Will A Centre Back Arrive Or Are There More Pressing Needs?

Wojciech Szczesny, hailed by many as the solution to Arsenal’s goalkeeping problems, has never been short of confidence or a willingness to express his views. He did so in the immediate aftermath of the victory over Manchester United, believing that the win was achieved through the lack of pressure on the squad,

It was a great result, a terrific performance and was exactly what we needed after last week’s disappointment. We played with the handbrake off because there was less pressure on us and the fans were fantastic.

That admission gives substance to the ‘chokers’ label targeted at the players. To be able to play with the pressure off is nothing spectacular and every professional should be able to do so. To play under intense pressure is something that this squad has shown they can do but not consistently. That is trophy-winning X Factor that is needed to be acquired in the summer.

When it comes to his spending spree, Arsène is getting more and more advice where to spend it. This time former manager George Graham popped in and surprisingly proffered the view that a defender was needed.

Arsenal need defensive-minded centre-halves. The full-backs like going forward. When the opposition get the ball Arsenal are vulnerable.

The centre-backs they have look like midfielders.

Graham is entirely accurate in his summary for two of the centre backs, as Vermaelen and Djourou were both defensive midfielders in their early careers. But that’s a facetious look at what he says. Graham is demanding another Adams, Bould or Keown. When he speaks on such matters, few can argue with his assessment of a defender.

However, there is more to the bulldozer approach. Arsène requires a ball-playing centre back, one similar to Ferdinand or Vidic. Yet these players are in short supply in England, the traditional clogger is no endangered

Many want Cahill signed, personally I am not overly impressed by him. If it is an English centre back, I would opt for Jagielka who appears to have recovered from his injury without ill-effect.

However, that presumes Wenger believes it necessary for a new arrival in that position. Would it be more likely, for instance, that he decides on a defensive midfielder who has the maturity and experience to compete for a starting line-up place at the back as well?

If fit, Wenger has four centre backs to choose from. Should Vermaelen recover, he will no doubt compete with Koscielny and Djourou for a starting place. Frankly I find it inconceivable that he would not occupy one of the two in Arsène’s first choice line-up.

Which means that Squillaci will be the fourth choice. Presuming injury does not ravage the squad, does Wenger need a new centre back or are there other positions which require competition for places more ugently?

Back to George Graham. He strayed into dangerous territory, prefacing criticism of Wenger by stating the obvious that clubs would clamour for his signature should he leave Arsenal.

Graham observed,

I just think he has gone off the boil a bit. I would love him to explain why he hasn’t had the success recent and why the team haven’t got the edge to win a trophy.

Indeed but by stating that he would not have been given six trophyless seasons, Graham’s bitterness at his treatment by Arsenal still peeks through. It will be interesting to see if Arsène rises to this bait. Would six trophyless seasons have got Graham the sack had he not been caught out? He would have been sacked, no doubt about it.

Personally, I still believe that one of the reasons Graham was removed from his post aside from those publicly stated, was the football on offer every Saturday. The style of ’89 and ’91 had decayed. It was acceptable whilst trophies were won but I think it only a matter of time before he was pushed anyway, a process hastened with a league challenge nowhere near materialising.

In fact, were Arsenal still at Highbury, I suspect Wenger would not be in the job right now with having not won a trophy since 2005’s FA Cup.

Graham knows why Wenger has been given leeway. His success rate prior to moving to The Emirates, his team’s style of play and he has fulfilled the brief he had from the board.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 3, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 236 Comments.

  1. First!

  2. The club have already printed up all of next seasons Szczęsny No1 jerseys, Almunia has already handed it back.

    Apparently Jagielka is a done deal!

  3. We actually need a striker. To many games we’ve failed to score in!

  4. Another good read YW.

    Graham does seem to have a little bitter streak in him. Arsene’s legacy will be a lot cleaner than GG.

  5. Good post YG .

    Jagielka done deal?!
    who said?
    how can you be so sure?

  6. Right, I think what a lot of people don’t see here is that the board did not expect to win anything in the last 6 years. With the move to the new stadium they were more concerned with staying competitive and not going under with debt. They were extremely lucky, as were we as fans, to have a manager who was prepared to comit to a long-term strategic plan like that. One who was not obsessed with his own reputation and legacy or glory, was not willing to abandon a club, or worse leave it in the shitter like all of ‘Arry’s previous clubs, or hold it to ransom as Benitez did with Liverpool and then Inter.

    Now having grown a team he wants to prove they can go on and win. Wenger loves the club, and that is a miracle given how he is treated by some in this country. Any other manager would have walked long ago. Critcism of Wenger is just beyond belief to be honest. The man is a fucking saint.

    My predictions for summer transfer activity: In: None. Out: None (hopefully). And that’ll do me just fine.

  7. we need a goal poarcher like Etoo. We are lacking that finishing touch, that killer punch. we even pass the ball in the box. RVP needs someone alongside

  8. Much of how Arsenal has constructed its policies as regards squad building is based upon the Ajax model of the seventies and beyond. Interesetingly Ajax never recruited defenders – only forwards who were then turned into defenders if they didn’t make it further up the pitch. That way ‘total football’ was born. It’s not unusual in English football for ‘wingers’ to be turned into full-backs but for mid-fielders to become centre-backs is much more rare. Frank McClintock is a prime example of one and that was over 40 years ago!
    The advantage is that they are forced much of the time to out-think forwards rather than just to outmuscle them (hence the offside trap) but also that they are comfortable moving out of defence with the ball and creating so many additional angles of attack. Having one of you centre-backs being natuarally left footed is a huge advantage in this respect.
    The return of TV4 and the emergence of the two polish keepers and Djourou this season are fantastic bonuses which have rewarded Wengers patience and will save Arsenal many millions in the transfer market. The return of Ramsey and the likely up-grade of Lansbury will take care of Rosickys departure and I wouldn’t be surprised if the return of Vela doesn’t mean that we will see even less of Arshavin than we do now.
    I can see another summer of very little buying and probably a net transfer revenue gain. Internal promoation will once again be the order of the day and I, for one, approve of that. After all it’s the way the Club has operated for many decades.

  9. so says mike parry on talksport (everton connections apparently) make of that what you will – b ut as we know there is previous with Jagielka from last summer

  10. Good post Yogi.

    I think our immediate needs are on the wings. TW14 has done well this season on the right but I still think we lack natural width especially on the left. AA23, SN8, TR7 have all played there and have put in a goog shift but its difficult for them as this is not their natural position. This shows in the number of goals we score from the left as compared to the right. Most of our assists come through the centre. I know we are not a crossing team, but a little bit of quality in balls from out wide delivered on time can go along way to increasing our goals tally.
    I’ll want AW to sign someone that can play as a left winger and also as a fullback to give Clichy some real competition and maybe a DM.
    All said, Wenger knows best.

  11. Good read as always YW. I would personally prefer someone like Hamit Altintop, not necessarily him, but someone who can play central midfield, both flanks & full back. That said a tweak in formation would be welcome too. With RvP playing in the hole alongside a pacier or more physical striker. But then what do we do with all our magnificent central midfield talent. I am glad I am not the manager.

  12. we need a good striker some one quite young but not to young, around 23-24 someone with lots of pace who can play the type of henry goal scoring role latching on to through balls and killing them with there pace, we need this player soooo much!!!!!! I really hope arsene wenger buys the type of thierry henry player we need… also a strong defender at the back, imagen if we had maybe benzema and cahill ahhh god I hope wenger buys, we are so close it’s killing me!!!

  13. Didn’t mean for that to be a rant in defence of the manager, but seriously, George Graham demanding that Wenger explain himself. Suck my balls.

  14. realistic tony

    jagielka done deal?????? please make my day!!!!!
    I agree with the writer of the article in that jags is better than cahill although not by much. At this point in time i would take either, OR BOTH!!!!…and play TV5 in midfield or centre back as injuries with arsenal are always on the cards.
    Back to Graham, the man is very astute and intelligent and for me i cant recall him making a rash or uwise comment.If he was to have charge of the defense including transfers we would be winning trophies…a bit like Inter milan a season ago.(potent upfront and solid at the back)

  15. @afc, you’re talking about Walcott.

  16. We definitely need a top class clinical striker{no idea who that might be though}.If we take more of the chances we create{still having nightmares about Nasri at Bolton}then we probably win 3-2 rather than losing 2-1 and the problems at the back are less crucial.I totally agree that Cahill is over-rated and definitely not for us.If anybody saw him fail to compete with Hangeland when Fulham scored last week they would have concluded as I did that signing him for us would not solve our main weakness and in fact is the only reason we would have considered him so lets move away from him totally and possibly consider Jakielka.

  17. ……………………..chezney……………………………………….sagna……….cahill….vermalen………..clichy……………………………………………………………………………….nasri…………….wilshere…………………..ryo…………………………….ramsey……………………………………………….benzema……………………..van persie……. And a back up players like.. Theo, cesc, djourou,

  18. dave highbury

    If we’d have backed him and the squad this season, we’d have won sonething already.

  19. 1. We need an exprerienced head in the middle. DMF/CMF, someone who wouldn’t complain too much when on the bench and do the job properly when called upon. Next year Song will be involved in ANC whole January and we will miss him. So this signing should be able to replace him. And the midfield is the only area in our side where we lack experience. West Ham is being relegated so Scott Parker fits the bill perfectly. If anyone has seen him play for England alongside Wilshere he would definetely agree with me.

    2. We need to replace Arshavin. He has run out of energy and drive. He is sure to leave this summer. Hazard/Juan Mata/Santi Cazorla are the alternatives.

    3. If Bendtner leaves we could sign a striker but Wenger being Wenger he would go for the option of Vela or Afobe.

    4. Carl Jenkinson is a gamble if we immediately promote him to the first squad. But if Eboue stays another season that would be perfect.

