Cesc Shows Lop-Sided Injury Rules Must Change

International breaks rarely raise a smile on the face of Arsene Wenger, injuries forcing a grimace as he welcomes his squad back to the fold with precious little time to right wrongs on the Arsenal training pitches.

This time around, an unnerving element has taken over. Cesc Fabregas, unavailable for his club for a number of weeks, has recovered in time to take part in Spain’s Euro2012 qualifying campaign. It is entirely coincidental, the Arsenal captain admitting via his ‘official’ twitter page that had the Chelsea match taken place on Tuesday night, he would have been fit. The logic, with which it is hard to disagree, was that better he recover properly than rush back a couple of days earlier and incur more lasting damage.

There is however something very wrong in him being called into the Spanish squad though. If a player is deemed to be withheld by his club from international duty, Fifa has the right and does, suspend individuals for up to the next three club games. If the club says he is unfit, the national FAs have the right to insist that he be assessed by their own medical staff. There is nothing wrong in that process. Except the FAs show an irresponsibility towards players welfare. Notably this summer, Nicklas Bendtner played for Denmark, requiring treatment between matches to ensure he could do a little more than walk around the pitch. They succeeded in getting the striker through his World Cup matches, admirably denying his employers his services thus far this season.

The imbalance in the favour of international football in these circumstances is striking. Arsenal should by rights be able to deny players who have been unfit for a number of weeks to the respective countries. For example, they ought to be able to insist that Cesc be allowed to rest, recuperate and be fit for them in ten days time against Birmingham. It is a selfish ideology but so is the current set-up. Surely it is the players best long-term interests – and therefore those of club and country – for resolution to his hamstring problem to be complete. A quick fix now may mask longer-term issues. Abou Diaby has apparently missed training for France; will he recover fully before their matches in the next week or is it better that he be excused international duty, for the longer term good.

Fifa and Uefa have long extolled the virtues of having the players best interests at heart. It is this, not money, that drives their footballing policies. Except no-one believes them with The Confederations Cup and World Club Cup (or whatever crappy title they want to give it) prime examples of money overruling commonsense. There are unscrupulous managers who would seek to bend the system to their will but not using players in matches prior to internationals is detrimental to their clubs so enforcement of a more balanced policy would not be too difficult.

Other brighter news for Wenger is the imminent return – well, three weeks according to Bryan Flynn – to full training of Aaron Ramsey. A big moment, physically and psychologically. We saw the impact that it had on Eduardo, niggling injuries and the spark dimmed in his play for some time. Hopefully Arsenal and Wenger will have learned lessons from that rehabilitation and reintroduction to first team football, ensuring that the Welshman lives up to his as of yet unrealised potential.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 6, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 97 Comments.

  1. Fabregas was not included in the Spain squad when it was announced intially.. Has he been included today ??

  2. I was wondering the same thing, as far as I know Cesc wasn’t called up.

  3. I think Bendtner wanted to play at the World Cup. I doubt that Arsene or Arsenal would not have wanted him to play at the World Cup, something which enhances his stature, confidence and experience.

  4. Whether or not Cesc was called up, it doesn’t distract from the point of the post. The balance is indeed in favour of the countries they are able to call up players and send them back to the club’s in any condition with no regard for the long-term view.

  5. Cesc wasn’t called up.

  6. It is great news for Aaron and Arsenal but lets hope he will not suffer psychologically like Dudu did. Will be a headache for Arsene to accomodate the likes of Cesc, Rosicky, Ramsey, Wilshere, Diaby and Denilson and Song. A lot of quality player for only three place.

    On the Cesc thing, the spanish FA seems to have no consideration for their players well being. First sending a team of player that had hardly trained with their club across the Atlantic for commercial reason and now they call cesc who just came back from injury. I don’t understand the logic as Spain are not lacking talent waiting with envy for a call-up.

    It is not selfish to think clubs should have more decision power over the availability of their players for an internationall call-up. They re the one paying the wages even when the player got injured in a meaningless friendly for 6 month (Netherland FA I’m pointing at you!), the national team benefit from the time, effort the and money the clubs puts into those players and the various national team have a long history of rushing a player back with no consideration of the long term concequences.

