The Squill is mightier than the board

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Good morning from the tail end of a blogless week. My main dilemma these last seven days has been: Barbeque – gas or charcoal? I’m leaning towards the former for ease of use but to the latter for guaranteeing the proper whiff.

I did, however, crank up the phone for the annual jamboree that is the Champions League draw.

Cup draws have certainly taken on a new ‘importance’ since the FA Cup draws of my youth, when someone would be glued to their radio in double maths on a Monday morning, but I know which kind I prefer. What purpose does all the farting about serve? It’s monumentally dull, even if it does give the country’s media the excuse they need to crank up the live text coverage.

This year’s draw gives us a relatively benign group – again. From a footballing perspective there are some interesting ties against teams we have not got a lot of previous with, and I’m all for playing new teams. But in terms of avoiding one of Europe’s heavyweights, we’ve done it again. We drew Inter Milan in the 2003-4 group stage (heh – remember the away leg!). Since then, we’ve had Porto and Seville and a host of tricky away ties, but no group of death as far as I remember. This is, I suppose, what seeding does. Seeding might make the bigger clubs happy, but does it make the competition more interesting?

So Partizan, Braga and Donetsk it is. I must say, I’ve always fancied a far-flung Champions League journey and Donetsk would fit that bill. Hmmm… how am I going to get this one past Control?

A look at the group stages from the Guardian here and Telegraph here.

Elsewhere, the news is good on the squad strengthening front, with the arrival of the ‘ancient’ Sebestien Squillaci. It appears the Squillster has got himself a three-year deal and cost a much more plausible fee of £3.3m.

And come on, let’s be honest – the relaxing of the over-30 rule is long overdue. Letting Pires go because he had hit 30 seems as nonsensical today as it did back in 2006. A defender at 30 is nothing – look at Sol Campbell.

“He is a real defender and is good in the one-against-one, good in the air, and can score goals on set-pieces as well. I believe he will be suited to the English game. He will train with us tomorrow morning, but will not be involved on Saturday [against Blackburn Rovers].”

Now just the one position left to fill, by my reckoning – and it’s D-Day -4.

Reckon it’ll still happen?

Right, that’s me tuning out for a few more days.

Gas or charcoal, gas or charcoal. Hmm.


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

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. goonertank

    Pretty uninspiring group. I was praying for Madrid.

    Good to see these defensive additions being made. In my opinion it tells me that AW must think English centre halves are over priced as both additions this year have been overseas.

    Hopefully just Schwarzer to come now with Manuel probably going, although I’d rather have him as no 2 than flappy.

    The squad looks almost complete

  2. Matt

    Don’t get a girl’s BBQ! charcoal all the way

  3. Goonerant

    Keep the faith. Got to be charcoal!!

  4. RotorGoat

    I know I know – but it takes half an hour to crank the damn thing up. Gas – bosh. On.

  5. jj

    agree on pires, pure class – continued the goal rush in spain

  6. Hrochnick

    Charcoal – and it can be easy! There is this chimney thing you can buy, you fill it with charcoal, pop a fire-lighter or two underneath and wait 5 minutes (light the fire-lighter, obviously). Then pour the coals on the grill and you’re ready to cook. Works EVERY TIME, even on a windy day. An absolute life saver!

    As for the age thing, about bloody time. I’m still upset about Pires…

  7. arseblogger

    It’s a bit of a myth that Pires was let go at 30, he was nearly 33.

  8. chakravo

    Read your blog for a long while. Great work! Don’t spoil the aura with a gas grill! CHARCOAL!

  9. Feverpitch

    I seem to remember the FA Cup draw was at the end of break and we always missed the start of the next lesson but finding out who we had in the cup was more important than getting detention!

    Charcoal – If you get a gas one just use your oven indoors.

  10. Gunner Young

    Good value if we got him for around €4mill. I think he’ll be a backup though, Kos and Verm as starters.

    Gas, if you are going to use the grill through out the year. Otherwise charcoal for sure.

  11. dats

    Gas? Charcoal? What’s the point-it’ll be p*ssing with rain!

  12. RotorGoat

    I’d still have given Pires another 2-year deal…

    Charcoal currently trending ahead of gas.

  13. thelittlemozart

    pires didn’t want to stay after being substituted for almunia in the 2006 CL final.. and villareal had been sniffing around for a while. I do think that wenger want him to stay but Pires made his choices and wenger couldnt do anything about it.

  14. Catalan Gunner

    Cranking charcoal up is the whole point. Point fluid, squirt, spark, WOOF!

    Don’t be a girl.

  15. G00n3rm4n

    I’d have given Pires another two years and a gas BBQ!

  16. br083

    dreem on kos is betta than squalici

  17. Stooee21

    Gas is for girls, they have knobs ffs. Man up and get involved with the charcoal. If you don’t you’re admitting that you can’t make fire and lets face it that’s basic (prehistoric) man skill 🙂

    1 new GK and I’ll be happy with our transfer dealings and squad strength for the first time in a long time

  18. Rob

    Sort it out – a BBQ IS charcoal (plenty of easy ways to do it these days). What’s the point of gas? You may as well stick something under the grill!

    Squad starting to look strong, I’m fancying us more and more this season!

  19. marksman

    I’d have given Pires a job for life, he was that good for me!

    If you want gas use the kitchen stove, if you want to bbq use charcoal.

  20. MikeSA

    Definitely gas, especially if you have kids.

    Kids really aren’t interested in anyone’s he-man displays of creating fire (neither is your missus btw), they want to eat when they’re hungry, not in 3 hours time.

    It certainly isn’t the same as using your oven, buy one with volcanic rock and use interesting types of wood sawdust for various flavours.

    Even a non-rock gas grill has the smoke from the dripping burning etc to smoke the meat, which doesn’t happen in an oven.

    I often arrive home late from work, turn on the braai (the name for a barbeque in my country), and slap on some steak, chops, or sosaties plus some wors, and within 30 minutes we’re eating.

    You won’t be doing that with a charcoal grill anytime soon.

    No ash to get rid of, very little mess, absolute pleasure.

    If you insist on charcoal, get a compressor.

    I’ve got a spit braai with a sheep going in around 5 minutes flat from lighting to having a sheep on by using a compressor to get the coals going.

  21. MikeSA

    Just a further note, charcoal is also “cheating”, just less intelligently so than gas.

    If you really want the whole “he-man” thing, you need to burn wood until you get coals (and brickettes are really no on btw) 🙂

  22. KTbird

    fush and chups

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