Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Arsenal Meets The Mets: Cesc and Van Persie Pay a Visit to Citi Field

Arsenal ended their up and down season with a less than convincing draw away to Fulham.  The defense was once again at fault on both Fulham goals and if not for the finishing of Van Persie in the first half and Walcott in the second, the Gunners would have been looking at another dropped three points.  The team's end of season swoon, enabled Manchester City to jump Arsenal for the third automatic Champions League spot and will now require Arsenal to face a play in opponent in order to qualify.
Show some loyalty Samir

While 4th place is certainly not the end of the world, the criticism and negativity currently surrounding the club from both the fans and the media paint the picture of a disastrous season.  Many have called for Arsene Wenger to step aside and for wholesale changes at the club.  While Wenger has admitted that there is a need for new signings and that changes will be made, the end of the season leads to the insanity of the summer transfer rumours.  Everyone and their mother is being linked to Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City and all the other big spenders while Arsenal fans are being subjected to rumours that captain Cesc Fabregas will be off and that Samir Nasri is holding the team hostage for money before committing his future to the club.  (Nasri is one of my favorite players and it makes me sick to see him getting caught up in his own hype and disrespecting the team and manager that made him a star).

Holy crap Cesc & RVP at a Mets game

What Arsenal and its fans need more than anything else is some good news and a hearty dose of optimism.  The reality is, there are 16 other teams in the EPL that wish they were in Arsenal's position.

While European fans despise the summer months when football goes on break, it gives me the opportunity to turn my attention to baseball and the Mets.  To my surprise Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas and co-captain Robin Van Persie paid a visit to Flushing to take in a Mets game at Citi Field.  While I'd like to believe that they went out of their way to see the Mets, it's probably more likely that they went there only because the Yankees were out of town.  Regardless, the validation that I got knowing members of Arsenal were at a Mets game cannot be described.  Van Persie's Twitter feed about the visit to Citi Field was even picked up by the British press.

Evra and Vidic owned by Messi

The final football match of the season featured Barcelona versus Manchester United at Wembley Stadium for the Champions League final.  Despite a goal from Shrek, Barcelona owned Manchester United.  The final score was 3-1 but Barcelona had 70% of the possession and 20 shots on goal to Man U's 3.  Most Arsenal fans took pleasure in seeing ManU lose, knowing that Arsenal will forever remain the only team to have beaten Barcelona in this year's Champions League field.

Meanwhile, the Mets continue to bumble their way through the MLB season with half their "stars" on the disabled list and more members of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons starting games than actual New York Mets players.  Adding to the ineptitude was good old Fred Wilpon who despite his ongoing Bernie Madoff adventures found the time to humiliate himself and his team first in the New Yorker and then in Sports Illustrated.  By publicly dissing Josey Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran and then announcing that the team was bleeding money, Wilpon proved he's definitely not the brightest guy.  

Justin Turner

Don't Trade Reyes
On the field, the team continues to be unable to hit homeruns and the bullpen has continued to cough up late leads.  In fact, the Mets set another dubious record last week, losing their sixth straight home game after leading heading in to the 7th.  Despite the negativity surrounding the team, there have been some major surprises; pitcher Dillon Gee, infielder Justin Turner, Jon Niese and Ruben Tejada.  Additionally, RA Dickey continues to be a reliable pitcher, Carlos Beltran is healthy and playing well and Jose Reyes is on fire.  Of course with the rumour mill continuing to dangle Reyes as trade bait, Mets fans have begun to publicly campaign for the team not to trade Jose.  Hopefully Wilpon will swallow his pride and pay the man the money he deserves.  If not, the half empty stadium of this season could be completely empty next year.

Yes that's Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas in a NY Mets jersey
A couple of football stories that were circulating in the British press last week that were just too funny include:

Shrek getting a hair transplant

Ryan Giggs threatening to sue Twitter over his "alleged" affair only to become a trending topic on Twitter, and if that wasn't enough:

Ryan Giggs' eight year affair with his brother's wife is revealed

ManU may be EPL champions but they sure know how to make headlines for off the pitch activities.  You can't make this stuff up.

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