Showing posts with label Juventus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juventus. Show all posts

18 December 2022

Mudryk? Pffft! We have Cozier-Duberry and Nwaneri!

From the funeral pyre that is our 0-2 loss to Juventus in the penultimate match of the—what's that? I'm being told that this was not a match of record, and that the result means nothing in the grand scheme of things. In fact, its only purpose was to embarrass Vlahović and maybe spank an Italian side that's so corrupt the Mafia are taking notes. Still, from those ashes, a phoenix rises. Make that two because we have two precocious talents on our hands in Amario Cozier-Duberry and Ethan Nwaneri, each of whom impressed against Juventus on Saturday despite the result. Arteta offered a significant vote of confidence to both teenagers, sending them each on despite us having conceded an own-goal against the run of play just before halftime and hoping for and equaliser. Am I exaggerating their performances just a little bit? To pose another rhetorical question: can anyone determine the location of ursine defecations in arboreal ecosystems? Who needs Mudryk when we have these two waiting in the—wait for it...—wings?

17 December 2022

Arsenal 0-2 Juventus: highlight clips [UPDATING]

Mikel named a fairly strong side here—Ramsdale, Tierney, Holding, Gabriel, White, Xhaka, Partey, Nelson, Ødegaard, Vieira, and Nketiah as we play our last friendly before getting back to the real action against West Ham on Boxing Day. To tide us over on this cold winter morn, I'll post highlight clips here as they occur, hopefully all going Arsenal's way. Refresh the tab every once in a while to keep an eye on the action. #COYG!

Well, that's it. Full time, and Juve come away with a thoroughly undeserved 0-2 win. Ah well, there goes our streak of taking four points from matches. Maybe we'll take a closer look at this tomorrow; maybe I'll come up with something completely different. We'll find out...

Vlahović HIDES from embarrassing Emirates appearance!

News that Serbian striker and one-time transfer-target Dušan Vlahović has not made the squad for Juventus's friendly  has we wondering: wow has his €70 million transfer to Juventus gone so far? I know it's early days, but the returns seem a bit..mixed. His new club struggle in third place in Serie A, ten points from Napoli even after a six-match winning streak and finished absolutely bottom of their Champions League group. There's also the small matter of what we'll call Calciopoli II: The Quickening, engulfing the club. For Dušan, it's surely been a struggle for him to replicate the kind of form that convinced Juve to splurge on the transfer, but he won't be the first or the last to struggle to justify a massive fee.

02 November 2022

The Bizarre Sado-machism of the Europa League...

We're through the looking-glass, people. With a chance to win our Europa League group on Thursday against FC Zürich, we're getting a clearer sense of just what we've gotten ourselves into here. Over the last five years or so, we've learned a lot more about Europa League and what it all entails. The more that we learn, the more that we realise that it's all an exercise of sado-masochism, replete with its delights and its devilries. On on hand, we get a chance to batter lesser opponents. On the other, we look forward to the arrival to the knockout stage of various Champions League cast-offs, many of them quite content just to get kits with a special patch on the shoulder, some of them also-rans resentful to have slumped to this admittedly less-glorious competition. While it would be fun to continue to feast on the former, the latter group pose exquisite challenges that tiptoe the line between inflicting and incurring punishment beyond one's wildest dreams.

16 July 2015

Arsenal make £15m bid for Juventus defender...

According to Forza, we've made an aggressive bid for Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani only to have it rejected. The 20-year old spent the season on-loan to Empoli, playing all 3,420 minutes of the season without getting booked once. Rumours that Rugani might be brought in to mentor Flamini have been scuppered...for now. At first blush, it might seem odd that we'd pursue yet another centre-back when we have Koscielny, Mertesacker, and Gabriel, plus Debuchy and Chambers as makeshifts. Then again, Kos, Per, and Debuchy are getting long in the tooth, and at least a few of our signings have to be made with an eye to the longer term—that is, beyond the upcoming season.

29 June 2015

Arturo Vidal, a Gunner for £21m?

Kondogbia goes to Inter. Schneiderlin goes to Man U. What is it with these central midfielders trading down the table? In Kondogbia's case, he's traded AS Monaco's Champions League qualifier for Inter's eighth-place finish. In Schneiderlin's case, he's traded Southampton's irrepressible resilience and passed on Arsenal's Champions League ambitions for Man U's Champions League qualifier. Yes, I understand that wages matter, and that these players have a precious decade or so during which they have to maximize their earnings. However, when players of this calibre are looking at earning more in a week than most of us earn in a year, they can perhaps afford to bear a little skepticism on our parts. Isn't there anyone out there who's willing to trade down the table and trade up on prospects? I introduce to you one Arturo Vidal.

25 April 2014

Pogba? I'll pass. Pirlo? Perhaps...

Ever since the departure of Patrick Vieira, it seems, we've hungered for that domineering, physical defensive midfielder who can bomb forward and wreak havoc on the opposition's structure, defense, and counter-attacking options. We've tried Diaby but, for various reasons, failed. Alex Song filled in for a spell but was never as disciplined in the back or assertive going forward, offering recklessness in place of swashbuckling. More recently, we've gotten by with various permutations of Ramsey, Arteta, Flamini, and Wilshere but have struggled to replicate the kind of partnership that saw Vieira work so well alongside Silva, for example. For better or for worse, the myopia that results has seen us set our sights on Juventus's Paul Pogba, but I'm not seeing it. As exciting as he may be, he's just not the player we need.

25 June 2013

Tell Higuain that Juventus was raided by Italian police

According to a story in The Independent, Italian police have raided the offices of 41 football clubs in Italy, including 18 from Serie A such as Juventus, AC Milan, Inter, Lazio, Napoli, and Udinese, the top six finishers this past season and the entire cabal of qualifiers for European competions next year. The warrants "list conspiracy and money laundering, as well as international tax evasion and false invoicing" and allege that "clubs have evaded tax payments by listing bogus costs connected to non-existent players' contract negotiations". Player contracts were among the documents seized. The full story is here (although I've pretty well covered by this point).

If that doesn't tip the scales further in our favor, I don't know what else will. A few hours ago, Juventus could rightly point out to la Pipita that they are the champions of Serie A and can offer the very likely prospect of repeating next year. I don't know how long the investigation will drag out, what if anything Juventus might be found guilty of, and what sanctions would come down, but the last time this kind of stuff happened in 2011-12, teams had points deducted for the following season, had to pay fines, some were relegated to lower tiers, and players were banned for up to five years.

Whatever doubts Higuain may have had about where to go should all but disappear. Between this and the naming of Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid's manager, I'd say our chances of finally getting Higuain to sign have spiked dramatically. Transfermrkt, to whom I turn for odds, has him at a 72% chance of signing for Arsenal and 47% for Juventus. Not enough? Go to betvictor, the only salon still fielding bets for Higuain anywhere, and of you bet  £10 on him signing with Arsenal, you'll get  £10.50. Bet on him going to Juventus, and you'll win  £90. In other words, it's nearly nine times more likely, according to betvictor, that Higuain will sign with Arsenal.

When will Higuain sign?

In a previous post, 52% of voters suggested that Higuain's signature would be announced by June 28th. I've re-added the poll here for those curious to cast a ballot in the wake of the Serie A scandal. Juve may still be able to talk of scudetto, but we can simply whisper "scandal". Yes, everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but it's awfully hard to swim in water without getting wet. 41 clubs have been targeted. This isn't a few bad apples playing fast and loose; it appears systemic. Those famed black-and-white kits of the bianconeri might earn a new nickname--maybe the carcerato, or "inmate". I don't mean to suggest that any Juve players are actually involved; more likely, they're unwitting pawns in a larger game.

Far be it from me to wish ill on a competitor, but actions have consequences. If it turns out that Juventus or other clubs in Italy have actually done what they're alleged to have done, the contrast between that kind of financial skulduggery and our history of financial prudery (so prude as to enrage factions of our own fan-base) could not be more striking. I was going to make a pun on "striking" but just couldn't bring myself to it.

Long story short, Gonzalo, you know what to do.