Our New Brazilian – Legend or Liability – A Close Shave

Written by chas

Andre Clarindo Dos Santos was born on the 8th March 1983 in São Paulo, Brazil. His early career at Figueirense was as a left winger. After loan spells at Flamengo and Athletico Mineiro, he joined Corinthians and was successfully converted into an attacking left back. Fenerbahce signed Andre in 2009 and he soon took over from his compatriot Roberto Carlos at left back. The Turkish club’s removal from the Champions League for 2011/12 due to a match–fixing scandal helped to convince the Brazilian that his career might be best furthered elsewhere. He joined Arsenal on 31st Aug 2011 and was given the highly appropriate number 11 shirt.

When he joined The Gunners, Andre was quick to make the kind of statement guaranteed to ensure he received a warm welcome from the supporters… “All the Brazilians who came to this club spoke wonders about it and I am delighted to be part of the Arsenal family.” Sylvinho, Edu, Gilberto, Baptista, Denilson and Eduardo formed an impressive line of Brazilian nationals to have played in the famous red and white with varying degrees of success. Would Andre Santos emerge as a flying Sylvinho with a valid passport or a lacklustre Beast with faulty dentures?

It has been reported that our new Brazilian was never without a football as a youngster and once he joined a professional club, his appetite for goals was honed with extra shooting practice before training started.

Our new number 11’s first outing came away at Blackburn and was greeted with mixed reviews (his performance largely hidden away by Arsenal’s abject second half display). Being only slightly taller than Kieran Gibbs but ‘several’ pounds heavier led to accusations of being a little bit of a ‘salad dodger’. It now seems amusing that this first impression has not been dispelled. The way he seems to be completely out of breath about ten minutes into each game but is still straining every sinew to give his all for the team after 94 minutes is a joy to behold. Perhaps fish and chips should be a rare treat rather than the cornerstone of a footballer’s diet! (I believe this was an item for Brazilian TV, by the way)

Santos Fish and Chips

After Arsenal’s 3-0 win over the Baggies, Santos again added to his growing ability to raise a smile from Gooners everywhere by tweeting, “Verry good win gays!!! #GoArsenal”, quickly followed by a profuse apology for his unfortunate misspelling. Goals against Olympiakos and in the magnificent humbling of Chelsea at the Bridge have meant that, in less than a dozen games, Andre has equalled Gael Clichy’s glorious 2 goals in 264 Arsenal games record.

Santos likes to wear his socks Thierry style, leading some to assume he wears white tights. The English climate doesn’t seem to have disturbed his Latin rhythms though, and the transition from Turkey to N5 has been a seamless one so far.

With each game our new Brazilian plays, there seem to be a growing number of converts to the Santos fan club. His ability on the ball is difficult to question; quick feet, superb ball control and a passion for rampaging forward all mean that when Santos gets the ball some entertainment will usually follow. His teammates know he’s confident to receive the ball, even under pressure, and his passing stats are reflecting this confidence. Perhaps, Andre’s positional sense isn’t completely suited to the rigours of Premiership football but his ability to win the ball in one-on-one situations is largely down to his superb skills of anticipation and timing. He always seems to have a smile on his face and genuinely wants to play as part of a team.

I intended this post as a discussion of our new Brazilian’s pros and cons but my growing love for his ability on the football pitch has made this a rather one-sided discussion. After all, his love of large round objects is clear for all to see!

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192 Responses to Our New Brazilian – Legend or Liability – A Close Shave

  1. Morning all

    A lovely happy post from chas about a player who I think will become a firm favourite with supporters for his exciting skills.

  2. pat says:

    Chas – great post – my vote for Santos is upcoming crowd favourite (he has an Eboue like spirit maybe)

    This was copied over from the comment section from the last post for you chas:

    hows this for torture: (my condolences re your brother in law ;-) )

    The guy that runs our monday 7 aside footy is what you would politely call a recent Man City fan. So our team uniform is sky blue – ugghhh!.
    On the positvie side at least another team mate – man u supporter appreciated the arsenal when we gave Chelsea the beat down at the bridge… he said he ended up watching that game rather than the Man U one which was on at the same time….so wengerball is a winner on two counts there…

  3. Gooner In Exile says:

    Fine post Chas, sitting with TA at Fulham Santos raised more than a few smiles between us for his calmness in possession and eagerness to try very non left back things.

    You rightly say his finest attribute for our new defensive security is the tackling, he is such an exquisite timer and as Ray Wilkins encourages stays on his feet. This is leading to less crosses into our box as he smothers attacks early.

  4. GiE – I’ll pay closer attention to Santos at the Everton game as a result of what you guys (you and TotalA) noticed and of course Chas’ most excellent post, a breath of fresh air after the sky blue plastics outpourings yesterday.

    Pat – the latest moneybags clubs always attract the glory hunters, the type of fan I have no respect for.

  5. Red Arse says:

    Hi Chas, :-)

    Well written piece my man. Interesting background for Santos. He is so skillful I am surprised that we, and other clubs, were not tracking him earlier. I certainly had never heard of him until this Summer.

    Like you, I have elevated him from a “what the hell?” to a “what a player!”
    I really enjoy his cheeky skills, altho’ it does make me gulp sometimes when he is surrounded by the oppo and yet still finds an Arsenal player with an exquisite pass — mostly! :-)

  6. Brigham says:

    Good article.

    I like the guy (Santos) and he is already showing signs of becoming a fan’s favourite. His tackling style is very reminiscent of Kenny Sansom and it would be excellent if he ends up playing with the same style as that great one time legend.

    My only gripe with him is that he often gets caught the wrong side of the winger, whether out on the left or sometimes more centrally when coming in to cover the space. I am sure this will improve with time and him learning more about ‘how to defend’ a line.

    Like a typical Brazilian, he is not scared to venture forward and as you said, he has already equalled Clichy’s goal tally, which to be honest, was not going to that difficult! He is also prone to the odd bit of flamboyancy which sometimes gets him and the team into trouble, but then I like a player who is willing to try something different rather than be run of the mill.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Thank you – a fine choice of subject for a damp Thursday.

    I am also in the pro-Santos club, Someone who will not be is Kieron Gibbs who must be mighty pissed off that AW has signed such a quality LB to replace Clichy.

    It is hard to remember that last season Gibbs was given a full England cap to reflect his burgeoning talent. Now Kieron will be lucky to play a handful of games a season. Will he stay at AFC? Would you?

    My guess is that AW knows Gibbs is prone to long-term injuries and bought accordingly.

    Santos is such a lovely footballer and adds much to the team, but his lack of defensive nous has been disguised by the excellence of Arteta’s positional sense and the fantastic ability of Vermaelen.

