A Season In Review: All or nothing…

You know what I think so here is Club Captain Consolsbob with his end of term report…

A season that promised so much ended in disappointment. A team that looked to have overcome their doubters crumbled at the critical time. Arsène stands accused of having lost the ability to inspire and shape his charges into winners.

Where does that leave us? Have we, the fans, been wrong to believe in and proselytise for an approach to building a team and playing football based on sustainability and style? Is the future not Red and White but Red, Blue and Light Blue? Have the pundits and media gurus been correct in writing us off? No leaders, no winners, no hope. Spend.

The response of many to our failures has been in line with the media attitude. It has been pure vitriol in places. The rage, anger and spittle-flecked outpourings have been sad to witness. A condemnation not just of some of our supporters but of a society spoilt by ridiculous expectation and greed. The same fans who accuse the team of lacking guts show all the decadence that brought an effete Rome to its knees in the face of some gritty barbarians.

For these people Wenger must go and the side needs rebuilding.

For others, it’s a matter of faith in Arsène and his ‘project’. Building a team that will dominate the Premiership without the spending of large sums on ‘star players’. A few more tweaks will see us right for the next campaign. In a monumental clash of fiscal and footballing philosophies, it’s the war that must be won, not a few battles. The naysayers comprising the ‘big spending’ clubs, a supine and opportunistic media joined by a vociferous fifth column wearing Arsenal colours must be defeated.

This would seem to be the essential debate that defines the club at this time. A debate that both weakens and exposes it to the machinations of the media and splits its support.

This is wrong. There has been such a conflict, it is behind us. Arsène won it. To continue such a ‘cold war’ is unfair, unreasonable and destructive.

Consider. He has maintained a competitive side at home and in Europe on very little money while the move to the Emirates was made and the consequent debt paid down. He has produced sides that largely play beautiful football that, at its best, can sweep all before it.

For me, these were the requirements and achievements that showed Arsène to be a great manager. That showed that you don’t need to spend hundreds of millions to compete at the top. That you don’t need to play kick and rush or ‘in your face’ football if you don’t have much money. Done, dusted, over.

The outstanding issue is how this team fared and what happens next. Since the move from Highbury, we have not won a trophy. This team has come up short but this was not a sign of anything except that they were not good enough this year. It’s just another season, perspective is required that takes into consideration the whole of Arsène’s reign and its circumstances, not just the last few years. Priorities change.

The team have failed to do their talent and ability justice. In that, their critics and the media have good grounds for their views. They have failed, not through a lack of ability but a lack of determination and drive. A serial failure to respond when the going got tough. Interestingly, the standard of football dropped at the same time. The end of the season saw little champagne football, still less a side able to grind out the results that would have delivered the Title.

Arsène must take a large degree of responsibility for this. They are very much his team. He has defended and cosseted them. The tactics are his. The team selection is his. I can’t remember an Arsenal side in recent years that so clearly had a ‘First Eleven’; the squad was little used except in cases of necessity. Did tiredness play a part in their failure? Possibly. Does that suggest that Arsène didn’t trust his squad players? Probably. Does that mean that this squad was not as strong and deep as we have been saying? Almost certainly. Should he have strengthened further? I think so.

None of this makes the development of a Title-winning team any less likely than a year ago. Nor does it mean that Arsène is past his peak. In the long term, it’s business as usual.

All or nothing? All change or the maintenance of a low spend, ‘youth’ culture until final victory? Neither, not for me and probably not for Arsène and Arsenal Football club either.

The reality is that the manager has always added players in the close season when required and when available. He will do so again. The evolution of this team will continue. No revolution in the marble halls.

We are entering a new phase for the club. A new owner and a different financial situation. If Arsène spends more than usual this year, is that a sign of his recognition that his strategy to date has failed, a reflection of the changed financial situation or the need to address particular squad fallibilities?

Pragmatism will guide the strengthening of the team, as it has every year. The availability of the right players and the right money will determine how many join and how many leave. T’was ever thus.

In particular it seems likely that Arsène will act on the perceived weaknesses of this team and that will be reflected in the summer’s activity. Some current players will not be a part of a Title winning Arsenal side, their time has gone, most though, will form the backbone of the team for years to come.

This is not failure. No supporter should expect his team to win a major honour nor that every team built will be successful. This is football.

Arsène will not be our manager for ever. He has delivered more success than any previous Arsenal manager and has moved the club into a position where, for the first time, we are a major European club. I want his remaining years to be spent winning trophies. I want him to retire garlanded in laurels. I want it Red and White.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 225 Comments.

  1. First! Which, without Usmanov, or other similar owners, Arsenal will never again be. Of course UEFA can be trusted…

  2. Excellent consolsbob. That is what I expect too. Evolution not revolution.

  3. Bendtnersdad

    I know a lot of gooners and the vast majority don’t want Arsene out and vast sums of cash spent. Most of us just want our current manager to address the problem areas we’ve all been watching fail since he broke up the best team we ever had. What we don’t want to see is him wasting money on two crap players when he could have bought one quality player. Kos and Squid? I’d rather have had one Gary Cahill than this pair. Just do what needs to be done Arsene and ship out the mugs we all know aren’t good enough!

  4. well said Cbob!

    More players than expected will remain at the club! Hope fans are able to support them cos truth the told, the failure this season was more from underachieving and not playing to full strength than lack of ability! The team can certainly do better than it did!

  5. Nice one CBob. There are no excuses, naturally, but as far as excuses go Cesc starting 22 games and Robin 18, out of 53 total, and Vermaelen 4 or whatever, is worth mentioning. I read this in the paper and wondered if it was correct. I’m not convinced Wenger got ‘something wrong’, except maybe his astonishing belief in his team, which is not a bad thing. Sherlock Holmes like, I see answers in simple things (eliminate all other possibilities and you are left with the truth, no matter how strange). In this case, the team may have tried too hard, too desperately and our football becomes brittle in that process. We should have walked this title. The coincidence of the slide starting with the CL and CC losses is too much coincidence to laugh off. Its morale-sapping magnitude amplified with younger players, who take themselves a little too seriously. After shocking, but not fatal setbacks from referee decisions (and no, not every team suffers the same) and loss of self-esteem from being tossed aside of cups, we started losing and drawing and missing and misjudging and second-guessing ourselves as the americans put it. There is no coincidence in all this. We lost the mental battles; it’s not hard to see why and how. Fans saw this variously as laziness or arrogance, but it was not so. But we did not lose the war, not yet anyway, which we shall win. Just wait and see. The one-horned goat says so. He says count yer blessings ye philistines and remember to celebrate St. Totteringham’s Day. He says in years to come this will all be understood as the foundation for all that comes, and the many, many joys of the best and nicest club in EPL. And by the way, Arsenal Ladies did it again. Congrats and good blessings.

  6. The best team we ever had grew to become so… this one will do same. Whether we believe it or not, the departure of flamini and more importantly hleb; injury to eduardo as well as Rosicky being out for most of that 2007/2008 into 2008/2009 season derailed the squad quite a bit.

    This season, Djourou, Kos, Charmakh and Suillachi were in their first full season. Djourou coming back from a long time injury was the only one among them with PL experience; there was a time when our four keepers were actually out injured. Other shorter term injuries at the wrongest possible time to RVP, Cesc, Theo, Song and Nasri, played their role; The referees contribution both for our opponents and against us go unmentioned; and yet in the midst of these, it is clear the team still had the ability to do better than they eventually did..

    Have no fear, this team will come good; maybe one or two purchases will be made; there are a number of young players waiting to step up; but be sure, that this team will do better next season without changing the first 11!

  7. Zim Paul more eloquently put, but generally, my sentiments.

  8. Red and White!

  9. Loose Cannon

    Im one of the few who thinks this team lacked more quality than say attitude and determination. The thing is when the team loses, all sorts of reasons for the defeat will be thrown about.

    This side lacks 3 or 4 top quality footballers. Without them we will not win a major trophy.

  10. Thank you Loose Cannon for a ship of sense in a sea of delusion.

  11. The feeling in my neck of the woods is that at long last lessons have been learnt. There will be much transfer to-ing and fro-ing during the Summer Window. Much needed coaching on dealing with setpieces (for and against), massed defences and a Plan B will take place. Can’t wait until August!

  12. 1 loose cannon

    anoother loose cannon? Am the the 1 🙂
    well, all of a sudden under 21 tournament is so important that Wilshere not taking part has become a hot topic and slagging Wenger possibly is the excuse behind this. Since when U21 was priority? Wilshere is already in the Senior squad.

    Bob -we’ve been making the point that the financial situation is behind our lack of trophies for so long. finishing top 4 and paying the stadium is great achievement but the the idiots who behave like spoilt kid who want the best toy in the shop knowing his dad is skint. We all want to win things but sometimes you just have to be realistic and accept that we simply can’t compete financially.

  13. I am afraid I have to agree with Loose cannon, Attitude and determination can only get you so far in the cold light of day the back four can and do cope adaquatly against footballing teams,but against the long ball,mass corner/throw in sides have been provan somewhat inadaqute,In the Premiership these sides are a reality and the defence has to improve against them.
    Our forwards have simply not been good enough throughout the season, AA23 has not reproduced his best,and Theo is actually still a work in progress,(I am a believer) he can be quite easy to defend and suspect when we dont have tha ball, RvP has missed half of the season, ?? again….
    MC started brightly (as players new to the leaague can), but pretty soon the coaches and defenders suss them out and his productivity dropped. Personnaly I would not be surprized if he had some sort of illness mid season as he has not looked strong since returning, He needs to find that early form once again.
    The midfield helped by the emergence of Jack has been immense and can seriously be classified as the best unit in the league, so as AW says we are not a million miles away but it is slightly better quality from new players or the current crop progressing what is required not a change in attitude or determination.

  14. Just to let you know that Consols has done a Cesc, leading the team in absentia. He might pop in later, if he can, but he travels light.