    Like you said Bendtner should have been treating his injury during the summer instead of spearheading the Danish attack on one leg. RVP should not be risked in meaningless friendlies when everyone knows his quality but also his fragility. Vela and before he left us, Merida is another example. last year it seems they spent more time with their national team than with their employers. Vela was always coming back with a small injury and would leave again once he was fit again t play meaningless tournaments like the Gold cup. Merida the same was away for the under 18 wathever championship, then away with the under 21 and again away for another tournament.
    And know the English FA is calling Wilshere like walcott before to both the under 21 and the senior squad when it was clear it was detrimental for the health of Walcott who ended up with no holiday!

    I hate international break it is boring, useless and preventing Wenger to work on his team response after a serie of bad results.

  7. Even if Bendtner wanted to play in the World Cup, it just doesn’t seem right that the countries can do what ever it takes in order to extract playing time of the players leaving the repercussions on the clubs. Look what happened to Robben.
    The FA’s should be some burden of responsibility. While I understand that some of the poorer nations cannot possibly compensate the clubs in terms of salary FIFA/UEFA makes enough money on these international tournaments to be able to cover injuries of those players.

    If they aren’t willing to do so they should at the very least seek to redress the balance between club and country.

  8. Liams Left foot

    As far as I know Cesc was already omitted from Spains squad due to the injury
    and have seen nothing that he has been drafted in ? It’s not the injuries that he may collect that worries me it’s all the ‘keys to the city’ Barca crap that we will have to endure til the real stuff starts again.

  9. 60,000 people turn up every week, or twice a week, and expect both stylish football and winning football. For many more games than not, they get it. As an Arsenal supporter you should be thankful you’re even in the title race year after year – very few other clubs enjoy that feeling – let alone enjoy some of the most innovative, sexy football on offer anywhere else in the world.

    Each time you go to the shop you can ‘want’ to be lucky shopper number 20,000 and get a garland put round your neck… when it doesn’t happen, you don’t stop going to the shop. You’re just lucky you happen to shop in a cross between Hamley’s and Hawkes of Saville Row – every trip is a joy. If you don’t like it you can fuck off to H&M. The Arsenal will just carry on without you.

  10. Cesc’s call up could work in our favour, the chances of him starting are low, probably getting a run out for the last 20mins or so.

    Giving him a small amount of playing time, as long as he does not break down, we give him valuable time to get match fit for us.

  11. If I had my way I’d limit international football to amateurs. And leave cub football to professionals.

    FIFA abuses its power. As the owner of international football, one that profits from it to the tune of billions of £££s, it keeps tipping the balance more and more to its own side.

    One of the things that might be necessary is that FIFA should bear the cost of the professionals while they play for their national teams. If FIFA-and it’s affiliate the Danish FA require Nick B52’s services for 3 months in a year then they should pay his wages for that period of time.

  12. RvP? Theo?

  13. I know this is old hat….but what the fuck was Florent doing in our wall?

  14. CESC has not been called up, he is due for the world cup 2018 bid for Spain Portugal apparently held at Chelsea.

  15. The recent injuries maybe a blessing in disguise, we have seen players who have come into the first team step up their game and this will keep regular first teamers on their toes. Certainly Cesc is a shoe in when fit- but Wilshere has made a strong claim to retain his position in the side. If Ramsey can push on from where he left off Arsene will have serious problems trying to keep everyone happy especially in midfield. I hope RVP and Bentdner get fit soon enough as Chamakh has proved that he is worthy of a first team start. So far Arshavin is the only one who so far seems to be imune has been Arshavin. He does drift in and out of games but you can’t deny he does produce moments of magic that win us games. Leaving aside the goalkeeping issues- for the first time in a long while I feel we have a back four that is good enough and has competition. Kos has been aside from a few errors here and there been outstanding. I mean for guy who stepped from league 2 in France what a hell of a signing. And Squillaci is proving to be a shrewd signing. With the terminator coming back to fitness and Djorou providing back up I reckon will be right up there. The team that looks vulnerable in the top 4 for me is Man United!
    Also the interlull gives us time to get the Chelsea game out of the system

  16. Our style of play is why we still have the global and seemingly increasing fan base that we currently do. We don’t have the history of Liverpool and Real Madrid, or a recent trophy haul (Manu and Barca) to explain such an extent of global support.

