Deadline Day Drama? Doubtful…

The KNVB has offered the opinion that Robin van Persie will be out for ‘at least a few weeks‘ having suffered a twisted ankle at Blackburn on Saturday. The timing is unsurprising; Euro2012 qualifiers take place this week and losing a player or two has become de rigeur for Arsenal in recent seasons.

With the transfer window closing today, there have been suggestions in some quarters that the Dutchman cannot be relied upon, that Wenger should turn his attention to a new striker to reinforce the squad. It does van Persie a disservice; only in two seasons has he failed to play less than thirty games for the club.

Key to this might be his scoring record, recent seasons have seen this lower from just over 1 in 3 games to close to 1 in 2. It apparently leaves Arsenal short in attack – figuratively and literally to some extent – the logic goes, with a reduced goal threat. Whilst the notion seems less than fanciful, it misses the point. The notional midfield – if you accept the split on the official site as positionally correct – contributes more goals per season than the forward line. Weight of numbers to some extent explains that but the emergence of Theo Walcott as a goal machine this summer may put that under strain.

With Bendtner absent for at least another month, is there any reason for Wenger to delve into the transfer market at this late stage? Not really is the answer. With the addition of Chamakh, van Persie is more likely to feature as a second striker than leading the line this time around. Wenger observed that playing that pairing would mean a reversion to a more orthodox 4-4-2 formation.

More to the point, is this desire for cover nothing more than a desire for a signing, any signing, in what has been a relatively moribund transfer market, suggesting that some nerves are frayed with the absence of strengthening elsewhere. The deadline of Premier League teams is 6pm this evening and little activity is suggested as taking place within the halls formerly made of marble.

Mark Schwarzer is prime favourite, as always, in the back pages. I cannot recall such intense speculation surrounding an average player. This summer has been low activity generally speaking and desperation is setting in for one of the top clubs to sign someone – anyone – with some curious linkage and the usual bartering for an improved contract being a key feature. Whether Wenger will sign anyone will be known by teatime today. Somehow, I doubt it.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 31, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 318 Comments.

  1. Keeper please.

  2. Traore gone to Juventus on loan. I’m glad we did not sell him. as strikers concerned we need to promote one of the youngsters if RVP absent.

  3. YW – I 100% agree that we don’t need another striker. We can’t just stockpile players in case of injuries. We already have Chamakh/RvP/Bendtner who can play as the main striker. JET if we are really pushed. I expect our midfield to get their fair share of goals as well. Cesc and Diaby are both more than capable of getting 10+ goals, as is Nasri.

    I don’t expect any signings now at this late stage. Shwarzter won’t happen as Fulham will not be able to replace him in time, so why would they sell?

  4. I don’t see why there is such an expectatancy amongst Arsenal fans for a keeper. Almunia is for me a better keeper than Schwarzer – who has not played at the highest level.

    If he comes he will perhaps contend for the number 1 spot and provide back-up. If Almunia leaves, it ain’t really a good move for us. Replacing him with a 38 yr old that will give us a couple seasons, and has never played Champs League.

    I think Wenger will stick with Almunia, he has done well so far this season, and in pre-season. So going by his words prior to pre-season re the keepers.. “The best performer will play” .. Almunia has obviously got the gloves. Whether or not someone else comes in to compete remains to be seen.

  5. First

  6. I wonder if Arsene will throw up a signing which was nowhere on the radar? He has done it before. Everybody knows he can’t resist a tricky small attacking player. We don’t need one, but you never know.

  7. Frankly, I dont care about anything regarding the Gk situation, we know how arsene is in the market. The only thing to make sure is Flapianski should not be anywhere near our goal.

    If no one comes in, the pack needs reshuffling and it is CRUCIAL to make sure that Szezchrny does NOT go out on loan.

    I would have personally preferred a quality goalkeeper, but since it does not seem forthcoming Sczezchnty will have a HUGE SAY in whether we win anything or not this season.

    The mantra is simply: No Flapianski!

    Cheers all!

  8. Plagiarised this from an Arsenal blog: Netbreakers 2, Bath towel Rovers 1 😀

  9. We need a keeper signed today.Wenger has shown in bidding for Schwarzer he has no faith in Almunia and Fabianski

  10. Agree about Swarts, why would we want him, hes average and the difference between him and almunia certainly isnt 2-4 million. Remember these reports are from the dutch, not AFC. I normaly dont like the interlull but by time wthey have finished , Naz wont be far away as well as RVP. I dont believe that we will adapt a 442. RVP is our best and main striker, if Theo was one or two years down the road then i might think RVP would drop back into Dennis area behind the striker (Theo) as we did 5 year ago, but with Theo showing the beginings of his maturity i dont feel we have to worry too much

  11. Mark Schwarzer may be at the same level as Almunia however, watching MS he has more presence in the box than MA and can reduce points lost per MA’s howlers.

    MA is a good shot stopper but also has disturbing weaknesses especially his command in the box and near post.

    He has been a great servant but while not the manager, sitting here and watching games at my village in Ghana, I can forcefully say that we can’t win the title with MA as the GK. He cost us between 10-15 points a season mainly from high balls and his near post.

    He played well against Blackburn but he’s often found wanting when it matters most. CL and high profile games.

  12. Is it me or has there been an inverse relationship between the amount of transfer talk (blogs, online news etc) and the amount of deals actually getting done in European football each year. I’m not saying the two things are definitely linked, by the way. There’s just something pretty funny about that trend if true.

    An the window closing won’t make a difference to the amount of transfer stories floating around – it’s like trying to close a real window on a pneumatic drill.

  13. Smells like Howard around here.

  14. @ Dick. 100% Correct. If Wenger had faith in our current keepers then he wouldn’t have bid for Schwarzer. He has had long enough to put this one to bed. I’m afraid, like Yogi, I don’t expect any more signings. God I hope I’m wrong!

  15. Anyone that uses the word Flapianski can’t really accumulate any credit for his comments.

    Fucking childish

  16. ChrisGoona

    ‘ Almunia is for me a better keeper than Schwarzer – who has not played at the highest level.’

    In that case alone, Almunia should not have been our GK when Jens left. I’ve read somewhere that he never played for a first division team and that he was a No.2 GK for a second division team; Celta Vigo. True? I’m also informed told that he became regular GK after he was 27, too old to develop your reflexes as a GK.

  17. Buy, buy, buy … this year I got a solid looking striker with presence, calmness and a good header; a defender with sloping shoulders and a scary look; and another defender (one of those Xmas’) tall, lithe and experienced. I’m pretty happy. What did y’all get? Socks I suppose.

  18. African Fan

    Correct.What experience did Almunia have at the highest level?
    He has never been a top class keeper

  19. African fan

    Exactly, Almunia was never purchased as number, he in fact forced his way into the team. He was for how many years playing back-up keeper?

    Why would any serious Arsenal fan want a 37 yr old average club keeper to come in and replace Almunia. It is nonsense.

  20. Gawd, heaven help us and save the word and the whale and all the other stuff too (eg ecosystems), and please please remove debates in blogs about a keeper; it’s irritating and all a bit stoopid. Ta.

  21. people keep saying schwarzer is hardly better than almunia so why get him, but that’s not the point. schwarzer is miles better than fabianski, that’s why wenger wants him.

    having almunia as your no.1 backed up by schwarzer, or having schwarzer backed up by almunia, is much better than having fabianski being anywhere near your team.

    wenger wants to offload fabianski so he can have two solid keepers compete for the goalkeeping position. and neither schwarzer nor almunia can complain about being no.2 at arsenal, neither of them has distinguished themselves in their careers to date. that’s what wenger wants: two solid keepers competing, but no big ego prima donnas who won’t accept a bit of competition.

  22. Arsene was obviously having a good look at all the keepers in pre season. Given how little Big al featured, you’ve got to wonder how much Fabianski shot himself in the foot with that dodgy first half performance in the 5-6 in Poland.

  23. So the Dick’s are out to play… all preferring to slag their own

  24. For those enthusiasts of B horror movies, have you seen “Attack of the Doomers”? It’s a classic, both kind of chilling and incredibly amateurish.

