Arsene Will Spend But Not Irresponsibly

Good morning from a snowy Thames Valley, the world falling apart at the first hint of half a foot of snow.  As of yet, tonight’s game has not been postponed but presumably, if that is to happen, it will be called off to stop visiting supporters taking leave of their senses, sorry, travelling down to the match from the north-west.

Elsewhere, Arsene has declared that he will not be held to ransom in the transfer market:

It’s my responsibility to spend the money in the right way. Why should I splash it out and pay 10 [million pounds] for a player who is worth five? 

It’s normal that you buy the players for the right price.

If [Lionel] Messi is available maybe you would spend the money. But you look at the financial situations of many clubs in England and it is because when the income was one they spend two. There is an abnormality of the market because one or two clubs don’t need to look at the money, they just put the pressure on everybody else.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the sounds of a thousand dreams of a free-spending Arsenal shattering. Or at least that will be the way in which the comments are interpreted.

Yet Wenger is not saying that. He has a budget and he is going to stick to it, the right player will be purchased for £30m if the manager thinks he is worth it and the money is there. That he has not yet done so means a media perception of excess frugality sticks. Like all managers, he has a mixed record when it comes to his high price signings. For every Arshavin, there will be a Jeffers or Reyes where the deal does not work out for whatever reason.

Wenger should not spend simply because it is demanded and thankfully, he has a strength of character – or stubborn streak – that refuses to allow him to be bullied in the manner that Rafa Benitez appears to be. Nor is he held to ransom when trying by overpriced and overrated Argentine midfielders or Bulgarian forwards, no hope of recouping the inital outlay in the future.

We have already seen that with one English forward at Arsenal, now another comes into the media spotlight with Carlton Cole valued at £9m in the back pages. With his injury track record, Cole seems ideal for Arsenal but surely at no more than £5m? The question which seems to be missed in all of this is whether or not the West Ham player will improve the squad in any other way than being fit? Is he better than Bendtner – his nearest match physically? Personally, I think not but it is Wenger whose neck is on the line in such matters, not mine.

If tonight’s match goes ahead, enjoy it wherever you are watching, if not the bonus is that the players will be rested ahead of Everton’s visit to The Emirates this weekend and get some more time to master the midfield tactics in Alex Song’s absence.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 6, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 159 Comments.

  1. A snowy first!

  2. Sensibility in spending is the way to survive in todays enviornment. Stick to it Arsene!

  3. I don’t think Carlton Cole would be a good buy for us!……

    I don’t see him fitting in, and I have based that on no other reason than my own personel feelings!!!

  4. The Saffas have a lead of over 400 at lunch, I’ve struggled into work only to find that I am one of the few to have bothered, the heating’s kaput and I’m watching the snow-drift build ominously outside my window. Soon I will be snowed inside of an empty office. There’s very little hope for me now.

    The only possible respite will be a triumphant display of Wengerball tonight, dispatching rudderless Bolton back to the frozen wasteland from whence they slid. Please, please don’t call it off.

    After all, “The happy don’t know whether it’s winter or summer”.

  5. I actually think CC would be great for us. I used to think he was a bit of a daonkey and, to be fair, he was. This season though he seems to have sorted out his attitude problems of the past and is turning into one of those really annoying, big strikers that defenders hate.

    I can’t see us getting Dzeko although he would be perfect, i havent seen enough of Gignac so pass judgement and without any other real possibilities, i would be happy to take Cole as a target man (personally think he’s better than Bendt at the mo).

    We’ll see what Le Boss thinks – i’m sure it’ll be interesting whatever happens…

  6. If tonight’s game is to be postponed, when are we likely to know???

  7. they were saying that we’d hear by lunchtime… watch this space

  8. Whatever happened to roofs over stadiums lol Its a business FFS

  9. Want the game now, so that we don’t have 2 in hand, but it would be better long term. Cesc and song should be available for more games.

  10. it’s the roads and journey to the match that is the danger piresaholic.

  11. roofs can be great if everyone is singing. but if people are tutting ,booing and planning to get an early tube it will echo around our mighty ground.

    if we don’t play tonight we’ll thrash them another day.

  12. The paper talk about who wenger will sign will be non stop, but I can’t help but like this latest one.

    Lacina Traore don’t know much about him but there are a couple of decent vids on you tube.

    6ft 8″ ivorian. Anybody know much about him?

  13. getting to the game should be Ok, getting home is going to be the real problem. surely if they’re going to call it off they need to decide now, otherwise all the Bolton mugs will have started thier journey??

  14. I’m intrigued at this notion of a “target man”. It’s almost like being a tall lanky fella is a bankable attribute for being a forward or a defender. Heck, it’s almost like it’s a prerequisite for being a footballer.

    “Target man” for me has that connotation of someone stuck up front because we can’t play football and we need to hoof route one balls to him to (wait for this) “Hhold up the ball”. Such dross of cliches.

    Whatever happened to playing football.

    And George – for the record, Bendtner is a much better player all round, especially his link up play, than Carlton Cole is. If bullying was a footballing attribute, I’m sure Bendtner would be able to hone his bullying skills. The entire football loving nation of Denmark wouldn’t be wrong in suggesting that our Bendtner was the best player in Denmark last year. Give the boy some credit and stop succumbing to the media hype that a tall lanky fella who can bully defenses is actually a good footballer.

    If Bendtner were English, he’d be the first name on Capello’s team sheet alongside Wayne Rooney.

  15. If Adebayor is worth £25m after one good season then C.Cole is worth £9m.Anyone who was at Upton Park earlier on in the season will know he virtually played us on his own and gave Gallas and TV a tough old game.

  16. From what I remember of Cole in that game was that he fell over like a dying swan when he felt the presence of Song in his back.
    If I remember right WH created nothing and only manage to score after two errors from the ref in giving a freekick when the WH player made the foul and a penalty for a dive from Cole.

  17. Well if he would dive for us the press would be off our back in that case 😉

  18. Well said Walter

  19. given that cover for injuries is the primary motivation to look for a striker, it just doesnt seem prudent to invest in someone whose not only had injury issues the past couple of seasons, but who is currently injured and certainly out of top form.

    hoping the match gets in.. been looking forward to it, I love the mid-week fixtures, a fantastic break before the weekend

    how bad is it over there??? does it not snow a lot?? why is 6″ such a big deal?? hahah silly brits… jk jk

  20. Great analysis Darius, obnoxious cliches that are even more infuriating for a team that plays such unique and eloquent football.

    On FSC they have this show called fox football fone in.. and some arsenal “supporter” calls and says “what is wenger gonna do to solve the goal scoring problem” HELLO?!?!?!?!? we lead the prem in goals and are set to be the first team to crack 100. I was really quite infuriated. its like people dont have the ability to look past what is said in the media. goal scoring problem give me a break…wake up you doubters!!

  21. Darius, to me a target man dosen’t necessarily need to have height and a large frame. He is just a player with the ability to attract or receive the ball in an advanced area of the pitch, whilst under pressure from defence. Also I think that this is not only used in a hit and hope style of play.

    I think people use these handles, unthinking and it begins to take on a different meaning. I personally would say that Henry became our target man towards the end. Similarly RvP is now in my definition.

    However the use of it in recent Arsenal transfer speculation suggests we need the monster you describe. A “Drogba” is mentioned time and time again, begrudgingly I think we all know he has more than that technique to his game.

    I personally would like a player that can play competently in our fast flowing football, but his main area of pitch be central in the box. Therefore somebody strong with presence and an eye for goal. That can take the knocks that come with prem football. Wether this is a tall player or not makes no difference to me, or Wenger I imagine. This is not a player we seem to have, I have no doubt Bendtner could do the job with time in the role. And the fact that RvP has the best touch in the EPL and all round play makes it a waste to play him in a small area of pitch, so he is best utilised all over the final third.

    If Wenger is suggesting an altenative style striker then we could do with a player to make space and receive the ball in the box. Who this is I don’t know.

    For the record, I think that wenger will know who could and couldn’t do the job. If it’s Cole then it’s cole and no doubt we will come to be impressed by him.

  22. “Target man”, I suppose suggests a big fella who can link or hold up play when required, lead the line and offer an alternative to the silky fluent stuff.

    Whilst I wouldn’t rate Carlton any better than Bendy, being the best player in Denmark isn’t too much of an accolade either. He may be keen & he has got the odd important goal for us but let’s take a step back for a moment here.

    If he didn’t wear our shirt already would we be happy if he was the only signing Wenger made this window? Think not eh. Don’t get me wrong, I like the lad but will he ever have a first touch, under pressure that’s worth a shit? His targeting is a tad wayward as well.

    Not saying he’s not a decent back up forward but to concider him any better is stretching it a bit. With time, who knows but as it stands he’s about as effective as Heskey is for England, with perhaps a bit more skill. Looked good when played alongside Eduardo in the same way as Heskey & Owen or Rooney.

    No point going for similar back up, when what we need is a first team finisher.

  23. well said everred

  24. their are only a few names that warrent £25-30mill price tag in my book andwe have one Van-persie theothers…Villa, Higuan, Benzema! Now if anyof those names became avaliable i would get excited!

  25. what we need is a first team finisher.
    Says who?
    Eduardo and Arshavin are superb, top drawer first team finishers.
    All of our midfield can score and TV is better than 90% of everyone elses centre forwards.
    Big Nik will be back soon, Theo will gradually find form as he returns to fitness. We are well stocked even without RVP.
    If Arsene disagrees with me fair enough but only his opinion matters.

  26. My team for tonight…

    – – – – – – – Almunia

    Sagna – Gallas – TV – Traore

    – – – – Denilson – Nasri – – –

    Diaby – – – – Rosicky – – – – AA

    – – – – – – – – Eddie

    Realistically I think Eboue may take Diaby’s place and diaby move in for thomas, but I don’t know.

    I think it would make sense to play 2 midfielders behind covering, and 1 in an advanced position.

  27. @Ever red, you say in part:

    “Whilst I wouldn’t rate Carlton any better than Bendy…”

    And that right there is my case. I’m sure there’s other strikers better than Bendy, but to suggest that Cole is better than Bendy is off the mark. I was just stating that I’ll have Bendy over Cole every day of the week. And Bendy is a very good link up player and team player than he gets credit for. The assumption that someone else will score more goals than him is as risky as the assumption that Bendy will score more goals if given the chance.

    However, Bendy has a shorter curve to grasp with to get to what we want, as opposed to a new player perceived as a better finisher, but will take longer to play Wengerball. It’s a calculated risk, but Bendy is a safer bet than a new person coming in and being expected to hit the ground running.

    I’ve said here and on my own blog that I’d rather have a fit and in form Bendtner and Eduardo – as opposed to a new striker who will come in because of pressure to buy. I’m not averse to a new signing, but that person has to add real value to the team and be able to play Wengerball. Wenger himself said that he’s looking for a player who is technically gifted and can play Wengerball, a player who is inteligent and can work well with his team-mates and a player who is committed to the team spirit and visionn of the team.

    If Wenger even thinks that Cole is the guy, well, who are we to argue. I’m just saying I don’t think so.

    @ELS – interesting points you have there.

    When thinking of Henry and Van Persie, I would have used the word talisman to describe their leadership roles in the team as opposed to target man.

  28. I don’t think Carlton Cole would be a good addition for the team.

    As wenger said about RVP, the central striker of our 3 man attack needs to be technically gifted to play in tights areas and either score or give the assist. That’s why he chose Arshavin as the short term replacement but it frustates me to see him there as he can’t show his killer instinct as well as when he is deployed on the left.

    Gignac for me would be a good addition, he is not the tallest but is bulky and could manage te physicality of the EPL. Toulouse plays with a 4-5-1 formation with wingers and midfield players coming in to get the ball from him and to score from deep.
    He is not cup-tied and is young but he would probably cost around 10M which might be costly but much more reasonable than the 9M valuation for Cole given in the press today!

    Anyway Wenger will find the perfect fit either internally (Simpson coming back from the loan at QPR?)or externally for our beloved team to reclaim the title!

    Expecting a good win tonight (if it is played) to put big pressure on Chelsea! Go Gunners!!

  29. Paulie Walnuts

    If AW says he needs to bring someone in then he has someone in mind but if Nik B is fit within the next week or so I don`t think he`ll bother.

    The names put forward are all speculation obviously but I don`t see Arsene taking a gamble on an injury prone (if much improved) striker like Cole unless he`s on the cheap.

    Knowing our manager it`s all a smokescreen & a couple of defenders are on there way in.

  30. Fair do’s Steww, Arsene knows and all that, but would you really bank on Bendy being back and on form soon, let alone young Theo ever being fit for 3 games in a row?

    Could either of these 2 lads make the difference in the next 6 weeks? Well I suppose youv’e only to score 1 more than the opposition to win a game but to expect these 2 lads to do it is unlikely.

    Sure, our midfield is doing it’s bit as is the defence but we are by no means well stoked in RVP’s absence. If Bendy was fit we might just about get by with some heavy luck but to suggest we don’t need reinforcements?

  31. Darius, I agree Henry and RvP are Talismen, it’s a whole other debate as to what that means to each and every supporter. But when any player has the ball and is looking instantly to feed a particular player every time does that not make that man a TARGETman? I think sensible supporters know that we need more than a tall wall to bounce the ball off.

    Basically a team have 11 slots and need to fit in as much skill, while balancing the need to score and keep goal. A targetman to most teams can be be a plus but when all our 11 men can REALLY play it would only be a backwards step to have a one trick donky.

    It seems to be undecided as to whether we need another striker, with Wenger himsef stating the odds at 50/50. I have to say I think he seems to have contradicted himself, with one story suggesting he will probably not sign if bendy is back, and later mentions that he will not sign to the detriment of the fantastic youth that we have. Would the signing of a striker in the event of Bendys further absence not be a short term bridge. And therefore surely stunt the growth of a Simpson, Vela, Murphy or Sunu.

    The stories are probably tittle tattle but both where reported on our homepage.

    While we are not struggling to score, and if as Wenger suggests a signing would not take a place away from a youth player, then why not get another slightly different option upfront. Who knows what could happen in the future , and if we can balance the squad, ego’s and bank balance then lets try and unearth another gem. Or indeed spend that 30m and buy a Gignac (I like the little that I have seen) or Villa.

  32. I would like to see us loan someone just as a back-up to Edaurdo and Bendtner myself.

    Before he went out Bendy scored some great goals for us the season. He was fantastic when we strung up Everton. He’s got the eye for the runs and a good pass. I feel he’ll do well for us in RVP absence and beyond.

    As for eddy he and Arshavin switch positions quite a lot in games and Eddy’s been looking stronger and stronger.

  33. Thing is the loaned player would have to be somebody pretty special to make the squad, and who the hell could we get.

  34. Everred I think Darius’ point is , despite our talisman being absent, we have scored plenty of goals than most.After all, we are top scorers and even lead in goal difference albeit marginally, If Wenger decides not to buy a striker we wont be badly off though we could benefit from one. Personally i’d rather he buys a cb.

  35. Can anyone say which players mentioned in the media are signed by AFC? 90% are gems unearthed by Wenger who we have never heard of.

    Expecting TV and WG to play the full 38 games and ECL is risking a burn out and Sylvestre doesnt inspire confidence of course when Song comes back in emergencies he can play there, it a shame none of the youngssters have come through at CB

  36. Spend wisely is the key. It sunny here in Socal. It’s was 75 yesterday. It will be 77 today. I lived in snow for many years (40 years). I am 57. I hate driving in it. I used to drive to all over the state of New Mexico broadcasting football, basketball, and all sports. Money and buying players doesn’t always translate into championships. The Gunners need a striker. Wenger knows what he is looking for. The player that will fit into the system. I hope the game will broadcasted here in the states. If not I will follow it on ESPNsoccer net. Spam bobby http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  37. On the Cole topic i’ll just restate what I said on the comments section of the previous article.

    I’m kind of skeptical on whether we should sign him. I don’t think he’s up to our standards to be honest. But I still think he can come in and do a job. Any half decent striker can become prolific with the service our team provides for our strikers. Case in point, A*ebayor that ungrateful twat haha. What do you guys think? I honestly think if he’s fairly priced we should get him. 9mill max?? But with the way english players are priced these days I wouldn’t be surprised if it were more. In any case Arsene is the best judge on the fairness of the pricing. I will trust any decision he makes as we all know he’s the best at estimating value in a player. I have a feeling were not going to get anyone during the transfer window and you know what for the first time in a longtime I could really care less!!!

    Gunner luc – I’m with you about Gignac. I think he’d be the perfect acquisition. But I honestly don’t think that we should buy anyone but rather LOAN someone in with the option to buy. I’ve said time and time again that Huntelaar fulfils the loan option. He wants game for the WC and if you haven’t realized by now games is all we got baby! Arsene has ruled it out though so I can keep dreaming.

    Els- Thats one lethal line up I tell you. I’d only switch Nasri and Diaby’s positions. What do you mean Eboue in for Diaby? You surely mean after the ACN??

    I would love Rosicky to get a full game today. I also hope the weather conditions don’t hinder our play if the game goes through offcourse. And oh yeah how insensitive of me not to think of the logistical issues fans would face getting to and from the stadium. If we smash Bolton I don’t think gooners would mind the snow too much 😉 Its the Bolton fans that i’m worried about.

    Hey NJ you headed to that site today?? HOLLA lol

  38. Hey spam bobby its 2010 mate. Streams is where its at!!

  39. Did someone say Villa??

    Ohh Villlaaaaa (Homer Simpson drooling voice)

  40. Hope did weather dsnt disturb. Lets get d match over wit. We need a CB 1st

  41. for dome inextricabe ,illogical reason i have a sneaky feeling that the striker in question might be none other than RYAN BABEL-why?surplus to reqs with the bin dippers,fast,v.skillfull,great shot-capable of leaeding the line-i know his form has been shot of late *appearences few-but is the type of buy that wenger likes-would work on him-who knows was tipped as next th14 at one stage & linked with ud heavily in past…

  42. Can’t c that happening King Gooner. Doesn’t make sense for liverpool to strengthen us if anything theyd send him to rot at mid table team like sunderland. If someone is pointing an unloaded gun at you would you give him/her the bullet?? Didn’t think so.

  43. It’s clear that a striker would boost us even though we have scored loads this season. Arshavin in the position he has been playing in is just a waste of his talents in my opinion, he works hard but we need him in a freer role as one of the wide frontmen. Eduardo is getting better every game and if Bendtner was fit right now that still means we’ve got just 2 centre forwards in Van Persies absence. We need another… part of me wishes we’d signed Chakmah now in the summer…

    Just need a proven goalscorer, someone who can be quick and direct and hold a central position to put away chances and act as a fulcrum of our play in Van Persie’s absence… Bendnter and Eduardo could be this man but we need a third option… then just need a CB too but I don’t why Senderos seems to not exist any more.

  44. Babel would be nice. Most of all he can shoot, pacey and isnt afraid to beat his man. Not sure about his link up play though. He would be a gud signing n surely wenger can use his magic on him and massively improve the lad. I dont think rafa would sell to us though….

  45. Arshavin’s gonna have a field day in the snow tonight…

  46. we could sign judas

  47. CJ – you describe Eduardo to the nth degree: ” a proven goalscorer, someone who can be quick and direct and hold a central position to put away chances and act as a fulcrum of our play”
    Yep that’s what we already have.

  48. Anyway why don’t we all just stop talking about other teams players? Lets focus on Arsenal as this is an Arsenal blog.
    Just a thought …

  49. 1 loose cannon

    Despite the snow the game will go ahead, I hope . Certainly Arshavin will feel at home tonight.

  50. I think the game will certainly go ahead. Did you see Stoke vs Fulham last night!? if that went ahead i think ours will.

    i think we’ll run out 2 nil winners

  51. Well said Steww, I would like Babel, however he has nothing we don’t already have, apart from being an extra player of quality. If it where to end the chances of somebody already in the wengerball’s mix then I would say no. I think that’s the kind of calculation for Wenger though.

    I would prefer if we signed another striker that we should go for something different and possibly, more selfish. I.e. a player to concentrate on goals alone. We already have everything else sorted in the final third. And while we are scoring for fun, its our strikers/Attacking wingers that are creating for the rest of the team rather than scoring.

  52. On second thought Els, we actually won’t need anyone! Bendy, Eddy, Vela, Theo (mayhaps), followed by the younger lot. They’ll all improve and dominate the position. Song and Denny started owning their positions around this time last year, and that what our striker’s will do.

    We don’t need anyone.

    It seems i’m not entirely immune to the influence of doomer press.

  53. Target man v. Talisman
    Go To Players

    I don’t see Arsene signing any striker this month. Scoring goals is not our problem. Plus, our fluid style is intended for players from behind to exploit space in the defense (created by our fowards) and we’re seeing that this season. Goal count for Cesc, Diaby, Vermaelen, Gallas, Rambo, Nasri = solid #’s

    Gallas, despite his strong fall performance so, at his age, he is huge risk.

    I think Arsene is looking for an all-purpose defender: CB that can also fill in at RB

    I like Denilson but I see him having big problems filling in for Song (individually). He could not do the DM job at the start of last year 08/09. As suggested above, we will probably play with two mid’s in front of the defense. Denilson & Diaby with Rambo or Rosicky or Nasri as AM.

  54. Some heavy snowing going on

  55. Word spreading the match is called off.

  56. AAAArgh PIRESAHOLIC good point on eboue, no excuse just wishful thinking i guess.

  57. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jan/06/arsenal-bolton-premier-league-snow

    “Arsenal have called off tonight’s Premier League game against Bolton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium after weather conditions in London worsened this afternoon.”

  58. Match called off!!

  59. It’s OFF!

  60. Fucksocks!

  61. hie zap any chances of a game tonight ?

  62. I think that the Arsenal “targetman” is in fact significantly different from that of other clubs.

    Look at what RvP actually does…plays with his back to goal. Exceptional close control: he can bring the ball to feet from any position. RvP had, until his injury, more assists than any other player in the Prem. Our whole attack fed off of him. He spread the ball, while dragging defenses with his movement. As well he has vision and true finesse with his soft-touch in the close passing game around the box. [By the way, this is also the reason that Arsene is happy to resign TR7…same abilities but in midfield. Really rare attributes.]

    There are lots of “hitman” types out there, like Huntelaar, but while he can score he needs the ball fed to him and his assist count is minimal.

  63. read the link abc it’s as simple as you’re name mate.

    No there aint any chance

  64. Silver linning it’s less games without cesc and song. Would have been nice to be 2nd and 1 point off top though.

  65. The Arsenal will wait another day to overtake Man U. This day is Saturday i hope.

    key fixtures this weekend:

    12.45- Hull vs Chelsea

    3.00- The Arsenal vs Everton

    5.30- B’Ham(in form) vs Man U

  66. els cheers i didn’t think of that, i bet Cesc is happy with the news don’t ya think?

  67. zap kp out any chances for 3 lions to pull this off

  68. So thats another one Axis ‘Hitman’, I imagine everybody has a different definition for it.

    I like that. I think a Hitman could have a place in our squad for occasional use.

    Wiltord was our most recent hitman. Do you think?

    So Targetman = a big gonk to bounce the ball off.
    Talisman = RvP, Henry
    Hitman = Wright, Wiltord a selfish one objective type player.

  69. Yeah els, I mean for most teams the targetman is that big lump you boot the ball at…for us he’s actually a lot more technically gifted…when it comes to hitmen…I’d add Eduardo in your list. He’s getting his form back as well. Even so, the one thing that Wenger has said consistently is that we are short of players.

  70. Bollocks, I was really looking forward to the match tonight.

  71. The Gaurdian reports that we are supposedly keeping an eye on Agbonlahor…?????

  72. ArsenalArseneArshavin

    the game is called off. I think this is good because we only had 3 days to recover from the West Ham game.. Now they can rest until Saturday…

  73. FAAAK I knew it was going to get postponed. There goes my afternoon. True its one less game without Cesc and Song but god I wanted this game in hand dead and buried. The only people celebrating at the moment are Bolton!!

    Anyways a well deserved break for our boys which means they’ll b fresh to take on Everton at the weekend. Apparently UTD got their games postponed too. Hope this effects them negatively as they get a congested fixture list. Its my understanding that because its a carling cup tie they’d have to play it sooner than when we would play our postponed prem game?? right? So technically we can have this game pushed till March or April, when our tough patch of fixtures has gone, if need be right?? Enlighten me gooners.

  74. Bloody crap English organisation, bit of stupid crystallised water stops all sorts.

  75. Never in my life have I heard such xenophobic and rasis sentiments from a commercial radio stationn. Adrian Durham has blown a gasket blaming Arsenal’s ‘glove wearing’ foreigners for bottling it and not wanting to play in the cold.

    He’s apparently pissed off because he bought a ticket for a friend of his and now that she can’t go, he thinks it’s a disgrace. Apparently, Bolton should be given a walkover because Arsenal are the one’s who cancelled.

    At what stage did we get to the point where the venom and prejudiced opinions of radio presenters were allowed to go unchecked.

    If his xenophobia wasn’t tragic, it would be funny.

  76. 3 more days for everybody’s legs to fall off in training

  77. durham is sensationalist scum

  78. Can’t believe that Darius. Hope he losses control and flies off a bridge on his way home. Bet you he would kill for those gloves then.

  79. That’s disheartening, Darius.

    Just out of curiosity, how much snow is there so far in north London?

  80. Listening to it right now hahah this caller is going offf

  81. Axis I had a little debate goint it wasn’t mass, but we discussed Targetmen and the fact that the term is used for bulky centre forwards. I like hitmen our current brand of forwards. Also Talismen are match winners you always try to get the ball to, I don’t think thats an exclusive term, so with that you could have a talishitman. But you really have to be careful how you pronounce it 🙂

    Agbonlahor has definate potential but I think just a weaker version of Eduardo or Vela.

    I would like a Villa, Gignac or Dzeko. But it’s less likely. He’ll probably find the NEXT one of those. Thing is he’s looking for a READY player to fill in, that’s something he has labelled difficult to find and dosn’t do often. With the market the way it is, it’s going to be a tall order.

  82. This caller murray just destroyed the presenter hahah

  83. At 12:30 the Sky Sports reporter had the chances of the match being played at 4/10 to 7.5/10. But you didn’t have to be a precog to have seen it was about to get worse and the match would be called off.

  84. How many inches is it btw??? Need to figure out if the Brits are soft lollll I’m Canada right now and snow is my last name. If the buses are running then theres no reason for anything to be postponed.

  85. The guy is now implying that we called off the game because we didn’t want to play a Bolton side in such horrid conditions!! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL We did Bolton a favour mate!! ROFLLLLLLLL

  86. I was hoping they play the game, I guess they can’t. Will have to wait till the weekend game then….Where’s my Arsenalitis pills?

  87. PIRESAHOLIC; Was never good at metrics in school. But Arsenal very much rely on the trains to get fans to the ground and the walk also must be safe. So there is a danger that people might fall on the ice on the stairs etc. Quite pansy to me like the glove-wearing foreigners at the club!

    The pitch etc. is fine however.

  88. Hey Brain, gonna get that article up on the Arsenal defense soon? Really looking forward to that.

    Shame about the game being postponed tonight, but as mentioned, there is the silver lining of a bit more time to get some of our injured back.

  89. Good god they seem to overreact over on your side of the pond. How much snow is there really? The pictures on Arsenal.com make it look like less than 2 inches. If the stairs are slick with ice then put some sort of salt on them! Same with the sidewalks. This is ridiculous!

  90. This is the story that has just broken about Merida:

    Atletico have been closely linked with a move for Merida, whose contract with Arsenal expires this summer, and Cerezo admits the Rojiblancos are keen on signing the Barcelona-born 19-year-old for next season.

    “Of course we are interested. He is one of the best young players in Europe,” Cerezo told Marca.

    “But just as we are thinking of it, many other teams in Europe will be thinking the same. I’m sure that he has many offers because that is what someone of his quality deserves.”

    Merida’s representative, Joseba Diaz, insists nothing has been signed with Atletico or any other club, saying the only team they are currently in talks with are Arsenal.

    “We haven’t signed anything with Atletico because, simply, the only club with whom we are negotiating is Arsenal,” he told Marca.

    “The absolute priority of the lad is to renew with them. I repeat: There has been no agreement with anybody.

    “Only if we don’t renew with Arsenal will it be the moment to talk with other clubs. There’s been interest from four clubs in Spain but I’ve not sat down to negotiate with any of them.

    “Arsenal have the priority. Moreover, as always, they are acting like gentlemen.”

    The leads on the story are all saying that it is confirmation of interest from Athletico Madrid.

    However, if you read the story, the agent of Merida makes it clear “the absolute priority is for Merida to renew” with Arsenal.

    If this is the case, then is this Merida going to Athletico Madrid story total and utter bullshit. It sounds like the agent is just forcing a renegotation for more favourable terms. If the terms are not favourable then the threat is to open negotiations with spanish suitors.

  91. @Gris, in London there isn’t enough grit to go around.

  92. Finsburyparker

    It’s just a bit of a logistical nightmare.
    The Stadium of Light is in an accessible location, next to major roads, easy to get your own car to, and get home from.
    Ashburton Grove is in the heart of one of the most densely populated parts of London, Europe’s biggest metropolis, so most people come by public transport, getting home later could be tricky. Holloway & Arsenal stations have more or less the same access routes that were designed in the 1930’s, it doesn’t help. On the best of days, the crush to get into the stations can be a little crazy because everyone takes the same route, so it was probably the police that made the call.

    In the future, the stations will be upgraded properly, but to be fair, the club couldn’t afford to pay for those upgrades without government support during the construction of the new stadium. It’s only excuse the people who leave early can use to justify their poor support.

  93. Finsburyparker

    It’s the only excuse

  94. taeryn; Next week most likely as I’ve got another (quick) article I’m writing which should be up tomorrow.

    I don’t live in North London, more south but the snow where I live is not bad. In fact, the bad weather was supposedly starting from the south-east(ish) of England (Guilford) so seemingly that is avoided where I live and somehow excreted at the Emirates. There’s still two hours for people to start entering the stadium and despite the lack of grit, surely it could have gone ahead.

  95. How stupid is that Durham type, I mean surely Holland, Belgium and France occasionally get freezing conditions? And Denmark, Croatia and Poland certainly, and don’t even start with St.Petersburg; Arshavin must be looking out and wondering what’s all the fuss about, a few inches of snow?

    It’s like he thinks snow and a little cold weather is somehow unique to Britain, even compared to central Europe.

    Well, I would guess he really only sees black players and thinks they can’t take the cold.

    Besides, the ski jumping Four Hills Tournament is on in Austria, and the Tour de Ski, and nothing’s cancelled, and tens of thousands of spectators are there.

    More likely it’s the continentals wondering how can this be? I’m from Scandinavia and we’ve had at least 10 inches of snow in just a couple of days. And it’s -26 degrees outside, in Celsius that is. Which means I’m staying inside, and it’s boring. Well, there is the AC Milan game to watch at least. And before you ask, no, this kind of weather does not mean that school or work is cancelled, ever.

    Like Gris Gris said, it’s weird how it seems in Britain nothing can be done, this was coming for a while and was in all the forecasts. I realize there can’t be the kind of infrastucture that Scandinavia or Canada have, but seems to me that places like New York handle snow much better and I don’t think it’s more frequent there?

    Muppet: Do you have a link for that story?

  96. The problem is our new system means playing one centre forward whole often receives the ball between two centre backs. This means he is almost always immediately closed down and has to have a perfect first touch to make himself some space or great awareness/support to make a pass on to one of the “wing-forwards”.

    This is a job RvP was doing incredibly well after a few games of getting used to it. Arshavin, and to a lesser extent Eduardo, have shown glimpses of being able to do this job.

    If we sign a top class RvP replacement (with touch, strength and awareness) what do we do when we have two of them next season? Go back to 442?

    If we sign a different player, a target man in the Drogba/Heskey/Cole/Adebayor mould then we will have to play a different style. I.e. aim to hit him with longballs and crosses, and hope he can control and hold up, or knock down to the “wing-forwards”. That doesn’t sound like Wenger-ball to me, but could be an interesting shift in style.

  97. Adrian Durham has already qualified for arsehole of the year. He is a total and utter prick. How the controllers at Talk Shite allow him to front a radio show, which he does with such provocation, leaving his brains (if any) at home, is beyond belief. He comes out with lambasting drivel and has clearly no clue whatsoever.

  98. We I live in North London, Hornsey road to be exact. This is what it looked like at 15:49 today http://tweetphoto.com/8142033

  99. Heavy snow is forcast in around half an hour for around 3-4 hours.

  100. Thanks Muppet, it’s also in the Sky Sports website.

  101. Finsburyparker

    In just the same way that they allow, in fact pay Collymore to go on air.

    Freak Shows have always been popular, and made money for their hosts. However, the Freaks never seem to get that good a deal. The ringmaster usually has the last laugh.

  102. It’s almost the same as trolling. Egregious comments to ensure people ring up in outrage, thus boosting their coffers. Radio 5 Live is the healthier alternative, at 7pm.

  103. Adrian Durham is an antagonistic ginger haired cock and his radio sidekick, Darren Gough(yes, the lycra clad fat cricketer), just goes along with whatever he says, pathetic.

    Although once entertaining, the radio station has been on a steep downward slop for the past 2-3 years. The vast majority of ex-player pundits (Scousers, Mancs etc..) barely contain their disdain for the Arsenal. Think multiples of Phil Thompson on SKY Sports but without the moderation.

    Christ! Their self percieved moral high ground is covered by the likes of ; Tony Cascarino (wife beater & phoney all time Irish top scorer), Alan Brazil (one of the original divers of his day & all round drunk), Stan Collymore ( multi club, wife beater as well as car park perve & behind the windscreen meat beater). Yet this radio station regularly bangs on the anti Arsenal moral foreigner drum.

    Fu@*-em!! Either contact them and give them grief or turn off I suppose.

  104. Phil “the Big 3” Thompson.

  105. California Gooner

    One less game without Cesc and Song AND a chance for Denilson and Rosicky, their two replacements, to recover a bit more being thrown into a match.

  106. After having a go at Arsenal earlier in the season for being “too short”, last night’s programme with Collymore was all about football teams pushing through huge athletic kids over smaller skillful ones.

    These people have no real opinion they will say anything to get people to call in, as @muppet said its just like trolling.

  107. So are we gonna find out when it’s gonna be played tomorrow??

  108. i guess it will have to be played the midweek after the everton game, there is no other time it could

  109. It’s certainly good news for us if Merida stays; but if he thinks he would play regularly for Atletico Madrid, it is probably in his own interests to leave. His team-mates would obviously be of a lower quality than those at Arsenal, and no club can hope to equal the coaching of Wenger, but I think these would be out-weighed by the chance of playing regular football for what is after all a good team. At Arsenal, he can only hope to play now and then for the foreseeable future. This is in no way to suggest that he is not good enough. Not every young player who leaves Arsenal is a Bentley – that is to say, a player who simply has not the ability to play for Arsenal. Even if a youngster is as good as the players currently in the first team, he will find it hard to get sufficient games to allow his ability to develop to the extent that he is able to secure a permanent place. Whatever is the fate of Merida, I’m sure we will see very good young players leave Arsenal in the coming years. We simply will not be able to give them the opportunities they require. Even a club like man utd, which has a far inferior youth system to ours, finds itself with good players that it cannot accomodate. Ferguson, I admit, would not recognise talent if it sat on his face, but nevertheless utd have released Pique and Rossi in the last few years, who are probably better than all their current players.

  110. @els – I’m with you on that.

    I like the definition you’re using.

  111. Pique or Evra?

    Answer= Cliche

  112. Knowing Wenger he wont spend a penny. He is leading all of us on a merry go round. We have a chance of winning something provided we get a striker, defensive midfield player and a defender. At the end we wont spend and the chance of winning will have gone

  113. If Wenger is reluctant to spend a penny, it might be because he has heard Martin Edwards is in the area.

  114. What the positives for The Arsenal not playing today???

  115. The weather girl has jut told the two fools on Talkshiite to stop being silly.

    LOOOOOL

  116. I would say the positives would be Cesc being able to play them next week instead, aswell as a fit arshavin, rosicky and walcott

  117. I agree with much of what Darius posted. It’s almost elementary. As the Joker in Batman would say: riddle me this. Who’s better B52, or Carlton Cole? To anyone in the know, obviously B52 is the better.
    Who’s better: Cole or Saha? If the answer is Saha, then that is who Wenger should pick up during the January transfer window. He has all the Wenger ingredients: French, technically gifted with size and speed, plus he’ll be out of contract and come in on the cheap. The down side: his age, 31.

    Traditionally, a target man plays with his back to the goal with the option of laying the ball back off to an advancing team mate; or making space for himself and turning to face goal. B52 does these things well for the Danish national team. Carlton Cole? Not so well.

    Importantly for Wenger, Saha would cost less than Cole, allowing Wenger to perhaps also pick up much needed and higher priced defensive cover for Gallas and Vermaelen.

    What must be worrisome for Wenger and Arsenal fans is RvP’s history of successive season ending injuries. Between Rosisky and RvP, their long injury absences have had impacted the team without replacing them in squad set up, which speaks highly of Wenger’s loyalty to his players and, in turn, their loyalty to him and to the team. But at one point, particularly at RvP’s central striker position and given his age, going on 26 and Wenger doesn’t extend contracts for strikers past the age of 30, RvP’s history of injuries and the impact of his continued loss to the team and long term planning at a position vital to the team can’t be dismissed.

    It is a situation for a team with a thin bench at a key position, particularly compared to ManU and Chelsea, that can’t go unaddressed much longer.
    Eventually Wenger will have to enter the market for a long term and quality replacement at striker. Unless he unearths another African/French gems or he’s already preparing a youth academy striker. More often than not, Wenger has come up with the right answer. After all, as he has demonstrated time and again, Arsene knows.

  118. Isn’t Saha injury prone?

    The last thing Arsene needs is another injured striker.

  119. Why the feck anyone would ever listen to Talk Bollox radio is beyond me.

  120. Well Maria…he’d definately end the “tall enough” debate, neh?

  121. As to this whole nonsense about the game being postponed…that call gets made by an insurance adjuster…I promise you – at a massive modern stadium like ours; it’s not Wenger who decides. Some insurance company looks at their “slip & fall” tables and decides if the game is played.

