- Copperhead Road
- Telephone Road
- More Than I Can Do
- She’s Gone
- Ft. Worth Blues
- I Feel Alright
- Poison Lovers
- The Other Side Of Town
- Somewhere Out There
- Billy Austin
Grab it here.
Part Three tomorrow. Part One is available here.
A very quiet Sunday with very little substantive or even new Transfer Gossip. The usual suspects are in the frame:
If anything is to happen, I do not expect it before Wednesday – and even then I’m not holding my breath – due to the imminent match in Zagreb. After that, if nothing happens before the weekend, I will not be despondent as the big KO is still a fortnight away.
Meanwhile, the Mutinous Midget has apparently been left out of the Zagreb squad, according to the press because of his impending move across London. I am not one to back Cole but on this occasion I will. Whilst his, ahem, injury is too convenient, he has only been in training for a week so if Henry is not fit to play then Cole is not either. That said, the rumours abound that Kenyon and Dein were negotiating a deal this weekend so he could be off later this week, the fee supposedly £20m.
First of a three parter:
Grab it here.
Last nights’ 3 – 0 win over AZ Alkmaar marked the end of the pre-season workouts for the first team squad. The serious stuff is now upon us. Whether Arsene learnt anything new is open to debate. The forward line shorn of Thierry Henry looked fine until they got into the penalty area, van Persie and Adebayour were lively and passed well. The midfield worked hard and harried, plenty of effort and on this basis, Freddie Ljungberg will struggle to displace Hleb in the side. Fabregas picked up where he left off last season and Reyes provided some welcome relief on the left by looking as if he is ready for the new season at The Emirates.
Defensively though there appears to be plenty of work to do. Eboue on the right continues to get forward well but some of his passing was sloppy and he struggled at times, positionly naive. Toure and Djourou looked exactly what they were – two centre halves who have not played together much. The latter looks as if he will be a good player in years to come, useful in the opposing area but whether he is ready for the rigours of the Premiership remains to be seen. I for one would feel more comfortable with an experienced player in that position. As for left back, if anything was proved last night then holding onto Ashley Cole for another season (or until the January window at least) may not be such a bad idea as Flamini had a mare in the first half and Hoyte looked ill at ease on the left. As for Almunia, the clean sheet is deceptive. He looked ring rusty, which may be generous, and was not in control of his area. This may be part of the reason the defence looked awry as his lack of confidence would be transmitted to the younger players or in Toure’s case, may not be there in the first place.
In terms of the opposition, Alkmaar seem to be of a standard that one would expect Zagreb to play at but the latter will probably be adept at holding onto the ball for longer spells. That is one thing Arsenal have to learn to do, kill the game with spells of ball retention. Still, it was a friendly and the coaching staff now have a couple of days to work things out if the trip to Zagreb is to be fruitful.
One last thing. Can someone at The Emirates make sure that Wenger has a box of tissues handy. His little finger was up his nose so often it looked like a growth. Either that or tell Arsene to have a good root around before he goes onto the pitch because if Dutch TV catches him picking his nose every time he is shown then he is going to provide a wealth of ammunition for Soccer AM this coming season.
Moving onto to transfer news and it seems that the longest saga in transfer history has closed with Fran Merida making an appearance at Borehamwood last night. The Spaniard who finally joined the club must be in his mid thirties now, the rumours of his signing starting so long ago when he was still a teenager. On the subject of Spaniards, it is good to see Jose Antonio Reyes has sorted his career out post football. His chosen profession appears that of a ventriloquists dummy as words are apparently being put in his mouth so often. For the second time in a week, the clubs website is carrying a denial about reports this time in Marca about wanting to move to Madrid. This time though he has categorically stated, “I do not want to leave Arsenal“. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. And look at that, a whole post without once mentioning the deadly dull Ashley Cole to Chelsea story…