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News Now?

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 56 Guns

It’s been a long time, but I should now be back with the lovely NewsNow. I say “should” – If I’m not, I’ll look a right pillock.

First, congratulations to Vik Akers’ womens’ side, who took the League Cup with a 3-0 victory over rivals Charlton, with Faye White hitting an absolute scorcher for the third. Apparently, they’re on for the quadruple. Better than Chelsea, then.

Ahead of the crunch tie with Bayern Munich, Arsene Wenger has proclaimed his faith in young Philippe Senderos, who will combine with Kolo Toure to form the heart of our defence.

The fact that I can’t actually make it to the tie pretty much confirms we’ll win it by at least 8 goals, so I wouldn’t worry were I you.

A couple of goals from Thierry Henry would certainly be welcome, and incidentally (smooth link here), his hatrick on Sunday has brought him to within just 8 goals of Ian Wright’s record. Do-able, especially if we stay in the two cup competitions.

Big “if”, though, isn’t it.

Chalkias helps Henry Chalk up a Hatrick

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 5 Guns

Arsenal 3 – 0 Portsmouth

I know we complain about our goalkeeping problems, but neither of our lads have anything on Kostas Chalkias. Signed in the January transfer window from cash-strapped Panathanaikos, the Greek International has taken over Pompey’s number 1 slot.

Fair enough, you’d think. Except Pompey already had two very able goalkeepers: the veteran Shaka Hislop, and the exuberant Jamie Ashdown. And perhaps even more importantly: Chalkias is the worst goalkeeper in the world.

Error after error have dogged his time in the Premiership, and yet the utterly bizarre figure of Velimir Zajec refuses to displace him. Each to his own. Personally, I find it hilarious.

Saying all that, we’ll probably end up signing him.

Chalkias’ pure form of rubbishness was never more evident than yesterday, when his dreadful ‘keeping and some inspired work from Thierry Henry conspired to give our fleet-footed frenchman a probable hatrick. I say probable because our mate Kostas may lay claim to the third.

Philippe Senderos was solid, Mathieu Flamini fantastically frantic, Gael Clichy and Ashley Cole combined well on the left-hand side, and needless to say, Thierry was superb. Quincy also made a very good fist of a well-earned Premiership debut.

Pascal Cygan, however, picked up a knock which will keep him out of Wednesday’s crunch-tie with Bryan Munich.

That ones impossible to call. We’re perfectly capable of beating them 4-0, but equally, we might lose 3-1.


One thing that might help is that one of their key defenders has decided he’d rather be playing for us.

Superb, Sami.

FlaMini Adventure Just Beginning…

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 2 Guns

Because he loves us.

Great to hear, really. I mean, how often is it that you hear a Premiership player say, “I don’t ask myself too many questions about being a substitute or not… If I play it is very good, if I don’t, there is no trouble. I am at Arsene Wenger’s disposal”.

It was some time ago when I said, “Cesc needs a rest. So as soon as he returns to fitness, I’d expect Mathieu Flamini to be given a run in the side. And you never know, if he grasps the oppurtunity, we might just have a new star on our hands”. Well, the prophecy has come true. Flamini has got his chance, and he’s taken it with both hands. Or feet.

Top man, and a worthy replacement for The Romford Pele.

In other news, Pascal Cygan has been statistically proven to be nearly as good as Arjan de Zeeuw.

I’d predict tomorrow’s team, but frankly, I haven’t got a clue.

I’m just hoping Quincy plays.

Almunia confirms Heroic status by slagging off Mourinho…

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 4 Guns

What a couple of days for Manny Almunia. Not content with keeping us in the FA Cup, he has gone on to claim that during the Cup Final Mourinho “acted arrogantly”, and that “success has gone to his head”. Outstanding.

Another goalkeeper with Arsenal links, Rami Shaaban, today kickstarted his career by signing a deal with Championship side Brighton. He always did well for us, and is probably a decent keeper. Let’s not forget his part in the famous 3-1 win away to Roma. Good luck, Shabang.

With Thierry Henry still struggling with an injury, Dutch teenager Quincy has a significant chance of starting in Saturday’s game against Pompey. At any rate, after his magnificent 75 minutes on Tuesday night, I’d expect him to take some part.

His chances are increased by the fact that several big names, such as Ashley Cole and Pascal Cygan, could be rested with next week’s vital clash with Bayern in mind. The Germans, meanwhile, are running scared. And no, I’m not sure why.

And finally, we ought to commemmorate the memory of Rinus Michels: the man who invented total football, to which we at Arsenal owe so much.

R.I.P. Rinus.

Gunners win shoot-out as Blades are scythed down…

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 |  

An epic 310 minute encounter finally came to an end last night, when Ashley Cole slotted home his penalty in a dramatic shoot-out. The real hero of the night, though, was Manuel Almunia, who, despite a cagey performance, made two and a half outstanding saves from the spot.