  8. pat says:

    sorry guys – got chary and chas confused – many apologies!!!

  9. pat says:

    dont know if i am seeing this correctly or not but teams seem to be trying to put the balls in behind the full backs… sometimes we seem a little exposed to that tactic if LB and RB have pushed up…

  10. pat says:

    Hey Raddy….

    Gibbs’ injury record is a problem so hopefully that is behind him now – you would think he will start to get more games with the increased fixture load over xmas (assuming he is back, is he still out injured?)

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Simply fanChastic post :)

    Well done Chas: is this your first AA post? I love your final conclusion as the ultimate proof that Santos is ok: “After all, his love of large round objects is clear for all to see!”. How can anybody argue with that: it is all about the ability to caress!

    Santos seems less erratic/ more composed than Clichy and he’s starting to scare the opposition. His previous scoring record was 1 in 5 games, I believe, and he looks like a great buy. Yes, he’ll make some mistakes that will cost us, but h’ll make more than up for it during the season.

    Just think of Wenger buying two almost unknown Backs this season: Jenkinson and Santos. Both fantastic players, but totally different background and skillset. How does he spot and know they will work out well at Arsenal? In Arsene we lust.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Strange Jamie didn’t come back on after the ceremony!

  13. Rasp says:

    Super post chas. I was a very early convert to the Santos fan club. I love a player with skills so my avatar may well change to something related to Santos’ love of round things if Arsh goes in January.

  14. LB says:

    I’m lovin that post Chas.

    Entertaining, uplifting, the perfect remedy to help get us all back into the right frame of mind.

  15. Fatgingergooner says:

    I actually prefer Santos to Gibbs. I think he gives us an attacking outlet from full back which helps a lot against teams who have parked the bus.

    His defending is getting better and he is a joy to watch. Great signing so far.

  16. Alex Antonio says:

    Santos is a wonderful player.Without prejudice,he’s far much better than Gibbs.Am pretty sure that once he gets in tune with Epl’s life,we shall see an accomplished player good in defence and attack.Like you said,the only issue is his early wear out in a game.Otherwise I bet,Santos can be a better left winger than Arshavin.Wish him a fantastic Arsenal carrier.

  17. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice stuff Chas.

    I like santos, hes highly skilled and experienced but the thing that has surprised me the most is how strong he is. If someone trys to take him on in close quarters he justs swats them away. The only thing that lets him down is that he seems to switch off at times. Lets face it, any one who can tweet that there whole team mates are gay and get away with it is alright in my book.

    Just like to add that when Gibbs has played this season he has looked very good, the White Hart Lane game springs to mind. Could be a right old ding dong for that left back spot this season.

  18. dandan says:

    Well written piece Chas cheered me up on a gloomy morning.

    Hope this puts a smile on one or two faces as well

    CHINESE SICK LEAVE: ‘I NO COME WORK TODAY!!!’

    Hung Chow calls into work and says, ‘Hey, I no come work Today, I really sick. Got headache, stomach ache and legs hurt, I no come work.’

    The boss says, ‘You know something, Hung Chow, I really need you today. When I feel sick like you do, I go to my wife and tell her to give me sex. That makes everything better and I go to work.. You try that.’

    Two hours later Hung Chow calls again. ‘I do what you say and I feel great. I be at work soon………

    You got nice house’

  19. evonne says:

    Chas – I recon that if Rory Delap had big tits you’d fancy him too :)

    Great post, cheers

  20. Brigham says:

    Evonne, what is wrong with liking tits? I have loads of them in my garden, all clammering to get to my nuts!

  21. evonne says:

    Brigham – not bird tits, but tits ON birds

  22. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne,

    I think Brigham knows what you mean! :-)

  23. Red Arse says:

    Hi Dandan, :-)

    That punchline made me spill my coffee. Me likey! :-)

  24. Brigham says:

    Oh I do, I do indeed Red! :-)

  25. Red Arse says:

    I tend to agree with Alex. When/if Gibbsy gets fit again, I can see Santos playing swashbuckling, attacking midfield with Gibbs right behind him.

    (No TerryM, that’s not a gay reference!) :-)

  26. Brigham says:

    The wife came out of the bathroom after her shower, stark naked and walked into the bedroom.

    She said to me: “Be a love and close the curtains, I don’t want the neighbours to see me naked.”

    “Dont worry” I replied, “If they see you naked, the will shut their own bloody curtains”!”

  27. Red Arse says:

    Brig, I agree, I did! :-)

  28. As were talking things jovial, how much did we lauygh at Twitchy turning purple on the bench at Shite Hart lane last night ?

    From the look of him I’d suggest some more recuperation from his heart op.

    Watching the Spuds play is not good for your health. :)

  29. Brigham says:

    Chary, I think the Spuds game proved one thing for me, their squad does not have enough strength in depth. They were woeful at times and looked lost in that first half. It was only the sending off which changed the balance of play, as PAOK were happy to sit deep.

  30. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not sure why we fans like to fit square pegs in round holes.

    Have you heard the one about Phil Jones being a defensive midfielder?

    Santos plays well with the ball and space in front of him, he gains momentum sees the channel and goes for it. Not many players can change to play up top with ball coming to them with back to goal or receiving it in a tight space with no support.

  31. Red Arse says:

    I have often trolled thru Newsnow to glance at the trfr ‘rumours’ recently, and after a quick count it seems we are going to buy;

    15 CFs,
    4CBs,
    3 Young Starlets and
    A partridge in a pear tree

    As well as a bonus of 3 birds with big cole tits!

  32. Red Arse says:

    What about square pegs (what them?) :-) in square holes? (what them too?).

  33. It’s odd that Brigham, we had Spuds on here after they beat us at the lane of pain telling how superior their squad was to ours.
    Hmmm…..

  34. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB, :-)

    I just have a sneaky feeling ‘Arry sniffs the main chance of a top 3 place and doesn’t give a toss about the Europa.

    We often stumble in the last third of the season because of an overload of games – what do you think?

  35. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I believe you Redders, haha

    On a side note, what is it that makes Brazilian footballers make the game look so easy (No Denilson comments please). They seem to play at there own pace and are blessed with skills that in general others dont seem to have. Is it enviroment, coaching, race, upbringing or what?

  36. Brigham says:

    Exactly Chary and it was more than obvious last night that they do not! Their youth/fringe/reserve players do not hold a candle to our lads on iota. Our starting eleven from Tuesday would have beaten PAOK, of that I am sure.

    It is my firm belief that the Spuds are two or three injuries away from imploding once again, as they normally do.

