No Cole As Experienced Centre Backs Fly The Nest

Another morning of some dreams biting the dust with Joe Cole signing for Liverpool. Personally, it is not a signing that concerns me. Arsenal has enough players in his position and Arsene’s focus is surely on defensive issues rather than attack.  In many respects Cole is similar to Ozil; highly popular in some quarters, the clamour arising from the World Cup but not a central requirement to the squad.

Either would have been a more than suitable replacement for Cesc had Arsenal been willing to cash in on their captain. The club has made it clear that they are not. Despite this, the Catalans are still desperate to sign him on the cheap and are willing to fly in for talks. They would find any meeting one-sided as Arsenal would probably not turn up, rather like in South Africa.

Wenger mentioned at the weekend that the club were still looking for replacements and any lingering doubts (hopes) that Gallas or Silvestre will remain have been all but confirmed (dashed) by the manager:

At the moment none of them have signed again for us. At the moment there is nothing special to say about that. I believe that Gallas and Silvestre will sign somewhere else. Campbell is still in no-man’s land at the moment.

Whilst few will lament the passing through of Mikael Silvestre, the absence of both Gallas and Campbell would leave Wenger with a headache. The former could still perform in the first team on a regular basis whilst the latter’s experience would be invaluable for the younger squad members. In both cases, their desire to play every week or more frequently than Arsenal may be able to offer them, is entirely understandable.

Even so, were they to remain I would still look to Wenger to sign another centre back. Koscielny has progressed quickly in his career thus far and may prove to be an astute signing by Arsene. His fee suggests that the manager believes him to be ready for the first team although perhaps requiring some time to settle in for the physical task in the Premier League. The links to Jagielka gained ground at the weekend and have persisted this morning albeit not as strongly.

Having had good World Cups, van der Weil, Steklenburg and Suarez are being once more targeted with a move to England, this time the lack of interest shown by Chelsea and Manchester United means that Arsenal are now the preferred media destinations. With the friendlies and tours underway, those responsible for filling the newsfeeds are desperate for some action, especially with the Cole saga now resolved.

Goalkeepers continue to cause concern at Arsenal and Handanovic’s Mr20% refuting rumours means looking elsewhere. Wenger’s comment that there was no clear Number One at the club had a two-fold effect. Firstly, it is a signal to those at the club that they need to up their performances and more importantly, do so on a consistent basis. Almunia’s ‘illness’ merely served to feed the second effect: speculation about signings.

It would be no surprise if there was not a new goalkeeper at the club, particularly if Fabianski or Almunia had a good, solid pre-season. The long-term aim of Szczesny or Mannone as Number One would be served by that. Confidence from the stands in either of last season’s first two choices is of no relevance to Wenger; he cares nothing to what we feel, believing with his eyes in training and matches.

He made it clear at the weekend that Schwarzer is unlikely to join so attention turns elsewhere. Those at Arsenal need to make sure that they take this opportunity to fill the gap if the chance arises. Criticism will be forthcoming and mistakes pounced upon quickly if there is no replacement, potentially damaging media comments filtering through to supporters.

Finally, a while back I mentioned a survey that was being organised on fans’ views towards gay football players by Dr Jamie Clelland of Staffordshire University. Phase 1 has been successfully completed and Phase 2 has been launched with the support of the PFA.  Check www.topfan.co.uk for the full statement, latest results and make your contribution to Phase 2 of the project.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 20, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.

  1. Delia-----Block 112

    Where were the rest of you!

  2. Gallas 10 always pissed me off, why would a CB want to have #10.

    I honestly think we were never interested in Cole, maybe if he really wanted to join Arsenal for a good price yes. I doubt we would have gone out of the way to sign him.

    And why is the media so determined to force players on teams. Is it to justify their jobs?

    At the end of the season even before announcing Chamakh, Wenger insisted that attacking vacancies are filled, yet we are still being linked with the likes of Suarez and Ozil.

  3. I’d be interested to see a comparison between this year’s pre-season squad and the ones from previous years…

    In like this time of year – it’s one of the few opportunities we get to gauge AW’s opinion of certain young players.

  4. Joe Cole? a more than suitable replacement for Cesc? No no no no no.

    OOU, arse.com news archive, search by July and whatever year you want.

  5. Billic confirms Eduardo gone.

  6. RVP gets the number 10 shirt.No way Gallas will stay after that. Also no Jay simpson in Austria, so he’s toast! I’m also getting this feeling that Almunia will still be number one next year.
    What do you guys think about The Sun’s survey and the extinction of the English player in the EPL?

  7. Cesc apparently ready to hand in a transfer request, aint got a clue how they come up with it.

  8. Arsenalkabisa, Eduardo didn’t go to Austria. Probably confirms it!

  9. sad sad day, I hope Eduardo does well.

  10. Anything on the metro is a load of crap. Although I would take the Dutch Keeper.

  11. Nice post, though I must say, the thought of not signing a top keeper fills me with dread. At the very minimum we need at a GK and a ready made CB, if we then add a combative style DM and we’re be looking good to compete on all fronts.

  12. Er yeah, I was being lazy and hoping someone else would do it for me, LA.

    So Eduardo’s gone. This is when we see ACLF in classic doublethink mode. And maybe Word’s comment the other night wasn’t the worst in the history of the blog.

  13. Why is everyone dreaming of another DM. We have so many players who can play there if Song is unavailable. Must I list them again… Ramsey, Denilson, Diaby, Eastmond, Frimpong, Eboue.

    We need a CB, and a GK with real quality that is better than what we got. When we had Diarra, Gilberto, Flamini all as DM’s, what did that achieve. We flogged Diarra because we couldn’t satisfy him, Flamini took all the games on merit, and Gilberto ended up leaving too because he wasn’t a regular.

    Sometimes too many isn’t always good.

  14. Limpar,

    I gulped when I read that too! Joe Cole a capable replacement for Cesc?!

  15. OneOfUs

    It still was a bad comment, Wenger gave Eduardo the choice, and Eduardo feels he needs a fresh challenge. Will this force us into buying another striker though?

    Bendtner
    Van Persie
    Vela
    Walcott
    Chamakh
    possibly Jay? or is he out of the squad in Austria

    They can all play up front.

  16. Vela got the no 11 shirt. I hope he does better this season than the last. His WC was forgetable.

  17. For some reason i have this sneaky feeling that we will go into the season as is.

    Wenger has gotten the defender he wanted.

    I have the sneaky feeling there will be no more signings.

  18. I would be amazed if Arsene does not sign a new keeper.

    His comments regarding no number 1 at the club coupled with a bid for Schwartzer all point to a change in the current encumbent.

    By Arsene starting the process of buying a new keeper already makes Almunia’s position untenable.

    I expect a new keeper will arrive before the deadline with Fabianski remaining as number 2

  19. I agree with Darijo Srna, Eduardo is one of the best strikers in the world. Thanks for the moments of magic, Dudu. I’ll be following Shaktar with great interest this season. They’re a great team to watch so it’s hardly a chore.