    5. Also we have Pedro Botelho joining Arsenal this summer. He is like Bale (LB/LW). We could send Gibbs on loan where he would get playing time and learn some defensive skills.
    6. Out: Almuina, Denilson, Rosicky, Arshavin
    Possible departures: Eboue, Bendtner,

  20. The need for a defender has been overstated IMO. We leaked
    a few too many towards the end of the season but for 80% of the season we had one of the stingiest defences in the league. Having Song fit proves crucial both to defence and attack but there is reason enough to be hopeful that Frimpong can like-for-like cover next season. If Wenger is doubtful about that then buying a DM would be prudent – however this does risk marginalising Frimpong and there is also the small fact that good DMs are hard to find and tend to carry exorbitant fees as a result (Diarra!).

    Whilst he’s not a true DM – when you think how close we were to signing Alonso…one has to wonder what we might have achieved with him and Song vying for position.

    No – to my mind the real need is to sort out our strike force. Bendtner may one day be a class player but right now his first touch is still appalling and I think most would agree we can do better. Chamahk seems to be out of favour and confidence.

    Obviously it was freak collection of forwards but when you think back to the Man Utd team that had Cole, Sheringham, Solskjaer, Yorke – we are a very long way off with our supporting strikers.

    I’d also suggest that we should occasionally be playing a 442 to accommodate two strikers – I’m not unhappy with 433 but we should be able to be a little more flexible and go ‘southpaw’ once in a while…

    Everyone has an opinion but on who we should sign but in summary I’d say some sharp tools to finish our possession with precision are what we are missing most.

  21. While I’m grateful to George Graham for his contributions to Arsenal’s history and success I think his description of Arsene as ‘going off the boil’ sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.
    I know there’s been a lot of hand wringing about our defence (nothing unusual there) but I would not be surprised if there are no new faces, unless of course someone (Squillaci ?) leaves.
    Hopefully next season TV will be restored to his prime and I’m sure Wenger will expect progress from Miquel and Bartley. After all I think that a lot of our problems can be addressed by tactics and organisation and above all concentration.

  22. I don’t know any club in the world with four centre backs of the quality we have. What a load of tedious bullshit.

  23. Excellent, insideright. Excellent

  24. Great piece YW

    You always seem to assess the latest speculation and comments in a very logical manner unlike some blogs who are up in arms with every piece of Arsenal-related news!!..

    The left footed, left sided CB was a big plus for us last season. Not only did we have a superb defender, we had the angles as you mentioned to play it out from the back. It gave us another dimension, quicker passing, and less stuttering on the build-up play. The last couple months our build-up play has been far too slow. Only against Barcelona when we were under pressure was the last time when I can recall us really zipping it about from the back.

    So to conclude.. a LEFT SIDED DM and we are set… He has to be Gilbertoesque in his reading of the game, good on the ball with Nasri feet, but big in build with a Sol Campbell frame..

    Any ideas??

  25. ChrisGoona, actually you have made a valid point there about angle stuff. But don’t we already have Wishere who plays alongside Song. Wilshere is left footed and plays DMF/CMF role.
    But if you think we need left footed DMF then i would point to Blaise Matuidi. He is superb at winning the ball back and has the skills to play for Arsenal.

  26. Oh dear oh dear oh dear, George. So very transparent.

  27. Why does the bitter Graham want Wenger to explain, by the sound of his constant critisism he thinks he has all the answers anyway. Give us a break Graham you are getting boring. I get sick and tired of virtually all the ex Arsenal players for example Smith, Robson, McLintock, Merson etc, and now even the previously loyal Groves and Parlour giving Wenger stick, about the only one who consistently sticks up for him is Bob Wilson. What is it with ex Gunners players, you don’t hear the likes of Graham Roberts slagging their old team off.

  28. askhat

    I think a strong DM who can play CB would be a good addition to our squad. It solves the problem we have in 2 positions season after season. Finding that player is a lot harder said than done however… Especially in the style and manner in which Arsenal plays where we leave our defense exposed at times, so all our defenders must be in sync and have great defensive abilities. I believe any of our CB’s would gain greater recognition at another club as they wouldn’t be left as exposed in a more defensive team.

    I think Frimpong looked the real deal. I only saw a handful of games but he was very dominant in all the games I watched him in. I think next season it could be his chance to get a few games. The only signing I would imagine is an experienced defensive type who is willing to be a squad player.

    Regarding your Arshavin comment.. he is putting more effort and milage in of late than when he was banging in goals for fun when he 1st arrived. You went a bit off the boil there mate. I was very disappointed to see Vela get loaned out, he is a talented individual who could prove to fill the void we have on the wings. Arshavin is a deadly pkayer, but some games we do need a bit more width and a natural left footer. I hope he gets a shot next year.

  29. Graham has stooped as low as the rest of them it seems. The worst thing Wenger can do this summer is make rash changes. I’d be happy to see nobody come in. That is not lack of ambition, that is confidence that this team will come out next season and win something.

  30. Meg – I think the expectations up the road might be a bit different.

  31. meg, totally agree even charlie nicholas has gone to the dark side. nigel winterburn always support Arsenal though.

    George Graham is so bitter. I dont want to hear another word coming out of his stupid mouth. Arsenal is Arsenal bacause of Wenger. GG need to deal with that and move the fuck on. Explanation. The nerve!

    The club is very happy with Wenger as well. I agree with Markus on this one.

  32. livin in ireland

    When Graham says success, what does he mean. Arsenal have been in the top four every year.

    Sam Alladyce said that one year his team nearly got into the top four because they were ‘that good’. Arsenal have never been that bad.

  33. How anyone can say we dont need to buy a CB is beyond belief.We needed a CB even before this season when TV was fit.The goals against column does not lie.41 goals conceded last season 36 so far this.And how many goals have been conceded from set pieces?54%.Koscielny and Djourou are good back up but not starters.As for Squillaci he is definately not good enough.

  34. Gooner-in-Provence

    Team for 2011/12
    Sagna —- Verm————– Djourou——– Gibbs
    ——– Ramsey—— Wilshere———Parker
    a 4-3-3 with options for 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1
    Subs: Mannone, Traore, Kos, Song, JET, Chamakh, Afobe, Lansbury, Myaich, (choice)
    My assumption is that Cesc will go, mentally he is now not a gunner. A new No 2 to Wenger poss Bould, but I wouldn’t mind Keown or ideally Tony Adams.

  35. Goonerwife

    Arsenal is Arsenal because of Wenger.

    So who did fans like me support in the 70’s and 80’s?Arsenal were a great club before Wenger and will be after he leaves .I support the club not the manager

  36. Been looking at Ramsey’s goal again and again and again. The football intelligence of the players is amazing!

  37. A lot of recommendations on who Wenger should buy and who he should sell. Personally my hope is that we strengthen the 4-3-3 system we have been using. It is the most entertaining form of football!

  38. Arsenal is Arsenal not because of wenger, its been here 125 years. The modern Arsenal (good and bad elements) is quite largely due to Wenger. GG is from a different era of this great club and had his success and failures. Arsenal is Arsenal because of GG too. But personally i reckon GG needs to look at himself and say could he do the job in this day and age. I have my doubts that he could. So must he is seems as hes not been in a job for quite a while now.

  39. I am still celebrating the win over ManU……. wholesale changes at our club – not likely with Arsene in charge.

    Arsene feels strongly about continuity. For me, I can’t see the club signing another CB unless Vermaelen has complications.

    The club has steered a course to invest and develop youth vs. spending millions in the transfer market. As long as Arsene is pulling the strings, this is what fans should accept.

    We recruit great young talent and they need to play to grow. Look at Szczesny, Fabianski, Djourou, Ramsey, Theo, and Wilshere – they are our future.

    Think about Theo’s play in the 2 previous seasons…….not very impressive; yet now our attack is like a limp noodle when he’s not in the line up.

    I know many what a Drogba type upfront. Barcelona is very effective and who are their strikers: Messi – Silva – Pedro. All three are vertically challenged.

    All our attack needs is another Theo type on the left wing.

    GG is entitled to his opinion, but Arsene does not answer to GG – end of story.

  40. Graham can only dream of finding a Nasri or Cesc… What about Merson!! Wenger must be pissing himself laughing with the crap some ppl come out with

  41. dave highbury

    The pressure has come from the anti-wenger fools. Without them (go and f***ing support someone else) we’d have won more home games. Look at the away performances, as a direct result of the away crowd. Our defense is great with the Verminator back… and they have ALL got another 5 years minimum in them yet just to improve, let alone peak and retire. Man U got BEAT PROPERLY the other day. That is the news. We kippered Man U ! ok? They got beat along wiv Barca and Chelski. No-one out played us this season apart from BaRCA with an extra man. Wake up, back up your team and watch them rule in the coming years. We were good enough to win two cups this season… FACT. We are good enough now, and will be better next season and will keep improving for the next five years. Lighten up IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE YOU KNOW. TIP start commenting on the problems our opponents have, seeing as it is the “mental state” we are talking about. Put those f***ers off NOT YOUR OWN TEAM you mugs

  42. I think its time to sell Fabregas in the summer. Ramsey will take his role, and we got lots of money to spend. I am thinking Hulk, strong striker that would be great long side RVP on top. As for the centerbacks I think we got enough. Verminator and Djourou first choice, Koschelny fighting for a spot and squallaci as 4. choice. We need a another defensive midfielder, challanging song for his place. Sell denilson and diaby and get some new blood. Would like to see this next season
    Nasri Ramsey Song Walcott
    Clichy Vermalen Djourou Sagna

  43. Arsenal need a striker, quick finisher. Nobody else. But with the short supply and high price nobody will arrive this summer. So changes will be (if any) from internal resorces.

  44. goonerwife

    Arsenal is Arsenal because of a history dating back to 1886, the achievements of the people who have contributed to the club by playing, managing, coaching or working there. Arsenal is Arsenal because of the supporters. Arsene Wenger has made an outstanding contribution to the club but Arsenal is Arsenal because of everyone connected to the club, not one man.


  45. I agree with Dave.. there is an obvious reason as to why the home form was shite

    The moaners got what they wanted, hesitant performances in front of ungrateful fans. Nice work

  46. Malaysiangunner

    Good one YW

    Am I hearing that we do not need to buy again crowd? This team does not win when it matters and you all have the gall to blame the fans. If a footballer can not handle the pressure go some where else. They are paid million of dollars for the extreme privilege that is not afforded most of us and they need support just to win against the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland and etc. Come one now this is extreme nanny pampering if there was one. If we had played every game like we did against Chelsea and Manures we would have been sitting pretty by now and mind you they are not doing it for the fans only , they should be doing it for their own professional pride and honour. If you need more than that to play the game well then F!@#5456k f!

