Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I Can't See This Lukas Podolski Story Being True

There are 'reports' coming from Germany that Lukas Podolski has agreed personal terms with Arsenal and will join in the summer.

A German newspaper called Bild revealed the story but I don't know if this paper is Germany's equivalent of The Sun so I'd take the story with a pinch of salt at the moment.

In fact, I'd say there was as much truth in this story as when Harry Redknapp said he always paid his taxes under oath. Triffic. 

So how on earth Podolski has agreed terms with Arsenal before the Gunners have actually done a deal with his club, FC Koln, then is beyond me.

Then again Cesc Fabregas signed about 34 contracts with FC Barcelona before eventually Arsenal released him from his kidnapping and actually let him join the mugs.

I doubt very much that Podolski has agreed a deal with Arsenal, although I'd love him too. In fact I'd drive to Germany right now in what I am wearing (pants) to bring him to the Emirates.

This is more likely a ploy by his agent to drum up more interest in Lukas or for his club FC Koln to lay down some more Euro's on the table.

I've always been very coy (COYS, ahem 5-2) about stories like this. Unless its on a Bosman, people saying players have signed a deal before the clubs have agreed a fee always brings out my suspicious side.

I haven't got too excited by this 'revelation' just yet. Until its signed, sealed, delivered and the story is covered by the Daily Sport, or Caught Offside, I don't believe anything. 

And I don't believe anything written in German because I can't read it. 

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish.........

Monday, 27 February 2012

El Clásico Has Nothing On The North London Derby

El Clasico is regarded round the world as the biggest rivalry in football and is also renowned as the most exciting fixture shown before our very eyes.

Now I completely agree about the rivalry. It probably just shades the Glasgow derby. Just. 

But the most exciting? I disagree with that notion almost as much as that 11th pint I had last night disagreeing with my head this morning.

The most exciting game in football, round the whole wide world, and maybe even the universe, is the North London derby. 

Forgive me for sounding as deluded as the average Spud for saying such a thing but I won't apologise for sharing it with you.

This game has absolutely everything. Every time.

When was the last time you watched a North London derby and was bored? I think it is actually impossible to be bored during this match. Even the neutrals love it.

I think there has been at least a million goals scored between the two teams (that's just in the last five head-to-heads) and in recent times there have been more come-backs than a Take That tour.

After yesterday I have no finger nails left on my right-hand left due to chewing them off.

And I'm sure the missus is happy, because I can't physically speak after dropping the 'C' Bomb on Gareth 'Harry was out on' Bale at least 20 times in 4 seconds when he dived to win their penalty.

Credit must go to both teams for always making this game a fixture to remember. I don't want to give S*urs any credit but I have to because they contribute to this game too.

Barcelona v Real Madrid is the biggest game in football ever seen in my stinking existence but give me a North  London derby any day of the week.

El Norte de Londres derby es la mejor!

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish........  

Friday, 24 February 2012

I'm Glad Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Wasn't Called Up For England

Some people like to have a pop at Arsenal for absoluuuuuuuutely any reason possible. We even get the blame for crappy weather or if someone's car breaks down. You name it, its Arsenal's fault. 

One of the main things they love to have a go at us about is the fact we hardly ever seem to have any players in the England squad. And its Arsenal's fault England aren't any good too.

Despite our lack of 'Englishness' the football future of the country rests in the hands of Arsenal. Jack Wilshere will captain his nation at some point and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, AKA the Ox, will become a key player one day for the Three Lions too. 

Yet, just a couple of months ago, people were saying Arsene Wenger had paid over the odds for another youngster in the Ox. Now most of these very same people are saying he is better than Pele and can't believe he hasn't been called up to the latest England squad.

For me, Oxlade-Chamberlain not being called up is a good thing and Stuart Pearce has made the right call in leaving him out. Don't get me wrong, to see an Arsenal player in an England shirt is fantastic, and it sticks two fingers up to the haters, but the right decision has been made here.

The Ox is being touted as England and Arsenal's saviour left, right and centre and the pressure on the boy, and he is still a boy, is becoming as huge as Beth Ditto's right buttock. That is some huge pressure.

I've no doubt Alex can cope with it, he seems a very level-headed kid, but lets not ruin him before he has even began his footballing career. 

To play him in the England senior team right now is a double-edged sword. On one hand he could tear it up but on the other he may have a bad performance and the criticism will come more Fast and Furious than a Vin Diesel movie.

