The Curious Case Of Laurent Koscielny

More often than not, the sleepless nights are about the heartbreak, the disappointment, the anguish and the despair. They’re about the anger and disgust for the punditocracy and the hacks who consider it open season on Arsenal.

You can almost taste the bile from the disdain and contempt in which Arsenal is held in the footballing media circles from Sly Sports to the BBC, from Talk Spite radio to the tabloids. There’s a macabre-esque enjoyment of Arsenal’s agony in every sense – and when we say it’s a conspiracy, we’re called paranoid.

Today though, there’s so much to say and write about such an amazing day for the spirit of Arsenal football club. For that however, I’d like to encourage you to visit ACLF where my friend Yogi has written a wonderful piece that captures the emotion and captures the moment. As George our resident pedant puts it, for all the days of anguish that Yogi has kept our sanity, it’s days like these that he deserves the stage to express the magic of the moment.

I have chosen today instead to focus on Arsenal’s most influential unsung hero, Mr Laurent Koscielny. There’s more than enough analysis all over the internet and the media of the now legendary shafting of the heathen horde at Stamford Bridge.

You see, the problem with the English football establishment is that there’s a collective determination to exercise cultural incompetence of breath-taking magnitude. Take the lack of understanding of the fundamentals of football business and finance. English football is the only place on this planet where people still think it’s OK to spend the GDP of most developing countries just to chase trophies.

It’s either a brazen and reckless disregard of the laws of economics as they pertain to football, or spectacular incompetence from a collective that has the IQ of a fence post. It’s the sort of culture that equates high spending to quality, notwithstanding the fact that the rationale for the market pricing is fundamentally flawed. How can it be justifiable for example for Andy Carroll to cost more in transfer fees than Thomas Vermaelen and David Silva combined.

So when the Arsenal scouting system pluck Laurent Koscielny from the wilderness of the French league, he is considered a pariah since he doesn’t conform to the text book definition of a Premiership defender. It’s almost like it’s a crime that they don’t know him so he can’t be that good. Koscielny’s not only fighting the PR battle against the football media and pundits, he’s had to contend with undeserved criticism from Anti-Arsenal Arsenal supporters.

Yet this brilliant young man has something that a lot of defenders don’t have. He is tenacious, dependable, perceptive and applies himself with finesse. He is a dogged defender with absolute class when it comes to the art of intercepting, one on one defending and recovery defending. He is exceptional in the air and excellent in working with the ball on the ground.

Koscielny is also silky in offence and has an uncanny ability to convert defence into attack with one touch football. A very confident player with the ball, he links up very well with the midfield and is perhaps one of the best ball playing defenders around.

The fact that people still talk about Arsenal needing quality defenders without paying Koscielny any respect for what he is currently doing is an insult of the highest order in my humble opinion. If Koscielny isn’t one of the best defenders in the league, I don’t know who is.
In yesterday’s post match punditry by Sly Sports, the punk Jamie Redknapp had the audacity to suggest that Laurent Koscielny had now arrived after that performance against Chelsea. As I was reminded, Jamie was probably the only person in the country who didn’t notice Lionel Messi in Koscielny’s pocket when Arsenal beat Barcelona with panache in perhaps the greatest match of football ever played in an Arsenal stadium.

From the first game that Koscielny played at Anfield, it was so obvious that the boy oozed class. And I gather it’s not just the class. I know a few female Gooners who are willing and ready to copulate with the guy and bear his children.
Granted, he has made some mistakes – but point out to me a defender in the league who walks on water. The media even hail Sideshow Bob at Chelsea as the second coming of defensive messiahs. That’s David Luiz in case you’re wondering who Sideshow Bob is.

If Luiz was that good – why the hell didn’t he play to stop the horror show at Stamford Bridge yesterday. Even after they wax lyrical and go sycophantic about Luiz because he cost £24m while Koscielny cost a few bob according to them, you can’t hide from the fact that Laurent Koscielny stands head and shoulders above the Brazilian defender. Everything they say about Luiz, you can say that about Koscielny with compound interest.

Let’s not forget, Fernando Torres might as well have been sitting on the bench yesterday, that’s how effective Koscielny was. He’s done it to Messi, he’s done it to Rooney and he’s done it to Drogba – and folks still think of this guy like a step child from the wrong side of the rail tracks.
And yet, Gooners around the world are debating who will lose their place in central defence to accommodate the equally magnificent Thomas Vermaelen.
I think people are missing the point. The question is not who will partner Thomas Vermaelen in central defence. The more substantive question is out of Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Djourou, who will be Laurent Koscielny’s preferred partner.

