Scintillating Arsenal smote Newcastle + 24 hours to go until the window closes!

Update: Sincerest apologies for the mistake with regards to the timing of the close of the transfer window. As so many have already pointed out, it closes on Monday night – not Sunday night as I had previously thought. I’ve left in what I originally wrote, using strikethrough to indicate where I’d made my mistakes, so hopefully everyone can still get some value in reading around it. Apologies again!

As I write to you today it is approximately 8.10am on Monday the 1st of September Australian Time. By my calculations that makes it 11.10pm on Sunday the 31st of August UK Time. Which means, of course, that Arsene Wenger has just under an hour to make whatever signings he is hoping to before the transfer window slams shut.

Now, I could use this post to discuss possible transfer targets. But instead, I’m going to have a bit of a talk about everything that has gone on over the weekend – our Champions League draw, the win over Newcastle, Wenger’s reaction etc – and then hope that once I’m done there’s a couple of photos of new players holding up Arsenal shirts on the official website.

Let’s see how it goes…

I’ll start with the most important point of interest, Arsenal’s quite excellent 3-0 win over Newcastle at Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was a perfect illustration of what this Arsenal side are capable of when they are at their best as a Newcastle team that have been in relatively good form were quite simply torn apart by Wenger’s men. Meanwhile, down back, they rarely got a sniff.

The goals came from Robin van Persie – who scored a brace – and Denilson, who will be delighted to have netted his first for the club after the disaster that was his performance against Fulham last weekend.

The first goal saw van Persie fire home from the spot after a clever bit of Emmanuel Adebayor play saw his attempted cross hit the arm of Charles N’Zogbia. It was a fair decision any which way you look at it and I think van Persie showed some real character to step up and take the kick considering the form he has been in of late. It shows the type of player he is and it’s wonderful to have someone with so much confidence in their own ability in the Arsenal squad.

The second goal was also scored by van Persie as he finished off a quite brilliant piece of link-up play involving the Emmanuels’ Adebayor and Eboue. The latter drove past a couple of challenges in the middle of the park and played a simple one-two with the former. He then proceeded to backheel the ball in a clumsy, yet strangely compelling way to van Persie who smashed the ball into the roof of the net. It was the sort of goal that Wenger probably dreams about every night and the manager stood to applaud his side’s effort.

The third and final goal involved another piece of passing perfection. Samir Nasri – who had another storming game in front of the home crowd – tore down the left flank before being confronted by two Newcastle defenders. He checked inside, fed the ball to Adebayor, who flicked it to Denilson, who passed it back to Nasri, who fed it back to Adebayor who laid it on a plate for Denilson to fire home. When you read over that sentence again and realise that every single pass was made within a five-yard radius you get an impression of what a special goal this was. Needless to say, Wenger was on his feet yet again.

Aside from the goals their were a heck of a lot of opportunities which Arsenal created. William Gallas fired over from two yards in the third minute with what has to be the worst miss of the season so far, while Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given made several great saves from van Persie, Nasri and Kolo Toure amongst others. Van Persie also hit the bar with a rocket shot from a ridiculous angle soon after Denilson scored while substitute Theo Walcott wasted a couple of very presentable chances late on.

Down the other end the best Newcastle could muster was a scuffed shot by Michael Owen – who will not be happy with Shola Ameobi getting in his way – and a header from Nicky Butt which struck the bar. It’s not inconceivable to suggest that had Butt’s header been on target it most likely would have been cleared off the line, so to restrict Newcastle to just one clear chance on goal was a good defensive effort by Arsenal.

The other significant highlight – or lowlight, depending on how you look at it – was the return to football of Joey Barton. Now, I don’t want to go too much into what he’s done off the field or how he should be punished for it but the tackle he made on Nasri so soon after coming on was just ridiculous. He quite easily could have snapped Nasri’s leg ala Eduardo and although I don’t encourage retaliation as such – I was quite happy to see the Frenchman get his own back with that little ankle-tap.

You can see all the highlights from the game here.

