Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Mayweather Vs. McGregor – MORE FOOL ALL OF YOU

I was tempted to write a pre – match article on the Mayweather v McGregor fight but life intervened and I couldn't.  Not that I know a lot about boxing but seeing as this was the most talked about event on planet earth aside from the mismatch that is Trump v Kim Wrong Un, I thought I should dabble a bit. 

By the way the Mayweather v McGregor fight was a mismatch too.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t understand what is fascinating in us watching other humans knock lumps out of each other. I guess some get their kick from this type of thing. But I always have my heart in my mouth at the amount of punches these people exchange in the ring. It gets worse when you read about fatalities amongst boxers and permanent damage to any part of the boxer's body or mind.

I am not against people earning lots of money but the total purse Mayweather & McGregor were fighting for appears somewhat obscene. $400m can change a lot in today’s unfair & awful world. But eh, they didn’t force people to give them the money.

The purse is somewhat linked to the title of this article as many belly ached way before the match that it was a scam. Many of this belly ‘achers’ ended up promoting the fight by their moaning complaints, stayed up late to watch the match & talked ceaselessly post match. In all of these you contributed to the scam. You helped the advertisers and the betting companies get a decent return on their money by making the event the most talked about on planet earth.

For those who said Mayweather v McGregor was a circus act at the very beginning and shouldn’t have been staged, I ask you to come into the real world. Please leave your ancient civilization and come into ours.

People have become millionaires from reality TV. I believe the Kardashians are collectively close to their first billion off the back of a very graphic video. People become rich & famous from changing their birth gender so why should we not be allowed the privilege of watching the Mayweather v McGregor circus act? 

In today’s world, we love to push boundaries, we love to break taboos. The ordinary no longer moves the many. A proper / normal boxing fight is now for the pure boxing enthusiasts. That is a limited market if you are a major advertiser. As a global brand, you want a bigger market. So why not combine nosy parkers, curiosity shoppers, adrenaline junkies, money miss roads and circus enthusiasts into one place, shave their heads with the biggest circus show on planet earth and make lots of money? 

I don’t blame Mayweather & McGregor. I think many of us will gladly get into a lion’s den for $100m as long as we can come out with some of our limbs in place and non-permanent brain damage. I blame all those who made the fight possible especially Joe Public including those who watched on dodgy streams. You helped the advertisers with eyeballs.

I was looking forward to McGregor getting his 'arse' properly whooped. I can’t stand the loudmouth.  Unfortunately that pretend boxing legend Mayweather isn’t the man to administer the ass whopping.

Yes. I said it. May weather is a pretend legend. A fake. I will forever remain surprised and amazed that this buffoon dare  compare himself to Muhammed Ali. If any boxer ever did this, you know they are beyond redemption. 

With many boxers, the effect of being punched in the face over a long period is manifested by physical injury. The effect on Mayweather is manifested via irrational behaviour as seen in many of the videos that have been circulating post this mismatch. 

For all those patting McGregor on the back for going 8 rounds and putting up a decent outing. MORE FOOL YOU I say. You don’t pay a man $100m for a decent outing. Maybe if he was paid £100 per round and he performed as he did against Mayweather, I might be tempted to join in the ‘He Tried’ chorus but after collecting $100m, I am sorry. He is a fraud and should be shamed to return his purse. You don’t receive $100m for effort.  OR You should never receive $100m for effort.

So where do we go from here world. A few friends have suggested the following match up:

Messi v Ronaldo in the boxing ring. Lets settle the billions of twitter fights once and for all. The purse should be in excess of $1b per fighter. Winner takes all. Hopefully I get a decent percentage of the purse for sharing this innovative idea.

To that suggestion, I will add McGregor v Jose Mourinho. Both are loud motor mouths but only Jose will be allowed to use his mouth. The younger man can engage MMA style only. I hope McGregor will be a able to last the distance in this match up and doesn’t do too much damage to Jose’s mouth & the source of his silly comments.

Monday, 28 August 2017


We were badly bruised at Anfield.

We put in a shitty performance and got the commensurate outcome.

Blip? Same old same old? Somewhere in between?

I guess you have your point of view & some have their entrenched opinions. Good luck. I am not here for you. I hope I can help a few who like myself need some anchor on what the future looks like and possibly some soothing over the bruising at Anfield.  

