Arsène Says, Roberto Says, Per Says – The Tattle That Underpins Football

The usual European exit fallout has begun; manager charged, top star coveted and all in all, it’s much ado about nothing.  That Arsène is facing the Uefa beaks once more is of little surprise; he simply has not learned to curb his enthusiasm about the referee’s performance.

Football is a curious industry. Everyone can comment on a manager, player or team performance. They can even say it to the players and managers faces. A referee? No, they are infallible. Sepp has continually decreed this which is why video technology in a limited and pretty much useless form, is being dragged kicking and screaming into the game.

And goal-line technology is a sop. Had Frank Lampard’s “goal” not been in a World Cup match, there is no way Fifa would have agreed to the trial. How often in a season is there a contentious goal-line decision? Rarely. It won’t address anything important like an incorrect offside decision where it is too close to call without relying on probabilities. The problem is that the technology is going to be watched, waiting for failure rather than success. When it goes wrong – and it will – the possibility of introducing other technology to help officials will recede from the remote position it is in now.

Arsène knows the rules. We know the rules. There is little point in talking to the referee post-match in England; Europe is ten times worse. Officials are prissy and arrogant. The decision making by the Slovenian referee was awful at times, to the extent that in giving the penalty he went against the grain. I have read comments that blame it on his nationality, that he would not have been used to the intense atmosphere generated by the occasion.

Poppycock; the problem is that Uefa want consistency and the only way you get that is a literal interpretation of the rules which is quite often entirely different to those applied in the national game. This is not a new problem; complaints were regularly made when I was young about officiating behind the Iron Curtain. Which is before you consider the open corrupting of officials by the Italian clubs. Some stigma’s never disappear.

I understand Arsène’s frustrations. His team had come close to overturning a four goal deficit and creating Champions League history. It looked for all intents and purposes as though it was going to happen early in the second half. Ultimately though, the players looked shattered at the end, in need of someone to inspire them and they could not find it. The referee contributed to that in part with his decisions but he is not the sole cause. Wenger needed someone to vent at, the referee was his target. The experience of Udinese shows the pointless nature of a touchline ban.

As if that was not enough, the media this morning talk of Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City monitoring Robin van Persie’s situation. To me, it is a non-event with headlines fuelling anger rather than Mancini himself. Or that is how it ought to be. Let’s remember that Arsène is not averse to talking about other players and that Mancini actually said that he believes van Persie will sign a new contract in any case.

Is there any difference between Mancini talking to the media about van Persie and Mertesacker about Podolski? No matter what justification you might want to find – and internet / tabloid rumours are not a confirmed transfer – there is none.

We have become very sensitive to rumour-mongering at Arsenal. From 2000 onwards, there were regular stories linking Henry and Vieira amongst others, away from the club. They did not come true until Arsenal were ready to release them. Simply because Nasri and Fabregas left last Summer does not mean that van Persie will follow. And more to the point, his advisors will have been in contact already and know what City / Barcelona / Madrid / Anyone FC are ready to offer; it’s the way of football.

Amid all of this is the praise for the Dutchman that came from the City manager, recognition of his standing in the world game. Comparing him with Ronaldo and Messi is not amiss. In my opinion he is a more effective team player than the former whilst the latter, well, anyone who argues that he is not one the greatest players ever to appear on a football pitch is being churlish or a fool. Or both.

As it is, van Persie could arguably be voted as World Player of the Year this year if he stays injury-free.  His form has been [insert your own adjective here] and arguably has had a more beneficial impact on the team than Messi has on Barcelona, lifting the team to higher levels. It seems likely that Barcelona would have won most, if not all, trophies had Messi not been playing every game. Personally I think van Persie will be a more likely winner of the European Player of the Year. As for the domestic honours, if he doesn’t win the Players and Football Writers awards it will be more of a travesty than Henry not being honoured internationally when he was in his prime.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 8, 2012, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 283 Comments.

  1. 2nd? hell no?!

  2. Just Another Luke

    5th, 6th whatever. Who cares?

  3. Just Another Luke

    When something needs to be said, expect Wenger to say it. Thanks Arsene, for saying it for me. It is worth the punishment.

  4. This kid WOJO is. Awesome. He cracks me up.

  5. YW – Nice write up.

    Poppycock???? Heh, I imagine you typing the post sat in a big leather chair with a pipe, a moniker, and a large tumbler of the finest whiskey.

  6. I knew it. Bigbrovar. Is. Bobby.
    Who’s bobby?

  7. Bobby is Big Brovar’s alter ego.

  8. Just Another Luke

    What’s a Brovar?

