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Inter want Cesc, Juve get Traore, why didn’t we get…..

August 31, 2010

Rumours came out yesterday that Inter Milan are going to make a shock bid for our Captain, the price is suggested to be around £29M and Sulley Muntari who used to ply his trade at Portsmouth.

Having managed to get myself back up off the floor from laughing at this latest Cesc story, I read it again! What a load of codswollap. Three things, Cesc has seen just how well Rafa Benitez hit the ‘club destruct’  button at the dippers, Cesc doesn’t want to go to Italy, we don’t want Muntari and finally which part of ‘Cesc is not for sale’ does Rafa not understand?
Anyway, old Twitcher wants Muntari, I guess that’s from his Pompey days..

Moving on, it seems we are going to get a goal keeper, but which one I wonder, will it finally be Mark Schwarzer, or will Arsene Wenger take a risk on an Englishman, that being Robert Green? Despite a few rumblings around yesterday about Green, I don’t Wenger will risk getting burned again in the goal keeping department, especially after his last experience of buying English, Richard Wright was one of his many sub-standard signings… I won’t go there ;) Another keeper linked is Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau. Not long now and we’ll all find out who it’s going to be or will it still be Almunia.

 Traore has gone to Juventus on loan. Both Traore and Arsenal wanted the deal to be permanent one so why didn’t we just do a  player swap. Sissoko and Melo are their defensive midfielders, Rafa ruined Sissoko and Melo is a bit of a nutter but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have minded either in our squad to bolster our midfield, especially for games like we have just played up at Blackburn. Another midfielder I would seriously think about making a cheeky offer for is Mahamadou Diarra of Real Madrid, I know he’s not tall but he’s strong and he’s out of favor at Real Madrid. The downside to him is that he would be involved in the ACON at the same time as Song but if Wenger gets the right CH in before deadline day, Vermaelen could easily fill in, or even Johan Djourou if he’s fit, after all that’s his favored position.

We may not all agree on the players I have mentioned but reality is there are players out there who know they won’t be part of a 25 man squad, if that was you, would you want to stay at your current club or would you accept a move to ensure you are involved in first team football?

With Traore gone and if  Almunia and one other leave today, we have three spaces, go on Arsene, fill them and make us all happy, in any case he has to at least replace Traore in the quad but whether he buys a player to do that or promotes from within remains to be seen!

Finally I bring you all sad, very sad news. I had hoped that this player would re-think about leaving us, maybe just give it one more season but it seems he has left us for good. When I heard the news I was shocked, horrified and wondered how our defence would cope without him…

Yes, Werder Bremen have signed Mikael Silvestre, good luck old chap I say, I’ll miss you ;)

That’s about it, just ten painful hours to go until the window shuts until January. Will it be a fruitful ten hours for all Arsenal fans or come 6pm will we all be left disappointed, again?

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Arsenal Stuff Blackburn and Big Sam nicely

August 30, 2010

Another view on the match by Red Arse

Hold your horses, humble pie is about to be eaten by the plateful, by me! Theo Walcott has also made me eat my somewhat ungracious words about his unsuitability to play for us, and his ever being able to recapture the sparkle he had when first he came to us.

Humble pie and ungracious words do not make a tasty mixture.

Fabio Capello was also at Ewood Park to see for himself the transformation in the young player he decided not to take to the World Cup. Humble Pie for Capello too?

This omission turned out to be serendipitous for both we Gooners as well as young Theo himself. After a complete summer’s rest he has come back seemingly a new man. So much so that Fabio has decided to reinstate Theo into the England team.

Arsenal and their fans have never relished going to Ewood Park to face teams coached by either Fat Sam or the Nutty Hughes.

Anyway, let’s get on to the game itself.

After an exciting end to end passage of play, we scored a classic goal. RVP provided a beautiful 19th minute pass to Theo, out on the flanks, and our young hero hit a stunning, net breaking shot across the sprawling Robinson. What a cracker!

We seemed to be comfortably controlling the game when we were in possession, following the opening goal, but could not make a decisive break to put the game to bed.

In fairness, Blackburn began to make things difficult for us with a number of Morton Gamst Pederson’s massive throw ins and free kicks boomed high into the box to Samba, and these caused panicky moments for those of us watching anxiously, although Big Al dealt competently with everything thrown at him.

