Archive for the ‘LSU’ Category


After last week’s somewhat underwhelming, at least offensively, performance against North Texas in a 41-14 win, the LSU Tigers put in a complete performance against the Washington Huskies of the PAC-12 in a 41-3 demolition job.  I was disappointed in our pass protection in the opener but last night against a BCS opponent, we protected waaaaaaay better & Zach Mettenberger, apart from a personal foul late hit, was hardly bothered all night long by the Huskies’ pass rush.

LSU did spot the Huskies the ball right off the bat when Odell Beckham (ODB) fumbled the opening kickoff which led to the Huskies’ only three points.  Despite the opening gift, Washington was overmatched & undermanned all night long against LSU’s defense.  Everyone knows about the “SEC speed” meme by now, but what knuckleheads from outside of the South still don’t seem to grasp is that where the SEC has superior speed isn’t at the skill positions, where everyone has burners, but it’s along the lines, most notably the defensive lines where SEC teams have faster, big athletes that face offensive lines from other conferences that employ big guys that lack athleticism.  An example of this can be seen on LaVar Edwards‘ sack of Husky QB, Keith Price (0:44 to 1:05 from the LSUsports.net’s official highlights video).  Washington’s LT, Micah Hatchie (#72), is looking inside to the center for the snap of the ball because of the loudness of Tiger Stadium.  However, by the time the ball is snapped & Hatchie gets his head up, Edwards is already by him on the way to deliver a big hit on Price.

Washington’s OL was missing one starter at RT forcing them to move their RG there which in turn, he ended up getting banged up during last night’s game too.  So with 2 regulars out of the Husky lineup, LSU’s defensive line, which can literally go 10-deep, & according to a Holly Rowe tweet last night can actually go 13-deep (!), had a field day last night stuffing the run & pressuring Price constantly.  Price had come into the game with a good bit of fanfare & was expected to test LSU’s young secondary, but our pass rush kept him off-balance (he was 17 of 36), uncomfortable (7 QB hurries) or on his back (4 sacks) all night.

LSU’s run game was its usual physical, punishing self but last night we added a passing threat too.  Mettenberger was 12/18 for 195 yards & a TD, which aren’t glitzy stats by any means but his performance, especially compared to last week’s indifferent one, was stellar.  All of his incompletions last night arguably could’ve been catches, so in theory Mettenberger, or the Mettenchrist, could’ve gone a perfect 18 for 18.  Funny enough, LSU could’ve had a further completion on a halfback pass that was dropped, albeit on a tough throw, that could’ve seen LSU go a pefrect 19 for 19 in the passing game last night.

With the win LSU remains #3 in the AP poll & leapfrogs USC into #2 in the Coaches’ Poll.

Let’s get to the positives & negatives from last night’s win:

Positives
•   Pass rush; it was relentless & never let Keith Price get comfortable
•   Linebacker play; it was almost flawless all night long, particularly in pass coverage
•   Brad Wing; he’s a freaking punting machine; one of the 1st quarter TDs we scored should be credited to Wing who helped “flip the field” leading to that score
•   Zach Mettenberger; Mett could’ve arguably been perfect with all his pass attempts last night but his performance was still stellar; looked very comfortable all night long, being more composed than in the opening game & he showed on multiple occasions that he can actually read a defense & work through his progressions
•   Pass protection; a much improved performance from the North Texas game
•   Run game; once again it was physical & performed well

Negatives
•  Drops; Being a former high school receiver myself, drops drive my crazy. Don’t know why LSU has to deal with seemingly prolonged bouts of the drops
•   Penalties; LSU still was plagued by some lazy penalties which shows a lack of concentration that can prove critical in a big game provided this isn’t tightened up during the season

Position Grades
Quarterbacks (A)– See Mettenchrist comments above but again, he read well, he threw well & he looked comfortable all night.

Running Backs (A)-  The stable of Alfred Blue, Kenny Hilliard, Michael Ford & Spencer Ware were very good.  Ran physically, ball security was good, etc.

