Leave Wilshere Aloan and Cesc Strikes A Chord

Ahead of the trip to Athens, the papers have been at a bit of a loose end so need to try new angles on stirring up the masses into a fretting frenzy. Step forward target number one, Jack Wilshere. Suggestions put to the player are that he might benefit from a spell on loan, the logic being that the remainder of the season out with a Premier League club in a relegation battle or with a Championship side going for the title.

There is merit in the loan system but the question of how many matches will Wilshere be involved with? Certainly, he would be one of those expected to start in FA Cup matches when the tournament comes around, especially if progress beyond the 3rd round occurs, as matches start to coincide with the resumption of Champions League fixtures.

Of course, playing more games theoretically means he would be more adapted to first team football. However, bad habits can be picked up along the way and it still takes time to reintegrate into the Arsenal Way of playing if you have been subjected to a barrage of long ball tactics.

Then there is the by no means small matter of injuries to others, something which we have seen happen this season with some sort of vengeance to midfield and attack. Were Walcott to succumb to injury once more with the current crocks around London Colney, Wilshere would not be too far away from a spell in the first team.

Meanwhile Cesc Fabregas has been talking of his desire to see a striker added to the squad come January:

Throughout the game [at Manchester City in the 3-0 Carling Cup defeat last Wednesday], we had a lot of possession but didn’t really have anyone to go in behind the defenders, apart from Carlos Vela. We had a lot of similar players who like the ball into their feet. Sometimes it’s true that you need a different kind of option.

I would not disagree with him about the principle of signing another player, no squad is perfect, every one can be improved. However, using the Carling Cup tie as an example is not a particularly good one to choose since it is essentially a reserve side which takes the field in that competition. Additionally, the injury list currently suggests that Wenger had his options severely limited, evidenced at the weekend when three of his first choice strikers were out.

That suggests that a new signing is needed anyway. van Persie is out long-term and Eduardo is consistently suffering niggles on his way back to full match fitness. It would leave Wenger relying on Bendtner, hoping that the Dane remains fit for the rest of the season.

Fabregas though is not too downbeat about the recent indifferent form, especially the defeat to Chelsea:

Overall, I saw a Chelsea team that was normal but a team that has probably the best striker in the world, and that makes such a difference. An average team that has the best striker in the world can always do something and Didier Drogba makes all the difference to them. Without him, their team would not be the same.

Perhaps we had the same kind of problem against Chelsea as the boys had at Manchester City, not really having someone whose game is to go beyond defenders, and we were a little small to fight against them on crosses, too.

In that last sentence, he is in fact being critical of himself and his colleagues, intimating that during the match they lacked the footballing intelligence to realise that their crossing was not working. That they were forced to take this option should be of concern. Little is gained with possession in the middle of the pitch if there is no end product.

This is not to deflect attention away from the lack of options up front on that occasion but certainly City showed that Chelsea’s defence could be worked around. The height aspect of his comments was immediately picked up by the tabloids, reinforcing the view that Ian McGarry of The Sun espoused on Sky’s Sunday Supplement. It is not often that I would offer some praise for a journalist but Mick Dennis hit the nail on the head, not once but twice. Firstly by observing that the whingers were ‘ingrates‘, failing to appreciate that which is in front of them, but also that it is a sad indictment of the way in which the majority of football supporters in England require the game to be played, that having a six foot six clodhopper is seen as the cure to all ills.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 8, 2009, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 281 Comments.

  1. I would like Wilshere to go on loan to one of the premier league relegation strugglers, with a clause prveneting him playing Arsenal. That would give him some real competitive football over a period of time, and may help our title run by knwcking few points of our competitors hopefully. And he is what 17? The argument about getting tuned to Wengerball does not sound too persuasive, as taht would effectively mean that we should not sign anyone above the age of 16 in fear of Wengerball gettingdisrupted.

  2. Dzeko pleeeeease!

  3. Keysersoze

    EPL regulations mean that loan players cannot play against their parent club so it is not an issue.

    YW

  4. That is great then. I did not know that is a premiership regulation, thought it was a clause that the clubs insert into a loan deal if they wish to.

  5. Wilshire could go spend some time with our buddy steve bruce to harden him up in the grim north, they don’t play bad football either.

    Strikerwise…
    We have the nippy pass masters that make the team click in abundance. We have pace. Could do with more strength and height though. We do have RvP but it isn’t enough. He is cursed by his fantastic linkup play. If he couldn’t play so well then he’d be left to be a Pointman, however he is cursed with superior skills so has to ply his trade all over the final third.

    I don’t want to mention the name but an adebayor player could well bring this team another outlet. However somebody who will give 100% for a full game and isn’t a c*** would be nice. Dzeko does look nice.

  6. Hey lads, I had a feeling that AW playing his own game (which is nothing is to be ashamed of for sure) never considered a new striker hoping that Nick recovers sooner that later and will come good somehow and then bragging about an internal solution case. But now, after Fab4 (AA23 also) is being that vocal perhaps AW in two minds about the whole thing… Here is a new hope, the reinforcement will come in Jan, the team needs it badly… AW won’t want to upset Fab4 again, last summer AW let him/us let dowm a big time…

  7. Think there is need for some perspective. What is more alarming, that we could not score against Chelsea with our top two frontment out injured (one of them is close to a return), or that we shipped 3 goals with our first choice back 5? Ok, we had 4 of our first choice back 5 and our third choice left back, but Traore was not to blame for any of the goals.

  8. I hope Ancellotti plays his best and biggest Chavs tonight.. not long now till their rickets begin to show heralding the start of their annual collapse..

  9. just a question, if we do buy a striker, not sure we will, but if we do, where do they fit in in terms of pecking order? with AA playing so well last weekend, will that mean Bendtner dropped to the bench, what about eddy? and will that mean Vela needs to look elsewhere?

    do like the sound of Carlton Cole though.
    ta

  10. And embryo, that pecking order becomes even more confusing next season with RVP returning and Bendtner and Vela maturing by one more season.

  11. the only striker wenger buying from pl is Hugo Rodallega (Wigan)

  12. Keysersoze

    A good point re back five/ four but on the other hand a defence drilling is nor AW’s strong suit nowadays… But main thing that kills me is actually a so called keeper. That IS a problem. He oozes dread and always has a 100% f**k up in him! The Al chicken’s presense in goal really poisons the whole team’s morale. How AW cannot see it is just not true…

  13. Embryo

    If we have 3 slots upfront and so many players to fill them surely somebody will have to move on. If Wenger thinks we need that purchase then we need it. We possibly have the problem of 3 or 4 similar players. So if the decision is made that we need another style/option of attacker then it becomes a problem for an existing player.

    I would want somebody awesome to come in if it was at the expense of Vela or Sanchez Watt or Jay Simpson.

  14. Moderation AGAIN!!!!!

  15. I would want somebody awesome to come in if it was at the expense of Vela or Sanchez Watt or Jay Simpson.

  16. I think there are enough ways of countering the lack of height just through movement, pace and tactics. Our defence isn’t solid and that always plays on everyone’s minds making the midfield and attackers more conservative. They occupy central positions rather than making penetrating runs. It’s directly related to the confidence and belief issue that Wenger talks about.

    Millions of people can see tall, big, strong as the solution. That is why you don’t have millions of top quality managers. It’s just the most obvious and seemingly logical thought that the media and fans accept and cling on to. Football would not be so beautiful if it were that simple.

    I don’t think loans make a big difference. Do we know anyone except maybe Bendtner who has benefited from loans so far? But that should also depend on the team where the player goes to and their style of play, competition and other things like that.

    Btw, don’t we have an option to call back a player on loan at any time? That should take care of any more unfortunate injuries, god forbid.

