Arsenal Tour Finishes With Draw, Arsène Gets Meldrew And Footballing Clichy’s

Arsenal finished their mini-tour of Asia – it feels wrong to call what has passed a fully fledged tour – with a draw against Hangzhou Greentown. In contrast to the midweek romp, appalling conditions marred the match. The performance in the first half as disjointed as the second was cohesive.

With some players not having completed ninety minutes of match time during the past week, it is too soon to draw definitive conclusions about the squad. That has not stopped some from doing so and the reaction to the result and performance left me wondering if there was more riding on this result than a mere friendly.

It seems there is a lack of understanding that this is a warm-up tour and that players are not going to go at full throttle for fear of hamstring or other such injuries whilst no doubt there were orders to play within themselves.

The defence was almost non-existent in the first half, criticism made that they have not learned the lessons of last season. It is hardly surprising since they have played two halves of football since the final whistle at Craven Cottage, did people really expect those errors to be eradicated already? The only time these players can be judged is when a full first team plays against, no disrespect to the two teams from the past week, good opposition who will test the players.

A legacy of negative feelings remains following last season. Disturbingly it shows little sign of abating, the new season ought to bring fresh hope but the overriding sense at the moment appears to be uninspired. Not disinterest but a distinct lack of joy or belief.

Perhaps that will change but it is hardly a surprising situation. Before the summer, hints from Wenger and Gazidis were of new faces, fresh blood to improve the squad. With all due respect to Carl Jenkinson and Gervinho, a new defender and full back were not immediate targets. Had a new centre back arrived, I suspect the mood would be better. Still time before the season for faces to arrive but it is not going to be a comfortable time until that happens.

Irascibility seems to be a distinctly Arsenal mood at the moment. Mention of Manchester City is guaranteed to send Arsène incandescent with rage. The latest comments by Roberto Mancini merely served to add to Wenger’s distaste at the financial boost being received by City recently. For a manager who has pinned much hope on Arsenal’s fortunes improving through the introduction of Financial Fair Play regulations, Etihad’s sponsorship deal will have been a pin prick in his balloon.

Problematically, all mention of the deal is speculation since the minutiae has not been made public knowledge. Given that lawyers will have been crawling over regulations, it is not unbelievable that City will claim £150m is for redevelopment and therefore excluded from FFP. They still get £25m each year for sponsorship included, a sum that helps solve a number of their problems.

Mancini’s observations about Nasri elicited a tetchy response, Wenger believing transfer rules have been broken by the constant chatter about the French player’s future. To me they are no different from Barcelona’s about Cesc. Indeed, the Spaniards have been far worse in their conduct. I was puzzled to an extent by the club’s refusal to complain to Fifa about Barcelona’s behaviour, I drew two inferences.

Firstly, transfer negotiations are ongoing with a belief that the Catalans may actually come to the table with the ‘right’ money. Secondly, Cesc would be drawn into this as would Darren Dein. Given the latter represents or advises, two other squad members there is a concern that to draw punishment on him might upset others.

One of Dein’s clients, Gael Clichy showed he was living in denial,

It was so frustrating at Arsenal. At times last year, we played some fantastic football and looked as good as any team in the league. But there were also times when we had injuries to our best players and we couldn’t cope. If we lost Cesc (Fabregas) or (Robin) Van Persie then the team really suffered.

Clichy was a senior pro and one of those who should have shown leadership on the pitch whilst younger or more inexperienced members of the squad were underperforming. He showed no sign of having done so and in a typical footballer fashion, has bolted and blamed others without putting his hand up to admit his part in the failure. Still, what to expect of a player who criticised Emmanuel Adebayor for treading the same path a couple of years ago?

’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on July 17, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 366 Comments.

  1. first?

  2. I’ve always admired Clichy for his workrate, his attacking forays & his magic interceptions. But he has not improved much defensively, besides his unfortunate habit of making costly errors. I did not wish him ill when he left for City thought a change of scenery would be good for him and we could invest the money in a more solid LB. But now he’s gone the way of most ex-Arsenal players running his mouth off. Well someone should remind him about that penalty at St. Andrews just for a start. I understand that he must have been responding to a question about his last season at Arsenal. But a simple “it wasn’t meant to be, WE fell apart at the end of the season and I hope I can do better at City” would’ve been very apt & respectful to both his former employers and the fans who sang his name.

  3. even allowing for humidity and heat Sqillachis performance was atrocious

  4. First- Yeah! And yogi- your site rocks! I’m going to be posting on here like crazy now! And i’m an AKB, so doomers- start bashing already! Arsenal will win the league this season! Gibbs and Traore will be world class!! Van Persie will stay fit and score 40 goals this season!!! And Ramsey… Oh RAMSEY!!! Yeah!!

  5. What a pleasant change to see a balanced POV.

    I have no problem with negativity, providing it is constructive, but so many of these people just seem to want to take their own inadequacies out on the team and manager, with no constructive thought whatsoever.

    It’s also nice to hear fans being positive, and not slated for it by loud-mouthed and vulgar empty vessels, who seem to think that agression and collective noise equals right.

  6. @ Wengerer,

    Anyone who uses the term AKB is generally a doomer. Sure you’re not trolling?

  7. Good morning y’all.

    Interesting comments by Clichy, which showed he cannot see the futility in running his mouth after leaving Arsenal. I have always respected him as a player and as an individual, but it is disheartening to see comments like these from players refusing to take responsibilities for their failures.

    AW has had his heart broken so many times by these group of people. His frustrations were evident in the last few matches of last season. I honestly believe that AW should demand more from his players, infact maybe push them to the limits of their abilities if need be.

    I must confess I think our manager is doing a good job, i am just frustrated with our annual end of season collapse.ing his mouth after leaving Arsenal. I have always respected him as a player and as an individual, but it is disheartening to see comments like these from players refusing to take responsibilities for their failures.

    AW has had his heart broken so many times by these group of people. His frustrations were evident in the last few matches of last season. I honestly believe that AW should demand more from his players, infact maybe push them to the limits of their abilities if need be.

    I must confess I think our manager is doing a good job, i am just frustrated with our annual end of season collapse.

  8. Wow, hope the clichy statemens ate typically tabloid. Or els he come across as a very bitter ex player indeed. This is what people do that gets sold against their will.

  9. Why is my previous post messed up?

  10. “This is what people do that gets sold against their will.”

    He did want to leave, or he would’ve signed a contract.

  11. Since when did Gervinho become a defender?????

  12. I am surprised with all the negativity from the performance yesterday. I was encouraged with the outcome of the tour which was to boost the club’s popularity.
    The matches weren’t meant to be competitive but only serve as a runout for the teams after nearly two months without playing together. What we should be more concerned about is the fitness level of the players which looked good.

    I think our next match on saturday will give an indication of the tactics being employed this season.

    Cheers all, we have reasons to be optimistic this season.

  13. “Since when did Gervinho become a defender?????”

    Since Yogi made a mistake.I think he is allowed a small error given what he provides day after day.Don’t you Thomas?

  14. “He did want to leave, or he would’ve signed a contract”

    JamesM ,Not if the offer was pitched at a level to get him to go.
    I am not saying that is the case,because I do not know.But I am saying you don’t know either.

  15. Some more thoughts on yesterday’s match…

    I thought the Chinese played well and with passion to compensate for their lack of technical ability; as shown in the second half.

    I think the first half showed Wenger that Squillacci is simply not good enough, and he now needs two CB’s not one? Not a question of heat and humidity and atrocious conditions, just poor decision making.

    I think the second half showed him that he needs a ‘finisher’ as much as the first showed him that he needs two mature CBs

  16. from what i’ve read elsewhere today on clichy, for me he has made nice comments about us

  17. Paulie Walnuts

    Sadly predictable comments from Clichy.

    He should be aware that Mancini won`t be as loyal to him as Arsene was unless he ups the defensive side of his game considerably.

    I can understand the frustration of supporters confirming new signings but they rarely happen quickly in football these days. I believe Arsene targets most incomings a good year or so in advance so in early February he must have thought he`d be fine this summer.

    Time will tell whether he `sticks or twists` but he`s not one for an `arry` type knee jerk buy.

  18. I just wish our fans would get together and fight against all the other bullshit coming out of liverpool, mancs, shitty etc. but we join them in dissing our club. Its just unbelievable how pathetic our fan base is.

    I know you are all upset bacause your friends who are spuds or chelsea fans are having a laugh. so fucking what? throw it back in their faces and man up people. Right? We are all grown ups here, support your team.

    Every little bullshit critism from another self serving journalist illicits a big cry up by gronw ass men and women. Stop it!!

  19. MikeB- i’d be happy with one. Dont push it. Always something more.

  20. Well said Goonerwife

  21. Fuck knows Thomas. But think yourself lucky there was even a post this morning as the little bastard with a jackhammer in my head has been pounding away since I woke up….

  22. Perhaps it would help if Wenger became a ruthless sonofabitch. assholes seem to be the order of the day.

  23. Mike B If we had to make 11 substitutions every game you might have a point.
    We don’t and you don’t.RVP and Vela are both rather good at finishing.In case you haven’t noticed.

  24. today, im pissed off at all the rubbish and the inability of our fans to calm the fuck down. Im MAD!!!

  25. alright, i feel better now sorry. But i meant everyword of my mini rant.

  26. GW,

    Me too, but I do worry about Squillacci, and Djourou. I feel yesterday the Chinese showed some of the pace that Squillacci struggles against, and he struggled again, and Djourou doesn’t seem to learn. The end of last season for us and the Swiss he was making fundamental errors, and with the susceptibility of TV to injury after such a long spell off…

    I worry we won’t have the strength in depth, and implode when the season gets to the final couple of months.

    At the other end, we’re again putting too much on RVP, who of course has a similar susceptibility to injury.

    But I do take your point… One would be good, and I’d be happyish with anyone bringing extra quality right now.

  27. MikeB,Having said that you could be right.But not because we don’t have any,just we could do with another.Perhaps

  28. The BBC are reporting that Gael Clichy said that Arsenal would be at or around the top at the end of the season but that he wanted to move on for his own progress. He hasn’t dissed Arsenal and wishes his former club well. As usual, writers, and particularly headline writers, are twisting somebody’s words to suit their own agenda.

    I’m going to bet on Arsenal winning a treble this year but am not sure whether to plump for the Carling Cup or the FA Cup to go with the EPL and the Champions League.

    Unashamedly an AKB.

  29. Dissapointing from Clichy, that goes for his comments on training as well. Arsenal made him the player he is.

    Having said that, his fee hardly suggested that he was sought after or rated by others. It was the last year of his contract but even so.

    Possibly his behaviour as exemplified through his interviews is evidence that he might have been identified as one of those who didn’t bleed red enough when it counted last season.

    Ran away. A shame but if that is the sort of man that he is then we can do better.

    The Eagle Frank? I’ll remember that. Check it out Limpar.

  30. GR,

    Not jumping on a negative bandwagon I promise, but my point above about TV and RVP is a valid one… and Vela seems to shine against poor quality defences… Carling Cup and Malaysia.

    I hope he proves me wrong, but I’d love to see a clinical finisher come in, and, so far, I haven’t seen that in Vela.

    Ahhh… if wishes were horses, and Benzema wasn’t out of reach.