All-in-all it was an great performance by Arsenal and an excellent response to the loss to Fulham last weekend. With both Chelsea and Liverpool drawing on Sunday night it leaves Arsenal just one point off the top of the table with three games played and at the end of the day, that’s not the worst position to be in. The attack is starting to look fluid and the defence more organised and if the manager and his team can continue to tweak the flaws in their game then this Arsenal side will stay around the top of the pile.

A quick update on the time situation – and it is now 11.49pm UK Time. Still no hint of a signing. Eek.

Before the Newcastle clash the big news was the Champions League draw on or around Friday. Arsenal’s draw saw them pitted against Fenerbache, Dynamo Kiev and FC Porto in Group E. As many people have said, this is quite a tough group – not necessarily because of the quality of the opposition – but because of the difficulty of the away legs. Fenerbache and Porto are a formidable force away from home while the weather in Kiev at the time of the game will play a big part in the result.

What it all means is that if Arsenal are to progress on top of the group then they will have to put a lot of effort into securing maxium points from the three games at the Emirates Stadium. It’s likely to be an exciting ride regardless of the outcome.

And that’s really all for today. I had hoped to bring the fantastic news of a late, late signing but at this stage it doesn’t seem to be happening. That’s not to say that someone hasn’t signed and the Arsenal website just hasn’t had time to update, of course. And when it does, as always, you’ll be the first to know.

One minute to go, Arsene, don’t let us down!

Have your say on Arsenal’s win over Newcastle, the Champions League draw or a new signing by leaving a comment.



  1. HI,

    Maybe you should check when the transfer window is set to close, call yourself a fan. Come on.

  2. You get banned from the sport for pushing a ref but don’t get banned for bashing someones head in? Ade also should of scored a couple in that game and maybe we should of waited till jan before his pay rise as he’s not deserving getting henrys wage yet. Well are we stupid to think that silvestre wasn’t our last signing as we are short in midfield and I can’t see us winning the league but can’t see manure winning it either with their fat boy rooney leading the charge.

  3. Being a little harsh on SF….traditionally it has always been the 31st for the end of the window this is the first year it has changed and im sure it will be different next year…..also i dont see you lot with an interesting and passionate blog on our fine team!

  4. Also sf whats with all these people slagging you off mate if there such good ‘fans’ maybe I should start reding there blogs but then again they all sound like w@nkers!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Ok I know it’ just a little mistake but saying it’s because you are in another timezone is just stupid, even if you were living on the MOON there still is 23hours 35min’s to go.


  6. Thanks for the support butterfingers, Luxinbrazil and Hartwick89. Most appreciated.

    @ Anonymous – I really don’t think there’s much point calling me that mate. I think it’s a little gutless that you’d do so using an anonymous name too, but, whatever you want I guess.

    I can’t do much more than apologise for the mistake I made. I’ve rectified the situation so hopefully people can get value out of the match report and Champions League parts of the post.

  7. Ah I’m only joking with you, it’s just a little mistake,anyone could have made, could be worse, could be a TOON fan like me, ha ha ha.


  8. Cheers mate. God how I wished I lived in England though sometimes. It can be such an effort to stay on the pulse down in Australia. If you knew what it was like having to watch your side play at 2am in the morning every weekend…

    Heh heh. Sigh.

  9. I know the feeling, I lived in LA for some time, Tought life going to a pub @ 8am to watch a game, bit early to start drinking, good job I’m Irish,


  10. @ Kevin – I would KILL for 8am games! Kill! 2am just hurts too much, and there’s too much of a risk of ‘peaking’ too soon if you hit the pub.

    On another note, what did you think of Barton’s return/tackle? What of Samir Nasri?

  11. Very dangerous thing to do, and so lucky to get away with it, it was just about a FAIR tackle, I’m not really sure if I want him back at the club,, but we are so short on players and he is wearing the Black and White, so I’ll shout him on as long as he does it on the pith for us.


  12. Just to join in……the tackle from Barton was clearly learnt “inside” and should have been punished…however i was extremely pleased to see Nasri’s fire and retaliation….as long as he can control it thats the passion we need!

  13. also…..just to make you jealous in Brazil a Saturday lunchtime kick off means an 0845/0930 start here…great to wake up to the “EPL” as they call it live on telly!

  14. Nasri’s little trip on Barton was comical and had me in stitches, I was encouraging the little frenchman. Bartons earlier tackle could have seen Samir with only half a leg!!

    Can anyone tell me why Patrick Vieira was sitting with Mikael Silvestre at the Emirates on Sat??

    SF Rocks, be quiet newcomers, its a simple mistake, hes only human!

  15. My wife, son, a visiting friend and myself enjoyed the opener against WBA at a British Pub in Atlanta, US.

    Start time was 7:30 am EST and it’s tough. However the flowing draft beer got us awake and in the flow rather quickly.

    My advice would be it’s never too early to drink beer.

  16. nasri appears to be the real deal. i think we hit the jackpot with his signing. he twice the player kleb is. Florida,us.EST.

  17. On Barton’s tackle:

    It was a 2 footed lunge at full blast which got both ball and body.

    In a tight and fiercely competitive game with a rush of blood to the head you can see that happening, but in injury time, down by 3 goals, with nothing at stake and a smirk to match after the event. That doesn’t do it for me.

    Barton and his family has social and psychological issues and to provide him with a legal venue to seriously hurt people could be a mistake.

    This is not a 2nd chance, it’s a 4th. He outed a cigar in a teammate’s face some time back, beat up his FRENCH teammate, Dabo, and then followed up with a serious bodily assault on an unprotected victim and came out of that with less than 3 months in jail and a fat salary. To top it all, his brother was convicted of an axe murder which appeared racially motivated.

    Discounting his brother’s action for which he is not to be blamed, the question to be asked is whether the average Joe would still be spending time in prison or not, or is he above the law because he can play football.

    Hopefully, his dangerous tackle yesterday on another Frenchman, Nasri, is only a coincidence.

  18. mate you’re not the only one who thought it closed this morning. i was extremely disappointed when i checked out there was no signing on arsenal’s official website. then when i checked again, it’s gonna end tmrw morning ! australian time of course.

    and yeah, sucks waking up at 2am eh ? sucks even more waking up at 5am to watch CL.

  19. don’t worry SF… it’s an honest mistake…keep up the great job…

    by the way, in indonesia, arsenal games kick-off around 9, 10, or 11 pm…more preferable than in aussie, huh? hehe…


  20. Well I think they did well under the circumstances but they didnt buy anybody of importance as yet

  21. To err is human and to forgive is divine.Apologies accepted.
    In Kenya, an early kick-off means 2.45pm but most matches are at between 5pm and 7.30pm. Unfortunately the Saturday game was for some technical reasons not showing on any channel.From the post and most comments, it seems vintage arsenal was back.I just hope we sign a DM.The real test for this team comes in Feb/March 2009.How is RVP now that he was taken out because of an injury?I hope he’s fine

  22. On d champions league draw,not d best group but definately not d worst either.Fernabache cud b tough as seen against chelski,d weather in D.K sucks,n why porto again?On d league,man-u n chelski’re not as strong as i deemed them to be.L’pool jst can’t be relied upon to be consistent n we ‘re beginning to find our feet.About a new signing,i’m havin this hunch that arsene wud spring out a suprise with all his references about the last day being a poker shit.D match against newca was all we needed to restore our pride after last week’s eyesore.Who will f**king explain why V.P always has an injury cos it’s now getting annoying.£240000 for d third week yet Ade has not gotten a goal.I’m kind of pleased cos he fuses after performing,and who knows he might have been clamouring for a payrise again.anyway it was a good week.Gunners4life

  23. I thought that Gallas did his first captain-ey thing at the weekend. When Keegan was having a go at Samir Nasri, Gallas was there to stand up for his team. That’s what you need. Joey Barton’s sly grin was really manic. But kind of cheeky at the same time. It was a pretty dangerous tackle. The game was beautiful, I woke up to watch it in the middle of the night, with a headache, and by half-time the headache was completely gone from the callibre of football I’d watched.

  24. Mimi Wenu – hey buddy am also kenyan and i got to say we get to watch them games at the best times with the latest of kick – offs being only 11 pm and earliest 2.45 pm.
    hey do you think there’s gonna be a repetition of the match?

    SF: don’t worry bout the miscalculations in time. these things happen mate

  25. pdp – from what i read, it seems ade was involved in setting up all the three goals…doesn’t such a contribution warrant an applause instead of criticising?

    hey how bout wenger signing Eto’o to come play in our midfield? would that be too weird?

  26. I’m with you knightman… pdp, Adebayor won the penalty, and was directly involved with both the other goes, as well as being unselfish and giving Theo a good chance at goal towards the end. He was by far, the hardest worker on the field. Goals will come, and besides if he plays like this, we’ll score goals anyway.

  27. Come on, Newcastle weren’t doing too bad at the start of the second half. But Nasri is a god and Fabregas is helping Denilson excel. The midfield was amazing and some of the football played was phenomenal – there was some segment in there with about 20 completed passes, it was shit hot. I’m hoping that van Persie’s goals are a prelude to even more, but moreso that he hasn’t snapped his ankle. Or doesnt break something else walking 10 metres from the x-ray room into the Dr.’s surgery. Seriously the guy needs to drink some milk.

  28. Come on knightman,please tell me u’re f**kin with me,eto in midfield,whao…On d ade issue,i was just mad with the way he was flirtin with barca n milan this summer,hasn’t anybody got sometin to say about viera’s comment,it kind of pisses me off comin from him.

  29. Honest mistake SF. All is forgiven. Will the fans forgive Wenger if he doesn’t make a signing though? I will. But I’m pretty sure he’ll get someone – he has signed someone on the last day of the transfer window for the last two seasons running.
    The game was great to watch, but I was still worried when we kicked down a gear after the first goal… Still, I asked for two 6-0 thrashings after the loss at Fulham, and 4-0 and 3-0 is almost as good based on the flowing football and results. Good work boys. I knew you had it in ya!

  30. Guys,
    Screw you punks that are taking a dig at spanish fly for getting the closure of the transfer window wrong. I visit this site everyday and i appreciate what SF has done with and for ARSENAL.
    Think it is easy to write when you lose? Think again.
    Eboue was awesome on sat.

  31. Nasri was born for arsenal, him and cesc were awesome and to be fair so was denilson, cant wait for Rosicky, our mid will rock i we sign a DM! Ade was great, won the pen, passed the ball to Eboue to backheel to RVp for the 2nd and played Denilson in for the 3rd. Theo and Vela were great too. Anotherclean sheet, its all positive

  32. SF,

    I’m not gloating at all…But, it’s amazing to see the thunderous step back of Hleb whose team lost and he came on as a sub…and Flamini who was playing RB losing to Fiorentina….Why do these players leave their career’s at Colney and either sub or play in a diff’t position?

  33. I don’t know if anybody else’s havin this feelin,but knowin wenger with his last minute dealings,i’m kind of checkin from all available source startin from our website to see if there’s been any new signing.I won’t want to make much emphasis on the role,but i pray for it to be a DM.I heard about viera’s comment about us needin a strong person to control our midfield.As much as i agree with it,i don’t think he’s in a situation to tell us that,if he was so sure of it,why them did he leave,i take the comment as a signal from him tellin wenger that he’s interested.Anyway why was he watchin our game,and what was that chat btw him and silvestre.nevertheless,signing or no signing,in arsene i trust.Gunners forever.

  34. PDP,
    It was a bizarre moment Viera being there…The only thoughts I had was that he was taking advantage of the superior physio/rehab for his injury….or he’s going to sign. Either way I welcome his comments…he along with TH will be back in some form or capacity

  35. SF-
    I didn’t know Appiah was a free pick up? Keep eyes on him especially if he is close to a deal with W Ham: Hammers hoping for Appiah times at Upton Park as they close in on Ghana star

    By Sportsmail Reporter Last updated at 10:23 AM on 01st September 2008

    Comments (0) Add to My Stories

    West Ham are hoping to sign Ghana captain Stephen Appiah from Fenerbahce before the midnight deadline.

