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Arsenal : Arteta lines up his shark jump

After Arsenal’s latest defeat, this episode of #Vincibles centres on the first leg of the Europa League semi-final with Villarreal. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta explained his decision to start the match with no strikers: “We have played with three strikers many times this season and didn’t score any goals, so it was a decision I made. The game was conditioned after four mintues [when Villarreal opened the scoring] so it is difficult to assess whether it would have worked or not.”

We leant that no strikers means no goals, save for a jammy penalty in the second half which made the scores 2-1 to the Spanish club – currently the 7th best club in Spain. As for not understanding how things were progressing because the opposition scored so easily before racing into a two goal lead and missed three glorious chances to make it more, well, Arteta has reached the delusional stage of football management.

He continued his thoughts on not understanding if the plan was working because Arsenal were getting thumped and had failed to register a single shot on target on the Arenal website:

Arenal: on whether it was a gamble to start today’s game without a striker…

Arteta: It’s the way we prepared for the game. It’s the decision that I made, thinking that it was the best way to play, but the game was conditioned after four minutes so it was difficult to assess whether it would work or not. Conceding from the set piece as well also changed it and after, we had to approach it in a different way.

With the game ending 2-1 in Spain, Arsenal are down but not out. “They got out of here alive,” said Villarreal’s Trigueros. “We should have killed them off.” Like Arsenal, Arteta lives another day.

Posted: 30th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Arteta becomes Stan Kroenke’s lickspittle

“All of them [had] the right intentions to defend the club and put the club in the best possible position for now and for the future, but they accept that the way it’s been handled has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta of the pathetic, totally greed-based plan for six English clubs to join a European Super League. No word from Stan Kroenke, Arsenal’s club’s distant billionaire owner. Although ‘Silent’ Stan’s hapless, entitled son Josh did condescend to meet some Arsenal fans over a Zoom call. The club’s official website duly produced a heavily blinkered ‘transcript’ from that exchange, missing out the bit where the fans pretty much universally told him to naff off.

“I really have to respect that when people have genuine intentions to do the best for this football club,” Arteta guffed on. “But if it doesn’t happen or it’s not the right thing to do, they can stand up here and apologise. We have to accept that and move on.”

And there it is. Arteta the lickspittle, a coach reduced to the role of telling the club’s fans they “have to accept” a greedy, dead-eyed American running things. No, They don’t. The strong impression is that Arsenal are club where no-one at the top a clue how to run one. And Arteta is nicking a living.

Posted: 24th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Spotify founder Daniel Ek wants to buy Arsenal – greedy Kroenke must go

Arsenal fan can begin to dream – and start moving their accounts from Apple Music to Spotify. Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of the streaming music company, says he wants to buy Arsenal, the team he supports. Will the craven Mr Greedies, ‘Silent’ Stan Kroenke and his hapless son Josh Kroenke sell up? Of course they will, if Ek offers them enough money, which is all they care about. So c’mon Stan the Spiv and gormless Josh, sell your shares and ship off. Arsenal fans loathe you.

Posted: 23rd, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


The European Super League is a FTSE for Football – bring it on!

On the telly, the latest Tory housing minister and a Labour MP whose name escapes everyone are lamenting the new European Super League, a new tournament featuring most of the continent’s richest football clubs. The politicians harp on about “grass roots football”, the fans being the game’s true lifeblood and the joy of a less fancied side doing well.

You might roll your eyes. Governments support a made-for-TV Premier League, open football to foreign owners, suck up to repressive regimes, tell fans to sit down and shut up, big up globalisation and then are aghast and outraged that the game develops into a European Super League – a FTSE for football. From bubble matches, to all-seater stadia and the policing of language, governments have tried and tested new methods of control on football supporters.

Football fans are portrayed as race rioters-in-waiting. You can kick racism and sectarianism out of football, wear your rainbow laces and elevate the women’s game, but show me a black editor on a national newspaper title, a border down the Irish Sea and the figures on domestic violence and we’ll see who really matters.

Lead image: Sheffield F.C. (here pictured in 1857, the year of its foundation) is the oldest surviving association football club in the world.

