Triaud Chamakh’s His Toys Out, Cesc And Not So Safe Hands

The most protracted saga since the nation was put under the Aaron Spelling and tried to work out who shot JR is seemingly winding its way to a conclusion with Marouane Chamakh reportedly in London to finalise his transfer. The transfer is not bring the outbreak of unbridled joy that the club had perhaps hoped for which is partly their own fault as it has been too drawn out.

In the mists of time, Arsenal had hinted that they would conduct the transfer in the proper manner and would not announce it out of respect to Bordeaux. They need not have bothered caring. Jean-Louis Triaud observed:

I have had two difficult transfers since I arrived: Wiltord and Chamakh. These two departures relate to Arsenal.

Difficult? I’m not too sure he can complain about the first of the two, capitalising on the equaliser scored in the Euro2000 final. The latter? Well, let’s see. Chamakh gave very strong indications last summer that he was going to leave and Triaud became greedy, not just in that window but in January as well if reports are to be believed. So perhaps pride has been stung. I’m sure he will get over it, especially if Arsène comes knocking with a suitcase full of used €100 bills.

Elsewhere the usual pile of mierda is emerging from Catalunya with media reports of Laporta having met with Arsenal on Friday to discuss the possible transfer of Cesc. Presidential elections are the driving force for this with another brown-nosing director hoping to impress any potential new boss of his worth by stating that David Villa is almost arriving and Cesc is the same except that Arsenal has not named the price yet. So, there is no transfer then and no-one should believe that Laporta is seeking to gain popularity to further his political aspirations. Oh noooo.

Onto more pressing matters, namely goalkeepers. They say you have to be mad to be one but the bit missed off is that former custodians are extremely loyal to the current incumbents. Following the recent staunch defence of Almunia and Co by Bob Wilson, David Seaman has now joined the extremely short queue of their defenders:

They’re still learning, especially Fabianski – people forget how young he is. He’s a great talent but he still needs to develop his all round game…Then you look at Almunia who has all the experience. I think he’s going to have a problem in keeping Fabianski out. It’s great though to have competition for that one spot, Arsenal need it to be competitive as it will bring out the best in them.

I think he’ll stay with the first choice pair he has at the moment. If you include Vito [Mannone] he’s got three with first team experience. Then you look at Wojciech Szczesny coming through and you have to say he’s a fascinating prospect. I think he may be a little young to throw straight into the first team as being in goal for Arsenal is very different to being in goal at Brentford. He is a great, great talent though – so Arsene’s got four top players at his disposal.

Given (no, it’s Joe Hart that everyone wants – Ed.) that Seaman has some credibility as knowing what makes a good goalkeeper, dismissal of Almunia and Fabianski as no-hopers does seem harsh. He went onto observe that Almunia’s experience would help him push on whilst Fabianski could improve if he played regularly. Problematically, he noted:

I don’t know for sure what he’ll do but I accept it’s a tough situation when the fans are calling for change.

Arsène will not make a signing to keep the fans happy, we know that. However, change will be made if the defence does not have confidence in the goalkeeper and I wonder if that feeling has become apparent in training, overtly or otherwise.

For me, we have some decent reserve goalkeepers but not one that is outstanding enough. Almunia has improved considerably since he joined and I think that it is not a harsh judgement to put him at the same level as John Lukic when thinking of Arsenal goalkeepers over the past twenty five years. Could he make the leap to the same level as Seaman, Jennings or Lehmann? No, I don’t think so.

Plenty of ‘World Class’ goalkeepers provided evidence that mistakes are made and sometimes I get a feeling that it is easier to criticise one individual than accept that goals conceded are down to the team failing to defend properly. But then I think of Wigan, Porto and Birmingham. Not of those matches individually but there is a cumulative effect that leads me to hope that we get a new Number One who can walk straight into that trio of Seaman & Co I mentioned earlier. If that happened, I would have no issue with any of the current quartet remaining as understudies.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 18, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 328 Comments.

  1. Personally I have allways liked Almunia, its only recently that i have started feeling nervous every time he is in between the sticks. He is capable of great performances but just does not seem to have that assertivness that great keepers have. ( please excuse my spelling, english is not my first language)

  2. I think you put it very well ZULU.

  3. A straight swap:

    Pep Guardiola for Cesc Fabregas in 3 years.

    Makes sense to me.

  4. We all know we NEED a new world class goalkeeper and to be honest there are quite a few out their within our reach, so let’s just hope we are negotiating a deal for one as we speak.

  5. Firstly and most importantly, we need to sort the defence and the DEFENDING out. Our collective display as a team at defending is poor, this needs looking at.

    We almost won the league with Almunia in goal – in fact we should have. With a better defence this season gone and a few less injuries we may have done it again. I don’t see the Goalkeeping area as much of a problem as the defence. If we can get someone who in an improvement I won’t object, but Almunia is not a bad keeper. At times he can be the top keeper in the League, then theres times you look and think he should perform better.

  6. Brady

    Please name them?

  7. we need a world class keeper.period.

  8. Furious Styles

    Just can’t see Wenger going for a new keeper considering he has those 4 guys, 3 of them young “prospects”, and him repeatedly expressing his belief in their abilities. It totally sucks, but I’d be shocked if he went for a new keeper.

    I reckon it’ll be Chamackhkhckh, 1 solid CB and perhaps a central midfielder with some asskicking abilities.

  9. We don’t need Pep Guardiola. We have Arsene Wenger. Anyway Pep Guardiola is not the management force behind the current Barcelona squad. He is the current puppet.

  10. buffon,ceaser,akinfeev… the list is endless.

  11. Pep Puppet would fail at Arsenal. He hasn’t proved he can find new talent having had all the talent already at the club. He hasn’t really done any good transfer business, and his squad is pretty weak. I know that is rich coming from an Arsenal fan, but that is what is reported in Spain to the reasons why they didn’t go on further to win the Champions League.

    There is an over reliance on Messi, had he been injured for a chunk of the season Pep would have got the sack.

    How anyone can compare him to a manager that has brought many talented players into the footballing world, performed miracles in the transfer market year after year, and has been achieving top of the table finishes and constant passage into the Champions league for 14 years!

  12. jesse

    So an over the hill Italian, Cesar an Italian league winner (why would he leave, and why would they sell?), and someone you hear in the papers is your endless list!

    You gotta try harder than that.

  13. The Goalkeeper brigade need to get their scouting badges and stop playing championship manager. Not good for your health kids!

  14. Sure I think we can get Lloris, Hart, Buffon, Reina, and there are many more to name.

    Chrisgooner I agree 100% about the defending. I personally would like to swap our coaching staff with Fulham, bar the manager. The organisation, shape and discipline shown is immense. We already know how to attack, but the defending needs some back to basics really.

  15. As long as Mourinho is there then Julio Ceaser is not within our reach Jesse. I won’t even bother talking finance on that deal, we would simply not be in any position to compete and City would most definetly jump to the front of the que regardless of how their current keeper was performing.

  16. Reina – recently signed a new contract

    Lloris – very much over hyped in Lyon’s progress in the Champions League, the one game I watched he fluffed a number of crosses. I’d rather stick with Fabianski

    Buffon – as i said, an over the hill Italian looking for a pay day, they say his back has gone too!

    Hart – a good young player, someone who we can’t throw in and trust

  17. Fact of the matter is, Wenger will struggle to better the Goalkeeping area with the market how it is. We can’t compete for the big name keepers as they would come at a premium.. Can anyone imagine how much somebody like Cassilas would cost! 60m, 80m, 100m… the same could be said for Cech.. these guys are so overly rated, nobody can afford them!

  18. we NEED a keeper – thats just a fact – Almunia was never up to the requited standard – doesnt make him a bad keeper – just not good enough for what we need – and i dont think Fabz will amount to it either – maybe a decent no2 or a good keeper at a lower expectancy club – just not first choice at Arsenal

  19. the first person we bring in should be keown to help with the defensive side… he worked wonders in 2006

  20. Sorry we can’t throw in and take a chance on a guy that was named the PL keeper of the season ? Right…

    Contracts can be signed, but the player can still be bought, just more money would need to be put up. At the end of the day if Liverpool were to lose wither or both Gerrard and Torres who would want to go to Liverpool ? And what would stop Reina from deciding he needs to move on and play in the CL and realistically challenge for the EPL ?

  21. Only an unknown or unproven keeper is affordable .

    Unknowns will be eiether somebody experienced from abroad who hasn’t really got a shot at the top level: e.g Almunia.

    Unprovens will be someone like Green or Hart..

  22. contracts mean nothing these days

  23. Fabianski is 25 years old.

    That is not particularly young, even for a goalkeeper. Not young enough to excuse regular calamities, in any case.

    I’m by no means a fan of the “kick ’em out” school of thought that believes in selling every who’s ever had a bad game. Generally I’d like us to keep almost all our players. But an exception should, I think, be made in the goalkeeping department.

    You cannot persevere with a player who, in their mid-20s, is still extremely uncomfortable with playing in the 1st team. Fabianski should be shown the door; Spunky’s comments on the matter are simply incorrect.

  24. Benitez selling us Reina! haaaaaa

    Have you forgotten how stubborn he was over the whole Alonso affair. The man is a knob

  25. Julian H

    Fabianski will get a run in the 1st team next year whether you like it or not. He will prove to be an able 1st teamer, I don’t think we will hear from you on this matter when that occurs.

  26. I don’t think we need Pep – but make no mistake this man is certainly no puppet. He may not have bought all the players but his ID is stamped all over that team and he has a level of autonomy that the ‘Really Mad’ managers can only dream of.

    The keeper issue just won’t go away – I don;lt know who we should sign now but it is a pity that we let Van der Sar and Given pass by when either would have done a better job than Almunia (who I do not have a huge problem with but, lets face it, he just is not as good).

    For years though I have been screaming for us to buy Brad Friedel – perhaps a bit too late now, at 38, but a remarkable presence to him and still capable of turning on unbeatable performances between the sticks. He also holds the current Premier League record for most consecutive appearances, with 226.

  27. Some of you guys live in dream world

  28. Go ChrisGoona I agree

  29. Friedel is someone who would have been a good buy. The guy has performed season after season after season. It all comes down to availablity and timing. If Wenger even sees us as NEEDING a keeper as much as some fans think, who is available?

  30. I’m going out on lunch! Ill be back hopefully a tad more ‘chilled’ 😦

  31. fab has issued contradictary statements this time arnd in the same interview

    Against arsenal : You see your [Spanish] team-mates succeeding here [in Barcelona] and it is exciting because you have worked alongside them for so long.

    Against arsenal : “I think I would like to go to Barcelona, whether or not they want me is another thing.”

    Pro Arsenal :don’t know when it will happen. I am happy at Arsenal and I am not in a rush to leave.”

    Against Arsenal :Before I leave for the World Cup I want my future sorted out because it benefits nobody if I go into the tournament with something else on my mind.

    I think that cesc has given enough indications that he wants to leave this time arnd – he is just a bit hesitant to state that obvious very obviously – i dont understand as to what sorting out he needs abt his future – he is contracted to the arsenal till 2014 – a statement to this effect is a clear indication that he might want to leave and is an open invitation to barca to come and get him

  32. Chris whose to say it will be Benitez dealing with the transfer ? Plus if a player wants to go he will go. The manager can’t stop them now. Look at Ronaldo, Xabi, Lescott, Barry shall I go on ?

  33. Brad Friedel is old hat. We need a Neuer goalkeeper than that.

  34. Well we can tell by the British press that it is silly season, when you read about who we are supposedly linked to and of course the Fabregas saga. On Fabregas we need to remember that he is contracted to AFC until 2014 so he is only going to leave if AFC want him to leave! I think we all know how the Spanish media reacts and the bullshit that surrounds the promises of the newly elected club president. When the official announcement comes from AFC that Fabregas is leaving then I will believe it, until then it is nothing but speculation. As for the GK situation I do not think Buffon is the right choice, he is now too old and injury prone. Green, Hart or Lloris would be good choices in my opinion. However at the end of the day it is Arsne Wenger and his staff who make the choices and I am certain that they are a lot more qualified than I am to identify any weakness and decide who and if a new player is the answer.

  35. Thank you, Chris, for your Cassandra-esque brilliance.

    As you have spoken, there is no need for me, or anyone, to contribute further thought.

    Humbly yours,

    Julian H

  36. Funnily enough, Jonny, it’s Brad Friedel’s 39th birthday this very day. Many happy returns, Brad.

  37. Chris

    I’m more worried about your blood pressure! Shouldn’t be so high…


  38. I think Lloris is or was his number 1 as based on the story on when the manager mentioned he doesn’t think that Lyon would sell this summer, but who knows in this crazy transfer market.

  39. Is it me or can nobody think for a premier league keeper we could being in except for foreign keepers that play for other big teams.

  40. DFG

    Contracts mean nothing to high profile players – they are able to move when they want to and in fairness, be sold when they may not want to be.


  41. Alex Ice Cream

    I actually agree with Chrisgoona!!

    Finding this world class keeper is no easy task. Chris has already highlighted the shortcomings of the names being mentioned.

    Is Hart the answer, I doubt it. He can look good at a lower level but could well find himself out of his depth at Arsenal much like Richard Wright before him. I am not sure he is better than Woocash.

    Given? Great shot-stopper but doesn’t come off his line which is what Almunia gets criticised for!

    Lloris does look good but how will he cope in the Prem? Lyon would want a fortune for him so forget it.

    Buffon would also cost a fortune and there are issues with his fitness.

    I think that Almunia is not good enough and never will be but I rate Woocash and just think he needs time but whether we can give him this the issue.

    Either way the defending throughout the team needs to improve, not just the keeper.

  42. Maria

    The only ones who I believe would give confidence are:

    Given, van der Sar, Reina and Cech. Hart is flavour of the month at the moment but other than that, there is a paucity of talent.

    Green I am not sure about, there is a nagging doubt that he could turn out to be a bit of a Richard Wright buy – bags of ability but unable to produce that on a regular basis.

    I don’t think the Premier League is unique in having a shortage of world class goalkeepers, simply that looking abroad gives more scope for choice.

  43. Arsene revealed recently that Cesc is actually under contract until 2016

  44. Maria, I’ve always liked Jussi Jääskeläinen. He really is the finnish article.

  45. Well here goes buffon…

    Buffon’s agent Silvano Martina said: “I want to remind everyone that Buffon is under contract with Juve and that next season he will play at Juve.

    “When he was asked hypothetically where he would want to play if he left Juve, he always said his first choice would be England, but there is nothing else. He never said he would leave.”

    It was never going to happen, just as Cesc will not be leaving –not this summer anyway.

    I don’t think Wenger will be buying a keeper anyway.

  46. Wengerball I for one am glad. I didn’t give that particular rumour one ounce of credability.

  47. Bob Wilson is a man of huge integrity who chooses his words very carefully. Loyalty to Arsenal prevents him from openly stating that Almunia and Fabianski are not good enough, but you don’t have to read too far into the subtext of what he’s said about them to see that, far from staunchly defending them, he feels that they’re unlikely to reach the standards required by the club.

  48. YW. Yes of course, I understand that but as long as he is contracted to us, then to sell him should only be based on a cash figure or cash plus player deal that is suitable to AFC and not Barcelona or Fabregas. What I am saying is that AFC are in control of what happens.

  49. I genuinely fear that Cesc is gone.
    The statement he made last week was deliberate and contrived. It certainly wasn’t his usual kick to touch comment. What was most concerning was by publicly stating his devotion to Barca – he effectively ruled out the possibility of a transfer elsewhere and thus reduced his market price.

    Wenger has never stood in the way of a players wishes – and if cesc wants to go – then he’ll be allowed to leave. And I for one don’t think a talent like Cesc Febregas is replaceable.


    Good blog – keep up the good work..!!

  50. Who thinks that we should all pedal some rumour that Arsenal are infact about to sign Messi.

    1: Kidnap the little fucker then we’ll sit him infront of a load of local school kids and hammer him with questions like… “yer we know you play for barca but if you were ever to leave would you play for arsenal Mr?????? Pleeeeeaaaaase!”

    2: Then spread the filth all over the net.

    3: Then send him home, maybe minus a toe or something.

  51. On goalkeepers: Didn’t Wenger say recently he doesn’t believe in bringing in more than two players in the 1st team at any time as it took too long to integrate them? How does this apply to a new goalkeeper, a new central defender plus Chamakh?

    Truly looking forward to responses.

  52. The manager is the best talent spotter in the world with a renowned scouting network, he should be able to find a quality goalkeeper. It is no surprise that we are struggling, it is not our job to search teh whole world for one.

    Julio Cesar was signed straight from Brazil and loaned out, I doubt many people knew he was out there but he was.

    Cech played at Rennes before the chav scum.

    If you only look at keepers with reputations for being superb already, the market will seem thin or over-priced. However, the manager should be able to go out and get someone less well regarded who can do what we need. Few players are established as top players before they move to top clubs and play big games and in europe.

    Look at Vermaalen, Sagna, Eduardo, Rosicky, Chamakh, then back to Henry, Vieira, Toure. Only Henry and Rosicky were internationally recognised and neither had fully established themselves at a top, top club side.

    The boss will find us what we need and he will probably do it in a fashion that is cheaper and far, far smarter than any pundits or hacks predict. If we could guess what is needed then he wouldn’t be a genius for getting it right so often.

    In arsene we trust.

  53. abeesabo musa

    what about Buffon? Juve re not qualified for champs league, Mancity who bid did not qualified too, interested manutd cannot bench Van dasaar for him. He will be a good signing for Arsenal.

  54. hmmm yes triaud the simply realturd transfer was an awkward one for you given that you only ended up with £13m for him.

  55. The players we sign may not be automatic first team players straight away, unlike ronaldo and kaka say at madrid.

    He often signs more than 2 players, but gives them time to get used to the squads style.

    It is probably a negative to sign players who feel a right to always start games on reputation or price tag, Chamak probably wont.

  56. Shotta I think he said 3 players at a time. Anymore would be disruptive. But if a team had lots of departures surely that would be different.

  57. Els – we could keep the toe as incentive. A 9 toed player must cost less, plus if we promise to sow it back on if he aggitates for a move it would help.

  58. Flint McCullough

    Good grief, I agree with AIC.

    The goalkeeper issue is always difficult. Almunia is Lukic quality, ok but not great, but there is no obvious Seaman out there.

    Green is a flapper, certainly no better than Manuel, but probably worse. I like Kirkland but he is injury prone, David James could be an answer to hold the position for a season while Sczezny has another loan spell. His problem is that he has been busy at Pompey, which helps the concentration- his biggest problem.

    Unless you can find a huge bugger like Peter Schmichal, a continental ‘keeper would have initial problems, regardless of ability because of the nature of the PL. A good example is Gomes, who had a Fabianski start at the Spuds, but is now showing he ain’t too bad.

    Achinev is a trip into the unknown.

    Bit of a minefield really.

    Goalkeeping isn’t our biggest problem, defending within our style of play is.

  59. Most of what Wenger says in public on transfers has a purpose, rathe rthan just letting the world know what he wants and will do. That is why you get lunatics angry that he “lied” to them, via some cum-rag tabloid.

    He may have said something and not meant it whatsoever.

  60. Only Barcelona could get away with the tapping up and unsettling of players under long contracts to other teams.If we behaved in the same way eufa would be down on us like a ton of bricks.They pursued Henry for two years with overt pressure on Arsenal and the player,until he finally left.and now it is Fabregas.Ban the arrogant B…..stds.who do they think they are

  61. 2 consecutive good points there arsenehollis.

  62. Well, I like Almunia and I agree with Seaman about Fabianski. On the other hand, traditionally, sort of anyway, Arsenal has always had 2 things – a better-than-fantastic keeper and striker. Is this not so? Therefore, the only answer would seem to be that Almunia must become a truly outstanding keeper, Seaman-esque, and in two seasons or so, Fabianski. We already have the striker.

  63. Sorry 3 in a row.

  64. mark schwarzer! anyone

  65. We need a goalkeeper! Pure and simple!

  66. Shotta

    You presume that Chamakh is going to go straight into the starting XI. I am not convinced that is the case, certainly not centrally as I would be disappointed if RvP is not lead striker this season given he has been outstanding. Fit is the obvious proviso.

    With Arshavin an almost certain starter, that indicates to me at least, Chamakh is fighting with Bendtner, Eduardo and Vela initially without taking into account Walcott, Nasri and Rosicky.

    It’s too crowded to presume that the he is a ‘shoe-in’. A few seasons back, I might have agreed with you but rotation is such that having 3 or 4 new squad players is not a hardship re integration.


  67. I think that Wenger knows that this is a pivotal transfer window in his arsenal reign. Perhaps even his most important to date. I think for him to ignore the goalkeeping problem would be deemed negligent by most gooners. Apart from anything else AW would be making a huge gamble by banking on the current keepers – not just gambling on the chance of us succeeding next year but risking the legacy he leaves behind. I feel that he won’t stubbornly stick with his current players as he has been accused of doing before. On the Cesc front, yes he is on a long contract but more important than that, AW will need to convince Cesc that he can add to the squad so effectively that we will be true challengers for silverware next season. I don’t believe he should plead with Cesc to “give it another year” unless Cesc has fully bought into the project. It is up to Wenger to buy big, buy well and inspire Cesc (and the rest of us) that we are going to unstoppable next season. I think (and hope) that we are in for a very interesting couple of weeks before the World Cup.

  68. Almunia can not be judged on one season alone. Last season he was really good. This season we have a new formation that has leaked goals, had a lot attacks aimed down the flanks at us, crosses often un-do lots of great keepers. So bare with him, the formation will be tighter as the players adapt to there roles.

    As many sensible types are saying, there will be better out there but
    A: can you get them
    B: are they that much better that it could warrant the spending of ten’s of millions.
    C: It is true that wenger only prefers to sign 3 players in a window, adding more to the team can unsettle (like a fish tank), so if you sign a keeper and chamahk then you will only get 1 defensive outfield signing. If that, and judging by the mentallity of people calling for buffon and such they are wanting as many players as they can fit in the trolley.

  69. YW

    Very crowded, I cannot help thinking somebody may leave out of the few you stated in your previous post. It’s a nice thought to have Bendtner, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Chamakh, Van Persie, Rosicky, Nasri…who else..!! … All competiting for attacking roles, I doubt we can offer them all 1st team football unless we are again “blessed” with so many injuries as usual!

  70. Players improve, so it would be wrong to assume that because x,y, or z played poorly this year that they will again.

    Someone mentioned that ugly git in goal for spurs as an example. Henry stands out for me as one who couldn’t hit the clock but then couldn’t miss.

    It is the managers job to tell the difference between form and class. Fans tend to judge things on current performance only then draw long term conclusions.

    If wenger believes in these players then he will keep them and if he is right and they play well the fans will back them. His only problem, it it is one, is that there wont be much slack given if things start poorly – someone like fabianski might find that tough.

    If Fabianski had been fit when almunia was dropped/his chest collapsed he woudl have come into a team bang in form and scoring the goals to cover a few mistakes whilst he got settled. He didnt and things went against him a bit with little leeway.

  71. YW – I doubt we pursued Chamakh for more than a year for him to come to sit on those plush Citroen seats at the Ems. But I am sure he will not be rushed.
    Just to allay or annoy most of the overwrought gooners longing for as much as four new signings in this window, can someone do a history of Wenger’s new signings brought straight into the 1st team.

  72. For ZULU from yesterday. OK, fair enough, yes I agree, we truly love the idea of the Rainbow Nation, and we support you guys. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a great show, because technically SA is great, we know that.

    I just wish for it to be more of an African world cup, because wherever one looks it seems to be THE FIFA SHOW, not the African world cup.

    The fact that I find world cups boring, sacrilege, is not to do with South Africa. Germany was boring. It’s just me. I prefer club football, always have.


  73. els

    Some nice comments. I have to agree that we have suffered with the new formation. Our full backs have gone from being the best in the league to being perceived as rather average after 1 season. The defensive cover in these areas has been poor. Wenger will surely analyse how this will be fixed, as he has said 40 and above goals conceded is just unacceptable

  74. I predict a sparkling World Cup for Nicklas Bendtner which may make things difficult for Chamakh to get into the first team immediately. Nicklas is a good outsider for the Golden Boot at 65/1 (may have shortened by now).

    galteegunner, I think we will add to the squad – perhaps there will be a new Arsenal player unveiled as early as this afternoon – but it is important to remember that we were true challengers for silverware this season. You might need convincing that we can challenge again next season, but I don’t think Cesc does – signings or no signings.

    I have never known an injury crisis like the one we’ve just witnessed – and IG has positioned satellites in space especially to solve that problem now so… sorted.

  75. how many mistakes did almunia actually make this season? about 5 or so?? Timing is everything here but our priority should be to have at least one of our young keepers ready to move into the first team in about 2 years. Which world class keeper is going to come in a be a stop gap for us? Only someone older and available… think I’d rather have almunia than david james.

    We are getting very overcrowed in the front row 3 if all fit… would be happy to see eduardo happy elsewhere.

    also looks like we are due some kind of windfall from reyes latest forced transfer:

  76. General Comment…

    Song, Toure and Nasri in the midfield sounds good

    Arshavin, Chamakh and RVP sounds good

    Clichy Vermaelen. ? Sagna not sure

    ? not sure

    Long hot summer?

  77. What did folks think of Mokoena’s showing for Portsmouth in the FA cup final at CB? I think he’s excellent. Another South African I have hardly ever seen play poorly is Everton’s Pienaar. I suspect both may find themselves at bigger clubs soon after the World Cup, although Pienaar is a loyal sort and gets to play regularly at Everton.

  78. ChrisGoona it’s a Work in Progress so no doubt Wenger will improve it, better to give al and the rest of the team some room to adapt before big expensive changes.

    I’m resigned to the fact that we could do with more depth mainly a central defender, chamahk and a utility player (eboue 2) would be my preference.

  79. @ Shotta,

    I don’t think a keeper would count in that, because the integration required is more about knowing how your team mates are going to move and what positions they are going to take up.

    On the keeper situation, If you put Almunia in West Ham, or Birmingham, or ManCity or Bolton, he’d be one of the keepers we’d be clamouring to sign. His problem with coming of his line is not really his fault entirely, it comes because we play such a high defensive line. Fabianski just needs to be confident, I’ve seen him come off his line brilliantly on a number off occasions.

  80. Chamakh is unlikely to get more than 10-15 starts in his first season, especially if Bendtner is in full flow, which is very likely. Then again both up front (Bendtner right) is an enticing prospect for certain games.

    Somebody noticed the stats that Arsenal were amongst the least effective teams, possibly the worst, in accuracy of crosses. But with somebody to really aim at (RvP is a good header too) … How do you find reasonable looking Arshavin in a forest of 6 foot ugly-as-sin defenders?

  81. arsenehollis

    Zimpaul – personally, I think that stat about our crossing is due to the fact that our wide men don’t cross, it is the full-backs, and only when we are playiing poorly do we do it often. There are exceptions, but for us generally, lots of crosses means that we have run out of ideas or our full-backs get issolated in possession out wide and just lump it in the box.

  82. Has anybody else picked up the thread going the rounds on some blogs that we will see by Arsene’s signings this summer whether he will be signing a new contract or not?

    The logic being that he will not spend the war chest if he is not going to be around for long.

    I find that a rather scary theory. You can see the logic, that’s what makes it an uncomfortable thought.

  83. LimparAssist

    I agree with Aaditya on Almunia. He won the Ricardo Zamora trophy for lowest goals to game ratio playing for Eibar in the Segunda Division. He’d look incredible playing for West Ham.

  84. LimparAssist

    Have you watched the Ivan Gazidis Q&A, Consolsbob? IG seems to think that that particular contract is as good as ‘dans le sac’.

  85. arsenehollis

    So, in the last 3 Summer windows Wenger has only bought less than 5 once and he still got 4 that year. This year should be similar, but it may be a little richer top to bottom.

  86. arsenehollis

    Consols – when i saw it, the proposition was that he wouldn’t spend big unless he was staying, being such a prudent custodian that he would want his successor to have money to spend in his own way if he knew he would go.

    Wenger will stay. So will Cesc.

    Winning keeps everyone happy and we will do that a lot starting this season.

  87. Cbob

    Not sure I agree with the logic being applied. If he had made up his mind, surely he would want to go out with one last big charge at the title, leaving on a high. Therefore, he would blow the whole lot to have the ‘ideal’ squad?


  88. Great post Yogi:

    How you keep this interesting every day is amazing. Great job.

  89. ^ Arsene Wenger is too much of a gentleman to do that.

  90. Bob,

    To presume that Arsene might leave soon, is to suggest that he has given up on his project that has been at work for the last 5 years. I don’t see any way, that he is the quitting sort. Maybe he hasn’t signed so far, for reasons we are not aware of, possibly something to do with his relations with the board.

  91. Consols

    Wenger aint going nowhere.He gets £5m a year and doesnt have to win trophies all the board require from him is a top 4 finish.He is the luckiest manager in the world.He is on easy street

  92. Ivan Gazidis said that Wenger will sign a new contract. They are just ironing out the kinks.

  93. Kanu is 100 you clueless tit.

  94. arsenehollis

    The luckiest manager in the world probably wouldn’t have double digit injuries all season.

  95. Thank you to all you sane people for your view on the Arsene business.

    Obviously, that doesn’t apply to Kanu is 100.

    I suppose that we will have several of these conversations over the next few weeks.

    Thank Goodness that consolslel and I are off to Crete for a few weeks soon.

  96. Zim Paul

    When is it ever not the fifa show, those fools make me sick to the stomach, i cant get my head around how Blatter can be the man incharge of the beautifull game. It is very sad indeed. A prime example is the goal line technology, this is not as hard to get right as blatter makes it out to be and will make getting the tight decisions right every time. almost every top team sport uses this technology. We should be leading the way not refusing to evolve out of the stone age. Wich is where football is compared to many other sports. With the number of wrong calls made every game, i just can understand it.
    On another note I am happy to be the first African country to host the world cup, and will not let the idiots at fifa rain on my parade. We dont have a very strong team but I think the home ground advantage is going to get our player to raise their game.

  97. arsenehollis

    I cant wait for the world cup, the only non-Arsenal football i really watch.

    A month of 2 games a day over summer, with booze and sun and without the any passion except for rooting against engerlund sounds great.

  98. Kanu is 100,

    You’re not very clever.

    The reason Wenger is not under undue pressure for the board is;

    1. He’s multiplied their wealth multiple-fold. If the Champions League is worth £50M/yr to a participating club, multiply £50M by 13 to see how much he’s made the club.

    2. He does an amazing job given the club’s resources. And unlike you they’re not mugs and they can see the obvious.

    3. He has won trophies galore. Abramovic’s £1B of investment in Chelsea just this season surpassed Wenger’s trophy haul. 5 managers and £1B is what it takes Chelsea to surpass Wenger’s record. Still the 2nd winningest manager in the history of the EPL.

    4. He works harder than any other manager in football. If we had to replace Wenger we would need 3 people. One to oversee coaching, one to oversee scouting & one to oversee relations with the board. Maybe even 2 more some of those 3 would need assistants.

    5. The man is a genius who knows more about football in a comprehensive sense (tactics, fitness, nutrition, players, development, Psychology etc) than maybe 7 8 other managers. Certainly more than Harry, Allardyce, Pulis, put together.

    6. No matter what you say, Arsenal as a brand that is known around the world has a lot to do with the culture of football Wenger has given us.

    7. The man knows football politics through and through.

    8. The man is so much a visionary (too bad we lost David Dein) whose policies and ideas about football are being embraced by football regulators. Everything Wenger said was wrong, UEFA is catching up and trying to put into regulation.

    9. I could go on, but even for an idiot, the previous 8 should be convincing.

  99. There is a large degree of obfuscation about the clubs finances, the ‘budget’.
    What’s the point in listening to people who think they know how much money the club has. Only a few sources are to be trusted on this ‘subject’, in my experience and even they are, by their own admission unclear and incomplete.

    Maybe there is a logic to having a slightly larger then usual squad in a post WC season.
    (The construction and evolution of the eventual Super Squad is another subject, covered here and elsewhere…no….I don’t think AW is going anywhere, poor bitter H*ward needs to work out that AW could’ve earnt alot more money at Madrid, or, er, Inter! For obvious reasons. What a tw*t.)

  100. Delia-----Block 112

    I have a sinking feeling that we have seen the last of Cesc. Where on earth could we find a replacement ? Young Jack Wiltshire is probably not quite ready , although he is a winner and one for the future. It would be asking an awful lot to expect him to walk into Cesc’s boots next season.
    We don’t know how Ramsey will respond following his injury and Nasri, who I like a lot , didn’t quite cut the mustard when put under pressure at the back end of the season.
    If Cesc does go, do you think that might hasten
    Arsene’s departure? I am rapidly sliding into the
    slough of despond ! Help!

  101. Chelsea scored the most goals in the English top tier in 48 years (103). Possibly the best goal differential in English history (71). Their goals scored were the 2nd highest in a major European league in 10 years and their goal differential 2nd highest in Europe in 10 years. Yet they lost more games then any recent EPL champion and had the 2nd worst points total for a champion in 10 years and dropped out of the CL early. The reason, they had a relatively poor defensive record for a champion conceding 32 league goals. Illogical as it seems over the course of a 38 game season conceding 1 goal is much more damaging compared with the positive effect of scoring 1 goal. Defense is not relative. Even the great offensive teams have 10 – 12 games/year where the offense is in not in form. Injuries, drop in form, tough midweek CL games. Teams that defend well win these games. ManU had Rooney and Ronaldo and still were the masters at winning 1 – 0. Superb defending you will still get 3 points in those 10 bad offensive games/year. You have to be able to grind out results.

    Same thing in the CL. Even the best offensive team will struggle to break down an organized defense. Barca – Chelsea (09). Barca –Inter (10). Inevitably you will run into a tie like this during a CL run and if can not keep a clean sheet you will probably not win. Our CL run in 06 is another example AFC 1 – Real 0, AFC 2 – Juve 0.

    The point is that no matter how beautiful and efficient your offense, it is extremely difficult to score enough to overcome suboptimal defending. Offense gets the headlines but you can not win the trophies we covet without superior defense

  102. Sad to say but I really used to root for England, they were always one of the teams I would have like to see win at both the Euro and world cups. But now with the bunch of scumbags in the national team I just cant find any love for them.
    Sorry England, its not you its John Terry, Ashly Cole, frank Lampard, steven gerad and thier like.

  103. Delia—–Block 112,

    I’m 50-50 on whether Cesc will go. I know no more than anybody else.

    What I am absolutely convinced of is that if Cesc goes it will be for hefty money, and he will be replaced.

    We’ve lost better players before.

    I started commenting online when Titi Henry left, and I was convinced of same even then.

    Cesc would be making a mistake to leave Arsenal, not because he wont get into the Barca team (he’s better than Xavi, class will tell) but because he will never have a team built to bring the best out him, and he has everything to succeed here.

  104. LimparAssist

    Jesus wept, Bill. Listening to you talk about trying to have Arsenal play ‘catenaccio’ is like being in Poe’s Pit and the Pendulum.

    Suboptimal defending? Talk about taking the fun out of it.

    “It’s better to fail with your own vision rather than following another man’s vision.” Johan Cruyff

  105. Bill,

    Here we go again. Barcelona scored a shitload of goals this season and finished with 99 points. Real Madrid scored about as many as Chelsea, conceded about as many as us & had 96 points.

    That’s why I say this whole thing is philosophical for you.

    There’s clear evidence that teams can win relying with either defence or attack.

  106. Is Bill a fan of Alvin Lucier?

  107. I can not believe Cesc would really go. If he does we should hold hold out for at least 60 – 70M. ManU held Ronaldo for longer then most would have thought and still got a huge fee. I hope we play the same with Barca and Cesc. Why would Barca spend that much when they already have Xavi. Unfortunately if Cesc really demands to leave then Barca does not have to offer his true worth. Hopefully that will not happen.

  108. LimparAssist

    Wow, that’s uncanny, OOU.

  109. It’s just such a shame that he would leave us at the age off 22 and he is yet to reach the ages of peak. However I still have high hopes that Cesc will stay at Arsenal.

    However the only doubt is that Wenger has stayed silent and the Arsenal normally have the player commenting on the situation the next day via the website to reassure us. However this has not happened as yet :s

  110. If defending is not relative, why have Man United not won the league with all their clean sheets and having conceded fewest goals in the league?

    Jesus Bill, our defending has not been good enough (no doubt we gave away too many goals) but if we had scored 7 more goals; 2 against Spuds, 1 against Birmingham, 2 against Wigan, 2 against Blackburn e’d have won the league.

    Sure, you could say the converse, that had we conceded 7 fewer we’d have won as well.

    Point is, it’s a game of points. Wins get you points. Goals get you wins. That’s the design of the game.

  111. “Is Bill a fan of Alvin Lucier?”

    Brilliant, OOU.

  112. Ole:

    I know I have made this same argument many many times before. I posted this because the end of the season results seem to offer more evidence to support the main point that I have been making all year.

    Hopefully next year the team will make a more significant effort to improve our defending.

  113. For all the people making remarks about getting Keown etc. back, (Keown is very cool), it’s funny how any mention of the triumphant Steve Bould is omitted: Talking about Eastmond,

    “”He had always been at the back of the queue in terms of that group when he was younger…he is an example to everybody”.

    I think he was referring to his other ‘charges’, but his meaning could be expanded.

  114. That’s the second time I’ve done that, and I feel bad again, LA. I mean, at least Bill doesn’t troll. I just spent the last 30 minuted reading about The Pit and the Podium btw.

    Here’s a silly time-machine question:

    Where would we be now if GG had never got into trouble?

  115. No they do not. You’ve cherry-picked the evidence Bill.

    Barcelona scored a shitload of goals and had the highest points total of any team in modern football.

    So what on earth does your stat prove?

  116. It is extremely unlikely Cesc is leaving anytime soon. It was the same speculation last year.

    He has an attractive situation at Arsenal where his prospects are boundless. That might be outweighed eventually by the romance of returning to Nou Camp, but its more likely the EPL, Arsenal and its challenges holds greater sway.

    It seems to me Cesc has a point to prove anyway. The look in his eyes. But in the unlikely event he does leave, it is not a disaster, it is a set-back. We will just wish him all the very best and get on with our job of winning everything.

  117. Damien

    >Ivan Gazidis said that Wenger will sign a new contract. They are just ironing out the kinks.

    Shouldn’t think Ray Davies is too happy then.


  118. Defending is a relative of attacking, blood brothers no less, same mother same father. At least that’s what Arsene told me over dinner the other night.

  119. Where the hell would Wenger go anyway? He’s already turned down Real Madrid.

  120. LimparAssist

    No, no, OOU. The Pit and the Podium is something entirely different. Something about a dog called Pickles… and the Jules Rimet.

  121. My point was Wenger’s remit is to finish in the top 4 while the manager of Chelsea’s is to win the league.Acheletti whould have been sack if Chelsea had finished 3 rd while Wenger is safe.

    As for Cesc he’s gone

  122. Where does one even begin?

  123. whoops, that’s the wrong link above, sorry!

  124. LimparAssist

    Kanu, didn’t you get comprehensively rinsed out by an Ole Gunner special just a little while back? I think you did. In fact, I know you did. Everyone else here saw it too. A very comprehensive rinse out it was too. Do yourself a massive favour and fuck off.

  125. wengers new contract should be retracted. his youth project has driven out the one world class player its produced…

    lowest point in mr wengers reign…

    funny how they mentioned this before all the season ticket and membership renewals were sent out by the club isnt it?

  126. Haha – what a tard I am! And I still have the tab open here. Right, I’m going back to my copy of The Ballad of the Mad Cafe.

  127. OOU

    Had GG not erred, I don’t think he would have lasted more than a season or two more simply because the football was so dire, too direct and uninventive.

    From memory, we finished midtable in his last season even though he wasn’t in charge for all of it but it was a fair reflection of his standing.

    That he was sacked for his indiscretion is indicative of that.


  128. LimparAssist

    Silverware on the brain, OOU.

    Arsenal Tom, were you dropped repeatedly on your head when you were a baby?

  129. Kanu is 100. What is your remit? To boldly go where no man has gone before?

  130. Arsenal Tom Thumb.

  131. limpar, no just once or twice mate.

    you think im wrong then? why? no need to get all pissy

  132. Shock Horror, it seems that AFC hires PR people to work for them.

    Who could have imagined such a thing?

    Is the end of the world is nigh?
    (2012…???…but hang on, AW is a Frenchie, not a giant Alien with a crystal head from Mexico…I’m getting confused! Will somebody, just please, tell me what to think!)

  133. LimparAssist

    Sorry, Arsenal Tom. Every aspect of your comment led me to believe that you were completely retarded.

  134. LimparAssist

    And yes, you are wrong.

  135. We started 94-95 appallingly, YW, but you don’t think the board would have stuck by him? We spent a lot of money the following summer. Given the success we’d enjoyed under GG just a few months before, isn’t it likely that the club would have waited to see what he could do with it?

  136. If cesc leaves it is a massive blow to the profile of our club whether we can do without him or not. The perception of Arsene and his project will be lessened across europe. Top players want glory, they simply are not interested in how economical our policies are.

    ole you say cesc will have a team built around him at arsenal but for this reason it is probably better then that he goes now or at the end of next year. (ideally at least we could have a years notice to plan!)

    We pretty much know he wants to go so if he is not going to be here in 2-3 years time then we should not try and build a team around him. Best bet would be try and keep cesc until Ramsey and whilshire are ready to step up and give this club 5+ years of top competitive loyalty. I hope wenger uses these players as a reason for cesc to stay one more year at least. emotional leverage must be utilised as cesc leaving now in a world cup year is not good for us one little bit.

    I worry for wengers conviction if he does go, it will certainly be a dagger in the heart if his top player shows he no longer believes in the project…

    to all those saying that cesc will never go this year… I’m afraid you are flat out wrong.

    mmm…. thats a whole lotta doom. sorry but I had to get it out.

  137. limpar. i think he’s taken us as far as he can now though… cesc leaving is a massive blow, cesc always seemed such a believer in the arsenal and now he’s leaving because we’re not good enough before he’s anywhere near his peak as a player.

    if he goes theres no way we’ll be in the CL [places come the end of next summer

  138. Ole:

    Barca also has had the best defense in their league for several years running.

    I know your idea seems logical. However, the same results show up in the tables every year. No one wins titles if you are not in the top 2 in both goals scored and goals conceded. Without going into all the numbers I have put on this blog throughout this whole year a much smaller difference in goals conceded outweighs a large difference in the number of goals scored.

    We are good enough offensively to make the top 2 in scoring. History argues that the odds are severely stacked against us if we do not improve our defending enough to make the top 2 in goals conceded. I would rather us score 80 concede 25 and win then score 110 concede 40 and end up 2nd or 3rd.

  139. Finsbury, that brought back memories of crushed velvet trousers and weird hair.

  140. Oh my sweet Jesus, Bill.

    Real madrid had 96 points, conceded as much as us.

    If your Chelsea claim was valid, then Real shouldn’t have so many points

  141. He will be off. I don’t blame him. Playing season after season with poor players who lacks the fight to win anything has finally taken its toll on him.

    High ticket prices but nothing to cheer about. The great Arsenal has become the home of mediocre players from abroad.

  142. fuck off howard.

  143. Don’t worry Howard. We’ll get another foreign player to replace him.

  144. I would be very surprised if Cesc leaves this summer.

    What does surprise me though is that Barcelona are able to get away with their behaviour. I suspect that they have UEFA in their pockets.

    Nationalists at heart UEFA and FIFA want every player tucked up nicely in their own country…in their twisted minds Barcelona probably fit their preferred profile of a nationalistic club.

  145. Cesc for Yaya Toure and Hleb…..?

    Yaya has matured and hleb ran the show well when Fabrgas was injured.

  146. Frank you are right as usual with your predictions AFC to win EPL and ECL and now Cesc will stay. We can rely on you.

  147. OOU

    I’m not convinced that the success would have continued. If the arrivals such as Platt and Bergkamp had come under him, perhaps things would have been different in terms of the style of play. A lot of ifs and buts.

    However, that they sacked him suggests to me that there were other problems and they took the opportunity to get shot of him.


  148. Barcelona consider Fabregas move… is a headline on the BBC… are they or barca for real? As though the move for cesc is a favour to arsenal?

    by the way, eaarflow… that is an idea… Always liked hleb and i would not mind him back just like sol campbell.. especially since it is clear that he has learnt his leseeon now.

  149. emirates are one of our clients and they rang today to pull a special cesc interview that will run for the next 4 weeks.

  150. @ arsenal Tom,

    am sure you dont know what you are talking about since there are games that have been played without cesc this season and even last that were okay and we have also lost some fo the games where he played.

  151. BarneyStinson

    Arsene should consider making a 10m bid for Messi.

  152. What the current speculation about Cesc proves is how desperate the state of reporting is globally.

    Yuste’s comments, if you read them, say that Barcelona want the player but have not actually received any encouragement from him or Arsenal. More to the point that they have not even asked Arsenal.

    Guilleme Ballague is now the source for further speculation and all he has done is say he ‘understands’ that Cesc is asking to leave.

    However, that is now presented as the player having flown to Arsenal for talks.

    Whilst the club are probably right in ignoring the speculation, a statement noting the current situation would not go amiss.

    I guess that they have not said anything in the (forlorn) hope that another story will drag attention away from this.


  153. I wish Cesc will stay bit have never been a biliever in one player being bigger than the club… if we can survive DB10 and RP7 leaving, then we will survive Cesc…

  154. biliever = believer

    And that is not a comment saying that i believe he will go cos until it is a done deal, it remains speculation as far as am concerned.

  155. I agree with you, YW. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few weeks, but I don’t see anything so far to indicate that Cesc will be leaving. His comments at that publicity appearance last week were incredibly innocuous, and they’re the only thing that seems to be fuelling the speculation at the moment.

    That said, I have no idea how Blagger came up with his article today, and it is a little worrying. Last season, he correctly predicted that Cesc would stay, which contradicted every other message coming out of Spain at the time.

  156. If Cesc does stay, Kevin Whitcher’s going to look like a right w*nker!

  157. eh?

    So, that means he must look like a Vogan at the moment?

  158. OK, it seems Blagger has spoken to Cesc. Yikes.

  159. I’m bored with the Cesc story already.

    Here’s some Vogon poetry courtesy of Highbury local, the late great Douglas Adams:

    As plurdled gabbleblotchits
    On a lurgid bee
    That mordiously hath bitled out
    Its earted jurtles
    Into a rancid festering [drowned out by moaning and screaming]
    Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustles
    Are slurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts
    And living glupules frart and slipulate
    Like jowling meated liverslime
    Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes
    And hooptiously drangle me
    With crinkly bindlewurdles,
    Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon
    See if I don’t.

  160. Yikes!

  161. YW; “I guess that they have not said anything in the (forlorn) hope that another story will drag attention away from this”

    Maybe so, but that doesn’t tally with the behavior in the past which was to get Cesc to quickly refute and kill the story.

    But then again, in the past never reported tabloid gossip….

  162. yes i agree

  163. Henristic

    The problem with responding is that once they do it, they have to continually rebut stories. Any failure to do so is seen as tacit admission that there is truth in the matter.

    From the player though, a definitive statement of intent to stay would be welcomed. Oh, we’ve already had this…


  164. JUst like UEFA made the champions league so barcelona won it. That night was not prepared for an arsenal victory, you knew this from how this was set up, before the game, decisions in the game……FUcking barceloan have every one on their side.

  165. Can You Actually Blame Cesc For Leaving? No, you cant. He has been one of our best ever players, we just have no trophies to show for it. What person in our current squad, or HISTORY would continue playing with a broken leg for the final few minutes against the team they Support? He can bring the team together and march them forward in the bitter cold at some of the most gruelling english football conditions, and even in shitholes like shite hart lane or brittania stadium, he is able to give us a heart, and a lifeline. Great Captain, Great Player,


    PPS: No im kidding, good luck to him. but NOT to Barcelona

  166. No mention from any D**Mers about Fabs ‘Bruised Bone’, an injury that nearly kept him out of the WC, an injury that wasn’t even called as a foul.

    Why not?

    Can Barca afford a new striker to replace the very expensive Ibrah, and buy Cesc in the same summer, when they have less $ then last year?

    Are they going to play Cesc as a CF?

    Probably (& hopefully!), not.

  167. Yogi or others:

    I was not blogging last year so I do not have a good feel but are these Cesc rumors any different then for the last 2 years? If not why worry. The stuff he says will always be twisted to fit the agenda of the person writing the story.

  168. If he wants to go, then he should go.. As a fan of Arsenal i hate to see Cesc go, but i can understand he wants to go back for several reasons:

    1- Barcelona is his hometown.
    2- FC Barcelona is in its prime and he know´s they want him.
    3- He has some Barca DNA in him.
    4- All of his life long friends PLAY for this team (Pique, Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta)

    To me all of these are good reasons for him to go back home, i accept it… I will also be accepting bout 50 million for him 😉 so we can get a good keeper, someone to replace Cesc in the midfield (not an Arshavin fan to be honest), sign Chamack and MOVE ON!!

  169. *

  170. LimparAssist

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Arsene Wenger were in Liechtenstein tonight for the Under-17s Euros.

    Does anybody know if he might be?

    That would certainly put paid to Guillem ‘dyed in the wool, born and bred Barca fan’ Ballocks’ claims of a Fabregas – Wenger showdown in London this evening.

    He really is a fat Barca supporting prick.

  171. I read somewhere that Arsene is overseas at the moment. It didn’t say where.

  172. Cesc has returned to London Colney to complete his rehabilitation….he is concerned about the immediate future which is to get himself fit for the WC. If he doesn’t he will be excluded from the Spanish squad. That is his only concern. Spain kick off on 16th June he has four weeks to prove himself fit.

    Meanwhile he has a four year contract with Arsenal, signed this year.

    I agree with LimparAssist all of this is being stirred by Balague, a Catalan hack. I reckon he is an Espanyol supporter.

  173. someone needs fukin shooting at this club, i dont know who but someone does.

  174. * to you too, G4E.

  175. It seems a lot of people will be having heart attacks very soon if they keep worrying about Cesc leaving.

    He is under contract for a long time and continually states he wants to stay at Arsenal.

    Give the guy some respect ffs..

  176. Frank

    He is an Espanyol supporter.


  177. Ole:

    If you can come up with 1 team in the last 10 years that has won a league title by having great offense and average or worse defense let me know.

  178. Do you mean attack, Bill old chap?

  179. We need David Dein back.

  180. Perhaps Balague is being quite clever here. He is probably aware that Barcelona are way out of line and is happy to fan the flames to make them look like complete and utter areseholes instead of just complete arseholes..

  181. The world and his dog knows that Chamakh is over here at the moment…here being London. Everyone also knows that Cesc has to return for more rehab. Balague is just taking a punt and saying that Cesc is here to meet AW…whereas IF AW is here at all it is to meet Chamakh.

  182. Frank,
    It’s gone way further than that I’m afraid John Cross is reporting it’s virtually a certain long goodbye I know he’s a journo but he’s an Arsenal supporting one his sources are normally rock solid over anything Arsenal and Alan smith has pretty much said he’s heard he’s off and that wengers furious with Cescs agent, The board will have alot to answer for if the heartbeat and captain of the squad is sold Henry and co was understandable as they were at their carear ends Fabs not even in his prime,

  183. woah woah WOAH.

    I promise myself, all day I’m going to finish my essay before I google my beloved Arsenal…..I give in and Cesc going….. everywhere??

    Tell me its not true. People.

    Tell me its utter bollocks.

  184. Chamakh….6 months too late. This tight ass club saved a nice £6m on that one didnt they.

  185. silver gunner

    been a while since i have felt the need to write on here but with the recognition across most arsenal supporters that we will loose cesc this summer i felt compelled to add my 2 pence worth.
    He has given us 7 glorious years and we should let him go with no ill feeling towards him.

    I only hope that we invest in another center midfield playmaker as back up to ramsey and nasri who i see as moving into the middle people have mentioned arteta and that aint a bad shout.

    As far as goalkeeping i need not add to what has already been said.

  186. So Cesc met AW today in a face to face meeting ….in the presence of Guillem Balague, John Cross, Alan Smith…at least two of whom are not even in the country..

    No, No, silly me….AW met Cesc today and Guillem Balague, John Cross, Alan Smith were on speakerphone. That’ll be it.

  187. Fuck me. Now it’s an ’emotional’ meeting with AW. How long before AW had a ‘hysterical’ reaction.

    I’m going to make a bingo game out of this. Put all of the words which increase the intensity of the stories. When you’ve got them all, instead of shouting “House!”, “Brainless Wankers” will be the winners cry.


  188. To right Frank. It is all hearsay.

  189. silver gunner

    DukeGoonem i am with you on the chamakh not just that in jan when we were in a strong position why did we not sign a couple of players on loan to tide us over till the end of the season?????

    We could be sitting here with some silverware with cesc probably still with us and not have those motherfooking scum gloating at us for doing the double.

  190. silver gunner

    YW do you think it is all false with so many people saying the same thing?

  191. LimparAssist

    Bill, why would you limit a conversation about football to the last 10 years?

    You’re missing out on most of the really good stuff. Like Brazil in 1970, playing some of the best football ever seen. Conceding, yes; 7 goals in 6 games as a matter of fact, but outscoring, outplaying, and outshining the entire world as they did so. And going on to become true footballing legends.

    Meanwhile the Italian World Cup winning sides of 1982 and 2006 are widely remembered as being cynical, dull, and uninspiring.

    Arsene Wenger is a proponent of the former of these two strategies. So am I. It has brought the club great success in the past, was very close to bringing us success again this year, and it will do again in the not too distant future.

    Yes we need to concede less goals, but we can achieve that simply by having our first team fit when it matters.

    In all likelihood we will buy a defender. But I wouldn’t get your hopes up if you think there will be wholesale changes, and I certainly wouldn’t get your hopes up if you think Arsene Wenger will be performing a Heleneo Herrera impression over in Austria this summer.

  192. I agree with YW and LimparAssist.

  193. Silver Gunner, all these ‘rumours’ are coming from the same place. The media. They have no more information than you or I.

  194. Frank,
    I will come back and bow to your superior wisdom if this is wrong but I’d rather take the word of John Cross over any other journo or news agency, that may make me a fool but I do trust his word and contacts you know as well as anyone there are many many leaks at football clubs as well as in politics,

  195. silver gunner

    LimparAssist i disagree with you sorry.

    We can live in hope that our 1st team is fit when it matters but they invariably aren’t so by just adding on defender and no keeper we will see much of the same next season. Whats worse is is Gallas does go then in my opinion we are left with only Vermaelen and Campbell as the only reputable defenders as far as i am concerned the jury is still out with Djorou.

  196. Limpar:

    The only tables I have are ESPN and they only go back 10 years. Unfortunately the only thing we “Yanks” knew about football 30 years ago was that it was called soccer and no one liked it. I wish I could have seen some of those Brazilian teams. Hope your right about the success for AFC.

    Frank: Your right the word attack sounds better. Thanks.

  197. Another long dreary summer of will he wont he madness…

  198. You are right Frank; Balague is a self confessed Espanyol fan!

  199. silver gunner

    dupsffokcuf i truly pray you are right but when i see things on bbc football i start to worry

  200. BBC sport is headed by a spud fan.

  201. silver gunner.

    I was worried too but read BBC sport page again. Its purley based on la porta saying they ‘may’ try and sign him on the basis that cesc said that ‘if’ he ever left Arsenal it would be for barca (a fact we were all aware of).

    Not realy like the over speculative no basis pap coming out of every other news site.

    Im quietly confident he will stay.


  202. a fungus-coated right hand

    Arseman, if the Cesc to Barcelona reports are correct, at least we should thank Cesc for getting the long summer of will he/won’t he madness over quickly so Arsenal can get on with the planning for next season. I could add that we all owe Cesc a great deal of thanks for putting in such a great performance week in and week out for the last 7 years. Shame he is leaving if he really is, but what can you or I do about it but face the future?

  203. Yogi @6:06

    I can’t believe how easily everyone is falling for that Cesc story.

    The entire football media is reporting it as fact that Cesc has flown in to tell Arsene he is leaving, based solely on the article in Guilem Blagger’s website rumours section.

    The same article says more than £35m would prove too much for Barça.

    So while they paid £50m(£35m plus Eto’o) they can’t pay more than £35m for a player with 4 years left to run on a contract.

    I firmly believe that Cesc is going nowhere, and I am going to put £50 on that 1 for each million that I think it will take for Cesc to leave.

  204. oh well, im back to the infinatley more chearful subject of israel/palestine.

    Night all…..cesc will stay!

  205. that spanish prick makes up this bullshit all the time, I will only believe it when I see it or hear cesc say it!!

  206. yes fungus…I know when he decides to move, he’ll just come out and say it…he does not seem like a chap who would drag the situation on…..since for him, its not about the money but more about the emotional bond hes shared with Arsenal.
    The funny thing is that while most fans stay loyal to their clubs, usually, for their whole lives, most players move on…some more reluctantly than others.
    Cesc has given us every ounce of his loyalty for the last 7 years…and I will only wish him the best should he choose to move on.

  207. I meant to say emotional bond he has shared with barca

  208. silver gunner

    fingers crossed its all bs

  209. I don’t believe for a minute that Cesc is about to leave Arsenal.

    I have to say though that I disagree completely with some of you. If Cesc decided to leave Arsenal this summer it would be the biggest act of betrayal perpetrated by a footballer at this club in its history…and I know there have been a few.

    IF he did so he would be deserving of utter contempt. His integrity would be blown, his honesty would be blown and his professionalism would be blown.

    Don’t you think he knows all that?

  210. “I think the players who are here are under contract and, for those who are demanded by the clubs, the club has to call us.”

    “I cannot see anybody who has a competitive edge to [want to] go to Spain,” said Wenger.

    “They have two good teams, I confess that. The No 3 is 27 points behind. This weekend the players go on strike because they are not paid [in the lower divisions]. It is a league that is in complete disarray.

    “I don’t know why you want absolutely the best players who play in England to go to Spain. If you are really competitive, you stay in England. That is where the competition is and that is where the best players want to be.

    “I have so many calls from Spanish players who want to join us and want to come here that I cannot understand [the media’s] persistent campaign to get our best players away from England.”

    The key points for those who can’t be bothered to read the article in the link above.

  211. I think Finsbury made a good point about Barcelona’s resources. They’re signing Villa this week, who’s an absolute priority. They could also do with a replacement for Henry. Right now they probably can’t afford Cesc and, it has to be said, don’t really need him.

    Cesc is meant to have spoken directly to Blagger, but I’m he’d be more discreet than to chat with a journalist about his future, considering it’s such a sensitive topic.

    OK, I’m going to ignore this one. Starting now!

  212. frank,

    why do you think it is betrayal anymore than any other player leaving one club for another. he has been great for us and vica versa. good luck to him, the reasons for him leaving are so bloody obvious and understandable that those with their heads in the sand are kidding themselves. hopefully we will get a lot of money and buy a couple of centre midfielders and go back to 4 4 2, the way we played in our successful years, i think 4 3 3 hasn’t suited us and has been to suited to one player, which is never healthy.

    as always we will survive!!! the shame is he will go down as a great player but never an arsenal great

  213. Afobe scored for the U17 team against Czech Republic.

  214. OOU

    Isn’t Villa a replacement for Henry?


  215. sorry frank but it would be someone else who would need slating if cesc goes…

  216. Paulie Walnuts

    I`ve just seen Cesc in Tesco & he told me he`d prefer to sign for Spartak Moscow as his Mum loves the cold weather.

    When I rang the Daily Scum they told me that makes me a `source` or `insider`& they`ll pass it onto Sky News asap.

    By this time tomorrow the story will have swept the planet with experts ranging from Stan Collywhore to Cesc`s cleaner giving their opinions.


  217. Hi YW,

    I dunno, I think they’re cutting their losses on Ibrahimovic – I don’t see Villa and him playing in the same side, and I doubt anyone’s going to be willing to pay what they want for him. There has been a lot of talk in Spain about them getting a winger as well, which I assumed was to replace Henry.

    I’ve got to stop. This stuff doesn’t make me happy!

  218. Yogi,
    It sounds as tho Barca are whoring Ibra around Europe not suprised due to his so called mental state he’s a bit if a screw ball by all accounts. 🙂 no fount City will buy him for 75mill in that case lol,

    Why say that maybe he can see his chances of glory are far more likely to be fulfilled at Barca playing with the likes of messi villa xabi etc, And in any case he’s a barca boy and will be going back to his home.After fucking them over to join us I’d say he’s pretty carear minded, Ashley cole done far far worse than cesc if he goes

  219. What worries me is that with such strong rumours around why hasn’t Cesc or indeed Arsenal issued a statement?

  220. silver gunner

    I hope Benik Afobe gets a fair crack when he is old enough

  221. silver gunner

    Chippy agree with about cole

  222. silver gunner

    does anyone know what is happening with merida has he signed or will he go on a free?

  223. This story could be complete bollocks.

    If Balague has just hedged his bets based on intuition, then if it doesn’t happen, he will look like a monumental tit.

    In any case, the army of doomers ringing Talk Shite and emailing Sty are wide of the mark. If Fabregas does go we will have £40 million for the coffers. With any other wheeling and dealing we do, we will be able to bring in plenty of replacements. It’s complete moonshine to suggest we will be weaker. Unlike Utd, when Ronaldo left, we will be able to spend.

  224. problem is having money doesn’t mean spending money. last year everyone was licking their lips with all the cash we got for kolo and ade, but if it aint spent it does us no good.

  225. So, I am confused: a couple of days ago Cesc says he is in “no hurry to leave” and now suddenly he wants to go out? Smells fishy..

  226. Dan,
    Spot on everyone thought we would buy what was required last year when we got 40mill for Ade and Toure, I wouldn’t be certain they would spend it !!!!!!!!!!!! Money in the bank seems far more important than talent on the pitch and it has been that way for the past few seasons as all the high earners were one by one sold on, We have become very similar to Ajax which in one way is no bad thing but we are in a far tougher and more competitive league,

  227. Some of you guys are just using Cesc to get at AW. You know who you are. Usual suspects.

  228. Chippy, Dan…pair of cunts

  229. The money from Toure and Adebayor was used to buy Vermaelen and to improve the contracts of 17 first team players who all signed improved contracts. Arsenal have to manage within a budget, hence money generated in player sales is spent on the squad. There is no outside source of funding from a sugar daddy or unrepayable bank loans. Arsenal also would have spent some money on Chamakh, but Bordeaux would not sell at that time.

  230. Dukegoonem…not far behind them. You just grizzle your way through life, don’t you son?

  231. Frank, I think a few people are praying for it to be true so they have another stick with which to beat the manager.

  232. Exactly, Passenal. You can almost feel their glee. Fucking toads.

  233. frank, you are as delightful as ever!!!

    not sure i have written anything that goes against wenger, just a fact that getting money doesn’t mean spending it.

    however even someone as f—-g blind and clueless as you can see that if cesc has said what he said and if in fact an agreement is made, cesc is purely acting on what so many of us have known for a while, that wenger has got it wrong, the squad aren’t good enough and are not anywhere near close to being at the level where the likes of cesc should be playing . i am sure you are going to childishly going to call me names as ever, but cesc has clearly lost faith in wenger and arsenal. as fans we won’t go any where but as a player a wonderful one of that he doesn’t need to stick around and wait forever. the fact that you think he is so out of order shows how naive you really are, the guy wants to play at the best level and win as much as possible, (i am sure it has nothing to do with money as we have bent over backwards for him.) he will get that at barcelona but not at us, certainly not in the short term

  234. passenal, i think giving improved contracts to rosicky, eduardo, vela, walcott, denilson and diaby amongst others wasn’t the shrewdest way to spend our limited budget.

  235. …and if he has no intention of leaving, Dan, you moron? Where are you then?

    Btw you really haven’t grasped this have you? I am in the same Arsenal camp as Cesc and AW.

    Where the fuck are you?

  236. That’s your opinion dan, but you would be the first to complain if we let their contracts run down and they left for free. Extending contracts protects the financial interests of the club.

  237. i said “if” i have no idea if these rumors are true, never said i did and pray they aren’t.

    not sure what camp you are talking about but i care more about arsenal than cesc ever will!!!! don’t be so bloody naive he is a professional footballer who cares about his career and his career only and i personally have no problem with that all footballers are the same.

  238. it does if you can sell them, there is no guarantee that with their higher wages you are going to be able sell them on. who is going to buy rosicky for example?

  239. The camp that supports AW, Dan. Surely that is obvious?

  240. Is this a repeat of summer of 2009?”
    Another summer of Rumors, Lies and Deceit.
    Have we learnt nothing from the past?
    Can’t we stay calm in the face of every effort to destabilize our club.
    Reading today’s posts about Cesc reminds me of a litle gem from George Bernard Shaw:
    “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”

  241. again if cesc has said what is being reported even you can’t argue that he hasn’t lost faith in wenger.

  242. hopefully it is all crap, but even we can’t ignore what he said last week in front of the cameras.

    when a player says he wants to play for another team just not sure when , it can never be good news

  243. There could also be another explanation dan that he still has faith in Arsene, but does not believe we have the financial resources to compete. Those who have lost faith in Arsene are quick to project their own feelings onto the situation.

  244. Oh dear there is a hole in my fucking bucket. He hasn’t lost faith in AW, Dan. I suspect he respects AW more than any other manager in the world. You just want to believe that he is dising the club and manager and is on his way because you believes that it justifies your own deeply disloyal position.

  245. you can have the extra s for free

  246. He wants to keep his options open, he was infront of a Barca supporting crowd and he didn’t say anything he hasn’t said before. Why not wait for official confirmation either way before losing sleep over it?

  247. So you have withdrawn from the tenuous position of putting all your hatred of AW into the ‘Cesc is going’ basket…to the extraordinarily doubtful ‘well he may not go but we all heard what he said’ basket.

    I reckon you have been exposed and are on the run, Danny boy.

  248. silver gunner

    Frank you a die hard but to be fair calling others names does little to force your views home.

    I do hope its all a massive hoax but I fear the writing is on the wall.

  249. that is correct, ultimately that is the question no one knows the answer to. however we are told by wenger, gazidas, hillwood that we “now” have the funds available. so if we could buy the 4 players we need and keep the key players we have there is no reason we can’t win it all, i believe that, you probably believe that, then why doesn’t he?

    does he think the rest aren’t good enough? or that we won’t buy the players we need? or that the manager just doesn’t have the tactical and motivational ability any more. who knows but if he goes to barcelona which ever way you slice it he is saying he doesn’t think it is going to happen at arsenal!!

  250. Oh fuck off, silver gunner. Which part of you is silver by the way?

  251. What is correct, dan?

  252. frank, i certainly don’t hate wenger, i just think he peaked as arsenal manager a few years ago and is unable to do what is required to get us back to the top, i hate his policies on the domestic cups, but that is all i hate!!!

    i also think he respects wenger more than anyone, but that won’t get in the way if he wants to leave to go to a better team. if he thought we were serious contenders would he stick around, my guess is yes, but maybe he decided he would leave irrespective. i don’t know that and certainly you don’t either

  253. Frank,
    Oh dear Franks been shown up again and resorts to the name calling Does it make you feel big at your keyboard you fucking cretin there you go I’ve joined you in your little game of name calling pathetic prick,
    For your info Frank I support Arsenal football club always have always will not any player not any manager they come and go, And if you ever payed any attention you brain dead prick you’d have understood that, Is that simple enough for you?

  254. Except that he is not leaving.

  255. to passenals comment that he may fear for the finance more than anything

  256. Well there you go. Thanks for that, Chippy. very insightful.

  257. hopefully he is not leaving, but you won’t be surprised if he does. in the past he has been very quick to stop the rumours and they have never been as strong as this and there is silence.

  258. Who fears for what ‘finance more than anything’?

  259. passenal at 10.29.

    good night all.

    up the arsenal, look forward to more fun and frivolous chatter!!!!

  260. Rubbish. He has often waited for weeks before responding to ‘rumours’. You just made that up, dan.

  261. never weeks!!!!

  262. You wanna know what is correct? That until it’s written on the official site or confirmed in an press conference with either Wenger or Cesc, this “Cesc goes to Barca” is just a stupid rumour. And until this rumour is confirmed to have any merit, Cesc is our captain and leader…so pay him some f*cking respect. That’s the guy who played with a broken leg for us..

  263. OOU agree that barca dont really have the resources to fix the ibra and henry issue and get fabregas but then its likely man city will come along with 40m for ibra and put thumb right up everyones arses

  264. Absolutely ‘weeks’.

    …and you have given him barely more than 24 hours.


  266. Why did you put a link to the Dead on the site?

  267. its a chillout tune. you should try it

  268. Try it? The Dead?

  269. Live Dead was a fantastic album. But I prefer Blues for Allah and American Beauty. Although best of all was watching them live.

  270. u joking? these days kids click on things called youtube videos have listen to sound waves on their amplified sound repoduction systems via their personal computers.

  271. Still the Dead though…not matter what gizmo it is played through.

  272. only teasing. yeah they are a sexy band, would loved to have seen them live in the hay days. very atmospheric, and thats just the pre concert spliffs.

  273. not the best vocals on that one but great instrumental

  274. No probs Frank but next time you try and act big and clever in front of people I wouldn’t resort to calling others cunts, It does nothing for your arguments and makes you look a bigger twat than you already are Mr Hardman.nighty night !

  275. OMG! What is it that motivates you people?

    Support the Club, the Manager & the Captain you morons!

    Its doesn’t matter what happens; you sit there in your closet until something either happens or is reported and you pounce on it to justify your petty little selves!

    Its only a game and we have won and will win more than our fair share!

  276. Italy played excellent football in 1982 and 2006. Too subtle for some, but still excellent.

  277. Sorry to drop a link to another blog YW, but this one is interesting, vaguely relevant:

  278. Is Fabregas the right player in the wrong time?

    Fabregas unfortunately came at a time when Arsenal were going on a new adventure, and didn’t have the money to surround him with all the right players to win things.

    One of two things:

    1- Either Fabregas sticks around knowing that the plan is about to come to fruition and he starts to reap the rewards of his hard work.


    2- He decides it’s time to fly and Arsenal can cash-in. His price can pay for the east stand or something like that, if we get 40 million for him that’s about %11 of the original Emirates cost.

    I wish he decides to stay.

  279. That’s a very interesting read Finsbury. You can see what he means from some of the crap posted here. Much of it seems to be written with the same keyboard (no space-bar and multiple ???? or !!!!)

  280. 1 loose cannon

    I loathe Barcelona and Madrid they simply a bunch of arrogant bastards flexing their muscle in a crap league where racism and all sort of backward behaviour is the norm. How can 2 clubs negotiate their TV deals take the money and leave the rest fight for scraps . I have no problem if a club or a person do his business in a honourable manner instead they do their dirty work publicly through the media for at least 2 years before they make a formal bid for a player. Despite all this talk they still have not made a bid or spoke to Arsenal. For their director Puerto or whatever his name is to pretend nothing has happened behind Arsenal’s back is simply silly and stupid. Its obvious they have made contact with Fabregas and spoke to him about it to unsettle him. it is hard to prove it has happened. They’ve been at this shitty game for so long now it has becomes their way of life. We all know If Wenger did not bring Fabregas to Arsenal no one will know who fabregas is and he had a good education at Arsenal but all we’ve been hearing from them for the last 2 years “Barca DNA” my arse. They have shown us a total disrespect for so long Wenger should simply tell them to shove their filthy money where the sun don’t shine and Fabregas simply stays regardless what he thinks or wants, still 4 years left on his contract and we are in a strong position. I really hope Wenger simply tells them to bugger off, but I doubt the board will be too pleased because all they think about is money and hide behind Wenger’s back .He gets no support from the bastards..

  281. I agree with 1LC,

    Barcelona. Magnificent on the field. Despicable off it.

    Madrid are a joke.

  282. god my spellings awfull.

    I apologise.

  283. God reading all of these newspaper sites is making me depressed.

    I realy hope he stays.

    I’m sorry but if he goes, I don’t think it will be with the same good feeling from fans as Henry, Pires, Vieira etc… He will have completley disrupted the team, undermined Wenger and turned his back on us fans.

    The people that took him from obscurity and limited oppurtunity and made him one of the best in the world.

    I refuse to believe he could do that to us.

    It will be a sad day for football if he does.

  284. 1 loose cannon

    Deano- don’t despair, I will not believe it until it is announced officially. The main thing is that Wenger stays he is more important than any player at the moment, any other manager will have a very tough task staying at the top with little money to spend.

  285. if Cesc goes, Wenger has to go as well, simple as…

  286. Suga3, shut up. Losing any player is something we can cope with. Losing Arsene would be a gigantic blow which would throw us into several consecutive ‘transitional seasons’. Any so called fan who claims to look forward to the club after Wenger isn’t a fan at all.

  287. Morning all. Thanks for the link, Finsbury. Very interesting. The worst offenders are those who sit on the ‘catastrophists’ coattails.

    The way to combat these arseholes is to continue the approach made here. Set up a site dedicated to Arsenal….and shoot the fuckers down whenever possible.

  288. SUGA3 is a fine example of the ‘catastrophists’ referred to on Untold Arsenal. Thanks for dropping in to show us, SUGA3.

    The one issue that I do have with the article is that this all started several years ago.

  289. I see the ‘story’ gets better this morning. Many ‘publications’ are now hedging their bets and ‘spinning’ the story too. Having generated the required hits for simply passing on the myth that Cesc is about to leave, they now claim that Arsenal are fighting to keep him. Another invented story…this time based upon an invented story. There are literally hundreds of the fuckers out there peddling this shit. Aided and abetted of course by the little sideswipes from arsewipes like Chippy and Dan.

  290. Many years ago I spoke to the SOCO on the scene of a burglary, who related the story about the arrest of a burglar in the locality. Crime statistics showed that there were almost a hundred burglaries per year for at least the previous five years. For the next three years following the arrest there were exactly no burglaries. In other words there was one burglar in the area and he was responsible for every single incident.

    Reminds me of one or two bloggers and hacks…Guillem Balague springs to mind.

  291. arsenehollis

    Morning all,

    I think Cesc is staying, simple as. I have as much information to base that on as any tit who thinks the opposite.

    Moving on, in a week or two we might announce a bunch of new signings – I am guessing that is why Chamakh hasn’t been shown off yet, waiting for the others in a nice big signing picture like they used to do. Cesc will be staying and we will happily be watching the World Cup while Ingerlund get tonked, safe in the knowledge that we will win next years title.

    Frank – as it happens getting laced full of acid and listening to the dead is one of my hobbies alo. Sadly I am too young to have seen them live though. I had an uncle who was a dead head, he is sober now, but he tells me all his stories of where he watched them and the times he had whilst playing his bootlegs.

  292. silver gunner

    My hair frank and name calling make you loose all credibility.

  293. arsenehollis

    Imagine if T**dy Sh*****ham had thought of a comeback like that, we would have all looked like real tits. Thankfully he didn’t, so here goes one more time,

    “Oh Teddy, Teddy, he went to man united and he’s still a cunt!”

  294. 1lc, the other part of that tactic by the Barca scum is to try to drive the price down. If you have a disaffected player, the selling club might be more motivated to move him on. 7 years in the Arsenal first team is what has made Cesc the player he is today anything less than £100m and they can f*ck off.

    Frank it is an orchestrated attempt to undermine the club and you are right, the sad thing is a few genuine Arsenal fans get caught up in it, because they lack the facility of critical thinking and need to have their opinions force-fed to them by the media and certain populist blogs.

  295. Yw,
    Are you vetting youtube videos or have I fallen foul of the spam bin in some other way?

  296. I do not crave your respect nor do I seek credibility in your eyes, Silver Gunner. I would have thought that was obvious.

    btw having silver hair is hardly a distinguishing feature on ACLF.

  297. so, it must be me…… perry or groves a banned word?

  298. It was an excellent piece of work by Tony Atwood to expose it in some detail.

    It’s no secret of course and has been raised here many times before.

    The interesting question is, who is behind it?

    We can ignore the bottom feeding fools who we all know and recognise. The instigators though. They have a sophisticated agenda, real dedication and some technical know how, or at least access to someone who does.

    Another question. Why?

  299. I don’t think that this stuff was planned, Cb. It has just evolved over a number of years. The hacks have actually been surprisingly (or perhaps not) slow to see the potential. Arsenal has a massive presence online compared to many clubs and so is especially vulnerable to what are simple techniqies supported by easily available tools.

    This will be happening to other clubs…I notice the latest rumours involve Torres and Rooney to barcelona as well.

    Much, much worse is that these tools and techniques are now de rigueur in politics and important issues can be blurred, obfuscated etc by smear, innuendo, slander. The law is powerless when the source is unidentifiable.

    On the interwebthingy first we had the new and exciting, then we had the gloop and now we are seeing the poison.

  300. If Arsenal’s communications department was really on the ball, a great story now would be the about Arsenal having spent the last week in Tokyo catching up with development in the J league…..and a small piece about Cesc’s continued rehabilitation at London Colney which is almost complete but for a little hard work which required him to fly back from Spain so that we can prepare him for a World Cup place.

  301. Whoops Arsenal=Arsene…as always

  302. Well, perhaps I don’t notice the Rooney and Torres stories, Frank!

    A lot is just mischief, it always is. Some will be opportunistic, the hacks obviously.

    I suspect that leaves some which is driven by a purpose other than selling a few newspapers and Sky subscriptions.

    There are some heavily motivated people out there to whom the internet is a godsend, We don’t all use it just to order new chicken wire and read ACLF apparently.

    Lots of plain weirdos as well who are no longer contained in their dark, smelly bedrooms. Well, only physically.

  303. Barcelona really do have no class.

    Just been on Arseblog, I love his blog, but this whole Cesc saga has already gotten too much for some people. Maybe (just a maybe) he will leave, but he is most likely to stay. I can’t see Arsene giving up our best player, our captain, and our soul for anything less than 50m GBP.

    We shouldn’t have to read all this shit in the papers and on sites, bringing up past quotes etc… but we must just ignore it. It has been happenning for years, ever since Wenger started nurturing many young talented players into some of the best Footballers of the last 2 decades.

    Barcelona can only dream that a manager of theres could get the best out of his players, that their manager could go and pick unknown and unproven players, transforming them into World beaters.. Barcelona can only dream that they had as much class as Arsenal to not use the dog shite press to conduct their transfer dealings or club political affairs… I am very glad Barca got knocked out of the Champions League, and I really hope we face them next season where we can return the favour

  304. Very perceptive, CB, I do indeed use the interwebthingy to order my chicken wire and to access ACLF.

  305. If Cesc were thinking of leaving at all for those arrogant SOB’s at Barca, does anyone think for one second that he would risk his career by playing on with a broken leg? Or by coming on injured against Aston Villa? (Although it was an amazing performance it must be said!! Hell even O’Neill thought so :))

    And he did this in a World Cup year don’t forget. I think he has already proven were his loyalties lie. As I have said before here, when he breaks into the Spanish national team on a first-11 basis by displacing either Xavi or Iniesta, then and only then will he go to Barca. It would make no sense to leave a club in which you are captain to merely sit and warm the bench at another.

    So rest easy fellow Gooners, Cesc will be back next year.

  306. martin keown’s a ledge aint he?

    Cesc will stay. Supposing he has iterated a desire to leave, he will not go unless Barca pay up.

    It disgusts me to say it but anything less than 45m isn’t worth listning to.

    Will barca pay 45m for a supersub? He’s not going to dis-place xavi or iniesta is he?

    There already spending around 20-30 mil on villa and are in the market for a left back there current ones are pap.


  307. 1 loose cannon

    Wenger should simply put his foot down with the Clowns of Cataluña. Barcelona thinks they just have to click their fingers and the player is theirs. We are in a good position to play hard ball. Fabregas is an Arsenal player with 4 years on his contract. We are no mugs and Barcelona knows it. With Ramsey injured and Wilshere still young Wenger will have no option but to put them off by demanding a high price or possibly ask for Messi in exchange, that would put them right off.

  308. Another thing….Cesc kissed the badge on more than one occasion this season. He’s surley not fickle enough to pack it in now.

    The more I think about it the more I’m convinced it’s all rubbish.

  309. deano

    Have to agree, the more crap I read the more I can see how utterly false it all is.

    Wenger was in London for Chamakh, Cesc is injured and undergoing rehab to get fit for the World Cup. Wenger and Cesc must be laughing at Barcelona as we speak!

  310. Actually given the journoblog snowstorm out there I think that AFC should simply ignore the whole thing and maintain silence. That would be the classy response….absolute silence.

  311. Cesc would be in the Barcelona team. He’d play for any team becaise he’s that good.

    He’s certainly better than Xavi.

  312. How can that be possiboe, OG? He plays for Arsenal.

  313. diddle moan possiboe….moaned possibibble

  314. Perry

    Not you – just checking into it.


    Class doesn’t come into it. There was / is a lot of speculation. Ignoring it does not make that go away and merely serves to allow it to grow out of their control.

    The PR department needs to get a grip of it and turn it around.


    PS New Post Up

  315. Thierry Henry, bless his Arsenal Soul, is on his way to New York to play in the MLS. This means that I will likely see him play next year providing that old age does not over take him first. We remember that his back is not well and may not hold up to the tremondous amount of travel involved in North American professional sports.

    Cesc is staying at Arsenal!!!! Stop the bloody trivial bleating about him going to Barcelona. He is our lad and will remain in our family.

  316. we should raid ajax again, this time taking maarten stekelenburg, holland’s number one. he had a rough patch last season but this term was class. ajax giving up the fewest goals in the eredivisie, even after the sale vermaelen the rock.

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