities were from distance. The Swiss were resolute in their defending; had Alonso’s shot found the back on the net rather than the centre of the bar, who knows how the outcome would have been affected. To rely on that as an indicator of meriting a point is false for the Swiss can equally point to the woodwork as denying them a more emphatic scoreline.

The defending European champions missed the directness of Cesc. For all of the passing patterns, few of the midfield supported Villa and Silva properly in the manner that the Arsenal captain did when fit for his club. That is a sign that benchwarming is not necessarily going to be the option if he goes to the Camp Nou.

Elsewhere Chile put others to shame with an openly attacking formation and style of play whilst Uruguay look set to progress as South Africa fall at the first hurdle. A win over France is required with other results going their way.

The Emirates Revolving Door

Transfer talk is moving back to centre stage. Firstly, the goalkeeper that we have yet to acknowledge but apparently want to sign, Vincent Enyeama, flushed with success following his World Cup performance for Nigeria, is talking to Galatasaray. Well, he’s not but his Mr20% is and never one to shy away from talking up his client, Andreas Muller – for it is he – reckons that the Turks are in the driving seat.

Anyone who’s been in a taxi in Istanbul will be shifting somewhat nervously at that thought but not the fearless Herr Muller. Oh no, sir, not him. Fresh from smiting dragons, the rumour mill has been fed by his tales of derring-do and Arsene baulking at paying an asking price believed to be, well, unknown.

Over in Spain, Juan Manuel Mata, has said that a move to Arsenal would be ideal if Valencia sell him. Or Liverpool because they have lots of Spanish players and we have well, not so many. I, for one, would not be unhappy with his signing, the player’s displays last season were sometimes exceptional and he might well add more attacking prowess. Not too sure how he will add to the defensive concerns raised by Wenger but let’s worry about that later.

Barcelona has apparently set the market value for Cesc as £37.5m (€45m). They might as well fax Ivan with the message, “Listen, we’re a bit brassic at the moment but the player is unhappy at Arsenal so let’s do a deal and then when we come for Gael Clichy next summer, we’ll pay £20m over the odds. Honest Guv“. Oh, and sign it El Del Boy Trotter whilst they are at it.

There is an apparent gap in the logic being applied to their pursuit of Fabregas. We know that they can already afford £29m since that was their original bid. Factor in the £35m they are demanding from Manchester City, this indicates that they have at least £64m (€75m) to fund a deal.

Laporta said earlier in the week that he appreciated that Arsenal were seeking to maximise their income whilst Barcelona were looking to minimise their outgoings. The two are not mutually exclusive but when you conduct your transfer business through the back pages, you tend to pay amounts that are a lot closer to the higher figure because everyone knows, or has a fair idea, of how much money is available.

But fear not my little chums for El Mundo Deportivo has it all sorted for us. Remember how Barcelona blew it when they valued Ibrahimovic at the same level as Eto’o. Well, his stock has risen despite an indifferent season and now Arsenal can have him for Cesc! Their logic is impeccable; Arsenal does not have a traditional centre forward and the Swede ‘fits the bill‘.

According to them, he is world class, better than Bendtner. But if he is that good, why sell him? David Villa is surely not going to play every game this season and what of the options needed to change a game; a squad system? Another teeny, tiny flaw is when you compare Ibrahimovic with van Persie so instead that one is quietly dropped, better not to mention that at all. If it was €45m plus Zlatan, I wonder if Arsene’s head might turn. Resolute beforehand, perhaps not in this instance.

Still never let it be said that the desperation to sign Cesc in Barcelona is receding. And getting any less entertaining.

On the outside is William Gallas with the Juventus stories now picking up pace whilst Mikael Silvestre is certainly gone. Sol Campbell though has not ruled out staying, confirmed by the player wanting to talk to Arsene when the manager returns from the World Cup. As a reserve, nurturing the young and inexperienced through, Campbell would be a good tutor; hopefully, the defensive ills from last season would not need three months or more of his attention in 2010/11.

The fixtures are out today, the close season seems almost over when that happens. Liverpool away is the internet rumour; I’ve never seen one of those which got it right over the years.

WIN A HOME SHIRT

Arsenal Football Club has kindly donated a new home shirt (to be released on July 29th) to the winner of this question:

Which Arsenal managers have played in the World Cup Finals?

Send your entries, along with your name and address, here or to aclfcomps[AT]btinternet[DOT]com, changing the bits in square brackets, with ‘New Home Shirt‘ in the subject line, to have a chance of winning. Closing date is midnight, Sunday 20th June 2010.

Good Luck to all who enter.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 17, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 187 Comments.

  1. First

  2. Everton looked like a tough opening fixture last season but it didn’t turn out that way! I’m confident we’ll turn over whoever we come up against.

  3. If Sol does want to stay and can accept that he will be 4th choice then its great. If he stays, we can add one CB signing and promote one from within and pray there are no serious long term injuries and we set for the new season

  4. Cant wait for next season, I feel like am in a black hole of bad football (world cup) and idle gossip.

  5. Pre-season would even do it for me!!

  6. I cannot understand why we are being linked with right backs, first Van der Wiel now the Osasuna kid. Is there anything going on with Bac & Eboue, hope not.

  7. the reasons why they don’t want to pay more for cesc is that first he is from their canteria so we should give him back for free and secondly they will use all the funds from yaya and ibra to get torres!

    I can’t wait to see Cesc response to them not wanting to pay more than 45M€ for him and then splash 70M€ on a striker that need a bionic knee because his is just in pieces. I think they might need a psycology lesson on how to make someone feel wanted!

