Friday, September 20, 2002

Take the good with the bad . . . Soccernet reports that Gio van Bronckhorst is looking to resume full training next week, however Bobby Pires is now targeting November as a return date, after it was initially thought he could be available mid to late October.

The same article also mentions that our fearful-of-flying forward (say that 5 times fast) Dennis Bergkamp may drive to the away match in the CL against PSV Eindhoven next week.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Everyone should get a kick out of this: The Top 10 reasons why Fergusmoan should quit ManU.
"Arsenal will not beat us at Old Trafford." This was Ryan Giggs' quote before out premiership winning victory at Old Trafford last year. Seems he hasn't really learned his lesson, although he makes no guarantees in his latest quotes, claiming Manchester United are back on track after their win over Israeli club Maccabi in the CL. No offense to Giggs (erm . . . well maybe a little) but United's defending is still shit. Maccabi scored two at Old Trafford, and the second goal made the 30 million pound man Rio look ordinary at best.

Another United note . . . did anyone see Forlan pleading with Beckham to let him take the late penalty and get his first goal in 27 games for the club? Hysterical. The whole team was feeding him the ball all night and he couldn't score, so he has to beg the captain to let him take a spot kick to get on the tally sheet. (Begin Sarcasm) Marvelous player, another great Fergie buy. (End Sarcasm)

Finally, interesting news regarding those tossers in the FA . . . Dale Johnson of Soccernet writes an interesting and well thought out piece on the video panel and FA's double standards. I highly recommend clicking here and reading it. What I found most interesting is this . . . quoting Johsnon, "If David Beckham had been charged [for the elbowing incident against Lee Bowyer], he would face a disciplinary hearing in 14 days and if found guilty would have been handed a three-match ban. The England skipper would have been suspended either side of England's Euro 2004 qualifiers against Slovakia and Macedonia; you can't represent England when serving a domestic ban. Of course, that had no bearing on the FA's decision..." He wraps up by stating, "In a week we've seen fourth officials apparently unaware of touchline rules, a player nescient of a basic law of the game, the FA's double standards over video evidence and, arguably, the ineptitude of an official in David Elleray. Hardly the best of weeks for those running the rule in Soho Square."

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

FA SEES THE LIGHT - just reported that no action will be taken against Thierry Henry for the 'alleged' elbow in Charlton's game on Saturday. Thank fuck.

Also, the Haloscan commenting service is currently down. Apologies to all.

Finally, Bloomberg is reporting that Matt Upson may be returning to Highbury sooner than expected. Apparently the validity of his loan (and two other non-Arsenal players) are in question.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Arsenal 2 - Borussia Dortmund 0 - Our CL campaign gets off to a great success. The Germans made us work for it, as I thought they would, but second half goals from Bergkamp and Freddie (on his return no less) brought home the win. Sounds as though the team had a good night passing and attacking, the Germans were strong in defence but never really posed a threat to Seaman and the rest of the defence. Fair play to the ref who only showed one card in the entire match.

We'll see just how strong our European ambitions are next week when we match up with PSV Eindhoven. Our away form in the CL has been piss the last few years, so it will be interesting to see how last season's unbeaten away run in the EPL will have prepared us for the CL.
Every morning the first thing I do is hop online and go to Soccernet and read the headlines. Normally they are pretty predictable and have to deal with the game itself, such as "Glen Hoddle realizes Sp*rs are crap and can never win anything" or something along those lines. However today I see these two headlines . . . "FA to investigate pitch invasions at St Andrews" and "Keane handed deadline extension". The problem I have with this is two-fold . . . first, the FA seem to be getting more and more involved (and it's not all Arsenal affairs either) to the point of becoming a dictatorship. This is not good. Granted certain things need to be done and when Birmingham's fans are storming the pitch after each goal their side scores in a heated derby, I can understand looking into it. But everyday it's something, and plenty of times it's petty, such as TH14's T-shirt saga. Get a grip FA and let the players play. I had another point in here . . . oh yeah, the second headline. Seems the FA have granted 'Roy Keane Fucking Wanker' another 48 hours to get his shit straight before he has to make a statement to the FA regarding his disciplinary hearings. Do you think the FA would grant Thierry Henry a 48 hour extension for responding to his alleged elbow incident? Fuck no. Tossers.

Finally, the Champions League is here. Arsenal kick off against Borussia Dortmund at Highbury this evening. Should be a cracker and I don't expect a walkover by any means, the German squad is good and made it to the finals of the UEFA Cup last year, losing to Feyenoord 3-2. They have solid players in Rosicky, Jan Koller, Ewerthon, etc. I'm thinking 2-1 to the Gunners. And a surprise, Freddie will be back on the bench tonight. Although he won't start, he may see a runout, especially if Edu's knee problem shows up.

Monday, September 16, 2002

An update on the 'FA hate Arsenal and have their mind made up to try and ban every one of their players' front: TH14 tells that he did not elbow John Robinson in the face. The article goes on to quote Robinson himself, who told Capital Radio on Monday: "I can't believe they are turning this into something it isn't. They should let it go. If he had caught me I would have gone down. I think the FA should get on with something else."
FUCK SHIT BULLOCKS FUCK . . . So if anyone is surprised by the following news then they surely aren't an Arsenal fan or they've been living in a cave the past few seasons. Seems the FA in their infinite fucking wisdom have decided to investigate Thierry Henry for an alleged elbow on Charlton midfielder John Robinson in Saturday's 3-0 win at The Valley. They are investigating because the referree didn't see it . . . OK I can live with that. Go to the tape and review it and make a decision accordingly. Fair enough. But this is the kicker . . . David Beckham can elbow a player and everyone in the fucking world sees it, the ref sees it and gives a free kick, and then the FA say they can't investigate it because the match ref (Jeff Winter) saw it and acted accordingly, and chose not to pursue it after the match. It's absolute shit. The FA have these so called 'rules' . . . however they're so god awful vague it doesn't matter, and they'll do whatever they can to make Arsenal's life hell.

Does it really matter anymore? Even with all the crap going on already, we're top of the league, and six points clear of United just six games into the campaign. Don't forget about last year: We won the Double with all the shit we had to put up with . . . Graham Poll's shite performance at Highbury when the Barcodes beat us 3-1 . . . Gio being sent off at Anfield. Countless investigations and bans and fines. Last year I felt Arsenal became stronger from all the shite they had to put up with. Can history repeat itself?

For more about the decision, read the views from Soccernet's Arsenal correspondent, and have a look at Arseblogger's thoughts.