Will These Transfer Tales Have A Happy Ending Or Remain Grimm?

A week of pointless international friendlies gets under way with a significant proportion of the first team squad flung to all corners of the globe, representing their nations in some cases before they have completed their pre-season fitness training. Injuries will be Arsene’s greatest concern, waiting until Saturday to see if Vela or Fabregas is ready to warm the bench at Anfield next weekend.

Arsene’s interview with Amy Lawrence at the weekend has given the headline writers at The Daily Heil wet dreams, able to create the ‘nightmare scenario‘. Apparently there will be a mass implosion as the guts are ripped out of Arsenal when Wenger leaves next summer, quickly followed by Cesc Fabregas who will have no more loyalty to the club. I have to say that their departures are not my nightmare scenarios.

Whilst Wenger has many attributes, finding the Elixir of Enternal Youth is not one of them so there is an inevitability about him leaving his role, be it next summer or in five years time. My nightmare scenario comes from his replacement, that the board take leave of their senses and appoint someone like Allardyce, or worse still, Redknapp. Jamie, that is, with Peter Whimsey telling us that his insightful comments on Sky and in the Daily Heil, make him the perfect judge of which players are great for the club.

This talk has distracted them from their real purpose in pre-season: transfer speculation. They missed one this morning with Phillip Deggen joining Stuttgart on loan, the way is clear for Arsenal to sign long-term target Serdar Tasci. C’mon Arsene, get moving, no reason for not signing him now! That said it is of little surprise that no-one has gone through with this one yet, MirrorFootball throwing everyone into action over Shay Given, a Championship Manager rumour revisited this summer on more than one occasion.

That Manchester City has shown no indication of wanting to loan or sell either player out – the talk of Hart has been fuelled by the player, his agent and the media; likewise Given – is neither here nor there. The media want speculation, the media gets it. Or creates it. The truth be damned in all of this. It fits nicely with the theory that Arsenal needs a new goalkeeper, ground covered and retrodden so often that it resembles the bald patch in your garden where football has been played too often.

Arsenal does not help quell the speculation about anything at times. This weekend saw comments from Bacary Sagna which hinted at the imminent arrival of Emir Spahic. Quickly shuffled into the archive sections, it was another cock-up on the official website following the risible Transfer Linked pages, the infrequency with which they are updated show that the majority of the staff think it is a half-arsed idea as well. A shame that it did not fall into the Can’t Be Arsed category. Having been previously verbose about moving to Arsenal, the Bosnian has gone rather quiet on the matter, as if someone has said he might queer the pitch by talking publicly regarding any potential move. Either that or he has realised that he was the victim of an elaborate hoax.

Anyway, that’s it for today. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 9, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 241 Comments.

  1. I think we are in for a long week.

  2. what is going on with the official site like it being dearsenalised
    sanga story has gone now but should have never been there

  3. I too did wonder about the Sagna story.. he was assuming that we were after the player. I thought he had some inside info!

  4. Allardyce in charge at Arsenal. That’d give me sleepless nights for years, truly the nightmare scenario.

    I reckon we’re hopeless chasing Hart or Given, Citeh don’t have any desire to sell – and they’ve not been consistently linked with a young stopper to replace either of their big two keepers if they did go. You’re right – a complete fabrication.

    Also, most of the chat about the defenders is bull too, unless we can get an existing Premiership player (Hangeland, Cahill, Jagielka – forget Upson) there’s little point now – they just won’t have time to gel.

    And that bit of the official Arse website is cack, might as well never have happened.

  5. @goonerandy very long week

  6. apparently it not the keepers we’re talking to money city about its kompany

  7. That Daily Hate chap really is fucking clueless.

  8. Just to play devils advocate; but why is he clueless?

  9. For starters, Fabregas’ statement was carefully worded to allow him, us and Barca maximum room for movement next time around – it wasn’t particularly disrespectful of Arsenal. He is right, Fabregas could have (and probably should) quashed the lot of it earlier, but I think he misses the mood of most Arsenal fans I’ve spoken to – we’re glad he’s staying because he’s a world class player.

    It’s just a sensationalist article in a rag of a paper.

  10. Didn’t read the Amy Lawrence one but there was a good one in the Sunday Times…

    Times: “Your contract with Arsenal has one year left to run?”
    AW: “Yes. We are thinking about extending it.”

    Times: “Can you see yourself finishing your career here?”
    AW: “Yes.”

    Times: “Would you like that to happen?”
    AW: “Well, yes, certainly, at club level… I have no desire to change from here.”

    Excellent.

    I think Arsene wants to manage France in a World Cup… or maybe England (pleeeease!!). He’ll want to have maybe a year with them before the tournament, taking the team through qualifying. In 2018 he’ll be 68 years old. Same age as SAF is now.

    I hope to the high heavens he leaves it until then. And I hope he picks England!

  11. Yeah, all true.

    There is part of me though that feels Cesc has gotten a better reception from the fands (me inculded) because of his status in the team. none of us want to see him leave because he is our best player, and if he were boo’ed it would only re-enforce his desire to leave.

    If the player had been not as important or popular, his reception could have been quite different. Adebayor was quite blatent in wanting to leave also.

    Cesc has been quite overt in letting it be know he wanted to leave Arsenal, lets not fool ourselves. If another player had done this there is a good chance he would be getting stick from the fans.

  12. I am not even sure if Wenger rates Given, as he was available on a free transfer when he left Newcastle.

    The way I see it, Arsene wants a GK with Premiership experience on a short term contract in order to ease Szczeny into the No. 1 spot in a couple years. Hence the Schwarzer bid . I can’t see him spending big money even if Reina was available at the right price.

    I think key here is the Premiership experience, because corners and set-pieces have been the ban of our current crop. Personally, I would have gone with someone like David James, vastly experienced, short term, cheap and was available. I was gutted a few years back when Brad Friedal went to Villa for 2 mill. He was and remains a great keeper.

  13. Well..the transfer rumour concerning Given is totally absurd.

    Yesterday it was Reina and Today Given?!! wonders shall never end.

    Anyway, I totally expect AW to stick with the current set of goalies with MA as No 1 and Tech 9 as his understudy.

    My greatest concern is the defence, not personnel wise but rather sorting these basic errors out…We seem to concede goals even without reasonable pressure. I hold my breath when there is a corner kick against us (except for stock city). Personnel wise, I think we need one more defender to cover for injuries but I don’t think that will solve the present problem

  14. A little gem from the same interview:

    AW: “At the start, I was vaccinated with football and I will finish like that. Many times I say we are lucky, we are in a team sport and most of the great things in life have been achieved by people who have decided to come together and do something.”

  15. You’re definitely right Goonerandy, and hopefully by treating Cesc this way the fans are demonstrating why he should stay a while longer. Just look at the way Barca fans didn’t take to Thierry, or to Ibrahimovic.

    I think the great thing to come out of it all is that actually, we can keep any player we want, when we want – and that can only bode well for the future.

  16. Limpar.

    Out of all the reaction online and all across the news wires, only the Daily Wail thought any of Wenger’s interviews meant that he and Cesc were leaving Arsenal next summer.

    And Jamie Redknapp is taking over as Arsenal manager with Jason Cundy and Alan Brazil as his assistants.

  17. I think our defensive problems pre-season have come about from the very young midfield who have tended to lose focus, and of course we have been showing a rather gung-ho attitude. Against Celtic for example when they pulled a goal back to 3-1, didn’t try to close out the game by shutting up shop, but went all out for a 4th goal instead.
    Our style of play and the ball playing players AW brings into defense means we will never be as solid as some other teams, we just might as well accept it, hope we can outscore the opposition and ejoy the merry go round!

