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Arsenal | Anorak - Part 2

Arsenal Category

Bias balls: Arenal mistime a tackle as West Bromwich Albion howl for a penalty

Media bias: a look at biased football reporting. Last night Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in the Premier League. Tired at 0-0, Arsenal Shkodran Mustafi appeared to bring down West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez with a sliding challenge in the box. No penalty was given. Rodriguez got back to his feet and curled a shot at goal, hich Petr Cech did well to save, pushing the ball onto a post. What do the clubs say:

Arsenal official website:

…we survived two huge let offs along the way. Petr Cech made a excellent fingertip save and Nacho Monreal cleared off the line – both from Jay Rodriguez – during an eventful first half.

Is the penalty appeal mentioned at all?

Shkodran Mustafi mistimed his tackle on Rodriguez inside the area, but rather than give the penalty, the referee allowed play on…

Not  foul, then. It was a “mistimed tackle”.

West Bromwich Albion official website:

The forward used his pace to burst past Mustafi into the area, cut inside and appear [sic] to be brought down by the Gunners defender. Rodriguez quickly stood up and subsequently saw his shot tipped on to the far post by Petr Cech…

What about the managers?

Tony Pulis (WBA manager): “I think the challenge on Jay is a penalty and a red card.”

Arena Wenger (Aresnal manager): “The referee left the advantage and they nearly scored from that, they hit the post and I think the decision is defendable on both sides had he given a penalty or not. He left the advantage, if he gives a penalty and doesn’t give the advantage and they miss the penalty then you say why did he not leave the advantage, it’s this kind of situation.”

And the local papers?

Islington Gazette (Arsenal): “Tony Pulis and his men could feel aggrieved by referee Bobby Madley turning down a cast-iron penalty for the Baggies in the first half …”

Verdict: It should have been a penalty – but not if you’re on the Arsenal website.

Posted: 26th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool regrets: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays and Arsenal fans laugh

Don’t panic, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Arsenal player who left the club for Liverpool in a £40m transfer. Four matches into his rosy-fingered dawn and ‘The Ox’ has yet to be on the winning side.

No need to panic, though.

When Gareth Bale was at Spurs, it took 25 matches (!) for him to be on the winning team. The Sun’s Pat Sheehan covered Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat by Everton on 30 November, 2008, writing: “One glance at the score and any Spurs fan will tell you without looking at the line-up that Gareth Bale must have played.” Bale went on to be brilliant.

Of course, the problem is that Oxlade-Chamberlain is nowhere near as good as Bale. He’s a mediocre player who went for a stupid amount of money. Arsenal did very well in getting shot of the nice middle class boy in the final year of his Arsenal contract. ESPN says Arsenal had a “disastrous” transfer window. Balls. They hung on to Alexis Sanchez – their best player – and waved goodbye to the player who has always promised much and delivered less than a geriatric Deliveroo cyclist.

Last night Liverpool were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Leicester City. And Oxlade-Chamberlain was every bit as ineffective as he was at Arsenal.  Someone has produced this damning compilation of his night’s work:

This is the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who left Arsenal because he wants to play centrally, rather than waste his talents at wing-back.

Well played, Arsenal. Well played.

Posted: 20th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn’s wife shuts down Arsenal fan Piers Morgan

When Piers Morgan spotted Jeremy Corbyn chatting with Arsenal’s Spanish defender Hector Bellerin, he tried to butt in. Mrs Corbyn shut the boorish TV presenter down in the best way:

 

piers morgan corbynbellerinarsenal

 

Spotter: Tony Gray

Posted: 19th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Celebrities, Politicians, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Garth Crooks dumps Chelsea Nazis on Sead Kolasinac’s brick toilet

On Monday, BBC pundit Garth Crooks delivers his Premier League team of the week. This week Crooks has selected Sead Kolasinac, who played well in Arsenal’s draw against Chelsea on Sunday, during which he was kicked hard by “silly” David Luiz. Indeed, it was being kicked that earned Kolasinac Crook’s admiration. Crooks writes:

Sead Kolasinac is built like one of those North London brick toilets that withstood bombing raids during the Second World War.

Ah, yes, those famous Nazi-proof brick toilets. Bit cold to the touch, and they left a dusty circle on your bum, but nostalgia, eh. And if Kolasinac is the Great British brick toilet, who is the Nazi bomber?

Even after the most awful tackle by my defender of the year last season, David Luiz, he rose to his feet determined to finish the game. The way Luiz overran the ball in an attempt to draw Kolasinac into the challenge left me in no doubt that the Chelsea defender knew exactly what he was doing. In my view, he wanted a piece of Kolasinac.

