FA Cup, Loan Arrangers, Super Agents. Only At Arsenal.

Good morning rabble rousers, the FA Cup 3rd Round is under way with a glut of goals and racist abuse at Anfield. What loveable little rogues those Scousers are. I bet they will all be wearing t-shirts in support of themselves soon. If proven, there is a case for the club to brought to book and substantial punishment handed down to them, something that forces Fifa and Uefa to take the matter more seriously than they current do where fines of €10k are commonplace for transgressions of a considerably worse nature taking place in European Championship and World Cup qualifiers.

Elsewhere today, it strikes me that the draw has been kinder to the underdog with the opportunity for more lower division teams to progress and in that respect, best of luck to the players and supporters of Dagenham & Redbridge, Swindon, Crawley, Barnsley, Macclesfield, Gillingham, Fleetwood, MK Dons, Bristol Rovers and Tamworth. Yes, I know the latter are away but the form of Everton in recent matches is not imperious. Of course there is the chance of an upset at St Andrews but let’s be honest, Birmingham and Wolves? That’s like asking someone to choose between Jack the Ripper and Dr Crippen.

The potential for the traditional third round upset is increased through the larger clubs using the full extent of their squad. Wenger will do so against Leeds on Monday with Robin van Persie already resting in sunnier climes. Ken Bates returned to his soapbox as you would expect from a prominent former member of the Challenge Cup Organising Committee, reigniting the debate over the squad systems,

You should field your first team in the FA Cup. The dilemma the FA Cup has fallen into is that you now have a 25-man squad to chose from but, if you go to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, they have a rule where a percentage of the players have to play in the next or previous first-team game.

It is a fair point, certainly more realistic than his ludicrous talk of points deductions and refusing to nominate teams for the Champions or Europa Leagues. The FA Cup is the most prestigious Cup competition in the the English game yet like the Football League’s junior equivalent, it is subservient to the Premier and Champions League for the bigger clubs. There is continual talk of reforming the competition and some may well be needed. If that is the desire of the Premier League clubs to accommodate their moneyspinning activities elsewhere, it must surely come at a price, namely that no team entering the competition at the third round stage can be drawn at home.

For all of Bates talk of sanctions, the biggest is the loss of revenue for clubs that have an insatiable desire for any legal tender, that an early exit from the competition would bring. Some reforms are necessary though and removing replays from the equation would help to relieve pressure on the footballing calendar but that is something I will touch on in more depth some time soon.

And so to Arsenal. As is apparently the norm, Thierry Henry’s loan deal went on longer than a Dickensian novel with seemingly no rational explanation. Of course, there is one yet the insistence that it was down to insurance seems improbable and entirely plausible at the same time. Who knows perhaps the fax machine at FA HQ was not working properly. Yes, they do still register transfers by fax which I suppose prevents the possibility of the paperwork for a £30m transfer getting lost in the mix of special offers from Hello! and various enlargements that clog up spam folders around the world.

Henry is excited by it all and making the right noises to manage expectations,

I hope people are not going to compare what I did here before. I’m going to be here most of the time on the bench, we all know it and I’m not stupid to think I’m going to start. It’s a helping process.

Well, young Terrence, far be it for me to dampen your hopes but expectations are raised to the extent that Theo Walcott has been advised in certain quarters to relinquish his hold over the Number 14 shirt and hand it over. Quite why there should be such subservience is beyond me since that would only serve to raise expectations even higher. Don’t get me wrong over this, the return of Henry is the stuff of nostalgia and any increase in his goals tally for Arsenal is most welcome but this is a short-term solution to an altogether more concerning problem. Ian Wright suggests this morning that the deal should be made permanent. We won’t even go there.

Henry is straight into Monday’s squad but to me it makes more sense in both short and long term for Chamakh to start with Henry short of match fitness. I wonder how much pressure Sky will put on Arsène in the build up to the Swansea game for Henry to be guaranteed some minutes on the Liberty Stadium pitch next weekend? Talking of the squad, Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation is worse than has been suspected with the provisional squad only including Almunia for Monday’s game. Either that or Wenger is supremely confident of winning. Or more likely, The Mirror don’t know their Arsenal from their elbow.

It is likely that the solution is not going to happen until the Summer though. Wenger has given enough hints about this already to the extent that we should only expect a temporary signing for left back to happen despite the appearance of Rob Segal at London Colney. Thankfully he is not Steven’s younger brother as that might have led to a martial arts carve up when Chuck Norris’ sibling Roger, found out. Segal is apparently a “Super Agent“. You learn something new every day.

That business will probably happen when Vermaelen and Gibbs are both fit. It won’t be Kieran Richardson, as according to Sunderland manager Jim MacDonald, Arsenal haven’t contacted him about the player’s availability. It could be Wayne Bridge but it won’t be Taiwo. According to the press, Arsenal are looking for a deal over the former, rightly baulking at the £90k per week he currently commands. It seems that Ivan is putting his foot down and seeking someone else to pay for all of the zeros whilst Arsenal pick up the £9 tab remaining.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 7, 2012, in Arsenal, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 209 Comments.

  1. It might help if the FA Cup wasn’t spread over the weekend like a rash.

    It’s hard to keep up with it.

  2. You mean Ken Bates that pillar of morality who makes a living out of putting clubs into administration and then buying them back for a quid!!

    And you write like any sports journalist knows his Arsenal from his elbow……..I’m sure you were just being kind given they’re all as reliable as a chocolate teapot.

