One Of Us Speaks: Snow, Royal Weddings & Udinese

If Arsène can have a day off to scout players, I’ll have a day off to scour the web. In the meantime, ACLF’s own Elwood, Big Al, is your Arsenal guide for the day…

Part One – Wednesday Afternoon:

Across Europe, earnest looking, and brow-furrowed employees were the ones getting the least work done. If they were fixed to their monitors it wasn’t because they were immersed in their tasks, drawing up spreadsheets or whatever. If it seemed they were deep in thought, they weren’t pondering some crucial workplace decision, business deal or concept.

Like Samir Nasri after January, they were going through the motions – an army of the living dead, discernible only to those who knew and felt the same way. Bosses were blissfully ignorant of the productivity-killing, inner torment haunting their workforce. Others might have remembered some bland conversation in the past, and offered an awkward pleasantry like, “You’re a Gooner, aren’t you? Ooh, big match tonight”.

It was indeed going to be a big match. Even if you’re immune to hysteria, the stakes were quite ridiculous – Pot One of Europe’s premier club competition, or wading through European football’s putrid backwaters with Pulis and Redknapp for company. This was the first Arsenal game in five years to warrant the full preposterous Sky-style promo treatment. A game of potentially earth-shattering importance. If the unthinkable were to hap- no, no; it’s called unthinkable for a reason…

Some gluttons for punishment were no doubt compulsively scanning the news, as if the barrage of uplifting stories at the start of the week hadn’t been enough. By Wednesday morning I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear that Agent Busacca had been reactivated to get the job done for UEFA.

Others were really trying to get something done, but when every topic leads back to Arsenal’s depleted midfield, you’ve lost before you started.

And all the while there was this ghastly background noise, audible during moments of foreboding. It was the dreadful scrape of blades being sharpened. If that unutterably bad thing were to happen there were packs of scavengers waiting, licking their lips, dying to make it worse.

Then there was the build up; on the eve of a crucial match for Wenger and Arsenal, Samir Nasri’s exit couldn’t have been timed any better; revenge by villainous hangers-on and a massive insult to the man and club that helped him realise his potential. Before that we’d had news of Jack Wilshere’s setback, rumours of discord between manager and board, and Wenger’s scandalous two-match ban.

Since I couldn’t avoid thinking about it – what to expect from tonight’s midfield? This past fortnight has seen the emergence of Emmanuel Frimpong as a contender for the first team. At this stage he’s like a devastating weapon hurried onto the battlefield before an adequate testing phase. His very deployment should contravene the Geneva Convention, and despite his formidable power and destructive capability, there’s always a chance he’ll combust, blowing our game plan to pieces.

In defence Vermaelen has looked assured and belligerent at centre-back, reducing the powerhouse Andy Carroll to a quivering wreck, weakly begging for scraps but mercilessly denied. The striker’s biggest contribution to the match was dunking Koscielny and triggering his back spasm. 

There have been promising performances across the pitch, but it’s clear that something has been missing; we’ve been forming attacks as usual, but once the wide players are in possession there has been no support. Now, we all wish Theo could occasionally heed that dead end sign before he joyrides down blind alleys but on Saturday, none of our midfielders, the over-congratulated Nasri included, were offering him or Arshavin any kind of early option in the build up.

People have talked about this need for midfield creativity, but it’s not something that can be offered by just one player; the team needs to function properly first. Every passer needs a runner. Against Udinese in the first leg there was a tantalising gap between the away side’s midfield defence – if we can get RvP and our own midfielders to exploit it a little better than last week, we’ll create chances.

Part Two – Wednesday Night:

There was so much promise in this performance.

Yes, we conceded a couple of opportunities in the first half, but – and this might sound bold – Arsenal will not come up against a more intelligent striker this season. To try and avoid scaring us all to death, I held back when assessing Di Natale last week. He is among the most talented forwards on the planet right now; he moves and communicates with his midfield so well, he’d even make Karl Henry look an imaginative passer. How satisfying it was to see his body language change as the night went on.

So it’s even more exciting that players such as Carl Jenkinson were so comfortable, particularly in the second half when the pressure was on. Churlish types are scouring the footage right now to confirm their assertions that he’s not ready. They miss the point. He’s shown enough in his early appearances to suggest he can be relied upon in the event of another injury crisis. And it’s also telling that he was picked ahead of the competent Traoré.

Rosicky, anchored by the immaculate Song and tireless Ramsey, demonstrated why he’s going to be so important, at least until the return of Jack Wilshere. We missed him against Liverpool – he’s an unheralded team player, and with his second half inclusion we got a much-needed injection of experience and technical quality. That’s not to denigrate Frimpong of course, who tenderised them in the first half.

So now our season does have a different complexion. After one result there’s a lot more money and a more coherent team on the back of one of those bond-building nights. Meanwhile, in Gervinho we have a forward who can totter past any defence in the league. If he doesn’t know where he’s going to end up then what chance do they have?

til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 26, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 436 Comments.

  1. First

  2. it’s probably fortunate for Samir that he doesn’t have to visit The Emirates until April. I wonder if he’ll shake Frimpong’s hand after the diss on Twitter.

  3. Just Another Luke

    Szcz: We need another big performance from him this Sunday. We’re counting on him to be worth at least 0.5 pts per game or 19 pts for the season. And I know that he can do it.

  4. Thanks Big Al: a scarily accurate analysyis of my day!

  5. Or analysis if it makes better reading!

  6. Good post Big Al!

    Part one accurately described my day.

    I have a sneaky feeling about Transfers today. Some positive news I guess, because it has been quiet on the transfer front this week from the Arsenal except for the endless rumours.

    Fingers crossed though.

  7. Our most important players on Sunday will be Rosicky and Arshavin. I’m wondering if Wenger will change formation to counter the loss of Song and Frimprong or will he employ Djourou as DM.

    United will be without Ferd and Vidic by all accounts. We must exploit this! Couple that with what looks like a very dodgy keeper.

  8. Apparently none of the French sources reporting our bid for Hazard are particularly reliable, with most experts expecting him to stay in France for one more year. That’s a damn shame.

  9. Just Another Luke

    Even as we recruit new players to bolster our strength, I hope the board will remember to reward the “stayers” like RvP10, TV5, TW14, BS3, AS17, etc.

  10. “This past fortnight has seen the emergence of Emmanuel Frimpong as a contender for the first team. At this stage he’s like a devastating weapon hurried onto the battlefield before an adequate testing phase. His very deployment should contravene the Geneva Convention, and despite his formidable power and destructive capability, there’s always a chance he’ll combust, blowing our game plan to pieces.”

    Very well put, OOU. good post all in all.

    Have to say I am disappointed in PV’s involvement in Man City, but like others have said, he’s always been the show-me-the-money type.

    But there is something to Limestone’s suggestion yesterday that perhaps we should be doing more to bring back our former legends before other clubs poach them. We can’t match the wages City would have offered Vierra, but why isn’t any of the more recent legends, Keown, Adams, Bergkamp, etc working for us. Its like none of the players that played under Arsene is kept around. Yet, having a few of these guys around has to be good for the current players, surely.
    Look how much more dedicated Wilshere and Frimpong seem to be. These are all players Liam Brady has worked with. His influence may well have rubbed off on them.

  11. This keeps coming up Henristic.

    Could it be that we have enough coaches already?

  12. Just Another Luke

    Including AW and PR, we have 20 coaching staff


  13. Surely we can create a role like ‘Football Development Executive’ like Man City did for Vieira, just to accomodate our ex players.

  14. Just Another Luke

    PV’s role is to lure our French players (Clichy, Nasri) to MoolahCity. Just watch them go after Sagna next.

  15. Three key battles for Sunday. A weakened midfield trying to subdue Rooney, so often the engine of their midfield even as striker; a weakened strike force, but enough, to test a decidedly dodgy keeper without man-mountain Vidic; and a weakened defence to challenge in particular Nani’s superb wing play; away from home. What do you think. 0-1 to Arsenal? Or 1-2 to Arsenal? This game is made for Arshavin and RvP. Is it remotely possible Traore will play in the middle, on the left, ahead of Henri, in a 4-5-1 type approach? I would be tempted.

    Middle, R-L: Theo, Rosicky, Ramsey, Traore, Arsh

    Mouth-watering CL fixtures!

  16. ManCiteh does tend to pay extraordinarily well for our trash, our mistakes, and old stalwarts long past their prime, I must admit. Good customer.

  17. Grimandi.

  18. Chuffed to bits we got Dortmund.

    My tickets and hotel are already sorted. Can’t wait.

  19. “If he doesn’t know where he’s going to end up then what chance do they have?”

  20. Arsenal v Dortmund. Mouthwatering I say, just absolutely mouthwatering.

  21. The truth is, Arsenal are a very weak side this season. The likes of Nasri, cesc who were the backbone have all departed and there isn’t any depth in the squad. Big signings are of utmost importance as of now !!!

  22. Very intersting, Zimpaul

  23. From an article I was just reading. Heh, great stuff.

    “and Szczesny is not short of that (he once told a linesman not to bother checking his net, as nothing would be going in it).”

  24. Excellent article.

  25. GA,
    It means Tech 9 has lots of arrogance accompanied with humour.

    Swagger I guess, but not just the arrogance.

    “I just tried to get in Di Natale’s head,” said
    “I gave him a little bit of stick and was
    probably not very nice to him but it worked so I am delighted. I told him I was too good for him and that he wasn’t going to score. But in a nice way! I got in his head in the end because he missed the penalty so it worked.

  26. It is good he has a bit of attitude. Most of the top players have it in some form or other. In a keeper it is useful too; if he makes a mistake I don’t think it will really affect his confidence. That seemsed to be the issue with Fabianski; once he had made a gaff (as all keepers do) his confidence seemed shot, and more quickly followed. I don’t think we will get that with Szczesny.

  27. Much has been made of the loss of Cesc and Nasri but, as has already pointed out on here, we had already bought a replacement for Nasri in Gervinho. He proved on Wednesday night against a packed Italian defence that he has the skill to break through when teams park the bus. Possession football makes for impressive stats, but camping outside the box against a packed defence without being able to break through frustrates the players and the fans. Nasri showed he could change things by jinking through a defence every so often, but Gervinho lives to do that. That is his game.
    With Jack’s ability to suddenly change pace and carry the ball forward as well (worth digging out those youtube clips of reserves and Bolton again), we have two very exciting players in the first team who will scare defences and break down the walls which mid and lower table teams (and Man City) put up when they come to the Emirates.
    Replacing Cesc is a much harder task and we are now short that creative midfielder who sees the game moving around him, who starts the moves and is involved in the finish. Maybe we end up going with a quality passer of the ball in the middle of the park instead (Ramsey has that potential), but I think the critical aspect must be the player’s vision as we have plenty of able runners in the team who will getting into the positions, they just need to be picked out.

  28. Watching Twitchy big up Adebayor as ‘the most hated ex Arsenal player in history’ so the Totts fans will love him… sure ‘Arry?

    Szcz seems to be a nuts as his dad and looks to be a prime successor to ‘Mad’ Jens 🙂

  29. Nice one ZimPaul.

  30. Can anyone explain to me what happened at the draw – why was group F excluded when Genk and Trabzonspor were drawn from pot 4?

  31. excellent post. thanx.
    id be happy with a draw at old howard
    cant wait to see who we buy, the team injury free and clicking.

  32. I was thinking the exact same thing JD. I looked around and couldn’t see a reason for this.

  33. I can’t wait for
    (a) 3Gs first competition goal for Arsenal, a wink, a blink, a left, no … right, no … left, in out, out in, and IN
    (b) Arsh’s goal on Sunday, a toe poke out of nowhere, straight into the corner, hello
    (c) RvP’s first set-piece goal, thwam-thwish-thwudder-thadunk, top left
    (d) Ox’s first goal for Arsenal, a through ball, a shilly, a shally, a low hard shot
    (e)Campbell’s first goal for Arsenal, a left foot thunderbolt, far corner

  34. Hopefully TV5 will be fit. If not it would be Djrouou/Miquel at the back, and that would be quite a scary thought. Especially with no defensive minded midfielders available.

  35. I can’t wait for…..a new left back 😉

  36. (f) Frim’s first goal for Arsenal, and a smile as big as Ghana itself
    (g) Wilshere’s first goal of the season, a chip, delicate, mouthwatering, just enough, under the bar, keeper clawing

  37. Our new LB is already in and just recovering a bit Andy, 3-week hammie.

  38. Zim – Exactly. And we don’t have a left back to cover for him.

  39. Kos should be fit and there doesn’t seem to be a massive worry over TV.

    Jenk – Kos – Verm – Sagna

    Rambo – Rosicky

    Walcott Arshavin

  40. On Suday –


    Sub – Chamakh, Traore, Lukasz, Ryo, Ox, Lansbury, Miquel

  41. IF Kos and Verm are ok then thats what id go with too Paul.
    I hope England fight to keep hold of Frimpong

  42. There is no way that Wenger will play a centre back in midfield. And rightly so. This is the real world, not football manager.

    Kos (please be fit)
    TV5 (please be fit)

    Lansbury (can’t believe it has come to this)


    I suppose our other option is to drop RvP back into “the hole” behind Chamakh. I seem to remember Arsene trying this in a game last year. Not ideal as RvP is not a midfielder, but he is intelligent enough to take up the right positions when we are not in posession. And it would make us more of a threat when we have the ball. I would prefer that to Lansbury playing to be honest.

