Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cazorla to complete in the next 24 hours? Exciting times ahead.

Morning all,

With so much happening in the Goonerverse since my absence, it is fairly difficult to write an opening to this blog. I could try and put into words the heart ache and anguish Captain-not-so-fantastic has caused me these past few weeks but I fear that it may tell you all a lot more about me then the deceitful means he has used to engineer an exit.

I will however start off in an entirely different direction. One filled with excitement and optimism that has been bought about by intense speculation in the transfer market these past few days.

Whilst I haven’t posted in a while due to a number of holidays, (Vegas, Los Angeles and Barcelona) I have been keeping in touch with all things Arsenal. It has largely been filled with awful “reports” and rumours regarding anybody and everybody either being sold or being signed but in the past few days things have changed. There seems to be some tangible reports linking us to a number of exciting players, players which in theory would greatly improve not only the squad but the starting XI as well.

I have not seen Arsenal fans this optimistic for a very long time and whilst there is certainly an air of doom and gloom with the impending departure of our Captain, there is certainly reason to be hopeful. We have already acquired the services of Podolski and Giroud, both of which look set to play together in a new look Arsenal front line. In addition it looks as though Wenger is in hot pursuit of two very promising midfield additions. By these additions I am of course talking about Santi Cazorla and Nuri Sahin who have both been strongly mooted to be edging closer to being signed. In fact in thecase of the former many reports are suggesting a deal could be finalised bytomorrow. 

It seems that both deals are close but as we know anything can happen so it is important that we do not get carried away before everything is finalised. Either way, the fact that we are ACTUALLY going for these players is a great statement of intent and it really does throw a marker down to other teams but equally importantly our top players as well.

The fact that we are looking to capitalise on the mismanagement of a team which was flooded with cash is sweetly ironic and should serve as a reminder to those wishing for a complete change in direction, that it does not always work out.

From a tactical point of view both transfers make complete sense and could see much needed competition in the midfield area, especially in a creative sense. Cazorla would certainly complement the team and I would back him to have the same effect as his compatriot, Juan Mata, has had over at Chelsea.

In other news it seems as though the Arsenal careers of Bendtner, Squillaci and Park are finally coming to an end as Wenger declared publically that they are close to departing the Emirates.
“Bendtner, Squillaci and Park will be on their way to go somewhere. Arshavin, it depends. We have to sit together and talks. He could still have a future at the club.
We will see how the next few days unfold but it could potentially be a very exciting couple of days at the GoonerVerse so make sure you keep checking back as I will post as soon as we have more news.

Before I go, some of you will have noticed that Simon Chapman, a friend of mine has recently started writing here. Make sure you keep in touch with his thoughts/rants as and when they come. They are both entertaining and thought provoking and provide a completely different perspective on all things Arsenal.

Until tomorrow,


Monday, 23 July 2012

The Curse of The Captain's Armband

Good Evening Members of the Goonerverse, I'm Simon Chapman, and I'm posting my second blog on the Goonerverse Website, I hope you like it.

Picture the scene: It's 2005, the FA Cup Final at The Millennium Stadium, a solitary year after the 'Invincibles' season, with Arsenal looking anything but, having been completely outplayed by Man Utd from start to finish, yet somehow showing a gritty steel and determination to block every attempt on goal. Some might say they parked the bus, others would claim a defensive masterclass was performed (bit of a stretch, I think we were bloody lucky).

Some of us who are old enough will remember that the game went to penalties, the Ginger One missing the Mancs second kick, leaving them playing catch up in the shootout. with every subsequent kick dispatched, the symbol of Arsenal's Grit, determination, power and passion steps up to the plate. The Captain, one of the best midfielders of his generation, plucked from Milan 9 years previously (I'm sure he loved spit shining Desailly's Boots) Patrick Vieira stepped up and knocked the ball beyond Roy Carroll's flailing arms, and so winning us our last trophy, and symbolically beginning a steady decline that we are yet to recover from.

Those who have followed Arsenal closely will recognise that Vieira leaving after several Summers of flirting with Real Madrid was the beginning of the breakup of the Invincibles team, and since that penalty in May 2005, we have lost 3 of our Captains to European rivals, and are set to lose a fourth this summer.

Of course with the financial burden of building a new stadium which we moved into in 2006, we always knew that maybe for a little while there may be a slightly barren period as we fail to compete with the big spenders while paying crippling interest payments,  but of course UEFA Fair Play will be our saviour, destroying Citeh and Chelski with their twisting of the transfer market, buying up all the good (in some cases average) talent and playing stupid amounts of wages in the process. That'll save us, with our prudent spending and sound P+L!

Us fans will be happy with 4th Placed finishes, as long as we're still watching European football on SKY (please, never Channel 5!!) as long as we continue finishing above the Spuds year on year, surely that will make us happy??

Not really. Football fans are, on the whole not a particularly cerebral bunch. Our emotions are ruled by the heart rather then the head, and although Wenger and Gazidis stand up proudly next to the end of year financial Statement, like a new married couple parading around a new born child, I'm certain the majority of fans would rather them proudly parade a Champions League or Premiership trophy, no matter what the cost.

The flip side of Financial Prudence is the situation that Rangers now find themselves in, so perhaps our situation is not so bad. As a friend of mine said today 'at least you'll be able to tell your grand kids in years to come about your team that still exists!' Rangers are an extreme example of poor financial planning and management of resources, but surely there is a middle ground to be achieved?

