Graz Defeated, Goalkeeping & Other Transfer Talk

Sturm Graz were brushed aside with Samir Nasri taking the pole position with three goals in two pre-season friendlies. When I observed last week that they needed to score more from midfield positions, I meant in competitive games. Let’s hope that young Samir is not including these matches in his target of double-figures for the season. Henri Lansbury added the third and Wenger will doubtless be as pleased with that as he is that no injuries have been suffered thus far, an almost record-breaking run considering previous seasons.

As these fixtures go, it was another good run out. The opposition were not of the highest quality, as you would expect, the fixture progressively getting tougher ahead of the new season. As much as the win was achieved, the omission from the first team of Manuel Almunia is pre-occupying minds as anything else.

The Schwarzer rumours gained more ground yesterday with the player-coach notion resurfacing. A stumbling block with the purchase, insurmountable at the moment, is the lack of a Fulham manager. With Eriksson and Jol both out of the running, a new incumbent is apparently no closer which is making Wenger look elsewhere. His covetous glances do not appear to be directed towards anyone that the media can ascertain and with suggested targets all distancing themselves from any move to The Emirates, a patient game of wait and see is emerging.

Wenger spoke about the situation, suggesting that anyone unnerved by the competition should not be at Arsenal,

We are at a level of where competition is part of our job. We have to live with that. You cannot play at Arsenal and be destabilised because you have competition with other players

It is a case of like it or lump it, which is exactly how it should be. No-one is suggesting that any of the goalkeepers has said that they will be demanding a move if Wenger signs another yet the assumption is that Almunia or Fabianski will be moving either permanently or on loan. And it is a hard assumption to argue with.

Should a new signing be made, barring injury one of the three will not play at all this season. With the emphasis on youth development, Almunia would seem to be the obvious choice to leave for pastures new. However, that would depend on Wenger’s assessment of Fabianski; are the lapses in concentration simply growing pains, the lack of regular first team action catching him cold or, more disturbingly, are they part of his goalkeeping make-up?

Eduardo‘s move to Shaktar has been confirmed and the striker added a personal note to the move, striking a believably sincere chord as opposed to some of his peers upon departure:

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.

The injury he suffered contributed to the curtailment of his spell at Arsenal, of that there is no doubt. He has struggled to shake off the niggles which followed and this hampered his effectiveness. Hopefully he will get his career back on track, for certain he will be remembered fondly.

His departure is a signal to the apologists of Taylor, Shawcross and their ilk. Here was a natural predator, a relative unknown on these shores who should have been lauded for his goalscoring feats. Instead the neanderthal mentality which blights the national team has robbed us of a chance of witnessing Eduardo’s growth into that player. Sadly he will not be the last until the apologists change their views and condemn actions, and more importantly, the authorities come up with a suitably severe punishment for transgressors.

As Eduardo left, Wenger observed that he had not given up hope entirely of keeping Sol Campbell. Sunderland had emerged as favourites to sign the defender but with Steve Bruce capturing Titus Bramble – presumably with a tranquiliser dart fired from a open-backed Land Rover – the choices appear to be as limited in the North East as they are in London. Much, if not all, will depend on Campbell’s new personal circumstances, his wife apparently having ties to the North East.

Not much else to say today so, ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 22, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 156 Comments.

  1. second yepiiiiiiiiii! 😀

  2. Good to see Nasri do well yesterday. He seems like a man on a mission with a point to prove, being left out of the WC squad and all. I feel like he can be a big player for us this season, as important as RVP and Cesc. We know he has the quality and he’s shown glimpses of it since he’s been here (vs. Porto being just one fine example) so hopefully he can produce on a more consistent basis!! Although I feel with a full strength squad he might not always be in the first choice XI, although that remains to be seen…

  3. All the best Eduardo! Wishing you all the best.

  4. Really sorry to see Eduardo go. Destroyed collectively by the Taylor apologists, xenophobic media and their xenophobe readers.

    I hope he resurrects his career and stuffs out the likes of Man U or Chelsea in Champions League.

  5. Good luck to Eduardo !
    Honestly leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth….his fate in England is not something English football can be proud of.

  6. I hope he comes back to Arsenal, gets the reception he deserves, then we stuff Shaktar 7 – 0

  7. so lond dudu ur volley against burnley will linger ….are u happy now martin taylor?

  8. “I hope he comes back to Arsenal, gets the reception he deserves, then we stuff Shaktar 7 – 0”

    Make that 7 – 3 with a hat trick for Eduardo.

  9. The Schwarzer situation at fulham is the perfect excuse for wenger to hold back and see how he likes the current keepers in preseason. Almunia can be kept as back up until jan where we may be able to to look again for a keeper… we always have the collateral of almunia to offer in exchange.

    screw the boo boys – tech 9 FTW

  10. Is there a possibility of seeing a midfield trio of nas cesc n song?? I personally think it could work. I think the three have the required heart n passion. Better than diaby n denilson am sure. Then jack to come in n maybe rambo wen he is back. People may say its too small a midfield but its not about the size of th dog bt the size of the fight in the dog!!