  17. James | October 6, 2010 at 11:35 am |

    “Henrisistic, but if a new manager came in, lets say – George Graham, you’d still watch them wouldn’t you?”

    I answered your question already in the last post but here is it again:

    Of course I will still support Arsenal James. I’m hooked now. But I’d probably not be as excited about watching our matches if we played like GG’s teams we’re famed for.

  18. LA:
    “As an Arsenal supporter you should be thankful you’re even in the title race year after year – very few other clubs enjoy that feeling – let alone enjoy some of the most innovative, sexy football on offer anywhere else in the world.”

    True if you’re describing a non-local fan like me. I buy AFC merchandise from time to time and thats it. If however, I was a locally based fan paying the highest ticket prices in europe probably, I think I’ d be entitled to think differently, seeing how much of that money is left to lie fallow.

  19. Yogi, has Cesc been called up or not?????

  20. JD, Yes he has been called up…………..by the fashion police. He’s been given 20 hours community service for that ridiculous leather jacket.

  21. http://www.marca.com/2010/10/05/futbol/futbol_internacional/premier_league/1286301770.html

    Yes cesc has been called up, this article says that he is fit again and will join up with his spain team mate for the clash against lituania and scotland.

  22. actually my bad went to fast in the translation they talked about the two games but it seems he has not join them.

  23. I haven’t heard a single manager, club or fan ever support the biasness towards International football which exists. Managers have always complained about their players being snatched away when not fully fit.

    It’s why Fergie uses his sly injured excuse every now and then. He done it with Neville and Scholes on numerous occasions down the years. Tbh I can’t blame him, although it fucks me right off to see a player pull out of an International sqaud and straight into the club squad. Thats because when it comes to Arsenal players it works the other way.

    Next to Chelsea I believe we have the 2nd biggest number of Internationals, could partly explain our injuries on that argument. Maybe we should buy some average players!

  24. Runebreaker | October 6, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    Kos from Ligue 2? I think you mistyped.
    The only reason I bring it up is because many from thee WIAC brigade, not you, conveniently emphasized his Ligue 2 origins, and not his fantastic year in Ligue 1, as part of their pre-season propaganda to sow doubts about Kos.

    Anyways, a big shout out to Kitchen Sink for that fantastic youtube compilation of Denilson’s performance vs Partizan. On the basis of that game I thought he would have been in the 1st XI vs Chelsea but I can see Wenger’s POV. Diaby was a better choice playing in Chelsea’s half and a better physical match up vs the likes of Essien and Mikel and when defending on free kicks and corners. Wenger’s preference of Wilshere over Denilson is very interesting. In my opinion they are both similar players with Jack more attack minded and Denilson more defensive. Seems to me Wenger is taking the view that Wilshere is more suited for the English game and Denilson for Europe.
    Hopefully this opinion will not start a nationalistic row but an objective assessment of both players qualities.

  25. Understanding the psyche of the arsenal players in full internationals is quite a no-brainer. Many arsenal players, though consider talented internationals in every respect, head into international campaigns with something to prove. Yes we might want to believe that every arsenal player will bleed for the red & white and the gunner emblem, but the truth is that most of our players consider success with their respective nations much much more important than an FA cup or a League trophy. So when to put into consideration the fact that:
    1. Out of our entire first team, only
    Sagna
    Vermaelen
    Rosicky
    Arshavin
    Vela
    RVP
    Chamack
    Bendtner
    Eboue
    have important (senior) player status in their national teams
    with only RVP and Arshavin considered key in their respective teams. Every other international in our team go to bed the night before having said a little prayer about his chances of gaining a cap.
    Clichy has to contend with abidal.
    Nasri has to contend with Malouda
    Wilshere has to contend with Gerrard, Barry and the currently injured
    Lampard
    Diaby has to contend with Toulalan and Gourcuff
    Walcott with Adam Johnson
    Song with a certain new youngster that kept him out of the side in the world cup.
    …and so on.
    So get this right:
    1. They will throw themselves at a 50/50 ball.
    2. They will run for 90 mins.
    3. They will get stuck in.
    4. They will risk (and probably) injury.
    Why, because it’s their country. Nobody dreams of one day playing for a specific club as a kid, they dream of representing their nation. So yeah, it’s another interlull, we WILL get another clutch of injuries, and until a large percentage off our players become no questions asked starters in their respective national teams, they will continue to overexert themselves in these internationals, friendlies and all.