David ‘doodlebug’ Luiz.

In my playing days, both men would have received a standing ovation for a tackle like that – Luiz for throwing down the gauntlet and Kolasinac for accepting it.

Yeah, you always applauded the footballer who got a kicking. For every Norman ‘Bites yer legs’ Hunter there was a Howard Kendall, accepting the noble gauntlet right in the shins. The Corinthian spirit shone though those magic moments.

 

 

History lesson over, Crooks adds:

Even though the Arsenal defender came off worst, the impressive Bosnia-Herzegovina international finished the game and with it earned a moral victory.

Well done for not getting your leg broken, Kolasinac, you paragon of virtue.

Cheers, Garth:

 

 

Posted: 18th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Chelsea website offers Luiz an excuse for his red card

Chelsea drew 0-0 with Arsenal in today’s Premier League match. Arsenal hit the post and missed an open goal; Chelsea had a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. The game was pretty even. But towards the end David Luiz received a straight red card for a nasty foul on Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac.

Any biased reporting?

The Chelsea FC website reports it thus:

David Luiz, earlier booked, was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Kolasinac in front of the dugouts, although it looked like Sanchez had fouled him in the build-up to it.

But no sign of any excuse on the Arsenal website:

There was a flashpoint in the final few minutes, when David Luiz was shown a straight red card when lunging in dangerously on Sead Kolasinac.

What about the fans?

Arseblog:

On the touchline Luiz flew over the ball and connected with Kolasinac’s ankle leaving the Bosnian in a crumpled heap.

We Aint’ Got No History (Chelsea):

…another silly red card for Chelsea, this time to David Luiz.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Blitzkrieg: Arsenal fans beyond parody as German ‘Nazis’ invade from Cologne

At last night’s Arsenal v Cologne match in the Europa League, things did not go smoothly. Fans behaved as football fans used to, arriving at the stadium without tickets and in high spirits. Around 20,000 fans of FC Koln arrived with just under 3000 tickets between them.

The sensible move would be to flog tickets on the gate, letting fans be with their mates and follow their side without need to register with clubs, load up credit card details and be processed in a way the Stasi would find a bit much. But no. Everyones needs a seat. And with a seat comes a number. And with that number comes control.

(Cologne’s 50,000 capacity: 50,000 has space for 8,175 standing fans.)

 

daily mail arsenal europa cologne

 

And so it is that 20,000 Germans football fans in London for their side’s first European match since 1992 are portrayed as an army of Nazis. “Thug urinate in street, make Nazi salutes and storm the turnstiles,” says the Mail. If pissing in the street makes you a thug, well, we’re all doomed. The definition of ‘thug’ according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “a brutal ruffian or assassin: gangster, tough.” Hold the prison tats, knives, guns and bare-knuckle fighting. You just need a full bladder and a lack of public loos to be a thug.

 

daily mail arsenal europa cologne

 

CARNGE!

And what of the Germans being Nazis? Well, for that there is but one source. “ITV political editor Robert Peston reported Nazi salutes and ‘peeing on doorsteps’.” Jim White on talkSPORT (“FANTASTIC! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU MY FRIEND THANK YOU FANTASTIC! etc…”) introduced “highly respected Arsenal fan Robert Peston”, who complained that the Germans “made a terrible mess” by dropping litter and urinating – “and I’ve got a few mates who live near the ground”.

Deary dear, eh. But Peston’s not alone is being upset. On the BBC website, the corporation has collected a narrow range of views, which were it not for any knowledge of what football now represents – moralising, family-friendly entertainment for a TV audience – we’d think the work of a parodist.

Rachel: “In the Emirates as a home fan. Ashamed of Arsenal right now. All the warnings about turning away fans away and they’ve done nothing. No stewards to be seen. Feeling so intimidated.”

Ade: “Currently inside the Emirates, thousands upon thousands of German fans everywhere around us. Horrible tense atmosphere. Tens of thousands of fans being made to feel very unsafe, including very young children.

Foz: “Got to my usual seats in Club level with my 11-year-old son. Surrounded by Cologne fans. So unsafe we have been moved to the other side of the ground. Worst feeling at football in 40 years of watching home and away.”

Chris: “Currently in the home end at Emirates – away section (corner) full and in full voice. Hundreds of people joining in the singing in the adjacent section behind the goal that should be for Arsenal supporters. Can only assume they are Cologne fans.”

