Arsène’s The Right Man To Spend

Strange times around Arsenal at the moment. With the exit from the Champions League, there is nothing on the pitch to look forward to until Sunday’s visit to the seaside. It means plenty of navel gazing, lots of bickering and diminishing levels of rational debate. Normal stuff for this time of season.

Arsène has, according to the media, blamed the fixtures – he didn’t – and a lack of focus – he did – for the current malaise. It is a strange complaint to be making. The team is second in the Premier League and the most obvious attribute of getting and staying there, must surely be mental application.

Certainly some of them are distracted, Cesc for one must have been wandering mentally judging by the state of his Merc following his crash. Thankfully no-one was hurt and he is able to continue his recuperation from injury.

That might seem a strange statement but given Arsène’s comments about the player’s concerns of recurrence of his injury, physically he might be fine, mentally he is not. Still, Nike will no doubt count the photos of yesterday as a promotional opportunity with their logo splashed all over the media.

Back to point. Martin Keown observed that whilst the title is United’s to lose, the ‘competitor’ in him believes Arsenal can still finish top. It is this belief that the players need to tap into. That alone is not enough. The ruthlessness in front of goal so evident before the onset of Winter needs to rediscovered with the buds of Spring.

If it is not, Keown noted that Wenger’s patience with some players will run out. He did not name names, only positionally. Goalkeeper, check. Midfield, check. Forward, no. Surely a defender? Oh, come on Martin, get with it. Apparently a fully fit Thomas Vermaelen is like a new signing whilst Laurent Koscielny is one for the future. That’s without mentioning Johan Djourou.

In short, according to Keown, a respected ex-member of the playing staff, the curent squad is not far off the real deal. The solution is,

some more experience dotted around the place – players who don’t necessarily get guaranteed a starting role but who can bring competition for places

In other words, the drastic surgery demanded is not necessary. This from a man reportedly sacked for being too vocal in his criticism of the 2006 squad. He has loyalty to Wenger and that shows through when he noted that Wenger is an astute man when it comes to spending.

It might not be the answer though,

If he wants to spend the cash then he’ll be able to do so but whether that’s the answer to the problem remains to be seen

In other words, throwing money at a problem is not the solution in itself. It is how you spend that provides the answers. Arsenal do not need to spend in the same league as City, United and Chelsea. Wenger has an entirely different philosophy to Ferguson who believes in one or two big money signings and some tinkering. It is worth remembering though that he had to sell his best player to fund the current spending spree.

Wenger will no doubt be deciding – if he has not already – on which players cannot take the club any further. Emmanuel Eboue is apparently off to Spurs, Nicklas Bendtner to Hamburg according to the latest rumours, if the manager needs any help in his decision-making.

The Summer will reveal all in that sense. The manager has been ruthless in the past. How ruthless he is now will be influenced by the coming eight games.

’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on April 5, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 195 Comments.

  1. Morning Yogi.

    Good to see some support for Arsene here amid all the anger elsewhere. The main thing for me during all the fallout from Saturday has been the fact that people have been so disrespectful to Wenger with insults etc. rather than constructive with their words.

    Throwing money at a team is never the answer. Imagine if Arsenal had done what Man City have and had struggled into third place?! I dread to think what people would be saying then…

    An interesting summer awaits, but we still have a lot to play for.

    http://www.arsenalisation.com

  2. First?

  3. Fire Wenger. Team finds ways not to win trophies under him. You could do far worse than Wenger, but I also am one who thinks you could do better.

  4. Mongolian Gooner

    Yep, I don’t think pending big will guarantee success. I see spending as an helpful but not mandatory part of team building process. It accelerates the process, which would have eventually reached its objective.

  5. ARSENE KNOWS BEST

  6. A good piece as always YW.

    I think that one of the most frustrating things for us Gooners is just how close we feel we are to true greatness with this squad. Its crazy talk to say we need major surgery. I feel all thats required are one or two ‘battle hardened’ international players in key positions to push us on and drag the others over the line. Its so close we can almost smell it, thats what irks the most.

    But, as you say, nothing can be done at this stage except to support the team and AW for the remainder of the season and focus on each game.

    Im sure Wenger will reassess the sitution in the summer.

    COYGs!!!

  7. Eboue of to Spurs never heard so much rubbish in my life!

  8. Those calling for Wenger’s head and then demanding star signings miss the obvious disconnect – that players want to sign with managers who back them and have a world class reputation. Such as, er, Wenger. Remember that TV, Ramsey and Nasri, as examples, all talked about choosing Arsenal because Wenger was the man in charge.
    That’s not to say he’s perfect. You mention a different philosophy from Ferguson’s, Yogi. The thing is that Ferguson’s philosophy is delivering. Wenger’s done great through the ‘stadium years’, but you talk about Ferguson buying one or two stars a summer and selling Ronaldo as if they’re bad things. But they have worked.
    It’ll be interesting whether, now that a) the debt is all but gone and b) if the young players he believed in don’t deliver, Wenger will adapt his philosophy. You’re right about the importance of these eight games.

  9. Well said Yeovil, I think it’s certainly clear that we’re only a player or two away from winning something and maybe you’re right, it’s that realisation which is frustrating people so much.

    http://www.arsenalisation.com

  10. Good write up YW.

    I agree with Maria. The Eboue story is pure bollox.

    @ Roopesh

    It is no good saying, get a new manager, and then not telling us who you would want to replace Wenger.

  11. oh no..not another arsenal knows best band of merryman…sigh…dont u guys get it…if we fail this year, its the 6th year trophyless….sigh…

  12. 1 loose cannon

    Yogi- Where did you get that Eboue rumour from? I don’t think we need to get rid off players, just few additions, 2 experienced players in key areas and that will give us the final push .

  13. Blue balls – that’s the crude way to put it. It’s making people crazy.

    I hope nothing drastic happens this summer, because it really won’t be necessary. Ultimately we need to keep the core of the squad together. If we do that we’ll be in an even better position to challenge than at the start of this season, thanks to good old father time. And there’s always some topping up.

    It still feels too early to be thinking about all this though.

  14. nigel hisham

    Try thinking for yourself don’t just regurgitate old media crap.

  15. Who do you suggest Arsenal hire Nigel?

    http://www.arsenalisation.com

  16. Big Al

    I agree, a little tinkering here and there is all that is needed. We cannot start all over again building a new squad.

  17. dups, agreed, if too much is messed with it could be another 6 or 7 years until were in a position to challenge and its simply not nessecary to do so, experience and a few calm heads, thats all.

  18. 1LC

    Eboue was in the press last night.

