Puerta, RIP

One of the reasons we admire footballers is their sheer physicality, their feats of athleticism; that’s the reason we secretly imagine ourselves at play when we see them battle it out on the field.  All the more shocking then, when they prematurely depart the field of play. It’s the Ultimate Red Card in a way; no appeals, the ref doesn’t get fired afterward. We’d prefer them to retire and live their life, to entertain us even after they stop playing, and one day, to disappear quietly into the hereafter. Cue testimonials and hushed reverence.

Antonio Puerta, however, did not have that fortune. He passed away today, apparently from complications due to a heart attack. He had collapsed during Sevilla’s match with Getafe, one they won 4-0. His teammates will hopefully regard that match as a testament to his memory. He had joined Sevilla as a boy, and had stayed 14 years with them, the last three years as a first-team player. He, then, left the field in the Sevilla colors, as he had once taken his first nervous steps on it.

Rest in peace, Antonio. Do tell us if they play football in heaven.

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This is the season….

Been a long time since I blogged on Arsenal. Really long. Well, longer than I expected. After the Henry will-he won’t-he ( he did) there was hardly any stuff worth writing about. Did consider blogging when Eduardo came in, but couldn’t be bothered anyway.

Scintillating preamble, check.

For all the doom and gloom surrounding Titi’s departure, I feel Arsenal haven’t been materially affected. Sure, we’re not spanking teams 3-0 anymore, but I actually like the new-look Arsenal. We have the usual gazillion chances( ever wonder why Arsene has all those deep wrinkles? ) but we actually have a goal at the end of it. But for Lehmann’s bloopers we’d have a perfect record after 3 matches. Too optimistic, maybe, but what distinguishes this team is that everybody is at the same playing level. No superstars to see here, move along. Just the scrappy 1-0 goals. Love it.

Customary Arsenal optimism, check.

That leaves us with what Arsene is thinking about our chances this season. He’s not gone the way of the Three, bringing in people left and right. We do need people on the left and right : a good winger would still help us really stretch our opponents. We still play too centrally at times, and pay the price. Adebayor is good at getting out on the wings and crossing in, but a dedicated winger would really help us. As Arsene remarked some time ago, everybody wants to play in the center. Maybe if they made buildings on the sides of the Grove that would help? Regarding the new signings, I think they’ve gelled well with the team – Eduardo hasn’t got in his goals yet but he does look a threat and keep the defenses busy. Bacary Sagna has been great as well; pace, movement, and good ball skills. I’m looking to see how good he can get for us.

And also good, the away win at Sparta Prague. Czech.