Training Camp Offers New Opportunities For Squad

The first team squad is ensconced in their Austrian training camp, the first friendly of the tour against Sturm Graz evoking memories of former European forays, Graz beaten 2 – 1 on aggregate in the ultimately unsuccessful defence of the Fairs Cup in 1970-71. That season’s entry into the competition was another first for Arsenal, the club failed to finish amongst the qualifying places in the League and persuaded the FA, Football League and Uefa that a rule change to permit them to defend the trophy was equitable.

Such lofty matters are a dim and distant memory with question marks about some and what the future holds for them. Two who fall into that category are Barazite and Simpson. Both have been spoken of as part of Arsenal’s future and as such, would have been expected to travel with the first team. That has not happened. Simpson’s future was the subject of speculation earlier in the summer with QPR mooted as a destination as well as the lower reaches of the Premier League. Nothing materialised and it is not unreasonable to ask whether Wenger is waiting to see if an offer comes in f0r the striker.

The pair spent last season in loan spells, Barazite got decent reviews at Derby but only managed one goal in his 30 appearances. Perhaps in that time it became evident that his development was not as pronounced as the coaching staff believed. There is a world of difference between the reserves and the Football League on a weekly basis. For others such as Randall, their absence is no surprise. Whilst he is a decent player, he lacks a certain quality that makes you think that he will command a first team place at Arsenal. Like others before him, his career seems to be away from Arsenal.

One who is making the grade is Jack Wilshire. Ahead of The Emirates Trophy, the youngster observed:

It’s a chance to show what you can do against some of the best clubs. It’s good for the younger players too. They can make an impact in front of the manager. As a young player you always want to take your chance and the Emirates Cup is really good for that.It’s a chance to show what you can do against some of the best clubs. It’s good for the younger players too. They can make an impact in front of the manager.

For many, Wilshere is The Great White Hope, a throwback to yesteryear when someone perceived as ‘one of us‘ makes it through the ranks. There is a weight of expectation on his shoulders which he may or may not be aware of; I hope that it does not become a millstone and that those who expect so much of him, allow him the time to develop without criticising his every move should they turn out to be less than perfect. This is the danger of youth development. Producing young players on a consistent basis means that occasionally there will be a gem who shines through.

At Arsenal some of the lustre has dimmed when the first team has beckoned, names such as Lupoli and Bentley spring immediately to mind. Both were outstanding prospects but when their time came, the gap proved too large to bridge and careers were forged elsewhere with the latter proving to be a disappointment a succession of managers, his attitude not matching his abilities.

Wilshere’s loan spell at Bolton was good but not outstanding. He showed flashes of the inspiration and has now to develop that consistently. The question for Arsene is whether that will best be served in the Arsenal squad or once more, away from the light at a “lesser” club. If the latter means he will play twenty more games in a season then perhaps that is the best option although in Wenger’s mind, last season’s injury record will no doubt be a big factor.

Others received boosts in different ways without doing anything. Robin van Persie has been handed the Number 10 shirt next season, setting him further along the path to achieving his goal of being considered an ‘Arsenal Great’ in the same reverential way we remember Dennis Bergkamp. Carlos Vela, as a by-product of that, received a boost in his elevation to 11. That will leave the 9 shirt free if Eduardo completes his move to Donetsk shortly. Presumably the club will be refunding those who have bought their Bendtner or Chamakh tops already.

It would not be the pre-season if They weren’t at it once more. Rent-a-gob in chief, Xavi, has dropped the DNA and now tells the world Cesc is only on loan at Arsenal. A hell of a loan deal and one that Arsenal are definitely getting the better side of. Perhaps Arsene could get us a few more where we “borrow” the player and then get £60m when he returns to his parent club. Anyway, Xavi forgets one thing; we’re all on loan throughout life, borrowed before we head off into the ether.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 21, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 269 Comments.

  1. RVP10.

  2. FIFA removed the article from their site. #lowScum

  3. On loan… pffffffft

  4. We’ll see what happens with Barazite. Perhaps he’s not good enough at the moment.
    RCP10 and CV11 looks good. I’ll go for NB9 over Chamakh.
    And this is the season for Jack to stay and fight for his place in the team. Make himself undroppable. He will be inconsistent but as we know, that’s all part of growing up in public. And that public should be at Arsenal, not Bolton. And as you say, YW, we the fans, should cut him some slack.

  5. Just when you think they cannot sink any lower, Xavi cuts the cord.

  6. “For many, Wilshere is The Great White Hope, a throwback to yesteryear when someone perceived as ‘one of us‘ makes it through the ranks. ”

    I’m sure it is unintentional, but this sentence really does have some rather racist overtones – specifically the suggestion that anyone who is not white could not be “one of us”.

    I realise that you have used the phrase to indicate a player that the fans can identify with, but perhaps “local hero” might have been a better term.

    After all, by your definition the last “great white hope” that we had (until he decided otherwise) was black.

    I’m sure that I will get stick for posting this, but the term “great white hope” has a long history in the US as a rallying call to racists. We don’t need that at Arsenal.

    Nevertheless, interesting article, which I much appreciated.

  7. mjc

    Chill dude. You’re reading far too much into it.

    YW

  8. its us against the world. I wouldn’t like it any other way. FIFA is scum and will always be.

    Seem we will have to fight all of them then.

    I swear we should sell Cesc to Real. Just for fun.

  9. Nothing will give me more pleasure than for Arsenal to issue a statement that we will, on no account do business with Barca in the future.

  10. yeah chill mjc

    There are no racial connotations what so ever in that article unless you make them such.

    Is it me or does Cesc look awkward any time he is around Xavi? Xavi looks like a blank staring psycopath to be fair. A little bit murderous. i rekon Cesc has been very diplomatic on the training field with him but xavi has distorted his words out of all proportion.

  11. @MJC

    Refers to British who make it through the Academy.

    Skin color has nothing to do with it, but future British players who came through the Arsenal system from footballing infancy…

    Theo not counted, as he didn’t come through the rank but was bought young..

  12. There’s only ooone Franny Coquelin
    Only ooone Franny Coquelin
    Walking along, at Lor-i-ent
    Training up to be an Arsenal man

  13. i would love that to Ole.

    It could be going that way. The classy way our club has handled this situation so far realy makes me proud. One official statement and one quote from Wenger to Barca’s 40 odd quotes from players, the manager, the backroom staff, president, ball boy, toilet attendent etc..and one insult of an offer.

    There are plenty of other mugs to sell to. And we never realy buy off them. No-one does. So lets cut all ties. I hope Cesc can see how bloody disgracefull they are.

  14. Great comment mjc!

  15. Ole that would be fantastic.

    I don’t want cesc to suffer but has any club ever really made a star player wait out there entire contract in the reserves?

    It would take one club to do it and set an example and it wouldn’t be long before clubs started taking the power back.

  16. To be fair, Barcelona have been a good exit strategy for us. They’re generally mugs, and always pay us over the odds. They’re good customers.

    But it’ll be nice to hear Arsene or Ivan say we’re done with Barca. Sod of you cnuts.

    But I do quite enjoy the way we’re silent and dignified and ignore their cnutry.

  17. this is not opening from my office. what has e exactly done, the last true arsenal legend.

  18. castrol football – Eduardo’s shot to goal ratio at Arsenal before his injury was 23.5% – since his comeback this has only been 6.25%

  19. He’s signed for the red Bulls as you all know….but this is a television interview of toe curlingly cringe-opic proportions.

    First they congratulate him on “just winning the world cup” then it gets steadily worse.

  20. How long before the bookies started taking bets on who is going to open his gob about Cesc next?
    My guess is Iniesta on Thursday and Puyol on Friday.

  21. I think this is all a fund raising venture. Barca have told their players that they cannot guarantee their salary, so as the next best alternative they try to milk money from the media by staging frequent dramas in front of them.

  22. @mjc valid point, one that needs making. Seem to remember this term being used to describe emerging White boxers who could become world champions. I assume those who say the expression White hope just means British are themselves white British?
    Good article

  23. I’m chilled. And I’m certainly not the type to troll arond blogs seeking out racism that isn’t there.

    But I have to disagree with the idea that “great white hope” is a term irrelevant of skin colour – it was never used, for example, to describe Ashley Cole.

    Also the idea that the term “refers to British who make it through the Academy” is also not based on reality:

    “The phrase “great white hope” is frequently tied to racist attitudes permeating the United States when heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson fought in the early 1900s. Reaction to the first black man to reign as champion was intense enough to build support for a campaign to find a white fighter capable of reclaiming the title from Johnson.”

    This phrase is still causing political runctions today in the USA:
    http://cjonline.com/news/state/2009-08-26/jenkins_remark_raises_eyebrows

    Anyhoo, I stating to sound obsessive, so could you just put it in the terms-that-get-peoples-backs-up dustbin, along with “first touch of a rapist”.