  11. So sorry about Eduardo. Very classy player. Vela has big shoes to fill! I just hope he spends less time on internationals this season and focuses a bit more on the arsenal

  12. Where are these defenders we so badly need?
    After last nights performance I’m starting to get a little worried at the back. I’d even settle for a CB, and pray our keepers improve.

  13. Is it my imagination or is Arsene’s language and tone regarding players, the goalkeepers particularly, a bit more hard than previously? Has he had enough of individual lapses?

    I would like to think so. We, and Arsene in particular, have been let down by some sloppy attitudes over the last year or two.

    I hope the ‘keeper situation is resolved soon. An untried central defensive partnership and an uncertain goalkeeping situation doesn’t fill me with total confidence.

  14. i think its time for cesc to leave n nasri to take over. the dude had been outstandin ever since @ mersseile, i jus lov his styl of play. dudu i already miss u!!! you are a goal machine at ur best i wish u mentally recover.

  15. Sol will have one last chat with Wenger to try and get a 2 year deal, which is an absolute NO. If not Sol will join Celtic or Newcastle a close friend of the family has said the new Mrs Campbell wants to be near family in the North East. If that is the case we will need to sign one CH certainly, 2 if we plan to loan out Bartley. But dont hold your breath.
    I honestly think Wenger is ready to go with what we have Vermaelen, Djourou, Nordveit and Koscielney with Song, Sagna, Bartley and Miquel as back up.
    I think he will stick with his current 4 GK’s
    3 RB’s (Sagna, Eboue, Eastmond)
    3 LB’s (Clichy, Gibbs, Toure)
    6 CH (Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielney, Nordveit, Bartley Campbell or Miquel)
    3 DM’s (Song, Denilson, Frimpong)
    15 attacking Mid & Striker options (Fabregas, Diaby, Nasri, Wilshere, Ramsey, Lansbury, Henderson, RVP, Chamakh, Arshavin, Rosicky, Bendtner, Vela, Walcott, JET)
    Botelho might also be added if he receives his work permit as Wenger fancies him as a left winger.

  16. Consolsbob

    I think he is moving with the times. Previously, he would never have commented on possible transfer targets yet nowadays he does. There must be an element of frustration on his part with lapses and perhaps he feels that private conversations are not having the desired effect.

    The other thing is the proliferation of “news” outlets means that more of his comments are being transmitted so may be it is just a case of they were not reported as widely in the past and now they are.

    YW

  17. Goodluck Dudu, couldn’t take Flappy with you could you please….
    I think aw is playing a waiting game with c£ty.
    Both Hart and Given won’t stay there!

  18. A total of seven English players yesterday. Maybe in 2014 Arsenal might make a significant contribution to the Three Lions. Me thinks that along with Walcott the likes of Wilshere, Gibbs, Lansbury and Emmanuel-Thomas will make it to the national team. Too bad Frimpong has chosen to play for Ghana – i.e. too bad for the English as I welcome the move.

  19. Good news. The new 2010-11 spurs kit, which I had begrudgingly decided looked quite cool during the design stages – in an early 80s sort of way, and despite being irredeemably lilywhite – turns out, with the addition of a heavy-handed stripe too far and a positively hospital sponsor, it’s… you guessed it, plain fucking awful. A predictable turn of events given the sordid, down-at-heel protagonists but still so, so funny. They just can’t do anything right at all. Who the fuck are Autonomy? Well here lies the kicker. They are a share-plummeting, up-shits-creek shambles. What a fine day.

  20. Big up the Moderation Nation

  21. Nordvelt was very impressive and if he continues like he jas started he could partner TV ahead of Djouru or Kosy.

  22. I’m shocked to see that there’s an Arsenal player Solgooner likes.

  23. So in Wenger speak with Nordveit be effectively like a new signing 🙂 if he does start to make is how many Havard jokes will we have to endure from the press?

    So with that in mind maybe we will only see at most 1 new signing at the back (possibly one with some flexibility in position), and hopefully a new keeper.

    its a real shame Eddy has left us and we never truly got to see what he could do, i wish him all the best though, and possibly our current formation doesn’t suit him either so this move could be good for him.

  24. With Wenger’s comment on the goalkeeper situation, I feel reports of Arsenal in for a new keeper are true. He has never been so direct in talking of a player or a position.

    Almunia seems to be the one affected the most as he is training but do not participate in matches which could mean he is not ready to fight for his place but could also be that wenger knows his capacity and want to concentrate on the other three performance.

    It seems Wenger will give some playing time in the EPL to Wilshere has he says he wants him to develop by playing more but at Arsenal rather than away on loan! I hope he can do a Ramsey as he played a fair amount of games at Bolton which benefited him a lot.

    On the CB saga, I think everything will depend on Campbell’s decision. If he stays we will probably not get another CB and just promote Nordveit and mayby Bartley but if Sol goes to the north east we will definitevely get one.

    Nasri and Walcott will bounce back in style after the WC snub and I can’t wait to see them rampaging the opponent’s defence!

