The Armchair Gooner

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

Raheem Sterling? No Thanks…

The scene of the crime

Morning, folks. 

I had a peculiar dream last night involving the most significant landmark in my native Bristol: Clifton Suspension Bridge. I say “dream”, but that may be doing it something of a disservice. It was a night terror – the type that leaves you bewildered a good 30-40 seconds after waking up. 

In the usually tranquil setting of my unconscious mind I had parked across the centre of the road causing traffic to come to a standstill whilst horrified members of the public watched as I threw Hull City’s entire first team squad off in alphabetical order (Huddlestone was a struggle).

Quite why I dreamt this is beyond me. I have no ill-feeling toward Hull and nothing but ambivalence towards their players. Perhaps there’s some profound meaning to be extracted by a trained mental professional… Alas, I’m utterly at a loss to explain where it came from and thought it warranted sharing. 

So… 

Today I thought I’d talk about the hullabaloo and rapture surrounding Raheem Sterling. 

The situation reminds me of Nicolas Anelka’s acrimonious departure to Real Madrid: talented, petulant young player with greedy advisors. I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of the situation anywhere near as much as a dedicated Liverpool fan might. But from the outside looking in, it certainly appears that way. 

Arsene Wenger is known to be an admirer of Sterling. Taken purely on footballing ability, the kid certainly has talent in abundance. However, troubles begin to appear when you look at his attitude. To be quite frank, if I was a Liverpool fan I’d be happily rid of him. 

A 20-year-old with little or no accomplishments within the game has no right to critique the manner in which his Club is being run. Then you look at the alleged comments made by his agent, Aidy Ward, to the London Evening Standard;

“I don’t care about the PR of the club and the club situation,
“I don’t care. He is definitely not signing. He’s not signing for £700,000, £800,000, £900,000 a week,
“He is not signing. My job is to make sure I do the best with them (my clients). If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised it does not matter.”

Those remarks have since been denied.  However, I feel there’s a huge proportion of truth to them.  Aidy Ward’s job is to secure the highest amount of commission for himself in a move for his client, and those comments only make it appears a move is being forced. 

Most importantly of all, I wouldn’t want to see Sterling at Arsenal because I don’t think he would be anything other than an unnecessary purchase. We have players who operate in his position that are of an extremely high standard and those still to show their full potential – Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gnabry – are players I’d sooner see given a chance to do so. 

Other areas of the team are more important. 

Our business over the coming months is sure to be interesting. I don’t believe we will see another marquee addition to rival Ozil and Sanchez. The nucleus of our squad is very strong. If Arsene Wenger opts to spend a significant amount I believe it wil be to improve either our goalkeepers or central midfield. There could very well be a surprise, but, all things considered, I can’t see us wrestling with Liverpool to sign a player for what would be a hugely inflated fee and for a player we don’t need. 

That’s all for today, folks. The comments are below – do you think we need Sterling? Let me know. I’ll be back soon. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. 

The Dangers Of Alexis Sanchez And World Cup Wonderment.

Trapped, alone; it all got too much for Alexis Sanchez

Morning, delicious Earth creatures.

It’s nice to be back. As I always state when addressing you all after a prolonged absence; things have been hectic and troublesome for me in previous weeks. Such is the jarring regularity of irksome occurrences, my personal life has descended into an obstacle course in which I need every faculty at my disposal to avoid frequent bouts of madness and frustration. To cut a meandering story short; it has been a tough couple of weeks.

But, hey – you’re not here to read about my problems, nor do you particularly care. You fine folks are here to immerse yourself in Arsenal related offerings. Along with the World Cup, across the glorious Twitterverse much debate rages on about transfers. It’s always bloody transfers, isn’t it? Transfers, transfers, transfers. Bloody transfers. Even that word has become a little annoying, such is the regularity with which my peepers peruse stories of its ilk. Continue reading

Hansen, Gerrard, Jimmy Saville; Your Boys Took One Hell of A Beating.

Michael Thomas. Hero.

Greeting, fair peruser.

