Lack Of Confidence & Desire Holds Back Talent

The disappointment of the recent results was almost indescribable. A season which promised much has petered out, without a fight amid acrimony with supporters turning on the players who are underperforming. Even those not in the team are being drawn in with stinging criticism, presumably because they were not on the pitch at White Hart Lane or the DW Stadium.

The performances were not acceptable and yet not entirely unsurprising. Exiting the Champions League at the Camp Nou had a debilitating effect on confidence, especially with a lead being surrendered so quickly. It is this confidence that Arsenal need to rediscover and quickly for the next two games should be wins but in this run of form, the certainty with which that can be stated has dropped considerably.

Losing is not as surprising as it seems though. We only have to look at last season to see how the team reacted to exiting the Champions League (1 – 4 v Chelsea, followed by 0 – 0 at Old Trafford) to see that the immediacy of the next match, no matter their importance. The desire to be a champion comes from within the players, it cannot be taught. Wenger has found that some of that desire is missing from certain players.

Work rate can compensate for deficiencies in ability; reverse those and there is no excuse. Had the performances been ‘valiant’, defeat might be easier to swallow but neither was a glorious failure. It is this which has moved the manager to apoplexies by his standards, not criticising individually but collectively, albeit with one or two exempted from his words.

That it was his oldest and his least experienced players on Sunday who were singled out for praise is telling. Campbell has been there and won medals; Eastmond wants a starting place. That may have been the spur from them but what of the others?  None are inexperienced, for the most part they had represented their countries on a regular basis. The squad talks well in the media but when they were called upon, their actions did not match their words, leaving a hollowness to proclamations that they want to win.

Some do. Some will but there are a number who will not do so with Arsenal. It is the nature of football that players come and go, some staying longer than others. Wenger has already hinted that there will be new arrivals although doubts are expressed as to whether or not the manager will actually do this. He is not short of advice on whom is better; every player whose contract is expiring this summer is being linked now, some genuinely of interest to this blogger but for the most part, regurgitation of ghosts of summer past. Others have presumed to know how much the transfer budget is and are doing the math for Arsène, working out where to spend his money which I am sure he appreciates.

Collectively, this is possibly the most talented squad that Arsene has produced. It is not mentally the strongest though and the extra which this quality brings to the pitch has been exposed in recent weeks. This summer sees Arsene needing to bring some of that to the club.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 20, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 276 Comments.

  1. deano, I’m second. =)

  2. isn’t this speil starting to be the norm from aw
    “we’re almost there”
    “i will sign players”

    and then we get “he’ll be like a new signing”

  3. Still gutted,

    But we will come good.

    I feel sad for Fabianski and Eduardo.

    He’s a goner isn’t he? What ever happened to the most instinctive finisher the club had ever seen?

    Tragedy if he’s sold……do you think he’ll go on loan?

  4. Yes a Champions League finish has become the norm from AW. A remarkable achievement.

  5. http://bit.ly/cgiqEa
    this makes it even more remarkable but i wish we could push on a dominate

  6. Frank it has to be pointed that a Champions League finish is far from certain this season on our current run of form!!!

  7. only sad for Eduardo. He’s still on like what, 25?

    we need someone to come in and psyche our players. You think Serbian placenta lady could come in and wave her hands over the squad?

  8. We know Wenger is stubborn in his own belief of his playing staff, but I believe the last few weeks have been a watershed moment, never I have heard him so bullish about bringing in new stock.

    As well as the usual raft of potential, the rumours of a new keeper and at least one centre half, together with Chamakh will happen this summer.

    However dissapointing the last couple of weeks have been, we have improved on last season and with keeping key players, young players maturing from another seasons experience and clever signings, the future is still rosy red.

  9. its a fine fine line real social dad

    and JD dont be a silly sausage.

  10. I would like Eduardo to go on loan for a season to regain his match sharpness. Bring him back, as good as new, for the 2011/12 season.

    YW

  11. on the loan – how do we typically work round the wages? some kind of 50%-50% split or all wages borne by the club he’s on loan to?

  12. We need stability off the field to progress on the field.

    The sooner the ownership issues are sorted the better.

    This is going to be the most important summer in the club’s history

  13. deano

    Eduardo was not even on the bench against Wigan. Do you know what happened to him? Injured again?

  14. someone pointed out the other day…that buying van der sar and vidic became the bedrock for man u’s recent dominance…..it can be the same for us. We buy a goalie and a centre back….vermaelens an EPL season wiser….sagna, clichy, eboue and gibbs work hard in pre-season. Sol Stays. Song is a season better (scary). Chamakh…..Van persie, Arshavin, Vela.

    Im not worried.

  15. What exactly is the problem with Eduardo? Is it mental or physical? I’d be tempted to think it’s the former.

  16. @ deano,
    “Spurs can catch us, Manchester City can catch us. We have to win at least one game.”
    Arsene’s words . . . not mine.

  17. No thats the thing Luke.

    I think he has just fallen by the way-side.

    That realy is a tragedy….he’s an unbelievable Talent.

    I realy hope Taylor hasn’t ruined his career.

  18. If Eduardo goes on loan we’d need another striker.

  19. JD….to think that we wont take 3 points from our last 3 games is cynicism of the most ignorant order.

  20. Ian Wright was a better finisher, get him back… oh wait he’s Ian Wright Wright Writing for the Sun isn’t he. It’s going to be a long summer.

  21. Arsefoot,

    Typically, the ‘borrowing’ club will pay the majority of wages although if that is too much, the loaning club will contribute.

    YW

  22. Flint McCullough

    Excellent, YW.

    Your final para sums it up really.

    Fundamentally we have more actual quality, in terms of depth & ability, than ever before but the team has been given lesson by 3 of the probably 4 or 5 better teams than us in Europe. The most important of which is you have to work very very hard for every second in each & every game. Man U I feel do not, on paper, have the depth of quality but every player has a supreme work ethic, which some of ours have not shown consistently.

    AW has to come to some conclusions about which of his players are going to go that extra mile.

  23. I think Arsene wants to bring in a few players this summer. Arsense said at the start of the season “judge me in May” and some of the players he has put his faith in have patently let him down.
    I definitely feel that Sunday was a watershed moment and Arsene looked completely dispirited and let-down.
    The question is the same as it has been for the last few seasons however: Are the funds available? and, if not, will Arsene continue to put up with the board’s lack of investment in the club?

  24. Deano I pray you are right. It should be pointed out however we need 5 points to be absolutely sure.

  25. Ole…but would we.

    Van Persie, Bendtner, Chamakh, Vela, Eduardo

    I want us to need Eduardo. His link up play has been brilliant this season. But its his tar attribute that seems to have diminished.

  26. Almunia
    Sagna – Vermaelen Cliche
    Song Fabregas Nasri
    Chamakh Van Persie Arshavin

    – represents a new signing

    if that is our team on a fairly consistent basis, we can beat anywan

  27. I would prefer to hone (?) Eduardo in the FA/Carling Cups and reserves games for awhile. It is less humiliating than going out on loan. He may just opt for an outright transfer.

    When Arsenal has all cylinders firing, which I think is a matter of getting all our best players back, every player will look good. And I hope Eduardo will be there when we play wengerball again. Last Sunday, almost every player was crap in the 2nd half.

  28. The thing is, i dont see any major offloading, which would mean there would be quality that wouldnt get into the first time e’g (Denilson, Eduardo, Vela) so maybe our fa cup and carling cup teams will be stronger as these players would need to play

  29. YW

    thanks.

    Personally, I’m not sure a loan move is going to be the solution. Even if he hits top form wherever he may be, coming back to Arsenal the next season may present the same mental block he’s had thus far.

    whatever the case, i suppose the one thing we can all agree on is that the situation with Eduardo cannot remain status quo.

  30. For me the spuds are the most deserving of the 4th CL spot. I would have liked Everton to get it but that’s not going to happen now. The spuds, while refusing to do so against us, are occasionally capable of playing football. City are like a big swollen lab rat, buckling under the weight of their own artificially pumped up bollocks. And Villa are Sunday League Mach II, up-and-under merchants.

    Plus you just know the spuds will fuck it up at the first time of asking and crash out in qualifying against Metalursk ‘69 as Michael Dawson, still drunk from his fortnight in Lanzarote, concedes three slapstick penalties.

    By mid-August the blue and white ticker tape will have been hurriedly swept from the cobbled streets of Haringay, the dusty bunting squirreled away for another 50 years, and the last few wooden bowls of sewer rat stew licked clean. And the whole of Europe will breathe one long sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be hosting the scum.

  31. deano,

    We had 4 strikers this season & there was still a run of 4 crunch games in which we had no fit striker.

  32. The only teams that will represent England well in the Champions League are Liverpool and Man City. The Spurs are not CL quality. Money City aren’t either but they might be next season.

  33. I don’t know how everyone feels about Hart. The rumours are unfounded at best and downright lies at worst but I really rate him. It would be nice to have an England number 1 again after David Seaman and erm Richard Wright. I just don’t think the arabs in manchester would let him go.