  3. mattgoonerknight

    We surely don’t want Wayne Bridge; surely. Surely Ignasi or Franny for now will have to do.

  4. Buy all accounts Liverpool are renaming their stadium Klu Klux Klanfield

  5. liverpool fans are idiots..
    i still dont forgive them for the events at juve that got english clubs banned for a few years (everton wont thank them either cos they had a geat team at that time)
    that lad they abused last night was only a kid..it would have been a dream for him to play a team like liverpool and the bastards went and ruined it for him..not what footballs about at all..they should be ashamed of themselves…

    and they say arsenal fans are the worst? pft…

  6. they will probably get the linguistic experts in and use the excuse that its common language in merseyside…

  7. mattgoonerknight

    If we have to bring someone in, I’d rather we brought in Nedum Onuoha on a permanent then Wayne Bridge. I know it will never happen; but he’s very, very cheap and if wolves are looking his salary must be tiny (I know, if wolves and QPR are looking then why would we….but Wayne Bridge?). Oh, he’s English / home grown, too.

    I’m bracing myself for an onslaught of disagreement….

  8. to be honest i dont really expect alot from henry..its just good to have him home..
    it wouldnt suprise me though if he did produce..he was the best player on the planet..at 34 theres gotta be something left in the tank, its not like hes 50 and it aint like he only relied on pace..intelligence is what got him passed defenders and being able to actually finish helped in scoring all those goals..you dont lose that…

  9. Let me throw a name into the championship manager hat – Fabio Aurelio

    experienced, PL defender, out of favour, class set pieces

  10. mattgoonerknight

    Anirudh

    Aurelio is out of contract in the summer and 32 now, so would be cheap as! Hmmm

  11. @mattgooner

    Yeah..precisely..”super scout” 😀

  12. Quality round up YW,

    Merseyside ? Don`t go there – literally

    Nedum / Wayne or Kieran – It`s a Bridge too far. Onuaha if I was pushed

    TH14 or AA to start verus Leeds – TH14 (just winding you up George)

    The Ripper or Dr Crippen – Anyone called Jack gets my vote

    Ken or Norman Bates – Norm !

  13. @matt & paulie, the only real problem I would have with Onuoha is that he’s a centre-back/right-back. If we’re going to get someone in on loan they should at least be a bona fide left-back.

    Aurelio could be a good short-term solution, on loan or a permanent 1 year contract.

  14. As much as I admire what Henry achieved for Arsenal pre-2007, he is quite right and realistic in warning not to expect too much of him on his return. Arsene Wenger will obviously nurse him a bit and it will be incumbent on all true Gooners to support the decisions on when to play him.

  15. JonJon (10.07) – comment of the day.

    Or the week.

    Liverpool are in very real danger of creating a monster for themselves having already compromised the entire club in the handling of the original incident.

    The only possible plus that might come out of all this (alongside the John Terry shame) is that it will shine a spotlight on the issue in general.

    The tokenistic ‘fines’ routinely issued in Europe and beyond for even the most appalling incidents of racist abuse are as disgusting as the crimes they are supposedly punishing.

    Morally, they are more reprehensible as they expose the attitudes prevalent at the heart of the governance of the game – and these are as complacent as they are grotesquely lacking.

    And these ARE crimes, let’s be clear about this.

    Whilst I’d like to believe the situation to be better in England than elsewhere (and I think it is) the dearth of non-white managers is nothing to write home about and here and abroad.

    I’d suggest this probably goes some way towards explaining the the attitudes at the top which inevitably filter down through some players and on and out to some of the viewing public.

    Attitudes which are ‘dated’, to say the very, very , least.

  16. Block 4,

    Yup – FA is also a top drawer dead ball specialist & has plenty of Prem league experience. Would Pool let him go to us though ?

  17. Have just wiki’d Wayne Bridge, (on the grounds that someone who hates Terry can’t be all bad) – but apart from his ‘ability’, the fact that he scored against us with the so-called “goal of the season”, that he’s called Wayne; could just about live with that, but his favourite book is Horrid Henry. That’s just beyond the pale.

  18. I doubt they’d want to let him go to us Paulie as both teams see top four as their goal and I don’t see that they’d want to strengthen a rival. If we were to put in a bid and he made it clear that he wanted to come then that could change things obviously. If it happened now he would get at least until the end of the month to establish himself and then who knows?

  19. Pls does anyone know what is happening with Jenkinson?

  20. mattgoonerknight

    YW

    Maybe I’ve missed the point with this FA cup thing, but is it not better that teams entering the competition in the third round are drawn at home so smaller clubs can have the chance of sharing the gate receipts?

    For struggling teams in the lower echelons of the league, a 3rd round draw at Old Trafford or The Emirate etc can generate the type of pay day that can significantly improve the clubs financial situation, not to mention providing a perhaps once in a life time day out for the fans.

    Again, I reiterate that I may have (probably) missed the point.

    Block4, Paulie

    If he FA knew he could secure a move out he might push for it has only 6months left on his contract and there doe’s seem to be more movement of players between the bigger clubs than perhaps years gone by! I still think Nedum’s not a bad shout (and surprised it hasn’t been completely shot down by you guys ; ) )

  21. Henry has said that he will be more “Bergkamp” as he grows older. He will look for space to exploit, make the killer pass instead of the Va Va Voom that he once was. I am very excited to see how he will team up with RVP this time round. Walcott can also get more service from Henry for him to make runs behind defenders.

    Common Gunners!

