The Future Is Some Time Away

Arsene has been talking to French TV about his future. His current contract ends next summer, some eighteen months away which does not necessarily mean a great deal.

Following on from the Q&A with shareholders where he felt the squad was underappreciated, for the first time in his career he came close to breaking his contract, admitting to talks with Real Madrid. There is no evidence to suggest that this summer will see a repeat.

I am giving myself a bit of time to think. What is important is that the club is in good hands, whether they are mine or someone else’s.

Ivan Gazidis dropped a hint last week that the club were keen to tie the manager down for a longer period but Wenger does not necessarily renew with this much time in hand. Much will depend, I suspect, on how the squad continues to develop, whether he retains his enthusiasm for the quest for silverware.

There is no doubt that he truly believes in this group of players, his defences are too consistently staunch for it to be bravado. The squad is reciprocating, in touching distance of Chelsea, the next phase of the Champions League and 4th round of the FA Cup. It is a decent performance, statistically; a good position to be in during January. The next step is whether they can go and win one or more of the tophies.

Whether I personally leave on a positive or negative note is a little bit less important

From his personal perspective, I have no doubt he would prefer the former since there is a world of difference between the two scenarios. He may not be concerned with the difference between the two so long as it is right for him, which from his point of view is all that matters.

The nuance is not that he is concerned for his future though. It is that constant criticism from the stands does not bother him. Nor will he stay to be abused in circumstances where others might do so.

Having 60,000 people believing they can do the job better comes with the territory; the reality is that another manager may do so but he is pretty safe in the knowledge that he could count on the fingers of a non-existent hand how many of the Arsenal crowd can.

Football is based on opinions and Wenger knows everyone who follows the game has one. We may think on occasion we could do better; we cannot otherwise we would be in situ rather than he. And we are not. That does not mean criticism cannot be aired nor should it be stifled. It should be constructive and not abusive.

One aspect will be crucial to him. He must feel that the support is with him on this journey; it should be. Having been hamstrung by an inability to command transfer kitty’s comparable to others, he has kept the club at the top end whilst the squad is rebuilt.

Some who want the club to borrow to fund extravagance should look at Old Trafford this season. £80m from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo has not been reinvested, used instead to pay-off interest on their loans, the outlay increasing every season.

Those who want Arsenal to go down this route have an interesting contradiction which they have not settled – in some cases even realised. If borrowing is the policy for growth that they want, why oppose Usmanov since his credit rating is as good as Kroenke with the banks.

At all clubs, success is the yardstick by which managers are judged. Each club has different benchmarks. Having put the squad back into contention, the possibility to land the first trophy to adorn the new boardroom mantelpiece is at hand.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 11, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 414 Comments.

  1. Arsene leaving is an eventuality that we’ll have to come to terms with sooner or later….but what is important is that his philosophy and Ideals live on through his successor. We still have 18 months of Arsene to enjoy after which im sure he’ll extend his contract but like i said…if he goes…we must be strong and keep building on the magnificent foundation he’ll leave us with.

  2. Agreed.

    One thing: I notice on the list of other Arsenal blogs, Le Grove is listed there. May I suggest it’s removal for being Anti-Arsenal?

  3. He wud enventaly leave. And whoeva wud replace him got a big shoe 2fill. Bt lets concern ourselves wit d present

  4. Pro III,

    I’m feeling you dog, If we win the chamos league he will leave on a high, we must nopt win it, we must lose to dsave arsene

  5. I’m of the opinion that both Wenger and gazidis are too smart not to have a succession plan as and when the time comes for Wenger to retire. I say retire with some confidence as I believe Wenger would want to leave a positive legacy at Arsenal, but I doubt he would have the juice to go to a new club and start over.

    What Wenger has done at Arsenal is phenominal, and the truth is that the magnitude and impact of his vision will only be fully appreciated after he has left. The important thing for Arsenal will be to carry on with that philosophy.

    It defies logic that Arsenal will invest and nurture the continuity of the club in all ranks of it’s playing infrastructure and personnel, and yet not have a coherent succession plan when the time eventually comes for Wenger to put his feet up.

    I suspect though, that after leaving Arsenal, he might just want to have a go at the World cup with France.

  6. Gadget,

    Although i don’t agree with the sentiment and knee jerk reactions of Le Grove, it is populated by Arsenal fans, who, like us just want to see Arsenal win.

    Our jourenys maybe different, but our stated destination is the same

  7. @ Darius I know even if he chooses to leave…his obsession with the club and the game will make him atleast take on an Advisory role where we could go to him for his wisdom when needed.

  8. Therein lies the difference: They are fans and not supporters.

  9. Alzation, I dont understand what you mean, why dont you want Arsenal to win?

  10. Aw has too much invested in the club to leave, if you look at our far east development program as a simple example, he is the head of a global plan, where else could he be that? and he’s not even got started on North America yet.

    oh, while i’m on, can we have a new keeper please? or at least promote Fabianski. i thought i was going to explode on Saturday, and i appologise to all children within earshot, but it’s true Almunia is a wanker.

  11. What we do when he eventually leaves is anybody’s guess but I think there are only a handfull of coiaches out there who could replace him and keep our ideals intact. I can only hope that it’s a long way off and maybe after we win a Champions League and another Premier league title too.

  12. Many of the Meldrews (jam-today whingers) have indeed suggested that the Russian rapist should be allowed to take control of afc, their thinking being that he would bring shedloads of stolen roubles to buy success, ethics do not exist in their universe, and they are not really concerned with the legacy we leave for future gooners, their forward vision is limited to next May.

  13. Woah! NJN, Kitchen Sink…

    DOOM to play Camden!

  14. Arseman i second your opinion.

  15. embryo, your talking crap brother, get back in your womb

  16. Arsene’s line about the importance of the club being left in good hands: is he sending a message that he is waiting to see who takes over? Could he be warning that if the wrong oligarchic party gains control, he might pack it in?

  17. It pains me to think of Arsenal without Arsene, it will be interesting times indeed when he has gone. I don’t doubt for a moment what others have suggested that we will have backup plans.

    I doubt that any big name/ego manager will want to come in use all of wengers philosophys, so where would that leave us. It will have to be an ex player, I imagine. Gilles Grimandi, does he have aspirations, he’s very well thought of.

  18. CharlieG??????????? explain?

  19. You got to be deluded as the manager if you think this lot will win something this season…

  20. spit yo game, why? enlighten us. Can’t wait to get an insight of yo mind.

  21. This is a bit off-topic but is funny anyway. Below is a posting in the Guardian today on the Togo situation.

    11 Jan 2010, 12:09PM
    wonder if adeybayor ran the length of the bus to celebrate in front of the gunners?

  22. els, there was life before arsene and there will be life after arsene, he’s just one man, and like michael night, one man made a difference, it will be tough for the kids who have only known thye wenger days, expect alot of them to jump ship to chelsea, but the hardcore fans such as ian wright and paul merson will remain forever and ever amen

  23. It occured to me post Saturdays match that Almunia might not suit being made captain and might be better concentrating on getting his game sorted out. Surely the Vermalater would suit the role.

    As for Arsene, it could well be that a new manager and direction is needed to take the club to the next level. Problem is I can’t see Kronke or the Russian stumping up the cash, after spending large amounts of capital buying the club, a Hiddink, Mourinho or other big name manager would require to reinforce or remodel the team.

    What the press fail to focus on when they laud Chelsea, Real Madrid or Man City is that these clubs are unsustainable and distort the competitive playing field for everyone else.

  24. embryo, your post was dumb brother, you need to grow into a baby, you’ll understand more then, embryos dont know shit, you can hardly see them

  25. CharlieG you are not funny,will you shut it?

  26. 1 2 3 viva l`algerie.come on algeria

  27. First Lady I am married, stop flirting with me please, thank you.


    you are correct, we must keep wenger, he is the club now and he cannot just leave, whatever it takes should be done to kepp him

  28. vivb sounds to me like you are supporting the wrong team.

  29. CharlieG are you James???

    Or just an idiot.

  30. els, I think the same, vivB is a secret glory hunting chav, I haven’t seen the likes of him since Matty Bwoy

  31. You’re such a twat CharlieG, why don’t you go and comment on some sp*rs sites where you belong – very sad little boy.

  32. Yes he is James.

  33. els, I think i’m a bit of both

  34. and William

  35. I need to speak to the Queen of Sub urgently, it is a matter of great importance

  36. Chamakh, that your team then mate.

    I think I may be a little ignorant on Malawian football, surely you’ll have those in your pocket.

  37. i’m starting to like CharlieG, obviously a sad Spud who gets off spouting on a successful clubs blog. Nice one CharlieG, i get you now.

    good luck with that new stadium

  38. James why???? Take a long look around the room you are in. Is there really nothing better to be doing in your life?

  39. els, I’m at work

  40. embryo, please change your name, it reminds me of child birth

  41. Anyway, lets keep the talk about football.

    So then, what we gonna do when big bald billy gallas gets the boot? Its worrying me

  42. Me to James? Didn’t think McDonalds had internet access for staff. Haha.

  43. DNFTFT

  44. els, if I told you I were a Structural Engineer would you believe me?

  45. els

    i`m also ignorant on malawain football but,we know it wont be easy,you underestimate them and you will get punished.algeria is my team yes.

  46. “els, if I told you I were a Structural Engineer would you believe me?”

    Please tell us you’ll be consulting for the Spuds new stadium development – if your engineering skills are as sharp as your sense of humour then it could get interesting.

  47. He applied, Big Al, but was judged to be over-qualified.

  48. Transfers are important but you can’t build a club on transfers alone. You must build from the ground up. Young players. bring them in and train them. The foundation has to be solid or it will fall. There must be a mix of young and old. Wenger is doing this. He knows his system we don’t. If we wnat to know ask him. The Gunners are more than touching distance from first place. These next few weeks (Jan-Feb) will separate the men from the boys. Spam bobby thanks

  49. James simply NO.

  50. Almunia’s actions that won us points recently. Reminder to those who forgot.

    1. Saving a penalty when a goal would have taken the game back to 1-1 against Hull.

    2. At least 2 crucial saves against Burnley away.

    3. Save that would have made the game 3-1 (and game over) against Everton.

    I want to point out that I did realise that Almunia hasn’t had a great season. But he has recently put in points-saving performances recently, that have helped keep our title challenge going.

  51. He’s telling the truth, els. He’s the man who was reponsible for ensuring the new Wembley stadium was completed on time and to budget.

  52. “…we have more experience this season and we are coming to win this trophy this season.”

    I agree with Neves Denilson.

  53. Great post Yogi, as ever. Personally, I think that the statements coming out of the club right now should be taken as having intentions that we cannot know. Between the ownership situation, the hunt for new players, and the trophy quest of the current squad there are many potential audiences beyond the fans.

    A few weeks ago we came out and talked up teh money we have to spend, bizarre in a transfer window. Now we are banging on about needing only bargain players. Gazzidis says keep wenger for another decade (that woudl be surpassing fergie, which he mentioned), then arsene get s people talking exit. They must know what the other thinks on this matter, it cant be an accidental contradiction.

    Right now I hope that we go and get another player, maybe two, to give us a boost. It is better to have too many quality players to keep happy than not enough to get results. A striker and a defender or midfielder (meaning Song could play CB) would be brilliant.

    He cant be perfect all the time, but two players as good as arshavin, sagna, eduardo, or vermaalen would be a massive boost.

  54. Charlie nice, but you growing up will do this blog alot of good.

    Chamakh them having watched Angola/mali last night will definitely be on their minds and should make them not take anything for granted.

