Aston Villa – I Can Hardly Wait

Yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever, it doesn’t matter when. The anticipation leading up to kick off is almost indescribable. I won’t waste time trying to find words. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you know just what I’m feeling. The difference today is that this particular fixture has taken on an entirely new meaning since 15 November, 2008.

When I took my seat at the Emirates that night – wicked seat by the way, thanks to fellow Gooner Rich – I felt no different to any other time I’d been to an Arsenal match. I was excited, pumped up and ready to go. I was equally confident, even if quietly so. My view of the opponent is always the same. I never think of losing.

I’d never seen Arsenal lose a match before, not reserves, not first team, never. We’d drawn here and there but never lost. It was a record in which I took as much pride as a non-playing participant could do.

Aston Villa were never a club that gave me much angst. I even pulled for them to win it all back in ’93 when they finished second to United. We were not even close that season, finishing 16 and 18 points behind third placed Norwich and second placed Villa, respectively. The Champions finished 28 points ahead of us. I desperately wanted someone to catch them. As long as it wasn’t Spurs, I didn’t care who did.

I’ve dealt with last season’s defeat to Martin O’Neill but let’s be clear, the bitter taste lingers even if the pain has subsided. The fact that there was a significant amount of turmoil going on inside our club at the time, some of which we’d learn more about after the fact, hasn’t helped me accept that we were soundly beaten that day.

I remember the mass hysteria amongst a large section of Arsenal fans last season as much as I do the humiliating defeats to Chelsea and United. I remember the cries for Arsene to step down. After Agbonlohor scored the second Villa goal, a guy seated near me stood up and shouted, “WHAT NOW WENGER?” The look on his face was representative of how a lot of Gooners felt. I remember having to accept another season without a trophy. It all hurt. Walking back to the tube station that night was awful.

There are a few new faces in both sides this time around. Most notably, Villa have a resurgent Richard Dunne. We have Andrey Arshavin. Alex Song was an unused sub last season. Oh how things have changed where he’s concerned.

Gareth Barry was very good for Villa that night. Agbonlohor was at his Formula 1 best. Gael Clichy and William Gallas were not. Alex Song’s and Andrey Arshavin’s presence will make a significant difference tomorrow. I also feel that Friedel is not the same keeper who kept out Thierry Henry efforts for fun over the years. He pulled off one of the best saves I’ve ever seen in this fixture last season when he palmed away a superb header by Togo. The big keeper has still got loads to offer but we’ve also seen some erosion of that ability.

There’s the pride factor on our side. Villa came into our homes and spanked us good. That needs to be addressed. We were all pretty bad that day.

I’ve called for more urgency, more heart, more commitment from our boys in recent weeks. They’ve responded but the consistency of a champion is still missing. Villa is a must, must win tomorrow. It’s a fantastic opportunity to put some distance between us and a team that can boast victories over Liverpool, Chelsea, and United.

They’ve also lost to Wigan, Blackburn, and West Ham so they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. And after all, they are managed by Martin O’Neill. Nuff said!

COME ON ARSENAL!!!

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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

2009/10 Season Preview Part One

The new season starts on Saturday. Instead of looking at the current Arsenal squad, I am going to concentrate on the so-called Battle For 4th Spot. Starting with:

ASTON VILLA
Martin O’Neill is another Phil Brown but slightly tamer. Remember his gay celebrations when Villa scored against us? I do. What about when he fronted Wenger on the touchline at Villa Park? Acting hard and talking up his team is what Martin O’Neill is all about. He sounds just like Phil Brown.

Villa deserved to beat us at The Emirates 2-0 back in December, but the 2-2 draw at Villa Park was my lowest point of last season.

I want revenge.

I want James Milner and Ashley Young to suffer pain. Remember Villa were shocking in the second half of last season. So why believe the hype surrounding them? After all, they have a 40 year old keeper, lost their captain, signed an expensive crock and a teenager who has only played Division 1 football. Delph has been bought to replace Ashley Young who will join one of the big four next summer – and that big four does not include Villa.

Villa won’t be the surprise that they were last season. Wankers.

