We played Liverpool, a team who annihilated Citeh earlier in the week and were in full pomp yesterday.
We made them look mediocre, we controlled the game and but for fortune itself and some last gasp defending it was 0:0 at 90 mins. We harried, created, expended all energies to score and it just wasn’t happening (perhaps a return to 4-4-2>4-2-4 might have borne more fruit)…and then we got a bit of fortune in the award of a certain penalty on Cesc by the impressive, hard-working Spearing.
RvP dusted himself off and struck his penalty well, sending Reina the wrong way and getting himself booked for taking his shirt off during the celebration. At 98 mins on the clock surely its time for the whistle?
Incidentally, for someone who allegedly went bananas over a silly, needless yellow (pot calling kettle Mr Van Persie) if you are suspended for an important game because of that celebration due to a culmination of 5 bookings I will be extremely annoyed.
So back to it, it was a case of keeping Liverpool at bay, cool heads needed to prevail. Song, who wasn’t really in the zone kept hacking and barging into Pool players outside of our area and the ref gave a foul on Lucas, legitimately so although again Lucas made it look more than it was.
A poor free-kick ballooned off the wall, up and towards the corner flag, Lucas went for it and sensing Eboue right behind him stopped his run to allow Eboue to clatter into him. I don’t blame Lucas for it, who wouldn’t try it on in the 110’th minute to get a last gasp penalty, especially when the ref had already given one and we know they love to even it up.
It was an easy decision for the ref following poor positional play by Eboue. Eboue had had a great game and showed a lot going forwards, I have been really impressed with his return to the side and his willingness to drive forwards and attack. His naievety however in this instance frustrated me considerably.
When you are chasing down a ball going towards the corner flag you do not want to be behind or goal-side. You need to be herding him towards the by-line so if he turns on you you have the space to tackle and clear it for a corner. If you are goal-side its easy for the player to play it back to a team-mate and if you are directly behind if the player turns into you its a soft penalty but they get given every week.
I feel sorry for Eboue and I can imagine Alan Davies on the podcast right now screaming about it, but it’s poor play at crucial times in games thats cost us this season and I’m concerned it will continue to do so. That said, for the entirety of the game, Eboue was a threat to the opposition, he created and put pressure on the Pool and he can be pleased with his overall performance, but he got mugged.
Mathematically its not impossible, nor implausible, but we need to be winning games. Lets start that against the Spuds or we might as well all go on our summer hols…
Its a great time for Arsene as now he has selection options when picking his team for the weekend. Does he rush back Sczcesny and put Lehmann back on the bench after his great performance at Blackpool? Does Squillaci deserve to be benched in favour of Djourou?
I suppose it raises the age old question with our team. Arsene always says if you play well you don’t get put out of the team. Squillaci and Lehmann both justify their selection at the weekend, but who would you rather have?
I think it’s about time Squillaci got another run in the team, he was solid at Blackpool and I think he’s got it in him to be a great asset to the club. The media and blogosphere alike have been damning in their verdict of him and whilst its awfully premature,
Stan Kroenke is a business man who currently holds full ownership of the Denver Nuggets, St Louis Rams, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Crush and Colorado Mammoth. He also runs his own Sports television network called Altitude Sports and Entertainment.
Bolt that to his many Wal-Mart stores of which he is landlord, The Pepsi center, the Malibu Colony Centre and many others and his fortune is easy to ogle at.
He currently owns just over 62% of Arsenal.
The reason Silent Stan will not need to burden Arsenal with the cost of his purchase is this; The American monopolies commission has ordered him to sell his majority stake in the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado avalanche by 2014. (His stake’s in both are currently managed by his son).
Looking at Forbes.com – the Denver Nuggets are valued at $321 million and the Colorado Avalanche are valued at $231 Million.
Now, bear in mind Stan has issued “promise to pay” agreements to Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith rather than given them cash direct would suggest that (to me at least) that he intends to fund his purchase with the cash raised from the sale of the above assets. He has to sell, but he’s got until 2014 to do it so I’m sure there will be plenty of folks wanting to take such assets from him at a reasonable price. Assuming he gets the value rated by Forbes, then he is looking at $552 million generated from those enforced sales alone, though I would suspect he would still keep an interest in both and not sell completely as he has never had a precedent for selling his shares in an interest before.
Much of this is speculation, as his corporate accounts for his businesses are held in the Bermuda Triangle of Finance called Delaware, USA where you do not have to declare your accounts.
I’m no accountant, but I would suspect he has more than enough assets to generate the cash required for his Arsenal purchase, certainly he could easily sell his Wal-Mart properties to his Mrs without harm.
It’s worth remembering, as far as I have been able to ascertain, Kroenke has never leveraged his debt onto one of his sports enterprises.
Silent Stan Kroenke is a proven business man who is completely self-made. Whilst he has a rather impressively rich wife, his fortune is his own and he is worth over 2bn US Dollars.
He has an excellent track record in sports investment with his full ownership of Colorado Avalanche (NHL) team, the Denver Nuggets (NBA) team, the Colorado Rapids (MLS) and the St Louis Rams (NFL) team.
However, due to sanctions in place agreed during his purchase of the St Louis Rams he has agreed to give up majority stake in the Avalanche and the Nuggets.
Importantly, the investment in the Colorado Rapids has shown his interest in football and he has invested in that team, improved them significantly (in terms of playing personnel, marketing and sponsorship) and was strongly involved in creating the partnership between Arsenal and the Colorado Rapids which often sees a share of information on coaching methods, friendly games and soon to be money-spinning pre-season tours (a guess, but I can see it coming).
First and foremost Kroenke is a sports fan, I don’t know how strong his love for the game of football is, but he’s got a proven track record as a excellent team owner and there are plenty of people who testify to his leadership skills.
For us, it represents a new era. I have no doubt Kroenke will want success, he will want trophies. He’s put a backroom staff in that he wanted, Gazidis, the commercial marketing team he felt he needed and now is the time for him to step up and take over fully.
Its not a surprise, it was always going to happen, Arsenal FC could not stand forever in the way it has been because shares are able to be traded and at some point people choose to sell.
Personally, I think its been sold to the right guy, but time will tell.
UPDATE From the Guardian:
KSE now has four weeks to launch its offer to other Arsenal shareholders – which will involve it sending out formal documents to shareholders. This offer must stay open for a minimum of 21 days, but can run for three months.
It was a good game yesterday at Bloomfield Road. The enforced changes of Eboue, Diaby and Lehmann could have disrupted the squad, but instead it galvanised it and we saw some great attacking football.
Watching the full game was important as I also watched the MoTD version of the game and it was a shadow of the real event.
Mad Jens, who was in for Almungo, injured in the Warm up, was sharp, commanding and decisive, he didn
I’ve had a soft spot for Ian Holloway and his band of merry men this year. I love the refreshing way they attack teams with a “we’ll score more than you” attitude once held by a rather attacking Newcastle side under a certain Mr Kevin Keegan.
That all goes out of the Window for sunday. I want another battering. I want us to go 4-4-2 and get at them. I’ll do my lineup tomorrow but for now I’d like to see RvP and Theo up front. Get at them with pace and guile.
Stick Nasri on the right and Arshavin on the left and lets tear them apart.
Our team needs its confidence, its mojo back and this is the game to do it. Nothing but a battering of Blackpool will suffice as us gooners are in the Doldrums at the minute and we need something to rip us out.
It’s an early kick off too, following a day after ManYoo play Fulham at home. Wooney is banned so I expect them to play Berba and Chicarito up top. Lets hope Hughes doesn’t fancy giving his old gaffer any favours, save maybe giving a glass of wine for making ManYoo drop points. Its something to hope for at least.
So, it’s not in our hands but its in our hearts, come on you Gooners LETS HAVE EM!