It’s Probably Bieber’s Fault

The office job had just about nuked my energy after a week of moving and not sleeping (who knew there were trucks and sirens in London?), so I was considering not sauntering to the Emirates for some cheeky fast-food and the Stoke match last night.

But, knowing that my seat would be empty and that there was a nutritionally questionable burger with my name on, I did. And, although it wasn’t one for the occasional attendee, it proved a solid three point victory for an Arsenal that can (currently) defend against and score from set pieces. Refreshing.

The random guy next to me was wide-eyed and dosed up, and as the game entered a nervy and absorbing final ten minutes he decided to roll a joint. His drug habits are his own, but the only grass that really needed the attention he was giving his silvers was that forming Szczesny’s goal line. So when he attempted to join in on the chants like:

Na-na Na-na Na-na Nammy Sasmiri! SASMIRI NAMMY SASmuriry..!

…or even tell the ref he was “funcking ranker”, that the Arsenal managed to maintain said goal lines’s virginity after an early header from Seb Squillaci made it 1 – 0 was more aromatic than his herbs. However, what was plain as the day was marred by looking at Pulis rant and rave was our lack of creativity once Cesc departed.

We passed and probed, but lacked the cutting edge that sometimes only a ringer can bring to Sunday League, and that only Cesc can truly provide at the hub of the Arsenal midfield.

Nasri can, and did, play there but his game is currently more that of a natural man-beater than pass sprayer and pace-setter, while Denilson sometimes looks like he has a contract with his boot makers demanding 90% of his passes are one touch, regardless of where or who they go to.

Granted it’s superb to see that Aaron Ramsey scored for Cardiff against Leicester this week, and he may well be the long-term replacement for when Cesc eventually departs. But for now, and certainly for last night, we miss him even when leading at home to a tough but rarely threatening Stoke. Hopefully he’ll be fit for Sunday, and it would be heartbreaking for him not to play, but if he doesn’t make it Birmingham will think themselves less under threat and no doubt smell a bit of insecurity.

At this point I’d like to say that in fact I jinxed both Cesc and Theo’s ankle by eagerly wearing my newly bought Cup Final hat, and that I take no responsibility for their injuries as this is just a poorly constructed bit of fantastical whimsy. Whimsy a bit like this tweet, retweeted by Andrei Arshavin.

Hey, it’s Russian humour I’m sure. Like pretending he’s out of form when in reality he’s going to single handedly win the League Cup Final and declare everyone in the ground a bunch of silly billies for ever doubting him. You take my completely insincere word.

Seriously though – who am I to comment on another man’s hate of Justin Bieber. After all Bieber completely lost my love and respect when he changed his hair. I mean, really. How can I sleep at…give me a break.



Title-winning Tweets?

One of the great things about Twitter are the insights afforded to us football fans. We know about the edgy banter between Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Savage; we know that Glenn Johnson made unsavoury comments about Paul Merson before – too late – deleting them, and we know that Darren Bent is likely to tell his followers about why he wants to leave his current club/find a new one (I kid, sort of).

And this week, after all the ‘churnalism’ surrounding what Cesc Fabregas may or may not have said at half-time against Everton, on the pitch or in the tunnel, to or at Lee Mason (or at the fourth official perhaps) we see some of the spirit in the current Arsenal Squad. Spirit that might help guide them as a group of professionals towards silverware this year.

Yesterday the Gunners captain started secretly snapping members of the squad who had fallen asleep while travelling to the North for today’s Newcastle match. Not only that, but he commented on each of them with jocular comments reflecting just how fondly he and his team-mates regard each other.

Exhibit A:

As I commented at the time, a little harsh but funny. I’m sure Tomas wouldn’t take offence, and that’s exactly the sort of spirit and camaraderie you want in any squad at any level if you’re intending to push for honours. Tongue in cheek with a bit of back and forth pushes team-mates on and, realising this, the canny captain went on with some more of his amateur photography:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

With all this going on, Jack Wilshere got in on the action, tweeting:

Wow dangerous to have a kip these days! Need some coffee to stay awake or im gonna be broadcasted all over here!

And then Robin Van Persie joined in, snapping Bacary Sagna and wishing him “Sweet dreams”. Alas, when RVP attempted to grab some revenge for the squad and catch out Cesc, he only managed the following:

Well, what can we say about this? Firstly there’s plenty to agree with when bloggers like Arseblog comment on journalists’ questioning Cesc’s qualities as a captain: This is exactly the sort of thing a good captain does. Being ‘one of the lads’ (not in a Richard Keys way), and being a leader on and off the pitch in everything from FIFA tournaments to snapping dozing team-mates. It shows how happy he and other players are at the club, and that they have an understanding an relationship that goes beyond training ground drills.

The importance is this: Gary Neville, discussing his retirement from football in an interview with Geoff Shreeves on Sky Sports News this morning, commented that the players he played with were some of his best mates, and hinted that being that close with them enabled him and his team-mates to achieve great success.

I dare say Gary Neville knows a bit about such things, having won everything there is to win domestically. So, who knows, the tweets that us, the fans, see from our heroes can maybe mean a little more. And the tweets of this Arsenal squad might well point toward coming domestic success with us fans having a clear insight into the sort of spirit that was once harder for us to appreciate.

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