Kick ‘em When They’re Down

I generally don’t care about other clubs affairs. As long as their interests don’t interfere with ours, we can live in relative peace. However, if you know me any at all, you know that I detest Manchester United.

I hate Manchester United Football Club more than Ryan Giggs hates Arsenal.

I want to see them fail. I want their arrogant, self-righteous, spoilt fans to suffer. I read with glee, the following bits from a World Soccer article posted yesterday:

· Manchester United’s owners are £1.1bn in debt – £400m more than previously known – after borrowing against their shopping mall business.

· Mortgage documents seen by the programme (BBC Panorama) show that the Glazers have borrowed £388m ($570m) against shopping malls and £66m ($95m) against their American National Football League team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

· A portion of the Glazer family’s £700m Manchester United debt will soon see them charged interest at a rate of 16.25%.

· Cristiano Ronaldo has not been replaced by a player of similar quality. Yet ticket prices have gone up by more than a third.

Note: It can be argued that there aren’t many players of Ronaldo’s ability but point taken.

· Mr. Green (City analyst Andy Green, 37, is the Manchester United supporter who first uncovered the extent of the Glazers’ debts) found mortgages – confirmed by the BBC – on 63 of 64 First Allied shopping centres [owned by the Glazers], totalling £388m ($570m).

· Four shopping centres – one each in Ohio, New Mexico, Texas and Georgia – have already gone bankrupt.

· When they bought Manchester United in 2005, the Glazer family borrowed £500m and paid the remaining £272 million in cash. Mr Green found that the Glazers had remortgaged 25 of their shopping centres in the six months before the takeover.

Am I a spiteful, envious Arsenal fan with too much time on his hands? If you are a United fan, you’ve probably already condemned me as such so there is no use trying to convince you otherwise. For the record however, I am none of the above. I am simply someone who has suffered mightily from defeats and abuse by United and their fans. In general, their fans back and embody the manager’s attitude.

I have witnessed and felt the effects of Ferguson’s disproportionate influence on referees. I’ve seen blind eyes turned by match, league, and FA officials when Horse-face nearly took Ashley Cole’s leg off by the knee, when Gary Neville kicked Jose Antonio Reyes out of the EPL literally, and when Scholes has repeatedly shown that he tackles with as much skill as I (try to) play golf – virtually none. I’ve seen Wayne Rooney dive time after time with impunity. His record for dissent is a joke, even when just a few seasons ago, there was a push to curb if not eradicate the appalling (admittedly sometimes deserved) treatment that refs receive. I’ve seen Ferguson demand extra, extra time when his team are down late in matches. And it has been granted. WTF!?!?

Let’s be clear though, Manchester United have set the standards in many ways and they are managed by a legend in Alex Ferguson, but for every accolade, there are ten negatives attributable to him, the fans, and club. Taggart famously said that he was keen on “knocking Liverpool off their bloody perch”. It’s time he looked in the mirror.

Think back to all the spoilt child-like rants and adolescent petulance we’ve witnessed from that man. At least Wenger admits he is a sore loser. At least Wenger faces the press whether he has won or lost. And what of the kid glove treatment Ferguson gets from the media, regardless of how much enmity he has for them?

I remember being looked at like I had two heads when I announced in a pub that I would rather see Chelsea win the league if Arsenal couldn’t win it. Those who heard me and couldn’t believe that I would say such a thing clearly don’t get the Arsenal/United rivalry. My United wounds are deep. Their fans hate us. Their players hate us. Fuck them!

All is fair in love and war and all that (not that I liken football to war) so I feel no remorse for the unbridled hatred I have for that shit club. I hope that they collapse under the weight of debt the Glazers have craftily put them under.

Goo’on the Yanks!

I am happier than a pig in shit, knowing that our financial position is manageable and theirs gets worse by the day. And again, it isn’t sour grapes and envy for the many trophies they’ve won. We have our issues but finances are not the most dire.

