The First Day: the Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good

As inauspicious as our last day over at the WordPress site was (what with the  loss of Felipe Melo as a potential signing) it’s looking like the first day of the new blog is inversely, erm, auspicious!

First off, we have some great news out of L’Equipe (whom T-Town Alex assures me is a very reliable source) that Mikael Silvestre is being tracked by Bordeaux. I’m not going to re-hash the whole “Mikael Silvestre was the one player who was involved in every Arsenal blow out last season and the worst signing in Arsenal history, ever” thing and instead will just simply say thanks for the “service” and good luck in Bordeaux — you’ll need it.

This is followed by the news that Cappy Gallas intends to honor the last year of his contract with us despite reports linking him to Inter.

I am at Arsenal, my contract is still valid for a year, so I am an Arsenal player. We have not talked about renewing the contract, but I am relaxed and looking forward to next season with Arsenal.

It’s funny, there was a time when I joked that William Gallas was a Chelsea plant, that Mourinho sent him to Arsenal to get in as deep as possible and destroy us from the inside. But as it turns out he’s a pretty damn stand up guy. He’s our best defender, probably the most experienced player on the squad, a man who wants to win, and a man who has shown honor in the face of huge criticism. To put it bluntly, I don’t think I would be half as respectful of a club that stripped me of the captaincy.

Anyway, the point of the two stories is that when we signed Vermaelen there was a lot of speculation about who would leave with people wondering if it would be Kolo or Gallas. Well, it’s looking like it’s neither of those two and it’s Silvestre who is headed out the door.

Good.

I mean… uhh… thanks Mikael! Have fun in France!

The other goods for the day are that with the press thrown off the Felipe Melo scent they have sniffed around and targeted three other potential midfield signings: Lorik Cana, Mesut Oezil, and Gaetano D’Agostino.

  • Cana: Big, strong, robust, churlish, talented, good in the air and Arsene even tried to bring him into the team when he was a lad. All of which point to Arsenal wanting to sign him, right? The problem is that Wenger has bought a “destroyer” since Vieira (you don’t have to tell me that Vieira was more than a destroyer, I KNOW) and it’s looking like he’s trying to build a more “continental” team one that challenges more for the Champions League than for the Premier League. So, I’m going with 6/10 on this one, which should be a 4/10 but every time I watch this video that number jumps up one point and I’ve watched it twice this morning. Hell, I might watch it at work again!
  • Mesut Oezil: So, a 20 year old attacking midfielder, silky passing skills, keeps the ball on the ground, destroyed Theo and Gibbs in the U21 tournament, and probably available for around £15m. Ladies and gentlemen, the only question left is how we pronounce his name! Is it “Weezil?” 7/10
  • D’Agostino: left footed, tall-ish, relatively unknown, late bloomer who currently plays on the wing for Udinese. Supposedly a bid has come in from an English team and “an important Italian club” and the speculation is that the bid is either Arsenal or Chelsea. I really don’t know of any Italians who have played for Arsenal, which could just be my ignorance, but seriously, can any of you think of an Italian who played for Arsenal? The only reason that I give any credence to this story is that Wenger has a history of plucking unknowns from the continent. 3/10

The Bad

Maybe it’s not really “bad” but just kind of funny; Aston Villa is reportedly linked to Senderos and Campbell. Welcome to Arsenal 2006, Villa!

The Ugly

Because when I think Arsenal, I think "white and blue"

I’m not sure what the execs at Nike and Arsenal are thinking. First they come out with a blue kit, which you could make an argument for, I’ve seen Arsenal in blue, I own a blue away kit with Henry’s name! There’s at least some historic precedence for the blue kit. Albeit, pinstripes are not historically an Arsenal thing, they’re more a New York Yankees thing. Still, I was only kinda put aback by the blue kit. I wasn’t going to buy one, but I wasn’t going to write some angry screed about it either.

But the white kit is just full of fail. First off, a white kit was first introduced the season that we lost Thierry Henry and there were pictures of Henry in the white kit right before he went off to the sunny beaches of Barcelona. That white kit also was the kit of the season where we lost Flamini and Gilberto as well. So, frankly, the white kit is a curse and I had hoped to never see an Arsenal player in a white kit ever again as long as I lived.

But, to introduce both blue and white in the same season? What the fuck are you thinking? White and blue are the colors of Chelsea, Everton, and Tottenham. Are we Chelsea North now? Tottenham 2? I mean come on, this is really a slap in the face of anyone who has supported Arsenal through these last 10 years or so. Especially since they ruined the home shirt by turning the white sleeves into stripes.

And then there’s the accompanying advertising spiel, which is both perplexing and insulting:

Further shirt details include a panel of horizontal stripes at the back of the shirt, to mirror the craftsmanship of a fine English shirt. Inside the collar is a high quality woven label that reads Arsenal, while engineered in to the side seam is a small red label featuring two Arsenal canons either side of the club motto, ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit,’ which translates as ‘Victory Through Harmony.’

What the hell is a fine English shirt and how, exactly, is it crafted? And what do horizontal stripes have to do with the whole thing??? And then, the coupe de grace, they explain to us what ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ means… fuck me.

I buy a shirt every year when I travel to London to see the club, it’s one of my pre-match rituals, and I am seriously considering a boycott of the shirts this year. I can’t think of any way to get these folks to reign in the stupidity and give us a proper red shirt with white sleeves for home matches and a yellow away kit.

For the record, I’m not calling for a boycott, but Jesus, someone needs to tell them that this latest color scheme is a disaster. Maybe if a huge section of supporters all wore last year’s away kit for the whole season they would get the idea.

Maybe.

