Tag Archives: Gervinho

Arsenal to let winger leave, Podcast duties and other bits.

Podcast listeners of the world unite in silent appreciation.

Morning, folks.

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently was presented with the opportunity to appear on the Bergkamp Wonderland podcast. Once mocking my mellifluous Bristolian accent was out of the way, the broadcast turned out to be really enjoyable, and very informative for you, the delicious listener.

And yes – I do get to perform one of my ‘raps’…

You can download/listen here.

As far as Arsenal news today is concerned, there’s the usual spattering of Luis Suarez vitriol, the odd burst of apologists’ lamenting and very little that’s in any way concrete. As is customary with matters of recruitment, we will all have to plunge ourselves through miles of excrement before emerging to the sweet smell of glorious truth. Think of it like Tim Robbins crawling to freedom in The Shawshank Redemption.

One player set to depart is the often maligned Gervinho. Famed more for his howling blunders in front of goal that tricky wing play, our Ivorian friend and his enormous forehead look set to leave for Italy – a £7m deal with Roma, to be precise.

Gervinho is one of those instances where it just hasn’t worked out. Those of you who have seen any of his days playing with Lyon (Edit: Lille… I’m an idiot) will know he does possess talent, and glimpses of that were the most we ever saw. He isn’t an appalling player by any means, perhaps the step up to a bigger club in a more competitive league was a little too much, and he buckled under the pressure.

At this stage, any deal to move away is the best outcome for all parties concerned. With Brazilian uber-child, Bernard being allegedly lined up as replacement, it certainly looks increasingly likely that something will happen in the next few days.

And that, my friends, is all for today. I’ve a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, and catching up on a little shut-eye currently is of paramount concern. I hope you’ll take a moment to listen to my dulcet tones on the podcast, and let me know a few of your thoughts below. Assuming you can understand a word that comes out of my mouth, that is. Us Bristolians are notoriously an incomprehensible bunch…

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

9 Comments

Filed under News

Gervinho stays, QPR stopper a possibility, and a potential starting XI for next season.

The family living next door to London Colney were growing tired of Gervinho’s attempts on goal.

Morning folks,

I’m going to have to make this brief as I’ve one of those days ahead of me. I work most Saturday’s in a kitchen as my profession doesn’t afford me the luxury of weekends off, and today presents a hectic, challenging period with sweltering conditions to contend with. Don’t ever become a Chef. Seriously.

I would like to begin with a special mention for my friend Jake and his blog Arsenation. I’ve been promising him a guest post for a little while now, but a lack of time has prevented me from doing so. Go check out his site, folks – it’s really good.

Right, onto Arsenal news.

If you weren’t defeaned by the cacophonous howls of derision when the news broke, you may not have heard that our favourite profligate Ivorian with a bizarre forehead, Gervinho, has let it be known he intends to stay at Arsenal.

Yippee…

Seriously, though; I’m not one of his greatest detractors, nor am I his staunchest supporter. If he was to be sold in the summer, I wouldn’t shed any tears, but at the same time his occasional bouts of good form do make me think there is a good player in there somewhere. If he could learn how to shoot and handle the pressure of a goal scoring opportunity, he might be very effective indeed. As far a squad players go, we could do a lot worse.

Another story I came across filled me with dread. I do not rate Julio Cesar at all, and I never have. The thought of him transferring to Arsenal and taking the No1 position fills me with terror. He does have plenty of admirers across the Goonersphere, but I get the impression it’s only I that would far rather someone else came in. The Brazilian keeper strikes me as a combination of  Desperate Dan and Manuel Almunia, and he has an aversion to crosses a certain JC from Nazareth can’t rival. We could do better. Begovic, Mignolet and Adler are all immeasurably better keepers.

(Correction, I’m not the only one. Gotta love Mean Lean)

EDIT: Sweet Lord almighty, it might actually be happening. There is a report doing the rounds – not especially legitimate, mind you – stating we’ve signed Cesar on a two-year deal.

And that’s about it. Yesterday I asked readers to give me a topic to discuss, and I was inundated with one response. I’m a man of my word, so Veer, here is what I think the Arsenal starting XI for next season might – MIGHT – look like.

