The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Djourou could leave, M’Vila could be off and site news.

Johan Djourou; sophisticated gentleman of culture...

Evening, folks.

It’s been a busy day today. By now, I’m sure you’ll have noticed The Armchair Gooner has a new address. Hopefully, such a thing will spell growth and a bright future for this here ol’ drivel I produce.

In Arsenal news, Johan Djourou – he of the enormous eyebrows – has spoken out about his future at the club. With Koscielny and Vermaelen now established as first-choice, and Mertesacker pushing them for that position, The Swiss defender’s chances of regular football seem limited. Speaking to the press in his homeland, Johan said:

“My situation at Arsenal is not easy,” Djourou told Swiss website 20 Minuten. “I’ve never played so little and especially not in my own position. If an interesting offer comes, I’ll look at it carefully.

In all honesty; I’m not that big a fan of Djourou. Barring the 2010/2011 season in which Vermaelen was largely absent, his tenure at the club is litany of errors and looks of sheer terror on his face. He has potential, that is unquestionable, but, like him, I think that potential may be easier for him to realise elsewhere. I wouldn’t be disappointed if he left and we brought in another centre-half.

The player I’ve said I really want at Arsenal, Yann M’Vila, might not be headed our way at all, if you believe what you read. Instead, Arsene has turned his attention to Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong – a good player, undoubtedly. The rumoured stumbling block is the fee Rennes are likely to demand, and our usual parsimonious attitude in the transfer market.

Having said that, as soon as a story of frugality emerges, one soon follows claiming we’ll spend big. Mis-information is everywhere. You never really can know where the truth lies, until it’s confirmed by someone/something official.

That’s all today, folks. Just a quick tester to ensure everything is working well with the new site. Once I’ve ironed out all the kinks, I’ll be back to blogging thoroughly and on a daily basis.

You can follow my Twitter account @_ArmchairGooner

My last word today, is one of thanks. Daniel Cowan, writer of the excellent ‘North London Is Red‘. is the reason I have a new site and address. I’m hopelessly inept when it comes to site design and servers – that stuff is all gobbledegook to me. Daniel’s offered me his time and his technical support, and I thank him greatly.

It’s all about the transfers… Who signs? Who leaves? Who stays? Whose head explodes from sheer boredom?

Too. Much. Speculation

Morning, fellow Goonery lifeforms.

I find this time of year to be inexorably dull. I’m sure you do too. Some of you fine folks may very well be looking forward to watching the Euros, perhaps cheering on your respective nations – if present – or simply indulging in the plethora of televised games in a short space of time.

I’ll watch the Euros. I’m sure they’ll be a few highlights, and I’ll look out for one or two of the players linked with Arsenal. Other than that, my interest is limited, and I find it to be impossible to cheer on my national team when John Terry represents them. Not that I would if he didn’t. Patriotism isn’t one of my virtues. Club football is where my true love lies.

It’s because of that I find this period in the football calendar so testing. Sure, there’s plenty of intrigue to go around. Pondering “who will we sign?” fills my head with potential starting line-ups and a renewed optimism for the season’s start. But it hardly compensates for the loss of my beloved Arsenal’s regular fixtures.

Of course, losing that regularity of games invariably directly affects the humble blogger’s selection of topics. The following months will be awash with speculation; dripping with spewed and spurious ‘exclusives’, the sole purpose of which is to pray on the clamouring masses and their urge to be informed. Player’s will be linked, stories of dispute and stalled negotiations will jostle for position with idle and contrived rumour.

And it’s us Gooners that always seem to get it the worst. Not a summer passes these days with us having to endure interminable speculation regarding our top players. Vieira, Henry, Fabregas, Nasri, Cole, Flamini, Hleb, Petit, Overmars, Anelka… The list of drawn-out and exasperating transfers is almost endless. This summer is shaping up to be no different.

Like you, I want the saga of Robin van Persie’s future to be sorted out without complication. I want haste, I want a swift and comprehensive resolution. We are yet to be offered anything more than a few tid-bits of fact, a wealth of arduous, bewildering mis-information and the peddling of unsubstantiated drivel. It’s going to be a couple of months that could pass for an eternity.