  22. Great post…but pls nt wayne bridge.

  23. come on tito, i expect great things from the great man (in perspective of course) Not sure of the genuine impact it will have, but there is value in the loan for me, if only as a psychological affect. I have no worries that he can perform at the same level as many other strikers in the prem.

  24. if wayne bridge is fit and motivated i am quite happy with him, hes not that bad a player and offers more than we currently have available. its hard to see who is out there and a tuff judgement at this time of the season for the manager to make, numbers and all that

  25. Matt

    Not necessarily the case re gate receipts. If the home team wins, they have the chance of a bigger draw next round and thus more receipts. Continued progress brings more cash from tv, etc.

    Put the lower division teams away pretty much negates many – if not most – from having a chance to go through thus killing the competition.

  26. Wot hav the scousers dun now then JonJon?

  27. Another good post GunnerAndrew.

    The scousers have mucked this up big time. It was obvious from the moment Daldlish opened his mouth the other night. Very defensive and uptight.

    ponyboy? Very funny.

  28. mattgoonerknight

    YW

    See your point, although probably only Championship and maybe high flying League 1 teams have any real chance of advancing regardless of where the tie is played, if pitted against a top side.

    At present, all teams Premiership and Championship teams enter the competition in the 3rd round play, so as it stands in the current format it wouldn’t be mathematically possible for all 44 teams to play away – so there would need to be some wholesale changes.

    Some form of seeding with the addition of home advantage granted to teams lower down the leagues would indeed eliminate 3rd round ties such as Arsenal home v Leeds away but would deprive us such ties as Man U v Man City (indeed there could be no all Prem ties altogether). Whithout any all Premiership ties, it would surely be even less likely that lower teams could negotiate themselves through each round, as there would arguably be a higher percentage of Premiership teams waiting.

    I’m also confused by the link between Ken Bates bemoaning the FA cups demise and League Football teams chances of progression being affected by away ties – if Premiership teams risk fielding weaker teams against lower oppositions, then this surely presents the best opportunity for teams lower down the table to progress. How often is an upset achieved against a top fielding an 11 who would start a Premier League game: rarely.

  29. for sentimental reasons its good for the smaller clubs to go far in the fa cup.but for football chairmen and owners who have to make business decisions for their clubs,an away tie to a top premier leaque club is by far the best draw they could hope for.

  30. mattgoonerknight

    Ace

    I agree. Whenever a minnow makes it through to the third round, the whole club; players, fans and owners / chairman are praying for the chance of their David of a club to be pulled out of the hat with an away tie against a Goliath. Imagine being a non-league or League 2 player running out at The Emirates, Old Trafford etc: perhaps highlight of many a career!

  31. JJ @ 10:03 / 07
    excellent stuff

    at LB
    Seems like Bridge has been in the spotlight for only matters outside the pitch…..in fact I can’t remember seeing him play in quite a while.

    Would prefer to see an experienced signing where there long term options.

    Coquelin needs to see his playing time as back up to Song.

  32. mattgoonerknight

    How about this for a FA Cup format.

    Looking at the numbers, you could have all 20 Premiership teams playing at home against all the survivors (20 teams) of the 2nd round. Then, all of Championship teams could face each other.

    This way, the last 32 would consist of 20 teams from the winners of the Premiership and lower league team ties and 12 teams from the all Championship games

    The lower teams would have either achieved a giant killing and away day pay day or both!

    The Championship team would have a fair opportunity to reach the next stage, whether drawn home or away.

    This format would obviously end any prospect of the Man U v City 3rd round tie we have this year, but it would surely proof massively benefit to the smaller teams and give the Championship sides of a fair crack to make it into the next round.

    Just a thought! : )

  33. @ mattgoonerknight

    some of the championship teams need the big away day pay do will obviously not be happy wit that i can tell you

  34. Arsession
    Why does Coquelin need to be sat on the bench waiting for a slim chance to play instead of Song, when he can play regularly now? Makes no sense. He played mainly at right back when he came through the youth teams. Playing in the 1st team is all that matters.

  35. reports are saying that its emerged demba ba has a 10mil release clause in his contract..

    that rules us out then..we’ll still try to wait until his contract runs down in 5 years time or we’ll try get him on loan..

    seroiulsy though, what is it with all these loans..were acting like a champoinship club getting all these loan players in..weve got 2 now..a possible third to follow…anyone would have thought we were in administration or something

  36. mattgoonerknight

    team spirit

    True, but there’s only a small chance they’ll get a big away clash now – there’s arguably little difference (financially or in terms of excitement for the fans) between drawing the teams at the top of the Championship and those at the bottom of the prem. If two struggling championship sides are drawn against one another I can see how this wouldn’t be very attractive for either side concerned.

    In my proposed format, they’d be in effect only one Championship game away from facing either weaker opposition (according to league division standing, anyway) or a premiership team.

  37. Brilliant blog

    So the retarded gooners finally accept that you dont have any rights to win over Spurs. How about watching your club and the paedo in charge in midtable come May!

    Cheers Yogi and Oneofus.You guys are truly wonderful

  38. Jonjon
    STFU
    No way is Demba Ba gonna choose you losers over us.

  39. well the money you make from selling modric should help you in the window

  40. Much like Spurs, I doubt Demba Ba is going anywhere.

  41. Could u imagine an Arsenal fan going onto a Spud blog- no, got more class

  42. Well said Bob

  43. I would reiterate what Bob says. Please don’t give any tax evasion or kerb crawling tips to the troll.

  44. big credit to everyone here for treating someone on this blog with the respect he absolutely does not deserve.

    that speaks volumes of the class the whole arsenal family has.

    not often you go to someone’s house, insult him, and get treated with some form of courtesy instead.

