Cesc On Jack & RvP. A Pain In The Arsenal…?

You knew it was coming, Fábregas away on international duty and questions about his future emerge. No, wait, they were about Robin van Persie’s future. But they weren’t questions, more statements by the former Arsenal captain whose Mr20% is the son of a former Arsenal chairman. There’s a lot of formers in this one.

I’m not bothered by Cesc’s opinions since they were largely the truth. At 28, it is probably van Persie’s last chance at switching to another big club if he holds such treacherous intent. But, and I have no inside knowledge or information on this, I do not think that is his outlook at the moment, simply an option that cannot be discarded.

There is no point in concerning yourself with such matters. To me the former player’s opinion is worth no more than any other former player’s opinion. He might be close to van Persie, he might not be. During the course of his interviews after Saturday’s match, he made it clear that he considers himself to be amongst friends at Barcelona. Fair play, it was a move he wanted and I am glad for him that, at the moment, it is working out well. But no more than I would be happy for anyone else; it is spiteful and pointless to wish ill.

Laugh when they are on the subs bench by all means, not able to get into even the Carling Cup side but let’s not sink to their levels beforehand.

There was something very familiar about the Spanish players comments following their defeat to England. The utterances about a negative style of play echo those of Arsenal players when beaten by stifling midfielders. Tellingly, Spain’s weaknesses were Barcelona’s strengths, all 5’6 of them. A shame he has Argentine blood flowing through his veins. A shame for del Bosque, that is.

Criticism of Capello and his tactics is short-sighted. He knows the limitations of his players and chose to negate them with strengths. It also overlooks the absence of crucial players. No, not John Terry; Jack Wilshere. If the opposition are underlining his importance, no doubt the Italian knows it as well.

Fábregas observed,

Normally England don’t play like that when Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere are available.“But unfortunately they were without a few players and maybe it was an obligation to play like that.

Overall, England are a very solid team and if they have Jack back it will make a massive difference. He has the talent to make things happen.

Arsenal will notice that as well. There is a very solid team ethic building at the moment, one that has been perhaps missing or less effective than is currently witnessed. The upcoming fixture at Carrow Road will be testing for the players. Not because Norwich are exceptional opponents – undeniably they are a hard-working side – but under Wenger’s reign Arsenal have always been sluggish immediately after the international break.

This time might be different. Key players have not been away or have been used more sparingly than previously. Koscielny represents the other side of the coin, he might be ‘buzzing’ following his international debut. A rest or confidence must surely be a boost for Arsène?

Wilshere provides a headache of the nicest kind for Wenger. Arteta, Song and Ramsey – barring injuries – will have built a strong partnership by the time the England international returns. I believe he provides a different attacking option than that trio and it is hard to say who would lose out. It is unlikely to be Song. Arteta’s experience gives him an edge over Ramsey but the Welshman is more mobile, something Wenger rates highly.

I suspect that it is the latter who will give way. The option of Wilshere occupying the attacking left-side role with Gervinho moving to the right cannot be discounted but that again offers more problems than solutions. Whatever the case may be, there is a long way to go until Wilshere’s return and if past seasons are anything to go by, an injury or suspension will solve the problem initially.

Elsewhere, Lukasz Fabianski felt like a number of small businesses when his attempt to obtain a loan was turned down. I suspect that his future is tied into that of Manuel Almunia. If the Spaniard goes in January, Fabianski will not be able to get a move, somthing that will cause disgruntlement as he has obviously been told he will not get to Euro2012 as first choice Polish ‘keeper unless he is occupying that spot at Arsenal. His international manager is obviously more decisive than the late Ron Greenwood was over Shilton and Clemence.

Finally, a reminder that Fun Gunner is interviewing a current player plying his trade on foreign shores, who was a youth player at an EPL club. Questions of more originality than “Who are you?” should be emailed to fungunner@hotmail.co.uk.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 14, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 149 Comments.

  1. YW – Nice write up. I agree that there is not much in the Cesc comments really. Nothing earth shattering.

  2. Podium!

  3. Ah, well, I thought that Cesc’s comments were very sensible. He speaks the truth, more or less. Either RVP makes one more big move, or he stays here until the end of his career. But I really liked the positive tone of Cesc … somehow it makes me forgive him a bit for leaving us.

  4. LOL… WELL, THE QUESTIONS NEED TO START FROM “WHO ARE YOU” DONT U THINK?

    oH, CAPS Lock? Sorry!

  5. Selling (or loaning out) Lukasz should be the right thing to do. He wants to compete for the national squad & won;t get a chance to be a regular at The Arsenal in the near future; so fair play to him.
    Moreover, we have a very capable back up in Vito Mannone.

  6. I think we should keep Fabianski. It is shame for him if he is not the No1 for Poland, but we should not be weakening our match day squad to help his international cause. Life is tough at the top.

  7. All things said, I don’t see RVP going to another ‘big’ club & get a regular starting berth.

    Manure, Chelsea, Oil City, Inter, Milan, Real, Bayern, all have at least one ‘star’ striker. And I do not see Robin going to Barfa after their throat grabbing antics last season..

  8. An unhappy player doesn’t exactly make the squad stronger eh, Andy?

  9. “He is having an amazing season and hopefully he will be fit for the whole season. Unfortunately, when I was there, he never enjoyed a whole season and it was one of the things I regret a little bit. I hope he can keep going like that. Could he come to Barcelona? He would fit in anywhere but I’m an Arsenal fan and I want him to stay at Arsenal.”

    Hardly the stuff to provoke the headlines “Fabregas tells RvP to quit Arsenal”

    But that is journalists for you.

    And on a more productive note if the fans’ favourite Abou Diaby does not quite put his fitness problems behind him could a recall for Henri Lansbury he on the New Year agenda ?

  10. Jack playing with the forward line would very interesting. Didn’t he play wide right for Bolton last year?

  11. I have no idea why we signed Yossi Benayoun, don’t see him starting many games for us. Your thought YW?

  12. mj – Well he will just have to be profesional and knuckle down won’t he? He is not the only one who is not getting in the side. There will be plenty of players who are unhappy at not playing. Should we sell them all?