  9. A moniker? Surely Yogi is his moniker.

  10. moniker – Originally meant a mark left by a tramp on a building or fence to indicate he/she had been there;

    So GA, whatcha trying to say?

  11. YW, how else are we to confront the short comings of the refs. Officiating our games. It is so frustrating when we always get the short end of the stick. Some ,somewhere. Has to do or say something or else we look like saps. AW has to stand up for his players. As it is ,they are laying it on the line for the club and him the best they can.

  12. Bananas BTW,
    Can i bring this forward .

    pedantic george | March 8, 2012 at 9:57 am
    Wojo says this
    “”We have a fantastic manager who knows how to run the club. All the players believe in what he’s doing, as well.

    “Sometimes things don’t go our way, but we believe in the way the manager runs the club, the way we want to play football, and doing that we know that even if things are wrong we’re going to turn it around and win games.

    “We’re all even at this club. We have the boss, and we know who is the boss in the dressing room, and that’s Arsene Wenger obviously, and the skipper Robin van Persie who is the leader in the team.

    “But we’re all even in the dressing room, and so I can’t really say anything about it (player power), I’ve never experienced it.”

    Now perhaps the lack of disparity in wages is not all bad .as some experts (chuckle) think?

    Yogi ,would RVP.s representatives be the offspring of our supposed saviour? Surely such a linage would prevent such skulduggery?

  13. Sin bin for GA. LOL

  14. YW – Ha, sorry mate. I meant monocle.

  15. ‘Churlish’, yes, a very nice word.

    As used by Passenal on these very pages only yesterday.

  16. ok ok ok Here its how it goes …for me at least.

    EPL = ENGLISH FOOTBALL = i agree with karlheinz beckenbauer

    arsenal = a traditional english club with their nice honourable domestic success, however a bit scattered throught the years of the clubs existence with quite a few large gaps between one trophy and the next.

    wenger & boro : too highly sophisticated technocrats who work on production lines. their work has produced a weah, a vieira, an henry a cesc among many others. the football they teach aint old fashinoned nor ill disciplined. they have also won titles, and reached finals. Their methods work. You certainly cant call them clueless at what they do. They are highly succesful and perhaps considered gurus at what they specialise in.

    arsenal again = what do they want ? global domination? domestic domination? just a club that will exist together with the others and hit a title chrage once every few years? be a protagonist and create empire? a club going for the cups? a club going for championships?

    do they know what they want and how to get it ? im talking about the owners of course ..the ultimate decission makers..the ones who have the cake and the knife.

    Since they have chosen to build invest and wait, in my eyes they could not have picked a better manager .thats what wenger does. builds..and when it all clicks he also wins titles. can the owners wait? they certainly seem able to. can the fans wait ? thats a completely different story.

    will they protect their employer ./manager form the lynching mobs who will be complaining about titles without understadning what the club is going through…hmmmm so and so ….i would have expected them to be way more vocal in their support for their manager who is out in theopen taking all the hits for a policy which is chosen by them, not arsene. arsene just happens to be very good at what his does. and what he does is what arsenal NEEDED after investing tons of money in their stadium and facilities.

    since we accpet success in football comes in cycles blah blah blah then it is PLAIN OBVIOUS that the club and manager are building and waiting. the scenenry right now does not allow for expansion..its like poker…they will destroy us…wait prepare and wait and prepare and when the right time comes …BANG you fuck them all. stay on your feet as long as you can and when the rest around you collapse thats when the window of opportunity appears.

    the delay in the appearance of this window of opportunity is not wenger;s fault nor the clubs fault. had the political hierarchy of this country kept the foreign investors away from english clubs none of this circus with sheikhs and russians and americans would have happened. we can not blame wenger and arsenal just because tony blair opened up the football industry for foreign tycoons to come and invest and further strengthen the epl product.

    in the middle of all this the club has to deal with a sick neanderthal mentality from refs rivals and opposition footballers and managers which frankly speaking embarasses the nation of england and all its values on the game they discovered. How the arsenal fans sit and tolerate such shit is beyond me. and if you really thought you were a big club you would also have big fans to protect the team and manager and form field of protection like the ultras of roma the ultras of panathinaikos the ultras of barca the ultras of milan.

    and as for giving me shit about disrespecting the club prior to wenger..i have every right too when i exxagerate and what to put my points across …before him i remember alcoholics collapsing on the pitch…AM I WRONG ? i dont think so. so i dont ever wanna hear any shit from anyone about being disrespectful when the first culprits were are own players !