Steve: “Don’t feel safe inside and won’t feel safe outside. Should be called off and the Cologne fans sent packing. Arsenal fans who sold their tickets should be banned.”

All pitiful stuff. But at least in the Sun, Dave Kidd does note:

But this did not feel like the bad old days of hooliganism…. A walk around the outside of the Emirates shortly before the original kick-off time, before the turnstiles finally opened, simply showed thousands of English and German supporters shrugging their shoulders and asking each other politely what the hell was going on.

Blitzkrieg! We march at dawn.

 

Posted: 15th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arse v Spuds battle of the rappaz: Arsenal and Spurs fans in excruciating music fight

Steel yourselves, readers, for this epic battle between fans of Arenal and Spurs.

First up: the Selly Oak Crew with You Just Got Kaned. With sincere apologies to Chas ‘n’ Dave, mum, dad, musicians and every poor sod who supported Spurs when they could have opted for the Arsenal.

 

 

But Spuds toughs don’t have it all their own way in North London. Here are the Away Boyz. proving that even with a bigger budget you can still come across as utterly ridiculous.

 

 

Posted: 15th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, Music, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal versus Cologne balls: German ‘army invades’ London and media prays for blood

Good fun in Soho as a large contingent of Cologne fans marched along singing their songs. The police didn’t kettle them, send for the attack dogs nor smash their heads in. And so about 20,000 Cologne fans clutching 2,900 tickets between them arrived at The Emirates for the club’s match with Arsenal.

They can’t all get in. So the match has been delayed.

Has there been any bother, then? Lots of fighting and broken class? Patio furniture tossed about the place and blood on the pavement?

A Met Police spokesman tells us: “At around 15:00hrs on Thursday, 14 September a large group of football fans gathered in Oxford Street, W1. The group were at the location for about 30 minutes whilst they boarded public transport to travel to a football match this evening.  They did throw bottles and let off flares, but there was no significant disorder, police were on scene and there have been no arrests. The group has now left the area.”

Bit of a laugh, then. A few berks throw bottles but that’s about it. No more  (surely much less  – ed) than the high spirits you see at rugby matches.

So how does the Daily Mail report on the joyful rowdiness?

Germans invade London: Fights break out as an army of 20,000 Cologne football fans march through centre of the capital as kick-off of Europa League match with Arsenal is DELAYED for ‘crowd safety’

An invading army! The Mail’s ‘Crime Correspondent’ begins his report thus:

Violence erupted onto the streets of London after an army of German football fans marched through the centre of the capital.

Carnage! Or as the small print notes: “footage later emerged of two men being punched and kicked in a street during clashes.” Two men fighting. Call of the RAF. Stand down the nuclear submarine. The war might over as soon as the Hans and Jurgen tire.

At the Ground.

Well, a load of Cologne fans seems to be in the Arsenal end. Good-oh. Lots of atmosphere for a change.

 

And finally… get his down to forensics!

PS – Arsenal fans are flogging their tickets to Cologne fans.

PPS: Reports that Cologne fans arrived yesterday to reserve their sets with towels as yet unproven.

Posted: 14th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Ozil leaves on a free having ‘signed a new deal’ in August

Time for a spot of transfer balls – our look at rubbish football reporting. The Sun says Mesut Ozil  is “set to leave Arsenal next summer on [a] free”. He “will NOT sign [a] new contract”. Well, so say “reports in Germany”. We can find only one of those reports, and it’s in Bild, the German tabloid. We’ve put the story through Google Translate and can now let you know:

The future of national player Mesut Özil is still unresolved.

So, Ozil might stay at Arsenal, then. It continues:

According to information from SPORTBILD, since February 2017 there has been no negotiations with the “Gunners” over an extension of the end of the season ending contract.

At that time they talked about a new working paper with a higher salary (estimated currently: 9 million euros), then Arsenal broke the talks off. Background: Arsène Wenger had contact with PSG at that time. The Londoners lacked the planning certainty, as it was not clear how the coach would go on.

Since then, no longer talked about an extension with Ozil. The fact that a new contract with a basic salary of 280,000 euros per week, as is reported, is not true.

Contract talks were postponed in February because Wenger had yet to commit to a new deal. And Ozil was not offered €280,000 a week to stay at Arsenal.