    Nigel

    We do get it. It’s you that doesn’t. Your sole contribution is to sigh. What a waste of space you are.

    YW

  19. My Pen is Huge

    Im fed up of saying this but we just need to get rid of= denilson,diaby,almunia. Keep wenger though, and hopefully 3 or 4 QUALITY players in. Doubt itll happen though.

  20. Nigel Hisham.
    When Wenger came in we had won 6 trophies in the previous 25 years (& 2 of these were league cup). So before Wenger we were only winning a significant trophy, on average, every 6 years.
    With Wenger we have won 7 real competitions aswell as runners up in a further 10. That’s a real competition won, on average, every 2 years. Quite an improvement I would say, not to mention the fact that he has managed the team through a period of very low spending due to the new stadium – no other manager in the world could have achieved this consistency throught this period. We now just need to stick with Wenger another 1-2 seasons to see us reap the rewards of the new financial power available due to the stadium.
    People think Wenger is scared of spending money. He’s not! he’s scared of ruining the future and stability of Arsenal during the transition to the new stadium. Now that that transition is now almost completed with the majority of the debts settled, he will begin to spend again.
    He won’t spend 50 million on Torres or 35 Million on Carol because he’s not an idiot, but I would expect to see him get a couple of £15 million siginings in the next few seasons to bring in a few more tried & tested players in key positions.

  21. My Pen is Huge

    “Im fed up of saying this….”.
    Then stop saying it because we are certainly not listening.

  22. What a lovely image, OOU. A stadium full of blue balls. Thanks for that.

    (Actually thanks though, for the Frimpong news yesterday. Thought he looked a cracking little player preseason and I somehow thought he wouldn’t be kicking a ball til mid-summer… so that’s a cool bonus)

  23. What are you doomers going to say if we actually win the league? Doesn’t bare thinking about. Why has everyone lost faith? We just needed to win our game in hand, beat United, and match their results – a United draw and that’s all back on again. We had a bad match, it’s done – now onwards and upwards!

  24. Caxter – the doomers wouldn’t say anything because they would be nowhere to be seen.

  25. Well said, Caxter.

  26. I’m quite confident that Wenger will go 442 (424-ish) for the rest of the season.

    The latest matches showed us that when teams defend so narrow, the way through is playing crosses, as our best chances against Sunderland and Blackburn were aerial balls. Bac’n’Gael were never as confident in their crossing abilities than now (Clichy even with his right foot.)

    Sunday, Blackpool have one mission: Defend narrow. Then they’ll be surprised when we start 442, RVP pairing Chamakh or Nick, if fit, and they will get plenty of service in the area, because the full backs have lots of space. Should Holloway counter and try to stop the feeding, his team would stretch and therefore give us space in the middle, where we are at our best.

    It’s all so clear in my head.

  27. Caxter- they usually use the “I’d love to be proved wrong, but ” card.

  28. Am I off-topic? The free bashing seems to be carrying on.

  29. Caxter

    The way it works is:

    (a) No title = summer of “I support Wenger”, “I told you so”, along with “Why haven’t we signed”,
    (b) Title = “Wenger listened to me, I told him to kick so and so up the arse, he did, we won the league, Now spend the money to strengthen the squad”,
    or,
    (c) Title = “United threw it away, this title doesn’t count because we’re shit”

    YW

  30. I wouldn’t be so sure, Mentalist. The direct aerial balls to NB and MC on Saturday were more of a ‘resort’ I thought? Us having begun to lose the foot races into space which our passing game depends on….. foot races lost to a stamina mismatch between a squad away ten days working to impress their national teams vs. a side that included six defenders and two defensive midfielders with no such physical hangovers and who had in fact instead spent the days well-rested and well-drilled to hustle and harry us til we were blue in the balls, sorry – face.

    The other aerial chances were from corners… the natural result of the pressure we put on. It’s great to have those headed opportunities at the end of a tiring game and we were unlucky not to win the points with one of those headers… but it doesn’t change the fact that over 90 minutes playing an extra one of Arshavin, Nasri or Walcott over NB or MC is going to bring us the more chances. I reckon…

  31. bendtner is going no where

  32. How much is left on the stadium and how long will it take to clear the remaining debt?

  33. nigel hisham…

    good name you made up there troll boy.. nice try… sigh sigh!

    Waste of space even bothering, sorry guys.

    YW

    I’d take option ‘C’ please 🙂

  34. Last of The Country Gentlemen

    Opponents come to the Emirates, defend stoutly but offer little i.e. anti-football. Now it seems they also suffer ‘anti-support’. Why bother turning up if you stay silent for 2 hrs then boo at the final whistle.

    Second in the league FFS. There are 18 other teams who must also lack mental strength etc etc etc. Some of these teams have bought, and bought big, and brought in so-called world class winners. Guess what – they are not as good as the Arsenal. Only one team in the league is ahead in the table (and what is that team going to do now that there vetrans are starting to retire?).

    Cheer up and get behind the team people.

  35. Nigel Hisham = Man’s High lie?

  36. I agree with the Last of The Country Gentlemen

  37. There are quite a lot of us who do think it’s only the “one or two experienced players” that have been needed all along. Of course, anyone taking that course is usually drowned out by the “Wenger Out” vs “You’re all shit supporters for daring to question” extreme factions. I think there should and will be some departures this summer as well as a mixture of promoting young players who have been out on loan and the signing of those couple of older heads.

    Also, Keown’s comments demonstrate perfectly why he should still be on the staff, an independent point of view is needed sometimes while the manager would obviously retain the final say.

  38. Hi Yogi
    Long time reader here. I dont understand where all the doom is coming from. Was it around from 99 to 2002 when we were finishing second or from 91 onwards when we could only manage a shed load of cup finals ffs. The league is the most important trophy obviously but look at the coverage spurs champion league campaign gets and what it means to them and how we all take it for granted. We have been here before and we will be here again and no amount of manager merry go round will change that. I am delighted that my winters have been full of drama for the last 15 years..long may it continue

  39. longblackcloud

    I also agree with the Last of The Country Gentlemen, but I need to confess to being one of the hated just sit there not saying anything supporters, I don`t sing, I don`t chant :
    I watch – I don`t support
    Its not that I don`t care I just get so involved and tense with the match I go quiet.
    Who are all these experienced “winners” we are supposed to buy. That said how about we sign Lucio in the summer – still excellent, but probably unable to play every game so won`t block JDs progress into a World Class CB and as such might be available

  40. Why is it always those “ominous” one or two experienced signings that are missing? Didn’t we get in experience last season? We got Squillaci, didn’t we? Won back to back titles in France, has loads of experience in national team, leagues and Champion’s League. Then we got Marouane Chamakh, wo himself has won titles in France and has been a prolific scorer in Europe. With more than 300 games of top flight football played no one would claim that he lacks experience, either. So we got 2 experienced players in. Now this season we need another two? And the season after, another two?