  45. it will..
    chelsea or city will get modric..maybe even utd..they need a midfielder..spurs have been utds feeder club for years..carrick, berba?? modric next..

    ade wont stay, he wants money..if you offer him the wages you’ll need to give everyone else 180k as well…wont happen…so thats two you wont have next year..

    bale will follow, parker will get old…harry will be england boss, if hes not in jail..

    enjoy the limelight..

  46. Oh jeeez, like this blog needs another friendless wanker with too much time on their hands?

    That position is filled. BTW, where is george today?

  47. My mum’s pussy is bigger than your dad’s pussy.

    Fuck me, we aint dealing with a potential cancer cure here are we?

  48. cant wait to see henry in the shirt again..
    amazing player, some amazing goals..
    love his statue..

  49. JJ

    Yeah, I said it yesterday man. Canmt believe Im going to be seeing him in the flesh again wearing the red & white!

    Who else we have on loan apart from Benayoun?

  50. nobody i dont think..
    that could change if a fb comes in

  51. Oh wow..one more reason to enjoy St Totts…

  52. “seroiulsy though, what is it with all these loans..were acting like a champoinship club getting all these loan players in..weve got 2 now..a possible third to follow…anyone would have thought we were in administration or something”

    JJ, thats what you said. We have 2 loaned players and I can only think of Benayoun man?

  53. henry and benny??

  54. The loan system is fucked, no one should be allowed to subsidise a players wages

  55. JonJon

    I think the 25 rule has a lot to do with it..however I do think we will sign Benny..a loan made more sense..as we essentially get him for “one years wages” rather than a transfer fee for someone in their last year of a contract..At least I think he is, correct me if I am wrong

  56. i dont know if we will sign benny..
    wenger shit himself cos diaby and jack had operations and with cesc and nasri leaving we had no numbers..benny on loan was short term..i cant see us signing him permanently..

  57. Hmm depends on Rosicky and Arshavin I guess

  58. I am keeping my own counsel Dexter.

  59. Hahaha! Farking ell I am slow! Didnt even consider Henry as a loan man!

  60. Thats not like you Georgey boy!

  61. i think they will all be let go..

    weve got song, frimmers, le coq, arteta, jack, rambo, diaby..

    denilson and lansbury to come back as well..the squad will get huge in the summer if we dont let players go, wage bill will be stupid..

    rosicky, benny, arshavin, denilson…all of them will be gone i think some summer..

  62. JJ

    Have you got youtube footage of Wenger shitting himself man?

  63. dex did you get over excited..
    hes only here for 2 months dude..it sort of gives it away 😉

  64. I think Rosicky will stay TBH. Of those midfielders we lack a serious creative spark, cant put all the focus on Jack, while Diaby is never fit.

  65. JJ Ha! I was racking my brain for loans from last summer and completely forgot about the 2nd coming!

  66. dex i think wenger will go for one..

    gotze, gourcuff, marvin martin..

    he needs room or nobody will come in..

    and id prefer rosiky to stay than diaby but we know that diaby will never be offloaded..

  67. JonJon

    Not getting drawn into the Arshavin debate..you have your views, and I believe he is the awesomest..so 😀

  68. Yogi –
    Aware we shouldn’t feed the troll etc., but that p-word sticks in the craw.. if that’s not abusive, not sure what is.
    Then again, it’s so ignorant, I suppose we should ignore it; reminiscent of some people down here near Portsmouth who set fire to a paediatrictrian’s house….

  69. No chance Arshavin will be sold this month, although its looking more and more likely come summer.

    The squad only needs a slight tweak in my opinion, that hasnt been the case for years. WE have a top keeper, solid defence, good competition for places at CB and fullback, with Bartley and Miquel coming through nicely. In midfield we have the numbers, mainly in central positions, although a top winger/wide forward and a striker coming in would give us a great squad, the strongest since 2004.

    Almunia, Squillaci, Denilson, Bendtner will be sold, or let go depending on who comes in for them. Bendtner and Denilson are hardly doing their causes any good with poor perfoamcnes on and off the pitch though! That should do it, tum tee tum…

  70. YW, if I remember right your old man supports Swindon. Best of luck to him!

  71. Anirudh.JJ thinks an in form AA starts regardless of the form of others.
    That is true ,so fair enough,
    You and I would start him regardless of his form.So perhaps JJ is a better judge than us.As Arsene seems to agree with him.

  72. hahaha anirudh..

    watch this space mate..some ppl think that something like last summer will never happen again but this squad is still in transition and come the summer theres going to be a load of players in the last year of there contract, a load of players whos contract has expired, a load of players who we tried to get rid of but are still here and a laod of players who we could only get rid of on loan and will be coming back…

    expect departures and alot of them.

    as long as they are not theo song or robin i think it will be ok..

  73. Ponyboy

    I remember that one man. All stirrred up to a frenzy by those delightfully playful scamps at the News of the Screws. Morons.

  74. i think arshavins a candidate for summer..
    cant see him getting a new deal..cant see him sitting on the bench for another year..

    the only reason i see chamakh and arshavin being hung on to is if we lose theo and robin..

    but we dont want to do that really…

  75. Robin will stay, as will Theo. Chamakh might be off though, so add him to my list. Wenger would need to play Arshavin behind the main striker, otherwise he just won’t get games, IMO. And to be honest, I really do not understand why Wenger doesn’t stick him there?