  31. There is a 25 man squad rule people.
    you cant sign players willy nilly

  32. He said a bit more than that Mike.

    As for worrying about imploding again, wait a few months- it’s the dawn of a new season.

    Be excited, look forward to glory days and laugh to scorn.

  33. MikeB i think we were posting at the same time .I to was trying to qualify my post,
    And yes Benzema would do us a treat

  34. Nice one Bernard

  35. CB,

    sorry… didn’t get that… who said a bit more than what?

  36. Here is an extract of a post by Dexter @1;11am ,its worth a read and a re post .

    “There are also a few people who would openly say they think Arsene knows best and dont have a problem with being called that stupid, puerile acronym.

    But when you consider what he has done, then its not too much of a leap of faith to say that yeah, the dude actually knows best. Well, he certainly knows a shit load more than any fucker on here.

    Again, this is so repetitive, I am getting flashbacks! But I think you’ll find that those who like to be called realists, are in fact plain and simple doomers who have little grasp of the facts, instead jumping on certain factors, like tabloid pieces and the opinions of other bloggers as proof and no semblance of perspective.”

  37. MikeB I think Bob was meaning to talk to Bernard

  38. Squillachi is a fourth choice centre half and as for Djourou not learning, last season was pretty much his first full season. Let’s see if he is learning this year. There is a school of thought that he actually performed quite well and indicates great potential.

    Young players or those being introduced to regular first team football, inevitably make mistakes it is out of order to judge them without the relevant patience.

  39. Check out his actual words via Yogi’s link.

    The man seems to believe in City’s way and not Arsenal’s.

    This ‘statement’ ring any bells?

    “But it got to a point for me where I didn’t just want to challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season. I wanted to play for a club that would win them.

    His interview could have been written by any piss poor Arsenal fan on any piss poor Arsenal blog.

    Not helpful.

  40. Yes, I did George.

    Sorry Mike. The bit about imploding was for you though.

  41. Well, Djourou was class up until he got injured and again, THE WHOLE TEAM didnt play well apart from a few players. I also remember Squallaci playing some decent stuff and I am still confused as to whay he gets so much abuse. Not saying he was the best but to me nowhere as bad as what seems to be the consensus.

    Also, overall judgments based on one pre season match is irresponsible at best.

  42. In a month where the integrity and morals of newspaper journos is being questioned by the highest authorities in different countries,the world of arsenal bloggers are still speculating hard on their opinions and like sheep most readers of these blog follow their every word. Really is sad to see so called gunners turn on their own guided by these low life m*ther F*#kers!

  43. Arsene has signed another finisher and creator of goals in Gervinho, but he was not with the team. I think people are unfair to Vela – he is a natural finisher, but he has barely had a run of games to show it.

    Tatezee – I think a lot of the reason for the negativity is set by the whining git that Arsenal have doing their match commentary. The way he was going on you would think it was a PL match when we were well into the new season. The players have travelled a long way, they’ve had a lot of PR engagements to undertake so little time for serious training. They’re lucky if they have managed more than basic fitness. It’s barely two weeks into pre-season. Of course the Chinese team were going to be up for it – a chance to pit themselves against the mighty Arsenal. As for the difference between the first half and second half team – most of the players in the second half team have has a week more of preparation.

  44. Danny,

    Understand that, but Djourou has made well over sixty appearances for us; that could be construed as some way down the track… but forgetting that…

    Let us not get as polarised with our rose-tinted specs as so many are with their negativity.

    We have TV and Gibbs, who appear susceptible to long-term injury, Djourou, who by your own admission is on a learning curve, Kos who looks solid. Jenks and Traore who are on similar learning curves, and Sagna who is class… that lack of strength in depth worries me.

  45. Sorry Folks,

    gotta go… will pick up on any arguments next time.. Thanks for the chat and comments

  46. MikeB, how many long term injuries has TV had.

  47. Disrespectful? I cannot say Otherwise

    Typically classy..typically wenger..unfortunately most other managers dont follow suit…

  48. forgot the quotes..punctuation bah…

  49. @ YW
    Very good post. It was fun to see them, but that tour was mostly about PR, marketing and fitness.
    To anyone who thinks the media don’t have an agenda, here’s this extract from that Clichy article:
    “City’s elevation to become the richest club in football has upset the established elite.
    Wenger whinged that the Blues surely had to be breaking UEFA’s new regulations about Financial Fair Play when they announced a £400m sponsorship deal with Etihad.
    And Liverpool owner John Henry and chief executive Ian Ayre have also voiced their concerns.

    Which leads me on to..
    @ goonerwife | July 17, 2011 at 10:53 am
    Yay! Great comment.

    @ Bernard | July 17, 2011 at 11:09 am
    Also would class myself as a member of the AKB (according to Dexter’s definition of AKB)

    ****
    @ Irishgray (totally off topic)
    “I do not hate the French. I just think the ref fucked up in that game. Watch it again and you will see Robbie Keane handling the ball on at least 4 seperate occasions.”

    Well done for having the good sense and generosity to say this – the reaction to Henry was truly ridiculous and hypocritical. As you say, Keane did the same and the real villain was the ref.

  50. MikeB,

    No rose-tinted specs for this, but I rate Djourou. I think he has been unfortunate in the past with injuries, but he could be over the worse of it. He is our best defender in the air, has pace and next to a polished and settled performer like Toure can become a top class player.

    The susceptible to injuries players you speak of seem a little unfair. Only a little but still. Vermaelen was a constant in his first season, yet last year picked up a nasty little Achilles tendon injury. I do not recall him suffering this before, unless you know his injury history at Ajax seems a little unfair, but we shall see.

    Gibbs on the other hand reminds me of many young players. Gerrard at Liverpool. Clichy prior to Cole’s departure. When Cole left, it was hard to see Clicy replacing him, because as the lad was growing up he seemed to pick up a lot of injuries, yet after a little more growing and Gallas having to initially cover for him at left back he did physically emerge as regular, without a catalogue of injuries to disrupt him.

    I do not have any real medical knowledge but it does seem that some players when in their late teens or early twenties, while finishing their growing, pick up quite a lot of injuries. I am confident Gibbs can come through that phase.

    I do recall one of his injuries was a metatarsal and that can happen to the best of them, if some clown crushes your foot!

    Let’s remember replacement players are often on learning curves. As will Jones and Smalling be this season.

  51. @ bernard

    good one..

    except the AKB bit in the end..it goes without saying despite what few people think..

  52. On the one side we have fan’s doomier than doom itself, calling for change & scalps at the highest level. They see us being us overtaken by “new money” and worried that our decline is irreversible, particularly with the “self sustaining model” appearing to undermine any reversal in fortunes. There is also the feeling that Arsene has lost his touch if not his head and that the board have more interest in their pockets than the team. The trust has gone.

    On the other hand we have fan’s that will defend Arsene at all turns, his success’s over the years a clear enough endorsement of his quality & worth. Any suggestion otherwise is to be countered robustly to the point where a single post can now cause mayhem. Arsene and the board are doing their best to remain competitive against the odds, swimming against the stream of greed & holding out against ridiculous wealth. The patience will be rewarded.

    Both assume the moral high ground and both believe the other are either deluded or ignorant with very little room for debate, there’s almost a Mason Dixie line being drawn up this summer. The Blogoshere is awash with fear & anger, a situation that has us being laughed at by fans of other teams, after all was it not Tottenham fans that were always splintered.

    The longer we go without a significant signing, or at least a show of perceived intent, we will be mired with this continued ugly cross border nonsense. The press have of course fanned these flames and yet the clubs PR hasn’t exactly given much cause to dampen them either.

    For me, I feel the Nasri/Fabregas situation is being handled poorly, how has 1 been allowed to run down his contract whilst the other is subject to the most blatant tapping up without appropriate counter. We appear to be leaving ourselves exposed to recurrent problems and seemingly not learning from them. The Ethiad sponsorship deal has severely undermined the self sustaining model, it may still be the morally right way to do things but it’s hard to argue against it no longer being the course for success among the elite. The landscape has changed and the rules are now being tested if not outright bent, we run the serious risk of losing a decade of ground in a matter of a few transfer windows.

    I believe we could still compete with the addition and omission of a 2 or 3 either way, with the players coming in being of that superior class we are often quoted, not sure I have much faith it will happen though. We could be at the end of an era, the possibility of falling out of the top 4 has never been so clear & we would no doubt struggle to get back in. I no longer honestly believe we have the quality to win the title and the thought of us being left behind worries me, you can win a cup with luck but to win a league takes a lot more.

    Anyway, here’s to Arsenal, success and a change of mood.

  53. Nice post as always YW and I sympathize re the head as that little fuckers cousin was in mine yesterday, banging away on his new drum kit!!! Simply cannot wait for the season proper to start, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manure with two CL qualifiers thrown in has my mouth watering! Five wins with five clean sheets is all I am asking for, and Shrek to get injured or at the very least sent off for being such an ugly Fucker!!!!!

  54. @ Danny | July 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm
    I agree with that.

  55. For us its vital that Gibbs succeeds, because if he does not we would have to replace him with an English LB due to the forgin quota. And besides Bains what english LB would you chose? Is there any obvuious canidates out there? Baines and Gibbs are the only ones that stand out except from Cole. Also eecept from Smalling, Jones and Cahill who els could be a potentially good English strongman to sign for the back? He should be English not because we need the steel but because if Cesc leaves we are one homegrown player down. Delilson is homegrown too, so that means we will be two homegrown players down.
    Is Djorou homegrown?
    Its a real shame the players with british passports are so poor in quality. It would be so much easier to assemble a good homegrown team if the brits were a bit better. But we could all see how a team with a “british” core fared against Europes best.

  56. @ Fungunner – Thank you for that as I said I think there was too much focus on Henry and not enough on the ref. I think it’s simply one more proof hat we need video replays especially in a knock out situation. In league play bad decisions and good decisions tend in some ways to balance out over the season. Not saying I don’t want replays in the league as I do but if we are to stat some where it should be in knock out xom

  57. Goodbye Gael Clichy.

    Team back in Europe after a 2-game + Asia LoveTour.
    Getting back in shape continues..

    Q: Yogi,
    Will Gervinho play against Cologne?

  58. @Greg the moral highground will always be to not live on borrowd money. That goes for everything in life. If you live high on creditcards you are in my opinion stupid and careles and deserve the misery that comes when the creditors sell your house and send you on your way to a council flat.

    You do not live above your means. Its not sustainable to earn average english working salary of 18k a year and live a life to 30k a year. Is not rocketscience is it?
    Same goes for clubs. And arsenal does not have a sugar daddy. They dont have a limitness pocket. Most rich people does not get rich by spending midnlessly, most get rich by spending smart and living within their means. and thats not a joke.

    Its a bit weird that the average arsenal fan that probably does not earn more than max 50k a year and would never dream of living a 80k a year life, suddenly think its ok for a club to do so.

    Companies also got to live within the boundaries of their own economy. Nobody can survive on borrowed money and creditcards alone. And it would be very dangerous to take up a 100M loan to buy 3 players and not have atlest an 80% chane for a good return on the money.

  59. Competition as it is truly heart breaking for any team in any tournament FTP go out on a bad decision by the referee. That being said I must admit to being very smugly satisfied watching France collapse at the World Cup!! What hurt the most was it was two Arsenal players too but I never blamed Gallas. It tarnished Henry a bit in my eyes but he is still a legend to me, albeit with q slightly sour taste right at the nd of his career.

