The Armchair Gooner

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

£25m bid for Griezmann and Jack misses 6 weeks.

“6 WEEKS?!”

Afternoon, folks.

There’s some extra bits of news today I thought, seeing as I have a little burst of free time, I’d share with you, if you’ve not already read of the events (you most probably have).

Firstly, the injury curse that has struck Arsenal with such maddening regularity has once again reared its hideous face and removed Jack Wilshere from the team. Whilst on utterly pointless international duty with England, Jack sustained a hairline fracture to the navicular bone in his left foot and is expected to miss the next 6 weeks of football, a spell that sees us face several very important fixtures. Continue reading

Replacements for Theo and adding insult to injury.

From afar, people gathered to watch the Internet explode.

Morning, all.

Remember what I was saying yesterday about an unexpected and huge news story appearing out of the blue to give us something to talk about until Monday’s game at Villa? It happened. I wish I hadn’t said anything.

By now, all of you will be fully aware that we’ve lost Theo Walcott for 6 months through a large piece of misfortune. At times like these, there are many choices of word or phrases that are apt. For example, a Gooner reading the news for the first time might exclaim, “dash unfortunate all this business” or perhaps, “Shame, poor Theo“. After a few moments careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that only two very simple words serve to perfectly summarise the collective feeling amongst supporters of Arsenal:

“F**king hell….”

Bloody typical, isn’t it. Continue reading

BALLS: Theo Walcott faces 6 months on the sidelines.

See you next season, Theo. Get well soon.

Evening, boys ‘n’ girls.

I don’t usually dedicate posts to news as it happens, but this one felt like something in need of reporting. I’m sure you’ve all heard the bloody awful news of the injury to Theo Walcott’s knee that will see him out for the rest of the season and quite probably the World Cup in Brazil.

It’s a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament to his left knee sustained during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Spurs, and it’s a terrible shame. Having just regained a starting place in the team and getting regularly amongst the goals, Theo’s season has been cut short just when it started to show signs of great promise. From an Arsenal perspective – I’m not all that concerned about England – it means we carry on our push for the title without a player capable of scoring very important goals. Continue reading

Arteta doubtful for Newcastle, more new kit pictures and thoughts ahead of the weekend.

Gervinho looked on in awe as Mikel managed to kick a ball towards that huge, scary rectangular thing with a net.

Morning Goonery boys ‘n’ girls.

Friday seems to consistently throw up bad news. Today is no different. Mikel Arteta’s solid and diligent performances in midfield are rightly credited as being the strength of our recent resolve. Like Gilberto Silva, he is often an unsung hero; his unflashy yet imperative work often goes unnoticed.

So it’s bloody bad news that our Spanish friend is highly unlikely to take part against Newcastle due to a particularly inconvenient calf problem. Currently he is being assessed by the club’s medical staff – who, I presume, can afford to take 5 minutes away from Abou Diaby – and we should know more about his chances at some point today.

If he does indeed miss out on the trip to St James’ Park, Arsene Wenger will have to decide wether it is worth risking Jack Wilshere from the start of the game. If he doesn’t, I can only assume Cazorla and Rosicky will play centrally with Ramsey doing the mopping-up behind. Giroud will be available having served his suspension, so Podolski will be able to drop back to the left of our attacking triumvirate.

That’s all speculative, however, and we will know a great deal more as the big fixture approaches. And that’s about the entirety of Arsenal stories. There are a few transfer rumours floating around, but nothing worth a mention. Most of what you see is the kind of guff that a certain site (Think; Emmanuel Adebayor is constantly…..) puts up with those irritating titles like,

“Hey!! Click Here! We want you to believe your favourite team are planning a mega, super, awesome, incredible, fantastic, daring, audacious, phenomenal double swoop for two Brazilian footballers that will cost a whopping £400m!! Please click on or site! Please!”

That same feculent rag attempted to take credit for this picture of a rather superb mock-up of what one of our kits might look like when Puma begins their sponsorship in 2014:

Puma and Arsenal: What it could be.

As it was pointed out yesterday on Le Grove, the person actually responsible, and the one that deserves the credit in full for a lovely bit of work is a very talented individual with the Twitter handle, @LAGVILAVA7. If you needed any more proof of the website I shan’t name’s utter abhorrence, then you have it.