    £6m is decent business too, I think.

  20. CG, I’d never heard AW be so candid about the future of one of his players as he was about Eduardo at the back end of last season. He was basically inviting offers.

    Eduardo got a lot of stick last season. And the main defence was always that his form deserted him after the diving furore and not the leg break. So the situation wasn’t irretrievable.

    But then after a while you think – Do we really need someone who goes to pieces because of something like that?

    Especially when he was meant to be one of the senior players. I love him as a player, and I’m in awe of his resilience in coming back from that injury, but he wasn’t right for Arsenal, where we need the +25s to shoulder a bit more responsibility.

    I thought Vela looked promising at the World Cup until he got injured.

  21. For some reason i have this sneaky feeling that we will go into the season as is.

    Wenger has gotten the defender he wanted.

    I have the sneaky feeling there will be no more signings.
    —————————–

    Totally agree, would like another CB but I have that nasty feeling too, no more signings.

  22. I think we’re set in midfield and attack. We could probably do with another CB though. And I’m not sure how AW sees the GK situation.

  23. Another CB is a must

    Djourou, Vermaelen, Kosc, and include Nordveit for arguments sake is not enough.

    Vela was very promising at the WC, Mexico missed him when he got injured. He has a bright future, hopefully starting next season where he could now get more opportunities.

  24. I don’t know about untenable but I agree with Kingsalami – ‘we’re still in the market, no No.1, looking at various situations’ – that means new keeper to me.

  25. What about that Zapata? It’s gone a bit quiet about him. We definitely need another defender. I know that this season we seem to have known all about any signings literally months before they happened, but surely he’s keeping one ace up his sleeve?

  26. How about Micah Richards?

  27. OneOfUs

    Problem is most people have taken it as Wenger has set his heart on replacing Almunia.

    I think in his latest comments its less clear, he said number 1 is up for any one of our goalkeepers. So whoever he gives it to will be based on performance. But he is still looking at alternatives, so this could drag on a bit longer than he and us would like. I am not so sure we will buy a keeper, although ideally I would like someone to come in and challenge Almunia at least for the #1 spot. Maybe send Fabianski on loan to get some confidence back, Mannone or Schwezny can play 3rd choice, and Carling Cup duty.

    Right now though its hard to predict if we will buy.

  28. poor poor poor vuvuzela. We are not signing him this season…

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/vuvuzelas-not-welcome-

  29. I think Vela is clearly set for a major role this year; not first choice but much more involved. I think he is well suited for the 4-3-3 formation, taking the left side of the front three. Him and Walcott are very similar players, just on opposite sides of the pitch, and his pace will worry people. He is also a very good crosser of the ball and can provide ammunition for Bendtner and Chamakh.

  30. Or he goes right and shocks us with the arrival of Buffon…

    But then why go with Almunia to the pre-season if he has no future with Arsenal?

    oh darn, he went with Senderos too for the pre-season.. so that answers nothing…

    Oh…what would i give to be in Arsenes head…???

  31. I believe in the young players we’ve got, CG. If Almunia’s out of favour, then Fabianski needs the games to prove what he can do.

    If Szczesny’s good enough, then it doesn’t matter how old he is. Many great keepers were regulars at 20.

    And I think he has a point when he said he proved he’s ready at Brentford. I’d suggest it’s harder for a GK to shine in the Championship and League One – those leagues are more physical than the PL, and the pitches are an absolute disgrace – especially Griffin Park.

    The only issue is with temperament for the big stage. And we won’t find out about that until we give him a chance.

  32. Absolutely gutted about the EDS saga from St Andrews to this. He seemed to possess all the qualities needed to be an all time stand out star.
    I know a lot of you enjoy the transfer-go-round, I will never understand it’s attraction. This is dreadful news, but for the players sake I hope he goes on to do really well.

  33. Kenyan

    I seem to be in a minority but I am not convinced that Richards is the answer to any of our problems. He is a decent enough young player but over-rated as both a right back and centre back IMO.

    YW

  34. I’m not so sure about a keeper, but I strongly suspect AW is looking for a left-footed CB because we are a bit short on numbers and the ones we have (except for TV) are all right-footed – even though Kos and Djourou can play either side. So logically the new player would be backup for TV rather than a first choice player, wouldn’t you think?

  35. @YW

    second vote from me on that.

    @Stew

    I knwo what you mean.

    IMO, I feel that Dudu was made for the 4-4-2. he was at his best besides Ade in a 4-4-2. feel like we may well live to regret this…

  36. Very sad (for us) about Eduardo, but it seems to be his choice and best of luck to him. I’m sure he’ll light up the league in Ukraine. It was the post-Celtic demonisation that did for him, I think, rather than the leg-break. I am sure he is very happy about the move, but it makes me feel as if the bastards have won.

  37. Sorry to see Eduardo goes – wish him the very best and beyond in the new league and hope everybody gives him a warmest welcome if he comes back to the Ems for CL footy.

    Anyway,
    we should wage a campaign to retire the No.9 shirt permamently.

  38. I agree that wenger’s comment are not clear on the goalkeeping position. I believe it is not the first time he said there where no number 1 just to motivate every one at the club.

    I think the only one coming in would be a CB. To be on the safe side we need 4 regular CB and about 2 youth players which for me would be:

    Vermalen, Djourou, Koscielny, last signing

    Nordveit, Bartley

    I agree I had to reread the comment on J Cole a more than suitable replacement for cesc! maybe Ozil would be but J Cole no way he good do the job. If he came he would have been a bit player.

  39. It’s a shame eduardo is leaving, this guy is class and will soon refind his deadly striker instincts, maybe Arsenal can negotiate it to being a loan or have a first option buy back close like Real Madrid does when they sell a young prospect.

  40. Gunnerluc, With the exception of Sol, Arsene’s view is when you leave, you leave for good.

    Dudu is too much of an acomplished player for a loan deal. £6m is once again too cheap but, I suspect, like many previous transfers there will be a sell on clause embedded in the transfer.

  41. gunnerluc, good shout on the buyback clause. That would be great for us but I can’t see Shakhtar going for it.

    All the best to Dudu, he will only be a small part in the history of Arsenal, but always remembered for what might have been.

  42. I think Wenger is done buying. I think he is in the market only if a truly great player becomes available, ‘at the right price’, or he is forced into a purchase because of some ‘major development’. The squad is deep already and I think many players will be promoted from within. Just a hunch.

    What is the latest that Wenger has ever bought a new player who would be expected to start?

    I will miss Eduardo but watching him last season he looked afraid, not the fella who flicked a ball around a bigger defender battled round to the other side and scored (can’t remember the game). Good luck Eduardo.

    I think this means that Vela will get many more games.

  43. It’s such a headache trying to second guess what Wenger will do…

    I really hope we sign a keeper, but wouldn’t mind seeing Chesney in goal at all. He seems to have the confidence, may be arrogance, that Almunia and Fabianski lack. He’s had the rough and tumble of lower league, and can probably command his area better than the other two..

    just a thought..

