Amusing Sandro, Bemusing Media & Imminent Arrivals

A novel approach from Sandro Rosell to the Cesc saga. Having seen his quarry deny the previous day that he will make a transfer request, the Barcelona President heaped scorn on the Arsenal captain and looked to damage Fábregas’ ego. It is harsh and unnecessary for Rosell to have told Cesc he was worthless and a comment unlikely to find much favour with the player. Which is to Arsenal’s benefit so if Señor Bean could keep it up…

Even arguing that Cesc is “worth less” does not endear Rosell. Game playing is one thing; to deny any knowledge of transfers just makes himself look foolish. The words indicate two things. Firstly, Barcelona are not coming back very readily for Cesc this summer. Fast forward twelve months, that may be a different story but now they do not have the money unless they fail to land one of their other targets.

Secondly, Rosell has backed himself into a corner. Save for improving the depth in their squad, Cesc is not a high priority for them. This is the reason for the ease in backing off. Were he a player in a key position that would be a different story.

But it is all game playing. At the end of the day, signing Cesc for more than the value he quoted will be paying a fair price for a quality player. Previous comments will be negotiating positions. It will though, I suspect, lead to a period of quiet on this front whilst the Catalans work behind the scenes to see if a deal can really be completed.

Shaun Custis in this morning’s Sun argues that Wenger should sell Cesc in order to ensure Arsenal’s ‘rebirth‘. On first reading it is a plaintive cry from a journalist, begging a manager to create a massive story for them. His argument that Cesc has become less effective over recent seasons really do not bear scrutiny. At this point I would like to say that he produces a stunning piece of analysis which indicates a positive future for the club through wise investment and giving us an insight into how Wenger could sign certain players to produce a tactical innovation that would seal League and European glory.

That’s what I would like to say. But if I did, I would be lying. The piece in question is nothing more than an exercise in vituperative sniping. It was a way of filling column inches that criticises Wenger for being weak in holding on to him whilst Cesc is a simpering, whining little boy. Custis? Well, if he had an original thought, it would live a bleak and miserable existence before dying a lonely death.

The rumour mill went into overdrive yesterday with Gervinho and / or Christopher Samba tipped to be announced as a new signing today. Speculation was rife that terms with the former are agreed but a fee is not whilst the reverse is true with Samba.

I love the way that the Heil has a transfer fee of £10.5m but The Mirror, they have to indulge in one-upmanship, quoting a fee of £10.6m.

Why today? Because it is Friday and supposedly Arsenal like to announce new signings on a Friday. I do not recall this being prevalent before but there you go. Indeed you could argue that with the media focussing on the fixtures when they are announced at 9am this morning, nothing will be confirmed today, leaving the good news for next week instead.

Elsewhere, German wunderkind Samed Yesil is the latest to be linked with the club. Apparently Arsenal watched him at the recent European Under 17 Championships. Nicklas Bendtner has apparently been the subject of a bid from Sporting Lisbon where he would form a frontline attack with the wonderfully named Ricky van Wolfswinkel. His Mr20% was too busy trying to big up a move to Borussia Dortmund whilst preparing the family barbecue to find out how much it was for. To save him finding out, the answer is nothing because Sporting deny making a bid.

According to ESPN who lifted it from another site, Shakhtar rejected Arsenal’s bid of money plus Denilson for Douglas Costa. Could it be that the bid was actually for Willian and a secretary at Shakhtar phoned the wrong agent to relay the news? Or could it all be made up? Adel Taarabt seems to think that leaving Tottenham to become QPRs top scorer means he can demand first team football at Arsenal or Chelsea. He then woke up and realised he had been talking in his sleep or out of his arsenal. I cannot decide which.

Finally, Sir Trevor Brooking believes that there is no flair in the England Under-21s performances without Jack Wilshere. Had he observed it was No Fun, I’m sure Stuart Pearce would have been pogoing down the aisle in agreement.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 17, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 181 Comments.

  1. Quite an early post YW….I like it!

  2. Excellent post Yogi

  3. Sad to see Big Nic leave us.
    He would have been more efficient if Arsern played him as a striker instead of winger last season.

  4. Apparently we are pondering a double swoop for Cahill with Samba.
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/596/exclusive/2011/06/16/2534397/arsenal-in-advanced-talks-to-sign-gary-cahill-christopher

    This story may have some truth to it as, either deal could breakdown easily, as far as I’m concerned Roselle is an idiot, but did us a favor. Will be on later, keep up the good work Yogi.

  5. Bendtner will have a breakout season pretty soon, he may be a bit slow, but he’s a big lad. His confidence and attitude regardless of the situation will be missed 😦


  6. Arsenal vs Malaysia ….way back in 1979…..ignore the effing background song by the way…
    can’t wait for july 13thhhhh got me ticketsssssssss…..

  7. Why does Gary Cahill’s Wiki page have this line on it?

    “Bolton and Arsenal have agreed on a 17 million pound transfer fee which would send Gary Cahill to the Emirates Stadium. Wage demands and a medical to come.”

  8. welcome home gary cahill……definitely a better buy that jones…

  9. Sandro rosell? Who’s he? Oh that fat cunt that talks thru his ass like most catalans…..is he on cheap weed or something…..the spuddies wanna sell monkey face for a cool 60 mil while we sell our captain for a fraction of that…..I say we go over there and bid 12 mil for messy and see how they like it lousy lot……morning all

  10. Geez, 40m quid for Modric thinks his agent, probably more 30-something as a final offer from ManU after Chelsea’s 22m was turned down flatly.

  11. Are u for real antony…….am already creaming my pants at the prospect of both samba and cahill lining up for us……happy days

  12. Carib | June 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

    There is no more ‘truth’ in that report than any of the others out there. No quotes and all speculation I’ve seen elsewhere cobbled together for effect.

  13. Antony | June 17, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Because anybody can edit it. It’s probably some overly-excited ‘fan’ getting ahead of himself.

  14. New fixtures: First game away to Newcastle.

    You heard it here first…..

    Morning all

  15. Now surely we are not doing something so radical as bidding for both Samba and Cahill … are we? Or playing one against the other. But if so, is Kos potentially perceived as cover for Song including ACN period? Song will be out for about a month, depending how his team do, and tired on return. Kolo came back with malaria.

  16. NB69

    Nah, it was on Twitter last night! QPR home for the final match.

    YW

  17. I have watched Taarabt and he’s better than some of the bottlers in the team collecting 50k and over per week.

    He’s better than Denilson and even Diaby. At current level he’s also better than Rosicky. He’s young, has excellent ball control, great passing range, pacy and will only get better with great manager AW. Only few of our midfielders are better.

  18. Am a bit confused y’all……are in for willian or douglas costa…..his agent seem to think we are in for him…..and they don’t want denilson…why won’t anyone in their right senses want denilson…its baffling…he’s world class for pete’s sake….one of the best in his position….why I outta…..pay them the damned cash and ship that tosser back to brazil where he came from.

  19. Ha Ha Ha.the joke is on Barca, We will be using Fab until the end of his career and then pass him back, at thirty-five. His final football season willbe at Barca. Let the Spanish waiters enjoy Fab for a season prior to retirement, much like Henri. All Arsenal fans will thank Barca for the letting us have their best player for twenty years.

  20. SomeRandomGunner

    I am bemused by the fact the some ppl are excited with a Samba-Cahill partnership at the heart of our defense.
    A simple look at the goals conceded tells that Samba was part of defense which conceded 59 goals for god’s sake.
    Cahill in a team 56 goals, when both of the teams are predominantly set up for defending rather than committing all players to attack.
    Do people really believe that we have such poor central defenders ? Ok lets assume our center backs are so bad , then the question is why we dont concede 60 goals that would mean our midfielders and forwards are better at defending ?
    So Song , Wilshere , Nasri, Cesc are defending greatly we concede lesser that too when we are so committed to attack ? Are the above players better defenders than the similar players from blackburn,bolton while attacking too much ? Are they really that good ?

    What the hell is the logic behind Samba-Cahill being much much better defensiver partnership ?
    We concede lots from set-pieces suddenly these 2 guys replacing a Koscielny and Djourou would bring the number close to zero?

    I am really confused , can any one supporting Samba-Cahill at the heart of our defense.

