Arsenal 2 – Hull City 1 – Move On, Nothing To See Here

Golly, isn’t Phil Brown a bad loser? His team take a lucky lead against us in this FA Cup Quarter Final, then instead of pressing on and maybe scoring another, they shut up shop, timewaste, and generally don’t bother to really play football.

Result? About five bookings for timewasting and arguing with Mike Riley (who was awful), then conceding a goal after some bloody-minded determination from Bendtner, and then conceded another from Gallas who was standing a good two yards offside after the ball came off a combination of Djourou’s head and the Hull keeper’s fist, he decided to stomp his tiny little feet and bleat that Fabregas came on the pitch after the match and spat at his assistant manager, Brian Horton:

For their club captain – Cesc Fabregas – to spit at my assistant-manager at the end of the game just shows you what this club is about.

To which I’d happily state:

To not bother playing football for 75 minutes, timewasting, being rubbish, and then making up a load of old bollocks about an event that didn’t happen and changing your story twice in an hour, then saying that Wenger got your keeper booked for timewasting after he spent approximately 36 years taking a free kick 20 yards away from where he should have been even after the referee warned him three times, is what your club is about. And oh yes, you look a total dick with that headset, and have I said you’re out of the FA Cup, you dreadful little man?

Cesc, a man with more class and style in his little finger than Phil Brown has ever experienced in his entire life, refuted the allegations, in a rather classy and stylish way:

“I categorically deny that I spat at anybody after the match. I have never done this in my whole career on the pitch, so why would I do it when I am not even playing? … I don’t why they are saying these things about me because it did not happen. That is the truth. I don’t even know who the assistant manager of Hull is or what he looks like.”

He also, sportingly, said:

I can understand the frustration of losing a game to a dubious goal, that has happened to me many times in my career as well. But this is not the fault of me or any of the Arsenal players.

How many times to footballers actually admit that they won a game thanks to a dodgy goal? Hardly ever, that’s how many. What a gent. I bumped into a friend from the press last night on the way home, and the feeling amongst the press is that it’s a story which will sell papers, but they felt it was highly unlikely Fabregas would do something like that. And he’s a Spurs fan. Ok, if it’d been Eboue, we’d have said “Yeah, sorry about that, he’s a bit special”. But it’s Cesc. He’s a god in human form. Worship him, o ye sinners.

Sorry, where was I?

Ah yes, Phil Brown. I thought we’d had our fill of bitter, twisted ex-Boltonites after the visit of the odious Sam Allardyce on Saturday, with his hideous team of diving, hacking thugs, but this takes the biscuit. These people are anti-football. They cheat, dive, hack, and when they still lose they resort to lies and distortions, blaming everyone else but themselves for their defeat. When they appeared on Goals On Sunday last week, there wasn’t even a mention of this:

Pederson Dive

The sooner people like Phil Brown and Sam Allardyce are eaten by a radioactive uber-hippo, the better.

I’m sure there will be more claims from the Brown camp over the next couple of days as they try to deflect from the fact that they are out of the FA Cup, and sinking ever closer to relegation. Me? I think it’s all cobblers.

Phil Brown

The sad thing about all of this is that for the first couple of months of the season, Phil Brown actually seemed like he was a decent manager. His team could play good football, they weren’t hopelessly negative unlike, say, Blackburn or Bolton, and he seemed ok. Headset aside. But since the wheels have started coming off the wagon, he’s turned into a bitter, twisted little git. Good riddance, I say.

Oh, Arsenal’s performance? Not very good. The back four were ok, but the DiabSong central midfield partnership seems to think that passing sideways is the epitome of stylish play. Walcott huffed and puffed to little effect; Arshavin looked dangerous (that volley at the end of the first half was sublime); and if Van Persie had spent as much time finding space as he did moaning at the ref, he’d have got a hat-trick. Bendtner did very well to force the goal. Whilst he has his critics (including me), he’s really starting to work hard and use his arrogant temprement to good effect on the pitch. Still, we won, that’s all that counts now. Chelski in the semi-final awaits, at Wemberley.

As you can imagine, lots of opinions today. First of all check out Arsenalist for the highlights, some great comments from East Lower and Goodplaya and a top sweary rant from Arseblogger. I was going to say “Spitting Mad” too. Gah.

Till next time.

Arsenal 4 – Blackburn 0 – More Acid, Vicar?

That just takes the biscuit, that does. I had two childrens parties to go to today, so had to miss the game, following the game on Twitter . After about four league 0-0’s in a row, I really was thinking we’d probably balls it up again. Plus, as I was getting my son ready for one of the parties, I looked out of the window, and could see a bird circling high in the sky, toward the north-east. It looked like a vulture. Maybe a Sam Allardyce looking vulture, come to pick over the bones of our challenge for fourth place.

And frankly, if we’d just left it up to Bendtner, it really would have ended 0-0. Just have a look at this:

Dear oh dear. We know that players can’t score every match, but really, this boy needs to start performing. If he was half a good a player as he said he was, he’d have got a hat-trick today.

