Thomas Want Trophies, Keown Experience & Other Gossip

Thomas Vermaelen spoke with ATVO recently, fresh from his holiday in Congo, about the coming season. Barely had he shed his Jean Claude van Damme garb than he said of his debut English season:

It is not easy when you come from another country because the Premier League is the hardest league in the world. I learned a lot from playing at a higher level, I have learned from different situations in the games, so I hope that I can improve next year.

It was a sparkling first season. Dismissed beforehand as being too diminutive of stature – not the clogger that many were calling for – he assauged fears of his abilities by being assured in tackle and free-scoring by a centre back standard in the opening half of the season.

Looking ahead to the coming campaign:

This year it did not work out, but we have a lot of good players and a good team with a lot of quality. We have to continue what we have been doing, we are working hard. I am convinced that next year we can win trophies with this team. We had a lot of injuries, and if we can all be fit for a long time next season, it will be a good year for us.

Injuries were pivotal, Vermaelen one of those who succumbed for a time leaving the centre bereft with the ageing pair of Campbell and Silvestre. That situation will not arise this time around since the Frenchman has left and he seems to have been replaced by Koscielny. Whether the newbie is to partner Vermaelen or not is dependent upon any other signings and how the often forgotten Djourou perform in the pre-season.

Martin Keown spoke of the need for experience,

I’m worried that he’s [Koscielny] young. When he played, I think Sol Campbell displayed an element that was missing from the team. There’s no substitute for experience, in all walks of life.I think Arsenal have suffered over the last five years for not having quite enough experience – although they’ve clearly been hamstrung by their new stadium.

A fair observation but not a stick with which Koscielny is to be beaten, surely. That is unless the relative inexperience proves to be a problem. However, that overlooks the nous that Vermaelen has acquired at Ajax, Arsenal and international level. In short, he is no slouch and having made 140 first team appearances and heading towards thirty caps, some of those as captain, is not a junior partner in any defence.

Experience is needed but more than that, it is what Keown called ‘football intelligence‘ something he felt Senderos lacked and that Bendtner needs to show. In the Dane’s case, Keown believes it needs to manifest itself as aggression. Despite his nation’s premature exit, the World Cup ought to have given Bendtner confidence because he did reasonably well in his appearances, scoring in their win over Cameroon. He showed the ability to impose himself on the defences but now needs to do that consistently although he will not be the first choice central striker which makes this task more difficult.

Keown identified the key to the coming seasons, where Arsenal will base their success:

What will become their strength has been their weakness over the last five years

Players derided for their youth are becoming experienced. They have the base to build on, the knowledge of where failure is founded will be the guide they need to become a success in trophy terms.

Onto transfer gossip. Honda, a huge favourite at the World Cup amongst the media, is apparently being given the chance to get on his bike to Milan although Arsene also rates him. There is a possibility that this move may be funded by Emirates so perhaps someone at Arsenal can have a word to use this ‘facility’ as well?

Goalkeepers and centre backs have instructed their Mr20% around Europe to talk a good game with Handanovic jealous of Eduardo’s success in getting linked to Arsenal whilst Stephane Ruffier has the press doing his leg work about a possible move from Monaco.

Elsewhere, Steven Pienaar is entering the last 12 months of his current deal at Everton so is obliged to be linked with a move, Joe Cole is building sandcastles in the shape of The Emirates although froma distance it looks like Anfield or White Hart Lane which suggests training as an architect is not going to be an option once he retires.

Serdar Tasci is apparently hailing a black cab to London and once he has been to Tottenham, he’ll scrounge the fare to Arsenal from them before signing whilst Rafik Halliche’s ominously titled ‘minders’ are talking to Arsenal who apparently aren’t talking to Benfica because the Portuguese club want too much money or they are but only in the region of £1m, depending on whom you believe.

Barcelona have not taken their eyes off the prize. Pep Guardiola and Sandro Rosell are to fly to South Africa to meet their players and hope to bump into Cesc in the team hotel elevator. All purely innocent and in no way a strategic operation.

Whilst there Rosell is hoping to meet with Arsene Wenger to discuss the non-transfer of Fabregas. Arsene though is a wily old fox and will bring his Pimpernel-esque attributes to the fore, eluding and evading the Catalans at every turn. The entourage will believe they have seen him buying a Pepsi, signing up for a Mastercard, eating a reclaimed meat Hot Dog or drinking a Bud; none will track him down as he moves through the media centre ether.

Rosell meanwhile had his photo opportunity with the ladies from Team Fabregas at the weekend, the media in Spain offering it as tacit approval from the clan for the club’s approaches. More likely is that Rosell’s office is bereft of momentos of him meeting the rich and famous, needing a quick fix for his short spell at the helm. Beware ladies; you may have been centre stage at the weekend but you watch, one opportunity with Michael Buble and you will be unceremoniously shunted sideways.

’til Tomorrow when hopefully we’ll all be drooling over Robin van Persie’s hat-trick as the Netherlands put five past Uruguay this evening.

Posted on July 6, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 256 Comments.

  1. Guardiola flirting with Cesc is a disgrace…but not a surprise. After we accept their £80m offer I hope we do them for tapping up.

  2. Hola Mi Gente!

  3. Talk of defenders, is it true that Per Mertesacker has had 32 consecutive games without a yellow card?, thats crazy!!!

  4. morning everyone

  5. Barcelona’s behaviour, their players, their manager, their presidents and all the rest of the cu*ts are a disgrace to football. I will keep repeating this on every fu*king site I visit until something is done about it.

    I actually feel very sorry for Cesc, who has to put up with this nonsense day in day out, and especially while hes trying to concentrate on playing for his country. It must literally be a nightmare for him, because they are trying to corner him against us supporters.

    Cesc is an Arsenal player, and we will continue to cheer on our captain next year. These cun*s have proved how low they are, lets not let this affect our support for Cesc and our great young team. Whichever way this ends we will come out winners, thinking of Cesc wearing a Barca shirt makes me sick, all this ill behaviour on their part must have surely rubbed off on him, and I don’t think he will agree with any of it. He has come out before to criticise them, he will do it again.

  6. Excellent post YW

  7. Chris

    Sent you a PM – can you have a look to see if it arrived.

    Cheers

    YW

  8. lets not forget fabregas is a catalan which probably means he is use to their mind games and they are probably working on him now. im so torn now, i dont know whether i want him to stay or go…but nagging me now is the feeling that he will go for a thrupney bit on the last day of the window leaving us with julio baptista as cover (sound familiar)! which is better for arsenal though, spain winning the WC or not! i myself will definately be cheering on zie germans tomorrow!

  9. Arsenalkabisa

    Total #fail by Arsenal.com/ USA

    http://www.arsenalstoreusa.com/departments-new-arrivals-chelsea-crib-boot.html

    Are the players resuming pre-season training today? Because we play Barnet in 11 days?

  10. YW,

    Cheers, just replied to you.

  11. Arsenalkabisa

    Not sure to be honest, doesn’t leave much room for training before the 1st friendly. I know its only Barnet, but surely on non-World Cup years we have more days preparation prior to the 1st game.

    When is Wenger due back from his World Cup scouting trip!

  12. Arsenalkabisa

    @Chris, think after the worldcup is through. The Young Guns + Konscienly started training yestareday, so i think they are the ones who will take on Barnet… where is Theo Nasri, Almunia Dennilson..etc???