  21. Tough games to start the new season

    away Newcastle
    Home Liverpool
    away Man U

    Get some results there then we’ll be flying

  22. good post,
    samba is a good player and so is cahill but both arent world class
    but we need a player a samba type player cos he is tall and premiership experience yes their team did concede a lot of goals ,but with a better team around them they will certainly improve,plus he has leadership qualities and very good at set pieces……plus if even one of them is signed we have vermalaen,kos ,jd,samba,bartley,miquel.Vermalaen and even kos for that matter can be used as a dm during some more physical games or injuries to song etc…what do you think…

  23. Just like ur name implies u r a random shithead….its a known fact that teams like bolton and blackburn based their game solely on defense cause they don’t have quality attackers…we do. Samba and cahil at the heart of our defense is actually what we need…..most of the goals we ship since 05 are from setpieces. Do the math. players like cesc nasri and RVP will keep most opposing teams on their own part of the pitch…..the only way out for them is thru a corner kick…free kick or as stoke city goes….throwing

  24. The entire Barcelona Cesc debacle soap opera can be put down to deeply sentimental emotions about this player in particular, with considerable flair for the dramatic and ‘indignant’ gesture. Behind every pronoucement, including those of Bibin on ACLF, lies the suspicion that Fabregas, a Barcelona boy, will shortly become the best midfield playmaker in Europe, if not the world; and potentially captain of the best team in the world, not called Barcelona. The shame! He must return home to his roots, to his destiny! I fully expect Wenger to receive a firm slap, with an empty glove, a demand to meet at an appointed place, at dawn, the choice of weapon his own, but preferably the sword. Arsene will not choose the sword of course, too messy, but the chess board, and of course take the first move.

  25. I really doubt we’re going to buy two central defenders – it’s surely going to be one or the other, SRG. I don’t know about either of them, but there’s a lot of noise at the moment.

    I wouldn’t use a team’s defensive record to assess an individual either (although some people are happy to do it here, over and over again). The only way you could gauge their quality would be to watch a lot of Blackburn and Bolton matches. So I can safely say I pity the hell out of our scouts.

  26. So we play Newcastle first, followed by Liverpool home and ManU home. Wow.

  27. Actually,

    I don’t care much about the fixture program.
    My hope and wish is that this time, we should be playing our best football in the last third of the season, irrespective of the opposition.

  28. cmon my predictions for game against newcastle hope its 4-4-2
    scezeny
    sagna kos samba vermalaen

    nasri wilshere fabregas gervinho

    rvp walcott
    subs-
    fabianski
    chamakh
    jd
    arshavin
    willian
    song

  29. @SomeRandomGunner: You share my opinions. Personally, I do not believe that Wenger will buy at 17m a defender who has only one year left on his contract. But then in line with what you have said, I predict that people will be surprised that these guys cannot displace JD for example in the pecking order. Even Koz is better than Samba in open play. He is more mobile and distributes better, which are the kind of stuff AW values but I cannot say so when it comes to conners and similar set pieces. I suspect what we are about to see is V5 being moved to the left full back while JD and Samba will partner. If however, one more CB is purchased, eg Vertonghen (who to me is far better than Cahill and will not be more than 11m), Samba will become No 3 in the pecking order, if not 4. I think the real problem is arial battles on the left side.

  30. SomeRandomGunner

    @goonerstan
    Ok let me assume you have brain. In 2008 we shipped only 3 headed goals i would assume it is tough to concede in set pieces with such less headed goals conceded , so dont think ur line of we are shipping loads of goals from set pieces in set pieces.

    And you really believe those 2 replacing our center backs will improve our set piece defense ? You dont have to worry about who RVP tracks or Diaby does or why Song does not jump what you do with Arshavin in that case or Clichy etc ?

    You really believe that replacing our center backs will solve our set-piece problem ?

    @OneOfUs
    True you cannot blame goals conceded on the center backs alone , that argument works well for our CBs too. Watching Blackburn and Bolton over a season … never thought of this way, poor scouts.

  31. Premier league fixtures out today….its a fix I tell you liverpool, chelsea, bolton, stoke, tottenham and united in first eight games in between champions league qualifiers. We dont make things easy for ourselves.

  32. Cahill & Samba are surrounded by shite at their current clubs. Both have been the players holding it together while the likes of Robinson, Knight, Steinsson at Bolton and Givet, Nelson and Paul Robinson at Blackburn have fumbled their way around the season. Both are standout players at their clubs. Bot have a lot of premier league experience. Both are full internationals (Cahill just recently, which shows his growth, hes just 25). Good solid purchases i reckon.

    What a tough first month we have –

    Away to Newcastle,Champions League 1st Leg, Home to Liverpool, Champions League 2nd Leg, Away to Manchester United.

    Phew

    Oh and Barca can either pay up or piss off. Get on the blower Ivan and lay it out for them.

  33. If teams are spending over the odds for players of the same nationality, it makes sense that Barcelona should pay massive premium for someone who would be a guaranteed fit into their group, both off the pitch and on it. Where else are Barcelona going to find someone who knows – and doesn’t want to kill – their players, and has even played alongside a few of them (both at Barça and in the Spanish youth teams) from a young age?

    He has made more assists over the last few seasons than any other player in Europe’s top leagues; by February last season he was also creating more chances per game than anyone else. £35 million is blatant disrespect, both for Arsenal and Fabregas. I just hope he knows it.

  34. Even Koz” ?! Wanker.

  35. @Passenal

    Yeah that’s what I thought. I posted it here in case someone heard something solid.

    For those of you wanting Samba AND Cahill…. we already have 4 CBs. We should buy only one of Samba and Cahill unless we’re selling. And I don’t think Wenger is gonna sell TV5, Kos or JD. MAYBE Squillaci, but I don’t think it will happen.

    Our fixture list is kinda tough… 5 games in 14 days in August, and 6 games in 18 days in September!

  36. There is something about our fixture list that has me thinking – “title”.

  37. Adel Taarabt would absolutely tear defences apart on Hackney Marshes.

  38. YW
    Your hyperlink about Trevor Brooking links to the Taraabt story.

  39. Anthony, cast your mind back to last season. Vermaelen was injured for almost the whole season. That left us with 2 centrehalves new to the league and 1 just back from long term injury. Now as it happened Djourou did quite well, and Kos had his moments. BUT Squillachi didnt shine at all. And if you remember most of us were panicing when Djourou got injured and it looked like our run in would have Kos paired with Squill or Song dropping to centrehalf. Thats not acceptable.

    So if this coming season we start with Vermaelen/Cahill/Samba/Djourou/Kos (sell on Squill) then im quite happy. Id still be happy with just one of Cahill or Samba but insurance is nice, especially with the amount of games we play.

  40. TV as left back, stop now with that, he is best centre half in the prem for me, cahill or samba as cover only, unless arsen is looking to come 4th again

  41. @DeiseGooner

    My point was that 5 CBs are enough. Wouldn’t mind if it was TV5-Kos-JD-Squillaci-Samba/Cahill or TV5-Kos-JD-Samba-Cahill.

  42. we are moving forward my friends, koz n tv at the heart, maybe kos can cover for def mid when song goes but we have not yet signed or areb planning to sign any first teamers yet, not one

  43. Thanks Colney, changed it.

  44. I’m with you, boomer. Koscielny | Vermaelen is a title-winning centreback partnership in the making. So excited to watch them play a season together. Guile and guts. Grace, pace and aggression. Search and Destroy.

  45. Much more excited about that than any mooted new boys to be honest. Though I’d take Chris Samba over Seb Squillaci for the totemic value. He could ward off bad spirits like Rory Delap.

  46. @Henristic at 9.22am

    How can you say you are not interested in the fixtures for next season…….. OK, it’s important how the team play in the last ¼ of the season but the fixtures are important.

    People are now saying although we have a tough start, the run in is fairly easy. Don’t forget, people were saying we had the easiest run in last season… look what happened then.

  47. Exactly Northbank,
    It doesn’t matter whether we have a touch start or tough finish. The quality of opposition has no influence on our form, and its more important for me right now that we keep good form in the ‘business’ end of the season, something we haven’t seen too often in recent years.
    We’ve proven without doubt that on good form, we can beat the best.

  48. Boring boring boring. All of this transfer speculation is just an excuse to talk about people who play for other clubs. this is an Arsenal blog ffs. Talk about our brilliant defenders not the shite that turns out for other teams.
    Arsenal you dumb fucks. Arsenal all the way.

  49. Under-18s squad shaping up very nicely indeed, OOU…

    Zak Ansah, Jamie Edge, Kyle Ebecilio, Elton Monteiro, Martin Angha, Samir Bihmoutine, Alban Bunjaku, Jeffrey Monakana, Nigel Neita, Josh Rees, Serge Gnabry, Leander Siemann, Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin, Kristoffer Olsson, Chuba Akpom, Jack Jebb… and lots of Hale End boys pushing the first-team from beneath.

    Forward!