  17. I believe Cesc is flexing his muscles, he wants to win some silverware this season and stop the Spanish media driving him crazy with more ridiculous offers each day and he needs to show AW this transfer period if he makes promises he should keep them. we need a goalkeeper just as much as a striker and Rob Green is available at our type of money

  18. The difference between when fab and arsharvin speaks is that fab being captain has to be listened to. He has also been in the club for 7years and has shown great loyalty. I for one would take his views and worrys very serious, i think AW does to. that is why he made Fab captain in the first place. The kid is special…

  19. Hey you know what, I’m very happy with each and everyone of our players.

    You can always improve a team with signings yeah. But if you think that signing a Rodallega or Cole or even Dzeko is going to have a nothing but positive effect it isn’t so.

    People take time to settle especially to our system, but if we got somebody in january upfront, you could almost guarantee we’d loose a striker in the same month. Therefore you could potentially be in a worse situation for a few months until the team clicks with the new signing.

    I really hope Wenger is smoke screening for another cheeky plan, either that or he’s bringing in the next wright or henry.

  20. s

    You a right re Fab4. I’m not comparing their importance to the team and to AW personally. I just don’t recall Fab being so direct before. Seams he is in some very tricky phase of his career now…

  21. If Fabianski keeps playing well in games like the one tomorrow and in the FA Cup – and Almunia can’t regain his confidence and form very, very quickly – the Pole will soon usurp the Spaniard.

    If Hugo Lloris at 22 is Lyon and France no.1, Igor Akinfeev at 23 is CSKA and Russia no.1 and Sergio Asenjo at age 20 is Atletico Madrid no.1 – then Lukas Fabianski, another of the finest young goalkeeping prospects in the world, should get his chance as our number 1 soon enough. Especially seeing as he has all but displaced that fat clodhopper Artur Boruc from Team Polska.

    Rob Green is shit.

  22. Wilshere on loan? Can he help us win the league by making is loan team stand up against Chelsea and Man U while not being eligible to play against us? Hmmm

  23. Hi Sol,

  24. LimparAssist

    I’m all for Fabianski to step up and be counted but have my doubts somehow. Green might be, as you put it, shit but at least this shit comands his box and saves games. Fine shit in my book. In a perfect world Lloris next summer will do for me .

  25. I can’t watch ATVO at work. Could somebody please precis what Theo is saying? Hopefully he’s telling his doubters to f*ck off.

  26. If Manuel Almunia played behind a team that conceded as many shots on target as the Wet Spammers do – you don’t think he’d pull a few game-saving saves out? He’s a fantastic shot-stopper.

    Rob Green is shit.

  27. Limpar Assist.

    You make a very interesting point about goal keeping. I think Fabianski was totally disappointed to be injured during Almunia’s last absense. If he wasn’t injured, I’m sure that he’d be our No. 1 at the moment.

    As much as Fabianski has his howlers, I think he still is a very good keeper. Not only is he a good shot stopper, I like the way he marauds around his box and on many occasions acts as a sweeper of sorts.

    Granted, he can improve his decision making, but his overall attributes far outweigh his deficiencies – and he can only resolve these deficiencies with game time. Fabianski for most part is the preferred Polish No. 1 and I think the staff at London Colney rate him very highly.

    The problem for goal keepers is that a mistake by them invariably results in a goal for the opponent – that’s why it’s difficult for young goalies to learn on the job like their outfield counterparts. If Fabianski got the same leeway like Ramsey, Song, Denilson, Merida, Wilshere, Walcott, Bendy, Vela etc – and he was allowed to grow into the game – I’m convinced he would be the preferred No 1.

  28. Moscow I have been impressed by Fabiaski’s command of his box in the few games he’s played this season, the same cant be said about Almunia, who always seem to be in two minds about every thing he does in the box.

  29. Yup Limpar i’d have Manuel over green any day.

    Luckily Wenger has a history of not giving to pressure. That includes fans, shareholders and players.

    Not sure about the captain of the team.

  30. What strikers did barca use to conquer UEFA last year and how many of the was over six feet. Also how did they compare to Man U in height.1atchin Man city dent chelsea with the likes of swp and tevez. I realised all we were missing in the bigs is self belief. If we address it then we are in with a shout.

  31. Surprise Surprise the 5 players shortlisted for world player are all playing in spain. Wada y’ know eh.

  32. LimparAssist

    A good keeper can easily bring more 3-6 points per season on a table (pun is not intended) that expected. A bag of nerves Manu Al lose the same ammount if not more with the same ease… Do your math…. Repeat, I have my doubts, but I am all for Fabianski’s rise to power. let it starts tomorrow….

  33. A NEW DEAL FOR ROSICKY SO FAR HE HAS PLAYED IN 75 GAMES TOTAL COST INCLUDING WAGES AROUND 15 MILLION OR 200,00 A GAME. HIES NEW DEAL SHOULS BE PAY PER PLAY

  34. Hello Darius,

    Forgot to congratulate you on a very enjoyable article last Friday.

    Check this out. Brilliant.

  35. interesting to hear our captain’s take on all this.. i think simply saying that we need more “height” is basic, what we need is a striker who is comfortable with their back to the goal.

    Thats where Dudu and Vela were coming up shortest imo… unable to post up with the ball and wait for the rest of the front line & cesc & whoevers pairing him to arrive for passes

    will be intersting to see how NB52 plays in this capacity when he’s back…but honestly i was blown away with AA on Saturday, he was fantastic I say let him keep playing there even once NB is fit if its still going that well

  36. almunia was scaring me during a few of those long throws… that one that hit him in the chest and then bounced away?? YIKES

  37. Sad to see so many striker speculators suffering from the EPL Fish Bowl effect..

    Carlton Cole, Heskey and Rodellega are reasonable players bar one but simply aren’t Arsenal quality..

  38. Such a fickle business supporting your so called team.

  39. I agree with kitchen Sink

  40. Sol,

    I agree -only there is no way Tom has played 75 games for us, its more like 40.

    Why offer him a new 2-3 yr deal. This would cost millions. His current contract must be worth in the region of 50k a week. He has been available for barely 1 in 3 games which means his effective wages are 150k a week.

    This is a joke. Why not let him prove his fitness first? I really rate Tom but if he can’t stay fit then he should not be given a new contract.

    He should get a pay as you play or 1 year deal at best and even then only if he can prove his fitness.

    Bergkamp got a 1 yr deal after the age of 32/3 and he was one the greatest ever.

    What has Tom done to deserve a new contract?

    Total cost £6.8m transfer fee plus 50k a week for 4 years equals 16.8m roughly, for a player to play about 40 games, many of which were not completed or were as sub. This works out at £425k per game!

    The figures may not be exact but they do illustrate the point.

    We have so many injuries and we are busy wasting millions more on crocks like Tom before they have even proved their fitness. Why not wait till the end of the season and see if Tom can stay fit. If he can then sign him up then.

    A 2 or 3 year deal would be worth 5-7.5 million or thereabouts for a player who has hardly played in 2 years! Then AW moans that he has too many injuries.

  41. “Arsene Wenger needs to buy new players – and expensive ones too. Why? Because all the talented and inexpensive players are already with us at Arsenal.”

    This is just classic.

  42. we can do with some reasonable players ,cant we ?when all the “arsenal quality” players are out injured infinitely .

  43. Roman Pavlyuchenko’s agent claims that Arsenal are among the clubs chasing the Tottenham striker.

  44. If we go out and buy a glut of players when the injury god’s are kinder to us then you will have a major problem of wages and ‘unsettled’ players.

    Also Sol AIC how the hell do you think you know all the ins and outs of Rosickys contract offer, and deals to date???

  45. els,

    Tom’s agent said that the deal on offer is 2-3 years.

