What Paper Bag?

I read about the recent comment Tony Adams made about Arsene Wenger. It did not sit well with me at all! I’ll be the first to admit I want Wenger out. Arsenal is due for a change in regime infused with new ideas and truckloads of money. Going back to Adams, upon reading his comment, retorts of his team being relegated came to mind. Does he know he’s in the bag? Does he know Granada got relegated? How’s his Spanish? Can you point us to the Spanish second division. Okay, I’ll stop! I do want answers to my questions though.

Arsene is a person I admire a lot in the footballing world. I sometimes think about how wonderful it would be to share a glass of wine with him or sit in a lecture where he’s the professor. I’ve felt strongly over him finally leaving Arsenal this season, but that feeling took three years to build. I’m ready to embrace what lays ahead for my favorite team. I will never stop following Arsenal. Through February collapses and FA Cup triumphs I will be here looking on.

I apologize for this being a day late…

Arsenal of Feeling 2

Arsenal. One word that brings so much out of me if I even catch a whiff of it blowing in cold winter air or that rainy spring funk right before summer. I want to continue on from my post last Wednesday. Thierry Henry left and Fabregas took up the mantle of being that exciting player we all wanted to see on the lineup each and every game. It was a lot to put on the shoulders of a teenager, but the incisive passes he produced are memories that reaffirm why younger me fell in live with this team. It was part part passing and part idealism of playing with youth. Who doesn’t believe in the concept of utilizing your own youth academy with young prospects to bolster the team? No sugar daddy came to our rescue. It was a youthful idealism matched by my own youthful reassurance that I knew what was best for the world.

Arsenal. You and I played on throughout the years. I was there for you through some humiliating losses and you were there for me every weekend morning. We completed each other in a very dependent day that was borderline vice if not for how healthy you were to end the week with. That’s why it tickles my wrong bone to admit that sometimes I’m just not excited by you anymore. We have fallen into a rut. The foreplay needs work and the same moves just don’t cut it anymore. It’s not because the moves are bad, it’s just the context around those moves has changed. Early on this season, the game against Swansea was a reminder of the Arsenal I had first fallen in love with followed by a taste of who she had become. The passing and movement in that game hit me with the nostalgic wand so hard my seat wasn’t enough to contain me, but then the defense conceded again and again. It was the same issue against Bayern. Oh captain, when you’re gone the boat gets torpedoed to shreds.

Arsenal. I have no doubt you will defeat Chelsea and bring back another FA Cup. I will be watching. The past few dates have been a mix of duds, effort and a different mentality to the bedroom. It might not be a well, but the faucet is back on. We have our issues but leaving is never an option. I will be there, eyes glued to screen, hand on the badge of my jersey, as the final flows on.

Arsenal of Feelings

Arsenal. This name alone encapsulates so many feelings inside of me that I didn’t think I had. One can almost call it an arsenal of feelings, if not for the fact that the feelings are being inflicted on me and not vice-versa. When I first started to seriously pay attention to football after 2002 World Cup, the world was playground. I watched televised matches and highlights of European, Asian, South American and North American leagues. You can also add international matches to that piling list of educational material. I even recall attending a Real Madrid friendly match at some point. 

Arsenal. It all started in 2006 when I started taking in more Arsenal related content, whether through games or highlights, television or internet, and decided they were alright. The heartbreak of that Champions League final loss to Barcelona is something that still hurts me. I have never forgiven Barcelona for that loss of any of the other Round of 16 losses in the Champions League. Keep in mind that from 2002-2006 I was a young kid so my memory is fuzzy. Memory is full of biases and later influenced which distort what really happened during the memories you’re trying to recall. One thing that is clear, though, is that Arsenal had won my heart by the end of that season. 

Arsenal. The 2006 World Cup happened the summer after that final loss. It was a tournament that further increased my thirst for football. We all heard the head butt heard around the world, but that final’s focus was all about Thierry Henry for me. His last two years at Arsenal and his comeback against Leeds are the memories I have of him in the yellow, red and white colors. I can’t claim to have been the recipient of multiple generations of my family loving Arsenal. I still get asked why I support an English team when I’m not even English. We can thank globalization for that. 

Alright, I’m fighting a cold at the moment. I’ll try my best to have something up on Friday. Thanks. 

