PHW Speaks Sense For Once, Gazidis Explains & More Gossip

Arsenal delivered a masterclass in transfer dealings yesterday, their stealthy pursuit of Gervinho brought the club their first major signing of the summer…What is it with Arsenal and French clubs? Until this summer, Chamakh’s signature had been the worst kept secret in football. Gervinho usurped that spectacularly. It is unclear which of the triplets delayed the deal but I understand He was there but You could not be found anywhere.

Welcome to Arsenal, Gervinho, may you have a long and successful career at the club. As he joined, Denilson departed although it seems no-one has confirmed that to Arsène, the manager believing his protegé may return to Brazil as the midfielder leapt on a flight to Sao Paulo displaying more dignity and class than his critics deserved.

Transfer chatter is de rigeur for this time of year, the pre-season friendlies just beginning. The next one is in Cologne and by no means certain to include Cesc. The Arsenal captain’s fitness is key to this, not as the Spanish media claims, his desire to force a move to Barcelona. Proving he is no figurehead, Peter Whimsy put his false teeth back in and spoke to his pet media outlet last night about Cesc,

I am not sure how keen they are. There are still stories in the (Spanish) press, but they don’t talk to us. They’ve made one offer, which works out at around £26m, but that was ages ago. It has become a real bore and an unnecessary interruption to what we are trying to achieve.

Surprisingly stern words for the Chairman, patience obviously wearing thin. The problem is that half of the stuff which is in the Spanish press emanates from their English counterparts whilst the rest filters its way over here.

Take this morning’s press coverage. Daily Mirror headlines might scream about offering Cesc a new contract but so do this morning’s Daily Express and those of Sport. I am sure journalistic egos will tell you that they were first. All the while the pursuit of their quarry is The Heil‘s take on all of this, consistently so I might add.

PHW was I think right to an extent. If the Catalans make a big enough offer, Arsenal will listen and as I have maintained all summer, I believe the player will go if the money is right for Arsenal.

The thought that crosses my lonely prairie of a mind is whether Barcelona actually want to make that offer, not whether they can. The pursuit of Fábregas has more than a whiff of keeping the player from joining another club than signing him at the moment. Alexis Sanchez has been Barcelona’s prime target since before the end of last season and remains consistently so.

Cesc? He is not an afterthought, more of a not absolutely required right now. Laporta could have sanctioned a massive bid last summer before leaving office; Rosell would not have backed down. They chose not to.

Arsenal on the other hand are quietly pursuing their targets. Ivan Gazidis observed,

We haven’t finished our business at all. We’re just not conducting it publicly; we’re working hard privately…The resources are there. We’ve got a substantial amount of money that we can invest. The important thing for us, which can be frustrating, is not doing it only in response to a public clamour but in a way that can positively impact our performance next year.

Crucially, I suspect that if the next signing is one of the ‘monster’ centre backs demanded, most people will be happy with the composition of the squad. Yes, some will continue to demand a defensive midfielder but going into next season, there would be more belief than currently exists.

Problematically for Arsenal, the malaise will not disappear overnight and needs good results to be lifted. A tough start to the season producing a decent total of points would go a long way to achieving that aim.

Gazidis continued defending the manager’s policies, nailing the lie that Wenger only signs youth for philosophical or egotistical reasons. Gazidis is adamant that this is not the case,

There’s no point of principle involved there. But if you look at the best players that we have on our team, they were not necessarily superstar players when we signed them – I don’t think any of them were when they came to Arsenal. It’s not that we were against doing that. That could happen. But because we run a self-sufficient club we have to think about the efficiency of the spend.

If we found an established world-class player and we thought the economics made sense and he would add to what we could do on the pitch then there’s no philosophical objection to that. Arsène has no point of principle to show the world that he can build his own team of young players. That’s just not the way it is.

The squad is built on a egalitarian basis but such a philosophy offers critics a quick hit, namely the club is a stepping stone. That is too cheap a shot to dignify a response. Were that the case, more players would have left. This is obviously not the case, this summer the worst for seven or eight years concerning speculation about key personnel. Allied to the poor end of season, it serves to emphasise a feeling of gloom.

Ivan offered a perspective,

It’s easy to lose perspective on what Arsène is trying to do, which, I think, is an extraordinary vision but if you look around here, the fans we have around the world, that vision is very attractive and very, very powerful. We should be proud of that.

No doubt this will indicate the mesmeric hold the manager has over the board. You cannot win, Ivan…

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 19, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 407 Comments.

  1. The consistently high level of ACLF boggles my mind. Thank you, YW.

  2. favor to ask Yogi, is it possible to make your hyperlinks in the articles open in new tabs?thanks.

  3. Top post YW, and top comments from Gazidis, although it could very well be a double edged sword if we end up not signing anyone.

  4. YoungGuns reporting that Joel Campbell has agreed to join Arsenal and is set for a medical! Richard Law apparently convinced Campbell to ignore the offer from the other PL club and increased the initial offer from 930,000 pounds to 1 million pounds.

  5. 26 million? Barca seriously needs to wake up and smell a coffee.

  6. Colney

    Which one – all of mine do open in new tabs?


  7. Mongolian

    How was the trip to Spain?


  8. First!

    Seriously am I?

  9. Cesc is not their priority. They are just deceiving the poor boy. Clubs usually rate their targets like “Must have”, “Great”, “Good” and “If bargain”. You can guess why we so-called “missed” Alvarez. I don’t think Cesc is even rated “Great to have” by Barca. They are more interested in Alexis Sanchez just like they were when they rushed for David Villa while they still had Ibrahimovich and had to sell the man at a great loss. I hope Cesc sees through it all and slap them a nice one by joining Real!

  10. Still on trip. Still enjoying but actually a little bit homesick now. Can’t wait to go home this Saturday. hehe

  11. Antony,
    According to Gunnerblog this morning AFC have pulled out of the deal for Campbell…would not surprise me as the guy’s dad had started playing some last minute tricks to gain time and get some higher offers in…

  12. Cesc should just bide his time. The day will come when Barfa need him and then they will look under the sofa cushions and find the necessaries. Until then, he’s got a team to lead to glory and the sooner he does that, the sooner BBB will cough up and all parties will be happy.

  13. Another great read, as always.

    Loving Gazidis comments – he really has his ear to the ground in understanding fan sentiment.

  14. archwaygunner

    to open in new tab = middle mouse button

    or for laptop = right click –> open in new tab

  15. Morning,

    Great to see that Arsenal have told Barcelona there is a deadline to put up or shut up and hopefully it sends a clear message to Cesc – if they really wanted you they would stump up the cash.

    Don’t know how much of what Charlie Wyett ever says is true, but his stats on the season ticket waiting list made for some worrying reading this morning. I can accept that the recession has caused many to tighten their belts including me, but the idea that the 2,000 season tickets available are being offered as far down the list as 13,000 is very surprising. I haven’t a clue where he gets his stats from, but he suggests that waiting list take up rates have fallen from 1 in 4 to 1 in 7. The article doesn’t make clear whether this is seats in the Club Level or on the general waiting list, but I’d imagine its the general list as the two are kept separate.

    You can put any kind of spin on this you want and I’m sure many will.

  16. “SELF-SUFFICIENCY” has been Arsenal’s watchword for many a year. For the coming season, Arsene Wenger has said the team not only needs strengthening but he will do something about it during the Summer Window. He hasn’t been that forthright for some time.
    I feel that 2011/2012 will be a testing ground for our present policy. Unless we prosper in a big way, Messrs Kroenke and/or Usmanov, with their increasing power and influence, won’t stand idly by. I can see them, in a year’s time, insisting in a new policy à la Chelsea or Man City whereby spend, spend, spend is the order of the day, regardless of the financial outcome. A way will be found to overcome the FFPR. Wenger will depart in protest and the outcome will be a nightmare (although we will collect much silverware which will satisfy some people).

  17. At the press conference in China AW said that the defence had some of the best stats in the Prem in open play, but some of the worst at set pieces and said that this was something he was looking to address. He didn’t say that he was intending to buy any additional defenders.

  18. @tokala awh thats a shame, he looked exciting. Always sad when parents ruin their kids chances for personal gain.(like more money for themselves etc)

  19. Jabba's delights

    Spot on Yogi

    Glazidis is just fricking awesome it fills me with confidence having him at the club. Yes he says the right things but i genuinlly believe what he says.

    One thing i take from his quotes though is that there is absolutely zero chance of Samir staying unless he signs his contract very quickly

    ”But because we run a self-sufficient club we have to think about the efficiency of the spend.”

    That works both ways. Its incredibly inefficent to keep Nasri with one year left on his contract in my oppinion. As said yesterday if he goes we move on Cesc, RVP are far more crucial and statistically both Theo and Andrei had a hand in more goals than him add to that Gervinho who i think will be a wonderful buy and i dont see it as a huge huge loss as long as we spend the money on a good replacement.

  20. Barca are playing a spoiling game. Keeping their marker on Cesc, keeping him unsettled and attempting to keep Arsenal on the back foot for any future negotiations. Their poodles in the press are only too pleased to cooperate with this classless performance.

    Having said that I would love an insight into how Cesc is actually thinking.

  21. Gowan, Ivan! Geddinthere, Chief!

  22. “It’s easy to lose perspective on what Arsène is trying to do, which, I think, is an extraordinary vision but if you look around here, the fans we have around the world, that vision is very attractive and very, very powerful. WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT.”
    –Ivan Gazidis


    Sorry Cesc…they just don’t value or need you enough.
    Nowhere near as much as we do.
    Man up El Capitan, we have a legacy to write!!

  23. Lucky we did not sign Campbell. We could have an ”anelka” situation all over again. Family members should not be agents to players. There should be a rule for that.

  24. Wavey, that’s just outrageous spin.

    We conceded loads from set pieces and open play. Too many either way you look at it (West Brom tore us apart in open play, as did Newcastle and Stoke etc etc). Set pieces is what everyone agrees on, however, our defending last year was poor (bar a 10 game run in a 60 game season)

    Not signing another CB when we have Djourou (yet to complete a full season), TV5 (returning after a years absence) Kolscieny (still learning) and Squillaci (no comment) would be a huge huge gamble in my opinion. Especially now as significant transfer funds have been declared as available. I am very optimistic following Gazidis’s comments that this will not play out.

  25. Just thought I would repost this comment before the abuse comes:

    I am very optimistic following Gazidis’s comments that this will not play out.

    I am very optimistic following Gazidis’s comments that this will not play out.

    I am very optimistic following Gazidis’s comments that this will not play out.

  26. “we have enough money to spend on transfers”!!!!
    i take that as a true statement from gazidis and consequently the desperate need for a quality centre back will be resolved. If not then the statement will be bullshit. Simple as that!

  27. Not spin. Best defence in the league with the ball on the deck. Getting better too with TV5 coming back. Watch and learn. Vermaelen and Koscielny are being groomed as some sort of Beckenbauer/Baresi hunt and destroy machine.

  28. Nice post Yogi.

    Stepping stone for greedy fuckers. To pretend that players leave us for any reason other than A) Money or B) They aren’t good enough, is crazy. Champions league football every year guaranteed, challenging on all fronts. Where else would a professional who loves their game want to be?

    This Centre-back thing won’t go away. I see I’m well and truly in the minority in thinking we have what we need, but I wouldn’t be against bringing in a ‘monster’ as you say. As long as he’s prepared to be behind Djourou in the pecking order. I mean as monsters go what more could we want than Djourou?

    Of the two names being thrown around I think Samba is more likely. For the simple fact that he isn’t English. And I’m not just talking about the premium on English players here. Can you imagine how smug the Match of the Day sofa would be if we signed a traditional English centre-half! Beyond what I could tolerate.

  29. LA,

    I have no disagreement with the potential of Kos/TV. Truley gifted CB’s.

    I would be interested to see stats/info on how we were the best defence in the league in open play. If that is the case, then the need for the much desired ‘monster’ will be the final part of a flourishing defensive unit no?

  30. Jabba's delights


    How would have Beckenbauer and Baresi have done in a high line in a league where teams constantly pump the balls in the box for 6 foot 5 ginats to get on the end of?

    See what your saying but we need a defender who relishes those sort of games just as much as sweeping inch perfect 50 yard passes to attackes or curling them in from 25 yards or dispossing Messi in full flow.

    One cant hide from the typical attributes of quite a few prem teams.

  31. Jabba's delights


    As stated before we are struggling to make the 8 man over the age of 21 but trained for 3 years in england before 21 rule. Bendtner, Clichy, Denilson all helped us make that 8 last year. We are almost being forced to buy british players.

    Arsenal is a wonderful place to play but if one is honest there are 5-6 clubs in europe currently and for the last few years where wininig trophies and being trully competative is more of a priority and they will do just about anything even compromise their long term future to do it.

    I’m very hopeful with Glazidis comments and the Gervinho signinig that this is changing

  32. the simple truth will be, AW will sign a Defender if he feels we need one and the right one is available. If not we wont sign one. Simple as. Luckily AW knows more about football than all us ACLF postes together, thats why he is the Manager of Arsenal and we are posters on yogis page.

  33. Jabba: “Glazidis … he says the right things but i genuinlly believe what he says.”

    Sometimes I think this is a problem. He says things like: we have loadsa money! Lovely jubly! And gets fans like you all excited (not having a go). Then when big signings don’t come, you guys get really pissed off, even though we weren’t actually in the market for anyone. It’s a risky game.

  34. Limpar,
    but Beckenbauer/Baresi didn’t play in the PL, who knows how they would have fared against 38 games of almost constant aerial bombardment.
    It’s great to have the “best defence in the league with the ball on the deck” but how much use is that in a league where the ball is hardly on the ground.

    Either train our current defenders to deal better with PL tactics, or buy someone who can.

  35. I actually believe that our defence is sufficient for the coming season. Verm / Kos will be a formidable CB combination. We have back up for Sagna in the young Jenks, Gibbs and Traore will be the weakest link, but I see them both improving substantially as the season progresses.

    What the defence do lack (and something I hope WEnger is working on) is how they work together on the off side calls. Verm needs to be firm when calling the back line out. During the Greentown match, Gibbs was 3/4 yards behind the line and played three forwards onside.

    Having said all that, if Wenger does buy another CB then I hope it’s Cahill. He is not just a ‘monster’ CB, he has good control and first touch, passes forward with accuracy and can score the occassional goal from set pieces.

  36. “Arsenal is a wonderful place to play but if one is honest there are 5-6 clubs in europe currently and for the last few years where wininig trophies and being trully competative is more of a priority and they will do just about anything even compromise their long term future to do it.”

    This is true. unfortunately players don’t exactly look to long term futures of clubs they play for as their interest are generally short term, in line with their short careers.

  37. Markus,
    But Gazidis has just confirmed we are in the market. Thats why I said earlier that his statement might be a double edged sword. Saying we have substantial funds, and we are active in the market, might cause a backlash for Wenger if we don’t end up signing anyone.

  38. Yes, who knows how Beckenbauer and Baresi would’ve fared against Owen Coyle’s Bolton. Who knows.

    Where the ball is hardly on the ground?! You do a great disservice to our league, sir. The ball is on the ground 80% of the time, even against Stoke!

    This season, as last, you will see a lot of opposition attacks dismantled on the halfway line and beyond, before they even get started. This is because we have quick, mobile, technical centrebacks. You will be thanking AW for those when they win us the Champions League.

  39. Jabba's delights


    Im not lookign for huge signings. Arsenal have never signed world class players at the top of their game in my lifetime and i fully understand the reasining behind Arsene not going out and dropping 50m on torres and players like that.

    I completely agree with the self sustaining business model.

    However becuase we are an incredibly well run club we have money to spend this summer not an unlimted amount but some good wedge we have the opportunity to really go out and make our squad genuinlly competative.

    I think Gervinho is a cracking signing. I think we need another quality striker and another winger if Nasri leaves. I also think we need an aggressive tall cb who will compliment our other 3 good ones and an experienced left back who can help Gibbs along.

    Notice that would 3 signings i wanted in total before we lost 2 1st team starters.

  40. Exactly Henristic. He sets Wenger up for criticism if we don’t end up signing anyone.

    Jabba, I think the homegrown quota is 7, not 8. Might be wrong. 7 out of the 25 man squad must be homegrown I thought.

  41. Who are these 5 – 6 clubs where winning trophies is ‘more of a priority’? Barcelona and Utd have won things in the last few years… who else? The rest have spent a lot and won diddly bing fuck nothing.

  42. Interesting developments on the Joel Campbell story. We pulled out because the player and his agent (father) didn’t turn up for meeting. Their loss.

  43. Some reassuring comments from Mr Gazidi, which are indeed timely with the doom and gloom surrounding the club. This “best defensive performance in open play” thing is a bit flakely though. The fact is that we let in more goals than the 3 clubs above us is all that matters really. By all means work hard on set pieces and organisation, but has been changed in terms of defensive personnel or coaching?
    As it currently stands we are hoping that the return of TV will add organisation to the defense and that Kos will further improve and cut out the (understandable) mistakes he made last season.
    I think these two could do well together, but neither of the replacements Djourou or Squillaci fill me with much confidence.
    Wavey – I think there have been a lot of season ticket cancellations. Friends of mine were 5,000th on the list and they have been offered season tickets this year. The 6.5% rise in prices during a recession has probably not helped much…

  44. I can report that the waiting list is still going strong. I am still 30 odd thousandth on the fucker.

  45. “Luckily AW knows more about football than all us ACLF postes together, thats why he is the Manager of Arsenal and we are posters on yogis page”

    I am not sure all the posters on ACLF believe that.

    If we could buy any CB, that might come.mind,and money was no problem ,who would that be?
    Because for once Jabba is right.The TV, Kos axis might have some of us purring but when teams sit back and pump balls long then it sort of bypasses their strengths.So we might well just need a “big un” r two for those games.
    The ideal would be a huge great big TV or Kos but does anybody know of one?

  46. A few more season’s without a trophy should see you right then Limpar!

  47. Inter, Man-city, Chelsea?

  48. Good luck to Denilson. It was nice the way he thanked the club and the fans, calling us fans ‘very special’!

    There is a lot of positivity floating around today. Its amazing what a few well placed words can do. Long may it continue.

  49. That’s why my fingers are crossed for Scott Parker, Cb.

  50. George: “The ideal would be a huge great big TV or Kos but does anybody know of one?”

    I do, but I’m guessing me saying “Djourou is the man!” gets a bit annoying…

  51. Limpar,
    Hahaha, now Owen Coyle’s Bolton is the typical PL team are they? Love how you shift positions just to win an argument.

    And you know what I mean when I say the ball is hardly on the deck. But anything to put an opposing view down I guess….

  52. Henristic.Well you may as well say portsmouth then if you are counting City

  53. Markus,good one mate ,and you will hopefully be proven right

  54. LimparAssist | July 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

    “Who are these 5 – 6 clubs where winning trophies is ‘more of a priority’? Barcelona and Utd have won things in the last few years… who else? The rest have spent a lot and won diddly bing fuck nothing.”

    Apart from the three I already mentioned, you can add Harry’s Portsmouth to the list. they certainly did prioritize winning (FA cup) over their long term future, and suffered heavily for it.

  55. Ah, Geroge, I see you spoke my mind already

  56. i meant George, of course

  57. What on earth are you babbling about, Henners… I haven’t shifted anything.

    I think we’ll buy a centreback. I have always said that. I just think he will either be;

    a) another technical, mobile athlete
    b) 3rd/4th choice emergency ‘height’ cover – and therefore not used very much.

    If you find someone as good in the air as Vermaelen and as good a footballer as Koscielny then I’d be interested.

  58. Jabba's delights


    Chels, Utd, Inter, Barca, Bayern and lets not forget Real who are the most glamourous club in the world to play for (can i say that or will i get shot) and thats before we mention city.

    There are yoru 5 or 6

  59. I seem to remember a few months ago Ivan was saying something along the lines of the season ticket renewals rate being worryingly high. Perhaps our lack of silverware is a cunning plan in order to get rid of some of the anti support we have inside the ground and replace it with passionate, supportive, less fickle types. Long may it continue.

  60. “If you find someone as good in the air as Vermaelen and as good a footballer as Koscielny then I’d be interested.”

    And available

  61. On the big defender discussion, I recall a game between united and everton where duncan ferguson was supposed to cause Laurent Blanc all sorts of problems. Now we all know blanc was an old blanc and was quite woeful at times, but that game, DF as i recall did not win a single header against class always shows as a CB and is way more important than just the physical attributes

    I believe in TV, Kos and JD we have all the potential and class in the world, just a little experience should go a long way…For Kos it was his first season for crying out loud and JD just back from injury=almost his first season and TV did not play..It should all be so much better this time around

    The bigger concern for me is cover and competition for Song, especially with the ACN, I will be very surprised if wenger does not sign someone for that position..

  62. I seem to remember a sadly epic thread involving yourself, Henristic – nothing unusual there of course – about how you don’t think Arsenal have been trying to win things over the past few years. Although accidentally we’ve come very close a couple of times. I’m not getting into that with you because I find you a torturously tedious to talk to.

  63. Bayern? Inter? Farkin ell. Have a bit of pride.

  64. LimparAssist | July 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    That’s not what I accused you of ‘shifting’ on, but no matter….

    On your two points, I couldn’t agree more, and I’m now wondering what the point of your 10.30 post was??

  65. I think both TV5 and Kos are good centre backs, but they are quite similar and not nessasarily a good pairing. You need players who compliment each other (and not on their new hairstyle). A more dominant CB (who could organise the defence) to parnter TV5 would be the perfect scenario. Kos would provide the perfect cover for TV5.

    If we can get that, we might well have the best CB pairing in the lge.

  66. You see. Can’t be doing with all that circular, “oo but what can you mean?”, “no no no do enlighten us”. Bollocks

  67. If Wenger and Gazidis were in charge in 1995 would we have signed him?.He was a world class player and we didnt make him into one.Gazidis needs to look at our finishing positions since 2005.Instead of spouting bullshit

  68. Dennis Bergkamp

  69. @goonerandy

    I think the complementing Centre halves argument is a bit flawed, are you saying a defence with beckenbauer and blanc in the middle would have suffered?

    I believe quality centre halves automatically compliment each other.and except for rio and vidic, you will have to look long and hard to name a similar successful pairing at present

  70. Jabba's delights


    Inter won the league in 5 of the last 6 years and won the cl. Bayern consistently spend huge amounts to remain competative Gomez, Ribery, Robben, Neur to name but a few. There is no shame in addmiting it.

    With regards to that big thread all we said was we thought arsenal could do more to win things and be trully competative points wise in the prem. We have got above 80 once in 6 years. I said Chamack (free), Squilaci (4m) and Kosciallny (8m) wasnt all we could do last summer………….am i wrong?

    Anyway one isnt trying to be negative you like Shotta yesterday is the person bringing the tone down.

  71. LimparAssist | July 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I seem to remember a sadly epic thread involving yourself, Henristic – nothing unusual there of course – about how you don’t think Arsenal have been trying to win things over the past few years. Although accidentally we’ve come very close a couple of times. I’m not getting into that with you because I find you a torturously tedious to talk to.

    Lol, fair enough.
    I noticed you tend to jump in to oppose whatever I say and sometimes end up contradicting yourself. Read my posts properly first and you’ll find they aren’t quite as disagreeable as you think.

    Case in point, the ‘epic thread’ you referred to was about whether Arsenal was trying ALL it could to win things. You’ll find there is a world of difference compared to how you framed it. Its all in the details, Jose!

  72. “I think both TV5 and Kos are good centre backs, but they are quite similar and not nessasarily a good pairing.”

    But as they have not had a run then they might be.Why assume you need a heads and tails type pairing.
    That’s a bit like saying you need a big un and a little un up front .The game develops,dispite what Tony Pulis thinks

  73. @Gooner Ted
    Stop spouting BS. Dennis Bergkamp was an absolute bargain when we got him. If there was a player of similar quality etc. available for a price far below market rate, you can bet your sorry arse that we would be in it for that player.
    But nowadays such situations simply do not arise anymore because the times when we were the only club looking outside of England to sign are over. If such a situation would arise today, ManC and Chelsea would certainly be in it for that player and we just can’t compete in a bidding war with them so we have to look for gems that slipped past the other club’s radars.

  74. They may have done, who knows?

    Terry/Carvahlo was a very effective pairing for Chelsea for years. I do think that a good mix of players is more potent than simply good technical players.

  75. George – Fair points, and you may be right. I just think for us our CB pairing of Kos and TV5 is too similar. Bearing in mind we already have a fairly small team, this is expoloited by the opposition on a regular basis.

  76. Barring injuries, I feel the TV5/Kos/Djourou combination provides a strong spine and cover. What makes me shit bricks is the thought of a Gibbs/Traore combination at RB. Gibbs is fine though he is inexperienced but Traore’s positional play was not very impressive. We might regret losing Clichy despite his occasional faults

  77. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    “and that’s before we mention City”

    What a fucking cunt you are, JD. Get the fuck outta here with that rubbish.

  78. Andy ,I covered the same thing in an earlier post.

    Ted………………….Andrei Arshavin……..So yes we would have signed Dennis.

  79. CB needed
    enter: Chris Samba

    Buying Samba ahead of Cahill= less money, more influential, would balance out playing time better (gone for 2 months @ACN) in 2011/12, and
    when Squillaci leaves next year Bartley & Miquel can fight for the vacancy.

    -ves= not home grown, away @ ACN

    Having many CBs might also negate the need for DM cover for Song as I feel Verm, Kos & Frimp* can pay DM.

    *assuming he’s not with Ghana ACN

  80. @goonerandy

    I do not completely disagree with that..My point being that out and out quality trumps all..and reading of the game is an important facet of if you have two good readers of the game..with games under the belt and improvement in communication you get a combination much better, than one with a centre back who is not so adept technically..and hence i believe Kos and TV will be a very good pairing..

  81. Jabba's delights


    Your right that would be a wondeful cb pairing but is it built to consistently perform in the prem. Can it take the physical exertion of a stoke and Bolton attack twice in a week. Remember wininng the league is abotu consistency.

    Kosciellny and Vermalan are wonderful cultured cb and in think can form a genius cb pairign in europe and for some prem games. Neither of their strengths lies in repelling aerial bombardments. You probably wouldnt put either in the top 10 aerial cb in the league. In a league where the opposition have very little of the ball against us they are going to make dam sure that they try and exert pressure on our weakneeses which happen to be in the air.

    Wouldnt it be logical for some of these games to have a titan at the back who much better at dealing with this bombardment than Bobby Moore, Beckenbauer, Baressi or even our very own Vermalan and Kosciellny will ever be.

    It just makes sense to me to have a squad that can deal with more challenges that opposition might throw up. I love the gervinho signing because of this and iw ill love it if we get a cahill or samba.

  82. @JD
    Bayern spent, and they were still outclassed every single step of the way by a team that consisted of a mix of youth players with some experienced foreign professionals that no one really paid huge attention to until after they came to Dortmund (Kagawa, for example. . Sounds familiar?
    What does it tell us that despite spending shitloads of money on Gomez, Ribery, Robben etc Bayern still couldn’t overcome Dortmund?

  83. I actually think the Koscielny-Vermaelen partnership is very dynamic andy. My only concern was having two left-footers together, but having reviewed Koscielny’s play he seem to be predominantly right footed! Although very comfortable with the left too.

    Not sure why I had the impression he was left-footed for an entire year…

  84. Evil,
    That football isn’t totally predictable and there are no guarantees?

  85. I noticed this nugget from our our legal eagle turned football expert which simply blew my mind:
    “One thing i take from his quotes though is that there is absolutely zero chance of Samir staying unless he signs his contract very quickly

    ”But because we run a self-sufficient club we have to think about the efficiency of the spend.”

    Based on the limited quotes from Gazidis, coming to such an iron-clad conclusion simply defies commonsense. But then again I am simply a layman who remembers the adage of my English teachers; you are judged by what you write.

  86. Jabba, In his first season with us lots of pundits were raving about Vermaelen’s aerial ability and leap so yes, I would put him in the top 10 aerial defenders in the league.

  87. Jabba's delights


    You need to chill out mate and get with the times. There is no rudness in the thread today just good debate so if you havent got anything to add maybe you should f^ck off.

    If you cant get your head round that city are an excting project for players and not just because of the cash your going to struggle. I hate city but the fact is they have changed the landscape of english football and are here for a while. They got their first bit of silverware in 30 odd years last year and i fully expect them to be up there in the league and possibly the cl this season. No, they arent barca, utd, chels, real, inter or bayern but that why i used them in the next sentance.


  88. @JD

    Thats precisely why i gave the blanc vs duncan ferguson point being a talented classy CB pairing can and on most occasions will deal with any aerial threat to the point of embarrassing the big huge powerful centre forward..the high line and balls down the middle are a bigger concern which I am sure wenger will sort out this season..

    As far as set pieces are concerned its something the whole team needs to work on and CB pairing is not such a big factor..Leap more important than height again and TV is amazing at that..