My sense is that Vermaelen and Koscielny will be Arsenal’s first choice central defensive pairing, but if you take it that there will be suspensions and injury as well as the need for tactical changes to counter different opposition – there’s enough games to go around for everyone.
The most exciting thing for me is that Koscielny, Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Djourou are either 25 or 26 years of age. The central defensive solutions at

Arsenal for the next 8 to 10 years are on solid ground, notwithstanding the fact that young shining lights like Ignasi Miquel and Kyle Bartley are on hand to complement the squad depth.

Dont forget, if you haven’t yet, follow Stone Cold Arsenal on Twitter and join the growing community. We’re trying to find out where Bruce “We’ll beat the crap out of Arsenal” is hiding.

Sunday, October 30th, 2011 Analysis, Arsenal, Media Talk, Premier League No Comments

The Bastards Are After Arsenal, The Whole Phucking Lot Of Them

I got reminded this weekend why I started blogging in the first place. It really was either this or marriage counselling. The funny thing is that even my Chelsea supporting missus resorts to cursing like a drunk sailor when it comes to responding to the tripe and faecal matter served to us as opinion from the hacks and punditocracy.

“Have you read this shit yet”, my friend Jay screamed down the phone as he hyper ventilated in between spitting his spleen out. “These bastards are after Arsenal, the whole phuckign lot of them”.

“what the hell are you on about dude”, was my baffled response.

“The Daily Mail. They’re after Van Persie now”

Clearly, I wouldn’t have seen the faecal matter Jay was referring to as I wouldn’t read the Sports section of the Daily Heil if held at gun point. Not that the rest of the paper is a pantheon of journalistic integrity, the paper is symptomatic of a football media collective that is so far removed from anything with integrity.
This is the thing though – combine this lack of quality that redefines incompetence and you throw it into the mix of an agenda against Arsenal, the results are explosive.

Fuck everyone who suggests that there is no conspiracy. A conspiracy happens when more than one person plots to do something sinister. We don’t even have to look past the presenters at Talk Spite radio to satisfy this threshold. Throw in the print media, the punditocracy, Sly Sports and ESPN and the punks on BBC 5 live, the conspiracy makes Tony Soprano look like a pussycat.

Take the Robin Van Persie nonsense of a story. Someone at the Daily Heil decides that a new “Cesc must leave Arsenal story” needs to start sooner rather than later. He sits down in the pub across the road from Head Office, and after 4 pints and a dodgy meat pie, the light bulb moment hits. “I know, let’s do the Van Persie is unhappy shit storm”.

Next, Talk Spite radio picks it up as fact, followed by Sly Sports News who quote the Daily Heil as the source, before someone updates the Daily Heil article to quote Sly Sports as having broadcast the story.
Cue the internet circus who quote Sly Sports, Daily Heil and Talk Spite radio. The story then becomes a fait acommpli, with the hack who concocted the original story claiming he had the 4 pints and shared the meat pie with Darren Dein, Van Persie’s agent. Bedlam on the Arsenal faithful follows with Gazidis and Hill-Woods head being demanded alongside Wenger’s.

I’ve said it here loads of times, you don’t have to be paranoid for them to get at you. “Why do you think they’re after Arsenal” is the question I get asked all the time.
Simples. Arsenal represents a challenge to a Neolithic establishment that is in self-preservation mode. They feed off each other and they will attack anything that dares suggest an alternative to the status quo.

The fact that Arsenal hasn’t flown off the starting blocks this season is neither here nor there. It’s immaterial. The suggestion that 6 games into the season can tell you anything is as ludicrous as suggesting that if you sit at the front of a bus you’ll get to town before the guys sitting at the back of the bus.
This narrative of “Arsenal is in Crisis” didn’t start this season. It’s been in the making for a long time now and the end game is most definitely to hound Arséne Wenger out of English football and hopefully return Arsenal to mid-table mediocrity.
Never under-estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. The bastards are determined and they don’t know when to stop.

“Arsenal in crisis” – my entire hairy ass.

A crisis is when you can’t feed your children because you have to live hand and mouth and can’t afford the next meal. A crisis is when the imminent default by the Greek government puts the Eurozone into free fall and risks the collapse of the Portuguese, Spanish and Italian economies – risking the very fabric of the European Union.
A crisis is when you wake up in a strange house after a one night stand, and your still drunk from the fumes of the previous night’s binging, you mistake a tube of Canesten for a non-branded toothpaste from Lidl or Aldi.

This narrative that ArsenalHasn’tWonATrophyIn7YearsAndAreInARelegationDogFight FC are in crisis needs to be filed right between shit and syphilis where it belongs.

