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Archive for November, 2011


Arsenal looking at Rosicky replacements 33

Posted on November 17, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Over the past few months Arsenal scouts have been looking at many players – creative midfielders in particular. It is well known that the club are keen on Mario Goetze with scouts making regular visits to see him in action, he will get no better chance to impress than next week against Arsenal at the Emirates.

Tomas Rosicky is approaching the end of his career, his contract is up for renewal soon and from what I have heard the chances of that happening are looking pretty bleak. After missing so much football due to his rare hamstring injury it was always going to be tricky to hit the standards he set himself pre-injury, he is currently a very useful member of the squad in the sense that he is happy to be a squad player and he is also active in helping younger players progress – this is also where Arsene Wenger feels his future lies. It would not be the least bit surprising if Rosicky was an Arsenal coach in the future.

At 31 years of age he theoretically still has plenty of football left in him, he still holds down an important role in the Czech Republic international team as captain and would understandably be reluctant to give that up without a fight. The gap between the end of his Arsenal career and the start of his coaching career will probably be spent in Germany where he still has a large following, inquiries over his availability have been regular over the past few years and he has been closer to the exit door than some may realise.

There is no coincidence that Arsenal are looking at life after Rosicky, it is only in the past couple of months that efforts have really been ramped up in the search for another creative midfielder – Rosicky is getting on, Diaby is still on the treatment table and that leaves Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta to share the creative slots in midfield.

If he gets the chance to string a run of good performances together this season, who knows if Arsenal will hand him a contract offer. Right now though the chances of that are looking pretty slim.

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Racism still exists, face it and fix it. 4

Posted on November 17, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Racism in football has never, and will never, be eradicated.

As social culture has changed, racism in society has become so much rarer, and where it does exist the views are expressed much more privately meaning the rest of society can get on with their lives without having to listen to such pig-ignorant and historic views.

Britain is one of the world leaders when it comes to equality and multiculturalism – the Premier League is a glowing example of this – however, much like the issues of homophobia deep in football, racism has been there the entire time and has never, ever gone away. It never will. However, with men like Sepp Blatter in charge of football’s biggest and most powerful organisation nothing will improve.

When racist slurs are chanted from the stands the world can hear what is being said. When bananas are thrown onto the pitch the world can see the who some of the culprits are. When players are having racist insults shouted at them on the football pitch by fellow players the world can’t see or hear what is being said. In situations like this there is little proof, and without proof, no punishment can be handed out.

The comments by Sepp Blatter are laughable but the outcry will not remove this pest from his highly influential position in the game, taking a brief look around the sporting press in other countries you would be forgiven for having thought his comments never took place – it will be painted as an England vs FIFA slanging match – sour grapes from a failed World Cup bid. Nothing will change yet again.

The events of the past 24-48 hours show that the core of football is still rotten. SKY can present this pristine and clean image of the game, played on beautiful green pitches in packed stadiums – I guess the perfect metaphor of this could be the fact that the average viewer will be blissfully unaware of the quagmire that is the average League Two pitch in the middle of winter; what I mean by this is that it is presented as perfect on the surface, it hides the fact that there is plenty of dirt, filth and inequality behind the scenes.

Once the outcry has died down nobody will care anymore because the issue is out of sight and mind, give it seven days and it will hardly be mentioned until the John Terry police investigation reaches its conclusion and the FA can then finalise their investigations into that incident.

What is so infuriating is that the attitudes at the very top always sink down to the bottom, attitudes are infectious and you get the sense that if an issue doesn’t involve FIFA’s share of television rights and the money attached to that, then it is just given lip service and brushed under the carpet.

I guess one of the most important things to remember is just how far the game has come in this country and others when it comes to the issue of racism. Let me say this now; racism in any way should not be tolerated and is utterly unacceptable. Progress has been made though, look at the number of black players in this country, it is not yet reciprocated in the number of black managers, however, give it time and there will be greater numbers of black managers. We don’t need any ‘Rooney rule’ – just let society progress as it is doing and it will improve.

Let campaigns like Kick it Out continue to work their magic, let these comments spur the game onto clean up this, and other discriminatory issues up quicker and better.

The events of the past couple of days are inexcusable, however lets use these events to further improve and evolve our game.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Early Days 2

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Video

The young Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain discusses his rapid rise to fame from a very early age, with FATV’s early days. A summer signing, the creative midfielder has impressed in the Carling Cup and will certainly offer a selection headache for Arsenal’s tough upcoming clash against Manchester City – In the Carling Cup semi finals.

Tonight he is likely to star for the U21 Three Lions as they play Iceland.

Will the youngster continue his decent goalscoring form tonight? Check out football betting to find out the odds.

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