  89. I will be very disappointed if we sign Samba.Talk about a square peg

  90. Jabba’s delights | July 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

    You need to chill out mate and get with the times. There is no rudness in the thread today just good debate so if you havent got anything to add maybe you should f^ck off.

    And you don’t see the irony in that ?

  91. Jabba's delights


    TV5 has a wonderful leap and he plays much bigger than someoen who is 5 foot 10 bbecause of that. The fact is though mate he is short, so if you have a tall attacker or defender at a corner who also has a good leap and is aggressive its more likley he will win the ball. Look at Zamora goal final game of the season, he just got beaten by the taller guy.

    Im not shitting on TV5 i think he is great but we wernt very good at set pieces in his 1st year as well.

    Lets have players playing to their strengths. Do i want tv5 or Kosicellny going up against drogba or davies for the 1st ball………….absolutely not i want them sweeping where they can use their pace, balance and timing.

    There are many cb in the league i think are better in aerial duels than those 2. I think there are no cb in the league who compare to them on the ground so when you mix the 2 we have 2 very good cb’s. Im just saying for certain games it makes sense to have a player who can dominate aerial duels with the best of them.

  92. Jabba's delights


    Look at this post then come back to me. Its people who’s only comments are rude and sayu nothing about football which make it pointless

    And with regard to Samba i think it makes sense as he will be happier to sit on the bench for alot more games and considering eht quality fo our other cb’s that could be inmportant. I wouldlove him away at stoke. bolton, newcastle etc.

    we need english now though due to the rules

  93. You’d be right to, Markus.

    Aerial duels won 10/11

    Nemanjda Vidic 67%
    Christopher Samba 68%
    Vincent Kompany 70%
    Thomas Vermaelen 73%

    The really impressive thing though, is when you look at his tackling, interceptions and, yes, Beckenbauer fans, his pass completion.

    He also scored more goals in his debut season than popular chicken-looking midfielder Luka Modric has managed in three seasons. #justsayin

  94. george rodger | July 19, 2011 at 11:26 am
    All the evidence this summer indicates that a big monster CD is not among Wenger’s priorities. I find it hard to process in my mind how we would simply turn on a switch in the middle of a game; bring on the big lump and our defenders simply drop 10 yards deeper on the edge of the penalty area and simply dig in for an aerial assault. No doubt the opposing manager will be clueless and not negate this tactic by bringing on a pair of nippy players to force us even further on the backfoot. Makes interesting fantasy football though.

  95. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Next? Fuck off. Stop whining, too. Aren’t you a big tough Rugby guy? You pretty much implied they are a bigger club and that’s just not on, JD. Arsenal are world wide and have been for many years. City aren’t in our class and frankly the fact that you consider what they are doing to be an exciting project is truly fucking disgusting. You stay true to your name, I’ll give you that. But please do fuck off already.

  96. The thing is, Vermaelen IS that good in the air. His stats for aerial duels are clearly on par with players perceived to be dominant in the air. He has won 73% of his aerial duels this season, compared to Rio F. at 72%, Micah Richards at 75% and JT at 71%. The problem is rather that everyone else has been below par. Sagna has still been good at 68% aerial duels won but Djourou, . Samba is actually WORSE in the air statistically than Vermaelen because he only wins 68% of his duels. You can say what you want, but stats point that there is no friggin way that Vermaelen would NOT be in the top 10 for aerial duels.

  97. I tend to agree with Shotta. I think whoever comes in, for it to be a worthwhile signing, would have to be someone the team are happy with in any given game. That means good in the air, but also he can’t just be a huge immovable lump – he has to be able to fit into the system amd play.

    This is why, though I like him, I can’t see Chris Samba myself. Lack of mobility, lack of touch – and that’s not to mention he gives away more fouls than pretty much any centreback in the league. Which you can multiply 5-fold per game when you stick it in an Arsenal shirt.

  98. Evil

    Where did you find those stats? Also, TV5’s 300 minutes of football last year isn’t comparable to someone who has played nearly 2,500.

    If those stats are available so quickly, perhaps we should look at two years ago??

  99. You don’t really need stats to tell you that TV5 is a fucking hero. You just need to have watched him play.

  100. LA, I know that. I love the guy. But you and Evil have produced stats about aerial duels, I’m merely intrigued to thier location.

    You both came out with those very quickly – so can’t be hard to locate right?

  101. Jabba’s delights | July 19 , 2011 at 9:43 am

    Spot on Yogi Glazidis is just fricking awesome it fills me with confidence having him at the club. Yes he says the right things but i genuinlly believe what he says. One thing i take from his quotes though is that there is absolutely zero chance of Samir staying unless he signs his contract very quickly ”But because we run a self-sufficient club we have to think about the efficiency of the spend.” That works both ways. Its incredibly inefficent to keep Nasri with one year left on his contract in my oppinion. As said yesterday if he goes we move on Cesc, RVP are far more crucial and statistically both Theo and Andrei had a hand in more goals than him add to that Gervinho who i think will be a wonderful buy and i dont see it as a huge huge loss as long as we spend the money on a good replacement.

    Would you believe this? For the first time ever I agree with Jabba’s comments.

  102. Type it into google.

  103. @LUke
    Some of the sources:’s-Game-Give-Arsenal

    As for 2 years ago, I didn’t find proper stats yet, but someone on Arsenal-mania went through the Guardian chalkboards for the 2009/2010 season and his results were that Vermaelen and Sagna were best aerially (better than Gallas). He didn’t go through Chelsea/ManU/ManC games though, so it’s hard to compare with other teams, but at least it’s consistent with this years results (Sagna and Vermaelen are best in aerial duels this year for us as well). Still looking to see if I find some sort of comparison.

  104. @Luke
    Post awaiting moderation because of several links 😦 But yeah, I found ’em using the same method Limpar did.

  105. If AW can do find a “new vermalen” cheap, good and fitting our system then great. The player coming in however must be happy being squad player. No way we will drop kos/djorou/ Verm.
    How many 13M players are happy being squad players?

  106. Jabba's delights


    No i implied there were 5 or 6 clubs over the last few years who have done more to win trophies than us, even risking their financial future to do so. Players see these clubs as more competative then us in the past. The clubs i mentioned are pretty indiputable i then go on to mention City.

    Whether you or i think its an exciting project is irrelevant the fact is players do mate. They are the new Chels only with more cash and a better youth set up. If you haddnt noticed Chels have done quite well since Roman took over and players have been very excited about joining them. The pessamist in you will say its just becuase of money and maybe in the past that was true, however now they have cl football they ahve won a trophie and rest assured they are going to be competing for everything over the next few years and many players will be very excitied and willing to join them.

  107. Keep fighting the good fight LA.

    I’ve always been happy with the idea of going in to next season with TV, JD and LK. The longer this pre-season goes on, and I hear everyone moaning about our “lack of CBs”, the more I want us to buy one just to appease those fans. And then, it sounds awful, but I want them to be shown up and fail – just so that they can be proven wrong.

    As many have said before… square peg, round hole. This person has got to bring something new to the table, as well as fit our system of playing.

  108. Hey, avaris. Exactly. Fewest goals conceded from open play for a reason. Can’t heave that baby out with the bath water. Very useful baby to keep hold of.

  109. Exactly LA, and I want to see that baby nurtured by Arsenal (cue jibes about playing youngsters)

    One thing I want to see happen more this season is counter-attacks! This means that we need good ball-playing defenders with good vision, starting things from the back. I’m pretty sure that Gervinho is going to be a fantastic player for us, and will help with this. He’s far more direct, as well as being great at linking up play, and keeping possession.

    As mesmerising as our possession can be at times, sometimes I feel that we need that little kick – that inspiration – to step up the pace when a channel opens up.

  110. TV is a top player but how could anyone compare his 5 starts to other players who played the full season?

    Me I’d be careful of using him in games against hoofballers where he has to jump so much. All that jumping can’t be great for his achilles.

  111. Jabba, I think TV is a six-footer. By no means short for a footballer. Also if height determines aerial ability someone forgot to tell Tim Cahill.

  112. LA,

    I do find that very hard to believe. Considering we conceded 7 goals for laughable open play defending against WBA, Stoke and Newcastle.

    I really want to have egg all over my face, but I doubt you can find any stats/evidence to back up your claim of best open play defence in the league (this is, of course, ignoring how pointless such an accolade is)

  113. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    My goodness. Gushing over Manchester City on an Arsenal blog. Whatever you say, JD. They’re a classless club that will continue to get zero respect from me.

  114. Jabba's delights


    Similar sort of attidude to some people on le grove wanting wenger to fall flat on his face this year just to prove akb’s wrong…………..both of them equally shit attidudes.


    When wenger said that stat that was before conceding 7 goals in our last 3 games.

    We dont concede that many goals from open play fine, thats also due to teams not having the ball for very long against us. If you did a table to show goals conceded from open play when not in possesion we would be somewhere in the middle to bottom of the league. When teams have the ball it doesnt take them long to score against us……that sir is a fact

    So lets stop fooling around with stats, as they can suit both arguments. Here is how i see it. We concede to many goals far to many when you consider the opposition have the ball for 35% of a game. This needs to be improved. If wenger deems that we can do it internally thats fine by me but he falls on his sword if he doesnt improve the defence significantly this year. Why take the risk.

  115. Jabba's delights


    I hate city, but like i said has anythign ive just said about them not been true. Does it matter what you or i think or does it matter what players think. Get over your insecurity. City are a very very relevant club these days and here to stay until the sheik gets bored, i also think they are doing a better job than chels with the community and building infrastructure. The sooner you get this the less clueless you will look.

    My point about the other 5-6 clubs is completely correct and city must now be considered as attractive a destination for top stars as all of those as they can offer them everything now. In the past money was the main motivator now a player can go there to win things. Thats what i said and im right.

  116. @Luke
    Why is it pointless? It simply shows what this team excels at. It shows that while our set piece defending can be dodgy at times, the players we currently have are incredible at defending from open play.
    Anyway, the best defence thing has been said by Wenger in an interview in May and I think the Guardian article with all the funny numbers in it for last season confirmed it as well.

  117. Nasir Jones-Nasri


    LMFAO. That’s a good one. It’s funny how cynical you were about Denilsons back with regards to how it played a part with his form. You seemed to think that injury was no big deal but all of the sudden TV5’s achille is going to be our defenses achilles heel. It’s funny how you cut TV5 slack and concede an injury just might have a say in someones form. Too bad you couldnt cut Denilson the same slack. Very Le Groanesque stuff there, Henristic. Im sure his achillies will be fine. Looks fine thus far, but we shall see.

  118. The mere fact the City are based in Manchester should be enough to tell you that any players going there are doing so only for the money.Its a fucking dismal place.Horrible,and chalk full of……well…..Mancs. All walking around singing monotonous Happy Monday dirge’s.with their kagool’s zipped up and their pant around their knees.
    Project.FUCKING PROJECT,give it a rest

  119. Evil,

    I think Jabba’s point is very valid. In that, we concede a lot of goals from open play considering how little the opposition have the ball. The fact remains, we were poor as a defensive unit last year, the year before that and the year before that.

    I do think Frank has a solid point of not commiting both full backs into each attack being a style we could revert to. Simple positioning could aid our defensive frailities.

    You’d never see Dixon & Winterburn both past the half way line, same discipline was apparent in Cole & Lauren

  120. The open play thing reminded me of what Arseblogger said a few days ago:

    ”I get the point about conceding from open play, but open play and set pieces are all part of the same thing. You can’t say you’re a good driver but ‘just not that great at the whole steering bit’.”

  121. Interesting thoughts on the defender issue (from all). For those that think that a new more physical CB is not the answer, what do you envisage is the remedy to our set piece weakness? It is a genuine question, and not one to prevoke an argument.

    I would add that I refuse to believe that we have not worked on this issue on the training ground for some time now (without success), so that alone cannot be the answer. It could be, that the answer is somebody who will organise on the pitch better, but that still requires a new signing who will play week in, week out.

    One more thing to add, is that some have called for different players for different games. My personal opinion is that in defence, it is all about parnterships and understanding. If possible the back 4 should not really be tampered with.

  122. JD, I’m not condoning the attitude. It’s awful, either way you look at it. I was just expressing my frustration with people who are getting frustrated. If you catch my drift?

    The reality is that you’re never going to please everybody, no matter how hard you try, or how much money you spend.

    For me? I enjoy watching us play the football we play. We’re very lucky to have such an entertaining game played for us. Sometimes, it goes tits up, and I’m left absolutely fuming. But that’s football – you can’t win ’em all. On so many occasions, there has been such a fine line between success and failure.

    I’m not naive, I think there may be one or two tweaks that the team needs, but I think the changes lie in attitude and training, not necessarily personnel. The key thing is that once this season gets going, we’re all behind the team, because no matter what you think of them, it’s what we’ve got. Remember… “victoria concordia crescit”

  123. One thing we can eradicate very easily is the number of silly fouls we give away around the half way line.

  124. Andy ,Perhaps we should accept that with our set up are current playing staff that we will concede from set pieces,
    Concentrate on keeping even more possession,not conceding corners and free kick ,combined with scoring shit loads of goals 🙂
    At least we would enjoy the spectacle.

  125. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Whatever, JD. Enough of the long winded bullshit already. Keep it simple. I dont give a fuck about Citys infrastructure and what theyre doing in the community. They better be doing something in the community with all that fucking money. They’re still nowhere near Arsenal’s level. I’m done talking about financially doped clubs.

  126. Also, an interesting though (mentioned by JD) that whilst we have a good record from open play, considering how much ball the opposition have raises questions.

    That said, if we continue to keep the ball for long periods, that is a moot point. Although it would rely on us being in form, and not being able to rely on the defence if we are having a bad day.

  127. @GA
    Defensive organisation. Look at City: last season they conceded 45 goals (with new CBs), this season, after their CBs settled they were leaders in defence. You can see that virtually everywhere: new defensive partnerships need time to settle in. We had several new partnerships over the past two seasons which certainly did not help us get any defensive stability.

    First of all, we don’t commit both centre backs.Throughout the season, Clichy has been playing a more conservative role, especially when Arshavin was playing in front of him, Clichy stayed back most of the time.
    Secondly, but isn’t the fact that we allow the opposition so little of the ball a testament to the fact that we are defending well as a unit. if we were sloppy defensively as a unit as you make out, shouldn’t we lose more possession?

  128. 100% agree on attitude and training impacting our defensive issues.

    Basic things to eradicate (taught at every level from u 9’s, so no Wenger induced diploma required to pass successful comment)

    1. Dont give away freekicks when the opposing player is moving away from goal.Very simple
    2. Dont concede after scoring. Every single one of us has had a teacher, coach, teammate hammer down the importance of concentrating fully for the 5 minutes after scoring.