    My point is that any new contract at this stage is extremely risky and that the player through no fault of his own does not deserve one until he proves his fitness

  46. santino: I would like that. Can play with AA and is very good player. Redknapp does not like him but does like Keane…Shows what he knows.

  47. And what the fuck people mean by arsenal quality ?

  48. If the right deal comes along I think arsene will take it but we all know how fussy he is and a lot of the big names are probably not available so the chances are pretty slim for a wonder signing.

    The fact that cesc and ashavin are talking about this means the players in general are also talking and making conclusions. If there is a general feeling that they are not getting supported by the manager then frustrations could easily lead to another helb or flamini situation. These guys are only human and wenger makes them work very hard for 4th place.

    I think eduardo will go eventually unless RVP moves fairly permanently to the left. The way that he was mentioned last as a foot note to the mangers letter and the fact his injury was not discussed much suggest to me he is falling out of wengers plans.

    He has to do something about the number of strikers in queue and will probably feel like giving the people who have been longest at the academy the future chances.

    dzeko or villa would be a dream come true to be honest and I really dont believe they would take long to settle. it could be beautiful…

  49. Santino you could probably do with some reasonable players .. I don’t think Wenger will compensate on his “Arsenal quality” players… don’t all agents say Arsenal is chasing their player to give em a bit of street cred?

  50. i remember pav being a good player for some eastern country in a shit tournament .

  51. Kitchen Sink

    what exactly is “Arsenal quality” player ?

  52. it may be over 2 – 3 years but god knows what the small details could be, he may have to play a % of games to receive a certain wage… it could be anything.

    He is a fantastic player and at Arsenal we look after our players, hence the reason we retain players like Cesc, RvP, Gallas, can attract the likes of AA, Eduardo and younger players will pick us over the likes of barca, inter, manure, chelsea. Start to lose that loyalty and team feeling and you’ll lose more than a players supposed unearned wage.

    Wengers no mug he won’t be taken to the cleaners, it’s bizzare how wenger can be accused of loose purse strings really.

  53. word,

    What a lot of Glenn Twaddle you spout.

  54. els,

    Not loose per strings but poor decisions regarding contracts.

    Look at all the players who have left on frees

  55. if only you new Santino but such privileges aren’t for everyone to enjoy.. its getting late, the hacks are waiting for you..

  56. keep tommy gun. give him what he want .i think if want to save wages there are other deserving candidates to cut short.

  57. Santino i beg to differ, Euros wasnt shit!

  58. word I do agree that the squad are wanting something more but wenger will ride this out as he has done before, if he choses not to sign all it will take is a few good games and then everything will be rosy.

    It is frustrating that our players are injured but I choose to support what we have over a mediocre signing. That said as you say Villa or Dzeko would be nice, but is villa not more of what we have. No doubt villa would appease fab4 however he is not the player with height and a ‘back to the goal style’ of play that is being called for.

    Wenger will no that this is just a time of frustration what with the dreaded ‘window’ looming. He will see the larger picture and steer us throught these rought time to at least 1 trophy this season.

  59. yeah i know what “arsenal quality ” is . Some people were saying bendtner is not arsenal quality because he is strong, tall ,can head and not quick as walcott and don’t dribble like vela.

  60. AIC the flamini, gilberto, hleb era was a poor showing but undoubtedly had more to do with David Dein leaving than Wenger’s supposed poor decision making. It was baaaad management by the higher powers.

    But those players leaving is a warning that we should treat the player right that we have. Those examples work against your argument in my mind.

  61. It doesn’t take much for your hatred of Arsene to poke through does it, AIC? Apparentl, Gazidis can’t be upto much either.

    You complain if he spends money, you complain if he doesn’t. You complain if players leave on a ‘free’, you complain when they are being tied to a new contract. You complain about the terms of a contract , the contents of which you can have no idea about.

    You really are a miserable little man.

  62. Well Santino.. for your sake, I hope you do.. because some people say a lot of things..

  63. kichen sink

    go fuck yourself with your weasel words .you dont even know what it means. arsenal quality my arse.

  64. temper..

  65. Consolsbob glad your here mate.

  66. Everybody point and laugh at Santino. hahahahahahahahaahahahaaa

  67. Im not saying buy buy buy I would rather we didn’t sign unless it is someone pretty special and fairly proven. I think we can ride it out also and I would expect arsene would feel the same so I do find it interesting that everyone in the team and arsene are saying we had no one upfront when we had eduardo all along.

    villa may be too small for us but he is the kind of class we need.

  68. I agree with word.

  69. “villa may be too small for us but he is the kind of class we need.”

    in what sense villa is too small for us??
    i thought quite the opposite. way too big for us.

  70. Massive week for our young players – starting tonight, with a bunch of first and second years playing for our reserves.

    And tomorrow’s squad is looking rather green:

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/in-pictures-arsenal-prepare-for-olympiacos

  71. santino you are taking things out of context, he is talking about height and the attributes being called for by Cesc, AA and co… i.e. Tall and to be able to play with his back to goal. Neither of which are villa. therefore “villa may be too small for us but he is the kind of class we need.”

    Go away anyway.

  72. ozed on December 8, 2009
    at 12:43 pm

    Yup, the SSN mnemonic that some Arsenal fans like to use completely omits the fact that the decisive goal in last years’ ECL final was scored by the smallest player on the pitch playing in the CF role, playing against the pundits’ crown jewels of the EPL, Vidic and Ferdinand.

  73. els

    who you are kidding ? you wont sign DAVID VILLA because he is too small ?? fuck me you better watch some other sports then.

    Everyone knows why arsenal wont sign him and its not because of his height.

  74. villa is 5’9 and im not sure how good he is with his head, ideally we could do with a taller option to mix things up but class is more important.

    Arhavin proved its not all about height last week and we do have bentdner still but you cant argue that height and power wouldn’t be useful.

  75. Ah now Bob its not as simple as that.

    While I don’t agree with AIC, he does have a point. My thinking is that you have the give the player the benefit of the doubt and setting a pay per play strategy could equally backfire if players can get better deals elsewhere. It just depends on where the negotiation power lies. Take RvP – he’s been injured for 4/5 seasons now. What do you if your Wenger? Do you say I will only offer you a pay per play deal because your injury prone – when you know someone like Inter or Barca will offer him a full contract and would be glad to have him. It’s a judgement call. The tides can shift somewhat if the player is coming in first time with an injury record ala Owen or possibly Rudd. Eduardo/Nasri/Diaby/Tom sustained serious injuries playing for the club. If you believe in them – you’ve got to stick by them. It’s a judgement call and the club must be seen to support players in this situation because any player can get injured.

    What was far more worrying to my mind was Tom’s failure to track back with Tevez’s goal in the citeh game. I was disheartened to see that lack of application and attitude from Tom – especially when he’s looking for a new contract.

  76. The small matter of physically weak, short, injury prone players. Eduardo, Rosicky, Diaby, Nasri, Djourou and others. Who caused it? Ask the recruiter called Arsene Wenger. He thinks foreign players are the best. Records have proven that his third team are incapable of winning anything.

  77. word
    height and power would be useful but according to some pundits those attributes are not arsenal quality.

  78. we can afford 30 m by the way

  79. FBparker that goal by Messi was great. Who would have thought he could outjump the likes of Rio to slot it in? Made barca winning the ECL more sweeter.I actually felt like it was Arsenal that had won it.

  80. arsene might go up to 20 mil for a player if someone put him under gunpoint , after that he will gladly take the bullet not a pound more.

  81. Oh cool, JET’s back.

    – – – – – – – – – Fabianski – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Eastmond – Bartley – Silvestre – Ayling
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – Coquelin – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – Ramsey- – -Merida – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Theo – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Wilshere
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – -Vela- – – – – – – – – – – –

    I wonder why Song is in the squad.