  50. To me, there’s nothing more tedious than reading about how bored people are. If the discussion is sensible, constructive and respectful, then I don’t see a problem with speculating. There’s f-all else to do, and since AW and the people close to him have made it clear that there’s going to be action this summer, I’m happy going along for the ride. Lemons and lemonade, and all that.

  51. That’s the most enjoyable blog I’ve read for ages. Excellent!

    Brooking was right as well. Funny, we must be doing something right the way we bring up young footballers to play football. The only one with any idea was Lansbury and he didn’t start. What an indictment it is of English football to see so many highly rated young players without a clue. Rodwell looked like he couldn’t trap the proverbial bag of cement.

  52. Limpar Assist,
    There’s some great scrabble scores in that squad.

  53. Oh, going to see Wire and the Sonics tomorrow night!

    Yeah, that u18 team is going to be crazy. Gnabry looks especially good. I don’t know how they’re going to fit them all in though, what with the u16s like Akpom, Jebb and Lipman pushing through, like you say. Have to imagine that Toral’s going to spend most of his time in the reserves , maybe Rees, Bunjaku and Ebecilio as well.

  54. I may be totally wrong here but i get the feeling Lansbury not starting (when he clearly should) is petty from Pearce as he didnt get his way with Jack. Pearce’s attitude in interviews after that happened seemed to be rather bitter.

  55. Deise,
    I find Pearce’s decision making a bit weird. Surely what he should have done when Wilshere pulled out was to call up Mceachran, who is by all accounts is the next best thing? Instead he throws a strop and packs the team full of defenders.

  56. Pearce is dense and should not even be allowed to speak to any of our youngsters.And why is JET not playing,He might not be good enough for Arsenal ,as of now,but surely he is better than who is playing now?
    Pearce is a reflection of everything that is wrong with the English game

  57. steww

    Its a huge mental issue our fans have it seems.. many seem to think every player from other clubs would improve us. We are seriously under-estimated ourselves.

    I would take 1 of Cahill or Samba to give us that bit extra on set-pieces, my hunch is Wenger will end up buying another biggish Premiership CB. These two have gone way to public to be real, I will probably be wrong but that is just my gut feeling.

    I’d be extremely surprised if Wenger moves Vermaelen to LB, I don’t see him being best utilized up and down the touchline. The one thing that would make sense to that move is the sacrificing of Clichy for a player better in the air. We would be adding another element to our set-pieces with Vermaelen + 2 more CB’s. You would think Wenger wouldn’t want to sacrifice the attacking abilities of a Clichy type wing back….

  58. GR, I think JET fell out with the England coaches at a young age. And they appear to be quite unforgiving – once that door closes, i doesn’t tend to open again. That Ravel Morrison lad is meant to be one of the best young English players around, but has barely figured for the England youth teams. Although he does sound like trouble, to say the least.

    Actually, I don’t rate Taraabt particularly, but I think JET’s situation could be similar; I think he needs to go on loan and play for coach who believes in him (unlike Dave Jones), and bring that confidence back to Arsenal, because we can’t really play him on the back of the form he showed for Cardiff. Holloway would be perfect – maybe he could go back to Blackpool, or perhaps Wigan or Swansea might take a chance on him.

  59. While i dont see Vermaelen at left back i will say this – for all of Clichy’s attacking instincts his final ball leaves a lot to be desired more often than not. Having a more stay home left back lessens the need for the left sided attacker to cover his runs forward if things break down. Just a thought….

  60. george rodger

    Who would you start JET in front of ??

  61. DeiseGooner

    Its not a fault of Clichy’s or any of our wing backs. Its the actual system. Playing a more conservative full back will not solve anything. Its either the LB or the RB who advances to support the attack, its essential to our play and Its a key element of our game. We retain possession and it demands the full backs to advance in order to create space and movement.

    Its easy to suggest we could benefit from someone who can cross better, but we lose Clichy’s ability to actually track back 500 yards when we are vulnerable to the counter attack. Plus Clichy’s ability to get into advanced areas creates space for the likes of Nasri, Arshavin, and Cesc in the central areas. I will continue to stress this, we will miss the guy dearly if he were to leave.

  62. DeiseGooner

    Plus… he seems like a very sensible and committed guy who loves Arsenal. He will be hurting right now more than anyone.

  63. “Ricky van Wolfswinkel”

    I see it’s comedy Ricky week to go with comedy transfer rumour month.

    ****
    What do people see in Stuart Pearce as a manager? I had to smile wryly when I read that Trevor Brooking article. Instead of asking himself what might have been if JW had played, he should be asking what the hell he and Pearce have been doing for the last five years in youth development.

    I’d certainly put JET in the England U21 team – that’s flair and technical ability for you.

  64. IIRC I think someone had posted some Guardian chalkboards on here recently that showed that when Arshavin was playing in front of Clichy, Clichy played a lot more conservatively. Sagna was usually the more active of the two in those cases.

  65. If JET”s in form, then push Sturridge into the middle, put JET on the right and Welbeck on the left. Tell Rose to f*ck off!

    Agree with CG on Clichy.

  66. I noticed that as well, FG. Brooking was speaking like an outside in that interview. Isn’t he supposed to be overseeing it all – more or less?

  67. Without wishing to pile in and overload the attack, as it were, I have to agree with chrisgoona on Clichy. Our style of play asks an awful lot of all of our back four.

  68. Chris

    I rate Clichy, i do. But it looks like he will leave. Sad to see. What im trying to get at is we would benefit from a wing back with better final ball, Clichy hasnt improved whereas i reckon Sagna has, a bit. Sagna is also a better defender than Clichy. So while i rate Clichy i do think he can be improved on – i hoped he would improve himself, and theres still time for sure, but is that time gonna be with us?? And as i say, while i dont see Verm as his replacement, i do think a more shall we say cautious full back would be of benefit.

  69. DeiseGooner

    I can see your point of view. For Wenger to agree with it he will have to actually have someone in the box who is good in the air. No point crossing more when we have Van Persie on his own up top. We have rarely played with Van Persie and Chamakh, but that could be an option.

    My only concern is who is out there that can do what Clichy does, but offers us crossing ability? Maybe Wenger has been looking if he has known Clichy wants out.. we will have to see but my opinion is Clichy is an excellent player. I don’t think their is a better suited LB for Arsenal out there right now. I could be wrong.

  70. FunGunner

    I would try to suggest a tweak to the system but I ain’t no tactical expert. We have a lot of ability in our team but we get caught out on the break and on set-pieces. If we make a few adjustments tactically we could witness perfect football next season. I mean this by the way we give the ball away in costly positions, something you don’t see Barcelona doing that often.

    I expect a few changes in personnel this summer, I just don’t think Wenger ever considered that our passing game needs changing. Hopefully a couple bigger players corrects the set-piece issues (not necessarily CB’s), while maintaining what we are good at doing – killing the opposition through swift 1-2 touch passing.

  71. I like the look of the first 5 fixtures. Start with a cold shower wake up call away at Newcastle. A bit of CL continental breakfast pressure. Invite Liverpool round for a mid-morning coffee and cakes and Kenny jumping up and down excitedly. Power lunch the continental way again with high stakes, winner takes all buffet. And then brew up an early season shocker at OT by eating them for dinner. Yummy.

  72. Pearce had a fierce free kick back in his day. So he’s now a prick with a kick. Otherwise, he’s practically a tactical retard.

  73. hahaha! You’re on one today Zimpaul, i like 🙂

  74. @ DG
    “i do think a more shall we say cautious full back would be of benefit.”

    I wonder if AW would go that way, IF we did sell Clichy. Might he not go for somebody like Sagna – who can do both the attacking and the defending jobs? After all, Sagna started out as a more defensive FB than Eboue, but he has improved by adding to the attackign side of his game . we need that versatilty on both sides. I know you rate Clichy, but he is being made to look worse than he is because of the demands of our system – that is what I think Chrisgoona was saying.
    And funnily enough, when you average out the Guardian chalkboards showing the players’ movement for the season, Clichy is a couple of metres further back than Sagna. Which I’m sure goes against most people’s perception.

    @ Chrisgoona
    Defending set pieces is all about organisation, for me. Basically, everyone’s got to know what they are supposed to be doing, and the keeper has to organise them. We could throw in a couple of taller players, but we can’t guarantee that the ball will go to them, and we can be sure that the opposition will put up their tallest players against our shortest.

  75. If Gervinho comes in, does that mean Bendtner is on his way?

    I hope not.

  76. Defensively Clichy is good at one-on-ones, freaking brilliant at interceptions, but he’s positionally suspect. And he sometimes gets confused.