  37. Red Arse says:

    TerryM,

    I think South American players often have great pace which is no doubt due to the smooth skinned waxing which reduces airflow! :-)

    One thing most of us have skirted while delighting in our wonderful crop of kids, and which the rumour of Chelsea’s interest in PingPong has highlighted, is how do we keep other clubs away from our guys?

    Money talks, sadly, and I hope Gazidis and Co have thought out a good contract strategy to keep the predators away!

  38. Brigham says:

    Red, good point there regarding our youngsters and keeping the predators away. I would like to think that Gazidis has a plan in motion, I say think because I am not really sure of the guy most of the time. He is a bit too ‘smoke and mirrors’ for my liking.

    It would be a crime to have nutured the likes of Frimpong, Coquelin and co to have them taken away just as they are maturing into promising and most likely fine players and additions to our squad.

  39. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I know you are ignoring me!! :-)

    But there have been many instances where players start out in one position (Santos – left wing >> LB; Thierry – left wing >> CF) and gravitate to another better position, so it is not just fans who think along those lines.

    I think Phil Jones is so good that he could play anywhere in defence or midfield. Actually, Kozzer and TV are both physically and mentally equally well suited to defence or midfield — altho that may just be me. :-)

  40. Red Arse says:

    Off now for my dindin, Dandan — at the second best chippie after yours – mouth drooling at the thought!! :-)

  41. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders,

    “smooth skined waxing” haha.

    You hit the nail on the head about keeping our players, its proving to be the one fundamental flaw in our strategy. From what ive seen of our financial figures over the last few years we seem to be ploughing in all increased revenues into wages, and young players seem to be on very high earnings. I think i made the point a few days ago that if you went back a few years the Board and Arsene made public comments saying that they were not overly concerned with losing players since we offered a football paradise and all our players were on handsome wages. it seems that Arsene and the board were wrong on that front but to be fair to them the enviroment changed drasticaly with the emergence of the suger daddies. Is good old fashioned loyalty to much to ask for these days?

  42. goonermichael says:

    I love Santos and would consider having his babies :)

  43. Fatgingergooner says:

    Totally agree GiE,

    Its much easier to be a defender than a midfielder because everything is in front of u. Midfielders have to have the ability to find and create space and be able to collect the ball in congested areas. Peoplesay Vermaelen could play DM but I don’t believe he would be of the level of AS, EF or CF so what’s the point?

    Leave Santos where he is and replace AA, it’s so much easier!

  44. Fatgingergooner says:

    #FC not CF!!!

  45. Arsedave says:

    Just new to the site, working in Glasgow on a 6 month contract, used to eating and sleeping the Arsenal back at home so never felt the need to post before. Really happy with the young guns, can’t remember who it was yesterday who had a go at Chamakh but I feel if he played alongside RVP for 5 or so games instead of playing when he’s not there I think he’ll blossom.

  46. chas says:

    Welcome to the site, Arsedave.

    Thank you all for your kind comments.
    My Catholic guilt (very much ex-Catholic but the guilt stays with you!) got the better of me and I decided it was about time I contributed something to the site instead of always just taking.
    Off out again, back later.

  47. Brigham says:

    Welcome Dave, I am not far from you as I work over in Helensburgh, not all the time I might add, but spend quite a bit of time up here. I hope you are enjoying the wet weather!

  48. Rasp says:

    Hi Dave and welcome, I hope we can help reduce your Arsenal blues whilst in the land of the skirted.

    It may have been me who was less than complimentary about Chamakh.

    I am sure he is a much better player than the one we are seeing. I suspect the problem is in his head and he is not suited to English football. I don’t think he has gelled with the other players socially or on the pitch.

    I certainly wouldn’t risk a run of games in place of any of our front 3 just to see if he can improve after we’ve just clawed our way back into contention.

  49. Great article, really liked it. But FYI, Technically, Eduardo isn’t a Brazilian international, as he plays for Croatia.

  50. ozgunner says:

    Great post chas, im def a fan of santos. Ever since the chelsea game i’ve highlighted just how good his timing is in tackling. He rarely misses one!

    TA cheers for the great match report yesterday, after reading yours and GiE’s i’m never doing one again, they are too good!

    i also am very worried at the prospect of the youngin’s moving on for first team football. Coquelin is ready, frim nearly is. How on earth do we keep all three? Surely Miquel and Bartley will be wanting first team football soon also. It’s all so hard, i don’t want any of them to leave, i love them all. So much so they are all on 5 year contracts on my fifa game (all except song who said he’d run down his contract and leave!

  51. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    I enjoyed every word of that. Great (debut?) post.
    Funny headline too.

    I’m very happy with Santos and I feel Gibbs will have a tough job getting back in the first team (if and when he gets fit). But that’s the kind of problem managers like to have.

    Arsedave
    Welcome to AA

  52. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA I am not ignoring you just very hard to disagree. Also have had little time over last couple of days and instead found myself replying to infiltrators than the regulars.

    Altho re your point about TH moving Bale too at Spuds is another example it improved them from a position they were not performing in. Santos is performing at Left Back and as FGG points out Verm is a centre back not a DM. That’s not to say these players could not do jobs out of position if asked to (Kozzer at RB) but it takes something from their game at the same time.

    Also FGG I would not say the game is easier from deeper but that there are two types of player one who benefit from ball/goal in front of them and those that can play with their back to goal and opponents. I have seen many fullbacks become wingers and equally wingers become better players at fullbacks.

    As for the Brazilian youngsters I would probably (without checking any facts) put it down to the conditions in which some of the geniuses have come through to play football.

    1) they might have had anything other than a football to practice with
    2) some might have played as youngsters on dustbowl bobbly backstreets 20v20 if you want the ball you best learn how to keep it
    3) they have fantastic heroes to imitate

    Now at this point most ask what’s the point in coaching kids then, well to me that is a good question. Over my local park this summer I watched many kids aged 5-10 being given fitness drills, stretching drills and finally pre set coaching drills. And I looked on and asked myself where is the fun? They were not allowing the kids to just enjoy playing football. Shame really.

  53. Cory (Gooner In NYC) says:

    Long time reader, 1st time comment….First off, I have been reading the blog w/my morning coffee (in an Arsenal mug of course) everyday for the past 3-4 seasons & it has helped keep me sane through all the doom & gloom “supporters” & blogs that rear their ugly heads anytime things don’t go smoothly for the Arse, so a HUUUUGE THANK YOU to all the site regulars from a Gooner in NYC. Regarding our new Brazilian ton o’ fun, I stated on Twitter a few days ago that the amount of “man love” I am developing for him is starting to worry me a bit. There is just something that sets him apart from all the other clever/flicks-n-tricks players we have at the club & it’s down to him being the definition of Brazilian. He was not a total unknown to me b/c a former girlfriends father was a die hard Fenerbache supporter & I used to have to search for match streams for him to watch his beloved club every week (an extremely mild-mannered Turkish immigrant that would transform into a lunatic on match days & would run up & down the street anytime they scored lighting fireworks off & screaming/singing like mad in his quiet suburban, fairly wealthy neighborhood….his uptight neighbors were not too fond of him & called the police more than once). If Gibbs can manage to get his injuries sorted, I wouldn’t mind seeing him & Santos playing on the left wing together against certain teams, with both of them switching attacking/defending duties constantly (it would take time & ALOT of communication/understanding from both of them, but has potential to be a nightmare for opposing teams right side). I was happy with the thought of him being a bit part player when we signed him, but he has made the position his own in such a short time & is adapting to our style & the pace of the EPL with each match. His 1-on-1 defending really is a joy to watch, truly the “art of defending” & offensively, like I said before, 100% Brazilian, always a joy to watch. Always a smile on his face & seems very happy at the club/life in England. Looking forward to his future at the club b/c it is without a doubt very bright!!
    -Thanks again for preserving such a wonderful blog through some tough times, keep it up!!!!

  54. goonermichael says:

    ozgunner there is a rumour (bbc) that the chavs want Frimpong

  55. Rasp says:

    Wow Cory, welcome, that is quite a debut comment – I could almost make a post out of it!

    Glad you finally decided to join the fun, please don’t make it the last time.

  56. dandan says:

    Interesting Latest Arsenal odds for top four finish from labrokes 5/4 what would they have been a month ago.

  57. ozgunner says:

    Welcome cory and dave.

    Cory i like your point of gibbs and santos in some games. We used to do it with eboue and sagna because when they swapped we didn’t lack defensively. However, with santos and gibbs you have two better attacking players so we would lose nothing offensively. I prefer the old saying ‘the best defence is a good offence’ because as theo showed against cole, put enough fear in them and they won’t leave the half (after the way cole started it was very much needed).

  58. goonermichael says:

    I’m quite confident that we’ll finish above Arsenal and I will take Jack on,” said Defoe. “I’ll get involved, even though some Arsenal fans probably won’t like to hear me say that.

    “The squad we have is unbelievable. We have two teams who are capable of playing in the Premier League. It doesn’t matter who we play, we believe we can win. Can we win the title?

    Is this the squad that just lost to a greek team?

  59. ozgunner says:

    @ GM

    i’m not so much worried about frim because i think he’s arsenal through and through. I’m more worried about coq, because he’s expressed his desire to get first team action, and without it he can’t take the next step. He is ready and because of that i’m worried other teams will come knocking. Personally i think he should be used to cover arteta because offensively he’s quite good, and defensively he’s an energizer bunny.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Welcomes to the comments Cory :) more comments like that and Peaches will be asking you to post.

    Welcome too to Warwick hopefully you’ll find some sanity here.

    Re the Frimpong to Chavs stuff one guess is they think he will want to go there because he could play with his Ghanaian hero Essien. However I seriously doubt that a lad who showed such utter contempt for the disloyal Na$ri the other night has plans to go anywhere yet.

    Let’s just remember he and Jack bossed youth team midfields together since they were 8/9 surely both will want to take that partnership to the seniors.

  61. ozgunner says:

    defoe is delusional. They have been very lucky injury wise. Parker, modric, ade, bale,and king are their core players. A injury to a couple of them and they will fall apart. Look how their reserve CB’s did against the greeks. Gallas and bassong were their worst players. I like them being on top atm though, even funnier when they crash and burn!

  62. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Interesting points GiE. I wonder what age its right for Clubs to start coaching kids? You want them to maintain there natural talent but at the same time need to remove bad habits and learn further good ones.

    Greetings Arsedave and Cory. That Turkish guy sounds like a right laugh. If i lived on that street i would certainly join him in his lunatic running.

  63. Wonderman says:

    I am a firm supporter of Santos and have nick named him ‘The Cobra’ as a result of the way he pounces on opponents and ends up with the ball. The idea of him and Gibbs playing together is a good one fir all that Arshavin is doing at the moment.

    @GIE 1:36 that’s a real can of worms you’re opening mate. The biggest two problems with kids football in this country is the coaches , who though , often well intended do not allow the children to learn the game, and parents who sometimes put their kids under unbelievable pressure to win. I think by definition Brazil is a huge footballing country and to come out of there you have to be good. I think I read somewhere that Brazil exports more players to europe than any other country

  64. SharkeySure says:

    Sterling work Chozzer !!!!

    Last week I wrote something like :

    “I love Santos. There you go, I’ve said it out loud!”

    I’ve often thought and saidthe ame about how knackerdhe looks ten mins in, and looks the same on 94mins when ambling back from his latest lung busting raid on the opposition penalty box.

    Very prescient that he was given the no.11 shirt !!!

  65. dandan says:

    Are you really suprised FROM TODAYS TIMES

    Geoffrey Riddle

    Last updated December 1 2011 12:42PM

    The latest attempt by Fifa to instigate reforms was dealt a big blow when a leading anti-corruption organisation ended its working relationship with football’s governing body, questioning the independence of its panel to end corruption.

    Transparency International had been an adviser to Fifa on anti-corruption reforms, but it ended the arrangement over the validity of the organisation’s Independent Governance Committee, suggesting that it was wrong that it would not investigate past corruption.

    Mark Pieth, a professor in criminal law at the University of Basle, heads up the so-called “solutions committee” and submitted a report yesterday proposing key reforms to Fifa’s election process. Pieth, however, is being paid by Fifa and Transparency International withdrew its assistance on account of his reluctance to probe past wrongdoings such as the cases of Mohammed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner.

    “All members of the commission are supposed to be independent,” Sylvia Schenk of Transparency International, said. “You can’t be independent if you have a contract with Fifa.”

    Transparency International published a report in August recommending ways in which Fifa could be more open. The organisation called for an independent group to begin a comprehensive overhaul of Fifa’s governance and an investigation into existing corruption allegations.

    “Yesterday we learned this commission is not dealing with the past, first step we said in our report is dealing with the past,” Schenk said.

    Pieth reacted by suggesting that all audits and business evaluations carried out on behalf of any organisation are paid for.

    “We can’t start asking audit firms to do their job for free just to make sure they are independent,” Pieth said, in an interview with Bloomberg. “What you’ll get is something quite pathetic. Mrs Schenk is playing a turf war here.”

  66. SharkeySure says:

    True re the Brasilian exports WM. Its one of their biggest revenue earners – ie as a country its not far off from being a football factory.

    It makes a massive contribution to Brasils GDP/GNP

  67. Redders/Brigham – beneath the apparent angst of losing last night I suspect Twitchy is secretly smiling to himself(in a fitful, manic way of course) about concentrating his resources on a top 4 finish so he can revisit the promised land of the Champions League.

    Provided he’s not banged up next season that is, LOL.

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    Wonderman you know I’ve had coaching and I was lucky my Dad was a pretty good footballer who could help me and my brother out. And also we went on Soccerskills groups etc.

    What is worrying for me is I live in a pretty sedate suburban area. There are about two or three parks, most with goal posts up. Now I know when I was a kid if we were going over the park in the holidays we had two options get there early or have to accept we were going to be joining in with others my local park had four pitches, so 8 goals and 6 days out of 7 they were full. In the winter we would play on the ones nearest the street lights.

    The only time I see kids playing football now is organised matches and training.

    I’ve no problem with kids being coached, they can always improve technique but seeing 6-8 year old being coached reverse passes in complex coaching drills for me is a little OTT. One lad just couldn’t make the reverse pass, but to be fair he couldn’t even move the ball where he wanted it to, back to basics. Work on ball skills and touch by all means but at the same time don’t take all fun out of it, which is what can happen with the wrong coaches.

    However I’m well aware that Spain employs more youth coaches than any other country and you can see the benefit. We can also see the benefit of Jack being at Arsenal from 6/7. I guess I’m more worried about the pyramid system and whether some of these youngsters will continue past 13/14 if they don’t get into pro football.

  69. Red Arse says:

    Hi Fellas, especially the newbies! :-)

    Just back from fish and chips and feeling mellow and replete.

    My point in suggesting the Gibbs/Santos twosome earlier this morning (or when you were still getting some zzzzzs, Cory) :-) was just flying a kite to get a reaction from you my learned AA colleagues :-) but it makes sense anyway if AW wanted to try and fit them both onto the team roster.

    A side consequence, if AW sold Arshavin, would be that we would not have to go into the market to replace him, and any funds raised by his sale could go into the pot to buy a high quality (probably therefore expensive, sadly) offensive player to supplement RVP.

    GIE, I know you are too well mannered to ignore me, or anyone else, just teasing you – as per usual! :-)

  70. Red Arse says:

    Good point about the training GIE, and actually (unless I misunderstood) both you and Wonderman appear to be saying much the same thing.

    I especially understand your point about the very young kid being physically unable to move/control the ball, and in a way that would have excluded him from training at a football club in the past, because they wanted ‘big’ kids who were physically more advanced – even tho’ they may have been technically inferior.

    Luckily, that did not happen to our Jack!

  71. Red Arse says:

    Dandan, while I have stunned the site into silence, I was spoiled for choice today, at the chippie.

    I was humming and ahhing over the choice between cod, haddock, plaice and halibut, when I spotted my other favourite dover sole. I was about to order it, with my stomach gurgling away, when I was told they had a ‘special’ of chargrilled sardines.

    Oh the agony of indecision. The solution was that I ordered the sole as well as a side order of sardines. Funnily enough ……… I had no problem scoffing (is that the right word?) :-) everything, including chips and buttered bread! Lovely! :-)

  72. Gooner In Exile says:

    A side order of fish with fish?

    Surely only a saveloy is allowable with fish and chips……

  73. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I hope your sole and sardines were well covered in batter… :)

  74. Red Arse says:

    OK, so I was being greedy, :-) I could not make my mind up — but at least I refrained from battering them, Rocky, grilled sole and char-grilled sardinhos — manna from heaven!

  75. Red Arse says:

    GIE, I’m not sure I know what a saveloy is – cabbage? Or is that ‘savoy cabbage’?

    I’m pretty sure I have never had anything toothsome by that name! :-)

  76. Blimey Redders even me as a veggie knows thgat a saveloy is some sort of frankfurter type of large sausage.

    Of course I’ll have to bow to the knowledge of the carnivores here for any more info on saveloys.

  77. SharkeySure says:

    Warwick…Eduardo plays for Croatia !!

    No way …where did you hear/read that foolishness..??

  78. evonne says:

    Raddy – Professor the Lord Robert Winston the
    pioneer of IVF treatment and other microsurgical infertitlity procedures is one of us, and so is Erling Kagge

  79. evonne says:

    Chas – did you see my comment about Rory Delap with tits?

  80. evonne says:

    GiE – not only that the Great Scum lost, but they lost to 10men team hardly anybody have heard of

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, did you dream of his big ears?

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not sure that vid did the Saveloy justice Chas.

  83. chas says:

    Evonne, Pulis wouldn’t be too happy if Rory’s ability to launch a football was impaired.

    Justice for saveloys, free the umlauts.

  84. evonne says:

    Chas – but you would :)

  85. chas says:

    How about this one, GIE? :)

  86. evonne says:

    TA – not the ears, no

  87. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Don’t put up all the Gooners. There are a lot of home games to come …. !

    And The Doc was likely to be my next choice as he is such a top bloke.

  88. evonne says:

    I am sorry, I was trying to be discreet. If I come across another one I will mail Peaches and she will forward it to you, ok?

  89. Red Arse says:

    Gadzooks, or something. What a big sausage that is Chas. :-)

    Stuff the umlauts ö ö ö and free the saveloys!!

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA for the record peeling is unnecessary!! Rubber is an insult to the wonderful coating of a saveloy

  91. Red Arse says:

    Sharkey, good old Eduardo born in Brazil became a naturalised (?) Croatian, and is/has been eligible for their national team.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, I can only imagine you fancy him for his big ears – what else has he got to offer? Just imagine your and Delapidation are both in an unexpected tornado: what would you hold on to?

    As Rocky taught us a few months ago, you can find out the truth about a player by looking at his anagram. The man of your dreams has Lady Roper as his anagram, so now I understand :)

  93. Red Arse says:

    You are a wicked, wicked man, GIE! :-) I hope Evonne has her eyes covered.

  94. Red Arse says:

    TA, the answer is obvious — hang on to his saveloy. :-)

  95. evonne says:

    TA – behave!!

  96. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, no disrespect to the saveloy, but I think Evonne would prefer a frankfurter knackwurst :)

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes, Evonne, sorry Evonne, won’t do it again Evonne :oops:

  98. chas says:

    No, he’s still doing nothing for me, Evonne…

    http://twitpic.com/7mnkm2/full

  99. Red Arse says:

    TA, now you are showing off! :-)

    What is the Danish equivalent? Bigschmakeldangler, perhaps? :-)

  100. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Fransk Pølser.

    evonne. No need – I have enough in the Post Bank, but thanks :-)

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Raddy, is your expert on Danish sausages, but it Holland there is the wonderfully named Frikandel – in English it sounds a bit like a posh swearword, yes/no?

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Do you think Santos’s wife’s top deck are real? Brazil is the world’s capital of cosmetic surgery. (thinking of which – I could use a holiday and a facelift)

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, hahahahahaha :) What a nightmare picture. At least the boat will go a lot faster!

  104. Big Raddy says:

    TA. My father and all his family were Dutch, I grew up in a house in which Dutch food was served everyday. My surname is Dutch (- not Raddy!) and much of my Mother’s family still live in Rotterdam, Den Haag and Amsterdam.

    Yet I know nothing about a Frikandel. What do you do with it?

  105. goonermichael says:

    That Doctor Winston was on Arsenal TV on Setanta. He was very interesting and a true gooner. Spike Lee is a cool gooner. Dido, Roger Daltrey and Frankie dettori. There are loads to choose from. The mancs have ugly little twats like mick fucknall.

  106. chas says:

    No wonder he’s smiling all the time…

  107. evonne says:

    GM – and Gweneth Paltrow. Did you see Frankie Dettori collecting Personality of the Year 2010 from our Cesc? Raddy will kill us!!

  108. goonermichael says:

    Gweneth Paltrow? That’s nice I like her.

  109. goonermichael says:

    Who’s “our cesc”?

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, it is THE chippy-sausage in the Netherlands. There are of course knackworsten (frankfurters) as well, but in chippies the most popular treat is a ‘frikandel speciaal’. It is made of processed meat and small pieces of raw onion, dutch mayonaise, and spicy tomato sauce are added. After the frikandel is deep fried, the sausage is opened up and the onion, mayo and sauce are added (see picture). Very unhealthy, but very nice, especially if accompanied with patat (chips).

    http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=frikandel&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1024&bih=549&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=gAYy5kXb4OcW3M:&imgrefurl=http://ee.forumify.com/viewtopic.php%3Fpid%3D143536&docid=jp_rF7CdR5mTjM&imgurl=http://www.cvheddenogwa.nl/CV%252520HNW%252520fotos/website%252520pics/Speciaal.jpg&w=400&h=393&ei=ebLXTvmwGMTp8QP5veXrDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=250&sig=105958111893651968602&page=2&tbnh=155&tbnw=171&start=18&ndsp=8&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:18&tx=93&ty=78

  111. goonermichael says:

    I thought the food was terible in Amsterdam. They like fried stuff don’t they?

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, it all depends were you go. But it will take time to get used to dutch chippies. My (English) wife loves it now.

  113. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Has any one ever tried Greek sausage “Louganigo” ?, splendidly delicious.

  114. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, not that I am aware off. What is it?

  115. Aha Mr TMHT – I emailed you, did you receive it?

  116. goonermichael says:

    Terry
    I was married to a greek Cypriot so I’m very familiar and a huge fan. With grilled Halloumi gorgeous.

  117. RockyLives says:

    Blimey GM
    How many nationalities have you been married to?

  118. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Peaches, just seen the email and sent one back.

    TA, Its a sausage that gos back to classical times and i recomend it highly.

    GM, With halloumi its fantastic. Ime of Cretan origins so i love all that stuff.

  119. evonne says:

    GM – I like her too, so beautiful and graceful. Our Cesc is one Francesc Fabregas who spent 8 years with us and gave us lots of joy; he subsequently broke our hearts but only because we loved him so much. ***King na$ri broke no hearts, as there never was any love lost between him and us.

  120. TotalArsenal says:

    Well spoken Evonne!

  121. gunnern5 says:

    One of my friends was talking about Frikandel so I looked up the recipe.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………

    Frikandel

    Ingredients:
    • 1 pound of minced beef
    • ½ onion
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1 egg
    • 1 big boiled potato
    • about ½ tsp salt
    • about ½ tsp nutmeg
    • ground pepper
    • some chopped parsley (optional)
    • oil or margarine

    Prep:
    – Slice onion and garlic as fine as possible.
    – Mash the boiled potato roughly
    – Mix all ingredients well
    – Shape meatballs to about 5 cm round. To get smooth meatballs, wet your hands regularly with water.

    Put the balls on a plate, cover them with foil and let them stiffen in the fridge for at least half an hour. This keeps them from breaking while frying.
    – Put the fat in the pan, heat it and fry the balls quickly until brown all around. Turn them carefully using two spoons.
    Now turn the heat to low, cook the balls until done for 20-30 minutes. Keep turning from time to time.
    Take the meatballs out of the pan and dry them on a sheet of kitchen roll for a minute.

  122. evonne says:

    GN5 – so they are hamburgers with potato

  123. London Gunner says:

    I am a straight up unabashed president of the Andre Santos fan club. His smile and personality are infectious even through the TV or laptop and I have definitely caught the bug. I was a little worried at first but I have nothing but confidence in him and the rest of the defence. Great post Chas,enough to bring me from my silent lurker shell.
    Also happy 125th birthday Arsenal!

  124. gunnern5 says:

    Evonne, Sure sounds that way, although if they were rolled length wise they would be sausages.

    The filler in many sausages can be bread crumbs or potato..

  125. evonne says:

    GN5 – that’s getting a bit too complicated for me, I don’t cook, but we have a few gourmet chefs on this site

    London Gunner – are you naked or are you a new London?

  126. London Gunner says:

    A new London. First time posting though I very much enjoy the blog. Definitely in my top three.

  127. Eeeeek just noticed that we don’t have a post for tomorrow and I definitely won’t be around after 7.30 in the morning to sort anything out.

    Can someone let me know if they can write something for tomorrow please …………

    Thanks x

  128. Welcome London Gunner

  129. evonne says:

    Welcome New London

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    Another lurker drawn to comment :) Welcome LondonGunner, and I missed welcoming ArseDave earlier and actually welcomed a pedant instead :)

    Well done Chas three in one day not bad going.

    Now word to the wise for the new bloggers…..don’t make your comments too good, you’ll be asked to write a post, then you’ll be trapped here with the rest of us ;)

  131. Ha ha ha GiE – I’m watching you ;)

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    Post requesting time……I’m outta here.

  133. chas says:

    London Gunner,
    Thank you for the terrific compliment.

    As far as the 125th birthday of the club is concerned, are we saying that 11th of December (date of the first ever game for Dial Square) is the official birthday? Or is another date more suitable?

  134. SquillaciVermaelen says:

    Lovely post chas,
    I like the picture of Santos with one of my Hareem girls off the Coast of Cornwall, his tounge and dangly bits shall be removed and he will be made to play 5-a-side with me on a cold night in Launceston,….. calm….., thats better. He`s growing on me and the competition with Gibbs should only help our cause. The more games he gets ( and less time In my hareem )will be the best way to get his fitness up.

  135. RockyLives says:

    I’ll put something in drafts tonight Peaches. If you feel it’s OK for tomorrow then feel free…

  136. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    oops, it should have been, SquillaciVermaelen, but didn`t come out. :oops:

  137. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    oops again, still didn`t come out, I`m given up, F*%k it ! :roll:

  138. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Them Spuds are coming out of the woodwork. nearly 7 years in my part-time/retirement job,now the woman in the office has decided to declare she`s a Spud due to their current league form. Who laughs last, laughs the longest comes to mind !. :evil:
    She`s now talking about going to her first game, and asked my oppinion on travel and stuff, this was my reply:. ” First of all you need to take in the sight`s, go to the Emirates and feast your eye`s on THOF, It Is beautiful, IT will take your breath away. Then travel along the Seven Sisters Road, then join the scumbags High Road, you will then see two queue`s, one small and one big, you want the small one for “The Theatre of Screams”, the big queue is for the Fish and Chip shop !.

  139. RockyLives says:

    Peaches
    In drafts.

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    There’s a little post in drafts for you Peaches (I think I scheduled it for tomorrow lunchtime but it was either that or Immediate using the iPhone app….definitely in draft tho ;) )

  141. evonne says:

    Guys – I think Peaches went to hospital to collect her daughter, she’ll be back later.

  142. evonne says:

    Chas – I have read your post again. The morning read is in a hurry before marching the German, so I read slowly again before I go to bed. And I am glad I did, it is a great article! Very funny too!

    “Andre’s positional sense isn’t completely suited to the rigours of Premiership football” – he scares the pants off me when he charges forward and then puffing and panting tries to get back to his position. I’d rather he didn’t do it!!

    Sharkey was telling me about his skill to ‘dead leg’ a ball, no idea what he was talking about, but SS seemed to be impressed with it, so I guess it is good!

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC. you are in fine form tonight! :)

  144. London Gunner says:

    Thank you for the warm welcome peaches, evonne and GiE.

    Chas the club were officially formed today so I just went with that but the first game is highly symbolic so I guess either will do.

    That’s funny GLIC what was her reply to that?

  145. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Hi, London Gunner. She thought It was amusing. Now her true colours have come out, I get the usual scraping`s of the “spudbarrel”. “we were the first British team to win a European Comp`, ” your the Woolwich Wanderers” blah,blah,blah.

  146. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, surely you sang her those wonderful words: ‘you won the league in black and white’?

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Welcome London Gunner and anyone reading who is new to AA.

    Good to see Steve Bruce sacked. Perhaps Sunderland will try against MU now he has left.

    Difficult to decide who is the bigger fool Mark Hughes or Bruce. On reflection Hughes even tops Redknapp as the most over-rated manager in football

  148. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Total, It was one of the First, of many to come. :evil:

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    GLiC, how long has she been your colleague and has she perhaps recently become available on the ‘market of love’?

  150. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, agreed, both are fools who have been very lucky in their management careers until now.

  151. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Total, Nearly 7 years, and the only “market” she`s interested in , Is the “market” for pies, she`s about 25 stone, and thats a conservative estimate !,The spuds will probably make her pay for two tickets and the re-strengthening of the stand !

  152. TERRY MANCINI MORAL CRUSADE says:

    Ime feeling ill, cant think of any thing worse than a 25 stone chas & dave fan.

  153. TotalArsenal says:

    GLi,C :) Just be careful, she might be after you with the old trick of supporting a team that you hate in order to get your attention!

  154. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    IVE JUST REALISED IME THE ONLY ONE WHOS NAME IS FULL CAPITALS, HAVE TO CHANGE THAT IN CASE PEOPLE THINK IME STRANGE

  155. Jeff Blockley lost in cornwall says:

    Terry, If she sat on you, you`d feel deflated, yip,yap,yip,yap,bunny,bunny,yip,yap :)

  156. TotalArsenal says:

    TERRY, you are strange, but in a nice way :) Please don’t CHaNGe!

  157. Rob Lucci says:

    Nice article chas. In my short time as a football fan, I never ever see a left-back as skillful as him, not even Ashley Cole or Roberto Carlos. His calmness with the ball was a joy to watch, defensively and offensively. Here’s another good article about Andres Santos.

    http://arsenalcolumn.co.uk/2011/12/01/andre-santos-adds-a-different-dimension-to-arsenals-attack/?

    By the way, is there anyone here have seen any ‘skillful’ fullback before?

  158. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TA,haha….poor Cornwall’s gona have nightmares now.

  159. Jeff Blockley lost in cornwall says:

    Total,
    I wondered why she kept doing that Sharon Stone crossing of the leg`s thing as in Basic Instinct. :shock:

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep Terry, Gooner Lost in Colleague will look at her differently tomorrow morning! :P

  161. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Jeff Cornwall, i wouldnt feel a thing, would die from a heart attack as soon as she grappled my weedy frame to the floor.

  162. TotalArsenal says:

    JBLiC, she obviously has access to your blogging and is now desperate to become one of your award winning 365 :P You had it coming!

  163. gooner lost in 25 stone of spud flab says:

    I think I`m going to phone in sick ! :idea:

  164. RockyLives says:

    Evening Rob
    Silvinho (another Brazilian) was pretty skilful.
    And I suppose you might need to include the Spuds’ monkey man.

  165. gooner lost in 25 stone of spud flab says:

    Total, that 365, is the days it will take me to walk around her, she has her own gravitational pull !

  166. TotalArsenal says:

    On a serious note, I watched the second half of Twente – Fulham this evening. Fulham’s style of play and tactics were a carbon copy of the game against us on Saturday. They almost scored a goal against the run of play, but Twente managed to win the game at the very end. I just wished we had not conceded such an unlucky goal, but that’s football.

  167. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Nite all, It`s nightmare time.

  168. TotalArsenal says:

    Nite, GLiC!

  169. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, i hope she dont use that gravity to suck you into her black hole.

    TA, its just one of them things. Sure we will bounce back at Wigan.

  170. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ime off to kip but before i go for any one who suffers from insomnia, try doing possible Arsenal line ups and tactics, very relaxing, night all..

  171. Rob Lucci says:

    It’s morning here Rocky,and thank you for responding to my comment. Good call on Sylvinho. I didn’t see much of him, only a few games.

    I don’t think Spud’s monkey man is skillful, he’s pretty one dimensional, his strength is his speed and direct run,not tricks and flicks.

  172. Wonderman says:

    GIE apologies for dissappearing I had to duck out for a few hours. I totally agree with what you are saying about kids coaching , but become an industry now mate….I’m jumping back off until tomorrow

  173. Fatgingergooner says:

    New draft sent.

  174. RockyLives says:

    Whoops, sorry Rob
    7.15pm in Toronto.

    Given that Silvinho and Monkey Man were the best I could come up with I think your point stands that Santos is the most skillful fullback!

  175. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell Peaches is gonna gave posts coming out of her ears!!

    Wonderman good to know I’m not alone, I know you’re in amongst it so to speak and i didnt want you to think i was criticising the idea of the badges because i think they’re a good thing to have its just the ages that their applied to i worry about. I never took my badges and I know it’s not too late but when I heard to get a GK coaching badge I had to do all outfield ones I thought that was a little silly and as I understand it a big time and financial burden.

    The first time I worked under anyone with serious coaching qualifications it was revolutionary (that guy ended up going to work in the States), I was 22/23. Altho I was coached well at Brentford really it was the first time it sunk in and I’m not sure the same qualifications were there 20 years ago. That said my age group coach at Brentford was Neil Bath who now runs the Chelsea academy (or at least was the head guy in the SoccerStar programme that Sky ran) so he must have known something.

    I’ll never forget my first GK coach in non league football telling me if I couldn’t catch it I should “knee it away” to be fair he was in his 60’s and probably still thought Stanley Matthews would be bundling me into the goal ball and all.

  176. RockyLives says:

    Haha
    Peaches speaks and three posts arrive :)

  177. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Yes Rocky, Peaches speaks and posts are arriving from everywhere. I had to nag and nad, and nag until Ginger had had enough and wrote a post!

    Wigan away tomorrow, easy 3 points? They have only won 1 game at home this season

    What about Martin O’Neill managing Sunderland? He is a good manager, he will get them out of the bottom 10

  178. Red Arse says:

    Just caught up on the evenings comments and have laughed at the sheer excellence of GLIC’s postings.

    But this exchange had me in fits;

    — GLIC at 10:45
    “Total, that 365, is the days it will take me to walk around her, she has her own gravitational pull!”

    TERRYM IN CAPITALS at 10:53
    “Cornwall, i hope she dont use that gravity to suck you into her black hole.”

    The new Laurel and Hardy!!!! :-) :-)

  179. evonne says:

    English an impossible language, but it appears that it is not as ilogical as I thought, here is why

    Well, now……here’s something I never knew before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified.

    Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).

    Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew! Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’

    IT IS STILL AN APPROPRIATE SALUTE TO THE FRENCH TODAY, except the French at the Emirates of course

    And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.

  180. evonne says:

    one more from me:

    “Spare a thought for Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of
    ‘Ryanair’…….

    Arriving in a hotel in Dublin, he went to the bar and asked for a pint of draught Guinness. The barman nodded and said, “That will be one Euro please, Mr. O’Leary.”

    Somewhat taken aback, O’Leary replied, “That’s very cheap,” and handed over his money.

    “Well, we try to stay ahead of the competition”, said the barman. “And we are serving free pints every Wednesday evening from 6 until 8. We have the cheapest beer in Ireland”

    “That is remarkable value” Michael comments

    “I see you don’t seem to have a glass, so you’ll probably need one of ours.That will be 3 euro please.”

    O’Leary scowled, but paid up. He took his drink and walked towards a seat.
    “Ah, you want to sit down?” said the barman. “That’ll be an extra 2
    euro. – You could have pre-book the seat, and it would have only cost you a Euro.”

    “I think you may to be too big for the seat sir, can I ask you to sit
    in this frame please”
    Michael attempts to sit down but the frame is too small and when he can’t squeeze in he complains “Nobody would fit in that little frame”.

    “I’m afraid if you can’t fit in the frame you’ll have to pay an extra
    surcharge of EUR4.00 for your seat sir”

    O’Leary swore to himself, but paid up. “I see that you have brought
    your laptop with you” added the barman. “And since that wasn’t
    pre-booked either, that will be another 3 euro.”

    O’Leary was so annoyed that he walked back to the bar, slammed his drink on the counter, and yelled, “This is ridiculous, I want to speak to the manager”.

    “Ah, I see you want to use the counter,” says the barman, “that will be 2 euro please.” O’Leary’s face was red with rage.

    “Do you know who I am?”

    “Of course I do Mr. O’Leary,”

    “I’ve had enough, What sort of Hotel is this? I come in for a quiet
    drink and you treat me like this. I insist on speaking to a manager!”

    “Here is his E mail address, or if you wish, you can contact him
    between 9 and 9.10 every morning, Monday to Tuesday at this free phone number. Calls are free, until they are answered, then there is a talking charge of only 10 cent per second”

    “I will never use this bar again”

    “OK sir, but remember, we are the only hotel in Ireland selling pints for one Euro”.

  181. Red Arse says:

    Nice story about the battle of Agincourt, or Azzincourt as the French call it.

    Actually, giving the ‘finger’ is more of a European or American gesture.

    The English are renowned for giving a ‘two fingered’ salute to those who displease them, with the knuckles of the fingers facing the person or persons concerned. (Same long bow origin, except the French were inclined to cut off both the index and second fingers.)

    The “V for Victory” sign is where both index and second finger are extended with the knuckles facing towards the person making the sign.

  182. Red Arse says:

    ** Azzincourt sh/be Azincourt.

  183. evonne says:

    RA – I learn something every day and that’s just reading the Arsenal blog :)
    What do you recon about O’Neill then, can he turn around Sunderland’s fortunes?

  184. Brigham says:

    Evonne, your Agincourt story is not quite correct. The French cut off the first and middle fingers to stop the English archers from drawing their bow strings. That is why we English give the ‘V’ sign as that is what those same Longbowmen gave the French that day, to show them that they still had their fingers.

  185. Morning all

    Thanks for all the posts

    New Post ……………. just published

  186. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Yes, I think O’Neill can do a good job at Sunderland. I wish they had taken a young man rather than take the safe route with an experienced manager.

    We need fresh young English managers to get a chance at the highest level but instead (and understandably) the clubs take the most high profile. Holloway did a brilliant job with Blackpool and there are many others who need to get PL experience.

    Trouble is when a youngster takes over at a big club the media say he is lacking in experience – just look over at the Bridge. AVB may not be my cup of tea but he deserves the chance to make the Chavs into a football team and that will take time. His only signing has been Mata and he looks tasty.

    Actually AVB was a poor example because despite having youth he is still foreign!!

  187. Hi…

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  188. Halli Hallo…

    Einzigartiger Blog! gefällt mir so, ich gucke garantiert öfters mal hier vorbei….

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