People need to remember that Arsene Wenger may be stubborn to a fault but he is an economist by trade. In the main, he is very level-headed and has the club’s best interest in mind. We’ve not won trophies recently but look at how we manage our money. Unless you’ve been on Uranus for the past five to ten years, you’ll have noticed that the Arsenal’s status as a major force in club football has gained significant momentum. That momentum needs to result in trophies. No doubt about it, but we are not living on the edge like most top clubs are doing. Never take that for granted, especially in the current economic environment.

Would you prefer to be in our position or that of a club with massive, massive debt that they cannot control? Or maybe worse yet, to be like a club with loads of cash but coming from a sugar daddy like Chelsea or Manchester City, instead of having a self-sustainable plan?

We aren’t perfect. We aren’t nearly as successful as we’d like to be. I have lost faith in many players in the current squad, but things could be much worse. United have a massive debt that is growing. I hope it gets even worse.

Keep the Faith

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One Man Team Are Out

“The young boy (Rafael) showed a bit of inexperience but they got him sent off, everyone ran towards the referee – typical Germans.” Alex Ferguson speaking after Manchester United had been knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

“When an Italian tells me it’s pasta, I check under the sauce to make sure.” Alex Ferguson before Manchester United played Inter Milan in the Champions League quarter-final 1999.

Gary Neville lacks class but so does Alex Ferguson. The man is a sore loser and cannot admit that his team lost to the better team. Instead, he attacks officials or opposition players and coaches.

Manchester United have to win the Premier League this season, otherwise the Glazers will face a massive backlash from fans. Darron Gibson is not Cristiano Ronaldo and the 30 million spent on Berbatov could have kept Tevez at the club. I know which player I would rather have in my team.

United fans will point to Arsenal having won nothing for the past five seasons rather than the $77 million annual debt payment the Glazers have to pay. Ferguson cannot afford to sign an expensive big name flop. But the fans will demand a big name signing if they fail to win the Premier League, otherwise the Glazers will feel their anger.

Tensions are already high at Manchester United. Police are now using tactics at Old Trafford to suppress fans protests. Anti-Glazer banners have been confiscated, the official explanation being that they block the view of other supporters. There’s also an increased police presence at home games, with officers standing in the aisles of the Stretford End – where United’s most vociferous supporters sit – to dilute any potential trouble. There is no relationship between the Glazers and the fans. Instead, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is akin to that of a police state.

The Glazers are safe as long as Ferguson continues to win the major trophies. But when the trophies dry up, the campaign to drive the Glazers out will only intensify.

Arsenal also face off the field issues regarding it’s ownership. American Stan Kroenke has until Monday to decide what he’s going to do with his 40% stake in the St. Louis Rams American Football Team. Kroenke is 10 shares away from owning 30% of Arsenal Football Club – a threshold where he will have to make an offer for the remaining shares.

On Monday Kroenke can either:

1) Accept the $300 million buyout from pending new owner Shahid Khan.

2) Elect to keep his 40% stake

3) Exercise his right of first refusal and match Khan’s bid for the 60% shares of the Rams that he doesn’t own.

Option number 3 is highly unlikely since the NFL has rules banning the cross-ownership in other major sports in the same market they compete. Kroenke owns NBA and NHL franchises in the Denver Nuggets and Avalanche respectively.

Which leaves Kroenke with options one or two.

Kroenke’s decision on Monday will probably not affect his decision making with regards to his ownership issue of Arsenal. If he chooses option one, it does not mean that he is going to make a take-over bid just because he suddenly has $300 million. Likewise, taking option two, does not necessarily mean that he will refrain from a takeover bid either.

According to Forbes, Kroenke is worth $2.7 billion. He therefore has plenty of money and resources to buy Arsenal without being relieved of his stake in the Rams. Therefore, Kroenke’s decision on Monday may not have the domino effect that most people are predicting.

