Old School Tie

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It’s another old-boy reunion story: Several weeks ago, Reading’s Steve Sidwell was linked with a move back to Highbury, and now it’s the turn of another Englishman who didn’t play much for us – Matthew Upson. Apparently he wants European football so he can fight his way back into England reckoning, and so viz, ergo, he could make a move to Arsenal. We are supposedly “thought to be monitoring his situation”. Absolute nonsense, really. Wenger never played him before, so A) It would take a spectacularly embarrassing u-turn from the boss to suddenly admit he was wrong and B) Would Upson really want to return to the club that, in his eyes, thought he wasn’t good enough?

It’s possible he does want a move to a club that plays European football. It’s also possible that, given he’s negotiating terms on a new contract with his club at the moment, he’s trying to get the best deal he can. It’s a common trick (and not always subtle) to suddenly leak stories about how your client is looking elsewhere. The club panics a bit, comes back with the offer you want, and then you sign. Cynical, moi?

And let me get this next bit straight: You get a two match European ban for fabricating a meeting in the tunnel at a Champions League match, then not showing up to the press conference and questioning the referee’s impartiality. And you also get a two-match ban for… squirting water at the ref (twice).

Welcome to the wacky world of UEFA.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. halfNice

    I can’t quite tell from your blog, but which do you think is worse – fabricating a story or squirting water at the ref (twice)? Personally I think Lehmann’s got off lightly. What he did was stupid and petulant, and the club should fine him for it.

  2. Farnborough Gunner

    Re-signing Upson wouldn’t be a climb-down for Wenger. It was Upson’s choice to leave, for 1st team football lower down the PL; Wenger did niot initiate the sale.

    Upson did get chances at Arsenal but seemed to get injured every time he looked like getting a run in the team. He just never did enough to put himself ahead of Adams, Keown & Campbell in the pecking order.

    Given that Adams & Keown were in their twilight years , if Upson wanted to make it at Highbury he surely must have seen that a starting place was going to come to him before too long.

    But I agree with today’s lead article, that this sounds more like a story mad eup by his agent to get a better deal at Brum. A bit more subtle than Asley Cole’s efforts, and likely to lead to a more favourable outcome to the player and teams involved.

  3. Farnborough Gunner

    Regarding the Lehman “squirting” incident. I thought he actually threw a water bottle down at the side of the pitch in anger and some water from it splashed one of the officials. This is a long way from squirting the official twice, which he has been charged with, and nowhere near as bad as the lies, incitement and more lies that came out of Chelsea after their Barcelona match (and on other occasions).

    But Uefa are basically saying that getting a drop of water on an official is as bad as creating a situation in which a ref receives death threats (which is what they accused Chelsea of). Or are they saying that the Chelsea/Barca ref has maybe overreacted?

  4. Neil

    Thierry Henry is 4 goals away from becoming our all time leading scorer and even by his own standards he is scoring freely at the moment and looks like taking the record this season – however other than hard-core gooners no-one seems to be taking much notice. i remember when ian wright was closing in on cliff bastin’s record each time he scored it was announced that wrighty was x goals away – how come the same is not being done for henry? admittedly henry probably doesn’t need the pressure of this being announced every time he scores but it would be nice for the rest of the world to be told!

  5. edmondy

    Chuck in all the ridiculous Aragones/Spanish clubs’ racism fines and it seems even worse.

    Lehmann is an idiot, but because of Mourinho irresponisible behaviour a man has had to quit his job for fear of his own safety – has he had an apology?

  6. Dalston Gooner

    Hilarious. Lehmann is inded the village idiot – but that must of been an absolute quality comedy moment. 2 Matches is a bit steep me thinks. Mourinho is a liar. Plain and simple. Why does no one mention this? Why is this not a big story? He WAS at THAT meeting and lied about it on top of all the other crap he’s been coming out with lately re referees.

  7. Farnborough Gunner

    According to reports at the time Lehman didn’t “douse” or “soak” the official, as is now being widely reported. He threw a water bottle on the ground in frustration at the end of the match and the official got splashed. Still not gentlemanly beheviour from Jens, but a lot less serious than reported & charged, and a lot less serious than inciting death threats and lying to try to squirm out of it.

    (I hope this gets through, my last two attempts have been bounced as “spam” – I don’t even eat the stuff!).

  8. RotorGoat

    I wouldn’t start now, it’s foul.

  9. vivb

    I never understood why the press didn’t pick up on Mourinho before, he has always picked an issue when Chelsea have underperformed e.g. Henry’s quick free kick, Fergie chatting to the referee, Blackburn’s physical game. This ensures that Chelsea’s aura of invincibility remains. Also little analysis of the football which in many ways is a step backwards compared to AW’s phylosophy of an expansive attacking game. Chelsea and Kenyon’s philosophy is an aggressive business model.

    Of course the press love a new thing and he is this seasons thing. Remember he had already been fined £5,000 for calling the referee against Man Utd a cheat while AW was fined £15,000 for saying Van N cheats (which he does).

    Mourinho is out of control and Chelsea are in their eagerness to keep him happy are doing themselves and the game a dis-service.

    P.s Didn’t Liverpool show the way yesterday (well for the first 30 mins anyway before they ran out of puff) I don’t know if it’s because they have nothing to lose they give it a go why we seem to freeze in Europe. Also with PSV likely to get through to the semi’s interesting that we would have knocked them out if the group games were played over 2 legs.

  10. halfNice

    What are the chances that Lehmann won’t be with us next season and will take his ban with him? The rumour mills have gone quiet on us looking for a new goalkeeper, but I guess it’s still within the realms of possibility.

  11. 2 cent delly

    i think that signing matthew upson would not be that bad after all..wenger did not sell matthew upson because he was not good enough…matthew wanted to leave at the time because he was down the pecking order behind some good defenders…and we all know that uefa don’t operate that sensibly any ways…atleast we know that fines in football are not standard…look at pires 35000 fine for wearing the wrong brand tee and aragone’s ridiculous 3000 fine for calling “henry black shit”…now thats sone funny shit…lol..lol..


  12. kidK

    of course they’ve gone quet, we’ve been tight at the back lately

  13. RotorGoat

    I think he’ll stay – but that we’ll sign someone to properly challenge him. That man is not Almunia. Nor, it seems likely, is it Stuart Taylor.

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