  41. No great changes are required as the first eleven are excellent just a few new faces that can shake the squad up a bit, inject some new ideas and urgency. I think we would all prefer experienced players, but not experienced players of the Silvestre/ Squillaci/Campbell/ Lehman ilk, players in their mid to late twenties

  42. Block 4

    Steering a middle course means you will be drowned out because the middle is quiet whilst the WO shout extraordinarily loud through the media. Of course they are too daft to see that the media is using them, waiting for the moment when they can turn venomously if AW leaves. “Hounded out”, “Arsenal fans are idiots for chasing him out”…

    YW

  43. I agree with Limpar, in that Arsh Theo etc would make more chances. But i also think we can happily swap to a 442 ish formation for the latter parts of the game (if needed) with Chamster or Bendy getting on the end of the ever improving crosses… Arsh and Theo normally get quite tired towards the end of games anyway, so it wouldn’t be a massive sacrifice to take one of them off. Saying that, I would like to see Arsh playing 90 minutes for once.

    I am beginning to agree with people saying about one or 2 signings in the summer, just to give the team a bit of a spark more than anything. Not sure what positions, but the crowd obviously needs something new and shiny in order to get them behind the team, the players may also need that kind of mental boost, but Wenger and Arsenal shouldn’t ever have to resort to those tactics to get some proper support from our supporters for fucks sake.

    I also fear for Denilson’s Arsenal future this year. He has been one of the underperformers this season, as much as it pains me to say it. His workrate hasn’t really made up for his lack of sharpness which is a shame. There will be plenty saying ‘I told you so’ about him if he goes, that’s for sure. I just hope we can keep as many of our players as possible, and those that leave, are on good terms with us.

    And great news to have Frimpong coming back. Months ahead of schedule. Doubt he’ll play, but he should get a nice pre-season under his belt.

  44. Sorry for the massive post… didnt realise how much I was rambling.

  45. “Why is it always those “ominous” one or two experienced signings that are missing? Didn’t we get in experience last season? We got Squillaci, didn’t we?”
    We also lost of lot of experience at the end of last season, particularly at centre back (Campbell, Gallas, Silvestre). I just want a few established players, not 19 year olds or over thirties, but players who can challenge for the first team now and are not bought as cover or/and for their potential. Perhaps not from the French league also as that’s all we seem to buy from these days.

  46. “I am delighted that my winters have been full of drama for the last 15 years..long may it continue”

    Noel 73 – I loved that.

  47. Evil, I think there will always be a place for a signing or two every year unless we are particularly lucky with a host of young players coming through from the academy at the same time. Players will move on for a variety of reasons and will need to be replaced. I don’t see this as a problem, do you? I do think there are one or two key positions that could do with bolstering, but I didn’t want to get into a slanging match about certain players.

    YW, I do realise that the middle ground between the two extremes is likely to get lost in an issue as passionate as football! a bit of moderation from both sides wouldn’t go amiss.

  48. In the end, the whole transfer thing comes down to one question: overspend or not. Because I think that AW can be trusted (and reports that have surfaced often about players we tried to sign but then were rejected prove this) when he says that he is principally always in the transfer market and will buy if a good opportunity arises: a player that can improve the squad at the right price point. Are there players available that could, theoretically, improve the squad (and I only say theoretically because you just have to look at Chelsea and their 50 mil signing Torres who has done fuck all so far to improve them. On paper it looked like a good buy, on the pitch it has been disappointing so far)? Absolutely. Besides Cesc, Robin and Sagna I think there is a better player for every position. Are they available for the right price? No, of course not. We got shot down when we bid 7 mil for Chamakh in 2009, it was reported we bid close to 20 million for Reina in the summer. Both of times, rejection and an open hand asking for some extra dough were the answer.
    Now, the question is do you believe that it’s worth violating the principle that we as Arsenal FC are not going to overspend on a player, even if, as consequences, it might make transfer dealings in the future more difficult, the financial consequences it could have on the club and obviously the risk that despite spending big success is not guaranteed?
    I believe that this is the biggest rift between supporters. No one disagrees that if there are players on the market available for the right price that could improve the team, that we should look away.

  49. @thebigm
    Squillaci: Spanish League.
    Vermaelen: Dutch league.
    And anyways, your last sentence is pure bullshit, mate. I am too busy to get all the numbers out, but in the last couple of years, less than 50% the players we bought have been from French leagues. Arshavin, Ramsey, Vermaelen, Silvestre etc.

    As for the age thing: neither Vermaelen, nor Squillaci, nor Koscielny, nor Chamakh are “under 19” or “over 30”. Most people would argue that Chamakh, Vermaelen and Koscielny are in fact in their best years as players, while Squillaci is at the tail-end of those “best years”.

  50. Our strikers are better suited to a 442, whilst our midfielders are better suited to a 433. We have good players, excellent players even; but we don’t have a good mix of players.

    I still think that Wenger is the right man to correct these issues though.

  51. Sorry for the mental image, LA!

    A bunch of teams have been dabbling with 3-5-2 variations recently, GA. And they’re all sides who try to play attacking football. Guardiola’s tried it recently, for instance. Maybe there’s something in the air. Not sure if what you say about our strikers is necessarily true though.

    It’s up to AW to decide if the tactics that we’ve faced from pretty much every PL team since the draw at Stoke can be combatted just by having a bit more self-belief, or if a change of system might be necessary. They’re all making it really difficult to find any space.

  52. YW @ 1:31:

    In most things the truth lies somewhere in the middle between the 2 extremes. I think ACLF is a good respresentative of one extreme and Arsenal News review or may be Le Grove is a good proxy for the other extreme. I suspect the truth lies somewhere between the two.

    Its interesting to see you getting more involved in the doomer fighting these days. Just my opinion but promoting fan civil war just gets both sides more wound up and is counter productive if the goal is to improve fan support for the team.

  53. Er, I meant the narrow win at home to Stoke!

  54. strange times indeed YW. It’s times like these that I lean on the ACLF community the most.

    Whoever posted that video yesterday about Arsenal in March with Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday… thank you.. that got me so hyped up.

  55. GA
    “Our strikers are better suited to a 442, whilst our midfielders are better suited to a 433. We have good players, excellent players even; but we don’t have a good mix of players.”