  13. Personally, I hope that he goes. It is common sense to see that he is using his Barca mates to do his speaking for him. He wants to leave and to be honest, I feel that it will be of great benefit, but only if Wenger spends the money. Personally, I’d like to think that he is going to grab a tough tackling midfielder and go 4-4-2. It’d bring out the best in Eduardo again (if we keep him). Also, we could grab a top-notch keeper and another defender.

  14. Seems to be a longer holiday for some like you mentioned if they ain’t back training already.

    The more it gets closer to the start of the Premiership, the more I worry about us being able to field a full strength starting 11.

    Bendtner, Vela, Van Persie, Cesc… could all be unavailable or needing a rest.

    Lets just hope the likes of Denilson, Nasri, Arshavin, Djourou, Chamakah have a good and healthy pre-season. As well as any more additional signings! 🙂

  15. I was hoping for Nicky B’s sake that he’d get a good few opportunities pre-season to show some intelligent aggression – and force his way into, at least, a right-sided starting role – but it seems his nagging groin knack will put paid to that.

    Oh well, maybe he’ll get himself fit just in time to cover some other forward’s knack. Guess he’ll just have to do it the hard way.

    Oh, and loved the article, YW. Joe Cole building cack-handed sandcastles, with Wenger slinking around as a Pimpernel… excellent.

    Oh, and shut it Keown you old slut.

  16. I’m not sure I believe Cesc is entirely innocent in all of these machinations.

  17. Oh ffs, Arse.USA. Just fuck off.

  18. QoS

    No smoke without a fire and in answering media questions about coming home he fanned the flames. It stretches credibility too far to believe that his representatives have not been in contact with Barcelona whilst his family admitted in the past that they are friendly with a number of people at the club.

    YW

  19. I’m in agreement with Frank on the Cesc saga, Yogi, I think its an orcestrated campaign that Cesc or his representatives have been at least aware of, if not involved in.

    The goal has been to extract Cesc at minimum cost to FC Barca and without compromising Cesc’s signing on fee by handing in a transfer request.

  20. QoS

    I think if the bid reaches £40m Arsenal will negotiate. The ubiquitous add-ons will come into play and take the deal to around £50m in the end.

    YW

  21. I was leaning more towards he’ll go next year Yogi, but you seem to be suggesting you think it’ll be this summer?

  22. Arsenalkabisa

    @Yogi,

    does Ozil look like a ready made replacement for Cesc? plus he looks lazy and left footed. Just how wenger likes them

    Also think if the Price is REALLY good He should go we make some money and have a settled team.

    I think that is one advantage of having British players, because rarely will they be making noise for a move abroad..

  23. YOu may be right YW but somewhere we need to make a stand against these sort of tactics. If we carry on producing players and then selling them when they mature we will become just another Ajax.

  24. Agree with Queen of Suburbia. Some of us are behaving as if Cesc is a five year old who has no idea what’s going on. I don’t believe any player is bigger than the club!

  25. Arsenalkabisa

    I remember the Vieira saga, and after that, the player is not the same, the fans don’t support him as much..its always down hill.

    I really fear for Cesc, but whatever happens Arsenal is always bigger than any player.

    I, for one thought Arsenal would be over when the Invincibles left, but with their leaving we got to see some of the sexiest football I have ever seen with Hleb, Cesc, Flamini, Rosicky, Eduardo..

    ohh but anyway, whatever happened to Flamini? he didn’t make that conked French team??? Ay how bad is he???

  26. 1 loose cannon

    Joe Cole claims the best years are ahead of him. At 29? who is he kidding? Few weeks ago I was convinced he is coming to Arsenal. But now I’m not sure, The fact that he has been talking to Arry it can only mean Wenger is not really inerested. This is one signing that I would not lose sleep over even though its on a free. NAsri, Rosicky, Wilshere, Ramsey, Arshavin even Diaby are Similar and better than Cole so I don’t see the logic in signing him at all. If Arsenal sign him he will have to do the time on the bench and I don’t think he wants to do that at his age.

    Keown claims We need Sol Campbell for his experience but wasn’t he in the heart of defence when we let in 3 goals in the space of 15 minutes against Wigan. Sol has been a great servant for thr club but he is not the future if he stays and help out that’s great but to rely on his tired old legs would be a big mistake.

  27. dups / kabisa

    I’ve not seen too much of Ozil but he seems very similar to Rosicky. Left foot is not a bad thing and would solve a problem. However, I am not sure he is the central player we would need. The fuss is over a couple of good World Cup games and a decent tournament in Sweden last summer. He was better then but is he ready to play the pivotal role in this team?

    No complaint is going to be made about Barcelona’s harrassment – and Cesc is to some degree compliant in this – until a sale is made. Fifa won’t just punish Barcelona, they will hit Cesc and his agents with fines as well which is why Arsenal will not do anything until after a sale is completed. The best punishments are either not to sell which might bring a different set of problems or to hold out for an excessive fee.

    YW

  28. dupsffokcuf the way we are going we will have to be selling players regularly. Firstly the academy is beginning to produce more players than the first team can absorb. Two, some players we buy will lose it, ala Reyes or Adebayor. Three, it always makes good business sense to sell when you receive a crazy offer. Just look at what Inter will make if Sneijder does join manure, bloody good business that!

  29. Joachim Loew has realised that the biggest threat to Germany in this World Cup is complacency, and he has therefore started talking up the Spanish team. Whether sending his players into fits of hysterics is the best way of guarding against complacency I’ll leave to others to decide, for that will surely be the effect of his claim that Spain “have several Messis” – unless he means that Spain have several big names who have done nothing during this competition.

  30. “unless he means that Spain have several big names who have done nothing during this competition.”
    Ouch!

  31. YW

    I think Cesc is/was definitely involved as you say, but I remain absolutely convinced that he will not be sold this summer.

  32. QoS

    I think it will be this summer. There is a lot of posturing going on in Spain but with the sale of Toure and the Ukranian lad back to Shaktar, they are bringing in funds. Perhaps they will start talking seriously if Ibrahimovic goes which would get them substantial funds in both the sale and wages.

    For Arsenal, I suspect the ideal outcome is one more season to allow Ramsey and Nasri to develop more centrally. For Cesc, if he stays, I think it will be a big season. He will want to go out on a high and he seems to have more pride than to let his performances diminish, bringing forth accusations of lack of effort. For the club, the reap the benefit in that event as the fee demanded would be more than justified.

    YW

  33. Arsenalkabisa

    @Yogi

    Watched him severally after the hype in Sweden, he is more of a Hleb, in that he can be so infuriating when he goes missing. But a class player none the less. Will mature in a year or two under a good coach. But cant be the fulcrum of a team at the moment.

    @PZ lol.
    Germany look like an EPL team in full flight. You can actually hear them purr as they counter. Hope Xavi gets a new one, as Mourinho taught the world how to play against Barca. let them Keep the ball if they want to, hit them hard when they loose the ball and before they get into any defensive shape

  34. Arsenalkabisa

    @Yogi

    What the Germans are showing is that a team Model is always best. I wouldn’t loose sleep if Cesc goes, as long as we have 11 talented players who know exactly where, what and how they need to be doing on the pitch.

    It looks more and more like this year..

  35. Kabisa

    That’s the key; the team. No-one wants a player of Cesc’s calibre to leave but the team will adapt to a different player in his role.

    YW

  36. Spain plays the most entertaining football in Europe when things are going right. If Germany can play as well as they did against Argentina and Spain finally get things going then we might expect a classic. If Germany were to resort to their efficient but unattractive football and Spain continue playing as they are it would be a disservice to football!