  60. there is no other option for Arsenal but the self sustaining model. Or what would be your suggestion?

  61. Alex Ice Cream

    Those comments of Clichy’s are disappointing especially as a senior player he was partially responsible for us not winning trophies over the years.

    It doesn’t mean that he’s completely wrong though. Players and supporters both lose patience and yes faith if a particular path proves not to be successful. Cesc has obviously lost faith as well as have many supporters.

    Nice to see Squilacci carry on where he left off. He should be treated like a lame horse and put down because Wenger is too stubborn to sell him and nobody will buy him anyway.

    Wenger will never learn. We have had no many rubbish centre backs that cost us many games, especially at the end of the season over the years and still Wenger persists with this failed policy of having inadequate defenders. Cygan, and Silvestre for example played in very important games and contributed to important defeats. We have Kos who I like but he is still raw, Djourou has yet to complete a full season and TV has been out for nearly a year. Eboue is an average replacement at the very best, Gibbs unproven and seemingly injury prone and Traore who has barely played and not convinced when he has. Sagna is class but Jenkinson an unknown quantity but on here you would think we had signed Cafu.

    Having acknowledges in each of the last 3 seasons that defense was the problem where are the solutions Arsene? The season ended 2 months ago and still no progress. What a surprise.

    Win the league? People on here better wake up or stop lying to themselves and others.

  62. Fuck off AIC.

  63. Are Clichy’s comments very different to Freddie Ljungberg’s after his move to West Ham?

    ‘West Ham are paying me more then Arsenal FC, obviously they are more ambitious.’*

    *OK, I admit that I’ve taken a bit of a Bill inspired artistic licence with that ‘quote’.

    Of course, West Ham should’ve been relagated when Kia Joorabchian’s pan-club slaves were playing for them. Last night Mascherano was sent off, and $iteh ‘hero’ Tevez missed a pelanty which sent Argentina out of a home tournament.
    Joy.

  64. A new season is almost upon us.

    Hopes, expectations, surprises, dissapointments, they all await us.

    You though, AIC, are not wanted on voyage you miserable fucker.

  65. Greg | July 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    The essence of your post is the average fan feels the self-sustaining model has run its course and we are falling behind.

    The average fan is never more wrong. Just as the average fan was wrong that the real estate bubble would last forever or that the so-called socialist and labor parties would never bail out the bankers and bondholders while cutting pensions and social security programs. My point is the “success” at City and Chelsea is purely short-term. The sugar-daddy model will never work long-term especially in the current climate. In the US they are now calling it the Great Recession and Obama and the Republicans are simply in a great kabuki dance that will end in cutting government spending. if you think that won’t depress economy’s worldwide then you are in even more denial.
    Footballistically, with the core of our team in their mid to late 20s (RVP, Cesc, Nasri, Vermalean) and the next tier even younger, there is no way Wenger is going back on his project. If his team was so bad, why is City, Barca and Chelsea hovering around like vultures.

  66. Alex Ice Cream

    Why Finsbury? Don’t like the truth obviously. You would prefer to continue to ignore reality and pretend all is well.

    You are not very smart are you? Another subscriber to the cult of Wenger who has no ability to think for himself. At least the cult numbers seems to dwindling.

  67. How does a defense become solid? do you change defenders yearly until you get the right mix or do you have to wait until a defense settle and gel.

    Our defense last season never played together and some never in the PL. From what I saw for most of the year I was encouraged as was many until we messed up. The defense fell apart as did the rest of the team so I dont think critisim should be as one sided as it is. I remember us missing some easy chances to score.

    The truth us stt play defending isnt doown to only the defenders is it? since thats where we are weak it stand to reason that we need to work on defensing set plays more as a team. We defend well from open play, inspite of playing a high line.

    Training more than anything is what we need, though some good additions are always welcome and yes could help us to win the PL.

  68. I second Finsbury’s motion for AIC to fuck off. All in favor say Aye!!

  69. poodle | July 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    I agree with your post.

  70. Alex Ice Cream

    consols,

    As usual you are wrong. I doubt that I will be surprised or disappointed. I have hopes yes but they are not the same as yours.

  71. Alex Ice Cream

    Paul,

    How about buying some defenders that can err, defend and get a coach in who can teach defence?

  72. Aye!

  73. @ Irishgray
    Hope the hangover has gone, btw!
    He isn’t really tarnished for me because of no Irish connection and because as I recall he has cheated literally twice in his career, compared with twice per game as some others do. I think it’s telling that the only other time I can remember Henry cheating-ish (going down and holding his face unnecessarily in 2002 WC) was also when he was playing for France. He’s always been under a lot of pressure when playing for his national team because fans felt he wasn’t producing the quality he produced for Arsenal. They thought he wasn’t committed, but it was probably more due to the way he was being used by the manager(s).

  74. Aye !

  75. Which bit of this post is wrong AIC?

    “A new season is almost upon us.

    Hopes, expectations, surprises, dissapointments, they all await us.

    You though, AIC, are not wanted on voyage you miserable fucker.”

    Seems pretty incontrovertable to me.

  76. And aye to finsbury’s motion.

    Where’s Maria when you need her?

  77. Morning YW I commend thee on another excellent and insightful blog..There are a further 6 week before the transfer window closes, I hope that within that time the decision makers @ Arsenal will have done all that is necessary to ensure that Arsenal Squad is ready for the new season ahead.

    The Clichy comments are not helpful. My personal opinion is that Clichy jumped ship after having been initially critical of City. He’s entitled to do as he pleases as it is his career. For me Clichy as one of the(ex) senior players by wanting to leave has said in a tantamount way he’s not sure if Arsenal can do it..If you follow my drift

    As NONE of Us are privy to the Ears of any of the players, playing staff,Manager who truly knows what is happening at Colney…Is it really all bout $$$$ for Nasri?

    Like many in recent days I’ve not been to perturbed by Arsene’s “we’ll buy if we can find the right player” mantra but it was he who spoke that experience needed to be added to the squad for this campaign……

    I Came across this whilst surfing the various dens of inequities. Interesting reading….Onwards n Forwards…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/jul/16/arsenal-arsene-wenger

  78. @ shotta | July 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm
    Wonderful post. Well said.

  79. consolsbob what did Clichy say about our training i havnt seen what he said?

  80. Alex Ice Cream

    Shotta,

    So the essence of your argument is that we are waiting for the economic downturn to take out our rivals for us? Wenger said the same thing in 2008 and it didn’t happen. In fact much of what AW says these days has proven to be wrong time and again.

    I don’t see how Citeh or Chelsea will be affected and ManU seem to able to win trophies despite their debts.

    You are clutching at straws. The self sustaining model of mediocrity will pay the debt off quickly but it won’t bring success anytime soon.

    The vultures are not circling over the whole team just a couple of key players – who clearly want to leave. Look at the rush to sign Almunia, Bendtner, Denilson, Vela. Nobody else would give Rosicky another contract. Even if we manage to get rid of some of these players they will go to lesser clubs – their true level.

  81. george rodger

    AIC

    “Having acknowledges in each of the last 3 seasons that defense was the problem where are the solutions Arsene? ”

    Rubbish.
    If you had said”Having acknowledges in each of the last 3 seasons that defending was the problem where are the solutions Arsene? “there is an argument.
    But that is not what you said so your inability to differentiate between ” the defense” and “defending”shows a lack of understanding of the game.
    Just so you know
    defense=a few players,ie defenders
    defending = the whole team

    No?

  82. Alex Ice Cream

    Nice try guys. Unfortunately for you I am almost as stubborn as Wenger and I won’t be going anywhere.

    I feel duty-bound to inject some realism into your thinking despite my obvious failure to do so. Its a bit like Arsene trying to sort out our defence.

  83. @ consolsbob
    A Man City player claimed Clichy was surprised to see tackles flying in because, apparently, we don’t tackle much in training. Yeah right. The article writer thinks it’s laughable as well.

  84. I really hate this oversimplistic view of rolling all of our few past seasons together. I would say that each season have nothing in common, apart from the end result. Each season had its own difficulties.
    I hope we now have come to the place where we dont allow anything else to make us lose our confidence and no injuries! If these things happen, there s no reason why we cannot win the PL. We may not have the big money signings but our team is as talented as any other.

  85. Alex Ice Cream

    Fair point George.

    How about defence, defending, defensive coaching, defensive set-up, defensive midfield, defending from set-pieces, defensive mentality?

  86. Sorry cbob – that last post was to gooneritup

  87. Aye!
    Aye!

  88. AIC is simply another bitter anti-Arsene who flail around fighting windmills. The facts are our defending need some improvement but so does our attacking. You don’t need to be the greatest defensive team to win the League. Last year was no different based on Goals For and Goals Against:
    Man Utd 78/37
    Chelsea 69/33
    City 60/33
    Arsenal 72/43

    There are those who prefer to believe that the glass was half empty while some of us believe it was half-full. For me, we need to to improve our attacking play even more than our defending because late last season, with the exception of RVP, we were just stale and
    out of ideas. Too many players (Nasri, I am looking at you) were unable to take matters in their own hands and drag the team over the line.

  89. george rodger

    Aye ,by the way

  90. Alex Ice Cream

    Shotta,

    I actually agree with you. We stopped scoring at the end of the season and this needs to be addressed as well. It doesn’t mean that the defending is fine. Your stats also show that the team that finished above us all conceded fewer goals. We also scored more goals that them bar manU.

  91. hey come on- you don’t have to be nasty. Anyway i’ve been reading this blog for some time now- just got up the courage to actually post. As for the AKB stuff- let’s just say i find wenger’s policy exciting. You know- every season someone steps up and surprising you. Last year, jack did it, clichy did at some point, cesc did. Next year i think ramsey will. COYG!

  92. Which is worse, the negativity of some of the views put forward on Legrove or the ludicrous optimism that you find on this Blog. Blaming wenger for all the ills that now face the club is just as bad as the deluded postings which fail to acknowledge the obvious weaknesses in the team. Weaknesses that have been apparent for years which wenger has scandalously failed to address. The new season is almost upon us and I see the postings predicting success, the league, fa cup CL etc has begun. One has predicted that we will win the treble (I think he was being serious). On what are these optimistic predictions based. Wishful thinking do not win football games. I would hazard a guess that you were getting predictions of success last year or the year before that, in fact for the last six or is it seven trophy less years. Do they know the definition of madness. It’s doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. At the end of last season we were promised that signings would be made to correct our past failings. To date we have signed a young defender from the lower league and a french forward who is hardly world renowned. I don’t know about you but this was not what I expected given the almost relegation displays that we saw at the latter end of the season. The focus has been on the players who want to leave rather than new signings. One of the main principle of good management is not to get rid of a player unless you have someone as good or better as a replacement. Gibbs is not an adequate replacement for Clichy. At the present we may be losing Cesc, one of the top 3 midfielders in europe and Nasri, who did fade towards the end of the season but was still along with VP and Sagna, our most outstanding player. I for one look forward to the new season more with hope than optimism

  93. george rodger

    Ok especially for AIC and those who missed it .Here is Dexter’s wonderful post from last night in full.Apologies to those who have already seen it.
    “Dexter | July 17, 2011 at 1:11 am
    I know the terms get over used and abused. But the proper Doomers are easy to spot. All they do is concentrate on the negaitves. They might add in a few positives, but thats because they know that (on here anyway) simply slating players/manager all the time wouldnt wash.