    Anyway that’s all good for us! and it shows Pep might be a good coach but not a good deal maker, as the Ibra and that ukrainian defender deal that realisticly cost them a combined 100M! (Etoo’s value – 40 to 50M- + 45M and 20M for the defender).

  8. Fixture list is vastly preferable to last season, no horrible bunch of evil games together and no ‘easy run in’ in which to get complacent in.

  9. Im enjoying this world cup so far after a cagey first week. Watching Xavi’s face as Spain lost yesterday was a pleasure indeed. I did keep thinking how sad it was that Alonso dosent play in the EPL anymore even if he played for liverpool. What a player of understated quality.

    If the Toure deal goes through I am still not convinced that Barca will offer anymore. They are operating under some misguided assumption that if you sell someone a load of wood (good quality wood granted) that you are entitled to the beautiful shed you build out of it six years later, at discount price. Just because it was your wood BEFORE you sold it.
    Bollocks.

    On the England front, it happened again, all my ill feeling towards that scum that make up our national squad melted away irrationaly, I want them to win again. I dont think they played particularly badly against the USA, there was alot more there than with some of the more heralded counterparts in the opening game.

    Still with Ghana or Germany looming should we make the next round…I would be ill advised to get too emotionaly invested.

  10. Liverpool away (a bit tough) but followed by Blackpool at home, blackburn (away) and Bolton (home)

    We will be top by end of September!!!

  11. fixture list is….interesting.

    We have a big chance to get the season going on a high by not losing at Anfield.

    If we win it could realy set a powerful tone to be going on with. But lets be realistic, winning is going to be very difficult against a galvanised Liverpool side away, especialy considering the attitude they will be adopting following their shambles of a season.

  12. The CesBarca drama is a win win situation for Arsenal all the way.
    Thats why Wenger is not panicing and enjoying himself in South Africa. 🙂

  13. We dont need a striker so Barcelona will have to offer something else. Like £80m.

  14. My biggest concern is that if Catalunya agree terms with Arsenal, theyll pay us in installments.

    Whilst £80m, is £80m. Stretched over 1000 years is not exactly appealing.

    Also I find their continued flirting with Cesc whilst he is at the World Cup, disrespectful and careless.

    I hope Spain default, Barcelona go bankrupt and Spain get knocked out in the group stages.

  15. Loved that shed analogy Deano.

  16. the mundoshitportivo article is so funny.

    Ibra is the kind of striker arsenal need and wenger is looking for and he is much better than bendtner! lol

    First we have plenty of striker, RVP is miles better than the suede, chamack will bring the height and heading game we lacked a little bit. As for their bendtner assumption, Who from Bendtner and Ibra scored in the Barca/Arsenal Champions league encounter, who is at the WC and the other looking at it in his living room?

    The other thing they say ibra is worth 45M because he is really good, which bring the question of Etoo, did they gave etoo for free because they wanted Mourihno to humiliate them in their beloved Nou Camp? Or did Ibra lost half of his value after just one year with them?

    They are so pathetic it is not funny anymore, I just feel sorry for them.

    As for the fixture looks good to me as the most important was not to have a repeat of playing our title rivals one after the other! Can’t wait for this season to kick in!

  17. It isn’t a win-win situation. It’s just a win situation. We told Barcelona where to go a few weeks back. Didn’t you hear? The only thing left for us to do is watch as they get dumped out of the World Cup in the group stage.

  18. Even if Barca offered xavi, messi, toure, biscuits i’d still tell them to shit off on principal.

    So Sly has gone? Where and when.
    I am desperate for sol to stay. Nevermind 4th choice he would start against the scousers for me. That way Djourou and Kosceilny (maybe) would have time to settle.

  19. YW the rumours were right..

    Liverpool v Arsenal – very tasty first encounter for us. Will be an end to end game for sure. With our attacking options, and everyone mainly fresh, I can see us bagging a few goals like away to Everton. Lets just hope Wenger finds his defensive players over the summer.

    I Absolutely LOVE IT … Spain getting beat. Leaving Cesc on the bench is just classic too, what a bunch of idiots.

    It was like watching Inter Vs Barca all over again!

  20. els

    I have to agree, Sol is still a great defender, he proved that over 4 or 5 months, and he should be in the England team right now. Capello must be really wondering why on earth he left him and took injur prone King, Dawson, and Carragher even !

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Sol starting any number of games next season. 10 years younger, or even 5 years and Wenger would be giving him a blank cheque to resign for us!

  21. 1 loose cannon

    I can smell it already. We begin at liverpuuuul and finish at Fulham. Lets hope we will have a joyous ending.

    I’m loving the transfer rumours its seems Barcelona are behaving like a rich kid, he thinks he can buy all the best toys but he doesn’t know that his daddy is bankrupt and has no money in the bank. The catalan now want Torres, Robinho, Fabregas and possibly Clichy. They still haven’t payed the money for Hleb, they are 400 millions in debts and yet here they are, the arrogant bastards behaving as if they own the world. Its is not up to them to set a price for cesc its up to Arsenal if they want to sell or not.

  22. Big mistakes Capello

    SWP instead of Theo/Johnson.

    Carragher/King instead of Sol.

    Bit of a Toolish thing to do isnt it?

  23. ChrisGoona

    Did you see Xavi’s face? mwhahahahahaha pompous little prick he is.

    Now lets just hope Chilie give them a good rodgering.

  24. deano

    Big big mistakes.

    We have the players to take us through comfortably, unfortanely some are at home on the sofa or on a beach somewhere.

    As much as Heskey is a team player, he hasn’t been playing for his team! and he can’t score. He doesn’t merit to being there, despite the fact that I always liked him very much as a player. Darrent Bent or Zamora would have been a better choice – both scoring and playing very well.