  25. or
    I think he will stick with his current 4 GK’s
    4 RB’s (Sagna, Eboue, Eastmond and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas)
    4 LB’s (Clichy, Gibbs, Traore and and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas))
    7 CH (Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielney, Nordveit, Bartley Campbell or Miquel and and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas))
    4 DM’s (Song, Denilson, Frimpong and and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas))
    14 attacking Mid & Striker options (Fabregas, Diaby, Nasri, Wilshere, Ramsey, Lansbury, RVP, Chamakh, Arshavin, Rosicky, Bendtner, Vela, Walcott and and Jay-Emmanuel Thomas)

  26. anyone see the game yesterday.. Is it me or did Traore get subbed on and off!??

  27. It’s not you ChrisGoona! He did.
    Lansbury had a good one too. We are so well set for the next ten years or so.

  28. Mingus – Are you joking or JET can really play every position other than goalkeeper?

  29. mingus, it’s 5 goalies, you forgot Jay Emmanuel Thomas.

  30. He pretty much could play anywhere! And I wouldn’t bet against him being not too shabby in goal either.

  31. Warren Barton played every position other than goalkeeper for Wimbledon. So this is not neccessarily a good sign.

  32. I hope arsene persists with lukasz as our no. 1 the boy clearly has talent. the only thing missing is consistency n confidence which comes with games.on the defense i hope sol stays to help out the new defenceline which is clearly capable with some fine tuning.By the way Yogi how did young jack perform against graz?

  33. Alf Baker played in every position for Arsenal back in the 1920s.

  34. Arsenalkabisa

    where did Flamini go to? been a while…

    hleb to Sunderland and Fulham. the Wenger curse… I wonder why Cesc wants to partake of it..

  35. I would be very surprised if we were not to sign another defender this transfer window.

  36. Patesc, are you sure? Did you watch the last 5th of last season? Sure he can save a shot but he can’t desk with high balls and he can’t catch.
    AW has already stated the futures Chesney, so unless we get a new number 1 I’d put WC in goal. Look at Cassilas, Reals no 1 since he was 19….
    Flappy had his chance and dropped it. Luke everything else that goes near him!

  37. he can’t DEAL with high balls…
    Bloody iPhone predictive text…

  38. LA, Man Utd Jersey is so blinkin ugly also, i would say worse than the spurs.

    watched them on TV yesterday, they looked like they are all wearing their little brothers shirts

  39. 🙂 LA, if Barton did then not necessarily a good thing, no! But Jay is different class. (as I know you know) And I’d never heard of Alf Baker, but I have now. Thanks dupsffokcuf

  40. What is JET’s prefered position? I think every player worth his salt must have one. Versatility is usually good only when coupled with having a specialist position.

  41. Why isn’t my comment appearing? When I tried to repost it detected a duplicate comment. What I posted is –

    What is JET’s prefered position? I think every player worth his salt must have one. Versatility is usually good only when coupled with having a specialist position.

  42. Göteborg Gunner

    Whose changing to no. 9. Arshavin, Jack, Chamakh……….. or Eboue ?

  43. Eboue for number 9!

  44. Göteborg Gunner
    Big Nic I hope.

  45. Arsenalkabisa

    Very special anniversary coming up this year, it will be 50 years since Spurs #THFC won a league title. Please RT and remind everyone

  46. Damn irritating that AW is always so vague – the keeper quote can be interpreted in many ways (I understand the reasons but a straight answer now and again would be nice!). I got the feeling that he was inviting the current crop to stake a claim, and based on recent events (Al’s ‘illnesses and Fabianski’s appearances at the end of last season) Lucasz seems to be in pole position (no pun intended).

    Bugger!

  47. I will really miss edu and i will neva 4get his performance against man city in 2008 well i wish him good luck at shakter donesk.The real bussiness is that we need a GK & i hope to see schwazer at arsenal in the next few days and defenders like diakate and jagielka with dis signings arsenal will be ok this season.UP GOONER 4 LIFE…

  48. Maybe the number 9 is being reserved for JET to make his own.

  49. Agree with Cbob @ 12:19.

    Limpar @ 1:55:

    2 months ago I would have agreed with you.

    If we do sign any CB I suspect it will be Sol Campbell.

    I suspect in the end we will see Fabianski between the sticks at Anfield.

    Next year will be very important. The most we can hope for is 1 more year of Cesc. With Cesc we will have one of the most dynamic entertaining and hopefully effective attacks in the league, but will our defending be good enough? Time will tell.

  50. Yogi, a couple of my comments did not appear. Can you have a look?

  51. OOh I disagree with Bill. In fact I can categorically state he is wrong.
    “The most we can hope for is 1 more year of Cesc.”
    I hope for many more than 1 year, so – wrong again billy boy.

  52. Yogi:

    Thw whole Eduardo saga truly points out the ridiculous attitudes that pervade English football. The stupidity of the whole thing is frustrating. I know you look down your noses at American sports but at least the ruling bodies in our football and other leagues have made rules/enforced rules that give the players some protection from the goons that are a part of any male/testosterone dominated culture.

  53. Steww:

    You are correct we can hope for whatever we want.

  54. The most we can hope for is 1 more year of Cesc.

    You do have to wonder what someone is trying to achieve with comments like that.

  55. anyway… Nortviedt looks like he could well be included in our squad for the season. I am liking him the look of him more and more by the game.

