Times, They Are A-Changing

I’ll start today by thanking the reliable stalwarts who have filled in so eloquently in recent days whilst we resolved broadband issues at the new home. The ACLF hat is doffed to Messrs Muppet, OOU and LA.

The sky I am reliably informed, is falling in. Arsenal can no longer take finishing in the top four for granted, let alone even challenge for silverware. Indeed, we may be complacent about such seasonal eventualities, this is Arsenal Football Club we are talking of but the players and management won’t , that is for certain.

What to make of the start to Arsenal’s season? A previously porous defence has discovered parsimony. A free-scoring attack finds itself firing blanks. Two games, the sum total of one goal; it is 1994 all over, albeit with a dash of style. And the same undercurrent of misery amongst the support, exacerbated by the global nature of the interweb.

The portents of the pre-season were not good, Cesc finally left for Catalan climes. Whilst it is disappointing to lose a good player there is more understanding toward his departure than that of, say, Emmanuel Adebayor and seemingly Samir Nasri, leaving for money. I am not going to cover old ground with Barcelona’s behaviour over the course of the past three seasons but I hope that Cesc’s Arsenal DNA will become as tiresome for them from around 2013 onwards. Assuming he is still there at that point, of course.

As for Samir Nasri, it is a difficult situation. Football supporters are curiously hypocritical creatures. We extend our loyalty onto players who feel no great affection for the club. We treat them as if they should be similarly inclined to spend eternity. Yet it rarely happens with clubs equally as capable of displaying no loyalty to the players when their services are deemed surplus to requirements.

The problem for Nasri is PR. He has failed abysmally to quell any rumours, allowing the media to gossip its way through the tawdry affair. We presume to know he is leaving, fake Facebook accounts aside. He has said nothing, his silence ensured by the uncertainty about whether City will actually meet Arsenal’s asking price. Yet if he stays, he will have done no wrong contractually. He signed for Arsenal as a player for 4 years. If he has no desire to continue in the club’s employ, that is his choice. He is free to do so. None of us would turn down the opportunity to considerably enhance our pay so why the negativity.

Principally because this is football and normal rules of employment do not apply here. Mainly though, there is a sense of being cheated by Nasri. He has tremendous potential but in his mid-twenties, surely he should be realising this by now on a consistent basis, not the sporadic showings so far. To think that he might become the player we know he can be in someone else’s shirt serves to inflame the feelings. To do so in the same summer that Cesc leaves intensifies everything one hundred fold.

To dwell on these though is negative. With a squad already being tested by niggles, knacks and strains, Wenger’s transfer pot must surely be tempting him out of Primark and into the warmth of John Lewis? The holes created by the departures of first team regulars need to be filled as the priority over the remaining fortnight of the transfer window, as do those created by the year long or more stays of Denilson, Eboue, Vela and co. Left back is becoming an issue with the fears over Gibbs’ fitness outweighing concerns of inexperience. Traore’s early departure from a recent reserve fixture merely serves to accentuate the issue. Versatility though may be Arsene’s overriding priority with central cover also a factor.

New signings may be crucial but Gervinho has impressed in his opening two fixtures. He is lively and his absence will be noticeable in the upcoming encounters with title rivals (real or perceived). His ban, thankfully not extended, was never going to be rescinded and to be honest, despite Barton’s jaw being the weakest possessed by an Englishman since Richard Dunn, is justified within the letter of the laws. As Barton, I refuse to give him the oxygen of publicity.

Alex Song’s ban is more infuriating, deeply unprofessional and borne purely out of retribution. I hope he has been fined by the club to emphasise the unacceptable nature of his actions. Whether the two combined cost points remains to be seen.

The huge positive has been the defence. Tuesday night’s clean sheet is being dismissed as lucky with the intervention of the woodwork being crucial. That is the case but luck plays a huge part in any run and should not be ignored. If that is a sign that Arsenal are getting the rub of the green, so be it. There is a credible argument that no-one of any note has tested Arsenal, di Natale changed that thought. It also misses the point. All that was asked of the defence was to defend, concede less. Two games in and that is the case, already -4 on last season’s corresponding fixtures.

Nothing can be read into two matches but it can be construed as the beginning of a trend. And why should it not be, what evidence of no improvement is there? Time will provide the answer and maybe a new defender will enhance that prospect but nothing is guaranteed.

More than anything though, the team has shown a willingness in the opening games to fight for each other, showing effort and desire which had been so palpably missing last term. Time away whilst moving house has given me a chance to recharge batteries, renewing enthusiasm for the coming campaign that the negativity had erased.

Time to look forward, assess where the squad is on August 31st. By then crucial fixtures will have taken place and the transfer window closed. When that has happened, a germ of an idea will have formed about where this season may end will form.

‘til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 18, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 470 Comments.

  1. Just Another Luke

    Post first, then read. 😉

  2. Just us early birds then Yogi?

    I thought Flint summed it all up well the other day when he said ‘never had so many had so much to moan about so little’, or words to that effect.

    Our main problem at the club does seem to be the inability to get a grip on the publicity that surrounds it. I’m sure that The Chief Exec. and his management team are very busy, just not busy or effective enough.

    Is Arsene going to spend? I really don’t know. Things are very quiet, which as we know is the ‘Arsenal way’, but we really do not have a clue do we.

    Sometimes I wish we just spouted off about players like ‘arry, at least it gives the witterers and twitterers something harmless to bang on about.

  3. Just Another Luke

    We need another clean sheet against Liverpool to maintain this unbeaten run. Carroll, Suarez are dangerous and will serve as another good test for Kos and Verm. Downing will test the FBs

  4. Did Yogi turn into Arsene?

    “Time to look forward, assess where the squad is on August 31st”

  5. Chill the Thrill

    Also I sent a Tweety to Jack WILTshire saying “hey jack tell ur m8’s on the team to ignore that clown Farton! 2 red cards in 2 games isn’t helping”

    So i’m sending praise to the Hosannas that Jack takes heed and tells the squad. In other news, c’mon arsenal!

  6. This has become my fav blog. Refreshing after the constant bombardment of negative news from the media and our Glooner fans.

    I took great positives from the Newcastle and CL game. But for me the biggest of the lot has got to be a young keeper. Not since Seamen have we had such a brave stopper bulldozing his way through attackers to clear a ball, or screeming at his defenders like a madman!

    With Verm, Walcott and RVP, I say that is one formidable spine through the centre of our team. Up the Red and Up the White.

  7. Sorry, I meant Wilshire!!!

  8. Of the two posts that Di Natale hit, Chezzer touched one onto the cross bar (great keeping) and the other hit the outside of the post with (I think) Chezzer having the inside covered.

    I think Song and Gibbs both were caught out of position on a few occasions in the first half and the sight of Kos chasing over the line in our opponent’s box in regular play were a little disconcerting but for the most part the recovery was good and the second half was structurally better.

    While our bench has looked a little thin, I think AW’s choice of substitutions in both games has revealed a more conservative and defensive approach, as he has brought more defensive minded players on to batten down the hatches – at least that is the way it looked to me as compared with past seasons. Frimpong for Rosicky against Udinese (sorry, I am sure Pat thought of that all by himself) and Djourou into DM to help with high balls to the end of the Newcastle game. Perhaps he’s not as stubborn as some have thought.

  9. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2027238/Arsenal-manager-Arsene-Wenger-continues-balance-books.html

    That is a grandstand article. And from The Daily Mail, no less. I am somewhat speechless.

  10. A scrappy win…but aren’t we a fickle bunch that we protect a lack of creativity. Indeed. Mind you, we were playing without out two most creative players. And with a1 goal lead. And we lost or starting left back and his replacement.

    Don’t get me wrong….i do think some strengthening is in order. Specifically, one center back, a backup only, preferably big enough to play stoke, onemidfielder of the very creative variety, and a striker if bendter departs. Though frankly I’m okay if bendter stays. Frankly chamach…..well, the chamach of today, does not suffice. Though the chamach of last year did. That’s it. Fund it all with nasri s fee. Put fabregas fee in the bank and buy gold with it….just to be safe

  11. That was protest, not protect

  12. Keyser,

    That article almost gave me a…well….its a male form of appreciation. In the mail of all places? Such positivity..such love..
    As an aside, with all this phone tapping going on, you would think sports reporters could actually get better info on who wenger wants to buy. He obviously uses cell phones.

  13. Yay a postive articvle!!!!

    Good read, cheers

    Wenger will spend, but due to the window being open tl the end of the month, unfortunately selling clubs will hold out for as much as possible. This is out of Arsenals and Arsene’s control.

    Accept it and get on with supporting the team.

  14. Look the squad is in a mess right now…no balance, no forward, no left back, too many kids, etc. Can you really see this squad lasting the whole season? Its simply criminal expecting kids to play so many games. And the fact that Arsenal are now reliant on 18yr old Jack, says a lot about the state of the squad! Who is in charge at Arsenal FC? Will someone please tell Wenger..enough! Buy the players that can compete for trophies, win titles, that fans are willing to pay come see, that the young players can learn from. And if you can’t find the so called “quality” players then maybe its time we parted quality and appointed someone who can.

    btw congrats to Cesc. Took him less than 7 days to win his first medal!

  15. Why Fabregas went to Barca?

  16. super cup=community shield

    Considering he already won its equivalent at Arsenal, as a 17year old, playing a lot more than 8mins no less. No not a big deal.

  17. Team cohesion isn’t created in a week or two YW, and the main factor in my view is getting this new team ‘ticking’ as a unit, especially midfield, and with the missing players. Once Jackie, Diaby, maybe Nasri, are back and can work with Ramsey, Song, Frim, and Rosicky the team will gather strength in mid-attacking roles. Defence is working, and this showed from pre-season, and the competitive matches. As someone pointed out, Kos/TV, as a combination have yet to concede. The main though thin attacking options of RvP, Theo, 3Gs, and Arsh with Chamakh and the youth brigade in reserve look OK, for now, because they are creating the right level of chances, and that’s the main signal. I am not that worried about the quality of the current squad, including Chamakh who showed glimpses of his role, although there are big gaps. What irony that this of all seasons should have seen Denilson stake his claim as a central cog of the midfield engine, but I should think his decision was influenced by knowing that Fabregas was leaving. As far as early results go, a slim home lead and an away draw in solid but unspectacular displays (especially regarding control) are far from dispiriting; we can draw optimism. The team ethic looks strong, and Rosicky, Ramsey and Song are working like crazy. Theo looks determined, and strong, and 3Gs is providing a spark with almost every touch.

  18. http://www.talksport.co.uk/magazine/features/2011-08-18/arsenal-fans-beware-wenger-could-join-mourinho-robson-warnock-and-more-managers-sacked-too-soon?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2027238/Arsenal-manager-Arsene-Wenger-continues-balance-books.html?

    Wow – unexpected articles supprisingly in support of wenger and showing some appreciation.

    I think we should all look @ them. and while many are eager to point out that clough lost it in his final yrs and that was the start of forests downfall the majority of good/great managers are often turfed out by their own

  19. Ones things for sure it`s been a boring fruitless old winter `down under`. Here was me stuck out in the bush talking to Henry (the cat) and hoping each day for news from London that would cheer me up, but it never came.
    I started out supporting Wenger, then I started trying to understand him, then I gave him the benefit of the doubt. This was followed by wondering if it was him or me that had lost the plot so I went for a check up and passed. I haven`t ,and never will, feel sorry for him but I won`t run him down either, he`s just got to realize Arsenal doesn`t belong to him it belongs to the blokes on the `terraces` and he is merely the custodian.

  20. The Hungry Horse

    We need to spend 60 Million to replace Fabregas and Nasri if we want to be at the same level as last year. Then we must spend a further 40 Million on Samba, Jagielka and Parker, if we want to challenge for the title. The other option would be to buy potential for a quarter of the price of proven stars, but when they develop they will leave. I wonder which option Arsene will lean towards.

  21. Would the team look as if it lacks balance with Wilshere, Diaby, possibly Nasri (we don’t know yet do we?), and RvP playing a part in both matches? We might say it looks a bit thin, but I think the cohesion would have appeared better. It is, in fact, probably better for the injuries and bans to surface early, against stiff opposition, and expose the weaknesses and strengths in depth. A steady start is sometimes better than a breathless one. So far, Ramsey, Frimpong, 3Gs and Theo have all shown guts and excellent work ethic, and the defensive displays have been well balanced. I say well done. Kos has looked great, and the defence as a whole, quite excellent. Who is to say Jenks cannot deputise at LB, for a spell? Our main weakness now is lack of controlling possession in the second half from midfield.

  22. we just need to get through the next few games without to much damage,actually three draws would do it , players will be brought in and frimpong ,ryo, benik and co will grow into great players.there are several loanees and reserves who could be ready later in the year as well. so are times changing or just progressing ?

  23. Good to have you back YW. That should take nothing away from your excellent stand ins however. Quality blogging all round chaps.

    Good to hear you are full of confidence and optimism.

    The positives such as solidarity and a new found shutting up shop trait, will out way the loss of one important player.

    I’m expecting Wilshire, Walcott, Ramsey, Koscielny, Gervinho all to make a fantastic contribution. Look at our team and think if the spuds can lift silverware, well so can we easily.

    Come on you reds.

  24. Winning against udinese is so much more important than winning against united and liverpool. Who cares about bragging rights when a spot in the CL is at stake??

  25. ZimPaul

    I agree the perceived imbalance in the team is not helped by the absence of Jack since the start of the season and having RVP missing from our attack against Udinese. And it does appear that we have little cover up top when RVP is not available, but we are just finalising the signing of a new striker in Joel Campbell and I don’t think AW has finished there. Is Campbell going to be one for the future, or is he going to be blooded now? He’s already played first team football and his young age does not necessarily have to count against him. Hernandez at Manure is proof that a very talented youngster can break in to the top level at an early age.

    Much has been made of the lack of activity in the transfer market to date, some of that can probably be laid at the feet of AW, but some of it was certainly down to the players who are leaving/have left. I do feel that the squad does not have enough experience as it stands, but we won’t be able to judge the depth of the squad until after 31st Aug.

  26. What a great article. Lots of food for thought but balanced i its approach. Thi si sthe best blog around. I am very unhappy at losing Cesc as i feel he has used Arsenal to develop as aplayer and now when he is reaching his peak and about to repay the investment he leaves at for a lower fee than what he is worth.
    He should have seen out his contract at least for another 2 years.
    But the club is strong and we will still be at the top levels at the end of the season
    Support the gunners

  27. Barcelona obviously assumed Arsenal was the new Barcelona academy, they didn’t realise that they have to pay for players when they want them back.

  28. Wavey lack of activity…

    Jenkinson
    Gervinho
    Oxlade-Chamerblain
    Campbell

    that’s plenty, not to mention work put in on Myachi’s work permit and bids for jagielka. Also so much more is being done that we don’t get wind of.

  29. Wavey, it’s a bit different, Hernandez played a couple of seasons in the Mexican top division and in a World Cup finals before Man Utd signed him, Campbell has played (as far as I can tell) 8 senior games in the Costa Rican league and had 6 appearances for his national team. A MUCH bigger gamble, I hope it comes off though!

  30. els, realistically, Gervinho is the only one rady for the first team on a regular basis right now. For the other three we are investing in potential, ansolutely something we should be doing on an ongoing basis, but we do have issues which require first team players now, even more so with the departure of Fabregas and the impending transfer of Nasri.

  31. els

    you know exactly what I mean, I’m talking about the perception that little has been done to address concerns over the cover in th mioddle of our defence and the fact the Cesc/Nasri matters have dragged on. I have on several occassions said on this blog that there are good reasons for why the Cesc and Nasri issues have taken so long to resolve.

