The latest news from the bluegrass state.
What a massive day Wednesday evening proved to be for the City's first professional football team. Just wanted to issue a huge congratulations to Louisville City Football Club! You're doing this city proud! #ComeOnCity
Tickets are now available for the playoff game! It will take place at 7:30 on Saturday October 3rd so let's all get there!
It's about that time in the transfer window when everything goes crazy, Arsene becomes a little more cryptic than what's normal, and we all run around grabbing our heads wondering who we're going to see don the red and white of Arsenal. You know, if we sign anyone. I think Thierry said it best when he said that it takes strong shoulders to wear the cannon. Perhaps he rumor mill has just been filled with not quite exceptional enough players.
Seems Real Madrid today played a side consisting only of players purchased - the first time in 50 years that they've fielded a team without a single academy graduate. I think that goes to show how important the work last summer was with revamping our academy with the Dutch group that came in. Even our back room staff with new physios seems to be paying dividends with players coming back looking fitter, stronger, than they have before. Hopefully the new prospects with the Jeff leading the line will be first team ready soon. Arsene likes those like-new-signing signings.
So who do we bring in? It doesn't feel like Real are going to let go of Benzema - if that was ever a reality. Arsene seems convinced of some final days transfer dominoes, which means we could be leaving this window all up to the roulette. I'm convinced that we need a defensive midfielder; Flamini and Arteta don't feel like first team quality for a title challenging side, and Coquelin - while he has surprised many, and Arsene says that he's the best defensive mid in Europe - I think we could use a class upgrade. Someone who not only breaks up play but can do things on their own. Maybe now that Vidal went to Bayern, Javi Martinez will become available. Someone like that. I'd really even fancy the pole from Sevilla - Grzegorz Krychowiak - and we all know how much Arsene loves a keyboard cruncher.
At striker, we just need someone different, and frankly I don't know who it would be. Then again, I'm not the world's seventh most valuable club (http://www.forbes.com/soccer-valuations/list) with the scouting network the size of ours.
We'll see in the next few days!
Welcome to a new exciting season of the Barclay's Premier League and the Arsenal Football Club! We're happy to have you on board, and hope this season we can follow up our back to back FA Cups, and this summer's pre season treble with some quality silverware come season's end.
A few things on the agenda:
First, and I know I've mentioned it on here before, but I think the formal establishment of a board that can handle things on the day to day is going to be essential going forward to our growth. Those will be the initial appointment of David Phillips, Brian McGill, Bob Bertke, Dudley Williams, Jonathan Kamer, and Steve Mariott - they've been here since the beginning and are always at the games, rain or shine 7am or 4pm. They'll also be able to handle issues going forward, develop programs, and work with with various media to continue building our group.
Second, we've got an early kick off Sunday morning and we've got a bit of a surprise! This season we're going to be working more and more closely with the national group that we're a member of - Arsenal America. It's the official supporters group for the United States and how exactly we get to call ourselves official. This Sunday morning, we'll have a hashtag to tweet from when you get to Molly Malone's and one lucky member will get a free year's membership to Arsenal America and all of the benefits it provides its members (not to mention this awesome gear)!
Soon we'll have more information coming out about how you can get some Arsenal Kentucky shirts, scarves, and other cool stuff this season.
COME ON YOU ARSENAL, and here's to another exciting installment of the Barclay's Premier League and Arsenal Football Club.
I know its been a while since you've seen me around at the pub - but I just wanted to give a bit of an update on here for the moment.
Since my involvement with our New York City trip, I managed to get a move to the corporate side of AT&T. That entails moving up to Louisville - which is great, but also between trainings, my crazy schedule, personal and family matters, and travel, I've had very little time to spend on this group and to give it the proper attention it deserves.
That said, by the weeks end, I should be completely moved up to Louisville, and my schedule should clear up considerably. I'll once again be able to bombard your twitter timelines with nonsense, and keep adding to the collection of blog posts on here that I write for myself to read later.
