Let’s Get Cesc’s Return Out Of The Way While Gibbs & Wilshere Hope

Members Day has rarely attracted so much global media attention. Not because of the new signings although rumours circulated yesterday that Wenger missed his press conference because of ‘player business’, the club preferring to state that a ‘planned meeting’ overran and caused Arsene to also miss the charity launch for the coming season. As a means to stopping unsubstantiated reports, it was a pretty poor effort and did not have the desired effect as rumours that a new signing would be announced tomorrow gathered pace.

If there is to be someone unveiled, it would be surprising and yet not unexpected. The focus is on Cesc Fabregas’ return to training following an intense summer’s transfer gossip. A new player would deflect a lot of attention but not all of it. For certain, any new arrival will not be Emir Spahic who appears to have done a Rodellega by talking a good move to Arsenal, even if one wasn’t on the cards at all. Well, not according to his current employers anyway.

Close attention is going to be paid to the words of the captain, both here and in Spain. It is, ahem, believed that he will deliver the reassurance Wenger demanded at the weekend but not to the extent of Fernando Torres; that is hardly surprising since the Liverpool player has not been so closely and vigourously pursued by anyone other than the Harley Street physicians looking after him.

According to The Times, Fabregas may not even speak publicly today. They suggest that his family do not want him to do anything which may preclude a transfer back home, in spite of the fact that Barcelona do not apparently have a pot in which they can relieve their bladder. Elsewhere, the language used by reporters scales reasonableness in their assessments to screeching, depending on the outlet you are reading at any particular moment in time.

To stir the pot even more, the Arsenal players have started to copy their Barcelona counterparts a little but in more  measured tones, a thoroughly English manner. Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson and Walcott have all used less impassioned language in recent days to confirm their belief that Fabregas should remain at the club. Perhaps they could pull a prank on Arsene and put an Arsenal top over Fabregas? No wait, no need for that he will be wearing one for the official photo shoot.

I wonder if the Spanish press – who have still not given up on the transfer happening in spite of the resigned tones of Zubizaretta yesterday – will show any pictures of Fabregas from the shoot, hammering a nail into the hearts of any cules who still had hopes of him joining this summer. They will of course be hoping for a muted or less than favourable reaction to Fabregas’ appearance by the crowd today. It is surely an obligation on those attending today to deny them their wish and give the captain a rousing reception, irrespective of the deeper opinions held.

Away from this farce, the hype around Jack Wilshere is gathering pace. His omission from the England Under 21 squad is seen as evidence that the youngster has been pencilled into Fabio Capello’s squad for the friendly against Hungary. A similar scenario surrounds Kieran Gibbs whilst Theo Walcott’s inclusion is seen as essential for restoration of confidence in the national team. These are the same people, you will recall, whose clamour for Aaron Lennon to be taken to South Africa ahead of Walcott, proved to be a positive asset to England’s World Cup campaign. If the Golden Generation‘s credibility is shot to pieces, so are the overhyped opinions of many in the media.

Capello should drop all of the England squad who played in South Africa,  in the same way that Blanc has done for France. The difference being that the Italian should make it permanent rather than for one match only. Of the outfield players, it seems that only Ashley Cole escaped criticism for his performances – and that comment has stuck in the throat. Otherwise, what have England learned? The manager also needs to review the tactics / formations employed. The lack of guile and flexibility was a key factor in the failure, as much as the collective poor performances.

Where Capello would employ Wilshere and Walcott is interesting. Both were used exclusively on the right hand side last season. Both have central ambitions. International football may not be testing ground and the Italian not experimental enough to put either of those hopes on the line. For Wilshere this is an opportunity to progress his career and who knows, make his England debut before he makes a Premier League start for Arsenal.

For Walcott, it is redemption, the first in what must surely be a long line of chances to cement himself into the England starting line-up. There is no competition for his place, Lennon’s abysmal showings in South Africa surely put paid to that.

Gibbs has the tougher job to break into the England team on a regular basis, save for chances arising due to injury. Cole is arguably the best left back in Europe when undistracted whilst Gibbs is seen as one who will have a long and successful Arsenal career. Indeed, in some quarters he is seen as being able to give Clichy a run for his money as regular starting left back at club level. I am not sure that is the case this season but would expect him to make the Frenchman’s pressurised from 2011/12.

Whatever the case, three Arsenal players in the England senior squad? Whatever will the media say to that?

That’s it for today. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 5, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 263 Comments.

  1. 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.

  2. Morning

  3. There is no competition for his place-Adam Johnson?

  4. Adam Johnson will probably play on the left.

  5. YW,

    1st ?

    Drop the entire england squad permanently ? LMAO.

  6. umm… browser refresh problems.

    I think Frimpong should be picked as well.

  7. Like you yogi I hope those there send a message to Catalonia that cannot be mistaken.
    I loathe international footy but if it cheers our players to be picked then let ’em get picked.

  8. I think what is scandalous is that the footballing establishment, media and hacks have refused with impunity to recognize the English talent at London Colney who are a viable solution to ease the problems of the national team in the next few years.

    They simply don’t want to recognize the fact that Arsenal has been on the right path for the last 7 years and during this time, they were all laughing at Arsenal and ridiculing Wenger.

    Don’t be surprised if Eastmond, Gibbs, Frimpong, Little Jack Willy, Jet, Theo and Lansbury star in the England squad within the next 2 years.

  9. Steww and others.

    What time does members day coverage on ATVO start today…I’m seriously considering cancelling meetings and using the reason that I’m doing critical research.

  10. Darius – it just says late morning. If like me you’re an early riser that is about now but for most that’s about 11.

  11. Arsenal could definately have a number of players in the England team during the next world cup. Who knows, it may make me more interested in the national team again whilst at the moment I could not care less. International football is simply an interuption of Arsenal’s season.

  12. I went to a few of these at Highbury, they were pretty good.

  13. Darius,
    11.30 I believe. And cancelling those meetings to concentrate on such valuable research would be only right and fitting.

  14. Quite agree clockendrider. I am seriously considering bringing the dog walk forward and postponing the bass guitar practise until this afternoon.

  15. Steww,
    That’s the spirit. Makes you proud…..

  16. Well, we all have to make sacrifices.

  17. Really enjoyed the post YW, had an extra spice to it today!

    Like the attack on the media, and Lennon especially! I hope Theo gets his confidence back this season and proves all these anti-Theo and anti-Asrenal people wrong. He was injured for much of the campaign last season but still deserved to go ahead of either Lennon or SWP. I think Theo had the same Goal tally as Lennon in as far fewer games!

  18. goonerrandy

    Is’nt this the same comment that you did post yesterday?