  26. Henristic,
    does spending money really give a fan bigger rights? Surely the only thing that the price of a ticket entitles you to is admittance? This kind of thinking sounds more like the logic of a consumer or customer than a fan or supporter. And I would very much question that the money is “left to lie fallow”. Personally I feel that any rights we may have as supporters is based solely on the quality of support – how long one has suffered and rejoiced with and for the Arsenal.

  27. The easy answer is that Denilson and Wilshere looked a good combination against the Sp*ds!

    Can’t remember if Wilshere was playing in the ‘six’ that day.

  28. Henrisitc,

    Does 900 quid a year entitle you to win the Premier League? No.

    And it’s not left to lie anywhere. Far from it. Player contracts, a cutting-edge and continually fruitful academy, improvements to the stadium, a new striker, two new centrebacks… and you get to watch the best team in the world every week. Bargain. If anyone wants to farm their’s out for the remaining games of the season I’ll gladly take it off their hands.

  29. Great news about Ramsey, can’t wait to see him back in the fold.

    International football really is a waste of time. It is just an interuption of Arsenal’s season.

  30. Sixtay

    I understand how the fringe players pushing for an International spot get injured POV.. I would say its a bit of that, and more of the fact that other players in the squad are also competing for a spot. So it works both ways for the established players and the fringe players, because being in training competing with the guys who are ‘desperate’ to get a cap, you are bound to have a little accident every now n then.

    Gallas and RvP both proving that being an established International player doesn’t exclude you from getting injured.

  31. Not sure if this has been discussed, but props to Marwijk for banning de Jong. Compare with England who picked Shawcross for the mational team for the first time after that tackle.

  32. Keysersoze

    Well done to the Dutch, I think the decision coming off the back of the criticism at the WC played a part though.

    Has the FA done anything about the challenge yet do you know?

  33. I don’t think so. The FA’s logic seems to be that since Atkinson has said in his report that he saw the tackle and deemed it unworthy of sanction at that time, nothing can be done.

    If you ask me, it is all hypocrisy.

  34. I agree that the World Cup criticism played a part. But still, for all the criticism can we expect Pulis or MacCarthy to make a similar gesture?

  35. The discipline system within the FA needs a total rehaul. There has been no significant changes since Jimmy Hill was involved.

  36. Come now, it’s been known for a long time FIFA, UEFA, and the EFA are in desperate need for new and radical leadership. Despite being the most widely played sport on the planet, the leading organisations show an embarassing lack of innovation, they’re completely out-of-touch with the sport and the people, and they show no willingness for any real change.

    Damn these organisations. Damn them all.

  37. http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/44774/Arsenal_hero_calls_for_lengthy_De_Jong_ban.aspx

    “A growing chorus…”

    Really? I can’t help but think this is either hyperbole or xenophobia at work

  38. On the issue of De Jong being left out – some cunt called Andy Townsend is horrified and claiming that the Dutchman’s tackle was because of momentum and nothing else. How dare he be left out?

    I still maintain that until someone as high profile as Rooney has his leg broken in several places by one of these hatchetmen, nothing will change.

  39. Darius – Most definely. Could you imagine the outcry if that happened. I have noticed that people are only now discussing bans for the player; interesting that he is not just an “honest English player”. But a dirty foreign thug. You could not make it up……so predictable.

    I did not see anybody calling for bans for Taylor and Shawcroft. Quite the opposite in fact, people were saying how difficult things were for them. Amazing really.