    We need new blood and not necessary on skill based but also on character and heart. Players of much lesser skills has beaten us regularly so ball playing while important is not the only criteria here. We have a team of very talented players that chokes when a decision is made against us or a foul or a penalty is not awarded when it should be. We have a victim mentality team at this moment with the captain asking the club and team to justify his staying rather than him justifying his existence and role in the club.
    This is bullshit

    No fear we are the Arseanl!!!

  47. Please, no more calls for f*cking 4-4-2. The game’s changed. Only mugs like Redknapp use it these days.

  48. Aye aye to OneOfUs!

  49. What i will like to know if what needs to change if this team does indeed end up with the title come may 22?

    Chelseas and man u could still lose one or 2 or draw all their last 3 games and we end up winning on goal difference… it is not impossible you know!

  50. I agree with insideright

  51. Kelvin

    Of course you’re right. It’s the club we support, not the manager.

    So who did we support in the 70s and 80s? We supported Arsenal of course.
    And a heartbreaking, soul-destroying experience it was.

    Between winning the league in 70/71 and winning it again in 88/89, we won just one trophy – the FA cup in 78/79. Our average position in the league was between 7th and 8th. (We were 17th in 75/76!)

    We more than anyone else should appreciate what an astonishing achievement it has been to keep the club in the top four for 15 consecutive seasons – especially during a period when finance has been limited here (but not elsewhere).

    We supported Arsenal during the tough times in the past and I’ve no doubt we’ll support them in the tough times after AW leaves. But let’s hope it doesn’t happen too soon.

  52. I see you said so above, KG. The problem over the last couple of months hasn’t been down to the system at all – I’d say it has a little more to do with a number of reliable key players hitting a rough patch of form at the wrong time, and for reasons I doubt we’ll ever know.

    I think a few people identified a lack of movement coming from midfield. For instance, I don’t know if Cesc has different instructions now, but it’s looked like he’s been doing a completely different job since he got back from injury.

  53. Gainsbourg69

    Under Wenger we’ve been top four for fifteen years. Between the second world war and Wenger’s arrival we were top four only sixteen times. George Graham and other detractors need to be reminded of this.

    Afuroy, Hulk? Hulk is a shit player playing in a mediocre league. Were he as good as you claim he is someone would’ve snapped him up ages ago.

    Kelvin, look at who the other top clubs have as CBs and then tell me we need to buy a new one. Man United: Ferdinand (close to retirement), Vidic, Smalling and Evans. Chelsea: David Luiz, Terry and Alex. Man City: Toure, Lescott, Kompany and Boyata. Frankly, I think anyone would take Koscielny, Djourou, Vermaelen and Squillaci over what the other top clubs have to offer.

  54. Did G.G say anything about the great overspending saggy chops ‘arry?
    After all G.G was a Spud manager last.

  55. G69, You’re analysis of the centre-back situation completely misses the point. We may have a better set of centre-backs overall, but do you not think that one of those that you mentioned in those other teams might augment our quartet? That’s the point, it’s not replace our four with their four, but get one who will improve our set.

  56. 1. Bring in a defensive player like Bould as wenger’s assistant

    2.We just need a tall and muscular CB to defend set pieces

    3.Shift Kosser to DM, by now we all know how he marks his man like a glue attached to him, ask Messi if anyone has any doubts

    4. Bring miyachi if possible or buy Hazard

    5. Bring in Lansbury

    6.sell Almunia,denilson, squillaci,roscisky this would give enough money to buy hazard
    Title is ours next season

  57. Gainsbourg69

    “Am I hearing that we do not need to buy again crowd? This team does not win when it matters and you all have the gall to blame the fans. If a footballer can not handle the pressure go some where else. They are paid million of dollars for the extreme privilege that is not afforded most of us and they need support just to win against the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland and etc. Come one now this is extreme nanny pampering if there was one.”

    The privilege to get paid millions of dollars and do something you love is not afforded to most of us because most of us can’t kick a ball without falling down or run around for ninety minutes without busting a lung.

    It’s not nanny pampering to suggest that our team does better away than they do at home because of the way most plastic fans yell at the team. It’s a fact. Our team plays better away because the pressure is simply not there like it is at the Emirates. Personally, I would love to see you or any other loud mouth step onto the pitch at the Emirates and then tell me you’re not affected by thousands of idiots booing, moaning and groaning every time they see something they don’t like.

    ” If we had played every game like we did against Chelsea and Manures we would have been sitting pretty by now and mind you they are not doing it for the fans only , they should be doing it for their own professional pride and honour. If you need more than that to play the game well then F!@#5456k f!”

    I would love to sit behind you at your job and yell at you all day long for being shit so you could see how stupid your argument is.

    “We need new blood and not necessary on skill based but also on character and heart. Players of much lesser skills has beaten us regularly so ball playing while important is not the only criteria here. We have a team of very talented players that chokes when a decision is made against us or a foul or a penalty is not awarded when it should be. We have a victim mentality team at this moment with the captain asking the club and team to justify his staying rather than him justifying his existence and role in the club.”

    You hit on every doomer cliche in the world. Are you sure it’s not the team but you who has the victim mentality?

  58. Yogi:

    Interesting post. Mr. Graham over stepping the bounds a little when he talks about Arsene. I guess everyone has their own opinions.

    I do agree with him about our CB. If you look around Europe all the top teams all have at least 1 CB who is tall and physical as the “anchor” for their defense. We don’t, and perhaps that is part of our struggle with set pieces. Kos and JD are both >6 ft tall but neither is physical especially Kos who is thin as a rail. JD looked the part at times this year but has been inconsistent recently and unfortunately his injury history is closer to Woodgate then Terry or Vidic. TV5 and KOS are both aggressive going forward. TV5 struggled as a defender much of last year and our vulnerability to counterattack may have been related to him playing with Gallas who also loved to get forward. The fear would be that KOS and TV5 together might bring back some of last years bad old days. Our defense has been better this year but still inconsistent.

    Given the obvious importance of solid defense and the fact that Arsene has said for 3 seasons running that our defense has cost us a shot at silverware, I thinks its time we should our hedge our bets. Keeping our fingers crossed that JD can stay healthy, that TV5 will not have niggles and that he will not struggle as a defender and most of all that we will consistently find our good form is asking for a lot of things to go right. I have learned not to hold my breath waiting for good luck. Time to do what we can to make our own luck.

  59. i still think we lost the league not because of the leaky defence but we failed to take the opportunites we had. We drew many games we could have won. We failed to score in a lot of games and even some games we lost we could have won if we had taken our chances. So on that point i still think we need a forward someone older from 28 going up.

  60. Gainsbourg69

    Block 4: “G69, You’re analysis of the centre-back situation completely misses the point. We may have a better set of centre-backs overall, but do you not think that one of those that you mentioned in those other teams might augment our quartet? That’s the point, it’s not replace our four with their four, but get one who will improve our set.”

    You make no sense. My point is that I’m happy with what we’ve got compared to the other top four teams. None of those players would augment our quartet because they belong to other teams.

  61. G69, If you think that Vidic or Luiz especially or even Kompany wouldn’t be an upgrade on what we’ve got then I would have to disagree. Adding any of those would improve our options at the back. You were the one who brought the defenders at the other top teams into it. And when did a player being under contract to another team mean they weren’t available at the right price anyway?

  62. Gainsbourg69

    Bill, do you even follow football at all? Comparing Djourou to Woodgate is just absolutely ridiculous. Djourou has only had one bad injury. An injury which is quite common for proffesional athletes the world over. The likes of Woodgate and Bramble can’t even train or they get crocked.

    As for a tall anchorman in defense, we’ve got Djourou. Our defensive record, given Vermaelen’s injury and it being Koscielny’s and Squillaci’s first season isn’t bad at all. As it stands we’ve conceded just three more goals than your beloved Manchester United.

  63. LimparAssist

    “The centrebacks… they look like midfielders!”

    They really did on Sunday. A wonderful, dominant display of aggressive, front-foot defending. Pressing so high and so mercilessly across the line is what won us the game, IMO. Impossible, of course, to achieve, if your defenders are immovable, monumental clodhoppers.

  64. Gainsbourg69

    Block4, why are you arguing such an unrealistic point? Of course Vidic, Kompany and David Luiz would augment our defense. But do you see them coming here any time soon?

  65. LimparAssist

    Vidic is a liability. If he wasn’t protected by the shirt he wears he’d be good for at least one penalty a game. He is on his way down, Koscielny, Djourou and Vermaelen are passing him on the way up.

  66. Je suis d’accord avec L’homme à tête de chou. Il est une étoile de magnitude énorme. Bravo, mon petit pois. Non, sûrement, un grand pois ? Oui, il est si, un grand pois.

  67. We win 1 game and see the “we don’t need anything” posts returning. Many overstate the need for new players but to say no help is needed is completely ignoring what happened the last 2 months.

    Its makes no absolutely no sense to say that we could not improve our chances to win next year by adding 2 or 3 good players this summer. The old excuse that we can not afford to spend not longer applies. Some of you have been fighting doomers and trolls for to long. The only good thing about not spending the money we have in the bank is that it makes all the tossers at Le Grove mad.

  68. Vidic, Kompany, Luiz. Merde! En fait, un tas de merde!

  69. G69, the point that those players would improve our squad is valid as you have conceded. That we will not be purchasing them is also true. Just wanted to know where you stand.

    There appear to be many flat-earthers around who think we should just do nothing and hope that we are good enough next season. As someone mentioned above we still have an outside chance of winning the league this season. In that case we should still be looking to improve the squad, both organically through the academny and in the transfer market, it’s not an either or situation. Failing to improve the squad significantly from a position of strength after winning the championship has been a criticism of the manager in the past.

  70. LimparAssist

    Of course new players will come in. There are always signings in the summer. I just hope it’s not Vidic.