    YW

  15. Lol YW, what a lack of respect to the ACLF team eh? 😉

    Thanks consols, great write up. Team Spirit and Zim have said all that I was going to say.

    It may not look like ‘progression’ this year, but the factors that lead to the end of season petering out like it has, says a lot. Looking forward to seeing what will happen this summer, and how the lads come out of the traps in August.. Interesting times indeed.

    Up the Arse!

  16. Jabba's delights

    Zim Paul

    I’ve never heard so many excuses in one paragrath before in my life.

    Everyone suffers misfortune during a season the difference is we wallow in it, in part becuase our manager allows the players to. We also suffered great fortune at times during the year which is always conveniently glossed over by some on here.

    Injuries — every club gets them thats the nature of sport. Its our managers fault that there is no depth in the squad.

    ”I’m not convinced Wenger got ‘something wrong’, except maybe his astonishing belief in his team, which is not a bad thing.”

    The problem is Zim it is a bad thing when it doesnt allow you to look objectively at something. It was Wenger who belived in Almunia at the start of the year, and it wenger who believed in many in this squad growing over the last 3 years and it hasnt. Ferguson makes just as many mistakes as wenger but the differeecne being he realises them and changes accordingly.

    ”The team tried to hard”

    No Zim no they didnt. Sunderland, WBA, Blackburn, Liverpool and Villa home games i was gobsmacked at how little running the players did in the first and in some cases second halves. It stank of arrogance.

    We have been struggling wih menatl battles for 3 years, when are they going to learn????

    I want Arsene to take us forward my issue is that the weakneses highlighted need a little more than tinkering to sort out. Have i mentioned that our captain and best winger might be off this summer

  17. Burnout was a concern for me as early as Christmas. Healthy rotation is something we managed better in past seasons, but this year as you say we only seemed to change the starting 11 out of necessity.

    This is why next year I hope we use the domestic cups again for rotation. Not wholescale changes, but healthy rotation certainly.

    Also I agree with Colney @ 9:59 pm on yesterday’s post. Massive mistake if we lose Bendtner. The guy is Arsenal schooled and an emerging talent. Why can’t he be offered a few months loan to Germany so he can see he isn’t missing anything and maybe also get some vital experience of a different league.

  18. Jabba – when a season is going so well (as it was up until the CC final), why would Wenger make massive changes? What could he have done differently after that final to make the season pan out differently? Shouting and screaming at the players? Changing training regimes?

    Fair enough, there are some areas to work on like defending and attacking set pieces, and there are some squad players that will undoubtedly move on, with some strengthening in the market this year… But to have the whole set of our best players in each area of the team, to be out for so much of the season, will have a massive effect on any of the teams that finished above us. Imagine if Terry, Lampard, and Drogba/Torres had been out for most of the season, same goes for Vidic, Rooney etc, Tevez, Silva, Kompany…. They would have been struggling too, no doubt – the difference being, that they can afford to spend £30mil on substitute players…

    I think what Zim was saying about trying too hard, was mentally, rather than physically. They put so much pressure on themselves (exacerbated by the groaning and booing Arsenal ‘support’), and that ultimately led to shakey performances when it mattered most.

    And i believe Cesc and Nasri will both be here next year.

  19. Oh shut up Jabba’s delights.

    Malaysiagooner will be happy – Arsenal are playing in Malaysia in July.

  20. A very good piece. I think the days of one team dominating the premiership are over and man utds win was the last sting of a dying wasp. A top four finish adjoined with a title vevery now and again will be the norm we should be wishing for. If cesc wants trophies every year then Barcelona, Celtic or Rangers are the clubs for him, the English league is now a war of attrition and to win it in the future will be a huge acheivement not a supporters divine right.

  21. Impressive and balanced Consol – as to the future the greater question seems to me will Arsenal return to the quite good, top six, useful in Cup competitions that they have been for the great majority of the 47 years it has been my privilege and pain to follow them – or will we manage to retain the elite Euro club status that Monsieur Wenger has lifted us to these past 13 years (and play the best football ever for an Arsenal team?

    And to be honest am I bothered ? A few years in the doldrums is the experience of 95% of football supporters , was my experience of AFC for decades, and it might sift out a few “fans” who feel they are entitled to trophies.

  22. Jabba's delights

    Geo

    Thats the whole issue though. In feb there is still a 3rd of the season still to play for and its the most important 3rd of the season. We have collapsed in this section of the year 3 years running for the same reasons.

    Eduardo injury led to an almighty collapse 3 years ago, if our players learn and grow like we are told shouldnt they have learnt to not allow the season to decend into what it has.

    We eneded with 68 points which is his 2nd lowest total of his reign. The players quite simply collapesed and our manager must realise that there are serious issues mentally in the squad now.

    Everyone said Utd were a 1 man team last year and that if rooney was poor they would be awful. Well rooney was woeful until march but players stepped up.

    Utd lose ferdiand and then another steps up. Vermalan who played nearlly every game last year in a poor defence cant be the only reason for our tragic defending.

    For 3 years our defending has been awful both from set peices and in open play. Remember that the opposition only has the ball for 35% of a game against us.

    Its the same issues year on year and for after this years poor overal perfromance im afraid its not just about tinkering here and there. Our squad is thin, we cant defend ,our attack is one dimensional and they are incredibly weak mentally.

    They arent small tweaks that is for us some serious work to be done. Thats not all about singing players although i think we need 3-4 players who can contend for a starting place its also about the squad showing a different approach. Im tired of hearing good vibes out of the squad when the product on the pitch shows that there are real issues.

    Muppet

    Once again this is a debate im not being rude im presenting real greivances witht he team i support and pay alot of money to watch. I want them to improve which they havent. I lvoe aresnel just as much as you and yearn for wenger to sort it out as i have so much respect for what he has done but not what he is doing

  23. Jabba – gotta crack on with some work, but will be back later… cheers.

  24. Good post CBob,

    Arsene has indeed proved without a doubt that he is one the best managers out there. To be able to keep us competitive all these years at such low cost is nothing short of remarkable.

    I still believe in his overall strategy or vision that it is possible to build a ‘ball playing winning team without breaking transfer records. But his implementation of the vision is the problem, imo. This shouldn’t mean the whole policy should be abandoned in favour of the high spending approach.

    We should be able to play grandiose attacking football and still defend with focus and aggression. We should be more flexible in our tactics. We should be disciplined in possession and even more disciplined in pressing when we don’t have the ball.
    We should do all these things consistently throughout a season, not just in a run of 10-12 games. And very importantly, players who consistently don’t or can’t perform to these standards should KNOW that they will be replaced.

    Implementing such changes won’t cost zillions, or require an overhaul of the squad, or a change in our philosophy. But it certainly requires a change of attitude in team management.

  25. The fans would be a lot more forgiving if we were not being ripped off by the highest ticket prices in the world, who are being asked to pay 6.5% more next season.When we dont spend money on the players we desperately need.Any Gooner could have told Wenger we needed a CB in january.This season wasnt a one-off but a repeat of 08 and last season

  26. I was going to discuss the lack of goals from midfield this season, but looking down the list of players on the Arsenal website I can see that we were scoring fairly freely from midfield: SN 15 goals, TW 13, CF 9, AA 10. And our forwards haven’t done that badly either RVP 22 goals, NB 9, MC 11. Maybe a few more goals from Cesc and Chamakh would have been nice, but overall not too bad. What did happen is that they all stopped scoring at the same time, except RVP. Suddenly the rest of the team appeared to lose their shooting boots, shots were wayward or players didn’t even want to get a shot off, choosing to pass yet again instead. Whilst we may have been leaking a few more goals than we would have liked, it was the fact that we were toothless upfront that maybe led to our downfall. The opposing teams just had to try to shut RVP out of the game to do us damage. It was not always possible because of his class, but if they could keep RVP quiet for long enough that would usually do the trick.
    I’m not sure I know why that was, maybe it was confidence, maybe it was fatigue, but we are at our best when we can score from almost any position and in the run-in those goals largely disappeared.

  27. Not to say we shouldn’t sign anyone. I believe Arsene will (as he has always done) make some improvements to the squad. I hope those he signs will be the experienced type. Those who can add steel and guile to our play. I think this will be significant for us to move forward.
    When things aren’t going our way in a high pressure game at some point next seasons (this is guaranteed to happen a few times), it would be great to have players who don’t have baggage of these last few seasons to contend with. Players able to get the others to snap out of whatever the funk that inevitably follows incidents like an unfair sending off, a slip at the most inauspicious moment, fluke goal conceeded, etc.

  28. george rodger

    “There has been such a conflict, it is behind us. Arsène won it.”

    Without doubt the finest sentence I have ever read.

  29. Jabba's delights

    Wavey

    So true it was the collective failure all at once which hurt our chances.

    The fact is if we are goign to be this all out attack team that bombs its wing backs forward at every opportunity, we must score more goals. 70 for the season isnt good enough when your team is conceding 43. Even if that number was closer to 30 we still need to score more as we are always going to be slightly open at the back.

    I think Clichy leaving could be great for both parties. I love him as he works so hard but he has stagnated and his output defensivly can be inconsistant and that coupled with his his woeful execution when in great positions attackingly means we need a change.

    If you look at the output of Barca wingbacks then our own it a major problem.

    Its they who lose possession at crucial times and its they who are meant to give us our width and its odesnt happen nearly enough

  30. george rodger

    How much would that Newcastle chappie at full back cost?

  31. personally i think the problem of the team is mentally. i love wenger and i think he is the best but he needs to work on motivation. to me, thats they key. i can count so many matches that the motivation was not there, then they go in for half time and i expect wenger to motivate them properly but still same mentality. its not bout buying players, i think its mainly a motivation problem.

    Wenger needs to motivate more, pat rice also needs to, cesc should, RVP should, TV should.
    i mean we are not so young anymore, let these men play with their hearts, we were more than good enough to win the league

  32. Henristic, you’ve cracked it old bean!

    So we get: grandiose attacking football, focused aggressive defending, felxible tactics, disciplined possession, disciplined pressing when we don’t have the ball, and above all else we get that elusive but beautiful butterfly – consistency.

