The Size Of The Task Is Now Clear

Tottenham’s win over Everton last night was hardly surprising and it leaves Arsenal knowing exactly where they stand and what is required. There is no longer any element of guesswork. The gap is nine points to third. The goal difference is relatively unimportant at this moment since making up the nine point gap will move that fluid beast towards Arsenal’s favour.

It emphasises how much ground was lost – and how quickly – at the start of the season whilst a reasonable Christmas was not as good as it should have been.

Those two points should not be forgotten or overlooked. By the same token, the work put in by the players to retrieve the situation is being pushed aside. Recriminations over what happened in the Summer, whilst not pointless – and important in ensuring lessons are learned – are also not productive at the moment.

Those concerns have not been erased. Gervinho has not begged his captain to stay at the club, he has though underlined the importance to the side of Robin van Persie. Thierry Henry signing is not a signal of a lack of ambition or intent on the part of the club but it is impossible to deny that had Chamakh, Arshavin and Park been in good form, he would probably not have been considered.

As is normally the case, Arsenal’s transfer activity is not publicised in advance. According to Maxwell’s Mr 20%, Arsenal are not the quickest of club’s to put bids in. He is no doubt trying to sound out interest lest his client’s move to PSG falls through but I have no doubt there is an element of truth in that. Maybe the slowness is to some extent because they try to agree with the club that permission is sought. Some of it will be due to not wanting to get involved in a bidding war. It is a mixture of the three.

There are genuine concerns that Summer 2011 may recur with van Persie and Walcott, the Dutchman in particular with the similarity to Nasri’s situation this time last year in a desire to leave negotiations until the season’s end. With Euro2012, that means two or three months of frenzy fed by the silence of Arsenal.

The media inspired loan scenario around Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, combined with the sale of Luke Freeman to Stevenage, is being portrayed as an entropy at Arsenal; the fabled youth system is crumbling. Nothing of the sort is true. Neither of the players were products of the Academy, both signed from other clubs having already played first team football. In the case of Oxlade-Chamberlain, the player refuted the allegations entirely.

That this report appeared in the pet paper of Peter Hill-Wood shows how little fear is inspired by the media and PR department at the club. Journalists have complained that Wenger is less accessible than before; when he has to respond to spurious questioning based on reports of this ilk, it is little surprise.

The role of the Academy is changing. Whilst its primary function is to develop younger players for the first team, it is a revenue stream for the most part. From an early point, those who have real potential will be marked out, others developed and hoped that they will show the aptitude for a First XI place. Those who do not make it are effectively in the shop window, the loan system being the primary mechanism for this. Whilst some such as Song, Wilshere and Szczesny are sent for experience, most are sent in hope of a concrete offer. That is the fact of life. Simply because a dozen players are not graduating every year does not mean the system is failing.

Like all aspects of the professional game it is cyclical. The professionals role in this is to minimise the risks when that cycle is turning away from its’ peak.

The whole bath is depressingly familiar and not entirely surprising. Despite the squad embarking on a good run, there was a frailty in the support. Not a desire to stop supporting, more that the scars of August and September run more deeply with us than they do the players.

PR has never been the club’s strong point – is there any football club where it is? However, a lot of rumour is turned to an accepted fact without any substantial evidence to back it up, merely an interpretation of circumstance. Vague answers to the press from the manager and senior figures whilst protecting the club’s commercial and football business, do not quell or quash speculation. Neither would verbosity. Football thrives on the media which thrives on speculation.

It would be folly for the club to admit to holding surplus cash in case of a failure to qualify for the Champions League yet to not plan for such an eventuality is equally foolish. It needs to be carefully managed; failure to invest this transfer window might invite a failure to qualify, especially when there are readily identifiable weaknesses to be filled.

Making up the gap of nine points is less than ideal, especially since we have only just passed Christmas. It is not irretrievable and it would be nonsensical to suggest otherwise. The one thing I do hope is that the lessons have been taken on board. To not do so would be a reckless disregard for the club’s health on and off the pitch.

Today’s post on Arsenal On This Day is the FA Cup win over Bedford in 1956. As was observed earlier, if the events of that match were to occur today, you would think the world had ended.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 12, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 372 Comments.

  1. Excellent write up, and very poignant. We are at a real turning point of the season, and the next few weeks will decide which direction the season goes. With chelsea’s inconsistencies, we have every chance of fourth place. Can Tottenham keep it up? That will also be an interesting question. For the moment though, we need to get our heads down and get the right results, everything else will figure itself out. The return of some key players could seriously boost our chances.

  2. Good piece YW.

    Although making up the 9 points to the spuds is what most of us want the main thing is moving above Chelsea into 4th and at least staying there. They are only 1 point ahead at the moment.

  3. Morning YW as always an interesting read. J m demande have We Le Club learned the lessons that as you ask? Time alone will tell.

  4. Agreed Dups – the gloating will be voluble but utterly unimportant if they finish above us – finishing 4th is crucial. I am not relaxed – there is, after all, a need to find consistent good form – but I pretty am confident with regards our ability to take 4th.
    I am mildly concerned at the possibility of Spurs challenging for the title – the idea of them ever winning the premiership is so nascent in my brain, I feel like I just got a brain tumour from the sudden onset of consideration. I don’t think they’ll do it, but gawd I never thought I’d even be kicking the idea around.

  5. Our season is over-out of top 4. AW, the CEO n the board know it. The blame is on them 4, they are only interested in profit. Now see where the white shit lane is!

  6. I agree with Dups! A nice piece.

    YW is therole of the Academy changing or has it been operating like this for a while? Healthy returns made on a number of players over the years: David Bentley (not really a player, I know, but he still counts), Anthony Stokes…and if it is changing is it by design? I’ve always had the impression that this role was a part of the concept behind the Acadamy.

  7. Excellent words Yogi,
    the time is now.
    We definitely have all the clarity we need as to where we stand.

    Any buys must be made within the next 2 weeks for speedy assimilation
    As do the 1st batch of injury-returnees
    Sagna to begin with with Verminator


  8. I read somewhere that spurs had used between 15-16 players all season. Surely they cannot continue to do that for the whole season, injuries through fatigue must occur. Or am I just hoping for that.

  9. Eugene Danso, grow some balls you wimp.

  10. Great piece YW

    The success of the academy can be measured in many ways. If we produce a Wilshere every 3/4 years, then it is worth it, economically and in terms of effort.

    Credit to Spurs, (as much as it pains), they play great attacking football, and have a squad assembled that is capable of title push that didnt cost £7,000,000,0000,0000,000 to acquire.

    If we were title challengers last year, Spurs most definatley are this year.

  11. Dups 9.57, interesting, nonetheless I think they have a stronger squad than most Arsenal fans like to accept and they have the advantage of having the option to focus all of their attention on the league. In fact they would be foolish to do anything else [other than treat every premiership fixture as a cup match]. Their fans would understand if they come second chasing the big prize and had sacked off the FA Cup in the process.
    Our fans are hopefully now recognising fourth as the prize it is, but there is no doubt we will also take the the CL and the FA Cup seriously too. Do we have the squad for a three pronged campaign? Depends if we get lucky with injuries (yeah right), but for this reason alone those who are clamouring for reinforcements have some valid points.
    Squeaky bum time is about to get squeaky.

  12. Luke, with sell on clauses, a few players like Bentley make it worthwhile.

    Frimpong, Miquel, Coquelin, Bartley, Lansbury are all worthwhile.

    Even players like JET will have been profitable I imagine – he no doubt has a good sell on clause should he start finding his feet.

    We don’t need just Wilshere level players to make the academy good sense economically for the club.

  13. I would love to see some analysis for the cost of youth players Jonny.

    See, I would assume that we took a loss of JET, Randall, Nordviet etc etc for example. But, Stokes, Bentley, Hoyte (older), Pennant form the other side of the fence.

    It would certainly be a very very complex model to deduce the risk/profit ratio on a player by player basis.

    I remember seeing something on SSN a few years back which said the reason why United & Arsenal had more money is that we make more from selling youth products, so it certainly works, and I am not slating it.

    However, from a first team perspective, as the majority of our investment is focused on development as opposed to established quality (bar last windows manic last day rush), we do need to produce Wilshere calibre players periodically, because, we most likely won’t be going out and signing them.

  14. Also Jonny my first post was merely stating the production of Wilshere is a stand alone sucess and validation of the academy, alongside multiple other reasons.

    Wilshere would be a what, a £30million+ player in todays market?

  15. Arsenal do not play games with agents, so anything an agent has to say about our club is completely irrelevant to me. We make an offer. If a player wants to come and play for us then that’s great. If not I could give a flying monkeys where they end up. I’d take the Arteta’s of this world any day. Passion for football, not money.

    As for strengthening in this window I can’t really speak on the full-back situation. I haven’t seen enough of Yennaris and only one game with Coquelin playing right-back (although I thought he was great for the most part).

  16. Some good points on various issues YW.

    I feel that the transfer activity in this January window is more important then ever, we do really need a backup striker to van Persie for the long-term. This is the one area of the squad where we are very weak considering the short-term nature of Henry’s stay, the form and unavailability of Chamakh and the reluctance on the part of the manager to play Park. If we can get this sorted then I think we have the tools to go on a run until the end of the season where we secure a European Cup place and possibly win the FA Cup into the bargain. The fixtures are kind to us in this regard also, with the exception of the trip to Anfield, all our games against the rest of the top clubs are at home. As for catching Spurs, even the Spurs fan who sits next to me remarked this morning that they’re still expecting their “wobble”. It’s not over on that front either.

    Obviously I hope the manager and board can tie up renewed contracts for van Persie and Walcott, van Persie especially is a player who we should be looking to secure at all costs. If he were to leave/be sold then there are very few in world football who could replace quality like his.

    The academey has always been a shop-window, a few years ago if a player went on loan you could pretty much write off his Arsenal career. Even Ashley Cole was allegedly going to be sold but for Silvinho’s passport problems. That does seem to be changing a little with the emergence of Wilshere and Szczesny via loans. If we could get, on average, one per year out of the academy who makes it into the first team squad then I think it will have done it’s job as well as paying for itself by selling on those who don’t meet the required standard.

  17. Good write up Yogi about how the youth set up is helping the revenue stream.

    About signings, hopefully better sense prevails and we actually buy somebody who can score goal in PL and another defensive-minded signing like Vertoghen.

    Spurs may or may not drop points elsewhere but Arsenal need to do their part at Emirates.

    Missing CL would be embarassing for Wenger too.

  18. James T, Vertonghen? I think we’re sorted at the back, we’re definitely conceding less goals than before. Not really an area that is desperate for signings imo.

  19. O dear.1 loss in 18 is lg winning form.its wengers last year.:-)

  20. Hahaha, Dups. You tell Eugene that supporting arsenal isn’t for the faint hearted

  21. Finishing outisde the top 4 really would be a disaster. Would RvP stay if we could not offer him CL football? There is a good chance he would leave I think. If that were to happen t would be a club which has lost its only real world class players in consecutive season and would not be playing CL football.

    Clubs at the top of the tree can quickly decline into the 2nd tier of clubs. Liverpool being a prime example after the early 90’s. We should not be so arogant to think it could not happen to us depiste our excellent set up as a club.

    Also, we are also waiting (and hoping) for the Spuds to wobble, but who is to say we won’t have anohter wobble. As it is, the Spuds are not the team we should be concentrating on, it is Chelsea. How they spend (or not) in the CL window may affect our season more than our own dealings.

    Strange and worrying times.

  22. There seems to be this bone of contention as regards what qualifies as a youth product – I’d say anyone who was young (U18) and was signed for a negligible fee pretty much counts for me. This rules out for example Ramsey, Theo and Oxo.
    I would include players who only had a couple of years in youth so long as they were cheap. There are after all two sides to the youth model bringing through talent and identifying it. If we identify it in Europe and pick it up at 16 for £500K, that’s youth set up all the way for me.

    Looking at it this way we are definitely hitting the 1 per year model.
    Fabregas, Song, Wilshere, Chezz, Coquelin, Gibbs

    Then awaiting proper validating induction we have Frimpong, Ozzy, Afobe, Yennaris

    If only one of those comes through next season we are still hitting 1 per season.

  23. It’s fine Andy we’ll just win the CL. Simples.

  24. ‘Arsenal do not play games with agents’

    unfortunately some are in denial of this fact. There are many reasons and possibilties why this is the case. The impact it might have on mechanisims that are used is just a little significant.
    Would it be ‘unrealistic’ of me to expewct fellow gooners to work out why this scenario is as it is.

    Re-listening to the tales of how the Arsenal managed Adams’ Xmas jail term, past relations with the FA, induces the precious few football brain cells I have left into some sparkling collisions:

    a) What a cool club
    b) They still do things their way.

  25. GA, I do think that Spurs will have a wobble at some stage, I was just making the point that a lot of their fans are expoecting it too. We could still slip up also, but along with total focus of the current players, I think that signing a quality backup to van Persie would mitigate that risk. Of course, any other position is up for upgrading also should the manger see fit, when we have the equivalent of Lionel Messi in every position he can rest easy 😉

  26. expewct : )

  27. @Jonny
    Not exactly agreeing putting Coquelin over Frimpong, both aren’t “established” in my opinion. On the other hand your list of those about to make the jump is missing Miquel, for example. Djourou also absent, we signed him when he was 16 IIRC:

  28. Nice Post Yogi,

    The costs of the youth academy is peanuts in the overall scheme of things. Now with the HGP rules beginning to bite, a constant stream of youngsters coming thru is essential — for every club and not just Arsenal.

    Wilshire is not the only player to have come thru the system over the years, as some try to say, but more recently we have seen this season and last – Miguel, Coquelin, Gibbs, Yennaris Sczezny, Mannone and others out on loan like Lansbury, Watts, Bartley and even the best player in the world – Bendtner. 🙂
    We should be proud of our Academy system.

    That is the future of football, a la Barcelona, with a few top notch imports to bolster the team.

  29. Tots is not and will not ever be better than us. They’re just luckier atm.

    Anybody know whatsup with Ryo?