Which rather makes you wonder if either Bild or the Sun can be believed. After all, according to the Sun, Ozil signed a new deal in August:

 

the sun ozil

 

In fact, he signed a new Arsenal deal in 2016:

 

ozil agrees the sun

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United wanted Arsenal’s Wenger but ended up with Mourinho and his questionable values

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the role at Manchester United. According to former Man United chairman Martin Edwards, the Red Devils approached Wenger to manage the club when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intention to retire. On May 18 2001, Ferguson told MUTV: “I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it.” In 2016, Ferguson called the decision his “biggest mistake”. He changed his mind in January 2002.

That was a blow to Sven Goran-Eriksson, the former England manager who has said that he signed a deal in 2002 to replace Ferguson. In Sven: My Story, Eriksson notes: “I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract. But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United.
A contract was signed — I was United’s new manager.”

In his autobiography, Fergusson admits as much. “The head-hunters were due to meet a candidate to succeed me the following week,” wrote Ferguson. “Sven-Goran Eriksson was to be the new United manager, I believe. That was my interpretation, anyway.”

But this is about Wenger, who says he didn’t move to Old Trafford because he was happy at Arsenal. “I love the values of this club,” says Wenger, “and a club is about values first.”

….

Meanwhile, in Harrod’s department store, London, current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has bumped into TV presenter Piers Morgan, who reports their conversation. “How the hell is Arsene still in his job?” asks Morgan. “No idea,” says Mourinho, whose family live in London, “but I hope she stays for a long time.”

Clubs can pick a manager but they can’t pick their fans.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clickbait balls: Arsenal ‘sign’ Lemar but only in the Sun

Illustrating just how bad Arsenal are at transfers, news reaches us that Monaco and France star Thomas Lemar “agrees £250,000-a-week five-year Gunners deal”. The Sun delivers this news in a big, bold headline. Arsenal, eh. The transfer window closed at the end of August, lads. Rubbish.

Of course, the story is total balls. Having delivered the apparent fact of Lemar’s recruitment to the Arsenal cause, we’re soon told the Gunners “are confident Thomas Lemar will arrive at the Emirates in a £92million move from Monaco in January”.

lemar arsenal

 

Nothing has been agreed. Although the Daily Star, which the Sun cites as the single source for its clickbait, claims “a deal has been agreed in principle”. Which means absolutely nothing.

Indeed, even the hyperbolic Star makes a less bold statement than the Sun, noting: “EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal confident they can rekindle £92m deal for Thomas Lemar in January.”

The Star cites no source in its report, leading readers to wonder how one paper’s claim that Arsenal will look to sign Lemar in January became news that Lemar had agreed to join Arsenal in another?

No facts. But lots of exclusives and duped readers.

Posted: 9th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Sanchez ‘will’ sign a new contract if you twist Wenger’s words

Was the Sun’s Neil Ashton in the room when Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke to media on Thursday? Ashton has big news on the press conference:

Arsene Wenger has launched a passionate defence of his disastrous deadline-day dealings. In a remarkable outburst, the Arsenal boss claimed wantaway Alexis Sanchez is “happy” at the Emirates and will sign a new contract.

Is that what he said? Did the usually circumspect Wenger actually say Sanchez would sign a deal to remain at Arsenal? On Arsenal’s official website you can read what he said in full:

on considering selling Alexis…

I didn’t want him to leave unless you bring somebody else in with similar quality – then you can defend it. Then you have a player with a four or five-year contract in front of them who is young. But overall, I didn’t want to lose him without having any replacement. Every decision you make can be interpreted in both ways. As long as you have the quality on the pitch for the club, that’s the one thing that matters. I didn’t want him to leave, it’s true. I didn’t want him to leave and in the end he didn’t leave.

on the chance of Alexis staying beyond next summer…

Yes, there is a chance, yes. You just said he is committed and focused on Arsenal. That’s what makes me believe it. At the end of the day, he is 29 years old in December, he knows his football years are counted at that level, especially with the evolution of the game now, so you have to enjoy every minute.

You can even watch the meeting online:

 

 

So no “outburst” and no claim that Sanchez “will” sign a new deal. Other than that the story was, er, correct.

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Wenger on the legends, Liverpool and Thursday nights

Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal press conference revealed that he can talk about what might have been just as well on a Thursday as he can do on a Friday. Moving his usual press conference a day forward could be part of the club’s general shift towards Thursday night activities, such as the demand of the Europa League dictate. It’s about re-establishing body lock rhythms. Whereas once Thursday night meant a light supper in a Hertfordshire bistro and Bake Off on catch-up,Wenger is now faced with the tricky prospect of finding BATE Borisov on the SatNav and airplane snacks.

