Archive for October, 2005

Arsenal continue Champions League success

October 20th, 2005

In contrast to their Premiership form, Arsenal are top of Group B after beating Sparta Prague 2 – 0. Thierry Henry made his return from injury a little ahead of schedule when Jose Antonio Reyes came off after 15 minutes with a suspected fractured rib (later to be diagnosed as only being bruised). Wenger had been planning to give Henry a 30-minute run out, but was forced to change his plans.

Henry was clearly thrilled to be back playing. With practially his first touch he volleyed the ball goal-wards, with a deflection sending the ball out for a corner. Shortly afterwards he was on target, with an excellently taken goal. Toure sent the ball upfield, and Henry controlled it behind him with the back of his heel, before turning and bending a shot with the outside of his right foot into the far corner of the net.

Henry made it a pair in the second half when he latched onto a great bending pass from Pires behind the defenders and slotted it past the keeper to make it 2 – 0. In the process, he also broke Ian Wright’s goalscoring record for the club, having now scored 186 goals. Henry has done this is six seasons, and is likely to build on this total to set a record that will take some beating.

The Group B table is:

Team P W D L F A Pts
Arsenal 3 3 0 0 6 2 9
Ajax 3 1 1 1 4 3 4
FC Thun 3 1 0 2 2 4 3
Sparta Prague 3 0 1 2 1 4 1

Arsenal’s Premiership Progress

October 20th, 2005

OK, I’ve been busy with my MBA studies, so I’ve been neglecting this blog. To start catching up, here’s a summary of how Arsenal have been doing in the Premiership in September and October – not so good. Here’s the results so far:

September 10 Middlesborough 2 – 1 Arsenal
September 19 Arsenal 2 – 0 Everton
September 24 West Ham 0 – 0 Arsenal
October 2 Arsenal 1 – 0 Birmingham
October 15 West Brom 2 – 1 Arsenal

And here’s the table as it stands today:

  Team P W D L F A GD pts
1 Chelsea 9 9 0 0 23 3 20 27
2 Tottenham 9 5 3 1 11 5 6 18
3 Man Utd 8 5 2 1 13 6 7 17
4 Man City 9 5 2 2 11 7 4 17
5 Charlton 8 5 1 2 13 8 5 16
6 Wigan 8 5 1 2 8 5 3 16
7 Bolton 9 4 2 3 10 11 -1 14
8 Arsenal 8 4 1 3 11 6 5 13
9 West Ham 8 3 3 2 12 7 5 12
10 Middlesbro 9 3 3 3 10 12 -2 12
11 Blackburn 9 3 2 4 7 10 -3 11
12 Liverpool 7 2 4 1 5 6 -1 10
13 Newcastle 9 2 3 4 5 8 -3 9
14 Aston Villa 9 2 3 4 9 14 -5 9
15 West Brom 9 2 2 5 9 16 -7 8
16 Portsmouth 9 1 4 4 6 10 -4 7
17 Fulham 9 1 3 5 8 14 -6 6
18 Birmingham 9 1 3 5 7 13 -6 6
19 Sunderland 9 1 2 6 7 14 -7 5
20 Everton 8 1 0 7 1 11 -10 3

So, two wins, a draw, and two defeats see Arsenal in 8th position, 14 points adrift of Chelsea, though with a game in hand. Many people have conceded the title to Chelsea already, and if they maintain this form they will be worthy champions.

Arsenal’s dip in form is related to the fact that Henry has been injured, and has been joined by Ljungberg, Hleb, Cole, and Campbell. In Henry’s absence, Reyes and van Persie have been given a chance to step up to the mark. Despite lots of attempts on goal in the matches so far, they have failed to deliver.

Additionally, Arsenal’s tradionally solid defence has been looking decidedly shakey of late. When Campbell plays they are better, but Toure is getting caught out too often, and they lack a certain assurance. This may be due to a lack of support in midfield. Pires in particular doesn’t support his wing-backs as much as he should, and Flamini and Fabregas don’t have the same defensive capabilities as Vieira and Gilberto.

At this stage in the season, a strange sense is settling on me. I’m still optimistic that we can improve and get back to the top end of the table. However, overtaking Chelsea is becoming a larger obstacle with every game, and it really is up to them to lose the Premiership. There’s a real sense of transition, a sense of building up to next season – the first in the Emirates Stadium. Wenger has asked us to trust him, and most Gooners will do so. However, expectations have been set high by previous season’s performances, and if Wenger fails to deliver something this season, how long before the knives come out?

Peter Jackson to be Executive Producer for Halo movie

October 5th, 2005

Peter JacksonJoseph Staten has posted the second installment of the Great Hollywood Journey – his updates relating to progress on the Halo movie.

In this update, he announces that Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame, is to be Executive Producer on the Halo movie. He will be joined by his partner Fran Walsh, and the deal also involves the WETA team coming on board. These are the people that handled the CGI aspects of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

This news is great, and has started getting me excited about the Halo movie project. I talked about getting people like Peter Jackson involved, but I never thought they’d actually get Peter Jackson!

Now, Jackson’s only Executive Producer, but the fact that he’s on board, and the obvious technical prowess of the WETA team, coupled with the fact that he and Fran are apparently “already avid fans of the game”, should mean that the movie holds true to the story (for the most part), but above all, that the movie ends up as a great movie.

Obviously if the actors are abysmal and the director dire, then it’ll tank like most other game-movie tie-ins. But my expectations have just been ratched up a couple of notches :)

Making the Halo Movie Companion

October 5th, 2005

Master ChiefLorraine McLees has posted her views on the process of creating the Halo Movie Companion, and about how excited she is that Peter Jackson will be involved in the Halo Movie.

What’s interesting is that she claims that there is no existing Halo Story Bible, and that it would take a lot more work to get from the Companion to the Bible. That makes me wonder about the resources that people like Eric Trautman had when he was responsible for things like the Halo novels. Perhaps he relied on running things past Jason Jones, who had the equivalent of the Story Bible in his head :)

Cortana to appear in DOA4?

October 5th, 2005

CortanaFrankie has confirmed on Bungie.net a claim on the Game Informer website, that a Halo character will appear in the upcoming Dead or Alive 4 for XBox 360. Apparently it will be an unlockable character. According to the man himself:

“It’s cool. And by cool, I mean totally sweet.”

I think the character will be Cortana. First, the DOA games are notorious for their female characters, especially how well endowed and scantily clad they make them. Secondly, the image at the bottom of Frankie’s post shows various shillouettes. One of these looks like Cortana, and it moves, stretching up on its toes and back down – resulting in a bouncing breast movement that is so DOA.

As for the rationale for a Halo character appearing in the DOA universe, well:

“You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the explanation for a Halo character in the DOA universe, even if it’s a bit tongue in cheek.”

Frankie promises more details in a future update.

In-Fusio to produce Halo-themed mobile content

October 5th, 2005

EliteFrankie reports over at Bungie.net that In-Fusio has signed a deal to produce Halo-themed ringtones and pictures for mobile phones.

“Microsoft has signed a deal with French publisher In-Fusio to make Halo-themed ringtones, graphics and other mobile media for mobile phones. Although no games have been announced at this time, In-Fusio would have the rights to publish a cellphone Halo game should Microsoft decide to produce one.”

In the meantime, head here for some Halo ringtones :)