    As for reinforcements, Kompany is a player I would like to see brought in, some one who could cover at cb or dm.

  18. Fuck off daily fail

  19. O God! Cundy?!! He’s like a brylcreamed chav version of that maniac dwarf from Don’t Look Now. Instead of Donald Sutherland chasing a red duffel coat around Venice, it’d be us chasing an ‘orrible little skin-tight Samsung sponsered chav shirt….

    AAAaaaahhh… Cundy nightmare.

  20. Well, goonerandy, many people here weren’t after Adebayor’s throat either.

  21. DS,

    The daily Fail have instituted an ant-Arsenal, anti-Wenger editorial policy.

    I am enjoying it.

  22. Ole – I know mate, I just mean in general. There were plenty that were though.

  23. @Limpar…LOL.

    The funny thing about Cundy is that he spent his career playing more for Ipswitch and a few games for the Spuds, yet he defines himself as a former Chelski player and legend. Talk about living a life you wished you lived.

    I kid you not though, according to the usual anti-Arsenal suspects in the media – we’re all being taken over by Redknapp Junior, Cundy, Brazil and Mickey Quinn….LOL!

    Their first task will be to buy Shay Given, and then sell Cesc and bring in Roger Johnson and Michael Dawson as CBs, a good old fashioned English striker in Kevin Davies, and to keep with the Wenger youth policy, young fresh talent like Ryan Shawcross.

  24. In this case we should also get Collymore on board. he knows a thing or two.

  25. Not wanting to compare clubs but, for some strange reason last summer when John Terry, Captain, Leader, Legend, managed to get a pay rise out of his club (with whom he had also tried to get a managers clause included into his contract, allegedly), there were no stories in the press for weeks on end etc.. and the Chav fans seemed to accept their Captains’ behaviour.

    They approved of players holding the club to ransom, even rubbish players like Terry.
    But then again, this is the same club that paid £15M+ for Mikel.

    This summer at AFC we saw the inverse, from the club. The contrast, last year, between the treatment of Ade and Terry by a large section of fans, was telling.

  26. Fans have always been hypocritical about who to support. If fans like a player they’d take anything he does. Were their calls for Seaman to be dropped after he let in that goal against Zaragoza that cost us the cup? Of course not. Now we remember how Seaman, the great, never made errors.

    Denilson gets pasted all the time, whereas Cesc’s defending is much worse than his.

    Football is an emotional game, and we only like what reinforces our positive emotions.

    See all the grief Wenger got over a twat like Lasagna Diarrhea. Then an Adebayor who was actually our best scoring striker got marched out of town for having a ‘bad attitude’. Flamini was worshipped even as he betrayed us, but the likes of Diaby who’ve been loyal are slated no end.

  27. The only time I was in full D**M anti-adebayor mode was after the CL game against ManU..

  28. Ole Gunner.

    They hate Arsenal simply because they don’t understand the vision Arsenal has. They are anti Arsenal because they are racist and xenophobic and try to mask this with an air of misguided patriotism that they think will wash over their prejudice.

    They see themselves as the defenders of English values and will stop at nothing to shamelessly put about their agenda. They are so right wing, even hard core right wingers get queezy reading what they have to say.

    They hate Arsenal simply because Arsenal is different.

  29. TR7 vs. Warsaw.

  30. Finsbury,

    Exactly! But it’s not even anything new at all. Gerrard was close to leaving Liverpool. Maldini was close to leaving Milan. Xavi was close to leaving Barceloaner. It’s happened before, will happen again. The key is how it’s managed and where the player goes from there.

    Des Kelly is just rabble rousing, and selling papers, through cold cynicism.

  31. Ole – I do agree. Strange eh?

  32. DS,

    If those guys are the defenders of English values, God help England.

  33. OleG

    “The key is how it’s managed and where the player goes from there.”

    Have to agree with that!
    My biggest concern over the wearisome Cescy saga was Fabregas’ conduct at the end of last season, and the impact that might have had on the squad. But the manger seems to know what he’s doing. Not many club managers make the big two in Spain dance to their merry tunes (I include Real Mad there too along with all the donations given by the Barcaboardloons, thanks for the academy RM! JW looks great!)

    EvilFiek on August 9, 2010
    at 12:45 pm

    Fair enough!

    I think his replacement, Chamack, will prove to be worth the wait, in spite of the misgivings when Ade was sold (we know the club did attempt to sign someone else over the course of last season as an alternative to Chamack…).

    It looks to me like Chamack has ‘The Right Stuff’.

  34. 3 weeks to go and no sign yet of a GK or CB we desperately need! I am getting really worried taht we will be facing Liverpool with a depleted squad like last saturday. No Fabregas,RVP, Dialby, Song or even Denilson (who is completely useless) will be avaialble either! What do I read just now Wenger talking about winning the league – what planet is he on!!!

  35. Chamack has shown some lovely footwork in a tight spot, eye for goal, courage, ability to work with team mates. I think he’ll play straight away (unlike Eddy who Arsene eased in) as RVP is a week behind and Big Nic is injured.
    Overall I hope we catch Liverpool adjusting to their new coach and bankrupt position off the pitch but I genuinely wish Hodgson well as I think he’s a decent bloke.

  36. Oh Gooner90 – fuck you, you spineless prick Denilson is one of our players how dare you come here and insult him?

  37. I hate playing teams with a new manager. We never seem to do well, hopefully we will put that right. I don’t think we will see the conservative Liverpool of late though.

  38. Heh, I don’t wish him well at all Steww. I hope the wheels come off Liverpool big time (I don’t think they will mind). The worse our competetion do the better!

  39. It’s never easy playing newly promoted teams so early on in the season (Blackpool on 21st August) so it really is important that we hit the ground running. Having a pointless round of internationals is not ideal, who makes these stupid fucking decisions, really!

  40. Chamakh will easily be the Premier Leagues signing of the season in my opinion, his confidence and hunger has impressed me as much as anything.

  41. No game is easy these days.

  42. Anybody…. Djourou or Koscielny .. (fantasy team purposes) who is going to start more often!!

    Can’t get my head round it!

  43. Chris – I think Kos. Post injury season is always patchy. Look at deni, Walcott, Eddy, TR7. You can risk it further upfield but not at the back

  44. @CG – Koscielny has the number 6, so I’d assume it’s him.

  45. Hopefully neither. Out of the two I would prefer Djourou. I really feel he could become top clss, but as Steww pointed out injury worries prevail.

  46. Andy – Arsene and his scouts think he’s worth it – look at the money they spent. We have no choice but to trust their judgement so why not do just that?

  47. Chamakh looks like a fantastic addition. Hopefully he can stay healthy. I hope the boss gets both him and RVP on the pitch at the same time.

    Cards are stacked against us at Anfield. Liverpool have a new manager, a home opener and they will be anxious to erase the memory of last season so they have an big slice of extra motivation especially against us. We will not have RVP or Cesc. None of top 4 midfielders has seen the pitch yet. I will be very very happy with a draw as long as we are reasonably well organized in the back. 1 -1 would be great. 0 -0 would even be useful. I will be ecstatic if we can win.

    Diaby Song and Denilson all need to get healthy fast. I hope Denilsons problem is not something long term lingering issue. I would have thought he would get healthy over the summer.

  48. the daily mail is a MANURE loving rag-but do they know they’ve employed a “mickey mouser”in des kelly who hates arsenal with the usual northern monkey attitude-no surprise there-but why buy the RAG in the first place?haven’t bought a red toprag in donkeys years-why?cos they hate arsenal with a vengence bordering on hysteria..

