Stone Cold Friday: Why Arsenal Can Do Without Another Striker

He’s defeated Daleks, jousted with Jokers but I won’t tell you what happened when he met Wonder Woman. It’s the stuff of legend…Here’s Darius

January has to be the most depressing month for football journalists. The pressure to concoct player transfer rumours is so relentless it easily qualifies as working under duress. The suits upstairs are squeezing their Editors chuffers to ensure that they fill news columns and air waves. There’s a very fine line between exclusive breaking news and faecal matter you can only read whilst pinching your nose to avoid the stench.

In Arsenal’s case, journalists truly come unstuck hence the crap-o-meter is employed overtime. Hacks and pundits would like to think and make us believe that they are on the inside. The truth is no one really has any damn clue as to Arsenal’s real intent in the transfer market. Wenger doesn’t play his cards close to his chest, he pretty much plays them from inside.

From the beginning of the season, the establishment in particular have clamoured for Arsenal to replace Adebayor. Perhaps it’s because of their assumption that without a huge tall striker of the Adebayor mould, Arsenal would fall off the cliff and disappear into the wilderness of mid-table mediocrity. In defiance, Wenger employed Van Persie in a very creative ’false No. 9’ role. It was a job that even the Dutch ace admitted was hard to grasp at first, but the faith the manager had in him helped him settle into this talismanic role.

There’s a lethargic template peddled by the establishment as to what a team’s striking department should be composed of. It’s that little and large’ comical model where a tall lanky fella is paired with a more mobile pygmy.

You see it all the time – Crouch and Defoe, Heskey and Rooney, Carew and Agbonlahor, et al. Pick any quintessential Premier league team, and the little and large effect up front is as conspicuous as the dodgy 45 year old fella hanging out in the corner of every nightclub nursing a beer, while ogling the skimpily dressed 19 year old girls on the dance floor shaking what their mamas gave them.

The establishment’s narrative suggests that to be successful, a team must have a 7 ft tall striker, built like a brick shithouse. Their duties would include holding the ball up, winning route one balls, backing into central defenders to win freekicks, essentially plucking any ball out of the air and heading it towards the enemy’s goal.

Arsenal’s problem seems to be the arrogance of defying the establishment’s narrative. It may be the fact that Wenger chooses not to look at a player’s passport as a first consideration of their quality to play for Arsenal, or whether it’s the club’s unwavering determination to insist that it is possible to win while playing the beautiful game.

The Gunners tend to baffle simpletons who seem incapable of appreciating the method to our madness. Naturally, the falsehood is that the team doesn’t score enough goals. To do this, Wenger must buy the typical tall, strong loafer of a target man who will do the job that the team is incapable of doing.

The narrative has been peddled to the point that a section of Arsenal fans actually think that if we indeed buy a regulation lanky loafer as a target man, we will certainly succeed. It’s one of them things that if you’re told often enough, you start believing it. It’s like the brainwashing from radio stations who misguidedly promote themselves as the No. 1 radio station of the year. Some people actually believe such a fallacy as if it was a quantifiable notion.

When Van Persie played the talisman, there were still doubters who suggested that he didn’t have the physique or skill to weave the magic up front. Very few of these doubters took the time to observe his overall contribution to the team in that role. In particular, it was Van Persie’s assists, and his ability to link play that were mesmerizing. The Dutchman isn’t just a goal scoring typical striker, or the one man target machine.

He is an exquisite play maker who’s technical ability and confidence provides the most scintillating link play you’ll ever see anywhere in the world. The importance and effectiveness of Van Persie was only being lauded after his injury, particularly by those who doubted him at the beginning of the season.

There is universal consensus that Van Persie is a monumental loss to Arsenal’s attacking options. However, it’s fairly naive to think that such quality can be replaced by going into the transfer market and buying who the establishment insists is a big name player and a solution for Arsenal. Wenger is crystal clear on the type of player he wants to buy; an intelligent footballer with the technical capability to play Wengerball, a player who is committed to the cause.

Unfortunately, players of this calibre who are value for money and can add options to the team, don’t grow on trees, particularly in the January of a World Cup year. If such a player was available, then the Arsenal scouting system would have plucked them out. I’m sure Wenger would not hesitate to sign a player who would add value to this squad and was affordable. For now, it’s more important to be pragmatic and consider the options that the team currently have.

The question is simple. Does Wenger buy a new player because popular belief suggests that we don’t have an out and out typical striker, and school this new signing on the virtues of Wengerball, however long it takes? Or does Wenger stick to in-house solutions that provide pragmatic options and keep the team harmony and fluency. There’s absolutely no guarantee that buying a striker will actually increase Arsenal’s goal tally. Furthermore, buying this so called goal scorer that Arsenal allegedly needs simply to hit the onion bag and not contribute to the link play or overall game is a self defeating exercise.

The Gunners don’t need a one dimensional player who does only what it says on the tin. Arsenal will do much better by working with and supporting Eduardo and Nicklas Bendtner. They are as good as or better than any strikers out there being touted as a solution for the perceived goal drought.

It’s ironic that the very qualities that Eduardo and Bendtner have are the ones that people are shouting for Arsenal to get. I guess for some, having a newer shinier model to come in with a hefty price tag looks better than the stuff you already have. Both are totally schooled on Wengerball. Their link play is excellent. In recent games, most of our goals have been routed through Eduardo’s precision link play. Just like with RVP at the beginning of the season, Eduardo’s goals will come with time. For now, the quality of his link play makes him a very effective traffic cop routing and directing Arsenal’s sublime forward play.

Last season, Bendtner scored 18 goals for club and country, and in case anyone didn’t notice, he did a pretty good impression of the huge, tall archetypal Premier league striker. He played some pretty good football too.

The solutions are there staring people in the face; some belief in their abilities would go a long way to stopping the trash talk on the airwaves. The trash talk that feeds the frenzy of negativity. The trash talk that creates misery around a season that has the chance to produce the biggest pots of all.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 29, 2010, in Arsenal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 291 Comments.

  1. Go on the gunners!

  2. very good Darius, but…

    It is a tricky situation, though. Due to injuries, we are really down to the bare bones when it comes to striking alternatives. With so many critical games ahead at home and hopefully in Europe, here’s what we realistically are looking at upfront:

    Van Persie: Out most likely for the season

    Eduardo: Injured-maybe for a number of weeks

    Bendtner: Just got back, but runs the risk of re-injury if pushed too hard

    Arshavin: Not his preference, but can do the job as lead striker and it leaves us weaker in midfield

    Walcott: Struggling with injuries, and Arsene still prefers to use him out wide.

    Other than the above, we have a raw but talented JET and a promising but not yet fully ready Vela.

    With 4 fit players out of the main 5 contenders above, then we need no-one. However, it’s crunch time and if we can find the right player on loan until the end of the season, then that’s the best bet from where we stand today.

  3. And after saying all that, I bet you the crafty bugger is going to sign someone before Monday 5 pm…LOL!

  4. I think we should concentrate on trying to sign a central defender (or two). Campbell doesn’t look fully match fit yet and don’t think he would be able to play week in week out if anyone else is out as a long term absentee. He made Dunne look like Linford Christie the other night…

  5. Great post today.

    I completely agree. Eduardo has been featuring more and more recently, and has gotten a lot of quality assists. We know he’s a beast of a striker, it’s just a matter of time before he scores for fun.

  6. Caxter-Campbell was superb against Villa. He’s lost a little pace, but his positioning and aerial strength are a real asset. The key is that we don’t expose him, and with Song back that will help.

    Song can also be used as an emergency CB, although I think Arsene sees him s too valuable in midfield right now.

  7. LaGooner.

    Very valid points you have there and it’s the sort of debate I was hoping to encourage.

    The question for me is this. Is it right to bring in someone who we have to change our system for? I don’t subscribe to letting the tail wag the dog here.

    The two options carry a risk.

    1. Do you bring in someone and hope that they’ll catch up to Wengerball quick enough or;
    2. Do you bank on those who already know Wengerball inside out and the distance to the goals and assists is much shorter.

    Either way, you have to take a calculated risk, and I’m sure glad that’s not my job.

    Besides, my sense is that if the right player was available, Arsenal would have snapped them up by now, so as to give them time to settle in. I don’t think Arsenal isn’t buying because they are stubborn. Until they find an appropriate player who will for sure add value to this squad then pragmatism has to do.

    There is also no guarantee that if we bought a spanking new striker, that striker wouldn’t be injured within the first few games and we end up with the same dilemma.

  8. Bendtner is the answer for us, but in the absence of RVP we have missed something.

    Eduardo is an excellent player, but he lacks pace. This was always the case, not due to the injury. If he had walcotts speed, with his skills he would be a world-class player, but he doesn’t.

    Without RVP we lack someone who can score a goal by beating the best centre-backs with either skill, speed, or power. Whatever else, when in the mood Ade could run a defender ragged over 90 minutes. RVP to. It seems that Eduardo cannot do that, not against the best.

    Bendtner can beat whoever he is up against on Sunday in the air, for pace, with skill. He can hold the ball up, bring players into play whilst being physical. This will be his moment to step-up, just as Song, Diaby, Ramsey, even Cesc have done taking his game to the standard of champions.

  9. shahrizat from malaysia

    I love your Friday blogs. Been a silent reader up till now.

    A lot of what you said made sense. Thanks for sharing!

    A loan till the end of the season sounds like an idea. But the big question is… WHO?

    Time for the Young Guns to become men? Will that be just as risky as getting someone entirely new?

  10. Quite a few very good points. I guess that Wenger’s old adage about having a big striker means that the team takes the easy route and pumps endless long balls in to him were ruined by the purchase of Adebayor. Personally I think the reason we do need a new striker is far more straightforward. I don’t believe that Bendtner, Eduardo, Vela and Arshavin (in a central role) are good enough. Simple as that.

  11. all true
    we just hope that if a injury does come along vela & jet can take there chance.
    but another out and out center half would be nice

  12. Might I add, Bendtner’s link up play was quite good against Vila in whatever little time he was on pitch. And he is the closest to RVP in that position.

  13. Darius,

    I agree that it’s highly unlikely we will sign someone on a permanent basis, for the very reasons you outline. It’s also why a loan signing makes sense.

    For example, maybe Hunterlaar comes and doesn’t fit in. Arsene will find out soon enough in training or in after a couple of games and we’re back where we started. Even so, the loan scenario presents a much greater upside than it does a risk.

    Your point about bringing someone in earlier is a good one, but it’s also true that Arsene sometimes has to wait for value or that the right player is also waiting to see what all his options are.

  14. Thats one of the best articles i have read.RVP also had a first touch that only TR7 has in the current squad.however with RVP out,TR7 has to stay fit since he can master our attacks similar to RVP due to his excellent touch and linkup play and that is the reason he plays as Wf rather than CM.On villa game,i thought AA23 came alive after NB52 was introduced since nik dominated the CBS allowing space for nasri,arshavin and cesc.Nasri looked impressive on his cameo hope for a convincing win and performance on sunday

  15. Arsenehollis, I remember Eduardo before his injury, he was amazing. He has the talent and the intelligence to be a very, very, very good striker, if not world class.