    Watched that game until half time, came back in the 60+ min to find it 3-0 nil and a few mins later they concede another one was really disappointed to the point of switching my telly off but I am so happy i didnt coz that was quite a come back.

  55. Sorry, I registered my amusement at PZ’s comments, but the post has been lost.

  56. RVP Cesc Song, if that’s not the spine of a team I don’t know what is

  57. Wonderful news L.A you made my day..

    people need to chillax and respect Wenger, either that or just lynch him..

    He will be Arsenals for another 7 years and then become president of Fifa..

  58. @Gadget

    Then Arsenal must have two spine… coz i was thinking

    TV Gallas Arshavin, and now Diaby/…

  59. Any chance a list of Almunia’s errors Ole?

    He got lucky at Burnley, his blunder gifted a goal that was wrongly ruled out for offside. I am not complaining, quite the opposite, happy we had that linesmen. Still, seems a bit hollow to put that match on his hit list. Manuel was also awful against everton.

    His job is to stop goals going in, he hasn’t been very good at that this season. In fairness, the team haven’t either, the second goal saturday was farcical. The CB’s have a tendency to charge off in attack at stupid times – Torres clean through at anfield with TV in the oppo box? That was 15 minutes in at 0-0, stupidly gung-ho from the Belgian.

    Still, almunia’s game has degenerated all around. He doesn’t communicate, his distribution is poor, his kicking was once a strength and is now a weakness. He flaps at crosses badly. (His handling is excellent and he is good at penalties though.)

    More than that, he has the defenders on edge and argueing with each other. Look at the way he clattered Traore and nearly got sagna killed on saturday, it is no wonder.

    I hope he does well every time he steps on the pitch. I don’t think that he is a bad goalkeeper. However, he has made enough mistakes that, I think, Fabianski should get a chance. If he is not up to the job either, then we need to look elsewhere in the summer. Perhaps wenger just doesn’t want an inexperienced guy between the sticks for the run-in, it looks a risk though.

  60. Poliziano, I bet you’re a Barber

  61. Fuck off. arsenehollis

  62. Malawi-Algeria 2-0 after 35 mins 🙂

  63. Arseneholis,

    Not sure it was wrongly ruled offside. But there were 2 good saves he made in that game, 1 when it was 1-1 in the 2nd half.

    I think it’s funny you blame him solely for us leaking goals.

    I don’t think Fabianski is a better keeper than Almunia yet, being very rash in decisions, and with problem with balls played low.

    If you bench your number 1 for a keeper who’s not better, that’s stupid because you ruin his confidence and still don’t get better goalkeeping.

    He’s recently improved is what I am highlighting here.

    I always hear how goalkeepers should save you points, and I think while we highlight all the areas he’s in deficit it’s always important to show what he does bring to the team and why the manager is not a mad man for persisting.

  64. Totally agree with Arsenehollis, Almunia is wank.

    You know your keepers pony when Fabiaski is a better option, and you know this

  65. Almunia seems slightly ahead of his time in England whereas in other nations his eccentricity will be better appreciated.

    What he has is good decision-making, fantastic sweeper like vision and composure in kicking. But what his problems are seemingly the confidence he has in his defenders compounded to the hesitancy at crossess.

    Fabianski and Schezny are two fantastic all-round back-ups who are better at shot-stopping but it’s mentally that will decide them as displayed by the mistakes against Chelsea made by Fabianski last year.

  66. Does that mean you love Almunia James?

    Kabisa, think in terms of the relative positioning of the players! But even meta-physically I stand by my point!

  67. The Brain, on the contrary, Almunia is perfectly suited to the English game, all our keepers are shit as well

  68. Malawi 3-0 at 48 mins 😀

    Still, maybe Algeria can do what Mali did yesterday.

  69. ArsenalKabisa, that is poor mate. Got nothing better than that to offer then stay out of it.

    Ole – I think the key difference is that you see Almunia as getting better, I think he is getting worse. I certainly did not blame just him though, read what i said above.

    You are right that putting in the back-up is a risk. If it goes wrong then you are back with the old guy who may be pissed off, out of practice, or lacking confidence. That said, he is a professional, he should be ready to play and happy to do so given the chance. We will have some great matches to be involved in this year.

    Almunia does make some good saves. That is his job and he wouldn’t be at arsenal if he couldn’t do that from time-to-time. I don’t think criticising a player and saying you would rather the boss picked his understudy suggests that the incumbent can do nothing right.

    The everton game was a good example, he made a good save which probably saved a point, but if you look overall he was shockingly bad in his decision making and communication.

    He clearly is not one form or confident. It looks as if that is spreading to the rest of the defenders. Maybe it was the other way around, but there is nothing to change ahead of him. If we persist with what we have, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him cost us something.


    Manure are broke, spending 40 mil a year just on interest. Hence the fake ronaldo getting flogged and only valencia getting bought.

    With almost a hundred mil tied up in Nani, Anderson, Berbatov, Tosic, Valencia might be tough to get much quality in that attack for a while.

  71. Almunia hasn’t been fantastic I know but the clamour should recognise the fact that he has improved in the last 2 months, and not create unnecessary pressure.

  72. Lots of people would read Wenger’s comment about his contract and think he wants to leave but in my opinion he is only saying that so to send a message to the board and possibly new owners that he is not desperate and if they don’t back his policy and let him get on with his job then he would leave . I beleive he is only saying that to keep them on their toes. So I can’t see him leaving soon, another 5 years these players will be in their best years, Why would he leave?

  73. Limpar…that show looks sick!!

    One major factor to consider in the Wenger leaving question…

    15 first team players just renewed their contracts…do you really think Wenger is leaving? If I was one of those players about to renew what do you think would be the first question I’d ask?

    Wenger isn’t going anywhere…this team is just beginning to peak and that is with our major injury list…but make no mistake we are looking at 5-8 years of genuine dominance. We are almost there now and most of the team are still kids…

  74. I don’t fucking believe it. Bloody hell.

  75. I don’t think he was bad against Everton. You say he was, and I wonder why.

    For example he’s blamed for the header Cahill got, and I wonder instead why Cahill got a free header. You could say Almunia shouldn’t have gone out for the cross (there was no chance he could get it since it was too high), but his presence forced Cahill to head back wide. If Almunia had not come out, it’d have been a header on goal, and perhaps ending up in the net.

    The Traore incident wasn’t his fault as well. He came out to sweep, with Traore under pressure running towards goal. Traore saw him coming (don’t know if Almunia made a shout) and played the ball wide. Why’s it Almunia’s fault?

    We could go on and on.

    By the way, for whatever it’s worth the stats do show he’s improved significantly since he came back:

  76. 3-0 to frikkkin Malawi. Credit to their performance. Changes need to be made to ensure the World Cup will go well. I think it’s an off day, Algeria will get stronger in this competition. It could be worse, I could be the Angolan goalkeeper.

  77. My attempt to explain Arsenal’s defensive game shouyld hopefully be up on Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully, I can help gather some conclusions.

  78. Me to James? Didn’t think McDonalds had internet access for staff. Haha.


  79. Thank goodness it was a draw, at least Algeria still have a gr8 chance of qualifying.

    We underestimated Malawi and got punished like chamakh said.

  80. …i mean last night’s draw between angola and mali

  81. Poliziano:
    ”He’s telling the truth, els. He’s the man who was reponsible for ensuring the new Wembley stadium was completed on time and to budget.”


  82. nasirjonesnasri

    Good looking out, LimparAssist. When did DOOM drop the MF? I was pretty shocked to read that it’s going to be DOOM’s first ever show on European soil.

  83. Axis, I know! ma’fwuckin DOOM’s Day!!

    Here’s where to get tickets:

    You’re absolutely right about Wenger staying, and about those 15 contracts being signed – because of that very fact. That would’ve been my first question too.

    I’m not one for stats but I’m sure Ole’s numbers will bare out the fact that Almunia has improved significantly since he’s been back. It’s clear for all to see. Against Hull and Villa he was aerially dominant – which was the only real concern – and he kept clean sheets. His performance against Portsmouth escapes me for now, as I was watching in a rather strange Working Man’s club and drinking very cheap beer and getting too carried away with Diaby and Rambo to be analysing Manuel – but he did little wrong at very least.

    Manuel’s problem, and the problem – albeit a nice one – for AW, is that Fabianski comes in to a frantic game like the one at West Ham, and keeps superbly. I think the goalkeeping situation is very healthy at Arsenal. Everyone just chill the hell out.

  84. bobbygee should be the one of those reporters at the press conferences, apparently his 17-part questions would drive Wenger nuts

  85. I think he became simply DOOM, for this last album, Born Like This, NJN. And I was suprised too. Will make it extra special.

  86. Zap you donut, theres only one man who can drive wenger nuts partner

  87. Chamakh is now talking about where he’s going this Jan…they don’t want him leaving on a free. I bet he signs with us in two weeks.

  88. James please just call yourself William, you are him anyway.


    There are 2 men, Axis, him, and bobbygee with his 17-part questions

  89. In southern africa we have known for decades, that Malawi produces extraordinary football talent for a small nation – it’s a local thing, and you under-estimate them at your peril basically.

    I second Gadget on le moan.

    I doubly agree with Ole on Almunia. Funny thing about our keepers, no one ever remembers their saves, it’s not news, much less a clever bit of positioning. We seem to always remember other keeper’s saves. Almunia is not the best on high balls and agressive opponents in the box (unlike Lehmann), but excellent and brave at the feet of an onrushing striker, and a good shot-stopper.

    I tried to post when all you guys were discussing the Togo bus tragedy. Three people have died. It is a horrendous event for football, and we mark it with great respect for the victims, every one of them, including survivors. We don’t make jokes.

    That said, it is wrong to assume ‘this type of thing happens in Africa’. It is not acceptable to us, and it is not accepted, no matter the circumstances. It is a rare event, and a tragedy.

    A small group ostensibly fighting for greater benefit from oil revenues in their region (Cabinda) through ‘independence’ have utterly failed to gain a measure of sympathy for their cause. The oil revenues from Cabinda (as in most places where oil is drilled) do not generally benefit local inhabitants, but the oil companies and the politicians. This is no excuse. Terror is not accepted.

    There are 53 contries in Africa. In less than 50 years it will have double the population of India or China. It is a big place, as big as one could imagine. And yet, I cannot imagine such an event taking place in 90% of Africa, and as such, this is treated by Africa as a vicious and stupid act of misguided people. I wish they would be caught, tried and punished for the murder of innocents.

    Go Arsenal!!!!

    Wenger is asking for sober reflection of his tenure, by the board, the fans, the stakeholders – we should take heed, it is straight forward. As for his legacy when he leaves, forget years, it will be measured in decades.

  90. I knew this before when i saw Morocco vs Malawi

    Morocco didn’t qualify, they never will for goodness sake, we can’t rely on Chamakh as our star man to do anything.

  91. Thanks ZimPaul for that BTW

  92. A Mini Sonar in London?

    I might not be driving over that wonderful bridge (not designed by J*ames) on the way down to Barca this summer, but all is not lost, thanks for the link LA, I’ve finally found my D**M!

  93. Sure Zap.

  94. Zim Paul.

    I can’t start to tell you about how misguided the reporting on the ambush of the Togo team by the FLEC rebels in the mainstream media is getting bandied around out here.

    I’ve written extensively about the aftermath of the attack on the Togo national team on their way to Cabinda.

    I’ve tried to put the incident in context of what is happening in the region in an attempt to dispel some of the sweeping and misguided assumptions around.

