Is RvP Rotated Too Far & Transfer Talk

Robin van Persie is flavour of the month with just about everybody at the moment. A hat-trick helps but since returning to something approaching full fitness, the Dutchman has been the missing spark in the front line of the Arsenal attack.

That is not to demean the efforts of Marouane Chamakh. The Moroccan has done well since joining but with van Persie, there seems to be more of a threat. The return of van Persie allows Chamakh to rest and to adjust to the physical demands of the English game.

van Persie though is one of those players whom you have to enjoy watching whilst it lasts. His injury record suggests that Wenger is being cautious for good reason. Bringing him through relatively gently might be good for the long-term fitness of the Dutchman. Is it good for the short-term health of the squad?

Tomorrow offers the opportunity to progress to the Carling Cup final; would a forward line of Bendtner, Arshavin and Chamakh be capable of providing the goals to win the tie? Recent form suggests that they might struggle with no goals in any competition for any of them. Contributions to the final product of others cannot be ignored but the trio need a goal.

In van Persie, Wenger has a player who is on a scoring run, confident that he will get a goal. With that in mind, Wenger should be looking at the upcoming fixtures and asking which is more important – Wembley, FA Cup 5th Round or complete rest. Without any inside knowledge, it is hard to rule out the latter option but surely van Persie is fit enough to withstand two games in one week.

With Huddersfield at home on Saturday, Wenger must look at the possibilities of this season. He admitted that the players are starting to believe in winning things; van Persie starting against Ipswich can help achieve an early trophy which will boost that self-belief. Whether he will take that step remains to be seen.

Transfer Talk.

Occasionally, Harry Redknapp says something worth listening to. I cannot quite put my finger on when the last time was – it certainly was not his faux concern for West Ham’s plight should they take over the Olympic Stadium – but this morning’s assertion that Jonathan Woodgate is not coming to Arsenal was certainly a moment to savour. It put to bed the silliest of silly season rumours.

Despite plenty of chatter, neither Nicklas Bendtner nor Andrey Arshavin is leaving The Emirates in this transfer window. The Dane’s agent (who doubles up as his father at weekends) vehemently denied the rumours last week whilst Arshavin is believed to be wanted by Chelsea and Zenit St Petersburg for a pocket-sized £10m simply because his contract is up next week. Arsene’s assertion that the Russian is coming back to form pretty much ensures that he will be there for the rest of his contract.

Indeed, having denied that Gary Cahill was a good player and that he was trying to sign him. No, wait, Gary Cahill is a good player and Arsene is not trying to sign him. That’s better. Anyway, Arsene is doing his best to boost the commercial revenues of the club signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton. That means a shirt with his name on it will be around £85 and cause a shortage of letters for other players – expect a raft of shirts with ‘vn Ps’ and ‘Fgs’ although ‘Szczesny’ will probably be alright.

Apparently the youngster and his advisers have learned the lessons of Shaun Wright-Phillips and believe that Arsenal is the best place for him to develop his career. A move that is about ensuring longevity at the top of the game rather than a spiffing bank balance which will enable him to forget that he owns a Porsche 911 and leave it at a train station.

Elsewhere, Arsene is looking to use £5m of the used-£5 notes under Ivan Gazidis’ desk and take them north of the border to spend on Rangers Allan McGregor. This is all pie in the sky though; even the reporter does not believe Arsene will sign the 29-year old,McGregor’s age may count against him, with Wenger generally in favour of signing younger players“. A curious line for the reporter to take, killing his own story before it even got any legs.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 207 Comments.

  1. nice post as always yw!!

  2. how true is the majid bougerra romour?

  3. What a silly story. Ewan McGregor doesn’t even live in Scotland anymore. He lives in Primrose Hill. And I hardly think he’s the ‘beast-at-the-back’ that we’ve all been crying ourselves silly for. For God’s sake Wenger wake-up! We need an enforcer, not some sparkley-eyed bearded Scottish lush!

  4. I would much rather we splashed the cash on a Russell Crowe type. Or Mickey Rourke. They both love fighting. Also – they both have faces that would put the opposition strikers off when it came to them shooting at our goal. Fetch Wenger his chequebook!

  5. Where did you meet my Great Aunt Limpar?

  6. You have a Great Aunt called Limpar, Cb?! This is news indeed! Why am I only finding out about this now… and more importantly, any relation to me and Anders?

  7. Wenger, for a coach should try and be less predictable. Start with the Front Three of RvP, Walcott and Nasri and after we at least get the equalizer and go ahead, he can take them out for the weekend. We can then bring in Chamakh for RvP, Vela for Walcott and Arshavin for Nasri. We can do this Wenger! One trophy now will surely give this team a taste of blood and they will naturally hunt for more, the FA Cup in particular! But Song and Wilshere must stat behind Cesc or Nasri to ensure we score an early goal and then open Ipswich up for a whipping.

  8. Interesting thoughts Yogi – and at odds with the fashion of recent seasons where Arsene is roundly berated for bringing players back too soon, giving them too many games after injuries. You advocate risking RVP in nonsense tournaments at the risk of losing him for the two that matter. Intriguing.

  9. I’ll be there tomorrow night, and hopefully in the pot for a ticket to Wembley too… and I bloody well hope we don’t treat it like a nonsense tournament.

  10. Don’t misunderstand me I want us to win the lesser cups – but then I want us to win every reserve game youth game pre season game too – I hate to see us not win any game. But priorities are my priority here. Unless we are supposed to start to swallow that tired old media script about needing desperately to win the league cup because George Graham did?

  11. This season shows how much injury can damage a season.

    To think that one of Wenger’s biggest problems this season is how to incorporate players instead of having the team dictated by who’s fit makes for a refreshing change.

  12. AW will start with the side he selected at Portman Road. Give them a chance to play the Ips on a proper pitch and put things right. RvP and Cesc on the bench perhaps.

  13. I just think that these sports journalists are under so much pressure to come up with ‘exclusive’ stories that will sell papers and sell advertising. The transfer window must be a sports journos worst nightmare – and if they lose their job at this time with a mortgage, kids to go to school, debts that are probably eye-watering – they’re in a very difficult place between a rock and a very hard place.

    Their bosses should be done for silent torture as I fail to see how what they subject the journos to isn’t torture. Unfortunately, it ends up with a journo sitting in a pub on Fleet street concocting any given story that is likely to sell ala the Woodgate to Arsenal stupidity.

    The irony is that the Hounslow mafia in their Sly Sports bulletin read the fiction from the back pages as ‘fact’ and then the same papers quote Sly Sports news as the source of the story, and then Talk Shite radio quote both the paper and Sly sports news and before we know it, the stupid story has a life of its own.

    The story of Andy Culson should be an indicator of how way out of hand this tabloid nonsense has gone. He’s the only person I know in the world to have resigned from 2 different jobs for the same scandal yet he claims he knows fuck all about it.

    What editors are doing to sports journos is tantamount to squeezing their testicles using rusty industrial strenth pliers.

  14. steww, they all matter!

    I don’t know exactly when managers stopped using the reserve team as a means of getting injured players back to full fitness. I can only see positives if this were to be done, the player can get parts of games, building up through 45, 60 to 90 minutes, he can get up to match sharpness outside of the pressure of first-team games and senior players can lend experience and inspire the yougsters in the reserve team. When Van Persie first came back after his latest injury he was way off the pace, surely a few games in the reserves would help them get much closer to 100% when they do finally come back into the first team?

  15. Great win at the weekend.

    We should play the same team tomorrow; momentum is everything in football, plus being a goal down this tie will be trickier than the game against huddersfield. Maybe have RvP on the bench, but Nasri and Cesc must play.

  16. I mean no offense, but I love it when commentors offer Wenger advice. Good stuff.

    Man, I hate mondays. Friday’s are sooo much better

  17. Good morning AKB morons and fascists, we are no closer to signing an english centre back. The french racist has clamped his hands in his pockets and gone for overseas under 18 players who we won’t see until they are 21. This is criminal negligence by Wenger and he should be put before a panel of Arsenal fans like a dictator before a war crimes trial as it is our money he is spending. At the moment we are hearing chinese whispers about more young players, but this is just smoke and mirrors generated by the french autocrat who is becoming the most unpopular ruler since Louis XIV – let them eat cake he said. Instead of action, like with the chavs signing Luiz for £23 million, we just hear secrecy on a par with the communists under Brezhnev. There is no openess at Arsenal, there is a lot of talk, but it is all spin disguising the real intention, which is to create a mediocrity of a club for the purposes of self grandeur and gratification. We hear that we are still after Woodgate, who is more crocked than China. Wenger’s valuations are child like, he wants £80mil for Cesc, £25mil for Ade and £15mil for Kolo, which proves he is a hypocrite of the lowest order. Demanding such high valuations from clubs will not make us any friends and we won’t be able to sign anyone. We are a laughing stock.

  18. Block 4
    Like I said every team in every game matters to me, I want us to win every game in all tournaments and am distraught when we don’t.
    Doesn’t alter the fact that only scum like Spurs get excited about winning shit like the league cup. We’ll win it and move on to the important stuff as far as I’m concerned. It’s a distraction at worst and a chance to rehabilitate players or blood youngsters at best.

