Transfer Talk & Pearce Directs The Muppet Show

“They ain’t human. Human being wouldn’t live the way they do. Human being couldn’t stand to be so miserable”…The Grapes of Wrath. Or in Arsenal’s case, The Gripes Of Wrath…

The final weekend of the domestic season starts, The Championship play-off final will decide who next season’s relegation fodder will be decided. That is not meant in a patronising way, simply that recent seasons have seen clubs who play football end up in trouble. And none of QPR, Norwich or Swansea / Reading can say they definitely will not end up in trouble. Best of luck to them though in their new adventures.

In the world of Arsenal, out with old, in with the old might be the order of the day. Per Mertesacker is the Commercial Departments dream signing, doubling the cost of a shirt if his surname is printed on the back. Last summer saw his name and Arsenal in quite a few stories, all which came to an abrupt end when he signed a new deal. The suspicion now is that the deal was signed just to allow his employers to extract the maximum fee this summer. Come in Mr Fàbregas, your time is up…

Others this morning are contradictory by nature. Eden Hazard is, according to the ever-reliable Daily Mirror, a prime target for Arsène. Other sources suggest that the winger is staying in France for one more season. Which gives credibility to the suggested bunfight between Arsenal and Liverpool for the vastly overrated Stewart Downing.

Playing the role of Jimmy Five Bellies in this one is Gervinho, whose departure from Lille is by no means certain and curiously worrying as a number of his sentences are in the third person, despite being about himself.

The African Cup of Nations is a fly in that ointment although many will be hoping he signs and then goes to that tournament so that they can bleat in the next transfer window about how Arsène knew the player would be missing for six weeks and he should have signed a 30 goal a season striker.

Talking of which, Falcao’s agent is on something if he thinks Arsenal are going to go anywhere near his client for €30m. And whatever it is, I want lots of it because it is going to make this summer go quickly.

Indeed, Stuart Pearce might well have ingested a similar substance for he has simply lost the plot. There can be no other explanation for his outburst, displaying all the petulance of an eleven year old who has been told they cannot have an Xbox game bought for them,

Every player at this stage of the season would be reasonably tired. Arsenal have not left him out of the side in the last six weeks, even though the stats have said he’s in the red zone.

It is a quote that ends the argument, quite simply because Pearce accepts Wenger was right. Acknowledging that every player would be reasonably tired ought to be reason for him to accept withdrawals with good grace. Too much effort that seems.

Having been a club manager – like all of his international peers – Pearce shows the inherent selfishness that will continue the club v country argument until the end of time. I could rant about who pays the wages but that would suggest that I care what Pearce thinks.

Wenger should take note of one thing though. Liverpool were remarkably quiet over Andy Carroll. Too quiet in fact, suggesting that they did their talking behind the scenes and this is why Pearce has not decried Dalglish. Either that or he is scared of the Liverpool manager. Which for someone who revelled in the nickname ‘Psycho’ is not particularly clever. Which sums Pearce up.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 27, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 262 Comments.

  1. YW…

    Very funny. I enjoyed reading it and really also wonder whats up when micah richards and andy carroll are not in the team but we do not hear any complains about their respective managers or clubs


  2. @ jazz cafe tonight
    highly recomended

  3. George Rodger (from yeserday) – “But if you are telling me that over a season we are given as many favorable calls and not more bad calls than our main rivals then you are the one who is deluded”

    How on earth do you know that. Do you watch every PL game over the season for all teams? Unless you do, you can’t say we get more bad decisions that anybody else.

    You asked who I think is deluded? – The fans who blame the ref for 95% of results that don’t go our way. And there are plenty on here; just check back from the comments sections after our games throughout the season.

  4. Liverpool drop out of the top four. Not a word.
    Liverpool don’t win anything in 6 years. Not a word.
    Liverpool pull a player from the Under-21 tournament. Not a word.

  5. YW – Nice post. Especially the bit about Gervihno talking about himself in the 3rd person. That always makes me worry about an individual.

  6. Markus – Liverpool have not really been considered a team capable of challenging for a good while now. The recent season where they challenged Manure was the exception really. It is no real suprise that they have dropped out.

  7. Downing….how much rubbish do the papers write. Who’s next Joey Barton!

  8. Geo likes the cut of Gervinho’s jib.

    Geo also thinks Stuart Pearce needs to have some of what Nothbank1969 is on. Might give him a more jovial outlook on life…

  9. You know the silly season has started in ernest when we are connected with Kalou. So we are likely to buy a player who cannot hold down a starting spot at one of our main rivals, I bloody hope not.

  10. These spam like transfer links that get posted round every window become quite tiresome indeed. Kalou? Give me a break. Downing? Mertersacker? Benzema? Samba? Cahill? what about Buffon this year? or Joe Cole?

    Some original ones come in every time, but then will be hanging around the rumour mill for years – the Hazard story will be a sticker if we dont get him soon..! Oh yeah, and Cesc might be on Barca’s radar too people, you heard it here first.

  11. Steve of Chiang Mai

    Of greater concern is why the collective English media dont beat Pearce with the “story stick” and point out the flaming obvious…That Arsenal had a bevy of mid-fielders on the sidelines for the last 6 weeks in various stages of broken-ness…..inc Fabregas, Nasri, Diaby and Song! You dont even have to be that smart or experienced – all you need is 2 eyes and a TV!

  12. No mention yet of my dream signings yet..jan verthongen and juan matta this time around..so hopefully they are still possibilities 😀

  13. 2 yets…lack of sleep sorry..please ignore either one..i grant you the freedom to choose..

  14. Markus
    Its us who have not won a trophy for 6 years Liverpool won the FA cup in 2006

  15. GA- why are you so convinced there is no bias. You wont even entertain it? seems odd especially based on how the season has gone. The team shouldnt dwell but they shouldnt just bend over either. Someone mentions it and you turn it into the whole reason. if its part of the reason we lost then thats what it is. we shouldnt mention it because….Yeah, i dont really know your deal.

    Henristic- am i right in saying you dont live in europe? You live in nigeria or SA? Maybe you cant get the feel of the way people are treating arsenal at the moment. There is certainly a prejudice and it comes from diffrent things.

    I believe the bias will die down when things get better for us and as the media focus on someone else to destroy but just saying it not happening is a little naive. Thats the type of thing I would have said when i was 17 and thought things were fair. And yes people corruption can happen in the UK are you kidding me?

    Stuart pearce is just another in the line of english mangers that have shit to say about Wenger right about now. He is no psych, alot of psychos are intelligent he is just STUPID. I’ve been waiting around for the dalglish and carrol bashing still waiting. Why do you think? No bias there GA, none at all.

  16. Must…not…get into a back and forth with andy…

    Sorry dude, work calls and all that.

  17. Sorry Anirudh, forgot to mention me old mucker, Vertho. And I’ll remove the first ‘yet’. Thanks!

  18. My point is there is a bias but we have to be smart and ruthless in how we deal with it. Not pretend it doesnt exist.

  19. Goonerwife – It is a good question actually, and I have had a good think about it. Personally I just don’t think it is realistic, it is as simple as that. It just seems that ervybody who is deemed to have wronged our club is labeled as biased.

  20. @geo

    dohhh… u ruined it…now he will never be signed 😀

  21. I’m glad Pearce came out with the sh@t he did. Just goes to prove how much of a muppet he is and that it was all about his career not Jack’s.

  22. Nice post, YW.

    @ Gooner Sam
    “I’m glad Pearce came out with the sh@t he did. Just goes to prove how much of a muppet he is and that it was all about his career not Jack’s.”
    Absolutely right.

  23. People are biased against Arsenal but I think that is in part because Wenger is not gracious in defeat and comes across as a bad loser

  24. @ goonerwife
    Well said.

  25. whoever says there is no bias towards our darling club should have there eyez examined.

  26. GA – I know what you’re saying about having to work against the percieved bias and overcome it, but if you look back at a number of our games this year, can you honestly say that we have been treated in the same way as our rivals? Statistics suggest otherwise. Ref reviews show far more ‘errors’ in our games, and a huge percentage of those ‘errors’ were not in our favour. The Barca decision was the worst example, shortly followed by the Newcastle capitulation. The decisions leading up to the goals (not all directly) in the Newcastle game cemented my feelings or unfair treatment. I’ve never seen such an unbalanced ref performance.

    The media bias is there for all to see, and to deny that would just be strange.

  27. “People are biased against Arsenal but I think that is in part because Wenger is not gracious in defeat and comes across as a bad loser.”

    That really isn’t the reason, Gooner Sam. Is Wenger worse than other managers in this respect? And when he does give credit to the other side, the press twist his words to make it sound as if he was complaining because the “Arsene Whinger” theme sells more papers than the truth does. It’s an example of the media feeding bias, as is the latest complaint that AW constantly harangues the fourth official. Just not true that he is constantly doing it, and ridiculous implication that he is the only manager who does it at all.

  28. People would’nt be biased againts arsenal if they start taking winning seriously.

  29. @ Geo
    Agree totally. There are so many examples one could give when it comes to officiating. It’s not a conspiracy as such, in my view, or necessarily connected to match-fixing and betting syndicates etc (although Sky and Manure are commercially linked), it’s an institutional bias comparable to that found to exist amongst the police in the 1980s. The bias is unconscious – enabling the biassed officials to claim honestly and sincerely that they are acting impartially. But the statistics suggest otherwise. There are thousands of police, and only 16 refs qualified to officiate PL matches – that is few enough for a culture of prejudice to exist. With a few honoourable exceptions, of course.

  30. Hahahaha gooner2!

    I think you’ve nailed it. Someone should tell the club of this pioneering philosophy – “taking winning seriously”. That’d get the cheeky buggers of our backs eh?! The MOTD crew would love our Arses if we actually gave a fuck about winning…

    Seriously, email that to the club ASAFP! The shift in bias should be instant, makes complete logical sense. Thank you.

  31. Geo – What stats?

    Sam – I like the fact Wenger is a bad loser. It shows commitment and passion. I hate it when we lose a game, yet see some of the players laughing and joking with the opposition at the final whistle.

    I remember a game when we got beat by Newcastle, and Parlour got (wrongly) sent off. After the final whistle some of our players went ballisitc, Henry especially. We got a real slagging in the press, but I liked it. And it worked in our favor; the players felt cheated and went out put put thnigs right.

  32. Paulie Walnuts

    Nice, amusing post YW

    Pearce wouldn`t have the intelligence to see his hypocrisy even if handed to him on a tablet of stone.

    He`s cultivated his tough guy Englishman image for too long to miss the chance to have a pop at a cerebral Frenchman.