    Now Capello must choose between Heskey or Defoe to face Algeria. Then theres Crouch – another 1 demsional player. So hes got a straight choice between little n large.

    We should win our last games, but I ain’t too pleased with his selections. Carrick also! Dawson! playing Green and not James. Playing Milner LM?

    You watch Brazil, Germany even.. you just wonder if England can function like them teams.. seems like a dream to think we are on their level right now. I know its one result, but Capello has really handicapped us with some of his selections.

    Central defence is also lauaghable situation, the incompetent Carragher, injured King – like we all expected, and captain Rio who has been injured all year! Then theres Dawson, I just wonder how we will fair if we came up against Holland or Germany in the next rounds!

  25. deano

    That was the highlight of the world cup so far for me mate! They got what they deserved yesterday, Xavi was a flop, all mouth, fancy passing… and he can’t even score the mug. Not to mention hes a cheating diving smug rat.

    I hope someone breaks his legs

  26. Spot on CG capello has royally flipped up

  27. Gotta agree with Sol…


    “Instead, Capello picked a couple of half-fit players. It fell right for them. Not for me.

    “Not only that, Capello has gone for one centre-half who didn’t have a very good season and another who just missed out on relegation.

    “I have been playing with England teams since I was 15-years-old. I have won 74 England caps – been there, got the T-shirt – and it’s experience that counts at this level as well.”

  28. CG

    Spot on. Carrick….has he done ANYTHING all season!?

    Zamora would have been great to go….he dosent pace but he has been scoring against quality European oppostion this season. His goal against Wolfsburg was classy.

    Campbell still has pace, not as much as he used to of course but is still quick, but he’s a great defender and he can realy make the difference. He offers a tangible goal threat aswell.

    The more I think about it the more baffled I am. SWP cant even get a game for City for Christ sake.

  29. The first half of the season sees us away to Chelski, Manure, manshitty, Villa and ‘pool. Only Spurs of the big seven at home. That means the first half of the season will do us no favours. The good thing is that if we still in it in January we’ll have the upper hand. COYG!

  30. deano

    It is extremely dissapointing to see ordinary players, players who are unfit or injured all season, and players who don’t even play for their clubs to be pulling on the national shirt. It makes it even worse that a couple of Arsenal players were left out, even Nasri should be at the World Cup. His goal tally isn’t great, but you would put him on par with Diaby who is there. Diaby played brilliantly in their 1st game by the way, looking forward to seeing him play later!

  31. kenyan

    I saw on football365 that we have 5 out of 6 Premiership games after our Champions League games, all being away fixtures. This makes our lives much much harder

  32. Carragher as soon as he came on got fucked over by dempsey (I think it was). He was red faced huffing and puffing and he let dempsey run round the back of him easily. He looked like a fat lazy scouse squad player to me. Oh hey what do you know that’s all he is.

  33. Don’t want to be pessimistic but I’ve never been so underwhelmed by a start to a season. It would be a mistake to try and keep Fabregas … his heart is elsewhere. Better to have a clean break. We had a mountain to climb anyway but with Fabregas gone its just become Mount Everest. mark my words and I hope I’m proven wrong but our fight next season will be to stay in the Top 4. Forget about winning the EPL. Wenger needs to bring in class and experience but I’m afraid its same old, same old … he’s hunting for bargains with scope for development. He needs to go! if he does not change his ways since I’m sick to back teeth with it and our lack of trophies for 6 long patient years.

  34. Gunster

    I think you will be proven wrong once again, I am sure you have been many times. You are one of those who believed the media and every other “football expert” that we would have finished mid table last season.

    Just have a look at Diaby playing for France mate, hes quality isn’t he… I doubt you will agree, and yes you are pessimistic. Considering Man Utd can’t afford to buy, Chelsea too, and Liverpool will not recover… how can you even dare to predict that. Your comment is a joke, if you are not James perhaps?

  35. chrisGonna … you’re a gone’r i’m afraid. You want to hide your head in the sand. Just shows how low the expectations of our supporters have got when you come back saying we will stay in the Top 4 but say nothing on not having one anything (including cups) for the last SIX years! I’m not a loser and tha’s not the Arsenal I signed up to and the one I want to settle for. Like it or not, we need to mix things up at the board and the manager level as we are starting to go stale.

  36. Lahoo-Zer-her ^

  37. One sometimes hears that a player is his own worst critic. Sol Campbell seems to be his own biggest fan.

  38. I’m laughing in two different ways at the same time!!! Thanks you Gunster and Poliziano.

    On the subject of Valencia’s Mata, he looks good and he’s certainly got pace. WOuldn’t mind at all. If not, don’t forget we’ve got Barazite coming through on the left.

  39. I thought J*mes was Sol Campbell’s biggest fan.

  40. nice one gunster, thanks for providing the entertainment…

    does really get me down having to watch Cesc, Van Persie, Nasri, Clichy, Sagna, Vermaelen.. etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

    we are really going stale.. especially with crap like Wilshire and Ramsey coming through.. I WISH WE WERE LIKE LIVERPOOL…

    booooo hooooo you mug

  41. What the hell….all our away games to the big teams are right after CL fixtures…!!!

  42. someone in the FA does not like us

  43. Don’t worry Antony, if Arsene buys half the players we’ve been linked with, we’ll have a different team for every competition!

    And ‘gunster’ is a spud on a wind up.