  25. I do not mind a GK coming in, we need a 2nd solid keeper. But anyone who believes Almunia will be shipped out for us to have Shwarzer and Fabianski as our keeping options is seriously stupid.

  26. Vince – I think that is exactly what happened.

    Schwarzter is a better keeper than Alminua, but not by much. It is a shame we are not trying for somebody who would significantly improve the position, but there you go. I think our transfers are over for this year anyway.

  27. JET must be brought into the fold in Van Persie’s absence…

    He did well playing up front in pre-season, so he must be brought in as back up to Chamakh.

    If we play for the next 6 weeks with only one big man up front, we’re screwed.

    Wenger should have given Van Persie a bit of a longer holiday. He played ever game of Hollands run to the final. Van Persie’s injury is Wenger’s fault.

  28. If Wenger wanted to ‘offload’ Fabianski then why hasn’t he done so? Vito’s perfectly capable as a number 2, and I bet any team in the world would feel blessed to have a third choice goalie with the potential of Tech9. You’re talking nonsense.

  29. Even if we do get another keeper in, it will more than likely too late to offload one of ours. I would fully expect Almunia to be the No2 which unfortunaely for him, would leave Fabianski in limbo.

  30. If Almunia is good enough for Arsenal versus Blackburn, he’s good enough for me.

  31. That was @Kirmani at 11:13

  32. goonerandy

    Going by Schwarzer’s performance at the WC I would take Almunia any day of the week

  33. Beware “gunners” bearing numbers.

  34. I hope we dont get anyone. Ive had enough of hearing that without a new GK we wont win anything, the grass is always greener for some. There are very few players in the world who can take you from winning nothing and winning something, messi could be one for sure, but Mark swartzer, never in anyones wildest

  35. gunner17 –

    “Van Persie’s injury is Wenger’s fault”

    Don’t be silly.

  36. boomer

    I agree, that is what is most hilarious about the Schwarzer rumours. The guy is most likely a worse keeper than Almunia, yet all the idiot fans think he will turn us into title challengers – which we already are!!!

  37. ChrisGoona – Going by Almunia’s performances last season (30 odd games, not 3 as in the World Cup) I would take Scwarzter any day of the week.

  38. @Boomer yeah agreed. At the end of last season before all the MS stuff came out, not one person said “We’ll never win anything with Almunia in goal…but if we got Mark Schwarzer we’d be contenders for sure!”. It’s just this pathetic need for signings. If Saturday proved anything it’s that Big Al just needs to be a little fired up to be on top of his game, the way he stood up to Diouf was quality.

  39. Pleassssseeee arsene….. a new keeper pleassaaaassssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. chrisgoona – your obssessed with almunia – he was a NUMBER TWO goalie playing for CELTA VIGO when he came to us and eventually replaced the top goalie that was lehmann. At least schawzer is playing for a decent club in a top league

  41. i really enjoy reading le groan today ;).
    i cant wait for the mass suicide on their blog after the deadline if we don’t sign a GK.
    Happy day

  42. goonerandy

    Dont you wonder why Schwarzer spent so long playing for mediocre clubs?

  43. As good as Almunia can be (I am not doubting that), the guy just makes too many mistakes. I just want us to have a keeper that does not make as many howlers. Shcwartzer seems to be that, so he will do.

    All of this said, it is highly unlikely the deal will happen now. If Arsene does not have a back up plan, Almunia will be in goal for our next game. More performances the same as last week Al!

  44. Me wants keeper….. U savvy?

  45. I can’t wait till 6pm to see all the ‘I will slit my wrist if we don’t buy a keeper’ fans reactions.

    Its gonna be a mass bunch of whinging that is for sure, lets hope we get a decent % of suicides per 100 whingers!

  46. ChrisGoona – By that argument, do you wonder why Almunia played in the Spanish 2nd division until 27 years old? At the same time Shwarzter was plying his trade consistantly in the Premiership. Answer me that one please?

  47. Almunia is quality, I rate him even though he makes some errors like all keepers do.

    I don’t think anyone can claim or guarantee Schwarzer will come in and be better. Hes consistently average at best, where Almunia can pull off the odd spectacular, and is great on one-on-ones and penalties.

  48. I won’t be slitting my wrists; disapointed that we have not bettered posibly the most important position in the team? yes. But life goes on.

  49. Schwarzer’s decent enough, but he’s not played top-level-mad-pressure football for any length of time. Also bear in mind Fulham have a defence who don’t suddenly vanish upfield when they fancy a shot on goal!

  50. Now we go to the ACLF ticker,

    Breaking news….breaking news….breaking news….breaking news….

    We haven’t signed anyone. Back to your normal programming.

  51. ChrisGoona – It is not about the saves he makes; it is about the mistakes he makes.

  52. andy

    That is the same as saying where did Pires, Vieira, Petit, Henry play before Arsenal. Almunia proved himself and displaced Lehman from the team. He was never purchased as number 1.

    Is that hard for you mate?

  53. goonerandy

    You need to come to terms with the fact that all keepers make mistakes. In an attacking team like our own, the keeper is often left exposed. The addition of Chamakh (defending on set-pieces) and the aggressive nature of Verm and Kosc, and return of Djoruou.. we could see a far less number of goals condeded this year dont you think?

  54. playing second field in the second division in spain doesn’t say you are crap.This is call late development.Some player do not reach full potential until they are nearly reach 30 for some reason (wrong coach,wrong team, wrong town whatever..).
    I prefer we trust our young GK than spend 4 M on an another decent GK who turn 38

  55. I think the first team goal will be marshalled by Almunia, Schwarzer and Szczesny this year.

    Almunia has been solid so far this season, and so will start as no.1. When he screws up, which eh will, Wenger will put Schwarzer in. Schwarzer will have the position by Christmas. Almunia will then take the FA Cup. Szczesny will take the Carling Cup and the Reserves. Szczesny will be number 1 in 3 years time. He will be our Cech.

    Mannone will be loaned out very soon so he can get some games. Plenty of clubs in Italy will take him. He can’t complain about not being in the first team picture anyway, he needs some experience behind him. If he shows he’s good enough, he’ll come back and be our no.2 in time.

    The sword is hanging over Fabianski, no doubt about it. He’s too big a risk to be anywhere near our first team, but he’s got the talent to play games now. We’ll never recoup the £3-4m we paid for him. I wonder if he’ll go on loan to a club in Poland or something. He’s not completely useless, he does have good reactions and athleticism. Maybe just not suited to our defence, our team. Someone will take him on loan surely?

  56. Pires – Marsaille (International foorballer)
    PV4 – AC Millan
    Petit – Monaco
    Henry – Juventus (International footballer)

    Almunia – Celta Vigo (Spanish 2nd division).

    He did prove himself when he diplaced Jens, and cudos to him for doing that. Up till 18months ago I was more than happy with him (I don’t diskile the guy). He was solid if unspectacular, which is just fine.

    Then mistakes starting creeping into his game. As you rightly said, all keepers make them. But he was making too many, and some of them were plain stupid one (I can take a keeper spilling the odd shot).

    It is not a personal thing, I quite like the guy; however, this club should have a better goalkeeper. It is as simple as that.

  57. MS will turn us into campiones. Come on u ozzies….. AUSSIE. AUSSIE AUSSIE oi oi oi!!!!!!

  58. Chris – I do hope we conceed less this year, and more importantly offer more protection to the keeper. Our signings so far indicate that this may be the case. A has been said before though, it is not the personnel so much as the shape of the team when we lose the ball. Another discussion though.

  59. I’m surprised no-one’s thrown up the “OMG wot kind of message duz it send to cesc that we wont sign a new keeper!” angle yet. Good to see.

  60. For me, I’m not expecting the MS deal to go ahead. If Al stays, Flappy should be the one headed out on loan somewhere, anywhere as long as its nowhere near our goal area! The GK should look like this:
    (2) Chesney
    (3) Vito

    Apart from this, its time to get the Backline communicating…get Al to talk to his defenders, telling them what they need to do.They should also SPECIALLY give attention to those thugs who try to unsettle and shove him around during set piece situations.

