So what’s going on? Well predictably, Arsenal have appealed against the Eduardo ban. And they haven’t minced their words with their response to Uefa:
The Club is in receipt of Uefaâ€™s reasoned decision in relation to the charge against Eduardo. We strongly believe that the decision taken is deeply flawed and not based on any forensic review of the video evidence available. There are obvious errors and inconsistencies in Uefaâ€™s judgment and we intend to appeal.
Ouch – no doubt this one will run and run, and Uefa are probably in something of a pickle now. I really enjoyed The Times’ Patrick Barclay’s piece here, in which he describes the case as “the worst case of disciplinary bungling I can remember in football”.
Elsewhere, some traction on the chanting that went on (again) over the weekend, aimed at Wenger. Highlighted by many Arsenal blogs and on Twitter, the issue is picking up weight in the mainstream media. For those who didn’t hear fellow blogger GilbertoSilver from Gunnerblog on Radio 5live this morning, you can hear him talk about it here, 47 minutes in. Well worth a listen (only available to those in the UK).
Update: I’ve just read this in the Guardian. Looks as if, following complaints from “an Arsenal supporters’ group” United will look again at ways of stopping it and are deeply embarrassed. Fair play to them for the response. And all power to whoever raised this with them.
So, what with it being the middle of the lull, I took in a few films this week. One, The Gooner Review, a no-holds-barred season review featuring interviews with what seemed like dozens of celebrity gooners, and the other a remake of the 80s movie The Firm.
The Gooner Review
OK, so we’re already diving headlong into the season, but this 08-09 season review is well worth a punt. Not just because 100% of all profits go to Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation – a good enough reason to pick it up in its own right. Mainly though, because it’s an honest and candid appraisal of the season from people who wear the Arsenal on their sleeves. The DVD is dripping with well-known gooners – it’s fronted by Paul Kaye, and features interviews with Bob Wilson, Tom Watt, Nick Hornby, David Soul, Shovell – and loads more. And despite not securing the rights to any of the footage (they tried), it’s good to see other Arsenal fans moaning about the same things we all moaned about last season and praising all the good bits too. I totally enjoyed it.
I got to see a pre-launch screening of this, a remake of Alan Clarke’s controversial 80s film about West Ham and Millwall hooligan firms (trailer here). Given what happened last week, it’s coming out at an interesting time to say the least. As a film, it’s well shot – the soundtrack and casual clobber take me back more than a few years, but while the clothes, the cameraderie and the adrenalin are appealing (to the principle character) at first, by the end, the pointlessness of the increasing brutality is clear.
Did it take me back to my years watching the Arsenal in the 80s? Hehe – no, in a word. I did experience a few hairy moments from my North Bank vantage point, but as I recall, I spent most of the terrace-based 80s looking at the back of someone else’s head. It used to happen every bloody game – get there early, get a good spot, then 5 minutes before kick-off the tallest man in the world would squeeze in right in front. The singing was good though…