Alex has plenty of time on his side. I mean he has only been able to buy booze legally for six months. We need to give him the opportunity to progress naturally and not rush him.

It's not fair to rest the whole nations hopes on an 18-year-old. It's bad enough for his shoulders to have the weight of Arsenal's campaign on them in some peoples eyes. That is heavy enough.

In his own time the Ox will become an England regular, but that time isn't right now.

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish........


You Can Talk The Talk, But Can You Walk The Walk?

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that there are a lot of Arsenal players who have plenty to say.

They talk a great game but they have to start backing it up with performances on the pitch otherwise it will bite them on their pampered behinds.

This Sunday is the the most important North London derby since we won the title at White Hart Lane on the 25th April 2004.

Its time for this Arsenal squad to stop talking, to stand up, and be counted.

No less than 110% effort will be accepted. Total dedication is needed.

Like a Postman doing his round, Arsene Wenger and his squad must deliver.

So far this season could be described as a nightmare for Gooners worldwide. We have been up and down more times than a pair of Paris Hilton's knickers.

And I'm getting sick from dizziness.

A victory on Sunday would go a long way to curing those dizzy spells and could really kick-start our campaign.

Some of these Arsenal players need to prove they are worthy of wearing the red and white shirt of our beloved club.

They are fighting for their futures at the club but, more importantly, they are fighting for us supporters who worship them week-in and week-out.

Like battle hardened army veterans, our leaders Robin, Sagna, Scezney, Vermaelen must lead the way. The others must follow.

This game has become bigger than Frank Lampard's 15 course breakfast in recent years.

Our 'demise' and S*urs emergence as genuine contenders (I hate to say it but that's what they are) has made the North London derby more important than ever.

The days where we could just turn up and win are over.

However I have confidence in this Arsenal squad to win this week, go on to finish in the top four AND overhaul our neighbours.

Call me deluded, call me crazy, it can happen. But only if we win on Sunday.

It's time these Arsenal players quit talking about what they are going to do and actually do it.

Prove to us Gooners you have pride in the Arsenal badge, prove you are good enough to pull on the Arsenal shirt, something we supporters would love to do.

Prove everyone wrong who doubted you and to those who said that S*urs are nailed on to do the double over us for the first time since the 1992/93 season.

Because if you don't, even those like me who would defend you to the death, might struggle to in the future.

You talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish........

Monday, 20 February 2012

Do We REALLY Want Eden Hazard At Arsenal?

Over the last couple of years Eden Hazard has become quite a talented little lad.

The Belgian international has become one of the most sought after players in Europe and he is loving the attention.

Giants of the game like Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona have all been linked with a move for the Lille play-maker.

Clubs on a smaller scale have had their names thrown into the hat for Hazard's next destination too. 

Although realistically Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur would be just be happy their names are mentioned in the same breath as the teams above.

Now a player of Eden Hazard's undoubted potential and quality would be more than welcome at the Gunners. 

But I worry about his intentions when he has flirted and fluttered his eye-lids with every single club I have mentioned at one time or another.

It concerns me because I believe that he sees moving to England, his apparent preferred destination, as a stepping-stone to moving to Spain one day.

We've had young talented players in the past, rough diamonds that Arsene Wenger has polished, join the club, only to leave when they begin to fulfil their potential.

And that makes me feel sicker than the time I ate 2 large Doner Kebabs after a night drinking copious amounts of Budweiser.

I don't like that feeling. It is horrible. And after seeing Hazard physically coo at numerous clubs I get an inkling he would do the same to us too.

Of course I wouldn't complain if Eden did join Arsenal in the summer, and I could be very wrong about him. 

But I would be keep an eye on his conduct in a couple of years time if Real Madrid or Barcelona came sniffing around, if, in fact, he isn't on their books already.

Inevitably, if he isn't, the two, slightly-bigger than Arsenal, giants from La Liga will come knocking on Hazard's door and his Barca DNA could well kick in.

And we could be heartbroken like times before.

As I've said, I wouldn't complain if he joined the club, but I would definitely have it in the back of my mind that he wouldn't be here for the long-haul.

In my opinion, not that its worth much, I would rather Arsenal target older and more experienced players. Players who are at the end of their career.

These players will finish their playing days with us and provide the squad with that much-needed wisdom.

Players the age of Mikel Arteta would be perfect in my book. Plenty of knowledge and still having the legs to not get cramp after football like I did in the meat aisle at Tesco the other day.