    If he gets a chance in the side he needs to make sure he gives the manager something to think about. You know how our luck runs; the second Fabianski goes out on loan Szchezny would break something and miss the rest of the season.

  13. Fair point Andy, but he’s not helping his cause by coming out in the press & threatening the club.

  14. Oh wait, Cesc who?

  15. mj – Agreed. I feel for him in one respect, and I can understand him wanting 1st team football. But on the other hand, if he had not made so many mistakes with us, when he returned from his injury maybe Arsene would have been more likely to put him streight back into the side. As it was Szchezny took his chance well.

    The ironic thing is that even if he does move away and get first team football, it is unlikely that he will be Polands No1 anyway.

  16. — Speaking of Fabianski: Wonder strike or the golden child caught off the line, again?

  17. I think we should retain Fabianski as we are not sure how long Sczczesny will carry on his fine form. Having an almost equally capable player on d bench propels those on d pitch to always give 100percent. However, a 30 per chance to play will not be a bad idea for Fabby.

  18. GA

    Yet he was at his most consistent just before he got injured and replaced by Szczesny. I think he is a half-decent ‘keeper who would prove to be a good one if he conquered nerves and lack of concentration.

    YW

  19. Capello has the same problem Sven did. A poor pool of players who cannot win an International tournament and ridiculous media hype.

    They are both good managers. England is the problem.

  20. MJ

    YB will be a good squad addition but I don’t think his loan will be extended. He has the right experience but he was a peripheral figure at Chelsea and Liverpool. Can’t see him being more than that at Arsenal

  21. Shotta

    If you look at the way the ball moved, hard to blame the ‘keeper.

  22. I think Szcz will fee l he might have done a little better – an example of what can be achieved with an early strike from well outside the box though

  23. YW – Yeah he was. I was always one of his doubters, but he was begining to win me over until his injury. Even his one percived error (Carrols’s goal against newcastle) I thought was harsh on him. He was very good until his injury.

    I also agree about him being decent (nerves and concentration aside). Unfortunalty for him the emergence of Szchezny has spelt the end of his career as No1 with us. I am sure Szchezny will make mistakes (all keepers do), but you can see he is going to be a special player.

  24. Andy”Was Ray Parlour good enough?”
    Truth be told .for this version of Wengerball,probably not.
    Parker more so.

  25. PG – But this version of Wengerball didn’t bear fruit. So perhaps a couple of players in the mould of Parker/Parlour would have been the mssing ingridient? Just a thought. Sucessful team normally have a good mix of players.

  26. Yes Spain will win nothing with the pathetic tippy tappy stuff and without Messi.
    Oh wait.,I forgot they are European and World champions.Still ,we showed them what true English steel was egh?

  27. Nice post Yogi,

    Gotta agree with shotta here, I think Szchezny could have done better with that Balotelli shot. That said, I can’t imagine a keeper who hasn’t conceded a goal like that.

  28. PG – Don’t really get your point as nobody has said anything of the sort.

  29. I suggest this version of Wengerball would have borne plenty if they had been playing pre Roman.

  30. And pre-Manure as well I take it?

  31. And Roman had nothing to do with us throwing away games against the likes of W Brom and Blackburn did it?

  32. No Andy ,United would have had a say.
    Think what you want ,I believe Ray would have struggled to play with the teams of the last 5 years.
    And I think this team would have won the league before the super spending started.

  33. PG – You are missing my point mate. Yes I agree that Ray may have struggled with certain aspects of our recent play; my point is that what the likes of Parlour/Parker bring to a team, is exactly what the team has been missing for the past few years.

    The best footballer is not nesasarily the one that can do the most keepy-ups.

  34. Andy ,I know what point you are making.
    But there is a limit to how far towards the “cant trap a bag of cement but gets stuck in” you can go.

  35. PG – “But there is a limit to how far towards the “cant trap a bag of cement but gets stuck in” you can go

    Oh I agree. But we are not talking about the likes of Karl Henry here are we? Whilst no Cesc, Parlour and Parker /were/are both good players. It is pure snobbery to say that they are not “good enough” for us. My original point was that whilst he is is no world beater, and player like Parker would have improved us over the past few years.

    I agree they would not have fitted 100% in to our short passing model, but their inclusion may have helped turn a good footballing team into a winnnig football team.

  36. Well Andy.Arsene did not agree with you as we choose not to go for him simply because(I am led to believe)he was not technically good enough.
    If he was we would have taken him as the fee and wages were no problem.
    Would you swap him for Arteta?Because I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  37. PG – I would say Parlour was a far better footballer than people gave him credit for!

    At the same time, I do see what Andy is saying, and can appreciate what Ray brought to the team at the time.

    Funnily enough, I see a bit of Parlour’s game and qualities in Lansbury, I think he could do a similiar job for the team.

  38. PG – Well, he seems to play well enough for the Spuds. They are a footballing team (I feel all dirty now, look what you have made me do ;)) so I don’t really subscibe to that theory. Sometimes you need players who are in contrast to the rest of the side. It is the mix of players which makes a winning team, and for the past few years we have been all too similar.

    Anyway, we will have to continue this later as I am off out.

  39. At his age Robin is probably aware that the considerable status of “Arsenal legend”, as a striker and especially in the wake of the Bergkamp era, and his own injured career, is more rewarding than the status “great player for XYZ all-stars over 2-3 seasons” with a few gongs, maybe, a la Henry; and where would he go anyway? At his level only 3 clubs: Barca, to compete with or alongside Villa up top (and their newer crop of players starting to make their mark) and play alongside Messi, RM to work with the lesser Ronaldo and Co, City to play with Dzeko and Silva? The options are not that great considering where he is, legend material, in the form of his life. Why change? It would be money, possibly last-gasp gongs in his career. All this will change if Arsenal utterly fails. If not, I can’t see, over 3 years, another club offering him more than he could garner at “home”.