    before wenger …even panathinaikos had more european pedigree than arsenal…hamburg and benfica and porto …clubs we havent reached in history terms but surpassed in status………yet all you talk about is us always being big ….BOLLOCKS…arsene made us big ..and guess what ..we havent won shit yet. that takes some doing

    yes i may talk angrily at times ….i consider wenger the best fucking thing that has ever happened to this club and i will humiliate any little englader peasant who with his xenophobia and bigotry wants to mock us, belittle us , harm us and essentially watch us go down …i wont give them that pleasure. i will fuck them all wherever i find them. who the fuck are the english to tell ARSENE WENGER how to run the football club which he has put on the fucking map. How can you accept all these spitefull little people attacking the club like that? show them up !!!

    take it as an assault ,,, anyway you want ..i dont care..its my last post here anyway.;…im the evil nutter and the rest are all ok and good and only want whats best for us ..surely

    credit to george passenal billy kam c will fun and sorry if i forgot anyone …great gunners !!!! red and white till we die !!!!!

    fuck you tottneham fuck you manchester fuck you chelsea fuck you f.a fuck you rooney fuck you ferdinand fuck you evra fuck you all…WE ARE THE ARSENAL..with van persie sagna song walcott yes god damnit ..with OUR PLAYERS ..OUR PHILOSOPY ..OUR FOOTBALL … graaaaaaah!!!!!

    take their fucking scalps !!!!

    …….LOL…….. 🙂

  17. Hunter – I am sure you have a couple of decent points in your rambling post. But there is also so much shite there that I can’t be arsed to sift through it to find them.

  18. PG

    When Darren Dein is one of van Persie’s advisors, expect him to be as efficient in gathering the required information for RvP as he was for Cesc and Nasri.

  19. As mad as a box of frogs,That boy.

  20. RVP has been great for the last 12 months but Messi does it season in season out.The best player since Maradona and probably better him

  21. Signing Podolski a replacement for RVP?

  22. seems like podolski is a done deal.

    i think we have to absolutely keep RVP, not just because he is a brilliant player, but because we need to put a stop to all the talk of us being a selling club.

    we need to show the other clubs that they can forget about our players.

    the thing is, i am actually very confident rvp will sign. until i realise who his agent is.

    i seriously think agents are the scum of football. interests of the playeR? no sir. first and foremost their own interests.

  23. lordylordy lord. Oh dear. Start the ultras hunter13. Will join in a heartbeat. Had enough of this Bolshevik. The club has to know, the players too and. AW. that they are not alone. to hell with the rest.
    ARSENAL ARSENAL ARSENAL ARSENAL ARSENAL ARSENAL!!!!

  24. I think UEFA were more annoyed that Wenger called them out on the state of the pitch at the San Siro. Blatant cheating by Milan, endorsed by UEFA.

    Any player looking to force their way back into their national team is a shrewd buy for me, so I’d welcome Podolski at the reported costs. Until this week I’d have said it means the Ox would get less chances, but after seeing him play in midfield (and play a belter) I reckon he’d still get regular starts in the middle. As well as anywhere else on the pitch!

  25. “is being churlish or a fool.” or blindly partisan. Like a football fan for instance.

  26. Martin,what is the point of those posts you tedious worm?

    You are like Marie Barone.You only aim in life is to make others as miserable as you are.

  27. Reasons RVP will stay.

    Hes playing the football of his life – At Arsenal
    He is the captain – Of Arsenal
    Hes in a team where he is the main man – The Arsenal
    He will get a nice fat payrise and signing on fee – From Arsenal
    Hes been here 8 years and like Bergkamp its the club of his career – Is Arsenal
    He likes living in London and his family are settled – London Arsenal (in some european games)
    In short RVP couldnt wish for anything else, hes a happy chap.

    HES IS GOONER!

  28. anyone knows how we are going to fill the homegrown quota etc?

    we seem to have quite a few players now.

    i don’t think podolski is meant to replace rvp. i see him as more of a left-sided player. in fact, he should offer us something different from what our other wing players are offering.

    gervinho: trickery, direct taking on players, going to the byline

    theo: sheer pace, inside runs, finishing

    miyaichi: sheer pace, taking on players

    podolski: aerial presence, strength, shooting

    arshavin(??): moments of magic to unlock defences

    we are just lacking a player who comes inside and can hold the ball and create space ala nasri. benayoun is probably the closest to that sort of player at the moment. doubt we will sign him up though, when you consider all the squad restrictions. nevertheless, i like his attitude and would welcome him.

    i think ox might be moved to midfield next season. imagine ox, jack, arteta, ramsey, rosicky, song.

  29. i think ox might be moved to midfield next season. imagine ox, jack, arteta, ramsey, rosicky, song.

    And Diaby,people keep forgetting the poor chap

  30. Deise

    i fully agree.

    yet nothing is for sure until i see his signature on our contract!

    i must admit i ahve sleepless nights thinking about the schemes of his agent.