    I love the nose-to-nose match up with Dirty Diouf and Al needs to add some ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ side to his game and goal area to make EPL strikers steer clear of any area within arm’s length of him.I appreciate his efforts against Barca so much I’m ready to give him a chance if it were up to me…in spite of his many horror displays!

    The same change, that we’ve seen in Diaby can be replicate din Al;Diaby is much more protective of the midfield and helping Song out this term and if it continues, we’re in with a shout!

    If MS doesn’t work out, we’ll have to make do with Al;and while correcting the reasons for our defensive frailities and moving from a traditional 4-3-3 to a more 4-2-3-1, we may as well add extra training to the GK situation. I’m sure that there is a reason why we concede so much from set pieces and counter attacks.

    As we try to correct these weaknesses, we should deal with how to defend against these 2 things and I’m sure that with that added disciplined defending, we concede less and teaching Al and others to COMMAND their areas and deal with CROSSES can be a great leap forward for us! If extra training has taken Walcott to a new level of directness, precision and crossing, imagine what it’ll do for the likes of Arshavin, Denilson, Diaby, Al and the other GKs.

    Finally, if majority of teams in the EPL BELIEVE Arsenal cant handle high balls into our box with so many examples to prove them right, why don’t we train on defending these high balls until we PERFECT it and go into every game against these teams expecting them to play like Blackburn, Stoke and Hull?

  61. I’m not very optimistic about us improving defensively this year…koscielny, squillaci and djorou might well be a better set than gallas, campbell and silvestre, but you can’t just dump so many new defenders who haven’t ever played with eachother into a team and expect it all to work seamlessly. they’ll take a while to settle. mistakes will be made, goals will be conceded, games will be lost.

  62. Steven – nice post.

  63. are we here yet

  64. Nice post Steven, I don’t think Denilson needs any help with his precision though!

  65. I thought the maxim was in football:
    “you’re only as good as your last game”.

    Come to think of it with, Theo that got stretched to:
    “he’s only as good as his last few games”.

    With Almunia I’m now wondering if it’ll be:
    “he’s only as good as his last game against Man U/Man City/Chelsea/Barcelona”,
    “he’s only as good as his last season”?

    At the beginning of last season, I don’t think anyone was clamouring for a new keeper…

    Let’s stop the dooming. It seems like the footballing equivalent of wife beating. In 3 games thus far, I think Almunia has only messed up on one cross, otherwise he’s been mistake free and solid.

  66. We nid 2 g8 Loris or Musleri the Uruguan GK in swap deal with Aluminia, and Mohammadow Diara from Real Madrid.


  68. gurk….its …it s a fantasy set up by this suppose to be football website to get people reading it and Lyon have already squash it by saying that he will not be leaving this summer.
    ANyway he is [playing for Lyon so anything under 20 M is not good and i doubt the club will be spending on a GK

  69. Is Hleb really going to Birmingham? Jesus. Someone just said to me “I’m sure after finding London such a horrible place to live he’s going to love the quiet, gentile and picturesque surroundings of Birmingham…”

    Can’t we offer him some ice cream and have him back? The Hlebster was always one of my faves to watch even if he only scored once every thousand years.

  70. Loving the new name Dups, I say keep it!

  71. I believe that Manuel Almunia will fight for his place again this season as he has done previously and won’t be affected long term by all the speculation surrounding a new goalkeeper. He competed well with Jens and then Fabianski (for the time being at least) and he will do the same this season regardless of who is after his number one spot, he seems to thrive on it.

  72. But Aluminia is shit man and so is Flappy. I say flog them to the champoz and get in a world class keeper. Make chezny as number 2 and we are sorted.

  73. GK talk is getting very very boring..

    11 days until next game 😦

  74. Chris – I will agree with you there. I can’t wait until today is over, but then we have to put up with boring international football. Here’s hoping nobody picks up any injuries.

  75. Get the fuck out of Arsenal,you senile piece of shit,Wenger.Greedy,senile French bastard Wenger

  76. Jaguar

    We missed your witty and incisive analysis…


  77. He may well have tried YW, but alas he could not spell it on the application form. And his name more than likely.

  78. YW,Do you think that senile piece of shit was right in not buying a GK?

  79. Jaguar – Man Utd do not need a GK.

  80. Jaguar

    You want to play, do so nicely.


  81. I wonder if the ‘big cat’ is giving up the season ticket he’s had for the last 50 years.

  82. Jaguar? more like a kitten feeling big behind his computer screen. I can assure you if you see Wenger in the flesh you would probbly piss your trousers and ask him for an autograph. it is cowardly to insult a man behind his back in the confort of your smelly bedroom.

  83. Now many say, “Attack of Doomers” Pt. 2 was a real classic, continuing the story-line of Pt. 1, but with a pithy personalised, emotional story about a pussy-cat (I told you it was B movie stuff) who went back to skool to learn words and fings, all part of an evil plot … well see the movie.

  84. I do not think they have the mental ability to form an evil plot, ZP.

  85. I would like to offer another point for consideration into our current GK debate…

    I do not think that its a matter of who is better Almunia or Schwarzer…you guys can argue all day about experience, CL caps, WC performance, mistakes and attributes. If there is an argument to be had which has strong support on both side (ie not just one muppet) then that in itself shows there isn’t much in it!

    MORE to the point is the history and mental side of having Almunia and Fabianski in goal. Colleagues, fans, oppositions, and the keepers themselves know they are vulnerable, they are prone to a mistake, they can change a game!

    Whereas if we brought in a new GK, ie Schwarzer, they would have the chance to form a new image, a new history as an Arsenal Keeper.

    Personally I really think if Aluminia could change his identity and start afresh that would be as good as if Arsenal signed Schwazer.

    Almunia can have a great game, but if he misses one save or drops a cross – media and fans slate him. Whereas Cech, Van der Saar, Reina (ha ha) all make mistakes, its just the spot light is not on them. Almunia’s performance 1st half 1st leg against Barca last year was one of the best GK I’ve seen in a long time (shame about the second half goals!!!)

    The same stigma sits with our whole team as a defensive unit. All teams feel down and out when loosing against Chelsea and United, against Arsenal in recent years we have sadly produced a mentality to opposition that there is always a chance, with moments to go Arsenal can always crumble…this we MUST change.

  86. In general, cats are only good for one thing, and that is keeping rats under control. These days, having watched Ratatouille, I prefer the rats.

    Actually, “JAGUAR” would make a brilliant concept for a spoof of a full-on man-action movie starring “Jaguar – the man, the mission, the cat”.

  87. I can’t wait for 6 so we can put all this transfer bullsh!t behind us!!!Jeez all this Almunia isnt good enough is driving me nuts!!!!!

    I see Jaguar has escaped the looney(LG) and joined the sane(and some slightly insane).

  88. meeeooouw

  89. Firstlady, shame on you. Don’t you realise Wenger reads all the Arsenal sites on the last day of the transfer thingy to see what he should do.

  90. Arsene, if you reading this please make Almunia captain for life.

  91. Wherever senile old men lurk, that is where the “Jaguaaaaar” (you gotta get the inflection right) moves … in stealth, by night, protecting the honour of pretty maidens (cue dumb blond type) from those who would violate their sanctity (cue senile, toothless old man flashing) and innocent souls (cue gormless looking goalkeeper) … from those who would bully (cue Shawcross, Diouf, Samba various Stoke thugs). Cue music ‘Jaguar, Jaguar; he can even spell his name rite”.

  92. This is getting weird! The bats!

  93. Gunner Guru on August 31, 2010
    at 12:49 pm

    Very very true.

    What makes things even worse for him is that half of the things he gets blamed for are not even errors at all. Examples, conceding that goal to the tinies or being beaten at his near post at Liverpool.

  94. Completely off topic, but if you have google chrome then the new Arcade Fire video is a must-watch.

  95. It’s utterly incredible that Almunia came out of the match at Anfield worse off than Reina did. One was beaten by a fucking rocket that bordered on being unstoppable, the other THREW THE BALL INTO HIS OWN NET.

