Theo To The World Cup, Hleb Says No To Cesc & More

England’s 3 – 1 win over Mexico last night has been generally described as disjointed and unconvincing with defensive frailties exposed by the visitors forwards whilst their English counterparts were for the most part one-dimensional.

Theo Walcott was the only Arsenal player on show for the hosts and personally, I think he did enough to warrant inclusion in the final England squad, or confirm what I suspect is his already booked place. Aaron Lennon may have made eyecatching incursions against a tired defence but was not as productive in terms of keeping possession, a key factor at the coming World Cup.

Crucially, Walcott has more to his game than a simple directness on the wing yet is no more consistent than Lennon. However, if England do not play a tall centre forward such as Crouch or Heskey, Lennon’s usefulness to the team diminishes whilst Walcott can hardly be said to be reliant upon that aspect in his club career with the advantage of being able to play centrally in extreme circumstances.

Having said that, this is the area where I expect Capello to be indulgent. The Italian has said previously that he needs players who are versatile but with the paucity of good right-sided midfielders, both will probably go to South Africa, the one indulgence he will allow himself.

Before we get to the non-transfer gossip, some errrrm, non-transfer gossip. Arsene is looking for a goalkeeper and current favourite is Robert Green, his Mr20% telling those who wanted to know that no deal would be done on his client’s future until after the World Cup. Assuming he goes of course, which he probably will with Ben Foster the goalkeeper to make way.

Arsenal are apparently favourites although Mark Schwarzer is emerging from the shadows to rival Green as a candidate, a signing whose age works in favour of the theory that the No.1 shirt is being kept warm for Wojciech Szczesny. That could be said of Sebastian Frey whose future is now being seen in the Premier League and being seven years younger than Schwarzer, gives Szczesny more chance to develop.

At centre back, Newcastle’s Steven Taylor was touted yesterday and would not come cheap. Today it’s Bolton’s Gary Cahill and at £14m, he is not coming cheap either. Cahill showed early promise at Aston Villa and is a decent English centre back whose raison d’être is not to kick anything that moves.

The ongoing saga of Cesc is still in the back pages, England unable to knock him, sorry, out of journalists stride. Depending on which report you want to believe, the price is anywhere from £30m (Spanish, Barcelona supporting media) to £40m (lowest case, The Mirror) to £80m (top dollar from The Sun). Except the expected offer of £30m has not materialised so everything is speculation.

Alex Hleb makes it clear that Cesc should stay:

I stay in touch with Cesc a lot and it’s hard for me to judge what he should do. He and Gael Clichy are both very good players who must make their own decisions about their future. But I would advise them to stay.

It didn’t work out for Arsenal this season but, if Arsene Wenger keeps the side together, they can really go far next year. They play great football. It’s partly a question of experience and next season Arsenal will have more of it if everyone stays.All things being equal, I think they have a very good chance of the title next season.

No doubt Hleb’s view is tainted by his own Camp Nou experiences and another midfielder arriving narrows his options further. Genuinely though, he seems to regret his move based on his previous interviews and wants Arsenal to do well.

Of course, were Cesc to return it would be different and he is likely to play more than Hleb would, especially with a big price tag hanging from his kit made from recycled plastic, which apparently Barcelona’s is this coming season. No, seriously it is. Hopefully they will have removed the Diet Coke labels before the tops were stitched together and those lids might have to be strategically placed to avoid Jogger’s Nipple.

A rather large fly in the ointment is apparently Joan Laporta. According to AS, the Arsenal board do not want to negotiate with the outgoing President, denying his ego and political ambitions a massive boost, preferring to wait to see if his replacement wants to talk directly and if Pep Guardiola actually wants the player.

Sport are trying to get Fabregas to put pressure on Arsenal, the crudeness of Laporta’s strategy laid bare, the top price is €45m and anything else is not fair (boo-hoo, sob). Apparently the price cannot be pushed up even if Arsenal go to Fifa – which they should – for protection. This is the threat used before to increase the transfer fee on previous occasions although when is not stated.

Still, according to the report, he has rejected the advances of Real Madrid and Internazionale which weakens Arsenal’s hand as they cannot force an auction.If they were minded to sell him which they are not. Rather than being a rerun of previous transfers to the Camp Nou, this is now a Vieira-esque Summer, multitudinous column inches devoted to him with no real action but plenty to talk about. How long before the stories emerge that Cesc has cleared his locker at the training ground and said goodbye to the players. I do apologise, according to my source that is tomorrow’s angle.

The only truth to emerge from the Iberian Peninsula is that a deal done in August is not good for Arsenal, unless there is a replacement lined-up already, which that late in the day you would expect to be the case.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 25, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 308 Comments.

  1. second

  2. Thres

  3. Cesc already has put pressure on Arsenal- a deal now means bottom book price- so waiting can only result in a bigger offer. clearing his locker and goodbye may well backfire- because 30 m is a joke and 45 m Euros is no where near his value- and the Board would be stupid to take it.
    Maybe not having time for a replacement for Cesc suits the Arsenal Board- because they dont intend to buy one if he goes- paying off the stadium debt is their priority.

  4. So much for all the crest-kissing, eh? Loyal isnt worth much these days anyways…Arsenal have a ‘duty of care'(even if seemingly with the wrong motive), why should we sell our captain to Barca when he’s likely to be a sub? At 23, with such talent, surely, Platini should support? They dont really need him, we really need him;they dont have the money, we dont need the money;he’s our best player, he wont be theirs?! What a situation we have on our hands…

    I expect AW to rein his captain in and keep him for another season.If not, I expect £80m for him if he leaves and I hope this does 3 things to Wenger: 1. make him abandon the youth policy or at least modify it and ensure that experienced players are mixed with the youth. 2. make him much more stern in his dealings with his stars;you perform in 2/3 seasons or you go!The number of those we’re ‘wait for’ and ‘patient with’ is shocking!3. make him more decisive in bringing in top quality replacements like the GK, CB and DM.

  5. quatre

  6. Theo had a good game, but i think capello will start Lennon ahead of him..we’ve not seen the kinds of J Cole and SWP yet…Let Fab4 go if his ambition is to win trophies….But i dont see any trophies at Barca for 2 or 3 seasons since Maurinho is going to Madrid…he’ll be unluckiest player while Arsenal will be more improved…but still he has time to sort it out…

  7. Third?! Good post as always YW. I especially liked the mockery of all silly media, haha.

  8. Whoops, I’m a bit slow as per usual then!

  9. I think Hleb wants to come back judging by the way he keeps giving his opinion on Arsenal, I would take him back, anyone?

  10. Sorry was posted in yesterday’s thread


    Yesterday was my first post on this blog. If I intend to keep posting (which in all honesty Id rather not like I have not been doing), I will not like to drag this out.

    You have said your piece. Its alright with me. Money, washing machines, fit and proper persons.

    Suffice it to say though, with your reply I have lost a huge bit of respect for you. It shouldnt really matter to you though. After all, you dont really know me ‘from adam’


  11. Slimshay

    As I said yesterday, you have taken affront for reasons not intended or meant.


  12. Hi everyone! I am an arsenal fan from Nigeria. I’ve been a voyeur here for quite a while, reading but never commenting. I would just like to say why is it always the same ‘will he go or will he stay’ conversation about cesc? Surely there must be more interesting stuff to talk about that tabloid BS. cesc is staying! i know because he said so!

  13. Steven at 7.51 that was a post of two halves. Excellent in the first 45 and woeful in the second.

    1. Why would we abandon ‘project youth’ when it is still in it’s nascent stages and just starting to bear fruit? This a system that needs mild tweaking not a rabid overhaul.

    2. Who are these players you speak of – Denilson & Diaby I suppose (yawwwn). Imagine taking the same route with Song. Had we listened to the pundits and D&Gs we would have offloaded him before the start of the season and yet he is now widely considered one of our best.

    3. I agree with some strengthening (though not that we need a replacement DM) but, as other sites have detailed, no manager could have planned for the extraordinary plethora of injuries last season. In fact remove either Rooney, Tevez or Drogba from the equation and assume we had RvP fit for most of the season – even with most of the rest of our 1st choice team MIA, we would have won at a canter. Simplistic but it is a valid statement.

  14. They’ve got Cesc’s dad involved now. Barcelona sure know how to keep these transfer’s classy.

  15. And they still haven’t made an offer!

  16. This Cesc thing is killing me. If he does leave I hope he does it as soon as possible. Not knowing just makes for miserable times…

  17. I dont believe we should go for Mark Schwarzer, he makes just as many mistakes as Almunia and Fabianski. To spend money on an obvious experienced, yet equal quality goalkeeper than what we have is wasting money in my opinion.

    Beter safe the ayrton senna for somefing else.

  18. Moving on from Cesc…how good was Walcott defensively yesterday!! He tracked back really well and in the first half always provided an outlet on the right wing. He looked way more composed last night than he usually does with us, in my opinion anyway. Hopefully he can kick on next year!

  19. herdee string

    Respect to this site –

    It didn’t cross my radar until recently. But this is really good. It makes me think that all Arsenal fans aren’t necessarily muppets like those elsewhere.

  20. Possession stats for England’s game were similar to the CL final.

    England (Inter) 34%
    Mexico (Bayern) 66%

    Is this the new style of football. Sit back and defend at all costs.

  21. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


  22. dupsffokcvuf –

    There is only one stat that matters my freind, we need capello or the special one, we need winners and we need to spend moneyz

  23. jonny –

    What you say is the same tired excuses my friend, we knew RVP would be out in january yet wouldnt spend moneyz on chamack which could of clinched us the title. We need the special one and we need to spend moneyz

  24. Re Bossman
    Were you watching a different game?
    In defence, Walcott was ball-watchuing on a number of occasions.
    In attack, he got rid of the ball far too quickly, à la Arsenal, instead of going it alone.

  25. nicky –

    I agree, walcot was god awful like he has been all season. He always watched his feet when he’s got the ball, he is not good enough and is not special. Hopefully chamack will be a good signing, I hear his nickname is ‘Recession Ronaldo’ but i do not care my friend. 40% of Christiano Ronaldo is still better then walcot

  26. i agree with bossman

  27. If you ignore Andy Townsend’s disgracefully shit commentary last night, Theo had a good game in the context of the performance overall. If he goes to the World Cup, it will make it far more interesting from an Arsenal point of view.

  28. dupsffokcuf – the stats you show make for an interesting analysis.

    Mexico were clearly better than England technically, their passing was slick, their first touch better and they moved the ball with speed and precision. Unfortunately for them they didn’t take their chances and couldn’t defend a corner for beans. It sounds fairly familiar to me….

  29. Walcott was the only spark in England’s one dimensional attack. He skinned his market on various occasions, and won a few tackles as well. England had no problems what so ever down the right hand side defensivley, the problems came through the center and more notably on the left.

    The slowness and ‘slackishness’ of some of the English players will really show against the technically superior. There are far better teams than Mexico who will finish us off if we play like taht against them. Walcott for me had an impressive game, I think Capello knows what he offers the team, and I think he has secured a starting place

  30. Matty Boy

    Is it me of do the pundits love the slaughter Theo… I thought he had a good game, he scared the life out of his marker and their defence every chance he could, and he created a few goal scoring opportunities, while providing cover defensively. I agree with the earlier post where someone mentioned he had a ‘composed performance’.

    Just seems the pundits hate Theo as much how they hate us…

  31. Carrick was awful, giving the ball away A LOT.
    Gerrard, anonymous in the 1st half.
    Milner, worked well, but again losing possesion frequently.
    Baines.. I wont say anything. (Gibbs would be playing if he wasn’t injured all season anyway – he will succeed Cole by the next tournament)

    …despite these piss poor performances, and various other mediocre performances.. we have the pundits criticisng every attacking move which Theo makes.. he goes past 3 players and plays a fairly decent ball into Rooney who strayed offside.. BUT its Theo’s fault? Absolutely remarkable.

  32. Tony – what makes you think Chamakh was prepared to join us in January. There was still the small matter of Bordeaux being in the Champions League which most likely would have seen him resist any overtures anyway.

  33. I thought that Townsend’s commentary was lamentable too. He obviously set out with a theory and made statements to prove it through the game. His statements were factually incorrect. The ‘Theo ball-watching’ comment was a case in point. He was marking two players.

  34. Tony is a fan that has wet dreams of the days that Mourinho comes to Arsenal to grace the Emirates pitch with anti-football, cun*ish players like Terry and Cole, generate a world wide hatred ( on top of the jealousy we have on our club for being the finest run football club on the planet), and to sacrifice the last standing morales left in football for a huge debt and a trophy for cun* Mourinho to run on the pitch and take any glory away from his players….

  35. Towsend is usually fairly reasonable but the commentary really did seem to have an anti-Theo bent…the incident Chris described was a case in point, Rooney’s caused the offside by not being on the same wavelength…although in truth I wanted Theo to fake the pass and cut inside the defender on his right foot and take the opportunity himself personally!

  36. Theo did a good job of handling Carlos Salcido after the first twenty minutes….a real handful.

  37. I thought he should have dummied to Rooney and continued his run too in that incident. But sometimes that comes off sometimes not.

  38. Frank

    It was shocking to hear, not just because we are Arsenal fans, but to see that Theo was the only positive thinking player in the final 3rd (and Rooney) who looked to open their defence. If we didn’t score from the set pieces in the 1st half, and had that in our locker, you could easily say that we got rolled over in footballing terms, we still did really.

    Central midfield especially, possession was non existent. I hope Joe Cole somehow gets into the mix, but I doubt it will be enough to bring back a World Cup. The Brazil’s and Spain’s wont be as kind with their finishing as Vela and co were last night

  39. Mourinhio only goes where he has the biggest budget in the league, he wouldn’t want any part of Arsenal.

    Tony some of us are old enough to remember the George Graham days – we wouldn’t want to go back to playing that way as we surely would under Jose.

  40. I just could not believe this two banks of four crap,….at Wembley of all places.

  41. I though Vela look a handful as well – would have put my house on a little chip over Green (golf metaphor somewhere?) on the first chance he had.

  42. ChrisGoona – I think the pundits, like many Arsenal fans have unfairly high expectations of Theo and are ultra critical of him. As you pointed out there were some pretty average performances by England players which went unnoticed by the inept commentary team.

    Also I agree with Frank, in that Townsend seemed to have a pre-conceived prejudice regarding Theo’s game and tried to prove it with false statements throughout the match.

  43. Carlos Vela was very lively and was popping up all over the front line. The Mexican fowards and midfield players play with a lot of freedom. They have the licence to express themselves.

  44. Set pieces and pump it up to the big bloke up front!…against Mexico at Wembley? How fucking dreary.

  45. Englands problem is that they still don’t know how to use Theo properly, they lack a player with sufficient guile ala Fabregas who can play the ball into spaces that allow Theo to exploit his pace.

    Theo recently said he’s been studying the runs Freddie used to make – that brainy exploitation of space coupled with Theos pace would be a very potent threat.

    Gerrard is good at that ball if its towards his own goalkeeper.

  46. QoS

    Theo is so direct in his play, he will dribble past somebody, drop a shoulder, and then be head on with another defender. At the pace he goes I suppose its hard for other players to know when he will release it, even at Arsenal playing week in week out his team mates can sometimes not catch up with him. How many balls have we seen into the box and nobody there…

    Last night though I saw him very composed and very efficient with his game. He didn’t lose the ball, he didn’t run into dead ends, and he created a number of chances and was probably England’s only bright spot in a dismal 1st half going forward ( apart from obviously the set pieces )

    This is what Capello mentioned in the aftermath, we need to produce more football to have a chance and not rely on counter attacks and set pieces. Theo gives England that, its a shame the pundits cannot realise this.

    That one chance he layed on for Rooney, he had to release it, Rooney was offside, and I remember an incident when Rooney ran from the halfway line and had 2 players waiting in the box (walcott and another), he attempted to take on a further 2 players and got tackled. He chose wrong, and didn’t do much else in the 1st half. The pundit did not mention how Rooney lacked a footballing brain at the time, he did not mention how he made the wrong choice, and he did not even mention how their were 2 players waiting unmarked.

  47. Its a difficult call for Capello i’d say Frank, because we don’t have many players with the fluidity and technique of the Mexico side.

    So he seeks to maximise the English players strengths, keep them organised.

    He must be praying for the Arsenal youth team to age 10 years!

  48. Theo would be good if he had a brain.Pace but no final ball

    England havent got a pray in the world cup,Like Arsenal all their keepers are poor

    Rio not fit Terry would get eaten alive by Torres and Villa Johnson cant defend

    Lampard and Gerrard cant play together

    Walcott/Lennon/SWP all the same

    Heskey/Crouch pile of horseshit

    England have one good player in Rooney and that wont be enough

    Last 16 or Q/F then is home time

  49. I thought “Everbody Loves Raymond” but based on that comment, i’m not even sure i like him!

  50. QoS

    Comment at 10:25 am made me laugh and is very true 🙂

    When fabregas is playing you know Theo will be released on goal a couple of times or down the wing. For all Gerrard’s hype he lacks that decisive ball that Cesc can produce. I have always been very dissapointing with Gerrard in an England shirt, I heard he had a good second half but I only caught the 1st so I won’t change my view just yet. He has never produced his club form onto the International stage for me, same as Lampard.

  51. “Raymond Domenech” is that you? Surely France can’t be scared of England

  52. That’s exactly what I was about to say, QOS. Theo got a bunch of goals and assists at the end of the season by making Freddie-esque runs. That side to his game has come on immensely. England just need to harness it better.

  53. Actually Gerrard turned away from Theo’s flank on several occasions when the pass was on.

  54. If Theo didnt play for Arsenal we would be saying he is a waste of space.Lets be honest here.He would not be a regular starter if everyone was fit at the grove.Yes he is quick but so is Usain Bolt!!!!!

    My tip for the world cup is Spain no weaknesses in any position,Riena there no 2 keeper is better than England 3 put together

    England will start with Heskey(last goal scored 2002)and bring on that giraffe Crouch.That says it all.

  55. QOS, So you think that Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney have no guile? Dont be reidiculous, Walcot is crap because he’s crap my friend. He be’s crap week in week out at the Emirates, maybe because we have no guile?

    Say what you like about Mourinho, he is the special one and is a winner, we need the special one an we need to spend some moneyz.

  56. What impressed me about Theo yesterday was his determination when defending, his demeanor was stoic and professional. It goes to show you don’t have to show gnarling teeth and ‘let people know you are there’ to defend well. Theo does not come across as being particularly aggressive and I often saw it as something he needed to add to his game. Yesterday however showed that he has it in him, but keeps it within himself which I like, unlike some other England players who throw the toys out of the pram at every opportunity.

  57. Actually, extrapolate Theo’s late-season form over a whole season and he’d be up there with Cesc in terms of goals and assists.

  58. I read the quote that cesc dad said to Onda Cero it says:

    “We will see how the transfer negotiation will go but Arsenal must respect the wishes of the player even though he is still under contract. Cesc has always been a professional. We thanks Arsenal to have made him the player he is today but we want a quick resolution. I think Arsenal will let him go.”

    Well he stated a few right things:
    He is under contract.
    Arsenal made him the player he is today.
    He is a professional.

    So respect the people who made you who you are and respect the contract you signed freely and without a gun on your head.

    I wish Arsenal states officially that a firm NO is there answer so that all this bullshit ends.

    With all due respects to Barcelona,they are out of line, one day they say they will do it respectfully and the next there are all this bullshit satories coming out from their part.

    I wish Man Shitty or Real Madrid make them taste their own medicine and harssle them day and night for their best players!

  59. Mexico have played 5 fixtures this month already and left top-scorer Blanco and main man in midfield Andreas Guardado on the bench for most of the game.

    England are lucky not to have a fluid passing side like that in their corner of the draw. Seeing as they used last night as an exercise in allowing possession to be taken ahead of their two banks of four – and the Mexicans simply picked their way through those banks of four, time and time again, they’ll do well not to rely on that again any time soon.

    On the plus side I thought Theo was excellent.

  60. Matty boy, Theos defending was brilliant, maybe Arsene can turn him into a goal keeper?

  61. Gerrard isn’t able to pick Walcott out when he goes on his explosive runs. He never has attempted to play it over the top, or a decisive through ball. Our only chance at the World Cup is an in form Rooney, and a towering Crouch to capitalise on any set pieces.

    As much as Capello wants to see “more”, I doubt many of this England team can suddenly find any sense of cohesion. We are not no where near as fluid as a team like Mexico despite beating them. Possession cannot be retained despite all our Premiership players hype, and the likes of Gerrard will again struggle without the foreign team mates who provide some fundamental technical abilities that allow them to shine at club level.

    Sorry to sound depressing, but as much as I try to encourage myself with the prospect of England doing well at this tournament. We will get found out against any of the major contenders.

  62. Vela was also disappointing, what is wrong with that boy?

  63. I suspect you’ve never been to the Emirates Tony if you had you’d know about the Theo effect…whenever he picks up the ball, there is a collective holding of breath from the crowd, the expectation that something exciting is about to happen.

    Far from crap.

    As for Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney. You are right, if you define guile as diving for penalties! All three are power players, they are capable of providing drive to a side but not visionary passing.

  64. QOS, Yes there is a collective holding of breath while we wait to see which touchline he will steam towards and then carry on like forest gump. I’m sorry my friend I must disagree with you on this. Do you like the special one?

  65. I noticed that too Frank – and i’ve seen him do that before as well.

    I do think there is an element of Liverpool mafia, he only passes to Rooney and by comments in his book, you might think he does not like Theo.

    But I also think the problem is technical, Gerrard likes the rightfooted pass from right to left with his instep, he’s not comfortable making that same pass with his left foot, nor is he good enough to play it with the outside of his boot as say a Paul Merson would have.

  66. Haven’t seen James around here lately.

    I wonder where he could be hiding…hmmm……. I wonder.

  67. Tony

    You are not Andy Townsend are you

  68. Forgive my courseness Tony – I think Jose is pretty, but it’d be a pure hate fuck.

  69. Matty Bwoy, I am the special one and was banned for being too special, now you have exposed me I may only have two minutes to live.

  70. Theo was excellent, full stop. Wenger has brought him on very nicely, lets hope next year he has an injury free campaign and gets into doubles figures and receives some praise which he will deserve fully.

  71. Look out for Oranje against Mexico tomorrow night at 19.00 UK time. Might get a glimpse of RvP and Carlos Vela. Excellent.

  72. James, quite a few spuds playing last night, you must have been so happy.

  73. What is it with Rooney moaning at Theo all the time as well? Is he not intelligent enough to realise that to encourage your team mates is beneficial to the team. Or does he just pick on the smallest fella to take his frustration out on because he had a shit game himself.

  74. You’d have been proud Frank – I won a new shirt for King of Suburbia and as he already has the Arsenal set, I picked an international one.

    RVP for holland.

  75. Chris, not really they all played terrible. I agree with you 100% on our chances this World Cup, they’ll have to play out of there skins to reach the final. Rooney doesnt seem to be in the form he was earlier this season either. You never know though……

  76. I’d rather watch Holland any day of the week, the only reason I still bother to follow England is to see how Theo does and because I see it as my duty to follow the national team. The rest of the team are a bunch of wankers in all honesty.

  77. James, fair comment. Please stop using other identities – its becoming really annoying and predictable.

  78. The England side still looks unbalanced – literally no attacking threat from the left.

    Its been a longstanding problem, is it Gerrards lack of positional discipline?

  79. Do you use any identities on le-grove James?

  80. oooh moderation.

    Do you use any identities on le- g r o v e james?

  81. Excellent choice, QoS.

  82. Joe Cole has been the only decent option at LM in the last 10 years.. thats how talented our nation has become.

    All England fans will have to hope Wenger’s talented youths make the grade, because nothing looks likely to change in the near future.

    Gerrard and Lampard will look back at a fine career of 1000 caps, no trophies, while Arsenal’s foreign players will be sitting in their arm chairs and recapping on what was some remarkable nights in sporting history..

    Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Gilberto, Pires, Van Persie, Cesc… i need say no more.

  83. He scored two solo mazy run type goals on Friday night too Frank, which i took to be the Van Persie effect.

  84. QOS, Gerrards been quiet all season really hasn’t he. None of the players are in great form except for Lampard and maybe Adam Johnson. If only Bale was english…

  85. Adam Johnson could be a very useful player in the World Cup I think. He’s got lots of confidence, despite looking like a shunned, gawky sixth former at a really shit house party.

    I’d like to see:

    – – – – – – Rooney – – – – – – –
    A Johnson – – – – – – Walcott
    – – Lampard – – Gerrard- – – –
    – – – – – – -Parker – – – – – –
    Cole – – Terry – Ferds – Johnson
    – – – – – – -James – – – – – –

  86. 1 loose cannon

    Try not get angry when you read what Fabregas’s dad has said.
    Its a bit sad that we’ve been treated so badly by the fabregaas camp. This is really direspectful to Arsenal as a club that gave his son a chance that he would never had at Barca. Well thats the way it goes. Its clear now there is no turning back I just can’t see Fabregas playing for Arsenal again. After what has been said. I read that Barcelona wanted Fabregas to anounce publicly that he wants to leave but could not do it so his Father has done it for him. Its a shame he could’ve been a true legend at Arsenal.

  87. Bert van Marwijk’s going to be playing it safe with Holland. Just sayin is all.

    They’re light-years ahead of England on a technical level, but don’t expect much ambition this summer.

  88. I got a Holland away shirt with RVP on the back. It’s a fake one from a website that does really quite good fakes – but the Holland away kit stumped them with the inclusion of a little squad number on the chest as well as on the back. Bless ’em they tried to match it and ironed me on a tacky plastic no.7 right in the middle of the shirt. I’d much rather they hadn’t but you have to credit their effort.

  89. Why is that BigAl?

  90. If he starts with Kuyt I’ll cry.

  91. 1 loose cannon

    Try not take much notice to any speculation regarding Cesc, not good for your health.

    We are the Arsenal, we don’t need to worry about a single player like some teams.

  92. Just after reading around the Dutch press, Frank – and seeing how tight they kept things in qualifying.

  93. 1 loose cannon

    ChrisG- I want him to stay thats all. But its does not help when his father having a go aswell. The tactic here is to try and corner Arsenal and force a deal. I believe Wenger will do what is right for Arsenal and he will have a final say in this matter.

  94. if steven taylor is mentioned on the arsenal website then doesn’t that mean its definately not happening? I’m confused as to what impression arsenal are trying to make there…

  95. Let niet op de grote 5, maar pas op voor de oranje 11

  96. So the next shoe has dropped….Cesc’s Dad becomes the mouthpiece for his son. Didn’t they use Ronaldo’s Dad last year as well? Cesc isn’t bold enough to speak. Barca isn’t ready to make a serious offer.
    Seems they are still trying to do this on the cheap. So it is far from a done deal.

    Repeat: You can’t legislate for the greed or ambition of a player. But you can make the price of their action high, very high.

  97. Word

    The impression that Arsenal has created with the section of Transfer Linked is not the one that they hoped.

    It is a Friday night, 8 o’clock idea after fifteen pints that was probably funny at the time and should have been smothered as soon as sobriety kicked in.


  98. What the hell do Barca expect? That we come to them asking to take Cesc of us? That won’t work. Barca should either speak up or shut up. Get the cash or get the f*ck out.

  99. Shotta

    It was his Mum that the Spanish media used.

    The message to Fabregas Snr is the same as the son: You aren’t for sale unless Barcelona stump up our asking price.


  100. I have to say, Gary Cahill is one of the very last players on the earth that Arsene Wenger would sign.

  101. Totally agree, YW. Fucking atrocious idea.

  102. Barca are playing a very clever game.All the talk is coming for our side.Peter Dead-wood says he isnt for sale.Then comes out with “i am surprised we havent had a bid” As if he is inviting a bid.Laporte is not a stupid man.

    Barca know Cesc wants to leave and are playing a game of bluff.They know what happened when Henry stayed for one more year,his heart wasnt in it and he made the move to Barca for less than half of what Barc would have paid the year before.

    Arsenal dont want to lose face but it is inevitable that Cesc will go.

  103. arsenal will probably sell for 40m.

    apart from ade & kolo (because they were sold to those idiots) we haven’t got top dollar for a player since petit and overmars.

    not that it will make much difference as there’s no way we’ll be spending whatever budget wengers been given plus whatever we get for fab

  104. 80m fee for Fabregas.. That is a logical valuation for the best young CM in the world after seeing stupid amounts for other ordinary players.

    I want Wenger to come out and say hes had no contact, he is not willing to let his captain go for peanuts, and to come out and publicly shame Barcelona for their transfer dealings, as well as their players and co who took part, I think most fans would like this to happen.

    Wenger is too shrewd, he won’t show his hand, and hes letting Barca play this game on their own. Wenger will give the pathetic media a clue to what is going on (IF anything) when he has taken all actions to assure Arsenal is suited in any way or form.

    Wenger is pure class, in the face of such speculation he doesn’t even batter an eye lid, I find it hilarious.

  105. I bet you he doesn’t go, Ken.

  106. limpar… what makes you think he’ll stay?

  107. Ken

    No two people react the same to situations so imposing the demeanour of Henry onto Fabregas is wrong. Nobody doubts that he is at some point going to return to Barcelona, the player has said that.

    The crucial aspect of this saga is that the player is getting a message from the Catalans:

    We like you as a player, we want you to join but frankly you are not good enough for us to want to break the bank to sign you.

    Nothing like being wanted, eh?


  108. I’m not being funny but you guys must be absolutely minted at the moment. You’ve sold all the houses, you sell all your seats (even though some dont turn up), you’ve got to consistantly to the latter stages of the CL, You’ve made massive profits onthe selling of players and wenger hasnt spent that much for years. You must be fricken loaded. Thank god wenger doesnt want to spend thats all I say.

  109. ‘Barca are playing a clever game’…fucking rubbish. Barca are playing a shabby game and all the communication is from them bar an apparent comment from young Mr Grace which has no identifiable source. Arsenal will either make a fortune or keep Cesc. Win, win.

  110. silence is clearly the best option when it comes to transfers otherwise you really cant win either way

    I thought the hangeland news was supposed to be breaking today? didn’t a little birdie tweet it?

    will be glad when all this is over

  111. frank… making a fortune isn’t a win… we wont spend it to replace him with a similar-level player.

    we made a fortune out of the kolo and ade sales and finished 3 points better off the season after!

    fab going puts us back 2-3 seasons

  112. I just think we’re in a strong enough position to keep him if we want, Tom. Financially, and in terms of what we have to offer the player – he has so much of his career left ahead of him, I think AW has plenty of room to persuade him to stay – if indeed he ever, seriously wanted to leave.

  113. This “clever game” Barcelona are playing is the same they play every year.

    Is it me or are Ken & Raymond’s writing styles similar?

  114. Extremely. So close they could be related.

  115. Naaah. Rubbish…our problems this year were down to injury. We will have more cover after the close season, with Cesc or without Cesc.

  116. I think he will stay too, LA

  117. limpar i hope so! i just think that surely wenger and him must have spoken by now and there would have been an indication whether or not he wanted to leave or could be persuaded to stay through maybe additions to the squad to show ambition and a genuine ability to compete.

    the main thing though is how would fab react to being told …

    “they haven’t and wont offer the amount of money we think your worth, so you wont be leaving”

  118. That is the decisive factor here Arsenal Tom.

    As much as we wouldn’t stand in Cesc’s way if he was determined to leave, the valuation that reflects his value must still be met. Arsenal can slap a price of 50-100m on Cesc’s head, so Barca are playing a dangerous game if they think we will let him go on a cheap.

    Even before that stage is met, Cesc wouldn’t have an easy time saying to Wenger “thats it I’m leaving” out of the blue, after a season where he has been our best player, our captain, playing out his heart and soul. I cannot see Cesc approaching Wenger in that manner, putting himself in such an awkward situation if Barcelona don’t come up with the cash.

    I imagine that Cesc and Wenger are pretty close off the field, and speak on a regular basis. Our team is a family, nobody packs up and leaves. Henry stayed for a couple more years because he was told to, and he left after Wenger told him he could leave. Lets not make Cesc out to be a criminal just yet. Barcelona are trying to put that wedge between us and our captain, lets not let them.

  119. im pretty sure henry stayed for wenger and the 10m we gave him!!!

    cesc is by no means a criminal, but if he wanted to stay eh would have denied all this talk like he has done in the past.

    there is definitely something in it, and i dont they will be able to drive a wedge… most fans understand why he wants to leave who wouldn’t… unfortunately he’s far more likely to win a trophy at barca than he is with us next year. he knows that and so do 90% of the fans and they accept it which is why there is no real malice directed at him, it’s all going wengers way because people think he’s almost driven him to this

  120. When a manager gives you that platform to succeed, as a player I’d imagine you feel very privileged to be in such a position because of one man. For Cesc, Henry, Vieira, Pires, and many many more, they have nothing but respect for Wenger. Wenger didn’t make them, they made themselves, but the guidance and knowledge he gave to them is what turned them into great players.

    Can anyone seriously imagine Cesc leaving without advice from the man that allowed him to be regarded as one of the worlds best. Thats what I thought, ignore the media bull crap

  121. cesc must see that going at short notice in a WC year for half his market value is not fair on us. We deserve a years notice at least.

    The sad part for me is how much this situation has highlighted the loss of ramsey. His development was on track to take up cesc role in the centre almost as soon as next season but now the whole clubs development could be pushed back quite significantly.

    I’ll go as far as saying cesc is a cunt if doesn’t give one more year.

  122. Yawn….

    Barcelona, we’re not selling Cesc unless he wants to leave.

    If he wants to leave, then you can have him but….

    show us the money. Pay what he’s worth.

    Otherwise, fuck off Catalan scum

  123. 1 loose cannon

    I do believe the injury fabregas suffered had played a big part in what has happened. After the injury he went to spain to recover and you can imagine when you are surrounded by Barca mad people including his family, You have to remenber he is friends with Messi and Pique. they must’ve been nagging him about the move for a while and they finally persuaded him to go for it. Because prior to the injury he played his heart, gave everything and showed no sign of wanting to leave and I aslo believe Laporta or Guardiola has made a direct conversation with him which is illegal but we can’t prove anything.
    Anyway I hold no grudge towards Fabregas, he was a joy to watch. Lets hope Barca crumble in a year or 2 . Arsenal becomes the new super power and he might just regret if he ever leaves.

  124. chris, of course he’ll get his advice but its not just about that is it? its about what fab, believes…

    maybe he’s lost faith in wenger?

    maybe he doesnt think half the team is good enough?

    maybe he doesn’t believe sufficient players will be brought into let us compete?

    we dont know and we can only speculate, maybe last year he went through the same thing and agreed this would be his last year hence the extra noticeable determination from him?

  125. 80m or no deal.

  126. Arsenal Tom

    You seem to love turning any point into a negative view point.

    maybe he’s lost faith in wenger?

    maybe he doesnt think half the team is good enough?

    maybe he doesn’t believe sufficient players will be brought into let us compete?

    How about this one.. maybe you have lost your faith?

  127. shotta-gunna

    Arsenal Tom @ 12:04 PM – “… making a fortune isn’t a win… we wont spend it to replace him with a similar-level player.”

    Your pessimism is groundless. Over the past five years AW and the Board have used all transfer funds to strengthen the long-term future of the club both footballistically and financially. Unlike ManU and Liverpool, our traditional rivals, we are better set. Take ManU for example, they made 60 million from the Ronaldo deal and apart from Valaencia did not spend a penny to bring in new players to the 1st team. Arsenal on the contrary used the Ade/Kolo money to increase salaries and bind most of our young talent to long-term contracts. That, by the way, help pay for the golden handcuff that Cesc and Barca are trying so hard to wiggle out of. Gains from the property development were used to pay down the stadium debt thus strengthening our balance sheet. As the Swiss Rambler blog has has explained very well, Arsenal still does not have the financial clout of Barcelona whose turnover is nearly 30% higher due mainly to the inequitable TV deal that they and Milan enjoy, at the expense of the rest of La Liga.
    But Barcelona does not have all the cards; the credit bubble is over and, if you haven’t noticed, there is a financial and economic crisis in Europe which has spread to Spain. Arsenal is stronger financially that the Henry transfer saga and is not desperate for cash. That is why they are currently maneuvering to get Cesc on the cheap.
    If they spend a fortune for Cesc, as they did for Ibra, it will be a very big win for us.
    Barca scum.

  128. LimparAssist

    I don’t think Fabregas is ‘far more likely’ to win a trophy at Barca next year, Arsenal Tom.

    Seeing as Real Madrid took La Liga right down to the final few games last season, and add to that the ‘Moaninho effect’… seeing as Arsenal were right in the Premiership title race until mid-April, showed great improvement and are strengthening the squad as we speak, I’d say the two clubs are very close in terms of title prospects next season.

    The bookies will have you believe otherwise of course, but then, that’s their job.

  129. Tom who is in the 90% that believe he is likely to win at barca than here? Speak for yourself man!

  130. On the unimportant point of which team is likelier to win a trophy next year, i have to concede it will be barca imo. The have a 50/50 chance of winning the la liga title, its either them or Real Madrid. Such is the nature of their league as AW pointed out.
    The EPL is way more competitive and hence harder to win for any one club.

    Not that i think it is enough reason for Cesc wanting to leave.

  131. Never really liked Cesc’s comments over the past years over wanting to join Barca. “I’m an Arsenal player who loves the club but get wet dreams of playing for Barcelona”. Nothing different to Adebayor’s comments when he wanted to leave. Very political captain he’s been, when it comes to loyalties.

    He isn’t irreplaceable. As long as we get a good price for him, we’d be fine without him. He is probably the last of the mercenaries that we have. Nasri, RVP, Theo, Bendtner e.t.c have shown more love for the club than our captain, when it comes to where their loyalties lie. With the likes of Ramsey, Wilshere, and other players who are growing up, I’m hopeful we’d see less of this behavior. Cesc has wronged the club with his desires, and hypocrisies for the past year. He can fuck off for all I care, as long as we get a good price.

    All I was hoping for this summers was no major change. And this is the biggest change that could happen this summers, and possibly prolong the transitional period. The team would need time to adjust to the post-cesc era. Unless a ready replacement is found. It will be interesting. Hope he stays for another year, until we bred someone else in that position.

  132. The only concern is if Arsene will spend this time around if Cesc leaves? He does have the habit of having faith in members of the squad to step up. Which isn’t wrong but that hasn’t proven so prudent, with so many injuries that have effected us. A case in point would be the sale of Adebayor, and not replacing him with any other. It was a gamble, which didn’t pay off. We lost Bendtner and RVP to injury. Eduardo didn’t find his touch and his ongoing injuries.

  133. Chrisgoona

    So you care about France more than England? Is high time you go to a French blog and promote the French national team. This blog is not the place for you. Do you think Arsenal is a French team playing in England?

  134. ChrisGoona

    Diabolical is a starter for France so what? Don’t you feel ashamed that AW only buys French players? Don’t you also think that lack of English players in the team is a problem? Are you happy in the current situation where we play 7 French players and no English player?

  135. OoU,

    That’s an unfair estimation of Cesc. He’s far younger than Kaka, Xavi and Iniesta, while showing as good a form as they have. He’s just started adding goals to his game. And far better a player than they were at the age of 23, in my opinion. He should be third most expensive player behind Messi and Ronaldo. If he is to leave, 60 million is the least one could hope for.

  136. Apropros of your post, Howard, I have the impression of deja vu, and find your views somewhat demode. You can’t expect to have carte blanche to cry “sacre bleu” every time we talk about the French squad in relation to Arsenal FC. I think it would do the club’s esprit de corps no end of good if all of our players, inclusant les Frnacophones, have world cups nonpareil. I think your rapport with other posters would also improve if you agreed to stick to one nom de guerre in the future.

  137. Ateeb, now now.

    Cesc hasn’t gone yet, and you have to understand he is in a tricky situation. He cannot control the way the people around him behave, and his old club. They have used his personal agenda of one day wanting to return to Barca to try force a move on Arsenal. If he really wants to go he would have simply told Wenger, and Barcelona would have gladly sent a fax over with their offer.

    From what I heard we have received no offer, they are playing very low tactics with trying to de-stabilise our player, and if a transfer was really going through this wouldn’t be the manner in doing so.

    Barcelona are trying to force a situation which they won’t come out better from, we don’t need their money, and I say we issue a public statement saying that we shall never do business with this institute again. Then Cesc will have to play out his contract. How about that Barca?

  138. Sorry but I don’t respond to retards who call Diaby Diabolical.

  139. Ateeb

    60m seems a fair reflection based on other players fees. BUT we are in no need to sell, he is our captain, he is young with the best years ahead of him, and I doubt there is another CM around anywhere near his calibre at that age.

    Taking all this into account, 80m if they really want him. I’d even be glad to send them an e-mail asking for 100m if I was PHW.

  140. Well that’s one of the things that makes him appealing to Barcelona, Ateeb. He scores more goals than all of their midfielders put together. He’s worth about twice as much to them as they seem willing to pay right now. Anything less than 50-60 million would be scandalous.

    The only problem is that he appears to want to leave, and it seems he only wants to join Barcelona. It’s something that shouldn’t have an affect, but we know it’s going to force us to compromise a little.

    So I suppose they’ll probably be able to knock a tenner off.

  141. 1 loose cannon

    Chris Goona -\it is really no point keeping a player who wants to move away. From waht we saw with many cases when a player state their desire to leave the following season their form drops and that was the case with Adebayor I think we are lucky we got that mnoey for him. If Fabregas stays it might be like pulling a cat from his tail on a rug. You simply have to let go at some point. Unless fabregas comes out and tell Barca to bugger off (very unlikely) then we just have to negotiate the best deal for everybody. Thats is why I believe Wenger will do what is right for Arsenal not Fabregas and Barca.

  142. effect

  143. 1 loose cannon

    I agree, but Cesc has not come out and stated his desire to leave. When he does so, or when Arsenal informs us of this then we can start talking numbers with Barca.

    Untill then, this is all pure Barca crap, trying to unsettle our fans, player and club.

  144. chris… sorry for the late reply – been at lunch… i have lost faith to an extent unfortunately… after watching the invincibles broken up far too quickly in my opinion and replaced with players like almunia, fabianski, denilson, diaby (to an extent) silvestre… i think allot of people have.

    i haven’t lost my passion or love for arsenal though, i just dont see the improvement people talk about… we ended up with 3 more points and we conceded more goals than last year… not a drastic improvement for me mate

  145. shotta… when i said not a win win i meant from a football point of view… look what happened when we lost hleb and flam… we went backwards massively because we didnt replace them.

    loosing cesc we’ll go the same way i think mate. money in the bank is brilliant id never want us to end up like man utd or liverpool but we’re not in this to celebrate profit margins and bank balances.

    every time we look like we’ve got a decent team someone or a couple leave and we have to start all over again. its so painful

  146. Arsenal Tom

    That is your choice, I have been very optimistic about this team from day 1 this season. If you couldn’t after we thumped Everton 6-1 on their own turf then you really need to consider if supporting Arsenal really is worth it. Sorry to be blunt, but you should feel lucky to watch such a team, a manager who doesn’t give in to peer pressure from fans or pundits who seem to know better. Our club is on a path, and it is the correct path. It may not be as exciting as doing what Man City is, trying to BUY instant success.

    But this path will ensure that our club sticks to its principles, sticks to improving players from within, working from the roots to get players playing the Arsenal way. Next season we will see another 3 or 4 players make their name, and then the next another wave will come through.

    If you are not excited by that then like i said you are in the wrong place. And as you seem to have similar views to those on L-E G-R-O-V-E, and you seem to have commented quite a bit on their today. Maybe you should stick to agreeing with the sheep over there.

  147. 1 loose cannon

    Wenger will drag this a bit longer I’m sure he will be in no rush to show his cards just yet.Ramsey’s injury makes things even harder for Wenger but I’m sure he already have someone in mind if Fabregas leaves. Yoann Gorcouff has been mentioned on many occasionds in the past.

  148. @Tom
    The improvement was that we had a chance to win the title all the way up to the last 4 or so games of the season. Last year we had been out of the race much earlier.

  149. chris… we both know you dont chop and change teams mate, dont go down that path.

    beating everton 6-1 was incredible. we started the season brilliantly but dropped off and suffered the injuries we usually do to vital players.. RVP & gallas again!

    the problem is that with a small investment with the cash available we could have done much better… not man city levels – they are the worst thing to happen to the PL since the russian criminal in west london but a new CF when we were playing arshavin as the target man!!!!

    or a CB when it was clear Djourou would out all season and wenger didn’t want to play senderos when it mattered.

    and chris why end your post with the legrove comment? why do you come on a blog if not to debate and discuss, the world would be a much more boring place if everyone sat round saying how perfect everything was

  150. shotta-gunna

    Chris Goona – Re: Cesc’s behavior.
    We can hope for the best but you must plan for the worst.

    You never see smoke without fire. Barca, especially their surrogates, are trying to get a fire going. We ignore the arsonists at our own peril.

  151. evilfrek… thats because the other 2 teams dropped more points than this year.

    this years team would have beat last years and the football at times was incredible but, the records wont show that we competed 3/4 of a season just that we finished 10 points off the top.

  152. I think we are all a bit blind to the improvement that is really made because of all the injuries. I am 100% convinced that a fully fit Arsenal will beat Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, and anyone else who steps on the pitch to play us. I’d even include Barca, we would have beaten them at home despite how much of a wankfest everyone had over their performance.

  153. arsenehollis

    IF cesc leaves it will be a big blow to the team, both in terms of tried talent and spirit – both take a big blow when your best player and captain leaves.

    We should fight with everything we have to keep Cesc. Spain are in a very tough section of the World cup and could go out much earlier than expected. We should wait, get him back in London, then try and turn his head back our way.

    If Cesc goes we need to bounce back this season, otherwise we are establishing a pattern where our best players leave after a good season for the team for suppposedly quicker routes to glory, this sets us back and increases the chance it will happen in the future. Same happened for Hleb, Flamini and eventually Adecunt after our last title tilt.

    We should keep Cesc. We will keep Cesc. He will win the league with us next year then stay on to do it again. This can be turned around as quickly as it went sour.

  154. Shotta

    Maybe, but I we don’t need to add fuel to the flames. The only thing I will believe is what comes from my club. Maybe thats a very narrow view point to take, but they are the people I pay to watch, and they are why I am such a football fanatic. The rest of the clubs, the media, the pundits, their views have proven time and time again to be flawed and biassed, I dont have to listen to any of that shit.

  155. According to the press, Cesc’s father is saying Arsenal have to respect that he wants to leave for Barcelona. I say, “bollocks” he needs to respect the fact that his son signed an extended contract to 2015 and also took a huge pay raise as part of the deal to extend at Arsenal. Respect is abiding to a contract that was signed between player and club.
    However, with that said, if Barcelona cough up 80 Mil, then let him go and invest wisely into the team.

  156. Arsenal Tom

    I am far from saying how perfect we are, I see our errors, I see where some areas of our team need improving. For you to sit there and point out to events that occured during the season then try clarify why you think this team has failed and will not improve is wrong.

    We have a host of quality players who are young and continuously improving, they are already experienced and have come close to a title on 2 occasions. They have managed to stick in a title race despite losing all our major major players…

    Like I said, you can choose to be depressed like your pals on the other site, but there are many Arsenal fans who pay to watch football being played in the right way, win lose or draw. This doesn’t mean we have lowered our standards or ambitions, we all want trophies.

    The TRUE fans are the ones who do not turn against their club or badmouth their club in such circumstances where the fan doesn’t get what they wanted.

  157. Re:

    And all that.

    I missed last nights game, but here’s footage of Theo: Apart from the first goal, he’s quite far ‘forward’, playing in what looks like an assymetrical forward three.
    Did Capello ask Theo to play as an orthodox Right Whinger that night?

    On the second and third goals, the other midfileders look to be walking the other way to Theo.
    Well, Croatia were surprised to see him where he was.

  158. Finsbury

    I watched only the first half, he was playing RM mate for them 45 mins.

    He played very well, despite what some in the media may say.

  159. Thanks CG,

    Anti-Theo flames heve been fueled by people who have an agenda IMO.

    e.g. the Sp*d riddled Waddle.

    “Not only does TW14 have a Football Brain, he has a brain.”


    Interesting hints for the future amongst the injury induced crash at the end of the season:
    Alot of goals between TW14 & NB52.

    A young Trez & Henry at Monaco MKII, as two of AFC’s reserve forwards?
    Not bad.

  160. chris… having an opinion than all is not rosy isn’t bad mouthing and i haven’t turned against the club, i just dont think that this team is as good as you do.

    i dont think the 3 point improvement from last season is that significant.

    i dont rate almunia as good enough for a title challenging winning side because both have and probably will in the future cost us points over the course of a season.

    i want this team to succeed more than anything else but with our best player about to leave and our history of investment im not confident

  161. but i would love to be proved wrong!!

  162. theo did well, final ball wasn’t always there but he caused plenty of problems.

    media just doing their usual and having a pop cos he’s a gooner

  163. Limpar:

    Why do you think Arsene would not sign Cahill? I do not know enough about him. What do you think about Hangeland? Who would be a reasonable CB for us?

    I saw that Yogi mentioned Schwarzer in his post. I have mentioned him many times but never really thought it was a serious possibility. GK seem to take time reach their best in the EPL. (Gomes etc.). Schwarzer made a clunker in the Fulham game against us which is concerning but overall from what I have seen he has been excellent for 3 years and comes with no EPL adjustment needed. He would be the perfect age to let Szczesny step in to the spot in 2 – 3 years. Your thoughts?

  164. Arsenal Tom

    Fair enough, when I mentioned “batmouthing” I did not direct it at you. I am directing it at a vast number of fans from every club. There is a culture with football fans which is coming about from advances in technology to express any displeasure in way or form online. This is then transmitted into the newspapers, onto the radio, and down onto the pitch. Football is a sport which we play to enjoy, as well as win. Same goes for watching.

    Many fans have lost sight of why they watch football. I feel very privileged to support a team who actually has some sort of values.. WIN, LOSE, or DRAW.

  165. badmouthing, not bat!… 🙂

  166. nothing more important than the club for me, players come and go, both good and crap, yea we have had some crap playing for us, all the way back to my first memories in the late sixties to now but they have improved over the years. What upsets me is that fab4 wants to be a barca player more than an Arsenal player. Sure no one has heard anything, maybe nobody has actually said anything, maybe it is the spanish press, but ask yourself how you would feel if you asked your girl friend/boy friend if he/she was planning on finding someone else and you got no answer, no denial. So anyone who really believes there is no smoke without fire, imo your in for a painfull shock./

  167. Football shouldn’t be about winning ‘no matter what’, this is why I dislike Mourinho, I dislike Italian football, I dislike Barca’s off field antics, I dislike Man City’s spending spree that messed up the transfer market, same to Chelski, I dislike Man Utd who spend millions every year accumulating debts which will not be paid until a billionaire decides to lend them a gand – is this really the greatest club in English football?

    When Arsenal do it, we will be remembered for all the right reasons…

  168. So Cesc wants to sleep with someone else is what your saying!?.. lets kick the fucker out..


    what if, some cu*t who is really attracted to Cesc, wants to show him off to his pals, is the one stirring all this to get him into bed?

    We have to wait for Wenger or Cesc before jumping to conclusions based on newspaper reports.

  169. What if Cesc wants to two time us and then decides it is us that he really loves. Could he love two at the same time? Maybe we could share his love between us in a triangular way. It cannot work, surely, us in bed with Cesc at the same time as Barcelona! We should screw them hard!

    I don’t think the analogy works.

  170. Apparently Sky published a stat saying Carrick completed 0% of the tackles he attempted against Mexico.

    ACLFers will remember I’ve been saying this for a while. Man United won the league 3 seasons in a row without a tough tackling holding midfielder.

    Fletcher’s tackling stats are not very impressive, & Carrick’s neither.

    Contrary to the simplistic pundit rantings, there are many ways to configure a winning team.

  171. If Cesc wants to leave then we have little choice but to sell him. However, I agree what Ole said previously. We are under no obligation to sell him to Barca. I would love to see a bidding war started with Man City and Real involved. Hopefully Real would get involved if for no other reason then to up the price that Barca ultimately pays for CF4. I hope Arsene and the board truly play hardball. We all love Cesc but if he wants to go, he is putting the club in a very difficult position. We need to get as much from any sale as possilble. Agree with CG we should set the price very high.

    If he really wants to go I wish it was not this year. We are so close and he is so important to our system. May be the boss can talk him into waiting another year and giving us time to set up an exit strategy with regards to players and tactics. If this drags on for too long we will be left without CF4 and without a good chance to adjust.

  172. DFG@2.44

    TH14 signed a 4 year contract in 2006 worth 100k a week plus a signing on fee of £5m.He left the following summer.Yet is still loved as a legend.Forget all this 8 year contract bollocks.If a player wants to leave he can break a contract

    Cesc can see what all non blinkered Arsenal fans can see is that the club is as far away from winning anything as it was 2 years ago.We still dont have a Keeper FFS.We are signing players on free transfers,where is the ambition???????????

  173. Wow.

    I just skimmed past a random Arsenal blog where the post concluded that the players need to wear suits on (Home) match days. It’s a major problem.

    i.e. The writer agreed with Phil Brown.

  174. DFG@2.44

    TH14 signed a 4 year contract in 2006 worth 100k a week plus a signing on fee of £5m.He left the following summer.Yet is still loved as a legend.Forget all this 8 year contract bollocks.If a player wants to leave he can break a contract

    Cesc can see what all non blinkered Arsenal fans can see is that the club is as far away from winning anything as it was 2 years ago.We still dont have a Keeper FFS.We are signing players on free transfers,where is the ambition????

  175. Ole:

    I thought Fletcher was a “tough tackling midfielder” based on what the boss said about him after the game at OT. Does Song not fill that slot for us, I suspect he will get better as time goes on.

    Your right about many ways to configure a team. Chavs scored 103 goals this year without a “playmaker”. Mancs won the previous 3 titles without a true playmaker. We could survive without Cesc but sure hope we do not have to go into next year without him.

  176. Does anyone understand football debt in terms of Barcelona and they’re unusual ownership circumstances. On it had an article about something the presidential candidate Sandro Rosell said:

    “The La Liga champions are currently £420 million in debt after spending huge sums of players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry and Dmytro Chygrnskiy. This amount is set to swell after out-going president Joan Laporta bought David Villa for £34.2 million, and looks set to move for £40 million-rated midfielder Fabregas”

    Whatever about Cesc’s price in the above, how can they service a debt approaching half a billion? I don’t get it. Isn’t this a dangerous debt or do they get bankrolled endlessly?

  177. CG, no i never said that at all, i said what really upset me is no denial, so if it is someone trying to use him as a diamond necklace then wouldnt it be the respectfull thing to let the fans know its all bollocks

  178. Bill,

    Just go look at his tackling stats and his average touch position. he’s not a holding midfielder.

    Wenger’s complaint was not about Fletcher, it was about the referee not applying the rule against serial fouling. The media turned it into Wenger v Fletcher

  179. LimparAssist

    It strikes me that Cesc’s father knows about as much of his son’s supposed move to Barcelona as the rest of us.

    Bill, I think Cahill is rash positionally and dives into the tackle too quickly. I also don’t think he’s got the touch to pass it out of defence in tight situations. He’s over-priced and he’s a bit of a ‘lad’ – which I mean in the sense that he’s a bit of a tosser. I also doubt whether he has enough about him mentally to step up and play for a club like Arsenal. Again, that’s just me speculating and probably being pretty harsh on him but there you are.

    Hangeland on the other hand is very tidy, very composed, plays the ball out of defence nicely. He has no left-foot of course, and sort of turns in funny little semi-circles sometimes just so he can keep it on his right foot… which isn’t great, but at least that fits with where Vermaelen would want him. I’m not sure if he’s quite what Arsenal fans are looking for… yes he’s very tall but he’s about as ‘all action’, about as cultured and about as fast as Big Phil Senderos is.

    Neither of them are anywhere near William Gallas, on any level whatsoever.

    I don’t really know where I stand on the new keeper debate. The trouble is Almunia’s completely lost the faith of the fans, let alone Fabianski. A new goalkeeper would be such a popular signing, that it could give us a big push going into next season.

  180. Hangeland is very very slow, and his lack of left foot is very very obvious.

  181. North London'rrr

    First Time Poster, Long Time Gooner.

    Not sure what all the fuss is about fellas…Cesc was always going to leave for Barca…Signing that mega long contract has probably secured us 10-15m on the transfer fee…And lets face it, the lad is not really built for the PL. At least not a side trying to win it!!!
    I for one am looking toward the future – and for Arsenal’s (and Wenger’s) sake i hope that we use the transfer funds from the sale to invest in QUALITY footballers. Nothing less will do. Nothing less will keep us in the top 4. Nothing less will keep RVP at the club.

    Hart (12m) or Green
    Cahill (14m) or Taylor
    Melo (16m) or Toulolan
    Gourcuff (18m) or Silva

    the positions they’d take up and our 4-4-2 line up speaks for itself. That team will comfortably make top 4 and seriously challenge for the league.


  182. I agree with shotta-gunna at 1.18pm and chrisgoona at 3.17pm.

    We do things the right way despite all the utter shit we have to put up with from other clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea, Man City and the like. And of course UEFA and the FA/Premier League.

    The mass media. HA!

    I don’t believe they are all against us, they just see things differently.

    They are classless.

    We are The Arsenal.

  183. Ludo

    If you think about it, that is about the same as Arsenal had a couple of years back. Well, OK, a bit more – the difference was ours was for a stadium, theirs is well, basically, the tab for mojitos, brandy and San Miguel in the boardroom. Oh and a couple of players.

    As for the definition of debt, depends who ask and for what reason you require the knowledge. Different people have different definitions depending upon their viewpoint.

    Good to see though the Uefa are being even-handed about their punishments for clubs. Espanyol were refused a licence earlier this month and would not be able to participate in any of the continental competitions next season.

    Amazing though, that all of the licence refusals are for clubs who do not qualify for either the Champions or Europa Leagues.

    Can’t be anything more than a coincidence, I’m sure.


  184. I’m confident that in a few years time, the summer destabilisation and disruption of the peace of the Arsenal will end. We’ll have a group of players who’ve played together for more than five years and are Arsenal fans. I’m talking about JET, Jack, Lansbury, Gibbs, Eastmond, Watt and the rest. It takes a really difficult situation for a player to be at a club at age 9-11, get into the first team at age 19-20 and then leave.

    The group that came through at MANU are still there, I mean Giggs, Nerville, Scholes except the other Nerville, DB and Butt who were let go. We also had Cole who left.

    Its really difficult for a foreign player to be at a club for a decade or more, its really exceptional cases like DB10 who will stay for that long. Any team with a mainstay of foreign players should expect players wanting to move away if the price is right. Well, Chavski are not having such problems because they’re winning.

    The point I’m making is that the make up of the Arsenal team breeds the ground for the usual summer distractions.

  185. Ole and Limpar:

    Ole @4:12. thanks. Do you Arsenal could function without someone as the designated playmaker?

    Hangeland seems like he might be a good fit with TV5. Any other thoughts? You guys both follow world football a lot closer then I do. I’ve heard a lot about Subbotic (?sp). Big, strong, fast and a beast in the air. I have also heard about Mertsacker.

    Limpar: agree completely with the last paragraph. I hope we keep Fabianski. The boss sees a lot in him, but I think going into another season with a GK controversy is a bad idea.

  186. North London'rrr

    @ Adamson,

  187. North London'rrr

    @ Adamson,

    what i meant to say was that you are talking like we havent just spent the last 5 YEARS with a bunch of lads who all came up togeher! Granted not English but come on, dont tell me Vela, Denilson, Diaby, Alialdiere etc would be winning championships if they were English?!

    Remember Pennant? He was part of Project Youth!
    QUALITY WINS YOU TITLES nothing else. Ferguson was lucky with that group, end of. It wont be done again for a generation.

  188. Bill,

    What do you mean by designated playmaker?

  189. LimparAssist

    I have no doubts about Fabianski. He’s going to be a fantastic keeper. The question mark is whether AW will give Almunia the chance to win the fans back around or whether he’ll invest in a replacement. He could do both of course; bring someone in, keep Almunia and let the pre-season games begin.

    But for that to be worthwhile it would have to be some keeper he finds. Mark Schwarzer is of a similar level to Almunia I would say.

  190. North London’rr

    You’re not getting me. I’m talking about ‘clubmen’. Players who are insulated from leaving their club. I said that its not easy for players who’ve been together from age 9-11 and who gets into the team at 19-20 to be convinced to leave. Cole is an exceptional case so are others but they are few.

    If they grow together and are fans, like our new breed of players coming through, I mean Jack, Jet, Craig, Lansbury are likely to stay put than players who aren’t fans and haven’t played for the team as a 9-11 year old kids. I’m talking about players in the mould of Adams, Winterburn, Parlour and co.

  191. I think Schwarzer is more consistent than Almunia…but can he bring out those performances Almunia is capable of in important games?

  192. i just dont understand how barcelona are not breaking any “tapping up” laws here. this is a contracted player, with numerous (4 or 5) years left on his deal. How their actions, with their various directors, players, etc, all commenting on the situation all implying that he will be here is ridiculous to me.

    someone who understands this better than I do please, explain it to me

  193. Thanks Yogi, just to quickly say you write a really top-notch blog.

    The reason I’m asking about Barcelona’s debt mainly is that they spend and spend and spend, but how do they manage that amount of debt? And what about the future paying it off? Do they have to pay it off? Or does it somehow dissolve. I know they’re a massive worldwide club but even so.

    Arsenal always have, and still do, spend within our means, as do most clubs down the leagues. But the way Barcelona and Real Madrid spend millions of millions they don’t have in the bank in such a way, well, anyone could win championships and cups if they could spend like that.

    You can see by the league tables across Europe who are the wealthier clubs – just look at the top teams in the tables. Therefore by logic if a team can spend phenomenal millions willy nilly, then of course they’ll friggin well win things. If we spent 200 million like Real Madrid last season we’d have run away with the league no problem. Even without that, I’m convinced we’d have won if even only Van Persie stayed fit, even if the other injuries still happened.

    Anyway, it’s all theory now, but it’s an extremely unfair playing field when Barca and RM can spend such amounts without any seeming responsibility. And I just don’t get how they can and get away with it – both in fairness terms and in financial terms.

  194. Limpar:

    I do not think that Schwarzer is that much better then either of our current keepers but I think it might provide a confidence boost to the players and certainly the fans. We shall see


    Our offense runs through Cesc. He has said that himself several times. Xavi for Barca another example.

    It does not seem like there is anyone in the Manc or Chav line up who functions in that role. You said the other day that Arshavin could not play in the middle because of his pass completion stats are not good enough. I would think he or Diaby could play in the middle similar to the way Lampard plays. Could we start Arshavin or Diaby in the central midfield with RVP NB/Chamakh and may be Nasri or Walcott further forward? Song and Denilson would play deeper more holding type roles

  195. *

  196. NJ Gooner

    The reason Arsenal have not reported them is simple. They are waiting to see if Barcelona make an offer. If they do, and for example, Cesc is sold then there is a clear case of tapping up. Once they have been screwed for their money, Arsenal can complain.

    The problem comes with the player. He, his agent and Barcelona would all end up fined if a case is proved.

    If Cesc is still at Arsenal and a complaint is made, then a potentially unsettled player becomes an entirely pissed off player.

    I would hope that Arsenal will complain when the time is right.


  197. I should add that Arsenal has to complain. Fifa won’t act off their initiative.

  198. Ole,
    Cannot beleive I’m going to say this but I agree regards Hangerland way to slow to play for us we defend to high and his lack of pace would be exposed, Fulham defend a lot deeper so he’s well suited to their style and hogson gets the best from him due to that,

  199. To judge by its fans, Arsenal is a very political club, so it is right that it should have a very political captain. Fabregas’s comments about Barcelona have never particularly bothered me. No player would be a greater loss to Arsenal thatn Fabregas; but whatever happens, we will have a better team next season that we had in this.

  200. This blog provides an excellent education in how the common people of England live. Never before have I heard of a “hate f*ck.”

  201. Kitchen Sink

    well said Poli..

  202. cannavaro on a free

    Be good back up

    Or am i talking rubbish

  203. I have a feeling if Arsenal sell Fabregas, they will do nothing. No complaints, No nothing.

    I just hope if they do sell him, they make sure to burn a hole in Barca’s pocket.

  204. YW

    thank you for the response. I suppose that makes a lot of sense. I guess I didnt realize that the player, his representation are also implicated in “tapping up” cases and that there are penalties, fines that come along with that. Is there a formal name for these “tapping up” cases I keep referring to in quotes?

    I suppose, as always, Arsenal are playing their cards well, under the partial influence of Wenger I’m sure.

    Its easy to forget, for me at least, being so removed from the immediate cultures surrounding each club, that Arsenal can break the trend amongst clubs of sleazy behavior off the pitch “best” exemplified by our Catalan counterparts. There I go again with those quotes..

    really thanks for the response AW.. eased my mind. Just want to make sure we will stand up for ourselves when the time is right.

  205. G4E

    I think they would have to get a whole heck of a lot of money for that to be the case.

    IMO Cesc is one of the 5 most valuable players in the world. He’s not a 27, 28 year old captain of one of the best sides in the world playing at incredible heights already. HE’S 22 YEARS OLD. or is he 23 haha.

    Either way, comparing this to the TH14 situation is foolish because TH14 had already had his best years behind him.

    If Kaka went for 56 million pounds, I’d say 65-70 is reasonable for Fabregas. Also depends on the market hopefully Real can drive up his price..

  206. I agree ,

    In terms of value scale, 60 million is about right.

    23, not injury prone, getting better by the year, a big goal threat, captain of the side.

    Wenger will not let him go for anything less than the right price.

    Let him rot on the bench if they dont pay up.

    Either way we will have a new captain next season I think.

  207. Bill,

    Now I get you. Sure, maybe we can play that way. In the Wenger era, we never really had a player so involved in constructing play before Cesc, though in a way he takes on some of the responsibility Bergkamp had and some of what Vieira had.

    A minority of people claim the problem with Arsenal is that we depend too much on Cesc & he can be shut down, an opinion I consider very wrong.

    This brings up another criticism of the current team which is that we have too many fancy technical players…..

    I think Arsene’s goal has been to not rely on one player to make play, but to make sure many of the players can create.

    I think this is correct, and it’s a source of weakness where some of the creative players don’t pull their own weight defensively.

  208. Arsenal should come out and nip this crap in the bud and say his price is 70million not a euro less if you match that he can go if not he stays so put up or shut up Easy 😉

  209. NJ

    It’s called ‘Unauthorised Approaches’.


  210. The deck of cards is nearly complete, I’m just waiting for the joker in the pack i.e. septic bladder to chime in about slavery and we’re there.

  211. Good points Ole,

    I’ll also add that our other attacking midfielders didn’t pull their weight offensively either. Arshavin, Diaby, Nasri, Rosicky didn’t really create much in Cesc’s absence.

  212. I’d say 60 million is probably a fair price considering we didn’t pay anything in him. 80 million would be to price him out of Barca’s reach.

    I think we also have to be careful with the resentment and “let him rot on the bench” kind of rhetoric because it will never serve Arsenal well in anyway. We will be viewed as the club who put a talent like Cesc on the bench for a year against his will, and the media won’t have a better chance then this to make us the villains. Having this kind of reputation for a club who doesn’t like to pay so much money for players is not good either.

    We are currently in a good negotiating position as far as the years left on his contract, but there is no way a player will be held against his in a big club like Arsenal. Maybe Wenger will convince him to stay another year, but that’s about it.

    What I’m trying to say, is don’t start turning on Cesc when we don’t even know all the details, because if he plays for us another year, will we Boo him like we did with Adebayor?

    At least Cesc gave a few good years to us, and yes we treated him well, we gave him the chance, he was learning too…but he always gave at least %100.

    Take it easy…

  213. Henristic & Bill,

    My goal wasn’t to disagree with the approach of having many creative players, but just to highlight the fact that all players have to pull their weight defensively, and offensively.

  214. unathorised approaches indeed!!

  215. Ole:

    I agree. Some teams have the “designated playmaker” such as Barca and us. Inter has Schnieder (?sp). Lots of teams do not. I know that our possession game has been built around Cesc’s amazing ability to break down the defense with the killer final pass. Nasri shows flashes of that but was not consistant. If Cesc does go, we may have to modify our offensive game plan a little. I am not sure we have to find a replacement who fits his role exactly. Not many players can do that.

    I agree that we need to get all of the “creative” players involved in looking for the final pass and spreading the possession. We could also be a really great counter attacking team. We have more speed (except for TH14) and just as much technical skill as the invincibles and they were the masters of the counter attack. I do not think the current team has used the it as much as we could. Walcott, Arshavin Van Persie and Nasri or NB52 should be able to slice up an unorganized defense. Chamakh is also fast and if he could get to the penalty spot with speed and a decent cross comes in he could head in a lot of goals.

  216. “defensively, and offensively”

    I think you’ve been conversing too much with Bill, Ole!

    G4E, the golden boy will never get the same treatment as Ade even if it comes out that he has behaved in the same way. He made sure to say in public that he was in no hurry to leave Arsenal, so if he stays there is no public proof of what he might have been up to behind the scenes. Barca are a disgrace and I only wish ill to them and all the mouthy c*nts who play for them.

  217. We need to get some football back, Passenal is getting very aggressive lately.

  218. Ole,

    You mean the way Eto and Pandev pulled their weight for Inter in the Cl final stages?


  219. Passenal, I hope so.

    I’m also astonished of Barca player’s behavior in the newspapers? I never seen many players of one club trying to convince a player from another to join them and on public newspapers?

    I used to have a bit of respect for some of them, but now I don’t.

  220. I agree dupsffokcuf, these barcac*nts are getting on my last nerve as they roll out player after player to pile on the pressure. It’s completely unacceptable.

  221. G4E

    The flipside of that is we know that when players turn up for internationals they are tapped up by ‘friends’ – at least the Spanish players are being open and honest about it. Still makes them tossers but open and honest ones.


  222. Definitely worth a read. The chickens might be coming home to roost and I will not shed a tear if they do.

  223. That is true YW, players get tapped up on international duty by their friends, probably like Cashley Cole etc., but going public like this can also be interpreted as vulgar and arrogant.

    If they already told Fabregas to join them while they’re on international duty, what’s the point of going on about it in the newspapers?

    It just not a normal thing to do and not with this concentration, unless maybe it’s highlighted because we are following it.

  224. Actually Passenal the piece is wrong on so many levels away from football, it is utterly bewildering.

  225. Ok, got moderated 🙂 sorry for the extra work YW.

  226. G4E

    Not sure why either! Loads of work trying to work out why!!!


  227. G4E

    Probably more to do with them talking about it.


  228. I think the guy who runs that blog has his heart in the right place, but some strange stuff gets published on there. I remember coming across the site before he turned it into a blog – around the time we sold Henry – and although I liked the positivity, the tone made me a bit nervous. Even then it was all hyperbole and conspiracy theories.

    I’m not suggesting I could do better! And it’s still better than 90% of the other Arsenal blogs out there – even though that’s not saying much!

  229. I’m glad Passenal feels the same way about it as me, when it comes to Barca c***ts. Espcially that Xavi c**t.

    As for Cesc’s not coming out publicly to state his desires to leave. I don’t know why are there any doubts when a player comes out and states that he needs to sort out his future before the world cup. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? You’ve got a fucking contract, isn’t your future already sorted out?

    This could drag on for another year though, just like the lesser Ronaldo’s saga. That could be a decent outcome, give us time to adjust gradually to the change.


    I agree about the “strange stuff” on that blog. And it seems most articles there predict financial doom for the other big clubs all the time.

  230. 1 loose cannon

    YW- I agree it will get very messy if we ask Fifa to investigate at this stage. its hard to prove but with a little investigative work there will always be people who will be willing to talk and blow their cover in exchange for some cash.
    Merida has left for A.Madrid he will be unveiled at their stadium on friday, in a galctico style I guess. Wenger will be cautious about signing Spanish again . Reyes, Merida and Fabregas are prime examples the Spanish are attracted to return and play in their 2 teams league.
    We will be fine with or without Fabregas.

  231. Yogi, the financial crisis is certainly real and I don’t think people are prepared for just how bad things could become. Football clubs cannot go on as they have done, which is probably why barca are trying to drive the price down with their public seduction of a player under contract elsewhere.

  232. I agree with Passenal.

    Barcelona’s desperate and embarrassing tactics must have some logic (apart from the obvious, of trying to save money, and if it the ‘bid’ is not a longer term haggle for the end of next season etc…).

  233. I would imagine that Barcelona are particularly miffed by the fact that Arsenal took one of their cast-offs and made him into a very good player…not a great player but a very good player.

    Cesc is an excellent player for us…but not essential. He is replaceable. Sad that such a hard-nosed competitive and ambitious young man should end his tenure at Arsenal becuase he wants to go home to his mum and dad and friends. Perhaps he really does not have the mettle required.

    I know that if my father had poked his nose into my career as Cesc’s has…I would have told him to go fuck himself. If Cesc is not demanding that his daddy bows out of this debacle…then Cesc is not the man I thought he was…perhaps he really is only a boy after all!

  234. I think he’s only a boy Frank…22 is the new 12 🙂

  235. I think it was the CL game against barca that was the turning point. I’m starting to wonder now if all his ‘heroics’ during that game were more about himself than the team.

  236. The tactics adopted by Barcelona have the potential to wreck Cesc’s career. It may already have had that effect….

    He is at a very delicate stage in his rehabilitation..this situation is not going to aid that process at all. In fact if that standoff continues I can see him not being the same player again.

    Interestingly that leads one to conclude that Barcelona not only are treating Cesc’s career with contempt but they are fucking with Spain’s chances in the World Cup. In fact I would suggest that Barcelona could give tuppence for Spain’s chances.

    Sadly for them the destruction of a young player’s career is going to cost them a damn sight more than tuppence.

  237. YW, I may understand why Xavi would come out in public as if to indicate he’s not afraid over his position and he welcomes Cesc into the team…but why the rest of them? Unless they know something we don’t know…Maybe they discovered Xavi has a parasite up his dodo hole and will not be playing football again so they want Fabregas so bad?

  238. I agree with Passenal regarding the home Barcelona game. In addition, to have signed a long term contract only a few months before and to have turned so quickly and completely is the worst sort of disloyalty. I hope that Cesc is the man that I think he is. If he is not then I will have nothing but pity for him….which is worse than contempt.

  239. Puyol is trying to make it Arsenal’s fault that he is in this mess. But it’s absolutely of his own making. He is under contract and all he had to say was that “barca are a great team (puke), but I am under contract to Arsenal so I cannot talk about playing for other clubs”. And all barca had to do is approach Arsenal privately, not through the media and ask them if the player is for sale. That is how decent people should do business. Even if he stays, he has been tainted by this episode.

  240. I agree with Passenal.

  241. The classy response to Barcelona would be to cancel his contract and give Cesc to them.

  242. I don’t think we should be touching any more catalans with a barge pole if this one ends badly

  243. someone needs to tell cesc he wont win no trophies at Barca coz Jose will win them all.

  244. Bloody hell! The full blown horrors of Keynesian economics! Is that where they burn to death pregnant women who are working as bank clerks? Oh no, the Greeks did that for themselves. Keynesian economics (or at least a bastardized version thereof) was the received wisdom in the western world from the end of the Second World war to the 70s. We’ve all lived through it, and I for one didn’t find it any more horrifying than the alternatives. Not that it has anything to do with austerity measures.

  245. Puyol’s still sore over coming runner-up to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the Miss Catalonia beauty contest.

  246. Joan Laporta didn’t even make the podium.

  247. I agree with both of you Frank and Passenal. I hope I am wrong about it, but right now I am pretty dissapointed with Cesc. But then again one wouldn’t judge how a player is as a person, by the quality he shows on the pitch. For now, all these comments from him suggest that he really is quite immature and his loyalties are up for sale. He is possibly the only captain of the big European clubs who has come out and states his desires to play for some other club. Shouldn’t have made a kid the captain.


  248. Anyway, I’m leaving Europe before my taxes start being used to buy new players for Barcelona.

  249. Pz,

    The more horrifying version of it has been the new deal, since the Reagan-Thatcher era. The free market crap sold by the Chicago boys and Friedman the bastard. People in the third world would be glad if they could adopt the Keynesian version. I am serious, they would be jubilant if the IMF and the WB, let’s them settle for the Keynesian version.

  250. I’ve never understood why the Impossible Missions Force gets involved in economics. I suspect it’s been infiltrated by the CIA, and is now nothing more than a tool of global capitalism.

  251. You should keep looking for answers. The truth is out there.

  252. does anyone think our board can be cynicaly clever enough to prolong this Cesc sale till the end of the trnasfer window hence leaving no time to spend that big lump of cash which can then go straight in the profit margain of their books. just a thought. you never know with this tight ass board. would not put it past em.

  253. Yes, I must say that Cecs comments are very dissapointing. If the statements are to be believed he has never once said that he is staying at Arsenal.

    If he goes he is little weasel and worse than Ade because he seemed to show such a loyalty to Arsenal while Ade was always iffy.

    How many times did he say, “I am staying at Arsenal”? and now this circus and ambiguous statements?


    No less than 60 Mil and really I would like Arsenal to say heck no and humble the young man.

    I dont think we should keep on selling, because players want to go to “bigger” teams and all that. Whats happening is that every year these teams come for the players we have groomed in to stars with a great lack of respect. I say take a stand and offer him to Barca on our terms for a 100 Mil next season.

  254. They are just as likely to be waiting for the barca elections to be finished (in mid June I believe) to see how serious barca are about buying the player or whether he is just a convenient pawn in their little game.

  255. 1 loose cannon

    We know in today’s inflated prices Fabregas is worth around 60 millions but Barcelona are not willing to pay the going rate for one of their ex players and end up looking like real mugs. Inter mugged them off with 45 million+ Eto for Ebrahimovich who in my opinion Bendtner is better than him.
    They certainly want Fabregas and now they put him in an awkward situation, they will humiliate him a little by making him crawl to them and say sorry for leaving them, once they satisfy their egos then they will pay the asking price.
    if you do know the Catalan Mentality then you will understand what is going on. Almost the entire Barca squad made a statement on his behalf, his dad wanted a bit of the action so he had his say, Soon his mum and their local grocer will get involved. I expect it to get worst. Fabregas should’ve handled it a lot better all he had to do is tell Barca through the Media , if you want me speak to Arsenal pay the fee and leave me out of this. Also tell his friends and all that clan at Barcelona to shut it.

  256. Not out there, Ateeb, up there – on the moon. All the files are stored in a secret CIA base on the moon, which is still run by JFK. Don’t believe the rumours on the internet about him retiring. The special lunar atmosphere (Yes, the moon has an atmosphere. That’s one more little fact the establishment doesn’t want you to know about.) typically doubles a man’s life span.

  257. There’s a myth that Keynesianism is discredited. The reality is that the models employed by all the world’s Central Banks for their money policies are either Keynesian or extrapolations therefrom

  258. Where are Cesc comments? Is it a recent comment?

  259. Meanwhile the Earth just gets hotter and hotter and hotter…

  260. All I see is “he told his friends” “His friends told him” “his dad is farting some words on the Spanish couch”

    I want to see and hear him in an interview that was done in the last couple of days saying he wants to leave?

  261. I presume that Cesc is with the Spanish squad now, training for the must win game against Saudi Arabia on Saturday…wow, a game i know most people will be looking forward to with relish.

  262. Frank, Passenal, Ateeb, Poli – I sense we are turning on Cesc the longer this saga drags out. Be careful as this is the underlying intent of the destabilization campaign; i.e. to make the position of the subject player within his existing club untenable. The end result is to create push forces as well as their own unseemly pull that make a deal inevitable. (That is why any League worth its salt makes tapping-up illegal and subject to material consequences.) Currently Cesc has not asked for a transfer; neither have Barca made a bid. However the Barca scum are fanning the flames, they are the arsonists and they should be the ones wh have to be treated as criminals.

  263. Naaaa, Shotta-Gunna….this is quite straight forward. I think that Cesc is a super player for Arsenal and assuming he wants to stay then he has my full support…if he does not want to stay and is angling for a move to Barcelona then he can go fuck himself and he is in the same place as Cashley. His choice. Just waiting for him to let me know.

  264. You’re right about Barcelona, Shotta. I turned against them a few months ago. I don’t believe I have turned against Fabregas. As far as I’m concerned, he is as welcome at Arsenal as he ever was. I don’t put much importance on the words of his father. Parents often know surprisingly little about their children.

  265. I agree with Shotta, these continuous reports from the media are very similar to the Ade ones. And our frustrated fans turn so easily on any player, I still say take it easy…and let the people involved in this (Cesc, Arsene, and Arsenal) tell us what’s going on, when there is actually something going on.

  266. I turned against Barcelona in Paris. It was obvious on that occasion that they were a puffed up, bloated version of the club I had admired from a distance.

  267. I have had a problem with Cesc’s proclamations about Barcelona from the outset. Came to a head this season. You can’t play for one club and want to play for another and keep your integrity intact. Either Cesc is an Arsenal player or he is not. Put up or shut up time, young man.

  268. PS: The current policies to solve the economic and fiancial crisis in Europe is as far from Keynes as is the East is from the West. Keynes would never have approved of Euro-land restricting their deficits to 3.5% of GDP as a condition of their monetary union thus removing the leverage of targetted deficit financing by the public sector to counteract falling private sector demand.

    The EU and the IMF bailing out Greece is cut from the cloth of the Chicago School who see nothing wrong with loans to the Greek govt coming through the front door and eventually spinning through the back to bail out bondholders and banks for their bad loans. In return for the bail-out the Greeks will have to endure harsh austerity measures that will devastate their national economy while the banks and bondholders are paid every penny as if their debt is sacrosant.
    This may not be a popular opinion amongst bloggers but sooner or later Europeans will have to come to terms with the stark differences between Neo Liberal economics and Keynesianism. We in the 3rd World have long had our nascent national economies destroyed by these Neo-Liberal policies pursued by the Americans and the West.

  269. I have no problem with Cesc wanting to leave. How could I?

    It’s like if a young Tony Adams had gone to Barcelona, and he’d become their captain. Wanting to go back would be a normal sentiment.

    From a footballing POV, I love Cesc but we’ll cope without him if he left.

    However, Barcelona must pay his full value, and Cesc must realise that Barcelona would have to pay his full value.

    The statements attributed to his papa suggests that he’s made it clear he’ll only either stay at Arsenal or go to Barca.

    Sorry Francesc me son. We can still make an auction of it (contrary to what Yogi’s Warrior writes). We dont have to do so, because we love you and would like to part on good terms.

    You better be making it clear to Barcelona though.

    The only way you break out of your contract is if Barcelona or someone else pays us what you are worth to us.

    That’s what guarantees we will replace you, and fortify the squad. It might be more than you alone would cost. That’s because we lost a lot of time and revenue developing you, and it might not be just one player to replace you.

    Nothing personal Cesc. I hope you stay. And I still love you with all of me.

  270. Shotta,

    I understand what you’re trying to say. But Cesc has been very diplomatic with his words for quite a while now. His latest comments about future being sorted were deceptive. He’s the fucking captain he should know better than that to actually make statements like “I love arsenal, I wanna stay” ending with ” But I’d love to go back to barca”. I’ll side with Frank on this one.


    It could be out there and up there. Or perhaps down there as well? There is a theory that if you dig deep enough into the earth, you reach a layer where people from the middle earth moved long time ago. Elves playing the beautiful slick passing football while the ogres and other scums managed by Mouriniogorth play the ugly game.

  271. silver gunner

    well said Ole Gunner

  272. So I just rewatched Season in Review 2008/2009 and…my oh my Denilson is class. Back then he was playing more offensively (we were playing 4-4-2, after all) and he really got more skills than he could show this season. His passing, at times, has been sublime, setting up team mates left and right. And some of his crossing…well, Adebayor really just had to stick his head into the path of the ball and it was a sure goal.

  273. Shotta,

    We’re getting a new dose of Neo-liberal policies in my country. Exciting times lie ahead. Our puppet government just got a 6 billion dollar package, with loads of exciting strings attached. They’re probably going to privatize many of the industries. The worst has been the power and energy sectors.

  274. Passenal

    The football bit I had no issue with but trying to link in IMF / Spanish Economy problems, insinuating that the IMF will be knocking on Barcelona’s door for repayment of the loans is a stretch too far. Plus the Spanish economy is up a certain creek but they still have one paddle left, rather than being totally rudderless.


  275. Frank you hit the nail on the head.

    I can understand to an extent Cesc wanting to go to Barca one day.

    I can understand the very mature way that people are acting towards the situation here, there being no concrete evidence of anything other than Barca flapping their gums.

    But one simple fact makes me very uneasy. The fact that Cesc hasn’t come out and denied it, and all the horrible things that in itself implies.

    And Ole, absolutley.

    If Cesc wants to leave the very least he can do is accept that we are getting what he is worth. For the good of the club that made him the player he is.

  276. I might be totally mistaken but I pretty sure that Cesc and his father aren’t very close. He and Cesc’s mum separated when Cesc was very young and he was almost entirely brought up by his mum. Now if the comments were by his mum I might be a little more worried.

    I personally think that Cesc’s father knows about as much about Cesc’s intentions as the hacks that have been pushing this story. When I read the quotes I thought that he was probably just trying to do what he thought was the best thing for Cesc; by saying that Arsenal should respect Cesc’s wishes. But there was nothing more concrete than that.

    Like I said before, I know nothing and I’m probably completely deluded but I’m still expecting Cesc to come out in a couple of days to say that he has signed a contract extension.

  277. I just wanted to add that I really enjoy following this blog and Untold Arsenal, which I find very thought provoking. I’m glad I found them both a couple of months ago

    I love Passarsenal ‘s views – normally spot on. He add value to any on going conversation unlike that Suga 3.

    YW – I thought you should of been the bigger bloke yesterday and took back your words alright but a bit bare knuckle joke about the Nigerian money in bags thing. You are a international star after all and you wouldn’t of lost face….some people can be a bit sensitive.

    Away about this Cesc thing – Pep his idol may not be manager for long if Barca don’t win anything for a couple of more seasons.

    Madrid are itching to put one over on Barca and will gloat, boy will Mareen gloat! The press will go into melt down – ‘think Freddie Starr ate my hamster ridiculous type stories every day’ fuelling the rivalry.

    Barca in turn may even call for the team to be over hauled. Fringe players like Cesc may be rusty (reduced playing minutes) and make mistakes as he has to adjust to play that isn’t designed for and around him.

    I reckon Barca fans who are not as impressed with him as we are may even turn on him. All players need confidence and when thats gone it’s hard to find a way back.

    Barca can be unsentimental with players who have done great things for their team. Cesc should remember players like Eto’o and Deco – if Pep leaves then another manager may want to bring in different players.

    The fact that Barca want him on the cheap should set the alarm bells ringing for Cesc. His ego is being stroked but that is what Barca are good at. He’s not considered that valuable. Cesc should and deserves to be a star signing rather than a cheap back up buy.

  278. Fuck off

  279. shotta-gunna

    Frank – What was that F.O. for? I didn’t see anybody trying to “frig you up”?

    Ateeb – One shudders at the future of your country although given your strategic importance to the US one doubts if they will allow for similar IMF shock treatment as say Argentina. But the result will be the same.

    However it is one thing for the banks and bondholders, aided and abetted by the IMF and the national oligarchy, to ravage a 3rd world country recently politically independent, it is quite another to despoil a mature European nation state. After all the Germans chafed at the reparations they had to pay after WWI leading to the rise of the Nazis. History has a funny way of repeating itself.

    YW is right – The IMF may not be turning up at the door of football clubs in Spain but most of Europe is now faced with a recession of untold consequences.

  280. I think on and off Cesc has been pretty fragile emotionally for a while now. He performed heroically last season, but now it seems that was because he might have seen it as his last hurrah.

    The strange thing is that Arsene has been cursed with his choice of captains (or simply made some bad choices) ever since Adams retired. Vieira was great but we had more than one season of uncertainty of his status. Same with Thierry. Gallas is a headcase, albeit a very talented one and now Cesc is looking like the captaincy was his last stop on the way out of the club.

    Assuming Cesc goes, it has to be TV captain and RVP vice-captain.

  281. A Cultured Left Foot has some quotes from Hleb wherein he says that Cesc should stay where he is, no doubt


  282. Pires is an absolute legend.

  283. I’ll try my best here: Speaking to Ona FM – the same Catalan Radio Station that Yuste used to spark this latest flurry of Cesc stories – Pires reckoned Arsenal will refuse to let Cesc go this summer

    “I’d put money on Cesc to continue wearing the Arsenal jersey next season”

    He went on to defend AW, and the setup at Arsenal…

    “We talk about Cesc in such high terms because AW has put his confidence in him, and I don’t see him leaving”

    He also said that he doesn’t see Cesc agitating further for a move because he’s a well brought-up kid and will appreciate everything AW’s done for him and the team.

    (I’m relocating to London this week and won’t get many more opportunities to practice my Spanish)

    If Pires retires this summer then he has to come back to Arsenal in some capacity.

  284. My *crappy* Spanish.

  285. Yogi’s Warrior on May 26, 2010 at 12:04 am

    I didn’t take that part seriously, other than if the whole economy is in trouble, it’s bound to have a knock on effect on the football clubs.

    Serk da Turk, I didn’t know that about his father. I have to confess until his comments, I believed cesc was staying, but those comments have made me doubt, because I recall his father commenting that he was staying the last time the speculation was doing the rounds.

    Thanks for the kind comments goonergal, but I’m a gal too!

  286. Thanks OOU, that is how a proper Arsenal legend talks, not like all the others lining up to encourage cesc to leave and using the speculation about his departure as a stick with which to beat Arsene.

  287. Dear Barcelona,

    RE: Cesc (you know, the one you wish you had but haven’t got a balls to make a formal approach for, and choose to get to manipulating the media, his mates and even his family.)

    F*CK OFF YOU DOZY C*NTS. He’s our’s. Did you not get Mr. Wengers polite letter last year you mugs.

    A Gooner.

    P.S. You can have Cesc when we are done with him. ADIOS!!

  288. No question, Passenal. It feels like a small victory as well because he’s taken the “fight” – as Sport is calling it – to their patch. I know we should be above it, but it’s great to see someone finally defending the club.

  289. Very strange mixture of well-expressed English and pidgin, gooner gal.

  290. Would love to see Pires back (what ever part he plays when he comes back). He’s out of contract. May be we can give him a Sol deal and mix things up a bit, although his chances might be very limited.

  291. Just as an ATVO pundit would be enough for me – if his English is up to it.

  292. And to think we have 2 and a half months to put up with the transfer sh!!t!!!

    I need a holiday, if only to keep me away from “Fabrigas to Barca” headlines.

  293. LimparAssist

    Pires Knows.

  294. Pires is our man. One day he’ll manage this joint. I’d love to see him take over from PR in a couple of years, for the time being.

    Pires and Keown the training dream team.

  295. I think everone has quite frankly had enough with the Cesc media crap. Barcelona have well and truly abused the media, the radio, their players in order to tap up our player.

    We have a very very CRYSTAL CLEAR case against them. I still believe we should hold onto Cesc even if he wants to leave. That institution doesn’t deserve to have such a player working for them, after the effort of all that has gone into turning Cesc into what he is today.

    He has everything he wants at Arsenal, trophies mean little when to a club that are so sunken into heavy debt. A trophy to Arsenal, the Arsenal fans, and Cesc winning at Arsenal would be a great achievement. The competition in Spain is pretty crap also, like Wenger said.. why would any player with a competitive edge go to that league.

    Ronaldo done it because he wanted the fame and to show off his hair and boots. Most others stay there for the sun, aka Ibrahimovich. The true players with ambition will remain at the best league in the world, not just for money, but for the actual ambition of playing in the toughest league.

    That is what Zola did, Bergkamp, Ginola, Cantona.. players who will always be remembered in footballing history. Cesc has got to ask himself if he wants that, he can become an Arsenal legend, and a legend in the Premiership who lead this Arsenal team to defy all the odds and all the billionaires money.

    For me personally, I cannot say how dissapointed I would be for Cesc if he was to leave after not achieving what he can achieve here in England. Not for Arsenal, but for Cesc, he has a chance to really do something special, and we have been very close, to leave now would be an injustice for him.

  296. It’s a f*cking scandal that Greece – the only sound economy in Europe – is being invaded by the Impossible Mission Force and having its assets stripped to support failed American banks. I agree there’s a chance that Greek civil servants, angered by having their bonuses scrapped, could rampage across the world, as Alexander the Great did over two millennia ago. Pregnant bank clerks everywhere should tremble.

  297. YW, where is todays post!?

  298. Everyone is forgetting about Dawson – after an excellent season with Spurs, where he was voted player of the season, he’s still sure to be left behind.

  299. JT,

    Why do you think we are remotely interested in Dawson?


  301. Bloody Hell Chris. A couple of mornings of early posts and people get used to it!

    It’s up now that the hangover has cleared.


  302. Thanks for sharring importent information in this blog.
    It was very nice.

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