Wide Receivers (C)-   Freaking drops.  Drops.  James Wright had a good game going for career #s (5 catches for 75 yards)  but I can’t give anything other than C because of the drops.  Although I would like to note for aspiring wide receivers- watch Jarvis Landry on run plays.  He is fierce & physical in his blocking.  There’s more to being a receiver than being fast, kidz.

Offensive Line (A-)-  Run blocking was excellent again & the pass protection much improved.

Defensive Line (A)-  D-line was pretty much flawless.  Pass rush was relentless all night long & run defense stuffed UW all night & made them one-dimensional pretty early on.

Linebackers (A)-  Also, pretty much flawless.  Gave up some completions but were particularly impressive in pass coverage for me.  Chavis likes his linebackers a bit on the smallish size compared to other LB corps, so if you’re going to go with smaller linebackers they better be able tackle & do well in pass coverage.  They did that last night with aplomb.

Secondary (A)-  LSU’s young secondary got their first test last night & with the help of the work from the D-line & linebackers, performed really well.

Special Teams (B+)-   Kicks, punts & kick coverages were excellent all night long.  If Brad Wing doesn’t win the Ray Guy this year, it’ll be a freaking joke; however, ODB, made some questionable decisions on returns on multiple occasions (opening kickoff, waited late to come up & filed two punts).

A’ight, Tiger fans, catch y’all on the flip side.

GEAUX TIGERS!

Advertisements

First off, The Mirror brings us hopefully the start of a new media meme (something we Arsenal bloggers have picked up on already)- Steve Bould’s influence on the defensive side of the game for Arsenal.  Despite Arsenal’s coaching staff having been replete with defenders throughout Arsène Wenger’s tenure, Wenger included, Arsenal has had admitted defensive shortfalls in recent years (at differing times- defensive concentration, loss of shape, susceptibility to set pieces, e.g.) but it seems this most recent pre-season a more concerted & concentrated effort to work on the overall team defensive shape & defensive tactics were implemented & it looks like work on that defensive side of the game may be worth a good 9 to 15 points this season more so than trying to replace Traitor van Stapleton’s 30 goals from last term.  Long may the defense’s good early form continue!

With the transfer window shut, loan moves are the only ways players can move from club to club & highly regarded youngster, Chuks Aneke, full name, Chukwuemeka Ademola Amachi Aneke, is moving on loan to League One side, Crewe Alexandra.  Aneke had loan spells last year at Stevenage & Preston North End, respectively.  Both of last year’s loans for the youngster were considered successful  & as he’s been compared, probably somewhat hyperbolically, to a young Yaya Touré before, so I hope he gets plenty of first team action for Crewe & maybe even get into the starting eleven as a regular. 

A player at the club who has been pretty good so far this season is Abou Diaby & he seeks “revenge” for his missing time from injury in the previous seasons.  I know we’re all hoping Diaby stays fit & injury-free & his performances in the opening matches have certainly been encouraging but it’s a good bit of a risk that Wenger has hitched his hopes for the midfield in part on Abou Diaby with his injury record.  Diaby has claimed that his long injury ledger is down to problems with his biomechanics rather than any physical deficiencies or frailties.  It’s certainly an interesting point to consider.  Either way, Diaby’s performance against Liverpool was “majestic,” in the words of one pundit, and showed what he can do when he’s healthy & on song.  Diaby also scored the lone goal yesterday for France so his current form is cause for anticipation for more.

Speaking of the internationals, here’s a full rundown of Arsenal players in internationals yesterday.  The Ox getting his first full start for England against Moldova & Santi Cazorla scoring Spain’s opener being the highlights from yesterday’s matches.

Now for some personal highlights!  Following last night’s nationally ranked high school alma mater, John Curtis’ thrashing of Plant (FL), a fellow nationally ranked team, is the arrival of my first set of Arsenal home & away jerseys!  Behold the glory!:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see, for the home jersey I went with my surname, “Chatelain,” which is French for “person who goes by the nickname of ‘Curtis’ ” & for the away jersey I went with a Brazilian style nom de guerre of “Curtisimo,” which is actually Spanish for “the most Curtis.”  Obviously, I’m a silly bastard that likes to “pass a good time.”