EVERTON
Tough first game of the season. But Everton away is always a tough fixture. I would rather play Everton now, when the weather is still nice and the pitches are in good condition, than in the winter. Last season, van Persie scored a last minute equalizer in the January fog after that Aussie, Cunthill scored from a corner. Everton are another team tipped to take 4th spot from Arsenal. This is because they finished 5th in the Premiership and reached the FA cup final after knocking Man United’s reserves out in a semi-final penalty shoot out.

I’m not a big Everton fan. They play long ball and rely on crosses and set pieces for goals. David Moyes seems like a drill Sargeant and Phil Neville is scum. Jo is their only signing and Lescott looks as though he’s off to Man City, only to be replaced by Senderos. Hardly an improvement. 4th spot – fuck off.

SPURS
Palacios is a good signing but Bassong will be another Dawson. After all, he played for Newcastle and helped them get relegated. Peter Crouch is awkward and a threat in the air, but he’s not Luis Fabiano. The Scum also signed two unknows from Sheffield United who will turn out be the new Bale and Bostock – nobody’s in other words. Spurs will not have the terrible start to the season that they had last year. However, they will never make the top four either.

Carling Cup finals provide The Scum with a false sense of superiority. Harry Redknapp is now expected to provide Scum fans with the 4th spot that they so badly crave. If he can’t deliver, he will join his thicko son Jamie as a pundit and quit coaching. Last season, The Scum got a lucky 4-4 draw. That chav Bentley went mental. Clichy fucked up that day. I want revenge badly. Good to see Bentley get arrested for drink driving.

Cont.

MANCHESTER CITY
Spending money on big transfer fees has never guaranteed you anything. Teams need time to gel. City fans are expectant. A mediocre start and Mark Hughes will get the sack. And that’s what will happen to City. 4th spot is still a pipe dream for them.

LIVERPOOL
Alonso is a big loss. Arbeloa will be too. Mascherano would love to join them. Carragher is getting on. Aquilani is injured and Glen Johnson is way overpriced.

Pundits believe Liverpool will be champions.

I think otherwise.

Liverpool are in the fight for fourth spot. They are too reliant on Torres and Gerrard. Kuyt and Benayoun are underated and more dangerous than people give them credit for but who else have they got?

Voronin? Lucas? Ngog? Babel?

Please!

People need to realize that Liverpool will not do the double over Man United and Chelsea, like they did last season. They will also lose to Arsenal at The Emirates.

Liverpool fans are in for a shock.

So are Arsenal fans.

Arsenal are going to surprise you.

Villa and Bolton

Today, I watched Bolton Wanderers versus Aston Villa.

Why did I bother.

It was like attending a Southern Baptist church.

It was stale, boring, full of crosses, with Martin O’Neill acting like a nutty evangelical preacher – jumping up and down gesturing at nothing and remonstrating with his coaching staff over certain refereeing decisions such as throw-ins or offsides. Occasionally the crowd would sing crap songs – about how Bolton were the greatest team the world has ever seen. That world is obviously full of blind people and guide dogs. The Villa chant wasn’t much better. It went like this:

Villa
Villa
Villa

I know what you are thinking. The lyrics are difficult to memorize.

On 43 minutes Villa scored. Ashley Young put in a cross, a Villa player missed the header and the ball went in off the post. The goal was a fluke. But the commentator started talking about Villa taking 4th spot. I laughed inside.

The second half was the same. Crosses, headers, long balls from the back, tough tackles and not much else. Those wankers that say that the English Premiership is the best in the world need to watch this game – it was worse than MLS.

On 60 minutes, Bolton equalized. A cross, a defensive error, a goal. Bolton’s fans celebrated as though a revelation had just happened – no Bolton fans, it was the average Tamir Cohen scoring a shit goal.

The game painfully continued, just like a painfully boring sermon in some crusty Baptist Church. Both sets of supporters sang nothing songs about their loyalty to their clubs, and both teams played long, protracted, football. I was bored just like I would be sitting in a pew in any stale church in the South.

The ref only played 2 minutes of added time, saving me and plenty of others from the threat of being brainwashed by the commentator who kept on telling me that Martin O’Neill had worked miracles. Let’s get this straight, not even Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela worked miracles so how the fuck has Martin O’Neill?

The commentator later said that David Moyes should win Manager of the Year. For what? Getting to an FA cup final, reaching 6th in the Premier league? Or for not even making the group stages of the UEFA cup and then losing to Blackburn in the Carling cup 3rd round.