Liverpool haven’t won shit in 6 years, let alone gone anywhere near the Premier League title. Why doesn’t anyone suggest they’re in crisis? What, because they spent over £100 million in transfers since Kenny Dalglish took over?
The only other two clubs that have won the Premier League since Arsenal have spent north of £1.7 billion to do It. Couple that with the over £1 billion investment in Man City by the Abu Dhabi Investment Corporation and we get told that it’s normal to spend the GDP of most developing countries to sustain a Premier league title.

The media shit storm about Arsenal is calculated, strategic and feeds off itself like an incestuous beast. And like lambs to a slaughter, people fall for it hook line and sinker.

Arsenal has work to do on the field to improve their form this season. There is no doubt about that. But to suggest meltdown or a crisis is just plain stupid. Of course the Van Persie contract stories help extend the narrative, but ask yourself this. Short of Van Persie’s agent sharing that dodgy meat pie with the hack who came up with this so called “exclusive” – are we suggesting that ArsenalHasn’tWonATrophyIn7Years FC actually briefed the press that Van Persie has refused to sign a contract even before contract talks start?

The worst thing about this is that lies and supposition is taken as fact even before the incestuous feedfest that engulfs the story while it goes viral. Editors aren’t bothered about checking facts or checking the quality and integrity of the articles their journalists write.

To be honest, you do wonder what it is most of them are paid for. It’s insulting to suggest that fans watching the game can’t form an opinion about what the game was like. Match reports are mind numbing at the least as hacks try to portray some sort of footballistic artistry when they write. Scraping the barrel is more like what they do.

Don’t even start me on the punditocracy, especially from former football players who couldn’t organize an empty drawer. Forget the tired ass clichés, most of these guys are actually incapable of any intellectual analysis. Suggesting they are illiterate would be kind.

I did actually question why I even bother to pay a licence fee to BBC after watching the Match of the Day re-run on Sunday morning. Hansen and Lowro’s punditry was as stale and uninspiring as watching Marcus Tandy in Eldorado.
But I agree with jay, they’re bastards, the whole lot of them.

Monday, September 26th, 2011 Arsenal, Media Talk No Comments

The Arsenal Requiem, Armageddon In The Gooniverse

Here I was thinking it couldn’t get any worse, but believe it or not, the Philistines are in town. They say bedlam is taking over. They’re taking no prisoners as the battle to control the asylum thickens.

“Bring me the head of Arséne Wenger” is the deafening refrain that can be equally heard from the shadowy alleyways around the Holloway road and the ether that is the Arsenal blogosphere.

Sir Harry Pearce and his Spooks have gawked in amazement at the sheer noise and traffic that is overwhelming their listening stations only to find that bitching about Arsenal is spiking internet traffic like a nonsense. Off he sends Dimitri and Malcolm (no wait, Malcolm left the service, right?) – it’s minimum wage Tariq – Yeah, off he sends Tariq to redirect the Arsenal chatter on the web to the Samaritans website and

“If those Arsenal bastards want to commit suicide, then get them off my frigging grid before I blow a gasket”, Sir Harry demands. We’ve got the Russians to deal with.

Meanwhile, at the Islington Cathedral, the masses file into the church awaiting the arrival of the doomed casket carrying the remains of ArsenalHasNotWonATrophyFor7YearsAndHaveOnlyGot16PointsFromTheLast16Games FC. The casket slowly navigates the streets of Islington towards the cathedral in a cortege flanked on either side by twin cannons mounted on top of carriages drawn by the 4 horses of the apocalypse.

Sly Sports News lead the procession with Mr Transfer Deadline Day himself – Jim White marching as he blows the trumpet to the tune of “Judgment Day”, as Jeff Stelling, Paul Merson and Phil Thompson sing along with gusto that would put the town crier to shame.

The front pews of the cathedral are filled by a smug Red nosed Ferguson and his lackeys Alex McLeash, Tony Pulis, Sam Allardyce and Phil Brown. Happy Harry sits in the row behind though he’s constantly occupied on his Blackberry trying to confirm whether his case file with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs was hidden in the imminently arriving ArsenalHasNotWonATrophyFor7YearsAndHaveOnlyGot16PointsFromTheLast16Games FC casket.

As the Right Reverend Alan Brazil of the Talk Spite parish rises to meet the casket, the multitude stand and join in a solemn chorus of “Kumbayah my

Lord Kumbayah – Arsenal’s dying Lord Kumbayah”.

“But where’s Arséne?” a voice murmurs from the shadows of the media box at the balcony.

“You didn’t hear?”, John Cross responds. “They beheaded him like William Wallace, quartered him and had his head mounted on a stick outside the

Waitrose on Holloway Road. Looks like he’s a bit short for this funeral”.

“What about the Arsenal fans? Don’t’ they attend their own funeral?”

