Will Arsène Take His Cue From Germany?

The transfer window has been officially open for one month and eleven days with little but speculation to show. There have been some transfers but nothing yet which has whetted the appetite for the new season, itself a little over a month away. Like a ferris wheel whose motor has just been started, the gossip is slowly cranking up about to reach a speed when it will be whirring and humming in the background.

A minor international tournament has made that the case. Tonight it reaches its climax with the new name of España or Netherlands gracing the roll of honour on the trophy’s base. The Spanish can become World as well as European champions. A minor record will be set if they win, Spain would be the first nation to win the World Cup having lost its opening match.

For the Dutch, the opportunity to live up to the weight of expectation, to put behind them the defeats in 1974 and 1978, a time when they should have ruled the world and would have been gleefully and perhaps greedily accepted as worthy champions. Pragmatism has encroached on the model of Total Football, the missing ingredient from their two previous finals. They can also match Brazil in 1970, winning all of their qualifying matches as well as those in the finals itself.

Three of the last four Final’s has seen an Arsenal player start – Gilberto would have made it four had he joined a month earlier – with Robin van Persie the more likely of the two to be on the pitch at kick-off. Cesc’s World Cup has been less successful personally and any playing time this evening could be considered a bonus. Like many of the superstars of the era, neither has enhanced their reputations; no damage inflicted either. Like the tournament as a whole, they have been rather ordinary.

Rarely does a final live up to its billing. Both sides have major plusses in their midfield and attack; their respective weaknesses are defensive. Neither goalkeeper has covered themselves in glory, spasmodic moments of brilliance have been overshadowed by their nervous opposites, much the same as every other goalkeeper this time around. van Persie has the speed to cause problems for the Spanish central pairing whilst Villa has been a rare striking success at this tournament.

Of the nations who participated in the 2010 World Cup, the one which provided the biggest surprise was Germany. They swept aside Australia, England and Argentina with a glorious mix of style and efficiency, as well as beating a good Ghanaian side. They succumbed to Spain but given that they were dismissed before the tournament began, the achievement of third place should not be underestimated. They are a work-in-progress, Spain are already the finished article.

Last night’s win over Uruguay was probably the most entertaining game of the tournament with both sides loosening the shackles. Arguments can be made either way as to whether or not there is any point in this fixture but it does prove occasionally to be a bright spot,  a moment of lighter relief with goalmouth entertainment along the way.

Arsène has been effusive in his praise and provided an insight into the impact that the Germans have had on him:

The Germans were the only ones to give you the impression they could score at any time. They have rehabilitated the dribble. It is a major lesson of this World Cup.

It was a strange position for most of us to be in. Germany has not had an entertaining side for a while. The mix of youth and experience is one that Arsène has sought to develop at Arsenal. The playing style of the Nationalmannschaft is a refinement of the 4-3-3 formation used at Arsenal, more suited to the Premier League than the tiki-taka Spanish play.

Transfer activity is defined as much by necessity as amending the team’s style for the coming campaign. There will be changes to style to avoid predictability, the roles of the players will evolve. Subtleties is this area can be as effective as massive changes.

I suspect Wenger will try to incorporate the defensive discipline of the Germans; the movement on the counter-attack is already utilised. Were Chamakh to play centrally, then perhaps the formation might reflect the Germans more fully. It is not that the Germans were tactically innovative; they were far from it. They were efficient in their application.

The biggest impact upon Arsenal will be in the players minds. They need to learn the defensive discipline, tracking back is not enough, numbers mean nothing if a tackle or interception is not made. At times last season, the defensive work was shoddy, players unable to pick out whom they were supposed to mark. Goals were conceded with a large number of Arsenal players in the penalty area.

Every team makes defensive mistakes. The optimum position is to minimise them, to stop repeating the same mistake time after time. Arsène likes his players to be intelligent on the pitch; this season is the chance to prove it.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 11, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 346 Comments.

  1. Wahaha first!

  2. Lol you couldn’t have been more optomistic and realistic. Good blog mate(Y)

  3. 1 loose cannon

    Yogi you caught Bigbrovar zzzzzzznoring. COME ON HOLLAND.Lets hope RVP gets his hat trick.

  4. I think you’re overlooking the fact that the 4-3-3 is really a 4-2-3-1 and Arsenal do not have the personnel to field two quality defensive midfielders.

    Most, if not all, of the best countries in this tournament have been successful with this formation. I don’t know if clubs will try this formation but with the defensive midfielder being so important nowadays it would cost alot to have 2 top class ones in a team. Additionally, the formation relies on a striker who can play up front on his own and also be able to do link up play with the team. We have players like RVP and Chamakh to play up front but only Song to cover the defense. Denilson so far has been utter rubbish.

  5. It was a pleasure reading this really good piece of analysis.

  6. I would take Khadeira and Melo then play 4-3-3 which really is 4-2-3-1. With RVP getting the lone striker, it funny with Arsenal he get ball from middle rather wide. Plus he get all the time while with the Dutch he is really starving to get the ball.

    I don’t see we cannot have to holding midfielders , also if we do buy Melo it would crazy to play him with Song. Melo can play with either Diaby or fabregas no problem.

    Defence and goalies need to be sorted soon.

  7. RVP is not great play in WC 2010.He ALone.

  8. Oasis
    it not a rocket science RVP is struggling in WC, he hardly see the ball. Rewind back to his comback after injuries against in fewvminutes he came on Spurs where saved only by the goalie.

    With the Dutch he is not getting the ball in good positions as players have their own ideas when they get chances. While with Arsenal he get the ball all day non stop.

  9. Naruto gunners

    Nice article,wish i culd hv diz on my desk every day.

  10. Just a thought. For me the German run with young, skillful team-players must identify Loew as a logical choice to follow Le Boss when he finally packs it in (hopefully some very distant day).

  11. Kherida is very good defensive midfielder and he isn’t afraid go forward when there is change to score. His performance was much more better than Song and able to play the one touch football AW likes. Splash 12 mil on him AW… Please …

  12. I think fans are harsh on rvp.at arsenal he and cesc are the ‘big dogs’ and they will always be the go to guys in attack.rvp’s linkup play is quite impressive and if you watched him closely vs uruguay in the 2nd half when vdv came on he came alive and created chances.this is because vdv passes the ball to him unlike sneijder and robben who are quite selfish players.in the dutch team they are the ‘big dogs’ since they had extremely successful seasons.

  13. “The mix of youth and experience is one that Arsène has sought to develop at Arsenal.” Are you completely insane?????

    We are a kiddie club, that’s why no top class players want to come to us, the same reason cesc wants to go!

    YW, rubbish.

  14. Lekan Adetayo

    It is good to make some changes in arsenal team, fans needs some trophies this season. AW Please, let the cash flows in some credible & experience players. We need a good bench/substitutes & starting eleven.

  15. Excellent piece Yogi, per usual.
    I lust for a 1-0 Holland win with only RVP on score sheet ! (sorry Cesc but I wanna see Xavi cry, really)

  16. Paul

    Substitute my initials in your reply with your own name. For your assessment of the players at the club is absolute crap.


  17. Nevermind, you are insane.

  18. Our 4-3-3 is infact much more closer to 4-2-3-1. Wenger dabbled with the idea towards the back end of 08-09 season with Cesc playing most further forward of the supporting trio in attack. The fact that it did not work out well as the lone front man was left isolated highlighted the problem that change of tactics mid-season usually falls flat on its face. The successful exponents of 4-2-3-1 have 1 not 2 holding midfielders and 1 box to box midfielder who joins in attack or defence as the need may be. Germany have Bastian who used to be a winger. How we could do with PV4 & Petit in their prime.
    I quite liked YW’s contention that next season could see RvP playing the central play maker’s role with either Bendtner or Chamakh up top, IF Fab 4 leaves.

  19. Yogi – hugely surprised you give such idiots the honour of a response; you are a very patient man! Thanks for another reasoned assessment, Barnet Saturday, the new season beckons, all that is past is prologue.

  20. Paul you are an idiot! Top class players like everybody els go for the money! If we like City could offer 250.000 a week we would get top class. We are top 5 in the wrold. And no club outside Spain would tempt the spanish players from Barca and Real. They are and will always be the top dogs in club football. Bigger than United even and united is bigger than Arsenal.

    In the end its 90% about money and 10% about trophies. IF cesc did not get a higer salary at Barca than here he would not go to barca. simple as. You know it, i know it we all know it.

  21. Good morning YW.

    This paragraph interests me in your post today.

    “The biggest impact upon Arsenal will be in the players minds. They need to learn the defensive discipline, tracking back is not enough, numbers mean nothing if a tackle or interception is not made. At times last season, the defensive work was shoddy, players unable to pick out whom they were supposed to mark. Goals were conceded with a large number of Arsenal players in the penalty area ”

    AS you said yesterday, we can assume that Gallas,Silvestre and Campbell will most probably not be around for one reason or another, and we have bought Koscielny, who I understand the club have been watching for a number of years.

    It is of no importance that most of us know little about him, as I am sure Wenger has done his homework thoroughly, and it is interesting to note he is adapt at using either foot, and not as has been mentioned,primarily left footed.

    You don’t mention the keeper, in the paragraph that I have outlined above.for surely a good understanding between the defence and the keeper would elivate some of the problems you have mentioned.

    Often there was a hesitancy between keeper and defender which led to a goal being conceded.I am not convinced that Almunia or Schwarzer are the type to comand their area.

    If we are to challenge this coming season, it is good to see that the boss has realised that we must concede less, as the winning formula IMO is a solid defence first and foremost.

  22. Can we have Khadeira or Schweinsteiger please?
    They both run back to cover defense and their first touch/passes are quite good.

    Can we give Diaby/Denilson to someone else? They might be talented but they are not trying hard enough.

  23. Diaby = Schweinsteiger

    Both tall, both play the same way, except that Schweinsteiger is a much better passer.

    But Khedira is excellent as well.

    I think Bayern are in the same boat as us. They paid into youth development while constructing their stadium, and will reap the benefits for the next generation. Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Badstuber, Aogo, Muller, Ottl, Contento, and Kroos are all almost certain first teamers in the future, if they aren’t already. They’re just a bit ahead of us because of their incredible history and the fact that they are the flagship team of German football.

  24. Yogi, really good post. A great piece around work ethic needing to meet with a greater defensive intelligence. Germany’s tactical wit, has been accomplished with a youthful side but spirited set up, this being of particular relevance to this Arsenal squad.

    That key positions have been taken up by players with serious experience and tactical nous is fundamental to a team that has looked both comfortable and efiicent in forward or reverse. Schwinestieger, Mertesacker and Lahm build a solid platform, but let us face facts, these German youngsters have looked far from raw, so well drilled in team roles and responsibilities. Arsenal need to heed key lessons
    of the last two campaigns. There needs to be a joint accountability on the part of the seasoned and the young. If Vermaelen does not like Denilson where he is, then fix it. Leadership has been lacking, yet this German side do not combine the most vociferous voices.

    This season feels positive to me, I do not remove blame for some young defensive ill-discipline, but feel older heads at the back often displayed exasperation ahead of nurturing authority. I am happy for the changes and feel a challenge for the title awaits us.

  25. K-TR7

    Well observed and would go even further to add while in Robben case it pure selfishness nothing malicious. But lil Sneijder is an arrogant lil hitler who seem to hate our RVP.

    Put it these way he need to pass the ball or it gonerbe Spain WC.

  26. Sometimes people comment as if Arsenal players don’t know about defending from the front, tracking back, closing down. However look at the matches, I mean actually go onto ATVO and watch them, from the start of last season when we had most of our players fit and see how well we defended harassed and closed down all over the pitch.
    Anyone who things third was anything short of a miracle given the unbelievable, ludicrous outrageous nature, scale and timing of the injury crisis we suffered last year is sadly, deliberately deluded.
    Don’t tell me everyone had injuries. We didn’t lose one or two for most of the season; we lost whole areas of our squad plus their back ups and sometimes the back ups back ups all at once and significant players at significant times. That is the only reason we didn’t finish higher last time round.

  27. *thinks* – sorry.

  28. Morning Yogi, good read..

    Rather than cue from the Germans, I’d rather he took a player or two from the Germans..

    re the keeper situation at Arsenal, the news this morning suggests that Joe Hart is to be City’s number 1 next season which could see Given on the move…

  29. In fact, I’m going to take my own advice and go over to ATVO and watch some games from last season. I don’t want the mass hysteria about how crap our players are to infect me so instead I’ll watch them actually play. It’s the perfect antidote to the Denilson, Diaby and increasingly Almunia haters.

  30. I think what the Germans proved is the benefits of investing in youth and having a well drilled defensive and attack system. They defended in well disciplined lines from the front to back and when they attacked they were like a swarm of bees, options all over the pitch but most importantly quality final ball and finishing.Or put simply counter attack football.

    However just because the Germans were successful at using this style it doesnt mean that this will work well against teams that park the bus in the EPL or are trying to break players legs. If the standard of refereeing improves then we are likely to reap the benefits.

    I think kadheira, Muller and Schweinsteiger, klose are effective but not amazing. They are disciplined and understand their role in the team. A bit like bierhoff. Not a great player but effective.Ozul and Lahm though different class. Who would believe that someobe under 5 foot could defend and attack like that. Diaby and Song are certainly technically better than some fans give them credit for. .

  31. Brought over from the landfill site that is yesterday’s thread.

    ’ll be interested how Howard Webb refs the final today. Will he be PL-style “Anglo-Saxon” laissez (un)faire. Or will he be coming down hard on the Van Bommell’s of this world, with his reckless and badly-timed assaults? The reason for the interest is obvious. Will it set a benchmark, an indicator no less, of how the Premiership is going to be ref’ed? What will the tone be, this coming season? Will it make a funk-load of difference!!!?

  32. Come on, don’t forget that with fewer injuries, and more protective refereeing, we would have won the title last season by a country mile. AW will adapt and evolve the team, further. Let’s hope the refereeing will evolve too.

  33. Mingus,

    While I may agree with some of your last season thoughts, if we wait for refereeing to improve we will be waiting a while.

    Wenger certainly will develop the team further and this side has plenty of potential to become one which delivers trophies. Some of the goals conceded last season, particularly in the bigger games were not those a title winning side concedes. Defensively more intelligence and a more united approach could be the key difference.

    We do not need to play like Keegan’s Newcastle team, to play attacking football. A tighter defensive approach would surely see us cash in on our technical superiority.

  34. I agree with Y.W. We can learn a thing or two from the Germans (and from the Spaniards as well). But as Mingus emphasized, will the referees allow us to play football or let the likes of Stoke and Blackburn kick the shit out of our players?

    PS: As for transfers, it is noticeable that only ManArabs have been really active. They are spending like no-tomorrow, i.e. no concern about size of the squad and the knock-on effects of a high wage bill and the lack of comparable resell value for their purchases. Apparently that is the route the splash-the-cash crowd wants AFC to go. Hello bankruptcy!

  35. People are deservedly lauding the Germans, but in comparing them to Arsenal, remember they only had to do that over 7 games not 38. Even then, come match 6, they looked tired and out of sorts, with only 1 of their key players missing.

    I agree with Steww, if we can keep players fit and fresh by being able to rotate we will see a tremendous difference. Physically and mentally fresh players are less likely to make basic defensive mistakes.

  36. Correct me if I’m wrong, but havn’t we implemented some form of monitoring system (via GPS, I think) that is designed to prevent injuries?

    The use the same system in Rugby where it’s really had good results.

  37. What an absolute moron this Paul.

  38. if we could sign any of the players at the world cup, and obviously this is pure fantasy, i’d take schweinsteiger, ozil, and mertersaker’s partner at centre half, whoever he is. and joe hart. but in the real world, i think melo and another centre half might join before the summer’s end.

  39. I really like Ayew from Ghana, Sanchez from Uruguay and Honda from Japan, but were are overloaded in attack.

    I can’t say the same for any defender I saw. Given Wenger’s penchant for frugality when purchasing defenders (Vermaelen aside), whose next?

    And why did Wenger stay in South Africa so long? Is it that so many Arsenal players were involved in the WC that preseason would be short anyway?

  40. earflow, Arsene is working for French TV. He will be co-commenting on tonight’s match and then his stint will be over and he’ll be back at Arsenal.

  41. As I stated yesterday I think the 3rd place playoff should be done away with. Can’t understand why yesterday’s game would be rated the best so far? Found Brazil versus Netherlands more entertaining – and my team lost. Even Espana beating the Duestch was a work of art as compared to yesterday’s game. Anyway we all have a right to an opinion!

  42. So, Schewinsteiger dillied and dallied on the ball, was caught on it, with little pressure, and caused a goal. It almost happened twice. Imagine if that had been Diaby or Denilson?

  43. What’s Arsene doing faffing around at the World Cup when pre/season has started? Divided focus?

  44. Another great post Yogi. Again proving you are the best and most balanced writer in the Arsenal blogosphere. My favorite part is the last 2 paragraphs.

    “At times last season, the defensive work was shoddy, players unable to pick out whom they were supposed to mark. Goals were conceded with a large number of Arsenal players in the penalty area.”

    Every team makes defensive mistakes. The optimum position is to minimise them, to stop repeating the same mistake time after time. Arsène likes his players to be intelligent on the pitch; this season is the chance to prove it.”

    The other important point you mentioned was regarding Holland.

    “Pragmatism has encroached on the model of Total Football, the missing ingredient from their two previous finals.”

    You find a nice way to say that for the last several seasons our teams definsive IQ/nous has been terrible. We have been unorganized and occasionally shambolic in the back. I do not think any team in the league had better individual defenders but for some reason they work together poorly as a group. We can debate endlessly the cause of the problem but no one would doubt what you say.

    The responsibility for improving our teams defending and organization falls on our teams coaching staff. I do not know if it means spending more time and effort on the training pitch or adding a dedicated defensive coach or if we have to change tactics. However, something different has to happen this year if we are to avoid another end of season disappointment. Like Holland we need to somehow incorporate a large dose of pragmatism into our beautiful football and AW is the only person who can do that.

  45. The players are just working on their fitness at the moment OG. Arsene will probably be back tomorrow so he will have the week to prepare the team for the run out at Barnet on Saturday. The real work starts in Austria. Why begrudge him the last day of the competition? It’s probably good for him to focus on something else for a little while to refresh himself for the coming season.

  46. I think Arsene’s in SA for the money to find us a new superstar 😀

  47. I’m just jealous Passy. I don’t want Arsene focusing on anything other than the Arsenal.

  48. Says so much about your bleak world view if your favourite part of YW’s blog was the bit that starts “At times last season, the defensive work was shoddy, ” and then you go on to slate our own players using words like shambolic and terrible. Are you Alex Ice Cream by any chance because he wrote in much the same way. On the surface all reasonable and balanced but always constant nagging pessimism and anti support.
    Bill you are a piss poor fan.

  49. I know what you mean OG, but I think he would become stale that way! He does in fact focus on Arsenal to the detriment of everything else as it is.

    Zama, so what if he is making some money on the side? He is probably also making lots of connections that could be useful to Arsenal in the future. It’s called networking and all the most successful people do it.

    Right on steww, I see a post my eyes glaze over and my fingers scroll past.

  50. Seems the the defensive midfielder model is the way forward for the 4-3-34-1-4-1 type system

    So in fact it becomes a 4-2-3-1

    I think wenger see’s the 2 deep lying midfielders as Song and Denilson.

    Although had Aaron stayed healthy, it may well have been him alongside Song.

  51. The criticism of Wenger being in South Africa is completely nonsensical. Would you rather he be sunning himself in Barbados the whole offseason? The world’s football community has been residing in South Africa for the last month, as has Arsene. How do people know what he’s doing and not doing? How do people know what his myriad scouts around the world are doing at the moment? How do people know that Arsene isn’t having conversations with the handlers of players Wenger might want to see come to the Arsenal? Give me a break. Our manager eats, breathes, sleeps football. While I may think he needs to bring in more than what he ultimately does this offseason, I certainly applaud his efforts and I certainly am proud of having his be the face of the club.

  52. What is this fixation some of you have with Felipe Melo, anyway? The guy can’t mark his player, he’s shit at defending set-pieces, he has no tactical awareness and he’s undisciplined. Please tell me what it is you see because I don’t find anything endearing about him. And it isn’t because he had a bad world cup that I think he’s a bad player either. I’ve seen him in Serie A and in the south American qualifiers and he’s just not good enough. I mean, with players like Inler, Gargano, Michael Bradley, Carmona and Annan floating around, why would anyone go for such an overrated and overpriced player like Melo?

  53. @ WC- You are correct when you say we do not have two defensive mid fielders.
    We have been so horrible in defending and keeping, that all the money should go in these departments.

  54. AC

    I disagree, as much as I love the WC, the world football community does not reside there right now.
    Many are watching on TV.

    Point taken that he can do good business from there and technology today allows him to do business from anywhere. Time and the roster will tell.

    To me he is beginning to sound like a man on pre-retirement leave.

    I hope he is scouting successors.

    Wonder how many people will still support Arsenal when he is gone?

    I like JL. He is sensible and comes from a sensible league.

  55. @Passenal 3:32 – I was only trying to be funny with that “jibe” about Wenger earning some more money on the side, hence the strikethrough. I have nothing but respect for our manager and what he has done at Arsenal is phenomenal. And by respect I dont mean the kind that Barca have for Arsenal but the genuine kind. 8)

  56. Bill,

    Nice comments as usual.


    Was is Bills endorsement of YW’s observations that have offended you so much?

    When it comes to passing judgement you and a few others on this site seem to excel at everything except facing up to any modicum of criticism of the club or its management.

    Shambolic is too kind a word for our defensive performance last season. Even Wenger has said that it was not good enough. We won 1 of our last 8 games at the business end of the season. Pathetic is a more apt description.

    However your perfectly entitled to your opinion. The only difference from where I sit is that Bill will still respect your opinion even if he doesn’t agree with it.

  57. G69 don’t think we can explain why we like Melo to your satisfaction when you already have a set opinion on him. Let’s just say we can’t all like the same players. Like I was once amazed when some fellow insisted that Gilberto was shit. And that was during the invincibles! But I really wonder if he’ll join. I see him as a Vinnie Jones with talent.

  58. Sorry Zama, I missed the humour! It’s not always easy to spot online!

  59. Steww @ 3:18:

    I do not care what you think. However, Your point about my poor choice of wording is valid. I should have said “the most telling statements of the post” rather then use the term “favorite”. I over stated the point probably as an attempt to generate some reaction and debate. I know the term shambolic defending has been used in the past by Yogi and nearly every blog writer and pundit I have read. Even the boss has said for 2 years in a row that our defending has cost us our chance at a title. AW’s favorite term seems to be “naive defending”. Trying to deny the problem as an attempt to be ” a good fan” is not being realistic.

    I would be interested to know what you thought about what Yogi said.

  60. Gainsbourough:

    I think everyone is fixated on Melo because we know the boss has been interested in him in the past and he seems to be available.

    I tend to agree that there are many player I might rather have but I do not follow Series A close enough to know how good or bad Melo really is. Inler really impressed me in the world cup but I doubt he is available. I think adding a DM would be great and would allow us to play a 2 DM line up and have some flexibility and rotation but I think DM is a lower priority the CB and GK and I really doubt we will see another DM this year.

  61. Steww @ 3:18 pm – Like the poor, The ministers of defence, Bill and Joe, will be always with us. They live a miserable existence, poring over every defensive mistake as a harbinger of disaster. Sorry, but the last time I looked last season we came 3rd, comfortably, despite a series of devastating injuries affecting critical 1st team players, their backups and the backups to the backups, which often made us vulnerable. Yes our defending may have let us down too often but I for one would prefer to remember the many games of “joga bonita” when we ripped the opponents to pieces. I saw and have forgotten too many of Mourinho’s bore-fests to ever seek comfort in Bill and Joe’s obsessions.

  62. RVP……Click Click Click

  63. Bill I first rated Melo on his performance at the Confederation cup. In fact I was delighted a week later when Wenger made a bid for him especially as it meant that I’d anticipated that great mind. But Melo has suffered under a lousy coach at Juventus – who got fired.

  64. I’m not sure we want to play with 2 DM’s. I’d rather see a box to box player who can help with breaking up play but also get foward and support attacks. Pretty much the type of player Ramsey seemed to be showing signs of becoming.

  65. Does anyone know when tickets for league matches go on sale?

  66. Shotta:

    I will joyfully abdicate my watch as “minister of defense” if we defend well next year. Add some real defensive nous to our Joga Bonita and we have an unbeatable combination. The boss has promised he would make some real improvements. We shall see where we are after the first 1/2 of the season.

  67. First World cup final I watched was in 1982. Have the feeling that this will be a repeat. Guess who is West Germany and who’s Italy?

  68. spanishforaday

    Vamos Espana ( Debido a la novida piel de oro, tenemos que esperar a Espana de ganar, pero RvP parar anotar el primer gol).

  69. Come on Holland! And I hope you get to play and play a blinder, Cesc!

  70. Paul the Psychic Octopus says Spain to win, apparently. Tiresias, my pet glow worm has predicted a Dutch victory.

  71. May the best team win!

  72. Bill:

    I tend to agree that there are many player I might rather have but I do not follow Series A close enough to know how good or bad Melo really is. Inler really impressed me in the world cup but I doubt he is available. I think adding a DM would be great and would allow us to play a 2 DM line up and have some flexibility and rotation but I think DM is a lower priority the CB and GK and I really doubt we will see another DM this year.

    I think a DM to rotate with Song or Denilson would be an ideal thing for us since Song can offer us more options at CB. Inler would be ideal as he is competent at both passing and defending. Melo, on the other hand, is a defensive liability due to his propensity for getting booked and he is an offensive liability because he isn’t good enough on the pass. Another player that fits this profile, and would be a Wenger dream since he’s only 22, would be Michael Bradley.

  73. Stuck with players like Denilson and Diaby; there is no way a counter attacking play will work here. Denilson will take the ball and pass sideways and backwards. Diaby will delay until he’s dispossessed. Each collect 50k a week for making Arsenal weaker.

  74. Dutch for a day:

    van Nederland te winnen

    thanks google.

  75. An American player on Arsenal? Wouldn’t that make you guys lose your lunches? 🙂

  76. Not bothered about who wins, but probably should root for Spain because of gf.

    Most of all I want RvP and Cesc (if he gets on) to have good games.

  77. Oou same here, enjoy.

  78. spanishforaday

    @earflow ~ believe me man..i dislike those arrogant Barca players too.. but it will be hard to lie on Skype.. ‘pelanties’ perhaps, with Xavi (especially), Puyol (pleeeease!!) and Pedro to all miss.. Cesc to get the winner after Robin makes it 3 (?) – oh, my maths…
    Chicago – Brad Friedel ?? Any player good enough, from whichever nation, would be welcome. Except Donovan, who could sing a tune but is too fragile these days.

  79. @OoU
    Same. It matters for me a lot more that our players do well (and don’t get injured!).

  80. Shotta –

    Why shoot for the stars when you can come 3rd eh? You really don’t have to say anything more.


    Inler was superb. And I really rate Melo. Its easy to see why Wenger was interested in them. Both are natural DCM unlike Diaby and Denny.

    I cant believe Webb got the job tonight. I just hope he doesn’t influence the game like many of the other referees in this tournament. Wonder what the odds are of Van Bommell getting a yellow card in the first 20 mins?

  81. I absolutely want Robin to win. Just think what it would do for him after his year. And he deserves it for his team play throughout the tournament. Cesc has already had the thrill of lifting a major trophy for his country.

  82. Where’s Paul N? Guess N stands for Netherlands today!

  83. ouch…….sorry Xabi

  84. Free kick has had more possession that anybody.

  85. Dissappointing first half!

  86. I hope Puyol sees red.

  87. SomeRandomGunner

    Awful match. Dutch are following Blackburn strategy. They have resigned that they cannot play football and resorted to long balls and kicking the players.

  88. Once again Howard Webb has f*cked up. How can deJongh escape a red for that bloody challenge.

  89. SomeRandomGunner

    @SG I was expecting this from an English ref , I support but de jong should have been sent off.

  90. Webb was too scared to kick someone (DeJong) out before the 30 minute mark. Though if Rooney had been on the end of DeJong’s foot? Webb letting the players kill each other. Where have we seen that before?

  91. SomeRandomGunner

    * I support Netherlands

  92. Really disappointing. All in all I think at least three red cards should’ve been shown so far. One to Puyol for a challenge from behind on Robben, Van Bommel (for him two yellows, please) and obviously De Jongs Karate Kid impression.

  93. On the other hand if people see this game, they will completely understand what Arsenal fans mean when they say that our players get no protection from the refs.

  94. Don’t get along with Shotta but he’s right!

  95. ArseChicago – Better yet, if that tackle was on Gerrard at Anfield?

  96. shotta-gunna, it’s proper fans like you make life more bearable on the net. Sadly it gives equal opportunities to numpties as it does to real supporters as we have found here time and time again. Still we fight the good fight and the victory will be sweeter for those of us who keep the faith.

  97. Interesting, the only Dutch player who passes like the Spanish is our own RvP.

  98. Navas???

  99. Van Persie has been horseshit this world cup

  100. Everyone cross your fingers. Its beginning to look like Arsenal will make it through the entire WC without a significant injury. I hold my breath every time RVP gets up a little slowly.

  101. RVP always gets up slowly and checks his shins

  102. My God this final is almost as bad as ’90, ’94 and ’06. Or is that the usual wc final?

  103. At least they’ll have to bring Cesc on if it goes to extra time.

  104. Here he comes…

  105. Van persie even missed the open goal the fool, whats wrong with him

  106. 1 loose cannon

    Roben should kick himself if they lose this game he had 2 glorious chances and bottled it. you just have a feeling the spanish will nick it if continues like this.I have mixed feeling about Fabregas. I hope he doesn’t score the winner it will only make the catalan clan more determined to get him.

  107. Navas and Elia look like useless subs thus far. Anyone think we’ll have a Zidane/Matterazi moment?

  108. 1lc @9:17 pm – More FC-10 score, the better. Let the the Baca-scum whine some more. Cesc is going nowhere this year. As they say in Jamaica, we hold the “key-card”.

  109. Why again is Howard Webb refereeing this match?

  110. 1LC

    If Fabregas scores the winner…his price inflating drasticaly is all that will happen.

  111. Well done, Cesc.

  112. And well done Robin, there.

  113. Shotta:

    “Cesc is going nowhere this year.”

    We all hope your right. After watching just a few minutes I am sure Spain would have scored several more goals if Cesc had been on the pitch. STAY STRONG ARSENE.

  114. Cesc and RVP will probably both be penalty takers. High drama.

  115. 1 loose cannon

    Xavi is a disgrace tripped over his foot then started screaming for a penalty.
    the spaniads have been falling over theselves a lot then waving the imaginery cards
    Dutch down to 10 they might have to settle for penalties now.

  116. Fabregas assist.

  117. 1 loose cannon

    same old story same shit

  118. 1 loose cannon

    Howard web is an Ass Elia was fouled prior to the goal and they shouldf have had a corner

  119. Assist by none other than FC-10.

  120. Chelsea memories this.

  121. Howard Webb is a shit referee.

  122. That octopus is unbelievable. Tiresias is toast.

  123. damn spain, I knew they would, I just hoped they wouldn’t. Ho hum …

  124. Well done, Cesc!

  125. I feel sick.

  126. A bit of justice done there – the Dutch approach was absolutely disgraceful. Sad for RvP, but glad that Cesc had a part in the win.

  127. Congratulations Spain.

    Hard luck Holland.

  128. 1 loose cannon

    prior to this game he was hyped up as the Best brefree bla bla bla he made 2 terrible decisions that led to the goal. This is like watching the scum Barca lefting this cup I can’t watch it.

  129. Actually I’m happy Spain won because of the absolute selfishness of Robben & Sneider

  130. Hopefully RvP will be able to get his head right during his break.

  131. 1 loose cannon

    out of the 2 Arsenal representatives here I would have rather seen RVP on the winning side but it wasn’t to be.

  132. Was Sneijder trying to shoot from the restart? What a tosser. And Robben, I would never want him at Arsenal.

  133. Congratulations to the Octopus.

  134. Fabregas is amazing, Spain are amazing, Van persie was horseshit again, whats wrong with him?

  135. How strange to hear the BBC pundits condemning Holland’s roughhouse tactics. I thought it was a man’s game.

  136. bloody hell hansen is having the fattest wank over Iniesta.

  137. @Vivek
    Actually, nothing is wrong with him. You should ask what’s wrong with Robben and Iniesta.

    As for the final: Cesc was man of the match, no? He had two great chances himself, set up several chances for Iniesta (one of which he took to give Spain the winner) and all in all he did well.

  138. 1 loose cannon

    How come Hansen saying that the dutch deserve to lose becase they were kicking the spaniard and Arsenal get kicked in the premiership he gives credit to the thugs for their efforts.

  139. A big lesson for us all and not just the English fans. A decade ago Espana were shit. Today they sit on top of the world! Congratulations to them!

  140. Class is class. No wonder Barca wants to steal Cesc from Arsenal.

  141. Fuck off Spain. Interesting how the BBC are getting all high and mighty about the Dutch challenges when they don’t say a word when it happens to arsenal week in week out.

  142. Iniesta, Xavi and Fabregas.

    What an amazing midfield, unbelievable. Its like they are connected

  143. They should DEFINATLEY bring in a dispute system.

    Feel bad for Van Persie and Van Bronckhorst.

    Holland were not as brutal as is being made out.

  144. Spain have never been shit – that’s nonsense. They were just chokers when it came to the big tournaments, despite being counted among the favourites every time.

  145. Was anyone expecting any different from webb?

  146. Robben should thank God he’s not Brazilian. And by the way sorry Paul N.

  147. OneofUs choking IS shit!

  148. The fact that sneijder shot from the kick off after the goal summed him up. Spain’s win is hard to take given the fact that 7 of the 11 starting lineup were barca players. Really didn’t want xavi in particular winning the world cup

  149. The funny thing though is that we usually get kicked like that in the PL on a regular basis. I have never seen one of our opponents get that many cards though.

  150. Past midnight here goodnight all.

  151. The only solitary justice of the night was that Spain won.

    I hate the Barca antics as much as the next person – but if Holland had won tonight – it would have been terrible for football.

    Spain at least tried to play –
    Holland were full of cynicism and gamesmanship.

    The really sad thing is that the dutch have superb players and didn’t need to resort to these tactics.

  152. After watching just a few minutes I am still amazed at how little time they played Cesc. He was the best player after he came on.

  153. Gainsbourgh,

    Fabregas must be allowed to play with that kind of quality all the time dont you reckon brother?

  154. There’s absolutely no comparison between the talented Spanish teams from the last 20 years, and the dross currently wearing England shirts.

    Still rankles to hear Hansen condemning the Dutch, but it doesn’t make the way they played any easier to excuse.

  155. Coward Webb has done an excellent job for FIFA to ensure one of their favoured teams wins the WC. He is sure to be picked again for more high profile games.

  156. @Vivek you are such a mug, slagging off RVP. He hardly had any pass from the self centred Robben and Sneijder. What’s all the wank fest about Spains pretty football when we are derided for it. So brute force is suddenly unacceptable. BBc pundicts make your collective small minds up!!!

  157. Cesc (with fresh legs) looked different class when he came on. He lit up what was a really shit final. Robben is a disgraceful and unsporting waste of space. Fast becoming my most disliked player. RvP will be glad to get back to his team who actually are on the same wavelength as him. The Dutch were rubbish and deserved nothing. As for Howard Webb, I thought he did alright. He didn’t want to send anyone off in a final and spoil the spectacle….but he must have wanted to on many occasions.

  158. I’m all for criticising the Dutch style of play, as it was rightly derided, I would just love to see the same criticism levelled at the likes of Stoke, Blackburn etc. when they play Arsenal

  159. ACLFers – Lets be gracious. The better team won. Spain, was “footbalistically” superior to their opponents, in spite of or despite the Barca scum.

  160. I think it bodes well for Arsenal that Spain are still winning things.

  161. OOU:

    Why do you say that?

  162. Cesc was excellent when he came on tonight, slotted in effortlessly as he has done in each game he has come on this world cup. It’s no surprise that he has been brought on in tight games and made a genuine, winning difference each time

  163. Sorry shotta, I cannot congratulate them as I have no respect for most of them. I think spain were also quite smart about criticising the referee beforehand. It ensured that any 50/50’s were called in their favour to counteract the perceived bias. They employed gamesmanship as much as anyone else to get where they got to. I am indifferent to the Netherlands team as a whole and I think they made a mistake by not playing their game, but my only concern was that RVP who is a real football man and Arsenal through and through win this trophy as he deserved it.

  164. Spain wasn’t footballistically superior to their opponents, Shotta. They benefitted from a bad call.

  165. Cesc is a class player. Understandably Del Bosque will not break up the undisputed best midfield pair in the world, Xavi and Iniesta, just to satisfy Cesc. Like most coaches today, he will play it safe with two holding midfielders rather than play another of Spain’s and Arsenals’ most gifted attacking players.

  166. Alan Hanson is a dickhead. Every week on MoTD he derides our style of play as to weak.

    And J@mes fuck off.

  167. spain are making a mistake by taking all their players back to la liga. The first time they have won anything has been when they had key players playing abroad. That experience allows them to bring something different to the squad. England would do better if more of their players played abroad in a more technical league. They are too one dimensional.

  168. Passenlal @10:38

    Well said. Holland was physically aggressive Spain was mentally manipulative.

    Now that it is over back to business.

    Transfer watching and fitness watching is the name of the game for the next few weeks.

  169. Holland played some very good football tonight and were more incisive at key points during great counter attacking moves. By no means were the Dutch employing overly negative tactics, they played well on the counter attack. At least that is what I saw.

    They were robbed of a penalty shoot out by Coward Webb.

    Spain are lauded but I still wasn’t convinced today, it wasn’t a classic and their one decent game was against Germany.

    Then again this is tournament football and the best team overall never wins.

  170. Holland were a disgrace – and I feel so sorry that RVP was in that team because he deserved better service from clowns like Robben and Sneijder. Van der Wiel is another who deserves absolution.

    Iniesta is a superb player. So too is Xavi. But for me, the man of the match was Casillas. He was just magnificent throughout the world cup and a superb pro. And it does beg belief that Cesc has not played more often. But whatever I might think of Barca – these players truly deserve to be world cup champions.

    Sadly its the only plus. Cbob was right when he said the shine has gone from the game. The government by FIFA has hit all time lows. There is no justice in the game anymore. Just cheating, diving, abysmal refereeing, tapping up, no technology and no will to change as money supersedes everything.

    I might be critical of our porous defense at times – but I thank God that we have Wenger.

  171. 1 loose cannon

    The game was shit from start to finish, The spaniards were passing in their own half and the dutch were kicking them in furstration. had that stupid former Chav Robben scored the best chances of the game the asses sitting in the BBc studio would not be drooling over Spain. How about Howrad Webb? the English Media were so desperate for some glory they hyped him so much as if he will win the the world cup for England , how sad is that? when all you have to boast about is a shit refree. we are really in a terrible state.
    Once the season kicks off the mocking of Arsenal begins and the thugs get their praises. How many time I’ve heard Hansen using his trade mark sentece when commenting on Arsenal “get in their faces” “stop them play” he just loves it when Arsenal get kicked by Stoke he even laughs and jokes about it. But tonight he changed his tune. What an ass.

  172. What makes me laugh is that they were by no means spoiling tactics by Holland tonight. Unlike Blackburns absoloute abomination against us at Ewood this season.

    Holland broke wonderfully, has 2 clear one on ones through playing attractive passing moves.

    Yet all of a sudden they are the devil yet I bet Cackburn will still be representative of grit and determination.


  173. When Shawcross broke Ramsey’s leg I think it was Hanson who said it was not even a red card tackle.

  174. 1 loose cannon

    Deano- Very true all this bullshit that the dutch were somehow anti football is a myth, down to 10 and they were attacking spain trying to win the game a corner and a foul agianst Elia was not given then they counter attack and score. Simply not happy to see RVP on the losing side. As for Fabregas I have no idea what to say about him he was asked at the end of the game if he will be at Arsenal he just shrugged it off and refused to comment so that pissed me off too.

  175. Its like Dennis Pennis said, Hansen is the devil.

    He wore red, the number 6 and he was uncomfortable with crosses.

