When Is A Player Good Enough?

Arsene has been rebuffed in his search for all and sundry this morning with another summer passing and Sebastian Frey not joining Arsenal because Fiorentina are not selling. Equally disappointing is the news that Mark Schwarzer is not joining because Fulham are not selling. Wenger’s options are becoming increasingly limited if he wants to buy a goalkeeper; it’s going to be world-class or nothing. Or a Moldovan who is talking a good game and believes he will be signing for Arsenal tomorrow for £5m. Which Arsenal that is remains to be seen because even by Wenger’s low-key standards…[Thwack! Enough of the sarcasm – Ed.]

Central defenders have risen to the fore but no higher than 6’2. Per Mertesacker is not joining Arsenal this summer because Werder Bremen are not selling – do you ever get a feeling of deja vu? Fear not though, Emir Spahic is talking a good game and in these times of rebuttal, it is nice to see someone who wants to join Arsenal. The player is quoted as saying that talks are progressing well with Arsenal.

It has been greeted underwhelmingly because most of us have not seen him player regularly for Montpellier. Apparently this equates to him not being good enough to play for Arsenal because – and this was my favourite comment last night – “I know all of the world-class centre backs in Europe and I’ve never heard of him. He ain’t good enough“. It has been pointed out that he was a crucial member of the Montpellian campaign which resulted in his club qualifying for the Europa League, his form also taking him into several ‘Team of the Season‘ picks.

I have not seen Spahic play so cannot pass comment on how good he is. Nor can I comment on the veracity of the reported statement by the player although the source seems to be relatively reliable. However, the reaction to this story is quite telling. Quite simply, the internet is ruining reputations before players have even joined. Those of a certain age will be able to relate to this observation. When George Graham signed Steve Bould and Lee Dixon, few had seen either play on a regular basis. Nowadays, the pair would be disparaged and dismissed before setting foot on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt. Dixon in particular was replacing an experienced England international, Viv Anderson, and would nowadays have been written off.

Perhaps I am too idealistic but it would surely be better to wait and see if (a) the player signs and (b) the player’s ability before ending his Arsenal career? Too many comments had the ring of waiting for a self-satisfying ‘Told you so‘ in a year’s time.

Defensive lynchpin Thomas Vermaelen is not obviously concerned about whom he partners this season. In recent weeks he has praised both Koscielny and Djourou, highlighting their individual and team strengths. Wenger bought the Belgian international for his leadership and winning mentality:

You have to keep performing every year. If you play for Arsenal you can never say ‘I had a good year, so now I’ll ease off’. That’s not possible. People ask you to do better every year and I will try to do that. It’s always more difficult to stay at that level and next year that is the challenge – not only to maintain the level but to improve upon it because it wasn’t enough last season. We didn’t achieve anything. We have to grow again.

Given that the title was lost in the final seven games – thirteen points dropped from twenty-one – the improvement is to win the title. A number of the squad are accused on a regular basis of being satisfied with their wages and nothing more. It would be a surprise if the fringe players do not have an element of that mentality, knowing that they are not going to break into the first team squad on a regular basis. But to accuse ‘regulars’ merely serves to justify an irrational dislike of individuals.

That is not an accusation which can be levelled against Vermaelen and it is not hard to see why he was captain of Ajax and Belgium. Looking at the squad, it is also not hard to see why he would be a popular choice as captain.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 342 Comments.

  1. First!! Now to read the post 😀

  2. Morning

  3. IMHO Wenger’s greatest strength has been the ability to unearth gems many never see coming. It is not just his style to sign obvious or media hyped player. When it comes to signing the best player for the job I completely trust his Instinct.

  4. I quite like it when we sign players of unknown quantity. It is like a greta suprise when you realise that they are actually quite good.

  5. Meant to put this in the main post. D’oh!

    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.

  6. goonerandy

    You would if you’d seen him when he was at Valencia…

    YW

  7. Thanks YW

    Goonerandy,

    The problem is that what you perceive as obvious “flaws”, are not necessarily so. They are 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 b) 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.

  8. Yeah I know it did not go well for him there. I saw him play lots of games when he was 1st in Germany and he looked very good. Would have had more caps if Kahn and Jens had not been in front of him.

  9. Muppet – I have no idea what you are talking about. On yesterdays Blog when I mentioned “flaws” I was alluding to the defensive side of our game. As a team, not individually.

  10. I don’t want us to (and if you have ready any of my posts properly you had picked this us) sign £20M players.

  11. “Muppet – I have no idea what you are talking about.”

    This in response to a clear and excellently reasoned post.
    I rest my case.

  12. Steww – I meant Muppet is responding to a point I didn’t even mention.

  13. Get your facts right before spouting off.

    I rest my case.

  14. Goonerandy,

    Ok. You talk about obvious defensive “flaws”, but you didn’t explain that they should be addressed by not signing players.

    Do you think we should be cautious ? Is that what you are saying ?

  15. YW,

    Yes. I scoured the net last night, and Spahic was condemned even before he kicked a ball, which is quite hilarious as nobody had ever heard of him. It was quite funny, as on Goonertalk and one other blog I won’t name, poster after poster came on who said they were either bosnian, or supporters of Ligue 1 teams like Montpellier or PSG, to say that he was a very good player, and would be an excellent addition to arsenal.

  16. Muppet – No, but the team setup when we lose the ball needs to be looked at. Wenger has said himself that the defensive side of our game is what has cost us for a few season now, so I am not “dooming”.

    If you read my post I said that I think we can win things if we manage to sort that out. Not really a negative post is it?

  17. Goonerandy,

    You make a valid point. Last season we pressed the ball very well from August to January, then after that we ran into the mancs and chavs, lost a lot of key players, and lost our way in the tail end of the season.

    Do you think we should have more of a defensive mindset this time ? What is the answer ?

  18. “…comments had the ring of waiting for a self-satisfying ‘Told you so‘ in a year’s time.”

    – the raison d’être of any and all ‘dooming’ miserablists, I would say.

  19. Yw

    I agree with almost everything that you said.but as we all know that wenger won’t go mad on signing players.and that has to the biggest worry of our season.cos if wenger does’nt anybody then I think our season will be over before it even kicks off.and I think you people should mark my words for this

  20. From the Daily Mirror:

    “Manchester City are ready to snap up £34m-rated Barcelona midfielder Gai Assulin for nothing after the Israeli teenager cancelled his contract with the Catalan club.”

    £34 million ? Are you kidding me. Has this player even warmed the bench at Barcelona ?

    This is the problem. The media perception of a player’s worth.

  21. Muppet – No really sure. But you are right, when we press high and hard we really look an effective unit. I think the problem may be that when we don’t have the legs to do that we continue to commit too many men forward.

    Towards the end of games I would like us to just control the possesion, and “kill a game off”. If we are 2-0 up we don’t need to throw both full backs (for example) forward. We retain possesion better thatn most teams, and don’t use that to our advantage all the time.

    I have said for a long while now that we expose our back 4 too often. Too often we conceed without a midfielder in sight. For me the gap between our back 4 and midfield is too large.

  22. The CH market as a whole seems quiet. Chelsea, arguably, are equally thin and they’re not afraid to pay well over the odds….

  23. There are a lot of people with crystal ball’s (oo-er) in the blogging world isn’t there?

    So many people seem to know if a player is going to be good or not, if he is going to get injured or not, and how we are going to perform in the league.

    It must be so boring being a supporter when you already know what is going to happen.

    Good work setting up a FF league Yogi, saves me doing it this year….. 😉

  24. @Limpar…you forgot the condesending smirk that comes with that “I told you so…”

  25. @Muppet 10:25

    Great comments on the context we operate in.

  26. Muppet

    I assume that 34 million will have been the player’s buy out clause in his Barca contract. The Mirror will have added it to introduce a little interest into the story. I don’t think it’s a matter of perception as much as needing to hype everything; there doesn’t seem to be much of a grey scale in the media, everything is either amazing or awful.

  27. Gib…I would ask this question though…

    How the hell do the journos at the Mirror know what is in anyone’s contract. Who actually tells them. All of that nonsense is fabricated.

  28. i think you’ll find that mertesacker and frey and schwarzer will all be sold on to other clubs after our interest has gone…this always happens…for some reason selling clubs take a hard line when we are interested but lie back and spread their cheeks for the next club that comes along…this has happened numerous times in arsenal’s recent history, and it f*cks me right off. i don’t understand it. maybe our negotiators are wankers.

  29. I don’t konw if this is the right site for this but if it helps, you could look on it as a satire of people that think transfer dealings are incredibly easy. If nothing else, it made me smile. It’s from Mark Watson’s Back of the Net blog.

    “Arsène Wenger’s relative inactivity in this summer’s transfer market may be related to the loss in early July of his pen, Emirates Stadium insiders were suggesting last night.

    Arsenal began the close season briskly, with Marouane Chamakh arriving on July 1 and Laurent Koscielny joining six days later. But despite a host of names being linked with the north London outfit, no new recruits have been brought on board since, to the consternation of fans and senior players.

    “We’ve had Mark Schwarzer hanging around for a fortnight while Arsène looks for his pen,” an unnamed source said. “Mark’s been very patient. He’s offered us his own pen more than once. But if we don’t find Arsène’s pen soon he’ll get fed up with sleeping on the sofa in Pat Rice’s office and he’ll go home, and then we’re back to square one.”

    Koscielny’s agent has denied pocketing the pen at the conclusion of his transfer, and Arsenal have confirmed that Fran Merida was subjected to the standard full-body search being allowed to leave for Atletico Madrid. But despite the setback, Wenger is refusing to be rushed into buying a replacement.

    “Money is available for a new pen, but any pen we bring in has to be right for Arsenal,” the righteous dogmatist told Back Of The Net. “How old is it? How much does it cost? How will it fit in with the rest of our stationery? If such a pen is not available before the start of the season, it is not a disaster. We have some excellent crayons in the academy, and many of them are ready to be used at the highest level.”

    The missing pen, which is described as ’shiny’, has been at Arsenal since 2001. Wenger’s early enthusiasm for its ergonomic contours was blamed for the rash signings of Francis Jeffers and Richard Wright, but it bounced back in 2005 by offering Ashley Cole a paltry £37,000 a week contract and making him cry.”

  30. 1 loose cannon

    The goals we conceded against Milan and Celtic are mistakes due to coaching or lack of communication and organisation not the quality of the players, the goals are no different than the ones we conceded against Birmingham and Wigan be it Gallas, Cambpell or Djourou partnering Vermaellen. the emphasis at Arsenal is on attacking football unfortunately you lose your shape at the back at some stage when you are attacking all the time. Let’s hope we find the right balance between attacking and defending, made bring in a coach to work on the defensive side of things. You watch Madrid next season and you will see Ronaldo turned into a centre half; it is just the mentality of Mourinho its all defend, defend and defend. But it does not make it attractive to watch. Maybe we need to do the dirty stuff more like parking the bus and resort to long balls if we have to, specially against certain teams and hit on the counter. If you watch the Chelsea and United games you will see them playing a defensive line and hitting us on the counter time and time. How about if we do that to them this time?

  31. Darius,

    I thought that buy out clauses in the spanish league were made public? Not sure where I’ve got that idea from though so it could be wrong. If nothing else we can agree that £34 million isn’t the player’s actual worth.

  32. Gib,

    Quite. Sensationalism.

    Goonerandy,

    I agree with your comments. We need to do better in this area. My belief is that in the tail end of last season, we suffered badly from some key players being out which exposed us in two ways. Without Cesc we were not able to hold on to the ball higher on up the pitch, which meant we defended deeper, and the likes of Campbell and Silvestre (replacements for Vermaelen and Gallas) were not mobile enough to press the ball.

    Your comment about fullbacks staying back is valid, but I don’t know if Wenger would adopt this type of caution to our play.

  33. bolton will say ‘we won’t sell cahill to arsenal, not for a penny under £30m!’

    and after wenger denies he’s even interested, they will sell to liverpool or manu for £12m.

    llok what happened with smalling. ‘arsenal? they can go to hell!…man u?…please, we would be honoured if you took him!’

  34. Just found this gem elsewhere…

    “Oooh hark at Motty; leader of the Mexican wavers and General of the Arsene Knows Brigade. If the board buying up property and paying off mortgages stirs your juices and wets your little panties then you go ahead skipper, I am just interested in the footballing side which includes keeping Cesc to help achieve success on the pitch. The only way of doing that is telling them ONCE AGAIN that he is not for sale and not just sit and do nothing until a bigger offer comes in. After all the years of travelling across the UK and Europe (and even beyond) following The Arsenal with Hill- Wood and the other morons in charge perhaps your assertion of me being a clown isn’t so far off. Get your head out of their arses as the smell must be brutal.”

    Pround to be a gooner eeeh…

  35. ormer Barcelona president Joan Gaspart claims Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was forced by his club to turn down the chance to coach the Catalan giants, as was England boss Fabio Capello.

    Gaspart tried to tempt Wenger to the Nou Camp in 2001, following the dismissal of Llorenc Serra Ferrer and prior to the permanent appointment of interim coach Carles Rexach.

    However, Arsenal stood in their way, just as they are currently doing with captain Cesc Fabregas.

    “When I was president, in agreement with Rexach, when Serra Ferrer left we negotiated with Arsene Wenger and Fabio Capello to coach Barca,” Gaspart told Com Radio.

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

    “Capello also wanted to come, but they (Roma) didn’t let him either.”

    Arsenal are remaining as firm now with Fabregas as they did then with Wenger.

    The 23-year-old has been the subject of a transfer saga which has run all summer, with departed Barca president Joan Laporta and new boss Sandro Rosell both left frustrated by the Gunners’ tough stance.

    Gaspart, who had several dealings with the club and coach during his three-year tenure, believes the only way for the matter to be resolved is for Rosell to travel to north London.

    He said: “My advice, and that’s what I’ve told him (Rosell), is that this will end by catching the plane to London and sitting down face to face with Wenger. Not by telephone, not with intermediaries – this has to be resolved with a meeting in person.

    “Rosell must not be scared. If he fails, the whole world will understand but no-one will be able to say that he didn’t try until the end. This fear that he is going to fail – he shouldn’t have it.

    “It’s very difficult for Arsenal to want to keep a player who doesn’t want to stay.

    “The English are very English, very hard at the time of negotiating. Moreover, Mr Wenger, as a good Frenchman, knows how to play his cards.

    “I have seen him in negotiations and he has ended up selling. You have to meet him face to face to know if he is bluffing.”

    Fabregas, who spent six years in Barca’s youth team before joining Arsenal in 2003, has five years remaining on his contract and the Gunners have already turned down a £30million bid for the Spain midfielder.

  36. Darius,

    Cheers. I think the other point is that as YW has mentioned in the lead post, the clubs are simply not selling their best players.

  37. I agree with 1 loose cannon.

  38. maria

    what was that all about?

  39. Saw Cesc Grandma on telly yesterday, claims he would love to got to Barca but it just isn’t possible.

  40. I wonder who Barca will use nex for their propaganda war after they’ve unleashed Cesc’s grandmother.

    Nursery school teacher? Babysitter? First girlfriend? Local Vicar? Local witchdoctor?

    I’m opening a book…

  41. Muppet – I agree, I don’t think he will either. I would just like us to slow the game down and retain possesion for periods in the game if we are a bit out of breath to get ourselves together again.

    We control so many games, yet look so vulunerable at times. We are a paradox. If we can make our selves more compact quicker, once we lose th ball we will go a long way to sorting the defensive issue regardless of personnel.

  42. Nice Post YW

    The last sentence… “Looking at the squad, it is also not hard to see why he would be a popular choice as captain.”

    I would say it is probably our biggest problem, and it is the one that has hurt us the most over the last 3-4 years when going that final yard to bring home a trophy.

    Cesc is an inspirational figure, but is very young to be captain of such a big club. He will grow with the role over time, and he is a leader by example it may seem, I think it was the best choice at the time and still do. He is a fine representation for our club and team, but we need more from the other players. Looking past Cesc who else in the squad is there…

    Rosicky? Arshavin? Robin? Clichy? Almunia? Song

    The loudest is certainly Robin, he has the drive and aggression that is shown all over the pitch. Clichy does his fair bit of talking too but is not quite the dominating figure for the role.

    I just feel that certain players need to stand up and take authority now. They have had the time to grow and gain experience. Now its time show what they are made of and all be leaders like Wenger said. Last season it looked the case, but too many heads dropped at the end of the season, and after certain set backs througout the campaign.

    Mentally we need to be tougher, vocally we need to be better – so communication on the field doesn’t let us down. Communication and leadership is vital. With new players it is hard to get these qualities off initially, Vermaelen is the perfect example, growing game by game in stature. Now he has the games under his belt and the respect to command authority over others.

  43. Darius

    I think that there is only Mama left.

    YW

  44. Chelsea haven’t spent money since Anelka and Inavonic. What about Zhirkov you’ll say. It was reportedly a ‘Russian’ deal with an amount quoted much double what really changed hands.

  45. Chelsea are broke.

    Benayoun?! Decent player, but a massive step down from signing the likes of Deco, Malouda, Ballack etc..

    Since Abramovich’s wealth took that massive hit, he has seemed very reluctant to invest in the team.

  46. Chelsea have signed Ramires haven’t they ?

    (Not wanting to be argumentative !).

  47. “Mentally we need to be tougher, vocally we need to be better – so communication on the field doesn’t let us down”.

    CG – are you talking about our players or supporters!?

  48. LOL YW. They’re saving the best for last.

    Don’t be surprised if the Barceholes lodge a formal complaint with the local police using Cesc’s mums name suggesting that her son is being held hostage.

    I would suspect that right about now, Cesc probably feels that the Barceholes have hung him out to dry with his butt naked self being flung out of a window for all and sundry to see.

    They’ve bullied him into a position between a rock and a hard place and none of them gambled at Arsenal’s resolve not to throw away the hard work they’ve done in the last 7 years.

  49. I though that was was some old lady.and I did’nt have a clue that the old lady was cesc grandma.but who really cares if she is or not.and I can’t stand readind something that I should’nt read.cos I think that barca have take this alitle bit too far.and its betterif we just land them their self-proclaim son.and I think we have treated son with alot of respect.and we have never doubted his ability.and know he wants to his back on us?

    But I think cesc is just fed up of finishing fourh and not wining anything.and I that this is the obvious reason why cesc wants to turn his back on us.

  50. For all those advocating that the Gunners resort to boring defensive football (Bill: I am looking at you), here is a cautionary tale from the Daily Mail, that paragon of journalism (yes I know). Apparently Bolton owner Phil Gartside, has taken a mighty swipe at Allardyce and Megson for the damage done to the club by their negative football tactics despite short-term success.

    ‘After seven years of playing a certain type of football, we’ve now got to entertain a bit more and
    recognise that’s the business we’re in.

    ‘Hopefully we can unify the whole place again, under a leader, and in football terms, under someone who can actually now express himself more on the pitch, and begin to attract the fans back as well. ‘

    Not only is Gartside doing an Arsenal on the footballing side, 15 years later, but he has also adopted our youth development policy as well.

    He also admits that ever-increasing transfer fees mean Coyle will have to rely heavily on the club’s youth policy in future.

    ‘To play catch-up with Manchester City, we’re talking about £400m, not £10m, not £20m, not spending it on another striker,’ said Gartside.
    ‘The average price of the player now has gone from maybe a £1m to £10m, and obviously we can’t compete at that level – not many clubs can.

    ‘If you want quality, there’s only a certain pool of quality that you can go for and we’re in that mix. We’re also competing with the Stokes and the Blackburns and the Wigans to try and get into that market.

    ‘But we’re not going to be able to go and buy footballers at 10, 15million pounds every year because we don’t have the fan base or the resources to do that, and we’ve got to find other ways of doing this.

    ‘Being realistic, the youth system has got to work because we can invest in the youth and we’ve got to see some return for it.’

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1300110/Blame-Sam-Allardyce-Gary-Megson-seats-Reebok-says-Bolton-chief-Phil-Gartside.html#ixzz0vdEZx9fa

  51. I though that was was some old lady.and I did’nt have a clue that the old lady was cesc grandma.but who really cares if she is or not.and I can’t stand readind something that I should’nt read.cos I think that barca have take this alitle bit too far.and its betterif we just land them their self-proclaim son.and I think we have treated cesc with alot of respect.and we have never doubted his ability.and know he wants to his back on us?

    But I think cesc is just fed up of finishing fourh and not wining anything.and I think that this is the obvious reason why cesc wants to leave us.

  52. Relax all, Wenger said (see Daily Mail 31st july):

    “There are always two periods of activity in the transfer window, very early and very late. I always did business very early and I always did it very late.”

    The CB situation will be sorted out, but not now, only at the end of the month. Probably we won’t get a new keeper though, it should have been an early signing if at all to have him settle with the squad. Almunia and Fabianski may simply be put on an equal footing all season, with intense competition and turn-over for league and CL spots.

  53. Gooner2

    We finished 3rd last year. Just keeping you up to date.

  54. Ole Gunner.

    Abramovich wisened up a long time ago. He’s already lit a bonfire with £350m of his own money by writing off that debt; and also converted another £350m into equity.

    That’s a cool £700m and counting of his personal fortune lost at Chelsea and for what: 3 EPL titles, 3 FA cups, a league cup and a couple of community shields?

    £700m is a high price to pay for those tin pots. I’m not surprised that he’s no longer enthusiastic about throwing money at Chelsea.

    Last year when he famously spent over £50000 in a New York restaurant, the owner of the restaurant was on record as asking him if he’d contemplate buying his team – the New York Yankees. To which Abramovich answered “I’ve got enough problems with Chelsea, let me finish with them first”.

  55. sorry for for the doulbe post.

  56. Matty Boy

    Yeah you can include supporters in on that too!

    Darius

    Cesc taken hostage .. haha, they have made themselves look like right idiots. You would expect a greater amount of pride from people involved in such a club. Bunch of clowns with no class

  57. They even brought clips of his dead dad from what I am hearing…

  58. Yogi – You mentioned the amusing comment ““I know all of the world-class centre backs in Europe and I’ve never heard of him. He ain’t good enough“, that you picked up in another blog.

    This one appeared this morning and made me laugh out loud………..

    “I can’t think of many decent 29-year-olds in world football that I’ve never heard of.”

    Priceless!

    Incidentally, I agree with someone’s comment above that good defending is not just about having the best players, it is also about good organisation and discipline.

    It is also true to say that good defending does not only involve the back four and keeper. It starts much farther forward.

  59. @AJ.

    You know the famous Cliche….Good teams defend from the front and attack from the back.

  60. aj, they only get the names from championship manager on their xbox or playstation.

  61. I think the football transfer bubble is finally being deflated if not burst. Traditionally after a world Cup, big money signings would be made all over Europe but it just hasn’t happened this time around. All over Europe countries are in financial difficulty and the previously unaffected football teams are finally feeling the pinch. Arsene doesn’t have a crystal ball but he saw it coming a mile off, as did any reasonably intelligent fan. That’s why our future is rock solid. Our kids are now growing up and we have one of the best teams in the country.

    ‘The wise man built his team around the kids,
    the wise man built his team around the kids’.

    Altogether now!

  62. It’s a fashion nowadays to label people “doomers & gloomers” whenever they disagree with something
    happening at the club. Why is it so wrong to question when you have specific argument to prove your apprehensions?
    Now, I would understand the argument when you back up your statements with some valid arguments. “Doomers” who think that Spahic is shite has their logic that his past record doesn’t seem to be fitting to the aspirations of a club like Arsenal, which seems logical isn’t it! And we can’t even use the age-old but very useful argument of “potential” here.

    I would like to know how people are so convinced that this is the right guy? Yes, Wenger bought Vermalean, Sagna but he bought Silvestre as well at the ripe old age of 30. And YW’s examples of Steve Bould and Lee Dixon are simply twisting the fact. Those guys were certainly not at the fag end of their respective careers averaging 14 games per season throughout their career. If we don’t have money and thus can’t afford world-class proven players, then that’s fine. But when you come up with comments like “We would buy less, but class”, “We have a lot of money and can confront Chelsea in the market” and come up with Emir Spahic, then that definitely is debatable at least.If people can take the liberty of making a “gem” out of a 30 old nobody without watching him, how can you slate people for calling him shite? At least they are going by his past record, what do you have to support your argument??

  63. Yeah I agree with that captaincy statement CG and YW. I’m not going to comment on cesc gossip. But if someone else were made captain it would have many obvious drawbacks. But I too wish TV was team captain I think it would help the defence and the team as a whole to have a dedicated vocal player with the main shout.

  64. “Mohamed Al Fayed has accused Roy Hodgson of “taking advantage” of Fulham.

    But the Cottagers chairman insisted he forgave the new Liverpool boss for leaving for Anfield this summer.

    Hodgson quit Fulham after two and a half years in charge last month, having been hailed as the greatest manager in their history.

    He was succeeded last week by Mark Hughes, who was officially unveiled this afternoon.

    Al Fayed unexpectedly interrupted today’s press conference, saying of the new appointment: “He inherited a great team which had fantastic results but unfortunately this guy (Hodgson), after we put him where he is now, he took advantage and left us.

    “But good luck to him, good luck to Liverpool.”

    Al Fayed added of Hughes: “He is a nice guy. He is much better looking and I am sure that he will do a great job.

    “I am sure that there will be no complications. We have a great managing director and chief executive and we’re happy to have someone like Mark in place.

    And in what Hughes will hope was tongue in cheek, Al Fayed said: “I’m sure this guy can get us to the championship.”

    Hughes better looking…? Nice?

    Oh my…big Al will be in for quite a shock…

  65. deano

    thanks for informing me.but I have watched almost every game of last season.and I believe we did finish third.and the game that confirmed us on finishing third was againts fulham.and I was at that match.

  66. Matty boy,

    But who would you buy from this WC so few impressed.

  67. If Rectum is around I came across this site which will suit his form of support.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36239000339&ref=ts

  68. If we are going to signind “unknown gems”, then they should have been signed by now. Why wait till late to sign these unknowns when we should be assessing them in pre-season. It goes on to show how disorganised our team has been since Dein left. Its really sad. why should we wait and see for a player who no other to club wants. He should have been signed and partcipating in pre-season with the rest of the squad. Are we gonna buy the Sphacic guy and throw him in the Liverpool game just because Wenger has uneartherd “gems” in the past.

    Is there anyone out there who can answer why we havent signed these cheap players no other top clubs want? We are obviously the kings of this second rate cheap signings and it seems we are even failing to close deals fast enough in this category.Sphacic who?????????????????????????

  69. Maria, how can I take you seriously when the first line of your 11:04 post contains such an insult!

    Maybe we should ourselves a scouting network to evaluate targets properly rather than poor AW having to rely on youtube and newsnow.

  70. For all the rational and logical sado-masochists out there:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36239000339&ref=ts

  71. dupsffokcuf is in first!

  72. When is a player good enough?

    Obviously apart from our beloved ACLF, for those who have not had the pleasure, one of the most informed blogs is Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal Reserves and Youth blog (Yogi includes a link on the main page)

    Today, JB’s blog describes the action from last nights reserve game against Boreham Wood, more importantly Wellington’s first game, who by all accounts looked a class apart, also the japanese trialist Ryo.

    There is a link on the comments page which shows Ryo in action and his style, as commented on, is a spit of a young Ronaldo, if you have time and our interested, check out the vid, it may provide the answer to todays ACLF title.

  73. “The job demands a lot of communication, being in defence. I am trying to make as much effort as possible to speak in English so that the communication is fluent on the pitch, and slowly it will come. It will get better and better.” – Laurent Koscielny

    I’m starting off a handy centreback phrasebook to send over to Laurent, please feel free to add to it. There are some gaps in my French.

    Allez – ‘OUT!’
    Allez – ‘AWAY!’
    Allez – ‘PUSH! UP!’
    Dans il y a – ‘IN TO ‘IM!’
    Dans il y a – ‘HAVE AT ‘IM!’
    Attrapez-le! – ‘GET ‘IM!’ / ‘STOP ‘IM’
    ……. – ‘GET FUCKING RID OF IT!’
    ……. – ‘Oh fuck off, ref. You WANKER!’
    Hors-jeu, Monsieur! – ‘Off-side, Sir!’
    …..hors-……-jeu….. – ‘That was OFF-FUCKING-SIDE, ref. You WANKER!’
    Levée et dessous! – ‘Up and Under’
    Allez, Eboue, Allez – ‘AWAY, Manu! AWAY!’
    Parle, Almunia, parle – ‘TALK, Manuel, TALK!’
    Le vôtre – ‘YOURS!’
    Maintenir qch en place – ‘HOAAALD!’

    Shouting pigeon French at him from the terraces will not help – I shouldn’t think. We must let the boy learn.

  74. For those of you who haven’t seen Yogi’s interview with ‘The Enemy’ – here it is….

    http://therepublikofmancunia.com/view-from-the-enemy-arsenal-fan-on-captain-fabregas-defensive-disorganisation-and-wengers-future/

    Tut Tut YW…how dare you speak to a Mancunian….LOL! Interesting interview. Scottie sounds a bit arrogant though.

  75. Maria – that’s kind of my point, in previous years teams would have gone out and bought anyone who even slightly impressed. I think the reluctance of teams to let their players leave is mainly due to the fact that teams looking to improve their squad, including us, will not pay over the odds and potentially waste money on a player who had a few good games in the world cup. It is a policy we have always had and one which many more have adopted in recent years.

  76. “Maria, how can I take you seriously when the first line of your 11:04 post contains such an insult!”

    Huh?

  77. “Ormer” – Barcelona President.

  78. Just read the article…you did us proud Yogi.

  79. How can an international captain be classed as an unknown in football. This seems to be exactly the same as the build up to TV signing!! Look how that turned out. I don’t know much about Spahic at all but I wouldn’t be so ignorant to think that that means YW or GG and the scouting team know nothing. Again it’s the same as TV an international captain is not an unknown quantity. I would be very happy with Spahic’s signature it would be another strong character in defence. As YW suggested in todays post we maybe have been caught napping in previous seasons, and an organised vocal defender with captains traits will be a direct fix. If anything Gallas despite being a first class defender was probably a hinderance in this department.

  80. LOL, I see.

  81. I will reserve judgement on any new player until I see him in action, just like I did with Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscj, Chamakh, Eduardo etc etc.

    Case closed.

    YW, What was the final standings for last years fantasy league.. ?

  82. Not too many of the so called fans who are dismissing Spahic had heard of Vidic or Hangelaand prior to them playing in the Prem, and they are exaclty the kind of players they now want us to sign.

  83. Blunt Gooner,

    You seem to have picked up all your facts from a venerable gentleman who urges everyone to “vote for him” on his logo. Spahic has not played an average of 14 games a season in the past but 24 as he has made 97 appearances in the last 4 years. Work the math out, its fairly simple. He is the captain of Bosnia. Bosnia is not a team to be sniffed at or sneered at. But I doubt you have watched them, so they must be shite.

    He played in the Russian league for Lokomotiv Moscow who are a top 5 Russian team but because you dont watch them lets just discount all the players who played for them as ‘mediocre’. Forget about Montepellier where he plays now, they must be crap because they only managed to finish 5th in Ligue 1 last season. Lets just go out and assassinate Spahic before its even known for sure that he is joining us. Why take that chance?

  84. “It would be a surprise if the fringe players do not have an element of that mentality, knowing that they are not going to break into the first team squad on a regular basis.”

    The development of the fringe players has come along quite a bit now so I would hope that many have a real chance of breaking into the first team regularly this year. A huge incentive that can only encourage the entire team to work harder and quell any complacency whether real or perceived. I feel we have more competition this year than many of the previous, hopefully this will keep us fresher and sharper for longer. If a regular gets dropped one week then the extra rest should bring them back sharper and more hungry to play again. Hopefully It will be a different story in the last 7 this time.

  85. The comment below was posted by someone calling himself ‘A Casual Observer’….responding to Tony’s post on Untold Arsenal about his meeting with Ivan Gazidis where they spoke about the Arsenal history project and the Arsenalization going on….

    I thought it was a very interesting insight on the posh and snobbish culture of the club level at Emirates stadium….from the kind of folks Frank gives grief for wearing chinos and polo shirts and eating prawn sandwiches.

    *****

    I have been in Club Level many times as, although a season ticket holder myself in ‘penny stinker’ level, I also had access to four Club Level tickets with
    my last job and hob-knobbed it many a time with the likes of Tamsin Outhwaite and Dara O’Brian in the 49ers bar whilst consuming as many free pints as
    possible in the half time interval (that’s right Tony, the beer is free up there so you WILL be able to afford that drink). Interestingly the beer is also
    free and flowing during Champions League fixtures – which is more than can be said for the poor sods in the upper/lower echelons of the Erimatas… but I
    digress. I would say that the atmosphere and ‘fan base’ in club level stinks so the ‘Arsenalisation’ of that level will be wasted on a significant % who,
    like me, picked up some spare business tickets for the less glamorous fixtures but unlike me only went to see what this football thing was all about and
    have a free beer. During the more glam ‘A’ games the level is strewn with away supporters on a corporate jolly chatting on their phones and cheering on
    the team that they currently believe they support… don’t get me wrong – there are some proper shouty passionate fans up there too – but they are in the
    minority and glared at disapprovingly should they call the referee a bastard.

    Anyhoo – myself and a group of friends got seats in Club Level for the Emirates cup and the atmosphere up there was as-per-usual non existant; now this
    is certainly NOT helped by the fact that we, as a group, were asked not to sing by a steward on the grounds that we might offend some people – indeed we
    would be ‘Removed from the stadium’ if any strong language was heard from our direction again.
    Apparently ‘bastard’ is an unacceptable word to be chanted at those who hail from ‘up north’… I argued this point and informed the steward that ‘bastard’
    was in fact used in an episode of The Simpsons shown at 18:30 on BBC2 so it must be therefore acceptable for the stadia of a working man’s sport.

    Alas my words like silent raindrops fell…

    We of course found a loophole and, with the aid of a few brews, decided to go with the singing but substitute a few of the more colourful adjectives with
    something more acceptable to delicate ears – for anyone who finds themselves in the same situation then may I suggest you do the same, altogether now:

    The Tottenham Hotspur rotters went to Rome to see the Pope,
    The Tottenham Hotspur rotters went to Rome to see the Pope,
    The Tottenham Hotspur rotters went to Rome to see the Pope,
    And this is what he said: GO AWAY!
    Who’s that team we call the Arsenal?
    Who’s that team we all adore?
    We’re the boys in red and white and we’re flipping dynamite!
    And Harry Redknapps mother is a lady of the night!

    You get the picture – come half time we had great fun asking a rather ‘less than impressed’ steward where the bar was… geddit?

  86. “Who picked up on Chamack trying to build up psychic connections with the other players, always the assister, by touching heads?”

    http://goonerholic.com/?p=2639#comment-48751

  87. oh my god…pwahahahah is he serious what an odd guy

  88. lol.

    Koscielny vs AC Milan

  89. Chamack vs AC Milan

    (for Zap!)

  90. Good read on the RoM Blog Yogi.

    I would think Rooney would be in with a sniff of a game at Arsenal, so may be inclined to take him!

    I also think Fletcher is a very underrated player, but can understand why you would take Vidic.

    Would be interesting to see who from the 2 team’s would make the best side up.

    Just to be silly – I would go –

    Van De Saar

    Sagna Vermaelen Vidic Evra

    Fletcher

    Fabregas Nasri

    Van Persie Rooney Arshavin

  91. Finsbury,

    That tackle at 1.35 in the video is quite close to technical perfection.

  92. YW…

    The guy was takin the piss a little bit too much if u ask me. Having quite a few pops on each question, I admire how you held back!

    Just shows really how oblivious most other fans are to the real issues in football. Does seem to be a general perception that Wenger is holding Arsenal back, which is pretty crazy to even contemplate. At least we will hit them by surprise this season, the boys are ready to roll everyone over. How he can say he doesn’t see us as a threat is good for us yet again. They never learn do they!

  93. Alex

    The guy is 29 or 30 and you calculated last 4 yrs of his career, because that suits your argument, I suppose. But my point was not whether he is good or not. My point is he is unknown to most of the football fans and everybody could form their opinion and has every right to express as long as they have a solid argument. And regarding your point of being an international, in that same position, we got rid of two present internationals and two, who had more international caps than Emir Spahic will ever have. And they were/are definitely playing for more established footballing nations than Bosnia. Last time I checked Koscielny was not an international, why would Wenger spend a cool 8m on him then?

  94. Matt – Evra over Clichy

    Flet#her over Song?

    Your ‘avin a laugh

  95. YW, are you having a return match with Republik? Football is normally a home and away affair. Ask Scott da Red what he thinks would happen if they had lost Rooney for 85% of their season?

  96. OleG,

    I do not know how highly Pato the Duck is rated in the World of Football,
    but Koscielny was quite impressive!

  97. DNFTVI.

  98. Evra the google eyed bay lover instead of Clichy??

    Hell no!!

    I would also play Alex rather than that Scottish crackhead that Ramsey turned over last season.

    I may have had Valencia in there though for some width and quality crosses for Shrek in the middle.

  99. “I do not know how highly Pato the Duck is rated in the World of Football,
    but Koscielny was quite impressive!”

    LOL, Pato would make a nice mutant.

  100. Blunt Gooner,

    My point was not about Spahic’s quality being confirmed because he is an international. Dont know from where you got that. Spahic has played for reasonably good sides as their star defender. Admittedly he has been a big fish in a small pond which is why your obvious contempt. But there is no saying that he will fail in the EPL unless ofcourse you happen to carry a crystal ball in that pocket of yours. Its not even confirmed he is joining us – atleast hold the gunfire from your poison pen till then.

  101. Koscielny reminds me physically of RVP and he seems to have inner strength of our man. Loved the fact that he was also taking shots to score outside the box.

  102. Who the hell is Spahic? I am sick of googling new players everyday.

  103. Spahic makes sense as a transfer, and he makes sense for a lot of the reasons that the Playstation fans won’t like.

    Pont 1. After Koscielny was signed for £8-10m, it seemed to me unlikely that there would be a “bigger” signing of another centre-half. Kos was signed as the right-sided first choice partner for TV. he is a major purchase; other than Man City, I believe he is the biggest purchase by a Premier League side this transfer window. I don’t know if he’ll be a great player for us, but he has that potential, and I’m sure none of the detrators will have heard of Sagna of TV either before they were signed.

    Point 2. If TV and Kos are the first choice centre backs, you are not going to to buy a £20m “star” to sit on the bench. In fact, you will find it difficult to find a £5m decent player who just wants to sit around waiting for an injury. Spahic, like Djourou, is somewhat of a utility player, so will get plenty of playing time even if TV and Kos are not injured for an extended period. Think Gilles Grimandi. In five seasons he made 113 appearances, that is 22-23 per season, but was never first choice. Most fans will agree that he was a very valuable member of the squad.

    Point 3. One area that Arsenal have fallen short is with the more “physical” teams. We have a plethora of very skilful players, but they have been able to be bullied. Arsene is clearly trying to address this. TV was somewhat of the prototype, but both Kos and Chamakh are more physical players and Spahic would be in that mould. Djourou’s comments back that up. Imagine going to cold winter’s day away match to Blackburn with a team like this

    ————-GK—————

    Sagna—-Kos—-TV—-Spahic

    —-Djourou——Song——–

    –Eboue—-Bendtner—-Diaby–

    ———-Chamakh————–

    Skilful enough to win, but big and strong enough not to be bullied.

  104. Maria.

    He’s the new prospect from Somalia that Wenger is supposedly looking at.

  105. Just to comment on YW’s interview with the Republic of Mancunia.

    I’m very OK with YW’s approach and his answers that try and balance the need to respect the context we’re operating in vs the desire we all have as fans. Well done YW for representing Arsenal out there with a voice of reason.

    However, I just thought the interviewer was an arrogant condesending prick who was sneering and finding any angle to dig while masking his questions with a flimsy air of respectability. It was almost like he was saying to me as the reader, “How dare you even think Arsenal could be greater than our almighty manure”.

    As mentioned by someone else above, it just shows the serious lack of appreciation within the footballing establishment about the environment that football now operates in.

  106. Nick – You are seriously advocating dropping Cesc/Nasr/Arshavin/Clichy etc,?

    If we defend properly we will beat most teams regardless of size.

  107. Darius,

    The condescending tone from the Manc will dissapear the moment we finish ahead of them in the PL and we are not far away from getting back to the days under AW when we routinely dominated them.

  108. Alex.

    I suppose that like with most hacks and plundits who have absolutely no understanding of the business of football, we will need a serious casualty (Portsmouth isn’t serious enough) for the general footballing population to get an appreciation of how the context of football as regards the economy is precarious.

    There are rising voices from within who are slowly acknowledging that the vision and path Arsenal is following for long term stability and organic growth through youth development is the right way to go. Established names in football including Guus Hiddinck (when he was at Chelsea), Fabio Capello and even the much maligned Rapha Benitez pointed directly to London Colney as a model for the future super club that will be able to live within its means.

  109. When is a player not good enough?

    The likes of Simpson,Randell and Senderos are not good enough for a title chasing team.I would add Fabianski to that list as in over 35 years as a Gooner he is by far the worst keeper to wear an Arsenal keepers shirt oh for the days of Jennings,Lukic.Seaman and Lehmann.

    i just hope Wenger will pull a rabbit out of the bag and sign a keeper like Afineev but it looks like the Maldovian keeper

  110. Goonerandy,

    I’m not advocating dropping those players, I’m saying against some teams our fast paced, quick passing, pressing game is neutralised by the opposition playing a very deep, defensive and aggressive style. One of the big criticisms is that Arsenal have been unable to adapt to that sort of opposition at times. My first choice team would be:

    ————–GK—————

    Sagna—-Kos—–TV—–Clichy

    —Fabregas—Song—Nasri—-

    —Rosicky—RvP—-Arshavin–

    I believe we have a much stronger squad than many people give us credit for, and if we are to win the title, we have to make use of that squad. Part of that means accepting than many teams will play a deliberately negative game with the hope of getting a goal at set pieces. The “wet winter Wednesday in Blackburn” team I posted earlier is an example of what I mean.

  111. Finsbury,

    Pato means duck doesn’t it? I much enjoyed Eboue and then Sagna giving him the runaround. He got more joy from Eboue. Sagna was having none of him.

  112. DS

    unless we overtake Manure they can continue to look down on us.When had our best chance to destroy them once and for all like GG destroyed Liverpool 20 years ago in 2004 but instead of building on the invincible side when Man u were miles behind us we didnt build on it and since then league success has eluded us.The new stadium killed the best chance we have of being the best team in England

  113. Nick

    No Chamakh in your starting 11.To me he seems a confidence player cant see him being happy warming the bench

  114. Nick – Fair point. With Diaby/TV5/Chamackh/Kos/Song all probable starters anyway we should be decent enough against “biger teams” at set pieces. I really worry about Fabianski at set pieces though, Almunia not so much.

  115. Maria.

    Spahic

  116. Don’t worry Ronnie. Their decline has started.

  117. The story about Spahic seems to have come from that most reliable of sources the NOTW.

  118. Yep – I would go with Evra ahead of Clichy.

    I rate Clichy very highly, but I personally think Evra is the best left back in the division, along with Cashley.

    And over the last 2 seasons, I have seen Fletcher both home and away against us, and have to admit was very impressed – very underrated.

    Again – I like Song a lot, but would still go with Fletcher ahead of him.

    Close call though – and only my opinion, before I get shot down in flames for being a doomer and not picking all 11 Arsenal players…. 😉

  119. Ronnie

    You have the wrong end of the stick. We capitalised on our success to further invest into the club. The team was always going to struggle with the aged invincibles and the need to replace many players. But Wenger predictied the hard times to coma and focussed on improvemnt right from the roots, the team is naturally improving now, and will continue to if we stick to what we have been doing.

    All our squad players and youngsters are very skilled and integrated into the Arsenal mode of playing football. We have the best squad in the league, and our 1st 11 if on the pitch is the best. I do not hesitate to say these to any supporter. When we bring our A game nobody can stop us.

    Why you under estimate your own team just makes you look like an idiot.

  120. Must say I agree with Darius about the interviewer on that god awful site..

  121. OleG, Lol, yes, Pato is the duck.
    It’s also the name of his home town.

    Apart from one lapse, a player that most of Brazil minus the scarab Dunga wanted to see in the World Cup, got no crumbs out of the AFC defence.

    I’d better get my coat…

  122. Matt the only thing Fletcher seems to be good at is getting away with lots of fouls. If he played for us the refs would card him a lot more.

  123. Matt – Agree with the Clichy/Evra debate.

    Not sure on the Song/Fletcher one though. Although they play the same position they are very different players.

  124. Fletcher is a handy player who is underrated I agree. I just don’t like him personally, I’d take Song anyday, he is stronger, better in the air, and more skillful in my eyes.

    Evra has not impressed me at all defensively, his performances for France were disgraceful, I know there were off the field distractions. But the two performances he put in were easily the worst from a French captain.

    Individually I agree with YW, we have superior players in every field. Rio, Vidic, Van Der Sar, Rooney and Nani will be the only players who have a shout at 1st team action in our team for me. Where Rio and Vidic have 1 place to fight for!

  125. For those talking about this Spahic guy not been widely known, I would point out the biggest players from Eastern Europe over the past 10 yrs or so all came to prominence relatively last in their careers; Arshavin, Vidic, Ivanovic, e.t.c

  126. Ronnie

    GG may have destroyed Liverpool but he set Arsenal back five years as well. 1989 was magnificent, 1991 spectacular. 1992 onwards, a sad decline made inevitable by his blueprint for Mourinho’s style. Except without talented players.

    YW

  127. steww, as a little footnote to what you were saying earlier, the Brazilian Portuguese word for ‘to support’ is ‘torcer‘, which means ‘to bend or twist’. It’s origin is related to the physical action involved. A supporter, a ‘torcedor‘, is someone who bends or twists for his team.

    Much more like it, I think you’ll agree. Can’t see some of our own fans bending or twisting much for anything to be quite honest, let alone our team, but still.

    And before you say it, yes, most Man Utd fans are torssers.

  128. Bending & twisting the truth maybe LA.

  129. on the Spahic rumour, Lequipe says: “Skysports reports a misterious interview given by Emir Spahic to the Bosnian press […] The MHSC (the club) have rubbished the info on their website.

    http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/breves2010/20100804_102929_le-buzz-du-mercredi.html

    The fact they say a “misterious interview” make me think it is probably not a reliable source.

    Anyway I believe we will have a lot of similar stories coming out until Arsene signs his man as every CB who wants a transfer or a pay rise will use the Arsenal link to get what he wants.

  130. Shit. And there I was getting ready to bring a chorus of Chamakh Spahic Up, to the tune of a popular Prodigy ballad. Was going to bring it out on the (admittedly rare in all likelihood) occasions when Chamakh assisted the Bosnian. Ah well.

  131. “Maria.

    He’s the new prospect from Somalia that Wenger is supposedly looking at.”

    LIAR!!

  132. Somalia can’t even make it to the African Nations Cup and are going through a ongoing civil war. No time for exporting footballers just pirates, which we could use to see off the likes of Barca.

  133. Thanks dups.

  134. My team for the ‘wet wednesday night games’:

    – – – – – – – Lehmann – – – – – – –
    Lauren – Keown – Adams – Vermaelen
    ——————————————–
    – – Roy Keane – Song – Vieira – –
    ———————————————
    V. Persie – Vinny Jones – Cantona

    Bit random I know, but imagine playing against that lot!

  135. I would be happy with any new CB. Spahic certainly deserves the benifit of the doubt if he comes here. Bring him on. My biggest worry is that we will be working right up to the end of the window and we will not be able to work out a deal and we get no one or we resign Sylvestre right at the death.

    I do agree with Jena @ 11:48. Our usual method is to scout someone for a long time. Assuming we knew about this guy for a while and we rated him and no one else in the world seems to want him, then why not add him to the squad early enough to go to training camp. Can not understand the logic of waiting in this case.

  136. lol, I would put Pires on the bench defo always had abit of something else about him.

  137. Cantona and Vinny Jones! You would only need those two guys on the pitch as the opposition will not want to come out of the dressing room!

  138. LOL @Maria.

    I can just picture the whole Barca team being hijacked and held hostage on a ship called ‘The Catelonia’ off the high seas of the Indian Ocean.

    The team would nominate Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta and Pique to speak to the makeshift camera and plead their case for rescue before they remind the world that Cesc should be with them because he has their DNA.

    Meanwhile, Sandro their president would be shuttling to and from London to seek face time with Wenger to ensure that Cesc is part of the picture to secure the release of the Barca players. They will hide the fact that they’ve masked their inability to pay the ransom demanded from their coffers and that they’ve begged Santander to release 1%0m Eros to help them pay the wages err…I mean ransom. They would claim that they can pay the loan once Cesc secures the team’s release and helps them win new titles.

    Imagine the media frenzy, fuelled by dodgy videos of Barca players in orange jumpsuits each claiming to the camera that Cesc should be with them.

  139. Wet Winter Wednesday night team

    Ogizovich

    Mills – Keown – – Adams – Heinze

    Vieira – Petit – Keane

    Ferguson – Wright – Cantona

  140. My “Wet We” Team

    New keeper

    Sagna TV5 CB/Kos Clichy

    Cesc Song Diaby

    Chamack RvP Arshavin

    Providing we defend properly and play at high tempo, we will win.

  141. Can you imagine if we put a team out like this though, a farily believable line up…

    Al

    Sagna – Djourou – Verm – Clichy

    Diaby – Song – Rosicky*

    NB – RvP – Cham

    Considering we have been labelled as a small team without any height this would be a wake up call.

    I picked Rosicky over Fab, Nas or Arsh cos I think he has a bit more fight. Maybe Rocky would be good here too.

  142. els,

    I think Nasri has lot more fight/steel than any of our creative players.. Nasri has that ‘nastiness’ in him that wouldnt let anyone bully him. Hull, anyone??

  143. Shotta @ 11:30:

    If you look at my many posts on the subject, I have never advocated playing like Sam Allardyce or Mourinho. We will always be an attacking team but we have to concede fewer goals.

    07 – 09 United teams, 09 – 10 Chelsea team were great attack minded teams and have outscored us yet they defended much better then we have. Barca has been a great attacking team and a great defensive team. Spain in the WC this year conceded 2 goals in 7 games. I do not believe their personnel are that much better then ours. (Except perhaps GK). Why can’t we continue to score yet concede less?

    Our coaching staff has to organize our efforts and get a more effective balance between attack and defense.

  144. To be fair Cesc is no pushover. He definately has a spikey side to his game.

  145. Bill – Agreed 100%

  146. “Bill – Agreed 100%”

    My hero eeh..

  147. Maria – Nope, just speak sense.

  148. How can you love Arsenal and speak so glowingly about Manure and Chelski? Being a fan isn’t about being even handed and objective for chrissakes, it’s an arbitrary and tribal position.

  149. another news the manager of north Korea have been punished by the Communist Party in charge of the country because of the poor showing of his team

    http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=BVNav&from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lequipe.fr%2FFootball%2Fbreves2010%2F20100804_094033_le-coach-condamne-les-joueurs-humilies.html

  150. He is not speaking glowingly, he is stating fact.

  151. That I would pay to see Darius. I would love to see the two fools Cesc would replace if he went over to the dark side, bond togather on telly pleading Arsene for their lives.

  152. You absolutely don’t get it do you? “07 – 09 United teams, 09 – 10 Chelsea team were great attack minded teams” is pretty fucking glowing for someone who is supposed to despise every last thing about both those clubs. God I can’t wait for school to start again and be rid of you andypandy.

  153. Goonerandy.

    Fact is stuff like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Or taxation and death.

    Football is tribal opinion.

  154. Steww – This is true. When you are ay school you will not be able to post. If we are a great attacking team, but still get outscored it must mean the teams that outscored us are not too shabby. I hate both teams, the facts are there for any idiot to see.

  155. Darius – One team scoring more goals than another is opinion?

  156. No argument here indian I think I went with Rosicky over Nasri for team balance experience tackling and toughness, all round. I am a big TR fan. But hey each to there own. Other than that a pretty good solid team, i’m sure you get my point mate.

  157. @Maria.

    And we should release that video right here on ACLF, with sub-titles and all.

  158. Darius that clip is for you, since we were talking about tribes and Somalia..lol

  159. els, even I’m a TR7 fan. I love his 180degree turns and his passes through a needle. I’m looking forward to a BIG season from him..

  160. Goonerandy.

    We damn well know that’s not the debate here. The debate is whether Arsenal fans should be waxing lyrical about the enemy. Not whether the enemy scored against us.

  161. Would take the visuals alone D, just as long as their sobbing and Xavi has sweating pouring down his now fully formed unibrow!!

  162. Delia-----Block 112

    We appear to be living in a fantasy world this afternoon. As for the Wet Wednesday night team, room must be found for Peter Storey. I used to close my eyes when he went into a tackle. How ever did he play for us !

  163. Darius – Bill pointed out that they had outscored us and had better defensive records that us. Thus highlighting why they have been more sucessful than us in recent years. That is all he did, and predictably got jumped on by children.

  164. You will never catch me waxing lycial about any other team, I geniunsley don’t care what other teams do or sign. I am an Arsenal fan and that is it.

    I can recognise other teams strengths though. Manure don’t have the same calibre players we do, but are better organised. If we get more organised we will be a better team than them. Until we do, we won’t be. It is simple.

    Hopefully this is the season when we put that right, and I think it will be.

  165. Anyone else following Chamakh on twitter? http://twitter.com/vrai_chamakh. He’s prolific, and rather hilarious. A bit like Arshavin’s blog.

  166. Dont worry Andy with Kos and TV in defence I think we will be more organised. I think now that TV is the senior defender his voice will help the team out.

  167. Els – Yeah hopefully. A partnership where the CB’c compliment each other cannot be underestimated. Hopefully the whole team will be more compact without the ball. We are so close to winning things I feel. So close.

  168. Goonerandy.

    It’s OK – I don’t feel like debating this one. It’s OK for us to have a different opinion.

    Bill already knows this because he and I have had great debates and learnt from each other but still differed in opinions and approaches. I’m sure he’s the sort of guy who I’d have a pint with and have a good time…

    My opinion is very well known – I’m tribal about Arsenal; and I choose to live with our short-comings with the belief that they will be sorted. I’d rather spend the time enjoying my teams progress in this wonderful journey, warts and all.

    The difference for me is that unlike some, I know I have belief and patience.

  169. Darius – And that is fair enough mate. I don’t come here to argue with people either. That is not what I enjoy.

    Like you I am very tribal with my support of Arsenal (embarrassing my wife on numerous occasions). I do find it a little frustrating that when I (and others) post a valid and reasoned point it is often jumped by certain people on here (not you incidentally) and you are made out to be “a doomer”, or “not a proper fan”. You then end up getting sucked into child like arguments.

    I don’t want everyobody to agree with my opinion, just as I don’t agree with everybodies. That is what a fan forum is about to my mind. Discussion….not abuse.

  170. Darius: I did not really expect that from you. Unfortunately those Manc teams and last years Chelsea were pretty good. I guess my choice of words could have been more sensitive. Sorry if I offended you and Steww.

  171. I’m feeling confident going into the season especially with another signing of Kosc / Spaphic quality (spaphic may be only rumours, but it’s an idea of the quality hopefully)

    2 line ups we could field 10/11

    1) BS – LK – TV – GC

    2) EE – JD – ES – KG

    2 for the 09/10 season

    1) BS – WG – TV – GC

    2) EB – PS/SC – MS – KG

    Keep in mind Sendo was on loan or pretty much out of the team and Gibbs got injured. I think this season we look stronger. Thats not to mention Nord and Tra who may get chances at right and left back.

  172. Yeah Bill i’ll agree that your a good example of someone usually with another opinion that can discuss and debate it without the need to bring unnecessary insults to the team.

    We’ve argued points in the past but I mostly enjoy it and respect your opinion. I’ve said all this before though.

  173. So have we missed out on Loic Remy? He was strongly linked and Wenger has spoken about him positively in the past. We have absolutely no need for him in my eyes, but would he have been a good signing for us?

  174. Els – Where has he gone?

  175. Bill.

    Absolutely no issue ….I actually didn’t realise it came out that way.

    I would be disappointed if an alternative approach like yours is not around to stimulate a good debate. We have also agreed on many issues that we have also debated here with others.

    What isn’t in question is that we both love Arsenal and want the best.

    I suppose I’m more sanguine about the defensive issues we have and see their resolution as a part of the squad development and that they’ll come in time, whether it’s by change of personnel, change of tactical discipline or mental fortitude.

    For example, I wouldn’t be seeing another trophyless season as a disaster, but I will be extremely disapointed because I don’t like losing. Come the new season, I’ll pick up from where we left and shout for my beloved Arsenal.

    And when we meet – you’re buying the first pint.

  176. Nowhere yet but apparently he wants to come to the prem and I doubt we’d bid for him. It just would be a shame to see him line up against us. He’s one of the ones that I thought we’d maybe end up signing. I thought there was more to the Remy rumours than all the Gignac stuff.

  177. From what i have seen Remy looks very good, but we are already well stocked in that area I suppose. Shame, but you can’t stockpile players. Especially with the new rules.

  178. How on earth do you change the Avatar on here?

  179. We know when a player is good when Wenger wants him, unless he throws a red herring and his name is Smalling!

  180. You need to open a WordPress account and do it on there Andy…

  181. I think SMALLing made a BIG mistake.

  182. I cant see that Smalling being a big player for them!!

  183. Whats up with the blog today? So much reasoned discussion and much less swearing and trolling. That certainly makes for a pleasant change. I wonder how long it’ll last…..

    I hate that Manure republik fella so much. can’t belive how condescending he was. That said, nice measured responses YW.

  184. Why always looking to sign new players? About 12 months ago, AW was ridiculed by some AAA “fans” for not buying a top DM. Along came Alex Song who, by many, were among the top 3 players during last season.
    When will AAA “fans” begin to trust AW and his team who see these players daily in training and know and understand their abilities.

  185. Big Ups to Yogi. There is no subsitute for class and it showed, though the obvious arrogance of the interveiwer.

  186. Goonerandy
    Since at present we have only 19 players who count as over 21 in our squad we have room to stockpile a couple. even if 2 places are kept open for Vela and Walcott who will be over 21’s next season and we get a new ch (about which I’m not confident will happen based on previous transfer windows when “we are looking but have not found anyone yet ” meant “no-one is coming!”)
    Whether Remy is a player we would want is a different question and he would not be on my list of priorities.

  187. Andy,

    You can change your avatar using this:
    http://en.gravatar.com/

    I did mine using this website

  188. too true T2T.

    I think we need a defender only because of the maturity age of defenders. It’s hard to get in a teenager then keep him trained and happy until he’s mid twenties at least for him then to be flung into the fire. Djourou would be the first to do it. Big Phil didn’t work out did he. I think thats perhaps why he’s had to sign 3 mid twenties defenders in two years (if we do get this extra defender).

    But other than defence i’m all for us just promoting until the forseeable future.

  189. The only players that are good enough and world class enough for this club is the players we either cannot afford, that does not want to play for us or that clubs will not sell unless we pay 4 times their original value.

    Since Arsenal will never pay 4 times anyones original value to get a world class player here we will never see any. That is why all the doom and gloom are frustrated. It is hard for them to understand why wenger cannot just splash 15M-20 for Hangeland or Cahill.

  190. John N I would imagine more signings upfront will kill the chances of Afobe and Wellington…

    Had Wenger thought we needed a player to fill for eddy then I think remy would have been our sort of purchase.

  191. Totally agree els, up front is not an area I’m worried about.

  192. In a way that post was a real compliment to Arsenal but then if you value Hang and Cahill as world class defenders for 15-20m then I think you need to stop and think. Look at what Wenfer got with 12m in Tommy V and I get the feeling he’s done it again with Kosc.

    By the way wasn’t everyman and his dog after Arshavin where did he end up?

    Maybe Wenger is onto a good thing in signing players young and teaching them our style and values. Golin how much would you pay for Vela, Walcott, Wilshire, Nasri, Diaby, Ramsey… I guarantee if these players were at Real you would be dreaming of there signatures and the press would value them all over 20m.

  193. Sorry my last post was all toward golin

  194. So instead…

    Arsene Wenger & Arsenal make the world stars…not buy them.

    I’m still till today and after at least 40 years of watching football not sure how people define a world class player?

    For example: Since Vermaelen’s country is not big in football and the chances of them winning the world cup is not better than England (he he) Will he ever have the “World Class Player” status?

  195. John N we are certainly sorted upfront. I would say Midfield also. Where would you like to stockpile mate?

  196. Yeah what is that label?

    I imagine a world best 25 squad and the current players in it can be classed as world class. But thats just me.

  197. I would still like one more central midfielder. An experienced player who won’t be trying to make 30yard killer passes from the defensive position when we are 1 nil up with 10 minutes to go!
    Seriosly Frimpong has great potential but at times his inexperience does show. Not having one central midfielder over the age of 25 does lead to that sort of problem and is one of the reasons I believe that is behind our defensive problems, especially if Alex Song isn’t playing.

  198. But JohnN Alex Song is 22.

  199. Cheers for the Av advice.

  200. I know, but he the most experience as a defensive mid of all our players. Which is why I would like an experienced mid to come in just to pass on their knowledge. Perhaps pass on some of the “black arts” of midfield play, like the unobtrusive block on the runner of the ball. Some thing a doubt AW would coach. Our central mids only get to play alongside experienced cm’s at international level. Experieence comes from learning from others, not just playing games.

  201. JohnN.

    We already have Tomas Rosicky who can do a job there. He’s not the first person you’d pick for that midddle of the park role, but don’t forget why he earned the nickname ‘Little Mozart’.

    He can artistically conduct that midfield like a nonsense if he’s required to do so. He’s done it very competently for the Czech republic and previous clubs.

    But I suspect the issue is that we play a different style of play where the load in the middle of the park is shared.

  202. John N
    AW is fine with some of the dark arts. Remember he criticized Denilson for not committing handball when he slumped during play at our match with everton (i think)?.

    Its just how many of such things can you teach? Even when they’re taught, it takes experience to have the presence of mind to apply them in the right situations. We’ve gained that experience, many will say the hard way, but believe me its will start paying off soon enough

  203. To add to that Henristic…I believe we already have a dark artist in Alex Song. Look at his yellow card count and the number of times he’s taken one for the team in order to slow the opposition counter attack down.

    I remember the last Carling cup game in December last year when we lost to Man City at Eastlands. Song was strategically put into that team so that he can use up his 5th yellow card and miss the next league game so that he doesn’t miss a more crucial game after the one that followed.

    He even thought he’d got a red card and marched off the field only to be told by the folks in the dugout – “hey dude, you’re still on the pitch” – but at least he got his yellow.

    Also, JohnN, in case you haven’t read it, there was an intresting article on Zonal marking that was posted on this blog a couple of days ago that was a very interesting read. It captures some of the thinking behind us not being entirely dependent on a specific defensive midfileder, but more that there are several players who can fulfil a role and do a job in central midfield depending on the opponent.

    Here’s the linkposted on Monday’s post: http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/07/30/central-midfield-role/#more-3947

  204. Of course, Song. How did I forget?
    Thinking about it, I really do hope to see a bit more guile in our play. We seem to swing between overconfidence in some games to panic when we suddenly realize we could concede. Not sure of it’sis connected to guile, but there.

  205. So does Gibbs and Wilshere’s omission from the U21 squad means the are likely to be included in the senior squad?

  206. Wengerball.

    I would be seriously surprised if they’re not included.

    Capello actually mentioned Wilshere at his final World cup press conference, and Gibbs is a natural shoe-in to follow Cashley.

  207. Thanks for the link DS. Nice article

  208. Anyone know when the is England squad announced..?

  209. @Supercod Fabio has up to a week before the friendly to announce the squad.

    I was looking at the U21 squad and I’d like to know what’s the age criteria. Michael Manciene is closer to 23 than 21.

  210. Also, with the embargo on the French squad is Koss anywhere near a call up? Guess he’ll have to decide between Poland and France at some point…

  211. I really think that if this is the year that Diaby steps up to the same level that Song has, then we’re going to win everything in sight. When he finds consistency we’ll be absolutely unstoppable. This is going to be a big year for TR7 too, I cannot believe that people were thinking we should sell him.

  212. Supercod.

    With Koscielny’s performance in the French league last year and the simple fact that Wenger has acquired his services for Arsenal, I think he’ll make the team considering that they’ll be thin on the ground.

  213. Andy stop questioning your elders and betters. Cretin.

  214. Weird I posted that ooh 4 hours ago!

  215. I’m worried about these rumours linking Rosicky with Galatasaray. I do not want him to go. It’s bad enough losing Eduardo, I can’t lose Little Mozart too! I know he won’t play every game, but we need his experience in the squad. I know Arsene ruled out another midfield purchase because of the development of JW and EF, but I would only be comfortable with that if Tommy R stays. Say it isn’t so please?

  216. Passenal.

    I think the key word is ‘rumours’. Little Mozart ain’t going anywhere.

  217. I would think Rosicky will have another year with us. It will be hard to see him staying beyond that because of Wilshere, Frimpong, Eastmond…etc.,

  218. I would settle for a year G4E, but I also wanted Eduardo to be given one more year too and that never happened.

  219. Many’s the year it will take for young Jack to learn the ways of Mozart. ‘Be patient, padouin…’ I can hear him saying it now.

    I’ll cry long and hard if Rosicky leaves now. I’m sure he won’t though. He wants to win the League.

  220. I will cry too LA. I am on the verge of tears now at the thought of him going. He could pass on so much to the up coming youngsters, it would be a waste to see him go so soon.

  221. In Eduardo’s case was much harder for him to stay Passenal, he wanted regular football and obviously RVP, Chamakh, Arshavin even Bendtner are all get selected ahead of him, that’s plus as you well know…the stupid giants lurking in the muddy winters of dark grit.

    In the midfield we are stacked high, but some of them still need at least another year…Like Wilshere for example. Don’t forget Ramsey too he’s or was on the verge of becoming a very strong contender for a more regular spot.

    On the other hand, a slower, less demanding league may be a cautious solution to prolong his career as well.

    Personally, I hope he stays more than a year. He’s pure class.

  222. Darius:

    I would love to meet all of the people on the blog. You form a mental image of everyone based on their on-line persona and to see what everyone really is like would be very interesting. I suggested last year to Limpar that we should have a good guy vs. doomer football game followed by a lot more then 1 pint.

    We are all are passionate about Arsenal in our own way. Some times I get in a hurry to finish my blogging and get back to what I am supposed to be doing and the things I write come out sounding different then they are meant. Its too late to re-word your post after you hit the send button and unfortunately it tends to take the blog away from discussing football.

  223. I was pretty devastated when Eduardo left. As much as the day he got his leg broken. It came as a surprise, didn’t see any reason why he couldn’t have been given another year to prove himself.

    And it will be an idiotic thing for Arsene to let go off Rosicky. And with the tainted glasses, Arsene has done a few idiotic things in his time. Especially when it comes to disposing players, and not replacing them.

  224. without**

  225. GoonerinLA on August 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Do you think that is really Chamakh? It is certainly an entertaining read!

  226. The most recent case being, not replacing Adebayor when he left. Extremely idiotic thing to do. RVP had not proved his fitness, Bendtner is talented but would take a few seasons to get there, and let’s not even consider Vela to start for a club that is aiming for the title. At best Vela could have been a sub, or like silvestre a last resort option. And yet, he didn’t buy anyone. And he realized that a year late, and then we finally got Chamakh. Like it or not, Arsene has a habbit of doing crazy things.

  227. Finsbury on August 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for the link. That was almost a flawless defensive performance by Koscielny. I was also stunned by the quality of some of his passes. We have a real player on our hands.

  228. Need some coffee Ateeb?

  229. Hahahaha. No, I do need a new job though.

  230. Ateeb, Chamakh has revealed that Arsene tried to buy him as a replacement for Ade. He was rebuffed initially and you know Arsene, if he does not find exactly what he is looking for he will not buy for the sake of it. RVP showed that we could cope without a direct replacement. It was only his injury and not having Bendtner at the same time that was our undoing. When Bendtner returned he scored 7 goals in 11 appearances, which was not too shabby!

  231. Hi Ateeb, you are right about the delay in replacing Ade including its subsequent cost and passenal had the explanation in Arsene’s behavioral pattern. Arsene has become more rooted to his ideals than ever before and badly wants our team to make it this season. The team’s performance this season will have a bearing on whether AW thinks he should sign an extension to his contract. Hope the team fulfills its undoubted potential with a title win – they are after all more talented and skilull that any other team in the PL.

  232. Man City losing 3-1 against Dortmund

  233. Christ Ateeb your scaring me, you usually seem laid back!

  234. Alex have you dropped your ice cream?

  235. I agree with Ateeb.

  236. I find it har to believe that there weren’t good strikers around who could have been bought to replace Chamakh. He took a big risk relying on both RVP and Eduardo, given their injury records. And an inexperienced striker in Bendtner. We ended up playing Arshavin there. Chamakh should have been bought last year. We had just two established strikers, but sadly both were injury prone.

  237. Alex!! You back. Are you the same Alex that used to drop in here alot, and used to perform duties that ChrisGoona has been performing for the last 3 months? The same Alex? Are you? Without the ice cream?

  238. No els, I am not that Alex. We have vastly different perspectives on club matters.

  239. replace *Adebayor. Gah.

    Yo Muppet!!

  240. Yes Ateeb. Back after a hiatus and hope to back up ChrisGoona and you guys more going forward.

  241. Ateeb, do you expect Chamakh to shine for Arsenal?

  242. Ateeb !! The doomer slayer is back.

  243. Ateeb, if there were, Arsene would have bought them. He offered £7m for a player with 1 year left on his contract. Bordeaux wanted £17m. You cannot seriously be expecting Arsene to spend £10m more than he thought the player was worth? Just as he will not pay £18m for Jagielka, who is barely worth half of that.

  244. Ateeb my friend….Could have, should have, would have.

    That was last season. Let it go. Chamakh is here now, Koscielny is here, we’re looking for another CB.

    12 more days and counting until kick off at Anfield.

    Vermaelen and Koscielny will do fine for that game and the next game and the one after that. Let’s enjoy.

  245. I think Spastic (or whatever his name is) guy sounds like a great buy. Looking at the squad numbers, Verminator is 5 and Koscielny is 6. Therefore, they must be the first choice CBs. What we need is depth, not quality. We already know that Nordtveit, Bartley, Miquel and Hajrovic are coming through, and will be in and around te first team squad in 2-3 years.

    I would say the order of our centre-backs is currently:

    Vermaelen
    Koscielny
    Djourou
    Nordtveit
    Bartley (Not ready, 1 year)
    Miquel (Not ready, 1-2 years)
    Hajrovic (Not ready, 2-3 years)

    I have left out Song, although he would probably slot in just above Nordtveit.

    We need 5 centre-backs, as injuries last year have proved. I’m fine with the first choice, I think the two are top-quality buys. Djourou however, I have my doubts for this season at least, not in anyway related to his talent, but more to do with having been set back a year by injury. I’d consider him definitely good enough for 4th choice though. So what I think we need is a 3rd choice CB.

    Qualities wanted in a 3rd choice CB:

    Fairly Experienced (Either 3rd or 4th should be experienced)
    Talented enough to adequately replace either of our first choice CBs
    Willing to accept being 3rd choice
    Inexpensive (If not already present in Cub)

    The Bosnian guy is 29, and has played a decent number of games (although he had a serious injury a couple of years ago)

    He has been the star defender everywhere he has played. I know Montpellier are small-fry, but to do so well after being promoted obviously means that they had something going good for them, and this guy was in the Ligue 1 team of the year, so he was probably that star.

    Any player who makes such a big step up generally expects to not be first choice immediately, unless told otherwise. Plus at Arsenal, he can expect to play around 15-20 games or parts of games, which is actually not too bad.

    He’s not well known, so he will come fairly cheap.

    I think he ticks all the boxes. Plus, in three years he’ll be 32, and ripe for when Wenger likes to get rid of players.

  246. To answer Yogi’s Question,

    A player is good enough when he plays for Arsenal. It’s that simple.

  247. Unless his name is Cygan or Silvestre.

  248. we need depth not quality!!

    jesus h christ

  249. Celtic out of CL the dirty scum. HAHAHAHAHAHA

  250. steww- I find your attitude to another mans legitimate opinion far more distasteful than anything goonerandy has said.

    “How can you love Arsenal and speak so glowingly about Manure and Chelski?”

    taliban mentality imo. its 2010 ffs

  251. Good points Aaditya. Sometimes I think folks are just expecting a so called ‘big name’ signing, whatever that means. Maybe it helps them sleep better.

    I honestly don’t see us buying a CB who will displace Vermaelen and Koscielny.

    I heard some stupid hack on radio one day describing what Arsenal needs as a good old fashoned English centre half who will provide Arsenal with steel and a backbone. It got me thinking how xenophobic folks can actually be without even having a clue. Who gives a damn what nationality the player is as long as they can do the job.

  252. Taliban? These guys must get really bad press sometimes when they have fuck all to do with anything…LOL!

  253. displace Koscielny? Koscielny hasnt been placed yet. I hope hes the mutts nuts i truly do but quality is still the issue here in another centrehalf – ie someone who can displace Koscielny if he doesnt prove up to the task not just someone to fill a shirt

  254. “Celtic out of CL the dirty scum. HAHAHAHAHAHA”

    Great news! I still haven’t forgiven them for what they did to Eduardo. Now we just need the spuds to fail to qualify and I will be a very happy bunny indeed!

  255. “we need depth not quality!!”

    Another Stepanovs would give us depth. I’d go for the quality.

  256. Celtic now have to qualify for the Europa. How sad it that for such a ‘BIG’ club.

  257. Members day live training on ATVO tomorrow morning.

  258. DeiseGooner.

    I know even you aren’t that naive to think that Arsenal would spend £8 to £10m on a defender, buy him as early as 6th July, and then simply sit him on the bench on the first game in 12 days from now.

    Maybe it’s your expectations that need adjusting. Koscielny and Vermaelen are Arsenal’s first choice central defenders, and the faster you get used to that picture, the better you’ll sleep.

  259. oh wow chamakh just got a new number one bff fan

    -‘return of chamakh’ – I thought everyone was telling me to mark Morrison! I don’t do the marking darling.

    -Going to team dinner now, we’ll make young Wilshere get the bill.

    -Tonight i go inside Eboue’s dreams, i steal his shorts.

    -No friends! I don’t smoke the grass, I score goals on it.

  260. @ Dups

    I think I didn’t make myself too clear there. What I meant was that we already have quality players and we don’t need to splash for a first choice CB. It’s just that we need another player.

  261. How sad is that dupsffokcuf? It’s always great to see karma do it’s stuff!

  262. Oh i have no problem sleeping Darius, no none at all. But we still need a quality centrehalf be it 1st ot 4th choice – maybe Koscielny will be top notch, and yeah he might be the starter next to vermaelen but answer me this if Silvester was still here would you be happy with him as 4th choice?? – so why should we risk a player of that ‘lack of’ quality being near the first team

  263. This character seems to think we’ll line up:

    – – – Chamakh
    Arshavin – – – RVP
    – – – – Cesc – – –
    – Diaby – – Song

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/aug/04/the-question-is-4-2-1-3-the-future

    He doesn’t seem to have a very firm grasp of what is going on at Arsenal, in terms of personnel or formation… but it’s worth a quick read anyway because I do think that this front line could well be on the cards. Never as static as it looks on paper, but certainly there’s a way of including both Chamakh and RVP – taking it in turns to be the central pivot for others to run off. Eboue or Sagna providing the width. Theo to come on if it needs changing up.

