Arsenal FC Blog Pikum! Launch + Wenger’s bonus points idea is worth considering

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Hello there. Hope you’re doing well. It’s been pouring all weekend in Brisbane – a nice change from all the sunshine we had been having I have to say.

Euro 2008 starts in five days and although Australia obviously won’t be featuring I have to say I’m getting pretty excited. I’ve got my Setanta Sports subscription all sorted and I’m looking forward to a multitude of late nights/early mornings over the next few weeks. Hopefully the quality of the football makes it all worthwhile.

A number of the Arsenal boys will be featuring at Euro 2008 but – being a follower of the Dutch national team – the one player that I’m looking forward to watching above all else is Robin van Persie. The Arsenal striker revealed today that he is fighting fit and ready to play, despite the fact that Dutch manager Marco van Basten will avoid rushing him back into action and risking a recurrence of his thigh injury.

“I am super fit. But coach Marco van Basten does not want to take any risks. I have been so unlucky this season with injuries. But I can sprint, I can shoot, I can do the lot. And I am bursting to produce some really good football in the Euros.”

There are plenty of Arsenal supporters who will be happy to hear both that van Persie is fit and that van Basten is wanting to avoid rushing him back into the side. Indeed, van Persie did not even feature in Holland’s 2-0 win over Wales so it seems that van Basten might actually stick to his word. Regardless of when he features though, van Persie is set to have an impact for his country and I’m very interested to see how he performs.

Eduardo injury boost

One player who can count himself unlucky to be missing out on Euro 2008 – and no, I’m not referring to Mathieu Flamini – is Eduardo. However, the Croatian – who of course broke his leg against Birmingham during last season – revealed some amazing news over the weekend regarding his injury. According to reports from Eduardo’s doctor the Croatian’s recovery is going far better than expected and he could be back playing as early as July.

“I am returning to Europe from Brazil at the beginning of August, perhaps even the end of July. Doctors tell me by then I will be fully recovered and able to play football again. I’m feeling well and my rehabilitation is going better than I would ever have hoped.”

Whether he returns in July or August or even October you have to say that this is pretty phenomenal news, especially when you consider that the initial prognosis suggested Eduardo may have been out for up to 15 months. It’s a real shame that Croatian will be missing Euro 2008 because I really felt he was shot at the Golden Boot but from an Arsenal perspective it’s a pretty good outcome.

Moving on now and Arsene Wenger has been in a particularly creative mood, coming up with an idea to potentially overcome the increasingly defensive nature of football in England. The manager has suggested a bonus-point system which would reward goal difference more heavily than the current system.

“I can see a system working whereby the difference between goals scored and conceded earns you extra points. It would stop a team who was leading one or two nil from sitting on their lead.”

It’s certainly an interesting idea and one which I think deserves some consideration. Obviously there would need to be some sort of parameters – thumping Derby 8-0 should not be worth more than beating Aston Villa 2-0 – but I do think some sort of bonus-point system could promote attacking football.

There will probably be a section of the media that comes out and says that Wenger is just having a cry and that the only reason he has suggested the system is because it would favour his side. However, when you look at last season it’s clear that Manchester United’s superior goal difference would have meant an even bigger margin of victory at the top of the league, so that perspective doesn’t really hold. As such, it’s clear to me that Wenger is just looking out for the good of the game.

Pikum! Launch for Euro 2008

Before I go today I want to speak about a very cool new website that I have been supporting called Pikum! It’s a great new social betting game that you can play for fun or money and this blog has been personally invited to support by the creator of the website, Sean.

Instructions for how to play it are on the Pikum! website and I encourage you to check it out but basically what you do is enter by making guess on what will happen in future events, such as Euro 2008 or the English Premiership. You compete against the public for fun or real money and can set up your own private games if you choose to see who is the best at picking various results. For example, I have set up a couple of Pikum’s of my own to do with picking the results for the first round of fixtures at Euro 2008.

It’s a pretty addictive site once you get the hang of it and as I said I’d encourage you to check it out. There will also be a widget running on the right-hand side of this blog throughout the Euro 2008 tournament and beyond to let you all know about the games that I am hosting on the website so all the readers of the blog can compete against each other to see who knows best.

And that, as they say, is that. Try and enjoy yourselves.

Have your say on Wenger’s idea, van Persie, Eduardo or let me know what you think about Pikum! by leaving a comment.


13 thoughts on “Arsenal FC Blog Pikum! Launch + Wenger’s bonus points idea is worth considering

  1. Interesting idea about rewarding goal difference. I would think it might make more sense if they rewarded you on your total GD at the end of the year rather than say after a specific game or so.

    I’m not sure it’s the best course of action however because what about the newly promoted teams? They might not have the talent to go out and continue to score against bigger clubs. Thus they might get a lucky goal and then sit on it. That’s smart football in their case and in many ways is how a newly promoted club stays up. Coming out of their shell would in actuality just lead to a poorer goal differential and thus no reward.

  2. Hi Spanish Fry. Just a quick question about your Setanta Sports subscription. Are you able to get live Premiere league games down there, and also Magners League Rugby Union games. Now i know this might be a bit risky asking you about rugby on a football site, but I’m curious.



  3. To be honest Sii, all I’ve done is paid for it. I wouldn’t have a clue what’s on it other than the Euro 2008 coverage. Maybe check their website?

  4. Man I hope that RVP does indeed do well in the Euros but I also hope that Marco keeps him limited as possible while still getting him the proper playing time. The one thing that I think Arsenal missed the most this past season was Van Persie. I wish him well because Arsenal will indeed need him fit during the next campaign – the enitre schedule!

    When will there be some transfer news? Where is Nasri and YaYa?!

  5. @ AgentDavis – We can’t panic about transfer news. There’s rarely any speculation with regards to Arsenal’s transfers. What will happen will happen and it’s just a matter of time until someone (most likely Nasri) signs.

    Patience everybody :)!

  6. C-Bass, rewarding a bonus on the total GD at the end of the season i agree with you. However, on the issue of newly promoted teams, i would suggest the FA can exempt them for for atleast on season. This can address their lack of talent fear and if they happen to survive relagation they have enough time to bloster their squad
    Its good news thet Edwardo is getting pretty well very soon. But he needs enough time upto January 09 to fully recover before he plays a competitive game. Am very sure Vela will do the job until he comes back

  7. I meant to say the newly promoted team can be exempted for “one season” not ‘on season’

  8. I dont like the idea of Wenger, why is better to win 17-0 than 1-0?

    yes I know for the show but football means to manage the game well and even all the victories 1-0 by chelski are better to have some big wins and lots of draws as arsenal.

    I very excited for euro too!!!
    but maybe Vpersie needs to be on the bench all the tournament to prove himself next season with arsenal… actually I dont thnik hes better than Van Nistelrooy or Huntelaar even not better than Kuyt at the moment.

  9. Its diappointing that the silver bullet is not going to fgeature in euro 2008,but hopefully otherts will will shine likr RVP,given chance can pick the form,the likes of Cesc is of no doubt.
    Back to Wenger’s issue i don’t have a say, but how do you attack but you don’t score many goals? fail to beat the opponenent first time, am on the fence as far as this statement is concerned.

  10. Re the GD bonus idea: great manager – but crazy idea (like the 39th game which I seem to remember AW was quite keen on….) Why mess with a system that has worked well for over a hundred years or so (with very minor adjustments like GD for goal average)? If you were playing an already relegated side (or any side with nothing left to play for) at the end of the season you might run up a 10 or 15 nil victory; if you played them earlier in the season you might find it tough to get one or two nil.

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