    I know all about the players who have already been brought in and I am not slagging off the manager or the club, apart from to say that maybe the centre back issue could have been resolved sooner. In the last part of my comment I am trying to say that there is still things going on in the background and that those slagging off the lack of depth in the squad should wait until the transfer window finally closes.

  32. Block4

    I agree it is a gamble, AW says that himself, but one I’d like to see come to fruition.

  33. The Hungry Horse

    Wavey, Im sure man city would like to see it come to fruition as well.

  34. Block4, Wavey

    I’m not having a go. Simply just because a player is young does not make them much easier to sign. Therefore “lack of activity” does not apply.

    The window is not closed and we have only just received funds for Cesc, Nasris yet to come. We would all be complaining if we rushed out and bought another Jeffers.

    We are coping and the young players can do well short term. If it’s experience we need to get us through a long hard season, then lets take our time and get the right players. Also keep in mind a selling club knows that the closer to the end of the window a player leaves the more chance they have of a bigger fee. Don’t be fooled into thinking Wenger isn’t busting his plums.

  35. Isn’t that what I said?

  36. “I do feel that the squad does not have enough experience as it stands, but we won’t be able to judge the depth of the squad until after 31st Aug.”

    “In the last part of my comment I am trying to say that there is still things going on in the background and that those slagging off the lack of depth in the squad should wait until the transfer window finally closes.”

  37. @Block4 and others – a point of discussion.

    Where do you guys see us with Frimpong. I know there’s been a lot of calls for us to shore up defensive midfield options, especially with Song going to the ACN – though I’ll be supportive of him pissing off Eto’o even more and being banned from playing for Cameroon for a while.

    My take is that Frimpong is a much better option for us than bringing an additional defensively mindded midfielder. For one, he’s grown up with Li’l Jack since the age of 9, and alongside Aneke and Afobe, they’ve got enough mileage and understanding on the pitch together.

    He also ticks the boxes of those who want a Chuck Norris combative type of destroyer built like a brick shit house – but that’s neither here nor there – the lad has something about him.

  38. Lack of activity?

  39. Darius

    I like the idea of having Frimpong as DM cover and felt that he might have even made it on the the bench last season, but for his injury. He probably needs to work on his tackling a touch, but then Song is also guilty of the tap on the back of the ankles from time to time, and he will learn to tighten up his passing a bit, but overall looks like he has the potential to step up to the first team.

    I have also been a fan of of Lansbury, along with Kenyan Gunner, but I’m not sure he has managed to catch AW’s eye as well. It will be a pity if we decide to let him go as I think he is a good passer and has a cracking shot from outside the box.

  40. sledgehammer?

  41. Yeah Darius.

    He’s looking solid and assured. Also better the devil you know. As you say, no bedding in. I have to say the majority of claims for a defensive midfielder have died down.

  42. Then I will try to make clear what I was saying,

    A perceived lack of activity in what has been regarded as the key areas, ie at CB and with the Cesc/Nasri situations.

    I understand why the Cesc/Nasri matetr dragged on so long, but I don’t understand why the CB situation hasn’t been resolved sooner.

  43. The Hungry Horse

    The problem with Frimpong is his name. It hardly strikes terror into the opposing team it? He sounds like a very rare species of Toad.

  44. or a dodgy bar in downtown Bangkok

  45. frimpong could be going to the anc as well so who will play dm then

  46. Lansbury?

  47. The Hungry Horse

    ‘You drive down Patpong, then chuck a right onto Frimpong..’

  48. I don’t know if what Song did was so terrible.
    Twas just a little tickle, the cheatin’ scally was up running and crying to the fourth official in no time. If Song had wanted to ‘stamp’ down on the idiot, the’d still be digging splinters out of the Newqy pitch.

    But then I remember the referees. OK then. He should know better.

  49. I disagree entirely with your last point. The time to assess isn’t at the end of the transfer window as it may be too late. It’s not inconceivable that we could be out of the CL and 8 points adrift of Man Utd. The league has started so why does he get the luxery of being assessed 5 games into it when we the squad is already desperately paper thin and moral is already at an all time low. You know that when players like 22 yr old Theo and 19 yr old Jack are calling for additions and experienced players.

    Take the name Arsene Wenger out of the equation and look at what has happened then ask yourself if it’s anywhere near what is expected or, more frustratingly, what is possible.
    In the last January transfer window the manager has tried to sign a centre back, he failed, and we conceded more goals from set pieces than any other team – just think about that, more goals conceded from set pieces than Blackpool……so why haven’t we signed a centre back. It’s a glaring weakness, we have the money and have been looking for 9 months.
    Now, here we are, we have sold our Captain and best player and most creative player, we have sold our left winger, the guy who carried us through half a season with 15+ goals, we have sold our left back and a right back, and sent a midfielder and a striker on loan and have another striker on his way out. Add to that we have our best central midfielder injured our defensive midfielder banned and our new signing banned.

    So, this manager is going to rely on a 19 yr old who made 4 starts in League One last season, an 18 yr old who was playing for a school last season, a 19 yr old who was playing in League One last season, a 19 yr old who was injured all last season…need I go on.

    Any other manager of a “top 4” or equivalent team in world football would be sacked – no question, no debate whatsoever.

    Has anyones confidence ever been so low at the start of a season? The fans have taken blow after blow for 7 months and it’s getting close to breaking point.

    It’s a farce that we are in this position. The manager is losing touch on reality, he is losing the fans and if we have a poor 9 days he should lose his job.

  50. Wavey mate, what is with me is I’m sick to death of pessimistic “I know wenger is trying but…” comments. Basically sounding off and not having the spine to admit it.

    What the fuck does “Much has been made of the lack of activity in the transfer market to date, some of that can probably be laid at the feet of AW, but some of it was certainly down to the players who are leaving/have left. I do feel that the squad does not have enough experience as it stands, but we won’t be able to judge the depth of the squad until after 31st Aug.” actually mean.

    So it’s Wengers fault that we have no players (apart from the four already in) and perhaps the players who are leaving (?). Then you go onto defend yourself by saying we have no depth but time will tell. What are you moaning for. Either your happy to sit and see Wenger do his usual and pull the team around. Or you are having little bites at the team and Wenger for not doing enough.

    Anyway can’t be arsed with you. You know doubt will have another “sledgehammer” comment in you, but don’t expect a reaction. Man-up and support.

  51. If Frimpong goes to the ACN (which is still doubtful) then I suspect our preferred midfield for January will be Li’l Jack, Diaby and Rambo + any new recruits.

    @Wavey – I actually suspect that the dark arts Alex Song is involved in e.g. the ankle tapping and accumulation of yellow cards are a deliberate part of his job description. He seems to be the one charged with taking one for the team and slowing down the game around the centre circle or in acceptable areas of the pitch that don’t put us in danger but buys us time during a serious counter attack. Frimpong seems to be the kind of chap who understands the necessity of the dark arts.

  52. I am confident we are bringing one further experienced signing to add to 3Gs, and two if Nasri departs, and bids go well. That’s the norm anyways innit, 2 a year.

    Defensive injuries make us look as though depth is lacking, but when you lose 3 defenders in 3 days that is always the case, even if your name is Billionaire.

    I suspect the Ox is going to get early exposure to first team rigours, and I suspect he is worthy of that. Guesswork. Wenger’s caution around transfers is admirable. He doesn’t take many chances, and hence there are very few failures. Recent purchases added to internal promotions (last 3-15 years, take your pick) confirm this.

    We have Wenger to thank for finding and/or sticking with and developing Chewie, Jenks, TV, Kos, Gibbs, Ramsey, Frimpong, Wilshere, Theo, 3Gs, Arsh; and that right there is a full team that has ‘appeared’ in our midst within 3 years.

    I think pundits and bloggers who scream buy, buy, buy are a bunch of idiots, at least compared to Wenger. Chewie, Frimpong and Kos are excellent examples. The idiots scream, we need a CB, an DM and keeper. Had Manu bought those three, the media would be bigging them up like the next coming of the 3 wise men. Wenger quietly knows, I have all three up my sleeve. Next? We need a creative striker, sparky type! 3Gs. Next? We need a striker dammit, in case RvP snaps! Theo.

    What we need right now is for Wilshere and Diaby, and Gibbs, to heal fast and get match fit, and for Nasri to stay or go. Had the choice existed I would prefer Denilson at the centre of midfield, a calm influence. I think we are looking for that kind of player.

  53. I agree with you Darius, Frimpong looks to be exactly what a lot of people have been crying out for.

    Maybe he is not a glamorous enough name to quench the doomer’s thirst.

    I have a feeling he will announce himself to the wider audience with a strong display on Saturday, at least I hope so!

  54. The Hungry Horse

    SteveO,

    Arsene wenger has put himself in a position of being unsackable at Arsenal, everyone in football knows that, so you might as well forget about it. He’ll leave when he wants to leave.

  55. I wonder if the supporters of Maureen, some who pretend to be Arsenal fans, will be moaning about the ‘high line’ that his Madrid team tried & failed to apply yesterday evening?

    Probably not.

    Maureen has a squad that cost four times more then Arsenal’s. At least the Arsenal team actually had a lead over two legs before the newly promoted head of UEFA’s referee’s panel came to Barcelona’s rescue.

  56. Regarding frimpongs name. It’s actually been the basis of his and song’s blossoming friendship. The guys are getting on great. So much so Song want’s to name his first born after his new buddy…

    Frimpong Billabong.

  57. Good to have you back and recharged, YW. Agree with you and ZimPaul about the fight and effort on display these first two games. Brilliant to see. A UK football crowd responds to Goal > Effort > Outrage > Skill. So Ramsey and Rosicky chucking themselves about on Tuesday night really got them onside.

    Looking ahead to Saturday lunchtime I think a front three of Arshavin, RVP and Theo will make a huge difference. It’s a front three that knows itself inside out. That’s the trio that put 4 past Newcastle in half an hour, and Theo and RVP were, if not the Prem’s most prolific partnership last season, certainly right up there.

    It’s a big 90 minutes for Frimpong, but it was a big 90 minutes for Jack Wilshere when his time came around. He looks ready to me.

    Consolsbob, I was talking to my old man last night for the first time in a while. He said of course we get shot of Nasri and Fabregas. Anyone who doesn’t want to wear the shirt should be out on their ear. Pretty much what you were telling us 2 months back. But you know there’s something about when you’re Dad tells says something it hits home a bit more. Well, I fully agree with that now. You were right, I was wrong. Get rid to the highest bidder.

    Signings wise I think we are one great playmaker to challenge Ramsey away from a great tilt at the big one. A defensive utility man to play LB and CB would be nice too. I’m backing Gazidis and his world class phalanx of suits and briefcases to get it done. Exciting couple of weeks these.

  58. Or alternatively, I’m looking forward to a tough midfield line up of

    Frimpong – Billabong – Ramsey.

  59. does anyone else think ox reminds them of rocky and he will eventually end up centre mid ?

  60. els

    I will support, but not blindly support.

    Did I want Fabregas or the soon to be departing Nasri to go? no. Do I think it dragged on? yes. Do I think its AW’s fault that it dragged on? no. DO I think he should spend the money to bring in replacements? yes.

    Do I think we have taken way too long to resolve the CB issue? yes. Am I happy with the TV5/Kos partnership? yes Do we have enough cover? no. Do I think it was in the manager’s hands to resolve this issue? yes.

    Do I think we have enough depth in the squad at this moment in time? no. Do I think that after the transfer window closes we will be strong enough if we do not add players? no. Do I think we will add players? I bloody hope so.

    Do I think that the players brought in so far can be counted as adding hugely to our team? Only really Gervinho this season, the others are all for the future, although I really hope that Campbell is one of those talents who is ready to play right now.

    And finally, do I want the manager to go? Of course not, but I don’t have to agree with everything he does. I can see some promising things are happening, but alongside that there are still areas to address.

    This is surely a site for discussion and I’m happy to discuss.

  61. Just Another Luke

    Agree with Finsbury

    Song on Barton: It was stepped on, tread on, trod on. Definitely not a stamp.

  62. I suggest you read up on Wenger’s actual record at Arsenal SteveO, yep all 15 seasons, and compare with the rest of Europe, yep all 15 seasons, and then think of a single short sensible comment. Spineless wimp.

  63. Imagine , if you can, Joey Barton dragging Wayne Rooney up by his jersey as he lies on the turf, after he didn’t dive but might have seemed to have, and flinging him about. Imagine Rooney getting a straight red and 3 match ban after a tickle on Barton’s cheek, and Barton getting a yellow card. I think SAF’s nose would have exploded.

  64. @ ZimPaul

    Great articulate and thought provoking debate, I’m shattered you have called me a spineless wimp, I shall cry into my hanky. You sound well tough.

    what does “yep all 15 seasons” actually mean anyway, are you stuck on repeat, cant you think of anything else to say, or cant you see what you are typing with your head in the sand / up your arse (choose as appropriate).

  65. Ashburton Patriot

    EL classico was a disgrace. One of my least favorite matches in history. there was some good footbal displayed but there was a dive atleast every 2 minutes. I expected much more than 4 mins to be added…

    Bring in video reffing El classico would turn into a five-a-side match.

  66. The Hungry Horse

    I think Theo & Jack should keep there phones in there pockets, now is not the time for twittering, Theo & Jack should keep there phones in there pockets, now is not the time for twittiering.

    Oh fuck I just went on repeat as well, I hate that shit.

  67. @ YW
    Welcome back – a week is a bit of a record for getting broadband up and running in my experience. And a pat on the back for some fantastic substitute performances.

    @ The Hungry Horse | August 18, 2011 at 8:41 am
    Those are not the only options.

    Also, Wenger is not “unsackable”. If the SK, Gazidis and PHW did not think he was doing a great job, he would be out. the truth is that he is doing a fantastic job.

    @ Wavey
    “perceived” lack of activity – that’s just it. It’s a perceived, not an actual lack.

    @ consolsbob
    Some great PR today, you have to admit?

    Plus remember what I said about what we are up against – bias and fans’ negativity feeding each other. The article from the Times posted yesterday is a good example. There were no quotes upporting the claim that players were questioning Wenger. Most of the quotes printed were from an article in the arsenal website –
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/walcott-the-boss-knows-what-he-is-doing-

    This article also has these quotes:
    “I am sure the boss has got players coming – I don’t know – but if you sell one of your best players I am sure he has got options coming in.”
    and
    “It is important to have a mixture of experience and young players but the boss knows what he is doing. He has some great players that he has picked up and we didn’t know where they came from. Only time will tell what the boss will do.”

    So the Times writer *chose* not to publish those quotes because they did not fit the theme of his article AND the fan who posted the article had not read the positive article on the club website.

  68. The Hungry Horse

    FunGunner, I strongly disagree with everything you’ve just said. In fact, I would go as far to say that you are talking bollocks.

    FunGunner, how much sense do you talk? NoneGunner – Thats how much.

  69. The Hungry Horse

    Big Stan, Gazidis and Hill Wood think he’s doing an excellent job? You bet your sweet ass they do. He makes them millions and millions and millions to spend on fast cars, fast woman and fast food (in usamovs case.

    What about the glory? What about the sweet mother fucking glory? You remember dat shit? I miss de glory and you know dis partner

  70. Nervous about Old Trafford I see, Jim.

  71. @ sTEVEd,

    so those are the 4 persons that constitute the team? What exactly is wrong with them as back up? and yes you should wait till the end of the transfer window because you dont know for sure that no one else is coming in!

  72. We might as well just give them the three points now

  73. @ Team spirit

    It’s difficult to respond when you have completely missed the point.

  74. Welcome back YW.

    U echoed my thoughts ZimPaul:
    “What we need right now is for Wilshere and Diaby, and Gibbs, to heal fast and get match fit, and for Nasri to stay or go. Had the choice existed I would prefer Denilson at the centre of midfield, a calm influence. I think we are looking for that kind of player.”

    So ironic that both Denilson & Bendtner opt to leave at a time when they would have played so much the’d be pleading for a break! Such is life.

    To those slating our new young guns(Ryo, Ox, JCampbell).They have not yet played a single competitive minute for AFC, cut them some slack.

    Liverpool will be tough. Main treats for me are Downing & Suarez. Frimp must be disciplined & controlled. Jenks as well. Show the same spirit & we will not lose.

    If we add Odemwingie I’ll be glad but I still hope Bendtner stays.

    …i remain POSITIVE.

  75. No, no, no. Don’t do that. I am looking for a plucky, happy-go-lucky Spurs 3-2… with Gallas scoring the winner with his arse. You never know with De Gea in goal.

    (But I agree, you will get tumped)

    Is Modric being left out the ITV4 squad tonight a sign that he’s a Chav now? If he plays Hearts he’s CL cup-tied. Ominous.

  76. the hungry horse:

    the only ppl to have profited from wenger’s good work so far are dein, lady nina and the rest of the board members who sold their shares. none of the aforementioned (by you) get paid dividends. It really really frustrates me that poorly-informed idiocy can just be peddled over and over and over again and be treated as fact.

    Wenger is in a job because he is doing a remarkable job under incredibly difficult circumstances. SteveO ‘poor poor me, i’ve been made fun of by my mates for 7 months because we’ve been losing, poor poor me….i mean, i complained about denilson, clichy, and eboue, and fuck me, i’ve complained about bendtner too, in fact me and my ilk blamed them for all of our ills, but hang on a second, they’ve all been sold, or are about to be…hang on, FUCK YOU WENGER YOU ARE WEAKENING MY TEAM, you’ve sold our key players’

    steveo (fucking ‘steveo’, can imagine you as an imbecile extra in gavin and stacey) – you and your kind do sweet fuck all but moan moan moan moan moan. Yes we are losing nasri and have lost fabregas – is that wenger’s fucking fault? do you think he wanted to sell them or see the team he has tried to build fall apart because of greed and homesickness? no, but at least he is man enough to stand up, dust himself off, and keep going, trying to build a team around different individuals, while developing, and hopefully adding sufficient quality via the transfer market…which is a lot more than you are prepared to do as all you want to do is throw your fucking toys out of the pram. Why don’t you grow a pair and man up, you despicable fucking cunt

  77. treats=threats

  78. I have no doubt our defence will be better this year. They look to have made some key changes and look really determined not to concede. Koscielny and Vermaelen look like an awesome pairing. Both seem willing and able to score from corners too, and look to have picked up where they left off against Liverpool on the opening day of last season when we first saw the promising pairing.

    My worry is that if we bring in an English CB, all the credit for the improvement will be attributed to that. The smugness of the English media and punditry would be unbearable.

  79. Limestonegunner

    I was in favor of a DM or CB/DM, but am coming around to the idea that Frimpong can understudy Song. It is a lot to ask and we do need more experience overall in the team, but this lad might be worth taking a chance on. He gave away some freekicks in dangerous areas which is something to watch out for. He is getting an opportunity in Song’s absence so this will be a really good chance to evaluate whether he can help us in a serious way this season.

    I agree, then, with LA that a CB/left back utility man–someone experienced–would be a better place to strengthen, plus a creative midfielder. Time for Theo to play up front on occasion–he showed a brilliant flash of this potential early last season before his injury when he came to the center playing back to goal and received a pass from Chamakh who had switched out to the right. One touch to control, a quick swivel and touch to make space and wham! A strike past the defender and keeper. I’d like to see more of that.

    The media articles posted above, the fan vid Passenal posted a couple days or so ago, and the atmosphere v. Udinese show that the counter-reaction to the narrative of Arsenal’s demise is starting to gain ground. The biggest dividend may be more determined support and team cohesion. With a steady start and judicious reinforcements, we could very well surprise everyone with a better performance overall than last season.

  80. I thought Team Spirit nailed it.

  81. That’s the spirit James!

  82. Oh yeah Ashburton. To quote Drogba: ‘A disgwace!’

    Twas a total dive after Marcelo dived in.
    You know what the F word was thinking?

    ‘Fwukking ‘ell guv. Last time some cheatin’ raas* tried that on me in the PL, it wasn’t even called as a foul.’

  83. I am so looking forward to Saturday. Is Ryo going to be back for the Liverpool game, does anyone know?

    The important thing is to avoid defeat in the next three matches. It would be nice to put on a show v Udinese, or give Sir Red Nose a bloody nose, but we have an injury crisis and a team that is settlign in. AW actually said that we were not “quite ready”.

    Regarding Ryo, The Ox and Campbell – I get the impression they are all intended to be genuine first-team players this season. I expect to see them in the CC first, perhaps in the CL if there is a dead match to play and then by Christmas they’ll be playing in the FA Cup and as substitutes in the PL. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the search for experienced signings is successful. I agree with LA that ideally, we would get a playmaker and a utility CB/LB. But we’ll have to see what happens.

  84. @ jabberwocky
    great post.

  85. lack of activity, my ass. Thats just people being condescending. they might be young but they qualify as human football players. People act like WEnger bought Gerviniho and 3 sticks.

    love the article by the dailymail. I think some areas of the press are beginning to realise how abusive and pointless they are being to Wenger. Its Unecessary. Everybody just having a go whether they are connected to arsenal or not.

  86. Limestonegunner

    Welcome back, YW. I’ve heard it said that studies on stress and life changes put moving house as among the most difficult and trying experiences, up there if just behind major events like losing a job, divorce, and coping with a serious illness to oneself or a close family member. So I am glad you’ve come through and are actually feeling positive after moving again recently!

  87. @ jabberwocky

    Before I retort I would like to say great name, what are you, twelve? I can see you now, sat in your darkened room surrounded by star wars figures all in their boxes dressed in a home made luke skywalker outfit waving your imaginary lightsabre and making the noises.

    Well done for calling me a “despicable fucking cunt”, just the sort of intelligent debate needed. If you knew your mum I suspect she would be very proud (I have her number by the way).

    “…at least he is man enough to stand up, dust himself off, and keep going, trying to build a team around different individuals, while developing, and hopefully adding sufficient quality via the transfer market…which is a lot more than you are prepared to do…”

    What, you mean be a football manager?

    Have I missed something, has big Stan given me a job and I didn’t even know it? Are you saying I can go into the transfer market? Christ I didn’t know that, no wonder we are in trouble. Stand back everyone, jabberjockey has told me I’m responsible for our transfer dealings……now where’s my cheque book?

  88. Wavey | August 18, 2011 at 10:06 am, all the way with you buddy!

  89. SteveO, you sound like the latest in an undistinguished line-up of village idiots appearing like ridiculous garden gnomes to sprout the usual high-pitched infantile nonsense. So what do you propose? Who for example, would you prefer to manage Arsenal, and what is their record? What strategy would you have the team and club employ at this stage?

    Oh, on second thoughts, never mind.

  90. And Lansbury – forgot him. AW told him he is him in his plans for this year. Another CC player, then.

  91. Ashburton Patriot

    Lollll finsbury

    But that match made me miss Keano on Patty V soo much.

    A proper grudge match

  92. Ashburton Patriot | August 18, 2011 at 10:51 am . If spurs was as big a club as Arsenal the derbies would probably be as tense as el classico!

  93. Im all for the likes of Frimpong, Ryo, Oxo, Jenks etc BUT we should not be relying on them to carry the team this early in their careers – and if we dont add some experienced players thats what we will be doing. Its just too many too soon in my opinion. We cant continue to use the ‘sink or swim’ process for all these players. It will be successful for some but not for all.

    For instance this weekend we will be without Cesc,Nasri, Song and Gervinho. 3 of those players were the heartbeat of our midfield while one is a somewhat experienced player. If we are also without Jack, who has this past season and a half gained experience and has risen to be a vital cog then this is what we will most likely be starting with…

    Ramsey Frimpong Rosicky
    Theo RVP AA23

    Now while that might not seem too bad, in fact its pretty decent it cannot be sustained over a season where you would hope to be competing in 4 competitions.

    Its VITAL that Cesc and Nasri are replaced with class and experience, simply because that is what they were. While Oxo and Ryo might eventually get to or near to their level, they are not there now and so we are weaker.

  94. Markus,

    does it really matter what the media and pundits say?

    no one takes them seriously anyway. at least no self-respecting person. can’t say self-respect is something that applies to some of our fans though, sadly.

  95. Great post Jabberwocky. Those me, me, me bragging rights gone, my mates are making fun of me fans; are annoying.

  96. sign Sahko, Samba, Parker, Goetze we will be cooking on gas and probably for the sum of the cesc and nasri sales too.

  97. @ Limestonegunner

    Yes it called the ‘SRRS’. Moving houses is definitely on that list. Although there are other versions of it.

  98. L.A,

    If Modric is a tottenham player come september i’ll eat my hat. When a player wants to go they usually go, especially if you cant offer them cl football, and even if he stays it’ll only be for another year, even if we do somehow manage to finish in the top four. Question – Who’s going to turn down treble there wages, Answer – Nobody.
    The fans will be on Levy and redknapps back one way or another cos humans just love to moan, its as simple as that.

  99. Limestonegunner

    FG, I agree entirely with that path toward first team action for the talented young new members AW has purchased. Ryo is probably the closest to playing and might be a sub this Fall. Hopefully we’ll have two CL group stage matches to play with. Last year we didn’t and it was a shame not to give WS a chance in goal and some other players games. What a boost that would be for the second half of the season, wouldn’t?

    Apparently Ryo was expected to be available for Saturday.

  100. “Im all for the likes of Frimpong, Ryo, Oxo, Jenks etc BUT we should not be relying on them to carry the team this early in their careers”

    Why do they have to carry the team? who says anything about carrying the team thats why we have Sagna, vP,rosicky, arshavin, verminator all 25 and over to help and guide. They are better for their potential fearlessness and youth. Right?

  101. Welcome back Yogi! Great post as usual.
    Welldone to the aforemetioned to filling in adequately for you.

    Nice to see a reduced amount of doomers on the blog today. Makes reading through the comments interesting.

    Some keypoints raised though.
    I am happy we’ve got Frimpong, I seriously think he’s the real deal. Built like a rock and has decent pace (did y’all see when he took on two udinese players by the line and beat them for pace).
    I believe Walcott should still be allowed to play wide but switch centrally once in a while. There front trio we doing it well yesterday, just that Chamack was a lil of beat.
    I honestly hope we bring in new faces by the close of the transfer period. This will help galvanise the team.

    All in all, come what may…Gooner till I die.

  102. Having said that, I do hope we buy. I worry about the LB position and a deadly striker.

  103. By the way if anyone on here loves watching terrible movies, after much searching, I have found the Mac Daddy of all bad movies, of all time.

    Its called ‘Troll 2’, its the funniest film you’ll ever watch, trust me on this.

  104. Yes, it’s important we have another experienced midfielder. That is if Nasri leaves. But right now I would opt for an experienced CB.

  105. Jabberwocky is a poem written by Lewis Carroll and first published in 1871 which appears in Through the Looking Glass. Not sure where the connection to Star Wars figures comes in.

  106. james

    is that no.2 after troll hunter ? which was also funny.

  107. You actually make some concise and sensible comment’s sometimes James.

    Tell me – How on earth did you end up supporting that lot???

  108. I’m sure it’s been said but – Congratulations to RvP on a throughly well deserved appointment. He showed us last season that he is captain material. He understands the ethos of the Wengerball – football as art underpinned by hard work and team spirit. He is loyal, intelligent, articulate and passionate. He has worked every season to improve his game and showed that tireless ambition on the pitch every time he has played. Here’s hoping that you lead the team to glory, and I know you will never let us down on or off the pitch. Robin van Perfect, I salute you.

    Plus I am delighted to see that AW is continuing the tradition of choosing, as the “face” of the Arsenal squad, another handsome fellow.

    @ korihikage
    (Hope I’ve spelled that right!) If people took no notice, there would be no problem. But they do.

  109. Limestonegunner

    No reason to think it is ether or, ZP. We could use experienced quality in both those areas. Goonerwife lists five players over 25; I think Kos may be 25-26 as well, plus Squillaci, though no one seems to mention him these days except as the new Sylvestre. Honestly, LB is more of a concern than CB since Vermaelen shouldn’t play LB usually. But actually it would be helpful to have 2 more in that category.

  110. James is it a documentary about your day to day life?

  111. Modric would be ideal in my personal opinion. I highly rate him.

    If you think our transfer activity is dull, do spare a thought for Everton, who have zero movement. Very Evertonian. I do like their guy with the hair though.

  112. I find it astonishing the level of vitriol being thrown at me by some of these people. Has it come to the point where you can’t question the manager or the club without people calling you a cunt, or an idiot, or being slammed for “not supporting the club”, or being told to fuck off and support someone else.

    If you read what I originally posted I’m stating facts. We are in a terrible position, this is the worst state we have been in at the beginning of a season for a long time and I think it would be difficult to find any fans happy with the current situation. And yes it is the managers fault, he runs the club, more so than anyone else in world football. But ZimPaul you’re right, I shouldn’t question the manager unles I know exactly who should replace him, what our strategy should be etc etc, you dope.

    But I suppose ZimPaul and jabberjocky et al are right, we shouldn’t ever question anything, we are in a brilliant position and anyone who thinks otherwise is a despicable cunt or an idiot, or a plastic blah blah blah lets swear some more to look hard and like a true fan etc etc

  113. @ Darius | August 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

    The simple answer is I have no idea if Frimpong is good enough to cover for Song through the season, I have seen him play about 30 minutes of competitive football. Short term, like the next three games he might get through alright, although he couldn’t really have asked for much tougher ones than Liverpool and Man Utd, but if Song were out for any length of time then I think we would see fluctuations in his form as with any young player. Not that it mightn’t do wonders for him long-term though. There are plenty of people who say he’ll be great, he might be, or he might go the way of Emmanuel-Thomas (who was going to be “a beast”), Bentley (the next Bergkamp if I’m not mistaken, maybe that was just in his own head though 😉 ), Fabrice Muamba (The next Vieira) and Fran Merida (The next Fabregas).

    Song’s position has been my one concern all along, no-one who has played in there when he’s out comes anywhere near and I consider those calling for Koscielny or Vermaelen to play there as cover to be in cloud-cuckoo land. I would like for us to have got experienced back-up for that position, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen so Frimpong has a chance to make a name for himself. Good luck to the lad.

  114. Limestonegunner

    That is if Nasri leaves, of course.

  115. Star Wars toys? Dullard.

  116. steveO

    i have usually found that here different opinions, constructive criticism etc. isn’t often well regared. as for name calling personally i only ask that they spell it correctly. enjoy.

  117. @ Limestonegunner | August 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Yes, indeed. I’m also hoping that Diaby is fit and firing by then. I felt at times last season that he was the most versatile of our midfielders and the most effective after Cesc. So having him from ACN time onwards would be just great. But as they say, Man proposes, God disposes. Fingers crossed!

    The biggest benefit of those new young players will be enabling us to rest the senior players (ha! Theo at 22 is senior) in the CC and FA cup. A balanced team including them could well be good enough to get through three rounds of the CC and one of the FA Cup, depending on the opposition. And then perhaps we will suffer less from fatigue, burnout and the consequent injuries in the second half of the season.

    @ Darius, I would trust Diaby to cover for Song as well.

  118. LB, CB, DM (maybe), Cesc replacment, Striker still needed.

    Considering the traditional pace we act with on transfers, I can see maybe one more joining this window, two max. Which is a shame, as the inevitability of this window was there for all to see.

    We have cash to spend prior to Cesc/Nasri leaving. Its a shame we have been able to nearly break a club record fee for a 17 year old winger, and not sign the much sought after CB.

    Regardless, positive start from the boys, however, it starts to get tasty now. Big ask for Frimpong, AOC, Gibbs, Ramsey to deliver in such games considering how inexperienced they are. Fingers crossed..

  119. Well said Block4@12.02,
    Except that I’m probably one of those in cuckoo-land as I don’t mind seeing either Kos or Vermalen at DM for some games, so long as we get another quality/experienced defender to play CB in their place.

  120. boo hoo … vitriol? You shouldn’t be astonished by the mild-mannered bordering-on-friendly welcome you’ve received SteveO. Talk football old stick, and leave the rubbish to the media. Now seriously, what do you make of the Kos/TV partnership and Chewie behind them? I think we might just have the # 1 first choice central defence in the EPL. Time will tell. And Theo, he really seems to be growing up, taking responsibility; big question should he play down the centre. In my opinion, yes. And 3Gs down the right. I would crazily employ RvP in an atacking midfield which shows what little I know. But I would.

  121. SteveO,

    Differing opinions are more than welcome here, but if you actually took the time to read back what you have written you would understand why people have responded in the manner they have.

  122. 4-3-3 doesn’t allow Walcott to play through the middle. Remember the difficulty Arshavin faced when he laboured there for half a season as we sourced a new striker….namely, he doesnt have the same capabilities as RVP with his back to goal, negates his greatest assests too.

    We literally would have to revert to 4-4-2 and have Bergkamp/Henry 2.0 leading the line. Something I would HAVE been delighted with. But as pre-season has not seen it trailed, then we must stick with what we know.

  123. @ loud

    Yeah, it’s sad isn’t it.

    Never mind, I’m sure we’ll win the Prem and CL then we can all have a big group hug 🙂

  124. Ashburton Patriot

    Yes kenyan, but they arent unforyunately. Tottenham are quite dissapointing and we outplay them in every match espesh in the invincible times

  125. Also, was travelling so didn’t go on Tuesday, how close to capacity was the ground?

  126. and then we could stick two fingers up to all our chelsea and man utd supporting mates and tell them ‘i told you so’. oh what a feeling!

  127. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14570624.stm

    Would have thought this would mean that they would be willing to sell so that they can spend money on their targets, but its never as simple as that. Not just a case of money from sales into your bank account and then immediately available to buy players. I’m sure there are usually arrangements in place for the bank to snaffle some of that cash back to repay debts.

  128. If only Diaby was not injured! He is such an effective player for us and we barely see him. Lets hope he manages to get 30 games this season because Wenger must be losing his patience with all these little injuuries. How old is he now anyway?

  129. FunGunner: yup you got the spelling right 😉

    SteveO,

    my apologies for the vulgarities thrown at you. they were uncalled for, to be honest. i have my own concerns about the team (for example, i think we need an attacker who can hold the ball, similar to what nasri did last season. he didnt have many goals or assists, but his main contribution was that he could hold the ball, thus creating the opportunity for the other players to get into dangerous position. and i think we need a 4th centreback to replace squillaci. and i think we are really missing wilshere in midfield right now. our midfield faded away against udinese.

    but what i want to point out also is that sometimes the team is not given proper credit. and some people are just regurgitating whatever the media is trying to make them believe.

    there’s a witchhunt against arsenal. from the fa, from the media, from uefa.

    i don’t want to give any excuse for our team’s failures over the years. we fell short, simple as that.

    but i think sometimes people forget that the difference between winning and losing is really very little. i remember reading an article by gabriele marciotti on arsenal, which i thought was very insightful.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576198444113377296.html

    glad that i could find it again.

    reading some of the opinions being thrown around, i feel as if some people are not grounded in reality. the things they seem to believe in, unfortunately exist only in the world that is Football Manager 2011/2012.

    i think it is not as easy to find a player as some people think. does the player fit the club skills-wise, personality-wise?

    and i think it is not as easy to win a football game as people think. sometimes i get the feeling that people expect to win 3-0 every game. wish it was that simple.

    fans claim they suffer when their team doesnt win. i suffer just as much, but i think the person who suffers most is arsene wenger. more than his players, even.

    i think we need to put things in perspective.

    a season is a marathon. the race has only just begun.

    it takes a lot of guts to live by your principles, especially when no one else does.

    tonight, arsenal ladies take on everton, a win would bring us to the cusp of yet another title.

    arsenal has a great men’s team, a great women’s team, a great academy, is involved with the community, is responsible and sound financially.

    that is why i am proud of my team because it truly is more than a club.

  130. Luke

    Announced was about 59,000 but it didn’t look that full. Cub level was especially thin on the ground.

  131. @ Wavey | August 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Could be good news for us – they might be willing to accept a bid from us if we can pay cash.

  132. @ korihikage | August 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    Great comments.

  133. @FunGunner

    better not give it to them in an envelope, Kenwright might stick it in his back pocket.

  134. korihikage | August 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    excellent observations!

  135. @ Wavey
    ha ha!

    ***

    See you later, people. And please root for the Ladies – 7pm tonight on ESPN.

  136. Matt, Its been a family curse for decades to suppport the mighty lillywhites. One advantage is we can take a helluva lot of abuse and it just bounces off us. I stopped taking football seriously about ten years ago. I think the Christian Gross reign at spurs actually drove me clinically insane.

    Loud, Not sure if its a sequel to that film, but its so funny. It was made by an Italian filmaker, who insisted the script be read by the american cast exactly as he’d wrote it. Everything about it is wonderfully stupid. There arent even any Trolls in it, its about Goblins. You can see clips of it on youtube (as you can almost anything nowadays).

  137. Now is the time you plant the seeds for the future.

    How many players are still in the reserve squad that many keep harping their virtues?

    Frimpong at 19 must have done something to set him above the others and we need to feel that if he passes our manager’s test……he’s ready.

    These players, at a very young age, made the bench early:

    Wilshere
    Ramsey
    Gibbs
    Szcz
    Theo
    (Cesc)

    So now when one of these players (excluding Cesc) is not available, there is a sense among most fans that we are not at full potential.

    Maybe Ox is the next surprise (like Jack was last season) youngster.

    With Song out for the next 3 league matches……EF will get valuable playing time against quality competition. Ditto for Jenkinson. Their early playing time will pay Arsenal dividends for the balance of the season.

    Why keep talking about the ACN when its month’s away, we don’t have a clue if Cameroon will even qualify (as Darius alluded too), and our manager is smart enough to already have a game plan.

    From the new additions: Jenkinson, Ox, Campbell, and Ryo…….we will find out quickly which among these has ‘the game’ to step in and contribute.

    At this time in the club’s history, our model is to invest in youth and develop.

  138. james

    thanks. i’ll hunt that one down.
    dont think it is a sequel to t.h. which i think was norwegian. made me laugh.

  139. Jabberwocky was also the name of film, based upon the original poem, by the genius Terry Gillian and starring Maichael Palin.

    Another piece of work from the Monty Python inspired collective that somehow hobbled together the funds to produce amazing work like Brazil.

  140. FunGunner @ 11.23 and other Ryo salivaters (myself included) – I am hearing that Ryo will be eligible and available for the weekend. I do hope he gets a run out – the hype surrounding him is remarkable but word is that the club is expecting him to be a key player this season.

    Ryo & Theo – 2 merchants of speed, one on each wing – this could cause teams huge problems!

  141. as a team we looked average but the defence did well against udinese..
    we are down to the bear bones at the minute so it looks like another gritty performance needed v the dippers..

    until wenger brings some reinforcements in we will just have to ride it out and if that means concentrating on clean sheets rather than scoring ourselves then so be it..
    and ive got nothing to say about nasri..ppl say hes done nothing wrong but the contract thing and the city thing to one side, where the hells he been?? hes played no part so far and hes not injured cos he was with the french squad so whats going on?? whats his problem??

    we need everyone we can right now and if hes not committed cos hes looking to move then sell him, take the money and lets have some lads in who will sign 5 year deals and are ready to stand up when called upon..

  142. Ashburton Patriot

    Can i ask something… Are we still a big club

  143. Ashburton Patriot – Yes we are

  144. Jabeerwocky was also the Red Queens killer pet, in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

  145. Ashburton Patriot

    Were not according to wenger.

    Didnt he say that if we sell Nasri and Cesc we cant be seen as a big club?

  146. That fellow at le grove, is he silly or stupid? Amazes me how many hits he gets!

  147. Hopefully we get a nice surprise and Jack is available for Liverpool.

    I was watching some of the 2004/5 season last night. One of the talking points was the emergence of a young 17 year old Fabregas.

    In his breakout season he made 46 appearances from a deeper midfield role and managed 3 goals and 4 assists. Wenger was commenting that he thought getting 15 games out of the lad would be a good season, and that he never imagined he’d play around 45. These comments along with that of his team-mates at the time, and the manner of his arrival on the scene reminded me a lot of our Jack last year.

    Which is why I get the feeling that Jack will be the man who is moved forward into the advanced midfield role. Ramsey I see more as a deeper-lying box-to-box midfielder or even a wide man after that awesome assist on Tuesday.

  148. He did say that, I however did not. I therefore do not see why a statement made by Wenger makes any difference to my view on the matter.

    How about you AP? Do you still see us as a big club? Or is your opinion of Arsenal based purely on how many shiney world-beaters you can look at and pretend to be when you’re playing 5 a side down the park?

  149. if you look at the stadium and the fact we play cl 15 years on trot then yeah we are a big club in that regard..

    but we dont act like one..

  150. spend some fucking money.

  151. Ashburton Patriot

    Yes!!!!!!!! for ever love the gooners i CAN’T NOT see them as a big club. Greatest team by far. Just going through a bit of a rough patch but once we start spending properly so we can have some depth. we will be right back up there

  152. Kenyan Gunner, You know what, as someone who likes to be childish on the internet, Le Grove is absolutely no fun at all. I go on there and say the most ridiculous things about arsenal, and they actually agree with me. Its very strange, I find myself sticking up for Wenger to try and annoy them.

  153. boozy

    if you were a bit more imaginative and humorous with your insults more people would take note. er, yeah. wait. i get it. very good.

  154. Markus

    Thats a sound assessment, especially when you consider Jacks creative return in the youth teams.

    Fabregas was allowed such a luxury as he was playing alongside Vieria, Gilberto, Bergkamp, Pires, Henry.

    If Jack (understandably) has a dry patch, who do we have to pick up the pieces? RVP, of course, Arshavin, perhaps. Then we have a signed of inexperienced youths. Thats the worry.

  155. James,

    Trolls 2 is widely accepted to be the best worst film ever. It’s a bit of a cult hit, and the child actor (the name of his character I cannot remember) who’s all grown up made a recent documentary about it in an attempt of catharsis. I think the documentary was aptedly called ‘Best Worst Movie’

  156. wilshere is not fit to sit on the toilet cesc just shat in. FACT.

  157. toilet humour doesn’t do it for me. fact.

  158. we do need to spend some money..
    weve got a nice little wad in our back burner it would be negligence if it wasnt invested in new players for this squad..theres no other way round it we need reinforcements..

    in an era where money talks, and we seem to have our fair share of it, i find myself scratching my head sometimes at our transfer strategy..

    maybe if we stopped behaving like a mid table team and starting acting like the team everyone thinks we are then maybe we would capture a few more players that are over the age of 21..

  159. SPEND SOME FUCKING MONNNAY.

  160. THE TELEGRAPH

    Brian Moore: what has Arsenal’s Theo Walcott done to merit writing an autobiography?

    good question.

  161. There’s a huge difference to self sustaining and hoarding a massive cash surplus surely? We should reinvest what we earn back into the playing squad. We quite categorically don’t do that, unless we are paying Man City fee’s/wages for promising youth talents.

    Let’s have a window were first team ready recruitments are made, within our budget, and see where that leaves us, our global youth recruitment strategy is not going to be neglected by not being our primary transfer function for the remainder of this window.

  162. According to arseblog, City tapped up nasri with a £5m signing on fee and £200k a week wages.

    No wonder his head’s been turned, when I say turned I mean like the girl in the Exorcist!

  163. Yes, spend spend spend…we’ll be lucky to make a top 4 league position after last season.

  164. Luckily for us, Spurs have stood completley still this window, whilst Liverpools recruits have been jaw dropping for all the wrong reasons. I still think that 4th is ours to lose, but we should never be thinking like that. We should be looking at how we can bridge the gap with United.

  165. Luke

    I’ll have you know we have spent a lot of millions this summer;

    There’s the solid gold sink and toilet and diamond encrusted taps in the Executive washroom, the Rembrandt in PHW’s office and the fleet of limosines for Mrs Gazidis’ Chihuahuas and Pekinese dogs!

    It all adds up you know.

  166. Yesterday we were talking about football finance and the fact that Man City and their poorer cousins Chelski don’t play the normal rules.

    Today, the Everton Chairman admits that no bank will lend Everton money to buy new players. Apparently, the answer is to look for a sugar daddy ready to light a bonfire with their hard earned cash as Abramovich and the Shiekhs of Oil City have.

    Just to put some context – if you take the sheer amount of money City, Chelsea and United have spent in order to prop themselves up – north of £2.5 billion – you do start to question what chance other teams have of surviving.

    Everton’s reality is the reality of most of the 92 professional football clubs who live in a world where football management and the direction of the club bears little if any resembleance to the reality of their balance sheets.

    If football clubs were in the real world and operating as insolvent as they have been, they would never see the light of day.

    Man City and Chelsea have sugar daddies really to plug the hole.

  167. if city tapped him up then its probably why we are making them pay over 20 fo a player in his last year..

    weve been negotiating though..fergie said a while back when asked about nasri that he was going somewhere else

    my take on it is nasri refused to sign, utd have come in with a piss poor offer in regards to transfer fee but he was intending to leave regardless so we offered him to city and they blew utd out of the water..which is what we wanted..

  168. Gadget, I havent laughed so much in years. As bad as it is, its very watchable, a bit like Huerelo Gomes.

  169. If we hadnt so many injuries already and those fucking stupid bans, I’d be quite happy right now. But we are missing half our already depleted squad.

    The likely lineups for Liverpool and Udinese are looking raw to say the least.

  170. Welcome back YW.

    I still cannot fathom this idea that some people seem to have on here that we should be competing at the same level as the likes of Man City or Chelsea in the transfer market. Facts are we don’t have the wage structure or the finances to compete for top name signatures in today’s market. We can label the spending as obscene or poisoning the game but the fact remains it has happened and shall continue to happen because football has evolved or devolved, in to something we have not seen before. Man City is not a football team now; it is a state owned enterprise! The funding in to that club has been nothing short of amazing and again we may think it unfair, but it is not illegal. Arsenal is a team that now is in the 2nd tier of the EPL with Liverpool and Tottenham, when looking to attract established Talent. Look, I love Wenger, he has done a great job for Arsenal and I for one am not about to kick him out the door. I do wish sometimes he could be a little smarter with things he says like “I’d spend 40 million, on the right player”, now on the fact of it there is nothing wrong with that. Arsene has his desired attributes he admires and wants in players coming to Arsenal, but you cannot tell me that there are none of those available for 40 million or less! The PR for our beloved club has been nothing short of terrible; heads should roll if they are not doing their jobs correctly.

    I am not convinced we’ll be spending the Cesc cash anytime soon, though I like many others wish we could bring in a couple more established contributors to the squad prior to the window closing.

  171. dex

    that was pazuzu. personification of the south east wind whose demain is sickness and disease.

    fuck. are city that bad !!

  172. i still have faith that we can luke….perhaps that faith is misplaced, but despite the setbacks I feel we are going to vastly outstrip the expectations of the press, many of our fans, and pretty much anyone connected with football. it is going to be incredibly tough, but we are now shorn of players that don’t want to be here, have gotten rid of many of the players who kept collapsing at the end of the season, and so hopefully the new batch wont have that monkey on their shoulder, and i feel that youthful exuberance tied to the incredible talent still at the club (RvP, Arsh, Theo, etc) coupled with a siege mentality that this witchhunt has hopefully fostered could see us doing far better than expected.

    i could of course be wrong, but I’d rather hope for the best (and I do not believe that my faith is in any way blind or unfounded). I’m also expecting a quality signing or two – however only time will tell whether we actually sign anybody or how the team will react to the setbacks we have suffered this summer. in the mean time, let’s do our bit and get behind the team.

  173. With all these contracts running low and us getting shafted by the player, I wonder when Rosicky’s runs out. Fair play to the fella but his best days are far, far behind him.

  174. Luke,

    i believe the stadium didnt drop down from the sky, although it certainly looked like it did, right in the middle of all those houses.

  175. No JJ

    Thats not how it was man. City tapped him up last december mate. Told his agent how much he could earn at City, just when he was about to sign a new deal with us. Its been going on that long.

    The only negotiations that have occurred have been our pointless attempts to try and persuade him to sign a new deal, then maximising the fee Man Chavvy pay us.

  176. Miami,

    Arsene Wenger WOULD spend 40 million if the player is worth it. the fact is that aside from fabregas, i don’t see anyone we ought to be interested in worth remotely that amount.

  177. darius
    the answer for everton is not a suger daddy..its for a big team like us to come in with an offer for one of there best players that they cant refuse and they then can re invest in the squad..

    all kenrights basically saying is everton are skint and are there to be picked off if the moneys right.. a few million more for jags and hes ours..

    our strategy seems to be to offer everton naff all and sit back hoping they will sell..i feel we really should be taking the bull by the horns and submitting an offer that will force them to sell..

  178. one question:

    how many people were calling for a goalkeeper last season? and how many now?

  179. dex
    so that would explain why he went missing??

    hes an even bigger tosser than i thought..
    yup made my mind up..fuck him..fuck him good and proper..if its 20mil il sleep easy..

  180. kori
    to be fiar ppl were calling for a new keeper but they were calling for ches..they didnt want to start the season with manny but thats what they got..
    seems that has been rectified now so you wont here many noises this time..

  181. JonJon,

    nah, they weren’t calling for ches, they were calling for given(whom i do rate highly), and some other keepers like lloris.

    but my point is that many of us think we know better. but we don’t, because we are not the ones spending all that time on the training pitch with the players.

    that’s why i say, have some perspective. and players are not robots. they are human beings. just extremely highly paid human beings.

  182. jabberwocky,

    I certainly agree with the benefits of a seige mentality, and having some players synomous with previous years absent from the teamsheet on a weekly basis, my concern is that the pressure cooker will hot up more each year, so these current young charges – Ryo, Oxo, Wilshere, Ramsey, Jenks, Frimpong, Gibbs – are almost in a position where they are expected to deliver where other more experienced heads failed.

    Essentially I feel we are putting these players into an unhealthy position at such a stage in their young careers. Personally, I am far more excited by the youth we have now. That would always be the case though. London Colneys first class, Clichy, Bendtner etc was talented, but it was also a new venture for the many individuals involved in operating such a facility. La Masia took 30 years to find the current set up. So whilst I believe we have a great young batch of players to look forward to, I belive the climate they find themselves in is too unrelenting.

    RVP, Arshavin, TV5 and Sagna need to be ever presents this year. Song needs to have the most discplined and mature season of his career, and we must must sign depth which is already versed in the natures of a top flight football season, add the 4 players (CB, LB, Cesc replacement, Striker) I believe we need and I will be living more on assuarnce than hope.

  183. korihikage, I am not arguing the amount but it is silly to make a statement using that some and suggest that there are no Arsenal type players available for an amount up to 40 million. We all seem to acknowledge that bids have been made an rejected for defensive cover with EPL experience, I’m sure Everton weren’t asking for 40 million for Jag or Bolton for Cahill but who knows.

  184. Ashburton Patriot

    Kori
    also we know that wenger wont buy many people.
    For him to buy a striker, DM, and a CB is already pushing it, but a keeper aswell.

    Chez is quality though

  185. JJ It certainly would explain nasri’s massive dip in form man wouldnt it?

    Makes it even worse dont it, him going missing makes him just another money grabbing selfish cunt of a player.

  186. The list of injuries at the moment is getting worse by the day, what the heck is it with us!

  187. Kori

    The manager was calling for a new keeper this time last year. He tried to sign 2 that we know of, possibly more we dont.

    Why didnt he sign any? Well, if I was guessing it might have something to do with Wenger not wanting to pay what was asked.

    Which left us with Almunia, who cost us about 8 points on his own.

    Not signing that keeper was a fucking huge mistake IMO.

  188. JonJon

    I don’t think a transfer jackpot here or there will save Everton. They’ve been living beyond their means for a long time and so have many other clubs.

    The point I was illustrating is that the widely held narrative that football can live outside the laws of economics is just flawed. Many clubs are sitting on a ticking time bomb.

    Check out the Everton wires right now and you can see how they are hoping that a new investor can come in and wait for this – “spend some money”.

    As I mentioned, Chelsea and Man City are very different in that they have sugar daddies, but that is an exception. Even Manure, Real Madrid and Barcelona are running on petrol fumes when you consider the obscene amounts of debts they have. Granted, they have history, they have success and that keeps the lights on. The problem for them is when the grid is shut down altogether. They don’t exist in a vacuum. If the Spanish economy becomes a basket case, Real Madrid and Barca cannot continue operating like they live in another country.

    Unfortunately for many clubs up and down the land, they don’t have the clout, or global reach of Manure, Real Madrid or Barca.

    And when it comes to negotiating for Jagielka, under the circumstances, Everton will blink first.

  189. Kori, the stadium debt is 100% completley manageable, make no mistake, the financial restraints of moving stadium have been perfectly and wonderfull negotiated/surpassed. We have c. £150 mill outstanding on a fixed term agreement.

  190. I feel sorry for Everton (a few other clubs too) they are doing things the right way; living within their means. This concept is villied and mocked in the press and also by large sections of our fanbase.

    The chavs and man Chavvy have fucked it for the foreseeable future. No one can compete and simply demanding sugar daddies to spend spend spend is simply crackers, IMO. There has to be rules that clubs just cannot spend more than what they earn. It has to be run like a business or clubs will, sooner or later go out of business and cease to be.

  191. @ Darius 10.24
    “I actually suspect that the dark arts Alex Song is involved in e.g. the ankle tapping and accumulation of yellow cards are a deliberate part of his job description. ”

    What a silly thing to say! If that’s the case then we will only see him for a handful of games all season. The squad is light enough as it is without losing one of our most influential midfielders to numerous suspensions. Anyway I doubt Arsene would send any player out with those instructions.

  192. Dairus, United are about to float part of their club for a $1billion dollars. They are the richest and most powerful brand in global sports. You should appreciate the strength of this. They are not operating on a deck of cards at all.

    No I’m not a United fan. Just I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for macroeconomics to bring them tumbling down. It just wont happen.

  193. kori
    i think many of us knew after watching manny for so many years he wasnt good enough and we definately needed a new keeper
    whether it came from within or came from another club

    it turned out we were right..

    i would have taken given years ago and i would have kept manny as number two but whatever..weve got ches now so hopefully the 5 years of ripping our hair out at basic gk blunders are now over and we can watch de gea make them instead 😉

  194. Its becoming increasingly easy to turn your back on top level football because of its greedy, selfish and fickle nature. Traits which are so prevalent within our society. Football is creating an underclass which society has been creating for years and Arsenal are the only top club trying to buck that trend. The day we are susidised by a sugar daddy and pay disgustingly undeserved wages is the day that I say enough is enough. In that context I couldn’t give a shit about trophies.

  195. Darius, if the BBC is to be believed this morning then Man Utd are looking at selling 30% of their club via the Singapore stock exchange in the hopes of reducing some of the 515 million pound debt they have. The report also stated that Man Utd’s parent company made a 109 million loss last year. The fact is that Man Utd have to spend to ensure all they can to win something, or esle the brand is tarnished!

  196. This spending argument is flawed, we are using smaller/poorer clubs like Everton, and thier approach to justify our activity in comparison to City/Chelsea.

    If Arsenal invested all profits back into the playing squad and we came up short, I would believe the self sustaining stand point. However, we dont. We generate huge sums of profit, and appropiate the small portion that goes back into the playing squad on highly rated teenagers. Its flawed.

  197. Dexter, but man city and chelsea football clubs are protected. If Abramovich walked away tomorrow, he’d cover all oustanding contracts. I remember hearig this a while ago. Chelsea are basically a rich mans train set, he doesnt care if he loses money because he’s having fun.

    Depressing isnt it.

  198. everton wont blink first, weve seen this so many times before with other players when weve offered nothing and sat and hoped..they either get 17mil to invest or they get to keep a player worth 17 so its a win win for them..
    if we dont offer wht they want we dont get him its as simple as that..
    this isnt a barca cesc situation… jagielka doesnt mind whether he stays or goes he has no intention of fucking everton over like cesc did to us..if we want him we have to give them the money..

  199. The team for Liverpool, even with injuries, is perfectly capable of holding their own, but the bench is light. True, we have Jenks and Frimpong probably making starts, but that is why they are in the team, and from what I’ve seen they are capable.

    Ramsey, Roscicky, Arsh, RvP and Theo should create chances throughout, although I worry at Rosicky’s second half performances. I don’t doubt that Frimpong can do the job. Ryo may get his debut off the bench.

    I look forward to beating Liverpool, say 1-0, why not, or 2-0? They are also struggling for cohesion early on, although we need to watch their two strikers. I expect a fast, tight, somewhat scrappy, physical match, and lots of balls over the top by Liverpool looking for Carroll’s gargantuan head.

  200. Mattboy

    You and me both dude.

    I have felt this for a few years now and its getting closer to the day when I dont bother going to matches any more.

    Something has to give, this shit simply cannot continue surely? The long term future of the game is very very precarious IMO. Clubs, pklayers, agent and sky are acting like Oil barons; raping the earth for all the oil they can, until the well is finally and terminally dried up!

  201. Yup Zimpaul, Saturday will the perfect litmus test for this defence. Daglish is assembling an old school English side of the 80’s.

    Adam / Downing both have excellent deliveries, Carroll is a mutant, and Suarez is a fine player.

    Kolscieny / TV5 will deal with Suarez, no probs, its Carroll we need to watch out for.

  202. the football in the country is fucked and the authorities have nobody else to blame but themselves..
    they want the english national team to improve but theyve let chelsea and city ruin all the academys..

    they want fair play but they let city and chelsea spend money that comes from outside the game..

    the fa have become that money orientated and that corrupt they have let these evils into the game and they are now paying for it..whether they admit to it or not..

  203. Luke

    No one is using Everton to defend Arsenal. Well I aint. We ought to be investing fully and if we dont, I wont be a happy bunny! I am already getting bent out of shape with this seeming endless waiting for new signings.

    I am still (probably deluded in) hoping for at least 3 new faces man.

  204. Dexter,

    I’ve kind of taken on the role unoffical public defender of Nasri (in the hope he stays). It’s a thankless task, but I’ve taken mainly because I hate people being bashed upon too much (years of reading Marvel gave me a bit of a hero complex and a soft heart), so it is with that that I humbly call your 2:04 out for being pure speculation, and JJ should be ashamed of assimilating as truth it so easily.

    On the other hand perhaps, I’m a young/old fool for wanting to believe the best in everybody, but until I have the cold hard facts, I sticking with my stance!

  205. Last night, inflicted by a rare and untimely bout of insomnia, I was thinking, as one is prone to do is such event. My thoughts inevitable turned to football and I considered how my angst about such things is such a minor first world problem. And then I started considering football in the context of the globalised planet, and I came to the conclusion that football is a far far more accurate representation of the economy than I, perhaps I may even be so bold to say we, gave it credit.

    The gap between the poor and the rich is widening in several country, and in the UK I believe it is the widest it’s been for some decades. Also think upon how the UK richest 1% find their wealth increasing depsite the poorest becoming poorer, and those in the middle witnessing no discernable rise in income. If we amalgamate the footballing entities into one nation, would we find any deviation from the patterns I mention? My hypothesis is of course that we wouldn’t, but I suspect this is one for the Swiss Rambler to prove.

    In any case, I relate this back to Arsenal, and it should be noted, my psychology A-level and love of Dr Frasier Crane inspire the amateur sociology within me to fomulate another hypothesis, but I wonder if the discontent with the financial prudency of the club stems from the populous manifesting some sort of shopperholic fix which the club is not vicariously providing: that the effect of paying a fortune on any player induces a chemical rush in the same way buying an expensive pair of jeans does.

    At the moment, keeping with the analogy, I would say the club shops at M&S and makes its own clothing, while some would like to see us buying from haute-couture fashion shows.

    This is perhaps why the transfers we have done, with the exception of Gervinho, aren’t seen as much. Gervinho is able to challenge for a first team berth, but if we purchase a new defender will the same be said to be true? The impact of buying Cahill or Samba, might mean they challenge Kos or TV, or it might mean the bench warmed by a new bottom, but does this matter as much as the brand or the price tag?

  206. Zimpaul

    How about another 1 nil to the Arsenal on Saturday? That would do for me!

    But apparantly Rosicky is injured!

  207. regarding signings and money:

    yes i do agree that maybe it would be better if we just overpay a little just to get the player.

    i do wonder if jagielka is the player we should be getting though, although i do remember him playing becoming the keeper when their keeper got sent off in the past. that is an underrated quality. but as a defender, i don’t know.

    maybe i am wrong, but i rate koscielny very highly. yet i want a centreback, mainly as a backup, because squillaci scares me every time he plays.

    but like i say, like most of us, i like to think i know better. but i probably don’t.

    about the stadium:
    what i meant to say was that we had to pay for it, hence we were constrained in terms of budget.

  208. luke – one of the benefits i can see is that now that as everyone has completely written us off and expects us to fail, that the expectation which weighs on their shoulders might be less than it has been in previous years and as such they wont feel as much pressure. pure speculation of course

    that said, I’m expecting us to sign some players once (hopefully we do) we qualify for the CL proper, as will be able to attract a higher calibre of player and will have the financial windfall of the CL to back up any purchase that we try to make. i will be seriously disappointed if we fail to sign a quality player or two, but will grudgingly accept it if we dont and just hope for the best!

  209. Rosicky out??? Well, the gods are certainly against us.

    Diaby is out untill the end of September, so wont be match fit until mid-October at the earliest, we NEED a CM badly. Or Lansbury is stuck in the ultimate sink or swim scenario. I’d back him to do the latter.

  210. gadget

    could you get me a bit ? ta.

  211. Curses. I got back to my desk and found my post sent before I’d even finished it

  212. Gadget

    Ha! Dont apologise for being a kind hearted fool! Its a nice thing to be man. I have also defended Nasri for weeks now. But its becoming plain he wants out and money, nothing else is the motivating factors in the impending move.

    Of course, we dont know for certain what facilitated this change of heart (Nasri was all set to sign back in Nov/Dec apparantly) we can only specualte for now. And yes, finding a piece on another blog that backs up my own views doesnt make it any more valid, but hey, its artistic licence on my part mate!

  213. Get you some cold porridge?

  214. Cech out for 4 weeks. Typical Chelsea, have a run of home bankers.

  215. Dexter – I too have been pretty close to jacking it all in, but it draws me back year after year and much of that is because of Arsenal and what the club have been trying to do with regards to self sustainment. It is surely the most satisfying and forward thinking way of running a football club.

    I’m not sure what the answer is for the rest. I feel sorry for the likes of Everton and others as they are just academies for the bigger teams until they get a Millionaire owner for themselves. what happens if the whole Premier League is owned by Millionaires, where does it end?

    I would like to see FIFA or UEFA or whoever to step in but they are too busy getting fat themselves. Perhaps a wage cap would be a good start, but I’m no economist. How about a high profile player from modest back-ground coming out and admitting how disgusted they are by the amount of money they earn per week for doing very little in comparison to most hard working people.

    Yes, I am a dreamer.

  216. 2 WEEKS AGO I was called a dooomer because I said we did not have cover at
    LB as Taore and Gibbs were injury prone and for six million we could have
    got Enrique, now its all gone pear shaped. I only can hope that Jenkinson has
    an incredible game, and we wont have to use Squichi, anyone have any ideas
    who will play defensively at Udinese?

  217. Gadget

    While I agree that some do just want big name signings for the sake of it. But it can escape anyone how light our squad is. At the VERY LEAST the departed Cesc and nasri need to be replaced n some capacity, while other holes in the squad need some polyfiller too!

    Jabberwocky

    I seriousy hope we are not waiting for CL qualification to be secured before we know what calibre player we will sign. That is a dangerous game man. Lets face it, the players should have been signed already, weeks ago.

    Once again, rightly or wrongly we look like dithering, procrastinating penny pinching old dears

  218. solg

    You are called a gooner for far more reasons than that man. You bitch and moan all the time dude, that is probably why.

    Does that help? 😀

  219. scotty parker on loan seems a good option right now..

    and id be quite happy for jenkinson to keep playing lb..but we seriously need a new CB

  220. Dexter, with words like that, I think I’m gonna start developing a bromance with you if you’re not too careful!

    The speculation around Nasri has grown as this saga has continued. At first it seemed to be speculated he wanted parity with He Who Plays with Cunts (no, I’m not talking about myself) and RVP, now it’s speculated he’s wants a bigger pay day than we could offer. I think the latter is belied by the former. The first implies he wants to stay with us, and it is in our capabilities to make this so, whereas the latter suggests only that he wants out. If this was the case, why not hand in a transfer request and demand someone throw money at him?

    If the latter was true, I’m certain AW would have sent him with Clichy.

  221. ‘You are called a gooner for far more reasons than that man. You bitch and moan all the time dude, that is probably why.’

    Very true dexter, very true indeed.

  222. Why do some idiots feel that Theo doesn’t have a right to write a biography? What happened to writing for writings sake? When Edmund Hillary was asked why he liked climbing mountains he said, “Because they are there!” If Theo wrote his book because he wanted too well and good. And if you don’t like it don’t read it.

  223. @Luke – pray tell – if as you enquire, Arsenal don’t spend all its profits on squad development e.g. transfer fees and cost of contracts, then what do you think we do with the money.

    I’ll hazard a guess and suggest that it’s why the stadium debt is being run down very efficiently.

    Let’s make no mistake here – there is money for squad development – but the expection for some people is that we literally break the bank as opposed to spending that money with prudence.

    Take the signing of Vermaelen and Koscielny for example – both under £12 million and both top class defenders. this compared to the likes of Side show Bob, Lescott, or what is being proposed for the usual suspects in the media wishlist. TV and LK’s transfer fees together with the cost of their contracts are excellent pieces of business. It also looks like 3G is also excellent business.

    We have over the years continued to balance additions to the squad and paying down the stadium debt. There’s no reason why that can’t continue.

    Other clubs up and down the land are no where near our position, and they don’t even have a new stadium. Why do you think many managers aspire to do things the “Arsenal” way.

    @Miami – I agree with you. Manure are running on fumes and it’s only sustainable so long as they win.

    It’s I don’t buy the argument that they will never go bust. What Man United are doing is like riding a tig

  224. Gadget

    Ha, a bromance is cool with me bro!

  225. Does anyone know if we are getting any of our injured players back before we play Liverpool?

  226. Vice

    Dont think so man.

    Here’s my team;

    Szcz
    Sagna Koz TV Jenks
    Frimpong Lansbury
    Theo Arshavin RvP
    Chamakh

  227. Gadget – do we work in the same building. This computer is posting my shit before I finish typing.

  228. Kenyan, but its like katie price’s three books isnt it, they sit down and dish the dirt on their team mates and superiors, then make a fortune. It doesnt require any talent on their part, just a willingness to make their collegues look stupid.

  229. Dex, Go to fifty other Arsenal blogs and see who they agree with, Three of
    my friends go to the away games and they say the travellling fans are
    fed up. We all love AFC but its time to see things as they are, with Jack
    back and 3 signings we could make the top four,

    The occasions Udinese cut through our defense in the first half were frightening
    and that was with our first team defense

    If you recorded the Udense game watch it again, then maybe youll take off
    the rose tinted glassses

  230. Dexter,

    I would prefer this:

    ——–Chezzer———
    Sagna–Kos–Verm—Jenks
    —-Frimmy—Ramsey——
    Theo—–RVP——Arsh
    ———-Chamakh———-

  231. ———-ches
    sagna–Koz—-TV—Jenks
    —–mr T—-rambo
    Theo—Arshavin—–Ryo
    ———-RVP

    ??? any takers???

  232. JonJon says:
    August 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Rather give frimpong or coqulin(however its spelt) a go. Parker is a decent player but would get exposed in europe and top level matches. Same might happen with frimpong but I believe he has earned the right as he has been here since age 9 or so and has got a very good understanding with jack (both fa youth cup winners)

    Cahill, samba and jags are too overpriced and prob wouldn’t get in the team aHead of TV and Kosser.(I’m I the only one with heart in mouth when either of our CB’s drive into the opps half and just keep going)

  233. The main reason I want to see Chamakh play vs. Liverpool is to help defend on set pieces against the swamp thing that is Andy Carroll…

  234. Ha, I forgot about Ramsey mante!

    Solg

    Udinese didnt cut through our fdefence all those times mate. They had some chances, but you have bought into that doomer mentality that says we aint allowed to give opposition teams a sniff!

    They had ONE decent chance 1st half, so stop excaggerating man!

    As for the away fans, I go to away games and I wouldnt dream of pretending I knew what they all were thinking!

  235. We do look frighteningly light in midfield without Wilshere healthy though. The team definitely has plenty of work ahead of them to get through this tough stretch. Come on Wenger…time to work your magic.

  236. JJ

    Thats an interesting choice, Ryo. I think I’d rather try and fit Lansbury in there, give him a shot, but Ryo or Oxo could well be involved.

  237. Dex so how do we line up in Italy to avoid the dreaded Europa league?

  238. It would be pretty awesome to see Ryo or Ox get their chance and run riot on Liverpool. That would be a hell of a way to start an Arsenal career. I have never really seen any of the Ox in action so I am not quite sure what to expect from him.

  239. Don’t know about arshavin in that line up. Waiting for the little fella to wake up from his 2 year slumber. His name should be the first on the tEam sheet with van p. If nas and fab were still here with theo fit do you think he would get a game if whole squad was fit? I don’t. Hope he has a big one this season tho.

  240. we need to keep RvP u top i think guys

    hes scored so many goals playing there and chamakhs got like none..
    we are at home we need to score rvp stays where he is for me and we add some pace behind him..

  241. Solg

    I think the same team that played Tuesday night, but replace RvP for Chamakh?

  242. Wenger – We can cope without signings.

    Utter lunacy

  243. Vermaelan will keep Andy Carol, Liverpools £35M striker quiet. The second part of that statement is obscene.

  244. I say we go to Italy and line up like this:

    ————-Chezzer————-
    Sagna—Kos—Verm—Jenks/Whoever is healthy
    ——-Song—–Frimmy——–
    ————-RVP——————
    Gerv——Theo——-Arsh

  245. JJ

    Well, considering I forgot about Ramsey, then I think I can move Aaaron further forward, Lansbury to partner Frimpong, meaning Arshavin goes right and RvP up top! Sorted

  246. Ashburton Patriot

    Chez
    Sagna VErm Kos Gibbs
    —-Ramsey Song
    Shava VP Traore
    ——Theo

  247. I know it will never happen, but I just want to see that line up given a chance…just once

  248. Vice

    I like the idea of having 2 proper holding DMs with those 4 forwards infront. Arshavin’s giuile, RvPs genius and the speed merchants Gervinho and Theo! Could be really potent man.

  249. if we had another cf we could rely on then id happily drop rvp back into the 10 and have theo and arshavin

    but chamakh? on current form id rather see nik play but until weve got a benzema weve got no choice but to play rvp up top..

    gee gunner did u see arshavins stats last year??
    he scores he assists and he plays almost every game..check em out, hes lacked flair but hes a good player..better than rosicky anyway..

  250. i like that team for italy..

  251. Maybe Gervinho’s suspension is a blessing in disguise. It will keep him fresh for Champs Lge, and Arshavin will have a chance to terrorize his favorite punching bag, Liverpool…works out perfectly.

  252. Ashburton Patriot

    Vice would love 2 dms there bu not frimp and song. THat would be calamatious. They concede too many free kicks.

    Wouldnt mind Fellaini or Mavuba there or even the rejected Lassana.

  253. Having both Frimmy and Song back there would be interesting to me. They could both break up opposing attacks and get the ball to RVP or the wings immediately to sting the opposition before they know what hit em…at least that is how I see it in my non-managerial brain.

  254. I really didn’t think about the free kicks they would give away. I think Song could curb that trait if he had someone along side him doing it with him.

  255. Yeah I know jon jon his stats were good but I suppose I expect more from our record signing and the form he showed in his first half season in the prem looks like he is not able to replicate consistently. I mean at the start of last season theo and nasri took place till theo got injuredif my memory serves me correctly

  256. Flippin hell, Rosicky out, that’s Gibbs, Traore, Djourou, Rosicky, plus Song and 3Gs, yikes, in one … ulp … week and Nasri (you know, that old ‘muscle problem’). OK, Ryo, Ox, Lansbury, tighten your laces will you, and look sharp. Maybe we will be surprised to see Nasri and Bendtner limbering up.

    For this I would go with a 5-man midfield with Theo, Frim, Rambo, Arshavin and Rvp, and Chamakh up top. Still works. Ox, Ryo and Lansbury on the bench for the inevitable 2 more injuries.

  257. Ashburton Pat

    WTF?

    I know you like to chat shit, but that is fucking hilarious! Giving away freekicks is part and parcel of the DM job. While suggesting Frimpong givews away too many freekicks after half a fucking game is hilarious! What a joker you are.

    Then you suggest fellaini who does nothing but foul! While mavuba was over rated about 5 years ago and is where now?

    I always thought you were a spud on a wind up, now I am convinced of it.

  258. Maybe chamkh just needs to keep playing back into form – if your confidence reaaches rock bottom, there’s only one way to go. But seriously his form is shocking

  259. Salud YW Good to see that the moving has all gone well.. It was a good win the other night v Udin.. A Win is a win and a second clean sheet in a row is not to be scoffed at…TV Kos both look more than capable…

    Winning brings confidence…As MANY have repeated on here nobody is privy to AW ear n what he has in mind for the transfer window..I Would day it would be Criminal if AW did not strengthen…The type of player that the Manager has spoken about does not grow on trees or he can simply pop down to a local Waitrose n say I’ll have some of that…

    The Manaager is also hamstrung by the fact that All potential clubs who have players whom we may be interested know he has $$$$ to spend and so will try to eek at as much as they possibly can.. this is just human nature…

    I was saddened that we did not try to sign N’Zogbia – bags of Prem Experience, left sided he went for a paltry 10 mill or so..

    IMHO we cannot expect this current squad without any additions to fight on Prem Front? CL(should we qualify) F.A Cup/League Cup.. it will be a Bridge to Far….
    Loved the Richard Dunn reference Yogi.. He was brave but was totally out classed, his limitations were there for all to see…Onwards Forwards..

  260. Chamakh is fine. Wait til he scores a beaut of a header on Saturday. to add to our woes, we are always a bit out of sorts with early starts. Is this one an early start?

  261. I thought Rosicky looked injured when they took him out against Udinese…he was grimacing as he came off. Damnit…luckily the line ups I am hoping for do not include him at this point.

    Is there an ETA on Diaby at this point…feels like he hasn’t played in ages.

  262. Geegunner

    We know what Chamakh can do, that hasnt gone, its just resting a bit! It must come back. The question is, does Wenger try to play him back into form, or drop him?

  263. I know it is an early start here in California…I will be up at 4:30am watching it!

  264. Its an early start ZP

    I’ll be getting to the ground completely beer free! Not good!

  265. I think we’ll start Vermaelen on the left with Squillaci partnering Koscielny (assuming both Gibbs and Djourou will be absent). We didn’t have any more options on the bench on Tuesday which is why Jenks came on at LB. He did okay, but I don’t think we’ll give him the shout in that position against Liverpool.

  266. youve basically got like 4 strikers in the team who play as a diamond and can all interchange..
    its fluid but it needs a reinforced midfield who are all action and can do the dirty work and put themselves about about..but they need to stay back and protect the defence primarily..

    its how the invincibles played
    and his teams before that..

    im feeling the need for speed..

  267. I just got Rick Rolled on youtube

  268. I fucking hope you are wrong Markus. Squillaci and Koscielny is an horrible pairing. Much riskier than putting Jenks on at RB or LB, IMO.

  269. You may be on to something there Markus…I just cringe a little when I think about breaking up Kos and Verm in the middle. They are a tough nut to crack. I am really looking forward to our depleted squad shocking the hell out of an over-priced and over-hyped Liverpool squad. Should be fun…

  270. YW:

    Nice to have you back. Limpar, OOU and Muppet were excellent while you moved. Still always like you the best.

    Very happy to see our defensive solidity to this point. Long way to go but early signs encouraging. Still need reinforcements but at this point I really doubt any will come so hopefully we will have an injury free season. Defense may have to carry us this season. Love the additions we have made so far expecially Gervinho. The young players are full of promise and always support new young players. I am frustrated that we have not brought in more experience and annoyed while watching our transfer profits grow bigger. Very strange for a club of our size to actually have a transfer profit

    Marcus @ 11:18.

    “My worry is that if we bring in an English CB, all the credit for the improvement will be attributed to that. The smugness of the English media and punditry would be unbearable.”

    Unfortunately that statement actually catches the mood of a lot of people who think the most important thing is to prove we can win the “Arsene way”. The team and fans and perahps even Arsene himself would be much better served having to suffer thru a few “I told you so’s” for the Le Grove lot while holding up a big trophy or 3. IMO anyway.

  271. Dexter – that’s a hard question to answer esp if niki b still around. We need cham back on form cause he really does help to vary our attack, but while he is not on form makes our attack aa little bit predictable. With a game against ur potential title rival, you wanna no ur front man will perform rather that hope

  272. Ashburton Patriot

    Cool Dexter.
    Its the position of the fouls that worry me.
    Now Mavuba is in Lille and captianed them to an unexpected ligue 1 win.
    and hes not overrated. Tackling and distribution is beautiful.

  273. Dexter, I’d hope Squillaci and Koscielny could get it done. With Koscielny attacking the ball and the veteran covering him. It’d also mean we’d have the three of them as real threats when we get a corner.

  274. Jon Jon,

    That is why I was recommending the Song/Frimmy pairing in Italy. They would provide a solid base for RVP and the speed merchants to build upon. Even this line up wopuld please me:

    ————-Chezzer————
    Sagna—Kos—Verm—-Traore(if fit)
    ——Frimmy—-Song———
    ————–Arsh—————
    Theo——–RVP——–Gerv

    That is a whole lot of speed and guile in one package. It could be pretty lethal. All we really need is one away goal and I am confident our back four, with two holding mids could stop them scoring three…

  275. If you’re a lover of beautiful things, check this out :-

  276. Im not convinced A Pat, I still think you’re a spud!

    You basically just werote off Song and Frimpong in one sentence, when that wasnt even the debate man.

    Yep, not convinced dude.

  277. I fear that if Squilacci plays against Liverpool that he may not have the agility or recovery pace to handle Suarez. I would have been totally fine with Djourou coming in and Verm going out wide, but I am of the opinion that the less we see if Squilacci the better. Something about his play just puts me on edge.

  278. Chill the Thrill

    “they’re eating her, and then they’re going to eat me. Oh my goooooood!”

  279. Markus

    I see your point, makes sense. I am just not sure if Squillaci is part of this squad any more, well not intentionally part of it!

    Vice

    I like that line up dude

  280. I love Rick rollin, Check out Chris Hughton at 2.08

  281. Chill the Thrill

    Trolls 2. Featuring Spectrum and Cuervo.

  282. Chill,

    The greatest line ever written.

    ‘Oh My Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood’

  283. i think felliani would be excellent for us..

  284. That trolls movie is going to be amazingly awesome…can’t wait!

  285. I know Squillaci played some decent games last season and got villified way over the top. BUT, he was a cheapskate signing in the ilk of Silvestre, no wonder there are doubts about him. Its not his fault at all. He is a professional and does what is asked of him.

    Time to spend some decent wedge on a CB again I think. It will be Cahill, but when?

    11:57pm August 31st is my betting!

  286. From Young Guns –

    Arsenal hopeful Ryo Miyaichi’s paperwork will be completed in time for him to play v #LFC. Will wear 31 with ‘Ryo’ on the back.

  287. james

    nice one. thought the brickwork was a bit shoddy though.

  288. JonJon, fellani’s a decent player but I dont think he’s much better then what you’ve got. If he had a boring haircut no one would notice him as much. Do you know what im saying partner?

  289. James

    That is so fucking true man! Hahaha!

  290. Jonny

    Get in! Cool! Thanks for the info

  291. Ashburton Patriot

    i havnt written them off at all their both young and have a lot to learn an i hav ehigh hopes for them. but not together at the same time. Song s one of my fave players in world footy and cos i like him so much i know what he can be and i know where his weaknesses are. frimpong has plenty of potential but in the benfica game and the udinese game, he showed that he needs to be more careful…

    Like i said im not on a wind up. i generally dont insult other bloggers except when im being laid into. im here and on le grove because i want to know both sides of the arsenal camp seeing as im not in UK right nw. i want to know whats going on with the club. I love this club and ive been a regular arsenal watcher since i was 5 and calling me a spud is just a tad overboard.

  292. James, you’re the worst Troll ever. You know it doesn’t count if people know you’re trolling, right?

    And you can’t rick-roll with an embedded video. Defeats the purpose of the rick-roll.

  293. im not too keen on traore to be honest with ya mate, but i like that team too, maybe keep jenks there for a bit i reckon..

  294. hey guys..where is the story on rosickys injury?? its not on arsenal.com

    and JJ..that would be my starting 11 too..assuming everyone mentioned is out..

  295. I think the ideal squad with everyone fit would be:

    —————-Chezzer—————-
    Sagna Kos—-Verm——-Gibbs
    ———-Song—–Jack————–
    —————-RVP——————–
    Gervinho—–Theo——–Arsh/Ryo

    I really believe it is time to give Theo a chance to grow in to what we have all hoped for him…I say try it against some of the lesser oppostion and see if it shows promise. I think our squad looks quite good set up this way. Obviously Wenger probably thinks differently.

  296. Anyone see that odious cunt Mourinho last night? My only regret is he didnt blind Xavi and only poked Pep in the eye!

  297. Markus, I know dude I only meant to paste the link. I rick rolled myself.

  298. felliani is like a bigger edu..
    hes a good player if the club announced we’d signed him i would be ok with it

    be nice to have him to add some depth to our squad, and height..

  299. Anirudh

    Rosicky’s injury was from a Guardian (I think) article today mate. Hopefully not accurate.

  300. I would not be averse to a Squill-Kos partnership..I think squillaci has been treated very very unfairly..for his first season, and as such a non-frequent starter he did a decent job most times..

  301. I actually get a kick out of Mourinho. I think a lot of the shit he does is “tongue in cheek” just to get reactions from people. I also like the fact that he calls out UEFA(someone has to do it)…Mourinho as a coach doesn’t really do it for me, but for entertainment value he is fun for the whole family.

  302. JJ

    Fellaini would add height and a lot of needless freekicks and be sent off every other week if he played for us!

    Unless we got him as part of a bulk order from Everton with baines and Jagielka, I’d happily say no to him.

  303. LOLZ. Fail.

  304. Has anyone seen Black Dynamite? It’s spoof move so it’s intentionally made to appear humourously bad, but it really does such a magnificent job of this I think it deserves some sort of accolade.

  305. @ dex..thanks mate..hopefully untrue..

  306. Fellaini playing for us would get a red card every second game..no doubt..

  307. Vice

    I think it was more finger in eye than tongue in cheek man.

  308. oops repeated what dexter said about fellaini..will add it to my references in the end 😀

  309. Kaka was classy last night. He didn’t get involved in any of that madness last night. If only we could rescue him from Moureen.

  310. Mourinho is definitely a “grade a” idiot…A finger in the eye sounds pretty cowardly, but entertaining nonetheless.

  311. to be honest, i rather play jenks on the left than play squillaci with kos

    and i have no qualms with song giving away freekicks. but i do have a problem with him giving the ball away. he doesnt give many away, but enough to bother me, because sometimes i feel he just dallied or tried to be too clever.

  312. Ok I admit it…… I love Rick Astley.

  313. I thought Rosicky coming off was more that he’d played ’90, ’90 and ’75 in one week so dropped a bit behind the pace at the end. I think we usually get some injury news early Thursday evening so we should find out his chances soon.

    Frimpong on was also about protecting a lead. I think we’ll see that happen in the last ten minutes of a lot of games this season. Very useful player. And we made him ourselves!

    WAN Arsene Wenger! There’s only WAN Arsene Wenger! Waaaaaan Arsene Wenger!

    Arsenal
    Arsenal
    Arsenal

  314. vice

    most certainly isn’t cowardly. it’s a karate technique. and the only one i was good at.

  315. If Gibbs and Traore don’t make the upcoming matches I expect to see Sagna on the left and Jenkinson on the right.

  316. lol…it is a lethal karate technique…you can take anything down by poking it in the eye…attacked by a bear…poke it in the eye….mountain lion, poke it in the eye….shark attacking you, poke it in the eye…works every time.

  317. Ashburton Patriot

    Looool Fellaini’s class. And heightis a big thing wen we play teams who play arially.
    Also very versatile. Can play CB DM CM Striker.

  318. Hoody……..poke em in the eye

  319. Ah snake eyes! The old eye poke move, very technical move that, difficult, its all in the pointyness of the digit used and the correct angle of course.

  320. Traore out on loan ? – http://goonertalk.com/2011/08/18/traore-on-the-verge-of-qpr-loan-move/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=traore-on-the-verge-of-qpr-loan-move

    has Wenger and Pat come up with a new system with no left backs?

    Surely if this has been sanctioned then a shiny new left back is on the way?

    Cant be anything else……

  321. Deise, I asked for a source and they removed my post. What does that tell you????????

  322. dex

    ah,dude. knew it would be you. what i meant woz – poke a snake in the eye. noooooooo
    leg it.

  323. JD – It tells me that i STILL want a shiny new left back 😉

  324. Agreed but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  325. Gadget – yeah I’ve seen Black Dynamite – it’s aces.

  326. If the Traore loan story is true, then I seriously have no idea what the fuck is going on at the club? Obviously none of us know WTF is going on, but you get my drift!

    This squad is being stripped down to it’s birthday suit. Not nice, especially as the nights are drawing in now and its a bit chilly.

  327. On a positive note, that Black Dynamite trailer was cool!

  328. My team for Liverpool would have been as below, hardly a lack of experience. Shame Song will be banned. LOOK AT THE AGE OF EACH PLAYER!!!!!!!!

    v.persie(28)

    arsharvin(30) walcott(22)

    rosicky(30)
    ramsey(20)
    song(23)

    verm(25) squid(31) kos(25) sagna(28)

    Szezney(21

    (Exchange Song(23) for Frimpong(~19))

  329. Dex, dont react to that bro!

    You have been stressing way too much lately.

    Cut it out Bro!

  330. Paul N

    I know bruv, but its getting really hard to feel positive right now. The team is looking so thin at the moment. Like I said earlier, if Wilshere, Song and Gibbs were available, I’d feel a shit load better. Definitely not the best preparation for 3 really tough fixtures in a week man.

  331. One of the people I follow on Twitter is a Spurs fan and he just had this to say –

    “When Redknapp talks about players he’s like a proud dad talking about his daughters, before adding that you can have sex with them for £50”.

    😉

  332. dex

    hang in there mate. i’ve just come across a very encouraging rumour from a mate in the uk, and this guy is an absolute expert in such matters, that those splendid people at angel delight are considering bringing out a new flavour. yep, rum and raisin. i suggest you start buying your rizlas in bulk. enjoy.

  333. As much as the Liverpool game is important, Udinese for me is more crucial.
    So I pray no one else gets injured on Saturday.
    I’ll be more than ok with a draw.
    We just need to hold the fort, qualify for the group stage and see out the month.
    Our true season begins in September with transfers over with & this spiteful hater onslaught over.
    Ending the season well would be a very welcome change for AFC.

    hope to see Ryo & the Ox play soon
    …u know in what state i remain

  334. I hear you dex.

    I am kinda excited that we may see some youngsters, the faster they get in the battles the more prepared to help at seasons end.

  335. loud

    Dude, that is some serious munchtastically good news man! Thanks 😀

  336. i’m a butterscotch man myself. what about you ( smiley face. the one with the sunglasses )

  337. anyone has any working link for the wsl game??

  338. What’s with the doomers congratulating Cesc for winning the charity shield? I don’t get it.

    If you want to watch an embarrisingly funny movie you must watchThe Foot Fist Way.

  339. Hey, how come I can’t embed my videos?

  340. If SteveO is a new poster I am a doomer

    Remember DB10 the other week?

  341. Limestonegunner

    folks might enjoy the latest from 7amkickoff.com:
    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2011/open-season-declared-on-arsene-wenger/

  342. nice post YW, but a couple qualms:

    1. the letter of the law of the game does not actually say that raising one’s hand = automatic red. That’s an interpretation modern FAs have chosen to implement, not a firm rule.

    2. w/r/t Song’s suspension, I think (and I’m trying to dissociate my Arsenal partisanship from my concern for the game here) that anyone should be allowed to viciously assault Joey Barton in any way, during any match. I think this would be beneficial for the sport as a whole.

  343. It’s not the clean potato.

  344. honestly, you know its a mad world when the secon and third biggest transferes this summer has been Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson!

  345. Well If Traore goes out on loan maybe we are buying someone that nobody thought about. I know we were in for that spanish kid with that totally weird name some seasons ago.

    César Azpilicueta is he not a LB? or is he RB maybe?

  346. we should play reserves in the Liverpool game so we have everyne ready for Udinese.

  347. and its a right shame we never got Ander Herrera

  348. poodle

    Our reserves are now the 1st choice mate!

  349. Hope this works out, he looks special.

  350. George

    I meant due to the injuries and bans you douche! 😀

  351. then the second reserve. i dont care i just dont want any more players injured for Udinese.

  352. When I first learned what an internet troll was I was intrigued. Fascinating behaviour experienced all the way across the net.

    I used to think James was a troll but the bastard is actually very funny and although a Spud he is at least ‘out’ and seems to me like the ACLF pet. Quite enjoy his contribution.

    Now, take a real troll like steveO or whatever he calls himself this week. Once they’ve sussed the prevailing mood and deliberately posted against it they wait for a response. If it doesn’t come they piss off and often don’t come back, plenty more sites for them.
    If they get a response a little bit of wee comes out, if they get an abusive response they need to get their Mum to bring a new pair of Y-fronts up to them.

    Now they can start to tell us all how reasonable they are and how rude everyone else is. This is troll move number 2. Paint yourself as victim.

    They hope a nice, balanced type poster will react against the abuse – maybe try to reason with them. they will cling to this poster and taint them with their stink. People will turn on the reasonable balanced poster too.

    The troll’s work is nearly done. Once everyone is biting and fighting and bickering the happy troll can skip around his room clapping his hands together before having a quick wank and looking for another site to play on.

    So, either we all tell them to fuck off or we all ignore them.

    Do Not Feed The Troll. DNFTT. These warnings will appear from troll spotters. I think they should be heeded.

    Oh and welcome back YW. Glad you got your mojo back.

  353. heh its actually a shame Denilson left this summer. Before when he was played further up the field he did score alot. And with Nasri and Cesc gone he would have played alot.
    He always played well with Wilshere and Song too.

  354. steww

    Thanks for the heads up mate. Sometimes they are difficult to spot and others, like james, can be very sneaky, but funny too!

    I think I engaged with one of James’s Gooner persona’s the other day!

    The cheeky blighter!

  355. And of course poodle now The Conspiracy have moved their target onto Squilli and Marouane for the season Deni could have quietly got on with his work for the team just like Gilberto used to.

  356. Dexter, I could be wrong these people may of course just be mentally ill and as such deserve our sympathy and support.
    But if it walks like a troll, spews like a troll and smells like a troll. Well, you know the old saying.

  357. Headline on Zonal marking:

    ‘Mourinho tries to counter Messi’s false nine role by pushing Carvalho up the pitch’

    Didn’t quite work.
    I bet Maureen wishes he had a CB like Koscielny.

  358. Steww, you are right James is a funny dude!

    do you remember the james and zap comedy show?

    I miss that a lot!

  359. I hate saying this and hope that i will be proved wrong but I think we may lose the next three matches! ;(

  360. @stew

    i know you wanna be a trollhunte, thought this might inspire you.

  361. Great videos by the Paul-N. That Joel Campbell had me squirming in my seat.

    Now a Doomer or Goner would react differently. They’d say “Hah easy when you’re 4 -0 up against Cuba. He’ll never cut it in the Prem” etc.
    Us AKBs and Gooners of course just get goosebumps at an Henry/Bergkamp/RVP-esque piece of finishing.
    Jeez the kid looks good. Reminds me of Cannonball Craig.

