Midfield Goals Required

A very quiet morning even by Arsenal standards this Friday. Planning continues for the coming friendlies and longer term, the season which is now less than a month away. Potential targets get linked, sign a new contract with their existing employers or have their Mr20% deny any knowledge of any interest from Arsenal in a vague attempt at reverse psychology, talking their clients into a move rather than being asked. All the usual stuff.

Of the usual suspects, Werder Bremen have suggested that Ozil could be sold if he doesn’t sign a new contract which if that is the player’s intention at the end of next season, is no skin off his nose. I have doubts that Wenger will even be looking at him all the while that Barcelona are unable to empty the pots of pennies around the Camp Nou to find the missing €50m to make Arsene sit up and listen to them over Cesc.

Meanwhile Joe Cole’s future is not resolved and the same applies to Sol Campbell. You suspect that the players both know where they will be starting the new season, probably the clubs as well but it is being kept from the media and by extension, us. Manchester City are still rapidly trying to make the leap from mid-table obscurity to Champions with a speed that would Usain Bolt shudder, the rationale to their signings seems to be if it breathes, moves and is under the age of 90, sign it.

Conor Wickham of Ipswich Town is the latest tug of love between Arsenal and Tottenham apparently. The fee suggested is £8m which makes him a typical Wenger signing although the belief that the Arsenal frontline is shorn of goals is inexplicable. There is little problem with goals, more keeping the players fit.

Striking options at Arsenal are not limited. Last season showed that the traditional reliance on forwards to score is misplaced, goals from midfield which have been previously scarce returned last time, prinicipally from Fabregas but others were not shy either. In all competitions, the total goals from Nasri, Denilson, Song, Diaby, Rosicky, Eboue, Ramsey, Walcott was 32, 22 in the Premier League. However, that came from a combined total of 197 appearances where the players started. The midfield need to score more frequently than an average of every fifth game for the jump to Champions to be made.

Some were disappointing. I believe Nasri and Walcott should score more than the 5 domestic goals they contributed between them. Nasri had a worse ratio of goals per games than Silvestre in the Premier League, which sums up the paucity of finishing. We know he is capable of better and the problem is perhaps simply one of the team’s overall performances in those circumstances. Vermaelen and Gallas bailed out the midfield to some extent with 10 EPL goals between them.

That may well have been one reason why neither Walcott or Nasri went to the World Cup. Had they shown consistency in finishing, they enhance their overall performances. Flair players who score are at a premium in football at any level; we saw in the Champions League how Walcott could finish calmly under pressure.

Theo has long been criticised for not being selfish enough in front of goal. He has set himself targets in the past of getting 10 or more in a season. This time, he recently said staying fit is a target for this season, half in jest but aware that to realise his long term aim of playing as a central striker, he will be judged on his finishing.

Of course, the midfield is judged by assists as well but for a team which creates as many chances as Arsenal, the number of goals scored should be more. They were on target before Christmas to score over 100 goals before injuries struck with a vengeance. It was then that the goals shipped became more noticeable, more of an issue.

The new season comes with hope, with the painful lessons learned. The players are another year wiser, all with points to prove from last season and that determination will make them stronger for the coming season.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 16, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 93 Comments.

  1. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_6262971,00.html

    guess we can forget about this guy getting any more goals for us.. if the above comment is true..

  2. first for the first time 😀

  3. Nice article YW, why so late with the post once again.. you still shifting boxes and furniture!?

  4. “Arsenal feels very hurt by Barca,” said Rosell to Catalan TV3.

    “They don’t want to listen to offers or sell and they are not putting the player (Fabregas) on the market.

    “There was a strong dispute a few months ago and they have not forgotten it.”

    “He (Fabregas) will arrive, even if it is not now, it will be next year,” said Rosell. “We will see.

    “One thing that is certain is that we will not go mad trying to sign him.

    “No shareholder would pay 60 or 70million euros for him.

