Saturday, June 24, 2006

Arsenal cleared over Beveren - this apparently proves me 'wrong' - and some news.

I received this acid-tinged attack in the comments box today/yesterday:

'Nice that the Fifa investigation of Arsenal's relationship with Beveren has - unsurprisingly - found us totally innocent.

Disappointing that you haven't commented on this - one of the few Arsenal sites not to do so immediately. Disappointing but perhaps not surprising, seeing as during the witch-hunt you yourself cast aspersions on Arsenal's integrity by describing our dealings as 'shady' - though shady in precisely what way was never explained.

No, unconditional loyalty to Arsenal isn't required of its supporters' sites. But the capacity to think independently is. I was depressed at the time by the mental laziness of your uncritical regurgitaton of the tabloid insinuations that Arsenal, in particular Dein, had been acting unethically, without a shred of evidence being produced. I'm even more depressed now at your lack of interest in the fact we've been cleared. How about an apology to Arsenal, Dein and those Arsenal fans who questioned your stance?'

Hmm, I don't usually get stung by comments, but this one I feel the need to publicly respond to.

Has the person who read the comment actually read the article I wrote on the Beveren affair? And by read I mean fully read, digest and understood the points I was trying to make? Or has he just picked up in the two occasions - one in the comments box - were i even slightly suggest that Arsenal's dealings in this haven't exactly been whiter than white.

It's here if you wish to read it. At what point, exactly, in this article do I launch into an attack on the club, or even suggest that the case had any real grounding?

How is saying:

I haven't got much time to write, but here's a nice summation of articles to protect and comfort us all from the, to be frank, defamatory statements emminating from the Beeb. I expected better from a programme like Newsnight. I, like other Gooners, paled when I saw 'Arsenal face FIFA probe' fly up on NewsNow, but anyone who had read even the entire BBC article could see that we'd actually done little wrong.

Wow. What an attack. I'm hammering the club with that statement aren't I.

The real point I wanted to make then, which I hinted at but didn't have enough time to make [I'm sorry that I didn't follow the article up], was I find the whole business of 'feeder clubs' dodgy. How can the club they feed to not influence them to a perhaps untoward degree? Isn't that the whole nature of the link?

And I still think that whilst lending money to a consortium which then invested in the club is not illegal, it was quite clearly a way by which Arsenal could bend FIFA regulations to put money into Bevern in order that the club didn't go bankrupt. The whole case hinges on how this investment is perceived. I'll say now, as then, it's not illegal. But, It's not the way I'd like the club to do business.

I'd also like to know where exactly on my article I 'regurgitated tabloid insinuations'. I also feel that if the anonymous poster feels i don't 'think independently' then why exactly does he bother to read my articles?

But, what i take most offensive at, is the assertion that I should 'apologise' to the club.

One: I have nothing to apologise for I may have very slightly questioned whether I felt that this was the best way for the club to deal with financial matters, but I didn't extend this position past this specific case, and I stand by my assertion.
Two: I didn't realise being an Arsenal fan required unconditional and unquestioning acceptance of everything the club does.
Three: Don't you dare question my loyalty to the club you piece of shit.

Right, now I've got that little rant off my chest...

We've been linked with several players, unsurprisingly, as the cattle-market which is the world cup continues.

Of these, Jens suggesting he'd like Klose to come to the club has morphed into a 'Klose subjected to Arsenal bid' type story. He's a great player, and been one of the stars of the competition, but the mooted £15m is a lot for a 28 year old. Saviola might be a better bet, but he's not as prolific as Klose.

Personally, I still think Torres is the player to get. God knows how much he's now valued at, but he's been sensational so far. I did wonder what the fuss was about for a long time but now I see why he's worth the cash. Quick, powerful, great first touch, and can score. And I think Jose and Fab would both love him to come.

It was a good night for the club yesterday. Henry scored a beautiful goal and, surprise, surprise, played far better without Zidane. Maybe Domenech will realise this in time for the knock-out stages but I doubt it. Anti on Arsenal, WTF was no doubt delighted to see Paddy get a goal, and he turned in a great performance that reminded me of his better days at the club.

Phil made up for his rather abject performance against Togo with a colossal performance against Korea. He looked a player coming of age as he wheeled round after scoring, blood pouring down his face. Unfortunately he then injured his shoulder which I hope isn't too serious. Similarly, Adebayor - who had quite a good competition - hobbled off in the French match. Best wishes to both.

The most worrying news I heard today was, unsurprisingly, regarding Sven. Apparently, England will be playing 4-5-1 tomorrow with Carrick in the anchor, and Hargreaves at right-back. Insanity. Pure insanity. Change personnel and tactics as you enter the knock out stages. Maybe it'll only be when he puts Scott Carson on up front and he starts cackling madly on the bench that we'll all realise the whole world cup has been a huge revenge mission by Sven on the English public. I hope not. I know that he could be defended on the grounds that he's trying to deal with Ecuador's main threats, but why is he being so reactive? Why don't we play our game instead of changing constantly according to circumstance? He's far too reactive a coach.

How I wish England had a Klinsmann as boss. Germany were impressive against an admittedly awful Sweden, but seeing Klinsmann's passion and tactical nous left me depressed when I thought of Sven.