I then came to a conclusion about Bolton and Aston Villa. Bolton are like a hemorrhoid on your penis, while Villa are the herpes of the Premier League. Every so often they have a good season by threatening to finish in the top six by playing really painful football. They then get knocked out of the UEFA cup by playing their reserve team, complain about their small squads and then try and enter the Intertoto cup in order to qualify for the UEFA cup again. Genius!

That pathetic competition has now been disbanded, so Villa will instead try and break into the top four by buying more average international players like Nicky Shorey and James Milner. Those players can’t even break into the England squad. But the point is they’re English, which is more than Arsenal can say about their squad!

It was 13 games ago when Villa last won a match. Yet Martin O’Neill says:

“Overall I have been delighted with the team and on the whole we have been playing pretty well.”

12 games and zero wins is shocking. On the whole, Villa have played football similar to that of Stoke. Horrible! Overall, I would be disgusted by Villa’s results, but I support Arsenal, so I find them a complete joke.

If Arsenal win their next two Premiership games, they can look forward to more Champions League football next season. Villa on the other hand will disappear, only to reappear some time later like a bad hemorrhoid or a dose of herpes on the Premiership landscape.

English Managers

It’s strange how Aston Villa have slipped away from people’s thoughts. Villa have now failed to win in eight Premiership matches. A shocking record that would have seen most managers sacked by now. Paul Ince was fired as Blackburn Rovers boss for only winning 3 games out of 17 Premiership matches. Tony Adams was sacked as Portsmouth boss for only winning 2 games in 16 matches – this was after he sold his two best players – Defoe and Diarra – in January.

If Villa fail to beat Bolton on Saturday, then the vultures should be circling over Martin O’Neill’s head – but they won’t. O’Neill has immunity from the sack. This season has been deemed a success for him:

Knocked out of the Carling 3rd round by QPR at home
Knocked out of the last 32 of the UEFA cup after squeezing through the group stages
Knocked out of the last 16 of the FA cup
Last won a match February 7, 2009

Compare O’Neill’s record with Wenger’s this season:

Carling Cup quarter-finals
FA cup semi-finals
Champions League semi-finals
Unbeaten in the last 18 Premiership matches

This season was Villa’s only chance of making the top four. They blew it. Next season Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton and even Spurs will be stronger. Villa will be weaker. Gareth Barry will leave and so will Ashley Young if he has any sense. Their replacements will be players in the class of Stuart Downing or Tom Huddlestone. Pretenders to international football.

Ever wondered what happened to Barry’s replacement this season – Steven Sidwell? The player who left Arsenal to enhance his career by being a sub at Aston Villa and an expensive reserve at Chelsea.

No neither have I.

The 29 year old Stiliyan Petrov is deemed a better player by O’Neill, so much so that Villa have offered him a new three year deal. Clowns!

Below is the current top 10 Premier League table:

Alex Ferguson
Rafa Benitez
Guus Hiddink
Arsene Wenger
Martin O’Neill
David Moyes
Gianfranco Zola
Roy Hodgson
Harry Redknapp
Mark Hughes

The rest of the Premiership is full English managers such as Gary Megson, Phil Brown, Sam Allardyce, and Paul Hart. It doesn’t take a genius to see why the FA appointed Fabio Cappello.

And for any Gooners out there who still have hopes of Tony Adams managing Arsenal I leave you with a quote made by the ex-Arsenal captain back in November 2008:

“I don’t actually like people. I’m a loner and if I had my way I would just walk my dogs everyday, never talk to anyone and then die.”

Foreign coaches in my opinion are still the best. Apart from Roy Hodgson, name me one current English coach that has been a success abroad. Exactly!

Louis van Gaal yesterday won the Dutch title yesterday with AZ Alkmaar – the Dutch club second title in their history. His budget was 25 million pounds and that includes transfers and players wages etc. This is much less than what most Premier league clubs receive from just their TV rights income.

Van Gaal has won 4 Dutch titles and 2 La Liga titles.

If I were the owner of Aston Villa, I would seriously consider hiring him for the start of next season. But then we’re talking about Aston Villa and an owner called Randy.

What a joke.