Arsenal for 2013/2014?

And that’s all I have time for today. Do you have an idea of what our best 11 could look like? Let me know in the comments section.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

9 Comments

Filed under News

Gervinho, Angha, Rosicky, Szczsney, Fabianski, and blahdey blah blah…

The world’s most considerable forehead in all it’s shining glory.

Morning folks.

Today is one of those painfully slow Thursday’s. There’s no pre-match conference, no real team news ahead of the weekend’s fixture. I could talk to you about last night’s Champions League games, but, to be frank, I don’t especially care if Arsenal aren’t taking part.

Mercifully, there are a few tidbits (If you’re not a fan of really awful puns, I suggest you stop reading at once). German outfit Nurnberg  have completed the signing of Arsenal youngster Martin Angha on a 4-year deal. Some have rightfully questioned Arsene’s Angha management, and we all wish Martin well, hoping he will view his time at Arsenal with pride and not look back in Angha.

That was appalling. I’m now going to punch myself in the face…

Ouch.

Right, back now.

Two players I thought I’d briefly discuss the break up the tedium of terrible jokes and news stories are Tomas Rosicky and the enormous forehead. Our diminutive Czech playmaker will, in my opinion, play a significant part in the run-in. His ability on the ball, and, most importantly, his quickness of play has been lacking in our midfield on several occasions. When Tomas plays centrally, he speeds up the distribution and has that cunning bastard element to the passes he chooses. With Jack out for a little while longer, I think he should be the first name on the team sheet.

He even managed the unheard of feat of scoring two goals in the same game, and has been championing our chances of getting fourth place in the media. I love Tomas, I always have. It’s a shame injury has prevented us from seeing him reach his true potential.

Today’s other mention goes to Gervinho. When that name is said, my mind immediately spring to gaping nets, terrible control and a bizarre cranium. The Ivorian has been much maligned amongst the Arsenal faithful, and not without reason. Yet all of a sudden, he’s started producing, showing the odd glimpse of what he actually can do when not blundering about the field like a baby Elephant under heavy machine gun fire. Maybe, just maybe, we might start to see what all the fuss his performances in the French league was about.

The comments section is below. Drop me a line with your thoughts and opinions on those two players. Do you feel both have an important part to play? Let me know.

Lastly today, I’m going to finish with another question. Given the bosses recent choice to drop Szczsney for Fabianski, who is your ideal starter between the sticks for Arsenal next season? Would you keep faith with one of the aforementioned, or plunge into the murky depths of the transfer market for a new face? Let me know your thoughts on that, too.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow should bring team news and more of my nuggets of hilarity. Until then, thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

9 Comments

Filed under News

Theo, Sagna, Ramsey, Gervinho, January investment, and a woeful performance.

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Szczsney’s lunge proved futile. Thanks, defenders!

Afternoon folks.

Everything was plodding along nicely. Talk of ineptitude and crisis had taken a welcome hiatus, and 4 wins from 4 saw Arsenal rise up the table. The team had taken the shame of a loss to Bradford and used it to improve.

And then yesterday happens…

I’m not going to be super critical as we didn’t actually lose the game. The history books will recall an away draw, and away draws tend not to be catastrophic. However, given our recent burst of good form, I am hugely disappointed to see another performance so bereft of energy and ideas, especially given the regularity they have appeared this season. I had, perhaps rather foolishly, hoped all that was behind us.

The result itself isn’t the real problem. The manner in which we went about the game is. Southampton, for all their brave endeavour and enthusiasm, are a team we should beat.

Sagna looked weary and uninterested, Gervinho and Ramsey are hardly impact substitutes, and Theo was as bad as he was good against Newcastle. No one player can take the blame, however. Doing so is simply a cheap way of venting one’s fury. The collective attitude towards the game is the real issue, and that includes managerial staff. We simply weren’t good enough yesterday, and little can be said or done to disguise that fact. Arsene Wenger himself was less than pleased, and had these uncharacteristically harsh words to say in the press conference:

“It is two points lost if you look at the overall target we had for Christmas. It is frustrating and disappointing as we didn’t create a lot today.

