Too Much Too Young

Being the subject of a relatively large transfer fee whilst still a teenager is a burden to bear for any player. In Arsenal’s recent history, starting with Peter Marinello through Hartson, Upson and Reyes, these players have promised much but ultimately failed to deliver.

If you add into the mix that before the end of his second decade, a bunfight had ensued over his signature and he was granted an ultimately wasted trip to the last World Cup, it is easy to see why expectations are high when Theo Walcott is mentioned. A sprinkling of magic in what was deemed to be England’s toughest World Cup qualifying fixture and that hat-trick in Croatia saw the expectations bloat. Injuries soon put paid to delivering the promise.

His manager has faith in him, despite the criticism of Walcott, who along with Denilson is being immolated at the altar of youthful promise failing at Arsenal. Wenger has defended Theo quite rightly, pointing out that his fitness is the concern:

What you cannot expect from Walcott at the moment is what he cannot give you. He needs some time to play and come back to full fitness. He has only played a few games this season. If he gets injury free now, he will have a good end of season. But at the moment he is not completely himself.

Frankly, I have found the denunciations of Walcott to be over the top, the only one-trick ponies in evidence are those who claim Walcott has little clue how to beat opponents other than in a straight race for the ball. Rather like some of the criticism of Arsene this week, the sport of sensationalism has shouted louder than the decent analysis, personal axes being ground harder than anything else.

It is a simple equation which is often overlooked. Players are not going to return following a lengthy spell on the sidelines and be wonderously in touch with the game. None of them are; they require time to attune to their colleagues and the speed of thought a match scenario needs. That cannot be replicated in training, no matter how hard anyone tries since you cannot second guess an opponents thoughts once adrenalin kicks in.

Should the manager bring players back if they are not match fit? It is a chicken and egg situation since they cannot be match fit if they do not play but if they play, they need time to adjust. Problematically, when results are adverse, scapegoats are sought because that is how society in general views all walks of life.

The match at the weekend offers the opportunity to put right the ills of the Arsenal world. If that happens, skies will certainly be a lot brighter for everyone, surely…

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 288 Comments.

  1. Theo and Denilson are two seperate cases entirely.

    We have yet to see Theo play for the Arsenal, fully fit, for more than half a dozen games on the trot.

    Denilson has.

  2. Under the title ‘tto much too young’ it would remiss not to mention JET’s allegedly £100k sports car.

    Fck me, the guy has played 60 minutes for the first team and he drives an uber-car. No wonder they all end disappearing up their own asses.

  3. “We have yet to see Theo play for the Arsenal, fully fit, for more than half a dozen games on the trot.”

    Are you talking about just this season, or their entire Arsenal careers to date, Schmohawk?

  4. Romford

    Not that you’re being judgemental at all…. 😎


  5. Youth is not a problem Wojec will have a full season at Brentford to prepare him for the EPL next season at 19 hes a year older than Casillas when he first started.

    I saw him play for Brentford he was sensational and will replace Almunia after playing pre season in Austria



    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

  7. So what was a strong jet car?

  8. Hawke cut Denilson some slack..he has performed abysmally in the last 3 games or so but that doesnt make him a poor player. I seem to remember when he got injured at city most of us couldnt wait for him to get back.

    He was our best player last season in my opinion.

    the scapegoating is becoming too muchand honestly I am getting too fed up with it!!How come our greatest players never get the heat when they are doing badly? in their defence it usually “ooh, he is only going through a rough patch, you can trust him to produce a moment of magic even when he goes missing for long periods….blur, blur, blur!”

  9. Theo was bought to be a through the middle striker. he has played out wide to develop his game. He has improved his game but will never be a natural winger. He has the pace but not the ability to shift a ball between his feet or drop a shoulder to send the defender the wrong way. Does he need this as an out and out striker. Owen in his prime was a quick and lethal striker but did not have the game to play out wide. Theo will not be Henry, who was exceptional and possessed a bit of everything, but he could become a 25 a season striker in his own right. His criticism is centred around how he performs as a winger, but I think we need to accept this is not and never will be his best role and is not the guage to decide if he can make it or not at Arsenal. I feel it is now time to cease his development on the wing as I think it has taken him as far as it can. Now he needs to play through the middle and develop his instinct as a striker. we will need to give him a run of games to prove himself here without fans jumping up and down when he fluffs a couple of sitters, (remember Henry). Only then will we find if he can truly play for us.

  10. I would be happy with Denilson as a squad player, but the amount of games he has racked up is worrying for a club of our stature considering his performances.

    You could agrue that we have had lots in juries in that position, hence the number of games he has played. But if that is the reason, it only strengthens the case for a better quality central midfielder being bought.

  11. I hope you remembered to the use washable crayons and plastic safety scissors.

  12. Arsenal bought kids like Walcott,wc potential,Senderos,etc and time has been wasted on these two plus many others.
    Yeah he turned some unknown into wc stars. But you can’t strike gold all the time.
    In addition his emphasis on eternity passing give opposing defenders time to regroup which is obvious to all but AW.This to him is anti soccer.
    I think he has gone backwards and has forgotten his main ain is to win not play sexed up soccer to be beaten.
    He got out of jail against Everton. The warning signs were there but he ignored them and were humiliated by the red faced cunt. Another humiliation by Chelsea would be too much and I believe he will tear up his current blue print and draft another. That I am afarid will be time wasted.

  13. @fineboy – dude, kill is such a strong word. just spit at his face or destroy his car. Ultras in Italy did it before…and ALmunia too pls.

    *evil laughs*

  14. OOU

    You’ll spot the banner – it will be the one which has loads of words crossed out and still be incorrectly spelt.


  15. In the end the only legible part will be:

    “Go Denilson!”

    True Arsenal fans.

  16. There is no denying Denilson is an adequate squad player, who still has age/time on his side to develop his game .

    I will opine that if Diaby, Song, Ramsey and Cesc are fully fit, he does not get a look in.

    Roll on 12 months, could JET and/or Merida if he signs, also get ahead of him?

  17. Who let the cavemen out of the zoo? Fineboy, I’m assuming you used to be a millwall supporter but got banned?

    Denilson has had two bad games true. Though he was injured and recently back.

    But so has clichy.

    And fabregas has also not excelled those two games.

  18. fineboy

    Good to see I wasn’t wasting my time then


  19. Weird how short a memory can be. Remeber that Cesc-less unbeaten run we went on last year that saved our champions league spot? Arshavin gets credited with saving that season but we owe a hell of a lot to Deni for the fact that we’re in Europe this year, regardless of how happy Villa seemed to be to capitulate.

  20. Fabregas has improved tremendously this season and one reason for this is that he has gained strength. Once Denilson has gained strength, he too will be a very good player. But now he is not mediocre as some of you are apt to think although he has been underperforming is the past 3 games.

  21. Danilson is a decent player. He is only 21. Midfielders that get a grip in the middle of the park and dominate comes later in their careers.

    The players that people are criticising are yet to reach 22-24.

    Give them time.

    Other players that are starting to shine are coincidentally the ones that are hitting their early-mid twenties.

    Theres nothing wrong with Denilson.

  22. Slater- Senderos is not a bad player Wenger cannot predict how a player might react in 6 or 7 years, Senderos is good enough ability wise but he does not react well when he makes mistakes its self belief , and Wenger has no control over that if he cannot trust himself. Look at Robinho one of the most gifted players in the world he failed at City not because he is a bad player but mentally cannot handle it. As for Walcott he will make you look like a fool. This kid has been written off while injured, You just can’t do that. When he is back to his best you shall see, and he’ll make you eat your words, I have not doubt about that.

  23. as it is denilson is a squad player now I think when diaby is back he will replace him, he is decent cover but seems to lose his head against the big sides which is a worry.

    I wouldn’t say he is crap because to be crap you wouldn’t be able to play for arsenal and everything you do you would not be able to hide from.

    I’m not sure he has improved therefore would like him on the bench as cover.

    has wenger tried, not playing song and denilson together in the big matches?

  24. oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

    Can you believe some of these people?

    “Go Denilson or we will kill you”?

    I hope you get a jolly good slap.

    and tazered.

  25. prefer 2 play with 5 players than a complete team with denilson

  26. Firstlady, you are right. The few games after the defeat city people couldn’t wait for Denilson to get back because Diaby was not good enough.

  27. I’m a fine boy. Please slap me.

  28. I would say that at the moment he isn’t good enough to many mistakes and we will pay for them.

    improvement needed lets hope so!!!

  29. whatever happened to sticking people in the reserves to gain match fitness, that’s what I want to know!

    seems our reserve team has become our U18 team, and our U18 has become our Academy team!

  30. I’m very sorry. I meant to say am I shit?

  31. It is an interesting thought that the “to much to young” tag also applies to many of the Doomers who post on these blogs.
    Having grown up through the premiership years and seeing Arsenal win trophies on a regular basis, has not in any way conditioned them for the inevitable lean years that beset all clubs at times.

    How many of them remember our real barren years coupled with dour unentertaining football, or the years that Man U, Spurs and Liverpool spent in the lower divisions.

    Success is relative and we are only having lean times judged by our premiership years, but a new ground, sparkling football and a financial situation that is manageable, by an inspirational and principled manager can only bode well for the years to come.

    Arsenal will win again and a bit of realism on the part of many of these instant fans and less pessimism would make that winning easier. In other words get behind the team and the manager, don’t rubbish them

  32. i’m fine. and spurs are fine.

  33. wow, that was a really fine goal scored by Denilson against Everton…thanks for the reminder, fineboy. hope that everything is fine with you cos its seems that you have had some very bitter past judging from your behaviour.

  34. Is everyone still talking about Danny Denilson?.. What about actually commenting on the piece written?..
    Good post, although I slightly disagree with the chicken and egg analogy regards bringing back a player who is not fully match fit.. What happened to bringing back a player through the reserves. Although the standard of football may be lower, the standard of fitness is pretty much the same. Is this another sign of the times whereby player power is at a maximum, or does Wenger just refuse to risk such finely tuned athletes in a game on the slopy pitch at Underhill??.. I remember not so long ago, even Bergkamp played a couple of reserve games before he was brought back after a lengthy injury, so why do we not see the huge stars of today doing the same?…

  35. Sorry Monkey.. just read your post having posted very similar sentiments.

  36. I’m fine now?

  37. fu ckin morons at le-groan. Darius I think it’s time I took your advice and stayed away from them lot!!!It’s not good for my heart!

    I curse the day I clicked on the link above that led me to that site. I’ve had many fallouts with the crowd there but everytime i find myself going back.It’s like a hopeless junkie trying to quit, but seriously I am staying away for good this time. Yogi, if only you could remove them from the links,I know that’s asking for too much but hey i can try.

  38. Great post dandan.. and if this is a ‘lean’ period.. er, then.. I guess we should all be pretty fucking delighted.

  39. Hahahaha FirstLady. The problem with Le Groan is that they have absolutely no understanding of the beautiful game. The owners of the site are a couple of johnny come latelys who sit in the diamond club seats scoffing their salt beef sandwiches whilst thinking they could do a better job than Wenger. Nothing more than a couple of sycophants with more money than sense. A hex! A hex on their homes!

  40. There’s a reserves game next week – the last one was on the 12th of January. Nasri and Eduardo have played in the reserves recently, but there just aren’t enough fixtures to accommodate our injuries, while still giving the young’uns a much-needed taste of senior football.

    This season the Spuds didn’t even bother entering the league and I don’t think they’re the walk away either. The whole league system needs an overhaul to be honest.

    And I have to say, I’m still pretty upset with ATVO pulling the coverage.

  41. Monkey & Rinsing – for the past few games, there is no one else to play other than Denilson. I suppose AW has judged that Denilson is a better choice than Ramsey. Anyway the second and third goals conceded against MU is due to poor defending by the team, not being aware that there were too many players committed to the attack.

    One side thought – would any of you have preferred that Clichy committed a professional foul and stop the counter-attack leading to the second goal? That was the only moment that an Arsenal player was near to the ball during that move.

  42. “they’re the first to walk away”

    Sorry – in a blind rush!

  43. Far too lightweight and too short; that’s why they get intimidated too often by the big boys from other clubs. Age is not so much the problem, in my opinion. Anelka was signed when he was about eighteen; Henry and Viera were not too far from that age group. But Arsenal were never bullied. This is one important issue AW has to address next season if he is still around.

  44. @Rinsing

    Delighted no, because in the final analysis winning is the icing on the cake…but happy that we hold a place in footballs elite and all the signs are that we are well positioned to move on to winning times in the near future in a home we actually own that is worthy of it.

    It is no accident that we are by and large most peoples second team solely because of the wengerball philosophy and the football we play

  45. Rinsing I know I know. It had been a week since i went there..Someone above highlighted stuff they were saying so I decided(at a risk) to go and see for myself. Freaking comments made my bile rise, I swear. I responded and got blocked! SURPRISE! SURPRISE.

    Fineboy, Fucking moron!!just shut it!!

  46. FE gooner I was screaming way before that for someone to commit a foul when Nani was showing his skills off the edge of the corner.

  47. Sometimes it calls for taking one for the team.

  48. What has Arsenal fans come to if it takes someone from another club(that beat us Sunday, I take it the author is a manu fan)to point out How great our club is and losing to mancs isnt the end of the world.

  49. @DanDan..

    The only thing I dislike now is the over sanitized matchday experience.. as far as I’m concerned we have very little to complain about. The football is the best we have ever watched, and as you allude to, the future looks extremely bright both from a financial and a developmental point of view.
    Winning may be the icing on the cake, but there is a lot to be said for Wengers crusade against what he calls ‘financial doping’, and despite Chelsea’s recent ‘success’, I would rather watch Arsenal come 4th any day of the week.

  50. What a carnival of cunts.

  51. Oh, you moderated the death threats, YW! Now little else makes sense.

  52. This begs the question. How many players actually use weight training. I believe and have seen over the years weight training does cut down on injuries. Use weight training with elements yoga, ballet training and proper diet will go a long way to help a players longevity. The problem is toom many matches during a season. Players play almost twelve months out of the year. 39 EPL matches. Then add in the Carling Cup, FA Cup, and Champions League and a player will play close to 90 matches a year. No wonder the body breaks down. add into the mix international matches and World Cup play and you have a mess on your hand.
    The real story is that players push to comeback. Managers have to get clearance from the medical staff before a player can play.
    The odds are one in twenty will make it to the big club. This is why a good farm system is important. Wenger knows this. Thanks

  53. @bobbygee..

    The whole ‘too many games’ argument just doesnt cut it with me.. Back in the day, Arsenal would win league titles and use 14-15 players all season.
    I believe the weight training is a very contentious issue at Arsenal as Wenger doesnt allow any of the players to use serious weights until they are fully developed physically. This is why Cesc looks a lot stronger now.. apart from his amazing appetite for the game, he is now 22 and has spent the last year or so really bulking up in the weights room. Theo simply hasnt done this, and with his hereditary shoulder problem, it would have been dangerous to put him on any serious programme until now.

  54. @FE Gooner..

    I agree entirely. I think Ramsey is the ‘better’ player but how do you quantify that when we are talking about a team. Denilson, as I’ve said before, would not be in the starting XI if everyone was fit. As it stands, he is having a difficult time with form right now, and is being asked to do a job. He needs our support, not our derision.

  55. Theo reminds me of Jeffers.An English talent overhyped.He is living off a hat-trick for England and THAT run at Anfield

    Just compare how quickly Ramsaey has come on in 18mths to Theo

  56. Against Stoke, Denilson never even bothered to pace their winger and led to their second goal.

    Against MU, watch how pathetic Denilson being the last man to close down Nani.

    Against MU again, Ronnie showed desire to counter attack by charging forward, Denilson chose to slow down and led to their second goal.

    Denilson, a so call footballer who has no hunger, no desire, no spirit, no urgency, no skill, no brain. He should retire from football, he is a disgrace to every sportsman. Yes you are that worst Denilson, definitely you are.

  57. Interesting you should say that, Rinsing, because despite constant reports that this player and that player has been bulking up in the gym, Walcott is the only one who has significantly increased his muscularity in the last couple of years.

  58. Firstlady, Limpar … language please. There are children on this site pretending to be grown ups.

  59. Firstlady, Limpar … language please. There are children on this site pretending to be big people.

  60. Well, yes, of course it makes sense if you say it twice.

  61. ‘What you cannot expect from Walcott at the moment is what he cannot give you. He needs some time to play and come back to full fitness. He has only played a few games this season’

    The above comment from Wenger makes his decision not to buy or get on loan a striker in the transfer window ridiculous. Expecting Bendtner to hit the ground running & stay injury free after long absence is very optimistic. Ramsay should play instead of Denilson. Ramsay is a quality player now & potentially will be a world class player, Denilson is a ‘ten a penny’ tidy player who is uninspiring & has not progressed at all.
    Wenger deserves flak for the fact that the mistakes, flaws & weaknesses are repetitive several times over now & borne out of his personal stubborness for his plan to succeed.

  62. I have seen the future and it is very bright for Arsenal, and rather gloomy for Le Groan.

  63. Sorry, ZP. Young offenders get it easy nowadays I guess, WiFi in every cell…

  64. I’m starting to think they’re all one and the same ***t – take a look at ‘musher’ for example, you couldn’t make it up! Well… you could, but you’d feel very dirty afterward and you might get mistaken for a vegetable and switched off at the mains.

  65. Kipmonster has made a point, and to graphically illustrate how infantile it is, AW has never finished below top four in 14 consecutive seasons. It is worth a 5-quid investment into any old Arsenal book of facts, and compare 97-date with the previous 14 seasons. Early to bed for you Monster and NO cartoons tonight.

  66. Have you been watching the Arsenal play at all this season, Kip? For longer than a month? I only ask because to say that Denilson has ‘not progressed at all’, seems to indicate that you have not.

  67. How many players really are good enough to play at the top level at Theo’s age. Even C. Ronaldo took a few years to mature. He was good but certainly not great player in 04 and 05. Most goal scorers mature in their mid 20’s. TH and RVP are great examples. Players at Theo’s age are consistently inconsistent. Theo just needs time. Hopefully he and our fans will be patient enough.

    To make Denilson a scapegoat for any problem on this squad is wrong and way to simplistic. Before the last 3 – 4 games he was usually steady but not great. If we are going to have a steady non-spectacular player I think we would be better served by having someone who busts his lungs for 90 minutes on the defense and adds some needed toughness to our squad. Flamini, Darren Fletcher, Gatusso are templates. Flamini is no more skillful then Denilson and he might not play regularly for any other top 3 team in any league. However, he added balance and energy and toughness to this team which was absolutely invaluable. Denilson does really add work rate or toughness, but he may be our best option now. Long term, I can not believe that our scouts could not find a reasonably priced player like Fletcher who would bust his butt and put in the tough tackle every game. Someone needs to make Craig Eastmond watch films of Flamini for 8 hours everyday for the next 3 years

  68. And speaking of mistakes, flaws and weaknesses – it’s Ramsey, not Ramsay.

  69. Flamini is a far less skillful footballer than Denilson.

    Balance, energy and workrate are just some of the qualities that Denilson brings to the team.

  70. The brilliant run in the champs against Pool, the hat trick against a previously dominant Croatia (the youngest hat trick at senior international level if I’m not mistaken), the fact that he was given Henry’s number and the countless other flashes of brilliance illustrate Walcott’s clearly something special. Cesc even said if he gets fit he’ll be really important to Arsenal’s success. To be honest he was involved heavily in the late surge against United that saw us almost grab two goals. On Denislson: until his injury he was the best midfielder we had at making interceptions and tracking back for Gallas (who seems to get forward A LOT). His positional awareness has been perfect most of the time. I think ultimately Diaby will take his place but if Denilson can get back to where he has been recently he’ll be a fine player.

  71. Denilson was sorely missed against Burnley, Sunderland and West Ham. He was missed at Fulham too, and it showed, but a touch of RVP magic and a Mannone performance full of ‘grinta’ – to use an Italian word – won us the day.

    I very much hope both Denilson and Diaby start on Sunday. With Diaby employed in his more natural role as an attacking midfielder – working back when needed and defending from the front of course, but also given plenty of license to run at Ivanovic and roam about and drag Terry The Adulterer out of position (perhaps a single french garter of satin worn just below the level of his shorts might do the trick?)

    When we talk about partnerships in our midfield; the Denilson/Diaby partnership truly is one of the most pleasing on the eye. Having grown up and developed together at Arsenal, they have an uncanny awareness of eachother’s movement and when they start to flow – there’s just no getting the ball off them.

  72. Sorry to go off topic. Whatever happened with Chamakh? Is he joining us/ Liverpool who?
    I thought he was gonna sign a pre contract end of January?!

  73. Limpar:

    If Diaby and Denilson play where do we put Song and Cesc? Diaby has been excellent when he played in the midfield with Cesc and Song. We would be a much better side if he could stay fit. Diaby has not fit anywhere else in our 4-3-3 system.

  74. It’s funny; for all the videos KS posts on here, many people still don’t see what Denilson’s about.

    Now, I’ll accept that he’s been struggling for form these past two weeks, but a Denilson in peak condition is invaluable to Arsenal.

    Defensively he reads the game better than any other midfielder at the club, and times tackles as well as any of our defenders – the way he anticipates opponent’s movement is so intuitive and effortless, that I think his best work passes people by way too easily.

    Meanwhile, Denilson isn’t one for those memorable crunching slide-tackles, which I think is another thing that counts against him in the eyes of some fans.

    He has a great range of passing. People complain that he always keeps it short and often passes to players who are under pressure.

    First complaint just isn’t true; HOWEVER, his main job is to retain possession for the side, which means that he is obliged to play it safe more often than Fabregas or Arshavin.

    The old refrain about passing to players under pressure is partly true, but Denilson isn’t the only culprit. Thing is, Arsenal players to do this. There’s no way a passing game can work if your players aren’t confident in teammates’ abilities to shrug off pressure.

    How would we ever be able to cut through sides that defend deep and deny us space? We win games against negative teams time and again because we stick to the gameplan and don’t start playing it long at the first sign of resistance.

    On top of this he’s contributing goals and assists this season, and his performances are regularly praised not only by AW, but also players like Arshavin – you know, the Messiah!

    I’m rushing again, so I hope that all made sense. Still, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve written the comment above, so it should come quite naturally now.

    I fear another Eboue ’08: Misguided hatred and frustration culminating in yet more disgrace for our supporters.

  75. Ugh, how on Earth do people manage to type comments so quickly?

  76. “anticipates his opponent’s”

    “Arsenal players are trained to do this”

    And a load of comedy commas.

  77. Bill, like this…

    – – – -Bendtner/Eds – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Diaby – – – – Arsh/Mozart/Nas
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – -Denilson – Cesc – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – Song – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    That’s happened before I’m pretty sure.

  78. Yogi:

    All of our young players not just TW need to catch a break from the fans and from media expectations. NB, CV, AR TW are going to be good players. Almost no player at their age is consistant. I just hope the fans and most importantly these players have the patience to allow themselves to mature. Asking to much of them at this stage in their careers could do more damage then good.

  79. Denilson is a great player my player of the last season. Last season he was our most consistent player playing more minutes than anybody else. Remember he was the highest ranked Arsenal player in the actim index. This season has been hard on him because of his injuries and the 433 formation that isn’t to the liking or culture of Brazilian footballers. But because he’s a hard worker he’ll adapt. But best of all we’ll have a ready understudy when Wenger decides to cash in on Fabregas!

  80. Limpar:

    Worth a try. This year Diaby has been excellent when he plays midfield. In the past he has not been as good on the wing/unfront. I see no reason why Diaby could not play that position. The team you mentioned might be our most balanced. Having Denilson, Song and Diaby might help our defense and we certainly could use some defensive help against the Chavs

  81. Bravo, Oofus. As you say, it’s astonishing how some can’t see it – it’s right there!

  82. If Denilson is Cesc’s understudy we really are in trouble. Ramsey or Merida are far more suitable.

    Either way, I fancy us to win this weekend. Our team have a point to prove to Chelsea so should really have the bit between their teeth.

  83. Interesting fact about Denilson:

    In our match at Anfield in December, Denilson made the most tackles (9), the most interceptions (7), and the second most successful passes (49) on the pitch. He also won 4 free-kicks and made 2 successful clearances.

  84. Stats don’t tell the full story. They don’y highlight what a player (any player, not specifically Denilson) does not do. i.e. missed challenges/bad tracking/ball watching/bad positioning, etc.

  85. Quite the opposite, goonerandy. Statistics are useful precisely because they do tell the whole story. A spectator usually judges the performance of a player on the basis of two or three incidents in a match. Often, in fact, a spectator bases his judgement on just one incident, and then cites it again and again for months, even years, afterwards.

  86. Denilson was poor last year and he is poor this year. He is not Arsenal material. We deserve better.
    Diaby is not far in front, either.

  87. I see Aaron Ramsey as a young Beethoven to Dom-uhz Ros-itz-ki’s Mozart.

  88. But they don’t tell the story. Take Arshavin’s misses on Sunday for example. They will go down next to his name as a “shot off target”. Not so bad.

    What it won’t tell to somebody checking stats are that if he had played a simple 5 yard ball Nasri would have more than likely scored.

    Stats can be very misleading. They do have a place, but 90mins of football involving numerous desicions by players can not be measured in numbers. They don’t measure a players intelligence and desision making. Essential to any decent player.

  89. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Ramsey and Merida aren’t anywhere near Denilson’s level, goonerandy. As Jimmyd said, these c*nts can’t see the wood from the trees.

  90. Maybe this little gem from the 5live commentary against Man IOU might help explain how some might have let odd notions invade their minds and distort their judgements on players, and make them look for things in the game, that perhaps they don’t need to:

    5live commentator:
    “The problem with AA is he won’t to stick his elbow into the defenders’ ribs (like DB10?).”

    First of all that’s not true. Like anyone bred on a diet of Vodka and Beetroot, AA’s tougher then most , as shown in Clash’s photo above!

    Rooney had a decent game on Sunday, I notice he plays better when he keeps his gob shut, hands by his side, and plays football.

    Secondly, as pointed out the other day here I think, AA has one assist in recent games. An unconfident Eddy had two & some goals too. He was sublime against Bolton. Maybe that was what was missing from AA’s game recently, not the elbows? But that would just be an irrelavant statistic, right?
    Eduardo passes, or flicks the ball, and gets an assist. AA leaves his brain at home, and gets none.

    I guess statistics do lie.

  91. Hey, why am I “Oofus”? That’s one letter away from “Doofus”. Gah, I’m going to need to change my nickname again. Make it an annual thing.

  92. Poliziano Limpar:

    Stats do not tell the whole story. Denilson should not be made a scapegoat and we do not have better options at this point. Denilson is a steady, unspectacular player. We do not need another 5′ 8″ passer on the pitch. We have cornered the market Denilson does not seem to be an unusually high work rate player nor does he add any real “toughness” to our side. Our side needs those things alot more then it does someone who completes lots of passes. If we are going to have a steady player on the pitch he needs to be the one busting his lungs for 90 minutes. Denilson is young, perhaps he still can add that to his game. If we are going with him long term I hope he can.

  93. goonerandy,

    Stats do measure some of those things. For e.g.

    missed challenges: There are stats for ‘duels won’ or ‘unsuccessful tackles’. And Denilson doesn’t do badly on them.

    Having said that, it is true that there are things stats do not measure; but it’s not a reason to dismiss what they do measure.

  94. “Ramsey and Merida aren’t anywhere near Denilson’s level, goonerandy. As Jimmyd said, these c*nts can’t see the wood from the trees.”

    Nasir – In your opinion. Ramsey is a better player thatn Denilson in my opinion. Merida is not the same type of player as Denilson, but but more likely to fulfil the creative role that Cesc fills.

  95. Ole, I do agree that it is foolish to dismiss stats. They can be very useful. But I also think that you cannot base too much on them when assesing a player.

    What a player does not do is just as imporant as what he does in many cases.

  96. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    If you think Denilson was poor last year you know absolutely f*ck all about football.

  97. Walcott…

    I think Wenger also said: A player has to set his priorities straight. You make your career with the club that pays your wages, and spend the time teaching & training you to be better. The job you do for your country is a Civil Service, giving something back when you can. If you don’t make your name playing for your club, you most likely won’t make it for your country.

    I think Walcott should learn from his prior experience, players like Rooney and others sometimes get out of playing for the national team if they didn’t have to, on the other hand Theo chose to play for two national teams in the same time…very admirable at that moment, but won’t help your career in the long run.

    It’s time to concentrate on Arsenal first.

  98. Agree to disagree then.

    Everybody has their own point of view. Dismissing people as c***s because they don’t agree with with yours is plain stupid though.

  99. Bill,

    You’re simply wrong about Denilson’s work rate. He runs more than anybody in the team except Cesc. According to what the stats do measure.

  100. A useful assumption for any debate on any player is that Wenger is rated by managers worldwide as a clever strategist and we already know he thinks long term. So the questions become why did he plum for Denilson, Diaby, Theo? The second is that no player, in any situation, can be judged in isolation from the team and team performance as a whole. EG Diaby ‘looks’ great when we win, and ‘appears poor’ when we lose. Ditto Denilson. But the best example is Eduardo, an unassuming and intelligent player who adds momentum, not just goals.

    I mean it’s a team game right? And no one is playing alone as such? It takes a team to make an individual. There are rare exceptions, one of which was an individual work of genius/fluke by Nana, making a goal from nowhere. Rare indeed.

    Player ‘ratings’ post-match are all ‘nonsense for dolts’ which is why certain blogs emphasize them.

  101. The Arsenal story of last season was simple really, it was the Song-Denilson story, and it took place between February-April.

  102. Oofus is a memorable name. Keep it I say.

  103. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Fact is, Denilson has far more matches under his belt at this level than Ramsey. For people to dismiss that and the age gap between the two is ridiculous. If Ramsey were better than Denilson he would play ahead of Denilson. Simple as.

  104. Sorry, OneOfUs. I saw somebody call you Oofus the other day and rather enjoyed the sound of it. It’s a pleasing, P.G. Woodhouse sort of a word – like oomph, or spondoolicks.

  105. I watch the games on TV here in the US and they obviously do not show players running around away from the ball so maybe I am wrong.

    If Denilson is working that hard then I do not see the results on TV or hear the players talk about him the way they did with the Flamster or Fletcher. What Flamini gave this team was absolutely invaluable. I see no evidence of a similar thing from Denilson.

  106. or ‘oodles’ or ‘oorray! It maybe needs a surname tho’ like Oofus Moonshine or Oofus Doolittle.

  107. What Flamini gave the team eventually was a problem. He left.

  108. I agree, people who say Denilson was poor last year generally have no clue.

    He’s had a good season so far. Since the Everton game he’s had a series of shockers.

  109. Oofus Moonshine certainly does have a ring to it.
    How about Oofus Wooster?

  110. Bill,

    Denilson had the most touches on the ball in the entire league last season.

    What do you make of that stat?

  111. Sorry, OneOfUs – forcing a nickname on someone can be regarded as belittling, but I can assure you that ‘Oofus Wooster’ is born out of nothing but affection.

  112. Let’s take a moment to remember how the fan talked about Flamini during his last season with us. I recall at the start of the season the fans used to say that we could not hope to compete for the title while Flamini was even in the squad. By mid-season, various pundits were beginning to point out that he wasn’t as bad as was usually thought, and some referred to him as the unsung hero of the Arsenal team. In particular, I remember Stan Collymore singling him out for praise. Towards the end of the season, the fans started to agree with this assessment, although the end-of-season consensus was still that Fabregas, Clichy, and Sagna were the only Arsenal players good enough to play for Arsenal.

  113. Maybe you think that what Flamini gave us was invaluable because you just don’t like Denilson. Denilson has much more quality and technique than Flamini.

  114. It was only after Flamini left that he became the favourite of the anti-supporters. That’s how it is at Arsenal: every player is given support apart from the ones who are playing for us.

  115. Oofus Gooner … ?
    Now that’s what I call a name. The only other possible way to shorten One of Us is to call you ‘One’, which, sorry sounds too much like ‘The One’ which is the opposite of your spirit. Although ‘Oneness’ is not bad, it’s often used in our part of Africa to describe what we aspire to by ridding ourselves of our inept government.

  116. G4E,

    From all that has been measured, Denilson scores more, makes more assists, passes better, runs as much, intercepts more, and is taller & heavier than Flamini.

  117. Flamini was a hard working, hard running player and full of passion. But his technique and vision was insupportable in this Arsenal side, while Denilson has it all really, except bulk, and that will come.

  118. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Too true, Poliziano.

  119. Flamini smokes 20 – 30 Gauloises everyday (and Gitanes when he can’t find Gauloises). This has perhaps contributed to the notion that he ‘busted his lungs’ every time he played a game of football for Arsenal. His generally poor complexion, lank sweaty hair, and perpetually labouring diaphragm; fuelled the perception that he was working himself to breaking point for the team.

    Conversely, Denilson – who eats mainly satsumas, quinoa, lychees and finely sliced cucumber – holds an aura of total control and grace about him, even at times of great physical stress and exertion.

  120. Ole G… you’re absolutely correct, these are all things Flamini didn’t have in his game. Plus ffs Flamini left us…so why the f*ck do we care if he was good or not? The good are the players we have right now who want to play for us.

  121. Eduardo won’t be back for Chelsea. Vela is not fit either.

    Dunno if Bendtner is fully fit yet. It might be the pocket soviet that lines up again against Chelsea.

  122. Ole:

    Denilson is not a bad player. He certainly does not deserve to be a scapegoat for our recent defensive shockers against Everton and especially Mancs. Defensively the whole team sucked last Sunday.

    Watching the games on TV it seems like Denilson does not add anything that really helps balance this team. He holds possession and does not make that many mistakes but there are lots of players who can do that. I know it sounds like a broken record, but I really think this team needs more strength and energy, maybe even someone the other teams think is a little bit of a thug. Roy Keane, Viera, Petit, Fletcher, Essian, Makalele, Gatusso etc etc. We do not need another 5’ 9” midfield passer. Denilson’s spot is the only place that I can see adding a player like that. Flamini was not tall but certainly added something extra to our team.

  123. I like that look Limpar it really adds. to your.. dementia__.


  124. please read the new blog, coming from accross the road from the emirates

  125. Whatever happened to Ponyboy. I kind of miss him and his irreverence.

  126. @rinsing.

    You are 100% correct my friend, my worst nightmare would be to return to the GG days and the 1 0 to the Arsenal trophy winning days.

    Wengerball is is different class, as are our future prospects

  127. Bill, you failed to mention that Song does that without having to be a “Thug”.

    I think Wenger moved away from the idea of “Midfield Thuggery” along time ago. Even the so revered Flamini was not a “Thug” by the old day’s definition.

    If you have enough creativity in midfield to maneuver your way going forward which any of our current midfield players can do. Song deals with getting the ball back and covering the back four. Denilson in his good form, with his good sense of positioning also gets the ball back quiet often.

    The only “Thuggery” left and remain to prosper is from the “Island” players a la John Terry, Ferdinand, Fletcher (Mostly because he’s a Mancs player).

    Our players get yellow cards for having the audacity of touching the opponents. An Arsenal “Thug” a la PV4 would not survive the hail of red cards falling on his head.

  128. Bill,

    I understand but don’t agree with the part of your argument of needing a thug, but I you did not explain why it’s Denilson’s position at threat, and not say Fabregas, Rosicky, Nasri, Ramsey i.e. 5 ft 9 passers.

  129. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a player, KS. How that man gets treated the way he does is beyond me.

  130. For someone who I’m assured cant’ do anytyhing but run in a straight line, it’s quite a pass…

  131. Haha, no I didn’t take offense, LA. Was just being silly.

    Walcott’s eye for a pass is overlooked. When the play is in front of him he’s very consistent at getting teammates in on goal.

  132. Are FIFA & UEFA really any good for football? All they do is issue “Falafel Fatwas” for CAS to overturn them?

  133. og

    Denilson has more touches on the ball than anybody. True. Denilson’s pass success rate is the highest. Also true. What the stats. don’t tell you is that unlike other midfielders, his passes are never beyond 5 yards and mostly backwards and sideways. Reading the stats. he’s a better player than Cesc, Gerrard and Lampard. Really? Stats, lying stats that don’t speak the truth about Arsene’s mistake in buying him a la Senderos.

    Given chances, Eastmond will be the better player.

  134. And by the way….Eastmond is English. Right?

  135. I think Walcott is going to prove all of the doubters wrong here in next couple of months. He is definitely a confidence player and just needs a few things to go right for him to hit his stride.

    If Arshavin would have passed him the damn ball when he was wide open on goal a few matches back I think that could have really helped him in the confidence department.

    He can single handedly turn the defending of corners and set pieces into counter attacking opportunities…give him time…he will not disappoint.

  136. Is Moda/H*ward an Arse-hole?

    A singularity of BS that draws in all imaginable rubbish and condenses it all into a single point, heavier then normal gravity. So powerful, that once drawn in, there can be no escape from this dark soundless & soulless vacuum.

  137. people like you seem to think that a 5 yard pass is irrelevent in the modern game, they are used to bring others in to play and keep the game going.

  138. ‘game’ – i meant move

  139. By: Limpar on February 4, 2010
    at 2:51 pm

    Flamini is a far less skillful footballer than Denilson.

    Balance, energy and workrate are just some of the qualities that Denilson brings to the team.


    Delusional till the end.

    I really love the way Denilson showed exceptional energy and work rate when he basically gave up chasing Sadibe in the FA Cup.

  140. Some of these articles really dont make any sense… Walcott can be excused because he’s been injured?

    What is Denilson’s excuse?

  141. ’til the end?

    Do you know something we don’t, David?

    You’ve worried me now.

  142. David, if you’re an Arsenal fan…you will know that Denilson was injured for most of the first half of this season…so he’s just coming back like Walcott.

  143. Limpar do i know something you dont?

    Apparently you dont know what work rate means.

    If work rate means giving up your pursuit when man marking a player like Sedibe..

    Or losing the ball and getting out run by Rooney and then giving up again.

    Then you seriously need a dictionary.

  144. Ole:

    Thug was probably not the best choice words. Having and enforcer has always been a part of successful teams. Look at the top of the table throughout the premier era. Some “muscle” and energy in midfield would add a dimension that this team lacks right now. Denilson’s position is the one that often has a “hard nosed” player and we need Cesc and Song.

  145. If you mean only missing the month of october is missing most of the first half of the season then okay.

    He’s been playing regularly since November…we are in February…

    What has that got to do with anything?

  146. I love the fact that Denilson has been completely vilified over the poor tracking back of Sidibe, but no one notices the fact that it was Ramsey’s error that sprung that break for Stoke.

    Ramsey could plainly see that Traore had come far up the left flank and had no cover. Traore was wide open for the pass and Ramsey opted to try to split three opposing players to force the ball in and they picked off the pass and broke into the space that Traore had vacated…

    I love how Denilson is supposedly single-handedly reponsible for everything bad that has happened in recent games…absolutely ridiculous.

  147. Well thankfully Arsenal don’t waste time ‘man-marking’ anybody when they have possession in the opposition half. The whole team were caught on the break at Stoke. Where was Traore? Denilson was the closest man and his less-than-100% fitness meant he lost the race.

    If you think he ‘gave up’, you might as well give up yourself. You’re clearly a very negative human being. Keep your chin up!

    And fuck off while you’re at it.

  148. Theo’s natural assets are so unusual, and when put to successful use, as he already shown at ttimes, are so spectacular(people forget) that it is ludicrous at any point to cross him out. Having said that, I always thought that besides technic his football brain is quite underdeveloped, this could be the con side of his speed, he did not have to develop it. Having said that those like BROWN who say he should be deployed as straight through the middle striker could be right, but this will NOT happen in Arsenal anytime soon unless we return to a 4-2-2′ which btw is a formation where Teo does better in also on the wing, because he has more space to run vertically at the defender rather then having to cut inside. But a -4-3-3 (orr be it 4-6-0) or 4-5-1 He will not ever be the central striker. Arshavin, a much better foootballer has really hard time filling in there. if you look at other great teams that do that formation, they will have strong quick technical target man. not for Theo. So? when Arsene compared him to Messi while back, which looks like a sad joke for now, he excactly meant that he will be on in the wing (not winger) cutting inside ( the way messi does, or Henry or Pedero or Iniesta at times) OR he will be nothing but impact sub, at least in Arsenal. I do not see way around it.

  149. I don’t think he played regularly since November, and I think he was out since the Man City game which was the 4th or 5th game of the season.

    I have to check on the dates but he was out for more than one month that’s for sure.

    How is this relevant? You need time to get back to your form…just like any other player who was out injured.

  150. ROFL hahahah

    WHen you “single handedly” lose the fucking ball in dangerous positions against Everton against Chelsea, against Utd…over and over again what the fuck do you expect?

    Less than 100% fit? im arguing with someone very delusional.

    You realized that he played 9 consecutive games before the FA cup game?

    How the fuck is he “less than 100%” fit

    Do yourself a favor pick up a dictionary..

    Look up the words

    1. Work Rate

    2. Fit

    3. Balance.

    4. Man Marking.

  151. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Excellent post, Viceologist.

  152. agreed Viceologist..

  153. David,

    Don’t get me wrong…some of Denilson’s errors have been frustrating, but he is hardly the only player committing these types of errors. And, I actually do prefer a midfield of Song, Cesc, Diaby. But, first and foremost, I am an Arsenal supporter, which means I am not going to throw one player under the bus because things aren’t going well.

    You are probably the wanker in the stands yelling “he is not good enough!, get him off the pitch!” the entire game. You make the atmosphere at sporting events really fantastic…thanks for being “that guy”…

  154. “You realized that he played 9 consecutive games before the FA cup game?”

    Completely incorrect. What a ‘tard.

  155. It’s ironic that a club that is seemingly so risk-averse financially, takes quite large risks with its football investments. By the time many of our youngsters come through and perform, we will have spent between 5 and 10 million on them (not to mention tax). Of course, there is a chance that they will never reach the level, a la senderos. I’d be interested to know exactly how much, including signing on fees, bonuses and wages, we will have spent on Phillippe by the time he leaves us on a free in the summer. If it’s less than 10 mil i’d be surprised. Just seems a bit of a gamble. What do you think?

  156. Denilson just does not have what it takes to play a DM. period. If there could be a 12th player on the field whose job is littlethis littlethat, everything and nothing, I will put Denilson right in that slot. but… . Yes, he has some qualities, he is not a bad footballer as such. But any good DM , a destroyer( Flamini, Diarra, Macherano, Gatussoetc), (OR deep lying play maker, Pirlo or Xavi Alonso) that you think of, and we had a few, had engine stamina speed and irrepressible tenacity that he does not have nor ever will. yes he has a nice shot(particularly when deflected), a move or two, he is a brazilian after all, he is tidy too besides when he looses the ball..
    point is this whole notion that we treat the 1st team as some sort of workshop for players to become men and mature while on the job and in the meanwhile they are anything but, is idiotic and flawed

  157. Excellent point LADyY

  158. Vice

    So where you cheering for Senderos when he fucked up and was ultimately offloaded to Everton for the price of a tooth brush

    What happnd? Didnt you cheer him on and tell the world how good he is because he was playing for Arsenal?

    Thanks for being “that guy”…exactly right some of these idiots are not fit to wear the shirt.

    Sad to see Arsene realizes that about Senderos too fuck after fuck up for 5 fucking years.

    Denilson has been shite for 2 years. Only 3 more to go right?

  159. I don;t agree with either 2 recent Viceologist points (unless he wrote another one already). Ramsey ran into a cul de sac, a dead end, like a little boy, but that was upfield, that is exactly the job for a DM that stays behind to clean up, or buy time for others to join in and help. Denilson is capable of neither.

  160. second Viceologist
    Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supArsenla supporterporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter Arsenla supporter…

    Brilliant AND interesting!

  161. David,

    Senderos is on loan at Everton so not sure where you got the ‘price of a tooth pick’ from.

    Of course we cheered him on when he played, after all he was playing for Arsenal football club. I am sure you were cheering for him during the run to the champions league final in 2006 where Arsenal set a record for the most number of cleansheets! But I suppose this has no bearing for you.

    He also has captained his national team at various age groups so he must have something about him that makes team mates look up to him.

    He had his moments and I am not blind to these but at the end of the day I would never wish for a player to fail who plays or played for Arsenal as opposed to you who feels the need to criticse regardless of the evidence in front of him.

  162. So im guessing When Senderos’ loan is over he will be back then?

  163. I think it’s time we all gave up on Denilson. A one way ticket to Rio, no extradition, a sort of Ronnie Biggs in reverse. Flowers for his wife, no mention of a failed experiment. So long so, we wish you well, but you were shite, you may have captained the brazil under 20s, but you wern’t fit to wear an arsenal shirt. No pace, no strength, no awareness, just the most convenient scapegoat of all time. We’ll miss that, but we can turn our attentions to Almunia, then Clichy, then ferret through the reserves to turf out the dross. No stone unturned. Goodbye son. It was good while it lasted.

  164. David,

    It must be really terrible for you being an Arsenal supporter. It doesn’t sound like you enjoy it very much.

    I would like to know what special knowledge you are endowed with that lets you decide who is and who isn’t fit to wear the shirt.

    Continue shouting at our own players, booing when a pass isn’t inch perfect, and leaving 20 minutes before the end of the match. It suits you well.

    I heard Wenger may retire in a few years. You should apply for the position. You are obviously more knowledgeable than he is.

  165. *yawn*


    Youre absolutely right. Wenger never gets it wrong. Who am i to question.

    Sederos was a one-off…And Denilson has been nothing but World Class…because the Sun shines out of Wenger;s Arse.

    Just out of Curiousity When Eboue got boo’d off….

    How did he respond??


  166. I’d say that we recoup a certain amount of of money on sell-on fees. Of course that can’t happen with Senderos now – though he might have earned us a bit had AC Milan elected to sign him. Bentley, Muamba, Diarra & co have been useful in that respect. With 12 players currently out on loan, this new generation’s going to be pretty valuable.

  167. I kind of agree with Vice, actually. Ramsey made a poor decision to attempt the impossible ball instead of keeping it simple. In his spotlight interview on ATVO he says Arsene took him aside and told him it was a bad decision.

    It’s like blaming Almunia for ManU’s first goal. Clichy and Nasri defended appallingly to allow Nani through. His skill wasn’t that impressive really. I just think the team performance is what matters, and, as a team against ManU we were woeful, individual errors aside. It’s too easy to pick on players when the team plays badly. Standard Hansen type punditry

  168. David sounds like Marvin the Paranoid Android from the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy – ‘it’s all so unfair, I have the brain the size of a small planet but nobdy listens to me’

  169. The muppet is just a muppet, a guilotine muppet for sure…. send them back, exile, wankers, not fit to .. etc tetc but he is a Arsenal supporter Arsenal supporter Arsenal supporter Arsenal supporter Arsenal supporter Arsenal supporter Arsenal supporter,
    this one is always the most Briliant and interesting argument of all of real Muppet

  170. Robespierre tu charies un peu quand-meme

    Faut pas prendre au serieux

  171. David,

    When Eboue was getting booed off the pitch I thought it was appalling…I wanted to jump through the T.V. and personally punch those fans in the face.

    Shockingly, Eboue responded well. But he should have never been put through that in the first place. These guys on the pitch are not superhuman and devoid of emotion. They are human beings capable of making errors. The situation is much better when people help build our team up rather than tear it down.

    Please go support another team already…seriously.

  172. vous remercier, mais les idiots montent mes nerfs

  173. Rubbish.

    These players get paid in a year the kind of money some poeple will never make in their life time.

    What we should feel sorry for them because they get emotional now and then?

    The fact is he responded WELL!

    As any professional athlete should!

    Bendtner used to get booed alot and he has since beaten the boo boys its all part an parsle of what makes you a better player!

    And as a matter of fact both Eboue and Bendtner came back in stunning form.

    So while you are happy to sit on your arse and cheer when Denilson fucks up again and loses the ball while rooney runs past him that is your idiotic prerogative.

    So what is your point? Booing doesnt help anyone?

    Thats obviously rubbish.

  174. Eboue was booed when he was asked to play LW, out of necessity. The boos did not help improve his performances, but they nearly cost that game.

    How is that helpful?

  175. @ LadyArsenal

    It’s always a gamble, whether you buy or develop, but less so when you develop.

    Only in a tiny, tiny minority of cases is it possible to say that Player X, currently 17 years old, will definitely make it. That is why we have so many kids – to foster competition, so that we know we are getting the cream. And we can have so many kids because they are cheap. The youth coaching infrastructure is already in place, and remember that the kids only start getting paid big money when they get into the first team squad.
    The trick is to be right more often than you are wrong, which AW is, and to make sure that you can get a good price for the majority who turn not quite good enough, or who are surplus to requirements at the time. The advantage of developing players over buying them is that you have trained them up the Arsenal way, so you know they will fit in “footballistically”, which you can’t be so sure of when the player is bought in. And the coaching staff know the youngster better as a person. Also the player has more loyalty to the club. So I would say it is less of a gamble.

    On Senderos in particular, it sounds as if you think we have wasted the money spent on him because he will probably be leaving on a free transfer. But he has been a very good player at times, notably in the CL run of 2005/6, so the club has had something for its money! And Arshavin will have cost the club double your estimate of the money spent on Senderos in his entire Arsenal career, in his first 12 months.

  176. The boos didnt improve Eboue’s performance?

    Oh you mean…he’s been gutter shite ever since?

  177. Stringer’s an Arsenal fan! Well it makes sense actually.

  178. 5 0…….5 0


  179. @ David

    “You realized that he played 9 consecutive games before the FA cup game?”

    Completely incorrect.

    How do you respond to that? It seems that this takes away a main plank of your argument.

    About booing…
    Agree with Finsburyparker @ 8:59pm.

    Eboue responded to the booing initially by suffering a collapse in his confidence, which could have cost us the game. It also made the other players nervous and jittery. Again, that could have cost us the game.
    EE says what kept him going after the Wigan game was the support of the other players and the encouragement of (other) fans.
    Eboue and Bendtner have come good DESPITE the booing, not because of it. Jon Sammels says in his autobiography that booing from his own fans nearly destroyed him. You could argue that Alex Song’s development was delayed by the booing he got after that Fulham game. So the fans’ behaviour definitely impacted adversely on the club there.

    But in any case, the fact that a person is strong enough to overcome such treatment does not make it right to dish out the treatment in the first place.

    What they earn is irrelevant. However much they earn, it doesn’t turn them into cyborgs without feelings.

  180. I think one thing we can all agree on is that we want to see the players that are wearing the shirt play their hearts out on the pitch. We want to see them defend as if their lives depend on it, and fight for 90 minutes.

    We are all frustrated when that doesn’t happen, but it has been a team problem not an individual problem.

    The team needs that mean streak and determination to propel them to the next level, but creating scape goats does not help anything. The best thing we can do is give the team the boost it needs from the stands…

  181. What are you laughing about, Maria?

  182. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Thanks for that video, Maria!

    Jay Z and Spike Lee are Arsenal fans!

  183. Have you not listened to Up for grabs Arsenal podcast yet FG???

  184. You must keep up FG!!

  185. Your welcome NJN.

  186. @ Lady Arsenal

    Right on cue… A player we developed is preferred to a possible purchase.

    Stuart Robson was comparing Chris Smalling to Bartley as well, so I guess that is confirmation of how highly Bartley is rated.

  187. @ No, I haven’t, Maria. Is it that good? How do I listen?

  188. Any one that thinks Denilson is a decent player has 2 be NUTS! 4 me he’s ALWAYS looked suspect and mediocre @ best and will continue to do so. He is an insult to the position of a tough tackling DM. A real DM should take your breath away @ least 2/3 times a match ala Petit, Diarra (in his short time with us) and Flamini–Milan v le Arse-CL, San siro 07/08, etc) and not like some ****ing headless chicken that looks busy. When have you ever seen him talk or shout, pass the ball on the ground more than 4 metres, take on and beat the opposition, commit to a tackle (that mattered) and “WIN” the ball??? Nor is he a creative/attacking player. When have you ever seen him cut a team in 2 with a defense splitting pass, land a ball on a team mates boot from 40 yards out or burn 30 yards of pitch to assist a goal? What we see week in week out is a player with a defeatest attitude that consistently loses the ball, ALWAYS drops his head, jogs when he should be bustin a gut, cuts short, back and and sideward(like he’s at the barbers) and shoots into row Z with the odd flukey goal(Don’t be fooled). Denilson may look industrious but he’s a classic tale of “Much ado about nothin”, with no influence on our game. When has he ever been ‘Man of the Match”? The only influence he does have quite consistently is on the opposition’s result-for the better! Denilson is a burden to the team and an ever present liability whom we carry him when another player could provide so much more. I’ve seen this every time he steps on the pitch since day dot. It’s amazing that only since Stoke and MAN.IOU has the general consensus come round to the TRUTH! This is a good thing as change can only be affected through strength in numbers. I’m sure he’s a lovely boy but that’s precisely the problem. We need a BASTARD enforcer in the centre of the park. Talking of bastards, here’s a sweet little verse that you may or may not have heard, about John”Stab one of your best mates in the back as well as his Mrs in the arse”Terry. Please sing out aloud if your @ the war @ the bridge on Sunday:


  189. There is no need to respond to a dead argument.

    How can Denilson not be 100% fit when he has only missed 3 games in the league since november?

    “I didn’t say I wanted to move when they booed me. I have two more years at Arsenal and feel very good here. I want to improve more and win something with my team.

    “The boss has given me some confidence. My friends helped me a lot and now I feel very good when I play and then give more for the fans.”

  190. Now we boo and demean players to help them get better.

    Good god. And these wankers think their opinion is worth more than chicken shit.

  191. @ David

    How on earth does that support your argument about Eboue? It confirms what I said.

    Humour me – do you accept that Denilson has NOT in fact started all the games you said he had?

  192. “Any one that thinks Denilson is a decent player has 2 be NUTS!”

    Arsene and his coaching staff must be nuts then by your reckoning. So what exactly are your qualifications for your opinion? And if you are so wise, how come you are not manager of a top football club?

  193. To David – Boo, you’re fucking shit you wanker. Not fit to post on a blog.

    Is that helping you? I hope you are feeling stronger for that.

  194. Bill:

    “I watch the games on TV here in the US and they obviously do not show players running around away from the ball so maybe I am wrong.

    If Denilson is working that hard then I do not see the results on TV or hear the players talk about him the way they did with the Flamster or Fletcher. What Flamini gave this team was absolutely invaluable. I see no evidence of a similar thing from Denilson.”

    I see things differently. I played in central midfield and know what the position entails. Not too many people really pay attention because it’s pretty thankless work. Your job, first and foremost, is to destroy and give the ball to the creative midfielders. Period.

  195. Passenal,

    Thats the way the ball bounces G.

  196. Fabregas didnt start all those games…so what?

    The only thing that is chicken shite is a chicken shite that doesnt have a fooking point to make except come on here and slag someone off because he has an opinion.

    Fact is after the booing Eboue and Bendtner got better. That is a fucking fact.


    It really can be. Listen out for The Wire references.

  198. Gainsbourg,

    You were a terrible midfielder, I used to laugh at you dog

  199. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    For my darling FG.

  200. Golaith


    Now where is my 60k a week?

    Quite a collection of idiots on this blog.

  201. David you are the king of the idiots partner, your comments are dumb

  202. Thanks, Maria – Alan Davies, eh? Now I know I’m in for a treat!

  203. Leave Maria out of this David, she’s mine partner

  204. Yes Fungunner you sure are in for a treat and you know this.

    Fabregas is El Capitan

  205. Never mentioned Maria William

    You just added yourself to the collection.

    And with that im off.

  206. Bye David, Maria’s with me now partner, thats just the way the ball bounces G.

  207. Hey William young bean I haven’t seen you on here in a while, have you been sunning it up in St Tropez or Skiing in the Alps with the in laws. I hope you had a spiffing time!

  208. I’ve been in Jail, Maria to wrote me every day cos she loves dog

  209. To David -BOOO, BOOO, you’re only interested in money, you mercinary. BOOO!

    I hope you are feeling so much better for that. I’m only doing it to help you 🙂

  210. David lost me with the excrutiating yoof acronym “ROFL”, followed by an inability to spell the word ‘goliath’. Both point to being too young to talk about football with the adults. Just to put my own opinion in terms he’ll no doubt comprehend and appreciate: DENI 4 THE WIN LOLZ!!!!1

  211. I meant – Maria wrote to me every day cos she loves me partner

  212. @ David

    You initially said Denilson couldn’t be less than 100% fit because he had started “9 consecutive games” before the FA Cup game v Stoke. This is incorrect. In fact, he had only come back into the team after another injury layoff one or two games before that. So given that, do you accept that Denilson may not have been 100% fit?

    Re Eboue
    Fact is after the booing Eboue and Bendtner got better. That is a fucking fact.
    Just because one event precedes another does not mean that the first event caused the second. If I come out of my front gate a second or two before a motorcyclist skids on some ice, it does not follow that I caused the accident. You have to show a causal link. The quotes you posted don’t show that.

  213. William – Tax Evasion or Fraud i’m guessing old chap. I hope you pulled a few strings and twiddled a few knobs and got yourself out of there double quick. I heard Old Harry Redknapp is getting done soon what do you make of that young bean?

  214. Fungunner, you’re so clever I love it

  215. Strings were pulled and knobs were definitely twiddled. If Harry goes to jail he’ll get to see his mates

  216. Haha…Goliath

    Let’s all boo David to increase his self esteem and make him a better person?

  217. I went to prison once but the buggers kept turning the lights out at 9pm so i couldn’t read the latest edition of ‘horse and hound’. Its a spiffing read, but I guess you know this being such a dog lover yourself William partner.

  218. A rhyme for Maria –

    Little Boy Blue stood on a burning deck, playing a game of cricket,
    The ball rolled up his trouser leg, and he stumped his middle wicket

  219. Following David’s advice we should boo the team when they’re up 1-0 so that they get the win. Since booing is directly linked to improving and all. Our fans should try it out on Sunday when we play Chelsea.

  220. It never ends, does it?

    The anti-supporters are retarded, but they have wit enough to realise that one of the most effective forms of argument is simply to repeat one’s opinion again and again. It’s fascinating to watch how people’s comments slowly move towards the lies of the anti-supporters. Once a player has become the target of the anti-supporters, it soon becomes rare to see any comment praising that player that is not hedged around by myriad qualifications. “Yes, of course, he’s been terrible for the last couple of months, but he does try hard.” “I admit he wouldn’t be in my first eleven, but he is a useful member of the squad.” “Granted, he can’t shoot or tackle or pass, but he is popular in the dressing room.” This phenomenon is not restricted to football. All too many people think the truth is just a compromise between different opinions, with the result that they can be manipulated by anyone willing to adopt an extreme position.

  221. William if you’d ever play against me you’d leave the pitch a lesser man.

  222. A Rhyme for Poliziano aka Brains –

    Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet, knickers all tattered and torn,
    It wasn’t a spider who sat down beside her –
    Was Little Boy Blue with the horn

  223. Too sophisticated Poliziano…I don’t think Trolls will get that.

  224. I wouldn’t Gainsbourgh, I’d laugh at you cos your shit and you know this

  225. F*** OFF JAMES!!!!!!!

  226. William – We used to write those in Prison but we called them Limericks. I have to say i’m tempted to Boo yours in the hope you will get better but i don’t think it works like that does it old bean. Perhaps I will just shut up instead.

  227. Maria stop flirting with me

  228. Goliath check dis rhyme partner, its for Maria –

    Rasta for I, Rasta for me,
    Little Boy Blue in a ganja tree,
    ……….Smokin’ the weed…

  229. David must be from one of those really sadistic families that beat the shit out of their kids and tell them is for their own good.

    Eboue and Bendtner did better after the booing because they found support from other players and proper fans. The operative word here is support you moron.

  230. Guys go on youtube and check out this song by Judge Dread called Big Six. I bet Frank remembers it

  231. What? I’d make you cry and you know dis dawg.

  232. Gainsbourgh you play like your from the Neville family

  233. @ Poliziano ‘All too many people think the truth is just a compromise between different opinions, with the result that they can be manipulated by anyone willing to adopt an extreme position’.

    Would you care to elaborate on this point if you have the time. Please.

  234. A rhyme for Gainsbourgh (and Maria) –

    Shit Phillip Neville
    You’re just a shit Phillip Neville

  235. No way. They wish they had the combination of silk and strength that I have.

  236. How can one be a shit Phil Neville? Think about it.

  237. That’s a fair point, Pz, although it does happen to be true that Denilson has not been at his best since coming back after the latest injury. First time around, his re-integration into the team was seamless.
    In general, fans who do this are trying to appear objective and that’s why they will unnecessarily concede ground to the other side. Eg, “I know Gallas’ tackle was a bad tackle, but it wasn’t over the top.” When in fact it wasn’t a bad tackle, or even a tackle, at all! Arguably, it’s that very same motivation which drives ex-players who are now pundits to accept and promulgate inaccurate characterisations of the squad or individual players.

  238. Oi Passenal, enough of your “how come you are not manager of a top football club” bollocks – yawn. I commented on a specific player that I have never rated. It’s my opinion, if you don’t like it, kool…feel free to constructively counter act as you obviously think you’re wise enough, fool.

  239. Listen Gainsbourgh, all you need to know is that Maria’s with me now, cappiche?

  240. @ Maria

    I’ve been listening to the podcast and…I’m not enjoying that much! It might be because they are discussing last Sunday’s game, and the wound is still too raw. I’ll try listening to another one from earlier in the year.

  241. Willaim – Gainbourg69 would lick you one time and score and do the bogle in your face partner. You can’t be calling mans a Neville.

  242. You can have Maria. I find her a bit ornery.

  243. @ FG

    I avoided that particular one myself check out; Is Phil Brown white? Now that is funny.

  244. I get a bit ornery when I watch that bit in Carry on Camping when Babs gates her funbags out.

  245. Carefull Gainsbourgh, thats my wife you’re talking about partner

  246. See Y’all tomorrow, keep it real, keep the dream alive

  247. @ Maria

    Ok, will do.


    @ PJones

    I commented on a specific player that I have never rated. It’s my opinion, if you don’t like it, kool…feel free to constructively counter act as you obviously think you’re wise enough, fool.

    Passenal was commenting not on your opinion, but on your assertion that anyone who does rate Denilson “has 2 be NUTS”. By implication, you are saying that Arsene and his coaching staff are less capable of judging a player than you are. So it is reasonable to ask on what basis you hold the belief that you know better. Perhaps you can tell us that?

    (Hope you don’t mind me diving in there, Passenal.)

  248. To give a frivolous example, Goliath.

    Let’s suppose there is one group of people that believes 2+2 = 4, and another group that believes 2+2 = 6. Now a third group – the moderates – will come along that has no sympathy with these two groups of fanatics. Each extreme, they will say, contains only half the truth, and the correct position is in the middle. 2+2=5. Very well. The sixers, however, might really want to make 2+2 equal a much bigger number; and having seen that the majority is willing to compromise, they will start to claim that 2+2 = 8, with the expectation that a new equilibrium of 6 will be established. By continuing this process, the value of 2+2 can be made arbitrarily high.

  249. @Fun Gunner.
    The podcast Maria posted about Phil Brown is completely mad.

    This David chap is a very strange one. I bet he boos his kids (if he is old enough to have them) at school sports days.

    He is real anti-support.

  250. Can’t believe the unbrazilian Brazilian takes 50+ a week as a remuneration for his crap.

    No pace, can’t tackle, can’t pass, can’t beat players on the run, can’t head the ball, can’t track back, can’t create, and yet brought here to block the development of better young players coming through.

    Cesc may be disturbed playing at his side. Diaby should pull himself together and replace him.

  251. Fuck off Howard you racist scroat

  252. Thanks for taking the time Poliziano. I see your point most clearly not. Sometimes I feel that the moderates are almost as bad as the extremists.

    And some people just can’t add up.

  253. Hey William you’re back Dog! Why do you call yourself Moda now? I prefer it when you are Jesus Gunner get you. He makes me laugh uncontrolably.

  254. @ 11.09 pm *not = now*

  255. It is funny. Up For Grabs, I mean.

  256. Kitchen Sink,
    Thank you for posting that video earlier. It confirms what I have said all along: Denilson was our best player in that game.

  257. I’m sure Howard said that Gilberto was blocking the progress of Muamba a few seasons ago.

  258. Goliath:
    Moda is not William (J*mes). MOda (Howard) is a far more dangerous piece of excrement.

  259. I agree with Pz.

  260. William u donut

  261. Dupsffokcuf – You do well to tell the difference when they both spout such nonsense.

    What they get out of doing so baffles me, some sort of desperation to be acknowleged or a cry for attention. Either way its a sad existance akin to say appearing on big brother or setting light to the outback.

  262. anybody want to start a petition to get eboue to start at right attack sunday? he will a. neutralize cashley b. run with the ball. up the field. in a straight line. c. probably score a couple of times. definitely.

  263. Goliath:

    William is just a sad individual (also a spud fan) but harmless, apart from his poor attempts at wit.

    Howard (Moda and his many aliases) is an abhorrent piece of garbage more akin to a BNP front man.

  264. Fungunner, I’ve never stated that I know better as u & pass. seem to think. I’ve stated what has been glaringly obvious to me for some time now and increasingly to others. But when I still hear the counter arguments in favour of Denilson’s so called majesty and such, it baffles me as I KNOW what I see on the pitch. I can only deduce from this that the Denilson brigade are Nuts. I’m an ardent supporter of Arsene but not to the point where I’m blinded resulting in skewed perception. Just because our manager gets it right MOST of the time doesn’t mean I will not question the status quo and just accept it when I feel things are not right. You & pass. seem to believe that Arsene NEVER gets it wrong. Well I’m afraid for all his greatness, occasionally he does. Please remember, we’re not all sheep.

  265. braving the night are u dups lol

  266. yes i agree william is vey sad does nothing xcept say ‘dog’and ‘partner’

    theres only 1 bigger donut on here and that’s stringfelow hawke

  267. PJones, did your eyes show you how good Denilson was last season?

  268. It’s a sad fact that a Spurs fan taking the piss is preferable to half of our own supporters.

  269. When will these people learn. They all know better than Arsene but it is always Arsene who is proved right.

    Henry in his early days at Arsenal was always missing the target.

    Freddie was classed as lazy in his 1st season (even though he had just finished a season in Sweden).

    Super Bob took a while to get going in the league.

    In all of these and many more Arsene was proved right, but these idiots still cannot understand.

  270. Bradys right foot

    If i’m being honest I enjoy most off the banter with the doomers they do make me laugh and occaisionally cry as it confirms that that some people are just idiots.
    Odious, repelent and very much representative of the modern game. The doomer like the modern player has little in common with those that have been following the club longer than a wet weekend. How do they enjoy the club, the results, when everything Arsenal has to be filtered through their qualified disdain for the manager and most of the playing staff, it’s twisted.

    Constructive criticism of the club and staff however is completely valid and different opinions on our own little club is a beautiful and welcome thing, when “supporters” however express delight at certain players getting injured, or booing players or sign online petitions to get the manger sacked it’s a very strange way to support a club.

  271. Oi sheep boy Dupsffokcuf, you can’t even begin to bracket Denilson in the same class as the 3 you have above. If it did take them a while to get started, it certainly wasn’t 3 1/2 seasons and COUNTING idiot! To use the examples you have as a comparative for Denilson, you haven’t got a clue. Please tell me of just one quality or moment of genius the Brazilian nut has bestowed on THE Arsenal, the emirates and the game as a whole. If you could, it would stink as you’d be pulling it out of your arse! You talk like Arsene doesn’t make mistakes. He would be the FIRST to tell you that he does. And no, I didn’t see how good Denilson was at all last season begin there was nothing to see. Oh, maybe that’s what the stats are for I keep hearing. Listen fool you can’t measure HEART, COMMITMENT and DESIRE in stats like you can short, back and sides. Damn you people make me laugh.

  272. @ PJones

    No-one is right 100% of the time in football, but I would always back the judgment, based on detailed knowledge, of someone who is right 90% of the time, over the judgment, based on very limited knowledge, of someone who has no track record whatsoever. If you were betting on horses, which of those people would you trust?

    You think this is one of the 10% of times when AW has made a mistake – I think this is one of the 9 times out of 10 when fans have been too quick to condemn.

    It would help if you understood his role, as well. He is there to make sure we keep the ball and keep us ticking over. He isn’t there to provide moments of magic, although he does throw some in – goal against Everton in the first game of the season, just off the top of my head. He also does show heart and desire – again, off the top of my head, the goal against Aston Villa away last season. Plus he consistently runs the most in games, second only to Cesc. Whatever kind of game he is having, he always wants the ball. I think all that shows commitment.

  273. Anyway, good night, all. That’s me done.

  274. Fungunner, cheers for your lucid and informed response. Just read it now and I’m tired and a bit tipsy so I only hope to write as coherently as you!
    First, let me consider a few of your points.

    ‘we can have so many kids because they are cheap’

    I’m not sure that is the case. The ‘youth market’ is fiercely competitive since other clubs have essentially been following our model. Buying prospects like denilson, ramsey or walcott is high risk precisely because the amount of money laid out for the transfer fees and wages sufficient to ensure they sign for us is actually quite large.

    ‘the kids only start getting paid big money when they get into the first team squad’

    We cannot know this for sure. Unfortunately, I have not seen the wages of the Arsenal squad, but I suspect, given the competition from other clubs, that we pay them significantly more than you might think. This is pure speculation, but I would have thought that players like Wilshere, Merida, Thomas, Lansbury etc. (not yet 1st team players) earn over 25k a week at the very least.

    ‘Also the player has more loyalty to the club.’

    Theoretically maybe, and I wish this were the case. Sadly, buying the world’s best teenagers and shipping them off to london colney doesn’t in fact ensure their loyalty to the club. I think the only way to ensure that is to have genuine Arsenal supporters coming through the system. We all know that our greatest asset has loyalty to one of our competitors, Barcelona. I do agree however that your point about having genuine ‘locals’ compete with great talent from abroad can only benefit them.

    Essentially my concern is with the widely held belief that the cost of bringing youngsters through is significantly less than that of buying new, older players. Your interesting comparison between Senderos and Arshavin made me smile. Because I would argue the exact opposite: the sum cost of 1 year of Arshavin was ONLY double that of the many of Senderos!

    I think Arshavin proves that good business doesn’t necessarily mean buying youngsters. Football apart, his value, if we were to sell him this summer, would probably be well over double what we have spent so far on him. Vermaelen or Sagna are other examples. You are of course right that signing any player is a gamble, but that is why we do everything to minimize the risk, i.e. employing the most advanced and rigorous scouting system in world football. Further, I think that making an accurate prediction as to the success of a 25 year old playing abroad is far easier than making one for a teenager.

    Your point that we can ensure that these youngsters play and think in a certain way is, I think, at the heart of Arsene Wenger’s thinking. Yet many onlookers argue that we need a different TYPE of player. We have a load of players who only know how to play one way and, when this fails, we have a major problem. Input from players with experience of other management styles certainly helped us win all those trophies under Wenger.

    Now I don’t doubt for a second that Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager in the world, but I would argue that having experienced players around to aid in the development of youngsters is absolutely key. Resigning Sol shows us that Wenger agrees.

    To sum up my lengthy reply, I am still not convinced that the total cost of slowly educating young players into first team is significantly less than buying more experienced players who might take up to a year to settle. Given that the majority of our first team were not actually at the club as youngsters, I don’t think we are yet proof that it works as a viable alternative.

    I would still argue that, all things considered, it is in fact a greater risk buying a big name youngster and gambling that he will be world class in 5 years, by which point we will have spent the equivalent of a huge signing, than buying a proven player at decent value. Either way, I feel the preferred path is a middle way, a mixture of great youngsters and established stars.

    A good example is Nasri. Now I absolutely love super sam, and I, like Wenger, think he will be one of the best players in the world in years to come. But if we accept that the fee we paid was 12-13 million as reported (although we actually have no idea) and we estimate that the boy and his agents will have got 3 odd million and a contract of 50 odd k a week, and will be world class after, say, 3 or 4 years (by which time he will have been offered an improved deal and signing fee), we will have invested maybe 30-40 million on him. Now that is what Wenger would call a big signing, and would not consider it good value.

    Cheers for the informed chat guys, whatever happens I love Wenger and this team. Too many of us forget what being an Arsenal fan is all about. Arsenal’s in my blood, and that’s how we do.

  275. Fungunner, you construct your argument with balance and class but apart from the first line of your last post I simply cannot agree with you. I am very much a supporter of Arsene’s ideology, especially in today’s climate. But I know when I see a player with Arsenal potential (ala Ramsey, etc) and I know when I see a player with potential (Denilson). For 3 1/2 years now Denilson has not developed in my opinion into a player of the requisite level for Arsenal. I still to this day am not sure how to categorize him as he is neither competently defensive or creative. I guarantee you that he would not get into any (ok maybe Liverpool seeing as they’ve got Lucas) of the first eleven of any of the top 3. Please don’t undermine my comprehension of the game. I understand what his role should be and not what he and you perceives it to be. I understand he’s not there to pull rabbits out a hat, though you state the goal he scored in the first game against Everton was magic (it was good but not quite what I’d call magic), but the qualities I asked for that you mention, distance covered only second to Cesc etc, doesn’t quite equate to the heart and commitment you seem to believe. We obviously have different interpretations on what constitutes certain attributes of the game and that a player possesses. We could be debating all night but I think it’s fair to say that we will have to agree to disagree as I will never come round to your way of thinking.

    If we don’t lose on Sunday against the Chavs, I’ll happily put us down for the title, Denilson or NO Denilson. I’m of to bed too.

  276. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Lady Arsenal,

    I highly doubt someone would bid 25+ million for Arshavin this summer. And if someone were to bid that they’d have to be either mental, or Man City.

    As for your other points, Arsene likes to instill the Arsenal way in them at a young age. There is no doubt Arsene subscribes to the you can’t teach an old dog new tricks way of thinking, and I fully back that philosophy 100 percent. Mature talent that can play and adhere to Arsenal’s style and rigid set of guidelines isn’t as easy to find as you make out.

  277. Jack Staniforth

    In years gone by you could have sympathy for a player who was side lined for a lengthy period with injury, there was a kind of “pass the hat round mentality.
    Today however the first question that comes to my mind at least is, “how many thousand pounds a week is he being paid to sit on his arse”.? Knowing how hard it has been in my life to earn a living it gets my back up to think of kids like Walcott being able to buy his girlfriend a state of the art sports car out of his sick pay. No, I don`t have any sympathy for any of these high paid prima donna`s.

  278. @ Peter Jones – your post at 9:37 lamenting Denilson’s lack of certain qualities. Recall AA’s wonder goal against Blackburn last season. In that move, Denilson chested the ball, volley the pass (yes, backward pass as derided by most), moved to collect the return pass, dribbled a few yards and hit an inch-perfect pass (commentator’s words, not mine) to AA. Apparently you either didn’t watch that match, forgotten about it or plainly refused to acknowledge it. Yes I agree Denilson is not perfect but the criticism is OTT.

  279. I must add that that was a 30/40-yard defence spliting pass.

  280. (Hope you don’t mind me diving in there, Passenal.)

    Thanks FG, you said it better than me as I wasn’t around to respond.

    PJ, I asked you what gives you the experience, knowledge and qualifications, to justify such an extreme opinion. I did not start throwing insults around. If you want to be taken seriously, perhaps you could do likewise. I bet you were saying exactly the same about Song before this season.

  281. FE Gooner, I was just waiting for someone to put that down…It took a while. Yes I remember it clearly. It was Arshavin’s first goal and I remember Denilson’s actions as you describe them. As good as it was it DOES NOT happen consistently enough. (The mark of TRUE greatness is prominent consistency). Is that the best you could do. That really showed me didn’t it. I remember when Cygan scored a brace in a game against Fulham. I suppose that makes him world class in your opinion. Remember one or even ten swallows do not make a summer. If Denilson does the job for you, good for you. He does jack for me. Read it. Digest it. Get over it.

    Passenal, please bark up some other tree, your getting real boring and you haven’t said anything of note. At least I gave you a thorough technical breakdown of why I don’t rate Denilson. If you think my views are extreme you obviously haven’t browsed other posters on other blogs. Now please until you’ve got some intelligent counter argument as to why D’s so consistently fantastic, as mentioned earlier, go bark up another tree.

    PS Yes I did say the same thing about Song (and Almunia from 4 years ago) and I was thoroughly put in my place when he finally became the player that Wenger and of course your good self saw. Some will sink under pressure others will thrive. Song came good leaving me with egg on my face. I’ll take that every time as long as the player raises his level. This is not about me. This is about Arsenal.

  282. @ PJ – your original posting was that Denilson could not do this and that. Now you are saying that he is not doing them consistently. That’s a completely different point isn’t it? I still don’t agree with your revised point, which is a matter of degree. For me, Denilson is competing for the 3rd midfield slot if Song and Cesc are playing in midfield and Rosicky plays in attack. And in the current squad, he would be my first choice to replace Song.

    Denilson is used as a convenient scapegoat. Stoke’s second goal is not his fault. His only fault in that goal was that he could not outrun Sidebe who had a headstart.

    Let’s run through MU’s goals. First goal, he beaten by Nani’s dummy. GC & SN were taken out by Nani’s flick while Almunia couldn’t tip the cross over the bar. So, this is not entirely his fault.

    Second goal, Gallas lost the ball in MU’s penalty box. Park chipped the loose ball forward to Rooney who had GC in close attendance. Rooney swept the ball wide to Nani. Denilson was too far away from Nani and ran to cover the middle, leaving BS to deal with Nani while being in a position to intercept Nani should he beat BS. Rooney was on Denilson’s blindside. Instead of picking up Rooney, GC crossed over to Nani’s side, duplicating Denilson’s efforts. All in, 4 Arsenal players, Denilson, GC, TV and SN failed to handle 2 MU players, Rooney and Park (not sure who it was but this is not important). Not entirely Denilson’s fault.

    Third goal, Denilson mis-controlled Evra’s clearance allowing Carrick to pass forward to Rooney who then passed backward to Carrick to hit one over the top for Park to chase. Both TV and AS went for Rooney when AS should have let TV handle Rooney and pick up Park’s run. Once in that position, it would take a MU mistake or a super save by Almunia not to concede a goal. I would perhaps 50% Denilson’s fault. Failure to pick up Park and committing too many players in the attack were the other contributing factors.

    Hence my opinion about Denilson being a scapegoat.

    I do believe that next season or so, when Denilson gains strength, he would be a better player, just as Cesc has been able to add surging runs into his repertoire this season. Till then, Denilson is a decent player in my opinion.

  283. FE Gooner, it’s NOT a completely different point! Either or – the result would be EXACTLY the same. To perform a task every now and again when the job description is all about performing them on the most consistent basis possible is akin to NOT performing them at all. If you were running a business, would you persist with an employee that could perform certain aspects of their position now and then but not on the consistent basis that the role requires in order to keep levels at an optimum? If you would I suggest that you NEVER go into business. Denilson is not as effective as you believe. His lack of positional sense, effort, drive and mis-timed commitment (on top of everything else I’ve mentioned) is painfully obvious to anyone who understands what they’re watching. If Denilson “appears” to play well, it’s because the most gifted players in the team that day were on song and as a consequence, anyone would look good. In the numerous battles of old, Arsenal have always had players whom, of their own accord, have taken the game to the opposition (win or lose) when the team are not playing as a whole at their level. At least they’ve tried and will be commended for it. Denilson is not one of those players. I am not using Denilson as a scapegoat (as you seem to think). The short comings of the team this season have mostly been a collective issue. But that does not veil the fact that Denilson is a mediocre player at best that we carry, whichever way you look at it. You can usually attach a synonym to most of our players that would describe their most effective attribute perfectly ie. Walcott/pace – Arshavin/trickery – Cesc/visionary – Vermaelen/ bullish. Please tell me one word that would positively encapsulate Denilson’s most potent trait? Break it down as you will, it does not alter the fact that the unbrazilian Brazilian is NOT of the standard associated with THE Arsenal. I rest my case.

    PS Rooney was only on Denilson’s “blind side” because D failed to check back EVEN once on his left (“blind side”) until R was on his shoulder by which time it was too late. He was the closest to R out of the 3 Arsenal players that were ball watching hence R was D’s responsibility. This perfectly highlights one of his numerous flaws – his lack of positional awareness!

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