Posted: 19th, April 2021 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Key Posts, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard injury update – media anatomy 101

Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard was forced off with “an ankle knock” during Norway’s World Cup Qualifier against Gibraltar, says Sky Sports. It was a “blow” to his ankle, says the Evening Standard‘s man on a sofa. It is “nightmare” injure says the Caught Offside blog. He “rolled his ankle”says the Mirror. He “twisted his ankle” says the Mail.

And get this for a diagnosis. He played on with a broken ankle. Tough lad:

Odegaard ankle

Will update tomorrow with the dire news on how long he will out for before they have him put down etc.

UPDATE: National team coach Stale Solbakken, says he has not suffered a serious injury and hopes to have him back for the next World Cup qualifier against Turkey on Saturday.

Posted: 24th, March 2021 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Sanchez, Spurs and penalty to Robana

Arsenal beat Spurs 2-1 in the Premier League, the visitor’s goal coming from a lush piece of skill by Eric Lemala. In the blink of an eye, he received the ball and scored the best rabona goal since the even better once he scored seven years ago against Asteras Tripolis. The way he snaked his left foot behind his right heel and then clipped the ball so it travelled flat and hard across the turf, a daisy-cutter into the bottom corner, was sublime. Before that magic and after it, Spurs were outplayed. The winning goal came from the penalty spot. And that’s what gives the media a chance to blather, mitigate and rule to deadline. Was it a penalty?

Spurs manger Jose Mourinho said it was defo no pen. He stood by the pitch and wagged his finger – a move that never fails to impress the adult its aimed at and make them rethink and change their mind. He then moaned some more after the match. On Match of the Day, former Spurs player Jemaine Jenas, was outraged that a penalty had been awarded.

Writing in the Guardian, Barney Ronay spotted a foul:

Perhaps José Mourinho will continue to dispute the award of that match-winning penalty just after the hour, with the score 1-1, as Davinson Sánchez came storming back to intercept a long pass to Alex Lacazette. Lacazette missed his shot at goal. Sánchez came barrelling right through his man all the same.

Yes, it didn’t actually affect the game. But this was a foul in any sport you care to name – ice hockey, karate, Shrove Tuesday midden-ball.

In the Times, Henry Winter delivers a report in police log fashion:

After 64 minutes, Nicolas Pépé, who had replaced Saka at the break, really came to life, sending Alexandre Lacazette through on goal. Before the stretching Davinson Sánchez could challenge, Lacazette completely sliced his shot, the ball squirting left, away from goal. But Sánchez’s momentum took him into Lacazette, knocking him over. Michael Oliver pointed to the spot, VAR confirmed his judgment and Lacazette calmly sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way.

Maybe the clubs’ respective websites can clear it up? Arsenal’s tells us:

Nicolas Pepe was introduced for Bukayo Saka at the break, and the Ivorian’s wonderful pass to Lacazette inside the box resulted in a penalty. Lacazette failed to make good contact with his shot, but was cleaned out by Davinson Sanchez. Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and Lacazette himself dispatched.

And Spurs?

Sanchez was penalised for a challenge on Lacazette in the area despite the Arsenal player having already sliced his shot wide, and it was Lacazette who stepped up to send Hugo Lloris the wrong way from 12 yards.

So here it is, the foul (which it was):

PS: No foul given below. And in unrelated news: Harry Kane is the England captain:

Posted: 15th, March 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Folarin Balogun : agrees to go, wants to stay and his agent is busy

Folarin Balogun might not be good enough to start for a faltering Arsenal team, but with his contract expiring in the summer, the 19-year-old American striker is apparently good enough to play for petty much any other side – so long as they recruit him without the need to pay the Gunners a transfer fee and his agent is happy.

Reporting on the player amounts to guesswork. The Sun says he’s agreed to join German side RB Leipzip. The Sun also says – also today – that he hasn’t.

The guesswork continues in the Mirror, where readers can enjoy the article: “Folarin Balogun’s ‘complicated’ Arsenal situation explained amid talk of RB Leipzig agreement – The Arsenal wonderkid is out of contract at the end of the season, and there has been talk of an pre-contract agreement with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.”

What talk?