    And all this for… drumroll…. “a change of attitude in team management”!

  33. Jabba's delights

    Jeff

    I agree the keyn problem being mental in the squad. They have tremendous ability but not show it consistantly enough to be challengers.

    Wenger must address this. The probelm being that i think by addressing this we can get ourselves to the early 80s points wise, our main rivals will improve this summer.

    We need signings in 2 key areas to push on from there. We need to adress set peices at the back. We lack a certain sort of player here who has Djouou height but Vermalan agression. We desperately need a forward of the level of RVP. You need at least 2 Utd have 3 and our one is injry prone. That added to 1 or 2 squad additions to replace the squad players leaving and i think we are in a great position.

    I believe wenger can 100% sort out the depth and player issues , but im terrified he is part of the problem on the mental side…. i hope not

  34. Hold on…. what about the team management that reveresed a lead against Barcelona, beat Chelsea, City and Utd in the head to heads, got us playing some of the best football in the world for six months and had us one point off the top of the league two months ago? Should we do away with the attitude that got us there – and replace it with this new one you’re on about? Or is there an extra special bolt-on bit of attitude that makes winners out of everyone at the final hurdle that we’re missing? If so – what is it… or more importantly – get on the blower to Arsene! What have you been waiting for?

  35. Or is it ‘shout like Slur Alex’, crack the whip, confiscate PS3s, dock wages, brood and smoulder like Mourinho….

  36. LimparAssist | May 24, 2011 at 11:29 am |

    Ah, I knew you’d agree. Bless….

  37. Sorry if that sounds like I’m taking the piss.

  38. Hey Limpar,

    Just got off the phone with Arsene, and he loved my idea. Absolutely loved it. I could tell it was an eye opening experience for him.
    Don’t know why I never thought of telling him before. Thanks so much for the tip.

    I also let him know it was your idea to tell him my er… idea. Heh, it was the least I could do 🙂

  39. Jabba's delights

    LimparAssist

    Yes good management, but the fact is the mangemtnt got us 68 points in total which is atleast 10 short of what we should be expecting 3-5 years into a project.

    Its useless beating your direct opposition if you go get thumped by weak opposituion the next week.

    Our defensive and mental issues are there for all to see whether you like it or not. They have failed to adress them for 3 years as if they had we would have won the league this year, that is a direct failure on our management team, they must sort that this sumemr.

    We are good in patches but time for excuses are over. We are 6 years into a project now with supposedly a manager who is still top of his games. We must see improvement now

  40. or what?

  41. We are 125 years into the “project”, not 6 – I love the new bit of jargon – the “project”

  42. Jabba's delights

    Frank

    We will sadly drop out of the top 4 and almost certainly your beloved Wenger will be sacked which will be a sad sad day.

    Even in a conservative club like our own continued failure to address weakneses when your paid 6million a year will result in a p45.

    anicoll

    wengers words im afraid, his project for the last 6 years , 5 of which ive defended him to almost as vermanently as our Frank but im afraid this year was to much for me not to question him anymore. He must do more and he must start learning from his own mistakes

  43. I bet you have a voice like a wasp in a yoghurt pot, Jabba’s Delights.

  44. Vehemently, vermanently, verminently…

  45. Borges Spinelli

    An honest review, Consolsbob – very much on literary par with our esteemed authors, YW & Darius’ authoring.

    Somewhere in the middle of what Loose Cannon and Philbet v ZimPaul, Team Spirit and yourself have written lies the truth.

    Sadly, one has to conclude that the squad isn’t as good as we’ve all been led to believe. In 12 weeks, 11 league games + 4 cup tournaments were played. Only 3 of those 15 games were won, whilst 6 drawn & LOST. A woeful 20% mark of success attained; in any other walk of life, that is called abject FAILURE. If one thinks this is the hallmark of Champions, one is clearly very deluded.

    Throughout the campaign, 11-14 players of the squad of 25, were adjudged to be good enough by Wenger to start most games. Which begs the question why do he keep the rest? Ruthless streaks are needed every now and then. A top side like ours, should always seek to start a season with no less than 17-18 outstanding players, constantly challenging for regular starting places. That’s how one builds for success, in my opinion.

    From what I’ve gather, most rational fans aren’t demanding for Arsène to dismantle the squad or to splash out on gazillion $60m-70m players. Instead we are pleading for him to clear out those incapable of raising their game to a desired level of consistency. There are an abundance of players out there that can improve our chances and team balance for $15m-35m. I can think of at least five.

  46. Jabba's delights

    Not quite but nearly and apologies for the spelling

    Howver the point still stands. Frank ask what will happen if we are still awful fefensively nect year, there is your answer Wenger will be sacked.

    For those of us who follow American sport one understands that Kroenke wont stand for repeated failures of his incredibly well paid manager. No mention of trophies there just him sorting out long in the tooth defensive problems that he himself says are easy to correct.

    I wonder what your guys chat will be like if wenger does get the p45 next year. One thing is for sure this is his most important summer at the club and if ”tweaking” fails its goign to be all change at London colony

  47. Great post.

    Let me ask everyone one question… Does anyone doubt our starting 11 can win the title next year?

    ……………………Szeznhy………………………
    Sagna….Koscielny….Vermaelen….Clichy
    ……..Cesc……….Song………Wilshire………
    Walcott………..Van Persie…….Arshavin/Nasri

    As much as I would like to see a few fresh players, this team had the ‘ability’ and should have won the league this year. I can’t say I would want to see the back of much of our 1st team that is listed above.

    So what does Wenger do, ditch 4-5 squad players who we may regret letting go.. Bendtner – he will be scoring for fun when made number 1 striker at another club. Denilson – a very tidy player, runs his socks off and is number 1 in every stat. Eboue – may make the odd mistake, but he is a huge influence in the changing room and can play well in most positions. Rosicky – great passer, when on his game Arsenal ticks, he plays like hes meant to be at Arsenal. Diaby – great talent and unstoppable when fit and on his game.

    There is no point making the changes if we can’t afford better. I hope we dont go backwards this summer. As much as some may believe our whole team is shite, they are not, they had the ability to win the best league in the world.

    I would rather see our same team come back, complimented with a few fresh faces, fresh options that will give us a new dimension. A new determination and hopefully some work behind the scenes to finally correct what has been holding us back for some time now.

    We all know there has been issues mentally, with experience, concentration etc etc. When you play the kind of football we play it requires great skill. Its why we pay to go watch the Arsenal. It isn’t as easy as playing the kick n rush tactics. This Arsenal team is a finely tuned attacking beast. I agree that tweaking is all it needs and behind the scene work on the training pitches.

    We were excellent when we had Hleb, Rosicky and Cesc playing. As soon as 1 was absent it never worked. We need to tweak our squad so that no matter who plays the game plan works. If not create a new game plan. Teams just refuse to play against us.

  48. Jabba's delights

    Chrisgoona

    Firstly nobody thinks we should be selling everyone, but the fact is you need a squad to be able to challenge on every front.

    Our reserves havent stepped up this year and our first team were knackered.

    Eboue – decent reserve right back but imfraid to say maybe his party boy attitude is part of the problem in the dressing room, results suggest its not productive for it.

    Denilson – will be a good player but not cut our for the prem. No shame in admitting it he doesnt have the physical attributes for it.

    Rosicky – hasnt played consistantly well since the injury. He also isnt a winger.

    Bendtner will go on to be a great striker but we cant have him and chamck as 2 of our 3 im afraid.

    Diaby- how long do yo wait for someone to toughen up. Does he play through pain ? You nor i can answer that what we do know is he constantly misses 1-2 games because of niggles

    Clichy- has he got better in 4 years?

    That team you listed needs genuine competition for places, we dont have that now. it needs 3-4 players competing for starting spots if we are to copete on every front. That added to Arsene actually training them to defend set peices and not giving them any excuse to make excuses could see us looking greta next year.

  49. Borges Spinelli

    Passenal, below is my response to your comment from last night.

    Argentina surpassed Brasil last year, as the largeest exporter of soccer talent around world. Messi, Tevez, Mascheranos, Pastore’s game speaks for itself. If reports of Ricky Alvarez joining our ranks proves to be true, we may have whiz on our hands, at a bargain. Assuming he stays injury free and doesn’t mind northern hemosphere winters and francais. Lol

  50. Jabba – I know that you will be delighted to see the back of Wenger, the back of our philosophy and our transfer dealings.

    Truth is we will struggle to come anywhere near this level of football under any other manager. Year in year out we tend to play the best football, have the best technical level and show the most class – on the pitch and off.

    What is there not to like about this philosophy, these players, our greatest manager who will continue to stand tall while 80% of our fans crumble. Wenger needs a couple leaders and players who are not afraid of failure. The frustrations of not winning had a severe affect on this team mentally. Every player cannot escape blame, they all crumbled and our smooth game play turned into a very nervous slow, sideways passing. Everything went wrong, we cannot get rid of every player and start again when we were so close.

    Get some perspective, let Wenger make the changes and get the work and thinking done behind the scenes to turn his very capable trophy winning team into a delivering team.

    We all love this club, Wenger will want to solve the issues more than anyone. How some can think he ignores certain aspects of our game is just disrespectful. Lets show a bit more class.

  51. anicoll5 | May 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    We are 125 years into the “project”, not 6 – I love the new bit of jargon – the “project”

    i know “project”, so disingenuous.

  52. Jabba

    I agree it needs additions. We cannot risk dismantling the whole squad, that is the problem. It will be a huge risk to make more than 4-5 changes. Even then, 5 players coming in and 5 players going out will have a huge affect and be very risky. No matter what team and position you finished last season. You just don’t know how some players will fair.

    What I am confident in though is Wenger’s thorough scouting to get the right players in. More often than not he finds quality players, not just a name.