  76. Keeping Arshavin would be good though, we have lacked experienced players and strength in depth. He is top quality, thats why I think keeping Rosicky makes sense too.

  77. George

    Why doesnt Wenger play Arshavin more centrally mate? You know all this stuff. 🙂

  78. Speaking of racism. Most Kenyans used to consider a white woman who married a black man a slut. Since Obama became President I haven’t heard a single Kenyan, even the most conservative insult Obama’s mother. Neither does anybody use the ‘chotara’ word we use for halfcastes on him. Obama being who he is challenges most Kenyans’ racist views.

  79. @ George

    Yes thats true JJ does have Arsenesque form on this, and I too believe he should start most or play a part in most games..but I have decided not to debate this too much 😀

    @Jonjon

    Agreed mate..this team is completely different to the teams of recent seasons past..and bears a striking resemblance to the title winning sides of 01/02 and 03/04 (I know I might get a lot of criticism for that)

    However the transition is yet to be complete and I too expect changes this summer..

    Remember the title winning teams evolved over 3 years.. Similarly this team will evolve too, before it reaches its final awesome shape..the difference is building teams was the norm then, however now purchasing teams has sadly become the norm and hence various team building efforts might be needed..but of course the doomers will ignore all this..

    If we forget the points table and look at the performances since the spurs defeat, we can see an evolving core of a team which looks to be very solid..

  80. Paulie Walnuts

    Jon Jon,

    Your right. There will be a permanent revolving door at Colney this summer.

    PG. An in form Arshavin would be well ahead of both Gervinho & Theo for team selection IMO – we just need to see more than the occasional flash of brilliance.

    Oneofspurs – I didn`t realise PCs were allowed in Rampton. Try not to eat it, good fellow.

  81. I dont see the team in transition tag man? We are one or 2 players from being serious title contenders. If we had better luck with injuries (fat chance it seems) we would be doing even better now.

    Players that will be leaving, new contracts permitting, won’t weaken the squad this summer. Keeping Arshavin makes sense to me, he wouldn’t bring in a massive transfer fee due to his contract running down, and keeping a player of his ability can only be a good thing.

  82. mattgoonerknight

    Kenyan

    Just a little heads up mate: I’m of mixed race (white English mum, black dad from the St.Kitts) and this sentence “use the ‘chotara’ word we use for halfcastes on him” sounds a little clumsy and old school to me…..”halfcastes” isn’t really cool anymore, man.

    Where’s the racism thing come from anyway? Just asking

  83. Dupsff

    Did you see the Superman Returns one a few years back? That was cool too man.

  84. Matt

    Scouse fans racially abused an Oldham player last night. Oh but they have such cracking senses of humour though, dont dey doe.

  85. Is Fabianski still injured? According to Arse.com he isnt on the injured list. Mannone is though! Well, if he’s fit he plays for me Monday.

    Fabianski
    Yennaris Squillaci Koscielny Miquel
    Coquelin Rosicky
    Chamberlain Benayoun Arshavin
    Chamakh

  86. Mattgoonerknight, halfcaste is what most Kenyans use for mixed race people. Mixed race Kenyans refer to themselves as such. Chotara is the swahili word for mixed race. In one breath it can be used politely and the next it can be degatory. I’m refer to the race issue because of that Oldham kid. Also because in Kenya we take a lot of our racist views for granted. Sadly though ethnicity is a bigger problem here.

  87. dex..
    agreed..when i say transition i mean in terms of the overall squad and mostly in regards to players leaving..
    as far as players coming in is concerned i think we are two or three players away from a title winning team…
    we could lose upto 5-6 players this summer and not feel the heat at all..

    gk and defence we are fine..midfielder needs more creativity and a couple of forwards/wing fowards and we are there..

  88. mattgoonerknight

    Dexter

    Yeah I’m aware of that mate but I don’t quite get the link with Obama and Kenyan experience of race relations in Kenya and what we have here – seem a little bit left field

  89. If Oxlade-Chamberlain develops well enough, he will be a regular and may offer up that creativity we are currently lacking, while Ryo might be considered next season IF he gets games on loan this month. They are both unknown quantities at present, although I have seen some ridiculous comments about Oxo, the expectation levels are crazy.

  90. Yeah Dex – that thankfully defunct garbage created a nastiness that still smells. As for the Suarez / racist shite – you have to wonder whether those T-shirts gave them the ‘green light’; don’t like scousers much..(whine, fucking whine) but at least they don’t buy the Sun! (too inept to post youtube..but great Billy Bragg song)

  91. Matt

    Ha, right man. Sorry. KG was just comparing and contrasting race issues I guess then? Seeing as we have had some serious racist shit in the media with the long overdue banging up of those scumbags, its not a surprise (to me anyway) that racism is being discusssed. Possibly a bit of a stretch on an Arsenal blog, but then again, Liverpool FC have made it football related aint they.

  92. mattgoonerknight

    Kenyan,

    I understand and as I said, most English people, myself included, would now consider the term Half Caste out dated, hence the heads up on its use – not disputing it’s the term of choice in Kenya but as the “Coloureds” in South Africa is used by all, it isn’t here – that’s all I meant.

  93. anirudh

    i may be wrong on this one but im pretty sure the team that won the 01/02 title was made up of a bunch of players that had been signed by wenger only a year or two before…and we went on to go invincible a couple of year later with the same players pretty much..

    the majority of the work was done by wenger last summer..a few additions to the core of players we already have and weve got a team capable again..