    “We will not go all out for him.

    “We would only pay his value in the transfer market.”

  5. I think Yogi raises a key issue for this coming season – Arsenal have a number of talented players who just did not perform consistently last season: Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Eduardo, Arshavin and Diaby all spring to mind. They were all blighted by injuries to a greater of lesser extent, but Arsenal need them to deliver this year if we are to mount a serious challenge. These are all potentially World-class players; this year they need to show that talent.

  6. i agree that our midfield should work hard at scoring. There are times when Diaby, Nasri & Song are unmarked but still they decide to pass the ball to strikers thereby loosing possession. Arsene, should make them practise shooting from outside the box. This method works at Chelsea were Lampard just blasts them from outside the box scoring sometimes and at other times the rebound is finished by strikers.

  7. Nick.

    We only need 3 or 4 of that group to deliver. Last season we had a firing Cesc, no Van Persie, out of position Arshavin, injured Theo, second syndrome Nasri, and various other injuries which disrupted the team and individual goal returns.

    If we keep 3 or 4… an Arshavin, Nasri and Theo for instance fit for the majority of the season.. They will return a fair amount of goals.

    Look at Malouda of Chelsea, he is a good player, but his run in the Chelsea team brought him his form, goals and assists. Lets hope for better luck next season with certain players. They have the quality, they just need a run of games. Diaby was a massive improvement, once he got 10 games under his belt he looked unstoppable, dominating a number of games, to then turn mediocre as the rest of our depeleted team did at the end of the season run in.

    Difference next season is we have more options. We have a ready Rosicky and Eduardo, who Wenger should not hesitate to use this time round. We have another big striking option – allowing Arshavin to stay in midfield! and we have a fresh Nasri and Walcott – both of which we didnt have start of last season.

    I am very confident for the coming season, we have every chance of rolling everyone over. Bad lack has surely gone.

  8. James.. why do you mention words like:

    Our, we, us….

    Are you Spurs or Arsenal, please decide!

  9. Bunch of co*k suckers YW excuse my profanity but seriously how can they have the gaul to say such things his value in the transfer market in my opinion is at least £50m there are not many 20 goal 20assist midfielders out that ffs they payed £55m for a 29 yr old striker that can’t score.

    He has 5 years left on his contract why do they feel they can get hom on the cheap??

    On a more positive not I can’t wait till the new season, I truly feel City will be a force to be reckoned with but Mancini has to trim that squad, or in fact leave it so they can all start moaning about 1st team football.

  10. Silver Gunner

    They have the quality that is for sure, and a year playing together. The more players they try to change or buy, will ultimately cost them in terms of team play and cohesion.

    Bellamy going out will be a huge loss to them if he does leave, as much as I hate him he was exceptional last season. Looks a lot faster than he was at Newcastle too. I hope he leaves! Hes one I wouldn’t like at my club though, hes a mouthy dirty git.

    They have a chance this season. I think it will be out of us, Chelsea, and possibly City.

    Man Utd will fade away this season, unless Fergie pulls off a couple smart buys I doubt they will be able to challenge. They have too many ordinary players for me, and a couple aging players who will not be able to bail them out as they use to.

    It could work the other way for them, when Henry left us many thought we would crumble, but our boys stood up to the challenge. Maybe the likes of Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Valencia will turn into title winning players without the aid of Rooney, Scholes, Giggs…. I doubt they will personally! They will heavily rely on Rooney once more.

  11. It was said that Man City made a £30 million bid for Raoul Moat. They didn’t know who he was but they just knew that everybody was after him.

  12. They will heavily rely on Rooney once more.

    sorry I meant rely on the referees!

  13. Thierry Henry to make a cameo for us next season during the American break, a la Beckham at Milan? I hope so, just to see him perhaps as a sub, running up and down the touchline welcoming warm applause from the crowd.