Anyway, I got to get back to some college football as I’m mainly waiting for Dem Tigers to play Washingtaint in about 90 minutes on De ESPN but I’ve already seen Moo State beat Aubarn in a matchup of cow colleges & I’m currently watching a good game of Floriduh & Texass A&M.  Hooray for football of all kinds!

Have yourselves a good Saturday!

Geaux Tigers!


A trifecta of teams’ news for you today.  Man, I took the day off from work yesterday (9/6) because my sinuses were acting up pretty good & had all day to post something & I couldn’t get around ’til today (9/7) which is actually just before bed for me yesterday (9/6).  Um, which is still actually “today” (9/6) at the moment for me.  Got it?  Good.

LSU
LSU -24 vs. Washington

Once again, we’re bringing a Tiger to a dog fight, so once again I like our chances…

Ok, I’ll start with the LSU stuff because I don’t near keep up with the daily ins & outs of the Tigers as I should.  For all the immersion 24/7 of LSU football back home, I quite enjoy the sort of daily detachment I have from Da Tigahs up here in Anchorage.  I certainly enjoy being detached from the nitpicking of the team.

Hope you’re not too hungry because this is your only Tasty Nugget of the week right here in LSU-Washington.  I know, I know, “how the mighty have fallen!”  “What is the world coming to?”  “The Nuggetz ain’t what they used to be.”  “The Nuggetz have gone ‘pop.’ ”  And other sundry & assorted platitudes & clichés.  But it is what it is these days.

So did you like over the summer how The Hat, who has a penchant for eating grass, kicked the Honey Badger off of LSU’s football team (though he just recently re-enrolled in school following finishing a portion of his rehab program) for chronic smoking of grass?  Like how I used the double entendre pun with ‘chronic?’  Cunning linguists still aren’t impressed, however.  Anyway, eating grass got rid of smoking grass all the while the grass in Tiger Stadium got soaked for Hurricane Isaac.  So you can eat your grass, cut your grass, soak your grass & I think even lay your grass (another double entendre) but you just can’t smoke it.  Speaking of things that are smoked, that will be the Huskies as the Mettenchrist still looks spotty but LSU has too many horses in the stable & too many Mastodons that bring Blood & Thunder on the D-line that offset LSU’s concerns in the secondary.  But 24 points?  I don’t know about 24 points… hope I’m wrong.

LSU 30, Washington 17

This is the kind of song that should be put as highlight music, not that dance-sounding crap

USMNT
The US national team faces Jamaica tonight/tomorrow night… damn it, on Friday.  There.  The mighty US of freaking A plays Jamaica away in Kingston on Friday night in their third CONCACAF second round group World Cup Qualifier & currently lead Group A on goal difference after two matches.

The US has never lost to Jamaica enjoying  an 11-0-9 overall record, scoring 34 goals & allowing 12 in those 20 matches.  The USA’s largest win ever was a 5-0 in a friendly against the Reggae Boyz on May 16th, 2002.  Josh Wolff with 2, Clint Mathis, Landon Donovan, & DaMarcus Beasley were the goalscorers on that day.

The US also enjoyed a 5-1 win in 1999 but a draw is usually on the cards when the US travels to the isle of Jamaica & with key players Landon Donovan & Michael Bradley out with injuries & Clint Dempsey having not yet played in the EPL following his holdout with Fulham & subsequent transfer to Lasagnaham, I think I smell another draw.  A draw wouldn’t be bad at this stage of qualification but if a draw is what’ll happen then that definitely means it is in the USA’s interests to get the full three points in the return match with Jamaica in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday.

I couldn’t tell you who plays for Jamaica these days so I had to go to their wiki page just to even get a name.  And looking at their recent roster, it’s no wonder I had trouble recalling any names.  Only two players play in England & only one of those, Adrian Mariappa, plays in the Premier League for Reading.  Although the other player who plies his trade in England, Nyron Nosworthy, has Premier League experience when he was at Sunderland.

But a national team in their home country, even in CONCACAF, is never to be taken lightly, so hopefully Jürgen Klinsmann will have the Yanks ready to play.  I still think this match has 1-1 written all over it.

Prediction:   Jamaica 1-USA 1

ARSENAL
Finally, a few Arsenal tidbits to end this post.  We’ll start off with Andrei Arshavin turning down a move to Dinamo (or is it Dynamo?) Moscow.  The Russian transfer window closed yesterday, so it looks like Arshavin will be staying with Gunners unless a domestic loan is worked out with somebody.  Hey, doesn’t Liverpool need attackers?  Get those knuckleheads on the phone & tell them we have a hot tip on a diminutive Russian attacker named Kennady Dalglishikov & then plop Arshavin down on their doorstep & get the hell out of Liverpool before we’re forced to hear Beatles songs.  Ahhhh, the Beatles.  Just like Liverpool- once great & completely overrated in my book.

On a curious note, Arsène Wenger has blocked a loan move for reserve/U21 player (that U21 thing will still take a little getting used to), Conor Henderson.  The young Irish midfielder is coming off a knee injury that made him miss all of last season but there were several clubs that interested in his services on loan.  However, Wenger has stated he wants to see Henderson’s development continue at the club but to the slight annoyance of Henderson.  Henderson wants the chance to play first team football/soccer, a chance he obviously won’t get at Arsenal, so to keep him at the club & stick him in the reserves is a bit odd, even for Wenger.  I’m not sure what to make of it really.

Finally, those who want some good news, here’s some about Steve Bould where Wenger is singing his praises for the defensive work we’ve done so far this season.  The Arsenal blogosphere, myself included, has definitely noticed the how much better we look as an actual cohesive unit in defense these days & to a man have pretty much thought it was at least in part due to Steve Bould coming in as Wenger’s right hand man.  The defense is so far the overlooked part (because “Arsenal can’t score anymore!” sells more papers) of the season & we’re the only club in the league, the entire football league not just the EPL, to have not conceded yet.  Long may it continue & the likes of Adrian Derpham can sing the old “boring, boring Arsenal” songs all they want.

And, of course some “bad” news.  Apparently Bacary Sagna might be the next Gunner to leave.  Or not.  Or maybe so.  Or maybe not.  He apparently made some comments in L’Equipe that can be construed as him being upset.  Whatever.  If he goes, he goes & if he stays, he stays.  It ain’t rocket surgery.  If he goes I’m sure we’ll just get some other right back from France or maybe move Francis Coquelin there permanently or promote Nico Yennaris from the reserves.  I just can’t be bothered with this kind of shit anymore.  If you want to go join the silverware parade at the Mancunster clubs or €hel$ki than go do it.

Anyway, hopefully my sinuses get better since Anchorage has a Mardi Gras fest in the fall tomorrow, er, this evening.  Tonight.  The 7th.  Damn it.  Friday evening.  Whatever.


590027577_medium3_medium

You ready for some LSU football, son?

LSU/college football stuff finally?! Alright, Curtísimo’s finally not blabbing on about that “gay-ass soccer,” amirite?!  Now, this game review will be a little all over the place since I’ll be trying to recall from memory & as it was the season opener, I was a bit buzzed by the second quarter.  Also, as many of you who know me know, I tend to write stream-of-unconsciousness anyway & as aforementioned that consciousness may be a bit hazy…

LSU defeats North Texas, 41-14.

Obviously, with an opponent such as North Texas it was always to be a bit of Christians-to-the-lions stuff, but I’ll be honest- offensively, I was a bit disappointed in the passing game & particularly in pass protection.  We racked up just over 500 yards of total offense, but at times we didn’t look good to me.  I am hoping it’s just first game rust, but the pass protection was definitely noticeable to me that there was some confusion.  Without being in the huddle or on the field, I can only guess as whether it was the OLine or Mettenberger missing protection calls (he was sacked twice & got his bell rung a bit on another).

I’m one of the biggest proponents of the mantra of  “you don’t have to be the best team in the country, you just have to be the best team on the field,” and against North Texas, we obviously were but I would’ve liked us to look a bit crisper.

Be advised, this is only a minor complaint but I also hope Zach Mettenberger’s performance at QB will remind people that it’s not simply a question of having talent, stepping in & zinging the ball all over the place like in a video game.  He looked hesitant on a few occasions, and like many of us know, it’s one thing to look good in a spring game or in a scrimmage, it’s another to do it against a live opponent.  His stat line wasn’t bad (19 of 26, 192 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks) but his hesitation on occasion, led to him nearly getting injured right off the bat.  I don’t need to tell you all that needs to get better for SEC play or even next week against Washington.

