Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ashley Cole, Hamburg, 'new sponsers', and ANR.

I haven't deigned to comment on Ash's book over the last few days as there seems quite enough vitriol flying around the web at the moment to drown even the most happy-go-lucky of people in bile. As far as I can tell, Ash has never, ever done anything wrong. Take the supposed tapping up incident. He was just twiddling his thumbs in a hotel room when, out of nowhere, Jose turned up and they made 'chit-chat'. This 'chit-chat' was completely innocent. Apart from the minor matter of Jose telling him 1) we need a lb 2) you are the best lb in the world 3) are you happy at Arsenal? Y'know. The trivial matters in a footballer's life. Arsenal then had the disrespect to try and use this as a means of getting a points penalty inflicted on Chelsea, and 'hung him out to dry'. Poor Ashley.

When this is combined with 'its not about the money but Arsenal wouldn't give me the extra £1.3m I wanted [over 5 years]', the almost slavish devotion of Ash to the seemingly whiter-than-white Jonathon Barnett [boo!!], and the 'I'm not gay, how dare they call me gay, I'm a real man', which almost reads like the famous 'not that there's anything wrong with that' Seinfeld sketch, there is enough material in Ash's book to make it a true classic of comedic fiction.

Yet its not all bad reading. The part serialised in the Times today about the pizza-throwing culprit - apparently it was little Cesc - is actually quite touching. The moment when the pizza slid down Fergie's face and all our lot creased up, most almost have been the last hurrah of the invincibles. I feel that Ash partially left because a new type of team spirit was being built in the dressing room, which was notably different to then on he'd grown up with. Whilst his insinuations against big Phil are probably untrue, and I would hope that Rvp and Freddie do actually talk, his words do seem to hammer home that the belief and spirit of the invincibles did break down in the aftermath of the United game, and that this was far more fatal to the team's performances than any loss of footballing ability. It also seems that Ash was very much affected by Paddy's departure, with the lynchpin nature of Paddy's contribution to the team is further emphasised.

One almost feels with Ash, that there was a more interesting, and far more plausible book, within him and his ghost-writer - one that should have been written once he'd retired and had the benefit of cooling his temper somewhat. But instead, as Ash refuses to accept any blame for anything, and is also seeking to maximise profit from the publication, we've been served up a hotch-potch of fantasical stories with only the merest basis in reality. I'm sure Ash will regret the book in 10 years.

Ash's book has swamped a lot of far more interesting news that's emerged this week. Firstly Cesc is on the verge of signing an astonishing 8 year deal. As Gunnerblog has correctly pointed out, this will mean that the summer of 2013 - the year before it runs out - will now be unbearable, but I'm sure we all agree that this is fantastic news. And if he did leave we should be able to get about £500m for him, given inflation by the earlier 2010s.

For tonight's game against Hamburg, we'll be wearing a special one-off shirt with 'Dubai' on it, as Hamburg are also sponsored by Emirates. We'll also be without Thierry, which has led to a lot of speculation that Theo might start. I would hope that he or Rosicky start on the left, and that we play 4-5-1, with Baptista as a half-striker, and RvP or Adey up front. Hopefully will have overestimated our poor start to the season and we can rip them to pieces ce soir. We need a decent win before Sunday.

One interesting thing I noticed last night: Chel$ea had the second lowest Champions League attendence of all the CL games. Only 32K turned up [of a 42k capacity] for their game against Bremen - only Sporting Lisbon had less and even PSV and Olympiacos managed more. I'm not gloating, I just think the fact Chel£ struggle to sell out their matches say something fascinating about the current perception of the club.

Finally, if you're as slow on the uptake as me, you may not have realised that ANR has 'moved back to highbury', as they put it, as they're just so popular. I preferred the old site anyway.



Anonymous said...

I can't find any current content on the old ANR site you've linked to. Can you post the site they are now on please?

Anonymous said...

Cole's book should be called "How To Lose Friends and Alienate People" - the snippets i've read in the press are pathetic... he seems to think that to write an interesting book he has to knock everyone he's ever come in contact with...

whereas, in reality, to write an interesting book you need to have something witty and pithy to say in an engrossing way

he is just thick.... and dull with it

Anonymous said...

