Arsenal 1 – Roma 0, Some Words From Song

Hi, I’m Alex Song.

You may know me from other Arsenal matches such as Arsenal 0 – Sunderland 0 and Arsenal 4 – Tottenham Hotspur 4. In those games, I excelled myself with my lack of tackling and inability to pass the ball forward. And last night, whilst my team-mates had worked hard to get a goal up, I came on to replace my poor injured buddy Abou “Sicknote” Diaby. I took the game by the scruff of the neck, and one time I fearlessly took the ball past one, two Roma midfielders and when I looked up, the Dutch Master Van Pershie was yelling for the ball! And he was in a great position, he would score a certain goal, if I could only get the ball to him. So I slowed down, and slowed down some more, until I came to a total halt. And then I turned, and gently passed the ball backwards to a defender. I don’t think old Robin was very pleased, and the crowd certainly showed their displeasure.

For you know, in football, one must always trust your instincts and my instincts said to me “What use is a two goal lead going into a tough away leg in Rome? Only four or five goals would make it safe. So why try hard to get just one more goal when it would be much easier not to score it? Why fight, and beat our breasts, and make useful runs to pick up through balls? Much easier just to fanny about with sideways passing and shots that nearly hit the corner flag” And those are my words, and they are good.

Oh, and my friend Eboue is very, very sorry for making a total hash of his wonderful chance, but he is an even stronger believer than me in listening to his instincts. And his instincts tell him to do bad, bad things. Oh yes.

Linkage: Arseblogger, Goodplaya, Gunnerblog, A Cultured Left Foot.

It’s Going To Be 0-0 Again

An extremely quick post as I’m about to run off to the Roma match. I’m sure another evening of hugely entertaining football awaits, with goals galore and the team being cheered off the pitch after another 5-0 battering. With an Eboue hat-trick.

Or, probably not. In fact definitely not. I’m not looking forward to this at all. I suspect it’ll be dreary and I’ll be back on here later having a moan. Probably about Eboue again. No Arshavin tonight (cup-tied), no Walcott or Adebayor (still both injured), so it’s likely to be Nasri-Song-Denilson-Bloody Eboue again, which is just awful. I’m depressing myself now.

I did actually start this blog to talk mostly about music, you know, but it’s rapidly turning into a place where I can vent my frustrations about the bloody Arsenal. Gah.

And on another note, and without going into any detail, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised recently by how nice people can be. *sniff*

Quick Sunday Update

Gah.

I have a sore throat. Just what I needed after yesterday’s lovely weather and yesterday’s not so lovely draw against Sunderland. Quite a few of the world’s good Arsenal blogs haven’t updated today, probably because they are all still trying to calm themselves down, though the unlucky Tom over at Arseblog has some words for the team, as does Goodplaya and Goonerholic.

I must say I completely agree with them both. This team are a travesty of everything that Wenger has built up over the past twelve years, but what’s sad is that Wenger himself seems blind to it. We lost two pretty good central midfielders in the summer, yet neither was replaced and we were left with the likes of Song and Denilson to fill the empty spaces. We even started our first match – our first match! of the season with bloody Eboue playing in the middle. If you want proof of how rubbish Song and Denilson were yesterday, go to the Grauniad chalkboards, select either Song or Denilson and look at their passing and tackling. Denilson hardly passed the ball forward all match. Song completed one successful tackle all game. One!!! Compare that to earlier in the season when Fabregas was playing – his passing is varied and mostly in the right direction.

Sorry, this is already turning into another rant, so I’ll stop now. We need Fabregas back. We need the team, as a whole, to start making more space, with more intelligent running, and the central midfield need to find them with those runs. We’re not a team that score loads of goals by crossing into the middle. We need our mojo back. And most of all we need Wenger to wake up from whatever bizarre dreamworld he is currently inhabiting, and sort this team out.

We are not finishing in the top four. We will lose tens of millions of pounds being out of the Champions League, the likes of Van Persie and Cesc will be tempted to leave, and we won’t be able to sing “Champions League, you’re having a laugh” at Spurs fans.

In other news, today’s my first day in fourteen years without a job, as I was officially released from my previous firm yesterday. I am the one in ten, a number on a leeeeest.
Still, gives me more time to write bollocks about music and football. Hurrah! But if this goes on, I won’t be able to pay the mortgage. Boo!

Normal, non-moany service ought to resume tomorrow, I hope.

Arsenal 0 – Sunderland 0 – Champions League, You’re Having A Laugh

It’s simply not good enough. We had a chance today to close some of the gap on Villa, after they lost to Chelsea at home. So what do we do? We balls around. We don’t take our chances. We pass backwards instead of counter-attacking. Then with ten minutes to go, we put Eboue on. Eboue. The attacking midfielder who doesn’t score goals, and has got all of one assist this season.

That says it all. Our only options, when we need to score, are to put on a player who doesn’t score, and doesn’t help us score. Disgraceful. We can complain about an injury list, but of the players currently injured only Fabregas and one of Eduardo or Adebayor would have started today. We have a central midfield pairing who won the ball about four times between them, and whose idea of creative passing is to pass it sideways instead of backwards. Seriously, with about seven minutes to go, we win the ball back after a rare Sunderland attack and Denilson, under no pressure, actually turned and passed the ball BACK TO THE DEFENCE! Absolutely appalling. Someone seems to have told Denilson about rugby, and he’s got the two games confused and now thinks he can’t pass the ball forward.

