Welcome back, kickers. I took the day off yesterday because I woke up at 8am and felt like utter death. My friend was on a brief leave from his military training and of course we had to go out: this meant copious quantities of beer, shots of booze, more beer, more booze, and so on. I swear, I’m never drinking again…
So, stop me if you’ve heard this one; promising young English Arsenal player, has a serious attitude problem, quits the academy and is courted by Blackburn and Tottenham. That’s right, 7amkickoff’s perennial whipping boy and failed professional gambler David Bentley has made the news again. As it turns out the Arsenal academy has a kid in it named Jason Banton, this kid has already once quit the academy — in order to join Tottenham — and is reportedly ready to quit again, for Blackburn.
Well, he’s got balls that’s for sure. But seriously, I hate to break it to you Jason, but if you were really good enough, you would have already had a chance with the first team. Enjoy your time on the bench in Blackburn.
Meanwhile, Ashley Cole is making the news rounds this morning because of his poor performance at Wembley on Saturday and the subsequent hails of boos that rained down on him after his gaffe. Oddly, the press make it out that it’s the way he left Arsenal that caused this latest round of hatred but I don’t see it that way: that’s just the press typically whipping up anti-Arsenal hatred. No, his disgraceful departure from the Arsenal was simply the story that kicked off his infamy. It’s was his shameful actions against referee Mike Riley last season that I think is the real cause of this latest enmity. The press would like to paint fan hatred of Cole as if he were the icon of greed in the EPL but that’s not even logical: his teammate and overrated midfielder Mr. Badge Kisser pulled a huge flip-flop this summer in order to get Chelsea to pay him $1m a week or whatever he earns. If anyone is the icon of greedy footballer it’s Frank Lampard. No, I think the fans hate Ashley Cole because he’s the icon of disrespectful modern footballers. I kind of wish he was available for selection against Belarus, just to hear more boos rain down on him. He deserves it.
Speaking of England v. Belarus, Theo Walcott had the most disgraceful game of his short career and probably won’t be allowed to ever touch a football again, at least that’s the story I’m getting. I watched the England v. Borat game and I thought he did very well. Coming off that hat trick the expectations were insanely high but he started very well, got plenty of free kicks, defended well, and even put in a cross that Heskey should have put in the goal except that Heskey hasn’t scored a goal in any competition since 1988. Man, you England fans are frickin nuts, why don’t you just appreciate what you have?
Appreciating what I have is what I’m trying to do with Arsenal! Now, let’s see… we have… two injured central defenders (Djourou and Gallas) and a halfling who claims that size doesn’t matter. YAY! First, it’s a little early to say that Gallas and Djourou are crocked, both of them are going to sit out their mid-week internationals and then fly back to Arsenal where they will receive a fitness test no doubt. Second, Kolo makes a great point
When you consider set-pieces, it’s not just the centre backs – it’s everybody who has to defend.
He’s right, Bendtner has been at fault several times in defense of set pieces and why isn’t Adebayor winning the ball? Most of the problems come from lack of organization: both of the headed goals seemed to come when the defense was scrambling to figure out marking. That’s the captain’s job and I don’t care if he was 7’2″ it wouldn’t change the fact that Gallas isn’t a very good captain. So, I agree with you Kolo, why don’t you step up and help organize? You’re the co-captain, right?
Finally, there was a brief story and I don’t want to get too excited about it until we see something solid, but it looks like Alisher Usmanov may be close to ending his interest in Arsenal. Even the fact that this story is being reported should be proof enough that he was never really interested in the club, but only wanted to leech off our support: as if you needed “proof” after all the stuff we’ve been through with him. No, this was always going to be the outcome. In some sense, I feel bad for Usmanov, because I think he was the victim of David Dein’s machinations. I would not be surprised at all to learn that Dein manipulated Usmanov with promises of riches and glory at Arsenal in order to sell his stock for $150m. That’s all speculation, mind you, and we’ll have to wait until Usmanov or Dein writes his tell-all book. I suspect it will be Dein and it will be called “If I did it, here’s how I would have done it: how to bilk a billionaire and get away Scott free.”
See you tomorrow.