Are We Limiting Ambitions Or Changing Focus?

The title race we’re told, is out of Arsenal’s reach. Probably very true with the number of teams who are above us and consistent form being displayed by those at the top. If that is the case, is 2nd place also out of reach? Ten points adrift of United at this stage is a long way but retrievable, especially with so many encounters between the top six to play.

Should we therefore be worrying about the situation? Wojciech Szczesny is not quite giving up but realises that the task is somewhat bigger than before,

At the moment it is a big gap and it does look too big to close. But we think we can make it a lot smaller. We need to do that before we can realistically start talking again about challenging for the title, but we feel we can still do that.

Failing that, his target is to make sure that we do not finish lower than Spurs. It feels something of a failure to be limiting ambitions to this but the start to the Premier League season is what it is. The FA Cup and Champions League are still viable targets – any knockout competition relies on the luck of the draw to a certain extent – and focussing attention toward them is better, to my mind at least, than worrying what anyone else is doing. When you play catch-up, the important thing is to win your games and not worry about anyone else.

Still it is nice that a player offers an opinion which shows an understanding and appreciation of local rivalries.

The festive season is a prelude to the drama of the transfer window, a time for carols to be adapted in jest by pundits – “Five goal kings“. And a time when Arsène is told that he will be selling players and whom he should replace them with. A bit of fantasy football, a touch of football titilation that helps to pass the time.

This morning’s first helping is the news that Andrey Arshavin is on his way out of the club. In an economic downturn, the media are giving Arsenal the chance to sack the entire scouting network with Edinson Cadavani touted as a replacement for just about everyone other than Robin van Persie or this morning’s Mirror which reckons Podolski, Goetze or even Thierry Henry will be there to step into the diminutive Russian’s shoes.

And that’s before the relative merits of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are considered. In a rare moment of lucidity, Ian Wright this morning has hit the nail on the head with the youngster in that allowing him to grow up in private is the right course of action. Whether “unleashing the Ox” on Sunday would have resulted in any mesmeric wing play that forced an equaliser is conjecture; we’ll simply never know.

However, what of Ju Young Park? His absence is the bizarrest aspect of the transfer activity around the end of the Summer window. When Wenger signed Jose Antonio Reyes, he observed that the January window allowed players six months to adapt to their new homes, clubs, etc. This meant that the best of them came in the following season. The presumption is that they would be bedded into the squad and subsequently the first XI gradually.

Park’s problem is 4-3-3. He is in direct competition with Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Benayoun and Gervinho with Rosicky to a lesser extent. That is a competitive area for any player, let alone one who has just joined the club. As has been pointed out, the Korean has been on the bench but not used. Why is the question that only the manager can answer.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 20, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 313 Comments.

  1. No way are we out of it!

    Just Arsene’s mind games …

  2. Agreed about the Park signing. I thought it was strange at the time, and nothing has really happened to shed any light on the matter. We let Bendtenr go, who despite his many faults had a decent scoring record, and effectively downgraded in the striking department. Strange.

  3. After the City defeat, it goes downhill from here. We needed the points.

    We had all attacking options available and a week of rest. After surviving the first half, it was ours for the taking. That we did not score (as we did not in our last 3 games against City) is significant.

    Knowing Villa and their current manager, after the poor display against the Pool they will deliver the game of their season against us. Having to reshuffle the midfield without Song and may be rotate in the attack, it’s likely that we’ll drop more points. And here comes the pressure.

    Losing Gerv for the African cup is a terrifying thought (I’m not even mentioning Chamack). February and March will be a challenge with the tough Milan fixtures and some existential games in the league. Knowing Wenger, he’ll gamble on CL and neglect the league. I’m preparing myself for the next season without CL.

    I beg for some attacking reinforcements in January.

    A glass fully empty view. I’d love it to be proved wrong.

  4. I have been seeing alot of talk about buying yet another midfielder. I highly doubt that happening. Tbh I have lowered my expectations on changes of any high profile buying taking place. Knowing how wenger works we might just get a defender and maybe sign Henri. I would be really surprised if we make any big name signing.

  5. i think we bought park so we can offer him and chamakh in a part ex deal for hazard.. 🙂

    weve never changed focus or ambition..when we were laying in 17th and totally on our arse it was one game at a time and fight our way back to top talk of of trophies…

    weve almost done it..lets just keep doing what we are doing and see how close we are come may..but spurs is a perfect target now..

  6. Cheer up SV. Tis the festive season, and there’s nothing quite like an Away match against Slurgus’ little helper.

    ‘He is in direct competition with Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Benayoun and Gervinho with Rosicky’

    + Ryo!

    The QPR home game is where there might see more then a few changes the familiar XI over the festive season.

  7. SV – City are a very good team, make no mistake abuot that. Losing to them is no big drama really. They are the sort of team htat will beat anybody on their day. Sunday was unfortunate more than anything else. We matched them are were not outplayed in any way.

  8. Looking at the table, 3rd is an entirely realistic proposition. Don’t forget, we still have to play City, United, Spurs and Chelsea at home and only Liverpool away of the “big guns” in the Premier League. And after tomorrow’s game we’ll only have to play away at Stoke of any of the current next five, most of our away games are against teams in the lower half. This should work in our favour a bit, the tougher games being at home and the easier ones (as easy as any get!) away. 2nd is harder to see, clawing back ten points on United is going to be seriously difficult and the twelve to City looks too much, it would need a spectacular collapse from them.

    We do need another striking option in the squad though and I don’t think a short-term loan of Henry is the answer. We need someone who we can trust to play when we need to rest van Persie, Chamakh being away and in horrible form and Park not having been played at all in the Premier League doesn’t indicate that either of them are that man.

    If Arshavin goes I won’t be too upset, undoubted talent, but he lost his mojo ages ago and there doesn’t seem to be any indication of it coming back. Maybe a change of scenery will do him good.

  9. Sometimes in life situations force your hand and you need to rationalise your priorities and get them right. Our aims right now should be to clinch a CL spot and do well in the cups.if we keep this team together and make a few experienced additions then we have more than a realistic chance at taking the league title next season.

  10. @sv is this how u usually view things? If it is,then I feel very sorry for u

  11. Wenger has been accumulating too many youths without unleashing them on a gradual process. It’s akin to the ancient Chinese emperors accumulating a harem.By the time the old guy died,some of the women were left untouched.
    Take the case of vela.He did not have a run of say ten games to prove his worth.Then he’s off loaded.What a waste of time.The thing is all these youths have say twenty to thirty minutes to make an impression after coming as a prove his worth.More often it’s unlikely to result in the yg proving his capability.
    This Jan will indicate to fans how Wenger is planning his strategy.If it’s more of the same ie signing for potential rather than experience,it shows a blinkered approach and if the gunners fail to get a cl berth,that’s it. Wenger should go upstairs. Arsenal should get someone who has a different plan as to getting players and tactics. Wenger has been given more than enough time to show his plan is working but it hasn’t worked. Why should it work in two years time or longer. The waiting time is over.Time for anothe sheriff to clean up the town as in the old western movies.

  12. Chelsea to bid £20 million for Rodwell. Who will save us from this madness?!

  13. Block4 – My thoughts as well.

  14. Some work needs to be done to address the attack in Janauary, against city the other night, I was so dissapointed with Arshavin and Chamack. They were introduced when we were chasing the game and didn’t have any impact, andrey had a chance to slide a ball through 4 a good chance and squanderd it.

    Arshavin time is up, let’s call a spade a spade, same with Marouane

  15. @Quqker

    I suppose Arteta, Mertesacker, Yossi etc were all classic wenger youth signings eh..

    And i suppose signing theo, ramsey, cesc, Djorou, song etc have all been a true waste of time

  16. heres the thing with arshavin..
    A..will he be offered a new deal? he happy sitting on the bench?
    C..has he been performing at a level that will get him off the bench?

    if the answer to all those is no, then i think we should cut our losses and sell in jan..we can still get good money for him, especially if he goes back to that will help us find a replacement..

    we may be priced out of a gotze deal but i reckon we can grab shakiri at a decent price..

  17. I’ll say no to Henry, he is probably better than our back up but we shouldn’t allow his name to be spoilt, besides there is a statue of him, how would a player playe knowin there is a statue of him oustide.

    This is a crunch period, the OX should be giving a chance, if the coach doesn’t think him on Benny is good enough then maybe, he could get another Winger.
    AA23 is so far from the player he was 2 years ago, lost pace, lost confiidence. Like I said the other day, AA leaving would be best for him and the club

  18. Agreed about a striker signing but who of the needed quality would want to join us just to sit on the bench untill van Persie needs a breather? The Park situation is really a strange one, you think Wenger will suprise us, he might come good, you never know

    Im still fairly content with the defence at the moment even with miquel. He needs games so heres his chance.

    Love szcz’s comments about spurs hes a proper gooner

    bring on villa

  19. I thought Park signed to raise his profile and make sure he got into the South Korea National/Olympic teams to avoid being called up for military duty?

    Anyway, I don’t see too many changes tomorrow night, other than Miquel at left-back and either Rosicky, Coquelin or Frimpong in for Song. Maybe we’ll have to overcompensate and include two of them alongside Arteta and leave Ramsey on the bench, but I doubt it.

    Boss says Djourou’s injury is usually 21 days out.

  20. Chamcak also is a shadow of the player he once was. Think he should also do an Eduardo and leave to get back on track.

    Diaby please come back.

  21. JonJon – I think yuo are right, all the answers to your questions posed will be no. I can’t see us offering him a new contract, and even if we do he with be 32 years old so I can’t imagine he will be happy with our one year offer. I don’t think he will be with us at the start of next season.

  22. Maybe Diaby can play striker.
    On a serious note, I’m almost sure Wenger would get 2 players in january, I have never lost when I predict a Wenger transfer, I bet he knows he needs to add players .
    2 players in janyary it is, a striker and maybe a full back of midfielder.

  23. I don’t think the Henry idea is a bad one personally. He would be a better goal threat than Chamakh of Park, and it could bring a real boost to the club. Cheap as well if Arsene does not want to commit to a large transfer at this point, or can’t get the players he would want until the summer.