  82. I’ll give this a go.

    Fabianski

    Gilbert – Bartley – Silvestre – Cruise

    Merida – Song – Ramsey

    Wilshire – Theo – JET

    My rationale is that all of the first-team squad players are going to start. Silvestre should have more influence at CB, meaning young Cruise should start at LB. AW might want to add a bit more experience to the midfield that lost against City, bringing Song forward into CM. JET adds some height up front. Er, that’s about it.

  83. Whoops, “Wilshere”.

  84. Yawn…

  85. i think song and silvestre will be the cbs.

  86. That is meant for you OneOfUs. Thanks for changing the subject actually!

  87. NOT meant for you!

  88. First of all Truly AFC (then name is a joke surely) I would love to see you square upto Diaby and Djourou and call them short and physically weak.

    Santino no the reason why we probably wont get VILLA is that our manager dosn’t waste talent and sign a player in the same mold as what he has, yeah he is world class and better that many of our options but not 30m better, anyway hows robbie keane been doing warming the bench at shite hart lane. What a bunch of money wasting shite.

  89. My turn.

    Fabianski

    Gilbert – Song – Silvestre – Cruise

    Merida – Coquelin – Ramsey

    Theo – Vela – Wilshere

  90. LimperAssist Song is in the squad because it looks like Wenger will be buying a new defender this summer..

  91. Good point Passenal nothing more needs to be said.

  92. i think the young guns are really lucky to get a cl match . I hope to see more of young guns after westham game in the cup.

  93. I don’t usually do this but I’ll have a go too

    Fabianski

    Gilbert – Song – Silvestre – Cruise

    Ramsey – Eastmond – Merida

    Wilshere – Walcott – Vela

  94. OK hows about

    Fabianski

    Gilbert – Bartley – Silvestre – Ayling

    Ramsey – Eastmond – Merida

    Theo – Vela – Wilshere

    With song to come on at half time.

    Another snub for Senderos eh, he’s gone already. Sad really.

  95. 10 teenagers named in the squad. That must be a Champions League record. Probably our own, but still…

    OneOfUs, I definitely see the virtue in starting Alex Song – but if all the first team squad should start, then shouldn’t Carlos Vela? He needs the playing time if he is expected to be sharp when called upon against Liverpool and Burnley.

  96. i think we will win 3 0 , ramsey to score and walcott to get injured again.

  97. I thought Big Phil might be injured.

  98. Santino ‘we’ i thought you were a spud?

  99. The thing we need most in the transfer window is a new difference making center back. Our goals against ratio is already significantly worse then Chelsea and ManU. If we lost WG or TV to injury we would be left playing Silvestre long term. Alex Song is not the answer. The other “big” teams deal with having good players who do not play every game. Alex is an excellent defender and Chelsea does not sell him. Not having another good central defender in our roster seems irresponsible. It would not break the bank to buy a good central defender a GK and a striker. Buying a good player or 2 will not invalidate everything that AW has worked for.

  100. I hope so Limpar but I don’t think so? Not sure.

  101. Gah, I forgot Vela, LA.

    Yeah, he’s got to be a starter…perhaps I could swap him for Theo; he’s still easing his way back after injury.

  102. els
    the feeling is mutal.

  103. Bill Djourou will not always be injured he would have been that man. It’s another difficult decision do you sign that player to then have 4 great defenders next season (hopefully).

  104. Bill

    i think a new defensive coach is what we needed. if manu can play fletcher and carrick in defence .and barca can win cl with Carles Puyol Yaya Touré ,Gerard Piqué and Sylvinho as the back four , then we have more than enough players there.

  105. It might do Wilshere some good to be on loan. You get actual match experience in practice. Arsenal does need another striker especially with Van Persie out.
    The best line of attack is the straight line. This forces the “D’ to react to what you are doing. This creates mis matches Ala goals. Good insight.
    Size is good but it depends on what you can do with it. Peter Crouch has size but he is a waste. I would rather have Rooney and Shaun Wright Phillips and Walcott.
    These cats know how to attack the net.
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  106. Hopefully song wont play the whole match if at all. hes put a lot of minutes in already and I dont think he enjoyed his CB role mush last time.

    However if he is there for midfield steel then 45 mis could be interesting to see how he leads the play for the youngsters. His creative play has been improving a lot and so his influence on the youngsters will give him great confidence if successful.

  107. thank you els @2:05 i was scanning to see if someone jumped all over that crap!!

  108. Harry R is a ****

    When half our team is injured and still Wilshire cant get a game you wonder what he will learn in the next 6 months kicking his heels on the bench.A 6 month loan to a footballing team like WBA would do him the world of good.

  109. Harry R is a ****

    els 2.20

    four great defenders!!!! iS THAT WHAY WE HAVE CONCEDED MORE GOALS THIS SEASON THAN LAST?

  110. I think wenger wants to play his wilshire cards as close to the chest as possible… i think he’s keeping Walcott in mind in terms of how to blood JW to keep Capello/english FA at bay

  111. Harry Redknapp’s C*nt,

    Wilshere will be playing tomorrow in the Champions League. He also played six days ago in the Quarter Final of the League Cup. He is 17 years old. What had you accomplished at 17? Are you yet 17?

  112. els,

    The difference was that those players who left on a free were not injury-prone and had proved they could actually play for a whole season (or thereabouts)

  113. The Arsenal and Holland legend Dennis Bergkamp has turned down an offer from Arsene Wenger to return to Arsenal.

    Bergkamp is currently working at Ajax training the youth teams, but he says he is not looking for the high pressure work that he would be expected to do as head coach at the Emirates.

    “They want me to come but to be a coach 24 hours a day is not what I really want to do.”

    “As a head coach you come home and you watch videos, go to other games, prepare for training. This is not what I see myself doing.”

  114. He’ll come round, Santino. The force is strong in that one.

  115. Els: I agree with Harry R. If we have that many “great” defensive players why are we giving up so many goals, In the last 9 games against Chelsea, MU, LP and City we have conceded 23 goals, more then 2.5 goals/game. Our record in those games 0 – 7 – 2. We can not win with that type of defense. ManU won 3 titles after their purchase of Van der Saar and Vidic. They became the best defensive team in the league. 1 or 2 players can make a huge difference.

    We have so many great attacking players who seem to loose defensive focus. Barca for all their attacking prowess was able to shut down Chelsea home and away and ManU last season in the CL. Yes, we have an attacking philosophy at Arsenal but we seem to lack discipline to do the basic work of tight, rigorous, boring man-to-man defending when that becomes the necessary way to win. This has cost us more than any other thing. Every great club has this ethic and we need to somehow gain the ability to keep clean sheets when needed. Our CL finals team went ten matches without conceding-that makes champions.

    We have sensational players all over the pitch but we will never be able to out score the defensive mistakes we continually seem to make in the “big” games. We are so close to being a great team. All we need 1 or 2 more diffence making players on the defensive side of the ball and some improvement in our defensive mentallity.
    .

  116. Are there any 2nd division or bottom of the table Spainish teams that Wilshere could get regular PT for?
    That might keep him in the form we want.

  117. i hope he come back as the flying dutchman.

  118. BillikenGooner

    why bootom half team ? you dont like him in real or barca shirt ?

  119. lol
    They wouldn’t give him back.

  120. Harry R @2.35 yes that’s right Gallas, Vermaelen, Djourou and a fourth signing is what I was talking about, context mate context.

    Also we have conceded more but that is off set because we have scored 2x as many. It’s the tactic not the personnel. I still think we’ll tighten up as the season goes on, and the tactic betters.

  121. consols,

    I object to players who are fit and able leaving on a free, especially when they could have been sold for a fee if necessary.

    I think the club has shown enough patience with players like Tom who cost us millions just to sit on the treatment table. He’s been injured ever since we bought him. This isn’t just a few weeks but 3.5 years and guess what, he’s injured again! If he can prove his fitness then no problem. Tom is world-class if fit but he is always out.