Chelsea 3 – Middlesbrough 0

Venue: Stanford Bridge

Why?: Boro getting relegated, Chelsea keeping lead over Spurs

Player Analysis

  1. Fabio – was always pushing up the field to help Boro on the attack,but he got caught marking the back of Alonso for Chelsea’s second goal in the 34th minute. According to StatsZone, 9/46 passes were in the attacking third. 7/9 of those attacking third passes were successful or 78%. He also created one chance and had 2/3 successful take ons. What’s interesting is that he only attempted one long pass and two crosses,without success. In a position based system, where his defensive shortcomings could be covered, he would be important in maintaining position for a team that plays in their opponents half. The reason being that 45/46 passes were short. This shows he keeps the ball moving while penetrating forward within the attacking third. His back should have been to his own goal as he attempted to mark Alonso as opposed to his back facing the Chelsea attack. Was he joining the Chelsea attack? I also noticed him get caught of position during the second half which forced him to rush back to his defense. 
  2. Alonso – was also pushing up the field to give Chelsea not only an extra man in attack, but his penetrating runs to the left post have them another passing land. Those runs made possible his four attempts in goal. 2/4 attempts or 50% were on target and one was blocked which shows his proficiency in front of the goal today. StatZone also has 3/4 of those shots inside the penalty area which reinforces how close those diagonal runs were to the left post. Another interesting stat is that all four of his shots were with his left foot, and to me, it seemed like Chelsea was more dominant on the left side of the field. The stats also show he received the ball 33 times. Just like Fabio he had 2/3 successful take ons and 12/43 passes were in the attacking third. A 28% conversion over Fabio’s 20% gives him the edge. The only attacking blip is that he failed to put in any crosses. Even with this last stat, it’s hard to nitpicky because he was a threat all match. Put this man up front!

Match Summary

It was a match Chelsea dominated by employing a high line that passed its way into the Boro goal by playing on their side. This game clearly showed that these Chelsea players can not only interchange positions, but that they also move up the pitch to spread defenses into opening up space. Fabregas was the architect who dictated what direction the attack would build and was their to receive the ball when it needed to be circulated once again to continue the attack. It’s fascinating how mechanical this team is and the FA Cup final against a newly employed Arsenal back three will be something to see.

Legs open, legs closed? That was the question of the match as Brad Guzan ate up there goals, with two going between his legs.

Clap, clap, clap your hands was the topic on hand as the Chelsea owner went from a 1st half yawn to happily clapping during the dying minutes of this match. Conte was also in a clapping mode towards the end of the second half.

John Terry made an appearance!

Press Release #1

Gael Oliver Arn-Talavera Becomes New Manager of Hibernian F.C.

In a bold move, the Leith based club appoints a newcomer to the job


By Gary Boathouse

May 13, 2013


Edinburgh, Scotland – Hibernian F.C. has a new man at the helm after a surprising move for the American born Gael Oliver Arn-Talavera. A self described passionate football fan, Gael is another manager who hasn’t played professional soccer. He was an editor and Content Marketeer before making the jump to professional football management.


Responding to the already mounting criticisms, Chairman Brown responded with “The club is looking for a fresh direction to move the club forward and Gael complimented our vision. Stability is needed if we are to challenge Celtic.” Gael continued, “My first priority is to keep the club in the highest level of Scottish football. It’s a new country and club, but we have a forward vision.”


Preseason is under way with the game against Dumbarton being on June 29, 2013. It is one of three games in preparation for the August 4 season opener against Motherwell.

Operation Top Half

I play Football Manager. Specifically, I play Football Manager 2014. The game is very entertaining to those who want to live out the dream of managing our favorite football teams through a simulation.

I’ve been cooking up a multimedia project for some time now that will showcase new skills I have picked and reinforce others that I already know. By the time this project gets rolling I will have picked up the skills of making a podcast, creating and editing audio clips, new styles of writing such as press releases, building a social media presence and visualizing data. The cool thing about my project is that it doesn’t pigeonhole me into only one platform of distribution. It will also cover more than way to consume the content I am putting out. Whether you’re a text reader, visual learner or just prefer to hear content, the option to choose are present. It will be a path of many mistakes and self correcting as I go along, but I’m choosing to share these struggles with anyone who is kind enough to consume my content. Thank you.

What is this multimedia project about? I am creating a narrative filled with characters and drama to go along with the new save I’ve been playing in Football manager 2014. The team I am managing is Hibernian from the Scottish Premier League. It’s a club located in the capitol city of Edinburgh. New content will be released after every match played or significant event that furthers the narrative being constructed.

I hope someone else enjoys this just as much as I am enjoying creating all this content. More will be coming withing the following days.


“Born In The Wrong Era”

“I wish I was born in another time period” or “I was born in the wrong era” are two expressions we hear or read along with their variations from certain people. I have definitely encountered people expressing themselves this way, assuming what I read online is written by an actual human and not an algorithm. We see the abundance of I’s already, but I want to add that I don’t share this viewpoint. Being part of the current world is amazing! In another time period the process of writing an equivalent to a blog would have been more labor intensive and tedious. I don’t have to use a printing press to print these words out and then hop on my horse to distribute them. The assumption is even made that there’s people who are going to read these words!

I much prefer the method of using WordPress and moving my fingers around the keyboard to create this blog post. A new word for something more than laziness would have to be made, if a healthy being, with functioning joints, considers clacking on a keyboard bellow them. I, also, much prefer that distribution of this post is just a click away from being made available, on a centralized platform, that actually contains readers. Sure there’s something to be said about the work it takes to build a community and getting your work to as many eyeballs as possible, but the scale of it is much simpler. It takes away some risk and expenses of time and labor. This couldn’t be done before modern computing.

I also wouldn’t want to disrupt a timeline that has already given me so many memories and firsts. And why would I want to go through that again in a somewhat similar vein through another timeline? It’s just not my style.