  44. That seems very strange to me. Why would ‘arry risk prison for £40k?

  45. There may well be more, but they’ve probably gone with a sum that they have strong evidence to support.

  46. Come on SK, stop giving those blue and white divers a free ride.

  47. 2-0

  48. So anyone know what happend to sly? Wherd he go.

  49. What a shame! I guess it was too much to hope for another upset to happen today.

  50. Just as I was posting that … come on South Korea!

  51. Gone’r chris et al … typical shout down any genuine critisism with shouts of he’s a spud. I kept your optimisim for the last 6 yrs … nothing changed though … every year we think the younguns are coming thru … so forgive me for thinkin you sound like a broken record (and a Kylie Minogue one at that!) – entertaining enough for you chris?

  52. Gunster, without saying you are a spud, supporters SUPPORT their team in good times like in bad times! If you start the season saying we need to change almost all of our team and that the managers that had the best record in the club history must be sack is just not what I call support!

    I trust Wenger to make the right calls and if the players play for each other why couldn’t we win this year we were close in the PL and it’s not Man city and its mercenary that will push us out of top 4, spuds will go bankrupt like all the club managed by redknap and liverpool will be in reconstruction with a new manager, torres, gerrard and marcherano likely to exit.

    So for me the PL will be a three horse race, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd with Man city, Villa and Spuds to fight it off for the last CL spot.

  53. I’m beginning to like Uruguay, their fluidity. Their game with France becomes interesting.

    Here we get SA media, and the SA team’s fans’ expectations somewhere around the twilight zone. I was intrigued that many fans now anticipate that bafana bafana might not win the world cup, but a few said a 2-0 or 3-0 victory over France is next, and then “who knows”. I hope the country doesn’t explode if their team doesn’t progress and someone tosses a vuvuzela and it gets banned.

  54. Gunnerluc thanks for a more intelligent conversation than Gone’r Chris. Not holding it against you too have settled your expectations at a top 4 qualification rather than challenging for the EPL title. Now I never said I want wholesale changes to the team. We need one or two exceptional, PROVEN top players (yes that might cost a few bob) to win us the EPL again. These players could have made all the difference in the last few seasons and seen us do just that already … win the EPL and who knows it could even have been Champs of Europe!! If the board/manager are allowed to think they can keep the fans happy with Champions League football, then we will carry on drifting as a nearly club given Wenger’s tight fisted, bargain hunting strategy. We’ve given that a fair crack and failed … to the extent that our captain!! has had enough and wants out. Is it so bad to ask that Wenger changes his strategy for once? Cesc might even stay if he sees some big names coming to Arsenal – but fat chance of that right?

  55. I don’t see a top 4 finish as a target, like I said it will be a three horse race and I want us to win it and I believe we will win it!
    What I said is anybody saying we will drop from the top 4 is completely irrationnal considering the state of other contenders.

    The big names are already there, RVP, Arshavin, Vermalen, Diaby, etc. Why Barca, Real, AC Milan,… are trying to lure our players if they were not top footballer?

    Anyway I don’t think the Galacticos way of doing is the solution as it means too many egos it is better to have a players ready to fight for each other, the team and the managers than mercenaries who just play for the big fat cheque as there will always be a bigger fish ready to offer more money than you whereas you can’t buy loyalty!

  56. Gunster, to say our manager needs changing when he is our best manager of all time overshadows anything you have to say for me. Why some supporters choose to slate this great man is beyond me, you have no class.

    So you can try insult any loyal supporter you want, our ambition hasn’t gone because we are loyal, we just ain’t as stupid as the type of supporter like yourself who turns on the team when they feel like it.

  57. gunnerluc – well said

    I just can’t wait for the next line of youngsters to make their mark. The likes of Wilshire, Rambo, Gibbs, Lansbury are going to be sensational once teaming up with our experienced 1st teamers in Van Persie, Song, Vermaelen etc…

  58. Have i missed something, i thought i read from Arsenal FC that fab is not for sale, that AFC expect Bollocks on your owna to keep to theeir word of shutting the f u. Therefor why are you still suggesting that he is going somewhere, if you dont believe what wenger has said just say so. Its a dead story that people with f all else better to do are marking up, it serves to put dought into my fuckin head and im sick of it, drop it or fuck off to barcelona to all of those who want to continue stiring the shit

  59. And until cesc says it publicly he wants to leave, he is commited to the arsenal cause. What is said publicly is the only reliable source because it is so easy to say he said that, he wants that,….

    And regarding what he wants to only thing public was that he is loved more at arsenal than in his home and that Wenger decide where is future lies. Wenger said he will be at Arsenal next season.

  60. Messi once again has come out saying he would love Cesc to come…. this will never end!

    Yes we know you played with him, but Barca aint got no money or no class.. maybe try telling your “great” club that

  61. boomer

    All we can do is ignore them.

    Even if Cesc wants to leave this season, next or the one after.. I think we should keep him to the end of his contract even if hes unhappy. Just to prove a point. That is the only way to show these cun*s

  62. Argentina looked good. Higuain was the star for them today. It will be very interesting next year to see how Mourinho sets up his Real side. They have so much attacking talent and I do not think Jose has ever had that type of attacking team. If he keeps their attacking ethos and strengthens their defending they could become a truly great team. It will be interesting to see if he stays true to his nature and slows down their attack or if he actually uses the attacking talent he has available.

  63. It is a FACT Cesc has asked to leave. To pretend otherwise is wishful thinking. How many times have I heard its going to be different this year and we will win something. History will prove who is right but one thing is for sure … Cesc leaving will set us right back. You only have to look at the 12 game losing streak at the end of the season without him that almost let the Spuds pass us.
    And yes Gone’r Chris that was with your beloved RVP, Arshavin, Vermalen, Diaby and all those other kindergarden tots you spoke about … yeah can’t wait.

    Nothing’s changed my mind that we need to retain Cesc and buy some top notch buys to complement our current crop and a club of Arsenal’s stature should be competing for them for god’s sake.