So a story that is and isn’t true is reported as fact – and the Google News bots present it as news:

The Mirror – again:

You might begin to wonder at the source for all this ‘news’:

More news form the agent when the tabloids have it…

Posted: 14th, January 2021 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal: Arteta loses the plot with pathetic stats whinge

Next stage of terminal decline is to brandish loose A4 print-outs at press conferences. And so we join Mikel Arteta and his stats. The failing Arsenal manager is at a press conference. Football is a straightforward leisure pursuit. It is not science. The only fact that matters is the score. But Arteta has other facts. He has hundreds of facts. The more he mentions these stats the more ridiculous he looks – and the more you begin to realise why his team is paralysed by confusion and incapable of scoring a goal:

The opposition score more goals than you, you lose.

Posted: 21st, December 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Robbie Savage, gambling on Spurs and the Mirror’s journalism of attachment

After Spurs easily saw off Arsenal with a 2-0 win, BBC radio DJ and Daily Mirror columnist Robbie Savage told his Twitter followers: “I went early on Spurs winning the league 🤷‍♂️💙⚽️ 08085909693 ,,, tell me why the won’t ? Tom the arsenal fans said arsenal would win the league this year ,, 😂🤦🏻‍♂️ 08085909693 #bbc606.”

Tom the Arsenal fans is clearly delusional, unable to see that club manager Mikel Arteta is learning on the job and the Gunners squad is populated by many players who’d struggle to get a game for Fulham. But what of Savage and his to-deadline opinions? You can find out more of what Savage thinks at the Daily Mirror:

Robbie Savage Spurs

In order, this is how Savage predicted the Premier League table, from first to last: Liverpool; Manchester United; Chelsea; Manchester City; ARSENAL; Wolves; Spurs… So that’s Spurs in 7th place, two behind Arsenal.

This guesswork is brought to readers in association with the Mirror’s latest betting partner. It might be that Savage didn’t write the thing, just saw his name added to to the top to give it a bit of omph and authenticity. After all he’s an ex-pro who works for the State broadcaster. You can trust him. Savage might know a thing or two. So place your bets!

Given the damaging impact gambling can have on people’s lives and that the Mirror pitching Savage’s words in an article which encourages betting – the prediction piece ends with a large button stating “BET HERE” – might it be useful to tell readers that Savage’s views are liable to change with the wind?

A radio phone-in is a bit of fun, a distraction from the important things in life. Losing your money and health because those same opinions encouraged you to gamble is far more serious.

Posted: 7th, December 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Money, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal fail to take head injuries seriously – Arteta puts ‘the process’ over player health

David Luiz Arteta head

The good news. Wolves striker Raúl Jiménez is conscious and responding to those around him. Rushed to hospital after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz early on in last night’s Premier League victory at Arsenal, Jiménez lay prone on the pitch for around 10 minutes. He went off. But Luiz stayed on, blood oozing through a bandage taped around his head. Madness. Stupid. Dangerous. And those are just the good points in Arsenal’s reaction to head injuries.

“David is OK,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. “He had a nasty cut and he was conscious. He had a test and was completely fine.”

So fine that Luiz was replaced by Rob Holding at half time. He was not fine. He was injured. Head injuries cannot be diagnosed in seconds, as the hapless Arteta believes. That Luiz remained on the pitch after such a sickening clash of heads shames Arsenal. It was a move born of desperation.

Arteta decided against common sense and decency in favour of sticking with what he comically calls “the process” – a “process” that has resulted in Arsenal’s worst ever start to a PL season.

“When you see the reaction of the players you know something really bad is happening,” adds Arteta. “We followed the protocol to check [Luiz] had not lost any consciousness, which he hadn’t, and then some tests. They will continue to do some more checks on him. He was really uncomfortable and couldn’t really head the ball and couldn’t continue.”

Time to take head injuries seriously. Arsenal didn’t.

Posted: 30th, November 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal: Tierney checks on Leeds United ‘cheat’ Alioski after Pepe floors him with ‘headbutt’

Alioski

Working under the premise that scoring a goal is for glory-hunters who don’t fully understand the nuances of the game, Arsenal achieved another glorious 0 in a 0-0 draw with Leeds United. With Leeds already on top, and Arsenal accidentally almost scoring – “Pepe inadvertently hit the crossbar with an attempted cross from the left” (sources Arsenal.com) – Pepe was sent off for the first time in his career. What did he do?

Arsenal.com describes the incident thus:

Mikel Arteta brought on Reiss Nelson at half-time but our gameplan was undermined when Pepe was sent off by Anthony Taylor once the referee had checked footage of his altercation with Alioski.