  43. SSN reporting Coyle confirms bid received and rejected for Cahill – it starts the ball rolling so…

  44. Or alternatively, Wenger could really throw in a suprise and go with a midfield of Ramsey/AOC/Rosicky. Doubtful, but you never know. I suppose it depends on how he has looked in training; is he ready to play at this level?

  45. ZimPaul

    It’s been a while since the last taste of an RvP set piece special, he’s too good not to be producing more in that respect. He needs to spoil us more often, Old Trafford would be a good venue for a start.

    As for the other debate, could it be just that good, even outstanding ex-players, do not necessarily make good coaches?

  46. If we really have bid £6M for Cahill, it really would make us look a bit stupid. Even if we don’t agree with their valuation of £18M, bidding that low is just silly.

  47. 6 mil up front with add ons apparently goonerandy – still a bit too low but its a start – i reckon 10-11 mil with some add ons would probobly do it…

  48. Goonerandy,

    Isn’t it possible that 6m is a fair and accurate valuation of his worth by AW, perhaps not factoring in the all-important English premium?

  49. Zong – Perhaps. But if Bolton are valuing him at £18M they don’t give 2 shits what we think he is worth. A bid of £12-15M would be more realsitic.

  50. How much money and time do think it cost the bastard media when they had to reset their prints and totally re-arrange pre-arrange headlines?!

  51. Deise – Sounds about right.

  52. Clichy – 7 mil – final year of his contract
    Enrique – 6 mil – final year of his contract
    Not english
    Cahill add 40% englishness premium

  53. I take it Di Natale won’t leave Udinese? It’s my guess.

    In addition to being the top scorer in Italy over the last 2 seasons, he has the third best conversion rate of any player in the world over the last season (alongside Ronaldo and Messi). Amazed he is not at a bigger club.

    He’s 33 but he looks like he’d play for another 2 years easily.

    What a delightful player he was to watch – the CL should have been graced by his skill and I felt genuinely sorry for him in spite of my joy in victory.

  54. Dear oh dear Emmanuel. Turned into a spud sperm.

    Frimpong, is going to crush your togo ass.

  55. When Thierry Henry left to Barca, Cesc stated that players could now move to the fore and shine. I did not understand, until Wednesday night, how you could find a positive out of a player leaving who had so much positive effect on results.

    I don’t want to say that Nasri’s departure was unimportant, but it is from Cesc’s shadow that the team emerged, this was like the first match of the rest of their lives and after the recent calamities the reality is I have not seen Arsenal play better in a long long time.

    It is only a few years since English clubs had never won a match in Italy, it was a big one and they looked composed, desiring and skillful.

    Yes we have gaps, but big shoes require some amount of skill and luck to fill, especially when the Chelsea/City hoovers hover to consume anything that looks like potential.

    Meanwhile, the boys shone in their new spotlight and showed that they can do it.

  56. Was there any truth in the Kaka bid?

    Not that I’m gutted it didn’t happen but, it shows ambition if we did. I do hope that the 6m bid for Cahill was bullshit as that would make us look rather silly.

  57. Nice to see and hear Cesc, giving his views on the match v Udi. He used the terms We & They about 4/5 times. Forever Gooner.

  58. Andy what the hell is wrong with letting Lansbury play? He’s a proper player with EPL experience.

  59. Just read some quotes from Owen Coyle. It seems the bid was real.

    We have more transfer funds that ever before in Arsene’s tenure as manager, yet we are making completetly unrealistic bids for players when the clock is really ticking, and the player in question would no doubt improve our squad. It is things like this that really get the supporters back up.

    We obvisouly want the player. Make a realistic bid and negotiate from there, and get him in. Be decisive. With 7 days left we can’t aford to be messing around like this. Our next bid is bounds to be £8M and couple of training cones.

  60. opening gambit goonerton – its been rejected by bolton but at least it movement – there wasnt a bid up to this point…seems other targets are out of the picture – or this was our plan all along, to leave it late and try knock the price down

  61. Els – PL experience? Really? When?

  62. Desie – I accept it was our opening gambit. But as Coyle said, make sure it at least in the same ball park.

  63. i agree with you andy, but it seems these are the games we play, barca did it with us for cesc, and it worked to their advantage – bolton saying what they said is also just part of the game – as unseemly as it may be, this is just how its going to go – everyone wants a deal

  64. andy “We have more transfer funds that ever before in Arsene’s tenure as manager”

    That’s like, you know, your opinion, man.

    We don’t know that a lot of that money hasn’t already been allocated to wage increases for our big guns to keep their heads from being turned. It’s unlikely that some of our best performers (VP, Song, Theo, Vermaelen) haven’t also been attracting attention.

  65. Deise – Yeah, I know that mate. But time is aganist us now. Plus there will possibly be other clubs interested in Cahill, so if there is a realistic chance of signing him we should just be decisive. Hate to use them as an example, but much the way Manure did with Jones. Other teams were interested, so they simply bid a realistic price and tied the signing up. If we mess about too much the likes of Chelsea and M City will get involved, and our our chance of getting him will be gone (due to wages).

  66. Markus – You are right, of course I don’t know. But it can’t be far off can it? We have just recieved the best part of £60M, and add that to our already healthy financial situation and we must be well set.

  67. With 7 days to go, no one made an official offer for him except us and in 6 month he can negotiate with anyone and leave on a free, What would you do if you were in Coyle’s position? I think it’s a smart move as it will make them think about their valuation and we will get him for about 10M which is more or less his realistic price.

    Like deise said clichy and Enrique in their last year left for 7-8 million, 10-12 million for Cahill is just what he is worth and by bidding low we make sure Bolton won’t be too cocky.

  68. If we get him for that type of price, it will have been a great opening gambit. If we don’t get him (either with him staying or going somewhere else), we will look a bit silly. Hopefully it will turn out to be the former.

  69. Good point gunnerluc @ 10:41.

  70. Limestonegunner

    Doesn’t just have to be as coaches. There are a lot of other possibilities as scouts, as executives like Vieira is at ManCity, even as “ambassadors”. The main thing is continuity with traditions and keeping our great players around the club to transmit some sense of whait means to be an Arsenal player. Henry has mentioned many times his love for the club and desire to be involved even if in a humble capacity– hope in a couple of years when he retires from the Red Bulls that Arsenal finds some position for our scoring leader.

  71. goonerandy – according to Coyle no one has bid for Cahill over the summer, this seems to be the first actual bid – i dont think there is too much concrete interest in Cahill apart from us – so its a calculated gamble to bid low now and see where it goes – id sooner both clubs were realistic and just got it done quickly

    Bolton wanting 17-18 mil isnt realistic
    6 mil up front isnt either. If Bolton want a replacement, say Scott Dann for example, they would need 7-8 mil. Cahill is worth more than that i reckon. So 10-12 mil is resonable for Bolton to double their money on Cahill and get a replacement (with wages paid) and still have a few quid coming in with add ons.

  72. Andy “There is no way that Wenger will play a centre back in midfield. And rightly so. This is the real world, not football manager.”

    I think Djourou played there against Liverpool. Different situation I know, but I woudn’t be surprised to see a midfield of Ramsey and Rosicky with the big lad behind them (if Koscielny is fit).

  73. Deise – If it pans out like we will have done pretty well. But I just wish that given the time constraints we just cut to the chase and offer them the £12M (for example), tie up the transfer and get him into the squad.

  74. Limestonegunner, hell I’d settle for a timely one-day visit from Bergkamp. Maybe late in the season for a big morale boost.

    April 16th maybe…

  75. Markus – He played there as an emergency in the last 10 mins or so when we knew we would pretty much be defending non stop as we had ten men. Playing in midfield is completly different to CB. You get loads more time on the ball in defence for a start; against Manure energetic side it would be a huge risk.

  76. in total agreement andy, id sooner have none of the arsing around – but these ceos/chairman/managers have to make it look like they are hard nosed negotiators dont they?? 🙂

  77. Deise – Heh, I suppose they do. The big bennies. Why don’t they just think of the children? Who will think of the children!

  78. Just Another Luke

    Do to Bolton what Moolah City did to us.

  79. Paul Doyle’s one of the French football experts for the Guardian, and was raving about M’Vila on the live blog this morning.

    Oh, and still getting the hang of this blogging lark.

  80. Just Another Luke: “Do to Bolton what Moolah City did to us.”


    Can’t buy class. Owen Coyle has been a friend of our club too. Always respectful and has tried to get Bolton playing like us. Not to mention the fact that he adopted our Jack before his breakout season.

  81. Limestonegunner

    Markus, I’d be happy to have the great one back for a visit too!

  82. The problem with Cahill, is that it’s something of a Mexican standoff. We need a defender this season and Bolton know this. Additionally, the player has not agitated for a move which might have helped our cause.

    Waiting for him, a la Chamakh, is not really an option.

    £12M seems reasonable but, if we offer that, one imagines that Coyle might wait until the nth hour, regardless (to see if there is an improved offer).

    The problem with that is if the deal is not concluded we are fucked as we would not have time to secure a replacement if they said no and surely they need a replacement too.

    £6M bid needs revising upwards and quickly but Bolton have played an excellent game of bluff so far – assuming a realistic bid comes from Arsenal, who will blink first is the question.

  83. Deise

    I agree that’s the critical point, Bolton have to find a replacement and one with experience straight away so they have to ensure they have enough to find a replacement and take a bit of profit out of the deal. Cahill hasn’t openly been agitating for a move either, I’m not sure if he is still willing to talk contract extentions with Bolton though. We’d be happy to give them add-ons tied to England and CL performances, would prove he was good enough and had become a strong part of the Arsenal squad.

  84. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, how about a cheeky bid for di Natale? A very impressive player, agreed!

  85. Nice one OOU, looks like Darius will have his work cut out when he try’s to regain his old squad positon.

    Djourou got rave reviews from Big ‘Eck playing as a d**mer in the PL for a run of games.
    Though if TV5’s out, I’d expect to see JD at CB on Sunday.

    If Koscielny has recovered, that’d be make up the same CB pair that played when we last beat the Mancs. Song’s suspension is the real Hazard (sorry, couldn’t help myself.) in this away game.

  86. I must admit. Good customer.


    Damm straight Zim.

    If reported fees are used, thats c.£72 million for Ade, Kolo, Clichy, Nasri who cost us a combined c.£22 million??

    Mighty fine business.

  87. < tries

  88. Great stuff, mate. What a week.

    Carl Jenkinson’s post-match interview is well worth watching btw. Fairytale, vaulting the hoardings from stands to pitch stuff. League one to Champions League. Fantastic story.

  89. Limestone/Jonny, I think I saw Di Natale kissing the badge after he scored against us… cos I was thinking the same thing when he scored, then saw that and thought nah, he wouldn’t leave. It would probably take a big bid and an even bigger wage offer to prise him away. Very intelligent player tho.

  90. Supposed £6million bid for Cahill rejected….

  91. Just Another Luke


    Coyle was nice and respectful when he wanted our talented youngsters on loan. I remember him wailing at Wenger and us for some tackle suffered by his player when playing against us. Anyway, since when respect between managers gets factored into the transfer fee when clubs these days are run as businesses with accountability to the owner(s) and the board?

  92. keep up Luke 😉

  93. Coyle is being wily I say get samba for 12m. because 6m plus add ons for someone with 12 months of hospital contract left is good business

  94. Spent the f##@%^$ money Wenger!
    Just wanted to see what it felt like to be a twat.

  95. Other than undermining Bolton’s valuation of the player, the other thing our bid does is lower the expectations of, for example, Everton – if we were to pursue one of their players. Nice opening jab.

    I am genuinely excited about Yann M’Vila. Would free up lots of new possibilities in our midfield. Hope that one is true.

  96. Yup, cheers DG!

    Been veeeery busy this morning. Just tucking into my football fix……

    Well, we all know I’d be delighted if he signed.

    My main issue is that Jones/Jagielka/Cahill clearly shows that we are after a CB, if Bolton state Cahill is £16million, and he has been identified as the best possible player we can afford, then we should sign him, even if it means we pay higher than percieved market value.

    His value comes from being the best addition. I would hate, especially after a summer where huge profit was made, that we move for a cheaper alternative, who hasnt been marked as a primary target.

  97. Just Another Luke, I remember the tackle and him being fuming on the pitch, and then a little in his post match interview. But when he’d calmed down he said it wasn’t as bad as he first thought and he over-reacted. At the time he wanted Jack on loan, yes…

    Still, any manager who speaks highly of our team, tries to play football, and isn’t crawled half-way up Ferguson’s butt is okay by me.

  98. Even got the speeling rong, very twatish.

  99. ZP


    Di Natale would also be great for us in CL, but now he’s cup-tied.

  100. It’ll become all very intersting if Lansbury has a fine confident game on Sunday.

  101. Leave the negotiations to the experts. You don’t really think they are fumbling blindly in the transfer market do you?

  102. els, in that regard I’ve always felt we were in very safe hands.

  103. Els,

    Was that aimed at me?

    Negotiations are negotiations. I’m sure we’ve all been apart of them in our respective line of work.