David Phillips, Brian McGill, Bob Bertke, and Jon Kamer have all been working insanely hard in my absence and I'd like to thank each of them for the work that they've put in. Obviously thats not everyone that's worked and is deserving of recognition, but I just want to give a personal shout to them. It's great to see the group continuing to grow and develop - and it's a credit to you all that it has been at the rate that it has. I'd also like to thank each of you that has continued to show up every week and yell and scream (and swear) at the televisions at Molly Malone's - without you all this group would be as useless as Flamini is at playing defensive midfield.
At this point I'd like to open up some sort of Board that will help people identify go-to people at Molly's on match days. These people would also be involved in decision making and work that I can delegate that would help me out considerably. For those spots, I'd like the four people listed above get recognized for their hard work. I'd also like the group down in Bowling Green not go unnoticed, and Ian Loos, Landon Hampton, and Erin Greunke be invited as well. These positions will be formalized and discussed at some point in the near future, and while nothing is official yet - these are people that you all can look to for help, to get settled, and to continue developing our group.
I'd like to open up the floor for some constructive ideas. What would you all like to do?
It has to be said - New York City has to be up there with the most inspiring, amazing Arsenal experiences in my life. I thought for a long time that this would be something special, but from the moment we began this journey, I didn't think for a moment the magnitude of exactly how amazing it would be. From meeting new friends, to meeting those that I had only known through social media, to catching up with old friends - this trip was a wonderful time and I hope each and every one of you had a similar experience.
The first day we arrived in New York, we left our hotel and immediately went into Manhattan's upper west side to meet up with upper90 and get some new PUMA kits! We met some awesome New York gooners on the way up, and almost that moment figured out that wearing an Arsenal shirt around the city meant you had an army of friends at your back; you get lost but see a massive group of Arsenal shirts walking your way - a quick RED ARMY and they'll help you figure out where you're going.
I took the port authority bus from 41st Street that took us directly to the Arsenal Fan Event at the IZOD center in New Jersey. Little did I realize that the entire bus would be full of Arsenal Supporters from around the world. I sat next to a guy from London who was in New York working for a photography company - we met him throughout the weekend and every time we saw each other it was a reminder of how small this world is. Or perhaps how large the arsenal world is.
The bus quickly filled up and soon, three additional busses pulled up to load up the rest of us. Chants of "OH TO, OOH TO BE, OOH TO BE A GOONER!" and "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TOTTENHAM?" filled the air and got everyone excited for the event to come! After seeing the FA Cup, the Ladies FA Cup, and finding a seat, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Gedion Zelalem, and Thierry Henry came out for a Q&A with the fans! Some lucky fans in the stadium got to go down for a quick game of basketball and keepy-uppy with the players, pictures were taken, shirts were signed, and everyone left feeling pumped and ready for the weekend to come! A perfect starting event!
Friday morning, we headed over to Grand Central Station for the PUMA #STRONGERTOGETHER event. We had a 3v3 tournament all day, where all the kids got a new Arsenal kit, courtesy of PUMA. At about 5pm, we were joined by Thierry Henry, Thomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, and Santi Cazorla! Rosicky and Ramsey joined the kids on the away team, while Arteta and Cazorla joined the home team. The whole game was officiated by Thierry Henry, who was jeered every time there was a poor call. During the event, I was given one of ArsenalAmerica's VIP passes, and went back to meet Thierry, where he signed my jersey! A personal highlight of my trip!
Right after the Grand Central event, we headed to the PUMA store on Broadway, where there was a line wrapping around the block for a chance to meet Thierry Henry and have him sign something - unfortunately, the event was cancelled. When I got there, the line was in full swing anticipating the King - together with puma, and working with Arsenal, we came to an agreement, and I had to be the bearer of bad news. I went and told the line that Thierry wasn't coming, but with PUMA, we had reached a solution where everyone in line would get something signed by Thierry. Really I think it worked out better than everyone thought, and people left generally happy that they were there.
The Kentucky guys went from there to Times Square to grab some dinner, and then split up. I went back to 14th Street with Brian, while Ben and Bob explored the parks and looked for a perfect photo op with the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building at night. 14th Street was amazing - I met so many wonderful people there, and many who I had known through various social media interactions. There were so many that I truly hope that I meet again soon!