  95. Eboue’s having a decent game, good to see. I love Eboue and I’ve never hated fellow Arsenal fans so much when he got booed off. Most of the in-stadium supporters are poor representatives of the true Arsenal support unfortunately (except for a few, I know a lot of them are decent)

    I mean the Mali fans made more noise yesterday than we do at home games and there were about 5 of them there

  96. I have to admit i’m completely ignorant on african football.

  97. Great post on Stone Cold Darius.

  98. ivory coast 0-0 burkina faso HT

  99. Re: Almunia – There is this very strange idea among the pundits and the blogspere that your keeper must be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Keepers should never have off-days and never make misjugements during a game. As Wenger said, keepers suffer from negative stress as they are never credited for making saves and pilloried for their mistakes. Such stress can be fatal as apparently was the case of Henke who recently committed suicide. Similarly some fans want to take their stress out on Almunia or to add to his stress levels.

    Commendably, Ole is one of the very few bloggers on this site who has taken the time to spell out Al’s crucial saves last Saturday and give him the benefit of the doubt for the miscues. e.g. the Traore incident is all pinned on Al but it was plain to see that Traore was arguing with Gallas for failing to communicate with him.

    Arsenehollis – Your criticism of Al is way over the top but then I understand the reason for your anxiety; you simply read too much football365 where Al has been the scapegoat du jour since the start of the season. Chill out – Al has been doing a better job since his reinstatement as our No. 1. He is not perfect, nor is he the greatest but the records show he will save us points in crucial games. Let us not fall for the typical pundit b.s. – go and splash the cash on a new keeper. S/land followed that option at the beginning of the 07/08 season by acquiring Craig Gordon at a record fee and yet they barely avoided relegation.

  100. To be fair, Darius, apart from your wish to blame the victims, your article says nothing more than all the other reports I have seen. Maybe you ought to look for a higher standard of journalism.

    I wouldn’t get too offended about the pessimistic predictions about the World Cup. It’s nothing to do with it being in Africa. Whenever there is a major sporting competition, the media likes to make predictions of disaster. The Olympics had scarcely been awarded to London before we began to hear that nothing would be finished on time. Before the last World Cup, we heard how all the matches were going to be disrupted by neo-Nazis. When the Olympics in China, against all predictions, was a great success, this too became a disaster, as it meant successive Olympics would suffer by comparison.

  101. I don’t think the blame was placed with the victims. It was suggested that the team did not follow, instructions. But that does not imply blame.

  102. shotta, you are spot on, Gallas is to blame, he was sloppy.

    I think you’ll agree it was a sloppy performance all round

  103. How many murders, how many of the crime that cannot be mentioned on this blog, are made possible by an unwise decision? Yet it is not common to see the victim berated after the fact for his or her unwisdom.

  104. the 8th deadly sin..

  105. as usual i don’t understand what the hell you mean poliziano. James that was not shottagunner’s point he, unlike you, supports the team.

  106. Zap, I think shotta may be a lady, donut.

    I do like you though zap, anyone can tell you are a genuinely nice chap

  107. Burkina Faso still hold Ivory Coast. Crappy pitch though.

  108. Ivory Coast 0-0 Burkina Faso FT

  109. * to you G4E, whatever that means

  110. Darius Stone is right. Sometimes the victim IS to blame. If England decided to walk to South Africa and died somewhere around the Sahara, how would that be South Africa’s fault? Point is that Togo made poor travel plans.

    Angola doesn’t appear to be the culprit and shouldn’t be blamed.

  111. whats the chance we’ll see adebayor sutiting up for Citeh before the otehr players return?? are there rules against this?? I can totally see that happening

  112. I remember the case many years ago when the entire Zambian national football team died in a plane crash. It’s hard to fathom such a tragedy and it’s impact on the whole infastructure of sport in the country, but mistakes were made in trying to cut corners and save costs.

    The team were travelling on a milatary aircraft while they should have been travelling on a civilian or chartered flight regardless of the cost. Sometimes, there is no excuse for making some decisions, especially where intelligence exists to tell you that your decisions are insane.

    If you look at the food chain that is the politics of football, I don’t think the players would have been in a position to refuse to travel by road if they were told it was safe and that they would be accompanied by muscle for hire carrying guns in a couple of cars in the convoy.

    The Togo football administrators made a poor deceision that turned out to be devastating.

    Saying that, there is absolutely no excuse for the FLEC thugs to suggest that this is the way to get their grievances heard. FLEC have been given enough opportunity to intergrate into mainstream politics and address their grievances in the light of day. Some of their former leaders are even part of the current Angolan government. Targetting Togo doesn’t buy FLEC any friends and they haven’t done anything to support any flimsy case they had for devolution. There is no place for such terrorist thugs in society.

  113. Ole – maybe you are right on the keeper. The stats back it up, but is there a means of comparing him to other goalies on that site?

    I still think that Almunia looks like his nerves are wrecked, it is getting to the defenders, and he needs a good nights sleep.

    That is my opinion, that is all. I thought we should sell Gallas last November and keep Ade in the summer. As the post above says, we all have them, but the manager knows best. I respect that. I always support the team passionately.

    As for that chump above who thinks he needs to chip in with guff about reading 365, you can go plant 3 digits knuckle deep up your arse mate.

    Feel free to disagree, but don’t tell me I can’t think for myself. You didn’t even do me the justice of reading what I said, which was to promote from within. I never mentioned spending money, even though you decided that must be what I think. Putting people into boxes it seems, a very easy way to save thinking for yourself perhaps?

  114. @ DS

    The killing of innocent people, who are totally unconnected to the underlying political issue is absolutely sickening and I endorse your remarks about FLEC above at 6:26pm.

    Your article is interesting – you’ve obviously done some research, which is always a refreshing change!

    I understand that you are not blaming the victims, that is to say, the Togo team members and the driver of the bus. You are questioning the decisions of the Togo FA, who should have prioritised the safety of their team by flying over the danger area as instructed. The Togo FA are not the victims of this terrorist attack and they do have questions to answer. I would hope that all countries who participate in the 2012 Olympics in London would carry out to the letter the security instructions of the British authorities.

    It makes me recall last year, when the Togo team members refused to travel on an unsafe aircraft – while their FA travelled on a different plane – and the time when they went on strike because the same FA withheld bonuses to which the team were entitled. So I would not be surprised either if this was a case of the Togo FA being unwilling to defray the cost of an aeroplane, as opposed to a relatively cheap bus.

    I also agree there should be no question of the ACN being cancelled – it sends out the wrong message to the terrorists, as well as punishing the Angolans and the other participants, who are not at fault.

  115. It depends, Ole. If you think people from Africa are as little able to take responsiblity for their behaviour as the Sahara desert is, then you are right that those people cannot reasonably be blamed. On the other hand, if you think people from Africa are as responsible for their own actions any other person, you will point the finger of blame solely at the murderers.

  116. Oliver holt is a knob. He writes in his article today that Arsenal were ‘outplayed’ by Everton, ‘inconsistent’ and lucky to win. In the same article Arsenal had 66 percent possession and have won 12 of their last 14 games against Everton drawing 2. Please tell me what is inconsistent about that?

  117. Why does that incident have anything to do with “Africa” as a whole? On that logic, all people of any group can be equated with the lowest common denominator, but people here would be outraged to get lumped in with spurs fans.


    According to that Almunia is closing in on the best. Then again, those rankings have Henry as the best player in the world, which is ridiculous.

  119. @ Gooner4life

    Oliver Holt is a knob. 🙂

    @ Pz

    If the Togo FA shares blame, it does not absolve the FLEC terrorists of blame. There isn’t a big pot somewhere, containing a finite amount of blame. It is possible for moral responsibility for crimes to fall on more than one person. That seems blindingly obvious to me, I’m baffled as to why you struggle with that idea.

    Bad people are out there, that is a fact of life. The rest of us take reasonable precautions to avoid being hurt by them. The Togo FA has a duty of care towards its national football team and should have done everything in its power to ensure that the team was safe. If the team had flown, they would not have been exposed to the danger of FLEC terrorists on the roads.

    Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say the police have warned people in your town that a serial killer targeting young women was at large. Then let’s say that because of this, you promised to fetch the daughter of a friend from a party in your car and see her safely home. Let’s say that you forget, or you get stuck in traffic. You don’t pick her up, and the worst happens. You did not kill her, the serial killer did, but are you telling me that would not feel an iota of guilt in that situation? You assumed responsibility for her safety and let her down. The Togo FA let down their compatriots.

  120. Ärsenehollis – I won’t resort to your level crudity.
    You’ve shown yourself as a simply unable to withstand a smidgen of the dirt that you so freely dish out. Since Saturday, like most doomers and gloomers, you have simply gone overboard in your criticism of Almunia. I can only conclude you were in the hunt for scapegoats. Many of us have the maturity and good sense to not believe every piece of mindless criticism of Almunia that pundits and bloggers feel they are entitled. The fact that earlier you posted a link to football365 (“the Almunia bashers”) provide an easy insight as to whom you rely for your wisdom.

    I may have thought you were extreme, but your response removed all doubts.

  121. Whoa! At the risk of getting shot at by both parties, can I just say, shotta-gunna, that you have got arsenehollis totally wrong if you think he is a D&G merchant. He may have a bit of a downer on Almunia, but that’s about it. Let’s all save our fire for the real enemy.

  122. I personally love Almunia, and to say the defense has lost faith in him is ridiculous, one of Wenger’s main beliefs as a manager is to achieve trust within the team as well as unity, something that unlike previous seasons there is in this team, like u know, when adebayor and bendner fell out and gallas and toure never spoke to eachother.

    Times have changed.

    Have these people met tomas vermaelen, gallas, are they their best friends? Probably not, so how can they question their faith in him.

  123. On the Angola issue it is difficult to critise the Togo FA as they may have reasonably expected security in Cabinda to be assured or I suspect they could have been shying away from the financial burden of this or worse still misapproprited the funds. After all one would suppose that FIFA would award this competition to Angola and CAF having satisfied strict criteria.

    It is sad that lives were lost in the name of making a statement for the Cabinda enclave. I am pleased that the organisers have persisted with the tornament. But i also respect Togos decision to pull out. Angola has been ravaged by civil war for decades and has only started reanouncing itself on the world map.We need to support this normally great and colorful advert for football and it also reminds us of the harsh reality of sport and its manipulation for political gain in the world we live in. I think the wider issue is if the estimated expenditure in bringing the tournament to Angola and its expected revenue will benefit the man on the street or line the pockets of corrupt officials.

    Many years ago George Weah the one time World player of the year and AC Milan Legend single handedly spearheaded and financed the Liberian teams journey to the ACN – kits, wages, travel – after he gave up on the Liberian FA . African Countries should not rely on the philanthropism of one man..But this man is a real unsung hero. I have not given up hope for Africa.

  124. @G4L

    On the Angola issue it is difficult to critise the Togo FA as…I suspect they could have been shying away from the financial burden of this or worse still misapproprited the funds.

    I think those would be the very reasons to criticise them, if true. I’m sure FIFA stumps up money for that kind of thing, and if the Togo FA had misappropriated the funds, that would be appalling.

  125. I completely deny that the Toga F.A. shares the blame for the murder. They might be blameworthy in another respect, but not for the murders. I haven’t yet seen any facts about how the Toga F.A. came to its decision about how to transport its players. If, as has been suggested, they provided a cheap form of transport for their players that they would consider too dangerous for themselves, they certainly deserve to be criticised. If they falsely believed that transport by road was safe, then they can perhaps be convicted of foolishness. What I disliked about Darius Stone’s article was that he reserved almost all his indignation for the Toga F.A., and barely hinted that the actual murderers were in any way culpable.