    Any way I think that cesc will definately leave this year.and I don’t think those crunch time talks will do anything to make him stay.cos cesc has already got his mindset on join barca.and I will be very dissappointed if he does leave.but life goes on.and we can all look forward to the future.and I don’t think that our is bright.cos we have young players who will one day develop into world class.and this year will not be our year.and even the following year we will be still be playing catch up.and that really fucking sucks.cos we just don’t have that mental strengh that can push us ahead.and if we do get that mental strengh then may be we can keep us with the big boys.

  19. What sort of music do you play Steww?

  20. Cescs Return

    It is surely an obligation on those attending today to deny them their wish and give the captain a rousing reception, irrespective of the deeper opinions held.

    This is vital, to show Barca they cannot affect our support for our captain and club. Giving Cesc a great reception will surely sting their arrogance, and send out a message that nobody can mess us about.

    It will also get Cesc really geared up for the season, and make him realise who really loves and wants him at their club.

    Fuckin Barca cu*ts

  21. gooner2

    You seem to be in Spud dream world once again, wake up.

  22. Gooner2 – The Rosicky one? If so, yeah right at the end.

    I think Cesc will stay at least for another year, maybe more. If he were to leave Tommy should stay.

  23. andy – I have played a pretty wide range of stuff. At the moment I’m in a kind of alt country indie band and a Madness tribute band.

  24. Alt country indie….sound interetsing. A bit the Gun Club?

  25. Any news about the Rosicky transfer,buddies?

  26. Really like this blog,posting here for the first time.

  27. Goonerandy.

    You should listen to what Steww plays on radio…LOL

    I would describe it as ecclectic world music. I’m sure even his fellow radio DJs look at him with a raised eyebrow.

  28. Cancelling meetings – what ? a sore throat ?

  29. I’m not sure how to categorise it. A recent reviewer used comparisons with Housemartins, Velvets, Smiths and Billy Bragg in the same article but the it was in French so I couldn’t tell what he was saying about us and them!

  30. I wouldnt mind if Rocisky left, he’s unreliable and I feel we have better players coming through who deserve there chance.

    RE: cesc, I cant believe he was actually crying in front of the Barcelona fans, he’s making us look like and evil club holding him against his wishes.

  31. Anyhoo the sun has peeked out here in darkest Somerset and I’m on leave so I’m off out for a walk. See you later Arsenaroonies

  32. Interesting stuff Steww. I am Pixies fan myself and a huge Fan of Mark Lanegan.

  33. chris

    I have never liked the spuds.cos I have supported arsenal ever since I was a little kid.and I am still supporting them know.and I don’t think that telling the truth is necessary a bad thing.

  34. I have started supporting Arsenal since the days of the living legend Arsene Wenger.

  35. JohnMiranda, who did you support before that and who will you support when Arsense steps down?

  36. gooner2

    So you claim it as the truth, if it is wrong and Cesc stays as it seems would you hold your hands up like the big man you are?

    Or will you continue pushing meaningless drizzle onto Arsenal blogs with the inability to actually write and think for yourself…?

    I take it either way you will choose the 2nd option.

  37. I am still in my teenages,and didnt have a liking towards any other club,before that Kiefer.

    I hope Arsene extends his contract that our club will be privileged to have this great man for a long time.

  38. @ chrisgoona,

    You seem to be getting your knickers in a twist for no reason, I believe what gooner 2 has said to be quite reasonable

  39. I will be very happy if cesc stays.and I do think for self.and if that doesn’t answer your questions then what will?

  40. Kiefer

    For someone who knows very little on Arsenal it seems…

    I wouldnt mind if Rocisky left

    You obviously havn’t seen Rosicky play much in pre-season, and you obviously forget that he is the Czech captain and a very experienced player, one we need.

    My advice to you is to keep quiet if you don’t have a clue.

  41. On a vaguely Members Day theme, circa 1950 training session once you get past the advert



  42. @ ChrisGoona,

    There you go again getting your knickers in a twist.

    Its interesting how you take your own view as Gospel, have you ever thought that maybe you talk bollocks? I dont know you from adam but I’m pretty sure im not the first person to say you talk bollocks.

    Rocisky has played well sometimes, but for me, he’s never been good enough for a long enough period of time. We have bags of talent coming through who deserve there chance and if Rocisky needs to make way for them then so be it, i wouldnt lose any sleep over it, IMHO.

  43. Kiefer, I think Chris likes getting his knickers in a twist defending his beloved Arsenal against criticism, be it perceived or real.

    Let the dog have his bone.

  44. kiefer

    thanks for sticking up for me.cos it takes respect for someone to do something like that.and chrisgona is’nt that person.and I think you are doing a great job on shutting him down.

  45. GoonerAndy Pixies, Lano!!! You the man.

  46. Kiefer

    The only knickers that are twisting are your mums when I get my teeth into them. You wanna degrade the conversation, I will too you mug.

    livearsenal, who the fuck are you?

  47. @ kiefer

    ***** has played well sometimes, but for me, he’s never been good enough for a long enough period of time. We have bags of talent coming through who deserve there chance and if ***** needs to make way for them then so be it, i wouldnt lose any sleep over it, IMHO.


    Lets get rid of anyone, injured not playing well looking elsewhere…please get s life!

  48. I think that CG has a fantastic ability to judge posters. After only one post he identified gooner2 and Kiefer as clueless so and so’s. Well done once again CG.

  49. Troll alert. Kiefer is really…

  50. livearsenal and gooner2… much alike.

    Either a match made in heavan, or gooner2 talking to himself

  51. livearsenal and keifer I meant*

  52. Yogi, you always have to ruin it dont you

  53. Someone who isn’t getting involved any more Chris.

    Just calm it down a bit, eh? You’ll give yourself a coronary at this rate.

  54. Els – Seeing Lanegan and QOTSA in a few weeks as well. Can’t wait.

  55. What I said was true though from a football perspective

  56. …and yes I know – Tottenham are shit

  57. els

    Thanks, someone has got to do it. I am getting bored though, can’t wait for the season to start so we have something real to talk about.

    Not who is who, and who is a spud!

  58. and he removed the mask once again…

    ta taa taaaaa

    Extremely boring James, either find a Spurs site or actually gain some respect by commenting how you really feel.

    Where you think Spurs are gonna finish this season?

  59. Chris – You are the Gooner Bear, he is so you dude

  60. could the next ten years in the careers of jET, wilshere, lansbury and all them go on to mirror the careers of the barca/spain players who have just won the world cup? like arsenal now, barcelona hadn’t won shit for about 6 years until finally their current generation of homegrownn players was introduced into the team…

  61. Chrisgoona,

    Well because of Man City and Torres // Gerrard staying at Liverpool, its kind of messed up our progress. I suppose our aim is for fourth place again but we’d have to play better then last year. I just hope we get through the qualifying round and then get to play Barca at the Lane.