Saturday - game day. We got to Harrison at about 1, Ben, Bob, and Brian went to find lunch at a Brazillian Barbecue place that was recommended to us the whole time we were there while I went across town to grab the banners from the rest of the ArsenalAmerica guys. The result obviously wasn't what we wanted, but the game was really just the conclusion to a fantastic weekend. The memories of the events around the game, and simply being there and being a part of that atmosphere was amazing. We brought north London to New York!!!
Check out the photos below, and send yours to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i'll include them in here!
Well really, this is a day late - Nevertheless, July is here and that not only brings in PUMA as the club's new kit supplier and sponsor (with their bags and bags of cash), but it also means that the youth academy structure is being completely scrapped and rebuilt with Liam Brady, David Court, and Ron Massey all officially leaving their positions today. Having been overlooked for Brady's position, Terry Burton also leaves the club. Andries Jonker replaces Brady as the manager of the academy sides, with Court and Massey's positions respectively to be filled by Dutch compatriots Frans de Kat (U18) and Jan van Loon (U16). Jonker's reshuffle isn't without some continuity though, as Steve Gatting is retained as the U21 coach, and the former U18 coach, Carl Laraman, joins Gatting in the U21 setup.
What does this mean going forward? Replacing Brady was always going to be a big task, and doing so with the considerable experience of Jonker has to be said is something of a coup. Having worked for the Dutch FA in several capacities, including reforming youth development and managing their U15 and U21 sides, he was appointed Assistant manager at Barcelona FC under newly appointed Manchester United manager Louis van Gall. Following van Gall's move in 2009 from AZ Alkmaar to Bayern Munich, he again appointed Jonker as his assistant manager. Van Gall was sacked in April of 2011 having failed to secure third place in the Bundesliga, and Jonker was elevated as caretaker manager for 61 days before Jupp Heynckes took over, then dropping down to managing Bayern Munich II. Since leaving in the summer of 2012, Jonker has been the Assistant Manager of VfL Wolfsburg under Dieter Hecking.
He's got a tremendous pedigree, and hopefully his experience in the Dutch and German youth setups may help us uncover some hidden gems there. It also speaks of Arsene Wenger's faith in the market moving toward the German and Dutch leagues for their renowned technical prowess, pace, and physicality in the development of our own youth players.
So with the Emirates stadium now being plastered with PUMA emblems and training kits, and our mentions on twitter being flooded with new pictures of the new kit before it's official announcement, lets look on with anticipation at what our academy may be doing in the next few years. Exciting times ahead, everyone. Exciting times.
The event that many of you have been waiting for is upon us at last. Arsenal F.C. are proud to confirm they are going to hold an Arsenal Fan Party for our 2014/15 paid members. The four Official Supporters Clubs that have been working together to organize the Arsenal experience in New York – Arsenal America, Arsenal NYC, Arsenal Philly and Arsenal Canada – are proud to give their members access to this event which will include the following exciting items:
• Guest appearance from Thierry Henry who along with the players will interact with fans via a Q&A session
• Interactive games
• Group photos
• FA Cup in attendance for the entire evening
• Select Arsenal players in attendance (for approx. 1.5 hours from 7pm)
The club is putting on complimentary shuttle bus service from Secaucus train station New Jersey (accessible from Manhattan via the PATH train) to the IZOD Center where the event will be held. Together with the Club we are looking at organizing a free shuttle from the PATH train at Hoboken which will be announced in the coming days.
This will be a WRISTBANDED event. All wristbands will be provided free of charge by the Supporters Clubs to paid members (1 per member). If you are not already a paid member, please become a member of your local club if you see this message and want to go!!
Look forward to seeing you there!!
Rick Breese – Arsenal America
Kurtis Powers – Arsenal NYC
Mike Hiddi – Arsenal Philly
Morgan Rubes – Arsenal Canada
I know I shouldn't dignify that garbage with a response. As I've been told, controversy sells and ignoring it is free - but I just want to say a few things on the state of soccer in the United States just to point out a few good things and how she's totally full of shit. There have been a few of these articles lately, and I don't really understand it. I can just feel a soapbox coming on.