    It would also be great for some of the younger players to play with him education wise. He can play ni the wide area or centrally if needed. I don’t see a down side. He is not the player he was, but could still hold his own in this lge.

  24. I can’t see us buying a full back. We already have 4, it is just crazy bad luck that they are all injured.

  25. Is Vela’s loan a season long?

  26. I don’t think Henry is the answer just because teh Red Bulls start pre-seasonin February. We could sign him until then, but what happens when he goes back? IMO, we need to get another striking option in for the longer term.

  27. Ah, good point.

  28. Well that’s enough ranting from me this morning cause I watched the Man city game again this morning. I’m not sayin AA and MC were the reason we lost but if they had been better, they could have got us and equalizer or maybe a win . Just really sad because I had serious hopes for the match

  29. Vela is on loan at Real Sociedad for the season, yes. He isn’t exactly setting San Sebastián alight though. 2 goals and 2 assists in 11 appearances. Not bad, but not great. At 22 you’d think he would kick on a bit. I don’t think he is our answer if we do lose Arshavin.

  30. a defender might come in depending on the severity of our wounded..if they are all back on schedule then by the time the window closes we may only have santos we’ll see..

    definately something upfront though…

  31. Quqker. You’re confused. Do you mean the youths like Wilshere, Theo, Djourou, Schewznie, Miquel, Ramsey, Oxtail, Song, Le Coq and Frim (10 from first team, 6 starters) and possibly Ryo (11 young players) have all failed, and in what way do think they failed? Or do you mean Vela, Bendtner and Denilson (3) failed before, and with 3 young players not making the grade then the youth focus has collapsed?

    The way I see it is Chewie, Wilshere, Theo, Song, Ox and Ramsey, maybe Miquel, are 7 of the most exciting young talents playing in England, probably Europe, and will all emerge as great Arsenal stars.

  32. i dont think velas in arsenes long term plans..
    same with denilson and bendtner..the ship has sailed..

  33. I do think CBob needs to offer ACLF regulars a case of vintage cider. On second thoughts it might be the fuel AA needs to always look on the bright side of life, ba-da-ba-da-ba-da-ba-da.

  34. chris from Cambridge

    Park was bought to sell T shirts in Korea. He’s not a mug player but we do not use different formations to accomodate players and get the best out of them. That is an important reason for Arshavin completely losing it. He has never been / is not / not ever will be a left winger !! But we only use the one tactical formation. I had better not say it is down to the Manager or there will be uproar.

  35. Who will join my “bring back Almunia” campaign?

    Here’s my team for all seasons of good cheer.
    Hoyte Skillacci Sylvestre Traore
    Thingy-bob Denilson Randall
    Bendtner JET Vela

    I would love to predict that of this team of fairly recent rejects or loanees, Vela and Denilson will be back.

  36. Vela is making a case though. He’s settled at Sociedad and scored 2 and made 3 since the end of November.

    Don’t know if he’ll ever suit the Premiership but I’m still a big fan. He’s quick and his touch when he’s got his head screwed on can be divine. I hope he comes back.

  37. I agree with Chris from Cambridge. Insightful. Wish we had more analysts like this, able to use the term tactical formation in correct context.

  38. Zim, I never left the bring back Almunia campaign. Our best back-up option.

  39. With Gervinho going to the ACN there is litlte chance of AA going anywhere.
    He has been playing wonderfully for Russia .yet I read people saying his star is fading there as well)If he regains his confidence he is second only to RVP,and that’s marginal.
    I have never read so much crap,written by so many.who know so little.

  40. Here’s my ACLF selection

    Fun GAndy Bill PaulN
    Finsbury Limpar
    Shotta Steww Ateeb

    Mascot: SUGA3
    Manager: why Passenal of course
    Sponsor: YW
    Trainer: Frank

  41. Take out Ateeb, and place PG there.
    sorry Ateeb, you need to see Frank, for um, training.

  42. AA will surprise many in the second half of the season, mainly himself.

  43. Sorry, Steww, have a rest, Big Al OOU.

  44. Oh hell, I have more players than I know what to do with, too many. I know, I’ll rotate.

  45. velas the only one who’d id take back..but hes not the answer right now..hes not good enough to play in the first 11 and the futures with the likes of oxo. afobe, ryo, campbell…
    might as well get some money for him..

    denilson..i know theres some who would love him back..but wheres he going to play? song, diaby, frimpong, le coq, jack, rambo, arteta…hes had his be dissapointed if he came back and was ahead of any of these lads in the pecking order..he isnt better than any of them..

  46. Agree, George.

    The league is wide open and we are playing really well following an horrific start.

    Time for the real fans to show up, methinks.

  47. the truth is wenger is under no pressure to deliver – if he was he would be out buying top class players.
    this fact baffles other managers – they say the arsenal job is the best job in the world.

    it took an embarrasing at manure to loosen the purse.

  48. Markus warm up. Gadget at least put your boots on. Jonny … oh never mind.

  49. Bill out, JJ in. Boozy you’re out on loan, to Newfoundland Allstars.

  50. Injured in the warm-up. Out for 6 months.

  51. in three years
    ? koz tv gibbs
    frim jack
    gohts (cant spell)
    ox theo silva
    world beaters

  52. “Boozy you’re out on loan, to Newfoundland Allstars.”

    Boozy out injured. No mental strength left.

  53. ugh avoid those ‘future 11s’. Never know whats going to happen in football, either players dont work out or they stab you in the back, best not to get your hopes up about how the team may look in 5 years time as otherwise you’ll be disappointed when some youth star doesnt make it (JET, Bentley, etc) or some promising player who you’ve watched get better and better through all their inconsistancies fucks off just when they are about ready (nasri, flamini, etc)

  54. the contract situations with rvp theo and song may mean they wont even be here next year..
    so i agree its impossible to predict who will be here and who wont be..

    which is why this season is really important..if we ‘keep faith’ with certain players and dont act this jan it could all turn to shit come next summer and the people who want chamakh and arshavin to get more gametime will have their wish come true next season…

  55. arsenal need for City to drop points. that may happen when Yaya Toure goes to the Africa cup of nations, and with added investment into the team. if arsenal get two, maybe three players the depth issue is solved.

  56. City won’t notice Tour going away. They have plenty of players who can come into the side. They can’t build a squad of that quality and then start to whinge when a few of them go away.

  57. “…. In a rare moment of lucidity….”!. Like it . Really, Ian Wright has turned into the worst kind of sub Andy Townsend pundit. Quite why anyone listens to anything he has to say is beyond me.

  58. If Milan sign Teves is he eligible to play against us? Somewhere in my mind I think remembering him come on for Citeh in a qualifying match. Anyone?

  59. He came on in the game against Napoli. He would be cup tied.

  60. Thanks GA. Good news at last!

  61. we seem to forget..The Arsenal are being build down..and we are tricked into believing all is well,and be honest this summers transfers have left us in shambles…it was pretty clesr to see against citeh…we have 13-14 players who are good enough when all players are fit…so we really do need to cut off some dross and buy some real talent…will it happen…never nazidis is only at Our club to make a nice profit for himself and the owners…i still cant believe how inept wenger was this summer..he should be sacked…some Gooners love him and the americans… i only love Our Beloved Arsenal…and that club is gone…we’re not about winning anymore..feck we’re even happy to get fourth…and to continue being a selling club…money has become much more important than winning..
    finally the only man responsible for Our poor start is wenger and his tragic handling of Our club this summer…what a joke wenger is…get him out asap…

  62. ACLF village idiot of the year award goes to………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….boozy

  63. A virtual glass of cider to you all.

    Party tonight so might crack a barrel.

    Off now to make some pies.

  64. if we win our next 2 games and gibbs returns, you can kiss jan signings good bye.

    thats how short-sighted wenger is.

  65. Have you got a crystal ball(s) Boozy?

  66. Great post again yogi.

    We need to get back on track against villa. Agree with block 4. We have a relatively favorable 2nd half schedule. I think the title is out of our reach but we can certainly make an impact on the race and may be get back to 3rd.

    Interesting stat. RVP has scored in 9 of our 16 PL games and we have taken 24 out of a possible 27 points in those games. In the 7 games that he has not scored we have taken 5 points out if a possible 21. I suspect if you go back thru this whole calender year the trend would be just as striking. Thats not just a short run of form but a concerning long term trend. Not sure how to interpret but I think its safe to say we need to get another player who can play up front with RVP who will add more of a goalscoring threat if we really want to make a run in the 2nd half. not to mention how much help that would be next season to have a player who is fully acclimated to the PL. Add another good player up front and we have a real chance to challenge for the title again. Without someone else really stepping up to take the pressure off RVP it’s going to be very tough to realistically contend for a title even next season.

  67. Dups .he has no balls at all mate.
    He is a lily livered cunt.

  68. Ah, good point George.

  69. I’m in two minds…

    First to be for so long at stalemate against a team that’s spent close to a billion pounds is no mean feat. They are truly a ‘football manager’ team and we gave them a battle with some pretty exhaustive injuries in ley departments.

    Secondly, we had a clear out in the summer and I don’t believe this is complete. The likes of AA and MC were bought at a time when we had a different squad and style. Its time they were cleared out for players that compliment this new direction.

    To say AW has bought too much youth is crazy, that’s the only place we can compete financially in the inflated market in the hope they will prove to be the next messi, fab4 or rooney etc

    The fact is we do lack options, we now play with 3 forwards not wingers, they are very pacey and direct inside forwards with an incredible striker come no 10 between them. You can’t say that any decent striker would sit behind rvp as its not true. I good striker with pace and trickery can just as easily play in either of the inside fwd positions, hell rvp could even move wider, the point is we once had quality to bring on, changing it to 4 strikers, we don’t have strikers that have the movement, pace or technical ability to play across the front 3, that’s what we need.

    We obv still need some better strength in depth but we’ve come a long way, we have a good balance, great grit and cb’s that really get in the trenches, now its just about buying greater quality, flexible, technical fwds with pace, they don’t need to sit behind rvp they should compete with all 3 fwd positions. The likes of villa, cavezzi, caviani (I’m not saying let’s buy but proving a positional point) can all play up top or inside fwd and its that we need a la gervinho/theo/rvp(wide for holland)

  70. Bill, come on now. When we score we generally win, and VP generally scores most of our goals because if a team-mate is looking to play a pass he will always look for the strongest finisher. That is VP by a country mile.