This type of footballer might not have a sell-on value as such, and we know that Wenger loves a player with sell-on value, but we need to look at a short-term option instead of the usual long-term vision for a change.

I admit after writing this I could be very wrong about Eden Hazard. In fact, I could be being more out-of-order than the condom machine in my local, but its just a fear I have.

I would very much enjoy it indeed if Eden Hazard joined the Arsenal, it'd be a huge boost, but I'd be constantly worried about transfer window if he did.

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish.............

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Would You Still SUPPORT Arsenal If We Were Relegated To League 2?

You could describe Arsenal's campaign so far in one word: Pony.

If you really wanted too, I suppose, some would feel you could probably drop the 'C' bomb on the season too.

Now I won't drop that word onto the club because I can't physically say the 'C' word and Arsenal in the same sentence but I know plenty of people who can.

The season has been horrible to watch as it unfolds but there is still a Champions League tie (albeit a slimmer than Victoria Beckham chance) to turn round and a top four race to win.

Of course I don't expect AC Milan to turn into Blackburn Rovers overnight, and I know finishing fourth isn't exactly a huge deal to brag about but, unfortunately,  its the hand we've been dealt with.

Because of the way the season has panned out there seems to be a band-wagon forming that Arsene Wenger's time at the club is up. 

Frustrations amongst some of the Gooner community is at boiling point and could almost be as hot as Rihanna in lacy underwear.

I don't like this band-wagon because, in my opinion, Arsene Wenger deserves a lot more respect than being hounded out of the club after what he has done for us.

If you feel the final nail should be blasted into his Arsenal coffin then that is your opinion. But don't start calling him names and ridiculing the man because he is worth more than that.

Admittedly the last few years have been testing as an Arsenal supporter. Being trophy-less for so long has been a grind and Wenger has been a reason for that.

But, we have been spoilt by the Wenger years when we won trophies and now things have changed, and we aren't winning things, people are spitting their dummies out.

Arsenal have no divine right to win anything. Most of the time we can't even win the Emirates Cup, a cup we invented.

And of course its nice to be challenging for silverware, and I have no doubt Wenger could have done things better to do so, but at the moment we aren't, and at the first sign of a truly bad season under the Frenchman, people want him out.

I'm not naive and I know that this feeling towards Arsene has been building up over the years but who's to say sacking him is the right idea?

It may very well be. We could get rid of him and be rejuvenated like Sunderland have been under Martin O'Neill, a new boss, but at the same time it could backfire and be the worst thing we've ever done.

My money is on it being the worst thing.

As I've said these years have been testing but for me, and I might be wrong, it is showing the supporters of Arsenal and the fans of the club.

I support Arsenal through thick and thin. I'm as frustrated as the next Gooner about the way things at the moment but even if we were relegated through the divisions to League 2 I would still love the club.

I wonder if some Gooners out there could say the same?

Many of the Arsenal fans out there become fans of the club because of Arsene Wenger, when we were constantly winnings things and challenging for honours. Now there is a tough and lean spell at the club they don't like it. 

I am not tarring all Arsenal supporters with the same brush. There is probably a lot of Gooners who have supported Arsenal for a long time who may feel the same. 

But they would support the club, like they have before, through these difficult moments.

The way some Gooners talk about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger can get my back up. I admit Wenger isn't blameless for the barren spell we are having. He could actually take most of the blame.

But its during times like this we see the Gooners who make us proud. 

Part and parcel of supporting a football is taking the rough with the smooth. Being there through the good times and the bad. Its like a marriage. For better or worse.

All the ridiculing, the name calling, saying the club is terrible, all it does is make me love Arsenal even more and want to defend it. Like a wife.

And I'd defend it all the way to League 2 and beyond. 

Would you?

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish............

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Arsenal Need To Dump Nike

Ted Bundy was executed by the electric chair but I honestly think I was more shocked than him when I saw this monstrosity of a kit that Nike have supposedly designed for Arsenal's 2012/13 campaign.

Now I understand that this 'leaked' design could be faker than Pamela Anderson's fake knockers but, if it is real, are Nike sure?!

I would never associate black with Arsenal, never, but here it looks like we have black socks and black bands going round the arm-sleeves with a black collar.

Forgive me if I am wrong but maybe the person who dressed these mannequins with the strips got mixed up and put the wrong socks on the Arsenal and Manchester United ones. What a dummy.

And what is with the black arm-bands? It looks like someone has died! I mean, I know in recent times Arsenal have seemingly been on the decline but do Nike need to go that far?!

I'm starting to think that a S*urs fan designs Arsenal's kit and is having a right laugh at our expense. It is my only explanation. 

For a long time I have disliked the way Nike make our kit look. I think I have liked one design of theirs since we got a deal with them way back in 1856.

The very least they could do is design three kits and let Gooners vote for their favourite to be worn. That way we might look crap but at least we chose what crap we wanted to wear.

I honestly can't wait until our contract with Nike runs out and I really hope that Adidas compete with them for the honour of designing our kit.

Maybe Arsenal can beg Adidas for forgiveness, after dumping them in the 1990's harsher than Britney finished with Justin, and get a deal going with the three stripes.

Adidas always make a decent strip and if Arsenal are on the decline that much at least we would look good doing so! 

Follow me Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish..........

Monday, 13 February 2012

Big Per Will Be A Massive Miss

Our giant of a German Per Mertesacker's ankle looks as battered and bruised as my bank account after buying a hot-dog with a pint of Carlsberg at the Emirates.

It looks in seriously bad shape and I can imagine the pain Per felt when his 6ft 6in frame went over and buckled himself.

Seeing the photo made me wince. I've done my ankle like that before and I was out injured for about 3-4 months.

Now I don't know the length of time that Mertesacker will be out for. I'm not a medical expert or a psychic, nor do I claim to be, but I do know that he will be hugely missed.

Unlike Harry Redknapp, the jury is still out on the centre-back but I think he has settled into life at Arsenal responsibly well.

I happen to believe some people have been more than harsh on Per.

I know he turns slower than Michelle McManus doing a twirl, but I think it would be fairer to judge him next season when he has had time to adapt to English football.

I've no doubt Arsenal will miss him hugely (excuse the pun) for the period he is out injured and I only hope the injury isn't a season-ending one.

He appears to have a calming influence on the side and there is no doubt that the rest of the squad respect him and his 80-odd caps for Germany.

Mertesacker will be sick at this injury. He has established himself in the side and has Euro 2012 with his country coming up.

I feel as sick as a parrot for him too. He has become my second favourite German after David Hasslehoff and I only hope he can recover quickly because, despite his doubters, Arsenal are better with him.

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish..........

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Is Tomas Rosicky Worth Another Arsenal Contract?

There appears to be a split amongst Gooners at the moment that an Olympic gymnast would be very proud of.

So when I pose the question; is Tomas Rosicky worth a new contract at Arsenal? I expect many differences of opinion.

In the past Tomas has frustrated me. Not because I think he is a bad player but because during his time at the club he has spent at least 78% of it in the physio room.

Now forgive me for being vulgar, I don't think he has a bit of crush on anything Gary or Colin Lewin related so that can be ruled out.

So unfortunately for Rosicky, and Arsenal supporters, he isn't love-sick but has actually suffered with bad luck on the injury front.

Which is a shame for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and us Gooners because, believe it or not, I actually think that he is a fantastic player who offers a lot to our game and not just to our medical bill.

His contract runs out this summer and it's a debatable topic as to whether he deserves another one, here, at the home of football.

If it was up to me then I'd give him another one-year-deal with no questions asked. And not just because I had the same hair-style as him in the mid-90's.

The Czech captain has had a run in the side recently and I have been quite impressed. So much so, I don't think he can be classed as deadwood we need rid of.

Having played for his country 85 times (how?!) he has more experience than one of Wayne Rooney's 'special friends' at his local massage parlour.

That experience (not Rooney's pal's) can only be an asset to Arsenal. 

Of course you worry about his injury record. I do too. I mean he's had more problems with his hamstring in the past than Beth Ditto has with a G-string but maybe he is over those problems?

One positive way to look at his past problems is the fact he will not be burnt out will he?

Having had less time on the pitch than most of his peers, at his age, I should imagine Rosicky will be able to play until his late 30's. Maybe even his 60's.

Footballers careers are prolonged these days with various techniques and methods. Perhaps Ryan Giggs could lend Tomas his Yoga teacher for a bit.

But seriously I don't want Rosicky to leave unless a top class replacement was taking his place. I worry that all the sudden he will never be injured again, and those years of Arsenal patching him up would be wasted!

Honestly though I think he is worth another deal at the club. A years contract with a clause that says if his muscles pack up then he'll be sent on loan to Elgin.

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish.........

Monday, 6 February 2012

Some Gooners Are Hypocritical Over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Make no mistake about it, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has created a buzz amongst Gooners that is only comparable with Charlie Sheen mangled on Tigerblood.

The boy has burst onto the scene in explosive fashion since making his first league start for Arsenal against Manchester United last month. 

So much so, in fact, that many Arsenal fans booed Arsene Wenger's decision to take him off.

Now I can understand the frustrations of my fellow Gooners when Wenger made that decision. It made me feel frustrated too.

What makes me laugh about the situation now is that a lot of these same Arsenal fans ridiculed the decision to actually sign Alex in the first place and now they believe he is the new Pele!

I won't lie, when we paid £12m for Oxlade-Chamberlain last summer I was a little concerned, but not angry, that we spent that much on such a young player. 

But looking round various websites at the time of his signing you would have thought that Arsene Wenger had farted loudly in a lift full of people the way some reacted. They were disgusted we had signed another baby. 

Yet, just six months later, these same people are hailing the Ox as the messiah of Arsenal Football Club. Our saviour.

Please, don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Alex is proving the 'doubters' wrong, but wouldn't it be refreshing if some of them held their hands up and admitted it too?

Of course I can understand why Gooners were angry because, at the time, we were set to lose Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

But maybe we shouldn't be quicker than Beth Ditto chasing an ice-cream van to judge new signings, no matter what the age.

In the past we (and I include myself) have all reacted badly to a new signing before the person gets a chance to prove himself. Especially to someone who isn't a superstar purchase. 

Maybe the Ox proves that we need to hold our tongues a little because it can bite you on the bum in the future.

Wenger doesn't always get it right. Many of his past signings are tribute to that fact.

But I hope that some people have learnt to give some players time to prove themselves. Oxlade-Chamberlain is proof of that.

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish......

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Do We Need To Take One Step Back To Take Two Forward?

I haven't given up on Arsenal making the top four because I can't.

Despite Arsenal appearing to want to make it as difficult as possible to get there, something inside me makes it hard for me to believe we won't make it. And that something inside me is certainly not wind.

Perhaps its the season when we needed a Lasagna to make it happen gives me belief. We seemed dead and buried then but the football Gods smiled on us that day at Highbury.

That said there is a tiny voice, maybe a reality check, that keeps whispering in my ear that we won't finish in the top four. The first time under Arsene Wenger.

Now I have told this little voice to jog on but it won't go away. It keeps lurking there like someone watching you play on the fruit machine, waiting for you to spend your money, and then pouncing to win the jackpot.

That said, maybe the voice has a point. Maybe this is the season that we don't make the top four and, unless we win the Champions League, we won't be playing with the cream of Europe next year.

Can you take that? Can you take not hearing the chorus of the Champions League song booming round the Emirates next season?

Like Syrup of ipecac not having Champions League football at Arsenal would be hard to stomach. The thought of it makes me throw up in my mouth a little. 

As much I hate to say it, I have to concede, we might not make it. The reality is that its a real possibility we won't be there at the moment.

I think that Arsenal and, at times, Gooners have come to take the Champions League for granted. Season after season we have been involved with Europe's elite competition.

You never know what you've got until its gone is a very true saying. Perhaps it may ring true with figures at the club and will get things moving.

People say Robin van Persie will leave if Arsenal aren't involved. I don't think that is the case. If Arsenal show a summer of intent, then I believe he will sign a new contract.

Arsenal will have to show intent this summer regardless of whether we make the Champions League or not.

People are beginning to question the ambitions of the club and for a long time many Gooners have become unhappy at what direction the club wants to take.

Not being in the Champions League will not appease the money men at Arsenal but perhaps they need a kick up the backside for them to actually do something.

These days it becoming harder than one of Pele's erections after taking Viagra to compete unless you are spending money.

Despite what many say, Arsene Wenger has performed miracles with the funds available to him. To continuously qualify for the Champions League year after year is amazing. But not enough to some and I understand that.

Arsenal are a big club and sometimes a reality check is needed to remind them of that fact. The board have come to rely on Wenger to spend very little but achieve big things.

The problem is the boards idea of big things and many Gooners are totally different. Just competing for 4th place isn't enough for the fans of the club.

If it happens, finishing outside of the top four might seem like the end of the world at first. But maybe it could have a positive effect in a weird way.

Of course we would get slaughtered for not making it but maybe, just maybe the board and even perhaps Wenger, will wake up and start to act like a big club with ambition again.

Follow me on Twitter @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish...........