“Our game lacked purpose, penetration and speed, all qualities we have usually but we didn’t see that tonight.

“Maybe we thought we scored seven against Newcastle, we thought we would score again today.

“I felt that we lacked purpose in our game and it was more mental than physical.

In the same interview, Arsene went on to rule out a Thierry Henry return, and express his desire to enter the transfer market.

Investment in the squad is needed. We have a strong first 11 that’s very good on paper. What is lacking is depth, and enough quality in reserve to be able to successfully rotate or replace. 2-3 players of experience and quality would be of a huge benefit to Arsenal.

Ruling out Thierry Henry is a good thing. Not because he isn’t up to the job, or because I want to disrespect a club legend. Because a 35-year-old ex-player who will leave in February isn’t the answer. There are far better permanent options to consider.

With Theo now looking likely to “Sign da Ting“, it would appear our interest in Zaha has fizzled away, which is a shame. Keeping Walcott on the other hand is a good thing and I hope it happens.  One option in the forward area looking quite possible is Atlectico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez, although, in typically parsimonious fashion, the Boss is baulking at the £14m releasue clause in his contract – a price that to me sounds very reasonable for a 24-year-old Spanish international.

Elsewhere it’s all just the customary collection of arbitrary names. Speculation is going to be rife in the coming weeks, and all us supporters can do is hope our manager remains true to his word. It appears we have both the desire and the finances to bring new faces into the sqaud, the only obstacle will be finding players suitably “exceptional” and a price that’s considered reasonable. That, dear reader, is where the problems may arise.

That’s all for today, folks. The comments await your views on the game, and your opinions on incoming players. How did you rate yesterday’s performance? Who would your ideal choice of transfer be? Let me know.

I shall return tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

11 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Cazorla diving, Arteta scoring, Wilshere bossing, and the welcome relief of three delicious points.

Arsenal 2-0 WBA: “Santi, you’re a very naughty boy.”

Morning folks.

Shall we get the controversy out of the way first?

Santi Cazorla dived. There’s no denying it, no trying to justify it, and no point attempting to label it as anything other than appalling becuase he’s an Arsenal player. There is especially no point is constructing spurious pictures like this one.

Had someone as thoroughly irksome as Gareth Bale done the same, we’d all be lambasting him for the egregious cheat that he is. I would like very much for a player as gifted as Cazorla to keep simulation out of his game. Santi, please don’t do it again. Please.

Regarding the incident, Arsene Wenger said:

“I am sorry if it was not a penalty, but I have spoken to Santi and he said he was touched, lost his balance. Has he made a bit more of it? I don’t know”.

“When he [a player] is touched, he goes down, the referee can give or not give the penalty. Of course I will speak to Santi if he has not been touched. I will look at it, don’t worry.”

I lose my balance quite regularly. I stumble, I need a handy table top to regain my poise. I can’t say I’ve ever writhed in apparent agony several times and screamed. I sincerely hope the Boss is true to his word and he offers Cazorla a few choice words, and a stern warning to cut it out in the future.

 On to the game itself.

I??m going for a decent, back-on-track performance and a 2-0 victory.

That’s what I posted yesterday. It’s rare that I’m accurate with my predictions, so I’ll enjoy being correct today. Arsenal’s victory certainly won’t be featuring on any highlights reel, or collection of astonishing matches. The 2-0 triumph courtesy of two Mikel Arteta penalties will be quickly forgotten.

It didn’t need to be breathtaking. It needed to just be a win. So much has been made in recent weeks of a crisis at Arsenal, that you could almost sense the media vultures circling the stadium in hope of another defeat. Problems and worries won’t be solved on the back of one result, and the important questions raised shouldn’t be forgotten. But, for the time being, it is good to have some positive notes to discuss.

The biggest highlight (other than Gervinho’s hilariously awful air-kick) was the imperious and driving performance of a Mr J Wilshere. At the heart of everything and bustling with ideas, Jack showed the kind of determination and ebullience we so often lack in the centre of the park.

