Concentration, Organisation And Improving Players

A week of training for the players ahead of the trip to Poland at the weekend. Travelling is something that some of the squad will have to get used to with the internationals taking place the following week, a truly crass piece of calendar planning by Fifa. For Arsene, it represents the last chance for the whole of the squad to work together before the Premier League season begins.

And work there is to be done, according to Bacary Sagna. One of those to be omitted from the French squad as punishment for the debacle in South Africa, the defender observed:

Everyone is ready [for the season]. Personally I cannot wait to play because I know we have a very good team with quality young players who play good football.

The job is done but now we just need to work because we had some bad points as well. We need to look forward, work on what we have to and just stay focused.

In previous season’s, there has been a temptation to gloss over the mistakes, accentuating the virtues of a talented group of players. Now there is a public admission of private thoughts; there is work to do to make the jump from third to Champions. Motivationally, the failure of last season to capitalise on a good position, is key. Despite claims to the contrary, no-one is happy without silverware nor is the expectation that this situation will continue.

Concentration and organisational discipline are the two key areas to work on. Not succumbing to defensive lapses will be crucial to making the transformation into champions. Sagna highlighted the Wigan defeat as an example of the indiscipline which must be eradicated yet there were more individual mistakes – mainly through concentrational lapses – which were as costly. That is an area which the personnel must identify in themselves and strive to correct.

For Sagna, it is a case of the players realising their potential as well as repaying the manager’s faith:

He has done great work at Arsenal and we want to win things for him. Everything he has given us we need to give him back. That is what we will try to do and it would be great to win something.

The contract situation is as per normal. I cannot recall Wenger signing a new deal with more than twelve months to go on his current contract. The full back was phlegmatic about it and seemingly unconcerned, perhaps because he had already established himself in the first team at another club and does not ‘owe’ his career to Wenger.

However, with the shenanigans over Cesc this summer, Wenger may like to consider resolving his situation quickly. For him to agree a new deal is not a key factor anymore in whether his captain stays or goes, although I do believe that a failure of the manager to commit to Arsenal might make it easier for Fabregas to cut his ties with the club, the heartstrings no longer tugged if the Frenchman has relinquished his throne.

Equally for Arsenal, being able to search for a replacement quietly in the background if Wenger decided the time was right to leave, is important as it quells speculation. Announcing the departure of Wenger at the same time as his successor is the ideal scenario, one that Arsene will be acutely aware of.

Personally, I think the aspiration to win the Champions League will be a key factor. It is the one noticeable absentee on his CV, one that he will want to put right before his retirement.

Sagna believes, along with Vermaelen, that the additions of Chamakh and Koscielny have improved the squad:

The new signings are amazing. I knew them both from France and I am not surprised to see them playing as they are. They are very confident and are very settled already which is good for them and the team.

Chamakh can make the difference because he is a good player, can keep the ball and score great goals. It will be very important to have a player like that in front of goal. I will trust him with the ball because he can keep it quite easily and it will give us a chance to come and support him.

Equally, Koscielny has impressed Vermaelen, his seeming weaknesses turned into strengths:

Laurent is tough, he’s not so tall but goes for the close marking style. He’s a clever player, quick over the ground, quick with his feet and looks to be the complete defender.

He has made a promising start but pre-season friendlies are considerably different to Premier League matches. As of yet, neither he or Djourou has made a strong enough case for them to be an automatic choice and with Wenger’s admission that he would like to get one more defender in, there is still a target for them to play for. As with the goalkeeping situation, the team against Legia will provide a lot of the answers.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 326 Comments.

  1. You wet the bed Yogi?

  2. I don’t think we will sign a keeper, which is a real shame. I think we must have a new keeper. Fabianski will be targeted like he was in the Blackburn game. And he won’t get any protection not away from home, or at home for that matter.

    A thougher more established keeper will have a mental advantage as well as operational.

    COME ON THE GUNNERS

  3. I have to say I’m so glad YW takes the time to do this. I made the mistake of reading the Guardian’s season preview and predictions. Lazy lazy journalism. Just a big rehash oif the Cesc smokescreen that Barca put up to cover their financial collapse, so boring.
    If it wasn’t for ACLF and Untold Arsenal I don’t know how I’d get my fix.

  4. Oh and the comments section of the Guardian blog – shocking! Full of the same tedious crap about our goal keepers and the need for an Orc at centre back. Leave it to the experts folks.

  5. Sagna also mentioned more talking on the pitch. I feel that is one aspect this team lacks a lot. they need to talk more and as Arsene said in football today all the 11 players should be leaders/captains. hope the team break the ice over talking, this season.

  6. Nice early post YW 🙂

    I am liking the attitude of our players, they seem to be aware if their talent and their teammates, but are not getting carried away. We have gone into seasons flying, to come unstuck and lose our way after a defeat. Maybe we were too confident, this could have been down to youthful arrogance. We seem to have the right blend now.

    With Robin, Song, Diaby, Nikki B, Ramsey, Denilson and Cesc to still all feature we have a fantastic group of players who are extremely motivated. The mistakes we will iron out, our players are smart, the freshness of Djourou and quick Kosc will play a massive role in this. The bully boys can no longer affect us, our players are stronger, the likes of Frimpong, Chamakh and Kosc adding to that aggression.

    Then we have attacking flair which will prove too much for any team that we come across, Rosicky, Nasri, Theo, Arsh, Vela, Robin, Cesc, Jack, JET, Eboue, Chamakh… When 1 is havin a bad day, another will come on and fit straight in. It is remarkable, and no other club in the Premiership has such a luxury of attacking wealth and options in the squad.

    Our squad is the best, our players have been better groomed and are hungry for success – not fat pay cheques… the ones that do are allowed to leave. We only want winners, and we have been collecting winners for the last 7 or 8 years, now they are ready to WIN.

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    Reality check. Latest odds on the Premiership winners for 2010/11 ; Chelsea 6/4, Manchester Utd. 5/2, Manchester City 11/2, Arsenal 7/1.
    To all those Wenger devotees who think this will be OUR season – well the bookies beg to differ. While 7/1 suggests we’ll do o.k. ( top 4 again ? ), they don’t think we’ve got what it takes to WIN IT. The bookies are not often wrong.
    If you think differently, have a wager. At 7/1, on the fourth line of betting – good luck !
    “In Arsene we rust”

  8. Spectrum

    I’ll do what I did last season. Put money on both Chelsea and Arsenal.

    For example 500 on Chelsea at 6-4 would bring home 500 profit.

    250 on Arsenal would bring home 900 profit.

    They are the only two teams that can win it all this season, so it’s about as safe a bet as you can make.

  9. Brilliant Chris! Loving the early morning positive vibes. What it’s all about.

  10. You take it, Clay!

  11. thanks steww

    Fuck the bookies, I will happily put a 50 pound bet on a 7-1. With the players we have, and Chelsea and United not really improving, we have a great chance. We weren’t far off last season, this time round we will go all the way.

    Spectrum and the rest of his spud buddies can go ‘rust’ in hell. Just because your depressed doesn’t mean everyone else should be. Go commit suicide already, let us enjoy our season, its obvious you will shut up anyway once we come out all guns blazing. The doomers are getting desperate lately, or maybe its all the Spuds cashing in on their fantastic season! Haaaaa

  12. Early post Yogi. Maybe insomnia and not bed wetting – I hope! I think our defence is interesting. Sagna, Clichy and Vermaelen is as good as it gets.Eboue was also fantastic before Sagna pushed him out. KG – for Kieran Gibbs and not Kenyan Gunner is good cover for Clichy. So the worry is between Djourou, Kos and the fourth CD. Two years ago I thought Djourou’s development was going so well that he’d push out Gallas or Toure. Damn the injuries! If he returned to his old promise we wouldn’t need another CD and would just promote Nordtveit or Bartley as cover. Unfortunately that’s a risk we can’t take. Micah Richards anyone?

  13. kenyan gunner

    I like Micah, he looked good at RB when he got a chance for England. Very powerful and mobile player who would slot in nicely as a backup CB/RB.. would he take that though is a question only he could answer. All depends on his current situation really.

    You also have the fee which he would command, and the fact that City are unlikely to sell. Is he out of favour there?

  14. Yogi makes valid points concerning concentration and organization. This has been a serious problem for the past 4 seasons and has all to do with mental fortitude. I have not seen any signs of improvement on that front this pre season but lets hope the team will set this issue right when the season begins in earnest.

    Chrisgoona,

    “Our squad is the best”.

    No, United and chelsea still have significantly better squads than us not to mention their experience. Its great to see your enthusiasm, we can have hopes but lets keep our feet on the ground.

    Cheers!

  15. Interestingly ‘arry always has a flyer in his first full season as a manager but then runs out of ideas let’s laugh as the spuds slip back into their default position. All of their ‘super’ England heroes will show just why we were so shite at the world cup!

  16. United and chelsea still have significantly better squads than us
    Now be brutally honest. Are these the words of an Arsenal fan?

  17. naga gunner

    Yes the likes of Gibson, Evans, Brown, Sturridge. Hilario, Matic… really do scare the life out of me. I would take them all anyday over our squad players!

    TWAT

  18. I do want to go to the trouble of listing the squad players to really show Naga ‘Non’ Gooner up, but I can’t be bothered and I think most knowledgable Arsenal fans realise how strong a squad we have.

    Like I said, TWAT

  19. Shocking anti support isn’t it Chris? Even if we were wrong and so in love with Arsenal that in our delusional state we thought our players were better than they are, we would still be better supporters than these sad defeatist fools.
    Burn them I say.

  20. 1 Defensive signing is a must obviously, maybe Naga and the rest of the doomers want a bit more ‘Silvestre style’ experience that we were so greatful for last season.

  21. Micah richards is decent but will not come below 10 million, which I think will be too much. He is not the type of defender we need even though I would love him here as he is English and is a gooner.

    I personally believe we need proper defenders and not utility players and that goes for all the other positions. There is too many utility players in the team which I believe does affect the organization and solidity of the team. Its important to have versatile players in the squad but I think arsene emphasizes too much on it.

  22. I think arsene emphasizes too much on it

    I think you should write to the club immediately with this insight and get someone to pass it on. It could be the missing piece in the jigsaw. After all Arsene’s record proves he knows very little about football management.

  23. I personally think only cesc and perhaps sagna will get into the chelsea team at the moment. Any objective observer will see that.

  24. haha steww

    Yea it is shocking, when you confront an average Arsenal fan face to face regarding these stupid defeatist ideas they have, they have no legs to stand on. They all fall back on the same old sayings, we have no experience, we lack height, our team lack the grit… We need a CB, we need a news GK, we need a new manager, we need new coaches…

    They fail to observe how far we have come, and what this team can achieve, and are willing to throw the towell in, in a blink of an eye to try achieve instant success. The media seem to easily populate their minds with the most basic concepts time and time again and they have the nerve to come on here and accuse real supporters of being sheep. It is comical yet very sad. I have so much sympathy for any Arsenal supporter who cannot take any joy or promise from such a team, manager, and club. Many opposition fans alike feel the same, and laugh at the supporters who come on here and slate our own team. They are jokes.

  25. Our squad is the best in the premier league and we’re going for the title. And don’t anyone try to correct me.

  26. steww,

    I wont be writing to the club and dont get too worked up over it, its just an opinion.

    cheers!

  27. naga..

    Not Robin.. or one of Rosicky/Theo/Nasri/Arshavin to get past Malouda or Anelka

    What about Vermalen too… easily the best CB in the Premiership last season.

    Oh dear oh dear! I doubt Arsenal would even let you in the stadium if you said this at the gates. Maybe we should ask all fans to fill in a questionnaire to test their support upon arrival!