“Well, I hear those whose bodies were recovered from the mass suicide on Saturday evening are still awaiting identification and can only be processed after that”.

As Reverend Brazil takes the pulpit, the congregation sits and awaits the final sermon as the Arsenal Armageddon is complete.

“Dear friends. We gather here today to witness the demise of an institution that dared challenge the establishment, an institution that despite our warnings and cautionary advice, thought that they could get away with doing things differently from anyone in the game”.

“Let this be a lesson to any other club that tries living within its means and refusing to sign the English backbone that we told them to sign. How dare they”

“We will hunt you down and kill you. At Old Trafford, At Ewood Park, even abroad at the Nou Camp. We will hunt you down and crush you with the wrath of a mighty iron fist that will ensure we make an example of you”.

“When we tell you to spend money, you must. When we tell you to buy Gary Cahill and Scott Parker, you must listen to us. When we tell you that Man City are taking over the world by spending the equivalent of the GDP of most developing countries around the world, then you must respect that. This is the way football will run, otherwise you will end up in this casket in front of me”.

As the camera pans around the enclosure usually reserved for family, the spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters Trust can be seen weeping silently next to an equally silent gentleman and former owner who watches sombrely. Happy Harry receives a text that his fixer at Southwark Crown Court was arrested by his namesake Sir Harry Pearce, defender of the realm. He too starts weeping but it’s not in solidarity with the Arsenal folks, its more to do with his case file still being active.

As the pallbearers led by Wright and Merson picked for selling their souls to the highest bidder are joined by Stelling and his crew to lead the procession out – the Camera spans to a quiet corner of the cathedral where Cesc sits with his minders Xavi Hernandes and Carles Puyol, who constantly whisper in

Spanish “you could have been in that coffin my friend”.

The casket for ArsenalHasNotWonATrophyFor7YearsAndHaveOnlyGot16PointsFromTheLast16Games FC is led out to its final resting place at the Royal Arsenal Museum in Woolwich. The deafening silence for this final procession is only disturbed by the sound of Rednose Ferguson loudly masticating his chewing gum.

Damn wait! Was this a dream?

5 games in and judgement day has been written. If you didn’t know better, you’d think United has already won the title. What do we know anyway, Arsenal is in a relegation dog fight, we better start acclimatizing to football grounds we’ve never been used to – some of which hold 67 people with room for a few dogs.

Mind you, a game against Shrewsbury Town is just the game we need to get us used to playing in the lower leagues.

If you want to find out what happened in the rest of my dream, follow me on Twitter and I might just reveal all.

Monday, September 19th, 2011 Arsenal, Media Talk, Premier League No Comments

Travelling abroad but don’t want to miss an Arsenal match? Here’s how

Don’t you just love holidays or a few days business trip; giving you a break from the tensed office environment? Well, same here. Although not frequently, I do get chances to escape my cabin every few weeks.

As the sales head of the overseas market, I have traveled to different countries. Travelling neutralizes the boredom that builds up with the repetitive work back in the office. It keeps me refreshed, stress-free and provides enough opportunities to try different tastes.

But my company’s next schedule has got me a headache. They are sending me on a 7-day job to Europe and that too when Arsenal has a match coming up. For the previous games, I worked overtime so that boss allowed me to leave early without anyone disturbing me for some urgent work.

To be honest, I am quite skeptical of Arsenal going to win this season. Even with the recent changes in their squad, the Arsenal’s chances of winning the title in 2017-18 look pretty slim; they don’t seem to have the spirit. But it’s no excuse to skip the matches of your favorite team, right? Let’s see if I can set up a VPN, once I reach there.

My schedule

Leaving on 4th and returning by 11th, I am sure of missing some of the fun. After finishing up my three days business in Rhodes, Greece by September 8, I would be flying to Tenerife, Spain.

I am quite hopeful to be there in time to see the match against AFC Bournemouth, LIVE. Just wish me luck that the entire journey is a breeze and the hotel has got a decent Internet connection. No, I won’t be skipping my meeting; that would be disastrous. It has been scheduled for the morning of 10th. So, I would have enough time to set up a way to watch EPL online live and also not neglecting my job.

Setting up a VPN

VPN – Virtual Private Network – allows you to remove the geographical restrictions put up by a website to selected regions. A good VPN service comes in handy while you are in a different country.

All you need is to sign up to a fast VPN service which can change your location to the UK. The service allows us to view the online streaming by providing the streaming service with a UK based IP address. I already have a list of few paid providers to decide among them. There are free (non-legal) providers too, by the way. But you can’t be sure of their quality and service.