    Defensively we haven’t been tested yet, and we have to wait probably till the Emirates Cup to get a real idea of who will be in the squad. It is looking promising already though, can’t wait for the 1st game.

    I just hate how some people prefer to whine like little girls instead of getting behind the team.

  56. Roy u think casillas did not have clangers on his way to stardom? Give lukasz a chance dude. By the way which keeper no. 2 had a blinder last season? Hilario? Foster? Cuducini? It’s quite evident that its not easy to warm the bench for a whole season n perform heroically when called upon.Give lukasz a chance with the spanish waiter as a no. 2 as VM and WS continue to develop

  57. Chris- the only people to say the 1 more year thing work for Barca or are billy boy. Defeatism runs through his every post.

  58. I don’t think Wenger’s recent comments signify a change in his approach at all. He’s only saying the obvious by insisting there’s competition for places.

    He said pretty much the same thing when Almunia was about to displace Lehman

  59. Lukasz can be a great keeper I think, he looks like he has the talent for sure. However, and this is actually unfortunate for him, with the incredible talent that Szczesny has, it’s going to be virtually impossible to hold on to the first keeper position in the long run, so at the moment, he’ll(Fabianski) really be pushing himself to maintain the no.1 keeper role that he seems to have

  60. Steww dont stew, And Cris you are just a dick! What the fuck could Bill be trying to achive with his comments. You are a class fucking idiot.

  61. I have seen a fair few more Arsenal fans who seem to accept it also. Just makes you glad our manager and board are a lot stronger than these weak fans. Why would any club dare to even think of selling their most prized asset, captain, top scorer, to assists, and fans favourite who happens to be on a long term contract.

    Bill and the rest are the kind of fans that Barca have targeted, getting right under their skin. We are financially in a better position than Barca, have as good as aspirations each season, challenging for the biggest prizes in football, have the most attractive players, play great football…

    They think they are so much better than us, yet they so desperately attempt to sign our players each bloody season. I think they are threatened, maybe it was the capture of Arshavin that pissed them off, or the flogging to them of Hleb, and past his sell by date Henry.. (no offense Thierry)

    We seem to always mug them, kinda funny!

  62. Bill is not defeatist. He does seem kinda obsessed about our defensive problems, which to be fair has been a big issue in the past few years.

    I also tend to worry about our injury situation, and what it could do to our challenge for titles this year. More than any signings, I’m really hoping for a relatively injury free campaign. My heart tells me we’re due an injury free run, but my head fears it might even get worse. It helps that we haven’t had any real scares yet apart from Bendtner, and that Cesc didn’t have to exert himself during the WC.

  63. Classy JO, real Classy.

    Just like your name and your spelling. I bet your actually Bill, thats what makes it even funnier!

  64. OLE Theres a a lot of AFC players I like unfortunately there are a few that are just average or havent fulfilled their potential

    Fabianski a good shot stopper but hopless with set pieces, cornersl

    THeo rocket speed but still no real improvment

    Denilson average squad player

    Kos will neeed time and Djouru must improve

    with Wojech or new GK amd one more defender the first five away games will decide our future

  65. Henristic

    Nobody doubts the fact the defence needs sorting. Wenger is on the training pitch everyday trying to figure out who best suits our team. He is constantly looking for the best option outside of our club too.

    What hits my nerve is fans who come in chatting absolute nonsense, writing off the team, and choose to take the negative route season after season saying we won’t challenge, we will never win with so and so players… If so why have we then?

    Don’t try and defend the idiots that persistently talk down their own club.. like they have a right to!

    There is one old guy who constantly moans throughout every game in a pub I watch games at. It is so boring and frustrating to listen to. He will see us miss a few chances, decide to have a go at Almunia, Song, Rosicky.. and whoever, then write off our chances of the league based on one game and our subs who are forced to play. Then we will score, completely dominate the game, keep his mouth closed once more until he thinks of some sort of reasoning to why we are doing well, and why Denilson or Bendtner played so well. And of course he will then still criticise the team after the game.

    These fans will never change, they will remain negative, they will continue to slag the team, the players and the manger. They have been doing it ever since the invincibles. I just don’t get what enjoyment they get out of it.

  66. anyway had my tantrum, im off..

    cheer up (aimed at all the doomers!!)

  67. Ok, I’m not going to change my opinion but I’d rather Flappy went on loan and screwed someone else than us.
    As for able number 2s (can’t say that without thinking pooh lol) be nice if we had an able no 1!

  68. Chris:

    You can pick one sentence out of a paragraph and huff and puff and bluster all you want. YW and plenty of loyal fans are on record as saying Cesc will still leave this year. YW may have changed his mind. If he has not I hope he is wrong. However, given the state of football and the power that players have I think most people would find it unlikely that we will have Cesc 2 years from now. May be I am wrong but that is my opinion and I suspect shared by most fans.

    The real message of that post and I think most fans would agree with is that this is an important year for AFC for many reasons. Like many other fans on this blog, the off season moves that have been made so far have not given us a lot of confidence that we can improve our defensive record. Perhaps there are some more players coming. More important, perhaps there will be some changes in our tactics and organization at the back and may be Fabianski will defeat the demons that seem to have been part of his previous performances. Time will tell.

  69. No need for anyone to be upset as by most clubs standards we’ll have a great season. At times we’ll play some great football and score plenty of goals and finish top four again.

    Just don’t expect any silverware. As we can’t win the two competitions AW takes seriously (EPL & CL) because we are not good enough defensively and several players are just not up to it. And the two competitions we can win AW doesn’t care enough.

    Sit back and enjoy the season just don’t get your hopes up post March time

  70. Bill, good post mate agree 100%

  71. Sorry, this is all such a load of tosh, especially comments elated to Fabianski. Honestly, I doubt you have an idea what you are talking about.

    Typical Arsenal weak, lily-livered fans with their lack of confidence. Brighten up you lot. Our hopes are sky high, our ambitions positively galactic. Arsenal is headed in a certain direction, there is no doubt about this, and nothing can stop it.

    It’s the most fabulous football adventure on the planet, with the possible exception of Ghana’s national team. Try to enjoy it as supporters. We are assured of adventure, passion and football worth watching. Success is around the corner.

  72. Simple is as ZimPaul does….

  73. Lol good for you ZimPaul

    Unfortunately we are the new Sp**s. We don’t win anything but we play good football!

  74. I worry about the squad. I feel we need more ‘quality’. Basically it’s me thinking we need a go-to player.

    Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin are all fantastic players who can turn games. If they play to their potential we will be fine in attack. But maybe we need 1 more Cesc-RVP-Arshavin level player in midfield or attack.

    What worries me is central defence. If Sol leaves our oldest defender will be 26 years old! Clichy & Sagna & Vermaelen have to count as experienced but more experience will be needed in that area, and it has to be someone of stature.

    The average age of the side has dropped by a significant bit now that Gallas, Sol (maybe), Eduardo, Kolo & Adebayor have all left. For the first time I worry if we’re too young all round mostly because of the kids that will be promoted up into the first team.

    Will it be right if our most experienced centre back has less than 50 starts in the Premier League? That worries me.

    We’ll know more in due course. I’m a true believer in youth, but there are times when experience counts. For me young & experienced (Fabregas, RVP, Nasri) is better than old and experienced, while young and inexperienced is a wild card.

    Long post. I worry, but this squad is full of talent. More than anything I still believe that if we get everyone at their best and avoid injuries we will compete again.

  75. Eurosport have jumped on the pro barca bandwagon today. Apparently it’s more than acceptable for everyone to say Cesc shouldn’t be at Arsenal as Barca want him. We should all grow up and get over it….

  76. Lol CG, you need to chill men.

    I don’t get why anyone bothers themselves so much about how other fans support. Live and let live!
    People’s approach to support is a reflection of their general attitude to life. Some people are optimists and others aren’t. Some are critical and others are more accepting. It’s always been that way, probably for every sport in the world, so whats the point in getting all twisted about it?

  77. ZimPaul vs. The Naysayers/Sp*ds… wonderful. Often brings to my mind the following duel…

  78. Ole, I share your concerns.

    Now that Cesc is staying (for 1 year at least) I think we’ll be alright for 3rd\4th place but anything more than that will continue to be beyond us unless we strengthen the spine of the team by signing a keeper, centre back and a defensive midfielder to back up Song.

  79. LimparAssist, hardly a Naysayer or a Spud. Like I keep saying we’ll be fine. But we are going to get more of the same

  80. Sp*ds… don’t win anything but play good football? Hmm.. something’s wrong with this sentence… can’t quite put my finger on it… oh yeah, here it is… spuds haven’t played good football for over 20 years. If anyone’s the new spuds it’s Leyton Orient.

    Ole, with you on the defender but another Cesc-RVP-Arshavin level player? Chelsea have Drogba and Lampard… Liverpool Gerrard and Torres… United have Rooney. We match up pretty well I’d say.

  81. GunFlash,

    I don’t really like the tone of your comment. I don’t think anything is beyond us. Nor do I buy into that rhetoric of “we’ll fail unless the manager does what I say”.

  82. Good points Ole, but I’m pretty sure that should Sol leave, Wenger will get an experienced replacement. It would be incredibly strange if he doesn’t.

    I don’t worry about the quality of our players at all. That said, I’m looking forward to a more ‘never-say-die’ attitude from the team. Much has been made about mental strength, but I really do think that in addition to injuries, it has been our main obstacle.

    Maybe developing such an attitude comes with age/experience, who knows?

  83. “my choice is what I choose to do
    and if I’m causing no harm
    it shouldn’t bother you
    your choice is who you choose to be
    and if your causin’ no harm
    then you’re alright with me”

  84. Limpar,

    Cesc & RVP will not be completely fit for the start of the season.

    If Rosicky is back to the Rosicky of 2007, and Nasri plays to his ability, and Arshavin could be bothered, we’d need nobody. It’s the ifs that worry me.

  85. finsburyparker

    From old BigNose to old BigHead:

    (I watched the Damned United yesterday, a wonderful film, a real labour of love. And it’s quite cool wacthing the movie, and then watching the real interview that took place between the ‘imposter’ Revie and Clough afterwards).

    The Sp*ds play good football?

    Er…

    Erm…

    Ah!

    Huddlestone?

  86. cyrano de bergerac ❤ ❤ ❤

  87. Ole, not a question of “we’ll fail unless the manager does what I say” just my honest assessment of where we are at the moment based on the last 5\6 years since the invincibles where broken up.

    Unless AW adds some steel, experience and tactical know how to the squad then we’ll flatter to decieve once more.

  88. Calm down ACLFers. Calm down. Many of you are beginning to sound like that infantile lot over at le groan and elsewhere. (Yes, I know there are a few who post on multiple sites.)
    It is pre-season for heavens sake. The transfer window closes on August 31st. The last time I checked today is July 22nd.
    AW always gives his young guns and the old warriors time to find their feet and show their mettle in pre-season. I trust his judgement over and above all the armchair experts who are convinced we should just blow a wad of cash because the club has it somewhere. Last year Barcelona did the same b.s. with Ibrahimovic et al and this year they can’t even pay their bills.
    Come on you lot!

  89. Ole:

    Nice post. Another go to attacker would be great and would allow the Nasri/Walcott/Wilshere generation to grow up without the pressure of having to perform well every week. I agree with Limpar’s assessment that we match up well with United and Chelsea in attack. However, given our concerns on defense I think we will need to be better then our rivals in attack. If all of our attackers stay healthy perhaps we are better then Chelsea and United up front but is the difference enough to see us to a title given the concerns at the back?

  90. LimparAssist, The Spuds comment goes back a few years. Whenever winding up a Spud about their lack of silverware their laughable standard retort was ‘At least we play good football’.

    Hence my tongue in cheek remark

  91. what up guys. very much enjoyed the match yesterday, especially samir in the first half. in the 2nd, i was very impressed with JET.

    i too was sad to see eduardo go.

    so so sad. someone said it all before. his legacy in the english game is something the FA should be ashamed of.

  92. *

  93. S-G,

    Lol, you’re dousing a non-existent fire. Funny how you’re trying to act like the cool, calming influence stopping poor ‘ACLFers’ from spiraling out of control, into doomerland.

  94. One relevant highlight from the Damned United is the folowing line during a training session (I paraphrase):

    Billy Bremner to Clough: “But, the boss, Don Revie used help us prepare by studying the opposition blah blah blah”

    Clough:”You are never allowed to mention Don Revies name again”.

  95. Henristic – I am calling it just like I see it. Call me names if you wish, I dont mind. I am a big boy.

  96. Well said Shotta. I judge posters over a period of time not one line. This utter shit some of you spout has a place on many other blogs; can’t true fans have one place at least free from the craven surrendering defeatist whining? Can’t we look forward excited to a new season without your pathetic hopeless spineless cringing trying to drag us down?
    Fuck off to Le Grove and leave us in peace.

  97. skywatchingmug

    I know what you’re talking about GunFlash. Some sound like spuds from years back.

    How the times are a changing.

    Roll on the season so we can do
    our taking on the pitch.

  98. Indeed Sky

  99. my guy is gonna be missed for a long time by me. wish u well edu.

  100. at least we’re not playing boring football
    at least we’re not playing in the Europa League
    at least we have a brand new world class stadium
    at least we’re not settled with unmanageable debts
    at least we’re not in administration
    at least we have a youth programm
    at least we’re a class club

    at least our future is bright.

  101. at least we don’t have ‘Appy ‘Arry as manager.

  102. Such is the shrillness of a minority of Arsenal supporters that the rest are having to make compromises that shouldn’t be necessary. “We’ll win something next year” is Spud talk, but only because some people have made it impossible to celebrate anything about this club if it isn’t rewarded with a trophy. The rest feel that they have to placate them for some reason.

    I don’t. I’m happy with the way the club’s being run and I’m aware of the constrains we’re under and the unfair advantage a couple of our competitors have (had) over us.

    Hopefully people will start to recognize the smaller successes (finances, academy, beautiful football, CL year-on-year), appreciate how we achieved them and look forward to us progressing in an organic way – and not with massive transfer fees and defensive tactics.

    Sorry, bashed that one out hella quickly. Back to work I go.

  103. at least some of our fans can see this

  104. Well said Big Al, like I said at the tail end of last season (about Frank’s level of support, I think it was)…..that should be the DEFAULT setting for all us Arsenal supporters. I know it clearly isn’t but on ACLF it should be, at least!

  105. good point about trophyless arsenal. i like to think i’m an arsenal man cup or no.
    bye dudu. wish u well. i wonder if anybody in the media has the bollocks to stand up and tell it the way it was. as aw. questioned – referee protection? and media vilification for something most other strikers try week in week out. jeez i hate the english media with a passion. experts, commentators, hacks and tv celebs. all opening their mouths and waiting to see if a noise comes out. biased rubbish most of it.
    anyway lets just get on with football.

  106. We (I) should try as best we can to avoid the paranoid side of our support! So back to the football….

  107. It is enough to be an Arsenal supporter.

    The best thing to be, whatever happens and whoever wins.

  108. On the topic of how we defend I wonder if the signing of Chamakh will have a positive impact and give Wenger food for thought. Attacking as a team we aren’t particularly effective with set pieces or direct football, presumably the back four don’t get much of a working over from this style when training against the forwards. Come saturday the Stokes of this world then give us a hard time. The glimpses of Chamakh I’ve seen makes him look a much sturdier and more ‘traditional’ cf than we’ve had for years. If TV etc are faced with this style more often on the training pitch will they be better equipped on match days…?

  109. It’s so sad to see Eduardo go like this, but even in his departure he shows himself to be a man of honour and class. His message to the fans was very touching. All the best Eduardo, you’ll always be in my heart too!

  110. I haven’t been able to listen to any programmes today but has there been anything spoken of Eduardo’s decline and ultimate departure since that tackle? I read one obsurd and irresposible wind-up in the Mail on-line and that was enough for me. (In an attempt to avoid the paranoid Arsenal supporter affliction)

  111. mingus,

    Calling the daily fail irresponsible is si much of an understatement that it’s ……almost irresponsibple 😛

    They’re on a vigorous anti-Wenger campaign and it’s entertaining to watch. I started visiting their site to read their anti-Arsenal section.

  112. Another good post.

    I don’t think Nasri will have any problem hitting double figures this season if he is given game time, particularly in the centre of the park.

    I think this is his season to really come of age and show us Arsenal fans what he can really do. He has the skill to control games and score goals too.

    Maybe if Fabregas went now, I would be a little bit worried, but I think if Nasri can mature this season then he will be ready and waiting to step into our current skipper’s boots.

  113. Just had a chance to watch the game highlights. JET is a monster. He played in the center of midfield for the youth teams, I think. He looked great on the right. Look forward to the Carling Cup with him and Wilshere. Hopefully they can make a deep run so we can see several games.

  114. I think if JET can keep up some of his current form then he should get chances in the PL. He will be a great option when our top players aren’t available.

    At times last year, Arshavin looked tired and I think Wenger would have liked to rest him but with injuries galore, we relied on him a little too much. JET can step in against some of the weaker opponents to give Arshavin a break. He would also be a great replacement for Walcott in some of the more physical games if Wenger feels he needs to protect Theo.

  115. It wasn’t very long ago when the youth project was just a glint in Wenger’s eye. The number of proficient youngsters on the verge of the first team is very significant. J.E.T. yesterday looked very ready as has Wilshere. Frimpong is still just short, but Eastmond and Gibbs are already first team players. It’s very heartening

  116. Very heartening indeed.

    While Chelsea and Man Utd are worrying where they are going to find their next big stars as a lot of their players pass 30 and edge closer to retirement, we are there with a wealth of talent to choose from. Talent that’s only going to get better and better.

    If Wenger gets things right in the next couple of years, we could dominate for a decade.

    With the money that’s around for some of the clubs, that might be a little wishful thinking, but at least we are a self-sufficient club who should remain successful regardless of the financial climate or any FIFA regulations.

  117. How about JET in the Diaby role? Box to box in the center of mid field in the carling cup

    Chesny

    ? RB Nord, Kos/JD, Gibbs

    Eastmond, Frimpong JET

    Watt Bendtner/Chamakh Traore

  118. I think I would like to see how JET evoles out wide. With Eastmond and Frimpong as the holding midfielders, I think it would give Wilshere the freedom to play in the final third and link with the forward three.

    I know some might say Wilshere has been there and might not need to play in the Carling Cup, but I think the more games he gets, the better. I definitely think it would be good for him to play games where he is a senior player and has the responsibility of making the team tick.

  119. ….which is a victory in itself!

  120. And we know Gibbs can hack it. I would like to see a bit of Tom Cruise.

  121. completely forgot about Jack W. My bad.

    Chesney

    ?RB, Nord KOs/JD Traore/Gibbs

    Eastmond Frimpong Jack W

    Watt Bendtner/Chamakh JET

    I really like Traore. He is one of the best we have at putting good crosses into the box. I know he has some defensive issues but he has height stength and speed. Lots of competition ahead of him now. Perhaps the CC team would only play one of the two holding MF players and put Traore in midfield with Jack W

  122. Nikolarse, Cruise is away with the England U19 team. The games are on Eurosport.

  123. Mingus:

    Sorry, also forgot about Barazite. To many to keep track of.

  124. dupsffokcuf,

    We were talking about a potential team for the Carling Cup.

    I know Cruise is away with the England U-19s at the mo. I would like to see how he does playing the Arsenal game, potentially against Prem opposition.

    And Bill,

    I’m not such a fan of Traore, but I would happily have him in there to see if he can prove me wrong. Like you said though, with so much competition in there, I think he could be one to fall away and end up plying his trade elsewhere.

  125. Nikolarse:

    You are probably right. He has great physical tools. Have to sign off. May be continue discussion next week.

  126. silver gunner

    I am hoping AW plays RVP as a second deeper striker next to Chamack with Cesc and Song holding.

    The team would score more goals have better ball retention and hence concede less goals.

    I am dreaming right?

    ——-Chamakh
    Arshavin, RVP, Nasri
    ——Song, Cesc
    Clichy, TV, LK, Eboue
    ——–Szczesny

    Now to me that team could beat most

  127. Silver,

    Against the weaker opposition, I think that’s the sort of team Wenger could easily pick if he was feeling bold.

    However, against the stronger teams, I think that would leave us vulnerable on the break and the defence would be too exposed.

    That doesn’t mean RVP can’t play just off Chamakh, but it might be in one of the wider roles, cutting inside.

  128. silver gunner

    Perhaps well time will tell how RVP and chamakh will play together if at all?

    I pray eboue gets more of a look in this season much better going fowards than sagna and fabiansky and almunia have both had their chance and blown them, well i would give fabianski one more chance to proove his worth but almunia well i fear the writing is on the wall……..

  129. I think Sagna is better defensively and, as he is picked to be a defender, I think that’s the most important thing.

    Again, against the weaker opposition or if Wenger was feeling bold, Eboue could be picked to add an extra threat but really we shouldn’t have to rely on a right back to open up defences.

    We should have more than enough going forward, so I think it’s important to tighten up the defence.

    But regardless of who he picks, it’s reassuring to know we have two quality players who are more than capable of doing a job.

  130. Although I prefer Barazite as a player, Traore had the better loan spell. Plus don’t forget Wellington Silva coming some time soon.

  131. against stubborn defences it is exactly what we need i feel and his defensive naiveties are not as bad as some of clichy’s yet i would still pick clichy.

    well i guess that is what is good about being a supporter we all have different views. I think back to 2006 he was a revelation at right back then the follwing season wenger signed sagna with eboue rightly think wtf?!

  132. mingus Wellington Silva looks a real prospect i hope he can come in the jan transfer window.

  133. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Henristic @ 4:22. No one really cares for the pessimistic know it all arm chair manager types around here if you haven’t noticed. We get behind the team and manager here. There’s plenty of other sites that lean towards the doom and gloom if that’s what floats your boat. This isn’t one of em. You said yourself you could see our injuries getting worse this year (with absolutely no reasoning I might add), which at face value immediately qualifies you for the Doomer Honor Roll. See Le Grove for more details on how to join.

    This site is notoriously blatant in it’s support of all things Arsenal. No need to get all philosophical and act dumbfounded when someone talking bollocks about Arsenal gets put on blast. It’s par for the course here at ACLF.

  134. Göteborg Gunner

    I miss Bragging Rights Ltd.

  135. Well said @ 11:08 NJN.

    I just don’t understand it? I don’t like Le Grove views, I don’t look at their blog for months, I only go when I want to have a laugh at how can someone be so far away from the truth and some people actually believe him?

    But my point is, if I don’t like a blog, I won’t visit, read, or comment on that blog. So why do people come here to fight us on how optimistic bunch we are?

    You have an opinion? So do we.

  136. silver gunner

    G4E you are wasting your words because sure enough as the sun rises in the east they will continue to offer pessimistic views about the future, now no one wholeheartedly agrees with all arsene wengers thinking and like all humans he will make mistakes but we have to have faith that he will bring silverware and fortune.

    I love ACLF not because of the bloggers but because of the blog, 99% of the time i tend to agree with what is written and as such especially during the summer close season will visit the site to digest well researched opinions on the world of Arsenal so YW if you are reading this keep up the good work I certainly enjoy reading your blog.

  137. i think Shaktar made a good deal with Eduardo, he played very good at Dinamo Zagreb…

  138. Henry scores! 1-0!

  139. 1 loose cannon

    LOL Henry scored against the Spuds. Wenger should bring him next season he is far too good to play for a shit league.

  140. Göteborg Gunner

    Harsh thanks for the link. Henry opens his soccer goalscoring account against sp*ds. Priceless.

  141. Ha-Ha-Ha. Titi Henry certainly has the jollies when he sees the Spuds, if you know what I mean.
    No matter how old and shot Titi becomes, he will have no use for viagra or cialis, once it is the Spuds.
    Ha-Ha-Ha!

  142. 1 loose cannon

    That is for sure priceless.

  143. It’s a shit league but it’s a fast growing shit league: it was only created in 1996

  144. 1 loose cannon

    maybe not shit but you know what I mean. I just think Thierry stil has a lot to offer at the highest level

  145. Oh, everyone knows he can still play at the highest level, which is why Americans are excited that he chose to come here. He had some great touches today in addition to his goal. He is basically what Americans who knew nothing of football were expecting from Beckham: goals and skills.

    I don’t mind aging players coming over here because it gives us a chance to develop our youth better and gets the networks more inclined to broadcast the games. Hopefully we can see Ronaldinho (one can dream) or Raul sometime.

  146. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m definitely going to have to catch King Henry in action against the Galaxy or Chivas USA.

  147. Eduardo oh Eduardo..no one can forget you as a natural goal scorer.

  148. SOL’S A GOONER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

  149. If true, that is ideal for us.

  150. Here’s something interesting from the BPL website:

    http://www.premierleague.com/page/Top10Keepers/0,,12306,00.html

    The Top ten Keepers in the premier league…this list has Mark Schwarzer in at number 8 just ahead of Manuel Almunia in 9th. It has them separated by 18 points while Schwarzer is one point behind Shay Given. I’m not sure if any of this means anything. Except in this context, Schwarzer is not a vast improvement on Almunia

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