It's the shirt!

Curses.

I have one.

Every time I buy a shirt with my favorite player’s name and number on it, they leave the club at the end of that season. Only once has this not been the case; last year when I got an away strip with Fabregas on the back and he didn’t leave. Thinking the curse broken, I went and got myself a Flamini home strip when I was in London. Now word on the street is that Flamini is already signed to Juve. Damn.  I guess we’ll just have to hope that report is like much of the reporting on teams and contract negotiations; a load of Tottenham. Though I will admit that the one thing I do like about the article is how the writer calls Flamini the “salt in their (Arsenal’s) stew.” HA! Alternately I like to think of him as the pepper in their pepper steak, the cheese in their macaroni cheese, and the ham in their baked beans (or is that Eboue?) . However you put it, he’s been an integral part of Arsenal’s success; just look at how the team struggles with Gilberto in his place. So, let’s hope he’s not actually signed away, after all… he is the salt in Arsenal’s wound.

This Saturday, Arsenal have the Villains at home but the team are already looking ahead to Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday. Adebayor is saying he really, really, really wants to score on them and Toure thinks he’ll be fit by Tuesday. I think the team should remember my admonition of last week: don’t let the car right in front of you surprise you. Almunia seems to have his head in the right place.  Yesterday he said:

We of course have respect for every team and we don’t care who we play against, it is just important to get three points regardless of who is in front of us. All the games we have at home must be won. Here we are so strong and that is what can help us win the title. What must not happen again is what happened in the League here against Birmingham where we dropped two points.

Fine lad that Almunia, he’ll make a decent England goalkeeper one day.

Meanwhile over at the San Siro, AC Milan is stirring the dangerous tackle pot by claiming that Kaka is targeted. I don’t honestly know much about Italian football but I know that when Arsenal played them last week we most certainly did not kick at Kaka. Maybe AC Milan is genuinely mad because Palermo targeted him and caused the knee injury which will see him out until Tuesday. How would I know? I don’t watch Italian football because it’s more corrupt than the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. But I do know a tin-foil hat statement when I see one — take a peek at this:

It’s never the same player which makes two consecutive fouls, players take turns as if there is a plan. Evidently the referees have not noticed this. The treatment which is being handed out to Kaka is the same as which ended the career of Marco van Basten

That statement seems really crazy. It’s one thing to say that teams try to disrupt your flow through overly physical play and it’s another to say that teams devise a system of rotating fouls in a concerted effort to end the career of their opponent’s best player.

The other thing about this type of statement is that it seems like one of the most cynical and disgusting uses of the Eduardo tragedy yet. I say that because the only thing that statement could possibly do is serve as a warning for referees to be on pins and needles for every challenge on Kaka. It will also serve as a self fulfilling prophecy for fans and an excuse when Arsenal beat them at San Siro. Every time Kaka is involved in a challenge, the fans, the refs, and the other players will now feel like “see! Kaka is targeted!” Worse still, there could be an opposite effect, in that Gattuso could be given a pass for his often overly physical play and Arsenal could be punished. And while I am in the camp of harsher penalties for rash challenges, I am not in the camp of “no physical contact.” I don’t know, this statement by AC Milan, at this moment in time, seems pretty freaking disgusting.

That’s my initial reaction anyway. Maybe I’m off here and there’s another way to look at it, we’ll have to wait and see.

That’s it for today, if you have a chance drop on in at Arseblog, it’s his 6th birthday and he’s very mature for a 6 year old.  Here’s to another 6 years, old man!

To Arseblog… Cheers.