Ahead of the latest must-win game, this one against Bournemouth at the Emirates, where Arsenal boast an impeccable 100% win record this season (they’ve only played one match – ed), Wenger did his usual thing of reminding fans how close the club came to singing the cream of French footballing talent. None arrived, but it’s good for the Arsenal fanbase to know that the very best players have heard of Arsenal. Could the same be said of Hull, say, or Cheltenham?

Wenger than called for the transfer window to shut before the Premier League season begins. This, he reasoned, keeps players focused on their club. It might also stop managers selecting want-away footballers from playing the very team they are about to be flogged to, as Wenger did when he picked the anodyne Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to face Liverpool  hours before he joined them for an inflated £35m.

Wenger then turned his mind to those Arsenal ‘legends” grabbing the arms of BBC office furniture and sniping at the current crop. “I always have problems understanding what a legend is and what a legend isn’t,” said Wenger. “I’ve had all the players here and we speak about today but they all had their weaknesses, as well, don’t worry about that. They had their weak games and their weak behaviours. Nobody was perfect.”

Although they did win the Premier League. They did have that, Arsene.

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Alexis Sanchez calls Arsenal his ‘home’ and vows to focus

A busy week at the tabloids, as writers think hard about how to fill in the blank pages over the international break. The Sun overlooks doodles of knobs and photos of Paul Gascoigne putting the bins out in favour of pressing f6 on the keyboard and going studs up on Alexis Sanchez. The Sun says Arsenal players wanted the club to flog Alexis Sanchez over the summer. Well, so says the paper, which talks of “fear” in the Arsenal squad that the “moody” Chilean’s return will “sap” the team’s moral.

The Sun’s story is supported by neither evidence nor quote. It exists in headline form only.

Undeterred by the fact that Sanchez has always given his all for Arsenal, Neil Ashton says he “pulled every trick in the book to get away”. That book presumably including a chapter on playing for the team, albeit in a palsied performance at Liverpool in which Arsenal, Sanchez and all, were thrashed 4-0.

Ashton says Sanchez “barely lifted a leg” as the Gunners went down. Well, the same could be said for pretty much every Arsenal player in what was an abject performance, and Sanchez’s first of the season.

Ashton ends his page filler saying Sanchez was “made to play against his will” at Anfield, which rather counters the idea that the Chilean is difficult to manage.

After so much blah-blah, the Sun then delivers the results of a poll in which readers were invited to consider whether or not Sanchez should play for Arsenal. Shock of shocks, most Arsenal fans who respond to polls think playing the club’s best player a good idea. Only 15% of all fans think Sanchez should be put in a wood-chipper and scattered to the winds.

In the Mirror, Sanchez is “fit for nothing”, not even as fertiliser. A former coach of Chile’s Under-20s side, says Sanchez is “fatter than normal”. Chile lost two World Cup qualifiers in the international break. And Sanchez wasn’t at his best. But fat? Bit bitchy of the coach, no, to resort to body shaming. Next they’ll be saying Sanchez’s legs are too hairy and he’s only wearing one bottle of gel in his hair.

As the tabloids wade in on Sanchez, one of the Premier League’s best players, we wonder what the player makes of it all. On Instagram he explains:

 

instagram alexis sanchez arsenal

 

He’s back ‘home” at Arsenal and trying to “focus”.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 7th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: shameless Ian Wright joins the Get Ozil bandwagon

Arsenal great Ian Wright has responded unkindly to Mesut Ozil’s polite request that former Gunners “stop talking and start supporting” the team. The much maligned Ozil – often unfairly criticised (see here, here and here) – posted a message on Facebook. He wants the clubs, former players working in the media and its fans to get together.

 

 

The bit of Ozil’s message that irked Wright and his fellow to-deadline media whores was:

Personally I’ve had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London. ‘Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight’ – this is what people have said about me.

Some of these comments are made by those who do not know me, some are made by former players – both successful and unsuccessful during their time here at the club.

Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends – my advice to these former Gunners: stop talking and start supporting!

Wright careered onto BBC Radio 5 Live to rant:

Sign a contract if you feel that strongly about people criticising the team because you’re somebody who is integral to Arsenal’s success.

You’re not signing a deal and you’re probably going to continue to hide behind the fact that (Alexis) Sanchez is the one that everybody’s going to say, “Is he going to go?”.

Why haven’t you signed yet? That’s what I would say to you. If you feel that strongly, why haven’t you signed yet?

A player that is not actually performing on the pitch is coming out, calling people out and he’s not signing a contract.

It’s laughable.