    And you’ve got Shearer his little lap dog going on with whatever is flavour of the day. Too many headed goals I think, slowed the bloodflow to the pre-frontal cortex.

    Lee Dixon was the only one even attempting to be objective.

    Spain won the world cup. Im gutted frankly, and it is for the bitter reasons that Xavi, Poohole and that absoloute turkey Busquets are world champions.

  176. Fuck Fabregas.

    Yogi I implore to remove him from the photo arrangement that heads the blog and put Van Persie on there.

    Ive kept quiet because I dont believe he will leave this summer, but he wants to! Its clear for all to see. So send him packing and bring in someone grateful!

  177. 1LC

    Everyone has been told what to think. Yes DeJong could and perhaps should have been sent off for the high boot but was it intentional? Not a chance!

    Van Bommel is Van Bommel even when he played for the untouchable cuntage of Barcelona he played the same way. How him being himself and a high boot by Dejong is representative of the brutish negative tactics that are being banded about baffles me no end.

    I saw a team that was going for it and that got frustrated at times but also played some great stuff.

    History will remember it the curious way alot of half-witted pundits describe it.

  178. The original post poses a premise that Arsene will take a cue for Germany. I assume this refers to the 4-2-3-1 which they have employed with varying success.

    I say varying, as to be honest they were tested in only the Semi-final and came up short. Germany use the 4-2-3-1 in a fundamentally negative way, sitting back and holding until they have the chance to counter and play on the break. They did this to great effect against England and Argentina, but both matches their opponent was chasing the game and had no choice but to leave themselves vulnerable to the counter…hence the 4 goals in each game form the Germans.

    Should Arsenal adopt this approach? Of course not.

    We have struggled to break down teams which set themselves up not to concede when we play with a genuine 4-3-3 which moulds into 4-2-4 when Cesc pushes up and often a 4-1-5 when we are really pushing for goals late on. There is little to no chance of seeing Arsenal playing 2 defensive midfielders in most premier league games this coming season.

    I think it will be an option used in the Champions league and possibly in games against the big few (rather than 4) especially away from home.

    As a previous poster or two has pointed out, Arsenal don’t have the quality in the defensive midfield position to play a genuine 4-2-3-1

  179. Trash. What boorish stodge, like a mid-season morrass of largely ineffectual negative club football, made worse by a poor referee. Either might have won, and Netherpands played tactically far better than punters might think. But who cares, it wasn’t easy to get emotionally invested. De Jong had to have been sent off, straight red for the studded lunge to the chest of Alonso. Robben and Schneider were exposed as one-dimensional players. RvP again clever, and under-utilised, he was their key to unlocking Spain. Well, at least is was nice to see the impact Cesc had, and the assist for goal, and the emotion and excellent work of Casilas. Both deserved their medals.

    I give this world cup 3 and a half out of 10

  180. Arsenalkabisa

    some one should give Alan Hanson a condom.

    I mean, he is acting like a dick, why shouldn’t he be dressed as one?

  181. Am I the only one who actually feels good for cesc, who has given his heart for us, scored a penalty with a broken leg against the team he grew up with, for us, played a few hours after his grandad dies for the arsenal…..And when you look at what he has actually said himself, there isnt much to suggest he wants to go.

    Love the pic of him holding the cup.

    So hoopfully we’ll have 2 world cup finalists back at the emirates. I just hope he isnt lured into the nou camp after this……..

  182. Fabregas could state his future is with Arsenal, he doesn’t. He could state he wants to play next season with Arsenal, he doesn’t. That seems to be because he wishes to play for Barcelona, Xavi seems very asured thats what he wants in the press as do the Catalans and I can only assume its because of the pillowtalk in the Spain camp.

    In other speculation it looks as if Van Persie is getting the number 10 shirt off Gallas! It said pending squad number under v Persie11 when I went to pre-order my new shirt. Now there is a player that is Arsenal through and through. He will be a club legend like DB10 and dare i say will proceed him. I hope a player of his quality see’s International success. If Sneijder and Robben realise that football is a team sport he has every chance.

  183. This was probably the worst world cup final ever. The tactics of Holland were a disgrace to football and the performance of Howard Webb as a referee was about as good as the English National team, worthless!
    Bring on the EPL.

  184. Deano, In fairness it is the Spainish players, Barcelona FC and the English press that are doing all of the talking. Fabregas (to my knowledge) has not said he wants to leave now. He has always stated that one day he wants to return to Barca and I see nothing wrong with that, it’s his home. Bottom line is that he has a contract with Arsenal FC until 2014 so Arsenal are in full control of the situation.

  185. 1 loose cannon

    I noticed twice RVP bending over and talking to Sniejder while getting ready to take a free kick I can only assume RVP wanted one of the free kicks but Schneijder simply having none of it, RVP has been a lonely figure hardly given the ball from their midfield who wanted the glory themselves.
    As for Fabregas there isn’t much to be said about him until he comes out and say he would not mind staying if the manager want him to stay. Unlike his comment after the euros when he said “I tasted success now I want to do the same for Arsenal” something along those lines this time around he decide he has no conection with Arsenal. He had a chance when he was asked about his Arsenal future at the end of the game but he just refused to comment.

  186. Well done Spain they played football the way it should be played.Holland played like Bolton Stoke and Blackburn.All the Dutch team did was kick.Just a bunch of animals

  187. I am the only person who thinks it would be criminal to not let Cesc link up with Xavi and Iniesta on a regular basis?

    Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas

    The best midfield trio of all time? And they actually win trophys.

  188. I thought it was a good World Cup, much better than I anticipated. Coming in I was expecting Inter-style tactics to prevail, but we got rid of the last of the super-negative sides a couple of weeks back.

    In the final Holland were awful, both in the way they went forward and how they tried to disrupt Spain. I didn’t need the BBC pundits to tell me this, and I wasn’t listening to the commentary. Having RvP playing for them wasn’t enough to make me like them, and despite the presence of Xavi, Biscuits and Puyol for Spain I was relieved by the outcome.

    And I still can’t believe Sneijder tried to shoot from the kick-off.

    I’m happy for Cesc, and I’m not sorry that we can get back to Arsenal now.

  189. It took you like two hours to get a bite last night, James. You’re as persistent as Dirk Kuyt!

  190. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I don’t think Netherlands was as bad as everyone is making out. There were some nasty tackles on both sides. Puyol’s from behind studs up on Robben was as nasty as anything in that game bar Nigel De Jong’s jump kick. I think they just went out to pull a Moaninho and nick it on the counter which they very easily could have done had Robben been a bit sharper with his finishing. Cesc showed his quality once again, and there is no doubt in my mind Del Bosque kept him on the bench the way he did to keep his hype and price tag down.

  191. Its good to see Spain win the World Cup. Nothing worse than a team playing shit football winning trophies. I like Holland, but until they let go of this new found strategy of contracted-defensive and just down right shite football, I wont be screaming Hupla.

    Ironic though, that the football Holland created never won them the World Cup, and the country to adopt it, wins it, against a team abandoning it. Or something like that.

    Whats next, Spain suddenly recovers from their financial collapse and spearheads the world in financial growth?

    Whats the Spain situation at the moment, are they still shitting out their stomachs?

  192. It would be very odd for a manager with such long-standing Real Madrid connections to do a favour for Barcelona.

  193. one of us

    Why not? Madrid showed a similar level of loyalty to Del Bosque.

  194. Sam Allaryce is hot favourite to succeed van Marwijk as manager of the Dutch national team.

  195. I know Spain isn’t exactly flavour of the month, but that’s an anti-Arsenal conspiracy too far for me.

    It’s more likely that Cesc wasn’t deemed fit enough to start, and, looking at the way they play, it’s also possible that Del Bosque thought Cesc was too direct for that central midfield.

  196. yeah I dont buy it either. And I don’t buy any anti-arsenal conspiracy, just pro-slimy, selfish, tactless tasteless wally conspiricies.

    I realy don’t think the Dutch were any where near bad enough to warrant being put in the same catagory as lord walrus and the gang.

    I saw a high boot….a sending off by all means, but you would have to be beyond stupid to do that intentionaly. vPersie did it early in his Arsenal career, reckless but not dirty.

    Van Bommel was being Van Bommel. Apart from that the rest of the fould were evenly apportioned to each side. And Both sides tried to attack. Holland did even when down to 10 men. They certainly dont deserve to be put in the same bracket as 10 men behind the ball Cackburn.

  197. The real crime commited by Holland was the selfishness of so called “star” players.

    Robben and Sneijder looked suspectly like two players who believe their own hype.

    Twice in the match I spotted clear oppurtunities for them to put v Persie in. Twice they opted for self glory and ultimatley self destruction.

    The referee was a disgrace. How embarassing that even our referees a fuck up.

  198. OOU –

    Good comments. The dutch were terrible and many dutch people will be letting the dutch football federation know how they feel this morning. In fact, Cryuff was very critical of how the team played against Brazil – but I guess they thought Spain would capitulate in the same way Brazil did if they played the same style.


    I got a giggle out of that little call for allardyce. Almost as much as I did from Nasirs comments that Del Bosque, a RM stalwart, deliberately kept Cesc on the bench to prevent Barca from having to pay more for him (assuming he was for sale of course). The only difference between your comment and Nasir’s is that you were actually joking, whereas Nasir was being serious.!

  199. It amazes me that the BBC’s ‘pundits’ (HA, HA, HA) can deplore Hollands brutality whilst not realising their own hypocrisy. In fact at half time Alan Shearer actually said Holland were entitled to play how they wanted in order to win the game. By full time his opinion had changed entirely.

    It was nice to see Cesc set up the winner but sad to see RVP devastated at the end. I hope they both come back fully fit and raring to go for us next season because they are our match winners. How many Man Utd or Chelsea players were playing in the world cup final last night?

  200. Cesc: “All I can say is this is for all the Arsenal players and fans- they’re a world-class club. I’m an Arsenal player and proud to be.”

  201. deano on July 12, 2010
    at 10:25 am

    I thought Webb was good. He couldnt do much but give yellow cards for yellow card offenses. It was a very difficult game to ref. Yellow cards didnt force the players to ease up on their tackles, but he didnt want to ruin the specticle either.

    Top game imo.

  202. Matty Boy, couldnt agree more……and Alonso clearly has a strange anatomy given the “neck high” challenge on him was about where my solar plexus is (although de Jong could easily have been red coarded for the offence)

    I thought RvP’s performance was one of the most unappreciated I have seen. He ran tirelessly for 120 mins, his first touch was outstanding and he made the most of the little service he got.

  203. 1 loose cannon

    Well done Cesc I was waiting for him to say something nice and he finally did. reagrdlees wether he wants to go or not. I think he said something we wanted to hear.

    “All I can say is that this (World Cup victory) is for all the Arsenal players and fans, they are a world-class club,”
    “I am an Arsenal player and proud to be.”

  204. Damien. Webb was terrible! 15 yellow cards and a yellow red in a WC Final is ridiculous. He should have taken charge from the begining and things would not have gotten out of hand. Van Bommel should have been off, DeJong should have been off, Iniesta should have been off for the revenge foul on Van Bommel. Robben should have been off for putting the ball in the net after he was already called back for offside as he was already on a yellow. Webb missed a blatant penalty for Spain so in my opinion he completely lost his bottle in this game.

  205. 1 loose cannon

    Don’t forget the Dutch should’ve had a corner and a free kick against Elia prior to the goal. he missed that too. It was a final to forget. the dutch did what they had to do and kicked, the spaniards are no angels either they surrounded the refree waving their imaginery cards fell too easily at the slightest bit of contact. I thought Casillas kept the spain in the game otherwise they would have gone 2 nil down and the game would’ve been over for them. that’s football the margin of success and failure are small.

  206. I guess the hope behind the “laissez faire” refereeing policy, (and indeed in ANY context) is a trust that people take resposibility for their own actions.Now I know this is a fairly adult notion,but clearly a lot of the Dutch players were not appreciative of this style, (nor were some of the Spanish with a few dives here and there). I thought Webb did as best he could at keeping 22 players in this (poor) showcase final. I don’t blame him. And I don’t think a firm word after the first OTT tackle would have made the slightest difference. It was a Dutch tactic last night. How this relates to Arsenal and the Premier League this coming season I am not sure. I guess it indicates more of the same “get stuck in,” anti-football sort of allowance, unfortunately.

  207. DFG I think you contradicted yourself there, he cant give all those decisions, and be accused of bottling it.

    I think he tried to give the benefit of the doubt and try to keep all the players on the pitch for as long as possible. The likes of van bommel made it very difficult. I don’t think it’s easy dealing with that guy. But I think Webb did right by trying to let the game flow. Unfortunately the Oranje didn’t have the same ideas. That said it wasn’t all their fault.

  208. I can’t believe people on here are trying to excuse the Dutch and their dangerously aggressive play, after all what we’ve suffered from this kind of tactic in the PL.

    The argument seems to be that spain deserves it because of their diving, or waving cards in the refs face?

    Since when does that make it play like thugs?

    So when VP ‘exaggerates’ (in his own words) a fall from a bad tackle, does that make it ok for him to be kicked?

  209. The hypocrisy of the pundits was shocking as well, but I’ve come to expect that of them. but I really am surprised at the sympathy holland is getting on here…

  210. Els “But I think Webb did right by trying to let the game flow.”

    wtf?? can believe you’re saying this when surely you know that’s a common excuse for allowing bad tackles (that affect us more than most) in the premiership?

  211. Henristic no I actually think that the majority of the games scrapiness was from constant moaning and petulance rather than the bad tackles that no doubt should be banned and punished but the world cup final is not the place to start clamping down all of a sudden.

    You can’t let van bommel get away with his ‘tactics’ all summer then clamp down in the final. I was defending Webb’s tricky situation.

    But no I completey agree that those de jong type fouls should be instant red’s and 5 match bans and maybe shoud have explained my comment better.

  212. Els, How did I contradict myself? I said Webb bottled it and quoeted the red card situations that he did nothing about. Throwing yellow cards all over the field is not the answer. If he had giving the first red when it was due he would have set an example. That’s why I am saying he bottled it.

  213. Els. Also it was not Webb that let Van Bommel get away with it in the past, that pertains to different referee’s and has nothing to do with Webb. Webb can only be held accountable for his own personal performance and not that of others. Again in my opinion Webb bottled it.

  214. Webb was probably reminded before the game, to try to keep 22 players on the pitch. This is the World Cup final after all.

  215. “15 yellow cards and a yellow red in a WC Final is ridiculous.”

    then you went on to say that he didn’t discipline many incidents. Correctly.
    But in that case how is 15 yels and a red ridiculous?

    Webb was trying to keep the players on the pitch as best he could (rightly or wrongly) he did this by giving the players a talking to and by giving yellows.

    I think the problem was that the players took advantage of the fact that the refs association wouldn’t want to ruin the “Spectacle” maybe your overall point was right I didn’t mean to offend DFG. But blaming webb is probably incorrect I don’t think any other ref’s would have faired much better. Mind you I don’t give two shits about the fact it was an english ref and don’t want to be particularly in his corner but there you go.

  216. I agree with mingus

  217. Els. You are completely missing the point and not paying attention at all. If he had done his job correctly and issued the first red card when it was justified and set the proper example then he would not have issued 15 yellow cards! What did 15 yellow cards achieve other than letting the players have a free for all. Are you condoning the fact that 15 yellow cards and a yellow red is acceptable in a world cup final.

  218. DFG, for some reason your angle depresses the f**k out of me. What about the players doing their jobs properly. The responsibility lies with them, not with “dad”.

  219. Mingus. Then please explain the point of having a referee on the field of play!
    If you don’t do your job correctly at work you get disciplined by your supervisor, correct.

  220. That was an appalling excuse for a football match, topped only by the absolutely horrible presentaion ‘ceremony’. What was wrong with just giving the cup to the winning captain? Isn’t the occasion big enough to be understated?

    I’ve seen more dignity and class at full time in a match at Stamford Bridge.

  221. Exactly Mingus, Web done ok considering he was reffereeing a match with 11 cheats and 11 thugs, how could he possibly get every decision right?

    Refs are dammed if they do, dammed if they dont. Thank god the right team got the result in the end.

  222. I thot Arsenal was already in the form of mixing youth with experience?

    What is this about taking a cue from Germany.

  223. No DFG if your saying that 15 yellows is not taken seriously by the players on the pitch I think your wrong.

    I think I did miss your first point that you were saying he needed to stamp out the tackles, but as I say yellows are taken serious also.

    The players were more to blame with the shambles of a final not the ref. Spain were acting like children and van bommel was van bommel. Same for de jong.

  224. consolsbob – I agree, and would also like to know why slimy Sepp is continually allowed to get himself in on the action of every major footballing event by clinging on to the trophy for as long as he can before presenting it. Why on earth that insufferable man is even allowed anywhere near the players is beyond me. He should be quaffing Champagne with all the other no nothing big wigs, leaving the presentation of the trophy to someone of local note, like the poor man who had slimy Sepp dragging him around last night. Does he realise how embarrassing it all looks.

  225. Arsenalkabisa

    hehehheh. Casilas. You dont need to understand Spanish to know what happened her…!!!!!!!!

  226. DFG, you are talking bullshit

  227. Team Spirit its to do with flavour of the week..

  228. Leo. If you want to discuss a point then discuss it and not answer like a schoolboy.

  229. Els. I think we have now reached the point where we are simply beating a dead horse to death. You have said your point and I have said mine. Time to move on.

  230. Bob – You make a very good point about the classless way the Sepp handled the trophy. Of course this is par for the course for FIFA which has maximized every penny from this WC at the expense of Sth Africa. Estimates are that over a £1 Billion is being vacumned to their accounts in Switzerland. Zuma and his government will be left with giant bills for the stadia etc. Sepp and FIFA in general have become giant bloodsucxkers.
    If you doubt, go try find a youtube clip of any moment from these finals.

  231. The way Wenger and all of AFC has handled the Cesc transfer saga has been absolutely superb. The official statement they put out and Wenger’s refusal to even meet with Rosell in South Africa are both perfect responses. Great work Arsene.

  232. The game was not good on both sides. Spain didnt play anything fantastic.

    Prior to the goal it was Holland who had the more incisive opportunities.

    I really dont understand the problem with Holland break up tactics, isnt that what they are supposed to do againts a team that possesses the ball effectively?

    The Spanish team got away with some dirty tackles also. They dived and was in the refs face every time there was an infraction by the dutch but yet many dont see that as an issue? confused.

    The ref was also on their side. Foul on Robben by Puyol. How on eart to he not see that the free kick deflected off of Cesc is beyond me and the foul before the goal.

    Spain won the game but as far as some overall superiority in a footballing sense, I didnt see it.

    Cesc was the best player on the field last night, not iniesta or Xavi.


  233. Exactly shotta. This whole ferago has been anti football and pro money and power. It is at the heart of my disillusion with the game.

    I am going to have to take a strong dose of my own mediacine and try and enjoy each game for the football alone. Bollocks to the Premiership and bollocks to FIFA, EUFA and the FA.

    Let them have their teams, the Barca’s, chavs and mancs win their competitions.

    We’ll satisfy ourselves with being the proper football club playing proper football. Doing things the right way.

  234. “I’ve seen more dignity and class at full time in a match at Stamford Bridge.”

    Sadly have to agree. The raven haired Sepp sure is revolting. Almost as vomit-inducing as the smiles on the bizarre air-hostess’ that stood behind him.

    But was this game as bad as the last WC final?


    Even, dare I say it, the referee was better.
    Not by much, we are talking nano-units here…
    Better at what you might ask? To which the answer is, ‘I am not sure.’

    I enjoyed Fabregas’ cheeky line to Webb about the yellow cards. Maybe he wants to go ‘home’ this season? Maybe he isn’t going to get the chance to do so?
    Golden Handcuff’s? Cue Dr.Evil laughter in the background. Paul N is correct. Cesc is an amazing player. Amazing. That WC winning assist should add another €20M to the asking price!
    He’s of more use to any squad, then Narcissus and his BP inspired nail varnish…

    Maybe Cesc was prepping Webby for their next encounter in the PL?

  235. Bill – You and Joe had some good things to say about Wenger’s handling of the Cesc issue and despite our differences at times, I have to say both of you are absolutely correct.
    Unlike the the scum from Barca onwards, including the myriad of shamsters and money-men that are like leaches on the beautiful game, our boss remained steadfast and unmoved. Rossell needs to go f*ck himself.
    As Bob has affirmed, we love the Arsenal through thick and thin because we behave and play football the right way, despite every effort to destroy what is good about this sport.

  236. I’ll join you, C’bob!

  237. Robin white Van man Persie

    If only cesc scored that chance, then i doubt barca would have been able to buy him. we seriously cant let him go, if he goes were up the shit again.

  238. Anyway, time to get back to some proper football. This WC leaves a bad taste in my mouth and the finals have nothing to do with it.

    Too many red cards for one and an overuse of the yellow. For me this messed up the world cup as you really cannot know who the best team. How can you if teams are playing with ten men for the whole game or if a players has to sit a match out after some bogus/soft yellow cards are issued?

    Then we have goals that are not given and players half a mile offside scoring, we also have players playing goalkeeper and it being accepted.

    Ghana, Chile, Germany, Japan where the highlights of the world cup for me.

  239. Yeah let’s move on DFG.

  240. All the best Els. Nice talking with you.

  241. Good vid Arseman,

    Cesc’s comment about Webb in the league is priceless

  242. Yeah agree to disagree DFG. 🙂

  243. Campbell linked with Sunderland now?

  244. Shotta:

    I also noticed the boss was very quick to deny any Gourcuff rumours since he was being proposed as our Cesc replacement. Normally he does not deny rumours that quickly. AFC has been class all the way through this whole thing. I loved the official statement. I have ever seen “F**k off and die” said in a better way.

    I am reasonably confident Cesc will be with us next year and I am completely confident he will play like this never happened.

  245. Arsene already has taken his cue from Germany.Get to the semi finals and lose.He should be taking his cue from Spain who play great football and WIN

  246. Paul N

    with all due respect Campbell is 36 and if he stays he will be 4th choice at best he wants to be starting games if not he might as well pack in football

  247. I YW going write a new post today or does he take a well deserved day off?

  248. YW may be having a well earned pre-season break!

    Not the kind of break that Alan Hansen and Chums are so fond of once the PL starts…

  249. In fact, C’bob at 3.04, your new approach feels really liberating. Almost a Zen-like, non-materialistic way of following our great club!

  250. When did Spain play great in the WC?

  251. relax paul n the dutch played the most boring football for the duration of the cup seen from a team of their quality for a long time and as an arsenal fan you should be glad cesc dedicated his world cup victory to the Arsenal..

  252. Football is the peoples game, we should have the democratic right to decide who runs it.

  253. *

  254. Relax for what Kitchen Sink, did I say the Dutch played great football?

    Did I say I wasnt happy for Cesc?

  255. lol

    no you didn’t I didn’t say you said any of those things..


  256. I think Holland players have a deep rooted selfish problems, and if anything they should learn from Van Persie how to get over that.

    I remember when Van Persie came to Arsenal he was that way too, but after a couple of years, he learned that there is pleasure from providing assists almost as much as from scoring a goal yourself.

    Until Holland start teaching that to their players, they will not win international trophies. The reason they won the Euro one time was because at that time they had an overwhelming number of talented individuals at the peak of their careers in that team, Like Van Basten, Gullet, Rjichard, etc.

    Very sad for Van Persie to be playing for such a team, he may never get that chance again. This guys is so unlucky.

    What I like about Spain, is they can dish it out when they have to without losing sight of their goal…which is to win.

  257. quite true G4E I really felt more for VP playing in front of those selfish two..

    RvP was the only player willing to create something for another in the final 3rd with sneider and robben taking the selfish option when ever they got the chance, stagnating the play and limiting opportunities..

    Can’t wait to see him playing for the team that makes most of his quality..

  258. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    The Dutch played boring football, that is a fact. If they tried to play football with Spain with that midfield they would have got smashed. I just wanted to see the scum from Barca lose. Especially Xavi and Pique. Once again, Cesc showed not only his class on the pitch, but off the pitch as well with some very nice comments about Arsenal and RvP.

  259. Matty boy at 11:14 That’s a real low blow. Ouch!

  260. why dont the US have a bit more self belief, they could have beaten england and ghana had they pushed themselves to what they are capable of, they just needed more belief

  261. Don’t know what to make of this one…

  262. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Where did that come from Zap? How random.

  263. I don’t think calling it boring football NJN is the right name, this kick the hell out of them approach is usually taken by the less able teams that have a fundemintal belief that they’re inferior to their opponents.

    If any of the Footballing Gods out there really care about football or the beautiful game, they should stamp that approach out.

    I said it a thousand times and I will say it again. When you say football is physical, it’s not physical as in kick boxing, it’s physical as in endurance to run and run and run for 90 minutes…the commitment to give your all in 90 minutes, not to break someone’s leg and say I was committed.

  264. I bet Cronaldo’s envious right now. I’m sure he wanted the chance to ‘sleep’ with the World Cup trophy.

  265. confused @ kitchen sink.

  266. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    RIP Sugar Minott.

  267. As far as RVP and Holland, I smell a rat. Both Sneijder and Robben seemed to intentionally not give him the ball. They dont seem to like him. Maybe it was because everyone was saying how RVP would have a great world cup? All I know is they starved him of the ball but when he did get it his touch was second to none, brilliant player.

  268. Didnt know Sugar Minott passed away!? at only 54.

  269. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Keep on dreaming, G4E. Those tactics will always be a part of the football landscape. I’m not condoning it, but it will always be there. I don’t even think the Dutch were out to kick them and break legs like you say. They knew they couldn’t play football with Spain. When you have donkeys like Van Bommell on the pitch there are going to be some fouls. It’s a part of the game. I wish every game would be like the Germany vs Uruguay game too, but that’s a tad on the naive side.

  270. This was one of my favorite Sugar Minott songs

  271. NJN, I agree with you. I dont believe that Holland was brutal as is being made out. Spain made some very dirty tackles also. I believe it looks so bad on holland’s end because webb kept giving them yellows.

    Cesc said it best, “sometimes you are going to get some kicks and sometimes you give some kicks”

  272. I dont think Cesc is getting the credit he deserves though. I didnt see Spain scoring if not for him. He moved with pace and directness, caused the ducth defence nuff worries.

  273. Maximum respect to one-time ram dance-master, Sugar Minott. This guy was recording from he was a teen. My favorite was Mr DC, so essentially Jamaican:

  274. Shotta, this is real dancehall music. I tell the youths that they have it wrong, this current DJ music is not dancehall music in the least. We used to call it jump up music.

  275. Thats rocksteady really, the song you posted. I dont listen to much music anymore but this music was much more sincere to the nonsense I may run across today.

  276. Paul N – In my opinion this is early roots reggae rhythm. It is a Stereo One recording so it has a heavy rock-steady flavor. The cool thing however is that this was a long-recorded prior to Sugar’s cover, but since then it is known worldwide as the Mr DC rhythm.
    For non-Jamaicans, DC is a an abbreviation of District Constable, exported by the British Colonial authorities to Jamaica either in the 18th or 19th century. These part-time, semi-trained constables, were mainly from the black peasantry and were used after emancipation to help impose law and order. Unlike other part-time constables, they have always had the power of arrest. Hence Sugar Minott’s appeal, like any unfortunate caught in possession of ganja/marijuana; “Please Mr DC.”

  277. Re: Cesc not getting the credit he deserves, I agree. I mean, fresh legs played a part, but mentally he looked a class above all those around him. And strangely, had a mesmerising effect on the Dutch anti-football tactics. He played as if there was a force-field around him that no one dared go near!!!!! 🙂

  278. And he’s worth about a 100 mil now too.

  279. G4E – How much time must I tell you, there is no price for Cesc. He is not for Sale. (Shotta wih his best Wenger impersonation).

  280. So what was the exact quote from Cesc?

    “I am happy to play at Arsenal.”

    “I am happy to have played at Arsenal?”

    The more this goes on, the more unsettled a feeling a get about this. If Cesc thinks the deal is off, then he would have just come right out and said it.

    More likely is that he was told by Arsenal that it is only fair that we replace him before we sell him or the price of players Arsenal want will skyrocket. This is probably what angers Arsene more than anything, that this public courting from Barcelona has made it that much harder for Arsenal to acquire a replacement for Cesc.

    Certainly Nasri and (all things going well) Ramsey are capable of replacing Cesc on a long-term basis. It seems that aside from another central defender, what we really need is a physically dominant defensive midfielder to go along with Song. For me, the real key to this player is that he can cover ground quickly, because pace is the one element lacking in Song.

    Based on admitted limited information, I would love to see Inler being signed if at all possible. He’s a player Arsene has been linked with before, and he provided one of the gutsiest displays of the World Cup against Spain. We would be getting someone with a real winner’s mentality based on that performance.

    It’s always hard to predict how a player will do after the World Cup, and particularly if he has no Premier League experience. We were all delighted to see Rosicky tear it up at the last WC right after we signed him, and things haven’t worked out so well there. Still, Inler looks to have the presence to be a perfect addition to the squad, and would shore up a key part of the squad.

  281. correction: the two quotes I’ve read are:

    “I am an Arsenal player and I am proud to be.”


    “I am really proud to have been an Arsenal player.”

  282. Is there a vid of this interview?

    Until I see this and hear this for myself I am not forming any opinion.

    Hope he stays though.

  283. Most sources are saying the first one and only the ones which always court controversy are saying the latter. Had he said the second version that would be all over the internet as it is much juicier and open to speculation.

  284. HAHA…Shotta, I guess I’m not a good listener 🙂

  285. Shotta thanks for the history on the constables etc…

  286. unfortunatley i dont share the same tastes in music as you guys post on here, but its good to see things being talked about other than football, it makes this not just an arsenal blog but somewhere that general disscusion among people can be held. Nice..

    Im looking forward to going to the barnet game, i am hoping chamakh will be given a run out, or koscielny- rather see koscielny since i have seen chamakh…

  287. Shotta, yu eeear dis!!!

  288. There was once a saying held in korea that a boy with great wealth and prosperity was promised by a ”friend” that gold was on the top of a mountain. he climbed all the way to the top, without any help, and to his disgust there wasn’t anyone there, an actually his friends sent him up there to trick him whilst they invested money in a betting store in the local village, hence the saying: ”geunama amudo midji” which means ”Dont trust anyone” in korean.

  289. Zap, what kind of music do you like? variety is the spice of life. I like many different styles of music.

    The reason you saw the vids was because sugar minott passed away.

  290. Now i bet some of you braniacs on here didnt know that, eh??

  291. You will like this Shotta and Paul N

  292. Paul N and G4E – youtube is binned at work. Laters.

  293. I can listen to a wide range of music, but not really this carribean stuff and old rap that you guys post..

    Watching spain’s celebration is making me nothing but envious, and to think that people thought fat frank and john terry would be parading around london with the world cup , its something only a 5 year old would think about drawing, and probably not draw anyway and opt to draw spain players anyway. U have to feel great for cesc though, i definitly do, and i am praying we’ll be able to give him a great welcome if he returns to the emirates a world cup winner..

  294. If ever a game should have been decided on penalty kicks it was yeterdays final.

    If ever FIFA needed a clear example that football needs fundamental changes to its refereeing, it was given it in the form of world cup 2010.

    Goal line technology and an appeal system is an absoloute must. The credibility of the game depends on it.

    Good to see Cesc linked to some encouraging quotes, but forgive me for needing to see them coming from his mouth with my own eyes.

  295. So Cesc is doing all he can to help his transfer go through by buttering up our club.

  296. DukeGoonem

    The cynic in me agrees.

    Actualy I am a cynic so i just agree.

  297. deano,

    the optimist in me agrees.

  298. I am waiting for the same thing. We saw the interview in which Cesc was vague, likewise i would love to see an interview in which he confirms he will stay.


  300. Fucking ejaculate over your FUCKING dad pepe reina you hopeless failure FUCK OFF!!!!

    He forced a barca shirt on cesc, and so did puyol

    Fuck them!! Fuck Them!! Fucking cunts…

  301. cesc looked really embarrased..he took it off immediately..well that is going all over you tube tomorow

  302. Where did you see that Zap?

  303. Sky sports news

  304. Already in a terrible mood tonight, a quick flick into sky sports news, what dya know, cesc is being forced to wear a barca shirt. So annoying.

  305. He needs to stand up for himself and tell them to fcuk off or they will never stop. Either he is okay with it or it is tantamount to bullying.

  306. I’ve just seen pictures of it Zap at least one barca fansite that is suitably disgusted with the ‘joke’.

  307. Link please Passenal.

  308. Thanks usama.

    Cesc did not seem very happy with that childish prank.

  309. Cant blame Reina.

    Of course he wants Cesc in a Barca shirt.

    Theres no way he can face cesc in the europa league.

  310. hahaha thats a fast uploader

  311. It’s disgraceful again from Barca but what do you expect?

    Now Reina is getting involved too? I think he should get a “good” reception when he appears in the Emirates again.

  312. Now do you understand why some of us were not too thrilled about spainalona winning the WC Zap?

  313. Reina is a total tool. As for that greasy prat Poo-hole and that clumsy cunt Pique….here comes mourinho…

    This never would have happened if Holland won the world cup…

  314. ok fine…yes i understand, passenal

  315. well at least he looked suitably uncomfortable in the shirt.

    It didn’t realy suit him did it?

  316. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a bunch of peer pressuring cunts.

  317. deano, you’re absolutely right….it looked like crap on him

  318. I don’t think they are doing a very good job of luring Cesc. Seems quite the opposite to me.

    23 years old, WC winners medal, EC Winners medal.
    One of the best (if not the best) mid-fielders in the world.

    Barca cough up £70-80 million or fuck off. Preferably the latter .

  319. Cesc is in a difficult position. He cannot tell Barca and Barca players to take a hike as he does want to play there one day. And in the WC he did not want to create a problem, so he basically said nothing.

    The key to all this was last summer. He extended his contract by a year, thereby removing the possibility that he could go on a Webster. This is now an impossibility for another 3 years and effectively put himself in Wenger’s hands (as he said).
    If Barca come with some incredible (think close to an £80m offer) then Arsenal would take it, but less than that and they’re not interested.

    Cesc is only being diplomatic – he doesn’t want to burn his bridges with both sides. Hence no strong pro statements re either side (Arsenal or Barca).
    What this means is that he’s going nowhere.

    A very strong pro Arsenal statement was in his final programme notes at the Fulham game. Despite the intense tapping up he came back for the game amidst his recuperation and said in his notes: “it is important for all of us to have good tournaments [those going] and come back happy, and then we can all be on a good path to putting things right [winning trophies] next season.

    With the 5 yr contract remaining it is most likely that he will be sold after 2 or 3 seasons – summer of 2012 or summer of 2013 (if he says he will not sign again). That leaves him with 3 or 2 yrs on the contract and still a sizeable fee for Arsenal – and also an opportunity to have 9 or 10 yr careers with both clubs. This also fits with Cesc’s promise that he wants to win trophies with Arsenal.

  320. watching that video, just…wow reminded me how boring the world cup is, and how great it is to support arsenal…the world cup doesnt bring the world together, it brings countries against eachother…arsenal brings fans from all around the world together…thats why its special..

    I honestly dont give a damn wether cesc leaves or not, if he does well bring in someone like Ozil or someone with the money, so were good guys.

    Barnet nexxt,, ooh im excited about this one!

  321. haha dusfoccuf nice to the ppoint quick comment, love it haha

  322. Typical shite commentators on that clip on the penalty.

  323. jbh, it has crossed my mind that he is trying to walk that tightrope, but the behaviour of his so called friends at barca have made things really difficult for him. I think he would be shocked if he knew the depth of anger this unashamed destabilisation and tapping up is creating amongst Arsenal supporters.

    dupsffokcuf, I agree re that video. I watched the game with the sound off originally, those commentators on that clip reminded me why!

  324. bradys right foot

    Wow just seen the footage of Cesc with the Barca top. I mean as professional footballers the sheer lack of respect Reina, Pique and Puyol have shown Arsenal and Cesc with this stunt is jaw dropping. No doubt concotted with the adrenaline, drink and high spirits of the last 24 hours. I’m sure someone will have a moment of clarity tomorrow and think that was a shit idea.

    Ironically I really think thats the nail in the coffin for Cesc’s transfer to Barca. We are a proud club with a proud manager and in my opinion on a sheer point of principal this transfer is dead in the water. I think all gooners will join me in raising a metaphorical finger to Reina Puyol and Pique and maybe after tonight Cesc may do the same.

  325. Passenel. I just don’t think there is any other way that Cesc can handle the situation. He has not risen to the bait that his Spain team “mates” have continually pushed, when he quite easily could have made the most of it.
    It just seems to me that all of his actions and words are consistent with someone walking that “tightrope” as you call it.
    If he had really wanted to “agitate” for a move he would have taken one of the opportunities given him. His statements have been boringly neutral. If you were a Barca supporter (perish the idea!) you would be very disappointed in his lack of noise in agitation for a move.
    Its all media and the Barca classless, clueless, idiots, trying to make the running. Cesc can now quietly say again that its in Arsenal’s/AW hands and that will be the end of it (well for maybe a few months…) Until the media wind it up again.

    The best quote on this whole sorry issue is AW. “Why do you want this talent to leave the PL?” – to the equally classless, clueless, anti Arsenal UK media.

  326. I see where this is all leading. If we played Barcelona in the CL next season, I see hotels being trashed, that kind of thing.

    Passenal is right to observe that these Barca goons just don’t seem to recognise just how offensive this whole thing has been.

  327. I would not be very happy if the club I supported, and it’s players, behaved in the same manner as that classless rubbish.

  328. F*ck them. This has really taken it one step so far. All their stupid, childish interviews, that’s one thing. But disrepecting us and our club in such a way? There is no way in hell we are going to sell Cesc this year. Even if Barca would cough up 80 million quid — no way. We have too much self-respect than to deal with scum like that. It’s one thing to get constantly on our nerves, but putting that piece of sh*t shirt on OUR captain? Oh how I hope they all suffer career threatening injuries or suffer such high dips in form that even Tottenham would reject them. Just c*nts.

  329. What’s almost worse: some media outlets are already reporting the story as “Cesc celebrating Spain win in Barca jersey”… you just can’t get the facts more wrong.

  330. On the other hand: even slightly drunk Cesc knows what he is doing. And he knows that it would be highly disrespectful to put that jersey on. He looks properly embarrassed and refuses to put his arms through, instead trying to take it off as soon as possible.

  331. Arsenal fans should make note that Cesc’s first reaction at the end of the match was to seek out van Persie. This speaks louder to me than anything he has said to the media.

    Cesc is a very bright young man who is well aware of the precarious situation he’s been in all summer. He is also well aware of the politics of the Spanish team and of Barca. And he has been forced to walk a tightrope between offending his Spain teammates, possibly risking his place on the squad pecking order and offending the fans of the team he may very well return to.

    No one can blame him for wanting to play for Barcelona, it’s just a matter of timing and fair compensation and the move will happen. Cesc knows this, Arsene knows this and, despite all their noise, the powers that be at Barca know this. But all parties must agree, and this may not happen for another year or two. I think Cesc is okay with this because he trusts Wenger. He may be concerned about returning to a league where he could have his leg snapped in two as much as anything, but I think he still relishes his role with Arsenal and is now a player of global stature, a World Cup winner who doesn’t really need Barca as much as they need him. He will go there on his terms, which will reflect both his interests and those of the club he captains. I am confident of this. It’s just upsetting to me that Arsenal fans were unable to enjoy his success in the World Cup as much as we rightfully should have, but his teammates did a good job of turning us all against Spain.

  332. “Can we stop Spain in the same way Jose Mourinho stopped Barca?

    “I said no because I detest this style and because I thought my people would not dare renounce their style of play. I was wrong.”

    Johan Cruff on Netherlands. I love that. I detest ugly football. Coaches like Mourinho do a disservice to football. As much as we may moan about Barca like us they believe in playing football properly.

  333. Ommmmmmmmm. Ommmmmmmm.

    No. That didn’t work! Fu#k Barcelona! Fu#k Reina! Fu#k Xavi! Fu#k Rossell! Laporta! Piquet

    Right. Try again, mingus.

    No. This zen approach is not as easy as I thought. Must try harder.

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