Player Grades
Quarterbacks (C+):   see comments above about Mettenberger but on Saturday I was personally underwhelmed & I thought he was more Mettenswaggert on Saturday than Mettenchrist.  Expectations are high for Mettenberger after the “two-headed dumpster fire” era that was Jordan Jefferson & Jarrett Lee but I admittedly was a bit disappointed in #8 on Saturday night.  He did throw a nice TD pass to Kadron Boone, but there’s plenty of stuff to improve on.  Luckily, there’s plenty of time to do it.  I wasn’t too pleased with the seemingly shorter range passing game we insisted on too.  You’re playing North Texas.  Challenge them deep a few times.  Use it as some deep-passing drills.

Running Backs (A):   Kenny Hilliard & Alfred Blue were both outstanding & Blue showed why he was given the starting nod over Michael Ford & Hilliard, the latter whom was the go to back in short yardage by the end of the last season.  Hilliard went off for 141 & Blue went for 123 & the running game totalled 316 yards in all.  I’d also like to highlight fullback, J.C. Copeland.  His stats for a big bruiser & blocker (listed at 272) were fantastic (4 carries, 33 yards & a TD), and he had a terrific run in the first half where he broke tackle & rumbled to 16-yard gain.  Keep an eye out for JC to maybe get some key 3rd & short carries later on in the year after that performance.  No complaints at all with the horses.

Wide Receivers (B):   I can’t really recall anything great about the WRs.  Nothing bad, though either,  I don’t recall any glaring drops, something that’s plagued us over the years, even when we were loaded.  Jarvis Landry led this group with 8 carries for 82 yards & Kadron Boone nabbed a 34-yard TD pass from Mettenberger

Offensive Line (B-):  Run blocking- pretty darn good.  Pass blocking- pretty damn sketchy, especially considering the level of opponent.  Two sacks were given up, one of which could’ve easily had been a “kill shot” on Mettenberger.  It was a real concern by the second half & against a more quality opponent could’ve been a game-changer.  As I stated above, without being in the huddle or on the field, not sure who was at fault, the OLine or the QB, but it was a bit obvious to me, some protection assignments were getting missed.  Especially since North Texas was getting pressure through the middle too.  Unacceptable against an opponent like North Texas.

Placekickers (A):  Drew Alleman kicked well, though he did miss one field goal attempt.  I don’t recall kickoffs so I’ll leave that be.

Defensive Line (A-):   No sacks, but tons of pressure all night long.  That should be standard considering we can go literally 10-deep on the line if we want now.

Linebacker (B/I):  I don’t really remember anything about the linebackers other than someone played wearing #52.  Hopefully that isn’t Thomas effin’ Dunson (it’s not, it’s Luke Muncie).

Defensive Backs (B-):  Reid came up with a nice pick but was beaten for the long TD pass which was exacerbated by Craig Loston having way too tight of an attack angle as the 1-deep safety.  THose combined for a play where North Texas popped an 80-yard TD pass.  Against North Texas, that’s forgivable.  Against a quality opponent, again this can be a game-changer.

Punters (B):   No Punterswag, Brad Wing, but Les Miles being Les Miles just replaced one Aussie punter with another- Jamie Keehn.  I seem to recall he shanked one punt a bit, but had a 51-yarder on another.

Returners (A):   Honey Badger who?  ODB had one punt return call back due to a flag, so instead he just returned the next one for a TD, this time the play stood.  No concerns here at all.

Summary
Overall, it was a good game.  Fun to have LSU football back.  The team had first game rust (pass protection issues, too many pre-snap penalties) but opponents like North Texas are supposed to be glorified scrimmages for the level of our program is these days.  We definitely played a bit of the second half with the “handbrake” on, to borrow a phrase from Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, & we will certainly need better execution in the pass protection as we play a decent BCS opponent in Washington next week.