Keep It Arsenal

Foreign Managers

– It’s been nearly two years since we’ve been to St. Andrews, the place where Eduardo had his leg destroyed by Martin Taylor. Revenge is not in the cards. Like Cesc says, a victory is more important because it’ll help us win the title. We have to put the past behind us, as nothing has changed outside of the club. Teams still aggressively have a go at us, as they feel it’s their best course to try to stop our football. However, our team has firmed up, as noticed by McLeish himself in his press conference.

– We threw the title away against Birmingham, but not for the reasons that are oft cited. Many Arsenal bloggers love bringing up the William Gallas incident, but I side with Wenger on this one. While you do not want a professional doing that, we didn’t lose the title because of that and it showed that Gallas cared. I’ve said that before, and I’ll say it again. The reason why Birmingham cost us the title is because we dropped four points against them while in a winning position. They were a relegated team, so we dropped points we definitely should not have. We lost the title by four points. Do the math.

– Alex McLeish suggested that foreign managers like to pressure referees into calling the games in their favor. The managers he cited were Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez. Doesn’t Alex Ferguson badger referees every week? Essentially, McLeish is saying the same cliched “they don’t like it rough” crap that everybody likes to throw around when teams face us. He said we have nothing to worry about from Birmingham, because he sees them sometimes as “too soft.” Well, if that’s not a sneaky way to fire up his team for today’s match, nothing is. So essentially after one of his players crippled Eduardo, he’s suggested that they should go in hard once again. Good job McLeish.

– McLeish also suggested that Howard Webb was strong enough to ignore the outside influence and call a fair game. It’s too bad Webb is one of the worst English refs.

– Meanwhile, Ferguson had a go at the FA for not adding another game to Vermaelen’s ban after his failed appeal. He was talking about the fact that Rio had a game added on. The difference? Rio’s ban was based on violent conduct with clear video proof. Vermaelen’s was for a professional foul that many have deemed as harsh. Seems fair to me. What I like about Taggart’s complaint is that he’s worried about us again. I like that. I like that a lot. I crave the days where Taggart and Arsene are ripping each other to shreds.

– Martin Taylor is now at Watford. I would not be surprised to hear Martin Taylor chants tomorrow. Meanwhile, for Eduardo, sure he’s walking (and let’s be thankful for that). But is he close to being the same player he was when he got crippled? The answer sadly is no. That’s not to say he can’t get that form back, but there are noticeable differences. He shies away from challenges, and that prevents him from being clinical. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a top class striker again (even if he has scored great goals for us in his return). That damage still lingers. We were robbed of his services when we needed him. That affected our title chances as well that year.

– If this was any other mid-table team we were facing, we may take our eye off the ball and prime ourselves to play Barcelona. With the Eduardo incident, that is almost guaranteed not to happen. The players will want to win this game and put the events of the past completely behind them. They will show up to play.

– Birmingham had a good early season spell, but with their dependence on older players, they were naturally going to fade. They do have very energetic strikers though and good crosses from Arsenal reject Sebastian Larsson. Their centre-back duo is amongst the most reliable in the League. This will not be a stroll in the park, but the momentum must be kept.

– Aston Villa play Chelsea and Bolton play Manchester United. The sooner we get in front of these guys, the better. I don’t want to rely on results much longer.

– Tony Pulis moaned about having Mike Dean ref their game. He drafted a letter citing incidents where he felt Dean was too harsh on his team. He told the head of the refs, Mike Riley, about it. What the hell does he expect? To avoid Mike Dean all year? If Arsene Wenger had done this, he’d be murdered by the English press. What a cowardly complaint by Tony Pulis.

– I don’t know if he’ll even get in the game, but if Eduardo scores a goal tomorrow, I’m going crazy.

Is that David Beckham or Morrissey?

Some things never change. My wife has not sucked my cock in two years, Spurs fans still believe that they are a top four team, and Alex Ferguson gets away with another verbal attack on a referee after his team has lost.

