07 June 2014

Are the Deins twisting a knife in Arsenal's back?

It's rare that we have to worry more than a bit about particular agents, but there's one in particular, along with his father, who appears to acting out some kind of vendetta against Arsenal: Darren Dein. He currently represents Cesc, Gael Clichy, and Alex Song, and has in the past represented van Persie, Adebayor, and Thierry Henry. Notice any patterns there? We're not going to get into dates and times, because all good conspiracy theories depend at least a little bit on shadiness and obfuscation. In those spirits, I will let those names dangle in the wind. As we drool and pine away over a reunion with Cesc, it's well-worth remembering that this Dein has had his grubby little fingers in player-moves away from Arsenal, not towards. I don't know what that means for Cesc's future, but it hardly offers much comfort.

06 June 2014

Through the looking-glass with Fàbregas: the master-plan...

I think I'm onto something so top-secret, so heretofore unheard of, that it'll blow your minds. I hope you're sitting down. Once realized, it was staggering in its simplicity: Arsène wants Chelsea to bid for Fàbregas. £33m? Sure. Go for it, Jose. Heck, bid £60m. Do it. We won't exercise the buy-back option, I promise. If we end up collecting a bit of cash through this other "we get 50%" clause, so be it. We'll shrug our shoulders and find a way to cope with having once again been beaten in a game of poker with stakes so high we shouldn't even try to play. Yep. That's the plan.

05 June 2014

Could Suarez to Real Madrid pave the way for di María to Arsenal?

This post promises to be 99.9% Fábregas-free. In fact, that was the only mention of him. I hope. News out of Madrid suggests that Real Madrid's gluttony for galácticos has apparently compelled them to bid some £70m Luis "Dracu-luis" Suarez, because, it seems, they have suffered in the goal-scoring and insufferable d-bag department, what with having netted "only" 104 goals while finishing second in La Liga while winning the Copa del Rey and la Decima. Far be it from me to criticize their wheelings and dealings. After all, they have of late been among our best friends and allies. Modrić. Bale. Özil. And on and...okay, so that's about it. Still, it's a far-better record than our so-called kindred spirits at Camp Nou.

Play the transfer-targets slot machine! Loosest slots in town!

Step right up, folks, and try your luck with this one-armed bandit, guaranteed to provide hours and hours of amusent. Sorry, no nudges or holds allowed here, but imagine the wild, crazy fun you can have as you watch each reel spin—'round and 'round and 'round they go, where they'll stop, well, not even Arsène knows. Speaking of Arsène, post your winner in the comments section below, and I'm sure he'll follow through!
This l'il number is guaranteed to be every bit as accurate as any other source out there predicting whom we'll sign, and it offers jackpots just as often as we actually sign someone. Go ahead! Don't be shy! Keep on payin' in and pullin' on that lever. Maybe, someday, this baby will pay out!
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Injuries to Wilshere and Ox are a Good Thing™

In an international match fraught with tension, on whose outcome a solution to climate change, racism, and the crisis in Ukraine no doubt depended, England and Arsenal suffered a setback when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was bundled into, causing his right knee to buckle and possibly damaging ligaments. The restults of a scan have yet to be released, but Ox is all but sure to miss the World Cup, a devastating setback to the lad just after earning a chance to shine. We very nearly suffered a double-dose as Jack Wilshere looked like he picked up a little niggle, although his may have been more of the crampy variety. It's a good thing that so much hung in the balance here, or we might be left wondering just why the match was played at all. More to the point, though, for as much of a setback as Ox's injury may be to the Three Lions, it may yet come as good news for Arsenal.

04 June 2014

Aaron Ramsey, Player of the Season

Surprising no one, Aaron Ramsey has been voted Player of the Season, winning 58% of the votes cast at arsenal.com. After years of struggle, frustration, and looming futility, it appeared that many were ready to write him off, cast him aside, throw him under a bus, and then back up just for good measure. After the season he's delivered, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to admit that they were once clamoring and clabber-clawing to get their hands on the steering-wheel of said bus. Such has been the resurrection of Ramsey that we're all true-believers—and, apparently, always were. Along the way, Ramsey's rise has inspired notions of greatness, not just for the man but for Arsenal itself.

03 June 2014

Transfer-tidbits: Fàbregas to Chelsea, Ramsey to Barça? Sigh...

Here we are, with no matches to speak of (if you mention "international friendlies", I'll...I'll...I don't know that I'll do as it would almost certainly involve hiring some kind of private investigator to find where you live, taking a crash-course in some hard-to-pronounce martial art, buying a plane-ticket, renting a car or hiring a taxi, and showing up at your door to eventually mumble something about how international friendlies are a waste of time) until the World Cup, and we're left with the the tawdriest talk of players going here and there and which club's made what kind of bid for this or that player. Madness. All the back-and-forth has a beloved former player either returning or betraying or staying and another, newly talismanic player being tempted away by bigger, brassier clubs. All of it amounts to folderol—lucrative, lucrative folderol.

Robin recruits Cesc to reunite at Old Trafford

     The warm, soft Catalan sun was shining down on Cesc's shoulders as he strolled along the water's edge, waves lapping gently at his toes, and all felt right with the world. Despite a troubling season that had seen Barça, finish without silverware for the first time in what felt like ages, Cesc felt confident that the upcoming World Cup would give he and his teammates time to bond and unite around—a loud buzz interrupted the reverie. Fumbling with his mojito, Cesc managed to get out his mobile in time to see the check the caller i.d.
     "Clothes for Charity? How did they get my number?" Cesc muttered to himself. "Ah well, it sounds like a decent cause. Hello?"
     "CESCY!!!"

02 June 2014

Boffo bid for Balotelli as Arsenal raid the Rossonieri!

Once bitten, twice shy, says I. I was wrong with Luis Suarez (twice bitten, to be honest), predicting that he would again implode under the pressure of leading Liverpool towards the top of the Prem. Having learned my lesson, I'm not quite ready to apologize, but I am ready to make amends, and so we come to Mario "Why always me?" Balotelli. If the likes of Mourinho or Mancini can't tame in, couldn't Arsène? He's done it with other malcontents and ne'er-do-wells like van Persie and Anelka. Amidst rumours that we've offered up to £30m for Super Mario, we might as well set our faces to stunned.

01 June 2014

Més que un club? A pox on that.

I used to feel an affinity for Barcelona, as if they and Arsenal were kindred clubs bonded by a shared commitment to a different approach to football, an approach defined by a belief in attractive, stylish football built from a foundation of development from within, nurturing young talent, and noble ideals. Our mottos espouse similar beliefs—their més que un club and our Victoria Concordia Crescit each proclaim something loftier than merely winning matches or hoisting trophies, as is each victory heralds some kind of milestone, not just for football, but for humanity itself. The risk of painting oneself in such colors, of course, is that it invites ridicule. And so it is ridicule that I offer.

Odds of a Fàbregas reunion at 15/8? Where's my man-purse?

The rumors continue to swirl around Cesc Fàbregas making his way back to Arsenal, and as we try to look past the meth-addled click-bait peddled by various tabloids I won't even bother to mention by name, it is intriguing to see that skybet is offering odds of 15/8 as I write, odds that could very well shift one way or another. As Wallace Stevens puts it, "This is how the wind shifts/Like the thoughts of an old human/Who still thinks eagerly/And despairingly." Eagerly. Despairingly. Our eagerness knows no bounds, and even if our optimism clouds our judgment, a colder, harder assessment still yields a similar conclusion: sign this man. We may not need him as urgently as we want him, but we sure could use him.