Will

Newcastle vs Arsenal – Preview, Teams, and Odds

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Aug 132011
 

Yaaawwwn! I’m still a bit sleepy from my off-season-long coma, but I was rudely awoken from my slumber with the news that we have signed yet another pacey winger/striker. No, really. Yes, we have. No, I’m afraid he can’t play centre-back.

The player in question is Joel Campbell, a 19-year-old Costa Rican who has played well for his country, but who has not played for a club outside his native land. Hmm. But still, any signing should be applauded and welcomed, and I have genuinely heard good things about this lad. I do envisage a lengthy period of acclimatisation while he gets used to the Premier League pace and occasional brutality, but I’ve seen a few clips on YouTube and I’m looking forward to seeing him play.

Speaking of brutality, we may well line up against that criminal nutcase whose tweets have revealed him to be, well, a nutcase. Completely bonkers. But let’s not forget the nasty side of Barton’s game, which resulted in Diaby completely losing it in the 4-4 disaster earlier this year. I hope he doesn’t feature.

According to the official site, Vermaelen is fit (woo!) and so is RvP (double woo!). These two players will be absolutely crucial to our season, and every game I will say a little prayer that they finish the 90 minutes with all of their limbs intact.

Interesting to see the list of shirt numbers on the official site. Those two midfielders who will not be named were on there, which strikes me as complete denial. The slightly more interesting bit is that Szczesny has the number 13 shirt, and Alex OC has the number 15. Gervinho, somewhat strangely, is way down with 27. I know little should be read into these numbers, but you could reasonably assume that Szczesny will be ahead of Fabianksi, and that Alex OC may pay more of a part this season than I for one expected him to.

Wilshere’s ankle injury sounds extremely worrying. He’s been “put in a boot. He has an inflamed ankle and it is difficult to set any specific date on his return, but we hope he will be back soon,” according to the official site. I know he’s quite small, but that’s still got to be a pretty massive boot. Well anyway, I hope he get’s better soon, because without the two who shall not be named and young Jack, we’re somewhat short in the creative department.

Team Line-up

So I expect something like:

Szczesny; Gibbs – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Sagna; Song – Ramsey – Rosicky; Arshavin/Walcott – v Persie – Gervinho

I’m very curious as to who we’ll see on the bench, as it may give us an indication of how much we’ll see the likes of Alex OC this season.

Odds

Having made some significant wins but an overall loss last season, I’m going to be quite choosy about my bets. For first goalscorer, it’s got to be Gervinho on his debut at 6/1 with BlueSq. 2-0 to us looks good with William Hill at 10-1. My long shot of the day has to be a v Persie hat-trick at 25/1 with William Hill, and a few pennies have gone on Vermaelen to mark his comeback with a goal anytime, 8/1 with Coral.

We’re all disappointed about Cesc and Nasri, and more so that we haven’t signed a good replacement for either or a decent centre-half. But tomorrow there’s a team out there that need our support.

Come on you Gooooooooners!

Arsenally Yours,

Will

Blogger wakes from off-season coma; Doctor – “Miracle”, Wife – “Bl**dy Typical”

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Aug 132011
 

The author of the Arsenally Yours blog has woken from a coma, writes Andy Hack of News of the World Blogs. Rumour has it that as last season drew to its painful and boring conclusion, he slipped into unconsciousness. His agent/wife said that he briefly woke up for the internationals, but when the transfer rumour mill began to grind out its predictable, unresearched and completely baseless assumptions, he fell asleep and simply would not wake up.

“I thought the signing of Carl Jenkinson from Charlton would have woken him up a bit, we used to live there, and he saw Jenkinson last season at the Valley and was quite impressed at the time, but no. I’m sure I heard a groan, as if he was happy with the signing but thought that a better, older, and more experienced defender should have been added to the squad as soon as possible, as opposed to just another promising youngster,” said Mrs Arsenally, the blogger’s agent and wife.