  19. You crack me up, Muppet.

  20. I completely agree. We will win the League Cup, we will be happy about it for a couple of days, but in the big picture of things the trophy will not matter. To be honest, I would rather see us win the EPL than both the League and the FA Cup.

  21. Mongolian Gooner

    Here I was thinking whatever happened to that positive minded Muppet. Didn’t realize he was imitating The Doomers.

  22. What a great game on the week end and loved to see RVP scoring an hat trick.
    I’m for starting a strong team (at least up front) against Ipswish because while Ipswish is playing in the championship we still needs to get 2 goals and I would prefer a strong first half with another hat trick from Robin and then early subs to give the first teamers a rest rather than a nervious ending because we could not pass the parked bus.
    Give Gibbs and Eboue a go while giving a rest to Djourou if needed. In midfield Denilson can give Song a breather and one of Wilshere or Cesc gives way to Rosicky (if he’s not injured as I think I heard he was unavailable on the week end). But in attack I would go with Nasri, RVP and Walcott or Arshavin replacing one of the man on the wing.

    By the way YW, loved the dig at the clown Pennant!

    Alex Oxlade Chamberlain looks like a terrific prospects, hope to see him in wearing the beautiful Red and White shirt.

  23. Thanks Evil.
    For the record I think it’s a shame the FA Cup has been shuffled down the pecking order as it’s been so important to me since my first ever final back in 1970 – and obviously the one the following year which burns even more brightly in my memory. However the fact is that ever since they allowed more teams in the champs league it has become the cup tournament everyone wants to qualify for.

  24. For the want of a comma, the joke was lost.

  25. I thought that c’bob – punctuation fascism.

  26. If I could choose I would go with league title but who knows whats gonna happen. So I hope we win the carling cup. We need to give it all we’ve got. Then focus on the league.

  27. Yes, I’m afraid that’s typical of the younger generation of so called wits on here these days, steww.

    Whatever happened to good old fashioned ignorance as personified by Richard Keyes and Andy Gray?

  28. There was a time when ignorance of football was everywhere, today it is largely limited to those places outside of ACLF, such as Sky, the BBC, newspapers, the radio, and blog sites.

    Gone are the days when Howard was a daily poster and AIC was a regular. Ignorance here is now limited to a few specialist posters, inaccessible to your average ‘intellectual’.

    Too many times now I have to turn to Garth Crooks ‘Team of the Week’ to remind myself that not everyone is intelligent and insightful.

    What’s happening to the world?

  29. That’s true ‘bob they represent a bygone age where men were men and women were glad of it.

  30. For once, a Sky headline I like: ‘Harry won’t let Woody go’.
    Sounds as if ol’ Twitchy likes to overdose on Viagra.

  31. I woke up disappointed tonight. I had dreamt that we had beaten Barca 3:0 at home (Sagna for the first after beating two men and slotting in him from just inside the box, RVP for the second, Walcott for the third). While I was laying in bed I refused to believe that it was just a dream and I had to check on the internet using my mobile phone to make sure that it’s not true. 😦

  32. Robin van Persie had just about accepted he would never score a hat-trick in English football – and then Saturday came along.

    The Dutchman scored after 21 and 59 minutes to secure victory for Arsenal against Wigan at Emirates Stadium. But it seemed he’d missed the opportunity for a first treble when he hacked a penalty over the bar 20 minutes from full time. However, redemption arrived just before the whistle when Van Persie fired home at the near post.

    The 27-year-old had hit two goals in nine Premier League games before Saturday and he admitted afterwards that his failure to add a third had become an issue for him.

    “It was my first ever hat-trick,” he said. “I scored five goals when I was 19 for Feyenoord in the Dutch FA Cup against an amateur side. But that doesn’t really count so this was my first hat-trick.

    “It means a lot because I’ve been here a long time. It was about time. I had come so close so many times. I’d scored two goals and then I hit the bar or the post. I was unlucky.

    “If I’m really honest, I was starting to think: ‘Why can I not score a hat-trick?’ I’d come so close and then hit the woodwork. Last week it happened again, funnily enough, against West Ham when I scored two goals and then hit the post.

    “So I started to sort of accept it a little bit and that’s when you score one. It’s really funny. I just thought: “You know what? I’m just never going to score a hat-trick. I’ll just score two goals.

    “The same thing happened on Saturday if I’m honest because I missed the penalty. I don’t really miss them that often. I’ve only missed two in my whole career, so I was gutted about it. I was disappointed with myself because maybe the occasion got to me a little bit.”

  33. Limestonegunner

    Evil, should have known it was a dream when Sagna scored, since he won’t play rhe first leg at him, unfortunately. But a beautiful dream that still might come true in essence!

  34. There was a time when ignorance about football was everywhere. These days it is largely confined to places outside of ACLF such as Sky, the BBC, radio, newspapers and most blogs. Only in these places can you watch , listen and read about what makes English football so great and why Fat Sam and Tony Pulis are proper managers.

    Gone are the days when Howard posted his stupidity daily and AIC was a regular poster. All too often this site is dominated by the clever and the insightful. Only occasionally can we read posts by a few specialist ignoramuses to relieve the otherwise unrelieved diet of wit and analysis.

    Only this morning I had to log onto at Garth Crooks ‘Team of the Week’ to remind myself that ignorance and lack of insight can still be found if one looks.

    Don’t get me started on integrity.

  35. test

  36. “The Dane’s agent (who doubles up as his father at weekends),” that’s classic yogi! Great post as usual.

  37. Is it just me or is anyone else experiencing posts that are not appearing then being told on retrying that I have already posted that comment?

    Come on Yogi, sort it out!

  38. Drogba could not have scored that hat-trick and Torres is the only other striker in the league that could have done. I don’t think that Berba or Rooney could have scored it.

    It could easily have been 5 for Robin and we are a different team when he plays like that. If he stays fit and on form then I believe that anything is possible.

    I just hope that are the ripe old age of 27 he can finally put his injuries behind him and play regularly. This guy is genuinely world-class and it makes you wonder what might have been but also what may yet be.

    The chipped pass and volley for the second is making my spine tingle as I write. I reminded me of Bergkamp for Holland v England at Wembley all those years ago….

  39. The League Cup may not be the most prestigious competition, but it is there for the taking so we need to seize the opportunity. If that means using our B side attacking unit against Huddersfield, so be it. Obviously we don’t want to have to play Huddersfield twice to advance, but the worst case for our backups should be to hold them to a draw. So I say we go for it tomorrow. hopefully seal the deal in the first hour and then rest RVP, Cesc and Samir.

  40. It reminded me!
    I will never remind myself of Bergkamp. Never, ever..


    Ha Ha! Cross your fingers for the right outcome.

  42. Sorry… I didn’t know hypercorrection was so passé.

  43. Cbob

    ’tis true, their punishment is to be ‘stood down’ from tonight’s Bolton v Chelsea goal- and skill-fest.

    BTW, your previous comments went into Spam, pushing the button twice in quick succession won’t have helped your cause. Will have a look why.


  44. Harry might have egg in his face when Arsene comes out to say he was never contemplating signing Woodgate.
    For the game tomorrow,I wouldnt risk playing RVP against a desperate championship side.What with their agricultural tackles.We should win that game with a fully rotated squad .But I’m concerned JD and Kos are having too many games.I also wouldnt expect cesc or Nasri to pay a full 90 minutes either.

  45. Ah well, bin them Yogi. The world will get by without them (Anyway I have a copy which I’ll post later as AIC has just visited).

  46. Superb performance at the weekend, If we are lucky enough to have RVP, Nasrigas, Song and Jack all fit until the end of the season, I am sure we will go mighty close.

    The last time we won the league, didn’t we win about 9 games in a row at this stage? We may need to do that again – but with everyone fit, there is no reason why we can’t!

    Interesting to see Wenger come out and openly admit we are going to try and bring in the boy from Southampton, but do we really need another young attacking midfield player?

    I am maybe in the minority in my support for Cahill as a player, but wouldn’t mind seeing that £10M spent on reinforcing our chance of winning the title this season, as opposed to potential.

    Saying that – We could afford to do both…..

  47. AIC, you’re losing your girp on nirvana, and you’re therefore no longer my hero.

    Any half decent striker would have scored a hatful on saturday. We were wasteful and against the better teams we will be soundly beaten. Soundly. Walcott once again showed he hasn’t got a footballing brain by not being sufficiently self-fish. One on one with the keeper and he passes? only an idiot does that. He should have taken the shot even if he shanked it wide. He’s spineless and a coward and not fit to wear the shirt. It’s obvious Kos and Djourou aren’t upto scratch. Yeah sure we may have kept a clean sheet, but that’s cause Wigan were rubbish, and we still let them have 3 shots. If they were on target, it’s obvious our hapless keeper and useless defender between the five of them, they would have contrived to score own goals.

    It’s all doom, and if you lot are delusional enough to think otherwise, I want the numbers of your dealers.

  48. gunners are the singers of sexy foot ball every one in the world has fallen in love with their style in my country Ethiopia all most from kids to old men deadly love gunners. 4 ever till i die.