Thankfully, we’ve now got Arshavin in the team, and Walcott is back, providing valuable pace and craft to a side that’s been dreadfully lacking in both.

The first goal came after Walcott pegged it down the wing, and the ball deflected in from a Blackburn defender from a seriously tight angle.

The second was all Arshavin. He took it down the left, cut inside, skinning the poor Blackburn defender, and he then smashed it in from a seriously tight angle. 2-0 made it safe, and you had to say it’d been coming, following Nasri hitting the crossbar and all sorts of other chances.

Arshavin's Goal

We then got two more goals in the last couple of minutes. Lovely cross, Arshavin hit the crossbar, then Eboue, yes, Eboue was on hand to get the ball in off the sole of his boot.

In injury time, Vela was foolishly taken down by Olsen, and for some reason Eboue took the penalty. And a great penalty it was too. I’ve been a pretty serious critic of Eboue, largely because he’s rubbish but I can’t criticise a guy who has just scored two.

Full highlights available here from the great Arsenalist.

So, a great win, we’re now back in fourth and have a superior goal difference to Villa. They, of course, play Spurs tomorrow.

Come on Spurs.

I feel dirty.

Anyway, Arshavin is off the mark, the team are playing well, and Man U got spanked at home by Liverpool. 1-4, eh? Who’da thought it, eh?

Come on Spurs.

It still doesn’t feel any better.

Roma 1 Arsenal 0 – Who Watches The Penalties?

Ok, dear Reader, I didn’t watch the match. Instead, I decided last week to book tickets to see Watchmen at the local IMAX for last night, forgetting that Arsenal were playing. And the film’s ok, you know, considering they’ve filmed a book widely considered to be unfilmable. Not sure that it was wise changing the ending though. You know, with Ozymandias teleporting loads of fluffy bunnies to New York and Moscow to show the world’s leaders that fluffy bunnies are lovely and to live in peace. But still, not a bad way to spend nearly three hours.

Certainly better than watching what was, by all accounts, a pretty dreadful match. I’ve only seen the schoolboy-esque defending for the Roma goal and the penalties, but Arseblog and Goodplaya point out the rubbishness. Vucinic’s penalty was so bad that Almunia stopped moving and just sat down on the goal line, looking baffled. You can see it all here.

So we’re through and get to meet Barcelona, FC Porto, Villareal, Bayern Muenchen or one of the remaining English sides. Villareal or Porto, please, random number generator. I *think* the draw is tomorrow.

More linkage etc later, hopefully, and more Pitchfork 500 goodness. I might even write a better Watchmen review.

Arsenal 3 Burnley 0 – Acid In The Cola

Sometimes it’s nice for us to go back to the old days when teams would come and play us and not be all defensive, putting 10 men behind the ball, and actually come and play football. It’s even nicer when we say “Thank you very much, kind sirs!” and proceed to thump them. The icing on the cake comes when all three goals were extraordinary, in their own way. Two were as fine examples of how footballers can be truly balletic, with a flick of the boot, with poise, grace, style and athleticism. And the other was scored by Eboue.

Seriously though, go and watch Vela’s goal. He latches onto a through-ball from Arshavin, beats one defender with a lovely touch, holds off another defender, then chips it beautifully over the keeper. He sure does like doing that. 1-0.

And then go and watch Eduardo’s. Song sends over a cross to the edge of the area, and Eduardo runs onto it and kind of slices it with his left ankle, and it fair shoots past the keeper into the far corner. They showed it about five times in the stadium and we couldn’t make out exactly what he’d done, and having watched it properly on TV I can only say that it’s absolutely extraordinary technique. A couple of people have been saying it was accidental, but watch closely – there’s no way he’d be moving his leg the way he did if he didn’t mean it. I suspect it’s something he’s practiced and this is his way of saying “Yeah, you might have broken my leg horribly and kept me out of the game for a year, but look what I’ve learnt. I’m back.” I said on Twitter at the time that it was astonishing. Watching it again and it’s even more so. I’m glad to have seen that one in the flesh.

Eduardo's Goal Vs Burnley

Eduardo's Goal Vs Burnley

Boy, it’s good to have him back.

The third was extraordinary for other reasons. Song backheeled it to Eboue who took a couple of touches and smashed it past their (rotund) keeper into the net. Yes, you read that right. Eboue scored! I’ve seen it all now. I don’t think I’ll need to go to another match. It’s like seeing Gus Caesar score. Or John Jensen. Actually, that’s a bit harsh on Jensen, he wasn’t too bad a player. Well done Eboue, and hopefully that’ll add a couple of million to the transfer fee when we get rid of you in the summer *crosses his fingers*.

Anyhow, Burnley tried and could even have got a penalty at the end, not long after hitting the crossbar. But mostly we have to thank them for trying to play football. Fools!

Other reviews of the game at Arseblog, Goonerholic hails Song’s excellent performance and Goodplaya does the usual ratings. Personally I think Song had a very good game, but this was a Championship side, and Diaby was disappointing, given this was a Championship side. Everyone else looked decent; Gibbs in particular had the best game I’ve seen him have. Against a Championship side.