  31. My point George you dung beetle is Podolski being brought in as a replacement for RVP next season or is wenger planning to rip up the playing only one upfront tactic.As that simple enough for you

  32. sorry george

  33. i think RVP will be in the middle, poldi on the left, and RVP will drop down into space and play the throughball for Poldi who will make the inside run and finish.

  34. DG

    You left out one little thing.His ambition to win trophies which TH14 and DB10 both won.Henry loves Arsenal but had to move on to achieve a CL winners medal

  35. @Martin
    You obviously don’t know anything about Podolski. He might be used as a central striker in Cologne, but in the German national team he finds himself often out on the left wing or the AM position. He is adept at playing all those positions.

  36. Oh I know what you meant.And it was a miserable attempt to suggest RVP was on his way out Marie.

    Is calling me a “dung beetle” necessary? I might be of a delicate nature for al you know ,Marie.

  37. Evil,he knows nothing about a lot more than just Podolski.

  38. Yeah Martin thats true of course but i do believe medals are on the horizon for Arsenal, maybe not champions league just yet. But then again there is only 2 teams right now winning that cup and both looked pretty stocked with strikers right now.

  39. korihikage

    Homegrown is easy with Szczesny, Djourou, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, (I think) Coquellin, Wilshere; age isn’t important, they can be named in the squad to cover that eventuality.

    Space will be made for non-homegrown quite readily. Almunia will be leaving in the Summer as seems likely Squillaci. Sorry PG but I think Arshavin will make that trio whilst Benayoun is only on loan. It would be little surprise if either or both of Park or Chamakh left.

    Of course, we don’t know for certain about departees and Almunia may stay for example, if Fabianski left. There are a lot of permutations but AW will have a plan in mind to allow the likes of Podolski to fit in. Apparently there is official confirmation of it somewhere but it isn’t of Arsenal.com or on the Cologne website either.

  40. Thankyou for the write up Yogi. The issue of video technology being used in European Football should not be a question for ref’s to use. The ref’s will still have complete charge of the match and will have a technology to use if they have a question in their mind about the veracity of a decision. The sport that uses video technology on a regular basis is the National Hockey League. There is not a game day that passes without resorting to Video technology. All reviews of decisions are done in one location in North America by League Officials and they rule for all games that are being played. The issue that is clarified by the video technology is whether or not the puck crossed the line. Interestingly, the ref’s very often get the correct decision.

  41. Martin

    You appear lost. Looking back at your comments on this site, you seem to think we’re going to engage in rational debate based on comments designed to provoke a row. Probably best to find a blog inhabited by like-minded souls if you want a positive discourse on your views.

  42. Podolski’s coming to strengthen, not replace anyone. I’d rather have had Bendtner and Vela coming off the bench on Tuesday night over Park and Chamakh.

  43. i remember reading a few years ago that a source said henry left arsenal because he wanted to leave london, after his marriage failed.

  44. Podolski would play on the left of our front 3 (where he plays for Germany with much success). Filling in for RvP when he in unavailable in the main striker role (where he plays for Koln with much success).

    Excellent piece of business is it turns out to be true. Also signings like this may help in negotiations with RvP contract wise. It shows good intent by the club.

  45. thanks Yogi

  46. Thoughtful write up.

    We won the first half despite the ref, who just looked ‘bought’.

    If managers cannot say anything negative about the officials (I am sure they would not get into trouble for praising them) there should be an internal review process whereby referees could be reported by the club, for all leagues and competitions. Either for suspected financial doping, bias or shit decisions. This way a manager would know there was some possibility of voicing concerns and could say post match: we are considering reporting the referee, rather than, ‘he needs glasses’ or ‘he is a @£&king C*$t’.

    Mind you there is no point talking about Sep-tic relating to anything to do with intelligence, integrity and fairness. If he called anyone @£&king C*$t it would be equivalent to the pot calling the kettle ‘little negrito’.

  47. Yogi,

    do Miquel, Ozyakup, Ryo count in the squad of 25?

  48. Good news if the Podolski deal does go through. Hopefully we can get him playing regularly on the left of the attacking three with van Persie through the middle and Walcott/Ox/Gervinho on the other flank. Maybe add Joel Campbell tothe mix depending on how the boss thinks his experience in France has gone (I’ve seen nothing of him) and any passport qualifcation period and we may have the makings of a deep and felxible front line.

    Most other areas of the squad look like there’s a good depth and balance there, the goalkeeping situation as backup for Sczeszny might have to be looked at in the light of Almunia and Fabianski’s intentions at the end of the season.

    FIFA and technology, meh. I’m not a luddite generally, but having technology for much more than whether the ball has crossed the line or not risks taking away the flow of the game and I wouldn’t be in favour at the moment. Other sports like rugby and cricket only use technology where there are natural breaks in the game (try scored or not, wicket falling or not), even checking whether the ball has crossed the line or not can impinge on the natural flow of the game anyway as the ball doesn’t necessarily go dead afterwards. I don’t think there are many areas where the benfits of technology outweigh the downsides in what we have now in football, more concentration on consistency refereeing would be much more benficial in my view.

  49. Korihikage

    No, club can name as many under-21s as they want. The first pair will probably count as homegrown when they make the first team squad.

  50. Word of the day:

    Blatteroon = A senseless babbler or boaster.

  51. thanks Yogi,

    just did a quick thought-through on our current squad. i think squillaci definitely has to go. we would need to sell one of park, arshavin, chamakh if we want to bring in another foreign player.

    re djourou’s contract extension:
    djourou is obviously seen as a good backup homegrown player. and to be honest, he is a good 4th choice centreback to have. can see why that deal was made now.

  52. Video replay should be used for red cards and penalties. The pre-emptive effect would actually speed things up.

  53. It sounds like the public clamour by the dodgy media to sell off Arsenal players has become a cottage industry. It’s funny sometimes to hear hacks and media punks being given reliable evidence that RVP is more likely to resign for Arsenal than not, and yet in the next cycle, they simply ignore what doesn’t fall into the “Arsenal in crisis” narrative.

    It’s amazing how a comment from Mancini about Van Persie is translated to ‘Man City to offer £220,000 to Van Persie’. These guys are so connected to Darren Dein (who for the record I think is a snake oil merchant) they actually know what Van Persie will supposedly take home after tax ‘when’ he moves up north.

    Clearly, the National Union of Football Journalists drew up Van Persie’s new terms and conditions, and impressed on him to accept their terms with Man City giving them permission to print the £200,000 per week wages as fact – including the other small perks he’ll be given like a mansion in Cheshire, 2 personal bodyguards, someone to massage his cultured left foot every day, another person to hold his dick when he pees, another aide armed with Sheikh Mansour’s very own Gold card to take his wife on shopping trips wherever she pleases to go around the world in the Abu Dhabi ruler’s brand new Gulfstream 650 private jet – you know, the usual.

    I suppose, we should take it as a compliment that not a day passes without an Arsenal story that evokes emotion appearing in the paper or is peddled on Sly Sports and Talk Spite.

    A good indicator of that is the fact that as Rangers, Pompey and Port Vale fall off the grid because of financial ruin, and clubs like Birmingham City face certain administration if they don’t get promoted back to the Premier league – none of the establishment commentators can bring themselves to utter the unthinkable – “Clubs should aspire to reach the successful heights of Arsenal as its perhaps one of the best run and best managed sporting entities on the planet’. They dare not point out the fact that Arsenal’s successful management has led to the club being recognized by Forbes magazine as the 3rd most valuable football club in the world after United and Real Madrid, and the 7th most valuable sporting entity in the world. Even Barcelona can only make it 27th on that coveted list.

    No, no, no – they shamelessly express a perverse excitement of profligacy that is so grotesque in its application and go sycophantic about clubs that are ready to spend millions, run themselves into administration and just to keep the game sexy and glamorous.

    Arsenal is roundly criticized even though it is blatantly obvious that we have to pay up for a new stadium. Questioning tactical decisions by the coaching staff or even policy by the board is normal and healthy, but when it’s based on devious misinformation, malice and an intent to divide and rule – it’s nothing short of disgraceful.

    You still hear for example that Arsenal will not sign ‘big name, big money’ players they need because Wenger is – wait for this – ‘Stubborn’. And just by it being said, it becomes fact and a huge fuck off stick that the club is beaten with. “Stubborn”?” – How about Arsenal doesn’t have the money to run the club beyond its means.

    We are already a very successful club – and more will come soon enough in the form of trophies. As much as we clamour for trophies on the field, let’s not forget that doing it the ‘Arsenal way’ is more important than selling our soul down the river for short term bragging rights.

  54. I wouldnt be surprised if we see a different formation next season ad having RVP, Podolski, Walcott, Ox, Jack, Song in a formation like a 442 with Ox and Walcott on the flanks but also wouldn’t be surprised seeing Ox, Jack and Song be our 1st choice midfield with Arteta Diaby and Ramsey as rotating players and Gervinho 1st striker off the bench. Our squad is looking very strong next season barring injuries.

    While i will always dream beautiful dreams of next season free flowing scoring goals at will and playing beautiful football. I must also enjoy the football of this season free flowing and as of recent scoring goals at will. Newcastle is in for a sh*t load of trouble on Monday. Arsenal Football Club!!!!!!!!!!

