Anorak News | Same Old Arsenal

Same Old Arsenal

by | 11th, August 2003

‘A NEW season, but same old Arsene Wenger.

The short-sighted Arsenal manager may not have been able to plead blindness when Francis Jeffers kicked out at Phil Neville to earn his side’s first red card of the season.

They’ve got him now, but how long can West Ham hang onto Defoe?

But his reaction to other incidents involving Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell was classic Wenger: ”The incidents were on the other side of the pitch.”

According to the Independent, even Jeffers escaped his manager’s wrath, despite being the 50th Arsenal player to see red under Wenger.

”He made a mistake – he’s an intelligent boy,” Wenger said, despite all evidence seeming to suggest the opposite.

”He wanted to show how good he is but he made one or two poor touches, miscontrolled the ball and then he feels under pressure.”

And so he goes and kicks Phil Neville.

For the record, Manchester United came out as winners on the pitch in a penalty shoot-out after the Community Shield had finished in a 1-1 draw.

In football that actually matters, West Ham got their season off to a winning start with goals from Jermain Defoe and David Connolly enough to beat Preston.

But the club’s troubles are far from behind them, with the Guardian summing up one of the problems facing the Hammers.

”The trouble with Jermain Defoe,” it observes, ”is that the better he gets, the less likely he is to stay at Upton Park.”

And it remains to be seen whether both Glenn Roeder and David Connolly can both stay at Upton Park after the club’s new striker publicly lambasted the manager for leaving him out of the starting line-up.

”Once again the manager has been undermined,” says the Guardian, ”and sympathy for his medical condition will not outlast an impression that certain players are beyond control.”

Or perhaps it is that Roeder’s man management skills are as poor as the West Ham defence.

In other news, Geoff Boycott has a go at England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher in the Telegraph, accusing him of killing the game by destroying county cricket.

But it is county cricket that is the problem, according to the Times.

”Until there is a better system for sifting the talent in a county game that is increasingly the plaything of cricketers born and bred outside Britain, selection will be partially hit and miss,” it says of the decision to name three uncapped players in the squad to play South Africa at Trent Bridge.

Let’s hope that this time round it’s more hit than miss…

Posted: 11th, August 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink