All aboard the 8:54 to Cologne

I feel sorry for those Eurocrats on the 8:54am train from St Pancras International to Brussels. There quiet journey into Brussels to collect their expenses pay cheque is to be ruined this morning by 100s of Arsenal fans invading their train.

Or I would feel sorry for them if they were not a bunch of overpaid, unelected, expenses cheating, meddling individuals. They will be in for a shock when we leave the EU and they actually have to get a real job rather than ride the £120,000 a year MEP expenses gravy train.

I am writing this blog on Tuesday night. By the time it is published on the site, at 8:54am Wednesday morning, the beers will already be flowing, the Jägermeister shoted, and the chaos will begin.

A few years back we played Anderlecht. I had tickets as part of the Arsenal away scheme and stupidly decided not to go, selling my tickets (face value of course) to a mater. I missed what was one of the best Euro away trips in recent memory.

This year, there are 12 of us going out to Cologne.

Alongside us will be 100s, thousands more. It might not be as many as what Cologne bought to London, but we will drink the city dry.

Whilst Cologne might have had the numbers in London, there fans odd behaviour of spending hours walking the streets, before getting into the ground 2 hours before kick off baffled me.

Out there, we will pitch up to a bar for three days, drink it dry, then move on to the next one.

Locals always pretend that they hate when the English appear. The rumours of havoc and towns and cities being destroyed. The truth is much different.

We just drink, drink together, in the name of the AFC. I would love to see how much money is bought in to a local economy when an English team visits.

I was out in Lille for when England played Wales. There was 10’s of thousands of fans. The invasion would have bought millions into the Lille economy. The cost of policing and the odd repair of a window being hit with a football would have been negligible.

The next 3 days is going to go past in a drunken haze, so do not complain if you do not get a blog from me till Saturday at least.

Up the Arsenal

Keenos

Advertisements

Wenger set for Arsenal summer exit

Last season, we were promised a “big shake up” at Arsenal by Ivan Gazidis.

There was talk of a Director of Football coming in and a host of back room changes.

What materialised was Arsene Wenger signed a new two year deal and not much really changes bar a fitness and some dude from Sky coming in.

More recently, we also saw Dick Law, the man who could not negotiate, leave the club. I imagine he didn’t negotiate his own severance package.

So two more years of same old rubbish with Arsene Wenger, it seemed.

Well maybe not. The moves being made over the last week or so could lead to Arsene Wenger’s exit as early as the end of the season, leaving his role a year before his contract is due to expire.

Just yesterday it was announced that Arsenal had hired Borussia Dortmund’s highly-rated chief scout Sven Mislintat as their new head of recruitment.

The 45-year-old German has been brought in to oversee the club’s scouting and recruitment alongside manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

Chief scout Steve Rowley has stepped down from his role but will continue working with the club on a consultancy basis during a phase.

The news of Arsene Wenger’s loyal eyes Steve Rowley leaving is as big as Mislintat coming in.

Rowley, 58, who pre-dates Wenger’s 1996 arrival, will step down as chief scout. He was with Wenger through his successful first decade at Arsenal and beyond, elevated to the position of chief scout by the current Arsenal manager having worked his way up the hierarchy.

He is most certainly one of Wenger’s men.

On the heels of this news is the continual gossip of a new Director of Football coming in.

Despite Wenger previously dismissing the idea, and Gazidis being voted down, the CEO has pressed with his search and seems close to making a decision.

Reports from Germany indicate that Arsenal are ‘set to pay £1.75m’ to buy Michael Zorc out of Borussia Dortmund contract and appoint him in new sporting director role.

There has also been continual talk out of Spain that Gazidis is preparing for Wengers exit and wants to hire Barcelona’s Director of Football Raul Sanllehi.

These big moves will loosen the grip of Arsene Wenger, as scouting of players and the overall running of the club look to be taken away from him.

The only logical conclusion of all this is that Wenger is likely to leave Arsenal this summer, with the new management structure having bedded down and appoint their own man.

This could be the last season Wenger has at Arsenal.

Keenos

Journalists make complaints against Arsenal due to a cup of tea

For anyone who is not on Twitter, you missed a hilarious Sunday as a load of journalists got their knickers in a twist at Arsenal’s social media team:

Arsenal’s crime? Tweeting a gif of Mesut Ozil drinking a cup of tea to a journalist who, when doing a North London Derby combined XI, delightfully announced that his side will contain XI Spurs players:

Now these journalists who spent their Sunday’s crying into their morning brew have shown themselves up as being complete and utter hypocrites.

They work for, and have themselves produced, click bait articles.

Fabricated stories with ludicrous headlines designed to get a response, designed to get hits to please the advertisers.

The journalist in question even Tweeted about the combined XI he submitted. Boasting about the fact that his combined XI was just the Spurs starting XI. He did it for the attention. He did it for the hits. He is a young, unknown journalist, looks like he only just finished university last week, and was clearly trying to raise his profile.

As we have seen recently, having thousands of Twitter followers these days is much more important than the quality of content you put out.

Arsenal responded, in kind, with a picture of Mesut Ozil drinking a cup of tea. With a cheeky wink. It was a brilliant response. A hilarious one.

Now some of what followed was unsavoury. We know Twitter has its vile elements. People who tweet homophobic, racist abuse, that they think is OK because they are behind a keyboard.

This type of behaviour is not OK, and Twitter themselves need to do more about this. Those people also need to take a look at themselves. Saying stuff online that they would not say to someone’s face. The abuse some people give out, constantly, just to raise a profile, is disgusting.

But this is in the minority, and is something, I am afraid, we do have to live with. Twitter allows you to block, mute and report. These people are best left ignored.

As the saying go’s, do not feed the trolls.

What the journalists tried to do was blame Arsenal for the furore that followed. They claimed that if Arsenal had not tweeted the journalist, then none of the abuse would have followed. Whilst that is cause and effect, and true, perhaps they should take it a step further back.

The journalist in question deliberately wrote an article intended to wind up fans. And then bought attention to that article. Had he not Tweeted about his article, bringing attention to it, then Arsenal would have had nothing to respond to.

The journalist also showed his immaturity, his lack of ability to cope.

The best response to arsenal’s tweet would have been a video of himself, drinking a cup of tea, saying touché. It would have got him far more positive attention and would have been forgotten about by Sunday lunch.

Instead he threw his toys out the pram and, alongside his more senior colleagues, attempted to make a story about it. They thought they would get a lot of support, but soon realised that many fans, of all clubs, think they are a bunch of tossers.

Taking into account that these journalists write for the likes of The Sun and the Daily Mail, two bottom feeding rags who are constantly caught out abusing people, and groups of people, for the hits, the whole situation is laughable.

Apparently the Daily Mail have complained to Arsenal about the tweet. Remember this is a tweet of a man drinking a cup of tea. They are trying to get someone sacked.

I hope Arsenal tell them exactly where to go. There is nothing to apologise for. Arsenal twitter is there for Arsenal fans, and the response yesterday was that Arsenal fans loved the tweet.

The journalists who have complained need to take a look at themselves. They are senior reporters who sit in their ivory tower.

Next time they are at Arsenal, I hope the club does not put on any food for them. I hope all they get is a cup of tea.

Keenos