    How many times did we score last year, only to concede within 5 minutes of the other sides first meaningful attack.

  129. Luke said
    “I think Jabba’s point is very valid. In that, we concede a lot of goals from open play considering how little the opposition have the ball. The fact remains, we were poor as a defensive unit last year, the year before that and the year before that.”

    I am afraid that is true.
    But we can still triumph if we score more.
    Newcastle once almost did it. apart from what we used to call a “Devon Lock” and is now rather unkindly called and “Arsenal end of season capitulation”

  130. George – That might well be an option the management are prepared to consider, who knows? Arsene has already highlighted it as a problem though, so it would be criminal not to recify it. It is our Achiles Heel, and is costing us big time.

  131. Barcelona had close to 70% of possesion against us over 2 legs, and the difference between the two teams was one goal. Does that mean that Barca are bad as a defensive unit, because, according to their possession, they should’ve conceded far fewer goals against us?

  132. GA, perfectly valid question.

    You’re right to point out that training probably hasn’t worked out. Maybe it’s the people who are training them? Maybe it’s the formation, or the tactics?

    I realise I’m answering a question with more questions…

    As I said before, I think it’s more about attitude. I think that we’ve seen that our players are perfectly capable at times. What changes? They’re still good players.

    I’ve no doubt that every single one of our players wants to win. Who would play football if they didn’t want to win? It’s been a bit of a learning curve for these players. Most haven’t won anything, let alone with Arsenal. Maybe they don’t realise that they need a bit more drive?

    Many times before, the subject of enthusiasm has come up. Thinking that “such-and-such a team” is below them, that they can just go there and win. It’s these games that have frustrated us as supporters the most. Maybe we thought that once we were 4-0 up, that we were home and dry? Maybe we’re over-confident of our abilities? Maybe the gaffer is talking the players up too much? Maybe they need to prove their worth a bit more?

    I’m still answering questions with more questions and warbling on… but some food for thought.

  133. We were outstanding against Barca defensively, especially at the Camp Nou.

  134. NJN,
    Can’t believe you’d make such childish arguments based on faulty recollections of past discussions.

    First off where and how was I ..”cynical … about Denilsons back with regards to how it played a part with his form”? My own recollection of my part in any such discussion was about the Everton match where he slumped during the game. Go check and you’ll find that what I said was something like “I was concerned at first, but then Arsene himself said after the match that Denilson should have handled the ball”

    Secondly I’m not making excuses for TV, like you think I should be doing for Denilson. Very different scenarios dude, and you’d realise this if you take and deep breath and pause for a second, before jumping to conclusions about something I wrote. Jeez!

  135. Up until RVP’s sending off, we had completley contained them. We were on the verge of doing what so many teams do against us.

    I wouldnt use that game as a fair example of the seasons performance though.

  136. @avaris15
    Certainly sometimes complacency seems to creep in and it has been a major source for consternation. Sometimes concentration just seems to slip and we tend to make silly fouls in the worst circumstances when there was clearly no need for it. I think we gave away 3 or 4 needless penalties, because either the players was moving away from goal or because of stupid handballs (I am looking at you, Cesc.). Unfortunately those are somewhat psychological issues and I really don’t know how to fix those. How to tell a team that even at 4:0 up you can’t put your legs up?
    Though we sometimes seem to put our legs up even when we are leading 1:0.

  137. Evil – True, but is that going to come with what we have IMO. I see no evidence that it is. To compare us to M City to not really realistic; they are a team set up to defend, whilst we are not. Either way I am talking about set pieces. It is complete chaos when defending set pieces because nobody takes control at the back. We need to get somebody in that will do this.

    It can’t be argued that we have players who can do this, becasue if that were the case we would not witness the shambles we do at set pieces. More often than not the opposition don’t even do anything special.

  138. Evil | July 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm
    “Barcelona had close to 70% of possesion against us over 2 legs, and the difference between the two teams was one goal. Does that mean that Barca are bad as a defensive unit, because, according to their possession, they should’ve conceded far fewer goals against us?”

    No, but they clearly weren’t great defensively in the games against us, because we are much, much better in attack than your average team. Most teams don’t managed to do as well against them as we did, so you can’t extrapolate like that.

    If La liga was full of teams like Arsenal though, you would have a point.

  139. Oh well, Luke ‘s made my point already

  140. @GA
    But that argument in itself is invalid. Look at Chelsea, 2009/10, when they won the EPL, they conceded 63% of their goals from set pieces, makes it a whopping 20 goals from set pieces — compared to 24 goals from set pieces we conceded this year. However I don’t think anyone would say that Chelsea lack organisation at the back or vice versa.

    Anyway, both Bolton and Blackburn have conceded more goals from dead ball situations (i.e. corner/free kick, not counting penalties) than we did. Is that a proof that Samba/Cahill are players that take control at the back and will do what’s necessary?

  141. Avaris – All decent points. I have mentioned it before, but I don’t think there is enough responsibility in the side in general. The players don’t seem to be held to account for switching off (from other players). Just my thoughts.

  142. @Evil

    Complacency was the key word I was missing – thank you. As you say, it’s the silly little things that seem to be our downfall. Cutting out those mistakes would be a good start.


    Would you not entertain the idea that Vermaelen might be that guy? He seems to be a powerful character at the back. Many have suggested him as a captain before because of his leadership qualities. Also, having Szczesny at the back as our number 1? He’s showed that he’s not afraid to bark out orders.

    I’m not suggesting that a new defender wouldn’t be welcome. But surely there are ways of sorting these things other than just the now-mandatory “we need to buy a new defender” mantra.

  143. george rodger

    So it seems that all we need is a seven foot tall CB with a leap like a salmon.the speed of Theo the passing of Cesc ,running with the ball of TH and the vision of Dennis,Combined,of course with the lungs of pavarotti,the demeanor of a Sargent Major and the 1000 yard stare of a combat veteran marine.
    As it happens I know of such a person but I am not going to disclose it here.An E mail is on its way to HQ imminently

  144. Evil – Fair points. But then we are back to the ratio point again; do Blackburn and Bolton defend many more corners than we do. I would imagine they do so by a significant amount. But you are right, if the like of Cahill and Samba are not “organisers”, then maybe we should be looking elsewhere.

    I suppose that all depends on what Arsene see’s as the cause of the problem; lack of organisation, or, lack of physicality/presence.

  145. Avaris – He would be the most likely I think. I also agree about Szchezny, he looks to have a bit more authority about him than our other keepers.

  146. Evil @ 1:11, excellent points.

  147. What I feel we missed this season the most was a potent threat from set pieces. Last season Gallas, Vermaelen and even Silvestre were useful and chipped in with their fair share of headed goals from corners. This season, we seemed to lack that completely. Kos scored twice, Djourou and Squillaci once each. Compare that to last season, where Vermaelen alone scored more goals than those three combined. (He scored 7 times)
    When we couldn’t break down teams from open play, we couldn’t break them down full stop. Last season we scored 16 times from set pieces, this season just nine times. In my opinion if one of our defenders would’ve managed to step into Vermaelen’s shoes and score a couple more goals, that could’ve helped us in major way.

  148. Correlation v. Cause

    “Height correlates to preventing goals” Really?

    Our goals allowed defense was very effective in Flamini/Hleb’s last season. The pairing of Gallas and Toure……. Don’t see much height from either of these players.

    Barca played Masherano at CB for the CL Final v. ManU. He’s listed at only 5’8-1/2″ (174cm)

    As stated earlier…..these teams with tall CB’s – Samba, Cahill, Shawcross, Hangleland, etc….how many goals did their respective teams concede? Far more than Arsenal.

    We have 4 solid CB options and Miguel.

  149. Guardiala quoted as saying we are prepared to negotiate over Cesc. Hope not.

    Arsesession – To be fair Manure hardly got out of their own half in the CL final. I could have played there. 😉

  150. Interesting comment from Guardiola (today):

    “It is scary the amount of games we have to play,” said Guardiola.

    “Last year we were interested in Cesc but Arsenal didn’t place him on the market. This year they have agreed to negotiate and that’s what we’re doing. Market prices are what they are but we have in the end that everything will be sorted out.”

    “There is some money in a box (set aside) for this player and we will try until the last day to bring Cesc because he will make our squad better. But I’m the first to understand that sometimes things can’t happen.”

    “some money in a box” – classic!

    Didn’t Arsene tell us that the dust will settle by the end of July. 12 more days!

  151. @ GA 1:31
    didn’t base my entire comment on the Mascherano example…..but it does reflect the thinking and belief from Guardiola.

    I believe Puyol is not much taller – maybe the same height as Vermaelen? not sure….

  152. Alex Ice Cream

    First Alvarez, now Campbell. I am not bothered about missing out on these players but its worrying that we can’t even tie-up deals for unknowns these days. At least Gervinho is some good news.

    CL qualifiers not that far away and still we are more concerned with who is leaving than who is arriving.

    Nasri will be sold for less than he’s worth or run down his contract, we couldn’t even give Denilson away, none of the other deadwood has gone and worst of all we will probably sell the best player in the world bar Messi for around 40-45m which is barely more than Andy Carroll cost. Cesc is worth a minimum of 60m. Barca paid more than that for that clown Ibrahimovich.

  153. Does Barca have some sort of “Buy Cesc” piggy bank? Maybe all of Barca’s players have been saving their change so they can buy Cesc? They’ll probably be able to bring their offer of 26 million to something like 26,000,083.62 now. I sure hope we don’t accept that.

  154. @arsesession
    Puyol is smaller. 178cm compared to Vermaelen’s 183cm. Doesn’t stop Puyol from being the best defender in the world,though.

  155. Another quote from the genius of the impeccable blogger we all love to reference?
    Please. Sort yourselves out you courageous souls.

    Paolo Sousa can be quoted from the 09-10 season as saying that Arsenal needed to improve their defending on ‘Transitions’. They were getting ‘caught out too often’.
    Now, I have a tiny fucking football brain. You’d need an electron microscope to pick it up. and I have no idea what the great Portugese legend was on about. None whatsoever. He was a great playmaker, talking abot D_Fense. Which is against the rules of Gr*tball, but there you have it.

    Anyway, the very next season that this same Arsenal team had the best record from ‘open play’, including these ‘Transistion’ thingymajobbies*.
    Make of that what you will.

    *I think it’s a secret footyspeak word for not being ‘stoned’, as OleGunner would write.

  156. Gervinho, in an interview with L’Equipe today, said that the negotiations with Lille were not completed until Saturday. That’s why he was not officially announced until yesterday.

    When asked why he has joined a club which has not won a trophey since 2005 and a team that has problems (un club malade) he replied, ” I don’t have the impression that they have problems, just a few difficult moments last season when they lost important games and nothing which a little bit of care won’t sort out”

    He also said that Paddy Vieira told him that Arsenal were a good club. Vieira is also one of his idols, he said.

    He mentioned that he will probably play on the right but Wenger has told him he will also play on the left and possibly (dans l’axe) central.
    Seems like a good lad.

  157. Anyone see arsenals insider article on campell not coming?

  158. Evil,, who has Puyol got playing alongside him?, 6ft 4 inch Pique !

  159. Gervinho is going to be a legend.

  160. cesc not going anywhere i dont know why anyone believes he will, evil i agree with your reasoning re not having goals from central defence, which leads me to mky point and my only concirn regarding the squad, imagine tv and koz both out injured, we have a lot of important gsames coming up and we rely on djoro (sorry) and squilachi, im sorry but thare are better players out there and why wouldnt we want to improve the team in the right areas and that includes the squad, i like miguell butn imo the other two are going to make some big mistakers just as they did last season, we dropped points by making individual mistakes last year i hope it doesnt happen again

  161. Puyol plays next to Pique who despite being a twat, is a big bloke, and wins lots in the air (a good mix and partnership). Puyol is essential to Barca as he is their organiser, which goes back to my original point. We don’t seem to have one.

  162. The Campbell situation is quite simple. Richard Law arrived in Costa Rica, saw the player’s father, negotiated a deal with a club, and everything was agreed.

    The details of this were leaked to the press somehow.

    Then, some other c*nts decided to get in on the act. Probably the norther chavs or sp*ds.

    Campbell’s father then announced they needed time to think.

    Arsenal then pulled out and didn’t show up for a final scheduled meeting after a reported medical.

  163. I can’t wait to see Gervinho against Köln this weekend. Hope Cesc can play too.

  164. Finsbury – By “transitions” he means the moment we lose the ball. And the season before last he would have been bang on. We often lost possesion and found ourselves completelty exposed. I think we were better at this last year, and was also more “cynical” when losing the ball. i.e, breaking up play, small fouls, etc.

  165. @Gunnerjones
    “Not good enough for the Premier League”-Pique, you mean? Just joshing. I am still wondering if Fergusson is biting his own arse cause he sold Pique back. Now he has had to buy Smalling and Jones who both will never be as good as Pique.
    On a more serious note. Who was playing with Puyol in the season when they won the CL in 2006? 6 ft 0 in Marquez!

  166. Boomer – “cesc not going anywhere i dont know why anyone believes he will”

    Er, because he wants to leave?

    If Barca come up with an acceptable offer, there is no doubt at all that he will leave.

  167. Muppet, i thought it was the Campbell and his father that didn’t show up?

  168. Am I the only one to think that perhaps pure height isn’t all there is to it?

    Sure, someone who’s 7ft is going to have a better chance than someone who is 5’6″, but surely it’s mostly about anticipation of the ball, quick reactions, strength, and positioning?

  169. The barca players seem to love the club so much but does anyone have an idea how much they earn a week I heard it’s so high they even have take out a loan for it when there late to pay…?

  170. A few weeks ago I thought we would sell Nasri, but keep Cesc. Now I am strting to think that the main reason we are keeping Nasri (even for only one season) is that Arsene knows it would be a disaster to lose both in one season. If we really are negotiating with Barca, it is a clear message that we are willing to sell.

  171. @goonerandy

    That’s a big “if” though, isn’t it? Do you think they’ll be able to stump up enough cash to get Arsenal in talks? Not this year. Pep said himself that Sanchez is a bigger priority right now.

  172. Heh Goonerandy, cheers.

    So, there we have it. A squad with some tweaking here and there managed to significantly improve their ‘defensive play’ last season. All is not lost. Keep the faith my Gooners in arms.

  173. Avaris – Yeah, I would agree with that. Tim Cahill is a perfect example of this. But if you can get somebody with good timing who also happens to be pretty tall…..then that has to be a winner.