It shouldn’t be underestimated how integral he will be to our season. Piling expectation and pressure on the shoulders of someone so young isn’t something I would ordinarily condone, but in this instance an exception will be made. Jack Wilshere is the real deal; a player as gifted and intelligent as you are likely to see. He can go on to be one of the greats of modern football, and I regularly thank the lord (Dennis Bergkamp) that he wears the red and white of Arsenal, and has a genuine affection for the Club.

Of course, as is customary with Arsenal players, such talents and abilities are sure to go hand in hand with an abundance of speculation. I’m already prepared. Over the coming close-seasons, there’s going to be plenty of alleged advances from the mega-rich. Call me a blind optimist, but I have this feeling that Jack is different to the others; he really does love Arsenal. For the sake of my sanity, I refuse to believe anything else.

And that’s all for today, folks. Sunday morning means yet another day working twelve hours because December is such a stupid time of the year for those of us who chose Chef as a profession. I’ve the tedium and frustration of that lurking on the horizon. At least I head toward such horrors with the warm, fuzzy feeling of victory in my belly.

The comments section is below. Your thoughts and opinions of the game and the diving incident are, as always, greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

3 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Arsenal’s starting XI for the game against Montpellier.

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday Nov 21st, Montpellier (h)

Afternoon folks.

With all the hullabaloo and outrage surrounding Chelsea’s, quite frankly, absurd sacking of Roberto Di Matteo today, most of the footballing world is focussed in the direction of that. As the media circus goes into overdrive, us Gooners have far more important things to concern ourselves with. We’ve the opportunity to cement our place in the elimination rounds of the Champions League tonight.

A win tonight is very important. A draw or defeat wouldn’t necessarily see us go out of the competition, but a poor result would leave us in the less-than-desirable position of heading to Olympiakos in need of a result. Given the tricky nature of that fixture, it’s best we do the job tonight.

There’s the usual mixed bag of team news tonight. Gibbs and Gervinho return to the sqaud, which is good. Walcott will play no part thanks to a bad shoulder, Andre Santos has a “stomach complaint” (I presume that it’s too big),  and there is talk of the fatigued Santi Cazorla being rested, which isn’t ideal.

If Cazorla is indeed rested, and Gibbs is fit enough to start, I’d guess we’ll line up like this:

Montpellier are a useful team, and they’ve still the faint hope of a Europa League spot to play for in the group. In the away fixture, they put us under a lot of pressure in periods, and they’ve a few players who’ll be a handful. I expect them to approach the game with a less attack minded set up tonight, hoping to expose a few of our defensive frailties on the counter.

Saturday’s win was splendid, but North London derbies count for little when it comes to form. If we are to build on that, we need to get a win tonight. We’ve a good team available, against opposition we are expected to dispatch comfortably; usually a combination that spells Arsenal doing something silly.

That said, I’m confident of a win. Twatting Spurs 5-2 can do wonders for confidence, and the players should be brimming with it. If we play to our potential and concentrate at the back, we’ll win. I’m going to predict a comfortable 2-0 to the Arsenal.

What are your predictions? How would you like to see the team line up? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. I’ll be back tomorrow with a review on the match.

If you’re looking to place a bet on the game, and you’d like a wide variety of odds, head on over to Bet Victor.

Arsenal vs Montpellier odds.

26 Comments

Filed under Match previews

Gervinho, Santos, Gnabry, Arshavin, Wenger, and another cauldron of sh*t.

UEFA Champions League; Arsenal 0-2 Schalke

*Hmmphh*

I ordinarily would great you with a chipper, “morning folks”. Not today.

I hated the piece I wrote on Sunday after the Norwich defeat. Not because of how it was written, but due to what it contained; anger and pessimism. I like to think I’m a fairly positive soul; I try to look at the good things before I deconstruct and evaluate the bad. I wrote that piece just after the game – as I am this one – and left it unchanged because I believe blogging should be an honest pursuit; one that shows your emotional side, and isn’t compromised by sitting on the fence.

Point being, and this is certainly open to answer; how am I supposed to be positive, when the team I love are showing me only things that arouse my negative side?