    I think referring to the fact that VP scores a lot of our goals as a negative or “concerning long term trend” is melodramatic in the extreme.

  71. I understand the distaste for big money signings but by all reports we have at least 50 million sitting in a bank account doing nothing but earning interest. . We are set in defense although vertonghen would be an excellent addition. We are in good shape in midfield with JW coming back but we could sure use a good player upfront who could play along the front and score and create goals. He could play with a rotate with RVP TW and Gerv. Someone similar to Suarez would be perfect but players like that are generally over priced based on wengerian economics. I am not holding my breath but hopefully we will bite the bullet this once and bring in a top player. It could really be a huge difference maker for this team. All that money sitting in the bank is not going to score many goals, we wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference if some of it was gone.

  72. Bill ,do you think no one has thought of spending some of the money?
    What if though we have ear marked that money .or a large part of it,for improved deals for RVP,Song and Theo ?
    You seem sure you could manage the clubs resources better than they can.Personally I don’t think you could.

  73. A big club are hardly going to come out and say the have no transfer fund available. That’s market-place suicide.

  74. Markus:

    Spin the numbers however you like but we will be a much better team if we had another player upfront scoring goals. It would also take some the the defensive pressure off RVP.

  75. Bill, a few of those matches were early season when things were not going well, Newcastle, Pool and Balckburn – two of those matches an Arsenal player was sent off and in the Blackburn match we scored 3 goals and I believe had two own goals. Also when we beat Wigan, RVP didnt scored the last goal.

    Its not as simple as you are making it out to seem.

    I am not going to go into the bad calls that influenced the games but you get the point.

  76. RVP scored the last goal, that is.

  77. So Bill. Are you suggesting a change of shape for the team as well as spending freely?

  78. Also when we beat West Brom 3-0, RVP scored one goal out of 3. What do you take away the other goals? or do you say that we only won that game because RVP scored?

  79. Cbob, I could let you have some leftover p….

  80. George:

    No one knows how much money we really have or what it’s earmarked for but we can only speculate. All the evidence we have points towards a very significant slush fund and it increased again this summer. Speculating and discussing opinions is why most people blog I think.

    Paul: it’s not just this early this season that the rest of the team has struggled to score Same issue really hurt us in the last 1/2 of last season. If it was just a few games it would be easy to dismiss but it’s a significant sample at this point.

  81. I know if we did have 50 million lying around it would go a long way towards paying off our remaining debt, which should be number 1 priority. If a signing becomes available I’m sure funds would be there to make something happen, but this idea of a transfer account sitting with 50 million in it is a bit far-fetched for me.

  82. I thought you were in the Ozarks MD!

    I ca’t begin to imagine what they eat, wait!

    The ‘Ozark Mountain Daredevils.’ Now, that was a good name for a band.

  83. arsenalandrew | December 20, 2011 at 9:50 am

    agreed 100% mind games – does not want to put pressure on the squad as they been through enough already – i think in the back of his mind he knows city will drop points and if we are within 6 – 9 points when we play them again in april – who knows what might happen.

    We are not a one man team – who ever plays striker in an Arsene wenger team will get more than their fair share of chances and if they convert the majority then it may look as if we are a one man team. what needs to happen more is goals from midfield – our midfielders dont seem to hit the back of the net with regularity as cesc, lundberg, pires, reyes, wiltord, parlour etc. I think it will come theo gets goals, gerv will when he finds his scoring boots, ramsey will like he used to as a youth.

    Ive given up on Arshavin – my patience has worn out – i wont diss him but he lost his place to nasri and Theo last season and now finds himself behind gerv and Theo after selling nasri – for our record signing – he needs to play with gerv enthusiasm and spirit as he gives the ball away regularly but he actually wants to win it back and wants his team mates to pass to him and beat a man- Arshavin does try these things but is so quick to drop his head when it does not work out and i think thats where my fustration is with the little russian at the mo.
    Also think our full team would beat a full strength man city – but thats just me

  84. Again, you have over simplified it.

    I never said that it was only early this season but for the most part it is. Our last loss prior to City was on oct 2 against the Spurs. We drew one game in all that time. Most of the matches were obviously early season and there was much more to those games than your stat gives light to.

    We could also look at how many games we have won where Theo and Gervinho have assisted.

  85. Paul @ 2:56

    Assume for a second you are correct about arsenal getting more bads calls and the whole conspiracy theory is true. Arguing that we would be good enough if the refs were fair is not going to help us since in your world the refs are not fair. The only thing we way we can combat the inequity is to make the team better so the bad calls have less of an effect. Bad call didn’t hurt us in the Chelsea game. Pretty negative viewpoint if you really think that the system is so loaded against us that we never have a chance no matter how well we play.

  86. Loading the car CBob, Mrs MDGunner is taking advantage of the fact that we are not flying. You would think that we were going for a month. Still a few hours to go.

    Wild turkey and deer.

    OMDs – we have a poster on the wall at home.

    Just to prove this is Hick heaven, my mother-in-law showed me a newspaper cutting last year. Some guy was ‘remodeling’ his house and broke his drill bit. In order to finish making some holes in the wall he got his gun and shot the holes through. Trouble was his wife was standing on the other side of the wall at the time.

  87. Bill, stop with this system loaded against us nonsense. I have only said that you stat is doesnt give the whole story as there is more to it than what you are saying like players getting sent off, etc.

    The Chelsea game has quite a lot to with Santos and Walcott, so that is a terrible game to bring up. The winning goal was more about Terry Slipping than anything else, the last goal was gravy. It was Santos who got us back into the game and Walcott put us ahead.

  88. Sorry bro.

    if I say that some things altered the game that doesnt mean that I believe that it was some conspiracy. Though I do think some games need to be questioned big time.

  89. Amazing that this discussion is so in depth. It is common sense that another player who is a goal threat would improve the side. As far as a bona fide goal threat we do really only have RvP. Players like Theo will chip in with their fair share which is fair enough. But there are two things to consider:

    1. If RvP does get injured, will their “fair share” be enough to compensate?
    2. If we add this goalscorer to our squad it just may push us up a tier. Any team with aspirations of challenging for the lge needs more than one main goal threat.

    I honestly can’t believe people are disputing this.

  90. what is being disputed GA?

  91. MDGunner – Well at least you and the Mrs will have plenty of snacks to eat on your drive, all those unsold pastys!!

    Cbob – As a big cider fan I do appreciate the virtual glass my friend 🙂 Crack open that barrel and enjoy!

  92. MDGunner – “Trouble was his wife was standing on the other side of the wall at the time.”

    I would say that all depends on your point of view mate 🙂 (and on whether or not he missed!)

  93. I have to side with my name sake, Bill.

    We can not trust Gervinho to score goals. Theo is more clinical, but he has on and off days. RVP is the only player who looks deadly. When he gets the ball, you expect him to beat the keeper…With Gervinho it is the complete opposite…..

    One more goal scorer please.

  94. Paul I thought we were arguing the stat Bill brought up. When RVP scores, we took 24 of 27 pts… that one.

  95. Paul – Dispute was probably the wrong description in hindsight. I do think we need a striker, and whilst we don’t need to be spending Chelsea/City amounts of cash, or original transfer fund from the summer lies untouched. The cash from Clichy/Nasri/Cesc would have covered any outgoings. Before the summer IG said we had a very healthy transfer fund. So we still must have.

    Basically we do have the cash (the exact amount nobody obviously knows), it is blatantly obvious we need another reliable forward. Go and get him. Obviously one of the main issues is buying in the winter transfer window. Can be difficult to get the players you want. We have turned things around and are looking really god at the moment, but every time see RvP down I wince. We are one injury (to as history will tell us a player who picks up plenty of injuries) away from the season being derailed just as we are building some really go momentum.

    We have really good cover for pretty much every other position in the squad.

  96. Sounds a dangerous place for an Essex boy.

    I can hear the conversations now when you walk into the ‘Ol boys Bar and Gunroom’ and ask for your usual lager and lime.

    Do you wear lots of extra cloths and puff your chest out?

    I’ve already tried the cider Irish. Lovely. Have to be careful though, the party doesn’t start until 7. andf i’ve got truffles and sausage rolls to make yet.

  97. So Bill and Bill .Is it new goal scorer in and Gervinho out?
    Or new goal scorer in and Theo out or
    Will we get special dispensation to field 12 men?

  98. George:

    Do you really think that 4 players covering 3 positions won’t get enough playing time? Even if RVP plays every game 3 good players for 2 positions is a very good thing

  99. Other have scored in our unbeaten run. I would like to think that those goals had a part to do with getting the points.

    I say again, many of the games we lost were due to early season woes. So to put it on the back of whether RVP scored or not is wrong.

    Do we need a striker? if you say.

    However to answer JJ about whether other players will step up. I believe so. I believe that if Arshavin and Chamakh are given a run of games and if they are also played to their strengths they will come good. Players dont just become poor overnight.

  100. But Bill you are forgetting that I think Andrei is a very good player.Better than anyone we are libel to buy in January

  101. PG – If we buy a player who contributes more to the team, they will either have to up their game or sit on the bench. The club is more important than the players. Theo has 2 lge goals, and Gervinho 3. That is not really enough for forward players, and it certainly would not take up the slack if RvP was not banging them in.

  102. George me ol chap. It does not have to be a straight swap. I recall something that you have said before, along the lines of this:

    Since Oil City and Chelski came along, it is now neccessary to have 2 class players at each position.

    After RVP, who do we have that can play as the striker? They need to have a great first touch. They must be able to drop deep and link the play when needed. They also need to have a real eye for goal.

    Any suggestions????

    “His name is Andrey Arshavin”

  103. Oh sorry Iforgot we were playing fantasy football again Andy.
    Well I suggest Eto and Rooney!

  104. His name is “Andrei ” as it happens

  105. PG – How on earth did you make that leap? I don’t recall anybody making a suggestion even resembling that.

  106. Paul I have a question. This is pretty hypothetical but bare with me please.

    Say Chamakh is given 5 games to regain some form. Can we afford to drop points as we wait for him to regain his eye for goal?

  107. answer GA, that is.

  108. Any successful team will have a good amount of goals coming from a few different players. At the moment we don’t. It is as simple as that.

  109. Well you want them to be better than Gervinho ,Theo and Andrei .Because you say they are not scoring enough.So I am suggesting the type of player you would need in order for them to be an improvement.Andy

  110. my ignorance is shown….

  111. Paul – ?

  112. “But Bill you are forgetting that I think Andrei is a very good player.Better than anyone we are libel to buy in January”

    Freudian slip there george? ‘Libel’ for ‘liable’?

  113. Bill I have a question for you.What chance of a new guy coming in and hitting the ground running in his first 5 games?

  114. PG – Well then you are being a little short sighted I would imagine. I am glad you are not a scout for us

    Arsene – PG, please find me a left sided player.

    PG – That Messi fella fits the bill.

    Arsene – No, he is a bit out of our price range.

    PG – Sorry, there is nobody else. Best make do with what you have in that case.

  115. Yes bob ,auto correct is a bugger

  116. @ Thrill,

    I think the more pertinent question is how does a player regain form?

    We say buy a striker, one who has never played in the PL mind you. How do we know that they will come good? are we not taking risks no matter how you dice it? Can we wait for that new striker to get acclimatised to the PL?

    What we know is that when Chamakh was given a run of games, the man produced the goods.

  117. Bill I have a question for you.What chance of a new guy coming in and hitting the ground running in his first 5 games?

    More chance than Chamakh looking like scoring or Park even getting on the bench I would imagine.

  118. I’d have more time for the new-striker argument if any of the proponents could name a realistic target. An up and comer who is available, can come on and make an impact and doesn’t mind playing second fiddle for a few years.

  119. Goonerandy – In as much as I think AA is a gifted player he just is not cutting it at the moment. And to those who say he needs a run of games, he had a run of games and was dropped because he was not performing. Our wide men, Gervinho, Theo, AA and AOC and others who wish to play that position, need to defend and attack for 90 minutes. AA can’t do this and has become a liability. Chamakh on the other hand with a run of games will, I believe, come good but that will be just in time for the ANC when he will be pissing off for several weeks. I think we should sell AA (regretfully) and buy an established attacking left winger. We also need to start playing Park/Chamakh or buy a new striker. Playing RVP in every game is not an option obviously. Chamakh must be sold if we are to buy a new striker. Henry would be a bandaid and one that could indeed destroy his reputation if he were not to achieve what the majority of fans would expect from him, which would be silveware frankly such is the esteem he is held in.

    GK – We have arguably one of the top 2 in the league. (Hart being the other)

    CB’s – For once I have no complaints whatsoever here as I think they are, IMO, the best in the league. (Kos and TV)

    WB’s – Brilliant but broken. Gibbs is close to coming back but we need someone on the right.

    DM – Song and Frimpong have this sorted between them and can be reinforced by several others if needed. I would love for TV to be given this role at some point.

    MF – Penty of talent here. Which will only get better as JW and Diaby return to the squad.

    Striker – RVP, nuff said. Chamakh will as I said above come good but will be missing for some time. Park needs to play.

    RW – Theo had an off game against Citeh but other than that has had a great seson post Blackburn. Aoc is also a great prospect.

    LW – Gervinho is one of my favorite players to watch, if only because you never know what the hell he is going to do. But after him……sorry PG but AA just seems to walk around at times and do nothing. Other times he has moments of brilliance but they are too few and far between, we need improvement. Ryo perhaps but will he be a new Theo and take years to really perform?

    In short I think we were badly exposed at Citeh for not having any recognised attacking FB’s. In the last 15 minutes or so when Kos kept pushing up we created several chances, too little too late though. Our attacking LW was also exposed defensively which leaves our team imbalanced and pulls our midfield all over the place which in turn exposes our DM/CB for counter-attacks.

    We need to get our balance back. We need:
    1. A recognised attacking RB, similar to Santos would be brilliant.
    2. An attacking left winger with the ability to defend. (Benayoun defends like a madman but is he strong enough to break down defenses when isolated as out wingers sometimes are for long spells at a time?)
    3. Either start playing our secondary strikers on a regular basis or start shopping. RVP cannot and should not be expected to keep going the way he is.

    Outside of that I think we are pretty solid as a team and way more talented than we are given credit for.

  120. @Irish – actually if I remember correctly, I think the guy’s wife died of the gunshot wounds

    @Cbob “Sounds a dangerous place for an Essex boy.”

    You’ve never been to Basildon?

    “I can hear the conversations now when you walk into the ‘Ol boys Bar and Gunroom’ and ask for your usual lager and lime.”

    Not the vodka and lime?

    “Do you wear lots of extra cloths and puff your chest out?”

    It’s the bellies that I can’t compete with.

    “Sausage rolls…” Now that gives me an idea, you wouldn’t have the recipe would you?

  121. Sorry GA, I put JJ in one of my comments but I was referring to you.

  122. Or
    Arsene – PG, please find me a left sided player.

    PG – That Messi fella fits the bill.

    Arsene – No, he is a bit out of our price range.

    PG,_ How about Stuart Downing for £20 million

    Arsene ,fuck off George ,in which world is a player like that better than Arshavin?You are sacked you cretin

  123. Bill and Will,

    Don’t confuse correlation with causation! Just because there seems to be a correlation between RVP scoring and Arsenal winning does not mean the one is caused by the other. Paul-N makes a great point about Gervinho and Walcott assists also correlating with wins. That statement is just as valid as yours about RVP scoring. I would argue that the cause of the wins for The Arsenal is much more complicated than simply RVP scoring or Walcott or Gervinho getting assists.

    Besides, there isn’t a player out there who would shoot rather than pass to RVP if there was a decent chance of the pass getting through. You go with the hot hand, they all know it, and RVP is banging them in at an astonishing clip right now.

  124. Paul – Ah, I get ya. Bit of a fingers crossed gamble though eh?

    Irish – Decent post

    PG – I know this will hurt your feelings, but AA is not the barometer to which our transfer targets are compared.

  125. It is pretty unlikely george.

    What I would like to see is this: We sign a player. He comes on for the last 10 minutes of a game. In those 10 minutes, he sprints everywhere he goes. He runs vertically up the pitch. He displays quick thinking, and his giving his markers a hard time. If can score a goal or provide an assist great.

    Watch what Benayoun does when he makes his sub apperances. He sprints around like he is high on sugar pills.

  126. ha ha ha ha!

    Irishgray, what run was Arshavin given this season?

  127. Gibbs has had a setback and won’t be involved tomorrow.

    Imagine my shock.

  128. YW – good commentary this morning. Thanks for all you do!

    Ateeb | December 20, 2011 at 7:22 am

    “That’s one of your most ridiculous posts. I’ll keep it as short as possible. You don’t see the midfield working, that earned around 22 out of potentially 27 points?

    As for Ramsey, I think he is turning out to be a great midfielder. His passes are good, but more importantly he’s getting into good positions to score, in almost every match. He might not be converting them yet, but he will be a very good goal scoring midfielder.”

    Ateeb, I actually find myself agreeing with most of your posts, but I will take exception on this issue.

    re: points
    22 out of 27 points – against whom? Wigan, WBA, Shrewsbury, Bolton, Blackburn are (imo) championship material clubs. Everton, Fulham, Norwich, Sunderland, Spurs, Swansea, Pool, and City – we scored none, one, or two goals…….matches that we should have put away early or done better……we didn’t.

    I would categorize the Chelsea match as an anomaly this season (to date). While good results against Marseille and Dortmund…..we struggled to create and convert. 1-1, 0-0, 1-0, 2-1

    Without the glorious in form from RvP……I might find myself in depression.

    That stretch run is a warm fuzzy.

    The defense is growing in confidence and “consistency” – not true for our mid-field and forward play.

    So my remarks last night about the midfield really center the play of Ramsey…..for me, Ramsey is a weak link.

    Ramsey is likely to turn out to be a great midfielder. He plays like a 20 year old: lacking consistency. He does make instinctive runs and has self-confidence ……..but in the 20+ matches that he’s started, his goal and assist production is not where it needs to be at this position.

    I see Ramsey being unfairly thrown into the fire at a premature time in his career. The desire and energy are there, but its a position that Arsenal need more experience NOW, not in 4 years.

    If the chemistry in attack solidifies, we will pull out results in matches against strong clubs like City and start winning comfortably against the have nots.

    Recently one of our fellow posters, again I apologize for not remembering whom to give credit…..anyway it was a stunning analogy about Song and his ability to hold the ball against opponents.

    My point is that this is the type of playing quality that Arsenal need at every position. Players that can dominate the game at their position – Vermaelen, Kos, RvP, Song, Sagna.

  129. PG – Bollocks what? There is a very simple reason why I can remember every time AA tracks back and makes a tackle and gets a huge roar of approval from the fans. It’s because he only does so once every game!! When he loses the ball, he rarely tracks back and helps out defensively. Instead he jogs back and that leaves our LB exposed. With a 3 man midfield we cannot afford such luxury, at least not as often as AA would like to indulge in it. Theo’s game defensivels has improved massively in his last 10 games or so and it shows in our performances. If AA were to repeat that we would be destroying teams like City instead of losing 1-0. Against City Theo had a bad game. He looked for all the world like AA. Losing the ball constantly and not helping out defensively. I do not understand how that can be a bad game for Theo but when AA does it, he is forgiven because we all know he is an amazing talent. It is not talent that wins games but talent combined with effort. Sadly he seems to lack the latter.

  130. Paul you are right when you say that expecting a new striker to come in and score goals is a risk.

    What we can be sure of is that we buy a player who has scored goals in the past. We can be sure that this player is a good dribbler and has the ability to zig zag through the opposition.

    This player sounds a lot like Andrei….= )

  131. @Zimpaul
    I employ no irony at all when I say that is the biggest honour I have had bestowed on me. Leading the attack? Wow! I won’t let you down boss. Don’t fancy Franks hairdryer if I ever have less than 110%.

  132. PG – Whilst I do admit to admiring the simplicity of your reply, I would like you to explain why when our LB is Miquel and inexperienced, does our esteemed Russian Captain who has only come on as a sub, not track back at every opportunity when we need him to? Simple quaestion.

    Will the Thrill – Perfectly put, AA should be sat down and shown videos of Benayoun when he comes on as a sub.

  133. Arshavin has never been a track back and cover the full back type of a player .He has never done it nor should he.That is the job of the mid field.To move across and cover.
    When Andrei loses the ball it is ,as a rule nearer to another Arsenal player than him.He doesn’t trot back at all.He trots into space in order to give the mid field options when they recover the ball.
    If you want a workhorse like Dirk Kuyt then ok .buy him.But to expect Arshavin to play in the way people with little actual knowledge of the game wants,is unreasonable.
    Personally I think player who hare around the pitch trying.usually in vain,to retrieve a ball they lost are just trying to look good for the fans.The energy expended is wasted.

  134. One thing Andrey does do is take the risks necessary to score goals.

    Yes, he sort of fluffed that cross over the weekend.

    But, he hit the cross with his first touch. It was that decision that allowed for the space to be available. I doubt that many of our other players would attempt a first time cross with their weak leg.

  135. I don’t agree with Arsession.

  136. Oh crap I was rotated without kicking a ball. Fair play. I’m happy to sit on the bench and pick up my 80k

  137. Only school boys in the play ground all chase the ball.Even then its the schoolboys who don#t get picked to play for the school team

  138. Oh and I agree with Paul-N

  139. When AA was producing, we could afford having him as a luxury player who maybe does not work quite as hard as some other members of the team. But if he is not producing he is just a liability. That is one of the reasons Gervihno is ahead of him. Even when he has an off day, he still puts in a shift and works hard for the team.

  140. Luxury player! Haven’t heard that since the 70s. Stan Bowles anyone?

  141. Ha, it is an old term. Modern day? Le Tissier?

  142. Watch the City game again and keep watching Andrei(who is Andrey?)You will see him constantly moving into space and making himself available.If others did this he would see them and attempt a pass.That they don’t is because they don’t see the game as well as he does.
    It is no coincidence that he has suffered more from first Injuries and then the loss of Cesc.

  143. hah my bad George. Andrey is my old neighbor’s second cousin who lived in the shed. Andrei is the captain of Russia.

  144. Heh, you really are blind where he is concerned eh PG. Fair enough, I (for one) will leave him alone now. 😉

  145. Actually MD I have a very quick and excellent sausage roll recipe.

    Roll out puff pastry as long as you can but wide enough to roll.

    Spread sausage meat on the pasty.

    Roll so it ends up as a ‘swiss roll’.

    Cut across with sharp knife to make pieces about 0.5 inches.

    Bake in oven as usual.

    No fuss or bother and delicious.

  146. Gris Gris @4:38:

    You can rationalize and spin the data all you want but the point is we need someone else to step up and start scoring. TV5 has 33% of our goals in the last 4 games. Short sample but we can’t expect that to continue. If we start sending our cb forward to chase goals we are going to lose that defensive solidarity and the defense is the main reason we are tied for 5th right now. We had the same problem with a toothless attack outside of RVP during the meltdown late last season. IMO The good form we have shown in the last Couple of months is not maintainable if we dont get more scoring from the rest of our attacking players.

  147. i honestly do not see why this is such a contentious issue. I think it might have to do with the hangover from the summer when doomers were bandying around every tom dick and harry as being better than what we had at our disposal, and stating that wenger had lost it and is crazy for not buying cahill (or frey, mexes, ribery etc etc in previous seasons) that has created this defensive stance.

    In my humble opinion, I am happy with our strike force as it is, and if we dont reinforce, I wont be tearing my hair out. If RvP gets injured, i think we’ll be in a bit of a pickle, but you never know who will step up if that occurs. HOWEVER, I really dont see what damage buying another striker could possibly do…the psychological lift that bringing Andrei in a few years back was marked, plus would be more competition for places and everyone would hopefully up their game. I dont think anyone is saying that we should bring someone to replace theo, andrei (well some ppl might be, but i’m not), gerv or even park and chamakh. We dont need to ship anyone out, but bringing another talented player to the squad cant really do any harm can it? Fair do’s i dont think we should break the bank or pay silly money for someone just for the sake of it, however if there is someone in our price-range, let’s say 10-20m who Arsene thinks will benefit the team, I dont really see how that can be seen as a negative.

    So yes, I hope we sign another striker during january, but it wont be the end of the world if we dont

  148. In fairness to Arshavin’s recent cameo against City, he came on when we needed a goal, so he is probably under orders to not track back.

  149. PG – You are right in saying that, if you watch the City game again, you will see AA constantly moving into space but that has more to do with the fact he has not got the ball and is simply strolling around waiting for his teammates to win it back and pass it to him than anything else.

  150. and i do think wenger was in for more players over the summer, just wasnt going to be blackmailed into paying over the odds. So if one of his targets is available for what he deems to be a reasonable price, then i’m sure he’ll have a go.

    And it would provide a lift – whether it be a Gotze/Hazard type player (it wont) or some exciting young player with a 1 minute youtube clip from Paraguayan 2nd division – i mean, look how excited Ryo got everyone during the summer.

  151. To be honest Jabberwocky, I dont remember anyone saying that they have an issue with buying a striker.

    @ Bill,

    We need scoring from all over the pitch, the players have said it. To me the mid needs to get it going, for there is space when Theo an Gervihno drive forward. The players have agreed that others needs to step up, but please dont dismiss as nothing the goals that others have scored and the assists. Without them we would have lost a few more even if RVP scored.

  152. jabberwocky – I think you may onto something there, we should definitely buy that Paraguayan guy!!

  153. absofuckinglutely irish – check out this bicycle kick!

  154. Markus .Why would you bring on a creative player and tell him his job is ,at one nil down by the provide cover for the full back.I don’t believe its his job cover the full back

    Irish.What sort of a post is that?Of course he has not got the ball when he moves into space to create options.That’s the whole idea.

  155. Jabberwocky

    Agree that there is no downside to bringing in a new player or 2, so why not. Still can’t understand why there has to be an artificial ceiling in the 10 – 20M range. No logic to setting those sort of limits is there?

  156. Paul N @ 4:45pm – ha ha ha ha!

    Irishgray, what run was Arshavin given this season?

    He was given the start of the season. Newcastle, Liverpool, Man Utd, Swansea, Blackburn.
    Outside of one brilliant finish from a chance gifted to us by the Swan’s GK, he performed way below par. When Gervinho came back after suspension we started to improve and have continued to do so. He has been brought on as a sub in the main since then but that I think is onluy fair as Gervinho has been playing very well, not scoring but still 🙂

  157. Sweet Baby Jesus H Christ On A Bike!

    Is our medical team headed by Dr Nick Riviera? Sack the useless cunts and Wenger while we are at it!

  158. IG, George made me laugh there Bro.

    He started all of those games?

  159. “He was given the start of the season. Newcastle, Liverpool, Man Utd, Swansea, Blackburn.
    Outside of one brilliant finish from a chance gifted to us by the Swan’s GK, he performed way below par. ”

    The whole fucking team preformed below par in those game FFS.
    So it was Gervinho replacing Arshavin that led to our upturn.Not the new players bedding in or actually being at the club?

    More bollocks.

  160. bill, i agree, i just dont think we will spend more than that. I certainly wouldnt be upset if we spent £50m on a player for the pure reason that arsene would have sanctioned it, and if arsene decided to spend that much on a player (not that he would), then I fully trust that whatever player it is would be worth that amount. but as i’ve said, i dont see us spending outside of that bracket at this point in time.

  161. PG – Never said that. What I said was when Gervinho came back from suspension he played very well and has since kept AA out of the first team. What part of that do you have a problem with? I think in all fairness we should just ignore the Man Utd game as it was a fluke result. 8 shots for an 8 goal return? Pfft. But the other games were games AA should have claimed his starting place in the squad buyt he did not. And just for the record PG, the “new” players did not start until after the UTD game.

  162. So if AA has been pulling his weight, and given he is clearly more talented that Theo or Gervihno……why is he sub?

  163. Get rid of that fat lazy Ruskie cunt an all.

  164. IG I know that is my point.
    “When Gervinho came back after suspension we started to improve and have continued to do so”
    not as you now claim
    “when Gervinho came back from suspension he played very well and has since kept AA out of the first team.”

  165. Well yes george, but the first comment is also accurate isn’t it?

  166. Oh fuck off Andy.
    I am not saying he is playing well or the he should oust either of the two.
    Clearly he is below par at present.But 12 months ago people were saying the same about Rooney.

  167. PG – If you think for one second Gervinho is not the reason AA is not starting then you are even more deluded than I ever thought when it comes to our little Russian friend. Gervinho is one of SEVERAL players contributing to our massive improvement since the start of the season but he is the sole reason AA does not start very many games. How you cannot see that is beyons me.

  168. arshavin is off form, and compared to last season is not producing the goods in terms of goals or assists. however, still a great player to have in the team, as if he regains his form, then that is one hell of a ‘likeanewsigning’

    would still be good to have someone else in the team as well. dont really see why so many ppl are obsessed with shipping people out in january..the more players the merrier i think

  169. PG – Okey Dokey.

  170. PG – I get what you are saying re: Rooney but I guess I have simply exhausted my patience with waiting for players we all know are talented to come good again. Because while we are sitting around waiting, we are losing tight games against opposition we should be beating. I am not blaming AA for the City loss per se, as I said before I think it was more to do with not having genuine attacking fullbacks but he really did not add much to the game when he came on. We all know he CAN but for whatever reason he simply doesn’t. I want someone who does and does it consistently.

  171. Irish .Are you a full shilling?
    Of course Gervinho is the reason Andrei is not playing.Where have I said that?
    Its you talking bollocks and wanting him to be like a play station Dirk Kuyt,that I am taking exception to.And failing to appreciate what his game involves.

  172. Jabber – Because of the 25 man suad rule dummy!! 🙂

  173. PG – Is there really any point in having a discussion with you pertaining to AA? 🙂 Stubborn little…..The reason Gervinho is playing ahead of AA is not simply because he is scoring goals (cos he is not) or that he is providing all of the assists for RVP (cos he is not) but because his ALL-ROUND play is much better, that means both attacking and defending.

  174. Jabberwocky @ 5:54

    Agree with that. Difficult to imagine us really upgrading if we have to stick in the 10 – 20 range. I love gervinho and he may well come good and start to score but he and nasri are the type of players we have been getting in the 10 – 20M range and tbh we have not really had a great Wenger home run for a goal scorer since RVP. Ade and AA briefly looked good and nasri was great for 1/2 a season. . Dudu might have been. Even with wengers brilliance he has not had much success getting goal scorers by putting those sort of limits on how much we can spend.. It just costs more to get good goal scorers I guess.

  175. Yes Bob but you could equally say the same of Santos.Could you not?
    He implied that the improvement was because of Gervinho .Where he was simply a contributor.
    Who is to say that if Andrei had been starting with the new improved ,bedded in ,team .there also would not have been an equal improvement.?

  176. What`s happened to Arshavin is tragic. He appears totally devoid of any confidence & I believe will be sold in January should we get a reasonable offer.

    Sticking him out on the left wing & expecting him to track back is not getting the best from him. 4-3-3 is to blame (ditto Chamackh) but I can`t see him ever fitting into it so maybe it`s best for all concerned for him to move on.

    I think we`ll buy in January but how many will depend on injuries over the next couple of weeks. If Gibbs is long term (again) we`ll need a full back for sure.

  177. The Swiss Ramble published an interesting analysis of the public info on Arsenal’s accounts at the start of last summer and estimated between 40-50million pounds and went with around 40 as a safer figure. Given that we made some money in the transfer market last summer and have the last of the real estate money coming in, there is good reason to think we have financial flexibility. Some of our players are on loans and we might not be able to sell them (Bendtner hasn’t lit it up and is becoming a liability for off-pitch behaviour on decent wages that some clubs can’t afford; Denilson is on the bench these days at Sao Paulo after underwhelming and getting lots of red cards–PL probably affected his game; Vela is doing okay but not so well that offers will pour in, Almunia is still with us as is Squillaci–these are all wage commitments). So that is something to be concerned with and some of the players we brought in are quite experienced/accomplished and must be on healthy wages–Arteta, Merts, Santos, Park, Gervinho (the Ox probably on decent but not such high wages). Plus we have contract renewals and rises for Song, Walcott, RvP and Vermaelen (who just signed and must have received some sort of rise) to budget for. But these all together are not so huge as financial obligations that they would erode the transfer profits and unspent resources of last summer.

    Remember, TV money has gone up, season tickets have gone up to increase matchday revenue, and commercial income is rising slightly with the hope of a big jump in 2014 and we went on tour which probably raised a couple million.

    We don’t know exact figures for everything but all signs point to Arsenal having a good amount available and there were credible reports that we made bids above 20 and 30 million pounds for players over the summer. If we had the sums then after spending on Gervinho and the Ox and then spent around 25 million on the four players we bought at the end of the window after sales totalling around 55 million, it suggests that there is still a substantial amount available.

    The cost of not making the CL this year is at least 25-30 million pounds for next year. I’d be inclined to use the funds to reinforce, try to go deep in the CL this year (with more TV/prize and matchday revenue), and help us get 4th and hopefully 3rd so we don’t have to go through qualifying. It’s not really a gamble if you already have the money, it is an investment in insuring future revenue streams.

  178. No Irish .the reason is that Andrei is off form.Gervinho is,was and never will be a better all round player than Arshavin.

  179. Shotta – wide right? For a man who attacks from the left. Hmmm – I don’t think Frank, the gaffer, will be too happy.
    Over to you ZP.

  180. I meant to say it is not a “big” gamble. Everything is some kind of a gamble and investments are not guaranteed. My point is that if that money is allocated for football operations it isn’t like taking money you don’t have to throw it onto the chance to make it into the top 4. It is money you have budgeted to seek to enhance the team. If you can find the right players available at prices that reflect their value, there is no reason not to try.

    Almost all of our remaining debt is long term, low interest debt on the stadium (the real estate debts are payed back and everything from sales there is profit). Gazidis thinks that that is healthy debt and there might even be penalties for repaying it early. It doesn’t make financial sense to pay off that sort of debt. What does make sense, I think even financially at the moment, is doing the best that can be done with available resources to compete for the CL places and titles.

  181. Bill,

    Oh, I absolutely agree with the need for scoring to be spread around. In the long run I would think that is more healthy for the club overall.

    There’s no “spin” and I haven’t been manipulating data, merely expressing concern that you were mistaking what is merely a correlation as being the cause of recent victories by our beloved club.

    PG: I think Arshavin should do something to make his barnet look more like Gervinho’s. That, surely, would be the type of change he is looking for to get his form turned around!

  182. dont think i’d like to go for a pint with that pendantic g. fella.

    is that a picture of him.

  183. GG,

    Maybe Gerv can leave his barnet for Andrei when he`s at the ACN.


    Agreed – even some moderate spending could make all the difference & save cash long term.

  184. Pencil – Don’t let PG’s mancrush on AA fool you, he is a very good guy and a lot of fun to have on the blog. I for one would be well up for a pint or 2 with the pedantic little fella 🙂 Just so long as he agrees not to talk about AA!!

  185. Pencil

    Pedantic George prefers a white wine spreitzers to a pint anyways man.

  186. Pencil

    Not sure if you’re sharp enough for George either tbh.

  187. Speaking of white wine spritzers, time to go and meet The Girlfriend for an early dinner and then off for a night out with Da Boyz on the LES!! Later Gooners 🙂

  188. Shakes head in admiration and/or exasperation.

  189. thanks for the advice.

    but is it a picture of him ? looks an argumentative little tyke,

  190. White wine spritzer eh! I took George as more a bourbon man. Regardless of opinion, stats, facts, form and argument if Van P gets crocker we will be short of goals. There can be no negative to adding a top notch goal scorer , the hard part is finding one.

  191. pedantic george – i reckon Gerv has got 6 years to prove you wrong/right – AA23 spent his mid 20 in russia, Gerv will spend them in England. If Gerv has the natural ability we all think he has and the application he could be a better all round player……. 😉

  192. Limestone

    Agree with everything you have said. I think it’s likely that we have plenty of money. I doubt we can really significantly improve ourselves upfront if we stick to our usual value shopping so here’s hoping we break out of our usual mold. Spending money does not really help if you don’t upgrade and it’s hard to upgrade our goal scoring options on the budget we have used in the last few years. Things have changed a lot since we bought db10 RP7 TH14 and RVP

  193. what do you think p.d.

    ………..for us less sharp people,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  194. I’m strictly a cocaine and caviar man btw.
    (actually its Scotch Pie and coffee ,but I prefer to fantasize.)

  195. arshavin can play any number of positions…its not just gervinho keeping him out of the team..theo and rambo are too…

    just my ‘two cents’ in the debate.. 😉

    do we need another forward? have we got the pennies?
    the answer to both is indeed yes and anyone who thinks its no is either on a wind up or a sucker for punishment

  196. Dont expect Gervinho to be regarded as one of the best ten players in the world.
    But I hope you are right and I am wrong Deise.

  197. argumentative fantasies. eh. you show too much p.g. bye’

  198. Pencil.If you are going to be cryptic you are going to be misunderstood
    In other words .What the fuck are you on about?

  199. oh im not sure Gervinho wil be that either pedantic george, but he has time to at least try it 🙂

    AA23s star shone bright but for too short a time – we should have had the best of his talents but its just not worked out.

    What i think will happen though is that Gervinho will be a far more effective player for us than AA23 has been. He just seems a better fit. AA23 looked made for us but something just isnt clicking. I would dearly love for that to change and change sharpish. Hes quite a talent but a talent that we are not benefitting from

  200. George it seems you have made a new “internet enemy”


  201. its very high up here, i can see the temple.

    er, sorry. think i’m on the wrong place. enjoy.

  202. Don’t you guys think that the problem with Andrei (i did it George!) is that he is stuck on the wing? How many other 30 year old wingers are there?

  203. arshavin was 6th in the worlds best when we bought him…actually.. :)and to be fair hes had a wonderful few years and had a massive impact..but the signs are there hes on the decline…

    but we need another arshavin type signing this jan..cos signing another chamakh or park wont be enough..

    whenever wengers bought big theyve made impacts..when he goes for the freebies and the bargains its 50-50..

  204. will hey man. no enemies here dude.

  205. I just have to say this…
    AA23 is a different kind of player from Gervinho, make no sense to compare the two. But put them in the team as a left winger, AA was doing the same two years back when he still got the pace and confidence to take on 3 opponents and drove to the line, cut back and shot for goal at an acute angle, and scored !!!! Today, Gervinho is doing the same except he’s hesitant in front of the goal (hope this will change for the better.) AA will not track back, he can do it if needed, seen it done before. But make no mistake, he’s miles ahead of anyone in Arsenal (except Fab) who can run into space and initiate a good pass. The problem is not he’s lazy or anything like that, the real problem is he has no partner to play with, one who can see him in great space and pass the ball to him and does a 1-2, etc. Both skill and intelligence, that’s what missing at the current Arsenal team.
    One last word, AA is my favourite player, but it’s so sad to see him comes on as a sub and NOT performing. NO, I don’t believe its confidence, its disillusion !

  206. hello pencil. Is this your first time on this blog? You must be careful of Pedantic George. He knows karate and has a particular disdain for writing utensils.

  207. DY I agree. What I think would be lovely is the double Andre(i) attack on the left flank. I can picture those two combining for some lovely 1-2’s and either Andre or Andrei being freed.

  208. dy,I don’t know if you have read all of today’s posts ,but that is what I said earlier.
    Not as well though.

  209. hello will are u in the u,s, what style does p’g follow ?

  210. Will, where will Andrey play in your team? 🙂

  211. Pencil- Yes. I am currently sitting on the 16th floor of an office building in Chicago. Where do you come from??

    George- He will be most effective if he plays where he did against Bolton in the CC. I know you agree with me there. Being on the left wing, he has limited options for passes. If he was in the middle of the park, he would be able to collect the ball and spray it were he sees fit.

  212. will lucky you. great music in chig. england but lately oz, asia ‘n places.

  213. No Will .I meant where will Andrey play with Andre and Andrei ?

  214. Oh you are a music man eh Pencil?? Me too….We have so many great venues here. I get to see my favorite bands, on the cheap, usually standing about 15 feet from the stage…

  215. I follow ya George. In that case (the double Andre(i) attack) he would be on the left wing.
    I see Santos as a risk taker. He plays with the same flair that the russian does. Putting those two together would be a killer combo.

    How do you feel about the double Andre(i) attack?

  216. It’s time to try AA more centrally. Or Theo up top. Or Park up top. We have several games right on top of each other and need to rotate anyway. Why not use one or both of our next home games v. Wolves or QPR to try some new combinations and slight formation changes? We need to prepare for Gervinho’s ACN adventure, we wonder if Theo or Park can back up and give RvP some rest. We wonder if there is anyway AA can contribute to the team.

    I’d play AA centrally with RvP ahead v. Wolves and rest RvP against QPR. For the QPR game I’d play Theo up top and if it isn’t doing much, bring Park on and slide Theo out right.

  217. Paul N

    Now you really should know that sort of thing does not happen in football.

  218. AA can combine with RvP, both exquisitely intelligent players. Play him behind RvP.

  219. LG .You could start with RVP on the bench and bring him on after 30 mins if it is not working .No need to wait for 70 mins for substitutions.

  220. LG i would and in those games play Yossi and Thomas for Theo and Gervinho.They provide more defensive cover for fullbacks

  221. Thats it Dups! and never, ever, ever in the PL.

  222. Which scenario are you talking about? I want to rest RvP for at least one of the next 4 games. I’m picking QPR and would like to see Theo or Park play. Also, I think Park should get a chance to come on if we are up v. Villa or Wolves and later Fulham. Likewise, Ramsey could come off near the end of some games and I do think Rosicky needs to play in a couple of the next 4, starting with Villa.

  223. I don’t think we should change 8 or 9 players for any of these games but about 4.

  224. Just read that Suarez got an 8 match ban.

  225. will sort of a music man. couldn’t play a fiddle to save my life but always searching out new stuff to listen to. Remember chig. very well. saw u on ut. cool, anyway, laters.

  226. Good idea, PG, Benayoun and Rosicky would help balance nicely for defensive purposes. But we should keep Arteta and Song behind AA and the back line fairly consistent as well. The point is the attack needs to improve and we have some questions about who and where that we can use these games to get answers.

  227. Luis Suarez banned for eight matches, £40,000 fine
    Now we will see what a one man team really looks like

  228. We should watch the Milan game and start learning about them, I suppose. So many commentators from Ancellotti to Hoddle think we are going to have an awful time. I think beating Udinese when we were in the throes of transition and turmoil over departures and transfers in should give some of these folks pause.

  229. PG – I do read your post earlier, just have to say it again while it’s ‘hurting’ inside.

    AA in the current line-up just doesn’t work, In order to bring him back from the dead, he goes to center of mid and rest Ramsey, tell Arteta to partner with AA in going forward. Gervinho to partner RVP as strikers. Song and another defensive mid fielders to secure the back and yes it’s more like a 442.

  230. That is a big boost for our CL hopes because perhaps Liverpool will stumble and we will just have to pick off one of Spuds or Chelski. I hate Suarez so good riddance. Biter, cheater, now racial abuser.

  231. PG

    I bet J-(captain, leader, leg-end)-T is a little worried now.

  232. Hopefully JT is found guilty and given a similar ban. In his case as captain and main man at Chelsea I could see that having a big psychological effect on the squad. Come on FA, do it!

  233. Limestone

    The FA cannot act yet because the police are involved.

  234. There may be a karmic rebalancing. Arsenal as the most socially progressive club moves FORWARD!!!

  235. He should be Dups.
    With his wages and form Chelsea could take the opportunity to sack him.
    They would benefit from getting shut of him and enormous Brownie points for an anti racist stance

  236. Dups, I know but eventually they will make a decision and hopefully it will be against JT and Chelski will suffer a February/March collapse and even be out of the running when we play them at home.

  237. Thats what I was thinking dups. Terry must be fretting big time.

  238. In fact it is better if it isn’t decided until Feb. 1 because otherwise Chelsea will buy Cahill or some other EPL ready player and frankly JT is falling (literally!).

  239. Arsenal will decide within 48 hours whether to delay their Boxing Day match with Wolves to 27 December because of a proposed tube strike.

    Trade union Aslef has announced industrial action that could disrupt the London underground system.

    A club spokesman told BBC Sport: “Arsenal are considering postponement to 27 December as one of the options.”

    Chelsea say they are monitoring the situation ahead of their Boxing Day derby against Fulham.

    Arsenal are wary of the travel disruption a strike could cause to the 60,000 fans who have tickets to their 1500 GMT kick-off, and their 1,000 matchday employees.

  240. I hope Terry does not get a ban. I sort of hope he catches some hideous tropical disease and his head falls off. Would be more fitting.

  241. Paul thanks for putting up those links. I tried watching the Milan game but the Seria A is so shit! Players falling to the deck left and right. Ug. Also i can barely stand seeing Zlatan, the big oaf. Still gutted that he beat Almunia on the near post….

  242. Yeh thrill, the Serie A is hard to watch at times.I am watching Blackburn and Bolton and they are going at it for real.

  243. I saw the 2nd goal Bolton scored. That was a good counter attack. Poor defense by blackburn though. Those 2 teams play so many hoofballs that the pace of the game is sky high.

  244. The crowd are absolutely crucifying Steve Keane.

  245. Yes, it was a good counter. I am surprised that Reo Coker hasnt had a better career than this. I expected him to be playing for a bigger side than Bolton. Good player.

  246. We can see just how good the saviours of Arsenal are.(Cahill and Samba)

  247. I don’t think anyone on here would be against a new striker, no one here is thinking that Chamakh is suddenly going to break out of his funk and start doing what he did in the first half of last year’s season. But at the same time.paying ridiculous money in January for a striker hasn’t really paid of for those teams that have done it. If there is a player who can improve us and who is available for a price we can actually pay, you can be sure Wenger is monitoring him and will probably try to get him in, especially as he has already talked about the prospect of Chamakh leaving. But at AFC we won’t spend, especially not above the 20£ million mark as some people advocate, just for the sake of having bought someone.

  248. Not sure who said that Wenger hasn’t been able to unearth good strikers since RVP but that is a rather ridiculous thing to say. Adebayor has been scoring goals regularly and even though I hate his guts he is probably in the top 10 of PL strikers, far above Carroll or Torres. Eduardo’s scoring record pre-injury and at Shaktar also speaks for itself, he just did not fit in the system anymore.

  249. Evil, I don’t think you can say no one thinks those things. Just read the comments. Some do think some of those things.

  250. LG I don’t think you are right this time.Its just some think it is almost vital and others less so.

  251. Also some think that Chamakh is better than some of those proposed as an upgrade.
    Difference of opinion I think it is called.

  252. Limestone – Heh, you sound like Glen Hoddle (the huge big jawed cunt). “I didn’t say them fings” 🙂

  253. Andy.where have you been?

  254. Perhaps the Suarez case will allow them to worm out of finding JT guilty. They can show they are tough on racism while getting the England captain out of trouble. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  255. I would not say it vital. But if something happens to RvP for a sustained period of time I think we would really struggle for the goals we need to continue to push into the top 4. IMO it would be a big gamble not to add in this area.

  256. PG – Heh, I do have a life away from here you know. A few jobs to do and errands to run. In fact I have been to the local Trinkhalle to stock up\ on lovely German beer for Xmas. Just sat sipping a Rothaus as I type. For quality assurance purposes you understand/

  257. @lime the crazies thing about your statement is that its probably true.
    make an example of Suarez and let Terry off as hes old and out of the game in a year or two anyway.
    They have invested far to much in Terry to let his reputation tarnish them. What would people think if the FA had appointed a captain that in addition to all his faults were also racist? they just cannot afford any more Terry scandals. Simple as.

  258. @goonerandy, true but last year when something happend to RvP Chamakh did step up and take responsibility. Some men only preform when they are under tremendouse preassure. Lets hope for a combination of RvP lasting until Chamakh is back from Africa cup and chamakh finding his form down there…
    Either that or AW will dip in to the market and buy us a new Eduardo(except one that can play effectivley in our formation ofc).

    I dont get why people are so worried about RvP not signing a new contract neither, by the time his current expiers he will be 30? and with his injury record you know he will become injured before that.
    Im sure he will sign the dotted line ones hes out for 2/3 months or more.
    Either that or we keep him until his contract expiers, he goes to City on a massive massive massive wage and damages something in his first match.
    I know it sounds cynical but you just know it will happen…

  259. Poodle, that does sound pretty cynical! But then again, so did my statement about what the FA might do…

  260. Poodle – He did, but he looks a shadow of that player now.

  261. its the same as the knowledge that City will next summer buy some new and exciting players and before you know it Nasri will be on a plane back to Marseille stating “this is the move he has always waited for” and how “he cannto wait to play with his boyhood club again” and “how my good friend Cesc showe med the true value of home”. bla bla bla…

  262. @andy again, maybe he only really manges to preforme undre severe preassure, when people “die” without him doing well..

    or that is what i hope anyway….

  263. Andy .he looks particularly bad when exactly?
    He is not playing enough to see.

  264. Its like GA smells when someone says something positive about Chamakh. Geez!

  265. I actually like Chamakh. He works hard and if we played a 442 I think he would be pretty useful for us. He had a good few months when he first joined us, but has not looked like anything approaching a goal threat for us since.

    If he only performs well under severe pressure you would have to seriously question his motivation. If he had played well during the few opportunities he has had he may have had more game time.

    Like I said, I quite like him. But I don’t think he would be the option for us if RvP were injured. Just my opinion, and I would love to be proved wrong.

  266. People cry out for us to have a plan B.
    We get a plan B type striker and low and behold the same people cry out for another plan A type.
    Nowt stranger than folk

  267. who cares, aslong as Chamakh proves andy wrong im happy 🙂
    That is really all that counts imo.

  268. I don’t care if he is plan A, B, C, D or Z. As long as he makes a positive impact on a game. I want our strikers to look like they will score. Is that really such a bad thing?

  269. Poodle – I would be happy with that. A large slice of humble pie smothered with lovely thick gravy. Mmmmm.

  270. No Andy but you must accept that with the team set up as it is he will not look like a goal threat in the way RVP does.

  271. PG – Fair enough, so what is the point in having him then? Every time he plays or comes on as sub we have to change shape? That is not Arsene’s style is it?

  272. Here is the main point. When Chamakh first came we played to his strengths in this same 4-3-3 and it was all good. Now he is dropping back trying to link up play, he is simply not the kind of player that is as dangerous in those situations, though he has some nice touches.

  273. Just watching the Norwich/Wolves highlights. What a fucking game!

  274. I would be happy to keep Chamakh. He has showed in the past what he can offer the team, but I would not want to have to rely on him for goals for a sustained period. That is all I am saying. If the wide men were contributing 15+ things would be different, but they aren’t. Keep Chamakh but add a forward who can play central or wide and is a regular goalscorer. That covers all of the bases.

  275. Andy ,for the wide men to contribute 15+ we will need to resign Dennis Bergkamp.As he was the reason that any of our previous players got to those figures.

  276. GA, I understand your concern. Given your statement the most important thing would be to get more goals from the wide men. No matter who is up front, we cannot rely on the striker alone.

    Walcott, Ramsey, Gervs, Arteta and Song can score goals, however RVP is on fire, give him the ball if he has a chance to score.

  277. Paul – Yup all true. If the players you mentioned can up their goal returns it will take some of the weight away from RvP, and should he miss a run of games the team would cope better.

  278. in other news….

    gibbsy fucked case anyone missed it

  279. I don’t think it is true that we played to Chamakh’s strengths early on. He always has played a role in linking up, even coming deep, and we have never been adept at using his aerial game. Count how many headed goals he scored those first few months. Not as many as one might think, particularly from open play. He was scoring because of good combination play in and around the box and because he actually took shots. His movement was good enough that he won several penalties as well. These features have waned somewhat from his game, particularly the confidence to shoot or to move toward shot taking positions in the box.

  280. Limestone – That is very true, good points. The only time we have “played to his strengths” is on a very small number of occasions when we have had him and RvP on the pitch together when we have been chasing games. I remember recently (can’t remember the game) when RvP crossed for him to score an amazing header. He simply is not doing what he did when he arrived at the club.

  281. what actually are chamakhs strengths??

    cos whatever they are, they are not now and never has been scoring goals..hes never been a finisher, even at bordueaux he was never prolific..

    hes just a channel running linkup man…

    weve got our own version of emile heskey…just not as powerful…

  282. I do think he is excellent at attacking crosses. His hold up play is pretty decent as well. Like I said, he would be decent if playing in a 442 or in a side which got plenty of goals from elsewhere in the side.

  283. yeah he does leap like a salmon…

    problem is though, if we do end up signing another striker…is chamakh going to want to stay? hes already a backup as it is..wenger has no desires to play him and robin together and hes not exactly making wenger think twice on this…if we sign someone else that just pushes chamakh further down the order…

    i dont think he’ll accept it so he will be sold..

  284. I do wonder what was differently last season? What about the way we played last year allowed him to score 7 and assist 6 in not even 15 matches at the start of the season? It’s not like his inability to score — or even shoot — with either foot is new so what has changed? Does someone know who assisted him most of the time? I seem to remember that he and Nasri had quite the understanding and maybe Wilshere played a part as well?

    Either way, the way we are currently playing is just not suiting him. You can ask Chamakh to hold up the ball and link play or you can ask him to be a target man — but, unlike Van Persie, he just can’t do both. He would do better in a 4-4-2, full agreement there GA. I just don’t see Chamakh adapting to the way we have been playing this year. Maybe he can surprise us, and I would love to be surprised by him, but at present I would actually put more faith into Park than Chamakh because Park might not have the physical attributes for the EPL exactly, but I know from having watched him when he was still with Monaco that he does possess the technical abilities necessary to do the job across the front line.

  285. Oh well, only a few weeks left until we find out I suppose. Hopefully RvP will stay injury free, but asking him to play virtually every game is a big ask. Unfortunately due to our start we have given ourselves no room for maneuver. Wenger is not going to get many chances to rest him. We need more options for goal in the squad.

    If you remember, in seasons past where RvP has been missing Cesc had a decent goalscoring record. We don’t have many goals from central midfield at the moment. If we had a top quality striker in the past few season to cover for RvP’s extended absences who knows what we could have achieved?

  286. Maybe it is time to play 3-5-2. Kos Mert Verms at the back and try a five man midfield with two playing wide–Benayoun/Gervinho and Walcott with Arteta and Song a bit deep and central with Ramsey behind RvP and Arshavin. Maybe different players in some positions, but just an idea.

  287. Yes, GA, precisely and it was when we were chasing the game away at Blackburn at 4-2 when he scored our third.

  288. @GA
    We had Adebayor and Eduardo. And last year we didn’t really miss that top class striker because Chamakh was delivering the goods while RVP was injured.

  289. park also has the ability to sell shirts in asia 🙂

    but seriously..on the form of others why is wenger not picking him?

    anyway, i dont think anythings changed from last year regarding chamakh..we played a 433 then and we are now..he just had a honey moon period when he first arrived where he found he was on the end of everything and now it seems hes found his level…

    i think at first he was an unknown quanitity but to be honest hes not strong enough to be a plan b defenders handle him easily, if your thinking plan b then think adebayor…and like i said, hes never been prolific so hes not the type of striker who needs 1-2 chances..its more like 4-5 and was that way in france..

    so expecting him to be clinical now is unfair..he punched above his weight and set himself unfair standards at the beginning that we are all expecting him to do all season long…but its not his was taking him 50 games to score 15 in france…even if he got regular games it would be upto the others to score

    chamaks very much a team player but defenders have got his number, hes not big enough to bully them and hes not clinical enough to take the chances when they come his way..

  290. So in total we had one season, 2009-2010, where RVP’s absence really hurt us because we had no back up. Or, actually we did have two back ups, Bendtner and Eduardo. However they really wanted to check out RVP’s horse placenta treatment in Serbia and so we were left with playing Arshavin as a centre forward.

  291. andy we play a different way now..

    when cesc was here we were the tippy tap kings and it was triangles of one-twos….apart from the one man upfront everyone else was a midfielder.. so the goals naturally came from midfield..cesc, nasri….

    the dynamics of the midfeild has changed we actually play a 433 with forwards now so its upto the likes of theo and gervinho and arshavin to help with the goals and not really the midfield..i reckon 15 goals between our whole midfield would be a decent standard in the way we now play..

    but if rvp hits 30 this season and gerv and theo hit 15 a piece we are laughing but at the minute robins the only one whos looking like hitting that target..

  292. JonJon – Good post. The Park situation is a strange one. We have not seen him for nearly half a season but are told that he is still settling. Fair enough, but Gervihno and Kosienly came from the same lge and were thrown straight in.

    Evil – If I remember rightly (I may be wrong) when we first had Eduardo we were playing with two strikers. Him and Adebayor forged a decent partnership in RvP’s absence. By the time he had come back from injury we were playing a lone striker which simply did not suit him.

    We are in a strange situation I think, and things are working well at the moment so it is no big deal. But it strikes me that the majority of our forwards would all be better suited with 2 strikers with only RvP comfortable playing the lone front man. But we are now overloaded with good central midfielders which almost necessitates us playing three central midfielders. Quite the quandary.

  293. your not wrong andy

    adebayor was the target man dudu played off..we played with 2 up top..

    i know alot of people think dudus injury was the reason wenger sold him but it wasnt..wenger soid him because we sold adebayor..moved away from the target man and starting using a false 9..

    dudu didnt fit the system..and its the same reason why velas on loan..

  294. So I guess we got Chamakh because Wenger either thought he could make him fit the system or because he couldn’t pass up on the bargain? And he did kind of fit the system … the one we played last year.

  295. Chamakh had a good understanding and friendship with Nasri. Plus Jack was good at penetrating and passing off to him in the box.

  296. the team has evolved nicely now..were playing better as a team..but we need the other forwards to start chipping in a bit more..if were playing with 3 forwards then the general idea is for all three of them to score..

    theos hot and cold but can finish..gervinhos in great form but missing alot of chances..rvp is just the man..

    other than these three, we dont have a right lot else..which is why we could do with another..maybe two…and if the others regain form then great, if they dont, no big deal…

  297. a bit of both evil
    it was more of an eye for a bargain..chamakh has a great rep in france..if he wasnt free he would have cost at least 15mil under contract…

    although he’ll never score alot of goals he does fit the system with his link up play, but i think its the physical aspect of the pl he cant deal with..

    if you look at his stats his averages in europe are fantastic..i think hes the only player to score 7-8 in a row..but domestically its nothing more than average and in the pl hes just struggled..even when he was having his purple patch he said he was knackered in november.. i know he was dropped for robin but there was a point were wenger said he wanted them to play together and then chamakh was complaining he was tired so robin went solo and never looked back…

  298. Just Another Luke

    Will the FA decision on Suarez have implication for the pending rascism case against that **** Terry? I certainly hope so. 😀

  299. Morning all

    So Wayne Bridge is to be the latest addition to our squad, according to the media. How exciting is that? 😦

  300. Meh, Bridge is a decent enough player, but no more than that. I would rather him go with Miquel to be honest, he is not going to get many games at CB and has looked like a good player at LB.

  301. Is Wenger sticking with Chamakh from the bench because he will be gone to ACN soon. Then Park will move up? We need better than that. Podolski must be on the cards, surely?

    Bridge can jog on, no way he gets near our club. Take Taiwo on loan from AC Milan, he hardly ever plays for them……

  302. I suspect a loan deal for Bridge might be a good possibility.

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