  174. Henristic,

    Hmmm… interesting.

    My guess is that Arsenal would have pulled out. They wouldn’t have wanted to get into a bidding war. And they would have told Campbell’s father + Campbell to keep their gob shut and been annoyed that they did not.

  175. @avaris
    Exactly my point. I don’t see any evidence of any kind that says that a mix between a big and a small guy is better (or worse) than two tall defenders or two small defenders. In the end it comes down to the individual quality of the players, sometimes you can compensate a lack of quality with size (just look at Zigic or Crouch. They can’t play football for f*cks sake.) but in the end quality will prevail.

  176. @goonerandy

    Yes, but it’s not absolutely essential is it? I just hate how heights are being compared as if nothing else matters at all. There’s more to it than that.

    And I assume you mean Gary, not his Australian namesake?

  177. Avaris – According to Guardiola they are in talks. They made an offer, and we made a counter offer. I really hope they don’t come up with the cash.

  178. GA @ 1:47
    good point about the importance of a good organizer……Vermaelen will be our man and was sorely missed last season.

    Defending set plays: most of the time its not really either of our CBs at fault, but our midfielders and attackers not doing defensive diligence.

  179. @goonerandy

    Yes, but as much as I admire Guardiola’s style of football, I take everything he says with a pinch of salt. Same as everything else any Barcelona player says. It’s all a plan to unsettle Cesc, and I ain’t buyin’ it.

    So much so that my new away shirt has Cesc’s number on. And I plan on keeping his signed boots.

  180. I wonder, are those comments by Guardiola some sort of reaction to Gazidis’s statement yesterday?

  181. re: organization in the defense
    starts with the goalkeeper and their dominance in the box…..

  182. @Arsesession

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s about defending as a team. This is especially true when defending set pieces.

    Organisation is the solution here. Not buying tall players just because they’re tall. We’re not Stoke, FFS!

  183. seen reports that barca are going to wait until end of transfer window before making satisfactory bids (no idea how true this is). If this is true however we should tell them to do one. Either they stump up the cash in the next 12 days or they piss off, as leaving it until the last minute before we can arrange to sign a replacement is ridiculous

  184. Hi Guuuoooner, apparently this list is pretty reliable:

    Even with my maths I can tell that’s 10% of the top 100 earners in football playing for Barcelona.

  185. @Evil

    I’m sure it’s a direct response to Gazidis’ comments yesterday. As I say, it’s all a plan.

  186. I agree with FinGunn @ 7:49 and

    CBob @9:48
    Twas the same last season. With an open mind for an opportunistic signing if the player hands in a transfer request, like a Tevez or Modric. (Two stories that were not on the back pages every day in June & July. How odd.)
    Either that or all connected with Barca are seriously stoopid.

  187. Avaris – No, I did mean Tim. I was using him as an example of a shortarse who wins lots in the air due to his movement, aggression, and timing. I agree that the height thing is not desicive, although if the right player was brought in it is an area in which we are short (no pun intended).

  188. Great post yogi:

    Ivan certainly says the right things but we have all heard the same thing before. I will be very surprised if we have any other “significant signings” this year. I have no idea why our management make statements like that since it just makes things worse for the club if signings do not happen. Wouldn’t it be smarter to say nothing. We all complain endlessly about the media yet the club continues to pour gasoline on the fire. Not sure I understand.

    I have made my feelings clear on the whole cb issue many times so I will spare everyone a long rant It seems almost negligent at this point to not acknowledge the possibility that those calling for a ” lump” of a cb might be right given the results of the last several seasons. According to Ivan we have plenty of money so why not at least bring someone into the squad. If it turns out that tv and kos become the greatest cb pairing in history and the lump ends up as 5th choice there is no real harm done.

  189. george rodger

    Cesc will not be sold late on.
    If that Campbell kid did not turn up then he is not our type is he?So fuck him and his Dad

  190. @goonerandy

    Fair enough. Good example, just at t’other end of the field.

    Because it’s quicker for me to ask on here, how tall is Gervinho? And of those goals he’s (or “they’ve” – I get confused) scored, were many of them with his rather large forehead?

    In fact, has anyone got a DECENT video of him? My limited YouTube searches have only thrown up a couple of very low res videos. A compilation of goals and/or assists from last season would be awesome.

  191. Jabba “There is no rudness in the thread today just good debate”
    Fuck off.

  192. Avaris @. 2:12 Arsesession @2:11

    Don’t you both think we have been trying to do that for the last 3 years?

    We all expected this summer to be different then business as usual yet nothing has changed so far. We all expected more activity player wise and a many of us actually believed last years issues would finally be the catalyst for bringing in a defensive coach since nothing we had done in the past few years had worked well enough Expecting our defense to react any differently and suddenly figure out how to defend as a team when nothing else has changed might be a bit of wishful thinking.

  193. “I think I can offer something else. I am a little bit different to the other centre-backs. I like the physical side of the game and I see myself as a leader. If Arsene decides that he wants me in the first team then that will be fantastic”

    Quotes from Bartley. Not saying he is the answer (because I don’t think he is), but his mention of being a leader and like the physical side of the game are interesting (in being different from the other CB’s).

  194. @Bill
    Don’t you think it might be a tiny bit difficult to organise a defence properly with new defensive partnerships each season while at the same time we have some sort of merry-go-round for the goalkeeper position because they keep getting those freak injuries?

  195. Evil @ 2:05.

    How can have watched what has happened the last few years and believe that “in the end quality will prevail”. Haven’t we had the most quality for several years running? Not downplaying the importance of quality but clearly a better mix of players even if some have lesser technical quality can trump pure technical skill. We should at least have some players on the squad who offer different physical attributes since that is something we have lacked in the last several years.

  196. Wot? Less technical players? Eh.

    You mean like Big Phil Senderos?
    The player who was the best CB on the pitch when England last played Switzerland, a result of Djourou’s post dislocation form (never seen a player struggle on return after that injury. Eh Theo?).

    Sorry chaps, bit acording to all the ‘realists’, Senderos was not ‘Arsenal quality’ (though he outperformed one day earlier this summer the immortal legends Terry and Ferdy).

  197. bit<but according…

  198. You sound very weary today, Bill. Are you dying?

  199. @Bill

    Are you of the belief that simply signing someone new will sort out our defence? Surely, this new defender would be exposed to the same “defensive issues” our team has? Trained the same way? I don’t think it’s as simple as that. If changes are to be made, it needs to be the training. Whether that’s the methodologies, or the training staff. Psychologically, something needs to change.

    Having another defender would of course give the current CB’s something to think about. Knowing that they need to be at their best to keep their place. But then, where are you going to find a decent defender that is willing to sit on the bench, waiting for their chance? We’re not going to blow our budget on a defender who will replace our current CBs – that’s just a reality I think you’ll have to deal with.

    I’d much rather see Bartley or Miquel given a chance. Both will be decent CBs I’m sure, given the opportunity.

    And as Evil says, now that we have some sort of stability at the back, you want to go and mess that all up? It’s a matter of opinion, but the best CBs in the world are always known for working as a pair. One is not the same without the other.

  200. Kyle Bartley has said on the official website that he will probably stay with the team this coming season and hopes to be included in the squad for the game against Cologne.

    English, 6′ 3″, experience gained in Scotland. CB sorted and competition for Squillaci.

  201. Jabba's delights


    I think your missing the point slightly. Barcelona dont play in the prem so dont have the aerial bombardment that we get. Barcelona are also alot more adept at keeping possession and most importantly scoring goals when they have the ball. Utd didnt get one corner all game in the cl final. Kosicellny and TV5 are perfectly suited for europe and most prem games but the fact is they will struggle on a consistent basis when against the Bolton, Newcastle, stokes and blackburns of this world as their games arent suited to constant aerial duels. im sure barca would concede alot more goals if they were in the prem as the giving away of fouls would hurt them due to the size and aggression of english teams from the resulting set peices. However Pique puyol are better in the air than TV5 Kosicellny

  202. @finsbury

    I miss Senderos. He was fantastic. Just unfortunate that he made some mistakes that some supporters will never forgive him for. I’m glad that he’ll be playing regularly for Fulham next season.

  203. Kyle Bartley will have to be patient but there is no reason why he cannot come in and ‘do a Jackie Wilshere’ if the chance comes up.

    Kyle and Iggy will compliment eachother very well I think. Should get a good look at that in the Cups.

  204. Evil:

    I understand your point but we had galles toure song cliché sagna etc the same for. 2 yrs. Year before last we added only tv and the rest of the back 6 including Dm and gk were the same and we were a shambles. Putting 2 mobile aggressive cb together has not worked in the past. It fine to believe again and again that next yeAr will be different but we have the resources to at least have some different options if your wrong. My own beliefs is that we are going to struggle again this year if we don’t do anything different. You disagree and nothing wrong with that. I don’t advocate getting rid of TV Kos or JD just have the option to do something different if I’m right

  205. You don’t happen to live anywhere near Rüsselsheim do you, andy? There is a great little band playing something called the Phono Pop Festival there… possibly this weekend.

  206. Bartley > Squillaci

  207. I see we are still on the CB and Cesc stories. Good God will the season just start already!!!

  208. NO Stew there was no rudeness till NJN came along and now you too, so do us a favor and fuck off as things have actually been nice and civil on here for a change, dont go ruining it.

  209. george rodger

    And the award for”making people feel like boring bastards”goes to …………………………………………………………………………..Irishgray

  210. Pep claiming he has until 31st Aug, I thought we had given them a deadline of 31st July. Yet again Barcelona attempt to dictate what we do with OUR player.

    On the subject of CBs, there is so much talk about targets in the CB position but does anybody really think we are going to sign another CB?

    Kyle Bartley announced on the website today that he is ready to play for the first team. Do people just assume that a player thinks he wants to put a story up on the website for the hell of it? The last part of the article said, “He has said he doesn’t want me going on loan yet and he hasn’t made his mind up. My hopes are the same as every year, to be an Arsenal first-team player. Hopefully, this year, that will happen”. So Arsenal are just looking for web page fillers?

    We potentially have 6 CBs to choose from next season if you include Miquel and Bartley, which seems to suggest that AW isn’t shopping for a central defender at present.

  211. I don’t want that cunt Pepsi Guardiola anywhere near my football club. Bad enough that he tucks his jumper into his trousers but his lack of respect towards fellow professionals is just appalling. I would say that his Spanish club are in crisis. There is clearly an enormous division between him and Cruyff and various other factions. I am not too concerned about Cesc going or staying, but I do know which club is in control of the situation and it is the one the press and media like to put down at every opportunity. I don’t want to stereotype but are Spanish people always so pathetic about leaving their mummies and daddies? Cesc is a grown man. No grown man worth his salt would ever go and live at home after leaving. Only cissies do that.

  212. @irishgray

    I’ve just been watching recordings of some of last season’s great games to pick me up. Makes you feel much better.

    Roll on next weekend. Can’t wait to be back at the Emirates. Will be good to see Thierry and his big bushy beard too!

  213. I agree with Frank.

  214. Bill @ 2:57 – Good post.

  215. @Bill
    But those seasons(when we had Gallas + Toure) we conceded below 40 goals which is the standard for us and we didn’t have the set piece problems we are having now.(We have NEVER been a team that concedes less than 30 goals a season btw. Since the turn of the century there’s been only one instance when we conceded less than 30 goals, and that was in the Invincibles season). Other than that, you are — again — misrepresenting facts. We added TV5, but we sold Kolo (+ we added Campbell but that’s a different story). So we had a new defensive partnership,that obviously that needs time to settle in. This season we again had all new defensive partnerships due to the fact that Gallas left. No one of our current CB’s has played even ONE game together before 2010/2011. And both in 2010/2011 as well as 2010/2009 we were forced to use way too many goalkeepers.How many teams do you know that played 4 different goalkeepers in one season?

  216. Avaris15

    I miss Swiss Tony too.

    He may not have been good enough to be 3rd/4th choice CB for some of our supporters, but he is good enough and at the right age where he deserves as a pro to be playing as a first choice for a good team.
    No opinion from me on players I’ve hardly seen, but Fulham finished above Cahill’s Bolton and Samba’s Blackburn. Yeah, Senderos was injured, but if I worked for Stoke FC’s Betting company,I’d bet on Fulham finishing above them again.

  217. Avaris – “I miss Senderos. He was fantastic. Just unfortunate that he made some mistakes that some supporters will never forgive him for. I’m glad that he’ll be playing regularly for Fulham next season”

    The manager sold him mate, not the supporters. If the manager had faith in him, he would have kelp him despite what any supporters thought.

  218. Limpar @ 3:08:

    Thanks for your concern but no such luck for you. Check back in about 50 years and I might be. Feeling quite chipper in fact. I am trying to avoid going off on 10 or 12 paragraph rants and perhaps that makes it seem like I am running out of gas.

    Avaris: no one saying that signing new players is any guarantee but it can’t hurt. Based on the quotes from the players that we have all read this summer they certainly think it could help so may be just the mental pick me up from having a new player or 2 would make a difference, who knows.

  219. Limpar – Hmmm, it is a few hours from me, and I will be in Koln this weekend 😉 What is the bands name? Cheers for the heads up though.

  220. @ George – Stop I’m getting all misty eyed over here now!!!

    @ Avaris 15 – Watched the Arsenal V. Barfa game from February last night, man it still gives me a rush! Arshaaaaaaavvvvviinnnnnnn!!!!! 2-1 The Arsenal!!!!! Just the look of pure shock on Pep’s face said it all for me that night and then who could forget Sczeznys crazy celebration? Pure magic 🙂 I have it recorded now and can watch it anytime I need to cheer myself up.

  221. @ YW Your link do not open on a different tab at all. Except we right click and deliberately tell it to open in the new window

    Please check it out.

  222. george rodger

    Swiss Tony got wasted by Drogba .But to be fair he was the biggest handful in world football at that time.He was unjustly called a failure far to soon by fans and again the Arsenal hating media

  223. @finsbury

    I think that’d be a pretty safe bet.


    I think it’s possible that he was influenced by the supporters actually. Just as he has been this summer. I was at that Fulham game at the end of the season – Wenger knows what the supporters want. Denilson has gone out on loan. Almunia and Bendtner were left at home to find new deals elsewhere. He may be stubborn, but he’s aware of what goes on around him.


    I think it can hurt. We’ve had enough chopping and changing. At what stage are we going to stop messing around with the defence and build on what we’ve got? As many have said, it’ll be great to see Bartley and Miguel getting some games and pushing for first team places. They will have so much more drive and determination, and it won’t offend the current players. They know that they need to play as well as they can to keep their place. If one of the youngsters prove their worth, then I don’t think anyone will begrudge them that.

  224. Oh OK. You just sounded very… weary. Like a tired old goat.

    Oh yeah, enjoy the game. Take it easy on our defenders. They’re called Two Gallants, I saw them last night, they were brilliant. Might be maybe up your alley.

  225. @irishgray

    I was actually thinking of that particular game. I downloaded a HD version of it on my computer. Gives me immense joy every time I see it. A great example of what a good counter-attack can achieve. Makes you realise that Arsenal can beat the world’s best when they feel like it!

  226. Avaris – If you think Wengers transfer dealings are influenced by the fans, you must be mad. For one thing, we would have signed a 7 foot giant by now 😉 Plays we sell are sold if they are not up to scratch, are past their best, or are issues with their contracts. Not because a few fans don’t rate them.


    Am I the only one that thinks we do not need to sign a monster at the back because of this guy?

    He had a great season and he’s rearing to go. He comes with the winning mentality we all crave for (league and cup double with Rangers).

    By the way he’s English. 😀

  228. Limpar – Cheers, I will keep an eye out for them.

  229. @goonerandy

    I’m not suggesting all of his signings/sales are built on fan pressure, but he and Gazidis know that some of the fans aren’t happy. He can kill 2 birds with one stone – appease the fans – and give Denilson some playing time.

    I’m not naive (or mad!) I’m just suggesting that he’s not as stupid as you might think. He needs to balance the needs of supporters, the players, and the board. It’s just one piece of the puzzle 😉

  230. Jabba's delights


    Miquel is 18 years old he needs to go out and learn his trade. No point sitting in the reserves for another year.

    Bartley and Squilaci is a toss up at the moment. I would send Bartley out on loan again get some cl football under his belt up at rangers and let him come back next year ready to challenge.

    Ryo exactly the same and Lansburry. I think Frimpong is our 2nd best dm and if injury free will be challenging Song for hsi place come seaosn end. Colquin should go out on loan to a top championship or relegation haunted prem team. These players have tremendous quality but we need them learning their trade at other clubs rather than in our 1st team

  231. Avaris – I can’t agree there mate. If Arsene thought Denilson still had somthing to offer the side, he would have kept him. Same with Senderos. Eboue was actually jeered from the pitch, yet he is still here as Arsene thinks he adds value to the squad. If Arsene bowed to the crowd, he would have been out like a shot.

  232. Signing an extra CB won’t mean we have to chop and change. The only person who might be affected in Squillachi, but lets be honest, he wouldn’t be playing a lot of games anyways if it weren’t for injuries to either of TV, JD or Kos.

  233. Jabba

    Do you think the Bartley article on the website is a coincidence?

    All the talk is about whether or not we are going to sign a new CB and suddenly there is an article from a young CB who has just come back from a stint on loan and is now hoping for a place in the first team. I seem to remember a similar article on the website last summer about Frimpong and all indications were that he would have been part of the first team squad last season if it hadn’t been for his injury.
    IMO Arsenal are setting out their stall and making it fairly clear that we will not be signing a new CB this summer unless there is a serious injury to one of our more senior CBs.

  234. Jabba – “These players have tremendous quality but we need them learning their trade at other clubs rather than in our 1st team”

    I couldn’t agree more. When Cesc came through the ranks he learnt his trade with us, but he was an exceptional player and was eased into a very very strong side with lots of experience. The same with Cole. As much as I have been a critic of Denilson, I don’t think he had the same fortune when he had to “learn his trade”. He was pretty much thrown in.

  235. @tateezee

    I like the look of him. And I’m pretty sure that if he got a chance, fans would like him a lot.

    @Jabba’s delights

    You’re probably right about Miquel. It’d do him good to get some games. But I think that Bartley is at a good point to have some games at Arsenal. He’s been patient. He’s done his stint elsewhere, and impressed. He will be a very good player for Arsenal.

    I got the impression that Ryo will get some games in the first team. Wenger likes him a lot. Agree on Frimpong. He’s looked good so far in pre-season. I’m not sure about Lansbury. He’s a good player, but maybe it’s just bad timing for him.

  236. Limpar @ 3:43.

    Thanks again for your concern. I didn’t know you cared.

    Will be an interesting season. Since arsene does not listen to me I am quite confident you and evil and avaris will get your wish so I hope it works out as well as you think. Even I will admit that it will be exciting to watch and if they actually do defend well and we win some hardware this year then we get best of both worlds. You can tell me and all the doomers i told you so which also has some value.

  237. @goonerandy

    He hasn’t got rid of him exactly. He’s just gone out on loan. Same as many of our other players do. Plus, Arsene can say he’s like a new signing next summer 😉

    As for Eboue? He’s not the best player in the world, but he’s always given his all for Arsenal. And you know that he’s been a major influence in the dressing room. It sounds like a petty reason for having him there, but when you see pictures of him and Ryo having a laugh on the training field, you appreciate how much he brings to the squad.

  238. Avaris – That is exactly my point (ref Eboue). Arsenal fans have never really turned on a player (in recent times) like they did Eboue; yet he is still here. Like you said, he offers us things so the manager kept him. I am sure Senderos and Denilson’s departures have nothing to do with supporers. In fact, it would be worrying if they did!

  239. @Bill

    I’m glad you’re looking forward to next season.

    FYI, I don’t get any joy out of “I told you so” – I just enjoy watching Arsenal Football Club. Sure, it’s infuriating at times, but I love it! There’s always someone else less fortunate. I’m still of the belief that once we win a trophy, and get that monkey (and maybe the media?) off our backs, we’ll have many successful years ahead of us.

    I may be unrealistic, but I’m hopeful and excited. I support Arsenal through thick and thin.

  240. Jabba's delights


    I love the idea of Bartley dont get me wrong but why rush him at this most crucial of seasons. Its putting a hell alot of a burden on a guy aged 20. Lets not forget he struggled at Sheffield Utd. He constantly had different partners and then he broke his jaw. He was good up at Rangers in the 6 months he was there. I just dont see the benefit of him getting 5-10 games at arsenal next year when he could get 40-50 games up at Rangers competing for a title and under alot of pressure in the cl. For me he would come back a much stronger player doing the latter.

    We need to be cut throat. Djouoro and Kosciellny have huge years ahead of them they must step it up a notch from last year and i think they will, i want our youugsters playing alot which would give us a much better indication of whether they are ready. It unfair to judge players on very very sporadic game time at a very young age

  241. @goonerandy

    I probably wasn’t very clear with what I was trying to say. I’m not suggesting that fans get on a player’s back and then Arsene sells the player. I’m just suggesting that he’s aware of fan’s opinions. Gazidis said as much yesterday. At the same time, they need to be realistic and do what’s best for the player, and the club.

  242. Jabba

    I don’t disagree with what you say about Bartley’s experience and the benefit of him going out on loan again. I just don’t think that’s what is going to happen. I think the website article is a clear statement that Bartley will be part of the first team sqaud next season and that we will therefore not sign a CB in the transfer window.

  243. Fair one.

  244. Evil | July 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Common sense right there!

  245. Wavey – If that is the case, we have no reason to believe that we will be any better at defending set pieces then. Shame.

  246. I barely ever know what the fuck you’re on about, Bill. You’ve nothing to whine about. We’re two weeks into the transfer window and we’ve bought 2 new players, City have brought 2, Chelsea haven’t bought, Spurs haven’t bought. The only teams who are really spending are Utd and Liverpool – and in the latters case not very wisely. So keep your knickers on and wait and see what happens. Are you aware of Ivan Gazidis’ latest comments?

  247. Avaris: if you really don’t get any joy from being right then you are certainly not a standard issue human being. (little smiley face)


    I am waiting patiently for you to tell me how terrible Ivan and i are for saying that we have money in the bank.

  248. @goonerandy

    Bartley looks pretty good in the air. From what little I’ve seen of him at Rangers anyway, admittedly. Strong, tall, and looks like he is pretty good positionally. I’m caught up in two minds about him. I’d like to see what he can do, but at Arsenal. Realistically, that’ll only be CC appearances, and maybe the odd sub in other comps.

  249. @Bill

    My mother always told me I was special 😉

  250. Avaris – Sounds about right.

  251. Goonerandy

    so its a question of whether or not Arsene will manage to address defence of set pieces over the summer which he stated was his objective in the press conference in China.

  252. Miquel has played 2 games of Cup football against lower league opposition. Exciting talent he maybe, but surely the kid has 2-4 years of loan / cup / reserve experience before he should even be considered for the first team?

  253. That’s OK Avaris, your Mother used to tell me the same 🙂

  254. Did any one see the ‘How to Buy a Football Club’ documentary last night?

    I’m surprised the press has been so quiet on its claims and revelations… or not!

    Back to business. Great news about the signing and about Ivan’s postivity concerning even more.

    Cheers Yogi

  255. Wavey – It is not a new issue. It has been a weak point of ours for a while now, and we have not managed to sort it yet. It has to have been one of our pre-season objectives for a number of years now.

  256. Luke – It is a must. I can’t believe some people actually think he is a viable option for the 1st team (at the moment).

  257. george rodger

    16;40 and not a mention about that channel 4 program featuring the despicable SAF and his lackie Brian Robson.
    Is there only me who thinks it was shocking?

  258. george rodger

    Dgob .Ha well never

  259. My feeling is that there is a defender on our list. But even if there isn’t I am happy. We have a highly intelligent group of players. They know what they have to work on. With a whole summer of intense practice, scrutiny, theory and training ground work – it would be very strange if our defending of set-pieces didn’t improve.

  260. Vermaelen and Szceszney and a settled back four will obviously help communication a great deal.

  261. Jabba's delights


    I know it had something to do with Robson but what was he talking about.

    If Glazidis is right and our business isnt done and Bartley is the new cb i dont see where else we will buy other than LB and Striker unless we lose Nasri and Cesc.

  262. Limpar – “They know what they have to work on. With a whole summer of intense practice, scrutiny, theory and training ground work – it would be very strange if our defending of set-pieces didn’t improve”

    Given it is quite an old issue, do you not find it strange it has not improved before? We can’t only be adressing this problem now.

  263. Limpar – “Vermaelen and Szceszney and a settled back four will obviously help communication a great deal”.

    I agere with that though.

    Anyway, I am off. I hear a Gyros calling my name.


  264. Wassup everybody. Last night I flipped on the telly to see the “World Football Challenge”

    Man Shit is touring the USA playing against some scrub MLS teams. I look at the bottom left of the pitch and there is the man himself Gael Cleesherly! He was doing his normal thing, covering tons of space up and down the left flank. There was one of those “moments” where Gael couldn’t decide if he should hoof it to row Z or try or outsmart the onrushing attacker. True to the Arsenal style, he played a few 1 2’s and found himself in acre’s of space on the left. Good work Gael!! The last thing he needs to learn to do is mis-hit his crosses right into James Milner’s crotch.

  265. I want to see Bartley and Miquel start at least the Carling Cup games. Along with these lads:

    Jenk – Bartley – Miquel – Traoré
    -Watt —— Vela —— Miyaichi

  266. Jabba's delights


    Was pretty crucial you made that 2nd entry then as a hard preseason intense training and wonderful coaching last summer actually made our defence regresse.

    Lest hope so, as if they dont improve the buck stops with the manager and we dont have a good season again

  267. That’s half the fun, isn’t it LA? Wanting as much Arsenal news as possible, but never really knowing who our targets are and who we might be signing. I much prefer our way of doing business. Obviously Gervinho was a pretty drawn out saga, and wasn’t exactly a secret (and nor was Chamakh, as Yogi points out) but most of our deals are done behind closed doors.

  268. Limpar

    I agree there is time left in the window. Very happy with gervinho and I don’t think we need any more attacking players. Thought it would be an advantage to do our business early this year. Like you I will wait and see what happens although I admit to not having your patience. You may be be right and we will still might bring in a couple more defensive players

  269. @JD
    Since we had a completely new defence, I find it hard to say that they regressed. Which part of our 2009/2010 defence regressed? Koscielny? Didn’t play back then. Squillaci? Didn’t play back then. Djourou? Didn’t play back then. Gallas? Well, he moved to Spurs, so he has certainly regressed, but that has nothing to do with our defence.

  270. Goonerandy,

    Will you be able to pick up this programme all the way over in Deutschland?

  271. You guys are having a good debate on height. Just wondered if this guy is high enough.

  272. Jabba's delights


    You could have made the junior team alot more exciting than that.

    Aneke, Lansburry, Afobe, Toral Harper, colquin these are the next generation with the most talent that you havent mentioned. Eastmond most certainly wont make it at arsenal

  273. Bill Turner,

    So did Clichy completley pan his cross despiite getting into a great position?


  274. @ Dups – Hell No!! You could not pay me enough to do that shit!! Fair play to those guys though, balls of steel. I have jumped out of an airplane and have even done some crazy base jumping in my time but for some reason that disturbed me on such a primal level I know I could never do that. Great video though 🙂

  275. Lucky escape from getting this Joline Campbell. I have nothing against cross dressing at all and apparently it is perfectly possible to live a full life with only one bollock, two arseholes and halitosis.His father sounds like a fucking nightmare though

  276. Irish, either balls the size of footballs or brains the size of peas.

  277. Yeah Jabba I just threw a team around those two defenders. Not bad but I realise there are other options. Considering we declared 50 under 21 players last season it’s fair to say we have room to tinker.

  278. Luke, I saw Clichy send a decent ball near that Balotelli guy. Mostly Clichy was doing what he did for us. Getting far down the left flank, standing there as an option for the midfielder, receiving the ball and quickly passing it back.

    On to the defense. I agree with the school of thought that a tallboy defender would be a good buy. What we really need is confidence and a certain attitude. I could feel the tension and anxiety from 2,000 miles away when we would set up to defend against a set piece. That feeling catches on and pretty soon millions of gooners across the globe are worried about conceding from a set piece.

    I know that defensive lapses will happen (to us AND other teams) every season. Our f*ck up’s get blown up (media, untimely lapses CC LOL!) or glamorized by the “I told you we should have bought another CB in the January window” crowd.

    We will stand strong, for we are The Arsenal!

  279. Dups – I would imagine both mate. It must suck though when you reach the top and realise you have forgotten something.

  280. Do you think that guy climbs down the entire ladder? I would bring myself a parachute and jump straight off the top of that tower.

  281. Not a good job if you have a hangover.

  282. Bat shit crazy. I wonder how much hazard pay they get for that … I am not sure I’d climb up that tower even if I was offered 10.000 € to do it.