    Better yet I would trade Naga for a spud fan at this rate!

  28. Anti Arsenal brigade is coming out very strong lately.

    Weak weak supporters.

  29. Richards will count as a homegrown players in City’s squad, highly unlikely he’ll be moving on anytime soon…

  30. Supercod… good point, they need him Ireland and the rest of their unwanted players as much as they want to leave!

  31. At the risk of getting told to do one by ACLF regulars, I was having a chat with me dad the other night who’s also a lifelong devotee to the Arsenal, and the subject of starting/ending the season strongly came up.

    It seems like other teams start off poorly, and build their momentum, whereas the last few seasons we have done the opposite ie played our socks off for the 1st 6 months and then for various reasons, injuries, absenteeism due to stupid internationals and whatnot, that our collective stamina runs out at the business end of the season.

    I suggested that this is due to the exuberance of youth, but my dad said that AW, PR, BP, SB etc are not young and should be telling the lads to hold back a little. That way, they’d not have to exert themselves so much when their bodies are under fatigue and stress and thereby avoid as many injuries. Obviously, you can’t avoid the Shawcross/Taylor type injuries easily, but the hamstring/muscular type ones.

    What do you guys think? Are we just too eager to show off at the start of the season or should we be going for it all the way?

  32. Well… chrisgoona,

    Where do you think song will be in the chelsea team? Behing essien and obi mikel.

    I love rvp but I cant see how he can muscle past drogba and anelka who has done better than him in the last two seasons.

    Terry and carvalho has conceded much less goals than vermaelen and gallas.

    And by the way whether we like them or not they won the double last year scoring a record 100 odd goals.

    I am not saying we shouldn’t be optimistic lets be reasonable about what we are up against or else I wont need to swap you for a spud because at this rate of myopia you are in danger of becoming one. 🙂

    Cheers!

  33. “While 7/1 suggests we’ll do o.k. ( top 4 again ? ), they don’t think we’ve got what it takes to WIN IT.”

    Oh dear. Someone doesn’t unterstand setting odds. If the bookies didn’t think Arsenal could win it then the odds would 50-1. 7-1 means they very much do think we can win it.

    Odds are set just long enough on an eventuality to attract a punter in with the prospect of a nice win, and just low enough so as not to break the bank if they have to pay out.

    Bookies are right, on average, 75% of the time.

    I’m going to wait until we’re 2-0 down to Liverpool at half-time to place my bet, when the odds should have lengthened to 10-1… just before a glorious Sammy Nasri inspired 3-2 comeback puts us firmly at the top of the stack.

    BOOYA.

    Arsenal, Arsenal
    We’re the famous Arsenal FC
    And we’re gonna win the league
    Arsenal, Arsenal

  34. Rinceout

    I think a bit more rotation might help out on the little injuries. I fully understand that having a first established squad is important but when playing high tempo games every three days the players need to have a breather every now and then. With our second string becoming stronger and stronger, I think we could easily rotate the squad a bit more as there would be less fear that it would diminish the strengh of the squad.

  35. Fair comment Rinseout – the facts speak for themselves. I would hope with the emergence of youth players becoming genuine first teamers the depth in the squad should enable us to carry the challenge further this year. It’s hard to legislate for injuries but I think we’re better equipped than in previous years (assuming the arrival of a new CH)…..

  36. You are very suspect, naga gunner. Very suspect indeed.

    John Obi Mikel for fucks sake. You’ve blown your cover, matey.

  37. Good Morning Yogi. As usual, your blog is an oasis of logic. The point you make about the defensive frailty is one, which as you know, I and a few others have been banging on about for some years now. Sadly, as with the emirates cup last season, this season has shown absolutely no improvement and I now genuinely question the ability to attain the requisite stability and consistency with the turnstile swap outs in our defense these past few years. Unlike the many others who advocate a spending spree – I don’t think it will matter a toss. No player will adequately replace Gallas and it will conceivably take time to build an understanding with Vermaelen whether is be Kos or the new player that starts. And even when we had Gallas and the right personnel last season – we still fell way short – and I feel this is because of the coaching and lack of defensive discipline.

    You also comment about Wengers tenure at the club. On Saturday you wrote:

    “He spoke of the cyclical nature of developing the squad and was at pains to remind everyone that this is the beginning of the squad, previous seasons being the evolution.”

    I think this is spin of the highest order by Wenger. He spoke 4/5 years ago about the evolution of this new panel – is he now saying it’s the start of another era? To my mind – he’s simply laying down the tracks for another tenure. That’s not to say that I don’t think he believes in the team – he most certainly does. I just don’t have any faith that he’ll get the defense right. This is a problem thats been ongoing for 4/5 years now.

    And I think you make a very valid point about the elusive champions league being the feather that’s missing in his cap. I have commented on the importance of him winning this to complete his career. Sadly, I just don’t think he has the defensive knowledge or is tactically adept to bring a European Cup to London. And I say that with a heavy heart, because we do play wonderful football and he’s done a truly remarkable job for the club.

  38. I would conceed that Chelsea may have a better squad than ours. Maybe. they certainly have the expierence and quality players.

    I am not convinced Manure do though. Player for player, I think we have a way better squad. Where they seem to come out on top in mental attitude and organization.

    Hopefull we will right both of those this this season.

  39. RE: odds for this season – So you all think your assessment of Arsenals prospects are more accurate than the bookies, then ? Betting odds are formulated from the weight of money placed by punters, based on their COLLECTIVE opinion of a teams chances.
    Also on the bookmakers’ valuation of a teams likelihood of success – from various factors like form, past history, e.t.c. And that would include I presume, a judgment on the ability of the manager.
    As I said, the bookies are right more often than not.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  40. 7/1 sounds right to me. We’ll be top four again but no more.

  41. “I personally think only cesc and perhaps sagna will get into the chelsea team at the moment.”

    Why the fuck would they want to do something that stupid?

  42. Supercod, Gunnerluc – are you saying then that it is due to lack of rotation? I’m not so sure as we did a fair bit of that last season but were still knackered come the end.
    I think it’s because everyone is too quick out of the blocks. It’s a difficult one cos I for one want to see the lads giving everything each week, but maybe they could benefit from a bit more mental application and a little less physical?

  43. At the beginning of last season, the odds for Arsenal to win the title were 12-1. If they’re 7-1 this season, we must be doing something right.

  44. I wonder what pleasure people take in trying to spread pessimism and propagate depression in the run up to a new season?
    Presumably an evangelical Philistine nihilism permeates their personality. They just can’t bear people to enjoy any aspect of life. Football and following a specific side is a pastime, a hobby, one which people like myself take seriously in order to imbue a greater significance in the highs and lows of the season. What kind of emotional vandal takes pleasure in trying to destroy another person’s fun? In trying to subvert another man’s hobby? It beggars belief.
    Why on earth come on an Arsenal supporters blog if you don’t support Arsenal?

  45. Rinseout, My own take on it would be that because the squad lacks depth and quality in certain areas (and several players who are injury prone) we are unable to sustain our form and fail to deliver come the business end of the season

  46. Naga..

    You really are showing yourself up mate. Song was by far one of or the best DM’s in the Premiership last season. Vermaelen the same in his position, look at the PFA team. I don’t need to say no more, you are very much ANTI-ARSENAL. Always have been, always will be.

    Mikel over Song!!! haha ‘Joke of the day’ goes to Naga it looks!

  47. Steww.

    You’re going to get a migrane trying to figure that out. I used to ask why such folks can’t go on and support these other teams and leave us alone, but I figured that free speech human rights thing will just be thrown back at me.

  48. Right now, as it stands, Chelsea have greater strength in depth in their squad at the position of centrehalf. That’s an area Arsenal are well known to be working on in the transfer window.

    If the purchase of Ramires goes through then you might say that with Essien, Mikel and Ramires able to play as defensive midfielder; Chelsea are better equipped in this position than Arsenal – their back-up is certainly more experienced than Frimpong and Eastmond. However, as far as the first-team goes, in Alex Song we have by far the most skilled and effective specialist defensive midfielder of all of the above. Essien is no specialist defensive midfielder. But you can see why this position is contentious when weighing up ‘who’s best’.

    In every other area of the field Arsenal have the stronger squad.

    Hilario, anyone?

  49. There a quite a few of our players who would get into the Chelsea team:

    RvP/Cesc/Nasri/Sagna at least. TV5 as well I would think.

  50. Spectrum

    Just as the odds are calculated by collective opinion, the belief in a title challenge is the collective opinion of this blog.

    I know which one I place more faith in and it can be best summed up by, “Yah boo sucks to you, William Hill“.

    YW

  51. Right now, as it stands, Chelsea have greater strength in depth in their squad at the position of centrehalf. That’s an area Arsenal are well known to be working on in the transfer window.

    If the purchase of Ramires goes through then you might say that with Essien, Mikel and Ramires able to play as defensive midfielder; Chelsea are better equipped in this position than Arsenal – their back-up is certainly more experienced than Frimpong and Eastmond. On the flipside, as far as the first-team goes, in Alex Song we have by far the most skilled and effective specialist defensive midfielder of all of the above. Essien is no specialist defensive midfielder. But you can see why this position is contentious when weighing up ‘who’s best’.

    In every other area of the field Arsenal have the stronger squad.

    Hilario, anyone?

  52. Rinseout – a number of key players were forced to play with injuries. A Deeper stronger squad, hopefully, negates the need…

  53. Why do such miserable toss-pots want to be football fans if all they do is moan & whine.

    Being a fan is all about passion. With a new season about to start all you lot can do is moan.

  54. Darius, even if they can’t be positive and still want to wear an Arsenal shirt, why come here or your place or Untold Arsenal? There are rabid anti Arsenal blogs everywhere. Why not post on Le Grove where they would be warmly received? It speaks of a deep personality disorder when one can only enjoy oneself by bringing others pain.

  55. Darius

    Freedom of Speech is a cop-out. Pessimism is the easy option since it requires no original thought; you only have to read the press et voila, there are your opinions and arguments all laid out for you.

    YW

  56. spectrum

    do you think that having “In Arsene we rust” on the bottom of all your posts is either clever or funny?

    probably explains why everything else you say is so stupid. BTW, Liverpool were a pundits and bookies favourites last year and what happened to them.

    Also Man City were favourites for knocking Arsenal out of the top 4.

    If bookies odds were always right betting would cease.

  57. Joe

    I think AW was talking of the various stages in cycle of a squad. The first is evolution, bringing the players through to a point when they are ready to compete for trophies. The second is their actual ‘life’ as challengers and the third is the decline. The latter is the key part of a squad since it should overlap with the first as new blood is brought in.

    YW

  58. Very good point Paul.

  59. Steww, there is an alternative view. There are shortcomings in the squad (we’d have won the league if there weren’t), but I think people like to identify them, see them adressed and then turned into a strength. Supposing we buy an imposing CH, travel to Blackburn and beat them comfortably. I, for one, would love to see Sky’s camera’s pan to Alladyce scratching his head, unable to understand why stratospheric balls to Chris Samba’s head are ineffectual and not having the wit to do anything about it. And as for Rory Delap throw ins…..

  60. Supercod

    There is an alternative view but I find that those with concerns have an underlying belief that overall, the squad can achieve. Others, labelled “D&G”, frankly, just chat shit all day, hoping to wind people up.

    YW

  61. Right now, as it stands, Chelsea have greater strength in depth in their squad at the position of centrehalf. That’s an area Arsenal are well known to be working on in the transfer window.

    If the purchase of Ramires goes through then you might say that with Essien, Mikel and Ramires able to play as defensive midfielder; Chelsea are better equipped in this position than Arsenal – their back-up is certainly more experienced than Frimpong and Eastmond. On the flipside, as far as the first-team goes, in Alex Song we have by far the most skilled and effective specialist defensive midfielder in the league. Essien is no specialist defensive midfielder. But you can see why this position is contentious when weighing up ‘who’s best’.

    In every other area of the field Arsenal have the stronger squad.

    Hilario, anyone?

  62. “I personally think only cesc and perhaps sagna will get into the chelsea team at the moment.”

    Why the fuck would they want to do something that stupid?”

    Well said Darius.

  63. Well said supercod, would it really be such a bad thing to spend say 10M a piece on a keeper and a central defender so we could sustain a challange for the EPL

  64. I know we can do it this year. Bolox to the doubters and playa haters. I can’t wait for the day we can stuff the ‘don’t like it up em’ down the establishments’ throats by once again winning the championship in style.

    On another note, have any of you noticed how Rambo seems so pi$$ed off in his interviews?
    He seems like one of those lads that when you get him angry he really gets angry.
    I reckon he’s the kind of guy who can turn that into an unstoppable passion for winning and will help us to do that for years to come.

  65. Gunflash it is not that simple though is it.

    First you need 20 million.
    Then more millions in wages.
    Then the players may not want a move.

  66. YW and Steww.

    To tell you the truth, I don’t read papers for the simple reason that I believe sports journalism is the lowest form of incompetent, lazy, crass and bull shit opinion from cretins who actually believe their own press.

    My sense is that the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal fans occupy the same rung on the pathetic scum of the food chain that perpetuates unfounded, hysterical, sensationlist and out of context views and opinions about what certain realities are.

    Take the clammour by the media for big money signings to be made all over as if it was fashion. This is not withstanding that only Man City is a freak show and everyone else is living in a world of austerity.

    Do these folks who write about football as if it is not affected by the economic downturn actually believe what they write, yet they probably can’t even make ends meet on their part?

    I somewhat sympathize with journalism because they didn’t really see the blogosphere and citizen media coming to bitch slap what they thought was a ‘safe’ profession. They didn’t ever consider that folks with blogs could have the power to attract the same masses as them and give an alternative opinion.

    What is sad is that they still get to influence a core group of people to believe their bull crap as fact and as gospel.

  67. Good points, Passion is the key. If you ain’t got that passion as a supporter then I agree, what is the point.

    Every season supporting Arsenal my passion grows stronger. Anyone that says or tries to come between me and my team is an enemy. This is why I have so much appreciation for Wenger, and how our club goes about business. They put the club 1st, they don’t want a foreign billionaire to one day take control and our clubs heritage will be shifted to someone who don’t give a toss.

    Idiot supporters who want marquee signings are weak and don’t understand what football is about. It is a team game, the invincibles were not superstars before Arsene got to work on them. Now is the time for our next wave to come good. If they don’t, we must carry on supporting and showing the same passion to take our club forward.

    Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool are trailing behind us, they may have or get the financial backing to make up for their lack of football knowledge. Soon one by one they will come undone, money alone doesn’t guarantee success.

    Someone mentioned Arsene having no defensive knowledge… Lauren, Toure, Vermaelen, Cole, Campbell. Its hard to say that about a manager which has won 2 doubles, created the greatest most complete team in the English games history, and has reached a champs league final and 2 semi’s.

    I agree that defensively we need improving, Wenger has focussed very much on this area, hence all the changes at the back over the last 5 years. With such an attacking ambitious team it is hard to not ship goals, that is our main problem. The likes of Kosc, Chamakh, and our improvement of youngsters and squad players should make our squad too good and rich of options to even worry about defending.

  68. The other years the rotation was forced due to injuries. Wenger said he does not like to make changes to a performing squad but seing that he has now potential starters as back-up, shows that he might decide to rotate a bit more.

    like I said in previous post on this blog, RVP played almost 90 min of every game before getting injured, Arshavin played with an injury, I think i’ve heard the same happened to Vermalen last year, cesc was forced to come on a bit too early against villa (but those two goal in 15min was just fantastic.

    This year we would have Chamack and Bendtner ready to give a rest to RVP, Vela, Nasri, Wilshere to come in for Arsha,… I believe our squad have more strenght in depth now as they are more mature and experienced and we definitively have much more strenght in depth than Chelsea and Man U for that matter.

    What is the obsession with bookies??? Can they see the future? Can they predict every result of the season before a ball has been kicked?

    No they just adapt their odd to what normal people want to bet, at the moment it just mean more people are betting on Chelsea, man U and Man city it does not warrant it will be the final result or otherwise where would be the point of betting?!?

    The beauty of football, is that it is a game where anybody could beat anybody! Otherwise how the fuck would small teams would progress in the FA cup or Australia beat Italy in the WC?

  69. LimparAssist

    Ok, if you say so..

    But Its odd that you believe that our strike pair is stronger than drogba and anelka.

    Its also strange that Essien is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. Song is fine (i have always supported him) but he still is some way from essiens class.

    And I wouldnt sound too high and mighty about GKs with our present situation. Have you forgotten that flapianski is still in our books?

    Cheers!

  70. Gunflash, I do think the money is academic though – look what Kolo cost.

    YW – agree, I think the squad is a gnat’s chuff away from being a force…

  71. Isn’t Essien an injury prone player then. If he was at Arsenal he would be called it by some of our ‘fans’.

  72. Chris goona,

    “Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool are trailing behind us”

    I mean no offense but haven’t united and chelsea finished above us for the last 5 seasons?

    I love your posts but try to be a bit logical.

    Cheers!

  73. Paul ( at 10;04 ) – quote; ‘If bookies odds were always right betting would cease”. They don’t ALWAYS get it right. Their history would confirm that they’re right MOST of the time. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t still be in business!!! My signature theme is not intended to be clever or funny. It’s self explanatory ;
    I wish it weren’t so, but I see the club continuing to stagnate under Wenger and his many managerial and character flaws, which have become more and more evident to many (OBJECTIVE) observers.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  74. dupsffokcuf

    What about Torres. If he was a commodity on the stock markets, no investor would touch him with a 10 foot barge pole simply because he was injury prone and you weren’t sure whether he’ll deliver.

    I crack up when journalists and pundits start a sentence about Torres with “On his day” or “when he’s fit”….

    If they have to say that, then he’s a liability.

  75. Immature twat.

  76. I bet Rectum would but him Darius.

  77. +buy

  78. i think whether we win the league hinges on whether we buy a big hard central defender. if we buy mertesacker we’re champions, simple as.

  79. Supercod, I agree that money isn’t academic so it has to be spent wisely. I don’t think AW would spend heavily on a player who’s well past his best.

    I also agree that the team isn’t far away from achieving something. That’s why it’s so frustrating when we fall short due to lack of depth, quality, experience etc. A couple of shrewd signing could rectify the situation

  80. naga – try thinking out of your very primitive anti-arsenal box.

    Essien you class as one of the best yet is constantly injured like Van Persie.

    Van Persie of which, you do not rate above Drogba or Anelka, two strikers who are very basic in technique, and are all round lesser players to Van Persie.

    FUCK OFF, is my basic concluded answer to you.

  81. Supercod – it was already a force – you don’t push for the title right up to the final stages of the season without being a force. And now it’s even stronger. We’ve signed a new forward and a new defender from France and two new midfielders from arsenal Youth and Arsenal Reserves (two incredible teams in their own right)

  82. gunner17 for manager.

  83. Almunia|Fabianski|Mannone|Scezsney

    > Greater than >

    Cech|Hilarious|Turnbull

    And Cech is injured.

    RVP|Chamakh|Arshavin|Bendtner|Vela

    > Greater than >

    Drogba|Anelka|Sturridge|Di Santo

    Midfield:

    Fabregas|Nasri|Rosicky|Diaby|Theo|Wilshere

    > Greater than >

    Lampard|Malouda|Benayoun|Kalou|Deco (outgoing)

    Essien = box-to-box midfielder. Will not be playing as a defensive midfielder this season.

  84. chelsea will drop behind us this year…they had an old squad last year, and they’ve done nothing to freshen it up. terry lampard and drogba can’t go on forever.

  85. gunner17

    Your assertion is stupid. It’s like saying that if you have unprotected sex, then you will for sure conceive and even give birth.

    Stop being a simplistic idiot.

  86. Sorry for all that repetition earlier. Glitch in the mainframe you see… You couldn’t tidy up some of my blatherings could you, YW? I look a bit mad and obsessive.

  87. Yogi – you say you recognise that some people chat shit and are only here to wind people up. Could you not then block the likes of SPECTRUM from posting? It’s like leaving a turd in a swimming pool.
    Not everyone with an opinion just out and out idiots with nothing at all to say.
    Of course leave Howard we love telling him to fuck off.

  88. Steww. Alternatively, he could install a big fat ‘Fuck You’ icon next to each comment so that it’s easier to click for the turds.

  89. naga anti gooner

    “Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool are trailing behind us”

    Try looking at the bigger picture:

    Stadium – one of the finest around
    Fan base – growing at a faster rate – look to Africa, Asia for proof
    Financially – richest club around in terms of profitability
    Scouting – always finding the best talent
    Training – state of the art
    Pre-season – more intense – not needing to fly to the states for commercial revenues.
    Coaching – right throughout the club our players are taught to play football ready for the 1st team
    Management – we have Wenger – the best around

    Do you want me to go on as to why we are ahead? Fucking grow up

  90. ChrisGoona

    Why are you bothering playing a guitar to a goat?

  91. I think that Joe is spot with his assessment..I’m also becoming a bit tired by the confessions of the players at Arsenal stating “We need to concentrate more” etc etc…I’m no harbinger of doom or gloom but I’ve this in- tution(feeling) that little has changed defensivley..

    A new season is like a New Year – Hope.Invariably many people come out and say they are going to make new years resolutions- Change – stop smokin,drinking etc but how soon do the habits of old resurface…?

    We can talk about the potential of the Squad etc but doing it week in and week out is where it is going to matter…Potential is one thing but doing it is another…Come n Arsenal..

    It is pure naivety to believe we’ve

  92. LimparAssist,

    Who was the top scorer in the league last season?

    “Essien = box-to-box midfielder. Will not be playing as a defensive midfielder this season.”?

    You seem to have read ancellotti’s mind already. 🙂

    Cheers!

  93. Naga Gunner..

    who has written the most idiotic posts on here today?…You!

    Cheers!

  94. CG at 8:02 excellent mate!!

    and SPECTRUM why do you love the negativity SOOOO much you enjoy the fact you think the team is crap. If you class yourself as an Arsenal fan then you are a total waste of oxygen.

  95. I think the arguments about “this team has better players” can often be overplayed; Real Madrid has spent hundreds of millions on the “best” players but still failed spectacularly. Closer to home,we have seen players who have been superstars at Arsenal fail miserably at other clubs either before or after their Arsenal careers: Bergkamp at Inter; Petit at Barcelona; Anelka at Real etc.

    The team that wins does not always have the best individuals; they are the one that combines good players, good tactics, good psychology, good luck (with injuries, decisions etc) the right team balance, and probably most importantly, team spirit.

    Why did we lose against Wigan and Blackburn last year? It wasn’t because we had worse players. When we won two doubles we had players such as Parlour, Dixon and Winterburn who won few caps for England and rarely featured in “best player” lists. We won because we had got the right balance of all those factors mentioned earlier and no doubt some I missed.

    Can Arsenal win the league this year – Yes. Will they win? I hope so, but if they do it will not be because they have the “best players” as defined on Championship Manager or similar, but because of a whole range of unpredictable human factors both at Arsenal and at the other clubs.