  14. Good posts CG

  15. New York red bulls. this is another reason the americans are not taken seriously.

  16. haha Duke

    Yea they need to sort out their names. Might as well be called ‘Coca Cola Cowboys’!!

    There isn’t a team called that is there?

  17. Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, Diaby and Walcott can score more goals than we saw from them last season.

  18. ChrisGoona, a question for you; do you think our squad is strong enough (assuming an “average” rather than “terrible” season on the injuries front) as it is? If not, what sort of player do we need? Personally, I think we are pretty well set.

    I would like to see Craig Eastmond and Håvard Nordtveit getting the job of covering of defensive midfield and centre back if two or more of Song, Djourou, Vermaelen and Koscielny get injured.

  19. Thanks els.

    It will be interesting to see how Liverpool fair as well next season under Hodgson. Well after we thump them in the first game, Hodgson will to prove his man management skills if he is to pick the players up mentally!

  20. Nick

    If we have an average season of injuries yes, I think we are more than equipped. Apart from in defence, we seem 1 or 2 players short. I too expect Wenger to promote one like always and hopefully add a signing.

    Craig Eastmond looked good in what was a difficult run of games we had, he was impressive and didn’t look out of his league at all. Lansbury looks like another midfield player who could make the squad. I think though the likes of Vela, Nasri, and Walcott who have a lot to prove (Arshavin even to an extent).. they will make the difference for us.

    We have never really had to rely on our defence because we hold the ball so well with all our technically gifted players. So much emphasis has been placed on improving the defence in the last few years, i think its due to our indifferent team selections from injuries, where a more settled team will help us ship less goals. I don’t feel the defence of last year cost us the title, I feel it was all the changes and injuries.

    Nobody could argue a defence of Gallas, Vermalen, Djoruou, Camobell, Silvestre is not good enough. Plenty of experience and talent, Djourou’s injury proved costly. I hope we have the numbers just in case such a horrid sequence of injuries occurs once more.

  21. Great post Yogi.

    Those barca cunts are finally realising they don’t have the money to sign cesc! Lets hope he has another great season with trophies so that his market value increases even more!

    I’m pretty confident we have enough players in attack and midfield we just need to have another top, experienced defender and I believe we are good. I don’t think this connor guy would be worth it we have already too many talented youngster waiting to come into the first team like Simpson, Sunu, Watt, Afobe to add another one to the list.

    I hope we play a pairing of Vermalen and Djourou against Barnet to see if they have a good understanding and could play and more importantly to see if Djourou got back to his previous form as this is for me the big question mark.

    I want another experienced defender to come in but I have the feeling that if Djourou is in top form he will probably be Vermalen’s partner with the other defender being a back-up.

    I’ver read an interview on lequipe.fr a few days back where Kocielny, who is tipped to be a french international, and he calmed down those rumours. He said he is happy to have signed for such a great club but now he has to train hard to be able to play and then he might be considered for the French team. By reading between the lines, I believe Wenger told him he will be a back-up for now but if he fullfills his potential he might get some games.

    I believe Nasri, Walcott, Arshavin will be on fire as the have had a good break and will have things to prove.

  22. I was looking at the “Ins & Outs” of the premiership earlier; other than Man City, there has been no significant business. I agree that Man Utd could well do a Liverpool and start to fade. Chelsea also run that risk considering the age of the squad. Arsenal have several top players now fully recovered from injury, 2 new signings and several young players emerging into the first team. I’m feeling positive.

  23. CG while I’m starting to realise I had hodgson wrong and he’s not too bad, I still think too much has happend at Liverpool for them to mount a challenge for the next couple of seasons.

    Nick I agree, I think injuries permitting the squad should be great, I’m a big big fan of promoting the youth and as you sat Easmond and Nordveit along with cruise will all contribute well to defensive duties. The only question is to do with top flight experience (a word that can be perceived in many ways) that we may struggle with.

    That said who would you sign? Finding a 25-30 year old top flight experienced defender for less than £20m isn’t easy.

    More than anybody coming through the reserves I really really would love to see Lansbury make it though. Fingers crossed for him.

  24. Why are the media not reporting Cesc’s comment that he felt shame when they put the Barca shirt on him.

    It’s not a quote, the interview is on youtube.

  25. Els, other than Lansbury, Nacer Barazite and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas have got to be possibilities for breakthroughs, although the big problem for all of them is they are competing on a part of the field where we already have many options. Eastmond and Nordveit are no more talented than any of those three, but the squad is thinner in those areas.

  26. Ole

    I have no sound, can you put me up some quotes on here pls matey.

  27. We all know cesc wants to go back to spain he has never hidden that fact has he, unlike certain former players but maybe he thinks he might want to go earlier then he originaly planned.

    some people say we should boo him, what a load of new york red bull, we know he is basicaly on loan with us and always has been.

    for me he is better then chavy and iniesta. every time he comes on for spain they are more of a threat, and in the euro’s he done the same every time he came on.

  28. “Pasé mucha verguenza. Son dos grandes amigos, fue en una celebración y en una noche muy especial. Todo el mundo sabe que ellos hacen muchas bromas y no hay que darle más vueltas”

    My translation: I suffered much shame. They are two great friends of mine and it was a very special night. Everyone knows they’re always joking around and there’s no getting around that fact.

  29. Duke,

    Cesc can score, assist, pass, run, tackle, cross, and wins a lot of games for Arsenal, and Spain even…

    Xavi’s main attributes: Diving, faking injury, crying to the ref, surrounding the ref, being a cock in general, pleeing to Cesc to go Barca, and oh yeah his passing.

  30. Thanks a lot Ole.

    I thought he would have been pretty embarassed. Funny how we only see the negative stories come out in the Press. Media hacks fuc*in hate us bad!

  31. Nice one ole.

    Haha I think CG is doing some sneaky work blogging same as me???

  32. Yep totally agree Chris, just coz chavy n iniesta are in the team people just assume that they are better then Cesc. So Heskey is the second best english striker then? wait dont answer that one.

    Talking of Emule Heskey, nice of him to finally hang up his er…shooting boots for international duty…shame he couldnt of quit a month ago.

  33. perhaps els… 😉

    Where abouts do you happen to be blogging? Do sign language so we don’t alert them!

  34. Duke

    You can’t fault Heskey for trying his best. He was never a goalscorer, and its not his fault they picked him!

    Imagine the damage Crouch could have done against the World’s best defense.. second thought, LMAO!

  35. Chris @11.42

    Nope, boxes put away and everything in a place – whether that is right or not remains to be seen…

    Problems with broadband haven’t been solved at home so relying on work at the moment. Not too sure about the weekend but we’ll work around it.

    YW

  36. We had to much reliance on Cesc for goals last year. Whilst I am happy for his output, we need a striker to have over 20. Van Persie, Bendter need to fill this role. I do not know why we are even paying Eduardo and Vela for? Eduardo scored like 2 goals in the league and Vela 1. That is rubbish !!!! Lampard scores 15-20 regularly for the Chavs but Anelka and Drogba are the leaders. We need more output from all these players who are overpaid and underperforming. It’s laughable that we are facing another season with the same Goalkeepers at this stage. A blind man can see we need better options in this area.

  37. I feel very confident about the coming season, but then I always do. Once again we are stronger in most departments by incremental improvement intrinsic in younger age players as they mature year by year, and by recent additions, Chamakh and Kossy both of which I find very exciting.

    The expectations placed on Walcott, and Wenger warned everybody about this, were not realistic. He is quality and will deliver at his own pace of development. He will be better this season than last, not least because of a terrible start last season. How much better? That’s anyone’s guess. He is a match winner that’s for sure, and yes, perhaps this is his season after not being picked by England he has a mighty incentive.

    As for Nasri and Arshavin in particular, both have yet to show consistency, and both will possibly have a spectular coming season; I base that on the simple formula of incoming quality players take a season or two to settle in EPL, and then frequently explode into form. It’s natural.

    Much is going to hinge on Diaby’s form. Wilshere will be interesting too, as a sort of side show.

    The most important element in all this, more than before, is the collective psychology of the team. Frankly, if they believe in their guts they can do it, they probably will and nothing will stop them.

    If they doubt their ability (as a team), then they certainly won’t, and that is the weakness of younger players who are “not quite sure” where the more mature player says “Doubt doesn’t matter; we won’t get a better chance; we know what we need to do”. When Wenger says, as he does, “we are close” this is what he means.

    Good luck Arsenal!!

  38. YW

    I know, moving house is very hectic, I have done it a fair few times. Unfortunately I don’t really get a chance to read your fine blog over the weekend, so don’t worry if you cant make a post in time! Just make sure Mondays is there for me to enjoy as always! 🙂

  39. Chris…Duke… I love Cesc to bits, but did you see how the Barca midfield took us apart in the CL last year? We couldn’t get a sniff until the very end when Theo scared the bejeezus out of them (Game 1) and in Game 2 we were never at the races. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say they have the best midfield in the world. After all, it won the CL one year ago (almost twice in a row…) and won the World Cup this year. We aren’t at their level just yet. Cesc is close, but I think this year or next is when Cesc surpasses Xavi and Iniesta.

  40. Well i think you should worry if you cant make a post Yogi.people wont be happy. especially for both saturday and sunday!! People now expect a daily dose of aclf!!!!!.

  41. As the turds at FIFA & UEFA won’t take action against Barcelona for their blatant tapping up of Cesc Fabregas ( behaviour that breaks their rules ) then Arsenal fans in their thousands should write letters of complaint about this posting one each to UEFA & FIFA.
    If both bodies are too gutless to take action against Barcelona, then if thousands of Arsenal fans post letters it will hopefully cause the 2 bodies a huge administrative headache. I would go so far as suggesting repeatedly posting letters once a week.

    Addresses as follows ………….

    UEFA
    Route de Genève 46
    Case postale
    CH-1260 Nyon 2
    Switzerland

    FIFA
    Strasse 20,
    P.O. Box 8044
    Zurich
    Switzerland

  42. Amerigooner

    You are comparing their performance of their 1st 11 against a depleted makeshift side that included our 6th choice CB, no Van Persie, Song at CB, Arshavin out, and several others.

    You don’t think if we had Song, Cesc, Nasri, Walcott, Arshavin, Van Persie, and our 1st choice defence we could have beat them?

    I know they played exceptional, but our weakened team managed to comeback from 2-0 down to grab a draw. Just imagine the damage a full strength side would have done…

  43. Another great post Yogi. Thanks.

    Zimpaul @ 1:40:

    “The most important element in all this, more than before, is the collective psychology of the team.”

    Spot on. Most accurate comment of the day.

  44. I suspect we are going to see a slightly, by a couple of degrees, less adventurous Arsenal this year, with more positional emphasis on defence, and more strategy placed on (a) not conceding and (b) winning the ball back quickly.

    4-2-3-1, with two defensive/creative midfielders, probably from Diaby, Song, Den and East by and large. That’s fine with me. That allows Cesc to play his best position, as forward placed central midfielder, a position that Rosicky, Nasri and Ramsey can also play, but RvP also plays better.

    We have plenty of excellent left and right options, again including RvP either side as or if needs arise, he is such a versatile performer, but I guess his natural role is going to be up front. I think he is more effective as a support player to the striker, and that’s why I’m not a manager.

  45. Kip Ole (I think) recently asked us to scan our arses and fax it to there pr office, some of us did that if you’d like to participate.

  46. ZimPaul

    It could just happen, if Chamakh proves to be the complete CF, or more complete than Van Persie! We could always drop Van Persie behind him, in a Bergkamp role. In a 4-3-3 this don’t seem likely though was Cesc would have to drop deeper, something which he can do, and has done in a 4-4-2.

    Maybe this will be better come to think of it:

    – – – – – – – Almunia / ? – – – – – – – –
    Sagna – CB – -Vermalen – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – Van Persie – – Cesc – – – – – –
    N8/W14 – – Chamakh – – -A23/R7

    This may seem a bit too attacking! But at least we would have Cesc and Van Persie running the show.. while we have 4 creative players on the wings to choose from. Never mind Vela, Bentdner Edu, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson etc to switch to if need be.

    I know it won’t happen, but was a nice idea to have Cesc and Van persie in attacking midfield roles.

  47. It’s really OK for Fabregas to score lots of goals, honestly, not a problem. He is an attacking player, not a traditional English style midfielder.

    He’s more Tevez, than say, um, Xabi and I apologise to him and all of us for even mentioning him alongside these two, although I like Tevez.

  48. The prospect of Fabregas, RvP and Arshavin linking behind a striker is very exciting, very attacking and adventurous and may yet pan out.

    I still see 2 defensive-ish (in the positional sense) players behind them. Rosicky, for example is a fine tackler of the ball.

    I’m mad.

  49. Ole, thanks for the vid and translation, I so wish i could speak Spainish or anyother language for that matter.

    Still got mad love for the kid Fab. You can see he wanted to get that shirt off as soon as he realised what it was.

    As for the goal return from the midfield, I think that will improve. I think Fag only had 3 goals the season before last, so you can already see he made huge progress in that area and so there’s no reason why the others won’t follow suit.

    I think shooting outside the area may help.
    Some of our players are too reluctant to have a long range effort. Denilson, Fab, and Rosicky have no such problems in this area, but some of the others do. I think our players have the skill and abilities to score screamers, and i imagine if they showed a bit of willingness with this, it may actually open holes in defences a lot quicker, especially with our passing ability

  50. Gadget,

    Even if they don’t go in, Lampard, Scholes etc have proved in the past a deflection or follow up can lead to a goal from a long shot.

    Bendtner will be aware of it too.. I remember the 93rd min goal against Wolves I believe where he followed up Denilson’s long effort. You don’t shoot you don’t score. Theres too many games we go for the pretty passing approach and not take the shots when we are in the position to do so, waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise. We need to get the balance right and not over play like we do at times in some games where we have a lot of possession.

    The season before last was much worse, so we made massive improvements I feel. The likes of Nasri, Walcott, Diaby, Vela need to just give it a smack every now n then, if we are struggling for a break through. Cesc, Van Persie, and Arshavin are mature in this sense, they are not scared to have a pop. Denilson perhaps gets a bit too hopeful on some occasions, but you can’t fault the effort, most of his goals have come from long range.

  51. Silver Gunner

    ZimPaul i agree with you with regard our formation but I see RVP in the most advanced center mid position behind Chamack or Bendtner

    ——–Chamack
    Arshavin,RVP, Theo
    ——–Song, Cesc
    Clichy, TV, LK, (I hope Eboue)
    ———Schwarzer????

  52. Silver Gunner

    of course song could be diaby based on who we are playing

  53. The way I see it is
    1. This season just take over the EPL, squash it, dominate it, outplay all opposition senseless, oh and a couple of silly trophies for fun
    2. Next season, massive Barcelona confrontation and victory and confirmation of european domination
    3. Season after world domination, team of the century and all that
    4. Season after first intergalactic aspirations, followed by
    5. Season after starship Arsenaprise and several new worlds discovered (and beaten)
    6. Create a new world, 50 billion souls, all playing the Arsenal way, invent 4 dimenional football
    7. Infinity and beyond

  54. The squad against Barnet looks good.

    Manuel Almunia (GK)
    Andrey Arshavin
    Nacer Barazite
    Marouane Chamakh
    Johan Djourou
    Craig Eastmond
    Eduardo
    Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
    Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Kieran Gibbs
    Conor Henderson
    Laurent Koscielny
    Henri Lansbury
    Ignasi Miquel
    Samir Nasri
    Havard Nordtveit
    Tomas Rosicky
    Armand Traore
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Theo Walcott
    Jack Wilshere

  55. The squad for Barnet looks good.

    Manuel Almunia (GK)
    Andrey Arshavin
    Nacer Barazite
    Marouane Chamakh
    Johan Djourou
    Craig Eastmond
    Eduardo
    Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
    Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Kieran Gibbs
    Conor Henderson
    Laurent Koscielny
    Henri Lansbury
    Ignasi Miquel
    Samir Nasri
    Havard Nordtveit
    Tomas Rosicky
    Armand Traore
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Theo Walcott
    Jack Wilshere

  56. I agree that we will be incrementally better than last year. I also think that Wenger has decided that he needs a better balance between strength and skill, as well as being a bit less adventurous, than was often the case last year; both the signings are of physically strong players that will be harder to bully than was often the case last year. For example:

    —————Almunia/?——————-

    Sagna——-LK——–TV———Clichy

    ———Song————–Diaby———–

    —————–Fabregas—————

    ——–RVP——————AA/TR/SN—–

    ——————MC/NB——————-

  57. My comments are not showing. Hmmmmm, what is going on here.

  58. Barnet squad, well not Barnet squad but Arsenal squad for Barnet. You know what I mean.

    Manuel Almunia (GK)
    Andrey Arshavin
    Nacer Barazite
    Marouane Chamakh
    Johan Djourou
    Craig Eastmond
    Eduardo
    Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
    Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Kieran Gibbs
    Conor Henderson
    Laurent Koscielny
    Henri Lansbury
    Ignasi Miquel
    Samir Nasri
    Havard Nordtveit
    Tomas Rosicky
    Armand Traore
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Theo Walcott
    Jack Wilshere

  59. Away from football at the moment, proof that qualifications are no signal of using intellect wisely: http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

    YW

  60. Mean

    Don’t know why they didn’t go through but have freed them.

    YW

  61. One reason for the Chamakh purchase might well be to cultivate two alternative central strikers in Bendtner, Chamy, precisely to play RvP behind them, his more effective role, and I maybe Cesc aside him, sort of, part-Xabi higher up role, since Cesc is instinctively an attacking player.

    That means a kind of 4-3-2-1 defensively and so 4-1-4-1 offensively. Sort of.

  62. Mean Lean – you beat me to it!

  63. so world domination starts with Barnet, as usual

  64. hell, we have a good team considering who’s missing

  65. I think my intergalactic aspirations are a little too modest looking at who I forgot we had in the mix

  66. arshavin – chamakh – walcott
    rosicky – nasri – wilshere/barazite
    gibbs – verm – kossy – take your pick

    nice to see JET in he mix

  67. Don’t know where I can find the stat to confirm or not, but I read that AFC scored more goals from outside the pelanty box last season then most.

    Lansbury could benefit from Ramsey being on the mend?

  68. CWD4CESC has been a busy bee, (and not changed their tag I note),

  69. See SkyBet are now quoting odds for Cesc to join Barca before the summer’s end from 1/8 this morning to 5/2 now!! Yogi do you still think he’s going this summer?

  70. ahhhhhh rvp, you beautiful man. If i had the choice, cesc could fuck off so rvp could stay with us. Love him…hope he can be more lucky next season….please, please knvb dont use him in internationals, give huntelaar a chance or something.

  71. Silver Gunner

    JD Gooner I think he will stay but the damage as a result of his actions are what is more difficult to predict. He would honestly have been better of putting in a formal transfer request rather than this abigious BS we have had to put up with for the past 2 months.

    I still love him as a player if he leaves he would have been the only arsenal great in mylife-time not to lift the EPL he would leave frustrated that it is just the FA cup and Charity shield which are silverware but not the Holygrail of english footy.

  72. Silver Gunner

    Is it too early for the likes of afobe to taste carling cup action??

  73. JDG

    There is a while yet to go in this one. I don’t think he is going to ask for a move though. Barcelona are trying to create an air of poverty and will possibly come back with a €35m bid and be told where to go by the board but it would not surprise me if they leave it until the end of this month to put together a bigger offer. All this crap that has been circulating about loans and €50m transfer kitty’s is tosh. No club announces how much they have to spend because it inflates the price. Either that or Sandro Rosell has just made the biggest gaffe ever by a chairman.

    YW

  74. squad looks good for barnet except we still have tweedle dee and tweedle dum as our keepers!!!

  75. A message from Pigue to Cesc

  76. I agree with Silver Gunner.

    Though many dont like anything negative to be said about Cesc. His silence or ambiguity is loud and paints a very clear picture to me. If I stay its kool because I love and admire Wenger and all that Arsenal have done for me but I would rather leave and play for Barca.

    This is bull and I really dont give a damn what Barca Presidents say or those clowns that play for them, I would like Cesc to be definitiveone way of the other. How can anything else be correct?

    The only true stand up persons in this whole ordeal are Arsenal.

  77. dups, if you dont mind me asking where do you come from?

  78. Paul,

    Cesc has always stated that he will go back to barca one day. now with all this peer presure he maybe is thinking about going back earlier. Cesc hasnt done alot wrong, if he comes out and says he loves the club and only wants to play for us it would be a lie wouldnt it. if we get another season then great. gives ramsey another year to get prepared to take over.

  79. Silver Gunner

    DukeGoonem why not just put in a transfer request

  80. maybe in the world cup in 2014 fabregas and van persie will play again in the final, and suddenly theyll wear arsenal shirts, and cesc can pass to rvp, and he will shoot and score and arsenal will win the world cup, yaaay, thats not a childish thought is it?

  81. Almunia
    Sagna CB Verm Clichy

    Song

    Diaby Cesc

    Arshavin RVP

    Chamakh

    This is truly the most balanced side I can think of right now and whats astounding is the experience we have on the bench ready to come on and make a difference. Denilson, Walcott, Rosicky, Nasri, Eduardo, Bendtner, Gibbs, Eboue and all the youngsters. We can virtually put out two competitive teams without hesitation. I’m really curious of how Wenger is going to juggle all this talent. My only concern is the GK and CB positions. If we are solid at the back we will be virtually unplayable. I’m so damn excited. Lets just hope the injury curse doesn’t strike again.

  82. *

  83. How serious is Denilson’s injury, anybody ?

  84. apparently its a reocurrence of the groinal injury which took him out of the end of last season Denilson’s doing training by himself though Tokala so it shouldn’t be too bad..

    does anybody know when Song and Diaby are back since they went out in the group stages?

  85. @Paul N

    Born & Bred in London but now in Ireland (work).

  86. I think Song, Diaby 7 co. are going to be on the plane for Austria.

    Wow, it’s come up quickly this time. Probably thanks to the World Cup.

  87. For various reasons, I think this was my favourite performance of last season by an AFC player for me. There were many contenders!

    A shame that Dummy chose a Dummy as Captain for his national team, but better for AFC that he comes back fresh.

  88. silver gunner

    could not agree more if he stays injury free one of the best left backs in the world.

  89. I’m sure some of you have seen this but I had to share.. had me cracking up hah

    http://www.oleole.com/blogs/arseblog/posts/exclusive-internal-barcelona-memo

  90. ok dups, you have a good knowledge of some of the more sensible reggae.

  91. This is interesting, if accurate. It suggests we are the second highest spenders after man c, which either shows how little money there is around, or there will be a late flurry of activity.

    http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/statistiken/wettbewerbe/transfers.html

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