In case you were sleeping in a rotted old log yesterday and decided to come out and look around today, and check 7amkickoff I have some video of Cesc’s cheeky goal, Senderos’ double, and highlights from Carlos Vela’s wonderful performance against El Salvador. There’s also some club rumors and transfer silliness to get to so we might as well get stuck in.
First off, something is going on with Cesc. He played, and scored, in yesterday’s match but right after the game flew home for “serious family matters.” I don’t really need or even want to know what’s wrong, out of respect for his privacy, but he’s a Gooner and as part of the Gooner family we’re all concerned for him and his family and hope that everything is OK. El Capitan can take as much time as he and his family need to deal with their situation as far as I’m concerned.
In the mean time, you really do have to see the goal he scored, it’s top drawer. His goal scoring form of late is really promising and this goal is something that only guys who are in top form try.
Over in Luxembourg, one of my favorite players, Phillipe Senderos, was busy showing that he’s still got a good head on his shoulders by putting two past the Luxembourgians. These aren’t the most spectacular goals you’ll ever see, he doesn’t rise over anyone in either instance, but they are very well taken and each shows a damn fine touch.
And finally, between the annoying bee sounds from the crowd and the comical 2 minute, three breath “GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLL” celebrations, this is perhaps the world’s most annoying footballing video. Watch it with the sound off and fast forward to the half way point, where you’ll see Vela set one up and then score a great poached goal off some comically poor defending.
There are other highlights, Gallas got a goal for France, but they aren’t on YouTube so I didn’t embed them. Go over to 101 great goals to see all the other highlights if you’re into that sort of thing!
On the back page we’ve got some rumors flying about the club regarding transfers and the club infrastructure. It looks like the Spanish press have dropped their Cesc to Barca story and instead have picked up a new line; Clichy to Real Madrid. Reportedly, RM are prepared to offer £16m for the left back and as much as I like Clichy, that’s the kind of offer that the club, even with great cash reserves, would find very hard to turn down. Especially given the form of Gibbs and the impending 6+5 rules that the FA want to impose.
The only other transfer rumor that I cared about today is the Huntelaar for Pavlyuchenko trade and the only reason I care at all is because this Summer so many Gooners were saying that we needed Huntelaar at the club. Now, here he is being called a “flop” and being waved around as a straight up trade for the 4th option on Tottenham’s bench. I watched a couple of matches Huntelaar played in this season and was completely unimpressed but this latest transfer rumor pretty much closes the case: Huntelaar is crap and I’m happy we didn’t waste time and money on him.
As for the club, the press are making some noise about Ivan Gazidis’ interview with the Star on Sunday. There’s some squawking about Ivan’s statement that he wants the club to win something this season but I don’t see that as a warning to Wenger as is being reported. Rather, it’s a broad desire for the club to win something and a belief in the squad as it stands. I’ve been banging this drum all season so far and I really do agree with Ivan and Wenger that this club has all the parts needed to challenge on many fronts. Wenger too has talked about this season being seminal but despite my early season prediction that he might dismantle the team if we don’t win anything this year I’ve changed my mind a bit. There seems to be a deep commitment to this project and rather than blow it up, I think the club would keep going down this path. The path that put three of the best England U21s on the field in their match Friday. But hey, it’s all pointless speculation, we’re going to win something, right?
The other rumor that I am not putting too much credence in quite yet, despite the fact that I’d really love it to be true, is the idea that Arsenal are going to abandon their tranquil Austrian pre-season preparations and instead are going to travel to either Asia or the U.S. I’ve mentioned many times how much I’d like this to happen and I think that a tour of the U.S. would do a great deal to both fill the coffers of the club (so that we can not buy players!) and increase the international fan base. That said, Wenger is a creature of habit and I’d be shocked if he could be convinced to abandon his pre-season ritual for a few more pounds. Pleasantly shocked, but shocked no less.
And finally, I didn’t watch the Ukraine v. England game but I did read about it and it seems like the match was pretty much the mad house of racism and hooliganism that everyone thought it would be. With the English FA looking like they are going to report the match to FIFA, I’m thinking that the racists in the crowd may have finally done mortal harm to their country’s hopes for Euro 2012. After some thought, I think that the Ukrainian people don’t deserve group punishment, especially given their economic hard times. I’d much rather that FIFA set up a program to deal with these people across the globe and stick to it: a series of progressively more severe punishments that is well outlined would be a good start. The way they are currently going about it is mealy mouthed at best and at worst could be unfair. I mean, Spain has a recent history of racism staining their grounds and I can only recall a few times that FIFA has bothered to get involved. Punishing all of Ukraine for this weekend’s ugly scenes could be unfair.
Anyway, that’s it for today. I have some cool things scheduled for this week, so stay tuned, and I’ll see you all tomorrow.