Archive | August 2011

Joey Barton Watch

“It seems amazing that I could have ever influenced this glamorous world. But I’m getting used to it.” -Morrissey


Tottenham Fan Celebrates Goal in 5—1 Loss to Manchester City


 Tottenham hipster’s mastery of emotional distance guarantees results won’t hurt.



Week Two: Some Post-match Feuilleton

Arséne Wenger’s new project is to win the league with the reserve team; Kenny Dalglish needs to rethink his lineup; Manchester City proves the old addage that success can’t buy happiness, but then again who needs happiness; Manchester United’s experienced inexperienced youth; that Harry Redknapp sagging deadpan expression of being underwhelmed when overwhelmed sums up Tottenham nicely.

Benched Mario Balotelli unconsoled by the other unhappy benched City players.

Arsenal 0—Liverpool 2

Depletion and woe weren’t deemed adequate punishment for Arsenal, so the Furies decided to toss in an injury crises and bad luck just to be safe. The home opener at the Emirates was witness to an Arsenal squad comprised of reserves and tyros with almost no Premier League experience. Liverpool should have won this game handily, but encountered a spirited Arsenal side reduced to 10 men after an impressive Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off for youthful zeal, which proved Liverpool is far from formidable.

Andy Carroll played about seventy minutes. It wasn’t his fault that Liverpool’s strategy devolved into kicking the ball toward his head to see what would happen. It didn’t take long to see that nothing came of this, yet Liverpool continued for another sixty minutes. Liverpool finally took control of the game when Luis Suarez and Raul Mierieles came on late and scored an offside goal. It’s a good sign that Miereles has established himself in the league, because Jordan Henderson clearly isn’t ready despite Kenny Dalglish’s insistence to start him.

Arsenal are suffering from a degree of misfortune that exceeds the fair amount they have brought upon themselves, while the emerging belief of restoration around Anfield should be kept in the shorts until results prove decisively alluring. The match is a good example that a win, no matter how unimpressive, can boost  a club’s confidence, and that a loss, truly mitigated by handicap and misfortune, still can be a blow to the psyche.

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Cesc Fabregas Still Tweeting in Three Languages

Cesc Fabregas has only been at Barcelona for a week, but he’s continued to tweet in English and follow Arsenal as the club’s biggest fan. Throughout his protracted transfer, his remained unwaiveringly professional. It’s remarkable given his position bewteen the two clubs: first, he could have easily criticized Arsenal’s failings, and second, never uttered a negative word against Barcelona, whose behavior throughout the transfer was far from exemplary.

Further, while most players have a kind word for their former club following the official signing with their new club, this official statement is often the last to be uttered and life is completely immersed into the present and future. This is another example of the necessity of the footballers’ compartmentalization of consciousness and memory. Whether it’s a poor result or a transfer, the past is sliced off as if it no longer exists. Fabregas is unique in that he has clearly immersed himself into Barcelona, while continuing to identify with Arsenal. It is equally interesting that no one is criticizing him for it, or telling him to stop.


Joey Barton: Outdoing Himself—Self-Transformation or Self-Amplification?

Joey Barton has been given more second chances than anyone in the game, but the retro futuristic footballer’s predisposition to destruction continues to flout the good will of others.
A preseason view shows thicker growth over the philtrum…

Newcastle’s return to the Premier League is news during these inaugural weekends of the season. After a fairly easy run in the Championship, they were back with many of the same faces. A club with rabidly loyal fans, a pathetic and disinterested owner, and a self-effacing manager, who exceeded his status as temporary proxy, could only be obscured by Joey Barton and his new toothbrush moustache. Upon scoring the first goal of a 6—0 win against Aston Villa, he celebrated with an apparent Nazi-like gesture.

A few years ago one could walk through the hipster neighborhoods of Brooklyn and see young self-serving men sporting beards inspired by the Taliban. The 1970s southern rock beard had already been the rage for months. Local Hasidic Jews with their beards and payes had done that look long ago. So where else was there to go in order to regain an edge?

Any stylistic appropriation can be made permissible if emptied of content with the exception of Adolf Hitler’s toothbrush moustache. No one has been able to pull this off unless one excuses an exiled former Ecuadorian president who called himself “the crazy one” and Robert Mugabe.

A year prior to Joey Barton’s attempt, the permissibility of the toothbrush moustache was the subject of an English comedian’s effort to test the power of comedy. What degree and magnitude of humor could negate the square inch symbol of genocide?

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Transfer Window Update: Arsenal

Arsenal’s summer transfer activity is wholly contingent on the the drawn-out fates of Cesc Fàbregas and Samir Nasri. “Very active” may mean something different for Arsène Wenger than it does for supporters. 

Even the wheeler-dealers have trouble completing transfers by FAX, an obstacle not needed at Arsenal.

The greatest surprise of Arsenal’s summer transfer season is not that the club was committed to being “very active” while doing little so far to suggest this, but that many supporters believed that Arséne Wenger would follow through this time.

This appeared to be a safe assumption and comfortable investment of faith. Both Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gadzidis were forced to be upfront immediately after the season concluded, in order to reassure the growing disquiet on all fronts.

The collapse of last season appeared to confirm for Wenger the irrefutable reality that in seasons past was malleable; inexperience, patient development, and the arguments—based on credible evidence—for being “so close” have lost their influence over plain facts and searing imagery. Wenger was losing his ability to control the debate.

These reasons, among others, justifiably accounted for the repetition of the same mistakes—the loss of focus, the horrifying collapses, the predictable concessions of goals off set pieces, and the listless slow starts to matches against inferior opponents. Repeating these errors is now compulsion,  where once they were part of the deliberate process of education, development, experience, and measurement of incremental achievements. Wenger continued to see these problems as part of the pedagogical process, where others see symptoms of a debilitating condition.

Consider the Gunninghawk’s recent comments:

I don’t have a major in business or economics, or pretend to know the ins and outs of how Arsenal FC functions, but I do think that Arsenal’s real problems only started after David Dein was ousted.

Or those of the Onlinegooner:

This business model will collapse sooner rather than later. It doesn’t take a highly paid management consultant to figure this out.*

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Week 1: Some Post-match Feuilleton

Liverpool is a bunch of signings who have all been given the same red shirt; Sunderland remind us that being stubborn won’t solve a problem (unfortunately); Arsenal and Joey Barton produce the most unconventional romantic comedy about rage and affection; Manchester United’s alchemy is a form of puppetmastery; Newcomers QPR and Swansea City need to understand when Ian Holloway’s Blackpool is an idol, idle, an idyll, and false idol; Chelsea is still an idea and Stoke is still Stoke

Englishness: the premium never dies.

Sunderland 1—Liverpool 1

The new Liverpool lacks cohesion, while the new Sunderland remains stubborn and difficult to beat.

The first opening day match featured two aspiring table climbers. It was important to show off their many new faces to make the claim that they belong in Europe the proof of clubs with serious aims and expectations to play in Europe.

Liverpool continues restoration under their re-anointed king. As an expression of rightful place and desperation, Liverpool followed the 58m spent on Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez with another 51m, spread among four players, including the market-bending16m for Jordan Henderson, which may just be the highest premium paid for “Englishness” in some time. Henderson doesn’t look unmistakably English and his name doesn’t sound unmistakably English (initially he could appear more American) as compared to the very English looking Phil Jones who, the market determined, is valued at the same price. The premium paid for English players is no less perverse than the market of which it’s a part. If Ashley Young is somewhat of a bargain at 16m, then Man U got another one with Phil Jones simply on the value of Englishness.

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