    Attacking-wise, his link-up play is pretty good, his crossing has improved but still isn’t that good and well, he rarely attempts shots(but that’s ok by me). He did give 2 excellent air passes with his right foot though, one against West Ham which Song headed in and the delightful chipped pass for RVP to score against Barcelona.

    That being said he understands our style of play so I feel that if he can improve his positioning and concentration we should keep him. He’s been loyal and I like him.

    Also if he goes, who’s gonna replace him?

    How good is that Izaguirre guy?

    Will Baines fit into our system?

  77. And funnily enough, when you average out the Guardian chalkboards showing the players’ movement for the season, Clichy is a couple of metres further back than Sagna. Which I’m sure goes against most people’s perception.

    Well when you think about it Sagna has improved his attacking game, we do see him go round the outside and try a pullback or cross. Clichy tends to overlap just to give teammate option to cut inside, when he gets forward with the ball he tends to square it (easy option) as he just doesnt seem to have the crossing knack

    Im just thinking out loud here

  78. ma2aaditya

    I don’t really think we need players like bendner or gervinho into our team. We should be aiming higher than two of them cunts. I think the players that we really need are hazard, eto, cahill the “defender” and perhapsa new defencive midfielder. But I don’t quite think our idiot of a manager will make the signings which may excite us.

  79. Anyone seen this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13807142

    Haven’t been paying much attention to the meeja recently, but still, thought I would have heard about suicides and match fixing, and long bans etc etc…

  80. @ Antony
    I agree with all you say about GC – I’m not making a case for selling him, he is one of my favourite players. I was disputing the reasons DG was giving as a basis for replacing him. Despite his weaknesses (which our very demanding system shows up), I really don’t think there are many LBs around who are better than GC all round. And he’s one of the hardest-working players you will ever see, never gives up. Sagna is better but Sagna is THE best Fullback in the league.

  81. Bradys right foot

    SomeRandomGunner | June 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Great post and totally agree.

    Without doubt we could improve defensively but I dont think Samba or Cahill represent that improvement. What everyone overlooks is that our current system asks an awful lot of our defense. Samba and Cahill would have to actually defend more one ones than they do at Blackburn and Bolton. I would have huge concerns about our high line with Samba in the mix. Cahills reputation is seemingly based on the fact that he is English and competant. In my opinion he’s not as good as Lescott but I could imagine the derision from some if we were linked with him. Have a look at the following link, http://thefootballfront.blogspot.com/2011/04/just-how-good-is-gary-cahill.html. It would be interesting to comapre with Kozzers numbers. Kozzer for me had a more impressive debut than TV, who had the luxury of playing with a top class and vastly experienced centre half in Gallas. We conceded 43 this year and 42 the previous campaign.

    Stats without context are just numbers. The tactics and quality of the personal involved have an impact on everything that happens on the pitch. Bearing this in mind we are the most attacking team in the premiership, It stands to reason we are more vunerable in transistion than the likes of Bolton and Blackburn. The praise that Johnson and Dann receive at Birmingham totally megates the fact that their midfiel 5/6 played some 10 yards infront of them. How much protection did they get, how many one on one situations did they face, how much actual defending did they have to do.

    We conceded the least amount of goals from open play. The stat about conceding 53% of our goals from set pieces includes penalties, free kicks, throw ins and corners and does point at inherent weaknesses. Incidentally we conceded 8 actual goals from corners the league average, and 8 from penalties as I said before stats without context are just numbers.

  82. I will just repost my comment again so it makes sense to everyone

    ma2aaditya

    I don’t really think we need players like bendner or gervinho into our team. We should be aiming higher than two of them cunts. I think the players that we really need are hazard, eto, cahill the “defender” and perhaps a new defencive midfielder. But I don’t quite think our idiot of a manager will make the signings which may excite us.

  83. Yeah, now it makes sense, gooner2. Nice one.

    Actually, sorry for snapping at you earlier, Steww – we’ve all got to get through the summer any way we can.

  84. Miami Arsenal

    Titles are not won in the first 2 months or the league season. Looking at this fixture list all I se is an early opportunity for Arsenal to put there hand up and say “we matter”. I actually think this season is one in which Chelsea are the team to beat, United are always there or there abouts but with a keeper change United will be more vunerable than they have been for some time.

  85. @ BRF
    Thanks for the breakdown of the set piece goals conceded. That puts a very different complexion on the matter. Do you have figures for other top teams for comparison?

    “It stands to reason we are more vunerable in transistion than the likes of Bolton and Blackburn.”
    Agree. Attacking team gets caught on break – it’s a drawback of being an attacking team, not necessarily of us. Manure v Barca – BBB had all the possession, most of the shots, more of the territory, but virtually the first time Manure got near Barca’s goal, they scored, albeit an offside goal, but you see my point.

  86. oneofus

    Are’nt you tired of waiting for new faces to come?

  87. Miami Arsenal

    I would prefer to see Cahill over Samba at the Grove. I know we all may have differing opinions on this, but the fact remains I personally give Cahill the technical edge over Samba and that is a quality Arsene desires in his transfers. I believe that Cahill is in the last year of his contract, the problem where usually that would drive the price down he is also English. It seems incredible in these times where people are struggling to make ends meat and a financial meltdown occured that we still think it is okay to offer seriously offensive fees for untested/unproven players just because of the colour of their home flag. I feel for the fans at the moment asked as they are to invest in their supported teams, just watch the Mr 20%’s of this world smile back at us with those cigar stained teeth!

  88. My only worry regarding playing Vermaelen at LB is be related to stamina. Is vermelaen able to run up and down that left channel for 90 mins?
    Apart from stamina, what can Clichy do that Vermalean can’t?
    Vermaelen is quick and skillful enough, and is probably a better tackler. Ok, he might not make anywhere near as many interceptions as Clichy but I don’t see that as a problem. Sagna doesn’t make as many interceptions either, yet he is regarded as more defensively solid than Clichy.

    That said, I would still like to keep Clichy. He is a top player and playing the Verminator in his position would mean loosing a very good CB.

  89. Miami Arsenal

    I agree Hen, in an ideal world Clichy would be staying.

  90. Miami Arsenal

    I’m actually starting to like what I see in Gervinho the more I see of him via clips (I appreciate that this does not always tell the whole story). I like the pace he has and I love that he is not afraid to take players on, this latter skill/attitude is I think important in the EPL.

  91. Samba and Cahill!!! Far to good to be true, If its is I think I will have died and gone to heaven. Love the idea of Kos being cover for Song and I absolutely love the idea of TV5 at LB. With a little bit of effort or the training pitch we could be totally unbreachable. Title winning stuff indeed.

  92. Catching early the early media worm I see Yogi!

    Great article mate. You only named a few of the players on their way to us though. Last nights count was 8 and it’s still going up. Now that I can see through it all I cant’ stop hunting down these “sky sources understands” and even better is “Arsenal have been put on red alert” Lol… I fucking love it.

  93. Can you imagine the havoc that TV5 and his cannon of a left leg would bring bombing the left flank. No GK can catch those rockets and the goals we could get just cleaning up the rebounds could hit double figures. Not to mention how much better we would be on set pieces on both ends of the pitch.

  94. Bradys right foot

    FunGunner | June 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    It was only 6 pens conceded in the league, stats lies and all that lol. I google as best I can for stats but you get some good insight on the Gaurdian Chalk boards and some of the blogs like Untold and 7amkickoff do some good stuff from time to time.

  95. A man who loves his wife is happier than he who covets his neighbour’s

  96. The question is is he happier than the man who gets his neighbour’s?

  97. Agree with Henristic that stamina would be a worry for Vermaelen at LB, especially as it’s one of the most important attributes a fullback can have at Arsenal.

    You’re missing the bigger picture, gooner2. You should be livid with those greedy c*nts that run the club for not commissioning that time machine to get us to July 1st, when the transfer window actually opens – or how about a week later, when preseason training starts.

    And f*ck all those lazy footballers for going on holiday during their time off. Don’t they know that gooner2 wants knew faces?

  98. SomeRandomGunner | June 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Keep reading and quoting opta stats.

    Fact of the matter is that Samba, is a battle hardened warrior which we haven’t had since Adams, Sol, Bould, Keown.

    Unlike any of our current CBs except for TV, he consistently wins headers, he attacks the ball before it bounces over his head in our penalty area (in case you hadn’t noticed we are very weak in this area).

    He is always barking orders so others around him don’t switch off (in case you hadn’t noticed we are very weak in this area).

    He puts his body on the line and very rarely fucks up in front of his own keeper (in case you hadn’t noticed we are very weak in this area).