  104. Luke: “My main issue is that Jones/Jagielka/Cahill clearly shows that we are after a CB”

    Or we want to appear as if we are.

  105. Limpar – Agree on the M’Villa thoughts. That really would be a signing with intent.

  106. Markus?!?! What?

    We make a club record bid for Jones only to lose him on personal terms, and thats all part of a decoy??

    Come on fella…….

  107. Luke @ 11:27 – Exactly.

  108. Tee hee. Just seeing if you’d go off on one Luke.

    I wouldn’t mind a versatile defender in actually. More excited by M’Vila in midfield tho.

  109. Just Another Luke


    I do agree that Coyle is an okay guy. I do like his footballing philosophy and the style he imposed on Bolton post Sam the Walrus at Bolton.

    There’s alot of brinkmanship going on as the window edges closer to being fully closed. There are desparate buyers (we with funds to spend and needing to strengthen) and desparate sellers as well (they with a player with one contract year left).

    We shall see what the real price will be come 31st August.


  110. @ OOU
    Good and very entertaining blog.

    “At this stage he’s like a devastating weapon hurried onto the battlefield before an adequate testing phase. His very deployment should contravene the Geneva Convention, and despite his formidable power and destructive capability, there’s always a chance he’ll combust, blowing our game plan to pieces.”

    ha ha ha

    And then you had to go and ruin my day with that news about TV, didn’t you? Let’s all pray that any problem is brief.

    Gervinho’s style is interesting – very hard to read which way he’s going. Love the man’s enthusiasm and energy.

    @ Wavey
    We have such a midfielder, it’s just that he’s injured.

  111. Jonny | August 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I agree. He’s a great player. I was impressed with him in both games. His movement is exceptional – that is how he scores all those goals. But there is no way he will leave Udinese and I doubt they would sell him for any price.

    I love all these experienced negotiators on here who seem to think they know the value of a player and how to get what you want at the price you are prepared to pay. Other teams have been looking for defenders Cahill is available but no one else has bid. He has 1 year left on his contract. Let the people who know what they are doing get on with doing it. I will not cry if he does not come because if he is as good as some of you seem to think, why did Arsene and SAF prefer to go for Jones (who is younger and less experienced) for almost the same price? I would suggest they know more than all of you put together.

  112. @ Wavey
    We have such a midfielder, it’s just that he’s injured.

    Who is this player you speak of? Oh..wait, I think I’ve seen him once in the past, Driay? Dadaby? Drambuie? You know….the big fella……long legs…. aaaaaaaah, what’s his name?!??!!?

  113. Fun – We do indeed. But last year we had 3. Now we only have 1, it would be prudent to add another IMO.

  114. Luke – I think Fun is refering to Wilshere (please correct me if I am wrong).

  115. I love all these experienced negotiators


    I am a very experienced negotiator. Thanks Passenal…….;-)

  116. How about Jovetic? Obviously I’m just shooting the breeze, but before his cruciate he was up there with players like Pastore, Mata and Hazard. Didn’t look like he’d lost anything when he returned at the back end of last season.

  117. Coyle was nice n res

  118. Bleh I give up. iPhone is hard to write from……

  119. If cahill becomes an arsenal player and does good he will go straight into the England team. If he stays at Bolton I’m sure Smalling a s jones will leapfrog him. That’s the difference between playing for a top4 and playing for the rest.
    Bartely is from Bolton youth academy no? Is Cahill to homegrown or did they snap him up from somewhere?

  120. Di Natale isn’t cup tied, it doesn’t apply to the team who didn’t make it through.

    I seriously hope Wenger considers looking at Di Natale. Massively experienced, abundance of quality, composure, and has leadership skills which could be extremely beneficial. Over two legs I can’t remember anyone else in the champions league who causes is so many problems apart from Messi.

    The only thing you have to consider is what role he would want, no way Wenger would change formation or replace Van Persie. He would simply be a very good squad player. (I am assuming here Bendtner leaves).

    Anyway… I’d rather we we get a man in midfield and defence than up front as I think Wenger has players who can easily play CF when need be. Gervinho, Theo and of course Chamakh and Van Persie.

    I was very impressed with all our youngsters so far this season, even Miguel looked like a real player. We need the experience or stop gap signings to help our in-game naivety. So many times we seem to get punished by inferior teams. No offense to Nasri and Cesc, but there were so many games last season where we didn’t show enough fight or willingness to do the basic things right first. I think we may have taken a step backwards momentarily, but it could help us move forward. Its why I think Natale will be a fairly solid signing, simply to have someone around and available who we know will get the job done.

    If we don’t go for him, I am pretty sure he will have other interest after his displays against us.

  121. Cahill was released by Villa Poodle.

  122. Tactics goonerandy.

    Show our cards now and we will get ripped off left right and center. These teams have been waiting around all summer for Arsenal to turn up with our suitcases full of cash. Its impossible to get the deal done quick in this market. No matter what we bid they will prefer to wait to the last minute, especially if they dont intend to sell the guy. Look at us and Nasri as a perfect example. Made City sweat, and milked them a week before the deadline.

  123. Fungunner

    if you mean Diaby, I don’t agree. Diaby much prefers to carry the ball forward himself given the choice.

    I’m talking about a player who orchestrates play from the middle of the park, pinging his passes around. I think the closest player we have to that is probably Ramsey, Rosicky can do it a bit too but he tries to thread the ball through the narrowest gap a bit too often. Not sure who would be best suited, but we have so many options going forward and not many players who spray around the passes from the hole in the middle.

  124. That’s interesting Luke, and now Bolton think he’s worth £17m? My questions remain.

    CG Di Natale is Italian and captain of Udinese. Italians very rarely move away from home like the English.

  125. chrisgoona

    really? I thought the concern with Nasri was also that we would cup-tie him even if we didn’t get through, but happy to be corrected.

  126. Chris – Yeah, I know what you mean. And maybe that is what we are doing. Time is getting short though. There is no way that we cannot make a couple of additions before the window closes, so we are playing a risky game. If we had made this type of bid 4 weeks ago it would be no sweat whatsoever.

  127. if you can barter you barter. you dont go throwing in your best offer. i thought 6 million was a great start. BUt then again I do run a business so I get it. Plus the club doesnt feel desperate only some fans.

    And that whole English premium thing is ridiculous aand sickening. Especially seeing as how they are just human like all the other footballers and rarely ever the best.

    so what you call silly, i call smart. If they dont need the money i guess they wont sell.

  128. And another way to look at this (using Chris’s example of us milking M City) is that if we wait, and wait, we are going to be more desperate for players in the final hours of the window so prices could actually go up, and we may end up paying much more than we wanted. Offer a fair price now, and get the deals done. We have given ourselves very little room to manouvre.

  129. chrisgoona

    “no offence to Nasri and Cesc”

    It seems by his recent comments that Nasri felt he was able to coast it in games because there was no challenge for his position. It seems more and more that his second half of season showing was one of a player who couldn’t be arsed.

  130. goonerwife – I agree about the English thing. It really makes no sense whatsoever. It is not like they are a superior breed of footballer (the opposite if anything).

  131. Goonerwife

    English Premium is ridiculous eh? How much was AOC again?

    The fact that we’ve bid consistently all summer for a CB (3 offers, one being a club record fee), would suggest the club is very much in need of a CB.

    I think agitating the selling the club 5 days before the window closes is silly. You praise this approach. Worked wonders last year when we spent a month trying to sign Schwarzer.

    Cahill is the target. You have failed if you leave the table with nothing.

  132. Does anybody know when Campbell will be available to be selected? Would be great if he were on the bench against Manure. I feel a Macheda moment coming on.

  133. It’s interesting to watch the bid for Cahill unfold.

    Arsenal on the one hand do their business behind the scenes, and Bolton, like many other clubs including the Spuds do their business in the media. Phil Gartside is the Chairman of Bolton, not a blogging commentator and he goes out on Twitter to curse at Arsenal.

    I think £6 million as a starting point for negotiating them down is more than generous. We’re the only bidder and it’s fine to play hard ball – they can take it or wait for him to go on a free. It will also help Bolton climb down from their asking price very quickly.

    Just because we allegedly have the money doesn’t maen we need to be mugged. No way in the world Cahill is worth £18 million even with the “English” VVery Annoying Tax aka VAT added on.

    But the pouring of closed door business onto the street by Bolton is just classless.

    Speaking of classless – did anyone actually hear Harry Redknapp say that Rio Ferdenand convinced him to get Adebayor? It’s unbelieveable that a whole club can pbasetheir transfer policy on a casual chat with an England player. Classic Delboy territory, only Redknapp is operating more like Trigger.

  134. Limestonegunner

    Wavey, none of the Udinese players are cup tied. Losers in the qualifiers can play for other teams in the group stages but after that they would be. Winners players are cup tied so if Nasri had played he would have been, had we still won.

  135. @ goonerwife
    ha ha – great comment

    @ goonerandy
    If all three parties want a deal, a deal will be done. A few days here or there make no difference over the course of a season.

    @ Wavey
    OK, understood – but I still think Diaby’s your man. And Wilshere and Ramsey, too. All very versatile players.

  136. There is a fine line between a strong starting bid and taking the piss.

  137. Limestonegunner

    LA, saw that Jenkinson post-match interview and it was quite nice to see his enthusiasm. He has certainly proven that he can come off the bench and do a creditable job; he will be much better having had this experience.

    He does seem to run in an odd, distinctive way–he is easy to pick out on the pitch. He doesn’t look fluid in his movements–sort of hunched somehow, but he seems to have great anticipation and reading of the game. Says volumes that the boss trusts him more than Traore already.

  138. Bolton seem fairly content to lose him in a year on a free, so they are not desperate to sell. We need to offer them just enough to tip the scales. If they are holding out for somehwere in the region of £18M and we only value him at £12M (for example), it would be worth us offering that little bit extra if he is Arsene’s No1 target. We have the cash, so lets not cut our nose of to spite our face.

  139. Limestone – You are right. The way he moves remainds me of Oleg Luzney.

  140. Fungunner

    I’d love Ramsey to embrace that role. Some of his passing in pre-season was cracking, he was looking up early and spotting the runs of Walcott and Gervinho. With so many speed merchants available in our front line a bit of a change-up in our attacking approach from time to time could do no harm.

  141. I think Wenger has been smart in this transfer window – it is obvious that any team with a player that has to be sold will hope man city, chelsea, manure, real, or paris st germain come for him. Only after being sure that those teams don’t want him will they deal with anyone else. And at that point the price drops in half.

    I’ve no doubt that’s what happened with Mata – I’m sure both the player and valencia wanted to wait to see if chelsea were going to spring for him. Valencia makes twice as much off him, and mata makes twice in wages.

    But now that there is a week to go, anyone selling will start to get nervous, and know they have to start considering any other bids out there, since there really is such little money out there to begin with. That is what happened with Cahill. Bolton began at 18 million hoping for city or chelsea or manure to take him. They didn’t. And now they are rather f****, cause they HAVE to sell him – they are in no position to lose 6-9 million plus salary on a player for 1 years worth of service. I’ll bet that the final price will be closer to 6 than 18, thats for sure.

    Anyway if I’m wenger, I identify 2-3 central defenders, all worth about 9-10, and then lodge bids of 6-7 for all of them – samba, cahill, Mertsaker, for example. Inch my way up till I get one of them. End of the day, we are buying a second choice center back – someone to come in against the bigger more physical teams. I don’t see Wenger paying over the odds for such a player….

  142. I do think you are overestimating how much we want/need Cahill Luke. If we have the money as you say why not aim higher. His record is hardly great.

  143. Jenks has no neck!!

  144. If it were up to me, and I know it’s not, there are four players I would want to see in an Arsenal shirt. A young midfield player, Jack Wilshere, truly outstanding prospect and potentially the answer to Cesc, left-footed and the best close ball control I’ve seen since Cesc, who once said he doubted he was as good at that age; Diaby, a tall French national midfielder, a bit mercurial but good pace, dribbling skills, and could be what we need to unlock a few defences; a young left back called Gibbs, apparently injury-prone but, injury aside, seen as a possible/probable heir to Cole for England; and a French CB with EPL experience called Koscielny, it would be an amazing pairing to TV. Oh and M’Vila.

  145. I suppose it depends on what role Arsene has for our new defender. Does he think they will come in as backup, of does he see the likes of Cahill or Jagielka parntering TV5 with Kos as back up. Either are plausible.

  146. goonerandy/Darius

    its just about getting the balance right. Any deal has to be done with enough profit in it with them to feel happy and with enough time for them to bring in another player. £6m is clearly a starting gambit and Gartside might well be laying the ground for the inevitable. The actual fee settled is not likely to be disclosed, so letting everybody know that Arsenal started with a low bid ensures that he doesn’t get mugged for all of the money he gets for Cahill when he goes shopping for a replacement.

  147. *ground work

  148. Darius I agree,

    The fact that Coyle went public with the bid smacks of a ploy – he wants arsenal fans to raise a stink about having only a 6 million bid. But end of the day, if that is the only bid in the market come aug 31, he will hit it. He won’t have a choice.

  149. Nando – But he will have a choice. Keep him and lose him for free an the end of the window. If they have no replacement in, that is well what they might do.