When you want to see some live streaming, it’s better to use the paid services out there. They would be more reliable. And the process is simple, nothing very technical:

i) Download the software on the supported device (or devices)
ii) Create (and log into) your account
iii) Select the country
iv) Choose the streaming you want to see
v) Make the payment
vi) And… You are ready-to-go.

Few of them offer a money back guarantee too in case you don’t need their service anymore. So, if you too are on the move, settle down, get your device ready and support your team online.

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 Arsenal No Comments

How to Support Your Team Online

First things first, I will pull out my logo embossed Stein, or mug. Then I fill it with coffee (or the other stuff), depending on how intense my support will be.

Attire is not always necessary for the internet support, but the more team spirit, the better – so, reach for that jersey of glory, washed or not, doesn’t matter.

Now to business. Check out your club’s base site. Mine is This will get the blood flowing.

At this point of online activity, you only want incredibly one-sided, and opinionated material. Check out some archived highlight reels. Remember why you love football. Also, archived material is sometimes better if the current highlights aren’t necessarily great for your club.

If more inspiration is needed, how about kicking up some team spirit. I enjoy FANchants for a stellar effect on comradery. This blurred chanting puts together my online persona better than anything. Who cares if your flatmates become ill-tempered? Not me.


Know your club as if you mow the grass before they warm up. This is imperative to the following steps.

I get the latest new and stats from Arsenal Fan TV or Arsenal Mania. Use your apps. Statszone or Livescore are great for the mobile or stomping around your flat. Keep your apps open as if they are key members of your online support team.

If you’re unsure of any future posts or tweets, check your apps first. In a forum debate, nothing will ruin your credibility faster than getting a past score wrong, or not remembering injuries of a recent contest.

For a more objective approach, Telegraph is a great resource for current football. I have to swallow my pride for this one. There are plenty of other clubs, and many more opinions conflicting with my own.

Let Them Know

It’s time to enter the arena. Find forums for your club’s rivals. In my case with Arsenal, these rival clubs include Chelsea and Tottenham.

Enter popular blogs, or forums, for each team and start a fan squirmish. How?

Find some recent, or active, users, read their comment is supporting his/her team, then provide a rebuttal. Repeat this process.

I give at least two rebuttals per team site. That is four responses to rival fans. If you aren’t getting feedback quick enough. Try making absurd decrees boasting almost untrue accomplishments of your club.

Still no feedback? Try inserting some ‘subtle’ insults about some of their players. Consider their forward is a “flog.” Be careful not to get booted from the discussion. So, mind the vulgarity and swearing.

Also, targeting the fans with the most agro posts will get quicker responses.

If your game is on point, then enter the largest forum for European Football. Try, or Expert Football to find yourself in an arena for the most fired up.

Online Presence Known

Consider yourself established. What I do immediately following the routine above, is invert the process. Meaning, I travel the internet to forums, blogs, and sites for my club.

Then I defend any weak insults against my club, especially from critics with weak ammunition. Any incorrect statements about my club become quickly corrected maintaining my credibility while diminishing critics.

A solid day spent, I say.

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 Arsenal No Comments

Arsenal’s Chances in 2017

As a proud supporter of Arsenal Football Club, my highlights in the previous few years have been two:

1) FA Cup
2) Champions League Spot

Unfortunately, only one objective has been achieved this year. We lost the spot in Champions League we had since ’96.

This turn of events draws me to one conclusion: Our overall performance has dropped significantly.

While I believe that the reason behind this is several folds, I also believe that the solution to this might be simple: having the mentality to take it all.

For the past few years, we had been celebrating a spot in Champions League, whereas our rivals were cherishing league titles, so maybe this will be a chance for us to focus on the league, instead of a champion’s league spot that only sets us up for more humiliation.

Season Overview

Finishing position: 5th
Total points: 75
Champions League: Round of 16
FA Cup: Final
EFL Cup: Fifth round

Talking about the League, the biggest setback that we faced was our performance against the bigger clubs. It was nowhere close to where it used to be. Arsene Wenger’s same gameplay over the past few years against these clubs was the reason for that. Our constant failure to perform against bigger clubs resulted in an 18 point gap from the league leaders, Chelsea.

We lost nine games and drew 6, recording more losses than draws, showing we lacked the ability to make comebacks.

Losses against Bayern in the Champions League showed how much we have fallen short.

Despite Alexis having scored 30 goals, Walcott 19, Giroud 16, and Ozil 12, we weren’t just enough.

Will this be our year?

I say, why not?

Wenger is staying, he knows the club better than anyone else, and if he makes some exciting signings as the rumor mill has speculated that Arsenal is willing to spend big to lure the best in Europe. Combine that with some new killer tactics; this might be just out the year.