  283. AIC: “First Alvarez, now Campbell. I am not bothered about missing out on these players but its worrying that we can’t even tie-up deals for unknowns these days. At least Gervinho is some good news.”

    You’re a hypocrite. You always complain about the wages young players are on yet worry about not tying up these greedy little bastards who choose instant riches over developing their football career. This doesn’t mesh, does it?

    As far as not tying up deals for unknowns I think Jenkinson, Walcott, Ramsey, Vela, all the lads we’ve gotten from Barca recently and Ryo Miyaichi are proof that we can still get the business done on that front. .

  284. We should have brought another CB in January Bill, but thats neither here nor there.

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of the activity, and the boys turning out against Liverpool on 20th August.

  285. Do you think we steal more of Barca’s youth players via employment law loopholes just to fuck them off for being classless c**ts over Fabregas?

  286. Good call reminding Alex of his strange strange thoughts G69. I recall reading that line earlier and thinking, wow this AIC really struggles to find anything positive about the club.

    Alex you are quick to remind us how all the youngsters with fancy cars and high wages are eating up too much of our wage structure. Yet, when the signing of a new young gunner fails, you have a laugh at the sake of the club.

  287. We should table a £10million + Eboue bid for Messi. That should send the correct message about thier pursuit of our captain.

  288. Luke I would guess that we sign those players because they have been deemed “Arsenal Quality” Any further f*cking of the Barfa is simply sugar to my ears!

  289. Jabba: “Bartley and Squilaci is a toss up at the moment. I would send Bartley out on loan again get some cl football under his belt up at rangers and let him come back next year ready to challenge.”

    Bartley already has more CL football under his belt than Cahill, Samba, Lescott, Jagielka, Jones, Smalling and many others.

  290. I wouldn’t disrepsect legendary Eboue like that. I would offer Nasri plus £10m instead.

  291. There’s something wrong with those blokes dups. They must have a part of their brain missing.

    I mean, how do you start doing a job like that?

    Wayne Rooney’s guardian’s job is the only more unpleasant one I can think of.

  292. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I can’t be bothered with you, Henristic. You’re the King of childish arguments and I thought a bit of your own medicine would do you well, buddy old pal.

    Fuck off, Gunnerjones. I’m not having any of that Man City are bigger than Arsenal shite and if that’s rude then you’re a fucking cunt.

    Standard issue human beings are boring, Bill. If all you care about is saying I told you so, you pretty much suck at life. You have always struck me as a bit of a square, though. But it’s ok, the world needs squares, too.

  293. Your right G69…

    Thats more of a like for like offer. I take that back.

    *looks to heavens and apologises to THE Eboue*

  294. Fucking hell dups, that was one crazy video. Felt almost like I was up there myself. I’d do it for €10,000 euros though, no question.

  295. silver gunner

    should we loose nasri or cesc we should go for one of the forgotten stars like canales who would not cost an arm and a leg already have that pedigree.

    lol luke I like eboue should have been denilson instead…..

  296. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s interesting, Luke. Little Jack pretty much shits on your argument that Miquel needs at least 2-4 seasons of cup/loan experience before stepping up to the first team. You should have a little more faith in our academy and youth players, IMO.

  297. silver gunner

    Got to be honest i was a bit annoyed that the spuds had signed that Souleymane Coulibaly today I was secretly hoping we would get him….

  298. george rodger

    Paul N ,Let us hope Bobby Pires doesn’t see that.He will be at it

  299. Nasir Jones-Nasri | July 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    “You’re the King of childish arguments and I thought a bit of your own medicine would do you well, buddy old pal.”

    Good lord, how old are you? The stuff some of you guys come up with, lol…..

  300. silver gunner

    and then the cream was that we lost Joel Campbel because of his idiot father like someone said relatives should never be agents

  301. rumours say City came in for that Cambell bloke in the last minute and offered more money? Im sure they will do that to all potential youth signings from arsenal this year untill we sell Nasri to them.
    And we will have to back out of all of them as unlike City we cannot afford to throw awya say 5 or 10M on a kid that maybe can become something. And in a bidding war with City we will always loose and the figures will always be well above the real value of a player.
    City has totally changed the rules of signings. They can sign even if they dont need a player. even if they dont want him just to weaken an oponent or force them to do what they want them to do.
    That is preatty annoying that is.

    I wonder who we have found as a Cesc replacement should he go. No way AW would sell CEsc if he did not have a replacement ready to take his spot.

  302. silver gunner

    I am pleased with IG comments but we have to follow through and not “be happy with the players we have” come the end of august.

  303. NJN

    How many players in the last decade have take to the EPL like Jack in thier debut season. Not just youth signings, but any player, and at any club.

    You will find your list is not that long.

    Considering we were defensively poor last year (primary function of CB’s is defensive stability) I just find the notion that a youth product without 1 minute of EPL experience is suitable for the monumental challenge we face this year.

  304. silver gunner

    So it was city that came in at the 11th hour was it, if his father really cares about his son’s career he will know that Arsenal is the best place for his kid to flourish.

  305. Our 41 year old goalkeeping coach is putting on his gloves for the Reserves tonight. McDermott, Shea and Martinez all on holiday. Good luck, Tony!

  306. silver gunner

    luke not many have taking like young jack but even before he stepped in everyone knew he was a serious talent, the one that really surprised me was that mexican kid at man u last season

  307. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Oh fuck off already, Henristic. How old are you? You are constantly goading Frank among others into childish arguments. Spare me.

  308. george rodger

    Poodle.Cesc is not going.And every time someone says something like that I feel worse than I did the minute before.

    City are not very nice,are they?
    But we do keep fleecing them don’t we
    Perhaps it a bit of payback for Ade and Lard Arse

  309. Full line-up vs. Hastings:

    Roberts; Yennaris, Bartley, Boateng, Henderson; Aneke, Özyakup, Galindo; JET, Watt, Freeman.

    Not sure what time kick off is or if we can watch it anywhere? Should’ve gone down. That’s a helluvan exciting team.

  310. Bartely: “I think I can offer something else [because] I am a little bit different to the other centre backs. I like the physical side of the game and I see myself as a leader. If Arsène decides that he wants me in the first team then that will be fantastic.”

    Do we really need another signing? His toughts about himself have been confirmed by rangers. Especially the leader part. He did very well last season up there, was very mature and did indeed act like a leader when older players failed.

  311. @george nothing is better than Cesc staying. Im just saying no way would Arsenal let him go if we did not have a backup ready to fill the void. Im sure nobody at the club are currently able to do that(not even Nasri) so if Cesc was being sold someone would have to be bought from outside to make us better.

  312. and what happend to Rodwell? was he not suppose to be the greatest thing since wayne rooney or something?

  313. george rodger

    Yes Nasir Jones Nasri,He ,that there Hesristic chap goaded me yesterday.In fact he was down right rude.Said I was a bit thick he did.
    And me with a Woodwork 0 level and a cycling proficiency badge. Cheek of him,I ask you !!

  314. Where you not also in the Girl Scouts George? Can’t leave that out surely!!

  315. That’s a glorious team LA!!!!

    Galindo – JET – Watt – Freeman

    Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeers! 6-0 to the good guys!

  316. Bruno Uvini, CB U-20 Brazilian team Captain who plays for Sao Paulo. Kind of puts Denilson’s move in a new light. At 1.87m tall he is what some have been calling for but he is only 20.

  317. george rodger

    Irishgray.I was in a few of them.As it happens 🙂
    Oh ,sorry ,is that not what you meant?

  318. So that was your attempt to goad me? lol.

    Seriously, you and a few others really need to calm the heck down. Coming up with silly statements to back up poorly thought out arguments and faulty logic, all for what?
    What exactly is in my posts that bother some of you so much, to the extent that you seemingly lose your sense of humour and perspective?

    We all support The Arsenal, loosen up.

  319. lol george,

    Didn’t think you were the type to hold a grudge. You did call me stupid didn’t you?
    I thought we was cool, homie

  320. Bada-Boom Bada-bing LOL George, I was in quite a few myself I must admit.

  321. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m not trumpeting Miquel as our savior by any means, Luke. I just think a little more faith would do you well.

    Phil Jones seems to have burst onto the scene in a similar fashion. Chris Smalling was playing Sunday league footie or something like that a couple seasons ago wasn’t he? Liverpool fans seem excited with Spearing’s similar ascent. Andy Carroll seems to have cone out of nowhere. That Henderson bloke was quite young when he debuted for Sunderland I believe, too. Interesting that these are all young English players, too. People were calling for an unexperienced Gibbs to replace Clichy ages ago and he was a relative unknown. Of course none of those players are on Jack’s level, but the fact that Jack came out of nowhere speaks highly of our academy and pipeline. All he needed was a brief run of games (was it even half a season at Bolton?) and a timely injury or two and he was off. Bottom line though is your minimum 2-4 years cup/loan experience comment is bollocks as evidenced by Wenger’s faith in Gibbsy and many other young players with nowhere near that much experience.

  322. Probably not a very popular thing to say but I think Arsenal’s ‘set-piece problems’ are vastly overplayed. We conceded I think 4 goals from set-pieces in all competitions up to Christmas. One was an unlucky Squillaci own goal and one was a Zigic header which would’ve been scored against anyone. January, February, March – saw us concede three more goals from set-pieces. Three in 20 games. One a month and one of them Zigic again. I think the ‘Arsenal can’t defend set-pieces’ myth is based almost entirely on mix-ups and missed runners in the last five or six games of the season – when it’d all gone Pete Tong.

    I find it hard to reconcile in my mind then, the notion that ‘Arsenal can’t defend set-pieces’, with the hard won shutouts I witnessed against Blackburn, Sunderland, Stoke (a fucking horrorshow bombardment with Squilly and Djourou holding fast), and United – teams traditionally very strong in the air.

    There’s plenty that needs fine-tuning about Arsenal, getting our set-piece mojo back is certainly one of them. We need to repair that damaged confidence more than anything – but the idea that we can’t defend in the air is a fallacy and perhaps a bit of a red herring. I think a far more important issue to address is how we conceded so many points in the final minutes of games. A lot of it is about giving a dubious referee zero latitude to throw the game at the death, but I am hoping the club psychologists, and the players themselves learn from those heartbreakers and make it a priority to get steel clad strong at the end of each game.

    Again, I would expect centrehalves in their second season to give away less late fouls, less penalties and be more canny closing out a game.

  323. Nasir @ 6:04

    You don’t strike me as a square. My mental picture of you has long stringy dyed black hair and a huge belly sticking out from under your shirt. A skull and cross bones tatoo on your forehead and the name of all your past girlfriends on your arm along with a giant mom tatoo on your chest and you carry the biggest switch blade knife ever made.

    Your probably nothing like that and may be a nice guy in real life. Be interesting to see you from a distance since you would probably use that switch blade if you were close.

  324. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    It’s a two way street, Henristic.

    Somewhat turning the page, I thought your opinion on IG’s comments were baffling, too. You really truly think he’d come out with a statement like that and then proceed to do fuck all the rest of the window? I find that hard to believe. Do you think they are just pandering with comments like that? His comments seemed pretty direct, which is surely a change of pace from Wenger’s usual transfer window mind games.

  325. LA,

    If thats the case, and it may well be. Then we are not good enough at defending from open play. Losing 5 games before Christmas is not reflective a solid side.

  326. is cahill that much better than kyle bartley? bartley has euro experience as well and he’s english ( i cannot emphasize that enough). He should help with the refs and fouls in the box.

  327. Do we think this page on ArsenalPlayer means they’re showing the match at Hastings? I can’t really tell.

  328. NJN

    The point of the IG comments is that they have been said many time before, about signing super quality players, chequebook to the world cup, and funds being available. etc etc

    I have the upmost trust in IG and believe that this was an exercise to exert some pressure on AW. But as Arsenal fans, we have been fed the same information previously, only for nothing to bear fruit.

  329. Limpar:

    This is not breaking news but no matter it happens we have to concede about 10 – 12 fewer goals.

    Biggest concern is that our defensive issues seem to be a moving target. 3 years ago everyone said we struggled with set pieces during kolo’s last season. The next year with tv5 and gallas we did better on set pieces and were repeatedly hit on counter attack goals. Last year set pieces again. If we improve on set pieces this year are we going to struggle from open play because both of our central defenders love to make runs into the attacking 1/3 and we end up disorganized when we do lose possession. Time will tell how this year plays out.

  330. George

    I think Cesc is gonna leave mate! :0))

  331. Doesnt look like it LA – nothing in the schedule.


  332. LA, in the EPL alone (before January)

    Played: 19

    Clean sheets: 4 (blackpool / City / West Ham / Wolves)

    Notable games (for poor defending / silly dropped points)

    Sunderland A
    WBA H
    Newcastle H
    Spurs H

    Thats 5 games (2 of them draws) which have been huge mistakes prior to January. Our excellent form at the turn of the year saved us.

    Whether it was poor set pieces, poor open play defending our start to the season was poor, we had a purple patch, then finished appaulingly.

    The defending needs rectifying.

  333. Limpar Assist @ 7.04pm – Great post from a real Arsenal supporter who is able to talk about something more than the latest media-generated transfer B.S.

    Shame about the timing of the C4 Dispatches programme. The phone hacking scandal is the only story in town and the hacks on the sports pages neither have the brains or the balls to join the dots when the ‘untouchable’ slur alex is involved.

  334. Yeah – if we hadn’t conceded the 12 goals we did do in the last 6 games we’d have won the league.

    I guess my point is this; that we can do everything, the players we have in the shirt already – we can defend against anyone. We’ve proved that. To win the league we need to sustain that standard through the course of a season.

    I believe we can do that this season. With TV back and Koscielny and Djourou a year stronger and wiser.

  335. NJN,
    You sure you’ve not got me mixed up with someone else? I only said IG’s statement could be a double edged sword. I think it was Markus who said we might not sign anyone else.

    I believe we will sign either an lb or a cb or both, and have been saying so even before IG’s words were published.

  336. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Lol. Your description of me couldn’t be further from the truth, Bill. Im actually quite fit. I ride about 8 to 12 miles a day on my bike and play footie twice a week. And im a vegetarian, too. Not that there arent any fat vegetarians. In fact arent you from Texas? Because that alone automatically disqualifies you from calling people others fat. I hate to generalize, but they say everythings bigger in Texas right? I know you guys eat like 36 ounce steaks and stuff and have very big problems with obesity amongst children so you probably aren’t the one to talk about big bellies.

  337. LA @ 7.19 – I don’t think so, but it looks like there might be live updates as there were for the last reserves match

  338. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I dont think those comments have been said before, Luke. As I tried pointing out above. Wenger has never been that direct with comments regarding potential dealings in the transfer market. He usually caveats things and keeps his cards close to his chest from my understanding.