  96. Vince,

    Reina actually flapped on crosses a couple of times in that game as well.

  97. Yeah but Ole he’s a WORLD CLASS KEEPER! He’s got the medal and everything! I mean, so what if he didn’t actually play in any of the games and that his most meaningful contribution was helping to force a Barca shirt on to our captain, he’s still WORLD CLASS and Almunia must be rubbish in comparison. There’s no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact.*

    *bonus point to anyone who gets the reference

  98. I think if you tally Reina’s mistakes which led to goals from last season, to Almunia’s you would see somethink quite remarkable.

    Reina will have no doubt made a few (as all keepers do), but I would bet that Almunia made double what Reina made. And that is the point. I am not bigging up Reina here because I think he is a twat. But that is why he has a repuattion as a good keeper…..he does not make too many errors. And why Almunia’s reputation is now tainted……he makes too many.

    It is quite simple, and those with rose tinted glasses simply refuse belive that when he does make a mistake he has made it. It has nothing to do with being “exposed” by our defence. But it has everything to do with us conceeding too many goals down to goalkeeping errors alone.

  99. Ahh, my old friend Brass Eye. I miss that show.

    Do I get my bonus point now? 🙂

  100. Unfortunately for MA, when he has made mistakes they have tended to either:

    a. Be in big games
    b. Have cost us points.

    If he had made msiatkes but we had still won the match they would not be as highlted, so in that respect he has been unlucky.

  101. Haha, well played Avaris15. I’m in the middle of a great biog of Chris Morris, also bought Four Lions yesterday but not watched it yet…

  102. We are doomed! i cant support Arsenal any more. i will just go to City, or even better to Spurs.

    No team with Almunia as the number one can challenge.

    I am now a Spurs die hard. Spurs for Life!!!

    Kamaaaaaaaaan Spurssssssssss

  103. Not entirely true Goonerandy, after the Fulham game where he was extraordinary Don Vito made a few errors that didn’t cost us games but have still led to him being viewed by many as not good enough for us.

  104. Vince – That is true. He made some very good saves, but he did look a slittle shakey. That is not slagging him though, after all he is the 3rd choice keeper and was thrown in at the deep end. All in all he did very well.

    All of that said, if Almunia can get his form back of a few seasons ago I will be more than happy with him. I just fear that as soon as he makes an error he will start to crumble again. He does not seem the most confident chap.

  105. goonerandy,

    Now that you’ve made that assertion I will hold you to it. Prove what you say.

  106. Gunner guru, in response to your statement

    “we have sadly produced a mentality to opposition that there is always a chance, with moments to go Arsenal can always crumble…this we MUST change.”

    It is only shite fans like you who have produced this mentality. You, and others of your ilk like african fan and gunner17 and dick, et al… create your own special sense of panic. You create the feedstock for the doomer nation. Sadly there are so many of you fanboys both in the stands and the media that a lot of your absolute crap ideas have become self-fulfilling prophecies. Some idiot hears it from his mate’s friend’s girlfriend who read it online that Arsenal need to buy this or that or they will never win anything. This gossip is overheard by the little rats in the gutter by the kerb and the next day there is some awful article in the back pages of how Arsenal need to sign X, Y, or Z or they will be sent packing from these glorious shores back to their native country.

    Thankfully you, and others, have been shown up as the shower you are by many people on this blog.

  107. Ole – Which one?

  108. By the way, Hleb seems to have joined Brum on loan. It all goes downhill once you leave Arsenal.

  109. This one Goonerandy;

    Reina will have no doubt made a few (as all keepers do), but I would bet that Almunia made double what Reina made.

  110. Providing we DON’T get Schwarzer – and that for me is up in the air right until the window closes (and possibly later given Arsene’s track record with late buys) – I think there’s really two ways Big Al can react.

    1) He thinks “sweet, i’m number 1. The place is mine and i’m gonna take my chance to prove I deserve it.” This’d be great and hopefully lead to his display on Saturday being a weekly event, although hopefully with less head/post interactions.

    2) He thinks “shit, i’m on borrowed time here. What if they try and get someone else in January?” This’d suck, it’d be at the back of his mind and might lead to a string of dodgy performances which could mean Tech9 finding himself between the sticks before Wenger thinks he’s truly ready.

  111. Ole – I really cannot be bothered to search through god knows how many youtube/internet sites to research it. But I don’t really need to, it was a throw away comment which is probably fairly true.

  112. Ok so you pulled it out of your arse. Surely you haven’t watched both keepers that closely?

  113. Vince – Very true. Hopefully it will be No1. He has played well in the past when he knows he need to perform to keep his place, so maybe the added pressure will focus him more.

  114. So far goonerandy Almunia is the FAR better keeper this year, even if its only 3 in.

    Reina flaps at a fair few crosses if you ever ask the opinion of a Pool fan. He isn’t a confident chap either in the air by all accounts.

    Why you tend to side with opposition players makes me very curious about what side you are actually on?

    Almunia will prove you very very wrong this year, even if he doesn’t, your biass-ness towards other players is shocking.

    Show some support, hes a very good goalkeeper.

  115. 3 games in *

  116. Ole – Heh, I knew that would be your response. I have watch our keeper very closely (as in every game), and Reina not so closely. I know Almunia made plenty of gaffs last year, whereas I only saw Reina (and other top keepers) only make a few. Not quite “pulling it out of my arse”. More a case of “using my eyes”.

  117. The intensity, the drama. Its all climaxing to one big show…will he, wont he.

    Ladies and gentleman…Mark Schwarzer.

    Seriously though, totally not worth the paperwork.

  118. goonerandy

    More of the case of not knowing exactly how many mistakes Reina done you mean, so you assume hes better!

    You are a PURE the grass is greener on the other side type of supporter. (I hate writing that time and time again)

    Please back-up your comments and save us pointless debates, with your pointless comments.

  119. John Cross of the Mirror is saying on Twitter that the MS deal is as good as dead, not due to Fulham being unable to loan Given but due to the injury to Stockdale. He’s expected to be out for around 10 weeks.

  120. I wonder how many would turn up to the unveiling of the player if he did sign!


    Some people make out hes our saviour by their comments!

  121. ahhhhhh noooo Schwarzer is not coming!

    Doomers, there will be a pen knife stuck to the back of the matchday programme!

  122. Chris – He has been very good this year, and I hope it keeps it up. If so, we have no worries. My concerns stem from the amount of gaffs he has made in the past 2 years.

    I am not “siding” with any opposition players, so don’t even attempt to get into all that childish “questioning where my support lies” shite. I am 100% Arsenal and don’t need to justify that to you or anybody else around here. I am simply comparing Almunia with other top keepers as that is the way the discussion seems to have gone.

    It is not being “bias” towards other players. If I were to say that Essien (for example) was better than Frimpong/Denilson/Whoever, is that bias? No, is is a fairly obvious truth. I am an Arsenal fan, but I am not stupid and am not blind to the fact that there are also good footballers outisde of our club. That does not mean I like them though, because generally I don’t.

  123. All those clamouring for a goalkeeper, just go out to sears(or wherever it is you do your shopping ) and pick one from the shelves so we can be done with this whole “Almunia makes more mistakes than blur..blur…blur..blur

  124. I think Mark Schwarzer made more cock ups in the world cup than Big Al made the whole of last season.

  125. Chris – Just out of interest, how many keeper in the lge do you think are better than Almunia. Don’t worry, I won’t accuse you of being biased. C’mon, who?

  126. Goonerandy, stop being a snob. So what if its division 2. People learn even at 27. How old are you? who stops growing and learning b’cos they are 27 or 30. He had a bad season, thats life. schwazer could have a bad season too. But i take the arsenal goal keeper over fulham goal keeper anyday. Just cos he didnt come from real or sevilla does not make him less than!!

    Not everyone gets found in life at 19. some people are late bloomers. Thats life! he has proven himself at the highest level. one bad season doesnt mean you just dump a guy. he has worked really hard and is showing he is back on form.

    How about some loyalty from the fans sometimes? Gosh!!! You ask it from the players.

    Hey i have an idea. arseanl fans can get behind almunia and see what happens

  127. goonerandy that is exactly what I was going to mention.

