Arsenal

News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about Arsenal FC.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Europe, Man Utd.

Looking ahead to preseason

The release of the Premier League schedule for 2008-2009 reminded us that the new season is just around the corner. Many teams in Europe will be reporting back for pre-season training in a couple of weeks, especially those with Champions League Qualifiers to navigate.

Europe’s giants are talking different approaches to this years pre-season games, with several of the them being involved in high-profile pre-season tournaments.

The best pre-season tournament is the Emirates Cup at Arsenal. The tournament takes place the first week of August and the four teams are Arsenal, Hamburger SV, Juventus, and Real Madrid. Will the Emirates Cup mark the debut of Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid?

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

European Power Rankings

Eurosport has just released its inaugural European Power Ranking and Manchester United are on top. Intern Milan had led these rankings for much of the season but have dropped to fourth place after their recent stumbles is Serie A.

Europsport uses a mathematical formula based on based on points per game in domestic league and European games. What I cannot understand is how Arsenal are ranked higher than Chelsea. Chelsea finished higher than then in the Premiership and went two rounds further in the Champions League. Somehow the last-minute goal they conceded against Bolton cost them a place. And I thought the BCS formula was confusing!

Arsenal, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Premier League

Big Four? More Like Two…

For years, pundits have argued the EPL is a boring league because of the concentration of talent at the top.

Like MLB, the EPL allows teams to spend as freely as they like, meaning billionaire American businessmen and Russian oil tycoons can stockpile the best players like rations in a nuclear fallout shelter. In case of emergency (or injury), they can just pop another superstar out of the box (new signing bonus smell!) and into the roster.

The benefits of such a system are that when Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool or Arsenal is on the pitch, fans know they are watching a top quality product. The detriments?

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd.

Champions League Quarterfinals Predictions

Arsenal over Liverpool

This is a tough draw for both teams who will play each other a few times between match ups in the Champions League. This is a classic match up of European soccer vs. Premier League soccer, as Liverpool always performs well in European play, while Arsenal always battles for the Premier League title. Things are no different this year, as Liverpool made it to the quarters of Champions League and are 4th in the Premier League, while Arsenal was recently surpassed by Chelsea for the 2nd spot after losing to them on Sunday. Even though Liverpool is moving up and Arsenal is moving down I think this is Arsenal’s year, as they will dispatch of Liverpool in the quarters.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

Champions League Quarterfinals Set

The Champions League Quarterfinals are set, well almost as Liverpool and Inter Milan play their second leg in Milan on March 11th with Liverpool traveling to Italy after winning the first leg at home 2-0. There have been some major surprises and some not so major surprises in the 2008 Champions League. Defending champions AC Milan will be watching from home, as they were defeated in the first round of the knockout phase. Two of the surprise teams that have made it to the quarterfinals are Schalke 04 from Germany and Fenerbahçe from Turkey. If Liverpool can get past Inter Milan there will be 4 teams from England’s Premier League in the last 8 teams in the 2008 Champions League Tournament.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

Real Madrid Still Richest Soccer Club in the World

Numbers for the 2007-2008 season are available here

For the third straight year Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid topped the list of richest soccer clubs in the world. Three teams from the Premier League made the top five in Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal, while another Spanish League team Barcelona is the other club in the top 5. The list is for the money generated but does not include transfer fees.

Dan Jones the partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, the group that compiled the list, stated, “This is the first time that any country has had three clubs in the top five of the Money League. Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium has transformed their revenues whilst Chelsea’s revenue increase sees them return to the top five.”

Arsenal, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Premier League

Huge Weekend in Premiership

Well at the end of super Sunday in England, Arsenal and Manchester United solidified there positions as the top two teams in the country. When the dust had settled after two intriguing games the table looks like this:

  • Arsenal – 40 points
  • Man Utd – 39 points
  • Chelsea – 34 points
  • Liverpool – 30 points (Liverpool have a game in hand over the other three)

Each of the big three have now played each other once and the results have had an impact on the table. The head to head table is:

  • Man. Utd – 7 points