  49. I’m looking forward to the day when Man C have a couple more spanish players and Spain win the European cup and while celebrating Silva and Torres put a Man City shirt over Xavi’s head and say that he should join the premiership as Barcelona are out of the race to Mourinhio’s Madrid by November.

  50. Going by form I am picking Kosc, and what I have seen in pre-season, along with the couple comments here. I have a little feeling Djourou will get it from being a longer server… that will be the Doooohhh moment!

  51. CG I asked that exact question. In the end I went for Theo, Nasri and Cham.

    I’ve kept some cash back for RvP and Cesc.

    But to answer I can’t decide but i’d guess Kos.

  52. Bill can you imagine Theo, RvP and Cham?

    Three different types of output for the team to play for. If we could get those lads as our front 3 defences will be shitting.

    What did you make of the Legia Warsaw game mate? Important or not? I was initially confused. Then I lashed out. But now I know it was probably such a bizzare situation it doesn’t matter. Haha.

  53. thanks els..

    I have two teams with the Suns fantasy team, mate made me join it, we got a nice little sidebet amongst a group of us too so I was stressing out. What makes me laugh is that I was stressing out over selecting the Arsenal players more than the other teams!

    I ended up using, Verm, Kosc, Nasri, RvP, Chamakh, Arsh.

    1 Def, 1 Mid, 1 Striker in both teams.

  54. Steww – Not all all mate, I trust them 100%. I am just saying I would be even happier if the other CB we are apparently after (and get) is even better than the one’s we have. Thats all.

  55. CG I do that too.

  56. Andy nobody want’s a defender worse than what we have. Surprisingly neither does Wenger. But if you class better as more expensive and someone that Goonerandy has heard of, then that’s where you and Wenger differ. You have to trust that Kosc will be another premiership defender of the season and purchase of the season, just like wengers last defensive purchase. You know Vermaelen, another one everybody asked the same who, who, who? questions about.

  57. els

    It was quite a random game, I think Legia Warsaw were a very good team. The first half it really showed that our team underestimated them. It wasn’t our 1st team though, Frimpong and Wilshire through the middle is going to be seriously unlikely for Liverpool away. Attacking wise we were again always likely to score on every attack.

    Some of the goals were down to concentration, a couple through losing the ball cheaply from our young midfield. Then you have the corner, which you just wonder what can a keeper do when there is 10 people around him! Lehmann use to have the same problems, Almunia has it, and Fabianski certainly has it. I remember Lehmann rolling around on the floor to get freekicks if anyone came near him. We need our keepers to wisen up a bit and come up with some answers to these tactics.

    Its obvious whoever is in goal, being Arsenal teams will target corners and set pieces to nick a goal. Be it on the training ground, or through putting someone else in…

  58. Darius, right now, sadly, I’d welcome Roger Johnson with open arms…

    Bill, what cards are stacked against us? We have a more talented team of players than Liverpool. A team of players playing on the same wavelength, under the same system, growing together as a team for a number of years, playng fantastic winning football. Liverpool have a Hodgson shaped bit of cellotape holding together a team of out-of-confidence, confused, brow-beaten misfits.

    Over the last 5 years we have beaten Liverpool 7 times and lost just twice. Even without Cesc and RVP I make us favourites. I wouldn’t be upset with a draw but you can’t go into a game like this not looking for 3 points. Why on earth wouldn’t you? We have a brilliant team. Have some faith man!

  59. Els – I wa simply saying that i hope another new defender is even better than what we have…hence making the team better. Is that wrong? Is that not what you want?

    If it does not happen that is fine also, we do have good players already. All I wa saying that if we manage to get even better, that is great.

  60. Andy:

    It is difficult to imagine that we will be able to come up with a “difference making” player in this window at CB or GK. Hopefully we can at least come up with someone who can cover for any injuries. We will have to go with the cards we have been dealt.

    Els @ 2:13:

    Our attack could be breath taking. The front 3 of RVP, Cham, and Arshavin/Nasri with Vela/Theo as the impact subs may be the best in the league.

    I just saw the highlights of the game. The attack was fun to watch. Not much evidence to suggest movement in the right direction on the other 1/2 of the pitch.

  61. Bill – Yup. I have pretty much accepted that, and I think we are pretty well set personnel wise. Just need them to play together.

    I am not worried in the slightest regarding our attacking play. We will score plenty.

  62. @ els at 2:22pm

    great post again!

    ***
    @ Ole G, Passenal, goonerandy and Paul N

    Totally agree about the hypocrisy of some fans. But such is life.
    Yes, you were in denial, Ole!
    Passenal, I felt the same some weeks ago when it started, but I have come out the other side. I don’t feel quite the same about him, but after all 90% of what I like about Cesc (and any of our players) is that he wears the red-and-white.

    Regarding the captaincy – if Gerrard and Terry can continue, so can Cesc. From recent interviews it seems he is up for the task of leading which is all we can demand, these days. It would be wonderful if every player was like Dennis, but on the other hand, if they were, his loyalty would not be so special. Cesc has led a charmed life in football so far and this is where he has found out that he can’t have everything his own way. I’m confident he’ll rise to the challenge, as Wenger must be, or he would have let him go.

    @ Limpar Assist
    Loved the summary of the Legia game and reaction to it.
    We have seen over pre-season that we have the nucleus of a very strong CC side, led by JW.

  63. Limpar:

    I agree we have a better team and we will finish higher then Liverpool in the table. I would feel better if we knew the Denilson, Diaby and Song could play. I know the players and manager are not going into the game looking for a draw, However, given the extenuating circumstances a draw would not be a negative result.

  64. Our starting 3 in midfield is going to be either:

    a. Very inexpienced.
    b. Not match fit at all.

  65. c. Very good.

  66. d. Excellent

  67. Andy, it was the fact that you expect the signing to be purposely inferior that made me comment. But if as you say we do have a good team why state that hopefully neither of Kosc or Djou would play against liverpool.

    Come on mate. Lets not question lets just enjoy the fact that we support the greatest team on earth.

  68. How far away is Torres from fitness.?

  69. Muppet and I were chatting on Twitter and I realise, never have I been so clueless as to what Arsene sees as his ideal 11. It used to be so simple; Seaman, Dixon, Adams, keown, Winterburn, Petit, Vieira, Overmars, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Wright

    then

    Seaman/Jens Cole Campbell, Keown, Lauren, Ljungberg, Vieira, Gilberto, Pires, Bergkamp Henry,

    then,

    Jens, Clichy, Toure, Gallas, Sagna, Gilberto/Flamini, Cesc, Hleb, Rosicky, RVP, Adebayor

    then

    Almunia Sagna Clichy Gallas Vermaelen, Song, Denilson/Diaby, Cesc, Arshavin, RVP, Nasri.

    NOW?

    I have no clue.

    For the Liverpool game, I’d go for;

    Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song/Diaby/Denilson, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh, Walcott.

    Bench: 1 keeper, Eboue, RVP, Rosicky, Gibbs, JW, Kos

  70. CG that was a crazy game and with some of the combinations of players we took it less than serious. Still 5 goals is to many, but nothing really to worry about. What do you do about Eboue. Just when you think you have your first 11 sorted and bang. The thing about Eboue is he’s so effective. He makes things happen and he’s got moxy nobody can deny that guy’s got a whole load of spunk. 🙂

    Bill oh yeah! too true, the players we have available more now than ever cover a good range of attacking styles, we could play anybody at there own game.

    Fun gunner, if I knew how to do a smiley that was blushing i’d do one. Haha.