I can't speak for all of Americans (Coulter conveniently forgets that she doesn't either..), but from my perspective, I can speak first hand about the passion of football (soccer) here in the United States and specifically Louisville, Kentucky. For that matter, after the short time I've spent so far on Arsenal America's board and watching the entire Arsenal section of Red Bull Arena sell out in less than 45 minutes, I can comfortably say we've got some pretty passionate supporters here. On a local level, we've got soccer at every level, and the passion here is what has brought Louisville City F.C. to grace our city as it's first professional club. That being said, we've had competitive soccer in Kentucky (at a respectibly high standard) for years through various levels of state select, midwest regional league, national league, USL SuperY, high school, and collegiate teams.
You know, its amazing to me how she pulled the great grandfather card. There are very few Americans that can trace their roots back any further than four or five generations. Isn't that what was supposed to America great? Embracing the best aspects of the people that came here and that worked and worked to make this country the best it could possibly be? Regardless of their nationality, its simply ignorance that says immigrants previous to 1965 had no impact on our country. George Washington and our founding fathers were immigrants, believe it or not.
It makes me proud seeing how out of touch she is. From River City Rovers, Louisville Coopers, the American Outlaws,and the various supporters groups, to developmental teams like Javanon, United 96 F.C., Mockingbird, (and those are in this City...) to other schools, clubs, and academy teams here locally, I believe that we can attest to being a little more than a bunch of soccer mom driven, randomly running, accidentally scoring, foreigners hell bent on crushing capitalism and the apple-pie "American" way. I'm sure a lot of us have great grandfathers born here in the United States, and more than a few of us have a decently solid grasp on English as well.
Just a thought.
Life as an Arsenal fan can mean some pretty nervy transfer windows, where we spend most of the time scratching our heads while we watch rival teams around us snap up everyone newsnow seems to link us with. We come out of the window with a surprise or two and some general optimism for the next season. This season is supposed to be different though, right? RIGHT?
Well I've gone and fallen into the trap of getting my hopes up about getting a few of these players... so here goes!
The highly volatile forward seems to be the perfect combination of speed, power, agility, heading strength, technical ability, and finishing prowess to check all the boxes. Cue up some PUMA sponsorship talk, and we've got ourselves quite the deal. Talk today seems to be that we've got to give up Joel Campbell to make the deal work, which will be interesting having never worn an Arsenal shirt. Joel has potential, and his ability on the world's stage is being flashed around for all to see. Personally, though, I wouldn't be too bothered to see him go provided we get a few of the other people on this list. Everybody knows what Balotelli would have to offer the club, and what a potential disaster he could be, but damnit. He's the hero we need right now AND the one we deserve. Thats right, fuck Robin, we've got Batman!
Lets just say I'd do terrible things to see a midfield trio of Pogba, Ramsey, and Ozil. I think I'd spend way over the odds to get him at Arsenal, and in times of Financial Fair Play and fiscal responsiblity and austerity we shouldn't spend that much on a player, but he's a monster in midfield. I don't think we really need a defensive midfielder, just somebody like Pogba to sit beside Ramsey and win every ball that tries to poke its way through our midfield. He'd be that, and would be smart enough alongside Ramsey to alternate going higher up the pitch and making himself dangerous when Aaron hangs back a bit, but when he see's Aaron do that, he'll hang back. If there's enough gold in Stan's vault, I say we spend a decent chunk on him. We'd forget all about that Spanish guy we all used to like over at Stamford Bridge.
XHERDAN SHAQIRI and ANTOINNE GRIEZMANN
I have a theory that Arsene loves weird names, or at least ones that are awkward to type. Now that we've all mastered the spelling of "Koscielny" we need someone to make us type a "U" when there is no "U" to be typed. Really though, if the Swiss actually wants out of Bayern, we could take him on. If he's good enough for the Bavarian world beaters, he's good enough for us! He's strong over the ball, and has pace for days. If Santi really is on his way out like the papers seem to think he is, we could do worse than taking on Xherdan.