    One thing I’m thinking AW needs to try is when we know we are playing a team who will come to the Emirates and 100% go for a draw, 10 men behind the ball.. we should start with RvP and Chamakh. I felt like he added a lot to our attack once he came on, but at the same time didn’t have enough time to guarantee that he made an impact. I don’t necessarily think we should go 4-4-2 but maybe RvP outwide left like he was at the end of saturday..

  56. Dumbest Arsenal-related gossip story of the day is from the metro (no link provided – please don’t give them the traffic – just read BBCs Gossip column so you don’t have to waste your time):

    “Arsenal are to offer full-back Gael Clichy to Everton in exchange for England star Leighton Baines.”

    Right…

  57. Didn’t we play 4-2-4 just recently in a match? With RVP and I think Chamakh both upfront?

  58. theBigM

    Koscielny, Chamakh and Squillaci were brought in last summer. Then theres extra competition from Wilshire, Gibbs, Djourou and Schwezny this season.

    I really don’t know what you and many other supporters are calling for. Yes a little but of a makeover is needed, by that I mean a couple players in, a couple out – this is what we do every season. There is always a couple players are not up to the level the 1st team requires, for whatever the reason, be it mental issues, personal etc etc. This is not a situation that solely exists at Arsenal, every club in the country has players in their squad who are ‘squad players’ and can’t seem to step up to the next level. We just happen to call upon these players more often than not, that has been our main problem.

    This season the building from the youths nearly paid off, we were gunning for all 4 competitions and looked very good turn of the year. Point is our squad is as big as it has been since Wenger arrived, there is no lack of quality either and we are challenging on all fronts. I can’t agree to the easy recommendation we keep hearing of “all we need is a couple experienced players”. Wenger does that every year, it is plain obvious that you need experience at the highest level of any sport. We don’t lack experience, we don’t lack talent. I don’t know exactly what it is that we lack, but we can try and look into that come the end of the season. I won’t be complaining if this team manages to win the league. We still have a good chance. That is the reality of the situation, not just an overly optimistic and blind supporter mouthing off.

    We all know spending doesn’t guarantee success, Spurs have been doing it for how long… that doesn’t mean Wenger won’t bring in quality when he sees it:

    Vermaelen, Koscielny, Nasri, Arshavin, Ramsey, Chamakh..

    Lets just try to ENJOY the rest of the season, if thats possible!

  59. Baines (apart from not being as good as good as Clichy) will never leave the northwest – he’s been at three different clubs in his whole career but hasn’t travelled more than 20 miles. And he still goes to his Mam’s for tea. No joke.

  60. evil

    your right.. when AW is really set on going all out he’s done that a few times this year..

  61. george rodger

    In order for us to be out of the title race Man U. would have to not drop any points between now and the end of the season,apart from against us.So why would we think they will will 7 of 7?The chances are they will drop some points ,so it is up to us to win our remaining games.
    I will bet my house that if we get 83 points we will be champions.
    If we could get back to playing the way we did in the first half against Newcastle,before the ref decided he was embarrassed for them and took a hand in proceedings,we could easily win 8 on the spin.

  62. Evil:

    I think the fans are so frustrated because like us most believe the squad is talented but repeatedly underperforms. Historically nothing drives fans more crazy. Typically when that happens the manager gets blamed correctly or incorrectly. Wenger’s transfer policies are the easiest and most obvious thing to attack since what we are trying to do is different compared to the other “big” clubs . AFC implied/promised the fans that we were building the stadium and the Highbury development so we would have the money to compete for top level transfers. So far that has not happened which frustrates the fans even more and the relative lack of spending is justified by the nebulous notion that we will never overpay for a player and Arsene is the only person who decides what it means to “overpay”. Perhaps I am wrong but I do not think the squad needs major surgery but depending on what happens in the last 8 games I think for the sake of the fans and most importantly the players we need to get more aggresive in the transfer market this summer. We need to add at least 2 – 3 “impact players” to the squad. We don’t necessarily need to sell any of our existing players unless we really need to generate some revenue. Some players will probably have to go to open up spots for new player signings and a couple of academy grads. Buying a couple of impact players is no guarantee of success but it certainly can not hurt and doing the same thing we have been again this summer risks increasing the speed of the snow ball of fan anger and player underperformance rolling down the hill.

  63. george rodger

    Yogi,Why do you tolerate some of the posters who dont even have negative arguments ?They just come on and spout childish crap,in the hope of spoiling our oasis of considered debate.
    So just for them…………..do one you spud cunts.

  64. Last of The Country Gentlemen

    I think there are one or two players who might benefit from a move, and the squad could too would be improved with a touch of freshening up.

    Maybe a new face or two in the coaching staff as well – bring some new ideas and a different perspective.

    No need to panic though, wholesale change would be insane.

    I don’t see what ditching Arsene (as some would advocate) would acheive – there are very few at his level, and fewer still who are available – and he surely deserves the opportunity to continue after everyhing he has acheived.

  65. Borges Spinelli

    I like the idea of playing RvP out on the left flank or behind as 2nd striker in some games, with Chamakh spearheading the offense. Sound as it seems, it is not without drawbacks. Meaning 2 other key frontline regulars would have to be dropped to the bench. Say Arshavin, Nasri/ Walcott or Fàbregas. Think about it.

  66. george rodger

    Bill,The change in the football landscape,Chel$ki,City and overspending Mancs has made the competing on transfers has had to be changed to”competing on wages”in order to keep hold of our best players.
    No one foresaw the type of spending that has come about since the emergence of the super sugar daddies.

  67. 1NilToTheArsenal

    AW, on whether he thinks he’s taken the team as far as he can: “I want to finish the season and then we’ll see. At the moment we are more concerned by the short term to get this team to respond in the next game in a convincing way.”

    Clearly missing his normally obdurate defense of his players. I think he realizes that trying to defend a 0-0 match with a 10-man Blackburn ‘aint gonna cut it. It is NOT about the title at this point. It is about getting this group of XI to match their skill set with the right attitude over the next eight games. Get that combination working and the League is ours.

    COYG

  68. These players are a disgrace to the club, Denilson, Squillaci, Diaby, Almunnia, Rosicky, B56, Eboue and what on earth is lehman doing at our club. Sell these players for whatever value and bring in proven quality. How many of you are on my side?

  69. Free man,

    Definitely not you troll….
    at least get the player number correct if you are going to start spuriously slating players. FYI – it’s B52

  70. Free Man

    This is for you.

    YW

  71. Borges Spinelli

    @free man

    Rosicky & Squillaci were players of proven quality when we secured their services.