    As for your thought experiment: I cannot say what my feelings would be. Often the most guilty feel the most innocent, while the innocent feel guilty. In justice, if I was unavoidably caught in traffic, I should feel no guilt. If I forgot to pick up the daughter as arranged, I should feel some guilt. If I consciously decided not to pick up the daughter because I preferred (for example) to watch television, I should feel most guilt. In any case, however, my guilt would not be for the girl’s murder, but for a separate duty of care towards her. However grave was my negligence, I think I could rightly complain of ill-treatment if in reports of the murder I was the target of the journalists invective while the killer was white-washed.

  126. Come On Blackburn!!

    What’s so much more interesting abt this season that last, aside from the obvious fact we are in the title race, is that all the other games are important too, unlike last season we just wanted villa to lose so we could be 4th. This season Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool< spurs, Man Cini matches are all really exciting coz they all affect The Arsenal. Citeh with a weakened side, Blackburn have a chance.

    It is a small chance.

    But it is still a chance

  127. Surely you don’t ever get stuck in traffic, poliziano?

  128. Arseneholis,

    You’d feel your position is bolstered by the fact that Hart, Sorensen, Reina & Cech have been better, and he’s in the same category as the likes of Given and Freidel.

  129. When I used to ride my Vespa, I could weave in and out of traffic like you wouldn’t believe. These days, I’m afraid, I’m too doddery to ride. When I go on the bus, though, it sometimes gets caught in traffic.

  130. Poliziano.

    See my response at 6.26 pm. The local organizing committee of the tournament have come out and categorically said that they did not sanction road travel through that reason and specifically told countries to fly their teams into Luanda. They had no clue what Togo were doing. The Togo FA was negligent.

    Secondly, I’ve clearly expressed my opinion earlier about the fact that there is no excuse for what FLEC did. They’ve been given a political space to address their grievances in the cold light of day, but clearly they haven’t seen it fit for whatever reason to take this option.

    I don’t blame the Togolese players or coaches for decisions that their FA make. In fact the Togo FA has form. They need to accept responsibility for their negligence and for putting their players in harms way.

    The FLEC are also to blame for their terrorism and thuggery.

  131. poli

    In morocco you don’t even need a licence to ride a bike. It depends what kind of bus you take doesn’t it? Of course, you would know exactly what buses to catch, wouldn’t you?

  132. @ Pz

    The Togo FA are not jointly guilty of murder, but they are guilty of unnecessarily putting their players in harm’s way. Just like you would have done in the case of the girl in the hypothetical example.

    Who is white-washing the killers? Not me. Not Darius Stone. If it seems as if people are glossing over the the fact that FLEC killed three innocent people, that might simply be that FLEC’s actions, though despicable, were unsurprising – they have embraced terrorism and their hearts are now cold. The Togo FA’s actions (unless there are exculpatory circumstances) are surprising, to me, at least. I would have expected them to take every care possible for the safety of their countrymen. Their guilt is much less than the people who planned and executed murder, but they do bear some responsibility for wilfully exposing their players and the bus driver to danger – against the express instructions of the Angolan authorities.

  133. I agree with darius stone.

    Your article was perfect mate.

    Man Citeh 0-0 B’Burn 6 mins

  134. ** through that region **

  135. Man Citeh 1-0 Blackburn 7 mins

  136. Man Citeh 1-1 Blackburn

  137. Man Citeh 1-2 Blackburn!!!

  138. i’m kidding.

    Man Citeh 1-0 Blackburn 10 mins


  139. Is Vieira playing Zap?

  140. Cheers Ole – basically I think that the guy on the bench is better. I have little evidence for it and I don’t see them in training, but I would like to see him get a game. I probably did go OTT with bashing Almunia’s performance, but it happens, passions run high.

    As for the clown with the Malcolm X picture. Well done son, you took the high ground, with grace and eloquence to boot. Something to be proud of I am sure. I stand by what I said above.

  141. no he’s injured

  142. In a 1,500 word article about the shooting, there is not a single word of condemnation of the murderers. I call that a white wash. If you disagree, so be it. At the same time, the Toga F.A. is accused of “naivety and sheer incompetence,” “employing reckless short cuts to cut costs,” and “insanity of the highest order.” There is also room for a dig at “ass kissing foreign governments.” In his exaggerated outrage against the “western media,” there is a moment of comedy when he says:

    “Allow me to be blunt and say how much I detest this double standard bull shit of the highest order.”

    It could be an honest assessment of his own work.

  143. Man Cini 2-0 Blackburn

  144. Gooner4life, dont be a pussy, we got outplayed by everton fair and square, we were sloppy and were lucky to get a point, be a man and admit it partner

  145. shut up, james!!

  146. Poliziano.

    You win. It was a white wash.

  147. @ Pz

    Speaking for myself, I have condemned what FLEC did. But I also think that the Togo FA appear to have acted with astonishing, almost criminal disregard for the safety of their team, and I see no reason not to say so. If there are shown to be extraordinary circumstances which justify their decision, then I will take it back.

    However, the point is that the guilt of FLEC does not erase the guilt of the Togo FA, or vice versa. You’ve agreed that they had a duty of care which was not fulfilled. So I think we can leave it at that.

  148. Man City 3-0 Blackburn

  149. we have links with Man City’s owners…

    Abu Diaby

  150. the spuds can kiss goodbye to any aspirations of finishing 4th, not they were ever gunner finish there anyway.

    watch out zap there is some tumble weed coming your way.

  151. that

  152. Zap thats a great joke partner. I’m feeling you dog

  153. Is there, DukeGoonem?

  154. What line of construction work are you in, James??

  155. Vieira has just joined and he’s injured already? That bodes well for him and city.

  156. Do you mean Vieira hasn’t started, or that he got injured during the game?

  157. who is running the womens league??? Arsenal have played 9 whilst the top team has played 16!! probably an all women fa!!

  158. i know Coz they play the women’s champions league instead of the league sometimes

  159. FunGunner.

    A small strain- he didn’t start

  160. Thanks, Zap.

  161. Man Cini 3-1 Blackburn

  162. Why do people like Paul Doyle keep saying we need someone to “lead the line”? We’ve scored tons and tons of goals.

  163. @ Ted Harwood

    Fixed ideas. Inability to adapt to new facts. We must pity them.

  164. Duke, a lot of the Arsenal Ladies were playing international football in the summer so their season started late.

    Ted Harwood – they have a football template so regardless of what is actually happening on the pitch, the fact that Arsenal are not following this template with “a big man up top to lead the line” there must be something wrong. It doesn’t occur to their tiny minds that there could be another way to play the game.

  165. I just expect the Guardian guys to know better than Mr. Doyle is letting on, I guess. We scored two goals on Saturday, two last Sunday vs. West Ham, three versus Villa…it’s just silly. Last time I checked, we were on pace to score 100 goals.


  167. seether on January 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I find the joke sick rather than funny.

  168. hey gooners , i’m new here

    i’ve got absolutely sick of that doom n gloom blog that goes by the name of le-grove..these guys dwell on negatives even when we win 4-1..i agree with gadget that le-grove should be removed from the list we have here

    anyway , a great piece there yogi..i’m at work so will catch up and comment a bit later..cheers!

  169. Portsmouth winger John Utaka is apparently on £80,000 a week, Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is on a mere £60,000 – according to the report I read anyway. Astonishing, if true.

  170. Questions must be asked of our medical staff, why do we get so, so many injuries year after year after year. There’s something wrong with our medical team of training techniques, something terribly, terribly wrong.

    The other option is that half our squad are crocks who will always be crocks.

  171. if this is true then it is sad to know that arsha one of our best attacking players , multi million pound signing, has to play with an injury and that too out of position. he is risking further agrevation

  172. Arsenhollis i have 0 iota of confidence in Almunia too. I know he is improved alot since his alleged chest infection but he is nowhere his best, though he has done some pretty nice saves afew times. I was actually impressed that he almost got his hand on Penaar’s goal.If it were upto me Fabianski would be our No.1 by now but am not Wenger so he is not. afew wks back I decided to keep my reservations about him to myself as it didnt bode well with most ACLFers.

    Not that this has anything to do with him but how many clean sheets have we kept this season?

    Zap, ACF is turning out to be full of surprises, who would have thought of Malawi beating Algeria 3-0. Before the Tourney they were the underdogs in their group as it stands they top it. Was thoroughly impressed by Burkina faso holding on despite playing the stars of Ivory coast.Looking forward to more surprises.

  173. California Gooner

    Maybe someone in England can explain the Saha rumors to me. Isn’t Everton a fairly big club??? Are they really going to let go of one of their only strikers?

    On the little I know, I think he would be a good signing for us short term: he is big enough to lead the line and because of his speed, he gives us something different once Bendy comes back. But it seems (once again) like so much hot air.

  174. SomeRandomGunner

    In a report on Daily Mirror, Arshavin said: “My greatest dream is to win a title with my club. Naturally, it would be better if we won the Premier League or the Champions League.

    “But to do this we need a miracle – which is to start playing finally with our optimal line up.

    “I do not think we have had it once so far this season.”

    As for his club’s transfer activities in January, the playmaker is unsure if any new players will be coming in.

    “I have a feeling that Arsenal are not going to buy any new players in the winter transfer window. Or if we do, it will be at the very last moment.” added Arshavin.

    Do not like him speaking to media.

  175. Let the guy speak his mind aslong as he shows up to games and plays to the best of his abilities. He’s just being realistic about the fact that our team is hampered with injuries and that we never get the chance to play our best 11 on a consistent basis. Fair enough, if were the underdogs then I guarantee you that’s enough motivation for our team to surpass expectations.

  176. The Headline says “ANDREY ARSHAVIN: ARSENAL NEEDS A MIRACLE to win the title” but this is very misleading and that is not what he said. Wha he is actually saying we need a miracle to have the full strength line up which hasn’t happened this season “But to do this we need a miracle – which is to start playing finally with our optimal line up” “I do not think we have had it once so far this season.” But as usual some mugs just fall for it all the time without bothering to understand what he is actually saying.

  177. 1 loose cannon, I think some people get taken in by the headline and then don’t read any further. They also forget that either the interview was given in the person’s second language or is judiciously translated to give a certain slant. Mind you I would prefer that Arshavin talk less off the pitch and do more on the pitch. Yes, it’s tough that we don’t have our best XI on the pitch most of the time, but we need those who are out there to fight like they did on Saturday to keep us in the race until some reinforcements return. We also need the senior players to step up and show leadership to the rest. Arshavin is an experienced player and captain of his national side. He needs to let his performances do his talking.

  178. very true Passenal and 1 loose cannon. Without injuries winterbreaks, internationals and friendlies we would have had this title in the bag ages ago. But hey when have Arsenal ever done anything the easy way. Victory will be even sweeter .

  179. If I were a football writer I’d love being paid to follow football but I’d hate myself for the rubbish & lies. I’d rather be a politician

  180. California Gooner, I’d take all the paper speculation with a pinch of salt. Out of all our signings there’s perhaps only Arshavin that the papers speculated correctly.

    As far as Saha goes, he’s coming to the end of his contract he’s had a fairly good 12 months, and supposedly his ‘people’ have gone back to everton and demanded practically double his wages. I think that they will go around the houses linking him to other clubs. Starting with us as he’s french (a clairefontaine graduate) and we need a striker, so we know the papers will definately buy into it.

    I’ll eat my hat if we sign him.

  181. els,

    I won’t be surprised if Wenger is interested in Saha because he’s quality, the one sticky point being doubts about his proneness to injury.

