Monday, August 19, 2013


On Arsenal's team sheet against Villa yesterday, Higuain and Suarez at the front. Gustavo slotted straight in for injured Arteta. Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger, for the first time in a long time, came through to buying early in the summer. Walking the now infamous June talk.

Then opening day disaster happened. 1-3 to Aston Villa.  

Let's go into the details eh, of this alternate reality Arsenal find themselves in.

Higuain is on the periphery of the biggest team in the world, only 19 starts but with 16 goals to show. Only 25 years young, heading to his prime, what's there not to like after a season watching Olivier Giroud. Higuain is however not brought in by the incumbent president, unlike Karim Benzema Real's preferred no. 9. Real's kind early valuation was 'agreed in principle' at £23m.  but gazumped by Napoli at £35m led by their new manager whose nickname is The Fat Waiter. 

There are a few undercurrent this summer which played its part over this shamble of a which defined this summer, Napoli's Cavani to PSG for £55m, so Napoli has money to reinvest. Ex-Chelsea and PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti replacing Jose Mourinho, wanting a better deal for Higuain.

If you pay peanuts, you get Sanogo (no racist pun intended). My personal view is Arsenal was a bit naive to walk away, just because someone else bid higher for a proven 25 year old Real Madrid striker with Champions League pedigree. 

Final word on Higuain, salt to wound, he turned up at Emirates in one of many Arsenal's money grabbing pre season tournaments in Napoli sky blue. Ugh.

What is there not to like to a chomping, diving racist valued at £40m. Oh brilliant striker too.
If I were to be a fly on the wall in Arsenal's boardroom, this was probably what happened:

Ivan: Fat Benitez put £35m for Higuain!
Arsene: I thought it was a done deal, Fat Waiter is with Chelsea no?
Ivan: Napoli now mate. That's a good £12m more I have to fork out of my pocket.
Arsene: Cest a dire?
Ivan: Um, I mean Arsenal Football Club has to pay. We have to make a profit and return money to the shareholders and Financial Fair Play whatever.
Arsene: Si si. You know what chief, Pep Guardiola's brother told me Suarez is only £40m. 
Ivan: Ok if he is related to Pep he must right then! Alright we'll go after Suarez then (all the time gnashing his teeth at the price like he lost his arm)

Bringing us to date, to the very public courting post Suarez's transfer trigger ala RVP/Fabregas that Arsenal as a selling club is becoming accustomed to.

Young midfielder who is part of the treble winning Bayern Munich. He even came on the Champions League final match. 

Well he made too much sense for Arsenal to buy. Yep too much sense. Off he went to Wolfsburg for 15pence.

Alas, while I tore myself apart with this offseason's logic defying shenanigans above, Arsenal could do no worse with a decent keeper (Begovic) and few more functional defenders (Sagna is not a central defender). Unfortunately there has been not a whisper of a transfer gossip about defense.

The saving grace has been well documented that a whole heap of deadweight has been shipped out (hi Chamakh, hi Santos to namedrop a few), but it just translates to saving the salaries and increasing the stake of cash stashed under AFC's pillow. 

When Roman's image was shown at Stamford Bridge, there was a round of applause by the home fans. Any decent Chelsea would have clapped in appreciation for his vision, his enthusiasm and more importantly his willingness to getting players (and manager, ha) to Chelsea every new season. No money for guessing what will happen if Ivan 'the Terrible' Gazidis is spotted.

Monday, June 24, 2013

258. Dastardly No More

It's been a good while since this Blogger has posted anything of note here, maybe since way back in 2005 when this blog first started. Jeez, that was a really, really long time ago.

Perhaps this Blogger was of the wider-eyed and gaping mouth variety. When everything was still fresh and young, and there was still wonder left to be discovered in the world. I'm sure there still is, albeit harder to find.

Now then, words these days come harder. Inspiration too. Ramblings seem even more childish and pointless now than it seemed then. These days time is a rare commodity rather spent living than musing.

That's what happens. Inevitable and unstoppable.

So does this mean this blog is at an end? Well, never say never. Heck, who knows? I could start blogging every day from now on. Or take it to the next level by Twittering and Tumblring this shit right here.

NAH, not happening.

Well, what's there to say? As an Anne Rice would say, the blog Dastardly Musings, it left me. I'm not saying that I'm leaving it forever or no longer muse of dastardly things anymore. It's just that it's harder and harder to take the time out and put it into words.

Jeez, this is depressing. This blog has been occasional and irritating outlet of this Blogger's life for the last 9 years or so since it first was born into being by the promptings of that Swedish half-breed Yelpo and after feeling overly affected by the devastation of the Indian Ocean tsunami. That was pretty rough man, I tell you.

At that time blogs were blooming. And I happily jumped on that bandwagon as, who am I kidding, I had nothing better else to do. And I loved writing. I still do, dammit.

It was good. Writing something on the web for the world to see is sort of invigorating. No doubt this blog has very few visitors, it was still fun. Your shit's out there, no hiding man.

Looking back at some of the posts on this blogs, there are many that cause me to cringe when I read them, and a few I thought were pretty decent, and perhaps 1 or 2 that I'm pretty happy with. Which ones? No way I'm telling anyone. All I can say it's those few posts that evokes memories of sunny times that always brings a smile. Sunny times and bright shinny people I love and will always remember.

Well, here's to you guys and to those times. A tip of the hat to you all.

This blog will return, that I promise you. It's just taking a little breather for a moment.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

257. May 5

Be the change you want to see.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

256. Serendipity

This is how they used to do it back in the day.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

255. There There

There's this great Radiohead song from some time back that goes like this...

"There's always a siren 
Singing you to shipwreck 
(Don't reach out, don't reach out 
Don't reach out, don't reach out) 
Steer away from each rocks 
We'd be a walking disaster 
(Don't reach out, don't reach out 
Don't reach out, don't reach out) 

Just 'cause you feel it 
Doesn't mean it's there 
(Someone on your shoulder 
Someone on your shoulder) 
Just 'cause you feel it 
Doesn't mean it's there 
(Someone on your shoulder 
Someone on your shoulder) 
There there!"

As with all great songs, those words once heard just kinda stuck. There was just something about that surreal and nightmarish landscape the song evoked and those darkly prophetic themes that resonated deeply.

There There is subtitled, aptly one might add, The Boney King of Nowhere. From an album called Hail to the Thief. How nicely befitting today's tale of woe.

RUN!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!! FSW's out to get you!
Now then, if you're a true Chelsea fan like me, you should have an inkling of how I feel this morning. And why those words have come to haunt me again, like long dormant memory kindled by trauma.

This is Chelsea. We are the reigning Champions League holders. We were in contention to win seven trophies this season. And we had a squad to challenge for them...after Neymar, Eden Hazard was surely the one player that all teams coveted. And with Oscar, Brazil's number 10, we bought a player who could undoubtedly compliment Mata's playmaking skills.

Now, we're out of the Champions League. We were humiliated by Atletico in the Super Cup and Swansea in the League Cup. We didn't show up in Tokyo for the World Cup Club. We fluffed the Charity Shield. And we don't have any realistic chance in hell of winning the Premier League.

Then we conspired to give away a 2 nil lead to lowly Reading in the last 3 minutes of the match. A match that I woke up 4 in the morning to watch. It's still sinking in. The suffering, the sweet suffering.

The result itself is not so shocking with Chelsea these days. The last time we looked remotely solid in defence was under the early days of Ancelotti's second season. And only because of our attack was so effective. Gone is the defend at all costs mentality cultivated under Mourinho, when we played like the Milan of old, giving away nothing and choking the opponent in a battles of attrition.

We're supposedly more expansive now, with creative players needing freedom to breathe. Defensive discipline is no longer our priority. And in this blogger's opinion, all the better. If you're Abramovich sat there watching the effective but dull displays of Mourinho's Chelsea, you'd too be wondering just what you spent all those hundreds of millions of pounds on. Especially if it was an entirely enthralling game between Man United and Real Madrid that ended 3 all that brought you to buy a football club in the first place.

Sure, winning is great. Winning ugly is great too, if you have limited resources and means. But if you're a billionaire, and you've dumped millions in, surely you should expect something a little more.

Thus Abramovich's experiment began. His prime picks like Ancelotti and AVB came and went. With stop gap measures of Grant, Scolari and Hiddink in between. Yet, that winning attacking style still eluded him.

Then came Di Matteo, a former player and Chelsea legend. He brought back the defensive identity of old, going back to basics after AVB's project spectacularly failed (in my mind, due to the players he had at his disposal, if only he were manager now). That brought the FA Cup and more importantly, the elusive Champions League trophy. With that, a permanent contract as manager.

As time would tell, Di Matteo's project would too go awry. Too many new players, no distinctive style of play. More tellingly, he tried to turn Chelsea into a possession based attacking team. It worked to a certain extent, but without a Modric or Xavi to control the midfield, it was doomed to failure.

So Benitez comes in. I'll let the facts say it all. He used to manage Liverpool. He insulted Chelsea fans when he was their manager. He was sacked after half a season with Inter Milan after Mourinho's Champions League triumph there. He also has the worse stats of any Chelsea manager, ever.

There you go. He might not be boney, but he's sung us to shipwreck. Hail to the great thief of our hope and dreams.

Damn you FSW, damn you to hell.

Monday, January 28, 2013

254. Twenty Thirteen

It's been awhile. Like a turd that won't flush, this blog just won't go away. Nasty that.

Well, what's there left to say? Not a lot apparently. Everything moves in cycles...mostly you'll end up right where you started. Round and round, without end.

In this never-ending wheel, faces spin past you, sometimes in a blur...sometimes they stick with you. Holding a place in your head, your mind, your heart, whatever. But they do stick. Mostly in a good way, sometimes in a bad way.

Words echo...disembodied voices for sure. Yet they at times speak wisdom. Well, if you're lucky.

This winding, sinewy path we're heading on, perilous if you choose, but dull and safe too. Entirely dependent on you.

Are the days of adventure and wonder over? And if not yet extinguished, do you wish to seek it? Does the heart crave what it did years ago? Or have you become entirely safe? Safe and secure in what you have to lose?

You look around you, and sometimes you feel what Treebeard must've felt...the world is changing...and though you might not feel it in the water or feel it in the earth, you just somehow know that things have moved on. Like how Roland Deschain's world had moved on. Not the entire world, but your world.

Just look around you. This is not the world of your youth anymore. The people speak, but it is not your words. People rebel, but it is no longer your cause. What is hip is strange. Music and film no longer resonate like they did in your time.

Friends have become strangers, these strange beings who have become responsible adults, carrying the burden / joys of marriage and fatherhood on their shoulders. Your days show signs of becoming shorter. You can no longer abuse your body without facing the pain later...the pounds don't go away like they used to...sleep is no longer some trifling thing that one did to charge up for a few hours.

That's how it is I guess. The way of it all.

But rather than descent into some endless melancholy like this blog is apt to do, let's look forward. To what Twenty Thirteen may bring. Probably more of the same, probably not. The important thing is, you don't really know do you? No one does. There could be surprise lurking at every corner. Of course there will be daily toil. And hard knocks now and then, literally and figuratively. But there's always the potential of an unexpected journey, and adventure waiting to happen. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is always worth looking forward to.