  34. Zap- We don’t need any major offloading, with a few additions we have the basis of a very strong squad. Players like Dennilson, Almunia, Diaby, Eboué, Sol and even Bendtner are good squad players and will be needed over the course of next season. It’s unfortunate that we have to rely on some of the above players a little too often

  35. I hope hart goes back to man city, birmingha are nothing without him and them going down again would be great

  36. TheBigM i agree with what you say, my point was our second team will probably be very strong provided we arent hit with a similar injury crisis, which has the same chance of having the top villa, man u, chelsea and liverpool in a row. oh. JUst hasnt been our luck this season and hopefully our fa cup team will be bolstered,, as well as our options for the premier league

  37. We had Eduardo fit…..he played CF against Chelsea(h) and missed 2 chances he would had gobbled up 2 years ago.

    Then AW played Arshavin as centre forward after that.

    The strangest thing about it is on his immediate return he was on fire. Scoring 2 on his first game back. Scoring one of our goals of the season against Burnley. He carried that into the start of this season.

    What Happened?

  38. ThebigM, you are completely right. Selling them would be a step back. a couple of signings would force a few of the undesirables into the reserves again where they might finish their youth training and have to fight to get back in the side.

  39. With Fabianski in goal and Silvestre in goal the last 3 games are going to be a struggle

    On Eduardo there is no time for sentiment in football.We need fit plays and sadly his cant stay fit.So he has to go

    Hart is the best young goalkeeper in the country but after the Richard Wright debacle will he ever sign an English keeper again?

  40. All i care about is that Adebayor doesn’t score on Saturday.

  41. David – That’s it, we don’t need drastic surgery, we just need to bring in some quality in certain positions and improve the competition the places within the squad

  42. Any team would struggle with Silvestre in goal, Kenny.

  43. Rinseout, lay off kenny.

    He’s a Genius.

  44. I hope Nasri ‘megs Adebayor over and over and over again until he loses all balance and falls off a cliff, or mountain, or just rolls down Primrose Hill. Nasri is one player who over our recent losses has looked a class apart from the rest of the team. He’s our Iniesta.

  45. I’m always amused when people say there’s no room for sentiments in football. What’s football about other than sentiments?

  46. “Collectively, this is possibly the most talented squad that Arsene has produced.”

    Great blog, but I take issue with this. How many players in this team match up (even in terms of talent) to Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, Campbell, Cole, Gilberto, Ljungberg et al int he Invincibles?

    I mean Sagna, Fabregas, van Persie and Vermaelen would not have been out of place in that team, but the rest of today’s vintage?

  47. I’m not talking about the wise-heads at ACLF, but why oh why are so people saying we need to sign fucking Gary Cahill? He’s a useless clueless clogger. Shawcross mk2 at best. I seriously doubt AW could bring himself to sign anyone with his credentials. Not that I’m against young, english talent, but for crying out loud. Also, surely, NotLob would charge us the English premium i.e. at least 200% of what he’s actually worth…

  48. @ Ole 11.38

    thank you.

  49. Actually JDGooner 3 points guarantees a Eurothingy place and 5 points guarantees 3rd spot.

    You have to factor in the Spuds/Citeh game.

  50. How dare you say this is the most talented group of players ever under Wenger? did you smoke. You think this team is better than the team which had Thiery- Bergkamp-Pires- Viera- Ashley Cole-Parlor- Ljunberg- Seaman etc etc. Bar Fabregas and maybe Vermaluen, all of these guys in the current suqad are not fit to even clean the boots worn by the guys i have just merchant…..Its been very frustration to watch these guys players over the past few seasons. when will Almunia be a good goalkeeper, when will Sagna and Clichy learn to provide good assists or know when to attack and when to defend, when will Diaby, Denilson, Eboue learn to defend, hold the ball and make accurate passes, when will Theo Walcott develop a “footballing brain” i.e knwo when to shoot, cross, run or dribble,.,,,the stikeforce is also a shamble bar RVP…while Bendtner and Eduardoo can cheap in with agoal here and there, they ar enot good enough to spreahead our attack. We cant compar ethem to rooney at Manu, Tevez at City, drogba at CHelski…….

    Only the following players should play in the 1st eleven next season plus new players
    1.Thomas Vermaleuen
    2.Fabregas
    3.Song
    4. RVP
    5. Nasri
    6. Arshavin

    for the squad keep
    1. Clichy
    2.Rosicky
    3.Bendtner
    4.Sagna
    5.Ramsey
    6.Gallas

    The rest I I dont mind if we sell………they are never gonna be world beaters….They have had their chances and they have embarrased us in the Arsenal shirt….I wont cry for players like almunia, Fabiasnki, Diaby, denilson, walcott, sylyvetre, Eboue & eaduardo if we sell them to the highest bidders.

  51. Jena, why not write the exact same thing in an email to the board. You’d probably get Arsene’s job.

  52. Jena.

    Your a new age Genius. Along with Kenny.

  53. This is the most talented group of players ever under Arsene Wenger, Jena.

  54. Its incredible how everyone is so quick to disregard the vast improvement of Eboue and Diaby.

    They didnt have a good last 2 games….but not many did.

  55. Jena, it would be cheap of me to criticise your spelling, grammar, punctuation, turn of phrase or general use of the English language because picking on the mentally handicapped just isn’t accepted anymore and its too easy. I’d go back to your toys, here’s a tip; the round block goes in the round hole and the square block goes in the square hole.

  56. I cant believe the celtic incident alone could have affected eduardo THAT badly, surely?

  57. I think that it affected him profoundly, Zap. It knocked the stuffing out of his confidence. It was a cheap bullying shot from the Football Establishment, press and media. Cowardly. We are dealing with the utmost arseholes here.

  58. What happened to Eduardo….Henry Winter and the Scottish FA is what happened to Eduardo.

    The quite scandelous witch hunt stirred up after the Celtic game effected him. He has had no confidence ever since which combined with the fear of a recurrence of injury has left him a shadow of the former player he was.

  59. Last night goals are up on the Arsenal site. All three were great. And how tiny is Jernade Meade?!

    After Barazite scored it looked like he was trying to get a message to someone in the stands. AW perhaps?

  60. Its hard. The season is over. While, there is dejection all round, the biggest disapointment of it all will lie with Wenger.

    He has given some of the youngsters oppurtunities well above their years. Fabianski, Diaby, Walcott, Denilson, Eastmond and many more.

    They had to break ground like Fabregas. It was not technical but mental. The ability to take responsibility for the team performance and lift the team and its players. It is nothing to do with age.Wilshere and Ramsey can do it. Diaby cant!!

    Another thing is this fall sense of belief in technique. So you can pass well does it mean you dont want to do other things. Look at barca, there players harried us and they are the best on the planet.

    Still a lot of our players are technically very good and possibly will do very well in France and Spain. But for me, the road is at end for Fabianski, Diaby, Almunia, Silvestre etc.

    They are good players but they are not good enough to be regularly representing a team that is fighting to be No.1 in the toughest league in the world. I am sorry it is the realism of our times.

    Whether, we like it or not but if we dont improve mentally and player self improve we will be overtaken by market force that is Man City.

    In the end, I hope people continue to believe in Wenger and his policies and realize that he is the man to take Arsenal forward. But he is increasingly making it difficult for himself.

  61. Agree with you there deano, we need to keep Diaby, and IMO Eduardo too. You can’t bemoan our lack of squad depth in one breath, and call for the heads of our squad players with the next.

    Diaby has come on leaps and bounds this season, but it was hardly surprising to see him falling short in the last few games. How to best use Diaby’s talents remains a mystery. Noone knows his best position in this formation yet, but one thing’s for certain, it is not as a defensive midfielder. It’s more likely playing off a striker, like a lanky Peter Beardsley.

    The last two games have highlighted how imperative our first choice midfield triumvirate of Denilson, Song and Cesc really is. But then, what team wouldn’t suffer if you took out their entire first choice midfield?

  62. Thanks for pointing that out, Big Al. Lovely goals. Passenal and Pz will be pleased.

  63. 1 loose cannon

    Eduardo wil be the surprise next season, it is normal to suffer a bit after such a bad injury. Eduardo will be better next season. I heard Lyon interested in him, I prefer if he stays another season to see the real Eduardo, He was just begining to establish himself but someone destroyed it for him. He deserves a chance.

  64. It strikes me as curious that some people keep saying the team need to work harder but then call for Denilson to be sold.

    Statistically he is one of the players that covers the most ground in the team.

    We should be looking to keep all of these players but add experience and some true winners into the mix.

    Once that mentality sweeps through the squad you will see these younger players really blossom.

    I think Wenger has put too much responsibility on young shoulders that would not have been so great had the injury problem meant he could have kept refreshing things. Brining in fresh legs and hunger every now and then would have kept the momentum up.

  65. Eduardo’s confidence and touch will only return with games, goals and challenges.

    If AW does not put him in to the firing line he will never rediscover his form.

    If the case is Wenger doesn’t think he can perform for us any more I would rather see the guy playing football somewhere else than sitting on our bench never getting a game.

  66. It just demonstrates a very short term memory, Drew10. The only time that I have felt that the team neglected their duties and dropped their workrate was on Sunday in the last 15 minutes. It affected me personally very deeply because I was in a room full of rabid Chelski supporters who used the game to salve their own terrors having lost the day before. They were secretly worried at the beginning of the game that Arsenal were going to sneak up on them at the last.

    Imagine that with the injuries that we have been carrying.

    Other games have not been down to work rate, more to the cumulative effect of injuries or the loss of key players in vital matches.