Rovers had their chances but never seriously looked like threatening us with our defence pretty much in control, to our immense relief.

Then somehow the inevitable happened, but not from a header. One of our many attacks broke down when the Meerkat missed a pass which was intercepted by Samba. He cleverly fed the spitting, snarling Diouff who shrugged aside Kosser far too easily and fed the ball to his namesake Mame Diouff for a simple tap in, leaving Clichy rooted to the ground. Bugger, it’s 1:1,

Arsenal’s flowing football was once again pleasing on the eye, although Cesc seemed listless and out of sorts.

Unfortunately, RVP was injured in a seemingly innocuous challenge and jarred the ligaments of his ankle, which resulted in Marouane Chamakh coming on.

After the break we took more and more control and passed Blackburn off the park.

In the 51st minute, a neat passing movement involved Sagna, who kept the ball in play, and finishing with a lovely cross. The ball fell to Cesc who controlled and shot in one movement, only for the ball to hit Theo and squirt out to the Meerkat, who brilliantly and calmly put it away, despite the keeper and three giant defenders converging on him.

Theo Walcott continued to look threatening and could have scored again, but misdirected his shot by snatching at it slightly, before finally scoring but from an offside position.

Proceedings closed shortly after young Jack, on as a sub for the Meerkat lost his footing when it looked like he would stroke the ball in to make it 1:3. Never mind Jack, it will come.

A very pleasing result and no major moans as the team will get better the longer they play together, A big smiley day for us, and a major slobbering chew for Fat Sam.

Hey guys and gals, check this link out – Highbury House may not be the biggest and best site, but it’s doing well, thanks to all of you :)


Finally, not good news about Jack Wilshere getting arrested following and incident where  a woman suffered a broken elbow, and a man serious facial injuries. Wilshere was one of four males to be arrested but the latest reports suggest he is unlikely to face any charges! He is considered to be a valuable witness! Why do these young footballers get themselves involved in these kind of situations?

Two days left of what seems like one of the longest transfer windows ever and I still think we will get our keeper and one other…..

I also think we will see one or two leave, Sky Sports report that Juve are in talks with us for Traore – could Melo be involved in this deal?

How did Citeh get on yesterday ;) ;)

‘Didn’t think we deserved to lose’ He said….

August 29, 2010

Well you did Fat Sam, get used to it and when you come to The Emirates later this season it will be by a greater scoreline…..

So what of the game then? Within about five minutes Sky Sports announced that we had been drawn to play Tottingham Hotscum in the Carling Cup and at their ground too. Deep joy I thought, time for our kids to get revenge in that one…

Soon after that the rain fell and the towels were outwell, for all the Blackburn players who were winding up their long throw-ins, in fact I don’t recall seeing any of our players using towels to dry the ball. See we are not soft, we don’t mind getting our shirts dirty……

We were the team with the first real chance, Walcott blasted a shot from ten yards out, only for it to be blocked but straight into the path of Diaby who smashes it at one of the Blackburn players, the ball bouncing up into the arms of Paul Robinson…

Blackburn then had a bit of possession, not too much but enough to make me start worrying, especially Ryan Nelson headed a ball towards goal, but for Cesc, it would have been 1-0!! Then Samba had a little hoof towards goal which Almunia cleared away, phew, still 0-0!

Then it was our turn, an almost inch perfect pass through the middle from Cesc nearly found Theo Walcott but Samba got his toe in first..

It was all quite until 19 minutes were on the clock….

The Little Russian who was having a very busy day so far, played the ball to Robin van Persie who then played a perfect ball to the onfire Theo Walcott. In his current mood there was only going to be one outcome. I thought he had gone to wide, I was wrong! 1-0 to Arsenal, an inch perfect power shot that broke the netting of the goal.

Another chance for Blackburn but Samba heads over the bar!

Blackburn go in search of an equaliser but the offside flag goes up and it wasn’t long before Old Slim Jim was opening yet another packet of chewing gum, shouting a load of old dross from the technical area. He was riled and I was happy….

Little bit of a blip on 26 minutes, sloppy defensive work by Diaby as he lets Samba breeze past him then play a perfect ball to El-Hadji Diouf who in turn srugs off Laurent Koscielny and sets one of the most simple chances up for Mame Diouf who makes it 1-1.

Two Diouf’s in one team, one has always been bad enough….!!

Shortly after that, our worst fears, Robin tries a bit of fancy footie but it all went horribly wrong, he catches his ankle and not long after he has to go off. Right now it’s believe to be ten days out, just pray the scans don’t tell us anything different!

On comes Chamakh (Loved it when he decided to not allow Samba to jump in the penalty area)

Can’t believe that yesterday was only Robin’s 200th game for us, he’s been at Arsenal for twenty years ;)

The rest of the first half saw Blackburn have a few half chances, Almunia made a couple of decent saves, we broke after a free-kick at lightning pace and look like we could be on to regain the lead, only for that numpty half wit of a ref to pull play back as Pedersen is on the floor with a broken toenail;)

Into half-time and honours even. Which team would come out for Arsenal after the break…..?

Well, we soon found out, we came out stronger and more determined in the second half and I don’t think Blackburn really got a sniff – even Slim Jim said in the second half we were the better side. Robinson continued to hoof every ball he had the chance to, in hope of finding a goal but it was us that looked the more likely to score.

On 51 minutes, what turned out to be our winner, finally came…

Cesc, who had been totally off the boil all game, played the ball to Sagna out on the right, his cross went back to our captain who fired in towards goal, his shot was blocked but then fell into the path of Audrey Arshavin, from just twelve yards he wasn’t going to miss was he, he didn’t and 2-1 to Arsenal. Arshavin deserved that goal, he had been hard working, tracking back, lively in and around the box with his neat swift passing. A few times he lined himself up to shoot only to have the ball taken off his feet – good goal and game over, not that my heart and head believed it then…….

67 minutes and the Captain goes off, good move as he isn’t fit yet….

We have a few more half chances, as did Blackburn, but nothing to get too excited about, Arshavin had another chance but his shot went flying over the net… Walcott burst away down the wing only to be tugged back by Givet who receives a yellow card…

Again a few half chances for both sides but we ‘hang on’ with ease really. Then Arshavin goes off and Little Jack comes on, shortly after walcott slots the ball home only to see the offside flag raised… With only minutes to go, again we catch Blackburn on the back foot, Chamakh finds Walcott who squares it to Wilshere. He slipped as he unleashes his shot and Robinson makes the save. Shortly after, Rosicky has another chance, the ball played out to him by Theo, he fires wide, dreadfully wide.

Not perfect but we held on. We won and for a short time we were top of the league…….

I don’t do player marks, if I did I would just give the whole team and the boss a 10 :)

Have a great day all, I know I will…..

Today is Football v’s Thuggery……

August 28, 2010

On the 17th December 2008, if I didn’t before, I suddenly had the perfect reason to despise this northern football club, yep, you have guessed it, that was the day Blackburn Rovers appointed Fat Sam Allardyce as their manager. Mind you, I didn’t like them much under Mark Hughes either. :)

Sam Allardyce is just one of many managers who likes to get his side ‘up for a game’ by fair or foul means, usually against us its the latter. He loves to ‘get in our faces’ and has often commented on how we don’t like it when clubs play that way.

Surprise surprise, we have failed to keep a clean sheet in our last 10 away matches in all competitions, but what do you expect with our goal keepers! Blackburn have lost only one of their last 11 Premier League matches at Ewood Park and only four in 31 home games under Allardyce. Today, things have to change….

59% of the goals Blackburn scored in 2009-10 came from set pieces, so I hope Arsene Wenger has a plan to stop this percentage rising today. This for me is where we can dominate the game, Blackburn have the lowest pass completion rate in the Premier League this season (56%), whilst we have the highest (87%). We need to get in their faces, chase every ball down and put their passing under pressure from the start. Do that and we will out play them and along the way give ourselves goal scoring opportunities that we must put away – and we will……

This is the Blackburn squad that played in their last league fixture,  a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham

Paul Robinson
Michel Salgado
Ryan Nelsen
Martin Olsson
Christopher Samba
Phil Jones
Gael Givet
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Steven N’Zonzi
El-Hadji Diouf
Nikola Kalinic


Mark Bunn
Lars Jacobsen
Josh Morris
Brett Emerton
Alan Judge
Mame Biram Diouf
David Hoilett

On paper we should batter any team that plays out of that squad and if Wenger gets it right, we will!

They don’t have a Theo Walcott, they don’t have a Tomas Rosicky, they certainly don’t have a playmaker like we have in Arshavin do they? What they also lack is a striker like Chamakh, who has got his first goal in the Premiership and now must be desperate for his second, third and even fourth.

No, we have class on our side, what do they have??

Shoot on sight has to be the order of the day, Robinson blows hot and cold in goal, if we get a nice early goal that could rock his confidence then many more could follow…

Six last week, let’s get seven this week :)

Ramsey, Frimpong and Nasri are all still out and I can see Cesc and Robin being on the bench again. In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he plays the same side that faced Blackpool. The new boy has gone home to collect his boots and will be ready after the International break..

Samba is one of their better players and on set pieces he will be dangerous but Kos has said he’s up for a bit of physical stuff, good job, today he will be against one of the most physical and cheating team in the EPL….

Survive and win this battle Kos and you’ll straight away be on the path to become a hero…. Do it again when we play the Spuds and trust me, you’ll be a fully fledged hero ;)

In fact if our club, The Mighty Arsenal come away from Blackburn today with three points and a very strong display, every other thug of a club will need to sit down and re-think their tactics as finally they will realise that we are no longer a team to be beaten by ‘getting in our faces’…..

If I had to choose the team for today it would be this one

Sagna Kos TV Clichy
Wilshere Song Rosicky
Theo Chamakh

If Cesc is fit and ready to go I would swap him with Wilshere, van Persie doesn’t need to risked….

Today MUST be a day where Football conquers thuggery….. and I fully expect it to do so…..

Don’t forget, it’s a 12.45 kick off today and its live on Sky Sports 2

Whatever else Jose Mourinho might be; he’s no gentleman.

August 27, 2010

Shaw once wrote that ‘some men are born kings; and some are born statesmen. The two are seldom the same’.

In footballing parlance, a similar accusation might be levied at Jose Mourinho.

There is no questioning his tactical ability. Whether proving his talent under a wide-brimmed sombrero in the footballing cauldrons of Mediterranean Europe, or a fur-lined ushanka in the politically-charged iciness of SW6, he rarely fails to deliver. However, while his charisma and tactical awareness translate into a dozen different languages, his petulance and rudeness sadly do not.

 The British media initially took exception to him, but somehow his quirkiness, his quaintness, his esoteric pidgin-English, and the sheer Whitehall-farce of his increasingly unintelligible media outbursts, won over both the tabloid press and that most mythical of all beings… the impartial football supporter.

 Initially I must admit to possessing a sneaking admiration for Iberia’s pint-sized Napoleon, and my wife positively drooled whenever his swarthy arrogance and designer-stubble scruffiness graced our screens. ‘Who would you rather be?’ she would goad, “Jose Mourinho, or Alex Ferguson?’.  She was quite right of course; it was the proverbial ‘jovial ‘arry’ no-brainer… but then she used to say the same thing about Roberto Mancini until he cut his hair and dispensed with that immaculately positioned scarf.

 The Italians, on the other hand, who know a thing or two about charisma and style, disagreed. To all but the most fervent Internazionale supporter he was a rude, crude and offensive little man, who insulted their nation at every opportunity and was only deserving of ‘an offer he couldn’t refuse’.

 But you know…  I’m beginning to think they were right.

 This latest broadside, aimed at just about everyone, from Arsene Wenger to Mourinho’s Bernabeu predecessor and current England scapegoat, is a perfect example of why Jose Mourinho is little more than a Portuguese Bonaparte. To bask in the reflected glory of Chelsea and Porto and Internazionale is understandable, and probably justified, but to then use that same celebrity status to castigate respected fellow professionals is shameful, distasteful, and down-right tacky.

 Whatever our opinions of Fabio Capello may be, there is no question that his record, prior to South Africa, is deserving of respect. Arsene Wenger has done great things for our beloved Arsenal and possibly even greater things for football coaching and football management in general. Both men are giants of the game, and for very good reasons. They have earned the respect they enjoy, from all but the most rabid tabloid hack. To have to suffer this sort of juvenile and offensive commentary shames only the Portuguese Bonaparte himself.

 But then, if I might cherry-pick the quotes of a certain Arthur Wellesley when referring to the upstart Corsican, who also bathed in the reflected glory of his troops when they had won a few… ‘On the field of battle his hat is worth forty-thousand men… but he’s not a gentleman’.

Written by mikeB

Champions League draw is finally here….

August 26, 2010

Around 5PM today we will know which teams we are to face in the Group stages of the Champions League 2010/2011. Twenty-two sides have already qualified, these are now joined by the clubs who have got through via the play-offs, so all in all there will be 32 sides in the pot.

Eight groups, four in each group and at this stage of the draw, sides from the same country can’t been draw in the same
group and seeded sides are kept apart also.

The way these are kept apart are as follows:

To ensure sides from the same country play on separate days, the eight groups will be distinguished by colour:
Groups A-D will be red and Groups E-H blue. When a paired club is drawn, for example, into one of the red groups, the other paired club, once it has been drawn, will automatically be assigned to one of the four blue groups.

The clubs who automatically qualified are:

Manchester United
Rubin Kazan
Bayern Munich
AC Milan
Shakhtar Donetsk
Spartak Moscow
CFR Cluj
FA Twente
Real Madrid
Inter Milan

Teams through via play-offs

FC Basel
SC Braga
Werder Bremen
FC Copenhagen

So that’s the bunch, disregard the seeded and the English, who do you hope we get……??

I have a sneaky feeling that Real Madrid will be in our group……

Finally, great night for the reserves, they thumped Bolton 5-0 up north, JET and Aneke got themselves two goals each and Barazite also got his name on the score sheet. For a full report on the match, click the reserves link in the sidebar…

Have a good day all, lets hope for a ‘nice’ group for us and a tough one for the spuds :)

Gracious in defeat, not our Arsene!!

August 25, 2010

We all know the behaviour of our wiley old boss when we are beaten and it’s a side of his character that really dissapoints me. Remember the falling out with Pardew, the constant refusal to shake the hand of managers like Fat Sam, Mark Hughes and others after their sides have ‘got in our faces’ and nicked an undeserved defeat? Well for me it’s all a bit tedious.

A good sporting person is gracious in both victory and defeat and after all, as a manager, isn’t he the one who buys the players to make us winners?

As it stands right now, another transfer window has come and will soon go and right now we have a side that will continue to struggle against the ‘aggressive’ sides, the Bolton’s, Blackburn’s and Stokes of our league, not to mention when our defence has to look up and see the lumps like Drogba and Rooney heading towards them with the ground shaking underneath their feet.

So Arsene, if you don’t make right our defensive unit, surely it’s about time you accepted a few losses that could be heading our way and you deal with those losses graciously? I know he has now added two defenders but we lost four! Without adding a much better goal keeper and even another central defender we could still struggle. A great keeper will get us points, just as a goal scorer will but not in every game will we score six, we may even struggle to score one, it’s during those games that a keeper is worth his weight in gold….

Talking of gracious and as the Champions League draw takes place on Thursday at 5pm, look at a player who we once called ours, the Crozillian Eduardo. Victim of a horror tackle, all he wanted to do was play football again and play his football at Arsenal. Such is the demand of the Premier League he didn’t quite make it back to a level where his mental and physical ability would allow his ‘want’ to come true so he made a sensible decision in my mind and moved to FC Shakhtar Donetsk, hopefully a league that is less aggressive and eventually Eduardo will find happiness again in football, safe in the knowledge that a ‘Martin Taylor tackle’ will not come his way again.

The big thing about this move of Eduardo though is how he has been gracious in defeat, yes he is still playing the sport he loves, but he is no longer able to play for the club he fell in love with. He’s not bitter though, in fact totally the opposite.

All he said after his move was it was good for him as he needs to play football. He said he found it very difficult to leave Arsenal having settled in England and forming a good relationship with the fans, he loved the supporters and he knew they loved him, he loved the club and has many friends….

He doesn’t want to play against us again, he would find it too hard emotionally – I guess he won’t be looking to score a winner against us and then run the length of the pitch to rub salt into the wound of all the fans who will always love him…

No, Eduardo is too much of a gentleman to do that, he is too gracious. Gracious in the defeat he has suffered afer his horrific injury. The defeat of course being that he couldn’t stay at the club he loves, the club who loved and always will love him….

So there you go Mr Wenger, see if you can show a little more graciousness this coming season. If you can’t, then maybe its time to get your cheque book back out and buy just two more players to make sure defeat is something you don’t have to suffer!

Then you can shove Jose Mourinho’s comment’s about us not being ready to win anything, right back down his throat…..

Have a good one all…..


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