22
Mar

Andre Marriner sends off wrong player in Arsenal loss

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Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge at Arsenal couldn’t possibly have gone worse, as the Gunners lost 6-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. It was Wenger’s heaviest defeat ever, tied with the 8-2 loss at Old Trafford in 2011, and the most lopsided defeat to Chelsea in Arsenal’s history.

But somehow, Mourinho’s party crashers were not the story after it was all said and done. No, that honor belonged to referee Andre Marriner, who perplexed us all by mistakenly sending off Kieran Gibbs for a handball committed by… teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal were already down 2-0 after seventeen minutes when the bizarre sequence of events occurred. Oxlade-Chamberlain “saved” a shot by Eden Hazard with his left hand, upon which Marriner dutifully pointed to the spot. However, after a brief conversation via headset with his assistant, Marriner sent off Gibbs, not the Ox. And though Oxlade-Chamberlain fessed up to Marriner that he was the actual offender, Gibbs still had to hit the showers. Bizarre!

Here is the timeline of events, as told through Twitter:

20
Mar

Ray Parlour dishes on Kolo Toure’s outrageous trial with Arsenal

Here we have Arsenal legend Ray Parlour in an interview with talkSPORT shedding light on Kolo Toure’s trial with Arsenal in 2001, and man, it is great.

Apparently, young Kolo was eager to impress Arsene Wenger and the Gunners … a bit too eager.

Parlour notes how Toure smashed into Thierry Henry with a two-footed tackle during the trial.

"It could have been a red card in a normal game," Parlour recalls. Wenger, obviously upset that his best player is rolling around on the ground from a tackle in a trial, tells the Ivorian to stop tackling.

(Image: Getty)

What does Toure go and do after apologizing? He does it again, but this time takes out Dennis Bergkamp. Rinse and repeat with the scolding and the apology.

Then, a popped-up ball winds at the feet of Wenger. In comes Toure with yet another two-footer, sending Wenger to the medical room. A crestfallen Toure can’t believe what he’s done.

In the medical room, Wenger eventually tells Parlour, “‘I know he didn’t mean it, I like his desire. We’re signing him tomorrow.’”

(Image: Getty)

And that’s that. All’s well that ends well!

(h/t Reddit)

13
Mar

The great Dane, Nicklas Bendtner, is at it again

In case you haven’t heard, Nicklas Bentner, Arsenal’s flighty striker, has had another run-in with the law after an alleged drunken incident with a cab driver in Copenhagen.

Now that Bendtner has gone from leading an attacking line to a walking punchline, it’s appropriate we take a look at the Dane’s more illustrious exploits, courtesy of the Daily Mail:

May 2009: He stumbled out a London nightclub with his jeans around his ankles just hours after Arsenal were denied a place in the 2009 Champions League final by Manchester United.

August 2009: Changed his shirt No from 26 to 52 – reportedly to reflect a new £52,000-a-week deal signed at the Emirates. A rumor Bendtner has since denied.

September 2009: Stripped down to his underwear after a high-speed crash in which he was fortunate to escape with his life. His £160,000 Aston Martin was a write-off.

February 2011: Split with his Danish royal fiancée Caroline Luel-Brockdorff, just seven weeks after she gave birth to their son.

December 2011: During his loan spell at Sunderland he was arrested for allegedly going on a £4,000 car-wrecking spree with Lee Cattermole. The charges were later dropped.

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(Image: Getty)

June 2012: Fined £80,000 and banned for one match after pulling down his shorts to reveal Paddy Power-branded underwear in a stupid publicity stunt while playing for Denmark at the European Championships in 2012.

March 2013: Banned from driving for three years and fined £100,000 for being over the legal drink-drive limit after he was spotted by police in Copenhagen driving against the traffic. Hit with a six-month playing ban by Denmark.

November 2013: Arrested on suspicion of criminal damage at his luxury apartment block.

Quite the rap sheet for someone purporting to be an adult. And yet, his most egregious offense, aside from the drunk driving, goes undocumented. Who in the world should be allowed to post selfies like this?:

We’ll just leave it at that.

28
Feb

Laurent Koscielny donates thousands to save accordion factory

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Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny may be living in England, but he certainly hasn’t forgotten his French roots.

The 28-year-old was born and raised in Tulle, France, home to the famous accordion factory Maugein. It was established in 1919, but late last year it was threatened with closure. Koscielny wasn’t going to let this happen.

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French media has reported that the defender is part of an investment group that has put up more than $800K to help save the factory.

The company makes these gorgeous instruments from scratch, but have been undermined by competition who made cheaper accordions. Thankfully, for the sake of the art and music, Kolscielny has stepped in to keep Maugein alive.

Via The Guardian

Images courtesy of Getty, Action

26
Feb

Monaco in frame to raid Spurs for Lloris

Hugo Lloris’ future at Tottenham remains in doubt, according to today’s UK newspapers. The France keeper is a summer target for Monaco, who will likely be able to offer Lloris Champions League next season. we’ve also got the latest on Schalke winger Julian Draxler, Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and Porto center-back Eliaquim Mangala. Click here for more.

20
Feb

Liverpool to make summer move for Sagna

Bacary Sagna’s stalled contract talks are staring to attract the attention of some of Europe’s elite. The latest club to express an interest in the Arsenal defender are Liverpool, who could be playing in the Champions League next season and would value the Frenchman’s European experience. We’ve also got the latest news on Manchester United targets Toni Kroos and William Carvalho. Click here for more.

19
Feb

Arsenal look to hijack Newcastle’s bid for Remy

Loic Remy may have been pulling up trees at Newcastle but will he be there next season? Altough the QPR striker enjoying a loan spell at St James’ Park, the latest speculation is that Arsenal will make a move for the Frenchman in the summer. We’ve also got the latest on Liverpool’s hopes of signing a couple of players during the close season. Click here for more.

17
Feb

English papers damage trust between clubs and media with sensationalized headlines

imageThe Guardian

Why do managers and football players hate the media? A look at today’s newspapers in England offers a lesson.

A little background: I’ve now spent about ten days in England in now, and seen almost a game a day. That’s a good eight games, between sixteen and twenty press conferences, and more seats built for midgets than I can count. Every day, I’m surprised to open the papers the following morning and find out that I apparently missed the press conferences. The ones I was at bear little relation to those that made it into print.

To wit: a survey of Monday’s Guardian, the Mail, the Telegraph and Sun present a rather different picture of how Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers acted at their press conferences Sunday night.

Most papers led today with a variation on the following: “Rodgers fumes over ‘blatant’ penalty denied by ref Webb” (that’s the Guardian.) Except, Rodgers wasn’t fuming, or raging (the Mail) or doing much else of the kind. Yes, he thought it was a penalty not given and said so. But he was also laughing and joking with the press corps and had the air of professional resignation about him. This, perhaps, was due to the fact that he knew he was lucky to finish with ten men on the field after one of his players unwisely put his hands on the ref’s chest and another committed a second bookable offense.

Then there was Wenger, said to be “furious” over Jose Mourinho’s statements last week. Was he? Maybe, but that’s supposition. He showed signs of it, as he too was joking with the media – even during the one truly uncomfortable part his press conference, when he was forced to address Olivier Giroud’s apparently acknowledged infidelity. (Courteously, the Mail ran a series of photographs of the young woman in question today alongside pictures of Giroud in action.)

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