International Football: A Problem To Which There Are No Solutions

Like most of us, Arsène is frustrated by the international break. Clubs have long fought with Uefa and Fifa over the timing of these fixtures, the outcome is generally tinkering around the edges with grand notions such as playing on a Friday and Tuesday deemed to be a solution. Throughout the ages of football, visionaries are few and far between; if that is the level of thought at the top of the game, we are as far away as ever.

Arsène does not have the solution, perhaps knowing that the answer is going to be ‘centric’ depending upon from which continent it emerges. Moving tournaments to fit with the European Summer is no doubt a money-driven decision, disrespecting local climates and environments. Do these solutions involve investing money in the infrastructure to assist? Not unless there is a World Cup coming and even then it is a case of ‘We have turned you into a momentary tax haven; we have invested £xm into your sports stadia. Now we are gone and you are on your own‘.

The governing bodies and national associations do not help themselves. Unless there are qualifiers for a sanctioned tournament, Fifa’s designated international weeks do not require a friendly to take place. Other than financial gain, there is no necessity for any country to play a friendly fixture. Ever. I am sure that the FA will tell you that there are reasons of football politics behind some matches. If that is the case, I would suggest the FA think again because their politicking does not work.

As with everything in football, vested interests override any logical resolution. Let’s not beat about the bush, the clubs are no better at organising the domestic game than Fifa are at the world game. Problems domestically are just a microcosm of those which haunt any Swiss hideaway.

Sandro Rosell briefly showed some sanity in the asylum. He observed that the Spanish league needed to decrease its numbers to 18 teams and then 16. The former total is a long-term aim of Fifa and Uefa for top flights across the world and there is sense in that except the governing bodies want to fill the gap with internationals which defeats the object.

Rosell was honest about his rationale: money. According to El Presidente, if the clubs play fewer games, they can reduce their wages bill. Who is he kidding? “And so Lionel, we are playing 4 games less this year so you will earn £1m less. OK?” is going to be met with “Manchester City are offering £10m more, bye!!!!!!!!!!“.

Rosell knows he has flagged a red herring (nicely mixed metaphor, don’t you think) and in the world of weekly wages, even he is aware of the fundamental flaw in his plan. It is a quick peg upon which the bigger clubs can hang their hats to bully their smaller brethren into submission. It is either that or the European Super League becomes a reality and domestic revenues drop accordingly.

The two issues do provide a gateway to the solution. One domestic cup competition is sufficient; if the Football League want to keep their competition, so be it but Premier League clubs should be allowed to opt out. Reduce the size of the Premier League, keep the Championship at 24 teams and regionalise the rest will ease overcrowding and costs. This is nothing new. As the Football Association and League wrestled with the advent of European club competitions in the mid-1950s, Bristol Rovers proposed exactly that set-up as a blueprint for a healthy and competitive game. Back to the future, indeed.

That would dovetail with necessary changes at international level. The August fixtures are being dropped under a recent agreement with the European Clubs Association. Competitive games need to be taken a stage further. The proliferation of countries as independence is fought and won means that more countries enter the ‘Football Family‘, as Uncle Sepp likes to call it. That means more games.

The only solution to this ‘overcrowding’ is a two tier qualifying tournament. Pre-qualifiers and then full-scale qualifiers with all involved. To get to a World Cup or continental championship could be reduced to one year of matches spread over the two-year period. Limiting friendlies to November, March with no more than three between the end of the season and mid-June creates sufficient revenues for the national associations. If not, the clubs can pay a levy to ensure that the grassroots of the game do not suffer.

And that is before we address the vast reserves and bloated administrations at Fifa, Uefa and their cousins.

It all boils down to money and the current breed of club owners are adept at making more. If it is distributed a little differently, the destructive feuding between club and country would be over.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 9, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 358 Comments.

  1. O brova

  2. Add mi on bb 27C6CDC9

  3. Good arguments Yogi. Is it realistic to expect the governing bodies to follow logic though?

    Not much evidence to support such a hypothesis.

  4. Nope, no such chance especially when money is involved.

  5. From our club supporting stance, I’d say internationals are a problem. I hate the way they break up the weekly drama and equally put our players at risk for a cause which isn’t ours.

    In saying that, from an international (ie FIFA) perspective, is there an actual problem? Are FIFA/national FAs unhappy with the current model or do they merely see it as the a few clubs having a whinge?

  6. Gadget

    Fifa are unhappy with the current model as they would like more internationals and anything that diminishes the power of the clubs, is fine by them. Incidentally, if there were fewer internationals, national associations could cut costs, eg insurance on players reduces, because the opportunities for a claim diminish.

  7. My first time commenting.
    I think only bigger clubs are against int breaks as for smaller clubs, not many players have international duty. But for bigger clubs many players go for duty. Adding on to the fact that the bigger clubs play in continental comps. Players in big clubs will always have more matches and I guess must get used to that

  8. Yogi,

    Really interesting article.

    Your Post headline “A problem for which there is no answer” is actually answered within the body of your article, after you correctly identified the problem as being money.

    The obvious solution is to cut down on the bloated UEFA and FIFA organizations living off the various FAs and thereby the fans, and reducing the need for more money spinning international friendly games which are needed to support these corrupt entities.

    But, of course, you are right — there is an answer, but it is not one these people will accept. It would be like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas, so we are stuck with games none of us want, and few of us care about!

  9. I would be for an idea that was floated a while ago (maybe even by Arsene?) of having either a larger break in the middle of the season where all internationals are played or having no breaks and having internationals at the end of the season. To me, this would eradicate the stop-start nature of the club season and having a longer time with the players would allow national coaches to foster more of a club mentality within the squad and have more time for developing teamwork and pattern of play. You might get more decent games out of internationals that way and it would create a mini-tournament feel to things where fans of international football can get into it properly and non-fans can go on holiday or something.

  10. Nice post and a valid argument to support it too. Amazing how you are able to do it day in day out YW. Hats off!

    Let’s face it, football has grown globally and it has bolstered its revenue streams with the Middle East and the Asian countries following increasing on a large scale. Bulk of the international friendly and the tournaments are to generate more revenues for the FAs or for the other governing bodies.

    As far as the money flows and the demand is high for the sport, they will not take a decision of holding back and reducing games here and there. Ultimately, the players are those who suffer with more fatigue which risks them to injuries.

    I read somewhere, probably Le-grove that the games are rescheduled to 12:00 PM kick offs just to ensure telecast revenue gains from the Middle East. So, it’s money driven and logical resolution is a far-fetched wish.

  11. If we move the internationals to the end of season, wouldn’t we face some of the problems associated with fatigue and injury? I wonder how we can accommodate these and allow top players (more and more of which will, hopefully, be ours) that all essential rest?

    I fear the thinking will need to be even more radical (probably meaning reduction in the types and quantities of international fixtures) and out of the current box.

    Obviouslty, my allegiances are to AFC first and foremost and so my hopes lean towards reductions in international demands and increases in club power. Yet, money talks loudest and I have little idea how it will all pan out.

  12. Yogi – you mention the elusive promises that uncle Sep and our other relatives at FIFA profess to fulfil when negotiating their temparary tax haven during world cup tournaments.

    Therein lies the problem, international football is about money and is about self preservation. The 7 star, first class jet setting lifestyle is to be protected at all costs by the family. Tony Soprano might as well be in charge of FIFA because the enterprise is run in as ruthless a manner as the Jersey don run his empire.

    I gather uncle Sep even promised the African continent that FIFA will cure illiteracy in Africa as part of bringing the world cup to South Africa.

    FIFA can’t even cure illiteracy amongst pundits and hacks in Europe, let alone Africa – but I digress.

    So long as there’s money in football, and I mean obscene amounts of corruptable money, there’s no incentive to find a solution that works for clubs.

    FIFA and the continental bodies are just fiefdoms that people will protect at all costs. For them, there’s too much to lose – the money, the lifestyle, the girls who naturally provide more than ‘hostessing’ or as my friend calls it, horizontal refreshments. Who gives a damn about club football.

  13. Does anybody like international games? They should abolish international games, and every 4 years have a big “Club World Cup”. That would be much more entertaining. If people are desperate to represent their country, the Olympics will suffice. I don’t think clubs would be so against players participating in that if there were no more international fixtures.

    International football is simply an interupption of Arsenal’s season. No more, no less. And anybody that disagree’s is wrong 😉

  14. Sriram,

    Sorry, posted before your comment appeared.

  15. Andy,

    I actually like your idea. It would partly resolve the over exposure of football and footballers,; it would enable a better standard of football to be played and then compared globally; it would encourage post-national football to meet globalisation characteristics as people of different nationalities would represent the countries in which they made their livings with a club; it would also make it possible that England (well, an English club) could actually win the World Cup.

    On a sporting and political basis, I therefore seriously see huge potential in your suggestion. Money, bias and self interest seem the biggest obstacles to its realisation. Neveertheless, when the idea is established it is hard for the world to resist.

    So, fingers crossed.

  16. These may seem like stupid questions, but to truly understand something stupid questions must always be asked simply to eliminate assumptions.

    Do professional football clubs pay a fee to FIFA as well as to the relevant FAs?

    Also, is FIFA not a non-profit organisation? If it’s not, then these issues become ethical in a couple of ways

  17. Dgob – “it would also make it possible that England (well, an English club) could actually win the World Cup.

    Ha, except unless it is Arsenal we don’t want that happening.

  18. None too pleased that Holland are playing, of all teams, Germany – the possibility for carnage by no means remote, re: RvP.

  19. All for abolishing international games andy. Most players don’t even care about them let alone fans.

    Failing that I’d have all the early round Carling Cup and FA Cup matches scheduled alongside International weeks. Not like many Internationals will take part in them anyway.

  20. I’ve long been of the mind that teams should be able to opt out of the league cup, or premier league teams not play in it at all as they are no longer part of the football league anyway, and that the FA Cup should be a midweek competition leaving league games to be played every weekend of the season. If people are looking to restructure international football because of player fatigue etc. then some changes should also happen on the domestic front to alleviate these problems from this side also.

    Calling for international football tobe scrapped and a replacement with a “Club World Cup” (Isn’t that essentially the tournament played in Japan every year anyway?) or the Olympics may resonate with some people, but let’s face it, it’s never going to happen so it comes down to where we can find a workable solution to balance the demands of club and international games.

  21. Bizarrely Andy, there seem to be quite a lot of jingoistic eejits who enjoy international football. I’d gladly do without it – in a heartbeat in fact. The low quality of the football, the English players, set-up, the media coverage – all of it is appalling. It brings out the very worst in our nation – especially through the exacerbation of nationalism by the tabloid scum. Who can read ‘Hun-Nil’ and not internally shudder?
    Yes for me, getting rid of international football would be a boon – I’d also happily see the back one-day and 20-20 cricket – I guess, in some ways, I’m a bit of a purist at heart.

  22. Alex Song has posted on the strength and potential for development of our midfield,

    Not to rehash contentions but that development still includes Diaby:

    “Our knowledge of one another is improving every day,”he told the Official Matchday Programme. “It hasn’t been easy because Mikel only signed for us recently, but you can see what a good player he is and I’m really happy to be playing with him.

    “Aaron’s doing well too, and we’re all still coming together and learning what works best. We’re all trying to help each other and that’s important. The more we communicate, the better we’ll get – if we’re constantly giving each other advice on the pitch then we can become a very good unit.

    “Also we’ve still got Jack and Abou to come back, which gives us a lot to look forward to in the midfield.”

    Lest we forget

  23. Darius,

    Thifa never needed to stereotype this dark continent in order to highlight illiteracy. I lived in Manchester once (vaguely known for its football) and a lot of kids on our street did not know you could get in a car and drive to London. All lost in the politics of pretend.

    They couldn’t cure hiccups at Thifa central, but I would love a chance to cure us of them. Captain Blatter could lead a few of Le Unconvincibles over the top – now that would be some spilt blood worth commemorating.