  71. Gainsbourg69

    Bill, name the few non-expensive additions you’d like to be made to our squad and then we’ll talk. So far you want to buy in order to apease the plastic fans and to move some of the excess cash we have in the bank. Other than that you haven’t named names or brought up viable alternatives to what we’ve got.


  73. Come on, Bill. Out with it. I’m finding it hard to stifle a chuckle already.

  74. Frank – Thanks for helping me learn French. 🙂

  75. No chance of winning the league this season.

    Howard Webb is the ref for the manure v chelski game so it’s another win for the mancs.

  76. I love all of the speculation…every year this happens and every year the names that are thrown about never arrive. Wenger and his scouts have their targets. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, and get ready for some surprises.

    I also think our defensiv e deficiencies are greatly over-exaggerated. Vermaelen, Djourou and Koscielny will be a force next season…I am sure of it.

  77. G69,
    I don’t think we need new players to mount a solid challenge next season, but I don’t see why Bill has to mention specific players to believe otherwise?

  78. Because I’m pretty sure your plan is to criticize whoever he names which isn’t the point at all. If you asked him the same question last season and he mentioned Kos and Squil, you would probably have ridiculed him too.

  79. Malaysiangunner


    Yes lets keep this squad together for another 6 years, let do the same thing over and over again and hope for different results. We are perfect as it is , conquering all and sunder.

    AW will say we are so near, well we have been so near for the last 5 years before this season and for this season we do not have injuries to blame and our opponents quality at their worst for the longest time we choked.
    Maybe we can fall back to injuries as an excuse and then there is always next year and they will be more mature by then. No?

  80. So nothing to do with the opposition playing differently or fielding a different type of lineup. Nothing to do with the pressure that comes from the expectation that teams challenging for the top should win their home games. Nothing to do with any failings on the part of the players or the manager. No, nothing like that. All down to those horrible home supporters who should be ashamed of themselves. Of course that’s it.

  81. Agree with Limpar that Koscielny won us the Manc game.

  82. I admit I have questioned Wengers inability to buy a defender, but thinking about it and watching them – through open play they are fine and I think the back four of Sagna, KOS, Djorou and Clichy is as good as any in the premiership (in open play) what is needed is someone to coach them in the defending set pieces department – take that away this season and Arsenal would have had the best defense in the league – against the best 2 teams in Man Utd and Barcelona at home – Djorou and Kos were brillinat and snuffed out their strikers well – my only criticism is that clichy plays too deep and constantly plays people onside – he needs to be ahead of the centre backs all of the time – this he can be taught though. I dont think panic buying a new centre back is the problem – yes one is needed to replace Squilacci as he is simply no good and a Sokho or Jagielka I would be happy with – but its further up where we have problems – SOng is without doubt one of our most consistent performers, but with African Cup next year we will miss him, and we need cover for him – I cant see past Scott Parker – if West Ham goo down – he has been brilliant all season what a buy he would be, then there are the wings – Eden Hazard would be another excellent signing we have enough midfielders to deal with Cesc going – move Nasri back in the middle where he was player of the season until Cesc returned – also with have Miyacho coming in whose form for Feyenord has been excellent and to complete it we need another 25+ goals as season striker – is Benzema the answer? who knows but Parker, Hazard and Benzema would be ideal for me and if Jagielka wants to join all the better for Arsenal – get rid of the drift wood in Almunia, Squilacci, Denilson, Bendtner, make a few million from them and the Premiership is ours – and maybe even the quadruple – why not……………

  83. I agree with Limpar, Kos6 won us the match

  84. I’m beginning to warm to your view of Vidic Limpar. Have always believed Ferdinand was the better defender anyways…

  85. The most important signing for Arsenal this season is an assistant manager – who is peoples choices??

  86. Copied and pasted something from another blog about the MLS.

    Steve Zakuani, of the Seattle Sounders, had his leg broken by a player called Brian Mullan. The league’s disciplinary committee added 9 games to the automatic one game suspension and said:

    Before this season, MLS worked with all its players, coaches, referees and the two federations to develop, illustrate and discuss several key points of emphasis, One of those points of emphasis is to protect the safety of the player on the ball and reduce or eliminate reckless and violent tackles. Mullan’s tackle is the type of play we need to eliminate from our game and the level of discipline is consistent with our efforts to do so

    Bravo MLS. Very appropriate in view of the venue for our next game.

  87. It is very simple… we lost the season because our players do not feel at home at the emirates… there is too much whining and booing going on during games… support them whole heartedly during games, we can critisize after the games… I know its been a while since a trophy, but we are almost there… the end will justify the means at the end… we are building a barca like team that will dominate for many years… TRUST ME

  88. Gainsbourg69

    Henristic: “Because I’m pretty sure your plan is to criticize whoever he names which isn’t the point at all. If you asked him the same question last season and he mentioned Kos and Squil, you would probably have ridiculed him too.”

    No. My plan is to debate him and if we find agreement then we find agreement.

    Again. No. We had Silvestre for fuck’s sake. Of course I wanted another defender. This season, however, we have a solid defense and they will have adapted to one another at the start of the next. With the addition of Squillaci and Vermaelen coming back from injury we’re better off than anyone in Europe.

    The problem with Bill is that he can’t stand it that we have money in the bank and he wants to spend it as if it grew on trees.

  89. Gainsbourg69

    Malaysiangunner, fuck off.

  90. Oh don’t be such a fucking spoilsport, Henristic.

  91. Gainsbourg69

    Boro Primorac or Dragan Stojkovic for assistant managers.

  92. I am really starting to wonder how big our concerns at CB might be. Bartley has had a really good time with Rangers, Miguel looked like a very good prospect and then we have 4 “proper” and experienced CB’s. I hope that transfer activity will focus on replacing players that might leave and finding an adequate solution for when Song leaves for the ACN.

  93. I think Sir Alex or St Jose would be the best number twos.

  94. Primorac sounds like a good choice. He would’ve certainly deserved it for the services to the club to be promoted to that position.

  95. Koscielny didn’t win us the game on Sunday – all 11 did – it was a great team performance.

    Although, Kosser was great!

  96. “No. My plan is to debate him and if we find agreement then we find agreement.
    With the addition of Squillaci and Vermaelen coming back from injury we’re better off than anyone in Europe. ”
    Sounds like there isn’t much of a debate there.

  97. Malaysiangunner


    When argument islacking mud will do eh?

  98. Gainsbourg69

    GKs: Szczesny, Fabianski, Almunia.

    We have the best goalkeeping crew in the EPL right there. No one in the top four has a stronger crew than this.

    Central Defenders: Djourou, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Squillaci and Song.

    No one has as many quality options as we do in this department.

    Outside defenders: Sagna, Clichy, Gibbs and Eboue.

    Our starters are as good as any in the league. Their replacements are the best around. Unless one thinks Ferreira, Bosingwa, O’shit and Brown are better options, of course.


    Cesc, Wilshere, Ramsey, Nasri, Theo, Song, Diaby, Denilson, Arshavin, Rosicky, Henderson and Frimpong.

    The youngest midfield around and right up there with the best in in Europe.


    Van Persie, Chamakh, Vela and Bendtner.

    Youth, precision, pace and size. Can’t really ask for more.

    If anyone wants to argue about who should come and who should go, then bring it.

  99. Gainsbourg69

    Mud indeed Malaycunt. Just like your moaning and your bitching about our squad.

  100. Gainsbourg69

    Name a better group of four defenders in any team and in any league in Europe, Busch.

  101. En effet, une énorme étoile. Allez, Gainsbourg

  102. G69, is on point in my opinion, totally agree.

    Since set pieces was our “ONLY” problem, so it seems we need to buy a defender for that only. I dont agree at all and quite possibly that could open us up to conceding more from open play.

    The most sensible thing is not to get other defenders but to work on defending corners, free kicks, etc. Wenger has identified this as a problem and I am trusting that something will be done as he did something about our defense this offseason with getting two good defenders.

    Our problem has nothing to do with a lack of being physical but concentration, a player can learn to be more focussed.

    Up until 3 weeks ago we had the 2nd best defense in the PL currentlty we are 4th. I would say that we have improved and only expect us to get better.

    With that we are 2nd in goals, with quite a few missed chances. Would our goal tally be as great if we didnt have skillfull defenders who can start the attack?

    In Djourou, TV, Kos and Squillaci, I agree that we have the makings of a great great central defense.

    Be blessed!

  103. Je vous souhaite tous les gitaines dans le monde, Gainsbourg.

  104. So what’s the plan anyway? We substitute the big bad set piece defender whenever the opposition gets a corner or free kick? And then we substitute him again for one of our skilled ball playing defenders?

  105. Gainsbourg69

    Merci bien, monsieur Frank. Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

  106. Delia--Block 112

    I too think the choice of the next asst/manager is all important. I would love DB 10 back in the fold but his fear of flying would probably exclude him from the assistant role.
    Let’s hope AW finds us another Gilberto in the Summer , a player who was the unsung hero of the Invinceables . The perfect DMF, who broke up play and made the simple pass, allowing the more gifted forward players to do their stuff. Should Cesc leave in the Summer, it is vital that an experienced, quality DMF partner LJW and Rambo next season, Song IMO does not meet that criteria.
    Still smiling from Sunday, as always COYRs

  107. I’d say that, at present, we could do a lot better than Vela (as yet unproven and largely unplayed by West Brom), Bendtner (no first touch, disruptive egotist and profligate in front of goal) and Chamahk (flashes of talent but seemingly out of favour and not much of a goalscorer).

    It is a pity we showed no interest in Darren Bent: his conversion rate has been exceptional at both Sunderland and Villa. Given the amount of chances we create and what he would likely do with them, he would have been ideal. The price Villa paid was an absolute steal – one of the most sensible pieces of transfer sense this season.

  108. I like a joke a much as anyone but you’re not seriously suggesting that the midfield you cite are “up there with the best in Europe”. What ? All of them ? Even those that have hardly had a first team game ? Granted one or two are, but all of them ?

  109. I have to disgree that Chamakh is not much of a goalscorer, he showed he could score goals when he carried the team in that dept early on in the year.

    There is more than meets the eye regarding the Chamakh situation and I believe we should reserve judgment until next year but to be truthful he has already proven himself. With confidence along with having some PL experience we could and should see big things from him.

