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Usain Bolt stuns the world again with another gold and another world record

Wow. Mere words cannot do justice as Usain Bolt proves once again that rules are only there to be broken.

Blistering: Bolt saved his celebrations for after the finish line this time.

Blistering: Bolt saved his celebrations for after the finish line this time.

The gold trainers may have been traded in for orange ones, and Beijing’s Bird’s Nest exchanged for Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but in the end, the result was exactly the same.
A gold medal, a world record, and an awe-inspiring performance.
Leaving the competition trailing in his wake, Usain Bolt added a World Championship 100m gold to his growing medal collection with a stunning time of 9.58 seconds.
Mere adjectives can perhaps not do justice to the feats Bolt seems capable of achieving.
Exactly one year earlier, Bolt had stunned the world in Beijing, grabbing gold in the most comprehensive fashion imaginable and setting a new world record of 9.69 seconds in the process.
The fact the lanky Jamaican ran that time despite slowing down over the last 30 metres to celebrate his impending victory (with his shoelaces undone), only added to the majesty and mythology of a performance few thought humanly possible.
It also led many to logically assume that, if the Jamaican ever did run flat-out for the whole 100m, a time of around 9.60 seconds would not be beyond him.
In Berlin, the 6’5” phenomenon proved that such logical assumptions were not wide off the mark.
“Back up a little bit, back up,” Bolt told the camera as he lined up before the race. “I’m ready. Are you ready?”
No one could have been.
His opponents certainly were not.
After a solid start that left him level with his rivals, Bolt soon exploded into his stride and, unlike in China, didn’t relax until he crossed the line.
Tyson Gay—who won both the 100m and 200m at the World Championships in 2005, and entered the race as the fastest man this year after setting a personal best of 9.77 seconds in Rome in July—can be credited for that, pushing Bolt closer than anyone managed in Beijing.
But even his time of 9.71 seconds, a new national record, was nowhere near the answer required to meet Bolt’s challenge.
The one remaining medal on offer was grabbed by Asafa Powell, perhaps the forgotten man of sprinting in light of his compatriot’s recent endeavours. He came home in a time of 9.84 seconds—but the history books will not remember the race because of that.
Once again, it was all about Bolt.
In the semifinals that took place earlier in the evening, Bolt cruised through the first heat in a time of 9.89 seconds. It was a comfortable sprint—perhaps jog might be a more apt description—as Bolt hit the front by 40 metres and then eased his way to the finish. An impressive performance it was, but it gave little clue as to what was waiting in store.
Following on in the second semifinal, Tyson Gay set up the long-awaited final battle between the world’s two premier sprinters as he won his own heat in a time of 9.93 seconds. The 27-year-old endured one of his customary slow starts, but his late burst gave encouragement to those who thought he might challenge Bolt.
In the final though, Bolt ended those hopes.
“I was ready, and feeling good after the semifinals,” Bolt said afterwards. “I knew it was going to be a great race, and I just came out and executed. It’s a great time.”
Last year, former 400m Olympic champion Michael Johnson described Bolt’s Olympic performance as “amazing”. This year, if it’s possible, the praise was even more effusive:
“Usain Bolt is unbelievable. We’ve never seen anything like him, and I’m not sure we ever will again,” Johnson said, clearly shell-shocked. “I didn’t think I could be more shocked than I was last year. It’s absolutely mind-boggling what he can do.”
Bolt’s competitors had no choice but to acknowledge the 22-year-old’s superiority:
“I ran the best I could, it just wasn’t good enough tonight,” the likable Gay said afterwards. “I believe I put in a championship performance. I’m happy with a national record.”
Seventy-three years earlier, in the same stadium, Jesse Owens did his bit to break down political and social barriers by embarrassing the Nazi regime in its own backyard. As a result, the 1936 Olympic Games has gone down in sporting history.
Bolt’s effort might not have such a widespread social impact, but it will surely become equally important in making people re-evaluate the limits of human physical performance. For that, it will surely be remembered just as long.
Earlier in the week, Bolt suggested to reporters that a time of 9.40 seconds is the absolute limit of his physical abilities. Just over a year ago, most knowledgeable athletics commentators would have suggested such a mark might would not be achieved in the next 50 years.
In light of recent events, perhaps some will believe we might see such a time with the next few years.
Such is the incredible nature of Bolt’s talent.
Unfortunately for us mere mortals, such a pursuit will have to wait. In the meantime, for Bolt and the rest of the world, the attention must now turn to his next event.
“I’ve got the 200m to come, so no partying for me!” the Jamaican replied after being asked how he might celebrate another historic performance.
Will another epic performance, and world record, come in that event?
Few would bet against it.

The gold trainers may have been traded in for orange ones, and Beijing’s Bird’s Nest exchanged for Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but in the end, the result was exactly the same.

A gold medal, a world record, and an awe-inspiring performance.

Leaving the competition trailing in his wake, Usain Bolt added a World Championship 100m gold to his growing medal collection with a stunning time of 9.58 seconds.

Mere adjectives can perhaps not do justice to the feats Bolt seems capable of achieving.

Exactly one year earlier, Bolt had stunned the world in Beijing, grabbing gold in the most comprehensive fashion imaginable and setting a new world record of 9.69 seconds in the process.

The fact the lanky Jamaican ran that time despite slowing down over the last 30 metres to celebrate his impending victory (with his shoelaces undone), only added to the majesty and mythology of a performance few thought humanly possible.

It also led many to logically assume that, if the Jamaican ever did run flat-out for the whole 100m, a time of around 9.60 seconds would not be beyond him.

In Berlin, the 6’5” phenomenon proved that such logical assumptions were not wide of the mark.

“Back up a little bit, back up,” Bolt told the camera as he lined up before the race. “I’m ready. Are you ready?”

No one could have been. Continue reading

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August 17, 2009 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Everton feud indicates fifth is the immediate target for Mark Hughes and Manchester City

They’ve made a lot of signings this summer, but only managed to enrage Everton in the process. For Mark Hughes and Manchester City, surely that is no coincidence?

Lescott: Could his immediate future decide who finishes fifth come May?

Lescott: Could his immediate future decide who finishes fifth come May?

Ask Alex Ferguson, and he’ll surely tell you (no doubt with a certain amount of glee) that stirring up trouble with rivals in the media can often have more of an effect on their fortunes than anything you do to them on the pitch.

Last season, Ferguson’s subtle baiting of Rafa Benitez lead to the Spaniard’s infamous “these are the facts” rant, a rant that preceded a noticeable drop in form — one that ultimately cost the Reds the title.

Some might not believe in the effect of Rafa’s rant, but to fans at Old Trafford the meltdown certainly didn’t hurt their march to the title. Taking that on board, rivals Manchester City are now trying their hand at unsettling their own league rivals.

The fact that it is Everton being unsettled gives the clearest indication yet that fifth is the position Mark Hughes is targeting this season.

After John Terry ended his silent summer flirtation with the club, Everton’s Joleon Lescott has become the subject of Hughes’ affection. But manager David Moyes has been left outraged by the way the Eastlands club has handled the deal:

“The dialogue has not taken place with Manchester City and Everton in the way that it is said to be. If it was, the dialogue would come to me,” he said. “There has been no contact with me. I’m the person here who makes the decisions. I’m in control of Everton Football Club.” Continue reading

August 15, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Arsene Wenger Right to Remain Confident Despite Puzzling Summer for Arsenal?

Few clubs divide opinion like Arsenal. This summer has done little to unite opinion, and a consensus on where the club are heading seems unlikely to be reached. Arsene Wenger remains sure of his project — is he right to be?

Wenger and Adebayor didn't always see eye-to-eye, and the striker's departure might be a positive for Arsenal

Wenger and Adebayor didn't always see eye-to-eye, and the striker's departure might be a positive for Arsenal

Few clubs, and perhaps even fewer managers, provoke such conflicting opinions as Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. To some, the club plays beautiful football but its playing staff lack the resilience and mental strength to win the game’s big prizes.
To others, their brand of football is just a bit of experience and a dose of good fortune away from winning every trophy they compete for.
As for the manager, even Arsenal’s fans sometimes seem divided about the direction Wenger is leading the club. Some are unquestioning in their faith to his vision. Others are less impressed—frustrated by his apparent refusal to pursue expensive signings and outright angered by the misguided faith he appears to have in his young charges.
Deliciously, it often seems the 59-year-old’s comments only serve to provide ammunition for both sides of the argument. This summer has proved no different.
“This team has improved a lot as compared to last season. They played 21 games unbeaten from November until the end of the season. We reached the semi-final of the Champions League, FA Cup,” Wenger has been quick to point out.
“We have a squad which is very ambitious. We have the basic quality, they have international quality and are under 23, so their best time is now.”
Certainly Arsenal impressed during periods of last season, and got better after an abysmal start that saw some shocking defeats (most notably, and embarrassingly, at home to Hull City). But while they may have managed all the feats Wenger mentions, they also finished a full 18 points adrift of eventual champions Manchester United.
For a club that believes it is a full member of the “Big Four” that is simply not good enough.
Wenger may believe this season is the one for his team, but the summer sale of two high-profile assets has led many to question whether he is correct in that assertion. After all, it is one he has seemingly made for the better part of four, ultimately trophy-less, seasons.
With the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure, Arsenal have undoubtedly lost two important players and diminished the squad’s strength. But on the other hand, the club seem to have profited in at least three important ways.
Firstly, and most obviously, the have added £40 million of much needed finance to their bank balance. Whether Arsene Wenger chooses to reinvest all or any of that remains unclear, but one way or another those funds will help the club’s future.
Secondly, Wenger has sold two players who would otherwise have probably missed a key period of the season to play in the African Cup of Nations. With Emmanuel Eboue also likely to be offloaded, Wenger is ensuring that his team is minimally disrupted (Alex Song should be involved) by the competition, unlike two seasons ago.
Thirdly, Wenger has managed to offload two players who threatened the dressing room harmony. Adebayor’s poor attitude was becoming increasingly apparent, and left a sour taste in the mouth whenever he made his not-so-subtle comments to the media.
Toure might have seemed the archetypal loyal servant, but his recent comments about his “six-month” relationship with Manchester City indicate that was not necessarily the case.
Now, however, those issues will be Mark Hughes’s—a privilege for which he has also played handsomely.
Wenger might lose some sleep over the loss of Adebayor, who was capable of moments of magic when the occasion most demanded it. But the Togolese international was also lackadaisical and disinterested when his team desperately needed more.
With the Robin van Persie leading the line, Nicklas Bendtner in the squad, and a litany of attacking midfielders to provide from midfield, Adebayor had become expendable.
As for Toure, the Ivorian was a defender of limited ability whose athleticism often made him look significantly better than he deserved. Statistically poor last season, he was nevertheless an integral part of an Arsenal defence which conceded 37 goals in the league last season (Manchester United, by contrast, conceded just 24).
Clearly, the 28-year-old should prove eminently replaceable.
Whether Thomas Vermaelen, the £10 million summer signing, will prove that replacement remains to be seen. But the Belgian brings with him a decent reputation from his time with Ajax and as long as he settles well, should prove a competent performer.
Nevertheless, Wenger might well be scouting for an established Premiership central defender to provide further steel to a sometimes soft Arsenal defence. The club have been strongly linked to Fulham’s Brede Hangeland, and at the right price the 6’5” Norwegian would be a great capture.
If St. Etienne’s Blaise Matuidi is also brought in to address the club’s glaring deficiency at defensive midfield, perhaps alongside former talisman Patrick Vieira, then it would not be unreasonable to suggest the club have had a successful summer.
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BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 02: Xabi Alonso of Liverpool smiles during his warm up reacting to shouts from fans regarding his possible move to Real Madrid during the pre-season friendly match between Espanyol and Liverpool at the Nuevo Estadio de Cornella-El Prat on August 2, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. Espanyol won the match 3-0. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Two Sigings Away From Greatness: Wenger Must Act Right Now
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    * Rumors & Realities Humor: No, No, It’s Beyond “Arsene Knows Best”
LONDON – SEPTEMBER 15: Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor of Arsenal celebrate a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on September 15, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Have Arsenal Pressed the Self-Destruct Button? 78 comments
    * Huntelaar, Hangeland, and Vieira Additions Should Equal Arsenal Resurgence 34 comments
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WIGAN, ENGLAND – APRIL 11: Mikael Silvestre of Arsenal is congratulated by Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal at The JJB Stadium on April 11, 2009 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Arsene Wenger Right To Keep Faith Despite Arsenal’s Puzzling Summer?
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    * Team Unity, Not New Defenders, Is the Real Challenge for Hughes’ Manchester City
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14 comments Last one added about 3 hours ago — Leave a Comment
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      dennis berry about 18 hours ago
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      Despite the continual speculation about the big four, I think it is Liverpool who have come off the worst this summer.
      You have done a very good job in pointing out casues for optimism for Arsenal fans, I personally despise Wenger but he is, after all, a football genius and I don’t doubt that he believes he is doing well and if that’s what he thinks he is in a better position than us to judge.
      I am also tiring of the remarks about United being ‘weak’ now that Ronaldo has left.
      Yes, they have lost the best player in the world. But that is surprisingly insignificant when you consider that the other big three have hardly strengthened. It could even be a good thing – Berbatov and Rooney are set to shine now that they can both concentrate on playing striker roles instead of the wide/playmaker positions they had to fill to accomodate Ronaldo, as is Owen, who has looked better than he has for years in the preseason. Valencia has looked good on the right wing in the glimpses I have seen in pre-season.
      Liverpool, on the other hand…
      Well, yes they’ve signed the best right back in the Premierleague, but they seem to have a squad of want away players. Torres and Gerrard are the two most committed (and… well, simply the best) players they have, but Alonso seems desparate to leave and I’m not certain about Mascherano but there seems to be a lot of speculation about him, too. This could really hamper their performances if they are forced to stay.
      But enoguh of my ranting, this was a good article.
      Despite the continual speculation about the big four, I think it is Liverpool who have come off the worst this summer. You have done a very good job in pointing out casues for optimism for Arsenal fans, I personally despise Wenger but he is, after all, a football genius and I don’t doubt that he believes he is doing well and if that’s what he thinks he is in a better position than us to judge. I am also tiring of the remarks about United being ‘weak’ now that Ronaldo has left. Yes, they have lost the best player in the world. But that is surprisingly insignificant when you consider that the other big three have hardly strengthened. It could even be a good thing – Berbatov and Rooney are set to shine now that they can both concentrate on playing striker roles instead of the wide/playmaker positions they had to fill to accomodate Ronaldo, as is Owen, who has looked better than he has for years in the preseason. Valencia has looked good on the right wing in the glimpses I have seen in pre-season. Liverpool, on the other hand… Well, yes they’ve signed the best right back in the Premierleague, but they seem to have a squad of want away players. Torres and Gerrard are the two most committed (and… well, simply the best) players they have, but Alonso seems desparate to leave and I’m not certain about Mascherano but there seems to be a lot of speculation about him, too. This could really hamper their performances if they are forced to stay. But enoguh of my ranting, this was a good article. Edit Comment Cancel
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      Ismail Ayub about 17 hours ago
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      Well… Attacking Wise the squad looks AMAZING, nothing else I can really say… We don’t really need anyone but I can understand why KJH would be good…
      Defensively… Well, The goal we conceded to Atletico madrid shows why we need a DMF and another CB… No1 tracked Pacheco…
      Well… Attacking Wise the squad looks AMAZING, nothing else I can really say… We don’t really need anyone but I can understand why KJH would be good… Defensively… Well, The goal we conceded to Atletico madrid shows why we need a DMF and another CB… No1 tracked Pacheco… Edit Comment Cancel
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      Jack Morton about 15 hours ago
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      I think apart from clichy you need a whole new defence..vermaelen is meant to be good so he fills the hole toure left but i wudnt want senderos back in there with him..Wenger needs to dip into the money he got form the africans before its to late..again
      I think apart from clichy you need a whole new defence..vermaelen is meant to be good so he fills the hole toure left but i wudnt want senderos back in there with him..Wenger needs to dip into the money he got form the africans before its to late..again Edit Comment Cancel
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      steve CindyCrosby about 13 hours ago
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      Jesus H Freaking Christ!!. Not a day goes by without someone writing an article about Arsenal on this site. Geez people enough is enough. If people buy their merchandizes as much as they write about them, the club would have enough money to buy any player they want. I’m an Arsenal fan people and i want to see them do well, but the constant articles about who/what/when/how about Wenger and the team is reaching ridiculous levels. At end of every season, only one team is satisfied and the journey begins all over again. Just enjoy the journey and stop with the constant second-guessing.
      Jesus H Freaking Christ!!. Not a day goes by without someone writing an article about Arsenal on this site. Geez people enough is enough. If people buy their merchandizes as much as they write about them, the club would have enough money to buy any player they want. I’m an Arsenal fan people and i want to see them do well, but the constant articles about who/what/when/how about Wenger and the team is reaching ridiculous levels. At end of every season, only one team is satisfied and the journey begins all over again. Just enjoy the journey and stop with the constant second-guessing. Edit Comment Cancel
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            Brian Son about 11 hours ago
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            Isn’t that a good thing? At least the community cares enough to be active and willing to throw up their thoughts and opinions. I’d rather have this than a community that sits back and sleeps during the off-season.
            Isn’t that a good thing? At least the community cares enough to be active and willing to throw up their thoughts and opinions. I’d rather have this than a community that sits back and sleeps during the off-season. Edit Comment Cancel
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            Mac Mohan about 10 hours ago
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            Ha ha this is a pre-season euphoria.It will dry up soon.
            Ha ha this is a pre-season euphoria.It will dry up soon. Edit Comment Cancel
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            tumang bokaba about 8 hours ago
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            try writting one on people (ie. yoursel) being fed up with Arsenal articles and see how far you go on that.
            try writting one on people (ie. yoursel) being fed up with Arsenal articles and see how far you go on that. Edit Comment Cancel
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            Mustapha Phag about 6 hours ago
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            Steve Cindy Crosby why dont you read something else if you are not happy with Arsenal fans debating whats going on.
            There are some good knitting or dressmaking websites on the net, and as a self proclaimed admirer of yourself you should be able to knit a nice tight scarf to wrap around your neck
            Steve Cindy Crosby why dont you read something else if you are not happy with Arsenal fans debating whats going on. There are some good knitting or dressmaking websites on the net, and as a self proclaimed admirer of yourself you should be able to knit a nice tight scarf to wrap around your neck Edit Comment Cancel
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            Alex Dimond about 4 hours ago
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            Crikey steve, you must be a barrel of laughs when you discuss football with your mates!
            Crikey steve, you must be a barrel of laughs when you discuss football with your mates! Edit Comment Cancel
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      Joe G about 12 hours ago
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      According to several good sources (not The Sun), Wenger has plans to buy some defensive reinforcements before the season begins. It’s entirely likely that he’s just waited because he wanted to see where he needed reinforcements most after preseason friendlies. Arsenal are still linked with Hangeland, and now Matuidi and Vieira as well. It seems like a safe bet that Arsenal will shore up the defense in the summer, and perhaps again in January if they don’t do enough now.
      According to several good sources (not The Sun), Wenger has plans to buy some defensive reinforcements before the season begins. It’s entirely likely that he’s just waited because he wanted to see where he needed reinforcements most after preseason friendlies. Arsenal are still linked with Hangeland, and now Matuidi and Vieira as well. It seems like a safe bet that Arsenal will shore up the defense in the summer, and perhaps again in January if they don’t do enough now. Edit Comment Cancel
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            Alex Dimond about 4 hours ago
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            Matuidi is a great player, although I’m a bit worried he is slightly undersized for the Premier League. Nevertheless, I think signing him alongside Vieira would be a great long term move for the club.
            Matuidi is a great player, although I’m a bit worried he is slightly undersized for the Premier League. Nevertheless, I think signing him alongside Vieira would be a great long term move for the club. Edit Comment Cancel
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      Maire Ofeire about 4 hours ago
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      I liked this article Alex – good balanced review.
      And unlike most of the rubbish I’ve read especially in the crap that is the tabloids, you highlighted the fact that Adebayor and Toure were causing trouble in the dressing room. I can’t find the article now but apparently Wenger has admitted that the African contingent were causing too much upset in the dressing room so he broke them up. I actually don’t think Eboue is a trouble maker off the pitch so he is been sold for football reasons.
      I do think we will see another experienced CB come in because Wenger is still trying to offload Senderos. I expect to see Matuidi as well and wouldn’t at all be adverse to see Vieira coming back.
      I’m not too pushed about another forward coming in as I think we can get goals but we certainly need to shore up big time at the back.
      I liked this article Alex – good balanced review. And unlike most of the rubbish I’ve read especially in the crap that is the tabloids, you highlighted the fact that Adebayor and Toure were causing trouble in the dressing room. I can’t find the article now but apparently Wenger has admitted that the African contingent were causing too much upset in the dressing room so he broke them up. I actually don’t think Eboue is a trouble maker off the pitch so he is been sold for football reasons. I do think we will see another experienced CB come in because Wenger is still trying to offload Senderos. I expect to see Matuidi as well and wouldn’t at all be adverse to see Vieira coming back. I’m not too pushed about another forward coming in as I think we can get goals but we certainly need to shore up big time at the back. Edit Comment Cancel
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            Alex Dimond about 2 hours ago
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            Thanks Maire. Totally agree, I think Wenger is still waiting to see who he manages to offload before he makes his own purchases. Knowing him, he already has all his targets identified, it’s just a case of waiting to see what he is working with before he starts negotiations.
            Arsenal clearly need a DM and CB. Matuidi would be a great buy (always admired him whenever I’ve watched St. Etienne) although his height does concern me slightly. He is a bit of Lass Diarra Mk II, and we know how that ended for Wenger…
            Hangeland seems the obvious CB buy, mainly because of his height and Prem experience, but Wenger rarely seems to make the obvious move. I wonder if he’ll move for another European (Santacroce?) or even hijack City’s Lescott pursuit instead?
            Thanks Maire. Totally agree, I think Wenger is still waiting to see who he manages to offload before he makes his own purchases. Knowing him, he already has all his targets identified, it’s just a case of waiting to see what he is working with before he starts negotiations. Arsenal clearly need a DM and CB. Matuidi would be a great buy (always admired him whenever I’ve watched St. Etienne) although his height does concern me slightly. He is a bit of Lass Diarra Mk II, and we know how that ended for Wenger… Hangeland seems the obvious CB buy, mainly because of his height and Prem experience, but Wenger rarely seems to make the obvious move. I wonder if he’ll move for another European (Santacroce?) or even hijack City’s Lescott pursuit instead? Edit Comment Cancel
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                  Maire Ofeire about 2 hours ago
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                  I honestly though Matuidi would be signed by now, thought it was a done deal considering the link with Comolli.
                  I don’t think Arsenal would hijack Lescott’s move, one because we can’t compete money wise with City and secondly it seems that Everton don’t want to lose Lescott and its not really Wenger’s style to overly unsettle players.
                  I think this week could see a lot of movement at Arsenal because Wenger will want to get the squad altogether for the game against Valencia.
                  I honestly though Matuidi would be signed by now, thought it was a done deal considering the link with Comolli. I don’t think Arsenal would hijack Lescott’s move, one because we can’t compete money wise with City and secondly it seems that Everton don’t want to lose Lescott and its not really Wenger’s style to overly unsettle players. I think this week could see a lot of movement at Arsenal because Wenger will want to get the squad altogether for the game against Valencia. Edit Comment Cancel
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Written on August 02, 2009
Filed under Opinion    269 reads
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Few clubs, and perhaps even fewer managers, provoke such conflicting opinions as Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. To some, the club plays beautiful football but its playing staff lack the resilience and mental strength to win the game’s big prizes. To others, their brand of football is just a bit of experience and a dose of good fortune away from winning every trophy they compete for.

As for the manager, even Arsenal’s fans sometimes seem divided about the direction Wenger is leading the club. Some are unquestioning in their faith to his vision. Others are less impressed — frustrated by his apparent refusal to pursue expensive signings and outright angered by the misguided faith he appears to have in his young charges.

Deliciously, it often seems the 59-year-old’s comments only serve to provide ammunition for both sides of the argument. This summer has proved no different.

“This team has improved a lot as compared to last season. They played 21 games unbeaten from November until the end of the season. We reached the semi-final of the Champions League, FA Cup,” Wenger has been quick to point out. “We have a squad which is very ambitious. We have the basic quality, they have international quality and are under 23, so their best time is now.”

Certainly Arsenal impressed during periods of last season, and got better after an abysmal start that saw some shocking defeats (most notably, and embarrassingly, at home to Hull City). But while they may have managed all the feats Wenger mentions, they also finished a full 18 points adrift of eventual champions Manchester United.

For a club that believes it is a full member of the “Big Four” that is simply not good enough. Continue reading

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , | Leave a comment