And I think that’s were I shall leave it for today. With Sunday’s game approaching fast, I’m starting to feel the occasional burst of nerves, and my morning ablutions are less forgiving than usual. To say we have to win is something of an understaement. Failure to do so, to fall short and finish behind Spurs, to be dumped unceremoniously into the Europa League whilst that mob play with Europe’s elite, is unthinkable to me.

The very thought is about as appealing as attending a sex dungeon with John Terry as your date. In fact, I’m going to cease from mentioning it now, and punch myself repeatedly in the testicles until the resulting agony wipes my memory of this post.

All that is left if for me to point you toward the comments. Although – if you leave one I will have to come back to read it and be reminded of what I’ve said. And that means I’ll have no choice but to repeat the punching-testicles memory wipe. And that means I’ll come back should there be another comment…

This might go on forever. Don’t leave a comment.

As always, thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Arsenal’s starting XI for the game against Manchester City (team news and preview).

Sunday Jan 13th; FA Premiership, Man City (h)

Afternoon folks.

There’s something about these ‘big’ fixtures that instills more belief in me for my team. Had we been lining up today against lower league minnows, or one of the Premiership’s so-called “lesser” teams, I’d be nervous and expecting something silly to happen. With the current title holders coming to town, my belief stems from the fact our players have a challenge to rise to, and our home support will be vociferous and constant.

The news on the playing front is very good. Only Lukas Fabianski remains on the sidelines, with Diaby and Santos both thought to have regained enough fitness in training to warrant a selection today. Only Olivier Giroud is doubtful, and he faces a late fitness test on a nasty gash suffered in last week’s FA Cup tie with Swansea.

Our team selection has been fairly consistent in recent weeks, and I expect Arsene to change little – perhaps again opting for the Vermaelen-Koscielny combination he deployed in the reverse fixture in Manchester.

We could/should/will line-up as follows:

UPDATE: Arteta ruled out with injury – Coquelin expected to start in his place.

City have a few notable absentees. The Toure brothers are away with the Ivory Coast for the AFCON, Sergio Aguero is injured, and Samir Nasri’s recent dismissal means he has to sit this one out – given his recent hollow words of debt towards Arsene Wenger it’s probably best for the irksome little mercenary.

With 2 games in hand over Spurs, a win today will do wonders for our chances of making the Champions League spots. Victory will require a focused team performance with attacking verve and enthusiasm. We are more than capable of beating Manchester City if we collectively turn up todasy. However, as is customary with this Arsenal team, a poor performance like so many we have witnessed will almost certainly end with defeat.

I’m confident today, and I think Podolski will bag the winner in a 1-0 triumph.

If you fancy putting some money down on the result, head over to Bet Victor. £25 worth of free bets awaits those of you that sign up a new members. You can register here.

Arsenal vs Man City odds.

That’s all for today folks. The comments await your thoughts on the team; what way would you line up? Would you start with a fit Giroud instead of Walcott? Let me know.

I shall return tomorrow with a review of the game. Thanks for reading today.

Arteta, Koscielny, stuff, bits, blog comments, and general boredom.

Mikel froze with terror when he noticed a hair out of place.

Morning all.

As you may already know, it is customary for me to write posts at night and schedule them for the following morning. Whilst typing away in the small hours, my mind does tend to wander. Currently, I’m pondering Mikel Arteta’s grooming regime. How does his hair remain so perfect? Wether it be rain, or a force-9 gale; never is a single strand misplaced. Does he have a dedicated team that tend to it?  What products does he use? Does a man of his wealth import exotic treatments from across the globe?

I have so many questions. I could go on, but I shall spare you.

I’m a huge fan of Mikel. His signing has been inspired, and he’s right up there with the names you’d have first on any list of starters. Since Alex Song has left, we’ve looked a far better team when anchored by a player who understands his role in the team, and plays for the others around him before he does himself. I really can’t express just how impressed with him I have been.

He also seems to be thriving on the responsibility that comes with being an experienced member of the squad. Talking to Arsenal Player, he said:

“On the pitch and away from it I have been trying to behave the way I think we should, because I think we have a big responsibility [as footballers],”

“Not only for ourselves but for what we represent to other people. We are in a very lucky position and we have to take advantage of that and use it in the right way. Sometimes we make too many mistakes!”

“I am still 30, and I’m used to playing with guys who are 34, 35 and 36, but at Arsenal when you get to that age you are one of the oldest, if not the oldest!”