  40. Re Chesney – Given the swerve and dip on that shot, and the distance it was struck from, it’s hard to blame the attempted save or the positioning. And why are we calling him the golden child? He is where he is on merit and, whilst not without some minor flaws, already one of the most likeable and valuable members of the team. Certainly the better choice over Fabianski.

  41. And what makes Szcz first choice is that he dominates the box – telling defenders where to stand, bawling at the wall, knocking his own and opposition players flying if he needs to get to the ball
    Unfortunately for Fab and Manuel before him the large dollop of personality which a keeper needs to take on the large than life job was missing

  42. Be serious. Parker, effective as he may be in various formations, is simply not good enough to start regularly for us. He is a conventional versatile defensive minder/box to box work horse who can most things reasonably well, in the Flamini role and in the EPL tradition. Whose place would he take or compete with? He would be a great # 2 to Song, and then 10 games a season for him, and so what of Coq and Frim, progressing quite nicely thanks? Otherwise, Arteta? Not this lifetime. Then Ramsey or Wilshere? Not a hope, he would be third choice. Diaby? Could he provide such attacking alternatives? He could be a kind of Rosicky, coming in in specific situations, more defensive, that’s it, but we already have a Rosicky and a Benayoun for “situations”. His ferret style play is very good, but a passing game? Come on.

  43. Ditto Parlour, a player of his “time”. The major problem for England is that it continues to produce “old-fashioned” players, even today, and EPL teams need to supplement with contemporary players and skills from all over the world. The real gap becomes apparent when national teams compete seriously. That said, I can see why and how Parker is effective at Spurs – they have no Song.

  44. Yesterdays comments were most amusing – I caught up this morning after a night out in Dalston at, the rather wonderful, Shacklewell Arms.

    @Irish – Cobra and Die Hard II – a top afternoon. The original Die Hard is always a contender for my favourite film. It’s certainly the one I have watched the most times.

    As regards Cobra – the main character was who Stallone wanted to be the lead for Beverly Hills Cop. What a different movie that might have been! Beverly Hills Cop – one of the 80’s most delightful movies – has loads of interesting trivia – the director, Martin Brest, flipped a coin to decide whether to direct of the film, after it’s enormous success he framed it and hung it on his wall. The lead role was originally offered to Mickey Rourke, then Stallone and they considered giving it to Richard Pryor, Al Pacino, and James Caan before settling on Murphy.

    @Cbob – as a professional chef I’d be most interested to receive details on your ‘perfect pasty’. I have little doubt over your authenticity or credentials.

    Last night, after a lengthy pub visit, we made slightly ramshackle pasties (my crimping was rather uneven) with a filling of salmon, chorizo and scallions in a Bechamel sauce. Supposition on my part but I suspect the purist in you is appalled! Or it acceptable to be creative with the fillings in ones pasties?

  45. Anicoll what makes him first choice is that he’s a better goalkeeper.

  46. Indeed Jonny but one important part of him being “better” is that he has the personality to stamp his authority on the back four in the way that Jens did, and Seaman did – rather than the mouse like efforts approach of Fab and Almunia

    Long may he shout his head off and beat his chest !

  47. Jonny

    Ooooh, hark at you Mr La-di-Da. Salmon? Scallions? Bechamel? What’s wrong with a proper pasty filling, eh?

  48. Was at Wembley on Sat (thank you debentures), and thought Parker was outstanding. Best midifielder on the pitch, sufficated Xavi / Silva / Mata and was more than a match for any Spanish attack.

    Interestingly, I believe Hart only made his first notable save after Parker left the pitch.

    Have thought, and will always think Parker would be an outstanding addition to the squad.

  49. Give me steak n’gravy any day…

    Although did try a Lamb and Mint Pasty in Padstow this year which was rather tasty.

  50. @Andy save your breath re Parker – as I said before, I have little doubt he’d be praised as a hero if he was in our squad. Simply because he was on the right side of the fence and to some criticise an Arsenal player is to suggest you know better than God.

    Interesting that some of the people who were vocal about ‘knowing more than Wenger’ are the most negative voices, dismissing Parker’s merits as a player. The contention being that if Wenger chose not to sign him he is obviously not good enough/would not fit our style of play.

    If an alternative universe existed, where Wenger had signed him, one would not be able to comment on his deficiencies without swift disdain. As he is not this side of the picket-fence judgement and dismissal is free to abound. Given that we can only speculate on Wenger’s thoughts of the player – this rather seems second guessing to fit one’s own narrative.

    IMO – he’d have been awesome cover for any of the midfield positions. He is amongst the hardest working players in the premiership and, as you say, would add something different to the mix. He was widely considered one of the candidates for player of the season (but of course the consensus opinion of ex-pros, press and pundits are all wrong, true fans know best), and at times single-handedly carried a very weak team, last year. He was West Ham’s player of the season for three seasons in a row and is the frontrunner for the same accolade at Spurs.

    Some of those WH performances were extremely admirable, mostly for his sheer, bulldog tenacity and never-say-die attitude. It is worthy of mention that this is the very characteristic which was most notably errant in our team last season. He never lets his head drop, plays to the whistle and is an excellent leader:

    “On 12 February Carlton Cole praised Scott Parker’s “inspirational” pep talk at half time after, being 3–0 down, West Ham clawed back in the second half to get a 3–3 draw against West Bromwich Albion. Carlton Cole was quoted as saying “If you were there you would have had a tear in your eye” after the half time team talk.”

    And lets not get to hung-up about how many games he would start – this is a squad game and you want good options from the bench.

    As for not being good enough at passing – this is specious criticism that rings true – as it fits the narrative. Last years midfielder passing stats –

    Wilshere 84%
    Modric 84%
    Parker 82%
    Arteta 81%
    Lampard 80%
    Fabregas 78%
    Gerrard 74%
    Mireiles 73%
    Adam 67%

    He also chipped in with 5 goals all whilst playing in a team which was relegated.

    Those people who don’t like anyone to ever question the merits of an Arsenal player because it suggest “you think you know more than the manager” seem all too happy to display the same ‘arrogance’ – which they supposedly deplore – by suggesting they know for a fact he is not good enough and they know that this is why the manager didn’t sign him.

