England Through, Schwarzer Risk & Cesc Denies Spanish Media

The rag tag rabble of an England squad got their act together yesterday and put in a half decent performance to qualify for a Round of 16 meeting with Germany. Whether it was the players or Capello who resolved the issues which had plagued their earlier performances, well, both will take credit in their own way but the offering played to England’s strengths and for once, the ball was not ceded to their opponents cheaply. Or not as cheaply as before.

The care with which the England players controlled the ball suggested a lack of confidence and a determination not to get this result wrong. Few attempted first time passes, most settled for one touch to control and then to look for their options. The margin of victory should perhaps have been more and could have been wiped out but for some resolute, last ditch defending.

Joe Cole was omitted once more, James Milner preferred and in fairness to the soon to be ex-Aston Villa player, put in a good shift. Cole emerged as a second half substitute for Wayne Rooney and playing in the advanced midfield role was unable to influence the game as the rest of his team-mates retreated to defend the lead. The introduction of Emile Heskey lessened the goal threat but at least offered an outlet in the final minutes.

So Germany await on Sunday, a chance for some nationalistic fervour, with gnashing and wailing about penalties, presumptuous because England will need to raise their game a notch further to win this time around. Ozil added €5m to his price tag with a good performance and topped it off with a cracking goal. Serbia blew it with a miss of UYakubu proportions which mean Ghana go through although they will need to find some shooting boots if they want to get to the quarter-finals.

Neuer in goal looked secure by comparison to his peers in this competition but coming through quietly on the rails in this ‘Goalkeeping Grand National’ is  Handanovic who has quietly gone about his work for Slovenia but will it be enough?

Not according to the Daily Mirror. Mark Schwarzer is Emirates-bound for £3.5m with his World Cup now over – confirmed at least officially last night with Serbia marginally failing to get their point – and Fulham seemingly resigned to losing their goalkeeper. However, this is one that is a huge risk for Wenger, the question being does he deem it worth taking.

The primary concern is the Australian’s age. He has probably got two seasons in him which suggests he is but a stopgap. Will Fabianski or Szczesny be ready in two years time? Further, a genuine question is whether Schwarzer is better, more consistent than Almunia? Certainly, at times, he appears to be but then Fulham’s defence was marginally more porous than Arsenal’s last season, 46 conceded to 41.

Can he make the difference? Perhaps although like most of this World Cup’s goalkeepers, he has not covered himself in glory. Even for £3.5m, this would be a risky signing and presumably not on a one-year contract which begs the question why Wenger will not break this policy for others. That alone brings doubt to the deal.

Elsewhere, Cesc has denied the Catalan media the chance to crow some more, fending off questions designed to get him to say that he wants to leave Arsenal by claiming to be focussed only on the World Cup. Pedro stepped up to the plate and offered more open desires that fabregas sign for Barcelona. No mention specifically of DNA but it was that kind of comment. The amount of time they must have spent investigating human DNA at the Camp Nou makes you wonder why there are any genetic diseases since they appear to have all of the answers.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 24, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 167 Comments.

  1. Lotta articles on Sport.es re: Cesc. I didn’t know he had more goals than the entire Barca midfield, 19 v. 16. Pretty good, especially considering he missed the last seven games!

  2. I will be so pissed and Im sure not the only one if we start the season with that old man in goal….

  3. Gooner from Sydney

    King Mark is pure class, he’s an absolute aussie hero, as much as Timmay Cahill, I have no doubt he’d be a real wall at the back, I keep hearing Arsenal blogs bagging him, why? He’s phenomenal, he’s kept Australia through the game in countless times

  4. why do people come on and say what number their post is? This isn’t bingo you idiots…

  5. England’s Bloodless Revolution was actually rather touching.

    Saint-John Terry: We were all vexed by our performance against Algeria, and I think it’s time we had a jolly open conversation to sought out what went wrong.

    Frank Lampard: I say, old chap. I’m as miffed as you are by the Algeria game, but let’s try to keep it civil, what?

  6. nice stats, what do u gain from being 1st or 3rd, children. And im 16

  7. Schwarzer is a liability. He makes too many blunders to be considered a viable option. He is absolutely no better than Almunia. This is a huge mistake by Wenger in my opinion. The only thing that is positive about this is that he is 42 years old and wont have many years in the game.

    He was at fault for Germany’s 2 first goals against Australia and at fault again for Yugoslavia’s last night.

  8. I agree with lukychmz about Schwarzer. He is no better than what we have at the moment.

  9. id say schwarzer is waaaaay better than what we have, but nowhere near good enough

    if we end up with almunia next season, im not renewing my season ticket ever again.


  10. Schwarzer will not be an improment to the team, but an improvement to the squad. Fabianski can then go on loan and get some confidence, while we wait for Schwezny whats his name.

    3.5m seems a bit steep to me, I doubt Wenger would pay that for such an old keeper!?

  11. Schwarzer is 37, not 42, and there hasn’t been a Yugoslavia for almost 20 years.

    That being said, I feel that Schwarzer, while solid enough, is prone to the odd flap, and the occasional error. The issue for me is whether he is less error-prone than what we currently have, and I don’t think he is.

  12. good riddance shedzy

  13. He;s definitely better than Almunia, mainly because he’s not a sketchy nutter

  14. He has a lot of Internation experience, which is a big plus, and many years in the Premiership. I think having 2 keepers who you know can perform is better then 1. Which is what we have had this last season waiting on Fabianski and Mannone to improve.

    It is a good move, but not for 3.5m at that age

  15. I rate Schwarzer.

    He’s done a good job in the past and pulled off some fine saves. Sure he can make blunders but so can every keeper and he does not do it to the extent of Almunia and Fabianski and has more control of his area than either of them (one thing we have missed is a keeper that can control the area).

    He’s a player that deserves his time at a top club, he makes more general saves than Almunia in games and is used to football where his team are always on the back foot.

    For £3.5m he’s a gamble worth taking, we can probably squeeze 3 seasons out of him at a push but 3 seasons is a long time.

    People are always keen to remember the negatives rather than the positives with most keepers. Even David Seaman made some mistakes and that was with a fantastic back line for the most part.

  16. Brett

    Very true, I think he will do well for us until the younger keepers make a claim for the number 1 spot. With him and Almunia we have 2 decent keepers.

  17. Scwarzer doesn’t excite me any more than Almunia. If we had our choice of keepers I would buy within the Pl and Sorensen would be a better option.
    What value does one give to Almunia if Schwarzer is worth about 3 million.
    Still not impressed with england, though they could hardly play any worse than in their opening games.maybe against a better side they will up their game.
    I wonder how much influence the senior players like Gerrards,Lampard and Terry have over Capelo in team selection.hate to say it,but Cashley has been the most consistent so far, and at nearly 40 james appears to be the best we have foir the moment.
    Rooney is a total are hole, couldn’t even acknowlege the english fans when he came off, long may his dip in form continue.

  18. ohh wait a minute…


    He was linked on Arsenal.com.. don’t that mean you guys all rule him out?

  19. That Frencg CB Laurent is there too..!

  20. French*

  21. By: The Law on June 24, 2010
    at 9:53 am

    “Schwarzer is 37, not 42, and there hasn’t been a Yugoslavia for almost 20 years.”

    Cheers for the correction.

  22. Didnt realise Yugoslavia hasnt existed for 20 years or that Schweitzer was 37.

  23. Nobody as yet has mentioned Man City are going to have a problem in keeping both Hart and Given happy as one is not going to be in the first eleven.
    I personally would prefer Arsene to pursue one of those options.
    Only my opinion.

  24. It’s difficult to judge players based on world cup performances, and I think this is especially true when comes to the defence they do not have the luxury of playing with each other week in week out to build up an good understanding. I read somewhere that Arsenal keepers have made the least amount of saves during the course of the season, don’t know how true that is but if it so then we need a keeper who will be able to keep his concentration for long periods without being in the action and step up when called upon. Also I think your point about Fulham’s defence being slightly less pourous then our own needs to be qualified with the fact that Fulham seemed to play a second string team virtually every second game in the latter(second) part of the season. I agree with both Brett and Kelsey (is that possible?), I would take Sorensen over Schwarzer, but it does’nt seem as if Wenger is interested anymore, but I think Schwarzer would be better the our incumbent No1

    As for Ozil he looks pure class (again difficult to judge accurately on world cup performances), what is particularly impressive for me is his off the ball running, always running into space dragging defenders away and creating space for others which I think is something we miss when Cesc and in particular RvP are missing which in turn makes our play look a bit pedestrian when they are not available.

  25. Google image search “barca dna” and Cesc dominates the results. He must have it.

  26. Ozil looks good, the transfer fee will be at a premium after the World Cup so I can’t see it happening, also, we have many attacking midfielders.

  27. 1 loose cannon

    shedzy-45000 on the waiting list. They can do without you.
    Regarding Schawrza At 37 Fulham will grab the money and leg it just in case Arsenal change their minds. If we get 3 years out of him and help deliver few trophies it will be worth it. I don’t think it will be the end of Almunia competition will be good for him. at 31 he is still young in goalkeeping term and he might peack next season.

  28. YW,

    On the age issue, I think Arsene’s often made the point that age is “different for goal keepers” – who he views as maturing and peaking at a later point that outfield players. I suppose that and perceived team need would lead him to offer a two year contract or maybe longer.

  29. Brett

    But it begs the question, why offer a 3 year contract to a 37 year old when there have been those younger in the past who do not get the same consideration? Is it desperation to find someone for a short-term fix or a genuine regard for his abilities.


  30. I’d rather invest 3.5 somewhere else on the pitch as if you ask me we have a great keeper in almunia. Last season the whole defence was shaky only a fool would not see that this is the main reason al is being ripped apart by “Fans”. Sort out the back four and that wouldn’t have necessarily meant signings if contracts hadn’t expired then I think you’d find the same brainless fans will be praising the fact that Al is definately one of the best shot stoppers in the league.

  31. Anyone who thinks Almunia will stay if we sign Schwarzer is living in dreamland.Would Wenger buy Schwarzer if he had any faith in Almunia? No.When MS signs Almunia will be shown the exit door.
    I believe we should have gone for Hart or Akinfeev with Akinfeev my first choice as he has international and CL experience

  32. YW,
    Agreed that Milner put in a decent shift, especially compared to the first game against Algeria where it seemed he was shitting in his pants..

    JT was impressive too I’m loathe to admit. The cunt was obviously playing himself back into favour with the fans. I’ve never seen anyone try to block a shot with their head like he did.

  33. Interesting comments from Wenger on the French debacle. He of course condemns the behaviour of the French players, but above all he points to their lack of quality. In a way, this seems strange, considering that half the outfield players in the final match came from his own team. I don’t know whether our players performed any better than the others, but I suppose Wenger was thinking primarily of the French attack, which managed only one goal in three games. Look at the main options: Anelka – not good enough for international level; Henry – ready for the knackers; Govou – abyssmal. The omission of Benzema from the squad is used as one of the main exhibits in the case for Domenech’s incompetence, yet the fact is that Benzema’s performances during the last year would not have won him a place in the squad of any team at the World Cup.

  34. I’m not too keen on Schwarzer to be honest. If Arsene lost confidence in Fabianski and/or Almunia, I understand we need a change but for more or less same quality, I don’t see what difference will it make.

    If Arsene earmarked Szczesny as the future number 1 we need to accelerate his progression by loaning him to a promotion-chasing championship club or to a Premierleague club.

    I think getting good, assured defenders is the most important things as it will stabilise our defensive line and thus the team will give out less goals. If we look at all the goals conceaded last season, I’m pretty sure a big majority could have been avoided by better defending whereas goalkeeping mistake must have contributed much less goals. People when talking of goalkeeping mistakes point out probably 5 or 6 matches like the Man U games, Chelsea games and Porto and Wigan but the team have leaked many more goals where Almunia could not do anything.

    As for Cesc refusing to respond to question relating to the move to Barca, I might be a bit too optimistic but if he really wanted to move this summer he would have said so already. I don’t believe he will force a move and he will be a great captain showing the desire he has shown countless time before for us.

  35. els

    Almunia is good, so Schwarzer will only be another option between the sticks. They can both contend for the number spot for now. Competition is good for a keeper, Almunia knows this after knocking Lehmann off the number spot.

    Then again look at Gomes, he was pretty baffled why Arry bought Cudicini, stating that he felt a lack of confidence from his boss – which lead to his shaky performances. It could work both ways, I hope Almunia really proves to us next season what hes about, and remind us why he displaced Lehmann. Schwarzer being there, he will know he has to perform to his maximum every game.

    YW – Wenger must seriously highly regard Schwarzer to bid 3.5m. Even more so Scwezny and Fabianski, with bringing the Aussie in to allow them extra time to develop.

    Senderos is a player who didn’t have that luxury, and had to perform – that of course back fired. So too a little with Fabianski, who may well get the time he needs to content for the number 1 spot.

  36. Henristic

    To be fair to Milner, he had been ill before the USA game when he substituted in the first half and probably should not have played at all. I still think that if he is worth £25m or more, Fabregas has to be worth at least double that, if not considerably more.

    The question is whether or not this was a flash in the pan, the one half-decent game they will play or if it was a turning point. Germany are better than any of the teams in England’s group but whilst they are technically better players, I am not convinced they are a much better team, better quality in front of goal I suspect.


  37. If Schwarzer is better than Almunia, why, oh why or how on earth is he a 37 year old playing for Fulham?

    He’s not better than Almunia.

    However it’s not a bad idea to have another keeper to push Almunia and be pushed by Almunia.

    I’ve felt for 2 seasons that our keeper situation was wrong. Almunia is clearly 1 step ahead of Fabianski who is 1 year ahead of Mannone.

    Each single keeper is sure of his position so there is no kind of competition for places in the team. This is bad for two reasons. First, complacency on the part of each, and second, an inability to cater for bad form. If Almunia is off-form, and the form keeper is experienced, mature and international class, then the club doesn’t miss anything.

    Say what you will for Almunia, he was pushing Mad Jens very hard in the mentalist’s last 2 seasons here.

    It’s clear that Fabianski won’t edge out Almunia. Having a mature international class keeper in the mix shakes everybody up.

  38. gunnerluc

    I agree with your remarks on Cesc, he would have said by now if he really wanted to demand a transfer. He is an Arsenal player, the Arsenal captain, and that will remain that way until he gets his dream move with Barca paying up. If he wants to see out his contract to get that move, that is his only option. We shouldn’t have to sell him for peanuts in order to satisfy the player or Barca. Especially when we want to keep the player.

    Hark – Schwarzer will be a good signing, I will like to see you admit to being wrong if a keeper is contending with Almunia for the number 1 spot next season.

  39. Dgob YW

    If keepers are treat differently contract wise due to the fact that they peak later. Could the same not be said for central defenders?

    Is it not crazy to offer Schwarzer a 2 year deal when we aren’t offering Gallas more than 1 (supposedly)? That’s why I don’t think theres truth to the Schwarzer rumour. I do think it’s a good idea to have a stop gap for our polish lads but for me it would have to be somebody really really good to be better than Almunia and worth braking the 30+ over 1 year extension rule.

  40. Ole Gunner

    Competition is the key, like you mentioned.

    An experienced keeper to come in and pass on his experience, as well as providing another decent option in goal will do the trick for us. Especially end of season, when we are in a title race and we need somebody in goal who has at least started over 50 premiership games, not a youngster who is still trying to stake his claim.

  41. As for Wenger’s comment, I’ve seen it on French TV just after the game and I think he was saying that the team collectively was technicaly poor. Wenger’s game is based on constant movement and a fast passing game and that what it lacked.

    Sagna was asked the main difference in his job at Arsenal and in the French team and his response was clear. He said in term of his position it was the same as he had to be solid defencively and go forward to help the attack but what was different was that in club there was much movement and option given by his teammates.

  42. Yogi,

    A tad harsh on England, I thought it was a good solid performance.

    With reference to you nationalistic fervour, we can look forward to our nations finest press mocking up images of Rooney and Terry wearing tommy helmets and Field Marshal Gerrard leading his troops a top a Sherman tank.

    For you Jerry, ze vorld cup is over.

    I of course, will be watching Sunday’s game, wearing my bowler hat, eating roast beef, pipe in mouth and rattle in hand.

    Waiting for those Argie bounders.

  43. England were good for a period, if you consider the pressure we done ok. Considering the opponents, you gotta say it was a missed opportunity not topping the group. It could have ended in disasted when that fella dribbled into the box near the end. So for me still it wasn’t good enough, but at least we got through.

    Milner played well, Terry done well, Ashley Cole done well getting forward, so too Johnson. Even Lampard and Gerrard managed to dominate the midfield for once. It wasn’t the most triumphunt of performances, and that shows from the scoreline. This team can play better, they just need to learn how to move off the ball for each other (the Arsenal way) a bit more, and to be more clinical.

    The Germans are a good team, they beat Ghana playing in 2nd gear. Some waves of their attackd were quite frightening, and they have a much greater understanding between their players, where they move the ball quicker and have several players who know how to hit the back of the net.

    It is going to be very tough to at the least.

  44. It’s funny to see Henry hastening to arrange a meeting with Sarkozy, like a naughty school boy rushing to the teacher to be first to tell tales on his class mates. Sarkozy should have ignored him. Next best would be for him to have a van ready to take him to the glue factory.

  45. Main attacking threats on each team:


    Rooney, Defoe, Crouch, Gerrard, Lampard, J.Cole, Milner, Lennon


    Podolski, Ozil, Klose, Cacau, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Gomez

    Collectively we must be at our best against the Germans, and we can’t waste our chances like against Slovenia. Rooney and Defoe need to be more clinical, and we need another big performance from Milner, Gerrard and Lampard. I believe we can beat them if we play as we did against Slovenia, but more ruthless in front of goal. Barry needs to be dropped or sort his game out, very very careless. Imagine if he gives the ball away to Ozil in them areas!

  46. ….and onto Joe Cole.
    For me, after the final whistle, Joe Cole stood out from the rest of the England players. He went up in my estimation. there was something about his conduct, that was proportionate and not as hysterical as the others. Sure, he looked as happy to qualify, as the others. But there was dignity to him that wouldn’t look out of place at Arsenal. And although at first I thought we already had Jack as our Joe, I think (if he does sign) Cole would be a good footballer for Jack to look up to, regardless of passport.

  47. OG

    Van Der Saar was 35 years old and playing at Fulham.His first three seasons at Man Utd he won 3 titles.So playing at Fulham means nothing

  48. CG nice comments.

    I think England are gaining a bit of momentum. Psychologically I think they will be very strong against germany. We very nearly could have had 3 or 4 yesterday. I am almost confident of a win against the old enemy. I am as excited about sunday as I have been about any england game I can remember.

    Got to say Terry was f***ing awesome when he threw his head infront of that ball. Still I wouldn’t have been sorry if the ball had took it clean off.

    I would definately drop lampard either that or play rooney up front on his own as I think they need someone else in midfield to let gerrard and lampard attack more.

  49. Hark,

    Van der Saar had played for Ajax & Juve by the time he was at Fulham. He’d won countless titles.

    He was a Dutch international with scores of caps.

    Mark Schwartzer has had a distinctly undistinguished career.

    No comparison to be made.

  50. Don’t know if anyone’s read this yet but quite interesting re the Cesc debarcle…


  51. Hark, you got put in your place once again as usual 😉

  52. 1 loose cannon

    Fabregas has said he was a big fan of Guardiola when he was a kid but he went on to pay tribute to Wenger he said:
    “He means everything to me. He is the person who put his trust in me,”

    “Without him, I don’t know if I would be a professional footballer today. I owe him a lot and I have a special affection for him.”

    The Catalnas have tried to stir things up between him and Wenger on many occasion but this boy is level headed apart from “I would like to play for Barcelona one day” comments he has never said anything to suggest that he has a problem with the club or manager. Apart from the odd comment lately from the Barcelona DNA lab things have calm down, it looks more and more that Fabregas is staying.

  53. If Shwarzer were to come to Arsenal, I doubt he would claim #1 for more than a season, max 2, and potentially not even. The 3 back-up keepers are all good, and I expect Fabianski to compete for # 1 in the season after this, age 26/27?

    I am not sure MS is a better choice than the devil we know. So it might be a gamble, but in a way not. Maturity and the stability that goes with that are vital elements in a keeper’s weaponry, and really essential for the team. It could ironically be the making of Almunia.

    If Schwarzer came I would expect Mannone to go out, not Almunia and some serious compeitition.

    Ghana-USA should be a sumptuous match. I hope they both win, and if by some slight of hand and FIFA jiggery-pokery this is not in fact possible, then I hope neither loses. I am lobbying Blatter to change knock-out rules for this one match only, so they both go to the last 8 no matter the result.

    I bet it goes to penalties and all equal after 10 shots each Ghana’s keeper puts them through, and then USA’s keeper puts them through, and …

  54. Didn’t see much of Van der Saar at Juve but saw loads when he was at Ajax – he’s been one of the most consistently quality goalies of all time in my opinion. He was great at Fulham and has been great at Utd.

    Ole is spot on. No comparison.

  55. Zim I hope Ghana destroy the USA. I think the USA will be insufferable if they make it to the last 8.

  56. I agree with els.

  57. BergkampWonderland

    people have to remember almunia had personal issuse that affected him greatly lasy season!! if hes in a better place mentally coming into this season i feel hes as good as Shwarzer and it would be a waste of 4m!!

  58. You can’t compare Van Der Sar with Schwarzer. Schwarzer played at Middlesbrough before Fulham and I don’t think they done that well.

    The guy is an experienced decent keeper who will provide another option, and help us when need be until we get one of our quality youngstars going. I doubt he is a replacement for Almunia. I’d rather keep Almunia as our number 1 in any case than displace him to satisfy a minute section of transfer happy fans. Defence must be sorted once an experienced keeper is brought in. I hope we bag this Lourent quickly, and then move on to getting another CB whoever that may be.

  59. Actually if they both go through it becomes the last 9, which will really feck things up nicely for this world cup, in French tradition shall we say.

    I like this USA team, or let me say while I dislike a long lost of things American, I am finding this USA team humble, well coached, and fuelled by an exciting midfield. Not world beaters, or even close, but outside contenders. I bet nobody wants to face them.

    My wife tells me, matter of factly, that the simple difference between USA and just about every other team is that these are college-graduates, because that’s where football gets played, mostly. It is not a working class sport in USA. Does that make them less or more appealing? Not sure.

  60. The Gallas situation is a pretty awkward one (for Gallas) .. I heard Juve have pulled out, so that means his only options are PSG, some other team, and us of course. BUT, is our contract offer still on the table? I thought Wenger gave Gallas a deadline until end of May? Does anyone know anymore on this situation

  61. OK then, long “list”. Let’s not split hares.

  62. Then again, viva Ghana has always been the default position, so …

  63. Zim I imagine that’s true about the fact that they are graduates but talking in fact here not just the fact that i’ve seen a few basketball and american football films dosn’t the “coach” always put pressure on the teacher with glasses to push there grades up to a three-point-oh or summit 🙂

    That last nine round sounds groundbreaking, im thinking three teams on a pitch?

  64. I am so totally totally looking forward to the match on Sunday. We’ve got the beating of Germany and so many areas of the pitch. We’ve got Johnson and Cole, two overlapping fullbacks who will work their socks off all day long. Johnson has been slightly more attacking than Cole so far in this world cup, but Cole is coming good. We’ve got Terry, the bull terrier at the heart of the english defence. The man that epitomises english grit and determination. We’ve got Upson, who did a stirling job at the heart of the defence along with Terry. We’ve got Barry, who will sit tight and protect the back 4, as he always does, and he has a great eye for a pass with his sweet left foot. We’ve got Lampard who will perform a disciplined holding role as well and has the ability to bomb into the box and score vital goals from midfield, as he does so well for his club. Then we’ve got Gerrard and Rooney, who in combination down the left side will cause problems all day long for the opposition. Rooney has been a bit subdued so far, but make no mistake, he is a nuclear missile waiting to be unleashed like a tiger from a cage. Miler has been superb and Defoe is excelling in his role as a twisty turny striker who can act as a fox in the box. Come on lads – 1-0 to the England on Sunday !.

  65. Is anybody else expecting Gallas to verbally rip through Wenger and arsenal after he’s gone? I don’t think he’ll go happily.

  66. “Van Der Saar was 35 years old and playing at Fulham. His first three seasons at Man Utd he won 3 titles. So playing at Fulham means nothing.”

    Excellent retort, Hark. Being at a less successful club does not make a player bad. Undoubtedly most clubs didn’t even consider buying van der Sar during the four years he was at Fulham. They just assumed he was whiling away the twilight of his career. Someone at man utd with unusual judgement must have been able to persuade Ferguson to risk £2M on him.

  67. Geez muppet!

  68. Quite, Muppet. When Rooney has one of his goal-droughts, you just know he’s about to score a hattrick in a match that’s already won.

  69. els

    Gallas seems to have been holding a lot back since being heavily criticised by all in England. I expect a few parting shots on some players, but I’d be surprised if he said much considering the respect for Wenger he must have. Maybe Wenger taking the captaincy off him could change that though… we have to wait n see.

  70. If Gallas was to go back to Wenger now and submit to more reasonable terms, I don’t think he’d be sent away.

  71. All the signs are that Wenger has great respect for Gallas, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual. I don’t foresee any criticism of Wenger from him.

  72. When Gallas lost the captaincy, everyone was predicting he would sulk his way through the rest of the season and then leave in the summer. They couldn’t have been more wrong. I think Gallas’s character has been completely misunderstood by Arsenal fans.

  73. Do you think Gallas is staying then PZ ?

  74. I hope you are both right. I think he is slightly hot headed though and may say something he regrets later.

    As you say Poli he did react admirably when he lost the captaincy but perhaps that was not biting the hand that feeds. Remember how he left chelsea. Although you shouldn’t draw comparisons between Wenger and Mounrihno’s personalities.

  75. Poliziano

    You are right on that account, and for them reasons many Arsenal fans hold huge respect for Gallas for coming back the way he did (including myself).

    If he stayed I will not complain one bit, he has been a great player for us. I think slightly differently with regards to what Wenger thinks of Gallas though. Not that he doesn’t respect the guy, but the fact that he didn’t sign a contract and I think Wenger suspected Gallas would sign a 1 year extension which he hasn’t.

    It will be better late than never if he did sign anyway! but I just think Wenger has planned now without him.. this is why I asked if the offer was still on the table to Gallas

  76. chrisGoona,

    can you give a link about Gallas pulling out of the proposed transfer to Juventus, thanks.

  77. Gallas is still a very good player, but emotionally he is something else, and if reports are true by Nasri, he is a disruptive influence within the camp.
    personally, I would like to see him stay for at least one more year, as Djorou is not the answer IMO, at least not for the moment.

  78. Kelsey

    Was mentioned on Arseblog:


    All over Twitter:

    LEquipe: #Gallas turns down Juventus offer. His options are now 1 more year at #Arsenal, or Panathinaikos/PSG…

  79. Chelsea made up a story about Gallas threatening to score own goals. It’s hardly surprising that the relationship turned sour after that.

  80. Kelsey

    Was mentioned on Arseblog:


    and all over Twitter

  81. I think Schwarzer will be excellent in goal for us if he really comes here. His world cup has not been great but he is one of the main reasons an Aussie team with very little attacking talent is even in the WC. I think he has certainly been better then Almunia in goal for Fulham the last 2 years. He is one of the big reasons a Fulham team with marginal talent has moved from relegation fodder to a solid middle of the table team and he was superb in their shock run in Europa cup.

    The debate about Almunias talent is irrelevant in my opinion. We can not start next season with a huge GK controversy. Fair or not, having the fans, the tabloids and worse our players waiting impatiently for the mistakes in goal to start is not ideal for team self confidence. How many tabloids and office pools will have “the Almunia watch” waiting to see how long before he gets his first mystery injury.

    I agree completely that sorting out our problems in the team defense is the critical point in the grand scheme of things but a new GK will certainly help. Fixing the defense will be AW’s mandate if there is any hope of winning a title next year.

  82. On lequipe they actually say that it is Gallas who pulled out of the Juve deal saying he did not want to play in Serie A but after pointing to the difference between what salary he asked Arsenal and the one Juve is offering him

  83. You miss the point Poliziano. Strange.

    The point is not that he plays for Fulham, the point is that he’s 37, and Fulham is the best club he’s played for.

    That he’s never showed up on the radar of a bigger club demonstrates exactly the kind of career he’s had.

    I know there’s a possibility that there are top class goalkeepers playing for say Watford, but it’s very unlikely they’d stay at Watford for long before someone came to whisk them away to bigger and better things

  84. I read your comment again and this bit “Someone at man utd with unusual judgement must have been able to persuade Ferguson to risk £2M on him” was laughable.

    Negates the point you were trying to make with it doesn’t it?

    Van der Sar was at Fulham, and eventually he was back playing at the top level of football.

    Top players tend to play at the top.

  85. i will believe it when it happens……
    why would wenger pay 3 millions for mark shwarzer when he can get david james or nelson dida for free?

  86. The big Aussie will sort the defence out. But I agree with Sam. David James is more reliable (yeah I know Calamity James hohoho) but James has vast experience, can be got on the cheap – sorry pompey – and can coach the upcoming keepers like chesney. Maybe Schwarzer can do the same but I personally prefer James.

  87. Poli and CG @ 2.10 ish
    Oh yeah don’t get me wrong I would be a happy man if gallas stays,

  88. I never thought the day would come when it’d be down to arguing about whether David James or Schwartzer will get to be Arsenal’s saviour.

    Each is a good experienced keeper. Neither is particularly distinguished.

  89. YW, et. al.

    hope you all have been enjoying the start to the summer and most of the WC. I’ve signed up for an email subscription and have been lazy about coming here to actually comment. so cheers, your WC roundups have been most informative. and days where i have missed something “important”, i always hear about it in your daily summation. so thank you.

    oh and USA! USA! USA!

  90. I do not think Schwarzer is the next EVDS or Buffon but he does represent an upgrade at this point and I do not see that many other really good options. If Buffon was really available and healthy I would love to see us go with an impact keeper like him but I do not see the boss doing that.

    With regard to Gallas and the over 30 thing. I hope the boss is not truly that dogmatic. If he wanted to keep Gallas he would have made it work. I suspect the boss does not really want to keep him. Despite Gallas’ obvious talent our defending has not been adequate in the last 2 years. Along with WG’s fitness concerns and his suspect mental health and the dislike from his teammates, I suspect the boss will not be sorry to see him go.

  91. Not at all, Ole. If the reason for thinking Schwarzer is no good is that he has never played for a top team, you should have said so. Hark destroyed your argument. You realised he had done so, and you gave a different one.

  92. I’m not sure about Schwarzer.

    Obviously you cannot judge a keeper’s ability to control a defence based on 3 group stage games with the Australian national team, but at no point did I believe that Schwarzer was a significant upgrade from Almunia.

    Is there any chance we will just keep Almunia? God i just want tech 9 to start

  93. Ole @ 3:02PM

    “I never thought the day would come when it’d be down to arguing about whether David James or Schwartzer will get to be Arsenal’s saviour.

    Each is a good experienced keeper. Neither is particularly distinguished.”

    Spot on.

    Neither is a savior but I think either would be an upgrade in many ways. I wish we had a true world class keeper. The last 7 EPL winners have certainly had someone considered a true world class talent in goal. (I include Mad Jens with the invincibles in that category.)

  94. all the new zealand players look like normal guys, like they were picked out from banks, supermarkets and kiosks to play for the national team. In fact one of their players does actually work in a bank and is taking special leave!!!!

  95. there is a bit too much pressure we are all putting on snsncenznechny, god its such a hard name to spell anyway we should just let him slowly progress and improve, not rushed into important games every now and then like fabianski, i have to admit i am an admirer of wenger but what he has done with fabianski is plain fucking stupid because not only has it hampered his progress and made him a joke, he will take time to mentally recover from the mistakes he made. You cant expect someobody play once every 2 months, without consecutive games to come in and perform in the champions league for fucks sake

  96. i really do feel sorry for wukash but he is strong and he’ll recover and keep improving, hopefully in time to be the goalie in euro 2012 when poland host.

  97. Zap NZ are pretty hilarious to watch. but they’ve got moxy. watching their late equalizer against slovakia in the first round was pretty moving stuff

  98. I really do feel sorry for Fabianski. It reminds me of Manninger, his confidence was destroyed after a few mistakes. I just hope the same doesnt happen with Szczesny. Blimey Italy are in shit street lmao

  99. god these italians…

  100. NJGooner:

    Love your new avatar.

    Go USA. Exciting stuff.

    Have you seen my Texas Rangers lately. 10 wins in a row and challenging for best record in the league. Lucky for me baseball does not have relegation or we would have been down many years ago. Hope does spring eternal and every once in a while your hopes are actually realized. Rangers in the world series? OMG

  101. Oh also guys I just wanted to reassure you about your upcoming match with the Germans. If you guys get overwhelmed, if the Germans are too much for you to handle, if your leaders and people become desperate for a solution, WORRY NOT, we can come bail you guys out… AGAIN

  102. Schwarzer’s weakness is high balls, crosses and commanding his area. The same syndrome Almunia suffers from.

  103. Bill,

    thanks! its from the official NYC Arsenal supporters club. I live about 20 miles from NYC so I figured it was appropriate.

    and YES I have been. I cant believe it myself. I remember admiring your optimism at the start of the season, and looks like its paying off! hate to break it to you, but my yanks will knock you out before you get to the WS.. sorry in advance

  104. Damien, that was my perception of him as well.

  105. like your style New Jersey Gooner. Ermmm you were a bit late for ww2 and didnt do a lot in Burmah, but never mind a Gooner is a Gooner. On the World Cup, the USA have been impressive en ger land dire, Chile superb and the Argies assured.

  106. NJG:

    I hope it gets to that point with the Yanks and Rangers in the playoffs. I would be falling all over myself with joy no matter the final result. Your Yanks suffer from the same media and fan expectations that Arsenal lives with, my Rangers do not have that problem, yet!! The Yankees will definitely be a huge obstacle especially mentally for a team like the Rangers. Anyway, good to have you back.

  107. late for ww2?!?!?! ill admit we were late for ww1, but cmonnnnn it was you lot vs all of europe before we showed up. just try not to hide down in the tube if germany gives you trouble

  108. and yes Jay, I was obviously belligerently elated with the result yesterday, but on top of everything, WE ACTUALLY PLAYED DECENT FOOTBALL

  109. Bill,

    Your right about media speculation/expectations. thankfully we have masters of the craft to guide the less experienced through, a la that Henry/Fabregas interview. Derek Jeter is well known as the master of the NYC media, and he gives advice to new arrivals/upcoming youngsters.

    good luck to your rangers.. i have no reason to wish them ill, at least until the playoffs.

    and its good to be back

  110. NJGooner carnt be arsted getting into a history lesson, but until the Japs blew the fuck out of you, you were leaning towards Germany, bit like now, so no change there lol. It was only Pearl Harbour and Winston Churchills American background that persuaded you to join in. Even then you wouldnt fight unless the Coca Cola truck was parked on the battlefield. Anyways, I am Irish and will be cheering the Germans on Sunday.

  111. If you insist Poliziano. Nobody is fooled. If Schwarzer was anything other than average he won’t be a 37 year old playing for Fulham, that being the biggest club he’s played for.

  112. SomeRandomGunner

    Great Italy is going down 3-1 .

  113. What a game between Italy and Slowakia. ANd Slowakia is winning deservedly 3:1!! They have been just a lot better and Italy deserve to go out in the first round.

  114. It’s the first time I can ever remember Italy being involved in an exciting game of football.

  115. this is madness.

    Italy out. The ITV commentator needs a slap.

  116. oh wait

  117. isner finally won!

  118. Wow 3:2, really nice goal by a really good actor.

  119. Matty

    Can’t remember the last World Cup where two ‘major’ nations went out at the group stage.


  120. NJGooner do you say soccer or football?? Just wanted to know…

  121. Italy out…and I have to say I am happy about it.

  122. hahaha yeeeeaaaasss bye bye italy.

  123. seeing chiellini so upset and devastated gives me a warm, satisfied feeling throughout me. hahahahha fuck you chuiellini

  124. Is it normal for clauses to be included in sale contracts that if the buying club defaults at anytime the player is returned?

  125. Phew!

    No RVP vs. Chiellini Mk II.
    No knowing what RVP would do!

    (I do think having excess strikers in a post-WC season makes sense. With the impressive Bendy nursing a strain, even more so…)

    2.5 hours till RVP vs. Song.

    Click click click!

    Hopefully, even the the Lions are out, it’ll be a good game.

  126. btw bye ITALY

    Spain, you still here?

  127. I have got over algeria’s exit, mainly because i am proud of my team and there is no shame in what happened. Im very proud of how we qualified and how we played. Imagine being a slovenian you’ve got to feel even more sorry for them…or an itialian(i dont feel that sorry) or a frenchman! heheh

  128. Oooh, answered my own question. 2002: France, Uruguay, Portugal and Argentina exited. Italy has equalled France’s record of the worst-ever defence of the World Cup.

    Perhaps things aren’t as bad for France as they seemed…

  129. It’s nothing to do with what I insist, Ole. Anyone can go back and see your argument, then they can see that Hask annihilated it.

  130. SomeRandomGunner

    Spain is next …..

  131. Ha ha, I’ve just been listening to David Pleats radio commentary on Italy V Slovakia, when Slovakia scored the third he said thats ‘Au Revoir’ Italy….

    I think you meant to say ‘Arrivederci’ there David!!!! 🙂

  132. David Pleat is a mug

  133. David Pleat is hilarious because he is so stupid.love him just to be an idiot.
    ho yes finally the master of acting and cheating have lost against a side who use their own technic .it feel good to see italy go who was maybe the worst world champion ever

  134. Ole Gunner

    ‘Van der Saar had played for Ajax & Juve by the time he was at Fulham. He’d won countless titles’

    So what did Almunia win before he joined Arsenal? A reserve GK with a second division team, Celta Vigo. Wait and see the team that will sign him when he leaves; Fulman won’t. You remember the ‘great’ Senderos? He sat on the bench at Everton but some you ‘cried’ here for him to get a game.

  135. jaygooner, solely on the wind up mate. my apologies if it was misconstrued any other way.

    happy to see italy out

  136. zap,

    i prefer football. but i also dont like trying to sound like im a cool kid, im not ashamed of what i am!

    lately ive been saying fuchibol. ha

  137. I like Japan as a team more than Denmark, but I want to see Bendtner progress and score a couple more goals. But seeing that Bendtner has been injured for like a couple of weeks now, I really wonder if it’s that good for him (and obviously us) if he has to continue playing. If Denmark get kicked out by Japan, it will mean that Bendtner will have enough time to recover properly. On the other hand a couple of vital goals in the world cup will surely give him a big lift — and silence those people that call for him to be shopped out!

  138. No Song!

    Just Lots of Vuvu’s.

    I’d better get my coat.

  139. Sorenson fluffed his lines for that 1st goal.

  140. Almunia strikes again! 2-0.

  141. Take that. Thats what I call a goal. Go RvP

  142. Wow…talk about when it rains….goals from free kicks have been hard to find, now we have two in one game? Japan obviously been practicing hard, good job from them.

  143. RVP needs a hat trick to get him warmed up for the knock outs. come on son!

  144. Finsbury,

    There is no Song, but there is a Bong!

  145. Whats that love in ‘tween RvP & Song just as they went down the tunnel. Looks like Song ain’t coming on in 2nd half

  146. G4E,


    A nice goal, right foot, nutmeg,


  147. Bendtner invisible so far…

  148. 1 loose cannon

    Penalty for Danemark

  149. 1 loose cannon

    Thomasson missed then scored the follow up, only just.

  150. And then he does a Cesc and injures himself. But looks like he can continue.

  151. 1 loose cannon

    Bendtner has been getting some stick from the pundits, There isn’t much he can do, hardly any good crosses for him or any service at all.

  152. 1lc, however, Bendtner has held the ball well when he got a touch on it and his passing has been rather good. Managed to get past Japan players quite a few times, but it’s no good if there is nobody else in a good position.

  153. 1 loose cannon

    the goal has come a bit late for denmark

    Hahaha Huntalaar scored for Holland, That is bizarre. He can still score wow.

  154. 1 loose cannon

    Bye Bye Denmark, its all over. Japan 3 up now.
    Just heard Del Boy Harry been a bit sarcastic by saying Bendtner is the best striker in the world.

  155. 1 loose cannon

    Heh Inamoto in a world cup? he kicked a ball for Arsenal once or twice

  156. hoksilatowitko

    NB and Alex back home for a rest…

  157. inamoto was good always liked him he was just a little over weight here but undeniable talent.


  159. Ochoa/Lloris+ Koscielny+Hazard+Zarate+Gourcuff+Chamakh. these will supplement well Sczcsney,Fabianski,Eboue,Sagna,Clichy,Gibbs,Djourou,Vermaelen,Nordveit,Song,Denilson,Nasri,Rosicky,Walcott,Van p,Arshavin,Ramsey,Wellington. COME ON WENGER< SEEE THE LIGHT<

  160. els,

    I personally do not think Sshwarzer is better than ‘Manuel and am not overly keen to see his arrival. However, I think Gallas is an outfield player in a very competitive part of the field and is becoming more prone to injury. I think we might be able to cope with his departure if cover is bought and Sol stays on board.

    Here’s hoping!


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