“It’s a bit funny, but you know inside yourself that you have that responsibility and there are kids who are 17 and 18 and they are looking to you.”

When you consider the image set by certain feculent scumbags who play for Chelsea, it is refreshing to hear a model professional like Arteta speak of the responsibility the players have. Better still, it’s good to have someone as thoroughly decent as him in our ranks. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone.

Elsewhere in news, Laurent Koscielny’s injury appears to have been one big fuss over nothing. Not only is it minor, but he’s expected to turn out for France today – or is it Saturday? I’m never sure when all the international’s start. Good news he’s fit, as I’m sure you’ll all agree.

Lastly today, I thought I’d mention blog comments. Yesterday I had to delete around 30 that were from disgruntled readers – most of whom were intent on calling me a nasty word beginning with ‘C’. I’m as open to abuse as anyone who puts their thoughts on the internet, so you’ll hear no complaints. But come on; can’t you think of something a little better than that? I’ll happily authorise good insults. If it helps, you can always mention my ridiculous haircut, or my many grammatical blunders.

Most of all, don’t always take everything I say seriously – I rarely am. And please don’t take offence when I call you “beautiful bastards” – that’s only ever meant as a term of endearment. Without you, the delicious reader, I’d just be an idiot talking to himself in a corner of the internet. I appreciate every one of you – even those of you that think I’m a c**t…

Now that’s said, I shall leave you for the day. I’m off work and feeling chipper now my man-flu has passed. I shall return tomorrow with more.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

The entire Arsenal first team is injured on international duty.

The medical staff welcomed Laurent back to Arsenal.

Morning, folks.

Injuries. International break. Inevitable.

Yesterday, there was one of those injuries, and it befell Laurent Koscielny. At the time of writing this – last night for today – actual details of the severity of Laurent’s ailment were far from clear. He was carried off by the French medical staff having received a heavy blow to the leg in a challenge with Ribery and his grotesque mug. Once the news broke on Twitter, the details filtered out like this:

“OMG KOSCIELNY IS OUT FOR 6 MONTHS!”!

Quickly followed by:

“Don’t worry. Koscielny’s injury is thought to be only a small knock”

And the informations swiftly reverted to:

“Koscielny! Out for months! Bad knee! He’s hurt! Damn you, France!”

It’s really difficult for anyone to say how bad it is with any degree of accuracy just after it’s occurred, and most of the larger tabloids report it’s not his knee, but his calf that’s the area of concern – have a look here. Of course, it does serve me with great reminder of just how much I despise the international break, and why. We’re forced into sending our players out to feature in pointless games that nobody really gives a shit aboutbe honest: do you really concern your self with international qualifiers at all? There always seems to be one that comes back hurt.

The same things seem to happen to Arsenal with painful regularity. There are times I assume we’ll be seeing an injury list as long as my arm once the good stuff begins again.One day, I imagine the official site will report a list of ailments sustained whilst away such as this:

  • Koscielny: knee
  • Cazorla: ruptured brilliance
  • Giroud: Gaelic fatigue
  • Vermaelen: over-chiseled jaw
  • Gibbs: dismemberment
  • Diaby: implosion
  • Walcott: slightly chaffed undergarment line.
  • Gervinho: expanded forehead
  • Podolski: calcium overdose
  • Mertesacker: fell from sky above beanstalk
  • Sagna: killed by Danny Glover

All sustained playing for their respective countries.

Of course, there’s nothing we can do about it. The club, the fans, the cleaners; we may all wish it could be outlawed and banished for good, but it’s always going to be there – lurking in wait for Arsenal to hit form. I’m sure you’ll all join me in hoping there are no more to follow, and hope that Kos’ damage is minor.

Other than that, the world of Arsenal news is again at a premium. There’s not much at all floating around that warrants discussion or mention. As the days plod by, as football of note appears once more on the horizon, fragments of interest will emerge to tantalise us. Until that happens, column inches will be taken up with speculation, drivel, and national papers discussing whether or not John Terry and Ashley Cole should play for England – as if there is any discussion to be had regarding the two most deplorable human beings ever to disgrace the sport we love.

That’s all for today, folks. I hope you forgive my silly attempts at humour and propensity for blathering. Below the comments await you. Yes, YOU. Feel free to open a discussion, drop me a line, make insulting remarks about my blog, or just say something humorous and inventive. Whatever your choice may be, I look forward to reading it – maybe not the insults. I have a heart, you know…

Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.