    Its not as simple as spend money or not, its how you spend it. We cannot afford to keep spending millions on injury-prone players and then moan that we too many injuries or not enough money to buy players who will actually be able to play. We simply do not have the money.

    As much as I feel sorry for him, what has Eduardo done to deserve a new 5yr deal? RvP is injured and in the short time Eddy has played upfront on his own he has looked totally lost until he got injured! How much do you think a 5yr deal is worth – more than we can afford to pay someone who cannot stay fit and cannot be a back up to our main striker who is out for the season?

    If Eddy could prove his fitness and start banging them in regularly then no problem but he has yet to prove prove either.

  122. zap,

    Does that mean he will actually move off his line when a ball is crossed into our box.

  123. Alex Ice Cream,

    As much as I do agree with your comments on how eddie still has to prove himself, I think it’s just a bit harsh to claim he hasn’t deserved a 5 year deal mate, I think he has a bright future with us.

    And I know he’s 26, but how old is Drogba? It’s just a case of keeping fit and you can stay world class until 31, 32 etc (for strikers anyway, as you go backward in terms of position, the retiring age decreases.)

    Cant wait to see Manure lose tonight, without any defenders!

  124. AIC

    Let’s hope so! I think Walcott’s acceleration is like a panther-no actually inbetween a panther and a jaguar

  125. More on the Jaguar side
    sorry

  126. Good lad Almunia!

    Well said also Zap.

  127. zap,

    He still has 2 years left on his current deal. He will have ample opportunities to play this year – assuming he can stay fit. If he does and scores goals then fine.

    Look at the stats, how many Prem and CL goals had Eddy scored in now his 3rd season? I know his injury was horrible but he may never be the same player.

    I think it is a minimum requirement that players are able to play and then up to the requisite standard. Awarding players who have not passed these tests new contracts is a huge risk.

  128. For the amount of money he has cost us Theo should be faster than both.

  129. Then how did he do this. Once he gets back to full fitness, you will see him bang them in mate

  130. There is a whining undercurrent to the comments today.

  131. No argument to that Zap. Fantastic.

    Nothing UNDERcurrent about it frank. It’s OVER the top and i’m sick of feeling like you go on a Arsenal board and end up having to stick up for the team rather than revel in it’s beauty.

    It’s not support.

  132. OK, OK…there are a bunch of fucking whinging bastards on the blog today as usual.

    Does this not put the oh so boring tall/short debate to bed?

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-size-does-not-matter-in-football

    David Villa

  133. AIC I think we all understand your point but you’re railing aginst reality. It would be really nice if you could run a team like a corporation…we could put all the players on time-cards so if they get injured then we don’t have to pay them…the reality is pay-for-play is an insult to most players and we’d lose them.

    As far as the money argument…Wenger is one of, if not the most astute deal-makers out there. Overall, his business has been far better than most. He’s also got tons more information. We don’t know how Eddu looks in practice and we need to temper our impatience here as well. He’s had two games in the center…give him a minute to adjust.

    Everyone is very tense because our injury situation is so extreme – it inspires radical and comprehensive actions, but that really isn’t the way to respond.

    Players get injured. That’s life. Should we never buy players that have been hurt? Should we get rid of any players as soon as they are injured? Of course not.

  134. Something tells me Frank wants to sign David Villa

  135. Some fans sound just spoilt & ignorent.

    Give them a bone, and they’ll complain they’ve got no teeth.
    Give them a straw, & they’ll complain its the wrong colour.

    Give them a player who’s made a better recovery from his injuries then when compared to other, even more expensive players at rival clubs who have similar injuries, and they’ll still call for the manager’s head.

    Arsh-holes.

  136. (…and yes there is Frank…)

  137. bit of propaganda there Frank..

    occupational hazard YW.

  138. thanks for the post YW. Ian Mcgarry also said that he couldnt see where the goals were going to come from at Arsenal, how many this year Ian?. Listen there are times when size does make a difference and times when it doesnt, yea you got it, it makes a difference when we lose, there are times when wengers youth policy works and times when it dont, guess right agin, yea it dont when we lose. And the only time the journos win is when we loose, so therfor they dont win that much, now do they. Srtill the best in the prem but i would say that cause im a supporter

  139. If we are so fascinated by people’s size instead of announcing the total number of tickets sold for the game on matchdays, they should announce the total length and weight of support in the stadium.

    So…

    ‘Today’s attendance was 60 miles and 512, 621 stones and 2 ounces. The height of todays team is 64 feet weighing in at a compact 114 stones and 6 ounces’.

  140. daid villa and frank ?? finally getting some ambition in his life unlike his uncle.

  141. Toot tooooooooot

    Here comes the cavalry!!!

  142. axis,

    I am not saying that. I am just saying that is a risk giving long-terms deals to players who have highly questionable fitness records. This is especially so given the current economic situation.

  143. Wilshere will do-a-ramsey tonight and prove why he is knocking the first-team.

    As per Cesc, well he wants Arsene to buy a tall striker. No one better than Cole/Balotelli. We must grab them.

    http://11gunners.com/news/ruud-defour-krikic-cesc-cole-freddie/2893/

  144. You think that AW is unaware of the economic situation, AIC?

  145. I know, but it’s a risk giving contracts to players period…risk is the name of the game. You will not be able to keep players on a pay for play basis…someone else will sign them – someone will take the risk.

  146. I know i’m going to be so unpopular here.

    And I say this in the knowledge that it won’t and probably shouldn’t happen.

    But…

    James Beattie looking for a move, he’s a poacher who can play with his back to goal, and strong.

    He can be a real handful if he had our team behind him. Also the fact that he’s 31 would help, get him on a year’s contract for cheap and low wages. Just to tie us over until RvP is through his naughty patch with vela, eduardo, Theo, Wilshire and Bendtner all coming good.

    I know i’m contradicting some things iv’e said today, but I do like him and he knows the oponents, league and won’t be cup tied.

    Still Villa or Dzeko would be better obviously.

  147. Im not that worried about our current injuries as i think we have good enough cover

  148. keep all the players ,keep the family together.

  149. Frank,

    Of course he is aware. I just feel that these player have something to prove fitness-wise and until they do its a gamble to give then new deals.

  150. els man, that’s like a dropping a blog grenade…

  151. els,

    Only 1 problem with Beattie: He’s sh1t.

  152. I strongly suspect that Tomas Rosicky has been given a longer contract because AW and his team have worked with him intensively as with the other players and know exactly how fit he is. After one career threatening injury he is now picking up injuries that every player in every league in the world is picking up…quite normal. I am very glad we are keeping him.

  153. els
    thats not a bad idea . i hope all the “arsenal quality bullshitters” wont shit all over you.

  154. Lol.

    Beattie?

    Has he got the kind of gr*t that some require in their players if he can’t even beat an old man up properly?

  155. What exactly is an ‘Arsenal quality bullshitter’?

  156. I dont think we need a new striker either, anyway thats the job of someone else. Its easy to look back and say what we should have done ffs we are third in the prem, chelsea continue to prove that they cannot be consistant, man u are in all sorts of probs with their injurie crisis. If wenger buys he will have to sell, not for the money but to not have the same situation as at barca, players sitting around doing nothing. No one had a clue that walcott would get taken out at brum, no one knew rvp would get hacked in an wc friendly,. let management manage, players play, supporters support. You can still have a moan if we lose, but to hear some basicaly sying that they could do better than wenger, jees

  157. Frank,

    Our track record in knowing exactly how fit players are is very poor. We though Tom could play v Stoke and look what happened.

    Every year our aspiration are hindered or utterly ruined by injuries and its about time something was done about it.