  67. I have a suspicion that Eduardo has asked to leave.

  68. Jena is right. Sell Vermaluéueen. His brother Vermaelen is better.

  69. Frank, funny I have that feeling about Arsharvin!

  70. sylyvetre, eaduardo arnt good enough are they jena. What about silvestre and eduardo?

  71. but didnt aw play dudu over xmas in the front role he did pretty well
    in 11 starts 2 goal 4 assists

    apparently the rumours about aa have been denied by his agent whats his name

  72. Two technically awesome goals from Aneke and Barazite! No lack of talent or confidence there…..
    AR-SE-NAL!!!

  73. I agree with the above argument, these group of players have let everybody down. It is absolutely a disgrace, they can talk to the media to impress you but once on the pitch. They luck creativity, the fighting drive. Our system of play is so predictable, our players over pass the ball so much that, even when, they are at the right position to shoot to the goal they still passing. There must be a change of ideology from top to bottom as well as our transfer policy must change. Guys let be honest to each other, until our transfer policy changes, we should say goodbye to the league title for many years to come. Because most of all the club are strenghten their squad to fight for the title and the champions league position. All the departments have to be strenghtened, mostly we need some defenders, a very good goalkeeper and a striker.

  74. No Paul Beatch, we are going to say hello to the league title for years to come.

  75. I agree with Rinseout.

  76. I like your 11.09 Finsbury.

    “City are like a big swollen lab rat, buckling under the weight of their own artificially pumped up bollocks.”

    I’ll never be able to watch Tevez play again without either laughing or feeling sick. I can’t be sure which one until Saturday.

    I also agree with your post. I had the spuds down for 4th back in December. Mind you, I had us down as 1st.

  77. Consolbob

    That was LimparAsssist.

    I never write so well!

  78. Thanks rinseout for the virus help,, its good now,, but looking at the negativity in the media and on here, perhaps my laptop being plagued with viruses may have turned out for the better.

    Hopefully Eduardo will be replenished for next season and the fact that it is next season will be good phsychologically as its a fresh start.. Lets pray that happens.

    With a team plagued by injuries, finishing in the champions league is a great achievement

    And even with half a team, we scored two unforgettable goals against the best team in the world, and conceded two over the top goals (total football team eh) what bollocks, arsenal is the only team that can truly score a goal playing total pure football throughout the move..we should be proud of it.

  79. O Frank fuck off with your pathetic this is the best Arsenal squad ever.. you are a wanker of the highest calibre. Only 3 or 4 would get into the team of 04,, go stick your head back in the sand you fool!

  80. *I meant over the top goals as in long ball goals.

    There is much fuss made about other unwanted cultures being injected into our british society, but look at how even stereotypical british football (long balls) is unfortunately being replicated even by the top spanish teams.

  81. I think people get too far down on the players. It was a horrible letdown, but I don’t think we appreciated how above our heads we were playing given the squads we were putting on the pitch. After Tottenham, everyone realized the miracle wasn’t going to happen. Then they fell asleep with a 2-0 lead away, with nothing much at stake, and got badly burned by a team playing for their Premiershp life. Not impressive stuff, but not the worst thing in the world either.

    In the context of all the comebacks, especially the first leg of Barca, I’d say this team has shown phenomenal mental strength. I think the Vermaelen injury was just a bridge too far. When the whole fucking spine (Alm-Gal-Verm-Song-Fab4-RvP) of your team is out, you run out of people to look to for leadership.

    You suffer when you have no leaders on the pitch. The best thing about Fab, RvP, and now Song (but not Arshavin or Bendtner) is that they make the players around them better. Nasri is almost there, and TR7 is almost back to that, but not quite.

    The only players I would outright lose from this team are Fabianski, Silvestre (unless he was willing to be 6th choice), and Diaby. I quite rate Diaby as a player, but I don’t think he fits into Arsenal’s system, especially the 4-3-3.

  82. I hope Eduardo hasn’t asked to leave,
    but who could he go on loan to in the PL?

    He needs a ‘long run’.
    Preferably without a penalty Embargo, or UEFA & the FA and the meejyah picking on him.
    The sight of his team-mate screaming as some coward sneaks in from the side and cracks a leg open whilst playing in a game of Football can’t have helped.

    Top comments above following yet another masterpiece from YW.

  83. I like Reading this blog, but why do some people totally crucify other people who come on to post with a different view? The insults are so personal. It’s a shame.

  84. Nw5 Gooner you have a point but the thing is the people you are saying are being unfairly insulted are rather insulting the team and players in a similar manner..

  85. I do beg your pardon Limpar. I have trouble telling you and Finsbury apart in the dark.

    And this ones for all those old hippies out there.

    In case pz, or anyone else for that matter, confuses those old timers with me, Fuck off Jo, you absolute twat.

  86. Zap, the over the top pass that breaks the offside trap like the Ibra goals against us are in no way like the British Route 1 play. They’re not even similar. Hoof to big striker who holds up and hoof diagonal to the wings and look for the cross are what is meant by long ball play. Also, there are many teams out there who can score total football goals.

    JO, if you line the two squads up player for player, you’ll end up picking 5 from one and 6 from the other.

  87. I agree with Frank that this is the best squad we’ve had at Arsenal.

    The 2004 squad had 11 exceptional players, and after that we were down to the likes of Papadopoulos, Justin Hoyte, Aliadiere, Pennant & Jeffers.

    I can count 5 players from the reserves who’d get in that 2004 Squad.

  88. nolagunner watever they were over the top of the defense, werent they, you pidgen thats my point

  89. Maybe. But can’t both views coexist? because at the moment most fans probably have both feelings fighting within them. Love for players and manager, but anger at lack of effort, guts and sometimes alas talent displayed by many. Anyway, up the arsenal. And thanks YW for a good read.

  90. nolagunner,

    On the contrary, the 4-3-3 fits Diaby and Cesc, as Arsene has said, and I agree.

    He started life as a forward, but can tackle and has a physical presence. Playing the role of the balancing midfielder, can both attack and defend without sole responsibility for either which suits him very well.

  91. I’d just like to point out to the idiot above who said Ramsey was a ‘leader’:

    Well, we’ll never know now, will we? Not until the middle part of his career, at least. He’ll be focusing on, literally, rebuilding his career for the next period. Fortunately, he was not as badly assaulted, whilst he was looking at a football, as were Diaby or Eduardo.

    Anyone who has played any sport to any level, knows that not ‘practising’ enough in those transitional years can retard a persons individual development and performance. Not irrevocably, but it is, literally, all about ‘practice’, and momentum. (Ian Wright came through, but only in his mid-twenties). Cesc was very lucky with injuries.
    I’m not expecting Ramsey to shadow Fabregas’s development anymore. It’s impossible. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be a great player, he’s young, his injury was not as bad. Who knows.

  92. leave people alone if they believe the invincibles were better it’s down to them, they make a very easy argument for themselves.

    but to be told to fuck off, consolbob grow up you misarable old fool..

  93. I don’t mean to imply that Diaby and Eduardo are ‘crocked’.
    Just that Ramsey’s break should be easier to recover from.

  94. Zap, there’s nothing British about going over the top of a defense, so you have no point. Comparing Xavi’s breakaway passes to Ibra (Or Cesc’s to RvP) to Fat Sam’s offensive style is ridiculous

    Diaby is not a good decision maker, and not a good passer, especially on the run. It’s where Nasri or Rosicky should be. A 4-3-3 needs two creative passers. Everything about Diaby is built to receive the ball.

  95. Diaby is an excellent player, last few games his form has dipped, did you even watch him in the rest of the season? Diaby has great talent and actually, is one of the best decision makers we have,, its sure is easy on the perch of nolagunner to look down and criticize, he is always under immense pressure as one of the failures of arsenal,which he isnt, and its people like you that bring his confidence down

  96. Actually if you want evidence of Abou’s passing ability then check out his passes to RvP over the defence and onto RvPs chest…one of them ended in a fantastatic goal. Better than Xavi’s passes. Can’t remember the games. Never can. If I find footage I will post it. But otherwise just watch some of his passes against Wigan on Sunday.He makes good decisions when our key players are around him. I think he is best when he gets a run with a particular combination of players e.g. RvP and Cesc, they stretch the play so that it is not congested in the middle of the park…..and this season that has been our problem. When they pklay spaces appear. His problem is that he can lose concentration and we have seen that over the last couple of games.

  97. Diaby can play as either one of the front or middle 3 in our formation.

    Oh and i completely agree, his decision making is poor. I mean look at the through ball he made to walcott in the camp nou to open the scoring. Awful

  98. Just like to remind that fellow who posted at 13.43pm that this is Arsenal’s best ever squad….and I expect it to get even better.

  99. You did actually read the post I was responding to did you John.

    Read Jo’s first line again.

  100. I always find it hilarious that people think the players give a shit what people on blogs think. I don’t do anything to Diaby’s confidence, positive or negative.

    People always call Diaby lazy, but his problems are clearly mental (as with the Wigan goal…he *did* track back, TOO FAR). He goes into gridlock when having to make the quick decisions. The game may end up slowing down for him, but it hasn’t yet. He’s a forward. He may be the best pure finisher we have.

    I think he’s such an awesome specimen that Arsene is entranced with the idea of making him the total football player. He has ball-winning and possession skills that are wasted at forward, so Arsene is trying to find a place for him that utilizes his entire skill set. If the mental part ever comes together, he may well become one of the top players on the planet. But right now, his decision making is a liability.

