New Kit, More Cash, Tom’s Bashed & More


Money begets money is the corruption of biblical verse and Arsenal, starved of the oxygen of cash, are swimming in the stuff to the extent that Stan has been forced to bring his water wings out of retirement. Images of what purports to be the new kit on sale in what is alleged to be an official Puma store in the Far East are circulating it is very similar to the top Thierry Henry wore in a snap earlier in the year, harking back to The Invincibles style top on first glance. It acts as some validation that the time of wine and roses, financially speaking, is imminent yet it is a double-edged sword – or is it more its Damaclesean cousin – as there can be no excuse for any failure to invest properly in the squad. As the de facto owner of the club, he will be only too happy for the coffers to be replenished as well as receiving a reported net €10m for a player that the club has now sold twice to the same buyer. No wonder the likes of Madrid and Barcelona regularly include buy-back clauses in deals; it is money for old rope.

Carlos Vela made the right noises about Arsenal but there is no doubt he thrived in Spain, particularly in San Sebastián. Good luck to the player but I wonder if those hyping Joel Campbell need to take a step back and consider the similarities between the two players and their situations. Despite being awarded a Work Permit last summer, Campbell was loaned once again. The assumption is that he has continued to develop in Greece and now Costa Rica at the World Cup.

He’s played well, as have his countrymen generally, but an awful lot of people are proclaiming this as a sign of his readiness for the Premier League in the same way that Vela’s performances in the League Cup were merely a pre-cursor to greater things. It didn’t happen but instead of being taken as a warning of what can happen, it’s treated as an inconvenience. I hope Campbell does well at Arsenal, he seems a talented enough player but is he the answer? Is he going to be the Second Coming or should we be thinking of him as a nice too have, someone to nurture through rather that setting him on a pedestal?

Talking of the Costa Ricans, their performances in the group games has led to eulogies bring directed toward them to the extent that the eventual winners will be less well received. It’s over the top, of course, and were they an English club side, they would be known as “plucky little Costa Rica” for their efforts. The reactions to England’s exit has been the opposite end of the spectrum but no less hysterical. Such has been the deluge of material, it cannot be long before a new literary genre emerges; who I wonder, will pen the seminal piece?

Perspective in the introspection is also missing. Let’s not forget that one of two higher ranking nations, perceived as better sides, is in trouble; one of Italy or Uruguay is going home this week as well. Have England performed so badly against expectations? Barney Ronay’s article is one of the few where sanity has prevailed. Unsurprisingly, it is The Heil with its vituperative yappy dog in chief, Neil Ashton, that is throwing enough mud in the hope it will stick. It has become so pathetic that ‘Appy ‘Arry claims England players ducked out of international duty. No names, no pack drill, of course yet has anybody stopped to criticise Redknapp for agreeing to those requests? His unsuitability for the a England job is emphasised every time he opens his mouth.

The problems within the English game are nothing new and it is entirely unsurprising that there is no coherence in anysolution. If we cannot even agree on the question, what hope is there of finding the answer?

The World Cup continued apace with Belgium continuing their winning start to the tournament with Thomas Vermalen’s chances of moving to Manchester United taking a knock. Well, his leg did and God alone knows what’s going on. It must have been like The Keystone Cops in the Belgian dressing room because Vermaelen now has a knee injury. I’m guessing that he was on a stretcher carried by Laurel and Hardy who promptly dropped him having slipped on the marble floor. On the pitch, he wasn’t overly missed, beating Russia to progress to the next round. Who joins them is open to debate; Algeria battered South Korea and need to avoid defeat against Russians in the final game to achieve that aim.

The other game was a belter, Portugal got off to a flyer with an unbelievable finish from Nani. It was incredible that he actually scored rather producing the usual pigs ear of a miss for which he is more noted. What should have been the prelude to victory was nothing of the sort as they were overwhelmed by playing three teams at once, a fact that the USA! USA! USA! were eager to exploit and did so successfully, forcing Portugal onto the back foot and creating the more dangerous opportunities. Jones drew them level with a marvellous shot before Dempsey bundled home. All well and good, Portugal heading for the airport to catch the same flight as England but, and this what England genuinely lack, the mercurial player to make a difference. It won’t be often that Varela sees his name that close yo a word but it isn’t that often he gets on the end of a Ronaldo cross. Two-all and it means goal difference is going to come into play unless USA!USA!USA! can conjure an improbable victory over Germany. It is set for the most fascinating of the final group matches.

’til Tomorrow.

187 thoughts on “New Kit, More Cash, Tom’s Bashed & More

  1. @North

    I’m not saying the ref didn’t have a good game but at the same time I think he allowed the Dutch to just hack down the Chileans with no punishment. I do think that there were some really blatant calls that were missed(especially de Jong’s foul that went uncalled right before the 2nd goal when Chile was really pressing).

  2. Brasil


  3. Croatia



    ——————-Dos Santos—Peralta

  4. @North

    I wouldn’t have minded seeing Jo start uptop with Bernard on for Hulk with Fernandinho in for Paulinho to help quicken the pace of the game. Hopefully Oscar will decide to show up but I fear that Mourinho has damage him for forever.

  5. @North

    I think they will step up when they need to, we just gotta keep plugging along. I do have worry about playing Chile in the round of 16 though.

    You should be a bit worried about your Belgium pick there my friend.

  6. I don’t mind if Brazil wins ugly as long as they keep winning, though I would much rather if they do lose, they lose playing their style.

  7. Really need Bernard’s creativity. Oscar centrally is better than putting him out wide. Hulk/Fred… whatever. It is down to Neymar. But if they can’t batter Cameroon, they don’t deserve to go forward much less take top of the group.

  8. Hope Jack has a good game and shows them what they’ve been missing. Still, I’d like CR to win and top the group. Much easier to get past the next round that way.

  9. @LSG

    I think with Bernard in the side, he would take a lot of the creative pressure off of Neymar because he is such a little talent of pace and creativity. The issue for me is that if Hulk can’t cut inside on his left than he is useless because it then forces Oscar out wide and he isn’t effective out there.

  10. Agreed, C. Isn’t Scolari worried about yellow card suspensions? Maybe he’ll take players off to protect them if Brazil get a good lead.

  11. So far Cameroon looking better against Brazil than they did against either Mexico or Croatia. Come on Brazil. Get organized back there.

  12. I think the one player that I think has had a bad tournament and it wasn’t expected is Paulinho. He hasn’t been as influential as he normally is. He seems like he is unsure and normally he is such a driving creative force from that box-to-box role.

  13. That is why I want Gustavo last summer and I wouldn’t mind having him this year!! Though I know Wolfsburg won’t sell him.

    That is Gustavo’s goal, high pressed and put a inch perfect pass that all Neymar had to do was tap in.

  14. True, Paulinho is poor so far. That’s what I remember about Gustavo: dispossess, drive and make a nice pass.

  15. @LSG

    That was a brilliant play from Gustavo not just the ball in but being able to take the ball off the Cameroon player’s foot and quickly turn defending into attack in whipping that ball in.

  16. Neymar can have a poor club season but when he puts on teh yellow, he is simply fanastic.

    Turn it on boys turn it on!

  17. If Brazil don’t score three, it will be disappointing. Need to put in some of these excellent chances.

    Ref is certainly letting them play.

  18. I completely agree.

    I don’t understand why they don’t play at this pace all the time but I guess I should be accustomed to it with Arsenal.

    Of course Cameroon would.

  19. Brazil kit is ugly with the white shorts. Cameron’s Puma is stylish. But like all of them, too skin tight for my full approbation.

  20. @LSG

    Well remember how dejected Paulinho looked when he was introduced as a Spuds player. He looked absolutely gutted but was happy to helpout his Brazilian club.

  21. Neymar has been sublime. Showed some amazing vision and skillful tricks, determined dribbling, speedy and energetic running and closing down, and cool finishing. Living up to the hype.

    The problem is any off game, like v. Mexico and Brazil look utterly bereft of ideas.

  22. Still totally in the balance. Brazil very vulnerable at the back and needs to finish more of the chances to put this away or Cameroon can keep living in hope and pushing forward.

  23. People wonder why Marcelo and Alves can go bombing forward whenever they want….its because of Gustavo’s ability to cover for both of them.

    A proper CDM he is and Arsenal need one.

  24. So the mustache works. He won’t be shaving it next game, that’s for sure!

    Probably take off Silva and Neymar soon to keep them from getting yellows and suspended for the Chile match.

  25. And Willian, who comes on for Neymar. Lots of these sorts of players but not many creative or goal scori g threats.

    Oscar still not really playing well.

  26. It’d be interesting to review the predictions after the group stages Limey – I’m only saying that cause I picked Mexico to qualify ahead of Croatia of course. I don’t think that anyone went for Costa Rica, or predicted that Spain would capitulate either. Still expecting Argentina to steadily improve and grind out a win come July 13th.

  27. @Moe

    As a Brasil fan, I would have much rather faced the Dutch than Chile. I do think that Mexico might cause the Dutch some trouble

  28. I agree Andy. We can confess some our mistakes and assess the tournament via our predictions so far.

  29. Miami, just catching up on your post about Robben beating Theo’s fastest speed.

    You may have missed it but apparently the 37km/hr speed of Robben was fudged. According to FIFA’s official numbers he actually ran at 31km/hr, which at the end of the second round of Group matches places him third at the World Cup.

    Aurier has now clocked the fastest speed at the World Cup as per my earlier post, though still not as quick as Theo’s speed last year.

    Theo – 35.7
    Aurier – 33.52
    Snar – 32.98
    Robben – 31.03

    Of course, to get a true measure would require a bit deeper analysis over a longer sample – if the point where you are required to sprint at full speed is later in the game fatigue will hamper your capacity.

    But regardless of the exact figures, the actual point I was making in my earlier post was that with the addition of Aurier (fingers crossed) our right hand side becomes even more frightening for opposing left backs and would appear to likely be the quickest in the League (and perhaps beyond).

    See the following references (sorry not sure how to link them):

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