  55. Yogi, are you aware whether or not youngsters J Campbell and R Miyaichi will be eligible to play for Arsenal next year? I guess Ryo should be given he is plying his trade in at Bolton at the moment.

    If the rumour is true about Pod then I agree with C, a change in formation is a must because it would be pointless to acquire someone of his elk just to have him warm the bench under a lone striker formation.

  56. Excellent post as always YW. On the subject of video technology. During the game when a goal is scored, penalty given or red card handed out there is a natural break in the flow of the game. Scoring a goal creates the obvious break of tipping off again whereas the latter two have more to do with the actions of players who surround the referee and try desperately to get him to change his mind. Which in my experience he never does. Considering video replay takes all of 2-3 seconds, what is the issue? Personally speaking, if a club is not big enough to warrant having its game televised and therefore having access to video replay, tough shit! But in games that are being watched by millions of fans worldwide surely it makes sense?

    Darius – I read the article on Birmingham and cannot say I was too surprised. Yet as you said no one will give The Arsenal any credit for competing year in and year out with teams who spend quite literally 100’s of millions of pounds that the club did not earn but had handed to them.

    C’Bob – Having seen your comment with regards to Gunnerblog yesterday I went and checked it out. Having not read their comment section for what must be a few years now, I was totally unprepared for what I read. I simply cannot believe that after our performance against Milan, poster after poster on there were calling for Arsene’s head, with one guy in particular advocating Usmanov(?) should buy Kroenkes shares and spend! Spend! SPEND! our way to success. Needless to say he had many who agreed with him, one of which was our old friend Spectrum. Or as FG calls him Rectum, a much more fitting “moniker” 🙂

    YW – Would again just like to thank you for such a good blog, not just your own written articles or those of your guest-writers but also the comments section. Which to be honest is the real heart of the blog. Having just read Gunnerblogs (a good blogger by the way) comments section, and knowing first hand the vitriol propagated over at Le Grove (feel all dirty just typing that) take a bow son, take a bow!!

    Oh yea and just for a laugh, is there any chance of you sticking Jonny in the sinbin? No real reason outside of the fact I would find it funny!! 🙂

  57. Thanks Yogi for your observations.

    Darius, likely a couple of gold cards for the vP’s.

    About Arsenal:
    Since the club is not likely to sign any player with a transfer value in the $20 – $30 million range, its more likely that our roster will be peppered with some experienced players in the $7 – $12 million value…….to buy time and tutorage for our youngsters.

    Vermaelen – Kos – Santos – Per -and Sagna…….have significantly given us a more solid foundation in the back 4. Jenkinson – Miquel – Gibbs – Yennaris – Djourou learning the craft.

    Arteta – Rosicky – Benayoun (if only on loan) – Diaby – Song are a solid base of experience to build around with Jack, Aaron, Chamberlain, and Coquelin building their game.

    RvP – Gervinho – (and) Chamakh is our most fragile segment. Theo – Ryo – Campbell – still works in progress.

    *I can see Chambelain implemented on the wing…..but after Milan, he has certainly shown everyone he is the complete package, and better utilized in midfield.
    ** I could also see Diaby used in the central striker role.

    I can see someone like Podolski being added to the squad; great experience and provides the manager with options up front.

    Whether he’s a purchase to influence RvP’s resigning or his replacement, I would like to believe he’s the former.

    Anyway, there has been our share of disappointments this season, but a fair share of proud moments.

  58. people don’t think nowadays.

    talk of our weak bench against Milan: we have 7 first team players out: jack, ramsey, diaby, benayoun, coquelin, santos, arteta. not even counting frimpong, who is supposed to be on loan at wolves.

    6 of those could have been the player we needed to bring on for the Ox.

    instead of pointing that out, they just say our bench is weak.

    they arent asking the right questions. the right question in this case would be: why do we have such a record with injuries? is it that the pitch we train and play on is so good that we arent used to the shitty pitches that we have to play on in some away games? is it because someone put a voodoo curse on our players? is it our training method? is it an inherent problem?

    no. instead, the question is: why didnt arsenal spend to bring in quality players to put on the bench.

    same situation when we played for maybe 10 games without proper fullbacks. why didnt we buy a fullback. we bought. they got injured. even our centrebacks and midfielders who could play there got injured. how many defenders do you want?

    just shocking and lazy journalism nowadays, to be honest. they all know what story they want to write, and they will twist whatever they have got to fit that storyline.

    sad thing is our own fans lapping it up.

  59. irish and darius

    the truth is that (lets not talk about wages), spuds and pool have spent more than us over the years. that never get mentioned in the press, no?

    people write what they want to believe, what they want others to believe.