  362. Still love the team mind you! 🙂

  363. @glum aslong as we beat Udinese i dont mind loosing to United and Liverpool. UNited lost to us last year and still won the league.

  364. A R S E N A L
    A R S E N A L
    A R S E N A L

  365. Thanks poodle! I get too angry with them sometimes but yeah it would be great to track them all down and melt them with some kind of anti-troll device.

  366. Arsenal Ladies 1 Everton 0. Big big result. we needed the win to put us in control of the title race and everton are probably the last team you want to play under such circumstance. but the girls played like champions.

    WELL DONE.

    by the way, only two teams in europe can boast to have both a top men’s team as well as a top women’s team.

    arsenal and lyon.

  367. what is actually worrying me abit is the almost non existing rummours of any players coming in. Either they are holding their cards very close or we may actually not get anybody in(which i dont belive at all).

    In this day and age though, rumours always leak out.

    I wonder if we are in for a certain set of playes if we do qualify for the CL and a different set if we dont. After all we are set to loose out on 25m pluss if we dont qualify.

  368. korihikage | August 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for the update, I wondered how the Ladies were getting on. Great result!

  369. great post yogi.keep the faith fellow gooners

  370. poodle

    You mean like having two bags of shopping, one from Fortnum and mason’s and the other from Aldi?

    And not knowing which one you can afford to buy until you get to the checkout.

  371. Its testing times!

  372. Korih

    I was watching the Arsenal ladies, but couldnt hang around to catch the result. Thats great for them.

    Thanks for the update

  373. @dex well yeh kinda, i would have thought we would have bagged our targets earlier if it was not for that. I find that peculiar. I think i find it even more peculiar if we go into the second leg without adding anyone if we have as much injuries as now. Especially at the back. If it is true the rumours that Trarore is going to QPR for loan AW must be about to pull some humugos white rabbit out of his wizard hat me thinks.

  374. Do we have anyone but Squillachi at the bench if we play the same back four as we did against Udinese?

  375. poodle:

    i think we still have miquel. don’t think hes going out on loan.

  376. Liverpool in for Cahill?
    WTF,that John Henry fellow has got a bigger boat

  377. Seriousley, Ryo looks so young 🙂

  378. cool hand duke

    Everton are skint. lets give them the Nasri money for Jags n Baines.

  379. White Hat= Baines,Jags and big Hair do =£40 million =Happy Ken=Happy Dex.

  380. As well as Traore, there’s talk of Lansbury being a target for Blackburn. I also think Miquel will be loaned out (possibly to Bolton), if he doesnt get a prem loan, then there’s no rush to loan him as the lower leagues dont follow the rules of the window.

    Poodle

    Yep, our transfer policy this summer has been, erm, well weird. Going balls out for Oxo is great, as long as we dont neglect other areas of the squad.

  381. he does not sound young though, his work ethics and view of life is incredible for such a young man.

    God hes already my favourite!!!!

  382. Dukey fuck off I was typing and you snuck in

  383. @george no squilly is not that bad, hes just very few 🙂 with our luck if hes the only sub defender you can bet we will get more than on injury at the back .

  384. George

    Squillaci isnt that bad, but partnering Koscielny isnt too hot a pairing dude.

    And those 3 wouldnt be too bad, well, as long as we signed Benzema as well! 😀

  385. @dex im sure there is a plan there that i dont understand. And you will never see me boo our team or our manager even if we fail to buy anyone before the end of the window.
    Is just that AW is usually true to his word. when he says we aint gonna buy he does not buy, and when he says i wanna buy he uysually does.

  386. can someone enlighten me about Jagielka compared to say Cahill or Johnson?

    I know Liverpool have been after Shawcross but now they are after Cahill. Are those to similar? I just find it weird if you are after one type and then suddenly try to purchase another type.

    Surly you buy a player that fits your system no?

  387. Wake up Dex.Benzema is just a fantasy

  388. johnson? no i meant that birmingham dude Dunn.

  389. Have I missed a meeting by the way? When did we suddenly need a central defender? Everyone talks as if that’s a given.
    Verm and Kos look utterly superb, individually and together and Djourou has a lot of talent and top level first team experience.
    That’s three first choice players for two positions. Oh and Squilli and Miquel as extra cover one experienced the other highly promising. If we did need another it surely would be a fifth or sixth choice squad player and I can’t see any of the names bandied around settling for that.

  390. Poodle I think Cahill is just as good as Jagielka on the ball

  391. I think the club have designed some new form of Chinese water torture, where the drip drip dripping of water has been replaced by the endless cycle of watching sky sports and Newsnow for any signs of a new signing!

    I tell you what? The yanks should get on this crazy shit, it beats the fuck out of that water boarding those vindictive army fuckers love so much!

    Im about ready to admit to anything!

    Yep, I started the London riots, I killed disco, it was me on the grassy knoll!

  392. Steww ,if that is the case why have we been bidding for Jagielka?
    And why has Arsene said, only last week, that he was looking for a CB?

  393. steww

    Mate, Miquel will be loaned out, if Bartley was, then young Ignassi will be. Vermealen and Koscielny cannot be expected to play every game and having 4 top class CBs is probably as important as having several top class forwards, which we probably could do with adding as well as the defender!

  394. I am all in favour of water boarding,If torture is OK with Jack Bauer its OK with me

  395. “Steww ,if that is the case why have we been bidding for Jagielka?
    And why has Arsene said, only last week, that he was looking for a CB?”

    George – it beats the crap out of me. For the reasons I have given above I suppose, but unlike some I’m happy to admit I can’t read Arsene’s mind and I don’t know as much as he does. But as an arsenal fan I don’t want to see any player from another club displace Verm or Kos. I love them both.

  396. Dexter who has four top class cbs? look at who Manure play when Vidic and furryman are injured. I just don’t see who would come to us to sit on the bench. But hey I’m out of step with you guys and with Arsene so I’ll sit back and see.

  397. miquel is even 194 high! thas higher than both Rio and Vidic. so for all those who are obsesed by height. bleeh !

    @steww, we would only need another defenders since 2lb plus 2 cd are out injured

    Verm and Kos will be massive, kos is such a joy to watch imo., JD is not that bad neither, he had a great tackle inside our own box against Udinese.
    i think AW will buy Dunn if he buys any, then again, would be nice when Squillys contract goes out to have instant room for miquel and bartely.
    I still think he will buy something in the back though, some kind of utility man that can play everywhere and a bit more.

    I bet LeGrove will moan when he is announced too….they always moan if he costs under 10m

  398. Also, as much as I think Johan was awesome last season, he still has a slight doubt about his injury problems, as witnessed the other night. I am not saying he is injury prone, btw.

  399. Oh and several top class forwards? Come on we’ve always had first choice and understudies. When Pires, Bergy and Thierry played who were the three ‘top class’ players on the bench? They were second rate by comparison.

  400. Basically what I am saying steww is, our squad needs strengthening mate!

    Our squad has been found wanting each year due to injuries, bans or loss of form. I think we are close to having ready made replacements waiting in the wings, from the youth set ups, but not quite there yet, IMO.

    But I am of the opinion we need 4 new signings, at least. Thats probably going to make you choke on your beer! 😀

  401. Any one of our 4 CB’s will play 20+ games

    A more physical CB (Cahill would be my pick)for the more physical teams seam to make sense to me.
    If we did not play such a high line with them it might open the game up.Rather than pushing them all into their own box.

  402. Anyhoo, early start tomorrow so I’m off to bed to read me book. Lovely chatting to you guys. So much nicer than the fakes and doomers who derail the daytime chat.

  403. what i cannot understand is how someone can critizise us for using Jenkinson and Gibbs on the sides when United field the twins. they are not exactly in their late 20s. They dont even field the twins nowadays they field one twin and Smalling.

    a back five of one twin, smalling, jones, evans anda DeGea. Not bad, but not good neither.
    We are not the onlyones struggling with injuries…

  404. hmm i do like Bendy though, he could be an able depudy when Rvp is injured. so can Chamakh ofc. but Nikki has been here for so long. Rvp was not the main man until he was 25. Wish Bendtner could be more patient

  405. Nope – I’m tea total dext no beer for me any more , I had my fill in the first forty years, going to try to remember something over the next forty.
    I am happy with the squad as is. If Arsene disagrees I’ll find out soon enough.
    Night night.

  406. @dex i think you may get two.

  407. Steww .Be fair mate .Those three would make anyone look 2nd class

  408. Night Steww, enjoy your book!

  409. i think im off too. nn

  410. 2 would have to do then poodle

    later man

  411. kanu wiltord reyes..
    edu parlour
    keown..

    theres some subs for ya..id take that bench today..

  412. JJ

    I think its more than obvious that the squad is in real need of additions, as well as the high profile departures, the squad was in need of strengthening in other areas too. Thats why I cant envisage us not making significant forays into the market, even at this very late stage.

  413. dex i make you right..
    we needed strengthening before the summer we still need it now even moreso..

  414. Dex “KEEP THE FAITH”
    He will buy

  415. Yeah man

    I guess we just need to keep the faith, take a few deep breaths hope for the best and wait….. and wait …. and wait…oh and stay away from sly sports news! 😀

  416. Ha, you beat me to it George you dawg!

  417. atletico have got falcoa..strange he didnt go to barca or madrid..even chelsea

  418. JJ

    Not sure he is top class mate. Then again I dont particularly rate that Sanchez dude either. But I will probably be proved wrong!

  419. Yay, Ladies in pole position to take the WSL title! One more win and it is ours.

    ***
    I am pretty sure AW is looking for depth at CB, assuming we will be challenging on four fronts again this season, but he wants EPL experience in order that the player could step in without an adaptation period. Jagielka is supposed to be the one who would fit in best, and according to whoscored.com he is not as good as our top three, though better than Squillers, which would be a good reason why Wenger is haggling. £15-20 million plus the wages might seem like a lot for “cover” in the form of an older player. Whereas £16 million for Jones – young player, scope for improvement – made more sense. This is just what I surmise of course. We may stick with Miquel (left-footed, big advantage).

  420. IMO we have a rather large gap at the back and could get found wanting on Saturday.

  421. George

    Tell fungunner to stop trying to wind me up! 😀

  422. Ian

    Its called the goal; large white rectangular thing, with netting. There’s one at both ends.

  423. Things are looking up!

    Gibbs and Rosicky should be fit for Saturday, well then.

  424. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/aug/18/samir-nasri-manchester-city-debut

    while Tomas Rosicky, who played with a groin problem against Udinese in the Champions League on Tuesday night, is a doubt. In defence, Kieran Gibbs could yet feature despite limping off with hamstring trouble against Udinese and Armand Traoré is also not as badly injured as was feared, when he went off for the reserves with groin trouble.

  425. I put more of a positive spin on things a bit!

  426. I was thinking more of the gap distance between Verm and Kos

  427. By all accounts they are pretty close

  428. So Gibbs, Djourou, Rosicky, Wilshere , Diaby, injured Song Gervinho suspended, Fabregas, Eboue, Clichy Denilson gone Nasri on his way out and possibly Bendtner too. It is really a testing time for the club. The young ones Frinpong, Jenkinson, the OX and Myachi will need to take this opportunity to make name for themselves. Even Arshavin has a chance to show what he is all about.

  429. 1LC.
    Arshavin is our 2nd best player as of now

  430. Jeeez Geroge, that was a dark comment! Lighten up man. I dont think ian meant it in the way I (so very funnily) responded!

  431. What is this obsession with people slating Arshavin? I just dont get it?

    Weird

  432. Who the fuck is slating Andrei?

  433. Bradys right foot

    poodle | August 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    can someone enlighten me about Jagielka compared to say Cahill or Johnson?

    I am a man with no special insightinto anything remember that lol, but I think Jags out of all the centre backs is Wenger first choice and by some considerable distance. I think deals for Dann and Cahill may be agreed in principle but are fall back positions if the Jag deal doesn’t happen.

    How good is Jageilka I don’t really know. I don’t think he played in the 2 – 1 at the Emirates he may have played the year before when Everton played us off the park. I did however watch the Everton v Man U game at Old Trafford in the run in and thought he was brillant. His performance really stood.

    I think Wenger wants him as well because of his age. At 28 he fits in with a wider plan that Kozzer and Djourou will kick on over the next three or four years into top centre halves rather than introducing another player at the same age. Currently Jags is at his peak and I think well go in big around £18 million. For a 28 year old with little resale value its way off the blue print but Wenegr wants him.

    Incidently I think Everton would swoop on Dann if Jags joins and have around £10 million left over to buy a striker. It’s a win win you would think, so why hasn’t it happened? Maybe he just wants to stay at Everton. His international career may not benefit from any move and he maybe past the point of caring on that issue. He’s a case of wrong club, his face not fitting and being too close in age to Rio and Terry. Upson was/is ahead of him. As Rio and Terry carry on into the next Euros, a new England manager is likely to go for younger centre halves.

    Poodle your probably not enlightened mate but thats all i’ve got lol.

  434. 1lcs comment wasnt exactly a ringing endorsement, but it reminded me of loads I have seen where the Russian maestro has been slated man. Not good.

    The dude is quality and he has a lot of responsibility this season.

  435. I was not kidding Dexter
    He is and I am well happy with him ,
    Have you had some illegal substance you grumpy git,

  436. BRF

    Nice one man, according to a Toffee blog I read, they were convinced Jagielka wouldnt move due to family reasons and being settled in the north west more than any other reason.

  437. Well how was I slating him with my dark comment?
    Is saying he is our 2nd best(after Robin)putting him down in some weird shit way that I cant see?

  438. Georgey progy ya big pudding man! You is the grumpy gus on here, not me. You saying who da fuck an all that, pah!

  439. Farkin ell goerge, lay off the crack man!

    Your dark comment was the one about Cesc and WEnger used to being close FFS!

  440. Oh fuck me .What a twat I turned out to be,
    Well how was a dim wit like me to know that? 😦

  441. Bradys right foot

    Dex I think your right, I get the impression that Jagielka is in no way looking for a move and is entirely happy at Everton. Strategically Moyes an excellant manager could do alot with £18 million. They need a striker probably more than any other club in the league including us and they also have Distin. Know if you were to pick a centre half to guide a young talent such as Dann on the pitch and learn him his trade, Distin would be a great shout. I think his experience would help mitigate the loss of Jagielka. Every word i’ve wriiten is probably rubbish but I wouldn’t be suprised to see Jags in an Arsenal top this year.

  442. Dex – No one was slating Arshavin- I said he has a chance to be the main man in midfield- he can play in that creative midfield role, he has the vision to do that

  443. Gibbs def out for dippers game. Traore late fitness test.

  444. Dupsff

    Yeah, just read it, I got ahead of myself on the Gibbs front man!

    1LC

    Fair dos mate.

  445. George

    Haha! I know, you is slow, so I let you off this time!

    BRF

    Trying for Baines might be a better bet then mate,

  446. Dupsff

    I am going to hazard a guess here and say Vermealen will be LB with Kos partnering Djourou. Although I’d be tempted to stick Sagna at LB and Jenks RB.

  447. Djourou is in contention George. Looks hopeful apparantly

  448. I am going to bed ,Next thing you know Sol will be in your team dex,?

  449. George

    I take it back, its not crack you’re on, its obviously magic mushrooms

    Goodnight!

  450. I dont like newsnow.I like Arsenalnews.net
    Not a good choice quite clearly

  451. Haha!

    George you can filter out any news source you dont like on Newsnow, so its as good as you want it to be man

    G’nite Gran Ma!

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