  96. I seriously fail to understand how some on here cannot show an ounce of faith in the team they “claim” to support…
    Their posts reek of a lack of faith and an lack of support….shame we have to read through their utter dross on here….freedom of speech?

  97. Supposedly NB52 has had a set back with his groin injury.

    I wonder if he was seen last night on the m25 with his pink pants down checking out the damage. Haha:)

    Bad news but if this happend last season id be bricking it, now with Vela, Cham, Arsh, Theo all looking good i’m not feeling to bad.

    If NB52 and RVP come back at the same time we’ll be bouyed no end.

    I’m getting really excited about cham got to tell you guys.

  98. The “bookies argument” is facile, and I wonder what it has to do with Arsenal. Bookies work to mathematics, not football. Bookies are not football experts. In fact, what the bookies are saying is that more people are betting on ManU and Chelsea than Arsenal and that, as we know, is due to a largely misinformed media which has fallen for its own puerile sense of populism.

    Who cares whether Chelsea have depth and now pees premium lager, or Manu shits hamburgers after USA. Really, who cares? It’s so stupid.

    We care about the Arsenal adventure. And my oh my, it’s looking sweet and delicious. I and many others have no doubt that the previous few seasons (or 13 seasons) were neither ‘failures’ nor ‘wasted’ and that Arsenal is not ‘defined’ solely by trophies and the British media.

    Plenty of trophies are coming, and it’ll be sweeter for the journey. Enjoy the journey, honestly it’s tastier that the trophy. Great post today YW.

    Happy days!

  99. RVP and Drogba had very similar goal/assist to minutes played ratios last year.

    Both better than PFA player of the year Wayne Rooney.

    And then you get down to second choice… Bendtner’s was far better than Anelka’s.

    Third choice, Arshavin’s was far better than Sturridge.

    So like I say,

    RVP|Chamakh|Arshavin|Bendtner|Vela

    > Greater than >

    Drogba|Anelka|Sturridge|Di Santo

    But Nick’s right of course… it’s about the whole team not which individual is better than another…

  100. I agree with ZimPaul… don’t know why I’m arguing the toss with people I don’t even think are Arsenal fans… that’s it. Each to his own.

  101. sol campbell proved last year how much this team needs an orc at the back. i hope wenger sees it.

  102. Nick

    I personally think that we really need to spend the cash.cos that’s the only way we can get back on top.but we have a greedy manager who hates spending money.but the only way we get back on top is that if we get rid of arsene.and chris if your reading then don’t fucking say anything.cos this is what I personally think.

  103. Arseman

    Its the lack of any meaning, or inidividual insight is what gets to me the most. People like Spectrum and others I can’t be assed to name come on stating their usual common phrases which they get from their mates down the pub. It is boring. They use Arsenal to gloat, they want instant success, and they have no consideration for how the football environment has changed for the worse.

    The England national team has suffered because of such attitudes (the instant success big money signing attitude) .. the anti-football kick em off the park attitude and so on… Chelsea may be a solid, strong, cheating, get their own way team in the Premiership and in with the Referees. But its no wonder after all the money they have spent they have done pretty poorly in the Champions League. 1 Final reached when the rest of Europe struggled financially.

    Why don’t we talk about real issues, why do the idiots always result to the most easiest solutions and ignore what is wrong with football. The game is being killed, with Arsenal we can be proud of having a club who is standing up for the future of football. The FA, and the rest haven’t made the slightest effort. Get behind the club people. We have a wealth of footballing talent, and the way our club conducts business is a model for all.

  104. I like the player comments. It signifies a subtle and profound shift from “we think we could win” to “we know we can win, and we know how”.

    We always said, the trick with this overall change from buying a team to growing a team, a seismic movement in football convention, is psychology.

    The psychology is pivotal because, as pioneers, you are fighting the conventional system defined by consumerism that craves its instant shopping mall gratification amidst ‘superstar’ media definition of what’s ‘good’. It’s not sustainable. Neither in football, nor in society. It’s evil.

    Change is coming, and in British and European football it will be defined partly by Arsenal.

    It’s hard being a pioneer of change. The whingers are tragic, they don’t understand what’s happening and they fear this change. It’s real.

  105. Some more bad news from the person you all love to hate…….That mobile, tough tackling defensive midfielder that just about everyone said last season we needed ? Well it ain’t gonna happen – Your Great Leader has just stated that he won’t be signing ANY midfielders in this transfer window.
    And before you say – “we’ve got Frimpong who can come in”, he may be talented yes, but he’s NOT the EXPERIENCED DM we were clamouring for. THIS is the season you all want us to win the league right ? Well to do that we need EXPERIENCE, someone who either knows what it takes to win, or has already won.
    Frimpong is not that person. In a few years perhaps, but not NOW. Most experts and commentators and many managers, know you can’t win a championship with kids. Wenger’s obsessed with proving them all wrong. No wonder we don’t progress further.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  106. gooner2 / turd

    Very insightful, keep up the good work. I’m glad you are afraid to comment without a backlash, thats how it should be. 😉

  107. Chris don’t fucking say anything cos I personaly think gooner2 is a moron and he doesn’t care about voicing an actual argument just trying to provoke people, and thats my opinion.

  108. Spectrum

    The fact you refer to pundits as experts says it for me.. haha

  109. Chris,
    I couldn’t agree with you more…how thick do you have to be to say something like-

    “but we have a greedy manager who hates spending money.but the only way we get back on top is that if we get rid of arsene”

    I would gladly debate with anyone on any issue at all.
    But for gods sake…at least form well reasoned and coherent arguments!

    You are right, the game is being killed, and its hard to find support when we are the only ones trying to swim against the tide.

  110. I know els

    I just love throwing it back in their faces, I can’t sit here and read their crap without taking the piss!

    They do make my day more often than not with the comical shit they come up with 🙂

  111. Spectrum,

    Like they wern’t wrong last year when they said we would finish outside the top four.

  112. How old is gooner2.coz IT seams 2 me he is just learnink to righT.

  113. Arseman

    You have to admire the courage of our manager and club for riding the storm if you like. Moving stadium, up against billionaire investment, and transfer market being bolloxed. Even as much as I hate to mention them (Barca), they normally do quite sound business in the transfer market and mainly rely on young players they nick or bring through. They have given in and are fucked, they must regret buying Ibrahimovic, and they must regret the high wages they have to pay. To think one of the greatest clubs in the world is almost bankrupt just says it all.

    It is also funny how the idiots never seem to mention any of these issues or like talking about them. Please comment…

  114. chris

    I was’nt afraid of anything.but I just hate being on stupid worthless arguments.and today I am on a very positve mood.so that means that I may as well be a good gooner.

  115. Spectrum is a fine example. His cowardice is fuelled by ignorance and misinformation; he simply doesn’t know what’s happening and everything becomes quite fearful for him. Courage, as we know, is a quality that arises from realisation that you must intervene and change something, no matter how difficult. That comes from understanding what is happening and why. Wenger, his colleagues, our players, and their fans are re-inventing Arsenal.

    5 years! Nothing. And what a fine achievement.

  116. I’ll tell your teacher you used profanities gooner2.

  117. Thats the problem, it seems like some people forget the fact football clubs have to be run as prudently as any other business. A fact that has been completely put on the back burner by the likes of Man City, Chelsea and Real Madrid. Do people really manage their own finances as recklessly as they want their clubs to do?
    How many clubs can you actually name that keep long term sustainability in mind when making business decisions.

    I understand that passion runs high when it comes to our great club….but something i read yesterday on another blog made a lot of sense.

    You dont know what you got, till its gone….

  118. SPECK I think Wenger said that he wasn’t buying midfielders 3 days ago. This has been common knowledge and to be honest why would any arsenal fan and therefore fan of the team want another midfielder.

    We have the best midfield in the league.

  119. Spectrum – he said that on Sunday, keep up…

  120. The “Squad Depth” argument also needs to take into account the new 25+Under 21s Rule. teams will not be able to stockpile players. Assuming the signing of another Centre Back, which is clearly on the agenda, we would be able to put out the following, all within the rules, and it looks pretty good to me. (This assumes sticking with 4-3-3)

    Goalkeeper – Almunia/Fabianski/Manone/Szczesny

    Right Back – Sagna/Eboue/Nordveit

    Centre Back – Vermaelen/Koscielny/Djouou/TBA

    Left Back – Clichy/Gibbs/Traore

    Holding Midfield – Song/Eastmond/Frimpong

    Right Midfield – Fabregas/Ramsey/Wilshere

    Left Midfield – Nasri/Diaby/Denilson

    Right Forward – Rosicky/Walcott/Lansbury

    Centre Forward – RvP/Chamakh/Bendtner

    Left Forward – Arshavin/Vela/JET

    Assuming that 4th berth at Centre Back is filled, that looks a strong squad. I count 18 players who are regular internationals, and others such as Gibbs and Wilshere who cannot be far away. If we can get the psychology/teamwork/concentration sorted, I don’t see who we have to fear?

  121. It is a strong squad. I still think the keeper could prove to cause us problems, but hey. It is a very strong squad player wise. If they get their defensive orgainisation right we will do very well.

  122. Nick I have a semi on

  123. There’s lots of reasons why we don’t need another defensive midfielder, but one of the most obvious ones I can think of is that we can get more out of our squad without buying one.

    With our system, another DM would only be able to play if Song’s injured or suspended. The rest of the time he’d be on the bench because we’d never play with two holding midfielders.

    But with guys like Denilson, Diaby and Ramsey you have players that can fill both a creative and – if not entirely defensive – rugged, ball-winning role. So they can fill in across the midfield.

    So if Song’s out you could pair Denilson with Diaby and they can share defensive duties together, which they’re more than capable of doing if you look at how many interceptions and tackles they make every game.

    Loads of teams do this… I think McClaren pulled it off with Twente last season. He didn’t play a defensive midfielder, he just had three guys with varying degrees of ruggedness, two of whom were equally able to offer cover when one of them went on an attacking foray.

    Sorry if doesn’t make sense, I’m under the cosh and rushing, hence all the links this week.

  124. Nick

    We have the options, and I agree it is a very strong squad if we get that defender. Midfield and attack we are probably the best equipped, yet we all know how quick that can change. In defence we have some fine players individually speaking. Sagna, Verm, Djourou, Clichy, Gibbs, Eboue.. all good options, and Kosc looks to be a great addition too.

    More than anythng we need a little more luck with injuries this season as well as the organisational side defensively to improve. Less injuries and the title is ours no problem. Maybe Frimpong and Kosc can help us turn the tide by kicking the other teams a bit more. Break an few legs and everyone will be scared to play rough with us, 3 match ban – big deal! At least we will avoid another Ramsey / Eduardo incident. Seeing shit like that happen to the players you love just makes you wonder what is the point?

  125. So you think we CAN win the league with kids ? You’re as deluded as your manager.
    “In Arsene we rust “.

  126. Darius I love that post – playing a guitar to a goat. Absolutely brilliant.

  127. OneOfUs

    Makes perfect sense, Wenger will continue to use Diaby, Denilson, Song to accomodate the defensive responsibilities. There is also Ramsey, Nasri, Rosicky, Eastmond and Frimpong who can take a CM role and have some defensive duties. We cannot rely on 1 player alone, as a team defensively they must have it drilled in so when 1 player is out, another just slots in. Effectively we will have a 3 man Central Midfield, 1 being the more responsible, the other 2 with the go ahead to attack at will.

    How many times have we seen Song burst forward for Denilson to drop back and cover.. its organisation which we need more of for this formation to bring home the rewards.

    Frimpong and Wilshire had a great understanding in Pre-season in central midfield.. so our 1st team players are smart enough to learn to cover each other. Doing so we will concede less goals on the break as we did last season I believe.

  128. 7/1
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  129. SPECTRUM don’t contradict yourself. You did say we were 7/1 to do it?

  130. Enough chat. I’m going to watch another match from last season. Any recommendations? Favourite cameos, goals, saves performances? Pick a match for me.

  131. Thanks for clarifying

  132. steww..

    Arsenal 6 – 1 Everton

    Watch that one 🙂

  133. Thankyou OneOfUs for the video on an Arsenal midfielder who I believe will be the very best in the Premiership in short order. I have always been enthusiastic about Diaby and I believe that in the coming season we will see his play improve even more. This is one player who is not intimidated by anyone! OneOfUs, youre contributions to this Blog are outstanding.

  134. ChrisGoona and others. Why do you guys spend so much time arguing the toss with people who claim to be Arsenal fans. Whether they are or not doesn’t matter, they are sitting behind a computer screen trying to convert you into anti arsene or anti Arsenal fans and we all know that it’s not going to happen. The pessimism will never rub off because we know that supporting our team is all about.

    I enjoy reading the great debates that go on by you guys regarding tactics etc but these people are wasting your time and effort. Let the scum wallow in their own pessimistic shit and ignore their pointless ramblings. Enjoy and embrace being a supporter in the truest sense of the word as they will never know what it feels like.

  135. chris

    the problem seem to be that we cannot go into a season without stupid injuries.and thas why we need those new additions.and if wenger does’nt sign any one then we will finish the season in 4th or 5th position.and as I said before that you should’nt say anything.but you should respond to my comment.

  136. What kids are there? From what I can see the younger players are all on the fringes – I don’t think anyone under the age of 21 has much responsibility in the Arsenal squad at the moment.

  137. chris

    the problem seem to be that we cannot go into a season without stupid injuries.and thas why we need those new additions.and if wenger does’nt sign any one then we will finish the season in 4th or 5th position.and as I said before that you should’nt say anything.but you should respond to my comment.

  138. sorry for the double post.

    slow internet connection.

  139. Matty Boy

    I know, its very hard to sit and read the drizzle that runs out their mouths. I keep saying this.. I will try my best to ignore it!

  140. Made perfect sense OOU I agree 100%

  141. CG,

    Arsenal 6 – 1 Everton, not a bad choice!

    If we’re talking defensive, cagey performances, I’d take the 1-0 against Liverpool.

    After two gung-ho charges against ManUsed and Chav$ki, the squad proved to any doubters who had their eyes open, that they could vary their ‘play’ and ‘defensive discipline’, a thread that has been in vougue recently.
    Various injuries that I won’t mention, did impact upon the squad after that. I dont think such a ‘strong’ line up took the field in a ‘big’ game again after the Liverpool home game.

  142. steww, 4-1 Alkmaar and 2-0 Olympiacos were my two favourite performances from last year. Pretty much at full strength, give or take, and absolutely flying. Some of the quickest passing and movement by any team, anywhere, ever.

  143. Quick passing and movement:

  144. Who was that Arsenal keeper making that great save? Surely not Almunia.

  145. That’s the stuff these miserable tossers need to watch.

  146. 12 days to go which means (to me) any signings now will not start.

    Assuming RVP, CF, AS, AD, ND, NB don’t start what is the probable starting eleven?

    BS LK TV GC

    EF

    SN TR

    TW MC AA

  147. sorry 11 days to go

  148. Ghostface Killa’ Iniesta”

    “We all want him to come because he will help us to go up a level – he’s very complete.”

    I’d recommend a LB first.

  149. Oh the build up to that first chance, Nari’s turn for his goal, Al’s point blank stop. Then Diaby’s it’s amazing that backheel. What a game great pick lads and good post Fins!!!!

  150. OneOfUs ( at 12;24) – That’s right , there aren’t that many “youngsters” in the squad. There were 5-6 years ago though, and we’re STILL WAITING for that crop to “mature” and win that title for us. But that’s o.k. because Arsene still “believes” in them. So they MUST come good, as he never has, is or will, be wrong.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  151. Great game, I need to watch the season highlights me thinks!

    Nasri, Arshavin, Cesc, Robin, Diaby.. great link up. Really is outstanding and breathe taking football.

  152. earflow I don’t think they’ll play Frimp but not sure who they will. Just my opinion, i’d love it if they did though.

  153. Yawn……I see Rectum has been spewing shite again.

  154. Gibbs, Wilshire, Frimpong, Denilson, Walcott, Ramsey, Nasri, Bendtner all relatively young if you ask me.

    “The future is bright, the future is Arsenal!!”

  155. Seems you prefer the blue end of the Spectrum, Spec….
    Definitely a pessimist with little or no knowledge of football and definitely not a true Arsenal supporter.

    Zim…. you speak a beautiful truth

  156. Any truth to the rumour that the unspent transfer money will be used to build a monument to Wengers vanity ? Later to be converted to a shrine for the AKB’s to pay their respects after he’s left ? I also heard their admission fee will go towards Wengers super fund.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  157. Oh, I see… he’s mad.

  158. Yes that’s true Spec, great news eh.

  159. So whats everyones predictions for goals scored by individuals this term… I remember I attempted it last pre-season and I was a bit too optimistic. Went something like Van Persie 25 goals, Cesc 15, Nasri 10, Walcott 10….

    Heres mine for this season ( I am going to be as pessimistic as I can so the doomers get a say in this):

    DOUBLE FIGURES…

    Van Persie 20 goals (subject to being injury-free)
    Nasri – 16
    Chamakh – 15
    Arshavin – 11
    Bendtner – 10
    Cesc – 10
    __________________ 82 GOALS

    5-10 GOALS…

    Walcott
    Vermaelen
    Wilshire
    Rosicky
    Vela
    Eboue
    _____________________ 30+ GOALS

    Under 5 GOALS…

    Koschielny
    Djourou
    Diaby
    Denilson
    Sagna
    Clichy
    Ramsey
    Song
    ____________________ 15 GOALS

    TOTAL = 125 GOALS MINIMUM

    Title is in the bag!

  160. Chris – Heh, you have included Clichy!

    I agree RvP is easily capable of 20+ if he stays fit. I am not sure that Nasri will get 16 (Cesc could however), but ability wise it is not beyond him.

    Arshavin is a fair bet for 10+

  161. ChrisGoona (at 1;22 ) – That’s my point. We’re still waiting for THEM, and the ones BEFORE THEM, to deliver. Guess you’re too thick to see that, though. Should have made allowances. My fault.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  162. I can’t see Theo getting anywhere near 10 though. Partly because of his inconsistant play, but mainly because I don’t think he will get many starts this year (unless we get a load of injuries).

    RvP/Chamakch/Arshavin will be the starters if fit. Bendtner and Nasri will be the 1st hcoice back ups I think. Theo really needs to take his chances when he gets them, competition for places in the front 3 is tight this season.

  163. Spectrum is a troll by profession.

    Well Arsenal are the cool guys, who wouldn’t like to hang out with us. Sp*d forums must be really dull.

  164. Yes forgive me for being too thick. You are the greatest smartest fan around. All hail king Rectum!

  165. goonerandy

    I wouldn’t write off Theo so soon, he has the ability to get double figures and his finishing isn’t bad. With Cesc, Nasri, Chamakh laying him off he could surprise many people.

  166. What zou do not realise is that Wilshere, Frimpong etc. are THEM. They are the kids that got signed when the youth project started and they are the boys that will form an integral part of our Arsenal title winning team.

  167. Corruption in English Football? – guess who’s involved, sp*d-rectum.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jul/30/fulham-court-action-premier-league-dave-richards

  168. Chris – Maybe. He still seems to be a good impact sub as opposed to a starter. He is a decent finisher, and he makes good runs. He is so much cof a confidence player though though.

    When his tail is up he looks very good, but when is is not feeling confident he looks a very average (but fast) player.

  169. Theo you can call many things mate, but not average. He is not your average footballer, he rips defenders apart consistently. Its just his final decision or choice of delivery that can go wanting. Its like driving a car at high speed, its hard to control. I ain’t going to sit here and make excuses because its pretty evident to the majority of Arsenal supporters that he is a real asset to our attacking play.

    There are games where we solely rely on Theo as an attacking outlet to stretch the oppositions defence. Please justify then how you say he is only an impact sub?

  170. ChrisGoona – ( at 1;46 ) My rectum, your head. A perfect fit. You’ll have to remove it from your own, first, though.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  171. Redknapp signs Russian Donkey.

    SPURS boss Harry Redknapp yesterday agreed to give a home to tormented Russian donkey Anapka.

    Big-hearted Harry plans to open an animal sanctuary and said: “I’d happily find her a place to live comfortably.”

    The offer prompted gags that the parasailing ass – in The Sun’s care in the Russian city of Krasnodar – would not be the first donkey he has “signed”. Harry, 63, already has a two-legged Russian – Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3072015/Harry-Redknapp-signs-Russian-donkey.html

    The donkey’s nickname is Spectrum.

  172. thats hard cg

    RVP 25
    Cesc – 15
    Nasri – 10
    Bendtner – 10
    Chamakh – 10
    Arshavin – 7
    Walcott – 8
    Vermaelen – 6
    Wilshire – 3
    Rosicky – 5
    Vela – 7
    Eboue – 3
    Koschielny – 2
    Djourou – 2
    Diaby – 8
    Denilson – 4
    Sagna – 1
    Clichy – 3
    Ramsey – 4
    Song – 2

    Used your as a template CG but I imagine something along these lines.

  173. els

    Clichy with 3 goals! Bit optimistic, but stranger things have happened I suppose 🙂

    I reckon we will beat Chelsea’s total last year.

  174. haha cheers notlager

  175. Pascal Cygans Comb

    Anyone going to the open bus parade to the town hall on sunday?

  176. After half an hour of frantic coding, ‘Aary’s twitchy little sidekick managed to change his I.P:

  177. Pascal Cygans Comb

    els

    Clichy and Sangna have scored one goal each in their Arsenal careers and you think they will get 4 between them?Weird

    Top scorer will be Chamakh 15 -18 goals
    and Wilshire will score more than Walnutt

  178. Lots of grumpy people today.

    Chris:

    I think we will score 90 – 95 goals this year assuming reasonable health. Chelsea will probably score a similar number. I suspect United will score 80 – 85. However United will stay in the race because they concede fewer and they have this unquantifiable ability to play better then their personnel would suggest.

    How many we concede will determine our place in the table.

    Man City will be a wild card. Hopefully all of thier squad tinkering will cause them to implode. Spuds will be close but end up 5th. Liverpool tough to predict and probably will fight Man City and Spuds for 4th/5th/6th

  179. On the earlier topic of bookies I wonder what the odds would be of us scoring more than 100 and Blackpool conceding more than 100…

  180. I heard sp*ddies are retrospectively celebrating their historical win over the mighty Arsenal on Sunday, Sp*dtrum Pascal. You should enjoy it because another decade is a long time.

    By the way can you tell me when Sp*rs are playing the CL qualifier and who you’re gonna lose against?

  181. The Spuds are already bitching about fixture pile up. And it was them saying they’re ready for the big time.

  182. Spurs 1 – 4 Villareal.. puts them in good shape to get embarassed in the qualifiers!

    The difference between Arsenal and Spurs fans is we don’t actually give a shit. When Spurs are rooted to the bottom of the table, or fighting for UEFA Cup, makes no difference to an Arsenal fan. Its why you see so many Spurs fans singing Arsenal chants, watching Arsenal games, bringing out Arsenal DVD’s… They love us really I bet!

  183. Chris – Have to disagree on Theo mate. He definately is not consistant, and I think he is still an impact sub because his biggest impact on games have come from there.