36 Comments on The First Day: the Good, Bad, and Ugly

  1. Is it just me Tim or is the linked text in your posts a bit difficult to read being the maroon color on the gray background?

    Otherwise, love the blog,daily reader, first time commenter!!

  2. Oh, and I agree we need a Cana-like player in the squad, but I worry he would be a bit of a trouble maker, a possible Fellaini(
    sp)?

  3. Hmmm… yes, the font in general is pretty terrible! Everything is squished together and hard to read and the red for the links is, well, it’s ugly.

    Let me see what I can do.

  4. Congrats Tim! FWIW, I read the site from my cell phone and I have zero complains. Keep it up. On another topic, who were the happy winners of the contest?

  5. Thanks Yan, I checked the site construction on my iPod Touch so I figured it would be OK with handhelds. I appreciate the feedback though.

    Still waiting for the Philosophy Football folks to let me know who won!

  6. I like the new third away kit, I always wished Arsenal would look more like spurs. HEHE.
    I did get the new blue away kit, with Denilson and 15 printed on the back. The quiet saviour of our poor season is quickly becoming one of my favourite Arsenal players. The most underrated player we have is gonna be a force to be reckoned with next season as long as Wenger gives him the place that he earned as a regular starter last season.
    Here’s a great new vid of him, he has the best attitude of anyone in an Arsenal shirt, quiet and reserved, fierce in defence and explosive in attack.

    • I like Denilson too, but that’s mighty brave to get his shirt. I didn’t know your bread was buttered that side up, Bongo!

  7. HaHa, what’s even better than him not coming to Arsenal is that he also not Man Utd. We don’t really need any more attacking players anyway, just need Eduardo to stay fit and Adebayor will regain his form.

    Seriously Man Utd are screwed, they lost two of their three game winning attackers this summer and all worthy replacements are going elsewhere. They’ll be lucky to finish fourth next season.

    Looking at the team line ups of the other three big four makes me very happy, chelsea is starting to look like Newcastle with a load of older players, Liverpool don’t have the cash and they spent loads on an unproven player. Man utd sold their best player and alienated another by notshowing the faith his ability and dedication deserved and now because of the ridiculous sale price of Ronaldo they’re having trouble getting anyone, who the hell is Valencia?

  8. Congrats Tim for formally moving to the new site =D

    I sure hope Silvestre is gone… But he has such an innocent face so when every single Arsenal fan insults him, I somehow feel sorry for him =P Weird I know!

    Anyway I think you should change the header of the site… Flamini isn’t an Arsenal player afterall (Well, I think it’s Flamini, isn’t it =S)

    • Oui! je parle!

      Actually I just use Google translate.

      Also, I just noticed that I was making everyone register to comment. My bad, but I fixed it and well, now you can make anonymous comments again.

  9. Amaury Bischoff, he of brief and ill-advised stay at Arsenal fame, has been talking to L’Equipe, and reckons he’s got the reason he was released yesterday nailed.

    “Wenger could not guarantee me playing time next season. So we decided together that it was best that I did not extend (the contract).”

    (Ha ha ha, funny stuff)

  10. Congrats Tim!

    I had to do a bit of searching though, to get your new blogsite. My fault, not yours; should have noted the new site down yesterday. I just started reading your blog yesterday. Great posts; yesterday and today. I look forward to further readings from your American perspective from now on.

    Like you, I say bring back our lucky shirt; the RED with WHITE sleeves. Don’t mind the yellow; but definitely hate the blue as well as the white. At this rate, they will soon have us playing in black. Cheeky Nike!

    Kudos!!!

  11. Nice work on the site, Tim. Constructively (and it is what I do for a living) the body feels a little narrow for the size of font, but as with all these things, your call!

    So I’m not sure why you aren’t calling for a boycott of the new shirts; I certainly am:

    Home = Charlton
    Away = Chelsea
    Third = Spurs

    That sounds like FAIL to me. If they don’t sell, they will replace them. Hit them in the pocket; it’s the only way (and please, please nobody suggest that by /not/ buying the horrible Highbury Yankees top we won’t be able to afford a new defensive midfielder next year…)

  12. Thanks fourstar, I feel the same way about the font, when I made it smaller the Tahoma font looks smooshed, when I make it bigger it looks, too big! If I make the site broader, the image at the top gets lost.

    SIGH

  13. Good job with the site Tim, it’s looking pretty good.

    When has Nike ever made a football shirt that looks good? The white shirt looks like something a convict would wear.

    On another note, I am now a Red member! Woohoo!!

  14. All right nycgunner! Welcome to the club. You should get your card and pack in the mail pretty soon.

    Have you got your eye on any games yet?

  15. Congrats on the new site Tim, it’s nice. I am sure you will have a few growing pains but that’s not unusual for a new baby.

    Agree with the gray, but you could try a navy blue and see how it looks. Blue has worked for me in the past with red backgrounds.

  16. Nice site, Tim. I’d give Cana an additional point for speaking French and another one for craziness. We need more craziness at the Arsen. And Wenger’s not adverse to signing Italians – Mannone(?) and Lupoli in the reserves?

  17. Congrats Tim, nice site. I’ve been a daily reader for a while now. Your one of about three that i follow but your the only one that posts as regularly as you do.

    keep it up big man.

  18. Hmm. Nice new site.

    Naldo maybe a possibility, but it might just turn out to be another Melo story. Though most of the fuss around it has come from mostly the same journalists and sources as the Vermaelen stuff.

    Ozil.. No Werder won’t let him go, he’s their replacement for Diego.

    Whispers are that we are signing someone from Shaktar Donetsk…

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