  94. This one Ponyboy?

  95. Mattgoonerknight, Obama and racism in Kenya? Let me try explain. In a country like Kenya where 80% of the people haven’t gone beyond secondary school, conservative views are the norm. Now when a mixed race individual with a Kenyan father becomes the President of the U.S. that’s almost unreal. So they want a bit of him! Obama’s uncle in Kenya gave the example of the first time Obama came to Kenya in 1988. He was disparagingly refered to as a “Mzungu!” Mzungu being the swahili word for European. So nobody cares a damn about the mzungu. Then the mzungu becomes a U.S. senator. Now that raises eyebrows. So he’s no longer a mzungu. Now he’s OUR SON! And then he becomes president. Now that’s on top of the hill. Now it’s a “WE ARE A GREAT PEOPLE. WE RULE THE WORLD.” Because of his singular achievement you want to pretend that you actually didn’t think much of him as a “halfbreed.”

  96. It would not matter how right Billy Bragg was.He would always be an annoying prat.

  97. mattgoonerknight

    No worries Dex,

    I think we’re all in agreement that whether in football or wider society, racism is vile and has no place in today’s world.

    I like your FA Cup team BTW, shame if we have to play Koscielny, though.

    I’m presuming you’ve got the King coming off of the bench second half then?

  98. Saying ‘the coloureds’ is fine – the BBC sanctioned it on MOTM – must be good.

  99. *MOTD* anyone would think I’d been on cwider. Tcha.

  100. George

    How could you? Billy’s a national treasure!

    Matt

    Yeah, I did have Miquel instead of Koscielny, with Coquelin at LB, but that meant playing Song in midfield. It was one or the other for me! I would have liked to rest the entire defence and Song.

    Henry will come on at 72 minutes, score one, make one; 3-1. Chamakh brace, Benayoun with the other. Attendance 59, 784. 8′ degrees centigrade. 🙂

  101. mattgoonerknight

    Kenyan,

    I’m sorry.

    Read my posts again and you will see that I was making a simple point regarding your usage of a term, merely checking that you were aware of the negative connotations that the term “half caste” carries in England – it was a heads up!

    The wider racism issue is of course a relevant, interesting and pertinent one but isn’t the action of some pea brained Liverpool fan and a breakdown of the influence that Obama has had on Kenyan perceptions of mixed race people and their acceptance of them as Kenyans a little, should we, convoluted?

    As I said to dex, racism sucks and has no place anywhere – we all agree on that!

  102. mattgoonerknight

    Henry will come on at 72 minutes, score one, make one; 3-1. Chamakh brace, Benayoun with the other. Attendance 59, 784. 8′ degrees centigrade.

    Lol, I like it Dex but doesn’t that make it 4-1? ; )

  103. Another example is what’s called the Kenyan Cowboy. The Kenyan Cowboy is purely white, white mother and white father. But that’s the easy part. A white from outside Kenya can never be a Kenyan cowboy. He can try to mix with them, dress as one and even try act as one. But they’ll always pick him out as not being “one of us!” But if a white foreigner gets kids in Kenya they automatically become Kenya cowboys – and cowgirls may I add.

  104. Oh yeah! 4-1 it is then! Ha!

    Di Canio doing well as Swindon boss.

  105. Cheers Dex!! Great tune, great message ~ scousers not exactly flavour of the month, but they know how to unite..

  106. Paulie Walnuts

    Never liked Billy Bragg. Always whining on about summat. Bet he`s a barrel of laughs at a party.

    Anyway, team for Monday – would like to see Miquel, Coq, Ox, Arsh & Park start & pack the bench with quality to bail us out if needed. A bit like last season.

  107. Where does this myth of Scousers being ‘knowledgeable about football’ come from?? Like their fans are particularly sage or in any way special? It’s a fucking curiosity.

    I’ve heard a few stand-up comedians state that Liverpool is always the hardest gig, because they all think there mate ‘Baz’ or ‘Gaz’ or ‘Twat’ is much funnier than the person that they’ve paid to see. There is a chip on the shoulder mentality that makes them try-hards. It’s a generalisation, of course, but I think most stereotypes hold kernels of truth.

    I don’t know what my point is. Maybe most Scouser’s I’ve met just piss me off.

    The best set of ‘intelligent’ fans I’ve met are Arsenal’s. Seriously.

    That’s not bias it’s just FACT.

  108. Sorry Paulie, couldnt quite accomodate Park in the line up!

  109. Jonny

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself! I have met a scouser who was really nice, didnt have a chip on her shoulder, was funny and intelligent too. A great shag as well.

  110. @kenyan – yes..it’s not ‘racism’; it’s tribal ~ am aware this is off-topic, but Yogi made a blog where all views are considered.. when I lived in Japan, I was ‘racially’ abused, and attacked, for being white; that’s the price I pay..for loving you the way that I do! 🙂

  111. Oh dear, Jon ‘Champion’ and Chris T Waddle commentating for the Bristol Rovers/Villa game. How depressing.

  112. Ponyboy, Japan’s a nice place. Three of pals of mine got wives there. And they all learnt to speak kiswahili.

  113. Dexter ,you forgot to tell us his name

  114. PB the Japanese are the most racist race I have ever come across.
    They are very fair though.They hate everyone equally.