  339. What makes you so sure that Miquel won’t do a Wilshere, Luke?

  340. But LA, our defending wasn’t just poor in just the last 6 games, it was poor for the first half of the season.

    Look, I certainly agree that TV returning, Kols/Djourou being a year wiser and us finally having a keeper than is worthy of a starting place will automatically put us in a better position, but when we only truely defended well for 25%-35% of the season, I still believe we need reinforcements.Especially now we have sold our starting LB.

    We will improve, naturally of course, but then, so will every other team. Considering we are playing catch up, will natural development be enough?

  341. Good to see you breaking it down, Luke.

    That stoppage time goal up at Sunderland was a heartbreaker. Game should’ve been out of sight long before that goal. Very much what I’m talking about.

    West Brom we were picked off playing a stunningly gung-ho all-out strategy. I think that’s a lesson learnt.

    Newcastle, Spurs, Wigan – all points dropped between the 87th and stoppage time. Exactly what I’m talking about. Needs addressing pretty urgently. And as I say, a lot of it involves simply being canny enough not to give the ref a sniff of a freekick. It’s fucking hard though with shitheaps like Bale and Barton and Modric and Nolan et al throwing themselves to ground at the slightest touch. Can be done though.

  342. george rodger

    Henristic .It was all jesting ,We are good I hope.

  343. Not every other team improves, Luke. Far from it. We are lucky in that respect. We are set up to move forward, others are reaching the end of the line.

  344. Gainsborough – if Miquel goes on loan like Jack, and peforms week in week out at a decent EPL outfit and a good, consistent level then perhaps he might.

    On the back end of two cup games, against lower league opposition, both of which required replays, both of which we conceded, then 100%, categorically no. I would be pretty concerned if he was our new CB addition this seaosn.

    Not slating the kid, not saying he can’t do it, not saying I don’t want him to, because, by god I do, but he is not ready for the EPL yet

    Go on loan and earn your bread, just like Jack.

  345. Passenal, I rather the mejia put all its resources on taking down Murdoch first before tackling the sleazy club buying scheme Slurguson and Robson are involved in. That will surely come up during the season when the footie is in full swing and it will resonate a lot stronger. Remember, these are allegations still and no proper investigations have been made.

  346. But if it were up to me, I’d only sign a centre back, but I will go for a defensive coach as well. I’m not sure if any of the other top clubs have someone focused mainly on taking defensive drills but needs must.

    Like someone our defending is partly down to confidence. chances are that as soon as we concede the first couple of goals from set-pieced, old doubts will start creeping back and you’ll start to see the panic set in again. I think spending more time on defensive drills (à la GG) will help keep the confidence up. They can hopefully fall back on the training in times of intense pressure much like soldiers are able to do.

    Before someone mentions it, such training needn’t be done at the expense of our attacking play (as if there was even a risk of that happening).

  347. LA

    And I fully agree with you. I wrote a post earlier today saying one of the best things we can learn for next year is to not give away fouls when the opposing player is moving away from our goal.

    Regarding the games, yes we should have buried that peno against Sunderland, but more importantly, how many chances did we have to clear our lines before that sickening goal (which was 100% out of the alloted time)

    Take the minutes and the scenarios away, and the principle is the same, concentration lapses and poor sessions of pressure defending saw us concede too many in open play / set pieces last year.

    I would share more optimism with our current set up, but I must admit, in my eyes, this has been prevalent for three years.

    Regarding our competitiors – Uniteds pairing of Vidic/Smalling will only improve by the same logic (other areas maybe struggling, but you can never write off red nose), City will be formindable at the back next year with 4,000 CB’s on the pitch. I do agree that Chelsea may stutter, but its impossible to say how AVB will have them set up.

  348. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Just like Jack, Luke? He was on loan for half a season if that. Surely nowhere near the 2-4 years exp you mentioned earlier.

  349. Also LA, we need to stop conceding as soon as we score. That NAILED us in so many games last year

  350. *Like someone said, our defending is partly down to confidence. chances are that as soon as we concede the first couple of goals from set-pieces

  351. NJN

    What is the purpose of this fight you are trying to pick?

    I fully expect Miquel to go on loan for the full year next season, whether Wenger thinks he has the pedigree to handle the EPL is different story.

    Probably a year in the Championship, another summers assement, and then who knows.

  352. Miquel is not our new CB addition this season Bartely is. And his pedigree is alot better than both Smalling(before he went to United) and Jones. Bartely has played both in Europe and won cups with Rangers. I doubt there is any more experienced 20 year old out there that has not yet been snapped up by a top 4 club.

    Im sure any addition CB will come in as a squad player behind TV and his prefered partner. But why use money on a sub when Bartely can do the job perfectly?
    It would be a riht shame if we bought someone decent that would block the path of someone great. Hope he can prove his talent in preseason.

  353. oh and Jack is a one in a generation player. Ther will be no more jacks in england for the next 20 years atlest. hes extreme. Comparing players to jack you just cannot do that. Him and Ramsey are freaks of nature.

  354. Poodle, I am very excited about seeing Bartley, reckon he will be used ahead of Squillaci this year. But he is potential, and nothing more at the moment. The SPL is basically Sunday league football, I mean, Chris Sutton was a proflific goalscorer there!

    Smalling has had a very good debut full season, seems to be learning from Rio. I will be delighted if Bartley, under TV5 tutelage can have the same impact.

  355. Actually I wouldn’t mind having Bartley, but if we was in Wenger’s plans for this season, shouldn’t he be in Germany now? Or is he?

  356. Exactly Poodle, my point exactly.

    Using Wilsheres rise is futile as its so rare, and even rarer for a CB – which is sort of the crux of my debate with NJN.

  357. Limpar: “Newcastle, Spurs, Wigan – all points dropped between the 87th and stoppage time. Exactly what I’m talking about. Needs addressing pretty urgently. And as I say, a lot of it involves simply being canny enough not to give the ref a sniff of a freekick. It’s fucking hard though with shitheaps like Bale and Barton and Modric and Nolan et al throwing themselves to ground at the slightest touch. Can be done though.”

    If we’re up by one or two in the 80th minute there’s no reason why we shouldn’t resort to playing keep ball until the opposition overcommit and then punishing them on the counter. For hoofball teams that pour men forward late on this is crucial. I think we can do this next season as it was something we did quite well before christmas. One year older, one year wiser and all that.

  358. *he

    my spelling, aargh!

  359. The bits in the bottom of the sink after the washing-up. Can’t let them go down the plug or they rot and block it, have to deal with them. Fucking horrible.

  360. G69,
    I also wondered why we just didn’t play keep ball to close out games we were leading. But even so, we will still lose possession at some point and we should be confident enough to deal better with the inevitable set pieces that happen in those last minutes.

  361. @Luke i cant belive you even doubt he wont. You got to ligthen up man and see the good things about Arsenal and their great players(even the backline!) instead of always focusing on the bad stuff.

  362. Kyle Bartley is still recovering from a knee injury sustained at the end of last season, he didn’t go on the Asia tour because he was still rehabbing that knee, but it appears he will make the trip to Germany.

  363. Poodle – I don’t doubt it, but I don’t take it as a certainty!!

    I’m tremendously excited about Bartley, as I am with all the talent coming from our youth set up, that’s never and won’t change.

    I’ve just been irked by some aspects of the first team over the last couple of seasons. No more, no less.

    Yes, I have been strong (agressive/rude) in my assessment, and probably would have phrased a few rants, if I could, in a different tone! but my position will always be the same, regarding our defence, certain squad players and what I (in my infite wisdom 🙂 ) believe we need!

    Just like you, I can’t wait for the start of the season, and am absolutley buzzing about getting up to the stadium for Liverpool.

  364. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Fight? You’re fucking trippin, Luke. I thought we were talkin footie?

  365. Nasir @ 7:38

    After I wrote that I had one of those moments that I wished I could pull back the post. I was thinking I sure hope I am not right or I would really feel bad. Interesting the mental image we have of someone just from interacting on the blog. In suspect your mental image of me is probably not that flattering either. I am from Texas but no big belly.

  366. Jabba @ 4:48 pm,

    It claimed that Slur Alex led a group of British managers in doing each other favours and that these favours could be extended for the right price and with the appropriate introductions. Hughs, Robson, Twitcher, Bruce and Dalglish were all named.

  367. I think the problem for our defence is that the meltdown that happened in the last few games of the season coloured the whole perception of them.

  368. Happy Jele. Nice name for a player. Scored against the spuds for Orlando Pirates.

  369. I think bartley would make a great 5th cb. He would get in cup games and if he is good enough he will move up the pecking order quickly. He played defensive mid in scotland most of the time and not cb. He had a fairly serious MCL injury and missed the last several games in Scotland. Great potential I think but huge difference from DM in scotland to the epl. Would not be surprised to see him move past squillachi as he gets adjusted if he is that good and perhaps even higher up the pecking order when the inevitable injuries start. Miquel needs a loan to a championship side and then may be another loan to a lower table PL side

  370. Get a dishwasher Frank.

  371. I have a dishwasher, goonerandy. Just produces a lot more shit and the blockages when they happen are worse and stink more. The football world at the moment is just like a blocked sewer. Nobody can be trusted, everyone is out for themselves. Football seems to have disappeared under a mountain of excrement. So much so that you can’t really recognise football at all any more….and then we talk endlessly about it. The shit that is.

  372. but i still dont see how people can see Smalling at Fulham as a bigger talent than Bartely at Rangers.

    Not that it really mattes aslong as the kid becomes a solid defender.

  373. Think I will just wait until somebody who is good at football kicks a ball. Until then I think I will leave the world to its Spanish heaven. Off again tomorrow. Not back until September. I am not going to Spain but adios anyway.

  374. Then again Evans was suppose to be the real deal up in Manchester, look at him now. Just hope Bartely will be the real deal 🙂 as nothing is certain in this buisness.

  375. We can improve the defence as much as we like, if the goals from midfield dry up this season like they did those last few months of 10/11 then we’ll see just as many disappointing draws. Aaron’s on board with it, really hoping Jack can add goals to his game this year too. Gervinho’s a positive, Theo’s finishing has massively improved and RVP’s basically a genius, but I just wanna see goals from the whole team again. I wonder how many TV5 would have gotten last season if he’d played. I miss those beautiful left foot efforts of his.

  376. Bold move there by Franklin.

  377. Seems the reserves are having fun 7-0 at the moment.

  378. @vince i agree with you. As i understand it we have to shift players out before we can get new ones in. Bendtner and Denilson will free up two places. Im sure AW will fill those spaces asap ones they are gone.

  379. Paulie Walnuts

    Conceding late goals has plagued us for years but some of them last season left me labotomized (Sunderland, Pool at home & the CC final spring to mind).

    It`s almost as if the lads seem to freeze without the ball then when they get it completely panic – & the previous 89 minutes of so of usually superior football goes out of the window.

    Maybe it`s the footie equivalent of the yips or `dartitus` but until we overcome it we`ll continue to give away hard earned points.

    Is Eileen Drury still around ?

  380. The last “superstar” players Arsenal signed were Bergy and Overmars. Henry was a backup winger at Juve, Vieira was a reserve player at AC Milan. Pires and Freddie were promising young wingers at Halmstad and OM.

  381. Dupsffokcuf are you watching the match live?

  382. BT ~~ no, just following Youngguns

  383. Fly to Dubrovnik,old friends in Sarajevo, Podgorica and Tirana (never been to Tirana before but some pals from Kosovo are doing OK there these days), then a holiday in Greece. Enjoy the football, if such a thing exists anymore. if it does, there is only one place you will find it.

    …Arsenal, by a country mile…

  384. LA – Great video mate 🙂 top drawer!!

  385. Nasir Jones Nasri,

    When you changing your name??

  386. Enjoy your trip Frank

  387. yeah break a leg frank………

  388. Got to love twitter sometimes… to Cesc from the Hastings game.

    “@cesc4official there is a 5 year old boy sat infront of me drawing a picture of you, imagine how he will feel when you leave us”


  389. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Yeah, its pretty tough to put faces to opinions nowadays, Bill. Seems a pretty futile exercise. I’m far from the type to use a knife, too. A good strong straight right is about all you can expect from me, but thats last resort stuff.

    Safe travels, Frank. Sounds like a good time.

    Good question, dukey. I’m waiting for something a bit more concrete to surface. I’m still holding out hope though. You know me, I’m well stubborn. I think it’s the Taurus in me. The optimist in me says Wenger has secured the signature but just wants to make the Doomers sweat a bit. 🙂

  390. @Frank
    Enjoy your trip and have lots of fun in Sarajevo. Nice to see that you are going to Bosnia, my home town. Make sure you get to catch some of the Arsenal games!

  391. How is it Cahill is better than this guy. lacks a bit of premiership experience but he has it all the height, power, agression and ability, he needs a couple of games in the cups and he will be ready to go.

    a few of these against Stoke on a dark winter’s night will certainly help

  392. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Very cool, Evil. I thought you were a kraut for some reason. It’s hard not to love the far reaching tentacles of Arsenal FC. What an amazing club.

  393. twenty five days , get ready to rumble!!!

  394. I’m liking that count down!

  395. Nice one Kamran 🙂 I sooooooo can’t wait!!!!

  396. you got it cairb,,, how the guys make us proud….

  397. you bet irish,, asta manyana

  398. There seem to be suggestions in the media that Arsenal made a counter offer of 35-40m. That’s just rubbish. If City put a price tag on 50m on 27 year old Tevez’s head why the heck would we want to sell Cesc for less than that?

  399. i have been saying that. in all honesty Fabregas should be valuated around 65-70mil.
    same goes for SAMIR. minimum valuation of 30-35mil.
    even considering the economic climate.BARKA are lowballing ARSENAL AND THE REASON IS TWO PRONGED. 1) the player himself has said that there is only on destination for him other than ARSENAL 2) the stupid cuntalonians are being into all the negative press that has been around our club, and are assuming an emanate implosion. i believe we will get an upper bid by them very close to season opening. hope that it is settled much sooner so we can PLAN for the new campaign. also hope all their bull is changing CESE’s mind from wanting to go there.

  400. everywhere you turn its shitty, shitty and more shitty. thought i disliked chelski , but the new boys in town are fast becoming my most disliked club in EPL. the italian is saying he is going to capture NASRI and aguero before the end of the month. zero respect. NASRI IS UNDER CONTRACT , EHO THE PUTA.

  401. FFF diverting attention from fergegate, in vain.. hope they nail your a**. liverpool is his main worry, he says. ahha..

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