    Cheers/Peace/Bye

  24. mjc – You’d prefer the “great English hope”? YW’s language is very metaphoric. To me he made the point, very well.
    Respect sah!

  25. thanks dups

  26. ‘Great white hope’ is basically racist phrase since it originates from the white American desire to see a white heavyweight champion, specifically to see a white man defeat the seemingly invincible Jack Johnson. Johnson was not just the first black champion, he was also a proto-Ali who made no concession whatsoever to the the discriminatory attitude of the white majority, threatening the status quo at every turn.

    Perhaps those who are innocent of knowledge regarding the history of the phrase cannot be offended by it. But that doesn’t alter its connection to a collective yearning for white racial supremacy.

    Not knowing is excusable. Not wanting to know is something else altogether.

  27. Ole we have sold a few players there way and we do seem to always get the better deal. That is until now if we sell cesc I can’t see it being in our best interests.

  28. shotta-gunna – how about the English Maradonna….??!!

  29. mangetout – very well put

  30. first touch of a rapist is a vile term with explicitly vile connotations that cannot be excused. Great white hope has the potential to be reclaimed and mean something completley different amongst people who are mature enough to not judge people by skin colour.

    I wasn’t aware at all of it’s relation to racism in boxing. That could indicate ignorance, but I genuinley think the meaning has evolved since then and should not belong to such petty labeling.

    To me it has always meant a pure hope for a certain cause.

    But If people don’t want to ask questions and would prefer to see bigotism instead of judging intent then let the phrase be banned. But it’s a sad road to go down.

  31. To much PC about this morning.

  32. just for the record…I would regard keiran Gibbs a great white hope.

  33. dupsffokcuf

    Your right. I havent even had lunch yet.

  34. I agree Deano. Where do you stop.

  35. mjc,

    There are plenty of people from all kinds of races on this blog, I don’t think the term is offensive in the context YW is using it. You are reading too much into the phrase. As YW said, it is a young player that many can relate to, be it black, white, mixed race, asian etc etc. There are thousands of kids up and down the country, in London, Birmingham, Manchester all aspiring to play for a top team. Very very few get that shot, Wilshire is one that represents the hope for all.

    Within the youth setups up and down the country you can see the range of cultures aspiring to become professional players. Having been brought up in London, I relate to the Arsenal team and players like Walcott, Wilshire the same as fellow fans who are of a different race.

    CHILL

  36. Yogi’s warrior – the last paragraph of your article was absolute poetry. is there any way we can get it suspended from an aircraft that flies over catalonia, or projected onto the nou camp or something?

  37. just for the record…I would regard keiran Gibbs a great white hope.

    Same too with Walcott. They are the hope of the fans who directly relate to them.

  38. “Great white hope has the potential to be reclaimed and mean something completley different….”

    By reclaimed you seem to suggest that the term was subverted for racist purposes. If this was the case I would agree that we should not throw away a perfectly good expression just because some racist has used it in a hateful way – this would just give the power to the racist.

    But that is not the case. It was coined for racist purposes, has always had racist connotations and therefore does not deserve to be saved.

  39. @mjc, It is a valid point but I doubt YW or anyone for that matter meant this in a disrespectful way.

    Speaking of Barazite and Simpson, I was curious to know what you guys think our Carling Cup team would look like? Here’s my two cents.

    Chez
    Traore Nordveit Koscielny Gibbs

    Frimpong
    Wilshere Barazite
    Vela Simpson/Bendy JET

    As you’ve probably noticed i’ve included a few players that can be considered first team back ups but Wenger is known to mix it up between the reserves and back ups for these games. Is it just me or are our back up teams getting better by the year? I just love our policy of blooding our talent via this competition as it gives these budding stars some much needed game time against formidable opponents.

  40. Xavi has had a field day this summer. You would think he had better things to speak about this summer, but obviously his commission is so great for luring Cesc to go Barca he can’t pull his fat gob away from it all.

    FIFA should charge the wanker for trying to unsettle our captain. Isn’t there a rule on this. Or is this just a moral thing which you just expect humans to obide by!?

  41. What does the “white” bit add to the phrase, then? For me, I’d choose another phrase before ever using that one.
    Personally, I’d thank mjc for giving us some context, at the same time as telling him to chill.

  42. Anyway, I won’t write anymore on this. I had no intention to sideline a very good blog and a very good article.

  43. @Rustywheels

    I used the expression. But am Black, and Kenyan.

    Your theory doesn’t hold water. The British National team needs Arsenal players (hence phrase – One of us) to emerge.

    You are reading too much into the sentence.

  44. Sorry, carling cup teams* getting better by the year.

  45. @MJC

    great white hope doesn’t refer to skin color, same as great black despair doesn’t refer to skin color

  46. mjc and mangetout – I have made no bones about my political orientation on this blog (see my avatar). So I assume some license to defend Yogi on this one. The “great white hope” is now a idiomatic expression used in normal discourse to describe something or someone that is expected to succeed. Yes it has a racist origin, so does a lot other expressions. The bigger point being made by Yogi, which I share, is that too much is being expected of JW too soon, especially by his English compatriots. Already I see on the usual chauvinistic and xenophobic blogs that AW should sell Rosicky because JW is ready to takeover the left midfield position

  47. PIRESAHOLIC

    Nice team and yes there is always a nice mix of youth and first teamers.

    I would love to see Eastmond maybe at right back as Frimpong may do well from time in the centre. Also Lansbury should be in there somewhere. Afobe would be a good shout if Simpson has been told he can leave. As sadly if this is the case then we need to invest the game time in someone who still has a future and Afobe looks fantstic.

    A bench including Aneke, Murphy and Angha

  48. I saw something about this on TV really. The Call of the Wild guy coined it didn’t he?

    Part of the reason the expression’s acceptable now is because the Great White Hope had heaps of crap beaten out of him. So there’s a kind of ironic thing going on there now.

    It’s sort of funny.

  49. *recently*

  50. mjc, interesting view on the term “Great White Hope.” The first time I heard the term was in 1986 when Mexico was holding the world cup. Mexico’s Captain and striker Hugo Sanchez was being referred to as their “great white hope!” In that context it was because Sanchez was playing for Real Madrid and the white was in reference to the Madrid kid! I honestly didn’t know of the racial undertones of the statement.

  51. maybe a formation change would work for our CC team?

    I’d like to see both Frimpong and Eastmond in the middle.

    A couple of the players there are almost guaranteed a lengthy run in the 1st team; Gibbs being one certainty.

    When is Ramsey back?

  52. As an outsider I find it difficult as to why Jay Simpson isn’t given a run in the team. I think he will score goals given a chance, in his gait he resembles McDonald, a tough bustling forward with an eye for goal. He can’t be rated by the staff at Arsenal otherwise he would be part of the first team squad.

  53. Cesc wants to go the issue is how he was encouraged to jump this season, undoubtly the pressure was put on him by Barca illeagally while he was recovering from his injury and initiated by Laporta and Barca’s fear of a Mourinhio rejuvenated Real.

    This side show has however disrupted our preparations and let Wenger get away without any serious improvements to the squad, infact the squad is actually weaker than last season.

  54. Vivb, whatever kind of name that is.. how can u assume we are going into the season with a weaker squad. We have added a striker to our ranks, one we didnt have last season as Eduardo wasn’t up to it. Then you have Djourou, who wasn’t available, Koscielny another option in defence. I wont even bother mentioning all the long term injuries, and recovering time which you should be able to aknowledge.

    While we have lost Gallas and Silvestre, Campbell not conculded just yet. We have actually lost only defender if Campbell goes on what Wenger had available last term. Assuming he will sign 1 more, and add to that the massive improvements in certain players, promotions from within, including the addition of Eastmond, Wilshire, and whoever else is brought through.

    Are you claiming we are weaker in numbers or quality? Silvestre and Gallas going out… while Kosc and Djourou are now in aint a bad swap i must say.

    I would say with 1 more CB or defender type we are good to go.

  55. I’m also finding the Simpson shun a bit of a shock. I always thought he’d come back and have a go upfront. I just don’t think he has the all round ability.

    Deano Wenger always demands that the Reserves and all youth teams adapt to the formation the first team plays. Makes sense but wont allow much adaptability.

    But in both these circumstances above, you have to bear in mind that the boss has so much more knowledge and insight than any of us and he never steers us wrong.

  56. Vivb- I’d only say the squad is weaker from a defensive point of view but I will wait and see if Djourou maintains his fitness and gets a good run in the team before I reserve full judgement.

    @Els- How stupid of me to forget Eastmond in that CC line up as his performances last season were very encouraging. Frimpong’s performance in the Barnet game has blinded me! It’s such a shame Merida didnt stay with us as he could’ve potentially had his ‘Ramsey’ season this year.

