Archive for June, 2006

Gunners in Germany: Part 5

8 comments June 26th, 2006

I finished my last World Cup update saying:

The World Cup is all very well and good, but Iâ??d kill for some juicy Arsenal news. Hopefully Cesc gives us something to smile about in Spainâ??s game against Saudi Arabia.

Well, he didn’t. And although he’s set to start in their mouth-watering Quarter-final with France, the 1-0 win over Iran provided little excitment for Cesc or the viewer. And fortunately, I haven’t yet killed for any Arsenal-related news. The only thing of any note is that stuff about Beveren, which is so boring I considered leaving it out of the blog entirely.

The evening of the 23rd, however, brought more excitment for the Arsenal involvement. The image of a bloody Philippe Senderos after heading in to help take Switzerland through is potentially iconic, though sadly Phil will miss the rest of the World Cup with a shoulder injury – Johan Djourou replacing him tonight against the Ukraine. France, meanwhile, needed to win by two to go through, and they did. Old boy Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry scored the goals to take them past Emmanuel Adebayor‘s Togo.

Saturday saw Lehmann vs. Ljungberg, and it was the German who came out on top – a 2 nil victory for his side in a game in which he was rarely troubled, with even Henrik Larsson blasting a penalty way over the bar.

Yesterday showed us the good, the bad, and the ugly of International football. Most of the bad came from England, who struggled to beat Ecuador 1-0, with Ashley Cole arguably their best player and making one particularly crucial block. The good was from some of the football played by Portugal and Holland, with Robin van Persie inches from one of the goals on the tournament, beating four men before clipping the ball just beyond the farp post.  The ugly saw four men sent off in yet another dreadful refereeing display. In a game which equalled the World Cup record with 16 bookings, van Persie showed admirable restraint to get through 96 minutes without a caution – another sign of his increasing maturity.

Come on Johan, do it for Philippe…

Various Transfer Rumours and their “Happenability”.

238 comments June 26th, 2006

Happenability“. Not a word you usually expect to find on your average Arsenal-based weblog. Until now. If “bouncebackability” can do it, so can I: Oxford English Dictionary 2007 here we come.

Name: Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus
Linked by: Italian media presumably, but Channel 4 and SkySports in this country
Happenability: It depends largely on the outcome of Juve’s trial for match-fixing. If, as is currently rumoured, they are relegated to Serie B, some of their top names may want away. As the best goalkeeper in the world, Buffon would be highly sought-after. Furthermore, Jens Lehmann isn’t getting any younger. Well, he probably isn’t. However, a fee of £15m+ would be fairly prohibitive. 6/10

Name: Hatem Trabelsi, Ajax
Linked by: The Sunday Mirror first of all, with the likes of BBC now following suit
Happenability: Trabelsi has been a long-term target at Arsenal, and his agent yesterday claimed “There’s a contract ready for him at Arsenal. I can show you that“. However, as far as we know, this could be the contract from the summer of 2004, when Trabelsi went from the verge of signing to staying at Ajax in a matter of days. Word is that having agreed a provisional deal, his agent then started whoring him around other clubs to try and drive up competition, and subsequently raise Arsenal’s offer. Lovely. However, Wenger remains a fan, and with arseblogger yesterday suggesting that Lauren’s knee injury could be worse than initially suspected, experienced cover could be needed. What’s more, he’s out of contract = no transfer fee = 8/10

Name: Yaya Toure, Olympiakos
Linked by: Just about everyone, but The Indepdent on Sunday made it interesting
Happenability: The rumours about Kolo’s brother are not new to this website, but now they’ve taken a bit of a twist. Yaya has claimed in the Greek press that he has not been paid for months, and is unable to return to Greece because of Visa problems. Sounds like a man determined to engineer a move, even saying, “I am happy there (in Greece), but it would be a big dream to go to England and play. Maybe Kolo can do it for me!“. Whilst he impressed me in the World Cup, I have one word of warning: his agent owns 50% of his registration, so will insist he goes to the highest bidder, with moneybags Portsmouth also set to make an offer. 8/10

Name: Miroslav Klose, Werder Bremen
Linked by: Jens Lehmann
Happenability: Although more commonly known for his International exploits, Miroslav Klose has been banging in goals at Werder Bremen for some time. And yet, he’s never really been linked with a top side. Until now. Thanks to some loose-tongued quips from Jens Lehmann, Arsenal are “Klose to a deal” in every newspaper you come across. And not just Arsenal – Manchester United, Milan – they’re all after the dashing hit man, apparently. Except they’re probably not. He’s 29, untested in the Champions League, and certainly too much of a traditional target man for Arsene’s liking. I’m afraid this rumour will probably end up on the scrap heap with all those one’s about Wenger himself joining Real Madrid. 4/10

Right. That’s your lot. No doubt as the weeks go on, the Happenability of these transfers will become clearer.