  33. The media bias largely stems from the fact that we are a big top 4 club which gives them nothing to write about in terms of superstar transfers or gossip..this causes immense frustration, because according to their sensationalist, myopic view, this should spell doom for the club and they should no longer be top 4. But we as a club and wenger as a manager continue to defy the odds and challenge eveery season. This irritates them no end.

    so they have to invent something to write about..and writing negatives is easier than writing positives, cos even a moron can come up with dimwit ,sensationalist, negative , morose headline. They cannot accept for one moment that their view is wrong..that big money transfers are not needed to be successful..so they revel in predicting our inevitable collapse into the bottomless pit..and do not miss any chance to drive home their point..exaggerating their point a million times along the way..it helps that some section of our support is stupid enough to assimilate this and re-regurgitate the same crap, enhancing the story

    It takes more analysis and effort to write a really positive piece, not just the waxing lyrical and fawning you see with manchester united. Which of course the journos cannot do, and LO!! media bias

    This transfers onto the pitch..and ultimately the refs are human and hence they let a lot of fouls on us go un-punished and see any foul from our side as a retaliation and brandish the cards for ppl like alex song..for their first slightly mistimed tackles and also point to the spot for the slightest nudges..cos we are the divers and the other teams are honest when it comes to that sort of stuff…and 17 PENS!!

  34. FG – exactly, we’re not saying that there’s match-fixing going on, or an agreed conspiracy against us – unconscious bias is a great way of explaining it. Nice one. The media however, seems like a much more conscious and blatant bias.

  35. GA – I cant remember where the articles came from, but last month I read a few different articles with referee reviews, highlighting the decisions in all of our games, from yellow cards and fouls on the edge of the box, to corners, to penalties etc etc. Sorry I have no link to back it up, but assure you the evidence presented there showed huge anti-Arsenal bias from almost all Prem referees, some more than others. And there’s the penalties issue which has been discussed on here recently. Might all be coincidence, but that seems more far-fetched than the possibility of these refs (that some think are oh so full of integrity) being biased against us.

  36. Geo – I see what you are saying, but here is the crux; did you also see the same reports from other teams in the lge? I am guessing not, so how can we say that we are getting worse decisions that anybody else.

    Further to that (for example), if we are giving away more fouls near our area, why does that show a bias with referee’s? Why does it not show that we start to panic when put under pressure near our box and make more bad tackles?

    This is all subjective of course, so hard to prove one way or the other. I am just been devils advocate really. That said, I genuinelly do not belive that there is some sort of bias against our club. If it were that obvious I am sure that our club would have taken this on. They have acess to better stats and figures that any of the fans/blogs.

  37. GA – to be fair, no I haven’t seen other reports. But I have watched a lot of other team’s matches this year (more than usual), and found myself saying ‘if that was Arsenal, that would/wouldn’t have been given’ quite often. I am definitely biased towards Arsenal, so my view will always be tilted that way, but the fact that we’re even discussing it suggests that there is some bias to some extent.

    The more obvious bias I was talking about is definitely in the xenophobic media. Surely you have seen this?

    I think if the club tried to take something like that on, it would open up a big fat, writhing can of worms…

  38. @ goonerandy

    I guess the most telling stats would be a big difference in Pens against, a huge difference is startling because in our own games we observe what happens in the opponents box when we attack

    and in our case yellow and red cards too, because we see a direct comparison between the severity of fouls suffered which are not carded and what our players get carded for. These 2 are examples of clearly comparable stats where we can analyse just the arsenal games and draw conclusions

    I agree that it happens more away from home usually, which is natural, but the problem for us is the atmosphere at our home games is so bad that we do not get the “evening-out” effect at home

  39. Geo – I agree that the media may well have a bias against us. I must admit, I don’t mind that too much as I pay little attention what what drivel they write anyway. I just don’t think so on the pitch.

  40. Anirudh – a bit of an oxymoron there – how does one spend an evening out if one is at home? 😉

  41. So Geo, we fail to win anything and it’s a conspiracy againt us. I suppose we can’t use the “too many injuries excuse this season”, so desperate, head-in-sand supporters look for other excuses.
    Yes, the decision to send RVP off in Spain was a bloody discrace, but do you remember the stonewall penalty and the incorrectly ruled out goal that Barcelona had in the first leg? You probably don’t.
    We seem to give away quite a few penalties and free kicks, but I think we should be looking at the quality of some of our tackling, rather than blaming refs. Ever noticed that Alex Song picks up a yellow card in many games? Is there a bias against him or does his tackling technique need to be worked on. I would suggest it is the latter.

  42. I must admit I still get quite riled by the media bias, even though I’m used to it. I know most of the stuff out there is shite written by fools, but there are some papers, pundits, ex-players etc that I keep expecting to go up in my estimations and give a more balanced view, only to be angered by them again… Some issues for me to work on I guess..!

  43. I didn’t say conspiracy tbM. Slight bias in refereeing, and seemingly ‘unconscious’ as FG put it. Media bias, yes I whole-heartedly think so. Even if we won something, I would think the same, based on what I’ve seen this year. You may not agree, fair enough, that’s what these discussions/debates are all about, no?

  44. I believe the bias will die down when things get better for us

    —-

    Well theres the real issue. You cant stand reading/listening about/being reminded about some hard truths.

    No conspiracy. Inability to accept the musings of scumbags from the red tops which have, in large, been fairly accurate.

    Conspiracy. Pfffft. I assume we are all fairly matured individuals? Step outside the football fan box and repeat after me.

    “There is a NATIONWIDE conspiracy amongst the media and referress against Arsenal Football Club. ” AND again…

    Honestly? Is this a GENUINE belief from some posters???

    Seems a mighty large secret to compete in an age when everything is viral.

    Tis truley embarassing that some seek solace in childs play fiction to hide away from some simple facts.

  45. ‘Psycho’ & ‘Bruiser’ are quite a double act.

    Psycho’s previous of selecting Walcott* and only playing him here and there, and then going out the tournament probably had no bearing upon little Jack’s thinking. Nope.

    *Had only scored a hat-trick for the senoir team against what weas then a good team, helping them to qualify.

  46. Good quality as normal YW

    Two topics to comment on – regarding transfer activity I would not be at all surprised if a number of clubs, including our own, are holding off to see just what the Euros U21 throws up in terms of new stars – I recall last time Ozul and Khedira stood out as well as Neuer – there will be uncut diamonds out there

    Second on Referee Bias – I would be hard pushed to say AFC are on the wrong end of too many bad calls cos we also get more than our fair share of dubious decisions in our favour. I think the more powerful, experienced clubs do get a bigger share of positive decisions rather than small clubs simply because the players are trained to hector the refs incessantly. Look at Barca – it is choreographed moaning. It also seems to me that some referees are overawed by famous players – Rio for example – who influence them a bit too much.

  47. allicoll5 – Yup, agreed on both points.

  48. Whilst I agree that there is a bias against us and that the press seem to love haranging us for me there are three reasons for this:

    1. we used to be very successful (recently) and so expectation has been built up
    2. the press love to have someone to wind up and although Wenger is not that bad I do get a little annoyed with the constant excuses (bad pitch, bad schedule, bad referees). If we know the press are like this we should try not to feed them
    3. we have gone against the buy nature of the EPL. I really hoped that it would wrok but it hasn’t. we need sensible spending mixed with youth but I feel Wenger would then see that as admitting defeat.

    The answer…well winning something but I do think at least if Wenger spends both the fans and the media will see that he is trying to change things.

  49. How many of u think Samba will fit at Arsenal. This article might just change your thoughts:

    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/why-samba-is-not-the-answer-to-our-defensive-frailties/

    There’s one point I want to make.I think winning the title is all about integrating the whole squad together and making them feel at par. That’s one major setback this season. The big gulf in class b/w the 1st team and the squad players doesn’t help at all.The point about the opponent’s manager having an easier team talk is spot on.

  50. Bradys right foot

    GA I hear what your saying m8, I for the most part am a rational and logical guy. However lets just say when I think about Arsenal I can be slightly irrational and am only too aware of how my worldview has been distorted by my love for this club. That being said I do think it is marginally easier for Man Utd to win the league than Arsenal, I think they receive more favourable refeering descisions and I believe some teams in the league work harder against us than Utd. Im sure the opta stats for the likes of Bolton and Stoke for example would show they made more tackles and covered mor ground in their games against us. That doesn’t make it a conspiracy but I do find it curious in the same way as Paul Robinsons celebration after the final whistle at Bolton.

  51. @ geo

    Good spot mate..i of course meant decisions getting evened out during the course of a season…damn heteronyms..

  52. theBigM, stop using the word conspiracy you moron. No one said conspiracy.

  53. One needs to tred lightly when international/national/all manner of conspiracies are suggested as a reason that Arsenal did not do well this season. In my experience it is rare that a referee causes a team to actually lose a game. The game is fast and technology would be a helpful tool in aiding the difficult decisions. May the Football Gods bless these characters who run up and down the fields of England in the thankless job of attempting to be the all seeing agent of truth. The abuse that is hurled at these people not only from the players, fans, and press is beyond the bounds of reasonableness.

  54. Someone made a point on here a while back and I thought there was never a truer word spoken. Vidic wouldn’t see the end of a match if he was in an Arsenal shirt next season.

    I watched the highlights only of United’s last match and counted two instances where I felt Vidic should have been carded for professional fouls denying goal scoring opportunities on the egde of the box. And that’s just the one’s they showed in the highlights. He finished that match with a clean record.

  55. It is curious that we think certain players (just using Samba as an example) won’t fit in with us. To spin that thought on its head (for discussion sake), the players that do currently fit in our system are not having too much sucess so why not try an change of tact.

    It is like people who look for a job as they don’t like their current one. Most people will look for a similar job, despite the fact that they are leaving their current one as they don’t like it. They disregard something new quite often. The fist sign of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  56. george rodger

    Some of the people on here are either very stupid or being purposely awkward.
    So for the stupid ones ,I repeat,Nobody is sating there is a conspiracy,just a slight bias.So when next you think of saying “there is no conspiracy against Arsenal” WE FUCKING NO,ALRIGHT!

  57. @Two Owls *Facepalm*

  58. What baffles me Two Owls is that in any other walk of life, in fact in any other sport, if a person abused someone like players speak to referees – screaming in their face , f***** this and that, eyes bulging, foaming – they would get laid out.

    And as often or not it is over a disputed throw in on the half way line.

    High time referees got in touch with their masculine side

  59. anicoll5 – I agree with that (about the refs). If bugs me when players surround the ref, and he starts to back off. Stand still, and if somebody walks into you card them. I remember Collina yellow carding every man in a 6 man wall as they would not retreat when he told them to.