    Instead we are giving new contract to crocks or players who have yet to prove that they can last even 1 season in the Prem.

    Bearing in mind the huge injury problems we have suffered over the last 5 years, its a questionable policy.

  158. haha that’s the kind of response I expected and probably deserved.

    Telling you guys you heard it here first.

    Finsburyparker haha.

  159. im an Arsenal quality bullshitter Frank

  160. Arsenal quality bullshitter is someone who says ? good player but is he arsenal quality?

  161. Arsenal quality bullshitter is someone who says (player name here) ? good player but is he arsenal quality?

  162. Boomer can you imagine if we hadn’t had this many injuries this year with our squad, especially in midfield we really would have another problem on our hands of keeping that many players happy with bit part roles. Granted a more welcome problem.

    Tell you what, if that was the case I wonder how many players would have wanted to leave this impending window?

  163. els,

    If we didn’t have so many injuries then we could be top of the table by now. If we didn’t have so many injuries in 2008 we would have probably won the league. If we didn’t have half the team out every year since 2005 I bet we would have done far better than we have.

    At least part of the solution to this is to get rid of the crocks or at least wait until they prove their fitness before singing them up on expensive new contracts.

  164. AIC that would have it’s problems though.

    Treating players correctly sends a message out to other potential signings and players within the club.

  165. our players are either injury prone or our fitness team and medical staff are shit. Or we should play like chelsea .

  166. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    F*ck me, AIC. Why are you worrying about every single one of our players contracts? Who the f*ck do you think you are Ivan Gazidis? Why do you whine and whine and whine over something you have absolutely zero control over? Get a grip. Focus some of your anger towards Liam Ridgewell or something you sad angry bastard. Don’t worry about shit you can’t control you just end up sounding like some burnt out conspiracy nut.

  167. You need to look at the track record in terms of injuries to players across all teams in every top division in Europe. We are not at all unusual.

  168. “ur players are either injury prone or our fitness team and medical staff are shit. Or we should play like chelsea ”

    I blame all the the above for that tackle on Eduardo.

    By the way, Martin Taylor is not Arsenal quality.

  169. Correctly=giving new deals to players who can’t play?

    That’s a strange definition.

    Players are paid to play. Obviously no player is injury-proof but being able to play regularly is a necessity, especially for the amount of money they are paid.

  170. Frank,

    Even AW said we get more injuries than ManU and Chelsea and serious ones at that.

  171. If you do not see that the Arsenal method and style and the technical level of the players is of a high quality, then you have a problem, santino. I cannot help you I am afraid. I can only suggest you look elsewhere for your football kicks.

  172. AIC…even your beloved Big Signing clubs like Chel$ki and Liverpool…etc., sign crocked players. Aquillani and that other Russian player were signed a year ago (injured) and they didn’t even play yet, and they paid over the odds for them of course.

    It is almost guaranteed when a player is sidelined for this long (Rosicky & Eduardo) they will suffer little injuries when they come back.

    What’s the point then of waiting all this long for Rosicky or Eduardo to come back from injury? With your philosophy we should have sold them once they got injured. Maybe we should have sold Eduardo at the hospital while his leg was still broken. I bet that would make you happy.

  173. nasri,

    Why does it bother me? It does as we are ruined every year by injury, that’s why.

  174. He said it at a particular point in time, AIC. It is true that at any particular point in time there will be a differential between teams in terms of injuries. When he said it we were top of that league but we are not always. The Mancs for instance have a real problem with injuries to their defenders at the moment. Far more than we have.

  175. The real problem of course, AIC, is that whenever we suffer in adversity you have a tendency to turn on the club, or at least AW and the players.

  176. I changed my mind AIC…I’ve decided I like your logic. Why stop at injuries though?

    We could have easily have won the Prem every year for the last 3 years if it weren’t for players who miss when they take shots. We must get rid of all these players who miss when they take shots or at the least make them prove that they can go a year without missing before we sign them to long-term contracts.

    In fact…if our players could fly we would have easily won the prem…no contracts for players who can’t fly…

  177. How can anyone say that Eduardo has to PROVE himself? what a ridiculous comment to make! The guy has been injured on and off. Look at the video Zap posted, that was after his long term injury! give the man a chance to get over the niggles and get some decent playing time and watch him.

    GEEZ WHIZ!!!

  178. Frank
    Are you saying “Arsenal method and style and the technical level of the players is of a high quality” is causing all the injuries?????

  179. g4E,

    I am surprised you didn’t say that I would not have waited for Eddy to reach the hospital and that I I would have sold him while he was lying on the turf. What bollox!

    The point of waiting is to prove that the players can do what they are paid to do: play. If they can’t then they should be shipped out or at least not given new deals.

    Eddy still has 2 years left I think.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

  180. FAB HAS SPOKEN loud and clear:Chelsea are ordinary give me a world class shooter and we will show it. WHO it should be is secondary,to the imperative that it SHOULD BE a real striker and NOW!.The mood of the team is evident the most important players Fab,ARSH,likely other seniors,ARE FED UP! wasting their genius and effort with Arsenal irrational incomprehensible frugality.Our place as fans is not to be the shopkeepers of this club, but to say it as it is. EITHER Arsenal are really one step before bankrupcy and hide it,OR ARSENE is the stubborn unreasonable mad scientist, since few millions are NOW the difference between potential winning it all,( yes potential but a REAL potential) OR loosing not just EVERY competition but with it all key members of this team!.

  181. Axis,

    No contracts for players who can’t fly?

    Are you saying that Bergkamp should have been sold?

  182. It is down to the club to figure out with we have so many injuries, or at least thats what Wenger said they are trying to do.

    RVP, Walcott, Eduardo injured by tackles etc – how do you suggest the players help avoid injuries like this AIC?

  183. Paul N,

    Before the injury, I agree with you. Now, who knows?

  184. we would have won the title if none of our players got injured. COME ON THATS A SPUD EXCUSE

  185. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Injuries happen every year to players all over the game but you choose to single our players and management out because it goes along with your anti-foreigner/anti-AW agenda. You’re too transparent, AIC.

  186. No one was saying we need a Drogba type player when RVP was fit. We have overpassed the ball and took to much time on it after the injury to RVP, it has taken time to get our balance back. Look at the goals on Sat, the players pulled the trigger very quick and thats all this team needs. You also cannot look at the City game as it was the first team against mostly youth. Another thing is our crosses are terrible on a whole so we dont really get a chance to see how efferctive we can be. Wenger says and I agree that we were better at set peices when RVP took them, so with quality balls you will get better opportunities.

  187. Nasri,

    Of all of those who display a distinct lack of intelligence on this blog you still manage to stand out for your sheer stupidity.

  188. footballing philosohies in england are from the dark ages.

    They are still obsessed with the big tough tackling centre half\Midfielder, the big lumbering striker and the 7ft tall keeper.

    That we’ve had examples that contradict those philosophies from all over the world is lost on them.

    So the so called experts keep following these dated ideas – the media follow the experts and the fans view is shaped by the media.

  189. The video was post the long term injury AIC, thats what I am telling you. Do you think any old striker could make that shot, for that metter, tell who you ever saw score a goal in that manner? the guy is class. Give him time man!!!

  190. Let’s see what happens at Anfield on Sunday.

    But whatever happens, the actual ”big” matches are Burnley away, Villa away, Wigan away etc…

  191. Are you a bit simple, santino?

  192. I agree Paul N.

    Ice Cream, give him time my friend

  193. Santino has nothing to say but silly little wind ups. No one is forced to support Arsenal as far as I can see it, so if you are tired of whats going on, bounce!

  194. sick of this shit had it all day from Santino, I’m out.

    Looking forward to tomorrow night. 3-0 , would love to see sunu on the scoresheet and Eastmond in the centre of the pitch.

