Saturday, October 17, 2009

Arsenal News Review: October 17, 2009

According to Pyles, Arsene doesn't big up Andrey Arshavin enough.

He also described Andrey's performance on that night against the Mug Smashers (with thanks to Arseblogger) as the "most electrifying he has ever seen from an Arsenal player" including DB 10 (also known as "God" by members of the Gooner Nation) and Thierry Henry (who we call "Igwe" back home in Nigeria, and for those who're wondering, Igwe means King).

There is no doubt that Andrey "Assassin" Arshavin is a special talent. The whole world and their gran can see that. And there is no doubt that the performance at Anfield that night was something special, the kind of thing you only see once in a lifetime, at least, if you're not an Arsenal supporter (we Gooners have gotten used to seeing such mind-blowing things from Arsene's boys).

Clearly, Pyles is a fan of Arshavin. He's been for a very long time, and he's never hidden the fact from anyone. And, if as a fan of a player you feel he's under-appreciated by his manager, well, fair play to you, it's your opinion after all. It is from that point onwards that Pyles's hatred of Arsenal comes bubbling to the surface. I know, he just can't help himself.

When he says that if Igwe had scored those four goals, Wenger would be still be talking about them every week it has to rank up there with greatest bullshit ever written. The same Wenger, who Cesc recently said comes to him after a game in which he feels he was perfect and shows him a tape and says, "You shouldn't have done that. Or that. Or that." Wenger doesn't dwell on good performances from anybody. He praises them after the game, and that's it.

Did Wenger talk about Henry's game-changing performance against Liverpool at Higbury for weeks and weeks? Of course not! Did he endlessly rehash Henry's 5-star performance against Inter Milan for months? Nope.

Pyles has constantly suggested that Arsene doesn't like Arshavin, even going so far as to imply that it was Gazidis and not Wenger who signed the Russian in January. Now, there are several things wrong with this line of reasoning, but I'll point out one of the most glaring: if (as Pyles wants us to believe) Arsene Wenger is an egomaniacal control-freak, then how the hell would anybody force him to sign a player he didn't want, or give him any playing time? Didn't we all see how Robbie Keane's sojourn at Liverpool ended?

At the end of his write-up, Pyles tells us that he's been telling Arsene how good Arshavin is for months. As if Arsene Wenger bothers to read this kind of trash. The only egomaniacal control-freak on ANR is Pyles himself.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We Don't Expect A Walkover

Tomorrow sees the return of club football after the long international break.

For Arsenal, this means we entertain Birmingham FC at the Emirates.

Anyone who didn't spend February 23, 2008, and the rest of that year under some kind of rock or in suspended animation, sharing a freezer with Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes, that was the day Birmingham City's Martin Taylor launched himself at Eduardo long after the ball was gone, and very nearly chopped Eddy's leg off.

The incident was so utterly horrifying that no replays of it were shown on live tv.  I missed that game, only hearing afterward that it had ended in a 2-2 draw. It was only when seeing the assault on the news later that I realised how close Eduardo had come to never playing football again. There are some who are willing to show pictures of Eddy's leg in the immediate aftermath of the assault. I am not one of those people. Seeing my player's leg held together only by what appears to be his socks is not something I care to do on a regular basis.

In the aftermath of the game, there was a huge outpouring of support for poor Martin Taylor from the English press. Taylor was hailed as a solid lad, a good bloke, not a malicious sort, and so on ad nauseam. The English press, being a particularly xenophobic creature, placed almost all the blame for the incident at Eduardo's door. If only he'd been half a step slower, or not so bloody good with a football, or if his leg had been in the air, were recurrent themes. At no time did the press call for that sort of wild lunge to be outlawed, or state categorically that such play was completely against the spirit of the game. Wenger was carpeted for saying Taylor should never play football again, and the fact that he later apologised for that remark was completely ignored. Imagine if William Gallas had done the same to Wayne Rooney.

The fact that the penalty from which Birmingham equalised was not a foul was ignored. That the ref had turned down a stonewall penalty on Adebayor minutes earlier was ignored. All the press cared about was protecting the reputation of good old honest Martin Taylor.

On Saturday, Eddy will not be playing due to a thigh injury. Martin Taylor will also miss out due to injury, so the meeting of victim and attacker will not take place until perhaps much later in the season. However, I still expect this game to be a blood-and-thunder affair. That game destroyed what had been, up to that point, a glorious season. The horrific injury coupled with the clear bias of the ref against us seemed to drain the players of their resolve and there was a collective slump from which the team never recovered.

Come Saturday, Arsenal are looking to keep a run of 6 straight wins in all competitions going, and I expect that the added motivation of playing the team which tried to kill Eduardo's career is going to be an added bonus. I expect a hard game, for Alex McLeish to watch at least. I know we tend to struggle after an international break, and we will no doubt see a deployment of the famous 5-5-0 formation from Birmingham. This is in keeping with the philosophy that you don't play Arsenal and attempt to play.

Clichy misses out thanks to an ankle knock sustained on international duty, and Kieran Gibbs will be deputising at left back, and will hope to make the most of his opportunity. Diaby looks certain to play, and with Samir Nasri due back from injury any time soon, there is suddenly a lot of competition for places in midfield, which can only be good for the team as a whole.

