“Oy, Curtísimo, where’s d’Stoke preview mate?”

Um, yeah.  This moron didn’t realize until this morning that Arsenal at Orc City wasn’t until Sunday.  So, yeah, Arsenal-Orcs preview tomorrow rather than today.  In lieu of that let’s move on to the daily Arsenal crisis:

Podolski: “Ermahgerd, y u no sign with Arsenal?!”
Şahin: “Because I’ll never walk alone in the Europa League.”

So, Nuri Şahin has indeed signed for Liverpoop, which, of course, led to a bit of consternation in that portion of the Arsenal fanbase that is prone to freaking out over just about everything these days.  I’m out one Arrogant Bastard as I had a wager with a friend the Şahin-to-Arsenal deal wouldn’t fall through & this leads to the now obligatory “massive blow” for Arsenal.  (Facepalm).  Football/soccer is such a ridiculous thing sometimes because all these transfers, supposed transfers, not transfers seem to somehow mean more to fooball clubs than, oh, I don’t know, actual results & where you finish in the league, if the journos are to be believed.

First of all, Şahin going to Liverpool, & the possible signing of Clint Dempsey by the Scousers as well, destroys that whole myth that somehow if you don’t make the Champions’ League, players won’t want to play for you.  Gee, amazing what money will do for a deal.  “I want to play in d’Champeens Leegue, mate! Oh… I can still make £115k a week & play in the Europa?  Ok, I like money, thanks, I see you on Thursdays, herpaderpaderp.”

Secondly, I like how losing out on a player is more of a massive blow than say, getting blown out 3-0 on opening day to a side you should be beating since you’re such a massive club that never tires of telling people how good you used to be.  The Roman Empire was once great too, Liverpool.  I guess Şahin was just lured by the promises of Europa League & Carling Cup chances.  Funny how mighty Liverpool are left these days to crow over the Tin Pot Cup, a trophy up until four or five years ago, no one gave a damn about.  You’ll Never Lift The Carling Cup Alone!

To transfer news & Arsène Wenger now is using the cryptic “might buy but if we don’t we have enough, so we probably won’t, unless we do buy,” thing:

“We will only take players who have something special,” said the Arsenal manager, who takes his side to Stoke on Sunday.

“We are still in the market in some positions, but overall we believe we have a very strong squad.

“We have a good mixture because we have experienced players in midfield like [Mikel] Arteta and [Santi] Cazorla, like [Tomas] Rosicky, and some young very promising players like [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Francis] Coquelin, [Jack] Wilshere and one or two in between age wise like [Abou] Diaby, who is coming back. We believe we have a good mixture.”

And the day prior:

“We are working, we’ll see what we can do.”

With those kind of comments, historically, it means Wenger’s business is probably done so I’m not going to hold my breath over anymore signings despite the stuff a few days ago about possibly bringing in two more games.  The only thing worse than witnessing the same thing over and over again, is complaining about it.  As I said the other day to a friend, “I don’t cry over players we don’t have, I get behind the ones we do.”  Well, except for Manuel Almunia.  That guy was pants.

To players potentially leaving, albeit on loan, Celta Vigo has emerged as a possible destination for Park Chu/Ju-Young.  Hopefully, the South Korean can get his career back on track if the deal goes through & we can sell him on, albeit at a no doubt discounted fee.  I had high hopes for Park personally but his transfer is certainly one of the more curious I’ve seen, even for Wenger.

Denílson to Milan?  Blah.  Actually, a little bit of LOL on that one.  He’s on loan in Brazil with Santos but I think he would have to be officially recalled back to the club before he could officially be sold to Milan but I’m not 100% how that works to be honest.  Either way, if it happens, it’s good because it’ll be another guy off the books that may free up funds for salary (having money for transfers isn’t the same as being able to pay guys exorbitant salaries on top of it, guys).

Also, Conor Henderson, recently returned from injury & Ignasi Miquel are likely set for loan deals to get some first team experience, likely in the Championship or even League One level.  Miquel has been linked with Brighton already this season & Henderson could definitely use some playing time as he looks to recover from his knee injury & will likely not see much, if any, action in midfield, even without any more signings there (ermahgerd, Wenger, sign sum feckin’ players!, derpderp!).

And, um, Wenger wants to extend Theo Walcott’s contract.  Ok, we’ll see how that goes.  Problem is players have to want to extend their deals too.  Although to be honest, if Walcott ends up leaving I won’t miss him all that much.  We can easily find another winger-cum-forward that can dribble over the endline once or twice a game & pitch in the odd goal.  But I’m sure it will be yet another “Massive blow” to the club if he were to leave (shakes head in bemusement).

Ok, I have a Championship Promotion Final to get to (I bet somebody in nerddom is sooooo jealous right now. If Aaron Feckin’ Doran was Aaron Zombie Doran, you’d be allllll about it!), so I’ll leave with you some bittersweet news & that is that one of the Invincibles, Freddie Ljungberg has retired from the game today aged 35.  Freddie had most recently been with Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan but Gooners will obviously remember Freddie for his performances in 2001/02, where he took over some of the goal-scoring load following Robert Pirès’ knee injury, & 2003/04, the latter obviously as part of the Invincibles.

Freddie was known for his flamboyant style both on & off the pitch & formed an almost instinctual partnership with Dennis Bergkamp & formed arguably the most dangerous wing duo to ever grace the EPL with Robert Pirès.  Freddie’s darting, angular runs from the wing were things of beauty & he also had an eye for goal & the dramatic, once announcing his arrival by doing nothing other than lobbing Peter Schmeichel for the winner in a 3-0 victory on his debut against Manchester United in 1998.  His goals against Manchester United in his career included this impish toe-poked lob in 2001.

Freddie was & is a true Arsenal legend & those of us who saw him play will remember him fondly as a player who was “fuckin’ excellent.”*  Thanks for the memories, #8:

Ljungberg highlights from the Invincible Season, 2003-04

Ljungberg highlights from the second double-winning campaign of 2001/02

Ummmmmmmm, yeah…

* – when Freddie Ljungberg was asked by a reporter following the 2002 FA Cup win what it was like to have won the cup, Freddie without missing a beat answered, “It’s fuckin’ excellent.”  That was Freddie Ljungberg encapsulated in an off the cuff remark.

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