  195. Whatever the striker decision, Arsenal requires a tall, strong, resilient, player who has the physical strength to give as much as he takes.

    Many years ago I remember a sports columnist who placed a question to his readers. What would you prefer, a good little man or a good big man? In addition, I am sure you all can remember how awesome it was to have a large good player coming down the field in your direction. Some players remember a warm trickle down their legs.

  196. Paul,

    He has time. He still has (had) a contract. I was suggesting that we sell him but wait and see what he does this season before giving him a contract extension. Ditto Rosicky.

    Theo, RvP yes they got injured by tackles but look at their track record. Theo has barely played in a year. Every player gets tackled but our players seems to have no ability to resist tackles or end up injured in a myriad of other ways.

    Theo has a dodgy shoulder buit was unlucky with the Ridgewell tackle.

    All I am suggesting is that getting rid of some players who cannot stay fit could help our chronic yearly battles with injuries that keep derailing our seasons.

  197. Alex: Brittle is the word for that lot!

  198. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Interesting, AIC. To my mind you’re nothing more than a eloquent troll. You try and try and try but your reputation is already gone. Why do you continue to post your rubbish here only after losses? I think this is the first time you’ve shown up when it’s been a good weekend for Arsenal. And you still can’t help but whine. You think you are this bastion of football knowledge, when really in reality you are just a hack worshipping no nothing.

  199. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Know nothing

  200. “let management manage, players play, supporters support.”

    If only!

    AIC change the record or STFU you are boring.

  201. I agree with NJNasri and Passenal

  202. AIC, what does track record have to do with someone plowing into you?

    RVP hasnt been injured much latelyy and Walcott was injured came back and an idiot tried to kill the lad, what should he do? How do you overcome that.

    Clichy was on with a bad track record also, to have a long spell uninjured.

    Your stance is incorrect.

    Also have you ever attributed our injuries to the fact that teams play us by fouling us constantly and coming in hard becuase they know we “dont like it”.

    Come on man!

  203. Why is it in life that whenever someone offers an alternate point of view there are some who resort to slander. Can we not respect people who offer different opinions without the use of fowl language.

  204. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I think eloquent was the wrong word. Faux eloquence is more like it.

  205. Two Owls,

    Agreed but I think you take your name too literally re fowl language!

  206. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You should know all about that, Two Owls. Arsene Wenger is one big alternate point of view and look at the crap he gets from the English AIC types at Le Grove daily. All because we won’t buy a 6 foot 8 defensive mid. Funny isn’t it. If Arsene doesn’t try to win the English way he gets attacked.

  207. NJN, interesting point there!

  208. give AIC a break guys!

  209. Wolfsburg 4-0 Man U

    that would cheer me up

  210. all these low life people confuse their ambition in life with the club they support. if you want a mediocre club to match your mediocre life go and support spuds if you are not doing it already . infiltrating cunts leave our club alone .

  211. An injury-free(ish) season would cheer me up!

  212. Nasri,

    You make the bloggers on Le Grove sound intelligent. That’s some achievement, but then again excelling in ineptitude is your very own special talent. Well done.

  213. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Hah. You know those are your boys. Don’t try and distance yourself from them. You guys share the exact same views.

  214. AIC…why are you still here? Arsenal won their last game…we should not see you again until the next little stumble we have, Hopefully a long long time from now.

    Back to idle mode AIC.

  215. Big Phil injured!

  216. “…we will see some players we have never seen at that level and that is as well for me a good opportunity to judge how good these players are.”

    Wow. Imagine if you were Craig Eastmond or Kerrea Gilbert, Luke Ayling or Kyle Bartley and you hear that. I’m so pleased for them all, tomorrow’s game is going to be a special occasion for all concerned. If you weren’t hyped enough as a player already, having Wenger remind you that here’s your chance to show you can do it at the top level – might just push you over the edge.

    I’m expecting a big performance from the young guns tomorrow – could be a classic.

  217. It would be interesting to add up the amount of money Arsenal is paying to players who have been injured this season. Never mind the past two years. I am sure we could afford to have Godzilla sign a contract and write in his own wages.

  218. What the f*ck is wrong with our whiny supporters? “Oh noes, our players are injured — we should fire them instantly and buy new players!!”…that’s just not how it works, AIC, 2Owls and company.

  219. Actually calling people like AIC and 2Owls supporters is an insult to a lot of people that REALLY support Arsenal since AIC, 2Owls, RedTrev etc. aren’t really doing any supporting. Instead they are just complaining. We could be top of the table and they would still find something to complain about.

  220. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Funny stuff, Two Owls. Not. I see you still haven’t responded to my 5:34 comment that was a reply to your comment. Why is that? It seems you can dish it out but once someone gives you a taste of your own medicine you drop the subject.

  221. NJN, go not waste your time on those weak in their support. Ignore them and let them drift back into their miserable little lives.

  222. *do not waste

  223. Yep, Passenal.

    There’s no way I’m going to miss this one. I’ve heard really good things about Afobe, Aneke and Özyakup and tonight will be a rare opportunity to see them play live.

    I’m sure it’ll be a great night for them, even if we get walloped – which is a possibility as there will be surely be a few 20-somethings lurking in that Fulham team.

  224. Why is everyone so hostile to people offering a different opinion. If everyone were to agree with everyone else commenting on blogs would be quite boring.

  225. I’m looking forward to seeing the even younger gunners as well OneOfUs, whatever happens.

  226. Yup, OneOfUs, never seen Ozyakup and he’s supposed to be the nuts. As is Luke Freeman who should get a game, and Afobe as you mention too.

  227. I was surprised that Sanchez Watt did not travel and Sunu did. After seeing Watt in the 1st team squad before.

  228. i think Frank should just do what he did yesterday… list all of the other stars in the world and the other big spending clubs dealing with injuries

    that was a great way of revealing the weaknesses in their arguments!

  229. So was I Dups. Something to do with Herschel Arrancha Sanchez having been awarded his new contract already perhaps, and with Sunu still having something to prove?

  230. Come on kids!

  231. Good point LA, thanks.

  232. arsenal f.c, not I come from qatar and think I’ll say what I want to real fans…

    why should we voice an opinion, we only pay for our tickets unlike most of the foreign non going arsenal fans on here!!

    who also have the cheek to say were not real fans..

    because we don’t always accept 3-0 defeats at home to our rivals and get upset about it.

    of course, I have some spares for nasir who has probably never been. Don’t listen to people like that AIC, he don’t know what he’s talking about!!

  233. To compare this Manure lineup to AFC’s possible line up tommorow could be fun. By value, and by experience.

    Man Utd: Kuszczak, Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Evra, Gibson, Scholes, Nani, Welbeck, Anderson, Owen.
    Subs: Foster, Valencia, Obertan, Eikrem, James, Gill, Stewart.

    Why is there a breed of fan that likes to abuse our squad players like Eboue, do Manure fans abuse Scholes or the inexpensive Anderson or Nani?
    Why is there a breed of fan that likes to abuse Rosicky for being injury prone, but you never hear Manure fans abuse Hargreaves?
    Why is there a breed of fan that thinks Theo hasn’t got any skill, when it’s taken the likes of Lennon and SWP years and years to get to the level that Walcott has already shown?

  234. How impressive are these guys, eh?

  235. Anyone got a clue what John was on about?

  236. oh just shut up, john, you fake fan.

  237. ok i’ll shut up notlager!!

    so you read that i’m a fake fan from all of that?

    fcukoffspud read it again!!!

  238. Well said Finsbury.

    Incredible isn’t it, OneOfUs.

    That was never a foul by Aneke btw.

  239. Ricardo Villalobos – Enfants, is a great soundtrack for watching our Reserves play btw. Just thought I’d share that.