  44. That triple swoop story is titilating stuff, but obviously a load of nonsense.

    I fear Yogi may have started this rumour a few weeks ago though, when he joked that Arsenal were going to buy Ajax outright.

    After all we wouldn’t want to miss out on Vertonghen or Christian Eriksen while we’re at the sales.

  45. pretty depressing video, but its still quite good though….

  46. I wonder if part of Barcelona’s desire to “rebuild relations” with Arsenal relates to Hleb? They don’t want him, they no doubt bought him on an instalment basis and as they are desperately short of cash, I wonder if they are trying t sell him back for the balance of the instalments due? They did that with their Ukrainian defender Chygrynskiy?

  47. Yogi,

    With regard to Richards, I agree he is far from the finished article but, his althleticism and speed offer huge potential

    Arsene has a good track record, bar a couple of the obvious blips (Cygan, Stepanovs, Luzhny) of increasing the performance of average defenders into solid, top notch individuals, think Grimandi, Kolo, Song, etc. All of which had their obvious failings.

  48. Is Wenger perhaps thinking:
    Tom and Djourou
    Kos and no-man’s-land Campbell

    Nord and Bartley
    Song in case
    = 7 total

    This would assume asurances from medical staff that Djourou is 100% recovered, and now bionic.

    I often wondered whether Clichy could make it in the centre; size per se is not really the issue, speed wise certainly, heading I doubt, strength not quite.

    I think we should expect another last gasp signing, and if not a January signing.

    We all wish Eds our heart and friendship. A nice man. It shows Wenger is hardly the sentimentalist some think, but a pragmatist.

  49. I find YW’s referral to a study on attitudes to gay footballers unusual and interesting, just because it is in a football blog I suppose.

    My views are simple, much like the chinese said when reconstructing their economic system from socialist goals to de facto capitalist realities:

    “It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white … so long as it catches mice”.

    I would rather be unaware of the sexuality of any player and just see whether they can play.

  50. can someone tell me where they are getting the eduardo rumours from…because wenger stated that eduardo is central to his plans, so i dnt know where the rumours are from, i definitely dont believe them

    http://www.tribalfootball.com/wenger-arsenal%E2%80%99s-eduardo-remain-emirates-971621

  51. Slightly left field (no pun intended) but I wonder if Arsene views Traore as possible cover at centre back? He is 6′ 1″, so tall enough and has been schooled in the Arsenal total football methods. We have Clichy and Gibbs vying for the left back spot. Both Djourou and Traore are somewhat utility players, so I wonder if he views them as the ideal people to cover a number of positions. He has already done this successfully with Eboue?

  52. Joe Cole to Liverpool is dreadfully boring and predictable. Poor chap, he’s the new hope.

  53. Its logical for both parties in the Eduardo transfer, even though I am gutted he has left like this. I always thought he would get back on his feet scoring countless goals.

    Eduardo needs fresh scenery to try get his playing career on track though. While Arsenal, although willing to give him the chance, can’t afford to wait another year.

    It was pretty obvious to Eduardo with the arrival of Chamakh that his chances will be limited if he continues to take time in finding his form. I thought it was 1 player too many, and obviously Wenger sees this as the case – if we don’t go out and add another striker (which I think is unlikely)

    I hope Vela gets a few more opportunities, while Bentdner, Van Persie, and Chamakh will surely be the main players occupying the CF position.

    I have to say with them 3, there is more than enough firepower. With the likes of Walcott, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Wilshire, Eboue, Vela switching and feeding them when forced to play out wide, we have a really scary attacking lineup.

    There may also be games where Wenger deploys a ‘stronger’ team, dropping one of Arshavin or Theo/Nasri and replacing with Bendtner or Chamakh.

    Arshavin – Chamakh – Van Persie

    …. or ….

    Chamakh – Bendtner – Van Persie

    Depending on the game, and Chamakh’s impact on the team, I wonder how long before he forces his way into the starting 11 alongside Van Persie, while someone else drops to the bench. Bendtner can also play out wide if need be, but we have seen Theo scare the hell out of defences too.

    We have plenty of options up front either way we look at it. Eduardo leaving does seem to open up a few more doors to other players.

  54. Could be Nick. Wenger is full of surprises. Traore as a CB; speed no problem, height AOK, heading ability unknown, and street smarts, not quite.

  55. ZimPaul

    Poor Liverpool you mean, another Aquilani!

  56. Le Grove would have a kadenza!

  57. If Barca want to rebuild relations with Arsenal I suggest they begin every statement with the words “We hold Arsenal in great esteem as a club that develops football and we respect the way they develop players and the relationships and most importantly contracts between the club and its players; this is the single most important thing for us as Barcelona, since we abide by FIFA rules and the spirit of football and mutual respect …”

    Only dreaming.

  58. I’d sooner see Traore’s pace and skill put to use at the other end of the pitch as a wide-man. He’d probably get games there, especially if the unthinkable happens and Cesc does leave.

    In that scenario I’d see Arshavin moving into the middle, freeing u-

    F*ck it. Cesc’s not going anywhere so its all moot.

  59. Not sure of Traore, attacking wise hes pretty good down the left. Defensively he has a long way to go, even Gibbs is miles ahead in that area.

    It doesn’t fill me with confidence to have him in the middle, he looks like a very one footed LB – which he is. You just sense we need 3 LB’s though with our luck, so I hope he stays as a squad player. He can even play LM if we have a mass injury streak which sees… Arsh, Nasri, Vela, and Rosicky out!! I don’t think i can jinx our injury front, so hopefully me saying it will reverse the cycle!

  60. I agree with you, steww. Really gutted for Eduardo. On the positive sides, hopefully he can re-find his spark and also the door opens ever so slightly for Barazite. 🙂

  61. I never saw Joe Cole as an Arsenal player as his wage demands are one of the reasons that Chelsea lost patience. Can’t see Cesc leaving for Barca this season at least.
    But am concerned about Gallas and Campbell although getting on a bit, surely Wenger has it covered, hasn’t he?

  62. Sticking your neck out a bit there aren’t you OoU? I did suggest the other night that we shouldn’t let sentimentality get in the way of good business but certainly I am now quite sad to see the dudu dude leave. The 433 is the catalyst of the decision here so eduardo does not need to feel like a reject. This is all about his happiness and I trust he will learn to excel again on the smaller stage and soon become a fans favourite. Not being with a rival I’m looking forward to seeing next years youtube clips for sure.

    Its a sad casualty of the english way in football and it will only go to fuel any serie A or la liga supporters the type of risks players face in the premiership. Things like this (+ramsey) and the spanish success in the WC could start a steady shift of influence + glamour that we have briefly enjoyed back to la liga. Fair enough really. A reminder at least that Arsenal can take a lot of pride about going the against the grain, any transfer linked that can’t see our class are blind and therefore unwanted.