The saga that continually blights us year on year is the inevitable loss of our captain. Arsene seems to believe that making his best player captain will bestow upon him a greater sense of  responsibility and loyalty to the club and fans that will pull on his heartstrings so that he continues to stay in a noncompetitive team with an unbalanced squad full of small, fragile misfits with some seriously average players on ridiculous amounts of money. The main culprits are diabolical Diaby, who we reportedly pay £60k a week for 3 games a season, while babysitting our Physio the rest of the time, the simply awful Denilson on £60k a week for sideways passes, while the arrogant Bendtner, on £52k a week, who is apparently 'amazing' according to his reflection in the mirror cannot guarantee a starting place on loan in a shit Sunderland team).

How can we, in all honesty be angry with players of the calibre  of Vieira, Henry, Fabregas and now Van Persie wanting to leave squads that are full of mediocrity ? How has Wenger built such average squads? Because of his stubborn method of making cheap young players (stolen from foreign clubs' academies) stars, but more often then not failing in this quest to do things on the cheap.

I do genuinely find it amazing that we've not fallen out of the top four yet, and in many ways a huge amount of credit is due, but come on, show a bit more ambition!! Buy some decent players! stop buying kids who 'might' be good some day! Maybe if the club didn't shell out so much loot on such awful, awful back up players every year, perhaps we would have been in a stronger position to be financially competitive? Would Van Persie be wanting to leave if we'd put our necks out last summer and got Mata and/or Hazard before the big spenders even knew who they were, while refusing to offer our crap players big contracts and offload the freeloaders?

Granted, so far this summer Podolski and Giroud are in place, but not as back up or to play alongside RVP, instead of RVP, and this is pretty sad. Some might say he is being greedy (reportedly he wants £190K a week!! which some may argue he's worth it, others won't) but perhaps he's right in wanting to leave the club due to their seeming lack of ambition in the transfer market? If you, in the real world worked for a crap company with no career progression, and a better company with prospects offer you double your money, even if you loved your work, would you really stay out of loyalty? I know I wouldn't, I'd be out the door quicker then you can say shitsticks. I know players are paid RIDICULOUS amounts of money, but human nature dictates we always want more-we're hoarders, desiring as much stuff as we can get, and that has always been the truth throughout history. 

Will we win anything in the foreseeable future? Not even a Carling Cup victory is guaranteed these days, and at nearly 29, Robin can't be reliant on Wengers' shonky experiment finally producing trophies. At the end of a career, there is no prestige in playing for a club with money in the bank- players are measured on their medal haul. Sell him, preferably abroad, get as much money as we can, get rid of a few more crap players, and PLEASE REINVEST THE MONEY IN THE TEAM!!! At least give us half a chance of competing next season! Of course, this probably won't happen. The money will probably pay off some more loan interest! 

My biggest worry now is that the heir to the captaincy is the Verminator, so I'm 90% sure he'll be playing in Spain next year, possibly Barca! Oh, Arsene, do you never learn? Give Denilson the Captaincy!! Maybe he'll then fucking leave once and for all!!!

Phew, rant over!!

Thanks for your Time.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Theo 'runs into a brickWALLcott' -100K a week?

Good Evening People Of Goonerverse, My name is Simon Chapman, a Gooner for about 20 years now. I've been invited by my friend, 'The Master of the the Goonerverse' to stick my 2 pennies in on anything Arsenal that pops into my tiny little brain, and am hoping to contribute every week (depending whether there's anything better on TV to watch) This is my first ever blog, I hope you like it!!

Theo Wallcott, for many years now has flattered to deceive. Since his £12m transfer way back in 2006 (wow, 6 years) how has he come on as a footballer? After 6 years, shouldn't his game have progressed so he is one of the best players in the world? Although supposedly played out of position as a 'wide player' (not strictly true, as we play a fluid 4-3-3 with Theo as an advanced forward, rather then winger), his contribution to the Arsenal cause over the years has been sporadic at best.

Blessed with a sprinters pace, but the stability of a game of Jenga, Theo can outpace a defender, then crumble under a challenge, then go missing for a few games while nursing a little boo boo on his leg. His decision making is still questionable, even though over the years this aspect of his game has improved (13 assists last season when compared with 2 assists 2 years previous to that) but without a bang in form RVP (likely to leave this summer) on the end of the majority of these chances, has Robin made him look better then he is? When RVP leaves, will young Wallcott look as effective?

Theo is in an identical contract situation to Robin (a completely separate issue of much debate) , but who of us Gooners would really be sad to see him go? According to the Redtops, Liverpool and Chelsea are chasing, willing to pay us £15m AND pay him the £100k a week which he wants. £100k a week?? For an inconsistent, fragile players who only seems to turn his performances on about 5-6 games a season, and often against poor opposition (eg the spuds in the 5-2 at the Grove). REALLY??? Is his overall contribution to Arsenal really worth that kind of investment?

According to reports, he is on £60k, and the club are ONLY offering £80k a week. I'm thinking let him leave, take his running into a brick wall (usually a Utd or Chelsea fullback) with him, and take the money to re-invest in another decent forward (ha!!! more likely help service our massive stadium debt, while promoting some 12 year old from France who cost us an Xbox and a packet of Maltesers into the first team).

I say let him rot on Chelsea's subs bench, coming on with 5 minutes to go as an 'impact sub' every 5 games to watch him fall flat on his arse as another full back makes him look like the most ordinary footballer since Denilson (not the Barca one, the shit Arsenal one who we can't shift cos some idiot offered the twat £60k a week!!).

People will always bang on about us selling our best players and how we're going backwards, but I don't see Wallcott as one of our best players. Sell Theo, then unleash the Ox and see him tear the Premiership apart down the right next season!!!!

Thanks for your time.