  60. the only sensible bit of journalism or punditry i have heard in a while is that of espn’s michallak, as mentioned by Deise.

    he said the media almost owes arsene wenger and arsenal an apology for all of their vitriol.

    quite interesting to watch how he shot down robert mustoe (no idea wad his name was again) whenever that other guy tried to rebut and suggest arsenal will choke again.

  61. Miami

    i dunno where podolski plays for köln, but he plays on the left winger for germany. and i see him perfectly slotting into that position for us. he will add goals to our attack from that side position.

  62. Aw geee, thanks Irish – I doubt you’d be alone! 😛

    Podolski’s signature must surely spell the end for AA.

    Especially as one would have to imagine Ryo will be challenging for that spot also. Yup, no shortage of competition for the left of the front 3.

    I understand Wenger’s decision but, like many, I couldn’t help but wonder if AA might have been precisely the right player to bring on when we needed that 4th goal.

    I’d rather have seen him than Park or Chamakh, that’s for sure.

  63. @Arsession
    you make valid points but dont forget Frimpong

  64. i think it is clear that our future is bright. we just need to keep hold of the experienced players, not let other teams f*** us up again in the summer.

    keep all the players we want to keep, and we just have to worry about injuries and referees.

  65. Billy's Boots

    Good posts, YW, Darius and Irishgray.

    Like you, Irishgray, I ventured over to Gunnerblog yesterday. I thought that it was just Le Grove that had a hate-filled comments section – what an eye-opener! I was pleased to see that hunter13 was doing his best to drive away the worst offenders. Evidently, he tempers his language when he posts on here!

  66. Poldolski talk bores me. Don’t know why just does.

  67. Jonny – You’re welcome mate, anytime!

    I will miss the little Russian but, and this is the bitch, even if he was available for the Milan game, who is to say which AA would have shown up? The little genius we all know he can be or the guy who walks around like he is lost? Sad to say but going by recent performances in an Arsenal shirt, the latter seems the more likely.

    On a separate topic all together, I saw some comments last night pertaining to how difficult it was to read certain posts. Personally speaking I hate it when people say ‘could of’ or ‘should of’ when the proper way to write it is ‘could’ve’ or ‘should’ve’ as you are shortening ‘could have’ and ‘should have’ respectively. Mini rant over 🙂

  68. Gareth Bale ‘went down easily’, says Mark Roberts http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17298144, if you really want to read more…

    YW, On the subject of technology, having seen what it’s done to cricket, I’m now against it. Cricket’s referal system hath caused it to lose it’s soul. A bit. Maybe all sport’s gone warped because of TV. Instead of the technology, I’d now try and reduce the constant clamour over “wrong decisions” all the time, and put more effort into rooting out corrupt refs. One of the worst phrases in football recently is “talking point”. Or “lots of goals, lots of passion, lots of controversy” Like it’s pedalling “controversy” as all part of the package. I guess technology would quieten all that clamour for controversy, but football would go another step further in losing its (already shrivelled) soul.

  69. Arsesession 1:15pm

    Yes progress is being made all around.

    I hear that Johan aged 26 is managing to tie his own shoelaces now, without support.

  70. hunter13 is a warrior.
    Just the type needed to bitch slap some of the commentators in the blogsphere.
    Red/white true and true.

  71. @ korihikage

    For Koln, he plays as a central striker because they dont have any other options in the same role that RVP plays for us now.

    @Jonny
    I do believe that we have seen the last of the lil Russian. Ryo has looked the part playing on the left flanks for Bolton and with Podoloski i do feel that Ox will move in the middle and we have also seen teh last of Benayoun.

    I think going into next season our strikers and midfield will look something to this nature

    Strikers: RVP, Podolski(when needed), Campbell or Park

    Wingers:Theo, Gervinho, Podolski, Ryo, Ox(playing both middle and winger)

    Midfield: Jack, Ox, Arteta, Ramsey, Lil Mozart, Song, Le Coq, Diaby

    Our 1st choice XI could very well be(if everybody stays healthy):

    Sczny
    Sagna—-Kos—-Verm—-Santos
    ——-Song————
    —-Jack——Ox/Rosicky—
    Theo——-RVP———Podolski

  72. Oh I see that Arsenal are very interested in Sergio Agüero and David Silva.

  73. @Irishgray | March 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm “On the subject of video technology. During the game when a goal is scored, penalty given or red card handed out there is a natural break in the flow of the game. Scoring a goal creates the obvious break of tipping off again whereas the latter two have more to do with the actions of players who surround the referee and try desperately to get him to change his mind. Which in my experience he never does. Considering video replay takes all of 2-3 seconds, what is the issue? ”

    I think the goal-line technology thing will purely be whether the ball has crossed the line which would most likely be done with something embedded into the ball and/or goal frame which could decide instantly. It wouldn’t be reliant on video replays. Anything that relies on video replays changes the game fundamentally in my opinion.