Rumor has it that we are in the race for signing Kylian Mbappé, which will be a very good signing because Giroud just won’t do it for us. A young striker is just the thing we have lacked over the past few years, and with him playing alongside Ozil and Sanchez, who knows what wonders he will perform.
The earlier announcement of Sead Kolasinac is going to help and most likely strengthen the back.

Also, the contract offer to Rob Holding is going to make our wall stronger, given his top-notch displays in recent matches.

Having no place in Champions League will have us fully focused on Premier League, and with Arsenal’s new contract, hopefully, there will be trophies.

Europa League would be a good competition to play our youngsters, and rotate the squad, giving a break to the A-team, hence, hopefully, there will be fewer injuries this season.

This season was a disappointment to me, us, players, and club, so let’s hope we motivate ourselves and work harder on the field.

New season, new hope, I’ve got a hunch the Gunners will prove their critics wrong.

Ya Gunners, Ya!

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 Arsenal No Comments

The Best Supplements for an Old Sunday Football Player like me

Health supplements have become one of the major topics in the modern world. As an amateur football player who is slowly stepping into the middle age, I find health supplements very useful. I had been fond of football since I was a small kid and at 40 I’m still in love with this wonderful game, although I did not get the opportunity to take it into a professional level. I am satisfied with a weekly soccer match and with time I realised that it is not as easy as it was to keep up with the sport. If it was not for health supplements and iherb coupons, where I get these supplements, I would have given up on my passion for football 10 or 15 years ago.

Football however is not the only reason I am fond of health supplements. Owing to the environment, pollution that has been clouding our world, nutrition in the food we consume has decreased dramatically.

No matter how much fruits and vegetables we consume, the nutritional value is still missing because of the depleted soils they come from and long delivery times. In addition, another great deal of the nutritional value is lost when cooking and the actual amount of nutrition we obtain is minimal. Health supplements come in handy when considering the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants we can gain from them.

Apart from serving as an alternative nutrition source, health supplements are great at fighting against stress and other stress related medical conditions. Stress is a closely related term in the busy modern world and I believe supplements do a remarkable job by enhancing our immune systems, and in turn making us feel healthier and happier.

When I was doing my own research about what these supplements have to offer for a football player, I found out a list of elements that are favourable for amateur football players like us. Low-dose caffeine can enhance the endurance performance, but be sure not to take too much, as going over the required dosage can lead to visual impairment. Creatine is an element that can increase muscle output and is very useful in sprint exercises, whilst glucosamine is useful when treating joint pains and osteoarthritis.

When I was searching for my supplements, I came across a wonderful site, iherb, that provides a wide range of health supplements and I was glad to find that they offer supplements that contain the elements I was specifically looking for. I have been a fan of iherb ever since and often refer family and friends to their website.

I was not very fond of online shopping until I started using iherb and just like its products, iherb’s policies are of high quality. I was amazed to find out about the remarkable brands iherb supports, its huge list of shipping options, brilliant reward schemes and its eco-friendly initiatives. On top of everything I have become a fan of iherb coupons.

It is a great concept introduced by iherb that has grabbed the attention of millions of customers in the world, allowing them to enjoy unbelievable discounts. Owing to iherb coupons, the nutritional level of my body has never been, and never will be on the down side.

Sunday, November 9th, 2014 Off The Pitch, Stone Cold Thoughts No Comments

Netflix is Awesome but not in Australia?

I have always been a fan of Netflix and the hours I have spent in it, the movies and TV series I have watched are countless. Netflix has been there to heal my soul whenever I was in need of entertainment and I had been proud of myself as a Netflix fan. However I was disappointed to find out that I was not a dedicated fan after all.

In fact, I didn’t encounter its coverage limits until recently when I travelled to Australia only to find out that Netflix is not available there. It took me by surprise of course because I had travelled to many countries in the world and I was able to enjoy Netflix from every country I had been which made me believe that Netflix is a global streaming service.

Unfortunately there seems to be a considerably long list of countries that are still waiting to get under the wings of Netflix.

With a bit of internet research I found out that Netflix has been growing rapidly in the past few years owing to the preference Internet users have demonstrated.

The current customer count of this US based company is over 25 million and 43 countries are covered including Canada and Latin America where a majority of its customers reside and newly reached countries such as UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden. I cannot stop wondering why Netflix skipped a country like Australia.

Further research made me realize that Netflix in Australia is not going to be an immediate topic in the news world. The statement made by the company after the launch of Netflix in UK and Ireland says “we will pause on opening new international markets until we return to global profitability”.

The company has put forward the expected insufficient revenues that are able to cover both international investments and expenses as the cause of the drawback of international expansion plans.

