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Archive for February, 2010

Stoke 1-3 Arsenal: I don’t know what to say…. 6

Posted on February 28, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

A blogger stuck for words, savour it.

I missed the game, and I’m glad I did because god knows now angry I would be if I had seen the tackle leading to Aaron Ramsey’s leg as it happened. The similarities to Birmingham two years ago with Eduardo are eery, the reaction by the team was much stronger.

We were one down, the goal was strangely reminiscent of nearly every goal we have conceded at Stoke – from a throw in.

The way we fought back, even after the horror injury to Ramsey, was biographic of our season so far, so many times we have been knocked down but we get up and give everything. Bendtner scored a fantastic header, it was of the highest quality.

Then there was the penalty, our captain stepped up in the final minute to put it into the bottom corner – the celebrations were for Ramsey. Vermaelen sealed it with a tap in after Cesc had been first to the ball after Sorensen fumbled it, Cesc and Sol Campbell went bezerk. The passion was there, and in the team huddle at the end.

This is all overshadowed by an injury to a promising youngster, one of the brightest talents in the English game. It wasn’t intentional but where do you draw the line? Who cares if a tackle is clumsy and the damage in unintentional when careers are at stake?

Look at the state of his leg. Look.

It was good to see Glenn Whelan stay with Rambo from start to finish, holding him whilst the medics got to him. Cesc had tears in his eyes, he’d seen it before: “In five years I’ve seen three of them”.

Right now is not a time for thinking much about the game. Its time to be wishing a 19 year old all the luck in the world in what will be a torturous comeback – lets just hope he can.

Come back tomorrow for something more substantial, I don’t want to write something OTT.

Til then. Get better soon Gordon.


Part 3/13 : Points more important than performance 2

Posted on February 27, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

We know what has to be done today – win.

With City and Chelsea meeting in just a few minutes there is a chance Chelsea could drop a point or two, if this happens we have to capitalise, if it doesn’t we need to keep snapping at their heels like an angry Pacman.

Stoke have no surprise up their sleeve, we know how they will play and it is the third time we have faced them this season. We won at home and lost away in the FA Cup, losing there last season as well means our record at the Brittania is shocking. Stoke are a team that we should beat every single time, no disrespect intended.

As it happens they are in very decent form, not losing since December and beating Man City midweek – hopefully we can put a spanner in the works and neutralise’s their most valuable and publicised weapon, Rory Delap. The way he gets built up in the press would have you believe he is a potent mixture of Ronaldo, Kaka with a sprinkling of Pele too, when in fact all he does is throw the ball a long way. Its a throw in, not a super-human capability.

As Arseblogger was saying in the Arsecast yesterday – just stand someone in front of him, he is flouting the rules wiping the ball down with a towel anyway.

William Gallas missing the game could be a blessing just this once because it means Sol Campbell will partner Thomas Vermaelen in defence and they are both good in the air, hopefully they can shore up the defence and mean the possibility of having a shaky keeper behind them won’t be so important.

You get the feeling that the first goal will be key in this game, its what undid us last time and we were always chasing the game. Hopefully Bendtner does some damage up front and I’m tipping him to score today. In midfield its important we assert our authority, we can’t match Stoke in stature but with some clever play we can drag them all over the place and if they go behind they should start feeling the game from Wednesday night, this is a game we must, and can win.

It feels like people are scared of Stoke but there is no reason to be, we should win games like this and we won’t win the title if we can’t. I think we will win today, two or three goals to one.

I’m gonna miss the game again through work, hopefully I can catch the highlights. Blehh, I hate missing matches.

Til tomorrow.


Six-monthly financials – Injury update 5

Posted on February 26, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Evening all,

so on a day that history has been made by Portsmouth being put into administration Arsenal announce they have slashed the clubs debt in the past few months and as let you earlier, overtaken United in the income stakes.

Its sad for Pompey fans, they had the day of their lives just under two years ago when they won the FA Cup at Wembley and were seemingly on the rise and heading into European football (had a good game against AC Milan if I remember right). Just over eighteen months later, they are in administration and danger of liquidation. There are several other clubs slightly further down the league ladder in just as much danger too, I expect at least another club to be in administration by the end of the season and hopefully, by the start of next they will be some way to recovering even though its likely we will lose at least one English football league club completely.

It makes you realise just how lucky we are, there are some blogs out there that moan and moan and moan about us not spending money – but if it meant staying in business or not, I know I’d rather us save money and consolidate whilst building a sustainable business model to function on for the rest of the clubs existence. Maybe we could be less frugal, in fact I’m sure we could, but you can’t argue with the running of the club, there are clubs out there that are in a far worse state than we are, we are in the best position of any club in this country by quite some way.

The results in brief – taken from the official website:

  • Profit before tax of £35.2m (2008 – £24.5m) with increased contributions from both the Group’s football and property businesses.

Not bad for half a year you have to say!

  • Further significant investment in determined policy of re-signing first team players to new long-term contracts.

The club have been really busy in negotiating new deals for most of our players – and securing the next generation of players down to long term contracts to make sure the club benefit from them. The wage bill has probably risen substantially from last year, even with the sales of Adebayor and Toure who were on pretty big wages, especially Adebayor.

  • By 30 November 2009, the Group’s total net debt had been reduced to £203.6m (31 May 2009 – £332.8m).

That is a massive, massive chunk of the debt gone. Remember we need be in no hurry to get rid of this considering the 17 year mortgage in place.

  • Sale of part of the Queensland Road development site means that the Group’s other property activities are now debt free.

A big tick off the to do list that was set out during the financing of the new stadium – everything is falling into place.

Finance linksannouncement on arsenal.comPeter Hill-Wood’s entire statementPLUS market details (too complicated for me!)

This doesn’t mean that we will suddenly start spending silly money on players, the current policy will no doubt continue and it needs too really, the wage bill has risen by something like 11% and we only made that 25 million profit with the football part of the finances through the sales of Toure and Adebayor, we don’t have two players of that reputation to spend every summer to get us that money – that is the part that is of concern to me but then again, what do I know about this stuff? I’m a football blogger not a financial analyst.

Back to normal stuff:

Eduardo returned to training today so expect him to be on the bench tomorrow if there has been no reaction, he is the only player that will return but the injury list is still ridiculously long. Hopefully Arshavin and Diaby will be back for Burnley, you have to have concerns for Gallas though – Sol Campbell can’t play every game as soon as the fixtures get congested and then it really would get worrying. Hopefully he is back soon and with a fresh new inked contract extension.

Come back in the morning for a more in depth Stoke preview ahead of possibly the biggest game of the season, win and we are looking ahead at some tasty fixtures licking our lips, lose or draw and the league campaign could fizzle out. Its on a knife-edge.

Til tomorrow.


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