  57. What’s also shocking to me was how Wenger didn’t make an attempt to sign Kjaer as he really impressed me in the WC. His long balls from the back would’ve been very useful to our frontline. Oh well he isn’t the last good defender out there. In Arsene We Trust. So excited for today’s game against Sturm.

  58. Deano,

    I had to watch that Thierry interview from behind the sofa – Dr Who style.

  59. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/33575/pre-season-training-exclusive-pictures

    Lol at Almunia smiling while letting one in. He must be thinking ‘here we go again’ haha. I don’t mind him being our number one again, i’d take a risk on him over Chez and Fabianski anytime.

  60. PIRESAHOLIC – I agree about Merida, although I am very encouraged by some of the others.

    With Eastmond getting the opportunities that must have been the last straw for Merida. Theres only so long you can sit around on the verge of becoming a 1st team squad member. Look at Bentley as example, the ones that leave are either too eager to make it big and havn’t put the work in, or just unlucky not to get as many opportunities.

    We know which one Bentley was categorised under, with Merida I have to say I think Wenger could have given him more game time, but he should have stayed around a year longer perhaps to really push at getting some games. So for me it was a bit of both, him wanting to play as he felt he was ready, and also a lack of trust from the manager to throw him in. Wenger must have had his reasons or reservations about the lad even though it seemed he rated him highly. Then again he has had the same with Wilshire and Ramsey, being very reluctant to just chuck them straight in.

    The balance in our team of youth and experience makes it very risky to give everyone a chance. Frimpong will be another one who must be patient. So too Wilshire, who with the right attitude will make it big for Arsenal.

  61. What a load of fuss about nothing…

    Only an American would make such a fuss…

    Whoops – am i being racist?

  62. Mr Furious Styles

    Just a minor thing. When I click links in posted in the comment section here, it changes the URL of the current browser window instead of opening a new window/tab.. are anyone else bothered by this?

  63. SkynotSportsNews now say that the “cesc to barca” non-transfer is dead unless Cesc hands in a transfer request. Xavi says he is only on loan?? They really are ratcheting up the pressure now eh? Desperate people. Any Cesc transfer request would be turned down flat. Xavi is a turd. Cesc stays until The Mighty Arsenal, no one else, decides otherwise.

  64. Seen that report as well jaygooner . . . not so sure that a transfer request would be turned down though.

  65. Mr Furious Styles

    Just right click and open in a new tab or window

  66. Jaygooner,
    you know it

  67. JD Gooner

    Even if Wenger said OK Cesc, you can leave. BUT Barca must pay your valuation because I rate you very highly.

    I don’t see where they will get by putting Cesc in such a position, or what Cesc would achieve by handing in a request. if the money aint there it aint there.. We have made our stance, we are reluctant to let our captain go, and going for cheap ain’t going to happen.

    I just wish Wenger or Arsenal FC issued a statement telling them we are not willing to negotiate with them until they learn some basic manners.

  68. And further more i propose not to click on any things fab related aside from one text to sky sports who do the game a dishonour, they are a shady organisation. I recently wanted to cancel something or other and they offered me a deal like a used car salesman, i like the coverage but tjay, at least in this country, do everything they can to cause reaction and specululation but in a way that inflames the very groups they are trying to reach, guess what football team they remind me of with their arrogants

  69. 80m GBP seems like a pretty fair valuation on Cesc, I think its about time we issued a press release on all our players valuations in fact just to keep certain clubs from getting confused and let them know if they can afford any or our players.

    Van Persie – 100m
    Cesc – 80m
    Arshavin – 70m
    Vermaelen – 60m
    Nasri – 40m
    Bendtner – 40m
    Sagna – 30m
    Walcott – 30m
    etc
    etc

    Where we also state that those who have no intent to pay our players valuation, please shut the fu*k up.

  70. ChrisGoona, But they have issued a statement! What else can they say?!!

    I see Sunderland are giving Titus Bramble a medical, which quite probably means Sol is neither going there now, nor Celtic.

  71. mingus

    I know, but they havn’t quite got the message! I think we need to make things a bit more simpler for them. We dont want their poor fans and players getting dissapointed come August.

  72. Chris- Wenger is too classy to lower himself to the level of these minions. Plus, Cesc will never put in a request if he knows Barca won’t meet his valuation, I dunno bout you guys but i’m pretty sure our captain has more brains than you guys give him credit for. I must say though, i’ve seen some shocking shit in my lifetime and this would barely break my top 10.

  73. PIRESAHOLIC

    The classiest thing we can do is cut off contact with them by releasing a statement saying so. That would give a real message to all that we don’t take being treated in such a disrespectful manner.

    FIFA don’t seem bold enough to fix half the problems involved with football so we can’t just let this behaviour go on and accept it.

  74. Enough about Barca-laon-us.

    Not long now till our next game thank goodness.

  75. The joke of the Cesc situation is that we all think 40mill is too low. Let’s just think about this for a second: £40 million… too low. That’s crazy money and it’s too low! Give me £40 million and the next line of Gadgets to have to work would be my great grand-kids!

    Barca have themselves and Real to blame for this financial insanity though. Barca in giving Inter Eto plus 30mill for Ibrahimovic, and Real for the £80mill they gave to Man u for Ronaldo.

    Had those two Spanish teams not been so frivilous with their spending, chances are Barca would have had Cesc signed by now. Ha! There’s something rather delightful in all that. Chickens. Home. Roost.

    Brilliant vid too Deano. I’d love to see one for last season. Here’s to an excellent season for Arsenal. To the team. To the challenge. To the glory.

  76. Chris

    There are those who wouldn’t give you £30 for Theo, let alone £30m…The solution is quite simple: put a break clause in each player’s contract as they do in Europe with a vastly inflated fee. To put it into context, Jermaine Pennant has apparently got a €45m break clause in his contract (€0.1m for the player, €44.9m for his diamond-encrusted ankle bracelet). Weighing everything up, that would make your list seriously undervalued.

    YW

  77. On a different tack, does anyone think Wenger may be tempted to go back to 442 with RVP and Chamakh up top…?

  78. It’s time us Arsenal fans were not so docile & took some action against Barcelona & their players, FIFA, UEFA & also too our club Arsenal for their hierarchy’s failure to formally complain & show for a change a desire to protect their fans interests instead of their obsession with money & the potentially even more increasingly lucrative return at us fans huge expense, shareholders will get when they eventually sell in the not so distant future.

    See the Facebook group …………………

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=116042895106146

  79. So TV thinks Koscielny is a ‘good defender’ while Djourou is a ‘quality player’. Pecking order insight?

    “Anyway, Xavi forgets one thing; we’re all on loan throughout life, borrowed before we head off into the ether.”

    …Watch your back, Xavi. YW’s gonna whack ya!

    Let’s get Snoop on him.

  80. Gagdet

    You can’t really single out them signings… it is widely known now that transfer prices have sky rocketed. In the Premiership it is just as bad as anywhere else. Any decent/International standard player hits the 30m marker. Any English decent player hits minimum 10-15m.

    Most Expensive Premiership…

    1: Robinho – Real Madrid to Manchester City – £32.5m (2008)

    2: Dimitar Berbatov – Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United – £30.75m (2008)

    3: Andriy Shevchenko – AC Milan to Chelsea – £30m (2006)

    4: Rio Ferdinand – Leeds to Manchester United – £29.1m (2002)

    5: Juan Sebastian Veron – Lazio to Manchester United – £28.1m (2001)

    6: Carlos Tevez – Manchester United to Manchester City – £25m (2009)

    7: Emmanuel Adebayor – Arsenal to Manchester City – £25m (2009)

    8: Michael Essien – Lyon to Chelsea – £24.5m (2005)

    9: Didier Drogba – Marseille to Chelsea – £24m (2004)

    10: Wayne Rooney – Everton to Manchester United – £23m (2004)

    Overall most expensive…

    1. Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United to Real Madrid – £80m (2009)
    2. Kaka: AC Milan to Real Madrid – £56m (2009)
    3. Zinedine Zidane: Juventus to Real Madrid – £45.62m (2001)
    4. Luis Figo: Barcelona to Real Madrid – £37m (2000)
    5. Hernan Crespo: Parma to Lazio – £35.5m (2000)
    6. Gianluigi Buffon: Parma to Juventus – £32.6m (2001)
    7. Robinho: Real Madrid to Manchester City – £32.5m (2008)
    8. Christian Vieri: Lazio to Inter – £32m (1999)
    9. Dimitar Berbatov: Tottenham to Manchester United – £30.75m (2008)
    10. Andriy Shevchenko: AC Milan to Chelsea – £30m (2006)

    3 of the overall are going to the Premiership. 4 Spain. 3 Italy.

  81. mjc – you say you dont scroll the internet looking for racists slurs on blogs, then post a link for one??

    Things are so bad nowadays, Baa Baa Green Sheep, Spotted Richard and Custard, for gods sake get a grip.

