The Page That Is A No. 4 On The Scale

'Sleevegate' and the nonsense that is having a pop at AVB over no longer sitting on his haunches...

Last Updated: 27/11/13 at 12:10

Right To Bare Arms
When you're an Arsenal superfan and you write about Arsenal every day, it's understandable that you may sometimes a) run out of ideas and b) lose all sense of perspective. The former is how you end up writing the same piece about Kieran Gibbs for both ESPN and the Daily Mirror website and the latter is how you find yourself pontificating about suits and sleeves.

'What a touch of class to bring back suits,' wrote John Cross last week in the first nine of 530 words on the Arsenal squad wearing, well, suits and how this traditionalism makes them the second team of many neutrals. Yes John, it's definitely the suits and not the oft-times beautiful football.

And now we move onto sleeves. Yes, sleeves. Some of you may have noticed that Mathieu Flamini wore short sleeves on Tuesday night while his teammates were all wearing long sleeves. Most of you won't have noticed at all; some of you might have noticed and muttered something about the Frenchman being tougher than his teammates; the rest of you are John Cross.

'For every sneering patronising remark on Twitter saying "sleevegate" is not important, there are another 50 tweets about the row,' writes Cross. Yes, he did call it 'sleevegate'. And yes, he does seem to have missed the point that the other 50 tweets all pretty much sneeringly say that 'sleevegate' is not important too.


'When Mathieu Flamini cut his sleeves off at Manchester United earlier this month, it sent Twitter into meltdown after his wizardry with a pair of scissors was exposed,' he writes. And yes, that does say 'wizardry' (we have to stop that, don't we?).

'During the game Twitter was awash with people remarking on it. It has caught the imagination because Arsenal are about tradition,' he writes, apparently oblivious to the fact that you choose your own Twitter timeline and his will be full of Arsenal fans who broadly agree with Cross.

'So, needless to say, I asked Wenger about Flamini about it post-match after the Marseille game,' continues Cross, apparently interrupting The Guardian's Daniel Taylor's questions about Jack Wilshere's positioning to reach the burning issue.

'This is not a mountain out of a molehill and to dismiss it as such would be to disregard Arsenal's traditions,' he writes.

Mediawatch: Proudly disregarding Arsenal's traditions and wearing our sleeves short since 1998.

Taking The Gimmick
Without wishing to speak for all of our writers, Football365 generally likes Andre Villas-Boas; Martin Samuel wrote Harry Redknapp's book. But you should discount both of these pieces of information when reading the following few paragraphs.

Samuel writes a piece in The Daily Mail this morning blaming Villas-Boas for Tottenham's shonky start to the season. Villas-Boas being the Tottenham manager, that's not an unreasonable view, but since they are only two points off a Champions League place, one might question how high the levels of shonk are, but that's by the by.

Samuel starts: 'Andre Villas-Boas used to watch the game by crouching down on his haunches near the touchline. And then he stopped doing it. Isn't that strange? People were making fun of him, but even so. If he thought it was the way to get the greatest insight, why would he change?

'Unless it was an affectation. A quirk, a gimmick to make him look brighter than he is. After all, there have been some fairly successful coaches through the last century or so, and not one of them chose to observe the action from the perspective of a dachshund. So maybe they were the smart ones.'

Well, that was weird. Villas-Boas stopped crouching, so he's a now a pseud or a moron? Villas-Boas did a thing which not many other managers did, so it's a 'gimmick'? Not many other managers chew gum in a fury of mastication, so thus Fergie was just doing it for the gimmick, right? Of course not, because that has nothing to do with his managerial abilities. Agreed? Good. Let us continue.

As is common with Samuel, he then makes a valid point (about Hugo Lloris and his concussion) before allowing it to be swallowed with obnoxious bullsh*t. Observe, about the embarrassment against Manchester City:

'He said the players should be ashamed. That is the marvellous thing about being AVB - there is always someone around to carry the can.'

Marvellous indeed. If Villas-Boas did indeed say that. Which of course he didn't. Here's what he actually said: "We have to be ashamed of the result."