For some extra fun & learnin’, ATVS’ excellent writer, Billy Gomila’s 2-parter (Part 1, Part 2) on passing game concepts we’re likely to see some more of now that LSU has a real QB.  Here’s his recap of Saturday night’s game as well.

 Geaux Tigers!


It’s much the same today as it’s been in recent days for Arsenal- no new signings & just waiting patiently for Robingeddon to come although there was the OMG-Shirt-Number-Crisis today as Podolski hasn’t officially been given a number because he’s supposedly holding out for #10 when/if van Persie leaves…

Um, please explain, Media, how this is a crisis?  Either van Persie is leaving- which has been rumored for, oh, I don’t know, several weeks now- & Podolski will have the #10 shirt or van Persie stays & Podolski picks a another number.  Yes, complete end-of-the-world stuff there.  How ever will the club make it through this new crisis?!

Never mind that a club can de-register & then re-register a player to a different number during the season, but don’t let the facts get in the media’s way of whipping all you knee-jerk reactors into a frenzied rabble of humanity!!  If that’s a crisis, or Arsenal’s “near loss” the other day a crisis, then what is this for Chelsea?

“Spend sum feckin muney, Wengermans!!” (HT: TJ)

Meanwhile the BBC is urging van Persie to go to ManUre.  Wherever he goes, I hope his injury history crops up again.  There, I said it.  Yes, even if “goes” to us (by staying).  Maybe it’ll slap some humility into the Dutchman.

Speaking of mad, frenzied rabble earlier, this LSU article will likely have reactionary Les Miles haters & knob-slurping Sabanites whipped into a nice psychotic froth with ideas of “Why dat Dummyhead Miles is running d’ball when we got the Mettenchrist & his big cannon arm?!! Throw it deep, Dummyhead Miles!”

I don’t care how we score, running, passing, kick returns, RUNNING THE OPTION, OH NOES!, whatever.  Just win, dammit.

And even though the utter & outright naked corruption & cheating done at the last Olympics in Beijing (I’m looking at you, Boxing) pretty much burnt me out on caring about the Olympics too much (save for from Lolo Jones), here’s a story about the U.S. Olympic Team’s chosen flag bearer for the opening ceremonies.  And she’s a babe named Mariel Zagunis.  A babe who is a fencer.  So watch your manners around her, boys, lest she slices & dices your manhood.

Oh & here’s another Olympic article about the IOC hoping against hope that the memory of the Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes will just go away & hope you don’t notice by Dan Wetzel.  Wetzel does top-notch work & he hits another home run with this one.  Everybody knows the IOC, much like FIFA, has been run by crooks & cronies for years who care more about kickbacks & gifts than any actual sporting spectacle or having to get involved in actual politics surrounding the Olympics.

Lolo Jones, LSU alum & World Class hurdler & also a complete babe


Whew, it’s been a long, damn week at work & the work is still to be finished!  17 hour workday on Monday, 10 on Tuesday, 14 yesterday, probably another 12-14 tonight… Ugh.  I hate being in a production field sometimes.

So what have we missed while I was out trying to pay bills?  Let’s start with the good news which is that Arsenal have started their pre-season training this week with all the players apart from those who took part in the Euros returning & getting back into shape with working out & running to build up the fitness levels.  Of course, people will (& have) made much of van Persie’s absence but even on optimal terms where he would’ve re-signed, he’d still be absent b/c of the vacation extensions to Euro participants as aforementioned.  But some people will never let a disaster go uncreated in this day & age of instant info & insinuation on the interwebs.

courtesy of Arsenal.com

Why you just standing there, Wenger! Sign some World Class, DERP DERP!

Speaking of re-signings, one which Arsenal is working hard on currently to happen to avoid another contractageddon like van Persie, is the extension of Laurent Koscielny’s contract to 2017.  His current deal ends in 2014, so to avoid the shenanigans of the last 2 summers, Arsenal look to be moving to tie down Kos, the vague Bart Simpson lookalike.  He had an excellent season last year & looks to be developing into a pretty decent modern style centerback (leaner but quicker & more skill on the ball).

Not so much maybe… but I’m telling you, at times they look a lot alike!