  63. “Either would have been a more than suitable replacement for Cesc had Arsenal been willing to cash in on their captain.” WOW, you have lost all credibility by implying COLE OR OZIL can replace CESC, Ozil dwells too long on the ball and does not really have vision, as for COLE he is not even in the same league as Fabregas. With adequate strikers like Henry you can really see what CESC is made of.

  64. zalp, are you mocking my existence?

  65. If we’re going to stick with 4-3-3 it’s going to be hard for Eduardo to fit in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like he can play upfront on his own. For the other 2 wide positions, he might perhaps displace Arshavin on the left.

    I think he will be every bit the player he was.

  66. Not that we really need a new offensive signing but… wenger normally states that we can look at additional signings if we lose players… I wonder if he is engineering a move for someone special that ‘can add something’…

    +1 shock on joe cole being touted as cesc replacement by YW but ozil oozes (sorry) class and football intelligence in my eyes. if wenger knows we are to lose cesc evidentually (possibly next year) then it would make sense to have a handover period within the club to bed in a replacement. Were ramsey not set back 18months and wilshire so young we would not need it but certainly we need to take the matter of replacing cesc very seriously.

  67. Quote from the mail article from Vukojevic:

    ‘He called me to ask what it’s like to live in Ukraine,’ said Vukojevic. ‘I replied: “Do not worry, you made the right choice”.

    ‘Now we will become great rivals. It is definitely a good move. At Shakhtar he will become the first-choice striker, get plenty of game time and return to his best condition.’

    I think that sums Eduardo’s situation quite well. It is his choice, he needs to start games and ‘play’, regularly.

    It is sad, because he was targeted in more then one way. But as someone said above, there is no sentiment in this decision. If Eduardo doesnt play regurlalrly this season, there is a danger he’ll never complete a recovery, (two years out = two years back, in my glib laymans medical dictionary, at the top level of football) therefore it is the correct choice from Eduardo’s perspective, IMO.

    And, in true AFC style, it’s a good price considering his original fee.

    Time to think of a new avatar.

  68. Shame to see Eduardo go.

    Proper class player.

    In a team that plays a 4-4-2 he will clean up, he still has it.

    It’s more our system than his fitness/ability that is the problem since he came back from injury.

    He is not strong enough to be a main striker/hold up player, and he is not really tricky enough to be a wide forward, he has lost a slight bit of pace.

    Chamakh and Wellington arriving in January window, with Vela coming on and Wilshere able to play wide forward.. would leave very very few opportunities for him.

    He needs playing time to make the Croatia team ahead of the next Euros.

    Yet to play in a major international championship.

    I shall be rooting on Croatia in the qualifying rounds and hoping he gets his wish for Euro 2012.

  69. I still can not believe we will go into the season without another CB and a GK.

    No team can challenge for an EPL title with an unsettled GK situation. Look what happened last year. This year there will be even more pressure. The media, the fans and every team will be targeting our GK. May be even worse every referee will be expecting them to make mistakes when the crosses start flying in. Neither Almunia or Fabianski has shown that they handle pressure.

    At CB with out reinforcements we will be thinner, less experienced then last year. JD may be a great player someday but how many player have we watched get niggling injuries coming back after long lay offs. Our defending was inadequate last year and we are going into next year with less options and less experience.

    We can not plead poverty anymore. RVP’s comments yesterday show that there is clearly frustration in our senior players and we can not continue to save money and build for tomorrow forever.

    Please Mr. Wenger buy a good CB and GK and may be even another DM. While your at it we will need a Cesc replacement at some point. Hopefully next year and not this year. You said we have the money. I have always believed that all the talk about Wenger being stubborn was rubbish. I certainly hope he does not prove those people correct.

  70. With the emergence of Eastmond and Frimpong, we certainly do not need to buy another DM.

  71. ZBil,
    Say one positive thing about Arsenal and how excited you are as the new season approaches. Just try it, you may get to like it.

  72. Bill, not ZBil. Stupid fat fingers.

  73. Bill is back. What does challenge for the title mean. It’s one of those cliches that have lost meaning.

    I’d have thought we challenged for the title 2ce in the last 3 seasons.

  74. Limestonegunner

    No way Cole suitably replaces Fabregas, ever. I think the 433 has some costs and Eduardo is one. Let’s hope Chamakh adapts quickly and well to Arsenal and the league and that Vela finally develops into a complete and consistent player.

    I wasn’t really impressed with Vela in the several Mexico games I saw. He was substituted regularly and missed some good chances–it was Dos Santos and Hernandez who stood put as the promising young attacking talent on the tram. But hopefully the greater opportunities will bear fruit, but I think Eduardo had more to give if we mixed up our formation and let him play more in the middle, and I am sad to see him go.

    Would be a surprise if there is no new goalkeeper unless The 20 year old starts, and that is a real risk. League one is hardly the best experience from which to judge his readiness. Quality of the pitch might affect outfielders much more and the physicality Is of players who are slower and jump less high–just not the same quality.

  75. One thing I personally detest is treating so-called senior players like they have no responsibility for delivering success.

    They especially have responsibility for delivering success.

  76. Arsenalkabisa

    I have always believed that all the talk about Wenger being stubborn was rubbish. I certainly hope he does not prove those people correct.

    really Bill?

  77. *

  78. I wonder if Bill’s last name is Ice-Cream?

  79. He is stubborn… but that is born out of knowing his trade inside out.

  80. Arsenalkabisa

    whoooop whooop exclusive training pics are up…me = Excited !!!!

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/training-in-austria-exclusive-pictures

  81. Limestonegunner

    Will Wilshere stay or go on loan? He looks like he has really made strides. I hope he and Ramsey get games this season. But asking Ramsey to play in DM is a lot like asking Cesc to replace Yaya Toure, as Guardiola suggested. I hope Cesc heard that.

  82. Piken79

    Both would – when Cesc goes, the style of the team will adapt and evolve, not stay the same.

    YW

  83. Arsenalkabisa

    pic 12 is that oconnor shadowing wilsshere??? i like!!!!

    pic 19 = H.O.T

  84. Carlos Vela may not have impressed in the WC but he was a major part of getting them there, after a terrible start with Errickson.

  85. loooooooool@arsenalkabisa

    Arsene sure does love showing off those legs!!

  86. Who is the guy in the tub with Jack and Rosicky in picture 23?

  87. G4E – this is my theory to, glad someone else has spoted it. He’s never denied it that’s for certain.I have always believed that all the talk about Bill being a defeatist was rubbish. I certainly hope he does not prove those people correct.

  88. Arsenalkabisa

    @Maria

    If you got it; flaunt it….

  89. Arsenalkabisa

    @Maria

    Frimpong…

  90. Those training pics get a little blue as you go along. The tank top things definitely put the camp in ‘training camp’.

  91. Arsenalkabisa

    pic 20, are those monitors??

  92. “I have always believed that all the talk about Bill being a defeatist was rubbish. I certainly hope he does not prove those people correct.”