  49. Haven’t posted for a while and we won all our games! Maybe I shouldn’t post until the end of the season!
    Ipswich tomorrow and regardless of the prestige of the mickey mouse cup we cannot afford to loose the game! I would prefer a strong team out and settle the game preferably in the first half. I think we will see a strong team with max 4 changes. Chamakh, Arshavin and Deni to start and possibly Gibs in place of Clicy. I suspect central partnership will remain the same as we really dont have a choice.

  50. Hope we play a strong side tomorrow. Losing out on the first possible trophy of the year when we are this close and only have a championship side and 2 PL relegation fighters left in the pot would be dumb. At least 2 or the 3 of Cesc, RVP, Nasri should start. We need to start Song and our best defenders. Giving up a goal would mean we need to score 3 which we could do, but it puts a lot of pressure on the attack and leaves us open for long balls as we push forward.

    Doubt we will see any important transfer activity so trying not to get hopes up. Hopefully an injury or fatigue in our CB’s will not cost us any points. It would be a huge disappointment if we came up little short for this year when it could have been avoided.

  51. I agree with many here who are pushing for a strong lineup v Ipswich. I would like to see RvP start too, get a goal or 2 then we can let caution come into play. I firmly believe that this team will go onto ‘better’ things once this cup has been won. They need the massive mental boost that lifting a trophy at Wembley can provide. That can be enough to give utd doubts as well as enhancing our ever growing confidence.

    Really enjoyed the match on Sat. The whole team looked sharp and not a sniff of complacency crept in. Great to see RvP finally getting his Arsenal hattrick, and great to see Cesc playing like that again. We got so used to it last season, I think (personally anyway) we were spoilt by his amazing form…

    And a very ironic fist shaking for Muppet and Gadget. Cheeky scamps.

  52. I tried to post this earlier but it did not show up. If it somehow appears later then you get read it twice.

    Suspect we will start a strong team tomorrow. 2 or the 3 RVP, Cesc, Nasri need to start. We need to start Song and of best defenders. If we concede then we need to score 3. No doubt we can score 3 but puts lot of pressure on the attack and leaves us open to long balls as we push forward.

    I doubt we will see any significant transfer activity. Hopeful that we do not drop any points because of injury or fatigue to our CBs. It would be a really disappointing if we came up a couple of points short when it could be prevented with no long term risk to the club.

  53. To the tune of that old classic, “one nil to the arsenal”

    Theo, Van Nasregas
    Theo, Van Nasregas
    Theo, Van Nasregas
    Theo, Van Nasregas

  54. Or to the tune of that new school classic, “we’ve got Cesc Fabregas”

    Theo Van Nasregas
    Theo Van Nasregas
    Theo Van Nasregas
    Theo Van Nasregas

  55. Richard Keys, that even-handed conductor, and Andy Gray, the insightful free-thinker. No love was for this beautiful game was greater or purer than those modern-day Nibelungen Knights. How did it come to this?

    Betrayed, I assume, by a termagant, and now surrounded and besieged by baying Huns. Hold out, good men, with all your might. How I wish that Redknapp the younger could join your ranks in this hopeless, pianful struggle.

    Truly they have been the last men standing for longer than one day; fighting the good fight against football’s commercialisation; remedying the pernicious, inevitable advance of vapid celebrity culture; smashing the nepotistic circles that kept our sport in the dark ages; welcoming other men of action like Sam Allardyce into their proud circle; blasting football’s argot with a bracing jet of lucid speech.

    And now they must fall, these modern Mark Antonys, who know only honour. And love for the beautiful game.

  56. Man, I need to learn more high-brow references and big words.

  57. Haha, it’s disappeared.

  58. That’s right Big Al.

    There was a time when ignorance about football was everywhere. These days it is largely confined to places outside of ACLF such as Sky, the BBC, radio, newspapers and most blogs. Only in these places can you watch , listen and read about what makes English football so great and why Fat Sam and Tony Pulis are proper managers.

    Gone are the days when Howard posted his stupidity daily and AIC was a regular poster. All too often this site is dominated by the clever and the insightful. Only occasionally can we read posts by a few specialist ignoramuses to relieve the otherwise unrelieved diet of wit and analysis.

    Only this morning I had to log onto at Garth Crooks ‘Team of the Week’ to remind myself that ignorance and lack of insight can still be found if one looks.

    Don’t get me started on integrity.

  59. Cbob – Speak of the dead and they appear, i.e the mighty AIC.
    Wasn’t he one of the many jackasses who perenially advocated that we sell RVP because he was made of glass, take the cash and buy a “better”striker? Check the archives.
    Speak of Lazarus!

  60. I tried twice before to post this but it never showed up. It must be a conspiracy and I blame Steww. Hope this one works and the earlier posts do not show up. Much as I enjoy my own posts even I do not want to have to read it 3 times.

    Hope we play a strong line up tomorrow. 2 or the 3 of either RVP, Cesc or Nasri. We need our strongest defenders. If we concede once we have to score 3. We might score 3 but that is a lot of pressure and it leaves us open to long balls as we push forward.

    I doubt there will be any significant transfer activity at this point. I’m hopeful that we do not drop any points because of injury or fatigue to our CBs. It would be a huge disappointment if we came up a couple of points short because of something that is preventable when the solution offers no long term risk to the club.

  61. Faithless Lazarus, btw!

  62. Bill,

    “Much as I enjoy my own posts even I do not want to have to read it 3 times”

    you sir, have a wit you would do well to unleash! well played

  63. Very nice Big Al.

    I’ve been trying in my own small way to post something in a similar vein all day but Yogi, in his infinite wisdom, decided that it was too close to the real thiing, ie rubbish, and it got spammed.

    Did Oscar have similar trouble one wonders.

  64. Ah wait, my 1.13 comment has now appeared on my screen.

    If your memory is not correct shotta, I am sure that AIC will enlighten us.

    Over to you, AIC.

  65. Substitutions of Nasri, Fabregas and RVP could indicate they are to start tomorrow, alongside Arshavin? There’s a PL game a week (on the 1st) after the Ipswich tie, with the FA Cup game on the Sunday.

    Lots of transfer gossip, but I can’t help wondering what happened with Ricardo Fuller?
    The following is just pure speculation.

    “What in Clog’s name were you doing? (diving in an attempt to win a penalty against ManIOU at OT, after coming on as a late sub).
    Trying to win the game?
    Do you know who owns this club? We don’t like cheats.
    Stoke players never dive.
    And as for that running with the footbll malarky, you can stop that too.
    I’ve had enough.
    Oh, John Carew,
    wherefore are you?”

  66. We all know women have keener eyes and generally sharper senses than men. I learnt this from a young age when I could fool me pa, but never me ma – hasn’t stopped me from trying to fool the female species though, nor shall I ever stop.

    So the question is why don’t we do away with male officials when they’ve obviously got genetic defects that limit the accuracy of their decisions?

    I think Arsene should lead the way and call for more female officials. Female referees would have put a stop to the Eduardo embargo long before it begun, would have given the lesser ronaldo a true talking to about diving upon the wrong turf, and would never have Rooney cursing the way he does. Only a good woman, firm and supple can tame a beast and bring a man to his knees, exactly what English players need.

    No, seriously, I’m not belittling the Grey Keys affair. I hope they throw the book at these guys the same way they did with that old muppet Big Ron. The views they expouse are as ancient as their theories on football and it looks like sky’s gonna have to grow up a bit.

  67. I posted the other day about it Finsbury.

    It is all part of the master plan of the one true revolutionary in football – Tony Pulis.

    He is looking to take football to a new dimension by not only playing 4 Centre halves in defence, play a couple more in midfield, and then Carew up front and the ball never has to touch the floor – thus keeping it away from smaller, skilful sides such as us.


  68. No. I never said that RvP should be sold. I did say that the number of games he played was low and that the real cost of his wages should be measured in that light.

  69. Haha CB, it has only just come up. It’s a day of schadenfreude.

    The funny part is that I usually don’t like this kind of pious public outcry – I even defended John Terry last year. This time I don’t care about all that. Anything that makes Sky Sports look bad is fine by me.

    I remember when my Mum got Sky about 15 years ago. I couldn’t wait to watch some live PL football and I still remember how disappointed I was – not just with those two fuckwits, but the how the football never lived up to the hype.

    But even while you hated Gray, Keys and their army of cloned Uebermensch “news” presenters, not to mention the way Sky helps keeps Britain poorest people at home, ignorant and out of work, you knew it’s the only legal way to watch live football and you have to live with it.

    Fuck all that now though. I only got back in June, and could manage no more than 3 months of Sky Sports – the only reason on the planet to get Sky – before canning it.

  70. Jack Wilshere in a interview on Arsenal TV about the upcoming Ipswich game “Hopefully we can get an early goal and then another 4 or 5” Love it!

  71. I changed tense there – “it was “, “you had”.

    I think I need some fresh air as well!

  72. OneofUs – I watch all the games on even the ones that aren’t on sky. I even prefer Chinese or Russian commentary to that of Andy Gray and Martin Tyler, and Richard Keys is just a twat!

  73. Well, as a matter of fact, I never seem to have a problem with my posts getting through.

    Obviously Yogi has developed a slipstream for intelligence and positivity.