    It is understood that the Upton Park club have agreed terms with the 27-year-old midfield player and with time running out before the window closes, were hoping to agree a deal with his Turkish club, with whom Appiah has been in dispute in recent weeks.

  36. PDP
    thought as much…..although as Arsenal fans we dont have much other transfer speculation to dwell upon!!

    Brazils fantasic…..mid winter and in the high 90’s! The beers a quid a litre too!

  37. Last weeks side was fantastic…LEAVE SF ALONE. For those complaining over a really simple mistake – where is your blog? Back to AFC – Denilson played much better and ADE though not a direct scorer was involved throughout the match. I believe that whatever happens, AFC is going to have to be a bit more physical…a lot of pushing around on Saturday especially.

  38. To Hartwick89,
    i understand your desperation about havin a DM,it confirms our anxiety about a new signing.But do u really think Appiah’s the solution.I have nothin against Stephen,and he’s definately a good player,but i feel his style of play is too rigid to fit into our game.We shouldn’t in our desperation for a DM buy anyhow.Moreover,he’s too prone to injury.

  39. whispers from around the emirates. bbc reports they’ve gotten lots of texts saying xabi alonso is at emirates right now. there right now!!! i didn’t think we would sign him, and i don’t know WHY rafa benitez would sell him to us, but if we have the money, and we defienitely have the need. let’s get him!!!

  40. i`m going to go and do something with my evening instead of sitting infront of this too bright screen hoping for the amazing news of us signing (alonso/barry/gomez/add name) sick of it now see you guys later.

  41. just three hours to go…are those confirmed reports of Xabi at the emirates??!?!…could it be!?

  42. Hey Austen,i hope such whisperings are true,cos u’re kind of gettin me excited,i pray such info is true.

  43. SF

    You up early…or been awake all night glued to the comp waiting for that little bit of rumour/news!!

    So far no other leads than Xabi’s been seen near the emirates!

  44. BBC have had loads of texts that Xabi Alonso at emirates, I so hope they are true, am waitin for the news that we have signed a DM/infact anyone but hoping for a DM.

  45. @ Luxinbrazil – Just going to work mate. Hahah – I wouldn’t wait up all night waiting for a transfer. That’s madness. It’ll only happen close to midnight anyway.

    I hope Wenger’s getting paid overtime for this…

    @ Jay – Ooo very exciting. I hope it’s him. You just know he’ll work well with Cesc – even if he is a little bit less defensive.

  46. Just glad to have Robinho in the Premiership!…..just 45mins now and not even hyped up speculation on an Arsenal signing!!!!!!!!! Could AW be leaving it this late!

  47. my good god 45 minutes to go and still no signing, i am so excited i might implode and create a new universe were everyday is the closing of the transfer.

  48. Wenger is so funny. Just because there’s no hype doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. I’ll be expecting a signing and I’m pretty confident it will happen.

  49. do ya think mr wenger is tucked up in bed with a hot cup of cocoa and a good book or locked away in a small room wrestling a small army of laywers and agents despatching them with sheer tenacity and aplomb to get a signature on a contract

  50. knowing AW hes already done the deal but is keeping the world waiting until well after midnight with the anouncement……didnt he do that with Gallas?!?

  51. well there you go 12.02 and i am going to bed. good night or morning what ever time zone you crazy time travellers are in.

  52. After Abu Dhabi take control of Man City they will now be the richest club in English football. If Arsenal does not get outside investors to inject money in our team, we will fall way off pace with team like Man U, Chelsea and now Man City who come January or next summer will probably build a team similar to Chelsea, if not better. We cannot keep buyin 12 year olds and think they can compete with the likes of Robinho, Deco, etc. Its time Arsenal come to realize the old way of football is done. Its all about money now and whoever has the most has the best chance of winning.

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