  64. no ibra he dont need arsenal jus pay 50 millon for fabregas you can buy it if you pay 50 millon because when you buy ibra you pay big many for him and cec when he go to barca he will better than ibra and play better than ibra

  65. say that again ladii? you’re not a mate of gonnachris are you?

  66. Gunster,

    Grab a tissue, your creating a puddle with all your tears! Jesus!

  67. whereas when you grab a tissue we know its not for your eyes … right? Is that enough entertainment for you gonnachris?

  68. yes hilarious, your a real star.. or a spud?

  69. make your mind up .. in the post before you accused me of being tearful and now i’m hilarious …

    i suggest you’re the spud .. lets face it you’re th*ck enough

  70. I must have hit a nerve with the spud… ok lets stop talking little lad. You must be still annoyed Arsenal didn’t go back to the white away kit 😉

  71. 12 game losing streak?

    I wasn’t aware of this.

  72. what a loser

    anyway can’t wait to see some Arsenal players in action later

  73. Limpar

    His pessimism sort of disrupts his thinking, don’t mind him… thats the only logic behind such statements.. or hes a SPUD.. lol

  74. Spudster

  75. Even if Cesc wants to leave this season, next or the one after.. I think we should keep him to the end of his contract even if hes unhappy. Just to prove a point. That is the only way to show these cun*s

    CG, This is what we are going to imo. But its every night, gary liniker so pissed me off last night with his little comments, now the british press want to drive torres away, not that i care that much but my point is that spain want the title, im not refering to the world cup but the title of the most exciting leauge in the world, it erks em. They have a prem leauge of only two teams, just like scotts prem, our media are always wanting our top four to change, this year they got there wish, they are so gingoistic at this time that they want top foreign players to jog on. Ignore them is what i should do but i prefer to ridicule them and the english/spanish media. By the way its good to know that not all spanish people are barca fans, gooner for ever

  76. hope to see vela play well tonight, diabi will be on my mind too, i have had seriouse concirns about him in the l;ast few month of prem, but speak as i find i thought he was better in the game last week motm probably, he does get a lot more time and space admittedly but i do hope all of our young players learn from this experience. i think there might be a shock in store tonight if france are not focused.

  77. boomer

    It is annoying that the British press do not get behind us on this matter. Domestically we are always attacked from all courters so it don’t surprise me they favour Barca.. few examples of the medias hatred towards us:

    -Arsenal being too lightweight
    -Arsenal being too Foreign
    -Arsenal lacking plan B
    -Arsenal moaning at the legs getting broke all the time
    -Wenger being too French
    -Arsenal making too much money while others spend a fortune
    -Arsenal having too nice a stadium
    -Arsenal producing the best football year after year

    I think its all jealousy.. its the only thing I can conclude… problem is the media is such a biasness of Northern perspectives, its hard to know why everyone is always on our case. The Ex-players like Wright seem to jump on the bandwagon to get a few pundit points as well.

  78. Limpar… how do you change the avatar mate!?

  79. I am quite liking this Argentinian team. There is something defiantly Maradonna-ish about them, a “hijo de puta”quality. Diego is definitely doing it his way; no two holding midfielders for him so out goes Cambiasso and no slow-as-a-turtle right back so out goes Zanetti. He has taken the handbrake off his two best attackers, Messi and Tevez and the wide players have license to join them in attack. He has a good chance of pulling this thing off although his defenders ( Jonas, Heinze and Demichelis) are very suspect. Best of all Diego did not mince words with two of the worst football-politicians on the world stage, Pele and Platini, dos putas imo. Yes I am getting to love this Argentinian team. I just hope they pull it off and put offensive football back on the map.
    Opinions anyone?

  80. yeah that’s right goner chris … lets change the subject as I have wiped the board with you. another hanky perhaps?

    Limpar – …. I meant to say that without Cesc we had no win in the last 6 games until the final match with fulham who made it easy for us as they were concentrating on the UEFA final and played a second string team. Yous ee my point though … Cesc is our heartbeat.

  81. shotta

    I wish I could have watched the game..

    But, if they play attractive and attacking football then good luck to them. Its nice to see a team playing in this way win it, not like Italy 4 years ago! I hope France step it up tonight, even though I want Vela to shine also.. 5-4 France.. 3 goals for Diaby, 1 for Bac, 1 for Clichy.. and 4 goals for Vela..

    consolation at least 🙂

  82. I used this Chris http://en.gravatar.com/

  83. Ok Gunster.. You win 😉

    So who do you want to win the World Cup?

  84. Ok truce 😉

    If its not England (which based on the game so far is likely) then out of Argentina, Brazil or Spain i guess … however no one has set the tournament alight as yet I guess.

    And you?

  85. I thought the timing of the switch between Tevez and Aguero was quite smart by old Diego.

    What a problem to have!

    Tevez or Aguero.

    Heskey or Crouch.

    Or Huddlestone.
    Or Lennon.
    (He may be an orthodox Right Whinger, but at least TW14 would have had the courage, and technique, to shoot when he had a chance against USA USA USA).
    Or Dawson.
    Or King.

    Maybe Capello’s mistake was to choose too many Sp*ds in his squad?

  86. self control!

  87. < he may not be an orthodox…

  88. Respect Paul N. Any opinion on Argentina or were still asleep in Arizona?

  89. Argentina played good offensive ball, their defence is suspect though.
    I am waiting to see them play against team that can really have a go at them.

  90. Big ups Shotta!!!

    Thank God I am little further east in Texas (Houston). I get up at 6:00 am and watch the first half and I can catch the second half at work – mostly listen really.