    When the term “Great White Hope” was used it was basically because Jack Johnson was ruling the heavyweight division not long after black boxers were given permission to fight with whites. It was merely a factual statement from the men within boxing that a white boxer was required to keep the sport alive. I would hope that we all agree that times have moved on since then and move on we should, its a quote that will go down history just like Winston’s “we will never surrender” and “we will fight them on the beaches” and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” all great quotes, that should all be remembered and used wherever suitable JW for me is not “a great white hope” but i get the message from the quote, i do not get offended, its just a quote!

  82. YW

    It could work!! I’d rather we just tell them to do one in all honesty, saves the trouble. Plus we can sell Cesc off to Real for double what Barca are willing to pay if he gets upset about it.

  83. Supercod- I think the 4-3-3 served us well until injury depraved us from our strongest 11 for the majority of last season. I think we’ll remain with the 4-3-3 as the 4-4-2 has become too predictable nowadays (England was hopelessly exposed with their 4-4-2). I can still see Wenger using it in certain games but I highly doubt it. Wenger is notoriously consistent with his formation. I was actually thinking if we play with :

    Bendtner
    Chamakh RVP

    This forward line up would be lethal on set pieces, especially with TV, Diaby and Campbell in the side.

  84. Lol Limpar, what i’d give to board up the Barca DNA coalition in some deserted projects in Baltimore never to hear from them again.

  85. Can’t believe Berbatov even makes that list of greats.

  86. I say thanks to Xabi. For the first time that I am aware a Barcelona ‘spokesmoron’ says the truth about what they think and say to one another.

    This is exactly what they say and think, he’s our guy, he’s out ‘on loan’, ha ha ha, and so how they justify the things they have said publicly.

    It says a lot, about everything; Barcelona stance, Cesc non-statements, homeboyism generally, and specifically that curious phenomenom of regional Spanish clannishness.

    Funny thing is… I was about to describe Joe Cole as the ‘new great white hope’ of Liverpool, which I had meant with various layers of irony and juvenile teasing. I am aware of its origins, but like many specific idioms, it gathers new meaning in different places. To me it has become a joke, and generally derogatory way of describing certain individuals, mainly in post-colonial Southern Africa, in the public eye, presuming populist appeal in any field where they ain’t got a snowball’s chance in hell. It makes us laugh.

    Oops! But I understand why some might be offended from its origins. Still, too PC for me and as has been said, there isn’t an iota of racism here, oh it’s all football this and football that, until Pz makes reference to some 500-year old Italian author to describe an Italian personality trait, and CBob mystifies with something from Greek or perhaps Roman mythology amidst his chickens, beer and sunday curry, and Frank talks swords and hypocrits and life and stuff, and Shotta rounds off with broadside against imperialist bastards, and FunG keeps all in some semblance of order, and Passenal brings us back to Arsenal!

    As for me, I just talk too much!

  87. The way I see it is that 433 works if the two men either side of the lone striker are attacking midfielders as they’re more inclined to drop in the wide midfield positions when required (Arshavin, Nasri etc). When we play forwards in those positions it doesn’t come naturally and they can look laboured. If we go with a front three consisting of three forwards it can leave the midfield exposed. Wenger has courted Chamakh for a while and with RVP looks like the basis of a potential partnership but would need accomodating elsewhere.

  88. For any fellow Socrates fans out there…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8840141.stm

    I think I have a Mancrush.

  89. Supercod I know what you mean. I have never liked Van Persie playing wide right or left. Bendtner done OK in his time out there. Eduardo never looked the same out on the left, but we can’t assume the same story would have occured had he not been injured like he was.

    Nasri, Wilshire, Rosicky, Walcott, Vela, Arshavin, Eboue all for the wide positions. While Bendtner, Van Persie and Chamakh will be our central options. When all 3 are fit and ready to go, maybe we will see a couple on at a time.

  90. Interesting that you pointed out that we need attacking midfielders in those positions as in my mind its not hard seeing Chamakh or RVP doing a defensive job just as well as Nasri or Arshavin, if not better; Off course they will need to curb their attacking instincts more than they would like but it’s still plausible but then again it all depends on the opposition . Its just amazing the options we have upfront as every player has something different to bring to the table. So damn excited.

  91. What the …. I’m shocked, shocked to the core!!!

    You mean to tell me that Arsenal can’t even make the ENGLAND top ten, never mind the WORLD, in ChrisGoona’s list of VERY IMPORTANT PLAYERS.

    Well, bloody ‘ell. WAKE UP ARSENAL! Wenger, either ship up and shape out or else something else beginning with ‘sh’! And some you think we can challenge for the title. It’s a disgrace.

  92. That team of 1982 is just epic. Socrates is an enduring legend that will not be forgotten.

  93. I like Socrates, and his philosopher namesake too. That’s a what I call a good guy.

  94. You do talk a lot Zimpaul. However, you rarely waste a word whereas there are all too many from whom even a sentence is too much.

    We are all Arsenal here.

  95. I accept your point Chris, especially with regard to some of the transfer made this year alone. However, I would wager were those two transfers (three if your factor in Kaka) not made a lot of the transfers this season would have been cheaper and I think many would have thought £40mill a very very good price. To be honest, my first reaction to Barca’s tapping were that if they want Cesc, they’d need to part with Ronaldo money, so make of that what you will!

    I’m not sure what price people would put on Eto’o, but I would have though he was a £20mill player, so in my eye, Ibrahimovic was worth around £50mill to Barca. Therefore, the way I perceive things, the highest valued tranfers in history were made by Real and Barca.

    The rest of my post will be full of speculations so feel free to ignore!

    The fact the three highest valued transfers occurred in the same transfer window would probably affect the perception of the market. If it was one player going for ridiculous money, you could speculate there were other factors inflating the price. When it’s three, it’s something else, there is the suggestion the goal posts have moved. A £20mill player becomes a £30mill one. A £40mill becomes a £60mill.

    Personally, I think City’s antics are doing northing more than to sustain the level of these inflated values. When I think back to Chelsea influence, I don’t think the prices rose to the degree we’ve seen today (but I’m no football scholar so it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m wrong). I’m not sure, but have City’s purchases been OTT? In any case given that we’re in a global recession & UEFA’s book balancing measures are soon to kick in, it would be reasonably sensible to have thought you’d see the prices drop and stabalise.

  96. This is from a preface he wrote for a book called ‘Futebol’:

    “I am absolutely enchanted – in all senses of the word – by passion. It is what guides us through the unknown like an experienced commander; angry seas never scare us when we face them with the madness of love. Of all nations, none has a people that loves and falls in love more than mine. We are surrounded by exaggeration, happiness, spontaneity and creation. The expression of hope on our faces is the trademark even of those who have never received the tiniest advantages of society. We devotedly believe in the new world and in the beautiful humanity we know we will construct, without the muzzle that can take our freedoms away or the whips that try to frighten us. Without the ignorance that would lead us to the stupor of an empty cocoon.
    Our populace that was born enslaved frees itself every day with a soaring voice in search of the truth. Its truth. That which bases its strength in an irremovable culture because it comes from the soul, from the aura, from the smile, and where whites and Indians, blacks and the poor, migrants and the young delight in life’s pleasures. And what pleasures! A people who know what they really want even though they don’t recognise how. Or do they?
    The answers that we search for require special care and attention.
    We are a people of a thousand faces and gestures. A people fighting to preserve our history against everything and against all the evidence and possibilities. A shrewd, vain and happy people who make good use of our natural wonders with the naturalness of the carefree. A people who love everything around them and who know how to extract the wisdom of a lifetime from every second. And a people who love football.
    Football is a sport made from spontaneity and discernment, luxury and freedom, and one that, I believe, is part of our most primitive genome, like dance. But football should also be a type of dance. A dose of peace.”

    Socrates Knows.

  97. Arsenalkabisa, did you really feel compelled to mention you’re Kenyan?! You seem to be under the impression that just because you’re black then you’re justified in
    your bigotry…Ignorance really is bliss!

    @ Deano, stop trying to rehabilitate history and my appeal to everyone: out of respect to the great Jack Johnson and other civil rights champions, let’s just agree it’s not the best term to use, in the very least!

    PS: Damn, I would love to hear of a great ‘BLACK’ hope or in the very least the word black preceding a something positive and in the same expression!

  98. Eboue!

  99. Here you are, chemoss. The word ‘BLACK’ preceding something positive. Kunte Kinte by Blackstar (aka Rebel MC). Enjoy.

  100. (DISTRACTION FROM NONSENSE)

  101. Limpar,

    Nice piece on Socrates. It did though make we wonder if Socrates and Gill Scott-Heron have ever been seen in the same room at the same time.

  102. Arsenalkabisa

    @ Chemos.

    Are you demented?

    or as Frank would put it. F.U.C.K O.F.F.

    I have no reply to your stupidity.

  103. Hi, I’m Riccardo, I would like to make an exchange of links with my soccer blog…STADIO GOAL. Let me know if you are interested in it…thanks…have a good day with you good work!Keep it up!
    LINK: http://www.stadiogoal.com
    ANCHOR TEXT: STADIO GOAL

  104. Silver Gunner

    chemoss i would agree in terms of the word “black” used conjunction with things that are positive unfortunately this is not the case..

    Like Bentley and Merida I have high hopes for Wilshire but if he like his predecessors does not get the game time I would not be surprised to see him plying his trade at another club if this fails to materialise over the next couple of seasons.

    Personally unless things change I see our youth system as a revenue generating avenue, one that you really can’t knock but a revenue generating avenue non the less, because in wengers time at arsenal how many have actually come through the ranks and cemented a place in the 1st team squad? I can think of only Cashley.

    Now the likes of pennant and Bentley had attitude problems but could probably have been given more opportunity to showcase their potential in an arsenal jersey, just my opinion and with Merida i really believe we missed a trick especially with all the injuries we had in the second half of last season.

    Good article YW in hindsight the use of greatwhite hope to describe young Jack I bet you didn’t think it would provoke this response.

    Finally onto the topic of the month or two months Cesc, anyone who knows me will know how much I hate Barcelona they are pi$$ takers and Xavi has pushed the boat a little too far this time something must be done about this incessant tapping up, there has to be laws to protect club and their contracted players and if they are laws they should be obided by.

  105. From Wiki

    Carles Puyol – 1993–1995 Pobla de Segur
    Andres Iniesta – 1994-1996 Albacete
    Sergo Busquets – 1999–2003 Lleida 2003–2005 Unió Jabac
    Pedro – 2003–2004 San Isidro
    Jeffren – 2003–2004 Tenerife
    Messi – 1995-2000 Newell’s Old Boys

    Of course we knew the last one. So, does Mr. Xavi “more than a footballer” Hernandez accept that Barce “Fucking more than a club” lona should send them back to their respective homes for peanuts?

  106. Gadget – very true

    I just feel there has been a steady increase over the last 10 years, especially in the Premiership. I am sure the figures will prove that.

    It has just gotten to a point where there is so much money floating about in football, it is hard to even determine the value of a player. It is why I admire the way Wenger goes about his business, and the way Arsenal perform in the transfer market.

    Man Utd has been the most successful team on the field in the last 15 years – probably in the World. Yet in terms of investment in players, wastefulness in the transfer market, and the loss they have accumulated. Was it all worth it? Last time I checked the Man Utd fans were holding up boards telling the owners to get stuffed.

    Success shouldn’t come at such a cost in any walk of life. It is why I hate Mourinho, he strolls around the footballing World, getting his big name signings in order for some instant glory and is regarded as the best manager. Ok I admit it takes some level of skill to manage such overpaid players, but how can anyone judge his level of success when he spends 100m per year minimum.

  107. Man City and other clubs are spending £100m a year and they still don’t get success. I don’t think you should underestimate the talent of Mourinho.

    He is a showman who knows how to manipulate the media and get his players pulling in the same direction. He can build a team from the back to play defensively, yet still have them capable of scoring goals going forward. He is a master tactician.

  108. Silver Gunner

    Maybe only a couple youngsters have come all the way through. But the likes of Clichy, Cesc, Gibbs, Walcott, Wilshire, Ramsey, Djourou etc.. have all come from playing in the reserves or youth teams and training at Arsenal for several years. To me they are our Arsenal through and through.

    You have the next wave of talent which will be even better equipped.. Lansbury, Freeman, Murphy, Hoyte, Frimpong, Eastmond and many others… some will be make the jump up sooner. Some will stall in development like Randall and Barazite. The main problem is giving these guys competition to improve, the Carling Cup alone isn’t enough, and the Reserve league certainly wasn’t also.

    This is where England must focus their efforts to improve youngsters up and down the country. It seems as if the gap is far too wide for many to make the jump up. One thing is for sure though, Arsenal are finding and grooming them as well as we can to give them a shot.

  109. Great interview with Dr. Socrates.

    Except for the Zico pic at the bottom.

  110. Mr Furious Styles

    Mourinho is a fantastic manager and will go down as one of the greats after his spell at RM. Total douchebag and a drama queen (and I kind of miss the crazy he brought with him to the PL) but you cannot fault his skills.

  111. Nikolarse

    I do not doubt for one second his ability to win games and challenge for titles. His record speaks for itself.

    I just doubt the fans and board of Inter Milan will be too pleased that they will have to rebuild the team in areas, and find a new manager. Then you have the football in which his teams play, it is the closest to anti-football you will see. Mourinho represents everything that has turned ugly in football today. Sacrificing football for success.

  112. Yogi:

    Great post. The last paragraph may be your best ever.

    Players like Jack Wilshere are a real conundrum. Clearly he is a huge talent. That said he is only 18 and the last 5 years have shown that no matter how talented it is very difficult to win titles with the ups and downs that are inevitable even for the most talented players of his age. We have also seen how some of our young players have had to struggle with the burdens of expectation. Yet if they are going to play the fans will rightfully expect them to consistantly play at a level that allows us to maintain our title hopes, and therefore if they are going to be in the first team and play meaningful minutes the burden of expectation is unavoidable.

    How do you balance keeping these young players happy and building for future with the need to succeed now and keep our more experienced players happy with some silverware? Tough one.

  113. ChrisGoona,

    I have to agree with you about the youth system and how Wenger has brought people through and, as you have said, genuine competition is the biggest problem for them as they get to the fringes of the first-team.

    The Carling Cup is deifnitely not enough, and they are not ready to be risked regularly in the Premier League. Maybe it would be a good idea for Premier League clubs to link up with clubs in the Championship or League One, maybe even abroad, and loan players out.

    I think it benefited Wilshere to play for Bolton, and it will have benefited some of the other players to play in the lower leagues. Some people might say that the Championship or League one isn’t the same quality, but it’s a stepping stone. And if they fail, then we know they probably won’t ever have what it takes to succeed. Those that have good loan spells will show Wenger it might be worth a run out in the Premier League.

    By loaning players out and forming closer ties with the lower league clubs, it could also ease the financial strain and keep clubs in business.

  114. And again Chris,

    I respect your points about Mourinho. I like to watch good football, and we are lucky at Arsenal. But I bet a significant portion of fans would happily see us abandon our style if it meant trophies. Success, not matter how you get it, can be a powerful thing.

  115. Actually success is paramount, only it means different things to different parties. For some it is winning the immediate next league title. For some it is bulding a club on secure foundations. For some others it may just be playing good entertaining football irrespective of trophies or finances.

  116. Yep, our youth outfit excites the beegees out of me. The thought of continually seeing the rise of new legends just feels magnificent. There’s heartbreak at the same time, but watching our youth grow gives me as much satisfaction as watching our seniors bedazzle opponents.

    As for Mourinho, he is a great manager, definately a great tactician, but to me he has no footballing philosophy. His general philosophy is winning by neutralising his opponent, but his teams don’t seem to have a philosophy of their own.

    When I saw us against Barcelona, many Arsenal fans bemoaned the way we played (since Messi was on the form of his life and uncontainable), but I was proud myself, because we went there and tried to play our own game. Sure we lost, but we didn’t sacrifice who we are, and that speaks volumes to me.

    And that’s the thing, our youth are brow deep in Arsenal’s philosophy. Total football, Wengerball, call it what you will, it’s our philosophy, and I for one want it to stay and evolve for as long as possible.

    Can Mourinho offer this? Maybe, but I’m yet to see it.

  117. Both very passionate and both a little mad, Kingsalami.

    I would love to see a midfield of Rosicky, Frimpong and Wilshere again this evening… but I guess we will go strong with Song and maybe Abou coming in? Would like to see Gibbo get a start at left-back, and looknig forward to some Arshavin magic too. Something about the way he’s holding himself this pre-season, he looks leaner and much, much sharper. Can’t wait to see him in action. Big things from you this year please, Andrey. Fly the flag for the Russian World Cup bid and all that.

    I also expect there to be another goalkeeping merry-go-round. It’s just what some of us here were hankering after a few months ago – a clean slate, complete meritocracy from day one of preseason. Give them all a chance to stick their gloved hand up and be counted. Fascinating stuff.

  118. I’m not up for a Mourinho love-in. He is a cynical, crass, disrespectful and opportunist manager who has no loyalty, except to his own ego, and his legacy to football history will be nothing more than a minor, and somewhat sad footnote. Genius? Tactician? Absolute rubbish. It is not mistake he went to Chelsea, under Abramovich, and now Real Madrid of all clubs he might have.

    Sorry, it is not enough to good at something, and not have the spirit and heart and committment for certain principles. In fact, this is worse than if you had no skill at all. Philistine is the word in mind.

  119. Nikolarse @ 3:28 and 3:32:

    Awesome! in both posts. Although I do not think we need or want to abandon our style. Success of the Spain in the WC again shows that you can win with a similar style of play as long as you defend properly.

    The idea of partnerships with lower league teams sounds great. Unfortunately not enough intelligence in the FA and the rest of the football establishment at this point to consider such an innovative idea. I will vote for you if you run for FA president.

  120. How many here think united may be totally screwed this time? Apparently they don’t have much money (Alex said he is happy with his squad which to translates to a lack of funds to buy). And I think they need a new goalkeeper, a playmaker, a centre back and probably a holding player to remain competitive as scholes, giggs, van der sar et all may not have another season left in them.

  121. The kind of success the Mourinhos deliver is fleeting and leaves you with the feeling you stepped in shit and need to wipe your shoes.

    You know the feeling?

  122. Silver Gunner

    ChrisGoona i guess I am romantic in as much as i would like someone who we have not paid millions for make into the first team in a similar way that cesc and cashley did and how i hope gibbs and wilshire do.

    Because the likes of ramsey, Walcott have commanded sizable fees.

    Clichy, Djourou even though they were great buys are not from Great Britain and as such their progress and development does help Arsenal but any of the British teams which is what I beleive EPL teams need to aspire to do.

    The golden generation are mostly past the age of 30 but when most of them were breaking into their respective teams they were in their late teens and early twenties, not sure that is happening now regardless of how good they turned out to be they were at least given their chances at the highest level to shine….

  123. Zim Paul, with all due respects there isn’t there something wrong with your analogy? Stepping on shit would hardly qualify as success, fleeting or not. 😀

  124. What if if you were a dung beetle?

    : )

  125. Silver gunner, I would consider Ashley Cole to be the only “success” to have come out of England in the last 10-12 years. Do you think anyone else would get into say the Brazilian, German, Spanish or Dutch team?

  126. Cheers, Bill.

    I think there is a lot to be said for closer ties with local lower league clubs. Lower league clubs could almost abandon there youth systems, letting the big Premier League club take on the financial burden. The Premier League club would then obviously get the pick of the players, but those that didn’t make it or needed first-team experience could be loaned out. The lower league club would get quality players on short-term contracts, with a bigger club footing some the majority of the wages.

    I can see some fans of the lower league clubs hating it as there would obviously be a huge risk that they would become slaves to the successful clubs and lose their identity, but there’s no real chance of a Barnet or a Brentford ever being Premier League clubs. If it was done properly, they could at least get some good players and see some good football, maybe have the odd giant killing performance in the cup.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t want to see us lose our style by the way. I was just saying. I agree that we can become successful with our current style, it just requires a little fine-tuning.

  127. Silver Gunner

    finally some one from that club speaking sense I doubt howeve it will stop them pestering

    http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2010/07/21/2035712/barcelona-director-javier-bordas-confirms-arsenal-will-not-budge-

  128. All I can advise is that you’ll know it when you step in it Keyser.

  129. Arsenal!

  130. Nikolarse, we are already successful. World domination will take a little more time, but not much.

  131. Limpar @ 1:54PM

    “I think I have a Mancrush.”

    LOL. You are awesome. I wish everyone, myself included had your sense of timing and humour.

  132. Ask an Inter fan if they’re bothered about Mourinho leaving… they’re not. They were much more upset by the depature of Roberto Mancini, a manager who had them playing positive, expansive football.

    And Arragantio has a much harder crowd now. Look at all the manager’s in Real’s history that have achieved success one day, only to be thrown out on their arse the next, for not playing ‘the right way’.

    It’ll be the same for whomever succeeds AW (*genuflects*), nothing other than dream football will be good enough.

  133. Steady on, Bill.

  134. Eduardo’s shakht up with another club.

  135. Who’ll be donetsk in line?

  136. http://shakhtar.com/en/news/13787

    Good luck to Eduardo!!!

    Look at the league table at the bottom right corner. It is really interesting, I see it as a portent although I never believe in such things.

  137. Niko @4.17pm

    Never say never. Barnet and Brentford may have a tall task ahead of them, but taking one step at a time has resulted in many a great thing.

    However, I think the bulk of your post has a lot of good ideas. If clubs were force to become more dependant with each promotion, then perhaps that would mitigate the risk of become servant clubs. One problem I can see is that such may lead to potentially a large barriar to entry for new clubs (they’d be at a disadvantage for not having the link with premier league teams), but if this can be worked around then why not

  138. LA, are you quite done? Tsk-tsk!

  139. 10 whole minutes. How’s that for a snappy rejoinder!

  140. I wish Eddie the best of luck. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the man, and i’ll follow his career with nothing but fondness.

    Godspeed Number 9

  141. Poor old Eddie… that signing office is hardly the oak-pannelled, historied magnificance he’s grown accustomed to.

    I think the sensible thing to do with the No.9 shirt is to have Chamakh and Bendtner fight it out over the course of the season… highest scorer wears the shirt next season.

    In the event of a tie, Benik Afobe can have it.

  142. Silver Gunner

    I think Chamack will get it.

  143. Good luck to Eddie! New homepage required by you YW??

  144. Is this an English football, European or Arsenal tradition that the closer your number is to 10 the more important you are to the attack?

  145. I’ve read some appalling guff on this site but this “… a significant portion of fans would happily see us abandon our style if it meant trophies. ” makes my toes curl.

  146. you know what mourinho reminds me of?

    Heroin.

    Everything must seem absoloutley fantastic for the short period your on it. “Feck the world” you must think. But it will cost you everything to sustain the unsustainable, there is no long term plan. Everyone around you who is not on the heroin thinks what a mess you look. It has been sourced immoraly most likley, but you don’t give a fuck because your on heroin. Dirty, unhealthy quick fix heroin.

    Eventualy you will be left with nothing but a mass of debt and no teeth….a shell of when you were.

    Ok you will probably keep your teeth with mourinho….but you know what I mean.

  147. I’d rather watch us play our football, never ever win a trophy for the rest of my life than watch one match with Mourinho in charge.

  148. just to balance my hunger induced analogy

    Arsene in contrast is a hearty meal made with organicaly sourced, fair trade ingredients rich in vitamins and minerals, but it takes time to cook so no! We can’t just bang it in the microwave you fat impatient bastard! Don’t you want good food!?

  149. I’m with you there, Steww. Nearly everyone on this blog is proud of the way we try and play the game. And I think that goes for nearly all sensible fans as well.

    Then again, we could always go back to that brutal offside trap, home games with 17,000 fans and David Hillier pulling the strings.

  150. Arsenal.

  151. David Hillier is a fireman now. In Norwich I think. Good lad. But yes, rubbish at pulling strings.

    Are you nodding out yet, deano?

  152. Hey, he was born in the same place as me!

  153. Do any of you have links to the other horror tackles by shawcross other than the one on Aaron? Need to use in a debate

  154. Er, shouldn’t have said that.

    Anyway, we couldn’t have him in the side now; it would be a modern equivalent. So imagine having Darron Gibson or Tom Huddlestone pulling the strings.

  155. Some of shawcross’s tackles before the one on Ramsey.

    Whilst playing for Stoke in 2007 his late tackle from behind was involved in a tackle with Sheffield Wednesday player Francis Jeffers who sustained ligament damage and a 3 month lay-off from the game.[7] Shawcross was not punished for the tackle which Wednesday player Michael Johnson described as “career threatening”.[8][9]

    During the 2008–09 season, an off-the-field tackle by Shawcross on Arsenal’s then striker Emmanuel Adebayor, led to Adebayor being out for three weeks with an ankle injury.[13] Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger latter claimed that Shawcross had injured Adebayor on purpose.
    “‘I read that my team were not brave,’ raged the Arsenal manager. ‘I can say that they are brave and for me, you need to have more courage to play football when you know that someone is tackling you from behind without any intention to play the ball.”
    —Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger on Shawcross’s tackle on Emmanuel Adebayor.[14]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Shawcross

  156. Limpar Assist I’m ok now, they arnet after me anymore, my bodily fluids are safe.

  157. Fabianski, Nordtveit, Vermaelen ,Djourou, Traore, Nasri, Wilshere, Frimpong, Walcott, Arshavin, Chamakh

  158. Come on Arsenal!

    Team:
    Lukasz Fabianski Thomas Vermaelen Havard Nordtveit Johan Djourou Armand Traore Samir Nasri Theo Walcott Emmanuel Frimpong Jack Wilshere Andrey Arshavin Marouane Chamakh.

    Substitutes
    Wojciech Szczesny Laurent Koscielny Kieran Gibbs Craig Eastmond Henri Lansbury Tomas Rosicky Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

  159. Interesting starting line up:

    Lukasz Fabianski
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Havard Nordtveit
    Johan Djourou
    Armand Traore
    Samir Nasri
    Theo Walcott
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Jack Wilshere
    Andrey Arshavin
    Marouane Chamakh

  160. @ deano

    ha ha ha re your mourinho/heroin comparison!

  161. I don’t like that away kit. Redcurrant and yellow just don’t go. I like the blue one.

  162. And Kieran Gibbs also amongst the subs.

  163. The idea that the youth system as only “a revenue generating avenue” is, to put it mildly, utter bollocks. The new, revised Arsenal Academy at London Colony is no more than 10-11 years old. The first fruits from that process began to reveal itself last year in the form of Wilshere, Gibbs, Eastmond and to a lesser extent Cruise. These are kids who have been at the club from they were 9 or 10 years old. That means in 10 years 3-4 players, trained in the Arsenal Way, have come through. This is a tremendous success when compared to the best academies elsewhere. In fact this coincided with the youths winning the Premier Academy League title the past two years in succession.
    The idea however that these 17 and 18 year olds will immediately make the 1st team is riduculous to the height. Even with his prodigous talent, Jack Wilshere is at least 2 years away from being a 1st team regular and at least 5 years from his peak. Compared this trajectory to Xavi and Iniesta, who are arguably the best midfield combo in the world today, yet they laboured for years behind the likes of Guardiola and Deco, before becoming fixtures on Barca 1st team in their mid 20s.
    Apart from Pennant and Bentley being nowhere near JWs talent and potential, they were hyped to ridiculous extremes thus explaining their self-serving desire for 1st time football before they are ready.
    The fact that Wenger has made it the club’s policy policy to sign talented 16-18 year olds like Clichy, Song, Bendtner, Denilson et al and turning them into top-class players shows that youth olicy is a strategy, not merely revenue-generating, to guarantee long-term success like that acheived at Barca.
    Like instant coffee and instant oatmeal, the vast majority of fans have been brought up on instant-footballers via the transfer market. No wonder they fall for the usual clap-trap about not spending enough to buy players.

  164. SomeRandomGunner

    Anybody got a stream ?

  165. Cracking goal, Nasri.

  166. very well put Shotta.

    But like Veruca Saltz……don’t care how they want it NOW.

    Cream buns and doghnuts and fruitcake with no nuts so good you could….

    Anyway yes stream anyone?

  167. Shotta:

    Everything you say is spot on. Its the fans like us and the media that hype players like Jack and now Frimpong and before them Theo and Diaby etc. Theo will be an excellent player one day but he was thrown into the pressure cooker way to early. Lets hope we do not have to do that to Jack W. and Eastmond and Frimpong etc etc. The fans and most important the players need to be patient. They need experienced role models like Xavi and Iniesta had. RVP is a perfect example of how the system should work at our club.

    Our youth system will be the model for all of football if we give these kids enough time to mature and give them the role models they need.

  168. Thanks

  169. keysersoze, here is another one, Ithink it’s from when he was playing on loan in Charleroi.

  170. Nasri’s looked sharp in this one. Walcott a bit rusty-

    Lovely free-kick there.

  171. In your face, Domenech.

  172. Another goal from Nasri, great freekick.

  173. beautiful free kick nasri 2-0

  174. Are you watching Domenech?

    Even if you’re, I don’t think you still won’t get it.

  175. the commentator crediting nasri for the free kick against Hull that was scored by Denilson last season.

    No wonder the kid gets slandered, people can’t even be bothered to remember what he does.

  176. Traore, Nordveit and Frimpong have all looked very good. And I like Chamakh’s tackling back.

  177. Sturm Graz are further ahead in their preparation as they have already played a competitive game in their league. Arsenal look tired, which is not surprising as they have been working very hard in Austria. But Samir Nasri is playing really well. I hope he maintains this into the start of the new season.

  178. Super Sam looks like he is on a mission. Frimpong does not look at all out of place.

  179. Sad to see Eduardo go – he has a real talent as a striker. Best of luck to him.

  180. Are you watching, Kitchen Sink? The Rosicky Show just had a rewind on that pass.

  181. any other streams? I am getting nada, zilch from Iraq Goals.

  182. Gorgeous build-up there.

  183. Did I say “gorgeous”?!

  184. Lansbury 3-0 good play by J.E.T

  185. Lansbury is impressive

  186. Isn’t Rosicky classy eh?

  187. Walcott seems to have a greater physical presence or is it my eyes playing tricks?

  188. If JET comes good he’ll be unplayable.

  189. He reminds me of the good bits of Adebayor.

  190. Imagine a full-back like Carr, Baines or the Rafael da Silva trying to mark him. It’d be a sick joke!

  191. I’m impressed with Nordveit so far even though he’s playing out of position.

  192. He can be a bit of a showboater at times… but in a good way… like Titi.

  193. Robson gets on my nerves.

  194. Could someone tell Robson it’s not ‘kossyelsny’?

  195. Good luck Eduardo. You would have been a legend if English players were taught to play football.

  196. of course its Robson! Doi! Yes he’s a bit of a negative pants isn’t he?

    JET, Nasri, Rosicky all looked fantastic to me. Walcott is an inch away but he will get there I’m sure.

  197. its the timing and weight of his passes LA the way he leans off the ball and makes it all look so easy, he’s the only player I enjoy to watch make even the simplest of lay offs..

  198. JET MoM 2nd half. Excellent play

  199. Don’t like the colour of the shorts. Anyhoo. Anyone see JW flicking it backwards over his shoulder one touch pass. Hmmm. This boy has a rare talent.
    That was all great fun, they look a little tired but all so comfy on the ball. Another fine show from JET and how about Lansbury’s finish!

  200. Does anyone know why we invited those assholes from Glasgow who’s persecution of EDS results in him leaving us!! I will not be staying to watch those ****** at the Emirates cup.

  201. 1 loose cannon

    The latest “loan” comment by Xavi is really testing Arsenal’s patience with these low class. Xavi the king of arrogant bastards. It is very strange and unusual that an entire team their priority number 1 is to talk nonstop about a player that is not in their team. I’ve seen tapping up but this is the worst of its kind. Regardless of whether the player wants to go or not, all they can do is shut their filthy gob and mind their own business. At times the whole thing feels like those secret wind ups that people do on TV its in a bad taste you feel like they are going to say at the end of it. “Got you, we were only kidding” but no this is for real, its constant its unbelievable.Its got to stop.

  202. TR7 reminds me of RP7 the way he seems to have so much time on the ball.

  203. Well played JET. More of the same please.

  204. skywatchingmug

    Very good for the second game in.
    Some really good performances from the fringe players and established players to.
    Second half was a joy to watch but it’s just nice to have The Arsenal back.

  205. G4E

    I am gobsmacked at how good Nordtveit is. I’ve never seen him play before. We have our third choice right back right there, and if he’s as good at CB, well…!
    And excellent showing from JET. It was like watching man against boy, except that he is the man!

  206. could someone please tell me how long it normally takes ATVO to put the highlights up after a match?

    ta

  207. @ word

    Bitesize highlights are usually up within hours, sometimes you have to wait 12 or 24 hours for the full match replay.

  208. thank you FG… 24 hours seems pretty extreme tho, should have got home earlier 😦

  209. Well said Maria; I agree completely. Sadly, I think they have been invited for commercial reasons as they have so many fans who will all probably turn up drunk

  210. Peace Frog; is your moniker based on the track from the Doors album Morrison Hotel?

  211. Deano: good bits of Adebayor, please explain.
    Passenal: dare I ask how it should be pronounced?

  212. Indian Gooner: you are the star of the day! Excellent real research!
    The England manager called up a thug.
    Nuff said!

  213. Ian, it Kos-Ci-els-ny not kossy-els-ny

  214. LimparAssist on July 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for the Socrates link. What a gent!

  215. Ian

    You know what I mean….

    His legs and his cheekbones of course!….

    No…he’s pacy, very strong…good in the air and has the wierd bandly legged close control that ade had when he actualy looked as if he could be bothered.

    Plus the name Emmanuel which I also thought was a good bit of Adebayor..

  216. OK Deano I get it ( but stll reluctantly)

    Passenal,

    Thanks for that; now I will know how to chant his name.

  217. @Passenal
    Commentators will never learn it. Rosicky has been in the PL for 5 or so years now and some still pronounce his name es Ro-sicky instead of Ro-sic-k-y

  218. *as, not es

  219. Just seen TH on SSN – what a gent. Hope he puts the yids to the sword….

  220. Theres a commentator on BBC 5live that calls Vermaelen; Vermoolin.

  221. JET is a total footballer. You could play the man anywhere on the pitch. I am excited about the talent coming through. Jack W, Henri L. Howie Nordveit, Emma Frimpong….
    Seeing our trade-mark fluid playing style reminds me that no-one in the PL can beat us. Unless they kick us off the park. But this season, we will kick them off the park first, and then play our trade-mark fluid passing style.

  222. When do the World Cup boys join the squad?

  223. I love the 180º move of Rosicky. I don’t remember seeing anyone else doing it.

  224. FunGunner, his touch and technique are really good. I just think he needs to fill-up physically which he will since he’s still young.

  225. zumbi, most have already joined. Only CF4 & RVP10 still on holiday.

  226. Sorry that was for Supercod

  227. JET’s another one who needs to fill out a little!

    Jesus christ it looks like he’s playing with American football gear underneath his shirt.

  228. Göteborg Gunner

    Rosicky is one of our very complete midfielders. His defensive contribution is very under-rated imo.

    According to Wikipedia his name is to be pronounced something like Roh-zit-ski. Funny really even Arsene doesn’t pronounce his name like that.

  229. Completely with you, Kitchen Sink @ 7.54pm

  230. I didn’t watch anything, internet being so slow here, it’s actually faster to just walk to austria, and I’ really excited just reading the comments on JET, Nordveit, JW, Ro-zits-ski, and Landsbury.

    Viva Arsenal.

  231. Hes not worth $60, at least not yet.. Maybe $50..

    You Arsenal fans need to understand that Barcelona and Arsenal do not share the same vision of Cesc. To you, hes your leader, talismanic captain and best player.. To us, he is simply the perfect reinforcement, but he will loose leadership title, at least in the begining. He allready knows how to play with most of the Barcelona boys, so he will fit in perfectly.

    Our new president (who i dont like btw) is clearly desperate to make this deal happen, so maybe hell go for it and pay whatever Wenger asks for.

    After seeing how DESPERATE you all were to keep Fabregas!! LOL!! This is a great investment, even at $60, dont pretend your getting the better hand on this deal.

    For $60 we would be getting: Firstly, your best player 😉 a natural leader almost in his prime, young at 23 years of age, world cup winner with a winning mentality is perfect for this season, a player that allready knows how to play with his “new” team mates, someone who was schooled personaly by Arsene Wenger, experience, strategies and information he will pass on to his team and also to younger players, a marketeable player and many more reasons..

    To me, its a bargain!! I guess it just depends on how you want to look at it.

  232. What a strange post. He doesn’t seem to be what he pretends to be. I mean, a Barca fan with a $ key on his keyboard but nu Euro?

    Whatever, he is clearly a complete and utter twat.

  233. You are correct in your analysis Consolsbob. The man (if indeed he is one) is an fool or a spud.

    Message to self
    Surely being a spud makes you a fool anyway.

  234. The usual suspect? Mind you his crap is usually shorter. Why does AIC persist in pretending to be from the US of A in his new persona? Oh and where is Howard?

  235. steww

    “Oh and where is Howard?”

    Steww. Don’t. Not even in jest.

  236. Steww, Howard is still having a fit over Arsene signing another ‘Frenchie’.

  237. I wonder if Howard is actually furious with Arsene for playing so many Englishmen in the pre season. He has nothing to moan about now.
    Does anyone else picture him as Eric Cartman?

  238. @ steww
    ha ha
    You WILL respect mah authority!

    G4E
    About Nordtveit I agree with what you say, and would add that his distribution is first-class. It was like having another playmaker at right back.

    But going back to JET, forgot to say that he seems a really intelligent player, with very nimble feet and quick reactions for such a big bloke and soooo much potential.

  239. It’s getting frustrating to read that “JET needs to nail down one position”. What’s that about?

    I remember be played at left-back and central midfield for a while, but for the last 18 months he’s played constantly as an attacker, and there’s nothing unusual about a forward who can play both wide and central.

    I can understand the reluctance to get carried away, but versatility isn’t a drawback here. I’d say he needs to be a little more dynamic. Maybe he’s used to his bulk affording him time on the ball, but that won’t make much difference in the PL where players are stronger and smarter at winning possession back.

  240. Says me, UEFA qualified coach.

    I think we all get a bit carried away sometimes!

  241. Cuervo is very odd. Can’t resist Arsenal, which he clearly loves since he keeps coming to ACLF to engage and discuss. He doesn’t understand much else, neither the depth or ‘idea’ of Arsenal, nor the contractual issues surrounding Fabregas. Nor, apparently does he have a clue that for Barcelona chiefs it’s not about affection and loyalty, it’s all about money, money, money and manipulation. They know Fabregas’ worth and fear if they don’t get him now, this season as a 23-year old they will pay his real value, that is should he formally request a transfer and the breaking of his 5-year contract. If he moves to Barca, perhaps in a year or two, he will arrive as the best midfielder in the world, under Wenger’s nurturing, and Barca will pay for that. I believe Cesc understands all this.

  242. A personal message from Eduardo:

    “Before I start a new chapter in my career with Shakhtar Donetsk, I just wanted to send a message to all my friends at Arsenal.

    “The past few days have been very emotional for me. Although I am excited about the challenge ahead with my new club Shakhtar Donetsk, I am so sad to be leaving my home for the past three years – Arsenal Football Club.

    “Arsenal is a very special football club and I will miss so many people – my team mates, all the staff and of course, the wonderful Arsenal supporters.

    “I would just like to thank everyone for your support during my time at Arsenal. When I first came to England, I could not speak the language and knew nobody, but as soon as I arrived I was made to feel at home and part of this big family. Also, I want to say thank you to the Arsenal supporters – you have been fantastic to me and always sung my name and I will never forget this.

    “I had some very difficult times with my injury, but Arsenal was always there for me – the medical staff, the management, the players and the supporters. Thank you everybody.

    “Although I have now left the Club, Arsenal will always be in my heart. I will always look for the Arsenal results and of course, I wish Arsène Wenger and the great players at the Club well for next season and the future.”

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/personal-message-from-eduardo

    just class.

  243. Oh I do love this pre season biz. Seeing the youngsters progress is a total highlight in my season.

    Looks as those Nord, JW, Frimp and JET may feature heavily this season. I hope Lansbury and Eastmond also get plenty of action.

    So do you think that Nord will be playing as a Right back mainly?

    You could put a fantastic all youth CC team couldn’t you.

    Can you imagine seeing this lot trot out.

    – – – – – – – – – – Scz

    Nord – Eastmond – Bartley – Cruise

    – – – – Frimpong – Lansbury

    – – – – – – – – – – JW

    Sunu – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – JET

    – – – – – – – – – Afobe

    Or something along those lines.

    Wow!

  244. Man that’s great. That’s the way to leave a club.

  245. What is Jay-Emmanuel Thomas’ best position? Who cares? It is to his credit that he can play anywhere. He is total-football. I also like his intelligence. His lack of ego, his quiet leadership and his team-play. So much like Adebayor it’s true!!
    His link-up play with Lansbury and Walcott was good. His nimble flick and avoidance of a tackle down the right touchline was great. He sort of keeps things simple, but seems one step ahead of his marker. I look forward to seeing him more involved in the first team this season.

  246. 1 loose cannon

    Arsene wanted him to stay but it was his wish to join his croatian team mates in ukraine. It is sad and unfortunate to see him leave, I believe if it wasn’t for a reckless person who almost ended his career he could’ve been a real star at Arsenal, he was awesome, progressing nicely but someone changed all that for him. Its in the past now and good luck to him.

  247. Eduardo is a real gentleman.. His departure and his personal message have been emotional for me..
    Will never forget his 2 goals against Everton.

  248. Thinking of Jay-Emmanuel and his selflessness. ….Our team functions best with ego’s set on “low”. JET, Henri L. Jack, Theo, Samir, TV….(in fact I could name each and every one.)
    Even Nic B who (so we have been told) has a high opinion of himself, plays with his ego seemingly second, to the needs of the team.
    With the youngsters coming through together, this sense of “team” is very evident.

  249. 1 loose cannon

    “its the cheekiest voley I have seen for a long long time” ” its a finishing master class”

    I will always remember Eduardo for this goal, its pure class. I don’t think I have ever seen somenoe do that before.

  250. Bye Eddy you should have been a legend, you were on the cusp.

    Good luck your a proper pro.

  251. couldn’t get that working 1 loose cannon but i checked it out on you tube. It’s the one i’ll always remember n all.

    SUPERB!!!

  252. I am really going to miss EDS.

    Bloody english medja!!

  253. too true Maria.

    I think he’s probably just wanted a fresh start. Put everything behind him including the media.

  254. I just watched our recent game and while not many have impressed, JET has been great I really enjoy watching him bully defenders, dragging them all over the pitch. Much the same way Deedee has done to our defenders over recent years.

    Can you imagine playing him alongside EDS….

    Anyone else hear the news of Czech’s new injury – I heard his out for a month!!

  255. Yeah he’s done his leg hasn’t he. Haha

    Regarding the young guns Maria I’d say Frimpong and Wilshire both looked good as well.

  256. To Cesc Fabregas:

    Please learn from Eduardo. That is how u leave a classy big club. With honour, dignity and class. It bought a few tears down i can tell u that ….. all over north london and the Arsenal world.

    Good luck Eddie. We will always love you.

  257. Oh yeah xavi is a right old smelly cunt.

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