  182. Him and his feelings!!!how come is the only player at Arsenal that has got so much to say to the press?

    anyway I hope his foot gets well.

  183. cheap french xscum …..that has been the trend lately ..why dont the papers link us to likes of ribery messi kaka benzima ?

  184. Firstlady

    still sour at his speech about women drivers?

  185. Oh fuck off Ole Gunner

  186. A politician, Ole?

    Never that.

  187. that arshavin thing is a perfect example of gutter press…by ‘miracle’ , he meant the miracle of us being able to start with our strongest 11 which we haven’t been able to do so because of injuries .it has nothing to do with us winning

    “ But to do this we need a miracle – which is to start playing finally with our optimal line up. I do not think we have had it once so far this season. ”

  188. He can say whatever he want as long as he play well .

  189. He says the miracle is getting fit, the headline is very misleading.

    With one league game in the next week, we might have Cesc, Walcott, Bendtner, Clichy, Senderos fit again. Rosicky will be ready to start and Song will be almost done in Africa. (Maybe Campbell to add depth and any signings.)

    We dropped two points to a super comitted team in tough conditions, so things are pumped up as overly negative in the week off.

    This team is starting to look like it can get 3 points when playing less than its best and with injuries, Saturday aside.

    When we really need to move up a level we can. The team starts to press the ball all across the pitch, the defence gets better protection, and we dominate.

    Villa might not be quite as hard a game as it looked two weeks ago. Manure and Scousers at home look winnable. The chavs will definitely see our best game after the last match. Plus, we get city at home now they are looking sharp.

    With the final 13 league games looking favourable, we could go for a treble this year if we get through Stoke with the reserves.

  190. 1 league game next TWO weeks.

  191. Ole, I think Saha is a good player, however he is 31 and prone to injuries. Don’t think Wenger would get him unless it was for free.

    It’s Chamakh for me, I still think that the mind games are being played. Wenger could be looking for a freebee, or cheap option this window.

  192. “If I were a football writer I’d love being paid to follow football but I’d hate myself for the rubbish & lies.”

    Don’t worry about it, Ole. You can rehash what the other journalists write at the same time as lambasting them for their double standards and bragging about your own superiority.

  193. santino,

    Makes me glad the sentiment is mutual.

  194. consolsbob,

    At least you could find honest politicians. Rare but possible. Plus you have power to actually do anything valuable, and could stumble on doing something that really makes a difference.

  195. arsenehollis , i agree..i think having this congested and supposedly tough run of games is good for us…mancs and scousers at home are easily winnable provided we have cesc though we did outplay them at old trafford even without him

    well i think , considering our style of playing and the intricacy involved , we really don’t need another striker if nikki b can somehow manage to get fit before the villa park game as chances fall to everyone…even vermaelen was having a go at the everton game…the most important thing , imo , is cesc’s recovery , not only because he injects strength in mid-field but also because he gets the best out of everyone

  196. Pz,

    You’re right, I do feel superior to them. And I enjoy ridiculing them.

    But I also wonder why society allows it. I think they’re the only category of people who’re allowed to go around spreading outright falsehood.

  197. omg Le Grivel outdid themselves. Their yesterday’s post is the worst thing I’ve read in a blog…EVER.

  198. Hmm. I think you misunderstood me there, Ole.

  199. Man i’m sick of this Chamakh talk to be honest. As an Arab i’m happy that the boy is making a name for himself but I assure you he wouldn’t be half as famous if we weren’t interested in him. Is Fabregas going to be back for the Bolton game? I think we’ve carried on without him for long enough, we need our top scorer back!

  200. EvilFiek, I just attempted it but only made about 4 paragraph’s.

  201. I see Frank gave up on Villa..Its been quite awhile since he mentioned him.

    Santino I could call you a racist scam but i will not.

  202. Pz, whatever you’re on about I agree with. Including the point about rehashing media stuff. It’s a very media driven culture we’re in. Which is why it irks me even more.

  203. Else, Evilfiek it got me too angry didnt make it to the comments.

  204. Just went to Le Grove to see what the fuss was about. Lets just say I completely understand now.

  205. PIRES he’s back. I think that all the clubs linked to Chamakh are just following our lead. But don’t be to negative, he could well be our next signing.

  206. We’d be in League Two by now if that drivel was treated as reliable information that decisions can be made from.

  207. Hahaaaa ha ha ha Kenwyne Jones £40m. Hahahaa!

  208. Darren Fletcher’s now moaning about his hard man image. Wasn’t he boasting about how he likes to get hard with top EPL midfielders in November.

    It’s a modern phenomenon- hard men who moan about getting booked.

  209. Ah yess Fabreeeee, love it. I really hope he stays fit this time because he really is crucial to us. As for Chamakh i’m not trying to be negative but would rather us focus on the games at hand. Seems to me that he’s trying to attract attention at a very important time for us season wise. I know its just the media instigating things but damn do we have bigger fish to fry.

  210. What media outlet had that up Els?

  211. I think a lot of sports journalists are failed political journalists, and they bring the cynicism of the political journalists into sport, where it is even less appropriate. They also bring along the bitter baggage that the failure always carries. If they start out with enthusiasm for sport, it is destroyed by becoming the qualification for a job, and they soon prefer to fill their allotted space as quickly as possible by repeating the same ideas day after day.

    One must also remember that people tend to select their newspapers according to their political opinions, and so the bias at the front of papers goes unnoticed, while the bias at the back is all too apparent.

  212. I suppose PIRES but it is January and if we are to sign any players, of which i’m not too sure, then now is the time it has to be done. I’m sure Arsene and Ivan can cope.

    Fletcher like a good ol’ moan don’t he.

  213. This came off about good old Kenwyne.

    It is believed that Brum have an offer of £11 million ready to bring the hitman to St Andrew’s, but their former gaffer has questioned whether the player’s suitors can afford his wages.

    “One game he looks like a £40m player and another day you think, ‘Come on’,” Bruce said, according to The Mirror.

    “With no disrespect to Stoke or Birmingham, can they afford Kenwyne? I very much doubt it.

    “It’s not just the transfer fee but wages, all the rest of it.”


  214. i don’t know why everybody hates journalists this much . They do this for a living , don’t they ?
    And its entertainment or do you hate filmmakers and novelists also ?

  215. I know this isnt the place but arent mancs fans regretting calling Teves a headless chicken, he seems to be in form. Good for him.

  216. Good point pz about how bias could be missed. It’s not the bias that gets me. It’s the fabrications.

    Speculation on the front page is presented as speculation. If you cook up a story that ends up on the front page, it can end your career.

    Back pages, the editors demand it.

  217. Glazers took £20M in “management fees” from Man poo in 1 year. The rich sugardaddy’s raiding the kid’s piggy bank.

  218. Firstlady, had they turned on him? Just shows you how fantastic Hughes was really utilising his talented squad. Best two strikers they have are Tevez and Santa Cruz, who both sat on the bench under hughes.

    Have to admit a liking for Tevez, even before he made Manure look like the clowns they are.

  219. “Management fees”?! Is this even legal? If I were a shareholder in MU (Glazers are sole owners) I’d be heading to court.

  220. Els they actually loved him up until he decided he wasnt getting enough love from Red nose and was time to say bye bye.

    Mancini is surely doing something right, they have only conceded 1 goal since he took over and taken all points.

    Havent seen Cruz play much this season but i used to think he was great at Blackburn.

  221. i think manu going bankrupt wont do us any favours .

  222. He spit on the pigdog Adebayor just like me and my village, and he also spit on the chelsea bandits and their financial doping. The spirit of our club, our family is growing in stature and soon will be unstoppable. When Arsene spit on a player you know he is right. He almost spit on Denilson at the weekend but he felt bad because of his squashy face. I love my Arsenal but I want to see him spit Almunia and let Fabianski defend our goal. He is a big player and a monster like Schmeichel was before he got murdered by Ian Wrighty in the knee. We all miss Song Bilong and hope he comes back soon to keep our midfielders warm, but if not then squashy one will do the job or maybe the Welches Ramsey – he is like a dangerous lion who wants his food! I like boys like this… they are Arsenal through and through and may Jesus bless them all.

    Lets do it for David Rocastle, he spit on Adebayor from his resting place and he pushes us to the title for ever!

  223. lets spit spit spit spit spit spit spit spit spit spit

  224. tunday is James i’m guessing?

  225. Tunday Tunday, so good to me…
    Tunday Tunday, you’re all I hoped you would beee
    Oh Tunday’s morning, Tunday’s morning couldn’t guarantee
    That Tunday’s evening might just be, very spitty…

  226. Rumour circulating on Twitter that we resigned Big Sol.

  227. No more live reserve games on ATVO? Boooo!

    Then again, it might be better for younger players’ development if they don’t have know-it-alls writing their careers off every time they have a quiet game.

    It’s amazing to read some of the unshakeable tags assigned to these guys, most of whom are still teenagers.

  228. Sol Campbell spotted at Arsenal’s training grou – oh wait…!

  229. “No more live reserve games on ATVO? Boooo!”

    It’s funny that this is presented on as a feature.

    “This is one of a number changes,” they say, “that have been made to Arsenal TV Online since the start of the season. And much more is on the way.”

    What will the next improvement be? Perhaps they’ll stop showing interviews with the players.


    Is that Igors stepanovs clearing snow in the centre of the shot 🙂

    STEPANOVS: how come grimandi gets to go f***ing scouting around the globe and I get this.

  231. Yeah, I was trying hard to find the benefit as well. Such a weird way to announce it.

    I genuinely look forward to those games.

  232. Whoever Tunday is, he’s a damn good writer (he gets his point across with clarity, like a poet). So, I think in time Tunday you will grow fond of Denilson’s squashy face. One Arsenal family!

  233. Just been watching Arsenal v Barnsley, Oct ’97, pre-Thierry days and Bergkamp in magnificent form, alongside Wright. So interesting to compare. Hell those guys counter-attacked with speed and venom, but the control is nowhere near today’s vintage. Vieira, so much like Diaby, shows amazing speed, vision and tenacity.

  234. David Villa…no doubt about it

  235. Denilson is back for bolton, i really think were a better team without him

  236. RedTrev is back, i really think were a better blog without him

  237. Oh there you are Frank. David Villa it is then. But will Tevez discover, to his horror considering where he’s landed, that he is really an Arsenal type player? Um, never I suppose, such is life.

  238. I still like Tevez. He was never ugly enough to become a proper man utd player. Nevertheless, I don’t think we’ll sign him.

  239. you’ve been on fire today Poli.. particularly enjoyed that stint with Ole he’s quite difficult to insult..

  240. Yes very cutting Poliziano.

  241. There I was taking it as a compliment…. 😀

  242. Honoured as I am to be considered a master of insult, I didn’t actually intend to insult Ole today. My comment has been misinterpreted.

  243. ole you’re amazing, your superiority complex added to your incalculable knowledge of stats is capable of making you invincible..

  244. Sol’s a Gooner………………….again

  245. Mail confirm Sol is back, with very little by the way of confirmation…?

    A good move. If Gallas gets hurt, it would be difficult to play TV and Silvestre for a stretch of games, with one needing to shift sides.

    We needed an extra defender for cover.

    Maybe this is just for the next two games against Bolton, to deal with Kevin davies then knack the c$$nts knee in injury time of the second and take the ban for the good of the sport?

  246. Campbell playing for the reserves at West Ham.Maybe used as back up for Gallas and TV and Silvestre at LB v Bolton after Traore’s mare on saturday.Interesting times ahead

  247. The resigning of Campbell is inspired.We have been lucky that TV and Gallas have avoided any major injuries this season.Sol will be great back up.

