Calls For Experience So Will Wenger Buy Youth?

The usual media stirrings are beginning in full flow with everyone up for grabs or on their way out. Except, it seems, Cesc Fàbregas who is apparently now earning a high salary having been underpaid (Yea Gods) by Premier League standards. The squad is apparently to be augmented by Pepe Reina, Jack Rodwell and a whole host of others. Arsène is being given advice from everyone about who to sign, including former players.

Martin Keown believes that the squad needs to supplemented with experience:

Arsenal need to buy in a sprinkling of proven quality players and introduce them alongside the current players, and they will drag them over the line. It’s very important that you have these people in the squad. They are people who have been there and done it. They are people who you can look up to and rely on to show that quality. When you have a squad full of youngsters you get inconsistency and you are never quite sure how they’ll perform.

Well from that little observation, inconsistently is the answer. But Keown was not on a downer:

If you look at the age of the team this year then I think they have over-achieved. They are all very young but we can’t keep saying that forever.

Perhaps we might if Arsene has found the Elixir of Youth or plans on signing Peter Pan. The experience line was central to Sol Campbell‘s view:

The main thing is you have got to get the right balance. There is a fantastic amount of talent here and we just have to believe we can win a major trophy – and you also need a bit of the rub of the green now and again…I am sure that, once everything comes together, there will be no stopping Arsenal winning trophies season after season. You have to truly believe in your skill and trust that you can do something. Wherever we finish, we will have to build on it and keep on going

It is a misnomer to consistently point to the youth as the reason for this season’s failure to win the title. A number of the younger players have over 100 appearances which begs the question as to when is a player considered experienced? Some of this side were in the 2007/08 team which came close to being champions. Do we say that five seasons is experienced? Three? Eight? Any of those limits applies to players who have yet to reach 25 years of age.

The additional point is whom to sign? Does Wenger only go for players who have won trophies or simply those who have been around the block? Arguably, the latter may be more experience in terms of matches played but have no experience of winning anything so where is the benefit is the latter phase of a season. They know no more than Denilson about silverware in that respect.

It is a tough balance for Wenger to strike. Holding back youngsters is the pain he has been unable to suffer through financial constraints yet now the opposite seems to hold true. Both the manager and the chairman have opined that there is cash so the only rationale for not spending is that he cannot find a player who improves the squad within his budget, something which seems highly unlikely.

Goalkeeper, central defence, central midfield and striker are the areas Wenger is told to improve. Certainly the former two need bodies added, the first as an improvement on current players, the latter because Vermaelen might be the only centre back at the club come June with contracts expiring.

Bringing in experienced players does not have to ‘kill’ the chances of youth; it brings about opportunity for them to develop on loan, away from the spotlight that is shone more brightly on Arsenal than a lot of other clubs. Naturally gifted players will make the first team, only needing to be patient for their chance to play, an opportunity which will come quickly if this season’s injury problems are anything to go by.

With all of this to consider, why would Wenger look to improve the squad with younger players as some suggest? Rodwell and Hart are two names which spring immediately to mind but neither is experienced, barely three seasons worth of starts between them. Looking around the Premier League, there is a paucity of English players who fulfil the technical and experience requirements put forward. Arsène will no doubt be scouring the globe to the dismay of the media; that’s their problem and they can get over it.

If a player is good enough, he is old enough as the saying goes. It is a truism Arsène has been intent on proving but come this summer, there seems little point in buying youth as the experience will be missing; the frailties exposed this season will still be there, perhaps to a lesser degree but evident nonetheless. Perhaps the time has come to allow the youngsters to grow behind the scenes, coming into the first team a year later than has been normal, better prepared for the domestic requirements.

That is no admission that ‘Project Youth‘ has failed; far from it. The club has remained in the top four, challenged for the title twice in the past four seasons, confounded critics in the process and gained others along the way. Perhaps though, it needs a breather whilst Arsène works out a way for them to gain the necessary experience, allowing the club to become largely self-sustaining, a prelude to The Good Life.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 27, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 292 Comments.

  1. Second

  2. Would it be too much to ask for Subotic and Hugo Lloris?

  3. Maybe Benzema as a striker addedd….we might need more wingers than central midfielders…between Cesc, Nasri and Song, plus Diaby and Denilson as backups, we’re ok….but on the wings, walcott has struggled, rosicky looks done.

    Maybe put Theo on the left so he can really run at defenders inside instead of always having to cross because his left foot is weak.

    So my wishlist:

    Lloris, Subotic, Benzema/Villa and a winder…maybe Ribery?

  4. Get players with epl experience. What about WHU players? Upson,Green and a host of others.

  5. @leftpinky are you from this world have you ever seen wenger buy players like Benzema/Villa or Ribery
    Subotic might happen and Lloris read my article links above.

  6. I was joking about the last few. Subotic and Lloris would probably cost 30M between them, plus salaries (maybe recouped by selling Rosicky and Edu?). Not expecting Villa, but if he can get Benzema (minus the hookers), he might do it for 18-20M. But he’ll probably cost closer to 25M.

  7. BTW, shoulda bought Ribery for 18M three years ago, omg!

  8. One would anticipate 2 of 3 things:
    1. A defensive signing (?)
    2. An attacking signing (chamakh?)
    3. A wild card, catalyst-type, quality … maybe

    I doubt a keeper will be signed, or needed. My opinion.

    And then as Poliziano rightly says who, amongst the “graduates” is coming through. This will become more like an annual ritual from here on, making ‘big name’ signings look a bit boring.

    Then factor in how current first team will develop, taking note players in a formative period: Song, Diaby, Denilson, Gibbs, Bendtner, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Nasri, Eastmond & Walcott. None are standing still.

  9. I hope Gallas and Eduardo both stay. Campbell will I am sure. He has a role and will probably get bored in the US or the lower leagues.

  10. To me the lack of a throphy this season wa due to the long term injuries.
    The loss of Bendtner and Rvp together for 3 months. And Rvp for over a third of the season.
    For me the real nail to our chances was the injury to Ramsey (who was on the form of his career)
    The combine creative loss of Cesc, Ramsey, Arshavin for the final push.

    Luck certainly plays a major part.
    Imagine Anelka and Drogba, or Rooney and Berbatov out for that duration.

  11. The problem with augmenting a young team that has been young for three to four years is that maybe they aren’t so young anymore. Clichy, Song, Diaby, Nasri, and Fabregas are playing as well as they should. Any of them would start for what’s now the EPL big seven. Augment that with Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Arshavin and Van Persie and except for Almunia you realise that they are all big names. They make up what would probably be our starting eleven injury permitting. What appears to be our problem is the backup to the starting eleven. Denilson was for me our player of the last season but his form dipped, due to injury. Djourou looked like pushing Gallas out of the first eleven with his form, before injury. Eboue is as good a squad player as any, even a first eleven in most instances. Walcott is spicy – but inconsistent, due to injury. Bendtner and Gibbs were also providing good cover, but again injury. Can so many injuries be down to bad luck? Yes and no! But what it all means is that we need an injury index and then we’d know just how many more players we need. With such an index we can anticipate our problems. With the smaller players we now have -physically- expect injuries in a rough league like the EPL. And yet the way we play has it’s merits. Arsenal remains the most popular club in East Africa in yet another trophy less year. We love the beautiful game down here!

  12. …gently Frey half an onion in just a little oil…

  13. sell eduardo for 7m

    buy 1 quality CB with experince 12m

    recall nordviet and keep cambell

    get chamakh on a free

    have around 20m+ to spend on luxury signing who can play on wings and support striker.

    buy david silva

  14. Malaysiangunner


    Goal keeper signing is a must. Almunia while decent is not good enough to be a championship winning keeper. If I was AW that will actually be my priority and I will pay big bucks. A good goalkeeper will calm the defense. Our defense has not been steady throughout the season. I was holding back my negative comments until the season is ending. We now have nothing to play for and 3rd is about secure.

    I was heart broken when we lost to Wigan and especially the manner which we lost.

    AW after 2 seasons of belief in the young players has finally given up on some of them.

    I am not going to join the crowd and name names but our original mistake was not giving players over 30 2 year contracts. Pires and a few others would have been very useful when we needed winning minds. AW had believe a whole team of players while talented but had not won anything can do the job but clearly it has not. AW runs the club in too businessman like and time he learns that winning experience counts. I would have brought back Viera instead of Silvestre who could have step in both CB and CM when needed.

    Gallas needs to be kept even if it means we need to pay more signing on fee.

    Time to pay a bit more, look how Giggs and Scholes have helped Manures cause when called upon.

    No fear We Are The Arsenal!!!

  15. Joe Hart has over 100 PL games under his belt, so you could argue he is experienced enough.

    There is no room for sentiment in football, if what you have is not good enough, you need to replace.

    Fabianski is young enough to get another chance, and some competition may improve him.

    At the moment – Almunia is not good enough, and has had 4-5 seasons to stake his claim, time to say enough is enough.

    I am not saying Joe Hart is the answer, but he is clearly better than what we have at the moment.

    Chamakh seems to be on his way, so a GK, new CH and defensively minded midfielder would be on my wish list.

  16. Squad dont need major investment, lets all hope Wenger keeps this talented team together. With the return of Djourou, Van Persie, Ramsey and maybe the return of form from Eduardo and Rosicky too.. We have more than enough to challenge next season. Remember Nasri also didnt get a pre-season this year when he broke his ankle, and Walcott was injured via Stuart Pearce playing him in a meaningless U21 tourney.

    As our squad stands right now, they are ready. If Wenger brings a couple signings in to freshen up, (Only if of REAL quality) then all the better.

    I wont be complaining next season, too much change can go against you.

  17. I truly believe we do not need to buy that much. An experienced GK to take charge in the back, someone to give commands, take control and to give the defense confidence, must be our priority!

  18. All we can do is guess, predict, etc, etc, etc, but only wenger know what to do since he has the power to do it. Just wait and see…..

  19. Project youth all the way for me. I prefer supporting players that have been molded to this clubs style. Rather than the easy option of splashing the cash.

    However I think that perhaps the system is LESS effective in the defensive areas of the field, simply because it is a more physical game here, and most of the time a 30 year old will be more physical than a teenager or somebody in there early 20’s. Looking at our defensive options you can see this is the case as the players are generally older.

    Wenger will always have to buy older defenders like Gallas and even TV to shore up the defence unless he can appease players such as Brazite and Djourou until there late twenties when defenders start to flourish. It would seem such a shame to me to loose senderos now, as he is coming into a new age group. Why not give him the entire pre season to re-prove himself. In doing so it would also send a message to the current young defenders that it is possible to stick around and eventually make it into the squad.

    We must have some of the most talented teenagers in football at this squad, so when we are linked with 19ish year old’s I tend to think why bother as looking through the reserves you wonder how all the current players will fit. So perhaps the signature of a veteran defender and the hell for leather attempt of getting william and sol to re-sign contracts.

    I wonder if Keown’s statement was an attempt to get sol another year at the club.

  20. sorry i meant nordviet not Brazite duh.

  21. lloris is not good enough,if you have actually seen 8 or so games of him he flaps and gets nowhere near crosses all the time he is not the answer so get over him,an experienced keeper ala sorenson is what we need!! we are not far away from being the dogs bollox,aswell as a keeper we need 1/2 cbs depending on who leaves,defensive md cover and a quality striker!! 4 maybe 5 palyers…and heres an interesting story…

  22. Malaysiangunner

    Your full of it, 2 seasons of belief and given up! You do really speak out your ass.

    Is this the same Wenger that saw his team claw back into title contention from nowhere on 2 occasions this season, and the same Wenger that saw a young Arsenal side a few years ago lead the Premiersip for nearly 8 months! to lose out just at the end.

    Wenger will not change, esepcially not for supporters like you who change with the seasons. You say give Gallas a pay rise too, you were a fan who was on his case 2 years ago. This team has done well this season despite a series of KEY INJURIES.. this aint an excuse, its a fact. Keep the injuries down, we will win the league. It is very simple. Make changes, you change what everyone has fought for this season. They are ready.

  23. Joe Hart/Lloris as keeper.Almunia is never going to get better.Flappy is poor.Szezceny should ne number 2

    Silvestre and Gallas will go.Keep Sol as back up to TV and Hangeland

    Let Rosicky go bring back Jack and play him.Try and sign Parker

    Eduardo and Vela to go.Chamakh on a free and sign Bojan who would fit into our style of play perfectly

  24. anyone who thinks cesc, aa and clichy will be here next term is deluding themselves.
    also there are big question marks over gallas and eboue staying.

  25. Does anyone seriously think he would come back after his foul comments, and why oh why on earth would Wenger bring him back. The ONLY player who has ever returned is Sol, and Diarra can only dream of being recognised professional and international footballer like Sol. Sol has class, Diarra is an ass.

  26. nickj

    go back to shi* hart lane you mug

  27. The player I was referring to coming back was Diarra.

  28. This has been a poor season quality wise in the pemiership.Yet we will still finish behind Man U and Chelsea who have been well below par.Doesnt anyone think these two teams will strengthen in the summer

    Its allright saying if we dont get injuries we will win but they aint going to happen.WE ALWAYS GET LONG TERM INJURIES.The back up players have let us down again as well as in 2008 and not having a KEEPER of course

  29. YW, when you say why improve the squad with younger players, I know what you mean, but at the same time, the old ‘if they are good enough they’re old enough’ addage still stands, in my opinion. The strength of a fully fit Arsenal team, right now, surely testifies to this.

    If you have a player that is good enough to improve the squad, I really couldn’t care less if he’s won anything elsewhere, and I couldn’t care less how old he is – as long as he is good enough.

    In some positions, where we are in need of back-up more than anything else, I don’t see getting in, to use your example, a 19 year old like Jack Rodwell, who is both good enough to play right now, and young enough to grow with the team and contribute long-term – as a problem.

    I don’t think that particular signing will happen, because Rodwell’s valuation is distorted by his Englishness, but in principle I would view that as a good signing. Very good player, also happens to be very young – don’t really care. Gattuso might have won the World Cup but he’s not going to add anything to Arsenal long-term.

  30. fabianski is 25. wenger thinks he is good enough. I have a feeling they will all stay with almunia as back up no.2 until jan when fabianki will be judged.

    Szczęsny will come back in jan if fab fails.

    I cant see him deciding to buy a goalie when we have 3 quality back ups. its completely against our philosophy.

    This will also depend heavily on if there are any top quality goalies even available over summer.

  31. I think if we get an offer for Clichy from Barca of £10-12m we will accept.We have Gibbs and Troare to come in

  32. I think we should Sell:

    CF – Eduardo – 8 million
    MF – Rosicky – 8 million
    DF – Senderos – 5 million
    GK – – 3 million
    Total for 4 players 24 million

    I think we should sign:

    GK – Joe Hart – 8 million
    DF – Subotic – 10 million
    MF – Hazard – 10 million
    CF – Chamakh – Free
    Total for 4 players 28 million

    we should recall Nordveit, and get rid of silvestre

    Next seasons Squad

    GK – Joe Hart, Almunia, Manonne.
    DF – Vermalen, Gallas, Subotic, Djorou, Nordveit, Clichy, Sagna, Gibbs, Eboue.
    MF – Fabregas, Arshavin, Nasri, Song, Hazard, Walcott, Diaby, Denislon, Ramsey, Eastmond, Merida.
    CF – Van Persie, Bendtner, Chamakh, Vela

    Wilshere to spend one more season on loan at Bolton to continue development.

  33. thank you for your considered comment ChrisGoona. What I suggest we do is come back to the website when the summer transfers have concluded and see which of the players i have named are still with us.

    If I am wrong in my suspicions then so be it .

    FYI I have been a season ticket holder at Arsenal for almost 25 years and the only bad thing about supporting us is DEALING WITH T**TS LIKE YOU.

  34. Transfer talk:

  35. kenny

    I dont think the backup players have let us down at all. They have carried us for massive chunks of the season.

    Eboue has been excellent
    Denilson has been good at times
    Ramsey came into his own
    Bendtner has been scoring and playing excellent
    Campbell has been excellent backup
    Diaby has came though a whole season and played resonably well through periods.

    We were 3 points off chelsea if we had beaten Wigan, which we should have. We just ran out of steam.. I still cant put into words what happened in them final 10minutes, but this season has been an improvement, and it could have been EVEN better.


    and whoever else had big injuries this season, name me another team who suffered the loss of such influencial players for the periods we lost ours for.

    You say the quality is down in the Premiership too? Thats a bit strange because teams like, Man City, Spurs, Villa, Birmingham have all been tough opposition for any team.

  36. rodwell will never happen

    hes valued between 12m-25m with man u strongly interested

  37. nickj

    Even if you have been a season ticket holder blabla for 30 million years.. you lack credibility with your statements. Maybe you should take your pessimistic attitude to another site you Spud.

  38. Rather than write up your summer shopping lists people, be a bit more realistic and hope Wenger keeps as much of this team together which he has persisted with while adding any real quality. That is what has achieved a top 4 finish in all of Wengers time, and that is what makes Arsenal the best run football club on the planet.

  39. Seems like a lot of people would be happy with the promotion of the youngsters and maybe one or two signatures. That is music to my ears.

    That’s the arsenal way. As gunners we should be more interested in seeing who is going to be moved into the first team from reserves rather than gossipy paper tittle tattle on who we need.

    I personally hope that Nordtveidt, Eastmond, Cruise, Merida, JET, Lansbury, Coquelin, Barazite, Murphy, Sunu, Watt and SImpson get more playing time. Along with Walcott and Vela being fully fledged members.

    What do you know there’s so much talent listed there we’d never need an attacking signing for the next 3 seasons.

    We could do with another utility player like eboue with some experience and we’d be sorted. As for a keeper i’m glad we’ve got the awesome Almunia with 3 great young keepers nipping at his heals.

  40. Chrissy boy.

    As I suggested lets meet again at the start of next season and see who is right.

    Start to be a man – stop mouthing off and have a think about things.

    Have a good day.

  41. nickj

    being a MAN like you say, is naming 3 players who you believe will leave your club?

    1 being constantly linked to the biggest club in football (cesc), 1 being a very loyal player who many believe has had his worst season (clichy), and 1 in Arshavin, who always gets quoted in paper for his opinions, and was formerly on Barca’s radar.

    Are you sure you are not working for a newspaper, because you BUY everything they say. I cannot see any one of those players leaving, how you can means your CREDIBILITY has gone way way way down the drain. EVEN if one left, it dont change the fact your a spud 😉

  42. els

    I cant wait either, I cant wait to see the same 11 along with Wilshire perhaps, Ramsey getting more minutes, and some more reserve players coming through.

    These players have Arsenal nurtured into their souls. Let the boys play for their club, just like Cesc was, just like Clichy, and all the rest. Project youth will go on forever with the talent we have coming through.

  43. To many ‘Football Manager 2010’ posters on here today. Talk about living in cuckoo land.

  44. GK: Try to get Reina, or maybe even Green from the W Ham fire sale.

    Def: Keep Gallas and Campbell, Djourou replaces Silvestre.

    Mid: Keep Rosicky, bring back Jack.

    Fwd: Reluctanctly let Eduardo go, Chamakh looks inevitable.

    Youth squad: Either start to bring through JET, Nordveit, Lansbury, Barazite, Watt etc, or let them go now.

  45. Brilliant Yogi, absolutely brilliant.

    We do need a couple of players to help at the back. Wenger has said this also.

    We do need some more depth.

    Those people on here bleating about injuries and sticking with what we have – waiting another year for the return of the mythical Eduardo maybe – just dont want to admit they were wrong.

    I thought we would win the league this year and bullish about that until Birmingham. I kept silent until after Wigan. I was wrong big time, it happens often I admit, sometimes happily so. I wanted Ade to stay and thought he was getting a bad rap unfairly, for example.

    This season promised so much and has ended in a terribly painful fashion. Some people explode momentarily, Frank was pretty spectacular in his tantrum, then revert to type. Others reassess more fundamentally.

    It is clear now that all season, before we had injuries, we lacked mental resolve and defensive stability. Both games in Manchester and the West Ham match stand out, just from before the injuries.

    Lee Dixon has said:

    “You are judged by your results and in the end the disappointments of this season come down to one thing. Arsenal have been brilliant with the ball and not good enough without it – that sums them up.”

    Lastly, the plan was never to build a stadium and only play youths in it. We started cutting the wage bill and bringing through the young players in part because it just makes sense as a club, but also for pragmatic reasons of debt.

    Having the stadium giving us the financial clout to challenge the biggest in Europe was ALWAYS part of Wenger’s plan. If these reports are true and we now have money to spend to compliment our own production line of talent then everything is in place for us to go on and dominate. I lik many thought we would have done that already, but it has proved a bridge too far with one and not the other.

    No one but Wenger could have done so much with so little for so long, but it was essential the club was left in a state for his successor to succeed. That wont be for another trophy filled decade I think and I hope I am right.

    Having the stadium providing money to invest in players is part of Wengers genius, obviously so or we would never have moved. Those people who are railing against prudent investment have lost themselves in a fantasy world where tehy are defending a fiction. there never was a project youth, it was always project Arsenal that involved being the biggest and best club in the world. We are almost there.

  46. I see Citeh have been given permission to sign a keeper. I wonder what transfer windows are for.

  47. nickj i also have you firmly in the ‘clueless’ camp.

    A few people are playing football manager.

    If we get Chamacha it would take something drastic for Wenger to sign more than 1 or 2 other first teamers, as he has said many times that he thinks this will rock the boat.

    I hope to keep everybody.
    I wouldn’t mind losing Silvestre, I suppose.
    but retaining Gallas, Sol and giving Senderos another chance would be the best bits of business imaginable.

    TV, Gallas, Djourou with Senderos, Sol, Nordtveit as backup, make our only signing here and that is a great yet future proof defence.

  48. Senderos couldn’t make the bench for us. He can’t get on the pitch for Everton.

    Something clearly went wrong and big Phil’s time at the club is up.

    We shoudl be able to aim higher and do better.

  49. “Project Youth”?

    Wasn’t that a term invented by the ‘doomers’ to bash the gaffer with last season?

    Strange a derogatory remark made by retards has somehow slipped into usage on this site and as a serious comment on teh club’s direction.

  50. Hello ‘hollis,

    I don’t think too many would disagree with your opening statement there about the need for more depth and a new centreback or two.

    However, I don’t see what bleating about injuries has to do with it, in fact those two things, squad depth and injuries, are obviously very much linked aren’t they? You add more depth to the squad so that you are less vulnerable to the sorts of injury stack-ups we got this year.

    I firmly believe we would have won the league this season were we to have had our most important players available for our most important games. I’m not sure, is that bleating?

    ‘Project Youth’ sounds like a Lib Dem party policy.

  51. Malaysiangunner


    Five seasons and not 2 my friend. If you do not agree with me so be it but lets be pleasant, no?

    He has 4 to 5 seasons for his youngsters to come good. And to be fair some of them have , like Song and Diaby needs another season. What we have here is that the team as a whole has not. Injuries as an excuse , we have heard that one for 3 seasons now including this one. You set up your team to play thru what ever injuries that come your way. Injuries will always happen and do we want that as a crutch till kingdom come. We did not have that many injuries being trashed by Chelsea and Manure, we were just not good enough.

    Almunia does not have the excuse of youth.

    The results speaks for itself and not only the results but the way we were defeated by the better teams.

    AW always say to judge him in May. Well May, will soon be upon us and we are out of it when we were so close. But we have been close for 2 seasons now just not enough experience and total quality for that final push. Just 2 to 3 signings of experience winners would have tipped the balance which AW refuse to do pre season.

    Lets hope he manage better the coming season, otherwise, well we will have too many injuries and that is why we will not win anything the next season.

    No Fear! We Are The Arsenal!!!

  52. I would be really happy to see Arshavin go. He has mostly been a waste of space for the entire season, and I have a sneaky suspicion that he is a disruptive influence in the squad

  53. You are a long-winded, small-minded man, arsenehollis.

  54. Malaysiangunner

    I respect you comment, Wenger did bring in Sol Campbell in January – as EXPERIENCED as you can get. Also the addition of Rosicky who none of us classed as a 1st team member last term, he was like a new signing, a very EXPERIENCED one too. Also there is Eduardo who returned. Another International and relatively experienced player at 25 or 26 I believe.

    Start of the season we was all buzzing with the return of these players, it was a gamble Wenger took, but those are the experienced players we needed. They just never got going, Rosicky has not managed his past form, neither has Eduardo. You cannot blame Wenger for keeping faith in 2 class players after injury.

    We have every right to moan when our players are hacked and snapped in half, what if Ramsey dont come good also.. will you blame Wenger for not bringing somebody in place of him?

    Wenger has shown faith to allow are continually crippled stars to come back and regain the lime light. Diaby was announced the new Vieira at his first attempt, his leg got broke, and has struggled for form since. No other manager shows as much class and faith to allow a player the time to come back stronger.

    I really hope he ignores many of the twats on here and allows a few more the chance to shine for Arsenal.

  55. Care to elaborate Frank, or is your elavated intellect only capable of throwing cheap shots about?

  56. arsenehollis

    I agree with your earlier comments, but I will disagree with you if you think Wenger will just suddenly change his transfer policy and go out and buy BIG as you say. We have been forced to go down this road of playing it safe so to speak, buying 10 quality youngsters, and getting 2 or 3 of them to shine for the 1st team, while selling the rest as a profit. We are a business after all, and it has paid off in that sense. From a footballing sense it has keeped us at the right end of the table for the last 5 years while clubs have fallen short financially, ALL CLUBS. We haven’t brought home any trophies, we have been in 2 cup finals, Carling and Champs League, while narrowly missing out on 2 league titles now.

    At the same time we have had the pressure and expectancy from an ever growing fan base who still have the invincibles in the back of their minds…

    I say we ain’t done too bad considering what Man City, Spurs, Man Utd, Chelsea and the rest have spent, and how many other clubs have gone under or are in massive amounts of debt trying to get a trophy or two.

    So NO is my answer, no BIG transfers this summer. I can see a couple intelligent signings which we need to bring in, but the policy to sticking to developing what we got will remain while the conditions of football remain what it is.

  57. Whatever happened to Vela this season? he had a brilliant run in the CC but then did not even feature on the bench, when we had both Bendtner and RvP out at the same time.

  58. Limpar – no that makes perfect sense.

    I think that is different to burying your head in the sand and refusing to see that there are other things that went wrong.

    Injuries make things very difficult, but it isn’t the only reason we didn’t get where we wanted to be this season.

    I keep saying it, but we flopped against the manc teams with just about everyone fit early season. Some people want to keep insisting that this side was the best, just nasty english bully boys hoofed us off the pitch. It is not true.

  59. How succinct and perceptive Frank. Just like that country mile.

  60. Injuries to key players at key parts of the season completely explains why we have not won the EPL this season…and is the resaon why we did not beat Barcelona over two legs.

  61. Another great post YW, thank you and well done(if a bit late!)

    Not too sure who will be leaving and who will be coming into the squad but I do agree that it will not be more than 3 players at most. Arsene has always said that too many new players rocks the boat, so with that in mind and with I believe between 30 and 40 million to spend, there really is no limit to who we can afford to buy, especially if we are getting Chamakh on a free.

    To the poster who said there is no room for sentiment in football I fully disagree. I will never forget watching Eduardo’s first game back and seeing his(and the fans) reaction when he scored. He raced half the pitch to give our physio a huge hug and was almost in tears doing so. That is a memory I will always have. I would rather have that memory than win the stupid Carling Cup!!

    As for being thrashed by Manure, did anyone actually watch our first game with them this season? We played them off the park for 80 minutes and if it was not for an own goal(bullet of a header by the way) and a dive by you know who for a PK, we would have won. That was before the injury to RVP, so yes injuries can be an excuse but when they happen to as many influential players as did us, they become a reason.

  62. …without those injuries we would have won by a country mile and virtually the same squad will go on to do so next season.



    I respect you comment, Wenger did bring in Sol Campbell in January – as EXPERIENCED as you can get…..

    Great post mate.

    Wengers faith is a fantastic asset.

  64. I too was dissapointed not to see more of Vela. Seemed as if every week we heard the same excuses of International duty with Mexico – him being too jet lagged to play for us.

    I wonder if he is one on his way out after forgetting his passport for Barca away. Wenger has been quite reluctant to use him even before that game, I maybe wrong and Wenger may be just protecting him.

  65. Arsenehollis

    Hence the use of italics to highlight the phrase and emphasise the disdain I hold for those who use it in all seriousness.


  66. Alex Ice Cream


    Don’t bother trying to reason with Frank. He has gone on for years about how we will sweep all before us and has been proven totally wrong. Delusion of this kind has perpetuated the myth that we were in with a chance of winning anything these last 2 years.

    That’s all you need to know about him.

  67. els

    The problem is those amazing and unique qualities get slated as soon as things dont turn out as planned. This is the same Wenger that put all his faith in Vieira, Petit, Pires, Henry, Kanu, and many more players who were not considered that good before Wenger got his hands on them. Nobody expected Wenger to pull off a miracle then, but now he has the weight of a nation on his shoulders to get these boys to bring home more silverware.

    We just need to sit back and let the guy do his magic. The fans have been great at the Emirates this season, lets continue that faith through to Ausgust. I’m looking forward to next season already despite such a lacklustre finish.

  68. Chris – that is fair dude.

    I don’t think I did and never intended to suggest that we go out and blow huge sums of money on players. Madrid style spending isn’t posible or desirable I think.

    We will keep within the previous policy, but it seems that there is more scope to spend now in one window.

    We spent money on Arshavin, Vermaalhen, Sagna, Ramsey – these were all good additions to the squad. Prevously we spent a on players, before the stadium: Henry, Reyes, Pires, Gilberto – this sort of spending would help.

    Imagine if Wenger went out and got us another 4 players of that sort of quality this summer.

    We are very close to dominating this league, assuming that the rich-boys toys dont go nuts (hopefully the uefa wage rules will limit this).

    A bit more would really help us out. We would have cover for injuries, could compete seriously in the domestic cups, and rest our players more.

    I cant think of a better manager at spotting talent for a fair price, often much less, than wenger. Now he can really go and be aggressive in the market – he can do that without being stupid.

  69. We would ceratinly have come away with homours this season without injuries to Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, RvP, Nik Bendtner etc for important periods. The loss of key players at key moments in games had the same effect e.g WG, TV.

  70. humours would have been great too…humours and honours

  71. Alex Ice Cream


    The reeason that we didn’t beat Barca is that we are not good enough to beat them.

    Keep fostering your delusions though if it makes you feel better.

  72. Lurking around for a quick creep, AIC?

  73. I didn’t even see you use it Yogi.

    As I said above, I think that this blog was brilliant. It is a treat to read and spot on to boot. Cheers dude.

  74. Alex Ice Cream

    Certain to win if we had players? That’s bollox, more likely certainly but not certain.

  75. Our first team was definitely good enough to beat Barcelona. No question.

  76. Frank – that still doesn’t expain why we couldn’t beat either manc club earlier in teh season, with a basically fully fit squad.

  77. Alex Ice Cream

    It was not lack of personnel that enabled Messi to have the freedom of the pitch at home to run riot.

  78. Alex Ice Cream

    You are seriously deluded if you dont believe we had a chance to win anything this season. Don’t try to latch onto others opinions in order to push your own usual pessimistic views.

    Answer me one question. If Van Persie had managed a largely injury free season, do you believe Arsenal could have won the league?

  79. Limpar assist – congrats on your sisters twins I just hope you had nothing to do with it!!

    Arsenehollis – agree with almost everything you said, but be nice to Frank, I mean even if the Spuds qualify for CL they will get destroyed and will give us some great entertainment in doing so!!

    If Sol and WG stay, and we get Djourou and Nordvelt back, with TV that makes 5 CB’s, if we keep Sanderos then that’s 6. Do we really need another?

    I just hope Clichy does not leave as I think he is an amazing talent, and Traore scares the hell out of me!!! He made Silvestre look great. We missed Gibbs as well.

    What we need and need badly are two wingers who can cross the ball effectively and consistently. That to me is our biggest failing. Everyone goes on about our CB and DM and our GK’s but Sagna and Theo just cannot deliver quality balls consistently, and that is a huge loss.

  80. Yes it was actually it was the lack of Alex Song in DM. We were thrown off our stride in the first game by an injury during the game at the back. Until then Messi was neutralised…in fact he continued to be throughout the game.

    I would go so far as to say that with a fit Cesc and AA and RvP on the pitch we would have beaten them quite easily in that game.

    Second game we were utterly decimated and still managed to score first away from home. With a full side they would never have scored because RvP would have had at least two more off them.

  81. Frank

    A fully fit first team could have certainly beaten Barcelona, as well as Inter Milan.

    I seriously do not understand why you lot suddenly believe these players ain’t up for it. I know the media is pretty depressing to listen to every day, but i thought at least the people on this blog realised that our team has got bags of quality.

    Highlighting a few defeats to top opposition while we were without many key players isn’t really a fair judgement on our season.

  82. We were definitely in with a chance of winning things the last two years – it is stupid to say otherwise.

    We made two semi’s and a quarter final and were close with 6 games of the seaon to go this year.

    The injury thing just doesn’t stack up though, other sides had injuries also.

    Manure played Carrick and Fletcher in defence and got pooned 3 nil by someone. They lost rooney and are still challenging. (apparently we were unable to cope without rvp, to adjust, for 5 months)

    Chelsea lost Bosingwa and Ivanovic made the team of the season in his place. Ferrer came in whilst he was out and got subbed at half time when the scum beat them.

    Other teams had injuries, they dealt with them better than we did overall.

    The table doesn’t lie. We all would have been outraged if people had detracted from us winning the league on such spurious grounds – we were when the talk turned that way after we lost big games but came back in the race.

    Defence was least affected by injury, but it was also our weakest point.

  83. Regards the first Barca game they themselves admitted to never playing so well in the first half and it was our much derided GK, Big Al, who kept us in it. We then lost Cesc and AA and WG for the return game. So yes I agree, fully fit the second game was 50/50. Stick RVP in there and I think the odds would be slightly in our favour. (rose tinted glasses firmly in place of course)

  84. Frank, agree completely with your last comment. We were a couple of injured players short of destroying the Barca-loving media frenzy/wan* fest.

  85. You people just don’t read do you. Gary lewin’s piece on injuries said it all. Arsenal were affected more than other teams over the last three seasons by injury and this season by a long way. Knowing that fact you can hardly then go on to say that it is irrelevant.

    Try to retain the information you are provided with and hold it for a while. It helps in later analyses.

    It would horrible to have some of you on a jury. ‘yes I know you have provided all this fancy evidence that proves unequivocally that the defendant is innocent. But I think he is guilty anyway’.

  86. arsenehollis

    I would like to see some stats, as I do not believe for one second that Man Utd and Chelsea suffered anywhere near in terms of the actual minutes we missed our 1st team players for.

    I am not using it as an excuse for our dissapointment, because I actually think we have had a good season. My point is if our injuries were anything like most other teams we would have won it.

  87. Frank – have a look at Messi’s goals home and away in the CL this season, we are far from the first side to keep him quite when they play away from home.

    This Barca team are good, very good. There was no shame in getting knocked out by them, even in the manner we we did second leg.

    With everyone fit we would have given them a hell of a game and could certainly have beaten them.

    Again though, they missed players also in both legs, a lot in the second leg. The simple fact is no one gives a fuck about injuries, that doesn’t make it up on the walls in the stadium. All champions deal with adversity.

    Then 4 days later they went to Madrid who had won 15 of 15 at home and simply overpowered them. They won with good defence.

    (Pique was superb and ronaldo never beat him, despite being issolated 1on1 wide left about 5 times.)

  88. irishgray

    I still fancied us despite all the injuries 🙂

    We got beaten by an amazing player who took the game into his own hands. Had we had our amazing talents out there I doubt the result would have been so 1 sided

  89. ‘Hollis

    The injury stats are available, YW posted upon this topic last week, or recently.

  90. Frank and Chris – so the point is this:

    We have for 3 years, if i remember correctly, been the worst affected side by injuries. Wenger has also said that they have looked hard and found no underlying cause for this.

    Do we continue on and wait for our luck to turn, or go out and get a few extra players, because this is a regular event?

    I think the latter, we can flog any cunt who moans about it next year as champions – titles keep people quite though.

  91. You are a Barcelona supporter, arsenehollis

  92. There will clearly be purchases the manager has already said so, and for obvious reasons. For a start he needs cover up front as we can no longer go into the most congested part of the season with only an unfit AA as a lone striker. I doubt very much whether the manager will rely on all of Sylvestre, Campbell and Gallas at least one if not all will fail his assessment….and so I expect one central defender. However I doubt that he will be able to bring in enough players if we repeat the injuries of this season…I doubt any squad could.

  93. As usual we will probably acquire two or three new players, depending upon who leaves.

  94. Rule changes explained by YW notwithstanding

  95. arsenehollis

    Everytime I manage to catch Barca on TV I always see near enough the same starting 11, the league in Spain is not as competitive and as rough therefor injuries are lower. Everytime I see Man Utd I see Rooney, I see Vidic, I see Fletcher, I see Valencia… It’s the same for Chelsea, Lampard is always fit, so too is Terry, so is Drogba and Anelka – the truth is they have the referees under their thumbs, every game we can all see it. They get the penalties, they are allowed to foul 4, 5, 6 times before getting a yellow, but when they are fouled they get the freekicks.

    We don’t get the protection, this has been proven over the last 5 years. The referees are not fazed when Cesc’s legs are swollen from top to bottom after relentless kicking for 90minutes. Van persie can go down screaming like hes been shot yet no foul. Compare that to Rooney, Scholes, Giggs, Neville – all in good with the referees, have a little chat before the game. I watched Fletcher against Spurs, he hacked down 3 or 4 times off the ball and yet he still did not receive a yellow card. Then you get Sagna who is as fair a tackler as you can get, booked after 1 mis timed challenge on Satrurday.

    That is why Lampard and co are fit and scoring 30 goals per year, the refs give them the protection.

    There is no justice every weekend, these little factors all add up to our injuries, and add up to our chances of success. This Arsenal team is fighting more than 11 players every weekend. I have seen so many many games where I just feel that it is impossible for us to take 3 points while the referee doesn’t want to hear about us getting kicked.

    I may be going into one, but this is the truth, those fans who share this belief are not deluded. How can anyone honestly explain why we suffer the highest injuries in the league every year if it wasn’t?

  96. This squad this season was good enough to win the league. They haven’t won it.

    But I don’t see any reason to panic…

    All the talk of needing experience and stuff like that is neither here nor there. 3 of our experienced players in Rosicky, Eduardo & Silvestre hardly set the world alight.

    What helped us to challenge this season is that Song, Vermaelen, Diaby, Denilson, Fabregas & Bendtner stepped up to the plate. They stepped it up a notch.

    For me that PERFECTLY justifies everything Wenger has always said which is that improvement for this side will come mainly from within.

    I’m not going to pretend we need no new players. A centre back will be needed if Gallas leaves.

    Every other possible addition would not be fundamental (the lack of arrival of which would be detrimental or rule us out).

    Players like Arshavin, Rosicky, Eduardo & Nasri (as arseneholis pointed out) are proven to be capable of more than they’ve turned out.

    I’d rather we focused on getting them to their potential instead of doing the Rafa Benitez thing of selling 1 player and bringing in another of the same ability, spending money and not getting improvement.

    No, don’t seell anybody, and only bring in the ‘super super player’.

    If we could get a Buffon or Reina, proven world class quality, & better than Almunia. I don’t see any sense in saying Almunia is not good enough for a top club and then bringing in a keeper who’s not only better, but proven at a bigger club.

    I think we also need one player who can decide games on his own who is always fit, and/or can be bothered.

  97. arsenehollis

    Look at our squad numbers, compare them with that of 10 years ago. My money is on us having a much larger squad now.

  98. Yogi:

    You have an optimistic nature yet you are balanced and realistic. The ultra negative Miles Palmer/Le Grove and the ultra radical “anti doomer”/AKB groups are “illogical extremes” and both lack credibility. Your balance of optimism and realism give you and your blog credibility and respect unmatched in the Arsenal blogosphere.

    Your points about buying experienced players not “killing youth” could not have been better said. The truly talented players such as Wilshire will make the 1st team and become stars. The Arturo Lupoli’s will not. That is the way it should be.

    Your points about our young players being better served by developing away from the pressure of Arsenal 1st team football is also spot on. Adding quality experienced players does not admit defeat of “project youth”.

    The club promised us that the reason for the stadium was to give us the financial clout to compete with the biggest teams in the world. To put that revenue in Peter Hill-Wood’s cookie jar somewhere and hope that we can get by without reasonable investment in the first team is ridiculous.

    Great post!! I am glad someone besides a “doomer” made those points. I hope the boss reads your blog.

  99. Ole, one player I would like sold is Arshavin. I see that he has peddled him self to Barca again. I think he will again be a luxury player for us if he stays next season, bothering to turn up only for marquee matches and going through the motions in others. Once he goes I would love to see either Barazite or Wilshere step up, but of course Wenger is the best judge whether they will be ready next season.

  100. There is a lot more to come from this team and many players are yet to shine. They just need a consistent run in the team.

    Nasri has improved game by game is a good example.

    Song has become an excellent DM

    Bendtner has improved in every department

    Ramsey was also growing game by game

    The fact we are all dissapointed means we know they can achieve something great.

  101. Sorry not aimed at you, CG. rather the two previous comments.

  102. The Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs, Johann Djourou injuries defy belief really. All were about to step up big time just as they were injured long term.

  103. arseneholis is talking proper rubbish about how Man Utd had similar injuries. That’s just nonsense. And you know it AH.

    I don’t understand this thing of wishing away injuries as a factor in what happened this season. I think it shows bad faith.

    Yogi posted the stats here a couple of weeks ago and they more than confirmed what we already know.

    Chelski were injury hit a few weeks ago, and now they’re virtually back to full strength again.

    Man Utd were more or less full strength in their last 3 games, except for short term injuries.

    We never come close to full strength. Not once in the last few seasons.

  104. CG @2:49

    Well said.

    One response will be:
    ‘We need a Roy Keane Type.’

    Over Alex Song?
    Not for me.

  105. Don’t mean to get off topic but do you guys see Arsene changing the 4-3-3 next season or do you think it was a success?

    Well he says its 4-3-3 but with Song playing a modern day sweeper isn’t it really a 4-1-2-3?

    Just wondering if a more central attacking style with both B52 and RVP in the middle would be better, but that still leaves us with having to put up with 1 out of every 10 crosses being any way decent.

  106. I like the ultra-AKB group. From my experience they’re usually better informed and have a better attitude towards supporting the team.

  107. How can any rational football supporter think that they know more about football in an Arsenal context than Arsene Wenger. Anyone who thinks otherwise is irrational and not worth reading or listening to.

  108. Latest Arshavin quotes,17033,8652_6119322,00.html

    The man seems to generally like being a dick. Reminds me of an African who played for us not long ago.

  109. Frank I love your absolute backing of the team and optimism. I wish there where 60,000 more like you, and that alone would win us the EPL.

    Chris Goona how many times has Wenger backed somebody when it seems all have wrote them off. Tommy V was a similar case. We simply have the greatest manager, but some fickle types like to forget when the going gets tough.

    The team is in great shape, and without injuries we would have 2 titles out of the last 3 season, I honestly believe that.

    The thing is though that WE DO get injuries, strangely more than any other team, so we have to do something about it. Does that mean we need a bigger squad??? Eventually it will come good.

    Just to harp on about promoting from the youth team, we know how good Sunu is or Merida. These guys may not have experience but they are less of a risk than a 30m aquilani.

  110. Is that actually what he said though, keysersoze? Context, translation etc etc???

  111. Afternoon Ole – I agree with that post, although it is rather similar in spots to what i wrote the other day that rubbed you up the wrong way. Anyway, it makes sense to me.

    Frank, Chris –

    I think that the points you make about injuries are all fair, but i must say that for my part, i am still too sore about our display against wigan to give it that much leeway.

    I still feel that some of our players who came in when others were out failed to carry their share of the load. We put out a better team against teh scum and wigan than the opposition, but lost both.

    Burnley away is a good example, cesc went off and we completely folded and were lucky to draw after a dodgy offside saved manuel a howler. No way the players we had out should have done that, we were better, but we were weak mentally.

    At least we all agree that there will and should be purchases. It is an interesting summer for us. Aside form the out of contract players, we shouldn’t sell. The youth will come through a bit more and we will add from outside. All looks good for the future.

  112. I have no idea Frank about the veracity of this particular edition of his quote. But it seems too much of a coincidence that this same guy gets mistranslated about every two-three weeks.

  113. Have to agree on the Arshavin thing as he does tend to disappear whenever he feels like it. I mentioned a while ago( I forget which game it was) that when a cross came in he threw himself forward as if trying to get it and from where the camera was it looked close. He then lay there with his head in his hands for all the world to see, only for the reverse camera angle to show that he only made the effort after the ball was gone past him!! I mean the guy just walks around for 30 or so minutes in every game!! I cannot begin to count the amount of times Clichy has gone flying by him with the ball, sent in a cross and then gone flying by him again to get back and defend only to do it again a few minutes later while he is still walking around!!

  114. Ole – the point isnt that we dont get injuries, but we deal with them badly. Big games are one thing, but what about the scum and wigan, we had the better players and lost.

  115. Pretty sure those quotes are old.

    The idea is that dicks like you spread it about and increase their web traffic.

    If it didn’t work every time they might not bother.

    Did I mention you are a dick yet?

  116. It doesnt matter how big or how good the squad is.If we have a clown(s) in goal we are like a car without an engine.


    Almunia is not in the top 12 best keepers in the prem.Almunia plays for one of the top 8 teams in Europe and is 34 yet has not played one international


    you name players who have improved this seaon
    here are a few who have gone backwards:

    Both our No 1 and No 2 keepers
    Sagna has had 2 average seaons in a row
    Denilson:One forward pass a season
    Diaby Flatters to decieve.Good against shit teams Shit against anyone good
    Walcott:Has been poor bar 1 or 2 games

  117. Even if he went we would probably get bojan. I’m guessing by the law of odds that he makes more effort than arshavin in most games.

  118. I doff my hat to you, word. You are a genius in the use of sarcasm. I am so devastated that I think I will go and cry in a dark room for some time.


  119. Who is this “Dick” guy anyways? Sounds like a Spud to me

  120. Is calling someone a dick sarcastic?

    I can do it un-sarcasticly if you like

  121. els…I agree with you two times. Firstly on “project youth”. If we have to go down that path of speculating, (which makes pretty f**king dull reading most of the time) I would rather speculate on who will be stepping up each season from the youths, than who we are likely or not likely to sign from outside, and for how much. And secondly, I agree. Frank’s level of support should be the default setting for all our supporters.

  122. He mentions watching arsenal against barca actually so it may not be an old quote. Still AA talking shite is nothing new.

  123. Well, that “did I mention bit” was sarcastic, and a little stupid if you ask me. I don’t bother much about a bit of name calling on the net, quite easy as you are talking to essentially faceless people. But to then act as if you have achieved something extraordinary in the process is dumb beyond my imagination. I guess you are just a child at heart, so lets leave it at that.

  124. Frank is an inspiration to all bi-polar unemployed pensioners living on benefits and value pack baked beans the world over.

    (only joking!)

  125. And jon. Don’t deceive yourself by thinking that just because you use an analogy, (like a car without an engine) that people will think what you say has more credence. It doesn’t. It’s just bollocks! Especially as it was a totally shit analogy.

  126. I am more looking forward to seeing Barazite moving up into the squad for next season than say possibly Chamakh (sp?)

  127. baby I’m all for making love not war. My apologies

  128. I find it a bit rich reading Dixon’s article. As if Adams and co had never gone a season without a trophy or lost a match from a winning position.
    If they are so keen on coaching they should go to the lower leagues and prove themselves.

    Tony Adams could do sweet FA with Porstmouth.

    No amount of training will fix the mistakes that come from fatigue, presure and fear.

    We were without our two defensive players and our captain.

    We should not be lossing to Wigan after being 2-0 up. Articles like his insult the inteligence of fans and Wenger.

  129. Someone’s hijacked arseneholis’ identity and now spends his time writing posts that are irreconcilable with themselves, denying the obvious.

    Man U lost Rooney and coped. Bollocks!

    They crashed out of the CL, dropped points at Blackburn, and should have dropped points.

    What’s arseneholis on about?

  130. senile, bipolar, schizophrenic, paranoid I think we established the other day, word. I do like baked beans as well.

  131. anyway sometimes we need dicks to fuck arseholes and all that.

  132. gonna make me some beans n’ toast!!

  133. Ole, they still could win the league though

  134. ..I don’t see why I should pay more for baked beans than I have to.

  135. keysersoze i agree bor mr arshavin he really is starting to get on my goat,IF and thats an if all these comments are real you have got to wonder if its worth while keeping him,how dare he say Sir Wenger is not in the top 3 managers in the world!! and what has arshavin really truly done since being here apart from talk???? 4 golas at anfield and…..erm??

  136. You never pay more than you have to. If you paid more, that is what you had to pay.

  137. With a little thought, the economies one can make around the houshold these days are astonishing. Look after the pennies I always say….

  138. Ole, they still could win the league though couldn’t they

  139. Not really. As word pointed out I pay less per can by buying in bulk. There are no football lessons to be had from this ,keysersoze, just straight forward home economics.

  140. I guess it is just playing around with word…sorry I mean words

  141. I am looking forward to seeing both Mingus.

    I have been pleasantly suprised by Chamakh, i started watching him this season and have been impressed with his workrate and general all round play, and he looks very useful in the air.

    Barazite also looks a class act, a real shame the boy was injured for so long, but it could well be time for him to step up, along with Gibbs, Thomas and Wilshere.

    Lansbury could yet get a few games too.

    A couple of signings, better luck with injuries and a couple of youngsters stepping up and great things await us next season.

  142. People should never be too proud to shop at Iceland for essentials, and perhaps have a quick glance around the nearest Poundshop on the way home.

  143. Dear Santa,

    I would like a new goalkeeper, two defenders and a striker and lots of other things in case the things i have get broken. I have been a good boy this year.

  144. Dear Matty Boy,

    Fuck off you Spud!!


  145. Ole @ 3:03:

    I like them better also. Miles Palmer/Le Grove is predictable/boring and sometimes disgusting. Just like in politics the truth is always somewhere in between the radical right and the radical left. I think Yogi’s comments and some of your comments confirm that there is a reasonable middle ground between the 2 extremes.

  146. Middle ground is rarely the way to go. That is the mistake the BBC constantly make. Give equal creedence to both sides when in fact it is patently obvious that one is wrong…or that there are many more sides.

  147. The moment you decide to be either an AKB or a doomer, you have lost a lot of originality. Best to leave that decision to others.

  148. Thats the sprit frank, stiff upper lip and all that. Please dont vote BNP tho…

    “With a little thought, the economies one can make around the _______ these days are astonishing. Look after the pennies I always say….”

    could have come straight from wenger himself! I bet he has the said the same things about beans to.

  149. its warm and squishy in the middle bill. best place to be

  150. When you choose to take the middle ground, you lose the same amount of originality as well.

  151. Two roads diverged into a wood,
    And I ran through the middle only to bang my head against a wall.

  152. irishgray – Why?

    Calm down son.

  153. I take the high ground personally, doesn’t matter if I am wrong or right. Just me and my beans on toast.

    Must admit it does get a lil lonely…sniff

  154. Sorry Matty Boy 🙂 just joking mate

  155. The source of one’s originality is not in knowing that Arsene Wenger knows more about football than any of us supporters.

    When stating a fact it is not necessary to have an original thought….an entertaining one perhaps but not original.

    …what is it about my comments on this site that make you think that I would vote BNP, word?

  156. Random thought for the day whilst looking at some pictures of olde bricks from the East End:

    a) Phwoar!

    b) Those immigrants from the Huguenot diaspora built some fine buildings in London (In particular, East London).

  157. Hear Hear Mingus.

    For me i’m looking forward to Ramsey and Eastmond getting plenty more time. And JET getting a bit of action too.

  158. Finsbury when you say random you really do mean it dont ya son 🙂

  159. William @3.37

    The difference is Dixon and Adams and co were winners.
    Dixon can talk from a position of strength being a 4-time title winner.
    It is obvious to Stevie Wonder that we need a defensive coach and the goalkeeping coach should be horsewhipped.When was Gerry Peyton any good?

  160. lol no reason really however…

    “the BBC constantly Give equal creedence to both sides when in fact it is patently obvious that one is wrong…”

  161. ‘Diaspora’ is usually a reference to world Jewry rather than French Protestants, Finsbury. But the buildings are fascinating, I agree.

  162. Jon, the last time I checked Pele thought that Columbia would win the world cup in 94 and there would be an African world cup champion by now. And he was a winner too.

  163. Lee Dixon would not get into this squad….or anywhere close. Not good enough.

  164. Creedence? I think you need some clear water to revive yourself.

  165. Matt, true for both. (Barazite and Chamakh) And true about Lansbury, JET, Gibbs and little Jack also. Sometimes I want to give up football altogether, but if you love everything about AFC, which clearly has to include all the youth teams, then there is no escape. I would find it far easier if we just bought and sold like Benitez.

  166. Frank, I love Lidls !!

    Lid Army !!! Lid Army !!!

  167. Good point Keysersoze. I came 2nd in a beauty contest once and won a game of Monopoly in the same day! I don’t know anything about property but i am quite good looking.

  168. Beauty Contest? Matty Girl it is then?

  169. Matty Bwoy, Irish grey is dissing you partner

  170. Hell we are all arm chair professionals, nothing wrong with it but i will always have faith in Arsene. Does not mean I will always agree with him but he will always get the benefit of whatever doubts I may have.

    By the way word is that Matty Boy cheated in the Monopoly game and the beauty contest was actually a dog show!

  171. Just havin some fun Jim-Dog, heard you came #rd by the way.

  172. You don’t have to be a girl to play Monopoly do you?

  173. In the beauty contest? I came last

  174. *3rd

    dammit don’t you hate when you screw something like that up…eh…COYG!!…I’ll get me coat!

  175. sounds to me like matty boy won a beauty contest on a monopoly chance card but came second in the actual game.

    selective memory?

  176. Jon, Bacary Sagna is already twice the player Lee Dixon was in terms of fitness, skill, and technique. Tactically, positionally – Dixon has the edge. But watch Lee at Bacary’s age, there probably wasn’t a lot in that either.

    His 4 title wins came in a very different age. It is hard for an ex-player to be out of the game for nearly a decade and remain relevant. Things move fast in football. You should try and keep up.

    Cliche’s about ‘mental resolve’ and ‘winners’ strike me as overly simplistic at best, and totally spurious at worst.

  177. Being good at something or winning does not necessarily correlate with ones ability to have an informed opinion on the subject. One look at ‘pundits’ such as Shearer, Hansen and Co proves that.

  178. I agree with word at 4:25pm, well spotted. Bad memory on my part rather than selective though.

  179. course we need new players in certain areas, but we also have improvements in certain areas. song and boo boo have done well for me this season as has ramsey,. But there are some who are not getting any younger, so a hearty handshake and thankyou to them and move on. I, like evryone else has a bench mark which i reserve for Arsenal. Since the invincibles that mark has lowered, no issue with that. But that, like it or not is what we will be matched with. I want us to get back to that level. waited 5 years and if have to wait another five then so be it, it wont change my life one bit. But if we can keep certain players and let go of some, bring in improvements/potential improvements then next season could be the catolist for our resorection. We are not in the same leauge as barca, no shame in that, there will be teams like inter who can beat them but pep knew that, he said as much at his press conf

  180. What’s the point of talking about Joe Hart? We obviously can’t have him, Given is out for months and Hart will start next season as Man City #1.

  181. Matty Boy – if you think Hansen and Shearer are bad, try having Warren Barton as your “professional analyst”, that is what I am stuck listening to here in NYC on Fox. At least Hansen and Shearer could play.

  182. Arshavins beginnin to make himself look a right cunt

  183. I beginning to think Arshavin was born in Chernobl, it would explain an awful lot

  184. We have a squad of great players that on paper is easily better then the Manc’s and as good as the Chav’s and maybe even close to Barca. However anyone who thinks we could have beaten Barca or even the Chavs this year needs new glasses with a little less rose color in the lens. We are not that good as a team.

    The individual players are good but as a team they clearly have not played to their potential. Injuries are a huge part of the reason. However using the injury excuse as the only reason is over simplification.

    I wish the boss knew how to get our players to “play to their potential as a team” He seems to be as frustrated as the rest of us. I think almost everyone agrees that we need to add a few new players especially defenders and GK. Ole’s idea of a difference making player who could change a game by himself would be great although probably expensive. Hopefully with 3 – 4 new players and maybe dumping the 433 and continued development of Nasri/Diaby/Walcott/NB/ we can develop that total team “nous” that we seem to lack for the last several years.

  185. Andrei is Russian. Chernobyl is in the Ukraine.

  186. 4-3-3 is great against smaller teams, but fucking useless against bigger ones. 4-4-2 must be brought back atleast for big games..

  187. I know you disagree, Bill. But in my opinion our enormous injury burden cost us the EPL and Eurothingy. That fact does not go away just because some stiff-upper lipped pundit personage says it should. It is THE reason. No other.

  188. The team is experienced. What we need is quality players so that when we have our terrible injuries we have enough replacements.

    Anyway Wenger decides to go about is good for me. Injuries aside Arsenal is the most talented team in the PL. Yes we have been saying next year and people say how long am I gonna hear that but how can you know that 4,5,6 of your best players will all be out at the end of the season?


    GO BLESS!!

  189. and God bless!!

  190. im afraid patience has run out with arshavin. How would he even get into the barca team with this disloyalty and bloody laziness. I think instead of slating players like denilson, diaby, vela and moaning we need class, this guy is SUPPOSED to be our fucking class and look at him..

  191. Exactly Frank and the injuries have cost us for a few years. Its the same crap, we are in it and then the injuries start piling up. This experience thing is overblown when it comes to Arsenal.

    Again, we will need more numbers due to our injury issues. Do we have players who can step up and do the job already? We have some maginificent youth, lets see.

  192. Barry, are you serious. Thats ridiculous and racist or nationalist or whatever you want to call it.


  193. “Man U lost Rooney and coped. Bollocks”

    that’s correct they can’t win the english premier league can they?

  194. Yes Barry, thats the problem. United, Chelsea and Spurs are full of english players!!

    how simple is that comment?

  195. Is that your analysis on that one, John? That how you form opinions? Massive. Thanks..

  196. Rooney, missed about one match? another simple comment.

    He has played in 30 games out of 36.

    RVP 14 out of 36

    Lets talk about coping!!

  197. Barry are you sure you realise you are commenting on an arsenal blog, not the BNP’s website?

  198. what a fucking cunt barry is, more of a cunt than arshavin is becoming. bloody hell the comments he has made are ridiculously unloyal

  199. ‘I am wary of Arsenal if they don’t suffer too many more injuries to key players’, SAF several weeks before RvP came back and just before Cesc, WG, TV, AA were sidelined.

  200. frank, I was only highlighting the obvious too a comment with no value, as did a few others here

  201. Barry fuck you

    Anyway nasri is better than milner

  202. Unless coping means something else, crashing out of the European Cup and dropping points in the next game is not a valid way of proving a team dealt with the loss of a key player.

    And some of the comments have been really stupid; “they should still win the league”…

    And if they don’t it’ll mean their squad is not good enough, they didn’t cope with losing Rooney etc?

  203. I think there is a statment that goes someting like “its better to make people think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”

    some of the comments have been the dumbest I have read in a minute.

  204. Fuck off Howard

  205. a new luxury player (like arshavin was supposed to be) would keep the morale of the team high over the season.

    The boys are mad tired yo. Nasri was quoted the other week about the physical demands of the premier league and today we hear about torres planning of leaving the uk because he is honestly worried about his long term fitness. The man is no fool.

    I’m pretty sure helb and flamini left because of the work demands… you may say that we dont need people that cant stand up and be counted but you cant deny that life is tough for players like fab, rosicky and nasri when they have to steer the inexperienced players through to victory, oftern dragging them by the scruff of their neck (walcott). The pressure on fab to perform is immense sometimes, he can handle it just about but we all know he is one in a million.

    david silva

  206. Comparison between Milner and Nasri, ha ha ha ha!

    thats funny, there is none!!!


  207. milner is a rare breed. not many young english players like him. A good signing for villa, unlike the recent (and very english) shorey, reo-coker, sidwell and delph. Speak to some brummies and they will tell you Agbonlahor is a lazy shit too. Above average sums up a lot of villas english contigent – where was their belly for the fight for 4th place?

    19yr old rodwell being valued at 20m goes to show why arsenal aren’t in for some of the touted english players.

  208. Just out of interest on these Arshavin “stories”, does anyone know the actual words he said, rather than relying on the usually dubious translations put upon them by English hacks?


  209. He’s five foot four
    He’s five footttt fourrr
    We’ve got Arshavin, fuck Adebayor

    That’s the song.

    The one that damns the lunatic Togonian and elevates Arshavin.

    But it’s interesting how many parallels you could make between them.

    Both have a good season in the team. The next team they’re performing less than their best and being perceived to be lazy. In each case, dodgy quotes appear in the media wanting to leave.

    Arshavin didn’t get a pay rise, that’s the only difference. But then, Adebayor didn’t criticise his team mates calling them out by name in the media (something I’ve never seen any other professional do in football), didn’t say his team couldn’t win the league, didn’t moan about salary, didn’t talk of moving to Barca after half a season, etc etc

    It’s amazing how one is a hero and the other was a villain.

    My point? I don’t quite know.

    But the parallels struck me.

  210. Arshavin was quoted as telling the English-language website of the Russian newspaper Sport Express

  211. On Sunday Tottenham striker Andrey Arshavin was given Sport Express’ Zvezda Award as the best player of Russia and CIS countries in 2009.

    Traditionally Zvezda Award winner gave an interview to Sport Express after the awarding ceremony, which was held in London restaurant Nobu.

    “Diniyar Bilyaletdinov said in one interview that he regrets that he didn’t move to a foreign club earlier. But I don’t regret that I’ve done it only when I was 27”, said Arshavin.

    “One and a half year in England changed me of course, but I cannot explain what exactly they changed in me. I will understand it only when I return to Russia”.

    “I think about living in England after finishing my playing career, but it’s not more than thoughts. I don’t see myself anywhere else except Russia”.

    “Everything will depend on my life here and whether it will be comfortable for my family. Football is important part of my life, but I am not 20 and I need to take into account interests of my family”.

    “Honestly I am afraid of time when I will turn 30. I am afraid of the moment when I will still want to play football, but understand that I won’t play like I used to do before”.

    “If someday I will have to choose between middle English club and leading Russian championship, I would prefer to return to Russia”.

    “In case I have an opportunity to play one season in Barcelona it would be the peak of my career. After Arsenal played with Barca in the Champions League, my feeling of excitement changed to feeling of dissatisfaction, because Spanish club has become much stronger than any other club”.

    “Inter’s success is fully merit of Mourinho. When coach is genius, he is able to beat other team, even if it is much stronger”.

    “To my mind there are three best coaches for the Russian national team – Capello, Mourinho and Hiddink. Wenger is also good coach, but these three specialists are the best for our national team”.

    “I think it’s impossible to imagine Wenger without Arsenal, because he is more than coach there. He is not only works with the team, but he creates the club and he is responsible for everything which happens there

  212. He is no Nasri!

    The problem is that Arshavin is always being misquoted, like an ex Arsenal player and know that plays for city and we know how that ended up. No saying the same thing will happen here but why him all the blasted time, even if its not true?

  213. “And some of the comments have been really stupid; “they should still win the league”…

    they can still win the league… that isn’t stupid..

    “And if they don’t it’ll mean their squad is not good enough, they didn’t cope with losing Rooney etc?”

    not exactly, they will not be good enough on the last day of the season but ultimately in the race to the very end, after 3 back to back titles.

    that is consistantly good enough for a number of years.

  214. Paul N it is true, the translation on an english speaking russian website matches that of the guardian and english papers. And his laziness has cost us vital goals

  215. Arshavin said these things before he signed to us and it appears he hasn’t changed his mind. A consistancy lacking in his football performances.

    I dont mind him paying respect to barca but this pinnicle things is defo out of line. where as all his ‘colourful’ quotes over the year were once taken with a pinch of salt, they now just remind me of what an idiot he can be.

    he is a spoilt child star of russia. talented yet pampered with his head in the clouds. I wonder how he will react when fans turn on him?

  216. my word! 😉

  217. John,

    If they can still win the league it’s because of the 90% of the season when they had Rooney?

    Isn’t that blindingly obvious?

    Your other point doesn’t get any better. You’re on a streak.

    So, if Chelsea lost the league it’d be proof they didn’t cope with the loss of Essien and their squad is crap? One of the 2 will lose.

    No, it doesn’t work that way. Again, blindingly obvious.

  218. “anyone who thinks we could have beaten Barca or even the Chavs this year needs new glasses with a little less rose color in the lens. We are not that good as a team.”

    Sometimes I despair of you Bill, I really do.

    “I wish the boss knew how to get our players to “play to their potential as a team”

    In fact, it happens quite often.

    We played the Chavettes twice without a frontman. We played them with Arshavin up front, and with a struggling Eduardo working in from the left.

    If you remember we had a great deal of dangerous possession in both games, but could not find an outlet for our final ball, could not find a way through. Do you think all that possession would have just petered out if RVP had been on the end of some of it? Or even our second choice frontman, Nik B?

    Or equally, take away Drogba, and their second choice frontman and see what happens.

    We played Man United off the park at Old Trafford, without Fabregas, and were done by two shit penalty decisions. These are facts. You can’t just dismiss them as excuses.

    You talk about over-simplification and then use sweeping vaguenesses like ‘nous’, and ‘difference maker’. I agree with some of what you say, but you tend to ignore the details – the events on the field of play.

    A season is built up of many games, which in turn are built up of many minutes, many moments of action, many events. You must look at them all, and not just the result, to find the truth.

    Like I say, I agree with some of what you say and I like the fact that unlike a few others you don’t crow about your preseason foresight now we’ve fallen at the final hurdle.

    The main thing I am trying to say is that you cannot ignore how close we have come this season, you cannot ignore how well we have played in doing it, and most of all you cannot ignore the injuries.

  219. Sorry, a long and quite rubbish post. I’d ignore that if I were you.

  220. bit late having read it but thanks for the warning all the same lol 🙂

  221. Every time it comes into my head I get more incensed…..

    How anyone can compare Man poo losing Rooney for 4 or 5 games to Arsenal losing the entire spine of the team in the same period is beyond me.

    What’s wrong with these people?

  222. I disagree ole, rooney hasn’t and never will be the only player responsable for man utd winning or losing a league title the same with essien and robin.

    it has helped them for most of it but we were still with them when rooney got injured and now we are not.

    which means they survived we haven’t and chelsea are in an even stronger position having both full backs and thier most important midfielder out for a very long time.

    we lacked the desire from tottenham onwards that’s why we will finish 3rd and not win the league.

    not the injuries.

  223. we done ever so well to keep up. in my opinion chelsea and utd have under achieved with 7 defeats the gap could be 5 points bigger..

  224. John,

    Alex Ferguson would snicker at that. Without Rooney this season thay’d have finished 6th.

  225. We didn’t lack the desire. We lacked the players.

  226. “it has helped them for most of it but we were still with them when rooney got injured and now we are not.”

    John, what is going on? we have missed, Cesc, Gallas, Song, Arshavin during the same time and just got back RVP only played a full game against City?

    One man versus missing 5 of your best.

    How do you know that they lost the desire?

    Its so easy to talk when you are not playing.

  227. Why is it that Chelsea and United have underachieved?

    Thats not it, the fact is that many teams are buying better players subsequently playing better football. Any team can beat you in any given match.

  228. I hate dismissive comments, I really do.

    We can say that United and Chelsea have underacheived but our team that has lost its spine doesnt have desire!!

    If Chelsea and United have under achieved that means they didnt have the desire either?

  229. Man United have overachieved.

  230. Exactly, Paul N. When anyone says that an Arsenal player misplaces a pass, is beaten in the tackle, or misses a shot, through a lack of desire to complete that pass, or make that tackle, or score that goal, I have to say I just think to myself, what a fucking moron.

  231. I’ve been catching up on the posts and comments from yesterday so I aplogise for going back to yesterday’s post, but something occurred to me about this new squad ruling.

    Attempts at social engineering always have untended consequences and are therefore doomed to fail (the road to hell being paved with good intentions and all that).

    However, everyone seems to be focusing on the 25 limit on the “A” squad and ignoring the significance of the “B” squad.

    What it means is that teams with an academy can have an unlimited squad in terms of number of players, which is in our favour.

    Clubs without academies are going to be limited to a squad of 25 and that’s it.

    We will also be able to loan out players as normal, so I don’t see a huge change for us at all.

    On another note, pyles is a bitter old tart. I suspect AW ignored a request for a personal interview or declined to endorse his book or something (his book on AW is seriously sh!t imo).

  232. Do not listen to the pundits when they say Chavs and Manure have underachieved, the fact is Man Shiteh and Spuds and the like have gotten much better this season. Not to mention Everton and Villa.

    We held our own for a lot of the season but then our spine fell out of the team as Paul N said. That is what killed us.

  233. Remember we where written off BEFORE the season even started and Liverpool were supposed to win it.

    Pundits….is that Latin for idiots?

  234. Something else occurred to me that I am sure is going to bring howls of rage and derision, but here goes anyway:

    If, as is widely postulated, AW is considering strengthening the goalkeeping department because he is concerned that our next tier down (Schezny and Mannone) are still possibly just a touch too young, does anyone think he might consider bringing in another very experienced keeper who will definitely be up for grabs, namely David James?

    I know people will shudder at that suggestion, but he has been fairly solid, is nearing the end of his career, is intelligent, will be reasonably cheap, in fact he seems to tick all the boxes for AW?

  235. Well I’m off to the pub. Have a good one Ladies and Gents 🙂

  236. That’s a bit odd?!?!

    I mention David James in a post and it lands in moderation?!?!

  237. I’ll have to try that again to experiment:

    d@v!d j@m35

  238. That’s truly strange, mention that fellow’s name and your post ends in moderation!

    That’s two of my posts that are in purgatory for what is apparently the sin of mentioning that fellow’s name!

  239. Paul

    We all have different opinions I can’t say for sure that they had no desire but it sure looked like it.


    You’re twisting it a tadm
    I don’t agree with you and I don’t blame injuries for the last games, we knew our situationm if you want to blame injuries then your argument lies with the size of our squad and whether we have good enough back up.

  240. MikeSA,

    The problem is the long-term nature of squad planning.

    Of course, since we have Ramsey, Eastmond, Gibbs,Nordtveit, Walcott & Vela who’d count as homegrown it will be an adavantage for us next season.

    By the following season they’d mostly be over the age of 21, & unless they can displace someone in the 25, that’d be an up or out moment for them with out being the dominant tendency.

    I believe that Arsenal would do better to add some of those; Gibbs, Vela & Ramsey as part of the 25, since they really are part of the 25 and are not supplementary. Since contracts are usually 3 or 4 years in duration we can’t use those slots for non-homegrown players, since either way any of the afforementioned Arsenal youth or the hypothetical non-homegrown would have to leave the club.

    The problem is the artificial limit of 25 as well as the age restriction.

    I think it’d be better if they said each club could have 17 non-homegrown and any number of homegrown.

  241. Ole

    I don’t agree with this “ruling”, I was just noting that I think we’re better off than most.

    I don’t disagree that it means we’ll have to be nimble and plan rather carefully, but I suspect AW has been planning for this for some time anyway, even if he dislikes the idea as well (he is, after all, despite what many claim, a pragmatist).

    I don’t like the ruling, but I think we’re more capable of coping than most of the othe EPL clubs nevertheless, and all thanks to our visionary boss.

  242. Yes, we definitely are in a god position, actually given that this rule is applicable for everyone this suits us to a T. Currently the home grown players in our first team are Manone, Clichy, Gibbs, Traore, Djourou, Diaby, Denilson, Song, Fabregas, Ramsey, Walcott and Bendtner. That is 12 home grown players in the first team itself, and each of them have a good 10 years of top level football in them at the least. Add to that our most impressive supply line of youth. We have Barazite, Nordveit, Wilshire, and possibly JET and Bartley knocking on the doors of the first team. And other younger guys who will step up in the next few years. This puts us in the enviable position of not having to worry about the home grown situation at all in the next 10 years. And since home grown players will be in demand due to this rule, we will be able to sell the players from our academy at a much higher price than what we earlier got for people like Muamba, Larsson etc.

  243. In addition to the above, I forgot about Vela and Schzezney (sp?)

  244. Have you ever taken losing confidence into account after the Barca match?

  245. John,

    You’re hiding your head in the sand. And for the life of me I’m wondering why you’re going to such extremes to avoid the simple truth.

  246. Limpar @ 6:06.

    I also agree with some of what you say. I do not dismiss injuries it is a huge part of what happened to us this yr. We played great in some games and to our credit stayed in the race for a long time despite all the injuries. However, we had bad games whenever we had the chance to take control of the season ourselves. In Jan we went top of the table but then we dropped 8/9 points. The howler at Birmingham cost us a huge 2 points. The Wigan game was a disaster. Spurs beat us convincingly. We were beaten easily by Chelsea and United at the end of last year.

    How can you watch the boss who is clearly exasperated describe our team play as naive or immature at various times and not think that there is a problem beyond injuries for this team. Our record against the top 4 sides this year is 1 – 6 – 1 with a huge negative goal differential.

    Perhaps this team lacks confidence in itself or maybe it subconsciously believes the pundits. I don’t know.

    We can not keep blaming what happens to us on bad luck or bad circumstances. To do that is basically surrendering to fate which will always go against us as long as this team believes it will. Sounds nebulous, but it is a nebulous concept and I do not know how else to say it.

  247. Ok, my earlier post on the keeper situation is still in moderation, so I will alter it and repost:


    Something else occurred to me that I am sure is going to bring howls of rage and derision, but here goes anyway:

    If, as is widely postulated, AW is considering strengthening the goalkeeping department because he is concerned that our next tier down (Schezny and Mannone) are still possibly just a touch too young, does anyone think he might consider bringing in another very experienced keeper who will definitely be up for grabs, namely D@v!d J@m3s from Portsmouth?

    I know people will shudder at that suggestion, but he has been fairly solid, is nearing the end of his career, is intelligent, will be reasonably cheap, in fact he seems to tick all the boxes for AW?

  248. OG, I, like you cannot see the point that John is trying to make. Its simple, Arsenal have been withouth their best players all at the same time and have suffered more injuries during the whole season.


  249. We dont want any yong players. We want experience. Except subotic, lloris, rodwell, hart and all the others under 25.

    But honestly we do want experienced players not youngsters…

  250. “The howler at Birmingham cost us a huge 2 points.”

    Was that when the guy scored with his face from a Sagna clearance attempt?

    If so, that was luck.

    The Wigan match is indefensible though, thats still bothers me.

  251. I’d imagine it’s logistically impossible for the most part, but i’d love some kind of end of season ACLF meet up where we could all sit down in a pub and chew the fat.

  252. On the topic of the pile up of players because of the 21 age level limit on the “B” squad, we have been developing a reputation and a network of clubs who are only too willing to take our “surplus” players and give them experience.

    Using that network with managers and coaches AW trusts, we will be able to keep those players AW might suspect are late developers, and have a rich pipeline of talent that is not quite good enough for us to still sell off and finance the operation.

    We will be able to pick and choose the very best of the stock, and make a tidy profit on the rest.

    We will have a massive inventory of players playing at other clubs under this system.

    As I stated earlier, the law of unintended consequences will mean that many clubs will have to be a lot more polite to us than they are used to (b’ham have not had a single Arsenal loannee since the Eduardo incident, despite mcleish intimating that he had made several enquiries), which will be rather interesting.

  253. Mike SA, if Arsenal fans are having apoplectic fits everytime one of our goal keepers makes a mistake, I hardly think adding ‘calamity’ James to the mix will help.l

  254. Passanel

    I did say I thought the idea would be met with disbelief, but ALL top keepers (including the latest rumour, Reina and also van der Sar) have made howlers in the fairly recent past.

    I’m not particularly advocating this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened.

  255. the word j@mes is subject to moderation as I found the other day. I believe a certain fellow by that name was being a constant twat and had to be babysat by yogi.

    I did ask him to confirm this but got no reply.

  256. Mike, who knows? But I would not be surprised to see Mannone go out on loan while a veteran comes in to compete with Almunia and Fabianski.

  257. How can you trust the accuracy of Arshavin’s quotes when the same article says he plays for Tottenham.

  258. to be honest I do think fabianski is a bad choice and generally throws the goalie decision into a spin.

    In my eyes Szczesny (tech 9) and mannone have their heads screwed on properly and the talent to boot. Obviously I see little of them in action and of course trust wengers judgement fundimentally but you can’t deny he has blindspots in such areas. ie senderos had the gaffers faith but we all felt the rush of nerves when he came near the ball.

    I guess it is too early for either of them to be trusted for a season even with almunia as a safety net no.2 but I’m just saying that sometimes the logical decsion is not always the right one.

  259. Naysayers like John should read Martin Tyler’s Blog in February on how dependent Chelsea and ManU were and are on their top scorers. Tyler showed what the league table would look like if each team’s top scorer was omitted from their results. Even without RvP and Cesc we would have topped the table.,25212,12038_5977021,00.html

    MARTIN SAYS: Bruce, we have new Premier League leaders! Under your system, Arsenal go two points clear at the top. Remarkably, if you take Cesc Fabregas’ 12 goals away from the records, Arsenal would be just one point worse off (the point earned from his goal in the 1-1 draw with Burnley).

    In contrast, Drogba’s 19 goals have added 15 points to Chelsea’s tally so without them the Blues drop down to third spot. Wayne Rooney’s goals have earned Manchester United eight points and they would remain second.

    Tottenham remain in the fourth Champions League spot in part because Spurs would have beaten Wigan ‘without’ Jermain Defoe’s five-goal haul earlier this season – therefore the White Hart Lane club only drop six points in comparison to the nine lost by Manchester City, for whom Carlos Tevez has scored two fewer goals.

    Sunderland suffer badly, dropping from 14th to 19th spot, such is the value of Darren Bent’s goals to the cause but they are kept off the bottom by Portsmouth on goal difference. If you remove the goals of Bent and Aruna Dindane then Sunderland’s goal difference is -27, Pompey’s is -28.

    Where there is more than one top-scorer, the player whose goals have contributed the most points has been selected. For example with Stoke City, Matthew Etherington’s goals ‘contribute’ one point, so he loses out to Robert Huth and Tuncay who have each ‘contributed’ four.

    Premier League table ‘minus each team’s top scorer’

    Team Top scorer (goals) Points change New points New position (change)
    Arsenal Fabregas (12) 1 54 1st (+2)
    Man Utd Rooney (23) 8 52 2nd (=)
    Chelsea Drogba (19) 15 46 3rd (-2)
    Spurs Defoe (16) 6 40 4th (=)
    Aston Villa Agbonlahor (11) 8 37 5th (+2)
    Man City Tevez (13) 9 37 6th (-1)
    Liverpool Torres (12) 9 36 7th (-1)
    Fulham Zamora (8) 7 30 8th (+1)
    Stoke Huth/Tuncay (3) 4 30 9th (+2)
    Birmingham Jerome (5) 7 30 10th (=)
    Blackburn Dunn (5) 4 30 11th (=)
    Everton Saha (13) 11 27 12th (-4)
    West Ham C Cole (9) 3 24 13th (=)
    Wolves Doyle (6) 4 20 14th (+2)
    Hull S Hunt (6) 4 20 15th (+2)
    Burnley Fletcher (7) 3 20 16th (+3)
    Bolton Klasnic (6) 5 18 17th (+1)
    Wigan Rodallega (7) 7 18 18th (-3)
    Sunderland Bent (15) 11 15 19th (-5)
    Portsmouth Dindane (5) 1 15 20th (=)

  260. 1 loose cannon

    What is Lyon doing in a C,league semi final? A very poor game one of the worst games I have seen, the atmosphere is dead it feels like a preseason game. I’ve wasted my time watching total crap. Inter V Lyon in the final could be another crap game not to look forward to. I feel if it wasn’t us meeting Barcelona we could’ve been in the final it really is poor the quality of some the teams remaining.

  261. ole,

    I’m not hiding my head in the sand I’m giving my opinion I could well be wrong it is not a fact we lost the league to injuries, it is one of many factors.

  262. Chelski and ManU have been profiting from Arsenal’s injury crisis for the last four seasons. They profited from Arsenal loosing silly points to teams they dominated and giving up 2 goal leads.

    Chelski and ManU are lucky.

  263. 1lc looks like it will be Bayern v Inter in the final not that I care now.

  264. Do I hate the “Pundits” trying to Discredit Olics Hat-trick by blaming the Keeper and defenders. These sad little men are really annoying. Give the man credit like you would Rooney!! A Hat-trick in a champions league semis is no mean feat.

  265. Why are jaffa cakes found in the biscuit section at Tescos and not in the cake section?

    Are they a cake or a biscuit, I think we need to be told!

  266. 1 loose cannon

    I meant to say Inter V Bayern in the final.
    Olic is a hard working player, he also scored against Manure, he is no mug, very good player

  267. 1 loose cannon,

    I disagree with you regarding the atmosphere during the Bayern v Lyon match. The Lyonnais fans were shell shocked after their captain was dismissed, but even after being 3 nil down at home they were celebrating their teams achievment of reaching the semi final of the CL and the stadium was still full at the end of the match. Great support I say.

  268. notlager,

    did we know that robin would be out for this long in november? we didn’t have enough this season after the injury to our star striker is effectively what you’re saying?

    MARTIN SAYS: Bruce, we have new Premier League leaders! Under your system, Arsenal go two points clear at the top. Remarkably, if you take Cesc Fabregas’ 12 goals away from the records, Arsenal would be just one point worse off (the point earned from his goal in the 1-1 draw with Burnley).

    I had to laugh at this because that table worked out by martin tyler couldn’t possibly be right if he thinks that 11 cesc goals do not matter because only one of them got us a point at burnley.

    that is all winning goals and pure bollocks I would more then expect them to win these points but it’s mostly bollocks

    jermaine defoe loses 5 goals because spurs would have won anyway lol.

    so if we had robin and he scored 18 goals, if he scored 4 in a 6-0 win we lose them goals to this table but it didn’t help gain any points.

    I can understand having our striker out has handicapped us and I can imagine rooney and drogba doing the same to thier clubs. this just isn’t appropriate material for an arguement about an injured arsenal striker, infact it has fuck all to do with it…

  269. Olic doesn’t berate referees and kick opponent players. He’s just a hard working, humble football player who made Carrick and Evra look like sunday league kickers.

  270. enuf is enuf.. project youth has faild and itz time dat wenger splashed da cash or leave.this is arsenal fc not arsene fc.we av £70 milion in da kitty and wenger needs to sell almunia for £15 million, get Given for around £4 mil. Chamakh is coming on a free, maybe look at bringing torrez in for about 12mil and throw in silvestre to push da deal frough quickly before Man City offer 16mil

    Sell Edaurdo for 5mil. He has had his chance and instead choosing to get injured instead of being at his best.we ave not room for selfish plyers.

    Melo is goin stale at Juventus and we should go all out for messi to send a message to our rivals. Imgine our rivals openin that message? The message that says Messi is a gooner! Wicked.

    now if I can see dat,why can wenger imho

  271. john,

    you really don’t understand how football works, don’t you. It’s the points that are important. Drogba’s 19 goals have added 15 points to Chelsea’s tally, Wayne Rooney’s goals have earned Manchester United eight points. Can you not read? What about presenting us with some facts rather than just saying I DON’T BELIEVE THAT.

    But I accept you want to be a dick so I won’t waste my time on you anymore.

  272. I’ve given up on John. Sounds like he’s trying to be reasonable but it’s just not working.

    That’s what happens when you’re trying to ignore the most obvious thing in the world.

  273. so you believe that wanye rooney has only contributed to 8 points for utd?

    you say I don’t know how football works but I didn’t have to dig up a pointless martin tyler article contradicting my own point. the only real correct stat on the whole thing is the points that bent has won for sunderland because he mostly is the only one who scores this season.

    I have never said that drogba and rooney aren’t important to thier clubs chances so what are we trying to prove here?

    all that the article suggests is that cesc isn’t as important as we think and that as our top goal scorer he has gained us a point with his goal at turf moor..

  274. ole, you told me without wayne rooney utd would have finished 6th

    how can you believe this article?

    it’s obviously about piont winning goals notlager.

  275. hope to god that was all a joke Mean Lean

  276. he must be messing if only we could get 15m for almunia

  277. we could buy this striker.Bad day at the office i suppose 😀

  278. haha thats great lordgunner

  279. I know this is retarded, but I’ve had too much to drink and heard this song on the way home and realised how much it sounded like “Mannone”. It reminded me of the food jokes…

    I’ve lost forty minutes on this shit:

    It’s my turn now, the name’s Vito Mannone
    “Ham on rye, pizza pie, hold the baloney”
    Once I get my lunch then I’ll feel all right
    Y’know I toss and turn in the middle of the night
    Cos I need a bite.

    Do I eat pears? Yeah!
    Eclairs? Yeah!
    Hare? Yeah!
    Rare? Yeah!
    Bear?! Yeah!!

    (You know I need – some – food)

    Mann-o-ne, Mann-o-ne, Mann-o-ne…

    Grab a chair! Where?
    There! Where?
    There! Where?
    There! There?
    Yeah! Yeah!

    “Two rib-eye steaks for my boy Mannone”
    Sticky buns, cake and macaroni
    Once I start cookin’ I’m in the mood, yeah
    Don’t hold back on pepperoni!

    Do I eat pears? Yeah!
    Eclairs? Yeah!
    Hare? Yeah!
    Rare? Yeah!
    Bear?! Yeah!!!


  280. Bloody hell BRL, I haven’t heard that in years.

  281. Yep, it’s an oldie, Dups. I think it was in a film about Vietnam – that’s how I know it.

  282. While it seems Wenger won’t stick with Big Al, it is not yet clear he sees Fabianski as a failure, much less Mannone and Schezni.

    None of us see these guys in training day in day out, none of us has a clue about the reality of their progress – which would be meticulously charted by the goalkeeping coach. We see a little bit of the confidence factor in the matches.

    As it happens I agree with Mike SA; Wenger is more likely to buy a goalkeeping ‘Sol’ for a season than anything else. But who knows, maybe if the best in the world is available he will pounce.

    The CB position is the most interesting to me. There is no possibility of Gallas, Sol at their age to play through a season, and with Djourou not yet back to his best, a purchase is inevitable.

    Long term looks great with the kids coming through.

  283. Hurry along with the next post, YW. I have used the ‘hide publication’ feature on NewsNow so often that only ACLF appears.

  284. Gallas is only 32. Doesn’t seem very old to me ZP.

    Bloody ‘ell. Washed up at 32. Where does that leave the rest of us?

  285. There must be a good chance that WG will stay at least for next season. The real geriatrics are Sol and Mikael Sylvestre, are they not? At least one of those two will go, surely?

  286. First time commenting on this “one of the best blog site on Arsenal”.
    I have been thinking about this new found richness of Arsenal and all this talk about Arsene having the cash to spend. I don´t think we need many players and have often thought about the same lines summer after summer, but my disapointment has always been with us loosing key players summer after summer because of salary, Hleb and Flamini as the worst loss (Henry and Vieira wanted to go). I think what is so great about our new found richness is that now we will be able to compete salary wise with the craziest clups out there, Cesc´s new deal being the biggest clue to this.
    If we can hold on to our best players for couple of years (untill they just want to leave) than we will be the force our potential is demanding.
    Thanks Bjoggi

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