  122. We are the Arsenal.

    We are on our own.

    Confusion to the enemy.

  123. So apparently Liverpool rejected Birmingham’s bid for Babel… makes sense I guess, as you don’t sell to your competition for top 8.

  124. axis, I expect the police and the local council have a lot to do with the decision. I know in my area the council are nearly out of grit so have only treated the main roads. A lot of side roads are treacherous and our local hospitals are suffering from the extra pressure from people falling over and breaking limbs. It may be a joke to some, but we lack the basic infrastructure to cope with this type of weather here. It looks like priorities are going to have to change though because cold winters seem to be back on the agenda for the UK

  125. I think another advantage is that the longer we have this ‘game in hand’ the more pressure will be mounted on man u and chelski this weekend-

    hull away, birmingham away, the latter the more likely to cause a positive result- if the games go ahead- Birmingham’s snow is incredible, the match might still go off you know….as well as Hull

  126. Lol….taeryn

    Wouldn’t mind Babel coming over to us….remember him watching games with RVP last season at the Emirates….those two have a good relationship off the pitch and I can only imagine that can continue on it.

    Babel and RVP would be a interesting combination.

  127. @ Zap

    I am not quite getting that positive.It’s better to have a game in hand rather than be 1 point behind Chelski in second place? Doesn’t seem quite right to me.

  128. I would love for us to sign Babel. I’m convinced his struggles at Liverpool are solely down to poor coaching or not fitting their style of play. The boy was great at Ajax, and I think he’s class. Somehow I feel he could have been considered a world beater had it been Arsenal, not Liverpool, that signed him.

    Of course there’s probably no chance of Liverpool letting him go for a reasonable price, much less to us. I don’t think he’s worth the £8m Birmingham offered, and they didn’t even take that.

  129. The nice thing about having the game in hand is that it keeps the media attention down a bit. For all I care, they can continue to focus on their beloved Chelsea and Man U whilst we quietly go about our business dropping fewer points. It’d be much better to have the three points done and dusted, as you can’t necessarily assume we’ll get them, but there is the small bit of silver lining.

  130. WE have had debates on here in the past about a midwinter break, by the look of the long term forecasts, we are about to get the chance to evaluate one.
    Pity the world cup will negate any chance of extending the season as in years gone by.

  131. I’m a defender who came down to London 6/7 years ago to play for the Arsenal with high expectations. I was given a squad number of one of the greatest English defenders for decades, a true Arsenal legend.

    My lack of pace and raw intelligence on the field hasn’t helped me to make a name here. I’m now a fringe player and looking for a club. My contract is expiring in the summer with no prospect of renewal. Unfortunately, no club is taking me away.

    Who am I?

  132. dwf

    Carlton Cole is better than Bendtner. If we’re only interested in recruiting French speaking players as it seems the case (Sylvestre anyone?), then we better move the club to France.

  133. Howard, are you preparing for your narcotics anonymous intro again?

    Just a heads up – I don’t think you’re allowed to use fake identities.

  134. If Ade could come to the Emirates and do so well then I don’t understand why Cole can do well here. The only difference being that Ade speaks French while Cole speaks English.

    Are French players really good? Didn’t they cheat to qualify for the WC in South Africa? Like England, they’ve won the WC only once and at home soil, so their players are no better.

  135. Did your blog find many readers, Howard?

  136. Barbados you’re either an awful supporter or a crappy troll. That should be a sufficient answer to this and any similar queries you might have.

  137. Haha! Yeah Howard.

    I’d love to see your blog.

    How on earth have you managed to get around the incitement to racial hatred law?

  138. Gicnac, Chamack are all average but great because they’re French. Cole is better than both Gicnac and Chamack but hey, he’s English so no way.

  139. Cole better than Bendtner? You having a laugh?

  140. No way for Sol or Upson but there will be a new contract for Sylvestre. I think the passport counts a lot.

  141. So I’ve been sitting hear in the blue quadrant (upper tier) since 7.30pm – where is everyone tonight?……

  142. This is really a very tough fixture schedule. they will come thick and fast. I think this period will define our season.
    January
    24 FA Cup A Stoke
    27 A Aston Villa
    31 H Manchester United
    Feb
    7 A Chelsea
    10 H Liverpool
    13 FA Cup N Round 5
    17 A Porto

  143. I wonder why they’ve set the fixtures like that.

  144. http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s378/st152966.htm

    Interesting information about the cancellation of the game for those who were complaining about it earlier

  145. f*ck off howard.

  146. Carlton Cole is one of the better strikers in the Premier League, but he’s less skilful and mobile than Bendtner and I could only see him in a central role like Adebayor. One thing for sure is that he’s a handful and would give us additional physical options upfront.

    It was always interesting when Arsene had both Adebayor and Bendtner on (sometimes when we were looking for a winner or tying goal), and it definitely paid off on occasion.

    I don’t think 9 million is astronomical for him, but then it would likely rule out a move for Chamakh in the summer.

  147. Weather forecast: Today Fair, Friday Clear, Saturday Snow, Sunday Flurries.

    Saturday’s game may be at risk of postponement due to snow?

  148. No need to worry, Luke. Wenger has called in a few favours, and has arranged for a large quantity of grit to be imported from France into England, where apparently it is in short supply. It seems the English thought the nostalgic memory of local grit could serve in place of the real thing.

  149. There is an emptiness to the day. A postponed fixtures casts a pall, pungent with the sour after-taste of frustrated anticipation.

  150. Arsenal vs Everton

  151. Another Greedybayor no fucking way.One was enough

  152. Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

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