    Then there is the abuse and hate filled posts again real easy to spot. The vast majority, it seems, just want Wenger out. Thats up to them, but the abuse and venom directed at him is unreal, really sick shit. And as soon as I say that, a doomer would straight away assume I am an arch defender of him and would never criticise the man and that is another thing that shows up the doomers; because i defend him, I am a rose tinter etc etc. Even though i have criticised him numerous times. But that cuts no ice with the doomer.

    Now these are doomers I am referring to, not those who are simply expressing honest opinions, bourne out by emotions, who calm down and can contribute to this and other blogs in a thoughtful, constructive and hopefully occasionally humourous way.

    There are also a few people who would openly say they think Arsene knows best and dont have a problem with being called that stupid, puerile acronym
    But when you consider what he has done, then its not too much of a leap of faith to say that yeah, the dude actually knows best. Well, he certainly knows a shit load more than any fucker on here.

    Again, this is so repetitive, I am getting flashbacks! But I think you’ll find that those who like to be called realists, are in fact plain and simple doomers who have little grasp of the facts, instead jumping on certain factors, like tabloid pieces and the opinions of other bloggers as proof and no semblance of perspective.

    Suggesting that people arent frustrated because they arent constantly bleating about how piss poor things are is naive and pretty disrespectful if you ask me. Like you have to wear your anger/frustration on your (blog) sleeve 24/7 otherwise you just aint pissed off enough!

    Over and over and over again, like a…”

  94. as for clichy- well, his comments aren’t so nice, but don’t forget he was part of the arsenal project for 8 years. He’s given up on it now, so i’m guessing he has to feel a bit down about arsenal. But that doesn’t change anything- i believe in the project and it’s going to be that much more exciting when we do come good. Cheers!

  95. george rodger

    Shotta.I smell another rat

  96. AIC, our offense and defense suffered, all the wheels fell off not just the back ones. Fact is if we wouldve scored more the defensive woes wouldnt have been so glaring. At the end of the day, one MUST outscore their opponents to win matches and as Shotta said our best players apart from RVP were terrible and shoud take as much blame as anyone else.

  97. george rodger

    And my gravatar shows how good a ratter I am

  98. MARIA!!! is that you?

  99. Shotta,

    Arsenal 72/43 to Man Utd 78/37….6/6 difference!
    Score 6 more, concede 6 less…hmm

    The 6/6 omen says: “M-e-r-t-a-s-a-c-k-e-r”
    Full name Per Mertesacker
    Born 29 September 1984 (age 26)
    Hannover, West Germany
    Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
    Playing position Centre back

    if only Yao Ming was a quality CB!

  100. lol @ Paul N!

  101. george rodger

    Paul N ,Don’t you think that might be a bit to complicated for the simpletons to grasp? 🙂

  102. Alex Ice Cream

    Nice points George. So its ok to be “positive” but if you are a negative you have no grasp of the facts? Glad you cut and pasted that rather than waste the time to type it.

    Let’s break it down. 6 years no trophies. Cesc and Nasri want out. These are facts not journalist’s opinion.

    Reasons to be cheerful!

  103. I think the Ayes have it. So to AIC I say, with all due respect of course, FUCK OFF!!!

  104. Alex Ice Cream

    Hi Maria,

    I was missing the attention…

  105. Where do people get the impression from that Wenger is never criticized on this blog from?

    I know I have an issue with somethings he does, like put NB on the right but does that mean that we have to say it everyday of the week?

    We are Arsenal supporters, so we support more than anything else.

    lamia, our team has changed quite a bit over the last few years and that s exactky becuase Arsene us trying to get it right. People behaving as if they know more that Webger or that Wenger isnt trying to rectify things are simple minded at best. Things havent come together as expected but not for a lack of effort on his part.

    People say we need experienced defenders, so Clichy, Gallas, Toure and Sagna are inexperienced are they?

  106. @AIC at 1.13pm

    AIC your powers of observation are fucking incredible

    Now AYE off.

  107. And here’s my 2 cents worth to those who think we have to have a logical explanation for thinking that we’ll win the league (AIC – i’m looking at you! )- we don’t! We’re arsenal fans here- being a fan means you have an emotional link to the club, not a logical link. If we were being totally logical, we wouldn’t support any club at all- it’s heartbreaking at times. But we do. So if you cant be happy with the club, or hopeful for a great new season with the club, what’s the point?

  108. Cesc and Nasri are not above the criticism apart from maybe in their own minds. If they played to their abilities we would most probably be PL Champs right now. So you can spare me that “fact”.

  109. Paulie Walnuts

    Paul N 1:08,

    It depends what you think `talent` is. On pure football technique I believe we have no peers in England but it`s the other bits & pieces where we seem to consistently come up short.

    Concentration is one of the key things & this is certainly where the age of our players hasn`t helped. Sticking to your man when defending an 89th minute corner at Bolton is as important as picking the right pass in a two on one at the other end.

    The same can be said when tracking an oppenent. All our players can `do it` on the ball it`s off the ball where we need to work on. Whether that could be helped by a couple of new signings or if it can come from within appears to be the big question which is splitting Arsenal support right now.

  110. Aye Papi!

  111. george rodger | July 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm
    Had the same sensation George.Its pre-season, cleaning the good ship AFC and there are a lot of rats in the bilge.

    On a more pleasant note, I am simply happy and overjoyed to see my comrade-in-arms Consols back in the ring. Hope springs eternal skipper. We need improvements not major surgery. It is so blaming hard to teach young guys that they can be champions (see it in every walk of life especially at work.)
    Except for AIC, we all know it.

  112. I agree with Wengerer

  113. or maybe if we were logical, we’d support barfa? They seem to be winning it all at the moment. Anyway we’re arsenal fans, so please quit with the ‘logical reason to be optimistic bullcrap’. We’re optimistic cos we’re arsenal fans. And cos arsenal’s official target is to win the premiership. That’s it. And if you can’t understand that, then you need to ask yourself what kind of fan you are. m to be winning it all at the moment. Anyway we’re arsenal fans, so please quit with the ‘logical reason to be optimistic bullcrap’. We’re optimistic cos we’re arsenal fans. And cos arsenal’s official target is to win the premiership. That’s it. And if you can’t understand that, then you need to ask yourself what kind of fan you are.

  114. Sure Paulie, thats why I believe the training is what is most important and Wenger has said similar. The players are talented, lets hope we can improve on what you have put forth.

  115. Classic example of miserable gits opening the way for more cowardly miserable gits.

    On comes AIC then we are trated to a buffoon like lamia.

    This is how negativity spreads.

    AIC is an apostle for it.

  116. Another ex bitter gooner….join the queue.

    Bit quite on ere today. anyway the wife has just made me a nice apple crumble and custard and its made me feel quite optimistic, i actually think that the team must and will learn from the pain of last season and they must will be better….even if we dont bring anyone else in… right. there you go .im off for a lay down.

  117. To be honest, I dont have a problem with someone believing we should buy, I just dont think our manager should be abused if he doesnt do what they believe and/or buy who they believe we should. Neither should we be overly negative about the players we have, especially when it was team failure and again, this is a defense that has never even played together.

  118. As for the defensive gurus on this blog, if you think Wenger has not upgraded our defensive personnel over the past three years (Ins: Sagna, Vermalean, Koscielny, Djourou from the youths vs Outs: Cygan, Toure, Gallas, Silvestre, Senderos) then you need Perle Vision. Of course none of thi will make sense to the Stewart Robsons of this world who are in permanent panic about our “high defensive line”.

  119. Love that comment Duke.

    So what is it? your wife didnt make apple crumble and custard for you all of last season?

  120. we have always had a high defensive line…only not in the same sense as now!!!

  121. george rodger

    wengerer.
    Very nice but not necessarily the case.
    There are much better reasons for us to be optimistic than simply the fact that we are fans,

  122. Shotta, we have some boss defenders. If they could play so well in their first season together, I can only imagine what they will do when they really get used to eachother.

    Remember how Kos locked down Messi and though we were under pressure we help Barca to one gift of goal at Nou Camp (I dont count the goals when RVP was sent off) our team stood tall in defense.

  123. George @1:22
    I’m still laughing.

  124. Anyone,

    How far is central London from New Cross in South east London?

  125. george rodger

    Duke,Hope your misses keeps them coming.It has done you a power of good.
    Perhaps AIC ,Luke Jibber and all would like some pie?
    Not that you are like them you understand.I don’t want to jeopardize our new friendship,before it gets a chance to blossom

  126. Well, it’s not next door Ateeb. A few stops on the East London line and change for a few stops west.

  127. No doubting the man AW. Many players have let him down.
    If from the pre-season things look rough

    I’d SELL:
    Almunia
    Bendtner
    Denilson
    Squillaci (yes we can)
    Mannone (why hold up his career?)
    Cesc (if Barca cough up 45m)
    Nasri (in Jan, if we are in 10th place)

    LOAN:
    Miyaichi (1 more season)
    Frimpong (till Jan)
    Bartley (1 season)
    Lansbury (to sell)

    BUY:
    Samba (enforcer)
    Vidal (15m + incentives, v. confident, enforcer)
    Enrique (Traore @ best’s a LW, Clichy-esque in drive)

    NEED TO STEP IT UP (OR ELSE)!:
    Diaby, Eboue, Theo, Rosicky, Traore, Gibbs, Djourou, Vela.

    If Cesc & Nasri stay & PLAY……WE WIN THE WHOLE DAMN THING!!!!
    EPL, CL, CC, FA, WCC….then plot on how to repeat!
    Everyone gets juicy bonuses to go with their (& our) boners

    …AIC & Jabba can do the ACLF write-up every 6th Sunday…
    Doomers become AW testesodiciples.
    Vela elopes with Maria……….

    …(pls wake up the dude with rose-tinted DNA!)

    RASERS!

    How about we dedicate 1 day a month as DOOMER DAY on ACLF, YW???

  128. Dukey – Truth is you are always on your best behavior when Consols is around but I hope wifey puts apple crumble and custard on the menu every match day. 🙂

  129. Yesterday’s match….

    I don’t understand all of the criticism for Squil and Dj. In watching the match, I did not feel
    the defense as a concern.

    Now if you find it necessary to place the blame for this draw……then you might start with
    those Arsenal players responsible for scoring.

    Not once has anyone mentioned Theo’s struggles.

    This is the hypocrisy of a majority of fans……from all clubs. Had it been Bendtner that exhibited a similar effort…….trade demands would be cast from every direction.

    It was a preseason friendly, a chance to build on the Arsenal brand……in new markets.

  130. Bob,

    Consider me as a simpleton when it comes to judging distances. I understand either the time taken to travel or the distance (preferably in KMs). So, any idea how much time it would take me to get to Central London?

