Monday, November 24, 2008

Captain My Captain Or Rather Capitán Mi Capitán

It seemed so obvious that it's hard to call it 'news' but it's a) it's official and b) it's the first non-disastrous thing to happen at the Emirates in a few weeks. Anyway, Cesc is now the captain.

This comes on the heels of Wengner telling Gallas that he can have his position back for tomorrow's Champions League match if he mans up and apologizes to his teammates.

It's not like things are fixed. As much of a shit as Gallas has been, the Gunners actually need him in central defense as evidenced by Silvestre and Clichy (was it?) getting in each other's way as they gifted the ball to Stephen Ireland for City's first goal Saturday. I'd rather have an borderline crazy person with skills marshalling the backline than a 4-man sieve lest Arsenal slip farther away from the rest of the Big 4 (of which the Gunners are only honorary member at this point in the season).

The Guardian Rumour Mill is reporting that Willie might be off PSG so he can scream and cry in his native tongue. Of course they are also rumoring that RvP might be off to Milan. Fuck me.

Anyway, it's still a bit of a mess and it gets worse before it gets better as Arsenal goes to Stamford Bridge this weekend. The primary hope at this point is that a ball-swelling staph infection starts running through the Chelsea clubhouse sometime toward the end of the week. Short of that, maybe some bodies get healthy and Arsnene can field a proper PL squad (read: No Bendtner). Also maybe Scolari will line up and play football a la Sir Alex. Teams that put 10 men at the edge of the 18, then proceed to get physical have had their way with the Gunners this season. Teams that want to play open, flowing football still find they are in for a match (save Villa who both beat up and outplayed Arsenal).

Anyway, it's going to be a long season. And it's going to seem even longer. Then when it's over a lot of really good players might leave. Maybe giving Cesc the armband forestalls one departure for at least another season.


Sarah said...


Mike Georger said...

for as big of a french douchebag as he no doubt it, can that defense afford to lose gallas even as a shell of himself?

hockalees said...

I agree with your last paragraph, and said last week that I hoped making Cesc captain would convince him to stay.

Whose contracts are up at the end of the year for Arsenal? The global financial crisis might actually keep some players who are under contract around long enough to honor them. I have to believe that the days of insane money for questionable talent might be gone in the short run.

Precious Roy said...

Define 'short run.' Yeah it might keep Adebayor around for another year but even in a depressed market some players might bolt after another trophy-less season, especially if it doesn't look like players are coming in to make things better.

Goat said...

At last. As we saw on Saturday, Gallas was the sole cause of all of Arsenal's problems.

Goat said...

Also, I might as well take this opportunity to beg for advice on soccer friendly bars in otherwise soccer unfriendly places. This week's installment: Augusta, GA. I'll be there this weekend and while I could drive to Atlanta, I'm not sure that would go over so well with the wife or in-laws. So, if any UF readers out there are from Augusta and know of somewhere I might watch the Arsenal game, I would be eternally grateful.

Keith said...

Jeez, Roy, why don't you write about something other than Arsenal?

/Wandering Bear

For real, though, Generally, I'd be kind of sad over Arsenal's downfall, as they are the top 4 team that I can stand most (ranking goes Gunners, Red Scouse, ManUre, a deep, deep chasm, and then Chelski), but honestly, Villa's inconsistent play-- really, let's lose to Newcastle and freaking Middlesbrough, and then run off two straight clean sheets on Arsenal and United-- means that we need you to falter, because it's not going to be the other three unless Stevie G misses significant time. But a CL spot for the Villa at the expense of Arsenal would still be a touch bittersweet.

hockalees said...

Define short run

Well, however long it takes to recover from the impending meltdown. I fully suspect football teams to start imploding the same way that banks, auto companies and insurance groups have been in the last two months. There will be rumblings in the press about potential problems and then sudden collapses. Teams like Liverpool (just sayin') would be quickly propped up, but there aren't enough oligarchs to go around. Other teams will get skittish and the days of $14mil for a serviceable British-born midfielder would be over.

I guess we should just kiss Adebayor goodbye then? The League Cup wasn't enough to keep Keane and Berbatov. Does Ade even care about the FA Cup?

I get tired of the old saw from players about "I just want to win trophies." They should all be forced to admit, "I just want to be paid shitloads of cash, and if I can win some trophies that will make my ability to get more cash that much greater... then by all means, I want to win those trophies. Did I mention I like cash?"

My favorite Gunner was Henry, and when he left for Barca, we heard it was for the chance to win trophies. Then two weeks later, we find out he's getting a divorce. I hear those things are pretty expensive. And we all know that Beckham came to America to win the MLS Cup. Adebayor proved this summer that he's all about the cash, so he, too, will leave eventually. We should hav esold him in August and bought three "Vela"s with the money. In retrospect, it couldn't have turned out worse for us.

bergkampesdios said...

Goat - I don't know that they're screened for quality, but Fox Soccer keeps a list of pubs that are FSC subscribers, with useful info on others (like if the owner supports a particular team). There's at least one in Augusta on the list.
I think it speaks volumes about the state of the club that as wrong as he is for this position at this time in his career and these circumstances at the club, he probably is the best choice. Unfortunately I don't see him staying on beyond this season. If they fall apart he'll want a fresh start somewhere, and if they pull it together and win something he's the savior hero. Either way, it'll be a good time to go.

Andrew said...

All this doom and gloom grates me, so I suppose I'll play the fuck who takes the contratrian point of view:

The Gunners have been woefully inconsistent in the Prem. If this year has proven anything, it's that Wenger's gliding, swift football has to be grounded by a strong midfield and fearless attacking. Hopefully the January transfer window will help the Arsenal solve these problems (Podolski, please!)

Yet, we're in the quarters in Carling (yeah, shit cup, still . . .), the FA Cup hasn't even begun, and we're top of our CL group (albeit, a weak CL group). There are still plenty of opportunities for silverware this season - some more probable than others. There is still a whole lot of season to play, and nothing is for certain. Remember: the ball is round and the game is 90 minutes; all else is theory.

As a Gunner, this is how I sleep at night. Avec tears.

ü75 said...

@Goat--Sorry it took me overnight to think about this. You might want to look into Indigo Joe's. I presume that it is like the one in my hometown in that it is filled with TVs and has DirecTV's sports package. Meaning GolTV, FSC and Setanta.

Augusta otherwise isn't such a hotbed for soccerbars. The only one I could find a listing for closed down a few months back. I don't know what Indigo Joe's hours are, but here is their contact info:
3730 Wheeler Road
Augusta, Georgia 30909
Phone: 706-922-5637

Good luck