Our attacking options today were get the ball to the wing, where at least we had some creativity, for them to then cross to the centre where one of the lanky Sunderland defenders would head to out to the midfield. Again and again and again and a-bloody-gain.

Van Pershie messed up one good chance and Vela messed up too, one quite spectacularly. The only plus points were that Arshavin looked ok, if tiny, that Gallas and Toure actually looked good together in defence, and that Almunia did everything asked of him. Well done, chaps.

Frankly Song or Denilson wouldn’t have had a sniff our first-team action three or four years ago. Vieira and Flamini must watch Arsenal games now and laugh, in the same way you do when you see someone doing your old job and making a total mess of it.

We can now kiss the Champions League goodbye. Six points behind Villa is a tough call, with 12 games to go. And as we don’t seem to have bothered buying a decent big, tough central midfielder in the transfer market, shooting our bolt on a tiny Russian, we’re going to really suffer in some of our upcoming games against the likes of Blackburn and Liverpool.

/rant over. I’m going to go and eat some nice food and drink some nice wine to make me feel better. Links and stuff tomorrow.

One final note. Arshavin is really, really tiny.

It’s A Beautiful Day To Boo Eboue

What an absolutely beautiful day. After one of the coldest winters in London for many years, and a winter where we saw proper snow for the first time in 18 years, you can only be delighted at such a gorgeous day. The sun’s getting higher in the sky, the birds are singing, and it’s proper warm. Well, it’s 12C, which is warm for me. I’m bizarrely reminded of our last holiday in Florida. It’s that warm.

Ok, not really, but at least I don’t need to wear thermals again.

So, to today’s match against Sunderland. Eboue is back from suspension. So, the pragmatic me thinks we’ll play Vela – Song – Denilson – Nasri in midfield with the usual starters in defence and up front. But the cynical me says it’ll be Nasri – Song – Denilson – Fucking Eboue. Wenger already appears to be buttering us up, which is worrying. The feeling out there in blogland is that it’s likely Eboue will start. Boo, I say. I’m not a fan of Eboue, I think he adds absolutely nothing to this team and he’s a negative influence. I’d be happy to never see him play for us again.

In other news, a fan has a go at Adebayor. Too right, I say. We pay this man’s wages. If we’re unhappy we’ve a right to tell him. Wonder if Adebayor will buck his ideas up a bit today?

So, off soon, and am looking forward to seeing some Sunderland fans. Last year, on the tube, they were singing “We hate Newcastle, we hate Newcastle…” to the usual tune. They finished singing, there was a five second pause, and then all the Arsenal fans started singing “We hate Tottenham, we hate Tottenham”, and both sets of fans burst out laughing. They are ok, the Mackems.

Anyway, hope we thrash them. Nothing less than 10-0 will do. Including a hat-trick for Arshavin, who should make his debut today. We must see Owly goodness.

Laters, folks.

Eduardo’s Back

The curse has finally been lifted. Eduardo started last night’s match against Cardiff, scoring two goals. I must admit, I had a little tear in my eye when Eduardo ran to the crowd to celebrate. I firmly believe that we’d have won the league last season if Eduardo hadn’t suffered his appalling injury – not just because we lost our finest striker, someone who doesn’t need four or five attempts to score a goal, unlike Adebayor or Bendtner, but also because of the dark funk it brought to the team. Having him back, and better, looking pretty tasty is a great bonus to the team. He’s almost like a new signing (joke).

What’s more, when his name was read out at the start of the game, the cheers were deafening, and carried on right through the substitute’s names. Even if the crowd were pretty quiet the rest of the game, it was great to hear. On that note, it wasn’t good to see so many empty seats. We’d better start filling those seats or money troubles will follow.

On the whole, we looked excellent. I’m still not convinced by the central midfield partnership of Denilson and Song, and Bendtner, although he worked hard, sometimes struggled against a Championship defence, which is frankly not a good sign. And missing an open goal, somehow contriving to hit the post, was pure comedy. I’m glad we’d already scored at that point.

The team also looks far, far more dangerous with Vela on the left and Nasri on the right. They ran, they harried, they made space, and we had more chances in the first fifteen minutes that the entire match at Cardiff. If that doesn’t show Wenger that Eboue is the wrong player for this team, what will? Funnily enough, on the way out, I overheard a guy say “We weren’t good because Eddie was playing, it was because Eboue wasn’t”. Too true.

All in all, though, a great night out. Made even more amusing by watching Cardiff fans taunt the police and then peg it as soon as the police started to walk towards them, outside the Tollington. Protect our sheep, indeed.

Other match reports from Goodplaya and Arseblog, with some ominous news about Usmanov. I’ll try and find out some more about that later.

In other news, I’m now on Twitter. Feel free to follow me, follow meeeeeee. I still think it’s the Interweb’s version of CB radio though.

