Category Archives: Uncategorized

What If Arsene Was To Quit In The Summer?

“Shut up, Ashton, you enormous tool”

Afternoon, lovelies.

Apologies straight away as this post will lack what is my customary format. At present I’m scandalously ignoring tasks at work I ought not be to bring you today’s entry from my iPhone – a pursuit which is an abominable pain in my arse, I might add.

Thinking. That’s what I’ve been doing a great deal of since Saturday’s hapless capitulation and resulting farrago of rage and bitterness. Making sense of the whole epic mess isn’t especially easy. In fact, it’s impossible. I challenge anyone to process the events and come up with a list of rational explanations for what our eyes witnessed. I sure as hell can’t.

The interesting thing for me, at least, is the quickness in which opinion of Arsene Wenger can change, almost instantaneously in some cases. With news circulating about him intending to step down in the summer, it would appear those with hatred towards the man will get what they want. If you believe such things, that is. Continue reading

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Arsenal 12 games EPL review by SportStreaming24

Arsenal’s season has, so far, been the inverse of what we’ve come to expect from the club in recent years. Having endured difficult starts in their last couple of campaigns, only to fight their way into the top four towards the end of the season, few would have expected them to be at the top of the Premiership table with twelve games gone. The question now becomes whether or not the young team can maintain their position and eventually lift the Premiership trophy.

Arsène Wenger has been one of the most consistent managers in world football, qualifying for the Champions League in fifteen successive seasons, but for a team of Arsenal’s pedigree, people have demanded more. For years, fans were reassured that the club’s refusal to spend, even as they were overtaken by the financial might of Chelsea and Manchester City, was merely a temporary measure as they repaid the debts accrued building their new stadium. This did little to comfort them, however, as they saw the likes of Cesc Fàbregas and Robin van Persie leave the club in their hunts for silverware. Continue reading

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Nicklas Bendtner told to leave Arsenal by Denmark boss.

Departure is the best thing for all concerned.

It isn’t just 99% of Arsenal fans who want Nicklas Bendtner to leave the club in January, with Denmark manager Morten Olsen heaping pressure on the striker to leave the Emirates in a bid to find regular first team football. While throwing £1 on Bendtner to score anytime is still a tempting offer for a lot of Betfair customers throughout the land, it hasn’t helped the Dane’s hopes of establishing himself as a Gunner.

Tipped by the football betting to be right up there in contention for the Premier League title this season, Arsenal look as though they will be in the market for a new striker in January, which would further restrict Bendtner’s already limited playing time. Continue reading

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Goonersphere Podcast 3: The one with the Gooners who say “Ni!”

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Welcome to the third official Goonersphere Podcast. Your hosts are none other than yours truly and Daniel Cowan of NorthLondonIsRed

We’re joined by guests Paul Cassidy (PoznanInMyPants) and the adorable ‘Willy Crepes’ (@BergkampFlick) – up for discussion on this one is the Napoli game, my pirate accent, Jack’s smoking and the usual listeners questions. We also have an incredibly deserving ‘Pr**k of the week” and the usual features.

Enjoy, and use the comments to drop me some feedback.

podcast

Thanks for listening, you beautiful bastards.

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Goonersphere Podcast 1

“Martijn wants to do things to Willem… I wonder…”

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Welcome to the first official Goonersphere Podcast. Your hosts are none other than yours truly and Daniel Cowan of NorthLondonIsRed

We’re joined by guests:

Martijn Stolze (@hahostolze)

and

Willem Gonggrijp (@BergkampFlick)

This week we talk about the latest Arsenal results versus Marseille and Stoke, we touch on the COC game, Aaron Ramsey, our away form and the burgeoning bromance between Willem and Martijn.

Enjoy!

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Transfer troubles mask solid foundation for the Gunners to build upon

“Hmmmmm”

Arsenal have had their fair share of criticism since the opening day defeat to Aston Villa, with fans pointing at a lack of transfer activity as a significant failing of the club. Yet study the current crop of players and fans may find a reason to be optimistic about things to come.

With Arsene Wenger known to favour younger talent that can progress, there are some noteworthy players among the Gunner’s ranks. There is no one who understands the pressure on his shoulders more than Jack Wilshere. The talented midfielder has been at the club since he was nine years old, and with injuries clearing up it is hoped he can recapture his form of the 2010/11 season before lengthy spells on the sidelines. At 21 years old, he will surely carry the club forward for many years to come.