  71. Mile and a half supercod, just off the M1.

  72. Liverpool will probably have

    Reina,

    Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio

    Lucas, Mascherano

    Cole, Gerrard, Maxi

    Torres.

    Bench: Babel, Aquilani, others. Strong starting 11 though

  73. Chris,

    Your mad going with any of our defence in the FFL, as we do not get enough clean sheets to make the most of the point scoring system in the Sun one.

    Vermaelen is the only one worth going for, due to his goal’s.

  74. Ole, one clear reason i can see for this is the huge difference in the level of our starting 11 & the bench players in those days.
    Another being the youth project..which has seen our young guns challenge for the squad very very early in theor careers..

  75. Ole:

    It would be a lot easier if we knew who would be fit from Denilson/Diaby/Song. Without knowing that it is impossible to predict.

    Almunia

    Sagna KOS TV Clichy

    Nasri ? ?

    Rosicky Chamakh Arshavin

    Its pretty clear how much we miss Song and Denilson/Diaby. Hopefully they will ready to start with Nasri.

  76. I hope torres does not make it, 3 points are in the bag then, for sure

  77. mj_gunner,

    Actually it’s for the opposite reason.

    How do you fit Chamakh, RVP, Bendtner, Arshavin, Walcott and Vela into 3 starting berths?

    What will be the midfield 3. Which keeper starts? Which 2 of TV, Kos and Djourou will get the most games.

    JW, Wilshere and JET will be competing for starting berths. But where are they going to get opportunities?

  78. Ole are you even sure on that defensive pairing?

    I know what you mean though.

  79. that is what I mean Ole, all our players are somewhat at similar levels. Back then, we had a starting 11 of football greats, with decent back ups. Its going to take a few more years for some of the current crop to become legends.. we have too many good players, & few great ones..

  80. Bill,

    It seems one of them will be fit. Dot com says Song and Diaby were rested at the weekend. Maybe they featured in the behind closed doors game on Friday. So I think 1 of them might play.

    If both are fit, great. If not, then tmight be necessary to play TR7 in midfield with Nasri.

  81. If everyone is fit, I would guess it would be something like this –

    Almunia

    Sagna Vermaelen Koscielny Clichy

    Song / Frimpong

    Wishere Nasri

    Eboue Arshavin

    Chamakh

  82. mj_gunner,

    Actually, then we had so-so back up. When we beat Inter at San Siro, we had papadopoulos, hoyte, Aliadiere and like on the bench.

    Now we have a very strong 18 or 19 players.

    But you of course don’t see the qualities of the current crop, so no surprise you see it the way you do.

  83. i forgot about Rosicky – Think you would be right Ole.

  84. It’s certainly not going to be easy to get any kind of a result on Sunday.

    They will be more than up for it, with the crowd behind them, and we seem a little light in Midfield and defence.

    I would be more than happy with a draw I think.

  85. and will Nasri and rosicky be used used more as wide players or in the centre.

  86. Kindly donate for the flood victims in Pakistan. Millions have been affected severely:

    http://www.dec.org.uk/

  87. Ole @ 3:57:

    Agree.

    If I had a choice of who I would want fit of the 3 I would hope for Song to play with Nasri.

    Is Eboue not good enough on the ball or not a good enough passer. When we had all of those injuries why hasn’t he been used as the box to box midfielder. His energy and pace seem like he should fit that role.

  88. I think Eboue will start ahead of Theo on Sunday Bill – Bit more solid defensively, which is where we are a little light at the moment.

    If Song is fit, I think Ole is prob spot on with his midfield of –

    Song

    Nasri Rosicky

    Eboue Arshavin

    with Chamakh up front…

    Sounds pretty good to me!

  89. Bill you’re talking bollocks. For me Eboue has to start over Walcott every time.

  90. I think that we will see a line up like this:

    Almunia

    Sagna Kos Verm Clichy

    Nasri Song/Diaby Rosicky

    Walcott Chamack Arshavin (if healthy)

    If you aks me, that is on hell of a line up even without RVP, Cesc, Diaby, Denilson…I can’t fuckin wait for the first game.

  91. Is Arshavin injured?…never saw him in the last pre-season game…I certainly hope he is availabe for Sunday…he terorizes Liverpool.

  92. I have no doubts at all about the squad’s quality, but am I wrong in believing that they still need some time/experience to reach the level of invincibles/pre-invincibles..?

  93. Reckon you are pretty much spot on Vice – although Eboue ahead of Walcott for me…..

  94. Liverpool will have a strong side. They haven’t been so convincing in pre-season but they might have 1 on us having played 2 competitive games already

  95. Ole to be fair to MJ I don’t think he’s trying to doom. I think he may be on about the fact our 11 picked itself and we didn’t have the quality in depth. But now all our squad are very good, so not many stand out. I may be giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    Anyway it’s pretty much exactly what you said so I don’t know.

  96. Who knows MJ –

    Hopefully next May we will find out they where at that level!

  97. Matt/Rinseout/Bill
    I hold my ground : wenger will never play nasri & rozza in CM together.

  98. Matt,

    I would be really surprised if Eboue gets the nod over Walcott. I think Wenger is planning on having this be the year Theo breaks out. So, he will give him some confidence and start him for the season opener.

    Walcott also has some decent memories playing at anfield, so I think he will be on the pitch to start things off.

  99. Who do you think he will play there on Sunday then MJ?

    (If Cesc isn’t fit of course)

  100. Bill, we don’t know that Denilson, Diaby and Song can’t play. Have you heard otherwise, one way or the other?

    Denilson not being in Austria must make him a doubt. But I assume the other two have been training well, away from matchplay situations, preparing for the season opener. Maybe even Denilson too. We’ll probably have to wait until Friday for an update.

    We don’t know that Cesc and RVP can’t play. Although AW has laid it on pretty thick about the finalists’ mental and physical levels. Personally I expect RVP to at least make the bench, and if he’s fit for the bench then he could well line-up from the Kick Off.

    Right now I see us lining up something like:

    – – – – – – – – Almunia – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Eboue – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Clichy
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – Song – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – Nasri – – – – Diaby – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Rosicky – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Arshavin
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – RVP – – – – – – – – – – – –

    But for the sake of argument put Chamakh in there in RVP’s place. If he looks sharp in training this week then he may be picked ahead of RVP anyway… on merit and fitness.

    If Song and Denilson both don’t make it then a midfield trio of Diaby, Rosicky and Nasri in the middle would have to work very hard – but there’s no reason to think they can’t break down and create as well as Liverpool’s midfield. If we have to rely on Frimpong after such a gruelling pre-season… then I might start worrying. But we’d have to be pretty unlucky for that to happen.

    Personally I’m over-joyed to have a squad that has so many different midfield permutations – all of which I’d happily back to overrun Liverpool’s midfield.

    Ole, I think Hodgson is already preparing for life without Mascherano. If it’s a done deal that he is to stay for the season then I’m sure he’ll play – however, if not, it will be Lucas and Gerrard. Gerrard in ‘the Alonso role’. Also, I wouldn’t have thought Maxi would start ahead of Jovanovic on current form.

  101. THANKS YOU ELS!

  102. Looks pretty good LA – But think Chamakh should start based on the reason’s you gave..

    Would be happy with that team though!

    Midfield and Attack is looking really good for the season, but would still love a new GK and CH…

  103. Oh god need I continue to suffer.

    Bored of both our defence and bloody BBB.

    I need my Arsenal fix ASAP.

    (Not that your not doing a greart job YW)

  104. Matt – i think it will be

    Song/Frimpong Den/Diaby/Eastmond

    Nasri

    We also have an option of playing Djourou/Nordveidt playing the DM role.