  72. And they are not even first choice. They are good options for squad players.

  73. @Borges Spinelli
    Unless we go completely gung-ho, with a two man midfield. i.e. something like
    Arshavin – RVP – Chamakh – Walcott
    Song – Cesc

    Not sure if that would be too offensive and would end up seeing us concede loads of goals on counter attacks.

  74. Malaysiangunner

    YW at your usual balance self, good read.

    AW is not perfect and his faith in this lot is misplaced unless they go on a winning spree for the last 8 games. From the evidence of what has happened this season it is doubtful. I want this lot to succeed so badly but we have chokers right through the squad. I dread that the Rooney the Orc of Manure had more fight than us. That despical character had more fight than any of our squad. That was so depressing. Elements in the squad needs to be replace and I am not sure Cesc’s heart is with us or not the way he had performed the last few games. Yes he was injured and if your are injured than plse for goodness sake step aside. You can call it heart or call it selfishness especially at Farca’s ground in the 2nd leg of the CL He knew he was not right after 15 minutes than call for a substitution pronto. Barca is tough enough with 11 fit men.
    I believe that is the core of the problem we do not have a leader 100 % undiluted love for the Arsenal and for the cause. He keeps looking to go back and I donot blame him if that is where his heart is. He should just go and we promote some one who will die for te badge.
    With a captain like that does the morale of the rest look right?
    Like most jobs once you want tio resign he should just go. There is no point keeping him.

    Up the Arse!!!

  75. I was writing a long post but the battery went down…

    @Limpar, my post was more about the opposition’s tactics than ours. A big part of the game is manager outwitting manager; change what’s not working.

    I believe more than attitude/belief/mental strenght, our problem is tactical, too. One could argue that we’ve won hundreds of matches with this same 4231, but the fact is at the moment it’s not working and we only have 10 games to fix it.

    It’s all about THIS SEASON, I see no point in talking of signings now.

    @Evil, that’s more like it. It’s not gung-ho. Nasri instead of Arshavin and the team looks a lot like 07/08’s.

  76. I see that some on here believe that supporting your team and manager through thick and thin is an ‘extreme’ view and has equal billing with Le Grave and the Hack Dwarf. How revealing.

  77. Bit like saying you need to walk a middle line between good and evil, isn’t it?

  78. Why do you compare Arsenal to Man City? Arsenal have never spent BIG money but always managed to win things. Nobody is asking for Wenger to spend BIG money. They are asking for him to buy good players with what he does spend, not waste it on French shit like Squillaci, Chamakh, Koscielny and Silvestre etc.

    They also want him to show some tactical aptitude and flexibility, and demonstrate he is able to motivate the players – what has that to do with BIG money!? What has losing a 4 goal lead got to do with BIG money? What has losing the Cup Final against a relegation battling team got to do with BIG money?

    All you people ever say in defence of Wenger is, well he hasn’t got BIG money. In reality, that is only a part of a much bigger problem with this manager. The problem is with his personality and can never be fixed.

  79. In the middle of the battle between good and evil, i thought some of you might enjoy a laugh. I just picked this example of the unbelievable level of professionalism of today’s ” journalism” in this Setanta Sport article:

    http://www.setanta.com/ie/Articles/2011/04/05/Defender-eyes-early-return/gnid-91903/?

    For the lazy ones:
    Djourou eyes early return

    ohan Djourou says his shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared and he could be back to play against Liverpool on April 17.

    The Switzerland international had to be stretched off with the problem during the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup in the middle of March.

    Manager Arsene Wenger immediately ruled out Djourou for the rest of the season due to the dislocation of his shoulder, suggesting he might even need surgery to correct the problem.

    However, Djourou has revealed the injury is not as severe as first thought and says he is healing well enough to be considered for the visit of the Reds a week on Sunday.

    “There’s not a lot of joint damage, the tendon is ruptured, so basically I have to keep my finger in a splint for four weeks and let the tendon heal,” said Djourou.

    “From then, it will be a couple of weeks before I can be back in the squad.”

    great insight into AFC medical team’s innovative techniques… 🙂

  80. “All you people ever say in defence of Wenger is, well he hasn’t got BIG money. In reality, that is only a part of a much bigger problem with this manager. The problem is with his personality and can never be fixed.”

    Never heard you saying that between 1998 – 2005 James?

    What happened? The same manager, the same philosophy, new stadium, solid finances, so what has changed for you?

  81. Probably the only thing changed for you James is your ability to brag among your friends at school.
    Most likely only because you’re weak and can’t defend your team unless they win trophies.

    You went to support when it’s easy, but don’t like it when it’s tough? Weak.

    Have you ever thought that it’s a %50 – 50 chance that if you change the manager it may get better, but it can also get much worse?

  82. J*mes.

    What about ‘appy ‘arry’s D_Fence?

    Four games in a row against the bottom four teams.
    One point? Maybe it was two. My bad.

    Good effort there J*mes. Hilarious.
    Chin up. Better luck next time.

  83. One point in four against the bottom four.

    Yeargh. ‘Arry really ‘as bought back the glory years.

  84. When I say bought back, I mean something like, I dunno, +£200M on players.

    Maybe less, maybe more.
    Who cares.

  85. > One point in twelve. Maybe two.

    I can’t wait to see Dawson vs. Ozil.
    J*mes once wrote on ACLF that he liked Dawson because he ‘tried hard’.
    Aw, bless ‘is little sp*ddied socks.
    Going by the league table, it seems like the Arsenal defencers have been trying harder then the Sp*ddies for a few years now. I’ve lost count.

  86. Had a discussion after the draw and there was an idea that Arsenals teams lacks players who have won anything, is that true?

    Gael Clichy – Premier League: 2003–04, FA Cup: 2005

    Bacary Sagna – Coupe de France 2005

    Andrei Arshavin – Russian Premier League: 2007 , Russian Premier League Cup: 2003 , Russian Super Cup: 2008 ,UEFA Cup: 2007–08 , UEFA Super Cup: 2008

    Samir Nasri – UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2005

    Cesc – FA Cup: 2004–05, FIFA World Cup: 2010, UEFA European Championship: 2008

    Sebastien Squillaci – Coupe de la Ligue (1): 2002-03, Ligue 1 (2): 2006–07, 2007–08 , Trophée des Champions (1): 2006, Copa del Rey (1): 2009-10

    Marouane Chamakh – Ligue 1: 2008-09, Coupe de la Ligue: 2007, 2009, Trophée Des Champions: 2008, 2009

    RVP – UEFA Cup: 2001–02

    Rosicky – Czech Liga: 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, Bundesliga: 2001–02

    Denilson – Copa Libertadores: 2005, FIFA Club World Championship: 2005

    TV – Eredivisie: 2003–04, KNVB Cup (2): 2005–06, 2006–07, Johan Cruijff Shield (2): 2006, 2007

    Lehman – UEFA Cup: 1996–97 UEFA Cup, Serie A: 1998–99, Bundesliga: 2001–02, Premier League: 2003–04, FA Cup: 2004–05

  87. James’ post is easily the most demented of the day.

  88. Frank
    ” I see that some on here believe that supporting your team and manager through thick and thin is an ‘extreme’ view and has equal billing with Le Grave and the Hack Dwarf. How revealing.”