Then we have the MLS play-offs which I compare to teenage dating. Trying to get a wank in the back row of the movies while Aladdin is playing. Meanwhile the real players are smoking weed and drinking Crown in some decked out pad with the sounds blaring. MLS will always lag behind the NBA and EPL. Teenagers trying to get a wank, that’s all it is.

Then there’s the pathetic LA Super Classico ruck with David Beckham showing off his new haircut which looks as though some mental patient cut it. Shaved sides, long on top. You look like that miserable singer from the Smiths, Morrissey. You pathetic tosser!

So we have just under two weeks ahead of us with no Arsenal matches. Sure we have the Ireland verses France World Cup qualifying play-off, but really, that game is like methadone for a heroin addict. We Arsenal fans have to wait until November 21st for our next fix – Sunderland away. By the way, Steve Bruce, the Black Cats manager looks scary. A monster in fact. He looks like someone staring at themselves through the back of a spoon. Horrible.

Last words come from Roy Keane again. Today he talks about Wolves manager Mick McCarthy and ex-Ireland boss Jack Charlton during a tour of the USA in 1992.

“In the morning we were due to fly home, Steve Staunton and I went out for a drink. We forgot about the time and were late arriving back to the team hotel. The rest of the party were sitting on the coach outside. Steve and I raced to our rooms to pack our bags. As we boarded the coach, ‘Big Jack’ started ranting and roaring: “Where the fucking hell have you been? You’ve kept us all waiting.”

“Why didn’t you go without us?” I shot back. “I didn’t ask you to wait.”

In the silence that followed, I looked him straight in the eye. He neither frightened nor impressed me. He was a bully who didn’t like it when the ball was on the other foot. He backed off. I took my seat in the back of the bus.

“You’re right out of order, you.” Looking up I saw Mick McCarthy Captain Fantastic himself, glaring down at me.

“Go and fuck yourself,” I told him.”

Keep it Arsenal

Cunt

The cunt above is celebrating a last minute winner by his Bernard Tapie run club in front of rival Manchester City fans. The goal was scored in the sixth minute of injury time when only four minutes were meant to have been played. Gary Neville was fined 5 grand and banned for two games for doing a similar act against Liverpool fans.

He is a cunt.

I don’t give a fuck about City or their fans, especially after the way they behaved last weekend against Arsenal. However, I do have grave concern for the way Manchester United repeatedly win games, year after year, season after season, on very controversial decisions.

In the Premiership, social equality exists – a team from the lower divisions can through successive promotions play against the best. Manchester City are great example of this. Back in 1999, they were playing in the third tier of English football. Now, with private investment from Dubai, they threaten to break into the top four.

However, social equality exists only on paper. To gain promotions and avoid relegation in the Premiership you need money. Without it you will eventually go back down to where you came from.

Economic equality does not exist in the Premiership. Clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and now Manchester City will always have more money than others. Liverpool, however, will fall on hard times if they fail to finish in the top four. They are vulnerable.

Arsenal are not.

Arsenal are the best run club – financially – in the Premiership. The building of a state of the art stadium and training ground, the Highbury Square and Eden Grove projects, Europe’s best youth system, qualifying for the Champions League group stages for 10 years on the trot – has all been done without the finances of some billionaire or the benefits that Man United have had and still have.

People are jealous of that fact.

Other fans have always detested that Arsenal hold the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the top tier of English football.

They hate Arsenal’s stylish football and the fact that Arsenal are the only Premier League club to have gone a season unbeaten.

But what really gets up people’s noses, is that Arsenal have class.

Clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City don’t and never will. Arsenal doesn’t have classless cunts like Gary Neville who celebrate in front of opposing fans when they are not even playing. We don’t have managers who jump around like Martin O’Neill, Alex Ferguson, or Alan Pardew.

Keep it Arsenal

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