  60. shubhamgoel27

    I’d have to disagree with that article.

    We concede more goals than any other side from set pieces. We are hardly a threat from offensive set pieces either.

    CB pairings are about balance. If we played Samba & Djourou I’d be very worried (apart from against Stoke), but Samba alongside a TV/LK would be perfect.

    He would not be in the side for his pace, reading of the game and ability on the ball. Rather his ability to communicate, organise, and provide a defensive barrier to our greatest weakness, and add another goal scoring threat.

    I’d be delighted if we signed him.

  61. george rodger

    Markus,it was me who said that about Vidic and its true.
    Does anybody think that if Djourou pulled of a world class fingertip save,directly down the line of site of the asst.ref.,at Old Trafford,he would not have received any sort of a punishment?
    Perhaps he was the only person not to see it? After all its not like it his job or anything.

  62. andy, you’re making it really hard for me to ignore you today. Your comments are so at odds with my feelings.

    Samba in an Arsenal defence would be a bloody liability. Our defenders are quick and agile because they have to be to suit our style of play. You can’t change the way the defence operates to accomodate a different type of defender. It would be a disaster.

  63. Bradys right foot

    shubhamgoel27 totaly agree on the Samba article, he’s a good defender but unless we stop playing a pressing and stop holding a high line, a clogger as good a clogger as Samba is would be mullered at Arsenal, we’d certainly concede more from open play.

    Set piece defensive frailities are without doubt a concern, however improvement in these areas can be coached but is also something that has to be constantly worked on. Aston Villa went from almost impregnable under O Neil from set pieces to being worse than us under Houllier. While our defenders wont get any taller they can get better at set pieces as can the team collectively. From open play and in one on one situations are back 4 are the best in the league.

  64. GA,

    It’s a solid point. Its very obvious our current approach to defensive solidarity is way off the pace. Why not bring in a new ingredient?

    Its a logical signing. We are terrible at set pieces. Sign the biggest set piece beast we can. Recognise weakness, find solution.

    An example at United. VDS is retiring, solution, sign one of the hottest young keepers in Europe.

  65. Markus – I see what you are saying but you are missing my point. Our current way of defending does not seem to be working for us. Having a different type of player in there maybe the solution. Vidic is hardly Beckenbauer on the ball, but he suits Ferdinand perfectly. Same with that twat Terry and Luiz.

    If we have to slightly change the way we set up in defence; that might not be such a bad thing. At the very worst we would have to defend slightly deeper.

  66. Question, if we had a straight swap for:

    Squillaci & Denilson for Samba & Parker

    Would the majority assume we were weaker or stronger?

    For me, its an absolute no brainer.

  67. Luke – Agreed.

  68. Bradys right foot

    Luke if thats the question – Hell Yeah

    But heres another one, would Samba be as effective for Arsenal as he is for Blackburn.

  69. Andy, Our defence was the second best in the league right before we had our bad spell, which included trouble scoring as well as difficulty keeping clean sheets. So no, I don’t agree that our current defence isn’t up to it.

  70. Markus – Well then you disagree with our manager who said defensively we were not good enough.

  71. george rodger

    “You can’t change the way the defence operates to accomodate a different type of defender. It would be a disaster”
    Markus,you clearly dont have the right edition of “championship manager” Its much simpler now.

  72. Marcus – Added to that, as our defence was so good in terms of goals against, but yet we conceeded over half of our goals from set pieces…….what area should we concentrate on?

    I have maintained for a while that it is the manner of the goals we conceed, not so much the amount to be fair. So many of our goals area avoidable.

  73. “You can’t change the way the defence operates to accomodate a different type of defender. It would be a disaster”

    An interesting quote. How do we know it would be a disaster? Why could the change in personnel and system not be an improvement?

  74. BRF – It would be interesting. Less action would certainly see his concentration tested, but I still maintain he is better at set pieces, at both ends, than every player we have currently have at the club.

    Markus – Our defence was SECOND best, before our BAD SPELL. Our defence was second best, before our bad spell.

    Come on fella – you remeber that really hassly period a few years back when Scousers were saying they would be champions if the season ran a calendar year. Pathetic wasnt it.

    How many goals did we concede over a season? TOO MANY
    Why? We are terrible at set pieces

  75. George

    By mocking a call for change as a Champ Man approach, merely rejecting it suggests you know better than not to? Ergo, you too are a ‘professional’ manager.

    You follow?

  76. george rodger

    One reason we are so bad at set pieces because the inordinate number of penalties awarded against us corrupt the figures.They count as set pieces you know .

  77. um.

    According to some podcast or other, Samba is on twice Skilly’s wages.

    Oh. and if that set-piece ‘stat’ includes pelanties, which it does, then it is not very useful*.

    *relax yourselves, (somehow?) all you gr*t merchants. That does not mean you can’t improve on what you have.

  78. george rodger

    Sorry Luke ,I did not wish to diminish your achievements on Champ Man.I am sure you are top.

  79. George is mocking an edited, dare I say it a gr*tty use of the term ‘set-piece’.
    This particular ‘stat’ has been analysed in various places on the old interwebby.

    So, fair enough.

  80. george rodger

    Score more goals.
    Concede less goals.
    Spend money.
    Ditch the deadwood.
    Man up.

    See its easy.job done .Oh I am a genius.

  81. George, Finsbury

    I’m sorry your right. We are exceptional at defending set pieces. In fact, its certainly not an area we should look to strengthen.

    Ahh, I cant believe I have not seen it. For three years, 3 YEARS, referees have been giving soft penalties against us, so the MEDIA can write about our inability to defend set pieces, when really its not true.

    Unbelievable.

  82. Am I correct in remembering that a short while before the Newcastle game, one of our players, possibly Nasri, came out with a suggestion that refs were biased against Arsenal?

    The immediate reaction was the fiasco in Newcastle.

    I also recall that it took many months after the Eduardo “dive” incident before we got another penalty.

    No one likes critisism, and people tend, even unconsciously to react against it. Why should we believe that refs are any different?

    Why is it that in the last few years there have been so few penalties against Manure at OT?

    Is it not that the atmosphere there is so intimidating to refs that they hesitate before giving an opponent a penalty?

  83. Luke

  84. Score more goals. – how can this be achieved george? by having a better second striker? more options to break down teams? why for 3 years has the highest paid manager in the league not come up with a solution?

    Concede less goals – see above. How is this achieved? concede less at set pieces? Why has the highest paid manager in the league not found a solution after three years?

    Spend money – never been uttered. Simply, improve what needs improving

    Ditch the deadwood – see above. Lets get some genuine comp
    etition for places. Our first 11 is untouchable at present

    Man up – Abso-fucking-lutley. Lets stop moaning, whinging, complaining, pointing fingers, feeling sorry, looking for excuses, wallowing in defeats. ACT LIKE FRICKING MEN.

    Your a piece of work George. Are you here simple to follow Franks rule of wind up anyone who has different opinion.

    Its like talking to a child. I’d also bank on me being at least half your age. Grow up man.

  85. Sorry, Luke. Posted too soon.

    “We concede more goals than any other side from set pieces.”
    Is this actually true? I can’t find the statistics.

  86. Merlot,

    I’ll have a look. But it was covered by Sky pundits after the Bolton defeat….

  87. if anyone is under the illusion that there is not a media/ref bias against arsenal they are an another planet!can’t remember the arsenalwebsite in particular but they have statistical analysis with regards to particular refs in our games that CLEARLY SHOW an in herent bias-they interestingly compared it to some of MANURES matches-you’re eyes will be opened,believe me-for statters you could look at “at phil dowds”disgaceful performance up at newcastle.i defy anyone to exclaim his calls were “genuine errors”ffs! old red nose would have gone ballistic,the manure players would have lynched him & at the very least who would never,neber ref’d MANURE game again..we are seen as foreign team in the epl…

  88. Goonerwife @ 11:02:

    “My point is there is a bias but we have to be smart and ruthless in how we deal with it. Not pretend it doesnt exist.”

    If anyone could honestly figure out a way to be smart and ruthless with how we deal with it that would be fine. Even if you believe there are logical reasons to feel that way, nothing makes it harder to pick yourself up then the feeling of being resigned to your fate by outside forces. If the things that the vast majority on the blog say are correct that feeling of self pity and resignation in the players was the reason our season went down hill. So I would argue that until we are able to deal with it in a smart and ruthless way the best thing to do it to stop thinking and talking about it.

  89. george rodger

    Luke,I will try to explain it to you ,as I see it.Please remember I am rubbish at Champ Man.
    You can have big solid lump ,defend at all costs ,defenders .Who because of their lack of mobility sit back somewhat.Because of this lack of mobility you assign one or two more mobile mid fielders to cover the space created in the middle and help out defensively.
    Now here is what you might struggle to get.We dont play that way.
    We play with quick footballing center backs who hold a high line.
    Now if you know of two huge great lumps with the footballing skills of say Kos. and TV.then please ,give them up.We are all ears.

  90. longblackcloud

    Samba wouldn`t work as we need our centre backs to be able to play, because teams press (“get in our face”) all over the pitch meaning we need all our players to be able to participate when we have the ball. Teams will simply press our players till Samba (or lumpen equivilent) gets it and has to launch it forward.

    That said Campbell should have been barred from passing the ball more than 10 mtrs and he worked out alright! so in conclusion having talked myself out my original point sign Samba.
    but will he hav e to buggar off in Jan to the ACN?

  91. george rodger

    Oh I forgot to say.As a consequence of that we will always be more susceptible to high balls lumped into the box.It is an unavoidable result of our style of play.

  92. merlot.

    No. It is not true.
    That won’t stop a self-declared ‘realist’ from declaring that such deliberate disinformation is an accurate statement.

    You couldn’t make it up.
    Whoops, it just did.

  93. 7am has posted a statto’s delight upon this set-piece malarky.

  94. Merlot

    It was an Opta stat but was rumoured to include penalties. Given Arsenal were one of the teams who conceded most penalties which were scored, it skews the figures.

    YW

  95. Here is 7am effort upon set-pieces:

    “The number, so oft quoted that it’s practically burned into my retina, is that Arsenal conceded 53.5% of their Premier League goals (23 of the 43) from set pieces.

    On the surface this is a damning number. But wait, what is a set piece? They don’t tell you but I will: a set piece is any penalty, corner, or free kick. Arsenal’s opponents were awarded a League leading 9 penalties of which they converted 6 — the second most in the Premier League behind Liverpool and Blackburn. Put another way, what they don’t tell you is that 26% of the goals conceded off “set pieces” came from penalties and 14% of Arsenal’s total goals conceded were from penalties.

    They also don ‘t bother to show why penalties are important: Chelsea’s opponents scored 2 of the 3 penalties awarded against them, Manciti conceded 3 of 4 and Man U conceded 5 of 6. Which is 6%, 9%, and 13.5% of each team’s total goals allowed respectively.

    The other thing that’s not broken down in that big number is where Arsenal stand in terms of each type of set piece. You might be surprised to know that Arsenal allowed just 8 goals from corners and that the League average is 7.3 and that we allowed 9 from actual set pieces.

    You might also be surprised to know that Arsenal’s defending from set pieces has actually gotten better this year from last. Both Arsenal last year and this conceded 23 goals off set plays. Since Arsenal allowed 41 last year and 43 this year, that means that as a percentage of total goals allowed, Arsenal are three percentage points better off conceding from set pieces. If you remove the penalties from the equation, which I suggest should be done due to the controversial nature of their award, then Arsenal conceded 18 goals off actual set plays last year and 17 this. Meaning that Arsenal conceded 44% of their goals off set plays last year and 39.5% this.

    Does this weakness from corners and set pieces indicate a problem at Arsenal? It really seems like it, but I’d suggest that we need to look at several factors that contribute to the success of this tactic against the Gunners.

    The first is conceding free kicks in dangerous areas. Having looked at most of the Guardian Chalkboards this season, my gut feeling is that Arsenal concede more free kicks in our defensive half of the field than any other team. It’s one of the numbers that I’m keen to look into but haven’t yet because it means painstakingly looking at every game, for every team. Yet it would be fascinating to see what Arsenal’s ratio of free-kicks to set piece goals is as compared to say, United.

    The second thing we’d need to look at then is what ratio of fouls conceded in Arsenal’s area are converted into goals from set pieces. The problem is that we don’t know and the Journo who baited that trap above doesn’t really care to look at the data that he has access to and I don’t. Why? Probably because it’s not the narrative he wants to tell. He wants to confirm the idea that Arsenal are vulnerable from set plays, not tell the facts about Arsenal’s season, because confirming a dominant narrative sells papers.

    If Arsenal were truly weak from set plays then we should see a high ratio of goals conceded off fouls in their defensive area. It could be true and it’s something that needs looking into if one is to make any kind of real analysis of the set pieces number. Maybe I’ll do a little every night this Summer?

    The point of all this is that while I am “guilty” of using Newsroom Stats I am open and honest about why (because I don’t have access to the data that they do) and I am always open about how I could be wrong. Meanwhile, the so-called journalists who are supposed to be objectively looking at data and reporting the facts, are not.

  96. Jabba's delights

    GeorgeRoger

    ”Now here is what you might struggle to get.We dont play that way.
    We play with quick footballing center backs who hold a high line.
    Now if you know of two huge great lumps with the footballing skills of say Kos. and TV.then please ,give them up.We are all ears.”

    I love it how you always have ago at people who talk tactics and then service up some complete tosh yourself. Has it ever occured to you that we are crap at defending our very own manager has said it for 3 years and that maybe just maybe having these ball playing cb that can hardly defend for toffee together isnt the right option.

    After me please George, conceding 43 goals in a league season isnt f^cking good enough. Conceding 41 goals last season isnt f^cking good enough. For a team who is meant to play such a high line and press all over the pitch in order to score more goals we dont f^cking score enough.

    Maybe our 6m a year manager should start realising we dont score enough to play the system we play and our defending is just plain bad……….then maybe we will stop having such average seasons

  97. Andy, teams practice set pieces against us because it is the only way they can score. As a consequence we concede more form set pieces.

  98. longblackcloud

    It seems likely that the set piece problem may well become self perpetuating as team percieve this weakness and play for freekicks in dangerous areas – which does appear to already be the case

  99. Thanks, finsbury.

    The figures are clear. The inferences are obscure.

    No surprises there, then.

  100. Bradys right foot

    Luke the team has problems at set pieces and they are an obvious cause of concern. It galls me to see some of the cheap goals weve conceded this year. To be honest if we have had simply thrown the ball into our own net from kickoff some of the goals wouldn’t have been cheaper.

    Still I wouldn’t swap JD and Kozzer for anyone in their position of the same age well maybe Pique. If you track Rio Ferdinands progress in his early to mid twenties and you’ll see a defender with all the ability in the world, playing really well in between making some huge individual errors. That didn’t stop him going on to be a very good defender as he got older. Kozzer will be the best defender in the league in two or three years time, his performances against Messi at the emirates this season is the best I’ve seen anyone play him in one on one situations. He clearly wants to improve and will continue to do so just like Ferdinand did as he entered his later twenties.

  101. That’s a great post FP – I don’t bother with more than two or three blogs, but have to start looking at that one.

    Sort of a separate point – but Wenger isn’t a manager that looks too much at the opposition’s tactics. He’ll make the odd tweak before a match, but won’t spend days preparing the team, concentrating instead on improving what we do best. There are quite a few that do this, btw.

  102. don’t you think it’s a bit odd how most individuals who come on here and moan a.) all hate exactly the same players and b.) all want to sign exactly the same players. samba for instance – you could delete his name and replace it with hangelaand for last summer, and zapata for summer before – likewise with the whipping boys, delete denilson and replace with song, gilberto (’til he got injured and everyone realised how much we missed him), wiltord and grimandi

  103. Extraordinary situation has developed with the future of Cesc. We all knew he was going to join barcelona this summers, evident by his attending the Spanish Grand Prix, and not attending our last fixture. Fuel was thrown into this fire, just two days back, when apparently Puyol and Pique, tweeted a picture of a picture of Cesc in their hands, which was surely the nail in the coffin for Cesc’s Arsenal career. However, rumor has it that Cesc was seen with RVP attending the New York red Bulls match yesterday. It seems Cesc has all fooled us, and will be joining Henry, and play for the Red Bulls from next season.

  104. Jabba's delights

    Brady’s Right foot

    Kosciellny may well go on to be great, the issue being we needed a great defender last year when wenger identified defence as a weakness. Our captina wants to leave as he cant hang aorund much longer waiting for players to develope.

    We must deliver next year as a team no more excuses and no more waiting for players to show that they very good. Wenger signings this sumemr cant be experimental like Kosciellny. Squilaci was just a plain awful by from wenger

  105. What the fuck is wrong with Arsene? We were suppose to sell Cesc this summers to Barca. And instead, so far, we actually stole 2 more players from their youth system. Who apparently are very highly rated. Why is Arsene doing this to us? Why can’t he stick to what the media demands of him?

  106. george rodger

    If we concede 50 goal per season and score 100 ,that would be fun would it not?
    Just Kidding.
    Ok .Here is what Graeme Souness said on the matter quite some time ago
    “you cant set up as an attacking team and defend as if you are set up to defend.Its Impossible”

  107. longblackcloud

    I agree Jabberwock, have we been linked to Sebastian Frey & Trezguet yet this season?

  108. George:

    “As a consequence of that we will always be more susceptible to high balls lumped into the box.It is an unavoidable result of our style of play.”

    You make the point I have been banging on about for 2 years better then I could.

    Our style of play puts our defense under immense pressure. It can work for short stretches of time but not consistently over the course of a season. I understand that we are an attacking team but in order to make the system work we would have to significantly outscore the other top table teams and we can not do that on a consistent basis.

    Where is my logic going wrong because it seems so obvious after watching us play for the last 3 years.

  109. george rodger

    Perhaps Cesc it going to combine both and drive for Red Bull

  110. Jabba's delights

    GeorgeRoger

    Fine if we are going to be set up as an attacking team i fully understand that we will concede a few, the problem being George we dont score nearly enough to justifty playing in such an attacking way. Either Wenger goes out and buys some better attackers or he changes our style. Utd have outscored us 6 years running and have had a vastly better defence than us over than time…………..???

  111. george rodger

    Good afternoon Bill.
    There is nothing wrong with your logic.But Arsene ,I think, hopes to solve the problem by keeping possession and scoring more rather than follow your more traditional model.
    All I am saying is that its one or the other.
    Then you could mention at United and make me look foolish.

  112. This from the mega cunt at Le Moan:

    “Has he learned nothing? We sign two Barca graduates who we will persevere with for 8 years and when they get to being good they suddenly discover they have Barca DNA and want to leave, so we take the pain and they get the gain, no wonder we get them so easily, we are a nursery for Barcelona, they must be laughing themselves silly, we train them and give them plenty of playing time whilst watching them cost us the odd point, then if they are any good they scoop them up ready made, if not they go to Athletico Madrid, what a twit you are Mr Wenger.”

    Why is that blog full if illogical, stupid, irrational people? We got Cesc on the cheap, he’s been an exceptional player for us all these season. We will get atleast 50m when he is sold. And that Mega Cunt has the audacity to call Arsene a twit. And they think they’re in the majority, and their opinions carry an air of superiority over rest of the Blogs.

  113. george rodger

    Now Jabba we are beginning to find some common ground.
    Yes we must score more and vary our tactics ,offensively,more readily.
    And perhaps if Rvp is fit from the start of the season. that maybe,one year ,be possible.

  114. George,

    It would be foolish of Cesc to join the Red Bulls racing team for now. I doubt he would replace Vettel or Webber. He will be a backup driver, at best. He should stay where he is for now, and wait for one of them to retire.

  115. george rodger

    Ateeb,But Red Bull is in his blood.Its all he has drank since he was a child.And hid grandfather mixes it with his vodka.

  116. George:

    Not just United. Chelsea have outscored us 4 of the last 6 years. The whole concept that attacking football and solidity in defense are mutually exclusive is pure and complete rubbish and no one in the world outside of AFC believes that or plays that way. Look at the goals scored and goals conceded totals in the winners of all of the major European leagues for the last 10 years on ESPN.go.soccernet.com if you have any doubt about what I am saying.

    We have been trying the same thing for several years. Having the fastest and lightest defenders in a very physical league is just is not working out so maybe its time to at least have 1/4 of our CB’s who adds a different look. No gaurantees but do you really think trading Squillachi for someone like Subotic or Samba will actually hurt us?

  117. Jabba's delights

    ateeb

    ”We will get atleast 50m when he is sold.”

    What makes you so certain? If he hands in a transfer request this summer we will be lucky to get 35 for him. Dont get me wrong, great business but he is the heart of our team. If we lose young Samir as well we lose his natural replacement. Its crucial we keep them. Whilst i dont think Samir deserves Cesc and RVP money for half a seasons exceptional work sometimes one must bite the bullet.

    If wenger wants to go all out to keep them, he should signal his intent by making some excellent signings early and by that i dont mean expensive i just me quality.

  118. george rodger

    Bill.I agree.Its a tried and tested concept.
    But football is changing .Eventually the physical stuff will fade.Look on the bright side .We are ahead of the game.(I am joking you know)

  119. Ateeb

    If you get upset by their views, don’t read them. Simple.

    YW

  120. george rodger

    Jabba.Please tell me a player of quality who is not expensive.

  121. george rodger

    Bill.In your defense,”The Invincibles” were just such a team.
    Arsene built that team.Something people are rather quick to forget,so…………………………….”Arsene knows”………………………………..Yet people think he must have forgotten.Seams a little unlikely to me.How about you?

  122. George:

    “”Arsene knows”………………………………..Yet people think he must have forgotten.Seams a little unlikely to me.How about you?”

    Haha! 🙂

  123. the thing to remember with all these stats being bandied about, that at the end of a season, like this one, where we have gone into meltdown and stopped scoring and have started conceding then we end up with a crap defensive & offensive report for the season. Yet before these meltdowns, as with this season, we are only a few goals off worse (scored & conceded) than united are, which means that for 2/3’s of the season our scored/conceded stat is actually quite good, and is close to being what is required from champions. This therefore implies that are tactics are not massively flawed, or that we are desperate for a ‘clogger’ or ‘massive defensive midfielder’. Indeed, it shows that our tactics are actually quite succesful, as are the personel that we have at the club. so this whole argument being put forth that our defence is shit and that our tactics are massively flawed as we are not scoring enough goals and are conceding like crazy is in itself flawed.

    that doesn’t justify the meltdowns, as you are judged at the end of the season for what has been achieved over the entire course of it, but surely this means that our problems are fundamentally psychological? Not that this isn’t as big an issue as the perceived tactical/personel flaws, or that it doesn’t need to be addressed – however I really dont see that our attack isn’t good enough or that our defence is shit. Yes, the squad needs a bit of refreshing, and a new face or two wouldn’t go amiss (both in quality and leadership tactics), however I don’t think our tactics are that wrong. Which is basically repeating what many on this forum have been stating all along – squad improvement and not surgery. Jabba, Luke, GA, etc, would you agree or do you still maintain that our tactics are massively flawed (i’m not claiming there isn’t room for improvement)? If you do, how is it that we can challenge the eventual champions for so long? There is definitely a psychological problem which needs addressing ASAP and I don’t deny it, however I just fail to see how our tactics have been such a failure? And yes, Jabba, I know we lost 5 TIMES BEFORE CHRISTMAS, but then again Chelsea, United and City weren’t doing that great either, we were still up there in the top two despite this, so either the league is more difficult or every single team has gotten worse, which therefore implies that there are some issues outside of wengers control with regards to inconsistancy.

  124. Yogi,

    Just wandering around on the blog sphere. Bit foolish. Partly your fault, since you haven’t fixed the young guns links icon. Instead of bookmarking it, I go to LG links, and from there I journey to the land of Young Guns. More to do with my reluctance to use the keyboard, and try to get things done with just a click.

    Jabba,

    Even if we get 10m for Cesc, that shows we actually profited, since we got him on the cheap, and he performed remarkably every season. 35m? Are you a doomer when it comes to cashing on our players as well? An all around pessimistic, eh?

  125. *personnel

    argument really loses its sheen when spell things incorrectly, sigh.

  126. Jabba's delights

    GeorgeRoger

    This is what Arsene is meant to be incredible at. If he has lost his ability to unearth gems he doesnt deserve to be paid what he is , as his coaching isnt as good as some.

    Sagna was quality he made the prem team of year first season.

    Vermalan was very good, his goals hide the fact that he isnt an incredible defender but nonetheless he made prem team of the year first year

    Vidic cost 7m

    Hernamdez cost 7m

    Ozil cost 13m

    Sahin cost 12m

    Thiago Silva cost 6m

    these are quality players

  127. Arsene hasnt unearthed gems recently?

    JKB, what is your problem with always wanting Arsene out? thats the tone of all of your comments.

    Now RM did not unearth Ozil at all, the guy was one of the stand out players in the world cup and doubt he wouldve came to Arsenal over RM.

    If stating prices means unearthing players then the spurs unearthed Van Der Vaart.

  128. george rodger

    Well dear me Jabba.Rvp cots £250 thousand,so I have top trumps.
    Hindsight is easy .Now tell me someone we can buy now who is quality and not to expensive.
    Jesus ,you cant point to past successes and say they were reasonable.For every Hernamdez there is a Bebe.

  129. george rodger

    Where is Frank when you need him?

  130. theBigM, sorry about the moron thing earlier. Uncalled for.

    Your argument about Song isn’t really valid. Midfield enforcers are there to be carded. Goes with the territory. Song actually has a good record versus the others enforcers in the league.

    http://www.premierleague.com/page/Statistics

  131. Bebe was a snip too at £7.4 million too – and just £3 million for Obertan was a steal – right up there with the reported 30 million Euros for Anderson

    To be fair even ManYoo have been too embarrassed to reveal what their Brazilian midfield maestro cost

    So you see there is value out there Ho Ho Ho

  132. jabba – were not song, nasri, RvP, Cesc, ramsey all good bargains? just because we didnt sign someone last summer for a bargain (we’ll have to wait to see about koscielny, however i am almost certain that people will look back and say ‘what a bargain’) who has performed excellently doesn’t mean wenger’s lost his touch, sometimes it takes more than a season. I actually think he’s doing rather well on the talent front, and i’m sure he’ll surprise us again.

  133. george rodger

    Any moron who calls me a moron is a moron

  134. george rodger

    Pires was none to special in his first season with us.At that point we should have sacked Wenger for buying such a Turkey.

  135. henry couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo either…why does wenger still have a job???

  136. And then of course there are the bargains that we did not sign – the BEAST for example – was it 15 million Euros for the only Brazilian on the planet with a touch like a giraffe on roller skates ?

    Actually I rather liked Julio but I am afraid his career has gone downhill after a couple of good seasons with Seville

    Ryan Babel ? Another near miss at £15 million to the Scousers – and about £12 million saved I think – though he might yet resurrect his career

  137. Jabba's delights

    Georgeroger

    RVP took 4 years to show consistant quality. We need players who can step up next year, not in 2 years.

    Paul N

    Read the post. Ozil cost 13m last year. There are quality players out there to buy without spending 30m. thats all i said

  138. Nice post YW,
    Your last sentence struck a chord although it seems many missed it. As you kinda hinted, perhaps the reason Psycho isn’t moaning about Caroll is because Dalglish never moaned in public in the first place.

    I know some others have said it but it would be nice if Arsene was less forthcoming to the press. All they are gonna do is twist his words anyway so why bother? Fergie treats them with contempt and they still fall over themselves for him. Arsene plays Mr Nice and Amiable and look how he is treated.

  139. Jabba's delights

    Guys this is wenger most crucial summer, he needs show all his scouting prowess this sumemr as the market is inflated but we have some dire needs that need fixing for 1st game of the season. Plain and simple

  140. Well Wenger has done that yearly, so again what are you talking about and you still always have this tone of getting wenger out.

    You still cannot talk about unearthing and then put a star player in a list.

    Hernandez made good sense but he was not as sure a thing as was Ozil.

  141. jabba – ozil was such a snip because his contract was coming to an end so they got him for a discount price. so basically to pull a move like that off requires finding a player who has performed extremely well on the largest global football platform, whose contract is expiring and whose club will sell for half his actual value, and who will choose us over barca and real madrid – god, wenger really is stupid isnt he?

    and yes you can get good quality players at good value, however it is not as easy as it seems and i dont think that should be used as a stick with which to beat wenger with.

  142. Özil’s contract was running out – money that would have been spent on the transfer fee has gone on his bonuses and wages. Sahin’s had a good season, but we’re yet to see if he’ll be a good signing, so it’s a bit early.

    Meanwhile Vidic and Hernandez were two excellent spots amidst a catalogue of expensive (and wasteful) signings that we could never have afforded.

  143. Why ? what is going to happen if the players do not “step up” Jabba, my sinewy cobra ?

  144. @Jabba. those players did not want to play for Arsenal matey. Does not help if they are cheap if they want to play a different place does it? You can spot them as much as you like. But in the end its up to the PLAYER, not YOU or a club. But the PLAYER.

    Kos will be as good as Vidic, and Hernandez cost the same as Bebe. They bought both as a gamble one was worth it, the other was not.
    They are now buying a 20 year old keeper DeGea for 18M while we bought our 20 year old keepr Chezzer for what? 2M or something? And YES Chezzer is alot better than DeGea.

    Most arsenal fans are happy with Wenger and his work Jabba. Ive talked to most and thas what they say, they dont care about guys like you that moan. FACT.

  145. Ah, beaten to the punch. Damn you, Jabberwocky.

  146. george rodger

    Unless we sign at least 3 players of the quality of Dennis Bergkamp(only cost£8 million,quality a low cost you see)I will throw my toys out of my pram directly at Wenger as he sets off down the road in search of the new job that the majority of fans want him to be looking for.

  147. @anicoll5
    If they dont step up the world will go under and Jabba will xplode….

  148. my pleasure 🙂

  149. george rodger

    Stop picking on Jabba.He is only repeating what John Cross has written.So it must be true.
    Oh yeh and that footballing mastermind Merson said so as well.And that other mental colossus Wrighty and ………………….

  150. Skywatchingmug

    Wenger would never have brought Dennis Bergkamp.

  151. indeed! lets sack wenger and bring back rioch!

  152. I challenge anyone to show a better manager in europe on Wenger’s overall record of player purchases, in terms of high quality with longer term value (ie likely improvement and hence added value) versus cost/wages (we know Wenger pays well, and it can be factored in to player cost).

    In simple terms, we all know Wenger has built a superior side using a small fraction of additional investment funds of those used by the 3 teams above us in the EPL, AND the two below us.

    It is a remarkable achievement.

  153. Jabberwocky @ 3:35:

    “Yet before these meltdowns, as with this season, we are only a few goals off worse (scored & conceded) than united are, which means that for 2/3′s of the season our scored/conceded stat is actually quite good, and is close to being what is required from champions. This therefore implies that are tactics are not massively flawed, or that we are desperate for a ‘clogger’ or ‘massive defensive midfielder’. ”

    The major flaw in your logic is that we did melt down and have melted down before. Certainly we played well for a stretch of the season but we have not been able to maintain adequate form for a whole season for the last 4 years. At some point you have to recognize that the system must be at least partially responsible for meltdowns.

    The other major flaw with regards to this year is other then that excellent run of form after Christmas we did not play well this year. We hung on despite relatively tepid form early in the year (4 league losses by Christmas) because of the drop in form of everyone around us in the top of the table. We have all noted that Chelsea and especially the Manc’s had their worst teams in a decade. Both teams are going to strengthen this summer, the blue Manc’s and scousers are also going to be stronger. Status quo from us is asking for trouble.

  154. Wenger has mentioned Karim Benzema from RM. Is it a smokescreen, while he makes his real choice? It often is.

  155. Jabba's delights

    Ancioll

    We will struggle to fininsh in the top 4.

    Jabberwocky

    There are lots of players whose contracts are a year from being done . I would expect the most expensive scouting network and one of the highest paid coaches in the world to find them.

    Wenger said he was tracking Kompany since he was 14, what happened there?

    Mertsacker is out of contract this year he has 70 caps for germany aged 26. Sahin had a release clause for 12m he just won german player of the year. Arsenl arent the hardest sell in the world yes there are bigger and better clubs but not all those clubs offer what we can offer.

    All signings are gambles but its up to wenger to asses that risk. Papuis Cisse will cost 13m his club said, im not sure whether he will be great or not, but if you can pool 6-7 of that level of players in a particcular position and let our scouts and arsene go over them, hopefully or i would like to think we make the right call

  156. It’s hilarious seeing some of the comments in response to Jabba’s arguments.

    Let’s scourge the man for discussing the club with belittling and childish comments.

    That’s raising the profile nicely.

  157. george rodger

    Paul,As proven with a net spend on transfers since 2003 of zero.He can pick them.get the best years from them and still make enough profit to buy a new team.

  158. Jabba's delights

    Bill

    Couldnt agree with you more, thats what i think in my head but i cant quite translate it to the keyboard.

  159. george rodger

    Stop making fun of Jabba and Luke.
    You lot are not the least bit funny.

  160. I will keep saying this. The Arsenal team of last season wasnt a melt down like this season. We had way too many injuries and no team wins without most of their best players, NONE.

    The seasons have not been identical and the team hasnt been either.

    Jabberwocky, that is a well thought out comment in my view. Whatever the problem is, it isnt talent.

  161. Jabba's delights

    GeorgeRoger

    Its not about net transfer spend, its about being succesful on the pitch. He sold 2 crucial performers to a major rival and failed to strengthen we have just finished below that major rival

  162. bill – actually i dont think the meltdowns have anything to do with tactics, but rather imply a lack of ability to deal well with adversity – CC final/Barca/Utd streak this year, Eduardo’s injury a few years ago, etc etc. We always seem to go out of most competitions within the space of a week. It is unacceptable, however as I’ve said it is psychological, not tactical.

    I also find it unpalatable that even our own fans peddle this myth that (had we not melted down) then it would be because united were not up to scratch/threw it away rather than because we earnt it, whereas united won the title this year not because we were not up to scratch/threw it away (i know you didnt actually say this but it is what your comment has implied). How do you know Chelsea are going to massively strenghthen? 50 mill over the summer didn’t improve them that much (rather, it was the dropping of points from united and massively from us which allowed them back into the top two) How do you know United are going to massively improve? Do you not think that this perceived decline is not a ‘blip’ and doesn’t have wider implications (exchange rate between pound/euro and increased tax on high earners vs. that in europe, making England not as lucrative a destination as it had been, to name but one)? I would love it if we signed a few quality players, and made some tweaks to our squad, as I see potential that has not been realised fully yet. There are problems, yes, but I dont think they are as rampant or serious as you make them out to be. You may disagree and throw stats in my face (funny how stats are useful when slating the team, but irrelevent when defending denilson…) however I’ve seen improvement this year, and I fully expect to see further improvement next year. If you choose to live in a world where everything is wrong and where we are doomed then what is the point? what enjoyment can you possibly gain from following this club?

  163. george rodger

    Bill.You are not like these people ,dont allow yourself to be bracketed with them.
    Do you think we will be outside the top four?Really?

  164. Correct ZP and George.

    Fact is if Arsene wasnt unearthing gems, our title would be a Euro cup spot, dont even mention the CL.

  165. In response to your POST Jabba, you are right.

    Our scouting network, has however lost some of its competitive advantage, naturally.

    When Wenger arrived, the concept of unearthing hidden talents was alien to the Premier League. Who thought of scouting France?

    Problem is, when you see the impact Vieria, Pires, Henry made right off the bat, our model was copied.

    As soon as we track a player, you can bet every major club on the planet is looking too. How many times do you think Christian Eriksson has been watched over the last two years?

    The frustrating thing, which Jabba has alluded too, is that a player like Kompany, watched for 5? years, was overlooked.

    Now, that’s a huge mistake. Look how he has developed in 20 months. Compare that to the stagnated progress of some of younger charges nearing 200 apperances.

    Its a big big summer.

  166. george rodger

    “He sold 2 crucial performers to a major rival and failed to strengthen we have just finished below that major rival”
    So crucial that one is banned and one was fucked off.
    Perhaps a bit of thought next time before you press “post comment”

  167. Jabba's delights

    Paul N

    Incorrect lots of teams covering a spectrum of sports have been succesful without major players.

    Its called next man up attitude. These succesful teams never allow injuries or injustices to affect them as they dont allow anything to be an excuse.

    I follow American sport religiously. The Green Bay Packers who are a young team had the most injuries this year, some of these were to hugley inluential players, they won it all. The Patriots dynasty was made by the fact that everyone in the squad could step up. Even when their Quarterback and star player ruptured his cruciate in the 1st quarter in the 1st game they finshed 11-5 and got to the playoffs.

    Chelsea last year lost esseien, drogba and lampard for key times. other players step up

  168. I see Jabba – so if these new thus far un-named bargain players “step up ” we will not struggle to secure a top four finish then. OK

    Wont that be a bit like this season, and last season though ?

  169. George

    Can you add something rather than cheap digs.

    I find it quite peculiar that you ( a grown man) can not see reason in debate.

    I have this imagine of you plugging your ears and stamping your feet when you hear anything scary about Arsenal.

  170. goonerandy, go to the blog “Untold Arsenal” (there is a link on the home page of ACLF ) and read the statistical analysis on there from the Untold Referee, as well as various other articles. These guys have data mined the officiating stats to a slightly worrying degree. Looking at the data allows one to make up their own mind. Of course the Untold Referee and the statistician draw some conclusions, one of which is that there are a few referees who absolutely display a bias against Arsenal. Interestingly, looking at the refereeing standard as a whole, the team that suffers the most at the hands of the officials is…Liverpool.
    It is all there in the stats. Sure, stats do a good job showing you what you want to believe, but your statement earlier about not looking at how other teams are affected by the officiating holds no water anymore because the Untold Ref (Walter) and the statistician have done the looking for you.
    This is not offered as an excuse for Arsenal, by the way, simply a statistical look at how the officiating breaks down for teams in the league and the impact that officiating has.

  171. Jabba's delights

    GeorgeRoger

    They were crucial to us you idiot!!!!

  172. Skywatchingmug

    Frustrated Accountant or foot manager?

  173. anicoll,

    No. What Jabba is saying, that Wenger (the highest paid manager in the EPL) needs to earn his coin.

    Because neglecting glaringly obvious defencies in the squad for three years, and failing with his midas touch in the transfer market is not earning it.

    And PLEASE dont hit me with, dont you know what he has done for the club. We all know, and all respect him.

    It doesnt mean he cant make mistakes.

    Clough took Forrest down. Who’d a thought it.

  174. it is all very well seeing players who you’d like, but how do you know whether a.) we tried to sign them or b.) that there are reasons unknown to us for not signing them? I hate to be childish and raise the ‘Championship Manager’ jibe again but it really is not as simple as finding a player, putting a bid in and having them join (I remember signing Thuram in his prime for Rangers, what a coup!). I also fail to realise how many of these players are deemed a success without having necessarily proved it on the biggest stage, whereas the promising players we have within our squad who have not immediately/not had chance to impressed are failures? Why the infinite patience and hope for players we dont have with so little patience or hope for ones that already wear our jersey? the grass is not always greener – in fact the grass we are standing on is pretty lush, green and springy – just take a look at tottenham, liverpool or indeed birmingham’s grass – pretty threadbare no?

  175. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll

    Lets look at the facts.

    We finshed with 68 points this year which most years will put you bang in the race for 4th or 5th.

    Our captain may leave. One of our best players may be sold.

    Liverpool and Spurs who are both capabale of hitting that 68-72 points barrier will probably get better.

    There are already 3 clubs better than us in the league.

    Is it beyond the realms of possibility to think if we stagnate agiain and arsene signings are more hit than miss like last summer that we could drop out of top 4

  176. Jabba, please give me a list of all the teams that have consistenly been on the top without great players, not some one off jive.

    And to be truthful we are talking about the PL and none of the teams that have won it lately have done so without big spending at some point. The only team that has done this to an extent is Arsenal.

    Lets get real! The teams that have the best players usually win, unless you get help from the refs like United.

  177. Bradys right foot

    Jabba’s delights | May 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm |

    I read you loud and clear Jabba and without doubt alot of people have a similar view. Specifically looking at corners and freekicks from wide positions would leadership, responsibility not be more desirable than experience.

    We all talk about set pieces being a weakness, I think in the wider scheme of things the players don’t micro manage the game well at certain times and especially under pressure. Defending from corners and free kicks is a much bigger issue than the two centre halves. It is about the 9 or 10 outfield players and the goalkeeper taking responsibility and making it as difficult as possible for the opposition to score. Could we be better at defending corners and free kicks of coarse we can, will all teams concede from corners and free kicks without a doubt. Could it be as simple as someone simply taking the responsibility to rollick the rest into doing there jobs at set pieces and have the confidence to point the finger at others. I know it sounds incredibly simple but i’d be very disappointed if that is not within the current squad hopefully it becomes more to the fore as player like , JD Kozzer, Wojech get older and start pointing the finger. Cesc at Barca, the backheel now imagine Paddy Vs reaction in his prime.

  178. George @ 3:29:

    Early in the Wenger years we were an excellent defensive team. The 98 team won by playing superb defense. The invincibles were the best defensive and attacking club in the league. Why in the world have we gone away from more balanced squad building and tactics to the current system that specializes in shooting ourselves in the foot on a regular basis??? I have no clue.

    My only guess is the the boss so desperately wants to prove his theories of attacking total football correct and prove the naysayers wrong that to this point it has blinding him to the only logical conclusion that you can not win without that balance. What other explanation could there be for our continued defensive struggles? If you have a better idea I would love to hear it.

  179. Wenger has earned every bit of patience and deserves to be the highest paid as he gets the most out of the least as far as money is concerned.

    How did Wenger fail in the transfer market?

    Where are these comments coming from and are they to be taken seriously?

  180. Paul N,

    That is such a ridiculous request.

    So not only is there a great conspiracy BUT we have been hit by more injuries than anyside ever.

    Are you a grown man aswel?

  181. bill – 98 had inherited a defence that had played together for years, the invincibles? the result of years of maturing and playing together and forming as a unit, with an average age of 28-29. Our average age now is 23, we are evolving and growing into a strong team? Do I really need to go into the whole stadium debt thing to explain why we didnt replace like for like? If we can keep this team together (with the odd addition here and there) for the next 5 years do you not think that we will be an amazing attacking/defending force?

  182. What request did I make Luke?

    Why is it that you must keep saying conspiracy when no one said that?

    What kind of person would continually put words in people mouths.

    I am not a grown man, I am 5.

  183. Paul N

    How did Wenger fail in the transfer market?

    Well, to solve our defenesive woes, he spent 8mill on Squillaci.

    We know how that turned out. The guy can make mistakes. It just seems he is making more mistakes than correct decisions at present.

    Lads, are we really going to blame relegation form for A THIRD OF THE SEASON on one little game at Newcastle and the fans reaction?

    Please think for a second. If you believe so, then that attitude is the underlying reason why we have tragically imploded this year. Again.

  184. I also dont believe I directed any request towards you, did i?

  185. WhackyJobbaJabba

    your right on brozza jabba

  186. Jabba, please give me a list of all the teams that have consistenly been on the top without great players, not some one off jive.

    ——

    That request Paul.

    I’m the only one talking about a conspiracy??please have a re-read of the comments

    Ijust find it fascinating that such minds can fail to address internal weakeness, that people are scared or too proud to say, Wenger, you making a hash of things currently.

    You are one of the best around, please rectify your mistakes.

    Finger pointing elsewhere. Wenger always talks of the importance of self assessment, and the desire to improve. One of the key qualities he refers to consistently in players.

    Now is the time to show it yourself Arsene.

  187. By all means lets look at “facts” Jabba, you python you

    Unfortunately the “facts” you rely on then are that “Our captain MAY leave”
    “We MAY sell one of our top players”

    You then go on to say that Liverpool and Spuds “can” get 68-72 points – and what fact is that based on Jabba – if they can get 68-72 points then why pray did they not get them ? QPR can get 68-72 points, so can Chelsea , so what ?

    These might be sincerely held opinions Jabba, they are not “facts”

    The only “fact” in there is that there are three better performers in the league. Correctomundo – spot on – back of the net – there are three better sides than AFC – irrefutable

    Anyway getting back to these un-named bargains ……… ? Perhaps a few names would be a start 😉

  188. Luke, that is joke of a statemnt to me and I cannot be bothered to show you how simple it is.

  189. Jabba's delights

    Paul N

    Your absolutley right Wenger did wonders with very little and does deserve patience. The problem being we have money to spend not vast amonts but a good amount and he has had it for 3 years.

    When does patience start running out. We have more resources than we use and we arent doing that well. We must use the resources that we have available this summer, thats all we ask.

    No more Squilaci or Chamack on free’s. Chamack is a decent player but why did we wait 2 years for him, are there not better strikers out there?

  190. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll

    Sorry your right they arent facts. But us getting 68 points is a fact and wengers signings last summer being more miss than hit our facts, our dropping 8 points from last year is a fact.

    Liverpool having momentum is a fact and spurs looking to spend all their war chest on rectifying their clearlly identified weakneses cb depth and top quality striker is a fact.

    Add that to the fact that there are 3 clubs already better than us who are hellbent on improving considerably you will then see why Wenger MUST pullhis fingers out of his ears and do something to address this.

  191. Luke, I have addressed the issues as i see them but you havent read them.

    -The team must defend set plays better.
    -The team must learn how to stay confident in the face of adversity.
    -We must play players to their strengths (no NB on the RW)
    -Arsene must trust/rotate the squad more and dont bring back players back from injury too soon (Djourou/Cesc), so the team can be as fresh as possible towards season’s end
    -Our mid’s needs to keeps the goals going.
    -Not sure who said it yesterday but I believe we should bait teams into coming our more instead of just camping out in their half. We should use the middle of the field more to open them up.
    These are my opinions but if I had none I would trust Wenger to do the job because he is the best manager going. If he is going to buy then so be it, more practice then so be it.
    What are we doing by repeating the same issues over and over again.

    And I never said conspiracy, simply said that United get many calls going for them, even United supporters admit it.

    One more thing, the supporters need to get fully behind the team and give them a boost when they are down and the Emirates needs to become a fortress. The support should be the “12th man”.

  192. Gainsbourg69

    Luke: “He would not be in the side for his pace, reading of the game and ability on the ball. Rather his ability to communicate, organise, and provide a defensive barrier to our greatest weakness, and add another goal scoring threat.”

    You make it sound like Samba would make an excellent defensive coach. I mean, if he can’t play football, what the hell is he good for?

  193. JBH, if not for Chamakh our seasons end wouldnt mean as much. I rate him highly, not many come into the PL in their first season and make such an impact.
    He lost confidence a bit but so did most of the team and we are not saying the likes of Nasri, Cesc are poor and they have the experience.
    He deserves a lot of credit in my view.
    Good signing from Arsene.

  194. Liverpool having momentum is a fact ? To be honest Jabba I dont really know on that one – Liverpool under Kenny are a lot better than LFC under Woy but are a side as erratic as us if not more so – identical FA Cup exits, brushed out of the Europa Cup by unfancied Braga (?) with weak home performance in the 2nd leg, defeat at the Hawthorns and the Britannia, and the home game they needed to win against Spuds a feeble defeat, and ending on a final day defeat at Villa Park – and Andy Carroll ……….. £35 million of exactly what – not exactly earth shattering is it ?

    Tell me if Kenny has “momentum” five games into next season

    As for Spuds who knows – ‘Arry to go to Stamford Bridge, the Old Bailey, Wormwood Scubs, Modric at Trafford Park, Bale in Milan, Stratford, – speculation and conjecture all

  195. Jabba, did you just call Adebayor and Toure vital? To use the parlance of our times…LOL!

    As for replacing them, we got a young quick defender who has shown us some awesome performaces in his first year and a work-horse forward who carried us through the first months of the season.

  196. how on earth do you have time to maintain these ‘debates’ (debate = saying the same thing 100 times a day for a month)? i’m so behind on my work it isnt funny and i haven’t even been a regular contributor

  197. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    Who would ahve been better this year, Toure of Kosciellny. I dont give a dam about how good he will be next year. He was good at best this year, for every barca game there wasa newcastle away ofr west brom home performance.

    Adebayor or Chamack who would have been better for us?

    Those 2 players we lost were crucial players for us and they werent replaced

  198. Gunner Dream

    Night after night
    Going round and round my brain
    This dream is driving me insane.
    In the corner of some fucking field
    The gunner sleeps tonight.
    What’s done is done.
    We cannot just write off this Awesome Team.
    Take heed of our dream.
    Take heed.

  199. Adebayor or Chamakh ?

    Is that Ade in his good season with us, when he was very good, or in his last season when he was shockingly bad?

    Ade in his first six weeks at Citeh – when he was very good, or in the next fifteen months when he was again very poor ?

    Questions about Ade are very time sensitive Jabba

  200. jabba – that is opinion being peddled as fact again.

    i dont think toure would have been as good as koscielny

    and I dont think Adebayor would have been as good as Chamakh

    Toure- we could see his decline in the season before we sold him, as much as i love him if he wasnt good enough then, he certainly isn’t now – lost his mobility and without that not the greatest defender

    Adebayor – because he didnt give a shit and stopped working, which is the only reason he was any good in the first place. Chamakh works harder and had he had a full season would have scored or at least created more goals than Ade did.

    Neither of those points is fact, mind. They are opinion.

  201. 200th comment 🙂
    despite my hatred towards barca, i still want them to win cuz at least their brand of footie is better than united’s.I’d be much happier if the game is called off due to bothe barca and united players failing dope tests 😀
    A Tribute to Robin van Persie
    The current Mr Arsenal imo
    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/a-tribute-to-robin-van-persie/

  202. george rodger

    Bill.Are we having an argument?
    Because if we are I have missed it .
    I think Arsene see the game as changing and he is a pioneer.
    Only time will tell if he is right or not.
    The last six years have been a success ,not a failure.

  203. Kos was good for most of the season.

    What a way to find a scapegoat.

    When Toure left Arsenal he wasnt playing well at all. Also City play a defensive style so their CB’s are bound to “look” better with a bank of 4 DM’s in front of them.

    Common sense teaches wisdom!

  204. george rodger

    Jabba ,If Arsene buys Ade and Toure for £40 million and makes them our highest payed players will that make you happy?
    I am sorry but you are a bit thick.But TBO that is opinion not fact,

  205. We are the team that hit the woodwork the most amount of times — 22. And if we really want someone in defence, why not Hangeland? He is the player with the most headed clearances in all of the Premier League (and Fulham are the team that conceded the fewest goals from set pieces).

  206. And of course Pearce is angry. He lost the best player that his team has and without him, he has no chance whatsoever to win the U-21. So he won’t get his place in the limelight, so he is angry.

  207. Bradys right foot

    Jabba’s delights | May 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm |

    Markus

    Who would ahve been better this year, Toure of Kosciellny. I dont give a dam about how good he will be next year. He was good at best this year, for every barca game there wasa newcastle away ofr west brom home performance.

    Adebayor or Chamack who would have been better for us?

    Those 2 players we lost were crucial players for us and they werent replaced

    Jabba come on m8 the club had no choice but to sell Ade, he was taking the piss in his final few months at the club and TV came in for Kolo not Kozzer.

  208. Gainsbourg69

    Luke: “I just find it fascinating that such minds can fail to address internal weakeness, that people are scared or too proud to say, Wenger, you making a hash of things currently.”

    I don’t think people are scared to address internal weaknesses, but one thing is to address a weakness and quite another is to think that everything about the team is bad. The latter is the position that you, Bill and Jabba have taken.

  209. Northbank1969

    I read an interview with Wenger today in a French newspaper, in it, he talks about his A to Z plan and route to silverware.
    He stated that, ” This season has been very Tufnell Park and the team have not had a very good Bond Street together. They need to find some Balls Pond Road to be able to Kings Cross the winning line.”
    He further said, ” I will have to Shoreditch a few players and will be in the Billinsgate Market for new
    signings”
    “We Neasden just a few changes, possibly a new Finchley Central Defender and someone whe can New Cross a ball, I will take things one Stepney at a time but we are on the Kensal Rise, this Somers Town the team will be improved and next season other teams will Turnham Green with envy, we will be Kingsbury, we are the Gunnersbury and at the Mile End we will be VICTORIA.”