    He scores his fair share of goals from set plays (in case you hadn’t noticed we are very weak in this area).

    He is a very imposing and a very aggressive CB who can take his game to the next level surrounded by all the quality talent that we already have at our club and loves playing it rough up North (in case you hadn’t noticed we are very weak in this area).

    Hope this helps as I am sick of hearing from people who are so happy the way things are when all we need is a tweak and our world will be turning.

  99. Gadget | June 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    A wonderful dilemma but, it also depends if the neighbour is fit looking or ugly as sin?

  100. Too much conjecture Goonerton

  101. TV, at Left Back? Are you lot sure about that?

    I’m not on that one at all as he’s fucking rock solid at CB. It’s not broke so why try and fix it?

    Samba and TV at the back would make CFs shit their pants looking the team sheet.
    Don’t mind Cahill either but, I think Samba is more hungry.

  102. I say thee nay. Having sampled many different flavour of women ranging between wildly and mildly attractive, I can say that the best bed partners have all come from the mildly section.

    Is lust ever as fulfilling as love?

    Ah, my romance is back

  103. Oh dear, Bill. That would sound something like this, I suppose:

    “The turnover! And it’s London Arsenal with the Fast Break; Vermaelen from half-field, Gomez with the fumble, Van Persie scores!! Arsenal with the two goal swing as we go into overtime”

    Just kidding of course.

  104. If I had choice I would like to see us get either Cahill or Samba preferably Cahill and get Sakho. I have not seen much of him but I have heard he is a beast. Built like Micah Richards only taller and left footed. Also good pace for a man his size and playing top flight French football for several years. Probably come cheaper Cahill.

    You guys all talk about how demanding it is to play defense for Arsenal. Hopefully the boss looking at some bigger players signals that he will be modifying the way we play at least a little in order to take some of the burden off our defense. I have said a zillion times but a simple look at the tables makes it obvious that our attacking ethos with its high line and all that goes with it has not been scoring us nearly enough goals to outweigh the risks. The boss has those same stats so hopefully last season will finally convince him its time to modify our system at least a little and give our defense some help.

  105. What happened to the hot news about Man U away as the opening fixture? Oh, I see who reported that now.

  106. Very good post there, BRF.

    I share your fears about Chris Samba’s mobility. He’s a bit of a six-yard-hero, isn’t he? If it is true I take comfort in the knowledge that the Arsenal coaching staff seem to have ways of making players faster. Don’t ask me how they do that.

    I also take comfort in the knowledge that, if he should sign, it will be as reinforcement, and most probably only wheeled out for a ‘certain type of game’. Like the last ten minutes at Stoke when we’re winning 1-0.

    Cahill is another story; partly because I’m yet to hear anything credible about that, and partly because he’s actually a pretty powerful runner so recovery running from a high-line wouldn’t be total anathema to him. My fear about Cahill is that, in an Arsenal shirt, he might become somewhat of a penalty magnet.

  107. FunGunner

    I don’t believe Clichy looks worse in our system, I just believe he tries to get forward a bit too much. If we retained the ball well enough we wouldn’t be saying he is out of position. He is a quality LB, one of the best around. I would be devastated to see him go. He must be a nightmare for wingers, even Ronaldo struggled to find space with Clichy biting at his legs.

    With regards to set-pieces. I do also believe it is a tactical issue that is hurting us. We seem to be deploying a man marking approach: you stick to your man, you lose him and we are screwed. All our players have been at fault at one point of another… Ramsey, Kos, Djourou…

    Did we not use with Adams Bould, Keown etc a zonal system? More often than not our players are getting pushed out of the way on set-pieces or losing their man. Puts the team on a right downer after you have killed them in terms of play for 40,50,60 mins to find yourself 1 down chasing the game to a team that is satisfied in defending. Its kind of cowardly, but with what is at stake financially, these teams have been drilled day in day out to defend for their lives, and con the referee to try grab that 1 chance.

  108. Not scoring enough goals is about not finishing chances, hitting the woodwork more than any other team, and losing our creative mojo at home for the run-in. The problem was not that we were playing too attacking a brand of football. That, of course, makes no sense at all.

  109. OOU:

    I know how much you and many people love it when we make 10,000 passes and score a beautifully worked goal. I love that too but I will admit that at this point I just want to see us start to win things again and if that means getting a some tap in rebounds and set piece goals then I am all for it. We will never turn into a hoofball team. Wenger would never in a million years go that route but it just seems so logical that its finally time to realize that we have to get more of a balance the way we play our game and some flexibility in our tactics and our squad. 3 years has proven convincingly that when we hit squeaky bum time and the rest of the league starts to fight for top of the table and against relegation that we see more and more parked buses and teams tighten up. Our possession game becomes much less effective and our defense struggles when that happens. The best way to break down a packed defense is to be able to score on a corner or get a scrappy goal. If we can score first even if by an ugly goal then the bus parked in front of goal gets a lot smaller and our possession game becomes much more effective. On the other hand the parked bus increases expotentially in size when the other team gets a scrappy first goal.

  110. Bradys right foot

    goonerton | June 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Hate to break it to you the last Arsenal centre half to consistently win headers was Kolo, not TV. Infact our defending from set pieces was worse last year than this year if you remove penalties from the equation http://www.7amkickoff.com/2011/newsroom-statistics-dominate-plus-paddy/comment-page-1/.

    In your opinion Samba is a warrior, i’m not interested whatsoever into what tabloid stereotype that Chris Samba the defender falls into, he was at the heart of a defence that conceded 59 goals in a team that plays much more conservatively than Arsenal, does that not worry you? Personally I don’t care how much he shouts, claps his hands or looks angry, McGrath one of the best defenders I’ve ever seen was a quiet as a mouse. My only concern is will Samba improve on what we have. I justifiably remain unconvinced but I do hope Im wrong If he signs.

  111. Eduardo ( you remember the dude who scored two neat goals against AFC last season. All things going to plan he should hopefully this season have made as good a recovery as he can, and will start a few more games for SD).

    Proof that you don’t need to change philosphy. Change tactics. Or repeat the same thing day after day on someone’s forum.

  112. Limpar @ 2:40:

    Next year we will stop hitting the woodwork and start taking our chances? Other then blind optimism what makes you think we can suddenly change somthing we have been doing for several years? I certainly shouldn’t be the one who casts stones about redundancy but doesn’t it get difficult to believe every summer that next year will somehow be different?

  113. Bradys right foot

    Bill | June 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Bill m8 were fanatics and the Arsenal condition is a bi polar one, role on the blind optimism lol.

  114. Ah, Dudu. The memories of his goal at Emirates is the third most joyful memory of this season.

    “What were the others?”, I hear you cry.

    The second would be Song’s goal vs Chelsea

    The first, our magnificent little Russian’s goal vs Barcelona

    Long live Dudu

  115. george rodger

    Why would you covet the neighbor’s wife if she was ugly?

    Chris.JET for any of the current starters bar Sturridge.

    Gooner2, Have you forgotten what Yogi told you about being disrespectful towards the manager?Not only are you a stupid fellow,but a stupid fellow with a poor memory.

  116. Bill you appear to be paraphrase the erroneous definition of insanity. Of course any quantum physist worth their salt will tell you why it’s incorrect, but ’tis neither here nor there really

  117. Paraphrasing… at least according to my tainted perception bias

  118. george rodger

    I think TV at LB when Andrei is playing .would be good Sort of more balanced with a more stay at home defender and lees inclined to defend little wizard.
    Gael when its Nasri (hopefully) or the new addition

  119. George, what if the wife was not pretty, but slim and well-endowed in a way which roused your ravenous demons from their slumber?

  120. I’ve missed you Gadget, welcome back!

  121. Wiki…

    “Taylor claimed to have visited Eduardo in hospital and that an apology was accepted. Eduardo, however, could not remember Taylor’s visit or even the tackle.”

    What was the truth in that little story… Was it Eduardo was so out of it he couldn’t make out who the twat was?

  122. Bill, while I maintain you simply must be a cyber construct sent back from the future to piss us off – your daydream on an ‘unbreachable’ defence with Vermaelen at leftback and Koscielny anchoring the midfield – did rather send me into a mild d-fense reverie. It felt OK.

    Problem is, what you’ve done there is pick up our two first-choice centrebacks, and redeployed them to other parts of the pitch. With this in mind, the plan starts to seem… fishy.

    Further to that our midfield is suddenly short of ‘genuine width’ (is that what They call it?) on the left flank… and worse.. what’s this? it’s also short of… yes, that’s right – a midfielder! Fishier and fishier.