    Vermaelen
    Cesc
    RvP
    Henry
    Vieira
    Pires
    Clichy
    Sagna
    Song
    Ramsey
    Chamakh
    Hleb
    Rosicky
    Anelka

    I doubt anyone can ‘slag’ off our manager in that department.

  53. Jabba’s delights,

    This is my assessment of your input to the cause:

    Spelling – Awful, just awful. Too many basic mistakes. Failure to use spell check. Failure to get double check. Capitalisation of words is wrong. Too many typos.

    Comprehension – Can understand central thrust of posts, which is hatred of manager, squad and bemoaning of lack of trophy.

    Grammar – Hideous. Incorrect use of conjunctions, incorrect use of pronouns.

    Puncutation – Terrible. Lack of full stops. Lack of apostrophes. Woeful

    Content – Repetitive. The reader is going to be bored by seeing the same points reiterated over and over again from the previous few weeks.

    Analysis – Terrible. The same clichés rolled out, over and over again in a superficial way.

    Support – Virtually non existent. No evidence of love of the team or manager

    Conclusions – Taxi for Jabba’s Delights !

  54. Borges Spinelli

    May my typos be excused. 😉

  55. Jabba's delights

    Muppet

    One cant help if they are dyslexic babe im sorry. im afraid to say once agian and this is always you and you get called out on it everyday, you fail to address anyones arguments.

    I present legitmate gripes about the club plain and simple and you have never once presented a cohesive debate against it. The one time you stopped being rude to fellow arsenal fans and engadged in debate about our finances you were destroyed and even yogi told you you were wrong.

    Debate is healthy and whilst i cant spell i am fully aware with whats wrong and right about arsenal. You are worse than the worst people on le grove. You cuss down anyone with a different oppinion and never present anything.

    I have never demanded trothies.
    I have never booed my team
    I have never called for Arsene to be sacked this summer

    I have asked that our 6m manager sorts out the weakneses that have been there for 3 years with all the resources that are available to him (lets not debate finance again please muppet your out of your depth)

    that is all i have ever asked and i will keep asking it until one of you explains why is hasnt been done for 3 years

  56. Great post Cbob, very good.

  57. LimparAssist

    Sort out the weaknesses? I will refer you to my good man Henristic’s Magical Management Attitude Upgrade. Consistency, trophies, you name it. All for a few cuffs round the ear.

    In fact, he’s already phoned it in so you can stop whinnying like a panto horse’s arse.

  58. Debating is a waste of time.

    The best managers won’t listen to opinions beyond a trusted circle. What they need more than anything is the trust of the fans, and for everyone to try to stay positive.

    It reminds me of when van Gaal lost it with the Spanish press a few years ago, “Siempre negativo, nunca positivo”, he shouted! Luckily AW hasn’t gone that far.

  59. And great post, CB!

  60. LimparAssist

    Yes, this is a great post. Much needed perspective. Thanks, Cb.

    ZimPaul knows too, as ever.

  61. It seems Barcelona will be using Arsenal’s training facilities to prepare for the Champions League Final.

  62. Delia--Block 112

    Gentlemen, I have read all your posts over the past few days with great interest. I feel quite numb and completely flat. Looking back on the season, there were too few games when I went home satisfied with our play. Apart from early on ,there was very little total football and too much edge of the seat stuff against teams we should have easily put away.
    It was not the case that sides out played us, it was in the main our failure to put away chances and our propensity to shoot ourselves in the foot with basic defensive errors. I don’t have to list the games , points dropped at home tell the story of our season. Had we played anything near our potential at home ,we would have walked the league.
    Too many individual errors of judgement lead to our downfall in too many games. Diaby’s nonsense at Newcastle ( most other players would have hit the ground , rolled around and Barton would have got a yellow card at very least). This was the beginning of our slide , the club was ridiculed in the media and the side lost confidence. Almunia’s two awful decisions in the WBA game, I could have cried. There was the Cesc back heel at the Nou Camp and even last Sunday another casual back heel, from Ramsey, lead to a Fulham goal.
    I don’t know where we go from here. Changes need to be made in personnel both on the pitch and in the coaching staff. It won’t be easy getting the quality players in we all desire, we are likely to be outbid by those with deeper pockets . Attitudes need changing by everyone at the club . Complacency has set in with AW and the players, too comfortable on their generous salaries and higher goals need to be set by those in the board room.
    I love my Arsenal and have done so since the 50s. I will of course be back at the Ems full of hope and anticipation for the new season but I am awful glad that this one is now over and I can concentrate on my second love, tennis, for the next few weeks.
    As always COYRs

  63. LimparAssist | May 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm |

    Sort out the weaknesses? I will refer you to my good man Henristic’s Magical Management Attitude Upgrade. Consistency, trophies, you name it. All for a few cuffs round the ear.

    You ungrateful bastard. I put in a good word on your behalf and still get sour grapes? Arsene will hear about this…

  64. Jabba's delights

    LimparAssist

    Again Limpar but thats been the same issue for 3 years. These players have been the same for 3 years making the same costly mistake and whatever Arsene has done to remedy them hasnt worked, in fact it got worse.

    Whilst every gooner used to believe that arene didnt make mistakes or had no weakneses but last 3 years have shown that to be completely rubbish, he is indeed a human who makes as many as other managers.

    The difference is other managers havent been treated like a god for 12 years. He must realise that his rhetoric is the same as last year and the year before. One cant keep trying the same tried and tested things and hope that the outcome will be different. Our rivlas will upgrade significantly if we dont and thats both mentally and on the playing front our wonderful model which see’s cl football as a neccesity will all come crumbling down……that is the worry

  65. Borges

    Rumours suggest that the original report over Alvarez mistook Arsenal for an Argentine side of the same name. Not sure if that’s true but there is a certain comedy value to be had, if that is the case.

    YW

  66. Jabba's delights

    It will be interesting to see if John Evans proclomations on The gooner do come true. He is certain he has got it bang on for last 3 weeks now, could be awfully embarrsing if not

    http://onlinegooner.com/article.php?section=exclusive&id=2297

  67. Jabba’s Delights,

    ok. Sorry to hear about your dyslexia. Apologies.

    However, I can’t excuse your lack of support. That is a terrible crime. You will not go to heaven.

  68. Jabba’s delights | May 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    I have asked that our 6m manager sorts out the weakneses that have been there for 3 years with all the resources that are available to him (lets not debate finance again please muppet your out of your depth)

    that is all i have ever asked and i will keep asking it until one of you explains why is hasnt been done for 3 years

    Have to agree with Limpar, that last sentence does sound incredibly whinny.

    But I’ve got good news for you. Like Limpar says, I spoke to the Boss himself and after thanking me for my brilliant idea, he asked that you keep the faith and continue asking those questions! He says your should never give up. You have a right to answers from ACLFers dammit, and no one can take that right away from you, ever!

  69. Alex Ice Cream

    Hopefully the rumours about Clichy leaving are true. I was a bit concerned (but not surprised) that AW apparently offered him a new contract. Why? Clichy crossing is awful and he makes too many mistakes at the back. He is not good enough for Arsenal whose previous left backs from 80s were Sansom, Winterburn, Silvinho, Cole – all world class and far, far better than Clichy. He’s been a bit better this season and I have nothing against him but he has to go.

    First Denilson, now Clichy (hopefully). This is great news.

  70. Jabba

    Again you fail to acknowledge that our manager has corrected much that has been wrong in our squad.

    New Keeper
    CB Leader – Vermaelen
    CB options – Djourou and Koscielny will be very able partners to Vermaelen next season.

    Like always, when shit hits the fan the dirty flies come out to play.

    A few adjustments. No change in philosophy I am afraid. Your gonna have to put up with the beautiful football for another season it seems.

  71. Alex Ice Cream

    Chris,

    I am not so sure about the beautiful football. Lots of slow passing, a lot of it sideways, few shots on goal, few goals. I think its dull to be honest and I am not alone.

  72. LimparAssist

    Sorry, Jabs. I can’t bring myself to talk to you today without saying something you’ll probably get sensitive about. Some other time.

    Suffice to say I completely disagree with your entire post – all falsehood, simplification and hot air.

  73. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Arsenal intends to play beautiful football. It’s probably only good to watch when the team is functioning though. If team trust or individual confidence breaks down then you lose those quick combinations. We were producing some wonderful moves from August to February. I thought the first goal against Fulham was typical of us at our best.

  74. Jabba's delights

    Muppet

    Thank you and i accept your apology!!!!!

    My support for the gunners is unreserevd, i and a few others on here have said our support in the stadium is loud and we would never boo any arsenal player it wouldnt cross our minds. I would never attend a protest march, again this wouldnt cross my mind.

    When debating with opposition fans i highlight the wonderful strengths of my club much more than the weakneses. I do however try to be honest

    However when debating with Arsenal fans i fail to see the point in us all having a cosy love in about the merits of our sustainable model and supposed great young attacking football team.

    I nor a growing majority of your fellow gooners dont feel like that deep down. We feel our progression has stalled in the last 3 years. We feel actually that the table doesnt lie and that we have got worse in those 3 years. We feel our legendary manager hasnt made us better in those 3 years due to the same failings and we are hugely worried that it could happen again if he doesnt take decisive action this summer.

    We are terrified that if we stall again whilst our rivals strengthen our business model is going to be under huge strain. We are scared that our rivals behind us will take decisive action to get better. These are legitmate gripes and worries. And despite some on here calling us fairweather fans i’m afraid to say we all arent there are men and women who have supported the club for 50 years who feel like this and there are 16 years olds who travel to every away game just as disgruntled.

    I said 2 weeks ago on here that at stoke the away fans had had enough.

    You should understand that many fans who have the same passion for our wonderful club as you are worried about this summer as if its like the last 3 it could spell disaster, rather than be rude to them maybe you should try and convince them that they need not worry. Just highlighting wenger will not ease anything. He needs to do the adapting

  75. online gooner has a very hateful slant to his stories. I’m not into hateful. Not really my style.

  76. Not sure I can believe that we would need to wait until the season ticket dealine has passed to announce the sale of Fabregas. I wouldn’t change my mind about renewing my season ticket just because Fabregas may be going. I would go further and say that we would be well rid of any season ticket holder who is shallow enough in their support of the club as to not renew over the departure of one player.
    If Fabregas wanted to go and the club received an offer that matched our valuation I would be disappointed that our team would be losing such a great player, but would feel that the funds raised would be ploughed back into the squad to make us stronger overall – the monies raised by the sale of Fabregas should easily be enough to finance the purchase of at least two quality players and if Real Madrid were really his destination we would surely have done a deal to bring in Benezema as part of the package.

  77. Chris Goona12.35 The team you suggest would never win the EPL next season and several of those player will not be with us

    Vermalen and Djouru or Koselny is not good enough Djouru good one game and lousy the next, Kos makes too many costly mistakes

    Unless there is major strengthening we could go out of the ECL qualifiers ans up outside the top four as Wengerspin has mentioned ia posible

    If Clichy, Denilson, Bentdner, Arshavin, Cesc, Nasri, leave whats your plan B

    SKE has not got one team that won a NBA NHL MLS championship and their NFL team won in 1999. SKE are not our financial white knight, whereas Usmanov would have been

  78. Typical bollocks from that site.

    Firstly, I can’t see Madrid being in the market for another central midfielder. They’ve signed two already this summer.

    It’s also plain common sense for AW to say that we’re going to fight to keep Cesc. I don’t now what our plans our for him. But say we do want to sell; there’s no better way to lower a player’s price than to broadcast to the world that we don’t want to keep hold of him, or are willing to listen to offers.

  79. AIC I actually will agree with what you say. There are times when we are sending wave after wave of attack, only to come up empty handed. Opposition hoof, change of possession. Give the ball to Song in the middle of the park and let the slow passing begin until we are parked in the final third. I mean most of the time Sagna and Clichy are parked near the corner of the 18 yard box, meaning we have RVP,Nas,Walcott,Fabregas,Wilshere,Sagna, and Clichy all in the final third. It may seem like an offensive overload, but when the build up is as slow as ours can be we have 7 attackers vs 9 defenders. Still not very good odds there.
    What we saw with the first goal against Fulham was Diaby doing his often criticized “dilly dallying” on the ball, he turns his marker and now we have some numbers going forward. A slick one touch passing move and RVP is clean through. I’ll take more of that please.

  80. Copious shit. What miserable bloody lives some people must lead.

  81. Ah solgooner is here I see

  82. “our business model is going to be under huge strain” Good Grief Jabba – is it truly going to be that bad !!

    There are worse things in life, and even football, than your business model being under great strain.

    Seems to me a bit of business model straining might be a invigorating experience and certain for fans of a more recent vintage an illuminating and positive experience dontchathink ?

  83. The model is not important it is the real thing that counts

  84. Frank you have always praised our supporters who travel to the away games, so how do you feel about the shouts from them for AW to go out and spend some F…..ing money at the end of the Fulham game

  85. You obviously didn’t read my commets about the away suppoters booing a 17 year old Alex Song. The away supporters are SOMETIMES great. As for spending money, fucking stupid subject to sing about. Our supporters seem to have lost all sense of humour and irony. People are not what they were and that is a fact.

  86. I a eooii o ooa oa

  87. Frank are you perhaps singing that classic System of a Down song, AEIAIEO?

  88. The away fans chanting spend some fucking money is pretty classless. Imagine being a Fulham supporter with your family at the match and you, and your children, have to bear some travelling fans cursing at their own manager.

  89. Jabba's delights

    Goonerwife

    Thing is its a good sight in that you do get a spectrum of thought. For every ‘ Wenger Out’ article a Pro Wenger will write one.

    I just find it interesting that he is so adament about it. He writes alot so he is really putting himself on the line.

    I personally dont think the Gas would leave us to go to anyone bar Barca and they dont have the cash unless he hands in a transfer request which i think he will do unless Arsene convinces him through additions that he means buiness.

    Solgooner

    Whilst i agree that the team alone isnt good enough to win the prem as they werent this year i think that we have a good basis of cb with TV5, Kozza and Djourou we just lack a tall cb with the agression of vermalan they would all then compliment each other perfectly.

    With regards to the owners we should be happy with Kroenke. He trys his uttermost to put his teams in a position to compete. Its hard over there with salary cap and draft to maintain consistantly high performance, but the Nuggets have hit the playoffs 7 years in a row and whilst they havent excelled there consistancy in a very inconsistant league is excelelnt

  90. the irony about the same set of players making the same mistakes for the past 3 years is surely clear to be seen by all? the same players?

    We had charmakh, kos, squillachi and even Djourou as new players this season! Arshavin about 2 and half years and vermalen hardly played in his second year due to injuries, Nasri was injured a lot last year and i think RVP too. Ramsey was gradually settling in until his leg break… Wishere is also in his first full season in the first team.

    The nature of our game even football generally thrives on understanding with your team makes; much as we like to wish otherwise this takes time!

    There was a great thing being built between secs, helb, flamini, rosicky, eduardo and adebayor; if that same combination of players had continued, even with song replacing flamini the very next season we would have won that league, rather than rosicky and eduardo being out through injuries and Hleb leaving (one very key loss that people underestimate, he was good for our game for breaking into tight defenses with the ball literally glued to his feet)

    We are about to do the same thing when we keep taking of selling and buying all the time. This same team can produce our desired results with a few strengthening here and there to bolster the squad rather than replacing outright!

  91. Jabba's delights

    anicoll5

    Afraid it is poppet. One can laugh at smaller clubs down the road for lack of success but the issue being if we dont amke the cl with our huge 110m wage bill and 20m debt repayments we are in alot of trouble.

    Whether you like post wenger fans or not is completely irrelevant what matters is the football club. And the football club needs them just as much as it needs you or i

  92. Alex, glad to see the back of Clichy? That’s a bit mad. I don’t think Gibbs is at the same level yet and Clichy is one of our most senior players. Who would you suggest as a replacement?

  93. Arsenal. The key to this strange season is trying to understand why a team that produced unstoppable football (ManC was my personal favourite, 3-1; but there is also Barcelona, Chelsea, and a few others, maybe ManU) did not have stamina for the long haul, and revealing early were endless replays in knock out competitions. Still, I have nothing but confidence for the future.

  94. We are one of only two clubs who have always made the Champions league. Are you, er, a bit premature, Jabba’s Delight. Wouldn’t be surprised if you are, you know. Seem like the type.

  95. William

    Dont Fulham fans swear?.Are they a bunch of nuns

  96. solgooner, I think it’s the distance away from home that brings out the hardcore away fans. You’ll hardly weed out the plastics with a trip down the road to Fulham.

  97. Frank we are the biggest club in Europe who hasnt won the CL in their history

  98. Good point, Markus

  99. Why don’t you sing that at the next away game, Martin?

  100. JABBA if you look at fifty AFC blogs today the vast majority of them are very unhappy. its not so much about wanting Wengerspin to go as the fact he is so stubborn and some of his excuses are just pathetic.

    As for the finances we got 56 million from the EPL for finishing fourth and TV appearances so with The ECL and Gate and season ticket sales plus merchandising we would still survive if we went out of the ECL by then our troubles would be aparent a mid table finish and no rush fo rseason tickets thats why this next season is so crucial.

    SKE should do what Usmanov suggested a 110million rights issue underwritten by him which could give us a transfer pool fund to fall back on when needed. unfortunately to finish in the top four without strong financial support is getting harder and we need to be like the new Liverpool owners using the Torres sale to get Carroll and Suarez not like we did exchanging Kolo and ADE for Squichy, Kos and Chamakh

  101. Alex Ice Cream

    Hi Sol,

    Another summer of Wengerspin for us to enjoy?

  102. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    What would be your thoughts on playing Vermalan at LB? He played more of his career there than at CB and its not like we great defensively last year and its not like Clichy presents much going forward other than effort.

    A defecne of looks really solid to me.

    Sagna
    Samba
    Kosicellny
    Vermalan

    Frank

    stop looking in the past. The league is different now and we must adapt or we will fall. We have been by a distance the 3rd best team for 5 years, citeeh are now on our backs its not beyond the realms of possibility to suggest another stagnent season and 5th beckons if the other do all they can to improve.

    Markus

    Iss ue being the away fans at Stoke were just as annoyed but were drowned out as Stoke fans were in a great mood as they were humping us

  103. Ah solgooner, you just made all of that up. To please the fawning runt, AIC, probably.

  104. Up the Arsenal,

    L’Equipe is reporting that Nasri is being tempted by a move to Man Utd.

    http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/breves2011/20110524_095529_nasri-s-interroge.html

    Any thoughts?

  105. Jabba @3.09

    Apparently, poppet, we are not in trouble financially with the attendances dropping due to the lack of ECL football. Unless of course you are accusing the directors of wilfully misleading everyone which as the company is a plc, means a criminal offence has been committed.

    But to say that without any evidence, dear boy, would be a civil breach – what a pretty pickle you’ve got yourself into with one wholly inaccurate assertion.

    YW

  106. Alex Ice Cream

    Frank,
    The booing of Song was 2-3 years ago. The away support is fantastic, can be clearly heard on TV and is much louder than the home fans despite the Gooner’s being massively outnumbered.
    You have an agenda to blame the Arsenal supporters for the persistent failings of the manager and the team. While the home support isn’t great the away support certainly is so once again you are being disingenuous. You cannot accept or admit that the fault lies with the players and manager as this would make you wrong yet again. You also want to portray yourself as the greatest Arsenal fan and point to what you consider as the failings of other fans to make yourself look good.
    You are a bully and a liar.

  107. Yes DJB, I have thoughts on that situation. If Nasri goes to Man U i will have a reason to watch their games. They may also wander from the, get the ball far down the wings and cross as much as possible tactics I have seen from them this year.