And it is not just Wilshere that should excite fans – the club has exciting young full backs in Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson. Both now push for England places for each international fixture, and again with youth on their side can cement down places in the Arsenal starting XI for the foreseeable future. There is also Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Both are fresh young British talent with Premier League experience and are full internationals – Ramsey is even the youngest Wales captain in history, just 20 years and 90 days old at the time.

Golden boy Theo Walcott, many forget, is still relatively young in footballing years. Joining the club in 2006 from Southampton at just 17, the England international’s game has improved steadily with each passing season. Now 24, Walcott produced his best ever season last time around, contributing 11 goals and 12 assists in 46 appearances. If he can carry on firing for the Gunners they will reap the rewards of his form.

It is not just home grown potential in the squad either. The likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and new signing Yaya Sanogo are emerging talent with more than positive reviews being earned with every performance.

Olivier Giroud was in sparkling form during the off season, scoring 8 goals before carrying this into the first two games with a further two for the Frenchman. Arsenal fans should also not forget, amongst their first team they possess 19 full internationals, so a bad first game of the season may not be a bleak as some make out for the Gunners after all.

This article was written by Harry from bigfreebet.com, a site dealing with free bets from sportsbooks on the web.

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I’m never sure what to say.

I’ve thought long and hard about writing this.

The Armchair Gooner’s purpose is to provide news and views about Arsenal. Yet, I consider it an extension of myself. Beneath the ridiculous and football-related veneer lurks many elements of my personality.

My Mum passed away on Saturday night aged 66 through complications associated with pneumonia. With Football nothing to me now but a trivial distraction of little meaning, my desire to blog is entirely absent.

But, those elements of my personality that creep through in my daily posts inspire me to write; to put something, anything down in words and get it out there – warts and all – for the world to see.

Perhaps some of you will feel it to be a touch self-indulgent, or a cry for attention. There’s little reason for me to be repelled by those claims as I am certain, to some, it will appear that way. However, I assure you that is not the case. Think of it as part of the grieving process. Human beings utilise many varied ways of purging themselves of pain and loss. This is mine.

Most of all, my Mum was always the one voice in many dissenters that urged me to pursue avenues such as this. She was someone impossible to dislike; a shoulder to cry on,  yet still capable of me calling an “indolent little c**t” when the time called for it.

My love for football comes directly from her. I watched and cheered my first World Cup with her. Even with her relatively small frame, she would gladly kick a ball around with my friends and I when I was growing up, and mercilessly hack the shins of anyone foolish enough to try and regain possession once she’d stolen it.

During my playing days, she’d watch from the sidelines to praise my good deeds, mock my calamitous blunders and act as my greatest champion  during moments of my self-doubt – never once failing to know exactly which mentality was correct to adopt.

She would like to know I’ve written this for her. That the people who pop by and read my daily drivel are aware of how important a figure in my life she was, and that she will be missed in ways no combination of words can aptly describe.

Most importantly, she would be happy to know that I have something that is mine, something that is flawed, silly, helpful, stupid and fun, but mine. She always used to ask about how “that football thing” was doing, and I’d reply, “Not too bad, it’s getting bigger every month”.

Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t be a blogger.

If you pop by here to read for more than just a bit of news, then you’re one of the people I do this for the most. You’re the most important readers I have. And, in a way, this post is as much for you, too. To let you know that whilst I may not return for a little while, I will be back. And I sincerely hope you’ll still be around when I do.

Thank you for all your support over the last year.

James ‘Raul’ Stokes.

 

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Fellaini for £23m, Spectacularly over-rated keeper and Uzbekistan’s finest.

“£23 million, you say…”

Morning, folks.

Today represents something of an oddity; there are quite a few stories to talk about. Granted – they’re not exactly dripping with truth, and set in tablets of stone, but I’ll take what I can get.

First up is Everton’s Belgian enforcer, Marouane Fellaini. He of the ridiculous hair has been qouted as saying he wants to move to London. Well, I say “quoted”, the article istself contains nothing in the way of actual words attributed to the player, just a concoction alleged to have come from “close friends”, which is pretty much admission of bullshit.

I think it’s a safe bet to say Arsenal are interested. The problem seems to be meeting his £23m release cause, as our parsimonious manager isn’t quite sure wether it represents value for money. In a world where Andy Carroll can move for £35m, I’d say it certainly does.

Fellaini is an excellent player. He’s tough, good on the ball, and has the positional discipline we often lack in midfield – especially when Arteta’s not there. He’d be a blinding signing for us, and at 25-years-old he has plenty of time left to improve further. Taking the step up to a club playing Champions League football is the next obvious step in his career. If Arsenal and Arsene Wenger continue to dilly-dally regarding the price, someone else is going to beat us to him. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen. We lost out on Juan Mata in similar circumstances.

As much as I hope for that to materialise, the polar opposite applies to Julio Cesar. I see nothing more than a good shot stopper capable of horrendous blunders when I watch the Brazilian play. Securing the services of an experienced keeper to keep Szczsney on his toes is certainly a good idea, and will improve the balance of the squad. There are far better options out there than Cesar. I’d go as far as saying I’d prefer we brought Eboue back to play in goal.

Lastly today, we have Odil Ahemdov, an Uzbekistan midfielder who plays for Anzhi Makakakkakakakalllakkakak (that’s right, isn’t it?).  If I’m not mistaken, this is a player we were supposedly interested in last summer, and his obscurity caused great uproar amongst fans.

It would appear those rumours have resurfaced, and Arsenal have retained their interest throughout the past year with regular scouting trips to watch him play.

Sometimes I read through certain websites around the Goonersphere whenever a player like this crops up, and there is always someone who claims to be an expert. They’ll say things like, “He’s a combative player with two good feet who plays well under pressure”  and invariably my first instinct is to think to myself, “Come on, you’re just making that up. You’ve never heard of him”.

I’m an honest kind of fellow; I wouldn’t know who he was if he burst through my window as I’m typing and urinated on my cat. To me, he is nothing more than a few videos on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player, or a signing that lacks ambition. For all we know, he’s another undiscovered gem found by Arsene Wenger. If he does sign, then he deserves that benefit of the doubt. How many of us can claim to have known that much about Santi Cazorla before he came to England?

As silly-season plods along, I find myself getting increasingly exasperated with all the spurious fluff floating around. How I long to be able to discuss football stories that have some weight and relevance. Arsenal will make signings over the summer, of that I have no doubt. Perhaps they will even be surprising and welcome. Until then, it’s all aboard the speculation express.

Buckle up.

That’s all for today, folks. The comments are waiting below as they always are. Use the to empty your thoughts and hopes regarding player ecruitment. I shall endeavour to reply to a few.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

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Morocco’s finest on the way, super-duper rumour and surviving the lull.

Marouane Chamakh decided a disguise would aid his viscous shisha habit.

Good morning everyone,

As you might expect, today is yet another dull day of little or no news. Quite why I feel the need to point out the obvious is another matter entirely. I’m sure you’ve already gathered as much. Consider my reasons no more than attempting to fill up my posts a little; there’s a minimum amount of words I go for, and I’m sure you delightful individuals wouldn’t begrudge me waffling a little – so long as I get to the point eventually. Well, sooner rather than later.

I’ll stop now.

Sorry…

The solitary nugget of information that caught my beady eye today was one of a move for Younes Belhanda of Montpellier. The highly rated Moroccan international is said to be rapidly gathering interested parties, and has stated his desire to test himself in a league bigger and more competitive than France.

I’ve seen Belhanda play a few times, and he’s always flattered to deceive in my opinion. He undoubtedly has talent on the ball, but I get the impression he’s one of those players that lacks motivation and only ups his game for the larger fixtures – the old, “could he perform on a wet February in Stoke” question springs to mind.

I’d not be too keen on us splashing the cash on this one, in all honesty. There appears far better alternatives out there, and if he’s anything like his two fellow countrymen currently plying their trade in England, then we’d be very wise to stay clear of him.

But hey; like I’ve been saying all along; it’s all part of the current speculation maelstrom we are trapped in the middle of – a whirlpool of misinformation that’s going last a few months before dropping us off back into the realms of proper football. With that in mind, I thought I’d offer up a brief bullet-point list of the things you should avoid when looking for a link to click on.

You know I love a bullet-point list…

  • Avoid the words, ‘swoop’, ‘raid’, ‘ace’, ‘smash n grab’, ‘starlet’, ‘snapping up’ and ‘huge’
  • Avoid anything with an unnecessary superlative.
  • Avoid Caught Offside as if it were the Ebola virus
  • Avoid attention grabbers like the one below:

“Wenger swoops to plot extraordinary raid for two ace starlets in astonishingly huge smash ‘n’ grab deal to snap-up talent”

  • Avoid reading any other blogs aside from this one (Okay – that’s a stretch…)
  • Avoid feeding tabloid journalists after midnight
  • Avoid posting nasty comments abusing me for me wasting your time with silly lists.

And that’s all I can muster up today. It is getting increasingly difficult to post on a daily basis and find something pertinent to discuss. Sure – I could delve into the world of tactics and statistics, but I’m not all that bothered about Mikel Arteta’s pass completion rate when he uses his left foot and wears purple underwear.

What I thought I’d do is open the floor up to you, the good folks who drop by here from time to time to have a read. The comments section is below, if you have any ideas or thoughts about something you’d like to see me write about, or a topic you’d enjoy me tackling, then please do feel free to give me a few ideas.

I’m not ashamed to admit that a little help goes a long way, and I’ll be glad to offer full credit for any ideas I use. I look forward to reading a few of your thoughts.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

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Would Cesc come back? Would we want Cesc back?

Disgruntled supporters finally storm the offices of Caught Offside.

Morning various inhabitants of this Earth.

Today is a slow, slow day out there in the Goonersphere. There is not much in the way of news – at the time of writing, that is. I always imagine an enormous story will break 20 minutes after I publish this – so I’m having something of a bout of writer’s block – or blogger’s block.

*exhales in a dejected manner*

Right, well I’ve got to think of something.

Ordinarily, I’d steer clear of the many egregious ‘ITK’ sites and Twitter accounts as they fill me with incredible rage. I say “incredible rage” but that’s an absurd overstatement. I’m not psychotic. I’m really only having a bit of a huff about it. When I make the mistake of clicking onto one of the aforementioned, I usually make an exclamation along the lines of, “BLEAUGHHHH!!” and hastily fumble with the mouse until the evil is clicked away. Today, I’m ashamed to admit, I was taken in by one.

I shan’t post a link to the page in question as I’d sooner cover my penis in Diet Coke and try to stick it into an electrical source than contribute in any way to its daily hit count, but I will tell you what you eyes saw – my heavy, shameful eyes that I’m considering gauging out. Before I proceed, however, I must make you aware of how much balderdash it contained, and I would probably believe a Nigerian prince asking for my credit card details via E-mail over its content any day of the week.

The story was all about that furry-faced rascal who still resides in my heart, Cesc Fabregas. According to one of its highly dubious ‘sources’ the feculent website claims Barcelona are eyeing up a move for Chelsea’s Juan Mata, and such a deal will leave Cesc surplus to requirement.

I have talked of this subject before. A while back I’m pretty certain I posted a similar post – I can’t be bothered to check – that may even have asked a similar question to this; would I welcome Cesc Fabregas back to The Emirates with open arms, with love in my heart and with hope for the future? You bet your ass I would.

Some folks may still feel his departure was acrimonious, but I’m not one of them. He wished to return to his homeland and his childhood club, and after 8 years of good service I did not begrudge him that in the slightest. His actions leading up to the move may not have been on par with Thierry’s teary-eyed farewell message, but I’m all for letting bygones be bygones. Unless you’re Samir Nasri. Or Emmanuel Adebayor. Or Ashley Cole. Or Robin van Persie…

If there was a chance of his return, I’d hope we went after it all guns blazing. The same article suggests the other interested party is Manchester United, and if I have to watch Cesc and Robin frolicking happily about the Old Trafford turf together, I may quit football altogether.

Of course, I should again state that the article is bollocks. But purely for the sake of discussion, it’s not the worst avenue on a slow news day. The other point worth mentioning is would Cesc come back if Arsenal were interested? I’m not so sure he woulkd. The little Spaniard has never struck me as the type to re-tread familiar ground, and I’d suggest he’d be more likely to opt for an entirely new challenge should such a situation arise.

All in all, folks – it’s just coming down to a question; would you sign him again if you were the manager and had the chance? Would you welcome him back as a supporter? The comments section of my blog is criminally underused, so today I hope you’ll flock to it like eager seagulls and drop bombs of insight and opinion for me to flick through.

I look forward to reading some.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

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