    LA – I am with you, but i think Eboue or Walcott will start in place of Rosicky.

  105. So would we all Matt.

    I found myself looking longingly toward Aston Villa’s James Collins at the end of last season.

    Ole slapped my wrist for it though.

  106. Does anyone know when the transfer deadline ends in the fantasy football league that YW started? I want to make sure I don’t have Arshavin in my lineup if he is not fit.

  107. I think Wenger may have the confidence to play Nasri and Rosicky in the middle you know.

    Especially if Song is fit.

  108. mj;

    I don’t deny that. This team is far from invincible right now. Maybe they could be it some day.

    But I think the game has changed too. It’s about squads now. Players are injured more often and this results in players being missing for longer. But we also have genuine competition for places in some positions if not all.

    Bill,

    Eboue played central midfield for Cote d’Ivoire at the World Cup, and has played there for us, even last season. Will he be considered there, or will Arsene feel he has to give the kids who did well in pre-season a chance.

    Wenger is under a lot of pressure for simultaneously ‘overrelying on youth’ and not giving the English kids a chance. Even Capello today was on and on about how Gibbs and co might have to go out on loan just so they can play.

  109. I couldn’t pick a line-up and I LOVE it.

    As long as

    Aboue, Djourou, Verm, Gibbs, Clichy,
    Nasri, Ros, Diaby, Arsh, Theo, Cham, RvP and Cesc start I’m happy.

  110. Yeah… Sagna + Eboue on the right would shit them right up. Isn’t there a question mark over Aurelio’s fitness too? That could be a weak spot.

    I have to pick Rocisky, mj. He’s my favourite player.

    That Sagna comment on Spahic was a queer one. Very queer indeed. Pull yourself together, Arsenal.com.

  111. Martin O’Neill resigns as Villa manager.

  112. Voiceo I think it’s friday mate.

  113. It is a little ironic that we are critiscised over and over for AW’s vision to bring our academy up to scratch, and try and develop a young side, and at the same time the media clamour for our young players to be called up into the England side.

    I can’t wait to see what the media will try to critiscise us for when we win the Premier league, and fill the England side with Wilshere, Lansbury, Gibbs, Emmanuel Thomas, Walcott and Frimpong.

  114. Half 11 on Saturday, viceologist.

  115. I really don’t understand what the official website thinks they have to gain by posting such odd transfer gossip…it is really quite retarded.

  116. Does anyone have the code to join that?

  117. Thanks Limpar

  118. I had James Collin’s in my dream team LA – He did pretty well!!

  119. It was posted in the comments section a week and a half ago…I might be able to login and find it.

  120. Any ideas on what the Liverpool formation and team with look like…

    I was watching another Arsenal Classic on ESPN and witnessed another reason to hate those bbb assholes denying us the partnership of Petit and Vieria.

    Oh and ofcause the wonderful Overmars.

  121. Ole, I never decied the competition thing, I even mentioned that we have a solid bench/2nd team, which was missing that time. This is mainly because of the fabulous investment in the academy post 2002.
    LA, I can see that 😉

  122. where did that come from JD?

  123. Ah yes Maria – Overmars!!

    What a player.

    I remember the day we signed him, I was smiling like a maniac all day!

  124. It’s on the Villa website MJ.

  125. oh, its quite a blow to Villa’s hopes; I now doubt they’ll compete for Europe this time.

    & how about this –

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6302889,00.html

  126. Well we cannot rightly assess the defence until the season starst. You cannot use pre season matches as a barometer. If thats the case United and Chelsea are destined to drop out of the top four.

    Again, most of the goals had nothing to do with the defence as far as the back four. The team didnt defend and retain the ball properly for many reassons. One is the team wasnt focused. They needed this to sober them up a little, I think.

    I also say, lets see Kos and Djourou before we start talking about getting someone better. How do we know how good thet will be, they are obviously talented players. What we need is a good CB, done.

    So my beloved Arsenal supporters and fellow ACLF’ers, please lets stop over analyzing the defense and wait and see what happens this season. We have no other choice and worse its driving me crazy reading it over and over and over and over and over… you get my point.

    Blessings!

  127. Woah Martin O’Neil eh. I guess Milner is leaving.

  128. Thanks Rinseout.

  129. If I was a Villa fan I would be happy O’Neil is leaving. They played some really boring shit with him as manager.

  130. ‘Shackthar Senseless’ Ha!

  131. O’Neill’s left at a really damaging time for Villa – I think this probably rules them out of European contention.

  132. Els – I reckon you are right on the Millner call. Pushed O’Neil over the edge seemingly.

  133. Hi guys, off topic. Can someone kindly post the details of the ACLF fantasy league? Thanks.

  134. “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.”

  135. How long ago was Villa touted to us as the archetype of a well-run club.

    Maybe it’s still being well run. But MON has spent a lot of money, doesn’t look like returns are forthcoming and ……

  136. @Limpar

    Thanks.

  137. He has spent a lot of money on average players as well.

  138. It’s shocking when the sums are done on how much he’s actually spent!

  139. Song is injured. He didn’t train at all at the open members day last Thursday and Cameroon have not picked him for their game this week, and he is not training today. So virtually no chance for Sunday.

    Diaby has been injured. He didn’t train at all at the open day, but he did train this morning – first time since late in the training camp. I’d say 50/50 whether he can play on Sunday (maybe ok for the bench).

    Denilson did train at the open day and took full part in the practice 9 aside match (played well). However, he didn’t take part in the final session sprints and wasn’t taken to Poland. He was training again this morning, so I’d say 80/20 that he will play on Sunday – and quite critical given that most of the midfield is out.

    Arshavin has a small thigh injury and is 50/50 for the Russia/Bulgaria match on Wednesday, so he’d have to be only 50/50 for Sunday.

    RvP not selected for Holland (they selected mostly 2nd team players). He is training at Colney today. So with a good week of training he’d be a good chance for 30 mins off the bench on Sunday.

    Almunia, Clichy, Sagna, Kos, Djourou, Schzesny all available and training at Colney this week (not selected for friendlies). So lots of opportunity for defensive practice.

    So at this point team for Sunday looks like:

    Almunia
    Clichy, TV, Kos, Sagna
    Denilson, Diaby/Wilshere, Nasri
    Eboue, Chamakh, Arshavin/Rosicky

    Bench:
    Fabianski, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott, Fabregas, RvP, Diaby/Wilshere

  140. All of a sudden the way forward seems clear.

    Bring in o’Neill. I am sure that he will be able to pursaude Heskey to join him at the Emirates.

  141. Thanks for the injury update jbh.

    Don’t even joke about it consolsbob! I bet there are many doomers out there thinking exactly that! MON certainly knows how to spend money!

  142. JBH – good inside knowledge…!

  143. If Denilson/Diaby/Song are not ready for Sun we have a problem. I would play Frimpong, but with Nasri and Rosicky ahead of him.

  144. Interesting comment on AA’s official website

    http://www.arshavin.eu/en/news.php?id=579

  145. Martin O’Neill quits Villa.

    He always seemed wound a little too tight, and to do this 5 days before the start of the season just isn’t right.

    Lerner has poured money into Villa and lost plenty. He’s not even said they won’t buy, just that player sales have to balance out player signings.

    Another reason to be thankkful for Arsene.

  146. Lurking and reading you guys. You have all been good, but respectfully I miss Frank.
    Pre-season is over. Liverpool on Sunday.
    Where the hell is Frank?

  147. We need an anchorman in midfield. I would play Frimpong, if Song is injured.
    I think wenger will have to take a gamble with playing one of diaby/denilson, half-fit.

  148. In what universe is Milner worth 30 million??

    Off topic a bit, I know. Can’t believe the hype some of these english players get.

  149. Crazy eh?

    A decent workmanlike player. Same as Barry really.

    No thank you, I much prefer a Nasri at £15M thank you very much, or a Song at £2M

  150. And Poliziano…WTF?

  151. @jbh

    Almunia
    Clichy, TV, Kos, Sagna
    Denilson, Diaby/Wilshere, Nasri
    Eboue, Chamakh, Arshavin/Rosicky

    Probably spot on, but what about Nasri in the front three and Rosicky in the midfield and AA as supersub, assuming they are all fit?

  152. Exactly, goonerandy. I rate Milner fairly well, it’s just that is stupid money that skews the rest of the market.

  153. MON hashad a mixed record in the transfer market. Switching Baros for Carew worked, A.Young and Milner were good investments and they got rid of Barry for the right price at the right time. Petrov and Friedel were fairly reasonable buys.

    His worst moments have been paying too much for average players in defence (Knight, Davies, Shorey, L.Young, Cuellar for a combined 28 million) midfield (Sidwell, Reo-Coker for a combined 14 million) and in attack (Heskey, Harewood for a combined 7 million).

    He lost Mellberg on a free and sold G.Cahill to Bolton for 4 million.

    However, overall he was good for Villa, even if he’s left them screwed now…

  154. Shame they can’t offer us that type of cash for some of our deadwood.

    Randall for a cool £10M maybe?

  155. We should offer them Fabianski (a full international you know).

  156. What was that about Pass

  157. & have friedel in exchange eh, andy?;)

  158. off the topic, it seems mascherano to inter seems unlikely.
    Quotes from Morrati “At this moment, we’re unable to make any transfers of this magnitude,” the Inter chief said in an interview with Corriere dello Sport.

    “We can’t make any big transfers until we’ve sold someone.”

  159. If Song is out we really need Denilson to be at his energizer bunny best. Hope he is fit enough to run for 90 minutes

  160. @ Lagooner

    Talking of MON being wound too tight, Alan Davies on the “It’s Up For Grabs Now” podcast does an HILARIOUS impression of MON now and again.

  161. Maria, it was the comment about the rags claiming that Arsenal were stopping him from speaking on his website. They will try every angle to discredit us!

  162. FunGunner
    Yes Nasri to date has been a forward front 3 player, but until Fabregas is fully fit he will play in Cesc’s position and be backup for him during the season.

  163. FG, Alan Davies does sound a bit like Rev. Ian Paisley with that impression.

  164. Thanks FG-I’ll look for it!

  165. Any one know Frank’s blog address? I think it’s called letters from London or something like that.

  166. So here’s all the theories out there as to why Arsene hasn’t bought the defender (or goalkeeper) he needs.

    1. We don’t really have the money

    I think we all know that’s nonsense looking at our financials.

    2. We have the money, but Arsene doesn’t want to spend it.

    Again nonsense. After all these years, I think we should trust Arsene when he says he only wants to spend money in order to improve the team. This means finding players who can both fit into our style of play and who are better than our current options.

    3. He wants to give younger players a chance.

    Partially true, as this is a hallmark of his management here. However, ulitmately if he sees a deal he will jettison an inferior option internally for a superior player from outside. Let’s not forget (for the pros and cons) that he’s picked up older players in Campbell and Silvestre in the recent past.

    4. He’s too cheap and will haggle over a small amount of money

    Again, partially true, but his recent signings haven’t been outrageously below the market tag for the player (Arshavin, Vermaelen, Koscielny etc). Chamakh is given as an example of a player where an opportunity was wasted by not signing in January. The reality is that it is tough to bring a player on in the middle of the season. Arshavin was an exception to that rule, and it also gave Chamakh a chance to close out his time with Bordeaux in style.

    5) He has a blind spot for players he’s groomed.

    Possibly true, but that loyalty has come back to benefit him often as well.

    This summer feels different, though. It doesn’t seem that Arsene is uncertain of what he needs to cover int he team. It’s the market that has changed. It’s also why I have the suspicion that the major reason for the delay is Man City needing to finalize their recruiting until others can make their move. Milner and Balotelli will lead to a flurry of activity.

    It’s also why the logical place for us to buy will be from Man City, as they have players we would like in the positions we need to fill. I don’t see either Given or Hart coming to us, but Kompany and to a lesser extent Richards could be plausible targets.

    I’m sure we’ve been trying to close other targets but this is an unusually tricky transfer window.

    My guess is that one player will come in this window (Kompany, please) and another in January based on injuries or need (either in goal or central defence).

    One unavoidable conclusion to draw from Arsene’s transfer strategy is that we now have the potential for a phenomenally powerful squad, save for a couple of areas which are still being worked on.

  167. Long Ball O’Neil spent a lot of Randy Lerner’s money in a futile effort to achieve the holy grail of Champs League football. His resignation, I suspect marks the end of that ambition. Lerner may have concluded that he cannot compete with the sheiks at Oil City and maybe his loans to the club, at very lucrative interest rates, may be in peril. (Untold Arsenal has done a series on Lerner saddling the club with loans under the guise of “giving the manager money to spend.”) I wouldn’t blame Lerner if he decided it was time to reduce his exposure to the club during these recessionary times. But it does point to something Wenger kept reminding us: (1) no proper run football club can compete with the financial doping 1st by Chelsea and now Oil City. (2) being dependent on transfers and not being financially sound makes you vulnerable in the transfer market as happened with Villa 1st losing Barry and 2nd apparently Milner, both to OIl City.

    Long live Arsene Wenger!

  168. G4E,

    It’s in the More arsenal sites, links on this page. Letter from London.

  169. Thirty million pounds for Milner is insane.

  170. 5Live saying MON’s departure is not related to any Milner movement (which is inevitable), but rather about the Villa board OK’ing an approach from Fulham to sign Brad Friedel… paving the way for us to sign you know who!

    Cut out the middle man… sign Brad!

  171. A gooner among others

    Guys, I don’t post very often, but I think this is a valuable information.

    Philippe Auclair answers questions every monday on a french radio blog and when he was asked about Arsenal transfers, he said a goalkeeper and CB would arrive quickly.
    He said the Schwarzer deal was done until Mark Hugues was appointed.
    And for the CB, he said that Spahic, Cahill, Chiellini, and Jagielka were possible.

  172. LAGooner
    Arsene explained this point a couple of weeks ago. He said that he buys early and late in the transfer market.

    What he didn’t explain was the following:
    1. He buys early for critical players who need to bed in over the summer (TV last year, Kos this year).
    2. He takes advantage of the “summer sales” for positions to fill out the squad. Why buy on the 30th of June when the sale starts on the 1st of July? So as we get close to the deadline many clubs will be prepared to trade and many will be forced to.

    He has a list of 4 or 5 potentials for every position on the pitch and will make tentative enquiries about those at the top of the list. As necessary he will work his way down the list as we get close to the deadline.

  173. Oh ok, Thanks Ateeb 🙂 I guess I was too lazy to look.

  174. a gooner amongst others –

    that excites me!

  175. Limpar:

    Brad would make me sooooooo happy. Still think Schwarzer would be an upgrade and would give the squad a little more confidence going into the season. Go Arsene, Go Ivan.

    jbh and LAGooner:

    Recent history does not give much confidence that a late deal for anyone of significance will get done. Arshavin being the exception. No Silvestre’s please.

