I'm back, baby

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday but, not to be too emo, I just didn’t feel like writing about Arsenal.

I spent Sunday walking around the southern part of Hyde Park, went to Harrods, went to the Natural History Museum, and generally spent Sunday just relaxing. No drink, no smoke, just chill.

Outside the museum I saw a metric tonne (metric tonnes are spelled differently) of high end sports cars: Lotus, Ferarri, Maserati. It looked like a “best of”  episode of Top Gear. Must be the posh end of town.

Harrods is, well, ostentatious. It’s the place to go if you absolutely need to get a $100 pizza, or if you find yourself out of caviar and just need to get a single dollop, well bust out the check book and head down to Harrods! I settled for the $5 “Scotch Egg” and wandered down the street to the museum.

I honestly didn’t know what a Scotch Egg was before I bit into it, so imagine my surprise when I bit into an actual egg!  I had looked at the ingredients and saw sausage, but somehow missed the fact that it contains an egg. It was a pretty tasty, if not a fatty, hand held lunch. And it had the added bonus of sticking around all day: every time I’d burp I’d get a little Scotch Egg!

The Natural History museum was neat, of course, but I couldn’t get into either of the special exhibits (Darwin) because they were sold out. Ummm, that sucked. I really wanted to see the Darwin exhibit. Oh well, I settled for dinosaurs and sloths and ickthyosaurs, which were pretty damn cool.

I’ll spare you the boring description of Monday because I mostly hung out at the airport doing Calculus homework and no one really cares about that. I will say though that I’m pretty pissed off about the chick who sat behind me on the plane coughing the entire flight because my throat hurts today. Also, if you ever find yourself stuck somewhere for several hours and there’s a copy of Gordon Ramsay’s “Humble Pie” available in audiobook you absolutely MUST listen to it. If that man had a human sized ego he would look back on that book and feel a deep humiliation and shame. Let me just put it this way: this man’s hubris eclipses King Lear. He spends the entire first half of the book describing how hard life was for him and the entire second half how hard he’s making life for his kids while bragging constantly about what a great businessman he is. What a donkey.

Anyway, I made it home and back to my girls, and I didn’t even mind that Aveline cried almost the entire car trip home. Poor little thing has the sniffles after all.

In football news, Arsenal play Roma today and the Boss has filled his pre-match interview with all kinds of goodies. Just wander over to the dot com and click on a link, gems will drop out like candy from a pinata.

For the match, the big story is away goals. Arsenal absolutely need to keep a clean sheet here today, failing to do so will pile pressure on them in the return leg and make Roma’s job so much easier in a fortnight. So, more important than just extending their 13 match unbeaten run (they last lost to Porto on Dec. 10th, in this very competition) Arsenal need to increase their 4 match clean sheet run; just one more game.

With that in mind and given the dearth of real strike options I suspect Arsene will play a 4-5-1 with Bendtner playing the Center Forward, van Persie playing the #10 slot and Diaby (he’s “healthy”) in the #8 spot. Nasri will play wide left, Denilson will mark Totti, Eboue will play wide right, and the back 4 will pick itself.

Did I mention that Denilson will mark Totti? This will be one of the most important games Denilson plays in his entire career and we shall see how he responds to the pressure of marking a Roma legend, with the added pressure of needing to keep a clean sheet, and the added pressure of marking a Roma legend, and needing to keep a clean sheet.

I remember when Cesc played his first champions league match against Juventus and went head to head with Patrick Vieira. It was his job on Vieira in that match that really solidified Cesc’s reputation with Arsenal supporters and I’m willing to go on a limb and say that Denilson could do the same today against Totti. No pressure young fella!

Right, that’s about it. The match is being shown live locally at Doyle’s and several of my readers are heading down to watch so, if you get a chance, join Travis and Alex for a pint. I cannot make it to the live showing as I have a metric tonne of work to catch up on and a class to attend. However, I have asked Russ to replay the match when I get off work and will be down there to watch the replay some time after 4pm local time. Leave a note in the comments if you want to make it a communal event or just want to come out and see my new away strip.

That’s it for today, got to get to work, see you all tomorrow for The Good, Bad, and Ugly.



  1. Arsenal have not allowed more than one goal in since Boxing day.

    They have only conceded three goals in the last ten matches.

