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Arsenal: Wenger wanted Martial but Monaco owed Manchester United over Falcao

radamel falcaoArsenal manger Arsène Wenger says he thought about signing Anthony Martial, the French footballer now with Manchester United. Wenger thought about buying Martial when he was at Lyons. But the French club told him Martial wasn’t for sale.

Martial then joined Monaco for 3 million.

Monaco told Wenger Martial was “not sellable”. So off he went to Manchester United for £36 million.

The simple story, of course, is that Arsenal quite liked Martial but were never going to pay a fortune to sign him. Chances are other clubs also like other top players but just can’t find the odd £36m to actually sign them.

The media continue to press Wenger on Martial. He replies to their probing:

“I was surprised they sold him. The amount of money was massive. I believe that you could think that, if you are Monaco, you could have sold him as well next season. So I thought they would not sell him this year because they sold many other players.  I thought they would maintain their word. He was not sellable. He was not on the list. He was one of the players Monaco did not want to sell, so we never made an approach for him. Only an acceptable amount of money after could do it. We always liked him, even when he was in Lyons. That was a surprise too, that Lyons sold him on the last day of the transfer market for €5 million [£3 million].”

Should Arsenal have bought the player? Wenger adds:

“The future will tell us if he is overpriced. Manchester United spend the money they have. It is not artificial. They are entitled to do it.”

Monaco’s  executive vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, tells Marca that one club outbid United:

“There was another club that offered even more than United. I will not say how much, but the fixed price, without variables, was even better, and they also offered us [the chance] to have him for a further year in Monaco. But the boy wanted to go to Manchester. It was his dream and we let him go with the bonus of [£36 million]. Had it not been for so much money, he would have stayed.”

A year earlier, United took Monaco’s Radamel Falcao on loan. The Colombian, now with Chelsea, joined for a £6m fee plus wages of  – get this- £265,000-a-week. United also took the option to sign Falcao on a longer contract for £43.5m at the end of the loan spell. He proved to be not all that good. United had been sold a dud.

You have to wonder how much that deal impacted on Monaco and United’s decision to do business over Martial? Monaco might have beee able to get more for Martial from another club, but having seen United take the overpriced Falcao off their books, maybe they thought it right to return the favour?

Posted: 3rd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Manchester United can bank on success, says Wenger

The football media love to make sensation for nothing. So it is for Arsenal’s press conference ahead of their match with Manchester United. According to the Star, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger  has “revealed the real reasons” Man United are top of the Premier League.

Cocking an ear for the ‘real reasons’ – the position of the stars alignment, bribery or a psychic octopus – we hear Wenger say:

“I defended Van Gaal last year and I think the experience he has in his career it is not surprising that they are doing well. Manchester United has the money that they spend. It is not artificial. It comes from their own resources. You have to accept that they’re huge but they can do it and they are entitled to do it.”

United are top because they are a huge team that spends vast amount of money. Who knew?

Well, we all did. Because back in July, Wenger said much the same thing. Although today the Metro still teases:

Arsenal boss Wenger gives surprising opinion on Man United’s transfer business

What he said back then was:

“You can take Barcelona or Man United, who had a generation and built their success on players who came from within. These are our values and it is our DNA and it’s important we keep that. With United’s success they have created huge financial resources and today there is no patience for them to continue to do what they did — and they have the financial resources to go with a different policy.”

And how did the media bill that entirely sensible observation:

Sky: “Arsene Wenger questions Manchester United transfer policy”

M.E.N: “Manchester United are trying to spend their way to success, claims Wenger”

Such are the facts…


Posted: 2nd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Marquee Watch: Arsenal sent Cech a signal of in tent

marqueeMarquee Watch: a look at newspapers referring to a footballer as a “marquee”. Today Arsenal’s Petr Cech is one.

The Guardian:

Arsenal had to beat Olympiakos – Wenger had described the tie as must-win – and it made no sense to overlook Cech, his No1 goalkeeper and the one marquee signing that the club had made last summer to make the difference.

Cech is the only signing Arsenal made over the summer.