  115. Kenyan – love Japan..have a wife there, and a daughter… just saying; it’s not all one way traffic. Hong Kong was also a nice place; but I was beaten into a coma by the police, for the serious crime of being drunk in charge of a taxi-driver..

  116. I always ‘ought’ to be ashamed Dex.

    There always exceptions to every rule – I have some French friends who hate the French. That’s both funny and classy.
    😉

  117. You mentioning Parisians against the rest there Jonny?
    PG: True, but they hate Koreans just a little more than anyone else…

  118. Ponyboy, that was nasty. Hope you sued the bastard. The joke in Kenya is we fear that a Bruce Lee lookalike will fly out of nowhere with a flying kick. We love kung fu movie and its assumed that anyone who looks Chinese is a black belt.

  119. Paulie Walnuts

    Never been to Japan. Aneka put me right off.

    Johnny, yes difficult to generalise but I don`t see Liverpool fans being superior to anyone else. They didn`t exactly take to Roy Hodgson did they & they`ve also had a habit of targetting their own players in recent seasons.

    Liverpool fans of the 70s & 80s could always afford to be generous to the opposition. They were winning things then.

  120. PB,The Japanese have an air of superiority .
    The problem I had was that I had traveled half way around the world to learn at their feet.And in that respect they were entitled to feel superior to me.Mainly due to the fact that in any way I could think ,they actually were my superior(Dexter will tell you that could equally apply to any race or creed.But he is a prick 🙂 )

  121. George

    Homophobic as well as every other character flaw you have?

    The clue was when I said ‘her’. Sorry to disapoint you, although ‘she’ would only let me in the back door come to think of it.

  122. Bristol Rovers v Aston Villa = bore.

  123. Homophobic? Me?
    But I love you!
    You are so hurtful.

  124. Oh yeh,I did miss “she”
    Damn.

  125. I have to admire your dedication to the cause George. Going to Japan to learn that ancient art from the Masters in the ancestrial home.

    How is the Origarmi coming along?

  126. I know, I love you too George ❤

    🙂

  127. My friends are Parisians but they dislike Parisians and recognise the universal law that capital city people are usually considered less friendly by the rest of the country. We can substitute NY and Sydney for capitals but the law is fairly immutable nonetheless.

  128. Dont take the piss Dexter, or I will fold you into the shape of a swan and float you in a toilet.

  129. Mr Walnuts – I have no problem with the Liverpudlians 😉 I just object to this specious notion that they are an advanced special, intelligent breed of fan. I wonder who first posited this guff and why it’s been adopted into mainstream consciousness to the extent that I have even heard of it.

  130. Admit it George, it was fucking funny man. Your retort wasn’t bad either.

  131. Its not until you watch other teams that you appreciate how good our play is.

  132. Everton fans are whiney fuckers too. Every time I go to Goodison, they embarass themselves with their constant whinging.

  133. If scousers are so funny,why are scouse comedians dire?

  134. Tarbuck, Dodd, Bishop not a great contribution to the stand up comedy world.

  135. Whenever I watch Aston Villa I realise how bizarrely lucky I have been to support the team I do. I never stop being staggered by the values and history of our club. Or by the sludge like shit that passes for football or values on display at other clubs. Serendipitous* stuff indeed.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    *Look it up George. 😉

  136. I dunno, I always thought Madge was funny, didnt realise she was scouse though.

  137. Actually out of them all Ken Dodd is naturally funny( used to watch him rehearse at the BBC

  138. Paulie Walnuts

    Jonny,

    How could you leave out the likes of the great Stan Boardman (& his `fockers`) & erm..erm… Paul O’grady ?

    Pool fans being magnanimous is just lazy media sterotyping. Just like saying Norwich fans are inbred. We all know it`s not true don`t we ? Don`t we ?

  139. I think yer Dodd is one of those comedians who had no other way to survive at school but than to be funny. Not a criticism.

  140. Spy,some people think Lenny Henry is funny.

  141. At least you get your money’s worth with Ken Dodd. His last show he went on and on for 5 hours, finished past midnight or something apparantly.

    Michael Macintire is fucking shite and he’s a posh twat. Not sure if he hails from Liverpool, but he could well have some relatives from there. Thats my guess anyways.

  142. It’s not magnanimous I heard but ‘intelligent’. As for comedians well each to their own – statistically most people think Peter Kay is funny and I am genuinely baffled by that.

  143. TBH there aint too many comedians that are funny. Some are flash in the pan funny, but that shit wears off. Dom Jolly was a classic example (no not a comedian I know) his TRigger Happy TV was well funny, he got a fat contract and series out of it and stank big time.

  144. Peter Kay WAS funny, about 10 years ago.

  145. George trust me nobody thinks Lenny Henry is funny

  146. From my experience the actual % of football fans who even remotely understand the game is minuscule.
    Most of those who do seem to congregate around this blog.(with exceptions like myself and Dexter obviously)

  147. George likes Lenny Henry, that was his way of gauging if any of us did too. He won’t admit it now though, obviously.

  148. The whining, thieving bastards are considered ‘passionate’ because they stole a song. They have no saving graces..

  149. Dex – you’ve made me laugh several times today.

  150. Jonny “Phoenix Nights” was as funny as anything I have ever seen.
    And if you had ever been a member of a Northern Working Mans Club you would know why.It was painfully funny.

  151. I think Comedy being the new Rock an Roll is bollocks, no comedian can entertain an entire audience for a couple of hours,
    Rock rules!