  210. Jabberwocky @ 4;58:

    “bill – 98 had inherited a defence that had played together for years, the invincibles? the result of years of maturing and playing together and forming as a unit, with an average age of 28-29. Our average age now is 23, we are evolving and growing into a strong team? Do I really need to go into the whole stadium debt thing to explain why we didnt replace like for like? If we can keep this team together (with the odd addition here and there) for the next 5 years do you not think that we will be an amazing attacking/defending force?”

    1)This year has provided no evidence that we are growing into a stronger team.
    2) How many of us think we can keep this team together until they reach an average age of 25 – 26 much less until they are 28 – 29? The landscape has changed significantly since the invincibles matured together.
    3)How many of us want to wait until they reach 25 – 25 years of average age much less 28 – 29
    4)The invincibles did not start their “journey” together at such a young age and the cummulative effect on the mentality of the struggles of this group of players is concerning. We are now replacing some of the original young players we all thought would dominate by now with new younger players.
    5) No one asked for replacing exact like for like. However we replaced a squad that had a proven formula of technical attacking skill, size, strength, defensive nous with one that is built almost completely on technical skill. I understand why you might try the experiment but you have to be willing to make some modifications when what you are doing is not working the way you expected.

    I still believe the boss can make the needed adjustments if he is willing to make some changes in personnel, training methods, tactics. We now have money and bags of technical skill so there is hope

  211. Bradys right foot

    Jabba who would you have rather had at the stars of the season Gallas and TV or JD and Kozzer. TV in his first season didn’t impress me anymore than Kozzer did this season, infact Kozzers debut season was more impressive. Considering their relative PL inexperience I think JD and Kozzer have had a great season and will better this year then last years. TV was working with a very experienced PL player in Gallas, Kozzer had no such help.

  212. Mornington Crescent !

  213. Northbank1969

    In the same French article, Wenger also spoke about Stuart Pearce, he stated, ” I have spoken to the man a few times and my impression is that he is a total Kentish Town and knows Vauxhall about the care of his players”
    On the subject of the press he said, ” They just write a load of Arnos Grove and wouldn’t know a true story if it hit them in the Tooting Bec” and on the subject of Ref decisions, ” I just hope next season they or more Mayfair with us” He went on to say, ” I know some of the press think I am Barking and just a Finchley Roan and Frognal, but to be quite honest, I don’t give an Uxbridge”

  214. a final comment before i go, in line with Northbank’s interview report.

    Luke, Jabba, Bill et al: Krapy Rubsnif

    Clue: Read it backwards

    and to all a good night my arsenal chums, and i hope that all of you, including the irritating aforementioned, have a lovely bank holiday weekend.

  215. “Cesc at Barca, the backheel now imagine Paddy Vs reaction in his prime”

    BRF wasn’t it a Vieira crossfield pass that was cut out by Giggs for ‘that goal’ in the FA cup semi-final and Bergkamp who missed the penalty? Even top players in their prime make mistakes.

  216. Northbank1969

    And a good Mornington Crescent to you too anicoll5
    but where I am it is past Seven Sisters in the evening.
    I see it’s been another fruitful discussion on the cultured left foot!

  217. The football we play – we’ve always played under Wenger – needs continuity. The longer players play together, the quicker the combinations and sharper the instinct for positioning etc. Experience (in terms of age) is overrated – what is most important is the amount of time the group spends together. This is why Manchester United were so fortunate in the mid-90s; they had a set of four or five young players who had been playing in the same for ten years.

    I think we could do with some new characters (a couple of whom should be in their mid to late-20s) to reinvigorate the squad, but we’re still on the right lines. We need that supply of youngsters brought up on touch football to come into the squad as well – although I do think we should pay special attention to the types of character that we promote.

    It probably didn’t help having two players like Vela and Bendtner in one generation.

  218. Northbank,

    Ha Ha. Great posts last few days. A delight to read your posts than the other crap that is being thrown around.

    George,

    “am sorry but you are a bit thick.But TBO that is opinion not fact,”

    I disagree. It’s a fact. Don’t hide behind opinions, say it out loud. He is thick. Anyone who disagrees, is thick as well. Yes, I meant Luke too.

  219. What’s so frustrating about the way so many people discuss football post-Abramovich is this crazy focus on individuals. For instance, player ratings are a personal pet hate; they’re a total waste of time unless the person making them knows the job that each individual is supposed to do (i.e. has access to manager’s team-talks and preparation) and has watched the match at least four times.

    Every summer there’s frenzy to find out who could be joining the club, when by far the most important thing is to keep the best players in the team and to let them grow together.

    I don’t mind getting carried away this summer though!

  220. Northbank is killin me!

    ha ha!

  221. George,

    I disagree with you, there is no conspiracy!!

  222. Bradys right foot

    Passenal | May 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm |

    “Cesc at Barca, the backheel now imagine Paddy Vs reaction in his prime”

    BRF wasn’t it a Vieira crossfield pass that was cut out by Giggs for ‘that goal’ in the FA cup semi-final and Bergkamp who missed the penalty? Even top players in their prime make mistakes.

    I knew I’d be pulled up on something when I wrote that lol.

  223. Paul,

    Does the phrase, “talking to a brick wall” mean anything to you when you answer Bill? I suppose the same phrase could be in common use on blogs.

  224. dups, I dont know why I keep getting sucked in, when all we are doing is going in circles!

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/reserves-news/zak-ansah-signs-professional-contract

  225. Bradys right foot | May 27, 2011 at 8:13 pm |

    Don’t take it personally, I was doing it for the benefit of others mainly! The way some go on you would think our current young team are the only ones to make mistakes!

  226. Northbank1969

    hellooooo!!!!

  227. @paul..

    Just waiting for the inevitable..”instead of spending money on youngsters and inflating the wage bill we should have tied up nasris contract and use the money to sign X,Y, and Z who will waltz in like Captain Jack Sparrow and bring home the gold for us”.. as a response to ur link..

    how long do u think it will take 😀 ?? me thinks..within the next 10 comments..

  228. “I don’t mind getting carried away this summer though!”

    But it’s so dull so far OOU. No Sebastien Frey and no Phillippe Mexes! What is the world coming to?

  229. Only thing that could have been worse for the CL final tomorrow would have been Real vs. Chelsea. I guess its Go Barca as bad as that feels to say.

  230. Northbank1969

    Paul N,
    Perhaps the Circle Line springs to mind!

  231. Yeah, it’s been pretty boring so far, Passenal. Just youth signings. Don’t see the point to be honest.

  232. george rodger

    Duke @8 05.
    Lol.Not this time

  233. Oh, Ramsey just had a great game for Wales vs Norn Iron (it was either that or help with GF’s jigsaw puzzle!). Reminded me how f*cking talented he is.

    We should never have bought him in the first place though.

  234. George rodger, you are a real star. I would contribute but I haven’t a clue what anyone is talking about. It all seems so unnecessary really. I just wish that we could all love each other. But sadly that may not be possible. Worth the effort though, don’t you think? People are marvellous really.

  235. I see that English Jack is player of the season. He has that magic ingredient, can’t quite put my finger on it.

  236. I see that the actual player of the season came second. Arsenal ‘fans’ are simple folk. Bless em.

  237. Yeah, I’ve been trying to ignore that vote.

    I’m just glad there’s an Arsenal player who’s finally guaranteed goodwill. I don’t want to be negative about him…I think it’s been a very promising season for JW, and I’m sure we’ll see him get even better.

  238. I can’t help but feel sorry for FIFA and its president. Couldn’t have happened to nicer people. It is going to be a great summer. Much come uppance.

  239. I hope so, Big Al. I was getting a bit worried until he changed his mind about the U21s. Close to the edge there.

  240. Northbank1969

    Frank, we could all love each other, we could star off

  241. LOL @ Frank

  242. Sorry Northbank1969, I am a little old-fashioned. What does ‘star off’ mean?

  243. Does anyone actually believe Blatter is being investigated, it’s all for show. I don’t believe it one bit, in the end he will be portrayed by the delegates as some sort of ethical man on a mission to rid FIFA of corruption.

  244. george rodger

    There is no corruption in football.
    Pffft.What a stupid notion

  245. The poor fellow has worked jolly hard and tried his best and all he gets for his efforts are jealousy and vindictiveness and money. It really is not fair.

  246. I wouldn’t be surprised if the utterly insane giggling little tubby chap whatisname becomes the next president.

  247. Northbank1969

    Frank…….. can’t explain now, the bell has just gone for lights out…

  248. george rodger

    Frank ,thank god you are back.They have been bullying me

  249. You know, the self-styled incorruptible chap with a girls name? Michelle something? Maybe not. Probably dreamed it all.

  250. Now that is simply not on is it, george rodger. Outrageous behaviour. My advice is to forgive and forget. Try to understand that they don’t really mean it. You see they don’t have the faculties. Poor things.

  251. Well that “incorruptible chap” has told delegates to back blatter because rumor has it he wants to be president when blatter’s term runs out.

  252. Bradys right foot

    Although the Alvarez transfer has all the credibility of a footbballer kissing a club badge, I might stay up a little past my bedtime and watch the Vela Sarsfield match.

  253. “I see that English Jack is player of the season. He has that magic ingredient, can’t quite put my finger on it.”

    I was wondering the same thing!

    BRF, if you manage to stay up for it, please let us know how the ‘saviour of Arsenal’ gets on will you?

  254. Bradys right foot

    I’ll try m8 can’t promise anything feeling a little sleepy already lol.

  255. george rodger

    Ok a quick check of the web revels we are actively perusing 83 top quality players .Unfortunately it appears Liverpool are after the same ones.So as we cant compete with King Kenny’s charisma,we are fooked .

  256. All the English FA need to do to bring FIFA down is to pull out. Tell them we are not playing any more. Show courage, fortitude, intell….ah..we might have a small problem here.

  257. Btw, Goonem, kid. You know where to find me. And you had better be packing , son.

  258. Bradys right foot

    Georgie R its not King Kennys charisma well have to compete with but the size of his wallet. Stan could always ask the wife for a sub lol.

  259. Hey YW,

    I cannot find any reports of Mertesacker signing a new deal last year… his deal runs out next season, doesn’t it? and could you give a link if he has signed a new deal..

    Also, some wild rumours that Arsenal have tabled a 8 million bid for Samba..

    For me Maertesacker is the man that Arsenal need though many prefer Samba or Cahill.. what is your opinion on this one?

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