Not Good Enough

“You would have to say now there won’t be much of a threat from us to Arsenal’s position,” said O’Neill. “It’s no fluke that the top four are where they are and we are in a dip right now. We are not as strong as those four clubs. I have said it many times before and I will say it again – we still have a lot of catching up to do. It is still reachable as Arsenal have many tough games to come. But they are getting some of their injured players back and it’s going to be very, very tough.”

Nothing is said and done yet but to read the preceding makes me feel like maybe I do know what I’m talking about. I all but guaranteed that we would get our act together and overtake Villa. Many Gooners doubted me. I won’t get carried away but speaking frankly, I humbly say that it didn’t take a genius to realize that:

1. O’Neill’s men would be riding on fumes sooner or later with such a small squad, and get this, NO PLAN B. Does that sound familiar?
2. Arsenal have more experienced yet even younger players. Many of whom have been down this road before. Villa haven’t.
3. Martin O’Neill is not a top manager, he is a pretender. Which of the top four EPL clubs would hire him tomorrow if they needed a manager?

The man’s approach was always going to leave room for questions. In a league that is so demanding physically, a stronger bench and the proverbial Plan B are almost mandatory for the type of success Villa are trying to achieve.

The wave of anti Wenger policies will not die until this current group of players win a major trophy but they are experienced enough to face the challenge of finishing fourth. At the time of writing, they’ve at least ensured that their fate (as far as fourth place goes) is in their hands. I wouldn’t bet against finishing higher. Time will tell.

Success in the SPL is not necessarily a guarantee of success in the more demanding and certainly more competitive EPL. I hear doubts from Villa fans now even about finishing fifth. Judging by Martin O’Neill’s body language after the trashing at Anfield last Sunday (certainly a stark contrast to that joyful leap after Zat Knight equalized against us at Villa Park), I understand their doubt.

I’m sure Mr. O’Neill is good at what he does but I am not sure if he is good enough.

Who’s Jumping Now?

null

Last night a mediocre Aston Villa lost 2-0 to an injury hit Manchester City. Arsenal are now 3 points behind Villa in the race for 4th spot in the Premiership. On Sunday morning, I like many other Arsenal fans, thought that by the end of the weekend, Villa would be 8 points ahead. So to be only 3 points behind them is massive.

The photograph above represents the exact moment when I was at my lowest this season. Villa had just scored a last minute equalizer against Arsenal after the Gunners had led 2-0. Throughout that game, Martin O’Neill was jumping up and down the touchline like an over-excited contestant on The Price Is Right.

Usually his sleeves are rolled up to his elbows – Is it a subconscious message to his team? Or is he getting ready to fix the toilet at half-time?

O’Neill has the same fashion sense of Brian Clough. The look of tramps.

Both men were at Nottingham Forest together and judging by O’Neill’s attire it shows. On match days, Clough and O’Neill like to wear old looking sweat shirts from the local thrift store. You know the tops. They’re also worn by the homeless beggar who sits outside of one of London’s many tube stations, asking you for change while sipping on a big can of cider.

But then there’s O’Neill’s enthusiasm, which rubs off on to his players like some tarts cheap perfume. Villa fans and the media love O’Neil’s enthusiasm. They call it infectious. I call it annoying. It’s similar to the enthusiasm shown by the losers that celebrate getting a question right on Trivia night. They think they are really cool by having a team name like the Brainiacs and trying to relive their college drinking days. Here’s my message to them: Get a life you sad fucks.

Trivia night is not the Oscars and O’Neill is not Arsene Wenger.

At one point during that 2-2 Villa game, O’Neill violently confronted Wenger. It was like watching a teenager getting fresh, then backing down after realizing he was out of his league. Pathetic.

I will always remember the Villa game for the wrong reasons. Agbonlahor diving and constantly moaning to the referee. The commentator always reminding me that Villa are the better team because they hit the bar and the post and had a shot cleared of the line. The Villa crowd taunting Wenger.

However, O’Neill’s leaping celebrations will stand out the most. It shows no class. But then he’s a tramp so what did I expect?

Here’s a trivia question for O’Neill.

This time three years ago what league position did Arsenal occupy?

6th

And where did they finish?

4th

Like I said, trivia night is not the Oscars and Martin O’Neill is not Arsene Wenger.

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