  62. Yeah what did I win, I identified the spud.

    Goonerandy I’m very jelous never seen queens. I saw Frank black and the catholics a while ago, and saw the pixies reunioun at Leeds. They were shouty screamy rocking awesome. You like stuff like Sonic Youth?

    CG I can imagine it’s giving you an ulcer now mate but your almost there. The light that is the season is at the end of the tunnel. How you feeling about the squad. With one more CB i’m confident of at least one trophy, and from there we’ll snowball.

  63. I ain’t got sound to hear the bear unfortunately.

    Actually surprised by you reasonally level headed response! I think Spurs will be around mid-table to 7th spot.

    You have a lot of defensive problems. Woodgate, King, which will never go away. In midfield you are quite light weight also in terms of size. Modric, Jenas, Bentley, Lennon don’t really prove to be a strong outfit. You will score goals, but I see a more inconsistent season ahead which you are usually accustomed to.

    I don’t think you will be fighting relegation like the previous season, but I can see an up and down campaign ahead.

  64. Els – Yup, Sonic Youth are an excellent band. I live in germany at th moment and there are loads of gigs over here, and it is easy to get tickets. Saw Rage Against the Machine a few months ago. I go to loads of festivals. Queens are amazing live. Saw the Pixies a few months ago as well.

  65. els

    I am very confident, more than last year. This is based on us getting another defender, based on the quality we have, and based on the performances from pre-season and last year. BUT, being an Arsenal fan knowing we are in a sort of trophy drought, talent alone doesn’t win you trophies.

    I won’t expect a trophy, but they are certainly capable of bringing at least 1 home. Expecting to win from the start will more often than not end in dissapointment, whether you support Arsenal, Real Madrid, or even Spurs. The latter 2 being more use to dissapointment from high expectations than us it is fair to say.

  66. Anyone who is subscribed to ATVO, think the live training session is about to begin!

  67. Delia-----Block 112

    Good morning chaps , having secured my Blackpool and Bolton tickets and given the boys the once over on Sunday, I’m feeling full of the joys. However, anticipation is sometimes more enjoyable than the real thing , so am still looking for that CL , experienced CB on whom we can rely on sorting out the likes of Drogba et al!
    Must get on , the Wistaria needs cutting back.

  68. ChrisGoona, you could be right, although Bentley & Jenas probably wont be with us for much longer and our main defensive pairing last season was Dawson / Bassong, who were great. I dont think anyone thinks we’ll finish top four again which will hopefully work in our favour. We got Man City first game of the season, if we can catch them cold and win, it could set us off well and send them on a crisis run. Either way I’m well looking forward to the season, should be a cracker.

  69. Aaaaw man you lucky sod!

    I have to say since having kids i’ve mellowed musically, but I still visit my old heavier stuff like that now and again. Did you ever hear the Wave of Mutilation (surf mix) stunning. You listen to any new music?

  70. sorry that was for Gooner Andy

  71. James

    Will be interesting for sure. Especially the battle for the top 4 with City, you guys, Villa, and Everton all capable of mounting a realistic challenge.

    City’s quality for me will prove too much, and I can see them challenging for the title even! I hope like you say they have a few bad results and that puts extra pressure on them.

  72. Forgot to mention Liverpool! Will be interesting to see how they perform, they could surprisingly over achieve for once this season.

  73. Els – They play that version live as well mate. A have seen them a few times recently on their Doolittle tour. The full album plus B sides. Excellent.

    I do listen to new music, and find new stuff all the time. I really like the Stoner Rock genre; Brant Bjork/Yawning Man and the like (not new I know). Lanegan is my man at the moment though. The guy is a songwriting monster, and voice is the best i have ever heard. Sends shivers down your spine.

  74. I just can’t see the spuds coping with the champs. I doubt they’ll qualify. I think that will set them off badly.

    I’d far rather see Liverpool in the champs over Spuds or Man C. But I’m not to sure how they’ll fair, I still cant see hodgson as anything other than a caretaker manager. No doubt he did a good job for fulham and he’s always been good in europe but I just don’t know how he’ll fair with a real test and real expectations.

  75. Els – What about you?

  76. Yeah I’ve got the live album mate, they didn’t play it at leeds though. Frank black plays lots of pixies stuff on his side projects. Usually quite differently I heard an awesome version of Umass.

    Lano is pretty cool however I wasn’t too keen on him working with the Arctic Monkeys those lads just fucked up his sound.

  77. I think Liverpool could be the wide card this year. A real unknown quantity.

    I expect City to really push into the top 4, the Spuds will do well, but not enough to break in again.

  78. Artic monkeys? Are you sure? I didn’t know he had done anything with them. He is touring solo at the moment doing an acoustic gig of his own work (not his many collabs)

  79. els

    It is very tricky to predict how well Liverpool can do with Hodgson. He could galvanise the team and create a winning spirit, or it could just continue the way it is, a manager failing to gain the confidence of the players.

    One thing for sure is, he can’t be any worse at man management than Benitez!

    Liverpool have a fairly decent team, this Jovanovic is claiming to be the next best thing, so their 1st 11 they put out will be a test for us on match day 1. I still fancy us scoring at least 3 up there!

  80. I know Josh homme produced their last album though.

  81. Chris – I agree about Liverpool. I hate playing a team with a new manager.

  82. I’ve been into stuff like Midlake and Phoenix, Eels the Doves love the Stones and Bowie too lately. I think thats a bit of a change. Not sure if you’ll be too fussed. Good music though. IMO.

  83. 1 loose cannon

    YW- I do not agree that Gibbs has the tougher job to break into the England team. he is the future number one in that position there is no one else, its just a matter of time. Cashley is enjoying his single life and he will be 30 soon so its only down hil for him.
    I prefer If Fabregas does not say anything the only way to show he is still committed to Arsenal is by his actions on the pitch , then no one will doubt he still has a place in his heart for Arsenal. We are not going to be fooled by talk, talk means nothing, I want to see Cesc bust his gut and proove to Arsenal fans, he is going to give 100%. Are we just going to accept that he is staying without questioning him? having said that we should not boo him or anything like that because it will be the perfect scenario for Barcelona. the best way is to not react to his return in any way. Let him get on with his job and see how things go.

  84. Els – I love the Stones. The Eels are a good band and also on at a festival I am going to in a few weeks. There are on my list of bands to watch there.

  85. gooner am I getting my queens mixed up?? Who’s the one who did the stuff with Isobel Campbell? Thats a good album.

    CG I always get the feeling that they sign average players and then stunt the babels and ngog’s that they have. Maybe Hodgson is exactly what they need. I’m optimistic though mate.

  86. Els – Mark Lanegan did some stuff with Isobel Campbell, their new album is out soon as well. His solo stuff is amazing though.

  87. 1 loose cannon

    I agree, but we will get a statement saying he is commited to Arsenal for sure. Silence will only further damage the fans loyalty to the guy. We all need him on board, being Arsenal captain, he will have to answer questions.

    There is no way of avoiding it mate.

  88. andy I’ve seen Eels a few time but you get a different thing everytime, he’s fairly eccentric. Have a listen to Prize Fighter of Hombre Lobo fantastic. I’d put it up here if I knew how too, it’s a feel good track.

  89. I’ll have to keep my eye for that mate I loved the last one. Never listened to his solo stuff thanks for the heads up.

  90. Isn’t it about this time of year we get a catalogue full of new kit and merchandise through our door?

  91. Try Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, Field Songs, and Bubblegum (more rock sounding). The first two albums I mentioned are classics.

    I will have a listen to your tip, cheers.

  92. nasri is inthe next french squad

    gk : Stéphane Ruffier (Monaco), Nicolas Douchez (Rennes).

    DÉF: Rod Fanni (Rennes), Adil Rami (Lille), Philippe Mexès (AS Rome/ITA), Mamadou Sakho (Paris-SG), Benoît Trémoulinas (Bordeaux), Aly Cissokho (Lyon), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille).

    MIdd : Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid/ESP), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Samir Nasri (Arsenal/ANG), Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan/ANG), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne).
    striker : Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Loïc Rémy (Nice), Jimmy Briand (Lyon), Jérémy Ménez (AS Rome/ITA), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris-SG).

  93. “Any way I think that cesc will definately leave this year.” gooner2

    What about when you and your ilk said he was definitely leaving this summer?

    PS: If you wish to be taken seriously, clean up your spelling.

  94. 1 loose cannon

    ChrisGoona-for him to talk is simply designed to stop the media speculating which is fine but for us fans it will not matter because what we care about is how players perform on the pitch and if he comes on against liverpool and make a killer pass or score I can assure you he will be applauded. Adebayor was booed not because of his “beyonce” talk but because he did not prove to the fans he is still commited and beleive me there is nothing worst for the fans than seeing a player who is not giving 100%. Fans will forgive you for anything but you will have to earn it. Fabregas is a special character and I have a feeling he will do everything to gain the fans trust again.

  95. Cesc will not be sold simply because Barca cannot afford him at the moment. To get him, they will have to offer stupid money. And they don’t have it currently.

  96. Mexes, Diarra, N’Zogbia, Ben Arfa? Pre-madonnas beget more pre-madonnas…

  97. When’s this bloody training session happening then? The muzak’s driving me loopy.

  98. CG I think that Cesc could come out and commit to us 100% once again and the papers will hear a different thing. But as you say the only thing that will appease fans is a statement. I expect the only thing that will stop this is the window closing. It’s just going to get worse and worse though.

  99. Cheers Andy I’ll check those out mate.

  100. He could be asked some very difficult questions by the media. I think he has probably told his mates in the Spain squad that he wants to move there. Expecially with all the uphoria surrounding the Spain squad at the time.

  101. And the great Flamoney is still not in the french squad. lol.

  102. I bloody hate that muzak.

  103. OOU
    When’s this bloody training session happening then? The muzak’s driving me loopy.

    ha ha – me too. I hate the 2-second gap at the end of the loop because I ALWAYS think, ah here we go….and then the muzak starts again.

  104. This is England

    Cesc has arrived at the Emirates

  105. Has the session started?

  106. 1 loose cannon

    goonerandy- lets not beat about the bush Cesc wants to go to Barcelona he has stated it so many times- But he also loves Arsenal and has a special bond with Wenger that is why i believe he will give 100%. There is nothing better for him than to win the title with Arsenal then he can leave, I doubt the fans will grudge him his move, it will be unfinished business with Arsenal if he doesn’t win something with us. This coming season we will see something special.

  107. It’s like a Zero 7 vs Air bland-off. It’s badly edited as well.

    I’ve had it going for an hour on another tab because I didn’t want to miss anything. It’s turned right down but I can still the percussion, and even that’s annoying. Late-morning eh?

  108. “hear”

    Yeah, exactly FG. I’ve clicked on the tab so many times because of that stupid gap!

  109. haha lucky I ain’t got sound here!! When will this start!!! aaahhhh

  110. 1loose – I think that pretty much sums it up.

  111. OOU
    It’s like a Zero 7 vs Air bland-off. It’s badly edited as well.

    I found this comment highly amusing, even though I have no idea who those bands are. A “bland-off” – love it!

    @ 1 loose cannon, agree

    @ goonerandy
    Cesc will not be sold – NOT because Barca cannot afford him, but because AW does not want or need to sell him. Since Cesc has at least 5 years on his contract, Arsene is in control. He has made it crystal-clear that the money is irrelevant.

  112. Reminds me of a song.. “Love don’t cost a thing!”

    Except Cesc will cost Barca a lot !!! yet we bought him for peanuts….


    Fuck-Barca.com – YW get that domain and lets start taking the piss out of them big time!

  113. it’s started!!!

  114. 1 loose cannon

    CG- what are you listening to?

  115. Ramsey is out there!

  116. Aah – great to see Deni again. looks like he’s been on the weights too.

  117. FunGunner – Every player has his price, especially if he wants to leave. If Cesc told Wenger he wants to leave and Barca offered £70M+ he would be sold.

  118. Is that Chuks Aneke out there with them?

  119. tic toc


  120. Stuart Robson doesn’t sound too bright does he?

  121. @ goonerandy

    Every player has his price,
    Not in every case. “Cesc is not for sale at any price”. We need to keep key players (not just Fabregas) more than we need the money. He has already privately told Wenger he wants to leave (according to his father), and he is still here.

  122. FunGunner – What else do you expect the club to say?

    Look at fake Ronaldo. Proabably the best player in the world at the time of his sale to Madrid. Do you think Ferguson wanted to sell him? No chance. If the player wants to leave and stupid money is on the table a transaction will happen. It is the last thing any of us Arsenal fans want, but don’t fool yourself.

  123. ohh no the fatal red screen again!!

  124. Cesc is out there too…

  125. This is England

    Cesc getting a very good reception

  126. Great news.

  127. Thats good!

    Is it Aneke. Hows Ramsey doing?

    Argh damn it, I should have took the day off work.

  128. @ goonerandy

    Not in this case. Cesc would like to go to Barca but he is not unhappy here. He loves it here, in fact.

    But to go back to your original assertion that Barca will not get him simply because they cannot afford him, AW doesn’t normally make statements like “Whatever they offer, Cesc is not for sale” or “It’s nothing to do with the money.” Re-read the statement from Arsenal – they have never put out anything like that before.
    I’m not fooling myself. I think I understand the situation better than you seem to.

  129. Göteborg Gunner

    Eboue got a huge cheer.

  130. looks like Ramsay and Nic came out waved and went to the pub.

  131. where do i find the live training stuff on ATVO?? there are so many tabs on there… should I be waiting on the pitch cam page? I cant see a link advertised…

  132. How many members have turned up there? Very impressive turnout for a mid-week lunchtime.

  133. Yes, els, it’s Aneke out there.

    It’s the Match Centre link, Word.

  134. word
    it’s on the match centre tab. counter-intuitively

  135. ahh right thanks… I saw the Legia Warsaw 0 mins and thought that must be wrong.

    First time with atvo this year, great service but I am finding the video quality a bit crap. I’m probably better off with an american stream for live matches.

  136. Ces, Chamakh Attack and President Eboue got the biggest cheers…

  137. Fun – Any big club are going to say there top players are not for sale. We are no different.

    If somebody offered you £50 for your shoes in the middle of the street you would tell them to poke it. If somebody offered you £5000, you would have them off in no time.

    If Barca had offered stupid money (maybe £70M+) do you think we would not sell? I am pretty sure we would, and it would be stuipd not too. I sincerely hope a bid of that magnitude never comes, because I don’t want us to lose him.

  138. President Eboue, heh.

    His minions await.

  139. Does anyone have a list of the current squad numbers? I’m getting a bit confused. If Vela has 11, does it mean RVP has big bad Billy G’s 10?

  140. Göteborg Gunner

    Yes DS, Robin is our new no. 10.

  141. Darious – It does. RvP is No10 this year.

    Is he there?

  142. Gooner Andy…didn’t you see the home game against Man City, when the biggest banner in the stadium was “Vote Eboue on May 6th”…LOL!

  143. Bill, if you’re around…

    We had a torturous 62-day back-and-forth about the relative virtues of attacking from defence vs. holding a deeper line last season. It was mundane and awful. But we did boil our differences down to a few fundamental points. Muppet came to the same conclusion in a far shorter time just the other day.

    1. Should the full-backs spend quite so much time pressing up on the half-way line, over-lapping with the widemen in front of them?

    2. Should the centrebacks play as high up as they do, supplementing the midfield? Sometimes foraging into attacking areas.

    3. Should Alex Song allow himself to link up with play just around the box, rather than hang back deep to cover the counter attack?

    I would suggest that all of the above are not just desirable, idealogical luxuries for the attack-minded football enthusiast… but rather absolute necessities of breaking down modern-day defences at the very highest level.

    As you have said, a deeper line is en vogue. In fact having a whole team play with the mindset of defenders is en vogue. And that trend means teams that want to score goals, and to win games are evolving – with Arsenal, of course, at the vanguard.

    If you take the the World Cup as an example, teams with massive attacking potential, like Argentina, France, and even Holland (despite being runners-up, which you’d have to say flattered them), broke down when they ran out of options, and ran out of support – against the better teams. Their refusal to commit men forward and support their attackers eventually told.

    If a team floods it’s own defence, it stands to reason that to break them down, you must flood the attack.

    The key is taking it in turns, rotating who moves forward, covering the man so as to avoid goals such as the two conceded on the break at home vs. Utd. So if Vermaelen has moved up through the middle, and both fullbacks are involved higher up too, then Song should drop a bit and he and the other centreback should be on the half turn, ready to receive the ball and play a pass if needed, but also ready to drop quickly and stay ahead of any counterattack.

    I think we will see a more mature mastery of the, how would you say it… ‘the full-court press?’ this season. It’ll bring us a massive about of possession, many, many goals, and I think, will be to blame for far less goals than last season – because we’ll have learnt to take it in turns.

  144. Oh dear. Talk about torturous.

  145. I think stupid money will probably not be tipping the balance, it is more when the replacement will be ready, Arsene will listen to offers but not before.

    Look at the Henry transfer we could have sold him for at least 10K more if we had sold it the first time round but wenger did not and sold him when he felt the team could cope with the departure. Wenger will never be bullied by a club or player into making a sell.

    What makes me laugh with the articles from el mundo deportivo is that they keep saying it is a trick from wenger to get the most money but he will have to accept because Arsenal needs the money!! It craks me up how they could tell such blatent lies and get away with it!

    keep updating on the training footage as I’m at work and cannot access atvo!

  146. It’s not so torturous LA.

    Over 50% of teams will line up against AFC with TBOF, and most of the rest will play, what seems to my leaky football brain, to be classical counter attack.

    Sometimes the team just look surprised to see an attack by an opponent, which is fair enough when they are so boring. No other team plays against such dull opponents in England, who get more then a little help from some jaundiced referee’s.
    And that obviously can and will sometimes catch out some of the younger players.

  147. Gunnerluc – If we recieved an offer for £80M for Henry he would have been sold.

    Limpar – All very good points. Especially on Song. I really like him, and he is very good “on the ball” and going forward. Maybe with a DM who just “stayed back” Song could parnter Cesc. A DM is also meant to be an axis for forward movment (which he can’t do ahead of play).

  148. Great post YW!

    “Lennon’s abysmal showings”

    Get in!

  149. @ gunnerluc
    Agree with that.

    @ goonerandy

    “Any big club are going to say there top players are not for sale. We are no different.”

    We have never put out a statement like that before. And we are in the strongest possible position. ManU needed the money. We don’t.
    If it’s only about the money, as you originally said, then the club could have slapped a huge price tag on him just to chance its arm, or at the very least it would not have slammed the door so firmly on any negotiation.
    Also, how many key players under contract has AW sold before he was prepared to do so? I can’t think of any (not counting players who left on a Bosman, obviously). He wouldn’t accept £50 million for Henry when he needed Henry. When Henry wanted to go AND Arsene was prepared to let him go, that was when he sold him. Same with Vieira. Same with Toure. Same with Adebayor.

    “If somebody offered you £50 for your shoes in the middle of the street you would tell them to poke it. If somebody offered you £5000, you would have them off in no time.”

    Not if a) I was a millionaire and b) they were my favourite kitten heels and b) I needed the shoes at the time.

  150. Goonerandy.

    One of the reasons that Song has a crucial role is that he’s a ball play, not a spoiler. He can spoil too if the occasion calls for it, but more importantly, he’s a ball player.

    Other teams put so much emphasis on defensive midfield, but I think we need to appreciate that that’s not our only style.

    Song is one of the coolest customers on the ball and sometimes unnerves me with his calmness with the ball in tight situations. There are time’s he is ice cold in his control and use of the ball, it’s hard to say whether you can find any other so called defensive midfielder doing that.

    Other teams have destroyers of the Chuck Norris super hero mould, but I suspect we don’t do that.