    He can be the most frustrating player we have. So much potential, but sometimes looks like a schoolboy. I like Theo, and some of the fans disapointment (mine included) should be tempere with the unrealistic expectations heaped on him by the media.

  184. Darius

    Maybe they should promote Donkey Spectrum to the squad. Hes just as big an ass as the rest of them!

  185. I am NOT a spud in disguise. Despite what many of you think. I believe you can support Arsenal WITHOUT necessarily supporting their manager.The two CAN be mutually exclusive. It is mostly the managers pig headedness and failure to learn from his mistakes that I have a problem with.
    That and his tactical and character faults that none of you can or will, admit to. Either because you’re blissfully ignorant, or because you’re as wilfully stubborn as Wenger himself.
    I would love to see the team do well ( i.e. win the title ) as much as the rest of you.The difference is, you think you can do it with Wenger . “In Arsene we rust”.

  186. Thats right Cygan.

    And theo will be on it this season.

  187. Spectrum

    Nice one, you are getting funnier by the comment! Keep it up.

    Goonerandy..

    My point is he is consistently causing problems for the opposition. He is cosistently beating his man, and he is consistently running past people, those are his strengths which he does very well. If you want to look at his crossing and passing then you can argue otherwise.

    I prefer to look at goals and impact.

    Theo was involved in 7 out of the 11 goals since returning from injury at the end of last season. That is pretty consistent to me. Wenger is not a mug to play a player that offers little mate.

    Compare Theo with Arshavin. Arshavin is the most inconsistent player we have in my eyes. But he is a match winner. Theo does a lot more in 90mins than Arshavin, in terms of dribbling, number of crosses, passes, and distance covered. The difference is Arshavin provides something special once every 4 games.

    Theo is vital component in our system who stretches the opposition and creates the space for others to advance and score. It is simple stuff, and most supporters can see what an affect the lad has in every game he plays.

    In this respect, he is very consistent.

  188. not a spud in disguise just a fucking spud.

  189. SPECTRUM – I believe that Wenger is still the man to be in charge, but also agree that he has made mistakes. We play the most attractive attacking football in the lge, but we also look the most disorganised at the back. A balance needs to be found, and I don’t neccasarily think it needs to be at the expence of our attacking play.

  190. Chris – I do agree he stretches teams, and he is a threat. He also leaves the ball behind whe he sets off with it, and also runs into his man on a regular basis. He can practice his crossing so that does not worry me too much.

    I have noticed that this is often when he recieves the ball and is then approached by a defender. When he picks it up deeper (maybe when we are defending and win the ball) and sets off he is electric. He is playing off instint and is unplayable.

  191. I was driven past SHL yesterday.
    The site of some historic Spu*d ridden pub, ‘The Spurs’, or whatever it was called, has been knocked down and replaced by some new flats on the junction of two main roads. Not all flats in the world are nasty, some are nice. These were grim.

    I like the Arsene Wenger memorial, the stadium in Ashburton Grove.

  192. http://foreign.peacefmonline.com/sports/201008/65926.php

    Cesc shedding a tear for his deceased father turns into Cesc wanting to return to Barca!!! Fucking wankers, Cesc will be glad to be back in London. I guarantee that.

  193. Chris:

    We have a lot of talented attacking options. I think Theo is further down the pecking order at the start of this year behind Arshavin/Nasri/Chamakh/?Rosicky and in my mind hopefully Vela and possibly NB52. Not to mention the occasional start for Eboue. Obviously RVP is the 1st one on the team sheet upfront. It will be very tough to Theo to get that “run of games” that everyone keeps saying is the only thing he needs.

    He will get his chances with fixture congestion/injuries and if he plays well and takes his chances when he gets them he will move up in the pecking order quickly. Will be an interesting season for him.

  194. He did say I hope to see you all again soon, and for longer. I think he does not know what he wants.

  195. Fuck off Rectum.

    Go and have a lobotomy and colonic irrigation.

  196. goonerandy

    There is room for improvement, like any player. I just think the criticism he gets is unjustified. He offers so much to the team, and is picked out for a couple aspects of his game. Them aspects he will improve on, until then we will still benefit from his lightning pace, dribbling, and runs into the box. Thats his game, thats what hes best at, and there is nobody who is faster or better at it in my eyes. So what is all the fuss. This season he will prove how deadly he can be, he has a couple goals in pre-season, and I expect his assist and goal tally to really blow people away come next May if he has a full injury free season.

    I think Theo is quality personally, and love watching him in full flow.

  197. Chris – I hope so mate.

  198. ChrisGoona,

    Its a real shame about the Spanish media. Cesc’ll get real mad if He ever reads it.

    Hopefully this’ll make him realize where He is respected and welcomed like their own.

  199. OK having been a bit of a lazy git up to now, the ACLF Fantasy League is now up and running.

    Register at http://fantasy.premierleague.com

    Once you have logged in and entered your team, click on the ‘Leagues’ link you can find on the right of the page. Now enter the code 755155-171684 to join the private league.

  200. How you thought that he might not mind? He has not come out and really batted any of this off. In fact he has said that it is very difficult.

    It is all right saying “he will be mad”, and “he can’t wait to get back to London”, but you don’t know that at all.

    Either way, I don’t think we will sell him this year. Whether or not we have to go through all of this again next year will depend on the forunes of both teams in the coming season.

  201. I’m in Yogi

  202. oo er. Erm sorry.

    Im in, Yogi.

  203. Although I am not Theo’s biggest fan, I’ll say this, he’s is a very handy player to have in our squad, simply because he gives us something different and gives the opposition fullback problems, agreed his final ball, decision making and his tendency to run into people is frustrating, but he’s a young player who is learning his trade and should only get better. His biggest obstacle is the fact that he is English and so his every touch is overanalysed and media morons will tell you that he doesn’t have a brain. Personally I’d wait a couple more years before trying to write him off. Compared to Vela, who is at a similar stage in his career, Theo was definitely better last season. I hope both realise their potential and torment opposition defences for years to come hopefully in tandem on the opposite flanks.
    Also after Pires & Ade we need someone to make the Sp*rs their bitch and score shitloads of goals against them.

  204. Interesting read.

  205. I think we might just hammer Liverpool on the opening day y’know?

    Imagine Reina’s face.

  206. With a boot in it. I do.

  207. Nice goonerandy…that is a great image! We can drape a barcelona jersey over his supine body while the physios attend to him. It will be a fantastic laugh.

    Seriously Naga, why do you even bother having anything to do with Arsenal if all you do is moan about everyone. Go get a blue jersey with mourinho on the back and chel$ki on the front and stop living the lie you are.

  208. deano,

    With Cesc coming on from the bench and hitting the final nail(goal)!!! That would be a dream-come-true for all gooners!!!

  209. Not sure if it was that interesting a read.

    AFC’s pre-Brum run in last season was more interesting.

    “Theo was involved in 7 out of the 11 goals since returning from injury at the end of last season.”

    Four in combo’s with NB52, if my memory is correct.
    So, without RVP and others, Theo and NB52 played well in every game that they played in, between that Liverpool game and the Brum game, helping to keep the club in the title chase, but, um, that is not consistent enough?

    Doh!

  210. A whole heap of rubbish on here this morning!

    Big ups to CG, ZP, Dups, OOU and the likes, you know who you are as for the rest (especially Naga) you need to rethink how special of a team you support.

    How can you complain about youth? first thing is the funny thing about youth is that they get older and mature daily. Second, do you give any thought to the fact that they havent reached their prime as yet but have still been good enough to have the team within a shout of the title for the last 3 seasons. Last year it was a bitter collapse after the Barca match with an injury riddled team.

    I agree with CG that Walcott can score ten goals, like many others injuries have hampered the young man. Not only with goals but in gaining the consistency many say he needs.

    Blessings!

  211. Were can I put a bet on that Arsenal will win the league and same bet clichy will get 3 or more goals??

    I’d risk a £20 on that easily. If it was good odds.

  212. Gentlemen like Spectrum and Naga, and we’ve had them all and more over time, have very frail sense of personal confidence and belief. The journey is not good enough. They will only be happy when Arsenal IS ManU in all but name. It’s called an inferiority complex. I do feel sorry for them, but as Steww has observed a good ritual figurative burning might help. DNFTVI or donkey.

    Blessings PaulN!

  213. I would bet one thing only. No one will ever forget the Arsenal 2010/11 vintage. I guarantee it.

  214. Since Theo came back from injury he’s been on the up and up.

    GOAL vs. Barcelona – obv. very high profile, set North London alight. Those that were there testify; one of the greatest European nights at the Emirates yet.

    The Assist for Bendtner vs. Sp*rs – overshadowed by general despondancy after losing to the filth – understandbly a night largely stricken from most of our memories… but nonetheless, an excellent assist in a big, big game.

    GOAL against Wigan – again, swept under the carpet because of the result.

    And then on the last day of the season he grabbed a brace of Assists.

    That’s a Theo Walcott involvement in 5 goals in 5 games… for those keeping count.

    And that’s not to mention games which he didn’t score or assist in but still played a blinder. Where was everybody in April?

    Vela should’ve scored from a Walcott cross against Blackburn. Arsh should’ve scored from one against Hull. Walcott changed the game against Hull! Completely swung the momentum our way…

    And then the Burnley game, one GOAL, and could’ve had 4 Assists had Bendtner and Arsh had their radars on.

    How quickly people forget…

    And couple that with a preseason in which Walcott has either scored or assisted in almost all of the games he’s played… and I’d say Walcott’s progrss is right on track.

    If he keeps carving out as many opportunities for Arsenal as he has been recently, he’ll be a major part of title push this season. Get behind him.

  215. Arsenal are my favourites to win the league this season.

  216. I agree with Ketch.

  217. I agree with LimparAssist.

  218. By the way, I think we should all give a big round of applause to ChrisGoona, who has done a sterling job in keeping the doomers in check in the last few weeks.

  219. LA, thanks for that comment about Walcott.

    Goals will come from Walcott, make no mistake about it.

    I am also looking for Diaby to be something special this season after being France’s best player at the WC.

    Lets do it!

  220. clap clap clap clap

    Big ups again CG, well done!!!

  221. SPECTRUM omg you are unbelievable.

    You think anyother manager would have been able to get through such a lean spell with the move to the new stadium so well. How many mangers have actually put their face in their academy to be supllimented by perchased talent let me tell you none thats what and yes we have not won anything yet but we have never failed to qualify for champions league.

    Can you say the same about the spuds, liverpool or even city you are clearly shortsighted and we will rue the day wenger steps down.

  222. Yes, Chris has at times been as set-upon as R P McMurphy in the cuckoo’s nest, but never wavered. Well played, sir.

  223. @Muppet.

    Isn’t it exciting to enter the season with none of the so called observers, pundits (plundits more like it), experts and ex-whatever’s not giving Arsenal a chance.

    I just love the whole journey of showing these reprobates that Arsenal has chosen a path and a vision and we will see it through and not succumb to their bullying and misdirection and interference when they try stopping Arsenal and ridicule what we do because they’re too thick to understand it.

    Arsenal is a visionary club with a visionary manager and we’re blazing the trail in being an ambitious club that is capable of being competitive in the toughest league in the world and doing it in a sustainable and affordable way. Apparently I gather that you can never win anything this way, the only way they suggest is by spending big money.

    ON another hilarious note, Something very intriguing is happening. Ginger Durham and his side kick Mr. Gough are debating and deciding on what Cesc is worth. Someone should put these two clowns in charge of the economy.

  224. Limpar:

    Assuming everyone is healthy, what is your favorite lineup. Mine would be.