Off To The Cardiff Match

Right, off to the Cardiff game now. Thank the Lord, Buddha, Yahweh, and any other deity I can think of right now; Eboue is suspended. Hurrah! And Diaby is injured. Hurrah! Song’s ok though. Boo! So we may well get to see Jack Wilshere, the little 12 year-old terrier, fed with sausages and tripe, running around the midfield and scoring goals like this:

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a dull 1-0 win for us. Sigh.

And it’s warm. Nearly properly warm. No thermals tonight!

Yes, Bloody Eboue Again

It’s so nice to see that, when a professional footballer earning more in a couple of weeks than most of us do in a year makes a terrible mistake in a derby match, he immediately comes out with gems like this:

““The referee sent me off”

Well, who did you expect to be sending you off for kicking out at another player? The milkman? David Bowie? The massed hordes of Ghengiz Khan’s Mongol army?

“he called me and gave me a yellow card. I don’t really understand why”

Er, because you were ranting away at him and didn’t shut up even after he told you to, three times?

“The second card is normal, I accept it”

That’s terribly gracious of you. It was probably a straight red though, I’ve seen people sent off for less.

“”I just wanted to give my best.”

Sadly, I think you just did. That really is the limits of your talent, mate. Cheerio. Don’t let the door bang your arse on the way out.

In any case, I’ve not had a chance to watch the match myself properly, having only watched it on a hooky stream yesterday, so I shall refrain from commenting further. The usual top comments at Arseblog, A Cultured Left Foot (including some funny comments about journalists), East Lower and Goodplaya. Go on, fill yer boots.

Right, I’m off to see a man about a job. Or rather the lack of them.

It’s Eboue or us, Wenger

As I said earlier, Eboue is useless. He’s also, as today’s match against Spurs shows, a total liability. With just over 35 minutes gone, Eboue, already on a stupid yellow for arguing with the ref, kicked out at Modric and got himself sent off. He was lucky it wasn’t a straight red.

This isn’t the first time he’s done something absolutely dumb-headed in a critical match. Even though Eboue has become probably the most unpopular player in an Arsenal shirt in living memory, Wenger has persisted in playing him. And the reasons why he is so unpopular seem to have totally escaped Wenger. So should you stumble upon this humble blog, Mr Wenger, here’s why we hate Eboue.

He cheats.
He dives.
He pretends to be injured.
He kicks opposition players off the ball in critical matches.
He doesn’t score any goals and hardly any assists.
He’s not good defensively.
He cheats and dives and kicks players off the ball.

Basically, he’s a really shit version of Robbie “Cuntchops” Savage.

And frankly, those of us for whom money is tight really don’t want to be paying over £1000 a year to watch Eboue fuck around and ruin any hope we may have had to get a Champions League place. You’re not running a charity home for dozy fucknutted Ivorians to run around and get themselves sent off, and never score any goals even though they are midfielders. He’s shit. He’s a cheat. Get rid of him, or you’ll find more and more fans simply don’t bother coming to the games any more.

I grew up with players like Liam Brady, and I’ve watched Adams, Bergkamp, Henry, Vieira, Cesc and other genius footballers at Highbury and Ashburton Grove more times than I can remember. Those are the type of players we expect at Arsenal. I even liked Senderos and Luzhny, for pete’s sake. But not Eboue.

What is worse is that Wenger’s standing amongst Arsenal fans is being destroyed by his bizarre love for Eboue. Get rid of him, before we get rid of you.

Arsenal vs Spurs, Bill Hicks on Letterman

So, yet another big game for Arsenal today and yet another chance for us to finally kick our season back into some sort of life. With Chelsea only managing a draw against Hull yesterday, and Villa winning yet again, we really have to win or fifth place (or worse) beckons. Plus we need to get our revenge following the ridiculous 4-4 game earlier this season (which I was at, and still can’t quite believe). Time for the likes of Adebayor and Eboue to step up and prove their worth to the club. There are too many players all too willing to saunter round the pitch and not put the effort in (I’m looking at you, Song and Eboue), and if that happens again today we can kiss any chance of a European place goodbye.

There’s also the additional motivation that Sp*rs have spent nearly £50m in the transfer window and are still only a couple of points clear of the bottom three, and yet another loss would really drop them in it. I’d almost be ok with not getting a CL place next season if Sp*rs went down.

In other news, on Friday night David Letterman aired the “lost” Bill Hicks routine, which CBS refused to show, months before Bill’s tragic death from cancer. It’s here and is a great use of 20 minutes of your time. Bill Hicks was a truly visionary comedian, who went beyond crude gags and blunt satire to develop an almost messianic world view. Coming from a religious family, and a comedian from the age of 15, he was a passionate and hugely experienced comedian who just about managed to keep his rants about an inch away from hectoring his audience (a trait which he often referred to, saying after particularly angry or disturbed rants “Sorry, wrong meeting, I though I was at the one at the docks” or “I am available for children’s parties”). He could expertly work a crowd (when he wasn’t insulting the duller members of an audience). There was no-one like him then, or now.

Superb comedian sadly missed. Lord only knows what he’d have made of Dubya.

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