Is Gael Talking Football Clichy’s & Defender Rumours Grow

The Austrian Training Camp ended yesterday with a comfortable stroll against SC Neusiedl, the 4 – 0 victory means that the three pre-season friendlies so far have yielded eleven goals scored and none conceded which from the playing side is just about as good as Arsene would have wanted as training restarted a couple of weeks ago. Avoidance of injury would have been another key target, one that may yet be achieved although under severe pressure with Johan Djourou being withdrawn, the extent of his ailment as of yet unknown.

It brought to the fore once more, that the concerns that have arisen over the strength in depth over the core defenders and it seems, this is an area being addressed. Ivan Gazidis has reportedly been in Germany this week on ‘player business’, the hope is that this is bringing someone in, not being Guest of Honour at the grand opening of Jens Lehmann’s Bratwurst Emporium – good for all of your sausage needs, open 7am – 11am everday.

The favoured target this morning is Per Mertesacker whose fee is suggested as being £10m, roughly the same as the total fee payable with bonuses for Koscielny. The German is highly rated and was consistent in South Africa, a tournament which has proven to be one where judgements made on players were hard to make accurately as the great and the good failed to deliver consistently. If that fails, The Daily Telegraph is insistent that Phil Jagielka is the real target and that Arsenal are going back to Everton with an improved bid.

Irrespective of the seriousness of Djourou’s injury, this and Sol Campbell‘s apparent decision to go elsewhere, highlighted the lack of experienced depth centrally. Lessons from last season have to be learned and surely have for the manager may be stubborn – all successful football managers are – but he is definitely not stupid. When pushed yesterday over Mertesacker, Wenger did not deny his interest but that means nothing in isolation.

If Wenger is to make one more signing this summer, it has to be a central defender. An experienced player in this position should, in theory, mean greater organisation and protection for the goalkeepers. Whilst that does not eradicate the silly mistakes made by the individuals, it lessens the opportunities for situations where those mistakes can arise.

Manuel Almunia has been strongly linked with a move away although this and the Schwarzer rumour have been denied in some quarters. Until something happens in either case, the suggestion has been to ignore them. The apparent desire of Federico Marchetti to move on has led to the Caligiari chairman publicly declaring that Arsenal are the only club to make a serious enquiry about the Italian international.

Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, especially as the player was recently angling for a move to Sampdoria, less than thrilled that his employers demanded too much money as a transfer fee, apparently killing a deal which may show Lazarian proportions and be sealed this weekend.

Almunia started yesterday, his first pre-season outing, and was given a public show of support by Wenger who made him Captain for the time he was on the pitch. You might say that there is no significance in that – and the manager has made it clear in recent seasons that he does not place as much store by the role as others – but he will have been well aware of the PR implications for the goalkeeper,  a positive angle for his re-appearance, rather than a subdued forty-five minutes. Even then, Vito Mannone managed to upstage the Spaniard by saving a second-half penalty.

Gael Clichy has spoken of his hopes for the season. The French defender has followed the lead of others in the squad and whilst the on the pitch play has yet to reveal the more aggressive approach, the words of Vermaelen and others have certainly been more assertive in their desire. Clichy added introspection:

I remember a few years ago saying it was a time for Arsenal to win and still nothing happened. I really hope this year can be a good one and now we cannot hide behind anything – the age or the experience. We have everything to do it so let’s do it.

It is always at the end of season that we are not that far behind and Arsenal had a good season but we didn’t win anything. We have to ask ourselves the right questions; do we want to be a good team or to win trophies? To win trophies we have to be the best and that is what we are trying to do from now on. We want to show the fans that we believe in ourselves.

At the start of every campaign, hopes are high. Last season got to the business end before they were dashed, a change from several seasons before. Yet the outcome remained the same. The progress made has been submerged under the reciminations over another trophyless season, injuries brushed aside as prejudices against certain players surface with vengeance.

This is supposed to be a time of hope and the frustrations of a lack of signings fail to take into account the impact of the World Cup. Prior to the national teams meeting up, there was little time to get signatures in place and selling clubs were in no hurry either, hopeful that fees would generally increase. I suspect as well that there was an element of clubs waiting to see if Arsenal sold Fabregas, the fee received would be public knowledge and the chance to inflate prices to Manchester City proportions is too good an opportunity to miss.

We don’t know the work that has been going on behind the scenes. Arsenal fail to leak information regularly to the media which gives power to the notion of people twiddling their thumbs, waiting for phones to ring. These claims are hard to refute because of the lack of activity, even though we know them to be vacuous. Even so, the optimum time to sign is upon us and hopefully this will bear some fruit.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 28, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 310 Comments.

  1. Mertesacker rumours are gaining ground, although I am not sure about this. He would expect to be first choice…which would mean Kos and Djourou not starting. Does not make sense

  2. Makes sense to me. We need an experienced centre-back, which neither of the other two are, really.

  3. Makes perfect sense. That is a position where we need for competition for places as so much experience has left.

  4. Why should JD and Koz have regular places in a team that cannot assure Rosicky and Nasri regular play time

  5. As with all who’ve had long injury layoffs we can expect Johan to have a number of niggling injuries and set backs so he cannot be relied upon to be fit yet. Yes, we need someone like Mertesacker, and a new keeper (but preferrably a Dutch not Italian one please Arsene!).

  6. My point is if Mertesacker is to be the first choice, I would have expected the deal to be wrapped up earlier like Kos. The timing of the Kos deal, as well as his shirt number suggested that he would be the first choice along with Vermaelen.

  7. I would not necessarily believe John Cross, after all wasn’t he the one who claimed that Sol had resigned with Arsenal? But I suspect Arsene would probably prefer a PL experienced defender like Jagielka. However, there is no justification for spending £18m on him if you can really get a player like Mertesacker for £10m. Arsenal is not money city and have to live on their own self generated income.

  8. I’d rather buy Mertesacker for £10m than a over-prized and over-rated £14m ++ Jagielka.
    £10m for Mertesacker is a steal and good business!

  9. I’d rather buy Mertesacker for £10m than a over-prized and over-rated £14m ++ Jagielka.
    £10m for Mertesacker is a steal and good business!

  10. Of course, mertesacker is an excellent defender. Would really like him to come, but somehow his transfer does not fit in.

  11. If Per is really available for 10 Million then jagielka’s price is a joke.

  12. The problem is that English PL players are so overprized and overrated that no one can afford them…except insane Man Shitty of course.

  13. There’s something about the Arsenal tra la la la la

    Frimpong tra la la la la

    Wilshere tra la la alal aaaa oops

    Gimme a J
    Gimme an E
    Gimme a T

    Whooppie!

    Nasri, Clichy, Tommy, Kossy …

    I wouldn’t mind Mertesacker but really isn’t he TOO tall!

  14. Definitely hoping for either Jag’ or Mert’. Wenger knows this team is capable, and will push, on all fronts – EPL, CL, FA Cup – and to mount an effective challenge you need strong defensive cover. He likes to have 4 CBs available, I believe. Last year he went with Silvestre, Campbell, Gallas, Vermaelen. I suspect this year he would like to sign one more to add to Verm, Koscielny, and Djourou (plus Song in emergencies and perhaps Nordveit or one of the other youngsters).

  15. Unfortunately we are facing a bleak season with a empty cupboard once again.AW and his team for the future is just that, somewhere or sometime in the future but definately not now. we should have loaned out at least 3 players and got rid of a couple more butthe frog has not done that. Why, we will never know. We will certainly loose Cesc and once again send boys out to do mens jobs, ie. dennilson,walcott,gibbs,etc and we will carry the likes of Diaby,glichy,eboue,almunia,bendtner who are not up to scratch. At the end of the season more of our class players will want to go, it follows from not being able to win anything ! WAKE UP ARSENE , THE WORLD IS PASSING YOU BY!!!!!!!!!

  16. I would be happy with Mertesacker. My only conern would be his mobility in our high line, but in general it would be a very good signing. Especially at that price.

    I thought Frimpong looked very promising last night, as did Wilshere (again). Nasri looks like he will hit the ground running this season which is especially importanat as it will take Cesc a number of weeks to be properly match fit.

  17. I don’t care in all honesty what CB we get in, I am just a bit nervous now being a few days before the Emirates Cup. If we get one in over the next couple days it will be a relief. Wenger not finding one in time to take to Austria meant he probably thought he had until Monday next week after the Emirates Cup to get someone in – allowing a couple weeks of training for the new player. Maybe he banked on Sol or Gallas staying – but with both seemingly on their bikes, this is why we are in this situation.

    I would too prefer Mert over Jagielka. For price, and experience at the top level. I have not seen much of Mert, just at the World Cup, and all the rave reviews from the youtube faithful. My preference is based on Jagielka being English, and Upson being ahead of him in the pecking order in national team terms

  18. Cahill or Zapata would be ideal, but probably too pricey for us. Same goes for Subotic.

  19. Hi guys, great blog, I was just wandering if anyone else has noticed that Carlos Vela is absolutely fucking shit?

  20. “There are still noises from Barcelona – but that is all it is ”

    Hahahaha….Wenger tells it like it is!

  21. Karim…no i havnt noticed.

    But it hasnt taken me long to notice that you are.

  22. Arseman, Your comment does not make any sense. I was saying how Carlos Vela is shit. I’d rather Theo play up front

  23. Oh but it does. I was saying how vela is quite good…and you my friend…well the less said the better.

  24. sol going to newcastle is good news in that arsene will have to buy a CH basing on his earlier assessment that we are short in numbers at the back. i trust arsene to surprise us all with a quality cb who slots seamlessly into the squad n we will be ready 4 the new season.

  25. Well, if there is anything substantial about mertesacker then one can only have mixed feelings about it. One thing he does possess is his height and it will certainly add to our defensive strengths.

    But his pace is a bit of a concern, especially with us playing such a high line. He will be cut to ribbons by teams with pace in their ranks. He could well turn out to be another donkey, so be careful what you wish for.

    All conjecture though, but the fact remains that our defence needs bolstering and the sooner it is done the better it will be.

    And by the way gael clichy needs to SHUT UP. I am sick of our players coming out every season with a plethora of cliches like “we believe we can win”, “we are not kids” etc, etc. Arsene needs to put a sock on this. I am sick of players who have achieved nothing speaking high and mighty words.

    The message to our players ahould be “You have won nothing, Shut up and work hard till you win something”.

    Cheers!

  26. Vela obvisouly has talent, and appears to be a ntural finisher. Some of his strkes are stupidly good. He seems to be treading ground a bit with his development at the moment though. This is an importtant year for him I think; when he gets opportunities in the first team he needs to take them otherwise a career with Arsenal may pass him by.

  27. Arseman, I dont understand your comments. I am talking about football but you are attacking me personally for no reason. Are you sexually frustrated?

  28. I agree Goonerandy….he showed us what he is capable of at the world cup…and has shown glimpses of his ability when given a chance by AW…But you are right…he has reached that stage of his arsenal career where he must show consistency and drive…

    Mertesacker seems like a good fit in our defence…the only problem being the fact that whatever little ive seen of him shows that he isnt very good on the ball…hes a great tackler and good in the air….but i wouldnt trust him to pass the ball out of defense…the way AW likes our defenders to do.

  29. whilst I agree that Theo should be given game time up front surely nobody can deny that Vela is a class act. I think this season and with the faith the manager has shown in him he will really show his true quality!

  30. Karim

    Your support is shite, its pretty simple. Coming onto an Arsenal site with nothing good to say highlights you as pretty much a loser. Take the comments you receive as advice in how to behave. I am sure in real life you don’t exact in the same manner, or do you? Don’t bother answering, I don’t actually give a shit!

  31. If we don’t sign this German defender, I shall reach for a Manic Street Preachers album … the one with Mertesacker Emptiness.

    Sorry.

  32. Vela, 9 goals in 30 games at international level – not bad at all. Last season he was 20, the same ages Beckham was when he was plying his trade at Preston – hardly the time to write off the lads career. For the record Mert reminds me of Steve Bould, and he didn’t do too bad a job….

  33. I have the suspicon that whilst we continue with 433 Vela will not shine. If he played in a 442 I think we would see a more constant goal threat.

    Like Eduardo, I don’t think this system suits him. I would not be suprised if he moves on next year if nothing changes.

  34. drew10

    I have always thought highly of Vela, technically he is seriously gifted – nobody can doubt that. Has a great cross, great turn of pace, and can play up front or down the left. He could well be a valuable asset (impact sub if you like) this season.

    Especially with Arshavin being a hit or miss type player. With this I mean he has patches in the season where his efforts don’t pay off. Rosicky I believe hasn’t got that turn of pace anymore to pass players down the wing – so I think he could be used centrally in Cesc’s position in his absence, or either alongside him. With Nasri having the ability to play anywhere along the midfield he will get games.

    Vela must take his chances down the left I feel. I think he could be one who really makes the step up this season.

  35. Come to think of it Vela’s major flaw seems to be his inability to score unless the keeper is off his line so he can do an amazing lob.

    Let’s hope this season he bangs in a few that aren’t chips over the keeper. Still, if he scored 20 chips over the keeper I wouldn’t complain.

  36. goonerandy

    Like Supercod said, don’t write off a 20 year old. I think Henry was 23 when he finally showed his true ability. Vela is young and could really push Arshavin for his LM/LW spot if he gets time on the pitch. You can see from Wenger’s body language in last nights game he really rates the lad. I don’t see Vela having the same troubles as Eduardo – who was never a left sided player. He was simply an instinctive predator who thrived on playing alongside someone, or people feeding him inside the box.

    Vela has more to his game, you will soon see.

  37. Wow. Poor Per. Written off whilst nothing more than a twinkle in an old hack’s eye. ‘He hasn’t the recovery pace!’ they cry. ‘He hasn’t the mobility!’

    I don’t think this one’s true really, but being a less than rapid defender hasn’t stopped Mertesacker forging a fine international career with Germany.

    Nor did a lack of pace hinder Maldini, Lucio, Puyol in long and successful careers. Terry in the premiership. Sol Campbell. The list is endless really. With Vermaelen and Koscielny we have two players with brilliant recovery pace. Both centrebacks in a partnership need not have blistering pace.

  38. High-five, Ormer.

  39. Maybe so. He has definately shown what he can do even if it only is glimpses at the moment.

  40. drew10

    Its pretty funny how all his goals are bloody chips over the keeper.

    He found it funny too it looked! I think big things are ahead for Vela. I have a feeling Nasri will take the limelight this season though more than anyone else. With the inter-play of Nasri, Cesc, Rosicky, Theo’s pace, Robin, Arsh.. everyone will get their deserved credit which is long overdue, but Nasri will prove to be a very productive player. He has it all.

  41. By the way, YW, how long are we paying respects to Eduardo before he gets replaced with someone else alongside Theo and Cesc? My vote is for Bacary.

  42. F**k off Karim. You are definitely on the wrong site. May I suggest you give Le moan a try; that’s where fellas like you Blog!!

  43. Drew, I agree, the clever dink over an on rushing keeper is eye catching and provides great youtube fodder, but it seems this is his only stock shot.

    It is one of my personal hopes for the season that Vela (and Walcott for that matter) adjusts, grows and goes someway to meet his obvious potential.

  44. limpar – Nobody has written Mertesacker off. A few have just noted that he lacks mobility (which he does). In a team that defends deep this is not too much of an issue, but we don’t, we defend pretty high so it could be an issue.

    Only could though; the rest of the back 4 is pretty fast to compenstate for this, and I for one would like an arially dominant centre back to partner TV5. He would be be a good buy.

  45. A little faith can go a long way. I believe Fabianski will come back a solid keeper too, but that is just me.

    I am anticipating another season where a lot of fans and pundits who are very quick to write us off, or slag off our methods, have some serious back-tracking to do on their comments. Either that or they make up their usual excuses…

    Arsenal were lucky.. Man Utd had injuries… they had an easy run in…

    You know these sort of comments will stick in the media. I hope we just show everyone up so bad they look like even bigger chumps. The critical and temperamental supporters will just keep quiet as usual.

  46. Can everyone please calm down. All im saying is that Vela misses so many chances its getting ridiculous. I think he’s fucking crap personally. Theo deserves a shot uip front, his finishing is the best part of his game. Vela isnt good enough to sniff Theo’s arse IMHO.

  47. chrisgoona, please do not attack me personally again. I dont know you, you dont know me, you are obviously very young so please be silent from now, thank you

  48. Kingsalami

    Theo has made massive improvements, his goal and assists should tell come next may. In our last 11 games last season I believe he was involved in 7 or 8 goals. He has such a match-telling affect you expect him to easily hit double figures if injury-free. He has the ability, pace, and finishing. His end-ball needs work still, but I think that has improves some what since his first season at RM where he couldn’t displace Eboue. He is no longer just an impact sub, he proved that against the best teams and Capello was a fool for dropping him. I would absolutely love it if he rejected Capello’s next call to play in the friendly!

  49. Chrisgoona

    Yes, we all want to believe that we will win. But whatever you might say about the pundits who write us off, the fact is that we cant seem to prove them wrong, do we?

    I can understand you defending vela, but fabianski? come on, lets be honest, if he is our future then our future is surely in tatters.

  50. Fabianski is a strange one. He sometimes looks a very good keeper, but some of his mistakes are really terrible. It is not like he simply fumbles the occasional shot (which most keepers do).

    The ones that stand out are both in the CL as well. The turned back against Porto and the one (can’t remember the team) when he pushed the cross into his own goal.

    Almunia was never spectacular, but he was steady which is fine by me. Then the mistakes started creeping into his game as well. If Fabianski could cut out the mistakes he would be a very good keeper, but at 25 years old I don’t think will happen. Shame I really hopeed he would make it.

    Arsene cannot risk this position and must get somebody in.

  51. Don’t leave me hanging, Ormer…

  52. Karim – we know, most of them are crap. Only Cesc and Song are good. rest could be flogged off and replaced with the benzemas, the riberys and the ozilz in the wold right? After all we got 60M to spend! surley we could buy ourself a new and improved team! Woah! im so smart! i should be arsenal manager me!

  53. Karim I didn’t actually attack you. I am just adding a little reasoning to why some have already told you how crap a supporter you are mate. So fix yourself up!

  54. naga,

    If I remember right, Arsenal were predicted by your pundit friends that we would finish oustide the top 4. Stop being an idiot

  55. sell Van Persie.. that is surely up there with the top 10 most riduclous posts to be put on here

  56. Karim > Clucko > J*mes

  57. I agree Chris.

    Because of the WC 2006 limelight Theo was thrust into, coupled with the flashes of genius and pace he sometimes shows, he is expected to turn every game on it’s head for the 30 minutes he comes on for.

    I really hope this season he makes his own. I would love to see him start to command a regular starting place but, fear the competition in front of him will restrict him to another season of impact substitutions.

  58. ChrisGoona

    Look, why do you get so worked up over the media and pundits? Yes they spout rubbish, but they will always be around whether we like it or not. The only way to shut them up is to win titles.

    They were wrong in their prediction of us dropping out of the top 4 but they did also say we would not win anything.

    I am not saying that they have any credibility, but if we dont want to listen to their crap, our team needs to address our weaknesses and start winning titles, because there is no question our team also contains some crap players whose abilities match the turd of the pundits.

    Cheers!

  59. ChrisGonna is like ACLF bodyguard….. anybody thats comes to moan or bash players , chris would get ya, be warned karim……lol

    Anyway nice run out by the boys yesterday, i wouldnt mind seeing kos as first choice if he could get a little bit more muscular and mean, look at vermaelen’s eyes, ill shit myself if i see hes eyes in my dream…lol

  60. An interesting stat about Mertesacker is he is hardly ever booked. He is called Mr. Clean due to this reputation.

  61. Is Kos meant to be rapid then?

  62. naga

    I am very aware of how the media spin things, what pisses me off is fans that let that affect their thinking or support.

    For example: The idea of Arsenal needing a BIG CB last season, I am sure you was taken in by this. What happened, Vermaelen came along.

    This is just one minor thing out of a catalogue of which fans like yourself believe. What makes me laugh the most is how you actually try to say it is your own way of thinking. You are sheep in a very large flock my friend.

  63. Supercod

    Kos looks quick, and intercepts the ball a lot. He reads the game very it seems, but it is too early to tell what an affect he will have in bigger games to come.

  64. reads the game very well*

  65. On the Arsenal site – Djourou should be fit for the weekend.

  66. ChrisGoona

    vermaelen is a good defender, but our problems still remained last season. We conceded too many goals, remember? this is a fact attested by arsene.

    Look at how much a 36 year old in his last legs improved our defence last season. We need someone like that, a big centre back, if you watched our match against stoke you will know what I mean.

    You are someone who believes fabianski is a great keeper and you call me sheep? get your blinkers off and come to the real world my friend.

  67. thanks jeff! I think

    I just hate people who have nothing constructive or good to say. Supporting your club should be something which you can take some enjoyment out of at least. Those that buy everything the media say I have no time for.

    Who do you think were the stand-outs over the 3 pre-season games mate (young talents I mean)…

    Mine our:

    Frimpong
    Wilshire
    Nordveit
    Thomas

    Was dissapointing not to see Lansbury again yeasterday, Eastmond too.

    In terms of our senior lot I would say..

    Vermaelen – very commanding
    Nasri – looking hungry and dangerous
    Walcott – eager to impress
    Rosicky – encouraging signs

  68. naga

    You highlight where I stated Fabianski is a great keeper. I said he has the potential, whether or not he makes it is obviously questionable. Anyway I don’t want to argue, I know you are a loyal fan too, just your way of thinking is very different to mine.

    I am with you on the CB front, we needed that last season, we had 5 CB’s, some of who were all used more than we would have liked. I hope Wenger corrects this.

    We need 4 CB’s who Wenger won’t hesistate to chuck in. Nordveit can act as 5th choice, he deserves a chance I think.

  69. This is a big year for Walcott. His pace is obvious and we all know about it, but unless he starts to cement a place this year in the starting 11 he will fall further down the pecking order.

    He is a fine athelete, but it is his footballing intelligence that lets him down. He runs down too many blind alleys. I like Theo and hope he kicks on.

    He seems to be a pure confidence player; when his tail is up he is flying and a good finisher. But when the doubts creep into his game he ends up being a passanger.

  70. ChrisGoona

    If we dont buy who do you think should be our no. 1?

  71. Personally I’d welcome a signing like Mert. Whether we like it or not we will face direct football and an ariel bombardment against certain teams. A ‘big’ CH gives Wenger the option of shuffling his pack, i.e. bring Kos/Djourou back for the teams that play a quicker attacking game on the deck. Also, how often do teams stick a big lump up front for the last 10 when chasing a game? I think it would give us a better variety of options…

  72. JET

  73. Its started already . . . Bendtner to miss start of season. I can’t remember the last time when we began a season with the whole squad fit!

  74. Sorry LA – long time since I’ve posted and have spent last half an hour attempting to change Avatar … and now have to leave work to catch a flight! A short-lived return to blogging … must try again when I return home on Monday.
    Keep talking
    Keep Cesc
    Keep the Faith!

  75. goonerandy

    But when the doubts creep into his game he ends up being a passanger.

    I have to fully agree with that. He has to apply himself in the same manner, and not be affected by 1 missed chance for example.

    Bendtner is the perfect example. He has all the confidence in the world, maybe not our finest finisher at the club, but if you remember the game where he was shocking in front of goal, I think he missed 5 or 6 sitters. He came back the next game and scored 2 I think!

    1 thing is for sure though, when Theo is on his purple patch or hight in confidence, he is very dangerous. I think an injury free campiagn will see him really prove many of his critics wrong. With Chamakh in the team there is another body who will not allow his balls into the box go without reward.

  76. i have high hope for wilshere and JET but i dont know were Nordviet plays preferably, i think he should start concentrating on CB only we have enough wing backs….lol

    all in all, Nasri looks like he gonna have a major season, i hope wilshere earns himself about 15 – 20 games, even if they are just from the bench.

  77. And RvP and Cesc will be short for the 1st game.

    Nasri/Diaby/Song in midfield

    with

    Arshavin/Chamackh/Theo up front

    Other viable options are Rosicky or Wilshere for wide slots or central midfield.

  78. naga

    Its tricky, Wenger is known for showing a lot of faith in some that many others wouldn’t. This is why we can’t rule out Fabianski or Schwezny (despite his age).

    I expect Almunia to start personally, thats if the other two fail to shine, and if Wenger doesn’t buy. I am more worried on getting a CB though, trying to find a world class keeper who is available seems to be a lost cause which we have been dreaming of since Seaman stepped down.

  79. els

    You mentioned about Traore being sent home! Does anyone know what the situation is, I’d imagine its time up for the guy. He looks a handy left sided player, but not good enough defensively, nor will he be given game time ahead of our midfielders or Vela even. Can anyone shed any light on this

  80. You are right, there are not many World Class keepers out there. And the one’s that are in that bracket are too expensive. That said, simply a good reliable keeper will be an upgade for us so that is what we should aim for.

  81. I think so too andy

    Even just to compete with Almunia, or provide some experienced cover.

  82. Naga, you are wrong. But I can’t be bothered.

    What’s all this nonsense about Vela, it’s a bit like Walcott. What we have in these two players is called major investment in the future, players any club would pay massively for in 2-3 years, so what’s the problem, we have them now!

    Anyway, the more our adventure unfolds, the more some fans stay locked in their cages –
    so-called fans with zero sense of history or vision.
    Just, feed me now!

    Clichy talks sense. Listen to him, he is saying something.

  83. I just hope we don’t have another season of dreading every long throw and corner. Teams have picked up on this and it causes panic every time the ball is slung into our box.

    Fabianski especially struggles with this. Can you imagine Jens being bullied at set pieces like our current crop of keepers are?

  84. Andy, I fully expect both Fabregas and RVP to line up against Liverpool. Arsene’s getting the mind games in early to flummox wiley ol’ Woy. The pair of them are being rested now in order to be in top condition going into that game.

  85. Sol joins Newcastle on 1 year deal. Only. Assuming we offered the same, seems decision based on new wife, captaincy? and playing time.

  86. Clichy is right.The time for excuses is over.We need to win a trophy.The best team never to have won the CL,who wants that title hanging round our necks.

    Why does Wenger leave it so late to sign anyone?.Our hopes hang on who he brings in as keeper and a new CB hope its the germany guy.But time is running out for them to settle in before the season starts.Ideally two signing before the Emirates cup.Without them we will have a fight on our hands to finish 4th

  87. Zim – Clichy said the same 3 years ago.

    I take your point about Theo/Vela in 3 years time. But they still have to justify their places in the side now. The first 11 is not a nutrtuing ground for young talent. We are a high profile club with designs on winning things. We can’t afford passengers.

    Years ago we could afford to bllod youngsters (like Cesc) because of the experience and quality around them. Players like Henry/Paddy/DB10/Le Bob; it was so much easier for players to “bed in”. I am not a Denilson fan, but if he had been thrown into that side I am sure he would have developed faster and my view on him may be very different.

    Our young hopefuls are being thrown into a relatively inexpereinced team and expected to produce the goods immediately.

    Even the famous Manure side (you will never win anything with kids) had massive experice and will to win in the side Keane/Schmeciael/Bruce etc.

  88. Limpar – You are probably right. At least one of them will start I imagine.

  89. 😦 sad to see Sol go

  90. Thank you ZimPaul!

    Carry on 🙂

  91. It’s fascinating how little transfer movement there has been overall. The overwhelming financial crisis is just warming up at senior club level, and a financial model that was never sustainable is about to burst. Arsenal’s time has well and truly arrived on this front. We barely need to buy players. We need a defender, and that’s that. A keeper would be nice, but who cares really. The degrees of difference between Almunia and the multitude of ‘good’ keepers out there is minute.

    Barcelona are in deep trouble, and Liverpool need to rebuild a team with barely any funds, or try and sell the club. ManU are ‘excited’ because SAF is allowed to buy a player, and if father time doesn’t get chelsea soon, mother nature sure will.

    Arsenal, in contrast are in superb shape; exciting players coming through that are just the tip of what’s behind them, a stable team, energy and creativity and youth most teams would die for. The crop of 22-24 year olds in particular are now about ready – and that’s most of the first team.

    It all reminds me of a team on the cusp of their most successful decade ever. Hokoyo!

  92. We are in superb shape…..and that is why is is so frustrating if we don’t make the couple of “tweaks” to turn potential of the team into trophies. The difference betwen Almunia and a good keeper is significant. He will cost of goals if he remains No1, and parhaps just as importantly effect the whole of the back 4 if they have no confidence in him.

    We need 2 signings (a CB and a Keeper) to have a very strong first 11. Stong enough to win things. An additional back up CB and another defensive minded midfielder and I would be 100% confident that we would win something this coming season.

  93. I must be the only one on this blog (almost all the blogs for that matter) who does not buy into a Mertesacker deal. He is ponderous. He defies the key characteristic of a modern central defender and Wenger’s recent preferences i.e. mobility and comfort with the ball (see Gallas, Vermalean, Koscielny). I remain the contrarian.

    As for all the bloggers and media hacks who have Almunia already banished to Siberia, note who started the first-half yesterday with the captain’s armband. This weekend’s Emirates Cup should spark the 1st wave of mass suicides.

  94. Wenger regularly gives the armband to the most senior player in the squad. It does not mean much.

  95. goonerandy

    Fair point, its not something which Wenger has gone out and purposefully done to cripple our chances of success.

    We just couldn’t afford to keep around players on high wages who are past their best, preferring to invest in players like Cesc who will be of great value to our club.

    It has worked out brilliantly in terms of the talent we have available and what they are worth.

    Van Persie, Nasri, Cesc, etc are all valuable assets who would make us a lovely profit. This was not Wenger’s plan though, the plan is to create a great title winning team, a legacy. We are well on that patch. The talent we have nurtured is starting to really show, 1 by 1 they are proving they are ready. It is getting to a point where we can’t keep them all, keeping only the best.

    Wilshire
    Ramsey
    Gibbs

    It is a great model for success, and a model which all clubs should try to follow. English football would be better for it, and the national team too. What is the problem with turning young players into hungry title hungry players? It is fascinating and beats buying any 50m signing who wants a fat pay cheque.

  96. Chris – I agree that he has not done it on purpose and I was not slagging him off (if it came across that way). Wenger is a visionary and a genius in my eyes. I think it has just ended up that way.

    During the last few years my main beef with the squad is that of mental attitude. Not enough of the players seem to have that win at all costs mentaility. It is this mentality which makes the difference at the very highest level. Some of the players we currently have seem to have that buring desire in them. Wilshere/Ramsey/RvP/Cesc/TV5 all seem to have this and bodes well.

  97. Shotta, we already have a number of modern CHs, no point in buying more of the same surely. Mert (or similar) just increases the options available. He didn’t do too badly against Messi et al either….

  98. Theo Walcott is not a passenger. The season is long and the war is fought on many fronts. It is a squad game and Theo is a superb asset to the armoury – a unique weapon to have in that squad.

    Passenger! The number of times he’s dragged us up into a tempo that wins us games. Memories of old fucking fish some of you. He stretches defences and creates gaps in turgid TBOFs when they roll up at TNHOF. His end product has come on leaps and bounds over the past 5 or so months; finishing, touch, crossing, eye for a pass. It’s all clicking into place for Theo – and now for once he gets a decent pre-season under him. Prepare to eat hat.

  99. To my mind Mertesacker looked good at the WC due to the hard work of players like Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield. When Schweinsteiger got tired towards the end of the WC the German Defence did not look so good.

  100. “It is a squad game and Theo is a superb asset to the armoury – a unique weapon to have in that squad.”

    So Theo is selling shirts now then LA.

  101. goonerandy

    I think they all desire to do well, but the lack of direction proved costly when key players were injured. Campbell being the only one standing up at the end of last season was telling in that respect.

    We need the likes of Van Persie, Cesc, Rosicky, Vermaelen, Clichy, Sagna to all stand up now and take authority of games. I think they have the experience and attitude to lead us to glory this time round. Sometimes you get the sense that some players are looking around for inspiration, to be fair, I don’t blame some when we are crippled with 6 or 7 injuries at a time.

    The attitude I feel needs to be more assertive, and our defensive efforts as a team should see much fewer goals conceded from this improvement. They showed the grit last season, more than any other of the last 5 seasons you could say, its now about creating that winning mentality which seems to have slipped away slightly.

  102. LimparA – I hope you’re right. He’s been a professional footballer for about 5 years now and still has yet to master the art of crossing a ball. If he had that in his locker he’d be genuinely awesome. It does make you wonder what he does in training though. Apparently Beckham used to stay behind after every training session practising free-kicks and, hey presto, he pinged them in when it counted.

  103. Limpar – You need to be able to see both sides of the coin mate.

    Theo has many assets; very presence on the pitch pushes the other team back, and he is great when we couter attack. He is without doubt an asset to the squad.

    But

    He is also often disappointing in possesion, he either runs into players or leaves the ball behind him. He makes the wrong choice on a regular basis. There is a good reason why Capello left him behind; he was not playing very well.

    I am not too worried about his final ball as this is somthing he can practice and improve.

  104. LimparAssist

    Theo’s impact on a game is immense when he is on fire, and I believe he will have a nice return of goals and assists this season. You cannot doubt the games where his confidence has affected his performance though. Anyone can see this.

  105. “Djourou has a small hamstring problem but it is not bad,” said Wenger after the convincing midweek win.

    “He should be available for the weekend.

    pphheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!!!

  106. Yes, dups. He can be found at checkout number 4 on weekdays after training. He’s a dab hand at removing those clunky security tags. Swish, clack, over the shoulder, fold, bag, done. He’s lightning.

    Can’t wait for him to get back to proving people wrong. He’s looked very good in preseason, for those that have been watching.

  107. I for one don’t want materserker he has the turning circle of an alpha romeo spider…… not pretty.

    Why not any of the city boys like nedum anouha or micah richards or even both.

  108. Well according to the BBC, Campbell has signed for Newcastle. Please tell me that Sylvestre and Gallas are going to stay.

  109. GoonerAndy, just out of interest, what’s the difference between a world class keeper and a good reliable one?

    I would have thought they were one and the same

  110. theBigM silvestre and gallas have been released so we are in the market for another cb.

  111. Richards would cost a fortune and in my opinion isn’t as good as he thinks he is. I like Onouha (sp?) but he always looks out of condition to me, either way though I can’t see City selling either one to us…

  112. goonerandy

    Vela just needs a season when he stays fit – I think that’s all it is. then he’ll get the games and have something to build on. But I think 4-3-3 in a fluid system does suit him. Why is it that you think it wouldn’t?

    keysersoze
    “An interesting stat about Mertesacker is he is hardly ever booked. He is called Mr. Clean due to this reputation.”

    That’s what I like to hear about a CB!

    @ chris goona
    I liked those youngsters as well. Don’t worry about Lansbury and Eastmond being left out – they have injuries, as does Henderson. So their absence doesn’t mean their chance has gone.

  113. Gadget – They are all media terms anyway i suppose. But I would class somebody like Buffon as world class, whereas somebody like Jaaskilinen (at Bolton) would be good. in my humble opinion. They point is, that we have neither.

    FunGunner – I just think he is type of player suited to having a strike partner. He has less defensive responsibility on the flanks and can stay closer to goal. He is still only young however, and may well adapt to the position on the left of a 3. I hope so because I do like him.

  114. unsure on merts also but as long as he is top notch positionally and wenger rates them I am sure he would be a worthy addition. have always liked onouha also, not particualry dynamic but a composed and pragmatic character.

    apart from being thrilled at the sight of jack JET and frimpong displaying finally a real end product to wengers 10 year academy plan, my overall feeling of last nights game was that we look far healthier and more competitive when players need to fight for their places.

    I for one am relishing the moment when young jack is already warming up on the sidelines at 62mins to make sure wenger knows that he is there and ready to take over from rosicky when he runs low on steam… We will never be reliant on chamakh to score goals for us when we have NB and Vela knocking on his door whispering ‘just one slip up and your place is mine’… dumbass teams aren’t respecting us up norf? throw on frimpong along side song with a dash of JET ahead of them and they will know they have been in a battle. left back goes without saying and as for arshavin…… well the best thing for him could be the occasional sidelining so he knows the cost of inconsistency.

    Partnerships in central defence are important for the most part of the season but we are a big club and I feel little sympathy for a ‘big name’ signing coming in and not being first choice.

  115. 1 loose cannon

    People blame Wenger for not buying English. Well the reason is very clear English player’s prices are hiked up ridiculously. Phil Jageileka is a 10 million player no more, Everton want possibly 20. The German guy Mertesacker who is younger and better in my opinion with a success in the world cup is worth less. Milner is 30 millions what a joke. The new rule to have home grown players will only hike the prices even higher as a consequence these players will be denied a move to bigger clubs who can offer them C.league. So is the new rule good for England? I doubt it.

  116. “I am very happy with Cesc and we are all very happy at the Club with Cesc. He is a very important player for us, he is our captain and we have worked very hard [for him] to be the future of our team and that is why we are always adamant about [not] letting him go.”

    Cannot get any clearer can it! Another 5 years then for Cesc! 😉

  117. Hopefully all of this wil go away for another year. The best way for the club to keep Cesc is to be winning things.

  118. I demand Carlos Vela is returned to his rightful place on this site.

  119. Arsenal defender Thomas Cruise has hailed captain Cesc Fabregas for the impact he has had on the youngsters at the club.

    Fabregas came through the ranks at the Gunners after joining them from Barcelona as a 16-year-old, and has gone on to make over 250 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side.

    Cruise is looking to break into the first team in the next couple of years after making his Arsenal debut in the Champions League against Olympiakos last season.

    “He’s a real inspiration to all of the younger players at Arsenal,” Cruise said of Fabregas on the club’s official website.

    “Everyone looks up to him because he’s one of the best players in the world. He’s always there to offer advice and he’s a role model, but all of the first team are too.”

    Cruise played a key role in Noel Blake’s England Under-19 squad that reached the semi-final of the European Championships, scoring in the opening game against Austria.

  120. I think if we were shrewed we could get 15-20 million for Vela to someone like Bayern or Inter Milan. We should sell him now before they realise he’s a dud player. If we give him a run in the premiership his value will fall dramatically, Arsene knows this.

  121. You are mad if you think we can get that sort of cash for a player who is not even nearly starting macthes for us.

  122. Is it just me or the trolls here this season are more pathetic than usual?

  123. goonerandy, people outside of arsenal still think he is good because they havent watched him properly, he is still thought of as mexicos best prospect even though he was unbelievably shit at the WC. This is why we should sell him now while he still has value.

  124. Am I the only one seriously bored, I just want the league to begin again, already!!

  125. Yup. I hate the close season.

  126. Karim,

    Get of Vela’s nuts you freaking sado.

  127. Do fuck off J@mes

  128. Maria, Karim is just J@mes the spud fan.

  129. Maria,

    Im sorry but I believe him to be shit. Surely you can tell Theo is a better finisher. Vela has scored two chips and thats it. The rest of the time his performances have been pathetic. Im being serious here, we need quality in front of goal, not some nancy who looks good prancing around missing sitters and then clutching his face and sinking to his knees. Surely some people agree with me, its so obvious he is an average player.

  130. James you are a sad sad little boy, when will u ever grow up

  131. not some nancy who looks good prancing around missing sitters and then clutching his face and sinking to his knees

    Sounds a bit like Bentley, go back to the Shite Hart Lane

  132. “he is still thought of as mexicos best prospect even though he was unbelievably shit at the WC. This is why we should sell him now while he still has value.”

    Is this guy high?

  133. No Maria he is just a 1st class idiot.

  134. Welcome back James, back to grace us with you quick wit again?

  135. Unsure on merts also but as long as he is top notch positionally and wenger rates them I am sure he would be a worthy addition.

    Same here, word.

  136. Can we all agree on our two letter acronym for a central defender please? I’m tired of hearing people argue about whether we need a new CB, CH, DC or CD.

    Choose one, people!

    And Karim, how do you know what Vela is like in the toilet…”shit at the WC”?? Actually, I don’t need to know.

  137. “And Karim, how do you know what Vela is like in the toilet…”shit at the WC”?? Actually, I don’t need to know.”

    LOL.

  138. Karim 9 goals in 30 international appearances go do one he is still 20years old. The problem that he has is that he is not getting a sustained run in the team, which i hope he gets this season otherwise he may go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYPbRLLwJFw here is a lovely compilation to open your eyes of the propect he is.

  139. I felt sorry and happy at the same time hearing a couple of Liverpool pundit types talking about their team on ESPN last night and saying we are well and truly dekcuf, and top third of the table would be an OK result this season. They said “we have 5 top players, Gerrard, Torres, Mascherano, Kuyt and Cole and one is leaving. As for the rest we have to build a new team, it’ll take 2 to 3 years and money we know we don’t have. For now we know Hodgson will build a solid team and get the most out of players he has available”.

    A bit alarmist, but it makes you ponder. What does make me sick is how Sky sports news headlines ANY news from ManU, whether SAF’s dog is sick or Scholes’ toe is sore, plus dismal clips from their USA adventures and upbeat interviews from faceless and ignorant pundits; but Arsenal rarely even gets a mention unless its Cesc this and Barcelona that.

    This is what affects weak Arsenal fans who don’t have history (like dear Delia) or vision (like most ACLFers) and only need to ‘big up’ their team in terms of ManU, Pool, Chelsea, the ‘media giants’.

    The amazing journey of Arsenal, especially over the last 5 years, is the best story out there. It’s best told in terms of the players who have emerged at Arsenal.

  140. Mertersacker would be exciting, no? A big tall defender, proven at international level with a top nation. If he’s available for £10m then it would be criminal not to get him.

    But haven’t we already heard this rumour earlier in the summer, and wasn’t it dismissed by the player or his club or something?

    What changed?

  141. “Karim 9 goals in 30 international appearances go do one he is still 20years old. The problem that he has is that he is not getting a sustained run in the team, which i hope he gets this season otherwise he may go.”

    Karim is quite the star.

  142. ZimPaul

    It is a shame they can’t see it, we have battled with all the millions of City and Chelsea, while taking on the debt ridden United to give them all a run for their money through using a sustained youth/recuitment policy. We have endured 2 title races, a CC final, a Champs League Final, 2 semi’s, and always hitting top 4.

    To think we have achieved all this after replacing the invincibles and moving stadium is remarkable. Going under the radar is not such a bad thing though my friend, I am more than happy for us to win the league this year why they all scratch their fuc*ing ignorant heads!

  143. Arsenal win either way, we should look at it as them having to spend 100m a year to keep up with us!

    Think about it, Scholes, Giggs, Neville are almost finished. United will need a hefty chunk of money to keep them on track as their reserve players are nowhere near ours. Then theres Chelsea, Abramovich is unwilling to spend like before (hence: Benayoun!), so while the likes of Drogba, Lampard dry up and get wrinkles, they will too need to try and replace their 200k a week assets.

    Its just impossible for any team to continually spend them sums to maintain a club, with the new rules to they are all screwed. Who have Chelsea and United bought this summer? No other clubs are willing to sell their prized assets (even West Ham with Parker) because talent is limited nowadays. So much emphasis has been placed on big signings the stock has dried up.

    We on the other hand are healthy in both respects, we can recruit and our finances are improving by the year, and we have a pool of youngsters who are becoming ever ready to take teh Premiership crown for the next 20 years.

    GOOD TIMES AHEAD

  144. Silver Gunner

    Wenger knows we need a central defender and keeper i would be surprised if we go into the season without at least one if not both of these boxes ticked.

    Maria i think you know i was refering to Mr Vela….. I for one like him and think with playing time we will see the best from him, if he does not get I would not be surprised to see him take the Merida route and move to spanish climes.

  145. I know rumours are only rumours and should be taken with a very large pinch of salt but, this does seem to hold a little water.

    It would seem that we can’t even give away Almunia. The clubs he is attracting, Osasuna, etc can’t afford his wages even if we let him go on a free.

    I am guessing he must be on around 40 grand a week with a couple of years left on his contract, now he is not a bad keeper but, who would commit £4m pounds on wages on him.

    For this reason alone I can see him staying for another season.

  146. Vela is wonderfull, Karim. I think you realy admire him but are afraid to get in touch with your feelings. But if you really believe that then your intitled to your opinion. For me, he is a gifted player who can work anywhere along the front, and he is only twenty.

  147. Im not too concirned about the state of our defence. AW will of course bring in a CD, if not then it might prove costly, time will tell. We are in a better position than most clubs though. As already mentioned Manutds team is getting on a bit. The only improved teams this season that are in a position to challeng imo are us and man city. I have it on reliable info that s…. are going to be eliminated in the CL play offs.

  148. I’m not sure Wenger is looking for a goalkeeper any more. I think he might feel that simply telling them all that the no 1 spot is up for grabs is enough to galvanise everyone. His latest remarks after Neusiedl seem to point that way.

  149. I hope not. We will not win the league with an average keeper. It is almost negligence if he does not bring a keeper in.

  150. Boomer – You are not worried about the state of our defence?

    We only have one centre back you could call 1st choice. Could you imagine if TV5 got injured for 6 weeks or so? I for one am worried.

  151. goonerandy

    History is not always repeated, Tim Flowers anyone. Would you call him world class with only 11 appearances for England?

  152. I was looking up Mertsesacker on transfermarkt.de. I then saw the name and phone of his agent listed. On a whim I called one of them, introduced myself.

    Well, he says he couldn’t really tell me anything yet, seemed very curious as to why someone calling himself a blogger was interested. He said he couldn’t really tell me anything as of this morning. I don’t know if that was because he didn’t know or was being evasive. So I asked if it was ok to be in touch again in a couple of days but he said goodbye, he really had to go.

    Just then I saw that one of the German gooners I follow on Twitter said Naldo, Werder Bremen’s other centre back has a serious knee injury and so they’d be loathe to let Mertesacker go.

    Naldo, by the way is a player I always felt would do well at Arsenal, he’s 6 ft 6, ball playing, goal scoring Brazilian centre back who’s one of the strongest football players anywhere.

  153. Chris – I don’t get your history point mate? please expand.

    Tim Flowers had Dave Seaman in front of him in the pecking order. Keepers sometimes dip out big time at international level. Look at Spain now, they have Reina and Valdez who never get a look in.

  154. On another not,I really hope that no idiot fans boo Cesc when he gets back.

  155. Oh Ole….

  156. Silver Gunner

    AW will bring in players rest assured guys no way he will go into the season with no proper established defender.

    I still think either of the shitty lads would be a good shout as they would probably be cheaper than other english options.

  157. goonerandy

    Tim Flowers was hardly a world beater playing for teams like Southampton, Blackburn and Leicester is my point. It didn’t stop him being a Premiership Champion.

    Almunia could be easily sitting today with a medal had we not crumbled after the Eduardo incident a few years back. Then where would you base this argument?

  158. Chris – I wouldn’t. If the mistakes had not krept into his game I would be happy with him. Not spectacular but steady. Good enough for me.

    The problem is that it is not just the odd mistake. There were lots of them, and they resulted in lots of goals conceeded. I saw a stat/clip complation a week ago and between them Almunia and Fabianski were at obvious fault for 20 odd goals. That is not acceptable at this level and a risk we cannot take.

  159. I don’t think Fab will get booed but Reina might be in for a hard time – it’ll be interesting to see Fab’s reaction if he does….

  160. goonerandy

    I am not against getting another keeper, I just will not concede the teams chances if we go into the season only having bought a CB. Suring up the defence and the team as a unit is a bigger issue. I am 100% convinced Wenger has reviewed the keeping situation, and I think he has looked far and wide at his options elsewhere too. Lets wait until the transfer window closes to continue on this matter.

  161. Chris – I agree, and neither will I wither up and die if we don’t get a keeper. But if we go into the season without further additions it is a serious error in judgmenet by our managment.

  162. A list of average players.

    Jenas
    Lemmom
    Defoe
    & there’s more…

    A list of cr*p players

    Huddlestone
    & the rest

    List of ‘crocked’ first team players who make whinging AFC fans seem like the Trolls they are:

    Woodgate
    King

    List of managers who blink in the light:

    ‘Appy ‘Arry & ‘is clapped out backing band.

    List of Chairpersons who are, allegedly, good at business:

    Little Lord Tiny Tott of Amstrad II (Lewis)

    The current and former head’s (like a hydra) of FC Barcalaundrybasket. They might be ducking and diving in and out of sight, for a while.

    Allen Stanford: The dude with the slightly suspicious tasch (they are not all wrong, tasches) who nearly bankrupted every English Cricket County (club), and the island state of Antigua, at the same time!
    Impressive, if you are a fan of sociopaths.

  163. I hate the transfer window in the off season. All the speculation, all the “we need this, a new that is a must, and blah blah”. I really hate it. I hate the arrogance and the stupidity of it all. I hate the refusal to improve from within.

    I think I can put up with all that during the course of a regular season, because the players have the chance to silence their critics as they play, when this chance is denied to the players it becomes annoying.

    Everyday, I read we need this, we need that, but do we really? A club that gives youth a chance, that works to improve the players we already have, do we really need new players?

    Call me an optimist, but I’ll leave that in Wenger’s hands because he knows better than me.

    Show me the pictures of our squad training and I’m a happy lad.

    All I want from this season is for our team to play well, put in 100% effort, and no capitulations a la Wigan. They do that and I believe the trophy craved will come, and if it doesn’t, c’est la vie.

    I believe in my team.

  164. Silver Gunner

    sad to see sol btw

  165. Silver Gunner

    i mean sad to see sol go btw

  166. goonerandy

    Thats how it may seem to some, I do not doubt the judgemenet of our manager one bit. If anything he is the best judge of player ability around, so on that front you shouldn’t worry mate.

  167. Gadget

    “Everyday, I read we need this, we need that, but do we really?”

    We really do. And if you believe we don’t you must know very little about football or be blind. Watch our games from the past few seasons against Manure and the Chavs. They were much better than us and just brushed us aside. It really pains me to say that, but it is the truth.

    We don’t need much, but there is no doubt we need some new players.

  168. Spot on, Gadget.

  169. I love Arsene, but he makes mistakes. The same as every manager.

    I do trust him, but he is a stubborn one. He won’t pay more than he values a player at which is great in theory, but sometimes needs must.

    If we get to transfer deadline day and are negotiating for a keeper or CB, only to pull out because the selling club want a bit more we would be better paying it than having nothing. I think that is his biggets failing.

    And I am not advocating spending stupid money either, because that is not the way to go.

  170. Gadget-
    Post of the day.

  171. His biggest failing?

    You are talking about the wrong manager mate. Football lacks common sense nowadays, whereas Wenger is the exception. I agree with Gadget, our manager is in the best position on the training field to see where improvements are needed.

    Liverpools CRISIS CLUB
    Man UTD’s DEBT
    Chelsea’s DISGRACEFUL PLAYERS
    City’s LACK OF CLASS

    These all say transfers are not the way forward.

    We get them when we need them, allowing youth to develop and giving our countries talenst a chance to test themselves. (This is why I believe a CB will be bought only, a GK seems a possibility but I won’t hold my breathe). This is the only way forward, and soon all the other teams will follow Wenger’s philosophy for which has so long been slated.

  172. goonerandy

    He isn’t the same as every manager, If Mourinho is the chosen one for spending millions on overpaid players to play anti-football then Wenger is Superman! The guy has turned raw talent into world class players time after time, transformed a club to playing beautiful football at all levels, and implemented a footballing philosophy that Arsenal will be forever greatful for.

    What the hell is wrong with you? You can’t aknowledge his achievements and then say but hes stubborn!

  173. Gadget on July 28, 2010
    at 2:15 pm

    Post of the day.

  174. Limpar @ 9:45AM:

    “Both centrebacks in a partnership need not have blistering pace.”

    Sounds like you are endorsing the idea of a big strong stay at home defender to partner with TV. May be even “Vidic like”. Could not agree more. Good stuff

  175. GoonerAndy,

    Way to miss a point, kudos to you. On the other hand, were I a man to take such arrogance to heart I may have lobbed a few obscenities your way!

    But since I’m a sucker for bait, let’s bite.

    The past few seasons against the other big four teams we would usually top the mini league, which wouldn’t suggest we’ve done too badly.

    Man U and Arsenal are typically anything can happen type of games. 08/09 at Emirates we won 2-1 in a match where it seemed like both teams had forsaken defence in favour of attack. Champ league was a bit of a let down, and a little bit sad really. Almunia had a stellar game at OT but at Emirates, Gibbs slipped, free kick, and Adebayor all contributed to a loss. But at OT in the league, we looked unlucky to have not beaten them.

    This season I saw how we performed against Man U at Old trafford and outplayed them, but an own goal and a dubious penalty saw man u come out the victor after having nothing more than 3 shots all game. Conversely at Emirates I saw how their counter was very effective against us, and they definately deserved to win that one.

    08/09 against Chelsea, we outplayed the at the Bridge (they had no shots on goal) and won with admittedly an offside goal. At Emirates it was a different story.

    This season, I saw our injury-stricken team take on Chelsea and the destroyer Drogba. Drogba scored all but one of chelsea’s 5 goal against us.

    Other than that, in both games, I felt our midfield held their own against Chelsea, but our weakened attack wasn’t able to do much which played into Chelsea’s game. Note the difference in the game when Bendtner came on in the 2nd half at the Brigde. We were a different side and Chelsea were forced to adjust in a way which hinted at a different game entirely if we had a full strength team.

    No Drogba didn’t defeat us on his own, other than scoreline, the team wasn’t brushed over.

    Anyway, I look at our players who have come on leaps and bounds over the years, I look at the improvement in Song, and I’m perfectly content to trust Wenger’s judgement rather than saying he needs this and that. If he feels we can do things with what we have, I am content with that. And that happened to be my point.

  176. Arsene, who seems to have been interviewed at a music festival in Neusiedl am See, outside the tent where Tindersticks are playing (more excellent management, well done Arsenal), says something now and again that makes you forget about all the bullshit, the strained tabloid hackery and the pointless piss-in-the-wind whinge mentality of a certain brand of modern football fan. When asked how he thought Arsenal played last night he remarked on how pleasing it is to have a group of players playing with such enjoyment for their game.

    Over the summer months it’s easy to forget how wise old Arsene is, how magic a thing it is that he’s creating.

    The one onus Arsene places on his players – is to express themselves without inhibition on a football pitch.

    Football, as Socrates says, is like a dance. It’s natural and impulsive and should never be constrained.

    Arsene Wenger’s football achieves this ideal like no other team on the planet. And if you think you can achieve that freedom, that special rhythm, by being stubborn… then you’re a fucking moron.

  177. Bill, you should go out and try and meet a big, strong stay-at-home type for yourself.

  178. LA-
    2nd best post of the day!

  179. re: Walcott and Vela

    Its unfair and irresponisble to judge players without taking their injuries into account.

  180. LOL Limpar.

    Gadget:

    Our record against ManU and Chelsea in the last 5 years counting all games including league, FA cup and CL is 5 wins – 16 lost – 4 draws. We have been outscored in those games 21 for vs. 42 against.

    Your assessment of our play against those teams is somewhat optimistic. Perhaps we will make some changes this year that can start to turn the tide.

  181. Gadget “other than scoreline, the team wasn’t brushed over”?

    Those pen-pushers at the premier league office still aren’t giving us points for artistic merit though, eh?

    We got humped by Chelsea twice and it wasn’t good enough. I’m all for defending the team, but some things are indefensible.

  182. The games against the Top 4 have always been tight. We lost that edge last season, dictating play but not nailing our chances. If we continued our form against lower teams in the last two months of the season we had a chance of lasting the distance despite the poor record against the big teams. Nobody would be complaining about losing to Chelsea or United then, but it wasn’t to be. As always the injuries pile up at crunch time, and all the hard work goes without reward.

    This season lets just enjoy what happens, Wenger is well placed and aware of what is needed to bring home a trophy.. so theres no need to stress over what may come in May 2011. Lets enjoy watching Cesc, AA, Nasri, RvP and all our young prodigy’s embarass all that comes before them!

  183. My only hope is that we dont have too many injuries. This has been our undoing the past few years. I dont believe our record wouldve been so poor against Chelsea and United if this was not the situation.

    Lets do it this year.

  184. Vela is a great talent and I hope he has the patience to realize that he is not quite ready for regular 1st team action yet. I think we will be a super left sided attacking player by the time he is 23. He and may be even Theo have to realize that they will not get a run a games because of all of the more experienced talented players in front of them unless we have a series of bad injuries. I do not see Arshavin playing with us for more then 2 more years and hopefully Vela will be ready to step into his spot and become the great player we all think he can be. The fans and Vela just need to show patience. Same with Theo and Bendtner. The Frimpongs, J. Wilshere and JET’s of the world have the potential to be great players but its not thier time yet.

  185. Bill,

    You’ve taken a hard look but can’t see the woods for the trees. What you wrote might be true, but there have been seasons when we came out tops of the Top 4 mini leagues and end up many many points off the pace. In one season we were undefeated by any Top 4 side and beat the mancs home and away but finished the season over 20 points behind. Gadget’s point was correct. Your stats are correct perhaps, but dont address his point.

  186. Spot on Gadget ar 2.15 PM

  187. For me, this is what vela needs – be injury free and get some consistent playing time. He is very good at international level and I dont see why he cannot do damage at Arsenal, even now.

  188. Ole:

    I just noted the statistics. Certainly your point is correct. Man U won the league with a poor record against the big 4 in the past. Playing poorly against ManU and Chelsea just adds a significant head wind against us. It also means we will have difficulty advancing in knock out competitions such as CL and FA cup because we often end up meeting those teams.

  189. Gadget, Limpar and Ole. You make my Arsenal-day bright and cheery and most important ‘real’.

    Thanks!

    Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon … the original anthem to free-thinking life unconstrained by fear … like the way Arsenal play and Socrates talks. No, I’m not an old hippie, more an old revolutionary, but I do just like good songs.

  190. Jesus christ it is frustrating talking to some of you lot. Maybe what i was getting at was lost in translation. I am huge Wenger fan and the guy has worked miricles at the club. My point is that he is stubborn on transfers sometimes. He values a player, then won’t go above that. Very noble, but sometimes we cut our nose of to spite our face. Sometimes paying an extra one or two million is better than getting nothing.

    I am a hugely positive fan (despite what you may think) but will not bury my head in the sand regarding the manager or the players. You can continue to do that if you want and kid youself that is what makes a great supporter.

    I support the club 100% and know enough about football to be able to highlight and discuss the good and bad points about the club. It is starting to become apparant that I can’t have that converstation with a bunch of 12 year olds. Shame, but there you go.

    There is a huge differnce between a “doomer” and reasoned argument. As soon as anybody brings up a point that is not “WENGER IS DA BESTEST EVA !!!” certain people jump on them for “not being a very good supporter”. How childlike, and betrays a lack of knowledge and maturity. Shame really.

    There is so much that is good about this club that I love, and has some great players who I belive could be on the cusp of greatness. But there are still things which are not right and there is not unloyal about discussing them.

    This post is not directed at anybody in particular either before tears start to roll.

  191. Goonerandy @ 4:13:

    Understand how you feel.

    For the most part the debate here is much more intelligent and thoughtful then anywhere else in the Arsenal blogosphere. At least in my experience. Just like anywhere there is some static and it just takes time to get to know them.

  192. Incidentally those who think we were not far away from Chelsea and Manure last year:

    2-10

    That was our result on aggregate against them in the 4 games.

    The season before (including the 2 CL games against Manure) was better:

    6-11

  193. It’s a simple equation Goonerandy.

    Chamack’s contract had one year left.
    AFC won’t/didn’t pay silly money.

    Fabregas has five years left on his contract.
    If FC BrokeBackBarca want the world’s best playmaker, they’ll have to pay silly money. Which they probably don’t have.

    This attitude towards ‘buying’, supports the clubs position towards ‘selling’.

  194. Bill – I’m glad somebody does. I am not even a negative person, but when people are just blind to what is in front of them it is frustrating.

    I am not arrogant enough to think that I am right either. It is just my opinion.

  195. Imagine having Bill supporting your posts.

  196. Goonerandy:

    The other great thing about this blog is Yogi. Best writer by far in all of the blogs. His daily posts are always superb and very balanced. Great stuff.

  197. Finsbury – I agree with that 100%.

    I supose a good example (though I am loth to use it) is losing C Ronaldo (twat) to Manure. Over £2m. Wenger has said in interviews the transfer was all but done, but we was haggling over £2M. Manure came him, put the cash down, had the worlds best player within a few years then sold him for stupid money.

    Not a great example, becasue we didn’t actually need him at the time. But an example none the less. Let me make it clear I don’t advocate huge outlays of cash, but sometimes you have to go that bit extra to get what you want.

  198. Yogi’s posts are excellent.

  199. I’m glad that AFC missed out on CR!

  200. Fuck off goonerandy

  201. Ole kindly proves my point. No decent reasoning, just a childlike insult because my views on the football club don’t match his. Still as an adult I should not sink down to his level as I understand puberty can be a difficult period in a childs life.

    What a turd.

  202. Goonerandy if I remember correctly we offered 4.5 million for Ronaldo and Man U paid 12.5 million. Quite a difference.

  203. You win some, you loose some.

    That’s always the way.

    Selling Adebayor for £20M+ more then makes up for most minor quibbles.

    Edu is one that got away, but as he diplomatically points out to those guys who interviewed him, who had their own opinions, the club obviously needed to cut costs, and prepare to bring through a new team. He got badly injured the next season after he left, I think, anyway.

  204. Well said Ole. When you can’t reason with them they just as well go away.

  205. Goonerandy

    It’s hard to be reasonable when discussing The Lesser Ronaldo.

    : )

  206. Why the hell have we let Campbell go? Could we not offer him a year’s contract? We do we not hold on to any of our experienced players? We have let some experienced players go far too early. Did any one notice Gilberto and Van Broenkhurst play well for their respective countries in the world cup and wonder why we got rid of both of them years ago?

  207. I just hope we get somebody in in two positions, then I will be confident about the upcoming season. Anything above that is a bonus.

    All we need is a good keeper and a CB. Thats it.

  208. BigM, we did offer him a years contract.

  209. Finsbury – Very good point 🙂

    Steww – Great reasoning it was too. By “they” I take it you mean people with opinions instead of sheep?

  210. He will probably get more game time at Newcastle, plus his new wife lives up that way I think. Fair play to him I suppose.

  211. “Did any one notice Gilberto and Van Broenkhurst play well for their respective countries in the world cup and wonder why we got rid of both of them years ago?”

    Bit of a silly comment that. The Premier League is a lot harder to win than a cup competition between national sides.

  212. Goonerandy:

    It would be nice to have another regular blogger who thinks like you. I tend to not get involved in the positive discussions as much since there is plenty of support for that point of view and my thoughts would add nothing new to most of those discussions. Besides what fun would it be to blog if everyone had the same opinion and there was not debate. I have long ago lost any concern about the insults and the name calling and stopped being frustrated. Does no good. As you say its only our opinions and not worth getting frustrated about it.

  213. Agreed. Anyway, off home.

    I expect some of the other have gone after the mums called them down for tea. 😉

  214. Match Highlights:

    One thing that’s been pissing me off, is the people saying things like

    “JET needs to nail down a position”

    What?
    Like some Lemmom, who can’t take a shot at an almost empty gopal in a World Cup that he’s been dreaming his whole life of playing in?
    Or some other orthodox right whinger?
    (Nice goal by Theo, by the way!).

    JET is a right footed ‘Forward’. Obviously.
    Why do people like to confuse themselves?

    e.g.

    TH14, he obviously suffered from playing on the whinge during Frances ’98 victory. Three goals too.

    Sorry, rant over.

  215. Been off radar for a few days. I haven’t missed much it seems, except for confirmation that Sol is leaving.

    So we’re to expect a new centre half then. Hope whoever it is arrives before the emirates cup, although knowing the way we do business, this may well go down to the wire.

  216. Finsbury, I thought JET was mainly left-footed.

  217. *ahem*

    JET might be left footed…

  218. Anybody can offer any opinion they want. This is the internet, you get judged by what you write. For some reason some people just don’t see the irony in crying that people disagree with them…..waah waah, you don’t agree with me. You don’t like me spouting crap, waa waa

    The regular commenters on ACLF will engage most comments if they are reasonable and well thought out and don’t slag off the players and club. When people come here slagging off, it’s assumed they’re spuds and they get hostile treatment as spuds would.

  219. dupsffokcuf, I finally just worked out your name…there was me thinking all this time that you couldn’t spell Djorkaeff properly.

  220. livearsenal, I probably can’t spell Djerkoff properly anyway.

  221. Silver Gunner

    Really feel sorry for goonerandy his points were well made and those who disagreed with them plain and simple ridiculed his support, I too agree that we need defender and a keeper.

  222. Thanks for the vid Finsbury.

    I hope to see JET and Wilshere in more than just carling cup games this season. Those two need gametime! wilshire in particular. I don’t see how he can be considered not yet ready for 1st team football.

  223. Silver Gunner,

    I don’t know what his point was. But when you start calling people sheep?

  224. Ole,
    Who are the regulars. Would James qualify as a regular? lol.

    Seriously though, what about Bill? He posts as often as most, I don’t recall him slagging off the team, yet he gets so much abuse?

    The good thing is Bill seems to take it all in stride, which kinda makse the people dishing out the abuse look like playground bullies.

    I can understand treating people who slag off the team as spuds, but in many cases, some of the so called regulars go too far, on posters who haven’t slagged anyone off, but merely expressed a critical opinion. That imho, reduces the quality of debate on the blog.

    Anyways, who am I to say? Yogi doesn’t seem to mind such behaviour, so i guess he’s cool with it, but it is kinda interesting that he never partakes in the insulting himself.

  225. dupsffokcuf

    Heard so many things about JET, it was the deft passing around the penalty box that left a lasting impression for me.

    According to some who’ve watched him a little, he can play anywhere!

    I think the signs from pre-season are, that he won’t play at LB for the 1st XI.
    Can’t be sure though.

  226. *makes

  227. *

  228. Finsbury. It seems part of the great man’s plans that all our young players have the ability to play 2 or 3 different positions. In JET’s case it’s more like 8-9 different position

  229. *-*

  230. Finsbury,

    Jay will probably even do well as a keeper. I’ve seen him play 6 different positions. In one game he played left back, left midfield and right midfield!

  231. Silver Gunner

    Ole Gunner if we all support the same club why can’t we behave as such I guess that is what I am getting at goonerandy did not strike me as a spud in disguise….

    Anyhows changing the subject looks like shitty have all but got super mario, what a talent I sincerely hope he plays poo against us or gets a red card for doing a saying something stupid like he is prone to.

  232. Celtic playing their CL qualifying game tonight against Sporting Braga . Hope they lose.

  233. I think the thing with JET is that he’s played in a number of different positions for the reserves and youth teams. Tbh, I fail to see how that is a disadvantage.
    Maybe the fact that he’s so big AND skillful confuses some. They expect that being that big, he should be a traditional defender or centre-forward. But he’s skill, vision and touch allows him to play pretty much anywhere except as a full back. I’m not so sure he’s got the speed for that.

  234. SG, Balotelli comes with a lot of bad baggage.

  235. Wengerball,

    I love it.

  236. Silver Gunner

    dupsffokcuf indeed he does but still a scary prospect if he got his straight could be in CR7 territory interms of footballing talent, I almost hope it all goes pete tong.

  237. Flamoney at the Emirates at the weekend. Why is this guy not treated like Cashley?

    He knew he wasn’t going to sign on since he was gunning for the sign on fee from being a free agent. Then he lied to the club he wanted to agree a deal, assured us of that till the last moment, and then left for non-footballing reasons that have hurt his career.

    If he’d said he wasn’t going to stay earlier, instead of the assurances, wouldn’t Diarra & Gilberto have had more games leading ultimately to them being retained?

    Instead, he maximised his playing time, since that was always going to be the source of his big pay day, and left the club high and dry.

    People say AW didn’t show faith in him. But Arsene had actually convinced him to stay 1 season earlier.

    This was ugly treason. His betrayal was as bad as Cashley’s. Sure he isn’t a gooner, but Cashley’s action cost us nothing really. Flamini’s cost us, 2 players, and we ended up with nothing (cash) in compensation.

  238. Silver Guinner,

    Your point is fair enough. I just felt it rich to start calling people sheep for disagreeing with him, while moaning that he wasnt allowed to express his opinion.

  239. If you check my posts out I have never “slagged” a player off. I have said that certain players are not good enough in my opinion, that is all.

    I won’t stop posting because there seems to be enough decent people of here to discuss all things Arsenal with. I will just ignore the plebs.

    Cheers for the support.

  240. I wasn’t calling you a sheep for disagreeing with me, I am not that arrogant. Anyway I am not into name calling over the internet, so I apologise.

  241. Silver Gunner

    Agreed about flamini his actions paint that of a true mercenary, unfortunately the game is littered with them I mean you only have to look at the English national team the whole bunch of them including cashley mercenaries that dont give two shi%’s about the country they represent, so so so glad theo was not associated with any of that.

  242. Don’t forget that some people still think he’s the “Superman” that got away.

    I bet Le Troll and Co., would give him a hero’s return.

  243. Goonerandy – suspect most people agree with you but can’t be arsed with the inevitable backlash…

  244. Karim:

    “People outside of arsenal still think he is good because they havent watched him properly, he is still thought of as mexicos best prospect even though he was unbelievably shit at the WC. This is why we should sell him now while he still has value.”

    You didn’t watch him properly at the world cup then.

    Has anyone noticed how bulked up Vela looks lately? If he can remain injury free this season I believe that he’ll make a huge impact for us.

  245. God these moaners are a load of whingeing wusses. They pop up from nowhere, give a moan about our manager and our players, but cry for their right for free speech when they are put in their places. For God’s sake this is the internet if you can’t take it don’t hit out in the first place.

  246. I will be booing that as flamoney personally, then I will start laughing at the state of his career.

    Then it will be on to we’ve py got onnnne songggg, one song etc

  247. California Gooner

    goonerandy,
    I just want to point something out regarding your earlier post. We were dismal against the Chelsea and ManU last year — the gulf in class was there for all to see. And yet we were right there in the hunt at the end of the season had our entire first team not been injured. However, in previous years we actually performed much better against the top three and yet found ourselves further back at season’s end… while ManUre were busy accumulating points against the bottom teams.

  248. anyone know the extent of Djourwho’s latest injury???

  249. Cal G,

    Hopefully this season will see us consolidate those experiences you described such that we’ll beat the big, and the small teams and then win the league, having scored the most goals!!

    I can imagine a Vela chip over Peter Cech to crown a 4-nil revenge thrashing.

  250. They said it’s a hamstring, so 2-6 weeks depending on the severity of the pull (unless he aggravates it during rehab).

    A little concerned that Arsene is saying Cesc and Robin might miss the start of the season. I can understand RVP needing a little extra time, but no so sure how physically exhausted Cesc could be. Mentally exhausted perhaps.

    Bendtner out for the start of the season, so it looks like Chamakh will jump right in. I get the feeling Chamakh/Arshavin could be a dangerous pair together this season, even if not playing in a traditional 4-4-2.

  251. @ goonerandy

    But if we go into the season without further additions it is a serious error in judgmenet by our managment.
    Sometimes, getting just anyone in can be an “error of judgement”. Poor Silvestre was slated enough for not being good enough and costing us goals. If we signed somebody like him, who was a so-so defender, wouldn’t you moan about him all season long? It just is not as easy as you think to sign a good player from another club.

    How do you know we haven’t gone a bit over what AW would ideally like to pay? You speak as if you know the detail of negotiations and what the sticking points were. It isn’t always about the money, as you seem to be assuming. And please bear in mind that the story about refusing to pay an extra £2 million for Alonso was fabricated by Miles Palmer. In the case of Ronaldo, perhaps we genuinely didn’t have the £2m at the time. Or perhaps the difference was nearer the £8 million Finsbury quoted. Or perhaps it was a miscalculation by Wenger. But the principle of knowing your limit is sound.

    ***

    @ Ole G
    totally agree about Flamini. I cannot understand why he is still such a hero to some fans. He is a snake, as far as I’m concerned.

  252. I wonder how much of that is Wenger playing his cards close to his chest…?

  253. @ DukeGoonem

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-djourou-should-be-fit-for-weekend

    This is from arsenal.com. Can’t be very serious, even if he isn’t quite back for the weekend.

  254. “Gadget on July 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Post of the day.”

    Agreed.

    “LA – 2nd best post of the day!”

    Hear hear!

    “Ole Gunner on July 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm”

    Right on!

    That was despicable behaviour. He even had his best mate Cesc wasting his time trying to persuade him to stay when he never had any intention of doing so.

    “Has anyone noticed how bulked up Vela looks lately? If he can remain injury free this season I believe that he’ll make a huge impact for us.”

    Me too Gainsbourg69

    Sorry about the economical posting. But not being able to post during the ‘live’ discussion, the moment has kind of passed by the time I get to review the posts in the evening!

  255. California Gooner @ 6:49pm

    Agree. The “big four” mini-league is more about bragging rights these days, rather than a strong indicator of who will win the Premier League.

  256. Out of interest, does anyone know who of the top four won the ‘mini league’?

  257. Lagooner,

    I think that’s just Wenger playing mind games. I’d be surprised if at least one of them doesn’t start at Anfield.

  258. For Djourou to be probably ready for the Emirates he probably barely felt a tweak and not a pull. Still, I’m all in favour of keeping our boys wrapped in cotton wool until the season starts.

    I can imagine Cesc and RVP on the bench for the Liverpool game, just in case…

  259. Hey any one have an idea of when the New kits are due for delivery? I ordered mine and am aware it would be lunched tomorrow, tried tracking it on the official site and its been saying dispatched for weeks now.

  260. great blog, i think arsenal’s major problem is having another CB, pundits always talk about how Man U and Chelsea have so much quality in depth, whereas arsenal never do(well when it comes to defence atleast), and as for a goalkeeper, id say it would be best to sign a quality well known one, but i also think Mannone could do it if called upon, but as always brought up he doesnt have much experience

  261. Gooner Andy:

    “He is a fine athelete, but it is his footballing intelligence that lets him down. He runs down too many blind alleys. I like Theo and hope he kicks on.”

    Theo running down too many blind alleys has fuck all to do with his footballing intelligence. Theo’s pace has him marked as someone who could do the opposing team some damage. Therefore they play three or four defenders on him at any given time. Besides football intelligence is not all about making runs and getting past defenders. Finishing and a well delivered pass, attributes which are inherent in Theo’s game, are also deemed footballing intelligence.

    Would you label Messi’s game against Germany, where he was forced to drop back to receive the ball and got no change from the German defence, a lack of football intelligence? How about Cristiano Ronaldo’s display against Spain? He surely lacks football intelligence according to you.

    This spouting of nonsensical talking points is why others view you as a moaner and a doomer. The minute you show an original argument I’m sure others here wil take the time to talk you down politely.

  262. Am I the only person not bothered about Sol going to Newcastle? He’s a mercenary at the end of the day and will always do what is best for Sol Campbell. He had a couple of good games for us towards the end of last season, but he was also slow and made a few errors that he was lucky to get away with. It was only his history with the club, which allowed those to be overlooked by the majority whilst Silvestre the ex-manc was pilloried for far less. It’s probably better that he leaves on a high after the way he left the club the first time. Third time may not have been so lucky.

  263. Theo – “well delivered pass”…?

  264. I don’t have anything against Sol. He saw a chance to keep on playing at the highest level and keep his wife happy at the same time. Fair play to him. It’s not like Wenger was counting on him to play many games anyway.

  265. JET is looking great – a bulldozer with the feet of a ballet dancer. A bit like Diaby but in American Football gear, and with a left foot instead of a right!

  266. Have to confess I’m still struggling wih the 25 player rule, to be honest. I know we’re covered as far as homegrown players are concerned, but will the ability to add players under 21 in January affect Arsene’s 25 man squad. For example, will he hold back Ramsey and add him in January.

    So far, this is what looks nailed on.
    (3 keepers)-no point even guessing here
    (8 defenders)Sagna, Eboue, Clichy, Gibbs, Djourou, Kos, Vermaelen, New CB
    (9 midfielders/hybrids) Song, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, Walcott, Vela
    (3 forwards) RVP, Chamakh, Bendtner

    That’s 23 players leaving 2 left.

    Traore looks on his way out. Ramsey could be saved for January. Other candidates playing this pre-season so far include Eastmond, Lansbury, Frimpong, Nordtveit and JET.

    My money is on the 23 above with Ramsey being kept in the 25 man squad and Nordtveit being drafted in as a two position emergency back-up.

    Is that a fair interpretation of what the ruling would allow? Maybe Frimpong, JET etc can come in after January if needed for Carling etc.

  267. Yes. He may not be a good crosser of the ball but Theo Walcott knows how to deliver a good pass.

  268. And I feel its only a matter of time before Walcott gets the crosses together. On a whole we dont seem to have too many people in the box when the ball is crossed, I think this is an area in which we could improve.

    Arsenal!

  269. Passenal

    Not bothered at all about Sol, either. I think we got the best of him at his peak, and he did a job for us last season.

    Let’s not forget that as much as I enjoyed every minute of it, the real victims were the Spuds fans who saw their captain leave on a free when he could have commanded a massive fee. He did a Flamini on them if I recall, but it was worse because he had Spurs DNA!

  270. …and where does he deliver these passes to precisely?

    I like Theo a lot, he’s been through some nasty injuries and bounced back so fair play to the lad, he has a lot in his locker – but insightful passing is not one of them.

  271. Damn-I forgot Nasri in the squad. He’s going to be a star this season…

    That leaves Ramsey for the last spot depending on his fitness.

  272. Totally agree about Sol though – he doesn’t owe the club anything – good luck to him.

  273. Lagooner – Gibbs and Wilshere are under 21 – they don’t need to be included in the 25 I think (could be wrong though!)

  274. Not quite Lagooner. It’s no more than 25 players over 21 (of which 8 must be home grown [not English!]) plus unlimited under 21’s. Ramsey does not have to be named in the 25 because of his age, so he can return whenever he is ready. Check Untold Arsenal for the full run-down.

  275. Thanks Passenal. I thought the U21s can be added without any limits after January, but the above makes more sense.

  276. Braga 1 – Scum 0

  277. Braga are playing in AFC’s home kit!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.C._Braga

  278. A message to the doomers from Arsene

    “It is only noise,” he said. “In our job we have to deal with what we can master. What we cannot influence is not to worry about. “

  279. Yep im glad Sol has gone. he has lost a yard and is not the great player he once was. always seems to be involved in defensive howlers of late and also seems to get involved in heavy defeats.

  280. Excellent news Finsbury. I am a Braga fan for the night.

  281. Me to Passenal.

  282. Thanks for the clips Paul N. It’s always good to be reminded of the quality we have in our squad.

  283. Dupsffokcuf, I’m going to be supporting whoever plays Celtic at the weekend as well!

  284. I like the fact that Braga fans are known as ‘Arsenalistas’ in homeage to us!

  285. It’s an injustice that they are even at the Emirates Cup. Dirty scum.

  286. my pleaseure Passenal.

    “Quality” in abundance.

    I am sooo excited about this season and winning the PL is not what I am thinking about. Its a privilege to watch these great young players regardless.

  287. So United are playing the MLS allstars tonight. It seems the MLS allstars have quite a good record in these frienldy/pre season matches.

  288. It’s times like these dupsffokcuf when I think we are too decent for our own good. Tickets are selling really slowly for Sunday despite Arsenal’s best attempts to push the game. Hopefully they won’t be invited back again, especially if they get the chorus of boos they deserve from those who do attend!

  289. Paul N

    Watching those videos makes me shiver.

    Passenal

    After going to the 1st Emirates Cup in 2007 and watching Inter, PSG & Valencia. The last one with Rangers & this one with the Scum seems a step backwards.

  290. Missed out the Madrid, Juve, Hamburg one.

  291. 2-0 Braga

  292. I’m so into this Project Youth, that I’m almost prepared to use the DNA phrase. The familiar refrain is that Barca add one or two quality signings each year, to their DNA-infused squad, and that that is the correct balance. Except that now they are in major financial trouble. For us, I get all the pleasure I need, from seeing our club evolve, with our own DNA-infused green shoots. I include Cesc in that…..(he’s had a DNA transfusion,as far as I’m concerned.) All this talk of sign x or sign y might be necessary in some positions, but is as dull as dishwater for me and misses the point of supporting our great club.

  293. 3-0

  294. So I suppose what I’m saying is, I agree with Paul. And now I’m off to watch Sherlock on iPlayer. Come on Braga!!

  295. Not to be a sourpuss and I am a Theo fan, but isn’t it a little early to have a Top 15 goals for Theo when he’s only scored 24 goals in his career to date (including Soton, England U21, England and Arsenal).

    This kind of video is what leads fans to have unrealistically high expectations for young players like Theo.

  296. Good third goal for the Arsenalistas to celebrate.

    Cr*p dive by Celtic player.

  297. Not really sure I’m upset about Sol leaving this time, I was upset when he left the first time saying he’s going abroad then ended up in Portsmouth.

    Like you said Passenal, he is slow and made mistakes he got away with, with the fans and the referees + media too. (Maybe because he’s English?)

    Anyway, it puts our manager under pressure to replace him, but also good in getting someone a bit younger who can last for a few years.

  298. theo it just a late developer, it happens.

    does anyone have a favourite wenger quote by the way? and how bloody close is todays to top it!

    “It is only noise,” he said. “In our job we have to deal with what we can master. What we cannot influence is not to worry about. “

  299. I agree word, that one is certainly up there with the best.

    Great news that the celtic scum have been crushed by Braga. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of whingers!

  300. Limestonegunner

    Does anyone know if the new home kit will be available at the Arsenal store this weekend? Going for the Emirates Cup and would love to pick it up, since it is truly gorgeous.

    Interesting point by Ole. I think the affection for him comes from the excellent final season he had and how well the team played before fading at the end. But, he did do serious damage, particularly in causing us to lose Diarra, who was a quality player.

  301. Hello all. Long time. Decision to stay away from blogging during the summers has been a great one. Especially when you’ve got a captain that people would really not remember as soon as he fucks back off to where he came from. And who would cheer for him when he plays for classless cunts like the barceholes.

    Good news Sol didn’t sign, as long as we bring in another defender. Which I really hope we do.

    Eduardo’s departure was really a sad one. I did believe when Arsene said, he was part of his plans for the next season. And frankly, given last season’s experience, we needed depth in that position. Didn’t see any harm in keeping him for another season, since we’re financially doing well. And Eduardo hardly got a good run in, to prove himself. Bendtner again gone missing for the start of the season and you can never be too sure about RVP. Bit nervous perhaps I am about the season. Can’t wait no more for the season to start.

  302. How nice to hear Ateeb’s ‘voice’ again.

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