Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Arsenal: Transfer Window Summary

For the faithful of the Gooners, it's been a stress-filled transfer window. In the first months, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas were constantly linked with rumors of exits from the Emirates. Sadly, both of those sagas came to be true, with Arsenal's star midfielders heading to Barcelona and Manchester City respectfully. Since then, the Gunners have been linked with just about every center back, central midfielder, and striker on the market. So you don't have to search the interwebs, here's a round-up of Arsenal's transfer dealings. 

Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona (35 Million Pounds)
Samir Nasri to Manchester City (22 Million Pounds)
Emmanuel Eboue to Galatasaray (4 Million Pounds)
Nicklas Bendtner to Sunderland (Loan Deal)
Armand Traore to Queens' Park Rangers (Undisclosed)
Henri Lansbury to West Ham United (Loan Deal)
Gael Clichy to Manchester City (7 Million Pounds)
Denilson to Sao Paulo (Loan Deal)

Gervinho from Lille (11 Million Pounds)
Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen (10 Million Pounds)
Andre Santos from Fenerbahce (6 Million Pounds)
Mikel Arteta from Everton (10 Million Pounds - Unconfirmed)
Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea (Loan Deal)
Park Chu-Young from Monaco (6 Million Pounds - Unconfirmed)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton (12 Million Pounds)
Carl Jenkinson from Charlton (1 Million Pounds)
Joel Campbell from Saprissa (1 Million Pounds)

So, this has been one of Arsene Wenger's busiest transfer windows. Despite this, Arsenal have received more money from transfers than they actually spent, which is quite peculiar in today's markets. Oh well, I'm more than happy. He's finally sorted the defense out, and kind-of sorted out the midfield. Although Benayoun I could care less for. Oh well. UP THE ARSE!

Next, I'll look at the transfer dealings of Chelsea.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why's Everyone Hatin' on Bottles?

First, Wenger when Tottenham scored the winner against the Gunners in the league.

And now, Pep Guardiola when Barca allow Internacional to get an equalizer (It was a friendly, and Barca still won). Someone needs anger management.

Why's everyone hatin' on bottles?

Barca's Tiki-Taka is Boring

People call Barcelona's play beautiful. I find it... Meh. While they do create the occasional wonderful play that leads to a great goal, the rest of the time is a snooze-fest. When they're just trying to maintain possession, their defenders or midfielders just exchange four or five passes between each other. And simple passes, not some creative, over the top through balls. 

People act like they're the only team who is able to create a beautiful play. I can recall a play that Blackpool of all teams made (Can't remember against who), that if Barcelona had done, people would be talking about it for ages. If they played in the English Premier League, I can guarantee that they wouldn't be as successful. They would get battered and bruised against a team like Stoke, who definitely wouldn't be happy with Eric Abidal and Gerard Pique "tiki-taka'ing" between eachother. And Ryan Shawcross would murder Lionel Messi. Literally. Murder. 

Yeah, this is a bit untimely, but I was watching Barcelona v. Internacional (The Brazilian one), and I fell asleep. It wasn't exciting. Or mesmerizing. Or beautiful.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paraguay v. Venezuela Ends in a Huge Brawl

When the Paraguayan and Venezuelan footballers aren't playing football, turns out, they're kickboxers, or ninjas (what ever suits you). After the match was decided on penalties, with Paraguay going through to the final, the teams decided that it wasn't the end of things.

During the match, Venezuela hit the woodwork twice, had a goal (stupidly) called for offside, and had numerous chances that looked like they were going in spectacularly saved. I can understand the frustration of the Venezuelans came from. It's hard to tell who started the whole ordeal, so I'll just assume it was the Venezuelans in the maroon. 

At least they're passionate. Or dicks. Both?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Manchester Clubs are Milan Wannabes

No, not football wise. Who would want to be those two? AC Milan got knocked out by Tottenham in the Champions' League and Inter by Schalke. So no. Not football wise. But, it seems like the representatives of the clubs said to their kitmakers, Umbro for City and Nike for United, "See the Milan clubs? Change it up a little and make it our away kit." Don't believe me? Here's Man City's away kit for this year:

Eerily similar to the typical AC Milan kits of recent years. Granted, this year the stripes are more numerous on the Milan shirt, but still recognizable and similar. And City couldn't get a better player to advertise their kit than Edin Dzeko?

United's new away kit, I will admit, is pretty classy. Just a simple blue with black hoops. But again, very similar to the other Milan club, Inter. They basically just rotated the stripes 90 degrees. In this case though both are made by Nike so it's kind of excusable (not really).