'Wee'. See, Martin? Sounds an awful lot like he was including himself in the people that should be ashamed there, old boy. So not passing the can to someone else to carry, then.

Samuel then continues to vacillate between the old valid points/obnoxious bullsh*t (a particular highlight of the latter coming when he reminds everyone that 'the majority of imported players take time to adjust' after rubbishing the majority of Villas-Boas' imported players) before, inevitably, we get to Harry Redknapp.

He writes: 'One wonders, in his final season, what Redknapp might have achieved with even half the investment lavished on Villa-Boas, rather than a final January transfer window signing of Louis Saha as Tottenham's title challenge faded.'

Firstly, it's interesting that Redknapp doesn't get the blame for this title challenge fading and indeed the arse completely falling out of Tottenham's season that spring, and secondly, one would imagine that Redknapp also might have been allowed to spend a few quid had his best player just been sold for a world-record fee.

Football365 generally likes Andre Villas-Boas; Martin Samuel wrote Harry Redknapp's book. But you should discount both of these pieces of information when reading the preceding few paragraphs.

Failed To Fire
'Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue and Vlad Chiriches have all failed to fire consistently,' writes Emily Childs in The Sun, for whom Harry Redknapp writes a column.

Etienne Capoue has started only four games this season because of injury; Spurs have won three of those four games.
Nacer Chadli has started only four games this season because of injury; Spurs have won three of those four games.
Centre-half Vlad Chiriches has started seven games this season; Spurs have won five of those games and conceded a grand total of one goal in those seven games.

There's plenty in AVB's use of expensive trio Soldado, Lamela and Eriksen to encourage criticism. There's really no need to add more names when you're merely adding nonsense.

Woe Is Spurs
Talking of nonsense, Oliver Holt writes in the Daily Mirror: 'WHEN Gareth Bale was sold to Real Madrid for £86million, most people said it was a no-brainer. Tottenham had to take the money, they said. A few, including Gary Lineker, suggested it was never a good thing to sell your best player. Spurs' current woes seem to be proving him right.'

Those 'current woes' include being three points better off than the same stage last season. When they had Gareth Bale.

The Cheek Of It
David Moyes gave a Champions League press conference on Tuesday at which he spoke at length about Wayne Rooney. You may have seen his quotes on Football365 and a myriad of other football sites (we are told there are others available).

Those quotes are in The Sun on Wednesday morning underneath these words 'David Moyes...WE GET ALL THE BIG INTERVIEWS'.

Or, alternatively, they get invited to all the big press conferences like every bugger else.

London, Canada?
From The Sun: 'JERMAIN DEFOE will snub Sunderland and Hull in the New Year as he wants to stay in London.'

From the Daily Mirror: 'Jermain Defoe has agreed an incredible £90,000-a-week switch to Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.'

Giant Haystack
'JOSE MOURINHO blew his stack as lucky Chelsea lost yet still reached the Champions League last 16 with a game to spare. The Special One was clearly furious with his sloppy side as they gave their worst performance of the season,' says the back page of the Daily Mirror.

Quotes from Mourinho that the Mirror mysteriously did not include: "Maybe I should make more changes in the team. But when you get such a good performance against West Ham you have that temptation of playing the same team as they played so well, it is difficult to change them.

"I made one change with Eden (Hazard) as I thought he could make a difference coming from the bench but perhaps I should have changed more players. We should get a better result than this but I don't blame the players."

It's almost like he didn't blow his stack at the players at all.

Headline Of The Day
'SAMIR TIME BLUES' - The Daily Mirror.

Worst Headline Of The Day
'JACK OF SMARTS' - The Daily Mirror.

Non-Football Story Of The Day
'A car lover is selling one of his testicles for $35,000 (£22,000) so he can buy a Nissan 370. Most men would cringe at the idea of parting with one of their most valued assets but Mark Parisi doesn't seem to mind. e confirmed to the shocked presenters of US TV show The Doctors he planned to sell his left testicle to medical researchers for money to buy a new vehicle. One of the show's hosts joked after hearing the news: 'It's a Nissan for your left one!'' - Metro.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Please Stop Telling Us What To Think


ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

Wenger hails important win


s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

De Gea's Europa League target

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