I say “two and a half” because one outstanding stop was disallowed, and the penalty retaken. However, despite the refs best efforts, it made no difference to the result.

Arsene Wenger was rightly delighted with our young side. Quincy came on and was described by the manager as “outstanding”, and Cesc played from the right and did so well that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play there again sometime soon, especially with the ever-improving Mathieu Flamini cementing a place in the centre. Phillipe Senderos continued his development in the heart of the defence, and special mention must go to Pascal Cygan, who has probably been our best defender since Christmas.

Unfortunately, yesterday also saw the confirmation of the end of one young-gun’s Arsenal career. Jermaine Pennant was sentenced to 3 months in prison. Arsene seemed forgiving, but it’s fairly common knowledge that upon his release he will sign for Birmingham. Good luck to him. He’s a very talented player, but clearly still suffers with that attitude problem. Thanks Jermaine, but no thanks.

Despite Almunia’s heroics, we continue to be linked with young Belgian goalkeeper, Silvio Proto. No offence to the lad, but I know absolutely nothing about him. He doesn’t seem like the sort of player to come into the side and immediately claim the number 1 shirt. But we’ll see.

Personally, I want Carlos Kameni.

Saints Provide Arsenal Sinners with an Opportunity for Redemption

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 241 Guns

Losing 3-1 at Munich wasn’t entirely in the plan. But then, plans are overrated.

Like that guy who sat next to you at school, and carefully planned every essay, doing an underlined title for each paragraph.


And he’s probably not even that much more successful than you now. So who cares.

Apparently, the best essays happen when you’re not really thinking about them. So, I suppose, in a slightly irrelevant way, we should hope the best Arsenal performances come when all the players are injured. Hurrah!

These are the few that will stagger onto the St. Mary’s Turf tomorrow:

Southampton are a decent side under Harry Redknapp, and with an inform Henri Camara up against the ever-so-slightly-slower Pascal Cygan, it could be another nervy 90.

Ah well. C’mon the boys.

Munich Misery

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 |  

It’s been a pretty depressing few days.

First the disaster of Munich, and then the suspensions upheld for Dennis Bergkamp and Jose Reyes.

I was emotionally exhausted after Wednesday. But Kolo’s late goal means we do have some hope. 2-0 is achievable, but with Michael Ballack set to return, we’d need the kind of excellent defensive performance we haven’t produced all season.

But why? Well, east lower helpfully pointed out that “in the league this season â?? 27 games – our first choice defensive unit (that’s to say, Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell and Cole) has only played together four times”.

Well, that won’t get fixed anytime soon, what with Sol Campbell still out for some time.

Oh, I should add that everyone else is injured too.


Freddie Star Striker?

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 1

Gratuitous Freddie Starr reference.

The Evening Standard suggests that Arsene will go for Steady Freddie upfront, with Jose Reyes and Super Bob supporting on the wings.

I’m certainly happier with this scenario than the possibility of the torture that is watching Robert Pires try and play upfront. Out on the left, Jose will certainly give Sagnol problems, and perhaps provide better cover for the inexperienced Gael Clichy should Ashley Cole not make it.

Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira insists that “We have learnt out lessons” in Europe, and are in with a chance of winning the whole thing. You have to feel Paddy – people still doubt his commitment, even though whilst playing in freezing conditions tonight, he won’t even get to watch his beloved Real Madrid.

Anyhow, ‘Game On’ and all that.

Loads of news as Bayern loom on horizon…

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 |  

…without, quite possibly, their best player. That’d be good.

No-one knows if Ashley Cole will make it (or if he’ll be too busy being wined and dined by Chelsea), but Edu and Thierry Henry are set to return.

Also, should we get past Sheffield United, we’d face Bolton away from home in the quarter finals. Jose Reyes, however, could be banned from this fixture after being charged with violent conduct.

I say “could be”. I haven’t been arsed to work it out.

Wenger’s £40m Transfer Kitty?…

Posted on by gilbertosilver Posted in 2004-2011 | 18 Guns

Or so The Standard would have us believe following the release of some particularly promising financial figures.

£40m? Imagine what we could do with that. £40m is:

  • Four Thierry Henrys
  • Three Sylvain Wiltords
  • Two-and-a-half Jose Reyes’s, or
  • One hundred and sixty Kolo Toures.


Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has defended our right to select non-British players, saying “Some people can be surprised by the fact we had non-British players but we have a club based on values, qualities and attitudes and, when I work with the players on a daily basis, you don’t look at where they come from”. Well put.

Arseblogger has given us a little insight into the side that will face Sheffield United at Highbury tomorrow, revealing that Flamini, Fabregas, Almunia, and Van Persie will all, as expected, start.

I really hope we make a big push for the FA Cup. It’s probably the simplest path to silverware left open to us, and it’s a competition that we have a great affiliation with, especially in recent years. The semi-final defeat against Manchester United last season was a real disappointment, and to bounce back by going all the way to Cardiff would be a tremendous thing for the club, and especially us fans.

C’mon you Gooners.