Not that I’m trying to set expectations here. This was a Championship side.

Oh, and one word for all the people on the lower tier who legged it inside and up to the upper tier when it started raining icy badness from the sky. Don’t blame you.

So, we meet Hull at home in just over a week and if we beat them (and I really think we need some more revenge after their 2-1 victory back in September) we’ll be meeting Chelski at Wemberley. By which time we should have Cesc back, and hopefully be able to field our strongest team for pretty much the whole season (barring any injuries and suspensions).

Right, I’m off to finish off another Pitchfork 500 post. This site is mainly about music, you know, but I do like wittering on about Arsenal you know. Even when we win.

West Brom 1 – Arsenal 3 – Phew, At Last

After spending the whole of February not scoring any league goals (or conceding any, for that matter), Arsenal finally managed to get their shooting boots on tonight and win. In a fairly frenetic first half, ol’ pinky boots Bendtner scored an early goal, thanks to Scott Carson making a hash of a fairly save-able chance. West Brom then managed to equalise from a free-kick, with Eboue doing himself no favours by jumping out of the way of the ball whilst in the wall. Alumunia didn’t look too pleased, I can tell you.

However, we managed to get on top thanks to some really shoddy defending, with Kolo Toure scoring a header, and Bendtner got his second not long after from a through ball from Kolo, to make it three. Normally, you’d say “Game Over” but not with this lot. Thankfully, our defence held firm, with Song moved into the centre-half position after Kolo went off injured, and he actually looked ok there.

Hooty McOwl could have got three, and was unlucky that Carson decided to make up for his earlier ineptitude by making some saves. We had more chances to make it safe(r), but typically, didn’t take them, and Almunia was forced into some good keeping a number of times, especially after Ramsay had made a hash of a back-pass.

We even saw the league debut of Fran Merida. Not that he did much in the five minutes he was on. Though we were expecting a hat-trick from him, at the very least. We should sell him now before he disappoints us further.*

One quick word about the Baggies. They do try and play football, which is great to see in these ultra-defensive days, but with the defence they’ve got I’m afraid they’re destined for the drop (again). Shame – every Baggies fan I’ve ever known has been very nice. And I can’t say that about many other fans.

Anyway, I’m happy with the win. This puts us three points behind Villa, who play Manchester Citeh tomorrow night. And Citeh can be good, they can be terrible, and Villa’s luck is sure to run out at some point so let’s cross our fingers and toes for Citeh to win 23-0. I’m not even going to moan that Eboue was a bit rubbish and that Diaby only looks good playing against a team at the bottom of the league. No, it’s all positivity round here tonight. Oh yes. We won, we scored more than one goal, and it was away from home in freezing rain (in which the travelling support made themselves proud).

Now, bring on Burnley!

Linkage: Just The ‘Holic

*This is a joke

Arsenal 0 – Fulham 0 – Groundhog Day

Get up. Get ready. Go to the game. Watch our midfield uselessly pass the ball sideways. Watch our wide players cross the ball to no-one. Go home.

Get up. Get ready. Go to the game. Watch our midfield uselessly pass the ball sideways. Watch our wide players cross the ball to no-one. Go home.

Get up. Get ready. Go to the game. Watch our midfield uselessly pass the ball sideways. Watch our wide players cross the ball to no-one. Go home.

Get up. Get ready. Go to the game. Watch our midfield uselessly pass the ball sideways. Watch our wide players cross the ball to no-one. Go home.

It’s getting a bit dull this. Yet another game with no goals. The last time we scored at home against League opposition was against Bolton, and that was only one and it came in the 84th minute. We’ve only scored more than three goals against League teams twice all season, and one of them was a bloody draw. It’s really been a bloody awful season. We’re now only two points ahead of Everton, which means that if they overtake us, we’ll not even make the UEFA Cup, which even Spurs have managed in the last few years.

This simply isn’t good enough. This is a team that finished four points behind Man U last season, but we’re hopelessly off the pace in this one. I’ll save my full thoughts for another day, but I’ll just say that we’re becoming mediocre, almost as bad as those dreadful mid-90’s teams that managed to finish 12th and 10th.

I can’t even blame Eboue, as he looked ok-ish when he came on as a sub. Diaby was dreadful, Denilson passed sideways so much it became comical, and we just looked bereft of ideas. I’m very sad about this lot. And worse, it appears that even Nasri (who scored some stunning goals earlier in the season) has been infected with Arsenal-itis. Given the ball in a great position on the edge of the area, he chose to fanny around for what seemed like 23 minutes until the entire Fulham defence massed around him. Why didn’t he shoot?

Oh. I’m too sad and too full of cold to write more now. Come back tomorrow, I might have developed my sadness into a full-on epic.

Linkage: A Cultured Left Foot, Goodplaya on booing, and an Arseblog who sounds even sadder than me.

More tomorrow.

Oh, and sorry for the delay, I’ve been naughty (inadvertantly).

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


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.