  151. Chuks Aneke. Another one of the kids I absolutely LOVE.

  152. FunGunner – OK mate you are probably right. If we were offerred £80m or so, we would probably just turn it down.

  153. Darius – Song is great on the ball, always looks like he has so much time. I wonder how a “spoiler” would improve out defensive issues though?

    I am not advocating it, just wondering?

  154. Great summary Limpar at 12:53 why the fuck didn’t you say that in june??? 🙂

  155. Andy I think a spoiler would add defensively but we what we would gain there we would lose attack wise. As this teams ethos is beautiful football then we would be selling out advocating the shit play we receive and insulting Diaby, Eddy, Ramsey.

  156. Sorry that was a poor post, even for me. I’m working at the same time.

  157. The “are five/six CB’s not enough?” thread was torturous.

    But on that note, HN instead of MS is indicative of a stronger squad. Can’t wait for Anfield.

  158. Goonerandy.

    If we kept the ball better, used it better, won it back better through interceptions and tackling, we really don’t need a spoiler.

    The problem with having a spoiler is that if he isn’t spoiling, then you’re literally playing with 10 men.

    Take Van Persie for example, he’s not just a striker, he is one of the world’s most sublime playmakers. He is more valueable to a team than say Torres who is an out and out goal scorer. If Torres is not scoring goals, he is a liability. If Van Persie is not scoring goals, he is still play making and linking up the team like a traffic cop.

    That’s the subtle difference….Arsenal’s style of play uses the players strenths to improve the team collective.

    Denilson is another example of a player who most people don’t understand why he’s in the team. He’s there to do the less glamourous job of keeping the movement of the ball going, opening up spaces with litlle passes to relieve the pressure.

    I think they call it ‘receive, pass and offer’….that’s a markedly different style of play from ‘destroy anything that approaches you’.

  159. I liked that Lennon line too… knew it would draw J*mes out of his lair..

    Cheers, Finsbury!

    Also, the ridiculous myth (currently being propogated on ATVO) that Arsenal players can’t cross the ball, again pertains very clearly to TBOF.

    Swinging the ball onto a striker’s head is made a whole lot easier when there’s no defenders standing in the crosser’s way, and just one, or no defenders marking the striker he’s aiming at.

    See Vela’s perfect cross for Eduardo against WHAM, Mozart’s for Diaby against Liverpool… both scored against teams that had been drawn out of their shell. Sagna set up a beauty for Bendtner, the season before last I think.

    Gael Clichy is no Andrea Pirlo, but he’s no lesser a crosser of the ball than A-hole, Evra, or Leighton Baines. The difference is he’s always ‘shooting through traffic’…

    …sorry, I don’t know what’s got in to me today.

    I’ll tell you what, it’s ever since Bill said that “a receiver will eventually mishandle”… it’s thrown me all out of whack.

  160. Darius – I agree with most (I won’t highlight the one I don’t because it is old ground) of your post, all good points. Sometimes if Song goes beyond play though, we are left exposed should be use the ball. You are right, a “spoiler” might not be the answer. But Song (or whoever playing there) making less forward runs may give us more stability.

  161. – use
    + lose

  162. darius quite agree ref Denilson. he also has skill to burn and glorious anticipation. Season before last we were away in Europe, tight game, I think maybe Roma, anyway I remember the commentator saying …”and it’s won back by Denilson” just over and over again. I lost count of how often.

  163. @ goonerandy

    Yes, we would turn it down. £80 million, whether as cash or an equivalent player (good luck getting hold of him!), is not bedded into the arsenal team nor does it have a great relationship with the other players.

    Plus what message would we send out by giving up our talisman?

    We’re a big club and we keep our best players.

    Have you got any examples of a previous similar statement from AFC? Or of Wenger selling a key player who was under contract before Wenger was ready? I can only think of Anelka, and I don’t know what his contract situation was. One of the reasons for tying up the squad in contract extensions is to give us the whiphand in these situations.

  164. ditto, Darius.

  165. the kid’s just scored against Almunia!

  166. FunGunner – OK.

  167. Loving the fans penalty kicks against Almunia…

  168. well done that girl! great penalty.

  169. Shite I think Darius’s reply topped mine. I wish I could could think and type at the same time. I should av went at schools.

  170. Göteborg Gunner

    Kids were good at those penns.

  171. YW:

    Another great post. Laughed all the way through. You are the best.

  172. Speaking of people who can cross a ball… You just knew Lansbury would nail it.

  173. Tech 9 has just nearly broken the cross bar….LOL

  174. Göteborg Gunner

    Schezny not even hit the crossbar, he also scored!

  175. HaHA! And Jay. Quality.

    Woah! And Wowcheque! Smashed it!

  176. tech 9 – the man is a winner!

  177. Fabregas is definitely staying

  178. Oh that’s great Arsene thanks for telling us matey.

    I can’t see any of this training being at work n all. How do I see images or something???

  179. Silvestre will re sign for another year, alongside Gallas.

  180. I’ll take Gallas but Sylvestre can retire in the UAE

  181. Limpar @ 12:53PM:

    Just read your post. Very detailed and very interesting. I will look at it and get back to you when I have more time to think about what you said. Good stuff. Thanks

  182. Jesus Bill have you got a flipchart at home or something.

  183. I would like to see Wilshere picked for the squad, might make Arsene think that he should play Wilshere if he’s an England international. Gibbs, i would like to see him in the squad, i disagree that he wont challenge for a place, i think him a GC will both be played a lot this season, as Gibbs looks strong and powerful in pre season.

  184. Our match days squad is going to be interesting. Many of the players like wee Jack might not even make the bench. I know we will get injuries throughout the season, but still.


    New Defender

    That means no Gibbs/Wilshere/Vela/JET/Frimpong

    For players like Gibbs/Wilshere/Vela that is a hard hit.

  185. Add Ramsey to that mix as well.

  186. Wlishire is the new BRADY

    steww @1.36

    Denilson playing well two seasons ago.a classic piece of scrapping the barrel

  187. I agree – we should scrap the barrel. It’s all leaky and full of holes. Then we could get a new barrel, maybe a shiny metal one.

  188. hahaa.. was a quality shot from Tech 9

    goonerandy, you do realise that an offer of 80m is highly unlikely, for any player in the world.

    So 80m for Cesc, that is a 1/4 of our stadium paid off, I reckon we would consider it. But chucking a fee like that onto that topic to prove a point is stupid. Wenger and Arsenal said we would not negotiate, that means for any sum. Its not hard.

  189. I reckon the entire Barcelona establishment are increasingly looking stupid and pathetic with their continuous public utterances.

    Short of reporting Arsenal to the Hague for holding a player hostage, they must realise that they’ve run out of options and their propaganda war is over.

    Not that they even had the money in the first place.