The low-water mark for this Marquee Balls is in the Derby Telegraph, which told its readers:

Premier League champions Chelsea take on Arsenal in the day’s marquee game

Dictionary definition of marquee:

noun mar·quee \mär-ˈkē\
: a covered structure over the entrance to a building (such as a hotel or theater)

: a sign over the entrance to a theater that shows the name of the show, movie, play, etc., and the names of the main performers

: a large tent that is set up for an outdoor event (such as a party)

Posted: 30th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Backpages: Arsenal ‘Greeced’ by ‘Oopspina’ and Chelsea lose ‘Capital’ in night of ‘Fawlty Powers’

The newspapers lead with Arsenal and Chelsea’s woes in the Champions’ League. A slapdash Arsenal were beaten 2-3 by Olympiakos. Chelsea’ lost 1-2 in Porto.









Verdict: The Daily Mirror wins the pun wars. ‘Oopspina’ nails Arsenal goalkeeeper David Ospina for his own goal.

Posted: 30th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Wenger explains why he didn’t bring Anthony Martial to Arsenal

Transfer Balls: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to explain why he din’t buy Anthony Martial. The Daily Star has “the real reason why I didn’t make a bid for Man United star Anthony Martial.”

Says Wenger:

“He was more a winger in his whole career and he played the final part of the season last year as striker. But Monaco’s statement was always that the two players that would not move were Martial and [Layvin] Kurzawa, so I thought they would maintain that. But in the end both of them moved.”

It’s amazing what £36m did Monaco’s resolve.


Posted: 29th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: new chant of the year hymns Laurent Koscielny

araenal Chaka Khan


Arsenal fans have a new chant for Laurent Koscielny, the club’s French defender.

To the tune of Rufus and Chaka Khan hit Ain’t Nobody:

Ain’t nobody
Makes me happy
Makes me feel this way


Posted: 28th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: FA fine Gabriel for agreeing with them

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista should not have been sent off against Chelsea last weekend. The FA rescinded the red card. When he was wrongly sent off, the Brazilian complained bitterly, as all he might have. So the FA have now him £10,000 for “improper conduct” in failing to accept a decision they say was wrong.


Mike Dean, the referee who made the errors, has not been fined.


Posted: 26th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

‘Rampaging’ Arsenal balls: The Sun and Mail’s story on Spurs ‘shame’ show how much they hate football fans

The Press love to present any rowdiness at the football as a terrible thing. Last night Arsenal fans in the ‘away’ section were kept behind at Tottenham’s ground. These police-induced lock-ins are not supposed to be cause for merriment. They are moments when the police lock innocent people in/up for crimes not yet committed. A few Arsenal fans thought it a fun idea to reach over the barriers and peel off the sad mottos that puncture the Spurs concrete, messages like ‘Come On you Spurs’, ‘The Game Is About Glory’ and ‘To Dare Is to Do’.


Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 10.22.04


The Sun says the “yobs” have “shamed” football.

ARSENAL face another FA charge after their supporters ripped up perimeter stadium signs and HURLED them at Spurs fans.

No. The signs were not hurled. No Spurs fans were injured because the signs were hanging over the heads of other Arsenal fans, who were cheering. And most Spurs fans had already left the ground.

Arsenal got 3,000 tickets for the match – the same allocation they always get. This is the lay-out:




ESPN saw the came thing:

Kept behind after the game, some away fans pulled away parts of the “This Is Our Club” boards on the first tier of the Park Lane stand at Spurs.

Although it too slips into hyperbole. Miguel Delaney rebrands the Spurs ground White Hart Lane as ‘White Hate Lane':


Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 10.18.06


Undaunted by facts, the Sun ploughs on:

The disgraceful scenes marred the double of hero Mathieu Flamini which sunk their bitter rivals.

No. They didn’t.

These were “shocking incidents”.

No. They were not.

But the Mail demands more.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 10.44.07


Rampaging‘ fans?

Sami Mokbel at least gets one fact right:

The signs hurtled down towards the lower tier where other fellow Arsenal supporters were located.

What utter balls.



Posted: 24th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Benzema Joins Arsenal Again But For More Money

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 07.42.21


Transfer balls: the Metro days Arsenal have been “told” to increase their “bid” for Karim Benzema bid.

