Luck of the Alsacian

A few weeks ago, during one of my fugue-rants I did say that if we found ourselves in 4th place we should consider ourselves lucky and that more than anything we did, it’s up to what Villa do (or don’t do) as to whether we regain our 4th place birthright. Well, Villa has done it and dropped points in a rather remarkable fashion, culminating in a 2-1 loss at home to Tottenham which saw their star player booed off the pitch by his home supporters.

I understand booing Eboue: he’s had massive swings in fan support. From the highs of his Champions League run at right back to his near disastrous replacement on the left wing against Wigan. Moreover, Arsenal were within a few matches of taking the League last season, so expectations are high for Arsenal supporters. Booing Eboue makes sense, he’s a highly divisive figure on a team with a great history who’s fan expect champagne at the end of every season.

But booing Agbonlahor? How does that makes sense? If it didn’t come at our expense, I’d be rooting for Villa to take 4th place. Villa is an old club, with a great history, who routinely filled their stadium despite their recent drought of trophies. Why on earth would you boo one of the best players on the team? You’re just shooting yourself in the foot with that.

Come to think of it, keep booing. Arsenal are only ahead on goal differential and we could use all the help we can get. Could you boo Ashley Young while you’re at it?

Another strange moment during that game came as the commentators were talking up Wilson Palacios (the player rater there is rather generous). Each time they went to fellate him for his “hard work” he would promptly do something really stupid and remind everyone why Arsenal passed on the player. Maybe it was a one-off but take Song and Eboue’s worst games, wrap them up in an energetic shell, and you’d have Wilson Palacios. He sure has a lot of energy, too bad he has so very little talent.

Let me put it this way: would you rather spend £14m on Palacios or Arshavin? Hmmmm….

In the injury room, Arsenal are now saying that Thomas Rosicky has had another setback. This means his next setback will not be announced for another two weeks. I’ve maintained for some time that Rosicky will not play for Arsenal ever again, I hope I’m wrong.

Looks like England International Almunia picked up an ankle injury from El-Hadji Diouf’s horrendous challenge. Of the challenge, Wenger is saying he “didn’t see it” and needs to look at the tapes. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say after he sees the tapes!

Up next for Arsenal in the league is Newcastle (A), Citeh, and Wigan (A). We mauled Newcastle early in the season and given their recent form we should be able to pick up three points there. Citeh was the last team to beat Arsenal in the league and I expect Arsenal will be looking for a modicum of revenge there. But then there’s Wigan at the JJB… those shiat kickers will probably hold 6 Rugby matches the day of the match in order to turn the field into something looking like the surface of the moon in order to improve their chances of getting a 0-0 draw: like they did last season to give a lift to Man U in the title race.

I don’t want to get too far ahead, up next (Tuesday 12:45 PST) Arsenal have to beat Hull in an FA Cup replay for the right to face a resurgent Chelsea.

More on that tomorrow. Until then, keep the faith!

9 Comments on Luck of the Alsacian

  1. I’ve seen Palacios play on a few occasions and his performance against Villa was the worst. Even so, he made some excellent tackles, covered well, but gave the ball away far too much.

    He is a Flamini type with greater technical ability. Right now he may be better than what we have but I think Song and Diaby have more upside if they can continue to play at a high level. The grand question is, will they.

  2. I’ll have to trust you on this one Carib, he did have a decent game against Arsenal as well.

    Still, £14m for a guy who puts in a lot of effort but at 24 and with 2 years of EPL experience, I have to think his technical ability is topped out.

    I also watched Flamini play yesterday and he was 100% better than Palacios.

    I’ll have to wait a while but he sure looks like a typical Spurs signing: over priced and over rated.

  3. Money Spuds have spent instead of buying Arshavin:

    July 2008: David Bentley: £17 million from Blackburn Rovers.
    August 2008: Roman Pavlyuchenko: £14 million from Spartak Moscow.
    January 2009: Robbie Keane: £16 million from Liverpool.
    January 2009: Jermain Defoe: £15.5 million from Portsmouth.
    January 2009: Wilson Palacios: £12 million from Wigan.

    From the Daily Bung…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/dailybung/4999993/Arsenals-Andrei-Arshavin-highlights-wisdom-of-Tottenhams-transfer-policy.html

  4. Thanks to Spuds for:
    * Exercising fiscal responsibility in not buying Arshavin (as seen in the numbers above)
    * Knocking off Villa on the road

  5. @Tim,

    Not saying he is worth 14M, he definitely isn’t. Decent buy at 6-8M.

    Spuds just needed to spend some of the Berbatov money.

  6. Tim, CK, there’s a reason spuds are climbing the table after harry took over and bought palacios, all players have crap games even cesc, but modric and palacios are an excellent midfield pairing in my view and don’t forget we could have had palacious for some 500K before sending him in wigan’s direction, and they beat villa, a team we’ve stuggled against. To take palacios on and make song and diaby his understudies and see how things develop and then sell him ourselves for 14 mil plus had things fallen that way would have been the thing to do. And yes, Flamini and diarra are working their socks off and getting paid well for it. Flam, diarra, palacios, imagine where we could be with those players to choose from, i think we’d have run away with it this season in spite of some poor finishing up front. None of those players were beyond us financially and with our injury record we could have really used them and perhaps done our own treble this year.

    We can’t peak behind the scenes and see what’s really going on with this team and chemistry so it’s hard to say anything conclusively, but if Toure leaves ala’ flam, i see a disturbing trend, if fourth place can’t keep players in the club what does that say about the grand plan?

  7. @lux,

    Yes, given the current competition for the keeper spot in the English team, I’ve gone ahead and awarded Almunia the #1 shirt.

    Now, I know that technically he’s not even English, hasn’t filed for citizenship, hasn’t applied for the team, and I have no authority to make that appointment, but I still feel like it’s the right thing to do.

    Thanks for reading!

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