When the dust settles, when that first glorious game of the new season is upon us; the only thing certain to still be at Arsenal is us. Players will come, players will go. Some players may fester in the reserves having been unable to secure moves elsewhere. Whatever the outcome with Robin, whatever he choses; he is just a player. We, the fans, are Arsenal. We will remain.

Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. The comments are below, and they duly await your views and opinions. You can keep up with my blathering on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner

Apologies for the rambling nature of today’s entry. I felt like simply free-writing for a change. Tomorrow, I shall ensure you’ve a news-filled extravaganza…

Lastly today, the folks at Rock ‘n’ Roll Football politely asked my to point you guys in the direction of a video feauturing Ian Wright, and regarding the European Champinships.

Here’s a brief description, and a link to the video:

Ian Wright is thought of as many things; a legendary footballer, excitable pundit and talismanic leader of men but rarely a thoughtful poet.

This video produced by Absolute Radio portrays our man in a light never seen before.

Give it a whirl.

Llorente to Arsenal? Yeah, right… Aaron Ramsey’s season and offers for Bendtner.

"What? Where?" Fernando decided he'd better make haste and check his Twitter timeline.

Morning, folks. What a beautiful Monday morning it is.

Those of you that use it will know Twitter is capable of popping up with some truly wild and spurious stories. According to a very dubious ‘journalist’ in Bilbao, Fernando Llorente is heavily linked with a move to Arsenal. Now, before you get your hopes up, I’m not choosing to talk about this story for any other reason than it’s quite funny, and obviously not true. The transfer window has progressively worsened with speculation as the years have passed. Twitter’s emergence has enabled even the silliest of stories to quickly gain popularity, and most of them are either taken out of context, or entirely false attempts to gain a little attention.

It could drive you made if you crave your daily dose of legitimate news. When I’m having a snoop around, I enjoy a good rumour as much as the next person – it’s essentially harmless and, at times, quite intriguing. Llorente would make an excellent signing for Arsenal, but it’s not going to happen.

In news that is straight from the player’s mouth, Aaron Ramsey has discussed his performances during the season past;

“To ask me to play to a high standard week in, week out, in the Premier League when you think of the pace that goes with it, was very physically demanding.”

“People do forget how long I was out of the game and what happened. It’s been my first full season. Overall, I am happy with the way things have gone.

“From where I was with the injury I think I’ve done pretty well.

“It was a long season and it was something my body has not been used to. It was quite obvious I would get tired towards the end.

“Although I’ve been pretty pleased, there is still a lot more to come. I know that.

“But this season has been a good stepping stone for me.”

I like Aaron. I’m unabashedly a fan. Lot’s of you are not. The level of vitriol directed at him, and the breathtaking stupidity that accompanies such remarks has been one of the low points of recent times. It baffles me. He’s a young man, he’s recovered from the type of injury I’d wish on nobody. He doesn’t hide during games, he puts the effort in and he tries. Yes, there may be many occasions where the effort isn’t matched by the performance, but that will come given time.

To blame him for defeats, to take to the internet and plaster it with hate-filled drivel and moronically inaccurate stats just because a scapegoat for the team’s failing is needed, well… that’s just plain idiotic. No, it’s actually fairly despicable. He does not deserve any of it, and I don’t believe any real Arsenal fan would take to abusing the players with such fevered regularity.
He will come good. Mark my words.
Lastly today, it’s a bit about the apotheosis of man, Nicklas Bendtner. Allegedly, a number of clubs are chasing him, and Dortmund lead that particular charge. He will, by all accounts, be off our books for good soon. The sooner the better. He is grossly overpaid, and that money could be put to far better use somewhere else.
Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. Take a moment to comment below, and you can follow my Twitter account @_ArmchairGooner

Has Robin van Persie told Arsenal he wants to leave? He has according to reports in the press.

The Arsenal players played to do their best to prevent Robin leaving...

Morning folks. I’m the bearer of (alleged) bad news today.

If you’ve not read the story featured in The Mirror, here are the main parts of intrigue and sorrow:

It was with great regret that Van Persie informed Arsenal that at the age of 28 he believes the time is right to bring his eight-year association with the club to an end.

He has picked up just one solitary FA Cup winners?? medal in his time at Arsenal and, after netting 30 Premier League goals this season, Van Persie is eager to finish his career with more silverware.

This is not a financial decision. He did not even allow Arsenal to get as far as offering the £130,000-a-week new deal they had drawn up. Even increasing those figures is unlikely to do any good.