  248. Strange stuff on right now about Sol’s “return to the club”

  249. Kitchen Sink,

    Perhaps it’s just my “superiority”. Could you be mixing your concepts up?

  250. I give you the tools to realize your extended self ,instead you use them to blind yourself..

  251. Ole what has been said. Is there any truth in this sol business?

  252. hhmmm.

  253. Interesting stuff about he possibility of Sol rejoining us.

    My only reservation about his possible arrival is that he used to take a while to get up to he pace whenever he was injured/out of the side etc, so having Campbell as cover will be interesting.

  254. Egypt-Nigeria now on in African Cup.

    Here is a good guide if anyone’s interested:

  255. Nigeria 1-0, good goal from Obasi.

  256. Thanks, anaconda. Do you happen to know what time Cameroon play tomorrow? I’d like to watch that.

  257. Oh Oo! Here’s one for the doomers.

    Rhys Murphy has signed a new contract after doing his ankle in. No doubt he’s going to be tagged injury prone.

  258. Ole actually reminds me of Mr. Dombey from Dombey and Son.

  259. Resigning Big Sol, Tottenham’s Greatest Ever Player, can only be a good thing. I’ve no idea if it’s bollocks or not yet, but still…

    We could play…

    – – – – – – – -Almunia – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – Gallas – Campbell – Traore
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – Vermaelen – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – Fabregas – Denilson – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Nasri – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Diaby
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – Arshavin/Eduardo – – – – –

    Just for jokes. That would shit Bolton up (twice) and then shit Stoke up, and then Song will be back to shit Villa up. Will he? tbc.

  260. gallas and cambell that will be ment-hell

  261. What’s Dombey and Son?

  262. anyone know if the acn is on the bbc?? dont say the bbc have lost another football tornament. they are only giving us the most boring fukin anti sports games on the planet like darts and snooker. i mean watching snooker is like waiting for death. and why does everyone who turns up to watch suffer from the flu.

  263. the only dart game i am looking forward to is rvp vs terry

  264. California Gooner

    Damn, Campbell owes us one big time after Arsene let him out of his contract only to see him move to the Pompmey. For that one, he should offer his services for free through May!

    I’m actually happy he has joined the squad, however. His resigning along with Rosicky’s new contract shows that Wenger knows his squad has been short of experience in recent years. On that basis, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him bring in another veteran up front. I think he sees a real chance of winning something this year and will want players who can get us there and teach the youngsters how to do it on their own.

  265. Campbell’s resigned already? He’s only just arrived!

  266. lets hope he doesn’t resign on the pitch.

  267. Beeb have only got the semis onwards I think Duke. Which is a joke. I enjoyed the last Acon immensely, I even became endeared to the sounds of the vuvuzela (sp, probably).

    Don’t knock darts though. It’s the modern equivalent of the Archery contest inside the colliseum of the castle walls (discounting Archery itself, which noone in their right mind actually watches anymore, because it’s all high-powered pneumatic super bows now, lycra quivers and the all rest of it). Darts is a great skill game.

    And so is snooker. Though I agree with you on the sickliness that seems to define the almost invariably pallid snooker spectator. Perhaps it’s the ‘musn’t cough’ etiquette imposed on these people – that somehow, forces them into fits of sniffles and throat-clearing. Like Humankind’s innate desire to self-destruct – they can’t help themselves.

  268. He even stayed at Notts County longer than that.

  269. I guess the issue with Darts and Snooker is that there is no action whatsoever. Even chess got more action. Obviously to be good in Darts takes a lot of practice but for me it is still very unattrative to watch because (at least for me) there is nothing exciting happening.

  270. I used to enjoy snooker when I was younger. My legs can’t take it any more. Although I’ve often watched it on television, I’ve never noticed these sickly spectators you are talking about. Darts, on the other hand, is a heap of shit. The one thing I would hold against RvP is his fondness for the game.

  271. Im not disputing the skill involved in darts and snooker, I actualy like the odd game of either but to watch is another matter. The only character in snooker is Ronnie O’Sullivan and he is a gooner aswell but the rest are just dull bastads.

  272. I agree about archery, though. Robin Hood would die laughing if he saw all the technology used by modern toxophilites.

  273. Yeah snooker tables are big and i suppose it is harder to get your leg over as you get older a Poliziano.

  274. And on this very day announce that they have stopped showing reserve games live – what terrible timing! If Sol fits in, it’s a great stopgap solution.

    @ DukeGoonem
    Great description of what it’s like to watch snooker. Ha ha ha

  275. Sol is playing for the Reserves in the game against West Ham, playing as a triallist with a view to re-signing. Says

  276. imagine this…sol surprises everyone by putting in great performances and then wenger moves vermaelen to often, then, would you hear the crowd go “shoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot” 😉

  277. Sol is there to replace Djourou. Hope he still has the legs for the job.

  278. That’s not really the problem, Duke. My poor legs just won’t support me for long enough.

  279. Fabregas is 100% for the game against Bolton. Denilson is also available. That’s very good news.

  280. @ EvilFiek – ha ha. But I can’t imagine AW would break up the TV/BG partnership unless he had to. They’ll compensate for Song’s absence in other ways. I think Sol’s being considered as backup. He could be very useful for a crucial couple of seasons, to bridge the gap between Gallas/Vermaelen and Djourou, Nordtveit, Bartley and the other young ‘uns. I believe Djourou can play either side, is that right? Could be a classic old head-and-rookie partnership as our second choice pairing next season. He might make a decent partner for Silvestre for the rest of the season, too. Anyway, I should stop getting ahead of myself – it may not even happen!

  281. “for the rest of THIS season,” I meant to say.

  282. I think Campbell and Silvestre might surprise everyone by putting in great performances and becoming our first choice centre backs.

  283. In fact, we might see Gallas and Vermaelen used for home games, and Silvestre and Campbell used away.

  284. I’m trying not to think about how exciting it would be to see that Anglo-French partnership used at Stamford Bridge.

  285. So Wenger jokes about Sol leaving Arsenal to go to another country (Portsmouth).. he then watches him as he proceeds to make his journey to the lower hell’s..

    only to find pity on him by training him too a point where he recognizes what looks to be good quality as back-up and decides to re-sign him..

    (The 1st in Arsene’s Arsenal universe)

    in doing so gives him an opportunity which should have never again had the chance to exist..

    A chance to be picked 4 the world-cup..

    Wenger must be lynched..

  286. Campbell at the world cup? Steady on, KS!

  287. FG having seen what I’ve seen of Capello’s side..

    anythings possible..

    and that alone should create enough hunger for Sol to give his All ..

  288. Since England doesn’t have any strikers, there ought to be room for one or two extra defenders.

  289. surely Sol is better then Rio.

  290. So the bbc are being half arsed with the acn! I wish they were half arsed when trying to recieve their extortionate licence fee.

  291. Duke, the ACN is on Eurosport.

    You can buy the Eurosport web player subscription, it’s only 5 euros or 4 pounds per month. And the best thing about it is you can buy it for just one month.

  292. His name is Rio, he’s so crock he cannot stand
    His name is Rio, he can’t play for his own land

  293. any streams for this reseve game?

  294. adebayor was just on sky sports wearing an arsenal polo shirt


  295. I think signing Campbell is a brilliant move.

    We now have a pair of CB’s who can play in the FA cup. Someone who reminds the fan of that winning feeling we will get again this season. Another little “fuck you” when we go to the shit-hole. Genius signing.

  296. Good month to buy it, there is the snooker Masters, the Australian open and 1st and 2nd Bundesliga as well, altough I’m not entirely sure which of these are actually in the UK Eurosport.

    It’s quite fun, you can (at least here) watch any 1st or 2nd bundesliga game, also afterwards (or “re-live”), and there is no commentary, only the audio from the stadium.

    And of course all the winter sports and all the weird stuff in the Eurosport 2.

  297. Emperor Gooner, I don’t there are streams available anymore because ATVO has stopped broadcasting them live, we only get the highlights and interviews afterwards.

  298. dose anyone else think them c**ts at le grove are big massive c**ts???

  299. Campbell or Tweety?Campbell anyday.We are now stronger at the back than we were yesterday

    Now Arsene SIGN A KEEPER

  300. gunner , they definitely are

  301. Arsene saw on saturday that the midfield without Song was not good enough.With 4 hard games coming up v Bolton x2 Villa and Man utd before Song comes back Arsene will play TV as the DM and play Sol with Gallas

    Sign a striker and a keeper and we will win the title

  302. those 2 dimwits who run le-grump moan even when we win 4-0..hell they were even whining after the 6-2 win ag gadget rightly put it , le-grump belongs to fans , not supporters

  303. I don’t suppose a link for the reserve game is flying around?

  304. If you want to see actually bad goalkeepers, watch the ACN. Huge howlers again at Mozambique-Benin game.

    I think that’s one of the biggest weaknesses of African sides, they really don’t have many top class keepers. The old fella at Egypt’s goal is decent but Kameni (Espanyol/Cameroon) is the only really top class keeper.

  305. Champions In May

    Sol can give Gallas some rest. Sol and TV against the big boys of Hull, Birmingham, Villa and Chavski will be great. It seems its now over for Senderos.

    He’ll provide leadership for Djourou, Bartley, Ayling and others and tell them the history about the double seasons. Sol will be a plus more than minus.

  306. Sol would be interesting because he plays in Vermaelen’s position? I don’t think a Gallas Campbell situation would be great since both don’t have speed.

    It would be an interesting signing nonetheless, I liked Campbell.

  307. Sol and Billy with TV in midfield fantastic.

    The Sol signing is a win-win for Arsenal if he fucks up he has cost us nothing if he is a success its a masterstroke

  308. gunner… boy have i got some beautiful stuff on those 2 pooftas over at le grove

    got me a copy of an email from the ugly one.. dissing the big fat ugly one

    its glorious stuff, and i may post it up on my blog.

  309. We’re NOT moving Vermaelen into midfield. What a bizarre thing to suggest.

  310. Willy G @7.01

    Great post

    The way Everton bullied our midfield was an eye-opener.I agree with you that if Sol comes through unscathed tonight he will start at TV in midfield.

  311. West Ham Reserves 0-1 Arsenal Reserves so far. JET scores a header, assist by Merida.

  312. The timing of the Sol signing shows how important the next 4 games our.He WILL start at Bolton

  313. and just as I wrote that, JET scores another! 2-0 to the Arsenal!!!!

  314. I was only joking about TV in midfield, personally. TV has many attributes that make him an intriguing candidate to fill in for Song. But while he does like to roam forward, he is a million miles away from Song in terms of skill on the ball. In fact, there’s a whole host of skills needed for that position, that I’m not sure TV really has at his disposal. Just because he’s tough as nails, mad as a dog, brilliant in the tackle and a good passer of the ball – doesn’t make him a shoe-in as a defensive midfielder. Passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from making the right pass further up the pitch, where you’ve more options and less time to make your decision. It’s a specialist position and Denilson will fulfill it so long as he’s fit. Campbell is back-up to the first-choice centrebacks only, I’d suggest.

  315. I doubt very much if Sol will start at Bolton in place of a fit TV or WG, after one reserves game.

  316. Sol won’t be starting any games for a while. As it says on ATVO, his last match was mid-September.

  317. The timing of the Sol signing shows how important the next 4 games our.He WILL start at Bolton.It also shows Senderdross is on his bike and he doesnt have faith in Silvestre

    Sell Toure for £14m and get Sol for Free.Genius by Wenger

  318. First Viera, now Sol Campbell. How long before Thierry comes home? The chances of TV going into midfield are slim to none, Sol will provide good cover for TV and WG. It also allows Senderos to end his wilderness.