I am amazed that the world hasn’t come to an end this morning going by the reaction to the defeat.

Wenger is useless!
Wenger has lost it!
Wenger never had it!
Wenger is destroying his legacy!
Arsenal will be relegated!
Those supporting Wenger are the problem!
The Arsenal board is useless!
Kroenke is the problem!
Why should Wenger keep players who want to go!
Why should Arsenal sell players!

Sadly the critiques cant make up their mind. The Malcontents cant get anything right. I hope things become clearer and we can all see that Wenger isn’t the problem. Yes he has his football philosophy which has its own consequences and can sometimes yield a result like this even when the players put in all the required effort. Also this same philosophy can serve you the best of football.

Learn to look beyond Wenger when something like this happens.  

For starters, only a few people know what is going on and something is clearly going on behind closed doors. I don’t claim to know more than any of the malcontents. We all see the same things and conclude differently.

In my reading of the situation, there was a fight for the soul of the club last season and some within the hierarchy were heavily invested in the departure of Arsene but they lost and have clearly continued the same fight this season. They want the team to sink so they and their minions can indulge in the ‘WE TOLD YOU SOs”.

We all watched the first game of the season, the boys had technical, ‘on the field’ issues largely around set pieces defending and ball turnover in critical areas. For the first game of the season, this is understandable but they were full of fighting. They also gave their all at Stoke albeit with a different result. The Liverpool performance is an outlier.  We need more matches to build a definitive picture.

Everybody with an ounce of sense must first of all ask themselves why? Why was it different at Anfield in game 3 of the season?  

I don’t know but I can piece a few things together from Wenger’s comment and say there is infighting at the club. This infighting is affecting the confidence of the dressing room. Those behind the infighting want Wenger to walk away because the owner won’t do their bidding by letting Wenger go.

Wenger is reported to have told a French station that “There is a lot of uncertainty in the squad”. The in house media also published an article where he said “…..and there are some reasons, but I don’t think I have too much to come out on that now"

The squad is experiencing a huge makeover. Alexis, Ozil & Oxlade might still leave in the next few days considering their contract situation.  Perez, Gibbs, Chambers, Debuchy, Mustafi, Akpom might still leave for different reasons, Gabriel has left, Jenkinson & Bramall have gone on loan, a few long term youth players have also left permanently and some on loan.

These are players with friends, supporters, mentors, mentees within the club and it appears to be at the heart of the lack of confidence. Yes other clubs deal with the same issue but other clubs don’t have the family style atmosphere that many snidely accuse Arsene and Arsenal of cultivating. So such changes in a side just coming out of what appears to be a very challenging dressing room situation a few months ago might suffer this kind of deflation and awful result.

I agree these are professional footballers who earn trillions but they are also humans. In all of my defense of footballers, I always ask you not to forget the role confidence plays. It is the be all and end all for a talented footballer. Knock their confidence and you see a Messi performing at the level of that famed Manchester United legend – Bebe.  But the difference is it might take a lot to knock Messi’s confidence and that is the big difference between exceptional and good players.

So where to? The malcontents can continue with their baying at the moon. Arsenal have good players and wont perform at that level again for a while as I hope the end of the transfer window will bring some clarity and those who remain can perform to the standards we have come to associate with the team. And no that is not bottling. While getting results against fellow Top 6 sides gives you bragging rights, it is not worth more than 3 points. The same points you get for beating a team in the relegation zone.

Not having a shot on target in a game is a meaningless stat. A feeble shot at the goalie counts as a shot on target while a penalty shuffled to Row Z is not a shot on target and you never get a better chance of scoring than from the spot.  

At the end of October or at the end of Week 10 of the Premier League, we will reassess Arsenal’s position on the log. We have to do better and we will do better. If we play at the same level like we did at Anfield and at Crystal Palace & West Brom last season, we will lose to pretty much any side.

I am still a fan of Wenger and I believe the man should leave when he wants to. I hope he is very grateful to those who are concerned that he is destroying HIS LEGACY. YES IT IS LEGACY. Thanks for your concern.

By the way, Pep Guardiola, Klopp & Pochettino still haven't won shish. 

Wenger has led worse and better sides. He will fix whatever the issues are and I believe the day he thinks he cant fix it, he will ask to walk and perhaps be the first manager to pay a club compensation for leaving which I am sure Kroenke will refuse.  