“As for all that rubbish about Cesc and Nasri, well, I tried reading some of the stories to him, but the doctors had to get me to stop. It was as if his brain was quite literally strangling itself, as they explained it to me. You would have thought he’d have got up off his arse to rant about both those two, but as the doctors said, any more ‘news’ about Cesc going to Barça or Nasri being unhappy would be a serious risk to his mental stability, even in the depths of unconsciousness.

“Then we signed Gervinho, and I thought, hello, here’s some good news for him, he’ll surely rise up out this slumber if I read him that. It did the trick for a minute, he sat bolt upright, and pumped the air, but then he asked me the question I’d been dreading – ‘Have we signed a f**king centre half yet?’ I promised him we would sign one, to try to restore him to full psychological fitness, but he saw the doubt in my eyes and sank straight back down, into a deeper coma than before. His disturbed and fragile psyche just couldn’t handle the fact that our defence will be as leaky as my spaghetti colander.

“When we finally got Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s name on the books I toyed with the idea of whispering that bit of news in his ear. But the doctors warned me that any mention of ‘youth’ or ‘young team’ could be fatal. so I still haven’t told him yet. I reckon Alex OC’s got a brighter future than Theo, the obvious point of comparison, and the reports from the training ground seem to suggest that he’s impressed already.

“But then a miracle. The doctors had warned me that the coma could well carry on until we signed a decent, strong, ball-playing, and experienced centre-half, but then he just woke up last week. ‘The excitement of the new season’, one of the nurses said. Just bl**dy typical, I say.

“It was like this a few seasons back with Vieira. And both times it coincides with a visit from my mum and a pressing need for some DIY. Highly convenient.”

I don’t know what medical facts surround this strange case, but in all my years tapping Pippa Middleton’s phone for the News of the World, I never came across an instance of a coma being so welcome. When he came round, all he said was “Thank buggery I didn’t have to sit through all that! Now let’s get on with some football.”

 Posted by at 1:01 am

Arsenal 1 Villa 2 Review

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May 162011
 

I’ve just watched the Villa highlights again, and it’s hard to know exactly where to start. Vermaelen’s studs. That’s a place to start. Our players and staff are paid a fortune to be the best, and when you’re a player coming back from a long term injury, you shouldn’t be slipping and sliding around, risking another year out with a nasty injury. Unbelievable. Apart from that, it was fantastic to see him back after such a long time, and it was interesting to see that he set his partner in defence in deep contrast.

Speaking of which. Squillaci. I’ve rarely seen a worse performance. He looked like a fish out of water on a bicycle. For the Sun, that bastion of reliable comment, to give him 0/10 really is quite an indictment on what was a very poor performance. I expect to put in a much better shift  next time around, should he feature against Fulham.

Actually, I have seen a worse performance than Squillaci vs Villa. Firstly the entire Arsenal team (except v Persie) against Stoke. And secondly, Mike Oliver, the FA’s new ref, who managed to miss Ramsey’s blatant, obvious penalty from about one-and-a-half yards away, and contrived to give penalise Chamakh for scoring a goal. Unbelievable. If that’s the FA showing us a young ref with a promising future, gawd help us all.

It’s all quite preposterous and one thing is clear to me. Major surgery is needed on the rotten, gangrenous, pustule-filled wound that is the current Arsenal squad. There will be no Fabregas next year. We must replace him with a proper centre half, and a decent striker.

It’s far, far too early to be talking names, but watching the ‘Ammers go down, one can’t help but think that we could do with a certain Matthew Upson, once the promised Tony Adams reborn of Arsenal of yore. I wouldn’t mind Scott Parker either. Demba Ba would be better than Bendtmakh, or whatever useless combination of frontmen those two have transformed into.

As you can tell, dear readers, I’ve had a weeny little bit too much to drink, and proper comment should not be made at such emotional moments. Suffice it to say that I will always love the Arsenal, even if we finish fourth. Against Fulham it’s time for those who wish to have an Arsenal future show that they can play not just for medals, not just for fame, not just for money, but for pride and love of club as well.

Yours emotionarsenally,
Will