Chamakh In, Merida Cesc-ing Out?

Arsène noted that he wanted his transfer activity completed before the World Cup and he may get his wish. Marouane Chamakh completed his transfer yesterday, presented to the world with only an ATVO camcorder present.  Decidely low-key compared to the reported 35,000 fans at the Nou Camp for David Villa, highlighting the difference between the two clubs in their operations.

Chamakh arrives with high expectations from his manager:

Chamakh is a striker of real quality and has all the attributes suited to come to England and do very well. He is also a fighter, not only a good football player, but a fighter as well. He is very good in the air and also a good team player. He is a great addition to our squad

You would not expect him to say anything else. His scoring statistics are remarkably similar to those of Henry and Adebayor in the French League. Not prolific, averaging around a goal every four games through his career. In the past two seasons he has improved that but crucially, he was part of the title winning Bordeaux side that had also won the French League Cup.

Add to that a runners-up medal in the 2004 African Cup of Nations, a tournament in which he scored twice, and the player has experience of competing for, and winning, trophies which is the type of experience asked for.

He may not be the ‘big name’ signing that is craved but seems to be a solid squad player with a very good record of scoring at international level. The usual platitudes were said by Chamakh about how he had been an Arsenal supporter since childhood and that he wanted to win. I wish him all of the best on his Arsenal career and hope he achieves the latter for the rest of us as the former will indeed be very happy.

The biggest hope though is that he is given time to settle, failure to score twenty goals in his first five games not used a stick with which to beat him. Impatience is deemed a virtue now amongst supporters despite being a failing. There is an air of negativity, the rumours surrounding Cesc havde exacerbated the mood and hopes of providing a positive boost for the weekend were dampened slightly thanks to events in the Catalan capital.

At the press conference for Villa, Txiki Begiristain told the world that they had sent Arsenal a fax asking if they wanted to enter into negotiations and that Barcelona would conduct these ‘respectfully’.  Having failed to do so in the past week, it was too much to expect that to happen and in announcing it to the world, the Technical Director immediately proved his word meant nothing since ‘respectfully’ would have included not announcing it.

Fran Merida has apparently decided to seek first team football in Atletico de Madrid’s colours despite a late offer from Arsenal. It is the least surprising news since this has been more widely rumoured than the Cesc to Barcelona ‘move’ albeit without the intensity of the latter.

Although there is no formal transfer fee, a ‘training fee’ will be set by a tribunal unless the clubs come to a prior agreement due to the player’s age. It is a disappointing feeling to see him leave as he is undoubtedly a good player. His first team opportunities were nonetheless limited and he could blow hot or cold, excellent against Liverpool and Bolton compared to a nondescript performance at Upton Park in the FA Cup.

Such inconsistency is to be expected in a young player and the departure is something we will have to get used to in coming seasons with the production line of talented youngsters outstripping the opportunity for first team football in all but the exceptional cases.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 22, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Soccer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 221 Comments.

  1. 5 months too late. tight asses.

  2. really hope he settles well.as for barcelona,there in debt,pretty much like liverpool,i wuld heavily wish we bid for villa twice the amount barca did…just to prove a point that disrespect begets disrespect..even if it were 2 lead to debt,barca would then respect Arsenal…balanced article

  3. Morning

  4. intrestin to see rvp and mc29 link up

  5. Morning gunners. Shame if Fran goes, I really hope he does well.

    Very excited to see Chamahk arrive good bit of business.

    Barca can go to hell.

  6. Els

    It will be good to have four central strikers at the club – hopefully two of them will be fit all season!

    YW

  7. Does anyone remember in the Princess Bride when the bad guy keeps saying “Inconceivable!”, until Andre the Giant says “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” That’s how I feel whenever anyone associated with Barcelona says “respectfully”.

  8. Sad to see Marisa go, for me he was much further in his development than wilshere(being older not surprising) & has even outshone Ramsey in some of their ccup outings. He will go on to become a great great player, obv provided he has the tight mentality & steers clear of injury, because all the ability is there.
    I wonder what velasquez future holds, the club did invest quite a bit in him..I just feel these guys are & will suffer for a number of reasons..
    1. favouritism from the fans &edia towards British players, of that there is no doubt. If merida was English he’d be dubbed the next hoddle.
    2. Pressure on arsene telling as hes shown for a while now he can’t keep taking more & more risks on youngsters.
    3. The 6&5 ruling has also put more importance to the British players coming through..so now if you’re a foreigner you have to be extra extra special..I just winder where inter hide their Italians??

  9. Well, Mo, Homegrown doesn’t exactly mean Brit does it? Anyone who’s played for 3 years between the ages 15 and 21 qualifies as homegrown. Technically, Cesc is homegrown regardless of whatever the fricking Catalans at the Camp Nou have to say about it.

  10. just what the doctor ordered another bendtner. at least we got them both for nothing.come on wenger we need a GOALKEEPER and a centre half and 18 midfielders

  11. YW that would be a rarity.

    We seem to have an abundance of talent for them 3 front places but I thought that this time last year and we struggled to get goals last 1/4.

    I’m feeling quietly confident about goals scored for 10/11 season.

    Hope we can get a new defender. I’m resigned to losing Gallas now, maybe in the long run (if there are morale probs) it will be a good thing.

  12. jamie m give your head a shake

  13. Mongolian Gooner

    Who do you think will get the number 10, if Gallas goes? Welcome Chamakh.

  14. Personally, Gallas leaving will be a good thing. He’s a player who’s not available throughout the season due to injuries.

  15. Miserable tosser.

  16. How can anyone criticise the signing of Chamakh before he has even kicked a ball for us? We put in a bid of £6 or £7 million last summer when he only had a year left on his contract so his “market value” was certainly in the region of £15 million.

    What the f*ck do the fans want?

  17. “immediately proved his word meant nothing since ‘respectfully’ would have included not announcing it.”

    Just brilliant, Yogi!

    What is your personal take on the cesc issue? Do you think he will leave?

    Cheers!

  18. I read a comment on LadyArse (from Oliver) that summed up my thoughts.

    “LA, what annoys me most about the transfer window is certain elements of OUR support who are smarter than AW, know EXACTLY who must come in, who must go, where they must play and how much money AW MUST spend. I respect everybody’s opinion, whether I agree or not, but hatred and vitriol just because AW did not spend this amount of money on this player is a bit OTT.

    Nobody enjoys losing to the Spuds or being embarrassed at home by both MU and Chelsea, but these things do happen. I only see what I see as an outsider – I do not know what happens inside the dressing room/boardroom, but too many think they do. That is what annoys me most about the transfer window – the “we do not spend so we are doomed” despair.”

  19. cdjones on May 22, 2010
    at 9:54 am

    It wasnt Andre the Giant who said that line, it was Inigo Montoya.

    But it is true, Barcelona are classless.

  20. Good break from all the cesc stories today as the champions league final looms.

    I will be rooting for inter and of course the special one all the way. I hope they win and jose takes his place as the greatest manager of this generation. The guy deserves it!

  21. Naga are you for real? What Arsenal fan thinks that.

    Maureen To is the most despicable tosspot who ever managed in the PL and he has some top class opposition.

  22. -To
    +Yo

  23. Are you a fan of shit football then, Naga?

    Louis van Gaal has won just as much as Maureen, and he’s done it with stylish teams featuring home-grown talent.

  24. I think we might have just taken the bait, Dups!

  25. I despise maureen yo and I hope his team crash and burn. That style of football should not be encouraged and that ego-maniac needs taking down a peg or three.

  26. No, Naga means it. It goes with his general demeanour on here. He is one of those who wants AW gone to be replaced by the special needs one.

  27. Passenal is right about Naga he cannot stand Wenger’s way.

  28. Well at least he didn’t say “cheers!!” this time.

  29. He seems to be under the impression that he is doing us all a favour with his posts when he ends it in: cheers!!

  30. I just watched Marouane’s first interview he’s already talking about ‘we’ in reference to Arsenal, which is nice to see. He also does seem to know a lot about the current team, so he was paying attention last season.

  31. Some of our “supporters” are just as foolish as the spendthrift clubs they like to diss. Instead of congratulating AW and the club for its wisdom and patience in signing Chamakh for free, they whine and complain. The fact is last summer we offered 6 million for Chamakh who is on the last year of his contract. Greedy Bourdeaux demand 15 million.
    “I will admit that the fee I quoted is excessive, but Arsenal’s offer is still a long way short,” said Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud (Daily Telegraph).
    Isn’t it praiseworthy that Arsenal did not blink in the face of Triaud’s excessiveness?
    I think a mighty precedent has been set by the club which will serve us well as we face up to the Barcelona scum in their patent attempt to unsettle Cesc and get him on the cheap. Unlike some of our short-term thinking fans, we did not blow our hard-earned money paying OTT for players. We spent the Ade-Kolo windfall locking up our best on lucrative long-term contracts. That is the type of long term thinking that should make fans happy.
    Keep twisting Barca, you cheating, low-life scums.

  32. There’s an interesting interview with Alex Hleb in the Arsenal magazine. He makes a joke about coming back to Arsenal. I wonder if Arsene would consider that? He certainly knows our game and I think his realisation of the mistake he made might just give him the motivation to give his all. I think I could forgive and forget if he came back. After all, Sol has shown despite his half-time walk out against West Ham, that his second chance has been just the tonic. Maybe we could get him on loan?

  33. shotta-gunna

    By the way, those of us who depend on Fox Soccer Channel for our football have already been subject to the Maureen “fellating” by their correspondents. According to them winning the champions league is his destiny. None of them were willing to inform their viewers of Maureen’s brand of negative anti-football. That second leg vs Barca where he not only packed all ten-men behind the ball in the final-third of the pitch but bragged that he preferred not having possession of the ball ranks as one of the most craven acts by a win-at-all-cost coach. No wonder they hardly show a replay of that bore-fest.
    Hopefully Bayern can upset the odds.

  34. mourinho is an amazing manager, anyone who says otherwise is deluded,,,

  35. Anybody who chooses to ignore Maureen’s history with ‘Golden Whistles’ is deluded.

  36. No Jeff, it’s a matter of taste some of us just don’t care for the man or his methods.

  37. Wenger sure looks a hundred years old in that video with Chamakh. Think players jumping ship, media twisting in the knives and not forget all the taunting “fans” must be getting to him.

  38. come on bayern!

    Im guessing cesc is a goner. Wenger looked like he’s being driven into the ground.

    More and more I’m getting used to the idea of the team without him.

    If he wanted to stay he would refute it personaly.

    I hate FC Barcelona.

  39. without Cesc that is…..not Wenger.

  40. Chamakh RVP Arshavin.

    Walcott to come on with his pace
    Bentdner With His Strength
    Vela And Eduardo to Cover..

    Our attack will be unstoppable u have to feel.

  41. cesc can fuck off if he wants, of course he will always be remembered but anything that worsens the mood around the arsenal i dont like. I just wan it to be over and done with, wether he stays or goes….

  42. this is completley unrelated….but maybe a stat master can satisfy my curiosity.

    Has Van Persie ever started a game against Blackburn and not scored?

  43. LimparAssist

    Chamakh my b*tch up!
    Chamakh my b*tch up!

  44. shotta-gunnar

    Did we use Ade/Toure money to extend the contracts of our best players?

    I mean the crocks like Rosicky and Eduardo. Improved contracts for non-performers like Diabolical, Flappianski and ‘EPL’s best DM’ Denilson.

  45. LimparAssist

    Boom Boom Boom, lemme hear you say Marou
    Marooou!
    Said Boom Boom Boom lemme hear you say Marou
    Marooou!

    …Sorry.

  46. LimparAssist

    Adam, this is a site for Arsenal supporters who know about football. Are you lost?

  47. Adam,

    Your picture confirms what your words strongly suggest.

    You are far too young to post anything of sense on here.

  48. Don’t apologise LA, it’s nice to know that someone else is excited about our new signing. I think he will be great for us once he has adjusted to the PL. He definitely needs a song a.s.a.p.

  49. haha Limpar trying to get the chants in early?

  50. Chamakh is going to be the bomb.

    I predict he will is realy going to make a big big impact next season.

  51. LimparAssist

    Like you, Passenal, I thought it was very cool of Chamakh to talk about the Arsenal’s efforts last season as ‘we’ – as we would do. Yogi, you call it a platitude and you might be right, but it sounded pretty earnest to me.

    Go Long, Marouane… it’s time that we began, to pass, and pass, and pass, and pass around them all the time…

    …that’s not right… help me out, OOU.

  52. shotta-gunna

    Maybe we should underpay our players (relatively), keep them on short-term contracts and allow the predators to pick them off one-by-one.
    Bright Adam, very bright.

    (BTW: Geoff, Pedro, and the assorted fools at LG and elsewhere have been long advocating such a policy as they know the alternative is to do a Chelsea, Man City or United.)

  53. LimparAssist

    I thought he was a bit ‘male-modelly’ looking at first… like this… http://i42.tinypic.com/e1946b.jpg
    But he came across as intelligent, thoughtful, and passionate in his interview. He also has the eyes of a hungry wolf – the eyes of a born striker.

    There are some touches of absolute class in those youtube videos from G4E to prove it. Very excited.

  54. Ha, ha LA, good one!

  55. Delia-----Block 112

    Zama/Deano

    I too thought AW looked haggard . This last week seems to have put years on him and he badly needs a hair cut. He is obviously a man under great pressure and is as upset about the Cesc situation as all of us are .

  56. LimparAssist

    Massive Chamakh – Safe From Harm (Live)

  57. Gris Gris hope you log in today. You didn’t like my comment yesterday so you decided to diss me. Let me put the record straigt. I believe there are – broadly – two kinds of Arsenal supporters. The tribal one and the international one. The tribal supporter has Arsenal in his blood. He lives it and can talk with his great grand dad about club traditions. He may even be able to name the first welsh, scot or black man to play for the club. The international supporter is different. Like in Kenya the main rivalry for us is with manure not spurs. Most Kenyan gooners aren’t even aware of tottering day! And we all support Arsenal for a variety of reasons which even a whole website couldn’t cover. When I say that Arsenal lack a little something – and I did say we had it in 2006 – I’m looking forward to the day we’ll dominate the world. And I’ve been patiently waiting since I began supporting the club in 1988! So even though you may be a blue blooded Briton understand that the world is a diverse place with diverse opinions! From east africa with love.

  58. Chamakh will be brilliant for us!! People dont get it, he will score more goals due to our style of play.

    One rule I would like to implimant at Arsenal, no badge kissing, PLEASE! If Cecs leave I will feel like throwing up every time I remember or see that vid.

    If Cesc does leave I would love to see Hazard at the club, love that kid.

    Arsenal!!

  59. Implement, that would be.

  60. Chamakh is shiny

  61. what a great interview from the young man!
    his love for the club is evident, i feel good about him. I can see himself and RVP scaring the crap out of defenders!

  62. Quite a match….blackpool 3-cardiff 2 in the 1st half!!

  63. You won’t see entertainment like that tonight Arseman.

  64. We need to stop signing young players on the cheap who see Arsenal as a crèche.
    Too many mercenaries at the club, a mediocre player who loves the team is always better than a half hearted player. Just look at Arshavin, prime example of my point!

  65. Wow, so we signed Marouane Chamakh! Who saw that one coming?

    Seriously, though, he’s definitely got off on the right foot with his comments.

    @ Delia and Zap
    I think the strain of the last five years has aged Arsene. If you compare pictures taken when we lifted the FA Cup to the way he looks now, the difference is shocking.

  66. Passanel…im really hoping bayern play out of their skins and make a match of it…

  67. Chamakh does look like an Arsenal player, even down to the Stupid Hair, which seems to be a prerequisite these days.

  68. Which point, Roy – that we need to stop recruiting young players, that we need to recruit more mediocre players or that recruits need to undergo a test for their “mercenary” tendencies at the same time as they take the medical?

  69. I remember Arsene Wenger saying that he’d the usual couple of sales this year. Anyone with an idea who they’ll be?

  70. shit signing and he never supported arsenal as the club gave him a fiver to say that.

  71. To avoid asterisks Limpar, might I suggest Chamakh my pitch up?

  72. LimparAssist

    You very well might, Vince. That works well. Though I fear that once given an airing on the terraces, many may revert to the original.

  73. george on May 22, 2010
    at 5:44 pm

    Just a bunch of reactionary illiterate geezers running around thinking out aloud.

    I wouldn’t pay any attention to those clowns.

  74. LimparAssist-6.01

    And perhaps for Samir Nasri? If they need to make up the numbers in midfield…

  75. LimparAssist

    Yes, deano. Good point. Didn’t think of that. They’re allowed to add to the provisional aren’t they – which sort of makes a nonsense of the initial 30 man limit anyway, but still… here’s hoping Domenech pulls his head out of his arse.

  76. nasri don’t deserve to go to the w.c neither does diaby

  77. Fuck off Forza. You irritating and annoying piece of shit. You’re like a freaking house fly, that keeps coming back again and again. Useless, go back to your trash bin where you came from.

  78. LimparAssist

    It’s amazing that a manager held in such low esteem by the French people has lasted so long. It’s hard to imagine such a figure of ridicule lasting so long in charge at many other national teams.

    Laurent Blanc takes charge after the World Cup. But why not give him the job starting this summer? It’s not as though he doesn’t know the players. And you would think that those players would be open to suggestions after having played so flatly for so long.

    Here’s a tip for starters, Laurent – don’t play two defensive midfielders at a time, and instead pick one of the many talented attacking midfielders available to you, like Yoann Gourcuff, Hatem Ben Arfa, Abou Diaby… or Samir bloody Nasri!

    Quel imbécile!

  79. If Inter win, Samuel Eto’o will have won the CL 3 times in 4 years. That’s really impressive.

    Still supporting Bayern though.

  80. LimparAssist

    If three’s a crowd, then forza nuff to make everyone feel really awkward and just totally ruin the moment for everyone involved.

  81. Blanc always came across well, he’s going to seem like Obama to Domenech’s Bush. If it were England (in a hypothetical world where the national team mattered to me), I’d want him in now rather than giving the current moron a shot at an event that only comes around every four years.

  82. It’s not Bayern I’m worried about Arseman although it would be better if Ribery were playing, but Inter and maureen yo’s negative spoiling tactics. I’m not expecting a feast of football.

  83. I expect the French FA are trying to save face – sacking Domenech before the World Cup would be admitting they’d got it badly wrong. This way they can just say he’s come to the end of an era, or it’s a natural change. Or something.

  84. I’m backing Bayern!

  85. LimparAssist

    Very apt, Vince.

    And very brave, FG. Inter to win it on penalties for me. An Inter supporting friend of mine has flown out for the night without a ticket and without a place to stay – so I’m sort of hoping for his sake that Inter win. Staying up all night in Madrid after winning the European Cup would be magical – staying up all night having lost, perhaps not so much!

  86. If Moaner boy wins, his ego, which is already inflationary, will become stellar.

  87. That’s why for the sake of the universe he has to lose Muppet, apologies to your friend LA, but there is a greater good here!

  88. Let’s hope so Passenal, let’s hope so. He’ll be saying… if he wins.. I won the double in England…and the double in Italy…I am a genius… I am the special one..I am the greatest…and it will be really worrying, because Barca will be s*itting themselves, and will increase their determination to sign Cesc.

  89. LimparAssist

    OK, Passenal… for the sake of the universe.

  90. The word is that Fran Merida’s wages have been doubled by his deal with Atletico, but of course it was sporting, not financial reasons that prompted him to leave!

    Shame he’s going as he was potentially a good player, but maybe he’s better suited to the less physically demanding Spanish league. It will be interesting to see if he manages to make anything of himself.

  91. @ Ateeb,

    I’m sure Chamakh is going to ‘shine’ – literally!

  92. I think he will Passenal. He has been coached here, and is a class player.

    The one bright side is that it leaves room to accommodate the likes of Lansbury, Eastmond and Jet more on the fringes of the squad.

  93. Is Chamakh not a £15m player? of course he bloody is and i have no doubt next year he will be worth more. So why didnt we cough up some money to get him in to replace Ade then, his goals would have given us more points and we could or shall i say would have won the league, whats the difference in prize money in finishing 1st and 3rd then?.

  94. Because we could have had it both ways DukeGoonem.

    We could have finished higher (higher prize money) and had Chamakh this season for £0M instead of £15M.

  95. DukeGoonem,

    You will probably find that they were asking more than £15m. Look at some of the transfers recently from french clubs. Essien for £27 million. Benzema ? Was that €40 million euro.

    Nobody could have predicted the injury crisis we had with strikers last year. We had Eduardo, VP, Bendtner, Vela and Walcott. Those 5 players were probably unavailable for about half the season between them.

    In any case, it wasn’t the absence of strikers that cost us in the end. It was the absence of all or nearly all of our key players in the last 5 weeks of the season. No Gallas, no Fabregas, no Vermaelen, no VP, no Arshavin. Not to mention the absence of Bendtner, Denilson and Ramsey.

  96. Return of chamakh.

  97. It is not just the 15 million fee it is also wages. This way his transfer fee pays his wages.

  98. I’m convinced that a fit and 1st choice arsenal team would beat either Inter or Bayern 9 times out of 10.

  99. Change the record DG. You think we should have signed Chamakh earlier, we get it. The difference between 1st and 3rd in terms of prize money is actually surprisingly little from what I recall. Would you rather we’d bought him instead of Vermaelen?

  100. Merlot, I wasn’t very clear your right.
    I digress, Campbell and Eboue give there heart and soul everytime they play. Characters like Arshavin and Diaby turn up when they feel like it. We do allegedly scout these players, are the scouts to blame? Or maybe it’s the fact most now see Arsenal as the shop window so only really try when the cameras are on.

  101. Duke G, he was in the last year of his contract and we offered £7m. Triaud asked for £17m and even he admitted that was too high. He was just chancing his arm as he did not actually want to lose his player, hence the ridiculous price designed to frighten people off. He hoped to persuade Chamakh to sign an extension to his contract despite knowing how desperate he was to leave. He gambled and it did not pay off as he ended up losing him for nothing. If Arsenal pay whatever the selling club demand, we’d end up like chelski, whereby the price always doubles whenever they show an interest. They have Abramovich to subsidize them whereas we have to live within our means. I’m sure most of the people demanding such irresponsible spending are ready to pay even more for their season/match tickets?

  102. Tell me I haven’t just seen Howard Webb as the ref?

  103. You have, FG. I am hoping he gets injured for an indefinite period of time tonight. That would be nice. A career threatening injury, would make my night. Along with Bayern beating the shit out of Inter.

  104. ha ha ateeb.

  105. I forgot that coward webb is the ref. Inter are bound to win now since they would be the favoured team of UEFA and I’m sure coward will follow orders so that he gets games at the world cup. I miss the days of my ignorance when I could just watch football unaware of the corruption and politics that goes on behind closed doors.

  106. FG you’ll be pleased to know Mr.Webb will be representing us at the World Cup also!

  107. I’m a fully committed AKB, but I’m very worried about that Domenech haircut in the Chamakh video. I really hope that gets cut before the season.

    I’m liking a Chamakh/Bendtner combo in certain games next season either late on in a game when we’re looking for a winner or rare equalizer, and also when RVP needs a rest.

    What would a first XI look like without Cesc and with 50 million in additional funds?

    NEW KEEPER (Almunia)

    Sagna (Eboue)
    Clichy (Gibbs)
    Vermaelen (Campbell)
    NEW CB (Djourou)

    Song (Denilson)
    NEW DM (Eastmond)
    Nasri (Diaby/Ramsey)

    Chamakh (Rosicky/Vela)
    RVP (Bendtner)
    Arshavin (Walcott/Wilshire)

    I do think Eduardo will move on, and we’ll also be without Merida, Silvestre, Senderos and Gallas.

    The truly noble thing about Wenger is that he had the power to spend Arsenal into the ground in order to win more praise for himself. He put the club before personal glory, and with the club’s wonder years still ahead of us, this won’t be forgotten 10 or even 50 years from now.

  108. I’ve lost all interest in this match. Will Real Madrid supporters be able to take a season of Mourinhio football? I doubt it.

  109. Bayrern has had 67% of possession so far. In a non arsenalesque style, since it was purely on their own part of the pitch. Hardly threatning.

  110. The commentator gone orgasmic over a route one football goal. Amazing. Read would have to hire this commentator for all their games, to keep it alive.

  111. Cah!. I suppose Inter will just sit back till the end of the game, now.

  112. More like, till the end of time, FG.

  113. Ateeb, FG, don’t you know winning is everything?

  114. Cannot force myself to watch that boring shite.

    Well done to Ian Holloway and Blackpool though.

  115. Bayern should look at Arsenal sometimes! What about overlapping on the flanks? Have the never heard of that? Let Robben keep the ball, Lahm makes a run past him, Robben passes to Lahm and then he can cross. That’s what we do all the time when teams sit back and with somebody like RVP or Bendtner who can head the ball this is actually an effective strategy..

  116. Someone said the other day that their idea of torture was listening to Phil Collins albums. I would replace that with watching a Maureen Yo team.

  117. Bayern are devoid of ideas save for getting the ball wide to Robben. Not surprising that they trail and to be honest, I’d be surprised if they were to recover/

    LA – your mate wasn’t the generously proportioned chap trying to jump up on the edge of the stand when Internazionale scored was he? Lot of nervous looks from those below I should think…

    YW

  118. EF, that was always part of Lahm’s game in the past.

  119. LA Gooner

    Why would you want another defensive midfielder alongside Song?

    YW

  120. He has probably been reading Bill’s comments, YW.

  121. I’m surprised that Sylvester Stallone has taken up football. I thought boxing was more his thing.

  122. PZ,

    Who you talking about? Lucio?

    I wouldn’t count Bayern out so soon. But they’re hardly creating anything, as they have done in the past. And Olic isn’t the sort of striker who could take his only chances. Schwienstigher and Van Bommel, have been anonymous so far. They don’t seem to want the ball.

  123. Chivu?!

  124. No, I mean the player who looks identical to Sylvester Stallone – Diego Milito!

  125. shotta-gunna

    You guys are effen funny. Anyways in my part of the world, the match is not available as some other broadcaster has rights to the match in the Caribbean leaving FSC to a delayed broadcast. I had no intention of buying this game if it wasn’t free.
    Has Mourinho completely neutered his fullbacks?
    As the season came to an end last season, it was rare to see Maicon go into the opponents half.

  126. This is like that Simpsons episode…

    Homer: [the soccer game has bored everyone to silence] Boring!

    Krusty the Clown: Come on, you shnorers! Do something!

    Kent Brockman: [bored] Halfback passes to the center. Back to the wing. Back to the center. Center holds it. Holds it.
    [sighs]
    Kent Brockman: Holds it.

    Foreign-accented sports commentator: [excited] Halfback passes to center, back to wing, back to center, center holds it! Holds it! Holds It!

  127. shotta-gunna

    Correction: As the last Italian season came to an end, it was rare to see Maicon go into the opponents half. The man was literally castrated as a footballer.

  128. Shotta,

    The game is on now. Bayern munich starting to play a lot better. Attacking quite well.

    Pz,

    I’ll keep an eye on that one.

  129. shotta-gunna

    Ateeb – I am also monitoring the Guardian’s minute-by-minute reports.

  130. oh bollocks.

  131. LOL. Milito telegraphed that one. It’s like watching Arsenal against Chelsea last season.

    I’ve never seen a side rely on last-ditch defending as much as this Inter team. It shouldn’t work!

  132. Here’s Mario Gomez to save the day…

  133. shotta-gunna

    Yes I know my comments about Maicon was OTT. But that is what I feel Maureen does to his footballers and the game; he just drains the life out in the desire to win at all cost.

  134. Inter keeper has kept them in this,, just goes to show how important a top keeper can be.

  135. *

  136. shotta-gunna

    Right on cue: Inter 2, Bayern 0.
    Always go with a winner, Shotta.

  137. I’ve worked out Maureen Yo’s tactics.

    Bore the other team to sleep and then pounce before they awake.

  138. Hello G4E

  139. Haha. He does look like Sylvestre Stallone in his early days. Schveinstiegher has been crap.

    I agree with Jonesy. Almunia kept us in in the first leg against Barca. And we are glad to have him in the squad.

  140. Maybe his head will get so big now it will explode? One can only hope!

  141. Just imagine what a player Robben could be if he could add crossing to his game? Cutting inside just isn’t effective when you do it every f’n time.

  142. shotta-gunna

    dupsffokcuf @ 9:23 – maybe every team should adopt this tactic. Long live the beautiful game.

  143. This is just the start – watch as all the boring teams grind their way through rounds in the World Cup.

  144. Evil Robben is left footed I believe,, so he is on the wrong wing to be sending in crosses

  145. shotta-gunna

    The Guardian writer sounds as enthused as you are OOU.

  146. Seriously, SG, if every team played with Maureen-style tactics, football would be relegated to the tractor-pulling slot on Eurosport 2.

  147. I agree OOU, if that negative crap succeeds we will see more and more of it. It’s disgraceful with the players he has at his disposal. He’s a coward. It takes a brave man to try to win by playing and trying to entertain the crowd. That is what Brazil have lost under Dunga. I expect to see similar from England with Capello as their manager.

  148. Really awful way to concede those goals. Poor defending. Inter weren’t that threatening to have won with a 2 goal margin.

  149. shotta-gunna

    They call it Extreme Sport on one of the many ESPN channels that are seemingly designed to convince you that you really paid for 200 channels even though you are watch 10 at best for a given month.

  150. OOU,

    This sort of football isn’t really that successful as compared to the more attacking sort. Past few years have seen Barca, Manu, Pool, and A.C Milan win the champions league. Chelsea never got it right.

  151. 1 loose cannon

    I do not like Mourinho’s football at all but we have to give him some credit in the way he disciplines his players, you win games by solid defending and scoring at the other end and this is exactly what he is getting the team to do, . I’d be lying if I’d say I’m not happy if Arsenal played some dreadful football to win the final. I would be jumping like mad. Winning is a fantastic feeling but with style is even better.

  152. shotta-gunna

    Inter – European Champions. What’s next? The veneration of Jose Maureen Yo as one of the patron saints of football.

  153. And Argentina under Maradona as well – he’s playing with four CBs across the defence.

    The Dutch are going to play it safe this time; Domenech has always been pretty negative with France; Italy are going to do what they always do…

    A big meh!

  154. Very efficient…Inter made the most of the 31% possession they had….but the game was hard to watch

  155. That was at Passenal.

    It kind of goes in waves, doesn’t it, Ateeb. Greece won Euro 2004, Italy won the World Cup in 2006, while Mourinho stank up the joint with Porto and dominated with Chelsea. Then attacking football seemed to come back; ManU took over in England and Spain blew everyone away in 2008.

  156. 1lc, to win the odd game, fair enough, but as a way of being? People will get bored and turn off.

  157. I really wonder how we would’ve coped with Inter. I somehow hope to see us play them next year at some point in the CL…

  158. shotta-gunna

    1lc – I partially agree with you about the discipline to win. But will Inter ever achieve the worldwide support achieved by Arsenal under AW? I doubt it sincerely.

    Brazil used to be synonymous with beautiful football but over the years I have sensed a diminishing of their support because they have milked the excitement and spontaneity out of their team. Frankly they are living off their past reputation.

    Maybe I am an incurable sentimentalist but give me Arsenal any day, not the Inters of this world.

  159. A sad day for football.

  160. I think these days people expect more especially when you consider the technical ability of these players and how much they are paid (and we pay to watch them). Twenty years ago, we didn’t expect much and we never really had the players or the pitches to deliver. With such an expensively assembled squad, is that really the best we should expect?

  161. A guy like Chamakh will help us against sides that play like Inter – he’s quick, his movement off the ball looks smart, he can harry defenders, he links up well with team-mates and then there’s the aerial threat.

  162. @ 1lc
    You’d be jumping for joy at the first trophy, because we are so desperate to win something. But after that you would get progressively more dissatisfied.
    That’s what is said to have happened with Abramovich, and why Moaneeeenyo got the sack.

  163. And yes, we shell out so much for tickets, merchandise etc that we deserve at least an attempt to entertain us.

  164. In the end, if we ever won a trophy like Maureen does, it would be a dirty spot on our history. Years from now, people would remember it. Arsenal ditching playing beautifully and instead reverting to being “boring, boring Arsenal”.

  165. I can’t wait for pre-season now. I am dying to see MC in action.

  166. Never watched the game, but from your analysis it was boring.

    If more teams copy the Maureen & Fat Sam style we can look forward to more fighting in the crowds just to entertain themselves.

  167. I also think that’s why he does not stay anywhere for long, people are glad to win a few trophies but then the boredom sets in so he has to move on.

  168. A damning statistic:
    Possession Bayern – 70%, Inter – 30%
    Football is now reduced to giving the opponent all the possession and pounce on their inevitable mistakes.

    No thank you Jose. Take it to Madrid.

  169. what a shit season.

  170. fucking inter milan. I hate watching the fucking ceremonies i keep telling my self to switch off but end up lying on the floor watching in a depressed, and jealous mood…ahh fuck sake its hard to watch.

  171. Zap, just wait until it’s our turn again. The next season can’t come fast enough.

  172. It’s not all bad. At least we do not have to put up with Cardiff fans in the league.

  173. Why put yourself through it zap? I didn’t even watch the game because I knew what to expect and it sounds from what people are saying that inter under maureen yo lived down to their reputation. It would be interesting to see what they would do against a team that played them at their own game. Would the ball spend the whole game on the centre spot because no one wants to take the initiative?

    The only person I am happy for is Eto’o after those catalan barstewards ditched him for that useless lump ibrahimovitch.

  174. Lol Passenal. You can just see it.

    Inter kick off but no one runs to collect the ball and both teams drop back into their own penalty areas for the next 90 mins.

  175. Poli I noticed the Milito Rocky likeness

  176. Maybe I Will learn to do so in the future passenal. I hope so any way. Like i said, i keep saying i wont watch and i end up doing so. Its fucking depressing..hate it…but it will only be sweeter when we taste glory, wenever that happens..

  177. Sign Eto’o he seems like the luck we need to win CL.

  178. 1 loose cannon

    Unfortunetely the media big him up so much thats the problem. they do not care about you if you are on the losing side. Normally you get a player who takes the headlines becomes the star of the show not tonight the cameras were following Mourinho everywhere and it sends the wrong message. Win ugly you still get glorified and also he will be offered the best jobs around. Its sad but thats the reality of it.
    If he takes over at Madrid that might be a good thing he will knock Barca off their perch and they will not look so pretty and attractive anymore and if we hold on to Fabregas this year, he will stay at Arsenal for good. but the funny thing is Ronaldo will be turned into a defender and Kaka will play in goal.

  179. Did any one else get the feeling this wasn’t like a proper champions league final? I think there was just something less magical about it. Not just the football and slow tempo but the general atmosphere around the game.

    I Got Quite Bored.

  180. I have a feeling eduardo will be useful in the cup competitions and to cover at home against lesser opposition.

  181. Hi dupsffokcuf, long time no see. Actually, it was me…I was away for 32 days 🙂

    How are you?

  182. Inter played the most expansive football by a Moaninho side this season.

    And it’s still shit on a stick.

  183. The problem Ole G…is that people will only remember that he won the CL with Inter…not how they/he played.

  184. cant believe it.

    Its like watching a tortoise fight a mongoose.

    the mongoose just ends up having a heart attack and dying.

    mourinho’s football is this:

    I win by default.

  185. I understand getting jealous, but depressed? What’s the point?

    It sometimes feels like a massive portion of the Arsenal support is chasing the dragon; trophies are the only way some people can derive any joy from the game.

    That’s a bit sick when you think about it – only one side can win a given title each year. In England we have financially doped clubs hoovering up all the talent; in Europe we’re up against sides like Barcelona (the best club side of the last decade) and Inter (an expensively gathered team of internationals geared totally towards defending).

    It’s almost arrogant to feel low when you consider the opposition and our financial restraints. You have to appreciate what we’ve got, what we’re trying to achieve and celebrate our minor successes.

    Yes, I’m happy we finished 3rd, and i llok forward to improvement from here.

    The funny part is that when Arsenal finally wins something, all the fans who are obsessed with silverware won’t actually enjoy the moment; they’ll be worrying about how we’ll defend the title as soon as the club’s name is etched into the trophy.

  186. Am grang thanks G4E hope you are to.

  187. ”It’s almost arrogant to feel low”

    wtf are you on about there

  188. ”I understand getting jealous, but depressed? What’s the point?”

    You cant really tell someone not to feel low, can you? NO you cant

  189. 1 loose cannon

    Zap- you read my mind, very true this game was like watching the group stages, there were no surprises no excitement, it was as expected Inter parking the bus. I just remembered now , prior to the game a journalist said to Mourinho ” People are saying you will park the bus in front of goal will that be the case? He replied: NO I will not park the bus I will park an aeroplane . Anyway it was like watching a meaningless game I did not follow it properly. The only thing that made it worth watching is the second goal from Milito. it was a great goal

  190. He’s a good and lucky manager. How different would Inter’s season have been if;

    the penalty on Kalou was given. Or the one on Drogba?

    What about the penalty on Dani Alvez?

    What about the penalty on Ibra?

    And the penalty by Lucio tonight?

    If one of those had been given……..?

  191. I hate the way it’s always about him, as well. I think that’s another reason why he won’t go in for attacking football – he couldn’t control every move his players made and shock horror he might be outshone. That’s two reasons, I now realise.

    And another thing – Jose Arrogantio sets his teams out to play boring football and then bridles when anyone says his teams play boring football. Go figure.

  192. I have to agree One of Us. That is exactly the point. Enjoy the game for it’s own sake, it’s not just about the trophies. They are a bonus. It has only become an obsession because small minded people can’t help reminding us how long it’s been since we last won a trophy as though the name of the club is ‘Arsenal F.C. who have not won a trophy for 5 years’.

    Making an obsession of winning a trophy could actually hamper the team in the long run. I think this last season was a case in point. They were so determined to win something that when they lost the quarter final of the CL and dropped points in the league, which meant they could not win it, they almost imploded. What they need to do is relax and just focus on winning game by game and if they do that especially in a cup competition they will eventually end up with a shiny piece of metal.

  193. Ole – Didn’t see the game. How was Coward Webb?
    Were the decisions of the 50:50 variety or nailed on?
    Just wondering since you speak of penalty vs Lucio.

    PS: Coward usually wimps out on the 50:50 variety or goes with the big team. Either way, it keeps him in good light with the powers that be.

  194. Yes But at the end of the day, passenal, people like the experience and joy of winning a trophie. We want that. And every time you see someone lifting one, youre missing out.

    BUT the thing is we CAN win the league, and that is why it is hard to take. The fact that had certain things gone our way, we could all be enjoying a nice parade in north london. but no. thats whats annoying. A hater would go on to say its because arsene wenger and his youth players are all shit and should be sacked, but i have faith in all these, its just the dissapointment.

  195. I’m not suggesting otherwise Zap, but just pointing out that if you (not you personally) make an obsession of something it could actually make you ineffective in achieving it. We should all just chill out and let things unfold. We have a talented squad and an experienced manager. Trophies will come in their own time. That’s why patience is a virtue because it is so hard to come by.

  196. Zap, I too am disappointed at not winning the League especially the manner of our late defeats this season that cost us the chance of competing on the last day. Prior to this, the scything of Eduardo in 2008 when we were 5 pts up and our subsequent implosion still rankles. But I would never give up my support because Inter has that big shiny jug.
    BTW: FSC returned with a post game show and there was even more fellating of Maureen Ho.

  197. Coward Webb had a good game apart for missing a clear penalty when Lucio CLEARLY spiked the ball in the air about thrice.

    Otherwise he did quite well.

  198. Thanks Ole. Reading the Guardian post-game blog, contributors make the game seem more exciting than reported here.
    Are we gooners really that more demanding than the typical blogger or just simply tinged with jealousy?

  199. shotta-gunna,

    I swear it was the most boring final since…….Porto v Monaco in 2004.

    I actually suddenly realised I’d been reading a magazine article for a few minutes in the 2nd half.

  200. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-1280482/Piers-Morgan-You-blame-Cesc-Fabregas-wanting-leave-Arsenal.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    I hate this man beyond words….with every fibre of my being.

    Here’s a game…spot the amount of glaring inaccuracies

  201. This is the first CL final ever on mainstream American television. The first time viewers have every right to feel like football is a boring game thanks to that ghastly display. I hope Mourinho leaves the sport as soon as possible.

    Welcome Chamakh. Sad to see Merida go. Too bad he’s ending up at AM.

  202. I apologise for posting that….but misery likes company….

  203. I won’t be reading it deano. Piers Morgan is a prize prat.

  204. Who cares what Piers Morgan thinks?

  205. What a piece of shit that Piers Morgan is. Arsene should grab him by his neck and slap him about a bit next time he sees him. This asshole needs his Arsenalship revoked.

  206. your both right.

    It just beggars belief is all.

    I just………

    well i suppose I just want him dead. Thats all.

  207. If this cesc to barca crap turns out to be real, I will be very disappointed with his timing and the way in which he has engineered the move. It is extremely disrespectful.

  208. Passenal I worry because, If there were no truth in it he should have made a statement by now.

    I worry because of his ” i want my future sorted before the world cup” comment when he has 4 years on his contract.

    I worry that that badge kissing against Blackburn meant fuck all.

    I worry that Wenger looks in todays video like he has the world on his shoulders when he should be enjoying the fact he’s made a fantastic new signing.

    It looks as though Cesc wants a move, lets be honest. And it realy is totally unforgivable after everything Arsenal Football Club has done for him.

  209. YW-I can see Arsene wanting another similar player to Song. Song showed he could be quite creative at times and has also expressed a desire to contribute more to the attack.

    Imagine if you had 2 Song-type players anchoring midfield with either one of them able to join the attack. There is already a hug amount of flair in the team with Nasri, Arshavin and RVP but we’ve still looked defensively vulnerable.

    I would love to see us start off a big game with another midfielder like Song playing alongside him (think YaYa even though he’s not coming). It would just make as that much more solid against the Top 4. Against the other 15, then it would be less important to have the additional anchor.

    At the risk of being accused of taking a Benitez approach (Lucas and Mascherano), I think Song has more creativity than both of them combined and he would find himself in more attacking positions as a result.

  210. huge not hug!

  211. La gooner

    Melo! I know everyones estimations of him went down ofter the Fulham match. But I saw him in the confederations cup and he looked a player.

    And I can think of at least one Juventus flop we brought here and improved a little bit…

  212. Melo might be too much of a risk because Juve would want big bucks for him. I did not see him against Fulham, but if he did not look impressive against a team like that, what chance is there for him against the rest of the PL? I was personally not that impressed with him in the confederations cup. I thought his tackling was poor and he would probably get booked and sent off a lot here. But Arsene admires him, so what do I know?

  213. BarneyStinson

    Uefa to pass financial doping rules on 27 May; most of EPL won’t qualify for Europe.

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/2010/05/uefa-to-pass-financial-doping-rules-on-27-may-most-of-epl-wont-qualify-for-europe/

  214. a fungus-coated right hand

    Congratulations to Blackpool who should yield us six points and to Ian Holloway who should be good for a few laughs next year.

  215. a fungus-coated right hand

    Also congratulations to Inter Milan and Jose Mourinho who it must be admitted is building up quite a resume.

  216. Fuck off James.

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