  150. @ Wavey
    Agree about Ramsey – Cesc was saying (before Aaron was shawcrossed) that Ramsey was the one who was really pushing him for his place. But I would love to see what Diaby can do if this operation finally frees him from the legacy of his ankle injury and allows him an extended period of fitness.

    @ nando
    that strategy sounds credible to me.

    RvP said:
    “Some people questioned our mental strength, but if you look at the game that’s what we showed.

    “Now it’s up to us to show that every three or four days, not just tonight. We have to do that over and over again, that’s just football.”
    Exactly. We rose to the occasion at times last season, but not consistently.
    He seems to be absolutely relishing the responsibility of being captain.

  151. Markus

    Well, I think Cahill would start alongside TV5. I know thats against consensus on here, and an already well trodden path, so we will leave that.

    Cahill’s track record? He has earned an England call up, and significant recognition/praise from his peers having rised to promience at Bolton.

    Track record can not be called into question when we spend a similar fee on AOC and go wild about him. Its only reasonable.

    Without wanting to start a riot, I do feel Cahill has somewhat become symbolic to the more pro-Wenger anti-“doomer” posters on here. For those who disagree we need to spend money or improve our defence etc, Cahill has been created as the manifestation of another opinion.

    Some on here hate the thought of him at the club based on what he represents in our on-line fanbase, as opposed to his quality as a player.

    A final point on track record, it has never been the defining aspect of an Arsenal signing. Intelligence, mental strength, technical ability. Is what Wenger craves for in a player. He couldnt careless if he was from Catalunian or Catamandu. It shouldnt be any different in Cahills case.

  152. Yes Luke, The English premium thing is ridiculous. Do I really need to tell you that?

  153. goonerandy,

    bolton are not a club capable of losing 8-9 million pounds. That is their entire transfer budget for a year. Arsenal were better able to swallow nasri leaving on a free than bolton are losing cahill. This notion that they need an equivalent replacement is fancifull. In the same way Wenger will not replace nasri with a 25 million buy, Bolton will not replace cahill with a 9 million pound buy. They will spend 2-4 million on someone….

  154. I think Cahill/TV5 would be a solid and dominant paring. Cahill is not as good on the ball as Kos (although no mug himself), but we have plenty of ball players. With injuries suspeniosn Kos would get plenty of games anyway, and I would feel a whole lot better if one of the 1st choice pairing were not availabe in we could call on somebody of his quality to come into the side.

  155. Nando – How do you know that? They may be more than content happy to do that (they don’t actually lose the money, so it would not affect their budget). My point is that if we leave it so late, that there is no time for them to get a replacement, they are all the more likely to want to keep him.

  156. Jabba's Delights

    Its quite obvious we are after a cb. In terms of pure talent Cahill probably isnt worth much more than 8-10m but the fact is he is english so we know his price goes up. The problem is if we are preppared to pay the english premium for AOC a bid of 6m for Cahill is only going to piss them off. He is our number 1 option we are quite obvioulsy after a cb and we dont have long to sort it out.

    The fact that we are trying to settle our business after selling 60m worth of talent only lessons our barganing position. Everyone now knows we have cash and will add an extra few quid on to our prices. For positions that needed strengthening before Nasri and Cesc left this is poor management from our perspective.

    M’Vila would be a wonderful addition. I agree with Gainsbourg last night and think this Martin charachter is on the verge of breaking out and could help us cope with the cesc loss.

    I still think we need a striker and what on earth is going on with our great Dane, hilarious if his dad has priced him out of the market

  157. Cahill would compete for a starting place, but I don’t think he would displace Kos. He would probably play in games against bigger opposition, but not against counterattacking teams. So given everyone was healthy, he would play against stoke but not barcelona. Newcastle but not man united….

  158. I must admit, I am not a fan of switching the defence around to suit the opposition (and don’t think Arsene would either to be honest). Continuity is the most important thing for a back 4; pick your best mix of players, and play them together as much as possible.

    And that is why I think Cahill would play ahead of Kos. The mix would be better.

  159. goonerandy,

    That makes no sense – a team with a 10 million dollar budget holding an asset worth 10 million does not let it go to zero in a year. Say they do hold on to him – they still end up having to go buy a replacement for him, except they don’t get paid to do so. Hell, according to that argument they should go buy cahill’s replacement today, since they will lose him in a year regardless. Give the player a year to bed in.

    There is a reason we sold clichy and nasri this year. It is the same reason they will go sell Cahill.

  160. Koscielny’s fit!

  161. Goonerandy.

    Unfortunately, Vermaelen and Koscielny are Arsenal’s first choice central defenders. As much as you might want Cahill – it’s not going to happen. Any defender coming in is for back up and options depending on who we play.

    But Koscielny and Vermaelen have it nailed on. And truth be told – they’re a pretty solid pairing – and haven’t conceded even one goal when they’ve played together during pre-season and in the first few games.

  162. Fit, as in healthy. Looks-wise he’s a bit like the evil Bart in “Bart the Murderer”:

  163. Nando – Hopefully you are right, and hopefully it will be to us.

    OOU – That is great news. Any word on TV5?

  164. Jabba's Delights

    Cahill / TV5 would be a formidable cb pairing. Can win the physical duels, both have pace and both can smack them in from 25 yards.

    Let teams defend deep and back off our cbs striding forward with the ball as they dont want to give our midfielders and attackers space. Both will shoot and both will end up with 15-20 gaols a season each…………..FACT!


    Now that team can beat you in alot of ways and has some pretty good depth bar striker and lb

  165. Darius – I also think they are a decent pairing. Don’t make out that you know for a fact though that this would remain the case should a new defender tip up, because you don’t (as nor do I).

  166. Having Verm, Cahill, Koz and Djourou to choose from would be great for the squad in my opinion. Any of those 4 could easily be a starter and not one of us here would feel any trepidation with any of those against any opposition. And with such competition it can only make them stronger and the cream will rise to the top. With the amount of games we play and with injuries and suspensions and fatigue all 4 would play plenty of games.

  167. @ nando

    @ OneOfUs | August 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    “Koscielny’s fit!”
    Now can you send out the healing vibes for TV, please.

  168. Fitness test for Vermaelen, GA. Which suggests that at the very worst it’s not going to be an ongoing injury. Hopefully!

  169. Deise – Agreed.

  170. Jabba's Delights


    Whats Kosciellny dont to prove that he is beyond competition for places? I’ve seen him have as many amazing games as he had poor. Dont get me wrong he has talent but he hasnt shown enough yet on a consistent basis for us not to put allot or pressure on him by signing another good qiality cb.

    Cahill would be a great addition. We need more depth in every area of the park to compete on 4 fronts

  171. OOU – Sounds encouraging. I hope he makes it, I would feel much better with Kos/TV5 at the back.

  172. “very least”!

  173. Fanciful I know but were TV, JD and Kos all fit would Kos be best placed to do a job as DM rather than JD..? He looks better on the ball to me and is master of the interception.

  174. Darius

    just had a mate of mine on the phone whinging about the bid for Cahill and I made exactly the same point about TV5/Kos being the first choice pairing to him. I think being without TV5 in his first Prem didn’t help Kos, but he came through that with only a few hiccups. The two of them together are nothing short of phenominal.

  175. Limestonegunner

    Markus, Owen Coyle was very hostile and disrespectful to Wenger and the club after a match and made some bad comments that were followed by a number of the other “British” contingent of managers who piled on. He shaped up when there was a chance of getting a player on loan. I don’t see an especially warm and friendly relationship here but one of convenience because Coyle plays a brand of football that is more appropriate for Arsenal loan players. That’s all.

  176. I feel a bit sorry for Diaby. If he were fit at the moment he would have a great chance to get a run of games and lay a claim to be a starter every week. I really like him, but it really looks like his constant injuries are going to rob him of ever cementing his place with us.

  177. Apparently Wenger confirmed the bid for Gary Cahill in his press conference just now, but says the £6m figure reported is not true.

    I’d prefer Cahill over Mert – signing either would create a real battle for places – signing both would be prob be the end of Bartley’s hopes as a player at Arsenal. I would really like to see the kid come through – he looks to have all the tools.

    Still can’t help feeling that more than defence the area we need to address is our strikeforce. With RvP out who do we fall back on – especially with Chamakh looking so desperate?

    The Guardian is suggesting that if we sign MVilla (who is being compared to Viera) the intention would be to push JW into the number 10 role. An interesting idea, but for the fact there isn’t a no 10 role in a 4-3-3…is there?

  178. Limestonegunner

    I’d be happy with Distin. No English premium but lots of PL experience. He has a decent record and size and can mentor Kos and Djourou.

    I don’t see the point of arguing now about our strategy in bidding. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then it is a shame but we don’t know what is actually happening or what the chances are. The good news is that the club is trying to get its targets. There are lots of good players out there and not all of them are being overpriced, so hopefully some experience and quality is on the way.

  179. No, but there is a more “advanced” midfielder from the 3. Song/Mvilla/Wilshere would be a good combination I think. Diaby, Ramsey,, Frimpong and Rosicky proving ample backup.

  180. DeiseGooner | August 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm – yes my thoughts entirely.

    Cahill and Verm, if playing regularly, would probably also bring c10 goals a season.
    Cahill has scored more goals than any other defender in the Premier League since August 2008.

  181. @Jabba and Goonerandy.

    Bookmark this page and visit it regularly in the season. It will do one of two things – remind you how to spot a trend, or satisfy you that we have bought a top class English defender to solve our defensive problem.

    Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen and Gibbs are our back 4 first choice preference when everyone’s fit.

    There’s enough games to go around for everyone so I’m sure whoever comes in will have a good enough punt.

  182. Jonny

    — Song — M’Villa —
    ——–Jack ——–
    Theo ——- Gerv
    ——– RVP ——–

    Thats about as No10 we have 🙂

  183. Darius – I don’t think (or have ever said) that we should buy English. I honestly don’t care where our players come from if they are good enough. I am simply saying that you have no idea whatsoever if Wenger is looking for a parnter for TV5, or back up. You have none. So don’t try and make out like you do.

    They do look a good parntership, from what very little football they have played together. But that does not mean it could not be improved. I will be quite happy if that is the parntership, but I will be even happier if we improve it my bringing in a better player.

  184. goonerandy – yes I suppose they just mean the Fabregas role of being the ‘playmaker’. When I think of 10 I tend to think of the Bergkamp role or the role Gerrard was playing when he slotted in so effectively playing off Torres.

    That said it would be nice to see Wenger playing some different formations – we were much more rigid in our set-up last season than the teams above us. Especially, Man Utd.

  185. Tottenham have been drawn against Shamrock Rovers.

    Come on the Rovers!!

  186. Johhny – Yeah, that is true. Wilshere is a differnt prosepct to Cesc as well. Whilst I think Cesc had more quality on the ball, Wilshere is much more dynamic than Cesc.

  187. Chippy Brady, on Irish TV during and after the Udinese game did feel Jack will be used further forward now that Cesc and Nasri is gone and feels he is up to it. Depends on what kind of midfielder we bring in i suppose. If its an M’Villa then Jack will be further forward. If its a creative midfielder then Jack stays deeper.

  188. Darious

    Nervy ground. Now, we all know you utter despair at the thought of Cahill joining the ranks, thats a given, and your foundations to welcome his signing are already being made. Congratulations.

    Perhaps you too should book mark this page? What if young Gary comes to the club and commands a starting berth? Oooh, woah is me. What would you do? Criticise Wenger? Nope. Admit you were being a dick all summer? Nope. Go for the much lauded ‘just support the team’? Perhaps. Find new ground to attack other fans? Aahh, thats it.

    Cahill will be a delightful addition if we land him. You should be happy old bean. Our team is looking to get better.

  189. *BUT your foundations…

  190. Desie – I actully like the thought of Jack further forward, with two more combatative players behind him. He can mix it as well, and in games when we are up against it he could drop back to make a very tough midfield 3. If that is the plan though, I hope with bring in a creative wide player to joing RvP and Gervihno up front. That would be the right mix I think.

  191. Jack is taking the same route to Cesc’s role as Cesc himself took. No doubt he will play advanced.

  192. So off topic I was lookings at the Man City squad currently and noted that of the 25 registered players only 4 players were actually brought through at Man City. They have 11 in total and 2 of those came from Arsenal. My point is that clearly Man City are unable at this time to rely on their home growth youth and are indeed buying players in to meet the quota. This policy will lead to Man City increasing placing huge offers on HG talent and the clubs that produce talent.

    Now I realise there has been much discussion on the financial agreement between Man City and their owners Cousin (Shiek-my-hand-with-a wink).

    So I was thinking even with this deal Man City are not the new United, they are not way up there is spin or merchanising and so even this deal isn’t going to help them that much when they are recording 140 million pound losses… then it hit me. The deal includes a vast some for the redevelopment of the stadium and training grounds, the latter of which is a FFP write off against FFP figures. They are smarter than they appear and I can see FFP having no impact on Man City spending at all… anyone know if I am right about this? I trully hope I am because I hate the C**ts with a passion, just as I hated the financial doping of Chelsea.

  193. Limestonegunner | August 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I totally agree with you re Jenkinson, but I’m not sure how you take the leap to dissing Traore. Considering he was just back from a groin injury and is probably not match fit, I can see why Arsene would have chosen not to risk him and stick with the fullbacks who had played 90 minutes on Saturday.

  194. The way Carl Jenkinson moves is more Robin Van Persie than Oleg Luzhny. Classically long-limbed… sometimes jagged, sometimes graceful.

  195. Liam Brady does not just ‘like’ the thought of Jack playing further forward.

    He had Jack playing in some kind of classic AM role alongside his minder, Frimpong, for many years as they both grew up.
    It’s why he once induced the hype merchants into a meltdown when he used the words Messi and Wilshere in the same sentance.

  196. I thought the same thing P, you can’t read into that selection at all yet because we don’t know if Traore was fit to start or not.

  197. I hope Jonny enjoyed that long range shot from TR7 that got deflected into Gervais’ run in the build up for the goal!

  198. Interesting press conference… apparently we’re looking for a striker because Bendtner’s off. That should put the cat amongst them. Are we even still linked with any strikers? Footy365,, Mirror Football, Evening standard and the Metro… Gentlemen, start your engines!

  199. True about Traore. Bear in mind me had as good as sold him last year to Benfica (?) but the move fell through due to personal terms. He has been at the club quite some time now, if he was good enough he would have already established himself in the 1st team squad at least. I would not want to rely on him for a prolonged period.

  200. Limpar – Is that what Arsene said?

  201. I liked the way Rosicky was the furthest player forward closing down their centrebacks as soon as he was on. He had this pinched expression like an angry alligator…. running low to the ground, snarling, eye-balling the fuckers… giving them the hips. Closing down masterclass.

  202. Personally I couldn’t think of a better partner alongside song in midfield than Rosicky. FFS how quickly we forget.

    Cahill would be at best rivaling Koscielny.
    Mvilla at best would be rivaling Rosicky.

    Rosicky – – – Song

    – – – -Wilshire

    is truly awesome in the middle.

    I think we need to be looking at players who can add to the dressing room more than anything 🙂 Just get someone with a good attitude has played in many grounds, been in some tricky situations and can push our superior talented players in that sense.

  203. Limpar can you provide a link?

  204. Haven’t seen it myself yet, andy, but this from Jamie at Young Guns – “Nicklas Bendtner won’t play v #MUFC, with Arsène saying he’s looking for a new striker as he ‘knows’ Bendtner will leave.”

  205. Eels, you referring to more leadership?

  206. Luke – get off my tits. I’m not playing today.

  207. He did. It raised the tempo of our game, and they could not live with it.

  208. Fuck Miami! Yeah I was. Why didn’t I say that.

  209. No, sorry, Miami – just reaction on Twitter. Here’s another: “We will look to sign one because Bendtner will leave and we will be short”

    Presume press conference will be on iplayer later this arvo.

  210. Darius, you do realise you are on ACLF, not the kinky sex blog don’t you?? 😉

  211. Heh, Darius often “stops playing” when things don’t go his way.

  212. So that’s Cahill, Mvilla, Kaka, Benzema now is it. Did I miss anyone?

  213. Thanks LA, I might have thought they would go for Afobe in that case… it does seem to be the youth revolution after all this year why not try the lad.

  214. I’m still disappointed we lost the opportunity to get Mata and Lukalu for that matter… damn those Chelski scum

  215. I suspect if we are unable to get Eden this year we’ll not get him next either, we’ll be out bid at least double and I can see Chelsea and Man City fighting over the lad with 200k a week wages being offered

  216. DeiseGooner,

    Indeed I agree with you on the gambit and all the games that get played out but, in our current situation I was just hoping for the board to realise that after all the turmoil we are still very much alive and kicking and two ready made placements could see us getting back to being real contenders on all fronts.

    This bid won’t loo that stupid if within the next couple of days we come to an agreement and Cahill, or Samba, arrive at Arsenal to undergo a medical.

  217. Coyle has said that if a club macthes their valutaion ” a deal may be done”.

  218. Finsbury – I enjoy everything TV does.

    He’s put himself on the line body and soul. He’s a proper man’s footballer – the kind of man you’d want at your side if you were going into battle.

    I don’t begrudge RVP the captaincy but I think TV is notionally the captain at the back regardless and offers more to the team in terms of ‘spirit’.

  219. Basically, we are not really in a position to be pissing around unless we are satisfied with just competing and getting to the group stages of the CL.

    If we want to challenge then we will need a proven CB, and another Striker and get Bendtner and Cham, off the flipping books. They can’t get 15/20 between them so for me that’s not good enough for a club like Arsenal. Especially when there are other Strikers out there who would score shit loads playing in our set up. Seen enough from them both to know and not it.

    Bolton, want 17million for him then I say stop fucking about and get him because we need him to better ourselves. Spend some of the money we got for Na£ri and Cesc and make our fans happy when we are winning and not conceding silly goals all the time.

  220. No Goonerandy. On the contrary – I am not playing with Luke because he is a platinum idiot and he’ll drag me down to his level and beat the shit out of me.

    I’ll pass.

    As for debating and arguing my corner about anything – please. I don’t have a problem holding my own, or giving way for that matter. If you doubt it, just sit on the fence and watch.

  221. @ELS – LOL – I almost forgot. Clearly, that bookmark on Firefox shouldn’t be labelled as ‘Pleasure Island’. I really need to get that changed.

  222. Heh, still the slipperly sheep like customer.

  223. Goonerton, though I semi agree with the basis of your argument I would not pay 17 million for Cahill. Arsenal do need to be decisive in making transfer decisions, all of them seem to drag on forever but Bolton are highly over inflating his price at 17 million and know he is not gpoing to resign with them. At this point a 10-12 million should be enough to get the deal done and if not fuck them.

  224. Right, early finish for me.


  225. Nice post OOU: love your style. Miss the stone cold Fridays but you certainly are a worthy and talented writer.

    If the stories are true then A low ball bid for cahill seems just plain dumb this close to the end the transfer window. Bolton has had a reasonable start to the season and have already lost a cb to a broken leg. I am certain that Owen coyle will not want to loose his best defender and risk falling into a relegation battle.

    Why would any team want to deal with us if any other offers come close to matching ours after we insult them with a low ball and play this version of transfer market chicken. The strategy has not worked in the last few years. Its almost become cliche for us to complain about how hard we worked up to the last minute and then end up missing those targets. I understand why this strategy evolved in the lean years but we are no longer in that situation. I will be shocked if we add any impact players who can really help us this season.

  226. Goonerandy.

    if you don’t have anything to say – its OK to stay up on your self-righteous fence. No one will hold it against you if you don’t respond to everything.

  227. @ Darius | August 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm
    well said.

    Press conf not up on yet but these are the bullet points:
    August 26: Wenger pre-Man United

    ** Rosicky, Djourou, Koscielny should be fit

    ** Vermaelen is “a little doubt” for Sunday

    ** Wenger – Cahill bid amount is not accurate

    ** ‘We are depending on clubs to sell their players’

    ** Wenger – I want to bring new players in

    ** Wenger – Man United are the title favourites

    ** ‘I’d end transfer window when season starts’

  228. Someone on Darius’ tits, and Rosicky giving defenders the hips with a snarl on his face. It’s all gone a bit wrong on here today.

  229. The text below is from Yahoo Sports in relation to Arsene’s defense of the bid for Cahill…

    “That number is wrong,” said Wenger. “It is completely wrong. I believe every negotiation is between two parties and you only have to sell the player if you are all right with the price. In this case the information is below what has been spoken about.”

    Bolton manager Owen Coyle has blasted the offer, saying “derisory doesn’t even cover it” while Gartside re-tweeted a message sent by a Trotters fan angered by the offer.

    Wenger, however, was furious at Bolton’s reaction and added: “You can believe Gartside or you can believe me. It’s not right. It’s not the truth. If Gartside can say I am lying I am ready to confront him. The truth is that we never speak about our negotiations. If a club doesn’t want to sell a player it can keep him. When we sign a player we come out here and tell you and keep the price a secret.

    “They do not need to sell the player, they can keep him. If you ask do I want to buy your house and you are not happy with the price you say no, that’s it. Why should you feel insulted? I don’t understand. If the player is not for sale they can keep him. I don’t understand the problem. If we want to buy the player we buy the player. I do not have to explain for how much.”

  230. I missed it ,what did Frimpong say about Nasri?

  231. Arsene has a point, the figure was not 6 million (what he says) and that like it or not you make an offer and if you don’t like it you say “no”. To me this article talks more about the poor attitude of the seller, who are obviously unwilling to negotiate and have taken their views to the media.

  232. Pedantic… take from the Sun

    SAMIR NASRI has been blasted by a current Gunner after ditching Arsenal for Manchester City’s millions.

    Emmanuel Frimpong, 19, hit out at the Frenchman who will now rake in £175k a week.

    Midfielder Frimpong tweeted: “Money is the root of all evil,” after Arsenal announced the move on their website yesterday.

    The rookie Gunners star, sent off against Liverpool on Saturday, was still seething at Nasri later in the day after team-mate Jack Wilshere wished him all the best.

    Wilshere said: “Good luck to my friend Mr Nasri.

    “I learnt a lot from him. World class player. Will be missed.”

    But Frimpong tweeted back: “Pffffff come-on Jack,” implying he will not be missed by many players at the Emirates.

  233. ‘But Frimpong tweeted back: “Pffffff come-on Jack,” implying he will not be missed by many players at the Emirates.’ I like how the Sun just makes the leap that this is what it means… it could be that it meant “Pffffff come-on Jack, get behind the team and stop playing nice with the mercenary douche”

  234. Jabba's Delights

    Wenger is a closet manc, its a disgrace!!!

  235. Jabba was dribble are you spouting?

  236. *what

  237. Big Al,

    Thanks for a great review. “Meanwhile, in Gervinho we have a forward who can totter past any defence in the league.”

    It amazes me that commentators (and such notable pundits as ‘Wrighty the wrong’) are banging on about our increased need to strengthen in the light of Nasri’s doing one. Can they not see the positive comparison between him and Gervinho and note just how much more promise our new boys offers as a replacement?

    The EPL, Barton the criminal and crap refereeing have all conspired to deprive us of his services when we meet the Mancs on Sunday. Neverthelss, Ryo and the Ox might consequnetly now have an early opportunity to show what they bring to the table. Win or lose with this still-forming side fills me with optimism and respect for our manager. Bring ’em on.


  238. I don’t see the problem with low offers neither. All they have to do is say no. Nobody holds a knife to billions throat and say sell or we kill u. 6m would be a great price for us, this is. Business after all. We are paying for a mans service Bolton as you say HAS to sell. They are trying to make Arsenal look the villain for not paying premium price. My question is. Why should we pay 12m if we can get away with paying 8? I know we are rich but why wast money if we do have to?? Only a idiot buys pack of fags
    for 200£ when he can get one for 8.

    Why oh why pay over the odds only “cos we can”. What kind of fucked up attitude is that??

  239. Jonny,

    Agreed, but I meant Rosicky not Vermaelan!

  240. Boltons not billions

  241. Wavey @ 9:05am,

    Just saw your post and fully agree. Sorry for repetition.

  242. Thank heavens goonerandy and his fence-sitting mates are not running Arsenal FC. Despite their protestations to the contrary, nothing gives them a high than a big money-signing regardless of the quality of the player.
    Give me a Jenkinson any day.

  243. Jaba Unlike you I guess? All you do is fawn over manure. manure this!manure that and sickens me.

    Bill WTF, did u just call Wenger dumb for supposedly bidding 6m?The man himself says he didnt offer that amount and I believe him.

    I dont know why but i have a feeling one of either Vidic/Ferd may make a miraculous recovery by Sunday.

  244. Ha! My bad Finsbury! Was reading and responding in a rush!

  245. firstlady, I get the feeling Vermaelen will make a similar miraculous recovery.

  246. Another option come Sunday, assuming potential fitness of noted defenders would be,

    Jenks, JD, TV5, Bacs,
    Rosicky, Ramsey
    Walcott, Ryo

  247. Eboue's Boutique

    The last spot for Sunday is hard to predict indeed. Could even be Coquelin.

    We’ll have to hope for some RvP magic i think. Maybe Vermaelen with a header =)

    Hope we’ll keep defending well.

  248. Poodle well said.How all these negotiotors think they can do a better job than Wneger and scoffing at 6mil baffles me too!!

  249. Just read all the genius managers who are quick to pontificate how the club is irresponsible for placing a low initial bid on Cahill, as alleged. Afterall we should bid 12 million and the player is ours. Wow. Fantastic negotiation tactics. I suppose Bolton will simply capitulate and say oui rather than conter-offer closer to 16 million or whatever.
    You know what, I wouldn’t mind having these guys to negotiate with in my line of business. Eat thir lunch everyday.

  250. Definitely in the market for a striker:

    When did Bendtner pick up an injury which would keep him out for two months though?

  251. Do we actually care if Bolton are pissed off with our offer?

    Anyone seen Dexter lately.I think he is MIA ?

  252. What do mean be aggressive in the transfer market like “Sell us your player you faking cunt?”

  253. My team for ManUre

    TV (Johan if injured)



    I think it would be good to let the pint sized ruski get his go as the central playmaker.

    Also cameos by Ryo, Ox and Lansbury to show that filth what real youth is all about.

  254. It is a lie to say that Kos has had as many poor games as good ones.

    Just had to get that out there. Even in his first year, he was one of the better defenders in the PL.

