As the clock ticks down on the summer transfer window, Arsenal have already come up big with some noteworthy signings. Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, André dos Santos from Fenerbaçhe (never heard of it? me neither, but he’s Brazilian and has real international experience), and Park Chu-Young, the South Korean captain.
Down to the wire? Certainly. More to come? Possibly. I’m following all the Arsenal deadline day news from Arseblog news. It’s a live, auto-updating feed of all the info that gooners need to know.
Victoria Concordia Crescit – Up the Arsenal
Another scrimmage, and more good news to report. My footwork and crosses were dead on, which helped me net several goals and assists while playing man down (4 vs. 3) on a small field. Playing today after moving out of my apartment (back home for a week and 1/2 until my new lease), I’m pretty exhausted, but it’s the good kind of exhausted where you know you accomplished some things.
On a sadder note (but good riddance nonetheless), Arsenal sent Samir Nasri to Manchester City today. I didn’t care for his attitude of late, but his presence will definitely be missed in the midfield.
Yesterday, I was invited to go on BC Sports Saturday, a radio show on 90.3 FM Boston (wzbc.org). Though the main reason for my visit was to discuss the BCGAA, I also got to talk football (American and Soccer) and the start of the Premier League’s 20th season. Coming off an Arsenal loss that morning, I wasn’t in the best mood about the sport, but I had a good time in the studio.
Later that night, my buddy Paul and I met up with the Boston Gooners, the local Arsenal Supporters group, at Gillette Stadium for the Revolution vs. Red Bulls match. Supposedly, Thierry Henry was going to meet with us after the match, but unfortunately he wasn’t in attendance. To add insult to injury, the Revs threw away a two-goal lead, finishing with a 2-2 draw.
Cesc gone? Arsenal plays well and takes down Udinese. I’ve been playing poorly the past few games? I snapped out of it in style. In a 4 v 4 match, I stepped up and my game came together beautifully. My footwork kicked in perfectly, my passes were dead on, and I made several key defensive plays. I also scored several times and stacked up a few assists as well.
Frankly, I’m just glad to have some positive things to report. I had been pretty discouraged lately, but things seem to be picking up again.
O Captain! My Captain! The season’s far from done.
The fans think Arsene is a quack; no new signings have we won.
Euro is near, the fans do fear, while for the worst preparing
For silverware seems far away, and you seem a tad uncaring.
But O Cesc! Cesc! Cesc!
O the shade of Arsenal Red
Where on the floor lies kit number 4
Abandoned, cold, and dead.
O Captain! My Captain! Why did you head to Spain?
For those annoying friends of yours who’re really quite a pain?
Though pretty passes ignite the masses and make the Nou Camp roar
The tricks and cheats of Barca’s club can hardly be ignored.
Here Cesc! Dear captain!
The Gunners that you led;
They are a dream that on the pitch
You left now that you’ve fled.
My Cesc he does not answer, his lips are closed and still.
While Arsenal falters in the prem, lacking depth and strength of will.
The season starts again anew, its voyage setting sail,
With injuries, and discontent, and Nasri whining without fail.
Exult, O Barca, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Watch the club my captain left,
When away to Spain he fled.
Second game in a row that I just didn’t play well at all, and I’m pretty discouraged. Granted some of the time it wasn’t entirely my fault, but still I have to be accountable where necessary. All the progress that I’d been having seems to have trailed off in the past two weeks.
What’s different? A few things. First of all, we haven’t had enough people to play full field games, and this means short-sided, small field games. My style of play is to work the long ball and the wings – something you can’t do too well on a short field. Does this mean that I have a speciality? Maybe…but the trouble on short-field play also suggests I’m not too versatile a player. Is it a problem with touch? I don’t know. I mostly am getting a good first touch, but I seem lost with the ball on a short field. I just don’t know where to go with it…passes aren’t as available, and there’s less room to work around. So maybe it’s a footwork issue. I’m not sure.
The biggest problem might just be my own negativity. Today’s game started out alright for me, but after one or two mistakes, I just fell apart. I think I’m just far too down on myself…even tonight, not EVERYTHING was bad. I had several good passes and one particularly good shot on net (just glanced wide).
And if my soccer world couldn’t be crumbling down around me any more, Arsenal is set to lose Cesc and Samir in the next few days. With van Persie and Wilshere already having injury problems on top of this, it looks like it could be a long season for the gunners.
Hopefully the upcoming intramural season (with its full-field play) will bring me back some confidence. Until then, I’m just going to keep training.
Last night’s twice-a-week scrimmage went awfully for my team and me. As a team, we couldn’t finish well, our passes were always a step off, and we made a series of stupid mistakes. Personally, I ended up with three goals in our 11-5 loss, but only one of them is worth noting (a volley off my left foot). I blew way more opportunities to score, and was frustrated throughout the whole game by my lackluster performance.
The one good thing I took from the game was my speed. I was the quickest one out there by the end of the game, able to put on a quick burst in the final minutes when everyone else lagged back. I’m taking the day off from any type of workout today, trying to give my legs a break. I had been hitting the gym with a lot more vigor leading up to last night, and I think tiredness may have contributed to my bad night.
After waiting forever, my Jack Wilshere away Jersey and bonus bag/collector’s box came in today. Here’s an incomplete look at my Arsenal collection. (One t-shirt and all my books and photos are back at home.)
After a long day at work looking forward to my game tonight…thunderstorm. Oh well, at least it’s sharkweek.