  91. NIgeria were flying until that little silly kick! reminds me of the Beckham sending off.

  92. Any score Greece v Nigeria? I am at work in a football desert.

  93. blow wow! 1-1

  94. One nigerian yute kick one man and get ah red when Nigeria did ah put greece unda nuff pressure, up 1.

    Rhatid!

  95. Our defeats to Wigan, Spurs and Blackburn can certainly be put down to fielding tired, over-worked second string players in pivotal positions. Cesc was part of that, but I’d say Alex Song, and Gallas and Vermaelen, and Almunia were bigger misses than Cesc. We thumped Porto 5-0 without Cesc… Pompey 4-1, Hull 3-0.

    Don’t get me wrong, he is class. I certainly think we’d have beaten the sp*ds had he been fit. Rosicky fought hard in that game but his shooting was off. Cesc does tend to make the scum look distinctly Sunday League.

  96. “Vincent Enyeama, flushed with success following his World Cup”

    I really hope this was a pun intended Yogi!

  97. So much optimism about Nigerian football after 1994 and ’98 but since then they have been underwhelming despite success at the youth levels. Something tells me they are going home after the 1st round.

  98. Fixture list very interesting. Can not wait for next season. We play nearly all of our “tough games” away in the 1st 1/2 of the season. We have Chelsea, Villa, Citeh, ManU away on weekend games after mid week Champions league games. OUCH. We are going to have to really hang tough the first 1/2 of the season.

  99. If they can get past this match with a draw, they will be alright. I hope at least.

  100. I am soo mad at nigeria. they never fail to let us down. I hope they can pull it back but im not holding my breadth.

    Im pissed off.

  101. Arshavin to score first goal of the season then.

  102. ridiculous!

  103. I’m very pleased with the fixture list. Rarely, if ever, do we have two really tough Premier Leauge games on consecutive weekends. Compare that to the pile-up of crunch games last season. This year they’re all nicely spread out, couched between ‘easier’ fixtures.

    Our excellent away form over the years has been one of our greatest strengths. No need to fret about that at all. We have to go to the bustop etc at some point. And United and Chelsea will be playing their own midweek games.

    And then we get to have them all on our own turf at the business end of the season when it matters most – surrounded by more glorious Champions League games. What could be better?

    Much kinder than last year I’d say.

  104. And the Enyeama to Arsenal delegation facepalm en masse.

  105. Limpar:

    I do like it better then last season. We just need to stay close in the 1st half and then close strong and win the league.

    Chelsea will be our main rivals. ManU played better then their personnel last year and I do not see them adding any real impact players to their attack. Perhaps EVDS will start to show a little age and their defending will not be as solid.

    Chelsea will have Essien, Boswinga and Carvalho back at the start of the season. Their attack scored more goals then any PL team in 46 years and I do not expect Drogba, or Anelka or Malouda to slow down. Hopefully Terry and Lampard will start to show their age and the effects of all the games they have played in the last 6 seasons.

  106. goalkeepers seem not to be able to get a handle on the movement of the ball.

  107. Nigeria were clearly the better team. The red card was their undoing and the guy missed a wide open goal.
    what a compete shame!

  108. Chelsea have the softest start they could have hoped for, but it soon gets pretty hairy for them. City, Us, and Villa in a row. Then another nasty sequence later on: Everton, Sp*ds, United, Us. And then in their run-in… Sp*ds, United and Everton again. Not nice.

  109. Never thought I would actually think that a game involving Greece would be so exciting, but it was!

    @shotta: I don’t think Zanetti is as slow a as a turtle…he did a good job on Messi in the CL, and I think he would’ve been better than Heinze. Plus he can also play in midfield.

  110. I did not look at their fixture list. I just hope we can stay close to them and United during the first 1/2 of the season. Already excited. Can not wait.

    Our attack should be close to the Chavs for best in the league. Still nervous about how our central defenders and GK will be settled this summer but so is everyone else. Hope the boss has a real plan to help us concede fewer goals.

  111. LMAO Damien. Can’t fault the bald guy whoever he is.

  112. I feel sorry for ‘arry. It must be hard to keep track of all those brown envelopes, and remember which he has paid tax on. After all, one brown envelope looks much the same as another. And of course he has to think about which sources of lucre he can acknowledge, and which are best kept secret. He knows he is “One million percent innocent;” but to avoid confusion, it’s best of one or two minor details are kept hidden.

  113. Bill, I think IG is out there as we speak, leading a war-party through the football club boadrooms of Europe and beyond.

    I must say I’ve been impressed with him up until now – but this summer is where he really needs to show us, and AW, that he’s really worth his salt.

    My feeling is that this Koscielny rumour has too many details and too many quotes from different angles not to be true. We shall see. I’ve fallen for bullsh*t before.

    If Gallas takes a two year retirement package in Serie A then we’ll need another centreback on top of that IMO. I know you’ll agree. And then some!

    A new goalkeeper is easier said than done I suspect. Few candidates would actually be an improvement, and of those, how many are up for sale? Not many I’d suggest.

    Keepers have it harder now than ever before and we’d all do well to take Almunia’s handful of mistakes last season and put them into the context of keepers worldwide – Buffon didn’t have a great season by all accounts, nor Cassilas who made an awful, cowardly mistake yesterday… not to mention Cech’s woes throughout the season. It’s all well and good to watch Enyeama, or Schwarzer or Gomes sat behind a defence like dear Henry’s bucket and keep a shakey team in the game with some eye-catching saves. It’s another thing to stand cold while your team dominates possesion, and then pull out all the stops in the one split second you’re called upon. For the most part, Almunia has done this very well for us.

    I hope IG picks up on the Mata… er, matter… he is brilliant and about a million times more inspiring a proposition than Joe Cole. That ones not even a rumour though really, just a player sending up a flare… how many times have we seen that. Hello, Mr Rodellega.