    Hahah I noticed that too. revealing indeed! we aren’t extreme we just exist in a blogosphere where fanatical populist rants get you the farthest and YW refuses to resort to that.

  89. Paul N
    Good list and good point.

  90. ALSO my ACLF bretheren I have some big, big news for you.

    I’m happy to inform you that there is now another football team that you can distract yourselves with, levy opinions on, and another manager to criticize.

    Today, is the first game for the Wauwatosa East JV Girl’s “Soccer” Team coached by none other than yours truly!!

    Anyone with any insight into coaching “soccer”, I would love to hear it, but given the posts on here, I feel like no one really has any opinions on football coaches and their course of actions……….

    Wish me luck ACLFers

  91. Some of the comments are too much. When we bought Squillaci everyone was quite happy and now the tune has changed. I guess it is irrelevant to note that he has had two very good outings! why should we let that cloud our judgment of him not being a good player just for the sake of it.

  92. Here’s a good starting point, NJG!

  93. Congrats NJ, that sounds like fun!

  94. george rodger

    MJGooner,stick to 442.and watch “Mike Bassett England Manager”
    Good luck mate,

  95. Good luck NJ !
    Your team’s name sounds like my one of my brother people word, potawatomi i assume.

  96. I am glad you didnt come up with a name like “Real Salt Lake”!

    On a different note, did anyone see the goal that our Rachel Yankey scored against the US last Saturday (England 2-1 USA)? It was a rocket!

  97. Nice one, Paul N.

    finsbury, I’ve got 5-0 Madrid.

    Good luck, NJ! Keep asking yourself What Would Arsène Do? and you won’t go far wrong.
    Also don’t bring Bill in as a d-fence coach. It would be to the ruin of your attack (and any fun, laughter, or joy that might be going on…).

    Carmon you bankrolled Bernabites…

  98. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Rachel Yankey.
    Wonderful vision. ….Good eye for a pass too.

  99. Limpar, yes she is a very good player.

    It seems the national team is catching up to the rest of the world.

  100. well catching up to the great teams such as the US, Germany, China…

  101. Also wanted to note that our much maligned defense has conceded 3 less that Uniteds defence that never gets scored on. Dont ask me how that happened, its a mystery.

  102. We have some exellent players, Paul. Mostly Arsenal graduates. I see a similar Arsenalisation effect on the horizon for the men’s team. I fully expect Gibbs, Walcott and Wilshere to be joined in the next two or three seasons by some – if not all – of; Bartley, Aneke, JET, Henderson, Lansbury, and Benik Afobe.

    …then Brazil and the rest better watch out.

  103. whomever asked about us playing a 4-2-4. we did it at the end of the WBA away game, with naz and wilshere in the midfield then B52 chamakh RVP and maybe Arshavin up front. That seems like a solid way to break down the two banks of four that we usually encounter. Also it seems logical to have Chamkah or B52 paired up with RVP in a 4-4-2 when we are in situations such as at the weekend against Blackburn. we are able to get to the byline without relative ease, and if we whip in 10-15 crosses surely one of them will find the head of CHamkah or RVP!

  104. should say get to the byline WITH relative ease.

  105. Serious bind tonight: Mourinho + Cronaldo or Spuds? What the f*ck kind of choice is that?

    Also, has anyone else here been told by people over the last few days that you’re meant to support the English team in Europe?

  106. Big Al – Sod that, Shakhtar Donetsk for me.
    Come on Eduardo

  107. Jeremie Aliadiere playing for the reserves again today.
    1-1 at the moment against Sunderland

  108. george rodger

    OOU no choice at all,Eastenders for me,then Corry.

  109. That’s tomorrow night isn’t it, Dups?

  110. Only team I supporting in CL now though.

  111. Strange though, if we had topped our CL group we would still be playing BBB, just a round further on.

  112. Don’t blame you, gr. My thinking is – one side’s season’s going to be over within the next week. Makes it watchable for me.

    Barcelona are still looking pretty unstoppable – unfortunately for Donetsk. Although they are missing a couple more players, which might have helped us had we got them at this stage.

  113. Quick goal for Inter

  114. Nothing worse than a week of having to bear totts vs real madrid and chelsea vs united. What a nightmare, who do I loathe more. Adebayor to score against the spuds I think. If thats not hurting the Arsenal team and motivating them till the end of the.season then nothing else will.

  115. Should have put a punt on it.

  116. thanks guys!! That name “Wauwatosa East” is actually the name of the high school I work at that the team is from.

    – Tokala your 100% right. Wauwatosa is an Indian name from Wisconsin and the big casino in the area is called Potowatomi.

    – OOU that video is awesome. I’m pretty sure I made out like 10 words other than the f-bombs that were dropped. loved the part where he talks about the fans… these are high school girls I’m coaching so I think that particular approach might be a little heavy handed…

    – LA haha thanks. Obviously I’m working with the girls primarily on playing possession football, keeping the ball on the deck, but I’ve realized I have to work on the basics of the Arsenal play, the very, very basics, before I can start dreaming about Wenger ball.

  117. UnbiasedTobias

    Really lookin forward to next season, I’m confident that we will win sumthing this season just bcos of the gr8 thngs we’ve dun ths season. Its very obvious though that we need an assured defensive partnership.
    Koscielny and djourou will be 2 world class defenders in a few seasons, which is gr8, bt I dunno if they’re good enough in the short term. I think all we need is to sign two defenders who are comfortable at the back but also have that presence in the changerooms.
    Lugano and Mexes for example. I say 2 because squillaci is shit, vermaelen won’t be back to his best straight away, and a team needs atleast 4 fit and capable players.
    Otherwise, there’s not too much we need in terms of acquisitions. Our team can score goals, there’s proof of that. But a lacklustre defense has cost us IMO 15 points this season. So rather than spending money all over the field let’s focus it wer its most important, at the back.

  118. lol I thought ade was crazy deluded when he said the arsenal fans still love him but now I think he can see the future.

    ha ha, only one goal so far but surely a hat trick goes some way to redeem himself!

  119. Aliadiere’s scored for the reserves!

  120. UnbiasedTobias

    Sorry I meant next season we’ll win sumthing

  121. Borges Spinelli

    Hahahahaha at the losers of Tottenham. And who better to dish the death blow than ex-gunner, Adebayor.

    I know y’all hate him, but on the greater scheme of things, watching Tottenham get hammered on the ropes is a more enjoyable experience IMO.

  122. UnbiasedTobias

    Yea, I don’t mind if Ade scores 5 goals, tnite aslong as spuds go out! Plus even with Ade and Cr7 on the field I have a major soft spot for real madrid

  123. agreed borges I want them to be destroyed, embarassed in front of all of europe, brought to their knees as they realize what life in the CL is like.

  124. ha, if only gallas had conceeded that peno challenging ade… perfect combo!

  125. OOU

    Alialialialialiadiererere scores? Well that’s RvP’s replacement for next season sorted. Experienced, knows the Premier League. Just what’s being demanded.

    YW

  126. Limestonegunner

    Ray Wilkins has to be the worst I’ve heard. It sounds like he is trying to coach Tottenham from commentators’ box.

  127. 1 loose cannon

    Adebayor claimed Arsenal fans still love him and he will beat the Spuds. Well he might be right but only for tonight

  128. We should build the team around him, YW.

  129. Ray (stay on your feet) Wilkins is awful.

  130. serious? I really like ray commentating, its like sitting next to an assistant manger (funny that). he has a real hands on insight to the game which I find quite refreshing and informative. he says ‘we’ a lot when talking about the totts but to be fair he would prob do the same to any english team in the CL. Personally I think hes really shone tonight. Most people I know are pretty positive about him replacing gray.

  131. We do love you Ade!

    Really good header that!

  132. 1 loose cannon

    Adebayor we really love you now.

  133. That man could be back in the good books……

  134. Nice post Yogi… With the Arsenal blogosphere apparently in the grip of a quite pathetic pychosis it is really great to read a balanced, intelligent and thoughtful post. Thank you.

  135. Inter losing 2-4 to Schalke

  136. damn i was semi seriously talking about getting odds on a ade hat trick earlier…

    seriously, would a hat trick get him an ironic round of applause instead of a boo if he ever played at the emirates again? I think so…

  137. 1 loose cannon

    If Ade nocks the stuffing out the Spuds and finish the Catalan bastards off he will be forgiven by the gooners.

  138. 1 loose cannon

    Funny how Spurs have been applauded tonight for remainin only 2 nil down. While against Barcelona we defended really well stayed in the game till the 90th min but we got hammered in the press.

  139. Ade’s a great player when he’s trying to make an impression. The Madrid fans just need to give him a few months – provided they decide to keep him – and his body language will begin to change though.

  140. 1 loose cannon

    Bye Bye Spuds. Reality check for the Spuds this is what happens when you have to play in the league and C.league at the highest level. we did it for 11 years non stop.

  141. I remember reading a headling to an article, I think it was on ESPN and it said “can Real Madrid beat the Spuds”.

    I couldnt believe it!

  142. Inter losing 2-5 now

  143. Has Harry sent for the twitch doctor yet?

  144. Spuds beating them is not so impressive now is it.

  145. 1 loose cannon

    Adebayor went to the Spuds fans and pointed to his name on the back of his shirt. He can’t help himself. After they beat Ac Milan they were chanting “Are you watchingArsenal ” Yes we are watching now with plaesure.

  146. I’m not sure it ever was that great an achievement really; Inter were even worse under Benitez. Their group was a joke.

    Redknapp’s reign at Spuds has been a succession of happy coincidences and flukey gambles. Looks like his luck might finally be up.

  147. 1 loose cannon

    Yes we are watching a former gooner slapping

  148. Who is this clown saying that they dont deserve to be down by 4?

  149. 1 loose cannon

    Paul N. That is Ray Wilkins the former Chav assistant manager I think. How they don’t deserve to be 4 down? They got slapped in face and they deserve what they’ve got.

  150. 1 loose cannon

    Rednapp for England

  151. Borges Spinelli

    Tottenham truly are garbage. Small fish well out of its depths. Defoe coming on for vain dweeb Faart made absolutely no difference. Life’s gotta suck right now for their poor fans.

    Awwwwwwww! Here’s a tissue to wipe those tears, you hopeless lil’ crash dummies.

  152. Paul, if that was Arsenal 4-0 down you can bet the commentator would say we deserved to be.

  153. 1lc, they were on the back foot for the whole match but yet they dont deserve this? really dumb comment from Mr. Wilkins!

  154. True dat dups and obviously they would saying how we lack mental strength.
    Barca only beat us after we went a man down and we were slaughtered. The bias is sickening!

  155. This years CL fixtures have shown how poor the Italian league is. Spuds beating Inter proves it even more.

  156. Missed out (and AC Milan).

  157. 1 loose cannon

    I’m really pleased with this result. I’m watching Leneker’s sad mug . because when we were playing against Barcelona and lost, he was cracking jokes with another Spud Venebales calling Arsenal “Mini me”. So pleased.

  158. “In most things the truth lies somewhere in the middle between the 2 extremes. I think ACLF is a good respresentative of one extreme and Arsenal News review or may be Le Grove is a good proxy for the other extreme. I suspect the truth lies somewhere between the two.”

    Having read Yogi’s blog post I then clapped my eyes on the quote above and literally burst out laughing. Bill,your post really takes the proverbial biscuit. So Yogi occupies an extreme position does he now? How so? Seriously, it is beyond bizarre to compare what Yogi does and what goes on in this place to what Le Grove do… do you actually read Le Grove? Where is the ACLF equivalent of the Le Grove LIE that Wenger makes money by signing young players? What has Yogi, or anyone else on here written that comes even within a county mile of that piece of slanderous garbage?And that’s not even the worst thing they ever said!

    Where is Yogi’s equivalent of the disgraceful racism and xenophobia that is Myles Palmer’s staple? Personally i think that you owe the regular posters on here (and I don’t in any way consider myself a regular before you ask) an apology for basically slime-ing them. Myles Palmer is an embittered 4th rate hack who is running a pathetic vendetta against a man who is morally, intellectually and even materially nowhere near his class. Myles Palmer is an intellectual pygmy, a spiritually and morally bankrupt tosser and you say that Yogi and the other regulars on here are at the other extreme…. what extreme is that then?

    This place is passionate in defence of the club and what has been achieved especially over these very difficult 5 or 6 years but that in no way makes them a mirror image of the idiots of Le Grove or the demented jumped-up knob who happily admits that he is no fan of our club. To post on here and make such a comparison really makes you ‘not serious’ TBH… I’m very sorry to say. Arguments here are based on well argued facts for the most part, which is why you often find yourself on the losing side :-). The facts are clear and unambiguous… Arsenal under Wenger, judged by any rational standard have overachieved. Even if you choose to ignore what we have spent and compare it to what others have spent… even if you take out every other club in England and compare Wenger’s Arsenal only against other historical Arsenal teams the only person who is on a par with Wenger is the Great CHAPMAN. That is a fact. And that should be the basis of any debate. We can debate whether the squad is being used to its best effect, we can debate whether our injuries are down to luck or mismanagement, we can debate whether the ticket prices are too high and we can debate anything at all but what is totally unacceptable is for idiots with no respect for what has been achieved at incredible odds to come on here thrash our club and a man who has taken us a very, very long way to greatness. That is the bottom line for me and I suspect for a lot of others too.

    I’m sorry but only the weak minded split the difference in any argument. The truth is the truth and a lie is a lie… there is no greater wisdom to be found be splitting the difference between the truth and a lie. It is arrant nonsense to suggest that in most things the truth lies in some middle ground… it is simply not true, what it is is a hackneyed and foolish saying beloved of the incurious or intellectually lazy.

    Yogi has never called Wenger infallible, he has never said that Arsenal is a perfect club, he has never implied, to my knowledge, that we have no faults AND NEITHER HAS ANYONE ELSE ON HERE… so how on earth is this place the mirror image of people who say that most of our players are shit, our team substandard, our manager a self-serving crook and our board only out for what they can get? How in your mind does that work?
    By the way the funniest thing about your post is delusion of grandeur that saw you presume to stand in the sensible middle ground. Now that is very, very funny.

    Good night.

  159. Awww…. almost 5.

  160. Thank goodness the spuds have been brought back down to earth and the nightmare scenario I heard 2 people speculating about in the lift at work today will not be coming true!

  161. Bradys right foot

    Joshua | April 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |

    All hail a post of mighty righteousness and wisdom, I salute you Sir.

  162. yep, the spurs wins in the san suro were always about italian league vs. Pl… there was always going to be only one winner, even from a 5th place team. AC were fucking embarassing at home and for that alone they deserved to go out in shame.

    RM represented the spanish style very well tonight. I find it harder to watch spanish football in general but the interlapping passing moves and intensity tonight were probably comfortable enough to even beat an arsenal team on current form.

  163. “delusion of grandeur”

    Interesting turn of phrase after that diatribe.

  164. “Joshua | April 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |

    All hail a post of mighty righteousness and wisdom, I salute you Sir.”

    Hear, hear. I second that motion BRF!

  165. One must not gloat but Tottenham made Real look like Barca as for Inter how ordinary they have looked post mourinho. Anways bring on Blackpool the most important game of our season if ever there was a must win game…..

  166. Bloody useless Adebayor couldn’t even score a hat-trick. 🙂

  167. Ade is a reverse Samson. He cut his hair and now he is less of a c__t.
    Err… well, maybe not. But he’s playing pretty well. heh

  168. From Gingers4Limpar

    “World Player of the Year Gareth Bale made 8 passes tonight, with a pass completion ratio of 53.3%. Only Gomes & Crouch had worse.”

  169. What a star you are, Joshua

  170. I wonder how many the Spuds would concede if they played Barca?

  171. Great post Joshua.

  172. have not posted for a while, but i had to say well said Joshua!

    YW keep the good work of balanced praise and constructive criticism on!

  173. LA

    You’re a man of music. So when did Demis Roussos become lead singer of Elbow?

    YW

  174. take a bow Joshua!

    Bill seems to feel compelled to be “objective” and comes out with comments such as the one in question.

  175. Got nothing better to do with your time eh Joshua ? I stopped reading after the second paragraph , but it you have that much of an issue with bills post then you really should seek out professional help mate.

  176. I don’t normally comment on such matters but Joshua you the man. The latest in extremist chic – an ACLF ski mask – is on it’s way to you as I type.

  177. Can’t fault Crouchy for effort.
    The fastest double yellow card in the history of the CL.

  178. nice interview with li’l Afobe there

  179. All those idiots calling for Wenger to be sacked, do you fools realise that if Wenger leaves, we could potentially lose

    Fabregas
    Nasri
    Song
    Arshavin
    Van Persie

    essentially the spine of the team could leave too.

  180. Borges Spinelli

    *ducks for cover*

    Evacuate women and children from the buiding. Live ammo in progress. Another brave knight bites the dust.

  181. Borges Spinelli

    Building, I meant.

  182. HJ:

    “One thing I’m thinking AW needs to try is when we know we are playing a team who will come to the Emirates and 100% go for a draw, 10 men behind the ball.. we should start with RvP and Chamakh. I felt like he added a lot to our attack once he came on, but at the same time didn’t have enough time to guarantee that he made an impact. I don’t necessarily think we should go 4-4-2 but maybe RvP outwide left like he was at the end of saturday..”

    The season when we had Hleb, Flamini and Eduardo at full flight we ran into a similar pattern of stuffy attacking. I remember thinking then that Eboue should’ve come in to shake the side up and I think the same thing now. Eboue is an offensive RB par excellence and is a decent defender as well. When we have shit kicker teams like Blackburn playing two banks of four and never coming close to attacking our goal, we can do with a less defensive minded player like Eboue. He ttacks from deep. This means that he has three or four opposing players paying attention to him carrying the ball out of the back. When this happens the opposition shifts to the right and leaves huge gaps in the middle, where we like to attack from. Let’s not forget that Eboue was a big part of the the way we played against Barcelona at the Emirates. His excellency is not a shit player by a large stretch.

  183. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Word to Joshua. Proper Arsenal.

  184. mj_gunner | April 5, 2011 at 11:05 pm |

    Thanks for the link to the article. He sounds like a sensible young man. I hope he does make it to the Arsenal first team one day.

  185. Sorry to disappoint, YW. I thought Demis Roussos was a gradient of hosiery until I just looked him up…

  186. Germany is above Italy in the FIFA league ranking, next year we will have a maximum of three Italian teams for the CL.

  187. Think this had to happen at some point. Lady Nina and Danny F were both keen to sell, and we’d either have to let him in or have Usmanov owning a massive stake and running us like some of the jokers up north.

    Regarding timing. I think there is a stock market requirement that after breaching the 30% barrier he has to offer to buy all/any other shares at the highest price he’s paid in the last X months.

    This might have something to do with the timing, say he paid 13k a share 12 months ago, he can now get away with only having to offer 11k a share.

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