New Season Countdown Continues/More Conversations With Dante

I couldn’t stand the sight of Clown No. 1 raising the Emirates Cup. I’m glad we won but the ceremony had an air of cheapness about it though. It felt like I was watching also-rans from a beauty contest bonding on a night of commiseration. The sad outing was led of course by the homeliest of them all, the unwelcomed poodle walker.

When I see that clown and his understudy, I think of the car bumper stickers that say ‘MY OTHER CAR IS A PORSCHE’. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had a world class No. 1 and those two clowns were just getting some air time to keep their voices fresh. My frustration mounts as we get closer to Liverpool away.

El Cunto asked why that guy is still at Arsenal. I wonder that everyday. Everyday!

He reminded me that my earliest disapproval of the clown didn’t come after failing to hold a lead with only 38 minutes remaining in the Champions League Final. I said he wasn’t good enough and had to go as far back as February 2005, after Man United went to Highbury and embarrassed us 4-2. In Barcelona, he could have made himself an Arsenal legend. He could have shown that being down a man doesn’t mean you have to lose the game. He could have shown some serious spine. He failed miserably.

Two near post goals does not make people remember you for anything but failure. Well, except those who argued with me that he was good enough for Arsenal and that we could win the league with him. And then there were those who said that the goals were not as bad as I was making them out to be. One prominent and very, very successful blogger argued that the goals were not scored at the near post.

That’s when I knew I’d better be more picky about whom I discuss matches with.

The season following the CL disaster, Clown No. 1 and Swiss Miss conspired to lose another final. Two in two seasons! I doubt many people have placed the level of blame on this guy that he deserves for stunting the growth and bashing the confidence of the young players. I state with no hesitation that had we won either or both of those finals – especially the League Cup Final vs. Chelsea because the kids got us there and many featured in the final – the level of belief and resulting thirst for more success could have made all the difference. Instead, we have a group still struggling for identity, a group short on focus and confidence, just like the most fraudulent of goalkeepers to ever wear the Arsenal top. As El Cunto so correctly pointed out, if your spine is weak, so is the rest of your team. We’ve had that motherfucker at our club for too long.

I seethe when I write anything beyond a few sentences about him. I better move on to another topic. Arsene, PLEASE do something.

I caught up with Dante earlier this week. I could sense the excitement and eagerness in waiting for the new season to start. I could also sense a bit more bite this time from the man who always looks cool but can spew venom with the best (or worst) of ‘em. By mid November, I expect him to be fully lathered and spitting fire.

Dante: We are 11 days away from the start of the season and I cannot wait! One trophy down four more to go (League, UCL, Milk Cup, FA Cup)!

Agent 86: [Thinking; I used to be just as optimistic in past seasons. I want the new season as much as anybody but not with that set of keepers we have right now.]

Yeah, man! It’ll be a very interesting season.

Dante: This is how I saw the Emirates Cup:

Wilshere and Fimpong are BEASTS!!! I know I have said it before but they both keep on impressing me. Yes, Wilshere made a mistake when he was obstructed by Fortune but it came to nothing.

Agent 86: I’m glad you brought up Wilshere. El Cunto has tagged Wilshere as a showboat. I don’t see it. The kid has poise and focus way beyond his years. Our colleague (he who shall remain nameless) at 1886 made a good point, ‘what Wilshere did was not uncommon for a young player in the early stages of his career and certainly Arsenal players [young and old] have been criticized for not hoofing the ball and trying to play their way out of danger’.

I’m not worried about Wilshere being a showboat at all. I’d need to see more than just a questionable example of what might not even be showboating before indicting him.

Dante: [With almost uncontrolled enthusiasm] But that VOLLEY!!!!! And the kid has an attitude. Love it!!! We need attitude in the squad.

Agent 86: We used to have attitude. We used to have swagger. You can’t quantify them but they make a big difference. Imagine what teams felt like when they saw Henry and Pires with Bergkamp standing not far away. We need to get that back. We have a few players who can get us there but only time will tell. I have to say I really like what I see in Frimpong. I know he’s still a pup but…

Dante: Frimpong does not let anyone have time on the ball. He doesn’t dribble much but hey, if he loses the ball he will get it back!

The first goal against AC Milan impressed me for a few reasons;
1. Gibbs shielded the ball extremely well while having a player draped over him then to send Arshavin off to the races, this was very good to see from the 20 year old left back.
2. Arshavin; what can I say? What a run! I don’t know what was better, watching that run and final ball to Chamakh or rewinding back to where Gattuso looks like he has been thrown out of a speeding Ferrari. PAAAAAHHH BOSS!!
3. Chamakh’s finish; well taken! He did the right thing and looked calm in front of goal.