Myles doesn't think this will be an easy game. I certainly hope not. Perhaps it's the sadist in me, but I want Birmingham to put up some kind of fight at least. It'll certainly make life easier for headline writers: "Brave Birmingham Badly Beaten" or "Resistance Futile as Birmingham Swept Aside By Vengeful Arsenal."


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arsenal News Review: October 13, 2009

Today's drivel from Myles, (whose site is renamed "Myles Talks Shit" when viewed via Rocky NewsNow) concerns Arsene Wenger's Statement that he won't be naming his successor. According to Myles, that's "great" news as it means Wenger won't recommend Paul Le Guen, Arsenal will no longer be a French team in England, Arsenal will no longer sign kids to play with kids, and Arsenal will no longer have a "Phrench" captain, and a "Phrench" dressing room.

Have you ever read such racist, xenophobic, bullshit in your entire life? Outside of some White Power website, that is.

For Myles' information, since he seems to have been under some rock the past several months, our captain is Cesc Fabregas, who happens to be Spanish, and not French. And while I understand all foreigners looking alike to racist folk, those such as Myles who have pretensions upon journalism should at least get such "irrelevant" details right, or is it that he can't be bovvered?

Myles goes on to tell his readers that Wenger pays millions of their pounds to players like Almunia, Clichy, Bendtner, Eboue, Song, Denilson, Walcott, and Diaby when they've won nothing. Begging, the esteemed Mr. Palmer's pardon (as I'm only an Arsenal supporter and not an all-knowing god like himself) but weren't Almunia and Clichy part of the 2005 FA Cup winning squad? Wasn't Clichy part of the Invincibles in 2004? I know the others haven't won anything yet, but surely football is still a team sport?

It is also not surprising that Myles is on the "Gazidis Gives Wenger Trophy Ultimatum" bandwaggon. When the CEO says it is "our" ambition to win a trophy this year, he is only restating the position of Wenger himself, and thereby indicating to the world at large that himself and the manager are on absolutely the same page. Gazidis declared, "We have created a team playing fantastic football. Now our focus is to win something for the fans." For Myles to describe that statement from as an ultimatum to the manager is beyond ludicrous. Who, exactly, does Myles think Gazidis means by "our" and "we" in his statement? Gazidis and a bunch of little green men?

I wonder what Mrs. Palmer put in the tea this morning...

Welcome to ANR Review

Hello Gooners!

For a long time we have all been subjected to the sanctimonious rantings of Myles Palmer. There was a time when he was a reasonable-seeming fellow, but then something happened. I don't know what it was, but there was a sea change on his site from presenting a balanced view of events at Arsenal to, well, ranting about how great Chelsea, Man U, and Liverpool are, and how Arsenal are shit and Wenger is an egomaniac.

Now, Man U and Liverpool have great history - they've won League titles, the European Cup, etc. Chelsea, well, they're noveau riche, but as my blood happens to be red and not blue, I will not thumb my nose at the achievements of "new money." However, surely a site called "Arsenal News Review" should not be used to tell visiting Gooners that their club is rubbish? I've been a Gooner 14 years. My first game on the telly ended with "Nayim from the half-way line!" Hell, on that day, I had absolutely no idea who the Arsenal players were (except David Seaman for obvious reasons!) And much like an international treaty, my followership of The Arsenal was not ratified for another 2 years, so to speak.

I have spent most of my Arsenal career as a TV fan, seeing as I live in Nigeria. Perhaps never going to see Arsenal doesn't make me a "real" supporter, but I do know that if I was ever at the Emirates, all I would want to do is soak in the atmosphere, and enjoy seeing my boys live, rather than moan about how David Dein is a proper gent, and how Arsenal thumping Pompey was the result of an abject performance by the visitors!

Of course, Mr. Palmer is entitled to his opinion, and it is his right to air it. It is also my right to call him a sanctimonious asshole, and ask that he please change the name of his website to something more appropriate, like "Myles Palmer's Daily Moan" or something along those lines. That way, I wouldn't have to see his site pop up when I'm on Newsnow looking for Arsenal news.

ANR is not the only negative-vibed website out there. The difference between ANR and other Arsenal sites is that Myles Palmer is not an Arsenal fan. He has said so on more occassions than I can count, most recently here. In this particular piece of journalistic drivel, he says he hasn't ruled out becoming an Arsenal fan at some point, but not while having to watch some of Arsene's current "dunces". In other words, even an unbeaten season was not enough to convince Myles to become an Arsenal fan. Perhaps he's waiting for us to beat a team of Aarchangels 29-0 with God keeping goal!

Other Arsenal fan sites are free to have a moan about affairs because they are run by Arsenal fans. Even though some, like "Arsenal Truth" say if you don't agree with their negativity they'll ban your ISP, fans who're upset that their Football Manager-influenced world view isn't being followed by Mr Wenger are free to congregate there. As far as I'm concerned, they're fans, and they have every right to air their grievances, because they're rooted in their love for Arsenal. Myles Palmer, on the other hand, has no love, and no respect for Arsenal, and all he does is use our club's name to flog his site and his book.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've had enough.