    Almunia

    Sagna, New CB or KOS, TV, GC

    Song, CF4, Diaby

    ?Nasri orChamakh, RVP, Arshavin

    First Game I suspect

    Almunia

    Sagna, KOS, TV, GC

    Diaby, Song, Nasri

    Rosicky or Theo, Chamahk, Arshavin.

  225. Yes Limpar YES!

  226. My first 11 would be

    Al

    BS – – JD – – TV – – GC

    AS

    CF – SN

    TR – RvP – AA

    With Theo, Cham, Diaby, Ramsey, and Kos not making it that is pretty impressive.

  227. Darius,

    It’s the usual media contempt for a project that they do not understand. Well, one or two do understand, Patrick Barclay for one. He knows that the arsenal squad, in it’s embryonic stage, will grow into a monster that will eclipse the Chelsea squad. A chelsea squad that will need some serious money to replace ageing players in time.

    What I don’t understand either is the media frenzy of transfer ‘names’. Often overvalued and overrated. Wenger has his evaluation criteria of a player and will value accordingly. The media take a player, for example, Milner, and put £24 million as a valuation, which is totally ludicrous. If Wenger were to pay £24 million for Milner, the media would then translate that as a real statement of intent. We, I suspect, would interpret that slightly differently – that Milner was world class and on a level with someone like Ronaldo. Wenger will never pay ludicrous valuations because the worth of a player is often in the unseen qualities that don’t make the headlines.

    Ginger tosser and dudums shouldn’t be on the radio. If angels could weep.

  228. Anyone seen this Japanese kid we’ve got on loan at the moment?

    Blimey:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcsh2c_ryo-miyaichi-2010_sport

    Obvious caveats etc, but it’s still fun to watch.

    And well done to CG this summer. It’s made for hilarious reading at times.

  229. Stolen from Young Guns comments btw.

  230. Muppet. So true.

    Sports journalism is just so low and full of faecal matter, you’d think that they’re the custodians of the good game. I laugh when they challenge the status quo say on England’s fortunes, yet they are part of the problem in a cultural quagmire laced with xenophobia that hits out at any suggestion of anything they don’t understand.

    I have a lot of respect for Paddy Barclay and on many occasions, you can witness him going against the grain and risking contempt from his own peers for daring to think differently.

    These guys don’t even seem to have grasped the trouble that football clubs are in financially and think they’re in this funky world of big money signings.

    I sometimes wish that there would be a minimum level of competence that pundits or hacks are subject to before they open their mouths. I’m told some of these guys weren’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed when they were of school age and this may have been compounded by them going into football without a proper grounding in education.

    Next thing you know, they stick a Mataland suit on them and put them on Sky Sports and call them a pundit.

  231. OneofUs,

    Thanks for that. Interesting player. And Wellington too.

    Is the Borehamwood game on AVTO ?

  232. Wish I was watching that game tonight OOU.

    Thanks for the link.

  233. Darius,

    Yeah. Tony Gale is case in point.

  234. a case in point.

  235. Doesn’t look like it, Muppet – sadly.

    Saying we sign him…judging by the standard of the opposition in the second part of the video, I’m sure he’ll be able to reproduce that form against Chelsea this season. If he doesn’t then we might as well write him off by February.

  236. @Muppet.

    Look at the classic example with all the stories about this Chinese guy wanting to take over Liverpool.

    All the hacks are going gaga about it, yet this guy could just be another front man to the Chinese mafioso. Very few people have an odd £350m sitting pretty in a HSBC account waiting for a chance to pump money into Liverpool to convince Torres and Gerard that they should stay at Liverpool and that salvation from China is on its way.

    Do these guys live on this planet?

  237. els:

    You think your line up may be a little attack heavy? Cesc will probably the most forward of the midfielders. Diaby or Denilson to be in front of Song but deeper then Cesc. Nasri is more of an attacker. If Diaby is in form and healthy he is a beast. Chamakh’s strength and length will be useful on both ends of the pitch. He also looks like he will have the energy to press the ball up forward for the whole match. The boss may be looking for a little more balance.

  238. I think Diaby should be the one to compliment Cesc and Song. Failing that, I actually think Ramsey (when fit again) is the best balanced to make up the 3.

  239. Diaby is imo the right choice against the likes of Stoke, Bolton etc. Denilson against technical teams as well as big opposition. Ramsey first needs to get back from injury — hopefully soon!

  240. Andy:

    Denilson adds a little more balance then Rambo but thats a tough call. Long term Rambo clearly will be a stud. It will take time but fortunately no ligament damage such as Eduardo had with his ankle so as long as no complications occur Rambo should be full speed when he recovers.

    Evil:

    Not sure I understand why the difference especially your comment about big teams. Obviously Denilson will get lots of playing time unless Diaby somehow gets past his history of muscle injuries. When both 100% IMO Diaby offers a little more.

  241. Thanks for the tips earlier guys – I watched the AZ 4 -1 and it was an absolute joy. Funny thing when you actually watch Arsenal rather than pontificating about them you see many different things. Our obsession with DM and deep lying play-makers and attacking mid in the hole bullshit is just that. Parts of that game saw Nasri playing centre forward, Song roaming the pitch at will, Diaby playing really deep, Diaby playing wide right, Diaby playing wide left, Eboue playing mainly right back but popping up everywhere, RVP taking the ball from our centre backs, William Gallas setting up the second goal from an attacking midfield position.
    It’s just total football really, like the Dutch of ’74.

  242. Chamakhing Hell….Nice one YW 🙂

  243. Well said steww

    I get pleasure from watching Arsenal that I when I watch other cubs the football looks wooden. We deserve more from the quality of our football.

    I saw some games last season with chelski winning 8 nil and it still looked mechanical.

  244. It’s interesting what the school holidays bring to the blog! Even Yogi sounds a bit exasperated by them today. But at least he does not block people’s comments. I have been blocked by 2 blogs so far for daring to criticize the blogger. And these were not abusive posts. Funnily enough neither was Le moan, so they are not the only ones out there doing that.

  245. Absolutely Steww, these are the people who are stuck in the past and would not & will not move on from the old ways of Punt & Grit all day long.

  246. Passenal

    Exasperated but not with them. They were just a useful release valve…It is pitiable when obvious trolls come on to pick a fight but cannot deliver a cogent argument to support their point of view because the Daily Heil has not told them what to think.

    YW

  247. Steww:

    All things cycle and perhaps that type of football will return someday. Certainly more organization is in vogue now. Perhaps that type of movement you describe works great against AZ but not against the Mancs or Barca. It might contribute to the problems we have with organization that YW discussed in his post today.

    Ole:

    I we could score 8 simple mechanical goals I would be very happy. Hopefully we can average around 2.5 beautiful goals/game next year.

  248. Yes, well said, steww.

    I love that players like Diaby and Nasri – essentially attacking midfielders (that would probably be playing the ‘Cesc role’ at most other clubs) – have become well-rounded to the point that when we lose possession they become hard-working ball-winners. That’s why we can and will field sides like the one els suggests – especially at home in the league when there’s a wall to break down. Some brummie brand of catenaccio like WOLVES (H).

    It’s about Totaal Voetball as steww says. It’s about versatility and mastering many skills and positions so we can constantly show for the ball and move forward, and then drop into the gaps if we lose the ball and starting fighting to win it back.

    Having said all that, against the best teams with the ability and the will to attack – Denilson must play.

    If you want an attack broken down and turned around then you can’t look further than Song|Denilson. Expert.

  249. Fuck ‘en vogue’. If dour and unadventurous is ‘en vogue’ then it can get f*cked.

  250. The movement that Steww describes, Bill, is just the way that Arsenal play. Under-18s up. You’ll just have to get used to it. Try and enjoy it while you’re at it. We just might win the league with it this season.

    I’m sure it does make it difficult to stay organized! It’s not like at Stoke where the whole team is made up of centrehalfs who stand stock still and beat their chests. It’s incredibly difficult to master, but master it we will. You don’t just give up on something because it is hard, Bill. You carry on and get better.

  251. Limpar:

    I hear Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull belting out a few verses of “Living in the Past” on his flute.

  252. Agree with LA. And I believe that the best way to beat Chelsea and ManU is to play the only way we know, with flair – to hell with organisation (or at least most pundits’ concept of organisation).

    But the difference between playing cannon fodder like AZ, and sides like Chelsea and ManU is patience, isn’t it…

    ManU and Chelsea were happy to sit back and let us play in front of them before hitting us on the break – usually after we’d tried to force something unnecessary.

    We have players who can keep possession all day, so that’s exactly what we should do. Let’s pass it until we get a real opportunity. What I don’t want to see is a 20-pass move ending with an aimless cross and possession surrendered.

  253. Jeez, I get a couple of compliments and I start to talk like I’m Rinus-bloody-Michels!

  254. OneOfUs

    Is this what your talking about…..

  255. “There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now”.

    I saw Jethro Tull when they passed through my hometown on tour a couple of years ago. They were fucking awful.

  256. Oh and if we do cross it I hope the strikers take a chance more often. Theo gets pilloried for hitting too many shots-cum-crosses, when they’re probably the most difficult thing for defenders to handle. If the players in the box anticipate these more often we’ll get a bunch more goals. Perhaps.

  257. Genau, deano. That was stunning.

  258. deano I could watch that all day long

  259. Limpar @ 7:20 PM:

    Hope you are right. As I have said many times before I do not think we need to abandon attacking football but we need more balance. We will always be an attacking team. However, to continue to do exactly the same thing we have done in the last few years and expect a different result is difficult to understand.

    OOU:

    The patience you describe is very difficult to maintain throughout an entire game even for the most experienced players. The Chavs and the Mancs are good defenders who can intercept even good passes. No matter how good you are at possession eventually a pass will be mis-aimed or telegraphed or the reciever of the pass will mishandle.

  260. Seriously that passage of play and the goal arfe exactly what we are all about. It’s why we love Wenger and his teams and encapsulates precisely why the kind of football strange creatures like Bill would prefer is so utterly alien to us.

  261. arfe? arfe? Wtf?

  262. 7:32, Bill, 7:32.

    No team in the league has players – Nasri, Cesc, Diaby, Denilson – that can keep the ball like we can.

    And the goal above shows what we can do if we keep moving and wait for our moment in these games. Against Chelsea and ManU (home match) last season most of our attacks were breaking down after crosses by our fullbacks. After all those matches AW suggested that we tried to force things too often.

  263. Bill

    Don’t be a silly pants.

    As long as we have the players that are capable of producing that kind of football they play that kind of football. Simple as that.

    I would like to remind all who watched that video (although I’m sure you all remember) that day we beat the Mancs they were full strength : Ronaldo, Vidic, Ferdinand (back when he used to actualy play the ball out of defence) and Rooney. We were without RvP, Adebayor and Toure plus all long term absentee’s ( Rosicky, Eduardo).

    The reason we won that game is because of a patient, confident style of play that was the product of a good attiude visible all over the pitch.

    Results obscure the truth when it comes to our recent meetings with Chavski and Man U. We were either cagey and nervous or too gung ho. It has never been a question of them being superior.

    Look at our squad Billy, tell me that it is’t much better than the squad we had in 08/09. Tell me that we cannot play that type football again and it cannot be affective, moreso with new signings and player development. And I’ll tell you you’re a fool.

  264. One of the best goals ever!!

    The run from Walcott to draw the defenders, sweet!

  265. of course we can always do that…

  266. Passenal,

    which blogs have blocked you?

    Shakes head.