  74. Yeah, me too Drew10. It’s hit and miss some days though. People go on about sopcasts as well, but I’m not sure they wok on a mac – never used to.

  75. Sopcast is by far the best program to use to watch the footy, especially if watching the “prem-year league” on fox soccer channel. If you only have a mac I would suggest getting a cheap pc or laptop just to watch the footy on.

  76. Actually I have just done some googling and you could try this!

    There is a program called Crossover! and this is what you can do to use sopcast on mac apparently.

    This application is only in beta phase, and not many applications are supported, but with Crossover you can run Windows applications on your Mac without buying Windows. And you can run Sopcast on it. In order for it to work though, you have to install it in a Win98 bottle with Windows Media Player 9 in the same bottle. You can also use VLC for mac to stream from Sopcast (you have to have both running) and there are plenty of tutorials on how to do this. Just make sure you put the stream on a loop while using VLC or it will keep stopping after a few seconds.

    I hope this gets out there. Post freely on other forums as there is not much info. on this subject.

    Dont know if that is helpful at all!

  77. I thought in the Mickey Mouse Cup away goals dont count!!! Is this the case?

  78. I always use Sopcast. Hardly ever choppy.

  79. I can substantiate what deano says about Sopcast, it’s truely one of the greatest things to have come about with the birth of the internet. The feeds are of an exceptional quality and never mess up.

  80. eek! credit must go to Drew and not Deano.

  81. Away goals do count – but only after extra time.

  82. Cheers drew10. There’s one in the house I can hijack, so I might take that option first.

  83. Bill, your angst is getting really tiresome:
    “I’m hopeful that we do not drop any points because of injury or fatigue to our CBs. It would be a huge disappointment if we came up a couple of points short because of something that is preventable when the solution offers no long term risk to the club.”
    How often must it be explained that splurging on any old CB who does not meet our needs poses a greater long-term risk to the club (breaking our salary scale, our policy of promoting from within, our hard-won reputation as a faithful developer of younger players, our policy of never over-paying for a player). These may be little things to you, but just cast a cursory glance at Oil City to see where a policy of overpaying at the drop of a hat has not only failed to produce a better league position than the Arsenal, but has resulted in a cutious, turgid brand of football (especially vs teams in the top 4-5) set against an obscene waste of gargantum sums of petro dollars on over-hyped players who cannot be given away even on loan and whom must eventually be flogged at cut-price when their inflated contracts run out. Stop being a glory-hunter Bill or go find another club that subscribes to your tastes.

  84. Ta Matt-interesting to see how we shape up in defence. Eboue and Gibs will start, but I am certain Kos/Djourou awesome partnership will continue!!! Koscielny what a debut first season- only TVCinq had a better first year at Arsenal!

  85. What exactly did you mean by that then AIC?

  86. shotta,

    You’re being a bit harsh there on Bill. Don’t forget, one M. Arsene Wenger himself has said that we are “short” at centre half and will do something in the transfer market if he can. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that we should get any old player just because we can, but that with the current spate of injuries in that position it might be prudent to sign someone. Comparing that to the Man City situation is spurious and laughable. I personally don’t think we will now sign anyone with the good noises about Squillaci and Vermaelen being back in the near future, but it is a valid question, which has been asked by the manager himself.

  87. Its not like it’s entirely black and white either. splashing a some extra dough on a player doesnt mean you automatically turn into citeh and murder your younger players .

    i like to think wenger and citeh are polar opposites. wenger will almost certainly only pay what he subjectively reckons is great value for the money, while citeh couldnt give a shit. and the “truth” probably lies somewhere in between, likely closer to wengers world view.

  88. Shotta:

    You have been unusually grouchy recently. I would have thought our good form on the pitch would make you happier. I guess, constantly fighting doomers takes it toll. If hoping that we win titles and fill our trophy case is being a “glory hunter” then I am guilty. Its not possible to suddenly “find another club”. Supporting a club is not about agreeing or disagreeing with its transfer policies. I always thought it more an emotional rather then a rational thing.

  89. Matt @3:33

    How could I forget the four centre halves/CB’s.
    Pulis can take some credit for inspiring Mourinhioballs’ selections against FC BBB last year. No luck in that tie, no marginal decisions, no ash clouds, just managerial brilliance.

  90. Bill last month: Defenders!!! I said defenders…. defence!!! somebody hear me!!!! clean sheet.

    Bill last week: Defenders!!! I said defenders…. defence!!! somebody hear me!!!! clean sheet.

    Bill yesterday: Defenders!!! I said defenders…. defence!!! somebody hear me!!!! clean sheet.

    Bill today: Defenders!!! I said defenders…. defence!!! somebody hear me!!!! clean sheet.

    Bill tomorrow: Defenders!!! I said defenders…. defence!!! somebody hear me!!!! clean sheet.

    Bill next week: Defenders!!! I said defenders…. defence!!! somebody hear me!!!! clean sheet.

  91. hello all

    not sure how closely any of you follow our boys’ twitter accounts but Cesc tweeted after the game that, among the positives, he was disappointed not to get a goal. This was totally in line with what I saw from him sitting on the bench after being subbed out. He looked annoyed.

  92. “Grouchy,” Bill? Is that the best you can do?
    All this hand-wringing by you about the need for any old CB and the underlying criticism of Wenger for refusing to splash-the-cash while sitting on a pot of dossh, is based on a fundamental distrust of the manger’s judgement. Wenger’s position has been nuanced but clear, there are enough resources at our disposal but if there is an opportunity out there (ie. the right player at the right price) he would do a deal. But you Bill and co. need the reserve the option of blasting the manager if something catastrophic should happen. A can’t lose proposition for you Bill: grudgingly admit the manager is unlikely to buy and if he proves right you can easily pop on the championship bandwagon; something goes wrong and I can easily predict you will be incessant and repetitious in your second-guessing (you do that often enough any way).
    Grouchy or not, I think I’ve got you all figured out.

  93. Notlager:

    If you are going to get it right then you need to learn how to spell defense. DEFENSE. You did get defenders and clean sheet and the exclamation points correct. Nice job.

    btw: How did you already know what I would post next week.

  94. Limestonegunner

    NJ, he must have also been annoyed by the at least three yellow card fouls against him that weren’t called. Clearly they had a serial fouling policy that could simply continue because ref was unbelievably permissive. Credit to him that he didn’t let it get to him during his excellent performance. The best way to punish Wigan was with that fantastic pass for RvP’s second. Still thrilled by that special goal.

  95. Bill, at least I won’t bore people to death.

  96. This is certainly the best Arsenal squad I have ever known

  97. Notlager:

    Thanks for offering to help but I have got the defensive thing covered.

  98. Sky Presenters…Andy Gray and Richard Key….Shameless & Shameful, Dumbness & Dumb-full.

    The Lady linesman you tried to ridicule, ridiculed both of you old pharts.
    Sian Massey got the decision %100 right and you got it %100 wrong. You were sitting on your fat asses in a comfy chair with TV screens & playback and got it wrong, she was in the thick of it facing thousands of fans and she got it right.

    I hope this will serve as a warning for both of you to leave your egotistical selves at home when you go to work.

  99. Wenger’s position on buying a defender is clear, not as nuanced as I suggested earlier, to go by the following quote
    “I am open-minded on the idea of buying another defender and if the right opportunity turns up we will take it. We are not desperate, we have Vermaelen who can still play a big part in the end of the season and we have Squillaci who comes back maybe next Sunday. Song can play at the back too.”
    Source: Wenger’s View – The Official Manager’s Email – 24 January 2011

  100. Bill, next time I’ll try harder to imitate your American accent.

  101. Limestonegunner

    Frank, do you use the word “squad” advisedly? If so, whom do you think we should start tomorrow to overcome our goal deficit?

    I like this squad immensely. I do think though that a preferred league 11 seems to have emerged and that a team drawn from the rest of the squad seems to suffer from not combining well together or haven’t had enough chances to develop as good an understanding together. Either that or everyone always looks better playing with Fabregas, Nasri, RvP, and Song.

  102. Limestonegunner

    4ever, nice post. I am hoping they won’t be going to work as football presenters much more.

  103. notlager

    please dont try and pull rank on anyone on this blog for being an American. Thank you.

    – An American Gooner

  104. I used ‘squad’ deliberately, Limestonegunner. The players are getting the continuity that was the only barrier to their success. RvP is World Class and has been for years, and yet a lot of Arsenal ‘fans’ seem to have missed it. Cesc, Samir, Alex, Andrei (still the fantastic player we bought, just watch), Marouane (how long has he been playing in the EPL? a ridiculously short time), Nik, Theo, Kieran, Gael, Bacary, Johann, Laurent, Wojciech, Lukasz, Tomas, Tomas, Sebastien, Abou, Denilson Perreira Neves, Aaron, Carlos….and then Henry, Craig, Ignasi, Don Vito…and on and on and on. Just look at their ages. Says it all. This is going to go on for years and years and years. The best squad in Europe by a country mile!

  105. I agree with G4E.

    … and Frank!

  106. Notlager:

    I know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Not many people are very nice to me on this blog so my heartfelt thanks, and its nice to have a friend. Cheers.