    I’m not adverse to Vermaelen at leftback with ten minutes to go 1 nil up against Chelsea. The problem is how to you clone him to play at centrehalf as well?

    And while Koscielny clearly has all the attributes to sit in front of the defence and shield – let’s not pretend he would be playing there as anything other than an out of position centrehalf.

    With attention being paid to ‘closing out games’, I wouldn’t be suprised to see one or two instances like these of ‘shutting up shop’. But I doubt it will be done by moving our first-choice centrehalves around and there’s no way it’ll be done right from kick-off, at the expense of a system that gets us into winning positions in the first place.

    And yes, of course we will be more ruthless in our finishing next year. The players aren’t stupid. In fact, they’re exceptionally bright. They know what needs working on, and we see improvements year on year because of that. I wouldn’t be suprised if Jack Wilshere ‘does a Song’ next year and starts finding the net some more – for starters. There’s untapped mines full of goals all across this team.

    And it’s not “somehow be different” it’s a lot of hard work from a group of players reaching their peak. It’s not difficult to believe in hard work and natural talent. Not difficult at all.

  123. george rodger

    Sorry, I realized shortly after you were referring to England not Arsenal. I am shocked to hear that he hasn’t been starting, heard hes been quite a revelation in our reserves, plus hes getting closer and closer to a shot at the 1st team squad.

  124. Limpar:

    OK.

    I think we will score more and concede fewer with TV5 on the left wing and if we set up with a more balanced approach. I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water and setting up with a little more of a balanced approach does not mean we throw away our possession and passing game. So many of us think this is a day/night issue. If we don’t play the current version of Wengerball then we will by definition go directly to hoofball. Thats completely ridiculous. We can add some height and strength and may be move the high line back a bit further and still play great football and probably even score more goals then we do now if we can develop some other ways to score and certainly we can concede far fewer goals.

  125. So the general proposal is: play our defense somewhere else but in the defense and buy players to fill the gaps in defense left by our defenders suddenly becoming midfielders?

  126. Even Stuart Pearce would like that plan!

  127. Bill you sure do have a thing for defense eh? Personally I think Clichy TV Kos Sanga is a kick ass back line. The way the Sagna/Clichy are able to move up the pitch is almost magical. Many a time they are camped up past the halfway line. We use them to literally surround the opposition and keep pushing and pushing. Pretty soon the only people not around the 18 yd box are Song and the two CB’s. That situation may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I sure love seeing Arsenal play that way. I’ll trust TV and Kos to handle any sort of counter attack our futile opposition will attempt. ARSENAL!

  128. george rodger

    Poor Bill gets a hard time does he not?And very often from me.
    But a kinder look at what is is saying would not go amiss for once.
    I think we must accept the we are in the market for a new”physical defender.So he is embracing that .I think most of us are of a mind that at least one is on there way.
    So if we accept that and it follows that the new arrival will expect some considerable playing time(not unreasonable yet?)
    That gives us 4 into 2 and that gives us 2 spare(and possibly another 2 as well)
    So on the days when TV plays LB it gives Diourou and Kos playing time without as much”dropping” going on.Also Gael gets a rest.Personally i dont think Gibbs is ready so I am setting that other little problem aside for the moment.
    Kos.AS cover for Song in emergencies only.
    We might not agree with Bill but at least he offers a reasonable argument in a decent fashion.

  129. Bill, I don’t think we could be more opposed on this issue of style. If we keep possession better, we’ll concede fewer goals. If we pass the ball and move faster we’ll, score more.

    For me there is only one way any team should aspire to play the game; that’s pass and move, and on the attack. And I think it is more absolute than you suggest:

    We haven’t won anything for a while, but in that time we’ve become identified and admired the world over for our stylish play.

    It permeates the club, from the nippers at Hale End to the first team. It fills the ground, attracts new fans, neutral viewers and potential players, both young and old. It’s also going to be our USP when we negotiate our next commercial deals. It places us in an elite group of teams across Europe – I’d guess that we’re one of only three or four names that come up when you ask an average punter who plays the most attractive football. This is huge.

    We’re respected across Europe for it, with some of the game’s former greats singling us out for praise.. This gives me immense pride.

    Corrupt this with tactics like booting it into the mixer, or randomly smashing it up to a big CF, and we’ll not only lose our cachet, but also jeopardise the continuity that spans every age group at the club – and also become less effective, because our players have been schooled to play a certain way. Yes, we could do with more physicality at away games like Stoke and Blackburn (where the pitch favours physique and percentage football), but this won’t impact on the way we play when in possession.

    Meanwhile, every attacking team on the planet will concede a few goals every season that makes them look amateurish – if you commit a lot of players forward who are comfortable playing the ball in congested areas you always run the risk of being caught on the break. Doesn’t mean that you should rip it all up.

    It’s the team part that we didn’t get right at the end of last season; the individual quality was undeniable, but they stopped functioning as a group; however, with a break to clear their heads and rest their legs, as well as a couple of new recruits to galvanise the squad, we’ll be good to go- Hang on, I’m sure we’ve been here before over the last couple of weeks.

  130. Ah, awfully sorry for that long post – and dull prose.

  131. Chris @3.23

    IIRC Taylor visited when Eduardo was either still in surgery or had just come out and was still under the effects of anaesthetic.

    YW

  132. Btw. where does this notion come from that Vermaelen is supposed to be one of the best left backs in the league. I mean, look at Silvestre, he CAN play central defence but as we had to learn the hard way, he is useless there. I don’t doubt that Vermaelen would be adept playing at left back in an emergency but honestly, if he would be as good at left back as some people make out, why was he used primarily as a CB at Ajax? Just because he played at left back occasionally when he was younger doesn’t make him an all natural LB.

  133. Nah that was a good one OOU. I enjoyed reading it and I share a lot of the same sentiments.
    I think we all see a problem in our set piece defending. We are trying to solve those issues by bringing in the much called for imposing English CB. For matches against what OOU calls “Physique and Percentage Football” teams, having a big man like Samba or Cahill will put some doubt into those brutish thugs. I imagine how they felt when they saw Kos and Squill as the CBs, and they knew they could push them around and score from some crosses or set pieces.

  134. I don’t think we are in the market for a new starter in defense. I think we can expect that whoever we buy will probably only be used when we play Stoke/Blackburn etc. or to come in late in a game when we need to defend a lead.
    Does anybody believe that we would have a realistic chance with either Samba or Cahill at CB against Barca?

  135. george rodger

    I thought he played a lot at RB at Ajax. Certainly more than occasionally.
    I remember people bemoaning the fact that he was primarily a LB when he was bought.
    And who are you calling “people”? 🙂

  136. Evil @4:27,

    ‘Appy ‘Arry said in an interview that he thought (his, erm, his ‘scouts’ told him) that TV5 was a LB, and he was surprised by his role at Arsenal.

  137. george rodger

    I am not asking for a new CB but we a most likely to get one.And they will play regularly.
    And to suggest playing Samba against Barca is rather missing the point.And I suspect you know it.
    Its not a case of whether we like it rather that the argument does at least have some merit.
    Personally I would like Cahill as no. 4 CB.But he seems a tad expensive for that to happen.

  138. Well, I checked the matches he played in 2008 and 2009 for Ajax and he was primarily used in the centre of defence with either Heitinga or, after the former moved to Everton, Vertonghen.

  139. I wonder if ‘arry’s scouts used Footie Manager or something to do their “work”.

  140. I agree George. Dropping 15+ for a 3rd choice (at best) center back seems pretty sketchy. Although following by certain people’s logic on here, the fact that Man U dropped 15+ on Phil Jones means that Arsenal should be willing to drop at least 15 or 16 millions on Cahill/Samba.

  141. That’s the crazy thing, Evil. What I saw in March was our more physical players negated by Barcelona’s teamwork.

    But maybe there is a need just to challenge other teams’ ideas about us in England, by adding a couple of taller players, as William says. Whether Stoke or Blackburn are justified to see us as soft touches or not, the very notion gives them a distinct game-plan, and the confidence to stick with it. Why not put some doubt into Pugilist’s mind – because I’d love to see what Stoke’s alternative would be.

    Or maybe that’s silly – I dunno.

  142. OOU Blackburn can see us as soft but the fact is we beat their sorry asses year in and year out, even with our tippy tappy. I’m not sure if signing a new CB is the answer. As someone above mentioned, the problem with our set piece woes is organization. I recall against Bolton at the end of the year Djourou got beat once or twice on a corner. Now, Djourou can get physical with the best of them. Being tall and buff doesn’t make you great at set piece defense.I think some are calling for Samba as a medium of organization, which i agree we could use.