Agent 86: [My turn to emote.] YES! Gibbs showed tenacity. Arshavin showed strength. Chamakh showed a good finisher’s cool. It was the first really telling highlight of the (pre) season for me. It was all there – industry, strength, and skill.

Dante: Issues I had with the games against both Celtic and Milan; in both games, we looked tired after about the 75th minute.

Agent 86: To be expected! They’ve been training really hard and some guys played in both Milan and Celtic matches back to back.

Dante: When Frimpong went off in the second half of the Milan game we lost our possession edge, similar to the way we do when Song is unable to play. Theo cannot cross to save his life! He is dangerous but anyone with that much speed is dangerous with or without the ball. Only positive I can take is that he must have got the same treatment about defending Arshavin did because I saw him next to the right back a few times when the ball was in our half.

Agent 86: On current evidence, I’m convinced Theo is not good enough. I don’t know if he’ll ever get there. He plays like a really good athlete who took up the game later than the other kids. He’s got some ability but like it or not, Chris Waddle made a good point about the football brain.

Some Blame Wenger for bad coaching where Theo is concerned. I don’t. I just feel he is what he is. Wenger coached Alex Song. He coached Robin. He coached Cesc. They haven’t turned out too badly. Theo does track back though. I’ve seen him do it regularly.

Dante: For Celtic’s second goal I have two different gripes. Djourou is not ready yet. I have faith he will be later on, but not to start the season with. I know Koscielny will partner The Verminator but no one else has been bought so I shudder to think of Djourou being thrown in early on in the season.

Agent 86: On Djourou; I refer you to what El Cunto posted Monday.

Dante: This passive and active offside **** has to stop. There was a Celtic player off side, being played offside by the whole back line. The ball was played into his general area he ran for it becoming active in the play then stopped, turned around and walked back. Flag never went up another Celtic player ran on and then poor marking after that did us in. What’s the point of playing offside when the passive player can pretend to go for the ball and stop, essentially dummying the defense????

The silly way to fix this is to make all passive offside players signal this by having to stop and re-tie their shoe lace on one shoe before joining the play. The easy way is to take this whole passive verbiage out!

My thoughts on Cesc are as follows:
I’m sick and tired of this!!

Agent 86: I have been for some time. I am disturbed by Barcelona’s latest that Wenger was ready to sign for them in 2001. Yeah, right! They’ve sunk to the depths of _pur_ with this almost signed bullshit.

Chat later, Agent 86

El Cunto the Promoter and the Debut of Conversations With Dante

The Informer has not retired. I sense that he’s not far away, refining his methods, bullying his sauces to get it right, wiping that dried yolk off his handsome face. Trust me. He’ll be back bigger, better, stronger.

Meanwhile, his alter-ego El Cunto is trying his hand at promoting. I began training Monday night for the NYC North London Derby. The herniated discs, pinched nerve, and tendonitis will not stop me playing in this match. If I have any semblance of fitness, I will suit up. It’s that important. Even if I play just ten minutes, I’ll be happy.

We’ll see if I can find enough straps and braces to make a difference. Youth is wasted on the young. Xbox playing, phone text addicted, Facebook junkie little cunts!

The little voice inside my head is saying to forget about playing and go on living relatively pain free. It’s probably right but if this match does happen and is anything like the last time I joined El Cunto for a game, it will be memorable. Two years ago, he organized a 5-a-side that I played in. The temperature was hotter than I’ve ever experienced on a pitch, seriously. Definitely not football weather! To make matters worse, the opposition had three subs for the two 20-minute halves. We had no subs. Nevertheless, despite being down something like 8-2 at Half Time it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my entire life.

El Cunto was nutmegged by some ponytail wearing cnut in the First Half. I could hear the 1886 man, “Oh, It’s like that!?!?” He was not pleased. A Half Time chat, some rehydrating, and a nice breather helped us refocus. El Cunto ran the show. I got stuck in on the ponytail wearing forward – his threat died like a candle blown in the wind but I have to give it to him, he was a decent player.

We pressed on and equalized. El Cunto was on fire. They capitulated. We wound up winning 15-10.

If this NYC North London Derby does happen, put your money on him to shine. And the Bermuda boys are eager to play so it should be fun if nothing else. Me on the other hand, well, just make sure EMTs are on call nearby.

Dante and I chatted the other day. He, like most Arsenal fans these days, has much to say about the current squad. Here are a few samplings from the conversation:

Agent 86: What has stood out for you so far this pre-season?

Dante: Arshavin gets it, after being blasted by an 18 y/o midfielder (Wilshere) for not getting back and doing his part I have seen a slight change in him.

Agent 86: I expect to see serious changes this season where he’s concerned. He owes us. He can be our Messi. I really believe he can be as good as any player in the game today if he puts his mind to it. I suppose it’s about motivation with him. I can’t hide how disappointed I’ve been. I thought we signed a legitimate world star, a football genius.

Dante: Against SK Sturm Graz I watched him point and speak to players about where to be when defending rather than trudging back on the wing head down. This ever so slight change if continued throughout the season could help to ease pressure on the back four.

Agent 86: I agree. There are times when all a defender needs is that little bit extra from a forward or a midfielder to get into a position that changes the opposition’s point of attack and kills a threat. It can be that added effort that gets us a result. Think back to Denilson’s jog back as Rooney and Nani broke away at The Emirates last season.

Switching gears, I‘ve noticed that Frimpong has gotten some very good reviews so far.

Dante: Wilshere/Frimpong instill fear! Not only to opposing pre-season teams but to my delight, in our own players. Our experienced midfielders know Jack is coming, Frimpong is coming, and if it hadn’t been for [insert any number of expletives that equal Northern troglodyte masking as a footballer in a candy-striped top], Ramsey would have arrived! Knowing that these Young Guns could replace you like for like in a game helps to remove complacency from the equation.

Agent 86: Well put! Wenger recently mentioned how you can’t be a top flight footballer without the expectation of having to compete for your place. That as much as anything needs to be addressed. We should have players who’ve experienced competition for places long enough by now. In the recent past, we haven’t had that ‘fear of losing your place’ factor playing in our favor. In fact, it’s time to just stop the general excuse that we are not experienced enough. Even our youngest squad players have gone out on loan and know what’s required of them.

Dante: All the pundits keep on harping on experience, all experience is (these are my [Dante’s] own words not quoted from anyone) is “knowing what you are up against and not fearing it”. Some players in our squad should take a lesson from Mr. Wilshere and Mr. Frimpong.

The conversation moved along swimmingly but we returned to ‘Arshavin the Salesman’:

Dante: I think the thing that will make Arshavin into an unstoppable machine is something simple, A FRIEND!!

At that point, I wandered away in thought. Wow! Could this be the key to sparking our Ruskii genii into action? The idea intrigued me.

Dante: He needs another Russian who is not a female or a pig – as we all know he hates them. He knows Clown 1 is on his way out. Everyone on the squad knows this. That’s why he has never featured*. Arshavin is about himself but when he sees that he can help himself and help the team he is in hence; “I have spoken with Arshavin about Arsenal and London life. He has only had good things to say about the club and the city. He said some very nice things about me going on to be the best goalkeeper in the world – and that he would like me to reach that goal at Arsenal with him.”

Agent 86: I hear you! And if the woman doubles as a pig, keep her from him at any cost. Seriously speaking though, I know that at least one of my colleagues at 1886 has expressed less than positive thoughts on signing Akinfeev but I’m willing to pay for his first 20 minutes’ wages if we sign him. I’d pay the entire first week but with economy and all…

[Clearly not moved by my pathetic attempts at humour] Dante: I watched some of the MLS vs. “The Giants of Europe” such as Man City, _pur_, and Manure. _pur_ will always look bad even if they win 100-0. Thierry did the business again against them on his debut. City looked pathetic and didn’t win a game the whole tour, and United lost to 10-man Kansas City. Now everyone will say, “Oh it’s just pre-season and the stars were not playing.”

Berbatov, Gibson, Giggs, Scholes, Fabio, Rafael, Nani, Welbeck, Macheda, Diouf, Evans, if you know who these players are then SHUT UP!!! STOP CRYING!!!

Agent 86: Cheers Dante! We’ll catch up with you real soon. I’ll work on the jokes if I have time after training for the derby. I promise. Buy the rest of the boys in Bermuda a round for me.

Finally, I found this bit by Arsene interesting:

“Djourou has a small hamstring problem but it is not bad. He should be available for the weekend. Rosicky had a small, small alert. He was supposed to play in the first half but he could have played. I didn’t want to take the gamble, it is only a little problem on his groin and I decided to replace him.”

It reminded me of when a very cynical Gooner (a guy we all at 1886 have butted heads with) once said that Wenger rushes players back from injury. He has far, far fewer sauces than The Informer (who at least can be entertaining) yet was convinced that Wenger was his own players’ worst enemy in that he will make them play while not 100% fit.

I wondered if there has ever been any truth to that when I read the quote above, which clearly shows that Arsene will err on the side of caution.

Chat later!

* Clown No. 1 started the match against SC Neusiedl 1919. Hopefully, it will be his last start in our uniform.

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