    Obviously any one of Nasri, Rosicky, Diaby, or Vela to ‘understudy’ Arshavin on the left. And the same players to play the same role to Cesc’s half pivote/ half trequartista. Lots of pressure on Cesc then – but then he’s been shrugging off the attention of gnarled old Darren Fletcher types for some time.

    At the moment, for me, Denilson is quite a long way ahead of Abou for that key role of third midfielder. That all-important pass – receive from Song pass to Cesc – that happens many times over in each and every game; and the one that comes from full-back, and gets moved along to Cesc. Denilson is quicker and cleverer at them – because he has made them so many more times than Diaby. He’s a specialist. Add into this what he adds defensively, with his reading of the game when we don’t have the ball – and we have a winner.

    Abou though, undoubtedly offers more going forward than Denilson, at least when given license to. He also has the physicality to impose himself at both ends of the pitch. That’s why for me that’s going to be a really interesting little race to watch. Both will be used, but who will win the right to play the big games?

  264. Apparently Rosicky is leaving to join some turkish team with Servet Cetin coming to us.

  265. so it is roumoured G Star. Gala want Rosicky so we can get Cetin.

    Dont know how i feel about losing Rosicky but Cetin is a monster.

  266. It’s G STAR the bullshitter from Le Groan !!

  267. he might very well be Muppet but that certainly is a rumour doin the rounds on the interweb

  268. “we need depth not quality!!”

    Then why did we beat Senderos to his Fulham death?

  269. I don’t want to lose any more from our squad. Just add a central defender and we are good to go.

  270. The daily heil 1st linked us with Cetin back in October 2009.

  271. I tell 100% true rumours.

  272. yeah and the fact we are on the lookout for a centrehalf and Rosicky is linked to Gala its a join the dots for the journos aint it

  273. “I don’t want to lose any more from our squad. Just add a central defender and we are good to go.”

    I agree. And Arsene’s recent comments suggested that we had seen enough departures and were looking to add rather than subtract any more. It’s not like him to make that many changes in one go.

  274. true rumourance – it must be

  275. i agree Passenel – there has been enough departures apart from a keeper when we get a spanking new one 😉

  276. make weights are not our style. take gallas for example, never a tru gooner.

  277. Where the hell are frank and PZ ?

  278. I can’t find a single story about Servet Cetin.

  279. Oh yes, where is Poliziano? Did he go to the Balkans too?

  280. It’s regurgitated rubbish I think Muppet.

  281. Alex,

    Good to have you back. I’m reserving my expectations for the new season. The defense needs to be adressed really badly at the moment.

    Aditya,

    Haven’t seen much of Chamakh to pass a judgment.

    Passenal,

    My point was that, if he couldn’t get a deal for Chamakh, he should’ve tried elsewhere. I’m sure he could’ve found some striker that could play for Arsenal. And frankly, he did take the risk with Chamakh. What if he signed an extention? What would’ve happened then? Just because you can’t get a good deal over one player, doesn’t mean you don’t try to find other solutions to it. Regardless, it was a risk, which didn’t pay off. One that we didn’t need to take.

  282. evening all

    see the rosicky rumour doing the rounds.

    anyone going to shareholders tomorrow?

  283. Yes dups. Not even regurgitated. I can’t see any stories at all.

  284. Pz has been missing for a while hasn’t he? Taking the summers off, I suppose. He needed the break. Sharpen up his wit.

    Bob’s getting too old for this blog. Hardly any comments anymore. We needed another older person, but a bit younger.

  285. is just on blogs muppet
    the cetin thing is new since i first saw the rumour

  286. the Rosicky to Gala has come accross from Turkey – i reckon its blogger mathematics putting 2 and 2 together from the Cetin links of last year

  287. i miss frank most, the man had character. character goes a long way… in comparison, its a long long long way.

  288. 1 loose cannon

    Who is our best crosser of the ball? Chamakh will need few good deliveries to his head I feel it would be a waste if we don’t utilise his power in the air. 90% of his goals are headers. He is lethal in the air.

  289. clichy and sanga better get practicing then almost worst stats in the prem last season on cross completions

  290. as odd as Wenger bigging up Eduardo jus before he left realsocialdad ?

  291. 90%? fact or tru rumourance?

    certainly not clichy or walcott…

    must be rosicky

  292. Yes Ateeb, we need someone who doesn’t get high on home made Cider and pass the time watching Hector knock up his chicks…

    Now that should bring Bob out of wherever he is 🙂

  293. nasri and arshavin better get used to slinging in a few head high to as well as across the floor

  294. wenger be absent last night and today
    new signing??

    DG it tommy talking not wenger

  295. wenger talking about any player raises their profile, not odd at all considering he was up for sale. in the months of the striker drought he hardly ever mentioned his name… eduardo leaving was on the cards for some time i felt. it is possible to read between the lines with wenger if you can guess his affections reasonably.

  296. was trying to remember some arshavin crosses but I do get the impression he plays on the ground far more… nasri can do it presume but has more emphasis on beating his man and playing short.

    certainly an area to look at when the other 3 wide men are clichy sagna and walcott… in fact fcuk the defence issues lets just leard how to cross.

  297. i know it was rosicky talking today real’ but wasnt it odd we sold eduardo when it looked like wenger was saying hes expecting eddy to do good things this season – so its not ‘that’ odd that the arse.com put rosickys comments up and we sell him – think all those quotes come fromthis months arsenal mag..

  298. Ateeb on August 4, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    And you can prove that Arsene didn’t try for other strikers? Who else was available at the time that could fulfill the role that we needed? It is not like championship manager or shopping in Waitrose. Last season we had Eduardo in the squad, but unfortunately he was unable to rediscover his previous form. We were also undone by injuries with RVP and his back up, Bendtner unavailable at the same time. You cannot always plan for these eventualities.

  299. @ Ateeb

    Doesn’t “chamakh” mean “to shine” in Urdu? It does in Hindi at least, I was going for the wordplay.

  300. really i didnt see rosicky in the mag this month

  301. just watched that video, what a god damn epic header that is. try and guess what that defender is thinking when he looks up at the ball and sees chamakh 4 foot above him.

  302. Passenal, Eduardo was doing ok at the beginning of the season until that scummy Celtic lot caused all the hassle.

  303. “was trying to remember some arshavin crosses”

    Unfortunately he can be a bit selfish and could do with passing more often. The ‘team’ would benefit more from a more ‘collective’ approach at times from AA.

  304. Nice to see Chelsea’s rich vein of form continue, see that back pass from Zhirkov? – £18 million or so wasn’t he..?!

  305. AA could do with some healthy competition for his starting place imo. I love the guy for following his own path but he could maybe try harder to curb his bad traits.

  306. Sure you can, Passenal; stuff the squad 5 international players-deep in every position. What could possibly go wrong?

    I reckon we just never expected Bordeaux to be so bloody-minded over Chamakh last summer, and weren’t really scouting anybody else at the time. Who could have anticipated such a self-defeating attitude over a player with one year left to run?

  307. whats worse is the lost the lead

    city look terrible 3-1 they lost

    the goal highlights are in the site

  308. Bordeaux were obviously trying to bluff but more fool them for not doing the homework on wenger.

    lol chelsea are so skint they are actually talking about bringing some youth players into the first team this year.

  309. chelsea say ashley cole is best left back in the world, so do they really need to spend 18m on a back up?? great future ahead for all of them

  310. Odd lineups for City, looks like they’re trying to put some of their surplus in the shop window only for them to keep getting stuffed! I reckon Jo must be worth about a tenner by now….

  311. I see some next foreign rich man is sniffing around blackburn with supposed 300m to splash out…

    chelsea caught the market early and had an IDEAL location… city hopefully will show the world the limitations of supermarket spree football management

    what other club in the world would you rather see the f****** scum clinch a CL spot above?? I mean seriously how bad do you have to be…

  312. If you had £300m would you realistically look to go anywhere near Blackburn..?

  313. Supercod

    Maybe, if you were Howard.

  314. 1 loose cannon

    Word- Chelsea want to stop the money diarrhea and recoup some of that 800 or 900 millions that bought them 3 titles and few FA cups.They simply can’t live on Abramovich’s money, I don’t care how much money anyone has, it is simply not possible for a business to run on huge losses. The city owners will do the same thing after winning few titles they will have to recover the money they are wasting down the drain now. Common sense will prevail in the end. Look at Barcelona despite their success on field they simply cannot go on spending and that is why they can’t pay up the asking price for Fabregas. Madrid have done the galacticos model won few things then they had to recover and now they are doing Galactiocos II but it will stop at some point because they are already up to their necks in debts.The same goes for United the days of 30 million a player have gone. There is one model that makes sense and that is the Arsenal one. I know people will say where are the trpphies? but i don’t want any trophies that is going to turn us to a Pompey or leeds. Slowly , slowly we will have the money to compete.

  315. respectfully i hope you understand i knew this already but indeed i think we will be truely judged and appreciated in 10 years time when it is clear to see the tracks we have been building to pave the road to success.

  316. 1 loose cannon

    Word- I knew you knew. People will appreciate what Wenger has done when he is gone and the club is in stable and in a healthy financial situation.
    By the way I’m still not sure who is the crosser of the ball in out team, they all seem to like the ball on the floor. I would like nothing more than playing ChamaKh upfront against Chelsea and deliver some acurate crosses for him to head and leave Terry with his mouth open at the sight of Chamakh towering above him. We really need to get it right with this player, he can cause a lot damage in the premiership if we use him wisely. I do like his build up play and foot work but sometimes Wenger will have to simply stick him upfront and bombard the box with crosses it will cause a lot of problems to many defenders.

  317. Morning all. Just watched the WBA Carling Cup match from last season. Interesting to see the team featured Vela, Ramsay, Wilshere and Gibbs, all now considered part of the first team squad.
    Of course it is exciting when Arsene signs the likes of Arshavin – after all we’ve heard of him and he heightens expectations, but how much much more satisfying to see youngsters work their way through the ranks and blossom.
    Cesc of course is currently the ultimate expression of this, and I always think of him when I read people deriding the signing of another young ‘unknown’.
    Sanchez Watt stood out that night by the way. I see he’ll spend the coming season with Leeds, so more invaluable experience for a real talent there.

  318. Morning Steww.

    Can’t stand Leeds but I might watch some of their matches now.

  319. I would like Rosicky to stay as I do rate him. If one of the first team squad is to leave though, he would be the obvious choice despite his ability. We have lots of players who play in his position, and he has had his issues with injuries. He is also nearly 30.

  320. I agree with stew

  321. “Montpellier president slaps massive price tag on Arsenal target Emir Spahic”

    That should end that rumour.

  322. Morning dups – like I’ve said before I’d rather talk about our players anyway.

  323. Morning Kiefer.

  324. Please don’t let Cesc get booed today!

  325. While we’re at it – please let JW play well with England next week, but not too well. Maybe it’d be best if he comes on with 5 minutes to go and gets a couple of touches.

  326. OneOfUs – hell if we’re praying how about an end to all international matches until the close season? A quick tournament right at the end of the season to decide qualification for the following years euros/world cup – all over in three matches. Perfect.

  327. New post

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