  143. OOU, it’s not silly at all!

    I know everyone is not a fan, but I’m with Mean Lean (a nice post about Diaby the other day) & Shotta on this one. Abou Diaby, ignoring his other qualities and just thinking of his height, was big miss in the CC final game.

  144. I guess that nil nil draw at the end of this years campaign doesn’t really support my first sentence there, but hopefully yall get what i’m saying. And that is, CMON ARSENAL! CMON ARSENAL! CMON ARSENAL!

    Small side story, me and my mates tried chanting CMON WHITE SOX at a baseball game and the people in front of us said we were the most annoying kids they’ve ever met. Is that what happens at the Emirates?

  145. OOU:

    We will have to agree to disagree. Just my opinion but I think that the admiration of our attacking football is being replaced in the rest of the worlds eyes by something much less flattering and whats happening now with reputation is terrible. More of the same thing in years to come will see us lose even more of our respect. Based on all the moaning about the lack of respect we get it seems rather obvious the rest of the world admires winning more then a specific style of football.

    That said I repeat again that I am not advocating throwing away everything we have done and suddenly becoming a hoofball team. Hoofball teams don’t win anything either except for may be an odd CC such as Birmingham did this year. Hoofball is used by teams that don’t have enough talent to legimately compete for the top of the table. It helps avoid relegation.

    I admit this is an obtuse analogy but if you think of current tactics as 10 and those used by Stoke as 1 then by being a little more balanced in our approach we don’t suddenly drop from 10 down to 1. Again its a very abstract concept but playing at 7.5 doesn’t mean we play bad football and if it is more effective and we start winning things again you know as well as I that we will get a lot more respect in the world..

  146. Bill

    “We can add some height and strength and may be move the high line back a bit further and still play great football and probably even score more goals then we do now if we can develop some other ways to score and certainly we can concede far fewer goals.”

    Moving the ‘high line’ back would create more room between midfield and defence. This would allow more over the top balls into that space therefore creating more scoring opportunities for the opposition.

  147. What? Bill, what the f*ck are you talking about. Our problem is not goals from open play, we conceded the least goals from open play in the league, so why should we move the back line further back? The problem is not our defending from open play and I hope that in that regard everything stays the way it is now.

  148. Nice to see gooner2 put in some useful comments.

  149. BIll I understand your points there. I also agree that playing some long balls from the back can be used to good effect against the bus parking teams. Instead of forcing the bus back into there little space, we should invite them(sarcastically) out of their half to try and play a little offense. Once that happens, we strike with authority!

  150. Agree about Diaby, FP. Nothing more devastating than a fit Diaby.

    Yeah, I fully agree about organisation and communication at the back. I was just thinking about AW’s comments last month about the need for more height in the team. It could be in any position, I suppose, and I guess there are a few situations in which it would help us, not just on defensive set pieces.

    Thanks for your response, Bill. Agree with your first line!

    Anyway, there was an article today about George Weah’s (A Weger find) famous individual goal for Milan. Never really saw much from his PSG and Monaco days. This vid is great and gets better the further along you go (I like the goal near the end when he puts the same defender on his knees twice):

  151. @ OOU
    Thwack! Do stop apologising for intelligent comment. 🙂
    Your point about Barca and physical players is not silly at all. It was exactly the same with the CL final against Manure and the WC final with a Dutch team who suddenly decided to get physical. Trouble is that in England the refs officiate in a totally different way to the rest of Europe. That’s part of the conundrum for Wenger.

    @ Evil
    Great points.

    @ Bill
    Take a look at this article and the one previous to it:
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/12751

    Our system asks a lot of our defenders because they have to defend AND attack like midfielders. They have to be technically capable and highly mobile. How would it help to substitute players who are LESS technically capable and LESS mobile and LESS able to cope with the demands of our style or play?

  152. OOU if you like that George Weah goal check out his solo effort when he played for Milan, it was out of this world.

  153. YW…

    I’m glad you debunked this idiot on Sun Sport, it’s idiotic to say the least to let Barca have Cesc just because they want and not only that but they want him on their terms not ours?

    The writer of that worthless piece in The Sun failed to understand that it’s not just about the real value of the player or the education we gave him, but this is about the principal itself of Barca acting like spoiled twits and thinking they can get away with anything.

    We didn’t pay anything for Cesc, so anything we get for him is mostly a profit. The fact is, Wenger and Arsenal have the upper hand in every aspect of this situation and Cesc made it harder for them by saying he won’t put in a transfer request.

    Cesc will leaves one day, but the principals of Arsenal will remain. Don’t mess about with US.

  154. Bradys right foot | June 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm,

    Some good facts there regarding Samba. But, if he did sign, I believe Wenger still has the magic to improve the speedy track back of his game as he did with the rock solid back four we had with Adams and co.

    The pace issue was the fist thing that came to mind but, Samba, has got a bit of pace that could be improved and Wenger is top notch at bringing out skills in a player they didn’t even know they had. The biggest reason I not worried about it is that if he does sign he will surrounded by pure quality which always makes you job easier.

  155. We have had this discussion 1000 times and will have it 1000 times more. The truth is realistically none of us will change our minds.

    If you somehow could throw out all the emotions and all the time and effort that has gone into defending what we are currently doing from the hoards of doomers and trolls out there then I think most would see the logic in the arguments I am trying to make. If you don’t agree then so be it. We all have our opinions.

    The topic will come up again probably sooner then any of us want since the number of things to talk about in the summer is limited. Yogi you have made your blog far too addicting for the good of the world.

  156. FunGunner | June 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    “Our system asks a lot of our defenders because they have to defend AND attack like midfielders. They have to be technically capable and highly mobile. How would it help to substitute players who are LESS technically capable and LESS mobile and LESS able to cope with the demands of our style or play?”

    It clearly hasn’t worked by a country mile so what’s the harm in changing slightly or tweaking certain areas with something new?

  157. george rodger

    The Problem is perception.
    It does not matter that we know how good we are and that our way is the best(and that is not sarcasm by the way)It does matter how other teams see us.
    If we are thought to have a “soft underbelly” and our rivals are regarded as “strong and physical”
    it gives them a massive advantage.Because of the approach teams will take against us and not them.
    If they believe they can beat us and dont believe they can beat the others,that can have a huge effect on results over the season.
    So it might be that we have to take steps to destroy the perceptions even if they are not reality.
    This sort of thinking does not make me a doomer does it? 😦

  158. george rodger

    Bill.I am allays open to persuasion,if a logical argument can be made.

  159. SomeRandomGunner | June 17, 2011 at 9:33 am,

    I wasn’t at any point suggesting at any point that we replace JD and Kos with Samba and Cahill, you silly wabbit.

    What kind of madness it that?

    Now I’m wondering if YOU have a brain?!

    I can’t foresee Wenger purchasing both but, what do we know?

    What I do know is that if we can get either one of them they will both be a great asset to out team which will help us on the defensive side of our game which needs to be improved so we don’t crumble to teams putting us under the kosh and scoring stupid goals against us which in case you hadn’t noticed was the main reason for us handing the title and 3rd place to city.

  160. Guys take it easy on Bill,
    I think there is a tendency for us overrate the technical level required for CB. Arsene signed Silvestre, and played him quite a few times for crying out loud. What technical ability does that guy have over Samba or Cahill?
    How technically accomplished is Squilachi? or Sol Campbell (particularly his older, slower version)?

    It is clear that the manager’s standard for CBs aren’t as high as some of us make out.

  161. george rodger

    .Goonerton ,I have take the liberty of re posting you from yesterday.Hope you dont mind.

    goonerton | June 16, 2011 at 9:46 am
    I have been paying special attention all year to the “sky sources understands” punch line. When it’s anything Arsenal and 1. Normally a week late & 2. bit’s from News Now, put together.

    Nasri.

    ZimPaul | June 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Said it as it is. Narsi, was a raw talent when signed and now he is on the verge of becoming world class so his stock has risen as any other players would. His agent also has to look out for himself and any of us would be doing the same.

    I have doubted the great man before but, my excuse is that I was reading and listening to too much media. When one takes a break from them and the shit they churn out about Wenger and Arsenal it’s very easy to see that it’s jealousy of how our great club is run and ignorant anti French hatred towards the man who runs it get’s into CL every year on peanuts while every body else is in huge debt.

    They have been saying how we need older players and more steel but, trust me they really don’t want to see that in case we put it together like we have done before under Wenger.

    They are totally fucked up and a Gooners should start boycotting certain aspects of media.