  30. @Evil, from what I’ve seen of both of them, Coquelin looks more ready for first-team football at this stage. I reckon the loan at Lorient did him a lot of good. Hopefully Frimpong’s loan at Wolves will have a similar effect.

  31. AW will not buy anyone this window. I think he will try and manage on what we have, history tells us that, problem this year is that there are more teams who have better players than us than ever before thats why we are 5th i suppose, i dont know what will happen, not having champs leage is not the end of the world, spurs have improved but they did not sell their best players last year, we did. so we have to rebuild and hope that the [players the manager has brought in can do a job, time will tell, one thing for sure we dont have the quality at the moment to win the prem. so we wait for the youth to get older or we spend proper money on proper players or we hope to get a bagain, as the post suggests only AFC knows and they wont tell

  32. Food for thought YW. Whatever our target i always enjoy following our progress, whether it’s winning four trophies or fourth or god forbid avoiding relegation. You learn after supporting for a few years that you take what each season offers. We all wish we were out in front with the pack chasing but if our target is different then so be it.
    With the levels of corruption and financial doping in the game we have seen a club work miracles over the last few years and I enjoy the ride however it pans out.

  33. Evil – I never said it was exhaustive – I punched that out off the top of my head without much thought.

    Coquelin just has signed a long term contract and is ahead of Frimpong.

    We can debate the details, but really you’re just picking holes in a broader point.

  34. The Spuds aren’t better – we just had the start of our season banjaxed and have been playing catch up ever since. I imagine we’d be at or near the top but for the atrocious start to the season.

  35. Note to my own comment at 11.27:

    – Darren Dein! He likes to play games.

  36. I dont think that is not true Jonny but we will find out soon.

    At the moment they are better, could be due to injuries to our key players or something else. If you take home games against Everton, Spuds did not struggle as much against Everton as Arsenal did, we got a wonder goal from Robin to help us out.

  37. Sp*rs have played just 3 games away from home against teams in top 10 (United, Stoke, Newcastle) and have not won once. Just saw this off twitter.

    We on the other hand have to play most of these teams at home, the ball is our court

  38. I was always under the impression that the AFC Youth Academy was simply a way of leveraging Brand Wenger in order to finance the cost of the scouting network in addition to nurturing players we want or think we might want, following further development.

    I have absolutely no way of knowing whether AFC are ‘slow’ when it comes to the transfer market but it seems exceedingly unlikely to be true. Who is acting as the brake on activities? The back room staff? Surely they’d be replaced if they were ‘slow’? The only person likely to be ‘slow’ and get away with it is AW himself.

    If the results of ‘slow’ in the past have generated the likes of Viera, Henry, Vermaelen, Wilshire etc, etc, then give me ‘slow’, any day.

    I also think the season is on a knife edge – but has been since the start of the Xmas merry go round. And will remain so until the transfer window closes.

    And we already know all the teams in the top 6 are capable of winning and dropping points against each other – the last six weeks have shown this to be so.

    Half way through January – Mancini is wobbling, Fergie is frightened, AVB remains clueless and only ‘Arry and Arsene are showing the composure required for the second half of the marathon.

    One or two new players for either side in the next fortnight could carry each ever closer to the top. However, Arsenal clearly have the advantage with a plethora of top quality returnees set to drive the first team forward; Spurs although assisted by having fewer competitive commitments, have a side that will rapidly tire as we forge on into February and beyond …

    Everything to play for and not dependent upon signing every name thrown up by the media rumour mill.

  39. im fed up with these tottenham fans hysteria about sitting above us in the league table. we need to teach them a lesson. a serious lesson. also we have got to finnish above this rotten chelsea..they are nothing…how they sit above us is a crime from our behalf ( two draws and a loss that should never have happened) all our players must man up , roll up their sleeves and take matters personal. no backheels , no smilling between theo and ramsey when passes go astray, no complacency, no mercy. go for the kill in all games. and ….start implementing penalties and fines for points dropped. this is serious.

  40. @ bigbrovar

    I’m curious – why do you so rarely post comments? You seem to be a regular reader (you do read the posts, don’t you?), and you’re obviously not shy about “appearing” in the comments section, but I can’t recall reading (m)any comments from you, other than those related to the daily race to be first. What gives?

  41. This question about the ‘slowness’ of Arsenal’s transfer activities came up yesterday and perhaps the ‘facts’ about the Home Grown Rules have been forgotten, and these have a major impact on new signings.

    The current squad list, in alphabetical order, is as follows.

    Homegrown players
    Johan Djourou
    Kieran Gibbs
    Vito Mannone
    Alex Song
    Theo Walcott

    Non-homegrown players:
    Manuel Almunia
    Andrey Arshavin
    Mikel Arteta
    Yossi Benayoun
    Marouane Chamakh
    Abou Diaby
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Laurent Koscielny
    Per Mertesacker
    Chu Young Park
    Tomas Rosicky
    Bacary Sagna
    Andre Santos
    Sebastien Squillaci
    Robin van Persie
    Thomas Vermaelen

    The maximum numbers in the squad are 25. Composed of a maximum of 17 non-home grown players and any number of ‘youth’ players who were U 21 at the 1st Jan 2011.

    So, as it stands, we would either have to buy top quality players who are under 21, (Goetze, Hazard – unlikely) or move out 1, 2, or 3 players from the non-home grown list, (sell or send into limbo or on loan) before we could buy any top notch players over 21.

    We will already have to kick 1 out (Almunia?), to make room for Henry. Other candidates for the chop might be, Squidge, Chamakh, Rosicky, Arsh or let Benayoun go back to the Chavs. Choose your own for the cheap, chippy, chopper!

    Selling them with their very high salaries is clearly not going to be easy. Simply dumping them from the squad list would have a disproportionate effect on their re-sale value and therefore on the ‘pot’ we have to buy their replacements.

    It is not as easy as it seems to buy, at this time of year.

    Don’t forget as our youngsters come of age (21) they have to go into the Home Grown list – and more non-home grown players have to go to keep within the 25 man squad level.

  42. I don’t think it safe to assume Spurs will tire. If they keep performing as they have, they’ll have plenty of energy. They may yet strengthen the squad too – though I think Harry may have to sell first. I think their most likely undoing will be ‘nerve’. I can see them wobbling and bottling when the going gets sticky.
    As Steww says, all we can really do enjoy the ride and support the team and the manager.

  43. Very interesting article, YW.

    steww, great post.

    Re Spurs, if I had to choose between finishing below them but in the top four or finishing above them but outside the top four, I would go for the former. I don’t think they will win the league – too much reliance on too few players, plus they have some tough away matches – but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they did. Think about it, rivalry aside, would it really be better for football for Utd, City or Chelsea to win it, rather than Spurs?

  44. NEWS – Pato to PSG for €35M so they can afford Tevez! The football madness has started.

  45. @ Red Arse

    Another option is to buy homegrown (that doesn’t necessarily mean English) players, as we have room for three more homegrown players in the squad.

  46. More than anything top 4 should be Arsene’s target. Spur’s fate is outta our hands however be there to pick up the spoils.

  47. AS far as I can see from the Arsenal website, Freeman was not sold to Stevenage, but loaned to them.

    The scum have had very few injuries this season, hence the fact that they have used so few players.

    The time must come for some of their players to need a rest, or to get injured, which is when they are likely to see a slow down in their form and luck.

  48. YW – insightful stuff.

    Agree with Jonny and Steww.

    Our destiny is in our own hands.

    To spend time hoping our key competitors will experience a 2nd half collapse is wishful thinking.

    If the squad has taken on a new mojo……then Arsenal will take care of business.

    The talent exists with our present roster. We are fortunate to have quite the capable manager.

  49. Jonny
    thats good news for us…
    Tevez is cup-tied..
    one less striker to worry about come Feb 15.

  50. Jiggsol

    Freedman was loaned to Stevenage, but that deal was subsequently elevated to ‘permanent’ for an undisclosed fee, (peanuts) and his initial contract runs until 2014.

  51. Great post Yogi:

    Had never really thought about the academy as a money maker and I am very happy if the it makes piles of cash but we do have to spend that money if its going to help the team. If Arsenal is to remain a top power in European football we also have to produce more superstar players like RVP and Cesc since we don’t buy players like that anymore. Great teams need great players to build around and if we are not going to buy them we need to develop them. RVP and Cesc were purchased from other teams I still consider them part of project youth. I guess the new model for producing these type players is the Ox. Hopefully he will turn into that type of player in 2 – 3 years.

    You talked about learning lessons and we hopefully learned a lot the painful cluster f**k that was last summer. It took a long time but we finally figured out how important is was to defend properly so I think there is some hope that we can learn lessons. The frustrating thing is we just seem to take a long time to do it.

    With regard to Spurs or catching Chelsea no one knows how they will finish the season but we need to assume they will play very well and the only way to catch them is to play better. I think getting Steven G. back could also spark Liverpool into making a run for 4th. If we start looking at schedules and saying they will all drop a bunch of points then it subconsciously gives us an excuse to also drop points. I know we will have Saturday games after mid week CL fixtures and other reasons to mentally take an occasional game off but it we do that too often we really risk missing the top 4 much less catching Spurs for 3rd.

  52. Having to take stock and look at things rationally and objectively we have to accept the following:
    A. Most important to us is a top 4 finish. We can’t even hope to keep our best player(s) like
    RVP if we fall out of the top 4.

    B. Serious questions now have to be asked about the way our squad is built. We have a great starting 11 that I think can compete with anyone in the world including Barcelona. If we lose 3-4 of those players to the injury table for more than 1 week we are screwed. We simply do not have the talent in our reserves to help the squad through a prolonged period of
    injuries. I think Arsenal have proved over the last 4 years that every year we can expect long term injuries to at least 2 of our top players.

    C. Buying in players and letting some go. At some point in any business model where investing is done you have to simply cut your loses and move on. I appreciate loyalty to the club and belief in the players but at some point it’s time to say “enough”. The following players are either not up to snuff or their injury record means they are not providing enough return on their investment to justify their existence. Arshavin (physically he can do it, mentally we’ve all seen it’s a big no), Djorou, Chamakh, Almunia, Squillaci, Rosicky, Gibbs & Diaby. I’m also gonna pencil in Theo Walcott. His speed is amazing but he doesn’t score enough and his lack of skills at times seriously makes me scream.

    D. Spurs (how it pains me to say this) are showing us what it takes to move forward. They have a great roster (despite the transfer drama of Modric) that includes some true class players. Bale, Van Der Vaart, Modric, etc. Adebayor is a douchebag but he can score if given the service. The thing is though, they’re ahead of us, playing very well and are still looking to add to the squad! ‘Arry is gonna try to get Loic Remy, a player Arsenal should have already signed, and Samba to strengthen his defense. Their goalie wasn’t up to the job last year so they brought in Freidel. They bought Scott Parker when we should have. None of the players they acquired were world class names but they are solid players, free from longstanding injury, etc. I see them finishing ahead of us this season but I don’t see them winning the title.

    As it stands now My prediction for the top 4 is Man City win, United 2nd, Spurs 3rd and Arsenal 4th. But Chelsea are gonna make a big signing (Other than Cahill) I think and it looks like Eden Hazard may be it. They are gonna spend because they have to if they want any chance at winning.

    We need to spend. You can only make the same mistakes over and over again before it’s labeled as insanity! I don’t think Wenger is going anywhere unless Spurs beat us again this season & we finish out of the top 4. Even then he will step down vs get fired.

  53. James T, no the Spurs are not better than us.

    out of order!

  54. Excellent Post Yogi!

  55. I’m probably wrong, but I think I was one of the first people to write in praise of Bale here in YW’s forum after he got that oh so important first ‘run ‘a games’ under his belt. A bit early to describe him as ‘class’ don’t you think. A little eager. Why could that be?

    As an Arsenal fan my advise would be to not jump the gun.

  56. What is with the Spurs love in?

    Yes, they have good players but we are the better team. We are the ones who have climbed up the table when everyone left us for dead, we will climb yet again. The so called big teams have had wobbles, I am not sure why we expect the Spurs to just keep going on like this. They will not, in my opinion.


  58. Don’t know if I ever mentioned this before, but I was watching ESPN (US) and they were showing an Arsenal highlight (can’t remember what match, but it was a win). Prior to showing the highlight, the reporter said, “Arsenal, the coolest name in all of sports”.

  59. The Arsenal highlight on ESPN (since I live here in the states) had to either be RVPs goal against Everton or TH12s goal against Leeds. It’s so rare to see anything mentioned about soccer on ESPN unless it deals with Manure are the Catalan Crybabies.

  60. Arsenal vs Shrewsbury Attendance- 46539
    City vs Liverpool Attendance-36017
    No doubt $amir Na$ri still thinks Arsenal fans are not passionate

  61. I have seen a few Nicky, but I get your point. It could have been that RVP goal, or maybe it was the Chelsea game.

  62. Gibbs back in 10 days – pray to God he has a good run in the team. He deserves a break (so to speak).

  63. Nick that is, my bad!

  64. Why do people say we need to spend?
    WTF has spending got to do with anything.?
    When our casualties return we will be markedly improved ,without spending a penny.
    We may need to improve some areas ,but the will to spend is taking a life of its own.

  65. I agree with that George.

    Strengthening is always good but some of the comments make it seem like we don’t already have a team that can be the best.

    I also thhink the team is still learning how to play with eachother and how to play Wenger ball (the new players). There is much more to come, especially with players to come back.

  66. copied from last YW post

    The EPL tends to take shape at this time of the season, as the runners round the bend of xmas pile up of fixtures, and into the dead of the winter, form and injury threats, relegation fears for the bottom, and way too many fixtures for the top clubs still fighting for 3 or 4 cups.

    It is exactly now that the real battles for position takes place, against the foundation of the first half of the season.

    So, what have we here? Three teams are legitimately vying for the title, drawing ahead of the pack solidly. Spuds have an excellent chance to put pressure, and under Redknapp, showing stamina and stomach for the race, and a bit of form but a tough run in from here. City look to drop points now without key players. United will fight, but lack the depth of previous campaigns, and so it all looks close. It will come down to mental stamina.

    Three teams are chasing but Liverpool look bereft of real confidence. Arsenal have wobbled at the wrong but expected time, and it remains to be seen whether this is short term, or a bigger weakness that will be exposed from here, Chelsea similarly revealing their inconsistency. I somehow doubt emergency signings will work.

    Obviously one wants to see Arsenal shifting gears, consolidating, a bit of acceleration, this part of the campaign is about piling up points. We want to see Arsenal showing strength, being the ‘team in the middle’ between the leading pack and the chasing pack. Can we accelerate?

    In the middle we have a stable trio, backing from Ben and Tomas, and up top, it depends now so much on Andrei’s confidence and Robin’s fitness, with Henry’s back-up role. The signs are good, but the line-up thin. Ox has a role to play, unless the rumours of a loan are real, surely not. We are effectively a player short, in terms of depth.

    At the back it becomes all the more worrying from here. Looking at the back as a unit, the real bugger is Santos in the big games; we may cope defensively but we will miss what we adds. We need Sagna, badly. If our right is solid, tactically it reduces options for opposition and tacticians Wenger and Co can can turn attention left and see what to do, since Arshavin is unreliable defensively, although he tries.

    We are a player short, in terms of depth, especially left sided.

    Come mid-March, we don’t want to remain riskily in a dog-fight for 4th, but to have a small but clear advantage. We want that advantage to turn to momentum with return of a hopefully fit African contingent, Wilshere and Diaby in back-up roles, Gibbs and Sagna in full flight. In that case, we have some realistic chances for upping the ante, and making a superb dash for the finish line, taking on whomever starts dropping points from the front pack; that could be all three, but probably not.

    It’s all nicely poised.

  67. George:

    How many times have you told us that the reason we have not finished above 3rd place for 6 years, is because of the spending of other teams. That point is well taken, but then to say that “WTF has spending got to do with anything”?????.

    We can’t keep up with Man City or Chelsea spendig wise but if we are really as good as you say then we don’t need to spend nearly as much to improve ourselves. We certainly have enough money to significantly strengthen the squad and improve our chances to finish top 4 or may be even top 3. You can’t have it both ways.

  68. George – Some people don’t have complete faith in all of the players. It’s their right to feel that way if they choose. Why should they lie about the fact they think we are light up front, if that’s how they feel, that’s how they feel so be it.
    I would say the greater percentage, by a long way, of Arsenal supporters feel the squad needs at least one signing. And why not having greater options is no bad thing. Is there a greater risk of losing RVP by finishing outside of 4th place were we not to supplement the squad with a quality signing or two? Its a reasonable question, even if you disagree on the question and the answers.
    This blog would be fucking boring if we didn’t all have (and weren’t allowed) differing opinions.

  69. Bill I don’t disagree with you.
    But do you really believe that if a player is available at the money and wages we can afford.that Arsene believes will improve the team ,he will say “no fuck off. I like looking a huge great wads of cash.I really am not interested in improving the team”?
    It is the spending for spending sake I don’t hold with.
    But I believe when fit(pfft I know)There are very few players who we could get who woiuld actually improve our squad,given our current team shape.

  70. Jonny,I agree with all that as well.
    But people seem to be suggesting we are not spending simply because Arsene or the board are tight wad’s.
    That,IMO,is utter tosh and bollocks.

  71. Spending for spendings sake (like Man City do) is one thing and definitely one which we can’t and shouldn’t do. I agree that when we get our injured players back we will have a more complete team, but that doesn’t hide the fact that they can suffer a very quick relapse and be back on the shelf and our back-ups can also get injured or aren’t good enough. Having a place in the squad for players who don’t try hard enough or are always injured is foolish. The only way to mount a realistic title shot, when dealing with multiple competitions throughout the season is to bolster the squad with depth which at certain positions we do not have.

  72. Nick | January 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    a. most important to arsenal fans is winning something to ease the pain of disappointment. most important to wenger is to keep the club in positions where it makes money ( champions league), and most important for owners is to repay the cost and investment of stadium.

    b. the squad , post 2005-2006 is built with a lookout to ten years and beyond. unfortunately the first crop got burnt from the weight of expectations , fans pressure and media;s and rivals taunting. when wenger fields 17 yearolds he does it so they gain the experience they would normaly get at the age of 27-28, to get it sooner at the 24-25 level so as to win years out of them. for the cesc generation the time to judge them would have been when cesc and the majority of his teammates who started together hitting their 25’s-26;s all together here. fans and media pressure didnt allow wenger to see it complete.

    c. the players who dont produce what is expected of them… is not the players fault, but the people who judge them without knowing what they are judging. people are critising theo walcott, a 22 year old for not delivering. theo will start delivering when he matures as a personality. that goes for everyone. van persie matured as a personality about a year and a half ago with the birth of his child. and van persie is far more talented and a natural footballer than theo, arshavin is a russian who hit his peak with zenit and russia and was looking for his big opportunity in a big league. chamkh is a striker option that we got for free. squilashi is a player who was brought to make the numbers and for backup, not even rotation. almunia is the cheap keeper that wenger chose to go on for the duration of the repayment phase till either fabianski or schezny developed. rosicky is a player whose injuries have made him unable to compete at the highest level. these players are at arsenal to make the numbers until the generations of cesc, later wilshere etc mature. thus a period of utter shit was always on the cards when arsenal embarked on project “lets start from scratch” . the issue is how would fans manage this shit period…and i must say ..we havent managed it very well. far too many complaints and far too many idiotic expectations which have resulted in damaging the relationship between fans and manager. imo the way the arsenal fans have behaved strikes of ungreatfulness.

    d. spurs….is a club that ended last year with 400k profits. for them to purchase the players they have now obviously they are in debt. arsenal isnt. spurs does not have a stadium neither do they have facilities like arsenal’s to produce footballers of arsenal;s quality. the organisation and sophistication between the two clubs is as different as night and day. what spurs is doing the last 5 months is a firework and time will prove me correct. there is no chance that tottneham can sustain what theyve been doing the last year and a hlaf. contrary we have foundations to last another century. remember..we are working with a lookout to 10 years and beyond…they are working with a look out to next week, next year max.

    as for this einstein saying ..that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity …i disagree….who can know what wenger wants or aims to achieve? wenger with his shrewd management and financial scpeticism has managed to slice the repayment period from 15-20 years to nearly half…within 7 years we only owe something like 130m…and we make profits of 55+m. per annum the last 3 years running. wenger always and only wanted for the first period of the emirates phase to finnish in the top 4 and get into champions league , and year in year out he was succesful at the targets he was setting for the club. any titles that would come during this period would simply be a bonus. the priority was and still is to repay the biggest investment in our history. after that is making sure we do enough (someitmes even risking and flirting with being left behind) to stay in the top positions and slowly slowly build a nucleous of players who will take charge of the next football cycle. the best equipped club for this is arsenal. youngest competitive squad, who havent even peaked yet, debt free club, already applies with fpp rules and most importantly with uefa’s 6+5 homegrown, with its own moneymaking stadium and the unique manager who can make it all click. in a few years when it all clicks and the fergusons abarmaovics and cities are gone you will realise that wenger always knew.

  73. Nick.Who does not try hard enough .In your informed opinion?

  74. Nick, if this squad didn’t have depth as you say, we would not be in 5th. The only position that one may argue about as far as depth, apart from injuries, is Striker.

    What back ups at what position’s, are not good enough and don’t try hard enough?

    RVP was one of those players who was always injured, are you aware of that?

  75. I agree with Paul 100%.
    Great post

  76. Haha, I felt a bit sorry for Nasri in that clip until he made the mistake of trying to mouth back at those lads. Then I was like “Fuck up ya wee git!”.

  77. George:

    We seem to have an upper limit of 12 – 13M and anything more means the player is automatically “overpriced” since we have never spent above that mark. I know we may have bid more for players but that means nothing if we can’t complete any transactions. This upper limit is only slightly more then we spent for DB10 and TH14 15 – 20 years ago. We have plenty of money to spend according to Ivan, the boss and any independent source who analyzes our numbers. Its really hard for me to believe that there are no players who could improve the squad if we were willing to pay the market price.

    I am sure we had identified Mert, Arteta and Santos long before last August and we would have had to spend more money but if we had brought them in 1 month earlier we would not be in the position we are now. There are several other examples of us being penny wise and pound foolish. To make a play on your words, the will to avoid spending has taken on a life of its own.

  78. the will to avoid spending has taken on a life of its own.

    Very good Bill.
    Doing a me on me.

  79. Well I thought I had read it all ,but look at this shit
    “Arsenal will offer £20m + Marouane Chamakh for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
    Chamakh has failed to make an impact since joining the Gunners and Arsene Wenger will now look to bring in a profilic striker, with Benzema looking a likely target.
    Benzema is rated at around £25m, however Arsenal believe that a bid in the region of £20m + offering a half decent striker will get them the French international.
    It is fair to say that Benzema has found it difficult to get a consistent run in the Madrid side and reports from the Spanish capital have suggested he wants out, with Arsenal looking his most likely destination.
    A bid for Benzema could be made in the next few days and Arsenal would certainly come out of the deal a lot better off.
    Benzema would certainly add goals to the Arsenal side and would potentially be a fantastic replacement for Robin Van Persie, who is looking likely to leave the Gunners over the summer.”

    Dear me.Talk about you could not make it up.Well some fucker just has.

  80. Bill,
    “The will to force spending is already an overweight debt-ridden monster!”
    Luckily AW & co have the mental kryptonite to keep it away from the manger.

    There are several other examples of clubs that have been pound-wise and penny foolish.
    You have the luxury of being a fan of an intelligent club Bill, don’t wear it out man.

  81. Bill, penny wise and pound foolish?

    I don’t know how you can make these statements, if you are not involved in the transaction’s?

    So what you are saying is that people who have been in football or business for years, idly sit by and watch the team struggle?

    They have the money to do something but lack the desire to do something about it.

    I would say that you know much less than you think you do. You see the outcome (whether good or bad) and then presume you know why it went the way it did.

  82. bill it aint an issue of having the money ..its an issue of why take such risks? 12-13, – 15 m thats more than enough for any transfer..these crazy figures of 30+ and 45+ are the result of perez and ferguson methods of building teams. they do it with money.wenger does it very differently. basically its an ethical compromise we as fans have to make. do we want our club to be run and operated like a madrid, a chelsea a united a milan etc etc or do we prefer the ajax, barcelona porto module. im with the second option. no footballer should recieve such money for kicking a ball, and no players who cost 30 m plus can GUARANTEE me any titles….you can bring in xavi himself and chiellini and ronaldo the original all you want…the refs here wont let them win. the thrid time they have a penalty denied they will just lose hope and sit collect their paychecks. it is far more l;ikely that the wilsheres will get pissed off and make things better plus he wont cst 30 million to do it . lets not forget we are in england , and the masonry here that governs football will never allow wenger to win another title after what he did with the invincibles…… its up to the players…vieira and henry and the rest were the best in the world in their positions who had beaten and owned every other team in the wolrd at club or national level..serious f*ckers you dont mess about with… proud winners who wanted to stick their middle finger to england, arsenals’ colony. did you all think the establishment would not remember that and punish wenger ? do you think the english are the kind of poepl who like to get ridiculed and exposed and owned in their national game right inside their country? what did eduardo do before they broke his leg?… he humiliated england 3-0 at wembley…. 😉 we need ot wake up and realise that due to our foreign style and foreign way of doing things ……the natives dont like us…

  83. George:

    I understand forced frugality when the stadium was built. I don’t understand why it has continued now that the debt is managed and our financial situation has improved. Its clearly a well thought out strategy and its real reasons are unknown to everyone but AW. The positives of Arsene far outweigh the negatives but even he makes mistakes and many people believe this strategy is one of them. There is nothing we can do other then talk about it on a blog.

  84. well said cesc_ara @ 4:14pm,

    hope u got all that nick?

  85. That was cesc_arca George.

    Yes, a very good post.

    as noted, as much as the record has not been to the liking of many, we have remained competitive. I fully trust that we will be back at the Top.

  86. Dups that has to be one of the best vids of that kind I’ve ever seen. Heart rendering.

  87. cesc_ara | January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    nice post.
    I have a couple of other theories as to why we are not allowed to win and why United are helped.
    It is quite simple .It comes down to £notes,.and fucking shed loads of them.
    1)The Premiership is sold on mainly two premises.
    The first is that it is the most competitive and physically demanding league in the world.Any team can beat any other team,that’s the big selling point.All over the world.
    Well that is true mainly because the officials make sure it is the case.They allow Stole and other such shite teams,to play to a different set of rules and prevent them from the weekly humiliation that would come their way if the rules of the game were applied evenly and fairly.
    But how would that help sell the league?It would not.
    2)Manchester United are the biggest brand in world football.They help sell the league and must be kept as such.

    If Arsenal were to be allowed to win playing Wengerball,both those selling points would be damaged and billions of £ would be lost from World wide sales.

    I rest my case.

  88. Oh Jesus can we get over the fucking it’s us against the establishment victim mentality?!

    We’ve been on the end of bad luck and bad decisions but some are really taking it WAY too far.

    It makes us look like a bunch of cry-baby, pussies.

    We’re better than that – but for the bad start to the season we’d be challenging for the title. Is that the fault of everyone else too?

  89. great posts Paul N and PG

    @ cesc_ara,
    please dpn’t take this the wrong way but could you break up your posts into paragraphs and sentences? I’m sure they’re an interesting read, but it’s a bit offputting to see a block of text like that. OK with you?

  90. Just if some Henryisque could rub off on Walcott we’d be very happy people.

  91. Lovely video, dups. Brought a tear to the eye.

    The beard has to go, though.

  92. I haven’t got a beard FunGunner. 🙂

  93. Tevez to Milan deal has fallen through. What next in that saga? Tevez to PSG?

  94. Yeh, Jonny, better we talk about having a bunch of inept, tight fisted idiots running Arsenal, in all sincerity.

    Why not say the same about the PL? After all, it is a known fact that United get the rub of the green more often than not. Maybe there is something to what George is saying.

  95. Jonny its not just about us though.
    But ok if you think United’s penalty count both for and against at OT (for instance)is my a figment of my victimised mentality,fine.
    Or the way hoofball teams are allowed to foul the better team at will(not just us)to make the league appear competitive,again ,fine.
    But if you are calling me a cry baby or a pussy,I suggest you go and fuck yourself.

  96. I concur, that vid is nice!

    Thanks dups!

  97. Jonny

    Us against the rest mentality and acting cry baby pussies are kind of poles apart are they not ??

    You can either have one or the other- Unless of course if we are talking about spins and quantum mechanics 😀

  98. That Paul Jewell is bang out of order for his derogatory and sexist remarks about that female assistant…..

    I mean we all know women are walking hormonal sensitive souls and can easily be offended if verbally slagged off!!

  99. George:

    1) Agree with Jonny @ 5:21.

    2) Many people believe we would have won things if we had used our resources to bring in some experienced players to supplement the ones we had, especially defenders and a GK. This season has certainly demonstated the value of experienced players. Playing Wengerball while paying more attention to defending would have helped also. Just my opinion, but the odds were stacked against us because of the way our team played defense, not by the FA.

  100. Nothing wrong with an “us against everybody” mentality at all. Quite the opposite in fact. But thoughts of conspiracies against us is not healthy at all and also quite deluded and paranoid.

  101. Bill

    Then tell us how come we have been in the top few in terms of points lost due to refereeing errors in recent seasons (someone correct me if I am wrong, but I do recall reading that somewhere)

  102. anirudh – That particular piece was very one sided (put together by Arsenal fans so not surprising). Many of the decision which we fell go against us are subjective and open to opinion. Some are obviously plain fact, but not all. Therefore it is pretty impossible to come up with any realsitc set of stats which prove either way.

    Also it is highly doubtful that whoever put that piece together watched every PL game that season and “righted the wrongs” for all teams in all games. i.e., it was not accurate at all.

  103. I would say it is more a case of favoritism than corruption on part of the refs. The english establishment dont like Arsenal.

  104. Paul @ 5.35 if it’s an ‘either’ ‘or’ situation this blog is in trouble.

    @Anirudh – the victim mentality is *largely* in people’s heads which is why making such big song and dance about it, makes us sound like cry babies.

    The playing field isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair, it never has been. Are Arsenal deliberately victimised and hated? Perhaps a little. But it is nowhere near the extent people say. Nor are we the only set of fans who feel this way. Nor is there some kind of conspiracy or vendetta.

    Control what we can and focus on that.

  105. Its not just about Arsenal .Fuck me some people either cant read or are just able to translate posts to read as they would like them to have been.

  106. Who said it was?

  107. Andy ,no it was not.The big winners were City and the biggest losers were Spurs.
    So don’t just write it off .

  108. George..5.20.. so your a fully paid up member of the illuminati theorist’s aswell then.

  109. On that note maybe we would be better asking why Wenger and the rest of the club do not kick up more of a fuss when we have been on the end of truly woeful performances. That Newcastle game, the Fulham game this year. We could have done a lot more to highlight to the world the quality of the refereeing we were subject to.
    Other clubs are more tenacious about these things which might at least make the refs think more carefully the next time.

  110. Who said it was?

    “But thoughts of conspiracies against us is not healthy at all and also quite deluded and paranoid.”

    It seems you did ,as it happens.

  111. George – So it proves what? That ref gets stuff wrong; well fuck me, what a surprise. Every club can complain about that.

  112. My comment was not directed at you George. It was just a general one in response to some of the paranoid shite bandied about on here sometimes.

  113. Duke.Dont go back to being a cock.
    I prefer the new improved Dukey.

  114. i personally think there is a bias – against us to a large part but also against certain clubs. I seriously doubt however that there is an organised conspiracy seeking to ensure utd’s hegemony. To be honest, with this much money involved there must be corruption somewhere, but not to the extent where the whole referee association is paid off to hamper our chances. I think the bias probably exists in ref’s as it does with the rest of the population, as i dont know about you lot but Arsenal seem to be pretty universally disliked for all the xenophobic petty reasons that you’ve heard a million times. Refs are human, they will no doubt support certain clubs secretly and dislike other clubs in equal measure, I’m sure this has a part to play when they are officiating games. Despite this, we need to focus on ourselves to improve and win despite them. And as i’ve said, I think we suffer from a bias against us from certain officials, but I doubt it is some secret organisation within the FA going all out to make sure United stay at the top. My two pence anyway

  115. duke…

  116. For those who know it used to be called “hot spot selling”

  117. Jabberwocky,


  118. Rolls Royce cars were still being sold as the best in the world decades after it was clearly not true.

  119. Rolls Royce cars were still being sold as the best in the world decades after it was clearly not true.

    Only to mugs that believed it and bought them 😉

  120. great post today yogi

    we know what we need to do..catching spurs is entirely out of our hands the only thing we can do is to respond and take as many points as we can in the pursuit and hope they have a doing this we can put chelsea out of the picture as well..
    i dont mind finishing below spurs for a season while we are in transition but these transtions have to stop and its unthinkable that the season spurs finish above us they win the league and we drop out of the Pl elite,,

    its upsetting that our squad is not capable of the title and their squad is so we need the two manchesters to kick on..bollox to them dropping points, we cant catch everyone so hopefully they will start to fire and put the pressure on spurs and they collapse like we normally do..

    the academy serves two purposes..always has,,.the cream rise to the top and the rest provide steady revenues…where the club have got confused on this is that they havent drawn the line on the academy and we use our first team for revenues as has to stop or we’ll never produce a team capable of challenging consistently..
    also..whats the point in having a recognised acadamy if we have to constantly buy players to put in it..that has to stop as well..its over loading…and hardly any of them make it..focus on the first team instead..if the kids are good enough they’ll still break thru..

    ‘The one thing I do hope is that the lessons have been taken on board. To not do so would be a reckless disregard for the club’s health on and off the pitch’

    100% agree..

  121. @ GA and Jonny

    I am all for doing the things under our control well..and I also agree that 98% of the result hinges on our own performances..sometimes especially in tight seasons or ties (Barca last year) the 2% can become very important..

    If we take last seasons home game against Sunderland..should we have won it 2/3-0 yes..should we be beating teams at home..yes..but unfortunately some games do go down to very fine margins..and the offside did matter..2 points worth..

    Now is it deliberate? I think not and hope not, but I do feel extraneous factors likes Media Reporting, Stadium Atmosphere etc do influence the Referees as they are human too after all..

    It is true we are not the best liked club in england, it is true that the home atmosphere is not exactly like the one in Dortmund for example (have not had the chance to go to the Ems unfortunately, so this from perception) maybe we are the wrong end of more decisions than most..

    All I am saying is do not be readily dismissive of claims that we are on the wrong end of more decisions than most, but yet be ready to criticise minute aspects of club administration to which we know as much about as what goes on in the referees head when he makes a decision (not calling you guys hyper-critical just making a point in general)

  122. its upsetting that our squad is not capable of the title and their squad is

    JJ.You are wrong.we are not capable only because of our fucked up start and the incompetence of officials.Our squad is stronger than theirs .So by your own admittance,if they can challenge ,we are god enough.

  123. Jabberwocky:

    Perhaps partly true, who knows. Your point about “focusing on ourselves to improve and win despite them” is really the bottom line.

    I certainly can believe there can be bias in any sport. For example, I think Michael Jordan got a more favorable calls over the course of his career then most other basketball players. I don’t believe that he won championships because of that.

    Since I don’t watch every game of every team I don’t know if Arsenal really get more bad calls then other teams. We use selective memory to form our opinions and although its unavoidable human nature, its never going to be accurate. I know that every team and its fans believe that they are the ones who get the worst of ref inconsistency and I see plenty of evidence to explain why that happens everytime I watch a game.

    If we play better we would overcome any disadvantage the possible bias may cause. To believe anything else is counterproductive since it diverts attention from fixing the things we can control. If the bias is so strong that we can’t out play it then its hopeless anyway.

  124. Yes pedantic george. Money always plays its part. When i first read yours i thought you were refering to bribary but yes the commerciality of the epl is 100% united reliant. Unfortunately for us (arsenal) man united was able to take advantage of the modern epl era basically playing on their own. I also believe that with the continous failure of the national team, england saves some face by exporting manure to europe and the rest of the world.

    Now i might say something that will sound very harsh but there is no other way i can put it. England owned 3/4 of the world once. Very proud nation. Very control – freak nation (politicaly speaking). This combined with the historic fact that England is the birthplace of football makes the english people look down with the contempt everybody else. One of my biggest complaints back in 2002 , 2003 etc was that the sports media of England would refuse to give coverage for champions league games once the english teams were out of it. Before the continous presense of english clubs in semis and finals the news in april and may were about cricket and who will win the epl. Only when it came to the final did the media show any interest. I remember quite vividly buying a newspaper to read in the train a day after the semis of leverkusen ( who reached the final with romelov berbatov etc …you know… when zidanne scored THAT goal..?) looking for news on the games and i could only find a tiny box in the bottom right corner of the last page. I asked myself how can the nation that loves football more than anyone else not care about the biggest competition of club football? That gave me the impression that when it comes to football the english are snobbish and arrogant.

    Deep down they all know that wenger is an unbelievable manager, but because of this chip in their shoulders they will always want him to fail. The last thing they want is a frenchman teaching them how to play their national game. Moreso when this frenchman;s methods are alien to english football. And here is where it all got messed up. The attitude towards football was all about the machomen, The men who could drink beers and then go have a game in totally unprofessional preparation. This is the archtype of the english footballer. Wenger spoilled all that, and as the technocrat that he is, presented to england a very different way. The liberal way and the way of flair and talent. Wenger is a facilitator, he creates the conditions for talents to flourish. After that its up to the player;s inteligence and desire to excell. He is no drill sargeant with an army, thats the type the english love. He is a ceo with his departments and his people who first thinks about the health of the organisation and then focuses on success. Organisation means work, and lots of it. And work from an early age, thats why he focuses on youth. In clairefontaine, ajax, barcelona, the academies of portugal etc..they teach the kids to keep their head up and eyes on the field. thats teh first thing they learn. In english academies you hear the coach yelling at kids to get stuck in, to tackle, to hoof it away.

    Since wenger;s new method brought record breaking success, the english have improved a lot. They took notice of wenger and as a result the whole of the epl is more professional, fitter and with great emphasis on stats. the technocrat’s way. Wenger;s way. But still they could not reach wenger;s quality or talent. Enter Tony Blair and the opening for foreign investors to purchase english football clubs. Now almost every club in england can find financial support and scouting access to what wenger took years to develop.

    The allowance of brutal play against arsenal is a reminder to wenger that ” dont forget youre in england, you fucked us once with your french players, we wont let you fuck us again with 19 yearolds”. And here is where the bennets the dowds the deans and all these criminals come in. Another issue is that, previously we didnt have to worry about the establishment. Back then we had one of them kingpins who own english football, im talking about david dein. Him , pini zahavi , kenyon, and sky;s murdock are the godfathers of english football. they run it. It is not impossible to think that the fallout between dein and arsenal left arsenal incapacitated in dealing with the fa. There is simply no chance that these wally refs would dare do the things they do to arsenal, if they knew they had to answer to someone like dein. Our crime is that we have left this department with noone to protect clubs interests on the pitch. Refs, United and roman;s millions are mocking our players right to equal competition.

    Jonny hallo, and sorry to say this, but if in these last 7 years you have not spotted differential treatment for arsenal then you give me no other option than to doubt your eyesight. I know what im watching. Ive seen fabregas raising his arm on the wall and dowd giving penalty. Ive seen morrison doing same for hundersfield in last year cup game (manure youth player) i didnt see the ref give us any penalty. i have seen countless of our legitimate goals get cancelled. i have not seen same for united. I have seen united players taking out ours with two footed tackles on our players ankles and ref whistles play on. clichy touches noone and the ref awards birmingham a penalty. ive seen vidic foul as last defender three times after receiving yellow and no red card follows. ive seen rio making kung fu kick on sagna;s appendix, again nothing. i have seen rooney diving 4 times in games against us no yellow card for diving..never, only penlaties. eduardo dived to avoid a clash after coming back from horrific injury and the english treated him as if he had stolen their food or something.

    English refs promote violence against arsenal, yet as soon as one of our players mans up and gives some back he is punished the maximum. In the end of the day wenger offers beautiful flair attacking football with correct values. Inside his own stadium which he built with his transfers, playing the football style that barca emulated with better players and took our place, and with his own players who werent even at an age to shave yet. no debts , no circus stuff, no beckhams , no bartons , no terrys. PURE CLASS. yet this phenomenon of management is called a peadophile in the stadium of the 19times champion and mocked all round englands media for daring having faith in his ideas and players and for daring to be sensible with the clubs money. Having faith in your players and being careful with money is not a crime in my book. In contrast sending your players out with instructions to dive when touched ( jaap staam in his bio about ferguson) and with a mission to kick opposition out of the game is something for the english to be proud about i guess…….how many times has rooney dived? how many times has he been punished for it? ONLY ONCE in villareal where he was made to come out to apology. Here in england they asked from wenger to apologise for saying what he said about taylor/shawcross.

    To conclude and wish goodnight to all, the epl would fear us more if we had someone to protect our interests on the pitch and since the ownership aint willing to do it, it becomes the duty of the fan. instead of doubting the greatest manager in our histroy it would be nicer if we doubted the intentions of the f.a and show it. the fan is there to form shield of protection to his team, not boo them because the rivals and medias taunting has messed with thier heads.

  125. god? yes, but I meant good

  126. dups 5.02
    fucking brilliant..

  127. Well atlest Tottenhams preformance so far shows that everyone moaning about giving the players higher wages to be able to compete are totally wrong. Tottenham has a much stricter wage policy than us and yet they compete.
    Infact if both Tottenham and Arsenal end top 4 then that would be a victory for football. Because it shows you can win and attract good enough players to be titlecontenders without having to pay them all 100k+ a week.
    If tottenham or arsenal ends above Manu or Man city that is ofc.

    Did you guys see gerrard penning a new deal at Liverpool? Not won plenty for ages has he? well it just shows that for some trophies are not everything, money are not everything. some people just follow their feelings. lets hope RvP is the same. Then again after a hard summer with EC he probably will be injured all next season so maybe good to cash in 30 m after all?
    It woudl be typical if someone spent ridiculouse amount of money on RvP he would find back to his old injury form? 🙂

  128. hehe fungunner ,,, no offence mate…i waS never good at punctuations and stuff… i did try my best in the last one though… when the mind has a collection of 7 years of complaints for the way arsenal gets treated the last thing on my mind is paragraphs…lol…

  129. cesc_ara, congratulations for the most delusional and paranoid post yet. And around here, that’s saying something.

  130. cesc_ara,

    well said indeed.

    it is a common fact that in england, no one likes arsenal except arsenal fans (though sometimes even i am not quite sure about that). brian clough himself said that. go find the video on youtube where they asked for his thoughts on the Invincibles surpassing his record.

    and the fact that it is a frenchman leading the arsenal revolution makes things harder for people to stomach.

    if what arsenal is doing is wrong, why did liverpool come to london colney to look at what we are doing? why are clubs expanding their scouting networks, bringing in 15yos?

    i have no idea why wenger allowed liverpool to come take a look at our facilities in planning for theirs. i would have told them to fuck off. but that just shows you the class of arsenal.

  131. oh come on george..

    whos fault was it that we had a fucked up start to the season?? did the corrupt officals sell off our best players and wait until we were 4 games in before they decided to replace them??

    its been highlighted many many times that spurs managed to keep hold of their guys and add to them with a couple more..

    were a bigger club…with the advantage of significantly higher resources then they how the fuck did we manage to cock up our start to the year so badly and they managed to do everything we wanted to do on a much smaller budget??

    next you’ll be telling me we cant compete with spurs…such is our mythical finances…

  132. korihikage – “it is a common fact that in england,

    Except it is not fact. I know plenty of people who really like and admire our club despite supporting other teams. I don’t expect the likes of Manure and Chelsea fans to like us, but plenty do.

  133. Anirudh:

    Even if your right about a 2% disadvantage (which is debatable at best) then the only option we have is make ourselves 2% better. The problem comes when we fail to improve ourselves because we tell ourselves that if everything else would have been fair we would have been good enough. Nothing wrong with talking about it until we starting using it as a reason why we don’t have make ourselves better. I hope that makes sense.

  134. cesc_ara | January 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    That is so good I am inclined to hate you.
    Post of the year.By a margin.

  135. catching spurs is impossible?

    it is out of our hands but not impossible.

    man city just lost 3 games in a row. with that team, they can lose 3 games in a row. so can spurs. and if spurs lose 3 games in a row, you can bet that at least two of those will be in the league, since they are only in 2 competitions. we win our 2 games, and suddenly, we are so much closer.

    in football, things can change very quickly. we have 18 games. that’s a fucking long time.

  136. goonerandy,


    i know the media is a diff story altogether, but maybe i am influenced by that. cos when i read the news, there is no doubt in my mind that people don’t like us a lot.

  137. Fair point. The media (although still not all) don’t hold us in to much esteem, but so what, fuck em I say. Who cares what they think?

  138. @ Bill

    Mate the 2% was just figuratively speaking, and improving by the same amount means we have every game 100% under our control and factors like decisions have absolutely no bearing on the outcome, and although theoretically possible, we know this is impossible through the course of a season, where there will be games decided on such slim margins..its how much of these games go our way which can sometimes be the difference between 3rd and being champions…

  139. JJ, are you thick?
    OK ,don’t answer that.
    You missed my point .
    we have a better squad than Spurs IMO.
    You may be right that we made mistakes during the closed season,but if we have a better team(when fit)than them.and as you say “they can challenge”well obviously so can we.
    What part of that do you disagree with.?

  140. goonerandy,

    would appreciate if you can let me know of the journalists/newspapers that are at least objective..


  141. @cesc_ara | January 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    ha ha – appreciated the paras in the previous comment!

    @ dups
    ha ha

  142. korihikage – Well, I can’t really help you there as I don’t really read many of the rags. I was thinking more in the line of football pundits. People like Souness (in particular) and even Gary Neville have been pretty complementary about us.

  143. Anirudh:

    I know it figurative. The point is if this bias exists then the only thing we can do is play well enough to compensate for it. Bias has existed forever and will be here forever. We overcame the bias to be the best team in the league for several years early in Wengers tenure and we could do it again if we use our resources correctly I believe. We can’t recreate the invincibles but we would have easily won the league last season if we had played better and we would have never gotten off to the terrible start this season if we had used our resources better this summer. In both cases we could have overcome any disadvantage of this mythical bias.

  144. And really did we not have like 10 points on chelsea last year at this time then they cought up with us and we scrapped to a 4th place? Chelsea was not even top 4 last year at this time they were no 6 or something. Tottenham was top 4.Then they ended as no 7 as Liverpool had a good run and Chelsea really buckled up after xmas.
    We were title contenders last year at this time. Thanks to Chamakhs great pre xmas form.

  145. Limestonegunner

    As usual, an insightful and thoughtful post from YW. Twice you mentioned that lessons hopefully have been learned, one time specifically referring to the experience of last summer and one time in your conclusion with reference to the current window.

    What do you think are the main lessons to be learned?

  146. your changing the goal posts george..
    you originally said that we wouldnt be were we are if it wasnt for officials and a fucked up start…i debated those points

    at the minute they are challenging for the title and we aint nowhere near. which isnt difficult to understand really given the league table..

    now i agree way may have a better squad ( in certain positions) but at the minute its not showing..they are challenging, and were not, which is what im saying..and it upsets me given the fact we’ve been the ‘well run’ club

    but as usual you look for excuses cos you dont think theres anything wrong but i was warning you last season what was about to happen and we even had a few cyber wages on it and those warning signs are there again this year but still you chose to not beleive it..

    sucker for punishment i say..

  147. you originally said that we wouldnt be were we are if it wasnt for officials and a fucked up start…

    That is what I think JJ.

  148. limestone

    what do you think??

  149. Bad refereeing was the primary reason we failed last year.

    I said it then and I maintain it now.

  150. @ YW

    Limestonegunner | January 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm said: “What do you think are the main lessons to be learned?”

    That was the question I was going to ask until I got sidetracked by some of the comments and forgot it.

  151. Horrendous start to the season coupled with loads of injuries to our defenders are the reasons to where we currently sit.

  152. Bad refereeing was the primary reason we failed last year.

    Amazing. The primary reason?

    I would argue that terrible runs of form just before xmas, and then March onwards are why our season panned out the way it did. Each to their own though.

  153. JJ here is a retort I prepared earlier.

    “Anyone disagreeing with me is not a proper fan”

    Just thought I would try it.Seems to work fine for people even more stupid than I am.

  154. Yes Andy .The right decisions at vital times would have pulled us out of that horrible end of season slump.

  155. Cesc_Ara at 6:47

    Post of the day!

    Very valid argument, but like Bill said, we have had a fair share of mistakes too, we could have improved a little bit more than we had planned. But, overall, you got to say, no one could have built a stadium and kept us competing at the top like Wenger has.

    Now being the economic standstill and all, it is time, we started spending a little bit, not the 40-50 million that City are spending. We all know, Arsenal can make clever purchases and Arsene has the eye for talent. So, some little tweaks here and there can put us to the top again, no matter, who works against us!

    If you see, most people are frustrated, not for Arsenal to spend crazily like City or Chelsea. But for Arsenal to spend cleverly. Because, for the past six seasons, anyone would agree that we were close to winning that elusive trophy and we could have done it with some action in the market.

  156. Sorry George, that really is clutching at straws. We had lost five games before Xmas, then drew way too many games in the second half of the season. We finished by losing 3 from our last 5. We did have some bad decision go against us on the way (the same as any club), but the truth is that we just were not good enough over the course of a season.

  157. @ Sriram
    “If you see, most people are frustrated, not for Arsenal to spend crazily like City or Chelsea. But for Arsenal to spend cleverly.”

    What do you mean by this? Can you give actual examples? Or perhaps tell me why all the players we have bought have not been clever buys?

  158. Dups @ 5:02pm,


  159. George:

    “Bad refereeing was the primary reason we failed last year.”

    No one will convince you otherwise I guess, but thats a rather amazing statement after watching the way we played from March onwards last season.

    The top of the table was the weakest it has been for many years and we would have easily won if we had played well, even if there was ref bias.

  160. Your truth Andy.
    Mine is that officials making it impossible for us to win the league led directly to us losing 3 from 5.

  161. Nick: “D. Spurs (how it pains me to say this) are showing us what it takes to move forward. They have a great roster (despite the transfer drama of Modric) that includes some true class players. Bale, Van Der Vaart, Modric, etc. Adebayor is a douchebag but he can score if given the service. The thing is though, they’re ahead of us, playing very well and are still looking to add to the squad! ‘Arry is gonna try to get Loic Remy, a player Arsenal should have already signed, and Samba to strengthen his defense. Their goalie wasn’t up to the job last year so they brought in Freidel. They bought Scott Parker when we should have. None of the players they acquired were world class names but they are solid players, free from longstanding injury, etc. I see them finishing ahead of us this season but I don’t see them winning the title.”

    Nick, we have been playing without Wilshere and Diaby since the start of the season. We’ve also been missing Sagna and Santos for the past few months. Those four players alone make our roster significantly better than theirs. We’re stronger than them on the flanks, at the back, in midfield and upfront. We also have one of the best keepers in the league and have a much stronger bench. To say that they’re showing us what it takes to move forward is beyond ridiculous unless you completely ignore who we have out at the moment. They may be on a good run of form, but most of their wins have been very, very tight. And if they lose one of Bale, Modric or Van der Vaart they’ll start dropping points. We’ll be celebrating St. Totteringhams this season. Just you wait and see.

  162. lol george 🙂

    well there was two lol’s in there but i mean the fan thing..not the refs

    im laughing with you on the fan laughing at you on the refs 😉

  163. George – Then I know what to get you for an Xmas pressie next year. A nice new shiny tin foil hat.

  164. Bill I disagree.
    You can not play well enough to overcome refereeing.
    The first half at Newcastle was the best we had played since 08.We were on fire and going from strength to strength form week to week.
    I don’t care a jot what anyone else cares to believe.

  165. If refs hate us so much so that they stop us winning the lge, I don’t quite understand how we last won the lge. And FA Cup. It wasn’t that long ago in the scheme of things. Could you explain please?

    It seems to me that you only believe this ref thing since we are not quite as good as we used to be, and other teams have improved (for differing reasons). At least that is how it seems to me, please feel free to correct me.

  166. George:

    “Your truth Andy.
    Mine is that officials making it impossible for us to win the league led directly to us losing 3 from 5.”

    LOL if you are just trying to be add a little humour to the discussion.

    If not, then I guess we all have different ways to deal with disapointment and I hope yours works for you.

  167. because we were the best team on the planet Andy.Not just the best in England.
    But they fucked us over the very next year when we had exactly the same team.
    Rooney won a pen that everyone in the world could see was a dive.End of run and end of invincibility because the ref.chose to make United our equals.

  168. Bill ,It doesn’t,but it will have to do until something better turns up

  169. George now its all clear why you like Tony Blair. (believing in the nonsensical) to say the refs were the primary reason we failed last year…..well….I’m sure even wenger would disagree with you on that one…i mean it wasnt the in expereince or playing players to death or just the plain old lack of quality… amazing stuff

  170. George @ 8:01:

    Drugs and alcohol help sometimes but I would not suggest those for anything but short term relief. 🙂

  171. Fun Gunner-

    All the players we have bought have been clever buys.

    Gervinho, Santos, Mert and Arteta, for example this year, have been bought at basement prices if you really value their talent in today’s inflated market.

    The point is, we need to make a couple of additions in core areas, to add depth to this squad. Some players who can make a difference if we are stuck. We had to bring Henry to score the goal against Leeds, but Henry is here only for 6 weeks. What or where is the permanent solution?

  172. The primary reason we didnt win anything last year georgias is that wenger didnt purchase Mertersacker , arteta or a short term experienced keeper, at least then we would have had the cc in the bag, anyway we have been here and we all know the score. but like Bill says what ever floats your boat.

  173. Duke:

    spot on. I still have made love for Schwarzer, its just a year too late. He would still be a great back up this season.

  174. Fabianski made two, yes that is two actual errors before getting injured and losing his spot.
    Someone has actually counted, which is nice.

    I’d be willing to speculate to accumalate on the assumption that Schwarzer made more in the same period. Ker-ching.

  175. er, accumulate!

  176. And Pepe Reina can, in the words of the great man himself:

    ‘Fark orf’.

  177. The primary reason we didnt win anything last year is bacause Zschezny(sp) cocked up two mins to extra time in the final of the curling cup.

  178. Otherwise we would have beaten Birmingham during extra time and won it.

    The other reason we won F-all was because all of our big players(except VP) couldnt do anything to save us if their lives depended on it!(talking of Nasri/Cesc etc)

  179. who thinks it will be diaby to make room for henry??

  180. first lady
    u mean kozz

  181. George i also agree with you, last season the refs screwed us too many times to even mention (sunderland/everton/newcastle come to mind).

  182. JJ it was the keepers fault 100% .I think s,therefore it is.

  183. We have been brave in our approach to injuries, over the past few seasons. We have been struck every year by that evil hand. I think we need more quality in our back ups. At the moment, first team is one of the strongest in the PL.

    But the squad is our weak point. Who comes in when there is poor run from someone in the first team. For example, Walcott in the last three PL matches has been out of form, so who gives him competition to perform? AOC is a good shout, but he is inexperienced, isn’t he? (I am not by any means taking a swipe at Theo, I love him as a player, but criticism should be part of a player’s life, more for the good than bad. It is better to accept and correct rather than deny!)

    Do you have the same level of confidence on Chamakh? I am sure most of us would be hoping that Chamakh scores rather than expecting him. Not the same with RVP. The quality of our bench should improve.

    Due to the poor start to the season, Wenger’s hands had been tied from squad rotation, because too many of our bench players have underperformed.

    I am sure, Wenger can overcome this, because he knows!

    Anyway, another possible angle to our lack of transfers is our uncertainty in retaining CL status, though we fans believe that we will reach CL spot this year, none of our targets will actually believe in empty assurances. CL status is one of the prime reasons why we can still attract top talent, that and Wenger!

  184. how was it the keepers fault 100%

  185. Don’t worry, it all evens out in the end, like a fine mathematical equation.
    So, let’s just go and have a quick glance at some pure statistics that some geeks have been compiling…


  186. @ Sriram
    Henry is a red herring in the striker debate – he is here to cover the absence of Chamakh and Gerv at the ACN. It’s my personal opinion that Joel Campbell was intended to be the long-term option but unfortunately we couldn’t get the work permit.

    If by buying cleverly you mean buying the players that we need, then I would point out that we always buy players we need. We can’t afford to buy players we don’t need.

    “The point is, we need to make a couple of additions in core areas, to add depth to this squad. Some players who can make a difference if we are stuck.”
    We’re always looking to improve the squad. The question is whether we can, not whether we are willing to.

    Regarding buying a quality player, the argument is not about whether we do/don’t need a quality striker. The agument is whether it is fair to blame AW or the board if none is signed in this window. It’s only fair to blame people for outcomes which are in their control. Do you accept that we are not in total control of the transfer process?

    Needing or wanting a player and being able to bring in someone are not the same. There is a tendency to argue as if players of the quality we need are always available, lined up on a shelf waiting for us to pick the one we want. They are not. They are employed by other clubs who are usually unwilling to release them. This holds even more true in the case of “difference-makers”. Would we sell RvP or Song halfway through the season with the CL and the PL hotting up? What about Chelsea or City or PSG being interested and outbidding us? What if the player we want doesn’t want to come to us because he feels loyal to his current club, or he has set his heart on a move to Real Madrid, for example? What if he does want to come, but only if he is guaranteed a starting place and always to have the highest wages? All of those are reasons why transfers fail. Are we in control of them?

  187. First lady at 8:29- Absolutely, only God knows, what could have happened if we had won that cup! We had a really good spell from the 65′ – 85′, We didn’t put the ball in the back of the net, our profligacy in front of goal was punished brutally by a Goal keeping + Defensive cock up! We really wanted that trophy and to be fair, Cesc did not take part in that match due to injury. Super C*nt Nasri, Arshavin and Jack were the only players that looked like winning the match for us.

  188. And if Ramsey, Walcott et al start to find the net regularly then we will probably be OK for this season.

  189. Fun Gunner- Before I actually reply to your comment, I am not going to blame Wenger or the management for the lack of transfers. I never blame them, because I don’t even know the ABCD of how a transfer actually takes place. I take it that Wenger is an ambitious man and he would never ever give up, try till the end. I am super sure that Wenger has got the fire to win.

    I am just posting my opinion and what we could do to ensure our success!

  190. What we need is better finishing and more goals – that does not have to mean a new striker. There’s no point in signing any striker who is available just for the sake of it. I would think we would only sign someone if he is better than what we currently have.

  191. fungunner when you have the resources we have then yes we have the control in the transfer market

    we are one of the richest clubs in the world..and its all our own theres no cheating involved or no morals broken…the market is depressed so now is the time to flex a few muscles..

    unfortunately, its looking like we are using the excuse that the market is depressed so we too dont have to spend…reality is…nows the perfect time..everyones skint…apart from us..

    if we wanted to..we could pull a few strings this window..if we dont its cos we choose not to and then yes we are relying on players who havent scored that many in a long time to start hitting the back of the net for fun so fingers crossed eh..

  192. Finsbury:

    An old debate with no way to prove what would have happened. We never should have started the season with Almunia in goal. Clearly the boss did not trust him, and if at the time he thought Fabianski was up for it he would have started the season with him in goal. I suspect we could have gotten Schwarzer if we had bid more then we wanted but we started an incredibly promising season with someone in goal the manager did not trust. In my mind another example of penny wise and pound foolish. Best of both worlds would have been to let Chezzer spend the year on loan at Fulham last season and bring Schwarzer this way. Chezzer would have taken over as number 1 this season just like Joe Hart did.

  193. There’s no point in signing any striker who is available just for the sake of it. I would think we would only sign someone if he is better than what we currently have

    i point in the direction of park and then ask you why he was signed…

    we can do better…

  194. Fun Gunner- The point is we need better squad players in goal scoring positions and a better back up keeper. Do you agree that we are stuck with Almunia this season as back up for Chesney? Chesney has been amazing all season and I have absolute faith in our first team, but what cover do we have for Chesney? Would you have the confidence in Almunia? Fabianski would have been better, and you can’t blame him for his injury, but what if we had an experienced keeper, who is ready to warm the bench?

    But the thing I will agree with you is the point about the complexity of transfers! Transfers depend on a lot of issues and they are not controlled by things that happen in FIFA 12. But a club like Arsenal with it’s esteemed scouting network could be able to woo one or two players, who could add quality to our brilliant first team.

  195. JJ.Is it your opinion that Arsene prefers to look at the bank balance rather than improve the team?
    And if so why do you think he would?
    Is it because he does not understand things as well as you do?

  196. george have you seen our bank balance??

  197. “What we need is better finishing and more goals – that does not have to mean a new striker.”

    Yes, but how do we get better finishing? It’s more a hope than expectation. Chamakh for heaven’s sake didn’t even take a shot in the FA cup match, except for one header. I wish he could turn and score that Ox ball, but no. We need better back up strikers than Chamakh and Park. And if Ox isn’t ready for the Premiership, we need better back up for Theo as well.

  198. @ JonJon
    we are one of the richest clubs in the world, but we are not *the* richest club in the world – not even the richest in England. we are not outbid by Aston Villa and the like, we are outbid by clubs which are richer than we are. When we are looking in Germany or France or most places outside England, our bids are very high in the context of the local market and we do have more clout. But if richer clubs get involved, we don’t. Eg the case of Juan Mata.

    We have the fourth highest wage bill in the PL and we spend within a few million of our income every year. Recently we spent millions building a state-of-the-art medical centre.

    But the money is only part of the equation. The player and the sellingclub have to be willing. We do not control that either.

  199. Sriram ,
    Almunia & Fabianski are wonderful back up.You are talking rubbish.

  200. To many ifs and butts for my liking.

  201. FunGunner is right you know JJ.
    You would do well to listen more and think less. 🙂

  202. I have felt, since the beginning of the season, that a main reason for our disasterous first few weeks, was the pre-season tour to the far east.

    The team were clearly unprepared for the EPL, which simply exascerbated the problems with CF and Na$ri.

    The trip was too exhausting and the games too competitive.

    Pre-season is to the the players fit and used to playing with each other again, not to make money.

    I hope that that mistake will not be repeated this summer.

  203. GJ that is a bit cryptic.What has?

  204. JJ- I think bank balance has not that much to do with the spending power of the club, though cash flows do.

    Property development is also paying us some good money. I remember Arsene mentioning earlier this season that our debt is 116 million. I think bulk of our summer profits have again gone in to close the debt.

    My educated guess is we are trying to close out the debt by 2014, while our new renewed commercial deals kick in. This puts us on a better position than most other clubs if the FFP do come in to force as they ought to.

    We want to take advantage of our free funds more during that time and develop a better squad than we have seen for some time.

    But we only get better commercial deals, if we win something or retain CL status. We are, at times, compromising on spending on quality just because we want to ensure that we reach our financial objectives.

  205. I like football. Arsenal have been in the last 15-20 years, and still are one of the modern pioneers of the game. One out of a few. If you don’t believe me you an listen to what people like Joachim Löw have to say. The link below is interesting, but not to Lowe!

  206. @ jonjon
    And I point you in the direction of Andy Carroll. Or Fernando Torres. It’s always a bit of a gamble, whoever you sign.

    We didn’t sign Park thinking he probably wouldn’t cut it. We signed him thinking he probably would.
    Chamakh has shown quality, but something has gone horribly wrong with his confidence. I’m not sure what your point is.

    We need money to buy and pay players ever-increasing wages. That’s mostly what our money goes on.

  207. George-

    I am sorry I went against your opinion. I’ve not gone as blind as you have! Most people will tell you it is a sin to be stuck with Almunia, it’s not because I believe he is incompetent. He has a bad mental presence.

    Assurance to the defenders that the GK is very good, will make them play with more confidence. Confidence is a key word when it comes to defending. That’s all I know about football, a funny old game.

  208. All the probabilities and assumtions, theories and reasons or excuses. We all have our opinions but who knows where the truth really lies.
    To many ifs and butts.

  209. Spliffs and buds would be better. Now theres an idea.!

  210. @ JJ
    Forgot to say, on Park – NB left and we were short on striker numbers, and we knew by that stage we wouldn’t get the work permit for Campbell.

  211. Finsbury-

    That I agree to totally!

  212. I see the second last game of our campain this year is against Chelsea. That may well be the deciding game for wheter we go top for or become no 5.

  213. @fun do you think they gambled and thoght “hmm we will get throgh one work permit this year should we go for Ryo or Cambell?” then they went for Ryo and bought Park as stopgap. looking back we may have been better off the other way. WP for Cambell and Ryo one more season in Holland.
    But its so easy to say now.. Back then Ryo seemed like he was ready..

  214. we also very recently sold off a state of the art property development, two actually..worth much much more than the diaby centre..

    the wage bill means little to me..alot of the players on it dont play cos they arent good enough or their always injured so its the clubs own fault its that high for actual lack of depth we have constant problems with..that needs correcting as well…if we are going to pay players well then at least have players we can call upon..

    our bank balance tips well over 100mil and rises by every year…

    theres thousands and thousands of players in the world fungunner
    the very few clubs who are richer than us cannot buy them all so thats not an excuse either

  215. @ jjgsol | January 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    You could have a point there. The asia tour had a good effect in terms of bringing home to the players what a big club they were playing for, and in forging team spirit and broadening the players’ horizons, but there could have been that downside as well.

  216. You could well be right GJ.

    Back up is back up, and back up to the back up is just that.Who do you want Buffon?

  217. JJ we do not have a bad player in the squad.
    No matter what you say.
    Even the Squid man

  218. buying players who wont play still leaves you short of numbers

    the only numbers it affects is the wage numbers..
    oh and shirts in asia

    cant complain we have no money when we are pulling stunts like this and not actually signing the super duper quality…

    shooting ourselves in the foot arent we..

  219. Baffon would have been a good buy 10 years ago..

  220. @ Sriram tbh Almunia is ok as a 3rd choice this year behind Chesney and Fabianski. We need two injuries for him to actually start a PL game. He will go next summer anyway so whats the moan about? The biggest disadvantage with him atm is that he occupys a spot in our squad and we pay him salary.
    City was allowed to do an emergency loan last year when all their keepers were off injured. im sure we can to if both fab and chez is injured. So Big Al really should not worry you. There are more pressing matters in our squad than chasing a decent 3rd choice keeper incase our two others get injured.

  221. @ poodle | January 12, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I honestly don’t know. I think AW was equally keen but apparently the Japan Football association’s statement in support Ryo was what swung the panel decisively. I don’t know if Costa Rican FA got involved for Campbell. Also they may have applied on a different basis for the different players, since they are different ages and their countries have different world rankings, which is also relevant. And Ryo’s application went through first because obviously he was already our player.

    @ jj
    You’re not interested in the wage bill? Not interested in the single biggest factor in success on the field?

  222. Fungunner I thought the biggest factor in on the field success was the referees ? I read that on here Im sure?

  223. @ JJ
    Ah, I see now. Rather than buying players who we think will fit in, improve the squad or fulfil a need, we buy players knowing in advance that they won’t work out, and we do that because…. No, you’ve lost me there.

  224. JJ ,sometimes I think that you chat shit just to balance the shit I chat.

  225. Its why we haven’t won anything for while,, I belive?

  226. behave george..

    weve been trying to sell almunia and squidge for ages..even the kids are ahead of them in the order
    how fucking good do you think they are?

    or have you got your head in the sand again…

    making shit up and beleiving it…

  227. GJ not you see you don’t understand ,the refs are the biggest factor in failure,not success.
    Do try to keep up 🙂

  228. Aaaa thats why I was confused ! All better now.

  229. Poodle-

    I am not worried about the GK position as of now. I am more worried about the “pressing matters”. I am just referring to the quality of our back ups or lack of. Honestly, would you be happy with say, Schwarzer or Almunia? I am not moaning, for heaven’s sake.

    As JJ says, we could add to our fire power. With a better striker than Chamakh or Park, or a better attacking midfielder or a better wide forward, how we do it is Wenger’s decision. We aren’t skint of money, we have a lot of money, but we try to play it safe like all of those who work hard to make it in the first place. Sometimes, we wait too far to bring in reinforcements. What the reason is? I don’t know. But I assume like in my earlier comment, about debt clearing.

  230. fungunner you behave as well

    excuses excuses…

    you only want a player to come in to improve the squad and then you change your tune and defend the signing of ‘number players’??

    make your mind up..what do you want?? quality or players for the sake of it

  231. JJ I said they were not bad.
    Never said they were good or even first choice material.

  232. Coming to think the post on False 9, could we have signed Andrea Pirlo for a year before Juventus did? We do play CL football and remember, we had the Jack Wilshere injury. Pirlo would have lifted our squad. He is now doing it for Juventus. Pirlo went for free too. It’s just a dream 😛

  233. JJ- “quality or players for the sake of it”

    I do know what I want!

  234. We could add to our striking power if we signed a better player than RVP.(Just joining in)

  235. Pood;e

    You cannot choose who gets a work permit man. We applied for both players and only one was successful.


    You been on the industrial strength truckers choice pep pills again?

  236. Limestonegunner

    I am still wondering what the lessons to be learned are. Hopefully that will be the subject of a post soon.

    FG, I asked that before reading the comments, hoping I wasn’t being rude in asking something already asked, or I am sure I would have forgotten to ask it too. I would have been embroiled in one of the arguments taking place!

  237. Bulk of our wages goes to our youth team structure and those not even featuring on the bench. Our highest earner is RVP and he gets less than 100,000 pounds. Our wage structure needs to be shaken up. But, we have begun to clear out the dead wood. There are very less players you recognize from last year’s squad. Song, RVP, Koz, Verm, Theo and Scz make up just a tad bit more than 50% of our first team last year.

    Wage structure change is the toughest the execute, as it is very delicate and can affect performance, so I think the club have got a plan.

    Earlier, swissramble had posted about what Arsenal face if they lose CL status. It is a little bit scary.

  238. “We could add to our striking power if we signed a better player than RVP.(Just joining in)”

    This is bullshit, PG. Stupid argument. Everyone is asking for a better backup to RVP, a more versatile backup.

  239. @ JonJon
    We all need squad players. Squillaci is a squad player and is an improvement on Silvestre. Perhaps Park was thought to be an improvement on NB. You were talking about players who are not playing, ie who have not performed as expected. This is not something a manager can know in advance. It’s always a gamble, as I said before.
    We signed Park at £3m or whatever for the same reason that Liverpool signed Andy Carroll for £35 million – because we thought he would improve the squad or fulfil a need. Neither player may work out, both may come good in time. No way of telling for sure before they arrive.

    we sign the best we can get when they are available and when we can make the space on our wages bill. Which is the fourth highest in the PL.

  240. evening dex

  241. No Sriram the bulk of our wages does not go on the youths. Stop smoking crack man.

  242. Park seemed like a desperate measure, a very cheap, desperate measure.

  243. When a team is in control of the transfer market, does that mean they can get any player they want?

  244. George

    I think you got one on the end of your line there….

  245. FG- Kenny Dalglish bought Andy Carroll, whereas WENGER signed Park. That’s the difference. They bought Carroll because they wanted to spend the money in the bank.

  246. “Bulk of our wages goes to our youth team structure and those not even featuring on the bench”.

    What a load of old bollocks.
    How you can make a statement like that and expect to be taken seriously ,beats me.At least put a 🙂 after it to cover your bases.(as JJ does,and Dexter come to think of it)

  247. @ Limestonegunner | January 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm
    ha ha!

  248. If you there are a few players that you would like to sign, but the “selling” team refuses, are you still in control.

  249. “No Sriram the bulk of our wages does not go on the youths. Stop smoking crack man.”

    Those not even featuring on the bench, I mentioned. I think we are paying wages more for the numbers. Average players getting better wages while Star players get average wages.

  250. I an reeling here Dexter.(and that is no typo)

  251. George

    He/she’s full of em man, check out the one about Carroll as evidence of spending money FFS!

    Sriram, if you are going to continue to chat absolute shite can I suggest you do it on another blog. One with a less discerning clientelle. 🙂

  252. nonsence

    squad players are only useful if you can actually rely on them..

  253. Keep digging,as they say

  254. Now you are changing your fucking argument? Priceless. You been reading le grove by the sounds of it, I suggest you stay on that blog, your posts are stupid and unfounded.

  255. Apart from Regents JJ, what squad players cant we rely on?

  256. PG and Dex-

    Our wage structure is more of a uniform pay package for all kind. It does not measure performance. It is a structure which was to designed initially to create harmony in a young squad.

    Players like Almunia and Squillaci, do not even feature on the bench, but why were they not sold? Not because we didn’t try to sell them, more because no one will take them at their respective wages. We pay more for the average players.

    Maybe I couldn’t put it correctly or maybe I am just plain wrong 🙂 That’s fine! Everyone is allowed a mistake or two.

  257. I know we have the highest paid tea lady and even the kit man is taking us to the cleaners!!


  258. Limestonegunner

    My only thought is that the club should work hard to strengthen this window. We didn’t really complete our business and transformation of the squad over the summer to begin with. On top of that, competition is greater and we have had injuries and a minor dip. I thought Arteta would be more creative–he’s been great and I love him as a player for us–but we could use a goal scoring creative midfielder. I think we have to be careful not to overplay Ramsey and Wilshere will have to come back in slowly while being untested as our creative midfield attacker at this level. So there are some areas along with greater options in the front three/backup to RvP to consider. If someone is available it would make sense to make a decent bid for players in these areas. The whole LB issue is another one. I’m inclined to let Miquel play there. Hopefully Gibbs can come back and Vermaelen will be healthy soon. We’ll manage but if we aren’t going to have much width we could use greater invention and scoring from the midfield. As that is already something we could use anyway, it seem like a good idea to try very hard, even if it means paying a bit more than we might otherwise like, to give ourselves a better chance to make it to 4th and keep our best players at the club. It could be a big disaster falling out of the CL places in terms of keeping RvP, Theo, Song, Arshavin… The club may not have got everything it hoped for with Arshavin, but he helped keep us up in the CL places in 09 which is worth 35million pounds if we qualify for the group stages and have a typical year of making it to the knockouts. What I hope we don’t do is keep the cash around in case we don’t make it. Because if we don’t make it, we’ll probably have plenty of money on wage savings and sales of players who don’t resign. We’ll be swimming in money if we have to sell RvP and Song or let them walk on free transfers at the end of next season. Would that be good for the club? I think it is worth risking money again on an Arshavin type player to give us a second half boost.

    If the rumours about our deal with Matthias Suarez are true, it doesn’t look likely that we’ll sign anyone though. If they aren’t, then there is still a good chance.

  259. “Bulk of our wages goes to our youth team structure and those not even featuring on the bench”.

    See, I can copy and paste too and we can all see what utter garbage you are chartting, cant we? Erm, that’ll be a yeah then. 🙂

  260. Dexter- I have not been reading Le grove, I don’t too! And may I end up in moderation if I talk too much BS, I will stop commenting then on any blog.

  261. upfront dex
    the topic is a striker..keep up 😉

  262. @ Sriram | January 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    “FG- Kenny Dalglish bought Andy Carroll, whereas WENGER signed Park. That’s the difference. They bought Carroll because they wanted to spend the money in the bank.”

    Firstly, didn’t you start by saying you weren’t advocating crazy spending? Secondly, I gave those examples because I wanted to demonstrate that spending a large amount on a player does not guarantee that the player will work out. Granted, Carroll has made the starting line up more than Park has, but a) Pool don’t have RVP and b) the fact that they spent so much money on him means they have more pressure to use him.
    We do spend our money. we have a massive income AND massive expenditure and the biggest tranche of it is on players. We spend virtually everythign we have coming in, every year. And as I mentioned before, we also built a medical centre.

    It’s not how much you spend, it’s who you buy.

  263. hahahaha..

  264. well we cant rely on AA a!

  265. You are plain dumb sriram! 🙂

    The wage structure is there so that players dont earn, or expect t earn the kind of wages the players get at the chavs or new northern chavs.

    Squillaci and Almunia? Look around, other clubs have plenty of players not in the squads even earning monery, its not a new thing or something solely happening at Arsenal.

    I suggest you leave this point, its not going anywhere man.

  266. That comment about Carroll lacked a smiley in the end. It did not need to be argued on! Carroll is shit anyway.

  267. DukeG

    Even the cleaners at Arsenal have been taking us to the erm, cleaners man.

  268. to be fair srinam you’d have been better off saying ade than using carrol..
    terrible yardstick
    you dropped a bollock or two with that one…
    id recommend re thinking that one and using another example..

  269. No need to look for another example. Its clear we need a new striker/forward, its clear Park was a gamble that didnt pay off, now we have to see if Wenger will try and rectify that mistake before the month ends.

    Job done, discussion closed. 🙂

  270. ok so the striker things done

    what about a fb? 🙂

  271. Dex-

    Haha, its a load of bullshit to talk about players who are on huge wages not even featuring in other clubs. Clubs like City and Chelsea can care less about what they pay to their players who warm the bench. Its anyway made on fuel. 😛

    I am only talking about Arsenal’s wages here, which has to be earned to be spent. This is the more conventional way. It is important for Arsenal to manage their wage bill.

    Squillaci and Almunia were only examples for the bigger picture. The bigger picture is It is so big to eat close to 52% of our revenue and the wage structure does not allow super star wages and even the players who are back ups for back ups earn more than decent wages, that selling them on is a tough thing to achieve. Eg: Nicklas Bendtner, Almunia, Denilson, etc. Whereas it makes it easy for our star players like Cesc/ Nasri last season to be poached away for money.

    Now don’t tell me that Nasri is a cunt, this same player was one of our best performers last season. This year, he sucks is good for us. We got the 25 million. 🙂

  272. well we need a 3rd keeper coz i can not believe almunia is still around after all the pain he has caused.

  273. JJ and Dex-

    I’m not mentioning Carroll again 😛 That was a mistake!

  274. Well, as per usual the club’s over eager transfer gurus, knowing there was a real and urgent need for a new defender to ease our defensive crisis, pounced like coiled cobras as soon as the clock struck 00.01 on january 1st 2012 and signed us a brand new shiny impervious fullback.

  275. JJ- Do you really think we are going for Abidal? Apparently he hasn’t been made an offer by Barcelona and could go for free otherwise. But it is reported in Caught offside, so you know.

  276. Up till this season, Squillaci and Almunia played reguarly, so its a moot point man. And pretty pointless to boot.

  277. But I think we are okay defensively, with our fullbacks returning by the end of the month. A loan left back would be a cautious move, but I think we will let Coquelin and Vermaelen fill in.

    We only have Swansea to face before Verm is back.

  278. DukeG

    I cant believe he is either man. The fucking brass neck on that guy.

  279. LG.
    “it seem like a good idea to try very hard, even if it means paying a bit more than we might otherwise like, to give ourselves a better chance to make it to 4th and keep our best players at the club. It could be a big disaster falling out of the CL places in terms of keeping RvP, Theo, Song, Arshavin…”

    These are reasonable points.
    My problem is that you(and many others) say it as if Arsene is unable to see these very things for himself.
    Do you think you have ever thought of anything that he has not already considered?Except with loads of more relevant information at his disposal?

  280. But Vermealen is a CB, sticking him out there is a waste and also means we are being stretched in terms of the CBs we have. I cannot believe that we have so many injuries in that position? Its crackers, even by our standards.

  281. Well Dexter, I don’t know. Maybe I should look at it better to know where we stand. Taking guesses won’t do.

    But, that’s a huge wage bill for Arsenal, who don’t pay ridiculous wages like 200000 pounds.

  282. abidals a player yogi mentioned yesterday and it looks likely he will be leaving barca..but not yet..theyve sold/almost sold maxwell so i doubt he’ll leave too…

    i wouldnt say no to him though..

    to be honest if we were going to sign one it would have been done by now..sagna and gibbs aint far away so i dont see it happening anymore..

    i wouldnt say no to one though

  283. @ Limestonegunner
    No real disagreement with what you say as far as it goes – the point I keep hammering at is that the *outcome* of all our attempts to sign players is not just up to us or how hard we are working. The Suares deal, if true, could be a fallback option.

    I honestly don’t think that the man who was prepared to lose £22m to keep Nasri one more year, or who bid crazy amounts for Goetze and Reina will balk at paying for the right player – if, of course, we can find him. That’s the issue, really.

    The other point to bear in mind is that not only strikers can score. Currently we make the chances and don’t finish them. So an improvement in efficiency from the wide forwards and Ramsey would sort us. And getting some fullbacks back would help. AOC looks to be progressing really well, that could also be a source of goals or assists.

    It’s funny that Song, supposedly our DM is the most potent when it comes to assist – I noticed you made that point the other night. So yes, more is needed from Arteta in that respect. Still a fantastic buy, though.

    Re LB, Gibbs is saying 10 days now. I like Miquel and he can cope but if we are playing ManUre I suspect wenger will put TV in at LB for his experience.

  284. George

    He thinks about that shit, but then pisses around and procrastinates and then fails to address squad weaknesses, as he did last January.

    He has real trouble letting go off the purse strings. He is like an old woman on pension day. I’d imagine you can relate to that.

  285. “Its crackers, even by our standards.”


    True, I think we are just plain unlucky. Though there is an argument that Arsene could have gone against playing Santos in Olympiacos. Without knowing the reason why he was played, we cannot blame him.

    But Verm will play for two games or so, before, Gibbs returns. But it is hoping that Gibbs stays fit.

  286. Gibbs is back in 10 days.For at least 10 minutes,is my guess.

  287. @ Dexter
    £35 million for Goetze? £12 million for AOC? £18m for Phil Jones? He looks for value, not price. He is not a miser. It’s more accurate to say he is thrifty. Very different.

  288. JJ- That and Abidal has been ever present in the team for Barcelona.

  289. FG

    Unfortunately Gibbs right now cannot be considered. Him saying he is 10 days away just means he could be injured in a fortnight. Until he can stay injury free for half a season, we need to see it as a bonus, if he can play for us.

  290. I hope Gibbs can stay on till the end of the season. It will be great experience for him.

    We are lacking width because of our lack of fullbacks.

  291. George; 🙂 Haha! Nice one man.


    I was trying to wind George up with that post, although 2 of those players play at other clubs, so not sure they are good examples. I mean, how many players have we ALMOST signed? And the Oxo signing, although a great long term one, was exactly what we didnt need at the time and completely underwhelming, which was a shame for the lad.

  292. These niggling injury issues are a little frustrating. It stops the player from reaching the potential he can reach.

    A Diaby without injury is unimaginable at this point of time.

  293. I will old woman you Dexter,you are nothing but a fucki……………………………Oh hang on.

  294. Anyway, guys, I’m off now.

    Good night! See ya tomoro!

  295. FG

    We needed defenders all summer and then after the most embarrassing of starts to a season, where we witnessed the shittest ever play from Arsenal (under AW), we still waited till the absolute last minute to sign players we could have got at any other time in the summer. See? If you had left that post for george alone, I wouldnt be dredging all this up again! MY therapist wont be thanking you, I can tell you. 🙂

  296. Seeya Sriram, enjoy le grove!!! 🙂 Just kidding dude.

  297. @ Dexter
    You boys and your mutual up-winding. I can’t keep up. Anyway, it was money he was prepared to part with, is the point.

    If that’s how you feel about the Ox I am surprised – I think he is on the verge of making a real impact. He has improved so much since the summer. Didn’t you think he did well on Monday? Helped out defensively as well as carrying a threat in attack, looked a lot stronger and came close to scoring. I liked the way he took responsibility. Very mature peformance.

  298. Dex- I would rather…. 😀 See ya, man. A rough day for a newbie I guess 😛

  299. And one last thing, we left it till the last minute, more because of our “hanging in the balance” CL status and because of that stupid fuck Nasri. I think!

  300. FG

    Not at all imo. I am not saying that I dont think he is a quality little prospect imo, just that at the time, an unproven 17 year old winger wasnt exactly what the squad needed imo. The fact we went balls out to get him, only exacerbated the fact, imo and showed up a flawed logic imo..

  301. Anyway ,it matters not a jot for the next 6 weeks.
    Titi is here and we will sweep all before us with him and RVP banging them right left and centre.Well may be not so much right ,but left and centre for sure.And assists a plenty to boot.

  302. @ Dexter
    We didn’t “wait” to sign them. We were promised a CB with PL experience and we went for our targets in order of preference – Jones, Jagielka, Cahill. Jones didn’t want us, Everton wouldn’t sell (and presumably Jagielka wasn’t keen enough to force it), Bolton screwed us around and so we opted for Mertesacker who we had had on the back burner most of the summer. We could have moved for PM earlier in the summer but first preference was a PL player.

  303. Dexter,your opinion is flawed.

  304. Starting with those Swans mate. Saw one of their sites and they expect to beat us.

  305. @ Dexter

    But we didn’t get AOC instead of getting an experienced player, we got Benayoun as well. And we already had Rosicky.

    This could run and run….

  306. No wonder he looked a bit over dome, being on the back burner all summer.

    imo George, imo, I think, imo that you are, imo a fucking right, imo, funny fucker, imo, imho.

  307. @ Dexter
    Sorry, ignore the last post, just realised what you meant.

    I think you can’t be choosy about when you grab someone who you think is going to be as special as wilshere or someone like that. If we’d waited a year or two, or let someone else outbid us, we would have missed out on a gem.

  308. FG

    Erm, 11;59 August 31st. Along with the bulk of our signings, AFTER the worst start to a season ever. Kinda like shutting the fridge door after George has scoffed all the meat pies, sausage rolls and black puddings.

  309. Oh FG! And I made a joke specially for your point too! 🙂

  310. Dexter,I have a problem with my weight and you have cut me to the bone(and that is a lot of fat to be cutting through)
    You are a nasty pastie(as they say in these Northern parts)

  311. I love this team.

    Whether we buy or not, I enjoy watching Arsenal football club and the players that we have are tops. I am not even focused on if we win something this season. I will simply enjoy watching one game at a time. If that leaves us with a trophy, so be it. If not, next season it is.

    As far as this season, I can see us gaining ground again, since we are rested. I look forward to seeing Park, at whatever point, make an impact. I look forward to Chamakh getting in to form at the ACN and scoring some goals, Gers (as far as goals) and coming back to help us further climb the table.

    I don’t know whose “fault” the early season situation was but I have long forgotten that, but to look at where we have come from and how remarkable the climb up the table has been.

    I will say it again, we have the best team in the PL. With Santos, Sagna, Jenks, Wilshere, GIbbs and Diaby to come back, I am full of belief.

    Moan if you feel, but I am having fun.


  312. i agree with both of you on this one..

    oxo wasnt really what we needed..and i think wenger was keen to wait but fergie went in for him as did kenny..

    wenger had to move..
    he may not have believed he was ready, the fact hes being nurtured is decent evidence..but we had to go for him then..or we would have probably lost him..

    we did the same with 08 he wasnt really what we needed but utd closed in..he had to come then or not at all…

    its a difficult balancing act but hopefully we got it right in the long term..

    but in the same respect i think we aint as keen to act like that in the short term..if we can attract potential and go to war with utd over the future then why cant we get whats needed now as well..?? i think we can..if we really wanted to..and sometimes i dont think we do…

    imo 🙂

  313. PaulN

    I am waiting for Baptista to make an impact as well man. He looks really sharp. 🙂

  314. George

    Shit, there must be blubber all over your 2 up 2 down and even in the outside karzi too.

  315. It sounds like you saying we got an inexperienced player, one that cant get playing time in a geriatric chelsea side on loan and a player who has been crocked for the last few season back. Instead of the one signing that we should have made to take the team to the next level right now. Or I may just be confused again?

  316. Sorry Dexter I was in back ally sparking me clogs.Say what?

  317. JJ

    Ha, yeah Wenger went for Oxo like George at a buffet man, imo.

  318. @ Dexter
    You ignored the wrong one. I meant for you to ignore this one:
    FunGunner | January 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm


    And if you want to moan, moan at Jones or Everton or Bolton. Unless you think we should just have abandoned the attempt to sign a defender with PL experience? Or lowered our sights and gone for a PL player whom AW didn’t think in his heart of hearts was good enough? What were our options, in reality?


    @ Paul-N | January 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm
    Good post. I was amazed at how relaxed I felt when Coquelin was taken off and Yennaris had to come on – I have become so used to players stepping up and doing us proud. Sorry for Le Coq of course but not fearful.

    And essentially you’re right – this is the team we’ve got and let’s not forget they’ve performed heroics to get us from 17th to 5th, so lets back OUR team. Any team can be improved, doesn’t mean that no team is ever good enough.

  319. Who would have taken us to the next level GJ?
    Bear in mind we had about 5 days to find ,negotiate and sign him.
    I am sure it is that easy .Not.

  320. And on that bombshell…. good night.

  321. How good does that boy Yennaris look?

  322. cesc_ara | January 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    One of many top posts by you today

  323. Watching Henry slot that one in the other night brought back a lot of memories all good for a long time (48 years) Gunners fan but it was also a reminder of the dross that’s been served up week in week out over the last couple of years. Van Persie can’t carry the club single handedly and sure there are half a dozen good players too, but Wenger has persevered with others who to everyone else but himself obviously can’t (won’t) cut it. Don’t get caught up in the feel good emotion of the moment and forget the torment that he inflicted in his own stubborn way on the club and us.

    I revere the guy for what he’s done but I fear for the future. That game against Leeds was pretty awful; lots of pretty passing back and forth but no driving to the net. I almost went to sleep. Ramsey thinks he can kick the ball through people, Walcott is ……well brainless and pretty much invisible these days.

    Yes of course there is hope but we need some intelligent acquisitions.

    Now the scrabble for fourth is seen as a success!!! We now need to rely on other teams to screw up to progress. Spurs ain’t going to slack off or implode; if they can do it why can’t we with our supposed genius at the helm?

    Some objectivity is needed here amid the warm feelings of Henry’s return..

    It’s the greatest club in the land and long may it remain so but it isn’t a given. Nor should it be.

  324. George, you must think me very arrogant and/or stupid to say that.

  325. FG

    Oh boy. You keep mentioning players we failed to sign, in the main because we never got near to the fees required. Jones for instance would be a Gooner now if we’d stumped up £10m. The thing is, anyway, when you get knocked back, you go for someone else. You dont just forget it and dont bother signing anyone.

    Sorry, your argument is massively flawed, throwing names of players we didnt sign at me over and over again doesnt change the fact we procrastinated and it took a humiliation to get players in. FFS we werent even going to sign a left back till after the OT game. That delay set us back weeks. If it was a one off then I’d tend to say its no one’s fault, but that shit keeps on happening.

    Make excuses for it all you want.

  326. I don’t know. Arsenal have signed players in the last moments of a transfer window before.
    And, odds on, are likely to do so again in the future!

  327. In other news Ryo played ninety minutes of the reserve game.
    My worst fears have been realised. Henry has returned, and left Ryo with a possible option (to get games) of a loan move to that tiny club Feyenoord.

  328. Copernicus .
    Theo only can on with Henry

    “That game against Leeds was pretty awful; lots of pretty passing back and forth but no driving to the net. I almost went to sleep. Ramsey thinks he can kick the ball through people, Walcott is ……well brainless and pretty much invisible these days.”

    You are a cock,my man.

    LG,I think you are neither.But the question remains.Do you think any of us see stuff that Arsene has missed?
    Not just you.
    As it happens I very much respect your views.

  329. Finsbury

    Dont get involved man, blame fungunner, she wouldnt let it go! 🙂

  330. Dont blame FG.Dexter.
    You are like a dog with a bone.
    And you are wrong.

  331. Ah George, thats me told, really put all my points in their place. Pah, eeeh appen you should stick to pigeon fancying

  332. thy.Dexter eeeh happen thy shoot steek t’ pigeon fancying

  333. Pigeons?

    Scott Sinclair.
    He’s quick.

  334. Thee av shorn me reet oop wiv me daft chatter George 🙂

  335. @ Dexter

    You said AW was unwilling to spend money. I gave you examples of large bids that he made showing he is willing to spend money, when he thinks the player is worth it and/or our need is great enough. Whether we actually signed the players or not is irrelevant to that particular point. He is not a miser.

    Regarding signing defenders, we started negotiations at the start of the window, and we did go for the next person after being knocked back – after Jones we went for Jagielka, after him, Cahill, after him, Mertesacker. The thing is that it takes longer than 5 minutes on the mobile to get to the stage of being knocked back. Negotiation is a process and the selling club and the player have as much say in how long it takes as we do.

    Mertesacker, Arteta and Benayoun themelves have said that negotiations had started BEFORE the ManUre game. I can’t understand why you don’t believe them, if not AW or the club. Park was actually agreed on the Friday before the OT game. Santos I think was more of a last-minute thing but AW was in two minds about Traore.

  336. @ finsbury
    The Swans have got a very good home record, but then again we’ve got RVP.

  337. i agree with dexter..
    i think alot of ppl agree with dexter and even the ppl who you wouldnt have thought agreed with dexter are now coming round with the idea of agreeing with dexter and agreeing with dexter

    ive been agreeing with dexter for ages..for so long in fact i was agreeing with him before he even said it so maybe its dexter who agreed with me but he never knew he was agreeing with me until the point where i agreed with him..

    in the meantime george is too confused to agree with anyone..

  338. @ finsbury
    Do you live in Finsbury Park, by the way?

  339. Not planning to stalk you or anything, just wondered about the name.

  340. Oh jeez FG, let it go.

    Every window there are excuses as to why we didnt sign a player and this summer was the fucking worse, sure if you’d rather see things in an uncritical fashion thats your perogative. But your points really dont cut it, or make any sense or counter argument. Just sounds like the PR we get when we almost sign someone.

  341. JJ

    Hahahahahahahahahaha! I agree


  342. @ Dexter
    Have I said anything about the summer window that is incorrect? If so, what?

  343. FG

    – Swansea will be a toughie. I’m scared.
    – Yup.
    – Phew!

  344. @ finsbury
    It will be hard – but I reckon morale is very high and the players will be rested, especially RvP, who will be keen to show Henry that he’s the King at Arsenal now.

  345. *pauses. tries to think.*
    This Henry signing is seriously interesting stuff.

  346. ha ha

    good night finsbury. just realised what time it is and I am genuinely off to bed now.

  347. Good night FunGunner.

    If you missed it here are some quotes from the mail the other day:

    “Maradona added: Van Persie is not only a star player but a footballer with a stellar personality that is something that I hold in high respect.”

  348. Copernicus – you must have been as scared as al hell when decided ‘De revolutionibus orbium coelestium’.

    Translation – ‘Wenger is a bad motherfucker’.

    You better damn pray.Of course, I’m paraphrasing. But I admire your maths anyway.
    zn+1 = zn2 – Mandelbrot infinity.

  349. How many different types of infinity are there?

    Answers on a one dimensional postcard.

  350. To get the answer to “how many different types of infinity are there?”

    You would need an 11 dimensional postcard. (Well that’s what me strings is telling me)

  351. Unless you posted it 4 years ago, didn’t believe in string theory or you’re a fictional 1D being.

    If it’s the last one sleep face up.

  352. You don’t need an 11 dimensional postcard to now they are different sizes even though they are not countable.
    It’s at this point that Yogi says – and here is tomorrows/todays missive. No! Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.Here.
    He’ll always be right, is neither alive nor dead. He is not a cat and, if he falls in a forest, and no woman is there to hear him, no one knows if he is still wrong. BUT, we knew that anyway, we just needed to test it first.
    My contention is that the only thing the LHC will discover is proof of HB-KUP – HeisenBerg -Kamp Uncertainty Principle.
    Not the ‘God Particle’ but the proof of an Ice God (with a fear of flying).

    OK – I just woke up and I’m off to sleep.

    How good was Dup’s video? Yeeeeeeeaaahhhhhh.

  353. *know (dammit) zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  354. Dex, so you are a know it all now too? you are on the board with JJ and Bill?

    You are my boy, but move yu blow wow about the team not willing to spend, I am glad that we don’t spend above what we feel a player is worth.


  355. Jonny, do you work nights?

    gwaan ah yu bed!

  356. Paul – At the moment I’m just helping my dad move house and being a professional layabout and worrier. I’m moving in with him to keep him company during his last year or so.
    Cbob, in his wisdom, once said “Jonny talks a lot my, my”. Lol.
    I’m SO aware of that but this is actually helpful outpouring – I’ve always been a wibbler. Right now I just have way too much going on to sleep and that’s before the external stuff.
    My dad is now 83 and was sneaking into the games at Highbury as a wartime nipper. I hope to get some kind of contribution, even if indirect, before he departs.
    Fave player Compton – England cricketer, England and arsenal footballer. Old school hero.

  357. He always told me he loved using the ‘The’ for the club name. He was born in 1928 and served in the RAF. The club was significant – different, classy. Much as it is now.

    I read Arseblog’s magnificent piece about that, which included this feeling, and was touched to tears.

    I honestly always feel moved by the fortune to be part of THIS, so much so than A-N-other idiotic club.

    Guess I’m a moderate with a ‘hardliner’s soul.

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