Today marks the anniversary of Anfield ’89.

Beneath the plethora of tat I’ve accumulated over the years on my travels lurked the DVD of that very event and I watched it in bed last night (without the accompaniment of masturbatory bliss, before any of you nefarious scallywags makes the assumption…). There’s so much that stands out; the swagger of the Liverpool players who assumed they’d won, that fabulous away kit Arsenal wore, my wincing every time the ball was passed back to John Lukic as I’d completely forgotten the pass-back rule wasn’t introduced at that time.

Most of all, I recall the sensation that match gave me as a child. Utter breathless euphoria swept over me once Thomas had “charged” through the midfield to snatch victory from Liverpool’s grasp in the most spectacular way.  Continue reading

Fabianski, Ozil, Sanogo and The Ox Shine as Arsenal Progress.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is a little pleased with himself.

Morning, folks.

When I saw the team sheet for yesterday’s fixture, I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it. I knew the rotation was coming, with Bayern coming to town on Wednesday a few changes was inevitable. Call me a soppy old romantic, if you will, but the FA Cup still holds significant sentimental value for me. I didn’t really feel too glum about the selection or those involved, just a little disappointed by the absence of a few players. As it turns out, other than Szczesny, the changes were largely forced upon Arsene.

The team that took to the field might not have been out strongest 11, but it was an exciting team with a few eye-catching performances. Yayo Sanogo made his full debut and whilst still very raw, certainly caught the eye with an impressive debut. He’s a big lad with a decent touch and he gave Agger and Skrtel all kinds of problems, comfortably out-muscling both on numerous occasions to such an extent they began to resort to cheap fouls. Continue reading

FA Cup: Liverpool (h) – Thoughts, Team News and Predicted Starting XI.

Bad, bad, bad day at the office.

Morning, folks.

As I might have mentioned a few times in the past, my gainful employment puts me in close proximity to 3 fevered Liverpool fans. The previous week hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs. Far from it, in fact; the taunts are interminable and predictably insipid. They’ve been relentless, and maddeningly so.

Arsenal should be out for revenge today; to put right one of the worst performances in recent history; to progress forward in a cup competition we stand a very good chance of winning and to make my working life immeasurably more bearable – being able to return some of the “bantz” would be extremely enjoyable at this point.

Shortness of time and the desire to have some breakfast before heading out means I intend to make this little preview relatively short. I touched on some of the team news yesterday, and not much has changed since then. Continue reading

van Persie returns, Mourinho’s Snide Blathering and Early Liverpool Bits.

News explosion!

Morning, folks.

Yesterday there was an eruption. It was an explosion of news and most of it was of the silly variety. There were no fabulous moments of blinding clarity or life-affirming statements from ethereal creatures ordained by god to share their message of enlightenment. This is the world of Arsenal on the internet; it was mostly balderdash and stuff that irritates.

We’ll deal with the balderdash first.

You know those folks who claim to have insider knowledge and say things like:

“I’ve got huge news about Arsenal. Will tell you all in 3 days. It’s a mega exclusive.”

They get right up my arse. They really do. I know, I know – allowing anything that’s said online to wind you up is essentially an act of monumental futility. Where possible I try to just ignore it, but sometimes I can’t. Continue reading

Balotelli to Sign (Rumours), Daley Blind, Velociraptors and Stuff.

“Errr, Help…”

Morning, folks.

As we wind down from disappointment and look forward to an FA Cup tie with Liverpool on Sunday, the news in between invariably drops off. Sometimes, I kinda like this; having nothing of any particular note usually brings out my creative side and gives me the freedom to write pretty much anything I please.

I’m fully aware that upsets some folks, but, hey – there are plenty of Arsenal blogs out there that are serious and provided statistics and such things. This is one of the sillier publications I’m afraid. On that note, I’m going to discuss the latest ‘big name’ rumour doing the rounds – these stories don’t stop, regardless of the time of year – Mario Balotelli’s representatives are alleged to have met with Arsene Wenger to thrash out a deal. Continue reading