  24. Of our 14 senior players called up for International duty only one, Rosicky, is involved in games that are not meaningless friendlies. That pisses me right off.

  25. Great post YW. I think Rosell has a point on the wage bill. He has 24 first team player for 38 games. With only 30 games he could cut the number down to 18 to 19. It’s a squad thing. The Messi’s of the world will always be the exception.

  26. Dgob – And rightly so. I don’t think anybody has been questioning Diabys talent, or indeed what he offers the side when he plays. The initial issue (which got lost a bit yesterday) was that the guy cannot string a number of games together because he is injury prone. It is a shame, but there it is.

    The question that some where is asking is how long can we persist with that. Jonny’s point about his wages were also 100% valid; he is on a huge wage and the club are not getting a return on this.

    Should we continue hoping that things sort themselves out, or, should we cut our losses and replace him with somebody who is going to contribute on a more regular basis. That is the whole debate really. I know people cite RvP and Rosicky as example why we should persist, and those arguments do have good grounding. But they are slightly differnt; RvP seems to be very unluck with impact injures, and Rosicky had a really weird problem. Abou just constantly picks up small niggles.

    Personally I am torn, I really like him and think he could be a very special player, but on the other hand is he really an asset to the squad given he cannot remain injury free? A real dilemea for the manager I think.

  27. Markus – that’s appalling. Is RVP playing for Holland? Surely he’s learnt his lesson to avoid unnecessary internationals by now – after all what are they going to do drop him?!

  28. On the knockout tournaments I’d suggest combining the FA and Carling cups. In this scenario teams knocked out of the FA cup would move to the carling cup.

  29. Encouraging words from Song. I particularly like his reference to Diaby. Clearly the squad and staf know his value and are prepared to be patient. That should be a good enough reason for fans to also be patient.

    From a business point of view, the investment in Diaby represents a manageable and calculated risk. As and when it stops being manageable, I’m sure an exit strategy will be crafted, but its clear from the players and managers positions that they see Diaby as an integral part of the team.

  30. never mind all this rubbish where the hell has my Meerkat gone Yogi.?

  31. George. Top up your meerkat metre and stop being a tight bastard. The restriction on your meerkat will then be automatically lifted in the next 2 to 24 hours.

  32. Speaking as a “jingoistic eejit” I have to say I still enjoy international football and watch England regularly – I probably enjoy the U21s more than the seniors – less hoopla and more football
    I have no problem in agreeing however that FIFA are the most destructive force in football, their incompetence matching only their insatiable greed for money
    The answer ? Ditch FIFA

  33. Nasri is apparently sidellined at present due to tendonitis.

    Given the impact of this on the likes of Hargreaves in recent times (and the fact that it now transpires that he picked this complaint up while still with us), it makes you wonder about the wisdom of those protesting too much about his departure. And that’s without considering the benefits gained with the arrival of say Gervinho!

    Further still, as with Diaby (and the recent disclosure around our new medical facilities), it makes you appreciate the club’s and Arsene’s reasoning when remaining loyal to a player concerning their health and value to the club!

    To second guess and counter argue the wisdom of decisions here with no medical data (and/or based on historic assumptions that have already – as noted with RvP, TV5 etc – been put into real question) seems daft and insensitive at best (downright disloyal at worse), IMO.

  34. Has everyone’s Avitar gone missing or just mine?

  35. Well, but … internationals, in some form, are extremely important for footballers and football in almost every country in the world, except for the premier players, in the top dozen european and maybe top 2 latin american football nations where top tier club football is in fact bigger than international football. Everywhere else, it is not.

    The next Alex Song, now playing in a Younde club agrees with me. So does the next Aaron Ramsey, maybe with a shout in Cardiff, and the next Andrei, maybe an u-21 and a chance to train with the big team.

    It is almost, but not quite yet, certain that – if money is ultimately the decider – a European super-league will emerge within a decade, reducing the number of club games and competitions (which is the bigger problem), and let the rest of the world do what’s best for it.

  36. I see your meerkat George, clearly. It’s a beast!

  37. George

    You’ve got a problem. No, wait, we know that. Let me clarify. You’ve a problem with your browser. I use Firefox and IE, both show the suavely sophisticated Meerkat avatar.

  38. Excellent post YW.

    However, I interpreted the Rosell quote differently for reducing the league size (20 down to 16).

    Its all about the pot for the TV money. There is rising sentiment (in Spain) that is addressing the current disparity of the TV revenue.

    If their are only 16 clubs to split the pot……..instant inheritance for the 16 clubs.

  39. The wage issue is not relevant to me as there are numerous examples of players at clubs who’ve had injury travails only to reward those who supported them with a few seasons of the highest levels of performance. Which is about as much as the average footballer hopes to aspire to. If Diaby is ever let go, it’ll be for reasons discussed within that brand new medical facility. Not because an accountant has had a tantrum.

    If the correct attitude is to question the wages and spreadsheets above the physio team, then Arsenal would never have benefitted from having ‘squad’ players like Edu.

  40. thanks Paul.But it a worry I cant see him.Still as long as he is safe

  41. On a separate note, a very worthwhile petition for every true Gooner to sign. It’s your duty and responsibility as a Gooner so get on with signing this e-petition.

  42. Yes, it would be Dgob – if anyone had actually done the things you say.

    Anywho we understand – you are a better fan than all of us who pause to doubt and wonder along the way. We are the disloyal who have yet to see the divine light.

    Your unwavering, unquestioning loyalty I am sure will be realised as you are added to the holy canon of sainthood (alongside His Holiness Pope Frank none of us whom are fit to treadeth in his immortal shadow)

    Forgive us for we are weak and fools and we know not what we do.

  43. good points but you have to understand that the fan is not that important in the running of the game. We are not that high in the pecking order at all. In fact the only way anybody would notice would be if we didnt go. We are like the wife or sometimes husband who is taken for granted on a daily basis. Then one day the lady vanishes and the one left behind realises her worth. So yes there is an answer and we all hold the cards. Choice = dont go to the friendlys or stop moaning about it cause the truth is, we support friendly ect when we buy the ticket. Will that happen…no of course not but dont blame the husband cause they dont know any diff

  44. George – empty the cache on your browser and you’ll be able to see Mr. Meerkat.

  45. George – are you using chrome? Mine went a little funny but it’s all good now.

  46. Jonny,

    “Anywho we understand – you are a better fan than all of us who pause to doubt and wonder along the way. We are the disloyal who have yet to see the divine light.”

    Melodrama indeed. Calm down and grow up in equal proportion. As you do not appear to be illiterate, you can read what I’ve already stated and reflect at your own leisure.

  47. Important petition indeed Darius.

    I’ve also forwarded to everyone I can – pointing out it’s in everyone’s interest to prevent the wastage of tax payers money. I have enough anti-football friends who will sign just because of who they are.

    I respectfully suggest y’all do the same.

  48. Finsbury @ 11:43,

    Agree and cannot see any drama in what you say. It seems so obvious to me that I am startled by the inability of some to comprehend.

  49. Man, what you have just said Jonny is “I have a scary little problem and it just follows me everywhere”. Passive aggressive is nasty.

    I miss Frank, Poliziano, Maria and the exchanges with others.

  50. George…I don’t use Google Chrome so I wouldn’t have an idea.

    But you generally want to go into the browser options and look for the section to do with deleting temporary files or cache memory.

    Browsers remember a lot of stuff so that they can load them faster next time. However, you might want to keep your cookies – which do exactly what they say – leave crumbs along the way so that your browser remembers where you’ve been before and keeps what you’ve typed before or any settings you’ve defined.

  51. Jonny/Anybody – “(alongside His Holiness Pope Frank none of us whom are fit to treadeth in his immortal shadow)

    Did this point get cleared up yesterday? I was left wondering if I had missed something.

  52. George, empty your browser and cashe your chrome. If in doubt ask an expert, anyone under … um … 22 maybe. If needed I can advise on portable typewriter problems (anyone over 52 can), how to change a ribbon maybe.

  53. Darius – Excellent link.

  54. Dgob,

    I’m very calm and I genuinely do think that you believe you are a better class of fan – why else do you get SO het up at the perecived ‘disloyalty’ of others? Calling others disloyal for a simple conversation and expression of opinion is arrogant.

    I did not start this argument. You got irked, made an issue where none was necessary, and now, when it suits you, you tell me to calm down. It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so self-serving and hypocritical.

    If you can’t see that my melodrama is done with ‘tongue firmly in cheek’ then your should get a sense of humour – but then the religious order of ‘the burning truth’ have never been noted for that.


  55. Andy – no it’s been mentioned quite a few times I think but never actually explained. Presumably we are also unfit to be told the truth.

  56. To Goonerandy, Jonny, Dgob and those in this “self-righteious” circle, the Swahili have a lovely saying – “Nyani haoni kundule”.

    Maybe Kenyan or Firstlady can provide a perfect translation to show how ridiculous the whole thing is – suffice to say that everyone has an angle and everyone comes into a debate without their “world view”.

    Civility in debating people’s different points of view is what makes us intellectual. Some debates don’t even have a right or wrong answer but they’re an opportunity to share ideas and learn something new from each other.

    It’s OK to be a fence sitter or a shovel carrier so long as we know that we’re in this to be tribal about Arsenal FC and be united in hating Tottenham or the Mancs and Chavs.

  57. I meant ** coming into a debate with their “world view” **

  58. ZimPaul | November 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm
    “I miss Frank, Poliziano, Maria and the exchanges with others.”

    Me too. the first two anyways.

  59. Darius – “Civility in debating people’s different points of view is what makes us intellectual. Some debates don’t even have a right or wrong answer but they’re an opportunity to share ideas and learn something new from each other

    I agree 100%. Plently on here are not very civil though at times. To be fair, I do think that is down to them being a bit simple and resorting to insult when they can’t convey their point well enough. The majority on posters here are very good though.

  60. Geroge – You might not want to read this. Go to your happy place mate.

  61. Whoa Darius,
    A bit surprised to see you toeing the “lets get along line”. I used to think you were more that èsu (or rabble rouser) called shotta. Did you change, or did I just figure you wrong…

  62. *more like that…

  63. Andy – how could you do that to George?!

    Broadly speaking I’m in favour of giving Andrei the pivotal role he requires – unless he can improve on performances in the position Wenger wants to play him he seems to be in a no-win.

    The difficulty is the competition for places where Andrei wants to play…plus Wenger naturally has his own ideas.

  64. Henristic – I imagine Darius is just bored – can’t say I blame him. 🙂

  65. Zimp – this is the danger of conversing by the written word – that was in no way passive-aggressive but tongue-in-cheek. Nuance is impossible to convey with text – especially ‘plain text’!

    Like all humour is has a grain of truth to it, however.

  66. I bet Frank is still reading over these pages. So i ask a question. Frank, what do you think of your achieved status of a “legendary d**m basher with unwavering support”?

  67. wait Jonny, you can’t tell how much sarcasm i inject into this sentence by just reading the text?

  68. Actually Henristic.

    I’ve written well over 350 articles on this blog, Stone Cold Towers and other football blogs for you to get an accurate picture of which side of the bread I butter.

    You’ve mostly seem to take a different stance from me and come at me with an edge because you don’t necessarily agree with my point of view or the fact that its designed as a starting point for a debate. In some cases, you’ve actually taken it as being about me as opposed to the issue I raise.

    But I’m OK with anyone not agreeing with what I say – I don’t have a problem conceding ground or holding my own if I need to. There’s bigger things in this world to worry about than creating imaginary enemies up in here. I mean, we could all agree to hate Tottenham or the Mancs and Chavs, we could all agree that Le Grove and Talk Spite belong iin a cess pit or even that Sep Blatter might as well operate like Tony Soprano.

  69. this is indeed a money thing..

    thing is..since the invention of the PL and the CL and the influx of foreign players the passion for the international game has gradually declined..from an english fans point of view anyway, or to be more accurate, any fan who supports a big PL team point of view, the PL title and the CL is the pinnacle of our sport nowadays..
    ask yourself a question, would you rather see arsenal win the PL or CL..or would you rather watch your national team win the world cup or the euros or whatever continental comp?? i know what means more to me..

    in a way this is the authorities own doing..much like everything else..they create a model thats purely designed to increase cash flow..they sell it hardcore world wide, it attracts all the best players, but over time other models suffer as a result..the answer would be to decrease the amount of games all across the board, domestically and internationally..or indeed to have a 2-3 week break after the xmas and new year fixtures..(nobody wants a break at xmas, the sporting schedule over the holidays is one of the things that makes the holidays the holidays)

    the fans and managers may not like it but for the players its still a massive thing to represent your country..but the amount of games is damaging..a happy medium must be found and to be honest im completely confuddled as to why it still hasnt been found yet..

  70. Thought a bit of statistical nugget would lighten the mood courtesy of Arsenal Statman on twitter:

    André Santos has a higher goalscoring average for Arsenal
    with 0.22 goals per game than Fernando Torres for Chelsea who has 0.17

  71. Santos has a career average of roughly a goal every 4 games. That is amazing for a defender. It is also the same scoring record as Park 😉

  72. Now Park just needs to get some games!

  73. So Goonerandy – you’re saying that Park is definitely better than Torres. Happy days.

  74. did any of you take notice of that lovely interchange between RVP and Santos over the weekend? RVP dropped back a bit, then him and Santos pulled off 6 or 7 first touch passes and RVP was almost clean through on goal. Me thinks our Brazilian is something special.

  75. Darius – Heh, quite. We will ignore Torres career average of pretty much a goal every other game and go with that instead.

  76. ‘His name is Robert Paulsen’ – actually I just assume everything you say is sarcastic – it’s easier that way:-D

  77. LOL Andy – or we could argue that Torres is living on the fumes of old exploits. As Janet Jackson once bitched “What has he done for Chelsea lately”.

  78. I still think Torres is an excellent player.

    I have little doubt Wenger would have him up and firing goals for fun again in just a few weeks.

  79. If Diaby is sold for having a terrible medical record (which he does), then which club will take him on his astronomical wages?

    As we are all fools who have no understanding of what actually happens behind closed doors at a football club, its 100% plausible to suggest that we have tried to offload Diaby (like Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Eboue), yet have not found anyone willing to take the risk.

    Its not beyond the realms of possibility that Diaby isnt this demi-god super footballer that some believe him to be, rather, we are left with him, injured, and on a long term contract.

    We will see exactly where he sits in Wenger eyes when/if he finally returns to fitness from his latest thigh/groin/calf/hamstring twang.

  80. The Torres situation is a strange one eh? It is obvisous the guy is a good goalscorer, but looks an awful player at Chelsea. I suppose sometimes players just don’t settle at a club. Maybe that is the case there?

  81. Luke – Yeah, decent points. I do rate Diaby, but you are right of course that the longer a player is injured for “the better they become”. He very rarely (if ever?) dominated a game from start to finish. But I do think that is due to the fact that whenever he built up a run of games and gained form, he got injured again.

  82. Back to the Diaby thing again eh? How many times have we heard the same people saying the same things about him. ‘Injury prone, too high wages to sell, he isn’t as good as he is being made out, he should be offloaded, complete crock, waste of space.’

    How many times does this have to be talked about? Nothing original in any recent discussions about him. What has changed in his position at the club in the last month? Nothing. He is recovering from injury. Wait and see ffs, then we’ll know where his future lies. Not rocket science, so why keep banging on about it? Shall we chat about Denilson being shit for a while too people? Haven’t had repeated, monotonous, circular conversations about him for a while… Yawn.

    Fucking Arsene and his continued faith in players. Fucking Arsenal and their pay structure. Oh, how it grates.

  83. Luckily Arsene had faith in RvP. Luckily he had faith in Chesney. Luckily they were all being paid enough at a young age to want to stay here.

  84. Geo – Ha, you are right of course. Nowt else going on though eh?

  85. Too true Andy, unfortunately. But there is still plenty to talk about, like Arsh possibly being slightly miffed (if not totally misquoted), or even potential new signings (!) but it’s just sooo boring talking about Diaby in the same context. Hopefully we’ll be able to come back to talking about him in the next few weeks and his inspired comeback from another unfortunate setback… Fingers crossed.

    But i suppose the Diaby discussion is still more interesting to me than talking about farking internationals. Eradicate them entirely I say, the World Club Cup like someone suggested earlier would be of the highest standard possible…

  86. Really Luke? Really?! Your opening up that can of worms again?!


    Your disloyalty truly knows no limits.

    For the sake of my sanity I’m going to stay out of this all together.

    Torres – injury, slight loss of pace, a shit-load of pressure and a lack of confidence – I think that’s all we are seeing here. In fairness he looked pretty handy in a couple of games this season.

    His record is 4 goals and 3 assists this season (12 games) – it’s not great but there were signs of him coming good.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens if he slip’s down the order – no would want to pay his wages if he is not looking like a £200K a week striker. Would he just fester?

    On that note – I hear £250K a week striker Carlos Tevez has not turned up for training. Much as I hate Carlos I do totally love him at the same time.

  87. well diabys contract aint up until 2015..or near theres plenty of time for him to heal and become a superstar..or stay a crock and become one of the highest paid players in terms of minutes on the pitch ratio in the world..

  88. Geo – Yup, agreed on all points.

    Personally I think AA will be off in the summer. He is obviously no longer an automatic 1st choice player, and if AOC emergences as we all hope he will then AA could really be in trouble. Throw in possible new arrivals (Arsene does like to sign wide midfielders) and the writing is on the wall.

  89. I do wish there was more coverage of the Brazilian leagues over here. It really has stepped up in quality in the last couple of years with some very exciting young talent is emerging by all accounts. I love the openness of their matches, and the players getting the tricks out and trying to score the perfect goal. Great attacking mixed with relatively poor defending, I’m surprised it isn’t broadcasted more frequently.

  90. Thanks for the rant Geo.

    Have a little check who brought Diaby up yesterday and today.

  91. Hmmm, interesting Andy… A while ago I thought he would stay here for the rest of his career, but he is definitely not first choice any more, and from being the talisman at Zenit, to being a bench warmer at the age of 30 will not be how he envisaged his career I’m sure. I hope he gets more playing time, maybe a few more starts behind Robin as the season wears on, and he may be persuaded to stay and fight for his place… He is still the top quality player we bought, and playing centrally would show us exactly that imo. I still love the guy, and really hope he stays.

  92. ha! I understand Jonny, and I fully agree, however, I did missed all the action late yesterday afternoon………

    New angle taken though, have to give me that! 🙂

  93. No problem Luke, any time. Got anything interesting to say?

  94. YW – Nice post YW. The game from that season (I think)that sticks in my mind is the 5-0 against Norwich.

  95. Dgob@ 12:04 pm

    Dunno, I’ve been ignored. Secn time I’ve made that comment. I don’t think that I’m deeply offended by such ‘nasty’, behaviour.

    Abou Diaby:

    2007–08 28 Appearences.
    2008–09 36
    2009–10 40
    2010–11 20

    Why does a player who when fit makes the French national squad get better if they get injured? If I were to use such realistic logic does that mean that on his return, Diaby will be playing like Maradona on steroids?

  96. Geo – Yeah I like him as well, but he has been a passenger more often than not of late. He is idealy suited to playing “in the hole” as you say; the issue here is that Arsene tends to play a midfielder in that role as opposed to a forward. I don’t think AA is best suited to dropping into midfield when we lose the ball. There must be a good reason why Arsene prefers a midfielder in that role.

    If we were to start doing that I think RvP would be ideal in that role. Maybe behind Chamakh where he could play himself back into form with the pressure of being our sole goal getter?

  97. Yep Finsbury, and if he isn’t, he’s shit and should be sold.

  98. Another top post Yogi: The whole thing is about money, what a shocker!!!

    I agree with Andy about international football. I also agree with Yogi and everyone else who wants to see significant changes in the whole club vs. country situation. Lets storm the Bastille. Unfortunately its another one of those things that we can’t do anything about and won’t change so its probably not worth worrying about.

    Geo @ 1:47:

    I think you must have gotten a few of OleGunners grumpy pills today. A shot of a very smooth tequilla and a little lime works wonders. I miss Ole and Maria, hope Limpar will be back soon.

  99. Andy ,you are a nasty piece of work.

    Luke .You just cant comprehend how some(indeed many)of us put a fit Diaby ahead of your beloved iklle Jacky when he regains fitness.(He as missed a larger% of his Arsenal 1st team career than Diaby BTW)

  100. I thought Irish would love this joke – courtesy of twitter of course:

    In a fancy dress shop. Asked for vampire outfit. Lady gave me a Spurs kit. I said she misheard me; I told her I wanted to look like a Count.

  101. finsbury, go away with your ability to count and rationalisations!

  102. That’s where Arsh’s problem lies. But if Arteta, Jack or Rambo are injured or in need of rest, there may be a few opportunities to play with and attacking line up with Arsh in behind. Maybe not, but at this point, that seems like the only way we will see him at his best, and if he isn’t enjoying his football or is being subjected to the bench, i agree with your initial fear that he may be off in the summer.

    RvP could definitely play there, but we should definitely not change the system at the moment, and as you say, keep the midfielder behind RvP for the extra (much needed) protection of our other midfielders/defence.

  103. Geo.

    Got you. I’m so glad Arsenal got rid of Rosicky too.

  104. Rabble-rouser? Calling names. Dishing out insults in pretty prose.
    Diaby again. Overpaid, perma-crock. Another day at the office. Hmmm.
    Scratches beard and goes back to work.

  105. Wenger has already said that because of defensive vulnerabilities when playing our system, it is unlikely that he’ll play Arshavin in his preferred position floating behind a striker.

  106. When he was in the form of his career I remember Craig Bellamy claiming that he learned everything he knew about playing on wide left from watching our very own Arshavin playing there.

  107. And now Bellamy (the little rat like twat) also doing what Arshavin is doing. Sitting on the bench. I truly can’t stand Bellamy.

  108. TV should be sold.
    Waste of space.never fit ,missed more than half his Arsenal career,
    And he can take other crocks TR7,Diaby,Jack .Gibbs and Robin glass legs Van Persie with him.
    Either that or they should be on minimum wage whilst on the sick.

  109. If certain people didn’t feel the need t make diaby out to be the second coming of the messia then I imagine certain other people wouldn’t feel the need to point out why he most likely isnt, its a double edged sword.

  110. haha love that Darius!

    Sorry Bill, no time for a fatty boombatty before a 12 hour day of work this morning, so yes you’re probably right. Darius helped lighten my mood though, cheers.

    Some people bring out the rant in me, partially due to some very idiotic comments in the recent past.

  111. Thank you pedantic george at 2:26 pm.

    Give them hell.

  112. George – I know you say that with more than a hint of sarcasm, but consider this:

    You own a nice little pasty shop. Lovely setting, and you conjure up some delicious pies and such like. You have 3 members of staff, who are all very good. Unfortunately 2 of the staff only make it into work for 40% of the time. Sickness and stuff. You know how it is. Anyway you don’t want to get new members of staff as you can only afford 3 on the books at one go. You have had some temps in (one from Brazil as well ;)), but they don’t really cut the mustard and your sales are begining to slump a bit. Probably as the temps are not making the pies as nice as the locals expect.

    I am playing devils advocate here (because I am bored), but what do you make of that?

  113. “Give them hell”

    Time for a nappy change I think.

  114. when rosicky leaves on a free, yossis loan expires and andrey is sold..that will leave plenty of room in the squad for diaby to get games..unless frimpong, le coq and lansbury are the next crop of youngsters to push him down the order..

    besides, id rather have a crocked diaby than a fully fit least we know we are gonna get at least one top class matchwinning performance this season..

    but in all seriousness..i dont know why diabys getting stick at the mo..he hasnt featured yet so theres no need for the usual frustrated comments and the teams playing well without him so its not like hes being missed..and when him and jack come back were gonna look pretty strong..and for all his up and down perfomances and injury hit seasons he can win matches by himself, its not like were talking about eboue or denilson or somebody else frustrating who was shit..we get frustrated with diaby cos hes good..dont we???

  115. before we sell AA shouldn’t be played in his real position at before we all dimiss his talents to be it is clear he is not a left winger but wenger perseveres with him there.

    AA’s problem is that wenger has made his mind up to only play one foward and the No 10 position is filled by a midfielder i.e. ramsey.

    Its a shame because we have not seen the best of AA because he has been played out of position.

  116. GunnerJones.can you name these “certain people” because Andrei is the second coming and if some people have been pushing a false god I want to know about it.

  117. diaby owes us to stay fit for a prolonged period of time… he really is the forgotten player

  118. Id prefer not to name George for fear of what you would do to them, of course I agree with you, Andrei is the second, third and fourth coming. Wow that sounds a little dirty dosent it!

  119. Andy .Jack will have missed 40% of his working time when he returns.
    Should we give his job to a temp?

  120. arshavin will get his chance when gervinho goes to acn..
    or if he decides to hit world class form before then..
    either way hes in the team
    but maybe january will be the time we say bye bye..seeing as though wengers sending scouts all over germany and ringing all the managers about their best attacking players..

  121. Gunnerjones ,I think that is wise.

  122. George – If Jack’s work attendence in 4 or 5 years time is still around 40% then maybe we should? As it is, he is a very new employee so we will have to hope that he is not ill very often.

  123. george..2.41
    its funny you say that cos i think thats why we got yossi..

  124. Darius @ 12:19pm,

    I am a little surprised. If you’ve read our debate you would be aware that it is around writing off one of our young players. You’d need to point out where my comments wandered into self defence or, indeed, self-righteousness.

    As I have already stated (and as you have yourself supported on this self same post), there are a variety of problems with writing off Diaby at this point in his career. For one with so keen an interest in journalistic interpretation, I am therefore perplexed by your statement!!

    Maybe it is down to the fact that these posts and comments are getting longer and people mistake what has been said and by whom!?

  125. Another Carlsberg-esque statistic courtesy of twitter – just to lighten the mood of course:

    Spurs have 2 League Titles in 128 years. Therefore on average, it will take them 704 years to have the same amount of Titles as Arsenal.


  126. Darius | November 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    You’ve mostly seem to take a different stance from me and come at me with an edge because you don’t necessarily agree with my point of view or the fact that its designed as a starting point for a debate. In some cases, you’ve actually taken it as being about me as opposed to the issue I raise.

    If I have done that, its usually in the spirit of banter/teasing. Its not just you though, I question or critique the views and opinion of many others here. There is this tacit assumption that positive views shouldn’t be questioned and I simply don’t agree with that. Everyone should be ready to defend his opinions, and I’m happy you’ve pointed out you dont have a problem with doing just that.

    Besides, can you honestly say you never do the same (ie. focus on the person)? Attacking posters (who don’t have the non-questioning support approach) rather than addressing issues certainly looks like the modus operandi on ACLF, in too many cases with an unnecessarily mean/nasty streak.

    As to the rest of your post, I totally agree. My first few months of actively posting on ACLF was mainly with the message of peace. It didn’t take me long to figure out that some people actually WANT a divided fan base. Its refreshing to know you’re not one of them.

  127. Dgob – “If you’ve read our debate you would be aware that it is around writing off one of our young players

    I don’t think that is accurate to be fair. Nobody is “writing him off”. More posing the question that if he continues to be unavailabe through injury, where is the point where the club should cut its losses?

  128. Andy @ 2.34 lol.

    George I know you are hard as nails martial artist – but you’ve never really given anyone ‘hell’ have you? Too decent a bloke for that I imagine.

  129. Dgob.

    my view on the matter is that it gets to a point where no ones arguements or point of view is listened to because people tend to focus on personalities and character.

    In this respect, the messages are lost at the cost of the ‘noise’, not withtanding the fact that some of the messages are definitely worth reading and taking on board.

    For the record, I think that both you and Jonny are very articulate individuals who have great points for and against any number of issues. What people read though is that you do are hell bent on bitching at each other.

    I don’t have issue with what your respective points of view are.

  130. Andy – give up dgob wrote his version of events from the start, he’s not going to change tack now. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?

  131. Henristic – very often the case on here: replying to a comment with the person in mind, sometimes more so than the actual comment’s contents… We are all guilty of that sometimes. From Frank to Bill to Shotta to SUGA3 to AIC, people’s reactions to what is written often comes across like there’s more to just responding to a comment. Equally some posters just getting ignored completely, even if putting across very decent comments.

  132. To be fair I think Jonny is simply responding to the attacks, he doesnt really seem to ever start them. well not intentionally any way. Where as others ,, well

  133. pedantic george at 2:41 pm:
    Hit the nail on the head. One rule perhaps for dear Jack and another for diabolic Diaby?
    Lets not forget that low-blow re the temp from Brazil as well.
    But then we are only playing devil’s advocate cause we are bored at work.
    These guys are so shamelessly underhanded and when you call them out they get so precious and defensive.
    Darius calls for civility. YW urges us not to squablle like little kids. Unfortunately, under the guise of banter, there are a number of wolves in sheep’s clothing who pollute this very fine blog.
    They need to be exposed.

  134. Shut the funk up Gunnerjones, if that’s your real name… Wanna fight or wot? Don’t start on George though, his real name is Tony Jaa.

  135. Darius – broadly speaking I do agree but the real point here is that an accusation has been made – namely that I (and others) have been disrespectful and have written off Diaby’s career.

    The truth is that I think it likely he may struggle to be a first choice in the team with the emergence of other young talents whilst he has been injured and that his injury record is a cause for concern going forwards – nothing to do with the total length of lay-off but the type of injuries and their recurrence.

    I also think he was somewhat overpaid – when his agent negotiated his contract he did a great job. Modric allegedly gets less, or used to, than Diaby (yes I know it’s Spuds but it gives an indication of market value).

    Given that I was also at pains to say I feel awful about his injuries and saddened for him – I don’t see any of that as disrespectful.

    To be harassed like this on the basis of half truths and assumed moral superiority is the only issue I have with dgob’s sustained mud-slinging.

    End of.

  136. Geo, you should join Shotta for a diaper change, but I will say, at least you have the ability to alter your posts.

  137. Jonny @ 2:57pm,

    Who’s this dgob? Sounds like a right git

  138. shotta | November 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm
    “Rabble-rouser? Calling names. Dishing out insults in pretty prose.”

    Èsu, you really think its pretty prose? Gee, thanks! Can’t say I know much about that sort of thing.
    However, it never ceases to amuse why someone who calls people names for fun (including whore, etc), can’t seem to ‘take it’ back. I’m only giving you a piece of your own medicine, mi bro.

  139. I fancy a good old fashioned DOOMING session, but you know things are just going so damn well at my club right now it’s difficult to be negative.


    Barrel-scraping doomers must try harder.

  140. Well was RVP overpaid also? Clichy? was it not based on potential why they are at the club?

    Arsenal have stood by injured players. I am not sure what Luke is trying to say by bringing up Arsenal trying to offload Diaby, “maybe” that is. Wenger has publicly backed him time and time again, even though he is injured. No need to try to make something up, to try to validate a different or contrary view.

    Players have moved on if Arsene doesn’t think they are going to get enough playing time(ex. Eduardo, Eboue), they want to move (Bentdner)or maybe they are getting past it.

    Did Arsene say he was trying to sell Rosicky?

  141. Thanks Gunnerjones – I don’t mind if people disagree with my comments but just attacking people for expressing relatively anodyne, unimportant opinions is unnecessary to the point of being damaging.

    I don;t think my comments will upset Wenger or Diaby but others here seem quite happy to sticke the boot in on quite reasonable fellow fans. Sure we disagree but with the exception of Shotta who is encouraging this behaviour and displays signs of being a deeply troubled individual I’ve no problem with anyone on here.

    Dgob – I’m not above apologising – if it will lay the matter to rest. I do feel you have a different, and very narrow idea, than most of what constitutes ‘loyalty’. By your criteria almost all Arsenal fans I know are disloyal and therefore not true fans.

    I genuinely love Diaby and hope he turns into the player that many seem to think he already has been. I see him as a player who has yet to fulfil potential which is another reason why Rambo and Wilshere and others are ahead of him for me. Nonetheless he was for a while my favourite player and he will always carry my utmost sympathy for how his career has been robbed from him.

    So if I offended your code of civility I apologise – now please! Just drop the subject.

  142. Jonny @ 3:07 pm,

    Your first two paragraphs seemed promising. But then the rest and…

    I have said all I have to say to you on this issue and you can take it or leave it. Sanctimonious or not, if I come across comments that appear to me to unjustly undermine our club or ‘any’ of its representatives I WILL comment strongly (assuming time and circumstance permit). Should others have held that debate before or feel they have heard it too many times in the past, that will not necessarily figure largely in tempering my response.

    There, I hope I have clearly reiterated my position – again!

  143. It is dropped!

  144. was at the club as far as Clichy

  145. Jonny, I think any reasonably intelligent person gets what you are saying, some just choose to be unreasonable. Nothing you can do about it.

  146. For those who don’t get it or pretend they don’t, my reason for siding with Dgob on this Diaby issue, which has been rumbling since Monday, is because the protogonists of the anti-Diaby diatribes have learnt nothing from the negatives dogging our recent past. They questioned the club’s faith in an oft injured but unquestionably talented individual for non-footballing reasons. The same people who question the club’s relative frugality in transfers decided that the retention of a unique talent must be decided purely on wages. They are doing exactly what has undermined support for clearly talented players like Van Persie and Rosicky. (They even questioned whether Vermalean would ever recover from his ankle operations.) Of course everybody is now on the RVP bandwagon. But what if Wenger had bowed to the know-it-alls and blow hards that populate the blogs and the media.

    I notice one of the protogonists in the Dgob debate has amended his position somewhat. I commend him. Progress at last. As for those who use slimy underhanded literary techniques to make their point, shame on them. Shotta’s memory is like an elephant.

  147. You sound like a very boring stuck record Shotta,,

  148. Gunnerjones.

    Instead of riding Jonny’s side of the argument (mind, he’s capable of holding his own) why don’t you do something different and tell us your view on Diaby at Arsenal, or Arshavin – pick your topic and express your own opinion or view.

  149. @Henristic – no biggy with everything you say there. I also don’t mind banter and can apply a very dry sense of humour when the moment grabs me.

    When I read what you said about “questioning” a presumed state of affairs, the term anti-establishment came to mind. I agree that there’s a place for that sort of inquisition, and it often brings out stuff people never even thought of.

  150. Shotta – you better watch yourself there before someone calls you an elephant and refers to today’s blog where you said you were an elephant? Or was it about an elephant’s memory? LOL

  151. FFS Shotta – you’ve take one minor point and thrown it together with a shit load of other stuff and then drawn a causal line between them. It is NOT exactly the same.

    I certainly wasn’t one of those people that ever said anything about those players and injuries but don’t let that stop you suggesting I and others did. You behave as though it is YOU that decides the parameters which define what a person is and is not allowed to discuss, without fear of suffering abuse.

    You are self important and keen to stir trouble where truth there is none. You do more damage through these attacks than the rest put together but so long as you get to define the paradigm of burning truth which all true fans must follow.

    When did you first decide these blog pages were yours?

    Whatever makes you feel important, I suppose.

    Just holler again when your nappy needs emptying.