    Unless, bizarrely Wenger announced his reason (he does read this right?), it’s second-guessing speculation at best.

    He’s a good player and a great competitor – I totally agree with those who contend that he’s probably at the right club and I agree that we have other options coming through who Wenger wants to put his faith in, but dismissively suggesting ‘he is not good enough for us’ and ‘couldn’t fit our style of play’ is to me more arrogant than the speculation that Diaby ‘might’ struggle to get back in the team.

    Right I’ll get off my big horse now – there is nowt as dangerous as a day off work right?
    😀

  51. Sorry Yogi – but we chefs have slightly more pretentious leanings than Pedigree Chum.

  52. Jonny @ 1:31 – A quite excellent post sir. Your last paragraph summed up the point I was trying to (initially) make very nicely.

  53. Jonny – “Last night, after a lengthy pub visit, we made slightly ramshackle pasties (my crimping was rather uneven) with a filling of salmon, chorizo and scallions in a Bechamel sauce

    Don’t need an excuse to use Chorizo mate. Personally I like to use it when I make a Marinara sauce. The paprika just adds to the flavour perfectly.

  54. Jonny

    There’s one more school of thought: some just genuinely don’t rate Parker. Oh, that’ll be me then. Didn’t like him at Charlton, thought Chelsea wasted a lot of money signing him but that he found his levelon leaving them.

    There’s an important distinction to be made before you bandy the phrase ‘Player of the Year’ around. He was the Football Writers choice NOT the PFA choice. Contradictorily, he was nominated for the PFA award but did not make the PFA Team of the Season. Like Bale, he generated a lot of hype last season. Football writers are notoriously ovine and once or two decide a player is the next big thing, it isn’t long before the flock fall in behind them. Like Bale, I am unconvinced he deserved it. Being a good player in a relegated side does not make you a good player elsewhere; it just makes you better than your team-mates.

    So what if he scored five goals for West Ham? If AW had signed him, would he have played him in the same position as WHU did? Possibly but we wouldn’t know. It seems unlikely that he would have been given free reign so that indicates a Song-like position. His passing stats are indeed good but so were Denilson’s. If you want to go down the divisive midfielder route…

    The half-time talk means nothing. Genuinely. That West Ham recovered is a testament to their team ethic and how woeful WBA were. Would Arsenal have responded similarly? Who knows but it is a “specious” justifcation for signing someone. Let’s put it this way, would Parker have made the fundamental difference to the team post-Wembley last season? It is an imponderable but I am not certain that the Arsenal squad would respond to a John Bull captain.

    They needed more than that, they needed a wholly fit and committed captain which I am not sure that got in the latter of that, whilst senior pros under-performed. Tellingly the only wins after Birmingham were against supine opposition or in the only big Premier League game. Once the opposition fought back, there was an utter absence of spine in the whole of the team. One man might have made a small difference but no guarantee. Let’s face it, if the manager could not get them out of the slumber, no player would either.

    Curiously enough, you bemoan the arrogance of those who dismiss Parker but arrogantly dismiss them?

  55. Nice rant Jonny,

    We don’t even know if Wenger was ever interested in Parker, We do know he was interested in Cahill, even though he was also dismissed as not being good enough.

    Except for the Cahill situation, I can’t remember Wenger ever going for the obvious (i.e. media touted) candidate. It doesn’t always mean the player in question is not good enough, or too good/expensive for us (as fans on the other side of the spectrum would argue).

  56. I was just about to say that Yogi. 🙂
    Yeah,so Jonny ,Andy and Luke ,put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Jonny,you can only go on what you are told by people who you believe are reliable sources.
    I always say that “i am led to believe” and never claim to know Arsene’s mind.
    But post away in your provocative style.At least what you have to say is interesting.

    Finally,IMHO Parker is no where near good enough for us.And I don’t give a fuck that he is one of the best players at Spurs.

  57. The Parker debate is quite interesting.

    I rate him as a player, and he has undeniably made a difference to Spurs, but had he of signed for us, would he of had the same impact?

    I don’t think I would play him ahead of Song, Coquelin deserves more start’s this season, as it is clear he is going to be a very good player and Frimpong has shown glimpses of what he is capable of (although a loan spell may be more rewarding).

    Saying that, I do agree with Jonny that Parker does appear to hold some kind of ‘inspirational’ and fighting spirit that we really missed last season and coupled with a healthy dose of experience would of been useful.

    At the price he was available at, I can see why people would think it would of been good business.

  58. Who cares what Cesc thinks. I certainly don’t. I wish RVP would just go ahead and sign a new contract. The longer he waits the less likely it will happen. Not looking forward to next summers speculation if we don’t get the new contract done this season. Gonna take a LOT of money to keep him. Hope the money crunchers at London Colney go on vacation for a while so that the football people can make the decision. Oh I forgot that our main football person is also the biggest money cruncher. Darn.

    I think Parker would have been a superb addition. Not sure he would be a definite starter every week for our team at this point but he would certainly get his share of playing time and it sure would have been great to have him during the weeks that Song was suspended. We might very have had a better start if we could have gotten him last summer before the Asian trip and we would not have to be digging ourselves out of a hole right now.

  59. To be fair Yogi, he did say “some of the people”….. so not exactly tarring all Parker’s dismissers with the same brush.

  60. I find it more than funny that many hailed Denilson as the next coming, but also claim the likes of Parker are not good enough for us. Heh, crazy.

    I remember having an arugment on here over a year ago as there were loads of people saying that Denilson was better than Macherano. I do wonder some times.

  61. Yogi I never said he was player of the year just that he was widely considered as one of them – how is that, even remotely, bandying?

    As for his passing – a few commented that his passing is not good enough – the stats speak for themselves.

    I didn’t use his leadership as justification for signing him either – I was just pointing out his qualities could have been beneficial. My last paragraph makes it quite clear that I have no problem with regards him being signed.

    I think it is fair to point out that it is a double standard for one to pretend one knows that a player is not good enough, and that is the reason he was not of interest, whilst not allowing the remotest criticism of any Arsenal player.

    What I am dismissing is the double standards in employ – there is a crucial difference.

    If you don’t like a player that’s fine – you have your opinion and I have mine – we all watch a different game at the end of the day.

  62. Henristic – correct – I had one or two voices specifically in mind – even before they had commented I knew they would not rate him. To them to say you think Parker is a good player is to criticise the boss for not signing him – therefore he can’t be good.
    But, if he had been signed, he would be instantly be beyond criticism because that’s disloyal and is essentially a criticism of the boss for signing him.
    It’s a good job the boss only ever signs players they like!
    😀

  63. Matt 3.04 – agree with all of that.

  64. I think much of the angst against some players mentioned come from the hysterical reaction to anything that comes out of the media by some of the posters here.

    Many voices in the media used the likes of Parker and Cahill as exapmples of players who could come in improve our side. As soon as this happened certain individuals immidiately roared agsint the idea without ever really considering if the players would have improved our squad (both would).

  65. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today. Parker is a decent player, but he’s being over-hyped at the moment because the Spuds are above us in the table. However, if you watch their games, which I have, you’d notice that their midfield gets overrun more often than not. The game they played against Fulham Parker was nowhere to be found save a few timely interceptions late in the second half. Other than that, Murphy, Dempsey and Dembele had their way in the middle. Had we played as poorly as they did a lot of our fans would’ve been asking questions of Arteta and Song. But since Parker is the flavor of the month this gets swept unde the table and some persist with the idea that Parker is some kind of hidden gem whom was never given a chance at a big club due to mystrious circumstances.

  66. On Parker, I was watching the game on Saturday evening thinking, “This geezer is no international footballer.” He ran around a lot and won the ball quite a bit, but he gave it away a lot too and slowed down the play with the two or three spins that are typical of his game. Not enough vision to spot a teammate in space quickly even though England were playing a defensive game with only one up front.

    I think what the game showed was his inexperience at the very highest level, meaning the Champions League. He might be 30-odd, but how many European games has he played? I think that showed against the best international team around at the moment. We signed an experienced player (Arteta) with limited experience at the very highest level and it has understandably taken him a good while to get into the swing of things in our team IMO. The difference is, we desperately needed a body in the creative department after the departures of Fabregas and Nasri while we have Song with Frimpong and Coquelin backing up in the defensive midfield department.

  67. As it goes, I have never been in the “we must sign Parker camp”. My inital point was that to say he is not good enough for us, when he has the traits that we have obvisouly been lacking over the past few years. Simple as that..

  68. Andy, that’s a bunch of bull. Both Parker and Cahill are decent players that receive massive hype from the English media just because they’re homegrown. If these players were to improve our squad they would have to be better than what we have at the moment, but sadly they’re not. Put it this way, if Cahill would’ve played as well as Koscielny has he’d be regarded as the second coming of Beckenbauer and if Parker was as good as Arteta, he would be compared to Paul Scholes.

  69. Jonny

    Now the interesting bit will be when Arsenal play a team that parks the bus like England did. How will we deal with that?

    I know! We’ll all show the inherent hypocrisy of a football fan…

  70. At the time we had no Mertesacker and TV5 was on deaths door. We played Miquel and Song at CB in a couple of games I remember. Again, Cahill is no world beater but he would have improved our squad last season. I agree 100% about the overhyping, but that should not distract from the actual level of the players.

    Are they as good as many make out? most certainly not. Are they good players? Yes they are.

    Anyway off home. Laters.

  71. Andy, Wenger has the ability to unearth worldclass players before anyone even knows they can reach that level. He’s done so consistently over the years. What makes you think that he only has eyes for foreign players and not for the domestic bargains like Parker and others?

  72. Could it be that Parker and Cahill are just good English players?
    That, in itself, does not mean they are good enough for Arsenal.If they were bought as 4th choice for their positions ,all well and good,but I see them making a difference.

  73. Jonny ,who said Parkers passing was not good enough?
    Name and shame them .

  74. So how does that tie in with the crap you said about some of us despising a player because of the media, Andy?

    Vermaelen at death’s door? God, your ability to be dramatic just to prove your point knows no bounds.

  75. Jonny, Wenger was in negotiations with Arteta even before the season started. If Wenger would’ve wanted Parker don’t you think he would’ve gone after him in the same manner?

  76. THE CAT IN THE SACK
    http://bit.ly/uYfFyo
    Giovanni Trapattoni was keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite
    seeing Ireland power their way to a 4-0 Euro 2012 lead in Estonia.
    “The cat is in the sack, but the sack is not closed. The cat is in it,
    but it’s open – and it’s a wild cat.”

    Trappatoni: football’s answer to Schrodinger.

    Ireland – wanted alive and dead!

  77. Gains – “Vermaelen at death’s door? God, your ability to be dramatic just to prove your point knows no bounds

    It was a joke mate. Just a joke. Jesus.

    Wenger has the ability to unearth worldclass players before anyone even knows they can reach that level. He’s done so consistently over the years. What makes you think that he only has eyes for foreign players and not for the domestic bargains like Parker and others?

    I don’t really get your point here. I have never said otherwise, and today’s dabate has nothing to do with Arsene discovering talent. We all know he is the best at that.

  78. Parker is shit.And anyone who thinks different knows nothing about the game.
    (May as well get hung for a Sheep as a Lamb.Egh Jonny?)

  79. Gains,

    I’m pretty sure in Arteta’s interview when he joined he said he learnt of our interest about a week prior to the window closing, not before the season started.

    Just saying! 🙂

  80. Gains – was this…

    “He’s a good player and a great competitor – I totally agree with those who contend that he’s probably at the right club and I agree that we have other options coming through who Wenger wants to put his faith in…”

    …unclear?

    I think Parker is good enough to have done a job in our squad and has some qualities we were rather lacking in, however I am not remotely saying that I think he is brilliant or that he deserves the accolades that some laud him with – what I’m disputing is the outright dismissal of him as ‘simply not good enough for Arsenal’.

    Wenger has his reasons for not being interested and, as I have said, that is good enough for me – but nobody knows those reasons but Wenger.

    As you rightly say Wenger’s ability to pick up talent is second to none. Wenger has his own views on what he is trying to create and that’s how it has to be – one man’s vision etc.

    Doesn’t mean we can’t look on talk about what might become or might have been.

  81. He hee – George. 😀

    Parker for world president!

    It’s the only sane choice.

  82. I have missed a tasty debate over Parker, it seems. 🙂

    Just as well, I suppose, because my gut instinct is that I am content that he does not play for us.
    But, I am swayed by the fact that altho’ not the best technically, he does put his heart into his style of play, and that is to be admired in any player (well, if he wasn’t a Spud, that is).

    All in all, I will stick with my gut instinct that we are better off without him, because altho’ he is a genuine and committed tryer he simply lacks the technical class that I believe any Arsenal player should aspire to.

  83. Some people are just dim,,, or perhaps cant read, or perhaps just have hidden agendas. Its pretty much impossible to air a opinion on here with out getting attacked. I dont know where all the fuss is coming from. Parker is a good player and would have added something that was quite clearly missing. Do we need him now, no ways! No thanks! BUt if he was here all the anti parker brigade would be singing his praises. Thats the part that is pretty pathetic, this whole attitude that ever player not playing for arsenal are shit is really juvenile.

  84. GunnerJ,

    I like your opening comments; – “Some people are just dim,,, or perhaps cant read,” and ” pretty pathetic,” — it seems you are complaining about being attacked (by whom, incidentally?) so you are getting your insults in early!

    Illogical? Perhaps – but amusing! 🙂

  85. No Red arse, just commenting for the sake of commenting,,, In bed Ill today, all drugged up on the vicanin so probably shouldnt post anything. My bad.

  86. No Probs, GunnerJ,

    Anyway, I suspect I know what you meant, and your phrasing did genuinely amuse me.

    Sometimes discussions/debates do become unnecessarily personal when different views are expressed, so you keep right on commenting, and I hope you feel better soon! 🙂

  87. That’s the spirit Red Arse – good to see some brotherly civility. Get well soon mate.

    This might cheer you up –

  88. Gee thanks guys! Nice clip Jonny, that did cheer me up. Not sick as such just a rather unpleasant trip to the dentist. Had two wisdoms taken out, not fun. But the thought of some real football this weekend is keeping my spirits up! Well that and the narcotics .

  89. Jonny,

    A propos nothing really, but I read earlier that you are a chef.

    I like dining out, and some restaurants are excellent, for the food, the ambience, the service — but mostly the food.
    I often go to Rules, Convent Garden. Why? Because I love their ‘basic’ menu offering among other things, “Steak and Kidney Pudding” which I love. Scrummy! 🙂

    Last week, I returned to J. Sheekey, an old haunt, just around the corner from Rules, for another simple dish I love – Battered Haddock and Chips. And it was putrid! Well, not literally, of course, but over cooked, and dried out — yeuk.

    I am sure you are more a Rules chef and not a cheeky Sheekey chef, otherwise it will be war! 🙂

  90. Rules rules.

    A great old-school restaurant – thoroughly English to boot. I used to work for Wiltons which is near The Ritz – excellent for oysters and game.

    Before that I was at a gastropub called The Water Poet for a while.

    I’m setting up my own street food business at present – maybe I’ll sell Consolbob’s Great Pasties!

    :0)

  91. I make a very fine steak and guiness pie,, its been a while though.

  92. PG – “Parker is shit.And anyone who thinks different knows nothing about the game.

    Hmmm, maybe that Capello bloke (9 lge titles and 1 CL amongst others) would disagree with you.

  93. Is that Wiltons in Jermyn Street? I have had some very nice fish there!!

    You will have to keep us posted on the progress of setting up your street food stall. Hopefully you can include deep fried crickets on the menu — I grew to enjoy the taste while in Bangkok — I think they were crickets, but who knows! 🙂

    Just realised I am starving, so a nice chinese at China Royal is calling!! 🙂 Ta ta.

  94. A chef, eh jonny?

    Well for me, there is only one pasty. The one my mother taught me and her mother taught her. This is what people call a ‘Cornish’ pasty, although the pasty originated in Plymouth. True.

    Cornwall of course, for the BBC and media is the English county equivalent of manu in football. Hyped to death and over rated although nice enough to visit.

    The ingredients are: skirt, potato, onion and swede. Skirt diced small, onion chopped fine, potato and swede sliced into 1 cm squares.

    Roll out your short crust pastry. A layer of potato, season, a layer of onion, a sprinkle of swede, a layer of skirt, season, a good sprinkle of onion, a couple of dabs of butter.

    Seasoning is upto you in terms of quantity, but plenty of pepper is my preference.

    Fold pastry and crimp on the side.

    15 mins at 220c and an hour at 160c

    Anything else and we are in dodgy territory, at least as far as calling it a pasty.

  95. Haha, Jonny, that Trapattoni stuff is really funny. So he is Italian, talking English and using German idioms! The time he spent with Bayern Munich must’ve really left an impression on him.

  96. Andy,are you serious?
    Because clearly I was not.

  97. PG – Ah, sorry mate. Didn’t read past your post. Lost on net and all that 🙂

    So you agree he would have saved our season single handed then? I knew you you would come around in the end 😉

  98. whatever Cesc said doesn’t mean it’s going to happen… RVP will not move away from Arsenal if his former teammate say’s so….RVP has been in an impressive form this season;no wonder European clubs would resort to such cheap tactics to pry our talents awway from us!!!!
    Go Arsenal

  99. Really off, now, but had to say your recipe sounds great Consolsbob. Mmmm 🙂

    And GunnerJ if your are talking steak and guiness (together or separately) you are obviously beginning to feel better — wisdom teeth or no! 🙂

    PG, I thought you were being tongue in cheek, for what it is worth.

    Tomorrow.

  100. @Evil – is this a German idiom??

    A friend of mine sent me the original article and followed up with this as an email –


    I was at the marvellous wine show
    yesterday:http://www.wineshow.co.uk and, whilst quaffing a rather silky
    italian montepulciano, i took the opportunity to ask the [not
    unattractive] signora working on the stand about young trapattoni.

    when i read him quoted
    saying:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/nov/12/giovanni-trapattoni-ireland-estonia?INTCMP=SRCH

    “I am not God and maybe I don’t speak English very well or Italian very well”, I assumed he was being charming and self deprecating.

    She said, however, that it was just true – Italians think Trapattoni is mad and can’t understand him – in any language.

  101. Consolbob – thanks for that, marvellous stuff. I wholeheartedly concur on the pepper.

    Whilst I understand your traditionalist viewpoint on fillings, if I cannot call my creation from last night a ‘pasty’ what do I call it instead?

    Do you make your own pastry?

    I’ll give it a go and let you know how I get on.

    :0)

  102. Plenty of onion remember.

  103. Buy pastry jonny? My mother would turn in her grave.

    I do, I confess buy the fancy stuff when required but short crust? Never.

    I suppose they are still pasties but just not traditional ones. I rarely buy pasties, commercial ones always mix the ingredients. Given a choice, I doubt I’d wander far from what i know as regards fillings.

    MD knows better of course.

  104. although i rate parker highly (and not just for his workrate and dog of war mentality) i dont necessarily think we missed a trick this summer (although he would have been a welcome addition to the squad)..

    i think we definately missed a trick when he left chelsea and newcastle though..maybe chelsea would have made it hard for us but letting him go to westham was a big mistake..he would have been vying for a first team spot back then it wouldnt have broke the bank either..

    in regards to cesc..couldnt care less what he says..blah blah blah blah blah..go swallow some of your mates dna with your girly poncey hair..thanks for the memories glad your dreams have come true but fuck you..

    ive always thought jack would be better employed further upfront..either centrally in the midfeild three or out on either wide position in the front three..but i prefered him more deeper as we had nobody else at the time..but now weve got arteta its an option wenger could may well look at
    rambo does look the successor to cesc so maybe jack more nasri??..maybe when jack comes back he could be our ‘gotze’ and the current midfield trio will not be broken up..
    it will be interesting to see what wenger does but the options and the squad depth in regards to our midfield is looking rather tasty..just hope frimpong and le coq keep progressing and the rest dont lose form..

  105. well said JJ. Cesc seems to fit in well with the brigade tattooed princess’ that is Barcalona/Spain.

  106. brigade OF tattoed princess’.

  107. Speaking as a guy who’s has had to make puff pastry on a commercial scale (a tedious fucking job let me tell you), I frequently opt for shop bought, you get fond of shortcuts when you cook for a living!

    That said if you have a food processor one can make short crust in 5 minutes flat – just remember the rule of half fat to flour. And always use iced water.

    Jonny’s Super Quick Pastry
    8 oz plain (all purpose) flour
    4 oz cup chilled and diced butter
    3-4 tbsp iced water
    Large pinch of salt

    Blitz the butter, salt and flour to breadcrumb consistency. Use the mixer on pulse and slowly add the water until the mixture just starts to hold together. Do NOT let the pastry form a ball in the processor.

    Remove & form into a ball. Don’t knead it. Wrap the ball in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

  108. internationals eh?
    from politics to war to religion to cooking..
    much prefer the cooking..
    tasty pastry.. 😉

  109. And films JJ don’t forget films

  110. Funny how alot of the same people who have accused Wenger of lacking ambition are now championing Scott freakin Parker. Hilarious stuff guys, keep it up.

  111. Was it not a little unfair to compare England’s performance to how Stoke play? Stoke away, possibly. But I can’t recall any duplicitous clogging, the sort used to serenade poor old Britannia. No friendly referee of the, um, calibre* of master Walton. Just lots of water carrying.
    *Don’t get any crazy ideas all you trigger happy gooners/gunners.

    What do I remember of Stoke (Away to Arsenal) from a few weeks ago?
    Well. There was ‘keepers’ exercise routine inbewteen the line up and his arrival at his goal line. Most energentic. And entertaining. Considering what was to follow for the next seventy odd minutes at every goal kick and break in play. Almost as entertaining as Gervinho’s repetitive lancing of the Stoke lines. Not very much hardcore clogging I noticed. Oh yeah Shawcross tried a cute elbow. That was a surprise! And there were a few orbital up and unders when Stoke attempted to press the game. Didn’t last too long.
    I think Arsenal may have to check the armoury before the return game. Wait! Stop the ragged press. I think I’ve just figured out why Frimpong may not be going on loan.

  112. films as well 😉

    i take it you dont like parker then loomer..

  113. Cheer up George, here’s the Oxy Acetylene Torch doing his thing –

    http://www.thefa.com/video/England/Mens-Under-21s/2011-12/Belgium/The-Ox-in-the-Box

  114. This made me laugh:

    Cesc F-Word:

    “I am (was) surprised to see Theo Walcott playing at RB.”

    The plundits were right. Downing was so much better after he came on. Bring back Lennon! Play the blessed Parker at RM. How about Bent?

  115. Finsbury.If that lot played for us I would be inconsolable.

  116. What next one of george’s happy cake recipies.

    And shotta dont think your slagging off of one our players has not gone unoticed! tut tut.

  117. Net Transfer Spend Since Sheikh Mansour Arrived ’08

    #MCFC -£400.4m
    #CFC -£141.2m
    #LFC -£28.5m
    #MANU -£26.2m
    #THFC -18.45m
    #Arsenal +£51.65m

  118. Who the fuck is ‘Scott Paker’?

  119. Shotta, you are wasting your time. Certain players are beyond criticism.

  120. Thank fuck the U21s lost all we wouldnt have heard the end of how fucking awesome England suddenly are, conveniently forgetting how effin abject they were last summer.

    Sammy Ameoba??? Fuck off Pearce!

  121. @ Jonny | November 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Just goes to show that money isn’t always the answer!

  122. You just cant let it lie can you passenal?

    Soooooo immature Im sure! 😀

  123. Dexter, Szczesny is a good goal keeper, but like any player he has his weaknesses. I have always thought so and still think so regardless of the hype machine behind him. Even as confident as he is, he has acknowledge some less than stellar performances recently and having sat behind the goal and watched him rooted to the spot as the ball sails over his head on more than one occasion, I have to agree with him. He has made some spectacular close range saves, which look good and have been important. But he could improve on shots from distance as he gets his positioning wrong and is slow to react. I just do not like to see players held to different standards based on their popularity.

  124. Passenal – yes it’s just so delicious watching him f*ck them over. It won’t dent their repulsive wealth even remotely but the wailing and gnashing of teeth amuses me greatly.

    I missed this – is Shotta a card-carrying Fabianski fan or does he somehow not rate Sir Chesney?

  125. Old spunky used to get done a fair bit like that too from distance, over his head Passenal. But I was only making a joke of it, didnt expect the spanish inquisition. Then again, no one expects…. ah forget it! Night 😀

  126. So Passenal you will quite happily slag off Szesney but not Denilson a??? piss poor,szesney has already got us out the shit with world class saves more times in half a season then munual and fabianski have in the full seasons. Denilson done fuckall for us so deserves more critisim then the one and only the great world class act szcesney.

  127. and passenal no one is basing our keepers on popularity its based on who is better, not looks either. just pure skill and lack of mistakes which is very imprtant for a keeper, you talk about szesneys “mistakes ” from long range, pah…a couple , you can make a dvd of fabianskis mistakes. and a dvd of szezzers world class saves. truth is szezzer has the aura of a great. ouir best keeper since Seaman. at fukin last.

  128. Duke,You are sometimes a little argumentative.

  129. here is another thing. where are all the debates about how our keeper should have saved a goal??? the past few seasons nearly every other week there were always debates about how our keepers have let in the softest of goals that have cost us…this season????? yep thats right.. fuckall, not a titter coz obviously sczezzer is now making them saves that were going through maus legs or slipping out of fabs arms. clutching at straws you are passenal and shotta just to try to justify your defence of fabianski. do what george does and admit you was wrong and we can all move on!!!

  130. WTF? Me wrong?

    What about the one he let in against the Spuds Duke?

    Selective amnesia or what?

  131. But don’t get me wrong ,he de man ,man.As Dexter might say

  132. Everyone knows Plymouth used to be part of Kernow, and that the Essex tribes sold venison pasties to the Roman legions

  133. MDGunner – Just let it go man, just let it go.

  134. Irish – actually working on the next venture, Essex Cream Teas

  135. Alf Fields: 1918-2011

    It is with great sadness that Arsenal Football Club announces the death of former player Alf Fields.

    Alf, who was 92 and would have celebrated his 93rd birthday tomorrow, 15th November, joined the Club in 1936 and was believed to have been Arsenal’s oldest former player.

    Having turned professional in 1937 he became one of the Gunners’ greatest servants over a course of 47 years in a variety of roles, from player, coach and then trainer for the Club’s reserves and youth teams before gaining an FA trainer’s certificate and working as the Arsenal physiotherapist.

    Alf’s playing career was sadly hampered by a number of knee injuries, however before his playing days came to an end in 1952 the Canning Town-born centre back amassed over 200 appearances for the Club across all competitions including 19 first-team appearances in the League and 87 outings in the Combination League.

    During the Second World War, Alf served with the Royal Artillery in Africa and Italy, and was awarded the British Empire Medal. The defender also turned actor in 1939 and had a cameo role in The Arsenal Stadium Mystery film.

    Having officially retired in 1983 three days after his 65th birthday, Alf still kept his association to the Club going and continued to work with youth teams at the London Colney training centre where he was a familiar face even in recent years.

    Everyone at the Club was delighted that Alf was able to return to Highbury in May 2006 and attend the final matchday before the Club moved to Emirates Stadium, and he was given a fitting reception as he joined other players in taking a lap of honour around the pitch.

    The thoughts of Alf’s many friends and former colleagues at Arsenal Football Club are with his family at this sad time.

  136. MDGunner – Dare I ask, what are the ingredients? Dam curiousity always gets the better of me.

  137. Yo, Irish! This international break is getting tedious, isn’t it? Getting amped for the away trip to Norwich. You and I have both expressed concern that this could be one of our toughest league matches in November and December.

  138. LSG – My man!! I know I said I was more focused on the Norwich game than almost all of the others in that period but that is more to do with the fact that it takes place after an inter-lull than it being one of our toughest matches. I say this because we had built up such a good run of games/results that if we win at Norwich, I can see us going on a real tear. Also at the same time Liverpool play the Chavs, which either they both drop 2 points or 1 drops all 3. A win for us is I think vital. Yes Norwich are playing very well and we will have to be at or near our best to beat them, and I think we will, but I think the real concern is that if we do not win we will have missed a great opportunity to close the gap on at least one of our closest rivals. At the same time City host Newcastle and the Spuds host Villa. With a bit of luck the table will be looking a lot prettier as you and I sit back with a nice cold beer at The Blind Pig and revel in a nice 4-0 Arsenal victory!

  139. Jonny @ 1:31 pm,

    I do not want ot start an argument but I agree with Yogi here: Parker would not be my idea of a good addition to our squad. On the defensive midfield side of things I do not think he can offer as much as Song or Jack or Ramsey or Arteta (nor, potentially, Coquelin or Frimpong). On the attacking front, I do not feel that he can offer as much as Jack, Diaby, and most of the others currently bought and fielded by Arsene.

    I am not meaning to undermine your opinion but, again (and as one who has not fallen into the negative perspectives that you note), I support Arsene’s judgement on this decision around personnel.

    Roll on Saturday and Norwich.

  140. good. god… CESE looks downright skanky these days.

  141. This interlull is really, really, really, really draaaaaaaging.

  142. Disapointing to see people slagging off our young keeper.

  143. i have a very good feeling about this month. hope the guys havnt lost focus and come back with renewed gusto. by new years we will be in the top four. i can feel it.

  144. Dissapointing that people still slagg off theo too….

  145. http://wp.me/p1aPg-1W7

    Today’s melodious interlude. Or is that malodorous?

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