Note: The lack of inverted commas denotes the arrival of Happenability as a real word.

Unfuzzy Pics of New Kit emerge…

132 comments June 25th, 2006

After the strangely disproportionate blurred effort that offered us last week, I am delighted to bring you the a nice clean photo of what, unless I’ve been elaborately hoaxed, will be next seasons shirt:

The gold stripes come as a bit of a surprise, but they shouldn’t really. We’ve had gold on our kits for years. Click here to see some more shots of the kit, including a nice little cannon detail on the back of the collar.

If any of you caught the Argentina game, you will have seen a fantastic performance from midfield destroyer Javier Mascherano. Wouldn’t mind seeing him in this shirt next season.

Another Gunners in Germany update tomorrow.

Gunners in Germany: Part 4

21 comments June 23rd, 2006

3 days, 12 games. It’s coming thick and fast at the moment, with mixed results for our boys. Jens Lehmann kept a clean sheet as Germany eased into the next round. Miroslav Klose grabbed another couple of goals, and later found himself linked with Arsenal.

Later the same day, Fredrik Ljungberg came up against Ashley Cole in the Sweden-England match, and even the hapless Sol Campbell found time to get onto the pitch and be at fault for a goal. The 2-2 draw sees all of our boys in Group B through to the next round, though how much longer we’ll be counting the latter two as “Gooners” remains to be seen. After Michael Owen’s cruciate ligament injury, maybe we might see Theo Walcott appear soon. (might).

The Ivory Coast, of course, were already out, so afforded Kolo Toure a rest. Emmanuel Eboue, however, was a key player in their amazing comeback from 2-0 down to beat Serbian & Montenegro. The two sides who had already qualified, Argentina and Holland, played out a dull 0-0 draw in which Robin van Persie contributed 67 decent minutes.

Yesterday afternoon saw Tomas Rosicky and the Czech Republic crash out of a tournament that had started so well for both of them. 2 sendings off in their final 2 games didn’t help, and Italy triumphed 2-0 without too much trouble. Meanwhile, Ghana’s win over America sealed Tomas’ team-mates fate.

There was more success in the evening for Gilberto Silva, granted a start as Brazil crushed Japan 4-1, with Ronaldo becoming the fattest man ever to score in a World Cup. Though with Australia also going through from Group F, Ronnie had better watch out: Mark Viduka is coming. He might eat him.

The World Cup is all very well and good, but I’d kill for some juicy Arsenal news. Hopefully Cesc gives us something to smile about in Spain’s game against Saudi Arabia.

Chelsea’s run-in should make things interesting…

446 comments June 22nd, 2006

The provisional fixture list was released by the Premier League today. Whilst July’s announcement of the television schedule will probably change everything, the first draft makes interesting reading, particularly concerning Chelsea’s tough finish to the season. They end with games against Spurs, West Ham, Man U, Newcastle, Bolton, us, and Everton in that order. Any team who can stay in touch with them until April would have to fancy their chances. Easier said than done.

As for our fixtures, Aston Villa will be the first team lucky enough to play at the Emirates Stadium. We face an early trip to Old Trafford, and our last home game of the season is against Chelsea, before finishing on a tricky away trip to money-bags Portsmouth.

Marseille winger/model Franck Ribery has stated his intent to move to Lyon and reject the overtures of Arsenal and Man United. Fair enough: whilst he’s undoubtedly a promising player, a wide player is not our current priority.

A striker might be though, with Javier Saviola the latest to be linked. A lot depends on whether Arsene is as reluctant to play Theo Walcott as Sven. We shall see.

Finally, no matter what anyone in Spain might say: Arsene Wenger will not be the next manager of Real Madrid. The lies that these presidential candidates for Spanish clubs come out with are astonishing. Don’t be surprised if Juan Miguel Villar Mir promises to pair Keanu Reeves up front with Marily Monroe.

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