What kind of ‘altercation” is dealt with by the official Leeds United website:

Mikel Arteta went to his bench during the interval, bringing on Reiss Nelson with Willian departing. Just four minutes into the half, Pepe would join his teammate in the dressing room by getting a red card, for head butting Alioski.

Pepe is a pillock. And that headbutt? Is Alioskji ok? Broken nose. Concussion? Worse?! The BBC tells us:

The Ivorian, who has rarely justified his £75m fee, had a running battle with Alioski and eventually lost his patience with a ‘football headbutt’.

Alioski threw himself to the ground…

A “football headbutt” is when you don’t actually headbutt someone?

After the match former Glasgow Celtic player Keiran Tierney was keen to offer advice to the stricken Alioski:

Football – why do we bother?

Posted: 22nd, November 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal: Ozil saves Gunnersaurus

Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus (or rather the guy who wears the suit, aka Jerry Quy) has been ‘let go’. Arsenal, owned by multi-billionaire absentee landlord Stan Kroenke, thinks hiring a man to play the role of the club’s oldest fan is too expensive. But thanks to his £350,000 weekly wage, Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil can afford to pay Gunnersaurus’s wages.

That Ozil chose to showcase his generosity on social media is grandstanding – and it runs the risk of antagonising his bosses. Arsenal have been trying to get shot of Ozil for ages. Will they now seek to end his tenure at the club in a get one get two out deal? Look out for Ozil and Gunnersaurus heading into the sunset for a new life together in Major League Soccer.

Stop Press: Arsenal say Gunnersaurus will now stay at the club. But Jerry Quy may not. Will Jerry shorn of his green furry suit hold the same attraction for Ozil? Is Jerry’s future brighter than Ozil’s? Will Mrs Ozil look as good in the massive green suit? Many questions. And as yet, not many answers.

Posted: 7th, October 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal use a Thomas Partey sized meteor to kill Gunnersaurus

Farewell, Gunnersaurus, we fear we shall never see your like again – well, not until Arsenal move stadium once more, downsizing to something more in keeping with the Covid-19 era, a large suburban garden, perhaps, or Prince Harry’s second lounge, and discover another ancient dinosaur egg buried under the patio. Arsenal have sacked Gunnersaurus, the giant green lunk. The man inside the suit has been told to get thee hence. His role will not be reprised by benched player Mesut Ozil nor Josh Kroenke, the club’s chairman and all round ‘You da man! Soccerball!! WOOP!’ sort of guy. Why Josh and his fellow beancounters did it, is impossible to fathom for many Gooners.

Posted: 6th, October 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal Transfer Balls: Lucas Torreira, Daily Mirror lies and the truth at Atletico Madrid

Has Lucas Torreira left Arsenal for a new dawn in Spain with Atletico Madrid? The Mirror says he has:

The Mirror’s URL read by Google News declares: “Arsenal agree loan transfer for Lucas”

After the Google bots have picked up the Mirror’s story, the paper writes:

Arsenal have reportedly agreed a loan deal with Atletico Madrid for Lucas Torreira.

Reported by?

Says the Mirror:

La Liga giants Atletico moved to the front of the queue to sign the midfielder for the season, and according to Spanish publication AS, have now agreed a deal with Arsenal.

We click the Mirror’s link and head over to AS. We read:

Lucas Torreira, a punto
El centrocampista uruguayo está muy cerca de convertirse en nuevo jugador del Atleti. Sin embargo, la operación está sujeta a salida de Herrera.

Which translates as:

The Uruguayan midfielder is very close to becoming a new Atleti player. However, the operation is subject to Herrera’s departure…for the signing to take place, Hector Herrera’s exit must first be closed.

So AS has not reported the deal is done. The Mirror is talking rubbish. But the Googl bots like it so lots of easy traffic for the self-styled “intelligent tabloid”.

Posted: 1st, October 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Ceballos rejoins Arsenal

Dani Ceballos is all set to rejoin Arsenal for a second season-long loan from Real Madrid. The Guardian says Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta called the player to convince him to play for the Gunners once more. So much for The Metro’s news that Ceballos “snubbed a potential return to Arsenal and has told Real Madrid that he wants to join Real Betis”. He hasn’t. He didn’t. The Mail said he “asked Real Madrid to return to his boyhood club”. That too is balls. Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish site, told us that Ceballos has “made his decision clear” – it is Betis or nothing. As ever, we can read the Spanish news through the Google Translate mangle:

…his participation in the next European Championship could be a chimera, so he wants go to a team in which he can play regularly and Real Betis is his favorite, as he has made known in the offices of Concha Espina in the event of being on loan again.