Now, before I get into opinions and such, I’d like to state that I rate the validity of this story at 40-60 against it being true. For all the information it gives, it offers little in the way of evidence or direct quotation. For all intents and purposes; it’s nothing more than unimaginative, speculative drivel designed to attract those of us hungry for information. It will do exactly that, and do it well.

However, it cannot be ignored. There is enough of a possibility that’s it’s accurate. Let’s be honest here; it’s certainly a likely scenario.

So for a moment, I’ll assume that it is true.

First of all; I would like for Robin to come out an explain his decision – one way or the other. If he wants to leave to pursue a new chapter in his career, I wouldn’t begrudge him that for a second. His form and captaincy have both been nothing short of phenomenal. I’d wish him all the best. It’s the waiting and procrastination that irks me so. At the very least, he owes those of us that worshipped him, and the club that supported him through countless injuries, a reasonable explanation.

Secondly, if his mind is made up; sell him. Put a price on him, and offer him to as many clubs on the continent as possible. £25m, and he’s yours. Keeping him to the final year of his contract is pointless. He won’t be 100% committed to Arsenal, and the wages he earns should go to someone who is. Do it as soon as possible. We made huge blunders with Nasri and Fabregas by playing an ill-advised waiting game, and our early season form suffered.  Those mistakes cannot be repeated.

Lastly, let’s go out and replace him. We cannot afford to wait until his transfer is completed. Let’s go after the boss’ targets, and get them. No buying on the cheap, no haggling for prices. None of that. Get them in plenty of time for pre-season. If Robin leaves, we’ll need at least another striker and an excellent attack-minded midfielder to fill the void. We’ll need to splash the cash, too. Arsenal will need to make a huge statement of intent, not only to appease the fans, but to show the rest of the league we still mean business.

That’s my opinion on the whole situation. Of course, if I had any say-so in the matter,  I’d love him to stay. At the end of the day, when my rational head comes into play; I don’t believe anything I read until it’s accompanied by undoubtable confirmation. The Mirror piece has none of that. We all knew this was coming over the summer. We all knew the saga would run and run. The final resolution remains a mystery to all of us.

My advice would be simply to remember this; We are Arsenal. We are not Robin van Persie. His departure would be made out to be the end of the club. It wouldn’t be anything of the sort. We survived the loss of plenty before him, we would survive him just the same.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. I look forward to reading some of your views in the comments. You can follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner

May 26th 23 years ago. It’s up for grabs now…

Thomas, bursting through the midfield.

Evening, folks.

Sorry I’m so delayed today. It’s been one hectic old Saturday. I’ve been working, and working for me entails spending 12-14 hours in a kitchen where the temperature can hit highs of 32’c. I wasn’t going to post today, but I’d thought I’d jot down a few lines as May 26th is a very important date for us Gooners. We all remember that magical, euphoric night at Anfield. It’s one of the integeral parts of the club’s history.

With that in mind, I thought I’d use this quick update to point you in the direction of the wondeful webiste that is Arsenal Collective, and a piece I wrote for it a few months back – a silly little article which revolves heavily around that magical night on Merseyside.

I hope you enjoy it, it’s called An Underdog’s Revenge.

My apologies for the lateness and short nature of today’s entry. I shall return tomorrow with something of greater substance. Until then, thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. You can comment below and follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner

M’Vila to speak, Vertonghen prefers Spurs, Kalou, the Euros and zzzzzzzzzzzz.

"I may just be a colossal idiot..."

Morning, folks.

Today’s news is as brief and uninspiring as you might imagine with the focus mainly on England’s warm-up games. I’ve always struggled when it comes to supporting my national team. Where some purchase banners and decorate their cars enthusiastically with ‘C’mon England!’ flags and stickers, I find myself ambivalent toward the whole thing. Club football is where my passion lies. International football is an annoying distraction, and one from which Arsenal players invariably come back injured. I’ll be watching the Euros for the football, but the result won’t concern me one little bit. In fact, I usually find these tournaments to be hyped-up, and fucking tedious. And then there’s ITV’s coverage…

As you’d expect, the main Arsenal news regards transfers. Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen has spoken about his potential destination, and I’m sure he’ll alienate a few Gooners with his words. Stupidly, in my opinion, he prefers Spurs:

I’ve said repeatedly that Tottenham are my first choice, but the talks haven’t progressed,”

“They have shown me around, I have met all their key people and their chairman came to meet me on Monday.

“But Arsenal want me too. They remain a possibility if my Spurs move falls through, as Ajax are asking ?15m for me. That is a lot of money for someone with just a year left on his contract.

“I’m sure Spurs won’t be able to pay that much after they missed out on the Champions League.

“Ajax want to get as much as they can for me, while Spurs want to pay as little as possible.

I’m not sure, as an Arsenal fan, I’d want him at the club now. Yes, he’s allegedly a very good defender, and we could use one of those, but any player that’s openly stated his preference to be Tottenham is probably an idiot. The only thing I can conceive Spurs can offer him that we can’t is first-team football – that, and a loathsome, tax-evading, twitching manager. Other than that, and even without club bias, Arsenal are a more appealing option in every respect.

The one I really want, Yann M’Vila, is to speak to the press today at some point regarding his future. Doubtless to say, he will probably be vague, and they’ll be no information at all to give. I truly hope the rumours of the deal being done are true, as I fear for Arsenal’s ability to compete with the big guns should he perform well with France at the Euros. Patrick Vieira has spoken to him about Man City – the fucking judas – and Real Madrid where sniffing around a while ago. If we are to get him, we need to act now. Make a good offer to Rennes, and the player, quickly. If they stall or flounder, withdraw it and move on. We cannot afford to be waiting on decisions from players any more.

Lastly, Salomon Kalou is to leave Chelsea, and Arsenal is his supposed destination. I quite like him as a player, and he’s better than what we have on the bench at the present. For a squad player, he isn’t a bad shout. Some out there wildly disagree, and see him as a ‘Chelsea reject’, but not me. He’s not the answer to any of our problems, but he would offer us better depth than either Chamakh or Park do.

Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. Leave a comment, and follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner

Theo to sign new deal, Hoilett, Wrighty, Fabianski and… errrr… chips.

What a wonderful suggestion…

Yesterday I had a brainwave. One of those brainwaves that turns out to be a fairly idiotic idea. I decided I would ask my Twitter followers to chose a topic, and I’d blog about the first one I got. As my followers comprise of mainly Arsenal fans, I expected such things as; transfers, Robin van Persie, the team’s chances for next season. No such luck, I have to write about chips. I’m a man of my word, so chips it is..  (Thank you, @TashaEverall)

As a young man, I embarked on a love-hate relationship with chips. Of course, I loved nothing more than the satisfying crunch of the golden crust, followed by the soothing warmth of the fluffy potato interior. But the fuckers gave me chronic acne. My formative years where filled with barren periods of emptiness – a chip-free landscape with a twinkle of hope, playfully glinting on the horizon. However, once my 20s came, and those pesky spots where a thing of the past, I could once again gorge myself into oblivion with chips. Oh sweet chips, your return was like the welcoming embrace of a loved one, or the mischievous grope of a stranger in the night. How I missed you during those times…

This is assuming Tasha meant potato chips. She could have meant the kind of pass Alex Song has made his own. Or these CHIPs:

By now, I fear my blathering might be attracting the kind of rage that could see the bloggers equivalent to Armageddon break out, so I’ll be quick with the Arsenal related stuff. Calm down, folks…

The main news surrounds Theo and the rumblings of him being on the verge of penning a new deal. Without knowing any of the actual details, a wide variety of usually reliable folks seem convinced he’ll be putting pen to paper. Good news, and given the bromance between him and Robin, hopefully another reason for the Dutchman to stay here – to keep an eye on little Theo.

The rest is mainly just tid-bits. When this time of year comes around, there are slim pickings out there. Fabianksi is rumoured to be off to newly-promoted West Ham, Wrighty gave an interview in which he states Arsenal can win the league with the correct additions made, and lastly today, Junior Hoilett of Blackburn will be headed our way in the next week or so.

I thought I’d finish up today with a poll that’ll judge just how positive/negative you lovely folks are regarding Robin’s future at the club. The options are simple, vote below:

Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. Take a moment to comment with your views on chips, or just to abuse me for wasting your time and being idiotic…

You can follow me on Twitter @_ArmchairGooner