The top 4 stories on the old ANR are recent.

Anonymous said...

Good point about the Chelski attendance last night. Worth comparing with the 56,000 odd Gooners who turned up for a CL qualifier with us 3-0 up already. No class, no history and no fans apparently...

gazzap said...

how many clubs would sell as many tickets as us in this country? Man U, possibly Newcastle (though I am not sure about them). After that I'd say Liverpool and Spurs would have the highest attendances but way behind us.
chelsea would be way down. 32k for a CL game as champions is laughable. surely thats less than they used to get pre-abramovich for UEFA cup games?

Anyway I am looking forward to tonight. I want AW to experiment a bit and try different things to see what works. Perhaps rosicky playing centrally or RVP playing wide, and Walcott out wide. I dont think he knows what the best 11 or formation is and thats a slight problem at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I think ashley cole should shut up and get on with being a mercenary cos thats what half the chavski team are - mercenaries! He has no-one to blame but himself for all the mess "he" got himself into. Oh Arsenal hung me out to dry/they fed me to the sharks, the only person who did that was you! You put your own head on the chopping block when you went to that meeting (which he though that no-one would notice ha ha dumbass) As for chavski I read somewhere once that there were some old timer supporters and they said, "dirty money and dirty tactics so we won't be getting our season tickets this year" Fair play to em I say. Amusing what ballack said the other day "I came here to win the CL". In other words I came here for the money and Bayern are crap and will never win CL again. Football is getting ugly and needs to get back to being the beautiful game and soon!!!

gazzap said...

I checked out the capacity and what percentage of capacity each prem team sells out. This only takes into account prem games not europ games, but Reading sell out more than anyone else! we are close behind.

Team Av Att Capac % Sold
Reading 23,973 24,045 99.7
Arsenal 60,015 60,432 99.3
Man Utd 75,284 76,000 99.1
Everton 39,847 40,569 98.2
Chelsea 41,573 42,449 97.9
Spurs 35,413 36,214 97.8
West Ha 34,788 35,647 97.6
Newcast 50,967 52,316 97.4
Liverpo 43,965 45,362 96.9
Portsmo 19,515 20,288 96.2
Shef U 30,801 33,000 93.3
Charlto 24,530 27,111 90.5
Watford 18,898 22,100 85.5
Aston V 36,235 42,573 85.1
Fulham 18,460 22,480 82.1
Man City38,956 48,000 81.2
Middles 27,016 35,100 77.0
Bolton 22,019 28,723 76.7
Blackbu 20,706 31,367 66.0
Wigan 14,636 25,000 58.5

Anonymous said...

It's good to read (albeit over someone's shoulder on the way into work) the Express (or maybe the Mail) slating Cashley Hole as being shallow and spoilt. He really seems to have done himself no favours at all with anyone.

As for Cesc throwing the pizza? Wasn't it just said that the person who threw it wasn't English or French? Cesc was never mentioned (or was he? as I say it was read from distance) I just doubt whether a 17 year old, newly in the squad would throw pizza at what can only be described as someone who looks like Albert who used to sleep in my local park (you know the one, big red nose, talks to pigeons, stinks of piss!!!). Tho I really hope he did do it. I'd love him even more


Deise Gooner said...

Maybe it was DB10 who threw it. A rare lapse in his ice cool character :o)

Anonymous said...

Cashley shut up.

Anonymous said...

Chelsea's capacity is no longer 42,449 this season. Reconfiguration has reduced it slightly to 42,055 = 98.85%

Anonymous said...

Chelskis watch out for cashly cole.One day in the future he is going to another club and he is going to tell you guys private stories to the public to make money to feed his wife.By the way,what did his wife do?Is she very famous?

Anonymous said...

Cashley,you look like sh*t in that blue shirt.You look different too.Your head is getting fat and your mouth is getting bigger and bigger.You WERE a good left back,not anymore.Wish you all the bad luck for your big mouth.