The Season Must Be Close, Injuries Are Coming To The Fore

Business as usual as the injury scaremongering has started to get into full swing. The kickstart it required came in the form of the usual suspects in Austria; Tomas Rosicky and Johan Djourou. The former didn’t even make it onto the pitch despite being named in the starting line-up. There was apparently a ‘small alert’ – Arsene comes up with some wonderfully understated expressions at times – over the Czech international and a meaningless friendly was not the occasion to risk him.

Djourou made it onto the pitch and then had to be helped from it, a small hamstring problem which Arsene believed would be solved by the weekend. Even so, perhaps Saturday would be too soon for him, may be even Sunday is, and there is a chance to see him in action in Poland before the Premier League season begins. Is a pre-season friendly worth taking the risk for one of the players who has suffered cruelly with injuries in recent seasons.

The upcoming Emirates Cup fixtures require rotation of the squad and Wenger would hope to have all fit for at least part of the two matches. Not going to happen with Bendtner, Denilson and Diaby. The latter pair are expected to be fit for the trip to Poland a week on Saturday but the Dane will miss the start of the season.

In itself that is the least surprising news of the week so far. Bendtner carried the injury into the World Cup and said on several occasions that it was troubling him. A rest would have been far better than playing in matches in quick succession. However, there is, at the moment back up to cover for his absence.

Looking back on previous close seasons, Wenger will be relieved that the squad system was not in operation. Long term injuries to players in those summers would have left him light under the new regulations, perhaps even tempting into the transfer market at that time. This summer has been relatively kind in that respect but there is still more than a fortnight to go, along with a round of absolutely pointless international friendlies. Fifa has long been driving the clubs towards reducing the number of games that players are involved with, only for them to be replaced by international weeks, exacerbating the problems.

The return of Cesc and van Persie to training next week is problematic for Wenger. The manager observed that their participation at Anfield is in doubt and depends upon how much fitness the pair has lost during their holidays. I cannot believe that it will have been so much that they are unable to take the field at kick-0ff. They were, after all, training up until three weeks ago; surely they cannot have been drinking twenty pints a day whilst they were away?

A lot of ‘noise’ is how Arsene described the chatter surrounding the reported interest of Barcelona in Cesc. A lot of noise is the expectation with the self-imposed deadline of the Catalans upon us tomorrow. A lot of noise is what we are getting. The big meeting – at least it is in the Spanish media’s eyes – between Wenger and Cesc takes place this week where they are pressurising the midfielder to hand in a verbal transfer request.

The forcefulness of Wenger’s dismissal of Barcelona makes it difficult to envisage any voluntary change of position by Arsenal so the hopes of avoiding egg on their faces is reliant upon Cesc formally asking for a move. Even then, that is only a tiny portion of the chain reaction; Barcelona has to come up with a fee which is acceptable to Arsenal and the longer that this drags on, the less likely either of those actions appears to be.

Attempts by media parties to suggest that there will be a negative reaction to the player when he encounters supporters are pathetic. There will not be any gauntlet to be run; I have yet to meet anyone who does not want Cesc to stay. Some element of the relationship may have been damaged by his silence – or failure to speak on the matter, toning down the chatter of international colleagues – but as long as he is seen to be giving his all for Arsenal, there can be no complaints about him wearing the shirt, nor being captain next season.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 29, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 390 Comments.

  1. Am doing a Now to read d post before i get skeewd

  2. Morning…

  3. Morning all, nice post YW.

    Anyone that seriously believes Cesc will get a bad reception is just stupid. I think he may even get a standing ovation, I am not even joking! I think everyone at the club will be happy to see the guy, and happy his dream club are not able show him how much they really want him. There is no question on Cesc’s commitment to Arsenal, never has been.

    His comments straight after winning the most glamorous prize in football said it all. Even when being humiliated by his Spanish team mates he had the courtesy to immediately dismiss the bahaviour. I think everyone understands the difficult position he was is, and always has been.

  4. Lots of noise 4rm dose scums. All arse fans shld focus our energy on dis cumin season. I would only panic when the window closes and a defender dsnt come in. Till then lets enjoy d pre-season

  5. Lots of noise 4rm dose scums. Cesc would be loved with or without any comments. All arse fans shld focus our energy on dis cumin season and ignore the noise coming from spain. I would only panic when the window closes and a defender dsnt come in. Till then lets enjoy d pre-season

  6. We love u Arsenal we do,
    We love u Arsenal we do,

    Oooooohhh Arsenal we love you!!!!

  7. I agree. I expect Cesc to get the biggest reception ever when he steps out for our first home game. I honestly hope that there are no idiots in the ground who do otherwise, i would feel bad for him, and ashamed of being an Arsenal fan, and i never thought that could happen, but thats my negative fantasy and not yet/ever the reality.
    Im not over concirned about the injuries, appears to me that for once things arn’t that bad

  8. When is the official day of transfer closure

  9. How is all this speculation and controversy going to affect Cesc’s morale, and as a consequence, his performance on the pitch ?
    He is a key player.If his form is affected, how will that rub off on the rest of the lads ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  10. boomer

    It will be a great pleasure to Cesc be himself, run out onto the Emirates with a smile on his face. He is a World Cup winner, the Arsenal Captain, and deserves it. Barca have FAILED, miserably in fact. I know many fans from other clubs who do not look apon their behaviour with much fondness also, they have gone from a club with such a high reputation and history to a classless bunch of twats who you would be ashamed of if they were your own. Barca fans will be the first to agree that the behaviour of the people involved has been shocking and extremely disrespectful.

    Anyway, we shouldn’t waste any more time on this matter. Can’t wait to see Van Persie and Cesc back.. got my new v.Persie 10 shirt today as well!!!!!

  11. Cesc is a winner… did you not notice him playing quite well for Spain despite the constant around the clock hounding by the media?

    I think he will definately be able to play his usual game SPECTRUM if he can put up with all that crap

  12. I Hope ChrisGoona is right and there will be a standing ovation for cesc. He need to see that he is loved there and that we really care about him so he can realise Barca’s will to sign him is just jealousy and not true will to have him.
    Second point in the masterplan to keep him where he belongs is to have a great season and win a trophy. The masterstroke would be to beat the Barcascum on our way to the CL trophy or even better in the final so he can see where the real talent and potential lies.
    Third is hope Mourihno with his ugly tactics wins La Liga, and the Copa del Rey and humiliate Barca at the Camp Nou so guardiola is sacked and due to financial constrains have to sell half their teams.

    I suspect Cesc motivation to move sooner rather than later is that his hero is Guardiola and if he doesn’t move in the next two years he might not be able to play for his hero.

  13. boomer it is 31st of this month…. still tiome to get the defender we all crave

  14. 31 of next month not yet in august

  15. gunnerluc

    Cesc’s desire will always be to play for Barca, as much as I hate the thought of him in a Barca shirt! Bergkamp was Ajax through and through, he had the chance to win with Ajax and was their star man. He came to Arsenal, found a club that played great football, believed in him, and treated him like any great player should be treated. He stayed for the remainder of his career. You can bet if Dennis didn’t get a chance to play for his home club before arriving at Arsenal, he would have left at one point if they came calling.

    Its the same for any of us Arsenal fans who get a chance to play for Real Madrid for example (I would seriously be tempted to lay a few on Mourinho – but thats beside the point) You are playing for Madrid, 5 years have gone, they have shown you love, turned you into a world class player, but you have this desire to play for Arsenal…

    This is the reality and sadness I have with Cesc, as much as I wish he would dream of remaining at Arsenal, we have no affect on this matter. Barca have made his situation worse, and I am sure he realises this. He owes a lot to Wenger and to himself to bring some silverware to the Emirates, he has many years left to return to his home town.. untill then we should play hard ball, he has a long contract, and I am pretty sure he has a burning desire to win a trophy for us.

  16. There’s ‘talk’ of Rosicksy being rested with a view to protecting any imminent transfer of him….

  17. We need four or five players in. All of which must fit Wengers criteria. That is, they must be better than what we already have, and/or are “top,top quality”, and/or are experienced.
    That’s two c.b.’s ( remember we’ve lost Campbell ) ,a tough defensive midfielder, a goalkeeper, and probably another striker to cover for the loss of Eduardo,and the injured Bendtner.
    Anyone seriously think we’re going to sign all FOUR or FIVE of the above in the remaining few weeks ? It just isn’t going to happen.
    So what will the wise Professor do ? Either make do, and hope to get by ( again ), or else supplement the ranks with his beloved kids. All of whom would have little or no first team experience, and a couple of which may not make the step up. Hardly fills one with optimism for the coming season, does it ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  18. Hmmm, Rosicky is a starange one. An excellent player, but as we all know has his issues with injuries. I really rate him, but if a good offer comes in Arsene might just be tempted to let him go knowing Wilshere is straining at the bit for more games.

    I hope we keep him though. After losing Gallas/Silvestre/Campbell he is one of the few in the squad with experience.

  19. As I understand it last season several players returned early to action because injuries hit us in unlucky bunches. Denilson, Arshavin, Fabregas, Clichy, Bendtner and was it Vermaelen or Gallas or both seemed to be playing through injuries at various times, and not healing properly.

    The purchase of Chamakh, the rise and rise of JET, injury free Walcott so far, should relieve us of that burden for the most part up front. If Bendtner misses a month, fine. We cope. And in midfield if Rosicky has a little scare, fine, midfield has some options. We can fairly easily rotate per injury or form or fitness as it stands, and the so-called squad players are there to enable this.

    In defence it is still problematic because basically an injury to Tommy will hurt us. Certainly, we are still in the hunt for one more ‘first choice’ CB.

    This season I am not so worried about injuries; we might have the same tough call as last season but some things can’t be planned for except in having depth in the team and allowing players to recover fully after injury. I don’t see Arsenal being too dependent on Cesc or RvP either.

    I’m also not worried about a jumpy start to the season. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. On this point alone SAF has been tactically astute.

    May the games begin …. please! Maria is bored, and frankly, so am I.

    Somehow we have more depth and its coming from the emergence of the youth and reserves.

  20. I propose that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next four weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas. Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA. I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All you need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting. Momentum will be boosted by you forwarding the email to every one of your Arsenal FC fan family & friends, encouraging them to participate.
    The aim of repetitive letters is to create an Admin headache for UEFA & FIFA with thousands of letters received from all over the world & display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans. The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from us fans.
    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is ……..

  21. I propose that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next 4 weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas. Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA. I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All you need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting. Momentum will be boosted by you forwarding the email to every one of your Arsenal FC fan family & friends, encouraging them to participate.
    The aim of repetitive letters is to create an Admin headache for UEFA & FIFA with thousands of letters received from all over the world & display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans. The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from us fans.
    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is ……..

  22. Rosicky must stay, he has looked sharp in pre-season, and his experience is very valuable.


    pop down to Old trafford to see who they have bought. That is truly a team full of rust, or even Chelsea, old players all sitting on 100k plus. Do you think this is a smart way to run a club then? You prefer this over having the best talent coming through and challenging for trophies knowing that your club will be around in 10 years time? Seems a bit odd to me!

  23. DNFTVI

  24. Vucking Inbred?

    In Arsene we rust???

    Eduado has gone, the great dane is injured but we still have:-

    Chamack, RVP, Vela, Arshavin and theo, plus we have wellington silva coming in january.

    Gallas, Silvestre and Sol have gone but we still have:-
    TV, LK, JD and HV as back up plus I am sure wenger will buy another centerback.

    In addition to these players we have the likes of Wilshire, JET, eastmond who will be knocking on the door waiting for an opportunity to stake a claim in the team.

    No need for panick stations yet, I also think he will sign a keeper.

  26. A standing ovation for cesc will show our fan power. Put yourself in his position he himself will be worried about his reception. Now imagine he walks onto the pitch and gets a massive reception. It’ll be cemented in his mind, and show how much we love him and remind him why he loves us.

    Add that with the behaviour of the spanish team and barca twats. A couple of trophies next season for us and he’ll sign another contract with us.

  27. An ovation, fine. But a standing one? What’s he done to deserve it?

    I am expecting a very strongly worded pledge of allegience from Cesc, and frankly an apology… and until we get that the next time he’ll get a standing ovation from me will be the next time he puts in a performance worthy of one.

  28. Limpar

    He is our captain, top goalscorer and assist for last season.
    Our most valued player.
    A World Cup winner and he dedicated the WC win to Arsenal and their fans!
    For me this is worth a standing ovation.

  29. i am with you gunnerluc

  30. Thanks SG, plenty of time

  31. Limpar i’m with gunnerluc.

    Also whichever way we look at it, Peer pressure is a strong thing and he has just spent the whole summer with those twats also his family must always be pressuring him, not to mention his father is his agent would personally benefit financially I imagine. Even if he does want to go he isn’t (so far) pushing it, he is coming back here and that deserves praise.

  32. Silver Gunner – Most of those you quoted are KIDS.Talented kids, yes, but INEXPERIENCED. But that is one of the reasons why we haven’t won anything for so long.Wengers blind faith in POTENTIAL, that hasn’t come to fruition.
    Where are the players that fit Wengers OWN criteria ?- ( see my previous post, and read it again). The ones he assured us he WOULD sign from last season ? It’s over reliance on kids that has largely, though not exclusively, resulted in failure . Unless your definition of success is top 4 ( again ) ?
    ‘In Arsene we rust”.

  33. Wengers had to put faith into kids because we couldn’t replace an ageing invincibles squad by going out and buying… so we’ve had to make do.

    This whole notion that Arsene doesn’t buy is Poppycock. Nasri, Vermaelan, Arshavin. He has supplemented where needed, no?

  34. Spectrum what’s your definition of experience and then give us some player examples.


    If we go and buy 4-5 big players like you say the kids as you so eloquently put it would never get a chance and for us being “over reliant” on kids we were still so close last season.

    I stand by my believe that we only need an experienced defender and keeper you faith has wavered for all the millions the spuds have spent they will only make 4 if they are lucky as i think the man shitty will take that place this season.

    Can you not see that wenger is trying to do something against the norm, which is one of the reasons that the media are mostly anti wenger, pioneers are often seen as quacks that don’t know what they are doing until they achieve their goal and then people sit up and take note of what has been achived.

    I firmly believe if you are good enough you are old enough regardless of age, he has faith in his players but i would not call it blind as every year he sells on youngsters that he does not deem good enough.

    My point is that if you truly love arsenal you must trust in wenger, yes he is stubborn but at the same time who else could have achived what he has in the manner he has. and yes top 4 is success with the players he have if you want sucess at a price then arsenal may not be the team for you. If you want success the right way in the best interests of the club then arsenal is the club for you.

    Just out of interest how much would you spend this summer on players if you could? and on what type of player?

  36. ZimPaul makes a good point. We will always have injuries; all clubs will have injured players at some point in the season. Our problem last year was being hit by a batch of both very bad injuries lasting significant portions of the season and batches of injuries to players in the same position.

    Rosicky and Bendtner missing August should not be a problem with Nasri and Chamakh being able to play the same roles. The problem comes if they are out for extended periods of time.

    By my calculation we have 22 of the 25 possible 21 or over squad places filled (ignoring people like Jay Simpson that are up for sale) plus probably 10 under 21s who will likely play a meaningful part of the season, so we could bring in another 3 players.

    Amongst the under 21s, there are however 4 players who appear to be part of Arsene’s long term plans who are 20, and would thus count towards the 25 for next year: Gibbs, Traore, Szczesny and Nordtveit, so there will be a reluctance to bring in players only to be effectively forces to sell some players next summer to make room. One defender coming in would not cause too many problems (there are always players who leave each year) and a goalkeeper on a one-in-one out basis would also be fine.

    I believe that many clubs and supporters have not grasped the effect of this new rule, now the new financial regulations that will come in from 2012. Arsenal have clearly been planning for this. As ChrisGoona points out, ManU and Chelsea are starting to grasp reality.

  37. The notion of a team full of kids is becoming a misnomer now, of Wenger’s (likely) starting 11 Diably, Song and Walcott are the closest you could describe as kids and are all full internationals with a lot of appearances under thier belts now. If we need 4 or 5 starters to come in the 6 or 7 we put out every week last year must have performed miracles considering where we finished….

  38. nick the team with the big headache is man city they have an amazing squad but will have to have a firesale or face having 12-13 well paid players twiddling their thumbs

  39. Spectrum here follows a list of players who are all highly experienced players on International, Premiership and Champoins league fronts…

    Van Persie

    Heres some with medium exp

    Hey what do you know these are all Arsenal players. It’s a thing of the past that these players have no experience. If your asking for Jagielka’s then these listed players will piss on a player like that for top quality experience in the more valued competitions.

  40. Spectrum

    You are completely out of touch with reality. Wenger is the finest manager around, you should be glad we have a manager that doesn’t rely on big transfers to make up for a lack of ability.

  41. I’ve plundered the lists below from the official site.

    Non-homegrown players over 21

    1 Manuel Almunia (May 19, 1977)
    2 Abou Diaby (May 11, 1986)
    3 Bacary Sagna (February 14, 1983)
    5 Thomas Vermaelen (November 14, 1985)
    6 Laurent Koscielny
    7 Tomas Rosicky (October 4, 1980)
    8 Samir Nasri (June 26, 1987)
    11 Robin van Persie (August 6, 1983)
    21 Lukasz Fabianski (April 18, 1985)
    23 Andrey Arshavin (May 29, 1981)
    27 Emmanuel Eboue (June 4, 1983)
    29 Marouane Chamakh (January 10, 1984)

    Homegrown players over 21

    4 Cesc Fabregas (May 4, 1987)
    15 Denilson (February 16, 1988)
    17 Alex Song (September 9, 1987)
    20 Johan Djourou (January 18, 1987)
    24 Vito Mannone (March 2, 1988)
    52 Nicklas Bendtner (January 16, 1988)
    22 Gael Clichy (July 26, 1985)

    Under 21s

    12 Carlos Vela (March 1, 1989)*
    14 Theo Walcott (March 16, 1989)*
    16 Aaron Ramsey (December 26, 1990)*
    19 Jack Wilshere (January 1, 1992)*
    28 Kieran Gibbs (September 26, 1989)*
    30 Armand Traore (October 8, 1989)*
    53 Wojciech Szczesny (April 18, 1990)*

    A quick count tells us that we have seven homegrown over 21s in a squad of nineteen. This ruling isn’t going to affect us this season.

  42. Thanks gib

    Looks like our manager knows what he is doing, right doomers? lol

  43. Good post Yogi, it concerns me that Cesc and RVP look like missing the Anfield opener.

    Its paramount we get off to a good start and i would be hoping our best eleven be out there to get a good result.

    Its not going to be easy as Liverpool will also be ‘up for it’ and wanting the same to not only impress their new manager but their fans as well that a new dawn awaits.

    Its not that Cesc played that much during the World Cup and was tired, i just hope that decision if taken doesnt come back and haunt us.

  44. Woah gib good work, I have to say there were a couple on the ‘non’ list that I thought would have counted towards…

    Such as Diaby and Van Persie.

  45. Top work Gib. The City thing will be fascinating. Lots of players surplus to requirements on massive wages. Nobody will want to pay them making transfers difficult without some Robbie Fowler type arrangements whereby City keep paying the salaries of long departed players. Hardly a way to run a football club….

  46. We need 16 players or we’re facing relegation next season…..

    Wookash- Flappy
    Sagna-Dodgy hair
    Koscielny- emasculated
    Cesc-Gone to Catalunya
    Theo-Blind mouse
    Chamakh-Not Drogba
    Nasri-Not nasty
    Song- Too African

    Sell all these players, bring in some proper players or relegation is a real prospect

  47. Els – If you think we have enough experienced players, then why did Wenger say he would sign MORE ? And again, I repeat ; they must meet the criteria Wenger himself set down, he indicated this in his own words. To say any different would be saying he is a liar ( who, Wenger ? never ! ).
    To get through a long hard Premiership season, you need experienced heads, to help the young ones through the tough periods. To help lift morale when things go against you.Campbell is a good example.
    You can’t have it both ways – either we have enough experience or we don’t. Either you’re wrong, or Wenger’s a liar.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  48. Yes SPECTRUM, I defo agree with you. Wenger is driving Arsenal down. Why is he so stubborn, the world his mother and her cyberlover says Wenger must sign but he wants super super players. 16 players is what we need. We dont have time.

  49. SPECTRUM he did sign more, Kosc, Cham and maybe another and I agree we could do with another CB but 5 or 6??? No way and as people said it will ruin so many promising players futures and those players are the future of the club

  50. OleG

    You forgot:

    Pat Rice – Just another useless AKB

    Liam Brady – eh?

    Steve Bould – What’s he training those kids for. Does he think that he is some kind of manager, or something?

    Grimandi – uh? What is a s.c.o.u.t.?
    ‘Appy ‘Arry just twitches, sniffs and follows his nose as he crawls up out from the boglands. What is wrong with that?

    Ashburton Grove?
    It’s rubbish. There’s a good five-a-side pitch down near Woolwich that I know of…

  51. I am happy with the new ruling regarding the squads as I think it beneitits us more than most (all) of the other PL clubs.

    Whilst some of our youngsters are not ready for the 1st team, if injuries hit (as they will) I would rather them come into the team than any young players others squads have. This is an area where Arsene’s policy will definately bear fruit.

    Also due to a number of our players coming through the youth/reserve set up and therefore not taking up the places of “players over 21 not home grown” leaves us more flexibility in the transfer market. Look at Man City; they are going to have to offload plently of players before they can buy.

  52. Another day,

    Another nice post from YW.

    Another Sp*d Troll.

  53. Tell me about Finsbury. Its quite funny though, you would think people had far greater concerns in life than being jealous of Arry Redknapp spending more on absolute shite!

    Just enjoy the footy people, this season will be a good one 😀

  54. Chris Goona – I’M out of touch with reality ? Don’t you analyse events, people and actions ? Do you just meekly accept anything and everything your manager says and does ? Do you never question or challenge him ? Can’t you think for yourself ?
    I’m talking about the stagnation that has occurred over the last few years. Why do supporters of his always regurgitate the past? No one, me included wants to diminish Wengers achievements.But for the last couple of seasons at least, he HAS had funds available, and has CHOSEN not to spend, even when the team is crying out for quality reinforcements. And that’s just ONE ASPECT of his flawed management.
    I try to be objective, and take a balanced view. Because of this, I care about Arsenal the club, not Arsene the manager. If the manager is not taking the club FORWARD any more, for whatever the reason, then we need to speak out and demand a different course be taken. If not, he should go.The club is more important than the person who runs it.
    ” In Arsene we rust”.

  55. Gib,

    I think the rule is based on the start of the season rather than the calendar year, so Vela and Walcott would count as over 21?

    I miscalculated earlier; we only have 21 of the 25 births (or 19 if Walcott and Vela count as under 21) as I’d still got Eduardo on the list! The point is that we are prepared and ready.

    Silver Gunner is right about Man City, and is a good example of what happens when a football club is run like a kid in a sweet shop.

    As Els says, we do not have a squad of kids. We have a squad that is full of experienced internationals, many just happen to be still young. Look how many Arsenal players were at the World Cup? Two played in the final (more than any other Premier League club I think). I don’t see that having a squad full of 30 somethings is something to be proud of? Messi is 23; is he an inexperienced kid? Ozil is 21, another useless kid? Thomas Muller, 20, a pointless youth who just happened to score 5 goals in the World Cup?

  56. Yes SPECTRUM, Arsene chooses not to spend. What’s so difficult about transfers? You google the player, ceck his wikipedia, and then look at his youtube videos. If he is suitable you go with a briefcase of cash to his club, and come home with the players. Simple.

    The problem is all these fans who dont analyse what happens but just eat ou of Arsene’s arsenal. Like you I’m sick of it. We need 16 players now.

  57. If the manager is not taking the club FORWARD any more

    hahahahahaha… joke of the day! God it gets funnier by the day!

  58. Well done spectrum when you can’t ansewr OUR questions you anti-supporters regurgitate the same old don’t you question mindless sheep bollocks, maybe you just can’t comprehend what support means and that we see that Wengers actions have a bigger goal than just using a cheque book.

    Your brain doesn’t work the same way, it’s not your fault maybe you should support Man City or a team that’s easy for pundits to praise and therefore easy to support.

  59. YW

    You need to start up a weekly competition of some sort, we got a few comedians on here! How about a Joke of the week compilation with a top 10 count down? will be a shame to not reward such greatly hilarious comments

  60. “Messi is 23; is he an inexperienced kid? Ozil is 21, another useless kid? Thomas Muller, 20, a pointless youth who just happened to score 5 goals in the World Cup?”

    Argue that SPECTRUM. You see experience and age are entirely different, I think your after mercenary hard men who can kick lumps out of talented footballers. Hey have you seen bolton play? They really might suit you. Check them out there on the web and everything.

  61. Nick,

    Walcott could count as U-21 or over-21 by the rule. He was born after the cut-off date, but at the same time he was 21 in March. Same with Vela.


    While we do have a squad full of internationals, we only have 1 single player above the age of 30, and our eldest defender is 26.

    The squad we have this season will be the youngest in recent seasons.

  62. LOL @Ole Gunner.

    Get rid of the fuckign lot I say….

    @ELS…how goes you my good friend? Long time. Are you as giddy about the new season as I am? Can’t wait.

    What I find interesting is that the reality check hasn’t hit clubs and only on Sept 1st will clubs and their fans realise the wisdom of Arsenal.

    Clubs up and down the EPL are going to be flummoxed and distressed about the impact of the 25 man home grown rule.

    Arsenal is best placed to deal with this set up and even more, Arsenal is still best placed financially to absorb the long term implications of this 25 man rule.

  63. Nick + anyone who gave me thanks for the list.

    None of it is my own work, I just copied and pasted the list at and then separated into three lists rather than have some in bold and some with the asterisks. I haven’t put any more effort into it than that so no credit is due.

    Similarly, if it’s wrong then I’ve got a convenient scapegoat. Well, unless the problem is inept copying and pasting in which case I can only apologise.

  64. ZimPaul @ 10.59

    Spot on as usual, just what was going through the grey matter when I read YW’s post.

    Injuries will happen and as pointed out on several occasions all teams have suffered. What’s that stat.;
    all the leagues in Europe suffer the same injury levels until new year when the premiership doubles in incidents, then after Easter that figure rises to 4x any other league.
    It’s just how it is.

    The squad this year seems to have the right combination of experience and youthful promise/zest. CB +1 excepted.
    We have to allow Eastmond, Frimpong and Wilshire et al, access from now on or the last five years will have been pointless.

    I am expecting good things from JET too. I think he will be this years Ramsey.

  65. I hope Frimpong gets a few minutes, he looks like a Bolton type player (with added skill and passing ability) who will certainly break a few legs to the liking of Spectrum.

  66. I like the look of Frimpong as well. If we need a defensive midfidler to step up from the ranks I would prefer him to get a look in over Eastmond. he just seems to have more about him.

  67. Grim.

    I concur. It’s criminal not to give the opportunities to those like Wilshere, Eastmond, Gibbs, JET, Nordtveit et al, otherwise, the last growth period for these youngsers and the investment Arsenal has made in them will be a complete waste.

    Now is not the time to give up on them and there’s a good balance of experience for them to play alongside.

  68. Is it Bolster Flimsy Argument with CAPITALS Day on here again?

    And no sight of Naga either. He’ll kick himself for missing this one.

  69. There is nothing more exciting than someone coming through the youth/reserves…

    PLUS, the likes of Wilshire, Lansbury, Frimpong, Thomas will have had a better education in playing the Arsenal way than most of the current crop. It really shows in the pre-season that a lot of work has gone into grooming them. Still early days though, pre-season is very much different to Premier League and even Carling Cup football.

    When the pressure is on we will only see how they fair, and only a couple will get the manager’s trust to warm the bench or start a few games. It is why Wenger kept Wilshire out of the spotlight this time last year after promising so much in pre-season and in the Emirates Cup.

  70. Göteborg Gunner

    Could someone post the home grown stats for other PL clubs, Chelsea, City & United. Are they fine with this rule or struggling. Thanks.

  71. Emmanuel Frimpong is the new Anthony Annan… who is the new Michael Essien… who is the new…

    Hold on… Samuel Galindo is the new Emmanuel Frimpong now. Unlucky, Emmanuel. Missed the window. These things have a half-life my boy.

  72. Ole I imagine our squads average has plummeted with the loss of certain players, but notch up the champs and international performances of our average first team next season it won’t look any worse.

    DARIUS, were have you been? Good to hear from you. I am desperate for the season now. Loved the Austrian kids display, they look like many are on the cusp of being massive players. This season, this season I can feel it in my water.

    gib not your originally but still a good post.

    CG my sentiments exactly i’d rather see promotions than signings, and as an arsenal fan surely that should be the way. That way you know they have a great chance of being able to play Wengerball.

  73. Chris Goona – Perhaps the reason Ozil, Mueller, e.t.c. are doing well, is because their club boss has been able to extract the best out of them, get them motivated to play well for their clubs,and has been able to INTEGRATE them into the teams playing style more efficiently ? We have very talented individuals. But do you see them playing as a UNIT ? (How often have we seen that lately ?)
    Combine all that with a manager who has a thorough knowledge of tactics, and you go a long way to having a team that wins things. Mourinho is an example, but that’s another story. As I said money management is just ONE ASPECT of Wengers flawed ways. The above are some more that should be taken into account.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  74. Grim, (+numerous others)

    I agree on +1 centre back. I’d prefer someone flexible such as Zapata, Vertonghen or Kompany, as we are just as likely to have Song injured as we are Vermaelen.

    I also wonder if the emergence of Frimpong will see Song moving back in a centre back role?

    Spectrum’s comment about having players who can lift heads when spirits are down is a good one, and Campbell certainly did that last year. I would argue however that this is not a factor of age but personality. Tony Adams could do that at 20, but Robert Pires couldn’t at 30. Both are Arsenal legends, but both are very different people. Arsenal have lacked “fighters” in the last couple of years, and I think Arsene has realised that with signings such as TV and LK, and you can see form Djourou’s comments that the message has been heard.

  75. Spectrum

    Wenger did not become our most successful manager ever through having no knowledge of tactics, and by being unable to create a ‘unit’.

    You have lost the plot and have serious issues against our manager. How about you write down for us all the nice things you like about this team, it may make you feel better.


  76. Spectrum,

    How can you argue about Arsene’s money management? He has kept the club in the Champion’s League every year while living with the financial restraints of building a new stadium and redeveloping Highbury? Arsenal is now probably the most financially sound major club in Europe (Bayern Munich being the possible exception).

  77. ELS…been doing a lot of travelling and catching up with work mainly….just trying to get back into the groove and re-entry is somewhat challenging after a brief hiatus.

    Like you, I am so desperate for Wengerball, it ain’t even funny any more. I’ve enjoyed the pre-season games and particularly watching Frimpong, Wilshere and JET. Nasri and Theo also seem to have a monkey they want to get off their backs to prove a point about being left out of the world cup.

    I also like Chamakh’s ‘bring it on’ attitude. Bring on Stoke, Bolton, Blackburn and all other hoofball teams… Aside from his quality, I like his disciplinary record (LOL! has picked up quite a few yellows and red cards for his troubles). We need that sort of aggressiveness combined with Wengerball.

  78. Nick…Forbes magazine has for the last 2 years running placed Arsenal as the 3rd most financially stable/wealthy club in the world after Man United and Real Madrid.

    The board has chosen to balance squad development with the systematic running down of the stadium debt while developing from within. The faster the stadium debt comes down, the faster Arsenal will have fluid funds from organic revenue to build and develop the squad for decades to come.

  79. Great blog today, YW.

    @ goonerandy
    “but as we all know (Rosicky) has his issues with injuries. ”
    He’s had one serious injury which, once diagnosed properly, needed surgery twice and is taking him a while to recover from. That’s not the same as being injury prone. I think it highly unlikely that AW is looking to shed a player of his all-round talent and experience.

    @ LA at 11:16am.
    Agree. Well, I wouldn’t go as far as demanding the apology, but yeah to the rest.

    @ Nick
    “having players who can lift heads when spirits are down is a good one, and Campbell certainly did that last year. I would argue however that this is not a factor of age but personality.”

    Exactly. Good point.

    God I need some proper football. 16 days to wait. Anyone else going to the Emirates Cup?

  80. Nick – Those “financial restraints” are no longer as onerous as they were. Last season the board if you remember, said Wenger could have the money if he needed it. He CHOSE not to use it. This time round, he has around 30-40 million, as the clubs stadium debt and other outlays are now reduced. He still has not spent , nor shows any URGENCY to do so, despite being just a couple of weeks away from the Liverpool match. We all know we need strengthening.Wenger has said so, and set down criteria he will look for in new players. Stop making apologies for his inaction and downright neglect.
    “In Arsene we rust “.

  81. Wenger can not manage money, and the team does not play as a unit. Watch all our goals, instead of passing combinations, we see Vermaelen dribbling from the back to score. Nobody passes to each other. There is no team work. Do you see them playing as a unit like Mourinho’s teams? Mourinho is the King of the world, and you can not win without him. I agree with SPRECTRUM. Wenger is taking us down. Wenger does not care about the fans only his kids.

  82. Arsenal NOT playing as a unit??

    Few Arsenal players look better when they leave, Wenger gets more than the best out of them as he makes them play as a unit – the whole is always better than the sum of the parts…..

  83. Yes, we have no financial restraints. We can buy any player we want, and every player will leave his club after a phone call from Gunersaurus. Seriously, who wouldn’t? Every player will fit in here. Just take the briefcase of money on a plane Arsene. It’s really not that difficult.

  84. Spectrum you should call yourself Tantrum, which could be twisted to Tantric, and you could become a sexual guru of note, and blog on those sites. In fact I rename you TANTRIC in your great honour. Your wild gesticulations and contortions of fact in the fantasy world you inhabit make you ideal.

    VI = village idiot which is a personal term I use for village idiots. Every village has a few dreary souls who thrive on misery and self-defeat.

  85. RECTUM is making sense. The AKBs are suppressing his good points because they can not think for themselves. We need 16 players and we have to play as a unit instead of playing kids all the time.

  86. Speaking of players who seek greener pastures after being convinced Arsenal doesn’t play as a unit any more….

    “Hleb has already been offered to English clubs earlier this summer and would be available for about £4million – just two years after the Catalans splashed out £12m to take him from
    Arsenal .

    The 29-year-old has previously sparked interest from Aston Villa , Sunderland
    and West Ham United, and remembers his time in England fondly.

    Hleb admitted last year that he should never have left Arsenal and was even considered by Barca as a player to offer in part exchange for Cesc Fabregas this summer.”.

    Hleb seems to be within Arsenal’s price range. Why don’t we get him in…and while doing that…Flamini seems to be a bit under the weather. Song surely needs support in the middle, doesn’t he?

  87. Darius, well I’m glad your back and the sooner you get the other Arsenal blog worth a read the better for my liking.

    Yeah the boy’s look pretty good, i’m also crossing my fingers for Lansbury too.

    Chamack’s got balls all right i’m hoping he and TV (now the senior defender) will provide a bit of aggression (new Arsenal buzz word).

    Anyway you don’t have time for chit chat get over too Stonecold.

  88. 0LE. fucking hell 16 players why even pretend t0 supp0rt us. FUCK 0FF

  89. Make a note. It’s important to use capital letters when STRESSING a point. Ole? Your otherwise devastating list of the 16 DUDS we are carrying, (the descriptions were hilarious) might have more WEIGHT had you applied this rule of BLOGGING.

  90. Yes, I think Ole and Spectrum is right. What on earth has Wenger been wasting his time on, flash stadium, richest club.. its all bollocks,.

    Why do we need a nice stadium, steady future.. lets cash it all in for a league and champs league title.

    Sell the stadium to spurs for cut-price, and lets win a title or 2, we can even play at Barnet. With all the extra cash, we can afford to pay Arshavin 200k a week, bring in Torres on 300k a week, and some over hyped English players so we get in good with the media

  91. tommygoon,

    I am a gooner of 40 years. I only speak the truth that our great leader wont allow. We are a big club. We can afford 16 players

  92. Heh @ FunGunner.

    I presume that you are joking in saying that Rosicky is not injury prone. He picked up his injury pretty much the same time as Eduardo who nearly lost his foot. Eduardo played again before him. Crazy.

    After long serious injuries players often pick up smaller ones on a regular basis as their body has over compenstated whilst carrying the original injury. Picking up injuries on a regular basis, is sometimes known as being “injury prone”. Unfortunetly TR7 is just this. An exceptional player none the less though.

  93. Ooh aah, ouch, RECTUM, good one Ole G.

    Wish I had thought of it.

    Must we spent our entire off-season giving trippy trolls a light-hearted look at themselves; it’s too easy. Still, it passes the time. Roll on the season.

  94. Ole…. only 16 players..!!..

    The youth setup needs scrapping too mate, these youths will never do it, lets cash in and make a +30s setup where we breed experienced players. We could even setup a middle age home for all the past it players to go settle down at. That will attract the best experienced players in.

  95. Ole you sarcasm seems to work.the trolls are fewer today.

  96. They don’t like it when someone actually agrees with them!

  97. Personally I would scrap the Emirates malarkey. Stadiums are pretty overrated. We could share. Imagine the players we could buy if we sold it! Every thought of that Wenger? WAKE UP!

  98. Not to worry ELS…just pacing myself. SCA Towers will be open soon enough. A bit of chitty chat will help with the reorientation.

    I like that both Koscielny and Chamak are not averse to taking one for the team.

    Listening to the air waves and scanning the news wires, you do get the impression though that a lot of so called Arsenal fans are going to contemplate suicide if we start the season with Almunia in goal. Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all (the mass suicide and culling of the dead wood from the Gooner population).

  99. But seriously …

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  100. OK you’ve got it all wrong ever since we got RID of Bruce Rioch things have never been the same. FFS who is this frenchy froggy frenchy french fella anyway!!!

    He can’t man manage, sort finances, I mean can you believe WE used to have Igor stepanovs and stephen hughes, didn’t they both move ONTO Real Madrid for £5m and ARE now worth what 20 times that?

    He’s dragging this club to the ground and all you brainless sheep just put up with it cos your happy with not winning things. Your ALL LOSERS

  101. Darius

    I think Wenger is keeping Almunia purposefully for that reason. The Emirates is a much more pleasant place with the moan and le groan lot absent.

  102. Ole Gunner – Thanks for the support amongst all these Wenger slaves.They’ll not have a bad word said about their master. He can do no wrong, despite myself and others arguing to the contrary. Best leave them to it. No doubt they’ll have a ready excuse at the end of another empty season, and the one after that and….you get the picture, I’m sure.
    About the 16 players. I think that’s an exaggeration. I’d settle for five. two cb’s, a dm, gk, and a striker. Of course, we’ll end up with either none or one, leaving us short when injuries hit. As happened last season. But hey, who could have known we ‘d get hit by injuries ?. Can’t blame Wenger for that, now can we ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  103. Chris G and ZimPaul,

    You lads are breaking my disguise!

  104. Darius I emphatically insist we start with Almunia and make the potion a little stronger by giving him a pre-season award of some sort. Yes, there’ll be Gooners 1-999 throwing themselves off the nearest tall building. It’s for the best.

  105. awww guys, u scared Spectrum off

    Come back little troll !!

  106. Darius I think that is the way forward haha.

    Almunia I agree really isn’t that bad, it would take one decent game and the headlines would be utterly positive, then the fans would follow. But before that game happend, once the more troubed supporters got wind of him being included they would all top themselves and as you say we’d be better off at Arsenal and definately the blogosphere.

  107. SPECTRUM (The best Arsenal fan in the world)

    Thanks for returning, this blog has missed your truefully great insight into team affairs. Please shed some more light on where our club has failed so miserably!

    Sorry Ole.. I had to join in! This is too fun

  108. ZimPaul – Spelling error in your name – should be a “D”, not “Z’.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  109. Almunia was the best Premiership goalkeeper the year before last, now everyone seems to prefer Sorenson, Jaskeleinen, Jim, Bob down the road, and Mr Patel.

    Fuckin stupid short sighted fans. He made some mistakes last year, but there is a major major over reaction. I would happily take someone else if they are better, but I doubt Wenger has a GK as a priority to bring in.

  110. I want to thank Ole Gunner for bravely supporting SPECTRUM on today’s VI special. It’s about time the truth was told on this site. Sleepy arsene lost me when he lost Joe Cole on a free. In arsene we rutststs, whatever, you know what I mean.

  111. You’re one sharp cookie Sprectum.

  112. Everybody point and laugh at SPECTRUM.


  113. I don’t hate my team, I just hate the manager, the stadium, the board, half of the players and most of the fans who don’t agree with me. I’m a gooner.

  114. i get no plaeasure from the football. What I really care about is transfers.

  115. This is what we should have done…

    The 16 mentioned players out… just release them, they aren’t worth waiting for buyers because they are soooo crap.


    J.Cole .. 120k a week would have sealed it

    Buffon .. 39 years old, paralysed.. 150k a week

    A. Cole.. English reckon hes the best around, get him back, 170k a week

    Torres.. needs to buy hair dye urgently, payrise to 200k a week should do it, give Liverpool the stadium too – success is far more important.

    Terry.. we need more thuggish pricks in our team – 80m

    Rooney.. more hype and good looking players like him will make us a media goldmine – 100m

    I cant be bothered to replace the whole 16, I think I ran out of cash also, but these 6 are awesome, we would rule the world. AND by playing at Barnet.

  116. Almunia didn’t just make “some mistakes” though did he. Spilling the odd shot is a mistake.

    It seems to be his decision making which has let him down (on too many occaisions). From push a cross into his own net angainst Manure, to charging off his line (when there wa no need at all) against barca for that Twat Ibrohimozvc to score. That is just 2 of the top of my head.

    He seems a really nice guy, but he is not a good enough goalkeeper for a team chasing hte title. It is such an important position as well, it is not as though our right back is a bit dodgy or something.

  117. I don’t hate my team, I just hate the manager, the stadium, the board, half of the players and most of the fans who don’t agree with me. I’m a gooner.

    My favourite so far LMAO

  118. Chris Goona – There’s not a lot wrong with the team,but the way it has been managed for the last few years. Wenger is stale, and a has been. It’s sad to say this, as I admired and respected him and what he achieved.
    O.k. AKB’s, let me turn the question around ; can you truly be objective for a few milliseconds, and tell me what you think Wenger has done WRONG ? Not just this season, but the last few. Can you even find any criticism at all ? REAL criticism ? Go on – you won’t hurt Arsenes feelings. Give it a go. You’ll feel better for it.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  119. Zim Paul….if we’re to follow the advice of the Rectum, ‘Dimbabwe’ doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?

    I sometimes wonder what the definition of a world class keeper is. There’s a lot of that “Arsenal needs a world class keeper” being bandied about.

    Pray tell what is the definition of world class.

    does that mean a keeprer who has played at the world cup?

  120. AKBs think Wenger can do no wrong, but really Wenger can do no right. SPECTRUM nails it again. He can not even get the 16 or 5 players we need. Wenger is a has been, at some point the magic dust was vacuumed off him. It’s his maid’s fault but I digress.

    I know better than Wenger as does SPECTRUM. If we can see it, why can’t Arsene?

  121. Darius – We just need somebody better that what we have. Almunia and Fabianski simplyjust cost the side too many goals.

  122. “Rooney.. more hype and good looking players…”

    LOL – I stopped reading at that point.

  123. LA @ 11:16 am – For once I have to disagree with you. I am expecting a very strongly worded pledge of allegience from Cesc, and frankly an apology… and until we get that the next time he’ll get a standing ovation from me will be the next time he puts in a performance worthy of one.
    If I was Cesc, I would be offended if the club and its supporters started making demands for pledges of allegiance, a loyalty oath if you wish. What must he apologize for? The fact that the Barca-scum engaged in the most dirty, underhanded tactics to undermine his contract with Arsenal and secure his transfer on the cheap. It would be like my employer demanding a similar pledge when I am on a 5 year contract simply because a competitor lavished some praise on me publicly in the hope I may be tempted to come for an interview. It would not only be demeaning and hypocritical but in the final analysis it is worthless because both my employer and I could act in bad faith and take steps to terminate the contract. Happens every day.
    All I wish that Cesc does as long as he is at Arsenal to lead by example and give a 100% for the club, as he has done in the past. No empty pledges of loyalty for me.


    I told you everything is wrong, we need to change everything. You are right, Wenger makes the most mistakes out of every manager, and has lost the plot. How can he ever expect to win anything if he doesn’t pay players 150k a week. Nobody will run for less nowadays, he must get with the times.

    We need to get back Gilberto, Henry, Pires, Adams and Keown.. players with experience to really take our team to a new level. Their experience alone and reputation will win us 10 trophies in 2 years. It is simple, I don’t know what has got into our club. We have no future as well, that is the saddest thing, we have no talent in our ranks that will win us anything for years and years and years and years to come.

    I wish I supported Chelsea

  125. Sorry but the following should not be italicized:

    If I was Cesc, I would be offended if the club and its supporters started making demands for pledges of allegiance, a loyalty oath if you wish. What must he apologize for? The fact that the Barca-scum engaged in the most dirty, underhanded tactics to undermine his contract with Arsenal and secure his transfer on the cheap. It would be like my employer demanding a similar pledge when I am on a 5 year contract simply because a competitor lavished some praise on me publicly in the hope I may be tempted to come for an interview. It would not only be demeaning and hypocritical but in the final analysis it is worthless because both my employer and I could act in bad faith and take steps to terminate the contract. Happens every day.

    All I wish that Cesc does as long as he is at Arsenal to lead by example and give a 100% for the club, as he has done in the past. No empty pledges of loyalty for me.

  126. nice one shotta! fucked up the italics, haha

  127. Darius Stone – If you think Almunia is good enough, then why is Wenger looking for a replacement ? You know even less than your manager, it would appear. And that’s saying something !
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  128. Stuttgart defender Serdar Tasci could be on his way to Arsenal, according to the player’s agent.

  129. Spectrum

    He is not looking for a single goalkeeper. He is looking for 3, plys 4 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 4 strikers.. We need to replace the lot I tell you!!!

    We are falling behind the ever improving likes of United and Chelsea for god sake.. CANT YOU SEE THIS… if i put it in captitals does it help SPECTRUM?

  130. “Almunia was the best Premiership goalkeeper the year before last”

    Im sorry, whats this now? Almunia was never the best ‘keeper. Almunia should never have been No1 for Arsenal. As a backup keeper yeah hes fine but hes never been good enough to be our no1.

    And if Fabianski was good enough he would have taken over from him by now…but he is mentally weak, he cant dig himself out of the confidence rut hes in…just like Senderos couldn’t.

    Mannone is just 22 and not ready yet. Neither is Szczesny ready but he seems the most confidant of these 2.

    Trouble is i don’t see Wenger giving up on Fabianski yet – a good or bad thing i don’t know – it worked for Song. BUT Fabianski is 25 now, i know still young yet for a keeper, and doesn’t look like making the step up – hes our Rob Green – hel never convince and hel always have a right clanger in him.

  131. I would be more than happy with that. He is a good all round defender. No nonsense, but a decent ball player as well.

  132. SPECTRUM!!!! WE ARE RUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  133. “Almunia was the best Premiership goalkeeper the year before last”

    He was amazing that season, I think everyone around the country aknowledged him. There was even talk of an England call up. Everyone knows you gotta be something special to get called up to England too

  134. Barcelona probably still owe us for Hleb (they like to buy players on hire purchase), so I am sure we could get him back for the remaining payments; more a repossession than a transfer! I’d take him back; he is a very skilful player, would be a great stand-in for Arshavin and might make Cesc feel less homesick. Same with Flamini at the right price. Both are classic examples of how the grass is rarely greener and that Arsene is able to get more out of players than otehr managers.

  135. Chris Goona – We all indulge in sarcasm occasionally, but you’re OVERDOING IT to the point of being juvenile. If you can’t debate sensibly, then don’t bother to post. Unless you really are a juvenile, in which case I apologise in advance.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  136. Silver Gunner

    Guys dont mock him there is so use he is set in his view there is obvoiusly no changing them.

    But i will say one thing WE ARE NOT RUSTING.

  137. He was not amazing, he was competent. Thats all he will ever be, and that was his peak. A backup keeper. Not good enough to be Arsenals No1 and we will not win the league with him between the sticks.

  138. Spectrum.

    I actually don’t think Almunia is Arsenal’s biggest problem. I would still feel the same way whether it was Fabianski, Manone or Tech 9 in goal. I would still feel the same way if we had Bufon in goal.

    Suggesting that Arsenal didn’t win the title because of Almunia is just plain wrong and simplistic. The team were not disciplined enough when it counted. I’m of the opinion that it’s an issue that isn’t necessarily resolved by changing personnel.

    Goonerandy, a different keeper will make you feel good but it ain’t a guarantee that we will defend better, is it?

  139. Darius – No new player is a guarantee. But I would wager that they would defend beter if they trusted who was stood behind them. I just want a steady keeper who can organise the defence and won’t directly cost the team god knows how many goals per year.

    Almunia would not get into half the teams in the PL, let alone the top 4. Is that really the standard we want at the club?

  140. “Suggesting that Arsenal didn’t win the title because of Almunia is just plain wrong and simplistic.”

    Im not suggesting that but having a top class keeper helps. Having a keeper the defense has confidence in helps. Almunia isn’t that.

    Of course having a more solid outfield defensive unit is the key. But it has to start with a keeper.

  141. SPECTRUM sorry if I offended you.

    You seem to be a man of much integrity. The best Arsenal fan I have ever come across. My apologies once again for being so juvenille.


  142. Proving his point.

  143. Els, Chris Goona, and all the other AKBS on this AKB blogsite – The challenge from my 2;38 post still stands. Hurts too much does it ?
    You’d all be at home in North Korea. Their population also pays homage to their Great Leader, who also can do no wrong.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  144. Goonerandy- Exactly. Thankyou.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  145. I don’t agree that Arsene should go though Spectrum. I still think he is the right man for the job. His vision of where the club should be and the path they have taken is nearly there. He just needs to suplement it a little.

  146. Goonerandy.

    How many goals were as a result of lapses from outfield players. Goals that should have never seen the light of day if outfield players did their jobs competently. It’s not necessarily valid that a keeper should be blamed for a sequence of events that start elsewhere on the pitch that give him less of a chance to make competent decisions on the hoof to get outfield players out of jail.

    The crimes against association football that Almunia is being lynched for could be levelled against any other outfield player. Arsenal’s bigger problem was tactical discipline.

    Granted, if we find a keeper who is significantly better and we are able to actually sign them (I’m not talking about everyone linked to Arsenal because they’re out of a job or the media machine thinks ‘wouldn’t it be nice if Arsenal signs this and that player?”)., then let’s look at it. We also have to consider the progression path for the other goal keepers at the club. Signing a 20 something year keeper for example will literally kill Tech 9’s chances of making it to the first team.

    My point is, it’s not as simplistic as going into Waitrose on Holloway Road and picking a neatly packaged keeper off the shelf. The scouting system in place at Arsenal is capable of doing a better job than we are, otherwise, we would have their jobs.

    Meanwhile, Almunia is still going to play so we’ll have to deal with it.

  147. OK rusty … but it is true your leader is Montgomery Burns?!! Just a rumour I heard…

  148. Darius – I agree with the majority of your post to be fair. But that is football…you need a keeper who he not going to throw the ball into his own net. It is the unfortunate nature of the position that mistakes cause goals, and as such you need somebody who rarely makes mistakes. It is that simple.

    My throw away comment about him not getting into half the PL teams was just that, a throw away comment. But then I had a look at the list of PL teams. He really wouldn’t! Is it honestly good enough that Arsenal’s keeper is that low on quality?

  149. And we should not be worrying about “killing” a young players career by buying better players. If they are good enough, they will displace them.

    Arsene’s responsibility is to Arsenal Football Club, not our youth teams futures. If they are good enough, he will play them as he has proved in the past. I am not advocating spending stupid money, just upgrading areas of the team which are not good enough for this club.

  150. My 2:38 post. Anyone ? The silence is deafening. How about you, ChrisGoona ?…no ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  151. Spectrum – Keep waiting mate. Lots (not everyone mind) round here struggle to see both sides of the coin. Is can be a tribute side as opposed to a fan site sometimes.

    There are plenty on here that speak sense though. Keep the faith.

  152. More goals were lost due to the Eduardo Embargo then because of ‘keeping errors.

    I could prove it if I could be bothered.

    But anyone who watched most of AFC’s games last season would know this.

  153. Goonerandy, I could equally make an argument about the naivity of spending money to buy someone who will be ‘replaced’ very quickly by that very skillful and talented youth player.

    Why spend that kind of money to simply plug a hole, for that is what you are suggesting.

    I don’t think we are disagreeing on the notion of finding ways to constantly and organically improve the squad year on year. My view is that this is an emotive subject and people will tend to demand changes that are not necessarily the best way to achieve the goals taking into account where we already are.

    My opinion is that it has to be a balance of promoting from within and augmenting the squad by buying to fill the need here and there.

  154. It’s hard not to appear sarcastic in italics

  155. That’s easy Spectrum. I’ll give you 5, all fixable this summer though.
    1. Not replacing Mad Jens
    2. Breaking up the invincibles way to quickly
    3. Relying too much on the younger players with not enough experience to guide them.
    4. Not strengthening in areas needed because he had players coming back from injury
    5. Not priortising the fa cup. Practically throwing it in fact. This leads back to no3

    And one of my pet peeves – not keeping Keown (or someone like him) around to drill the back 5 as a unit, cause it seems Wenger doesn’t.

  156. Darius – Fair points. But how long will it be before Schezny (sp, I know) is ready? If he will be ready? Competition is a good thing in a squad. Having somebody ahead of him to compete with who is not a clown may actually improve him.

    Some area’s of the pitch I would agree with what you are advocating, you can afford to have a player “keep the space warm” for a bright young thing about to emerge. But goalkeeper is not one of them. We need somebody in there who is reliable, and currently we dont’ have that.

  157. And out of DeiseGooners list No3 is the one which has had the most impact. I do think Arsene has been a little unlucky in that respect, but there you have it.

  158. can someone make everything strikethough as well?

    would be fitting for some of the comments around here today

  159. It is not hard to do some research and look up Tendonitis in a medical dictionary.


    And then investigate how many other footballers suffer from this injury, and are able to carry on with their careers.

    Owen Hargreaves? In relative terms, much younger then TR7.
    An English D**Mer who can play a little, tragic really.

    TR7 has done brilliantly.

  160. And I am glad of that, he is an excellent player. But we still need him to stay fit.

  161. Why can’t we just look forward to the new season without second guessing the people that are paid do do jobs that non of us could do?

  162. What’s with the Italics?

  163. To write an article that refers to TR7’s injury, to complain of ‘niggles’ whilst ignoring the fact that he has tendonitis is misleading, or just dumb.

    I also believe AFC have a squad that can accommodate any ‘niggles’ that will TR7 get.

    This season will prove that to be the case.

    Thank you, and good night.

  164. LimparAssist on July 29, 2010
    at 11:16 am

    Lampard’s Assist, he shouldnt apologise, that would just make everyone look silly.

    Technically, he never said he wanted to leave.

    Lets pretend we didnt read the newspapers.

  165. DeiseGooner brings the word of truth. We should show ambition by prioritising the Curling Cup. We shuldn’t compete for the Champions League and league. If we win the Curing Cup every year, we’ll have parades every year, and every player in Europe will beg to join us so they can get some of that Curling Cup goodness. Also, it doesn’t matter if Bendtner can come back from injury and score 7 goals in 11 games. If an Arsenal player is injured their Arsenal career should end at that point. We don’t like youth. Let’s use mature players with mighty arses like Chelsea. Anything for trophies. Who cares if it’s all sustainable or cohesive. I want parades today.I met my wife at an Arsenal trophy parade. Now that I’m divorced I need a new parade. It doesn’t matter that the average age of the invincibles was over 30, or that players like Bergkamp retired, or that Sol left and Cole left, and Lauren faded into Pompey and hasnt been seen, or that Vieira went in search of the Champions League, or that we kept them in 05 and 06 and they actually won fuck all, we should have kept them FOREVER. Mad Jens is my hero. i love him

  166. Goonerandy.

    My point is that the Arsenal scouting and coaching teams are in a much better position than any of us are in to say whether Tech 9 will be ready.

    They are in a better position to decide whether better quality competition is needed for him (hence a new purchase) or whether he should go out on loan again as he did at Brentford, or whether he should fight for his chance when an opportunity comes e.g. an injury or susspension and declare ownership of the No. 1 jersey.

    We are for the most part making emotive suggestions about who we think will do better, and they are in a position to make more competent decisions about the quality of the player based on valuable info they have day to day that is not necessarily in the public domain.

    Perhaps a better argument would be whether Wenger and his team have the competence to make those decisions any more.


    You have been certainly very amusing today. The fact that we are silent is because you are now getting boring, not quite so funny anymore.

    Anyway i will leave you in your world of hatred for our manager, you should be getting on now anyway, Championship manager awaits you. By the way .. the site for the sheep is le-groan/le-shite.. i think you know it. Head over there for some really great discussion to how championship manager can really win you a league title and kill your club.

    LOSER, “In Spectrum he sucks”

  168. wengerball on July 29, 2010
    at 3:44 pm

    Someone inserted the italic code incorrectly. Which makes all text italic, including the side text.

    Someone needs to reverse it, I dont know what the code is though. [i] something [/i] like that

  169. If someone could let me know what the code for italic is, perhaps we could fix it.

    Im starting to tilt my head.

  170. Thanks for your input, DeiseGooner. Well that was a nice appetiser. Here’s a little gem we may just have heard before somewhere…. quote: “I believe what is important is that we focus on the qualities we have and do not worry too much. I think it is important to continue to develop the qualities we have started since the beginning of the season and if the opportunity comes we will take it”….
    There’s that good old “I believe” again. Sounds like we’re going to rely on what we have, i.e. the kids.
    Anyway, when do you think this statement was made ? Five years ago ? Four ? Three, even ? No, it was made just LAST NIGHT.
    All aboard the Wenger time machine, folks. History is about to repeat itself.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  171. Nice to have you back Darius.

    I think you guys are all correct about the strategy of the club to get rid of all the jackwads over at Le Grove.

    We build a new stadium so we have lots of money to compete in the transfer market with the big boys in Europe. This summer they tell all those fans that we now have the stadium debt paid down enough and we finally have money available to strengthen the squad. Then telling them that we really will upgrade our defense and hopefully find a new GK. Get their hopes up and then watch them wimper and whine while we wait until the bitter end. Hopefully they will all jump ship and we can live in peace.

  172. SPECTRUM I take it all back I really like you to be regarded as an AKB and even get listed before CG I am honoured.

    So just leave him alone CG you bullying muppet. HAHA 🙂

    I’m with Darius I like Almunia and don’t mind admitting it. Maybe a world class goalkeeper is someone who when a team changes tactic and conceeds maybe 15 team goals to many and the team take a lot of hammer down the flanks due to the positional changes doesn’t shoulder the blame on his own.

  173. Darius – Maybe so. Are you as a fan honestly happy going into the season with Almunia/Fabianski as our goalkeeping options? Honestly?

  174. Im sorry Ole Gunner but nowhere did i say priortise the carling cup, i happen to think Wenger does the right thing here with blooding the youngsters. Nor did i say if a player is injured they should be thrown on the scrapheap, but it was obvious to all that when we are hit by injuries we didnt have the dept of quality needed. As for mature players – can you disagree that we lacked maturity and experience that may have seen us over the line in 2 of th elast 3 seasons? Look what Campbell brought in his little stint!! Average age of the invincible was over 30 – so what – yes a few retire and a few lose their legs – but are you saying keeping Bobby for 2 seasons (we only offered him 1), Vieira, Gilberto wouldnt have helped in those seasons? No one says keep them for ever but they have merit and would be an asset to the squad.

    So please stop going over the top and making out that Wenger didnt make some mistakes there …..

  175. SPECTRUM on July 29, 2010
    at 4:00 pm

    “We are still on the search for centre-halves. We have three and we need at least four.” – Wenger.


  176. ChrisGoona – Is sarcasm the best you can come up with ? Is it the ONLY thing you can come up with ? Sure seems so. Oh well, when your argument hits a brick wall……
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  177. SPECTRUM, don’t mind those knowledgeable people who think that the comments quoted were in response to whether we will sign a new keeper, to which Arsene was essentially saying we are in the market for one. Don’ mind people who tell you that with all their clever talk. The FACT is that we need between 5 and 16 players, and that’s what we want.

  178. Els – Nobody is talking about the team goals. I am talking about the direct mistakes he made that led to goals. For example, the Nani cross which he bizzarly palmed into the goal. It was a bread and butter tip over the cross bar, but his body position was all wrong. There were plenty more.

    At the start of last year I was happy with his as the No1. He seemed quite steady. But there were just too many mistakes for us to risk again this year.

  179. Almunia – massively under-rated.

    After watching Gallas’s error-ridden World Cup does everyone still believe that his glaring and finger-pointing at Almunia last season indicated that Almunia was at fault every time, as cited many times by Almunophobes……

  180. Goonerandy, I was directly in line with that Nani cross, and trust me, it was not a simple tip over – the main fault was the lack of cover at the far post

  181. Spectrum -““I believe what is important is that we focus on the qualities we have and do not worry too much. I think it is important to continue to develop the qualities we have started since the beginning of the season and if the opportunity comes we will take it”….

    Yes delevope what we have, but it has to be obvious to Wenger that we need to add players from outside the club – and i do believe he has also said that he is looking.

    I believe he does have a few irons in the fire as regards centrehalves – he just better not miss out because we will be up shit creek if no additions are made.

  182. Amazing.

    Did you not see any mistakes with your own eyes?

  183. Johan – The main problem was nothing to do with cover at the back post. The main problem was Almunia direvting a ball into the net, which was not going there in the first place.

  184. But I agree with you DeiseGooner. Can you agree with me right back? You are right, we should keep the invincibles forever. We can bring them back even today. Forget all this nonsense of forward planning and moving on from the past so the club has a future. You and I are stuck in the past so…………

    Who amongst us wont like to see Dennis, Bobby and co?

    Of course we do. You are right. Let’s forget those two seasons when we had an old ssquad finishing 20 points behind the eventua winners and being a tiny tott shit fit away from finishing out of the Top 4. It was Denilson’s fault.

  185. No one is saying that Almunia was at fault every time Big J – but neither can you overlook his basic keeping errors. Yes all keepers will make mistakes but they wont make the same fundamental mistakes repeatedly due to lack of quality and obvious flaws in their game

  186. Sorry, forgot the competition:

    So, does ManIOU’s inability to rehabilitate the younger Hargreaves mean,

    a) That ManIOU buy ‘brittle’ players?

    b) That they should sack all of their physios’s?

    c) The squad in Mudchester is not big enough. Slurpy Slurgie’s inability to buy Serie A’s A1 superstar Melo as a back up D**M for ManIOU (for 50 Squillion to the power of ninety nine Rupees) cost Utd the title.


    c) It is a very difficult condition to manage?

    Yes, Owen Hargreave’s is a year behind TR7 in his cycle, but at least TR7 was back in the squad this time last year.

    The winner of this little competition will win an all expenses paid trip to Barcelona.
    Paid for by FC Barcahaveaholeintheirbucket.


  187. I am unhappy. Wenger, make me happy!

  188. Exactly. It is there for all to see. If you have your eyes open of course.

  189. Finsbury – I don’t really get your point.

  190. Goonerandy, as I say, I was directly in line and there was a good chance it was going in off the post anyway. Almunia was correctly positioned at the near post and the cross was (probably)unintentionally perfectly flighted. He made a number of errors last season (eg the two Barca goals, but after a blinding first half) – but I wouldnt include that as one of them

  191. awww for fuck sake Ole – there you go again! I DID NOT say keep them forever – i said we got rid of too many too quickly a few seasons ago that meant we were too inexperienced and lacked quality in dept to make a sustained challenge for the title. Changes were needed, change is good when its warranted. BUT too much change too quickly is not good. Too much quality was replaced with potential quality.

  192. oops

    d) > c)

  193. DeiseGooner – Good to see you have a balanced view. I did too once, until Wengers character and managerial flaws became too evident to ignore. Now as you can tell, I’ve swung firmly behind the anti- Wenger bloc. I’d be pleased to welcome you into the fold one day, though.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  194. Johan – The fact he got his hand to it, but dieverted into the goal makes it his fault in my eyes. He should have simply tipped it over the bar, but his body was horriby positioned.

    I actually like Almunia, I just don’t think he is a good enough goalkeeper for a team challenging for the league.

  195. Goonerandy. As a fan, I’ll cheer and scream my heart out for Arsenal even if we’re playing in the conference.

    As a fan, I will celebrate and jump in jubilation when we win and when we win in style.

    As a fan, I will hide behind the sofa and perform my customary rituals when games are tight and the tension is unbearable and we equalize in the last few seconds

    As a fan, I will cry and commiserate and spend sleepless nights when we lose games or get hammered and thoroughly outplayed by opponents.

    Most importantly, as a fan, I will support each and every player who puts on the red and white of Arsenal and crosses the white line to play for my team.

    If the manager chooses them to play, so be it.

  196. DeiseGooner – Its seems that Ole cannot really argue his point properly, so he just resorts to a twelve years olds behaviour. I wouldn’t worry about it. He may be twelve years old of course, in which case it is understandable. Maybe log on later once it id past his bed time.

  197. goonerandy,

    but the ball would have been put in by someone (Park?) running in at the far post. Almunia had to attempt to get something on it. Actually, I’d say that that goal is an excellent example of an outfield mistake making Almunia look worse. The defending on the left hand side was abysmal for that goal. It was a decent trick by Nani but if the LB and LM had taken up better defensive positions it would have been easily dealt with.

    Having said that, I would be happier with Fabianski than Almunia in goal. Fab didn’t have an incredibly long run in the side and while he obviously made a few big mistakes, I’d hope they’d dry up if he had a longer stretch between the sticks. I’d blame Almunia’s poor form last year on his personal problems and with the hounding he’s received since, I’m not sure he’s been given a chance of recovering. If Fab can come in, do well early on and get the (unfortunately inevitable) boo-boys off his back then I think he’s got the ability to do well.

    Obviously pretty much all of that second paragraph is my interpretation rather than an actual knowledge of what is going on in the two players’ heads.

  198. Darius – I am with you 100% on every bit of your post. The players that I debate as not good enough on here I am fully behind once they pull on the strip. I think the morons who boo the players should be kicked out of the ground.

    But that does not mean we can’t discuss both areas of the team, both good and bad right?

  199. Gib – Fair enough, we will have to agree to disagree on that point then. Like you I wanted to see Fabianski given a go becaused I really like the look of him. Unfortunaltly he seems to be even worse. This is a great shame as he seems to be a very good shot stopper.

  200. As a fan i too support every player who plays for the club – but as a fan i want whats best for my club – and as a fan i will not be blind to obvious weaknesses in the players playing for my club – if they are not good enough i will not be happy with them simply because they play for my club. As a fan i too see that Wenger has been great for my club but that he has made mistakes and he cannot continue to do so without repercussions. Not getting a top class keeper has been a mistake and to date continues – he needs to amend that now. We lack numbers and quality in defensive positions in the team. This has cost us even just last season – we currently are weaker in this position than last season – it cannot be left at that.

  201. goonerandy takeaway team goals and your left with a few mistakes yes. But what I say and what I think is crucial for arsenal and the way they operate in the transfer market is to after one poor season do not ditch a player. Have some faith show some solidarity and back players like the manager does. After all thats the reason we attract future stars. We don’t have massive wages.

    Do you think Ramsey would have chosen us over Man U if we ditched players after one iffy season?

  202. DeiseGooner,

    But I agree with you. Don’t be like these AKBs. There are people who say things to me like, in 2006 we had to cut our wage bill since we were completing a stadium with attendant cash flow problems, and had an aged squad that had clearly reached the end of its cycle. There’s an AKB who made the point that apart from Cashley who went in search of the cash, none of the invincibles after 2006 has played better than they did pre 2006. These idiots think that it was NECESSARY to start transitioning, which was done by keeping the likes of Gilberto, Kolo, Henry, Freddie and a couple of others. I say we should have kept them. They’d have won us the Curling Cup.

    I really agree with you DieseGooner. You’re smarter than Wenger, that’s why I want you to agree with me.

  203. Exactly.

    It pisses me off so much because I care about the club. Not because I am “not a proper supporter Ba, ba, ba”.

  204. Quick question:

    If Cesc and RVP will miss the Liverpool game, will Torres, Kuyt, Babel and Reina miss it too?

  205. jog on Ole, you had better be on a windup mate, else why do you continually alter what i say

  206. goonerandy,

    as you say, we’ll agree to disagree but i’d be wary of judging fab too soon. i think goalkeeper is the position above all others where a long run in the side can make a big difference. fab’s longest spell last year was four consecutive games.

    have a good day

  207. Els – I do agree that we should back players, even when they make mistakes. Unforunately keepers have less leeway in this area. It comes with the territory.

    I hate to use him as an example, but look at Lord Ferg. Taibi…rubbish, get rid. Barthez….good, but as soon as mistakes starting happening, get rid. Van Der Sar, good, but watch if mistakes start happening.

  208. Gib – You may be right of course. A run is maybe what is needed. I just hated at the end of last year as teams knew he could be bullied the way they all crowded him. We looked pathetic. Jens or Seaman would have never been bullied that way.

  209. goonerandy,

    But I agree with you. I am offering balanced views unlike these AKBs, just like you.

  210. “we had to cut our wage bill since we were completing a stadium with attendant cash flow problems” – our wage bill is now higher with younger, less talented and inexperienced players who have yet to win a trophy – not even carling cup

    “none of the invincibles after 2006 has played better than they did pre 2006” – dont be so naive please. just because you didnt see them playing for the clubs and winning titles in other countris doesnt mean they didnt play well

  211. Good for you young man.

  212. Edu, played really well, when he injured himself immediately after leaving the club.

    He didn’t play the whole season for Valencia, more or less. Doh!


    Sort it out.

  213. goonerandy

    i’m not sure he was offered enough protection in that blackburn game, perhaps confidence played a part too. it certainly wasn’t enjoyable to watch though, i’m sure we can all agree on that.

    my main memory of jens being bullied is when he gave away that penalty when we won the league at WHL so perhaps a balance between the two is needed.

    in any case, i’m off home now. have a good evening.

  214. Paddy didn’t do too badly though eh? All those damn medals.

  215. Gib – Aye, me as well.


  216. DieseGooner,

    I agree with you. All those people I refer to in my previous comments are just trying to deny us our favoured conclusion, which is that we should have kept the invincibles. Which gooner doesn’t like the invincibles, we all like the invincibles.

    For that reason, like you, I will ignore all the reasons why the club, and Wenger, believing their reasoning to be sound, broke up that squad. So again, I agree with you.

  217. Shame about the zimmer frame though.

  218. Goonerandy. Absolutely no problem in discussing the good and the bad off the park.

    As long as it doesn’t get to mindless insults. Personally, I don’t mind which keeper we have on, honestly. This is because I don’t think that goal keeping lost us the title challenge. If we get a better keeper than who we have, well and good; but focussing on this issue is a red herring.

    We need to do better on tactical discipline – and this is something that needs drilling and constant practice at London Colney.

    For example, the team needs to be crystal clear about what to do during transitions when we lose the ball for the simple reason that we are likely to have 2 out of our 4 defenders assisting the attacks and hence will be out of position.

    Ifyou have some time, read this article I wrote about Arsenal’s mental fortitude and discipline . I talk a lot about what I saw was the problem for Arsenal last season.

  219. Yes, I saw your response to the AKBs DieseGooner, I agree with it. Vieira was fantastic, Sol won the European golden bal, Bobby Pires was player of the year in Spain, Freddy kept West ham away from relegation, etc etc etc. What they don’t know that you and I know is that they would have won us the Curling Cup.

    Wenger is an idiot for thinking there was a need to rebuild again. Just like you say.

  220. Is there something called wage inflation? Some guy thinks the fact that wages have increased by double didgits is why our wage bill has increased, that and the fact that we now have a larger squad than ever. But you and I, we both agree that we should ignore that, and ignore the fact that nobody at the club now, except Cesc earns as much as Henry, Vieira, and a couple of others were earning. That’s irrelevant, DieseGooner, the bottomline is that we should have kept the invincibles. Forward thinking is a bad thing.

  221. goonerandy I see what your sayin but using fergie as an example he can just get his cheque book out left right and centre if any player doesn’t suit his needs.

    Players choose Man U for cash and prestige secondly, Ramsey chose us for faith and support I would far rather have that kind of man at this club.

    Also getting shot of players without giving them encouragement and faith leads to things like Jap Stam, David Beckham and most recently Diego Forlan. To use fergie as an example.

  222. Göteborg Gunner

    Latest from Cesc:

    “I’m a Barca fan, I’m a socio, as is my grandfather, my uncle, my cousin… I have felt the colours from a young age, I’m Catalan,”

    “However, I’m the captain of Arsenal, I’m a ‘Gunner’, and I have become a player there and matured as a person.”

    “He is a second father for me, the most important person in my life after my father. He has behaved really well with me and taken me in like a son. I am part of his family,”

    “He doesn’t want me to leave. And in my last conversation with him in London, it was one of the most difficult moments I have experienced. I ended up very touched.”

  223. By god I don’t usually like to question wenger in any way at all but Ole is making some strong points today.

  224. nothing new really just a young man hedging his bets.

  225. els,

    We have to question Wenger, because if we don’t that’d make us sheep.

  226. Hey,

    If Edu gots injured after leaving the club, is that still AFC’s and AW’s fault?

    Just, you know, trying to figure this ‘brittle player’ stuff. It’s left me a little confused.

    Are they still ‘brittle’ players after they leave the club, become old, suffer from dementia etc…or is that not AFC’s and AW’s responsibility?


    When Freddie left AFC and said he thought West Ham were going to challenge for the title and that AFC were declining, and never challenge for the title again like they did after he left; was he saying…

    a) “Wow! I’ve just been given an insane contract for a badly injured player, by an Icelandic bank that won’t exist in a couple of years?”

    b) Sympathising with the long suffering West Ham fans?

    C) Suffering from some kind of delusional madness, usually induced by the combination of a mirror, and a footballers’ reflection?

  227. Not man-marking Messi in the Champion’s League second leg was probably an oversight….

  228. Darius – I also agree that goalkeeping didn’t lost us the league. it did not help, but overall it was the whole defensive unit that is flawed. My main gripe is that of the gap between midfield and defence when we lose the ball. Too big, and exposes our defenders to easily.

    Els – Van Der Sar cost £7M. Not much for what he has provided.

  229. aaaa i’m writing this down ole this is good stuff. Now I realise were i’ve been going wrong as a fan but more importantly a supporter in a very real sense.

  230. > that AFC were declining and that they would never …

  231. Finsbury – I don’t get why you are so hung about somebody being at “fault” when a player is unfortunate enough to pick up injuries.

    You need to lay of the crack mate.

  232. Darius:

    “We need to do better on tactical discipline – and this is something that needs drilling and constant practice at London Colney.

    IMO Your statement is absolutely spot on. That has been a point I have tried to make all of last year but was roundly criticized for suggesting that we were not doing enough drilling and practice with our defending. Statements by Lee Dixon about the coaching staffs “hands off” policy for defending and statements by “the brain” describing our “organic approach” rather then interactive approach to defending do raise some concerns about what has happened in the past. IMO a little more attention to detail with regard to our defending will yield better results this year.

  233. Goonerandy,

    I thought you didn’t do insults?

    “Arsenal buys brittle players.”

    Is a quote from a link provided by somebody above.

  234. Therefore they are implying, that it is AFC’s fault that these players get injured…you see?

  235. Goteborg

    The quotes have been extracted from a magazine interview and then reported in the Spanish media in part. The complete interview isn’t yet online and those four quotes need to be put into context before being thrown around.


  236. He has a very tight defence in front of him though. Also i’m not just talking about keepers. I’m talking about the merits of showing faith in players. I’m telling you if Al had been in goal for Man U last season there wouldn’t have been the same fuss about his performances.

    Next season our defence will be tighter all round and it’s unfair not to let Almunia prove his worth.

  237. I don’t in general. Sometimes driven to it though.

  238. Ah, I see what you mean now. Garbage really, I am sure our medicals are as thorough as any other teams.

  239. Driven to take crack?

    Sorry to hear about that.

    There’s a link to medical dictionary I provided above.

    That could be of some help.

  240. If Al had made the mistakes he did for us he would have been dropped. Just like Ben Foster was.

    Almunia was dropped in the end, only for Fabianski to come in and carry on the good work.

  241. Sorry, ignore my last response Goonerandy just read your 5:25. : )

    Only a few days till the Ems Cup!

    Thank G-D!

  242. I guess that gets us back to the whos to blame game goonerandy, I think the team defensively and this will be fixed next season and you think it was purely Al.

    But I stand by my argument and the fact that for Arsenal and any decent club it is important to treat your players wether in or out of form with respect. Almunia is a class act at times. He’s proven he can do it. Class is permanent form is temporary.

  243. No worries, I didn’t know you was going on about that article. I thought it was random. 🙂

  244. Look Ole i happen to think a lot of what Wenger is doing is good for the club but you are just talking shite mate – Vieira, Sol (who did) Gilberto and Bobby would all have offered more than – Djourou, Silvester, Denilson, Vela, while said players were bedding in (Silvester should never have been bought) – fuck the carling cup, i said FA cup win – Carling cup is for those youngsters

    Wenger isnt an idiot but neither did we need to rebiold – rebuild what? a winnig side getting a bit older – no Wenger needed to keep 1 or 2 note NOT All to help with the transition – not rebiold.

    Yes there is wage inflation but some of these young players are on top wages, higher that for any other club for such an agegouup – despite winning nothing to earn it (i do agree paying better aids with keeping said players but within reason)

    “we now have a larger squad than ever” yet not large enough to cope with injuries (fair enough last season there were a lot) nor large ebnough on quality in depth

    Again not keep invincibles but forward thinking would have seen us keep a few to help where inexperience hindered.

  245. Els:

    I am glad you are confident about our improved defending. Looking objectively at what has happened in the past does not inspire confidence. Last year was not the first time that our defending was suspect. Hopefully last year finally cemented in the minds of the coaching staff that some changes had to be made. We owe them the benifit of the doubt I guess.

    Almunia may be a better then average GK. My concern is how he will handle all the pressure this year. All the Sam Allardyce wannabees will be targeting our GK just like Blackburn did last year. IMO our current group of keepers has had not dealt well with that type of pressure. Our best scenario is we get a good GK back. Our worst scenario if things go badly for him could be a real mess for his confidence and the whole teams confidence. The risk/reward ratio with Almunia is a somewhat frightening.

  246. goonerandy

    Not sure why your posts went into Spam but unfortunately, happy fingers have deleted them…Try reposting!


  247. DeiseGooner,

    You’re right. They finished 20 points behind Chelski in 05 and 06 but that was just anomalous. They would have won the following season and gotten better season after season. Who could question your correct reasoning?

    Are you arguing against yourself? I am agreeing with you, yet you seem to be arguing with me? What gives? Are you really talking rubbish?

    Maybe you are, you said Wenger had to keep one or two. can you remind me in which years Gilberto, Kolo Toure and Lehman left the club?

    Maybe the AKBs are right afterall and you’re dense, and when confronted with fact you’re just a whining punk.

  248. Oh i give up Ole its like talking to a 12 year old.

    Wenger didnt make any mistakes. Every player he left was past it and had nothing to offer to the squad. They didnt play well with the club they left for. Their international careers and their top flight careers in general ended with leaving Arsenal. They couldnt have menterd the obvious quality in some of these youngsters with their knowhow. All the players we have now are better than we had then, winners all.


  249. @ Ole

    Hilarious today.

  250. I see Werder Bremen are in town soon playing Fulham. A good opportunity for Mertesaker to get a view of London…?

  251. That coming from you DeiseGooner! You come around throwing around facile arguments and inaccuracies.

    To start with, of the famous 5 years that We haven’t won the league, 2 of those were with the invincibles. Then there were 2 further seasons when the core of the team remained the same. That’s just a fact.

    Players had to be let go…..thet team had reached the end of its cycle. They’d peaked and were on the way down. We couldn’t keep superstars on big money winning nothing. We had to rebuild and create a platform for the club to be successful for decades, by focusing on youth. Without youth, we simply didn’t not have 150M that it’d have taken to replace that team with players at their peak of top quality. Instead we had to go for top class players who were much younger and develop them. That foresight is why we haven’t fallen off the cliff in sporting terms and in footballing terms.

  252. *


  254. Mark Hughes now Fulham manager? Is guess that will either make or break any Schwarzer rumours. If we really are in for him which I doubt then perhaps this will move it along, or Hughes will refuse to deal and will keep Schwarzer.

  255. “The quotes have been extracted from a magazine interview and then reported in the Spanish media in part. The complete interview isn’t yet online and those four quotes need to be put into context before being thrown around.”

    YW is there any chance of you getting hold of the Spanish version and giving us an unbiased translation? I’ve seen comments suggesting that what was translated as Cesc being very ‘upset’ at the end of his conversation with Arsene, could also be translated as very ‘touched’. That would give a completely different spin to the quote.

  256. Ole finally an poinion and not the black and white you’re an AKB, no im an AKB – i dont mind the small barren spell, honestly i dont, i could see that might be the way of things as I do know we had to make certain changes to facilitate the stadium build. Im fine with that. Im fine with the time and effort put into setting up the youth academy. The resources put into that will serve us for years to come, negating the need to have to buy so many players in. I under stand the logic.


    While all that money was pumped into the youth players we negleted the first team. While the team may have peaked and there was a downturn i still believe keeping a few of those guys longer than we did would have served us better. That link to a winning team went without an intermediate tick in the win box. None of the current team (bar Clichy, who played little) have actally won anything and its a big final step to take to get that trophy without anyone who hasnt done it before. Some of those players you say were on the way down were still better tham what was coming through.

  257. YW – Cheers. I thought I had been banned for a minute 😦

    Els – I never said it was all Almunia’s fault. Our main problem is collective defending. I still maintain he is not good enough for a club of Arsenal’s stature though, and he costs the team too many goals.

  258. It’s easy for us now to say Wenger should have kept this player and that player, but if he kept them and they didn’t win anything, we would still be saying Wenger was stupid to keep those high paid players, he should have replaced them…etc., etc.

    I say Wenger done the best for the club within his means. I’m glad he didn’t leave when he knew he will have no money to spend for years while managers around him were spending 100s of millions per year.

    He put his name and reputation on the line and yes he’s getting paid but other managers in his standing can manage any club they want and have loads of money to spend to guarantee their own personal success.

    Let’s not start throwing rocks at one of the best men in our history to lead the club in a difficult time.

  259. and i also think that adding 1 or 2 more players a season than we have would have facilitated a trophy. We have been close only to fall at the last. Take last season for example. I know you can argue ifs and buts …. but say we had sorted the keeper most if not all say we needed – say for example with Shay Given – the points we know we lost because of an inexperienced / substandard keeper wouldnt have been dropped.

    Say we spent a few million on a centrehalf (even a young up coming one, we lost 2 in senderos to confidence and Djourou to injury) instead of getting Silvester, who is now gone with having added nothing to the squad. We would now not be in the position of having 3 centrehalves, 1 with no prem experience and the other with question marks over him.

    Say we got a striker in the jan window when we needed one instead of waiting (nic/van p injuried – vela not ready – eduardo lost confidence from Wenger in him, he was played hardly at all) and didnt have to play AA23 as lone striker.

    These are the things easily addressed but wernt

  260. Passenal,

    No spin translation:

    “He doesn’t want me to leave and my last conversation with him before the World Cup was one of the most difficult moments I’ve lived. I was very touched”

  261. It’s nonsense to say we ignored the first team. Complete utter bollocks.

    The problem with you doomers and anti-Arsenal Arsenal is that you always deny facts.

    It;s either ignorance or delusion that would lead you to say nobody at Arsenal now has won anything. Again, it’s utter bollocks.

  262. G4E @ 6:43PM.

    Spot on.

    Now that we are through the difficult patch its time to take us the next level. Now that we have money it would seem logical that we could be more agressive in the transfer market and that might give us a better chance to reach that next level. Still time before the window closes but nearly all of us having been hoping for a new CB and GK since the end of last year. We will all support the team no matter who plays but it is difficult to understand the hesitation to fill those needs so far this summer.

  263. Say we got a striker in the transfer window.

    More facile nonsense.

    Your argument is predicated on the following<

    We needed a striker, one who would have come in in January, scored enough goals, in the crunch fixtures we faced, then we would have won the league.

    This is the sequence of events that;d have made that assertion true<

    1. We found the right player. It had to be a player of sufficient quality.
    2. The player was willing to move.
    3. His club was willing to sell.
    4. We could agree terms.
    5. The player came straight into the team, and fit in immediately.
    6. He scored a lot of goals.

    Now most adults know that few players of sufficient quality are available in January, and few clubs want to sel then, and that players from outside the league need games to settle, sometimes many months.

    So there is sufficient reason to believe that this wasnt the magic bullet you claim.

    To most mature minds I would say.

    Any failure of any of those 6 steps to be true would make that plan of action invalid. So your facile talk is bollocks.

    Because Wenger did try to sign a striker. We got nobody, but it's easy to criticise.

    You're an IKB the I know brigade. You know all except that you really do not.

  264. Bill, I don’t think there’s a hesitation to sign re-inforcements. I think there’s so much bollocks that goes on behind the scenes that these things get drawn out. I also suspect the footballing world is waiting for City to finish their dealings before revealing their hand….

  265. Apologies as I have not read all the posts yet but why are you answering an idiotic juvenile who puts “in Arsene we rust” at the bottom of his ludicrous posts.

  266. Ole – you deserve a fucking medal for what you did today. Brilliant, I bow before you!
    The stupid troglodyte even thought you were serious, it was priceless. Thank you.

  267. Ole

    the truth is we have gone from being the greatest side ever in English football in 2004 to a team now that finishes 3rd or 4th every season.And it is all down to the quality of players we have now.Out of the players we have now only Cesc and maybe Sagna would get a start in the invincible side.Where are the leaders like Viera Campbell and Gilberto.The brilliance of Henry,Bergkamp and Pires
    and anyone who cant see the decline in those 6 years and that means Wenger too is just living in fantasy world.

  268. I didnt say we ignored the first team i said we neglected it – and we did. We had chances to add to the first team but we chose not to.

    Im not a doomer either. Im quite an upbeat guy and i happen to believe we are but 3 players away for a right shot at winning the league.

    None of the current squad have won the premier league, fa cup (playing a significant part in) or champions league.

    “This is the sequence of events that;d have made that assertion true” – all of which we did the previous season with AA23 and he practically dragged our arse to fourth. – Chamakh could have been that seasons Arshavin – it was a possibility…

  269. i`m going to anfield on the 15th,see ya there

  270. DeiseGooner – To be fair, some of the signings Wenger made we could have expected more from – Hleb, Reyes, Adebayor spring to mind. All with ‘big reputations’ when they arrived….

  271. Supercod @ 7:11PM:

    Hope your right. If we really are going to get reinforcements it would have been nice to have them in Austria and ready for the first game at Anfield. I know it might have cost a little more to get the player we want now rather then go through protracted negtiations but we can afford to spend a little more now.

    In the recent past we have not really gotten a difference making player at the end of the window other then Arshavin and Gallas and we were strongly linked with both throughout the window. Nasri, TV both came early. The other late window signings such as Silverstre and Diarra were questionably helpful at best. Obviously I do not know the real workings of football transfers but it would seem the longer we wait the more risk that negotiations will break down in the end and we will not get the players we really want or need. The KOS seemed like it took months to finalize and we are no where close to being linked with anyone the way we were with him. If we do get someone late it will take longer to settle. Seems like it would have been better done early.

  272. Karim – give Reina some stick will ya….

  273. “No spin translation:

    “He doesn’t want me to leave and my last conversation with him before the World Cup was one of the most difficult moments I’ve lived. I was very touched”

    Thanks for that Ole – it makes much more sense given his comment before the world cup about the ‘greatest conversation’

    George, the problem with people like you is the failure to take into account ‘context’. The football world was a different place in 2004. If nothing else had changed since then you might have a point. But ask yourself where was chelski in 2004 and how much has it cost manure to keep up with the jones’? And of course Emirates stadium was free and did not impact on our ability to compete financially. Yet unlike most clubs who move stadiums we remained competitive and came close to winning the league in the intervening period.

  274. Bill, I’m guessing agreeing fee, how it’s paid, sell ons, installments, incentives etc then agreeing terms with a player, his agent, solicitor, wife etc all takes a painful amount of time – especially if they’re still in Barbados post WC! As for setting up the player with an off-shore tax haven style wage arrangement doesn’t happen overnight…maybe just being cynical though!

  275. Passenal, good point on the stadium – perhaps a poor comparison but look at the albatrosses around Southampton and Leicester’s necks…

  276. we did come close Passenal and we have done well to stay near the top in that time when other clubs whop built new stadiums really struggled – and for that i applaud wenger. But dont you agree that with just a bit more investment (we have been told the money was there all the while) of just say 1 or 2 more players (not youngsters who will be ready in 2 or 3 seasons) we might have taken the final step??

  277. If and buts Deise – we might have spunked 30 mil on Veron….

  278. Bravo, Ole. Your ability to throw the doomers’ nonsense back in their faces is truly awesome.

  279. no no no – im not talking spunking 30 mil on 1 player
    and i know its ifs and buts BUT better players give you a better chance … no?

    for instance 7 mil on Given = better worse that our current crop of keepers

    thats just one option we had and there have been others.

  280. Supercod:

    Just like you I hope reinforcements are on the way. I also hope it is not a Silvestre like signing that we have to settle for on the last day of the window.

  281. Deise – have to agree on the Given front. All a bit bizarre that one, struck me as a no-brainer at the time…

  282. Deisegooner – the old adage ‘if’s and but’s don’t build an empire’ springs to mind.

    It is all well and good saying if we had more investment then we MIGHT have won the league but this is no guarantee, we could just have easily suffered a similar amount of injuries and therefore ended up in the same position.

    Also i take issue with the fact you mentioned that it was Arshavin who single handedly got us fourth, but what about the unbeaten run of 21 games we put together!? I am pretty sure this started several months before Arshavin’s arrival.

    anyway just my 2 cents worth

  283. Bill, suspect Wenger will steer clear of another Agent Silvestre – he took great exception at him being called a ‘geriatric’ at that meeting with the fans…!

  284. didnt say it was a guarantee jimmyd but you have to agree when we have added that 1 or 2, AA23 for instance it did benefit the team greatly. Arshavin was definately a catalyst for making that fourth spot. What might given have done for us last season – we all agree our keepers cost u spoints with their amateur antics.

  285. Passenal:

    Good point as always. Most do not stop to think how more difficult it is to compete post Abramovich.

    Hopefully most recognize what Wenger has done is amazing. Keeping us close on a shoe string budget. He was certainly the best manager to do the heavy lifting of bring us thru that time period. Now we are close and it might only take a couple of players, a CB and GK along with some significant attention to detail in our defending to put us over the top. Its difficult to see us not running into problems again this year without those reinforcements and without a real change to the way we have defended in the past few years.

  286. Disagree, the catalyst for finishing 4th had happened before arshavin arrived i.e. the start an middle of the unbeaten run.

    Equally but what might fabianski have done had he been fit during the period when Almunia was injured at the start of the season and had got a run of games going and had proved to be a solid number one.

  287. Pretty sure Wenger has been quoted we will bring in one, or possibly two, defenders. Fullbacks looks nicely covered so the assumption has to be two CHs.

    As for a new keeper, that’s anyone’s guess…

  288. That said Jimmy, am I the only one who thought Mannone looked alright when he got his go…?

    He’s unlikely to get a look in with the clamour for a new keeper or Schezny (sp) though.

  289. Just answer me these few questions.

    How many players do you think we are short of to make a good tilt at the league?

    How many did you think we were short this time last season?

    Did being those players short perhaps cost us last season?

    Will the current squad without those additions you think we need ne good enough this season?

  290. Jimmyd, the doomers always claim that it was Arshavin who single-handedly got us 4th that season so that they can claim that spending money is always the answer. Arshavin contributed, but if you ask me Denilson was the key that season. Arsene asked him to reign in his attacking game, which he did without argument. It may not have been pretty, but he helped us to keep hold of the ball and was very disciplined in the midfield. This was the season before Song really blossomed. It was also the season when the uneducated started their ‘Denilson only passes backwards or sideways’ mantra. In fact it was his ‘crab-like’ passing that enabled us to reign in the overly attacking style that had caused us to get into such a precarious position in the first place. He was definitely the unsung hero of that season.

  291. No player have ever won anything single-handedly…

  292. Goog question Deise – suspect the idealists will steer clear of answering that one…!

  293. I agree Supercod, Mannone did well and Fulham was the highlight. But you could see that the mental pressure of goal keeping at that level started to take it’s toll. He had a couple of dodgy moments in the games against Birmingham and Blackburn and then in the West Ham game he really started to show signs of strain, which is why Almunia was rushed back when he was not quite ready. That is why I worry for Tech 9. I know he has bags of confidence but playing a couple of times a week for a club like Arsenal with our hyper-critical fans could potentially ruin him if he is not mentally ready for that pressure.

  294. Hi Shotta, I take your points and gunnerluc’s too.

    I love Cesc. I’m not owed an apology, I take that back – just a rush of blood. I do feel Cesc let himself down though, as a Captain, by not standing up for himself.

    Knowing he’ll one day end up at Barca– (what did Finsbury call it the other day? Barcashoppingtrolley? That’s it…) Barcashoppingtrolley FC… and knowing, as he must have done from a very early stage Arsenal’s steadfast position that he was Not For Sale… how hard is it then to stand up, act like a man, have his own voice and say ‘I am the captain of Arsenal, I am loyal to my team and my club, and I will honour my contract’?

    I don’t think that’s an unrealistic thing to expect, not of the Arsenal captain. Maybe I’m being naïve. I know he’s not Maldini, but if you don’t aim for the Maldini-ideal then you’re giving up on it forever.

    Football is a game of passion – furious, blinding, life-long passion – and I will feel f*cked off with someone who leads us with all his heart one minute, and then refuses to reject the advances of another the next. I mean surely if there’s one thing you can get a bit tribal about, then it’s the captain of your football team.

    Mostly I feel sorry that he missed an opportunity to do something great for himself, and for Arsenal, and the fact that he didn’t seize that has left me disappointed.

    Dedicating his World Cup medal to Arsenal is a start, I hadn’t heard that.

    But you’re right, Shotta, ultimately. The moment has passed and whatever Cesc says now is going to sound hollow.

    If he proves himself on the pitch, and I’m sure he will, I’ll love him forever. I just don’t feel like giving him a standing ovation any time soon.

    Football can be both ecstatic and devastating, and when you mean that much to people, you have a great responsibility not to fuck them around.

  295. Sorry, that all sounds a bit tragic on reflection. Especially in bastard italics.

  296. So… Taşçi?

  297. TBH I don’t really know too much about him – opinion was divided on Mert, what’s the view on this one..?

  298. passenal (the voice of reason) 🙂

    Denilson is one of the most underrated players at Arsenal, his touch and positional sense is superb for such a young player.

    It’s such a shame that this past year has been hampered by injury but having said that he definitely put in some fantastic performances:

    Barcelona, home broke up the play and kept the ball moving

    AZ Alkmaar, home – just back from injury and was no where near off the pace, broke play up distributed well.

    Barcelona away (prior to his ridiculously soft booking was keep messi in his pocket.)

    Hull, home – scored a peach of a shot again to open the scoring, very tidy in possession.

    Team? (name escapes me) away – long range shot that lead to Bendtner goal – victory at the death.

    I truely believe he will be back in full flow this coming season and will kick on similarly and i wouldn’t be surprised to see an international call up at some point during the season.

  299. Here’s a clue, Jimmyd.

  300. Regarding Denilson I think it depends what role Wenger gives him. Alongside Song he has more freedom and looks a lot better, when he’s the holder not so secure. Watch him ‘ambling’ back for ‘that’ goal Rooney bagged – distinctly average.

    Not sure I want my DM buccaneering forward and having a pop from the D – Gilberto rarely did that and we generally exposed the back 4 less often back then.

  301. Deise,

    In answer to your questions:

    How many players do you think we are short of to make a good tilt at the league?

    – at least 1 CB and possibly a GK but i do think Al deserves another chance, he has proven he can single handedly keep the team in the biggest games – Barcelona 1st half, man Utd CL SF 1st leg.

    How many did you think we were short this time last season?

    – I genuinely believed we were okay last season with the exception of save maybe a CB

    Did being those players short perhaps cost us last season?

    – possibly but injuries also cost us immensely, every team gets injuries but ours were clustered together in the same position of the pitch at the same time.

    Will the current squad without those additions you think we need ne good enough this season?

    – We definitely need at least 1 CB possibly 2 and maybe GK i don’t think anyone disputes this. However if we aren’t able to make the necessary additions; c’est la vie. i personally think we will make the additions and a lot of the naysayers will be very quiet.

    Regardless of the outcome of the rest of the window I will still attend every home game and sing until I am horse and support every single player on the pitch to the hilt.

  302. LA, I understand your position on Cesc. The gloss has come off my view of him, but he is an important player for us and as long as he is with us, he will get my support. He is walking a tightrope because he does not want to alienate barca fans in case he has an opportunity to return there, but equally he has become emotionally attached to Arsenal, more so than he probably expected or realised until recently.

    Unfortunately his attempt to keep both sets of supporters onside may not have worked, but it would be counter productive for us to be lukewarm in our support and drive him into the arms of barca when we need him at his best. If we can get past our hurt feelings that we are not his only love and vociferously back him for the sake of the greater good, Arsenal FC can only benefit.

  303. Thanks Limpar

  304. Supercod, that was one game and he had severe injury problems last season. I cannot understand why one or two poor performances outweigh all the good qualities some players bring to the squad. Arshavin was often a passenger last season, but gets very little criticism because he once scored 4 goals in one game.

  305. Couldn’t agree more about Arshavin – never looks fit to me. Granted that was one game for Denilson, it was a massive one though to be fair. I’m not slating him, just saying the holding role may not play to his strength.

    On a lighter note, Yids are 2 down….!!!

  306. “Just answer me these few questions.”

    [b]”How many players do you think we are short of to make a good tilt at the league?”[/b]

    Another CB, maybe a goal keeper, but I will leave that to AW’s judgement

    [b]”How many did you think we were short this time last season?”[/b]

    None. I thought we had the players to challenge

    [b]”Did being those players short perhaps cost us last season?”[/b]

    No, it was only the pile up of injuries to key players at the end of the season that cost us.

    [b]”Will the current squad without those additions you think we need be good enough this season?”[/b]

    Yes, if we could remain injury-free, but since that is not likely I believe we do need one more experienced central defender. I think we would cope with one of our existing senior goalkeepers if the team as a whole defends better throughout the season. This is more likely to be the case if we can keep the majority fit for the majority of the season. That is our biggest challenge in my opinion.

  307. Supercod, is that a CL qualifier?

  308. Is it true Fat Hypocrite Sam Allardyce said this?

    ‘I had to take David Dunn off for his own protection because the referee wasn’t protecting him from the volatile nature of the Greek midfield just going straight through him,’

    ‘We were disappointed in that sort of attitude in a friendly game really rather than playing football, they were intent on stopping our best player which meant it got a little heated at times.’

    Read more:

  309. Unfortunately not, the tossers have just got one back. On SSN, the place looks empty…..

  310. No Passenal, they’re friendlies, Chel$ki is down 2-1 as well.

  311. G4E – maybe he’s had a footballing epiphany, somehow doubt it though….

  312. What a shame!

  313. LA @ 8:34pm. Respect sah. Typically I am swayed by your posts so this is a bit unusual.
    I empathize with your emotion but when the stakes are so high and the sharks are circling, ready to take a vicious bite out of the club we support, we need to apply cold logic. Arsene has shown us the way.
    Didn’t I f*ck-up with the italics today?

  314. George @ 7.19
    “the truth is we have gone from being the greatest side ever in English football in 2004 to a team now that finishes 3rd or 4th every season”

    And without Wenger we’d have been very much mid-table in that period. Look at Liverpool who haven’t won the league in 20 years, down from when they dominated England and Europe. Did 30 years not pass when Man poo didnt win the league.

    Transition is standard in life. The aware ness of that is why Wenger and the board tried to have a strategy to keep us competitive.

    By the way how many of the current Man poo side will get into the invincibles side? I reckon only few of them. Did they not nevertheless win the league thrice in a row. Time to get real.

    The invincibles are gone. This is the squad we have and they are extremely talented, however young they are; There time will come, sure as sunlight

  315. Yep we need at least 1 cb but i think we probably need two but i’d be appy if Wenger got his rusty cheque book out and signed 1 cb.and we definitely need another gk. wouldnt mind us getting Melo aswell.

  316. One thing I notice is how much the misery guts like to go over and over the few defeats we suffer, and seem never to want to talk about the almost countless positives from last season. It’s weird, depressing and if they actually are Arsenal fans (which is dubious) masochistic in the extreme.
    I re-watch many great matches from the past, funnily enough I never watch any of our defeats. You see I don’t work for the club and therefore anything I might learn from putting myself through that agony would be irrelevant.
    The other day I watched Big Nic’s hat trick in the CL. Priceless.

  317. Villarreal should be about 6 up at the stain and spuds should be nearer fitness as VR don’t start their season for another month.

  318. 4-1 hahaha

  319. Steww I only watch the highlights on ATVO never the lowlights.

  320. Is that the final score in the spuds game dupsffokcuf?

  321. about 1 min left

  322. FT 4-1, could easily have been 6 or 7-1.

  323. are we all rose tinted about Denilson then??? i mean lucas getting in the brazil squad instead of him!!!

  324. Denilson is injured.

  325. So what dups? If a player is worth hating then it’s no excuse being unavailable for selection. Ignore his age, ignore his stats (despite their unassailable veracity) if it’s fashion able to hate him then we must hate him.

  326. Lucas is a good player. Like Denilson he gets ridiculous unfair criticism.

  327. Brazil have some 8-10 excellent midfielders who’re not in their national team. The likes of Diego don’t get a look-in.

  328. Wycombe 5-1 Chelsea…? Guessing there weren’t too many regulars out tonight…

    I think a few of us could do with re-reading this article then remembering not to engage with moronic trolls in future. The last few days on ACLF have seen decent discussion spoiled by so much guff.

  330. 1. My plan to recruit assistants in order to irritate the cyber-world is coming along nicely!
    2. C’ant – was a joke.
    3. Passenal, you are a legend. I love the ease of your 100% spot-on, comments.
    4. re Bill’s reply to Passenal that goes like this: Good point as always. Most do not stop to think how more difficult it is to compete post Abramovich. ….Really?!!! If that is the case, no wonder doomers exist. It is the most glaringly obvious, staring-you-right-in-the-face, point ever! Isn’t it?

  331. surely thats a bit ott. and whats this ems lark!!

  332. The doomers and some others from here, would be a great addition to the Anti-War campaign, for Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, the one that doesn’t really exist because most of us are too comfortable with our own lives, and aren’t really moved by the cries from distant lands, that our governments decided to fuck. The time they spend arguing, rationally or irrationally regardless, will surely amount to something productive for a change. Rather than who the fuck Arsene is or is not going to join. Creepy little pricks.

    Sorry Yw, no politics. Just in one of those moods to have a go at humanity.

  333. 1 loose cannon

    “I wonder how intelligent it is keeping a player who doesn’t want to be there.

    “After seven years of great service, I thought Arsenal could have granted him his dream move.”
    “He is far too classy a guy to say it but the truth
    is he doesn’t want to be at Arsenal this season.”
    “We know he is arriving next season. Barcelona have a whole year to sort the deal out”

    Well let me tell you something Senor Puyol, Why don’t you shut your stinkiong hole for a little. Its clear, you pay the asking price you get what you want, you arroggant bastards. Don’t expect Arsenal to let their players go on the cheap to please a bunch of arrogant idiots in Catalunya.By the way If Cesc has given a lot to Arsenal, Arsenal have given him even more, playing time on the field where his beloved Bullshit Barca did not bother to give him, How about some loyalty for a change. What a fool. To be honest sometimes I wish that he is gone so that I don’t have to hear these idiots making comments like that. Or maybe not let him go and just prove a point to these arrogant bastards. After what has gone on the best Arsenal can do now is to win the C.league and beat those Catalan shites on the way. It would go a long way to make up for the total desrespect they have shown to Arsenal.

  334. Carlos Puyol is a classy guy.

  335. Yes, he is! Maybe we should ask if we can swap Cesc for him? We have an abundance in midfield anyway.
    Just imagine, we would be unbeatable with a central defence consisting of TV5 and Puyol. Any striker who is not scared to pieces by Verm’s killer stares will surely start running back to his goal when he sees Big Foot standing in front of him.

  336. Ok Passenal at 9:10 pm – now apply those same questions to the past 3 seasons – you see a pattern here? That’s what I’m getting at. If those deficiencies (top GK, quality CH at the very least but you could add a DM) were address then or in the 3 seasons 1 player at a time we wouldn’t need the 3 or 4 now to sort it.

    So as it stands this season

    We got 1 centrehalf but that only brings the numbers to 3 (Vermaelen, Djourou, Kos)

    We definitely need another experienced defender. Id be happy with Nordveit as no5 centrehalf

    We need a DM to either play with Song and or rotate. Denilson is not a DM, he hasnt the strength and hes not energetic enough. Good squadie though.

    We also without a doubt need a top keeper. Almunia needs to go. Mannone and Chesney have time on their side so are ok. I reckon it last chance saloon for Fabz though – so id keep him as the no2 and see of the competition from the other 2 helps him at least get his confidence back as the cup keeper – he just doesnt seem ready yet for the No1 jersey – i truly hope he turns it around though.

    So we have 1 defensive reinforcement in – we still need another 3.

    We are well stocked in the attacking department and will even have a few youngsters this season ready to step up.

  337. now im not a doomer, far from it, but Wenger has left it too long to address these issues – he needs to do it now! We know hes great at getting little gems so its not even that he needs to spend massive.

  338. DeiseGooner – I agree 100% with your post.

    We are so close to having a great team, it will be criminal if we don’t that that extra mile to make it happen.

    And to be honest, we need to show the ambition to help keep our better players at the club. Players like RvP/Nasri/Cesc/Arshavin should be at clubs winning things.

  339. “By the way how many of the current Man poo side will get into the invincibles side? I reckon only few of them. Did they not nevertheless win the league thrice in a row. Time to get real.”

    Yes and because their standards dropped its ok that our did also?

    I find it hard to swallow them winning with some of the players they had (they kept some of their experienced players) when we were close but just lacked that extra bit of quality / nous

  340. It is a pointless argument anyway.

    How many of our current team would get into the invincibles side? That was a once in a lifetime team.

  341. No DeiseGooner I disagree – he needed to have already done it YESTERDAY. Why can’t he see how every day without a signing is like a serious wound to the heart for us fans? I saw a piece in the Sun the other day about how much man city have spent – does this arrogant stubborn loser not know how bad that made me feel? For christ sakes wenger you utter loser stop messing us loyal fans about and spend that money NOW.

  342. No steww you miss the point – its not about spending money like man city do. The youth system and scouting network Wenger has created negates the need for that kind of spend (as if that was even possible) We have the nucleus of a great team here but just lack those few quality players to realise its potential.

  343. “It is a pointless argument anyway.”
    Stop press: goonerandy rereads every single post he’s ever made and finally sees sense.

  344. DeiseGooner
    You can try to dress it up and sound reasonable if you like but the facts don’t support your argument. How big a squad do you imagine we should have? How on earth could any manager have predicted the nature of the injuries from last season? To lose your first and second choice right back, first second and third choice CHs and first second and third choice centre forwards at the same time – this is to name but a few of the problems we suffered.
    If you think world class players will sit on the bench as fourth choice back up you are deluded.

  345. Anyway I don’t come here to chat to people like you, Bill/AIC and goonerandy, I come here to read the thoughts of serious, intelligent, witty, positive & optimistic Arsenal supporters who get behind the team.
    I’m off out to walk the dog.
    Doom away.

  346. steww – It is shame you posts just consist of childish soundbytes. If you ever post anything with a bit of though behind it I will miss it, as I just skip over your posts now.

    It seems obvious you don’t really know that much about football, or, are not really intelligent enough to get your points across so you end up making stupid childlike posts.

    If I am wrong about you, do yourself a favour and post something worth reading/debating.

  347. Fuck off doomerandy.
    Understand that? Now I really must walk the dogs.

  348. Again, proving my point.

  349. so steww only if all posts are optimistic (even when theres a reason for pessimism, doubt, worry) are they valid.

    I getcha

  350. We don’t need a defensive midfielder. That’s the least of our worries. We have Song, Denilson, Diaby plus, Eastmond & Nordtveit to cover that position. We are more than adequately covered.

  351. You got it Deise. Why not give it a try. tell us what you’re most looking forward to this coming season. Oh and see if you can avoid the word ‘but’.

  352. “Yes and because their standards dropped its ok that our did also?”

    Idiot, they won 3 titles in a row. My point more than stands, it’s reinforced by your comment.

    They won three leagues in a row with a team of “low standards” according to you, well our own team (of low standards according to you) can win too.

  353. doomerandy – no doubt as a supporter you subscribe to ATVO, I think you’ll particularly enjoy the match highlights section. Why not go back and watch Man United’s goals against us a few thousand times. I should imagine you’d enjoy that.

  354. Ole soon Frimpong will be able to play there for large parts of a season

  355. Ole i agree its the lowest priority of the 3 positions but it would still be an are is like to see strengthened. Song does a cracking job but Denilson is less suited to the purely defensive role. Diabys strengths lies in his attacking play and quite often he lacks the discipline needed. Frimpong/Eastmond have looked good but its a big step up – so while not a priority considering the centrehalf/keeper situation its an area that can be strengthened.

    And by saying ‘the least of our worries’ what do you see at the greatest worry then Ole?

    Yes our current team very nearly did win the league – but do you not agree we lacked something to actually make it happen?

    Look im not all doom and gloom here, im quite pleased with the squad apart from the defense – its so obviously a weakness thats gone too long unfixed.

  356. DeiseGooner,

    I don’t care to do a doomgloom worryfest with you.

    I’ll leave that to you.

    I also don’t like the pretence that we’re having a reasonable conversation about the team.

    My point to you is that we have very good defensive midfield cover and it’s not so fundamental a position that you even need 2 specialists. Man United dont even have 1 single specialist holding midfield player.

    Denilson is a superb defensive player who’s proven himself in the position. Unlike the mass ignorance of the likes of you, Wenger is not blind to that fact. That’s why Tony Attwood at Untold Arsenal gets fed up with talking to the Doom Clan. Your points too often start out denying the obvious.

    If you want to have a serious conversation, start out for example explaining why Denilson won the ball more than ANY other player in the league in 2009. Explain that away, then I’d start considering your assertion that he can’t defend.

  357. oh and before you say money and buying players wont solve everything, i agree. but we lack in numbers alone for the central defensive positions – if le boss decides to go with Verm.Djourou/Kos/Nordtveit (i think wel struggle) but gets the back for more clued up as a unit then that’s another way of addressing this weakness that needs to be taken.

  358. Els, not seen enough to form an opinion, do you think Frimpong is ready from Prem league?

  359. I hate seeing us lose, or even draw. I am mostly looking forward to watching another season of great attacking foorball, hope full which will bring some silverware.

    Why would I enjoy watching any goals against us? What a strange thing to say. The fact I can talk about the deficiencies of the team (as all teams have them you know) does not make me any less of a supporter does it?

  360. Nice one Ole…

    Couldn’t stop reading through the comments this morning, wish i stuck around longer yesterday!

    YW must be working on an extra special post (ready to announce a CB signing!)

  361. Heh, I hope so.

  362. goonerandy

    we all talk about the defiencies.. some fans let it affect their support.

    For instance, Almunia is not the best gk around going on last season, neither is Eduardo the best striker, but come match day, or be it on a blog speaking about those players, the support should remain the same.

    Why should the support change? If fan doesn’t believe in the team or is blinded by the anti-arsenal brigade, that is their problem. What supporters try to achieve by going around slating players is beyond me…

    Some of your comments makes me question your support too.

  363. ChrisGoona – None of my posts aimlessly “slate” our players. there is good reaoning behind my comments, you may not agree with them which is fair enough.

    I am 100% behind the team, and once the players pull on the jersey I would never not get behind them. But away from the pitch there is nothing wrong discussing the teams pro’s and cons. Especially on a fan forum.

    Which comments make you question my support, I am genuinelly interested to know. I can assure you though you could not be further from the truth. I am not “Anti Arsenal” or a “Doomer”. I am a fantical Arsenal fan and want the best for my club.

  364. Hey Supercod, I think soon I wouldn’t be surprised if he made it. I have only seen the highlights of pre season and managed to see him for reserves a while ago now, but he’s a strong lad with an eye for a pass. I was surprised by what I saw last few weeks and he seems to have bulked, another year on and I could definately see him in competitin with song. So I say why sign anybody in this pos. As Ole says we have a long list of deputies for song, i’m sure they can get us through a season.

  365. I typed in a comment that seems to have disappeared.

    My response to DeiseGooner is that I don’t want to maintain the pretence we’re having a reasonable discussion. To start with, I have no taste for a doomgloom worry fest much as every single fan has his/her worry about the team.

    On the point of Denilson, I challenge you to explain how it came to be that he won the ball more than any other player in the Premier League in 08/09. If he’s poor defensively, tell me how that could be. Thanks.

    This is where Tony Attwood at Untold Arsenal loses his rag with the DeiseGooners of this world. A lot of their beliefs start out denying real life facts. If you deny the fact that Denilson wins the ball quite a lot, then you’d say he’s not effective, and maybe should be sold.

    Not that it was ever down to the opinions of the likes of you. Wenger isn’t a fool. Without your biases he sees what the player contributes, and he has complete faith in him. It just turns out that every single stat, and every careful watching of Denilson’s game shows Wenger is correct.

    Not to say he hasn’t had bad games. But so has every single player in the squad.

  366. I am not sure about a long list of Deputies for Song; Diaby is too attacking, whilst Denilson (in my opinion) is not good enough. I would not like to rely on Eastmond of Nordvit for an extended period should Song get injured.

    Fringpong howver looks like he really could be a very good player in that position. A big lad with some agression about him. He seemed to have a good engine on him, and looked composed on the ball. It will be good to see him emerge. Also I noticed he was quite vocal which at his stage of development is a great sign.

  367. Also CG football isn’t a game of individuals it’s a team game. Nobody ever seems to realise that signing hunterlaar for instance to replace eddy could have massive problems of knitting the team together. Were as someone like Vela has been in th fold for a long time now and should have a massive advantage over players that many appear to think are better than the players we allready have. These players are just examples though, but it can be the same all over a pitch and in goal also.

  368. I agree with that Els.

    The keeper/defensive unit is not quite all that though is it? So a new keeper is not going to dispute cohesion that is fragile in the 1st place.

  369. steww

    What i am looking forward to is:

    I.A quality keeper between the sticks for the first time since Jens

    2. Jack Wilshire to start more than 20 games(i know there is not a chance in hell)

    3.Denilson to pass a ball forward

    Not much to ask for is it?

  370. Hark – I reckon young Jack might force his way in you know. Especially if he gets a chance if we pick up a few injuries. I can see him getting his games in one of the wide spots though.

  371. I think what you Deise, Goonerandy and the likes don’t understand is that I. ChrisGoona, Ole, steww,… are not thinking buying a new CB and keeper is a total waste of money but the issue is to find one available and that will not have an over priced price tag and more importantly will be a real added value is not that easy. You can do it in Football manager but in real life it doesn’t work that way. Just look at Barca iattempt to sign cesc, they won’t succeed because Arsenal does not want to sell, simple as that.

    I am sure a CB is in the pipe, Wenger has been more than clear that he will buy one we just have to be patient. Transfer dealings are not as easy as going to the shop, pick a product and pay for it at the till. I am sure the scouting team have named a few players to are deemed good enough. But then there is the need to convince the club to sell, find an acceptable fee (and with the fact Arsene needs a defender the fee will always be increased), then find an agreement with the player on wage. All this take time if you don’t want to get ripped off.

    As for the goalkeeper situation, I agree Almunia or Fabianski are not world class but I can’t see one better and available. Let’s go through the usual suspects:
    Reina: Wenger apparently tried but Liverpool won’t sell and he signed a contract extension.
    Given: Man city are not planning to sell him yet and are in no need for cash.
    Buffon: injured for another few month so a waste of time.
    Lloris, Mandanda: Lyon and Marseille won’t sell them.
    Schwarzer, Jussi, Green, James: Not better than Almunia and have never proven to be good at the highest level (keeping the goal at a top club and in the CL is not the same as being at a midtable club).

    My point is it is not because they have not announced a signing that they are not working on it. We, as fan with the limited knowledge available to us we can only speculate but do not have all the information to fully understand what is going on. So you guys might think we live in fantasy and just bash every one who says something about Wenger but in reality you guys who says we should buy this or him without even knowing if it is feasable are the won living in fantasy and should just stick to fantasy football leagues and let the professionals with the true knowledge of the market do the job they are paid for.

    Ps: the press do not even have all the info so they can just speculate like us.

  372. We have a quality keeper in Chesny, he should be given a chance at Emirates cup, his age is not relevant as Casillas was 18 when he started for Real Madrid

  373. Gunnerluc – Good post with good points. You are right of course that transfers are difficult things to put together. I don’t think anybody (I am not anyway) is stamping their feet that nothing has happended yet, just concnered that it needs to happen at some point.

    Some people are not saying what you pointed out in your first paragraph though mate, and that is where the stupid arguments are happening. Unfortuntaely some people think observations about certain players is the same as an attack on the club, and a lack of support.

    I don’t belive that with our scouting network we cannot find an availabe keeper in world football who is not more reliable than our current rota though.

  374. A doom gloom worry fest? Sorry but thats not me. Im quite upbeat about the squad and upcoming season – but this is tempered by our obvious weakness ..namely our defense. A simple breakdown should suffice to highlight my concerns.

    Last Season at centrehalf we had on our books (including long term injuries)

    Senderos (he didnt play but he was there)

    4 have now gone to be replaced by 1 with perhaps a 20 year old making 2

    So are we weaker or stronger?

    As for Denilson – interception stats is not the be all end all of a defensive midfielder – he lacks strength, he gets muscled of the ball to easily, he does not track his man / runners from midfield as he should do – yes he can still improve on these things but from what i have seen in all the games he has played for us do date he has yet to do so. I still think he has something to offer but not as Songs direct competition for DM

  375. goonerandy, deni is good enough to play that role for song don’t worry your pretty head. What is it that you see in Frimp that your don’t see in deni? I imagine it’s just because he’s large, there are many many defensive midfielders that are not big and bulky, however you do tend to find that slighter players have more skill with the ball and passing ability. Obviously there are exceptions. But would you rather have a destroyer or somebody who can do as an effective job but contribute in attacking moves.

    I admit as a spectacle it’s nice to see a vieira run back and brush somebody off a ball as if he was a fly but unless we can get another one of those players of which I would say in his prime vieira was in the top 3 dm’s I have ever seen. But would you not like to watch Arsenal cutting passes out with the likes of deni and clichy and nasri and rosicky then instantly turning defence to attack with a carving pass? That to me is a great thing to see. Something Wenger is working toward. It’s forwards thinking and a move away from tough tackling mouthbreathing leg breakers that need someone next to them who can pass.

  376. again dont take it as a slight on Denilson, he is what he is, i quite like the kid, just not as DM replacement for a Song. Next to him or ahead of him fine. I jusr reckon hes not quite up to the DM role but he can still be a fine midfielder.

  377. All sensible posts, going forward we offer as much if not more potency than anyone in the Prem, at the back we’re thin and concede too many – no brainer. There’s nothing ready made within the club so we are forced into the transfer market. 4 or 5 names are constantly linked and I’m assuming a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to secure at least one of them. Everyone wants the team to improve and if we were intent in slagging off the manager/team/players I doubt we’d be on here….

  378. Can you explain why he won the ball more than any other player in the league and that’s not a clear sign of his defensive strength?

    You’re like creationists. The earth was created 60,000 years ago, in 7 days.

    Get real.

  379. The most annoying meme going round is that we lost 4 centre backs so we need 2 more.

    Seriously, what’s the problem with the doomer mind? I can’t remember how many times the likes opf Bill and company insisted we started last season with just 3 centre backs. Arseblog was also pushing this meme. So, we started with three, lost 4, and now still have 3. Doomer algebra for you.

  380. Doomer thinking always needs ignoring clear fact. Notice how DeiseGooner claims
    “we have 2 teenagers who may step up in a couple of years but not quite ready now -”

    No. We have Song, Denilson, Diaby and three teenagers who can fill in there. Diaby is not a holding midfielder, but he’s been deployed there, and quite a few times last season.

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