  40. I’ve decided this season to like WBA and Blackpool, feel very sorry for Liverpool, and with apologies to everyone, except James, I confess a sneaking non-hostility to Spurs, like distant relatives, perhaps neighbours, (you know, the ones with twitches and acne and disturbed kids) you can’t change, and since they aren’t ManU or Chelsea or ManC, or Aston Villa, or any of the dreadful bunch of hardmen-teams, they get the honour of St. Tott’s day, which is after all a grudging signal of some relationship. I also respect Everton. Can’t say why, Pienaar maybe, or the guy with funny hair, they are distinctive. As for the rest, they must all be relegated, this season.

    Welcome home Aaron. About time too. He’ll be fine in his head, I’m sure. It was different for Eduardo, age maybe. I’m so excited to have the other lads back soon, Robin, Verm, Cesc (with luck) and Theo.

  41. It is quite shocking, you only have to look at the treatment Eduardo received after going down a bit easy for his penalty. A guy that had the sympathy of the nation after his leg got snapped, and the English media jumped on him to label him a cheat while Gerrard and Rooney get praised for doing it in a better fashion!

  42. De Jong is a bastard, like Shawcross and the other leg-breakers. Damn them. There should be a list of leg-breakers; like cheaters, their humiliation should last.

  43. I must admit, I don’t like anybody except Arsenal. For some reason (apart from the obvious ones) I have an exceptional hatred for Villa.

  44. Chris – Exactly. He was a national disgace after the Celtic game, it was all very strange. A dive it was, but by no means the worst dive of the season or even that week for that matter.

    A dive in a game which was really already over……ban him.
    Break somebodies leg…..feel sorry for him. Not that type of player and it must be difficult for him.

    I makes me sick.

  45. ZimPaul

    Very exciting, I’m glad the International break came about. Lets get RvP, Cesc and Verm all back up and running, regroup, get Theo in on the act, get Bendtner some minutes. I have a feeling we are about to go on a long unbeaten run.

    The evidence in our play was there early on this season, but the niggly injuries piled up like they always seem to do. Our performances have enhanced, we have a better group of defenders, and more options all over the pitch.

    We performed better at Blackburn, should have nicked it at Sunderland, comprehensively beat Spurs Away, Partizan Away – who everyone thought an upset was on the cards.. and only really stuttered in our last two games. One being a home game where you have to give credit to West Brom, but our defending compiled with the first poor performance from Almunia only allowed them the points. Then the other away at the Bridge which we can all say we had a chance of the points, as much as the more negative gooners think that an open goal header isn’t a chance. 1-0 Arsenal and we could have gone on to be 1 point behind Chelsea.

    Thats how close the margin is at the top, let Chelsea believe they are miles ahead, them being delusional will play into our hands once again – like the 11 point gap we made up last season. Its fair to say that a relatively fit Arsenal team, is indeed the best team in the country. Lets get them back and prove it.

  46. Finngunn and Limpar,

    In an idealistic society, you both have a point. But the reality of the situation is, when people pay that much for anything, the line into consumerism is firmly crossed. Arsenal know this that’s why they spend a lot of money on upgrading facilities to cater for corporates and the like. Gone were the days when it was mostly a group of die hard fans that go to games.
    Those sort of fans are however increasingly frozen out in football, more so for Arsenal.

    If the games were free or ridiculously cheap you could make the claim that people should be thankful for the wonderful football the get to see.
    But after paying 900+ or so, you’ll find as is the case most begin to feel entitled to even better football, trophies etc. If they aren’t getting what they want, then they’ll be calling for heads to roll. I think you’ll find that this is human nature and not in any way limited to arsenal supporters.

    Also, not all of the available money is spent on contracts, infrastructure, etc, as our profits and cash reserves show. I don’t know how that is even a point of contention. You guys should look at stuff from others perspectives from time to time. Doesn’t mean you agree with it, but it helps to understand the frustration of some people.

  47. I still feel to call Eduardo’s fall a dive is a bit wrong as it groups his with the cheat barstewards like Rooney, Gerard and others of a disreputable character.

    Eduardo’s was a defensive fall as he quite obviously sought to protect his ankle.

    I can’t lie, the whole debacle still angers me. Eddie is a legend and none can take that away.

  48. Henristic,

    Methinks you’ve confused consumer with share-holder.

    As a consumer, Arsenal display a quality product, the best around in truth, so a consumer cannot really complain. Falling short in winning a particular award and not receiving any dividends after a hefty investment, now that’s where feelings of entitlement kicks in.

    And if you attempt to purchase £900 worth of shares in any company, as an individual, chances are you’ll be laughed at before being told double it and then some.

  49. There can be only one reason Wenger is not spending our cash reserves. His saving to buy Messi. His buyout is 250 mil so you can clearly see we are almost half way there.

  50. Gadget, I only wrote the word ‘dive’ because the media labelled it one. In this day and age what ever the media says goes unfortunately! When I was watching the game live, I thought Eduardo won the penalty quite cleverly, and was avoiding a collision with the keeper.

    It was just amazing how many people were quick to slate him, while Rooney gets applauded for it 10 times a season. Rooney has received a bit of deserved stick in the press lately, so you gotta love it after the press we receive!

    Then theres Liverpool, who I feel sorry for but you can only say as an Arsenal fan it was quite clear they could do a Leeds. Lets see if this buyer can save them in time.

  51. I wonder where we will fit RvP and Chamakh into the side. I know we are pretty fluid up top, but I do think that Chamakh is the better option for the central striker. Maybe RvP will play from the right as he has done for Holland?

  52. Eduardo’s was technically a dive. He commited the keeper, and then let his legs fall over the keepers arms (there was not much contact). It was a dive, but there are much worse attempts every week.

    The media over reaction was ridiculous though.

  53. No no no, wrong terminology! We cannot let those propoganderous flecks get away with it.

  54. Gadget | October 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
    “As a consumer, Arsenal display a quality product, the best around in truth, so a consumer cannot really complain. Falling short in winning a particular award and not receiving any dividends after a hefty investment, now that’s where feelings of entitlement kicks in.”

    I think its you who’ve got it confused. This has nothing to do with shareholders. You say the fans are paying customers and then say they can’t complain? Why ever not? You’re purporting to speak for every other ‘consumer’ by saying the football is the best around and that should be enough.
    You believe the football is quality. So do I. But not everyone has to agree with that especially as they are ‘consumers’ and are by the very nature of the term entitled to judge the product or services they’re getting by whatever standard they choose (within reason). And as the saying goes “the customer is always right”.

    However, all of this doesn’t really matter that much. Most local fans who can afford to will still go to games, however much they moan. Why? because ultimately football supporters aren’t really consumers, however much their attitudes seem that way. They can’t just up and leave (not real supporters anyway). But they’ll at least moan and complain when something doesn’t go their way.

  55. Any critique of the change in the crowds composition at TNHOF, needs to take into account context:
    The sorry state of the rest of the PL (ten people at Wigan, Bolton & Ballackburn games, in total), that AFC are located in the centre of London, not the most sane of cities when it comes to value for money for some things, like transport for example.
    And any critique would also acknowledge that AFC is the closest club in the PL to what is happening in the Bundesliga, where tickets are affordable, and so on. I don’t think standing areas will return to Blighty anytime soon, which is a shame for all, but there are bigger problems in the PL at the moment. I’m thinking of the excessive number of one-legged footballers.

    And, as the bidding wars heat up for the carcass of the Olympiastadium, betwixt the Sp*ds and the Sp*mmers, I would recommend that all AFC fans, take a brief moment to laugh at the Sp*ds. Sorry Zimpaul, force of habit.

    They’ve got two years to bribe themselves out of their hole, but I don’t think they can outbribe The London Borough of Newham. The Chuckle Bruvvers will have a few tricks up their velvet sleeves. I believe the one who said last season, ‘name me one Bayern Munich player who’d get into a good PL team’, or something like that, was threatening a riot today. And that’s just to begin. Fun times ahead.

    Sorry about the long comment. The Olympic stadium story/shambles is one I’ve been following for a while. Very funny. And predictable.

  56. Unfortunately diving is part and parcel of the game now. Some do it more blatently than others, and some teams have more offenders than others. There is not a team in the lge (us included) that does not have players who dive though to gain an advantage.

  57. andy

    If there was contact, it was not a dive under any circumstances. He drew the goalkeeper out and caused him to foul him. End of.

    YW

  58. I have a feeling Bendtner & Walcott will trounce Newcastle out of the mickey mouse cup.

  59. YW – I have not seen the incident for ages so I cannot comment really at the moment. If I remember correctly (correct me if I am wrong) though the contact was negligible. I am not slagging Eddy, I thought it was clever play. but deep down I also thought it was a bit of a dive. Shit happens.

    For me it was not really a big issue, and was suprised by the coverage it got. Dive or not, it was borderline (if it was) and nothing like some of the blatent falls we see week in, week out.

  60. goonerandy | October 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    “I wonder where we will fit RvP and Chamakh into the side. I know we are pretty fluid up top, but I do think that Chamakh is the better option for the central striker…”

    Really? I can’t say I agree. Van Persie is class. He can link up play like noone else and he shoots well. I’m not even convinced yet that Chamakh is better than Bendtner. They both have similar physical attributes and can score goals with their head. Me thinks Bendtner edges it because he’s likelier to shoot.

  61. Henristic,

    There are season ticket holders who want more player investment and who don’t think we stand a chance this year; and there are season ticket holders who support Arsenal’s big picture approach, and who believe that the players we have already are well capable of achieving success. And there are those at either end of that spectrum who don’t get to any games.

    It’s not about; pay your money – earn the right to have a whinge. It’s about the fact that some people are naturally positive about their football team, and others are naturally down on their football team.

  62. About Eduardo penalty against Celtic yes they were little contact but when at high speed the slightest contact can make you fall so I wouldn’t say it was a dive. A dive is what Rooney did against us just a few weeks afterwards where he fell before Almunia got close to him which I remember people saying that Rooney played it well. Talk about media biased.

  63. I don’t need to ‘see things from (a whinger’s) perspective’ either, by the way – there’s plenty on here most days spaffing out their negativity and I’ve sat next to plenty more of them at games. People will always criticise the team and people will always be there to tell them to fuck off if they feel the criticism is baseless, misguided or just wrong – as it mostly is.

  64. Henristic – I agree about RvP being class. He is also much more of a goal threat that Chamakh. Maybe Chamakh coming from wide is a better idea as he can “get himself on” the full back. I just think his hold up play is better.

    I do think Chamakh is a better bet than Bendtner as his all round play seems to be better. His work rate certainly is and our system demands pressure from the front.

  65. Henristic | October 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm |

    Been long since I agreed with you. I’m not sure Chamakh is better than Bendtner either. He has his strengths but I think NB is a better finisher, and can actually take 2 defenders on and fire it into the top corner.

  66. LA

    I’ve tried to see things from a ‘whinger’s perspective’ but it was too depressing…

    YW

  67. ”Alex McLeish is said to be considering a move for former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires, who is a free agent”

  68. There is very little between NB and Chamakh, but maybe it is not about who is the better player, but who offers more to this current setup. I would edge with Chamakh because of his work rate and hold up play.

  69. Chamakh’s work rate & fight is second to none. Certainly better than Bendtner in that respect.

  70. I know a guy who spends almost his entire income following Arsenal up and down the country. He’s just booked his return coach trip to the Carling Cup game in Newcastle at the end of the month – arriving home in the early hours of Thursday morning. He is a die-hard. He also has an incredibly positive outlook on Arsenal, recognising where we are, where we’re going, and why we’re the best team in the country. I guess you’d have to be positive to get on that coach!

    He’ll get spitting mad about a referee, or a foul, or a defender going to sleep at the back post – just like the rest of us. But he doesn’t waste any time bitching and moaning about club finance conspiracy theories, anti-Wenger nonsense, why we can’t buy Lee Cattermole or Lionel Messi – or slating our goalkeepers. He likes the players we have. He recognises that they’re good enough to win the league, and he supports them.

  71. “To track the killer, you must get into the mind of the killer…”

    Don’t do it, YW! It’s like Manhunter all over again.

    Will Graham: I know that I’m not smarter than you.
    Doctor Hannibal Lecktor: Then how did you catch me?
    Will Graham: You had disadvantages.
    Doctor Hannibal Lecktor: What disadvantages?
    Will Graham: You’re insane.

  72. Heh, good answer.

  73. good to know, LA.

    Ole & Andy,
    Bendy is 23. I am sure by the time he’s 26-27, he will be one of the best in the league.
    That said, I think its going to be real difficult for the manager to keep him happy; not sure he’ll get many games in the league & the CL.

  74. mj – That is bang on I think. He will not be 1st choice with everybody fit, and I don’t think he will stick around if I am being honest.

  75. Brilliant Limpar.
    But on a cheerier note … VVS Laxman and Sharma versus Australia!

  76. I am glad you picked it up Zimpaul, being an Indian, was beeming the whole day, yesterday!

  77. well andy, looking at the career path of a certain Lassana Diarra, i think he should!

  78. I agree Chris. I think people will be shocked how good in depth Arsenal really is when we have to select a starting mid-front from Rvp, Cesc, Arsh, Nasri, Rosicky, Bendtner, Cham, Walcott, Wilshere, Eboue, Aaron, JET, Diaby, Denilson, Song AND Vela (16 players for 6 starting places).

    Gulp, some people may even realise chelsea were playing our B+ team.

  79. It will be interersting to see who starts in goal for our next game. Almunia’s injury will be OK by the next game, but Fabianski has done nothing wrong since he came into the side.

  80. Tendulkar & Sehwag have won Cricketer of the Year & Test player of the Year, respectively. India, Test Team of the Year. 😀 😀

  81. Andy @ 4:42:

    “It will be interersting to see who starts in goal for our next game. Almunia’s injury will be OK by the next game”

    I agree it will be interesting. It has always felt like the boss really believes that Fabianski will be a great GK and probably hopes that he will take over the spot. He has certainly done well in the last 2 games, looked confident vs. Chelsea. Almunia played very well before the WBA game. I do not think he should be dropped for 1 bad game, but supect he will have a short leash.

  82. “People will always criticise the team and people will always be there to tell them to fuck off if they feel the criticism is baseless, misguided or just wrong – as it mostly is.”

    Ah, I’m guessing you’re not into the idea of “can’t we all just get along?”
    😛

  83. Paulie Walnuts

    I would like to see the end of international football.

    It certainly isn`t the pinnacle of player`s career any more – more an excuse for a bit of a jolly & dispite the hype most of the matches at recent tournaments have been dire.

    I`d would also like to see Arsene keep some players away actually. A three game ban is insignificant compared to the lengthy absences we`re having to suffer. RVP / TV / Theo / NB52 etc etc

  84. Ole you are spot- what Chamakh brings to the team more than RVP and Bendy is his workrate. He is just phenomenal tirelessly running into space, hustling the defenders plus his link up play is quality. RVP is probably in the special catergory group who can be termed world class. When he is fit and playing at peak I mean he is special. Personally I seem him more and more fitting into the Bergkamp role- but this will mean changing our shape to get him to play behind the striker. If we stick to 4-3-3 or its various variants then he can I think equally on the right as he does for Holland. I wont be suprised when RVP is back to see Arshavin find himself on the bench for some games! I think AW prefers Theo, Nasri and Eboue on the right. But we now have genuine competition for places and quality ones as well!

  85. C’mon you Gunners!!!

  86. Bendtner put in some good performances on the right side at the start of last season, so he’s flexible. He’s been clutch for us many a time. He won’t rot on the bench. He may play less with a full strength side, but this is Arsenal ffs, how long do you think that will last ;).

  87. He’ll certainly start all the FA & carling cup games

  88. He’ll start more than that. AW will rotate with MC once Bendtner gets back to full fitness.

  89. Henristic:
    “If however, I was a locally based fan paying the highest ticket prices in europe probably, I think I’ d be entitled to think differently, seeing how much of that money is left to lie fallow.”

    What do you think I’d be told if I went to a Ferrari dealership and moaned about the small cockpit in their new model? They’d kindly tell me to fuck off and buy a Cadillac. I use this example because, like a Ferrari, Arsenal season tickets have a waiting list of people dying to buy them.

  90. you mean we’ll start with MC & RVP together YW?

  91. Do you guys reckon we’d ever play a front three of RVP – Chamakh – Bendtner? That would be a truly terrifying sight for oppostion defences, although I guess a little one dimensional compared to having Theo and Arshavin on either wing.

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