And Inter's new kit. What do you think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Argentina Defies Logic

How can a team with Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Diego Milito, Gonzalo Higuain, Javier Pastore, and Javier Mascherano lose to a Uruguayan side that was a man down?!? I know that it was on penalties, but when you have so much firepower, how can you be held to 1-1? The Uruguayans played fantastically to hold them through extra time, and I believe that they thoroughly deserve to go through.  And it doesn't help that Messi decides to disappear on the pitch when playing outside of Europe. I bet he regrets he didn't choose to play for Spain now. 

Brazil also lost to Paraguay today on penalties. Now, if you thought that the US Women's Team missing their first 3 penalties, Brazil one-upped them, missing FOUR. FOUR PENALTIES. Insane. But like before, in this match, the underdogs deserve to go through. And what happened to the Brazilian squad? This team used to have legends like Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho. Now, their star is Neymar, a self-centered 19-year old who I believe is totally overrated. It was shown today.

Japan Defeats USA in World Cup Final, Hope Solo is Still Hot

Today, Japan defeated the United States in the Final of the Women's World Cup. Despite Abby Wambach scoring in the 102nd minute during extra time, the US couldn't hold on to their lead. Homare Sawa equalized in the 116th, and the game went to penalties. Somehow, the Americans managed to miss their first three penalties, basically insuring that the Japanese would win. And so they did, and became Women's Champions of the World.

Yes, it's sad for the Americans, but when you think of everything that the Japanese went through in the last few months, they truly deserve it. And when I was watching this game, I couldn't help but notice how much women's soccer has improved. A few years ago, barely anybody care, and Andy Gray was laughing at their highlights (YouTube that). Now, quality players like Marta and Abby Wambach are becoming symbols of football around the world. 

Oh, and the fact that the USA lost, doesn't really change the fact that some of the American women are, pardon me, hot. Especially Hope Solo. Woot. And I regret not putting more coverage of the WWC in my blog recently.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yes, Arsenal IS in a Crisis

This was going to be a post of hope for Arsenal. But now, that's all changed. Just weeks ago, everything seemed great. A huge amount of players were linked with a transfer to the Gunners, Fabregas seemed to be staying, and the same was for Nasri. Now? Manchester City are on the verge of signing both Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri, while Fabregas is almost destined to join his boyhood club, Barcelona. Oh to be a Gooner.

What's happened to this club? Just a few years ago, players like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, and Patrick Vieira were world beaters, winning just about every competition, bar the Champions' League. And they even got to a final for that. In 2011 however, players like Denilson and Almunia are given free rides on the Arsenal bandwagon and are getting paid wages that other top clubs would laugh at. And instead of selling deadwood like Denilson, Rosicky, Squilacci, Bendtner, and Almunia, teams are picking off Arsenal's top players one by one. This brings me to my point, does the executive board even care about winning? At this point, players who come to Arsenal just use the club as a stepping stone to greener pastures. It's happened in the past with Petit, Overmars, and Henry, and it looks to now be happening with Fabregas and Nasri. Clichy I don't care that much about, he's been utter crap for the last 2 years. As a huge Arsenal fan, I cringe every time I enter a footballing news website. 9 out of 10 times the main headlines are either about Fabregas leaving or another unknown "talent" being linked. Why still buy young talent? Really? What Arsenal needs is established players, not some 16 year old from Sweden. I want a 25 year old Englishman *cough* GARY CAHILL*cough*.

Yes, it's very easy to pin all of the blame on Arsene Wenger. He's the one who's in charge of transfers and players, right? No, while other teams who have billionaire owners, like City and Chelsea, can spend huge sums of cash, Arsenal's new owner, Stan Kroenke, has given Wenger just 35 million pounds to spend. In today's transfer market, that's nothing if he would want to buy truly established players. I mean go look at Liverpool, Andy Carrol for 35 million and Jordan Henderson for 20 million. If Arsene Wenger would want to purchase Premier League players, who's he going to get on the cheap? While it looks like Gary Cahill is about to sign for the Gunners, he supposedly is going to cost 17 million pounds. That's half of the transfer money gone right there. Add the purchase of Gervinho for 12 million and thats almost 30 million already spent. Yes Arsenal might get money from the sales of other players, it's still not enough depending on who is sold. I mean, look at it this way. Fernando Torres cost Chelsea 50 million pounds in January. Arsenal's most expensive player purchased was Andrei Arshavin. Around 15 million. Quite the difference.

Eh, I'm going to end my rant there. It's not like I can do anything about it. I'm just another disillusioned fan. Plus, there are some positives in this whole thing. Arsenal are looking at Christopher Samba, Gary Cahill, and Phil Jagielka for center backs. Gervinho has confirmed that he will sign for Arsenal, and the only reason that Phil Jones chose United over Arsenal is because of location. So not all bad. But then again, to me it's not enough to soothe my anger with the fact that 2 of our top players are most likely leaving. It could only be worse if Robin Van Persie or Jack Wilshere handed in a transfer request. 

Knowing Arsenal's luck, that's what's gonna happen tomorrow in the papers.