    I think they will be just fine and will win over two legs rather handily. Say 3-1.

  2. Welcome back Tim, missed your Blog yesterday and thought you got waylaid by Posh Spice or some other beautiful British WAG. That would have been more than sufficient reason to disappoint your faithful readers (LOL).

    I saw quite a few Arsene interviews last night on Setanta and he sounds like a shell of his former self. A few relevant points were:

    1) Said that in 4 years from now Arsenal will be like the young generation of Manu when they brought in Scholes, Giggs, Neville, etc. and will be unbeatable.

    Does this mean we have to wait 4 more years for trophies?

    2) Said that we can’t afford to lose players, that he tried to keep Hleib and Flamini and that his current players have to buy into the youth concept for the future.

    Does this mean he expects Cesc, RVP, Walcott, Ade and the likes to put up with 4 more years of experimentation?

    3) Said that Arshavin should have been allowed to play in the CL although he knew he was Cup tied.

    Does this mean he is not confident of winning against Roma without Arshavin?

    4) Continued to boost the quality of this squad, their determination and rapid improvement, blamed injuries and opponents refusing to play an open game on their predicament and appealed to fans to have patience.

    5) Said that he was the only manager using a Football Academy to produce a great team without have to spend tons of money on players.

    At this point he was corrected by one Journalist who pointed out he basically had only one or two Academy players in his squad and that he paid 10 mill for Walcott and 5 mill for Ramsey who came through other Academies.

    His tone came across to me as basically saying we are F**CKED this year without saying it directly.

    It was somewhat unnerving to see the great Wenger, whom I admire and respect so much, come across as being somewhat delusional, naive and out of touch with the business reality of today.

    For his sake, I hope the youngsters can perform a miracle this season and reassure the fans that his concepts are just not pie in the sky.

  3. I pretty much agree with everything CaribKid said.

    It’s hard to write about a man who I have so much respect for whinging about the away goal rule, the fact that Arshavin is cup tied, the supposed lack of youth teams elsewhere (he must not have seen Man U’s incredible Carling Cup team), and worst of all to hear him say “I think RvP will sign with us, we are very close to signing him” which was exactly the same shit he said last year with Flamini.

    I think RvP is going to pull a Bosman on us next year.

    Also, Matt, since Boxing Day Arsenal have conceded goals against Plymouth Argyle, Hull, and Everton so I’m not sure where you get that confidence.

    Everton didn’t even have a striker on the pitch, Argyle is near relegation from the Coca-Cola division, and Hull is a mighty load of utter shite.

    Going up against Roma with “Totti and The Beast” in the Champions League makes me nervous to say the least.

  4. It’s time for Wenger to leave gracefully while it is still time. Otherwise he will leave ungracefully in 1-2 years.

  5. WHo would you rather have in the stead of Wenger then? Keegan, The Special one, Hiddink, Hughes, is there any manager you would rather see at arsenal. I am not so sure.

  6. I don’t know if Alex is joking, but unless something lights a fire under Arsene’s arse (no pun intended) to change his current MO, the backlash from the fans will force the Board’s hand to make a change. After all, ultimately it’s the fans who pay the bills and when revenue starts to drop the Board will have to react.

    If we bring in Bergkamp and Adams as assistants it might provide fresh points of view from people he respects and initiate some change. It certainly doesn’t seem that anyone currently in the club is willing or capable of steering him in the right direction.

    It’s a rather unfortunate situation and hopefully one he can extricate himself from gracefully.

  7. Bendtner is awful. Eboue played… well? except for the miss. that was embarrassing.

    Nasri-Xabi-Cesc-Walcott (or Arshavin) and this team will be fine. The back 4 looked pretty solid again.

    Wenger has the right idea, but he needs to put his pride away for the summer and buy the DM we need. DeRossi?

  8. If Wenger leaves or asked to leave the board will buy managers the same way they buy players. Cheap & inexperienced. The board will not break their financial principle thats why they like Arsene. I have posted the same comment a couple of weeks ago about this. Arsenal will not spend on the likes of Mourinho, Ferguson or Hiddink. We have a good future and a could be better current squad. I still think Arsene is our guy for the next 2 years.

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