    He’s lost a bit of pace since his injury, but his movement is better than ever and his passing is deadly now.

    Eduardo’s not the kind of striker who really runs a defender raged over 90 minutes, at least we haven’t seen that yet, but he can expose defenders badly.

    Just wait till the floodgates burst.:D

    Besides, RvP isn’t especially fast either. He would be slightly faster than Eduardo, but not by much.

  16. well said!

    I too think people neglect the positive effect eduardo has had on arsenals goal scoring. The fact he sacrifices his instinct to go behind the last defenders to get a shot at goal to do the job asked of him to drop into the area between the Cb’s an Cm’s provide an option for cesc to play a 1-2 and link play to our wide players.

    Unfortunatly not all fans of any clubs fans have had schooling in the ways of a pro player. To understand and individual players responsiblities not just scoring goals themselves but becoming a well oiled cog in a goal scoring machine that is your football teams.

    I applaud Edu for his work and hope that niky B can realise his potential and do do that job of not only goal scorer but goal provider its worked so far and it will work until the end have faith.

  17. 100% Agree with you. We don’t need another striker. We need someone to step up.. for next a few games, though.

  18. Lagooner.

    Whether it’s a loan or a full signing, it still has to be the right type of player.

    Take Huntelaar for example. Most outsiders jump on the “he is available – take him now Arsene” band wagon.

    Ask yourself this:

    1. If he was that good and considered to be a value adding player to Arsenal – don’t you think that the Arsenal scouting system would have flagged him up by now? Arsenal is literally anal about scouting.
    2. If he can’t make the grade at Real Madrid or Milan, what makes us think he’ll make the grade at Arsenal.

    It reminds me of the “Wenger must sign Cana” nonsense over the summer. Give me Song any time of the day.

    Arsenal don’t play a traditional game where balls are rocketed to good ole fashoned centre forwards who’s only job is to put the ball into the net. Wengerball is such that the strikers are also play makers – and in my humble opinion, Bendtner’s link and support play is much better than Huntelaars.

    The question then becomes – Do you take Huntelaar’s goals alone, or Bendy’s link play plus his goals.

    And I only use the Dutchman as an example here.

  19. Right now we dont have one fit striker in the team. The situation has been this way since RVP got injured. Can we continue to rely on your midfield to deliver the goods? maybe they will cope me be not. But if we really want to win something this season we cant afford to gamble with our chances. We need to buy a decent striker and someone for central defence. Will Wenger go to the market? I very much doubt it.

  20. Maria

    Your post yday on Dunne agreeing with Wenger. What he’s saying is that they have a method to their madness. Long ball, but not punting. 😉

  21. Darius,

    I really don’t know enough about Huntelaar to say if he’s a god fit or not. He’s just an example of a player that has been floated as an Arsenal possibility.

    To your other point, I can think of a few players that didn’t live up to expectations at other big clubs that found a perfectly good fit at Arsenal (Henry, Vieira, Bergkamp, for example)

  22. good fit, not god fit!

  23. People are focussing on the final third when the quick win is to improve the first third. For all out supposed lack of strikers scoring goals hasnt been our problem. And in any case utd and Chelsea both won titles relying on goals from midfield much as we have beeen doing.

    However, we’re leaking just as many goals as ever, and now from fewer shots on our goal. Id say that DCM, Goalie and better cover for the CBs is key.

    Certainly theres more bang for our buck to be had there than in overpaying for some striker who isn’t the one wenger really wants but happens to be available in January – probably because he isnt getting games at his own club.

  24. Really great, thought provoking post Darius. I love Yogi’s intro as well!

    lagooner, Huntelaar was scoring for fun in the Dutch league I’m sure Arsenal are well aware of him and would have gone for him before now if they thought he was the right fit for the team. Taking a player who has failed to hit the heights at 2 of the top teams and in 2 different leagues is a huge risk. He would not exactly be full of confidence right now so as a loan signing he might need time to regain that confidence that we don’t have. I really don’t see him as a long term option for Arsenal either.

  25. Very nice piece!

  26. nayan, no top CB is going to move teams in January to sit on our bench as they would not displace our first choice pair. Our goals conceded have more to do with our style of play as we are an attacking team. The players are adjusting to a new system this season and not always defending from the front. When we get it right it works and the more we play it the more we will get it right. Most of the CB’s who look good, do so in a defensive team. Put them in a team like ours and they would be exposed too.

  27. Lagooner.

    True that about Henry at Juve and Vieira or DB10.

    But let’s be pragmatic. How long did it take them to settle in and own their positions at Arsenal? Is it practical that for the period we want to ride(until the end of this season) , we only consider a new signing as an option, instead of also looking at resources within?

    Like I said, the question for me is which is the lesser risk. Bringing someone in and schooling them on Wengerball (for changing our system for the sake of a new striker is just naive) and hoping that this new signing will hit the ground running – or using in-house solutions and being mor confident that it’s easier for them to make the grade since they’ve already been working with the squad and they know Wengerball inside out.

    There’s no guarantee that a spanking new striker will score more goals than we are already scoring, or that they won’t be injured as soon as they encounter a team like Stoke, or that they won’t actually hack it immediately and will take some time to get going.

    I also come back to the point about scouting. The fact that Arsenal hasn’t yet made a move for a player they need says a lot. It’s not just a simple case of Wenger preferring to buy at the end of the transfer window with 10 minutes to go.

    Look at 4 examples – Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Samir Nasri and Thomas Vermaelen. All of these 4 players had been scouted well in advance and Arsenal moved to bring them in pretty much as soon as the window was open so that they could join the team at the earliest available opportunity.

    By the way, I’ve always said that if we can find an affordable player in any position who will add good value to the squad and is better than who we have, then by all means, we should sign that player.

    I’m just saying that in this case, using both Bendtner and Eduardo is a more sensible option.

    At Villa Park on Wednesday, Bendy’s link play and arial presence was really great. For a while there Dunn and Collins didn’t know what to do with themselves because they’d been programmed to hustle our pint sized forwards and Bendy just threw a monkey wrench in their programme.

    On Sunday, Manure will play Brown and Evans in central defence. I’m excited about unleashing Arshavin, Rosicky, Bendtner, Nasri and Fabregas on that backline of Raphael, Brown, Evans and Evra.

  28. Lagooner it is true that players that has not made it in big clubs before has made it in Arsenal. But players with that extra little quality has alwayas been picked up by the arsenal scouts. And rest assure the wenger scout team has been watching huntelaar and knows his weaknesses and strenghts. If they ever sign him(or any other player) it is because they genuinley belive the guy would fit into the team. if not it is because they belive he wont fit…

  29. Great post Darius. I enjoyed it. How many times was the word “establishment” used haha

    you were most spot on with this:

    ” . In recent games, most of our goals have been routed through Eduardo’s precision link play. Just like with RVP at the beginning of the season, Eduardo’s goals will come with time. ”

    I hope your right and more importantly I hope Eduardo can come back from his injury asap and that bendtner can stay fit!!! IMO the only aspect of the demands for a new striker that’s in anyway legit is the fact that one serious long term injury to either nb52, aa23, or Eduardo would hurt our chances significantly. Agree or disagree aclfers??

  30. Passenal,

    If I can quote myself:

    “I really don’t know enough about Huntelaar to say if he’s a god fit or not. He’s just an example of a player that has been floated as an Arsenal possibility”.

    I don’t know if there is a player out there that will be a fit at this stage of the season. However, if there is, then I would not be surprised if Arsene snaps him up as we’re running risks upfront with injuries.

  31. s:

    Let me make it clear…I’m not arguing for Arsenal to sign Hunterlaar. He’s just the highest profile player that’s been linked to Arsenal as a loan move. I’ve seen him in all of three games.

    It’s quite possible that Arsenal don’t want him at all.

    My point was that if the right player can be found, a loan move is worth a try as insurance against more injuries (or re-injuries) to our strikeforce.

  32. Darius,

    Point taken about settling in for the new player.

    Again, it’s a risk. Some players have an immediate impact (Vieira/Arshavin for example) and even greats like Bergkamp and Henry hve taken longer.

    At this moment, if we can keep at least Bendtner and Arshavin fit, we have enough options upfront. But take one of those away (assuming no Eduardo or RVP either), and it would be awfully good to have a quality striker on loan to turn to.

    We have 12 weeks of the season left, give or take. Our squad was big enough at the beginning of the season. Now we’re just one injury away from having one frontline striker. That’s something a 12 week loan signing could insure against.

  33. Can anyone say Julio “the Beast” Baptista? Arsene wanted to buy him for all the reasons the armchair pundits say we need a striker! Big, strong upfront man!

    I think Arsene is changing the way teams will look in the future. The concept of a “striker” depends on a lone man leading the line and dates back to pre-historic football times.

    What we are seeing now is the concept of a “Strike force”, consisting of the entire frontline that operate in a fluid manner that defies the pigeonholing of physical positions.

    I would suggest that Wenger will concentrate on the CB position for this window

  34. darius , that has to go down as one of the best arsenal articles ever written..great job..was a joy to read !!

  35. Have to disagree Darius. Whilst Bendtner is a good player there are a few strikers out there better then him. Any top player should really adapt to the Wenger style but obviously im not calling for Wenger to sign someone but it wouldnt be a bad thing if he signed a striker would it.

  36. Forget all that, Bendtner is shit. We will never win the league with him in the team. He makes Cesc and Arshavin work twice as hard cos he’s so crap. If we signed a top striker (we have the money) we would win the league. With Bendtner in the team we wil finish third or fourth again. And please dont bring up his age, he’s getting worse as he’s getting older.

  37. Agree here, although competition won’t hurt anyone if we can find the right player. Until the window closes there’s no point trying to predict Arsene’s moves…

  38. “…is as conspicuous as the dodgy 45 year old fella hanging out in the corner of every nightclub nursing a beer, while ogling the skimpily dressed 19 year old girls on the dance floor shaking what their mamas gave them.”

    Don’t worry, Darius, you’re not as conspicuous as you think.

  39. LOL NJ gooner. In case you hadn’t noticed, I have an itch for the establishment.

    I’ve written a post today called Is Anti-Arsenalism a reality or a myth about this very subject of the establishment. Join in the debate.

    As for Eduardo, I believe his primary job in recent games has been playing that anchor role – and scoring goals is a by product. The reason why our midfield is scoring as many goals as they are is two fold.

    Firstly, the number of assists and chances created by our 3 front men are ridiculous. The idea being that defenses have no clue which of our players is attacking them next.

    Secondly, Alex Song, and usually Diaby or Denilson in support provide good protection to give Cesc and the forwards the licence to terrorise opponents – and they’re more active in the final 3rd. That’s the reason why Cesc is scoring more goals this season – 14 and counting, and his assists are also in the high numbers.

  40. lagooner, a loan would be great for back up for injuries. However, i wouldnt want someone to come in and us to start relying on them for goals. I think teams have a tendency to lump it up to their striker if they’re a big ‘target man’. Arsenal are unlikely to resort to those tactics but when we are playing wengerball we need someone with creativity, technique and vision rather than just strength and finishing.

  41. Lets all be reasonable and look back to the days of the invincibles and we will all get answers to our current team’s problems and not pretend that this squad can deliver trophies this season without a striker of Henry’s stature and others who played alongside him.Wakeup from your sleep and face up to reality and be reasonable guys.A.W. has to invest in a quality and skillful striker and cb as well to deter injuries and missed opportunities like the ones we all know we are witnessing being lost on the pitch of play where we continue to struggle even against modest opposition.

  42. LOL Poliziano.

    So that was you staring hard at me last weekend….

    I thought you were a bailiff looking for a client.


    No problem whatsoever with you disagreeing. I was hoping to encourage a healthy debate.

    My question is – Who do you think is better than bendtner out there that is affordable and available. Let’s compare notes.

  43. If the right players are available at the right price, we will find them and sign them. If not we will have to make do with what we have. No-one could have foreseen the injuries we have and to those who wish us to buy our way out of this situation, refer to my first sentence.

    I also think RayGun makes a good point. Especially in the 4-3-3 formation players are interchangeable and the need for a ‘target man’ almost becomes dormant.

    Bendtner has made a timely return and has all the attributes we need as he can link play and play in the channels and score goals, he will settle quicker than any new signing.

  44. Albanos K. Muinde

    Would it help to know that there were very many occasions during the 2003 2004 season that the team played woefully, even worse than we’ve seen this season and were damn lucky not to lose the game.

    I think that season we had 13 or 14 draws. I think what we should stop doing is pretend that the Invincibles squad didn’t have fflaws.

    For one, they didn’t score the same number of goals by the January in that season than this team has scored by January this season.

    Arsenal’s biggest problem this season is a bunch of fickle glory hunting plastics who can’t stomach a fight for the title and cringe and hide behind the sofa any time we face a hostile opponent.

    I think it’s these fans who need to manage their expectations. We’re not going to play champagne football every day.

  45. “Arsenal’s biggest problem this season is a bunch of fickle glory hunting plastics who can’t stomach a fight for the title and cringe and hide behind the sofa any time we face a hostile opponent.”

    so true

  46. Hmm, thats one opinion Darius- but a naive one to a degree. For a start you mention Wengerball in hushed tones like its some inate skill that only a special few can develop. Not true- the fast, one touch, pass and move football we play should be well within the locker of the top pros. More of a challenge in picking up youngsters with that skill as Wenger does… but that is not what fans are clamouring for. The general consensus is that people want Wenger to make an Arshavin type signing- a top pro whom is the finished article and can hit the ground running.

    Secondly, the reason that most teams have a big lump up front twinned with a small nippy striker is that it works to have a target man who can bully defenses and cause chaos in the back line. A smaller player can do this but has to have amazing ability, ie Messi, Villa, Ronaldo, Henry etc.

    The general consensus from fans is that we are missing some strength and size in the team as we have lost games where technically we were far the better team because we were knocked off the ball and our continuity broken. This is not indoctrination by the press and for you to suggest so is a bit arrogant to be fair- like you can see through the mud and we cant. Dont be daft mate.

    Bendtner is a good player but not as good as he believes he is just yet and is coming back from injury. Eduardo is off the pace but his link up play is fantastic so shouldnt be slagged off.

    I think the issue here is that we have a raft of injuries and not enough depth in the squad apart from a raft of attacking midfileder- none of which are wingers??(Walcott aside but he is not developing well imo).

    Denilson is perhaps not good enough to fill in for Song so we do need another defensive mid to bolster our attack play. It isnt suprising there are calls for a strong big midfielder because of the success Vieira bought us. A big strong striker who can provise us with a more direct route or a plan B is also understandable- the fans frustration of Arsenal trying to walk the ball into the net has gone on for seasons. The need for a decent backup to Verminator and Gallas is sensible and pragmatic.

    The biggest issue is this – we are the closest to being a championship winning team in years and if we drop away down to lack of depth or an injury plagued season where the chance to strengthen has been ignored then the fans will, quite rightly with the prices we all pay- get well and truly p*ssed off.

  47. Darius, why has your avatar got “as” on it?

  48. Arse Shavin:

    100% agree with you.

  49. From what i’ve seen, Dzeko is the only striker that fits the bill ability-wise but he’s out of AW’s spending limit. I am looking forward to having NB back. He looked great on Wed and will be getting better and better for the next 8-10 years! Imagine how good his technique etc will be by then…

  50. Well im not going to start naming players better then Bendtner, Im happy with Bendtner but yes maybe alot of the players better then him are overpriced and i certainly dont advocate spending silly money.

    I do wish that Bendtner was as good as his ego says he is.. Maybe he is. we will have to see wont we. I do know that when he went to brum he was their best player which say alot to stand out in a team so i have faith in the viking.

  51. I didn’t have faith in the viking a couple of years ago but i think he can play a huge part in arsenal’s success in the next few years. He loves the club and is definitely not lacking in confidence. Let’s hope that his confidence brings out the best in him. hopefully he won’t frustrate himself while he grows into the superstar he will be become. Compared to Theo’s development, NB’s been rally impressive.

  52. oops ‘really’

  53. BRILLIANE – EXCELLENT ANALYSIS but I still want us to sign a new CF, CH and a goal-keeper asap!!

  54. “SLOW CLAP”



  55. ‘Nicklas (Bendtner) scored 15 times in 27 starts last term – an impressive haul for a player who is still so young. He made an additional 23 appearances as an impact substitute, netting vital late winners against Dynamo Kyiv and Bolton’.

    For a player his age i cannot understand why so many fans doubt him. He has never really shaken off the scapegoat tag he seems to have got the year him an Adebayor had the infamous on pitch argument. Back him and he will score!

  56. You made my day dude. The post is right on and I follow this. The fallacy is there and it surely has turned a massive tide. I sometimes wonder, in my honest conscience, where exactly does this incredibly powerful wave point it`s spearhead. My idea is that The Arsenal Football Club could do a lot better without such crap stirring monsters of media and the “doubters”. It only seems to me that the whole fucking world is against “The Way We Play”, against our policy and against our rising altogether. I wished your post was mailed to each and every Arsenal fan or a wanna-be. And I wish people could stop this madness and be positive for once.

  57. @Perry Groves.

    Donno – there used to be an arguement in school as to whether I was just thick and slow or whether I was dyslexic. I’ll have to look at that one again.


    It’s fine arguing that there are better top quality players out there that can hit the ground runnign with Wengerball. Perhaps you can name the ones that are available and affordable (and those whose clubs will let go) that you think Arsenal has ignored because of whatever reason.

    One’s mans naivity and arrogance is another man’s perspective I guess

    You say:

    “Secondly, the reason that most teams have a big lump up front twinned with a small nippy striker is that it works to have a target man who can bully defenses
    and cause chaos in the back line. A smaller player can do this but has to have amazing ability, ie Messi, Villa, Ronaldo, Henry etc.”

    My arguement isn’t against the reasonns other teams do it. I just pointed that fact out and suggested that actually, there’s an alternative way of playing football. I much prefer out-playing defenders as opposed to “bullying” them.

  58. A better striker than Bendtner cannot be imagined. He dominated Ferdinand and Vidic single-handed in this fixture last season, and he’s improved more than any of our players in the last twelve months.

  59. Apart from maybe song PZ…

  60. NB can ‘bully’ as well as playing the scintilating football that the Arsenal are famous for. His feet are very quick for someone of his build and he seems to be getting stronger and braver with every game. Once he has perfected his heading, we could have one of the most balanced and promising strikers in the world…



  63. I think you may be onto something perdo… But i fear that our plastics may melt into small indistinguishable lumps in excitement if that were to happen. I hope AW is listening, this could truly be the way to shut up the doomers…

  64. If Arsene can find the right player then I say we do need a striker.

  65. Pedro Gooner,

    Please! Stop!

    Small letters please.


  67. ok soz just got a bit excited mate

  68. Someone up top mention the defence we are likely to face in Manures game. I saw Ferdinand in their last game. Why wont he play Sunday?

    It would be nice if Wenger buys one player before the window closes(preferably a striker) but I am not holding my breathe. I have faith in our frontline but we have been very susceptible to injuries lately and the thought of either Arshavin/Edwardo/Bendtner getting injured and being laid off for wks is unfathomable.

    If i was asked whom I’d want him to buy, it would be Villa(who is definately out of our price range as its obvious valencia need the dough).

    Where is adriano nowadays? he’d definitely fit the definition of a big striker and he’d probably solve our short-term needs.

  69. Darius,

    Dont take umbrage because someone has an alternave opinion to you – that is what blogging and social media is all about.

    To suggest there is a better way of playing than the mixture of skill, power, pace and strength is fine but the champonship winning sides of Chelsea, Manure and in fact the invincibles of Arsenal all had a mixture of strong imposing players interwoven with skillful players. We , at the moment are heavy on skill and light on size. This is why we have been pushed off th ball in the odd match – matches our skill should have won.

    As for what players – are you trying to tell us that with the best scout system in the world bar none that we cant find a DM, CB and CF that are available and would improve the squad. No, of course youre not, that would be naive. How about Sissoko, Sakho, Veloso, Subotic?? All seem talented and not in the uber money category.

    I am certainly not advocating spending like a loon (Spurs/Liverpool/City) and to buy in mediocrity but with 30 mill in the coffers then the opportunity to strengthen an injury depleted squad is common sense – not journalist driven sensationalism.

    Wengers master plan takes precedence against common sense it would appear. Lets be honest, he’s the genius so that should be trusted without question- BUT should this team fall away due to lack of strength and depth then the fans will have every right to feel agrieved. I have been a Gooner for 35 years and rememer the pre Wenger years so know he has single handedly changed our club into a force in world football- what goes with that change however is expectation…..and expecting out team to buy sensibly is not madness

  70. Great great post Darius. Also enjoyed the debate with LA gooner he made some good points also.

    My take is that we have ample talent to fill any voids. The only thing that would tempt me to sign, is the fact we are so injury prone. As LA gooner mentioned, our players that have returned seem to be suffering from hammie injuries.

    So a short term signing could be in order. However a loan signing as suggested in a world cup year to play our brand is practically impossible on our budget. If anyone can do it it’s our guys. Maybe Grimandi has someone in mind right now.

    Hey nice avater, that’s not an ‘a’ it’s a backwards ‘D’. Haha

  71. I look at diatribes like Iain’s and noting how far from reality they are I don’t even know how to respond.

    All I can say is; You’re wrong.

  72. Wenger has said he will do no more buisness this transfer window!! did i miss something. No more, i didnt know he did any.

  73. I don’t see much common sense in what you say. To call it common sense is what I oppose.

  74. So what does SD stand for then??????

  75. man u appealed ferdy violent conduct charge so he could play city now he has been found guilty and banned for next 4. adriano is fat i think he went back to brazil to rediscover his love for the game or something like that.

    I would like to see walcott up front and use vela more too as if either of them get a couple of goals i feel it would really boost their confidence and help them find form.

  76. I would love to believe that Vela and Theo will get into the goals up font but i can’t see it happening at the mo. They need game time and playing up front in our system will be a huge frustration for them i think. I am confident Theo will get back into it but he needs to stick to it out wide for now. NB will be the solution to our ‘problems’. (although sitting in 3rd place, 1 point off 2nd with the worst injury record in the league doesn’t seem like too much of a problem to me)

  77. Like Darius says, we need to manage our expectations. I would have taken a fight for fourth at the start of the season…

  78. training must be like boot camp coz our injury record is silly. i bet they do wrestling and cage fighting too. would explain injuries.

  79. Iain.

    Firstly, I’m not taking anything against anyone who has a different opinion to me. If that’s the impression you got then chill out. If you actually read my posts and comments on ACLF over a period of time you’ll realise that it’s not my M.O – and I specifically wrote this post to generate debate on the pros and cons of signing or not signing. I would be disappointed if you didn’t make a counter argument.

    Saying that, I’ve been very open in suggesting that using Bendtner and Eduardo is a more viable option for us than signing a player for the sake of signing or because of outside pressure. I have also clearly stated that if Wenger were to find a suitable player who is affordable and will add value to this squad, then he should sign that player. I am not averse to seeing a new face at London Colney.

    You say:

    “As for what players – are you trying to tell us that with the best scout system in the world bar none that we cant find a DM, CB and CF that are available
    and would improve the squad. No, of course youre not, that would be naive. How about Sissoko, Sakho, Veloso, Subotic?? All seem talented and not in the
    uber money category.”

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. In the January transfer window of a world cup year, it’s naive that you think we’ll find someone like that. In the summer – hell yeah! But in January? I’ve said here before that it’s easier to find a 32 year old virgin in Sodom and Gomorrah – though my friend Poliziano will point out that actually it’s a 16 year old virgin in Paris that is a bastard to find.

    Also, please take some time to note how I have been careful with the use of the word ‘can’ in the title of this article. I believe we can survive without another striker. I didn’t say I don’t welcome one – and until that person is available, I make an argument as to why we should be pragmatic.

  80. Today’s debate is very useful – due mainly to Darius’ excellent post. It has brought two opposing viewpoints out in the open. On one hand, those who believe a new “signing” to play as forward is an absolute necessity vs those who believe that for strategic and pragmatic reasons, in the absence of a player of superior quality, to stick with the players we have.

    One thing that strikes me is the premise of many that we are totally decimated when it comes to forwards. Apart from Van Persie and now Eduardo out injured, currently available are Bendtner, Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri, Walcott, Vela, Sunnu and Emmanuel Thomas who have all played on the frontline with varying success this season. In fact Eboue and Diaby were also drafted when we were down to bare bones. It seems the only problem we have faced is the absence of that very special player in the mold of Van Persie. Hence it is a debate about whether AW is right to persist with those in the fold in the absence of this rare type of player.

  81. Iain,

    I think the players you mentioned are definitely no better then what we got.

  82. Cheers for that shotta…

  83. DukeGoonem

    I assume you’re asking about my avatar.

    SD stands for Stone Darius – I made a case for my alleged dyslexia earlier….

    Think of it as looking at DS from the other side.

    ELS – I’m glad you like the avatar. You have no idea how much hard work went into it.

  84. A solution that I would welcome would be the signing of Henry, he is being linked to some New York team. He could come in in a similar role to Sol, play some games, i’m sure we could give him enough action to warrant a France call up. He is obviously well versed in the ways of Wengerball. And due to his age there is no longterm detriment to Vela, Watt, Jet, Theo, Simpson, Sunu and NB.

    There are drawbacks due to team captain what would it do to cesc, obviously he should retain captancy, but how would it effect the camp.

    The media could have a field day with the resigning of invincibles…. but so what, let the team do the talking.

    Henry could very well move into the coaching team, that would be no bad thing.

    Price shouldn’t be to high, just wages to consider. It would be nice to think that Henry wouldn’t hold us over a barrel, and would love to re-sign.

    Just a thought.

  85. What i am worried about is that, in AW’s first couple of years, he transformed the team and players’ mentality and prolonged many players’ careers. But now, we have had the worst injury record for the last 5 years… What’s happened? Surely there’s something majorly wrong with either our physios or our physical training. Any ideas anyone?

  86. Maybe we’ve just been unlucky. Or we have bought numerous already injury-prone players

  87. The only player out there who appears to have the quality we would require is Dzeko, and he would be expensive.

    And as we only really have a short term need, where is the guarantee he would fit in straight away?

    Also, if he came in, he would expect to be first choice, and come the start of next season where would that leave Bendtner?

    Bendtner is an exceptional player for his age, and is only going to get better, and then in the summer we will have RVP back.

    And who is to say Chamakh won’t be in the squad next season too.

    Have faith in Bendtner is what i say, it is his time.

  88. Good call on Eduardo. I love his play, quietly doing the effective stuff and getting on with it. People forget his assists too easily; the goals will come for sure. My gut feeling is next season will see him do much better in that regard. Meanwhile, his contributions continue.

    Also looking forward to Bendtner coming back. Both he and Eduardo have the knack of finding the space in front of goal that no-none else does, but where the ball pops up. You can’t teach that.

    Their goals will come.

  89. Darius, a well thought out and well written piece.

    I cannot though agree with you about Bendtner and increasing our attacking options.

    Without looking at the stats for the Villa game, we had corner after corner after corner, without managing to piece together a single goal threat from either Eduardo or Nikki B when he came on. This does not mean I vindicate the inclusion of the ‘typical English’ centre forward lump, but we need something at least.

    Furthermore, when looking at our attacking line options we have:
    RVP – Injured for the rest of the season
    Eduardo – Injured and short of confidence
    Theo and Vela – Both short of either, confidence, match fitness or stature to lead a prolonged campaign
    Arshavin – Out of position and well, just short.
    JET – No

    This leaves Nikki B and his ability is up for debate, personally I feel he is good as an impact player to come on when things have gone a bit bandy, but he is not the answer to lead the line, he has neither the movement nor the touch of a Wengerball player and if goes injured again we are really up the proverbial creek.

    I take your point about changing the team for a player to bed in, but needs must, it is better to have a striker to at least change things or worse to potentially have nothing at all.

  90. I used to like Gudjohnson.

  91. I take it he’s gone to scumsville then Duke?

  92. obviously i mean ‘sp*rs

  93. I don’t know if we need another striker or not. How can you tell? Arsene Wenger is the man to tell us. He reckons we do. He would buy a striker if the ‘right’ one was available at the ‘right’ price. Seems that isn’t the case.

    RvP is certainly a major, major loss. If he had not been injured we would have had this wrapped up by now. We will still be leading from early Feb though and we will win the EPL. Because we have a fantastic squad and are not totally dependent upon one player.

  94. Totally agree Frank

  95. AWs comments on the failure to sign young Smalling are superb and demonstrate why many players are so loyal to him.

  96. 1.he has neither the movement nor the touch of a Wengerball player and
    2. if goes injured again we are really up the proverbial creek.

    I beg to differ with your first statement, on the 2nd one i agree to a point. As long as we dont get any of our injured players any more injuries and we are totally screwed.

  97. Frank – where is David Villa mate?

  98. I am really pleased to see Ghana in the final of the ACN. I picked them from the outset as they were the first African team to qualify for WC2010 (as SA were hosts). They are young enough to go a long way.

  99. I dealt with that several days ago, arsenehollis. It was a decoy.

  100. If the quotes attributed to Grimandi about Remi are true they may be worth considering.

    If he is being honest about the club only wanting a powerful player who could make an immediate impact, it shows our priority and that they have tried.

    Although, perhaps they are trying to tempt the player into pushing for a move?

  101. I am gutted, I had got my hopes up.

    A decoy for what? Not some other top quality Valencia villa?

  102. Wenger’s press conference:

    “I have a board meeting today.”

    Coincidental days before the window closes?

    Maybe Villa was no decoy. I hope still.

  103. What retards the press are. No one thought to ask what the board meeting was to discuss.

  104. I was trying to prove that I know something about football and ended up proving the opposite.

  105. Thanks for the heads up frank
    “AWs comments …”

    “I wish the player well. At the end of the day it is important he has a good career. In both clubs he has a good chance to make a great career. The most important thing is he does that.”

    Wenger is beautiful guy ain’t he.
    If you were smalling looking at Red Nose, kicking boots into your face would you now be thinking “hmmmm, i’ve made a huge mistake”.

  106. Don’t give up so soon Frank, there are a few days left. Imagine of we did sign him.

  107. He was the ideal candidate for me. Not cup tied. World class. Great feet. Plays with Cesc and similar players for Spain. The right age to help bring on the youngsters up front. AA and eventually RvP would relish his footballing intelligence and we have shown that we are so much better with a deep squad, as injuries are a major consideration at the top these days.

    But mostly when RvP was originally injured AW was quite emphatic. At the time he did not know whether RvPs injury was not career threatening. Now that RvP is through the surgery successfully and the surgeons have had a good look, the prognosis is great. This appears to have dampened AWs resolve to sign a top striker…at least publicly anyway.

  108. You guys seriously think Villa is a possibility?? How amazing would that be…

  109. I have just watched the entire press conference on ATVO.

    They did ask Wenger what the board meeting was about, they pressed him on whether or no Kroenke would be present and if it was to do with a imminent takeover.

    He said he had no idea as he had not attended the meeting yet 😆

  110. Everyone goes on about le groan, i have only read their stuff a couple of times, but their headlines infuriate me enough to know not to bother… It’s not hard to imagine the tripe they are spouting.

  111. Interesting stuff, cheers Stringfellow!

  112. le moan are beyond anti-arsenal

    the day fat boy over stepped the mark on that pitiful site was when he made racist, disparaging remarks about our genius manager following a draw!!

  113. The bane of our club is Mr.Wanker and his arselicking fans like you,who would be delighted with a fourth place.Why the hell dont you support a team of gallic geriatrics and mugs.

  114. I fukin hope that american doesnt take over our club. he can fu*k right off.

  115. arsene hollis how much do you reckon Valencia would ask for him? I still havent lost hope.more than 48hrs to go.we might still dip into the market.

    It is gutting that we lost Smalling to manure.

    Its really ironic that the only game Nigeria played like we’d expect them to they lost.

  116. the bane of OUR club is nobends like you, jaguar.

    filthy pikey…. west london and chavski.. .are that way.

  117. Wenger in for Villa?Thats a joke?He wont buy Villa unless Villa is a 14year old Francophonic toddler from Africa.

  118. Fuck off Jaguar this is no place for you. You won’t like the comments here.

  119. Jaguar I see you have left your comfort-zone(le groan). Are you done bashing Diaby?

  120. This makes sense. The pundits and media idiots don’t know nothing. Bad English I know. Wenger knows what he is looking for in a player. How will this player fit into the system. Fabregas is the key now with RVP gone. Both are gifted playmakers. I still wish someone would ask Wenger what is his system and what atributes he is looking for in a player. The Gunners gives off this impression. Arsenal kills the lower teams and wins by the score 1-0, 2-1 against the equal quality teams. This gives the the false impression Arsenal can’t score. Oh contare. Arsenal leads the league in goals. Image is everything. Image is false too. It is substance. The reality is that the Gunners are in positon to win the EPL dispite the injuries.- I still think Arsenal will win it all whent he smoke clears.
    This is my two sense Thanks

  121. I am done First lady.Now,I am concentrating my efforts to see that senile Gallic bastard out of my team.

  122. no, i think he is done bashing fat geoffs bishop.

  123. Well said els. Jaguar, get a life mate.

  124. Jaguar you poor bastad.

  125. Wenger’s love children(Shitvestre,Denilson,Diaby and Wallcoat) had scored some fluke goals against some shitty teams,and we were opened up by all good teams in the league.Now,you are on top of your voice,hailing Wenger.I guess,you would be happier finishing fourth than first.

  126. don’t really understand your logic there Jaguar. I think you have some serious problems. I’m sure any supporter would love to finish 4th in comparison to winning. It’s the obvious choice for me.

  127. that didn’t make any sense to me. Anybody else?

    Jaguar why revel in the fact that you don’t like the way things are going? What do you like about Arsenal?

  128. Jaguar its fans who cant see beyond their fukin noses and with poor inteligence that slag off Wenger.

  129. I suppose beating Villa 3 – 0 was fluking against some shitty teams and coming back from 1 – 0 down to beat Liverpool at Anfield was the same? I’d love to know which team has the pleasure of welcoming you to their fan base…

  130. he is just sucking up to his croonies over on le moan

    poor bastard… was spot on.

  131. I seem to remember us doing fairly well against the so called big teams..Alot of trophies it brought us!!!!!
    Just shut the F-up and go back to where you came from.
    Insulting Wenger wont change nought on whether he will buy or not. You might as well bear with what we have now or you can scoot to the buying clubs.

    yea I am talking to you Jaguar.

  132. Just for people who dont rate Bendtner if we were to put him up for sale today every other big club would take him in a heart beat!! if he played for someone else he would get the credit he deserves!! and when has he goten a run in HIS position for anyone one to critisise him?? not every player has equal techneque like a Fabregas or skills of Van Persie,he has his own attributes and with a good run he”ll start banging in the goals!!

  133. Delighted that you have talked about something meaningful other than the crap of Wenger sycophony.

  134. Wenger has done more for this club than almost every manager in football’s history! Our style of football, our financial stability, our youth system is the envy of all other big clubs.

    We were a completely different club before he came, with corruption charges, gambling, drugs & alcohol, poor diets, boring football etc etc.

    I can completely understand why we are praising Wenger – because we have actually thought about the revolution that he has created rather than going on le groan to be told what your ‘opinions’ should be by a couple of c*nts.

  135. Sols a I agree 100% also I like to think that if NB52 was at another club and became available for 15m the same dick heads that slag him off now (like Jaguar) would be dripping to buy him.

  136. So are you still ranting about what he has done in the past,overlooking his obvious shortcomings and his blatant prejudice and stubbornness which has been costing us trophies for the past few seasons.When you have nothing logical to say,you AKB’s have the last resort of calling others glory hunters.

  137. Jag it sounds to me that you should Chelsea or Man City. Why not try it eh.

    Come on then what DO you like about Arsenal???

  138. Its a shame some people have got sucked into the disgustingly shallow instant gratification our media and society now demand but good to know true gooners can show some patience and restraint and look at the bigger picture. Every time Arsenal are mentioned in the media its followed by ‘haven’t won a trophy for x years’. It perpetuates the myth that if we don’t win something NOW we are should spend loads of money and get a new manager every other season. NOT THE ARSENAL WAY. Our history shows we have been through lean periods far greater than the current one, kept our spirit, dignity and class and come through the other end to fight another day.

    In Arsene we trust. I would rather him as our Manager than any other man in world football. Win, lose or draw – support the team and what it stands for. Our future is bright.

  139. What he has done in the past has paved the way for an amazing future for Arsenal. Every true arsenal SUPPORTER knows that we have been undertaking a project of financial fortitude and squad harmony over the last 5 years.

    You will be looking back in a few years time when we are the best and richest team on the planet, and you will realise why the saying ‘Arsene Knows Best’ came about in the first place.

  140. hahaha Els.You have exactly shown about whom I have been mentioning about.

  141. Just like you overlook all that he has done in the past. The likes of you think they can do a better job than him, if you could you’d be managing a football club somewhere and at this rate it would have gone to the dogs a long time ago.

  142. Jag mate I have supported Arsenal all my football fan life, since Early Graham years, I never waver. But I as anybody with an ounce of sense know that we have the best manager we have ever had, and the best manager in the world.

    What you have shown is that you just want millions spending on the squad. You want to buy success, like our bitter rivals. No doubt you are blinkered to the trouble these clubs will get into. The only things that will save them is if billionaires right off debt’s. What a fantastic succesfull footballing culture that would be eh, something to aspire to.

    Some come on what DO you like about Arsenal? Seems to me you shouldn’t have to ask a fan that more than once and they’d have a good answer for you.

    Your boring me now so answer or fuck off.

  143. Atleast,I dont go on making stupid statements like there are no better footballers in this world than fucking Shtivestre and Denilson,and be a fool in front of the fans.

  144. “Now,I am concentrating my efforts to see that senile Gallic bastard out of my team”.

    F******K OFF Jaguar!!!!!!!
    u prejudiced scumbag!

  145. Viva Ghana! Wonderful style and intelligence about them for such youngsters.

    Anyone who calls themselves ‘jaguar’ you can bet has low self-esteem issues. Leave the guy alone. I don’t doubt he is lonely, depressed (angry and irrationale, dead give away), and needs a friend, or just some companionship.

  146. fuck me jag

    how you gonna get home… now that you have that new arsehole that has just been ripped open?


  147. Wenger has no shortcomings, he has a limited budget, and a strict policy to adhear to.

    People don’t claim either of those things Jag. No doubt Denilson will be one of them. So what do you say about Song bet you used to slag him off and now he is the best at his position in the EPL. Argue that.

    So come on what DO you like about Arsenal? Seems to me you shouldn’t have to ask a fan that more than once, and they’d have a good answer for you!

  148. It’s OK Jag. Let it all out mate. You can cry on ACLF, we won’t mind.

  149. Els, took the words out of my mouth.

    I’d also quite like to see if Jag has even a smidgen of positivity about him…

  150. You can be the one to give him a hug Zim, i fear that the mike tyson in me would come out if presented with such a tasty looking ear

  151. From Jag @ 2:39 pm – ‘Atleast,I dont go on making stupid statements………………..and be a fool in front of the fans.

    heh 🙂

  152. Zim,

    I watched Ghana a couple of months ago absolutely spank Englands finest in the under 19’s. (4 nil if I remember) They are destined to be something quite special.

  153. Yeah BYEEEEEEEEEE! Jag.

    We should gather the most positive, optimistic Arsenal fans and go to Le Grove.


  154. Matty Boy, I imagined that with a child’s whining voice.

  155. Kingsalami

    You watched Ghana spank England. So what? Where was your great French team. French Arsenal supporters thinks France is better football nation than England; I’m afraid not. Like England, they’ve won the WC only once and on their home soil, nothing great. Even they had to cheat their way to the WC in South Africa.

    France is not a great football nation. In fact football is not their popular sport, Rugby is. French supporters should get off our back, they aren’t any special.

    Our recent downfall is because of Arsene’s secret agenda to use the club as a training ground for the French national team.

  156. Villa…now wouldn’t that be nice. Probably the best finisher in the world, and super quick! If Arsenal want to keep Cesc for the next 3-4 years, Villa would be a huge step for doing so. Not that I am suggesting that is a sole reason for spending the £30-40m required!

    Eduardo like many have stated is getting closer to the mould of VP with his link up play. But he is way off the mark to be a lone CF. If he got his sublime finishing back then you can afford his lack of presence and pace as he’ll always put is chances away. But currently I see Eduardo as a second option, cover, the sub if you are loosing and need a second striker, or even an option on the left to save legs in comfortable games.

    Bendtner has the potential, but I would bet my house on it we will not win the league this season if he is the lone FC from now until May! I rate him on many levels, but not on others, especially his ariel threat.

    Walcott has been disappointing, but hey the guy has had injury after injury, so like Eduardo, and like VP when he returns, be patient, allow time to fit in again and regain confidence. Wenger should resist staring Walcott in the coming weeks/months. He struggles in tight games, with confined space, back to goal and fresh defenders. Instead Theo should be the 75 minute man, when the game is open, when the likes of Ferdinand, Dunne, Carragher are fading, he should be encouraged to run down the channels, whether that be left, right or through the middle. And his team mates should seek alternative low drilled balls from deep between defenders, not just the passing game which often brings on pressure to our defence in the closing minutes.

    Vela has looked poor as a CF apart from against weaker opposition (ie league cup matches), however out on the left he can build a career at Arsenal, even if it is only as a sub until May.

    All of the above have had their injuries in the first half of the season, therefore one must be realistic and suggest some will again pick up injuries in the last half. Therefore based upon this worry and the state of what we have without RVP, I see no other option than to buy a CF (please don’t say JET, Simpson, Sunu are up to it yet) this weekend.

    I do not agree that a new striker should not be signed as they will not know Wengerball….well if they sign now and take 6 months to learn Wengerball then at least they are ready for next season from day one!

    I also do not agree about the right price taking over football reasons…I certainly embrace the Wenger way in tarnsfer policies and wage structures. But I feel if a player would be £20m now but only £15m in the summer, that 25% inflation is worth paying if it supports the idea of improving the team and improving the chances of winning trophies, winning the hearts of fans, and showing an ambition to our top players.
    If Arsenal are that tight then maybe they should be looking at how Flamini went on a FREE, how Campbell left for nothing, how Senderous will walk out in the summer and maybe Gallas will follow!

    I am certainly no expert on international football, so only have limited knowledge on many players we are linked with or are discussed on such forums.

    HOWEVER I have seen week in week out what the likes of Rooney, Drogba, Torres, Tevez, and VP did for us to win games in a few seconds….and I doubt Bendtner will match that….

  157. Hmmmm, ok Bodad.

  158. lol JT caught banging Wayne Bridges mrs.. got her up the duff 😆

  159. just got a text, be in the rags on sunday.

    he failed to get a super injunction at the high court to ban the story being in the NOTW last sunday.

  160. has anyone noticed that arsenal is fast becoming a nightmare it once was to other teams???

  161. France is not a great football nation.

    OK, outside of the UK, can you think of British players at leading clubs?
    Beckham? Er, doesn’t count I’m afraid.

    French players (outside the UK and France at leading clubs, e.g. Spain, Germany, Italy): Many.

    Conclusion:Bodad/H*ward is speaking B*llocks.

  162. that true stringfellow?? Hilarious! They truly are lovely guys aren’t they?

  163. Gunner Guru – keep them short and sweet eh? I grew a beard reading that and only got half way. I was in the slow readers group at school though 🙂

  164. Anyone remember the scene from Casablanca where they sing the La Marseillaise in Rick’s to drown out the Nazis?

    Even when we have nutters like Jaguar on here, you can always trust Howard to raise the crazy bar.

  165. Stringfellow is that the rumour, how much truth is in that?

    What a way for your captain to behave.

  166. Howard?

  167. OneOfUs haha.

  168. No Tunday today to raise it even further..?

  169. British/England players don’t need to go anywhere to make money professionally, they’re well remunerated here. Its foreign players who rush in to make money.

    Do they have a national team in the real sense? They buy African players with citizenship to play for them. French national team is African players in the diaspora.

  170. going to be in the papers tommorow

    NOTW have the full story on Sunday.

    He could have been banging her for years.

  171. Nope, that argument, with the depreciation of currency and changes to tax laws is also b*ollocks.

    Is the lesser Ronaldo earning more or less at Madrid?


  172. Need to put a bit more effort into your trolling.

    When a good friend & fellow gunner turned around and said,

    ‘Eh, so what do you reckon about Carlton Cole,’

    I laughed.

    I found it difficult to stop laughing.

  173. Another cracker, Darius!

    V good point: “Their link play is excellent. In recent games, most of our goals have been routed through Eduardo’s precision link play.”

  174. Edu’s link up play has been fantastic. No-one in the team is better than the little back heels and flicks that the crozilian produces. If he can get his composure in front of goal back, he’ll be amazing. More heel volleys please edu!

  175. Anyone noticed the begrudging respect growing between Wenger and Fergie??

    Ferguson has told the ManUre fans to lay off Arsene. Well in a roundabout way.

    Hmmm, worrying that. It’s unnerved me. Something’s wrong with that. Were supposed to try and kill each other in these games. I still really hope somebody rips fletcher to bits.

  176. Well, Gallas can’t earn 85+ a week in France; what club in France will pay him that? Lyon?

  177. Nice one JT.

    Pity he is too butt fucking ugly to be shagging the wife of the chavs first choice left back instead.

  178. fletcher got sent off the last time he played at the emirates…. i would not bet against it happening this sunday.

    dirty fecker.

  179. Kingsalami – haha!

  180. Jaguar,

    We get it. You hate Arsene Wenger.

    He’s our manager. He’ll still be for a very long time.

    Don’t cry.

  181. Fletcher is going to be a dirty basard on Sunday. I can see him trying to injure cesc. I hope the ref keeps a close eye on things…

  182. Yeah fletcher just needs a kicking really.

    So can we have aJT inspired football scandall rumour subject? Or will we get into bother off yogi?


    Also JT is the captain, what a twat.

  183. Martin O’Neil is my new hate figure in football. Somehow I find his reaction to the Wenger comments very baseless and incendiary.

  184. English is a an elegant language. H*ward may consider himself an English patriot but he can’t read English very well.

    I said “outside the UK and France at leading clubs, e.g. Spain, Germany, Italy”.

  185. Els, we coud start a fictitous one about somebody else. Candidates? hmm, I nominate…..Jaguar

  186. Martin O’Neil was misguided by the media somewhat but I am surprised he didn’t detract some of his comments after the event. I had a lot of respect for him previously but some of that has waned. He is though a passionate man and backs his team and principles to the hilt.

  187. Bodad

    Pray tell, How do you actually know what Arsenal football club pay William Gallas.

    And don’t say it was in the Daily Mail or the Mirror. How the fuck would they know?

  188. Football is a game of rotation. Usually the minimum is to have four strikers but that was when most teams played 4-4-2. The Gunners are playing three forwards so by that reckoning, need minimum 6 forwards. Do we have that – Arshavin, RVP, Bendtner, Vela, Eduardo and Walcott.

    But How many can play the centre however – 3 convincingly with one out most season, another still feeling his way and another.. also feeling his way in. A short term route will be the best option and I would say we should get one but it’s not a necessity. But how much of a price would you put to winning the season (especially if prize-money will recoup the investment of a short loan)?

  189. Matty Boy,

    He’s sucking up to the media again. And being very stupid.

    I’m enraged about his comments claiming that Wenger said Man Utd are anti-football.

    Honestly, in a sane football culture he’d just have made himself into an object of ridicule.

  190. @ The Brain – do you think changing our formation could be the answer? I know it seems risky to do so halfway through a season but it would make the best of the personnel we have and would also provide the full backs with more cover. Especially away from home. Just a thought.

  191. I used to have a lot of respect for o’neill too, he’s been basically taking the piss out of wenger, saying that his comments are always good for a laugh. Pretty disrespectful. Wenger was merely commenting on the way they play – by spraying it into the corners for their wingers to chase. He wasn’t calling them a Bolton.

  192. Moderation? Was ‘piss’ the trigger? if so, this wont go up either. There’s been a lot worse said on here…

  193. I used to have a lot of respect for o’neill too, he’s been basically taking the piss out of wenger, saying that his comments are always good for a laugh. Pretty disrespectful. Wenger was merely commenting on the way they play – by spraying it into the corners for their wingers to chase. He wasn’t calling them a Bolton.

  194. Maybe it was ‘Bolton’…

  195. Any idea why that post is being moderated Darius?

  196. Arse Shavin

    Not sure but a lot of moderation appears to be affecting your email account provider.


  197. Oh right, thanks for that YW. Strange that it only happens now and then… That’s IT issues for you i s’pose!

  198. It’s appeared now, cheers!

  199. Ole Gunnar,

    If there were no truth in what Wenger said then i doubt it would have ruffled their feathers in the way it did.

    Martin O’Neil has got a reputation for speaking before he thinks. The fact is, he is under a lot of pressure atm due to their current form and up and coming games so i think he is using this as a bit of a smokescreen.

  200. @ Bigbrovar, lagooner

    It sounds like you’re both mesmerised by the number of fit strikers we have, but the real issue is whether we can make and score goals. If we can do those things (make and score goals), we don’t urgently need to replace our injured personnel. We can wait for the right player at the right price.

    @ RayGun
    I think Arsene is changing the way teams will look in the future. The concept of a “striker” depends on a lone man leading the line and dates back to pre-historic football times.
    I think you could be right!
    Some people have said: “We need a 20-goal-a-season striker”. That’s the old orthodoxy again. It’s the team that scores. Doesn’t matter who puts the ball in the net as long as it goes in the net enough times a game. Was Ronaldo a striker? Is Cesc a striker?

    @ iain
    The general consensus is that people want Wenger to make an Arshavin type signing- a top pro whom is the finished article and can hit the ground running.
    If you know the shop which stocks such players and guarantees they will never get injured, tell AW right now.
    Seriously, if AW could find what he wanted, he’d have gone for it. As DS says, these players do not grow on trees. And give Wenger some credit – he already got us TV this season.

    As for the physicality issue – last season, maybe, but this season, absolutely not. Remember Bolton. Blackburn. Stoke (in the league). Against Chelsea, we were just poor – nothing to do with being outmuscled. There was a physicality mismatch against Stoke in the FA Cup, but that was strictly confined to the teenagers in the side, against the one of the biggest and heaviest sides in the league.

    And “walking the ball into the net”? I’m beginning to wonder if you’ve watched us at all this season. We’ve scored from headers, free-kicks, corners and goalmouth scraps as well as our beautiful trademark flowing style.

  201. Darius:

    Excellent post. Certainly thought provoking. Historically teams that win titles have a dominant goal scorer. It does not have to be the prototypical “English” center forward. TH, Ian Wright, C. Ronaldo, Rooney, Etoo etc. Right now there is no one on our roster fills that role. NB52 is not there yet. Cesc is a wonderful player but we can not expect him to continue to be our leading scorer. According to AW and the board we have money available. Buying a center back and a striker will not guarentee a title but would clearly would increase our chances.

    Look at our options for next year. RVP is a big ?. Eduardo is not the same player he was. NB52 may develop into a dominant scorer (maybe). We could probably buy Dzeko for less then the tranfer profit we made this summer. Front 3 of Dzeko, Arshavin, RVP rotating with Bentner, Nasri, and Eduardo. Sounds like a team that has mulitple ways to score and could win any league. We have the money available. It is unfair to the fans and the players to not make every effort to help this team.

    The other concern is at CB. We clearly have enough money that we could have added a really good CB last summer of this Jan. WG may not be here next year. JD is unproven and who knows how he will return from injury. Running this thin at CB was/is a huge huge risk that is very difficult to rationalize. It certainly adds some validity to those who say that our fiscal prudence has gone a bit over the edge.

  202. Matty Boy: it’s definitely a risk and I would question how a change will affect the teams efficiency mostly. The obvious idea is to play the 4-3-3 where the wingers fall back but could that mean less dynamism or would it work better as it will help create more triangles? Obviously pressuring high up the pitch will go.

    Another option is to play a 4-2-1-3 and give Song and Denilson shared role in front of the back four, where they can cover for the full backs, depending on the side the play is instead of the wingers. This will also give Fabregas more freedom and interestingly it is he and Arshavin who have been the best tacklers in the new system.

  203. Absolutely spot on FunGunner

  204. The best tacklers in the sense of pressuring high up the pitch is what I meant.

  205. Cesc & Arsh the best tacklers eh? I think your 4 2 1 3 suggestion’s a good one. Both that and the 4 3 3 require the ‘wingers’ to track back though. Nasri loves it but theo – not so much.. It is risky changing at this point though. We can score from anywhere at the mo so i think we should keep it as it is.

  206. oh i see

  207. Wilshere’s gone to Bolton.

  208. Batty Boy,

    Martin O’Neil looks like a mug in all this.

    Can you ask him to teach his team to stop playing long ball tactics?

    He might think because they hoof it to their wingers it means they don’t play long ball.

  209. Ole Gunnar,

    I will have a word with MON but i’m not making any promises about them changing their style of play. I did read an interesting quote from Dunne though:

    “I think everyone is a long-ball team compared to Arsenal”

    “They play so much good football it’s difficult. We’ve got pace in our team up front and that’s how you use it.

    “They’re not just long kicks,” Dunne added.

    “They’re placed balls that we know our centre-forwards can get on the end of because they can outpace most defenders.”

    They’re not just long kicks, the are placed balls 🙂

  210. Long ball tactics are now called placed ball tactics.

  211. @ Matty Boy

    I think you are probably right about journalists misrepresenting Arsene’s perfectly inoffensive remarks when relaying them to Martin O’Neill. They do it to Arsene, so no reason to think they wouldn’t have done it to O’Neill! Arsene’s smart enough not to fall for it, though. And it must really have struck a nerve with him. The press have their headlines, which is all they care about.

  212. Wilshere to Bolton…we’ll have to give him a good all wash when he comes back.

    I expect AW wants him to face the challenge of imposing his creativity in a sea of hoofball.

  213. meant “good old wash,” obviously.

  214. Terry had an affair with Bridge’s ex-mistress. It’s not clear whether the affair began before Bridge and Ms. Perroncel split up, although Bridge’s reaction would suggest it did. Since Ms. Perroncel is a French underwear model, this can hardly come as a surprise. To f*ck one’s own team-mate’s woman is disgusting behaviour, and to me it makes him no longer fit to captain England, although it probably makes him more fit to captain Chelsea.

  215. Ok Batty Boy!

    Good quote from Dunne. A virtual admission.

    Someone’s going to be in trouble with the mini mouse O’Neil.

  216. Bill. You say:

    “The other concern is at CB. We clearly have enough money that we could have added a really good CB last summer…”

    Does Thomas Vermaelen count? Wenger did buy him.

    Gallas will be an Arsenal player for at least the next 2 years unless something drastic happens with his contract negotiations in which case Arsenal will buy another centre half.

    Why panic about it and big bad Billy G is still on the payroll.

    Speaking of which, if we’re then happy with the fact that Vermaelen and Gallas are the first choice centre halves, pray tell which competent centre half worth their salt and better than Johan Djourou will be happy to sit on the bench for most of the season during a world cup year?

    As for the forwards, the question is not whether there are better forwards in the world who can fit our system of play. The issue for me is the timing, availability and affordability.

    I keep hearing Dzeko being bandied about. I take the view that someone at London Colney who gets paid to do these things, has actually thought of the fella and in discussion with other decision makers, they’ve concluded that for some reason or another, the young man won’t be a shoe-in in January.

    You can replace Dzeko with any other player being bandied around.

    Arsenal has the best scouting system in the world and if a player Wenger wants was available this January (not in the summer), and was affordable, I doubt that Wenger would hesitate to buy that player.

    The telling thing is this – Wenger wanted to buy Chamakh but he didn’t because his club were playing hard to get for a player who will be free in 5 months.

    The fact that he was considering that option already tells you that he is not averse to buying another striker.

    The argument that many are pushing that Arsenal must spend money for the short term to guarantee winning a trophy is totally flawed. The only two things you can guarantee in life are dying and paying taxes.

    While those who are paid to find us players continue with their job, we need to support the current team to use the options they have. It’s just about being practical for now.

  217. Are you volunteering, FunGunner?

  218. I couldn’t care less if JT was shagging Wayne Brigde himself.

    He’s scum. We’ve known that a long time. And I don’t want to know the details.

  219. Wouldn’t it be great if Wilshere could do us a favour and score some vital goals against our title rivals.

    And the Spuds.

  220. I’ll leave that to Maria, Pz!

  221. JT business presents a real quandary for the Press. On the one hand it’s that upstanding honest warrior JT, and on the other hand…it’s a proper sex scandal!

    Wayne Bridge’s wife has no taste in men whatsoever. First Bridge, then Terry???

  222. Who cares what scum does to scum when decent people are not looking?

  223. If it turned out that Big JT had been f*cking Wayne bridge, I dare say a few eyebrows would be raised in the footballing establishment, but in moral terms I suppose it would be a lot less than Big JT f*cking his team-mate’s mistress.

  224. She was not married to Bridge, I’m glad to say.

  225. What will the headline be? “Chelsea man cheats on Bridge”

    Sounds like a compelling game of cards at the pensioners retirement home.

  226. I am sure that both parties were looking for intellectual conversation and the possibility of a lasting relationship. Just didn’t work out. Understanding and recognising love for what it is Wayne Bridge did the decent thing and gave them some space for their newfound relationship to grow. Probably left with a wry smile, shaking his head knowingly, I should think.

  227. He drove off into the sunset.

  228. Round to JTs house….

  229. @ Matty Boy
    ha ha – good one!

    @ Frank
    Intellectual conversation? Hmmmmmmmmm… If you say so.

  230. to JT’s home

  231. The Sunset.

    lap-dancing club, presumably?

  232. ….and shagged his wife

  233. a drive-in lap-dancing club, perhaps?

  234. …in a threesome with Frank Lampard’s wife..

  235. …which he had been doing for several months

  236. The Chelski squad are very close in that way

  237. Darius:

    Thanks for your response. I support Arsenal and always will.

    TV was a excellent purchase. However, we risked our season by not having adequate cover at CB this year. Chelsea have Alex and Ivanovic. ManU have Evans and Brown. No other team with title aspirations would play Russian Roulette with central defense when there is money available to strengthen that critical spot. How many years have we gone without significant defensive injuries. Risking this year because we might have too many good center backs next year not logical and makes you wonder “what are they thinking”.

    Next year. WG is not a definite. JD has never proven himself and might not return to full fitness. Between injuries and rotation 3rd and even 4th choice CB traditionally get time on the pitch. Given WG’s age, even if he is still under contract, a young CB will not have to wait long to fight for 1st choice.

    With regards to a striker. I think this team would have a much better chance of winning this year and next if we could add a dominant goal scorer. right now there is not one on our roster. RVP might be that next year and Bentner in 2 – 3 years. (maybe on both) Chavs are really happy they added Anelka even though they had Drogba. They play pretty well together now. If RVP is back and better then ever next yr we will always have injuries, rotation and I am sure management could figure out a way to get two good players on the pitch together.

  238. “He’ll cross that Bridge when he comes…”

    Nope, can’t bring myself to finish it.

  239. Darius:

    My comment is in moderation. I enjoy the debate. It makes these blogs alot of fun. Maybe I will send it to you on Monday and if you would like we can continue to debate. Bill

  240. Oh well I heard that Kevin Keeg……

    No I’ll stop there.

  241. I heard that too, els. Apparently it has left him quite bandy legged.

  242. Darius: I copied my comment which was stuck in moderation. We will probably have other things to talk about Monday. Hopefully this one will go thru.

    Thanks for your response. I support Arsenal and always will.

    TV was a excellent purchase. However, we risked our season by not having adequate cover at CB this year. Chelsea have Alex and Ivanovic. ManU have Evans and Brown. No other team with title aspirations would play Russian Roulette with central defense when there is money available to strengthen that critical spot. How many years have we gone without significant defensive injuries. Risking this year because we might have too many good center backs next year not logical and makes you wonder “what are they thinking”.

    Next year. WG is not a definite. JD has never proven himself and might not return to full fitness. Between injuries and rotation 3rd and even 4th choice CB traditionally get time on the pitch. Given WG’s age, even if he is still under contract, a young CB will not have to wait long to fight for 1st choice.

    With regards to a striker. I think this team would have a much better chance of winning this year and next if we could add a dominant goal scorer. right now there is not one on our roster. RVP might be that next year and Bentner in 2 – 3 years. (maybe on both) Chavs are really happy they added Anelka even though they had Drogba. They play pretty well together now. If RVP is back and better then ever next yr we will always have injuries, rotation and I am sure management could figure out a way to get two good players on the pitch together

  243. …with a hint of a limp and a tendency to keep checking that his genitals are still there. Scarred him for life.

  244. Any chance of us buying that 12 year old wonderkid from Angola?

  245. You want to be careful making comments like that on a public blogsite, Jaguar.

  246. What was offensive in my statement Frank?

  247. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    How awesome was Gyan’s goal celebration dance against Nigeria? That guy is right there with Eboue when it comes to dancing!

  248. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    F*ck off, Jaguar. You bald scummy c*nt.

  249. Your proclivities are of no interest to me, Jaguar. I have no wish to be involved.

  250. Well done, perrygroves, it is not often you see a Red Egret and a Cattle Egret together in the same shot let alone both taking the piss out of a jaguar.

  251. In fact I think we might be getting a glimpse of a Scarlet Ibis there by the look of its bill. I do beg your pardon. The Scarlet Ibis speaks Spanish of course…

  252. “I’ll leave that to Maria, Pz!”

    FG, how could you??

    Now I feel dirty.

  253. re bilesh.january the 28th,10.20pm

    there is only one dog and thats you.

  254. @ NSN,

    I know it was an amazing dance. This guy puts Adebaywhore attempts at dancing to shame.

    Reminds me of some of the dances in South Africa.

  255. Fucking hell, perrygroves, you really did catch me out on that one. That is not a pig is it? You were trying to slip a peccary by us. A collared one by my reckoning, though peccaries are not my forte.

    Well done anyway.

  256. Love rat John Terry enjoyed a karaoke session with some team mates last night, and entertained them with his own saucy lyrics to his favourite Michael Jackson song:

    She was more like a porno queen from a magazine
    I said don’t mind, but what do you mean I am the one
    Who will lie with a whore on the ground
    She said I am the one, who will lie with a whore on the ground

    She told me she was really keen, as she caused a scene
    Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one
    Who will lie with a whore on the ground

    Jose always told me be careful of what you do
    And don’t go around breaking young Wayne’s heart
    And mother always told me be careful of who you love
    And be careful of who you do ’cause the lay becomes the news

    Mrs. Bridge is not my lover
    She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
    But the kid is not my son
    She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son


  257. Love rat John Terry enjoyed a karaoke session with some team mates last night, and entertained them with his own saucy lyrics to his favourite Michael Jackson song:

    She was more like a p0rno queen from a magazine
    I said don’t mind, but what do you mean I am the one
    Who will lie with a whore on the ground
    She said I am the one, who will lie with a whore on the ground

    She told me she was really keen, as she caused a scene
    Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one
    Who will lie with a whore on the ground

    Jose always told me be careful of what you do
    And don’t go around breaking young Wayne’s heart
    And mother always told me be careful of who you love
    And be careful of who you do ’cause the lay becomes the news

    Mrs. Bridge is not my lover
    She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
    But the kid is not my son
    She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son


  258. @ maria
    ha ha ha

    @ RayGun
    Have a read of vitalarsenal – Amos has written an article about the “strikerless team”.

  259. Big JT also gave a touching rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

  260. It probably isn’t the done thing to post links to other blogs or it may have been posted already. But I thought this was superb..

  261. What kind of trash has a affair JT??


    Just got round to reading this story. Poor old Bridge playing second fiddle @ the club to Cashley cheating Cole then his captain forced him to take to the guest room at home.


  262. Makes you even more prouder of our boys @ The Arsenal.

  263. Lol, Pz @ 6:29 pm

  264. California Gooner

    Frank, that post is spot on regarding O’Neill’s whinging. Ridiculous. Villa is a good team and he has done a good job. He could beg to differ with Wenger’s analysis. But accusing Wenger of ‘grave insult’ is beyond absurd. it shows just how small-time O’Neill and his team’s mentality is.

  265. Better you get more stories like this.You will have much to discuss when you finish empty handed AGAIN this season.

  266. Who is this doppleganger ?

  267. Its John Terry. Beware!

  268. darius; you are a twat

  269. Great post as usual Stone Cold. Its no surprise english football cant move away from the concept of the big target man and big striker theory, there still f*#kin goin on about 1966 FFS.

    Lots of the usual guff about Arsenal needing a striker and Man U not being a one man team. If Rooney and Did -he- dive Drogba get injured then who is scoring their goals. You wont hear that story touted around much would you? But clearly despite being without orthodox strikers the team are still top goal scorers.

    Raygooner post of the day .The doomers will have nowhere to run when The Arsenal ‘Strike Force’ blow a whole in Uniteds title charge. How many teams can boast 18 different goal scorers. Chavs and ManScum beware.

  270. Nice post, G4L, as ever.

    This MoN thing has got seriously out of hand. Not only was he and two players directing personal insults at AW right after the game, O’Neill is still going on and on and on about a perceived slight that had clearly been twisted in the first place. Two days later he’s had a chance to cool off, but he still won’t let up.

    A few things could be going on – he could be dumb enough to keep taking the hacks’ bait, or he’s trying to gee his squad up after a rough patch since we spanked them at home. Or there’s still a grudge after we overtook Villa so effortlessly in the last 3rd of 08-09.

    Either way it still rankles that Wenger was totally respectful, made fact-based observations, without ever once getting personal.

    I dread to think the response AW would provoke from the press if he chose to pursue a silly feud in such an aggressive and blunt way.

  271. MoN is upset because he knows it is true.

  272. OOU, MON is a passionate Brit so he can say what he pleases free from criticism. He is a small man who manages a limited team and he cannot get over that fact. If it makes him feel better to whinge and moan, good luck to him. I’m sure Arsene has moved on and has no interest in his petty comments.

  273. And I know that this “feud” has been pretty much 100% manufactured by the press – but it doesn’t make it any less damaging.

    Nor does it dampen MoN’s latest comments. I’ve just read them again – I think the man has a problem. So much rage.

  274. Geez, Wenger even gets slammed for compliments now.

    I think white rum has something to do with it, no one in their right mind would say such stupid things, would they?

  275. This actually proves Wenger is regard very highly and it mattered to O’neil what Wenger thinks of his football, He was hoping for a different assessment from Wenger about his brand of football. Its a bit like when you spend so much time working on a project ,in your head you are thinking you’ve done really well until your teacher looks at it and says “You haven’t done enough son” so its matters what the professor has to say.
    Its very simple. O’neil need to watch the game again and see what Wenger is talking about and Improve on his project . Come back next season and see what the professor has to say about it and he might get a good mark next time. No point dwelling on it.

  276. Yeah guys, it’s a good chance to show that we’re above this kind of stuff, but I doubt that will make the headlines.

    Clichy always says the right thing, doesn’t he? Great to have him back.

  277. “…this “feud” has been pretty much 100% manufactured by the press.”

    I don’t really agree with that. I’ve never liked O’Neill. As far as I can see, he’s acting completely in character with this tantrum against Wenger. He didn’t need the help of the press or anyone else.

  278. OOU – I’m a bit pissed off with some fans criticising him for not keeping up with Ashley Young against Villa when he is just back from a serious injury. What do they expect?

  279. Has anyone read this? It made me chuckle.

    Friday, 29 January 2010
    Arsenal and Manchester United in ‘A Tipsy Team-Talk’

    Ten minutes remained until kick-off. The Arsenal and Manchester United players had just completed their warm-ups, and were now filing down the tunnel to their respective changing rooms.

    There was a tangible sense of anticipation spreading throughout the Emirates. Huge banners billowed as they were passed around the stands, while fans took to their seats and speculated excitedly about the line-ups. In the Green Quadrant, the home and away support exchanged melodic banter; the Manchester United supporters were doing their best to make themselves heard after the long journey down.

    With darkness beginning to descend, the floodlights blazed over the arena. The immaculate pitch was illuminated by their glare, the radiant green glow of the turf complementing the increasingly vibrant atmosphere.

    Kick-off was drawing closer. A cotton blanket of red and white scarves unfurled itself across the home stands to the opening refrain of ‘The Wonder of You’.

    Meanwhile, in the Manchester United changing room, the players were sat on the benches awaiting their manager’s team-talk.

    Gary Neville was complaining about the recent insults by Carlos Tevez to a disinterested Park Ji-Sung. Remaining fiercely loyal to his Argentinian friend, the midfielder had defiantly rammed his fingers into his ears and was now obstinately – and tunelessly – warbling a traditional South Korean ditty at the top of his voice.

    Dimitar Berbatov, who had given training a miss, had only just come out of the shower; he was now sauntering languidly across the dressing room in his towel, his crow-like features and withering hairline still wet after an inexplicable 45 minutes of lazy lavation. Michael Owen, clean-shaven and raring to go, watched in disbelief, wondering how much it would take for the Bulgarian to finally irk the Manchester United management.

    In the corner of the changing room, Nemanja Vidic was vigorously devouring a raw beef steak, his face soaked in cow blood.

    A minute of near silence passed, with most of the dressing room becoming concerned about their manager’s absence. Mike Phelan was stood by the door checking his watch, growing visibly anxious as the kick-off drew nearer.

    “Where is… boss?” Antonio Valencia awkwardly enquired.

    Phelan pushed the door ajar and poked his head into the tunnel – still no sign of Ferguson. He closed the door and folded his arms. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon.”

    The players started to grumble amongst themselves as the assistant leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes and wondering where on earth Ferguson had got to.

    Suddenly, there was a loud crash in the tunnel, followed by the sound of laboured breathing and heavy footsteps. The room shook as something large hit the other side of the near wall, propelling a screaming Rafael da Silva across the floor.

    The players leapt to their feet, visibly startled. The commotion continued in the hall as they babbled anxiously amongst themselves and considered the possibility of an attempt at intimidation by Arsenal.

    “Wait,” Michael Carrick called out. The room fell silent.

    The midfielder held out a hand and sniffed the air. “Does anyone else smell… alcohol?”

    The players turned to face the door to the tunnel. The handle was now rattling sporadically, and the same large weight that had hit the wall seemed to be slumped against the other side of the door. The atmosphere was tense; all around the room, hearts were pounding against rib cages, and beads of sweat were trickling down foreheads.

    Ryan Giggs stepped forward cautiously. “Perhaps we should -”

    He was hushed by his team-mates. The rattling was now frantic, and ill-tempered grunting could be heard in the tunnel. Phelan held Giggs aside and inched towards the door, his hand poised to turn the handle; the players all held their breath.

    Suddenly, the door burst open. Sir Alex Ferguson stumbled into the room, his cheeks flaring a magnificent scarlet and his white Manchester United polo stained with crimson splatters. In his hand was a large bottle of red wine, which was now spilling freely over the United players as he struggled to maintain his balance. He had neglected to tie the top of his tracksuit bottoms, and his waistband was now flapping perilously close to the lower limits of good taste.

    “What are you all looking at?” he slurred, leering obnoxiously at his players. “You all think you’re so important with your… cars, and your trainers…”

    Mike Phelan rubbed his eyes in frustration. No matter how many times this happened, he would never know how to handle it. “Alex, maybe you could just -”

    “That’s Sir Alex to you, Felon!” Ferguson barked, staggering disjointedly in the direction of his assistant. “You’re no Carlos Qu-” He hiccupped crudely, sprinkling his assistant’s face with yeasty spittle.

    “Yes, okay Sir Alex,” Phelan continued, wincing and wiping his face. He held his hands out and made a downward gesture. “Maybe we can just put the bottle down.”

    Ferguson nodded – then violently threw the bottle across the room. It exploded against a locker, showering nearby players with shards of glass.

    “My eye!” Jonny Evans screamed. “Oh my God, there’s glass in my eye!”

    Antonio Valencia groaned weakly, his feeble fingers fluttering across the top of his head to find the source of the blood which was now cascading freely down his forehead.

    Nemanja Vidic sat in between them, simply staring forward with a fixed, resolute expression. The unblinking Serb seemed completely oblivious to the sharp debris raining down on his skull, which remained curiously unscathed.

    Ferguson smiled, his eyelids drifting independently in opposite directions. “We’re gonnae win easily… We’ve got Nummy-Na and Rio back in defence…”

    Phelan opened his mouth to remind him, but checked himself. “Sir Alex, I think -”

    “Hey, it’s Nani,” Ferguson giggled, waddling across the changing room as his tracksuit bottoms began their inevitable, mischievous descent. The players behind recoiled in disgust as they were greeted with the sight of two red buttocks jiggling themselves free of their polyester oppressor.

    Taking no notice, Nani was tying his bootlaces. “And then the bunny jumped into the hole -”

    He stopped short, as a wide, dark shadow spread over his feet. He looked up just in time to see Ferguson stumble, trip over the tracksuit bottoms which had now caught around his shins, and lose his balance.

    Fearstruck, the winger leapt aside as his manager crashed face-first into the wooden bench, rebounded off it and tumbled to the floor.

    Several of the players gasped audibly. Phelan rushed to Ferguson’s side, his hands on his head and panic in his eyes. The da Silva twins were huddled together in the corner of the room, wailing and squealing in fright.

    The manager’s head was turned at an unnatural angle, and his short, squat limbs were jutting out in worrying positions. His cheeks had flushed a peculiar shade of purple; drool oozed out of the corner of his mouth.

    He hiccupped and started to mumble incoherently. His tracksuit bottoms still snagged around his ankles, he began to roll groggily from side to side, his features contorted in fury.

    “Where’s Cristiano?!” he yelled, his voice hoarsening. “Where’s… Cristiano…” He relaxed and rolled over, his ferocity giving way to gentle sobbing.

    Phelan and the players stared in bemused silence. Tears streamed down the bawling Scotsman’s cheeks; he tried to wipe them clear, in doing so smearing a globule of mucus across his nose. His soft weeping resonated around the dressing room as he clawed at the floor in drunken despair.

    The players all looked at Phelan, silently urging him to do something.

    The assistant kneeled next to Ferguson, calculating his next few words carefully. Employing the hushed, sympathetic tone of a primary school teacher dealing with a manic-depressive child, he tried to reason with the inebriated manager. “Sir Alex… the match is about to start. Let’s get you up.”

    No sooner had he reached to help Ferguson to his feet than the manager had rolled away and emitted a sort of snore-grunt hybrid. His mouth lolling open and his chin glistening in saliva, the manager faded out of consciousness.

    Phelan and the players stared aghast at their inanimate manager. With a key fixture in his team’s season literally moments away, one of the greatest managers in football history was lying prostrate on the floor in a state of dangerous intoxication.

    The eery silence relinquished itself to the gentle pitter-patter of tiny feet in the tunnel.

    “The Arsenal players are heading out,” Phelan sighed. “Right, go wait in the tunnel and I’ll sort him out – it looks like I’ll have to take over.”

    (If any Manchester United fans see this, it’s just a bit of fun… please be good sports! I should clarify that this is fictional – Sir Alex Ferguson does not have a drink problem. Here’s hoping for an entertaining home win on Sunday…)

  280. Investigative journalism at its best!

    But who added the joke at the end?

  281. OOU, MON is a passionate Brit so he can say what he pleases free from criticism. He is a small man who manages a limited team and he cannot get over that fact.
    He proved to be one-dimensional, in all his teams. Tactically, and technically useless. Cloughie would “face-palm”. Wenger is a genius for making us better team than likes of Aston Villa and Totts, who netspend more than us. Lol.

  282. Eduardo is not his former self. Bendtner was doing ok before he picked the knock. So he might take anything from 1 month to 1 year to fully re-gain his old form! And Walcott, well his ‘curious case’ continues to baffle one & many. Me no exception. With Van Persie virtually missing the season, Arsenal should have bought any of these:

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