Ozil must wonder what he ever did wrong to end up Arsenal.

 

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chile star says story of Sanchez to Manchester City is total balls

What really happened with Alexis Sanchez’s aborted move to Manchester City? The papers are unsure. The Sun says Arsenal called Manchester City to “flog” their star player for £60m. Arsenal then called Monaco to buy Thomas Lemar for that £60m plus another £32m. But Lemar “snubbed” the Gunners. So the whole deal was off because Arsenal only said they would sell Sanchez if Lemar agreed to join them.

The odd bit is that Manchester City – who only made their first offer for Sanchez as late as last Tuesday – apparently told Sanchez it was a done deal. He told his Chile team-mates, who – get this – “gave him a round of applause” (Sun). The other less odd bit is that Arsenal maintained they would not sell Sanchez – and they didn’t.

The result is that Sanchez is “disappointed” (Mail) and “furious” (Sun). But the player has made no comment. The fury comes from unnamed sources, who add that Sanchez could now go on strike (Express). He could also decide to knuckle down and play brilliantly, perhaps even signing a new deal at Arsenal and so earning £300,000 week, up from his current £140,000 a week.

The papers are guessing. But one man is willing to go on the record. Bayern Munich and Chile’s Arturo Vidal says Sanchez never did get that round of applause. He says Sanchez was focused on Chile’s game against Paraguay and never mentioned joining Man City. “To whom? No, no, to nobody. Not to me. I don’t think so,” said Vial when asked abut Sanchez. “I think it was all made up because he was very focused on today’s game.”

What price that anonymous source was already counting 10% of £60m until Arsenal stuck to their guns..?

Posted: 1st, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal FC is declared dead and only the parasites remain

Arsenal are dead. So says the Sun, which links the club’s pulse to Alexis Sanchez’s whims, declaring that when the Chilean quits the club today – it is “inevitable he will, says the paper’s Neil Ashton – he’ll be leaving behind a corpse where there was once a club.

Sanchez would also be leaving the leeches, footballers whose presence at Arsenal is more parasitic than proud. Granti Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Calum Chambers are rubbish on the “Arsenal scrapheap”.

 

the sun arsenal

 

But might it be that the Sun’s trash talk is a little late? It was last March 8 when the Sun’s Ashton told readers:

Arsenal Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.

Can you die twice? And can a thriving football club with millions in the bank die once? Because having watched Arsenal breathe its last in March, on June 1, the same Neil Ashton wrote:

Arsenal, no matter how many times they win the FA Cup, are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown among their fans..

 

To wit the obvious question: is Neil Ashton a Gooner?

Posted: 31st, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal mug Liverpool for £40m Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool have spent £40m on recruiting Arsenal and England’s nice, middle-class boy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The word mugged spring to mind. Arsenal might have kicked off the Premier League in indifferent form, but such a large fee for such an uninspiring, toothless player is a great result.

Since joining Arsenal in 2011, Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 198 appearances for the Gunners. And in every one he has been average at best and dire at worst. His most memorable appearance for Arsenal came in 2014 at Chelsea. As Arsenal played to a 6-1 defeat, Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped Eden Hazard’s shot around a post with his hand – and referee Andre Marriner sent off his team-mate Kieran Gibbs. (Even better news for Gooners is that the equally uncharismatic Gibbs has been shunted out to WBA.)

That case of mistaken identities, makes us wonder if Marriner is now working as Liverpool’s head of recruitment.

PS: Arsenal signed Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton. He joins a Liverpool side with more former Saints:

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton to Liverpool, July 2015m, £12.5m)
Dejan Lovren (Southampton to Liverpool, July 2014, £20m)
Sadio Mane (Southampton to Liverpool, July 2016, £34m)
Adam Lallana (Southampton to Liverpool, July 2014, £25m)

PPS:  If they want another one, Arsenal should make Theo Walcott available.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: rewriting history without Patrick Vieira

sami mokbel arsenal daily mail

 

Using Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat at Liverpool to rewrite history is the work of the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel. The journalist has been in New York, where he spoke with former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira, currently expanding the Manchester City brand with New York City. The tone is very much one of if only Arsenal had a player of Vieira’s calibre now.

Across the page, Mokbel talks of Arsenal’s “broken dressing room”. Mokbel likens the place to a “morgue” – although the Daily Telegraph hears the deathly quiet punctuated by the roar of fury as players rip into one another. Mokbel rearranges his earplugs and tells readers:

How Arsene Wenger could do with Patrick Vieira in his ranks. Sunday’s harrowing experience at Anfield would never have happened on the Frenchman’s watch.