Arsene seems to be a big admirer of the Frenchman, and with a potential negotiation with the buyback clause for Carlos Vela we could land the World Cup star on the cheap. He seems to be on the radar of PSG and Madrid as well, so all of this Carlos Vela talk is hopefully driving Vela's price up to drive our price for Griezmann down. He'd be solid cover as Wenger seems to see Chamberlain's future in the center of midfield rather than on the flanks. That would give us Theo, Podolski, Shaqiri, and Griezmann on the wings. That leaves us Ozil, Wilshere, Chamberlain, Ramsey and Pogba fighting for the three spots in midfield with Arteta and Flamini available as well if they aren't moved on this summer. Regardless, that'd be solid competition for places, and depth when the inevitable injury, tiredness, and fatigue sets in.
DALEY BLIND, DARYL JANMAAT and ASHLEY WILLIAMS
We're apparently selling our entire Spanish contingent this summer with Arsene clearly seeing the future outside of Spain. With Nacho apparently off, Thomas Vermaelen seeking first team football, and Bacary joining the newly crowned champions, we'd need another left and right back, but someone who could also slot in at center back. The Dutch pair would do exactly that, and provide depth at the back. I'd also try to pick up Ashley Williams - he'd be cheap and provide depth and quality at the back should our first choice pairing need rotation.
We'd also need a replacement for Lukasz Fabianski who has moved following the end of his contract with us. We'd bring in a second choice, so I'm sure he's not going to be terribly exciting.
Anyway, that would represent a pretty large outlay. I doubt we'll get all of them and I'm bound to be disappointed by some of these players going to other people, but they'd be quality to replace our outgoing. According to rumors, anyway, we're considering offloading or letting go of some of the fringe players - Arteta, Flamini, Nacho, Vermaelen, and Cazorla. Having seen Sagna, Fabianski, Bentdner, and Park Chu Yung (lol) move on in recent times. I'd expect some heavy reinforcements this summer. Plus, they'll all love those brand new skin tight PUMA shirts we're getting!
We've finally broken the trophy drought! It looks like the boys had a fantastic time this morning on their parade through north London, with an estimated crowd of 250,000 in attendance! After the signing of Mesut Ozil last August, we've had a lot to cheer about - sitting at the top of the Barclay's Premier League for more than half of the season, and crowning that performance with the victory in the FA Cup, the club has been transformed from a club with tension and pressure, to a club with confidence and composure heading into next season. A few Ozil sized signings, and we're on our way to the Champions league trophy and beyond! It really feels like we, as fans, can begin to dream again about things that COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN! Not that this FA Cup win does anything without reinforcements, but it's changed the perception of the club. It's given us hope and the belief that comes with ending a nine year trophy drought!
On the Kentucky side of things, I'm very excited. The turnout and support yesterday was amazing, everybody was loud, yelling, and decked out in red and white! I'm very very happy about the state that we're in and the future of our branch of Arsenal America!
We've started making headway in an Arsenal Kentucky branch being started up in Bowling Green with the help of a few dedicated members, and Lexington will be next on the agenda. My hope for the future of Arsenal Kentucky is that we've spread out all across the state and that for huge matches like this FA Cup Final, we'd all car pool or get together at Molly's in Louisville to just have everyone get together! Leading the charge down in Bowling Green will be Landon Hampton - he's been working on getting a section together down there since the very beginning, and we're proud to finally get things moving in that direction. If you're down in BG, I'll put you in touch with Landon, and hopefully we can get this moving for the next season!
NYC will be absolutely enormous. We've actually got a pretty good representation from our branch, and things are looking like it will be an amazing event. Get in touch if you're going as well and we'll get together once we're up there!
I think yesterday had to be our biggest turn out for a match since the beginning, and finally, I'd like to thank every one of you for making yesterday's turn out possible. Without you all making this branch what it is, we wouldn't obviously be where we are now, and wouldn't be in a position to grow like we are now. I think next season will be bigger and better, there will be more cool things with Arsenal Kentucky, and a bright future for Arsenal.
Again, thank you all for your continued support! UTA!
Branch Manager of Arsenal Kentucky.