Mikel Arteta joins Arsenal

1 09 2011

I tend to avoid having the television or radio on during Transfer Deadline Day (henceforth called TDD)  Being an Arsenal fan it is often a little bit of a let down and more to the point it seems to be an excuse for Sky to bring the most annoying twats ever out of the woodwork.

This year was no different, I avoided even peaking during work and then had to drive to collect a new car and due to a number of factors was not through the door until about 11.15.

As such imagine my glee when I discovered that more or less out of the blue Arsene Wenger had pulled off one of the coups of the current window.

Gone was the signing of the usual unknown African child for half the defecit of the third World, instead I was greeted with the news that Mikel Arteta had been signed for a mere £10 mill. Talk about pulling a rabbit from the hat!

Arteta is a proper signing, a genuine midfield talent with years of Premier League experience… added to recent additions Santos and Mertesacker the season is starting to look up a little.

For those of you who have lived under a rock for a while here is a potted history of Arteta’s playing career to date –

“Arteta started out as a trainee with FC Barcelona but could not break his way into the first team and was eventually loaned to Paris Saint-Germain in the French league. He was then signed by Scottish Premier League giants Rangers with whom he would win the domestic treble of the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup in the season of 2002–03. After success in Scotland, Arteta moved to back to Spain to play for Real Sociedad but failed to establish himself within the first team and was loaned to Everton for the remainder of the 2004–05 season. He would then sign a permanent transfer.

Arteta has represented Spain at under-21 level, but he has not played for the senior national team.”

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Affligem Blonde

1 09 2011

 Affligem Blonde is a classic example of an authentic Belgian Abbey beer. Brewed since the 12th century and now produced by Affligem Brewery under licence from the Benedictine monks.

 I first came across Afligem in Belgoes in London when I had several bottles to accompany a very nice, relaxed lunch last Summer.

 Now any regular readers, I assume I have at least one, will know that I am rather partial to a nice Belgian beer and Affligem certainly ticks that box.

 I wouldn’t say it is the best Abbey beer that I have ever had but it is far from being the worst and with a fairly middle of the road abv, 6.70 %, is great for those Summer afternoon sessions in the back garden.

So lets have a look  shall we?

The beer pours with a decent off white head, about 3 or 4 fingers, which last well and creates a nice contrast with the clear, golden body of the ale.

As is usual with Belgian beers there are plenty of aromas vying for your attention; there are strong hints of  tropical fruit, cinnamon, there is a light hoppiness that comes through along with with some floral elements and a big punch of spicy yeast… all in all so far so good!

Flavours are well balanced and light across the board, you can pick up pretty much everything that was present in the nose along with some green apples and what tasted surprisingly like coriander.

The beer has a great mouthfeel to it with a some really nice tight carbonation, not unlike a Champagne.  Affligem starts slightly sweet and finishes on a nice dry note that is really quite refreshing.

I find that Affligem has a slightly cleaner taste to it than a lot of the heavier Belgian beers and this coupled with it’s relatively low abv mean that whilst it isn’t one of the stand out Belgians it is a very capable example and is actually better suited to being consumed in larger volumes.

4/5








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