  240. Dupsffokcuf

    Have you not read Johns book:

    “The Football (& the very frustrated) Eunuch”

  241. LimparAssist,

    our reserves team is rested for tomorrow so who’s playing against Fulham?

  242. Arshavin again in the central role against Pool.

    And the little technical players running around him.

    Bip-Bip…Bip-Bip….

  243. John Shea in goal, Ignasi Miquel in defence, along with someone with an Eastern European sounding name who looks a bit like Nic B, Daniel Boateng, Emmanuel Frimpong, Luke Freeman, Aneke, Sanchez Watt, Rorie Deacon, Henderson and some others who I don’t recognise including an amazing little right back.

    I will report back with anymore confirmed sightings.

    They’re all absolutely glorious on the ball.

  244. sorry, an amazing little leftback. The right back is the one that looks like Nic B.

  245. “AIC change the record or STFU you are boring.”

    Haha. Wow, so much aggression Passenal. That’s one of the few times I’ve seen you curse. And rightly so.

  246. Robson damns our teenagers with faint praise as usual.

    Freeman and Aneke look absolutely brutal.

  247. I love the sound of a few choice Arsenal fans shouting RED ARMY occasionally, and YOU WHAT? YOU WHAT? YOU WHAT? etc. at a few Fulham wrinklies and their dog. There’s something comforting about it that I can’t put my finger on.

  248. cheers Limpar.

  249. Limpar,

    could that ‘someone with an Eastern European sounding name who looks a bit like Nic B’ be Sead Hajrovic, our new Swiss center-back?

  250. That’s the one, notlager.

    This has been great so far. Fulham started with 5 established internationals tonight.

  251. As the more observant of you will have noticed, it will soon be Christmas; and what is Christmas without carols?

    Silent ground, empty ground
    All is calm, scarce a sound
    Men are back home with mother and child
    Atmosphere so tender and mild
    Play in heavenly peace
    Play in heavenly peace

    Silent ground, empty ground
    Club level, can’t be found
    They prefer to watch from afar
    Ten minutes late and they’re still in the bar
    “Let’s all sit in the warm”
    “Let’s all sit in the warm”

    Silent ground, empty ground
    606, calls abound
    “Eduardo has lost his pace”
    “Let’s give up on the title race”
    Loyal supporters since birth!
    Loyal supporters since birth!

  252. What a shining star you are PZ.

  253. Juventus 1-1 Bayern

    great match, juve need a point, bayern need to win, and their goalkeeper just equalized for them!!!!!!!!!

  254. hahaha Pz

    Nice carol, I wish i could blurt that out at all the arsenal ”fans” doors, but i’m afraid it wouldnt really be in keeping with the festive spirit

    not that i celebrate christmas anyway..

  255. Zap dont be a donut

  256. On the first day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    A plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the second day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the third day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the fourth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the fifth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the sixth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the seventh day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Seven S*its a Swimming
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the eighth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Eight Moaners a Moaning
    Seven S*its a Swimming
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the ninth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Nine Loonies typing
    Eight Moaners a Moaning
    Seven S*its a Swimming
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the tenth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Ten Lips a bleating
    Nine Loonies typing
    Eight Moaners a Moaning
    Seven S*its a Swimming
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the eleventh day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    Eleven Prats Piping
    Ten Lips a Bleating
    Nine Loonies typing
    Eight Moaners a Moaning
    Seven S*its a Swimming
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

    On the twelfth day of Christmas
    my true love sent to me:
    12 Doomers Droning
    Eleven Prats Piping
    Ten Lips a Bleating
    Nine Loonies Typing
    Eight Moaners a Moaning
    Seven S*its a Swimming
    Six Greasers a Lying
    Five Trophy Hunters
    Four Crying B*stards
    Three Flatulent Hacks
    Two Furtive Doomers
    and a Plonker in a Pear Tree

  257. its funny how all this Arsenal are midgets crap is still getting column inches. WTF?. At Man U we lost the game to contentious refereeing decisions, a Diaby own goal and a Rooney Dive. At Man Citeh we lost the game to thecounter attack, at Sunderland we where subdued and lost concentration and gave away a cheap goal away, against Chelsea again we lost concentration at crucial times and we failed to capitalise in the final third. Ozed @ 12.43 nailed it right on the head. The only thing big missing in this team is self belief. Pavulychencko sounds like just the kind of underrated under the radar player that Wenger might sign. I think any higher profile signings is pure fantasy. But the squad will cope if no signings are made.

  258. hey will my friend

  259. muppet you are a loser!

    it’s sad, get a bird!!

  260. On the 13th day of christmas my true love gave to me……

    Crabs and i was very itchy

  261. Hamstead Gooner

    Muppet

    GROW UP YOU FOOL. YOU NEED TO GET OUT MORE YOU SADDO

  262. Ron Jeremy is God

    The Arsenal christmas panto this year is Snow White and the 11 Dwarfs. And yes Eboue is Dopey

  263. Excellent creativity Pz and Muppet.

    I just finished watching our even younger gunners. They were so impressive, really unlucky to concede that penalty. Fulham for all their age and experience never looked like scoring any other way.

    Anyone else who was watching, did I miss anything at the end as my system crashed with a couple of minutes left?

  264. I wonder which gift john particularly identified with.

  265. Haha! Good work PZ and Muppet. I was desperate to join in, but I think I’ve taken too long.

    Now rest ye lairy gentlemen,
    Let nothing you dismay
    For Arshavin, our Saviour
    Adorns our field this day
    To save us all from Arsène’s power
    And passes gone astray
    O signings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O signings of comfort and joy

    In Leningrad: St Petersburg,
    This blessed babe was born
    And he created danger
    As a kid on his back lawn
    The broken glass his ma and pa
    Did never take in scorn
    O signings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O signings of comfort and joy

    The squad of Mother Russia
    Soon featured Andrey’s name;
    And like a young George Peppard
    In the A-team he’d find fame;
    But Guus Hiddink was soon to warn
    That a move would boost his game.
    O signings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O signings of comfort and joy

    “Fear not then,” said young Andrey,
    “Let nothing you affright,
    This day is come an envoy
    From a London team in plight.”
    For a fee straight out the bargain bin
    This Russian son took flight.
    O signings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O signings of comfort and joy

    The Gooners at this signing
    Rejoiced much in mind,
    For Wenger heard their bleeting
    And signed the man for whom they pined
    They ran to Highbury straight away
    This Son of God to find.
    O signings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O signings of comfort and joy

    And when they come to Arsenal
    Where our dear Saviour plays,
    They find Him in a strange role,
    Where he can’t join the fray;
    The Peronis that they chug down,
    Do not their woe allay.
    O signings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O signings of comfort and joy

    For the team we sing our praises,
    All you within this place,
    For only love and brotherhood
    Will win this title race;
    No single player or big name star
    Can teamwork e’er replace.
    O sigings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O sigings of comfort and joy

  266. Gunner From Nigeria

    Ole Gunner.

    Are you in Greece already?
    Do enjoy the match tommorrow.

  267. Hey……I see Solly Boy and Mr Whippy are back!

    Frank…what about Hedwiges Maduro and Cesar Sanchez?

    I suggested them yesterday but no takers… Solly Boy you are Spain tell us all……..?

  268. I love it, Big Al. Now we just need an ACLF choir. Songs must be sung!

  269. I’ll give my friend Katie a call. She has a lovely mezzo-soprano voice. The words to Muppet’s carol might not appeal to her. In any case, Muppet’s words are an ill-match with the original tune.

  270. I don’t remember much happening in the last few minutes. We looked a bit tired at the end.

    Of course, the result doesn’t matter; the next wave of young guns is looking seriously good.

  271. @ Kitchen Sink

    It seems its already starting to.

  272. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Looks like we can add Essien to the list of crocked wimps. Chelsea should put him on a pay as you play contract.

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