Daily Archives: December 10, 2012
Arsenal’s win against West Brom was marred by this act committed by Santi Cazorla. Before sharing my thoughts on this much-talked about issue, let me share some words culled from the great Arseblogger himself,
But first: the dive. Yes, it was one. No, it’s not nice. But I’m going to think of a number between 1 and 100, where 1 is the least shit I give and 100 the most, and see if you can work out which one I’ve picked. Does it make me a hypocrite? Probably. Again, I refer you to my give-a-shitometer and the needle is, unlike a certain winless Premier League manager, barely twitching.
All of a sudden, our cuddly ol’ Spanish magician, Santi Cazorla, has developed two horns, a tail and he wields a pitchfork no different from Poseidon’s trident. As expected, West Brom’s Steve Clarke grabbed his flaming torch and is ready to burn Cazorla down,
“There was zero contact, it wasn’t even close. I am not sure what the referee saw. It was a bad decision for us and obviously changed the shape of the afternoon. It could have been a nervous afternoon for Arsenal, at 0-0 they hadn’t created too much.”
When Liam Ridgewell dived like a player that had been shot with a sawn-off shotgun in West Brom’s 4 – 2 win against Sunderland, I’m pretty sure that Clarke kept his mouth shut. Karma’s a bitch, I guess.
Apparently, diving has become a bit and parcel of the game and Arsenal has been on the end of some fictitious dives that led to penalties as well.
Taking you down memory lane to this concluded season,
High-profile diving specialists like Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez conned the referees into giving them them penalties. The backlash wasn’t as expected and the world as we know it didn’t come to an end. In defense of Cazorla, Wenger has apologized if it wasn’t a penalty (medicine after death), but he stated that Cazorla told him that he had lost his balance. His compatriot, Mikel Arteta has also stated that Cazorla is no diver.
Former Premier League ref, Graham Poll, has come out from his lair to give his opinion on this issue. The world-famous ref that handed a player three yellow cards in a World Cup published a column revealing that Cazorla should be given a three-match ban, using the words Arsene Wenger stated in the wake of a string of diving performances from Manchester United’s Ashley Young,
‘If an obvious dive is punished by a three-match ban, the players would not do it any more. I would support it. It has to be obvious diving.’
Well that’s Mr. Poll’s opinion and as I always say, opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one.
Apart from Cazorla’s diving shenanigans, Arsenal’s win against West Brom had its fair share of positives. Wojciech Szczesny kept a clean sheet, Thomas Vermaelen’s form improved, Mikel Arteta got his penalty groove back and the Ox put up a much-improved performance.
The stand-out performer on the day was the resurgent Jack Wilshere. He was ubiquitous in midfield and he has forged a good understanding with his Spanish midfield counterparts, Santi Cazorla
the diver and Mikel Arteta the penalty misser. Wilshere’s surges of energy and drive played a key role in Arsenal dominating play and he has stated that he’s getting better with each passing game. The youngster also lavished praise on Arteta’s performance, stating that he’s a great dude on and off the pitch.
Arsene Wenger was obviously happy for Wilshere’s performance as well, and he stated that the old Jack Wilshere is back. The Wilshere that dominated a midfield that had Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta on the 16th of February, 2011, the Wilshere that wasn’t afraid to have a go at the entire Stoke team in the ground were Aaron Ramsey’s leg was snapped like a twig, the Wilshere that deservedly won the 2011 Young Player of the Year award.
Yeah, that Wilshere.
However, Arsenal still needs to take a cautious approach with the lad. He’s just returning from a lengthy lay-off so he still needs to get some much-deserved rest due to the physical demand of the Premier League, and I’ll be cross if he features against Bradford City tomorrow.
A fit Wilshere keeps Ramsey out of the team but I’ll like to see what happens when Abou Diaby returns to full fitness, that’s if he ever returns. Diabytes is an ailment that has no real estimated return date and it’s a disease peculiar to a fragile, lanky Frenchman called Abou Diaby.
With the January transfer window just around the corner, the media Vultures have been swarming round Arsenal, linking a host of players in and out of the Emirates.
Starting with potential departures, it has been reported that Bacary Sagna has become a target for the free-spending Paris St. Germain. We’ve heard some stories about Sagna being unhappy with his recent contract situation, and it’s believed that he’s headed for the exit door. PSG is a team that would could make Arsenal an offer they can refuse but we can only hope that the Arsenal hierarchy would do what’s best for the club – holding on to one of the best right backs in the Milky Way, Bacary Sagna.
On arrivals, the list is endless but I’ll take my pick from the pack.
With Arteta being the only recognized holding midfielder at Arsenal (no disrespect to Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong, they’re not there yet), it is believed that Wenger seeks to delve into the transfer market to seek a natural replacement for Alex Song. The Daily Star has reported that the Gunners are seeking to make a swap move for Zenit’s Igor Denisov, using Andrey Arshavin as bait to see the deal through. Elsewhere, the Sports Campus has reported that the Gunners want to swoop in for Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo.
Unlike Luiz Gustavo that has featured sparingly for the Bavarians this season, Denisov wants pay-parity with new signing Axel Witsel, which has made him to become a disgruntled figure in recent weeks. I’ve seen both players strut their stuff in the Champions League but Luiz Gustavo would suit Arsenal’s play better than Denisov. He’s a very technical holding midfielder that reminds me of Gilberto Silva.
In attack, Arsenal have been placed on alert as Newcastle’s Demba Ba has stalled in signing a new contract with the Magpies. There are also emerging reports that the Gunners are battling with AC Milan for Lyon’s Lisandro Lopez’ services.
However, there is a bit of speculation that has been making waves recently. Soccer Souls have reported that Arsenal has agreed personal terms with Schalke’s hitman Klass-Jan Huntelaar with a winter move imminent. Wenger has been a long-term admirer of the Dutch predator and his arrival at the Emirates will be regarded as a great piece of business, judging from his goalscoring exploits in recent seasons. Competition for places with a superstar like Huntelaar will also bring out the best in Olivier Giroud.
Then of course, there’s more talk on Thierry Henry’s imminent arrival as well.
It’s time to pull the plug on this post.
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