I was prepared to put Saturday’s performance down to ‘one of those days’ – the kind where all that can go wrong does, and things just don’t click. Then I sat through that unrelenting shower of shit last night, and it was far worse. Not worse because we lost, but it exceed the direness of the weekend purely because of the fact we knew a reaction was needed, and it didn’t come. There was no urgency, cohesion, enthusiasm or guile. We had to wait until the 93rd minute when we were 2-0 and the game was over to record a shot on target.

Gervinho and Andre Santos were woeful. Playing the Ivorian as a striker has to stop. His all-round contribution wasn’t close to being half-decent, and he topped off his fiasco with an abomination of a dive.  We had more than enough theatrics when Eboue was here, thank you very much.

Andre Santos appears to have taken a crash course at the Gael Clichy school for playing people onside, and generally falling over when faced with an opponent. I like the Brazilian as an attacking option, but defensively, he simply isn’t good enough. He’s had the odd good game here and there, but nothing to convince me otherwise. If I was the boss, I’d be seriously looking at playing Koscielny and Mertesacker in the centre, and Vermaelen at left back. Schalke knew he was a weak point, and went after him. Podolski, usually an able runner, didn’t offer him enough help, either.

Of course, I’m not blaming the defeat on those two players. Arsenal were collectively bad, with perhaps only Mertesacker having a reasonable game. Errors came from all angles. For example, why wait until 82 minutes to introduce Ganbry and Arshavin when it was only too apparent some players needed to be replaced? What can we possibly expect them to do in 8 minutes? – ironically, Gnabry did more of note in his first 20 seconds on the field than Gervinho managed in 75 minutes.

For the first time, I’m starting to feel genuinely concerned about our prospects. At the start of our campaign, things looked rife with potential. Those thoughts are rapidly giving way to doom and gloom. There has to be something done. Arses have to be kicked, and those not pulling their weight and continuously under performing have to be told. Arsene can’t allow a quiet period of cogitation in which the players can think about their short comings. He needs to hit them with some home truths.

I hope that’s what he will do. I hope it will be done sooner rather than later. I shouldn’t be worrying about a home game against QPR on Saturday. Because of last night, I am.

That’s all for today folks. What did you think? Are you alarmed by how utterly shit-awful Arsenal were? Do you have a positive view on the game? Are you angry at just how familiar and predictable all this is? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, my fellow miserable so-and-sos…

16 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Mertesacker, Gervinho, Giroud, Cazorla, Mannone, Ramsey and a cauldron of sh*t.

FA Premiership: Norwich City 1-0 Arsenal                                      Lukas decided it was the appropriate time to show his affection for the Norwich players.

Afternoon folks.

It’s difficult to know where to begin. I’ve spent today having to endure some pretty woeful attempts at humour from workmates – Delia Smith remarks, my splitting sides – and I’m still in something of a state of shock after yesterday’s fiasco. I didn’t see it coming; I didn’t think we would go into a game we should win and be so unfathomably awful.

Had Norwich turned in a classic underdog performance, and beat us through will and spirit, I’d still be annoyed, but more likely to understand. They didn’t, in fact; they were fairly pedestrian at best. They got the result because Arsenal didn’t turn up, because, as Arsene himself admitted afterwards, “we perhaps underestimated them a bit”.

I didn’t much care for that remark. Arsene should have simply addressed the press with honesty, “we were bloody awful, and some players will be getting a dressing down”. To admit – partially – to complacency and a lack of preparation makes him, and the team, appear unprofessional. The early part of the season has seen us put in some encouraging performances. Yet it would appear our propensity for calamitous displays is still very much alive and kicking. It may be early days, but if sufficient work isn’t done to eradictae such an ability to fuck things up at a moments notice, we’ll be looking at another empty-handed season. It may sound pessimistic of me to say so, but it is true.