  131. Last season we showed it was possible to go head to head in the league and the CL with the best in the world. During the most part of the season the team proved that they were the best in England.
    Lapses in concentration was clearly a problem at times, this element of their play plus the disapointments suffered after February contributed, along with injuries, to the unfortunate failure to win a trophy.
    This coming season I expect Arsène to work with the team on these issues. If we are not plagued with similar injury problems then I don’t see any reason why Arsenal will not win something.
    Team defending (all players) is obviously on the agenda and I envisage a large improvement on last season. Offensively, with RVP fit, Wilshere and Ramsey and Nasri controlling midfield, Gervinho clicking with RVP and Walcott…. FFS what more do we want, it’s a team to rule the world.

    Can’t fucking wait for the game at Newcastle

  132. Take some of your points on Shotta/Poodle, however to suggest the sugar daddies are a short term fix depends on your time scale. I also thought Abramovich would be off within 5 years, he didn’t and doesn’t look likely to be anytime soon, as for the Arabs, well unless we’re about to run out of oil I can see them sticking around for a good while also, after all they’ve still got our ports-airports & prime city property developments to swallow up yet. These sugar daddies are here for a good decade at least, they may even eventually take on UEFA and form that elite super league that only really lacks funding just now. That would itself sign the death warrant for football as we know it but who’s to say it won’t happen, if it does then we will not be there as part of that elite.

    We do have a potential sugar daddy ourselves of course, I know I’m not keen on him either, but he is there and to ignore his presence makes no sense. Do I trust Mr Kronke to do what’s best for the club or what’s best for his company, not sure? You’d think ensuring a successful team would enhance his investment but then he also knows someone will always want to buy him out, a rather ominous Oligarc is already prepared to make him a tidy profit. I’ve little doubt we’ll be sold on, whether it be before the new commercial revenues are in place is more of a question.

    I’d much prefer the self sustaining model, I really would, but for now it’s going to hold us back and will most certainly hamper our attempts to progress and win trophies. Football has always had extravagant owners, some have won many have failed but I’m not sure it’s as easy as comparing football to normal successful business models. Football is not the usual business arena, the rules are far easier to bend and there’s far less regulation of any serious consequence.

  133. george rodger

    I agree with Northbank

  134. Arsenal wouldnt be a part of a super league?!

    why because we dont have a sugar daddy?

    I dont know what to make of that statement, its way off in my opinion!

  135. george rodger

    “I’d much prefer the self sustaining model, I really would, but for now it’s going to hold us back and will most certainly hamper our attempts to progress and win trophies.”

    Well what do you suggest Greg?
    Go a billion into the red like United and hope for the best .whilst we polish the trophies we might still not win because City and Chelsea will still outspend us.

  136. george rodger

    Paul N .You and me both mate

  137. Roger, i would think a fan, by definition, just has to be optimistic about whatever it is he supports. Otherwise i feel he ceases to be a fan. But to each his own- it’s cool. People should please please stop repeating the same Einstein quote- if you’re so smart, go find another one. Or better yet, come up with something on your own! Cheers!

  138. Great Blog, YW. Worst thing about yesterday was that none of the hysteria surprised me at all.

    I downloaded the Bolivia – Costa Rica match and watched it on x4 speed until Joel Campbell was in possession.

    And holy shit! Every time he got the ball he looked dangerous. He spent most of the match on the left wing and cut inside three or four times, leaving defenders in his wake, and either winning fks or finding his teammates in space. Hit the woodwork as well, which makes him a perfect fit for our attack.

    OK, so Bolivia aren’t a great team, but they do have pretty experienced players and did draw with Argentina ten days ago.

  139. Greg talks about these sugar daddies sticking around but is there any gaurantee that they will always stick around?

  140. @ dukegoonem
    “Bit quite on ere today. anyway the wife has just made me a nice apple crumble and custard and its made me feel quite optimistic,”
    Is that all it takes? ha ha ha

    @ Paul N | July 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    “To be honest, I dont have a problem with someone believing we should buy, I just dont think our manager should be abused if he doesnt do what they believe and/or buy who they believe we should. Neither should we be overly negative about the players we have,”

    Exactly!

  141. Aye!

  142. george rodger

    “People should please please stop repeating the same Einstein quote- if you’re so smart, go find another one. Or better yet, come up with something on your own! Cheers!”

    Ok ,I admit it .I am lost.What the fuck do you mean by that?

  143. But let me tell you why i’m optimistic then. Position by position. CB- we’ve got a first choice pairing, apparently, of Koscielny and Vermaelen. Now, most of us here agree that Verm is an excellent defender. In my opinion, Kos is really good too- he has improved since the beginning of the season- any one can see that, he’s tall enough, 6’1, and he doesn’t shirk his tackling responsibilities- if anything he was a bit too aggressive in the beginning of last season. He’s had his bedding in period already, so i believe he’ll be great next to Verm next season. As for back up, Djourou had a great breakthrough season, almost as good as jack, except when he was rushed back from injury and when our form dropped ‘as a team’. Some guys even thought he should be our no one last season! So he’s a perfectly good number 3 for me! To be contd!

  144. @ateeb ~ You’d need to leave yourself a good hour imo, and 90 mins. on sundays. New Cross is not on the tube, so you have to go by overground rail. It’s a pretty awful place tbh.

  145. @ OOU
    Good to hear that about Campbell. I wonder if gunnerblog is right about us having agreed a fee for him? Even if we have, many a slip twixt the cup and the lip… so I will try not to get too excited just yet.
    Good blog the other day about the value of player ratings. A subject that doesn’t get discussed much.

  146. How come Galindo is not plaing for Bolivia?

  147. Oi, PB – New Cross is on the tube, well it was, and kind of will be next year: East London Line reopens overground in 2012. You can also get to the DLR easily enough from there. As areas go it’s not that bad either.

  148. roger- people keep coming up with this- definition of madness, repeating the same, different results, bla, bla, bla- quote. It’s getting tedious now.

  149. One of Us,

    What kind of player? Striker I take it? How much pace and dribbling skills?

  150. Great post yogi

    Cant believe some of the negativity surrounding yesterdays performance, its the 2nd game of preseason for christ sake.

    The Joel Campbell rumors seem to be gathering in pace, looks like a tremendously exciting prospect.

  151. @Ponyboy

    New Cross and New Cross Gate are both on the underground ( well they were when I was last in London)

    Take you to Whitechapel and then change I think for district line, then Mile End, Central Line straight to Oxford Circus. Voila. Should take about 45mins to an hour.

    New Cross ain’t a bad area, Millwall were my second team when younger.

  152. Greg,

    “As for the arabs, unless we will run out of oil i can see them sticking around”.

    So they will be around for about 50 years then.

  153. I find it weird that Liverpool despite being rubbish, out of europe for the second year and not having won anything for ages are still seen as a main challenger for the title.
    Im sure Liverpool could go 10 years without winning and withouth being in Europe and they would still be regareded as a better club than Arsenal.

  154. Hi FG, glad you liked it. Hopefully they’ll improve as they go along.

    Yeah, I’ve got no idea if we’ll sign him, but I think there might be interest as that Richard Laws guy was caught on TV in Costa Rica this weekend. Really, I’m just getting ready to counter the hate at signing another unknown youngster if we do bring him in.

    Danny, I just went back to watch the video again. In that game he started in the middle but did his best work later on the left. To me he’s one of those deceptive, Wanchope-style dribblers. Pace-wise, I didn’t see him really stretch out, but he had enough of a burst to get past defenders with ease. Very direct runner as well.

    Took all the set-pieces as well.

    Hope this isn’t frowned upon, but you can download the match here. Go for the second half if you want the best bits: http://www.matchhighlight.com/forums/view.php?topic=DL201107080004

  155. Unorthodox, not deceptive. And I just realised how hard it is to describe a player’s style, so maybe it would be best just to check video!

  156. Aye

    New Cross is well served, Ateeb, you just get the overground, tube or bus to the Jubilee line and away you go. Loads of buses into town and good night buses too. You can also get on the overground directly to Highbury & Islington for games.

    New Cross is OK, bit edgy but thats OK.Lots of different nationalities and loads of students.

  157. he looks like an unorthodox box to box fox in the box.

  158. OK George here is another one for you, also from that very clever man called Einstein.

    Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

  159. Yeah, the N53 at night – 30 minutes and you’ll be at Trafalgar Square.

    New Cross has/had a decent music scene. My sister practically lived in the Venue in the early 90s, and saw a few of the baggy bands. Art Brut and Bloc Party came out of the area a few years ago.

  160. Half of the popular beat combo, Blur, were at Goldsmith’s were they not?

  161. Cheers OneOfUs,

    As a football fan there are very few signings you should not be excited about. Especially under Arsene who is a master at finding special talent.

    Can genuinely say, only ever been a couple of players did not get excited about. I can only remember one and that was Silvestre.

    I love it when we sign youngsters, I don’t care what any miserable tw&t says!

  162. Fucking apostrophe’s, sticky little bastard’s, fuck there goes’ another, and another.

  163. I had a girlfriend lived in New Cross. I thought it was alright, mind you, that was 30 years ago.

    Pb probably never saw it sober.

  164. good afternoon everyone,,,
    27 days to new season..
    yogi, great points, FIFA also will not take wholesale measures to punish their favored club, BARKA. some clubs are immune to the rules set by this GOVERNING BODY.
    it who you know,and who’s making you money..

    UP THE GUNS OF ARSENAL!!!!!

  165. Joel Campbell is indeed a very exciting player. From what I saw of him he is lightning quick, is good at taking players on and has a strong shot on him. I would be very pleased if we signed him. Bolivia may not have been a very strong team but Costa Rica were playing with a u-23 squad due to their full squad, as well as Mexico’s, having played the Gold Cup just a few weeks prior.

  166. Yogi:

    Nice post. Preseason game like that one means nothing in the grand scheme of things. I do hope we play well the rest of the preseason when we get back from the trip. Good results of any type might help us to get over the negativity from the end of last season and give us some momentum. Getting off to a good start this year is crucial.

    I agree that the whole atmosphere around the club is rather negative right now. I also agree that had we been more aggressive in the transfer market it would have at least helped and I still don’t understand the logic of what we have done so far. However there is nothing you or I can do about it. Hopefully the players can get past all this and get off to a great start.

  167. A total lack of respect for Arsenal and Wenger, brought about by the media has now elevated to managers saying what they want about our club and our manager.

    I remember seeing freeze frame shot in the all the papers with Wenger, throwing his hands up in the and blowing his top, throwing and kicking bottles around.

    The “no hand shake” business was taken to the highest level and everybody was having a laugh. So right now Wenger is seen by some as ignorant because he won’t change and a joker who deserves no respect.

    Fucking terrible but that’s how it is.

  168. Clichy, is a cunt for coming out with that because he cost us many a game with his fucked up defending and inability to cut out the cross field ball before it reaches it target (e.g Nani) then he slips over or some other shit.

    I stopped liking him before his long term injury which saw Gibbs, come in and I was gutted when Gibbs, broke down again. Better luck this season for Gibbs I hope but, saying that we still need to replace him and I hope none of us are that naive to think we can cope.

  169. Squillachi, oh my fucking days get rid of this guy Wenger, and bring in Samba.
    We can’t be taken seriously with this guy playing at CB.

    This should of been wrapped up by now.

  170. CB contd. Now we’ve got Squillaci as our number 4. He doesn’t seem to be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s actually a decent defender- he’s got lots of experience in 2 good leagues and he had a good run of games last season next to djourou. I remember us getting a clean sheet against the mighty stoke with squillaci in the team, and he even got the winning goal! So i feel he’s perfectly good enough to be fourth choice. But if you insist on having a tall huge lump of englishness – well how about Bartley? He’s been a fixture in the first team in each of his loan spells in the championship and the scottish league. He’s even got some european experience! Spending 12-17 million on a fourth choice defender when we’ve got these options available doesn’t make sense to me. What do you guys think? B contd. Now we’ve got Squillaci as our number 4. He doesn’t seem to be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s actually a decent defender- he’s got lots of experience in 2 good leagues and he had a good run of games last season next to djourou. I remember us getting a clean sheet against the mighty stoke with squillaci in the team, and he even got the winning goal! So i feel he’s perfectly good enough to be fourth choice. But if you insist on having a tall huge lump of englishness – well how about Bartley? He’s been a fixture in the first team in each of his loan spells in the championship and the scottish league. He’s even got some european experience! Spending 12-17 million on a fourth choice defender when we’ve got these options available doesn’t make sense to me. What do you guys think?

  171. Northbank @2:27. Awesome post. My sentiments exactly.

    Like most AKBs I think we have improved in many areas which may not be apparent to most of the simpletons whose only justification for their doom is that we haven’t won anything in six years. For them anything but slavish resignation and hopelessness will not do. They want everyone around them to acknowledge the fact that we’re doomed to fail and anything beyond that is rose tinted glasses stuff. However, when asked how they would improve the team they say that three or four signings are enough and of course that we should get rid of Wenger. The problem is that they don’t offer any viable solutions. What players would you get and for how much? Who would you bring in to replace Wenger? If you get a new manager would he even be able to do half the job Wenger does on a shoe string budget? These are questions they never answer. Instead they slate our players by saying things like; you AKBs talk about Jenkinson as if he’s Cafu.

    Personally, I don’t see our main opponents doing anything significant with regards to ensuring their future. The only team attempting to do anything about their youth is Man United and even then, they’re miles behind Arsenal in that department. The only option for them and teams like Chelsea and City is that they’ll forever have to pay above market prices for their players and will undoubtedly be gouged by teams who sell them players. Not only is this not sustainable but there have been plenty of examples which show that building a team full of Galacticos is not the end all and be all. In fact, the most successful team in the EPL build its success upon a project that started more than a decade and a half ago. It’s the same for the most successful team of the last decade. While Real Madrid has been a junk yard for over priced players managed by a virtual merry-go round of managers, Barcelona has become better because they abandoned the buy big for high prices model and have promoted from within. Despite all of these examples of proven success, our doomers want to call an end to project youth and adopt the losing strategy of our nouveau riche opponents.

  172. Wooo hoo
    Wooo hoo
    Wooo hoo
    Wooo hoo
    I got my head done
    When I was young
    It’s not my problem…..

    wooo hoo……. Arsenal

  173. sorry about the double posts- don’t know what’s wrong.

  174. ‘Do they know the definition of madness. It’s doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result’.

    If it were true, it just about sums up every boring, repeatative, negative poster on here, who tries to convince supporters to turn against their own club, players and Manager. Aye. Sadly, it is utter bollocks.

  175. LeGrave on tour

    When you read Clichy’s statement and put it into the context of him being accused of moving for money, it is not that disrespectful to Arsenal.

  176. Goonerton, Squillaci did better paired up with Djourou, as far as shots conceded per minutes played, than did Djourou, Koscielny. As a matter of fact I’m glad Wenger has acknowledged this and may be moving toward making Djourou and Squillaci a partnership, for when we play against the cloggers, and will not need to buy Samba or Cahill. Thank God. If you don’t believe me, look back at our games against the cloggers earlier in the season and it was Squid, Djourou at the back when we were winning those games. However, when paired up with Koscielny, Squillaci did not play as well. Why is this? Who knows, but at least the manager acknowledges that as a defensive partnership they didn’t work out. Hopefully we will see that partnership as a last resort and, hopefully, the fact that they’ve had one year of premiership football under their belts will not make them such a calamitous partnership this time round.

  177. @ Danny
    “As a football fan there are very few signings you should not be excited about.”

    Was that in response to me? I love the sound of Campbell but I said I would try not to get too excited in case we don’t actually sign him – in recognition that agreeing a fee is not the same as the player signing on the dotted line.

  178. The lineup that started the second part of the Chinese frendly is what we can expect for the first CL qualifier (VP suspended, Nasri suspended/sold, Cesc sold by then, I still pray and hope not). I can only see a change on the left wing with Gervinho or Arshavin stepping in. The back four are fine. In the midfield we may lack some creativity with Wilshire and Ramsey not ready yet to provide the assists. Up front we can not rely on Chamack goals, and Theo may struggle against deep defences. The bench looks quite weak lacking a game changer. Everything promises tough qualifiers with some well organised sides among the potential opponents (http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/champions-league-what-if-we-finish-fourth-).

    The first part of the friendly exposed the Djourou/Squil pair in the first minutes. Djourou was found on the wrong side of the ball which resulted in a one-on-one and a save by Manone. Later on both were nowhere when our post was hit. Djourou displays sometimes some positional flows (we also remember the his below par international display against England). Let’s hope he learns as he plays.

    Nasri as a player is finished with his head turned by money. Let’s sell him to City and let him rot on their endless bench. I’m not in the slightest concerned it would strengthen them. They sing players to make a statement, weaken a rival or just to annoy their neighbours, but not because they see the player fit in their system. He’ll be asked to defend (what otherwise Milner is doing), let’s see then whether he has energy left in his tanks to dribble around the box. Sell him and buy a player who would want to play for Arsenal.

    Frank, what is your comment on Clichy’s statements? Or do you think the fans were too harsh on him?

  179. FunGunner,

    Nope not at all. As someone that gets excited about 99.9% of signings we make. The trick is definitely to try not to get going to much till it is rubber stamped!

  180. Alex Ice Cream

    Gainsborough,

    Improvement in the league table is what counts.

  181. Has anyone seen the training sessions during the tour.
    From what I could see it is probably a reason why the defenders tend to hold off from tackling hard.
    Arsène plays 5 attackers against 4 defenders. The attack concentrates on possession to the edge of the box, the defenders have no chance to tackle a forward run or defend an attempt on goal (well hardly any chance).

    The team play their normal passing game and the deefenders basically watch. Surely, to prepare the team for games against premiership teams, Arsène should be asking the attack to play like Man U, Chelsea, WBA etc so the defence can practice defending agains that type of team.

    From what I saw, it’s not good preparation!

  182. Well Consols, i’m going back 20 years myself. Just not a nice place at night, i recall, although compared to some of S.E London, (Elephant & Castle, Peckham anyone ?) it’s probably a desirable place. Dammit, you’ve made me homesick for London – beer needed!

  183. Wikipedia says the Joel Campbell transfer was announced on Arsenal.com but was later removed. Weird it seemed, any confirmations please?

  184. Go USA. Really enjoyed what I have watched of the women’s WC. Some really good football. Much more entertaining then watching the men rolling around on the ground with phantom injuries last summer.

    Wish our mens team was somewhere near as good as the women. May be by the year 2060.

    If that was Maria, its nice to have you back. The prodigal daughter returns if only for a cameo.

  185. Don’t see much wrong with what Clichy said. He went looking for a new challenge at a club where he’d earn significantly higher wages, and where he has a very good chance of winning something (at least in the short term).
    He even went out of his way to be nice to Arsenal, Wenger and our fans. Given the context of interview, I don’t get why anyone would expect him to take responsibility for the club’s failures.

    Northbank:
    I imagine that was just one aspect of the training we do. They just didn’t show the times when we practised defence, probably because its not as much fun to watch.

    Can’t wait for new season, although I have to admit my expectations for success are lower than last time. That won’t stop me enjoying the games as usual though, I’m addicted like that.

  186. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nice one, YW. Hope that little bastard with the jackhammer has fucked off as I was in the same boat as you this morning. Your drive and consistent quality is truly something to behold.

    Aye. If your duty is to chat the same sky is falling bullshit every day you really are fucked AIC. Next time you bathe do us all a favor and bring the toaster. Make sure it’s plugged in, too.

    Well they say one way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, dukey. From the sound of it, those treats are few and far between. Dukeys been a good boy lately has he? You been taking a break from the piss or something? 😀

  187. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Are you a Blur fan, Frank? You never struck me as an Oasis type.

  188. I will not be sad if Japan wins. They are a good team and the country certainly deserves some joy. That said, Go USA.

    Henristic:

    Agree.

    G69 @ 4:14:

    How about Samba for 12, Sakho for 15 and Feliani for 18 and move TV5 to LB.

  189. george rodger

    Nasir Jones-Nasri | July 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm
    Are you a Blur fan, Frank? You never struck me as an Oasis type.

    Its usually one or the other if you are English.A bit tribal really NJN

  190. george rodger

    Bill.We have been scolded often enough about shunting TV to LB .
    The majority seem to want him central.
    Me I like it.But I don’t like Samba

  191. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m well aware of that, Georgie. I find the North v South divide quite funny. My girl is 100 percent English and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in many different parts of England. North, South and inbetween. Lovely country. Her Mum’s from near Staffordshire, Dad’s from Islington. Hence my love for the Arsenal.

  192. @wengerer

    agree completely..I was trying to make the same point the other day..If we the fans of Arsenal FC do not believe that Arsenal FC will win every trophy there is to win, then whats the point…

    @george..also agree lots of positives to look forward to..Quadraple for sure!!!

    back the team, back the players and back the manager to the maximum..and Im sure the home form will improve enough for us to win all 4.

    For those who argue that these are professionals who should be able to play through boos and groans, thats just bollocks and well i cant be arsed to entertain that arguement..

  193. George:

    TV5 is going to play in the middle no matter what I say or think.

    Samba just because he is the least expensive of the options that have been linked with us. Prefer Cahill, Subotic, or Mertsacker but they are even less likely then Samba.

    Looks like we made it through the Asia trip with no injuries.

  194. Yes I am a massive Blur fan, NJ-N. I like to keep up with the times. I have never heard of Oasis are they a popular beat combo too? Worth listening to?

    Clichy? No opinion at all about him, he’s a fucking Manc isn’t he? Couldn’t give a toss what the little fucker thinks. Doubt if he went there for anything other than money though, that and the fact that he knew his days were numbered. However I would like to hear what has to say when we win the EPL next season.

    Very excited about the prospect of the new season and I don’t care if we sign anyone else or not. I am looking for the very best out of Cesc and Samir this season.

    ….Arsenal….

  195. Even if cesc and nasri leave Arshavin will have 20 goals and 20 assists in the cesc role and we will win the league 🙂

  196. Jo-o-e-el, Jo-o-e-el…..Jo-o-e-el, Jo-o-e-el….he is the king of A-Arsen-ell.

    Yep, scans. I like him.

    Well done Arsene.

    ….Arsenal….

  197. george rodger

    Anirudh ..
    you need look no further than the winner of The Open to see the power of positive energy.
    Negative energy has the opposite effect,So when “fan’s”say they are entitled to boo ,I say ok but you may as well cheer for the opposition.The effect is the same

  198. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Well played, Frank. I remember you having excellent taste in music. I think we had a little chat about George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass once. Good times.