    If continuity is what we need at defense why do you break up a central pairing that have played great together and are yet to let in a goal this season when paired together? and is it me, or does it seem that on set plays the ball automatically finds the head of an Arsenal player?

    What a team!

  255. Seems like some fans does George. For some fans getting Cahill is the difference between 4th place and winning the league.
    Also coyle for some reason had become a god.

    He’s not worth 17m that’s for sure. Only City could do something that stupid.

  256. But they opted for Savic at 6m instead ….

  257. I have no problem with the low bid – you have to start somewhere!

    As to debating who would start with TV5, All I think is that is will be a nice problem to have if Cahill does sign, and let’s face it – there will be injuries, suspensions and the need for a rest over the course of the season, so to have 4 quality CB’s would be very nice indeed!

    I think you could easily combine any 2 of TV5, Kos and Cahill and make a pretty tidy pairing, so have everything crossed that one happens.

    I have only seen him play a couple of times, but Yann M’Vila looks an excellent player – and a few journalists who watch French football all rave about him, so that one would be good too.

    And another striker??? Or maybe that is wishful thinking.

    I think the team is shaping up very nicely.

    Cesc’s departure will turn out to be a good thing for Arsenal – The team was built around him for a while, but did he ever really dominate a big game and drive us to the next level? I don’t recall him ever dominating a really big game.

    A very, very good player – Yes, but an Arsenal great? No, not in a million years.

    And the speculation that surrounded him was hugely unhelpful.

    Getting rid of him and the mercenary Nasri can only be good for the team.

    If we do secure the signings of M’Vila and Cahill to go with Gervinho, The Ox, Jenks and Campbell I would almost go as far to say that is the best bit of summer dealing I have ever seen.

  258. Limestonegunner

    LA and P, you are right that Traore might still be less than 100% and that it doesn’t mean later in the season when Traore has become more match fit that this preference would stand. His form may improve while Jenkinson’s degrades–young players developing don’t develop in a straight line and everyone varies in form and fitness. So it is a very dynamic situation with lots of variables for the manager to consider. But my thinking was that it was still impressive that he would trust Jenkinson to hold down the position despite such little experience at this level and being so recently a part of the team. Traore has been with us for quite some time and even started in the PL. Djourou was just coming back from a hamstring too but he started. Several days ago Wenger said Traore was available to the squad and was available on the bench and even played a few minutes, not at left back but as a winger. Given that he was all but sold to Benfica but couldn’t agree on wages before being loaned out to Juventus, with an eye to a sale which didn’t happen, it seems that there are a lot of reasons apart from injury to suggest that AW rates Jenkinson good enough to allow Sagna to play out of position over Traore at this point. It says more about how confident he is in Jenkinson right now. It was an observation that seems most likely rather than an attack on Traore, whom, if you might recall, I suggested would start in my prospective lineup the night before and whom I echoed LA in noting that he might surprise some people as he has had experience in the Italian league that no one else had.

  259. els, Gervinho is suspended.

  260. Hello George you old rascal.

    Missed me? 😀

  261. Els

    The flaw in your team is that Gervinho is suspended.


  262. I wonder what the media would have done if it was Wenger who used a four letter expletive to curse out the FA. They’re sympathetic to Fergie saying how upset he really is…LOL

  263. Thank fuck Koscielny is fit again! That could mean Djourou playing at DM perhaps.

    The spuds are in talks to sign Parker. Thats a shame, he would have been a good loan signing for us.

  264. Have any of you seen this from Frimpong’s twitter:

    When asked if he could sign 4 players who would they be?

    BA Frimpong’s response was: Wilshere, wilshere and more wilsheres……

    Made me spit coffee all over my monitor and giggle like a child

  265. Dexter’s back! i thought he had joined AIC and the rest of the doomers.

  266. The media really want to have a good hard look at themselves. In the interview you will notice that he does say Arsenals bid is way, way off their valuation of the player, NOWHERE does Owen Coyle use the word “derisory”.

  267. MDgooner

    Im a mutha fucking doomer now?

  268. Bolton have signed Boyata on loan for a year…

  269. I’m off. Nice article today OOU. Emmanuel ‘the Geneva Convention contravention’ Frimpong has a ring to it.

    Come on the lads on Sunday.

  270. @JDGooner.

    Coyle’s factual interview does not fit the media narrative of portraying Arsenal as a club which has lost the plot.

    I’m more surprised they can actually spell the word.

  271. Nope. Free pardon winging your way.

  272. @ JimmyD | August 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Frimpong is now a legendary tweeter!

    Wotcher Dexter! How are you going to spend Passenal’s 20p?

  273. @ JD Gooner
    Actually, he does use the word:
    Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has spoken to Arsenal but Coyle said: “The word derisory doesn’t even cover it.

    “When I make an offer for a player, I’d like to think in the right ball park, but this wasn’t even close.

    “I spoke to Gary Cahill about it before the Macclesfield game, and he knows everything that’s going on.”

    @ Supercod | August 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    “Bolton have signed Boyata on loan for a year…”
    If true, means we’ll probably get Cahill.

  274. Ha! Hiya FG

    I think Passenal is still under the illusion that its not a dead cert that Szczesny is the number 1 yet! 😀

  275. Fungunner

    Either that, or Chaill will go to City!

  276. Who cares if Cahill has an england cap, heck Kevin Davies has an England cap as well. Cahill isn’t worth £17m and for Mr. Gartside to retweet an offensive comment telling Wenger to fuck off and also calling him a bellend is very unprofessional. Bolton are broke and desperately need to service their debts, they can either take our offer or say no, but to try and leak transfer bids in the press is classless.

  277. Jabba'sDelights


    The what is his price? our hugley promising AOC who has 1 under 21 cap and 40 league 1 games under his belt potentially cost us 15m. He will hopefully work out to be a bargain all im trying to say is we cant breach that certain prices are inflated when we are spending huge amounts on kids. lescott a similar type of player to cahill in terms of development went for 24m 2 years ago. you might say its different when city are in the market………i will tell you that every club over the next 6 days will view us as city. We have tones of cash and are pretty desperate for 2-3 players, at the negotiating table who holds the best hand

  278. 24 mil for Lescott! Man City are a bunch of clowns.

    Thank God Arsenal are not swayed by this kind of nonsense and supporters saying we should do it also.

  279. JD,
    We both know that Arsenal never reveal transfer figures so we’ll never know how much Chamberlain cost. Of course Southampton have to let their fans know they got a good price and not come across as having sold on the cheap.

    I love the way we do our business, and we should not sway from it. City got mugged by Everton because Lescott is not worth £24m. Gary Cahill is not superman and he’s defintely not worth £17m for a player in the last year of his contract. They are trying to create an auction by leaking information to the press, but that move will backfire because we are the only interested party. He’s a decent player but Baresi he’s not.

  280. How can we say that these clubs are messing up football and then advocate that we join the madness?

  281. Limestonegunner: “He does seem to run in an odd, distinctive way–he is easy to pick out on the pitch. He doesn’t look fluid in his movements–sort of hunched somehow, but he seems to have great anticipation and reading of the game.”

    Bio-mechanics is a bit of a hobby of mine so I like watching how our players, especially Theo, run. With Jenkinson I think that, although a bit hunched forward and unorthodox, his running motion is pretty smooth. If you watch closely he runs with his pelvis forward, his knees slightly bent, takes short little strides and his feet always land underneath his centre of gravity. He also seems to have a running style where he doesn’t try hard to move his whole body,like Cesc or Alex Song do. It’s more like a floating over the ground motion. I wouldn’t be too surprised if he is one of the fastest players on the team. He probably has amazing balance and body awareness as well.

  282. Limestonegunner

    Gains, thanks for the close observations. My curiosity was just peaked because it really is easy to pick him out on the pitch as he does have an unorthodox physical style about him. He certainly does move quickly and more than just physically speedy seems to have good vision and anticipation which is where big advantages can come. I rather like to see such variations rather than a normative similarity among athletes.

  283. Interesting that you should say that, gainsbourg69 – I used to love the sport of roowing and Jenks looks like he would make a top class oarsman to me. A speed-endurance sportsman. Tall but not over-leggy.

  284. Limestonegunner

    Listening to Arsene’s press conference, I feel the equilibrium is coming back. Still lots of irrelevant or attempts at “probing” questions but definitely a greater respect and caution on the part of journalists. The win at Udinese has had a strong chastening effect. I also think Arsene was in much better spirits and command of his message, giving a strong sense that we are moving forward and that it is very likely that we will sign two or three players though he has great confidence in the squad and our younger players as well. He didn’t have to be defensive but could bring out some of those vintage zingers expressing his unconventional views yet simultaneously common sense logic. I imagine the whole team is much more relaxed and confident going to Old Trafford. We’ll give it a go.

  285. For whoever was asking about Campbell – he doesn’t have a work permit yet.

  286. Whatever we end up doing lets just hope and pray we do not buy this guy:

  287. talking about jenks’ body – ye gaggle of gayers ye 😉

  288. I see Bolton replaced Cahill with Boyata loandeal.

  289. Limestonegunner

    It is especially unfortunate, however, that Song and Gervinho are out. Listening to Tim Stillman on the Arsecast and Alan Davies on the Tuesday Club, I heard each of them make a point that resonates. Davies pointed out that Song does a good job on Rooney who really does a lot in midfield. Stifling Rooney helps a great deal in neutralizing ManU through the centre of the park and not having Frimpong either will mean we need to look to other solutions. The other point from Stillman was about how Fergie has sort of settled on an approach to playing us that involves packing the midfield with physical players and even defenders while looking to counterattack through outlets on the wings like Park. But now our team shape and style is changing so we may be a bit more of an unknown, a question mark in his mind. Should he do the same thing? Will he underrate us and play more of his youngsters or expect to play attacking football, something he has feared to do even at home for several years? In such a context, it is really a shame that such a dangerous and talented player who is a real wild card, like Gervinho, isn’t available. He would have confused ManU’s defense and, I think, proved a very important player against them. We’ll have to wait, hopefully, for the home rematch, but by then he will be a little bit less of a surprise factor.

    I think this is a match in which Arshavin will have to step forward and provide a real threat on the wing as well as unlocking their defence through the middle. Ramsey will have a point to make against the other club that came in for him and who are boasting this Tom Cleverly chap–hopefully Rambo will make him look Tom Foolishly (Tomfoolery?). My lineup, not very unique or creative:


  290. Negotiating is an artform and you need balls to be able to do it successfully. I used to work the Brocantes/ antique markets in England and France.
    At the beginning of the day I’d do a tour of the market for interesting peices of furniture. Ask the price, which so early in the day was always over the top. I’d make an offer, which was well under the normal price………. I would walk away when my offer was refused.
    I would go back in the afternoon, and ask the price again, perhaps the seller dropped a little bit, and again I would offer a below average price….. again stalemate.
    By the end of the day I knew what the general feeling was amongst the other dealers, and if the day had been bad or not. So I would return and offer a price which I knew to be realistic, most times by that stage the seller would sell…… deal done, I got a good deal and so did the seller…… about 50% under his original price and 50% above my original offer.

  291. I don’t think we’re getting Cahill. I think he’ll go to Chelsea instead.

  292. If we draw against Manure we will not be in too bad a shape going into the international break. We’ll be five points behind them with Swansea as our next fixture on september 10. Obviously I want a win, though. By the time we play Blackburn on the seventeenth we’ll probably have our injured players back, including Diaby. If Wenger gets M’Villa, a central defender and a creative midfielder by the close of the transfer window, we’ll be flying.

  293. Limestonegunner

    We will be flying if that happens Gains. We have a tough early schedule and that which does not kill us will make us stronger. Yesterday’s win means that very little can kill us now. Losing 7-0 to ManU wouldn’t be good and lots of injuries during the international break without bringing in any new players could really hurt us in the first two months of the season. But barring such catastrophes we’ll be alright and probably right in the mix again.

  294. Fun, he’s built like a tri-athlete, isn’t he?

  295. Does Barton just like playing in stripes?

  296. Bradys right foot

    1 year left on his deal an awful lot to prove Gary Cahill is worth £10 million at the absolute max if we are desperate. 8 million is a fair price similar to prices quoted for Dann, Johnson and Coates. If Bolton think that Cahill is worth their 17 million valuation they should hold out for that price, pfffttttttt.

  297. YW

    Oooooh yeah. Good point that. Kind of got excited. Do you not think they’ll just let us off with that one?

    OK right, Overmars instead of Gerv. He’s available right?

  298. Limestone, If we can draw or even beat them we’ll be able to catch up if they drop points in their next two fixtures. If this happens, all of a sudden, the start of our season doesn’t look too awful, does it? Pair that with the return of our injured players, a few smart buys in the transfer market and the season isn’t a total loss like so many have predicted. Also, the loss of Nasri can finally be put into perspective. Gervinho has come and looks to have a knack for penetrating stubborn defenses, something Nasri never put right while playing for us. All we have to do now is get a player that can rotate with Jack or Ramsey and our squad isn’t half bad. Bleeding in Ryo, Miquel and Ox in the carling cup will increase competition throughout the squad.

    I just lit some candals and did a voodoo ritual to stave off the injury gods. Don’t say that again.