    He holds the record for scoring in consecutive games in the CL.

  110. Dupskkocuf at 3:38, ouch!

  111. Well dfb, how many teams have a better set of midfielders than Arsenal do?

    I guess the obvious Barcelona and we may say Real Madrid (based on what I dont know) but who else?

    Yes we do have one of the best midfields in world football. I dont even see the joke in that or how it can be sensibly doubted.

  112. You included Henderson and Frimpong?

    19 year old’s who 1 made an FA Cup start and the other 3 preseason matches?

    And they contribute to the best midfield in the world?

    I like their chances, and I like most of the players on our team, but that is taking things to a homer extreme.

    btw – off the top of my head Hummels-Subotic, and Dede at Dortmund.. (if they have a 4th, he’s barely played because those 2 are never injured.)

  113. G69:

    I am not a football scout and I do not follow European football. I had never heard of Luiz, Vidic, Vermaelen etc etc etc etc. For me to name players means nothing. We have a well run scouting staff but I do not have access to their data base.

    I do not feel as strongly about adding a CB this summer as I did last summer. However, our long time defensive struggles and set piece weakness are no secret to our coaching staff. Hopefully we have been trying to do fix that problem for years and thinking that it will suddenly go away next summer may be wishful thinking. We had a great run of form defending after Christmas, we were not good enough the first part of the season and we conceded 6 goals in the 3 games that truly finished our title run, 2 goals in the CC final and in the FA cup loss. Some encouraging signs this season but far from a certainty next for next season. If we remain inconsistent for whatever reason we will be looking up at the top of the table again. Adding a more physical CB would compliment the rest of our group and although it offers no guarantee it would add more confidence for fans and the squad going into next season.

  114. Delia – another Gilberto would be good, but he was not wanted by a lot of fans. It was only when he was out injured that some fans finally realised how good he was.

  115. It makes no sense at all – what made them decide that Walcott shouldn’t be in the u21 squad? I don’t see how his situation is any different to Wilshere’s.

  116. @Busch
    Dede is a left back. Their third choice for CB is Felipe Santana, who I can assure you, is worse than Squillaci. Hummels and Subotic are definitely a very strong partnership, but after that, there comes nothing much really.

  117. Paul N – Chamakh can certainly score goals but he has never been prolific. We knew this when we signed him – he was always feted for his ability to link in well with the team at Bordeaux but he only scored 76 from 300 appearances during his time there.

    He is valuable to us as he offers another dimension (aerial threat) and I am confident Wenger will expect more from him next season but there are other strikers who do this and score more regularly. He’s a ‘decent’ option from the bench but, as his record to date illustrates, there are plenty better.

    I’m quite happy with him in the squad but not if the rest of the support consists of Bentdner and Vela.

  118. I’ll take your word on that Evil about Santana.

    My thing with CB’s is it often a case of how players form a tandem and how well they interchange.

    We have seen stretches and signs that DJ and Koz can be a great pairing.

    We haven’t seen any of them with Verm (to any real extent yet) and Squillaci and Koz have, at times.. and for me too often, been pretty bad.

    DJ still has injury issues. His shoulder is now a concern since if it doesn’t keep him out of games, in the physical EPL he is holding it in pain a lot and I worry about that.

    Personally, I would like to see a player more like DJ come in, if it can be a top one (or should I say one that might be being courted by other top teams) then so be it. I don’t mind competition for our current players. The best should play. Coddling youth or current players as we wait for them to reach potential while the team suffers (doesn’t reach it’s potential) is counterproductive. imo.

  119. G69 @ 4:07:

    “We had Silvestre for fuck’s sake. Of course I wanted another defender.”

    I suspect if we looked back in the archives that you were not prospectively asking for another defender to be brought in when we still had Silverstre. More likely fighting all the doomers who were. My apologies if I am wrong.

  120. Here; for those who want a clearer understanding of the miserable doomers who ruin this and every other site.

  121. Jonny, his goalscoring along with winning penalties was as impressive as there was in the PL at the beginning of the year.

    I believe our type of play will afford him more goals, from what I have seen this year I am convinced he can raise his goalscoring average.

    Again, give him a full season and lets see.

    NB hasnt done as much as I wouldve liked and that can be due to not being in the right position. I like Vela and I too believe he can be a very good player, I hope so.

  122. Gainsbourg69 | May 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    Name a better group of four defenders in any team and in any league in Europe, Busch.


    Terry, Luiz, Alex and Ivanovich are better than our four by some distance

  123. Steww ~~ that could have been written specifically for some of our weakest supporters.

  124. Busch, why is trusting in the players you have coddling them?

  125. Gainsbourg69 | May 3, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    GKs: Szczesny, Fabianski, Almunia.

    We have the best goalkeeping crew in the EPL right there. No one in the top four has a stronger crew than this.

    Man C has Hart and Given. Don’t know who teir 3rd choice is but..still better than ours

  126. Depending on if we do anything with the striker position in bringing someone in and what type of player that is, I’d like to keep Chamakh.
    I think he adds a dimension we don’t play up to enough (isn’t it odd that recently we seem to cross it a lot when he isn’t in there and when he gets put in, we try to drive it up the middle… at least that’s how it has looked to me the last month or so).
    If we lose Bendtner, I’d like a Suarez-type .. an on the ground striker/poacher to play with RvP when it suits and to be the quick shot end to a lot of our intricate passing that we seem to hold too often.

  127. Terry? Farkin ell.

  128. Not in a million years gunnerific.

    No doubt Arsenal have the best midfield in England.

    Nasri, Walcott, Cesc and Song are better than that bunch and you know it!

  129. g69, why did you leave Lehman out of the goalkeepers. Surely he puts us over the top by a wide margin. What a player!

  130. “Paul N – Busch, why is trusting in the players you have coddling them?”

    2 reasons I don’t think it is a matter of ‘trusting in them’.

    At some point you have to make a decision if they are achieving what you want/expect of them or not, right? There has to be an eventual cut off point.

    Our manager often says he doesn’t want to impede the progress of our youth and that some players are ‘almost there’. Well, if we continue to say that, and fear that bringing in a player (big name, small name, expensive, cheap) that might actually be better than what we have, might improve the team, and might help us achieve some of the teams goals… that is either stagnating the current team for what we hope for/expect years down the road, or it is just plain coddling (not wanting to upset the feelings of those that feel they have an assured spot at some point).

    Again, I don’t mind players having to fight for their positions and playing time. Color me crazy.

  131. OOh sorry guys, i meant he took it to anither level after Graham. Damn!!

  132. Gainsbourg69

    Busch, Subotic and Hummels are very good players but that’s all Dortmund have. Try again.

    DFB, yes. Look at any top side in Europe and our midfield is right up there with the best. The fact that they’re young and are awesome, even at the beginning of their career, makes them even better than most. I added Henderson and Frimpong because they are part of the squad. Their inclusion just outlines how much depth we have.

    Jonny, Darren Bent is a good player but he was way overpriced in my opinion. I mean, why buy a twenty goal striker for twenty four million pounds when you can have one for free? Now that is the bargain of the season if you ask me. Chamakh only played half the season and he’s on seven goals compared to Bent’s fifteen while having played a full season.

    Well, Bill, when you call for replacements and don’t have names, then you should refrain from arguing with people who do follow European football. Otherwise you’d know who is available, who is better than what we’ve got and who is not good at all.

    With regards to conceding from set pieces, I don’t think our team is worse off than any of the other top four sides. Not to mention that we played large swaths of the begining of the season with premier league debutants Squillaci and Koscielny. As the league wore on and Djourou strated making appearances our defending from set pieces drastically improved. You can bet your bottom dollar that this statistic will also improve next season as well once Koscielny, Squillaci start understanding what the league is all about.

  133. Scott Parker ~~ Born: 13 October 1980.

    Not the right age for an Arsenal signing in midfield.

  134. Busch, so Wenger is coddling Squillaci, Kos and Djourou?

    These are some of the payers you made reference to. 2 new players and 1 just back from a long term injury.

    At this rate we may have new defenders every year.

  135. Gainsbourg69

    Gunnerific, Terry is the one above everyone else but not by a lot. Djourou is more athletic than he is by quite some distance. Alex is never as good as Koscielny or Vermaelen. Are you kidding me? Perhaps better than Squillaci but that’s about it. Daid Luiz? I’d take Koscielny thank you very much. David Luiz may be better aerially but Koscielny eats his lunch in every other department. Ivanovic is below Squillaci as fas as I’m concerned. I watched him play a lot this season and as a CD he is lost most of the time. For evidence check out how Theo and Cesc turned him over. And don’t forget that we can play Alex Song when all else fails, also.

  136. G69:

    “Well, Bill, when you call for replacements and don’t have names, then you should refrain from arguing with people who do follow European football. Otherwise you’d know who is available, who is better than what we’ve got and who is not good at all.”

    My bad for not recognizing your expertise and unbiased opinions.

  137. I think having the attitude that to bring in a new CB because competition from a new CB would, if the new CB was successful at forming a better partnership with Verm or DJ or Koz (personally, I think Squillaci was a Silvestre type mistake, but that will probably get me slagged on for saying) then it is somehow an injustice for the player dropped from the team or the player dropped to the bench. That Bartley or Miquel have to be given a shot and if not, they will leave. But the main being that those 4 have some special right to be the only once to compete to be our best CB tandem.

    As far as other positions, the main one is the DM position. Song has progressed, I don’t know the fate of Denilson, but if he were to go, many say bringing in a DM would retard the progress of Frimpong and might even take minutes from Wilshere or Ramsey if said unknown DM was ‘too good’. By my rating, I’d prefer someone to directly compete with Song and let the better man win because there are many minutes to spare in a season full of competitions. Frimpong will get his chances, preferably loaned out next season for me.

  138. Gainsbourg69

    As far as our keepers are concerned I see Szczesny at about par with Hart. If he improves his kicking, which Hart is very good at, he’ll be even better than him. Fabianski I think is better than Given. He’s just as good a shot blocker and better in the air than Given. Perhaps Given has more experience but Fabianski is working his way into a team while Given is on his way out of football. We have goalkeeper prowess there for at least another decade. Try again.

  139. Gainsbourg69

    Bill, my bad for debating with someone I thought had an idea what he was talking about.

  140. How can Fabianski work his way into the squad for the next decade when Szczesny is going to be our #1 for even longer?

    He will be a career #2? Doesn’t say a lot for him, even if it is at Arsenal.
    If he progresses to be better than Given (or is already, at your estimation), than he won’t be an Arsenal keeper for long.
    I like Fab, but if both he and Szczesny reach their potential.. he will go.
    Don Vito might be #2 for awhile if that happens.

    For Almunia’s sake, at his age, I hope he finds a place to be #1 and play well for however many years he has left in his career. He has been good for Arsenal for many years and deserves to play somewhere.

  141. Before I head out for some food, on Given:

    I think Given’s case is a bit special in that he has Hart ahead of him and City wasn’t going to send him to any of the teams that might have wanted/needed him of his level (Us or Spuds). So they have hung onto him.
    If he was a crock, they’d have taken whatever money they could get and laughed to the bank.

    I think Given would start at at least 16 of the 20 EPL teams.
    Reina, VDS, and Cech ahead for sure… if Given was on our squad at the beginning of the season, I think Wenger would have picked him as #1.

  142. Scott Parker, the new fantasy consensus.

  143. G69 – it was great business getting Chamakh for free no doubt but Chamahk has never been near to being a 20+ goal striker – not even playing against the lowly opposition that much of the French league consists of.

    He started brightly for us and perhaps he will come good but he will never be half the player Darren Bent is. Since 2005, Bent scored 81 league goals – second only to Rooney & Drogba – bear in mind that’s whilst playing for Charlton, Spurs and Sunderland.

    It’s great that we saved millions by getting Chamakh on a free but, based on the fact he has one of the best strike rates in the premiership, I believe with Bent in the team we would have won trophies this season. His fee was only 18Million plus add-ons and I’d rather the club was 18M poorer and we had won a hatful this season.

    Furthermore the guy used to be a season ticket Gooner – he would have cut his nuts off to play for us.

  144. G69

    Nothing wrong with a positive view on things but your opinions are so biased and blinkered it’s near impossible to have a debate with you

    “Try again” – lol – we have to agree to disagree

  145. Gainsbourg69

    Busch, Given may be better than Fabianski at the moment, due to his experience and popular opinion, but as a group our goalkeepers have no one to envy. Sir Alex would die if he could get a better goalkeeper than Kusczcak, Ancelotti would do the same if he could find a keeper of Fabianski’s pedigree to replace Hilario and Mancini can only wish he could buy a third replacement of the same calibre as Almunia.

  146. LimparAssist

    The back four as a whole were sensational on Sunday. Utterly dominanted ManUtd.

    Hey OOU. It’s clearly a fucking retarded decision taking Jack to that thing. Seems to be more about Stuart Pearce grooming himself for the Top Job than anything else. Anyway, I’m not really sweating it myself… lemme try putting your mind (and mine!) at ease – stop me if I’m wrong…

    Firstly, it’s all over by June 25 and it’s a short tournament (5 games in three weeks absolute max? More likely 3 – we do have Andy Carroll up front) If we were finalists in the CL and the FA Cup Jack’d be playing that number of games anyway, and at a much higher level. Obvisouly it’s far from ideal but he still has all of July and half of August to rest. We can afford for him to be ever so slightly behind with Ramsey and Denilson and maybe Frimpong needing the games in preseason. So it sucks, but I’m not spitting mad about it anymore. It’s nowhere near as big a strain on a player as playing a World Cup between seasons.

    The Walcott cautionary tale is worrying though. I forget the exact details of Walcott’s ‘burn out’? This may explain my new serenity about the whole thing… but I imagine ‘burn out’ is much more likely in a player like Theo who spends a lot of each game sprinting? Dunno. Just trying to talk myself round here tbh…

  147. Gainsbourg69

    Am I blinkered, Gunnerific, or am I making it tough for you to throw out Chelsea’s squad sheet in order to make your point? Seriously. What makes you think that Chelsea’s central defenders are better than ours by some distance? Price tag? Champions league medals? League position? What?

  148. Who were those defenders that let in 3 goals against us in December? And I mean we are not talking own goals or lucky set pieces, proper goals from open play! Surely Terry can’t have played, he is world class after all.

  149. LimparAssist

    Sorry that was pretty garbled even for me…

  150. LA – the trouble I see with Jack going to play for the U21 is the drop in standard from where he is now.

  151. “I’ll want AW to sign someone that can play as a left winger and also as a fullback to give Clichy some real competition”

    He may not need to as we have a player returning from loan who fulfills that criteria – Pedro Botelho.

    “Vidic is a liability. If he wasn’t protected by the shirt he wears he’d be good for at least one penalty a game.”

    Absolutely my point LA – he is a dirty cheat who gets away with murder because of the SAF effect. If he had to play by the same rules as other defenders his short-comings would be evident.

    Jonny, Darren Bent is a good finisher and has produced wherever he has played, but as we had just got Chamakh for free, I’m sure £24m plus wages was a luxury we could not afford. I would not completely write off Chamakh’s potential goal scoring ability as I seem to recall Adebayor who came from France with a poor goal scoring record who then went on to be prolific for Arsenal. Remember this is Chamakh’s first season in the PL – he started really well, went off the boil because he was not used to the pace and physicality here. Let’s give him another season before dismissing his talent. Even some of the greats from our recent past needed a bit of time to settle.

  152. steww. your only purpose in life is to moan at people who like a moan. get back to your neighbourhood watch you boring git.

    Your only contribution to this site is to moan at fellow gooners. your obsession with playing the PCSO(police community support officer) has inhibited your thoughts on football.

  153. Gainsbourg69

    I read somewhere that Bent cost Villa twenty four million, my bad. But even at eighteen million that’s an awful lot of money for a player on the fringes of the English NT and no CL experience. I think he’s a good player but maybe his price tag is what has turned bigger teams off. Who knows. All I know is that Chamakh, for the first three months of the season, was unplayable and could’ve easily been on fifteen plus goals this season if Wenger would’ve played him more often.

  154. “Scott Parker, the new fantasy consensus.”

    He’s this off-season’s Joe Cole, or maybe the new Lorik Cana! You’d think they’d learn!

    I went to a game with some WHU supporting friends last season and paid close attention to him because of the clamour for him by some gooners. I was not impressed based on a live game experience as opposed to highlights and reputation.

    LA re Jack and the under 21 shambles – I can only see him suffering from it. He already has to face ‘second season syndrome’ without having the frustration of playing below his level! But I guess it’s a case of what goes around, comes around. He benefitted from Ramsey’s absence, so others will benefit from his absences next season in their turn.

  155. Well, the only way the U21 thing could be positive was if there were a bunch of our kids playing. That way, they could get used to playing together. But as far as I can see the only ones with a realistic chance are Gibbs and Wilsh. No one of our other Young Guns is even in the 40 man squad, right?

  156. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice post, insideright. Keep em coming, sir.

  157. Gainsbourg 69, I don’t think it was about Wenger playing him more. Chamakh himself said that he was totally exhausted by mid season and needed the break, which Wenger allowed him.

    I think to be fair to Bendtner, he was affected by the injuries last season and playing through injury in the world cup.

  158. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You too, dave highbury. Proper Arsenal.

  159. History tells us that Wenger prefers a right-footed ball carrier to play on the left (Overmars, Pires, Hleb, Nasri) and I can’t see that changing. Walcott could be switched over if Nasri is needed somewhere else – perhaps if Fabregas goes. Bur the problem still remains that, playing in that position, you end up tackling with the ‘wrong’ foot on too many occasions and, these days, that usually means a foul unless you get it very right indeed.
    Petit allowed both Overmars (with whom he went to Barca) and Pires to operate on that side very effectively and I think Wilshere does the same – although not perhaps as effectively as Vermaelen might.
    Moving TV4 into midfield at least occasionally might be beneficial – especially in away games against opposition who rely on winning free-kicks in order to put the ball high into the box against us.
    But even that ploy is looking less effective these fays with a bigger, more confident (and physically braver) keeper. Playing Stoke next weekend will be another test in that respect.

  160. Lorik cana hahaha whatever happened to that guy?

  161. Passenal my original point seems to have been lost – I was arguing that our support strikers as a unit are not good enough (which has been shown to be true over the course of the season as we are by some distance the most profligate team in the Premiership) and more specifically to Paul N’s assertion that we have a great set of strikers in Vela, Bentner and Chamakh.

    The idea that we could not afford him because we have Chamakh is rather irrelevant to this point.

    Gainsbourough last season bent scored 25 for Sunderland. Is 15 goals better because we got Chamakh for free?

    Besides which my original point was that it was shame we were not interested in such a good player. We could have kept Chamakh and offloaded Bendtner at the end of the season to help cover the costs.

    Many clubs thought he was overpriced I agree but, given that his goals have ensured Villa’s prem survival it has undoubtedly been great business for them. I bet teams like West Ham and Blackpool wish they had tried to take the same gamble.

    Chamahk might come good next season but he wasn’t good enough and neither was Bendtner this season – this was shown in Wenger’s reluctance to even throw them on at times. I think most neutral observers would agree that Bent would have made the difference for us this season.

  162. @Jonny
    The way we are set up, I don’t think that Bent could’ve been as effective for us as he was for Aston Villa or Sunderland. He would’ve played seldom through the centre, as Wenger has usually opted at all times to keep RVP there and I am not sure how much damage Bent could’ve done if he was restricted to more or less the same role Bendtner had this season. 10 – 20 minute cameos stuck out on the right flank.

  163. Gainsbourg69

    Colney, Cana, Felipe Melo and many more on the buy now, buy big crowd’s wish list are playing out their footballing existences away from the limelight where everyone knew they’d end up.

    Did anyone catch Xavi lying to reporters about Barcelona’s fair play and them not cheating to gain an unfair advantage?

  164. Chamakh was great while he covered for the injured RvP. I dont get this he was crap thing people are trying to propgate? He will be even better next season.

