An awful lot has happened this week, especially in the past 48 hours or so. However, I’m just going to cover what I think is most important concerning The Arsenal.
So, this week the main Arsenal-related talking points are: our scruffy win at Queens Park Rangers, the war of words between Wojciech Szczesny and Andre Villas-Boas, the rumoured record-breaking kit deal with Puma and what the Chelsea versus Tottenham Hotspur result means for us.
A win’s a win.
I was actually in attendance for the QPR game at Loftus Road last Saturday, albeit in the wrong (home) end as a result of my good friend being a season ticket holder there. It turned out that I had to stifle my celebrations sooner than anticipated due to our lightening start. However, even though we didn’t look too vulnerable, bar Szczesny being forced into a wonderful save late on, we looked slightly disjointed and never looked too much like killing the game off. As the game wore on, the QPR fans around me began to grow in confidence and thought their beloved, but ultimately doomed, “Rs” could get at least a point out of the game which I must admit left me feeling a little nervous for a good chunk of the game. Thankfully, the boys saw it out and left West London with all three points and kept our awesome run of form going. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters at this stage of the season isn’t it?
I’d like to add that Lukas Podolski was, as most would agree, less than convincing in the central striker position for the second week running. He looked uncomfortable with his back to goal, won about one header all game and when he was good he was straying out onto the left and running down the flank. All in all, I think that this is down to two things. Firstly, he’s burnt out. Yes, he’s subbed a lot, but he also has a long-standing ankle problem which will be taking its toll, especially as it’s his first season in the Premier League. Secondly, he hasn’t played in the central striking position enough this season and thus is simply out of practice, in my opinion. He also seems ineffective without a striking partner and would suit a two striker system better. I think Arsene Wenger may well stick with Poldi for the Wigan Athletic game and I wouldn’t put it past the guy to score a couple of goals just to shut us all up, but there’s simply no denying that it seems he’s better deployed on the left.
‘War of the Words’
This week, our cocky Polish ‘keeper had a pop at the Spuds’ Champions League credentials, stating that “Tottenham do not have enough quality”. As an Arsenal fan, I approve of this statement and tend to agree with what Szczesny said. However, my view is not shared by all Gooners – as I found out on Twitter in the aftermath of these quotes being released. There was a clear split of opinion, with one side being in support of his passion and outright dissing of Spuds, whilst the other side were moaning about him being outspoken when he should be focused on his own game… Possibly something about keeping him on a leash too, but I can’t confirm that one…
However, we were all then united in our reaction to the reaction. That being the rather amusing reaction of André Villas-Boas (I always think that name is awfully silly), who it seems is less of a mysterious Mr.Cool and more of a gurgling tool than his sharp suits and groomed appearance lead most people to believe. This master of deception said he thought “[Szczesny’s statement] would be more tolerable if it had come from a genuine Arsenal fan.” Right… As most Gooners will know, Szczesny comes across as one of the most “genuine” Arsenal fans in our squad, possibly behind Carl Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere. His accent is Polish with a hefty slosh of North London, he hugs ball boys at the Emirates and he wears Arsenal themed aprons whilst cooking. But according to AVB, that doesn’t warrant “so much hatred towards Tottenham”… *Giggles* Ok André, whatever you say… *cough* prat *cough*.
Check out my new PumArse.
It has been reported that Arsenal will be signing a spanking new kit deal with Puma worth about £30-34m per year, which would happen to be the most lucrative in English football. Nice. So, all Ivan Gazidis’ banging on about new commercial deals becoming increasingly beneficial to the club may yet bear fruit. When the deal is announced officially, credit must be given where credit is due. This might be difficult for some people who have been knocking Mr. Gazidis for a while, using him as a scapegoat for all that is/goes wrong at the level above that which the manager is responsible for. But, if you’re going to do that, then why not be fairly balanced and acknowledge the positives too? Hey, you could even be proud and at least a little optimistic with regards to the work that’s being done and what other scrumptious deals may be waiting, huddled in the pipeline. Just a thought.
So, Puma eh? I quite like Puma, myself. If there’s one thing I think they do well, it’s simplistic class. Fortunately, that sounds like it may be exactly what Arsenal look for in kit designs, so fingers crossed that they’re decent. Having said that, we could be wearing a red and white loin cloth and I wouldn’t care, as long as 1. We’re winning 2. We’re getting paid a shit-load for doing so!
Chelski and Spuds drew!… Yay…?
I think we can afford to “yay” just a little, yes. All in all, a draw is a very positive result for us. It keeps Spuds behind us, having played the same amount of games, and also keeps our hopes of nabbing 3rd off Chelski alive for a little while longer (a Chelski win would have all but closed that door). Spuds’ position now means that if they drop points on Sunday (against Stoke City), then we technically only NEED three points out of a possible six to secure elite European football, due to our far superior goal difference (unless we get unprecedentedly hammered by Newcastle United on the last day).
I have a rather simpler conclusion, however:
Ultimately, if we win our last two games we WILL finish in the top 4 and we COULD finish third… Que Sera Sera!