  107. Err, the para ending with the abandoned Posche seems to imply that the anecdote was about Shaun Wright-Phillips, which is unfair on SWP, who is nowhere near as stupid as the real culprit, Jermaine Pennant.

  108. American Gooners, what do we think of that Oguchi Onyewu fella? I thought he was pretty impressive at the World Cup… but has since dropped off the radar a bit. Wasn’t he playing for Milan… for free? I’m still in Columbo mode about this centreback malarkey.

    Having said that – Squillaci, Diaby and Mozart could all be back for the Huddersfield game! The winter of our duo-centreback discontent is almost at an end.

    I like Huddersfield… strong Arse connection.

  109. Now thats not fair. Who’s picking on Bill then? Outrageous behaviour. Ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  110. Sotto voce: robots don’t have hearts, notlager.

  111. Limestonegunner

    Touch of pathos about that last comment, Bill. You’ve been very entertaining today, IMO, with some witty ripostes and self-deprecation to go along with your usual forbearance and defense-oriented comments. Classy.

    What’s next in your store of surprises? A week of lauding our attack?!

    We’ve already seen AIC’s purported hostility melted into a sugary pool of positive enthusiasm!

    Exciting times here on ACLF!

  112. Fuck, I mean ‘Dust’ the EP.

  113. Limestonegunner

    LA, but they dream of electric sheep. Now haven’t you seen the Wizard of Oz?–the tin man get’s a heart in the heartlands of America!

    Gooch is a big defender but he can have some real lapses and has struggled with injury. He hasn’t progressed that much since his days in the Belgian league, but like so many American players, they are much much better in the national side than for their clubs.

  114. Limestonegunner

    gets not “get’s”

  115. Limpar:

    I’m not sure about Oguchi Onyewu.

    Cool name, but I think inconsistent and missed a lot of time with injuries. Big and strong and pacey for someone his size. Unfortunately, most guys like him end up as line backers on their high school American football teams. Columbo was a great TV show, had not thought about that one for a long time.

  116. A boy in Rome was close to death when surgeons decided to save him with a robot heart. Dr Antonio Amodeo carried out the operation at Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome. Officials said the robot heart is expected to give the boy another 20 to 25 years of ‘normal life’.

    I presume that they got the heart from a robot

  117. Over the summer, and beyond, some were writing about Schwarzer, and Hangerland, day after day. Their unsatisfied need for a strong, stay at home type. They still are (unsatisfied).

    Many Arsenal ‘fans’ were able, for some unfathomable reason, to remember how well Djourou had played before his injury.
    A quote from Mean Lean’s latest post:

    ‘I have said from the start that man for man, we are not worse than any of the top defensive sides in this league and that Koscielny is a great player. He hasn’t proved that to everyone so far but for me, he is one of the best of his kind that I have ever seen.’

  118. Alright, alright… don’t make me get my Voight-Kampff machine down from the attic. Hold on… don’t go anywhere, Bill…

    Must seperate… job… from emotions. Replicants can watch Columbo too… got to stay strong… got to think clearly…

  119. hahaha YW
    your transfer talk was hilarious stuff…
    onto more seroius matters..
    i think we should start with rvp tomorrow night…the way hes playing the attack will shine no matter who plays around him and with any luck the game will be over at half time..he’ll only need 45mins to finish ipswich..take him off half time and then a nice rest sunday…
    in an ideal world…or am i being too confident???

  120. Block 4,

    I think that Shotta’s point is a fair one, not that I want make Bill feel like his opinions don’t count because they most certainly do count with me and I enjoy reading his posts… but Shotta is nevertheless correct. Bill’s post is not in the least like what Wenger said either in spirit or in tone. Wenger’s position is that if a player that fits the profile of what he’s looking for is out there then he’ll try to make a deal happen. Bill would in all honesty like a player like Cahill because he appears to believe that such a player is needed. That is what his lament was about and Shotta is right to call him on it. I personally think that Bill should be explicit in stating what he wants instead of moaning in code. This is how I read this particular issue… if I’m wrong then I’ll heartily apologise.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I think that fans are well within their rights to call for Cahill or someone like him. I personally think that the fans who do so are misguided but there’s nothing in the world that says that my position is indisputably the correct one. I think that my position makes sense but you’d expect me to say that 🙂

    Having said all that I’d be very grateful if someone who actually believes that Cahill or someone like him, costing the best part of 15m, is good for Arsenal can explain to me how a player who is no better than Kosceilny can sign for the club at 15m and immediately become our highest paid CB. Because as we all know wages are linked to transfer fees and a player who commands a 15m transfer fee would basically be looking at wages in the 75k a week range…. even Vermaelen is most probably not on 75k a week so how do these folks who want Cahill so badly that they won’t even baulk at a transfer of 20m justify such wages to the other (and IMHO better) CBs at the club? I’m really curious as to how all this Cahill thing is actually meant to work in practice. Do we just bump up everyone’s wages?

  121. Finsbury:

    In retrospect Schwarzer envy was not my finest hour.

    Limpar @ 7:06:

    You are and always will be the best. Tip of the cap to the king of cool.

  122. Bill,
    It’s been a long hour.

  123. I think one of Nasri, Cesc or RVP should start tomorrow.

    As Nasri played most of the game at Leeds & again on Saturday I`d rest him & I`d probably prime RVP on the bench to come on only in an emergency.

    So Cesc it is then. The rest of the side would be the one that started at Leeds.

    Oh, & as Columbo would say `one more thing` – Arshavin to score & start to get his game back. He could yet make a huge difference.

  124. Uche

    Whether SWP is as stupid as Pennant is a moot point; SWP joined Chelsea for money and stalled his career before returning to the highest wage bill at Manchester City and stalling his career…He might not have forgotten a car but he forgot that a career needs football to be worthwhile.


  125. Joshua:

    I do not know that much about Cahill but certainly would welcome his transfer if it happened. My thoughts regarding your question are based on mostly on my experience with American sports.

    First I did not know that wages were completely based on transfer fees. Even if absolutely true I think most players understand that the market is not always realistic. If someone is overpaid based on their ability compared to the other players on the team, the incumbent players will still welcome that player with open arms if he can help them win a title. You can come up with a doomsday scenario about bringing in one player suddenly destroying the culture of a club and leading it on a long path to the dark side. I have seen never seen that scenario played out in real life. I am confident our management could handle any repercussions.

  126. joshua | January 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    Spot on. As usual, better said than I could.
    The knock-on effect of distorting a club’s wage structure by making a big signing someone like Cahill, who is clearly inferior to our top-three defenders, is rarely discussed by bloggers and posters.. (To his credit the blogger at 7am Kickoff did a piece last week highlighting how unlikely a player like Mexxes would be signed because of his inordinate wages of 4.5 million per year.) They cheerily dismisss this as being the price of winning championships. I guess caualties of this policy like Portsmouth and Leeds, to name two prominent examples, are just one-offs.
    As I said before, it is merely other people’s money; fans see themselves as having nothing to lose when some tool decides to splash-the-cash.

  127. Bloody Fat Sam on Sky with Martin Tyler

  128. SWP & His Dad are idiots, they didn’t really have his best interest football-wise. Even if they were sincere in thinking that Chelsea was a good football career for him, they failed to realize that Chelsea only wanted to prevent Arsenal from having him.

    At that point, even if Wenger rated him highly on the football, he most likely rated him very low on character and personality. I have no doubt that character and personality are just as highly important for Wenger as football ability.

    Probably Wenger is the only manager who thinks size doesn’t matter as long as you have the skills to do the job, and SWP best possible career was at Arsenal.

    Tough luck, too bad, and too late SWP…I hope you made a lot of money for the rainy day when you sit next to your dad writing a monthly article for The Sun “bitching about Arsenal of course”.

  129. i have a different opinion on SWP
    chelsea went through a phase where the money went to their head and they bought everybody and anybody just so their rivals couldnt get them
    swp, scotty parker, just to name a couple and then stuck them in the reserves or on the bench and ruined them
    as i understood at the time we held talks with man city over SWP and we offered around 12-14 million for him..
    city stalled becuase chelsea joined the hunt and asked them to keep them informed and then once we made our offer city told chelsea what it was and chelsea just doubled it..
    we never held talks with SWP we only had talks with city over the transfer fee but once chelsea offered what they did city told us to go away..
    SWP only had one destination..he only had talks with chelsea as their bid was the only one accepted due to its size….

