Dutch Courage, New Centre Backs & A New Definition Of Skint

The Netherlands progressed to the World Cup Final last night, the 3 – 2 scoreline suggesting a closer match than that which unfurled. The Dutch should have been comfortably clear of the Uruguyans before a late strike made for a nervy five minutes until the referee brought proceedings to a halt.

Thunderous strikes from Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Forlan retained parity at the interval but the Dutch moved up a gear in the second without ever getting to the level that they showed in qualifying or at Euro2008. That has been perhaps the disappointment of their World Cup thus far but the squad would argue that it has not been necessary since they are in the Final itself.

Some of their passing this time around has been laborious with the fluidity in counter-attack diminished as a result. Robin van Persie has worked hard for the team but is missing the speed of thought and movement which he has from his Arsenal team-mates. If Arsene is minded to change formation slightly to mirror the 4-2-3-1 which is favoured at this World Cup, van Persie might be better suited to being one of the three support strikers with Chamakh or Bendtner playing the lead role, for the Dutchman was reasonable as a ‘battering ram’ but it does not utilise his talents fully.

One question that is perplexing is what hold does Mark van Bommel have over the officials? In the knockout phase alone, he has done enough to warrant a red card in each game yet picks up a yellow for an apparent dissent? The inconsistency of officials is guaranteed to frustrate supporters as much as a wrong decision and it is a situation which Fifa must address.

Having concentrated on central defence before the World Cup, centre backs are queueing up like Routemasters to come to The Emirates. Laurent Koscielny‘s move to Arsenal is complete subject to international clearance which could take ‘hours or days to come‘ according to Lorient, Serdar Tasci‘s rumoured flirtation gathered a bit more substance yesterday with Arsenal reportedly in talks with the German club over a £10m move.

The media don’t know if Ozil is coming or going, the reports making it clear that everything surrounding the wunderkid is pure speculation. Not going anywhere today seems to be Cesc, a situation that is rapidly becoming so farcical that Fifa must be sitting in their offices absolutely wetting themselves with laughter at the sheer amateurism on display. Any charge of tapping up is doomed to fail as the whole charade could well have been scripted by Brian Rix.

At their media outlet, Sport, yesterday Sandro Rosell re-affirmed the position of the club; short-term liquidity is a severe problem but player sales and money from their TV deal by the middle of next month will solve the problem. The full extent of Laporta’s attempted Galactico policy has been laid bare for all to see.

Yet the paradox of football finance is there for all to see. Skint but they have a transfer budget of €89m and this after they have spent €35m on David Villa. The plaintive cries of Rosell that they will not pay £50m-£60m for Fabregas sends a very clear message; as much as this is about a world-class player, it is more about a world-class corporate ego.

Crucially, the pressure is cranking up on Fabregas himself. The point is now being reached where he has to either ask for a move or put the move to bed, until 2011 at least. Personally, I think he will come out and ask for a move once the World Cup is over; he will be in Catalunya or with his family on holiday, away from the storm when it breaks.

Bridges are being burned on his behalf but no apparent attempt is being made by Team Fabregas to repair them. Arsenal has been made to look a fool in the past with Reyes, denials issued in haste were later shown to be hollow, PR lessons learned. Fabregas though may yet have to come back to Arsenal. He will be respected, his skills admired but I sense a little less loved than before.


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’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 7, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 298 Comments.

  1. did no one notice how pissed of the Uruguyans were for a handball by van Persie in the last few minutes of the game…. how ironic

  2. YW, is J@mes using a new ID now? Only this Taylor bloke’s comments (on yesterdays blog, this morning) seem very familiar.

  3. Like most ive heard enough of the cesc issue, im even hearing fans say take the arm band away, what has he done wrong ?, I dont think he is going to ask for a transfer at all, i believe Arsenal when they say he is not for sale

  4. boomer

    I believe Arsenal don’t want to sell him but I believe he wants to go.


  5. the answer to the itunes question must be ALEX !! cos we’ve only got one Song..

  6. dups – I thought the same thing. Boring isn’t it?

  7. Yogi, yea sure but why do you believe he wants to go this summer

  8. All the speculations are doing my head in so to stop myself going nuts i am buying into the madness. I speculate that we will buy two CB, TV will move into DM, Song will join CF in CM, RVP will lead the attack with TW on one side and AA on the other, that i think will be our first eleven, GK i havnt a clue

  9. iTunes answer : it should depend on the opposition e.g. For Stoke, I would play “who let the dogs out”

  10. cesc is staying. wenger won’t sell. barca are turning up the volume on their side of the story, but we’re not listening.

    the ‘cesc leaving’ narrative will live for a month or so into the season but then it will be overtaken by some other story, possibly about wayne rooney and bestiality, and then it will be forgotten about until next summer.

  11. gunner17, couldnt agree more. This is a case of does a falling tree in the forrest make a noise if no one is there to hear it.

  12. @ Deniz
    Its the Karma World Cup lol. Ghana get their karma for suarez handball, England get theirs for 1966 and a blind russian linesman, France go home in disgrace for Thierry’s accidental on purpose handball, Italy go out cos of rascist comments made to Zidane in 2006 Final, and The Netherlands make the final, giving them the chance to right the wrongs of 1974 and 1978 finals.

  13. Barca are the falling tree

  14. barca are taking the piss. turning out their empty pockets and saying ‘£29m is all we can scrape together, honest, we’re broke.’ when they spent £80m on a thirty year old swedish tree last summer. fuck off.

    cesc is a £60m players now. he is about to become an £80-100m player over the next two seasons. barca know he is about to hit the big time and are trying to steal him on the cheap before his price rockets, the bastards.

    bottom line: wenger won’t sell, he saw what happens when you break up parts of your team when he lost flamini and hleb. it took two years to return to the level we were at before they went. the team is close to challenging, and wenger won’t screw it up now. cesc stays. he’ll go when it suits arsenal. he’ll go in two summers time, at a discounted price (for an £80m player) of £60m.

  15. Cesc wants to go home, but Barca don’t need him and Arsenal don’t want to let him go.
    The impetus to move must therefore come from the Fabregas camp. Barca’s policy is consistent with that theory; do and say everything to try and avoid paying the money and get him on the cheap.
    The only game Arsenal could or should play is the waiting one – more money or stay.
    The mind boggles though, look at the great plant box tending exercise on the periphery so far endured by Cesc for Spain, but that does not seem to matter to him and the longer he stays with those medal winning mates the worse that gets. Rather an unpicked Gladiola than an essential Arsenal howitzer. It is that bad.
    But if he goes then they must pay and that is that. We could hold on to him for two years just polishing the balls in our armory and he would still be worth what is on offer now. Which has got to be the up side for Arsenal.

  16. 1 loose cannon

    YW- Agree anyone who thinks Fabregas doesn’t want to go is kidding themselves. Its very clear he wants to go. Like you said the gooners have slightly fell out of love for him. Also most gooners are cautious about how to receive him if he stays. It can all change if he comes out and make it clear he is happy to stay at Arsenal, he gave some hints that he did not rule out staying so maybe there is still some love for him. It will all depend on how he react after the world cup. its clear the Catalans will be hit by a lots of financial problems in a country suffering terribly economically with 5 million unemployed. I do not care how good their football is. Football power comes in cycles and they are not going to be at the top forever, our turn will come.