    This post made me look at myself and think that perhaps I to was being overly protective and reacting against peoples views rather than assessing the facts and accepting that mistakes had been made.
    I have been rude and obtuse because I was protecting a position that I felt ,in my heart of hearts should be adjusted
    Many of us have become more and more polarized when just perhaps a bit of understanding is called for.
    I think Arsene himself might be on the move ,Even if it is only short steps.

  162. What did i tell you??? LOL!! maybe i should sell my fucking restaurants (great business moneywise, but truly enslavering if you want to succeed!) and write about football!!

    Copy pasted this article from Goal.com..

    The name of the perfume wasn’t Obsession, but it would have been appropriate. Cesc Fabregas was in Madrid on Wednesday to take part in the presentation of a new fragrance and, for the second summer running, the Spanish press reeled off the usual questions about the midfielder’s hopes and dreams of moving to Barcelona. Fabregas answered them respectfully, but also obligingly. And the conclusion: Cesc is still obsessed with Barca. The Arsenal captain spoke of his frustration at failing to win titles at the north London club; he said Barca are guaranteed winners. His favourite scent? “The Mediterranean” – and the sweet smell of success.

    Barca share this obsession. The Catalan club saw two big-money offers rejected last summer for their former youth player, but are back in for the 24-year-old midfielder and he won’t come cheaply. A purported price of €40 million is being quoted and is likely to smell less sweet for Barca, who originally thought they had slightly more cash to spend than that before sales. Sniff in a different direction, however, and they may find the solution is right under their noses: Thiago Alcantara.

    While Cesc is a pure Catalan product, born and bred in the region and raised in Barca’s youth system, Thiago is a blend of Brazilian flair and Spanish smooth. Born in Italy to a Brazilian father, World Cup winner Mazinho no less, Thiago is now starring for Spain at the European Under-21 Championship in Denmark. He’s an international, bright young thing – and he’s already at Barca.

    Obsessed with Cesc | But wouldn’t Thiago be a better option anyway?
    Thiago has been impressive in Denmark, turning in fine showings against England and Czech Republic so far. He was used sparingly for Barca last season, but scored three times in 17 appearances – playing mostly as a substitute – and appeared more than capable of performing for Guardiola’s side. Peerless in possession, Thiago has Xavi’s knack of receiving the ball and recycling play, nearly always creating more positive positions for his team-mates. He is constantly available, searching for space and triangles, and he can drive forward with the ball, too; he has completed 10 successful dribbles already in just two games at the Euros – more than any other player. And he plays the Barca way.

    So does Cesc, of course. The Arsenal midfielder has Barcelona in his blood since idolising coach Pep Guardiola as a youngster, he played in the club’s youth sides and is friends with half of the first team squad at Camp Nou. He may be ideally suited to Barca’s way of playing. So too, however, is Thiago.

    Fabregas has also been away for eight years playing in a different league – and he signed an eight-year contract with Arsenal in 2006. Financial security is one thing, but as the midfielder has always maintained he dreams of a return to Camp Nou, an eight-year commitment seems excessive now. Back then of course, he could smell success in London; Arsenal were competing for titles every year and played Barca in the Champions League final in 2006. Since then, though, the Gunners have had merely a whiff of the major trophies.

    In the meantime, Barca have gone from strength to strength, winning almost everything in sight. But the Catalan club still has debts to pay and central midfield appears well covered, especially in terms of starters. Even if Cesc were to sign, he would be unlikely to dislodge either Xavi or Andres Iniesta, while Sergio Busquets plays a more defensive role. The Arsenal captain is also prone to injuries and was disappointing for the Gunners at times last season, too.

    So Barca would do well to back Thiago and spend their money on more pressing needs, such as a central defender to cover Carles Puyol and a left-sided forward. Cesc will come anyway – sooner or later. In the meantime, Guardiola already has a bright young star in Thiago. The player’s father has claimed the midfielder will not be moving, so surely the time has come for Barca to forget their Cesc obsession, save their money, remove Thiago from his packaging and let his spirit shine. He’ll be like a free gift – with a classy aroma. It all makes sense.

    bye, bye Cesc!

  163. george rodger

    Henristic .I am taking it easy 🙂

  164. @Henristic
    I fully agree, for the spot as 4th or 5th choice CB (depending on if something happens with Squillachi, i.e. he gets sold or something) they are both clearly good enough and might improve us.

  165. Cuervo:

    Your opinion of your self worth is certainly misplaced.

    If you think any Arsenal fan would be upset with the prospect of keeping Cesc then you are delusional.

    Anyone who trolls the blog just for so you can laugh and occasionally come on and act like a prick is adding another layer of strangeness to you growing list of psychopathologies.

    I am sure I could refer you to a well respected psychiatrist who deals with these sorts of issues. I hear there are lots of excellent medications for people who are like you.

  166. Whoa Bill!

    You sure got some sharp claws under those paws eh? But you reserve it for true cunts.
    Top man!

  167. Evil,
    True. It is unlikely in my view that any of our CB buys will come as automatic 1st choice, unless they are able to prove (in training, etc) that they are better than what we already have.

  168. Cuervo you really are a very boring individual….

    Oh and a bit of cunt as well……..

  169. I disagree Remi. I personally think he is a complete c*nt!

  170. Bradys right foot

    Cuervo | June 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Copy pasted this article from Goal.com..

    Why not just take a dump on a page

  171. No talk on the greatest player to come from Africa in a generation coming to Arsenal on aculturedleftfoot?

    Tsk tskk….

    Eto’o wants

  172. Henristic:

    I hope I never end up in one of his restaurants. He probably puts laxative in the food and then laughs when people run to the bathroom, or spits in the soup.

  173. to come to the PL and will certainly fit in playing Wengerball. We need our fox in the box let’s make this a real statement of intent and bring the three time treble winner to the Emirates.

    Yes I know he and Song have had a tiff but he will soon get over it. Let this been the first signing. Samira will be begging to sign his contract then.

  174. LOL, look at this BBB boy, why are you REALLY on a Arsenal blog?!

    Tbf though I have heard some of your fellow ‘cules’ talking about how Cesc should’nt be brought back to the Camp Nou because he will provide a bad example to the clubs youngsters. That in fact the way to go is’nt to wait but instead, to learn what you can and to move abroad or to another team.

  175. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Goal.com. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAH! You’re a lousy bastard aren’t you, Cuervo.

    Sounds like a rad show and jolly good time, OOU. I fucking love Wire.

  176. @ Cuervo
    I have never seen another fan being so interested in Arsenal as Cuervo. I dunno what happens at Barcelona, neither do i care. All i know is that when AW thinks its time Cesc will be sold for alot of money. I trust AW, and i find it amusing the obsession Barcelona fans have with Cesc. Its almost like Barcelona as a club lives or dies by Cesc and their fans does not see Barcelona as a good club until he arrives, Barcelona as a club seems to live or die by the arrival of cesc. if he does not come within 5 years the club will die. That atleast is how Cuervo portrays it.
    At the moment Cescs biggest and most important job at Arsenal IMO is to shield our young coming stars. To take the preassure and the press off Jack and Aaron while they develop into world stars. Once they are ready Cesc will go for alot of money. And that is ok. Hes done his job then at Arsenal, helping us nuture young homegrowns.

    Relax Cuervo, you will get him, your waiting time will be over in 5 years time. You sit there and suck on that for the nex 5 years, while the rest of us enjoy good footy and fun with our club. Cesc will the biggest star barcelona has ever seen(even before he joins the club barca fans think he is betterthan all their players together). His time in England and with Arsenal will make him the star you today so sorly miss, he will be the best player Barcelona has EVER seen cos he has added the Arsenal way to his game. His Arsenal background will benefit you hugley, thats why you have to pay so much for him, he left as a boy and comes home as a “made by arsenal god”.
    I know you will thank us in 5 years time, thank us for being allowed to buy Cesc for 30M with 1 year left on his contract.
    and Cuervo, you are welcome, its well worth drooling 5 years for his homecoming. I understand you. Barca is nothing without cesc, while nobody is bigger than Arsenal.

  177. Göteborgs Gooner

    I agree with Ateeb @ June 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Onto more meaningful discussion though, …

    Do we know what was our ratio of number of set pieces conceded in the final third to the number of goals conceded from those set pieces. And how does it compare with our other title rivals. I have a feeling we concede more free kicks than others which increases the probability of conceding goals from them. I don’t know the numbers but maybe we also need a more disciplined team defending and fewer cheap free kicks from lazy defending especially from our wide men. I also have a feeling that its not just our lazy/unclever defending, the referees also tend to give more cheap free kicks against us which, if true calls for our team to be more intelligent in the way they tackle opponents. I might be wrong but I’d love to see some stats related to this aspect of our game.

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