  101. Frank

    Good squads have good keepers.We dont have one

    Back up CH Silvestre say no more

    Denilson and Diaby in midfield!!!!!

    Our back up strikers were Eduardo and Vela who
    have both done next to nothing this season

    And that is why we are 3rd and not 1st

  102. Zap, look at that pass again. He won the ball brilliantly, then put a through ball into an acre of space. Not a difficult pass, and he was standing still. Frank’s example is a much better one…a truly fantastic pass, and what is so infuriating about Diaby. He really can do anything.

    And I agree, Frank, that when surrounded with stellar decision makers (Cesc, RvP, and now Song) his weakness are covered over and his strengths come to the fore (win the ball, give it to Cesc, run). In those situations, especially in the EPL where his physical strength is such an asset, he can be sublime.

  103. Ole@1.54

    Is you memory playing you up?.You left out Keown Clichy Edu Kanu,Wiltord and Reyes.Who were all in the 2004 squad.Call yourself a Gooner?

  104. diabi cant pass to save his life, one decent pass to rvp means nothing when he constanlt,constantly loses the ball in the oposition half and then leads to a goal, that has happened over half a dozen times in the past two month how many assissts has he made all season, he has one good quality and that is picking up the ball and running at the heart of the defence, he cant defend, he cant keep the ball, p[lay a straight pass, for anyone who comes up with a good display from the man i can come up with five against, same goes for denilson, both goalkeepers. If we intend to stay with 433/431 then all we need are two quality defenders and a goal keeper, TV takes song place, song takes diabi place, vela,rvp,walcott,chamach,bendy up front same wide palyers with little jack coming back. And the invincibles are the best we ever had, if you cant see that you really dont know football, x

  105. Strong words Yogi. Good stuff. Are they still voting for best blog. Did you win?

    This team clearly has all the talent it needs up front to win. We can score enough goals. Very few players will go thru an entire year without missing an occasional game or 2. However, hopefully we can avoid long term injuries next year to RVP, cesc, Song, Arshavin. We need Arshavin to come back on form. Nasri, Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, NB and hopefully Chamakh are all at the age where they should start playing consistantly. The first several games of this year were incredibly great. We will not score 3 goals a game for the whole season there is no reason why we can not be top of the table in goals scored.

    The back needs to be re-built both in terms of players and more important confidence. I know everyone on the blog is tired of this but our table position in goals conceded the last 7 years is 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5 and now 8th. The trend is certainly concerning. We need new personnel. Our own Vidic and Van der Sar. We will always be an attacking team, but after last year AW said the difference between us and the top teams was our defense and we would improve. This time we need more then just lip service.

  106. boomer, what a lot of absolute rot you just littered us all with. Stuff and nonsense, every last word of it.

  107. This is England

    Deano’s comment at 10.43.Eduardo the most instictive finisher this club has ever seen.mmm

  108. Kenny,

    How could I have left out those players when I was only counting the ‘other’ squad players who wouldn’t get into the current squad;

    Actually, I left out Cygan….another player ho won’t get into the current squad.

    My point is that there were many players in the squad then who were not very good. In the present squad, they’re all technically good except Silvestre.

    The first 11 was much better then….Henry & Bergkamp are two of the best players in football history. The likes of Vieira, Pires, Ljungberg, Cashley & even Kanu were some of the best players in the world…world class.

    But that’s all the first team. In terms of depth, quality beyond the best 10, 11 players we weren’t there.

    Put it another way; If the 2004 squad was missing as many players then as we’re misisng now, would they have coped as well. The answer is Pascal Cygan

  109. He’s bald
    He’s shit
    He plays when someone’s sick
    He’s Pascal Ceeeeegan

  110. Finsbury, what did your jogging source tell you the other day? Or are you pulling my leg.

    I’m thinking Christoph Metzelder, available on a free, and full of vorsprung durch technik.

  111. Now we have 11 players or more sitting in the reserves who will strengthen many Premier League squads, admittedly not today but in a couple of years. We’ve never had this much quality all round. Never

  112. limestonegunner

    Interestingly the 2004 squad didn’t seem to have the number of injuries and length of absence because of them that has been common the last several years.

    What has changed?

    So 2004 had quality in the first eleven and several very good reserves and backup for rotational purposes.

    Just lucky, I suppose.

  113. no wonder we cant afford 2 match a new signings wages then ole

  114. But I admit it’s a hard argument to make while we win nothing…..That will change. You will see.

  115. I don’t get your point Real Social Dad.

  116. with all the wage bill of the youth
    do you think it a disavantage
    when we come to sign players

  117. Limpar, Metzelder is 30 this year so I would be surprised to see him signed.

  118. Lol Limpar.
    Metzelder’s East German isn’t he? That’d explain the dodgy turning radius.
    Nope, I was kidding, can’t trust gossip!
    .

    I think the Xenophobes were unleashed from the Cave of Moda (it’s a little like that cave in Gibralter) when Cygan was signed, Upson was injured (?), lost his rag, and chose to fight relegation for another Big Club. For a virally infected Wet Spam.

    The idiot.

    Quote of the season, shortly before the CL QF second leg:

    The New Wet Spam Chairman,

    “The English League is the best. Name me one Bayern Munich player who will get into a PL team.”

    Maybe AFC fans would be impressed after a poor performance if their board members made sycophantic appeals to their own vanity through extremely badly judged editorials in their match day programmes?

  119. How could that be?

    The academy and youth system costs less than £10M a year. Don’t remember the figure but it’s probably even half of the £10M I just bandied.

    The academy and youth system pays for itself very easily.

    Another note about Arsenal’s wage bill it includes wages for all staff and not just the players. It sometimes includes also transfers.

  120. with jet driving a maclaren etc..
    you wonder….

  121. Oh. Didn’t know he was that old. Also didn’t know about his dodgy East German turning circle.

    I fall for this shit every time…

  122. Bill

    It goes on until FA Cup Final Saturday – the 15th May, I believe.

    YW

  123. can you vote more than once?

  124. Credit cards RSD?

    It can’t be that hard for a young AFC player to get some credit?
    After all, even if they don’t stay, they’ll end up having decent careers.

    Metzelder is actually from Westphalia,
    not far from Arsene Wagner’s yard.

  125. To be fair to Metzelder, in Euro 2008 he was returning from injury, and had hardly played before hand.

    A bit like, e.g. Ashley Cole will be going into the WC: Not ‘Match Fit’.

  126. Speaking of Arsene Wenger’s roots. Check out his lush locks in this…

    Arsène WengerUploaded by Gunners-Fr. – More professional, college and classic sports videos.

  127. Well, but that’s obviously a kid with the wrong priorities. On the other hand, he still lives with his parents. He can afford to put all his money into 1 car.

    Or maybe it’s not all his money and he’s really on £60k a week. But I doubt it. Very very unlikely

  128. fuck me thats credit limit >120k

  129. dont matter he ccrashed it now and dont have a licence

  130. Yogi:

    Can we vote more then once? Could you add the link again intermittantly so we can vote again. You were leading when I voted yesterday.

  131. RSD,

    lol!

    I tried posting this the other week.

    From Mike Basset, England Manager, the half-time team talk.

    Genius.

  132. Can’t watch that yet, Finsbury. But speaking of team talks, this one was pretty good:

    An extract from Ian McGeechan’s Lions team talk ahead of the decisive second Test against South Africa in 1997

    “When you come to a day like this, you know why you do it all. You will meet each other on a street in 30 years’ time and there will be just a look, and you will know just how special some days in your life are. We have proved that the Lion has claws. We have wounded the Springbok. We will go for the jugular. Every tackle, every pass and every kick is saying to the Springbok, you are dying. On that field today all that will be between you is a look, no words, just a look. It will say everything. The biggest thing it will say is, you are special, you are very, very special. It has been and is a privilege. Go out, enjoy it, remember how you have got here and why, and finish it off. And be special for the rest of your lives…”

  133. And then chase an egg around and touch up some posh men.

  134. By: Frank on April 20, 2010
    at 2:25 pm

    I agree – Technically they are the best squad we’ve had.

    Compare the invincibles at the same age( 20-22) and you will see not many were reaching semis and quarter finals in Europe. Technically they are the best we’ve had – atheletically speaking the invicibles seem to be better athletes (pace,power stamina)

  135. Drink yourself stupid and measure each others dicks with some cutlery.

  136. I think if you could compare the number of miles run in a game, number of passes, tackles,sprints…speed of the players etc etc. The current squad would beat the Invincibles hands down.

  137. Limpar.

    That’s almost the exact opposite of Mike Basset above.

    Enjoy Barca Inter everyone.
    I don’t think it’s possible for Barca to replicate their first leg performance (They were exhausted after 60 minutes!), or for Messi to do an AA so close in succession again, so Inter should be encouraged by that alone.

    I think the reason the team couldn’t ‘press’ all season long like they started, like Barca against Arsenal, was due to injuries, and the demands of the PL. I’m not sure if it’s possiblt. tbh I have no idea.

    Inter will be using some interesting fouls and tugs.

  138. Bollocks to the lot of em. Barca are cunts run by smug, tapping up cunts. Inter are cunts run by one of the biggest cunts in football.
    Cuntfest on!

  139. Hard to disagree with that!

  140. But, I’m just curious, to see if the Barca players were more ‘pumped’ to play AFC then Inter.

    Also, is Pep going to carry on copying AFC tactics?

    First he signs a ‘beanpole’ striker.
    Now he’s playing Alves at RW occasionaly, to be more ‘cautious’.

    Maybe he IS planning to come to AFC!

    ; )

  141. 14 hour coach journeys make Messi a dull boy. I’ve backed Inter to win the whole thing. 5/1.

    Plus, rumour has it they watched Invictus on the coach VHS player, so chances are they’ll be too busy measuring one another’s dicks with celery and chasing each other round with eggs benedict to concentrate on Pep’s, er… peptalk.

  142. i think the importance of a good blog such as ACLF is innvaluable during such a disappointing run of results. The very fabric of our fanship is being questioned, pulled at from every direction. Some part of us wants to just let go, and i did after spurs, and I REALLY did after Wigan, but only in the sense that I have dropped my personal ambitions held for the squad.

    Thank you ACLF.. you are my support group for the coming days, weeks, and months

  143. ..measuring each other’s dicks with cutlery…? Has the world gone completely mad?

  144. Finsbury, I think they were. Every team we play quite rightly treats us differently to the others.
    Arsenal!

  145. That is how the Rugby teams used to behave when I was at University, CB. They drank aftershave too.

  146. consolsbob – no, just rugger buggers

  147. Excellent! Feeling much better today.

  148. I like the cut of Samir Nasri’s er fuck it jib or gib ones a sailing thingy but the other is a beegee perhaps in a splendid suit. Anyway he speaks sense.

  149. NJGooner:

    I remember you once said you supported the New York Yankees. The Yankees have destroyed the salary and transfer structure of baseball as much as Man City, Chelsea and Real Madrid have hurt European football.

    I support the Texas Rangers and I dislike the Yankees as much as Chelsea or Man City. Doesn’t supporting the Yankees and Arsenal seem mutually exclusive?

  150. Here is what Samir had to say….

    “It is annoying. The work we do is not getting the credit it deserves because we are not winning silverware,”

    “It is unfair because I think we have more merit as a club than those who have built their teams with millions of pounds whereas Arsenal have brought in young footballers, who have come here to play a certain kind of football and who have developed.”

    “This season had proved that we have everything to compete and we have learnt so much.”

    “I am hoping that our squad will stay unchanged because we are really good and with a year more experience, we can achieve some great things next season.”

    “Injuries happen and it is part of football, but I think if we had not had those injuries, we would be top of the Premier League and still in the Champions League,”

    “Apart from Arsenal, I do not know a team playing without five of its best players in the quarter-final of the Champions League like we did against Barcelona and to be in such a high position in the league.”

    “Our injuries are always serious. They are not small muscular problems, and that gives more credit to our season.”

  151. On the possibility of Marouane Chamakh joining, Samir says…

    “It would be a great signing for us. He is a player that I really like.

    “Chamakh plays for the team, gives everything and works very hard.

    “He has big potential and would fit perfectly in our team.”

  152. Samir was being interviewed for May edition of The Arsenal magazine.

  153. That’s the way it goes Samir…..better make sure we win something so you get the credit you deserve.

    Also, Samir, can you stop beating your man and then cutting back in. It makes you 50% less effective as a player….another way to get the credit you deserve, son.

    Great point about the injuries, Samir. In the last 2 years we haven’t faced a top team with a fully fit team. Usually, the likes of Chelski & Man poo have their best players fit ……

  154. ..drank aftershave?

    Couldn’t they afford drugs?

  155. Bill

    You are correct in remembering that I support the Yankees. And while I would agree with you that the Yankees have been guilty of the “Galacticos” policy, we’re talking abotu apples and oranges. Because of the nature of transfers in European football — i.e. BUYING contracted players from their current teams, and the teams themselves receiving that money, not the player, with teh player’s contract to be worked out seperately– it does not compare.. completely. The yankees have to pick from the free agents available, as trades in MLB, while not completely unheard of, are infrequent.

    and to respond to your last point.. NO supporting arsenal and the yankees are not mutually exclusive. and here’s why. I support the Yankees because of my geographical proximity to them and because when I was growing up they had a run of seasons where their success was predicated on homegrown talent and not on bringing in every superstar available that offseason. Im talking about the ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99 Yankees.. this is when my allegiances were formed. and by the time the team started engaging in Galacticos style off seasons, my allegiances were already too strong to be cast aside. Its funny, even then, when the Galacticos policies were starting, I KNEW that it wouldnt produce results the same way our teams from years past had. Team spirit, belief in each other, whatever you want to call it is invaluable in producing results over a long period of time, especially when anything less than a championship (or trophy in our case) is considered a failure.

  156. Ironically they were ‘against’ drugs. Said they were for hippies and pansies. They drank sixteen pints of bitter in one go…showed their privates to everyone..thats when they did the measuring stuff…then drank aftershave because the pubs were shut. Spewed up all over the union bar, down the street on dogs, girls, old people….had a piss up a policeman who would then give them the truncheoning they deserved.

  157. I suppose the police are good for some things.

  158. What frank was referring to was the ball against everton away, last season to make it 1-1. Yes a great pass by diaby, and yes it makes you wonder why he cant do that more regularly. He can also score out of nowhere. Look at his goal against villa this season, he just easily overcame three defenders before easily scoring, its frustrating that he just cant do that every game

  159. Paulie Walnuts

    Those were the days Frank

    Good stuff from Nasri. I like his attitude – he cares & seems to have taken to club to heart.

    I`m not at all sure about the NY Yankees or Texas Rangers but I`ve a feeling we`ll see more movement at Arsenal this summer than for a long while.

    It wouldn`t surprise me if Eduardo has had enough. He`s never had a long spell of fitness since he joined (think he had problems before the assault by Taylor) & he may want a change of scenery.

    Arshavin might be another to cash in his chips. I never saw him as long term & overall he`s fallen short (excuse the pun) so I don`t think Arsene would bust a gut to keep him.

  160. I believe there is a match tonight

  161. NJGooner:

    I am not trying to cast stones. I wish my Rangers would find someone to spend some money on a few new players. I would love to at least make the playoffs. It kills me everytime we play the Yanks and I watch Tex and ARod hit home runs and beat us. Oh Well

    I know everyone on this blog will probably scream bloody murder but if someone gave Arsene 100M and told him he had to spend it this year and we won the EPL and CL, we would all be cheering just as loud. Human nature is strong.

  162. not sure who it was but someone summed up my feelings on the eduardo situation better than I’ve been able to previously:

    “the status quo with eduardo cannot stand”

    i have to agree with this statement. If he cant get a run of games with arshavin, rvp, fab (so nasri/rosicky come into the middle) out when will he make it into the team? is he not fit? is this similar to the times when senderos would just get mysteriously left out of the squad? i think if AW gets a good offer for him, he will have a hard time ignoring the prudent business move

  163. Samir can beat his man and cut back in all he wants to if he then goes on to beat them again like he did against Porto.

    I really don’t like how this media obsession with ‘silverware’ is seeping into the vocabulary of our players.

    The idea that top footballers play for any bit of ‘silverware’ they can get their hands on just seems wrong. Children aren’t charging about the school playgrounds of the world dreaming of collecting “a bit of silverware”, are they?

    When I hear ‘silverware’, I think chrome toaster, or a shiny new DVD player, or the Carling Cup.

    The fact is the League Cup is currently about as important to a footballer as the Masterchef Final, and sadly, the FA Cup final isn’t a great deal more important than that. Ranking just above Strictly Come Dancing maybe, in the grand scheme of things.

    Gary Lineker wrapped up his pre CC Final interview of Wayne Rooney on Football Focus by saying “Bit of silverware?” “Yeah, would be nice” replied Wayne, with a voice like a cheap garden strimmer. And that just about sums it up. The Carling Cup is ‘nice’; like reading a book in the sunshine, or sharing a pan o chocolat with a friend. But it’s not what Arsenal FC play football for. We compete for the most prestigious prizes in club football, and we compete hard for them year in, year out.

    And I fully agree with Nas when he says that were it not for our plague of injuries this year, we’d have won them both.

  164. Bill —

    sorry if it seemed like i was getting defensive. The only reason is because I have often asked my self the same question, as AW’s youth policy is one of the things that solidified my belief and love for the squad. Naturally this led to me questioning, just as you did, how i could support the yankees as well. but then I basically realized everything that I put into the post about the yankees. we were winning championships and then went all “galacticos, man city” w/e you wanna call it. so yea its something i take personally, hence my empassioned response

  165. NJGooner:

    What European football and Major League Baseball both need is some sort of enforcable salary cap and limitation to free agency/transfer spending. It would sure change the playing field for Arsenal. I read somewhere that we are 11th in EPL for the last several years in gross spending considering transfers to and from the club.

  166. Limpar,

    You’re right of course….but it’s too predictable that when he plays wide, he beats his man, and instead of driving forward, he cuts in, lifts his head, and then passes (usually) backwards.

    Players like Young don’t have his skill….Nasri is pure class. You can’t get the ball off him, players like Young beat their man once and get behind the defence.

    Nasri needs to be more direct, and to shoot more. He will do those things better at some point….

    Last season, Arsene highlighted these 2 areas for him. I’m sure he’ll get there. He’ll be a big one for us.

    I hope he goes to the World Cup.

  167. Love that nasri interview. good stuff. One of the positives i was taking from the fab injury was that Nasri would have a good run in the fabregas role, what i assumed to be his natural position. But he has NOT stepped up the way I thought he would. One thing that is so tremendous about our captain’s play, is that even though he is the most advanced midfield player, he never shys from tracking back a bit to demand the ball. That is what is lacking in nasri’s play in the fabregas role. Fab steps up when the defending is tight to be the talisman, to be the train’s conductor, whatever silly metaphor you want, but he demands the ball..constantly. even if he quickly dumps it off, he is constantly ready for the ball. I have not seen that from Nasri and hope AW and some of his coaches have picked up on this. Its as if he’s playing more as an attacking midfielder than a center midfielder.

    anyone else notice this?

  168. Bill i think thats something all true fans of sport and competition would like to see, myself included. the question is whether the respective governing bodies have the chops to stand for that. and the real problem for euro football is if just one or two leagues agree to that, it will be ineffective and create more problems, whereas in the US, the governing body of Major League Baseball has only to worry abotu their teams.

  169. NJG:

    I know. Can not see it happening any time soon.

  170. good points there Limpar. I think its a fair bet to say that if we won the FA cup, there would be a certain crowd that would say, cmon that doesnt count. and I cant say I would disagree with them. What we want is the EPL or CL

  171. Yea unfortunately im with you there too, I think its a more pressing issue in other leagues than in the EPL. La Liga especially. When was the last time Barca/Real didnt finish 1/2?? its like Rangers/Celtic in the SPL but on much more embarassing level.

    at least we have a big 4. and now 5 really with city. not sure why that makes it any better but it does

  172. Perhaps we could lobby to get all trophies made of wood. From sustainable sources of course. It would put paid to this talk of ‘silverware’, and really a bit of woodwork or treen doesn’t quite have the same allure.

  173. Wenger’s not getting rid of Diaby. The people moaning about him are doing so because they were muffled as Diaby dazzled with his play and now see an opening to throw their ire back on him. How soon they forget the improvements he’s made this season.

  174. It’a a modern thing, this obsession with ‘silverware’.

    Back when I started watching football, teams didn’t expect to win something every year. We might have hoped that they would, but a good cup run was an event to be enjoyed not endured for the fear of being knocked out. We didn’t dread defeat in the way that so many do now.

    Winning the league was exceptional. The Double, astounding. Look back in the histories. The excitement when we won the Inter City Fairs Cup in 1970.

    All gone now. The joy of watching football for the sake of it. The expectation of a team building into something over years and maybe, usually, not achieving anything that included silverware.

    This at a time when we have a team playing football that I couldn’t have believed then.

    Very sad. Not enough enjoyment in the game. Too much rage around not ‘winning’. Too much misery for a game that can give so much pleasure.

    And before someone says it, yes, I do want to win. When we can.

  175. Bill:

    “What European football and Major League Baseball both need is some sort of enforcable salary cap and limitation to free agency/transfer spending. It would sure change the playing field for Arsenal. I read somewhere that we are 11th in EPL for the last several years in gross spending considering transfers to and from the club.”

    Unlike major league baseball, european football teams face relegation. A team can go from spending a shed load of money one season to ending up in the lower divisions. This happened with Leeds and Newcastle recently. I feel that a transfer fee cap would stiffle ingenuity and creativity in the transfer market. Arsenal are an example of what’s possible when a club uses their resources intelligenty. We don’t need to even the playing field because there are plenty of examples of how teams with modest means can and do do better than free spending clubs.

    And why cap salaries? So that the big clubs get massively rich while the players who put their bodies on the line can make less?

  176. gainsbourgh i think his point, and i shuoldnt speak for him but w/e, is that some sort of cap on transfers would encourage/guarantee that only the type of transfer dealings that arsenal conducted would be the norm. and our discussion was solely based on transfer caps, not on limiting salaries, at least when it comes to euro football.

    i often think about how american sports would be different if there was relegation. obviously the owners would never stand for it, but i relish the competitiveness that exists in euro football that is absent in american sport.

  177. consolbob,

    in responce to your post I was talking about jena, who posted the original comment of 04 vs 10 arsenal squads.

  178. consolsbob on April 20, 2010
    at 7:00 pm

    Post of the day xx

  179. Ah, I see, John.

    In that case I will have to confess to being a miserable old git.

  180. Gainsbourg:

    Agree with NJGooner. The system we have now causes there to be a Big 4 in the EPL. Big 2 in Spain and Scotland. Occasionally a less wealthy club breaks through but rarely. After Arsenal my 2nd favorite team is Fulham and I know without a doubt they will never challenge for a top spot because of finances. My US baseball team has not challenged for a top spot in the last decade because it is owned by Tom Hicks who also happens to own 1/2 of Liverpool. He spent all his money on the Reds and the Rangers end up in last place most years. That seems unfair and some sort of enforcable transfer spend limit would help Fulham to have a better chance to win.

    A transfer fee limit would also keep the transfer fees to a more reasonable level and a team will an incredibly loyal fan base like Pompey would not be watching their team loose 9 points and head into administration. I know it is the fault of the owner but the fans suffer for their stupidity.

    Your correct about your point about player salaries. What would be best is if all sports teams had completely open books and the players and owners would make a reasonable decision about how much of the pie goes to player salaries and how much stays with the club.

  181. I must say credit to the majority of the posters on this blog.

    I read it often and i feel most of you are up for a good discussion without going into rants. If you dislike players you back it up with solid data and valid arguments.

    At many other Arsenal blogs it looks like the bloggers only read the sun and recite it! While here, you guys are really interesting to read. some of you got really much Arsenal knowledge and it is a joy to read.

    Hope you keep it up and not least keep up the constructive Arsenal discussions.
    To see people alalyze eduardo, Denilson and Diaby on a serious level i find very intereting.
    It is actually nice to be able to read someone critisising witout their only argument being “tey are shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! cos i sawr it on television :P”

    So honestly keep up the gret work, you made a great community here!
    Thanks guys 🙂

  182. I used to go to edit mode on pro evo to create players with monstrous irregularities – when I was really bored of course. Jernade Meade looks like someone set his height parameter as low as it can go.

  183. Oh i forgot to mention it is interesting too ofc to see your analyzes of all the good players we got…

    I would love to see at a later stage, maybe when season is over who you think will make it from our academy next season, if any…

  184. “Very sad. Not enough enjoyment in the game. Too much rage around not ‘winning’. Too much misery for a game that can give so much pleasure.”

    That’s very true. I always get upset when we lose …but I’m worse these days. It’s just an exercise in nervous tension some matches. Simply because I know the inevitable shit storm that always follows. The negative voices feel vindicated and they get even louder
    I desperately want this side to win trophies. I want us to win them the “right way” though…..the Wenger way if you like. To show that how you win is more important than simply winning at any cost. It would have been amazing if we’d won the bent EPL this time……and silence the naysayers for a while.

    I’m going to enjoy the match tonight…makes a nice change to not give a flying one who wins!

  185. I care a lot. Anyone but Mourinho!

  186. 1-0 Barca

  187. Absolutely agree with you, Consolsbob. Although, while you say it’s ‘all gone now’, if there’s anyone championing the joy of football for football’s sake -then it’s surely Arsenal.

    I am reminded of a quote:

    “The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It’s nothing of the kind. The game is about glory. It’s about doing things in style, with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.” – Danny… *clears throat*… Blanchflower

  188. NJG at 6.20pm. Don’t get me wrong, I love the FA Cup dearly, I just can’t stand it being lumped under the shitty umbrella term ‘silverware’. It devalues the important stuff, trumps up the worthless stuff, and robs the whole lot of it of any romance it may once have had.

    Admittedly though, the FA Cup needs a shot in the arm. The FA Cup winner getting the 4th CL spot was an idea that Wenger shot down as I recall(?) Something about the EPL not being guaranteed a 4th spot each year. But I’m not sure that should stop them doing that, once they know there’s a 4th spot to award.

  189. I agree with the those who feel that the fixation with trophies is wrong. Especially as the only measure of success. I don’t agree with sitting back and enjoying football though. The way football is played is of course paramount but ultimately that has to be a winning way. I very rarely enjoy watching my own side lose and I very rarely enjoy watching a game in which I have no interest in terms of winners or losers. If I see a side playing more stylish football than AW’s Arsenal I can get quite pissed off. Doesn’t happen often…but pissed off nevertheless.

  190. In terms of very sad though…if these guys don’t enjoy their football then fuck em. Their loss.

  191. Cu*tfest is on. At least Barca try to play football. Much as the Diving Barca annoys me, its much
    favourable to any Mourinho pack the bus and diving team. + Barca playing the final in Madrid…

  192. Inter look great! 2-1

  193. Flint McCullough

    I agree entirely Harry.

    Great stuff Consolsbob.

    That team went on to win the Double the following season & if you remember in the January of 1970 it played 2nd Division Blackpool in an FA Cup replay, took a 2 goal lead but lost 2-3. It has actually happened to most of our good teams. They all have bad spells.

    To my mind both the League Cup & the FA Cup became devalued when the qualification for Europe, through winning them, became more important than lifting the trophies. It would be even more emasculated if CL qualification was involved.

    By the way Cbob, I am a bit older than you but us old gits are a bit more cheerful than some of these bitter with nothing to be bitter about youngsters, who come on here, don’t you think?

  194. What happened to the Barcelona team we played?

  195. Great comment Mr. Bob!

    Watching this match, I am so upset that we didnt have our full squad to play Barca!!

  196. Flint, I’m sure we would all love to see Arsenal win everytime they play, but some of us are mature enough to know that isn’t always going to happen. Some of the OTT posting that goes on after every set back is linked to immaturity and that is not necessarily age related.

    Paul N, I said at the time that Barca seemed extra motivated to beat Arsenal. Winning that game really meant a lot to them, which is why they played at their peak to get past us. I suspected they might not be able to sustain it. The second leg will be interesting. Have they peaked or do they have anything left?

  197. Limpar:

    Your inter prediction looking pretty good right now. Hope you bet a few quid on this one.

  198. Passenal I think you are right, with all the comparisons I can bet that they set out to prove that they play the beautiful game with the most style.

    What I do see is that Inter couldnt care less that they are Barca, while i though some of our players were too respectful and some even star struck.

    Barca, it seems may have peaked to early as they havent been impressive since beating us.

  199. …that they are PLAYING Barca…

  200. I am not watching the game but I have the play by play from ESPN. Inter is obviously playing better yet Barca have 68% of possession. What is going on?

  201. Barca is having a lot of possession but Inter are defending like their lives depended on it, I am impressed!

    When Inter attack Barca are getting caught playing very high, likeswise as with Arsenal but Inter have made them pay for it.

    Alves threw himself on the ground as if he had been shot! got a yellow though.

  202. good to see barca getting a beating.

  203. Balotelli – who we’ve been linked to – looks so lazy and like he can’t be bothered.. He’d be exactly the type of player the fans would get pissed off with week in week out

  204. Inter have my gained my respect defensive wise.
    Great great display, I think they will go to the final.

    I realized Barca struggle with teams who play on the couter and defend in numbers.

  205. Very scrappy game

  206. The Refs are generally getting worse. I hate Mourinho more now, all I saw them do was pack the bus and lump the ball forward. Though I have to admit they worked extremely hard something we’ve accused our team of lacking recently. Good to see Barca lose though wish they had played us after making a 14 hours journey by road, I mean with all our injuries that would have been fair play.

  207. Sneijder.

    Amazing what difference having a Talisman fit makes.

    I think ‘Pep’ messed this game up. But then, I don’t really know squat.

    Busquets looks like he plays in a zero gravity chamber.

  208. CS, I think that is how you generally have to play Barca as Messi running at you is not a good sight. You have to crowd him. I wish we did a little more of this because Barca are there for the taking once you beat the mid.

  209. Its amazing what experience can do, i usually thought it was overrated but it sure isn’t. A lot of our players played like they were in Awe of Barca, but inter couldn’t careless today. Defended like ell and broke in an impressive manner.

  210. It might well have levelled the playing field a bit cool steve, but we never seem to get that kind of good fortune. I expect Barca will receive tons of sympathy for their predicament, whilst no one had a word of sympathy for our injuries. It burns me that mourinho profits by it though.

  211. 1 loose cannon

    I do not like Mourinho’s football at all but you have to give him credit for a defensive masterclass Messi was given a special attention and all his fancy stuff just evaporated.Inter is a carbon copy of Mourinho’s Chelsea. they sit back and soak up the pressure brilliantly.

  212. Thats it 1lc, the guy has mastered defensive, counter attacking play. They choked the life out of Messi. They will defend this lead with all they have.

    Yes CS, the experience was evident.

  213. F. Frederick Skitty

    I don’t really care who wins at this stage, but the level of officiating on display tonight was dubious to say the very least.

    I’m getting increasingly disenchanted with football, in terms of wondering if there actually isn’t some sort of cartel or nefarious agenda at play.

    It really isn’t good enough to award an offside goal to Inter and book Alves for a pretty clear penalty at this stage of the competition.

    Portuguese ref….?

    I don’t want to believe it, but clearly we have been victimised this year, even more so than in previous years.

    If you can’t trust football what is the point of it?

    I suspect that, in the future, we will look back on this era in disbelief that we still didn’t use technology, in some form, for game changing decisions.

    I just pray Arsenal get some luck next year, we are due a massive slice and I believe that is really all we need to win big next season.

  214. I have the impression that most squads have some talismans, could be wrong. Ajax in the mid-nineties?
    But more importantly, I agree with FFS.

  215. It is very difficult to take Pep Guardiola seriously when he tucks his jumper into his trousers. I reckon you could see the elastic of his pants at times too. He can’t be tucking that thing into them as well surely.

  216. Bayern Munich will win the Eurothingy this year. Hope so anyway.

  217. Do you think the refs have really gotten that much worse or does the slow motion and 50 different camera angles just let us know all that we missed before.

    I listened to the Arsenal Wigan game on the radio and it was interesting that all of the comments made about the ref’s decisions were complaining about how the Arsenal/Big 4 get all the breaks. The commentator was a former Wigan player and in his view all the players for non-big 4 teams think that the big 4 teams get all the calls in their favor. I guess it is a matter of who you play for.

  218. @ 10:09

    Just to clarify: Am not implying there are no current ‘talismans’ at AFC.

  219. There is a refereeing crisis in the EPL and European football. There has been for at least three seasons and it is getting worse. Big games are now being decided by incorrect decisions….and no-one cares.

  220. I’m not sure about his penchant for shiny suits either. Shiny suits and tucking your jumper into your trousers…..hmmm.

    I hope Bayern Munich win also. I just couldn’t bear that awful c**t Mourinho adding another Champions league to his cv.

  221. FFS,

    I was thinking something similar. Inter played well but the decisions made by the ref were strange. very strange.

  222. FFS and Finsbury:

    Do you really believe there is an anti-Arsenal conspiracy. I fully believe that other teams think we are soft and they tend to tackle harder against us and that is part of our injury problem, but I find it difficult to believe that the FA or anyone could keep a conspiracy against us covered up.

  223. Bill,

    The refereeing recently, not only against us, has been very very poor.

    In Europe and at home.

  224. Annoyed by all this talk about Eduardo being sent on a loan or let off. He’s got too much class to be treated in this manner. He hasn’t actually played in the ideal circumstances since his return from injury, or whenever he’s fit. When he has, been asked to play he hasn’t done too bad, he just needs some games to find his form back. Asking him to come late into the game and change things, wouldn’t really be thought of as a good platform for him to find his rhythm. A good platform would be to let him play with the likes of RVP, Cesc, Rosicky, Nasri and Arshavin, so he doesn’t feel too much responsibility and they can help him out. He might have lost a bit of pace, but with the finishing he used to have, pace wouldn’t matter that much.

  225. Ole:

    Agreed: How of much of that do you think is related to the video technology we have now. I do not know why referees would suddenly all become brain dead at the same time. I suspect that some of the problem is we see the mistakes now. The Eduardo penalty early in the year would have never been controversial in the past because no one would have known for sure that he was not really fouled.

  226. ateeb:

    I love Eduardo too. But if he is not playing that well you can not continue to play him hoping that he will find his form. The team has to come first. Like any player he has to take the chances that he does get or he is not going to play. Sort of a catch 22 I realize but what else can you do if the boss thinks someone else is more likely to help the team. .

  227. F. Frederick Skitty

    Bill,

    I think football feeds on the masses, who are manipulated and juiced by the media. I think profiteering and sport are necessarily the best bedfellows and the power of people like Murdoch inevitably affects the way people see things.

    The Eduardo incident at the beginning of the season was simply scandalous and, to my mind, could have cost us the league. A media witch-hunt was unleashed on Eduardo and Arsenal, for doing less than Rooney and Gerard do on a weekly basis. The result ? – we were systematically refused clear-cut penalties for months on end. Why? Because we are seen as foreign and therefore, trickish and fair game for the tabloids, hence “man on the street” and hence the FA.

    Arsenal have been very, very ill-used this year, Remember Wenger send to the crowd, what about the Ramsay / Shawcross sympathy debate?

    Simply disgusting.

  228. Pz is pleased!

    I hope everyone who is able has watched the highlights of yesterday’s reserve match. Here’s an excerpt from the match report on arsenal.com:

    As the sun disappeared behind the clouds and the floodlights were forced into use it looked as though the half would draw to a quiet end, with little to report in terms of attacking play.

    Then up stepped Barazite.

    The Dutchman was 35 yards from goal, slightly right of centre and bang! Barazite’s boot was the launch pad as the forward unleashed a rocket which flew into the back of the net leaving O’Brien helpless again.

  229. FFS, how true!! who knows where would be in the PL if correct penalties were called in our favour. Never even thought of that as all the focus is mainly on the injuries.

    As for Eduardo, the media witch hunt winded him, the guy is pure class. I think the end of the season is great for him. He needs a break to get his confidence back.

    Blasted scottish and english media, sickening!!

  230. Very good goal, Pz, and his passing was spot on too.

  231. I don’t want Eduardo to leave either. He is a great player. But I have a feeling he wants to move on. I don’t think he is being pushed out. Career choice.

  232. Good post Skitty.

    Bill,

    I don’t agree with you on Eduardo. I believe the Pre-Season would could do wonders for him to get his form back. I wouldn’t want him leaving this summers, he had too much class before he got injured. Arsene has suggested that he’s looking sharper in the training, and perhaps getting back to his old best. You don’t need too much pace, when you’re a fox in the box( lack of a better word) sort of a striker. I think he could have been an integral part of the team before he got injured, and there is no reason to believe he’s completely lost it just yet. More games for him would help one judge where he stands, and in my opinion he hasn’t got them yet.

  233. I think the Eduardo incident was over done and if Rooney had done the same it certainly would have gotten less attention. Can not argue with that. Did it really cost us points? I do not know. Every team in the league could show you a bunch of penalties that were denied and we focus on those that happen to us because it is our team. Wigan felt like we got a huge break when Nasri tugged on Watson’s arm last Sunday.

    The Shawcross thing was truly disgusting but totally predictable. He is dangerous and should have been suspended for 6 months.

  234. Inter fans are a disgrace…..much worse than the crazy minority of ours who booed players last season

  235. A better stretch of games he got was in January, after which he missed the whole of February with a calf injury. March he appeared in 4 games, as a substitute. Not enough games for him. And when he seems to get a stretch of games he gets injured.

    Arsene’s comments in March “I believe he is still on his way back,” said the Frenchman. “He is not completely yet where he was before but the signs are positive. He is getting better and better but I knew that it would take a long time.

  236. Didn’t Eddy sign a new contract extension this season?

  237. I doubt that Frank. Given how he recovered from his injury, and the comments that he has made since then, he seems to be a person with strong character who won’t give up so easily. And perhaps he feels he owes a lot more to the club, for standing by him, that he wouldn’t move on so easily.

  238. Remi,

    He did sign an extension.

  239. Eduardo shall remain my avatar!

  240. 1 loose cannon

    I remember when Eduardo came back this season he was flying, he scored some great goals. Everyone was surprised with his return but then he suffered a set back with the same leg. He came back again played few games and was injured again. I think because of the niggles he had, he became a little bit cautious, he did not get stuck in as much, Who can blame him? But I think slowly he will get that confidence back.

  241. On Saturday, Arsenal return to Birmingham for the first time and Eduardo is expected to be part of the travelling squad. Over two years on, Wenger feels the player’s recovery remains ‘in progress’.

    “I believe he is still on his way back,” said the Frenchman. “He is not completely yet where he was before but the signs are positive. He is getting better and better but I knew that it would take a long time.

    “Don’t forget that he had a second surgery at the end of last season and that was decisive in getting him back to where he was before because the injury had affected his pace.

    “After that he had a few muscle problems but now I feel him coming back.

    “For a while he had not found his sharpness completely. However for the last two or three weeks in training he has been showing that he is back where he was before. But it took him a long time.”

    What was the way to bold the text? Forgot the method.

  242. Shitty selfish blogs around these days. They can’t help feel bad about themselves. I don’t feel that bad to vent out my anger against the players or Arsene. The only person I feel bad about is Arsene, poor chap, he deserved a trophy this season. His comments regarding last minute wins were heart warming where he stated that the wins aren’t good for his heart.

  243. Bill:

    “Agree with NJGooner. The system we have now causes there to be a Big 4 in the EPL. Big 2 in Spain and Scotland. Occasionally a less wealthy club breaks through but rarely. After Arsenal my 2nd favorite team is Fulham and I know without a doubt they will never challenge for a top spot because of finances. My US baseball team has not challenged for a top spot in the last decade because it is owned by Tom Hicks who also happens to own 1/2 of Liverpool. He spent all his money on the Reds and the Rangers end up in last place most years. That seems unfair and some sort of enforcable transfer spend limit would help Fulham to have a better chance to win.”

    So what? Look at Italy. There used to be a two team monopoly there and their free spending caught up with them as well. Now you have teams like Roma and Fiorentina pushing up the table challenging the likes of Juve, Inter and Milan. It’s the same thing in Germany, France and Holland.

    And then there’s the other side of the coin, where clubs like Everton produce a player like Rooney and they sell him off for a huge amount of money that helps the club stay above water financially. Shit, let’s not even stray too far from our own backyard. We’re financing our stadium with the huge amounts of cash the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City have thrown our way. My point is, Bill, that every club can do what we have done. The reason why they’re not doing it is beyond me. But then again, football is cyclical. Who knows who the future monopoly is going to consist of. Maybe one day Everton and Fulham will be those teams monopolizing the league and I don’t think it’s fair to push them off their perch.

    “A transfer fee limit would also keep the transfer fees to a more reasonable level and a team will an incredibly loyal fan base like Pompey would not be watching their team loose 9 points and head into administration. I know it is the fault of the owner but the fans suffer for their stupidity.”

    No one told the directors at Pompey to splash out the way they did.

  244. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Shout outs to all the ACLF massive. You know who you are. We lost another legend guys. RIP Guru.

  245. Guru? Oh no.

    Unrelated to any thread:

    & I think I might have posted this link once before, but in honour of the art of Mourinhioballs:

  246. Brought tears to my eyes Finsbury. Bloody funny.

  247. Bill, all teams cannot say they suffered the same fate as far as penalties because only Arsenal (Eduardo) suffered at the hands of the media. When Arsenal players were blatantly fouled it was ignored because there was a bad taste in the ref’s mouths.

    Make no mistake about it, Arsenal are treated like crap by the british media and the FA.

    ARSENAL!!!

  248. Finsbury

    This is what we miss in the United States. Thank you!

  249. http://www.footballspotter.com/complete-panini-italia-90-collection/

    Thought this was cool. I had the ’94 one, and got every sticker, except for one hirsute Columbian. He haunts me to this day.

  250. I hope Eduardo wants to stay and I hope a good pre-season helps him if he does stay. I am sure most Arsenal supporters will back him. Though I don’t trust all Arsenal supporters to get behind him.

    If he decides to go I will look out for him. He is that sort of player.

  251. Thanks, Finsbury. Excellent

  252. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arshavin-we-must-keep-our-spirit-next-term?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29

    This is what I like to hear. I really hope everyone stays and Arsene just adds a few key players. It disgusts me how the media and a proportion of our own supporters are praying for Arsenal to fail so that they can say spending money you don’t have is the only way. The establishment just doesn’t like anyone who tries to be different.

  253. I find Arseblogger’s review post-Wigan (“The feel-good factor is gone” Tuesday, 20 April 10) to be pretty fair and reflective of our sentiments, esp the part that basically said that we had performed beyond expectations in all the games before Wigan. Let’s hope the squad redeem themselves in the three games that remain.

  254. Isn’t Frank McLintock going abit over the top? I don’t think the Board or Wenger need to publicly explain to Frank and other supporters how Arsenal’s financial situation had influenced the transfer policy and be beaten up with the very explanations that the club provides.

  255. I agree with Passenal

  256. Hi YW. On the principle that if it doesn’t kill you it’ll only make you stronger, its been a season of real growth, despite some backward glances. Our reserve side isn’t quite good enough & I counted 9 players out for Wigan – so what? Sorry to be so eternally optimistic. Wenger can’t say this, has too much dignity, but I bet he would like to.

    This is not to downplay a pretty awful run of late.

  257. Frank McLintock has become a bit of an arsehole

  258. I agree with ZimPaul

  259. I know there are a few that aren’t fans Luke, but generally i find Arsebloggers work excellent.

  260. In 2004 we went a whole season unbeaten and the number 2 keeper was Almunia.He never played ONE SECOND that season.

  261. Finsbury I understand your point re enjoying football as a team but Harry gets it spot on when he admits that even he, as a sensible man, catches the modern rage at defeat.

    We all have this affliction to a greater or lesser extent.

    By the way, your bet looks a good one. I hope not though.

    Miserable gits Flint?

    I remember the day when miserable gits were proper miserable gits. Not like your namby pamby so called miserable gits of today. They should have stood on the terraces of Highbury back in the 70’s to hear real miserable gits!

  262. Sadly some of the ex Arsenal stars would rather stick a knife in the club that made them the stars that they were. I do not care too much about what the likes of McLintock, Merson or even Adams has to say about Wenger or the club.

  263. I mean Limpar. Doh. There’s something about you two.

  264. QOS

    To each his own. It is not possible to have consensus among Arsenal supporters due to the diversity of views. Arseblogger’s has a unique style, is passionate about Arsenal and there is depth in his thoughts. At times he may seems unfair, which just proves the point about the diversity of views on all things about AFC. 🙂

  265. Kenny,

    I don’t know what point you were trying to make with your comment at 9.56 am, but Almunia wasn’t at the club in the invincibles season.

  266. I generally have no problem with Arseblog except when he throws the toys out of the pram on transfers, as he does sometimes.

  267. Arseblogger swears too much for my liking.

  268. He sure fucking does the cunt.

  269. Anyone impressed with Inter Milans performance last night ? For a team not hugely talented per se – their workrate, tactics and application were superb and a lesson to all.

  270. I was impressed that Inter played above their real level. Quite impressive.

    They made their luck but there were also 2 ghastly refereeing errors that had a bearing on the result, and put too much gloss on Inter’s performance

  271. The work rate of both teams was very high. Inter looked like Chelski to me….and Barca looked like a magician who has had his tricks revealed.

    If Barca had had RvP playing up front they would have won hands down yesterday.

  272. Yes Inter’s third goal was a travesty of refereeing. Yet again an important match may rest on a referee’s decision. I also thought that Sneijder had conceded a penalty. I don’t like this ‘contact’ stuff, but he definitey made contact with the player and everyone seems to think that contact is enough for a penalty these days.

  273. Anyway my money is on Bayern Munich.

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