    Priceless…

    Love that one Steww.

    While one can easily change their name, it’s so hard to change who you are. No lessons learned from Howard?

  93. Yes they are ArsenalK.

    @OneofUs

    I thought it was more the tub picture that did it for me.

  94. Arsenalkabisa

    @G4E

    re: Howard.

    New season, same old mistakes. Should he go on loan? Or do we just sell him? I though he should have learned not to be such a bull shit after totally boggling the world cup final game.

  95. stubbon is a bit of a negitive word… shrewd however is perfectly acceptable and perfectly apt

  96. I don’t think we need a striker to replace Dudu, but I can see the money raised from the sale being spent on Connor Wickham.

    I can’t say I have seen him play, but I have only heard very good things about him and a typical Arsene signing.

  97. Even though most of you would not admit the truth in public, I find it difficult to believe that any of you would really be happy if we went into next season without another CB and a GK. I understand that we needed to get our financial house in order over the last 5 years but that has been dealt with. Ole can quibble with my choice of words such as “senior players” but clearly there is some frustration among our players. We all know there is frustration with our fans.

    The market for players may be overvalued but it makes no sense to go into a season without using our resources to give the team its best chance to win a title. I am not suggesting we spend $100M and replace the whole team. A GK and CB are all we really need. Anything else would be icing on the cake. This team is very close, lets not waste our chance because we did not want to over pay slightly for a couple of players.

  98. @Arsenalkabisa

    re: Howard

    Due to Howard’ continuous f*ck-ups, we decided to assign him the duty of a: F*ck Off boy.

    P.S. We hope he doesn’t f*ck up this one too.

  99. “I am sure he is very happy about the move, but it makes me feel as if the bastards have won.”

    I feel the same too.

  100. Bill,

    I think most of us talked about the need for Cbacks, the only difference is that we don’t go ahead of ourselves and the events, blaming the manager for something he didn’t even do yet.

    We certainly have Cbacks to start the season and the transfer window closes in August.

    Chill out, you melt so easy?

  101. Connor Wickham

    Who the hell is he?

  102. they are a touchy bunch bill, I wouldn’t waste your time too much. We are in for jagielka it seems and I’m sure something will appear on the goalkeeper front before long so time will probably prove that wenger shares at least some of your concerns.

  103. I’m devastated Eddy is gone. I really hope he does well. Perhaps it’s for the best, especially for somebody like Vela. It will be his season I think.

    Regarding signings, I would be shocked if Wenger signed any player other than a Central defender. IMO this is all we need. However I think we could make it to January with Verm, Johan, Kosc, Nord, Bartley and Song. Also theres a slim chance of retaining Sol

    Going by the past six seasons why would we expect another signing and to be honest if all the above players are fit now why not try to make it to Jan with those lads. As if we sign a player like Jagielka (who is only slightly above average) it could effectively ruin any chances Nordviedt has.

  104. Stop being silly Bill.

    FFS

  105. Limestone, if anyone knows who can and who cannot play as the pivote then unfortunately it’s Pep Guardiola.

    He himself was converted there from the right wing, by Cruyff, who recognised his potential in a youth game and asked the barca (*spits*) youth coach to have him drop back into the centre for the 2nd half.

    Cesc has cited before that Guardiola was the player he modelled himself on most. If he asked him to play pivote, then that’s what he’d do. He’d be brilliant too. Mind you, he wouldn’t have Ronald Koeman tidying up behind him, protecting him. No, he’d have pic-nic Pique and the tousled madame.

    Thankfully, if he were to go, we already have the closest ready-made Cesc replacement out there, and that’s Aaron Ramsey.

    Anyway… all moot… I retain he’ll stay for at least another season.

  106. Sorry Maria.

    Connor Wickham, is the new teenage sensation currently playing for Ipswich, he has been likened to a young Wayne Rooney during his Everton days.

    Both Arsenal and the spuds have made enquiries but, have been rebuffed by a £10m price tag.

    He is supposed to be very, very good.

  107. love the tech 9 comments! fuk it lets just give him the job and flob off all this mediocre schwarzer talk. destiny surrounds this man!

  108. *the closest thing to a…

  109. “he has been likened to a young Wayne Rooney”

    EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW

    No thanks!!

    Arsenal doesn’t do ugly.

  110. Our boy Ramsey.

  111. Keown and Luzhny!!

  112. That ia all in the past Kingsalami. (Or I hope it is…lol)

  113. Maria

    That’s why Jeffers was really sold…

    YW

  114. somebody please make the bath tub shot their new avatar…

  115. What are we looking forward to most of all this season then folks?

  116. G4E:

    If we do get CB and GK I will shut up about transfers. I promise.

    I realize we want to get the best deal and sometimes the price goes down near the end of the transfer window. However, TV will have played with none of the 3 new CB and they need time to work together. We start the season at Anfield and the first 1/2 of the season we play nearly all of our top 6 games away from home. We need a good start and saving a few $ by waiting to get a better price seems counterproductive.

  117. I am looking forward to seeing Ramsey play again, Cesc scoring as Arsenal Captain, Chamakh being another transfer sensation, Vela coming good, Wilshire getting in the action, wearing my Van Persie number 10 shirt, and finally…Winning a trophy!

  118. No disrespect for S. African fans, but I’m so glad the Vuvuzelas were banned.

    Now I can get rid of the extra headache medicine I bought during the world cup.

  119. Bill

    You must seriously believe everything you read in the papers. You think Arsene is Scruge and we are some cheap club because we don’t go mad on transfers like Man City.

    You need to learn how to live in the real world mate and ignore what the billionaire clubs are doing. When their owners get bored and leave the club in a pretty crappy position, you think their fans will be happy with the transfers they made when they are in league 1?

  120. Watching the WC was a nightmare with the vuvezelas. You couldn’t hear the atmosphere of the crowd. Half the time I had the volume really low.

  121. That’s a great list Chris – how about you Bill? Looking forward to the dog dying? Getting a hernia? Losing your job?
    I’m with Chris. Especially Ramsay playing again and Li’l Jack’s breakthrough.

  122. Does anyone know why Barazite isn’t in Austria?

  123. Bill,

    Why take it from the commonly perceived idea that we are holding off on signing a new player to save some money? Maybe instead, we are just trying to find the right player?

  124. haha steww

    I just don’t get someone can be a miserable sod of an Arsenal supporter! I feel really sorry for him and the rest, if he does truly feel like that.

    So many things to look forward to, you know Wenger will pull out another smart signing too which we need.. maybe 2 even. I am just glad I am an Arsenal fan when I look round at the state of some other clubs, most other clubs I mean.

    I include Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea too. Chelsea have no class, and get no respect from anyone, Man Utd sacrificed the ownership and future of their club for success and now cant buy anyone, and Liverpool are just fuckered completely. Never mind the rest of the clubs, these are supposedly the biggest clubs in England!!!

  125. @ OneofUs

    “I’d sooner see Traore’s pace and skill put to use at the other end of the pitch as a wide-man.”

    Which is where he plays for France U19, I have heard.

    Really can’t see him as a CB, his positional sense is the weakest part of his game as a LB, and that would be even more of a problem if he played CB.

  126. My list would be obviously seeing Ramsey back, the emergence of Lansbury and the undeniable acceptance of Deni, Vela, Theo and NB52 from the doomers.

    Lifting the EPL and beating Barca somewhere are musts also.

    But for me mostly I would love a return of Arsenal being a good defensive unit.

  127. els,

    I hope we get drawn with the Catalan scum in the Champions League.

  128. Ole,

    Do you seriously think we actually challenged for the title last season?

    Despite the numerous chances Chelski and Utd handed us on a plate – we still couldn’t capitalise. We couldn’t even beat the lessor teams when it really mattered. When we came to the business end of the season – we won 1 game out of 8. Wigan even turned us over despite giving us a 2 goal lead. We ended up competing for the 3rd/4th slots with Citeh & Spuds. Phucking abysmal.

    The season before that – we were lucky to come 4th were it not for Arshavin.

    And the season before that – we fucked the title away – by again, failing to deliver at the business end of the season when it matters most.

    The GK situation at the club – is a long standing joke. The possibility of signing someone as underwhelming as schwarzer just tells you how seriously we take it. We think were going to get a stop gap gk on the cheap while Chesney comes good. Rather than just go out and get a world class keeper for what is the most important position on the field but no – we have to again make a dogs bollox of it. When we bought Seaman, we broke the transfer record and we had 12 years of uninterrupted GK excellence. When we bought Jens, we did so on the cheap at the latter end of his career – and while people could question his sanity at times – no-one could doubt his class and presence.

    As for CB – since 2006 we lost Jens in Goal. We bought Sagna. We sold Kolo. We bought Vermy. We lost Silvestre. We lost Gallas. We potentially lost Sol. We bought Koscielny. And if my prayers are answered we might get a GK too. Clichy is the only player that has remained a constant.

    Such a rate of change is unlikely to instill any confidence in maintaining a defensive continuum is it?

    And yet you come onto this blog pontificating that we’re challengers, that we have a defensive strategy and that so called senior players have a responsibility for delivering success. Would they be the same senior players like Cesc, a European and WC winner – who wants out?

    Stick to your cats Ole. Because when it comes to football – its actually you thats talking “bollocks”.

  129. I can’t see Traore as a cover for CB he is a left wing back or a left winger that is why he got overtaken by gibbs in the pecking order. He lacks the positional sense when doing the defending duties but is a good offensively and on crosses.

    I agree that he will make it in the left winger position of our 4 3 3 formation. He could be brought on when we want the left winger to work more defensively like we do with Eboue when we need steel on the right side.

  130. What does challenge mean?

    We led the league and were within tocuhing distance till 3 games to go.

    What does challenge mean?

    The only way any non-idiot can say we didn’t challenge is if challenging only means winning the league. If it means competing and having a real chance to win it, we clearly challenged much as it pains Bill, Joe, and whoever else to admit it.

  131. We were lucky to come 4th were it not for Arshavin. Like Arshavin is really a Sheffield United player and not an Arsenal player. Moron

  132. I assumed that he was on holiday with pz, Yogi.

  133. Out of interest, Joe, who is the world class keeper, who is available to buy, whom we are currently passing up on?

  134. so does PZ actually know Barazite?

    Yeah I wanted to see his name on the Austrian jedi camp list.

  135. @ gunnerluc at 3:59pm

    Agree with that.

  136. Chris and Steww:

    I am glad you guys are happy although I do see you getting pretty worked up whenever the topic of pundits or negative fans or some idiot comes on line calling for Wenger to be sacked. I ignore that type of stuff because I could care less what they think.

    We can all be whatever sort of fan we want. Before the internet these types of discussions happened in pubs and at water coolers. Loyal fans have been disagreeing about players and managers since there has been organized sports. Its all part of the fun and its why we blog.

  137. @ Bill.

    It is no fun at all arguing the toss with somebody who is a stranger to logic and who contradicts himself so often, sometimes within the same sentence. It’s no fun at all arguing with someone who will assert some ludicrous untruth, then when he is called out on it, will claim he didn’t mean it…and then repeat the same ludicrous untruth in slightly different words. It’s not fun, it’s just irritating.

    Just had to get that off my chest.

  138. Challenge my arse.

    All form and no substance.

    We couldn’t even give chelsea/Utd a run or even force them to win their fixtures.

    It was the usual capitulation.

  139. Only the dullest of minds would name goalkeeper as the most important position on a football field.

  140. Yes, it’s so because your delusion convinces you of it.

    You & Bill come here, knowing how to couch the same idiotic Le Grove type ideas in reasonable arguments. But it’s old.

  141. I remember the other one arguing that even though we had 7 centre backs we were really short in that area.

  142. Ole, it is best to just skip their usual boring posts as I do.

  143. We haven’t signed 10 players yet!!!

    We haven’t challenged since 2004!!!

    I’m off to burn my season ticket…

    Fucking joke club and rubbish manager!

  144. I nearly got a positive discussion going but along comes Joe with a big slice of miserable negativity and lo! the conversation is derailed.
    Of course we challenged last season and a couple of seasons back it was ours to lose for a while. This period in our history has been the best by far and anyone who cannot see that is following the wrong sport.

  145. FunGunner:

    I hope you feel better.

    As you know which person is a stranger to logic is certainly debatable. My opinions go against the grain on this blog but I have tried to back up most of what I say with evidence. That said they are nothing more then my opinions. Your opinion and mine along with $5 will buy a cup of coffee and a scone.

  146. So Joe – what are you looking forward to most of all next season?

  147. Anyone else believe that we will see much more squad rotation this season?

    Not because of injuries but because most of the ‘youngsters’ are now good enough.

  148. Bill – what do love most of all about Arsenal?

  149. Let’s face it, all in all in all in all, our midfield is wicked, our attacking options are equally strong if we don’t have every striker injured at the same time; but defence was a weakness last season. 8+ goals too many were conceded, simple.

    Wenger has been pretty open about all this, bought one rated defender and obviously rates Djourou, a bit like a new signing.

    The answers will come, and the fact they are not yet known by us means nothing.

    One answer is that, first and foremost, more important than any new signing, the team must respond tactically and defend better as a unit. I suggest we might see a slightly less adventuous Arsenal, a few degrees, and two midfield players at the base. I suspect we might see less offside trap type play, and one defender hanging back.

    Not everything is about purchasing players, is it?

  150. Joe is woe.

  151. “Not everything is about purchasing players, is it?”
    far from it ZP. I suspect we’ll see us start out like we did last season. Closing down all over the pitch and attacking with speed and invention.
    Without the disruption caused by ludicrous injuries and the incredibly unlucky and bizarre early defeat at OT that would have continued I’m certain.

  152. Steww…You got this one a bit wrong. Some people just look for misery…that’s their high and it’s pretty cheap to obtain.

  153. Damit…I did it again, I was so excited thinking the game was today not tomorrow 😦

  154. You are of course correct G4E. Usually I scroll straight past but you have to defend your club, manager and players when someone is less than supportive on a public forum.

  155. If the news about Eduardo is true then I will be sad, but if Vela is going to be a real player for us then sentimentality has to be ignored.

    This is something I admire our Manager for as if I had my way I would have kept certain players knowing deep down they were surplus to requirements. I’m a fool for sentimentality – I still want to see Thierry make a cameo for us whilst he is not playing for New York RB’s.

  156. ZimPaul @ 4:51:

    “One answer is that, first and foremost, more important than any new signing, the team must respond tactically and defend better as a unit. I suggest we might see a slightly less adventuous Arsenal, a few degrees, and two midfield players at the base. I suspect we might see less offside trap type play, and one defender hanging back.”

    You are no stranger to logic. I hope your right.

  157. I know what you mean Matty. The love that I have for players is a bit like that which one has for pets. The dog passes away, tears are shed, life will never be the same etc and a week later you fall in love with a new puppy.
    Thank God Arsene is in charge not me or we’d still have John Radford staggering about the pitch.

  158. I’m with you Steww, they just become a waste of time when their whole argument crumbles but they continue to argue the same thing over and over again.

    ***
    I’d be sad if Eduardo leaves too, but if it’s his choice and he think it’s better for his career then I will wish him well.

    I know it sound conspiratorial, but does the Stupid Giant even play football any more? I know the one who broke Diaby’s ankle doesn’t play.

  159. G4E – not sure but he was still playing the season after he attacked EDS as a mate who supports Bristol City (yuk) saw him play at Ashton gate (which by the way is full of shit). He said he was an absolute thug, dreadful and violent throughout the whole match.

  160. G4E.

    The scumbag is at Watford now.

  161. The other scumbag who broke Diaby’s ankle is at Blyth Spartans.

  162. Yes. I was wondering the same thing, YW. Can someone please find out what Barazite needs to do to impress AW. He’s better than Henderson and Traore. Someone on Young Guns suggested he was too slow for us. But he doesn’t look slow to me. But maybe as (was it) Chrisgoona said….his route to the first team is crowded.

    He may have the levelest head in the world…(strange image, that.) but even so, he must be feeling truly deflated again. Maybe AW can arrange a loan deal with Bolton or Newcastle.

  163. mingus – maybe the loan to Bolton is the plan as Jack looks ready to Ramsay his way in this season. I think Barazite looks an exceptional talent.

  164. Thanks steww, dupsffokcuf.

    I guess their punishment is who they are…no punishment worse than that.

  165. Makes you wish you believed in hell.

  166. And Barazite is such an Arsenal type player. Passes, runs, receives, cuts inside, comfortable on the ball, intelligent, has great vision, scores from distance, has a cutting edge in a penetrative sort of way, demands the ball, wants the ball, uses the ball with intelligence. Surely his future lies with us and he will stay patient.

  167. They showed the Arsenal vs AZ tie last night where they showed the stunning link up play between Arsha and Dudu which led to Diaby’s goal. I’m sad that Dudu is leaving but I think it’s for the best. I think he is still haunted by the assault he suffered. I think he’ll stay in Ukraine for a season or two until a big club in Spain or Italy comes knocking at his door.

    Vela was impressive for Mexico. Their game against France showed a glimpse of what he could do for us. For a while, before his injury, the Mexican front line looked like a trio of fighter jets with Vela being the fastest and most alert striker of the three.

  168. We need a CB even if Campbell stays. GK…methinks we need to offload either Fabianski or Mannone to bring Szczesny into the picture…if Szczesny is really as good as what most people claim.
    As for Dudu…there is no mention of his leaving on arsenal.com…he never really got a chance to play last season…he can play Van Persie role

  169. SomeRandomGunner

    Eduardo has not gone Austria, or atleast i cannot find his name on the list. That means he is gone ?

  170. Paulie Walnuts

    If Eduardo leaves I`ll be sad to see him go & wish him all the best. He could have been fantastic for us but some things just aren`t meant to be.

    On Joe Cole – if Jamie Redcr&p thinks he`s made the right choice (& how does HE know we were interested) & isn`t being greedy with his wage demands I`m so relieved we`ve `missed out` on him. Especially as according to JR he wouldn`t get in the Spuds team.

    If Sznizniely thingy is the real deal I reckon Arsene could bung him in at the deep end. He`s probably better than Schwazrchzerer already.

  171. There some some report that he’s going to Shakter for 6 million.

  172. Denilson didn’t go to Austria? Is he injured?

  173. Thanks for the memories, goodbye and goodluck

    LA, Cesc played that role in the youth team, but he was considered too small to graduate to the first team, which is how Arsenal managed to snap him up. Arsene recognised his ‘offensive’ qualities and the rest is history. Although he could play the DM role somewhere like La Liga, that would be a waste and a backward step in my opinion.

  174. @ Bill
    It is you who is a stranger to logic. Hope that helps. How are those lists of who will be injured coming along?

  175. Sad to see Dudu go, but we have also lost Merida, Gallas, Campbell, and who has replaced them? and even the doddering Sylvestre.

    WE have 5 tough away games early on and my hope is Wojech aecures the GK spot or we get someone new Fabianski and Almumia cost us 15 points last season by stupid blunders and more CB cover is needed plus we only have Cesc for one more season so I dont know if that inspires confidence.

  176. Passenal – fuck me! How moving was that. I hope Taylor drowns. In piss.

  177. Hundreds or posts! All pretending to ignore the inevitable! Dont know if to laugh or cry for you LOL!!
    All angry and trowing bad vibes at anything Barcelona hahah!!.. This is what happens when you build your team around 1 player..

    I wish we would buy that kid Vela too, since so many of you dont like him!.. Hes a genius that one day will also wear the Barca shirt!! Sorry! LOL!!…

    Your stubborness will force Cesc to hand over the transfer request..

  178. FunGunner @ 7:19:

    Thanks for your help with that one. I will take you opinion under advisement. You remind me of a velvet covered brick. Pretty on the outside but in reality all hard and rough.

  179. I think you drink too much Cuervo dude.

  180. Paulie Walnuts

    Curved Ho,

    We can tro bad vibes where we want thank you very much.

    You show the same arrogance as your players & directors & it`s boring the sh&t out of us now.

  181. It’s very sad indeed steww. To see such a promising career de-railed like that. I really hope he can rediscover his true form.

  182. very very saddening news about Eduardo.

    There is never anything more tragic than what might have been.

    Good luck to him at his new Club. I wish him every success (domesticaly at least!) and hope he rediscovers the form that made him one of the most exciting talents we had in recent years.

    However brief the glimpse was, the quality was undeniable.

  183. 1 loose cannon

    RVP is the number 10, good luck to him this season. How is it everyone is convinced that Eduardo has left? It has not been anounced oficially. wasn’t that the case with Fabregas before the Wcup? according to many it was a done deal. It turned out all huff and puff. We should wait for a confirmation before we say our good byes.

  184. Barazite played with the reserves tonight.

  185. It must be tough for the likes of Barazite; thinking you’re good enough but still not managing to convince those that really matter. I can’t imagine he is being “taught a life-lesson” by being left out. He does not come across like a Bentley or a Pennant. Anyway, I can’t see him playing for the reserves this season, so a loan is inevitable.

  186. Peace Frog, are you a Doors fan?

  187. GothenburgGunner

    Good bye Dudu, thanks for the memories. Whose going to take the no. 9. Wilshere maybe?

  188. I wouldn’t look to much into Barazite not being with the squad in Austria. It could be anything, it could be family issues, it could be punishment for something he did that we don’t know about, it could be anything.

    If he was not good enough, he would be gone by now because I’m sure a lot of clubs would like to have him. I think Barazite is a combination of Bergkamp & RVP. So, I doubt he was left out because he is not good enough.

  189. Everybody seems to be talking about how we need another CB as we are short in numbers for that area. I think this is BS. Starting from 3 years back, these were our options for the position:

    2007-08

    Gallas
    Toure
    Senderos
    Djourou

    2008-09

    Senderos out, Silvestre in.
    Gallas
    Toure
    Djourou
    Silvestre

    2009-10

    Toure out, Vermaelen in
    Djourou out, Senderos in

    Gallas
    Vermaelen
    Silvestre
    Senderos

    In January, we had Senderos out, Campbell in

    Gallas
    Vermaelen
    Campbell
    Silvestre

    2010-11:

    Gallas out, Koscielny in
    Campbell out, Djourou in
    Silvestre out, Nordtveit in

    Vermaelen
    Koscielny
    Djourou
    Nordtveit

    And this season our younger prospects look better than ever before.

    This is more a matter of opinion but I think:

    Gallas(2009-10) would be better than Koscielny(2010-11), but not by much.
    Djourou(2010-11) will be better than Campbell(2010)
    And anyone we already have has got to be better than Silvestre.

    Over the past three years, out defence looks to have gotten progressively better. The only worry I have is that this season there may have been too much chopping and changing with the CB position, and the answer to that is more related to holding on to whom we have rather than clamouring for someone new. This is why I’m not really interested in anyone new for CB.

    However, the best option to my mind would still be to have Campbell stay, he’d provide much needed experience.

  190. If this is true then i’m more upset than when TH14 left, and that letter to the fans he did was heartbreaking. It was the ‘diving’ farce far more than coming back from injury that messed up his confidence and that’s just another chapter in the media witchhunt against ‘foreigners’ and their alleged detrimental affect on our national team. Say the influx of players from abroad commenced in the mid 90s, what did England win between 1966 and then? Fuck all, that’s what. And yet everywhere from the autobiography of Geoff Hurst to a column today by Trevor Brooking, we’re led to believe it’s the players who make the EPL so great to watch who are destroying it. Fuck the national team, fuck every other team in the league. I only care about Arsenal, Arsene and the way we do things. So if it’s goodbye to Eduardo then I wish the guy every success in the world, and I hope our club goes on to the new season and stuffs every team full of brutish English thugs and the ‘grit’ which the media loves so much to see. Onwards and upwards.

  191. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Sad to hear regarding Eduardo, but I’m happy he’s going to get his proper shine elsewhere. Eduardo sure left us with some wonder goals in his wake. What a player.

  192. Slysports showed Eduardo’s goal ratio before and after that wanker taylor crippled him.

    Before – 1 in 2
    After – 1 in 5

    What a loss to the us and the EPL.

  193. Göteborg Gunner

    Thank God Ribery and Benzema are not Arsenal players.

  194. Taylor will always be remembered for the wan*er that messed his career up. The real wan*ers though are the managers and pundits who promote the kind of football that got Dudu’s leg broken. As well as Ramsey’s too. This season we need to go out there are break some legs, take no shit, and give as good as we get.

    Our only problem is our players always end up getting punished for minor fouls, while others commit reckless challenges against us and more often than not get away with it. I am seriously scared on the uproar there will be if we give a few leg breakers back! At least we can fall back on the same excuse all the other offenders use… “xxx player is not that kind of player”…

    I would find that quite hilarious come to think of it! Would they accept it, or would they feel agrieved that one of their players has been put through hell just like us. Better yet, imagine if it was an English player?! You gotta hate the media/pundits and what they stand for. As soon as Eduardo was back up on his feet, they use him as a target for diving when he won a penalty for going down just like Gerrard and Rooney do each and every week.

    Maybe the mental affects of his leg hanging off made Eduardo jump out of the challenge, but they couldn’t give a shit because he is not English. I know I am opening a can of old worms, but it is extremely saddening that Eduardo is leaving, Ramsey is crocked too, and we will probably come close to another similar incidient this season with tactics used to stop our players playing football.

    There is nothing better than a good tackle, we have been blessed by the likes of Vieira, Petit, Adams, and now Song.. they occasionally get sent off for mis-timing a tackle. Nowadays teams are targeting the better players. The weak and inferior who cant play football as good are instructed to breaking up the play. Its a disgrace, and its all accepted by the media and football watchers in England.

    No wonder the better players are in Spain.

  195. Watching the violent, criminal assault again I was struck by Cesc and Hleb’s reactions to what they saw. I believe the seeds of departure were planted then. Certainly in Hleb, you can see it in his face. And frankly who can blame them? AH was exactly the fleet footed, ultra skilful type of player who was targeted by the kind of semi-evolved thugs who populate the British leagues.

  196. I agree steww, I’ve always believed Hleb’s decision had a lot to do with that. I wouldn’t be surprised either if seeing yet another team mate assaulted on a football pitch has made others question whether it’s worth it.

  197. @ Aaditya
    Fair analysis except:

    Vermaelen
    Koscielny
    Djourou
    Nordtveit

    are more of an unknown quantity….(fitness, experience, adapting to the PL) – so another CB is surely likely. Sol maybe.

    I agree with Chrisgoona, Passenal etc.. of course, about all the leg-breaking sentiments. Hleb, Cesc, and others thinking enough is enough.

  198. I have just read this link via Goonerholic:

    http://goonerholic.com/?p=2613

    Disgraceful behaviour by FIFA. I have emailed them with my thoughts. I suggest anybody who is fed up with Xavi, Barca and FIFA do the same.

  199. Today is a sad day. Sanchez Watt has cut off all of his hair, and it turns out he has a head like a peanut.

  200. LA – pictures?

  201. http://www.arsenal.com/match-menu/172082/reserves/crawley-town-v-arsenal-res?tab=gallery

    Picture 11 of 15 *sniffs* and back right of the team photo.

%d bloggers like this: