One Of Us Speaks: Brothers in Arms

Big Al is back, raiding his Dire Straits record collection for an title. Sorry, was I supposed to keep that secret? Whooops…

With not much to add to the big transfer debates at the moment, I figured this week would be the last opportunity to go off on a tangent before the real football starts. So in this blog I’m going to skim over the complicated and turbulent history of one of France’s oldest clubs, and their link with our club.

This summer Paris Saint-Germain is a club with the world at its feet, with a huge potential fan base, massive investment from abroad and a relative paucity of domestic competition standing between them and Europe’s top table.

But there’s another team, wallowing in the amateur fifth tier of French football, that once held the mantle of Paris’ top club; they took part in one of the forerunners to European competition; some of the brightest stars in world football have donned their blue and white striped jersey; they were the Man City of the mid-80s, but, most importantly, they maintained a long-running friendship with Arsenal FC.

Today they are known as Racing Club de France Football-Levallois 92, but in the 1930s they were simply Racing Club de Paris.

In autumn 1930, Arsenal were on their way to their first title under manager Herbert Chapman, but on Armistice Day the club was in Paris, taking part in what would be the first encounter in a friendly international rivalry that would span more than 30 years. Arsenal beat Racing 7-2 at the Colombes Stadium in northwest Paris.

Racing Club de Paris was established ten years after Arsenal, in 1896, and was one of the leading French clubs throughout the pre-war and post-war years. They won the league and cup double in 1936 and went on to win the cup another four times before 1950.

Herbert Chapman and Racing president Jean-Bernard Levy had got together to organise this annual exhibition match for the benefit of invalids of the Great War. The match took place every 11th November, or thereabouts right up to 1961, with a six-year gap during the Second World War.

This was a small step towards organised European club competition, with two of the top teams on the continent facing off and attracting international media attention. To give you an idea of just how forward-thinking this initiative was; 25 years later in 1955, when Chelsea won their first (and last until 2005) league title, they declined the offer to take part in the inaugural Champions Cup, which underlined the prevailing parochial attitudes in British football at the time and would only be swept away by the likes of Matt Busby and Bill Shankly.

In the 30s, Arsenal’s new manager had long recognised the worth in promoting Arsenal abroad. As all gooners know, before he passed away in 1934 he made a handful of prescient innovations, like rebranding Gillespie Road Tube Station Arsenal, introducing white sleeves, taking complete charge of team selection, tactics, and then pioneering the WM system that would survive into the early-60s.

In his weekly column for the Sunday Express he argued for the introduction of shirt numbers, stadium clocks, white footballs, artificial pitches, European competition and floodlights, 25 years before they were instituted in English football.

Back in France Arsenal made an impression on their French audience, who came up with descriptive nicknames for striker Cliff Bastin (fireworks) and winger Joe Hulme (eel), with the most extravagant saved for inside forward Alex James (miracle). It was a fixture that Arsenal dominated right up to the war, with eight victories and two draws.

Post-war Racing registered their first victory in 1952, and managed to beat Arsenal once more in 1959. By the early 60s there was trouble on the horizon for French football. Stars such as Raymond Kopa and Rahid Mekhloufi opted to spend their peak years abroad. The national team failed to rouse the public and slumped throughout the 60s, qualifying only for the World Cup in ‘66. Attendances in the domestic leagues were lower than ever, and would trough at the end of decade, just in time for May ’68.

Racing Club de Paris had a brief return to former glories at the beginning of the 60s, finishing second in 1961 and ’62, but with dwindling crowds were sucked into the abyss, along with traditional big guns like Sète and Roubaix, who never recovered. By 1967 the club had lost its professional status and were confined to the darker recesses of the French league system.

That was until a remarkable but brief return to the top flight in the 1980s. This chapter of Racing’s history is one of excess and hubris, thoroughly appropriate for the day.

Enter Matra – Mécanique Aviation TRAction – a French company founded by the prominent industrialist Jean-Luc Lagardère, who also founded the major French conglomerate of the same name. Matra specialised in bicycles and cars, dabbling also in aircraft, satellites and missiles. Lagardère invested millions into the club, sensing the potential in establishing a top-level Parisian outfit to rival PSG.

Racing were merged with FC Paris to become Racing Paris 1 and rocketed through the leagues, gaining promotion to Ligue 1 in 1984. Lagardère was bullish; his public goal was to establish a side that would win the European Cup before the decade was out, and he went about buying some of the biggest stars in world football at the time, – Uruguayan playmaker Enzo Francescoli, German winger Pierre Littbarski, French holding-midfielder Luis Fernandez and hair spokesman David Ginola.

Despite this array of talent, the Paris public wasn’t convinced. The enterprise was considered crass and artificial, and the team’s change in name in 1987 to Matra Racing probably didn’t help to win the punters over. A side packed with some of the biggest names in world football played in front of pitiful crowds. Lagardère pulled out and the club sunk like a stone once more.

Until this summer there was still a slight connection between the one-time friends Arsenal and Racing – William Gallas and Jérémie Aliadière played in Racing’s junior teams before joining Clairefontaine.

And although Racing Levallois 92 now bear little resemblance to our former friends, and are now in the lowly CFA Groupe 2 maybe we could revive that November exhibition game – at the very least it would give us a hell of confidence boost.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 5, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 377 Comments.

  1. I thought that Brothers in Arms was a book by Evelyn Waugh. I’m clearly showing my age.

  2. Great post!!

  3. Nice post OOU.

  4. nice read

  5. Superb post!

  6. Any Arsenal news today?

  7. Fascinating Big Al.

    Where do you find this stuff or, more worringly, how do you know it?

  8. nice read Big Al.

    Morning y’all

  9. Bernard

    You are more cultured, I think.

    YW

  10. a very welcome distraction from the transfer mayhem – thanks

  11. Hi CB – almost all of it can be found with google. There’s some stuff on the official site, some bits in The Balll is Round by David Goldblatt, and other bits here and there, discovered just by clicking around. Did worry about crediting sources in a post like this, but decided that would attach unmerited importance to what is really just a casual intro.

    Anyway, it’s not a problem I’ll have again, as it’s nothing but rants about Wenger from now on!

    OK, about to head off. Have a good day everyone!

  12. Thanks OOU, an educational piece on a Friday giving us respite from endless repeating of old rows we have had in recent days/weeks.

  13. Insightful and intriguing. Wonder if we can last the whole day without a massively irrelevant attack on the manager/lack of transfer activity blah blah boring bollocks?

    God – I’m such a dreamer!

  14. Just something that amused me in the Metro (that quality freebe paper) this morning showing Fabregas as a disconsolate figure sitting on his own looking very down on life. So this was obviously all to do with the ongoing saga with Barcelona and nothing to do with the fact that it was pissing down and he was soaked through.

  15. Great stuff, I have read about these games before, but it’s nice to give an airing to some of the history of the club once in a while. Maybe the club could organise a friendly as part of next year’s pre-season? It would be good to keep some of these traditions going.

  16. For a long time I assumed Evelyn Waugh was a woman. Turns out that his full name was ‘Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh’ which quickly corrected my mistaken assumption.

    Here’s the little known bit of trivia though, to be wheeled out as though you are awfully cultured, whenever his name crops up, Evelyn Waugh actually married a lady by the name of Evelyn Gardner and most people who knew them then referred to them as “He-Evelyn” and “She-Evelyn”. Then she cheated on him and they got divorced.

    Women eh?

  17. Wavey – I have seen that pic on the net as well, it really is the equivalent of being taken out of context eh? Do they expect him to walk around with a huge grin on his face all the time?

  18. Jonny

    I do think that you are a Dreamer. But as a True Arsenal Fan Myself I would like to say that things are’nt right with my club. And I would like to know what the hell is happening behind the scenes.

  19. Frowny face Cesc = concrete evidence of his prisoner status.
    Smiley face Cesc = Stan gives the thumbs up for his transfer.
    Fee for body language ‘expert’ is in the post!

    I never did get calling a football club a Racing club! 😉

  20. Apparently, we have rejected another bid rejected for Cesc. £27m + £5m variable.

  21. Deise – Heh, you are right, that is exactly what they would have said.

  22. Talking to French sports daily L’Equipe, Benzema (above) dismissed suggestions he was on the brink of a move to the Emirates. “My place is at this club,” he said. “I have never talked to Mr Wenger or anyone else. I want to enjoy success here. I have found my self-belief. This season, I know we will win titles.”

  23. gooner2 – well that didn’t take long.

    Maybe I’m not a True Arsenal Fan – all I heard was blah blah blah.

  24. yeah mj – supposedly with Cesc also donating 2.5 mil from his own ‘Arsenal wages’ to help facilitate the move!

    F*@k Off Barca you complete set of bastards!

  25. They appear to be attempting to hijack our method of negotiating transfers.

    * Club bids “X” amount.
    * Bid is rejected.
    * Club ups the bid by £750
    * Bid is rejected and labeled “nowhere near valuation*
    * Club offer to throw in some training bibs.
    * Bid rejected.
    * Window is closed.
    * Squad is good enough.

  26. Last Time I heard who were an AKB.

  27. Excellent. A welcome distraction.

    Spare a thought for another French club with Arsenal links, Racing Strasbourg, Arsene’s Uni town team; a team he won the league with as a player, are in deep shit.

    http://www.thefootballramble.com/blog/entry/clubs-still-vulnerable-as-strasbourg-hit-the-floor

    I think Arsene is ploughing some of his own money in.

  28. just 2 differences though goonerandy

    1. They lack all respect for Arsenal and Cesc
    2. Their squad IS good enough.

  29. The World Health Organisation think Arsene Knows Best? Fascinating stuff gooner2. Bet you’re a ‘wow’ at parties.

  30. Ashburton Patriot

    Bonjour tout le monde

  31. Desie – All very true. I truely despise them as a club.

  32. Ashburton Patriot

    Wer is every1

  33. arsenal.com/news/news-archive/vermaelen-small-details-can-make-difference

    A fine gentleman with common sense.
    Let’s hope we can get those small details right.
    #Optimism

  34. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/vermaelen-small-details-can-make-difference

    A fine gentleman with common sense.
    Let’s hope we can get those small details right.
    #Optimism

  35. Please be Twente.

    Please be Twente.

    Please be Twente.

  36. 🙂 keen for this season.
    The waits bin too long.
    Benik, and Kyle looking good.
    Jacko and Rambo looking strong.
    This young team has lots of potential to win the league.

  37. Thanks Big Al..quite informative. Leaves the cachet with Kroenke not Usmanov/Dein.
    Thanks Herb.

    Barca’s done. Hope they keep winning everything (but the CL) & their pride spikes to the point where they don’t need Cesc at all or till 2018.

    Squad’s looking better now.

    …i’m uploading JIGGY
    ..remaining POSITIVE

  38. “This young team has lots of potential to win the league”

    Deja vu.

  39. @ tateezee

    Exactly. it is all about these small details. not about change of personnel really.

  40. Anything but Kazan. A trip to fucking Russia is the last thing we need.

  41. Zurich would be nice as I live close but I’m with jonny on this anyone but Kazan as it it is a long trip, can be quite good and they are in the middle of their championship

  42. Yes Jonny, no Kazan please!

    btw, I’m secretly hoping Nik B doesn’t leave. He could excel in “this” present frame of mind.

  43. Yes Anan. But i think if he is to stay we should move to an offensive 442.

    ———-Song Jack
    Walcott Gerv
    ———–VP NIK B

    He has soo much potential and with Gerv and Sagna putting in some good crosses he could score many goals. if he can hold up the ball and slip it through to VP we’ll be a forc to be reckoned with.
    COYG

  44. Aman, I hope Bendtner stays too, or at least just goes out on loan for a year like Deni. What do you mean by “this state of mind” tho?

  45. Barca just don’t have the money. I’m informed they still owe us on Hleb and Henry.

  46. Walcot and gerv wer sposed to be wide men

  47. Udinese, home first!

  48. We drew Udinese and we are at Home first.

  49. Arsene Baggins

    Arsenal will face Udinese in final qualifying round for the group stage of the Champions League. Looking forward to that one!

  50. So if Cesc and Nasri play are they cup-tied?

  51. Wavey, not to be funny, but is that really a concern of ours?

  52. Yes, if either Barca or Citeh are serious they have to act sooner rather than later. A deadline other than 31st Aug.

  53. Not a good draw. We should be good enough to beat them, but it is definatly a tough one compare to what we could have got.

  54. Well Udinese eh? Gonna be a good one! What a tough start to the season… Great test for ze lads, and the pre-season preparations. Kos & Verm will be more than a match for their attack, now much more limp after losing their best player in Sanchez. Gervinho to score on his Champ League debut anyone?

    Thanks for a nice article OOU. It’s amazing how far some clubs can fall, with the wrong people at the helm. Wenger is the modern day Herbert Chapman.

  55. Udinese will Rape us.

  56. Good to see the supporters getting behind the team.

  57. well we do like to make it difficult for ourselves. We also tend to play better against team that actually are better. Just look at last years fixtures.

    Udinese will get the boys sharpened and make them concentrated. i think that is a good thing.
    meeting some shit team could have maed them sloppy. Now they know they got to gove 100% to go through.
    And no way in a million years Udinese will beat Arsenal. This is as bad a draw as it can get for them.

  58. you should go rape yourself gooner2

  59. I’ll rape you if you’re not careful. Feeling quite virile today gooner2, watch yourself…

  60. I don’t see Udinese as a bad draw at all, I would have taken any of the possibilities apart from Kazan.

  61. sorry gooner2 that sounded way much harsher that it was meant too. what i meant to say was please chill, nobodys gonna rape us. we will win.

  62. block4 altest you as a fan can get a nice trip to Italy and enjoy some great wine and sone sweet food while your team plays its way into the cl.

  63. Too true Maturks, I have been saying this all along: the lack of money is definitely the overriding feeling emanating from Barca – it is no secret they have been financially screwed for some time now – it was only a year ago they could not pay their players, sold Chygrynskiy and Toure to raise funds and still had to take an emergency £125M bank loan to cover their liquidity problems. Like many, this is a club flirting with the fringes of its financial capabilities. Given the dark clouds gathering in the stock markets, talk of a serious global recession and the fact that Spain are a very poor country with a terrible level of debt we could soon see the banks that fund these clubs collapsing. Barca are as exposed as a bare arse at a spanking festival.
    Wenger could yet come out of this looking like the wisest man in football.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/blog/2011/aug/05/stock-market-crisis-ftse-usa-europe

  64. I meant it with all my heart. Gotta love a bit of good old rape to wake you up in the morning..

    Joking obviously – I only rape on the football pitch.

  65. poodle, I’m just happy that we’re at home first so I can go to the game, I’m going to be away for the second leg.

  66. Udinese is tough but, so long as it’s not Kazan, I’m happy. Plus we are at home first – this is the crucial.

    Quietly confident.

    Gooner2 – grow some fucking balls eh?

  67. @Jonny imagin the irony of cesc going back to Barca for them to go bust afterwards. if his fee is what pushes them over the edge. If his Salary is one euro to much.
    its almost like shagging your mum and killing your dad. A proper greek tragedy, played out in spain.

  68. If we lose do we go to europa

  69. have we EVER been handed an away tie first??

  70. Great article, OOU, really interesting – I wonder if the club would think of staging a pre-season friendly with Racing de Paris? If we stay in Europe next summer it could be a lovely gesture. Even a reserve 11 would be good. It’s nice to preserve these historic links.

    Udinese is fine by me, althoug the away leg first might have been preferable – but the most important thing is not having to travel too far.
    Up the Arsenal! Suddenly the season feels that much closer – yay!

    @ Jonny
    Now look what you’ve done!

  71. Nice post, OOU. Good job

  72. FG – eh? What did little old me do? I deny all responsibility whatever it was.

  73. I think that italian teams strong defencive tactics could prevent us from scoring at our very own stadium. So I think that wenger should advice his players to attack udinese. If he does send that message to his players then I think we will outscore them.

  74. Jonny= why is it crucial the 1st leg is at home when it is generally considered an advantage to play the 2nd leg at home?

    And it’s sad that we are looking forward to a global recession so that AW looks wise!

  75. Antonio De Natale has been the top scorer in Serie A for the past 2 seasons

  76. @ Jonny
    Wonder if we can last the whole day without a massively irrelevant attack on the manager/lack of transfer activity blah blah boring bollocks?

    God – I’m such a dreamer!

    That’s what you did! And true to form…up popped some of the usual suspects.

  77. Fuck me one week tomorrow. Udinese confirmed and lined up.

    The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up and my scrotal sack just tightened up a notch.

    I’m going to be nothing but annoyingly positive from her on in. 🙂

    BRING IT.

  78. Interesting article about our posession stats pre- and post-Wembley last season.

    http://5addedminutes.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/too-much-possession-how-wembley-changed-arsenal%e2%80%99s-season/#more-560

    “… I stumbled across a slightly bizarre relationship: last season the Gunners enjoyed more success when they actually saw less of the ball…”

  79. Udinese eh?

    Can’t see us not beating them to be honest. We’ve got the number of Italians teams. Would have been more worried if it was spanish/portugese or eastern european opposition.

  80. No Zapata, Inler or Sanchez. We will beat them easily.

  81. FG – you’re holding me for that?! A fort hasn’t been built to keep those cunts out.

    So far this morning we have had rape, patricide and motherfucking incest. But yes, go on, point the finger at me.

    🙂

  82. Excellent Big Al. Just imagine, it is only pre-season. Fantastic signing Yogi!

  83. ‘So I think that wenger should advice his players to attack udinese’ lol – what else do we do? He should also tell them to not let udinese score at our place and make sure he does his homework defensively. Its a tough draw no mistake but if we cant beat them then we have no business in the champions league. They have lost their best centrehalf (Zapata) their ever present DM (Inler) and one of their most dangerous attackers (Sanchez) so that helps. But in saying that we will be without RVP and Nasri (suspended for first leg) and maybe Cesc if Barca stump up the monies!

  84. *here* on in from the previous post.

    I don’t know what her ‘on in’ is, but I could have a guess.

  85. Haha! yeah Jonny. Keep it clean will ya? Jesus. 😉

  86. where did Zapata go in the end?

  87. Arsenal have lost none of the seven two-legged knockout ties against Italian sides in Europe.

  88. DeiseGooner

    bugger, I forgot about the suspensions.

    I guess I’d rather they were available for the away leg if we had to choose one anyway.

    At home we will have more than enough ammo to beat them even without RVP and Nasri.

    Looking forward to the draw for the group stage proper.

  89. Certainly a tough draw, but you would think we are strong enough to win over 2 legs.

    As a team with aspirations to win the damn thing we should anyway!

  90. jonny

    The only person who needs to grow his balls is you and the manager wenger. And as you said you are going to be annoyingly positive. So I just think your here to attack anyone who has an accurate opinion. And I don’t think you are enjoying whatever you think your doing.

  91. Interesting I think, what with the Mail and its parasites wailing on about Arsenal “rejecting” Barca’s new offer, that Beeb Sport says it understands that Arsenal haven’t even received a new offer.
    And the crucial question is, when you sell a footballer, is there VAT on the sale? Or are people exempt?

  92. Well we suffered at times last season when some of the players didnt respect the opposition and didnt get themselves motivated enough. Our start to this season allows for no complacency whatsoever – that does double for the coaching staff – we need to be sure we have the players in the right condition right from the off….

  93. Well said gooner2 – “my opinion is accurate, everybody else’s is off target.” LOL
    😀

  94. You’re kidding gooner2, I’m currently lying on my sofa, with half an eye on the telly, my laptop in my lap and my wife’s in the kitchen cooking lunch. Not only that I’m enjoying your negativity – it washes off me and serves no purpose other than to shorten your tangibly miserable existence.

    I’m salivating over the start of the season whilst you fret and moan and write it off.

    After lunch I think a spot of sex with Mrs Jonny and then off to the pub for the late afternoon.

    Yeah – I hate my life.

  95. @desi, that is what is good with the draw. We always do better against recognised opositions. Or did last year anyway.

  96. Wow! G2 (you don’t mind if I call you G2 now were friends do you?) I just realised it’s only me and Mr Wenger that need to grow balls. What esteemed company I keep these days.

    The wife will be thrilled.

  97. Deise – you took the words out of my mouth (or you would have if they’d got that far – still in the porridge I call a brain). I feared getting a so-called “easy” team because of the complacency issue – NY Red Bulls anyone? Now they should be 100% focused – let’s hope we don’t get any injuries at St James Park.
    That said, I had looked forward to them maybe playing Odense – just a half-hour drive for me and some of mates coming over. Oh well – maybe we’ll be in the same group 🙂

  98. Jonny | August 5, 2011 at 11:55 am
    “Arsenal have lost none of the seven two-legged knockout ties against Italian sides in Europe.”

    I didn’t even know that stat when i said we had their number. Footballing quality in Italian teams of nowadays is even worse that than before so, I think we have this one in the bag. The players better not be thinking like me though, as past experience shows we don’t always take advantage of our superiority.

  99. OOU – wonderful post and details that reflect your “passion” for Arsenal, the mark of a dedicated fan.

    YW – appreciate that you provide your site as an insightful podium, where you and astute readers promote endless aspects of Arsenal.

  100. BTW Arsenal have won all 8 of their games in the Champions League play-offs.

  101. Markus @ 11:07,
    by “this state of mind”, I meant Niklas now armed with the realization that he’s not rated “good-enough-to-buy” by any big club in Europe, would want to fight to prove that he’s as good as he feels he is. Only AW truly believes in him.

    “Barca are as exposed as a bare arse at a spanking festival”…lol, Jonny

    Oh, blow it out of yer arse gooner2, you’re being raped!

    ..Udinese way better than Kazan. Don’t see us not winning.

    ..i remain +++

  102. Aman – I bet it is his wages which are hte problem. He is on a fair whack at Arsenal, especially for somebody who has not really achieved very much and is relatively young. Players bang on about “just wanting to play”, but soon change their minds when asked to take a pay cut.

  103. Jonny

    That does’nt sound like your living a good Life. It sounds more like a regular living type of guy who is prentending to enjoy hmself.

  104. “hair spokesman David Ginola” – He truly does have wonderful hair OoU. One could fecth quite a bit of money from the weave purchasers for a bit of his hair

    Captain Haddock, Limpar?

  105. We should not be even playing qualifying rounds.We are supposed to be a top 8 team in Europe arent we??? No RVP Nasri Cesc Theo Jack it going to be fucking tough as we play Liverpool in between and Man U afterwards.This is not an easy draw

  106. Jack and Theo will be fit. Wilshere will be fit for next weekend, so he is no worry. If Theo does not make it we have Gervihno for his spot.

    They are a decent side, but we will have enough quality to beat them. Especially over two legs.

  107. Aman – regarding NB; I sense the same. Reality has entered his football life.

    Ditto for Cesc…….Barca have sh*t on him again. At some point you have to wonder about Spanish mentality.

    Udinese or whomever:
    Arsenal are blessed with a talented squad. Better depth at every position than we’ve had in
    previous seasons.

    Our younger players (Ramsey, Wilshere, Theo, Gibbs, Frimpong, Szcz) will be making an even greater contribution to our performances.

    The demanding start to the season WILL have every player focused. Coupled with the media still recycling our self-destruction, leaving Arsenal as underdogs……….placing less pressure on our players.

  108. I agree with Arsesession @12:39

  109. G2 – you talk a lot of shit about things you cannot know.

    Tell you what if it makes you feel better to imagine I am only pretending to enjoy myself then that’s fine with me.

    You have nothing of interest to say and nothing positive to contribute – in fact your tedium factor is so high I imagine it could block out sunlight.

  110. GA at 12:25, citations needed

  111. Gadget – I believe (obviously I do not know) that Bendtner is on 50 grand a week or so. Either way, I would bet it is quite a lot.

    There are plenty of examples of players that want to leave various clubs as “they just want first team football”, yet the moves break down over personal terms. Bellamy & Gibson are two that spring to mind in recent weeks. I am not saying they should be happy about taking pay cuts, who would? But don’t make out that playing is your No1 priority, when is blatently isn’t.

  112. I think the Bellamy case he stated that “they could not match my wages”, almost as though his wages are set in stone and it wasn’t his fault. If you want to play that badly, you would be happy to take a drop in wages. Lets be honest, he is not going to be pleading poverty dropping to 30 grand a wek is he? Greedy rat like creature that he is.

  113. Then do you know the particulars of any offers Bendtner’s received?

  114. Hahaha Not Funny.

  115. Not at all. I just said that I reckoned his wages were the problem. His agent/dad/chief trouble makeer has said they have had plenty of offers. The player has said he want to leave. The manager has said he is close to leaving, yet he is still here. I highly doubt a bloke with his ego is going to take a wage drop, so maybe the clubs in for him can’t/won’t match or increase his current wage packet. Just my thoughts. Maybe so, maybe not. I am not stating it as fact or anything.

  116. gooner2. once again you show that you know zero about football. Udinese play a very similar attacking game to Arsenal. They are not the usual Italian ‘defensive’ side.

  117. Then you are using your imagination to create a stick with which to beat Bendtner?

  118. No, just saying that lots of footballers won’t take a wage drop to get what they say is the most important thing to them (regular games). He would be no differnt to plenty others if true. I am hardly beating him.

    Do you think that is beyond the realms of possibility Gadget?

  119. It’s not about what’s possible, it’s about what is. You cannot use what is possibly the circumstance as a criticism. I could imagine a great many people to acting under cuntish motivations, but it doesn’t mean it is so.

  120. Yesterdays training day video is free to view on Arsenal.com

  121. Jonny, how about you go to the pub and i’ll entertain Mrs Jonny for the craic!

  122. Gadget – Where have I critisised him? You are jumping to conclusions; I am not slagging the guy, just speculating why his seemingly “on the cards” transfer has not gone through yet. Jesus, it is like living in a house full of people on their period here sometimes. You can’t say anything.

  123. She says she up for it but she’s joking. I think. She’s laughing anyway.

    AND she’s coming to the pub with me (just in case).

    Thanks for the kind offer though Caxter – most selfless of you.

    😉

  124. gadget you know the reason bendy hasnt gone is all down to money. whether its arsenal or bendy who is holding out that we dont know but it could be both.

  125. Criticism is inherent when a question is posed relating to one’s honest or integrity.

    Don’t get so melodramatic, it’s most unbecoming of you

  126. It is a comment about fooballers in general. And is probably relevant to Bendtners current position.

    Again, given all we know about the liklihood of him leaving (he has been negotiating with other clubs), why do you think he has not gone yet? I know it is just speculation, but I am just asking your opinion.

  127. This is going to sound particularly obtuse but I cannot even guess at the why without more information – about the situation and Bendtner’s personality. Speaking as one with an oversized ego, the ego is only occassionally a factor in my decision-making. And I guess that’s the point in a weird way: any guess I make it going to be drowned in my own biases and not really worth it, like the man who forms his geo-political stance from reading the Sun.

    Anyway, I apologise, belatedly, for causing you a little consternation.

  128. Anytime – us guys have to stick together in these uncertain times!

  129. Gadget | August 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    “It’s not about what’s possible, it’s about what is. You cannot use what is possibly the circumstance as a criticism. ”

    True in an ideal sense. But people do it everyday anyways, especially football fans, even here on ACLF.

  130. OOU

    Great post. Really enjoyed the history. Looking forward to a full season of your posts.

    Henristic @ 11:46

    Are you really surprised that we actually played worse when we have those high possession stats? I’m certainly not.

    Andy @ 1:43

    Didn’t you learn anying last night mate?

  131. Come on Gadget, I was just asking for your opinion. Not a detailed anaylsis, it does not matter if it is right or wrong. I suspect that yours (in this situation) may mirror mine in this situation but I am being presumptious (and I know you would not admit it anyway 😉 )

    Come on, what do ya think? Given what we know.

    * Manager said he can leave.
    * Player said he wants to leave for more football.
    * Plenty of offers.
    * More than likely on a fairly high wage currently.
    * Has been negotiating with other clubs.
    * Still here?

  132. One more thing Gadget. Based on your 2.06 post, you do realize you qualify as a fence sitter acording to Limpar/G69 and others? You’d want to be careful with this stuff….

  133. Bill – Heh, obviously not. I do enjoy debate though.

  134. Henristic – heh I did think that. It seems to be the other way round on here.

    Give an opinion = Fence sitter

    Can’t really give an opinion = All right here

    Very strange. That said, if you look back at last nights posts Gains demonstrated he does not really know what the saying actually means, so that is fair enuohg I suppose.

  135. Andy.

    Me too, love to debate about football and certainly enjoy a good one when it’s about football. Just me but I think it often degenerates quickly when we get into this other stuff. However, to each their own so enjoy.

  136. Bill,
    Not suprised at all giving the circumstances. What was interesting was how almost all teams (except naturally attacking teams like spurs, blackpool, manure etc) seemingly let us have posession after the Wembley incident. We’re talking about a difference between 50-55% posession pre Wembley to 60-70% afterwards. That’s huge!

    How did they know to all sit back like that all of a sudden? Or maybe they were recoiling in anticipation of a reprisal attacks from the ‘wounded animal’ (i.e. us) that never came?

    For those that missed the article, have a look again…
    http://5addedminutes.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/too-much-possession-how-wembley-changed-arsenal%e2%80%99s-season/#more-560

  137. Bill – Don’t enjoy it per se, just find it difficult to believe people can be so naive and can’t help myself 🙂

  138. Gadget,

    Ignore the headline in the link because it doesn’t say anywhere in the article the exact amount he’s on. He does say footballer’s salaries should be compared to “movie actors”, a direct quote. If that’s the case I would guess he’s on more than 50 grand a week.

    http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/854896-nicklas-bendtner-i-deserve-50-000-a-week-for-the-sacrifices-ive-made

  139. In other news, Arsenal have been granted permission to build a 184-bed hotel on Holloway Road. However, no date has been set for construction. (PropertyWk)

  140. “The idea that teams chose to allow Arsenal more time on the ball is supported by the fact that total possession duels in Arsenal matches fell significantly in those final eleven games; teams were less keen to contest 50/50 balls during this period.

    This begins to go against the notion that getting ‘stuck in’ is the best way to trouble Wenger’s side. Whilst the statistic doesn’t perfectly translate to hassling and harrying, five of Arsenal’s bottom eight-lowest duel frequency matches came after the League Cup final, whilst the top eight all occurred before.

    This supports the suggestion that teams caught onto the best way of frustrating Arsenal; not by getting in their faces but by being well-organised defensively and not worrying about possession.”

    Not sure I agree totally with part of the article. IMO, the reduced number of 50:50 duels is least partly down to our own lack of fight in those last games.

  141. Yes there is a correlation (or should I say reverse correlation) betwean possession and results, but I don’t think it is clear which is cause and which is effect.
    While we are not in the lead teams happy to get a point off us will sit back and allow us to have more possession. Once we take the lead teams have to try to get more of the ball if they want to get something out of the match. It therefor makes sense that we will on average have more possession in matches we don’t win.

  142. They are not naive GA. They’re just bored and picking on someone becomes a an interesting diversion (see what I did there Gadget?). I have to confess I do it myself from time to time, as Frank can attest 🙂

  143. We have large amounts of possesion simply becuase we are very very good as possesion football. Added to that, the opposition is quite happy to sit very deep becasue we can be quite predictable in our play.

  144. Henristic – Ha, I certainly don’t feel picked upon. More irritated.

  145. JohnN,

    There isn’t a correlation. Our results post Wembley were an anomaly. Normally the team with greater posession tends to win (or not lose).

  146. Henristic @ 2:08, that is why I have been reticent in posting; there has been little to post
    @ 2:13, I thought the definition of fence sitting had something to do appearing to taking a position in the middle of two camps, although accusation did appear of hedging one’s bets. Can not having an opinion because of recognised ignorance truly be fence-sitting?

    GA: it doesn’t matter if the opinion is right or wrong, but you are asking for a specific thing: the why. I can give you predictions of the what all day long, but the why I cannot. It akin to asking an physicist why a super massive star exists when our laws of physics says it shouldn’t. You won’t get an opinion until numbers have been crunched, formulas checked, and data collected

  147. Oh and I understand why some want him to stay but for me, Bendtner needs to go. He does my noggin in.

    I have no doubt he’ll be a good player one day but his first touch has not improved a jot in the years he has been with us. Plus there is no doubt he would be more effective in the middle and in our current set-up he’s a bit of a round peg in a square hole.

    And I am tired of his over confident best player in the world bullshit – a hefty dose of realism and humility would be no bad thing.

  148. Gadgmeister – they could have theories though couldn’t they? 😉

  149. goonerandy | August 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm
    “Henristic – Ha, I certainly don’t feel picked upon. More irritated.”

    True

  150. Jonny: “a hefty dose of realism and humility would be no bad thing.”

    I think he’s getting that now, with the fact that he’s not being snapped up by all the best teams in the world, at a bargain in today’s market. I think he’ll do really well once playing regular football, but would only serve as back up to a title challenging team imo. He would be better being the big fish in a small pond me thinks… That’s my theory anyway.

  151. Gadget – Are you some sort of MP? It certainly sounds like it.

    You can give an opinion on anything. You are not stating fact, and therefore you don’t need all the facts. It. Is. Just. An. Opinion.

    Obviously the more facts we have, the more informed an opinion we can give.

  152. Would much rather see Vela be given the chance if we did play the 442 as someone suggested earlier.

  153. Geo – That is a fair assesment I think.

  154. We could play any formation we wanted, but we would not change our game plan so we never played to Bendtner strengths. He would probably never fulfil his potential with us due to the game we play. I was never a fan of his, but he was against it from the start.

  155. I agree GA, although there was one point where i thought he was going to become an awesome striker, a couple of years ago. In the meantime, his ego has grown massively, whereas his football skills has plateaued it seems. something like First Touch (which should be the very first thing you are taught imo) surely must get better and better every day? If his is no better now after years of Arsenal-esque training, I just don’t think he’s got the technical skill to be an Arsenal striker that we can rely upon when it’s crunch time. Barca in the last minute for example.

  156. Gadget,
    You’re so obviously in the humanities. I can’t imagine a scientist/engineer with your writing style…

    Re fence sitting; An utterly positive sounding statement about Bendtner would have confirmed your allegiances. Anything less and you are fence sitting buddy.

  157. Shit, am I sitting on the fence then Henrizzle?

  158. Andy:

    I understand.

    Henristic:

    Some of our best games last year came with less then 50% possession. Barca at home we had about 35% of the ball and they made more then 2x the number of passes. Wolves away was one of my favorite PL games. We had less then 50% of the ball and we scored 2 great counterattack goals. When the other teams coax us into the scenario where we pass the ball around 35 yards from goal i think we that we end up getting frustrated, lulled to sleep and lose concentration. I think it’s a tactic that other teams use, “rope a dope”. Same thing seems to happen whenever we hit a bad streak for the last few years so not an isolated phenomena from last years “collapse”. Teams tighten up at the back during squeaky bum time when they are fighting for table position at the end of the season and the parked busses get bigger. No surprise that’s often when we struggle. I don’t think we throw out plan A because its awesome when it works. However by now we have a large sample size and I think it’s reasonable to conclude that total reliance on the the same tactics make it very difficult for us to get the results we want over a 38 game season

  159. Geo, nope they wouldn’t. Pedantic perhaps, but it takes a hll of a lot before an idea becomes a theory – a hell of a lot of testing is involved. A hypothesis perhaps, but it’s unlikly you’d get a physicist postulating one in my hypothetical situ without a lot of thought into the matter.

    GA: Politicians would gladly give an uninformed opinion if it’d look like good PR move so you have the wrong analogy. In any case, I feel you should tone down your testiness, it’s unwarranted, petulant, and you know better

    I’m not going to formulate an opinon on this. I’ll try and explain why again with this: If a child came and asked you why the colour of gold proves Eintein’s theory of relativity what would you do, simply say you don’t know and leave it as that, or hazard a guess despite being completely out of your depth? I don’t make guesses when I’m utterly clueless, and on this situation that is exactly what I am.

    Knowing when one is ignorance is the path to impartiality and objectivity

  160. Geo,
    I find it strange even that a professional football player doesn’t have a good first touch let alone an arsenal squad member brought up through the youth system. I’m not even sure ball control is a skill that can be taught, in the same way as you teach tactics, positioning etc.

  161. You pesky pedant you!! Ok, hypothesis will do..! 🙂

  162. Geo,
    Fence-sitting? dude, you’ve sliiped to the dark side. You’re a full blown doomer now after those comments on Bendtner.

  163. I was going to avoid making any response to goonerandy’s earlier sliming of an Arsenal player, in this case Bendtner, based on the usual media hearsay. But then I see him trying to wriggle his way back into a middle of the road position after being taken to task, and then I felt it necessary to at least make a comment. G/A: Despite your protestations of innocence and self-righteousness about giving/having an opinion, it is so typical of you to give the usual obligatory faux support of the team and the manager in one breath and then at the earliest opportunity to give credence to the most scurrilous and slanderous allegations that the media and the doomer-crowd have popularized. After doing the damage you then try to weasel yourself back to a middle of the road position. Talk about opportunism. You are worse than New Labor, the Greek Socialists and the Obama’s New Democrats all rolled in one. That is some major acheivement.

  164. I think it can be taught Henristic. Like anything though, the younger the better. When I was playing for Devon at schoolboy level, they would put you in a small chalked circle, blast balls at you at all heights, and you would have to control it and not allow it out of the circle. Some people started there as club-footed oafs, and ended up with a great technique… Could have just been natural progression, but it certainly made me a much better player, though rigorous practice.

  165. Gadget – OK mate, we will leave it there. I wasn’t asking for an explanation of quantum physics, just why you thought Bendtner’s transfer might not have gone through yet. It is worth remembering that I only asked you after you picked on one of my comments and tried to make out I was somehow slagging Bendtner off (which I wasn’t).

    A career in politics awaits you though, you have fine skills in dodging a very simple question 😉

    It is a job job gains isn’t around though. You might have found he would have tried to take you to task rather than the bit of banter we have had.

  166. Henristic, an excellent deduction. I’m a law grad, although I prefer to think of it as applied philosophy – makes me feel a little better about that particular choice.

    However, you do get negative point: my passion is physics, I read up on it constantly, and I’m currently saving so I can do undergrad.

    Disagree with the implied allegience thing. I have an allegience to any Arsenal player, that’s a given, so my questioning of GA automatically mean I have a side.

  167. Aw maaaan! A doomer eh? Bugger me. Thought I was an AKB.. Damn these polarised stances..!!

  168. Very good informative post and a welcome distraction. Well done!

  169. Shotta – I quite enjoy some of the debates and discussion on here. Despite some of it getting quite heated sometimes, the banter is usually pretty good. You tend to speak a load of shite though, so forgive me if I don’t engage with you (I will take Bills advice here).

    You really don’t seem to know what you are talking about most of the time, and just follow others leads and opinions like a sheep. If there was a bully in the schoolyard you would be the sniveling runt behind them egging them on, just to be with “the in crowd”.

    Forgive me if I don’t reply to your (no doubt very predictable and dull) next post.

  170. LA,
    Do you know where I can find copies of the Tintin comics? I grew up reading them and can’t find them anywhere.

  171. Gadget – Good job I really didn’t ask for an explanation on quantum physics then….you could have probable answered it. And I would not have understood a word of it 🙂

  172. colney – my parents have shit loads! (sorry not very helpful i know) I give them a browse whenever I’m visiting them in the Emerald Isle, brings back great memories! Loving the Haddock Limpar!

    What about Ebay?

  173. The excellent 7am Kickoff blog had a piece recently observing that the sliming and trashing of Arsenal players as lazy and overpaid, aka “deadwood”, is usually reserved for the foreigners (Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue, Almunia and of course Denilson). All other fine English uns deserve more time to prove themselves. Guess whom G/A trashes when he gets the opportunity?

  174. Shotta – I will break my own rule and reply.

    a. I don’t “trash” anybody. If I don’t think they are good enough I will say so, but that does not mean I am “trashing” them.

    b. I could not give a flying what nationality our players are. Some do, some don’t. I don’t, as long as they are of the right quality, god enough. Even if they are not good enough (IMO) I will still support them on the pitch 100%.

    c. You are an idiot to trying to imply I am racially motivated in some way. You have literally just made it up in your head and believe it. Scary.

    *Sorry Bill, I have failed again 😉

  175. Gadget | August 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Interesting, I was actually going to write philosopher (instead of humanities) but decided for the broader term.
    I already know about your passion for physics (its not like anyone could have missed the references to relativity and cosmology in your posts). Good luck with the undergrad thing. After graduating you’ll certianly become one of the more erudite scientists around.

    “Disagree with the implied allegience thing. I have an allegience to any Arsenal player, that’s a given, so my questioning of GA automatically mean I have a side.”

    Really? So if I question some other less effervescent supporter for saying something similar to what andy said, I can be considered in the same light? I can finally belong?

  176. Those damn foreigner’s are stealing the jobs of good English lads. Just imagine, we sell Diaby and Denilson, then we have the space in the squad for two good English players like Barton and Parker. Sell Bendtner, buy a good English striker like Carroll.

  177. ” We will do our business early in the transfer window”.
    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  178. Yarp Evil – Get them bloody little blighters out of ‘ere! *waves pitchfork*

    Get Scott Dann too, really British he is. Just what us nancy pantsy gooners need, some hairs on the chest. Dont eat enough brussel sprouts, these foreigners, that’s what I say.

  179. Do you have a link to that article Shotta. It seems heavily flawed as the amount of foreign players we have it’s always likely they’ll be the ones labelled deadwood. Give it a few seasons and we may see Theo, Gibbs, or even Jack labelled as such

  180. Geo I love the tintin comics, I tried ebay a few weeks ago and the bid was too rich for me. Was hoping someone knew a vintage website that sold classic comics. Also looking for Asterix comics.

  181. Oh Hi Spectrum! Where have you been all my life? I’ve been waiting for you to paste in your profound little saying all day. Thank you!!!

  182. Geo – As an aside, I really hope we don’t get Scott Dann. He really is average at best.

  183. Colney – i like you already. The other comics they have in storage for me are the Asterix ones! they’re all pretty battered though. Love the full A4 pages, great illustrations, great humour for both kids and adults…

    The druid called ‘Getafix’ dog ‘Dogmatix’ the old nutty scrouge ‘Geriatrix’ etc etc love it!

  184. Yeah me too GA, was joking! Hardly a statement of intent!

  185. Randall – Not good enough
    Bentley – Not good enough
    Pennant – Not good enough
    Justin Hoyte – Not god enough

    We have plenty of English players who don’t cut the mustard. Just as we do foreign. We are a top club, so need top players. The above are all decent enough, but that is not enough for the Arsenal.

  186. Geo – Heh, I know. It was in the papers and on the web the other day. My heart sank, until I realised there were no quotes or anything so it was all hogwash.

  187. “Arsenal step up chase for [insert English, oafish lump here]”. how many of those headlines are we going to read this summer? Almost as many as “Barcelona bid of [insert meagre figure here] rejected by prison guards Arsenal” I expect.

  188. Andy:

    Not hurting my feelings. Implying you are a racist is ridiculously dumb and no one would leave it unchallenged. Patience is a virtue is a guideline but not an absolute.

  189. Spectrum! more like “dirty Rectum”

    In the case of Bendtner, I would say he never truly excelled. Last season saw him score 9 goals in all comps. Not too shabby really, and by my calculations that is nearly 8% of all the arsenal goals scored last year. Make of that what you will, but I think the best is yet to come from Nikky B.

  190. http://www.fanatix.com/news/arsenal-set-sights-on-15m-england-full-back-497/

    Just seen this. That would cheer me up a bit I have to say. Again, no quotes or anything though probably a pile of made up shite.

    Right, off to practice guitar for a few hours.

    Later

  191. Gadget,
    I agree. But you’ll find that shotta rather enjoys throwing around charges of discrimination (racism/nationalism/xenophobia) so isn’t likely to have paid critical attention to his source.

  192. Young Boys are in negotiations to become Arsenal’s feeder club.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  193. A truly great first touch only a handful players possess this cannot be taught. However every skill can be honed with practice. It’s a weakness in his game that we can all see but he should have improved upon it by now and it says something that materially it seems not to.

    The interesting thing is that it is not that his first is always clumsy but too often it lets him down – this speaks to me perhaps of confidence issues – is this over confidence a mask that hides a deeper insecurity?

    Either that or he has not worked hard enough on it because he is too arrogant to see it as a problem.

    Yup it’s definitely that or something else I haven’t thought of.

  194. Thankyou Yogi for a wonderful story about Racing. Yes it would be enjoyable to have them come over for another November tilt.

  195. Thank you for your kind words Henristic, I appeciate them greatly!

    It appears I missed a “doesn’t” in my post, so it should read “… doesn’t automatically mean I have a side”. I’m not entirely sure if that has any baring upon your post though.

    My question of GA, was born of seeing a post I perceived to be too full of speculation which then seemed to inspire a perceived criticism. If GA were some random poster or someone like AIC, I would have let the comment slide. But alas, over the past season I have enjoyed the debates I’ve had with GA, and so I felt compelled to point out what I felt was an egregious error, but did so in a rather laconic manner rather than my usual loquacious jovial style.

    In doing so, I did not intend to convey a pro-Bendy stance, merely that with a lack of information, the perceived criticism was unjust.

    Although admitedly, I do have a liking of the kid, and want him to do well; but then I hold such affection for anyone who comes through our hallowed doors with good spirits so perhaps my post was motivated by and with bias. I hope this isn’t the case though as it would imply a little too much determinism for my liking!

    Did those paragraphs in any way answer your question? I fear they probably didn’t and now I’m off to sauna!

  196. Gadget | August 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm –
    It was an observation he made in a broader piece about the transfer nonsense but I don’t have the time to research right now (work calls). However it is pretty self-evident among certain blogs. The chief blog whore is the master of this meme directing his ire at certain young players, primarily the foreigners, for being complacent and ovepaid. Interestingly enough the commenters on Young Guns, not Jaime Sanderson the blogger, are pretty extreme in bigging up the English yutes and trashing the foreign deadwood. Recently there was an uproar over there when JET was being sold and possibly Lansbury. The usual scurrilous stuff.

  197. Curses, I could talk Asterix and Tintin comics all day!

    It took me a way into my teenaged year to appreciate the character names in Asterix. Getafix is a shocking name to give the druid who supplies the “magic” potion

  198. “If somebody is to blame, it’s me. I pick the team. I choose the players,” Wenger said.

    I’m sure Geo, or Wenger’s unofficial spokesman – Jonny, will be pleased to interpret what our manager meant by the above statement.

    “In Arsene we rust.”

  199. hahaha Gadget! Yup me too, as a kid, was blissfully unaware of the other layer of humour involved, went back to them years later and was laughing all the way, for entirely different reasons (although still loved some of the things that i laughed at as a 10 year old!).

  200. Yes, Shotta, I have witnessed such. Perhaps it’s a little naiive of me, but I hope that it’s the kindness extended to youth more than anything so insidious but time will tell.

    Anyway, sauna. I’ll be returning to my silent self till the new season!

  201. God, Spectrum, you are one whinging fucker. “Arsene lied to me!”.

    Unless they were sent from God, like Gervinho, and wanted to play for the Arsenal why the **** would a player sign at the beginning of the window without waiting to see whether another club were going to jump in with an improved offer?

    City would do it too, to deny us the added strength. They’d sign our target, loan him out for the season and give the finger to EUFA and their FFP rules.

  202. Rectum – He was making an honest statement, while protecting his players. Nothing rusty about that mate. He could have easily gone on to say that his team are more than capable of winning, but they let him down at the last hurdle. But that would be a harsh, and totally unprofessional line to spread to the media world. I’m sure he said many a word to that effect in private to the players.

    Do you have any optimisim at all in life? Do you even own a glass?

  203. “We will not be signing anybody else. We try to run the club properly.”
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  204. Rectum has got himself into quite a dilemma. He wants Arsene out, which is an understandable opinion. He doesn’t say who should place him or anything of that sort. He spouts his little slogan.

    When Arsene does leave, what are you going to do Rectum? If Arsene leaves and the club doesn’t win a trophy, what are you going to do?

  205. Why do you guys bother with rectum? He is not an Arsenal fan.

    DNFTFT

  206. Here is a suggestion: grab a pair of scissors, and start snippin away at those wrists.

  207. just a reminder,

    AUGUST
    13 Saturday Newcastle (A) 17:30
    16 Tuesday Udinese (H) 19:45 w/o RvP, Nasri, AW
    20 Saturday Liverpool (H) 12:45
    24 Wednesday Udinese (A) 19:45
    28 Sunday Man Utd (A) 16:00

    what an absolutely smashing start to the season!!!!

  208. Rumours that Cesc is not on the flight to Portugal. They are coming from Spain though.

  209. Well dups, i am curious as to why he has the stance that he does. Also i can tell him to inflict pain upon himself. Tis pretty fun.

  210. anyone got the skinny on Madjid Bougherra?
    Thought he was superb a few years ago.
    Reports suggest he’s being sold to a Qatari club for less than 2m quid
    …is he still any good?

  211. The reaction when Fran Merida and hazard nordtviet were lost last year, especially Merida would argue against any racial bias among most fans. Clearly I think everyone who is English would like to see young English players do very well and the national teams recent struggles make that concern more urgent, but by far the over-riding concern is how it affects arsenal. Thus the teeth gnashing over losing Merida (irregardless of his being spanish) since many thought he was going to be a very good player for us based on his performances in the reserves.

  212. Bill Turner – ” If Arsene leaves and the club doesn’t win a trophy, what are you going to do?”
    Well now you’re being a “doomer” aren’t you ? Why don’t you utilise some of that A.K.B. super optimism, and picture a fresh new start ? Of course that would entail taking a risk, though. Leaving your comfort zone. Something that is so frightening to contemplate, eh ? If we didn’t win a trophy, we’d be no different to what we are NOW ( and I’m talking the last 6-7 years, since Wenger’s decline began. ) But if a suitable candidate came in, we’d have a new approach, a boost in morale at the very least.
    No-one stays on top of their game forever. Wenger’s been here 15 years. Does he still seem the same man that started all those years ago ? Has he still got that winning mentality ? Does he learn from his mistakes ? Has he ever lost his obsession with the youth project – look how he’s still snapping up kids left, right and centre ! Does he ever change his ways ? Has he changed his transfer policy, even NOW that he HAS money to spend ? Is he tough enough with his players? Can he inspire them anymore ? E.T.C. E.T.C. E.T.C.
    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  213. I’m really looking forward to the Benfica game tomorrow.
    Now that we are a week from the start of the PL & know our CL opponents, I’m hoping to see some intensity.

    NO INJURIES please !!!

    …i’m gettin’ POSITIVELY jiggy

  214. This from Arsenal.com…….

    Wenger – “Judge my team in May, not now.”

    By Chris Harris ( November 7th 2008 ! )

    Arsène Wenger is not planning a spending spree in January because he does not believe his Arsenal players are failures.

    Not for the first time – and certainly not for the last time – the Frenchman spent a chunk of his pre-match press conference discussing his intentions when the transfer window swings open in the New Year.

    The implication from this persistent line of questioning is that Arsenal’s current squad is not good enough. But Wenger disputes this and insists that his players should be judged at the end of the season, not now.

    “At the moment I am always answering questions like this,” said Wenger. “But I tell you come back in May and we speak about it.

    “I believe in this team and I believe in the strength of this team and I have always to answer questions that the team has ‘failed’. We make a balance in May.

    “You can expect Arsenal to be active tomorrow at 12.45 and for the rest January is a long time away. I believe that this team personally is very strong and recently they don’t get any credit. But it’s a good moment for this young team to grow together, show resilience, show strengths and an opportunity to be a strong team in the future.

    “Good players can always help you but I believe at the moment I have good players here. I do not want to focus on January and I am not sure at all that I will buy.

    “The solution is not always to buy players. The solution for me at the moment is to trust the players I have because I trust their strengths and I trust their intelligence, so let’s show it.”

    Remember, this was from almost THREE YEARS ago !!! Sounds much like what he says these days, huh ? (Same old, same old.)
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  215. Alrighty mr. Spectrum, at least you have a reason for your disdain. You asked me a few questions.

    Truthfully I don’t know most of those answers, neither do you. I will admit that you seem overly antagonizing of the man. Obsession with the youth project? I would call it more of a model than an obsession. You know, buy a young player, put him through the youth academy, reserves and so on. Jack Wilshere is all you need to know about the “obsession” with the yutes.

    I know the possibility of the squad winning a trophy is far fetched for you, but there still is a chance. When it happens, I will be ashamed to know that you (mr spectrum) will be celebrating within our ranks.

  216. Spectrum, your name is almost an anagram:

    spur- c–t

  217. Just checking Madjid Bougherra out on YouTube..vs Man Utd.
    Man,
    @ 1.7m to a Qatari club, he’d be a steal???? Can’t we scupper this deal?

    Possibly cup-tied for CL? (ex-Rangers)
    6ft 3, 28+, plays CB & DM…mobile, true defender, at his peak, cheap <3m (@1/4 Samba or Jagielka???)
    Would slot right in & even leave Squilly playing time when off to ACN.

    Sorry y'all, but I think I prefer him to DJ.

    Well…anyone…any thoughts?

  218. Aman, I think the youtube can make any player appear outstanding. The best way to judge him would be to watch a full 90 minute performance.

  219. no nonsense..2-footed..strong…good in the air….scores goals..experienced…savvy…warrior

    I am so drooling here….<3m??????…."The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up and my scrotal sack just tightened up a notch……come in Jonny??
    Jonny?
    ACLFers….Shotta, geo, gadget, henristic,…anyone??

  220. @Bill Turner
    And even then it can always happen that you unfortunately get to watch the match in which a player either has a really good day or the exact opposite, which in the end does not tell you anything about his real abilities.

  221. Ah, Bill, I did see him play a full game once for Algeria. I thought he was EXCELLENT!

  222. And he really fucks with Rooney..makes him look the boy

  223. U all know I would love Samba (not Jagielka or Cahill) but for a quarter of his asking price and with more International experience, greater mobility & positional flexibility…
    Bougherra’s the one!

  224. Alright you’ve got me convinced. Sign him up!
    Although he does lack the extra……um……engrish gr!t?

  225. “Overly antagonising of the man ?” The difference is that I acknowledge and appreciate what he HAS done for us in the PAST. But unlike you A.K.B.’s, I don’t continue to live in it. I am balanced enough to ALSO acknowledge his faults and flaws, and am not so intimidated by past loyalties to him, to not speak up and point them out. That’s the BIG difference.
    I recognise that he has taken our team as far as he can. He’s now long past his use by date, and it’s time for him to move on, and give someone else a chance to see if they can do what he patently can’t, anymore. He’s indoctrinated you into thinking that finishing top 4 is more acceptable than actually winning. He’s accustomed us to not expect better. Complacency and mediocrity is not progress.
    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  226. @Turner
    That’s why he would cost 1.7m as opposed to 11.7m

  227. Spectrum bla, bla bla, hate arsen bla bla rust bla bla hate arsen bla bla hate arsen. We know u hate him. But ur so shir arguing ur case that nobody believes what u writing. Try harder. Come up with some good arguments we can all debate that may show u are right for once. Bla bla hate arsen is just to simple.

  228. check this out…a CB???

  229. Okay Spectrum I see a more reasonable side of you coming out now.

    First off, I wouldn’t classify myself as an AKB. More of a “Arsene knows better than I, by a country mile”

    Secondly, how can you be so sure that he has taken our team as far as he can? Granted, the past 6 years have shown a linear decline in terms of points. That does not mean the squad can’t begin to show progress.

    From here I see it as a difference in taste, and I realize I won’t change your opinion. I will say that you seem overly confident that your opinion is the correct one. That is why I think it is a shame that you will be celebrating IF, in the future, we win another trophy under Arsene.

  230. Put simple, there are alot of variables that can influence the outcome this year. AW is not one of them as he will never get fired. You got to find alternative solutions to ur problems. Try looking at it from another angle. How can we succeed with AW? That should be ur baseline spectrum. Cos that is the reality of the situation. And u cannot change that .

  231. Wow Aman that is a Messi-esque run!

  232. From twitter

    “Reports in Holland that Arsenal have failed in an work permit attempt for Ryo Miyaichi and he is to return to Feyenoord”

  233. eh yeah Bill..i’m creamin’ here…rabbit out of a hat AW?

    He’s like Keown, Sol & Gilberto all in one..feisty, savvy, mobile

    Instantly upgrades defence
    Brings the swagger back..imagine Bougherra + Vermaelen
    OR Bougherra & Kos

    Aaaaaaaaah…think i just……up goooneeersss.
    (now look what u made me do)

    ..i remain POSITIVE

  234. There must be a reason a defender at his age has never really played for a top side.

  235. Bill Turner – If we win another trophy under Wenger, of course, I’d be celebrating. But the big trophy is the Premier league. If he wins that again after 7 years (and counting), then it will prove to me that he still has it. And I’ll be pleased to eat humble pie and admit I was mistaken.
    But it’s a safe bet that based on his neglect so far, that for that to happen would mean a total turnaround from our recent times. It would mean Wenger would have to change his behaviour and mindset so much, that it just doesn’t seem plausible.
    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  236. If it weren’t or the fact that Sprectum, or sperm cut (following the anagram thinking, I like both), is part of the genius comedy duo “AIC and his p Rectum” you would think he is a batty old lone madman, muttering to himself at the street entrance to Angel tube station, “In Arsene we Rust, In Arsene we rust”, as mothers hurry their kids quickly by, “don’t stare darling, come let’s go!”.

  237. Oops sorry … DNFTVI

  238. dups, if the report on Ryo is true…bummer

    OUT:
    Ryo (loan)
    Eboue?
    Almunia?
    Nik B?

    LEAVES:
    Szesny-Fabianski-Mannone
    Sagna-Jenks
    Gibbs-Traore
    Verm-Djourou
    Kos-Squilly
    Song-Frimp
    Nasri-Theo-
    Cesc-Rosicky
    RvP-Chamakh-Afobe
    Jack-Diaby-Rambo
    AA-Gerv

    25 players…there’s room for 3 more…say Joel Campbell? + 2

    +2: for me would be Oxlade/Mata + Bougherra/Samba

  239. oh, with Lansbury OUT? as well

  240. Zimpaul @6.28

    LOL

    .

  241. Ah, Zimpaul – Still fixated on my ( very relevant ) catchphrase, but not perceptive enough to see the meaning of it . It fascinates him so much that his tiny mind can’t string together a few neurons to put up a sensible debating point or two.
    Keep trying, Zim, you’ll get there ( eventually ).
    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  242. Kind of feel,

    if Oxlade’s asking price does not go down he’ll not be a gunner

    Joel Campbell would probably sign but not given a work permit

    Lansbury might rethink re-signing and would make the team

    Mata’s not coming (this year, free next?)

    Samba might have to request to leave Blackburn to force move

    a Bougherra signing would unite all gooners (doomers & AKBs unite!)

    Bendtner’ll be loaned to Stoke

    Eboue’s leaving unless Gala change their mind

    Almunia has to go

  243. Mathematically, there is probably an equation for you Sprectum, but biologically (assuming you are biological) you are bit of a freak. Blogologically, with ACLF embracing a bit of doom, I shudder to think what the doomer sites must be like. Voldemort’s coming out party?

  244. spectrum you are missing th big picture and how the prem has changed, instead of concerntrating on what wenger hasnt done think about all the achievements he has made in the last seven years.it would be interesting to know if you even recognize them.be careful what you wish for in the past we have long periods without trophies and just decline.do you remember those times and how we all felt then? all the media hate arsenal because we are still acheiving things no other club could every season. they have sold you the no silverware line and you have a big hook in your mouth !

  245. Spectrum.Count me in mate your new thinking and well made points have persuaded me.
    Arsene has lost it .Just about the time when he had to try to manage whilst selling of his star players to help fund the move to the Ems .And as this happened to coincide with the emergence of suicidal spending by our direct rivals ,it was a double wammy for him.
    Still if we know when he lost it perhaps he could go back and find it

    In Spectrum I thrust

  246. goonerandy,

    I’ll take a chance with a guy that’s won 6 trophies in 3 years at Rangers.
    Many winners have been known to be hot-heads.

  247. the guy’s got CHARACTER

  248. in rectums my crust

  249. GR it’s not nice to make fun of my rectum.

  250. Aman – You are going on about this guy so much, I am starting to believe that you a actually him. The SPL is no great indicator of quality though, it is like pub football in better grounds. That majority of teams up there would not even hold their own in the Championship.

  251. (forgot Vela)
    ***revised TEAM LIST

    OUT:
    Ryo (loan)
    Eboue?
    Almunia?
    Nik B?
    Joel Campbell? (loan?)

    LEAVES:
    Szesny-Fabianski-Mannone
    Sagna-Jenks
    Gibbs-Traore
    Verm-Djourou
    Kos-Squilly
    Song-Frimp
    Nasri-Theo-
    Cesc-Rosicky
    RvP-Chamakh-Afobe
    Jack-Diaby-Rambo
    AA-Gerv-Vela

    26 players…leaves room for 2 more…say Lansbury/Oxlade? + Bougherra/Samba
    13 HOME GROWN @ least….

    Wassup with Craig Eastmond? Is he still an option…anyone?

  252. Cesc NOT in Portugal

  253. goonerandy,
    he’s played CL & international footy …what’s more intense than Algeria vs Egypt????

    …i am NOT Bougherra

  254. Spectrum, if we win the league under Arsene would you mind it if an AKB from London kicks you in the balls? I think humble pie is a bit too lenient for all the shit that you’ve talked for the past couple of years.

  255. If true, that does not bode well. FFS.

  256. “In Arsene’s wife i wish to plant my seed”

  257. What was the name of that Moroccan defender that was linked with us last summer?

    Bougherra would be a good buy. He’s played in the BPL and the SPL and has CL experience. For such a low price he’d be worth a gamble.

  258. Why, when some poster’s naked opportunism under the guise of patriotism and nationalism is exposed, the guilty party or their accomplices invent a straw-man, usually racism, which was never the issue raised? (Bill – I am looking at you.) But then opportunism in sport is usually a close relative of political opportunism.

  259. So Bendtner’s race is the issue or it it sliming and trashing the player’s reputation on the basis of unfounded allegations about his wages and his ego? Having done already the damage, will the fence-sitters now run towards the middle of the road professing their love for the masses, sorry, the football club.

  260. Goonerandy hates Denilson and Bendy, but thinks Scott Parker would be a great addition. How people take this guy seriously is beyond me.

  261. Gainsbourg69

    Squillaci had CL experience remember.And what a pile of horse-shit he turned out to be.Havent we had enough crap CB’s under Wenger Stephanovs Cygan Senderos Silvestre and Squillaci

  262. I don’t hate Denilson or Bendtner. I don’t think they are quite good enough for Arsenal Football Club, but that is my opinion. I also don’t think Parker would be a “great” addition, although I can the benefits of adding somebody like him, even if just for one season on loan to nurse Frimpong (who looks a real talent) into the squad.

    You really should not make up things, to suit your own arguments. It completely undermines any points you make, decent, or otherwise.

  263. GA how was the guitar playing? What kind do you have?

  264. And if they had have been good enough, the manager would not be letting them leave would he?

  265. Bill T – Yeah, a good session tonight. I play an Epi Les Paul and use a Marshall Amp. Not been playing that long (about 8 months), but put lots and lots of hours in and it is coming along nicely at the moment.

  266. Well he might be letting Cesc leave and he is good enough.He let Henry leave and he was good enough
    Just saying 😉

  267. Play us Stairway Andy

  268. Loomer | August 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    You put your finger on the pulse; while pretending to love Wenger’s footballing philosophy, GA has often revealed his willingness to fill the team with cloggers particularly if they are English. So he loves every chance to publicly trash a Wenger-type player if they seemingly won’t make the grade. That is the fence-sitting and opportunism which I abhor.

  269. Good stuff Andy. I got myself an Epi Les Paul as well! She’s a real beaut. Keep practicing and pretty soon it will feel very natural. You’ll be able to hear a song on the radio and learn to play it on your own.

  270. and Diarra, Gilberto, Hleb,…etc leave. Think POSITIVE gonerandy…it makes guitar playing more fun…fun, fun

  271. Shotta I have to disagree man. “GA has often revealed his willingness to fill the team with cloggers particularly if they are English. So he loves every chance to publicly trash a Wenger-type player if they seemingly won’t make the grade.”

    I’m not going to sift through the archives but i’m positive you will find many instances of Andy expression his hope for the success of foreign, Wenger-type players.

    For someone who seems knowledgeable about arguments (you’ve mentioned the strawman a couple times) you are committing some fallacies yourself. I believe in the quote i pasted above
    (GA has often revealed….) you are falling into the trap of a slippery slope. Just my opinion.

  272. Bill – Ha, small world and all that. I tried a fender a few weeks ago but really didn’t like it. I am strictly a Les Paul man. I am quite interested in trying a semi-hollow though (maybe in time). I am lucky as my wife plays the drums, so we have some good jamming sessions. I like to play stuff like QOTSA and desert rock, but can do plenty of the staple riffs. What about yourself?

    George – I could do in a very amateur fashion.

    Shotta – You keep making things up to pass your day and suit your argument big man. I am not even going to bother responding from now on unless your make a valid point, or back up what you are saying with some evidence. You are frankly quite dull and boring. I can’t debate with an idiot.

  273. People just seem to read what they want to read here.

    Someone doesn’t rate Bendtner = obviously he hates him

    Someone doesn’t agree with Wenger’s choices = He thinks he’s better than the manager and should learn to be a better supporter.

    We’ve even got someone on here talking about racism or something, I mean seriously. The discussions today have been as civil as ever.

    The reason I don’t post much at all, even though I read this blog and the comment section every day, is because I can’t be bothered with this kind of thing.

  274. Bob – Quite. It is pretty tiresome and actually stops some good discussions.

  275. Cesc not gone to Portugal Nasri not there..Just an excuse to take the team photo.Very sneeky Arsene very sneeky indeed

  276. Those who disagree with me on G/A’s love of English gr*t did not pay close enough attention to the Barton debate or non-debate earlier this week. Go see who put Barton out as a possible signing and quickly backed off when it wouldn’t gain traction. Who put the “opinion” out there that Diaby was a little pussy-cat compared to Barton?
    I have been studying this middle-of-the-road fence-sitter for a while and finally figured him out.

  277. To all the Bendtner defenders please explain that glorious first touch in the Camp Nou.An elephant on ice has a better touch

  278. Graham.After much thought and deliberation I think you should just fuck right off

  279. Shotta – Seriously man, I really think you are confusing somebody else’s posts with mine. There was a big debate about that, but I stayed out of it. Get your facts right (again, I am getting bored of saying that).

  280. shotta @ 7.33pm

    Got to be honest, don’t see your point ref English players. As far as I can see all GA wants is top quality at Arsenal, irrespective of nationality.

    YW

  281. andy,

    just accept that once the brown-shirts think they get a sniff of dissent, anything and everything you say will be seen in the light they want, which has now shifted from being a ‘doomer’ or ‘realist’ is being a c__t tonow if you aren’t rabidly on on side, being a ‘in the middle’ is c__tish behavior.

    It’s “all in” or nothing these days, it seems.

  282. Shotta – “Go see who put Barton out as a possible signing and quickly backed off when it wouldn’t gain traction. Who put the “opinion” out there that Diaby was a little pussy-cat compared to Barton?”

    How embarrasing for you, it certainly wasn’t me

  283. Andy I am playing in a band right now. have yourself a listen eh? http://www.secretscience.bandcamp.com

  284. Spectrum

    Your 6.26pm sums up your hypocrisy,

    >If we win another trophy under Wenger, of course, I’d be celebrating

    I hope you do celebrate. Publicly and not hide. For there will be a shower of something in your direction, and no, you will not want to be around to be covered in it.

    YW

  285. I agree with Busch. People dividing the support between two extremes is harmful to the club.

  286. Arsenal: Fabregas to face Benfica Footymad 19:53
    Fabregas to miss Benfica friendly ESPN.co.uk 19:50

    that’s 2 news-feeds on newsnow, directly following each other!!!!!!!!!!!

  287. Bill T – Wow, that is really really good mate. I don’t think I am anywhere near playing in band though (although a guy I jam with reckons at my current rate I am only 6 months or so away).

    There is some really good licks and riffs in there. The first song reminded me a bit of The Gun Club (bit) with your singers voice.

  288. Bill, I dont so much mind jackholes on either side of an extreme getting schtick, especially when they purposefully go onto a different minded blog to instigate.

    But it seems even the reasonable people who might have some (not even all) differing viewpoints are getting lambasted, which I think is against what most seem to often say on here, that it is a more mature reasonable section of the fanbase.

  289. Loomer:

    I was the offending party in Scotty Parker. Nothing this squad needs more then someone with endless energy and drive. Call it grit if you want. We certainly have more then enough technical skill and haven’t we seen that a mixture of technical skill and grit can be very effective while abundant technical skill and a shortage of “grit” is often not the answer.

    Love the idea of Frimpong and his wide torso destroying all in front of him. The guy truly is the sort of player I have been begging Arsene to find for a couple of years. However lets give him a little time and not destroy his progress and confidence if he gets called on to play significant minutes and is inconsistent or struggles which would be the expected outcome for someone his age with no previous experience. We can certainly excuse any mistakes because of his age and not blame him but thats not fair to the rest of the squad when an affordable and good short to medium term solution is available. That is the best thing for the team and will not kill or damage Frimpong in any way.

  290. Bill – You don’t per chance know who was going on about Diaby/Barton ealier in the week? It may save Shotta some time, as almost certainly now he is wading through this weeks posts trying desperately to find evidence that it was me (it wasn’t) to stop himself looking foolish (he is).

  291. Cheers All and Up the Arsenal,

    As Graham noted at 20:01, Arsenal.com reported that neither Fabregas nor Nasri has travelled with the squad to Portugal. This may be the clearest indication yet that both will be sold in the coming days. If the transfer fees reported by the press are reasonably accurate, Arsenal can expect to receive between 55 and 65 million pounds for the duo. That seems like good business to me. If Arsenal could bring in three established players at around 20 million apiece, I think we’d be in great shape. With that amount of money, we’d be able to buy a quality center back, a creative midfielder, or a new defensive midfielder. Even two out of three would be more than acceptable if a new center back was part of that equation.

    Any thoughts?

    Up the Arsenal

  292. But good points on Frimpong. He really does look a talent.

  293. David – It is risky losing both of them I think. That said, if we do get that amount of money and re-invest it all in the squad (that is not even including our own transfer budget) it would be interesting to see how the squad shapes up. I still really hope Cesc stays though.

  294. I think that Nasri and Fabregas are worth more than Cristiano Ro-divo. That won’t happen in the current market though.

    It really was a joy watching those two play. There was one interchange against Birmingham that was pure magic. A couple inch perfect one-twos and a Nasri blast into the back of the net. I will still enjoy watching them play for their respective sides, but mostly I wish that they pick up a series of niggling injuries to prevent them from beating the Arsenal.

  295. Arsenal squad (in alphabetical order):
    Arshavin
    Chamakh
    Djourou
    Fabianski
    Frimpong
    Jenkinson
    Miyaichi
    Traore
    Miquel
    Ramsey
    Rosicky
    Sagna
    Song
    Szczesny
    Van Persie
    Vermaelen
    Gervinho
    Squillaci
    Lansbury

  296. shotta whats really up? why the obssesive persuit of andy today?

    Anyway apparently barca have bid £33m now if true then why are we holding out for £40m when.

    a. we said we would sell cesc this year so we are going to renade on a promise to him so he will be a very pissed off player.
    to have around if he stays and detrimental to the team so selling him must be our priority now.

    b. £7m surely isnt worth keeping a very un appy player when we could go get someone who will be willing to sweat for the shirt.

    just fukin sell him and end his torture ffs.

  297. Also, thanks for the compliments Andy, I’ll have to check out The Gun Club.

  298. Gonerandy,

    Cheers. I think it’s a risk also. I think the fact that neither player has spoken “officially” on committing to Arsenal speaks volumes about their desire to leave the club.

    My guess is that we can expect a signing or two next week…

    Bill Turner is right to highlight the interchange between Fab and Nasri during our win at Birmingham last season. That’s football. Oh well…

    Up the Arsenal.

  299. and ours.

  300. C’mon duke. “just fukin sell him and end his torture ffs.” You sound like the countless Barca Cunts who have said the same thing.

  301. DIDN’T MAKE TRIP:

    Gibbs
    Cesc
    Nasri
    Mannone
    Koscielny
    Walcott
    Eboue
    Bendtner
    Almunia
    Afobe

  302. “Walcott is back in training but he is not ready just yet,” he began. “Wilshere is injured on his ankle and it is very difficult to set a concrete deadline on his comeback.

    “Nasri has a muscular problem. Cesc is just coming back from injury and he is not ready to play in the game. Diaby is out and Koscielny has a small muscular problem.

    “Bendtner and Eboue are not in the squad because they might be going out of the Club.

    Hope springs eternal it seems

  303. Paulie Walnuts

    Only just read todays post (been a long day)

    Fine stuff OOU !

  304. OMG, Squilly did not make the trip either!!!

    WTF AW???

  305. bill that was said in jest. but we now have to make his selling our priority, im now convinced if he is still with us next year it will not be for the benefit of our team. so for me i say fuck the £7m lets just get some one in who wants to actually fukin play for the Arsenal.

  306. OMG, Jack tooo??..wassup with that ARSENE WENGER???

  307. Andy @ 8:34:

    Fingers stuck in ears. La la la la la la. I can’t hear you.

  308. I gotcha. The question is, do we sell him at a cheap price? With Andy Carroll going for 35 millions, anything under 40m for Cesc Fabregas is a terrible deal on our part. I know this topic has been debated before, but we are talking about one of the best midfielders in the world, at the peak of his career!

  309. Kos has a muscular problem ,He must want away as well.

  310. Bill – Heh.

  311. From arsenal.com. so that should answer all questions raised

    Wenger – Why key men are missing for Benfica

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    By Richard Clarke in Lisbon

    Arsène Wenger has explained the absences in his squad for the trip to Benfica this weekend.

    Arsenal have taken 19 players to Lisbon for the Eusebio Cup on Saturday night but some key men are missing.

    At the pre-match press conference on Friday evening, he explained the situation.

    “Walcott is back in training but he is not ready just yet,” he began. “Wilshere is injured on his ankle and it is very difficult to set a concrete deadline on his comeback.

    “Nasri has a muscular problem. Cesc is just coming back from injury and he is not ready to play in the game. Diaby is out and Koscielny has a small muscular problem.

    “Bendtner and Eboue are not in the squad because they might be going out of the Club.

    “Koscielny and Nasri might be back for the start of the season. I don’t think Fabregas will be ready to start the season because he has been out for a long time and has had no games. Walcott might be back and, as for Wilshere, it is very difficult to say.”

    The manager was pressed on the question of Fabregas given his appearance at open training during Members Day earlier this week and the continued speculation surrounding his future.

    “I do not want to speak about the transfer of Fabregas because I have done that three years now in every press conference so I don’t think there is any more need to add something,” said Wenger. “I love Fabregas and I want him to stay, that is basically it.

    “Everybody is free to think what they want. We cannot stop people raising questions.

    “He is just coming back from injury and is not ready to play in a game. But he is not injured.”

  312. Thats my time..goodbye ALL..till tomorrow

    …ir+++

  313. sorry i didn’t notice the extra stuff that came with the article.

  314. Dont understand why good blokes are sniping at each other.There are enough cunts come here for us to have a go at

  315. bill yes agree but here are two reasons why we can sell at a dicount price.

    A. he was from their acadamy and we pinched him
    b. we now need to get rid of this player as he is detrimental to our own team.
    c.we will still make a fukin nice little profit of £33m.

    yep that was three reasons but still we know cesc is worth more then £40m under normal circumstances but these are not normal circumstances now.

  316. Anyone watching Hull – Blackpool? Hull have got a superb left winger called Brady, wonderful delivery and a bit tricky too.

  317. Duke .Is it my bad maths or is A+b+c=3 reasons

    We should move heaven and earth to keep Cesc.

  318. “Ideally I would have finished all [our business] but it doesn’t work like that,” he said. “We work very hard, we are non-stop working throughout the summer. I am positive because we have good quality and a style of play that is known by the players. So we want to add not quality but super quality.”

    When asked for the reasons for the delay, the manager outlined some of the issues with which he has had to contend.

    “You have to identify the players, agree with clubs to get them out, agree the fee,” he said. “That means they have to agree with you and they have to find another player before they release their players. In England, it is a lot more difficult to move during the summer because some people are not there. It’s all kinds of things you meet during the transfer market. But I can understand the impatience of people.”

    And will that patience be rewarded soon? Are Arsenal close to a new signing?

    “No, not at the moment,” Wenger replied. “We hope to give you some good news soon. Next week, something might happen.”

    I HOPE IT ANSWERS YOUR CHILIDISH QUESTIONS RECTUM!

  319. Unfortunately, the Cesc-Barca situation is anything but normal. And while we are in a position of strength by having him under contract, that is about the limit of it. Cesc won’t come out and tell Barca to leave him and the club alone, and Barca know he won’t go anywhere else.

    Honestly, if wishes were fishes, I’d like to see someone convince Cesc to accept a move to Italy, and we could find an Italian team to pay us his worth (heck, his inflated market worth) and he can have some fresh air, we get his value and money to rebuild (or bank), no more drama, and know he can join Barca in 3 years (or whatever contract length he signs).

    But ah well… we will see how this plays out.

  320. Vince ~~ Brady is a Man U player I think.

  321. Hull’s brady reminds me of Adam Johnson. Looks a handy player.

  322. That’s true dups, hate to say it but looks like a real prospect

  323. Oh srsly Dups? That’s a shame. Enjoyable game for a 0-0 this, nice to actually watch some football rather than speculating about who may or may not be playing it for us.

  324. Hull have 4 or 5 Manure youngsters in their squad.

  325. fukin el how fukin ard is it to change batons! bloody team GB cock it up again.

  326. Great goal for Blackpool.

  327. Nice goal for Blackpool

  328. Heh, Blackpool fans chanting “We are top of the lge”.

  329. Alright Duke I agree with C. 33m is quite some amount. I would argue that Cesc is only detrimental to the team when he is injured, which is far too often.

  330. Duke, we didn’t pinch him from their academy. Cesc and his father knew that it would be almost impossible for him to get into the first team squad so they came to London out of their own free will. While here he has gotten all the exposure he surely wouldn’t have gotten in Barcelona, which netted him nice sponsorship deals and a fat pay check. This whole story of him being pinched is absolutely ridiculous. Just wait until Cesc goes to Barca and Thiago Alcantara has his development interrupted by him. Will Barcelona have the right to claim that Thiago Alacantara was pinched when he decides to move and becomes a star somewhere else? Of course not. The bottom line is that if Barcelona had wanted Cesc to stay they would’ve made it a priority to keep him. He came to Arsenal at fifteen, which means Wenger saw something in him that Barcelona couldn’t. End of story.

  331. Bill – How long has your band been going?

  332. C being the fact that selling Cesc means a 33m or so profit.

  333. Gains – Agreed 100%. Also why should we drop our valuation because he wants to go and they are skint? Not our problem. We should be asking at least £50M for him, if they can’t afford it, tough luck.

  334. Will people please stop selling Cesc.

  335. AM BACKING BLACK POOL to come right back up

    would have also backed wet ham but for big sam being in charge. it will be good for him to remain in the championship!

    am glad they are leading

  336. yep… they should stop selling cesc… i agree.

  337. yeah lets sell nasri the other rebel.

  338. This band is relatively new. Probably 6 or 7 months. We actually just had a gig last night. My guitar cable fucking died right in the middle of a song so I had to stand on stage for 3 minutes looking a like a dooshbag, lol. But, a couple girls took an interest to me and i got some phone numbers.

    here is a live clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8-Emu29tfs

  339. BLACKPOOL actually held on for a 1 nil win! not bad at all

  340. It’s all about wireless receivers Bill! I’m kidding, they’re the least reliable things ever and you end up in Spinal Tap hell when you discover the other guitarist in your band is stuck on the same frequency as you.

  341. That was a hell of a miss by our old chum Jay Simpson at the end there. No composure at all.

  342. Are you a music man Vince?

  343. Bill T – Big props mate. Excellent stuff!!!

  344. Duke,Nasri is not a patch on Cesc.

    We can easily replace or lose Samri ,not so Cesc

  345. Tanks a lot GONERandy. I think you might be missing an O there sir. Once we sell our souls and go on a worldwide tour, i’ll hook all you up with backstage passes. Yes, even you George!

  346. Ha, good spot (that feels better). Excellent news, I will await my tickets and get right into your rider whilst you are on stage 😉

  347. do you have any groupies? and if so can i be your equipment carrying man??

  348. Will there be groupies?And copious amounts of drugs?

  349. Duke ,me and you could be proper good mates 🙂

  350. Maximum Groupies, Maximum Drugs! I’ll bring some ketamine for you George, I know you like that shit.

  351. WWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  352. george you can do the drugs leave me to the groupies!!

  353. Drugs are only fun when used while watching the Arsenal Football Club!

  354. You guys sound pretty good, Bill. Which one are you, the lead guitar or the guy off to the side in the shadows?

  355. I am indeed BT (if I just call you Bill people may think I’m addressing the blog’s American pessimist ), I am currently mega excited about the Beck-produced Stephen Malkmus CD. Guitar wise my main instruments of mass awesomeness are my Tele Deluxe and my Tele thinline, which is a Jim Adkins signature model. I normally avoid sig guitars like the plague but the old ’72 thinlines were hard to get hold of when I bought that and I love the shape.

  356. BT, what city are you guys in? I’ll be up noorf around Thanksgiving so if you’re in the DC, ATL or thereabouts I can catch one of your gigs.

  357. You just can’t beat a live gig.

  358. http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/9963/smorgasbord-stupid-aka-laffaire-fabregas/

    This is from a Barca website. To be fair the guy is right down the line and slags of everybody involved in the Cesc saga. He has some very valid points on all parties.

  359. Hi, Vince.

    I’m a Stephen Malkmus/Pavement devotee myself. May catch him on tour in the States in October.

    Up SM & the Jicks!

  360. Even if Fabregas doesn’t join Barcelona, the fact that he’s been out for the (second) longest time ever with a hamstring strain surely means he won’t play vs Udinese.

    Who is going to score for us in the home match?

  361. Cheers for that GA, pretty fair for the most part. Although I don’t agree with it, the “upon revival I would continue to boo him” line was hilarious.

  362. Good man David! I really wish Domino would get on with putting out the deluxe edition of Terror Twilight.

  363. @JamesM
    That guy with the obscenel large forehead, I guess. He might even score two or three, just to announce himself to the supporters proper.

  364. *obscenely. … it’s too late in the evening.

  365. Are you in the States, Vince? Was listening to Terror Twilight just the other day. An underrated album in my opinion.

    Did you see the SM contest that Matador was sponsoring?

  366. Sorry for the delay I had to make the commute home. Gains I will be off to college pretty soon which means i’ll be in central illinois until december.

    A few of my friends are devout fans of Pavement, i’ll have to give some of their discs another round!

    Here’s to an Arsenal victory tomorrow.

  367. goonerandy | August 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm
    Sorry G/A for just getting back to you but I had a flight to catch. I was going to dredge up Wenesday’s posts but after reading YW’s response, I decided to take your word for it. Fact is I apologize if you were not the person advocating Barton and slating Diaby etc.
    Much of this slating of players wearing the shirt is way out of hand IMO. But cest la vie.

  368. PS: G/A – I don’t mind being called foolish. There are worst things I could be called but I never want to slander anyone. Cheers. .

  369. This is all we need:

    1) Central Defender (Verm, Kos and Djourou round out a good 4 man rotation)
    2) Left Back to challenge Gibbs
    3) Advanced Central Midfielder (only if Cesc leaves)
    4) Someone to compete wide right with Theo. When Rosicky plays he needs to be central, and Arsh, Gervinho, Vela and Ryo are all played on the left.

    Realistically we’re not going to bring in 4 players, so we will be left with vulnerabilities no matter what and players playing out of position when injuries and suspensions hit.

    Still, it’s not such a bad squad really…

  370. That ‘stupid’ article is a load of rubbish and in itself very stupid. Were does a club become stupid for either wanting to keep the most productive midfielder in Europe for the past 5 seasons or wanting good value for him if they have to sell.

    My stance in this matter of Cesc’s transfer, remains that Arsenal have got no blame. Except in the eyes of those who will like regular updates as if its some goddamn reality show.

  371. Don’t worry guys… last year we finished fourth but ‘were really close’ apparently…

    Fortunately all the problems have been resolved by some astute and swift signings this summer so we should easily walk all the tournaments this year.

    It’s like deja vu…

    …all over again.

    In Arsene We Go Backwards.

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