You thought a finish outside of the Champions League places will be the end of Arsene, you were wrong.

Now you think relegation is your next target to force him out. Good luck to you.

Although unverified, the word on the street is Wenger can walk into the PSG job at any time. The malcontents clearly don’t deserve him.

To those who think winning 3 FA cups in 4 seasons and 3 Community Shields in the same timeframe is papering over the cracks, please buy some oxygen and inhale.

Arsenal & Arsene will be ok.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Arsenal: Who Let The Sheeply Zombies Out

With 10 minutes to go at The Emirates at the start of the current Premier League Season,  I could only imagine the meltdown on Arsenal social media. Thankfully Ramsey & Giroud saved Arsenal’s blushes and ensured we didn’t start with a defeat.

Reading a few comments on Social Media after the Leicester match, I came to the conclusion that the only way Arsenal can avoid the negativity this season is to win all the remaining 37 matches. Nothing else will do even the win will only placate a few of the Sheeply Zombies and not the many.

On to Stoke. Coming so soon after we tonked them last season, I thought the 3 points away at Stoke were very much within reach. Sadly it wasn’t to be. It is tough playing 11 v 11 let alone 11 v 14. Arsenal played against 11 Stoke players and the 3 match officials.

As far as I can see, we did everything, even scored a legitimate goal but the over eager linesman whose motive remains unknown but very suspicious flagged off the Lacazette goal.

At the very minimum, I hope this is the type of refereeing decision that results in  the PGMOL dropping the official permanently from refereeing future elite games. I am however not holding my breath that the PGMOL are neutral arbiters. We know their antecedents.

The loss is sad. Put down a marker by winning your first 2 games, good mood all around before the trip to Anfield and a chance to defeat Liverpool. It didn’t happen.

What is sadder still is Arsenal twitter / social media. No sense of collective disgust and hurt that we have been robbed again. No objective review of the match itself, no constructive criticisms of the manager and the players. Led by the media, led by the pundits, led by the wolves on Arsenal Fan TV & so called uber Bloggers, it  has became open season on Arsene.

“Oh he played this one out of position” Oh he played that one out of position”. This is something Arsene has been doing since Adam was created. And he has got his invincible golden premier league medal to show for it. Yes many moons ago. But he has also done it a few weeks ago. Make that a few days ago. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. GET OVER IT

“Oh Arsene is past it, look at Pep, look at Jose, look at Conte, look at Pochettino” Pochettino has now been in the same league with Arsene for 4 years or thereabout and in that time, Arsene has won 3 decent trophies and 3 Shields while Pochettino has won zilch. He has not even been invited to participate in the Community Shield.

Pep, Pochettino & Klopp won the square root of nada last season but yet Arsene is the one that is ‘past it’.  Yes Pep is new in the league but what is Pochettino and Klopp’s excuse? In 4 Head to Head encounters, Arsene has bested Conte 3 times. But yet, Arsene is past it and Pochettino is the best manager since FIFA17 came out.

I am tired of writing the same things every time and I wonder how come the moaners and sheeply zombies are not tired of saying the same old tripe time and time and again.

Following the events of last season, the club has pleaded that a positive atmosphere is important to success, the club has not promised an unbeaten run, the club has promised effort and determination on the part of the players, so far, the club has delivered in 3 matches. Are we going to deliver? Are we going to be the genuine 12th man who kept faith with 8 minutes to go at The Emirates when we played Leicester? Or are going to spend the whole season yelling abuse at the club and Arsene?

If you are one of those saying same old same old, you are very wrong. Yes we lost a match we could have won but we are 2 points ahead of last season. Yes it might all evaporate by this time next week but why not think it might also get better.? Why are you only prepared to highlight the negative?

For one last time, if Arsenal is all your life such that the only thing you do is rave and rant on social media after every loss, GET ANOTHER LIFE.  Get a different hobby. Football might not be for you. Football games have 3 outcomes and you will have to get one of those outcomes.

In case you missed it, Arsene has just signed a new contract. He is here for at least 2 more seasons. Arsenal, Kroenke, Gazidis, Wenger, those shit players you deride, the club jersey you abuse, the high ticket prices you moan about are all part of Arsenal. You can’t love one part and ignore the other. That is self-deceit.

