Haven’t posted the whole of last week, so I want to make up for lost time. Let’s get through some of the biggest things that happened since the United game.
1 – Eduardo banned for diving against Celtic
This is the most ridiculous decision that UEFA had made and that is certainly saying a lot, what with UEFA trying their utmost to make the game better by making it worse.
How they can wait for a total of three years since the inception of the law that deception of the referee means a ban, and to make an example out of Arsenal and Eduardo brings about the following questions:
– Why make an example of a dive that resulted in a goal that isn’t necessary in deciding a game? Arsenal did win 5-1 on aggregate, not 1-0 for goodness’ sake.
– Why were other bigger names in football not be made an example of? Especially those dives that did decide the results of games? Aka Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney (who said “I never intentionally dive”, proving once and for all he never did well in school in his mother tongue), Didier Drogba and many others whom managed to win penalties against Arsenal?
– Are UEFA and FIFA prepared to look into every foul, every dive, every goal and assess every notable incident of every game? If they are, then they need to increase their headcount drastically. If not, then they have no right to ban Eduardo and to make us feel like we owe them something.
– When John Terry came out and said “English lads never dive” that is a whole load of bull. How many times have we seen Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Steven Taylor, Joe Cole all resort to first class acting? Why are none of them being made an example of?
I am not condoning Eduardo’s “dive” but I really see why he might have done so. If he has a reputation of diving, then this would not have been the first time he has been accused. This is the first “dive” since his recovery from his broken ankle. I genuinely believe he was trying to get out of the way out of instinct. If the referee gave a penalty for it, then who would refuse? Do not give me the example of Robbie Fowler who dived against Arsenal and then waved to the referee that he wasn’t fouled. That is of no importance because at the end of the day, he DID step up and scored that undeserved penalty. If he is a real sortsman that everyone is making him out to be then he would have missed on purpose. But no sane person is going to do that.
This is an absolute disgrace and I feel if this cannot be overturned then Arsenal should turn every wrong decision to UEFA and report it. Drain all of their energy and ban all evil-doers against Arsenal. If they refuse to do anything then it would be clear to the rest of the world that UEFA is a biased organisation. In fact, Arsenal should start a brand new department in picking out wrong decisions against us in every game, compile a report and send it to UEFA and demand a reply within a week. I won’t even mind doing it for free.
2 – No additional signings on top of Vermaelen
Moving along, it wasn’t a big surprise that we didn’t sign anymore players by the end of the transfer window. Senderos is still with the club and if you have read my earlier entries, you would know that I have always advocated for his stay. He is still very young for a defender, who peaks well into their 30s. But I have also mentioned that if one of Vermaelen, Gallas or Djourou were to be injured long term, we would be very light in the defensive department. This has already come true with Djourou set to miss the next 6 months of the season. I must say our first choice back four is of top quality, but we cannot expect them to last an entire season without missing a single game. What if that single game happens to be a title-decider? Or a cup final?
Wenger has taken a risk again by not signing another defensive player and I’m very sure he is aware of that fact. How that may be a factor in our success this season, we will see and can only judge come the end of the season. The season never seem to have really begun without a long term injury to a Gunner, and so Djourou’s bad news really signals the start of our season. On a more serious note, I genuinely hope out injury worries would not be as troublesome as last season. We should really relook at the training schedule and methods and find out if any of it has got to do with training. This cannot go on forever.
3 – More youngsters extend stay at Arsenal
Better news: Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson has both renewed their contracts one day after the close of the transfer window. This is how Wenger has decided to use the money, to keep his best young players. I know there are still many Gooners who are unconvinced by both players but I think we need to put things into perspective. Denilson looked jaded towards the end of last season as he played more games than any other Arsenal player last season. He was only 20, to have done what he did was incredible itself. With a proper pre-season and one year’s regular playing time under his belt, he is looking fresher this season and has done well in the games he has played so far. Remember he is still only 21.
Bendtner too is 21. He has scored only 1 less goal than Adebayor last season although the latter has started more games. To suggest Bendtner is ‘useless’ as some sites say is unfairly harsh on a young player who is always willing to try. He was never let down by the jeering, instead he ran more, worked harder, and delivered. Adebayor on the other hand, grumbled about how the fans jeered him and is still harping on it right now even though he is at City. Pathetic.
I digress. What I’m trying to say is, Bendtner will become a pivotal player for us, and this may be his big season. One thing I wonder is, why didn’t Wenger put him as our focal point in attack instead of Van Persie? His direct style and huge physique as well as his target man experience up front for Denmark makes him a prime candidate to fill that role. Van Persie, who is more technical, should be playing where Bendtner is playing at present, on the right hand side of the 3 man attack, a position he has mastered while playing for the Oranje. See him in that role for Holland, and he even scored over the weekend. It is something worth relooking at, we can be more effective up front.
4 – More transfer rumours?
Other transfer news has former great Ljungberg being linked to us but I am pretty sure that it is all fabrication. Ljungberg is long past his best and during his last season at Arsenal, one can already tell he was no longer the same player. I loved the Swede a great deal, often citing him as the epitome of an Arsenal player, skill with tenacity. But he will not be able to make a positive contribution to Arsenal on the pitch.
Onto today’s poll. Eduardo’s ban, as I mentioned above is disgraceful on UEFA’s part. It is not about the 2-match ban anymore, it is about the principle of being punished for an incident that worse perpetrators were never punished for. It is about Arsenal and Eduardo’s own image and pride.
If UEFA refuses to recognise the can of worms they have opened by insisting on the ban, then we shall bother them no end till the end of time with complaints following every UEFA sanctioned game. Good luck, Plantini. I can see you in white curly locks in no time.