  152. Jonny,compared to Dexter ,Lenny is a fucking hoot.

  153. Talking about not being funny.Paddy McGuinness, has just hit my screen.
    Now he is stealing a living.

  154. George

    That goes without saying dude. Everyone can see we know sweet fanny adams about the beautiful game; Ker Plunk on the other hand.

  155. Yes George Phoenix @
    ‘I know a drunk horse when I see one’

  156. George – I will gladly admit to being one of the Luddites – I have good knowledge in many ways but very limited nonetheless. I think most of us would do well to check ourselves – Socrates most famous quote would serve us all well.

    You know the one where he said Lenny Henry wasn’t funny. 😉

    My cricket knowledge is in many ways better than my football. As Cbob would testify.

  157. Jonny

    Ha! What am I? Some fuckin clown here to amuse you? Why I oughtta… 🙂

  158. Michael Macintire is a spud fan.

    Lee Evans is funny live.

  159. George

    This Northen working man’s club you are a member of. Do you have to wear special clothes, throw your car keys into a bowl? That sort of club?

  160. Paulie Walnuts

    Redknapp, Warnock & Pulis are the funniet people I`ve seen for years.

    Oh, & And Carroll

  161. Jonny.
    I used to be as infatuated with Barry Richards as I now am with Stuart Little.

  162. I would hope not Dexter .Ladies were not allowed to be members.let alone have a set of keys.
    Still ,that would not stop you dibbing in.eh? 😉

  163. Chuckle Brothers are well underestimated
    To me-to you

  164. Phoenix Nights was brilliant. Bet it was just like watching a home video for you george. Was that you with the tiger face paint?

    Right, time to go, have a few beers n wotnot.

    Ciao darlinks

  165. George

    Who said anything about there being ladies there man?

  166. Dexter,that was “Little Kenny”

  167. Having visited a northern w/m club or two,
    Always made to feel welcome
    (Political correct turn away now)
    Those northern birds love a Cockney

  168. Eddie Izzard, Steven Wright, George Carlin, (Early) Billy Connolly, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Mark Thomas.

  169. Bill Hicks is the stand ups-stand up

  170. Add Rich Hall as well

  171. Too true.

  172. Dara O’Briain, Jason Byrne

  173. Karl Pilkington is the funniest man on the planet.
    And his trick is hr is not a comedian.

  174. Just wish Dara would not be a snob
    His name is O’Brien

  175. nice dups

  176. Anyone who thinks Charlie Chaplin is funny is either 95 or dead

  177. Hitler certainly didn’t see Chaplin’s funny side.

  178. Buster Keaton knocked him into a cocked communist hat

  179. And Laurel and Hardy were the first real double act

  180. Cain and Abel?

  181. Cain was funny, Abel not so sure

  182. He certainly made his Mark

  183. Spy, get your coat.

  184. Could be worse he could have said “Abel to make his mark”

    Sorry

  185. Oh come on Jonny I’m on fire ha

  186. Not yet – that’s what’s to come Spy.

    Dups I loved the fact the troll had no idea what your backwards name was up to. I didn’t notice myself until recently and I’ve been here on and off for 4-5 years. When the penny dropped it was a fantastic face palm.

  187. Well I never.Now that’s what I call a top name.

  188. Jonny I’m a paid up Catholic I’m heaven bound

  189. Bradys right foot

    pedantic george | January 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Karl Pilkington is the funniest man on the planet.

    I find Karl Pilkington to be the living embodiment of existential nihilism and yes I do recognise the paradox in that statement, a man whose mere presence seemingly flays the stitches holding the fabric of life and reality to this reality. Im convinced if Spektr-R were pointing in the opposite direction towards earth, it would identify a huge dense mass of dark matter, that would be Karl Pilkington. If I were religious I’d probably conclude he’s the anti christ. There is nothing more chilling than being caught by his dead gaze as you innocently channel hop late at night and oh did I mention he’s a bit of a cnut.

  190. Bradys right foot

    Spy | January 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Jonny I’m a paid up Catholic I’m heaven bound

    You jammy *******.

  191. and oh did I mention he’s a bit of a cnut.

    Well,perhaps that tells you all you need to know about me.

  192. Bradys right foot

    pedantic george | January 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    and oh did I mention he’s a bit of a cnut.

    Well,perhaps that tells you all you need to know about me.

    PG i’ll not let even the evil Pilkington cloud my judgement. I know your a true goon comedy heroes/anti christ doesnt affect that.

  193. Jonny

    The name was penned for our resident spud troll James. He was a pain when he 1st commented on here but he’s a bit of a laugh at times.

  194. Yes Pilkington may be the Event Horizon in comedy as far as Gervais is concerned, no where to go after this

  195. Bradys right foot

    Dups I never spotted that myself lol great name. Im shit at the countdown cunundrum as well.

  196. Would people find Karl funnier if he sounded like Ray Winstone?

  197. George we know to have a Cockney accent is a head start in life, but really we don’t mind northern

  198. Bradys right foot

    I’d shit my pants if he sounded like Winstone.

  199. BRF,you must be easily frightened.

  200. Bradys right foot

    No george just incontenant

  201. One of the funniest comedians every on TV was Tommy Cooper

    I saw an ad in a shop window that said “Television for Sale – £1- Volume Stuck On Full”. I thought: “I can’t turn that down”.

  202. Dups “on the other hand, I’ve got five fingers”. TC was funny before he spoke.

  203. Oh come on Dups you’ll be bringing up Tony Hancock next.

    Now Bernard Manning, he wasn’t rascist, was he?

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