Sadly you are entitled to your shit opinion but can you try and keep it to yourself. You have tried to force Arsene out through abuse, through those deluded ‘grovey’ blogs, through those wanking protests, through the silly banner fly-pasts, through sending abuse to club sponsors, directors, owners, shareholders and other legends in support of Arsene and YOU FAILED WOEFULLY.

You naively assumed that finishing out of Top 4 meant Arsene will be gone. YOU GOT YOUR SUMS WRONG.

What next? Are you going to try and get the team relegated to make your point?

My suggestion once again is to give it a rest. Watch the football and take the result for what it is. Saturday at Stoke was largely on the match officials. No more lame knee jerkers on Social Media.

STOP BEING A SHEEPLY ZOMBIE and follower of individuals who are making money at your expense of YouTube videos.

To the thousands of positive and supportive fans. Keep at it. Lets review where are by Week 10. The U23s are playing tonight, you can watch Super Jack Wilshere for the super expensive price of £4!!!! and it looks like it will be a sell out based on the amount of ticket the club has released.

That is proper support.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

‘Ring Side’ Observations From The Arsenal Leicester Season Opener

What a cracker said most neutral fans.

Save my heart said Arsene Wenger and millions of genuine Arsenal fans around the world.

I wasn’t going to attend Friday night’s match but changed my mind at the last minute. I was at the stadium 3 seasons ago when Referee Anthony Taylor gifted Aston Villa 3 points at the season opener at The Emirates.

I watched helplessly on TV 2 seasons ago when Dimitri Payet introduced himself to the Premier League by defeating Arsenal in the season opener. I was back for more at the start of last season when injury misfortune again cost us 3 points as we lost to Liverpool in a game we looked very comfortable at the start and played poorly for 20 minutes in the 2nd half.

So this time around, I was going to sit it out. Not watch on telly or in the stadium. However like most addicts, I couldn’t resist. Off to the stadium I went. Stomach in knots. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink. Very tensed.

The match got off to a brilliant start. What a goal by Lacazette! He didn’t snatch at it, he steered and planted it. The boy learnt football properly. It is not a hobby. He is technically gifted and will display his technical bag of tricks many times during the match – close control, retrieving the ball in tackles, dribbles, crosses, scrapes etc. He has got it. A shame he is competing with Antoine Griezmann for a starting berth in the French national side.

Sadly Mesut Ozil gave away the ball in the lead up to the Leicester equalizer. Cech should have stayed home for the cross and Xhaka should have been more physical with Okazaki.

Again for Leicester’s second goal, we gave the ball away cheaply, this time by Xhaka but I blame Elneny. He gave Xhaka the proverbial hospital pass but as Xhaka’s handicap is his reliance on one foot, he probably couldn’t turn the other way, to recycle the ball away from that particular quadrant. Holding compounded that error by staying off Albrighton and allowing him deliver something of a perfect cross for Vardy to score. One of Monreal or Kolasinac should have been more physical with Vardy as well.  

Holding had a poor game as he gave one more ball away that almost resulted in a goal when Okazaki headed wide. I was of the opinion that Vardy body checking Holding was the start of Holding’s challenges during the game but it appears his game was more impacted by having to cover gaps left by Bellerin.

Holding will get better as a friend assured me last night on twitter. As Arsene Wenger said at a Football Writers Association Talkshop recently, he plays him consciously knowing it might cost him points but the end result is the development of a fantastic talent. Holding will come good. “YOU KNOW”

Our overall play was fantastic. Our win against Leicester at the end of last season was a turgid affair. This one was free flowing. We had many spells when we played champagne football. Heart racing, pulse raising, stomach sweeting stuff. As I said in my season preview, I dare any team to play openly with Arsenal. You will have your ‘Asses Handed Out To You’. Our play was so sweet I noticed Mo Elneny ball watching once, admiring the passage of play. Must have been an out of body experience for him. J

Looking at the match highlights again, I noticed Lacazette was aiming for goal in that touch before Kolasinac laid it on a plate for Danny boy. Lacazette will score many.   

For me Leicester’s 2nd and 3rd goals could probably be excused. I know people crap about poor set piece defending etc. but it happens, I think if we hadn’t given the first goal away, we could have won Friday’s match by a four goal margin or something.