  108. Wasn’t it solgooner who invited you for a triste ‘offline’ as it were, AIC? I am fully aware of the Alex Song incident, I was there. As for away support, I go to a few away games but this year the leg operations have prevented me. Hopefully go again. Usually great support. But not always. You been to a few this year then?

  109. Jabba said

    “Again Limpar but thats been the same issue for 3 years. These players have been the same for 3 years making the same costly mistake and whatever Arsene has done to remedy them hasnt worked, in fact it got worse.”

    I dont think so . Its not true that it was the same players and to be truthful circumstances have not been the same each year.

    Our central has never played together until this season and we had a new goal keeper for the most part, so it cannot be the same players making the same mistakes.

    The problem is not talent and I agree with ChrisGoona that our starters are well capable of winning this league inspite of what sol says.

    I dont know I like to simplify things. This has been said but again, prior to the Newscastle, CC and CL matches we were flying high, after that we suffered. It cannot therefore be a lck of talent and the players didnt all of a sudden get tired. It was lack of confidence as far as I can see for players dont go bad overnight.

  110. Jabba m’duck – please do not imagine that I have any less time for more recent fans than those who have attended for many years – my son is a fan , even I was a recent fan ( once upon a time) – the only point I make is that it would broaden their experience to have a bit of experience of real misery rather than foaming at the mouth at the comparatively mild disappointments of recent years – character building 🙂

    Yogi has put the point over above concerning the possible implications of the “business model” over straining.

    And if the worse came to the worse and we were struggling to meet our £110 million wage Bill – well oh dearie dearie me – or do you reckon if the wage bill was £120 million – or £150 million it would guarantee success

    Seems to me like any business we would trim our coat to fit our cloth – and that might not be a bad idea ( as it would for every other club maybe)

  111. Jabba's delights

    Yogi

    i fail to see what your point is as quite clearly a huge reduction in revenue would have an affect on the club, and any elasticity test of how strong our fanbase is completely hypothetical.

    You claimed that our 110m in cash reserves was doctured so we wouldnt be able to pay for it from there or is that not true.

    Any reduction would have to come from transfer funds or player sales which starts off the viscious cycle of not improving hence not getting back into the comp.

    If we fail to make top 4 next year we wouldnt make any cl money begining 2012-13 season. So on this years numbers our revenue would be 190(ish)m. Considering our contracts our revenue will stay relativly static until 2014. Our wages stand currently at 110m factor in 4% inflation for 2 years not including any outside increse in our wages this year and we are around 120m in wages in 2 years (hugely conservative estimate) thats 63% of turnover, only 7% short of what Uefa say is the maxium. Add that to our 20m in payments and our 50m ”exceptional cost” (what are they) we have incrured the last 2 years and one can see that failure to make cl for a club like ours can start a cycle that really could be a nightmare.

    We might be able to live without it for one year but the issue being you would probably need to spend that summer to make yourself good enough to get back in, which we couldnt do.

  112. Team spirit, you beat me to it! I need to refresh the page more often.

  113. @Jabba
    Just one thing. Last I checked we had the BEST defence from open play in the league, so please stop repeating that particular piece of bullshit information. Thank you very much.

  114. So looks like Jenkinson is ours then – http://younggunsblog.co.uk/2011/05/finland-confirm-arsenal-sign-jenkinson/?

    Im sure this will go under radar for a while on arse.com until we sign someone more significant…….

  115. Well, I think we need to see who ends up going this summer before we talk about whether the team has the starting XI talent (or backup talent) to see a season through with just a little more “mental strength” (however one defines that).
    No one knows what Cesc, Nasri, Clichy, etc are really going to do at this point, so it might be a bit premature to say we need to revamp the team as well as saying it will only take slight ‘tweaks’ to the team.

  116. 13 straight years in the CL with its gut busting revenue and we stand on the abyss of DOOOOM – DOOOOOOOM do you hear me

    Now let me test this no doubt robust AFC business model Jabba;

    If wage costs, and anticipated increases in wage costs, are in danger of capsizing the business whaddwe do about it ?

    Two options – earn more – Little or no chance as any growth in football revenues is improbable – the TV well is dry, the fans have no more left, commercial sponsorship is unpredictable etc……………………or cut our costs.

  117. Very good post Wise-Old-Man 🙂 No seriously, well done CBob.

  118. Jabba's delights

    Evil

    hahahhahah stop churning out useless stats from Wenger, that was one of his worst all year.

    We have the ball for 65% of most games, so in that 35% of the time we concede more than a goal a game. I couldnt give a flying fook how we concede just that we do concede. Also his useless stat didnt factor in the 6 goals we conceded from open play in the final 3 games……whats says you???

    we conceded 43 last year and 41 this year ……..both stats matter a hell of alot more than wenger propoganda about our defence.

  119. And bigs up to Mr. Bob. Great work!

    Wisdom personified!

  120. You cannot base a season on the last 3 matches. This is what people are trying to do with Djourou.

    That stat of conceding from open play is not useless because it pinpoints where the problem is. That is Wengers job to find the weak spots and make sure that they are dealt with.

  121. Jabba

    You made the sensationalist claim that if “we dont amke the cl with our huge 110m wage bill and 20m debt repayments we are in alot of trouble” which is not true. When The Emirates was built the specifics of the business model over the course of the borrowings were 40k average attendance and intermittent ECL football. Obviously that model worked because they got the loan.

    We might be able to live without it for one year but the issue being you would probably need to spend that summer to make yourself good enough to get back in, which we couldnt do.” – Why not? Simply because the club pursues a self-sustaining model does not preclude borrowing, it merely means that borrowing must done within your means. It’s no different from you or I having a mortgage and then taking out a car loan. So long as the repayments are met, where is your issue?

    Your financial modelling is somewhat dubious. You have ignored, for example, the Europa League and its matchday revenues? The prize and commercial revenues may not be as much but they are not insignificant.

    Wages? They are bound by the terms of the contracts, not inflation. And of course, bonuses are reduced since targets will not have been met.

    As for the UEFA regulations, they are not worth the paper they are written on. Read this article as to how to get around them: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/gabriele_marcotti/05/05/ffp/index.html?sct=sc_t11_a1

    Exceptional costs are exactly that. Non-recurring, one-offs and not to be taken as a hit every year. Therefore your £50m hole just disappeared, wages can be afforded, etc.

    YW

  122. Jabba's delights

    Aniceoll5

    Cooooorrect, which means we have some very very barren years. Fine ive lived through them before and im sure i will again. Wont be great for our future seeing as all major clubs are competing for future fanbases currently so to get left behind over the next 10 years when football experiences huge growth in developing countries could leave us behind for the next 20-30.

    However wouldnt it be easier just to make sure for once that we dont stagnate this summer and actually go out and get exactly whats needed with the money we have to ensure that we do continue to make cl? As mentioned before everyone including muppet see’s our weakneses so lets go out and sort them out, our manager says defeding set peices is easy…….show us.

  123. Deise

    It will go under the radar because he is not going to strengthen the starting XI immediately. Which is what everyone wants.

    YW

  124. Borges Spinelli

    Man o’ man! Silly season for real.

    Nasri isn’t going anywhere; not to Manchester United, Manchester City or Barcelona. They can all stick their fantasy bids up a horse’s rectal column. What clown births these shocking lies? Really?

  125. LimparAssist

    Carl Jenkinson. Excellent. Building for the future. Our short-term fans (‘spoilt by ridiculous expectation and greed’) will be furious. Good-o.

  126. Borges

    >Nasri isn’t going anywhere; not to Manchester United, Manchester City or Barcelona

    No, because he’s off to Internazionale. Everyone knows that!

    YW

  127. Jabba, Vermaelen at left back – Yes. If it came to it (Clichy leaves and we don’t get a decent replacement) and we had cover at CB (i.e. fully fit Djourou, Koscielny).

    Samba at CB – No.

  128. yeah Yogi thats what i was gettin at, but didnt quite communicate that right 🙂

    Squadd addition, nothing more. But you know some fans will bemoan the signing. So im thinkin the arsenal.com wont comment on it until after someone else is signed

  129. Jabba's delights

    Limpar

    Hopefully he will be great, although any Charlton fan one speaks to or any blog you frequent and ask them they will all tell you something very similar……”no idea why your buying him, he was on loan at eastbourne borogh this year couldnt make our team”.

    So hopefully he will progress into a great player although one only ahs to look at history to suggest that we shouldnt hold our breath but good luck to the boy i wish him well.

  130. skywatchingmug

    The best defence from open play. Now that stat makes me laugh every time I hear that.
    Good end of season write up Cbob and I agree with your thoughts Delia–Block 112.

    B+, could do better.
    Up The Arsenal.

  131. Since I’m not Samir Nasri, his agent, a family member or part of the Arsenal F.C. management team, I don’t know what his desires monetarily are, playing wise are, or anything… so I don’t know if he will be here next season or not.

    It’s comforting to know some people are, apparently, one of those people and can speak for him.

    However, since I don’t, I won’t speak to what this team needs to add at this point… days after the season is over.

  132. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    You see i think Samba would be a great signing. Better value than Cahill or Jagkielka and different to what we have.

    I think Djourou and Kosciellny will both be great players but my issue being neither is a communicator and neither dominates aerially.

    Kosciellny sweeping up with Samba is a proper partnership to me . That added to Sagna and TV5 and i would be delighted with our defence. Djouou, Bartley, Gibbs and Eboue to complete the defensive squad and im happy

  133. Borges Spinelli

    YW,

    I’d rather he were at Internazionale, than with the other 3. If Leonardo let’s us have Eto’o.

  134. Carl Jenkinson was born in England so that should make the moaners a little bit happy.

    What happened to the young kid from Barcelona?

  135. Borges Spinelli

    Do you mean Ignatio Miquel, Paul?

    He was on the bench at Fulham.

  136. No Borges, the one that Barcelona was upset about. Supposedly he was their best young prospect. Torel or something like that is his name.

  137. Jon Miquel Toral

  138. Jabba's delights

    He is on his way. We also signed a German wizkid called Serge Gnarby and a couple of scandinavian’s so hopefully the youth team acan improve on there poor season this year

  139. Nice post CB.

    I had to laugh at this from Solgooner:

    “Wengerspin to go as the fact he is so stubborn and some of his excuses are just pathetic.”

    As pathetic at using ‘Wengerspin’ in nearly every post.

  140. Excellent post, thank you.

  141. “All clubs competing for future fanbases ” Jabba

    This is getting bit Star Trek for me mon petit choufleur !!

    Is that fan bases not yet born, Malaysian fan bases, fan bases on distant planets not yet discovered, or who ?

    Seems to me football may well have peaked in terms of market penetration and revenue and is on the slide – why not – there is nothing unique about the football market any more the any other – warning to Mr Kroenke and Mr Usmanov – the value of your investments may go down

  142. Cheers for the post CB. Spot on.

  143. LimparAssist

    Really, Jabs? That’s odd. I work with an Arsenal fan who used to play for Charlton boys, watches them a fair bit and seemed to think he’s gonna be the bollocks. All opinion I suppose.

  144. I have a couple of Charlton season ticket holding friends, and they both say he was blinding. They’re actually pretty livid at how this transfer has panned out. Apparently he started quite slowly, but was up to speed after a couple of games. They only stopped playing him once they realised he wasn’t staying.

  145. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll5

    In fact football growth potential is absolutely huge. The reason why Kroenke bought Arsenal for whooping $1.2 billion is that in reality he thinks he can unlock potentiallly another $600-800million out of us.

    The American sports market is pretty saturated due to the nature of their sports and despite their best efforts to unlock European revenue streams its tough for them.

    Football on the other hand has huge growth portential in the US & Asia where their rapidely growing middle class cant get enough of epl and cl. Whether we like it or not premiere league games will be played abroad in the future to unlock this revenue as they begin to get bored of pre season friendly games. One only has to look at NBA, Baseball and more recently the NFL to see our future.

    These fans are deciding their loyalties over the next decade as they get richer and are able to buy saltelite tv and grow acustomed to the teams. In the US soccer is the biggets sport amongst women and u18 and only getting bigger due to the good work of our very won Glazids earlier in the decade.

    We cant fall behind the other clubs and its one of the reasons we have employed Tom Fox who is the Messi of Sports marketing in Asia.

  146. And if you don’t believe that you can read about his progress on their forums. Long before the Arsenal rumours started they were already talking about him being snapped up bu a bigger club before long.

    On top of that he’s just been called up to the national team at 19. The problem for his is that he barely speaks any Finnish, and it’s the hardest f*cking language there is to learn, bar none. Look at this shit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_noun_cases

  147. Jabba's delights

    Lets just chill out with the guy. We have seen so many misses before he just needs to be left to his own device and if he has the attitude and talent im sure we will see him gracing the red and white.

    Here a 606 thread on the charlton board abotu him. mixed as you would expect. As oneofus says above this si after he is leaving so maybe the ill temper is just their as they view him as a traitor.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A84007767

  148. While I could not remotely claim to be an expert Jabba I am a little more doubtful of the snake oil salesman who claim they are huge sums to be screwed out of world market (ie Asia) by football – If you have not read it before, it has been around a while, take a few minutes to have a read of Swiss Ramble musing on the gravy train and its loss of momentum;

    http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-footballs-gravy-train-slowing-down.html?utm_source=BP_recent

    The assumption is in any market that the gravy will keep flowing – South Sea, ground nuts, dot.com. , Leeds United – bubbles all

  149. Cbob,

    Excellent and uplifting. Sadly, I fear that your call for unity among gooners will run into the same unthinking prejudice as the team and our manager have suffered this season.

    With the media taking the route of least resistance and a populace who are largely influenced by and willing to let that same media do its thinking for it… there may be trouble ahead.

    Still, while there’s moonlight and Arsene and our club, let’s face the music and chant.

  150. Gainsbourg69

    If Samba is such a solid defender why did Blackburn finish just above the relegation zone? Why not, at least, pick a big defender from a team with a decent league position like Distin or Hangeland? Hangeland is about to turn thirty and seems like the better athlete. If we were to get a tall defender then it would surely be him.

  151. They’re just bitter, which is understandable. Charlton are used to getting a rough deal when it comes to their youngsters.

    The two cases might be different, but Cardiff fans were saying similar things about Aaron Ramsey when he left them. Obviously, nobody knows what the future holds for Jenkinson (that doesn’t really need to be said), but make no mistake, he is highly rated at this stage.

  152. Great job standing in for YW, consolsbob.
    98% agreement from me. Very well written as well.

    Mostly agree with ZimP and Team Spirit.

  153. Jenkinson will count towards the homegrown rule since he was born in England even though he’s declared to play for Finland.

  154. Myabe Clichy is going to be sold, according to Youngguns Jenkinson primary position is at RB but he can fill in at LB as well.

  155. If Clichy goes maybe get in Izaguirre from Celtic – player of the season up there – could be a goer

  156. Yes ZimPaul and Team Spirit with some class contributions, ChrisGoona also.

  157. Only Fergie can get away with this – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/13521267.stm

  158. Whoever we sign I hope we play him in his natural position. If Cesc goes the fact that he can play central midfield can be a huge factor in making Nasri stay. AMF can be fought out between Nasri, Ramsey and Arshavin. Of course this means we will have to buy to fill out the left and right forward roles.

    If Clichy goes maybe Vermaelen can play there as he has played there in the past. As for CB I think we should a buy a player in his prime like Subotic…..super defender. And not Samba or Hangeland, who I feel is too slow for Arsenal.

  159. Anthony you firstly say who ever we buy play them in their natural position and then say play Verm at left back!! What gives? How about if Clichy goes we buy a left back and continue to groom Gibbs. We went to early with Clichy in my opinion, we should have bought when Cashley went. If Clichy goes then we need to buy.

  160. @DeiseGooner

    I only mentioned Verma can play LB because he has done so in the past… of course buying a LB is also a option

  161. We play too may players out of position as it is. Sure some are good enough to pull it off but others suffer from it. And if they suffer then the team suffers. So to strengthen you need to buy players for the positions and not try to fit players to the positions. And that includes using the players we have in their best positions

  162. Thanks for that link Deise.
    Lets see how the establishment gonna rationalize this one. Probably just another slap on the wrist.

    Can you imagine the media storm if Arsene ever does something like that?

  163. Gains,
    Isn’t Hangeland a bit too slow for us?

  164. Well I think if the rumours are true Ricky Alvarez will be coming to (our) Arsenal. His current club Velez is 2nd in the Argentinean league and the Argentinean Arsenal are 17th….. so I don’t think he would sign for a lower team.

  165. This world has gone mad.

    Footballers – amongst others – believe that they are impervious to any criticism, taking out gagging orders because they are incapable of showing loyalty to their spouses and families. Now Ferguson believes he is above the rules of football.

    Will Uefa show more bollocks than the FA/EPL and tell him that the journalist in question must be admitted and allowed to question the United boss as anyone else can.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/24/fergie-orders-giggs-reporter-banned

    Fuck it, if he doesn’t do it a touchline ban for Saturday might focus his attention.

    YW

  166. He’s not a cat. Or even a tiger. Just a player that was missed:


    *sighs*

    That’s not an excuse for anything. Arsenal did concede the idd goal when he played last season.

  167. Can AFC get John Cross ‘banned’?

    Please.

  168. Antony

    If he is so good, how come he hasn’t played for Argentina yet? And why hasn’t he made more than 36 appearances for his club? Injury accounts for one season but the other two? This is all self-publicising bollocks by the agent and player.

    YW

  169. I would second that suggestion Finsbury.

  170. “Our players shouldn’t be questioned about why they chose to cheat on their life partners. Ol’ Giggsy is a effin legend and can sex whomever he chooses. Same goes for John Terry and Wayne Rooney.”

  171. To be honest, I don’t know if Terry or Rooney has a life partner. I think Wayne is married to some sort of farm animal though.

  172. CBob; Great post mate.

    Yogi; About that Alverez rumour. That was what I originally thought about it; that he has signed for the Argentinian Arsenal. Well them, or the 1 in Ukraine!

  173. Yogi, slur Alex has been allowed so much license by the FA that he feels like he is above the rules everyone else has to live by. His path to the PL was smoothed by compliant officials, too spineless to stand up to him and apply the rules even handedly. I will be more surprised if they do anything about it than if they don’t. Also, why don’t these journalists start earning their money and stand up to the little tyrant? An exposé of the overt and covert corruption that he is at the centre of is well overdue. If journalistic ‘integrity’ actually existed one of these hacks would lift their snouts out of the trough long enough to say something about it.

  174. 1 loose cannon

    is clichy really leaving? reports in France suggest he is almost certain to join juventus. Apparently he refused a new contract.

  175. Someone put a link up for that hideous the Spudder website with an article written by Johnny Spud aout Wenger beingcomplicit in a lie about Cesc going to madrid. Thatsite is for cunts, end of.

  176. 1lc

    Looks like he is goin.

  177. 1 loose cannon

    Watching our Traore playing for juventus at moment in the testimonial for Gary Neville. He looks decent

  178. 1 loose cannon

    Dexter- Wenger recentley said he will not allow another Flamini situation with Clichy and that pretty much stamps this rumour. How about Traore ? he deserves a run

  179. I always liked Trasore, but I just dont see him staying with us I am afraid. I do think Clichy is gone, but Nasri looks like he will sign anew deal. And I dont believe th stories about Arshavin leaving either.

  180. If Clichy leaves I personally vote that Thomas gets some starts at LB. Gibbs looks pretty solid, but Thomas should offer more protection. Plus Thomas can rush upfield and rip shots with his rocket i mean left foot.