  17. Devil's Advocate

    I wish the Cesc saga would just be put to rest, I’m sick and tired of worrying about it. Barca can’t afford him, so he can’t go even if he wants to, unless Cesc can lend Barca the money they need. And I don’t think he wants to go that much.
    Did nobody notice just how selfish Robben and Sneijder were yesterday? RVP, on the other hand, had no problems with passing, even set up Kuyt with a lovely pass, which, of course, Kuyt completely screwed up…

  18. Nice one Gunner17. Thing is, in two years time, the Barca pockets will be even emptier cos that “more than a joke” Club are going down the tubes, along with the rest of the debt ridden clubs across Europe. Hands up anyone who knows a solvent, not sugar daddy funded, club in the Premier League? Yessir you win a cigar, it is indeed The Mighty Arsenal.

  19. surely cesc sees for himself he’s going to be a benchwarmer if he goes back there now. surely the world cup has taught him that. i think he’ll stay and do so happily, knowing that the timing isn’t right just yet, for anyone.

  20. Because his the same Cesc that got upset last year with the apparent disrespect that Barca were showing.

    Now it’s all this “I will leave it in the hands of Arsene” lark.

  21. How would Cesc be swayed by the remaining matches in South Africa?

    If Spain win the World Cup with Cesc playing a part, not necessarily a major part, then the joy of playing “the Barcelona/Spain way” may sway him to go and join up with Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, Alonso, Puyol, Pique, etc.

    If Spain falls against Germany, and Cesc is anonymous in the game (or sits on the bench throughout), then he may be swayed to stay with Arsenal, reason being that he will conclude that he is not important enough to challenge the 1st teamers at Barcelona yet.

    I personally believe that Cesc will play some part tonight, although Spain will still lose.

    My bet is for Cesc to stay with us for another season.

  22. and barca have lost it if they think they need another attacking central midfielder. when they were sniffing around mascherano a couple years ago, i thought ‘this is a club that knows how to use the transfer market to stay strong’. but now i see they’re living in fantasyland. chasing prestige players their team absolutely does not need. they’ve fallen into the galactico mentality a bit. it will be their downfall, when they suddenly realize their team is full of big name old codgers who all need replacing at the same time, and they won’t have enough money to pay for it.

  23. Re Cesc

    I was of the opinion that Barca don’t need him right now but I think they see him as insurance against an aging Xavi and an injury prone Iniesta. Xavi has not been exactly stellar in the WC. Maybe they think it is too high an insurance premium.

    Given the economic climate in Spain it may be wise for him to stay at Arsenal.

    BTW Doesn’t Barca still owe Arsenal money? Is this a factor all of this? What is to become of Hleb?

    Arsene its July, time to buy……if you’re buying.

  24. Earflow

    Hleb has been described as ‘up for sale’. Whether they still owe money or not is another matter. Normally transfers are paid for over the course of a contract, ie 3 years, so they may still owe the final tranche of that fee.


  25. This is Wengers last season if the club dont win something I can see him delaying his move a year

  26. hleb – another example of barca fucking up our team for no good reason.

    i think we ought to review and reconsider our relationship with barcelona. they’ve settled into thinking of us as a nursery for their future players, a seller who sells cheap and without fuss, no matter how important a player might be to us at the time of their calling.

    i say we freeze these bastards out for three years. no communication, no deals, nothing. they need to learn some respect for us.

  27. though barca are always good for buying dead wood off us at a premium.

    overmars + petit (£30m)
    van bronkhorst (£8m?)
    henry (£16m)
    hleb (£13m)

    we should be dangling diaby and denilson and almunia in front of them, maybe we can get £30m for the lot.

  28. Hi guys.

    I’ve just started up my own Arsenal blog and I’m unabashedly attempting to whore myself out around the Arsenal sites that are the most popular to try and drum up a bit of trade – so to speak.

    I hope you don’t mind and I could use a few pointers and advice from you or your readers to help me get things rolling.

    Thank you.

    By the way, this blog is extraordinarily well-written!

  29. Y.W. – Re Cesc transfer, I am with you on this one. The noise out of the Barca contingent of the Spanish team is fairly consistent. Absent a clear denial from Fabregas, they are acting as surrogates. While Arsene and Arsenal still hold the upper hand, Team Fabregas can force our hand with a transfer demand. All those bonuses and incentives he stands to loose must be keeping him up at nights. Serves him right.

    If it happens it will be a blow but the club will survive and thrive. All of a sudden that abundance of central midfielders doesn’t look like a bad policy after all.

  30. vivb

    Bit early for the ‘Wenger Out’ to start? Surely waiting for the season to begin would be better…still, good man for sticking your head above the parapet.


  31. After my last post I noticed gunner17 is selling off Denilson (and Almunia). Seems he didn’t get the memo, “Cesc is angling for a transfer.” Must have forgotten that in 08-09 Denilson was pushed up in central midfield to deputize for Cesc.
    Now the Denilson-haters will will really get their knickers in a twist.

  32. God I hope Cesc plays tonight. Watching him link up with Xavi and Iniesta is just breathtaking. The Spanish will hammer the Germans and the Dutch will be scared.

  33. im not so sure taylor…i really think that the germans will win this one.

    depends who gets the first goal really…if germany snatch the lead then i dont think that the spanish have a chance. other way round however and germany will have trouble getting the ball back (if spain playing at their possession-football best)

    really want germany to display verve that they did against england and argentina…they really are a joy to watch and they dont have any players i dislike. more fun to watch than even spain 2008…especially because they arent a bunch of cheats

  34. one thing i don’t understand is how come it’s well into July and we haven’t finalised any deals yet?

    is the club so understaffed that it can’t conduct more than one set of negotiations at a time?

    and if the club knew wenger wanted koscielny, why didn’t we start and conclude negotiations much earlier? he could have been settled in london already, ready to start work with his teammates on the first day of preseason training. instead he hasn’t even been presented yet.

    maybe the club need to hire a temp during the transfer periods? someone to help take and make calls, send faxes and slam fists on board room tables saying “dammit, the last million you took from us was taken from our budget to pay for reading lessons for local kids, and you’re asking for more, you monsters” etc. i’d offer my services, if i weren’t busy talking shit on blogs while i was supposed to be working.

  35. it really irritates me how much some spanish players dive. i know that diving is an international phenomenon and that rooney, gerrard, young & co. are as bad as anyone, but watching spain reminds me of us playing barcelona and poses the question of why?

    when barcelona were humiliating us and messi was dribbling round 4 players at a time and had a 3 goal lead, him and xavi were still diving all over the place when there was absolutely no need to as they were already winning comfortably. same with this spain squad…can play most teams off the pitch without resorting to dirty tactics yet everyone from the backline to the forwards are cheating consistently. really hope the germans stuff them

  36. Spain still have another three gearsm and they have Fabregas, Iniesta and Xavi – the greatest midfield in world football. We must let Cesc fly, who wouldnt want to play with that team, they are his brothers and they have a psychic connection, they were meant to play together

  37. gunner17…maybe its the world cup thats delaying everything. firstly for any players involved, cant start negotiations while they at WC or at post-WC holiday. plus wenger is scouting/commentating and so isnt in full flow until afterwards. fingers crossed the action will start soon after for the pure reason that it will shut up the legions of pre-pubescant supporters spouting bile on the blogosphere about how we havent signed Football Manager’s best young player that they have never seen and how we are doomed. would be nice to start a season with everyone, including the D&G’s viewing the season with a positive tilt rather than righteous indignation until end of transfer window…

  38. It’s great to see RVP make the world cup final, if ever a player deserved to win it, its him. I hope to see him running rings around the whole Spanish team in the final and scoring a wonder goal, before accidentally breaking Mark Van Bommels nose whilst celebrating.