  152. Darius @ 3:30 pm,

    I couldn’t have said it better.

  153. Shotta – “Shotta’s memory is like an elephant.

    Any individual that refers to themselves in the 3rd person always unerves me. It is a bit wierd. Also, where do you get elephant size nappies? 🙂

    Joking aside mate, there is no battle going on as you seem to think between fans. People simply have different opinions. As Darius quite rightly pointed out, some posters reply differently depending on who they are replying to. Going on about “giving people hell”, and “not being intimidated” is all a bit strange and dare I say it….over the top and dramatic. Chill out man.

  154. Dgob @3.20 – thanks for accepting my peace offering with such class.

  155. To be honest the only issue I see with some people on here is that they pretend to know better than the manager. See with Diaby or Park. The manager has faith in them and I think, except for every few cases, he has had a golden hand when buying/selling players. So why do people still doubt what he is doing and are constantly teasing some of our players.

  156. As far as the international games, I am not for getting rid of the world cup (GA was saying that). Whether we like it or not, it is the biggest sports competition in the world. It is a competition that gets people here in North America watching/interested in “soccer”.

    I am not saying that something doesnt need to be done but for me that wouldn’t be good for football. That competition inspires and draws people to the beauiful game.

  157. Poor old Jonny. I refuse to go there with you.
    Thanks Dgob and Darius. Leave the CYAs and back-tracking to the usual suspects.

  158. EvilFiek at 3:44 pm

    Well said!

  159. OK Darius,, but its not as much fun..
    I think Diaby is a monster of a player when he is on form and his confidence is up. I love his fluid , languid style and have seen him pull off some amazing shit and score some cracking goals. If he is fit and on form he is first on the team sheet for me. But, and its a big but, the amount of good games to bad games is not very encouraging, he is often injured and when he comes back takes time to find his rhythm again. When he is not playing well he really does not play well. Some go on about sticking with our injured players but other that RVP none have been all that worth while sticking with, the long long term ones anyway. I love Rosicky but is he now really worth the wait, if he was the player he was when we signed him then for sure. But now we may get a season of the now Rosicky instead of the then Rosicky. Probably would have been better to replace him a couple seasons ago with some one who would now be hitting their peak. Not some one in the twighlight of their career. He does bring valuable experience though so ? The other names banded around dont hold water for me, Vermaelen was out a season but is allot younger and his situation is different, same as Gibbs. To put them in the same category as Van Persie and Rosicky is not relevant.
    I hope he can come back ( Diaby) stronger and more resilient but I do have my doubts and if he cant the question of how long do we perservere with him is a very valid one and one that I dont feel deserves the dogged responses of some right wing posters.
    There I tried,,

  160. As far as Arshavin Im not saying anything for fear of George,,, except that I wish wish wish we would play him in his rightful position. He is being wasted out wide.

  161. And Darius why cant i side with Jonny, others take side on here for far less. I think some of the remarks are incredible simple minded. Ad some just dull and fucking tedious, like Shottas.

  162. Gunnerjones, who are the players who were out long term or were injury prone that were not worth the wait other than Rosicky?

  163. Rosell was honest about his rationale: money. According to El Presidente, if the clubs play fewer games, they can reduce their wages bill. Who is he kidding? “And so Lionel, we are playing 4 games less this year so you will earn £1m less. OK?” is going to be met with “Manchester City are offering £10m more, bye!!!!!!!!!!“.

    Maybe Rosell meant that if they play fewer games they will need a smaller squad, thus lowering the wages bill that way? Of course any saving could then get swallowed up by the remaining players wanting more, but… Anyway, that could be his rationale.

    If the League Cup was removed, perhaps the FA Cup could happen over that same time period – ie building up to a final at the end of February? Reduced fixture congestion in Dec/Jan/Feb for the top teams?

    @ block4
    In answer to your question yesterday, which I did not see at the time, I don’t want to risk Robin in a pointless friendly because at the moment he is our most important player and his backups are either injured or not quite ready yet. If he was injured it would stop our momentum, and might require a bit of a reorganisation, just as we are clicking. We don’t need that now.

    @ Markus | November 9, 2011 at 10:52 am
    Hear hear.

    @ Darius
    From a business point of view, the investment in Diaby represents a manageable and calculated risk. As and when it stops being manageable, I’m sure an exit strategy will be crafted, but its clear from the players and managers positions that they see Diaby as an integral part of the team.

    that’s how I see the money aspect. I would imagine that allowance is made in the budget for having to payplayers while they are unavailable through injury because it’s one of those things which is bound to happen every year.

    @ Geo | November 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm
    I don’t watch Brazilian football but I do know there is a lot more money around there nowadays, what with their economy performing so well. I suppose it will be that much harder to get young South American talent to Europe in the future.

    @ Darius | November 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    @ EvilFiek | November 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  164. Thats what I am saying Paul, other that Rosicky and Van Persie I dont see the other names being banded around as being in the same category. Some used Gibbs, Jack, Vermaelen as examples of sticking with long term crocks. I feel that these players dont fall into the same category as Rosicky, Van Persie and Diaby. That is what I was trying to say.

  165. Andy @ 2:54 pm,

    Apologies but I missed your question. By way of closure and response to your question of:

    “where is the point where the club should cut its losses?”

    My response is:

    “When Arsene (supported by the data from our multi million pound, state of the art medical facility and associated specialist staff) determine that Diaby is unlikely to recover appropriately and/or be of further value to the club!”

    This view is the basis (rather than some ego driven or religious based evangelism) to my being irked in responding to the noted questions around his future and/or – especially -value.

    I hope that brings closure here.

  166. Well, given that Rosicky is a very good player and one of our elders as you stated, it has worked a dream (being patient with long term injuries) and we have RVP, best striker at present. It seemed to me as if you were making a case based on one player.

  167. (being patient with players who are constantly injured)

  168. No Paul that is not what Im doing at all. You do seem to have a hard time not jumping to conclusions dont you.
    Some may feel Rosicky worked out a dream some do not, no denying he is a good player and has much needed experience. But he is not the player he was and his best years were spent on the treatment table. So maybe a dream to you but Im sure it wast for him and alot of his fans. RVP was worth the wait and the money, good and very calculated gamble. But he is the only one out of all the players mentioned that has thus far been a fine example of sticking with injury prone players. But even besides all that he was not really injury prone but the victim of bad challenges.

  169. @Gunnerjones
    I don’t even get what your point is. So you are saying that our policy of sticking with long term injured players is bad .. because it didn’t work out for Rosicky?

  170. oh really?

    Take care!

  171. EvilFiek @ 4:26 pm


    and he takes a cheap shot at me. I am not sure what the word “seemed” means to him actually.

  172. So RVP is just like Diaby then. Cool.
    No mention in this debate (except by me! I was ignored. Again. *sniffs*) of Eduardo. I have some saucy sources who have tried to explain to me why he was let go. I might or might not believe them, but it’s reasonable and dare I say it rational to expect it was not really a decision in which the accountant played a big role. Physio? Yes.
    So wher does that leave this debate on Diaby? Oh. Right.

    Did anyone notice that the leaves have turned to pretty colours these days (in the UK). Not that green isn’t gorgeous. Wouldn’t want to offend the colour green. Especially as most football pitches are green. I love the colour green. Almost as much as I love the Arsenal Statman.

  173. Jonny @ 3:40 pm,

    Graciously received.

  174. finsbury, what are you saying?

  175. You see its impossible to explain some thing on here with out all sorts of assumptions being made. i was responding to Darius as to my feelings about Diaby. Now i have to deal with this. NO I dont disagree with our policy at all, I just hope the players offer us a much when it comes to signing new contracts now that they are not injured ( RVP ) My point was that people where using Wilshire, Vermaelen and Gibbs as examples of why sticking with injury prone players was a good idea, I was simply saying that those players are not in the same injury prone category as RVP, Diaby and Rosicky. Its simple really. I dont know where all the confusion came from.
    Get it ?

  176. Sorry Paul, didnt meant to hurt your feelings with the cheap shot.

  177. no disrespect Bro!

  178. @Gunnerjones – see – that wasn’t too bad, was it? Articulating your point of view is usually much better than the alternative.

    Reading FunGunner’s response made me think of one thing. If it was my business, I would use insurance as a way of managing the financial risk to players who are injured. It makes more sense to pay a premium for each player to cover their wages or the higher proportion of their wages if they miss chunks of the season through injuries directly related to their trade or profession. If they jumped off the balcony, that is misadventure and we have to pay for it, but in this case, the 3 major incidents of Diaby’s ankle and muscle problems stem from deliberate actions on the field of play by Dan Smith, Paul Robinson and Michael Essien.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if insurance companies pay most of the wages of players who are injured anyway – so from this point of view, its not really a financial risk to keep a player on long term injury if you’ve made the calculation that when he’s fit, he’s an integral part of the squad.

    Wenger has already shown he can offload players when he’s ready to do it, why would he hesitate to offload a player if he felt that the injury issues won’t change for the better.

  179. Finsbury,

    Yes I’ve noted the changing foliage. I’m more impressed by the appearing red as it crosses the green at this time of year. Almost like the glorious AFC in our increasing potency. Green aint bad though, especially wearing rose tinted spectacles!!

  180. hurt my feelings?

    as my baby girl says “you funny”

  181. @Gunnerjones
    Ah, so your point is that you hope that the players will be as loyal to us when they are fit as we have been loyal to them when they were on the treatment table? Can’t disagree with that! One of our vice-captains has lead with example in that case and I hope other important players will follow.

  182. Paul N,

    There were many reasons why Eduardo was allowed to leave, as we’ve mused upon in the past . A friends ‘chinese whisper’ claims that Eduardo’s was allowed to leave after the physio team felt he was struggling. I usually don;t listen to such gossip. One rumour in the past that turned out to be correct regarded Casiaraghi’s injury after his arrival at Chelsea: Unfortunately the operation to fix him up went wrong and that was that. Fortunately these things are covered by insurance, so I’m struggling to keep up with the concern about wasted money.

    Also that I like greens as well as Autumnal colours.

  183. Its not as much fun Daruis,, and time consuming.

  184. Gunnerjones, if you post something and people misuderstand you and let you know about it, all you have to do is explain yourself. I still don’t fully get your point to be honest but there is no need to get all riled up about it.

  185. FunGunner – did you miss my post yesterday at 7.01?

    I never saw a reply.

  186. Gunnerjones 4.40 – ever feel like trying to explain something that should be comparatively simple becomes like wading through treacle? 😛

  187. Im not riled up Paul just going with the standoffish air that seems to work for most on here. You see after all that I am left confused to what my original point was to be honest, then i have to go about figuring out what my point was and then end up questioning myself as to weather i even had a point all along. Damn it now Im confused.

  188. i dont think its a case that ppl are complaining we stick by our injured players…if the players are good enough they are worth waiting for..
    i think the arguement would be more accurate ppl said the problem lies when those players who are injured, especially the key players arent replaced in the meantime cos the squad was never strong enough..

    rosicky has lost his best years, but when he was on fire and he was injured for so long who came in to cover?? bearing in mind we lost hleb also in that summer?? bischoff?? denilson??
    same with rvp, same with eduardo..goals and assists galore in these two yet both out with constant injuries..who was covering?? ade and who??

    TV was a prime example last year..out all season..had the january window to make a contengency plan yet once again nothing..ended up using squallici and miguel for important fixtures..same applies to years previously relying on the hapless silvestre when gallas and kolo were sitting on the physios table..

    the arguments not about losing faith in them its about replacing them with quality when we have the chance instead of taking risks and having a sqaud with no depth..

    this year seen a change however..we lost jack and diaby before the season even started..wenger took no risks this time..went out and bought arteta and got yossi on loan for good measure..would he have done that before?? no..he would have promoted 100 kids from the youth team and then blamed injuries and average age for failures rather than refusal to dip into the market when we had the chance to replace those injured players and add experience..

  189. Jonny, that is not the case here.

  190. Gunnerjones, I don’t mind talking to most on this site, so we can definately talk. I may not agree with something you say but that’s ok.

    As far as your 4:40 post. I can understand as far as the loyalty issue and I fully agree.

  191. I will say again how about Dimitar Berbatov in January .
    He could fit our 4 3 3 system he is 30 years old and was top scorer in the league last year.
    Old red nose clearly has no time for such a technically gifted player so he would be cheapish.

    Just asking!

    Might be better that the” who said what about whom” that we have endured for the last two days

  192. Its not what I said directly but I was thinking along the same lines as John John, I dont have any problem sticking with injury prone players but if they are injury prone lets have some one come in, or be promoted through the ranks that can do the job just as well. When and if the injury prone player comes good let them scrap it out for their place in the team. especially if the player has been injured for the best part of 5 years. No need to throw them on the scrap heap but also not the wisest move to put to much reliance on them being fit. I think that Wenger has done just that this season. And we look alot stronger for it despite losing two of our key players the off season.

  193. JJ, I can understand your view but I also remember us getting abnormal amounts of injuries down to the 3 string players in some cases. Strange!

  194. id take berba, george..
    top player..
    fits our style perfectly..just doesnt fit fergies cos they play like they in the 80’s..

  195. When Almunia had to come in last season, people complained but the 3 keepers in front of him were all injured. What do you do is cases like that?

  196. Berbatov is just to unlikable for my liking, Spurs then Man U, Id rather not, to many years fo hatred towards him, but you are right that he is technically gifted George. And would score goals for us, and we would not have to have him around too long due to his age.
    I get it Paul, Ill try be more explanatory from now on. It seems to bring less ridicule, .

  197. Berbatov is a good player, I also like the idea of Drogba in the side.

  198. I hate Drogba too but wouldn’t hesitate to sign him up if the chance came along. he is just what we need, but thats just my opinion.

  199. Drogba is a bit long in the tooth and hardly fits our style of play.
    Plus he is a horrible cunt.
    Never seen Berbatov do anything wrong other than wear the wrong coloured shirt

  200. True George, Drogba probably help us to the CL final and then get sent off as is his usual.

  201. almunias an example where he shouldnt have even been at the club..
    his time was up long before, the manager had tried to flog him and then dropped him 2 places down the order said his career was in no mans land and then had to rely on him?? wtf..
    no need..might as well have played with no keeper..
    should have been replaced in summer when he knew his time was up and certainly should have never started the season as number one in any case but thats history..problem solved this year…

  202. @ Jonny | November 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    You have asked me to respond, which is the only reason I am posting this now.

    Re yesterday, I found the quote, although it was Chamakh, not AOC, about whom you made the call – that he should be playing but was not because he was out of favour.
    I think it is a very big call to imply that Wenger is keeping out a player who would improve the side, not because of any footballing reason, or because he is injured, but because he is out of favour.

    Jonny | October 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm
    “If ever the time to play two strikers was more apparent I don’t know when it was…

    One thing with Wenger, which even those who can see scarcely a flaw must admit, when you have gone from favour it’s a stony, unexplained silence from which few return.

    Chamakh is out of favour and few can say quite why.”

    I also noticed that in the quotes you posted yourself about AOC, you seemed to be saying that there was no good reason (“inexplicable” etc) that AOC was not in the side. You had been told the reason for this, ie AW thinks he isn’t ready, needs to improve defensive awareness. If the player is not ready, it’s not a strange or even funny decision to leave him out of the side. The implication is that you know better than AW whether a player is ready or not. Again, big calls, I think you will agree.

  203. either drogba or berba..

    both fit the style in different aspects..berba leads the line with technique, drogba does it with power but both as effective as a front man and both know where the net is..

  204. The point is JJ, that Almunia was our 4th choice keeper and we had to play him. That is very strange no matter how you dice it.

  205. Would Wenger’s ‘one season for over 30’s’ policy be an issue for Drog or Berb?

  206. Drogba would be winning knock downs for the opponents.
    How could he fit our style JJ?Really I am curious?

  207. Congratulations to the Arsenal Ladies on reaching the last 8 of CL.

  208. Given our quick possession game and the fact that every single player on the pitch is expected to put in a defensive shift, to win back the ball, and to defend from the front I can’t agree that either Drogba or Berbatov fits in our squad.

    Watch the work that Van Persie does when we don’t have possession. Constantly harrying the defenders. Hell, I’ve seen Berbatov turn his back and walk away when he lost possession to a defender.

  209. Fungunner I have given you the link to the page in question – why are you now referring to something entirely different?? I am simply baffled.

    You repeatedly claimed that I said this –
    “that AOC is ready to displace one of the more established midfielders, but is being held back because Arsene is freezing him out”

    And furthermore that you remembered it so clearly because of how strongly I had put it.

    As I repeatedly and politely refuted I did not say that! As I said, the tenet of my argument was that he was overlooked for a place on the bench –

    The quote is as clear as day, here is the time and the link:

    Jonny | October 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Will the Ox get a run out tonight? It’s somewhat inexplicable he hasn’t been given sub opps of late – considering the rude form he has been in.

  210. Hell, I’ve seen Berbatov turn his back and walk away when he lost possession to a defender.

    Well Markus,take out Berbatov’s name and enter most players in our squad from time to time.

  211. i thought he was our third?? whatever 3rd-4th it is strange i agree..

    but he still shouldnt have been used in any capacity..1st 4th 12th..he wasnt good enough and he was a walking train wreck after what wenger had put him thru, hunger and confidence had gone..

    we had two windows to make moves and nothing was done and then look what happened..which is my point..

  212. Given our quick possession game and the fact that every single player on the pitch is expected to put in a defensive shift, to win back the ball, and to defend from the front

    Are you sure you have been watching Arsenal?
    There has been some improvement lately but still!

  213. FG – I didn’t say side I said bench – I explained this to you yesterday. I have given you the link twice but you ignore it because it doesn’t fit with what you said I thought I said.

  214. The height of irony: Man City fans calling Carlos Tevez a money grabbing cunt.

    You really can’t make this up.

  215. drogba, george?

    cos he holds the ball up using strength, plays wingers in and gets in the box for everything..shoots from range..

    drogba was the fulcrum of chelseas 433..
    we play a 433..

  216. id take tevez on loan for 6 months as well..

    hes a twat but you can bet your house that he’ll do the biz just to fuck mancini off..

  217. Our 4 3 3 never really resembled their 4 3 3 though . but still I take your point

  218. berba does the same george
    only with tricky dancing feet and not brute force

  219. @ Jonny

    “Fungunner I have given you the link to the page in question – why are you now referring to something entirely different?? I am simply baffled.”

    The link you posted did not have the quote about a player being frozen out. Therefore it is not the page in question, is it? However, the page you posted, which I have seen, and other pages which I found when looking for the “out of favour” quote, did also contain examples of the kind of thing that I was talking about, ie big calls. As I said, to reject AW’s explanation that AOC was not playing because he was not ready to play is a big call. Despite being told why, you rejected it as baffling. Whether AOC was on the bench or left at home, that’s not really the point – the point is that you would not accept the *reason*.

    I accepted that the freezing out part was not said about AOC, but it *was* said – about Chamakh. What material difference does it make which player you said was not in the side just because he was out of favour? If Terry made an allegedly offensive remark to Rio, rather than Anton, would that matter? Would it be not a big call to say it about Chamakh but a big call to say it about AOC? Obviously not.

    As far as I am concerned, this is now over. Apologies to my fellow commenters.

  220. BOOBS 🙂

  221. As far as I am concerned, this is now over

    Thank fuck for that,small mercies I suppose .

  222. FG – In closure, all I am trying to say is that when you make a repeated accusation it is important you get the facts right, especially when accusing someone of something regarding their own words.

    As far as I knew I was denying something entirely different which then informed all of the comments that followed. In that respect technically I was entirely correct in my protestations of innocence.

    Had I have known you were mistakenly referring to something else, which I had not remembered, I might have had some chance of defending myself.

    I won’t bother going into that discussion we could have had if you had recalled the facts clearly, as this is clearly tedious for everyone but my confusion at your accusations was quite genuine.

  223. BOOBS indeed Irish. Boobs indeed.


    Righto, I’m off to take some ketamine whilst watching Watership Down.

  224. A pattern is developing.
    A poster makes broad sweeping statements that are not factual. Neither are they consistent with the philosophy of the manager nor the ethos of the club.
    Long-standing ACLFer challenges the veracity of the statement.
    Poster protests that this is challenge is unfounded and demands evidence.
    ACLFer provides written evidence from the archives.
    Poster fulminates and writes long screed impugning the ACLFer for misquoting his or her written statements.
    Just saying: If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck……

  225. Jeez!! Seriously guys Le Groan was more positive today. A debate is one thing but a long, drawn out, cyclical, repeat ad nauseum wank festival of ” I am right, therefore you must be wrong!” bullshit really is grating. And that’s just Pedantic George’s non-stop salivating over everything Andrei!! Dont even get me started on today’s underlying theme of “is Diaby a crock or a soon-to-be-unleashed-upon-the-world-legend!”.

    For fuck sake none of us can possibly know. In time a few of the lucky ones will, with the benefit of hindsight and nothing else, be able to turn around and say “look at Diaby NOW!!! Legend that man is, legend! And you wanted to sell him HA!! Fools!” or possibly the exact opposite. Personally speaking after hearing of the most recent injury I got fed up and asked him to be moved on. Whilst at the same time admitting that what ever team buys him will suddenly have a world-class-injury-free player who will more than likely come back to haunt us at some future point. I then got told to Fuck Off by Gains (the prick!)

    Darius – Last, and by all means least, terrible joke telling mate!! You have managed to RUIN a classic!! I mean bad timing is one thing, even a bad delivery but both at the same time mate!? For shame!! For shame!!

  226. A pattern is developing.
    A poster makes broad sweeping statements that are not factual. Neither are they consistent with the philosophy of the manager nor the ethos of the club.
    Long-standing ACLFer challenges the veracity of the statement.
    Then like a dog with a bone goes on and on and on and on and on ………………………………………………………………………………………
    Enough already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  227. @ Jonny
    Fine. We’ll leave it there.

    This is the full story of the ladies’ victory.

    5 (Five)-1. 6-2 on aggregate. If they win this trophy as well, that’s the quadruple. Again. That side and their manager are crazy good. And it’s not like the old days when all the best English players were at Arsenal. They’ve lost players to the Women’s league in the USA, teams like Everton and Birmingham and Chelsea now rival them for young talent. It’s been a fight all the way for all of their titles.

    And have I mentioned that ACLF is an anagram of ALFC?

    @ Passenal
    I shall now be taking your advice again.

  228. By the way Shotta.You are right.
    It is in fact a duck.

  229. who gives a flying… 😉

  230. Shotta – Arsenal fans do not have to share the managers philosophy. I for one do in the vast majority of cases but differ in a few of them. However millions of us Where fans of Arsenal before AW and will still be when he finally steps down. Hopefully that will not be for several years yet. As for your post in general, it seems specifically aimed at certain individuals with the sole reason of alienating them and further polarizing already opposing points of view. This blog is a community and as such should be as disparate as possible, whilst remaining respectful. Sure a bit of agro is fine but enough is enough.

  231. Did you get that Jonny.
    You are a duck.

  232. As far as Drogba, Chamahk’s early last season form comes to mind. He would hold the ball up and pass nicely or turn and get onto the end of a nice through ball, have a shot on goal or win us a pen. I can see Drogba doing that.

    Its quite possible that Drogba can play Arsenal ball to an extent, unfortunetly for him he was forced to play Chelsea ball.

    His antics are a big negative though.

  233. pedantic george | November 8, 2011 at 10:25 pm
    I don’t like all this in fighting.
    I don’t mind vicious attacks on some disrespectful dimwits who come here but among decent people its upsetting.
    I know that may seem strange internety type behaviour from me (creepy even) but where I live I don’t have a single friend with whom I can talk Gooner stuff with.So my “Arsenal” friends are more or less those with who I interact on the fine blog.
    I suppose if you have real friends who you can talk footy with, then internet chums are less important.
    And nobody likes it when their friends don’t get along.

  234. Pedantic George – Well said mate 🙂 and you now have my heartfelt blessing to go on the biggest AA rant of all time!!!

  235. LOL Irish – I knew you’d have a reaction.

    I best leave it to you for next time.

  236. FIFA have now stated that they will let the English players wear a poppy on a black armband.

  237. Is Diaby a crock or a soon-to-be-unleashed-upon-the-world-legend!?

    It’s definitely either, nothing in between.

    It’s the only thing that makes any sense. :0)

  238. and on other matters.

    Italy is now officially a basket case. Berlosconi, I don’t know, but Italy has lost the plot.

    there used to be a time when this sort of thing was said about Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe – when the IMF and World bank (not that they’re any better) would be called in to deal with the basket case.

    I wonder, will the criminal structural adjustment programmes unleashed on the world by the Brettenwood institutions be unleashed on Italy.

    Jonny might get his way as the beginning of the end for the Euro starts and Arsenal is eventually vindicated….LOL

  239. Wenger saw it coming Darius. Credit where its due. 😀

  240. Genuine question, if there is still anyone out there.
    FG, Evil, and PaulN, amongst others, all say that questioning the managers’s policy or decisions, directly or indirectly, implies that one thinks he knows more than the manager. I’m not sure how or why they’ve come to this conclusion?

    I don’t doubt that some people think that they know better than the manager (e.g. Geoff of le-grove), buts it’s a major stretch to suggest that me giving my opinion on tactics, or player transfers necessarily means I think I know more than the manager.

    If my son suggests a different way of doing things to me, does it mean he thinks he knows more than me?

  241. i wanted to stay clear of the poppy thing..
    i do respect what the poppy stands for and i dont want to really discuss that..
    what i want to discuss is the two faced hypocritical way that the primeminister and prince william have felt the need to intervene and stand upto to fifa over ‘disrespecting’ the poppy..
    outrage my arse..where was the outrage and intervention last year when those extremist fuckers burned the poppies in the street chanting british dead burn in hell and all they got was a 50quid fine for breach of peace..
    to me..the whole thing stinks..and those who run the country need to take a long hard look at themselves cos they aint fooling anyone with this ‘gesture’..not me anyway..
    but i’ll crawl back under my stone now..

  242. JonJon.

    Tis an emotive subject up in here, but this is what I believe. The soldiers being remembered during this campaign and on Remembrance day died for your right to speak freely without fear of retribution, and they died for your right to choose whether you want to wear a poppy or not.

    Say your piece.

  243. Never imagined that I’d agree with a Manc supprting heathen like Ian Brown:

  244. Jon Jon – Darius is absolutely right, say your piece mate. Then piss off 🙂

  245. I don’t know who it was who used the example of a Pasty Shop with 3 employees and two of them out sick in the Diaby thingy. But surely the real solution there is not to fire one or both of the sick employees and replace them with others but to simply stop selling MDGunner’s Infamous Pastys in the first place!! Trust me on this, both employees shall soon be returned to full health and will be reporting to duty ASAP!! I mean it is pretty obvious they have been sampling the merchandise 🙂

  246. If only Cameron and his ilk could make enough effort to solve more pressing problems in society

  247. Darius,

    “The soldiers being remembered during this campaign and on Remembrance day died for your right to speak freely without fear of retribution, and they died for your right to choose whether you want to wear a poppy or not.”

    Yes, that’s the most popular take on matters but obviously there are others!

    Just saying (BTW, did someone mention Diaby?)

  248. diaby, meat pies?

    @Yogi – the Merkozy double act has already made it clear to Cameron to fuck off because he isn’t a member of the Eurozone. I suppose he has to do something that captures the national agenda.

  249. to be honest daruis i dont wear the poppy..
    maybe out of lazyness i dunno but i fully understand why its so important and why ppl do wear it..and im fully respectful to all those who have lost their lives, civilian or military in the campaigns against tyrany and mass slaughter..
    it just irks me that the hierarchy see this ‘football thing’ as a way of winning browny points with the public when the real issue is their blatent ignorance to whats actually happening in and amongst our this ‘battle’ against fifa makes it all ok.
    it doesnt..not to me anyway..

  250. Irish – Ha, it was me. Hmmm, I had not considered that possibility.

  251. yeah..what yogi said

  252. Henristic @7.30 – I know exactly what you are saying. Fair comment and probably not everyone gets why this kind of comment is needed.

  253. I cant believe you insensitive bastards are discssing this again?

  254. Come now Dex – you’re just spoiling for a fight.

    @JonJon – welcome to politics. I know politicians who hijack funerals and burials because they have a captive audience for their politicking instead of talking about the dearly departed.

  255. Henrisitc – It is simply some people’s response to a poster when they can’t refute a point that has been made that does not fall in with their mantra.

  256. Speaking of which – why are people so hypocritical. No one ever speaks the plain truth about the deceased. You could even go to a gangsters funeral service and everyone will talk about how kind he was with neighbours also saying how he always said hello and always offered a helping hand with the groceries.

    No one ever says “Glenn was a nasty piece of work – I’m just here to make sure he’s dead”.

    It’s just like the new born child thing also when everyone goes all goo-goo and gaa-gaa pretending how cute your baby is yet its plain to see to all that the sprog is one ugly son of a gun.

    Just thinking aloud of course.

  257. Jimmy Saville was a twat, there I said it Darius. Do your worst, you dodgy barneted cigar smoking gold larme shellsuit wearing lover you.

  258. just a couple of reasons why i dont vote, daruis..

    none of them are worth it..

  259. JJ

    David Cameron (and his mentor T Blair) would happily seel their souls man. No issue is too insignificant for these slimy shysters dude. Party politics? These fuckers have no political morality,. they’d happily switch sides if they thought they could get away with it.

  260. And how come every dead teenage boy was a budding football star?

  261. Darius – Agreed. I heard a mate once quote that somebody who had recently died was a “right old cunt”. This whilst everbody was saying how it was such a shame he had died. He took some flack for that, but I thought good on him.

  262. “loved by everybody”

    Whatever…….where is the free food?

  263. Darius 8.33 LOL

    I think it’s some woolly concept, something to do with people’s feelings or some other nonsense.

    All babies look like angry little old men.

  264. Hey guys,

    Darius, you can’t always say what you think can you?

  265. LOL Dex – get your facts straight. I prefer a stone wash to a shell suit anytime.

    @Goonerandy – yeah – everyone loved him – that’s a common one.

  266. Heh, did anybody see that facebook cutting of some facebook picture?

    It was a ultra sound scan of a baby. Of course it looked like any other scan, but loads of people had commented how “cute” it looked. The very bottom comment simply said “QUAAID!!!!!” I could not stop laughing for ages.

  267. Sriram. Why not. I don’t see how you can spin an ugly kid when the evidence is undisputable. Even the mother knows you’re lying.

  268. On a separate issue, I got pulled over for using my phone while driving today.
    Officer asked,”Where’s your documents?”
    I replied, “In the glove box with my gun”
    Shocked, she Say’s “You have a gun?”
    I replied, “Yes, I used it to shoot the Woman who’s car this was. Her body’s in the boot”

    Immediately she gets on her radio and calls for back up. Within minutes loads of other cops turn up. One approaches my car. He asks “Where’s the gun?”
    What gun I reply, then he asks “Where’s the body?” What body? I say, he looks confused.
    Then I look at him and add, “I bet the lying bitch says I was on my phone too!”……..
    Got me out of 3 points and a $150 fine!!!!……

  269. Now then. Now then. Your Saville was massively philanthropic.

  270. Sriram – Don’t you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm?

    I do think trhat you can say what you want 90% of the time. Why conform to social norms and etiiquetes?

    It is like Religion; I don’t believe in it one bit, and am more than happy to say so. And no, I don’t have to “respect other people’s views” on it my tiptoeing around the fact.

  271. @Irish – was that in Jersey or downtown DC.

    I can think of a few cops in those two cities who would have shot you first before calling for backup.

  272. The better thing to do would be to shut up rather than make false comments or rude true ones! That is if you are planning to be polite.

  273. lol 🙂

    all babies look like phil mitchell

    dex..ive seen many politicians switch sides over the years..dont like any of them mate..

    and my dear old grandad had a good joke about the ex PM..

    whats 12 inch long and dangles in front of an arsehole?? tony blairs tie..

    used to make me chuckle anyway 😉

  274. Not trying to start a debate on religion there. Just using it as an example 🙂


  275. What’s a Poppy?

  276. Irish – It is where Heroin comes from. Loads of them in Afghanistan.

  277. GA- no I don’t watch Curb your enthusiasm, in fact, I haven’t even heard of it.

    Well, It is based on one’s perception towards maintaining social etiquette or behavior. The same goes for religion as well, I, for one, believe in my religion but I know where to draw the line. The point where religion becomes a bane is when you try to impose its superiority over someone else’s! To me, every religion’s basic values are those of love, Mankind has just flexed those values to its advantage.

  278. Goonerandy – Then count me in!!! I’ll “wear” one(wink wink) too!!

    So I see we have now moved onto religion, good call Goonerandy! I for one am a very happy lapsed Catholic who is living with his Jewish girlfriend. And if that is living in sin then I am all for it, now where did I put my Poppy?

  279. GA- the earlier comment on shutting up was not for the religion part mate, don’t worry I am not here to give anyone hell 😛 lol

  280. Sriram – “To me, every religion’s basic values are those of love”

    Then I would suggest you read the bible. Lots of iconology, rape, murder, and genocide in there. Not so pleasant.

    Each to their own. Have watch of Curb Your Enthusiasm though mate. Very funny programme.

  281. Can anyone tell me what a Poppy is? From reading things over here last night, I think it is something that is worn to honor the soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

    Is it the same reason why every club observed silence for a minute this weekend? Remembrance day if I remember right?

  282. Sriram – Ha, all good my friend. Nice choice of words too 😉

  283. Well I haven’t read the bible in detail, sometime I will do that, just to quench my curiosity!

    Hmmm, will try to get that programme somewhere!

  284. And people say the art of conversation is dead.

  285. Irish – You are fucked mate.

    George – It si The Arsenal, sureley?

    Sriram – Spot on.

  286. not meaning to be a party pooper and talk about football but has anyone seen the comments the le coq has made..

    maybe a loan move in jan??

  287. Well, no discussions going on about football today?

  288. Religion has something to do with meerkats worshipping Andrei Arshavin who is GOD.

    I think thats how it works.

    Don’t ask me, George, I worship at the elephant nappy altar of the burning truth.

  289. Hmmm, my spelling has been really bad today. See above post for example. I think I may have fat fingers as my spelling and grammer is actually pretty good. Just not on a keyboard.

    Or it could be the bitburger I am currently drinking.

  290. Jonny – Heh.

  291. I hope not JJ .Would rather see Frimpong go out

  292. Sriram – From what I can gather the story goes like this. There was a war in Afghanistan we won and apparently first prize was control of the Poppy, the plant from which the miracle drug Heroin is derived. Now every year we wear a Poppy on our Black Armbands in accordance to the World Health Organization, apparently it has become a religious symbol celebrating a Higher power. Simples 🙂

  293. Some thing should not be joked about Irish.

    Like my love for a certain little Russian fellow

  294. JJ- Worrying isn’t it? Le Coq was very very good in the games he played for us this season.

    And did anyone hear about the news that Norwich want Frimpong on loan?

  295. i can see them both going out george..
    once jack and diaby come back gametime will be zero

    and if wengers serious about mvila..we could be looking at more than a loan 😦

  296. Irish- Hahahaha!

    Le Coq will have a role in the team this season and this reminds me of a time when Sczezny was asking assurances of first team football last season!

  297. sriram i dont think a loan for both of them would be a bad thing until the end of the season..

    rosicky and yossi look like moving on in the summer so the spaces will open the chance will come in the future..

  298. I love 2 Pop E’s

  299. There is just not many players who can be rested and there has been virtually no rotation in the first team this season, considering the start we have had.

  300. Why will TR7 be going JJ?

  301. JJ

    Ive only seen the newsnow headlines man. Has he actually said he wants out? Or the usual thing about him wanting regular playing time, so needs to consider his options etc.

    I think a loan would do him good, although with our injuries you never know. I do think he will be an excellent player though.

  302. Yes, both of them sent to premier league clubs who are battling relegation would be a nice way to go about it I guess. It will teach them a thing or two about playing for a win!

  303. People tried to sell rvp last year too. Saying he was too injury prone , on too high wages and really was a wast of space. Never had a full season. Was great when fit but was never fit.
    Thank fuck we never listened to them!!!!
    Thank fuck AW stood by him for the five last Injury prone years !
    In other words thank fuck for AWs foresight!
    Without him rvp would have been sold two years ago cos he is so injury prone and never has a full season.
    I think evidence and precedence shows that while it’s ok to have own opinions, when it comes to cutting players loose or not due to injury. AW deffo knows best. The evidence is rvp. Psg tried to buy Diaby this summer for 10M. 10Mfor an injury prone player with a huge wage. That’s alot. I know ,Psg are rich!.But they are not stupid and would not chance on a injured player unless he was very special.
    Like Robin van Persie.

  304. I’m currently watching Frozen Planet – it’s the art of conservation that’s dead Darius.

  305. Irish 9.16 – sooopherb.

  306. 🙂 dex and irish..

    dex its not looking like hes saying he wants out as such its just a playing time a loan looks the option..i wouldnt like to sell either of them just yet..

    george mate im pretty sure rosickys contract is done and dusted this season..

  307. He ,if memory serves ,signed an extension last year

  308. Well, we can’t be so sure of Rosicky going off at the end of this season, you know! And Poodle makes an excellent point on holding on to injury prone players and I would love Diaby to set the league alight, he is very much capable of doing that, I just hope the injuries don’t trouble him after his return.

  309. Which people Poodle!!!!? Did you get their license plates?

    Calm down dear.

  310. Yeh, I think Tomas has a deal for a few years yet man.

  311. Poodle is right a lot of “people” had had enough of Robin.
    Jonny,you are being obtuse

  312. On the subject of religion:

    A drunk Irishman wanders into a church and makes his way into a confessional, sits down and promptly passes out. The priest slides the panel open and waits for “Forgive me father for I have sinned” but there was no response from the Irishman.

    So he slides the panel back and forth more loudly and waits again but still nothing from the Irishman.

    Annoyed now the priest knocks sharply on the side of the confessional and the Irishman wakes up and says “Ish no good knocking mate ; there’sh no toilet paper in thish one either.”

  313. George is right Poodle being right about people saying stuff about Robin that wasnt right.

  314. im not sure goerge..
    ive just looked on and his last contract was signed 09-10 sure i remember at the time it was a two year extention although im finding no evidence of an expiry date now…

    maybe it was three and hes not going anywhere but im pretty sure its two..why else would he be playing his arse off right now? 🙂 he wants a new one..

  315. For years I thought my wife had Tourette’s but no, she really does think I am a fucking twat.

  316. On that note Ladies and Gents and assorted Scoundrels I shall bid Adieu 🙂

    “Time waits for no man” as the saying goes and “Time” will eventually be called at my local so I must be off, later peeps! COYG!!!!!!!!!!

  317. And I promise not to wander into any churches on the way home, cause ya know, last time AWKWAAAAAAAARD!!!!

  318. Irish- Just go home! 😀

  319. Henristic, so if your son suggests something to you and you tell him that your way will work and he says no, my way is better or we need to do it like this or that, what is your son saying?

    I have no problem with suggesting but when people act like they know, that is not suggesting. People say we must buy a striker come January even though Wenger says that his players will come good. You are indeed saying you know more than he does.

    When people were saying “suggesting” to sell Song and RVP, that was just a suggestion?

    Now to be honest people could be right in saying we need this and that as nothing is sure but when do we defer to one who has been there and done that?

    Given how many lost faith at the start of the season, I am not sure who we are to think we know anything when we failed to see how good our team could be in the first place.

  320. Ha! You dirty dawg Irish! Now do what Sriram says and fuck off! 😀

  321. shotta | November 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for the link to that article

  322. Paul N

    I dont see why losing faith demeans or negates any points made mate?

    From March thru to the end of last season, the summer interlude and the start of this season, right up to and past the transfer window closing, there was plenty to get depressed about man.

    I feel for those who still bitch and moan as they are just sad, but our recent good form and upturn in fortunes doesnt mean everything’s all rosey dude.

    Just that you’d have to be a right old miserable twat to keep moaning. But there are other blogs for that kinda shit. 😀

  323. Knowing the media’s propensity to deliberately mis-translate and mis-quote for their own purposes, Coquelin could just as easily have been inferring that he might go on loan again in order to get more playing time, which he needs for his development.

  324. I think it does Dex because it means you could not see what the manager is seeing in the first place. If the team came good, who are to suggest that a particular player cannot do the business?

    Things are not all rosey but not as bad as many thought it would be, in fact it is way better than most expected from what I read.

  325. who are “we”…

  326. The manager deserves credit for turning things round PaulN man. Then again, the margin of defeat at OT was that embarassing, he could’ve got the sack too! 😀

    Good night

  327. Today’s and yesterday’s discussions are the clearest evidence for why international breaks during the football season must stop!!

    Enjoying the banter but just saying….

  328. Question is why didnt Wenger bring in the players he has in the summer then we could be in a lot better position. for me there is no doubting Wengers ability to coach a bunch of players to improve and get better and progress, just why the fannying about in the summer diving into swimming pools when he should have got the players in straight away.

  329. Agree with that Dex! Our team has people worried.

    A United supported, said this “Arsenal are scary good”. We dont know what the season will bring but it is looking up for real!

    Good night bro!

  330. Duke, I think there is more to it that how it looks.

  331. our squad looks the nuts. Arteta looks undropable. Wenger has a headache when lil jack gets back.

  332. Get what sack Dex? move yuh blow wow wid dat foolinish!


  333. I’m not sure where I read it now, so I can’t link to it – it was probably on one of the blog posts from the medical centre visit, but the Arsenal medical staff do not consider Diaby to be injury prone and believe that most of his injuries can be linked back to the effect of the original assault. Since he was injured doing his job for the club, the least they can do is try to fix him before they consider what next.

    Finsbury, I don’t think it was just gossip as I recall Arsene saying that Eduardo never regained full mobility in his ankle, which was why they let him go. That is one of the saddest stories in football for me. He was a real talent who was robbed of his ability to perform at the highest level because of a talentless oaf.

  334. Duke and Dexter, the summer is history and we cannot change the past so what is the point of harping on what if? Also, are you seriously suggesting Arsene is not entitled to a break when he spends 24/7 working for AFC the rest of the year Duke?

    “Arsene Wenger is constantly looking for new ways to progress and constantly e.mails Gary and Colin, with new ideas and equipment that he feels will aid the players. I don’t think people realise just how instrumental Arsene is to the way that the club has evolved.

    He is at the ground every day and visits each department every day. I was told that after the Marseille match in France, they returned to Colney about 3.30am. Gary had to check Aaron Ramsey’s leg. When he left at 4.15am, Arsene was still in his office watching the game again and dissecting it bit by bit! His dedication to this club is unquestionable.’

    the link to the article is here Duke

  335. I think there should be an informal moratorium on the subject of Diaby at least until he comes back and we have performances to discuss. There really isn’t anything new to say until he begins to play again. In the meantime it is a bit unseemly or at least morbid to talk of sending him away. Likewise, claiming he is an immediate first choice pick of astounding quality is also an exaggeration. He has shown great potential because of his skill and physical attributes but he has not been especially consistent in years past even when he did play 30+ games a season. So we’ll see–hopefully his injuries are at an end and he can demonstrate his talent through good performances with some kind of consistency over the course of the remainder of this season. Discussing his case at this point serves only to inflame divisions among supporters rather needlessly and quite repetitively. Of course some people seem to enjoy that, so I suppose this call for a moratorium is in vain! Again, this is why international football during the football season is so corrosive!

  336. Limestone, I completely agree. There should be a moratorium with respect to assessing Monsieur Diaby. However, I am one of those who happens to be enthralled with his potential. Regrettably, he has been injured rather seriously and has been slow to return to form. Based on his potential I am willing to wait until we are able to see if he is capable of returning to form. It seems to me Arsenal have a number of players in that category including Robin who many would consider as an extremely injury prone player. Love you all and hope we see a productive season.

  337. “Your” Saville was also, ‘allegedly,’ a renowned Sheffield gangster! Loan shark/landlord, I believe the story goes!

    Check it out for yourself.

    RIP indeed

  338. Poodle @ 9:29,

    Who could argue with that?

  339. I love these morning walks down memory lane YW. There are a lot of very interesting Arsenal players (and games) over the years. Some of the more obvious who’s careers I would enjoy reading more about are: Rix, Rocky, Davis, Anderson’s spell at Highbury (I know he’s not everyone’s favourite, but for me he was a legend), Stapleton, goalkeepers generally, SuperMac, speedy left wingers, Pires (prior to Arsenal).

    So Diaby. It’s such a non-discussion. Manager’s judgement call and comparable examples at any major club. I doubt Wenger has ever called (or thought of) him as a world beater to be unleashed on unsuspecting teams, but he’s also not a player you dispense with too flippantly. You bide your time. He represents a major and probably long term investment (in potential talent, not money). He’s only 25. He is a player we might well rejoice to buy were he not our player (I can hear the plaudits, the perfect compliment to players like Jack, Ramsey and Arteta). His career trajectory has been difficult and a little sympathy is due.

  340. For those with their seemingly insatiable shopping lists of whom Arsene should or should not have bought over the summer (and for those who still insist that he buy some ‘proven’ talent – say the same people originally seen calling for Torres), Eden Hazard has indicated some of the real world problems our manager has in achieving their youthful demands. 20 year old Hazard is quoted as saying:

    “I want to play for Real Madrid. I do not want to play for any other team,”

    Things never seem quite as simple as the media or associated commentators…

  341. I wonder what Platt’s influence is at Man City?

  342. I believe since Sven’s departure he has taken on the role of the employee with the strangest shaped head. And doing a fine job I might add.

  343. Influencer and chief thief of former Gunners!!

  344. It does look a bit like a newly shaved Jerusalem artichoke but lest us never forget the very same bonces flicked header to beat Mancscum 3-2.

    And what a game that was.

  345. Zimpaul – Mainly in the pies department.

  346. I don’t know to whom you are specifically referring dgob and I am not looking to start an argument but one of the most basic and childlike pleasures of football is coveting a new player who you might have taken a shine to because you think he would be brilliant in your team.

    Hazard was discussed earlier this week and I said I thought it would never happen and explained why – nonetheless it was an enjoyable diversion to imagine what he might bring to the team.

    Drogba and Berbatov yesterday – again an enjoyable diversion to imagine what they might bring and how Wenger might coax new talent out of old dogs.

    I don’t think many people here are under too much illusion about the difficulties of the transfer market – regardless why should fans not be allowed to speculate and salivate about possible signings?

  347. Passenal @11.06

    So it’s confirmed then. Eduardo wasn’t let go for ‘financial’ reasons.

    Remarkable. If I was in charge, this would’ve been a decision made after a round of tea and biscuits in the boardroom after the accounts had been discussed.

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