  319. Brilliant, FG! Keep it coming!

    I was only joking about TV in midfield, personally. TV may possess attributes that make him an intriguing candidate to fill in for Song, but while he does like to roam forward, he is a million miles away from Song in terms of skill on the ball, and in fact, in terms of a whole host of other skills needed for that position.

    Just because he’s tough as nails, mad as a dog, brilliant in the tackle and a good passer of the ball – doesn’t make him a shoe-in as a defensive midfielder. Passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from making the right pass further up the pitch, where you’ve more options and less time to make your decision in. Think of the one-touch stuff, the turning out of tight spaces, the impenetrable ball-shielding, involved in being an Arsenal midfielder. Think of Alex Song. It’s a specialist position and Denilson will fulfill it so long as he’s fit. Campbell is back-up to the first-choice centrebacks only, I’d suggest, and in no way impacts our midfield options.

  320. Brilliant, FG! Keep it coming!

    I was only joking about TV in midfield, personally. TV may possess attributes that make him an intriguing candidate to fill in for Song, but while he does like to roam forward, he is a million miles away from Song in terms of skill on the ball, and in fact, in terms of a whole host of other skills needed for that position.

    Just because he’s tough as nails, mad as a dog, brilliant in the tackle and a good passer of the ball – doesn’t make him a shoe-in as a defensive midfielder. Passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from making the right pass further up the pitch, where you’ve more options and less time to make your decision in. Think of the one-touch stuff, the turning out of tight spaces, the impenetrable ball-shielding, involved in being an Arsenal midfielder. Think of Alex Song. It’s a specialist position and Denilson will fulfill it so long as he’s fit. Campbell is back-up to the first-choice centrebacks only, I’d suggest, and in no way impacts our midfield options.

    Can someone shout STOP if I’ve posted this twice please? I’m having technical issues…

  321. Spike used an interesting phrase the other day: skunk pussy. I don’t know exactly what it means (it certainly doesn’t sound appetising), but I suspect Eddie, Gooner Ted, and Marcus are examples of it.

  322. Brilliant, FG! Keep it coming!

    I was only joking about TV in midfield, personally. TV may possess attributes that make him an intriguing candidate to fill in for Song, but while he does like to roam forward, he is a million miles away from Song in terms of skill on the ball, and in fact, in terms of a whole host of other skills needed for that position.

    Just because he’s tough as nails, mad as a dog, brilliant in the tackle and a good passer of the ball – doesn’t make him a shoe-in as a defensive midfielder. Passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from making the right pass further up the pitch, where you’ve more options and less time to make your decision in. Think of the one-touch stuff, the turning out of tight spaces, the impenetrable ball-shielding, involved in being an Arsenal midfielder. Think of Alex Song. It’s a specialist position and Denilson will fulfill it so long as he’s fit. Campbell is back-up to the first-choice centrebacks only, I’d suggest, and in no way impacts our midfield options.

    Can someone please shout STOP, if you’re reading this twice? Technical problems…

  323. We’ve resigned Big Sol. I always liked the big lad but….I’d prefer if we kept Senderos.

  324. Gunner4Ever: Gallas doesn’t have speed? He’s built like a midfielder, he’s the most mobile of our defenders and underrated in the pass. Campbell is more like Vermaelen without the cultured technique; decent pace and good brain, he played on the left alongside Toure but can he adhere to the expansive tactics laid out by Wenger this season? He has seen him in training but the reserves game will show some truths.

  325. But Djourou should be shedding his injury past come next season so Sol is a good back-up till then as Johan is a fantastic little player.

  326. Champions In May

    Sol is showing in the reserves what we lack in our defence; the tall, bullying, mean and aerially powerful defender we’ve lacked since Bould, Adams, Keown and Sol all moved on.

    Just watch the reserves stream and you’ll appreciate Sol’s power in the air.

  327. The Brain, Gallas is definitely not as fast as Vermaelen, of course he would be probably the faster compared to Campbell.

    As I said, I don’t mind seeing Campbell back in an Arsenal shirt, I like the guy and he is surely full of experience, height, and a good header of the ball.

    It will be interesting who he would cover for, that’s all.

  328. Lots of people think Sol has passed it But Wenger saw he can still cut it at the top otherwise he will not sign him. What you are getting with this type of signing is valuable experience, if the young defenders just train with him is worth it. Sol is brilliant at clearing high balls and I think it will add something extra. To have someone like him to come on and do a job is fantastic. Believe me if he wasn’t a former Arsenal player and wasn’t training with us Fergie would have signed him the Mancs are desperate for defenders at moment.

  329. Brilliant, FG! Keep it coming!

    I was only joking about TV in midfield, personally. TV may possess attributes that make him an intriguing candidate to fill in for Song, but while he does like to roam forward, he is a million miles away from Song in terms of skill on the ball, and in fact, in terms of a whole host of other skills needed for that position.

    Just because he’s tough as nails, mad as a dog, brilliant in the tackle and a good passer of the ball – doesn’t make him a shoe-in as a defensive midfielder. Passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from making the right pass further up the pitch, where you’ve more options and less time to make your decision in. Think of the one-touch stuff, the turning out of tight spaces, the impenetrable ball-shielding involved in being an Arsenal midfielder. Think of Alex Song. It’s a specialist position and Denilson will fulfill it so long as he’s fit. Campbell is back-up to the first-choice centrebacks only, I’d suggest, and in no way impacts our midfield options.

    Can someone please shout STOP, if you’re reading this twice? Technical problems…

  330. he is having a barnstorming game by all accounts

  331. Can see Sol doing a great job for 6 months only.But after that Arsene employing him as a defensive coach

    But this most not be our last “signing” this window.The signing of AA last year showed what an inspired signing can do for a team.

  332. 2-1 now. Penalty to the Hammers. Come on, Arsenal!!!

  333. Gallas is very fast. Can’t think of any defender in the Top 7 clubs (except say Toure) who matches his pace.

  334. Campbell only played the first 45 mins, btw.

  335. @Champions In May, what stream?

  336. I agree with Ole.

  337. Champions In May

    Sol’s coming is a good decision because Senderos is already in the shopping window; for sale because he couldn’t move to the next step.

    Sylvestre might be off in the summer because there is nothing more left in him. So; Arsene is getting in Sol as a stop-gap measure while DJ comes in March. Sol will also help develop Bartley and Ayling.

  338. Campbell is as fast as anything i’ve seen on two legs.

    Absolutely loving the fact he’s back. Great cover for TV and Gallas, it would probably give wenger more confidence in not pushing those 2 so hard now. However I do think he’ll only play a bit part. After that I really hope he sticks around to do some coaching.

    I wish that we could keep senderos around also, I think he and Djourou both have it in them to take over from gallas.

  339. You live in an old-people’s home as well, huh?

  340. +1 ole …..gallas has been fantastic for us and most of this has been , though not wrongly , overshadowed by the brilliant belgian

    suggesting that sol would start at reebok seems a little bizzare

  341. JET with a hat trick as reserves win 2-4

  342. 4-2 to Arsenal Reserves. Goals from Frimpong and JET hat-trick. Well done the boys. Two points off the reserve league leaders Aston Villa. The double is still on.

  343. Ole

    Toure fast!!!! You are joking.Wenger bombed him out because he lost the major part of his game-Pace

  344. With the CL starting again next month Wenger is going to want to rest TV and Gallas.Thats where Sol comes in.I can see Sol starting 6-8 games

    as for Senderos his career was destroyed by one man Drogba

  345. nice…how was sol in that half??

  346. I didn’t see it, Emperor Gooner, but the live text reports suggested he played well.

  347. k..cheers

  348. anyone knows how i can change this gloomy icon next to my name??

  349. Bet the Citeh fans will not like this

  350. Maybe he’s trying to hint to his employers that he’ll need a pay rise if he is to change his wardrobe.

  351. that c**t is trying too hard to make up for whatever he did..even in the cc game , he was behaving like a 13 yr old sweet schoolgirl….sorry ade , aint happenin

  352. Just been watching Sky Sports and Adebayor was interviewd about the Togo shootings whilst wearing an Arsenal T shirt!

    You see he just can’t let it go!…..

  353. Champions In May

    Sol was his known self in the first half, bullying, clearing headers, physical presence and giving instructions to the young ones, Bartley and the rest. Apparently, got substituted due to match fitness.

    I can see him playing some role against the most physical teams, say Stokes, Blackburn,Hull, Villa, Birmingham, Wigan, Sunderland and Bolton.

    He can do it if Arsene say so. I can see him giving Gallas a breather since he’s the most vulnerable with injuries. His presence will help the development of Djourou and Bartley/Ayling and let Sylvestre and Senderos leave.

  354. Ooops I see Duppsffokcuf saw it first and you guys have bben mentioning it already!

  355. Champions In May- That sunny weather in your picture doesn’t look like England- Tusany?

    That Ade interview is weird with an Arsenal shirt. He was deeply hurt by the booing, sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone. I think deep down he regrets his behaviour but it’s too late now.
    Here is another who thought we were not big enough for him Mr Falmini, apparently is going to be a Spud. How embarrassing is that?

  356. It looks like Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ time on loan at Blackpool and then on the bench for the first team has really focused him. Hopefully his hat-trick tonight puts him in line for some Premier League minutes in one of the two Bolton games.

  357. Wow the Sol signing just feels very right. I always thought he had a few years in him when he left us but never thought he’d come back. Here’s to a few headed goals by him. Wenger is one shrewd bastard. I can’t see Sol displacing anyone at the moment but its great to have him as cover. Whats up with Senderos? I thought the guy was just injured this whole time and has since recovered and trying to recover some fitness. Why is the information regarding his situation so vague? I really think he just needs to get his head together and work hard. He doesn’t need to be the best but just to be solid and reliable enough. Hell if Titus Bramble started playing consistently for a period of time after his nightmares then i’m sure Sendy can do it too.
    Someone suggested that we should push up Vermy to DM and leave Sol and Gallas at the back. Tell u the truth I like this idea but I don’t think Wenger would take this time to experiment at this crucial stage of the season. Furthermore, if he does do that he will be sending a negative message to the other players in the midfield that feel they can fulfil this position until Song gets back. Oh well this is great news, I was delighted when I saw it on and can’t wait to thrash Bolton. Seems Cesc is a hundred percent recovered which is just a bonus. Coyle is an attack minded coach and I hope that Bolton doesn’t do a ‘Bolton’ on us again for a longtime to come.

  358. Piresholic in the past few years we have done a pretty good job of out doing Bolton…stick it up the gunners tactics dont scare us anymore. So all this talk in the media about being bullied is wishful thinking.

    Campbell would be an inspired signing. We will forgive him for his melt down moment at the Emirates. Does that mean Ade is coming back as he has been interviewed wearing the shirt? Even Flamini Now wouldnt that be a shocker.

  359. I don’t understand this obsession with Vermaelen playing DM – he is an excellent defender and has formed a great partnership with Gallas. Why disrupt that? Denilson/Diaby/Cesc is good enough as a midfield combination. What we need is for the defenders to stay back more in the absence of Song so that we have better balance between attack and defence. I’m sure Arsene is working on that in training this week.

  360. @ Passenal

    I think it’s just their way of saying they have no confidence in Denilson.

    And to whoever it was who was anticipating Henry returning, I’m sure that the re-signing of SC, if it happens, is a one-off. This is not like in the films when the grizzled veteran calls the old team together for one last hurrah. Wenger is not trying to reassemble the Invincibles.

  361. As soon as rumours began to emerge that Wenger was going to buy Vermaelen, retards suggested he was going to be used as a defensive midfielder. Subsequent events have proved what was always obvious – that the cunning Frenchman bought a defender because he wanted someone to play in defence. A lot of people made themselves look very stupid; but a long time has since passed, and their identities have been forgotten. One would imagine they would be pleased that their reputations have healed. Instead, they seem determined to drag their names through the mud once more.

  362. Sol is back, he is the only player Wenger re-signed and he is raring to go. He siad :
    “There have been a few clubs, quite a bit of speculation. But going back to Arsenal – well, that is serious, and I am serious about this.

    “I’ve missed it and I’ve a gut feeling this is the right move.

    “It’s no longer a hunger to get back, it’s turned into a craving. I am champing at the bit. I’m fresh, I’m raring to go. It’s unbelievable to be back.”

  363. Poli- I really don’t know what the obsession with this defensive midfielder. I can comfortably say Song is the best holding player in the premiership and Denilson can do almost anything so I don’t know what the problem.

  364. hmmm….were those the same retards that said Chelsea would struggle to make the Top 4? I actually think that Vermaelen would shine in about 5 or 6 positions, but he’s been absolutely indispensable alongside Gallas. Besdies, we have the best defensive midfielder in the country with Alex Song.

    On another note, interesting to see the following news about Flamini:

    23:50: Mathieu Flamini could become even more unpopular with Arsenal fans if the Daily Mail is right: “Tottenham are set to make a shock move to bring former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini back to north London.” Flamini’s not happy at AC Milan after being used as a defender and has said he wouldn’t mind a move back to England…

    This wouldn’t actually bother me that much. Tottenham already have Palacios, so Flamini would only be replacing one of their better players in the holding role. Like Vieira, it’s just sad to see such a great Arsenal player having to step down to play for a lesser club.

  365. The Flamini back to Sp*rs better not be true…

    maybe this doesn’t apply to the rest of you but I really dislike seeing our ex-players come back from oversees to frolick around the Premier League.

    Look at Citeh – its turning into an Arsenal retirement home! Now we’re going to have others move into Sp*rs? what next? Lehmann comes back to replace Cech? I know Arsenal produce and nurture exceptional talent but this is ridiculous.

    Even though Viera isn’t one of ours anymore, it still felt strange to see him sign for Citeh…the same goes for Toure. They can do whatever they want and we’ll acknowledge what they did for Arsenal but overall, it doesn’t sit well with me.

  366. exept vieiras a ledge and flaminins a rat

  367. And the Citeh fans are being embarassing with wetting their diapers about the whole adebayor affair. he can wear whatever the frack he wants…its not like we care and I don’t understand why they’re getting so worked up.

    also, maybe they’re so caught up in themselves that they seem to forget that beyond their little circle, the rest of the world doesn’t really care about them. I’ve lived in Africa (in particular Kenya) and in the 15 years I was there everyone supported one of two teams; Arsenal or Manchester United….Citeh what? Who knew or cared about what Citeh was before the past 3 or 4 months.

    And anyway our colours are better than that blue puke they parade around so I have to hand it to adebayor.

  368. 1 loose cannon… i agree completely Song IS the best holding midfielder in the premiership this season.

    he has progressed so much from last year, from breaking up play, tackling, tracking back to providing a cool head to bring the ball out of defense, his passing, his touch and comfort on the ball… Really he has been spectacular.

    Who is better in the EPL? I think Xabi Alonso wouldve taken the cake were he still around, but Song is catching up even to his stature… ahh ive just become the BIGGEST Song supporter

  369. ALSO has anyone heard from YW?? I’m a little concerned there was no post today, hope all is well

  370. The Sol signing will win us the title.He is a great defender.Much much better than Silvestre and Senderos who couldnt concentrate.We can now give Gallas or TV a rest in the smaller games

  371. A superb signing.Senderos was never good enough and Silvestre a joke.Sol knows he has 6 months left in his career.What an opportunity to take the club to glory.People seem to forget he led Pompey to the FA cup.And if Sol fails what do we lose nothing.
    Can see Sel playing in either one of the Bolton games
    Wouldnt be suprised if Wenger gave Sol a coaching job in the summer
    Now we need a striker and hopefully a keeper

  372. Red nose will cut Senderos some slack.I am tired of hearing people say he was never good enough.

  373. Si Red Don, we vill vin ze title now zat ve ave an invicible back in our fold. Didn’t Sol & Kanu vin ze FA cup a season or two ago?

    Hmm…very deft Prof Wenger, well played!


  374. I’m not sure why people have so little confidence in Denilson. He may not have had his best game against Everton, but neither did anyone else. However, he was an ever present at the heart of the Arsenal midfield last season that managed a 21 game unbeaten run. He has been a little interrupted by injuries this season, but he is an excellent reader of the game and the king of the interception. He is also very versatile, disciplined and willing to sacrifice his game for the good of the team. He’s a great player to have in the squad.

  375. Wenger is hoping to keep the current crop together, I for one really hope that that means senderos will stay. As he definately will be the type of defender that with a little more confidence and a few years under his belt flourish into a first rate centreback.

    I love the fact that big sol is back where he belongs, reading his interview was fantastic.

    Also on the Flamini front, he’s still a cracking player, I forgave his transfer, just do not think he would lower himself further into spurs colours.

    Onto the next bit of business, lets have Thierry back to tie us over until RvP and NB are fit. Then he and big sol can take on coaching roles.

  376. Passenal, hear hear, deni is awesome, all haters will eat there words.

  377. So the latest classic from Liverpool is the rumoured 12 million signing-on fee for Chamakh along with a 5 year, 60k a week contract.

    Even better is this quote:

    “..senior officials at the club, along with manager Rafa Benitez, point to a policy of now going for top young players instead of ‘buying around the edges’ of the transfer market – a high risk strategy that has not worked at Anfield over the past few seasons”.

    I thought that was the reason they bought Babel, although it seems he’s going to be offloaded to help finance this deal.

  378. Passenal, good point about Denilson there but the fact is, he’s not got the physicality to be successful in the DM position. He falls over all the time when challenged and may have caused him the chronic backache.

    He’s a good player but hasn’t got what it takes to replace Song because of his weak strength and aerial weakness.

    Fact is, he’s not suitable for the DM position period, I can forsee Coquelin, Eastmond and Frimpong challenging Song for the position very, very soon rather than Denilson.

  379. What would become of us all if Yogi were to have fallen into a snowdrift?

    I was only joking about TV in midfield yesterday. He’s hard as nails, mad as a dog, and a good passer – but passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from passing quickly, regularly and successfully further up the field, where you have many more options and far less time to make your decision in, and to make your pass. Think of the one-touch stuff involved in being an Arsenal midfielder, the tiny areas you are required to work your way out of, ball-shielding and turning in tight circles. Just look at Alex Song! It’s a specialist position. Denilson can fill in while Song is away. Vermaelen is a specialist too, but a specialist defender.

  380. The 21 game unbeaten didn’t mean much because we drew tons of games with middle and lower teams. He was often bullied in that period and was found wanting in big games.

    Please, don’t get me wrong, he’s a very good player but for a regular DM position fighting for the title, no.

  381. What would become of us all if Yogi were to have fallen into a snowdrift?

    I was only joking about TV in midfield yesterday. He’s hard as nails, mad as a dog, and a good passer – but passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from passing quickly, regularly and successfully further up the field, where you have many more options and far less time to make your decision in, and to make your pass. Think of the one-touch stuff involved in being an Arsenal midfielder, the tiny areas you are required to work your way out of, ball-shielding and turning in tight circles. Just look at Alex Song! It’s a specialist position. Denilson can fill in while Song is away. Vermaelen is a specialist too, but a specialist defender.

    Denilson is stronger than Coquelin and Eastmond, and even he were not, he is vastly more experienced and skilled than all those players. He is one of the most underrated players in the league.

  382. What would become of us all if Yogi were to have fallen into a snowdrift?

    I was only joking about TV in midfield yesterday. He’s hard as nails, mad as a dog, and a good passer – but passing accurately out of defence is a world apart from passing quickly, regularly and successfully further up the field, where you have many more options and far less time to make your decision in, and to make your pass. Think of the one-touch stuff involved in being an Arsenal midfielder, the tiny areas you are required to work your way out of, ball-shielding and turning in tight circles. Just look at Alex Song! It’s a specialist position. Denilson can fill in while Song is away. Vermaelen is a specialist too, but a specialist defender.

    Denilson is stronger than Coquelin and Eastmond, and even he were not, he is vastly more experienced and skilled than those three. He is one of the most underrated players in the league.

  383. Passenal,

    Crucially, Wenger knows his quality. We’ll hear a lot of squealing but they’ll come around.

  384. What a fucking misery you are, so-called Truly AFC

  385. Truly AFC is Howard, I’m afraid.

  386. Such a Truly negative view on all points there, ‘the 21 game unbeaten run didn’t mean much’!!!

    You will be made to eat your words when Denilson is universally regarded as one of the best defensive minded midfielders in the world.

    Your card is marked 🙂

  387. ACLF provides a great opportunity to study the deranged human mind, with Howard the sick freak being the prize specimen.

  388. anybody wanting a new article, relating to Sol, there are a few good points on darius’s blog.

  389. He’s really a good player but not a DM. We’ll be found wanting if he plays there regularly. Well, fortunately, he’s in just for a short period.

    Calm down, I haven’t said that he’s not a good player.Its just that he hasn’t got what it takes to play there successfully.

    On Sol, its a good deal by Arsene because he’s better than Sylvestre and Senderos in that position if fit and ready. He might even be challenging Gallas.

  390. There’s a rumour going round amongst Arsenal fans that Wenger is planning to convert Campbell into a centre forward.

  391. Yes put Tommy V in centre mid, campbell up front and the frees nicky Bentdner to play in goal. Is that my great idea or did I just read that on another site……..

  392. The way Evertons midfield ran through the centre of our midfield was frightening.We lacked a player who could put his foot in like Song.TV could that.It would only be for 4 games FFS

    Sol will probably start only 6 games but his experience in the dressing room will be invaluable.And he is on pay as you play

  393. Sol cost us nothing twice he is on a pay per game contract.We cant lose.A great move.

    What Sol has is what you cant buy Experience.Tony Adams only played 10 games in his last season and we won the double,

    I just hope Wenger signs a keeper now

  394. Oh my. Everton ran through our midfield…..didn’t Liverpool, Man City run through our midfield with Song playing?

    Everton runs through our midfield so it means Denilson can’t play DM.

    Nonsense. He played there last season and was outstanding against top teams, and better teams than Everton.

  395. I was only joking about TV for midfield.

    Vermaelen is of course a great tackler, hard as nails, mad as a dog and a good passer – but passing well out of defence is a world apart from the intricate, quick, one-touch passing that’s required further up the field, playing for the Arsenal. You suddenly have triple the options, constantly moving, and half the time to pick and make your pass. This isn’t to mention the whole raft of other skills required, like working your way out of tiny areas, ball-shielding, turning in tight spaces, and breaking up play with subtle interceptions rather than smash-and-grab sliding tackles. It’s a specialist position. Just look at the many masterly aspects to Alex Song’s game! TV is a specialist too – but a specialist centrehalf.

    Denilson will fill in while Song’s away; another specialist midfielder, and one of the most underrated players in the premiership.

  396. Truly AFC, your comments are amazingly ill-considered.

  397. testing

  398. “Tony Adams only played 10 games in his last season and we won the double.”

    That’s perhaps not as flattering to Adams as you suppose.

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