    We had someone bringing up a list of practically 16 or 17 keepers who they thought were better than Almunia in the Premiership.

    Was that you?

  128. Does anybody else find it a little surprising that we haven’t loaned out any of our keepers? Surely we have one extra keeper in our squad right now, the fourth choice would hardly get to catch a ball.

  129. You cannot judge any player, especially a goalkeeper, on a world cup performance with a shit beachball. Unless you are liverpool buying half of Senegal after they beat France, then saying oops, Diouf et al are crap after all. Schwarzer is a very good keeper and would be a good buy.

    Almunia on the other hand, would also be fine, if he can get back to his best. Season before last he was good, last season not so great.

    It’s all mental, if he keeps playing well it might happen. I’d be stoked to see Schwarzer & Almunia competing for the no 1 shirt.

  130. Since i cant be assed to look for stats..dint we concede less than fulham or didnt we?

  131. *sighs*

    As it goes and has been lost a bit; I actually don’t mind him. He seems a decent guy, and is not a bad keeper. i just think we should have better. That is all. I don’t subscibe to the thought that we can not challenge with him in goal either.

    goonerwife – I am not being a snob. He was signed as a No2, which was fine. He has had a chance at being No1 and done fairly well in spells. I just want us to have a top class keeper, and unfortunately he makes too many mistakes to atain that level (consistantly). I will always be 100% behind him as long as he is our goalkeeper though.

  132. Anyone who thinks that Wenger would bid 2 – 4M for someone to be competition for Almunia or a back up keeper is not being rational. That is not the Wenger way. Waiting till the death to make a push was clearly a mistake.

    However, I can not believe we will get a GK in the next 4 hours so we have to live with what we have. I hope Almunia can find his form and confidence. I he plays consistantly the way he did against Blackburn we will be OK. Unfortunately everything he does will be under a microscope and fair or not whatever mistakes he makes will be headlines. How will all of this affect our players? Will they see the first mistake and thing “here we go again”? Who knows. I just hope we do not have to look back at the end of this season with regret that we did not spend a little money to get a new GK. Time will tell.

  133. Chris – I don’t think I produced a list (can’t remember yesterday, never mind weeks ago). But I think I did say that he would not be in the top 10 keepers in the lge.

    Seriously, who would you rate above him?

  134. I will always be 100% behind him as long as he is our goalkeeper though.

    Yes you are doing a great job andy!

    You have no confidence in the guy or loyalty to a good keeper who wears the Arsenal shirt. He is a loyal servant who worked hard to get the number 1 spot and who has played in goal through a 3 or 4 year spell of which our defence has been crap.

    I aint blind, I know there is better keepers out there, and my bet is that Wenger tried to get someone else in. Whether that happens by 6pm, I personally doubt it as Almunia been given the armband, then being sent to sit on the bench next game is unlikely I think.

  135. Anyone who thinks Wenger can’t bid £2M for a back up keeper is outright delusional.

  136. Chris – Saying I think he makes too many mistakes on an internet posting board is not really “not supporting” him is it?

    You have not answered my question; how many keepers do you rate as better than Almunia? Is a simple question, and you seem to know your football and I am interested in your answer.

  137. If anyone thought Wenger was after a No 1 GK, He would have signed him at the start of the transfer window as it takes time to get an understanding between the Defenders and the GK. This is the reason why Kos was signed early in the window.

    If He gets a GK in the next few hours, it would be to give competiton to Almunia and not as the No1.

  138. Four Lions…very good.

  139. IndianGooner – you mean like the bids he made to Fulham at the start of the window?

  140. Arsene Wenger & Chris Morris,

    Lions, the pair of them.

    The pride of London, as another top Arsenal blogger/ACLFer/Arsenal fan might say.

  141. goonerandy, Wenger wouldn’t just bid for the player and keep quiet. If he really wanted there would have been a better bid to land the player.

    The first bid for Kos was also rejected.

  142. If everyone who has moaned about ‘keepers, put as much energy in moaning about the Eduardo Embargo…well, I think, that, it would be a more useful distribution of their efforts.

    I can count more ridicuous, sometimes outrageous, non-pens last season, then ‘Almunia howlers. Easily. No argument.

  143. Antony – You are right, that is a good read.

  144. goonerandy on August 31, 2010
    at 2:18 pm

    Yes, that’s my response. You’re using your eyes except when you’re not using your eyes but buying into a popular meme.

    I see many keepers make loads of mistakes and I haven’t seen any keeper in the top flight get as much stick as Almunia has since David James in the early 90s.

  145. IndianGooner – I think that Wenger just has his value for a player and will not exceed it. In this case he was right as well I suppose, Schwartzer at 37 years old is not worth £4M.

    Finsbury – I agree with that. We really are hard done by some times in that area.

  146. Ole – I don’t care what pundits or opposition fans say. I don’t buy into that at all. I will give credit where it is due as well (and have done). Almunia is capable of being a very good goalkeeper, but I also recognise when he is not. And that happened too often during the past 18 months.

  147. Andy

    I think Almunia is in the top 5 keepers in the league.

    Personally I would only prefer Cech, Van Der Sar, and Reina and Given on the day.

    The rest are either too old or average. Van Der Sar just about makes it onto my list through his consistency, although he did go through a bad patch a couple years ago.

  148. I dunno about Cech these days CG, obviously Cech pre-Hunt though.

  149. VINCE Did Arseblog tell you…I’m sure after finding London such a horrible place to live he’s going to love the quiet, gentile and picturesque surroundings of Birmingham??;0

  150. Chris – Thanks for responding, and fair enough.

    Personally I would add Hart, Freidel & Jaaskalinen to that list. I don’t think he is in the top 5 though; I rate him in the same category as the likes of Gomes, Gordon, , Howard and the like.

    Not looking for an argument here either, that is just my opinion.

  151. Very sad we havent signed Schwarzer.If he had been in our team last season we would have won the title.Its amazing how a massive club like Arsenal has two Average keepers like Almunia amd Flapianski.Oh well third place again and Q/F of the CL.Musn’t grumble

  152. Fair enough andy..

    But that just goes to show how much a section of the Arsenal supporters (including yourself) under-rate our players, Almunia especially.

    Howard would never have have lasted as long as Arsenal number 1, he makes too too too many mistakes.

    Gomes is awful, always has been, and always will make stupid mistakes. Jaaskalinen I always liked, but playing for a team like Bolton, you cannot even dream to think of what he can do in goal for Arsenal playing at the other end of the table.

    Friedel is too old, a consistent keeper, not someone who could make the crucial saves at the top level for me at his age.

    Then theres Hart, very young, played well for Birmingham, but even then had his critics.

    This is my reasoning to why Almunia is top 5.

    Season before the last he was probably the top keeper, top 3 at least.

  153. Chin up Ian, I wanted a new keeper as well but if Almunia can regain some form he will be OK. Our team should be good enough to challenge on all fronts.

    One real worry is though (ironically) if Almunia gets injured. If Fabianski plays for a sustained period i really do worry.

  154. Chris – You say I am under rating Almunia, but then also go on to say you don’t rate Howard as he makes too many mistakes. That is the exact reason I don’t rate MA as more than decent. He makes too many mistakes.

    Friedel made a couple of saves on Sat, one of which was excellent. He is old, be would be a definate upgrade on what we have in the short term IMO.

  155. How sad that a massive club like Arsenal have such average fans like Ian.

    Well actually I don’t care. Mustn’t grumble.

  156. Gooooner @3:14 it was tweeted at me!

  157. Jesus, things must be bad at Arsenal if we’re after Asmir Begović, Stoke’s reserve goalkeeper. No wait, that was from Metro…


  159. only kidding

    ha ha ha ha ha tee hee …

  160. I’m with Arsenal Kabisa.

    Come on you … other team … no not that one, the other one, you know, the one without Almunia.


  161. Zimpaul you had me at 3.34

  162. Zimpaul you had me at hello

  163. If we can’t buy, let’s sell. It’s almost as good. Change for change sake works. A desperate late sale. 5.55pm.

  164. Following a failure to agree personal terms with Aussie ‘keeper Mark Schwarzer, Arsene Wenger has turned his sights on ex-Arsenal gloveman Jimmy Rimmer as a temporary solution to the Emirates Goalkeeping “Crisis”. Rimmer (62), who last played for the Gunners in 1977, said “I’m delighted that Arsene has given me this opportunity. I’ve kept fit through a Mediterranean diet and long walks with Pat, my German Shepherd dog.

  165. He definately has experience.

  166. I do think Jaguaaaaaar should dress up in a jaguar suit and become our new mascot. Then we could sell him!!!!!! To, um, …. Leeds!!!! Perfect.

    Quick. Get Ivan, send a fax, call a press conference, find a jaguar suit!

  167. 1 loose cannon

    Schawrtzer is not coming to Arsenal according to latest ,it looks like Hughes wants to put one over Wenger. But this is one transfer that I could not care less what happens next. Yes Almunia has his faults so does Schwartzer. Cheszney will emerge this season I hope. also keeper Shea the young gunner is training with the England squad. Why are we chasing an ageing Keeper?

  168. Hleb to Birmingham city!!!
    Guess the Ice-cream wasn’t good at all..

  169. Reports are that he turned down Liverpool and the Spuds as well.

  170. I just went shopping in Bath. I got a neutral density filter and a book on trains. Just before the shopping window shut at 5.
    The filter is only for back up.

  171. I’m trying to imagine Jaguar in real life. I’m seeing a short, fat guy with shiny shoes. Old 1970s National Front T-shirt, belly shimmering underneath, stained with god knows what, gold (fake) necklace with medallion on top. He adjusts his toupe, at an odd angle, looks straight at the camera, “My fellow British people”, he squeaks, “It is 3.55pm. We have two hours to save Arsenal from foreigners. Are you with me?”, the squeak becomes a shriek.

    Ian shyly puts up his hand … looking furtively around to see if anyone else is.

  172. Ahh…sure do love the silly season…

  173. Skywatchingmug

    Just two hours left.

  174. Steww – I know bath fairly well as I used to live near Chippenham for a few years. The Salemander pub used to be pretty good for food.

  175. Ha – Andy we agree on two things in one day. As we walked past the Sal I pointed it out to my daughter as one of my old drinking haunts. Lost many an afternoon in there.

  176. Steww – Heh, and me. When the wife was shopping sometimes I would pop in there with a book for a drink, only for her to find me worse for wear a few hours later. Her fault for taking so long is my excuse.

  177. If we don’t get Schwarzer or at least buy somebody big I feel strongly that Geoff and Pedro should commit hari kiri. It’s the honourable thing!

  178. I bet Arsene’s just sat in his garden on a laptop playing Football Manager with a glass of wine.

  179. And sending “anon” texts to varying web-sites giving out rumors. Just for shits and giggles.

  180. Aaaaaarggh!!! Will someone please shut this transfer window. Too much hot air coming in. And the fans are about to breakdown.

  181. is it 6 already?cant wait for the madness to end.

  182. Anyone know who this chump commentates for? I’ve never read such bollocks outside of Le Grove.

  183. Wigan have signed Tom Cleverley on a season-long loan from Manchester United. Oooh the excitement of it all.

  184. I bet Arsene is shit at Championship Manager.

  185. YW did you seize my comment? I only worry for the effectiveness of the fans. The amount of hot air rushing in through the transfer window must be the one making them creak and and groan in despair.

  186. 1 loose cannon

    yes like Adebayor to Spurs and city to pay half his wages. very funny.

  187. 1 loose cannon

    Matty Boy-can you top this one?- Kilmarnock have completed the signing of Alexei Eremenko on a season-long loan.I know its ecxiting

  188. …like panicky x-mas shoppers who find their minds a few hours later to discover they just spent the rent on a three-tiered plastic onion slicer and a shiny rubber t-shirt…

  189. Delia-----Block 112

    Not a very tasteful discussion this afternoon. I was all for the signing of a world class keeper and no doubt enquiries were made for a keeper at that level. We all saw the keepers at the WC and very few caught the eye. Those that shone were either not available, outside our budget or both!
    Anything less than a real class act is not what is required at the Emirates. Man City were never going to let Given go to a rival club and those of you who think MS is an improvement on Almunia
    need to think again. The Dutchman at Ajax was probably the best bet.
    For God’s sake Gooners let’s get behind our players and give them our full support, I am so tired of the Moaners , the hacks from the press and some of our own former players deriding
    our keepers.
    Still, there is still 90mins to go, you never know.

  190. slimshay

    Which comment was that?


  191. 1 loose cannon

    fulham want to loan Roma keeper Doni. maybe that 4 millions for their old man is hard to resist. Who can blame them.

  192. I dont get the point of saying that Almunia was a second string goalie.

    The goalie thing is tiresome, for real!

  193. It’s funny how desperate some fans can get for a signing. I never understand why people want signings so much

  194. Very true Paul N. I can’t remember such levels of intensity in the demand for a players replacement as I’ve noticed this season regarding Almunia. Its crazy

  195. Lets sell off Al, Fabianski, Vito & Tech9, & make James Shae our no. 1

  196. Almunia had better have a blinder this season. Every mistake he makes will be scrutinized even more than before.

    AW likes playing on the edge doesn’t he?

  197. Hleb to Birmingham! now thats a crying shame.

    No disrespect to Birmingham but this guy left the best club in England, acting like little jerk and a snide and now look at him!

    dont really use acronymn’s too much but…smh!

  198. Yeah, I agree James Shea looks awesome. I can already tell that he’s better than Almunia just by looking at those pics

  199. Remember all those City fans dancing around chanting “WE GOT ROBINHO!” on deadline day 2 years ago? He’s just left City for Milan having achieved nothing. Who needs big money signings? Not us!

  200. Ha YW, sorry, I see it now. Was just concerned about the fans. 😉

  201. How tall is Eboue? Could he go in goal? Are “rush” goalies permitted in the Premiership?
    Am I the only person who thinks that “Wookash” is not the worst ‘keeper in the World?

  202. New crazy rumour with an hour to go: “shwarzer to arsenal is back on, fulham have got doni from roma in on loan as a replacement.”

  203. I was going to suggest Gunnersaurus as he has the build not to be bullied in the area. However, he tends to stay on his line too much and isn’t that good in the air.

  204. Perhaps Pat Rice could fill in as GK? Its not like he’s doing much else…

  205. How can Fulham sign Doni so late. He is hardly going to drive in.

  206. I would suggest playing WITHOUT a keeper. After all, we are usually good enough to keep the opposition at bay and prevent them from getting shots on goal. And when they do — remember Fabregas heading the ball of the line against Blackburn?

    And if we stop wasting a place in the squad on the keeper we could play so much better. Like, for example, using Chamakh and RVP as our front two and still be able to put Walcott and Arshavin on the wings.

  207. Keysersoze … perhaps he’s bought “subject to survey”?

  208. keyser

    Maybe Roma has a Star Trek-esque Teleporter?


  209. Maybe the papers want to keep Gunner fans interested….

  210. mayb mark hughes is taking football manager too seriosly..

  211. Ahhhh!

    Brilliant Yogi, Gunnersaurus!!

    All along the answer has always been right under our noses! I am quite concerned that Wenger didnt notice this!!!

  212. won’t gunnersaurus be too young for the EPL. I mean isnt he’s a baby dinosaur?

  213. I heard Eto is on his way to us. In exchange for Liam Brady.

    Damn rumours.

  214. Just looked through the James Shea pictures. I love the way his wearing his Arsenal tracksuit.

    Bless him.

  215. Is he English?

  216. he still hasn’t been issued an England one.. it says he is ‘training’ with the England squad..i wonder if he is selected to play??

  217. He was filling in since the goalkeepers were lacking numbers. He has NOT been called up to the full England sqaud. Thank god.

  218. Yyyyyeeeeeeessssss!!!!!!!!!!
    thankyou arsene

  219. i see, thanks Maria

  220. have we signed some1 greatful?

  221. lol sorry mj, just a little wind up to keep things interesting!

  222. what shite..earlier Zimpaul had me 2 :-/

  223. Am i the only one who don’t want us to sign MS. I’m curious to see how the season will play out with Almunia in goal

  224. Er why is van der Vaart at White Hart Lane? When RVP told him to join him in England this is not what he meant.

  225. Well…..theres always next

  226. in other news..*yawn* Fernando Morientes has retired from football.. :-/

  227. Pulis and Pennant deserve each other, pricks.

  228. where did you get that from Vince?
    twichy has gone insane..hleb, babel, huntelaar & now van der vart..

  229. Greatful – Schwazter will be a grandfather next year!

  230. On SSN right now Mj, apparently it would then free up David Bentley to go to Fulham for a year on loan.

  231. Haha mj, almunia will always be my #1 !!

  232. I am so grateful Arsenal has no part in this silly media driven circus. Thankyou Arsene and Ivan.

  233. Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone and Chewie. Hooray! I applaud. I’m happy.

  234. @ Evil – a laugh out loud one…
    @Vince, not even Pulis deserves Pulis… or does he ?

    Big AL ..BIG AL – a legend in the making!

  235. Zim, you can’t say for sure yet if a deal didn’t happen. fingers crossed though..

  236. Finally, it’s over until January! So have the lemmings started jumping off the cliff edge yet?

  237. True Henristic, but at least Arsenal wasn’t mentioned (much) in the media frenzy. It all feels more than a little ridiculous, hence my silly posts, and I don’t like our club to be even be associated.

  238. Now, may the season please roll on (once we’ve waved bye bye to the lemmings … byeeee).

  239. Le Grove is HILARIOUS right now!

  240. Thank the football g*ds.

    It’s all over.

    The most inane, insane, and boring transfer window in the history of wind.

    Chamack, Squilly & K.

    Very nice.

    I’d hope that those who were wasting valuble fluids crying over Fabianski starting away at Anfield, have now evaporated into the ether, but I doubt it.

  241. Adebawhore to go on Big brother.

    God help us.

  242. Disappointed Armand chose Juve over Brum. As a 4.5m defender in FPL, who may have got minutes as a left forward – he would have been into my team quicker than sonic on a car bonnet. Probably the better career move, but it would have been nice for him to at least consider my fantasy league team. Hope his knuckleduster doesn’t get him into too much trouble at Torino games… and that he has a blinder of a year and gets homesick for the Arsenal by Christmas.

    Can’t even begin to say how glad I am that JET isn’t going to Sunderland on loan. Lucky fellow. He’s my new One To Watch now Frimmers is out for the season.

    Hearing something about an injury counting Lansbury out the England Under 21s? I’m glad he’s not going out on loan anyway. Hope he’s ready to embarrass the spuds.

    And we signed that Japanese trialist that OOU was on about… Ryo Miyaichi… at least I think we did. Exciting little player indeed by the looks of things, beats defenders then turns around and beats them again just for jokes. And a shit load of shirt sales that’ll help balance the books. And we all know how much a well balanced book pisses a doomer off… hurrah!*

    *To especially annoy a doomer try balancing one book in particular… balance a copy of ‘Arsenal: The Wenger Years’ atop the cardboard barnet of a lifesize Manuel Almunia cutout. Stand him in between a set of goalposts and set the book a-spinning on his bonce a la Scotty Pippin, then slowly walk away whistling La Marsaillaise and watch them all disappear up their own orificies in a little puff of soot.

  243. Limps – you need your own blog. I’d be there every day.

  244. orificie – like an orifice, only much, much bigger.

  245. Let’s just both stay here, steww. It’s warm and familiar and chockful of craic.

  246. Almunia made some costly mistakes last year. The one in Birmingham may have been the biggest individual play of the year. That and the other mistakes cost him the job as first place GK at the end of last year. Although some of the “lemmings” clearly over react, like all of us they just want to see us win. If Almunia is as inconsistant as last year we are in trouble. If he plays well this year then all of this will be forgotten. Not sure how you can expect fans to be happy when it was clear that even the boss wanted to add a new GK.

    I think everyone is glad the window is closed. Hope you are right about Almunia. COYG.

  247. Yeh your right LA. And as long as the worst we encounter is bill trying to bore everyone to death banging his one solitary drum over and over and over and over and over again we should be ok.

  248. ‘Biggest Individual Play of the Year’ went to War Horse… didn’t it?

  249. Bill’s not so bad, steww. He’s just an acquired taste. Granted to acquire it you have to suspend a good deal of your better judgement, taste and general sunny worldview – but once you get there he’s a laugh a minute.

    Why just the other week he was talking about wide receivers fumbling in the pocket area! Snigger snigger..

  250. It’s sheer stupidity to blame Almunia for us not winning the league last season. We were 2 points behind with 6 games to go and even with the most negative view of Almunia you can’t blame him for losing to Spuds, losing to B’burn, losing to Wigan, etc.

  251. I’ve been very impressed with Almunia’s start to the season. He looked incredibly fired-up on Saturday.

  252. I think AW’s plan to up the pressure of competition in his mind with the ‘no No.1’ comment might just have worked.

  253. I can’t see that Almunia is to blame at all for us not getting silverware. If I have to blame anyone person, it’d have to be AW for not planning for the injuries that many predicted will happen. But tbh, the injuries were severe and whose is to say the replacements wouldn’t have been injured? Such was our luck last season

    AW has addressed many of the worries to a fair degree this year. Our depth in defence and attack gives me much more confidence. If only the injury gods will play ball and just be nice for once….

  254. Yup.

    I enjoyed Big Al’s Bruce Banner impersonation too.

  255. We need to get Henristic in charge of planning at Arsenal, and planning the allied war effort in Afghanistan. He’s able to plan and mitigate even the most extreme situations.

  256. Hleb……to Birmingham. Very strange indeed.

  257. Wow, the keeper thing is a bit crazy. Surely you all forget that its only worth discussing if the player is available. Almunia is good, not the best but as a club we should aspire for better, that ambition gives us the rvp’s, henry’s and fab4’s. When and if a top top class keeper is available we should definitely consider it at a sustainable price. This window no top keepers moved, clubs don’t want to sell them and find it just as tough with replacements end of.

    The big thing to improve is the teams defence, Diabt et al balled watched for the goal on wkend. That will impact more than if we go from a good, familiar gk (with flaws) to a new unproven risk (unless top class was available). Look how Manure struggled between Schmeicel and VDS.

    We have a good team and look strong so be positive, the biggest improvement right now is tactically and application without the ball.

    When and if a top keeper is available we can discuss that then.

  258. “AW for not planning for the injuries that many predicted will happen.”
    Who when where? What do these seers say about this season?

  259. I guess it comes down to whether you’re one of those that think mistakes like Birmingham were down to Almunia being less than 100% concentrated after his difficult time with his family last summer – or whether you think he was just a shit goalkeeper in the first place.

    I’d suggest that the latter group know fuck all about fuck all.

  260. Waz – I like the cut of your jib. very good post.

  261. To be honest Limpar I just don’t think he expected Sagna’s clearance to come flying straight back towards him!

  262. LA,
    I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in Almunia’s performances so far. Its not like he was making mistakes in every game last season?

    Make no mistake though, he will make costly mistakes this season. Its the nature of goalkeeping and is almost guaranteed imo. But there is no reason why his mistakes should cost us winning something, if the rest of the team pulls their weight.

  263. Limpar @ 7:15pm

    A moment of brilliance!

  264. Who the **** chose this picture of Nacer?

    The best-looking player in England made to look like a geriatric scouser gnome. Incredible!

  265. Relax people, no need to get riled up. I believe very much in Arsene too.

  266. not enough ‘mistakes’ in my 7.59 post it seems

  267. The ‘but Almunia came from Celta Vigo’ argument is fucking horseshit too.

    Carlo Cudicini was signed from A.S.D. Castel di Sangro Calcio – team the Celta Vigo players haven’t even fucking heard of.

    And noone was complaining about Kolo Toure being bought from ASEC Mimosas were they? If you’re good enough, you’re good enough.

    And ironically the people knocking Celta Vigo are very probably the same ones bigging up Tim Cahill every summer. A fucking Millwall player.

  268. To state where a player came from is absolutely ridiculous isnt it.

    Where did Walcott come from?


  269. I thought the article on Young Guns the other week about Arsenal’s ‘brand new pressing tactic’ was the biggest pile of steaming wank since the Celta Vigo argument btw.

  270. Exactly. A fine example, Paul N.

    Where are the ‘Walcott will never make it’ crowd now, eh? ‘But he’s already 21 and he hasn’t grown a football brain! Alan Hansen told me so’

    Fucking idiots. If anyone hasn’t grown a fucking brain…


  271. “It (The Rafael van der Vaart deal) is still dragging on. We have been trying to do something but we are waiting to see if it has all gone through and we are hoping it has. It’s something to do with clearance. I think he was going to Bayern Munich yesterday for £18m and suddenly he became much cheaper. They let me know around 1600 BST that he was available for £8m and for that money he is a top player who will definitely improve us. The fee has come crashing down because the deadline is so close. He’s a great passer of the ball, he’s a top footballer, he will join in here and be a big plus for us. We were also interested in Ryan Babel, he was a player we made an enquiry about but it never came close.”

  272. What are you, a spurs fan, Deise?

  273. see or watching I guess

  274. Limpar & Paul – it was an arguement originally started by Chris (i think) who mentioned that schwartzer has never played for a big club, in response to which andy (i think) mentioned about almunia coming from celta vigo..i don’t think anyone was doubting Al’s abilities..

  275. breaking sky news … those b*stard spuds have signed RVV Raphael Van Der Vart.

    hope he bombs for them.

  276. I beg your pardon Pz??????

    Brazite is if anything a low rent version of dos Santos.

    However we at Arsenal do have the best looking player in the league…

    Carrrlooooos Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllla.

  277. Thanks for the laugh Limpar! Things have been a bit po-faced around here today.

  278. I have my handbag out!!

  279. BTW LA, your post @ 7.15 combined with your overall contribution here would make anyone wonder why you have not started your own page..
    & nobody is asking you to leave this site is it?

  280. A co worker just told me about this very sad story.

    This world is crazy!

  281. VDV is too good a player to play amongst all those twats :O

  282. Poliziano on August 31, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I have to agree, definitely not the best ‘photo of young Nacer!

    Hleb to Birmingham and Van der Vaart to the spuds is a sign of how dead the market is. I’m sure neither player dreamed of either destination, but needs must I guess!

  283. Steww:

    I thought I was branching out a little. I have not complained about our defending this year.

    The transfer window is over and there is no real use worrying about it now. Just not sure I understand. Only the boss really knows why he wanted Schwarzer. Even if he wanted him just for competition and a back up then the fact that we did not get him is a negative for the team. I doubt the boss would have bid for him if he did not think he could help the club. May be he did it to give the doomers another reason to whine, and the non-doomers something to blog about.

  284. Passenal, Hleb must feel like a dog! talk about regrets!

  285. I don’t know what it is Bill. You seem to be able to write in a monotone.

  286. “I thought I was branching out a little. I have not complained about our defending THIS YEAR.”

    Bill, thats funny, I mean… we played three matches.

  287. Reports are coming through that the Samaritans are overwhelmed with phone calls from Arsenal supporters who have dived into depression following the closure of the transfer window without the signing of a new keeper.

    Our source also tells us that those who cannot get through to the Samaritans for counselling have been redirected to Talk Shite radio to express their anguish.

    The fact that Almunia is still the Arsenal keeper has caused many Gooners to lose the will to live.

  288. Maybe get some exclamation marks in there Bill, you’re not giving Steww the stimulation he needs.

  289. LOL steww. I guess it is just a sign of true talent. Who else could do that? May be I should start using some colorful language. Adding ffs or some other the other more popular expletives might spice it up a bit.

  290. No Limpar not a spurs fan – just think if they pull that off its a real good deal for them. Quite a drastic drop in price too dont you think!!

  291. no signings! shock! horror! we’re doomed, doomed i tell ya!

    arsenal will almost certainly finish in the ”top 4” and will in all likely sustain a credible title challenge (for the love of god please!).

    new keeper or not, the outcome of this season will not be changed significantly. to win the league you need more than just a half-decent fella between the sticks.

  292. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!
    Signing a new keeper. Suckers. Drinking from the same doomer milk. Do you guys study Arsene Wenger? Not his utterings but his actions.
    – I haven’t chosen a number 1
    – All keepers must compete
    -£2 million bid for a 38 year old
    – Captain’s armband to Big Al
    – Recipient of the Emirates trophy
    – Talk of dead market
    It was never going to happen despite the hysteria in the media and the dooming, whingeing AA blogs.
    And I told you so!

  293. Breaking news>>>>
    Le Groan readers gone on mass suicide over the no signing of a GK!!!

    Breaking news>>>>>
    nobody care 😀

  294. Er…pontificating aside, Almunia looked more than capable against Blackburn who are set-piece experts. He’s not exactly one of the greats, but he’ll get the job done.

    Fabianski for the long run, but he needs to get some confidence from somewhere.

  295. Now the transfer window has thankfully closed, let’s look at where we are this season compared with the same point last season based on significant changes:

    IN: Chamakh (Forward) Koscielny (Defender) Squillaci (Defender)

    OUT: Eduardo (Forward) Gallas (Defender) Silvestre (Defender) Senderos (Defender)

    To me, that looks like an upgrade. Sure, we added Sol in January, but there’s every likelihood that we could pick up a player or two based on need in January this year.

    I don’t think many fans would consider Silvestre and Senderos a loss to the team. Senderos didn’t feature last season at all and Silvestre was a last resort.

    Eduardo could have been great for us, but we all know this story. Arsene clearly thought that with Walcott and Vela emerging, Eduardo’s time at Arsenal had to end.

    Which leaves Gallas. Talented no doubt, but way too much baggage to re-sign. To give him credit, he did perform decently after losing the captaincy, so I hope there won’t be too many boos for him when he comes back for the Spuds.

    The following players should all have either improved, recovered or become more settled in this year: Walcott, Vela, Vermaelen, Nasri, Sagna Rosicky, Diaby and Wilshere (Song excelled last year, so maintaining his form will be fine)

    However, this season will hinge on the performance of our three ‘superstars’, and right now there are questions about all three of them:

    Arshavin-Fitness: Will his fitness and form improve as the season progresses?

    Van Persie-Fragility: Can he stay healthy to play 25-30 games this season.

    Fabregas-Focus: With all the discussions around his future, will this have any effect on him this season.

    If two out of the three questions are answered in the positive, then we’ll win the league.

  296. On holiday. Enjoying all the comments on here. Must be mass suicide on le groan. Almunia criticism has been hysterical. Even cech and van der sar didn’t cover themselves in glory last season. Look at vdr against bayern Munich last season. If that was almunia, he would have been the fall guy.

  297. we sign someone 😉
    a young japanese who break his leg early in pre season

  298. bradys right foot

    So Big Al it is then, not sure if Scwarzer was an improvement, but do feel for the guy. The deal was agreed in principle in May of this year and despite what anyone says 2-3 million is a fair price for a 37/38 year old in the last year of his deal. The transfer would have happened if Hughes honoured the comittments given to Schwarzer back in May. Time for Big Al to step up and have to say he had a very steady game against Blackburn hopefully he can take that form on and play like he did in 2007-08 season.

  299. Everyone in the Arsenal first team will make the 25 man squad with 2 places to spare.
    Fabianski .

    Ramsey, Wilshere and Chesney will be added to the 25 man as they are under 21.

  300. LOL@ Jaguar

    Banned from Le Grove and ACLF.

  301. pathetic le groan start mass suicide …who got stop them ….not me
    I wish we ve got a new GK to challenge big AL for number one and send Fabianski on loan but the hysteria in arsenal blogosphere is totally over the top

  302. AndyE on September 1, 2010
    at 12:40 am

    I got banned from Le Grove, havent been back since, dont know if I still am.

    Silly blog, for silly people.

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