I thought Xhaka apologizing for causing 2 of Leicester’s goal was very brave of him. He is a man’s man. A strong voice in the dressing room I will imagine. I was very impressed with his interview with the Arsenal in - house Media after the game. Impeccable command of the English language all in less than 13 months of arrival in England. Massive big up to him.

Then Arsene changed it. Brought in the big guns – Aaron & Ollie and changed formation. Someone on twitter said it was the 0 – 6 – 3 formation. Maybe it was 1 – 6 – 3 with Cech not needing to stay in his post and playing the Libero role of old.

Before then and at 10 minutes to go, I was almost heart broken but I felt for the club and Arsene more. Thinking that the club didn’t need this sort of negativity around it this season. We did the job by starting the game well and we have almost wrecked it unnecessarily.

Aaron & Ollie had other ideas though. It was a delightful cross from Lacazette that almost handed Aaron a goal from his first touch. Watch that move again and you see Matty James fore hand smashing Ramsey and that knock winded him a bit. It was what the Leicester players were doing all game, physically pulling players back, trying to maim Lacazette, tugging at Ollie’s shirt and that was exactly how they won the league. Foul Foul Foul! DIRTY! It is a big shame that referees allow this nonsense to continue.

Its not wrestling guys, it is a football match, only the goalkeepers are allowed to use their hands. At a point during the game, Ollie had to make it very clear to Harry Maguire that they are not mates.  One of those “ don’t touch me mate, keep your flipping hands to yourself”.

I noticed Alex Oxlade – Chamberlain’s frustration at some point after Theo came on. It appears Theo wasn’t given him a passing option and he was visibly irritated. The lack of option from Theo happened again not too long after this incident although there was no visible reaction from Oxlade the second time around. I wonder if there is a bit of history there. I dare say Theo has kept Ox – Chambo away from the flanks for a few years.   

The Lacazette dribble of 4 or was it 5 of the Leicester players just before the Giroud goal was sweet. Hopefully he is our key to unlocking those massed ranks / coaches / trailers / trucks parked in front of opponents goalposts.
Leicester fans appeared to be more vocal as away fans are usually. Those of us in the home end were no slouches either. Vardy’s 2nd goal appeared to suck the life out of us a bit but we actually found our voice before Ramsey’s equalizer. Singing when your team is not doing well is the stuff of legends and we Arsenal fans need to aspire to legendary status as we demand of our Team.

As for the Media highlighting negatives - Alexis sad face and not his happy face and Wenger’s body language when the boys were collectively trying to give all of  us heart attack. I say kudos to them. It obviously works for them. And guess why? Arsenal fans bite. Especially the 'WOE IS US' moaners. The media will satisfy the demand if it is out there. If it is not, they will soon stop. So it is in your hand genuine Arsenal fans.

Also the pundits wont stop bleating about the Ozil handball before one of our goal. You will expect sensible people to balance this out with the obvious  Ndidi handball / penalty incident. Sorry they only have eye for Ozil. If I was Ndidi I will be suing for discrimination.

I am somewhat invested in Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho & Alex Iwobi. I believe these 3 with a lot of the players in the age grade England squad are the future of my birth country, Nigeria’s football. People have commented how Ndidi was made to look ordinary, I think Arsenal made it so. They bypassed the middle and shifted it from flank to flank with several Hollywood style passes and Leicester too was pumping it straight to Albrighton and Mahrez. So I am not worried about Ndidi. Still a very good player in my assessment.

I did find it bizarre though that Shakespeare brought on Kelechi, an attacker at three all. It is well and good claiming some of the glory for the title winning season but the good and the great always know when a draw away at a Top 6 club is a very good point.

After all said and done, I think Arsene and the players know better than me, you, the pundits and even the legends of the game. I am only a passionate observer. Gary Neville retired from competitive football 6 and a half years ago, Jamie Carragher  retired a year or so after him. It will soon be 4 years since Thierry Henry retired. The game has changed, the nature of the players has changed.

Personally, moaning fans do my head in. As an individual, I am distraught that I have to breathe the same air and walk the same surface of the earth as murderers and child abusers. I feel the same away about sharing a passionate love of Arsenal with some who call themselves Arsenal fans. I wish I could do something drastic about both scenarios.

To the moaners, to all the ‘nothing is good for us’, HOW CAN YOU MOAN / COMPLAIN ABOUT GETTING 3 POINTS!!!!!!

I am perfectly happy with 37 more wins like Friday night.