  37. @ YW

    Why this summer? If the Club were prepared to consider selling Cesc, why issue such a strong statement? That’s unprecedented, isn’t it? At the moment – for this year coming with Ramsey injured and Nasri still adjusting – Cesc is more valuable to us than any amount of money, and I think that is why they gave him the golden handcuffs last year.
    We don’t need the money and while Cesc would like to join Barca, he likes it here as well.

  38. On Cesc and his flirtations.

    Guys i believe Wenger is stubborn and shrewed as a manager. He rarely sell on first request unles a player is past it. Fabregas for all his talents reminds me of Reyes,who was the most talented spanish player left arsenal during world and look what became of him.i believe he wil be with us next season. But he should @least stay for two years for his own sake, and not forget that barca would not have net him go was he so important to them.
    So lets remember wenger is first a manager, not a friend.and cesc is not all innocent, he would have told the likes of twat pique and xavi not to ask for sex, sorry ment cesc

    and we are finnaly coming of age so i wont be surprised when Nasri slides a through pass to walcot who passes to wilshere to tap into an empty net despite pique tagging him while fab is warming up with helb

  39. Arsenalkabisa

    @Fun Gunner. to drive the price up. Financially we don’t need to sell. We actualy have the money, as Wenger says we can now compete with the likes of Chelsea. But as much as Wenger loves a good buy, he also loves a good sell.

    Maybe its Reyes all over again.

    Though a player of his caliber at Arsenal has no price tag. But if he decides to go, and if Wenger sees so too. Then Adios, its been a pleasure.

  40. Just about everything that was said and argued over a year ago was one season premature (ACLF being ultra-forward thinkers) and likely to happen this coming season. Frank coined the phrase ‘a country mile’, and so it shall become.

    Cesc is likely to come to gentleman’s agreement to continue one more season, maybe two, with a view to moving next summer – if the price is right, and by then it will increase substantially. He will want to leave on a high, and he will. Arsenal’s motives are simple – ‘Arsenal first’ – and this particular asset can only rise, which is precisely why Barca are desperate seize him now, not tomorrow. It’s rare that Arsenal are ever out-negotiated when it comes to money and players.

    As to football, we need Cesc, but not as much as anyone, especially the media thinks. His last game for Spain (30mins or so) was excellent.

    When this Arsenal vintage is ready to win it all, it will not be about a player, or a fulcrum of attack as now, it will be about a style and a method in which the entire team and subsitutes excel.

    The precursor for this was not Ajax in their glory days and Netherlands, much less Barcelona now, but Hungary – total football – 1952-56, the first team in 80 years to beat England at Wembley (6-3, Hungary had 35 shots on goal, England 5!).

  41. Some here are beginning to touch on the central dichotomy of FC Barcelona. They truly are a club twisted, buckled by their own backslapping self-aggrandizement.

    It is perhaps not surprising to see a city so full of itself that it laid claim to Cruyff, Stoichkov and even Pablo Picasso as honorary sons of the Catalan soil; waggling their ownership rights in the faces of those who plucked one such star straight from their own cantera.

    This is a city so proud of it’s cosmopolitanism, and a club so willing to bend over, that they had their away strip dyed Oranje to make Rinus Michel’s teams of the 1970s feel at home. Gestures like that inspire gratitude and loyalty. Cruyff named his son Jordi (or George), after the city’s patron saint. And Stoichkov still lives there today. They both have big fat shiny keys to the city on their lanyards. A bit like the one Dennis Bergkamp has for here.

    But when the shoe is on the other foot, and one of their own flies the nest, and falls in love with another famously cosmopolitan city (blackjacks, fruit salads, hooded leather jackets and all) – the fuckers scream bloody murder, and suddenly it’s all about DNA, and hoisting the main sail on the flagship Catalan Nationalist Identity.

    And all this from a club founded almost entirely by Swiss and Englishmen.

    I don’t know what’s more nauseating about them; the wriggling, the conniving… or their conceited, self-fellating, imagined superiority over the rest of world football.

  42. I feel sick thinking about Cesc in a Barca shirt. Next season he will surely return to his homeland, I doubt it will happen this summer after we issued such a statement as we did. I am very much interested to see how Cesc’s 1st interview goes when he returns.

  43. Zimpaul

    And the Hungarians were the children of the Austrians Wunderteam. Willy Meisl’s book Soccer Revolution is a good read on the tactics of Total Football. Meisl’s brother, Hugo, was the Austrian coach…

    YW

  44. @ ZimPaul

    “I don’t know what’s more nauseating about them; the wriggling, the conniving… or their conceited, self-fellating, imagined superiority over the rest of world football.”

    ha ha ha ha

  45. Almost anyone can be replaced, but we don’t have the ready and able replacement for Cesc in the rest of the squad RIGHT NOW. And perhaps AW doesn’t think he find one elsewhere right now. Plus Fabregas is coming into his peak now and (I am guessing) Arsene would like to see the fruition of his work. So it’s the timing that isn’t right. That’s what I mean when I say Cesc is worth more than the money to us.

  46. Cesc is staying, they can’t afford him so they are trying to force our hand.

  47. Amid the financial catastrophe that is Spain’s economy FC Barcelona have been granted charitable status according to reports from Spain this morning. It has been reckoned that the Catalan club who boast Mas Que Un Club (more than a club) as their motto are being taken at their word and converted to a charitable foundation and their motto has been changed to Mas Que Un Charity. In actual fact not much will change. They (and Real Madrid) will still cream over 90% of the TV rights, leaving the other clubs to squabble over the crumbs that fall from their tables. This continues to make a mockery of any notion that the Spanish La Liga is remotely competitive. The half-billion £ debt they already owe will be quietly forgotten about by the football governing bodies and the EU will continue to pump money into the Spanish banks so they can fund both Barcelona and RM’s spending policies. Quite where this money goes is something of a mystery as Barcelona haven’t actually paid for any players they have “bought” for several years. It is on this basis that charitable status has been granted. the charity in question being bestowed by Arsenal and Inter Milan, among others by allowing their top players to join Barcelona and help them win trophies without actually being paid for them, although quite a few peseta must be required to keep the mouths of Pique, Xavi, Messi and any number of other players, open to tap up Cesc Fabregas on a daily basis. No money has been allotted to encourage their sense of fair-play though and they remain one of the biggest bunches of cheating a—holes in world football today.

  48. shotta-gunna

    Barney @ 1:17 pm – While I wish they were as cash strapped as the Daily Wail reports, given that nespaper’s penchant for stretching the truth, to put it mildly, I take the report with a grain of salt. The Swiss Rambler is a more reliable source and his last take on the matter is they can find the cash if necessary. But the Catalans, contrary to popular belief are very tight-fisted. No wonder Rossell is apoplectic at Joa Laporta’s spending. Maybe this is Rossell’s way of pleading hard times so as to get Cesc on the cheap. I am sure Wenger and Gazidis will make make them pay if we must sell this year.

  49. shotta

    We should not see it as we must sell… he has a contract, he is our main player, they must pay us a good fee.

    Otherwise they can fu*k off, its pretty simple. This summer anyway there is no transfer going to take place, I do not believe Wenger would allow him to leave. He had his heart to heart with the player, and told him to be patient. That is all there is to it, why Barcelona think Arsenal would consider giving him on the cheap is beyond me.

    Like their new president said, they cannot meet our demands for the player, even if we would talk with them. Any relations with FC Barcelona are well and truly turned sour. This is their fault, and Arsenal and Arsene will hold out and milk them good. Cesc will not suffer because he plays and captains one of the best teams in the world. They just look like complete idiots.

  50. Let’s face it, no bank in Spain has the cojones to decline either Real or Barca any funding request so even if the report in the Daily Heil is right, they will get their cash.

  51. YW

    FIFA should have the cojones to turn football into a fair competition all over Europe, as Barcelona shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate such debts in the first place. Hopefully the new spending rules by FA will somehow soon be used all over Europe.. is this possible you think?

    On another issue… The ill-feeling in Spain against Barca and Real must be massive with them practically taking all the TV revenues. How long can the government keep feeding these two clubs while the rest suffer.

  52. UEFA I meant to say.

  53. LimparAssist

    I would think there are a number of banks in Spain that would delight in nothing more than ignoring the advances of ‘Los Cules’. Namely those based in Madrid.

    In fact, I’m sure there are a few who just wouldn’t be approached by Fcb, for fear of losing face.

    Long have the Madristas been mocked by their Catalan counterparts as being parochial, and devoid of invention in the arts, and importantly in business.

    You can’t just go around being that cuntish to people without it coming round and biting you on the… hold on, back in a second…

  54. Barcelona play beautifull football, winning football, the most beautifull football the world has ever seen. They also like to have all the spanish players, no matter how much they cost. So as far as i’m concerned they are better then other clubs in the world who are in debt

  55. I know it is annoying but the thought of Fabregas in that Barcelona team is nothing short of mouthwatering. If Cesc does leave, I’m glad he’s going there instead of Madrid or Chelsea.

  56. Maybe if your not an Arsenal fan Taylor, then yes you hold some validation to your last comment

  57. shotta-gunna

    Taylor – Are you an Arsenal fan? If you are, then you are so lacking any self-respect. On your feet, man, not on your knees.

  58. If he is, I fear for many Arsenal fans who will also bend over so easily! Joke of a comment by Taylor.

  59. Sorry for the bluntness in my comment also people!

  60. LimparAssist

    …As I was saying… Arse.

    Did you know that ‘Los Culés’ (translation: ‘The Arses’) were nicknamed ‘Los Culés’ (arses) due to an architectural quirk in their previous stadium – ‘Camp De Les Corts’? (translation: something like ‘The Camp Counts of Catalan’ – remember to think Count Dracula here rather than Count Basie.)

    ‘Les Corts’ was a funny old construction: an awful, disproportioned, skew-whiff sort of place. The top terracing overlapped and over-spilled the edges of the foundation levels below – if you can imagine such a thing – like an elephant on a unicycle, or a huge roll of fat sat atop the too-tight jeans of a poorly dressed ‘old slapper’.

    Anyway… those unfortunate enough to pass beneath this ghastly, shadowy overhang, were greeted – should they be doubly unlucky enough to look skyward at the time – by the deeply disturbing sight of row upon row of bare, bestubbled Catalan arses. Hence, ‘Los Culés’ (arses).

    When you consider that the simple smock or tunic were a la mode in Catalunya at the time of FCB’s playing days in ‘Les Corts’ – and the concept of Catalan underpants was a wild, radical glint in the eye of man from Navarre – the whole sorry story gets worse and worse – but at the same time; the nickname becomes more and more fitting.

    In actual fact, it’s a wonder they weren’t nicknamed ‘Los Cock And Balls’.

  61. “The whole world knows he wants to come and that we want to sign him,” Rosell said.

    “But the Barca president regrets the club’s pursuit of Fabregas has become public. “It’s a topic that has become so public and that’s the worst thing you can do with a transfer, because it makes the selling club raise their expectations and you end up paying over the odds,” he added.

    Its this clown for real?

  62. Some of us are to whining too much about FCB. Ever heard of negative thinking? It’s like FCB has given some of us an inferiority complex! Or has the five drought killed their moral? What happened to positive thinking? What happened to the club that didn’t keep players against their will? Arsenal is a way of life but it is also a going concern. If FCB give us a fair price we should let him go! The Arsenal model is what matters and it’s here to stay!

  63. Just a question for everybody, who would you rather welcome back into arsenal a world cup winner, cesc or rvp, presonally i’ll say rvp since cesc has years ahead of him and spain are fulll of pricks.

  64. Kenyan I agree with you. Arsenal are my first club and Baercelona are my second club. I believe it is time to let Cesc Fabregas fly. We have helped him grow, now he must step up to the next level and flourish in that team, the team that mesmerises millions

  65. The problem is more with Cesc more that Barca, I have been saying that from day one. If wanst vague we wouldnt have this bull crap going on.

    If he said, “I am staying” as he had been saying all year, what could Barca do about it?

    Not saying that he isnt under pressure but its hard to be “pressured” into going to a club that you dont want to go to.

    Another thing is that the statements are way too bold from the other players and the Barca pres.
    The whole world knows”, “Cesc has said…”
    Either they have a total mad, lying, have no respect for him or what they are saying is true.

    For me its true because if it was me, as I find it hard that someone would allow folks to put such words in their mouth.

  66. Dont you mean Barca first.

    Whats with this next level talk? So all players should join either Barca or Real Madrid.

    He needs to stand by his word and contract and help build the team to greatness.

  67. I am so tired of the Cesc saga.. Also feel a bit dissapointed to see how much we depend on this man. I am really starting to believe that selling Cesc will be beneficial.

    I for one, lost all faith in Cesc, the moment he spoke about “wanting” to play for his childhood team not too long ago. First i thought, that if he didnt leave, he should at least step down and pass the captains band to someone who has Arsenal in his heart. But now, after all the flirting i truly believe that it would be better to cash in and reinforce midfield and defense.

    Sell Cesc for $50, buy Mascherano for $30 and use the remaining $20 for a decent goalkeeper and a good defender.

    I think our forwards Vela, Theo & Chamakh will detonate this season!

  68. It would almost be criminal not to let Fabregas complete that team, the world would want to see him combine with his natural brothers. You can see how much he enjoys playing for spain, he looks truly happy. He is an Eagle which we must let out of the cage for the good of the game.

  69. Unlike Taylor I have no pretence to football polygamy. But I find whining embarrassing. I rarely hear an Arsenal fan whining about Ashley Cole. We trained the bugger and not only is he considered the best player in his position in the world but his picture still holds pride of place at our academy. Imagine that , our youngguns being told that if you make it here you’ll go as far as this cunt! But we don’t whine!

  70. “Is this clown for real”

    Shhhhhhhhhhh.
    This poor fellow needs some peace and quiet Paul N.

    He’s trying to negotiate!
    This bit was my favourite,

    “‘It’s all got very complicated because a lot of expectations have been generated on the part of the seller and that’s not good for Barca.
    ‘There are things you cannot say until a deal is closed, otherwise you pay a premium. We will not pay €50-60m (£40-£50m) for Cesc.”

    Cue: The next round of Cesc/Barca DNA quotes, weeks of barca’s people saying a bid has been made…er,

    Perhaps, what he was attempting to say, has just been lost in the translation?

    That ‘journalist’ that some AFC supporters say they ‘trust’, said the Cesc ‘transfer’ was going to get nasty.

    Is releasing contradictory, nonsensical paragraphs into the press, FC Catatonia’s attempt at being nasty?

    This story is so, so boring.

    Bring on Holland Uruguay!

  71. Taylor. What on earth are you talking about? Do contracts have any value anymore? Do we roll over every time a club like Barca come along and tell us what price they want to pay?

  72. I’ve always felt that if you fear losing your job it’s time to move on. In football terms I’d say that if your fear losing a player it’s time to cash in. Reminds me of African Presidents who claim that if they leave the country will go to the dogs. When they leave nothing really changes.

  73. Kenyan Gunner. That is exactly the result that Barcelona and many other unscrupulous clubs want to promote in teams like Arsenal. Why offer contracts at all if every time a Barca, Real Madrid or a top Italian team starts fluttering their eye lashes at you it makes you want to move and you expect your current club to drop their knickers and meekly accept the situation. Tell you what, float that idea of yours past Hleb, Henry, Vieira and see what they say.

  74. Well done Taylor . . . you have managed to wind a few of us up . . . now fuck off to another site!!!!

  75. Adam it’s not about Barca it’s about Cesc. If Cesc unequivocally that he intends to honour his contract Barca would piss off!

  76. I would like some of what Taylor has been smoking please.

  77. No Kenyan Gunner. It’s about Cesc’s contract. Did Wenger hold a gun to his head when he signed it? Did he know that Arsenal would have to approve any sale and accept the price? Do you think the club should say “Oh yes Mr Rossell/ LaPorta, just tell us what you want to pay and he’s yours”. If I ran my business in the way you suggest I’d be on the streets by now. If Barca want him and he wants to go they will have to pay the right price. They don’t have the money and can’t afford him. What is so difficult to understand about that?

  78. You have to respect RVP. No speculation shit from him. Did fret about his reasons for staying. Or is it a Dutch thing Bergkamp was also quite straight about honouring his contract!

  79. My grammar is lousy as I’m using my phone.

  80. Cesc with all his bench warming antics, must really be looking for to the Barca experience now.

  81. I’m looking forward to RvP’s runout tonight. Hope he scores, he’s getting so frustrated.

    And here are some pictures of our shiny new striker in training:

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/chamakh-s-first-training-session-pictures?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arsenal-news+%28News+Feed%29

  82. I have great respect for RVP and Dennis was a model pro in every way. When we bought him from Inter Milan we paid £7.5 million which was the agreed fee. We didn’t mouth off in public every day that we would only pay £4.5 like those pussies from Barcelona.

  83. Is it me or does Spain really miss Senna?

    That diving, cheating, so and so Biscuits is NOT a adequate replacement!!

  84. FG,

    Nice to see our boys Nasri and Chakka getting along so well.

  85. Adam as I said in my earlier post they have to pay a fair price. So I’m in agreement with you on that. Which shows you aren’t a whiner. Getting your just pay is a right. Arsenal have earned the right to their big payday. My grouse is with those behaving as if Cesc leaving would be the end of the Arsenal!

  86. Yeah, Maria
    I can just hear Nasri saying, stick with me, son.

  87. kenyan gunner

    Who’s said Cesc leaving would be the end of Arsenal?

  88. RVP to send Uruaguay out, bloody cheating c****!!!

  89. I personally think that if Cesc leaves, instead of replacing him like for like, we could change our system to something similiar to our old winning teams.

    Just my to cents.

  90. I second that, Maria! Should be Ghana v Holland, by rights.

    (Btw, Paul N – totally agree that it was disgraceful that a) Suares boasted about his handball and b) he is being lionised for it.)

  91. Don`t you think who wronged first was Arsenal when they whisked him away at 16? nextstars at racingportuense will do what all teams shoud do, give a second chance to players released from the Premier Academy League.

  92. FG read the posts and feel the vibes! But nice to see that such a thought is angering you. Arsenal is bigger than any one player. Mind you I love Cesc and would like him to stay!

  93. Barcelona play beautifull football, winning football, the most beautifull football the world has ever seen. They also like to have all the spanish players, no matter how much they cost. So as far as i’m concerned they are better then other clubs in the world who are in debt. Taylor, Totally agree with you. Also, look at the amont of players coming from the Barca Academy and Fabregas is one!!

  94. Kenyan gunner

    I’ve read the posts – that’s why I asked the question! Who has said that we can’t survive without him?

  95. Football fan, what do you think of what racingportuense in Spain is aiming to do with their nextstars project? I think giving a second chance to players who have been released from the Premier Academy League in England housing and developing them is simply praise worthy. Your opinions welcome.

  96. I dont think that Uruguay cheated.. A player sacrificed himself by using his hand in the last minutes of o.t., he was punished and sent off. It all went by the book, didnt it??

  97. FunGunner, more like eji si marouane

  98. Only 11 days till Barnet. I am frothing at the mouth.

  99. taylors comment seriously made me laugh, let him out of his cage??!! Catalans have a general bird like habit of flying around spreading shit everywhere being virtually accepted doing so, but come on, cesc is a human u silly boy

  100. Oh dear Taylor alias John Gontier is back!!!

  101. im going to barnet its a pretty nice friendly atmosphere i’d recommend all of you to get tickets if you can, its always very fun….

  102. Arsenalista

    Yes, he was punished, but it doesn’t sit well with me that he is proud of himself. I accept that these things are instinctive at the time, but he shouldn’t be boasting as if he’d done something glorious. I’m also annoyed because it was a certain goal – in fact when he stopped the ball it may have even been beyond the goal line.

  103. “eji si marouane”

    What does that mean, Zap. Not the Marouane bit, obviously, ha ha.

  104. FG if you told feel the vibes then we are on different wavelengths! Fair enough it’s a free world. I just hate whiners!

  105. shotta-gunna

    K.G. – Maybe its your phone doing the whining. The concerns expressed here, with a few notable exceptions, are perfectly valid: i.e Arsenal has one of its best players and captain on a five year contract, extended last year. If Barca wants the player, instead of using slimy, underhand tactics to undermine Arsenal’s bargaining position; pay the true value of the player. In other words, pay up or shut up.

  106. It’s don’t not told. Oh me God. My grammers gone to the dogs!

  107. I love the sound of that FunGunner. I can handle 11 days.

  108. Shotta still got issues with me I see. You don’t appear to have read my post to Adam? And don’t insult me just because you don’t agree with me.

  109. FunGunner

    Hes the leading scorer of his team, and that goal meant Uruguay would be sent home.. Yet he sacrificed himself so that it didnt have to be that way… It was not instinctive, it was absolutely on purpose.. On those last dying seconds, all that matters is that the ball does not go in PERIOD. And he proved it, Ghana went home because they missed that penalty and Uruguay is in the semis because Suarez got a red card.. Gotta love this game.

  110. Barca are the new definition of: scum bags.

  111. Shotta read my post at 4:53

  112. I agree with Arsenalista on the Suarez thing. Ghana aren’t playing tonight because they missed a penalty.

    Everyone knows the rules. If you stop the ball on the line with your hand, a penalty will be awarded and you will be sent off. It matters not if its the first minute or the last.

    It was harsh on Ghana and most of us don’t like the outcome. Certainly any right thinking person didn’t like the scenes afterwards. But thats the game, thems the rules. Don’t like ’em, don’t play.

  113. LimparAssist

    Excellent to see Gibbo back running again. I know he was on the bench for Fulham but I never saw him run. And Arshavin looks like he might have dropped a bit of weight. Wowcheque is running with the 1st team – but then again he was doing that this time last year, wasn’t he? So that doesn’t tell us a lot.

    One thing I don’t like is that Djourou still has his knee taped up. Does anybody know if he played with anything on it when he came on against Fulham?

  114. Saying come here respectfully, of course he isnt actually saying that but i was joking that maybe he would since they both have north african origin, looks like their getting along already, good to have a few friendships in the team, unlike kolo toure and gallas used to have.

  115. Regarding Suarez…

    Would I be bothered if Chamakh decided to stand still, smile to himself and then proceed to thump the ball away from goal rather smugly in the last minute of extra-time in a Champions League final?

    No. It wouldn’t be the way I’d want to win it but, if it stopped a goal and we went on to win, so be it. I think it showed quick thinking and passion from Suarez. He sacrificed himself for the good of his team.

    I hope all Arsenal players will put the team before themselves.

    If Ghana were good enough, they would have won it before the last minute. Or scored the penalty. Or won the shoot out. Although that one incident may define the match, it was a combination of many incidents that led to the outcome.

  116. The rules are rules. The player got his punishment for the act he committed….but it was cheating, touching the ball with your hand is cheating and that’s why you get sent off for it.

    You just don’t boast about something that was sleazy and intentional, that’s all.

  117. Aha, thanks, Zap.

    ***
    @ QoS, Arsenalista,

    So Q of S, are you saying Uruguay didn’t cheat? Because that is what Arsenalista said.

    “I dont think that Uruguay cheated.. A player sacrificed himself by using his hand in the last minutes of o.t., he was punished and sent off. It all went by the book, didnt it??”

  118. GUnner 4 Ever, where are you from? Wherever you are, if you were playing for your country, surely you would do the same though….

  119. Yes, and I’ll be a “cheater” Zap. So yes, I will get the punishment I deserve, but that doesn’t change the fact that I cheated “in the name of my country” to get there.

    What’s the difference between this and Thierry Henry’s hand ball? He just didn’t get penalized for it, but he did cheat.

  120. Although I fully understand Suarez’s actions and I wouldn’t mind seeing someone in an Arsenal shirt do the same, I do agree with Gunner4Ever in that it’s probably something you shouldn’t gloat about. It would probably be a good idea to sheepishly walk away and avoid all media for a while.

  121. The difference is Suarez got punished and Ghana had a chance to win. Henry didn’t get punished and left Ireland at a massive disadvantage.

  122. @ Nikolarse

    “If Ghana were good enough, they would have won it before the last minute. Or scored the penalty. Or won the shoot out.”

    As it turned out, Gyan missed the penalty that was awarded, but in truth Ghana had already scored.

    I understand the competitive desire that would cause a player to do what he did, but Suarez is congratulating himself, as if what he did was genuinely heroic, the equivalent of playing on with an injury, or throwing your face in the way of flying boots to block a ball. Using the hand isn’t heroic, it’s just illegal.
    If you’re a Uruguay fan, you take the result and good luck to you, but don’t dress it up as a glorious act. That’s the part I object to.

    The difference with Thierry Henry is that a) he wasn’t proud of it and b) he didn’t score from it. His assist could have missed Gallas, Gallas might not have scored. Ghana did actually score. People went over the top demonising TH.

  123. SomeRandomGunner

    Guys have you read this ?

    And Rosell said: “I can assure you I will try and talk with him in South Africa.”

    Is this not tapping a player ? Talking to him directly without getting the club’s permission ?
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_6247171,00.html

  124. But the common act between the two was: Cheating.

    I guess you can say Saurez did what he had to do to save his country, but it’s not something you should be proud of, because it was cheating. That’s all there is to it.

  125. SRG,

    In this comment, I believe he meant to speak to Arsene Wenger not the player.

    He’s still a scum bag like his predecessor though

  126. shotta-gunna

    K/G – I dislike a holier than thou attitude. Just gets my blood boiling. if it is any comfort, you are not the first.

  127. Cheers FunGun!

    He sacrificed himself? so thats cannot be synonymous with cheating?

    So here is the thing, if any game is tied and it comes down to the end of extra time, the manager must then instruct his player’s to all be goalies and all of this for the good of the team? yes forget totally about the integrity of the game on a whole, as long as your selfish butt gets through thats all that matters.

    Why stop there? I have a better Idea, at the end of the match, if it is still tied, the players on the bench should bring sheets of ply wood to the playesr on the field. Standing abreast in front of the goal (I think they would need about 4-5 sheets) making it impossible for the opposition to score? if not that atleast we can the ten men stand in the goal and use their hands if need be. We should get them all gloves lest their hands get stung though. Surely this is the way for football to progress, intensify and justity blatant cheating!

    When winning is all that matters, it shows how crummy humans beings really are. No wonder we have Tanya Harding situtions.

    Atleast Henry was humble after his handball but this guy has no shame at all.

  128. FG

    The boundary of cheating is very grey and the definition depends upon to whom you are talking.

    Surely all foul play is cheating. You are seeking to stop your opponents gaining an advantage by breaking the rules of the game so therefore if you consider handball such as that committed by Suarez, to be cheating all foul play is cheating. Degrees come into play but essentially it is all cheating.

    This has become an emotive topic and there is merit in awarding a penalty goal in those circumstances but QoS has nailed it. There was a ‘crime’ and the punishment within the Laws of the Game was apt. That Ghana failed to take advantage of the opportunity which was afforded them is an entirely different matter.

    YW

  129. Nikolarse, a penalty is not a 100% sure, is it?
    If that was the case we couldnt use penalties to settle matches.

    Did u see the Paraguay/Spain game? two penalties missed.

    Its not really balanced to take away a 100% goal and issue a penalty. Again Suarez wouldnt have done it if there was no chance.

  130. Zap on July 6, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I was thinking it looks like Samir has taken him under his wing and is showing him the ropes!

  131. I’m not arguing the facts or rules of the game Yogi’s, just the fact that “cheating” in any form is being glorified when it should not, that’s all.

    I know it will happen again and again, some will get punished, some will escape, not only in Football but in all walks of life.

    Ghana had the chance to still score the penalty, but then it was a 50/50, Saurez denied a %99.99 goal.

    I think the penalty should be harsher than just a sending off, but then we will get into some not so clear handballs on the goal line and the controversy becomes bigger.

    Tough luck for Ghana, hope they do better next time.

  132. To be honest with you guys, I’m kind of playing devil’s advocate. I don’t really like seeing any game won in a dishonest fashion. It is cheating, and it did have a huge impact on the game, but it could be likened to Eduardo’s dive. The player is doing something illegal to gain an advantage. The game would be better off without it all, but it happened. It isn’t something to be admired, but it isn’t something to demonise either. Let’s move on and hope we have three storming matches won by outstanding skill.

  133. Interesting comments earlier re Cesc. I’m sure he’s not an innocent babe in all this, but it looks like Barca’s tactics are working. They have put a wedge between the player and the fans to make his position untenable in the hope that Arsenal will be forced to sell at their price. Plus Cesc avoids putting in a transfer request and losing all his bonuses. I’m sure Arsene knows exactly what the game is, he’s been around long enough. He will either get wads of cash or the player will stay. He may have Barca DNA, but more importantly, he has an Arsenal contract.

  134. Againm we were all done a great disservice. What would we rather – Uraguay/Holland or Ghana/Holland?

  135. Nikolarse, good man, only thing is I think it should be demonized, not the individual but the act.

  136. arouah ya si merouane.

  137. nasri is from algeria,chamack from morroco,thats why they will get on well.

  138. Yo I am so excited about this coming season. We have a brilliant team.

    I have a feeling Chamack is going to do really well. One thing about the players we get, they usually have a smooth transition.

    ARSENAL!!!

  139. RVP…Click Click Click

  140. Shotta “Holier than thou” attitude? I posted some months back that I didn’t mind being wrong and being corrected. I’m as thick as the guy next door. As Napoleon Hill famously said : The problem is often within us. That’s why I’ve never insulted anyone on this blog as I don’t know where they are coming from. Hate me as much as you want but it will do you no good. And enjoy the match. Looks likes the Dutch have it though football does surprise us with the odd upset now and then!

  141. @ YW

    Yes, there are many forms of cheating. Handball is one of them. Yes, there are grey areas around all forms of cheating. There is no grey area around this particular instance. It was a clear handball.
    The point, which is being missed, is that he cheated AND is being glorified for it. As G4E says.

  142. @ Passenal

    I think (hope) that danger will be avoided – most people seem to want to forgive Fabregas and there will be no grudges held, especially if he plays his heart out, as I’m sure he will.

  143. Roll on pre-season, when we can argue about Arsenal instead!

  144. Yes FunGun, I can see the supporters getting past this situation. I think the hurtful thing is we were so sure, after all Cesc said that he would stick with us until we get were we are heading, greatness.

    Arsenal supporters love Cesc.

  145. I guess we love Cesc because he always gave his all and didn’t have any known or public demands in the past.

    He should stay out of it and let Wenger deal with Barca.

  146. I wish they’d pass to Robin’s feet…

  147. Hop Holland!

  148. LimparAssist

    Woaaaah!! Get in there, Gio!

  149. ITV commentators giving RvP some much deserved credit for selfless team play. Nice to hear.

  150. LimparAssist

    Yeeaah, have some of that, Uruguay. A squealing, knee-clutching Robben Special… diving like a basstard but you can’t do anything about it… why? Because you’re only here because you cheated. Get used to it.

  151. that’s gotta hurt!

  152. What an absolutely amazing goal – one of the best of the tournament

  153. LA interesting observation. Robben is a great actor.

  154. Uruguay gettin booed!

  155. That wasn’t an elbow by Van Bronckhorst. VB couldn’t even see that Uruguay plaer, because he was looking in the opposite direction.

  156. What really worries me about those training pictures is the fact that Djourous’ knee is still heavily bandaged. I hope its just precautionary and nothing more…i really do.

  157. commentator said Uruguay have some ankle snappers in the mid. what a description.

  158. Come on Robin’s team. Keep it together.

  159. LimparAssist

    The Uruguayan player who demanded the linesman be called over to tell the referee about a non-existent elbow that had been thrown – in the vague hope that a redcard might be dealt to the Dutch… and the striker Cavani who just threw himself down looking for a penalty, in the manner of a professional wrestler… are two great arguments against anyone eulogising on the professionalism of a goalline handball – the Suarez apologists.

    Call me old-fashioned but here is a team of total cunts.

  160. @ Arseman

    Maybe it’s just for support?

  161. Sorry Finsbury..seems u’ve already addressed that….still…hope its nothing serious!

  162. I think Robin is playing very well, anyone else think so?

  163. “Call me old-fashioned but here is a team of total cunts.”

    ’twas ever thus with Uruguay Limpar

  164. FG….with our defensive line thread bare…i guess we’ll have to hope for the best…still hoping for some solid defensive enforcements!

  165. Oh bollocks.

  166. Wow…forlan with a fitting reply

  167. That skeletonburger guy dint know what hit him

  168. Great strike, terrible goal keeping!

  169. Uruguay in the final would be a disgrace.

  170. Is it so hard for the dutch to understand that they need to pass it to RVP if they want something to happen in this game?

  171. @FG – I agree Robin is playing extremely well this evening, his best perfromance of the tournament IMHO.

    His link up play is superb and you can see what was missing last year after the injury. I think Walcott is going to be a willing receipient of many a fine through ball. Many people forget that Walcott was injured start of last season and just as he is making his way back into the team and linking with RVP; Chilleni (sp) happens.

  172. Robben was devastating against Brazil but is slow this first half.

  173. I don’t exactly understand but why is Robben playing as a striker? I always see him lurking in the center of the box.

  174. Two more goalkeepers to strike off Wenger’s shopping list.

    Van Bommel lucky to still be on the pitch – as usual.

  175. The Dutch seem to be missing De Jong’s midfield presence.

  176. I have a fear that it will be a Uruguay/Spain final. Come on RVP, save me from at least half of that prospect!

  177. What is Holland playin at?

  178. Holland dont look good at present!

  179. When you play Brazil you tend to give it your all. Netherlands don’t appear to have recovered from that exertion. They will have to win ugly today.

  180. Van Bommel is a disaster waiting to happen!

  181. Oh, I don’t believe it!

  182. Come on!

    Great play from RVP!

  183. See what happens when you get Robin on the ball? It Van der Vaart is linking better.

    btw jimmyd agree with your earlier post

  184. He’s not making an attempt to kick the ball – he’s taking his feet out of the way, ya ITV numpties.

  185. RVP is brilliant!

  186. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

  187. Beautiful!

  188. Passenal looks like your fears wouldn’t be realized?

  189. I got my holland T-Shirt ready for Sunday!

  190. Dont see Spain beating Germany either.

  191. The phone would have to ring just as it all kicks off!

  192. neither do I, Paul N

  193. Agree, it’s a totally different story for RvP when van der Vaart’s around. Sadly I doubt vdV will be around for the final.

  194. A pal of mine joked that the Dutch are playing so well in South Africa because they actually created the country. And they even three million cousins of theirs living speaking Dutch!

  195. Why is that, OOU? You mean as a tactical choice from van Marwijk?

  196. that so called hand of god, only took them to penalties, anyone surely is was the devil that was involved in that travesty.

    RVP is the best!

  197. Yeah, FG, I think we’ll be back to that thrilling de Jong – van Bommel partnership.

    Robben just frustrates the hell out of me; he never gets his head up and can’t pass for toffee. Kuyt’s just…Kuyt.

  198. Robben is quite a selfish player unlike RVP who has sacrificed his own glory for the greater good of the team. They are fortunate to have 11 men still on the pitch though.

  199. Please no twists.

  200. oh hold your horses Paul!

  201. Holland missed quite a few chances

  202. RVP influential at both ends

  203. RvP in the final!

  204. pheww!

  205. Still on for a Germany-Holland final.

  206. Uruguay are upset?!?!

    RVP was the best player on the pitch!

  207. Yeah! Robin Van Persie!

  208. Yep FunGun, those are the two best teams.

  209. I’d be happier if neither of these teams were in the final. I’ve got nothing against Uruguay, but their boasting about the handball in the previous match doesn’t look good. As for Holland, RvP being in the team isn’t enough to outweigh their filthy play and the presence of creeps like Robben. If Spain get to the final, maybe the competition could just be ended early.

  210. Robben is a creep, I give you that!

  211. RVP being in the team is the reason I want the Netherlands to do well. Imagine the confidence he will bring back to Arsenal? That’s what I mainly care about.

  212. Plus he so deserves it.

    And I want Spain to lose, but narrowly, and for Cesc to play really well and nearly save the match for Spain and make del Bosque look daft for not starting with him. So if the Fates could arrange all that…

  213. I agree with passenal at 9.18 thats absoluely right. Tomorrow night ill be supporting spain because of cesc, so no matter what happens, cesc or rvp will come home world cup winners….

  214. ”RVP being in the team is the reason I want the Netherlands to do well. Imagine the confidence he will bring back to Arsenal? That’s what I mainly care about.”

    I agree.. I have to say i agree with most of the things you say passenal, you sum up a collective thought quite well that reflects the majority;s opinion

  215. Love Cesc but come on GERMANY!!!

  216. why? i only care about the impact on arsenal now that algeria and england are out. I really hope spain make it to the final, especially if cesc starts. But they will, because the pshycic octopus said so.

  217. im not joking in germany there is an octopus who has been predicting the results of germanys games so far and has a 100% record so far.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/10529309.stm

    daaang

  218. Robin white Van man Persie

    Piss off uraguy.

  219. Robin white Van man Persie

    i’ve been wearing my lucky orange pants with matching socks for three weeks now, another week it is then. come on the dutch.

  220. I understand your frustrations, Pz. Robben and Snieder are playing for themselves. You could see from the look on RVP’s face, that he’s been frustrated due to lack of deliveries. Pretty pathetic display from Robben, who has been lacking end product, and continues to go for goal while others are in better position. The good thing for Holland though, is that RVP isn’t as selfish as the rest and laid some great passes for the other. Hope he keeps his calm in the final. Robben and Snieder can fuck off, for all I care.

  221. The Champions league started today…..

  222. 1 loose cannon

    Zap- If Spain win that will only make Cesc determined to go to Barcelona becuae the Catalans will claim Barcelona have won the world cup. I hope they get humiliated and sent home with a tail between their legs, it might just stop the arrogance we had to put up with the Barca players for 6 weeks.
    Did anyone see the urguayians trying to pick a fight at the end of the game.I have no idea why. they were beaten fairly unlike them cheating Ghana. Justice was done.

  223. Robin white Van man Persie

    what are you on about ateeb me old son. Robben played well today and scored a beauty. love to see him at the arse, great player although he does fall to ground like a big fat girl.

  224. Robben only has a left foot, but its a damn good left foot. The thing is with holland, they rarely have sustained amounts of pressure before scoring, like real pressure, they dont have much flow in their play, a lot of the passing and moving is simple (but very effective like germany) but they rely on moments of pure brilliance from players like sneijder, robben and van persie. Or tonight, van bronkhorst.

    Also, why is van bronkhorst good enough for a team that reaches the world cup final for holland, but not good enough for arsenal? And gilberto silva, who plays regularly for a team widely considered to be the best in the world, also, not good enough?? eh?

  225. Sorry Zap, can’t agree with you re Spain. I’m with 1 loose cannon in that I think a victory for Spain would not be good for Arsenal and those barca boys need a big serving of humble pie to temper their overbearing arrogance.

  226. Van Marwijk should play Van der Vaart instead of Sneijder in the final. Without someone linking the defense and the attack I’m afraid Holland will not see the ball against the likes of Spain or Germany. Uruguay kept them quite in the first half because their play, very predictably, went through Robben and Sneijder. My fear is that Holland will stick with no link up player and by the time the coach brings on Rafa they’ll already be down a couple of goals.

  227. Zap: Van Bronkhorst played for Arsenal. Arsene bought him for 8.5M, which was a HUGE amount in 2002 for a fullback, but unfortunetly he sustained a serious knee injury and wasn’t able to meet expectations. Went to Barca for about 2M and then back to the Dutch league. What could have been!

  228. Maria – Just finished reading the article, icredibly informative. I can’t understand how the media has not picked up on this and instead talks about Barca being bullied.

  229. Ditto that Passenal.

    Barca and friends out please!!

  230. Interesting that RVP expects to meet Germany in the final, maybe he’s as ticked off with the spanish tap dancing squad as we are!

  231. I believe that Robin was Dutch’s best player today. After all, he was the only one who actually tried to make something happen. Robben is SO predictable, no wonder he rarely had any chance of scoring — but he still kept trying and trying and trying instead of passing.

    I think it’s funny how Sneijder’s passes somehow always seem to go in Robben’s direction. While Kuyt is, well, a Kunt, when he is unmarked on one side and then there is Robben double-marked on the other side, I think it would be better to try and pass it to the ‘pool player instead of giving the ball every single f*cking time to Robben.

    But back to good things: RVP. He is almost becoming a striker-playmaker. His passes to set up his teammates were so good at times, it’s incredible. Same for his participation in the second goal: instead of sticking his foot in to get the goal for himself, he did the unselfish thing and prevented the offside call.
    He also did some tracking back and putting pressure on defenders — something I haven’t seen Robben do even ONCE.

    I really hope he can score in the final. He would deserve it so much for all the hard work he puts in, compared to say Robben.

  232. I think another striker-playmaker was Forlan this WC.

    Is it me or does Robben run like a duck…reminds me of that useless spud Lennon.

  233. Sneijder hasn’t had a great WC in my opioion.

    Average and lucky more like.

    On RVP’s behalf he is quickly becoming a hater figure in my house.

  234. GvB was a central midfielder when we got him. He played all over for us, but usually in the middle of the park.

    That was an exciting summer, 2001; we went transfer crazy Nowadays the thrill’s more low-key, and drawn out over years watching players like Wilshere and co develop, rather than with frantic recruitment in the summer.

    Anyway, where was I? Clichy’s a better full-back than GvB, while Gilberto’s completely lost what little pace he had – he’d be useless for us now, and I remember his last season with Arsenal wasn’t great at all. As central midfielders, Denilson and Song are far better than the pair.

  235. Cashley Cole was also a factor.

  236. Maria you got two of the letters of that last word correct.

  237. 1 loose cannon

    Cashley is a vile man. He is a turd, king of filth.

  238. Gainsbourg69

    It was only when Van der Vaart came into the game that Holland showed anything other than the predictable “pass it to Sneijder or pass it to Robben.” In fact, once Rafa came into the game, Van Persie became way more involved and they created a lot more chances. It’s no wonder Robin was calling for Sneijder to come out. I bet he wanted Rafa to come in as well. I really, really hope Van Marwijk isn’t one of these coaches that lives and dies with his favorite players on the pitch. I hope this game opened his eyes and he sees that sitting Sneijder is the best thing he can do for Holland.

  239. Gainsbourg69

    That’s a good article, Maria. One thing, though. Let’s not be too hard on Barcelona. If it wasn’t for Arsene selling them every one of our used up players we wouldn’t have our brand new, shiny stadium.

  240. shotta-gunna

    G69 – “Van Marwijk should play Van der Vaart instead of Sneijder in the final.” That idea has no better chance than a snowball in hell. Van Maewjik is committed to his system and the the key players who make it work such as Sneidjer, whose scored five (5) goals for the Orange already. I suspect they may be found out in the finals but to expect any radical change at this point is pipe-dreaming.
    Facts are very stubborn things.

  241. It’s great to see a company as powerful as Google honouring Theo Walcott.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/slideshow/google-doodles-10759716

  242. goonzablazin

    GvB and Gilberto would be good enough to play for Arsenal still, if only our season was but 3 weeks long and consisted of at most 7 games. Over 38 weeks, Cup and CL play their old legs would become rather useless except as luxury bench players.

  243. Thanks for the tip YW.

  244. Come on Spain !!!!!! We love you !!!!!!!!!
    Give the Germans total football like only you can !!!!!!!

  245. Sneijder was Inter’s best player this season and they won the CL.He is also Holland’s best player.But they wont beat either Germany or Spain in the final.

  246. Damn right Hark. Xavi and Iniesta piss on Sneijder. Spain are as good as Barcelona. Maybe even better because they have Cesc, he must be allowed to link up with his brothers, we will get a hefty price so we should be happy, we have Nasri and Rocisky who are both ok players

  247. yeah but we’ve got to squeeze every last penny out of Barca first … when he goes it will be strange 4 me … he was not only our captain but our lynch pin that made everything run smoothly. me is worried of life after cesc ….

  248. There are too many players released from the Premier Academy League clubs every year. Players who have been at top clubs for many years, players who had been scouted many times and freed at 18. These players MUST know a thing or two about football.
    Now nextstars at racingportuense.es/index.php… are looking into giving them a second chance. Would English players, clubs and the national team benefit? Could these players become nextstars?

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