Told by whom? Sean Kearns writes:

They failed to get him in the summer but Arsene Wenger’s side has been told a significant increase in their bid for Benzema will see the Frenchman ending up at the Emirates.

Kearns links to a second Metro story. So we click. And there we learn:

 Gunners could land Benzema if a significant offer is lodged, according to Spanish news outlet Fichajes.

We click again. And on that site we’re told:

The club’s intention is not to leave, but it depends on the offers

The story is, then. that Real Madrid COULD sell Benzema should any club offer them massive sum of money.

Posted: 24th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Gabriel has red card rescinded, Chelsea docked points?

The Football Association has released the following statement on the Chelsea v Arsenal game that saw the Blues’ whining striker Diego Costa sneak away from a red card and work to get an opponents sent off.:

Arsenal’s claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to Gabriel has been upheld following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

The player’s three-match suspension has, therefore, been withdrawn with immediate effect.
Gabriel was dismissed for violent conduct during the game against Chelsea on Saturday [19 September 2015].

The player is currently subject to a separate FA charge of improper conduct in relation to Saturday’s game and has until 6pm on Thursday [24 September 2015] to reply.

The game saw Diego Costa get away with it. Chelsea went on to win 2-0. The pivotal moment was Gabriel’s sending off. Surely Chelsea should be docked points?

Posted: 22nd, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea balls: sneaky Diego Costa’s cheating is all matter of timing

Chelsea’s sneaky striker Diego Costa faces a three-match ban. the FA have charged the snide one with “an alleged act of violent conduct”.

He’s guilty as hello, of course, of shoving his hands and an elbow in Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny’s face? He then scratched the neck of Arsenal’s Gabriel, who reacted badly and got sent off. A three-match ban seems light for Costa, whose antics ruined the game. It’s also lamentable that his club manger, Jose Mourinho, thinks Costa’s antics are worthy of praise.

Writing in the Times, Oliver Kay focuses on Costa’s modus operandi:

Mike Dean, the referee, has been condemned in some quarters for failing to spot what was clear to everyone watching at home, but Costa, when he knows what he is doing, commits his offences so far off the ball that the officials are none the wiser. His attack on Koscielny happened almost as soon as a cross left César Azpilicueta’s boot. Had it gone as planned — and had the cross been better — Koscielny would have been out of the game, or would have taken mistimed retaliatory action, by the time that the officials caught up with play a second later.

He gets away with a lot, not because of the nature of his offences, but because of the way he times them.

Of course , when it comes to being sneaky, Mourinho shows the way:


Posted: 22nd, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea Balls: Diego Costa charged with violent conduct, Arsenal charged with failing to control players, FA triggers a small forest to die

costa_The FA have slapped their danglies down on the desk this afternoon by chucking disciplinary charges at absolutely everybody involved in Saturday’s ding-dong between Chelsea and Arsenal.

Both Diego Costa and Gabriel Paulista have been charged with violent conduct, while both Chelsea and Arsenal have been charged with a failure to control their players.

Link to the FA statement is here…

All parties have until Thursday, 24th September to respond.

The FA statement in full:

Following the game between Chelsea and Arsenal on Saturday [19 September 2015], The FA has taken the following disciplinary action.

Diego Costa has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video. The Chelsea forward was involved in an incident with Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny in the 43rd minute of the game. He has until 6pm tomorrow [Tuesday 22 September 2015] to reply.

Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees. Each referee panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence. For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision by the panel must be unanimous.

Arsenal defender Gabriel has been charged with improper conduct for his behaviour following his dismissal, whilst team-mate Santi Cazorla has been warned for his behaviour following his sending off.

Finally, both clubs have been charged for failing to control their players under FA Rule E20.

Both clubs and Gabriel have until 6pm on Thursday [24 September 2015] to reply.

The amount of paperworks should signal the end of  small forest. And it should keep the bloated FA nice and busy.

Posted: 21st, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Balls: photos prove Chelsea’s Diego Costa scratched Gabriel

Diego Costa was not sent off during Chelsea’s game against Arsenal. But he should have been.


costa_one diego_costa costa_ costa_eye

Posted: 20th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Back Pages: Mourinho to PSG, Chelsea cheat and prosper, Arsenal cry foul

tumblr_nuxz79gmda1u5f06vo1_1280Can it be that Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho is leaving the club? The Express leads with news that PSG want Mourinho at Paris. There is no sign that he will go but the paper says interest from the French champions offers the aggravating Portuguese an “escape“.

The Telegraph leads with Mourinho “goading” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger following yesterday’s match, which ended 2-0 in Chelsea’s favour, thanks in no small part to the “disgusting” antics of Blues striker Diego Costa, of whom the Sun asks, “Is Costa dirtiest player in the Prem“.

The Express also zooms in on Costa, showing the player apparently dragging his nails and fist over the face of Laurent Koscielny. The news is that Wenger has called for Costa to be “banned“, which he hasn’t done.



What he said was:

“I wouldn’t like to be [referee] Mike Dean tonight because I cannot understand the situations. Twice he [Costa] should have been sent off.

“Look at the situation well before the cross comes in, he hits him [Laurent Koscielny] in the face on purpose. He makes a fuss of it. In every game there is aggravation but he gets away with it because of the weakness of the referee.

“We are guilty because we gave in on that and responded to it. We knew before the game that he was only looking for that and when he touches him he goes down like he has been killed.”





As for Mourinho goading Wenger, well not really. Sure the Chelsea manager issues his usual sleights and bitchy remarks but anyone still wound up by him needs to get over it and just wonder at how a 52-year-old can be petulant:

“I played my first derby as manager in September 2000 and I remember my words to my players. To win the derby – emotional control. I always repeat the same words before derbies. For me it was a fantastic performance [from Costa]. He played the game like the game has to be played. He’s fast, he’s aggressive and he’s good to recover the ball and offers us different qualities.”

The Guardian sums up:

… there is not a great deal to admire about Costa’s behaviour when he resorts to these levels of snideness and, unless Mourinho can tell us otherwise, there seems to be absolutely no desire within the club for him to change.

Blame Mourinho for Costa’s gamesmanship? Or just blame the referee for allowing it to go on?

Posted: 20th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea v Arsenal Balls: French TV viewers and Garth Crooks vote Mike Dean man of the match

Mike Dean man of the match arsenal

Mike Dean man of the match arsenal


Premier League referee Mike Dean was voted Man of The Match for his performance officiating the Chelsea v Arsenal match. Dean became star of the show for sending off Arsenal’s for what is technically termed ‘something of nothing’.

Canal+ viewers named Dean their man of the match.

And Garth Crooks agreed:


Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho opted for Diego Costa, the player Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger called “disgusting”.

Posted: 19th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pravda Blues: Chelsea website report ignores Diego Costa’s snide skulduggery

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 15.59.10Chelsea striker Diego Costa should have been sent off before Arsenal lost Gabriel for reacting during the Premier League today.

Let’s see what the infamously monocular official Chelsea website says about Costa. But first a few other source to provide context:

The Guardian:

The most squalid part of the little exchange that ended Gabriel’s involvement is that we know enough about Costa’s skulduggery to say for sure that he will probably reflect on what happened as good play. Costa spends so long trying to pick arguments with opponents his credo seems to be that eventually someone will take the bait. More fool Gabriel that he was the one. Yet there is not a great deal to admire about Costa’s behaviour when he resorts to these levels of snideness and, unless Mourinho can tell us otherwise, there seems to be absolutely no desire within the club for him to change.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Video: Watch Chelsea’s ‘cheating’ Diego Costa elbow Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny and get away with it

Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 thanks in no small part to dire refereeing that saw Diego Costa some how escape a red card.

Costa was shown a yellow by referee Mike Dean for clambering and slapping Laurent Koscielny. He then whined to Dein that Gabriel – whom he appeared to scratch – had trodden on his toe. So Gabriel was sent off.




Posted: 19th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

VIDEO: Watch loathsome Chelsea striker Diego Costa escape a red card for scratching, pushing, slapping and elbowing Arsenal


Chelsea were on rare old form against Arsenal this afternoon, with Jose Mourinho’s side adopting spoiling tactics from the outset as they hustled their way to a 2-0 win at the Bridge.

The game was tailor-made for Diego Costa, who was in his element as he baited, goaded, dived, slapped, bitched and whined his merry way through the match – the Chelsea fans gleefully serenading his efforts as he reeled through his entire risible repertoire.

As part of the act, Costa was shown a yellow by referee Mike Dean for clambering all over Laurent Koscielny, with the loathsome striker managing to get away with a couple of half-arsed slaps into the bargain…

Arsenal centre-half Gabriel was then sent-off for allegedly “kicking out” at Costa as the pair mingled on the half-way line – the point at which referee Mike Dean got all excited and duly lost all semblance of control of the match…

The Gunners then had Santi Cazorla dismissed in the middle of the second-half, the Spanish midfielder picking up a second yellow for an over-zealous tackle on Cesc Fabregas to duly leave his side with just nine men on the pitch for the final 10 minutes.

All in all, another dismal advert for Premier League football.

Posted: 19th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal and Chelsea balls: Wenger and Mourinho milk the shake

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal looks on as Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on April 26, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


In readiness for today’s Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal, the Sun fearlessly confronts the serious issues:

PUNTERS can get 11/4 on Mourinho and Wenger shaking hands.

In “Hands up Jose: I’ll offer Arsene a shake” we once more revisit the issue of pre-match handshakes, something which occupied reams of print and hours of Sky telly when Patrice Evra and Louis Suarez, then of Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively, were in disharmony. And there was the Chelsea shake, when John Terry and Wayne Bridge were due to go palm-to-palm after the Chelsea captain had been accused of rubbing his hands and god knows what else over Bridge’s lover. And there was Terry once more, this time shaking and not shaking the hands of Anton Ferdinand and his brother Rio.

We’d always suggest that most football fans would prefer there to be no handshaking at all – no teams walking down the lines shaking hands before matches; no cloying talk of the ‘football family”; and no presenting of the match ball on a tee, as if it were the Holy Grail or golf. Most fans actually enjoy the animosity, the rivalry and the passion.

But we were wrong. The media tells us that the handshake is steeped in meaning. Shaking someone’s hand is not a shallow routine dreamt up by a FIFA wonk, possibly to mask the passing of cash, rather a sign that the handshakers are soulmates, working in harmony, each in tune with the other’s needs and morals. Don’t kiss the bride, shake her hand. And keep shaking it should she fall over, lose a game of Pictionary or be substituted for a younger, fresher wife.

The encouraging thing is that Jose Mourinho can work his snark into anything, and when the Sun says he will offer Arsene Wenger “a peace handshake” we give it the side-eyes and examine the comment for it being more loaded than Boris Johnson at a Bullingdon Club house party. Minds turn to previous peace handshakes between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler, Tony Blair and Colonel Gaddafi, Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher.

Indeed the Sun adds:

He may put Wenger on the spot by offering him his hand in full view of TV cameras, instead of in the Stamford Bridge dressing room. 

That the TV cameras are zooming in on the managers’ hands is in itself odd – but when you have 6 hours of pre-match and post-match airtime to fill with chatter and heated debate, you seek action in dust. For instance, if Mourinho is using his hands to shake, will he not be using them to wave in the air and point at perceived signs of unfairness; will Arsene Wenger be able to work the long zip on his coat with just one hand? Will either manager mark goals, bad fouls or injustices with a handshake?

As for Wenger, well, he says:

“Realistically, people come to watch football and all the rest is a little bit secondary. What’s important is the quality of what we will see on Saturday at 12.45pm — and you want people to focus on that.”

You do. But BT and Sky have invested heavily in camera technology, so expect lots of forensic focus on pretty much any hand that moves or doesn’t.

Posted: 19th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Gunners seek new medical marvel

What with Arsenal’s players generally being made of warm chocolate, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that the Gunners’ poor physio hasn’t enjoyed a day of leisure in quite some time.

In fact, it’s been posited that Colin Lewin (cousin of England physio Gary) hasn’t had a single day off work in over a decade as a direct result of Arsenal’s myriad injury woes.

Despite being contractually obliged to 28 days holiday per annum, Lewin has powered through for 10 solid years – his monstrous workload caused, in varying degrees, by serial crock-odiles Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey.

According to The Sun’s Dream Team FC, for the past four years, Lewin has only been allowed to leave the Emirates on two occasions: “Christmas Day in 2013 and one afternoon last spring after he collapsed from exhaustion.”

A particularly talkative friend of Lewin supposedly revealed thus:

I haven’t seen Colin in person for years. I thought he might make my birthday early this month but he was worried Wilshere’s leg was going to fall off.

When Diaby left I thought Colin might get to see more of his friends and family. But what with Debuchy, Rosicky and Wilshere, I’m not sure when he’ll be free again, if ever.

The report goes on to suggest that Lewin only has time for “just one meal a day and sleeps only three hours a night in a dark corner of Arsenal’s medical room.”

Arsenal have also apparently been advertising for a physio’s assistant since 2007 but “as of the time of writing there have been no applicants”.

Which is likely bollocks, but mildly entertaining nonetheless.



Posted: 18th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Arteta and the case of the vanishing Chelsea blues

Arsenal the TimesThe Times has news on Arsenal ahead of the weekend’s match at Chelsea:

Arsenal not confident for Chelsea clash, Arteta says


Arsenal not confident for Chelsea clash, Mikel Arteta concedes

Arsenal are fresh from defeat to Dynamo Zagreb. They take on Chelsea this Saturday. It’s pretty incredible for the Arsenal captain to do down his side’s chances, especially when they are higher than Chelsea in the Premier League table.

It is, of course, all balls. What he actually said was:

“It doesn’t help, before a big game. We haven’t managed to win three games in a row, which is very important. We had two in the pocket [after Newcastle and Stoke] and wanted a good result in Zagreb. We have to react quickly. We’re quite good at that. We’ve done it in the past. Saturday will be a very different game. It’s a big game, we have to react. We’re upset and we have to react. Sometimes when you have disappointment in the body it’s good because you find a good reaction.”

In other words: Arenal confident ahead of Chelsea match, says Arteta.

And he has more to say:

“First we have to recover the best we can and start to prepare for the game because we only have 48 hours. It is a new day, a time to be positive and take good things into the next game because we can beat Chelsea.”

So when did Arteta concede anything?

Posted: 17th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Things: Cech beats Ospina, ‘omnishambles’ Gibbs is England’s saviour, Walcott can score

Arsenal lose 2-1 in Croatia to Dinamo Zagreb, causing the journalisomobile to crank up it’s “Things We Learnt‘ SEO-driven device.

The Sun has ‘Five Things We Learned’ from Arsenal’s defeat.


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Olivier Giroud should be sorry for getting a red card; Petr Cech is better than David Ospina- who knew?; and the pick of the bunch:

Kieran Gibbs began like he had something to prove. But did he do enough to dislodge Nacho Monreal for good? 

Dunno. Did he? So much for leaning things.


The Daily Telegraph also learned five things. Alistair Tweedale has them in detail:


Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 06.57.38



Olivier Giroud is not scoring as many as Theo Walcott; Arsene Wenger “needs to get his teamtalks right”;  and “Gibbs is capable of winning his spot back at club level” –

Gibbs gives timely reminder of England depth – 24 hours after Luke Shaw suffered a double fracture of his right leg while on Champions League duty, Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs was given what is now a rare start on this European night, and he gave Roy Hodgson a much-needed reminder as to the extent of his options in that position.

Gibbs boasts an impressive reading of the game and in making four tackles and four interceptions in just 65 minutes he not only did much defensive work but also sparked Arsenal moves forward, too…Gibbs is capable of winning his spot back at club level and could ease Hodgson’s concerns ahead of Euro 2016 –

But the pick is:

England should be worried about their Uefa ranking

Tweedale reasons that if English clubs don’t beat foreign clubs in ranking European competitions the Premier League will be seen as not being as good as foreign leagues. The good thing about this item is that the Telegraph can repeat it whenever a Premier League team loses.


The Mirror also has learned five things:

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 06.57.49


Alex Richards has them.

He learns that “Really good teams… get ahead, hold on, maybe pinch a late second/third goal and waltz into the night with three points… Arsenal are NOT one of those sides.”

Which is why they lost 2-1 in a match in which they never held the lead.

After learning that Arenal did not score first – Zagreb did through an own goal – Richards also looks at Gibbs.

Out of position often, weak in the challenge, lacking urgency going forwards or back and pathetic… It was an omnishambles of a performance from a 25-year-old (26 in 10 days), who is seemingly no further along in his development than when making his Premier League bow seven years ago.

All facts. All things we learned.


Posted: 17th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: who is the ‘star’ player happy to leave Chelsea and join the Gunners?

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In “Arsenal star: Leaving Chelsea to join Gunners was ‘happiest day of my life‘”, Daily Express readers meet,well, who? Who is the Arsenal “star” who left Chelsea?

A look through the current Arsenal first team squad reveals that a single one of them has ever played for Chelsea. That’s Petr Cech. Was it the happiest day of the Chelsea great’s life when he left the Blues to join Arsenal? 


The “star” is Edward Nketiah? And this words were not told to the Express, but to – which the paper does not cite as its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 15th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: the Metro says Paris is in Spain and Cavani is all set to join Arsenal

The Metro cannot let it go. In a sport of Transfer Balls, the paper says:

Report: Superstar will do everything possible to seal January Arsenal transfer

Who is this superstar?

Cavani is apparently unhappy in Spain and wants to move on.

That would be Edison Cavani, who plays for Paris St Germain – in France?

the metro

And that is the same Metro which reported in August 2015:

Edinson Cavani to fly to London to have medical and seal transfer from Paris St Germain in coming days

Which he didn’t – perhaps he followed the Metro tour bus and went to London in Italy by mistake?

Posted: 12th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal do their bit for the refugees with Save The Children donation

Arsenal football club are doing their bit to ease the refugee crisis. The Gunners will donate £1 for every ticket sold during their Premier League match with Stoke City this weekend to the Save The Children charity.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger explains:

“For the game against Stoke, for every ticket sold, £1 will be donated to victims of the Syrian crisis. It’s an exceptional circumstance and I’m very happy that our club contributes to help refugees to settle in countries where they come without anything.

“We’ll give £1 for every ticket sold [against Stoke] and if everyone can contribute like we do then I think we can give very, very strong help.”

The Stoke City match is a category B fixture:


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So much for the Arsenal. What about the Save the Children charity?


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The charity is well run. Although it has attracted criticism. In 2013, Save the Children was caught in the media’s crosshairs. The Indy featured allegations the charity had spiked stories about fuel poverty to woo EDF and British Gas sponsorship. The charity denied any wrongdoing.

Also in 2013, the Mail looked at the boss’s pay:

It was revealed earlier this week that Mr [Jon] Forsyth earned a salary of £163,000, which is now known to include £22,560 in performance-related pay…

Three staff at Save the Children earn more than £140,000. The highest is chief operating officer Annabel Hoult who earned £168,653 last year.

The Mail omitted to say what they should be earning. Less? More?

In 2015 the Times reported more on the business of giving:

Save the Children spent a third of its advertising budget with an agency run by its chief executive’s brother, The Sun reported today. The children’s charity employed the Adam and Eve agency, whose founding partner is Jon Forsyth, brother of Justin Forsyth, who has led Save the Children since 2010.

Last year’s £729,343 spend – one third of the charity’s £2 million budget for advertising and creative projects – was approaching double the £443,693 the charity spent with Adam and Eve in 2013…

Save the Children’s working relationship with Adam and Eve predates Justin Forsyth working at the charity and was started after a thorough competitive tender process overseen by an external third party,” said a spokesman for the charity.

“Mr Forsyth has no input in awarding any contracts to Adam and Eve, and the relationship has been consistently openly declared in Save’s annual report.”

Save the Children says that £308 million of its £348 million outgoings was spent on charitable work last year. Of the remaining £40 million, £20.3 million went on fundraising.

Every little helps.

You can donate direct to the charity here.


Posted: 11th, September 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0