However the statistics show that the annual net income for the past 12 months extends over $200 million and analyzers say that this is a surprising figure for both the customers as well as the company itself.

However there are several other factors that prove Netflix in Australia is not going to be a reality soon. I believe that there are two major barriers against Netflix in Australia.

One of the two is the abundance of alternative players such as Telstra, FetchTV and Quickflix, which is considered as the clone of Netflix, which have found their way through the Australian community.

Apart from these popular services, there are numerous similar services that do the job of Netflix which might be the reason for Netflix’s uncertain decisions about Australia.

Apart from the fact that Netflix will have to face strong competence in Australia, the country’s high bandwidth cost stands out as another challenge for Netflix in Australia.

Although Australians have been complaining about the need of legal streaming services in Australia, the country’s responsible authorities have not considered lowering the standard bandwidth costs. Netflix has already announced that the opportunities in Latin America and Europe are promising and I believe Netflix has a lot to contemplate in order to make Netflix in Australia come true.

Monday, September 29th, 2014 Stone Cold Thoughts, Travel No Comments

Why Bother With Arsenal, They’re Useless

Imagine my shock last night (seriously, don’t laugh) on the way back home after watching the Champions League games with a few friends in town. “Be careful what you wish for” is the age old maxim that should have bitch slapped me in the face when I asked the taxi driver to put some football on the radio.

With the BBC’s exemplary equal opportunity employment policy that allows mentally retarded presenters like Robbie Savage to become an “expert”, it usually is a coin toss between 5 live or Talk Spite radio as to which is capable of coming up with the most faecal matter that can be legally allowed in one production.

Unfortunately for me, it was BBC’s Mark Pougatch who gave me the urge to ask for the sick bag, and it wasn’t because of the alcohol I had consumed while watching the Manchester teams’ adventures in Europe.

As conspiracy theories go, Pougatch was banging on about how cynical it is for United to have 6 home Premier league games immediately following Champions League ties, while Manchester City had 6 away games. Not that I wouldn’t put that past fixture mandarins with the propensity to kiss Alex Ferguson’s rectal anatomy, but it was Pougatch’s next remark that made me wonder why it is again that British people are held at gun point to pay licence fees for public service broadcasting.

This apparently reputable BBC presenter then went on to say that he did some research on Monday before the Champions League games and found out about the conspiracy in favour of United. He also did Chelsea who had 4 away games, but didn’t bother with Arsenal.

“Why bother, they’re useless anyway”.

This is the thing. If Arsenal were useless, I have no problem accepting such an observation. But Arsenal are not useless. Notwithstanding the fact that we had a positive result in a very difficult game at Dortmund, the expectation was that United and City were going to sail through their match day 1 fixtures like the other teams didn’t exist.

But no, they didn’t, and it was fairly obvious that City in particular have a fight to make it through to the next stage. Napoli away won’t be a walk in the park, and they can wishfully think about how to beat Bayern Munich.

The thing that stood out most with this “Arsenal are useless anyway comment” from Pougatch was not what he said, but how he said it. You could feel the absolute contempt and disdain in his voice, and I was half expecting him to spit in the microphone next to complete the triangle with some illustration of disgust for Arsenal.

The worst kind of venomous people are the ones who hide their spite under a cloak of niceties and professionalism. But it eventually comes out and last night left me seriously questioning why I even bother to pay a licence fee to contribute to the salary of presenters who have this sort of contempt for their listeners. It’s no point writing to the BBC to complain, they’ve already got a statement prepared about professionalism and reputation and that they will review – yada yada yada.

My friend Consols Bob still has the e-mail they sent him about his complaint on Robbie Savage – suggesting that they have rigorous recruitment policies designed to root out the assholes an Savage passed with flying colours.

Mr Mark Pougatch – if you’re going to pretend to be professional and thorough in your presentation, then please do your job and research all English teams with the same vigour and intensity. The fact that you can spout out such venomous nonsense about a team that you clearly hate while on a public service broadcast to millions of people who pay your salary is an indictment of your professionalism and character. You’re are disgrace to the profession of journalism, but then again, you really don’t have a high threshold to beat in this respect.

It reminded me of a story that Mark Saggers, a former BBC presenter who’s now at Talk Spite radio once confessed to on air about the treatment he received from a colleague at BBC they regularly presented with. My money is on Mark Pougatch being the colleague Saggers was referring to and the contempt, disdain and disgust I witnessed last night is indicative of what was being suggested about this “mysterious” colleague who forced another to change ranches.

But then again you ask, what’s different from what Pougatch is doing to what the punks at Sly Sports do or what the cretins at Talk Spite do.
Indeed, why bother with Arsenal – we’re useless after all.