  176. Thanks for the info A gooner among others.

    I think that Schwarzer would be with us now if it wasn’t for that nasty man Mr Hughes.

    Whether Schwarzer is any better than Almunia is debatable for me anyway.

  177. @ a gooner among others

    “He said the Schwarzer deal was done until Mark Hugues was appointed.”

    Well, that part has the ring of truth about it! Although I too struggle to see how Schwarzer is better than Almunia.

  178. Personally I’m not sure we really need an upgrade over Almunia. I think he is an under estimated goal keeper. What we do need is an ubgrade over Fabianski as number 2.

  179. jbh

    Everyone has said this transfer window is unusually tight-it’s not just Arsene keeping to his usual plan. It also raises the question as to whether it would have been a case of Smalling or Koscielny or both would have been signed. I still don’t see Kos as a number 1 choice this season, nor would I have thought that the case with Smalling. It would (hopefully) lead to the conclusion that we have a major CB signing in our sights.

    AGAO

    Philippe Auclair doesn’t seem to have any better connections than the average journalist, so I don’t know why his repeating of players we already know is that relevant. As there’s only 22 days to go, the activity would have to happen quickly.

    Bill

    Unless I’m wrong, Silvestre was signed as a number 5 choice, who could also cover at left back. Arsene is looking for a number 1-4 choice this time. RIght now, this position is what puts us behind Man U in quality and depth, Chelsea in quality and Man City in depth. Man U have Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Brown, O’Shea to call on. Chelsea have Terry, Carvalho and Alex but slim pickings after that unless they pull Ivanovic out of position (with Bosingwa there, not the worst option). Man City have Toure, Boeteng, Kompany, Lescott, Richards and Y.Toure if needed.

    THe above calls for a signing to improve quality and depth and I think we’ll get it.

  180. LaGooner:

    As many have pointed out on this blog it is very difficult to get a major signing done. We were heavily linked with Arshavin throughout the whole window and finally got it done at the death.

    With agents leaking stories to the media and the internet etc etc. surprise quality signings do not happen anymore. We have heard nothing but the usual endless media static at this point. If we are really going to get someone to step into the first team I would think we would have heard about it already. That said, I really hope you are right.

  181. I agree with you Bill. It’s a complicated business, as we saw with Chamakh and Alonso last season also.

    I am confident this time around, though because Arsene knows this is a critical issue particularly with Djourou being vulnerable to injury!

  182. Lagooner, I think jbh’s assessment is correct. Arsene would not leave his number 1 target to late in the window because there would not be time to gel with the rest of the team and it’s too much of a risk in case the signing doesn’t come off. If Jagielka or Cahill were available for a realistic price, one of them may well have been first pick. I don’t see either one of them arriving now because they would expect to be first choice. Like it or not number 6 Laurent Koscielny is clearly Arsene’s number one choice anyone else who comes in has to be prepared to fight for a place in the starting line up or settle for a place on the bench, which is why a player like Spahic is most likely.

  183. I wish it was September 2nd already.

  184. I agree with John N

    JBH can I check your credentials before buying into your posts. You do seem to speak with a good knowledge. Good post at 5.27.

  185. @ jbh

    Agree. One would assume that Kos is the replacement for Gallas, not the as-yet-to-be-signed CB. I may be in the minority, but to me he has looked the best of the three in pre-season. What do you think of him?
    Another reason why Spahic would make sense is that he is left-footed and all the other CB candidates we have are right-footed.

  186. I have to disagree I think Wenger knows that he can’t pick and choose when to sign. As if Wenger and his scouts identify a player as worthy of Arsenal there are instantly other managers interested. Some with big cheque books. Look at the Cham situation, nobody would have touched him before wenger singled him out.

    I think by leaving it last minute he rules out others coming in later with larger bids. All this talk of Man C off casts and the thought of Kompany or even Richards excites me. It would make sense.

    Although I’m not bothered about another keeper.
    The only way I would be interested is if it was a big improvement.

  187. Richards = young, unfair early expectations, prone to lapses of concentration – sounds a bit too familiar for my liking.

    Els, hypothetically speaking would you view Given as a big improvement after his comments today?

  188. Supercod:

    Man City is not going to let us have anyone if they can help it. They certainly do not need to raise cash. They might let Given or Kompany go to a mid table team. Either one would be superb additions but neither is realistic.

    Agree about Richards.

  189. Although I’m not opposed to Almunia being number 1, I always rated Given and think he would be an improvement. I doubt City will let him go, specially to Arsenal where they are deluded we are their immediate rivals.

  190. Can’t see it happening either but at 34 he’s be at a perfect stage of his career for us.

    Regarding Kompany, I have to admit he’s never really leapt out in the games I’ve seen yet seems to be well thought of on here. I guess ‘water carriers’ are by definition unspectacular but is he really all that?

  191. FunGunner @ 9:17PM:

    I agree with what you say. If anyone does come, Spahic certainly seems like by far the most likely possibility.

    Never understood why it is important right vs. left foot. None of the other major clubs in the world seem to mind having 2 right footed CB’s. Do you think that has any real importance?

  192. Why is it that City wouldnt want to sell us any players? after all the two clubs did business very recently, no?

    What would be the point of them just keeping surplus players in a position. Also the player could desire a change.

  193. People only get excited about Given, Richards and Kompany because they are ‘names’ they have heard of. It does not necessarily make them better than anyone the Arsenal scouts may have been watching for some time. When they look at a player it’s not just on the superficial level of football fans. They consider how the player would fit into the team and the way Arsenal want to play the game etc. We have no idea of the criteria they are using. There are many good players out there, but they are not necessarily right for the game we want to play. Especially now with the new squad rules there are a lot of factors, which need to be taken into consideration.

  194. You don’t want to be starting the season with complete strangers in central defence. Hence TV and Kos have been playing together at every opportunity.

    AW is a big believer in mobility and interceptions. First there was Clichy (07/08) leading the league in interceptions, then Denilson (08/09) and if you study the Ligue 1 numbers for last year, yes you will find Laurent K.

    Far too early to assess how the new defense is settling in, especially with the variable quality and commitment of the pre-season opponents, but I would say that Koscielny looks the part so far. Everyone will need to show some patience, there will be difficult days ahead.

  195. Paul N.

    Arsene sold Ade and Kolo to City. City gave us the best price. If we had not sold those players they would have gone out and bought someone else who might well be better players. Good business for us.

    The reverse is not true for City. They do not need the cash and they could improve us and hurt their bid for a CL spot by letting us have Given.

  196. Bill, true but 40 or so does not go into 25 so there will be some movement out the door at City. I’m not overly enamoured of any the likely departees (Given aside) but those players are going to have to go somewhere and somewhere a)they want to go and b) somewhere who will be able to pay their wages.

    It’s gonna be an interesting soap opera in the build up to the end of the window..

  197. Yet it didn’t stop us from conceding so many goals each season. I hope, he doesn’t stick to the same methods, but rather innovate. Even if it means, that we end up playing slightly less attacking or aggressive game.

    Shouldn’t have let Gallas go. If you can bring in Sol and Sylvestre above 35 years old, Gallas should have been given a better contract or whatever the issues were, should have been resolved. Yet same thing happened, he walked on a free transfer. I really don’t see the economic sense of letting a player walk out on a free transfer, or not keeping him. He was certainly worth at least 10M. And now we neither made money from selling him, and instead have to spend more money to bring in players. The defensive issues are frightening. We desperately need a player of proven quality. Too much of a risk to go with the current Cbs, and not adding depth. Fingers crossed.