  181. Please, anything but Vermealen at LB! Unless we use himthere in a drastic tactical change; we play long ball counter attacking football with a back 4 of CBs.

  182. 1 loose cannon

    Arshavin should stay he had a tough 2nd season but I beleive there still more to come from him despite his age. He can always come up with something special. Nasri is a priority for us, A deal need sorting out. I wish Clichy would stay but if Wenger sees other options then might he will not break the bank to keep him.

  183. Even though his spud team sank without a trace this season, slumping out of the top 4, Arry Redknapp’s stock is still unbelievably high with the hacks and bookies alike. Putting him as 1 of the favourites to be the chavs next manager. And Wenger gets abused???

  184. I agree. Arshavin must stay. he played so many games, probably more he or Wenger wanted him to. he needs wrapping in cotton wool inside a Kryogenic feezer (next to RvP’s!) and played less next season.
    Clichy going, altough potentially unsettling, could be the kind of shake up the defence needs. Perhaps there was a hint of complacency as Gibbs was 1st injured alot and then didnt look close to making the breakthrough that his earlier performances promised.

  185. Fortunately for CFC Roman is not a betting man
    Arry at the Bridge ? Hoot

  186. I really dont understand all the hype hernandes is getting? he had a half decent season, nothing more. But he plays for the media darlings so they cant hlp themselves I guess. (Sorry,I am watching Sly Sports News!)

  187. Anicol5

    Ha! It would be a hilarious concept though. He would skint the Russian in 6 months!

  188. 1 loose cannon

    last 2 days some Wenger bashing was going on because he told wilshere not to go to U21 tournament. I was really annoyed how all of a sudden U21 has become so special. a tournament noone really cares to watch or even bother to talk about. I guess any excuse to bash Wenger will do for them.Believe it or not I once heard an idiot blaming Wenger for England failure because he does not play English players. Now I heard he mismanaged Wilshere and played him too much. He just can’t win

  189. Dexter i don’t understand why you say we will play long ball counter attacking football with 4 CB’s. We could start Thomas, Kos, DJ, Sagna.
    All our pretty capable of playing possession football.

    I don’t understand the Redknapp praise. Is he a tactical genius? Long diagonals to Crouch. GENIUS!!!

  190. Yep, there are things that Wenger can be pulled up about, things he would say he could have done regarding Arsenal. But to give him stick for the U21s is a joke and shows the hatred the hacks have for him. But he pulled them up a few weeks back and these smug know nothing twats have long memories.

  191. 1LC. I believe Arsene isn’t allowed to win in the eyes of the press. To them, running a club at a profit, grooming young talent, trying to win 4 trophies etc etc is the mark of an idiot. What has the world come to?

  192. They should all f*** off, the Wenger bashers, nobody cares about the U21 tournament. It’s simple, how dare Johnny foreigner buck the establishment and tell them how to treat the great English hope!

  193. Dexter, it just shows that it’s not the content that matters, it’s the packaging!

    1lc, sadly I’m starting to suspect that he could be on his way, which is kind of out of the blue for me based on Clichy’s former comments. I do wonder if his back injury might be influencing his decision to move to a less physically intense league? He could be worried about how long he is going to last if he continues in the PL and we know football careers are notoriously short.

    Re Traore, he was interviewed in a recent Arsenal magazine and apart from his injuries is reporting that he is learning a lot about tactics and defensive positioning in Italy. He was also expressing his love for Arsenal and his desire to return here and be part of the team. I had thought his move to Italy was a pre-cursor to a permanent deal, but maybe not?

    We also have Botelho to return from Spain, although I doubt he is ready for the rough and tumble of the PL in a defensive position. He seems to have done well in a more attacking left sided role this season.

  194. William

    I was being facetious really! I just dnt like the thought of vermealen at LB. I think he is a far better CB. But I could see him there for a few games; away at Stoke being oneof them.
    2011-12 Prediction #1;
    Stoke to get relegated as their Europa league involvemet takes its toll on the clogging hoof meisters.

  195. Damn, I should have seen a red flag at the longball counterattacking part. I think it will be interesting to see how Stoke does on a European scale. I can imagine some spanish side seeing Delap line up for a long throw from 40 yards down the sideline and going, wait is here going to… throw it from that far???…. (as they watch the ball sail into their box and bounce around off a few players before a Stoke player smashes into the net) 1 nil to the Potters.

  196. Passenal Haha! True

    As for Clichy. Yes his past comments have been akin to RvPs undying love type comments and it is out of the blue. But you may be right about his back injury. He hasnt shown same the levels he has done consistently for some time now. It could be a win-winsituation if it does turn out to be true, though.

  197. Passenal

    I am really looking forward to seeing Botelho and I agree, h could well be 1st used further up the pitch. he is fast, technically good and about 6’3″.

  198. 1 loose cannon

    yes, I believe players should play in their natural positions but it is hard to argue if Wenger plays Vermaelen there, he turned Thierry from a winger to a striker.

  199. and he turned Theo from a striker to a winger.

  200. Vermealen played at LB ifor Ajax. Not too well by all accounts.

    Theo wasnt a striker at Southampton.

  201. And he isnt a winger for Arsenal! 😀

  202. ‘inside forward’ if you don’t mind.

    Twas a lovely pass from Vermaelan out to Walcott too.
    Next season we’ll see more of that.

  203. 1 loose cannon

    Talking of Theo. do you guys think Wenger will surprise us all by playing him upfront? At the start of his carrer everyone wanted to know when Theo will [play as a striker and now it looks like everyone has accept Theo as winger. I guess when you have someone in RVP calibre you simply don’t ask who will play upfront.

  204. See if United buy the 20 year old De Gea as their no 1 keeper for 18M i wonder how much worse chesney is.

    Anyone? are they about the same?

  205. Is it gonna be like Chicarito and Vela? we both buy a Mexican and theirs turn out to be the best, then we both have young gks and even though we had one first, theirs turn out to be better..

    thats mightly annoying…

  206. Poodle

    De Gea has been number 1 for longer, but Szczesney has premier League experience. Fergie doesnt have a great track record with keepers, Schmeichel apart, so he coud turn out to be a turkey, huge fat, massively over priced turkey!
    BTW I do not rate van Der Sar, never have, so dont bother to mention his name, thanks.

  207. Well it will be exciting. I also think that Arsenal is a bigger club than Atletico tbh(thats where De gea is from no?) and thus maybe Chezzer has played more high profiled matches and is used to a higher preassure. Not saying De Geas old team is shit just that the preassure in PL with a club like arsenak, espescially when its going bad, is immense. If you can handle that you can pretty much handle everything.

  208. Thenagain, the whole rmour about de Gea has come from Guillem balague. A man who is used by Real and barca as a mouthpiiece, who has attained a level of credibilty based on sweet FA as far as I can tell!

  209. Biscuits and Alves need to hire food tasters if Barcelona are going to be using our canteen!

    For most players there’s no such thing as a natural position – they can usually be moulded into new ones successfully to suit the team.

    Looking at Arsenal ove the last 15 years – Petit was a CB, Cashley was a left winger, Henry was a winger, Lauren was a midfielder, Toure was an attacking midfielder, Gibbs was a winger and van Persie was a winger. No player should complain about being tried in a new position under AW.

    If there is a rule, it’s that wingers either move back or to the middle of attack, while midfielders tend to be pushed out wide. In fact we recruit a lot of central midfielders at youth level and then try to put them in different positions – probably because they’ve got the best technique.

  210. Borges Spinelli

    Traore has played a minuscule part in Juventus’ season. Started a measly 10 games for them. Someone, please slap a ‘For Sale’ sign on him. ASAP.

  211. OOU

    How about Traore morphing into a defensive midfielder? That’d be cool! If no other reason than I love his knuckle dustingexploits at Shite hart lane!

  212. I completely forgot Traore was an Arsenal player!

    Yeah, what the hell, let’s stick him at defensive midfield.

    I also think Jernade Meade is the big, strapping CB so many people have been crying out for.

  213. Borges Spinelli

    You’ve gotta love Denilson despite his frustration with lack of progress at our club. Somehow, i also believe Arsenal will remain close to his heart. In the closing paragraph in the article below, he said:

    “Não me vejo com uma camisa do Chelsea, do Liverpool ou do Manchester City, muito menos do Tottenham. Acredito que meu futuro estará na Espanha ou na Itália”, disse.”

    He see’s his future in Spain or Italy. And cannot see himself wearing Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City or worst Tottenham’s jersey.

    http://www.jb.com.br/internacional/noticias/2011/05/20/apos-pior-temporada-da-vida-denilson-quer-deixar-arsenal/

  214. Is Arsene Wenger’s european ban going to take effect during the qualifiers or in the group stages should we make it through?

  215. Hello all.. Just curious about Carlos Vela, anyone got any news on the lad??

  216. Honestly, De Gea seems like a big risk. At that price point, Fergie could’ve had Neuer who is maybe one or two years older than De Gea but is probably one of the three best keepers in the world right now (together with Casillas and Buffon). I am really curious how De Gea is going to perform.

  217. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Well said, CB.

    Some nice tunes on the ACLF blogwaves today.

  218. Brilliant Cbob, than you n absentia.

    Ha, ha Muppet @ 1.00. You incorrectly typed punctuation whilst giving Jabba an english lesson.

    BTW, wasn’t Jabba an obnoxious fat cvnt in a silly Star Wars film.

  219. *in
    in
    in fucking in

  220. MDG

    No Jabba was ‘an obnoxious fat cvnt’ in the Arsenal takeover.

    HTH

    YW

  221. for God’s sake. How many times do I have to say it to every clown that author’s a column? The supporters do NOT benefit from debt paid down. Only the board do. It’s their club, privately owned

    The financial situation means nothing to us. We are not affected! If it were a publicly owned club like Barca, yes it would matter.

    Please, all you armchair finance and corporate experts, do not defend Wenger and the board based on keeping the club financially bouyant. It doesn’t help us, as it goes into the pocket of the owners

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