As for the players, I would say only Arteta and Jenkinson appeared mildly interested. The rest were dreadful – lacking basic drive and enthusiasm. Cazorla looked sluggish, Ramsey was catastrophically bad in possession, Mertesacker looked nervy and tired, and Gervinho and Giroud showed the kind of ruthlessness in front of goal you’d expect from a kitten. Worst of all was Mannone. It’s tough for me to be too hard on him, but he simply isn’t good enough to be starting for a Premiership side – let alone one with alleged title aspirations. Szczsney can’t come back quick enough.

I hate having to moan. I really do. I’d much prefer to be gleaning more positives from a comprehensive victory. When Arsenal want to play, we’re a match for anyone. It’s when we do what we did yesterday I despair. Any team hoping to challenge for the league has to win games like that – perform badly and still come away with something. I’m hoping it turns out to be nothing more than a momentary blemish, and one that will be soon forgotten. Yet it will always be there; that nagging sensation in the back of my mind that we’ll push self destruct the moment things start to look good. We can ill afford too many more instances like that.

That’s all for today folks. The comments are below if you’d like an avenue to vent your frustrations. Who’s performance was the worst? Does the defeat worry you, or are you confident in our ability to bounce back? Let me know.

Thanks for reading, you splendid little units.

26 Comments

Filed under Match reviews

Abou, Mikel, Gervinho, Jack, Chelsea and Robin for the PFA award.

"I'm not letting you go. Contract or no contract".

Friday morning greetings, regular reader.

Firstly, apologies for the lack of any post yesterday. On occasion, my work and personal life will conspire to prevent me from having the time to write. Those instances will, hopefully, be few and far between. It was nice to hear some of you missed my daily contributions and I thank you all for your support.

Right, on to The Arsenal.

Most of the news in centred around our bare minimum midfield at present. By now, you’ll all be aware that Mikel Arteta is ruled out for the remainder of the season with ankle ligament damage. The Spaniard has steadily grown into a vital player at the centre of the team, so obviously it’s a big blow.

Abou Diaby is back in full training and managed a full 45 minuted as the reserves played out a 1-0 victory against an Oman XI. Some reports are filtering through that he picked up another injury playing in that game which will prevent him from being available for Saturday. I doubt he would have been involved from the start, but given the paucity of options available to Wenger at the moment, a place on the substitutes bench did seem likely.

There are some that believe Diaby should be sold or moved on if his injuries continue. His problems appear interminable, and paying a substantial wage to a player unable to feature regularly is money wasted when it could be put to better use elsewhere. I agree with that to an extent. Diaby himself isn’t to blame, and I feel for him. He’s got talent in spades, and with a bit of luck, he could be a really good player for us. I’d give him next season, and if the same troubles are there, seriously consider cutting our losses.

Jack Wilshere is sensibly being omitted from Euro 2012. However, there are rumours he will be selected for the Olympics squad. Wenger has advised him against playing. Jack loves his football, and he loves his country. I think he could very well turn out for the Great Britain side. I hope he doesn’t. That time would be far better served allowing him to get re-accustomed to his teammates at Arsenal.

Elsewhere, Gervinho has been having a chin-wag with the press, talking of his pride and Arsenal’s form. He said:

“In life you will always be criticised. We had to prove to the people who didn’t believe in us that we were able to come back by playing well on the pitch.

“The result is here today. Our progression during the season speaks for itself on the pitch.

“We want to be among the top three. The whole group is very motivated and we are already happy to be where we are.

“We can still do better with the four matches coming. We are fighting only for third place, we don’t think about fourth spot.

“Everybody is determined to fight until the end, from the players and the manager to the fans, to maintain third place. If we manage to keep it then everybody should be proud because we fought very hard for it.”

I like Gervinho. Like Bobby Pires, I see him as a very affective 2nd-season player. If he works of his finishing over the summer and grows in confidence, he’ll do some really damage. He has all the attributes to succeed, it’s just a mental block.

Lastly today, the PFA Player of the Year awards are out, and there can be only one winner in my eyes. Yes, I’m extremely biased, but if anyone can give me a more deserving candidate than Robin van Persie, I’d be happy to hear their reasons. Our Dutch captain has run through and used up the book of superlatives. I think he richly deserves the recognition.

That’s all for today, folks. Chelsea preview and team news will be headed your way tomorrow. I might be one of the few, but I wasn’t all that impressed with their performance against Barcelona. Sure, they defended well, but I can see them getting a hammering at the Nou Camp if Barca really turn it on.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Take a moment to comment and follow my Twitter account – @_ArmchairGooner

Leave a Comment

Filed under News

Stephane, Per, Gervinho, Thomas and Monday morning blues.

Dear diary,

Is it wrong of my to covet the advances of an older man? Le-Yu Wong may be an 83-year-old retired general in the Vietnamese army, his family may fear I wish only to exploit him for his vast fortune accrued smuggling heroin into America, but I believe our love is pure. When he barks orders, his voice is like an enchanting, mellifluous arrow through my heart. When his gentle, diminutive hands explore every inch of my body, I feel complete in both mind and soul. When he touches my pen………

Shit! This is the wrong blog. Quick, James! Cross that bit out and act like nothing has happened…

Morning, folks.

As a means of keeping up with my desired posting time of 9am, and because the constraints of work don’t always allow me to scribe on the day itself; I’m writing this whilst watching the African Cup of Nations final between Ivory Coast and Zambia. It’s not a classic by any means, but there are some good players on show and I’m quite enjoying it. Gervinho has done a fair bit of running around without doing anything of any note. Let’s hope he doesn’t get injured… Oh, hold-on, he’s just won a penalty… Drogba’s taking it… Opps, that was unbelievably shit-awful!

Quick update:
Zambia won the crown of African champions on penalties. Gervinho missed one. Twitter is awash with idiots claiming his confidence will be shot to oblivion, and he’ll return a broken shadow of his former self. Let’s give the poor guy a chance, yeah? I feel sorry for him. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. Failure can spur people on to achieve great things.

On to more pressing concerns…

The world of Arsenal is deafeningly quiet today. There’s been little or no news to report. A few rumours have been circling various outlets claiming Sunderland’s impressive Stephane Sessegnon has played himself onto our shortlist of players we’d like to snap-up. The Sunday Express claim we’d be willing to offer £12m and Nicklas Bendtner to secure his services. Yep, you saw that right; the greatest striker on Earth is an add-on in a proposed transfer. How the mighty have fallen. Sessegnon is a good player, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t help but think we could do a fair bit better at that price if we shop elsewhere.

Per Mertesacker’s injury is currently a mystery. Most seem to think it’s a season-ender, Wenger said yesterday he felt it was ligament damage to the ankle and the club await the results of a scan to confirm. He will definitely miss the game at the San Siro on Wednesday. It’s a great shame as he was starting to show some good form, and I believe his calming influence on the back four and experienced head often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Fortunately, it’s coincided with the return of Kieran Gibbs and enables Vermaelen to rejoin Koscielny in the centre.

Speaking of Vermaelen, he’s hardly enamoured with having to play at left back, by all accounts. The Verminator had this to say:

??I am fed up playing at left-back, I don??t think I am good there. I want to achieve my highest level and I can??t do that on the left.?

??I play there to help the team but it gives me no satisfaction as I can??t reach my best standard. I do my job but seldom feel content after matches. If the team wins I am happy, but it remains frustrating.?

Can’t say I blame him. He is arguably the best centre back at the club, and he’s being played out of position. I’d rather our players were aiming towards constant improvement of themselves. With Mertesacker out, he’ll soon be back where he belongs, and I think he could form a very good partnership with Koscielny.

And that my friends, is about all there is. As the game on Wednesday gets closer, they’ll be comment from inside the camp and team news for me to cast a critical eye over. But until then, thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. There’s a section below for your comments and you can keep up with my nonsense on Twitter – _ArmchairGooner.

I’m going to finish on a slightly different note today. My colleague in armchair reporting, and the guy I pilfer outrageously from when I need a good review of The Arsenal, Tim Liew writes a really interesting piece occasionally called The Nostalgia Jukebox. His musical tastes may differ wildly from my own, but it’s a inventive idea and well worth a few moments of your time. Check it out.

2 Comments

Filed under Arsenal