The other big news in Arsenalgeddon is the announcement that Arsenal’s away kit for 2012/13 will be PURPLE!  OMG the sky continues to fall doesn’t it?  Whatever.  Being an LSU alum, I don’t mind the purple.  I know some Gunners will freak out over it, b/c that’s what they do.  There would be an announcement over switching tea ladies & some people would somehow impugn nefarious motives from the Arsenal board over the matter.  Seriously, it’s an away kit.  Who freaking cares if it’s purple, chartreuse or invisible colored.  Wait, what?  You get the point.  Or maybe you don’t .  There’s a lot of dense people out there.

Not the greatest thing in the world but neither are you

On the transfer front, it doesn’t look like Wenger will be in the market for another mega-über-monster-all-world centerback as Kyle Bartley is being promoted to the 1st team for the upcoming season.  If Djourou stays, that will give us 5 centerbacks (Verminator, Kos, Mertesaecker, Djourou & Bartley) which should be enough for the season barring an injury crisis in the middle of defense.  I know we’ve had awful luck with injuries in recent years but at some point fate has to go fuck with other teams you would think.  As for the quality of that group, opinions will obviously differ but I don’t think our questionable defense of recent years is due to talent but rather organization.  Hopefully the appointment of Steve Bould to assistant manager will give a breath of fresh air to that aspect of training.

Bartley has enjoyed dual spells at both Sheffield United & Rangers in Scotland and was also used sparingly at defensive mid at Rangers, so he may prove useful for this upcoming season.  I would think he’d see some time here & there as there’s been rumors that Wenger would like to rotate his central defense more this year & Bartley is most likely too good to play at reserve level save for the odd “staying fit” game here or there.

Bartley vaguely resembles President Obama; how bad can he be, amirite?!

Also, a young French striker, Mbaye Niang has apparently had a trial with Arsenal as well.  He’s 17 years old & had 23 appearances & 2 goals for Caen in Ligue 1 last year but most of those appearances came as a substitute.    People freak out sometimes when we bring in young players “because we need quality!”  “we need World Class DERP! DERP!,” but we also run a reserves & a U-19 side & it never hurts to bring somebody in for a trial.  It’s just a trial, freakout people.  Relax. Go stress out over the purple away kit instead.  Or sit & wait for the next “crisis” to hit…

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures: Manuel Almunia (released), George Brislen-Hall (released), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Gavin Hoyte (released- Dagenham & Redbridge), Sean McDermott (released), Jernade Meade (released), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telsar Velsen), Sanchez Watt (released)

Likely signings: ?
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh (Fiorentina, Valencia-loan),  Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park, Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia),  Robert van Persie (Juventus/Manchester City), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad)

Possible signings: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United), Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Mbaye Niang (Caen), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Salomon Rondon (Málaga), Matías Suárez (RSC Anderlecht), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo)
Possible departures: Benik Afobe (loan), Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Theo Walcott (Chelsea, Juventus, PSG)

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *         *

Now, for some LSU stuff.  The fine folks over at Andthevalleyshook.com have their Link Gumbo post up & I highly recommend both the site & the weekly Gumbo posting.  It includes an awesome link to the rage of Nick Saban’s daughter. Apparently, Sabanina can either throw down a bit or her “friend” expected her to let up at some point.  Either way, Saban’s daughter, Kristen, put a girl in a hospital with severe injuries & it’s all a bit oddly funny besides the obligatory shock & sadness of it all.  So, I guess you can add Head Coach daughter rage to poisoning historical oaks & teabagging passed out opposing fans to the list of “classy” things Bama fans do.  Yes, I’m sure it’s a minority but it only takes a minority of atom bombs to destroy the world.  So fuck off, Bammers.

Also, CBS Sports has a nice preview of Barkevious Mingo for the upcoming 2012 season.  Between the Mettenchrist & Galactic Emperor, Lord Mingo, I think LSU will be sitting pretty next year.  Unless, of course we have the utter disaster of going 13-1 like last season.

“What you mean, Curtis?! If you ain’t first, you last, boy! “

Yeah, you tell ’em, Ricky Bobby.  Ass.

And finally amongst all the armageddon of my teams, is, of course, BREESAGEDDON.  All your armageddons are belong to my teams apparently.