Eh, yes it would have. December 23, 2000: Arsenal are beaten 4-0 at Anfield in the Premier League. Vieira plays the full 90 minutes.

The Arsenal team on that daty: Manninger, Dixon, Keown, Luzhny, Silvinho, Parlour, Vieira, Grimandi, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry. Subs: Stepanovs, Pires, Wiltord, Lukic, Kanu.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal to swap Alexis Sanchez for £20m and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling

Yep, lots of Arsenal news and views today. I’m obsessed. That much is clear. But the doom and gloom is being lifted by what might resemble a cunning plan. Having offloaded the bog-standard English footballer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea, who were so in dire need to native flesh and they invested £40m of Russian peasants’ cash  hard-earned moolah in ‘The Ox’, news is that Arsenal are in for his England colleague Raheem Sterling (the ex-Liverpool player who runs like a bearded dragon).

Manchester City want Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez. Given that Sanchez fancies playing for Arsenal less than he does growing his leg hair out, the Gunners should sell the Chilean pronto. To sweeten the blow of losing their best player, City are offering cash (around £20m of Abu Dhabi’s GDP) plus the exciting Sterling, 22, who cost them £49m in 2015 .

If this deal goes through, then Arsenal win. They get a London-born footballer they have long coveted. They get shot of Sanchez, who will surely only fade at Arsenal. And they inject the dressing room with a dash of the unexpected.

 

Posted: 29th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


After Liverpool, Arsenal players caught a ‘furious’ ‘morgue-like’ dressing room

Is the Arsenal dressing room noisy? Arsene Wenger told us after Stoke rode their luck to beat Arsenal 1-0:

“We have many leaders…of course at the moment, I would say Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are the captains with Petr Cech so the natural responsibility goes to them.”

So how is Wenger is the dressing room? Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn told us yesterday:

“Arsene Wenger’s usually very calm and calculated, but I have known players to say over the past few seasons when he gets a performance he finds unacceptable he has lost his temper somewhat.”

Sami Mokbel in the Mail:

Another defeat, another virtually silent dressing room. If there was ever a time to air some home truths then Anfield’s away facilities at around 6pm on Sunday was it… by and large, yet again, it was a morgue. Lifeless.

And in the Telegraph:

Petr Cech ripped into his Arsenal team-mates as he conducted a dressing-room inquest… He was furious

Or as former Arsenal player Lee Dixon has it:

There should be a few people being told off in that dressing room but I don’t think there will be and that’s the problem.

 

And Wenger:

“If you find a manager who is happy with that performance today, I wish you good luck. The emotions are negative, but it’s not the right moment to talk about that.”

Calm and calculated, then, as usual. And Cech took the lead among the players, as Wenger says he does. Plus ca change at the Gunners.

Posted: 29th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal in decline: blame the greedy board not Wenger

Alex Oxlade-Chambelrin, the 24-year-old Arsenal footballer is worth – get this – £40m and £220,000 a week in wages. Possessed of less fight than a LibDem activist at a cannabis conference, the man media calls ‘The Ox’ (on account of his running style?) becomes the player who will next year or maybe the year after that or the year after that be utterly brilliant for Chelsea.

 

arsenal oxlade wenger

 

Surely Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s was wearing blinkers or a salesman’s shiny jacket when he told everyone a few days ago how Oxlade-Chamberlain was “one of the players we want to build around in the future’, who caused Wenger to say: “I’m convinced that he will be in the next two or three years the English player everyone looks at.”

The smart move would be for the Gunners to now ship out Alexis Sanchez and any other player not keen on staying the course.  Arsenal should take the £70m (Daily Star) Manchester City are willing to part with for Sanchez. They should then sack Wenger and the patently useless Ivan Gazidis, the chief executive who called for a “catalyst” for change, and saw it delivered in a 4-0 tonking at Liverpool in which Arsenal performed like moving cones on a training pitch. Although, in fairness, Gazidis didn’t specify which way the line of travel would be. But now we know it’s clearly downwards.

Sacking Wenger is the opinion of Ian Wright, the former Arsenal striker , who tells Sun readers: “GO, ARSENE.” A pall of uncertainty hangs over Arsenal and, according to Wright, it’s all Wenger’s fault. Wrong. It’s the owners who are to blame. They hire. They fire. The Arsenal board has grown fat on Wenger’s ability to delivers Champions’ League cash and a team capable of packing out The Emirates. They suits merely call for more of the same year on year. Coming fifth placed in last season’s Premier League should not have earned him a new two-year deal on an increased wage.