    Right, back to work. Sorry for rambling on.

  114. *

  115. “LimparAssist on June 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm”
    I agree with all your points. Players who really want to be here are always welcome.

  116. LA, as far as a keeper is concerned you can only go off of what you see, no? Why do you think that these goalkeepers havent had to do what you say, as far as sitting cold and making great saves?
    I fear if we look at it that way we will most probably say lets stay with Almunia even if we can get a better keeper.

  117. Thats not meant to be a an attack on Almunia, he has done well.

  118. Shotta, let’s see how good the argies are when they come up against better quality opposition. Maradona’s antics on the touchline are not impressing me and as for that little loudmouth tapping-up cnut from barca, I want to see him cry.

  119. Oh, you are cruel Passenal.

  120. Passenal the cnut from Barca always looks like he’s crying 🙂

    He’s past his “Use By” date and that’s why Barca is dying to get Fabregas, I would say not less than 75 million for Fabregas. They need him so bad, what did Xavi do yesterday? he kept getting the ball then giving it to Navas on the right almost carbon-copy pass every time, no new ideas, not too many through balls.

    Spain tried the “Trademark” Barca plan of falling over themselves every time someone touched them, they just forgot it was an English referee in a world cup game, not La Liga or the CL.

  121. Passenal – Diego’s counter-attack on those two putas, Pele and Platini, has stirred my blood. The longer he keeps winning the happier I will feel. But that is my heart speaking, not my brain.

  122. I can understand Diego’s attack on Pele, the two countries never really liked each other in football, and pretty much everything else. Plus both are claiming the best player ever.

    But the attack on Platini is just hilarious and I think many managers should start pointing out that he’s an idiot when it comes to managing anything, he was just a “good” player. Respect your history as player Platini and retire.

  123. Spain’s loss is our gain. Hope Cesc realises that he will never be as loved anywhere else as he is at the Ems with Arsenal. Hope he realises that he will be benched at Barca just like he was with Spain.

  124. Zonal Making has made a mockery of my optimism.
    “Brilliant attacking play will get the headlines, but the longer-term story is that Argentina will be ripped apart by decent sides unless they improve their defence.”
    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/06/17/argentina-4-1-south-korea/#more-3578

  125. dupsffokcuf, upset me and I don’t forgive or forget easily!

  126. Why is Domenech persisting with Govou? He did nothing in the last game.

  127. Limpar:

    I believe the Koscielny rumours are probably true. Hope he is good and we get the deal done soon. Still need another CB even if we get Sol back which I doubt. Most important thing is a change in team attitude , organization and energy on the defensive side of the pitch.

    The GK thing is really a tough one. I agree with everything you say. Someone like LLoris would be costly but it might do wonders for team confidence. I am certain the players and all fans would be elated. Even a lateral move might be good for team and fan confidence. I know we should not be hostage to over reactive fans and pundits. However I think the worst thing we could do confidence wise would be to start the year with an Almunia or Fabianski watch in the tabloids and with the fans waiting for the first major howler. Things like that tend to become self fullfilling prophecies. I would be surprised to see Almunia since the boss appeared to lose confidence in him twice last year. The first probably explainable by his off the field situation. I would not be surprised to see Fabianski in goal because I doubt we will be able to find anyone that the boss feels is not overpriced.

  128. Vela has started very brightly tonight, but shame about that attempt on goal. He rushed that.

  129. Passenal are you kidding me? Vela has been shit. I dont know whats happend to him. To not square the ball then is nothing short of criminal

  130. Good game.

  131. I want Maradona to manage England. The press would go absolutely mental and the rest of us would be pissing ourselves laughing at his antics in press conferences.

    So much so that we would forget the pain on the field…

    YW

  132. Who is this idiot commenting on the game?

  133. I’m hoping for a Frenchie defeat. They don’t deserve to be in the WC.

    In any case, is it a French team or a team of Africans in the diaspora?

  134. A much better game tonight. The French have finally awoken from their slumbers.

  135. Maturks, I know, I hate the french team, stuck up arrogant pricks. They look well suspect

  136. Vela’s fucked

  137. Oh god. Vela down. Please nooooooo

  138. Sagna looks like he has been channelling Rory Delap!

    Poor Carlos, looks like his WC is over

  139. Why does the annoncer sound like Ming the Merciles?

  140. Allez les bleus! Now that Carlos has departed from the Mexican team, I no longer have any split loyalties.

  141. Neither do I, and although I don’t like dummy-nech I will support France for Sagna & Diaby. I hope Clichy gets a chance too.

  142. Clichy getting a chance means Evra has to leave the field with a weird injury.

  143. Toulalan takes one for the team

  144. Mark Bright, STFU you moaning minny!

  145. “Webster on June 17, 2010 at 7:55 pm”

    Tells me all I need to know about your attitude towards Arsene and Arsenal.

  146. Vela is gone. Did you see the shot of AW doing his little media gig?

  147. I am wondering where France’s goals are coming from …and Mexico for that matter.

  148. Even Heskey is a better center forward than Anelka

  149. Even Domenech has realized it, replacing him with Gignac lol !

  150. Damn! and why does it have to be a manc to score?

  151. Back at work. Did Evra score?

  152. YW @ 7:42pm – Maradonna to manage England? Never in a hundred years. If Pele belongs in a museum, what would he say about all the Inglanders stuck in 1966? LOL!

  153. No, the new manc Hernandez

  154. Nice, if France lose today they should let South Africa win in their last group game.

  155. It’s all over for France. Good individual players plus poor management resulting in the lack of a cohesive ‘team’. Time for the old guard to step down and make way for a new generation.