  299. Even Shawcross has an England cap. does not make him a 17M player does it? Infact the idea of Stoke turning down a12M bid from Liverpool is insane.
    Hes not a 12m plauer neither seriousleyy.

  300. Limestonegunner

    I thought a knock against Cahill was that none of the other big clubs were after him. Of course, I could have predicted that if any others were to put bids out for him, we would then rationalize that we didn’t get him to Arsenal because we just can’t compete with any of those big clubs. That may be true, but it doesn’t make sense to allege the former point in evidence that it isn’t a good idea to go for Cahill then. We have to go for players Chelsea and City and ManU aren’t trying to sign in that case. (Youth players excepted, since we do pay very high youth wages it seems and we give chances to young players that makes us more attractive than the other big clubs). Asserting such contradictory exculpations makes Luke’s observation, made earlier but not commented on (12:40pm), appear more valid– Is Cahill more a symbol of the factional struggle against doomers than a player to be genuinely considered and evaluated to some?

    My own feeling is that since AW is clearly interested in acquiring a CB, I hope he gets one of his very first choices whom he rates highly and has lots of the qualities he is looking for rather than dropping down the list for someone whom he envisions merely as a Squillaci replacement. I don’t have any special favorites among those being linked: Cahill, Jagielka, Samba, Mertesacker. Last January, Limpar reminded me that Cahill had viciously fouled Chamakh and been red carded. Black mark. That was the game that Diaby’s ankle was raked by Robinson. That was the game when Owen Coyle showed what a punk he was that I mentioned above.

    If anything I would suggest Distin who might be more available and has always struck me as quite a capable and tough defender. One thing I like about Samba is that he scores on set-pieces and would help us defend against them in practice. But AW will have his views and I trust he will know who brings the most to the team. There are other positions as well to consider so some mix of experience and quality that adds to our depth among the several players we are trying to bring in will be great.

  301. Word has it the Mvila deal is a goer – if true, this would be a great signing.

    Mid 3 = Song/Frimps, Mvila & Wilshere as playmaker. More like the days of Viera and Petit.

  302. Bolton are dreaming if they think Cahill should cost upwards of £12m. To be honest, I’d rather take Scott Dann if that’s all there’s left at the end of August. He’s young enough to be trained the Wenger way, he’s English, he’s a scrappy fucker, there’s no hype sorrounding him and he probably wouldn’t mind sitting on the bench until he gets his chance. I don’t know, but there’s something about Cahill which tells me he’d be corrosive for our dressing room. But that’s just me.

  303. Surely even the most desparate for signings would see that £17m is too much for a defender that isn’t any improvemment on what we have, and in the last year of his contract.

    Hey thinking of signings I would love a bid for Keisuke Honda. Remember the guy from the last last world cup that kicked some ass. Playing in Russia now, so he’s probably on serious wages, but still.

    He made some great runs and passes that guy. Looked like a clever player and Wenger showed interest.

  304. Isnt M’Vill more of a Gilberto type player ??

  305. Irsihgray @ 6:15pm,

    If we put a bid in for him (with no real intention of wasting our cash – a la Cahill!?), ‘Appy ‘Arry is sure to bid for him and claim him as the next best thing.

    Lateral thinking

  306. Limestonegunner

    Gains, you are in Florida so I trust you have better access to the counter-voodoo than I do, but I am sorry for even mentioning it! I agree with everything you said on that and believe that we can turn this corner and surprise some folks this season. The most heartening thing, which needs to be maintained, is the fighting spirit and solidarity of the team. In a way, all this negativity can become a good thing if we can build on that outcome—us against the world–and correspondingly have the fan support rallying around our embattled team that is fighting hard. So far that has started to happen and I think a good performance, even without a great result, on Sunday, a couple good signings and the whole situation shifts. It is about the effort and attitude, on the pitch, in the stands, and from the front office that will determine mood. So far the first two are starting to look good and I expect the third to be demonstrated in the next week.

    AW was very laudatory of the support in our two home matches last week. Everyone recognizes the seriousness and effort of the players. Now to hear some exciting news about players bringing their talents to the Arsenal!

  307. I’ll take your word Jonny. You see to be in the loop. Good news, yet I can’t see him being the experience we need. If you ask me mvilla isn’t adding anything we really need. Actually shouldn’t really comment as I don’t know that much about him.

    I’d rather we looked at players around the 30 mark. I do like the Distin shout. 33 is knocking on, as long as he has the legs it would be ok. Give our youngster just one more season to develop. Thing is you have to realise we play a high tempo and that’s why we use youngsters. You could take a player like fat frank and he would not work in this team ever.

    See when you think about it, we need such a precise kind of player.

  308. Limestonegunner

    Jonny, you have a strong record this summer on the insider tips, so let’s hope you stay golden because that sounds very exciting!

  309. Limestonegunner

    Els, I agree that more experience would be desirable but that might come in some of the other signings. AW mentioned 2 or 3 possible additions in his news conference and admitted specifically looking for a striker. So we may still address the experience and leadership side of the mix yet even if we get M’Vila.

  310. Yeah possibly Limestone. I’d be happy with that. It’s a lot of players I would prefer to take 1 defender and at the expense of Squil not Bartley or Miquel. Somebody who can play a good passing game and this replacement for NB52.

    Exciting times I suppose. A new era. Is this the Wilshire era then? Sounds unfair to RvP that, as he is our best captain since Adams.

  311. Limestonegunner

    George, you came on strong on the fans forum, man. Strong defence of the Boss.

  312. Dexter, you must have missed it, but I’ve capitulated and offered up my 20p – don’t spend it all at once!

    Bolton may just have shot themselves in the foot by going public and they’ll probably end up losing him for nothing next season. It’s the same thing that happened with Chamakh. Bordeaux turned down £7m for a player in the last year of his contract, went public with their £17m valuation. No one matched it, and how much did they get in the end?

  313. Ha Limestone,how did you know it was me ?

  314. George what you been saying? Sounds good.

  315. What I have heard is that they’ve indicated they’ll sell, but some details need thrashing out…who knows how long such things take?! Not a done deal then but reasons to be positive.

    I don’t know much about the player either. I hear that his passing is exceptional (very high number, very high completion rate) and that, though young (21), he is remarkably consistent – he played pretty much every game last season. He’s no playmaker (1 assist) but no Gilberto either (whose distribution was distinctly unBrazilian).

    Real Madrid, Chelsea & Manchester United have all been interested in him so I guess we can take a cue on his quality from that.

    No doubt Wenger will enhance what he qualities he has. 😀

    It’s taking shape, true believers.

  316. Limestone, the striker thing is interesting – I heard rumour of something big happening on that front a week or so ago but no name was forthcoming. Fingers crossed.

    Wenger clearly has intent to replace Bendypants.

  317. Dreamland time – if we sign Mvila, a striker and Cahill or similar surely that would represent a REMARKABLE summer of business..?

  318. Inspired choice, YW. Brilliant post from Big Al, and a classic Gervinho analysis.

    IF (and it’s a huge if) we bring in M’Vila and Cahill, we have a rock solid starting XI in Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Cahill (or Kos), Vermaelen, M’Vila, Song, WIlshere, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie (with maybe the only concerns being an inconsistent Theo and an injury-prone Gibbs).

    The subs bench would have depth and the right attitude with Frimpong, Koscielny (or Cahill), Ramsey, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Arshavin (at least his application seems to have improved), Chamberlain, Ryo, Djourou etc to choose from. Chamakh is a worry but we can’t give up on him yet.

    It would still leave us with money in the bank for a quality signing in January if necessary. This squad won’t win us the league or the Champions League but it will both compete for trophies and lay the foundation for an exciting future.

    As for the spine that people keep harping on about, we would have a great one with plenty of attitude and fighting spirit. (Szczesny, Vermaelen, M’Vila, Wilshere, Van Persie)

    Finally, Arsenal I think have played it mostly well in the transfer market, extracting value and a little face-saving (sell-on fee, buyback option on Cesc etc) from the leaving players. We’re now left with some very good players still available on the market and with most of our competitors done with their spending, much of it rashly conducted (De Gea, Downing, Henderson etc). Losing Mata was a blow to Arsene it seems, at least judging by his reaction but M’Vila and Cahill would work for me.

  319. Jonny who is this “a striker” fellow?
    Is he any good?

  320. Well then Jonny I’d eat my words and welcome him. Especially as I do love the reactions to “more young french players”.

    So we can scratch Cahill off. Add Mvilla and have a cheeky bid for Benzema, Ballotelli or Kaka. I wouldn’t mind that Di Natale either. People obviously covered this this morning. I would think it was less likely than these others I’ve mentioned though. He seems Udinese through and through. Although he is apparently desperate for a shot at the CL.

  321. Geaorge it’s a swap deal for Bendtner and Messi. Straight swap that is, as NB has stated he wants a move and we now wont get full market value for him.

  322. There has been a lot of moaning, panicing, whinging, bitching, aggresion and more during the transfer window. Again. Twitter, the internet and the tabloids have a lot to answer for. I for one will be glad when the window is shut. Why don’t we have a week of really frantic nonsense and just get on with it. Its really starting to distract me from my enjoyment of the game.

  323. french TV say lille will announce Hazard sale to us tonight – €32 million deal agreed ….!

  324. @ els if we signed Natalie I would be over the fucking moon. I rarely enjoy watching a player that much and he also sounds like a top quality gent. The fact he has stayed at Udinese is probably indicative of his love of the club. He must have attracted enquiries over the last 3 years surely?

    Why scratch Cahill off? I def think Bolton will sell. They can’t afford to lose him for nothing and we are best placed of the potential buyers (only one capable of offering CL and we are flush – even though we pretend otherwise).

    @ George – that’s the information that was missing – just that Wenger was still in for a big name striker – maybe it was the Kaka bid.

    I think the greatest, positive difference this season is between the sticks. If we’d had Ches as he is now during the Almunia years we would have had trophies for sure.

  325. What about Scottie Parker – why the hell aren’t we signing Scottie Parker. I mean, the pundits have told us to sign world class – how dare we leave Scottie Parker out of our plans.

  326. Deise – really?? Source..?

  327. @Deise – do Sly Sports have a news channel in France?

  328. I still think Parker could have done a job for us – he did put in some truly exceptional performances last season.

    Guess Spurs his most likely destination…maybe a better fit.

  329. just another blogger, im trying to see if theres any truth out there on the internets, found nowt as yet……

  330. most likely horseshite 😉

  331. they better hurry up announcing then Desi as its only 3 hours left of “tonight”….

  332. Limestonegunner

    Your written voice and your spoken voice match each other well, George! Tom Watt did want to remind you, though, that we pay to watch Arsenal play football not look at the account books. But you did make Matt Law come out and condemn the disrespectful tone and headlines of the past couple of weeks. Well done!

  333. hah is QPR really paying Barton 70k a week?? seriousley, theyve been punked!

  334. poodle – tonight gmt not cet ! ha ha ha

  335. Afraid it is Deise.

    Isn’t Hazard a winger anyway..? Do we need more of them..? I mean I am sure he is ace, and he has a tops name and all, but we seem well stocked for wingers now…non?

  336. I was thinking that the PR team at the club really need to get a life. What’s with announcing transfers on a Friday night. Even Hazard would be pissed off they want to send him out with the Friday trash.

  337. Wish my surname was Hazard.

    Mind you, with a name like Jonny Hazard I’d probably have been dead by 30.

  338. I meant the Lille PR team of course.

  339. LOL Johnny. With a name like Johnny Hazard, I’d be surprised if you got laid.

  340. Jonny even

  341. well france is on CET no? why would they announce something at 0100 french time? mind you as you all say its prolly just a scam anyway….

  342. Limestonegunner

    Yeah, winger less crucial now than the spine, I think, and do we want to “kill” Ryo and slaughter the Ox so soon?! Would love it if we brought in a clinical striker. That would give us some real tactical flexibility, but I do think it is time for Theo to get more looks there as well.

  343. and yeh his name is just made for the just cannot go wrong with that.

  344. Limestone, in retrospect, I think the season went down in flames for us because Cesc and Nasrine had already fucked off in their minds. I know Verma coming back into the squad has given us more mettle, but I also feel that getting rid of the wantaways will see us shake off the attacking wearyness we had in the last two months of last season. I don’t know, but I feel a change in personnel could very well make this system (4-3-3) reap huge dividends for us. Gervinho seems like a great buy as his mazy runs and his energy will prove a possitive influence on our attack. Some creativity from someone like Marvin Martin would give us that extra little bit of creativity that we need in case Rosicky is injured. Another little player that I’ve been watching since the summer is Xherdan Shaqiri. He reminds me of Jack when he played out wide for the reserves, except with a bit more speed and guile. He’s the player most like Messi that exists today. He scored a thunderbolt against England at only eighteen years of age, too.

  345. well duh poodle, i was givin them another hour, so we can hang onto the dream that little bit longer 😉

  346. wonder who has bought Bendtner…

  347. @ Darius

    I imagine I would have been fighting them off with a stick. “There goes that Jonny Hazard”, they would say, “He’s so cool, I wish I was that cool. I hear he’s amazing in bed and he looks so sexy when he smokes”. Etc

    It’s easy for you to mock with your name that instantly says “I am a voice of authority etched in granite – you may know me as Darius but never forget my unyielding truth”

  348. From Young Guns – Joel Campbell: “Richard Law told me that I’ll know tomorrow on my work permit. I have no idea if I’ll get it. It’s 50:50.”

  349. @ Jonny | August 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Wish my surname was Hazard.

    Mind you, with a name like Jonny Hazard I’d probably have been dead by 30.

    Yes,but think of the life you would have led!

  350. limestone I was on the phone and could not see.Was Tom laughing?

  351. George, you were great.

  352. So we have bidded for Cahil….expect him to roll up at Spurs or Liverpool now then.

  353. George, you were great.

    Have i missed something here.

  354. @FunGunner – oh I was. I was.


  355. @ dukey
    Yes, you have.

    Agreement with Hazard before we have got his club’s say-so? Doesn’t sound right to me.

  356. Best footballer names?

    I like –

    Pongo Waring, Linvoy Primus, Emmanuel Frimpong and (best name evah) Bongo Christ.

  357. What’s all this camaraderie the night before a big game? Positivity even!! ( Rolls eyes and Tssks loudly ) Has Jonny Hazard been dancing with MaryJane again? Good Lord by the sounds of things you’ve all had a “Twirl” with the hussie. I leave you kids alone for a few days and look at you! Just look at you!! For shame I say, FOR SHAME!!!!!!!

  358. Jonny hazard sounds like you’d get your own cartoon.

    I scratched Cahill off as I think they should be left to suffer. Hopefully he’ll go on a free next year or be forced to sell last minute for £5m.

    Regarding di Natale my sentiments exactly mate.

    Doesn’t sound to hot about Campbells Work Permitt.

    Hazard seems like a stunning player, I have seen him in action a couple of times. Top player in france last season at a very young age. Much the same kind of reputation as you have attributed Mvilla. I wouldn’t say no, but with Mvilla it would be two young men in. Perhaps we would need more experince. I would be loathed to kill off a current players career.

  359. Jonny

    Just be thankful you are not Micky Hazard or you would have been a spud player.

  360. Hakan Rektal always a fave of mine. Irish we havin a luv in. All good in the world of Arsenal mate.

    Ooo Ooo name subject has come up again… can I try my Frimpong Billabong joke again? Well it’s not really a joke at all but ahem, well … it sounds funny. Doesn’t it?? Ok i’m gone.

  361. Anyone know anything about that Zarate at Lazio?

  362. “This squad won’t win us the league or the Champions League but it will both compete for trophies and lay the foundation for an exciting future.”

    You were doing well (for the most part) Lagooner and then you made this silly statement. I didnt bother going any further.

  363. Els – I must admit to not reading all of today’s posts but did read the last 60 or so, great vibes guys well done 🙂 On a personal note will be in need of a terrific win tomorrow as we are about to get slammed by Hurricane Irene here in New York, so I will need something to watch on Sunday and there really is nothing better than watching us beat Man U!! Have all the necessary munchies and beer bought, so fingers crossed

  364. @Irish – you been sniffing the creosote again? Night before…? 2 nights surely.

    I’ve been nowhere near the MJ – for the record I’m listening to early Megadeth and drinking my second can of Oranjeboom.

    Who is ‘the hussie’ – Mrs Hazard will be fuming.

    @els on the work permit it was always going to be unlikely. 50/50 is promising.

    @dups – with your name I can see why even the thought might upset you! BTW, like many, I missed that for a very long time.

  365. We’re playing on Sunday Irishgray

  366. * the play on words in your name that is!

  367. @ Hi, Irish
    Just good clean wholesome fun on here.

    @ Jonny
    If we sign M’Vila we’d potentially lose all three of our defensive MFs to the ACN. Just a thought.
    And the “hussie” is MaryJane.

  368. I know guys my bad, bit hectic here on my end 🙂

  369. FunGunner – that’s what you think.

  370. Wenger has until the evening of August 31 to supplement his squad and he has every intention of doing so.

    “I will try to strengthen the squad in depth because at the moment we are a bit short number-wise but if we get two or three players in we have the quality to challenge,” said Wenger.

    “I am anxious yes because I want to do it and I try everything to do it. But I am confident as well because we have some good young players who can make a big step very quickly.”

    But the manager warned that signings were not guaranteed. “There is a chance [we could make no signings] because again we are dependent on the desire of the people who have the players to sell the players,” he said.

    The will is there but it doesn’t depend only on us. So no complaining if it doesn’t come off, OK? Deal?
    I’m looking at you, dukey!

  371. Still FG would love it if we sign Cisse to help out up front. As for the defense i think it is more about getting our players fit than anything else but I do believe we need an out and out striker and Cisse is my pick. He is on record as saying he wants to play in the EPL too.

  372. Cesc scores. Sad watching him score for another team. What great technique 😦

  373. Chill the Thrill

    Irish your town is about to get owned by a giant water wave. Are you prepared?

  374. Irish, having lived both in Puerto Rico and Miami, all I can tell you is that there’s nothing better than a hurricane party. All you need is some rum, coconut water (get it at your nearest bodega), some curry goat, some salsa music and nice looking girls. The feeling that it may be your last party ever will make this hurrican bash a thing to remember.

  375. Way to go Cesc 🙂

  376. Chill the Thrill – totally prepared, in fact am kind of excited. Mostly because I live in a nice building, well above the water level and will in fact enjoy watching the peasants being washed away along with their miserable belongings. 🙂

    Gains – Not to worry mate as I will be kicked back watching the Arsenal game, unless a real tragedy occurs and we lose power. Then it shall be serious drinking time 🙂

  377. Cesc – 8 years : 1 Trophy
    Now, 2 weeks : 2 Trophies
    Suppose that’s why he left ….

  378. Chill the Thrill

    wow Gainsbourg knows how to do it!!!

    We could have bought Gervinho 3 times and it still wouldn’t have cost as much as that wolverine looking character up in Liverpool. 35 millions and all you get a huge oaf, who couldn’t win a header against his defensive counter part that was at least 10cm shorter!

    On that note. Big ups to Thomas Vermalaen. Very soon that guy will bring the ball out of the back, play a few 1-2s, and find himself with only the keeper to beat. Que rocket launch from his left boot!!!

  379. 2-0 to Barca now, who would have thunk it?

  380. FG M’Vila plays for France, so no ACN worries there

  381. Phew – thanks, Passenal.

    Good luck to the boys on Sunday. Up The Arsenal!

  382. 2 trophies and only on the pitch 23 min’s in total.
    What a truly great achievement Cesc.Well done lad,You really earned that,You put in the hard miles.

    Like fuck

  383. Good night, everyone.

  384. Good night FG 🙂

    George you cant feel bad about him winning trophies, its just the other assholes on the team that we should be bitching about.

  385. The Super Cups can hardly be regarded as trophies. They’ve got as much significance as the Emirates Cup.

  386. Yep and Hleb won quite a few things with Barcelona himself and it is obvious how proud of those acheivement he is of his accomplishments, isnt it?

    Get real!

  387. LOL at my last comment, but you get the drift, I hope!

  388. @ Passenal | August 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    “FG M’Vila plays for France, so no ACN worries there”

    D’oh, now that you say that, I’ve just remembered who he is!

  389. I dont feel bad I just dont give him credit for any achievement..

  390. Wolverine looking? Tcha!

    Wolvie was always meant to be small. Jackman did well but he is wayyyyy too tall for the role.

    Also Wolvie is cool and Carroll is an horrific cunt.


    Not that anyone cares, but the picture 6 down on this page gives a better idea of how he should have looked. Also, the other pictures on this page are worth anyone’s attention – amazing artwork from some of the best in the business.

    Ignore the Star Trek bit in the link! 😛

  391. Fun

    >Agreement with Hazard before we have got his club’s say-so? Doesn’t sound right to me.

    Sounds perfectly normal to me…


  392. Jonny

    I’ve a sneaking feeling that Duke wishes his surname was Hazard as well…


  393. YW – high five.

  394. Gavin – put RT when you retweet…cock juggler.

  395. Goodness me, Samir prefers Highbury, a place he has never been to and he believes that the climate in Manc town is the same as London. Fucking simpleton. Glad he has gone.

  396. Anyone translate..??

  397. Frank,looks like Willy G was right all along

  398. Lille: Hazard agree with Arsenal
    Arsenal sent in vain an offer of thirty million euros for the striker Eden Hazard Lille has already agreed with the Gunners. A new proposal of thirty-five million is approaching.
    As we let you hear before, Arsenal has a proposal of thirty million euros for the Belgian international striker Eden Hazard (20), whose contract expires in June 2015, but without success. A new proposal of thirty-five million is in the pipes.
    Reportedly, the Red Devil has already set in agreement with the Gunners on the conditions of a future lease. Anxiety is palpable on the side of the club president Michel Seydoux.

  399. all it says is Arsenal proposed a 30 million (euros I assume) bid but Lille rejected that and Arsenal are considering a 35 million bid .

    I would not bank n that nonsense really. They wants lot of money for him and Arsene is not that stupid to blow all the money on one player that might or might not be good in the Premiership. I’ll forget that rumour for now. I think a centre back seems the priority at the moment Wenger also confirmed he is after a striker aswell.

  400. Where you getting this SuperC? My wires say it’s totally made up BS.

    Meanwhile – Guardian say Arsenal have offered Sol Campbell a coaching role with the reserve team.

  401. Jonny, the link got posted on a comment on Young Guns – just thought I’d stick it on here, bit of a talking point I guess.

  402. Just on the Cahill thing. I think Bolton havebeen dirty over this transfer, they’ve gone public and lied about the actual offer that was made. Any player in his final year is not worth much specially defenders. Clichy went for 7 million because he is in the final yeear of his contract. Enrique the same 8 millions . so I don’t understand these people wanting 17 millions. They will not get it it is as simple as that. Wenger is pissd off over the lies and may not return for the player and look else where. Bolton risking losing a player for nothing or for less in January.

  403. That video was hillarious. “Tapping up clerk.” Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!

  404. Supercod – no offence meant but when the source is from the comments section of anything, and yet you post as though it has weight and don’t mention source it helps no one.

  405. “Have to say I am disappointed in PV’s involvement in Man City, but like others have said, he’s always been the show-me-the-money type.”

    Disgusting. When did you start supporting Arsenal?

  406. That big blonde lady at the beginning, I wouldn’t mind seeing her boobs. Just for sport, though as boobs that big don’t come around every day.

  407. Dups – How fucking stupid do you have to be to post something like that online?!! What is he retarded!!!

  408. JamesM, say what you will, but seeing Nasri go to City with the help of Vieira is not something that would please any Arsenal supporter.

  409. Dups – Nice little video that. Is it true that Nasri used some of his Judas silver to pay the cameraman to shoot with the camera down low so as to make him appear taller? Very Michael Jackson-esque. Now they are both dead to me but I will only miss one.

  410. Who is watching Vela play for Real Sociedad tomorrow?

  411. you 🙂

  412. Irish

    After some abuse on twitter he posted:

    “Ha ha he is really top lad & did not mind me tweeting the first tweet, & is now giggling at the replys – yes his name is Wojchech Szczeseny”

  413. Dups – I blame you for leading me down the garden path then 🙂

  414. I can be blamed for most things Irish. I’m a big boy now

  415. Dups – I think I will be reminding you of that in the future. Now its off to Hell’s Kitchen for my mates birthday party, just waiting on The Girlfriend to get her butt off the sofa!!! Isn’t it amazing what you get away with typing when you are sat right beside someone? 🙂

  416. Dupps and Supercod here is a little quote that might interest you

    Gervinho said: “I haven’t spoken to Wenger about Hazard, but Eden was my companion at Lille and if Arsenal can complete the deal then I’ll be content.”

    Maybe a little hint that something is going on. Wenger made it claer he wants a striker, a defender and a midfielder. Hazard is a winger my only guess is if we are really after Hazard then Walcott will be moved to the centre

  417. 1lc

    I thought the same about moving Walcott to the middle.

  418. 1LC – interesting. I wonder if Vermaelen and Hazard are buddies too…?

  419. Yes i would like to see RVp and Walcott combining upfront. He is brilliant when allowed space to run into, But when you have teams who defend deep and don’t allow you any space that when Walcott might have a problem. But it should be tactical depending on teams we play so Walcott can play in 2 different positions

  420. Irish some proper funny posts from you here tonight mate.

  421. I’d hazard a guess that walcott got his central role too.

  422. Would anybody take a cheeky punt on Santa Cruz? ManCity ruined him, before that he was really good though.

  423. Two trophies for Fabregas? I’m not sure if they come with a lot of satsifaction. One is basically a Community Shield, and the other is based on their Champions League win last season (which he did contribute a little to, I guess).

    First, he joined a team in their prime who without him have a greater than 50% chance of winning in a two-team La Liga. Second, he will play only a supporting role, and so he has lost the true satisfaction of leading his team to victory.

    Quite simply, Cesc and Nasri weren’t players that could lead our team, even when given leadership positions.

  424. JAL – In as much as I admire SAF for all he has done, this really makes me smile. It takes a lot to make people of his stature(?) defend another rival, especially one with such a volatile relationship with SAF as AW. Great to read that article and hats off to him for saying it. Alas, I still want to humble, nay, embarrass SAF on Sunday!!! Tribal? You bet you’re fucking arse I am!!!! COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  425. Just Another Luke



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