  130. i believe its one of the reasons wenger keeps his transfers quiet, creates smokescreens and never tells the truth..he knows with the likes of city now around if he says he wants someone its just leaving him open the get burned and ridiculously outbid…
    wenger only talks about players when he knows he practically has them
    which is why i think hazzard is coming in summer and why i think OxO is on his way..
    wenger says nothing unless hes sure…

  131. the same happened with ronaldo
    we had him at the ground showing him the facilities we had him in the bag we were negotiating with him and then manutd offered 12mil at the last minute and benfica (??) pulled the plug and told us to naff off
    why would they still accept a measly million or whatever it was when utd offered 12 times that amount???
    we just couldnt compete with that..
    its not so much the players fault its more the clubs who are selling them
    which is why i admire southampton so much over the OXO deal…if he comes to us it means theyve rejected city cos the only reason city want him is cos we do…..and you know they will have offered more…
    it will be a victory for football…
    and to be honest anything that involves wenger is a victory for football cos the rest are just greedy tossers

  132. @Bill

    I believe that you are incorrect on that part. If a player comes in and commands high wages, even though comparable players are better and earning less, it is prone to create a bad atmosphere in the dressing room. You do know how much money plays a part in most peoples lives, don’t you? People have switched teams, even though it meant going to an inferior side, just because of the pay check they would earn. I think if people like Vermaelen, Kos or Djourou would be looking at someone playing worse than they are but earning somewhat more money, even if that player did help somewhat to earn a trophy, you can be a 100% sure that in the summer they will all demand a rise. And then our wage structure would basically go down the drain.

    I think most people forget that when Wenger says that English players are overpriced he does not only mean that they are costing to much money in transfer, but also in wages. Maybe another reason why he prefers to go abroad, where you can definitely save on wages?

  133. We don’t need any English players really, we have the best of them in Gibbs, Walcott, Wilshere, Eastmond, etc., etc. Why would we go pay over the odds for one now?

  134. Joshua,

    I take your point that a high transfer fee might turn into higher wages than others, but it’s not something like night follows day. Fabregas is on more than Arshavin for instance despite one coming up through the youth team (up to a point) and the other being a “star” signing. Now I would say Cesc is worth it, but it makes my point I think.

    If you read my post I wasn’t actually advocating signing a centre back, merely that to take that position isn’t as extreme as shotta seemed to be making out given that the maneger has several times indicated that he would do a deal if he could find the right player, including in today’s manager’s view email as was said earlier. If he wasn’t on the lookout at all he would just say so. Shotta’s point is a fair one in that he thinks that we don’t need a centre back and Bill does, it’s just that comparing us buying a centre back now with two injured to what is going on at Man City is complete rubbish. Also, the counter-argument could easily be made, that the odd expensive signing shows intent on the part of the manager and the club to get better and push on to silverware which will be an important piece of the conversation when the likes of Cesc come round to deciding whether that Barca offer really is all it’s cracked up to be. No-one’s talking about “splurging”, the odd necessary bigger signing to augment the good youth policy and picking up cheaper gems shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

  135. Evil:

    I understand your concern but doubt it would become a problem as long as relative long term fiscal sanity is maintained. My argument is with the notion that bringing in a player to fill a specific need at a specific time even if he seems overpriced will inevitably lead us down the path to fiscal insanity.

    I am not specifically hoping for Cahill and I would much rather see someone like Sakho or Subotic. I care nothing for the players nationality and would prefer avoiding English if you can get a better non-Enlish player at a better price which has almost always been the case. However Cahill is the example everyone is using and I would be happy to see him if he is purchased. I suspect the players would all be happy to see him if they thought he could help them win the PL even if there is a minor wage imbalance.

  136. its a big fish, small pond mentality..
    but that doesnt mean hes going to be a big fish in our ocean is it??
    obviously a players wages at his current club are a variable in wengers equation to sign a player..
    no point getting cahill for example if bolton pay him more than we pay TV for example…
    but something tellls me bolton dont pay their players all that much…some of our youth players are probably paid more than their seniors..
    you just gotta find the right ‘pond’ i supppose

  137. Bill | January 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm |

    What rot. Djourou, Vermaelen and Koscielny who’re all better than Cahill would welcome him being paid more than they are because Cahill (and not themselves) will help them win the title?

    How do you manage to roll out such rubbish?

    As someone noted on Twitter tonight. Bolton need to acquire Gary Cahill as their defence is shite.

  138. Bill…

    I think that you’d find that the way Americans organises (and I do mean mostly the US and Canada) their sports is quite different to how European football is run. You guys have a draft that forces the best young player to effectively join the worse team for crying out loud!… I don’t think that on this one issue that the comparison with American sport takes us very far.

    Suffice to say that human nature and just pure common sense will tell you that a player who is less good than another but is earning close to twice as much money is a recipe for disaster in any team sport. Kosceilny is a better footballer than Cahill IMHO… I’d go farther and say that if Cahill weren’t English all this brouhaha wouldn’t even be happening. Cahill, let’s all remember, is below Lescott in the England pecking order and even Lescott is not as good as Kosceilny, again IMHO. To sign Cahill for a fee of 15 to 20million and then offer him commensurate wages would be an act of monumental folly and TBH I just don’t see it happening.

    Team spirit may be an intangible quality but it is also a very real thing and signing Cahill for that much money and offering him a commensurate wage would make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Cahill will not be a guaranteed starter for Arsenal football club on current form so why spend 15m on him?

  139. boltons defence has been pretty shite tonight
    saying that their whole team have been shite tonight..
    theyve just ‘rolled over’

  140. United will run with it, Chelsea will finish second, Arsenal ,Mancity and Spurs will scrap for the other places that is according to Mr know it all Stan Collymore.
    Bolton’s defending is funny and Gary Cahill at the heart of it. 3 lovely gifted goals for Chelsea.

  141. Limestonegunner

    What some are forgetting is that while we have a wage structure, we do have the third or fourth highest wage bill overall. In part this is because of the size of the group of young players on our books in the reserves etc…. However, the principal reason is that we pay our team members very well, even younger players without a great deal of premier league experience who might make much less on other teams where there is a greater imbalance between top players and squad members. Wenger believes that paying players well and having them develop together will have longer term benefits. But what this means is that a high priced transfer coming from a smaller team is not necessarily going to be on wages that dwarf other players in the position already at Arsenal, who are likely already to be making comparatively high wages. We don’t spend much net on transfers, though we do occasionally make some largish purchases (balanced by good sales), but we aren’t the little engine that could in wage terms.

    So to make a simple correlation that a 15 million pound transfer would destroy our wage structure is pure and somewhat unwarranted speculation and doesn’t necessarily pertain to the situation at Arsenal. We would have to know a lot more detailed information about what is currently being paid and what the incoming player was already making at his previous club and what the contract with Arsenal would likely be. None of us have very precise information, but, just like championship manager types who talk about transfers very casually and assume it is easy to get players on very speculative estimates of the fees involved, it is possible to be a chicken-little and assume the sky is falling on equally speculative information and assuming worst case scenarios are factual conditions on the other side.

  142. Ole Joshua:

    I do think we should get someone who could help us immediately and will help us in the future even if he might be a little overpriced. I would much rather see us buy Sakho vs Cahill. If Cahill does not improve our side then we shouldn’t buy him no matter how much he costs. If the boss is actually interested in him I would assume he thinks Cahill will help the team and I would be happy to have him even if he causes a wage imbalance and costs more then we are used to paying. If it makes you happy lets forget about Cahill because because the point of the discussion has nothing to do with him specifically.

  143. one game doesnt make him a rubbish player though
    cahills a good prospect..he is a good player…he would be better not playing at a shite club but he wouldnt be first choice at arsenal
    i still think we would be better off signing another strong CM like song than a CB….. then we have options all over..

  144. Block4…

    I think that your Fabregas example is actually against the Cahill argument not for it. If Cahill came in and was to earn LESS than Kosceilny then there’d be no problem. The problem here is that the incoming guy who, to all intents and purposes is an inferior player, will be earning SIGNIFICANTLY more than any of our current players. Arshavin can’t earn more than Cesc… the team is Cesc’s team. He is not only the Captain but he is the very embodiment of what this current incarnation of Arsenal are about… and remember than we almost lost Arshavin over wages before he signed… we signed him so late that Villa protested!

    To illustrate the point I make about the importance of a fair wage spread amongst the players take a look at the Nasri negotiations. I’m guessing that Nasri and his advisers want parity or near parity with Fabregas.. whether that is right or wrong I can’t say but it does rather illustrate the point I’m making here…. a fair wage distribution amongst the players is absolutely a crucial part of creating a harmonious team because all players need to feel valued and if they know that they are earning significantly less than a player who is no better or worse then I fail to see how a player in such a situation can feel truly valued… to pay Cahill nearly double what Kos or Djourou earn would be an act of quite stupendous folly IMHO. Could I be wrong on this, quite possibly but I just don’t think so to be honest.

  145. Limestonegunner

    Joshua, you could indeed be wrong on this if you don’t actually have any valid reason or evidence to base your estimates of the wages a new player would be on. And obviously, the manager has brought players in between 10-15 million pounds in the last several years without destroying the wage structure or creating major problems in the team. It is a genuine concern if we were talking about 25 or 30 million pound players where the wages would more likely be much higher than we imagine the squad average and likely higher than our current top earners, which is why we haven’t paid that sort of money.

    I don’t see why you are insisting on discussing one specific player on one presumed transfer amount, but even in this case it is very possible that you are wrong in your estimates and in the presumed consequences. A number of suggestions have been mooted but mostly discussion is and has been about whether we need to reinforce in the position or not and correspondingly, for those who think so, whether it should be a backup/stopgap or someone to compete for the top pairing.

  146. It is interesting that all these theories are based on whoever is brought in “playing worse than what we have”, “Being paid way more”, and “upsetting the team/players”.
    That sounds like our players are being called whiny prima-donna’s who aren’t professional and will stink up the pitch because they feel an injustice at being made a lesser millionaire compared to another millionaire for playing a sport at the club that they supposedly love.
    Not a very positive view of our players or their attitudes.

  147. we have a high wage structure because we
    A..have a massive squad
    B..inlcude the staffs wages in the structure and we have a world class manager… his skills dont come cheap
    C..we have worldclass ballers ,we play the best football in the best league so our players are rewarded for that…

    a new player wouldnt mess up the wage structure as such, we make too much money, it is about harmony more than anything…… but i also remember wenger said a few week back that we have too many players now..which is obviously a result of a successful academy…
    theres a fine line between buying for the sake of it and buying to strengthen..
    spunking 15mil on someone that wont be 1st choice is crossing that line but wenger will find the balance..even if its sending a few of his players out on loan in january and getting the loan club to contribute towrards the wage…
    and to be honest with boltons debts and with vela going the other way for a wee bit it could be more like 10….
    which would be acceptable…for a youngish english CB whos a pretty decent prospect…

  148. Limestone…

    I know that the mythology is that Arsenal are paying vast amounts of money to their youth players but it actually untrue. what we play our youth players is in line with what other clubs of our stature pay and in most cases we pay less. Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and any number of our younger pros would have earned a lot more if they signed for other premiership clubs… they came to us because of Wenger’s commitment and steadfastness to his young players. Theo Walcott would have dumped by any number of managers in The EPL before he came good. Our own fans were agreeing with the likes of Waddle and hansen even as late as 3 months ago! Aliadiere, Pennant and any number of players that other managers would have given up on have had chance after chance under Wenger… that is why Chamberlain and Hazard would consider us. Our kids are not the reason for our so called huge wage bill.

  149. I simply wouldn’t pay £15M for Gary Cahill. Not only would I not pay that much, I wouldn’t sign him at all.

    We have 4 centre backs. If we got Cahill, 1 would have to leave next season. If ability counted, I reckon the 5th best would be Cahill. Why get him?

  150. Limestone…

    Players transfer fees and the wages they receive after they’re transferred are intertwined. Don’t take my word for it listen to Wenger, he ought to know. If Arsenal pay 15 to 20m for Cahill his pay will be in range 65k to 75k a week or his agent is a mug. Kosceilny, Djourou and even Vermael;en are on nothing like that sort of money. I bet that Kosceilny was happily 5k a week at L’Orient! Cahill is not on 5k at Bolton more like 35k! The average premiership pro in England takes home 600k a year after tax. Cahill is an international. Why would you even debate this point. If we sign Cahill at the prices suggested he’d arrive at Arsenal as our highest paid CB… the only question left to ask is… is he worth it?

  151. Joshua, firstly you are exaggerating what I said: I didn’t say it was vast amounts; I said third or fourth overall and paying all squad members well and more than in most premier league clubs. secondly, given what I have read about Wenger’s policies and his words about how to build a team it seems he prefers a narrower range but a high average. That means many players are making healthy wages that might even be higher than they would be getting at other PL clubs and in some cases more than at some top clubs, just like our best players often are making a bit less than some stars at other top clubs. I wasn’t talking about youth players in the reserves, which is clear. I don’t think you have any real basis, evidence or logic behind your contention that our wage structure would be so dramatically effective, quite apart from your exaggeration of what I said.

  152. Browsing around Bolton forums it seems like no one there rates Cahill very highly. Most think he is decent, but not as top class as he is made out to be.

  153. I don’t really rate Squillaci so it’d be a toss-up between him and Cahill for me. On the other hand, Squillaci actually has won trophies, and played in major finals and major competitions and he’s just 1 inch shorter than Cahill. As we all know, centre back ability is measured in inches (NOT).

    I’d actually take West Brom’s Olsson who’s no worse than Cahill, has his contract expiring in Summer, can pass, is as tall as a giraffe, and costs much much less.

  154. Block4…

    I agree and in fairness I think that most, if not ALL, of us do agree that if the right player is available at the right price then by all means let’s get the player. Shotta’s point is that Bill was hedging his bets a bit just in case things go pear shaped and I think that shotta’s point was a fair one . In any event it doesn’t really matter all that much… Bill has his views and he argues them well enough and shotta has his views too. I enjoy reading both guys posts and what makes them enjoyable is their passion, wit and knowledge. On this occasion I think that shotta’s point is fair… that’s it really.

  155. Joshua, firstly, they are related but it isn’t a direct or simple correlation. Again I didn’t arge that there was Bo relation, but you seem comfortable drawing all kinds of numbers out of thin air about Kos’ wages and Cahill’s presumed wages on a presumed transfer fee. This sort of thing is routinely mocked when others play championship manager and calculate what they could get for Arsenal with 20 million etc… It is just as specious as an argument against transfers when you do so.

    You don’t want to engage with the general argument but only talk about Cahill for some reason. Limpar convinced me not to support bringing him in, not for any of the specious reasons you bring up or the idea that he isn’t as good as any of our current cb’s but because he is a cretin who went in two-footed off the pitch practically against Chamakh. I say screw him. So I am not interested in debating whether he is good enough because I don’t want lowlives like that on the team I love.

  156. I think that Cahill would command high wages is somewhat … common sense? He is English and a lot of big clubs are supposed to be interested in him — so our personal terms would need to convince him. I.e. higher wages. Furthermore he himself said repeatedly that he would only want to transfer to a club where he gets to play — at our club he would probably not be first choice unless injuries hit, which in turn again means that we would have to offer him higher wages to make up for the lack of playing time.

    But anyway, I just do not buy that Cahill is going to be one of our players soon. Too much talk, too many rumours, not our kind of player.

  157. Sorry for the iPhone typing errors and uncorrected grammar mistakes–the toddler needs his bath, so mercifully for all who have been subject to my lengthy posts born of confusion (!), I have to put the phone down until later.

  158. what about curtis davies??
    wenger wanted him a few years back if i remember rightly but was put off by the fee..think wbrom wanted over 10mil back then
    has he gone out on loan yet??
    villa dont want him anymore….could be a decent shout

  159. Limestone,

    If you’re saying that arsenal pay a reasonable but fair wage then I don’t have an argument with you. Most of our players would not only start but be stars at other premiership clubs below the top 4 given that players like Muamba, Jerome Thomas, Larsson, et al who weren’t good enough for our team are vital cogs for their respective teams… so I don’t imagine that any of our first team players would be earning less at other Premiership clubs. And given that the players we send out on loan have their wages taken on by the loanee club and given that these clubs are often eager to extend the loan period for our players… it surely follows logically that our wages are not all that onerous. If Nottingham Forest, Cardiff and Norwich and even Huddersfield and Rotherham can take on our youngsters then whatever we’re paying them cannot be all that very different… That’s it really…

    I used the word “vast” to describe what others on sites like Le grove claim that we pay our youngsters but if you were merely saying that we pay fairly and reasonably then I can only apologise to you for misreading your post. I only just wonder what your point was if all you wanted to say was that Arsenal FC pay a fair and reasonable wage to our players?

  160. I’d take Bougherra at 5 or 6mil. I think he is good enough, but not that over expensive star to worry our fans about upsetting the squad.

    He would push our guys and if he beat any of them out, fair play to him.

    I get the impression sometimes that some fans think our current players have a divine right to play and heaven forbid we bring in someone that will push them out of their spot.

    If Wenger signs them and pays them, then I’d expect them to be of the quality we want or need (in his opinion, not ours) *and* get the opportunity to beat out our current players. Whether that happens to be Cahill and big fee and big wages or Rudolph von Picklesberg or any 33 year old journeyman we can get for 200,000k.

    Everyone talks about being positive here. Well, one can be positive and think that perhaps Cahill could be part of a multi-title winning side over the next few season. (or anyone we sign, for that matter, no matter the wages or fee involved)

  161. It’s 10k a week for a young pro – someone like Sanchez Watt or Thomas Cruise. If it’s an outstanding prospect then it’s more like 15.

  162. I’d take Bougherra too. As much ability, an established international, strong, and does not cost £15M

  163. Limestone ,

    There’s no general argument. You either want a top quality CB to add to what we’ve got or you don’t. If you want a top quality CB then of those available Cahill is the most talked about… if not Cahill then who?

    Of the figures you say I pull out of the air… they’re guesstimates but if you want you can ignore the figures and just concentrate on the facts…

    1. Cahill is an English pro who is much sought after. His Club and manager have made it clear that they expect a big whacking transfer fee for him.

    2. Big whacking fee and a big whacking wage go hand in glove when you are discussing a mature pro signed from an English club

    3. Our current CBs were all signed from overseas clubs and had reputations nowhere as pronounced as Cahill’s and they were all signed for lesser fees than Cahill

    4. English/ British players are expensive both to buy and to pay… although not necessarily better for it

    Which of these facts makes you think that cahill will not command a signifcant wage… and a wage that is significantly more that what we a player from L’Orient with one season ligue 1 experience?

    As for your general discussion… what points are you making that the specific case Cahill doesn’t cover?

  164. busch…
    wenger did say he thought cahill was a good player..could have been a smokescreen could have been his honest opinion
    but if he gets him he obviously thinks he will do the job he wants him to do
    i know alot of fans go on about hoofers and cloggers and i would put cahill in that category, but i think it would be reasonable to suggest that our CB’s would be more balanced if we had a good collection of both ball playing CB’s and cloggers…
    would provide variety and would enable us to chop and change depending on the opponent and what there strengths are up front…..
    i though kozz was a mistake but ive been proved wrong..hes good..
    squilaci im still unsure about but if wenger thinks he can do the job then we just have to go with it…

  165. Joshua,

    What you’re saying is obvious. Cahill would probably come in on £50-60K a week.

    Djourou and co might not go to war over it, but they’re better than him. They’ll want more money.

    But Josh, don’t fall into the Le Grope trap of discussing player wages when we have NO CLUE what they earn

  166. forgive me
    but whos bougherra???

  167. ole,

    ‘is as tall as a giraffe, and costs much much less.’

    costs much less than a giraffe? do you mean general up keep (food, water, hay etc) or just the initial purchase of said giraffe? after all, these things need to be considered.

    I would imagine if we were to purchase this giraffe an extension would need to be built in the Emirates dressing room to accomdate such height but would also certainly shut up the ‘doomers’ who were clamering for a 6′ 5″ defender; “look you cretins, Wenger has bought a 20 foot CB”

  168. You really have me laughing Jimmyd. Good one

  169. Off-topic again. Not saying we should buy him or anything, but this guy is looking good:

    It’s funny how Chivu and co just resort to kicking him after a while.

    And I would post an Arsenal video, but it looks like nobody does them anymore.

  170. The imminent return of Sebastien Squillaci will make it easier for Arsène Wenger to contemplate life without a new centre back.

    The Arsenal manager has been on the lookout for a reinforcement this month after Thomas Vermaelen (tendon) was ruled out until late-February and Squillaci suffered a hamstring strain. But Wenger’s search, which in his words has taken him “everywhere and nowhere”, has not borne fruit.

    The January transfer window remains open for another week but Wenger’s concerns have been eased by the recovery of Squillaci, who is due to return to training on Thursday ahead of a possible comeback in the FA Cup against Huddersfield on Sunday.

    “It does of course [ease my mind] because at the moment you think the only resource available is Alex Song,” Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.

    “Song is an important player in midfield as well so you could weaken your midfield. Squillaci being available makes it much easier.”

    That is just as well because Wenger admits he is no longer confident of bringing in another centre back to support the current fit pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou.

    “[The search is going] as slowly as I run at the moment. Nowhere near, we cannot say we are nowhere but we are nowhere near [a deal],” said the manager.

    “At the moment I’m not too confident. I look every day after Squillaci and Vermaelen as well as I can because I try to get positive vibes from Vermaelen.”

    i think thats pretty conclusive…but for some reason im not all that worried..

  171. Ole, it was just the mental image of the unveiling of the giraffe in an Arsenal shirt and Wenger beaming that got me. I have been laughing to myself like an imbicile since I read it.

  172. Anyone who watches – he’s like a more dynamic Hleb.

  173. Ole Gunner | January 24, 2011 at 10:08 pm |

    I agree – totally over-hyped and not as good as some people who have clearly not watched him play that much think.

  174. Onyewu is more injury prone than Van Persie and Robben put together, Limpar. He’s at Twente with his old coach from Standard Liege.

  175. Bill and Limestone keep rambling on and on without getting to the heart of the matter which IMO is: Do you trust the judgement of Arsene Wenger in deciding whether to sign a new CB or not? No hedging, no dodging, no caveats. None of this slimy, slippery Arsenal blogger behavior (YW being one of the few exceptions) of hedging in the hope of slamming the manager if things don’t work out according to plan. Capiche.

  176. My apologies. Its only 9:00 pm in the Caribbean and I am just catching up on the postings over the last three hours.

  177. Wenger himself, who does know what players earn, has made the very point that Joshua and Evil made. He was being asked whether he was against spending £30 million or so on a player and he said he had no objection in principle, but first of all very few players were worth that sort of money and secondly the wages were linked to the transfer fee and he wanted to maintain our wage structure.

  178. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    No work! I get to catch the boys smash Ipswich Town! Woohoo! Fucking well pumped for that.

  179. Nasir Jones-Nasri – Have no work either but the real boss, The Girlfriend, wants to go to a museum. No points for guessing what time she wants to go to the museum at, I hate museums!!!

  180. On the CB issue,

    Did anyone watch Cahill against Chelsea last night? I’m not blaming him alone but… God, he was not all I would have expected on the back of the recent calls for him!

    Also, with those Sky pundits being caught off air voicing opinions on women officials, it occured to me that it might be even more interesting (post Big Ron) to have had a similar situation to unearth their views about foreigners. My point? Things have not moved on from the 1970s in English football and Arsene and Houllier are just two recipients of this factor.

    Rant over. Look forward to today’s post and tonight’s victory (fingers crossed).

  181. Irishgray, I am sad for you. It’s too late now, you needed to make her aware that Arsenal games come first from day one!

    Just as an aside on the clogger/ball-playing centre back dicussion, I was reading an interview with Dennis Bergkamp no less, who is the best player I have ever seen in Arsenal shirt, and he said that you need some defenders who will just put the ball in the stand!

  182. Stocks plummet in the Coyle & Cahill Show as Bolton Trotters slip to their fifth defeat in 8 games.

    Not that it matters a jot to Arsenal fans any road, because the North London club were never, ever going in for the lug-nut hoof-merchant in the first place.

  183. As I was stalking RVP on twitter last night, I noticed his background and the ephihany struck that he actually has the grace and poise of a dancer, hence his gazelle-like elegance.

    It’s similar yet opposite to Song’s cunning body feints

  184. And the Cesc mentioned he was of to stretch before dinner…. which is something I didn’t think most athletes did.

    Does AW encourage his players to take up dance?

  185. I think I ought to be an investigative journalist

  186. I did find it interesting that Robin chose to adopt a yoga pose by way of celebrating his goal at Elland Road, Gadget.

    And Nasri has clearly had tap lessons…

  187. Thank you, btw, American Gooners – for the Onyewu feedback.

    I still think we might bring someone in actually… and all this ‘we’re not close’ stuff is us playing aloof and disinterested to strengthen our bargaining position… “here’s our offer, take it or leave, we won’t be dragged over the coals for 20 million pounds – even if some of our fans would like us to be”.

    …Could be completely wrong though. With Squillaci back on Saturday I am happy. If Vermaelen hits anywhere near his end of feb predicted return date then we are cushty.

    If they think it’ll be longer though, that’s when we will start playing trumps and bring someone in. I reckon.

  188. I really enjoyed the debate on here last night. Whatever the reality, the argument was decent and thoughtful. Joshua and Limestone, thank you.

    As for Cahill being English and thus ‘sought after’, not by any continental side that I am aware of. That should tell us something. Only ‘English’ teams seek English players apparently.

  189. Scouts from FC Metalurh Zaporizhya and RCD Mallorca were rumoured to have been watching from the stands at the Reebok last night, consolsbob. They left in a cloud of expletives, tossing hastily screwed-up bids scrawled on paper napkins over their shoulders as they went.

  190. I think the problem with fans who want so much for their club to spend overblown sums (by their own admission – sums way above the value of a player), to spend ‘whatever it takes’ – is that they’ve been led into this view that anyone and anything can be bought in football. So why not do it?

    For me, just because your neighbors have gone stark raving mad – robbed a bank and brought a rooftop jacuzzi and are in there splashing about having a lovely time with Christine Bleakley… doesn’t mean that plod aren’t going to catch-up with them eventually.

    What I mean to say is that while some of our fans have been seduced by the way that City and Chelsea before them choose to do business – AFC can see it for the perverse, bloated short-termism that it is.

    If we need a defender I think we’ll get him; but we won’t go out and spunk half our warchest on one over-hyped, over-valued player.

  191. Кровопролитные английские задние части центра! Отсутствие песчинки. Нам нужны некоторые украинские жильцы трясины с толщиными ногами и поворотливыми monds. I’ m к адвокатскому сословию. Сталин!

  192. Giddy with excitement, big night ahead of us! Wembleeeeyyyy awaits!!!!

  193. I agree with Bob

  194. It would be beneficial to football if all officials were female and there were no Sky commentators.

  195. I saw VanPersie’s background on twitter and i thought he looked like a dancer as well. He as a long, lean and elegant physique. Hot!

  196. I agree with Frank.

  197. Yes… I can’t be sure if you’ve got it word for word… and it sounded much more beautiful in the native tongue… but you’ve pretty much nailed it.

  198. Cbob we dont understand russian, or whatever diatribe that was.

    Limpar well said!

    2-0 to the arsenal tonight, cant wait

  199. Please let us win tonight O football gods

  200. I agree with Gabby Johnson! How could you disagree with that fine example of frontier gibberish??

  201. Don’t understand Russian Firstlady?

    Why it was only yesterday that I was praising this site and it’s presenters for their erudition…

    …or at least their awareness of babelfish.

  202. Bob,I guess i have to do better to catch up with the rest of the ACLF family.

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