  156. France are shite, ha ha ha, I love it, the cheaters didnt deserve to be there anyway, us Irish will never forgive them. Also there just shit and deserve to do home.

    Passenal, sorry but remind me why I’d care what you think?

  157. Suddenly Nasri’s exclusion is the best thing that would could have happened to his career. Who’d want to be in a team captioned by Evra and managed by an oaf?

  158. I am yet to watch a football game where someone doesnt cheat. handballs, diving, pulling shirts, its all the same crap.

    We love you Henry!

  159. France have been shit for a long time. There golden age is gone. There producing avergae players nowadays.

    So happy the cheaters are out !!!!!!!!!!!!! Celebrations in the Emarald Isle tonight !!!!!!!

  160. I think Domenech has been reluctant to select Henry because of the handball incident in qualifying. He might as well have left him at home if that was the case. I thought Gallas looked a bit shakey tonight as well.

  161. Thats bullshit, Henry was left out because his legs are gone and he’s hardly played all season. The whole french team have been crap and Domenech is a gobshite

  162. Love you, Henry! God knows what goes through Domenech’s mind. At least he’s off after this.

  163. Delia-----Block 112

    Dear oh dear where were the French, Diaby totally ineffective tonight. Shades of WC 2002 when they went out of the Group without scoring.
    At least our lads will get a full pre-season.
    Another goalie fluffs his lines, who would have bet on Greece scoring 2 goals?
    Argentina look great going forward, more fancy football please!

  164. God has done what he has to do, throw the cheaters out. Playing Gallas, Sagna and Diaby, they looked like Arsenal in the later stages of the EPL last season.No fight, no desire and no threat at goal. Crap.

  165. The problem with France is in no way a lack of talent in my opinion, the manager has lost it all together. They seem to have no fight, no hunger in them, they dont play like a team.

    This manager shouldve been gone a long time ago!

  166. what a stupid statement.

  167. France deserved to go out, they are cheating swines and I and my countryman loved the look on there faces then. I think Gallas is still sitting in the middle of the pitch playing with his twanger.
    Tonight Ireland celebrates, the cheaters are gone !!!!

  168. France lays a huge egg. I feel bad for Abou and Bacary but they’re better off laying out on some beach and arriving fresh to Austria.

  169. Webster you seem to have forgotten fow your Irish team cheated against Georgia in the qualifying rounds. But then from an idiot like you I expect nothing different.

    And fuck off Howard (Maturks)

  170. Despite the French-baiting and nauseating xenophobia by Maturks, Webster and their fellow-travellers, the truth is since 2006 and Zidene’s retirement the French have been poor, devoid of ideas, lacking in creativity and effectiveness. Íf you recall, prior to w/c 2006 the same criticism was made of them and Dummy-nech had to coax Zidane out of retirement to inject some magic into that team. The French Federation has to bear full responsibility for this debacle as it the signs were everywhere over the past five years that under Dummy-nech the French were going backwards not forwards. For a country with a wealth of talent populating all the top leagues in Europe, especially migrants from their former colonies, and persistent rumors of dissent between factions in the entire setup, it seems to me something is rotten to the core in Freench football.

  171. ha ha, fuck off france.

  172. Skywatchingmug

    Karma, has been restored to the universe.

  173. What’s all this bollox about karma. The French were shite in the game it had fuck all to do with karma.

  174. I am getting pissed off with the shit coming from the Irish about ‘being cheated’ out of their place at the WC. They had 90 mins to win the game, they could have stopped Gallas scoring, they failed.

    They laughed their bollox off when Maradona ‘cheated’ against England. Theirs your karma you twats.

  175. Messi pisses me off too much to get creative with his name and start punning it up and writing idioms.

    But I do believe he is all Messed up though.

  176. Winning the WC in home soil don’t make you one of the great football nations. The Frenchie cheats don’t even consider football as their No.1 sport, rugby is. For bloggers on ACLF, France is the greatest football nation because Arsene comes from there, most of our players come from there, they won the WC in 1998 blah, blah,blah. England also won the WC on home soil so what’s the big deal?

    Let the Frenchie win the WC away like Germany, Brazil and Italy have done over and over before they are considered great. The arrogant Platini even haven’t won the WC before and yet they worship him alongside Pele and Maradona.

    The Frenchie should also stop the new ‘slave trade’ . Playing borrowed players of Africans in the diaspora. Is a disgrace to France nationality.

    Its Karma, cheating to WC will always bounce back.

    Arsenal should get rid of the Frenchie cabal if we want to win again because our current frenchies are just crap.

  177. France won the World Cup in 98, won the European Cup in 2000, won the Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003, made the World Cup final in 2006. In the last 10 years they have been a world class team.

    Domenech is an incompetent fool that should of been sacked years ago.

    Maturks, youre creating an enormous (and perhaps biased) standard when you say “Let the Frenchie win the WC away”.

    When did you starting hating Frogs?

  178. *Start

  179. If cheating creates bad karma, a team with serial diver Gerrard should be nowhere.

  180. Frenchie go home. You’re useless, arrogant, slave-trading twats.

  181. Serves France right for playing Govou!!he was shit!!Don’t even get me started on Anelka, Diaby and Ribery,the full backs warent supplying enough crosses and the defense seemed to be out of place. Can’t believe how many times they let through the mexican attackers. The only person who seemed interested in the whole team was Malouda and he could do so much!! Two games and not even a single goal..jeez!!!

  182. Maturks wasnt the last time England WC win at home soil (half a century ago mind you) ?? Using that as ur basis for the argument the England team is shit!!

  183. Personally, I doubt Maturks is even English, more of a serial windup merchant.

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