  267. How did RVP get that through Lampard’s legs. Surely his belly would be hanging down there to block the ball.

  268. Randall scored for Arsenal XI at Boreham Wood.

    1-0 so far

  269. Wellington Silva is a substitute.

  270. Afobe makes it 2 after 42 mins

  271. Thanks for posting the link to the second Nasri goal deano. It was absolutely sublime! 8 Arsenal players were involved in the build up to that goal, even the much maligned Sylvestre! And I think Theo’s movement to draw the defenders away was a key contribution to that goal. That is what I love about this team. When everything comes together, it’s like poetry in motion and it’s well worth the wait. Why would anyone want the ‘perfunctory’ style of the other teams in the league over that level of artistry?

  272. notlager, I don’t want to give them the oxygen of publicity, but one is an American blogger that I used to find quite interesting from time to time, but he has turned into the biggist moaning minny. The other was a blog that didn’t appreciate me calling him out for posting pictures from Arshsavin’s website and not giving credit for the source.

  273. dupsffokcuf – Young Guns Blog has Twitter updates, which are suggesting that the Japanese trialist is playing really well so far. Also Wellington Silva is on the bench. Maybe he will come on in the second half.

  274. Deano:

    I mentioned this the other day but our record against the Mancs and Chavs in the last 5 years is 5 – 16 – 4. We have been outscored 21 for vs 42 against. It does not seem logical to pick out 1 or 2 games from those and point to them as example. We have averaged 0.807 goals/game in the last 5 years. We have scored more then 1 goal in 4 or those 26 games.

    No matter how great your attack it is extremely difficult to score against an opponent that is organized. The only realistic chance we have to win those games is to keep a clean sheet. As long as we remain vulnerable to counter attacks and long balls and set pieces we will concede goals. Once we get behind then we have to chase the game.

    The bottom line for me is that we have to tighten up at the back. As soon as we concede the other team can play even deeper making it even harder to score and leaving us even more vulnerable to quick counter attacks.

    OOU:

    We have great players, they just need to learn to stay organized and be more effective defensively.

  275. Wellington Silva is on for the second half.

  276. Thats quite funny Passenal, thanks!

    Loved this part

    Gasfart urges current President Sandra Rozell to meet face-to-jaw with Gunnersaurus.

    “It can be hard to know what he’s thinking”, Gasfart explained, “because sometimes it seems like there’s a man peeping out from his bow-tie.”

  277. Did you read the comments as well Paul? They are funny too. The fans are really getting into the spirit of the parody!

  278. Passenal, do you mean Flamini’s American fanboy?

    He’s quite touchy and narrow-minded for someone from the land of the free. But blocking your posts?

    Alas, there are only a few blogs left on my newsnow feed which are not on the hide mode that I’m quite disappointed he did that.

    By the way do you have a picture of Flamini’s face when he got really irritated with the booing?

  279. From the comments sections this one is hilarious:

    mjc said…

    If Gunnersaurus does leave (and from what I’ve read in the Spanish press it looks like a done deal) I hope Wenger will finally pull his finger out and get us a world class replacement. One of those flying things from Avatar would be cool. Also I hope that if he left us, we’d retire the number 99 shirt. Come on Wenger – SORT IT OUT

  280. I did, had me cracking up!

  281. “meet face to jaw”

    I cant get over that!

  282. That’s the one notlager and I thought they prided themselves on freedom of speech? As for Flamoney, I wish I had a camera phone at the time because I was in the section on the halfway line on the side he was playing on Sunday. He was booed everytime he touched the ball and he made the mistake of turning to the crowd and showing how much it was clearly annoying him. But what did he expect? Had he been honest about his intentions he might not have played so often to put himself in the shop window and Arsene may not have let Gilberto and particularly Diarra leave.

    I think Arsene learned his lesson with Merida who barely played when there were plenty of opportunities once it became clear that he was about to do a Flamoney.

  283. Must say this Lucozade bottle looks quite impressive. It’s going to give Gunnersaurus a real run for his money this season.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/gunnersaurus-takes-on-lucozade-sport

  284. Well if Gunnersaurus is off to barcaloaner we have to start trying out his replacement!

  285. I just hope to God Wenger realises we need something British to replace Gunnersaurus. I fancy one of the Ornithopods like Iguanodontids, which would bring some real grit.

  286. steww are you sure he’s English though? That name sounds suspiciously like a foreign crap to me. We don’t want to set Howard off on one of his rants!

  287. Passenal, totally agree with you on Flamoney.

    Got a strange feeling Sunday won’t be the last time we see Flamoney at the Grove. There are rumours he’s fed up with benchwarming and is pondering about a move back to England. Apparently Newcastle and Villa are the interested parties, but I can’t see them affording his wages. Perhaps Liverpool…. So next time I’m sure you’ll get the picture.

  288. That looked like Flamoney in the Lucozade bottle. Maybe he has found his true vocation.

  289. Thanks Muppet, Limpar, Paul N, OneOfUs.. and anyone else…

    Just supporting my team as usual, I ain’t quite the man on a mission to destroy or bring down all the anti-arsenal idiots as it may seem! I just love and enjoy anything Arsenal. Its what supporting is about, getting all itchy and nervous before kick off, relieved at the final wristle, and getting behind the team..

    Its counter productive not to get behind the team like many have displayed, we have seen in the past how it can greatly affect our team in a negative way.

    Ade, Eboue, Bendtner, Senderos, Fabianski, Denilson, Song..

    I am sure there are more, but whoever plays in our team, we should support. They are humans like us after all, insults and abuse should not be directed at our own team. Lets direct it at others!! (Within reason of course)

  290. You’re a star chrisGoona

  291. Thanks Gunner4Ever 🙂

    Been quite a pleasant morning so far reading all these comments!

    Of course the idiots will come along soon enough to spoil it!

  292. And here I am 🙂

    Only joking. I am quite optimistic for the coming season. It looks like we will be signing the Bosnian bloke, so that would be 4 centre backs in place.

  293. Yes…the Spahic rumours seem credible enough. It makes perfect sense as well, a very able back up who is the captain of his national team and has loads of experience.

    But he has already been written of by the doomers.

  294. I am pretty happy with it to be honest. I know nothing about the guy, but as you said he has experience and is the captain of his country. he must have something about him.

    It will be interesting who Wenger see’s as TV5’s main partner. I am not keen on the idea of rotation in the back 4, so hopefully Arsene will go for continuity with whoever he chooses.

  295. Before choosing the type of style you need to register, you must include all the points mentioned here and you are sure, a style that you find the best style of terns, performance and price.

  296. Yes CG I agree with that a great defence for ACLF you are.

    GoonerAndy I’ve noticed a much more optimistic tone to your posts recently so well done there mate. 🙂

  297. (Reaction on Spahic from… some other blog)

    “Konfirma says:
    August 4, 2010 at 5:19

    who’s diz ma GOD! This season am scared o. FACT!”

    I like this comment for lots of reasons. I like the complete ambiguity of the first sentence. Has Konfirma decided, in some moment of existential clarity, that Bosnian central defender Emir Spahić might be his God? The energy imparted in the word ‘GOD’ suggests to me a passionate form of reverence toward the Montpellier man.

    I also like ‘scared-o’. I really feel for this Konfirma. Poor lad.

  298. And now els is spea… typing like Yoda.

  299. What match shall I watch today then people?

  300. The only word missing from that sentence LA is ‘INNIT’

  301. LA,

    Hilarious. FACT !

  302. Els – I am an optomistic guy, but I am happy to discuss both bad and good points regarding the club. I am no “doomer”, but I can also spot and discuss the obvious flaws. I don’t think that makes me a bad supporter, but a balanced one.

    I can’t wait for the season to start because I really think we have a chance to win things……if we manage to sort the problem that has been there for a number of season.s

  303. Definitions of support:

    * give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to;

    * aiding the cause or policy or interests of;

    * back: be behind; approve of;

    * subscribe: adopt as a belief; “I subscribe to your view on abortion”

    * defend: argue or speak in defense of;

    * the act of bearing the weight of or strengthening;

  304. There’s a Bosnian (or Herzegovinian) on Arseblog comments who’s absolutely raving about him. Probably not the most reliable judge, but at least he’ll have seen him play.

    ArmaGunner @ 09.47BST | Aug 4, 2010
    “I’m one of the biggest Arsenal fans from Bosnia and Herzegovina and looking at the comment on BiH international Emir Spahic I can’t not to give a few words about him that you didn’t know – as I see from writen.

    Emir is a capitan of national team and he has more caracter, influence, determination and pasion than Rio Ferdinand and John Terry putt together. He stoped Spanish, Turkish, Belgian, Portuguese, German, Sweede, Danish etc attacks and the only way to stop him is to brake his legs!

    Here is a video highlights of his capitancy at Lokomotiva Moscow

    LINK

    and for sure if You search it a little on internet You’ll find out what kind of ass kicking, goal defending, mean MF this lion is!

    And the best thing is, if Arsenal sign him, he will have such proud that he will die defending Arsenal goal! “

  305. Forget the link – “highlights” they ain’t!

  306. Hmm – meant to remove the abortion bit. Anyhoo – can’t find any definition of support that includes anything at all about spotting and discussing the obvious flaws or bad points.

  307. Steww – Cheers for that. I notice it does not say that voicing opinion on certain flaws invalidates your support. Good news.

  308. OOU…the youtube clip is hilarious!

    That shot of him running through the hotel lobby….doesnt say much.

  309. Steww did you watch the AZ match?

    I’m very jelous.

  310. OOU, but is he 6′ 4″ or more. It’s no good if he is only as tall as TV.

  311. Hee hee – good point andy. Neither does it say wearing a Spurs shirt invalidates your status as an Arsenal fan. If you look up words in a dictionary you’ll find they don’t list a lot of things that the word doesn’t mean, only what it does.

  312. els – it was great!

  313. Haha yes, Arseman. What the hell?! And the music – Scissor Sisters are just the band I associate with ass-kicking, goal-defending mean MFs!

  314. http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/breves2010/20100219_185532_spahic-bon-pour-le-moral.html

    My French isn’t very good, but a helpful fan on another blog translated the above as the following, after some games where Spahic’s team did not concede a goal:

    “It’s great, it shows the team works the right way, it’s very good for the team’s morale. We worked very hard to get there, it’s a collective achievement which I hope will last as long as possible. In any case, it’s not only the defenders who defend, it’s the entire team which is our strength”

  315. Goonerandy,

    The problem is that what you perceive as obvious “flaws”, are not necessarily so. They are the actually the difficulties involved in signing top class players in today’s market. You want a top class keeper, a top class centre back and probably a defensive central midfielder, right ? We all do. But in order to get those players, several factors need to fall into place. Firstly, we need to identify the players, and their suitably for arsenal. Secondly, we have to make an evaluation on price, and if it fits in with our policy on transfer pricing and wages. This is an important point. We have a policy, and it is there to ensure that we don’t go bust and run the club in an unsustainable way. Too many people make the argument that because Wenger is saying the finances are available, that we should pay big money for players. I think this is the debatable point. There is a difference between paying big money for a player whose valuation matches arsenals, and paying big money for a player where the valuation is clearly double the price, and the wages too. The argument out there is that a goalkeeper, central defender etc must be easily available. Well, if arsenal haven’t signed anybody yet, it must be because, in my view, the valuations are too high, and arsenal are just not willing to pay them. For the reason that in a straight commercial sense, one wouldn’t do that, as one wouldn’t pay over the odds for a car, and secondly, if they do that, then it creates a slippery slope. You pay over the odds for one player, and then the other, then the next.. and what do you have.. an unsustainable wage bill and a net asset book which is not healthy.

    The other point, which also explains the reluctance to go into the market in this way, is the strongly held belief at arsenal that a) they can spot good players previously unheralded and make them better players e.g. Sagna, Vermaelen etc, and they can produce young players. Put all those things together and you may have reasons why arsenal have not rushed out to sign £20 million pound players.

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