    Anybody looked at the pictures of Chamakh on the Arsenal website and think he looks a cross between Fernando Torres and Nial Quinn? I hope he plays like one too.

  39. Your Trojan Horse attempt isn’t fooling anyone, Taylor.

  40. spain used to be shit because their players were too inward-looking, and because their camp was always split very heavily along barca-real lines. they never ever won anything.

    after a few of their players started playing in the premiership and elsewhere, suddenly spain started looking half decent. morientes and torres and fabregas had experience that gave the team another dimension.

    if fabregas and torres go back to spain, spain will go back to where they were before. too inward-looking, lots of cute neat passing on the ground never penetrating opponents. spain already look like that now with fabregas marginalised and torres rusty. unless spain play fabregas from the start, they will lose. their game is insular and can be read like a book.

    spain in that way are like a silkier england. very insular. very stuck on one style of play. show me a spaniard who actually goes out and fully emraces another culture.

  41. If you put Fabregas into any midfield in the world, it automatically becomes the greatest midfield in world football.

    Jenas, Fabregas, Palacios.

    See, amazing isn’t it?

  42. contrast spain with holland. the dutch guys have really travelled all over the game. RvP, Sneider, Van Der Vaart, Robben, Kuyt, Huntelaar, Van Bommell, Van Bronkhorst…Holland, Spain, England, Germany, Italy…they really have exposed themselves to the whole world of football and i hope they win the world cup because they deserve it. the inward-looking nature of spain really skeeves me out. one of their kids falls in love outside of the family and they can’t take it. no cesc! you’ve got to come back and marry your cousin! what a bunch of inbred hicks.

  43. In the same way that teams appear to have settled upon a way to play Arsenal. Teams have started to follow the Inter blueprint for Barca to play against Spain.

    I think tactically the Germans will stiffle the Spaniards. If they prevent Villa scoring, I can see it being 3-0 Germany.

  44. Cesc was meant to play for Barca, its what god intended. We must not stand in the way of the spirits. It pains me to say this.

  45. Taylor was meant to blog elsewhere. It cause me absolutely no pain to say this.

  46. Taylor seems to have a thing for Spanish men

  47. show me a spaniard who actually goes out and fully emraces (sic) another culture.



  48. Taylor.. if it pains you to say it, why on earth don’t you stop. You have been yapping on about this for days!

  49. Hi QoS

    What I find amazing is why teams haven’t adopted the Inter blue print before, are there no Sam Aladyces in La Liga.

  50. I’m thinking about who might be the key players this coming season, minus RvP who is a genius. I’ve watched him very closely for Holland and its amazing his positional ability and cleverness with the ball; he’s somewhat under-utilised in the Dutch set-up compared to Arsenal.

    I think both Walcott and Nasri are ‘arriving’ this season. I think Arshavin will announce his real ability, first seasons in EPL are always a bit patchy. The same goes for Vermaelen. Both are better than we think now. While Diaby’s demeanour suggests he is likely to remain inconsistent over a whole season, I am confident he will be recognised as a massive player, a match winner.

    Song and Denilson show every sign of the opposite, consistency, and I suspect these two will become the bedrock for years to come. I think this is also likely to be true of Bendtner, who I also found under-utilised by Denmark. Chamakh? Too early. Let’s see.

    And then there’s Clichy. His late season form was phenomenal, and I suspect ‘we ain’t seen nothing yet’. It’s not skill and speed, although there’s plenty of that, it’s drive and energy.

    And last but not least on my wish-list are Rosicky, whom I believe is ripe for that later-in-football-life golden period; and at the opposite end of his career young Wilshere will surely begin his first team career proper.

    It’s hard to say much about Ramsey and Djourou, one serious injury so often lingers and results in endless niggles. Rehabilitation is not easy.

    Fabregas? From what little we saw of him for Spain, it is hard to understand how he doesn’t waltz into that team as one of the first 6 picked.

    I have a sneaky feeling Arsene is going to return from the world cup with 1 or 2 ‘unknown’ players. He must have been very inspired by some of the individual performances from ‘lesser’ teams or new players coming into football.

  51. doesn’t mean we have to bend over and let barca take him whenever they please! it has to suit us.

    if he goes now and for the fees being offered it will cause massive damage to us. if he goes in two years for a big fee after he has given us some trophies and when we ready replacements lined up, it will not do any harm to us. i just hope the club stays strong and sees barca off. because if they don’t we will once and for all be seen as a selling club, not big enough to say no, not big enough to keep our players. we’re so close to the big time, we have to hold our nerve. if we don’t, every tom dick and harry will be sniffing around our best players.

  52. Yogi

    It is so rare to I find myself disagreeing with you but I can see no reason why Cesc will be loved any less when he returns.

  53. Germany must and will win, they have more firepower and don’t waste time on the ball.

    Spain have not been clinical at all so far in this World Cup, a bit like Arsenal when we hold the ball and not create any clear cut opportunities. This is why I can see Germany really hurting them, on the break they will continually catch Spain if they try hold the ball against this very well organised German team.

    I hope they are too full of themselves to see it coming.

    Cesc will come home issue his commitment to Arsenal once more, Xavi and co will be trying to call him after the World Cup only to be leaving messages on voicemail because they have seriously pissed the lad off, while Barcelona will look like utter twats because they thought the best midfielder in the World is only worth 29m to them. If Cesc can’t see how low these guys are, then he may as well go… next season though! 🙂

  54. I see Netherlands winning the world cup, but who knows, luck plays a huge part from here on in. They were fairly crap last night and should have walked it. They have that ‘even when they play badly they still seem to produce’ thing.

    A Netherlands-Germany finale would be very exciting, less so than Spain, who for all their ingenuity and silkiness have become utterly predictable, and start to bore me now, like the rain in spain.

  55. London

    In the ground, I doubt that any difference will be noted although I would advise him not to indulge in badge-kissing if he scores. However, outside and in the free world, it is noticeable that a number of less than favourable observations are being made.


  56. ZimPaul: After that excellent summary, I am now desperate for the season to start!

  57. YW

    I am too a bit surprised how you have come to a conclusion that you believe Cesc will leave this summer. Maybe its just me and many blind supporters not coming to terms with the situation properly, but with the statement Arsenal have issued I cannot see it happening no matter what Barcelona try to manufacture.

    Cesc’s team seem to have stayed well clear from this since day 1, I don’t think we can conclude that this means he wants to leave this summer. It means he is powerless, and he’d rather the big boys do the talking so he doesn’t get painted badly if nothing goes through. Barcelona are not in contact with Arsenal, we have made it very clear to them that he is not for sale at any price so they are trying to force the players hand.

    It is very unfair on Cesc, and he has done well to stay clear of all the bullshi* in all honesty. This is why he hasn’t commented to all the Spanish media, because he knows they will only twist his comments how they wish, plus he has the World Cup to concentrate on, plus he doesn’t want to harm his relations with the Spanish media.

    Cesc will be at Arsenal next season for me. Barcelona have lost all respect from our club, they have also not got the money, and we are in a position where we can’t sell. Going back on our statement will be just a joke to everyone, especially us supporters, even if you believe or not that he really wants to leave.

    Cesc will return and everyone will know his intentions.

  58. YW – are you suggesting that inside the ground is not part of the free world? The football fan is a fickle being, he has to be to enjoy the drama of it. It’s a bit like Eastenders but without the bad acting. No wait.

  59. Fabgregas, alas, is one of those tragic figures who flattered and took the wrong turn at the wrong time for the wrong reason. By the time he gets Barca, Arsenal will have overtaken them. I’m not sure he will be trusted, admire him as we might, and I really don’t care either. This world cup has reminded that teams win matches and cups, not one player; the exception that proves the rule is Uruguay’s Forlan. The one time when teams should change tactics and man-mark a player out the game, an outmoded model if ever there was one, has been Uruguay 2010.

  60. if Cesc puts in a transfer request ,can he not then be sold to the highest bidder

  61. “Cesc will return and everyone will know his intentions.”

    I’m loving that.

  62. Matty

    The octopus seems to think otherwise. Predicting a Spain win tonight.


  63. Well so long as Germany make the finals, While i want the dutch to win it cos of van p, i wont begrudge Germany. they will be worthy winners and i will be quite happy for them. the world kilnsman and loaw and their team started a while back will be coming to fruition.

  64. Chris

    The reason he has not commented is two-fold, I suspect. One, he genuinely wants to focus on the World Cup, realising he is fortunate to be there after his injury. Two, Team Fabregas has told him not to comment so that he doesn’t burn bridges. His one comment was suitably vague – I might be back at Arsenal next season – enough to let it be known that he wants to go.

    The question is how much he desires the move. Is he willing to sacrifice the bonuses to which he is entitled – replacing them with a signing-on fee so he is not going to be much worse off, probably better in fact. Or is he willing to wait until next season and watch the whole house of cards collapse around him once more as the poverty stricken wretches continue to fumble around like drunk teenagers in the back row of the cinema?

    This has nothing to do with Arsenal’s stance. Were he to formally request a move, Arsenal would sell but at their price, which is how it should be. That is not a volte face, that is being pragmatic about the situation.


  65. Team Spirit, I find myself in the same boat.

    I really want the dutch to win it, but if Germany perform as they have done tonight, I think they will go all the way. They seem to be the complete team.

  66. Matty

    Inside the ground is not the free world. It is Utopia.


  67. YW – I like that, great answer.

  68. Am glad the octopus predicted Spain this time, who knows, maybe he also recalled this was the one he called wrongly in the euros

    So it is sure that Germany will win then.

  69. The Cesc situation is not a situation. The footballing world thinks we are criminals and unfortunately in this instance I am inclined to agree with them. Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Villa, Puyol……They are like a hungry pack of wolves who have lost one of there young, they need him, they deserve him, they are incomplete without him. The footballing world will smile the day Fabregas enters the hallowed ground of the Camp Nou. Will must abide by footballing law and let him soar high in the heavens with the Angels of football. We will be ok, we will still have Bendtner.

  70. Might be reverse psychology. Wind the players up so that they go out and fight hard whilst the Spaniards take it easy, complacent in the attitude that “The Octopus Said It So It Must Be True”.

  71. YW

    I understand your reasoning behind it, being our captain and player you expect him to come out and declare his commitment to us, not the response we got from him way back before the World Cup began – seems a life time away now!

    At that point he probably wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, where he mentioned he had a great conversation with Wenger, probably thinking that Barca may actually try to buy him this summer. This hasn’t materialised, Arsenal won’t sell anyway unless the player wants to turn the situation sour… My problem with this whole saga is that Cesc is 24-7 around the Spanish media, and the sounds you get out are always Cesc to Barca, Cesc to Barca… so he has no choice but to dodge or answer questions all day long.

    This is why I believe its best to not accuse someone of being guilty until proven so. When he returns we will only find out, or even when Wenger returns next Tuesday. I cannot see Cesc handing in a transfer request either, so the player will stay. I have always been adament that he hasn’t had as much desire to play for Barca than people think.. I will stick by that until the day he leaves no matter what speculation arises.

  72. Taylor likes Spanish men, excuse him people.

  73. I might be back at Arsenal next season – enough to let it be known that he wants to go. ????

    So if he said, I might be going to barca next season then that would let it be known that he wants to stay, ha

  74. CG, well said

  75. Barcelona cant afford Cesc Fabregas. Hell soon realise this, if he hasnt already.

    They simply dont have the pesos.

  76. boomer..

    We have nothing to go on, we shouldn’t be all coming to conclusions.

    He is under contract, he is an Arsenal player as far as I am aware.

  77. I have seen a few cunts round here, but in tayor, this is the first time I have seen a dripping cunt!

  78. I would rather him join Barca then Real, he is the only player in the world who could make that team even better, they are a dream. Look how happy Cesc is playing with Spain, they are his brothers, his family. He deserves to be at the top table

  79. Keysersoze, Actually I am Female. Do you know any men called Taylor? You are an idiot with no testicles.

  80. Taylor

    So when is your alter ego Webster or Toni Gijoni going to come back?


  81. Back in May (25th) re: Gary Cahill Our Transfer Linked page will feature some of the rumours doing the rounds in the media. Just remember to take them with a large pinch of salt…

    Today re Ozil and Tasci: The extracts on our Transfer Linked page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Arsenal Football Club.

    I wonder why they changed the template…

    On Cesc re Barcelona.. he might possibly be thinking that they (Barca) may be a bunch of c*nts but they’re my bunch of c*nts. But personally, I think he is more “global” than that. I think he knows and feels good about the way Arsene and the club is perceived and he feels more at home with it than the Catalan press could ever imagine. But I don’t think he wants to see another team-mate’s leg snapped in two. Least of all his own.

    gunner17, you were talking some sense, until you recommended selling Denilson and Diaby and I then all of a sudden, I thought you were talking bollo**s

  82. All in italics?! Leave it alone, mingus.

  83. mingus

    The way transfer linked works is this:

    One mention and no truth.
    Two mentions and the club are sniffing around


  84. Yogi,

    Only me, sorry I was bored at work.

    Goodbye for ever

  85. Clerkenwell Gooner

    The Cesc thing, on it goes.

    If I was Barça (and a lot of other clubs), I’d be waiting for the Liverpool FC fire sale.

    I’d take the captain of Argentina, Javier Mascherano, at a knock-down fee, and put him alongside his fellow countryman, Messi, rather than pay a fortune for a former La Masia stripling who can’t even get in the Spain 1st XI.

    Barça are not that hot at transfers, IMHO. They just sold back Chryghnshsysgjsky at a substantial loss, and handed over the excellent Eto’o to a bunch of Italians for a paltry sum + a Swedish diva. What the hell did Eto’o do to deserve that? At least he won another CL out of it. That’ll learn ’em.

    Pep is also another issue, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up managing Arsenal after Wenger goes. How ironic would it be if Cesc were to leave for Barça, only for Pep to head immediately in the opposite direction?

  86. If Cesc leaves fine, be a man Cesc, put your transfer and let the club buy someone to replace you, a name springs to mind and will be playing at the final of the world cup.
    Germany will win if they play the same way like agains Argentina, because Paraguay played the oppressing game high up the pitch and Spain did not like it.

    Supporting Spain is like supporting Barca, Today I am German, come sunday I am Dutch RvP to have a cracking game!!

  87. ‘How ironic would it be if Cesc were to leave for Barça, only for Pep to head immediately in the opposite direction’

    Clerkenwell Gooner, Thats about as likely as James Corden winning the Marathon

  88. Interesting slant you put on things, Mingus.

  89. Fixed?

  90. Aha but the octopus gets it wrong when it comes to predicting Germany V Spain results or perhaps it does it in reverse…Germany win, they deserve to win the cup

  91. Why is everything turned into italics.. I am getting dizzy!

  92. I had a strangley lucid dream about ozil the other night. I think he is going to play a part in my future somehow… hopefully his pragmatic german approach will steer him away from the supposed glamour of barca for actual play time in the highly efficient and progressive footballing model of arsenal.

  93. i blame mingus for italic terrorism

  94. Just my particular leaning, OneOfUs!

  95. Who would we seriously take from Liverpool….

    Mascharano is a decent player, Reina, Gerrard? I wouldn’t want that lump ruining the Emirates turf, Torres will always be injured so thats Van Persies job!

    Only Mascahrano and Reina would really be worth it for me. Yet we don’t need Mascharano, I think Song is amazing for us. Reina to come battle with Almunia for number 1 spot.

    Would be a great signing.

  96. Is there a great difference between Fabregas’ conduct, and John Terry (Captain, Leader, Legend) negotiating a new contract whilst discussing a transfer to $iteh, last season?
    Apart from being a shite footballer, JT’s conduct was hilarious compared to Fabregas.

    ( I’ll just ignore the fact that Chavski gave a insane contract to someone who defends , quite often, like he did against Germany. Did they insert the alleged manager clause too? Hope so! )

    It’s not cool if Fab did retreat to Barca before the season ended.
    I see the Gardner injury is playing up again.
    If he has had an injection, does that mean he won’t be in the best of shape for the start of the season/pre-season? Probably.

    “I’d be waiting for the Liverpool FC fire sale.”

    But seeing as how FC Catatonia have conducted their recent transfers, (What happened with the Eto/Ibrah deal? Does anyone care? It was funny.) and their attempt to sign Fabregas, I’m not sure they have the brain capacity or the financial integrity, to be able to work that one out.

  97. ‘I had a strangley lucid dream about ozil the other night.’

    Word, Was he wearing his Germany Kit?

  98. yes james he was wearing the german kit and so was I….. I can confirm at least we were on a football pitch with other germans and not in the bathtub like some of my other dreams.

    Actually I think the dream was more a reflection about the clean living and thinking from germany and why they are deserved champions dispite my natural english tendancy to dislike the soulless worker dogs.

  99. OOU @2.06

    Less is more, eh?

  100. I was just seeing if I could plug the Italeek, YW. It didn’t work though.

  101. Leak, that is.

  102. Word, That sounds like a messed up dream.

    I once dreamed I got mugged by Wizbit

  103. testing…

  104. something seems buggered, the Italics won’t go away 😦

  105. This is Italic-Tastic

  106. I always wanted to have a message in italics.

  107. Oh for sure he will be less loved.. I have definitely lost a bit of respect for Cesc now. But this is also exactly what Bar*a want: to eventually make Cesc’s position at Arsenal untenable so they can get it at the cheap. If they do succeed, the Arsenal board and Wenger might need to set up camp in the Emirates for a while, cos there is no way Gooners will stay quiet.

  108. Chris:

    “Reina to come battle with Almunia for number 1 spot.”

    We all love your loyalty but for goodness sake try to maintain a little credibility. Getting Reina would be the best thing that could happen to the club. The fans and our players would all be overjoyed and the confidence a move like that would bring would be huge for this team. Your confidence in Almunia is not shared by AW or anyone else.

  109. So it was J@mes

  110. I don’t know how to do Italics.

  111. When are you going to change that pic of cesc then Yogi?

  112. @QoS

    <i>your comment</i>

  113. Clearly Cesc would rather play for Barca if he had the choice. I still think he will be here for 1 more year. I do not think the club was expecting him to move this year and out of respect for the boss I think he will agree to stay 1 more year to allow the club to prepare for his departure. I HOPE.

    Whatever happens I hope it is settled quickly after the world cup although I suspect it will go on until mid August. I really hope we do not sell him for less then 60 – 65 million or we loose our credibility and respect with the rest of the footballing world. ManU held out and got their price for Ronaldo and we should do the same.

  114. YW – I don’t know what hold Van Bommel has over officials, but I do know the one he has over coach, or should I say father-in-law. He is becoming a more risky selection each passing game. 10-man Holland team against Germany in the final has no chance.

  115. What has Spain done to think they would beat Germany? They werent even better than Paraguay.

    They look boring and predictable, in contrast Germany has been the best team – tough,slick, quick, fast, smooth, precise and deadly in front of goal.

    Remember Cesc’s dad said he wanted to leave, now that is a big, real big!


  116. RVP was the best player last night. It was his quick passes that set up two of the goals and actually he shouldve had a few more assists.

    Brilliant Player

  117. Whats up with the Gallas situation?

  118. will it happen to me, too?

  119. I don’t like the slant you’re putting on my words, YW.

  120. try this…

  121. Cah.

  122. Clerkenwell Gooner


    I’ve heard it rumoured that Wenger will go back to France once his contract runs out, ostensibly for family reasons.

    In which case, a plum job in English footie would be on offer that would tempt anyone seriously involved in the game.

    Why wouldn’t Pep want it? Especially since La Liga is boring! It’s Scottish football, with a side order of financial meltdown, and it’s getting worse in the extent of its polarisation.

    A lot of major Spanish clubs are in financial trouble (in particular Real Mallorca, Valencia), plus with the depth of the Spanish recession, stadium and merchandise revenues are going to tumble over the next few years.

    IMHO, Pep peaked too soon, he won everything – six titles – in his first season as Barça manager, fluke or karma, who knows? He’s said to like England, so why wouldn’t he want to test himself managing in the Premier League? Also, for his family, it’s an opportunity to live abroad, learn English, broaden horizons.

    Managers these days like to test themselves in foreign quarters (pace Fergie, a throwback) – Tony Adams is hunkering down right now in some far-flung former Soviet republic even as we speak.

  123. Paul N,

    Spain will spank Germany

  124. Clerkenwell Gooner, Theres more chance of Roy Hodgson returning Liverpool to there glory days

  125. Half-Time/Full-Time
    Germany / Spain


  126. Bloody hell Mingus, you really were an italics terrorist, weren’t you.

  127. James, I agree, just like Argentina did.

  128. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    My goodness. There’s nothing as boring as a bitter Spud trolling an Arsenal blog.

  129. i want Germany to win but im sacred that the new luck of the Spanish would see them through n win the world cup…….i hope not

    Anyway, there is this ocotopus on CNN, called paul, he has been predicting all Germany matches so far and he has always been right. today he said that Spain would win…………i hope not

  130. Weve signed him!!!!

  131. I think its a clever choice going for the octopus. Had it have been a guiena pig or a hen or a traffic cone no one would have believed it…

  132. interesting that wenger has discribed the last 2 signings as ‘fighters’ with a strong competive edge.

  133. Is it me or does the long drawn out nature of transfers diminish the satisfaction of the squad being strengthened? Years ago, it would be opening the paper or turning on the pc to find a new signing had happened. Now there is so much speculation that I yearn for a complete bolt from the blue signing.

  134. If an Octopus can decide who wins the worldcup why do these mugs even hold such a useless tournament.

  135. LimparAssist

    Draw/Germany for me, word. 11/2

    Clerkenwell, once which contract runs out? Arsene Wenger will be signing a new contract during the course of this next season.

  136. I guess we have been spoilt in the past!

    I’m sure wenger has a few tricks up his sleave yet but the problem is that other scouting networks are improving meaning that we always have this battle in the media to push up players values. I’m sure we try our best to keep it quiet or else the spuds will just come in and copy our movements again. I hear they go fishing with dynamite tho just in case something lands in the boat.

  137. i’m with you YW. Chamakh, Nasri, Koscielny…its like doing the dirty while overly inebriated, so much anticipation and exertion that by the time the finale comes around its more exhausted relief than pleasure….does leave you wishing for an early morning quickie…

    now that the WC is almost over maybe wenger will grant that wish

  138. Shotta-Gunna shut up. Denilson has not got what it takes to occupy Cesc’s position. He lacks creativity and the passing range. Ramsey and Wilshere are both better than him.

    We’re tired of this Denilson is great nonsense.

  139. I think it’s more about “we didn’t know anything about transfers until it actually happened” Yogi’s.

    Now a days every newspaper, every sports site, every blog writes and speculate to no end, every minute of every day that it seems to go on forever.

  140. Mark van Pummel outdid himself last night. He deserved at least two red cards, the first for a vicious knee-high tackle, the second for a professional foul followed by a kick to the stomach of the man he had brought down. There was also at least one other incident that should have brought a yellow card. The referee turned a blind eye to all these offences, then booked him at the end for God knows what.

  141. william…who is ‘we’?

  142. When Tony Adams retired, there was a lot of talk about retiring the ‘6’ shirt. Presumably that didn’t happen.

  143. LA – germany peaked too early perhaps…? most likely you are right but the odds enforced my gut feeling and I have a free tenner (after winning a grand on the group stages muhahahah!)

    OK the octodecision swayed it….

  144. YW:

    Your right. A true shocker of a signing would really be fun.

    Now we need another CB, a GK and Joe Cole and it would be an excellent summers work. Another DM to rotate with Song and Denilson as a 2 deep defensive oriented midfield combo would be truly tasty icing on the cake.

    If Cesc goes we need to rebuild. If we could use the Cesc money to get Ozil and/or Gourcoff/Hazard along with Inler it might even be a great trade for us.

  145. Shut up? bwoy yu no ave no mannaz? yu betta show some rispek!

    had to defend my bredrin!

  146. Denilson will do a Song this season and shut all the haters up!

  147. I have never liked the concept of ‘retiring’ a shirt.


  148. Mr. Bob, whats happening?

  149. Bill,
    Is the “true shocker of a signing” in addition to the other six, or instead of one of them?

  150. LimparAssist

    Big Phil was No.6, wasn’t he?

    I think RvP will get No.10 off Gallas. Cue massive spike in RvP shirt sales.

  151. we love you arsenal we do

    we love you arsenal we do

    we love you arsenal we doo

    arsenal we love you

  152. cbob

    why no shirt retiring?

    I think there’s something to be said, especially for someone who is a little unfamiliar with the clubs history, like myself.

    My MLB team, the NY Yankees, have retired a cornucopia of jerseys, the majority of which i could recite off the top of my head right now. No Yankee will ever wear No. 7 again, thats Mickey Mantle’s No., there should and never will be another Yankee No. 7.

    It’s obviously a serious thing. The most recent for the Arsenal would be TH 14 for example, whereas a loyal servant like Kolo Toure certainly wouldnt qualify

  153. hmm is my post about shirt retiring showing up? having computer issues..

  154. LimparAssist

    Bad news, Bill. I hear Koscielny is anything but a ‘stay at home’ defender. He comes out and attacks the opposition front line, cutting the threat off at the source – a bit like TV apparently.

    Don’t look now but Arsenal are creating a progressive, fluid back four who can hunt down and win possession high up the field. It’s just what we’ll need when we meet Real Madrid’s bus parkers in the the Champs League, and Ancelotti’s shower of cowardly loverats too – when they come and refuse to play us again.

  155. RVP should definitely get the number 10.

    RVP 10….Click Click Click.

  156. yup there it is…

  157. @LA
    Well, if we have two defenders that like to attack players in possession…thinking about it, it could be a good thing. As long as they can coordinate their forward movement with the wing backs, that could work very well. If one moves forward to attack a player in possession, the other defenders follow.

  158. Barca not willing to pay over the odds, Barca not paying wages…is there anything they actually are going to pay for?

  159. Their sins . . . . . . . . . on the Day of Reckoning.

  160. Whilst I understand why there is some ennui re our latest signings since they are all over the internet for months before they are completed, it’s hardly the players fault. Personally, I welcome Laurent to the club and hope he settles quickly and gives us many years of excellent performance. Based on his comments in the ATVO interview, it does not sound like he expects to be a full-time starter. It sounds like he will be given time to find his feet and there will be competition between all defenders to see who starts regularly. That can’t be a bad thing.

  161. CBob, you retire a shirt when there are holes init?

  162. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Denilson has proved he’s a top quality midfielder time and again, Paul N. But since he’s not 7 feet tall isn’t as fast as Theo and didn’t cost 25 million he’s shite.

  163. I just looked at Koscielny’s pictures, he looks short, can he jump? He is also thin, he needs to eat some English pies.

  164. LA:

    “Don’t look now but Arsenal are creating a progressive, fluid back four who can hunt down and win possession high up the field.”

    That could be fun to watch, but IMO is a recipe for disaster. Unless AW somehow teaches the back 5 better organization and game reading skills we will get killed on the break over and over again. You have said before that we will learn from our past mistakes. If we don’t it will be another year of disappointment and AW will have a lot to answer for.

  165. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I don’t get how we need Joe Cole. What am I missing? Is it just to add a bit of that English Grit into the side?

  166. LimparAssist

    How tall are you, G4E? Koscielny is a little over 6ft. Same height as Vidic, Terry, Carvalho, Vermaelen. Same height as a lot of centrebacks.

  167. NJ, if you start retiring shirts, at what point do you run out of numbers? I suspect that policy has not been thought through, either that or after a suitable grace period they are brought out of retirement?

  168. PZ @ 5:38PM

    Six sounds like a nice number.

    Chamakh, Koscielny, Joe Cole, new CB, new GK would be a great summer. A DM would make it even better.

  169. Kos is 6′ 1″, he looks tough enough and is apparently fast.

  170. LimparAssist

    Settle down, Bill.

    That’s what it sounded like to me, Passenal. I think Koscielny will play understudy to TV5. With Djourou as understudy to Gallas’ mystery replacement.

    Koscielny > Big Phil/Silvestre
    Djourou > Big Sol
    ???? > Gallas

    Exciting. Maybe we’ll get that ‘morning quickie’ after all.

    …and a surprise new signing too! Ayyyooh!
    *goes for a high five… looks around only to see that he’s been massively left hanging*

  171. LimparAssist

    I’ve been convinced for some time now that the Joe Cole to Arsenal rumours are pure and utter tripe.

    I hope I’m right.

  172. NJN, if they would only watch the young man closely and stop looking for hype.

  173. You know I was kidding Passenal 🙂

  174. Getting close to watchin a killin!


  175. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I hope you’re right, too, LA.

  176. Limpar:

    It is exciting stuff.

    Joe Cole not really needed if Theo, Nasri and Diaby all stay healthy and play consistantly well through the year. However, the former will not happen and the latter is a probably not realistic just yet.

    We clearly need another CB and GK at the minimum. Joe Cole would certainly be a great help. Another DM will probably not happen but would sure be nice.

    If Cesc goes the whole equation changes.

  177. adrian durham said today that arsenal have signed another foreigner for ten mil.fucking racist.

  178. “if you start retiring shirts, at what point do you run out of numbers?”

    Fortunately, the set of natural numbers is infinite.

  179. I suppose Joe Cole would be the “true shocker of a signing” that Bill is after.

  180. When it comes to football shirts, numbers are most definitely finite. I understand that the highest number an EPL player can choose is 99.

  181. I just don’t see Joe Cole in an Arsenal shirt, he wouldn’t look good in one.

    I think Manure should add him to Owen, it would be a great collection.

  182. Woo-hoo, Laurent! I luv ya already, ya big lug.

    Is it just me, or does he LOOK like a defender? Something about the eyes…

    Now there is so much speculation that I yearn for a complete bolt from the blue signing.

    So do I!

  183. But Bill, what will we do if Joe Cole doesn’t stay healthy either?

  184. Why not assign every player a unique ISPN (International Standard Player Number) at the start of his career. When the player retires, his number retires with him. This would provide an opportunity for introducing “technology” into football. Instead of a number being printed on each shirt, there would be a barcode, which the referee would be able to enter into a handheld computer with a barcode scanner. Let’s bring football into the 21st century.

  185. He doesn’t look good in a Chelsea shirt, either, G4E, but it hasn’t stopped him from playing for them.

  186. Torres is on bench, but del Bosque is still not starting with Cesc. Extraordinary.

  187. For £2000, supporters could buy a long range barcode scanner, which would enable them to determine the identity of any player on the pitch whose back forms a plane normal to an imaginary line drawn through the central axis of the scanner.

  188. Why all of Arsenal’s signings are for an ‘undisclosed fee’? Are they trying to hide paying over the odds

  189. YW, Pz – I imagine it’s the slender girth of footballers that limits the numbers – except of course in the case of Rooney. Latest research suggests that wearing his barcode horizontally would make him look slimmer.

  190. Poliziano @ 6:48, and that completes the formation of The Great Rouge Nation of FIFA.

  191. Instead of chanting “Who the f*cking hell are you,” the ignorant fan would simply pull out his barcode reader.

  192. F*ck germany, cesc is off anyway whether spain win or lose. one good thing about sport this summer was andy murray not winning wimbledon. talking of wimbledon why cant they hold that every 4 years and do us all a favour.

  193. no Yogi it’s coz they keep nicking them, there is no fee.

  194. The new system would also be a time-saver for busy managers. Instead of writing names on a team sheet, he would simply have his players line up in front of him with their kit on, and then scan the shirts of the ones he wanted in his team. A computer would do the rest.

  195. FunGunner and PZ:

    Yes Joe Cole would qualify as the extravagant shock signing I would love to see.

    Even I think that at some point more does become less. Like Limpar and NJN I do not really believe the Joe Cole will be here next year. However, having him would certainly give us a better chance to win and it is fun to dream of the possibilities.

  196. It’s horses for courses, I suppose. Personally, I wouldn’t find dreaming of Joe Cole any fun at all.

  197. Buying a 100 players also give us a chance of winning.

  198. ^ Gunner4Ever

    ha ha ha

  199. Bill, joe cole aint coming coz he is english. wenger wont buy any more english after being bitten too many times. (some might say though that he just brought the shit ones to make it easier to then say he tried with english and failed so he wont buy any more).

  200. “(some might say though that he just brought the shit ones to make it easier to then say he tried with english and failed so he wont buy any more)”

    Yeah, that would make a whole load of sense.

  201. Does the signing of Kos mean we will be getting a new, more experienced CB as well? Or perhaps that Campbell might be staying?

  202. I’m hoping for another experienced CB FunGunner, but wouldn’t mind of Sol stayed for another year.

  203. DG speak for yourself, I enjoy my yearly dose of wimbledon.

  204. It would be great of both Gallas and Sol stayed.

    Spain looking good so far.

  205. “You know I was kidding Passenal”

    Sorry G4E, I was probably a bit over-sensitive there, as I’ve seen too many genuine comments writing him off before he’s even kicked a ball for us!

  206. That was a red card for sure! dirty tackle!

  207. Would this Pedro from Barcelona (who’s playing for Spain tonight) compete with Cesc for a starting position at Barca, or do they play in a different position?

  208. Same happened with Vermaelen too Passenal, remember? That’s why I was making fun of the media hacks & couch potato managers before they even start….It’s always good that we know what’s coming. 🙂

  209. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    How does Joe Cole give us a better chance of winning? What a load of bollocks.

  210. Germany coming into the game now, nice!

  211. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Come on Alemania.

  212. Personally Paul, I wish Gallas is Going, Going, Gone.

  213. Looked like a penalty, didnt it? lets see the replay.

  214. Come on spain!!!!

  215. Spain keeping the ball a lot but Germany are more dangerous.

    It wasnt a penalty at all.

  216. Zap, you meant to say Germany? lol

  217. I personally think he’s a Primadonna. He came to us when he had no other choice in exchange for Cashley. He had his time with us and I hope he would go.

    I don’t mind if he stays, but strongly prefer if he goes.

  218. I too think this was a penalty.

  219. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Gallas is a quality defender with a ton of experience. He’s got pace, he knows our style and I’d love to have him back. Sol not so much. I recognize he’s got the bloodlines, but outside of that I don’t see why he has the clout he does with so many of our supporters. Big Phil Senderos (who is 3 times the defender Sol is) gets treated like a steaming pile of dung while Sol is practically a god to some of our fans. It makes you scratch your head sometimes.

  220. NJN:

    “How does Joe Cole give us a better chance of winning? What a load of bollocks.”

    Joe Cole adds a player with proven quality who has helped win 3 titles and been on the winning side of many huge games. It makes no sense to argue that we have a better chance to win without him. You could make a realistic arguement that Theo or Nasri will be better in 2 – 3 years. However, the last 5 years have proven the value of having experienced proven players on the pitch in the big games. If we can get him without a transfer fee and for an “acceptable salary” then why not. I am tired of saying “what if” at the end of every season. TW14 and Nasri will both get plenty of chances to play between injuries and fixture congestion and if they play better then Joe Cole then he goes to the subs bench.

  221. Sol was really good, I am bit turned off that he hasnt committed to staying this season after getting such a great opportunity last season.

    Gallas is a good defender and I think we still need that experience at the back.

  222. I think Germany is missing Mueller

  223. They are and what a bogus yellow card he got.

  224. Come on Germany!

  225. Another Rouge decision from a FIFA national to help Barca players win the world cup?

  226. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    It makes a ton of sense to argue he doesn’t give us a better chance of winning. His titles don’t mean fuck all to me to be honest with you. Steven Gerrard has titles. John Terry has titles. Does that mean they fit at Arsenal? Of course not. Football is a team sport. The only reason he’s being bandied about is the fact he’s English. If Joe Cole was as good as you claim he’d have been helping the English win and stayed with Chavski. It’s just another tiresome PR campaign from his reps and the English media. The English love themselves a bit of “I told you so” when it comes to football and if Arsene signed him and we won something they’d dangle that over his head eternally. Get behind the manager and players we’ve got for once, ffs.

  227. Oh dear.

  228. Man, he thumped that header.

  229. Not very happy at all with the way Germany is playing

  230. Good header!

  231. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Goes to show you don’t have to be 7 feet tall to win a header.

  232. Germany look look timid, like the stage is a bit too big, maybe this is the kinda match that they need Ballack.

  233. What a stupid player? That was game over

  234. How selfish is that

  235. He just had to score, didnt he?

  236. Or give it to Torres he was there and he needed the goal…that was selfish & stupid.

  237. I guess I have to support Spain now for Holland to win?

  238. Thats what I mean G4E, all he thought about was himself and not the team.

  239. Cesc injured?

  240. Damn spain

  241. I guess they’ll be eating calamari in Germany tonight.

    And doesn’t Torres look slow?

  242. Seems Paul the psychic octopus got it right again.

  243. Oh well!

  244. Why do you say Cesc injured, Paul N?

  245. I couldn’t actually bear to watch it, who scored?

  246. looks so.

    For all the skillfull players spain have it took a defender to score, what a thing.

  247. I am just asking FunGun as he didnt play at all.

  248. Ah. Phew.

  249. He injured his shoulder against Paraguay and his leg in training, so he probably was not fit enough to play, not that he would have been picked anyway.

  250. Germany just didnt have the touch that they had previously.

  251. Puyol Passenal

  252. How is it that they left Puyol so wide open in the area?

    WOW, they will be kicking themselves when they see this replay.

  253. Thanks Passenal

  254. Thanks G4E, could have been worse, it could have been Pique aka the mouth

  255. Passenal

    According to Del Bosque yesterday, Cesc was fit. The Spanish maffia, sorry, media were convinced he was going to start. Might be dud psychology on DBs part but I doubt it. Fancy Holland to win though if they get their game together.


  256. maybe we should feel a bit sorry for germany what with them playing some great stuff and entertaining people in this world cup…………….yeah boll*cks.

  257. Puyol said this goal made up for him not being able to play glastonbury this year! razorlight should be back at glastonbury next year he said though.

  258. RVP vs Cesc? well Kinda, I guess more like RVP being watched by Cesc.

    What a shame, how can a player of such class barely play.

  259. 1 loose cannon

    Well the Germans missed Muller very badly and they looked a bit leggy. I was desperate to see Xavi and his Barcelona DNA mates crush out but it wasn’t to be. the better team won. I’m keeping my hopes up for RVP and CO to do them. But the dutch will have to up their game.

  260. Paul N. Nice Denilson reminder. He certainly played a blinder against B****lona.

    As for Laurent Kos, I am really happy to see him join. Not as happy as he looks though. From now on, I think the only time he should smile is when we keep a clean sheet. The rest of the time, he should watch and learn from the steely look of competitive determination that is Vermaalen.
    Perhaps Djourou should smile less too. I think defenders should never smile unless they help keep a clean sheet. Not even when they score. Leave the smiling to those further up the field.

    Come on Holland.

    Sorry about the italic terrorism.

  261. 1 loose cannon

    Paul N- They are in the final so I guess they don’t need Cesc and that will be the case if he moves to Barcelona as the bulk of this spanish team is from Barcelona. This should be a clear message to him that he will have to warm the bench.

  262. Koscielny and Vermaelen look like they could play good cop-bad cop defenders.

  263. According to an article I read yesterday, like TV Koscielny prefers to play at LCB position. Just like Toure and Gallas preffered RCB. Sounds problematic doesn’t it.

  264. nasir jones-nasir

    ‘Big Phil Senderos (who is 3 times the defender Sol is) gets treated like a steaming pile of dung while Sol is practically a god to some of our fans. It makes you scratch your head sometimes’

    Big Phil really? The one who won nothing and was an outcast at Milan and found himself on the bench at Everton? Who cost us the Carling Cup, the FA semi-final with Blackburn, the CL game with pool and now on his way to the bench at Fulham but being compared to an Arsenal legend.

    Are you out of your mind? I know that what will make you happy is to bring down all the crap France’s borrowed-national-team players to come over here.

  265. Just seen a youtube compilation of our Kos, hes defo right footed, so id imagine right side aint no thing for him. He did start as a right full back too didnt he?

  266. Barney, Kos is supposedly two-footed, if true, I suspect that’s why Arsene was so keen to get him as he can cover both sides. He’s young enough and keen enough to play for Arsenal that he will adapt to where Arsene wants him to play I suspect.

    As for Cesc, he’s getting a taste of what Hleb talked about, winning means little if you did not play much of a part in it. He needs to decide whether guaranteed playing time is more important than the hollow pleasure of ‘trophies’ he watches his team mates win for him from the bench.

  267. when Apidi asked Wenger about the “goalkeeping problem” that cost the Gunners so many problems last season, and he said: “Manuel Almunia Rivero is a talented goalkeeper. In training, he is superb, the only problem is that he gets nervous on big matches, thereby making silly mistakes. After the World Cup, we will be making an announcement on goalkeeping.”


  268. does cesc want trophies and splinters up his arse or to be the main man and lead us close again!!

  269. i like the look of that german keeper, could be the new jens.

  270. nasir-jones-nasir

    ‘I don’t get how we need Joe Cole. What am I missing? Is it just to add a bit of that English Grit into the side?’

    You don’t get that?

    Cole is better than Diaby (the diabolical), Rosicky(crock ), Denilson (neither a DM nor Am in fact don’t know why he was bought)

    Cole has won things while Diaby, Denilson and Rosicky have no winning mentally but pampered with huge wages.

  271. Denilson don’t fit into Arsenal structure and not good enough. He’s only blocking the development of Ramsey, Wilshere, Lansbury and all the young prospects coming through. He’s a waste of space.

  272. Mills

    The reason you like Cole has nothing to do with him being English does it?

  273. And even more mention of British players. I see a connection here to Howard and his friends.

  274. Miils don’t fit into Arsenal fans structure and not good enough. He’s only blocking the development of better fans.

    He’s a waste of space.

  275. I actually think we need to get some more english players in the squad, if not for the skill but so we know they wont bugger off. and maybe they would help us win the title, there maybe some truth in the fact we aint won shite since we lost our english players. ironic since england including english players are a bunch of hopeless losers. but they know how to win the prem, thats why our english players wont play abroad, love the easy life.

  276. F*ck Off Howard

  277. DeiseGooner – that is either a poor translation or a fake, it certainly does not sound like AW or fit with other comments I have read from him elsewhere.

  278. Arsene will never say a player gets nervous in big games even if he’s planning to sell him the next day. That’s too specific and Wenger is not like that.

    Not just for the effect this will have on the player sell price, but also to give the player a fair chance of finding a decent club to play for.

    I will attribute it to bad translation.

  279. Cashley despite being English left for a bigger pay packet. Their reasons may be different, but players leave for all sorts of reasons. The days of one man one club are gone, unless you are JT, who is chelski thru and thru as long as the price is right or Gerrard who allegedly only stayed with ‘pool because of threats to his family from the Liverpool mafia. I wonder what they’ll do this time when the club needs player sales in order to remain solvent?

  280. Just look at that loyal Everton player, Rooney.

  281. Team should “come out” ,but not in a gay way, to Tower of Strength by The Mission (12″ Version) Powerful tune and groovy but appropriate lyrics.

  282. I like that idea Telarse.

  283. Almunia getting nervous in the big games? Which Almunia is that? I only know of one Almunia that usually gives his best performances in big games. I.e. vs. barca this year, against ManU in the CL last year etc.
    Does not sound like Wenger at all.

  284. How about “Better than you” by Metallica.

  285. 21 Guns by Green Day.

  286. shotta-gunna

    Mills – Take your xenophobic, chauvinistic views and shove it up your racist ass. You wouldn’t mind Joe Cole making over a 100 grand a week and giving a mediocre non-performance as he did in South Africa so you can flag the nationalist flag. Twat!

  287. Sneidjer has passed the ball to robin 17 times in six games, vs. 39 from Xavi to Villa:


    No wonder Robin can’t get a break!

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