Right c'est tout pour maintenant. I'm off to see Argentina: the best team of tournament so far.



Daniel Franklin Gomez said...

Would love to see Klinsmann take over the Arsenal helm from Wenger one day. Kinsmann has attributed his methods of coaching to Monsieur Wenger himself... :-) Would love to see either Torres or Klose partner Henry up front, it's time we get all out-and-out striker.

Anonymous said...

I think he got the wrong blog site goodplaya had a long article outlining why Arsenal had a case to answer.

Obviously it is difficult to be impartial but the BBC seem to have lost the plot on this. There were several important issues raised not just about arsenal but about african players being brought into Europe but at no point were they able to express which law arsenal have broken. After the Panorama investigation into Blatter FIFA are unlikely to be interested in the drivel espoused.

Anonymous said...

As an african i felt that something need to be said about those who felt that it is wrong to buy african players. in fact some have even equate it to people smuggling or worse, slavery. People most of us african footballers dreams of one day playing in europe. What more most of us who get the chances use some of the earnings from the huge wage earned in club like arsenal to build school, academy and to contribute to charities among other thing. kolo toue would probably have been living in poverty has not for football and by extension arsenal. How the hell is that a bad thing. It irks me when pc journos who fails to see the bigger picture make ridiculous statements about exploitation of african football. By the way goonerboy this is not an attack on you it personally as i find your blog to be interesting and balanced, that is except when it comes to england. Let face it sven is making the best out of a one dimensional team with hugely overated player. wanna see real football watch arg, brazil or ivory coast

Anonymous said...

Try using a spell-checker.

I gave up reading after emanating

Goonerboy said...

Anon. 9.42. I wholeheartedly agree with you.

Sorry for my anti-Sven rants, but the set up of the English football team, and the FA in general, annoys me so much. When you see a manager like Arsene get so much from his players, and then i watch Sven's bumblings, it really gets to me. I think England will struggle tomorrow, and probably go out in the 1/4s.

I've really enjoyed watching all the African teams. I'll be rooting for Ghana against Brazil.

I thought the Argentina- Mexico match was incredible today. What a goal by Rodriguez at the end!

And anon 11.15, as I said I wrote that article in a hurry. And if you won't excuse the occasional spelling mistake, you really need to get over yourself.

Aussie Bandwagon said...

The most horrifying thing I've heard is that Sven-Goran is interested in the Australian job after Guus Hiddink leaves us. It's mentioned in passing in one of the Australian newspapers. Has there been any word about this in England?

Anonymous said...

You get what you deserve Aussie boy, hahaha! - he's all yours, for sure - fair dinkum eh?

E.I. Adeo said...

Following Englands win against Equador and the Sven comments.

You will recall that not so long ago it was considered quite a coup to get a manager of his quality. Leaving aside the money and his private life that has made him an easy target, for hacks and senior bloggers who should know better, his record compares more than favourably with past managers, including going down the famous old player route with Hoddle and Kegan. Victory against a weakened Portuguese side and we are though to the last 4. Unbelievable.

Wenger has been at Arsenal for 10 years and the team played over 60 competitive games last season. Plenty of time for a settled side to involve with players who know each other well. Before the world cup I believe England played 9 matches this season. There can therefore be no settled side, players are going to change from game to game. Each match is an adventure.

Sven however can be critisised because he does tend to pick what he sees as the best 11 players and not a team and then decide on how they will play. Wenger in comparison decides on a system and then finds players that fit that system. Sven in doing this makes some odd compromises. Much has been spoken of the strikers but only taking one right back who has a recent history of injury?. Bizarre. This means that England either choose a bog standard central defender in Carriger who isn’t good enough for a central role or an out of position defensive midfield player in Hargreaves. Hargreaves certainly showed his quality by his excellent performance.

Tactics. The difficulty of English players playing a passing game is that because they usually play a high tempo game their first reaction is always to move away from the man with the ball whereas the Argentineans always move towards the man on the ball looking for the pass. I must state that I have never liked Steven Gerrard as a player. He is however a high impact action player who needs a high tempo game to be seen at his best. A slow passing game highlights his lack of technique and thought and he looks a piss poor player. It is some indication of the quality of Englands play in that Carrick was the man of the match. This seems to be because some of his passes actually went to the intended player. But he at no time controlled the pace of the game or make one incisive forward pass.

Beckham. There must have been as many groans as cheers when he scored. Had he not scored Maclaren could have thanked him for all his past efforts ans told him he would not be picking him again. Now Beckham will be blocking up the right side for at least the next 2 years maybe 4.

Goonerboy said...

I would suggest that England asked FIFA to allow them introduce rolling subs for England: only bring on Beckham for set-pieces. Aside from his crossing, which even then is rather hit and miss, Becks doesn't give as much to the team as Lennon.

The thing about Sven's record is that it is good - but he bottled it when it mattered most - Brazil in 1/4s and Portugal in last Euro Champs. He's not that bad, but England could win the competition with a world-class coach. That's what bugs me.

And mate, Stevie G is a conundrum. If we could get him to play as well for England as Liverpool we'd be cruising.