  190. Chris – I liken it to the situation when Chel$ki first came into their millions and they enquired about Thierry. The silly money bandied then was £50 but we just shut the door in their faces.

  191. Or possibly £50m…

  192. Chris – If Barca offered the same type of money that Ronaldo was bought for I would hazard a guess that we would accept the bid.

    The club saying we will not negotiate is driving the hard bargain. And rightly so. The chances are Arsenal knew Barca would not be throwing daft money about, so then it is pointless discussing a transfer. Again, rightly so.

    If a big of Ronaldo/Kaka proportions came in, you are fooling yourself if you think we would not entertain it. Obviously neither of us can speak for the club as we have no idea of their thoughts, but I would hedge my bets on us accepting the bid.

    Every player has their price, it has been proven time and time again.

  193. In a few minutes time, the beginning of the end for profligacy in football may start with the demise of Portsmouth FC.

    I hope the high court judge responsible for delivering the judgement doesn’t shirk from his responsibility of doing what is right and giving a long overdue wake up call to the footballign establishment.

    Maybe then, people will wake up and realise that brazen ‘cheque book’ management is not the way to run football.

  194. Steww @2.57

    Arsene has commented on this very subject:

    Barrelistically, he is a fantastic barrel. There is a need numbers wise for a new barrel but on his return from injury, he will be like a new barrel signing so, no, I don’t think we are in the market for a new barrel at this moment in time.


  195. Wlishire is the new BRADY

    Has Cesc actually done an interview to camera saying he is staying? The silence so far is deafening.

  196. It would probably be a cheap foreign keg despite all the talk of top top quality barrels.

  197. Yes Wlishere, he said
    ” I love the lake district and plan to camping there next season, to do this I will not move south as the lakes are north. I like Kendall mint cake best and this is unavailable in Espain”

  198. Cesc is staying.

    We don’t want to sell.

    Barca (currently) don’t have enough cash to turn our heads.

    Cesc likes it here.

  199. “The silence so far is deafening”.

    Very true.
    I haven’t been able to hear a thing all summer long.

    What did that dude at FC Bung-Bid-Bungle say again?
    “The previous board cheated…”, something like that.

    Erm, You signed Ibra. for Eto + a barrell full of ‘Arry’s old receipts?

    No shit dude!

  200. < barrel.

  201. Speaking of ‘Appy ‘Arry.

    When is it exactly he’s going to jail? I know companies are now into flexible working conditions like telecommuting and job sharing, but I’d really like to see how he’ll manage the Spuds from Belmarsh prison..

  202. Remi on August 5, 2010
    at 3:08 pm

    Remi, did you count that? I really hope you did haha.

  203. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We all know, Sagna stopped crossing last season. Sure he crossed, but they can’t really be categorized as dangerous crosses or even crosses. They were more like a lame attempt to get the ball behind the opposition’s players, which sadly he failed to do most of the time.

    Clichy though is better at crosses, but only when no one is in the box.

    As for Arshavin, he will get as close to the line or goal post, before trying to cross. Leading to a lot of confusion in our players.

    And theo, well…….

  204. I had to go out an missed the stuff on ATVO,has Cesc mad a statement?

  205. dennis on August 5, 2010
    at 3:43 pm

    “I just want to say that im an Arsenal player and I have a big amount of respect for the club and the fans.”

  206. Dennis he then added

    “but the fact remains that Arsenal have fans such as Ateeb and it does give you second thoughts. Yes sure there are cunts at barcelona, but they are not as tiresome…”

  207. Limpar @ 12:53:

    I hope your last paragraph is the bottom line for us this season.

    The idea of flooding zones is logical but the critical point is that you still have to be able to contain the other team when you do lose the ball. The statistics would argue that the reason for the failure of Holland and other WC teams was not related to their reluctance to attack but their inability to prevent the other team from scoring. Spain controlled play beautifully, but they won because they conceded 2 goals in 7.

    If Arsenal can perform the intricate rotation and flood zones as you suggest and still avoid conceding goals then “have at it”. However that type of game plan sounds like it requires significant organization, 90 minutes of mental concentration and I suspect will take lots of time to work through on the training pitch. Clearly our organization and concentration has been suspect.

    We are going to play the Wengerball you describe no matter if I like it or not. Great teams are able to adapt and change when needed. If we continue to concede goals at the rate we have then this current version of Wengerball will not bring us a title. Given the talent we have I think we could still score plenty of goals using a simpler less aggressive game plan and it would probably help us to be more stable in the back.

  208. Darius,

    If the swooning Sp*ds at the Beeb are any measure of judgement, not any time soon.

    I think it is very unimaginative for ‘Arry’s fans to place him in the same ‘school’ as El Tel.

    Venables could actually coach, had some success, and whilst he did some strange things, he did not bankrupt every club he ever worked for.

  209. What I mean is:

    I have a friend who is a born and bred Inter Milan fan.
    When I reeled off the list from ‘Arry’s CV, he was left a little dumbfounded. This from an Inter fan, who is more then a little familiar with petty, ongoing, football scandals.

  210. @ els lol

  211. Was watching the members’ day on ATVO when I heard Dan Roebuck read an email (from Howard probably)about buying more English players. This after the shite showing in the WC.

    You couldn’t make it up.

    Good to see Denilson is fit.

  212. So, Cesc will ‘talk’ to Arsenal fans later this week or sometime next. Is this a PR error on the part of Arsenal?


  213. dupsffokcuf.

    LOL…I listened to that. Did you notice how quickly Richard and Nigel tried to move right along to the next topic. The awkwardness about that e-mail was so loud it wasn’t even funny.

  214. According to ESPN Soccernet, Adebayor is unhappy at City and wants to go to Juventus. Heh.

  215. Can’t get much ‘later’ this week YW.

  216. *_*

  217. YW, for the simple reason that today had been billed as a day of declarations, it is indeed a missed opportunity for Cesc not to say something today.

    Cesc is not just a talented player being sought by other clubs, he is the Arsenal captain and today was a day that needed leadership. There is no longer any excuse for silence to reign and give rise to media shit stirring to fill the vacuum that is left by not saying anything.

    This isn’t just about Cesc’s feelings or the cop out we’re using to suggest that we’re classier than the Barceholes. It’s about managing expectations, a key part of being a good leader. Both Cesc and Wenger have disappointed in that respect. The fans wanted to hear something, and they should have said something.

  218. DS, it does make you worry about some people.

  219. I would have thought Wenger would have had a press conference today as they will be off to Warsaw tomorrow.

  220. I was just reading about Sebastian Szałachowski of Legia. He sounds like one of our players with his injury record the poor sod.

  221. Ateeb thinks Sagna can’t cross. Horseshit. Hard to cross when you’ve got no-one to aim at. You’ll see this year.

    Rosicky is too good to sell. The man has panache, tenacity and a lot of skill. Also, he can cross a ball well.

  222. I have to laugh at the way Owen Coyle is trying to take credit for JW’s development and possible England call up! Because of course it was the 6 months he spent at Bolton rather than the 9 years at Arsenal that made all the difference!

  223. Overall, some very interesting posts today. I love the analysis on this blog which is several cuts above many of the blogs that I have seen. Great post by Limpar Assist.

    Darius, I agree there is far too much spurious spending in the Premier League and less focus on the development of talent through the Academy style. However, much of this money is coming from off shore and some of it has a tinge of dishonesty or disrepute in that the cash could have been directed at correcting social ills in the country of its source.

    With regard to Portsmouth I have to admit a certain degree of sympathy for that club. I understand that the club entered into their financial demise with eyes open. Though the numbers may have seemed to work at one point in their operations, the need to compete may have clouded the administrators’ vision. Frankly, I do not hold them responsible since there is a sinister ethos at work, aided and abetted by the English Football Association. They do nothing while these consortiums edge their way into the Premiership ownership, spending as if there is no tomorrow. I would suggest that the real criminals should be taken to court not the people of Portsmouth and their football club!

  224. Lol Passenal, I was thinking the same thing when I was reading what Coyle said.

    I think the only thing we can give them credit for is giving him the chance to play more games in the EPL, but for ffs Coyle, in one sentence you say the guy is pure pure class and then you claim to have a hand in his development, yet no mention of what Bolton gained from having such a classy player?

  225. Thanks for the clip YW, I wanted to see how the crowd greeted Fabregas but couldn’t find it anywhere.

  226. @YW 8.05 pm

    The best post of the summer, on any blog, anywhere.

  227. Muppet – one for you.

  228. Here’s one I just found of him and RVP training

  229. Fantastic energy from Buddy Rich !

  230. Don’t be modest Muppet, you did great too.

  231. Ateeb – The doom slayer is being accused of anti-Arsenal crimes. Reminds me of a line from Julius Ceasar.
    O parody! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason.
    Poor Josef.

    Passenal, FunGunner, Darius, Limpar, Finsbury, Darius, steww et al – Keep up the good fight. I am lurking but it is busy in the salt pit.

    PS: Seems to me dudes like goonerandy and Bill have an obsession with always being RIGHT.

  232. Eduardo – what a tragedy. In my view, in 2007-2008, one of the best strikers in europe. We wish him well.

  233. Good luck eddy.

    Cheers Pass

  234. YW @ 8.05 pm – I thought they would have doctored the sound track with booing and put a fake sign around his neck saying ‘help, I’m being held hostage!’

  235. Shaktar is now my second team, so I’m looking forward to Eduardo’s debut as well. I’ll keep you posted!

  236. I haven’t got that kind of energy anymore G4E !! Not with 2 kids. !

  237. Passenal,

    Just waiting for the slavery quotes from Blatter and the summer will be complete.


  238. when is eduardo playing his debut passenal?

  239. sorry being lazy. google says shakter play next on the 7th so I presume dudu will play his first game then if he hasn’t already played against ukranian arsenal – lack of fitness or just didn’t fancy the bad omen? I prefer the romantic version

  240. YW – it’ll be a long wait, Blatter et al will say absolutely naff all about the whole matter…..

  241. YW, Septic is to busy counting his ill gotten gains from the WC.

  242. It’s on Saturday word, their next home game. It’s not definite, but he’s hoping to play.

    YW @ 8.58 pm – I’m surprised he hasn’t already chimed in “free the Catalunyan one”! Arsenal need to get him in the lab at London Colney, remove that barca DNA and replace it with some Arsenal DNA!

  243. Passenal

    Don’t worry, Barcelona are sending over a squad of graffiti artists to daub that over motorway bridges throughout the UK.


  244. Maybe if every man, woman and child in Catalunya makes a small donation, they might be able to collect enough money to pay the ransom!

  245. 1 loose cannon

    The spuds don’t seem to learn, Defoe actually uses his brain to think. He said:

    “If we can get past the play-off qualifier, I honestly think we will go further in the Champions League than Arsenal.

    Why are they so obssessed with Arsenal? is that the only reason they exist?

    We only hold the record for the most consecutive appearances in the Champions League’s knockout stage.

  246. Did he really say that..? Whenever I’ve seen him on the box Defoe is incapable of stringing a sentance together without saying “y’know” 3 or 4 times….

  247. The cost of a player is not simply his monetary value or the value of his contract. It is also the cost of replacing him.

    Now the cost of replacing him not only includes paying for another player, but also the difficulty in finding a player with similar technical characteristics, the risk of the player coming into a new team and a new league, the impact to the team dynamic and cohesion, and the impact this has on season objectives. In this sense, for this season, Cesc is priceless.

    We would be stupid now to accept a bid of 80million because we still wouldn’t be able to get a player to replace him adequately for THIS season. Derailing our progress from last season couldn’t be averted by spending the money on players without his talent or experience in the PL. Since our stadium repayments are not predicated on player sales, there isn’t any great benefit from deviating from our financial plan. Basically, we don’t NEED 80mill (unlike Man U), because our finances are well managed. Sporting issues for us can triumph financial ones in the this instance.

    Ultimately, if we do sell Cesc, I think it will be for a fairly reasonable (but still expensive price), and it will be when we’ve decided how to replace him or his position (remember, Cesc replaced Vieira and we changed our style completely) and when other players in the squad have grown more in ability and responsibility so that his departure would have less disruption to the team.

  248. Has anyone ever browsed the Sun forums.

    I know it’s a forum, but you’d still imagine a major newspaper to moderate to some extent

    Instead, I give you this:


  249. Democratic and BNP in the same sentence. Now there’s something new. If the BNP got into power democracy would not be around for to long.

  250. Yes, I love how fascists are always the first to talk about democracy and their right to free speech.

  251. Cesc will come out with a carefully worded statement of loyalty and intent soon enough. His lawyers and PR manager are just ironing out the kinks as we speak.

    He will say something that is not offensive to Barcelona and Arsenal, something that the best lawyers in town would have trouble wording.

  252. How about: “I have an enormous amount of respect and affection to Arsenal and the fans, you dont spend 7 years at a club and not feel a connection. Its true that I have Barcelona in my heart as well, and due to my indecision, I left it up to Arsenal and Barcelona to resolve my future. Now that Barcelona are a bankrupt full of shit club, my future is clearer. Im a gunner.

    Now lets go win this Goddamn Premiership!”

  253. Damien,

    how about adding another line – “Also, I’d like to play for a club that pays me regularly”. lol.

  254. I don’t really care about the statement, because it will just be words. All I want is that he continues to give 100% on the pitch and keeps a low profile off it while he is here.

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