That Was The Arsenal Week That Was

Friday:

Owner Stan Kroenke’s son Josh has been appointed to the board as a non-executive director. Announcing the appointment, on www.arsenal.com , Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick said:

“We are delighted to welcome Josh Kroenke to the board of Arsenal. He has great experience in running sports organisations and brings extensive knowledge of what is required to succeed as we develop our Club for the future.”

Mr Kroenke, 33, a financial management graduate of the University of Missouri, said:

It is an honour to join the board of Arsenal. This reaffirms our family’s long-term commitment to the Club.”

“Arsenal is in a strong position on and off the pitch. We are enjoying a period of growth for Arsenal and the Premier League. We look forward to an exciting future that includes winning trophies, increasing our already impressive support around the globe and extending our commercial opportunities.”

Some new blood in the boardroom, as opposed to dried blood on the boardroom floor, can only be a good thing for The Gunners.

Recently retired Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has been honoured for his contribution to the Club with the unveiling of a bust at Emirates Stadium.

Mr Hill-Wood served on the Arsenal board for 51 years from 1962, following in the footsteps of his father, Denis, and grandfather Samuel in a family legacy stretching over 86 years. Even some of the oldest AA contributors don’t go back that far

Peter Hill-Wood took some stick over the final few years of his stewardship, much of it, in my opinion, was decidedly not deserved. It was good to see that he was well enough to attend the ceremony after his severe illness.

Aaron Ramsey was voted Player of the Month for November, the fifth such award on the trot for our Welsh Wizard. Who’s going to knock him off his perch in December, Mesut? Santi? Olly G? or who knows a rejuvenated Nicklas Bendtner. Whisper it quietly, he may not be on his way out in January!!!

Saturday:

Despite rumours to the contrary the Flamster is fit for selection ahead of Sunday’s game against Everton. Arsene Wenger talking to www.arsenal.com :

“Apart from Podolski being back in training, everybody else is available from Wednesday night. We had no injuries and the players who were available then will be available for Everton.” “Bacary Sagna is short so he will not be in contention”.

Now I know Bacary isn’t exactly a tall as the BFG but he’s done OK so far and surely Santi Cazorla is shorter than Bac.

Sunday:

The news that mattered to Arsenal was all about the chavs dropping three points and the Oilers dropping two, not to mention the unmentionables dropping three.

The prospect of playing three vital games in seven days prompted Arsene Wenger to call for an “ethics committee” to look into fixture congestion due to television rights. He claimed that teams should be allowed to decide themselves when they play, perhaps to bring a game forward to a Friday evening or to play on a Sunday rather than on Saturday at lunch time purely to fit in with TV broadcasters’ rights. It would give players a bit more recovery time, it happens in other leagues, particularly The Bundeslige.

Monday:

Woodwork saves Everton as Giroud’s injury time wonder volley smashes into crossbar.

That’s my headline for today and the only mention of Sunday’s game.

Looking forward to Napoli, Carl Jenkinson is in an up-beat mood. Asked if last month’s Dortmund result had given them the confidence to win anywhere, the right-back said:

“I think so. When we play to our peak, we can beat anyone so it is important that we go and do that on Wednesday”. “It is going to be a tough game — they are going to be battling because they want to qualify just as much as us. We will work hard and go out there with the confidence that we have from our recent results and, hopefully, come back with the result we want.”

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup took place and the Tie of the Round is undoubtedly that between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to be played at The Emirates in January.

Unusually for me, I have spelled out the full name of our opponents as they are a team that exist in the shadow of an illustrious neighbour and they may not have been instantly recognised if I had used the more common names for them.

Tuesday:

Bacary Sagna did not travel to Naples, he’s still recovering from a hamstring injury. There were no reports of other injury worries, apart from long termers Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo and Diaby.

Lot’s of speculation about the starting line-up, but only Arsene could answer that but was keeping mum.

Wednesday:

Arsenal were put on security alert, players and staff were advised not to leave the team hotel amid fears of violence by the Napoli “Ultras”. After threatening to have the game played “behind closed doors” following violence at the Napoli Marseille game, FIFA instead called for greater security in and around the ground. Well done Monsieur Platini, I bet that scared the life out of the hooligans.

Arsene was in an uncompromising mood:

This match is the priority and there will be no weakening of the team ahead of back-to-back Premier League fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea”.

“The other two games are not definitely decisive,” said Wenger. “We are five points ahead in the Premier League. The championship is a marathon. We will be in the race no matter what happens but those games will show our strengths hopefully”.

“We can’t afford to rest players. I rotate a little bit sometimes, never more than two or three because stability is important. Overall, we have no major sign of fatigue medically”.

The odds for the match; Home win 6/4 against. Draw 23/10 against. Away win 7/4 against.

Thursday:

By the skin of our teeth, yes it was that close, but we made it into the draw for the first knock-out round of the Champions League, albeit as runners up in the group. The post mortems have been carried out and the entrails examined it’s over let it go.

There were reports of “heavy handed” policing outside the ground which meant that many of the travelling Arsenal fans didn’t make it into the stadium until sometime after the match kicked off.

On the prospects of the draw Wenger said:

“That is the frustration (of not winning the group), because you feel there was room to do better, but it could have been worse as well tonight.

“Of course, to finish second makes the potential draw more difficult. In the last four or five years we have had very difficult draws, so maybe this time we will be more lucky.

“But if you look at the teams who are potentially there, at least we know we will have a difficult draw.

“On the other hand, we have now qualified for a 14th consecutive year for the last 16 and maybe number 14 will bring us a bit of luck.”

Amen to that Arsene!

A great match in prospect tomorrow, they just keep coming!

Enjoy the weekend

That’s it for this week

Norfolk Gooner

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66 Responses to That Was The Arsenal Week That Was

  1. Big Raddy says:

    NG. Another cracker (it is December after all)

    For some reason this seems to have been a quiet week.

    The Podolski injury lay off has been interminable. Must be coming on for 3 months,

  2. LB says:

    As I was reading though the idea that came to mind was that it is Arsenal’s week on a need to know basis.

    Thanks Norfolk.

  3. Räsp says:

    Thanks Norfolk, its a real pleasure to relive the weeks events with you every Friday.

    Like LB, I have a sneaking feeling that the club may be working on something off our radar – maybe we’ll get a Christmas present up front?

  4. JM says:

    “Thierry Henry analyzes the current Arsenal side”

    Squad news update:

    Sagna and Podolski are rated 50/50 to return against Man. City (on the bench, if not starting). Both are returning from hamstring injuries and face late fitness tests.

  5. chas says:

    Quick visit.
    Will read NG’s post later.

    Catching up with end of yesterday’s I noticed Blue Valentine had posted on there this lunchtime.
    Here it is…….

    bluevalentine says:
    December 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm
    Time for the first of my twice yearly visit to this erudite and most enjoyable site.Good morning Raddy, Räsp, Peaches et al.
    Really looking forward to the game this weekend. The Prem’s two best footballing sides going head-to-head, a mouthwatering prospect. Alas, I can’t be there – I did get to the old homestead to watch the lads demolish Tottingham – but work and lack of €€€ forfend another trip before Christmas.
    Trying to figure it out I think we (City) have a slight edge after our reserves’ away win in midweek and with our great home recored, although with your away form you will fear no-one. That said, I wouldn’t be too surprised to be on the receiving end of a 0-1 (the resultant 9 point gap would be hard to take, even though the show’s not over until Huddlestone sings). The City team more or less selects itself with the exceptions of Clichy/Kolarov. The former is a better defender, the latter is the man for pushing forward; also Demichelis/Lescott – both have disadvantages. Les is the most one-footed footballer I’ve seen since… me. Also Hart/Panto. Panto commands his area better and is a much quicker distributor but I think I’d prefer to start with Hart who can pull off impossible saves on occasions.
    Anyhow, great contest in prospect.

  6. chas says:

    Didn’t work first time!!!!!!

    bluevalentine says:
    December 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm
    Time for the first of my twice yearly visit to this erudite and most enjoyable site.Good morning Raddy, Räsp, Peaches et al.
    Really looking forward to the game this weekend. The Prem’s two best footballing sides going head-to-head, a mouthwatering prospect. Alas, I can’t be there – I did get to the old homestead to watch the lads demolish Tottingham – but work and lack of €€€ forfend another trip before Christmas.
    Trying to figure it out I think we (City) have a slight edge after our reserves’ away win in midweek and with our great home recored, although with your away form you will fear no-one. That said, I wouldn’t be too surprised to be on the receiving end of a 0-1 (the resultant 9 point gap would be hard to take, even though the show’s not over until Huddlestone sings). The City team more or less selects itself with the exceptions of Clichy/Kolarov. The former is a better defender, the latter is the man for pushing forward; also Demichelis/Lescott – both have disadvantages. Les is the most one-footed footballer I’ve seen since… me. Also Hart/Panto. Panto commands his area better and is a much quicker distributor but I think I’d prefer to start with Hart who can pull off impossible saves on occasions.
    Anyhow, great contest in prospect.

  7. chas says:

    Well it didn’t show up first time.
    Bloody wordpress

  8. TT says:

    Excellent job Norfork. I must confess to being a silent doubter of the Friday Newsround concept, but you have silenced my doubts for good.

    To throw another bit of news out there: Villa claimed he almost joined Arsenal last January. Villa as the poacher to Giroud CF, wouldn’t that be something? Quote:

    “Arsenal’s offer was very good for the club and great for me, but they (Barcelona) did not deem it feasible for me to leave at that time. I was told that I was needed,” Villa told Canal+

    http://www.fourfourtwo.com/news/villa-i-almost-joined-arsenal#XzVXD9875YVep5v3.99

  9. RockyLives says:

    Excellent NG – and some very funny lines.

    After a draw and defeat we’re about ready to get the winning habit back tomorrow.

  10. RockyLives says:

    Blueval
    Welcome back – nice to hear from you.

    The way your lot have been spanking everyone at the Etihead it’s quite a daunting prospect going up there.

    We haven’t been fully in our stride in the last couple of games so the odds definitely favour you. But I’ve got a sneaking feeling…

  11. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    Sorry, didn’t see your earlier comment about your Canadian-based friend but I would be delighted to get in touch with him.

  12. VCC says:

    Like your optimism Rocky. I fear, like Wednesday, we will run out of legs in the second half.

    Hope Sagna is fit as Jenkinson has started to worry me a tad.

    Maybe

    Szez
    Sagna….BFG….Kos….Monreal
    Ramsey…..Flamini
    Theo……Ozil…..Wishere.
    Giroud

    with back up when/if tired =
    Vermaelen/Gibbs/Gnabry/Santi/Arteta.

  13. evonne says:

    tragic news – van Persie is out for at least a month with a thigh injury

  14. evonne says:

    welcome back blueval?! Welcome back Rocky :) are in you in the land of living again?

  15. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good afternoon AAers,

    More tragic news to report, Today’s lovely walk around Blakeney and Morston was spoilt only when I realised that I had forgotten to put my wallet in my pocket before leaving home. The three of us had only eleven quid between us, the other two being “ladies” and therefore don’t carry anything as vulgar as cash. So we had to drive home passing The Wiveton Bell, all the pubs in Holt, the Edgefield Pigs, the Buckinghamshire Arms, The Unicorn and The Black Boys in Aylsham, The Forge and The Plough without stopping for lunch. Still we’re going out to The Erpingham Arms for dinner this evening so that should make up for the lunchtime disapointment.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Norfolk

    Outstanding, love it, thank you.

    Had no idea Stan Junior had joined the Gang. Good news, what with log termism and so on. Also, you weren’t specific as to who the bust was of, and if P H-W had anything to do with it, my money is on Samantha Fox :-)

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Also, Norfolk, we know your life revolves around The Pubs of Norfolk, but Ladies as well. Quite the shaker and mover :-)

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Bad news indeed about Brave Sir Robin :-)

  19. evonne says:

    shocking news, what is poor Moyes going to do now?

    Norfolk – no time to read the post yet (busy forwarding photos of my little doll and thanking for congrats :)), but I am looking forward to reading it at bedtime, special treat for me

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Micky, I bet you didn’t know that there is a “Bust Gallery” at The Emirates, at first I thought it must have something to do with page 3. :D

  21. Shame about Percy. Because it will give the Rag fans justification when it comes to explaining at the end of the season how they finished outside the top 8. Not that it matters, as their Chairman said recently, they can still sell loads of shirts even if they win nothing.

  22. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Evonne, I’m so glad that I can give you a treat at bedtime, enjoy!!

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Norfolk. It must have been a heart-breaking drive.

    It has always confused me how all the women in my life don’t believe in carrying money. I should have SAP tattooed on my forehead

  24. Rocky, my own fear is that Pellers will play Kolarov and Walcott will repeatedly skin him. But I think this game will be won and lost in midfield Yaya/Fernie/Merlin v Ramsey, Ozil, Willshire should be quite a scrap.

  25. Norfolk Gooner says:

    City’s Serbian centre back sidelined Saturday. Matija Nastasic has been ruled out of the game with a calf injury. Clichy could play.