In other news: Gabriel Magalhães is soon to arrive at Arsenal from Lille.

Posted: 1st, September 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Gareth Bale back to Spurs (not Manchester United) and Gabriel to Arsenal (soon)

Arsenal are “closer than ever” to agreeing a deal with Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes, 22, says the BBC. The source for this story is L’Equipe. The website offers no source for its information, stating only that the “southpaw and the Gunners have never been so close to an agreement, which is due in the coming hours.’ How may hours is unspecified. and that’s just as well for the Sun which is playing both sides of the story.

August 19: the deal is agreed at £27m.
August 20: No deal is agreed for the player rated at “£22m”.

On the blue bit of North London, Spurs are looking to re-sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, says the BBC.

Or as the Manchester Evening News put it on March 8 2019:

Gareth Bale has reportedly bought a house in Manchester and agreed personal terms with Manchester United ahead of a potential transfer this summer.

And in May 2018 the Daily Express told us of a bold “claim” – presented as an SEO-friendly fact:

And as the sun out it in January 2020:

Bale has not agree to rejoin Spurs. He also hasn’t agreed to join Manchester United, Liverpool or Yeovil. Yet.

Posted: 20th, August 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Arsenal launch 2020-21 kit with shades of Harry Potter, a naked David Seaman and Kieran Tierney holding a carrier bag

naked seaman

It’s enjoyably odd that the better bits of the video launched to herald the arrival of a new Arsenal kit features a former player with no kit on – a naked David Seaman – and a current player Kieran Tierney with a plastic shopping bag.

Posted: 20th, August 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal sack Sanllehi from the absurd ‘head of football’ job

Arsenal have sacked Raul Sanllehi from his job as – get his – “head of football”. The new head of football is managing director Vinai Venkatesham, who used to work as an oil trader. “Working with Vinai, we have built a top team for the future,” says Sanllehi, who arrived from Barcelona three years ago. “I’m proud and pleased with my contribution over the past three years.”

He joined Arsenal in November 2017, a replacement for the terrible Ivan Gazidis, the American whose talk of leading a “catalyst of change” under the god-awful Kroenkes saw the post-Wenger Arsenal tumble down the Premier League table.

Since this announcement in November 2017, Wenger, Mislintat, Gazidis and now Sanllehi have all left Arsenal. How’s that for sound management and planning? The Kroenke gamily remain in charge – more is the pity.

Sanllehi’s departure coincides with the club’s internal investigation into how and why they signed Nicolas Pepe, 25, from Lille for £72m. Sanllehi was part of the key team that recruited the hapless but likeable Unai Emery. Arsenal have demolished their scouting network and turned for help in recruitment matters to agents. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted: 15th, August 2020 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Coutinho agrees to join Arsenal who don’t want him; Higuain set for debut

You know the routine by now, of course. The newspapers report that a A-list player (Reus / Benzema / Zaha) is on his way to Arsenal for a huge fee. We reached peak balls with the Sun’s story that Arsenal had actually signed Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. It was utter tosh. The story is still live on the Sun’s website. The papers are shameless in their pursuit of clicks. Bad reporting – fake news – is part of the process. Shout out enough rumours as fact and eventually you should be right once. You can then advertise yourself as the paper with the inside track on transfers. You read it here first. So to the news that Philippe Coutinho to Arsenal is done! He has agreed.

higuain arsenal

The papers say Coutinho has “agreed” terms to join Arsenal from Barcelona. The Mirror, Sun and talkSport agree on news of his agreement.

And having said Coutinho has agreed to be a Gunner, the Mirror invites Matin Keown to tells readers his “three reasons why Arsenal are making correct Philippe Coutinho decision”. That decision is explained: “Mirror Sport understands Arsenal have opted to sign only the latter as soon as his contract at Chelsea expires at the end of the month.” What readers can “understands” from reading the Mirror is that you can say pretty much anything and pass it off as fact.