  198. SuperCod:

    Interesting point. Still would be absolutely shocked if Given ended up with us. Richards or Kompany are still unlikely but less of a stretch then Given. The issue of being able to pay their wages is one I had not considered.

  199. Ateeb, its obvious that Gallas is asking for crazy amounts on money. He hasnt signed for anyone, the guy needs a reality check and he is getting one. I will not put that on Arsenal.

    Bill

    Its not always about cash though is it?

    If the players wants out and you are covered in a position then why hold onto them, just for spite?

    I dont agree that it cannot happen.

    City have paid over the top for all players to get what they wanted, there is no way they could think that other teams will do the same as they are not as strong financially.

    They cannot hold other football clubs and their players responsible for their abuse of their own money.

  200. Interesting point is that Sylvestre is younger than Gallas (I think!).

  201. Then why did he played like an Old fuck just released from emergency in a hospital?

  202. Probably been to one too many of Rio’s dodgy parties..!!

  203. Ateeb:

    I really believe that if Wenger wanted to keep Gallas he would have done what was needed. He certainly could see the problem we have right now all of last year. We conceded more goals with Gallas then without last year.

    Everything else you say is absolutely spot on. Slightly less aggressive attacking might be a good start. Fingers crossed.

  204. Ateeb like Paul N says, if Gallas’ demands were reasonable he would have signed somewhere by now. Arsenal bent over backwards to try to keep him but he was completely unreasonable. Mourinho is looking for a CB but I don’t see him rushing to snap up Gallas either. He may be a good defender but there appear to be aspects of his off field personality that leave a lot to be desired.

  205. Passenal – think you’ve hit the nail firmly on the head, I would guess it’s a far more settled camp with William outside of it…

  206. Passenal:

    As is often the case I suspect you are right.

  207. In terms of some of the money that is bandied out, like at Money City and Chav Square, Gallas’s demands may not have seemed out of place.

    However, he was rumoured to be demanding 100k a week for a minimum 2 year contract. This is £10 million for a player who has been injury prone, or at least, to my understanding has completed at the most two thirds of each season in the last 2 seasons.

    I think in this context the club has said, sorry Billy (probably no mates), no deal. We can sign 2 centre backs on 50k a week who are in their 20s.

  208. I agree with Passenal.

  209. Muppet – if that’s true, what planet do these people live on..?!?!?

  210. Supercod,

    Well, he’s a top centre back. There is no doubt about that. He is advised by his agent who tells him that Ade is getting 160k a week, other top premiership players are getting over 100k a week, and Arsenal should pay accordingly. He then makes the demands and arsenal say no.

    In some respects I see Ateeb’s point. Why don’t arsenal pay the money ? We need a top class centre back and arsenal do have the money. I respect arsenal’s position, so I think there may be more to it than just the wage demands. If a player is good enough (Henry, Cesc), arsenal will blow the budget. In Gallas’s case they didn’t think he was worth it. For whatever reason.

  211. Is he a top centre back though? If he hadn’t been at Arsenal and he appeared on the market having been let go by another club would we seriously entertain the idea of paying mega bucks to him? Also, given that TV is acknowledged as one of the best signings of the season last year, the back line with Gallas involved still shipped a number of goals (that topic has been discussed to death on here though!!). Living on former glories I believe and, perhaps, viewed with a touch of sentimentality…

  212. jbh

    I agree that you can’t have strangers playing alongside each other, which is why a player like Kompany makes sense alongside Vermaelen.

  213. In response to those that say it would be cheaper to pay Gallas for two years than sign a new defender, it’s fair to say that with most of Arsene’s signings the very least that will happen is that we’ll get our money back on the sale of the player.

    Of the current defenders, Clichy, Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Eboue would all be sold for more than they cost us and I’m sure the same would be true of Koscielny. Of course, if a player really performs then we don’t want to sell him at all, but then his performance would have justified the fee in the first place.

    Gallas would cost us 10 million for two years and then he would be a free agent. Bad, bad idea.

  214. Basically Gallas thinks he’s god’s gift to the football world and I think he’s just a plain selfish schmuck with a stainless steel car.

    Glad the door hit him in the ass, I don’t want his experience with that kind of personality.

    I couldn’t be happier to see a player who played for us gone.

  215. Then why did he played like an Old fuck just released from emergency in a hospital?

    LOOOOOOOOOOL

    One wonders…

  216. Wow they’re already comparing Wilshere to Iniesta and Brady.

    FFS, he’s Wilshere and he’s 18…He’s no Iniesta or Brady. Just leave him the fuc alone

  217. It is from that useless pile of shite, ‘the daily wail’

  218. I feel you G4E.

    The great English hope.

    After years of abuse towards Arsene and his policies at Arsenal. It`s funny how one of his own is the future of English football.

    You really couldn`t make it up.

  219. “You really couldn`t make it up.”

    The English media can ‘make up’ a lot of stories Maria.

  220. Right Maria, and they’ll also be the first to sharpen their knives if he just had a one bad game.

  221. 1 loose cannon

    Xavi said “We’ve given up on the idea of him (fabregas) arriving now, but maybe he’ll come in January when Arsenal are out of the Premier League title race,”
    “Their team are just not competitive.”

    can anyone tell me what is the obsession? they seem obsessed with Arsenal more than the spuds.

  222. The Daily Fail profile Jack the Lad. Not one mention of his coaches who brought him to where he is. Instead they’ve gone and interviewed Owen Coyle. Vile, despicable human beings

  223. footbo.com – do Arsenal have ambition ? opinions are one thing but facts are another. hate to say but am secretely beggining to think along the same lines. money vs. success. i am getting a strong whiff of money. hope wengers youngsters shove it back down my throat this season.. dislike doom and gloom and y’know, lets keep it away from the tabloids. i understand new stadium and etc. but from here would liken the arsenal atmosphere to that of a cost cutting exercise at work. like i said u cant argue with facts. hope i am wrong.

  224. …………and just to add a little salt……….compare to what jose m. is saying at r.m.

  225. The facts trevor, as you say, cannot be argued with and they have been stated clearly time and again.
    Fact, we had no choice but to operate under financial restraints.
    Fact, No teams can compete financially with Man City and Chelsea.
    Fact, Arsene Wenger is a manager who wants to win every game and has an incredible record of success.
    Fact, We have built a youth system which is the envy of every other team in the land.
    Fact, we do not need to sell (you may have noticed the Cesc Fabregas story this summer) players so money is not our incentive.
    Fact, we have challenged for the title in two of the last three seasons.
    Fact, despite the childish, defeatist, craven, weak willed spinelessness of many of our ‘fans’ we boast some incredible strong minded tough players (look at President Eboue dada, booed for daring to return from injury) and those are the kind who want to win things.

    OK the last was more my opinion than fact but you catch my drift. Right I’m mountain biking all day so you lot better get behind the team today or I’ll be really cross when I get back.

  226. Fuck Jose fucking Mourinho. Are you so desperate for a trophy you want to watch a team playing anti football??

  227. ok. fair enough. but its what i think. now i’m gonna think of a chant that rhymes with ‘we’ve got loads of money’

  228. The daily heil is just setting him up for the inevitable tearing down when he fails to win games single-handedly. And owen coyle should be ashamed of himself for trying to take credit for other people’s hard work.

  229. I think you guys are missing the point a little bit. Its just an interview with a manager about a young player. I wish I could get you guys together and we could do a new version of Yoga which I have created. Its designed to relax the mind. You guys are stressing yourselves out worrying about nothing, you have fallen out of love with football without realising it and it saddens me.

  230. Gunner4ever i have a suspicion Mingus is Poliziano.

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