  26. Norfolk Gooner says:

    BR, even the dog was giving me strange looks after passing the first three pubs:D

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nice to hear from you Blue Valentine
    Thing is about those Rag Fans, as you call them, is they were the one’s always on about us being a one man team. So, na na na na na

    Out of interest, do you have favourite sites of all prem teams to visit before a game? I think it is a very nice and civilized idea.

  28. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Right it’s time to go and start convincing my wife that she should take the opportunity to hone her night-driving skills on our trip home from the pub. Then I can down a few pints with no fear of the dreaded Mr. Plod and his “blow in the bag” device. ‘evening all.

  29. dhakka09 says:

    You had me in fits for Santi being short and not in contention, NG. You would’ve made one exceptional stand up comedian if you had chosen to do so.

    Anyways, back to the game; if Sagna is fit, it would mean so much to the overall quality to the right flank. Sagna fit would mean Theo start too because Arsene isn’t wary of defensive duties then. Wilshere will then move to left wing, all marvelous.

    Overall, if Sagna out = Jenko in = Arsene afraid = Wilshere deployed in right = out of form Santi on left = reduces whatever tiny hope I have to smash and grab 3 points :(

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Blue Valentine. Good to see you here. I agree with your assessment. It should be exciting

  31. chas says:

    Loving the round-up, NG.

    I do tend to be a 24 hour Arsenal internet nut so little gets by me, but you still manage to present the week’s news in a fresh and entertaining way. So much happens in one week, has Harold Wilson once said, is a bloody long time in football.

  32. chas says:

    Blue Valentine,

    I find it a bit strange you should refer to James Milner as ‘Merlin’. :)

  33. IanRealGunner says:

    Man U fans – welcome to the wonderful world of the real RVP

  34. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Norfolk, what a great pleasure. Apologies I could not be around all day. Lots of little gems as usual, but my favourite of the day is: “Unusually for me, I have spelled out the full name of our opponents” because “they may not have been instantly recognised if I had used the more common names for them”. ha ha ha !!!!

  35. Hendon Gunner says:

    IanRealGunner on December 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    Man U fans – welcome to the wonderful world of the real RVP!

    He will be like a new signing to Moyes come February!

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Match Day Motning.

    Will he, won’t he?

    Play Theodore.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    “one week, as Harold Wilson once said, is a bloody long time in football”. :-)

  38. chas says:

    Motning,
    Looking at the Recent Comments list, I noticed that hoax viruses download posted a comment just before yours, Micky.
    It was on an old post, though.
    Have a look at the comments at the tail end of this post from 2011.
    how much does mole removal cost
    Dentists in Edmonton
    Weird

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/how-many-man-utd-players-would-get-into-arsenals-first-team/#comment-281800

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Motning.

    chas. That is strange. I will have a look under the bonnet, normally the spam filter does a decent job

  40. chas says:

    Strange how a comment from today should go on that post.
    It’s as if that particular post is on some list of sites for spammers.

  41. chas says:

    “The Bank of England” team. :)
    How times change. Or not.

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nope. All Greek to me :-)

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How many of these forward thrusters are match fit, Aaron, Jack, Mozart and Theo?

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Any reason, given CL week for both sides, that this fixture hasn’t been moved to Sunday?

  45. chas says:

    Apparently TV decided when it was, Micky.

  46. chas says:

    Here’s hoping we see some of this today.

    Laurent Koscielny goal

  47. chas says:

    It looks as though they’re all fit, Micky, though with them only back from Naples on Thursday, it’s not easy to tell.

  48. chas says:

    Right off to exercise my demons.

    Micky, I think you’re as much of a UK as you think I’m georgous (as some spell it) :)

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    I know you’ve gone, but Jack, Aaron and Theo should all be fresh.
    Can’t spell, end of, so f..k off :-)

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually, talking of my spelling, I really did check it out to see if I had some kind of full blown syndrome. I’m not dyslexic or any other kind of ‘ic, and I also have a phenomenal memory for some things, while virtually blank on others (names for example).

    The beardy bloke I spoke to said simply it’s a kind of selective memory that operates on a subconscious level. Apparently, if I’m not interested (even if I want to be) then nothing registers.

    Been like it even before the drugs and alcohol :-)

  51. evonne says:

    ‘some’ poor spellers is me. I spell Gorgeous georgeous :)

    Micky – join the club. i cannot remember names or faces of people that I meet. But easy names like Mertesacker, Giroud, Cazorla, etc pose no problem for me :)

    Gorgeous looks a lot like Mark Wahlberger

  52. evonne says:

    When I meet other dog walkers I start asking ‘how old is this lovely doggy, what’s his name bla bla bla bla’. People politely tell me ‘we met before’ thinking ‘I told you twice already you dopey cow and not repeating myself again’.

    And then there is a rumour that we are going to sign Higuain or Benzema or AnotherImpossibleName and it sinks in like a stone in water, no problemo.

    Anyway, matchday and I hope that BR’s PM won’t be the only highlight of the day. But I fear it might be

  53. evonne says:

    GiE – did you see the Celtic banners in Milan?

    Right, my third comment usually kills the morning blog so I am off, cheerio

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    I watch an Arsenal game on tv, and at the end, if you asked me to name one player on the opposition team, then nothing and I mean zilch, unless they are a household name.

  55. arnie says:

    Motning all. Nice discussion from the motning crew. Nervous, very nervous. I am very poor with names as well. But pseudonyms on AA — no problems at all with that. :D :D

  56. evonne says:

    we all show signs of high intelligence, our brains subconsciously selecting rubbish from important stuff. And everything Arsenal related is of prime importance of course :)

    arnie – I am not even nervous, a pessimist never gets disappointed

  57. evonne says:

    oi, van Per$ie read this:
    “West Ham co-owner David Sullivan would not have spent a club-record £15m on Andy Carroll had he known the striker would be out so long through injury”. See how lucky you were, you ungrateful so-and-so

  58. arnie says:

    Evonne: :D :D everything Arsenal related is of prime importance indeed.

    I find myself muttering: “no negative thoughts, no negative thoughts, no ……..” :sad:

  59. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Norfolk Gooner reading you travelog of pubs passed I realised two things….you must live pretty close….you know more pubs than me…now off to find out about The Unicorn and The Plough.

    Hope you had a good meal at Erpingham I’ve had two good and one average meal there. But they normally have a fine selection of beers.

    If you want to enjoy pint or two at some point of some decent local brews and some from further afield can heartily recommend the Taphouse in Norwich …combined with dinner at The Dining Rooms in Cinema City.

  60. Morning all
    Nice one, Chas.
    I don’t think James will feature, except as a sub. I think we’ll line up – Hart; Zabs, Demichelis, Kompo, Gael; Yaya, Fernie, Nas, Silva; Aguero and The Beast of Beswick (Negredo).

    The player you guys love to hate has been playing out of his skin for us lately (wonderful what a teddy bear, a hot water bottle and a bedtime story with a mug of Horlicks can do) and not before bloody time. I think Jesus may come on for a run at your LB at some point.

    Micky, no doing the rounds of favourite sites, though it’s a nice idea. I happened across this one a couple of seasons ago, posted to take issue with a specific topic, liked the vibe and have got into the habit of saying “Hi” before and maybe after City-Arsenal clashes. Anyhow, I have a soft spot for The Arsenal, I used to watch them when I lived in London, late 60s/70s. If I wasn’t a City fan for almost 60 years I’d be an Arsenal supporter for sure.
    I did have a bit of a rap going with a Middlesbro site but there’s not much joy there at the minute. Our own site, http://www.izzett.com is bleeding bonkers and we’ve managed to lose most of our members but we do have good craic on it with the remaining hardcore few, also we get some inside track from our mole at The Etihad.
    The site I absolutely loathe above all is ‘Repubik of Mankuntia’, sorry, I’ll read that again.. Republik of Mankunia – a bunch of rabid red nutters with a collective IQ in double digits.

  61. evonne says:

    bluevalentine – you are a City fan? Wow! you sound so nice, great to hear from you on the match day. What result do you predict?

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne
    Great news about the memory, spelling and intelligence :-)

    Have to say, I attach zero importance to language, spelling and grammar. Get the message across. Job’s a good ‘un

    Right off out for day, but will find a pub to watch game

  63. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    ….. New post …….

  64. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne expressing shock/horror that a City fan could be nice :D

    Nice to see you again BlueValentine I am sure like us a few years back traditional City fans are having to deal with a lot of “new” fans, the web has made it far easier for them to infiltrate :)

    Whilst I have time for new fans that show an understanding of relative success, achievable success and have taken time to understand the history of their chosen club, these are unfortunately outweighed (at least it sometimes appears do on blogs and on twitter) by the delusional who have chosen a successful club and then toys leave the pram when they do not hold the bragging rights.

  65. evonne, if it’s as good as the game 2 years ago – one of the best games of football I’ve ever seen – I’d take the same 1-0. But as we seem to have got in to the habit of scoring 3 or more at home, I’ll go for 3-1 or 3-2

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