The Mirror says senior players are “fuming” over the lack of changes and singings at the club. Others might wonder why just a year after buying Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez for a combined fee in excess of £50m, both are being touted for sale.

After yet another poor start to the season, Arsenal are “stale”. The Mail says the training routine never changes, adding that the club’s majority shareholder, ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke, will keep backing Wenger – until the dividend cheques stop coming and the fans stop buying shirts.

If you want to know what’s gone wrong at Arsenal, be like ‘The Ox’ and follow the money.

Posted: 29th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: Mustafi, Oxlade-Chamblerlain and other dead wood out; Lemar, Asenio and Van Dijk in

Big news at Arsenal, where perennial, toothless ‘tomorrow man’ Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, is smelling the money at Liverpool or Chelsea, lightweight left-back Kieran Gibbs is being offered to anyone, striker Lucas Perez is stinking up the place and if Arsenal can recoup the £34m they paid Valencia for Shkodran Mustafi, the troublesome German is out the door. And that’s before the Gunners look at Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, two star turns yet to sign new contracts, and poppadom-boned Jack Wilshere – all in the final year of their respective contracts.

Will the Gunners upgrade? After all, those players could only muster a fifth-place spot for Arsenal in last season’s Premier League. If Arsenal are serious about bringing about what the club’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis called a “catalyst for change”, better players are needed. The manager’s not going anywhere, so the club needs players who can do something different.

Which leads to the rumour that Arsenal are prepared to meet Real Madrid’s £75m buyout clause to sign Spain midfielder Marco Asensio, 21, from Real Madrid, and continue to wave wads of cash at Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, 21, and Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, 26.

It’s going to be busy at the Emirates before the transfer window shuts.

 

Posted: 27th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rejects new deal for more money than he wanted

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of the Gunners contingent of nice middle-class boy lacking bite. In the final year of his Arsenal contract, the temptation must be for the club to cash in on the player they bought from Southampton in 2011 and whose been an inconsistent performer, rarely shining. Chelsea are keen, and have offered £35m for the player.

But Arsenal want to keep him. And they are prepared to pay big for the privilege.

In 2011, Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger said of his new recruit: “We are looking forward to him fulfilling his huge potential with Arsenal.”

In 2017, Wenger suggested that potential would soon be achieved: “I want him to stay here for a long time. I’m convinced that he will be in the next two or three years the English player everyone looks at.”

So what’s the player who is always on the verge of being great worth to the Gunners?

On June 11, the Daily Star said a new contract had been agreed:

 

 

A few days later and the Star said Oxlade-Chamberlain was “highly unlikely” to agree a deal to stay at Arsenal. Both reports remain online.

 

 

On August 25, Oxlade-Chamberlain had “rejected” an absurd £180,000-a-week to stay at the Gunners, said the Star.

 

 

That’s odd because on August 15, the Mirror reported The Ox wanted £150,00 a-week to stay.

 

 

The Sun agreed.

 

 

Sky Sports adds: “Arsenal to tell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain if he can leave after he turns down new deal.” The deal that offered him more than he wanted?

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 25th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: ‘no Sanchez news’ excites the Mail and BBC

The BBC is engaging in a spot of clickbait. Below the question”Is Alexis Sanchez heading out of the Emirates?” it writes “Wenger not ruling out new Sanchez deal.”

Readers might well put the two headlines together and concoct the notion that Alexis Sanchez is leaving the Gunners. But that would be wrong. The BBC stokes the fires, noting “speculation linking the forward with a move away from the club”.

So what did Wenger says about that? Nothing.

“I don’t think he’s too much disturbed by all the noise, players at that level are used to it now. He is very focused, very happy and the fact he goes into the last year of his contract doesn’t mean we cant extend it.

“At the moment we haven’t, we just want to focus as a team and not look too much at the contracts of everybody.”

The BBC links to a Daily Mail story, one telling readers:

Manchester City still want Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, before next week’s transfer deadline.

From the off that story is utter tosh:

Pep Guardiola identified the Gunners forward as a primary target this summer but has been surprised by Arsene Wenger’s resolve in keeping his prized asset.

The Man City manager is shocked that the Arsenal manager wants to keep his best player?

Guardiola is willing to wait until next summer to sign Sanchez for nothing should a transfer fail to materialise.

Unless Sanchez signs for Arsenal, in which case the plan’s foiled.

 

Posted: 24th, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0