  199. Completely agree, george rodger, and well said, Anirudh

  200. george rodger

    “Anirudh | July 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm
    Even if cesc and nasri leave Arshavin will have 20 goals and 20 assists in the cesc role and we will win the league”

    I love it

  201. George Harrison. A legend as they say. Written and perfromed some beautiful songs.

  202. Agree Frank,

    Who cares……he’s gone and can say what he wants…..the fact he is talking about why he has left, just tells you that he feels the need to justify, why he would leave a class club of the genuine aristocracy in English football, to join the what is essentially a far smaller club. Fair plays to Manchester City, I have no qualms with them testing the Manchester hierarchy or taking the Chav title off Chelsea.

    Best of luck Gael…….we were both done…you and us!!!!! In the nicest possible way.

  203. Forgive the transcription errors, please

  204. george..exactly..

    I seriously think the trepidation and the general atmosphere of negativity (as seen on TV, i openly admit ive never been to watch a game unfortunately), leads to a large number of decisions esp pens against us at home..unlike barca and united who week in week out get decisions in their favour at home..

  205. Joel Campbell……..the new Wrighty….and no I don’t mean an ignorant tw#t of a pundit!!!

  206. george rodger

    “I have never heard of Oasis are they a popular beat combo too? Worth listening to?”

    post of the day.very funny

  207. Doomers take heed…

    RvP’s message to Asian fans.

    ‘Thanks for all your smiles, enthusiasm and support, keep supporting Arsenal’.

  208. george rodger

    Lol @Danny.But its ok to call him a twat no need foe the #

  209. Right, back from doing Sunday things.

    Duckegoonem @ 13:12,

    50 years is a long time mate, besides it’s not as if they aren’t building immense property portfolios and investing in various countries infrastructure either. Within 50 years we’ll probably be overrun by the Chinese anyway but that’s something for my kids to worry about.

    Paul N @ 14:31 & 14:41

    I simply don’t see us being invited into a super league that’s all, unless we’re making up the numbers in a 2nd pot. TV companies go for the big names and flair teams, then again they also love an underdog that surprises, where can you see us being within 5 years? Sugar daddies are 1 answer and probably the quickest, a bit of serious sustainable investment is another of course. I believe the second option is possible.

    Mr Roger @ 14:36

    Not for one minute do I suggest we go spending £100M, can’t wait to see Dalgleish ‘s Kamakaze project fail in just that manner in fact. I would like us to spend a good slice more than we have done recently though, not as if we can’t stretch to a couple of experienced signings this year is it. If Fab & Nas do bugger off then we’ll have little choice but to spend big if comparable replacements are to be found.

  210. WWC final in about 20 mins. In recognition of the success of our Far Eastern tour, I shall be supporting Japan. Must go and look up names of their players…

  211. Greg, I ….Oh fuk it you are not worth it. Just piss off.

  212. Oh and Wenger’s message to Mancini….

    Fair plays Boss….alone at a club, without support, against a ferocious media onslaught….still standing, still saying eff off when he wants!

    By the way City….look carefully and you will see the ex-Arsenal in your ranks, they are not stars in their prime. Let us know when you off-load Ade at a loss eh…and while the loss is no pain to you, keep it in mind when we sell you another and you celebrate grabbing a Gooner!

  213. Faye White on the MOTD panel looking fabulous.

  214. Frank your a prick, grow up!

  215. Bill: “How about Samba for 12, Sakho for 15 and Feliani for 18 and move TV5 to LB.”

    How about we keep Djourou as our big CB, pair him up with Squillaci against the cloggers and play Verma, Kos against everyone else? Price = £0m

    With regards to Fellaini, why not Guarin for under £5m and we keep Gibbs out wide?

    I’m very excited by what Gibbs could provide for us out wide next season. We should use Vermaelen at CB if we absolutely have to.

    Total expenditure = < £5m

  216. If Clichy made these statements I am not impressed, thats for sure.

    If he said these things, what he really meant to say was that City’s big money make it easier.

  217. * That’s £40m + less than your estimate, Bill. Do you happen to work as a military contractor by any chance?

  218. Oh dear. Come on Japan! Keep the ball.

  219. Greg, so in your view City would get into this league based upon them having this heap of money, I can bet you think Pool would get in also? Y

    Where do I see us in five years? well given we have some of the best youngsters in world football, I see a dynasty coming. You obviously believe we will be a little more than onbscure.

    I cant get with what you are saying, you have no faith at all.

  220. george rodger

    I smell a rat

  221. G69:

    Your idea does save us 40M but I am not sure what good the money does sitting in a bank acct somewhere.

    The players you mentioned would still be in our squad so my idea while more expensive certainly gives us some a lot more options in case of injuries or if the players you are counting on don’t work out as well as you think.

    USA is dominating and creating chance after chance. Great movement and passing. Now they need to get a goal or 2

  222. Japan just starting to get a foothold.

  223. And as I say that, USA corner.

  224. I know you’re all fascinated. No need to thank me.

  225. george rodger

    I wont then 🙂

  226. ha ha

  227. Phew. I thought that was in. Come on, Japan.

  228. The game is changing a bit FunGun. The US could regret not scoring here.

  229. That was a fantastic move – not a good enough connection

  230. She shouldve held that a bit.

  231. Or curled it Henry-style into the far corner

  232. When Japan have the ball it is a thing of beauty. Their passing and off the ball movement, nice!

  233. Japan coming into it more. But their keeper is 5’6. This is what I can’t understand – I know they are a short nation on the whole, but they must have basketball or volleyball players they can convert, surely?

  234. They are a very good technical side. Great game so far.

  235. Paul:

    USA really will regret not taking their chances. I still think they will get a goal or 2. USA has been the better team by far. Japan starting to get into the game more now so it could be a great 2nd half.

  236. Come on Japan!

    OK, so who would be crass enough to barge in at the last moment on this Campbell deal?

    I’m guessing Man City. Probably because we’ve dared to stand up to them this week over FFP and Nasri.

  237. Yeh Bill, USA have dominated for the most part but Japan is just very tricky. Thats what I have noticed about them, they will hold on and then get a goal when is it seems very unlikely. I believe the US should be very nervous going into the 2nd half as they know from playing against France, that you can win when you are 2nd best.

  238. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I might get in trouble for saying this but I’ve found myself stalking the US number 15. Something about her little pixie haircut. It’s too bad we haven’t seen more of our glorious keeper Hope Solo, too. She’s a beaut, isn’t she?

  239. Phew.

  240. Their control in tight spaces is very impressive. Japan, I mean.

  241. Paul N,

    At the moment we would get in to a manufactured Super Lge, we still have enough about us to compete at a high level & on our day who knows. What I would say is that a few years down the line, once Wenger goes, and with our lesser investment we will struggle to do so. Fans in emerging markets are not likely to purchase enough of our merchandise without us offering big names and trophy’s, might not be fair but it’s their fickle money we will require more than the obscenely subsidised will. TV deals will no doubt go the way of Spain sooner or later, with the pie being heavily distorted along the lines of success.

    Another thing to consider is that any break away league would have even less regulation, if we think UEFA are biased now then what of a financially doped competition created by the untouchable super rich. Qatar just won the bloody World Cup for heavens sake, these elite teams would be pulling every stroke imaginable to rig things in their favour, like a game of poker.

    It’s not that I don’t have faith in our potential, I agree we have a great crop coming through, but what’s to stop the new money nicking them once they mature. I dare say a lot of them are only here to play for Wenger, other’s will no doubt be using us as a stepping stone to untold riches however, either way it wont be easy to hold on to them.

  242. aaargh another great chance goes begging.

  243. She was onside!

  244. she was onside!

  245. Terrible decision.

  246. Could be a game-changing mistake there.

  247. terrible call Big Al!

  248. I knew it.

  249. Finally. what a goal. great shot.

  250. it was a good goal.

    Should be 1-1.

  251. Yeah. come on, Japan.

  252. She’s actually a good keeper, Kaori. Just a shame she isn’t a few inches taller.

  253. USA had a huge let off on the bad off side call.

  254. Nasir @ 8:43:

    for once your spot on.

  255. YES!!!!!!!

  256. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  257. Arsenal is No. 7 as far as the richest sports teams in world sports Greg.

    Told you about this Japan team, they are something else!

  258. Fair result now

  259. will be really happy for japan.

    i think they have been consistent

  260. How many chances have both sides had? Unbelievable that only two goals have been scored.

  261. next goal wins it for sure.

  262. Lucky not to concede a penalty there

  263. Greg life is full of potentials. For all you kn

  264. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Well whaddya know Bill finally agrees with something I’ve said. Can anyone confirm if hell has frozen over? I knew you would of loved that hoofball my number 15 provided fir the goal, Bill. That had Billball written all over it.

    Go on, Japan.

  265. great game. Japan looks more likely to score in the last couple of minutes.

  266. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    US could of had the game in the bag within the first 20 minutes. Some poor finishing by the US ladies has kept Japan in it, IMO.

  267. Extra time.

  268. great desperation defending by Japan around the box at the end

    Nasir:

    USA has played excellent football just have not put away their chances. That was an excellent pass for the US goal.

  269. They’re good value for their goal, though. I really admire their determination and the way they didn’t panic.

  270. The Japanese, I meant.

  271. It makes that wrong offside call even more poignant now.

  272. Jeezes i give up . Way hard to write on iPhone.

  273. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I knew you’d like that, Bill. The US was playing some nice flowing stuff early on, they just couldn’t put away their chances.

  274. Well Japan surely deserved that goal after the wrong offside goal robbed them of a really good chance.

    Btw. why didn’t the teams switch sides for extra time?

  275. call, not goal

  276. Evil – good point.

  277. Come on Japan

  278. yes!!!!!!! great header.

  279. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    The US ladies are a rough bunch. Unlucky Japan.

  280. How was that not a foul?

  281. I think the referees have been instructed to let things go – England got away with murder in a couple of their games.

  282. Oh dear – tht could have been Japan’s chance

  283. NJN – Solo injured

  284. Relax – she’s OK now.

  285. I sure hope the German ref is going to add a couple of minutes.

  286. 2-2!

  287. Omfg Robin would be proud of that. Magnificent goal. YES!

  288. What a game!

  289. haha what a game.

    fun keep the updates coming

    wush i x=could watch. is there a link?

  290. haha what a game.

    fun keep the updates coming

    wish i could watch. is there a link?

  291. What a match this has been!

  292. I have to say if it goes to penalties I think the USA will win.

  293. Wambach just missed a golden opportunity to win it

  294. This final has been a great advert for women’s football.

  295. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a game.

  296. Japan what a team. Both teams deserve to win this one. I hope it does not end on PK’s

  297. Penalties. My goodness me.

  298. Fantastic game. I hate PK’s Hope Solo gives the USA the advantage.

  299. I’m actually more tense than I was in the England matches! How is that happening? both teams have been fantastic, what a horrible way to go out for one of them.

  300. Japan an incredibly determined bunch. May be they have destiny on their side.

  301. Kayori, yes! Well done

  302. What a penalty by Miyama. That was one of the coolest finishes I’ve seen EVER.

  303. What happening to USA? :-0

  304. And both the US and the Japanese pk taker miss. Still 1:0 to Japan

  305. This game gets more incredible by the second.

  306. fantastic penalty by wambach there

  307. USA are worse at PKs than the English male national team.

  308. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  309. Damn those Japanese lady’s are cool as ice!

  310. I am speechless. I would have bet my house on USA winning the pks!

  311. Well done to Japan. Hate to see the USA go down but I can’t think of a better team to win the cup. Fantastic game. Agree with FunGunner at 10:13.

  312. And that’s it, Japan have won the world cup. USA played really well, but Japan simply had the fighting spirit to overcome all odds thrown at them. Congratulations.

  313. And they play like arsenal. Technical and playful. A joy to watch.

  314. Ooh and England are the only team to have beaten Japan in this comp

  315. That was better then the men’s world cup by far.

  316. I don’t think I’ll ever support a statement by you more wholeheartedly than what you’ve written at 10:24pm, Bill.

  317. Commiserations to the Americans – great performance but Japan stronger at the end.

  318. I’m glad the skillful Japanese ladies beat the hoofball merchants of the US

  319. I am going to adopt Japan as my international team, poodle. 🙂

  320. What a good advert for women’s football this WC has been. Some really good entertainment.

  321. I thought the same, but I was being tactful, Passenal!

  322. Nice, Blatter getting boo’ed!

  323. ha ha evil that puts the icing on a great night

  324. perhaps this is a good omen for our season.

  325. No one watching Copa America? Brazil just lost 0-2 to Paraguay ON PENALTIES.

  326. Can we please have a penalty shoot-out between the Brazil men and the US women?

  327. Ni-ppon! clik, clik, clik Ni-poon! clik, clik, clik.

    Brazil bounced out of the copa america as well. What a good afternoon.

  328. very happy for japan. worthy winners!

  329. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Lol @ Passenal. I love your passion for the beautiful game. Second to none. I thought the US played some nice stuff early, but they couldn’t keep it up. Barca anyone?

  330. “Your idea does save us 40M but I am not sure what good the money does sitting in a bank acct somewhere.

    The players you mentioned would still be in our squad so my idea while more expensive certainly gives us some a lot more options in case of injuries or if the players you are counting on don’t work out as well as you think.”

    Bill, empty out your savings, put a second mortgae on your house, cash in your 401k, never mind the penalties, and send me all of it. I mean, what good is that money doing if it’s idle, right? Do you still live with your parents or do you have a sugar momma that takes care of you?

    So the players you mentioned are injury proof? What if we bring in one of those big, tall, shit kickers and he hurts his back chasing Carlos Vela around in training? We’re back to square one pretty much.

  331. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m backing Chile for the Copa America. Looks like the big guns of South America weren’t up for it this tournament. I caught the Copa America matches yesterday and outside of Messi I wasn’t impressed. Copa America has been a bit of a bore, IMO.

  332. Ni-ppon, not Ni-poon. My bad.

  333. The effen Arsenal, sorry Nippon, that slick passing outfit just did it. That is a sign. I love it.

  334. This has been one of the best Copa Americas in recent memory, Nasir. That’s if you like team defending and seeing smaller teams upset the big boys.

    I think Venezuela is a dark horse. They seem to have figured out how to defend and put the ball in the net. Plus their goalkeeper is first class and they have a pretty good midfield.

  335. So in what language was Mancini speaking that he only says Nasri is a good player who is under contract to arsenal and this translates to then wishing to complete the transfer for him by end of July? Weird indeed!

  336. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Like I said, G69, Ive only caught yesterday’s matches. But I agree, and from what I’ve heard you’re bang on. If you fancy conservative Mourinho ball, it’s been one hell of a tournament. I’m truly surprised we haven’t seen Bill trumpeting some of the tactical defending on display at the CA.

  337. I watched the wwc final with my siblings. Great fun, cracking jokes Jamaican stylee. No sweat about the winner. So unlike when the Arsenal is playing. Thats the strange thing; we all claim to be gooners but differ so deeply about players, tactics, philosophy, etc. The tension sometimes is so great. Any of you guys in the same boat?

    Anyways we all joked about whether the US was just another long-ball team, (Aston Villa vs Arsenal, O’Neill vs Wenger). We concluded that to call them a long-ball team would be unfair; they played some great stuff especially in the 1st half. But Passenal is so resolute.

  338. @ shotta
    I am definitely seeing it as a good sign! I felt so tense because it really felt like I was watching Arsenal – like an Arsenal v ManUnited game in terms of style of play. That’s why the result meant so much to me. I think it’s good for the game as well, actually.

    @ NJN – I had started to feel a bit bad about agreeing with the hoofball remark about your national team – so I’m relieved you’re not offended.

  339. To be fair I didn’t see the whole game, but I have seen the US play before and they are all about being powerful athletes over-powering the opposition – not really my cup of tea.

  340. @ Team Spirit | July 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm
    Mancini’s a great big fat liar. Unless of course the quote was entirely made up, which, let’s face it is not exactly beyond the bounds of possibility.

  341. Sayonara, everyone.

  342. This is a poor post 🙂

  343. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    USA’s dominance early on was there for everyone to see, Shotta. It could’ve been 2 or 3 nil within the first 20 minutes. A combination of good fortune and good football got Japan across the line. If only the Arsenal could find a bit of good fortune. I swear we are the unluckiest team in the world. As Steel Pulse once said no justice no peace retaliation won’t cease. That was for you Shotta and Paul N.

    I hope you know me well enough by now to know you havent offended me, FG. Im a staunch supporter of Arsenal and the beautiful game and I’m about as unpatriotic as it gets. I hate over the top nationalists. For the most part I’m embarrassed to be an American and have found I hate a lot of the things a lot of Americans cherish. If everything goes according to plan I’ll be living in Europe in 3 years, FYI.

  344. What are you watching Dup’s?

  345. NJN.As long as you hate Luke Jibber and AIC you will do for me my friend

  346. Chile v Venezuela – not very good

  347. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Lol. Hate is a strong word, George. But yeah, I’m sure it’s no secret that I generally despise all those people you mentioned.

  348. Chile vs Venezuela is not that good unless you’ve followed either team’s development. It’s actually quite good to see Venezuela with a shot at the CA given how awful they were until a few years ago. Chile also fell off big time after Zamorano and Salas retired. They’re just getting back into the swing of things by using mostly youth players.

  349. Passenal @ 10:29:

    I know you are probably not on anymore but calling the way the american women played today hoofball is a complete pile of crap. It was excellent football from both sides. USA created far more chances and their passing was very good. Well played by Japan and congratulations but to call the americans hoofballers is just plain stupid.

  350. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Aww, poor Bill. He’s bitter his national team and philosophy lost so he has to call other people stupid. Fuck off already you fat self righteous prick.

  351. Agree with Bill here, Passenal. You are usually one of the better posters on here, but you’ve stepped in a pile here with your comments on the USA team. They played some great football today and contributed mightily to the wonderful advert that this entire tournament was for Women’s football. Well done to them but congrats to Japan for prevailing.

  352. Nasir:

    LOL LOL LOL You are a piece of work.

  353. Nasir:

    You watched the game as well as I did. If you call that hoofball then everything you say has absolutely no credibility. Not that is does anyway. You are nothing but weany who agrees with the prevailing winds just for the sake of agreeing. You obviously do not have the ability to come up with an original thought or make a rational observation.

  354. Not sure if anyone is still up but if you are in the US, Fox Soccer Channel is replaying the Arsenal – Barfa match and yes its the one we win 🙂 It might even restore your faith in the team if you have lost any over the last few months. At the very least it will put a smile on your face as Messi runs around doing nothing for 90 minutes, only to have Arshavin show up and decide to play like a genius for 6-7 minutes and win us the match. Can you imagine how great he would be if he had an engine in him like Jack Wilshire? Now that is a scary thought….but just imagine!!

  355. It is funny considering what has happened or, should I say, what has been reported to have happened re: Gael Clichy, that I am now watching the goal we conceded against Barfa as it is he who is caught ball watching. Koschelny and Djourou play the line brilliant but Gael is so busy watching the ball that he plays Barfa onside. I must admit to forgetting how well Eboue played in this game. I believe Sagna is the best RB in the league but I always get excited watching Eboue fly down the right wing with the ball at about 90 miles an hour. Yes small voice in my head is always whining that he should be a bit more defensive but damit to hell it is so exciting!! If Theo gets his way and gets more starts in the center I would like Eboue to get more time playing on the right wing, even as a sub.

  356. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Thats 100 percent pure unadulterated bollocks, Bill. Do you have anything to back up your claims? I’ve acknowledged the fact that the US played some good stuff early on. They simply did not maintain it. Don’t sit here and tell me that they didn’t resort to hoofball tactics as the game wore on. For the most part they played hoofball. It was your garden variety 442/4411 with the defenders happy to sit back and absorb the pressure. Japan played a very high line when in possesion which hurt them a couple times as evidenced by the first goal, but it also paid dividends. To call Passenal stupid is just close minded uncompromising idiocy. You simply gave your opinion and then started shitting out of your brain. Where is your reason? Where’s the details? Where is your criticism of the schoolgirl mistakes the US made in defense? It’s just a bunch of empty rhetoric as usual.

  357. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I love Eboue, irishgray. What a beautiful player. He’s just an awesome human being in general.

  358. I agree reagrding Eboue. He was superb at RB before Sagna arrived; a bit unfair on him really.

  359. NJN – I think the guy is awesome but does have gaps in his defending. That being said he was the focus of a debate between myself and some other Gooners a few days ago. The question asked was who would you prefer to have on your team: a highly innovative player who can and will win you games but will divide the dressing room in the long run or a utility player who, although not great, is the type of player that will unite the dressing room in a way few players can?

    The debate actually started with the rumour that we had put in a bid for Joey Barton. The argument was made that yes, Barton for all his flaws and they are many, is an excellent footballer and if he where to be given the opportunity at a club like Arsenal he may become a legend. He has strength, a good burst of speed, good close ball control, a decent shot and very good distribution. But here is the catch. He can be, and often is, a loose cannon. One that could cost any team dear, both on and off the pitch. In short he is a cunt, one that would be more likely to divide a dressing room than unite it.

    On the other side we have Eboue, also known as God to some :), who is a very skilled player, good ball control and good distribution, can run forever, can play in several positions, suspect defending though and tends to fall over when poked by the opposition. I hate saying that but I believe it to be true and what makes it worse is that it usually happens when he has run himself into a deadend. In the end we all opted for Eboue, but where all adamant that he would never be first choice RB.

    He has come a long way since coming on as a sub and tackling our own player before passing the tackled ball to the other team and then being taken off to a chorus of boos, all within about 20 minutes. He then came back about 3 weeks later, more I seem to remember out of necessity than anything else and proceeded to play a stormer!! I believe he went on a great run for a few games until sadly picking up a knock but in those few weeks he became a bit of a cult hero too many. Added to that is his ability to appear as if by magic whenever one of our players scores to join in the celebration, even when he is sitting on the subs bench!! A cult hero as I said and by all accounts, both those of fans ad players and staff one of the nicest and happiest players ever to wear the Arsenal shirt.

    In case you have not noticed I can’t fucking sleep!!!!!!!

  360. I disagree with Passenal on the Us women as well. They did great. But im not surprised. Being an american living in london, we get that kind of attitude.

    NJN- the does does not shine out of europeans butts i promise you. americans can be a little impressed by europeans but I promise they are just people. it aint all that. almost 10 years in england have taught me that. Plus all the american insults get old.

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