    I like Bent, felt he was treated shabbily by the spuds and has done great at Sunderland and Villa. BUT, I am not sure he would suit our game, nor our’s his (if you cach my drift?) I would have loved us tosign that big piss head geordie lump, but for £35m? Pffft! Let’s sign benzema instead for about half that!

  165. The media are caught between 2 stools. They so want to worship at the alter of Barca, but then they would have to ignore all their cheating, rolling on the floor, feiging injury and brandishing imaginary cards all the time. Oh my, what a to do.

  166. Gainsbourg

    Bent’s transfer fee can rise to £24m, with ad ons

  167. Evil – I imagine as good a manager as Wenger would have found a way to alter the balance of the side if need be. Regardless RVP usually only plays maximum 50% of games a season (I don’t think he has ever played more than this?) which means when he is missing (half of the games of the season) Arsenal are reliant on Bendtner or Chamakh this season that has been part of our downfall.

    Even if RVP is fit who would you rather have coming on for the last 20 minutes to get you a goal a proven 25 goal a season player with near to the best conversion rate in the premiership or Feckless Bendtner?

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I have high hopes for Chamakh but that is the future and this was about this season where we one again fell by such narrow margins.

  168. Bin Laden…..Another Arsenal fan bites the dust!!

  169. Jonny, all i am really saying is that you cannot make a sound judgment of Chamakh but based on what he did produce was he wasnt exhausted. I think we can come to somewhat of a conclusion that a healty, confident Chamakh is a real handful, not to mention how he defended against samba on corners.

    I have a feeling that he is better then you want to give him credit for.

    NB and Vela, though talented have a lot to prove, given they have been in the PL for quite some time but for me they have the talent to get it done.

  170. Jonny, all i am really saying is that you cannot make a sound judgment of Chamakh but based on what he did produce when he wasnt exhausted, I think we can come to somewhat of a conclusion that a healthy, confident Chamakh is a real handful, not to mention how he defended against samba on corners.

    That makes more sense!

  171. LimparAssist

    Disraeli Gears, Strange Days by the Doors? Nevermind?! Difficult 2nd album syndrome, Passenal… it’s not always a let down!

    Somehow I just think he’ll cope, just like he’s coped with everything else we’ve thrown at him. We can but hope anyway.

  172. duke, A True Doomer he was.

  173. My apologies Paul N – I actually misquoted you earlier – it was G69 whon started this particular thread with his proclomation:

    “Van Persie, Chamakh, Vela and Bendtner.
    Youth, precision, pace and size. Can’t really ask for more.”

    Sorry for attributing it to you.

    Agaiun Chamakh may be a good player but if those are our options for strikers next season we can certainly ask for a lot more.

    Some might be under the impression I am a bent fanatic but I’m not – I was merely pointing out one player who could have provided us with something more this season and who was available.

    He’s also young, good in the air and proven.

    It’s good that Wenger has faith in Bendy but this season b52 has failed to prove that it was well placed. At the time Bent was signed we could all see Bendy was still the same profligate, wasteful egomaniac and had somehow still not improved his first touch.

    Maybe hindsight is 20-20 but it’s hard to argue that we do not have the best set of strikers and that going into 2011-12 with the quartet G69 named does not inspire confidence. Three support strikers with ‘promise’ is not really good enough for next season – not after we have been so patient and poured so much of our money into the club.

    Sell one of them and get someone who has more than ‘promise’. I think Bent would have fitted that bill – that’s all I’m saying.


  174. Well worth watching and you don’t have to subscribe to ATVO

  175. “Some might be under the impression I am a bent fanatic ” lol.

    Capital letters eh?

    Brilliant Jonny. brilliant.

  176. I hear you Jonny. I have a feeling that he can get the job done. I think he is excellent.

  177. Gainsbourg69

    I’m sure that Wenger would’ve signed Bent had he been cheaper and possessed better footballing qualities. As it stands he is in a bottom of the table side for a reason. God knows why, but he is. And maybe the fact that he is where he’s at means that Wenger is not the only manager who didn’t find him appealing for the transfer fee he demands.

  178. @Jonny
    Well, but this is the same Wenger who, for whatever reason, decided to stick Bendtner out on the right, when we changed our strategy to crossing as many balls into the box as possible. Not sure if he would’ve found a way to balance things 😉 Though, when Cesc is out, playing RVP right behind Bent, that could’ve been quite a deadly combination.

    As for Robin, I am not sure if you are exaggerating on purpose but there have been only two season where he played less than half of the games. I know, sounds unimaginable, but it’s true. Though you are right that Robin will usually miss at least 10 games a season (the most he managed was 28/38 league games in 2008/2009) but for those games Robin missed this season Chamakh was a rather good stand in.

  179. I think in hindsight, another striker would have been soethin we could do with, but that only became obvious by about late Feb or march! In fact, Lee Dixon as saying lstwek tha Wenger should have signed dren bent! I dont recall Dixon mentioning that in january. Its fucking piss eay being a pundit; acting knowledgeableAFTER the event.

    I think some younger players hve let the team and manager down and/or they just simply havent dfeveloped and improved as we all thought and hoped they would. Bendtner has certainly not been effective as he was last season. Shame

  180. LimparAssist

    “I’m sure Wenger would’ve signed Bent had he been cheaper and possessed better footballing qualities.”

  181. Sorry about the rubbish typing.

  182. Gainsbourg69

    Jonny, I think you’re being incredibly hard on Bendtner considering his age and the circumstances he had to face this year. For many Bendtner was the reason we played Champions league this season. He was the one knocking in the crucial goals at crucial times and secured third place for us in 09/10. How many times have you heard of Bent doing the same for his team?

  183. I am really starting to believe their is a conspiracy to get barca into the CL final. I hate Real and Mourinho even more, but that disallowd goal was unbelievable

  184. What younger players didnt get it done to you Dexter?

  185. Gainsbourg69

    Thank you, LA.

  186. Gainsbourg69

    That foul that was called on Di Maria when Puyol flapped as he was breaking away was criminal.

  187. Gainsbourg69

    Why are we discussing Bent when Hugo Rodallega would be a bargain purchase that would bring drive and quality to this team?

  188. Jonny, you are also missing the point that I don’t think we could afford the risk at the time. Chamakh and the team were doing okay. Bendtner and RVP were injured but expected back at any time. You are basing your view on hindsight and also not factoring in Bendtner’s injury problems, despite which he came back towards the end of last season and scored some key goals for us but it’s easy to focus on his short-comings.

    At the same time, I don’t really disagree with you that we need better finishers, but the Darren Bent transfer seemed to come out of the blue so clearly he was not available on the open market, but Villa made such an outrageous offer that Sunderland practically snapped their hands off. However, despite his goals, where are Villa in the league compared to Arsenal?

  189. So Bent aside, would we all be happy going into next season with the existing strikers or do we think that is time for Bendy to be sold and to bring in something that has something other than potential?

    God knows what’ll happen with Vela, I don’t think anyone can hand on heart say if he will be a great player or has flattered to deceive but with youth talent therein lies the rub.

    Anyone see Bentley can’t get into the starting 11 for Birmingham? At one point Wenger had hopes he might be the next DB10. Waster.

  190. G69:

    I suspect this summer will see Alex-oxlade Chamberlain (?sp) and Jenkins come in to our youth set up and may be Hazard to compete for the first team if we are lucky and no one else makes a run at him. If all the things you say are true we should have won at least of couple of trophies this year without breaking a sweat. Hopefully everything will work out the way you see it next year.

  191. Paul N

    You don’t have an idea who might not have come on as hoped/expected this season? Jonny’s mentioned 2 of them!

  192. Honestly, I hate to admit it, but Mourinho must be right. Mascherano does his best impression of a swan dive and Madrid get a correct goal ticked off. I truly hope that what happened in our game against them and what happened in those two games will soil their legacy.

  193. At this point, although I’m glad to see a Mourinho side lose, I’d get a lot of satisfaction seeing Biscuits leaving on a stretcher.

  194. @OoU
    Not just Biscuits. Alves as well, please.

  195. Game on, perhaps.

  196. Alves is the epitome of their cheating hideousness

  197. For some reason the team stopped being as deadly as we were at seasons beginning. When RVP came back the goals all but dried up from the midfield.

    This is a list of our goal leaders (PL). Though Chamakh hasnt really played recently he still find himself 4th, not to mention the penalties he won.

    Robin Van Persie 15
    Samir Nasri 10
    Theo Walcott 8
    Marouane Chamakh 7
    Andrei Arshavin 6
    Alex Song 4

    I think it would be fair to say we should be getting more from the likes of Arshavin,Nasri, Walcott and Cesc, no?

  198. Passenal agreed, but I have reiterated a couple of times that I was merely illustrating that the strikers we have could be better – contrary to G69’s assertions.

    Villa’s position is not relevant – look where they were when they signed him.

    I repeat since 2005 Bent is the best striker in the prem league bar Rooney and Drogba. It’s hard to ignore that considering the teams he has played for.

    As for Bendy maybe I am harsh, but I have never seen him have a truly outstanding game. Good games intermittently, yes. However, I have seen him have shockers left, right and centre. He has not improved his shocking first touch since he first arrived – that’s not down to injuries, at this level that’s just embarrassing.

    G69 why are you discussing Rodallega if you think you couldn’t ask for more than our striker force?! ;0)

  199. Dexter, you are referring to NB and Vela?

    I had no clue who you were talking about to be honest.

  200. @Paul N
    That was the big problem. Song emerged as a goalscorer, but Cesc stopped scoring, as did Denilson, Diaby etc. We also lacked Ramsey who has goal in him and Wilshere is just not that far in his development that he can be relied upon to score goals on a somewhat regular basis.

  201. I think I’ve discussed a similar point the other day with someone. The fact that Cesc hasnt been in as good goal scoring form as he could be. Theo? I would say he as done really well considering his injuries this season, same goes for Nasri. Arshavin has had a patchy year, altough he has better stats than the media darling Bale!

    But I can’t help noticing that wasn’t the original point I was making. There has not been the hoped for (and needed, so that the senior players were not over used) step up made by the likes of Bendtner.

  202. Paul N
    Ha, sorry mate! Didn’t realise! I am not blaming our short comings on the fact NB or Vela werent tearing up the league for us, by the way.