Daily Mirror balls
August 8 in the Mirror: Coutinho agrees to sign for Arsenal who, er, don’t want him

The nonsense is so ripe that if you can play Google, you can pass off a fake photo of Coutinho in the Gunners kit as fact and shout, “Philippe Coutinho – Welcome to Arsenal 2020”. Such an image is one of the key search results for ‘Coutinho Arsenal’ on Google:

And in place of no news, other news sources can say because Coutinho has not signed, any deal has been cancelled. Get this in the Mail:

On August 8, the Mail said Arsenal have ended their interest in Coutinho. The same day as the Sun was reporting: “The £145m former Liverpool star will arrive at The Emirates in a season-long loan deal – after a whistle-stop tour of their training ground.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, August 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Arsenal Transer Balls: Willian, Coutinho, Partey and Carlos in; Guendouzi, Kolasinac, Sokratis and Mustafi out

Thursday nights remain good telly night for Arsenal fans thanks to the club winning the FA Cup and qualifying for the Europa League. When you’re holding the Cup all the suffering doesn’t quite go away because Arsenal finished 8th in the Premier League. And they’re looking to bolster their strange squad – how many average centre backs can one team have? – by recruiting Chelsea’s brilliant winger Willian, 31, Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho, 28, and Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Thomas Partey, 27.

As Arsenal fans dream of replacing the irritating Matteo Guendouzi, expensive Mesut Ozil, limited Sead Kolasinac, likeable Sokratis Papastathopoulos and plodding Shkodran Mustafi, team captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tells Le10 Sport he’d like to play alongside Barcelona’s French forward Ousmane Dembele, 23. So you can add Alexandre Lacazette to the fire sale.

The obvious need for a towering, fast centre back means the Gunners are looking to recruit Sevilla’s Diego Carlos. Here’s Carlos, then with Nantes, keeping his cool as the referee loses the plot:

Posted: 4th, August 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Bias Balls: Arsenal and Chelsea contest the FA Cup final facts

Media Bias: A look at biased football reporting. Arsenal won their 14th FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Chelsea. The game featured a penalty (VAR approved) and a red card, both given in Arsenal’s favour. What say the clubs’ websites.

The Penalty:

Chelsea: “a good Arsenal pass from the back sent Aubameyang away behind the Chelsea defence and onside this time. Azpilicueta gave chase but was judged to have fouled the Arsenal skipper as he entered the box and a penalty was awarded.”

Arsenal: “Kieran Tierney put Aubameyang away with a fine ball up the left. The Gabon international was hauled down by Cesar Azpilicueta in the box – penalty.”

The Red Card:

Chelsea: “Our Cup final prospects took another blow soon after when Kovacic was booked for a second time and was therefore sent-off. It was hugely debatable whether his contact with Xhaka’s foot warranted a yellow.”

Arsenal: “Matteo Kovacic was sent off for a second bookable offence”

The Hot Debate

Chelsea: “Another question was whether the Arsenal keeper later handled the ball outside of his penalty area when claiming a ball during the second half. He went unpenalised.”

Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez did not handle outside the area – which is why it wasn’t penalised.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, August 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Aubameyang and Ceballos to stay at Arsenal: Sancho will walk to Manchester United

Let’s kick off this morning look at football transfer news in the media with the BBC’s ‘Gossip’ page. The State broadcaster’s headline is clear: “Transfer rumours: Sancho, Costa, Jimenez, Ceballos, Harrison, Aubameyang.” Before the rumours the fact: the name of Arsenal’s stellar striker, Aubameyang, appears in the headline only.

The striker is nearing the final year of his current Arsenal deal. Will be stay on? He’s 31 and looking for a three-year deal. He’ll get it. But the stories of any departure and interest from Juventus, Barcelona, Manchester City and more will keep the clicks coming. Why does the BBC need to do this? The BBC website hurts local news sites and now seems to want to take the traffic from football blogs and clickbait farms. The BBC is funded by a tax. Is this value for money? An attempt to be all things to all people?

The newspapers need clicks. Traffic is up but ad revenues are down. The Mirror says Borussia Dortmund’s England winger Jadon Sancho, 20, “may” have to instigate a move to Manchester United. Or he may not. The Star syas because Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz, 33, was terrific against Manchester City in the Gunners’ 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win, manager Mikel Arteta “could” decide not to try to sign a brilliant, young, fast, reliable and strong centre half. Or he coild wait a few moments, look on as Luiz makes a hash of a routine clearance and realise he should buy urgently.

Oh, and Dani Ceballos wants to stay at the club. The Spaniard is playing lovely football in the sun. But British football is mostly played under rain and cloud, conditions in which Ceballos has shone less brightly. Buyer beware.

Posted: 20th, July 2020 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal to sign Dani Ceballos

According to the BBC Arsenal are in a fight with AC Milan, Valencia and Real Betis in their attempts to sign midfielder Dani Ceballos, 23, on a permanent deal. The Spanish player signed to Real Madrid has been on loan at Arsenal this season. The BBC’s source is the Daily Express, the newspaper built on clickbait and SEO tricks. So we click.

The Express has been watching the telly. It repeats the words Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, told everyone with a TV before Arsenal’s match with Leicester last Wednesday. “I’m really happy with him, the way he’s [Ceballos] evolving, and I love how much he likes to play football – the passion he puts into every training session and every game, you just have to see his celebrations,” says Arteta. “I think he’s evolving in the right way and he’s becoming a really important player for us.”

And then Express readers get a load of ifs and buts and coulds. If Arsenal quality for the Champions League – which they won’t do – they “could” sign Ceballos. So much for the scoop.

Ceballos

But hold on a moment. Just over a week ago, a few days before Arteta was hailing Ceballos as a “big talent” he wanted to keep at the club, the Express’s sister title, the Daily Mirror told readers:

Arsenal reportedly won’t sign Dani Ceballos when his loan spell from Real Madrid ends – as the midfielder has not done enough to impress manager Mikel Arteta.

The source was The Sun:

CEballos

The Suns source? There isn’t one. It’s almost as if the tabloids don’t have a clue what they’re talking about and design content for clicks. As it is, Arsenal are looking to sign Ceballos. And given his recent efforts, he’d be well worth the investment.

Posted: 11th, July 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Arsenal News: Bukayo Saka signs new Gunners contract

Dash those reports that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka as ready to lave the club. The 18-year-old star in the making with 33 appearances to his name has just signed a new “long-term” contract with the Gunners.

It was never in doubt. Well, not unless you’ve heeded some of the tosh written about Saka in the past few months. Get a load of this in the Express. The ‘stumbling block’ was ‘stumbling blocks’ – he didn’t want to leave and wasn’t for sale:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, July 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Ceballos won’t stay; Edu talks nonsense; Thomas Partey too expensive

How do you reward the player who scored the goal that took you into the FA Cup semi-finals? If you’re Arsenal, you assure Dani Ceballos, 23, for it is he, that you will not try to buy him when his loan deal from Real Madrid ends. So bad are Arsenal at player recruitment, so scattergun their transfer policy, that Ceballos should write a thank you letter to whoever it is who runs the club for not trying to sign him.

Incidentally, who does oversea transfers at Arsenal? Who actually identifies and picks players? Does anyone know who thought Lichsteiner, Xhaka, Mustafi and Denis Suarez were good investments?

Raul Sanllehi says Arsenal must “outsmart the market”. What doe that mean? Is Thomas Partey at £45m too expensive or smart?

Sanllehi is the club’s ‘head of football’ and should not be confused with the Arsenal ‘technical director’, Edu. And there’s the head coach, who might also be termed ‘head of football’ or technical director, Mikel Arteta. Says Edu: “Mikel has to be involved in recruitment, he must. We talk about what we need, the characteristics of the players, the system we’re going to play and then I start the process internally.” With whom? Who does Edu talk with internally to hire players? Is it Josh Kroenke, the absentee owner’s son, a marketing man possessed with less football acumen than a kitten with a beach ball?

There are four people on the Arsenal board and two of them are called Mr Kroenke. Here’s what the Arsenal website says about the owners:

Stan:

Mr. Kroenke is a well-regarded real-estate developer with a diverse international portfolio that includes commercial and residential real estate, ranches, vineyards, shopping centres, warehouse facilities and hotels.

Josh:

Josh works closely with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment executives on multiple business operation issues, ranging from finance to marketing.

Arsenal: the London office of a marketing and real estate empire.

Posted: 30th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment