Young Guns Get Good Marks From Emirates Weekend

Hard as it is to resist the temptation to start today with a quick burst of “We are the Champions“, I shall do so for The Emirates Cup doesn’t quite warrant such celebrations. The question for the competition organisers is whether or not to award Arsenal the trophy permanently as is the norm in football when a club wins the cup three times. Perhaps as it is an annual event, three-in-a-row or five in total will see that happen. Who knows and it is equally hard not to say, who cares?

The win over Celtic was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests but as with the Milan goal on Saturday, neither of those conceded yesterday were down to goalkeeping errors which will boost the confidence of the respective custodians. I would suggest that as well as Fabianski did on against the Italians, Almunia was more confident on Sunday in his general play. The answer of whom will start at Anfield will no doubt become clearer against Legia next weekend when I would expect Wenger to start with his preferred XI. A case of playing yourself out of the side rather than into it.

The Spaniard was defiant in his post-match interview which suggests that he has been hurt by the summer of speculation. If wounded pride is what it takes for him to eradicate the lapses in concentration which have proved costly in the past, then so be it. Almunia can consider himself unlucky not to have been voted Man of the Match, the award going to Jack Wilshere instead.

He and Frimpong were singled out by Wenger as being reasons why there will be no further additions to the midfield this transfer window. Both proved over the weekend that whilst we should not be fearful of their inclusion in the matchday squad, their claims for a regular starting place are not going to be immediately fulfilled. Both could be full England internationals although Frimpong looks to be treading the Ghanain path, Wenger urged Capello to look strongly at this.

He tried – and failed – to add a caveat to his praise:

They have normally a good future, but let’s be cautious and not make of them stars before they are stars

Generally that can be done by not talking about players who have yet to complete two decades on this earth, as potential squad members for the next European Championships. The effect of Walcott’s inclusion in the 2006 World Cup Finals squad for England is a salutory lesson. Whilst he did not play, just being there raised expectations, the backlash of which was seen four years later when his performances were not up to the world-beating standards expected of him by the media.

Walcott had one of those games yesterday. Overall he will be pleased with his performance as the wide player – I hesitate to use the word ‘winger’ for he is not one in its purest meaning. In that position, two assists and on target efforts is a good return, creating goals is that which should be expected from there. Inconsistency of delivery still haunts him but there has yet to be a wide player with 100% crossing accuracy. Indeed, were all of the wayward deliveries poor or was it case of some good delivery without a colleague making the right run to receive the ball. A mix of both I would suggest.

It is this inconsistency that will haunt Frimpong and Wilshere in their development and may yet see them subjected to the same criticism as Walcott. It seems unlikely that the duo would be starting in the Premier League without experience alongside them. Wenger has an embarrassment of riches in midfield, the only casualties now seem to be those who are unfit as opposed to any departures.

Nasri had a good tournament, effective in his prompting and more diligent in his defensive duties. Rosicky had an impressive first half – by preseason standards – and should he remain fit, indications are positive for the coming season. The central defensive situation is still being addressed, Wenger coy about naming his targets but admitting that he is looking for at least one new arrival to strengthen the squad. Whether that is genuine or him pandering to the well-document desires of the supporters remains to be seen.

Cesc was absent this weekend as his pueblo honoured his part in Spain’s South African triumph with the organisers and Spanish media mindful of the Barcelona links, careful to include only historical pictures for consumption. The latter have been stung by Wenger’s comments over the past few days, all but accusing him of being overly sensitive to their blatant campaign to bring Cesc home. One wonders if the manager of Arsenal accusing Barcelona of tapping up has made the Camp Nou officials have a quiet word in their puppets ears to calm things down.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 2, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 303 Comments.

  1. no mention of theo 😦

  2. opps missed that paragraph
    must stop scannning

  3. Roll on Liverpool. Can’t wait now.

  4. The game yesterday was hardly inspiring IMHO. There was the some elements of the same old same old Arsenal game. Tons of chances to kill the game earlier on. Defensive frailties which almost cost us the game. It can be argued though that we did not have our best 11 at any one time in the game which is fair enough. But in the real world circumstances would mean that we would never have our best 11 for many many games in the season. I really do hope that we add some strength to the back.

    Off Topic I was disappointed with Wengers statement in relation to Frimpong I mean some of the biggest injustice in football is to see young African players being lured into playing for European teams who already have tons of players to choose from. I think Frimpong would make a bigger impact if he plays for his native country of Ghana than if he plays for England where the chances are higher that he would just be used for a few friendly matches and then dumbed. I think Players of African origin should be encouraged to play for their native country so that there can help raise the standard of the game there. Just my $0.2

  5. Unfortunately quiet words in the puppets ears won’t work. Now bpouring boiling oil might work. May I put myself forward for consideration for the role?
    Form an orderly queue…..

  6. Was a good tournament, still a hard couple of weeks to go to get the lads ready for 90mins. The last 20mins they looked shattered. Could have been effects from the training camp though.

    My general outlook on the players:

    Theo = looking sharp and on a mission
    Nasri = has a point to prove, looks a def starter
    Arsh = running more, deadly in patches as usual
    Kosc = looking a great defensive addition – quick, can tackle, can header, anticipates everything
    Verm = SOLID
    Chamakh = team player, great in the air, may get more goals than many suggest.
    Rosicky = looking better, healthier, more alive on the ball and off he ball
    Sagna/Clichy = both with points to prove
    Almunia = had a great game, various crucial saves – another with a point to prove
    Fabianski = looked good, composed
    Frimpong/Wilshire = never out of their league, should both get in the squad
    Randall = missed opportunity!
    Nordveit = shame we didn’t see him much, makes u think Wenger will definately sign at least 1

    Overall.. The team looks hungry and determined, we will give anyone a run for their money this season if we keep this attitude up. Technically we are there – always have been, positionally and physically we may need to show more improvement when it turns to competitive football. In pre-season games its hard to tell if improvements have been made with substitutions being a distraction.

    1 more CB is a certainty. There is no way we can go into the season with the fear of 1 injury in this department. So Doomers keep it quiet from now on, no need to panic!

  7. BB – how did we not ‘kill the game’? We went 3 goals up for fuck sake. Will people like you only be happy if we win every game 7 – 0?
    That was a test of stamina for some players. JW and Frimpers played nearly all of both matches. Two pretty intense games in two days after a wearying preseason fitness camp. Of course we trailed off towards the end given those facts.
    We were superb for parts of both games and Theo looks to be gearing up very nicely for the start of the season.

  8. BB chill out

    Wenger is a manager in ENGLAND.. who is talking to the ENGLISH press. He just advised England to have a look at him.

    Wherever the player chooses to play is down to him. Also, dont be quick to slate the team in a pre-season game, we finished top of a group of 4 with good teams in it FFS!

  9. steww

    Theo looks very hungry and created countless chances, expecting a big season from him. He had a couple good goals in pre-season too, so with improved finishing and a full season it will intersting to see how many goals he notches up. He will never have the perfect delivery always, but you can see with Chamakh in the box there will be someone there willing to anticipate his crosses.

  10. hardly inspiring.. LOL

  11. If we have not inspired much I wonder how Chelsea, United and Pool fans are feeling!!

    Eintracht Frankfurt 2 – 1 Chelsea
    Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 – 0 Liverpool
    Chivas Guadalajara 3 – 2 Manchester United
    Kansas City Wizards 2 – 1 Manchester United
    Ajax 3 – 1 Chelsea
    Wycombe Wanderers 5 – 1 Chelsea XI

    Sometimes I really wonder what the fuck goes through our supporters minds.

  12. Steww – We played well in both games, but BB is correct in saying we did not “kill the games off”. That is why the game could have ended in a draw. Despite being by far the better team, we still gave Celtic a chance to get soemthing through the game. At 3-0 up we should have just played the game out by controlling the pace of the game.

    All in all, we did well though. Some very encouraging performances.

  13. The first Celtic goal was a result of a series of freak ricochets in the box – the second was a genuine defensive failure….lucky we had that new world class goalie – anyone know his name or where he came form?!

  14. from not form – although where his form came from is an equally good question

  15. goonerandy

    The positives are by far more obvious on the eye. Those that choose to nit-pick on the minor negatives of a pre-season tournament of which we topped a group of very good teams are simply pretty stupid. Try listing some positives and look forward to what could well be a very good season for us.

    Chamakh and Kosc have already shown improvement is inevitable if not already there.

    Also remember the absentees..

    Cesc
    Robin
    Denilson
    Diaby
    Ramsey
    Song

    To have the nerve of bringing up such a retarded comment “kill off the game” when various subs have been made, and obviously some legs are going is just a load of shit.

    SHITE SUPPORT, fucking hilarious some of you

  16. Almunia was excellent yesterday. As much as I have my doubts about him, if we don’t buy another keeper he must start over Fabianski.

  17. Big Johan

    Almunia was amazing, I wouldn’t be too bothered about not signing a keeper. A defender has got to be the priority. Did Nordtveit even get off the bench?

  18. goonerandy

    Yes andy, Wenger will base it one game alone.

  19. Chris – So at 3-0, did we kill the game or not?

    Forget the fact we had made subs and stuff, Celtic also had a scratch side out.

    There were far more positives this weekend, but not killing games off has been our downfall for the past few years, and one we need to recitfy. Do you not agree with this?

  20. @steww It is a friendly game meant to test the teams area of vulnerabilities (among other things) I just took out some of my observations about the game. I am glad we won but I am just trying to pick out what we could learn from the game. We were in control but we almost lost 3 points That would need to be improved on going into the season. I believe we all remembered how many games we controlled last seasons but still dropped points due to defensive frailties . I am not saying the team is crap I am just pointing out areas which could be improved.

    @ChrisGoona Sure he is entitled to his Opinion just as I am entitled to mine 🙂 Its just sad to see the large amount of young African players in no man’s land when there could be of use in their native country.

  21. I fail to understand why when the ball is crossed from the right hand side, we never EVER have anyone coming in far post. Someone’s got to be busting a gut to get there every time Theo’s going down that side as that’s where most of his lofted balls seem to go. It’d be prime SuperNic52 territory were it not for the fact that him and Theo seem to be competing for the same position.

  22. No I don’t, I am 100% certain had it not been a pre-season game, and our players not being subbed, and those who remained on could have lasted the 90mins we would have more often that not added to our 3-0.

    Stop being deluded. Was a good work out, and many of the players had very good games. How anyone can make a comparison to past results where we hadn’t ‘killed teams off’ is beyond. That term seems to be used more and more by idiots who simply don’t know what they are talking about.

    Very impressive from our team overall, and the new boys look like great additions.

  23. Seems liek we are glossing over the team’s weakeness. This was not a high pressure game but our weaknesses still showed.

    Theo was frustrating with his crosses. He needs to get his act together soon. Against bettter opposition he will not get as many chances to deliver crosses like yesterday and its time for him to step up and make sure he maximises on the chances he get.

    And our defensive problems are still there. We still cant deal with set pieces( Milan Goal) and we still cant defend comfortable leads. There is no way Celtic shud have come back into the game.-Remember Wigan last season.

    Another thing is that some of the players are trying too many uncessary tricks, flicks and backheels. Even the young players like Wilshire were trying these. When they come off it looks amazing, but we lost the ball most of the time this was tried. We will be punished on the break against good opposition.

    All that said, we still need a Goalkeeper, a CB and a DM.

  24. Jena

    Forget a DM, Wenger said isn’t going to happen. Not convinced that new GK will be in either. We definitely need a CB.

    YW

  25. BB

    Fair enough, it is an issue which I do not know much about, but Wenger is purely stating the obvious to those in charge with England selection. They seem to need a hand every now n then!

    With regards to your bleak assessment.. you forget to mention anything positive..

    The Goalkeepers not making any mistakes..
    new signings performing VERY WELL
    Young players looking ready
    Generally the players looking hungry for success..

    Positives seem to be ignored and expected amongst many supportes losing sight of the joy and great football we are given by our team. Players like Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner perform quite well for 95% of the season, a hint of a lapse in concentration or 1 single bad game and they are hung out to dry.

    Again though, you like many supporters choose to focus on the most smallest hint of a negative and doing so forgetting to reflect on the game with neutral view. It is unbelievable, ridiculous, and I cannot see how you can take joy out of watching football with your perspective. Maybe I am being a bit OTT here, but your comments are appauling in all honesty. I dont see how anyone can come today and start bitching after we won a pre-season tournament.

  26. chrisgoona

    I can see that you are the most optimistic out them all.cos I think that our defence is way weaker than last year.and that’s why wenker needs to sign another CH.

  27. jena – fuck off

  28. The new defensive pairing looked very comfortable together, but I am a little concerned about their cover as all three goals this weekend were scored in the second half after one of them had been subbed. Djourou looks a little short of fitness which is maybe understandable considering his time out with injuries, but we need one more CB at least.
    Both Wilshere and Frimpong did well, but I would have liked to have seen Lansbury over the weekend as I think he has more of an eye for a pass than Frimpong at the moment. If the battle for the DM role is between Song, Frimpong and Lansbury things can’t be that bad.
    Chamakh looks like he is going to give us some different options up front as he seems to have a good first touch and an awareness of his team players. He had a bit of a rush of blood to the head at one point in the second half yesterday when Walcott beat his player on the wing though. For some reason Chamakh rushed over to Walcott when he should perhaps have waited near the centre spot for the cutback and the move broke down.
    Some of the passing moves between Nasri, Arshavin and Rosicky were amazing and if we can get somebody in the box on the end of the ball more often we are likely to carve teams apart.
    Overall very encouraging over the weekend, a few tweaks and cutting out the defensive lapses from last season and we should be looking to win trophies.

  29. Good Blog. Thanks. Guys like BigbrovaR need to get a life and make sure they take medications against negativity or maybe support m*n u or spu*s

  30. CG@ 9:08

    Great minds think alike,eh? I mean,i cant believe that some so called supporters have found anything to be unimpressed with our pre season preps.

    The spuds were humiliated at the shite harte lane by vilareal,while manshitty were put in there rightful place by intermilan…so whats the bitching about really.

    On a different note(but arsenal related),what do people think about naming(or renaming) the emirates as THE ARSENE WENGER STADIUM after the leasing agreement with fly emirates is up & le prof has retired? I think there are valid reasons to make this happen-like him being our most succesful manager & being instrumental in the clubs future in generations to come.*sigh* just a thought!

    COME ON ARSENAL!!!!!!

  31. Ole,

    To return your comment yesterday, do you think more defensive reorganisation is due ? Or is it problem with tactics ? Too many players forward etc etc ?

  32. Well, the problems still remain, it was just shambolic defending. I dont know what has changed from last season, the simple fact is that we dont know how to defend.

    I am hopeful because wenger has hinted about another defender because if the defense is not sorted out then the team will not win anything.

    Attacking wise we dont need to be worried, we have (and have had) resources there in abundance for the last 5 years. Perhaps keown needs to be brought in as defensive coach to organize our back line because it sure as hell has no idea of defending leads or seeing a game out.

    In two months we will know whether we will win anything or not.

    Cheers!

  33. Thanks for that link, OOU. Really enjoyed that.

  34. Trugunn.

    Renaming the stadium to a brand that doesn’t pay at least £200m or something won’t happen. Arsene Wenger stadium is sentimental, but it doesn’t pay bills.

  35. Very impressive display this weekend for a training outing by a largely second string formation, and otherwise ensuring no silly injuries. Shows depth. Kos and Frim continue to impress, and Wilshere is almost ready for a bigger role; what about that volley? Fantastic skill from the young man. Crossing needs to improve. Chamakh looks like he’s been Arsenal forever, and I noted his heading ability. Almunia seems to have recovered from his summer influenza! I knew he would. Wenger psychology at work. where’s Denilson?

  36. We still have a tendancy to get caught out down the left-hand side as both of our main choices at left-back like to bomb forward leaving a hole at the back.
    At one point in the game yesterday Celtic exploited a huge gap down our left-side and Kosc dashed across to close down Samaras as he charged down the wing. I had visions of Samaras dinking a ball over Kosc’s head into a huge hole in the middle for a simple tap-in, but Kosc robbed him of the ball and gained a goalkick with some style.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love to see our pacey full-backs joining in defence, but maybe we have to get more of a balance between attack and defence this season or the weaknesses of last season will resurface.

  37. By the way, with Frimpong in the mix, we de facto have a fourth CB in Song. As I said, depth.

  38. naga

    and again you prove to be the view that speaks for the sheep!

    Bring Keown in… forgetting the fact we have the likes of Bould, and other ex players as defensive coaches.

    Slating our defence.. forgetting already Kosc is looking great, and obviously 1 more at least will be brought it.

    Seriously I do wonder if your a troll sometimes!

    Generally your outlook is piss poor, SHIT SUPPORTER who can take nothing positive from what has been a very good pre-season. Does that hurt? I doubt it because you have heard it many times right? 😉

    Again, have a look at our fellow title challenger results. They have been shocking with average performances.

  39. People getting bent out of shape over a shambolic failure to ‘kill off’ an Emirates Cup game?

    The 2nd 90 minute game in 2 days for our 18 year old central midfield partnership?

    Haha!! Brilliant. Have fun…

  40. “In two months we will know whether we will win anything or not.”

    Absolutely right, naga. Can’t argue with that.

    Does that mean that you’ll fuck off on October 1st?

  41. trugunn

    Cheers, very promising signs indeed! Enjoyed pre-season more than the World Cup that is for sure!

    Just love the way the Frimpong and Wilshire eased into the team, and the new boys Chamakh and Koscielny look like they have been with us for years.

    Remarkable and a credit to the scouting who obviously do their homework.

  42. Oh, and a few fans need to go out on loan. I suggest Blackburn. I must say, the few oddballs on ACLF (you know who you are) are pathetic as a twelth man. But the fans who actually went seemed to have fun.

  43. Does that mean that you’ll fuck off on October 1st?

    Lets all hope so! You can guarantee he will be back though come May if we marginally lose out on a title or champs league to slate the team.

    Fucking loser

  44. LOL Chris.

    You seem to be on form today with your no-nonsense attitude…

    I tend to think that unless we buy clones of Vieira, Adams, Keown and Petit, some folks will never be happy.

  45. Ya, it does hurt chrisgoona, but what can I do? 🙂

    Anyhow, our defense has been poor in pre season and the season following it for the last 4 consecutive seasons. If the defense miraculously inproves for the new season I would be delighted, but ti has not happened for the last 4 seasons, thats all I am saying.

    The creative aspect of our team has always been positive though.

    Limpar assist, great passion, keep it up. 🙂

    Cheers!

  46. Completely agree with you Yogi, i think the only position we are going to see strenghthened is at centre back.

    One story though coming out of Man City at the weekend is that Joe Hart does not want to sit on the bench which might mean a loan out somewhere might again be in the making, to the Emirates maybe ? I wouldnt mind seeing that happen.

    Overall more positives than negatives over the weekend, reasons to be cheerful i feel.

  47. ZimPaul

    Was a great pre-season tournament, and all pre-season long we have looked good. We barely gave a sniff of goal in the other 3 previous games. Well apart from of course we had the penalty which Mannone saved. Seeing the squad being tested in 2 days with key absentees to top the Emirates Cup is great, everybody looked like they could have a real impact this season.

    Vela in particular looked good for me, so too Almunia, the new CB, and Theo will again prove too much for defences this season. Its funny how the doomers on here forget to mention any of it..

  48. I think the main concner is that it is different players, but the same problem. I don’t think it is down to personnel, but the team set up. There were loads of positives from this weekend, but that area is still a concern. You you can’t see it (our main problem for the past few years) you are burying your head in the sand.

    Better sides that Celtic will punish us for playing so open and gilfting them chances. We always leave our defence exposed, and at 3-0 up there is no need to do this. Remember Wigan last year? Same issue.

    If we manage to sort this area, we will win things this season.

  49. I don’t think Arsenal should sign Joe Hart, whether on an overdraft or a loan.

    It will just be fodder for the anti-Arsenal press to shove it down our throats when we win anything proclaiming that “their” suggestion of us feeding from Man Shitty scraps is what changed the fortunes for Arsenal.

  50. No, after october 1st, if the team is nowhere near good enough, then it means I will have to support arsenal more strongly than ever, because the pundits and newspaper hacks will be out in full force.

  51. Devil's Advocate

    Chris: Jena raises some valid points, mate. While I’m elated at the positives – the new signings are spot-on, the youngsters are coming on, and Nasri and Arshavin, especially, deserve praise, the former for everything, the latter for combining well with the youngsters especially – identifying shortcomings and seeing how much of last season’s flaws have been fixed is an important part of preseason. You do seem to want to tap-dance with hob-nailed boots on anybody who makes the slightest criticism. We all love Arsenal, that’s why we’re on this blog. I think our midfield is deep enough defensively, Almunia has always been brilliant, but inconsistent – routine mistakes should be neutralised if our back line holds firm, for which we need one more CB. Refusing to acknowledge valid concerns does not help Arsenal in the least, you know. With our record of injuries, this team could very well have to take the field as the first 11 at some point, against a better side, in which case Walcott’s crosses will need to gain more accuracy and the youngsters should stop doing tricks unless there’s a purpose because it gives the opponents too much space. These are things that can very well be fixed, and I am sure AW will fix them.

  52. No Doom&Gloom merchannts allowed here please.YW,you are a tolerant man indeed! yesterday or the day before,i noticed that le groan had binned a guy or gals post because it was “boring” & our very own matt was given a stern warning for making a compilation of insults directed at AW that day! That site is unbelievably ridiculous.
    Duppsofkcuff,if you are reading today’s post,the le grove you recommended i try reading is far insulting to the club than you will ever our north london neighbours say about us. Talk about frenemies of the club,huh!

  53. naga

    like I said, for a pre-season tournament which we topped the group, it is used for match fitness, and the squad had to be rotated to avoid injuries. These ain’t excuses, these are facts, and I think you would prefer letting in a few last minute goals instead of winning every pre-season game 4-0 and losing a few players on muscle injuries!

    You would think even your average supporter would see past the tired legs, and jammy freekick Pato goal to duly observe what a great squad we have here. 1 defensive signing and we are sorted. Yet you bitch like this team is Spurs. I don’t get it, I seriously don’t. Anyway leave it as that.

  54. Same old Arsenal. Good going forward but can’t defend to save our lives

  55. Goonerandy.

    In trying to put some context to the issues Arsenal faces; do you think it’s also a valid argument to suggest that rather than our issues in defense, we also have a problem not being too clinical in front of goal. The logic being that if the attacking midfielders and strikers do their job by taking the chances, then it will alleviate pressure all round the team.

    In which case, why do we always point out just the mistakes of the defense.

  56. Can’t agree with that Darius. If he would improve the team, we should sign him.

    Won’t happen anyway, so imaterial.

  57. Some of you would have a whinge at the fucking Beach Football World Cup.

  58. I think we’re about set for the season now with just the much discussed new right-sided CB needed.

    Injuries and WC recovery permitting, here’s where I think the players fall into place right now.

    Almunia-Fabianski-Mannone/Szczęsny
    Sagna-Eboue
    Clichy-Gibbs
    Djourou-New CB (possibly switched)
    Vermaelen-Koscielny
    Song-Denilson
    Nasri-Diaby
    Fabregas-Ramsey
    Chamakh-Rosicky
    Arshavin-Walcott
    Van Persie-Bendtner

    Floating back-ups:
    Defence: Nordtveit, Traore (maybe)
    Midfield: Wilshere, Frimpong
    Forward: JET

    If we can keep most of our key players fit at the right times, I cannot see us worse than 2nd this season. The projected starting line-up looks monstrous, with the only possible question marks being Djourou and Almunia.

    Our second XI would be projected around 9th in the Premier League this season (based on last year, I would fancy them to come out ahead of Birmingham but maybe not Everton).

    Still trying to get to grips with some of the criticism. Thank god we haven’t lost like Man United, Chelsea, Man City, or Liverpool or we would be experiencing a mass Arsenal blogacide.

  59. Goonerandy…but will Hart improve the team? Really.

    Our issues are defensive organization. We have a better chance of winning the title if we sort this out. This ‘Arsenal needs a new keeper’ is really a red herring.

  60. Oops-Vela to also be a key floating back-up.

  61. The voice of reason

    Darius

    What are you talking about dont sign Joe Hart.Dont you want Arsenal to win the title?.Not even Almunia’s family wouldsay he is better than Hart.Joe hart is one of the top 3 keepers in the prem along with Given and Cech.Neither Almunia or Flappy command their box hence all the silly goals we concede from set play

    We need a top class CB and a Keeeper if we are even be in with a shout of winning the title.After watching the two games over the weekend only the form of Jack encouraged me,but we all know when the season starts he will be behind Wengers favourites Denilson and Diaby.

  62. Devil’s Advocate

    I am very aware of the issues we have had in past seasons. I have pulled my hair out over them, believe me. I don’t see how analysing our team and giving credit where it is due is a form of ‘tap-dancing’ over the cracks. If you can’t look at the team in both lights then what is the point.

    We need another defender, this is very clear. This is my only concern, those of fans who come online to use past reasoning to slate their performances is childish and really shows how some fans have certain agendas against the manager or the players. This is very clear to many of the regulars on this site.

    Almunia was fantastic, and wasn’t nowhere near as bad as many fans made him out to be last season.

    Using pretty idiotic terms like.. “he ain’t a title challenging goalkeeper”.. or “we will never win the title with him”.

    The guy was poor in comparison to the previous season. So too was though Cech, he was dreadful the previous season. Some times fans need to get some perspective, and not be so short-sighted. Maybe its brain capactity or memory issues. Its like fans blank out anything positive when they have an agenda or point to prove.

    Naga is the perfect example.

    Anyone who tries to bring the team down I will do my best to laugh them off. They are a joke, Supporters Support!

    I may have to use this little saying at the end of my posts just to fack all the doomers off. TWATS

  63. The voice of reason/shite

    Using terms like flappy and talking of Almunia’s family are very insulting. Your a fucking twat

    Most likley it is James

  64. naga gunner at 9.59am

    If it’s true what he said (‘I hope to see you more often and closer.’) , then I truly hope Nasri will step up and Ramsey and Wilshere can recover and continue to mature respectively.

    Cesc is our captain. He should have been recruiting key players to be joining us this season not encouraging despicable behaviour from Barca with his silence.

    Is it not possible that a personal visit from Cesc to Joe Cole could have swayed him to join us? Not that I wanted Cole that much, but at this point it must be very tempting for Arsene to turn the captaincy over to Vermaelen or RVP.

  65. Cant agree with lagooner about the squad at all. If we dont buy anymore the best line up I think will be (in order of preference) :

    Almunia/szezchfry/manone/ anyone who can don the gloves at arsenal/ flapianski.

    clichy(gibbs)

    vermaelen(djouru)

    kozzer(bartley/nordveit)

    sagna(eboue)

    arshavin(rosicky)

    cesc(aaron/diaby)

    song (frimpong)

    nasri (rosicky)

    chamakh(bentner)

    rvp(walcott)

  66. 100% chrisg00ner. Facking twats

  67. Vela will be amazing this season, he looked great every time he had the ball. Arshavin will have to be on his toes as Vela looks certain to challenge for the LM/W spot.

  68. The voice of reason

    everyone said TV was great last season but we conceded more league goals than the season before, over 40 in fact.Is it the lack of organisation in the back four,the lack of a defensive coach ie Keown,Bould the lack of a leader at the back ie Adams,Sol.The lack of a defensive shield from the DM.There must be a reason why we concede so many poor goals.Do we need a CB who is built like a brick shit house who can will balls in the air unlike Toure Gallas and even TV.The problem is still there as we go into another season

  69. Does nobody else think that Lansbury should be in Wenger’s thinking for a seat on the bench this season? He gained some valuable experience and received some rave reviews in the Championship last season. Whilst the last game of the season against Fulham was a bit of a nothing game due to their run in the Europa, I thought Lansbury looked very composed and had a great range of passing.

  70. The problem is still there as we go into another season

    Yep and we all know what that problem is… fucking trolls, fake fans, and doomer fans who continue to speak absolute crap. Get a fucking life

  71. If I look at the Emirates cup in isolation, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be worked upon. But in truth these 2 games were just preseason friendlies. And as such their objective is to see where the squad needs work. They also showed how youngsters like Frimpong and to a greater degree Wilshere can be a part of the first team squad for the coming season. They also showed that defensive lapses are yet to be ironed out. Now its up to the Manager as to how he deals with whats on his plate and I have no doubt whatsoever that he knows more than most people with an opinion.
    As for the Legia friendly I think Fabianski will probably start, them being his old club and all

  72. Wavey

    He looked good, I think he missed out in the Emirates Cup because he is injured. Same as Eastmond.

  73. The voice of reason

    CG

    I was there on saturday and all the Gooner around me in block 7 behind the goal were calling him Flappy.His nickname amongst Arsenal fans is Flapianski as you well know

  74. The voice of reason

    So CG please explain why we conceded over 40 league goals last season if there is nothing wrong

  75. Lagooner

    Its just that it would be a blow because of all the years we have nurtured him that he would be leaving without winning anything significant and we would have to start all over again.

    I believe if we can make our defense mean and miserly like the old guard, then we have enough creative youngsters coming through to take over even though it would be a setback in the short term.

    Even if we go into a season with just rvp without any back up I feel we would still have a chance if our defense can shut teams out. That is why the back line is the priority because all great teams are built on great defenses.

    Cesc should just say it now in terms of yes or no. Its sad but arsenal will carry on.

  76. Naga,

    Koscielny might beat out Djourou, but I think it’s more likely he’ll get eased in once the season gets underway. Having said that, I think he could handle Torres better than Djourou.

  77. Almunia was bloody amazing 🙂

    That one handed save which was going top corner. A Beauty!

  78. The voice of shite

    I have nothing to explain to you, you seem to be very much in your own doomer world which is obviously full of nightmares from past failures.

    The future is bright, the future is Arsenal mate. Its time you decide whether Arsenal is the right club for you I think.

  79. voice of reason,

    calling for a keeper who can dominate his box at the same time as wanting joe hart is pretty odd. it’s hardly his strength. he’s an excellent shot stopper and a fine keeper but he needs to do some serious work on his communication and aerial dominance as well as gain some confidence in his distribution.

    i’d say that those three things are amongst the most important characteristics that wenger would be looking for in a new GK. i like joe hart but even if man city were willing to sell to arsenal (which seems very unlikely to me) he isn’t the type of keeper i think we need.

  80. Lagooner

    Kosc seems more mobile to me. I like the look of him so far. Liverpool will be a very interesting game, and lets see if he can keep up his record of something like 12 interceptions a game!!!

  81. I know this is a little old now, but I am still surprised that Campbell went to Newcastle on a one year contract unless there was the dangle of another season if he played a certain number of games.
    I still think we would have had to buy another CB if he had stayed, but his experience would surely have helped in the development of our younger defenders. Plenty of stories around that a Schwarzer deal would include the offer of a coaching role as well, shouldn’t we have considered offering something like that to Campbell?

  82. Lagooner,

    Lets hope so, But torres is not our greatest worry, a guy by the name of drogba will be around and his favorite dish seems to be arsenal defenders, I hope he has not marked our defenders out in his menu for dinner. 🙂

  83. Naga

    I actually think Arsene would have let him go for 50 million plus. The problem is that he only wants to go to one team and they won’t pay what he’s worth.

    They made their bed when they bought Villa.

    The only thing that might change next season is that we’ll have a better idea if Nasri, Ramsey and Wilshire will be able to cover for his departure. Hopefully by then, Barca will have offloaded a few more players (Ibra etc) to be able to make a more realistic offer.

  84. You can’t include Kyle Bartley. He’s broken his collarbone.

    You’ve heard of whingeing brummies? Well this lot put some of today’s posters to shame…

    http://www.wolvesblog.com/1521/just-like-watching-brazil

    *walks off whistling always look on the bright side of life*

  85. Wavey

    If you saw the pictures of Sol, it might turn out to be a good thing for us, because Sol’s looking like he’s at least a month away from full fitness.

  86. @ChrisGoona You have a point there. There were lots of positives about yesterday’s game.

  87. gib

    Agree on Hart. I don’t see him being such an improvement. I would have liked Given to come, but Wenger had a lot of faith in Almunia to bounce back, as well as not blocking the two younger keepers from getting their chance.

    Defence has got to be priority. I know it is only pre-season. But the likes of Jack and Frimpong need to learn to not lose the ball in crucial pisitions if Wenger is to trust them with minutes of competetive action. For all their promise we need to hold the ball better, as losing possession in certain positions is what punished us last year. This goes for all the players really.

    Personnel doesn’t seem the issue, I believe we will have the numbers in defence and options up front. We just gotta hold the ball better in crucial areas and while many of our players are in advanced positions.

    Nikki B and Chamakh are obviously in the squad for these reasons. The addition of Chamakh could help solve this.

  88. Devil's Advocate

    Chris, Nope, meant you tap dance with hob-nailed boots over anybody who says anything vaguely negative? That the only squad reinforcement we need is a CB, I agree. Almunia has always been brilliant – it’s only routine crosses he muffs, and a solid backline can solve that to an extent. What the youngsters need now is maturity to know what works and what doesn’t in big matches. That will come with experience.

    Naga Gunner, I think, is experiencing pre-season pessimism, while everybody else seems to have chosen pre-season optimism. For me, I think there’s a realistic chance of winning this year. We tended to get complacent after going a couple of goals up last season, needs to be fixed this time, and I’m confident it will be. Thrilled with Kos at the back – he looked like he fit in perfectly. And Chamakh, too – nice nice touches. A CB and we should be in with a really good chance. And AW said he’d buy. Any update on Djourou, and his injury, though? Perhaps it’s our med team that’s the trouble.

  89. That’s because he hasn’t had the AW fitness regime to keep him in trim over the summer as he was out of contract. He looked very fit for us at the end of last season (not many 35 year-olds would have been able to chase down Gareth Bale).

  90. @LimparA 10.54 – I’d definitely like some of the stuff that guy is smoking

  91. Lagooner

    Ya I agree, but we must dig in on this unless the right money comes even next season. We cant bow down now after all the shit that has happened.

  92. Denilson is a Gooner.

    http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2010/08/02/2052199/arsenal-midfielder-denilson-hits-out-at-barcelona-over-cesc

    “I don’t believe what Puyol says; I believe in Cesc, because Arsenal has helped Cesc Fabregas a lot in his career, and I think that he wants to stay.

    “The problem is that because everyone [there] keeps saying ‘Oh, Cesc wants to go, Cesc wants to go’…then everyone here also starts to think, ‘Oh, Cesc wants to go’.”

    “I believe in Cesc Fabregas and this season he will be here to help us. We need him. He is our captain and he will help us a great amount this season. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with him as he has been on his holidays, but we are expecting him this week and I will see him again in training. ”

    “Jack was brilliant in the Emirates Cup. He is a very special player. He is actually very quiet on the pitch but he trains really well and he is an amazing player to watch. Arsenal have many other young players and this season we have to learn to work together more and we have to learn from our mistakes of last season. But this team will be more experienced this time round.”

  93. We might win the league this year, and then again we might not, but let’s bloody enjoy the ride eh guys. Some of us have given in, and we haven’t even started the car up yet!

  94. realsocialdad on August 2, 2010
    at 8:17 am

    How dare you scan Yogi’s pieces. They are to be read in its entirety, enjoying the immersion of his auditory tango.

    You just want to get to the sex without the foreplay?

    How dare you sir!

  95. By the way, realsoci, Ive tried scanning Yogi’s pieces, its difficult to say the least.

    Make a coffee, get comfortable and enjoy.

  96. Great link notlager and excellent attitude from Deniiiil-Son.

  97. I mentioned this last week and got short shrift but after how we lined up against Milan does anyone think Wenger may be tempted to go 442 occassionally with RVP and Chamakh in tandem..?

  98. ChrisGoona

    I’m not convinced that Given would fit our system either. He and Hart are both good keepers though obviously. I think that a lot of what went wrong for Almunia and Fabianski last year was psychological. Almunia had personal troubles at the start of the year and Fabianski made some big errors but didn’t have a long enough run in the side to make up for them. If Wenger does stick with them, and it looks increasingly like he will, then they need to overcome these hurdles quickly. If one of them starts badly then the crowd will turn on them and I can’t see that that would help their state of mind.

    The player I’d like to see come in is Rafael Marquez. I think he’ll probably head off to America but he’s 31, experienced and crucially for me, can play comfortably as a defensive midfielder or centre back. He’s very good on the ball too which is something you need if you want to play for us. It would be also fun to watch some of the more negative supporters explode with anger because he’s a free transfer.

  99. People on here who are saying how great Almunia was are showing their lack of a football brain…now all of a sudden hell do is it? he made graet saves yes he did.But if as a keeper your mot a shot stopper well u arnt much at all then.thats all he had to do yesterday make saves which hasnt been his problem at all!! the point of wanting and needing a new keeper is that he bosses his back 4 and his penalty area and when he comes for balls he gets them and takes the pressure off the backline and thats been his and fabianskis downside noting to do with their shotstoping!! sorry but after yesterday alot seem to be saying ah 1 cb and werre good to go err yes and a top top keeper!! ahem sorry for that rant!! graet weekend workout overall!! 2 more weeks training and we will be flying!!

  100. All that from Denny and he claims he doesn’t speak English well enough for those silly Arsenal Online interviews.

  101. Hey wow if Almunia changed his name to zalimunio and came from fucking sao paulo people would be going mad over him after that performance. FACT!

    Just like to point out my support for Al has never wavered all summer and I’m about to be proven right.

  102. Wolves the new Brazil? loool

    Well I suppose someone has to be.

  103. Maria you got a cracking Avatar

  104. An Appeal to all Grovers – Part I
    Grovers of the world arise from your slumber and save us from our Leader. Save us from the “prudence” of this brutal tyrant. We are oppressed by the lack of big signings; no “proper” goalkeeper, and another central defender. As the football clubs up and down England stumble into administration we, the 3rd most profitable in the world, refuse to open our “bulging cheque book” and spend. Rather than buckle under Bourdeaux’s inflated demands in 2009, we wait one whole year to get Chamakh for free. Instead of a head turning defender from the world cup, the leader and his scouts spend a whole year scouring Ligue One and sign their player of the year, Koscielny. Whoever heard of him? Where is the marquee signing to make heads turn?

    The opposition is oppressed and ridiculed when they offer advice such as: “What you should do is up your bid until you get your man because a good player is a good player regardless of …. perceived value.” Instead the Leader refuses to name his targets because their price is immediately inflated 50%. “Our lack of assertiveness in the transfer market is embarrassing.”

  105. Supercod – It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if we played more of a 4-4-2 on occasion, nor would it disappoint me. I also think a 4-5-1 has it’s merits when playing away, especially in Europe, and I’m not talking about Wolverhampton Wanderers or Brazil!

  106. Lagooner @ 11.04.
    Brilliant article which makes me feel very sad inside.

  107. There is, as usual, serious work to do now. I assume the going gets really serious as the full squad ups its training, getting to grips with numerous little errors made or opportunities missed in the training matches.

    The beauty of it all is (and why this little outing is important) – I presume – video replays of this fairly serious match time, and onto the pitch to iron out areas of weakness.

    I would think the focus would be defence/mid link up play, defensive organisation and counter. On the whole, the evidence suggest that players are increasingly focused on their defence duties.

  108. Almunia still isnt good enough, hes always been capable of the odd good game, but so is every keeper. Its being consistently good which is beyond his mental/skill level.

  109. “Where is the marquee signing to make heads turn?”

    This statement right here in the moan of the day above sums up the doomers.

    They’re just interested in bragging rights about who we spent money on and how much they cost.

  110. Darius Stone – I suspect Muppet is up to his shenanigans as no serious poster would write such comedic nonsense without their tongue being firmly in their cheek.

  111. The things that are beyond your mental/skill level, DeiseGooner, wouldn’t fit on the arse-end of a hippopotamus. Even if one were to write in incredibly tiny script. Like a miniaturist.

  112. Is it me or is LimparAssist growing a mean streak?

  113. I know els, me love it too.

  114. DesieGooner names in the book let’s say in January I come back to you and say there you go. Big Al fantastic keeper and I bet you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Also for someone who rejects the doomer label, you very very rarely have anything positive to say, I take your points about being able to voice your opinion but really if you can’t see anything positive to say once in a while why not support another team mate?

  115. Limpar invented the mean streak and i’m all for it.

  116. Why would Joe Hart come to the Emirates on loan only to sit on the bench?

  117. I have been reading an article(sorry cant remember where) which is saying that cesc is going to get booed when he returns.

    MAY I ADVICE MY FELLOW GUNNERS(AKBs & Moaners alike) NOT TO BOO CESC WHEN HE RETURNS. THAT WILL BE PLAYING INTO THE HANDS OF THOSE MAN WHORES FROM CUNTALONIA.

    I AM ONE OF THOSE ALITTLE PISSED BY THE WHOLE ‘SAGA’ BUT PLIZ,DONT LETS DO AN ADEBUYMORE & FORCE OUR MVP. LIKE DENILSON SAID,”WE NEED HIM”.

  118. Does anyone have any idea why Stewart Robson has such a massive problem with our high defensive line? You would think that is the way to go with our personal, but I can see there is a problem however there must be a reason Arsene continues to use it.

  119. Why on earth would any of our fans boo one of our own players. That would never happen, surely.

  120. Maria.

    My sense is that Robson is quite a forthright guy and speaks very directly. I used to see him as negative or having a negative streak about Arsenal, but I tend to think he just says it as he sees it, and that is his opinion.

    As much as he bangs on about our lack of a defensive strategy, he also has a lot more positive things that he says about Arsenal, and in recent times, Robson and Ray Parlour have viciferously argued Arsenal’s case against well established and hard core anti-Arsenal pundits especially on Talk Shite radio. Both he and Parlour command respect within the pundit circles as they have actually played for Arsenal, so at least they can get a word in edgeways.

    He was recently saying for example, that Arsenal should try one of two things; either get the central defenders to position themselves differently on the half turn so that they can sprint or recover either direction if the ball is played over them in the high line. Most of the times we’re caught out is because our entire back line is flat or square and have to turn back and chase an already sprinting runner.

    Alternatively, we can try the sweeper system where one CB has the primary role of attacking the ball, and the other CB + Alex Song sweep the remains.

    Regardless of whether his suggestions work, at least he debates and argues his case well. I have never heard him suggest that Arsenal cannot win the title. In fact, he is adamant that Almunia is not the problem, and Almunia is actually a better keeper than Schwarzer – his gripe is with Arsenal’s defensive strategy as a team e.g. what does every player do immediately we lose the ball so that it naturally becomes harder for the opposition to do anything constructive.

  121. I wonder how some people derive any pleasure from football at all? It was a great weekend of enjoyable football with lots of goals and players of high technical quality showing off their skills. The crowd loved it and had a great time. That is what it is all about at the end of the day.

    Yes, we are not quite ready for competitive games, but there are still 2 weeks of pre-season to come and 7 first team players yet to return. Why not just enjoy what we got in it’s context and leave the worrying about the gaps to the management? After all it’s not like any of us can do anything about it.

    Personally I love this team, I love watching them play and I’m feeling very positive.

    Thanks for the link at 11.02 am Notlager. Denilson is a Gunner and he’s right. I’m sick of these other footballers with their lily-livered responses of ‘it’s up to Cesc’. No it is not. It is up to Arsenal because he has a 5 year contract and Arsenal has decided he is staying. He needs to get his head straight and get on with the job he is paid for.

  122. I agree with you about Robson Darius. I don’t mind his criticism because it is always in context, constructive and balanced. Also he has the coaching badges and experience as a coach to back up what he is saying. He is also always positive about the team and believes we have the quality to win things if we can just sort out one or two issues that we have.

  123. Thanks Darius, I tend to agree.

    I have heard Robson on a number of different stations, and it seems his more likely to be positive about Arsenal outside the Arsenal home were we normally see him.

    On the defensive front, is it possible to maintain an effective line without a commanding goalkeeper?

    “I’m sick of these other footballers with their lily-livered responses of ‘it’s up to Cesc’. No it is not. It is up to Arsenal because he has a 5 year contract and Arsenal has decided he is staying. He needs to get his head straight and get on with the job he is paid for.”

    Completely agree.

    Just get on with it Cesc, all this it’s up to Arsene stuff is a cop out, he has a contract with the club for 5 more years!!

  124. Nice game overall, but the last 20 mins left a sour taste in the mouth. Anyways, its only a pre-season game and the positives certainly outweighed the minuses. The problem though was that the positives were mainly in areas were we’re known to be strong i.e. attacking play, young players improving etc. Unfortunately the negatives were in areas were we’ve always had problems.

    e.g. I found it odd that JD and Kos didn’t seem to be in sync. The second goal in particular was down to that. Considering we have only 3 CB’s at the moment, isn’t it worrying that 2 of them play like its their first time on the pitch together?

    Maybe its still too early to early for them to have gelled properly. If that’s the case, does that mean we’ll have to hope that they (the defense) don’t get tested too much in the first few games of the season while they get used to each other?

    Why did we tire out so much in the last 20 mins. Was it just down to the fact that we played 90 mins the day before? Why then didn’t Celtic players tire too? On the other hand, did we tire because of the pressing game we played earlier on in the match?

    So many questions…

  125. @Darius quite right, Robson calls it correctly, I listened to him over the weekend and his views a backed up by well reasoned thoughtful arguments.

    I was glad to hear his views on the goalkeeping situation, it not the goalies that keeps us back but the “team defending” strategy.

  126. I am really worried about Vela, on the way home yesterday even though he scored I eard a number of grumbles from the Arsenal fans, saying how he hasn’t lived up to protential, is corked, lazy or is just not good enough for the Arsenal.

    I had to jump in on a number of occassions it all felt very Le groan to me. However I have head similiar things on here too.

    Is Vela the new Denilson? Or Theo? Or Diaby? Need I go on…

  127. I still wonder why Keown is wasted on the BBC sofa when he could be spearheading our defensive coaching.

  128. Emmanuel Frimpong should only play for Ghana if he’s good enough to play for England. Maybe I should rephrase that since the Three Lions are actually not worth shouting about. What I’m trying to say is that some of these foreigners who want to play for their ancestral countries can at times be destructive to football in general. I remember the French coach before Domenech – can’t remember the fellows name – bragging that there wasn’t a single player who’d chosen to play for various African countries who he would have called up anyway. It’s like Danny Shittu turning up for Nigeria. Nobody expected him to play for England anyway. Africa shouldn’t go for Europe’s flop in place of developing their own talent. So if Frimpong is a success who could chose between England and Ghana well and good, that’s quality. He’d be adding something to our game. And if he decides to play for England instead that’s alright for he grew up there. But Africa can develop it’s own players without relying on Europe’s flops.

  129. Kenyan gunner,

    I guess you won’t to impressed with Kevin Prince Boetnag then for Ghana?

  130. Maria, those people slating Carlos don’t know what they are talking about. He was excellent at the weekend and if he remains injury free, he looks ready to take off. I suspect Arsene let Eduardo go because he knows Carlos is ready to step up.

  131. Maria, not really. Too bad Essien was injured. But what makes matters worse is that we keep choosing the easy way out. Like Germany going for Cacau? laughable! I’d ask what happened to the tradition that produced great German strikers? I think that migrants and their offspring should integrate fully – like Barack Obama.

  132. What about Didi for the Ivory Coast? Didn’t he grow up in France, but what would be the team without him and couldn’t France do with a striker like him at the moment?

  133. I love Robbo too. Sometimes he gets carried away with some opinions and starts to treat them like the holy grail, like his inexplicable anti-Denilson bias, or his obsession with pressing the ball and the high line issue Maria raised. I love having him on Arsenal TV. Very easily the guy who justifies the subscription.

  134. I agree Ole but I also like the fans forum.

  135. If I were Frimpong, having grown up in England, being English, and having been formed in England, I’d play for England. Why at all should he play for Ghana?

  136. trugunn on August 2, 2010
    at 12:14 pm

    Nobody is going to boo Cesc.

  137. I do think our main issue is our “collective” defending. We did this excellently for 75% of the game. Celtic could get nowhere in the 1st half.

    I can accept we tired in the 2nd, but this happened lots last year as well. It is more a lack of concentration really. If we are winning the game we have no need to comitt so many many forward. Just control possesion.

  138. henristic comparing ourselves to celtic in terms of fitness levels at this time is wrong.Rem they had a competitive game last week in the champs league where they were thrashed. By the way guys what did you make of fabianski’s cool interception against milan? maybe the challenge from the manager has helped his confidence. Am so desperate for him to do well.

  139. Because he may well want to get the quarters at least of world cups, maybe a couple of ANC Cups along the way too.

  140. I like that too, especially Tom Watt. I often feel shovell needs to sip some horse tranquilisers.

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently that the club should set up a radio station. Arsenal radio! Any takers?

  141. if Robbo was on this forum he would surely be classified as a gloomer! Hi comments throughout the match always seem negative to me, only ever pointing out what players have done wrong, never giving praise.
    I have heard him describe himself as a glass half empty person, and maybe that is while his own managerail career was short, would you want to work for someone who only critises?
    And that brings me on to my next beef, why so many failed managers get jobs as pundits and then feel qualified to critisise the likes of AW.
    Paul Merson, need I say more? Or is he just employed as the court jester?

  142. I am genuinely interested to know what a “non-doomer” thinks of the teams defensive issues?

    Why do we struggle to close a game out?
    Why do we conceed so many goals?

    Not talking about yesterday, just in general.

  143. I disagree JohnN. The difference with Robson is that he is not overwhelmingly negative and does recognise and acknowledge all the positives too. That is why his opinion is respected.

    Ole I do agree, he has a problem with Denilson, which is completely inexplicable to me. Maybe he should read the article on the link OOU posted earlier.

    Re Frimpong, he lived in Ghana for the first 9 years of his life and he models his game on Essien. I can see why he might want to play for Ghana rather than England. It’s certainly not a case of thinking it would be easier to get into the Ghana team given that they are current under 20 world champions and the bulk of that side did not let themselves down in the senior world cup either.

  144. PaulN,

    Actually I was thinking that Robbo shows the difference btw someone who has opinions and someone with some kind of doomer pathology.

    He sees defects, and he sees the strengths. He gets pleasure from the game, not from transfers or bragging rights, and is far from being a tabloid slave who buys into the latest facile memes.

    He’s respectful of the team and coaching crew.

    Most of all, the most glaring thing Robbo has that most doomers don’t is knowledge and a sense of perspective.

    I personally believe I look at the team critically, and have no problem with people who’re critical so long as criticism is fair, consistent, based on knowledge, and acknowledges the dificulty faced by the guy who has to take the decisions.

    The absence of that is why doomers get pasted here.

  145. How old is Frimpong? And what country does he represent now?

  146. But Passenal, I barely remember the first 9 years of my life!

  147. How is it then that when a poster on here acknowledges both positve and negative, the positive poinst he/she brought up are ignored and they are labeled “doomer” for the negative.

  148. Goonerandy, a couple of days ago I made an attempt at answering this very question.

    It’s the system we are playing, and I think it’s because of the time it’s taking to get used to the 4-3-3 system.

    The key issue is ball retention and what we do in the transition when we lose the ball. If you analyse when we attack in full flow, the system morphs into a 3-1-6 with the full backs providing the width. If our ball carriers in the middle to attacking 3rd lose the ball, we have severally failed to get back into defensive shape quickly.

    When we lose the ball, the front most players should ideally press quickly to buy the defence time to get into shape, or even better, force mistakes from the opposition to allow us to pounce. We’ve actually scored many goals this way.

    However, we seem to be confused as a collective during that transition and the minute one player doesn’t do what they need to do so as to get in defensive mode, it’s very easy for a chain of events to start that will end up with Almunia pickign the ball from the back of his net.

  149. Actucally for me I try to never over analyse games while I am watching them becuase I believe it removes much of the fun of football. When I do watch the replays on Arsenal Online Robsons commentary is usually a fairly accurate picture of the game.

    I also like those off-beat outfits he wears.

  150. Because you goonerandy say facile doomer nonsense we’ve heard 100 time before.

  151. sorry but i’ve got some rambles here I needed to get out…

    kos filled me with the same vibes as verm when he first started playing last year. over time however it turned out that gallas was making some of the more crucial interceptions at the back as verm strayed forward. they will need a bit more discipline and understanding together before I get too exited but if we drill them well we could have a real world class modern partnership for the future.

    wilshire should be used like ramsey was last year if we are to see him progress at the same speed. in fact this could be the blessing in disguise this season as if we were mainly focusing on ramsey’s development into the (shhhhh) cesc role then jack may have had to be infected by some knuckle dragging bolton philosophies. the boy is no longer just potential in my eyes because i am absolutely positive he will bloom into something world class within 18 months or more. i hope he is as tough as he looks however because for a small guy he loves to put his body on the line. my gut tells me he could pick up a big injury in the next few years but that probably just understandable nerves from past experiences.

    frimpong was fun but got caught out a few times by the experience and guile of flamini. a great prospect but would not want him starting against most top half teams in the prem.

    JET is something we can all get behind. def needs 12+ league appearances this season so we can gage just how confidently he can express himself against some real challenges. my guess is that he is the type to rise to the occasion and may even surprise himself.

    Almunia was solid enough but I think people are getting a little carried away by his performance. what we saw was something to be expected by a first choice at a top 4 club. I dont mind him so much personally but I still feel he still has a mistake in him. proportional to the playing time my nerves are certainly easied with fabianski though, I imagine it just a matter of proving himself to himself and he might calm down a bit.

    chamakh looks to have a solid presence up front – someone we can rely on. he holds up the ball very well and is an accurate player who knows how to pace himself. the deference in experience is quite discernible compared to younger players like vela and walcott. by far my favourite attribute of his is his obviously high spatial awareness, a black magic talent which is the source of players like fabregas’s match winning skills. A needed addition but NB could find things hard for himself in the pecking order.

    which brings me to my last point – competition for places is something to be embraced not feared. the advantages over the season will make a colossal difference come february-march. our multi tasking players are designed to be interchangeable because the footballing philosophies are so ingrained by now, even better that we can keep them fresher for longer.

  152. Hasn’t Arsene stated before that we don’t actucally play 4-4-3?

    A couple of years ago when we should have won the league we had Hleb and Rosicky on the wings and our full-backs looked like world beaters.

    Are Arshavin and Theo really that bad defensively?

  153. Darius – Cheers for the sensible answer. I agree.

    Ole – Thanks for your predictable asnwer.

  154. “frimpong was fun but got caught out a few times by the experience and guile of flamini. a great prospect but would not want him starting against most top half teams in the prem.”

    I had to sto reading here.

  155. DS,

    Good observation. We run very often into trouble with transitions. I looked at the 6 counter-attack goals we conceded and one thing triggered all of them.

    It starts with us attacking, from a corner, the centre backs have pushed up, we cross or try to play into the box, the ball comes back, we usually actually win the ball back (because we are actually quite good at doing so), and then with everyone still in the box, one of the midfielders tries an overly casual cross or pass. Then we get counterattacked to devastating effect.

    Do I make it all sound too easy?

  156. Maria I was out for a late lunch, approaching 4:00 pm here. About Drogba I’d say he’s an interesting case. He’s good enough to have played for France so that’s a plus for Ivory Coast, not a European flop. But ironically the reason Drogba didn’t turnout for France was that he blossomed late. Unlike Diaby and Djourou who also have Ivorian roots but were identified early by France and Switzerland. But Frimpong is a particularly interesting case. He’s only 18 and doesn’t want to turn out for England. And it raises questions on integration in England. Of course that’s a question only he could answer best. Reminds me of Lauren. He said it was difficult for him as a black man growing up in Spain. So much so that he rejected Real Madrid over Arsenal.

  157. You’re welcome Goonerandy

  158. Maria,

    “Are Arshavin and Theo really that bad defensively”.

    Theo has really improved. All the criticism he got last season for attacking play didn’t notice the serious progress he’s made in the defensive side.

    Arshavin, I am inclined to say, really is that bad defensively.

  159. Kenyan gunner,

    I am sure Frimpong will make the right decision for him, but if you think about since his only 18 his spent 9 years in Ghana were was born and his parents are from and 9 in England.

  160. Stop dooming Ole, you are slipping to the dark side. 😉

  161. “and then with everyone still in the box, one of the midfielders tries an overly casual cross or pass. Then we get counterattacked to devastating effect.”

    No you didn’t, can I guess who gave the majority of those ‘casual’ passes away? lool

  162. Maria it’s all about the border less world. Nationality maybe a thing of the past. I hope he choses Ghana though!

  163. Regardless of defensive struggles, real or perceived, this past weekend, the utter gracefulness of the squad with the likes of Arshavin, Wilshere, Theo, a reborn Nasri, Rosicky and Chamakh has to make the most cautious Gooner fan bursting with excitement and possibly feeling a twinge of optimism. Grace won’t win you championships necessarily, but damn if seeing the lads run all over the Emirates pitch wasn’t like seeing the first blooms of spring. The talent that was put forth over the last two days felt like an embarassment of riches. Scary to consider when you think of all the players that were not even available for the match.

  164. tbh, I would say all of our midfielders/forwards have been guilty of that at one point or the other. I can’t think of any exceptions

  165. Attacking wise I think we have the best options in the league.

  166. Ole we conceded just six goals? from counterattacks It doesn’t seem its that much of a problem then, does it? Do you know if we conceded more from set pieces, long punts down the middle etc?

  167. *six goals from counterattacks?

  168. 2.21 comment was in response to maria’s 2.08

  169. for those who do not understand the Dennilson role…

    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/07/30/central-midfield-role/#more-3947

  170. Maybe a few (a lot) of keeper errors as well?

  171. @Kenyan Gunner. your apology to Maria has cracked me up – going for lunch and coming back to the office at 4.00 pm?

    It made me think of a friend a few years ago who invited me for lunch while I was in Nairobi and he took me to Kosewe’s for the customary fried fish. I was amazed by the fact most people there thought it was normal for lunch to be between 12 pm and whenever your body told you it was time to go back to the office, usually past 3 pm.

    The fish was damn good btw.

  172. Nice one Darius. At kosewe’s you may have lunch from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. After that it’s supper or dinner. Next time you come to Nairobi just look for the guy with a blue shirt, that’s me. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  173. LOL,

    I must admit when I was in South Africa I needed the extended lunch break. Jeez it was so bloody hot those hours!!

  174. Muppet @ 9:49 am,

    I dunno. I do wonder why a team would defend very well for 76 and then concede a cheap goal on a corner.

    Some of the defensive stuff can be fixed. Like not conceding possession cheaply in dangerous areas when the team is pushed up and we’ve thrown men forward.

    People talk about the full backs being prone, but I do wonder. How many goals really came from the full backs being out of position. I’m not sure it’s any significant number.

  175. Lots of positives from the weekend.

    1) Chamahk. Great addition. NB52 needs to step us his game.
    2) Vela scoring. I really think he will be an excellent player in a couple years. Hope he starts to push Arshavin later this year.
    3) The Kos Looks good. Will reserve final judgement until after a game or 2 against Drogba and Rooney.
    4) Nasri. Hopefully we get the preseason/Porto Nasri all year. Assuming reasonable mental and physical health for CF4 and RVP our attack should be truly amazing.
    5) Our Carling Cup team could be the best we have ever had with JW, Frimpong, JET etc. Really excited about the CC. Would love to see a couple of the 2nd string 1st teamers like NB52/Gibbs play and give us a real chance to win.

    Negatives:

    1) A poorly taken penalty away from conceding 3 goals in 30 minutes to a team that had played 3 games 5 days including a CL qualifier. A clean sheet or 2 would have been great for our confidence. Perhaps we can move the defensive on/off switch into the on position at Anfield.

    2) Concerned that none of our top 4 midfielders have seen the pitch yet. Hopefully Song and Diaby will play the last preseaon game.

    3) TV5 having to play 163 minutes in 2 days. Going to be a long season for him.

  176. Henristic,

    Actually the 6 were in the Premier League. In the Champions League there were a couple more. And then there were a couple in the cups as well.

    It is a problem because a lot of the goals we conceded to Man poo & Chelski were counter attacks and they were really detrimental to confidence.

  177. I agree OG @ 2.05 pm. I noticed how well Theo did defensively yesterday. He tracked back well and made at least one crucial interception in our half that I recall.

  178. guys I am of the opinion that Theo needs to work harder on his final ball there does not be be enough of an improvement in his final ball.

    I have to say I am really impressed with Frimpong and hope he either gets a crack in the 1st team when Song is injured or on African nations duty, he has just what we need the desire to win that ball back and ugly if required….

    I really hope we don’t sign mertascker he has the turning circle of a juggernaut, great in the air but.. not convinced about his leg speed and general dexterity.

  179. Darius @ 1:49PM:

    I agree with everything you say. However, my concern is that our defensive problems started before we switched to the 433. It has been happening with different players and different systems.

    If there were 1 – 2 easily identified problems then I assume Wenger and staff would have fixed them long ago. My bigger concern is that there may be different problems which occur randomly. Its like a golfer. If he is hitting every shot to the right he can compensate. However, if he slices 1 then hooks the next and hits the 3rd shot fat he has no idea how to fix it. After a while it becomes a mental issue which is the hardest problem to fix.

  180. @Maria and Kenyan Gunner.

    Those long African lunch breaks are legendary. The thing that cracked me up the most though was when visiting a bar on a match day (KG – the bar was on the street to the left of Kosewe’s by the Nation Centre – can’t recall the street though), and I made the mistake of sitting on the side of the bar which was apparently designated as the Manchester United side of the bar.

    I was wearing my Arsenal home shirt and the waiter refused to serve drinks to my friends and I because they didn’t want trouble from Man United fans who were not going to tolerate me sitting on their side of the pub.

    I was really bemused and had to move to the Gooner side of the pub (and by the way, what’s with the scarf wearing by some fans in that heat – not just Arsenal fans, even United and Liverpool fans)…

    Sometimes I laugh at the perceived rivalry some gooners have with spud or chav fans in London; and I just think – you folks should visit any African country and see how there are fans willing to draw blood for their beloved Arsenal.

  181. Bill,

    Can you say what the source of our defensive problems is then. Also, why do you think they necessarily predate the 4-3-3?

  182. Bill.

    I would then suggest that maybe it’s worth giving time to the 4-3-3 system and let the players settle in it. Changing from what we used to play before to the current system is upheaval enough, and we can’t keep changing and chopping. Why not let the players settle down with it and work on the small improvements.

    Barca or Spain for example, even Germany, didn’t get to their clinical precision in a matter of one or two years. They’ve had to work at their game for 6 to 10 years and they’ve had to make sure that it’s played that way from the ground up. This is something Arsenal is already doing.

    As much as we can get concerned, I’m not convinced that tinkering and/or constantly changing personnel will help.

    For me, the issue is that of mental fortitude and discipline. It will come.

  183. Silver Gunner, I think people expect too much of Theo. His running and passes led to 2 out of our 3 goals yesterday. Whilst there were some wayward passes, there were also some that the other Arsenal attackers did not get into position to capitalise on. He also had a couple of good attempts on target. In one 90 minute game, what more can you realistically expect? He will never live up to expectations if they are that sky high. That his performance yesterday is considered poor by many is unbelievable when he was more productive and dangerous than others who are currently being lauded to the skies!

  184. Henristic;

    The 6 goals were;

    Pienaar for Everton
    Nzogbia for Wigan
    Rooney for Man poo
    Park for Man poo
    Drogba for Chavsy at Shamford Bridge
    1 more I can’t remember.

    They cost us at least 6 points. Each of those goals was a match-ruining goal that was the difference between getting a result and dropping points

  185. Naga, you only come around to have a nag. STOP IT! thats sickening.

    BB, no disrespect but I enjoyed your “FIRST!” posts much better.

    Less reading seems to make you a more positive person.

  186. Passenal

    And that level of expectation is already being applied to Wilshere and if people don’t rein those standards in, the lad will be engulfed in criticism.

    YW

  187. Just an interesting aside, chatting to my dad, a Scotsman and avid Celtic fan, after the game yesterday he was very confident of Celtic’s chances in the SPL. He felt that Celtic were unlikely to play a team who could take them apart in the way Arsenal did yesterday at any point in the coming SPL season. He said that as Celtic had stood up so well to Arsenal (not collapsing to an embarassing trouncing after going 3 down) they were likely to be able to handle anything that any of the SPL teams could throw at them.

    (He’s born and bred in Hamilton so a Scotland and Celtic fan, I’m born and bred in North London so an England and Arsenal fan.)

    I don’t know if anybody else saw their game on Saturday against Lyon, but their young lad Forrest who came on in the second half looked a real handful and backed up the Lyon defence every time he ran at them.

  188. People talking about the defence, well you have one new defender and one coming back from months of injuries and a host of subs coming on.

    Nothing is ever taken into account with negative people, all they see is what bad happened without any reasoning behind it.

    Come on!

    Arsenal!

    Blessings!!

  189. Trust me if Theo can give us two assists per, I would be very happy.

    Why do so many of us miss the whol for a part. If Theo wasnt getting into the right positions then he couldnt make what many see as bad passes. As the articles states, it could be other players not in the right positions at times. Consistency can only come with time.

  190. per game

  191. Yogi, I’ve been saying that all weekend. I really fear for the jacklash and believe me, it will come.

  192. @YW…Do you honestly expect the English media to reign in their hype about Little Jack Willy – especially after the pathetic exit from the world cup and the desperate clinging on to the “Youth must be the answer” mantra?

    Little Jack Willy is in a gold fish bowl, whether he wants it or not. He is the closest thing to Gazza that they see and they won’t let go I’m afraid.

  193. chriisgooner you are far too easily pleased, the team was shit and I fear for us the coming season, we are far weaker than we were last season.

  194. “Yogi, I’ve been saying that all weekend. I really fear for the jacklash and believe me, it will come.”

    As they came for my Carlos this weekend.

  195. Ole @ 3:13

    I have regurgitated the statistics regarding our teams slowly worsing defensive performance over the last 6 years too many times to count. Our defensive breakdown starting with the Birmingham gamee in the 07/08 season cost us the title. Wenger said after the 08/09 season that our defending was the biggest problem and needed to be fixed.

    I certainly do not know what the root cause of the problem is. I have theories but they are just that.

    Darius @ 3:14PM:

    I am not sure how you define tinkering. I would suggest that having to almost completely rebuild our central defense this year would meet most definitions.

    I agree completely that it is not a personnel issue. Although I suspect if we had Vidic/Ferdidnand/EVDS or Tony Adams and co. they probably could do well with nearly any system. Adding a CB of stature who has been successful in the past is not a guarantee of improvement but it certainly might help. Obviously players like Tony Adams or Vidic are probably not avaialble. We defended amazingly well with Eboue, Kolo, Phil, Flamini/ Mad Jens in our 06 CL run. I agree that the biggest problem is a mental issue not personnel. Unfortunately mental issues can be a difficult fix. Time will tell how we do.

  196. Peter Crouch is a bit like a yo-yo. Bouncing to-and-fro from uninteresting club to uninteresting club. Fun for a while but essentially just a long, useless streak of piss.

    Whaddaya think, J*mes?

  197. I’m like a kid with new toys. I don’t know which to play with first. Arsenal delights me. Where to begin. Ooh, I think that Rosicky special 180 degree turn x 2, accelerate between 2 players, and just when you think he’s winding up for the big curler to the far post, it’s a little dink to JET.

    Man oh man!

    “The Kos”, as Bill has aptly named him, is fast becoming my favourite. The way he snaffled that raid down our left, while Clichy was away on a business trip somewhere in up in Glasgow.

    OR that Chamakh header, wrong sided and somehow got his head at some sort of angle to get it kind of goal bound.

    Or Theo’s free kick. It was excellent.

    The doomers are certifiably crazy. How anyone can fail to be thrilled by the grace and power of this play in pre-season is a sign of madness.

    Fuck it. Let’s BE EXCITED. (and you know I never swear).

  198. “Fuck it. Let’s BE EXCITED. (and you know I never swear).”

    Frees good right?

  199. I am not worried about expectations on Jack. He’s that good.

  200. Opps

    * Feels

  201. Yep, I do like free.

  202. Exactly, ZimPaul. Don’t let the bastards bring you down.

    Rosicky is one of the few players I have ever seen who actively enjoys receiving the ball with no space whatsoever to work in. His eyes light up at the challenge of wriggling out… which he almost always does.

    Watching Arsenal is like watching no other team… ever.

  203. Hi Maria!

  204. OleG @1:33

    Arsenal radio is a cool idea:

    Robbo’s chat is sane and interesting, and makes sense relative to football. He could be the radio stations Football Brain, but my main MC would have to be Alan Davies.

    e.g.

    Robbo:

    “AFC’s defenders need to watch their position on the half-turn”…something like that, as opposed to:

    “Holy f*ck, the opposition scored. We need to $pla$h the ca$h on ‘Keeper X, CB Y, & D**Mer Z, otherwise, we are, D**Med!

    D**Med!”

    Which is why Robbo is not a D**Mer.

  205. Bill along with those stats, do you have stats of how many times critical defensive players were injured?

  206. I recall last pre-season when we were effective and confident, and that was with the full squad, but this is better, it really is.

  207. LOL, ZP hiya.

  208. I don’t know what people expect from Theo. There is no need for a cross to be inch perfect as long as it is in the correct area it’s up to the other attackers to get to it.

    Time and time again the lad puts the ball in extremely dangerous area only for no one to get to it, maybe his speed makes it too hard for the others to get there.

    It seems to me that he would rather to lash the ball across the face of goal which is very effective when players are attacking the penalty area.

    Theo is not much different than Valencia, except that Rooney was there for Valencia more than our strikers have been there for Theo.

  209. Thanks to YW and Vince for pointing out the obvious.

    That when crossing the ball, it requires ‘two to tango’, so to speak.

    But hey, why would any AFC fan let such obvious things get in the way of a Sp*d driven meme against an AFC player?

  210. the great thing about Bendtner is that he’s not worried at all; he’ll simply raise his game to get onto the pitch. Chamakh, watch out. A great dane on the loose.

  211. We gonna lively up this place … hiya Maria!

  212. Personally, I like Almunia’s attitude.

  213. ZP, hows the baby and your wife doing?

  214. They really have to change that song at the stadium.
    It just sounds wrong.

    Forget the Barca petition.
    Any takers on a petition to get the song changed from the current choice to , um, something better?

    This has mentioned before:

    When the Oooze’s tenticles of D**M spreading his poison down the banks of the Thames from the West, with the Chuckle Brothers sat upon a pearly throne (special deal from B&Q) in the East, is there any other choice?

  215. This would be my choice Finsbury. Should get the crowd bouncing.

  216. try stopping your feet from tapping to that.

  217. Nice.

    Nice nice.

    I could happily stomp along to that.

  218. Very interesting reading the tactical explanations, so thanks for that.

    I went to the Sunday Emirates Cup matches and I’m still buzzing. The day had everything – thrills, moments of breathtaking skill, comedy moments and late jeopardy and of course goals. Our squad has so much depth, especially if you compare it to two seasons ago.

    Things which are still keeping a smile on my face are:

    Frimpong (the Frimp, as I now call him). An 18 year old who has stepped fearlessly into a role with the first team. A young man who gave his all from the first minute to the last – exhausted by the end, but still fighting for the ball. I understand that he is raw, that his distribution overall has to improve, but time and hard work will take care of that. What he has cannot be coached. You know when you’ve been Frimponged.

    Wilshere – another fighter, further ahead defensively in my view than Cesc at the stage just before he became the lynchpin (2006/7). Everybody knows his talent, but his spirit and determination makes me weep with pride.

    Maria must be so proud of her fiance Vela – he’s suddenly looking like the player he’s supposed to be.

    TV and Kos (anyone else think that sounds like a 1970s wisecracking TV cop double act?) complement each other well. Kos looks particularly good.

    Chamakh – if you had designed a CF to be perfectly suited to Arsenal, MC would be it.

    Rosicky – There is so much zest about his play. Tell you what, let’s NOT sell him just as he is getting his confidence back, eh?
    I disagree with Limpar Assist – there is another player who relishes receiving the ball in tight situations, and he is another shining light…

    Samir Nasri – it’s all been said.

    And the home kit LOOKS FABULOUS.

    This is just off the top of my head – I’m sure there’s more.

    And it’s funny you should mention the The Wonder Of You – when it started I groaned inwardly, but by the end, I was all choked up. So either Elvis worked his magic, or I’ve suddenly come round to it. The thing is that we should see it as the squad singing it to us as fans. It’s more appropriate that way round.

  219. When Theo gets the ball to the byeline if one of the forwards ran to the near post we’d get 10 more goals per season…

  220. If I can chip in with what goonerandy said this morning (he’d love to hear a non doomer explain our defensive problems) and what Darius and obviously Bill have been talking about I like to think i’v most defo not a doomer, but even the most optimistic fan of any club can hope for improvements on there beloved team, why some fans think that can be achieved by signings only I do not know.

    However in this case we are short of people who could be relied on in any game. I think with Johan, TV and Kos in contention we have a great defence all of who are at a really good age and have the potential to kick on. Nord, Eastmond and Bartley all should be looking to make a contribution to the defence in some manner, however injuries positional changes and experience will stop each of those from being depended on in any real season altering way. Whilst I can’t wait for the day that we field a defence that has come through the ranks I’m not sure that that time has come and if i’d be comfortable with our youth running out against a top 4 contender.

    So I agree with only three highly regarded defenders it would be for the greater good of the team to get in another defender. When weighed up against the benefit to the first team over the obstacle it would create to the youth it would still be a good move. That said I personally would prefer a twilight years defender so as not to create a block of 4 central defenders around mid twenties. That could make a daunting task for a player trying to make the step up from the reserves. Getting a player who is 30ish and highly regarded and not under the scrutiniy of Man C Man U Chelsea Real…. is not an easy task though. Wages and our 30+ rules come into play there. Adding to that that we have let Gallas get through the net this does not seem to be the opinion of AW and as I’m proudly an AKB then I bow here to the greater knowledge. So you have two problems now a transfer target and all the untold problems with that and tactically sorting the team.

    Tactically I have thought that all last season we were a bit open down the wings and had the previously thought of world class fullbacks under some serious pressure. This is no coincidence that they were both regarded as having poor starts to their season. The 433 – 41221 whatever you call it, is still a fairly new tactic introduced to a team that over the years has had the play of a 442 formation instilled.

    It’s to obvious to suggest that the “team defends” more, as this is so blatantly obvious that to think that Wenger does not know this is pathetic. So how do we go about that, for me perhaps it would be a good idea to sacrifice a central midfielder’s attacking contributions slightly, not only when we don’t have the ball but also when we do. I’m not calling for a leg breaker in any way, only for a player to sit and hold some ground on the halfway line at times. Song does this and Deni does this both at times but both often get stuck in with attack. I’m no tactician but this may be a help.

    I’m fully expecting a season with Nasri and Rosicky fit a much more tenacious midfield as we all know they both get stuck in. Add into the mix Song, Deni, Diaby (with more concentration) and Eastmond and Frimp (developing) we really should be looking at more cover in front of the back four. The wing problem is difficult as far as I can see it is a work rate issue, It’s a big ask to make Clichy and Sagna or whoever is deputising to cover that area and always mange to stop the crosses coming across. Therefore more should be asked from whoever is further upfield. Obviously this will already have been asked but it’s a question of getting it right and a good balance.

    The nature of the attacks we took last season ended up in a fair few crosses if I remember. As we know excessive crosses can undo the most confident of keepers and this may have been the case for our lads.

    I may not be on the button here but I’m expecting simply time to help in a lot of these matters. So watch this space.

  221. ZP

    Last pre-season we’d lost Nasri for a while and were about to lose Djourou for the season. So far, this is much better. I need to touch wood saying that. So where’s James so that I can slap him around the head?

    YW

  222. Kenny Samson, shut up!

  223. YW, can you post a video of you slapping J@mes around the head, it would be good for a laugh.

    “You know when you’ve been Frimponged.”

    Hahaha

  224. Why does everyone seem to ignore Vela? He looked veery good!

  225. I mentioned Vela, Isaac. Absolutely agree – he looked great. Like he’d got a monkey off his back, don’t you think? A mature, handbrake-free performance.

    ***
    @ dups

    The curious thing is, I’m not a fan of hard tackling for hard tackling’s sake. But what I love about Song and The Frimp (another cop series?) is that their ball-winning technique is so good and the “hardness” lies in their commitment and competitive personality. They are the kind of player that morons like Shawcross THINK they are – hard but fair. Our tough guys are clinical. Wilshere is more likely to break someone’s leg than Frimpong is.

  226. Finsbury, they did play that one on Sunday, but isn’t Joe Strummer a chav fan? I’m sure I read that somewhere!

    Personally I love the Kasabian song they always play as well

  227. And im sick of the whole Cesc saga.. I mean, i have ignored rummours for long enough!.. But now, im really beggining to think that he actually does want to leave Arsenal.. I think that by now he should have been more outspoken about his situation to end all this god damn speculation, and he has not it.. I love this guy but if he does not want to play for us, i would never force him with a contract.. Sell him for $50 and reinforce our defence.. I heard that Marquez is leaving Barcelona, he is pure quality..

  228. Is it this one Passenal?

  229. And im sick of the whole Cesc saga.. I mean, i have ignored rummours for long enough!.. But now, im really beggining to think that he actually does want to leave Arsenal.. I think that by now he should have been more outspoken about his situation to end all this god damn speculation, and he has not it.. I love this guy but if he does not want to play for us, i would never force him with a contract.. Sell him for $50 and reinforce our defence.. I heard that Marquez is leaving Barcelona, he is pure quality and left Barca as a free agent.. So i know he would be a cheap sign..

  230. oops sry bout the double post!

  231. Anyone know about Denilson? We really need him to back up both Diaby and Song. Is this the same issue that held him back all last year? If it is the same issue and it did not heal over the summer, does he have a chronic problem? Hope not.

  232. @ Finsbury

    Personally I love London Calling (they played “I Fought The Law” as well, another favourite,) but it’s always the cheesey ones that get the crowd really going – “We Will Rock You” was the one that seemed to hit the spot yesterday!

  233. FG, I love your cop show analogy Song & The Frimp, and TV & Kos! Brilliant! I also love ‘You know when you’ve been Frimponged’. I hope that one catches on!

  234. Yes that’s the one G4E. I love it. When I hear it I’m all excited because it means I’m going to see ‘by far the greatest team the world has ever seen’!

    “And it’s funny you should mention the The Wonder Of You – when it started I groaned inwardly, but by the end, I was all choked up. So either Elvis worked his magic, or I’ve suddenly come round to it. The thing is that we should see it as the squad singing it to us as fans. It’s more appropriate that way round.”

    Good point FG. I’ve really found the song has grown on me and I even find myself singing along these days!

  235. I see my last post is in moderation… wonder why?

    But this talk of music reminds me, some Celtic fans were raving about how fantastic our stadium is (“Better than Old Trafford”), and they mentioned the sound system in particular.

    Oh and the replica clock looks good. It’s a classic design, always going to look good.

  236. Bill,

    I never thought your stats proved anything except that we had 2 seasons in which we conceded an extraordinary number of goals.

  237. cheers passenal and dups.

    This is a repost, apologies if it appears twice.

    @ Finsbury

    Personally I love London Calling (they played “I Fought The Law” as well, another favourite,) but it’s always the cheesey ones that get the crowd really going – “We Will Rock You” was the one that seemed to hit the spot yesterday!

  238. Weird. In moderation again. Oh well, I won’t try a third time.

    Cheers dups and passenal

  239. I love the song too Passenal, but the first time I heard it I was watching Alias with Jennifer Garner 🙂

    Do they play this song at the Emirates now? That would be awesome.

  240. Passenal

    I should’ve gone on Sunday…

    Those other songs are nice. I think I just had a moment when the sound of Elvis reverberating around N4 felt odd. Don’t know why. I’m not an Elvis fan, I guess that was the reason!

    Joe Strummer Chav$ki fan?
    I hope not.

    I thought the clock looked fantastic.

    I love it when an (architectural) plan comes together.

  241. “Koscielny made his home debut in the Emirates Cup on Saturday and Belgian Vermaelen said: ‘He’s a clever player, quick over the ground, quick with his feet and looks to be the complete defender.'”

    I like the way the love is being shared around the squad.

    @Fun gunner – “You know when you’ve been Frimponged?” I like….Nice! It’s as catchy as the so called ‘Makelele role’

    TV and the Kos; Song and the Frimp – has a bit of the Butch and Sundance ring to it.

  242. @ G4E

    “I was watching Alias with Jennifer Garner”

    You had a date with Jennifer Garner? Way to go!

  243. LOL FunGunner….I wish 🙂

  244. I’m pretty sure if Ray Parlour was still in the team, the entire squad would come in early for Cesc’s first day back and be training in Barca shirts to greet him.

  245. Old Arsenal fan

    Time will be soon up for the ‘great’ Denilson and ‘diabolical’ Diaby. Frimpong will get rid of the so-called Mr Statistics and Wilshere will outdo Diaby. Two more years and they’ll be gone.

  246. @ArsenalKabasia

    Nice article on holding midfielders.
    Busquets is good but is too theatrical when he falls down as is evident in that clip against Arsenal.

  247. If Li’l Jack and young Frimpers can really breath down the necks of the more experienced midfielders it can only be a good thing.
    In a way I hope the cretinous Old Arsenal Fan above is correct. I can’t begin to imagine how good they will have to be in two years to be better than Neves and Abu, but if they can do it they will be world beaters.
    OAF will sadly continue to be an incredibly poor fan.

  248. There is more than a whiff of howard about.

  249. “But this talk of music reminds me, some Celtic fans were raving about how fantastic our stadium is (“Better than Old Trafford”), and they mentioned the sound system in particular. ”

    My (non Arsenal supporting) friends who were with on Saturday thought all the music was good.

    G4E @ 5.35 pm yes, as well as The Wonder of You (which I now see very differently looking at it from the perspective FG suggested!) They also play Kasabian’s Club Foot and a few seconds of ‘We will rock you’ The Queen song, which may sound a bit corny, but with the sound system at the Ems and 55,000 stamping their feet and clapping along, it makes a great sound.

    The DJ also plays Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move on Up’ at the end of the match as well. Definitely some good tunes there!

  250. Same old Howard…Same old F*ck Off.

  251. Bloody hell where is ponyboy when you need him?

  252. Being a massive Ian WWW fan back in the day before he became a Talkshite knob-head, I used to love this one too

  253. Thanks Passenal, I only hear “The Wonder of You” when I watch on TV.

    I guess we “TV fans” don’t get to hear these songs and feel the emotions of 55,000 in the stadium. It must be wonderful.

  254. I heard shine the first time when I was living in London, it was my favorite for a couple of years.

  255. “The crowd is roaring, Ian Wright’s scoring!” You can’t beat it G4E. It’s a shame when you watch on TV all the great build up in the stadium is drowned out by mindless chatter from the sofa morons!

  256. I know Passenal..and don’t forget the stupid commercials every two minutes, but it’s a small price to pay to watch Arsenal play.

  257. The whole Arsenal fan community knows that signing a DM, CB and GK will surely make us serious contenders for the title. But why is Wenger not biting the bullet?

    The same applies to Global finance. The US and UK public fully know that pulling out troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan would surely save billions of taxpayers money and sharply reduce their budget deficits. But why are these two governments not doing it.

    Do we live in a world of compromises and denial of the truth?

  258. Truly your brave questioning stance demands a response, Muppet. But the craven lackeys of the establishment will fudge and mudge while lining their pockets with gold stolen from us true defenders of the flame. Such is our pain.

    If only Jaws, the man-mountain of Bond film notoriety, were the Arsenal manager. He would bite the bullet, for he had metal teeth and furthermore was a bit mental. If only he had not died prematurely and implausibly. Woe woe and thrice woe.

  259. You finally doing your A level english lit FunGunner ?

  260. @ Muppet

    What do you mean, “finally”, ya cheeky monkey?

    And another Woe, just so that it is absolutely clear the extent to which we clear-eyed uncompromising speakers of the truth are suffering.

  261. to those who are complaining about wenger’s comment about frimpong.
    he’s only looking after arsenal interest, if manu frimpong chooses to play for ghana instead of england, arsenal will be missing 2 mildfielders everytime there is african cup and that could be very costly for arsenal fc.

  262. Thanks Limpar. Be so cool to really feel part of the club. Even if an incredibly, infinitesimally, atomic particle type sized part.

  263. It’s something the Arsenal Supporters Trust has been building towards for some time LA. I assume that it is them anyway.

    Join the AST. It only costs a ouple of quid a month to own a bit of Arsenal.

    What a bargain. Mind you, Frank hates them.

  264. Frank is an angry man though C’Bob.

  265. evening all
    any news today?

  266. Where is Frank by the way?

  267. shh he might here you g4e

  268. Touring the Balkans I think.

  269. Lol realsocialdad…he’s not that scary 🙂

    Touring the Balkans

  270. Touring the Balkans aboard Lady Nina?

  271. In a torture chamber with a blog full of doomers.

  272. Bit of a suitable ID for Howard to use when the initials spell OAF.

  273. I thought they would spell BNP!

  274. Anybody read this? these Barca peops are out of control!

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_6292223,00.html

  275. just wont let i drop will they the spic media

  276. They’ve run out of angles on the Cesc story so now they are starting on the manager? They are pathetic.

  277. This part amazed me Paul.

    “”I met Wenger in Paris. He wanted to come to Barca but Arsenal didn’t let him. The Arsenal chairman ordered him to fulfil his contract.”

    Wenger has ALWAYS fulfilled a contract.

  278. He came to Arsenal on a Free, Chamakh Chamakh,He’s meant too be the next Henry, Chamakh Chamakh,He’s born too wear the Arsenal Kit,He’s gonna make Drogba & Defoe look shit,Maurone Chamakh Arsenal’s 29,La, La, Lala, La, La Lala, Lala, Lala.

    any thoughts?

  279. OneOfUs: Thankyou for sharing the article on the defensive midfielder. It was superb!

  280. They have no shame dups, none at all!

  281. One thing I’m pretty sure of, the more I read the more I believe that Fabregas really doesn’t have their DNA.

    If he went there he would be out of where he belong, which is Arsenal where there are morals and principals, not with scum bags that will teach him how to be arrogant and scandalous.

  282. Just come across this. Made me laugh.

  283. As Bob would say, “you couldn’t make it up”.

  284. You really couldn’t have made this one up……dear oh dear…….

    What a bunch of Barseholes. Even the lesser ronaldo had more class than these pricks.

  285. 1 loose cannon

    It getting really desperate at Barcelona they are using every trick in the book to make Fabregas beg for a transfer I feel Cesc is happy to stay a bit longer at Arsenal but these cheap Catalans are simply no going to let it go, I really don’t get it. You have an old fart who claims Wenger was “ordered” by Arsenal to stay. No one orders Wenger, that is not going to happen if anything they are infuriating him even more with these claims. And lately they have staged an audience with Cesc in his home town where he was shown on a big screen a collection of photos of him in a Barca shirt as a youngster. It is a total disrespect to Arsenal who helped him and gave him that chance to play football as a consequence he had a chance to to be part of the national team that got him the medal. Its beyond believe how dismissive of everything Arsenal has done for him. I have never liked Barcelona and Madrid as football clubs but now I detest everything to do with Barcelona If I see an English person wearing a barca shirt I feel like telling them to take that degusting thing off their back.

  286. Ofcause I am proud fungunner I tip my Carlos to force arshavin to work for his 10 league games so he can get a PL medal this year!!

  287. Can anyone tell the difference:

  288. The url is not working

  289. Pretty sure Strummer was a gooner.

    Check out “Tony Adams” from rock art and the xray style LP.

  290. Kenny Sansom on Sky quoting the imaginary linefrom Arsene about Almunia getting nervous in big matches. Not sure why I’m paying a subscription to Arsenal TV when even a small amount of it goes to him.

    Arsenal legend maybe, but why is peddling such rubbish?

  291. Brendan

    Nope Strummer was a Chelsea fan.

    YW

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