Arsenal football in November is reaching its climax, and there are three games left in three different competitions. The Gunners will start the trio of games with a home tie against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League before hosting Fulham, as they continue their push up the table in the Premier League. A spicy Carling Cup quarterfinal against Manchester City will bring the month to a close.
Shortly after Arsenal’s win at Norwich City, some media vultures talked to Arsene Wenger concerning post-match issues, but questions also arose about his commitment to the club. He replied in his usual coy manner.
“I have a few more years to go, I will stay and that’s it. It was a little sentence if you read well,” Wenger said. “I can only speak for me—the Club can decide to get rid of me tomorrow morning and I cannot interfere with that decision—but I am totally committed here and I will show you that at the end of the season.”
Wenger has devoted 15 years of his life in service to Arsenal, and it has come with great times, good times, bad times, sad times and more recently, frustrating times.
The line about the “club getting rid of him” is unfathomable, but it’s not impossible because the fans have been hitting the Board’s gates like battering rams, and someday, something will have to give.
Notwithstanding, I can’t imagine Arsene-al without Arsene Wenger, and Johan Djourou has also shared this view. Djourou also said that Arsenal needs Wenger to "progress," and even a blind man can actually see the progress Wenger has made with the club.
From the improved finances, player potentials achieved and diet changes to the training routines, scintillating style of play and trophies won, the gooners can never forget the role he played in the move to the state-of-the-art pitch called Ashburton Grove, or the Emirates Stadium as our Arab brothers would prefer.
Some Gunners have taken out time to say a word or two to the media vultures for more reasons than one. Wojciech Szczesny’s rise to glory has really been taken lightly by the goalkeeper he usurped. Lukasz Fabianski has started setting his eyes on Arsenal’s exit door, and it seems as if Vito Mannone intends to follow suit.
The Italian hasn’t featured for Arsenal this season, and the chances of him standing between the sticks for Arsenal this season are slim to none. However, he’s hoping for a loan switch this winter transfer window with the hope of making the deal permanent.
Mikel Arteta is another Gunner that talked to the media vultures, but the focus of his gist was about his confidence in the club’s ability. As expected, the media vultures brought up their boring clichés about him being Cesc Fabregas’ replacement, and he was quick to rubbish those claims.
“If I try and replace Cesc, that’s where it will go wrong. I’ve been here for weeks; he was at Arsenal for eight years. It would be impossible for me to replace him in that sense,” Arteta said.
He also talked about his brief spell in Barcelona’s Mutant Academy (1997) where he learnt how to "pass" the ball from Senior Aliens like Luis Enrique, Rivaldo, Pep Guardiola and Luis Figo. The most vocal Gunner will undoubtedly be Theo Walcott, and he spoke about his change of fortunes and massively improved form.
“All people have to look at is the number of assists and chances I have made. I just listen to the manager, my teammates and they’re happy. That’s the most important thing. And my family as well. I’ve been working hard in training and it’s definitely paying off. You always want to learn and when you have a disappointment like the World Cup, then obviously you want to come back and show people what you want to do,” Walcott said.
Just like Samir Nasri, missing out of the 2010 World Cup unleashed a beast from within, and it spurred Walcott on to put up great performances last season that he ended up scoring a personal best of 13 goals and a boatload of assists for Robin van Persie.
He also told the media vultures that van Persie is a world class striker and a great leader. He explained how they love playing with each other and how their troubles with injuries have somewhat connected them on the pitch.
I can’t deny that Walcott and van Persie have built up a telepathic understanding that can be likened to the link between Robert Pires and Ashley Cole in the yesteryear. When Walcott is with the ball on the right-hand side, he simply looks for the Flying Dutchman, and the rest is history. Just like Arteta, he believes that Arsenal can keep firing.
African cult hero and diver-in-chief Farmer Emmanuel Eboue was on the end of a very rash reception when his present club Galatasaray locked horns with rivals Besiktas. The Besiktas faithful launched all sorts of football missile-like weaponry on the Farmer, ranging from bottled water containers to cigarette lighters.
Most people believe that the Besiktas crowd had racial motives behind the target practice exercise on Farmer Eboue, but it seems as if it has become a norm in the Turkish League.
I can remember watching a video of Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos racially abused in his Fenerbahce days, and it wasn’t a nice sight if you ask me. I’m pretty sure that Eboue wanted to heed to Sepp Blatter’s "splendid" advice to shake all the Besiktas fans for the racial abuse, but there was a game to be played.
The issue of racism has to be dealt with in time, but with an organization as corrupt as football’s ruling body, one can never know what they’ll come up with. Tomorrow, they’ll probably say that the hierarchy of the club engaged in the racial abuse will pay a certain racial levy to a FIFA executive’s account.
Pathetic lot they are. I once labeled Sepp Blatter as Football’s Gadhafi, and I hope that his tenure expires soon enough because the organization is in dire need of change. I still don’t know why they prefer to live in the Stone Age and fold their arms on the goal-line technology proposal from many football teams.
That’s a wrap, folks.