  203. Howdy guys. Bent is indeed a good shout but i dont see him moving. Rodallega is 2nd rate IMO.

    We have enough ‘potential’ and ‘from the bench’ strikers at the club.

    What we need is a Benzema to lead the line. A first choice striker that could even keep a fit RVP on the bench. (face it we all know RVP will miss a large chunk through injury again anyways)

    So rather than a player who can come in for RVP how about getting a player equal to RVP in class but offering different qualities to the team.

    Sa far as defenders goes id like to see this happen –

    Djou + Koz (2nd choice)
    New CB + TV (1st choice)

    Id keep Squill too just in case.

    Id like a central midfielder who can hold us together defensively when under the cosh.

    Id give Vertoghen a shot, he might even oust clichy if he gets the chance – clichy has had no real competition in quite a while now

  204. With ya on all of that Deise, though it might be more changes than can be expected.

  205. Deise
    Didn’t you post earlier today that Jagielka was a done deal mate?

  206. I think Vermelen and Djourou could be a world class pairing, so not sure about signing a player to come in infront of Johan?

  207. Mascherano you cheating fucking c*nt!

  208. I did say ‘apparently’ Dex. And it has come to light that the ‘source’ was a falsified twitter account of said football journo – so it looks a non starter.

    If i had to choose just 1 (if there are too many chances in what i said above) i would take the versatility that is Vertoghen – centrehalf, defensive midfielder & left back. Plus he hit a mean shot / free kick.

  209. Shame, coz I really rate Jagielka. Although the versatility of Vertoghen would ellappeal to AW for sure.

  210. Kitchen Sink

    bent does have a great european record and has always shone for england.. well worth the 24 mill IMO

  211. Dexter what does trouble me is the fact that Wenger didnt seem to trust the 2nd team as much.

    Mascherano rolled around as if he was dying, all along looking in the refs direction.

    Who is this commentator on Sky that said that if barcelona didnt go to the final you would feel as if something was lacking?! what a really stupid comment. Why on earth would anyone worry about that? fact is it cannot be said that they fully earned their way to the final.

  212. Djourou has been one of the best defenders all season in the whole PL so why would we get someone to play in front of him?

    Is it solely for set pieces? because from open play we have the best defense. I am trying to figure this one out.

  213. Yogi, in the words of Normski…. Respect To The Max.

    Top article mate. I like how some of us can see it in ourselves to show some amount of respect for George, after all he did win things for us although boring to watch but, I didn’t know any better at time anyway. I also believe that it wasn’t just about the bungy wungy why the axe fell on him.

    Of course he will have a little bitterness about it because the guy loved his employers no matter what he did after that.

  214. Can Redknapp big up Barcelona anymore? saying that Messi’s goal was goal of the season and this goal today was best goal from open play.

  215. Barca have surpassed every other achievement bar none..THEY MADE RONALDO LOOK HONEST!!!

  216. Thank you for this thoughtful post, YW. I woudl say with regards to the CB issue, the top three choices are all good options when fit regardless of Graham’s assessment. The problem is Squillaci. He has been a weak link, with him the in team Arsenal have fared poorly. the 4th CB needs to be able to play well, even if he gets irregular opportunities. I actually think the 4th CB slot is a position where someone “experienced” would make sense to purchase. Someone who isn’t going to bitch about being 4th choice, but will step in & kick ass when called upon. Cambell did surprisingly well in this role when he came back to the team; while I would not advise reacquiring him, this is the type of person who I think must fill this role, but the crucial qualification is being better than the current incumbent in that position.

  217. to follow myself up, I would add that the ideal scenario would have involved keeping Toure in the first place and offloading Gallas instead when they had their conflict. With him in the lineup I feel like Arsenal would have been in better shape throughout the intervening years.

  218. Paul N

    I am so chuffe3d for Djourou. He has come back after that devastating injury and shone. He is a colossal talent and will only get better.

  219. Paul N,

    I guess I would put it this way, for me:

    I’d prefer an upgrade for Squillaci. I know he is only considered a 4th choice, but he has shown to be a bad pairing with Koz and if injuries/rest cause him getting much p.t., I’d prefer someone else.
    I don’t want to rely on a young player. Bartley and Miquel may one day be high quality, but at this stage, I’d rather they just play Carling Cup or get loaned again.
    So, if we are to get someone, I’d like someone that could very well compete with any of our other 3 for a first 11 spot. That doesn’t mean it has to be a 20mil Cahill who would be penned in before playing a match. But it also doesn’t have to be someone who we are specifically making sure won’t be competition… they should be up to bringing in a Sahko type or even another unearthed player no one had on their radar like Verm and Koz.

  220. Josef

    If anything, I would suggest that Squillaci was forced to play alot more than he or Wenger thought he would have to. He started really well, had a dip and has shown some good form of late. Not sure this brilliant 4th choice CB who doesnt mind being benched for the majority of the season, but can come in and be top class, actually exists.

  221. Josef,
    It may not be right to judge a season on the last match played but I know I was not the only one who winced when Djourou was substituted against manure, Skilly came on, and then I promptly forgot he was on because he fit in so seamlessly with Koscielny. Maybe from your perspective Arsenal got “lucky” and Skilly played a blinder. Who knows. I do know that he has played over 300 professional matches in his career if Wikipedia is to be trusted so I would say he fits your definition of experienced to a T. Would you mind providing some evidence that the team fares poorly when Squillaci plays?

  222. I think Squillaci has been really unfairly treated. He has had to play alot due to the unbelievably long term injury problems of vermealen. That won’t be the case next season and I doubt Squillaci will play more than a handful of games next season. I think he and Koscielny have had some poor shoings,but pinning all the blame on him is a bit harsh too.

    I would loan out bartley, with a quick release option. I have high hopes for Kyle and if he goes back to Rangers, or ideally a premier league team, I expect him to do really well.

  223. Busch

    I think that vertoghen dude Deise mentioned is the player you’re after!

  224. yeah.. Vertonghen could cover a few a few things in one shot (across the back line, and DM) so he should still get a good amount of P.T. to be happy/prove himself.

    and it might free up a bit of cash/worry of too much turnover to look at another winger and striker. Depending on departures, of course.

  225. Gainsbourg69

    jonny: “G69 why are you discussing Rodallega if you think you couldn’t ask for more than our striker force?”

    Because if we’re talking about the possibility of bringing in a striker we might as well talk about a quality player instead of Darren Bent.

  226. Gainsbourg69

    Deise, Rodallega may look second rate because he plays in a second rate team. I’ve seen him go toe to toe with the best the league has to offer and he always looks dangerous.

  227. Gainsbourg69

    I despise Barcelona but it is wonderful to watch Ronaldo get frustrated by another team’s diving. It’s also beautiful to watch the arrogant pricks who started the splash the cash movement get stuffed.

  228. The vile, classless bankrupt cheating arrogant scum beat the vile arrogant classless souless cheating scum tonight!

  229. Bradys right foot

    At the home game v Stoke Squillachi was excellant, with more football I’m sure he’d look a great 4th choice CB.

    To be honest I would be surprised if we sign a CB. Pundits grace us with their soundbites but we really have no avenue to explore the issues they raise in detail with them. Arsenals defensive “shortcomings” are in the most part a myth, however improvement is part of the game and lessons will be learnt from this season.

    Wengers defensive dilema is that the Kozzer and JD partnership since the turn of the year has been outstanding, the CC final and the game against Bolton are notable for individual mistakes but are not representative of the vast majority of performances. However the fact remains that we have conceded more goals from set pieces than open play. From open play our defence is the best in the league. Their is room for improvement at set pieces but the fundamentals for such an improvement can be coached, players can improve especially those in their early twenties. If a diffrent type of defender is brought in with our formation and high line rest asurred we could concede less from set pieces but concede more from open play.

    Our tactics will not change fundamentally next year so with that in mind who can we bring in to improve on what we have. They’ll have to be quick, as quick as JD Kozzer and TV, good on the ball, be excellant in one on one situations and have the aerial ability of a Sammy Hypia, name that centre half. I can only think of one Pique and lets be honest we aint getting him. While Cahill and Jagielka are decent certainly Jagielka, he is no inprovement on JD Kozzer or TV.

    Defences concede goals and make mistakes given that JD and Kozzer have basically made their debut seasons together I think they’ve been absolutely immense. What would I do, look for improvement from within imo JD and Kozzer will continue to get better.

    If I was making a signing it would be upfront ultimately the year we outscore Utd is the year we win the league and I’d sign Forlan. He’d fit our play, very intelligent player, very experienced and he’s availible and he’d score. I know hes 31 and as a Manc was a figure of fun but I think hed be great for us.

  230. Gooner-in-Provence

    A great debate, but whatever we think, Wenger will make the decisions because he is not going. He will sell a few: Cesc, Almunia, Denilson, Rosicky, Eboué, Arshavin, Diaby, Bendtner and possibly Fabianski and Clichy. He won’t buy many, probably Scott Parker if West Ham are relegated but I hope he doesn’t buy Cahill. A goalkeeper perhaps to back up Chezzers and Manonne. Next season the back four will be:
    –Sagna– Verm/Kos/Djourou– Gibbs/Traore
    a class back four,
    midfield will be:
    Strikers /wingers will be:
    Walcott– RVP– Chamakh/Afobe/Sanchez/Miyaichi

    Wenger may buy another striker but only if the price is right…. but for me the first team choice would be:
    —————— Chezzers————–
    Sagna—– Verm———- Djourou———- Gibbs
    —-Nasri—–Wilshere— Parker—- Ramsey——
    ————— —————— Walcott—————–
    ——————— RVP——————————

    Subs: Manonne, Traore, Kos, JET, Song, Sanchez/Afobe, Chamakh

    Plus Lansbury, Eastmond, Vela

  231. God are we doing the Football Manager thing again? Ok so let’s see in my Football Manager game I bought Elia ($17 million) and Gervinho ($16 million), and later added Marek Hamsik ($32 million) in the January transfer window.

    Result? Won the Quadruple, ended up unbeaten with more than 100 points. Damn Wenger needs a good dose of Football Manager 2011 to wake up his fucking idea!

    Come on guys, get real.

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