I think the most amusing thing about all this is that even though we’re useless (has anyone noticed my cynicism yet?), Tottenham are still beneath us. ‘Tis true what they say – A cannon will always destroy a cockerel.

And by the way, if you haven’t yet, follow me on twitter. I’m now getting the hang of it. We might even get @markpougatch to defend his disappointing comments last night. Although he’s already told an Arsenal fan that the fan was being flippant about his comments.

Arsenal’s Sanity Will Pay In Europe

It’s been an interesting few days going walk-about, and meeting new folks while working in what I’d describe as a “pulling-your-teeth-out-without-a-local-anaesthetic” type of economy. You know the kind of economy that demands that you bend over, grab your ankles and doesn’t offer you the courtesy of using lubrication while shafting you in the most uncomfortable fashion.

“We’re heading to the dog house”, Joshua reminds all of us round the table discussing how best to stop our client from having to fold its tents and go to the wall.

To which I remind folks that whatever needs to be done should be done by Monday night so I can make my way back home. I have a very important

European engagement on Tuesday night with an organization in Germany that specializes in the kind of artistic expression I normally indulge in at the home of football.

“Since when was football an art”, comes the retort from Steve across the table.

See, you have to forgive Steve. Not only does he have the personality of a puff adder, he resents that I call Wengerball and what Arsenal does as art. Personally, I think he’s a closet United fan, but he pretends he doesn’t give a hooting funt about football.

“Europe is fucked anyway. How long will they pretend the frigging elephant in the room is a hippo”, Joshua eloquently brings some order to the table.
And it makes you think. Greece is way past staring at the abyss, and they’re at the point where the abyss is smiling right back at them before it swallows the whole country into a very dark place. Ireland and Portugal like most other fairly mediocre economies were propelled by the smoke and mirrors of a European political plot hatched in Maastricht to create the United States of Europe. A plot which has back fired spectacularly with the impending collapse of whichever is the lesser of two evils, the Eurozone and its single currency, or the European Union in its current form.

The amazing thing is this though. The football establishment still thinks that everything is normal and that what is happening around them will not affect their existence. You only have to listen to the illiterate punditocracy jizzing and sycophanting about the amount of money being spent by a cabal of filthy rich individuals, or in the case of Manchester City, another country’s sovereign wealth fund.

When talking about Everton, a club that pretty much has to ask Barclays Bank for permission to pay the bills – the solution offered is that they should go to the middle east and look for a sugar daddy because that’s the only way to survive.

This kind of “chocolate tea pot” reasoning is what has contributed to a culture of recklessness when it comes to football finance. The expectation is that the only way of working through the challenges of the game is by spending money you don’t even have to buy your way out of it. We’re constantly told that “it’s the way the world is now”. Accept it or take the highway. If you don’t have money, you can’t compete.

The hacks get bemused when Arséne Wenger suggests that football is pretty much going to hit a cash crisis in the very near future. You can almost see their rolling eyes scream out “Wenger should just stick to managing Arsenal and buying the big name, big money players he needs to compete with City and United”.

Mind you, Wenger is a guy who has a masters degree in economics, and it wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest that he actually has a clue about what he says regarding the economy. As they famously say, the tide is coming, and only after it has left will we see those who’ve been swimming naked.
It’s not even about the Financial Fair Play rules. Clubs will find loopholes around that. They won’t be able to cheat the economy though. I hear people say that clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid or even the debt riddled Man United will never be allowed to fail. There’s an Asian tycoon or Arab billionaire waiting in the wings to save them.

The thing is this though, it really doesn’t matter how luxurious and state of the art your yacht is. It could be the world’s most expensive and the world’s most fanciful boat. If you don’t have a lake or an ocean to prounce around in, then it’s pretty useless.

If the economies of Spain and Italy collapse – and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility – the super clubs in these countries will come tumbling down like a house of cards built on a foundation of smoke and mirrors. Ireland, Portugal and Greece are the proverbial warning signs and even though they represent a small percentage of the European economy, they’re the biggest red flags in town.

Italy alone represents 23% of the European economy and it’s pretty much unsavable by the patch up “rescue” packages being pushed around by Germany and France.

And people ask me why I love Arsenal so much. The answer – Arsenal is an oasis of sanity in an orgy of excess.
We get another opportunity to enjoy a new European adventure for the 14th consecutive season. We get to play a great team like Borussia Dortmund in an electric atmosphere.

And this is the thing to remember. Because of the foundations that Arsenal has built, we will continue to enjoy being at the high table of football for a very long time to come. While others figure out how to get out of their financial quagmire – well, they’ll probably try find a sugar daddy – we’ll be straddling the European landscape with our brand of scintillating and exciting football.
What more can you ask for?

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