  74. I hope the news of Podolski is true, he had a rough time whilst plying his trade at Bayern but has been stellar for FC Koln. We seem to have so many wide players with the likes of AOC, Gervinho, Walcott and Ryo I cannot see Podolski playing anywhere but striker. I also think when Campbell is available to play for Arsenal he’ll be groomed for a strikers role as well, though Arsene may start him wider as in the great Henry. If you watch highlights of Campbell he is a more natural finisher than Walcott, so the latter well probably never end up as a striker for Arsenal.

  75. Billy's Boots

    @ mingus

    “Talking point” – that’s a good one. My personal pet peeve phrase in football at the moment is “time and time again”. Worst offender: Alan Hansen.

    Interesting comments re technology. I would welcome its use, pretty much along the same lines as Irishgray sets out, for decisions related to goals, red cards and penalties. I can’t imagine that any down-side would be worse than what we have now, with important decisions so frequently being shown to be incorrect.

  76. It’s the sheer venom of the posters on Gunnerblog which shocked me Irish.

    Haters. They’ll never amount to anything much.

  77. Bale angling for a place on team GB? Him and Tom Daley would be a good pairing.

  78. Podolski is an Agbonlahor Upgrade.

    Not a critiscism, I like both players!

    Pod scores more goals, is better technically and proven at international level.

    Can play wide left, just behind striker or up top on his own – absolutely perfect for our current system.

  79. c
    oops……Frimpong – definitely.

  80. I know it is pointless questioning officials under the current regime, but I do think officials should be questioned post game regarding decisions. I understand there are pro’s and con’s but the fact is officials should be able to explain the rational behind their decision making process.

  81. Maria – Not everyone can be as cute or as exciting as CV!!!!! 🙂

    Billy’s Boots – Thank you sir 🙂 As for Hunter13, what can I say? I agree with him the vast majority of the time (yes I do read his posts) and yes, you are right, he does moderate his language a lot when he comes on here. Which to me shows that he is trying to fit in in his own way, which I think is cool. As for it being hard to follow his posts, then don’t. Not directed at you personally Billy. I have had many a chat on here with Goonerkam and I think he will agree that his posts are sometimes the hardest to decipher!

    Hunter13 – With regards to your list of players that AW sold onto other EPL teams, I do not doubt as I think FunGunner said, that they add to the skill level of the teams they sign on with and therefore yes raise the level of the English game itself. However, as YW pointed out this is not done for altruistic reasons by AW, rather it is simply a positive result of these players either not making the grade at The Arsenal or nearing the end of their careers and being released by us as we look for newer/younger talent.

    As I said, I do see your point in their being a direct benefit for these teams and English football in general by AW finding many of the players and cultivating them to a level they may never have otherwise reached but to then extract from that a value that shows AW is a better manager than another manager simply because of how many of these players there are, does not make any sense to me. To me all it shows is that The Arsenal must have a very large scout network and that AW’s reputation is such that so many young kids would rather sign for The Arsenal than almost any other team as they know AW will always give them a chance, no matter how young they may be. Just look at Cesc, Clichy, JW, Jenks to name just a few who went straight into the first team.

  82. Miami

    Ryo has a work permit so can play for Arsenal; Campbell seems likely to fit the criteria based on international appearances.

  83. C – agree with all of that except I don’t see a future for Park.
    It’s hard to imagine him not wanting more playing time, considering after next season he’ll be trading his football boots for army regulation stompers.
    We can argue that RVP has kept him and Chamakh out of the team because he is in the form of his life but Wenger clearly envisaged that both players would have played more of a role this season. Contrary to some, I believe he just doesn’t have faith in them – for whatever reason, it just has not worked out.
    I retain hope that Afobe will remain injury free and will step up next season.
    Have high hopes for Ozzy in midfield too and Coqelin will be huge next season allowing Song some respite and covering the wingback position if needed.

  84. Wish I understood Italian

  85. Mingus:
    The referral system in cricket has not really worked because the technology used in lbw and caught out decisions, the hot spot, hawk eye, snickometer are not perfect.
    But surely one can see in video replays whether the ball has crossed the line or not, whether the player dived or not.
    It is like using the third umpire in run out decisions in cricket. Third umpires get is right every time whereas if left to the on field umpires they would probably get it wrong half the time.

  86. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/diaby-i-am-not-a-fragile-footballer

    How anybody can actually slate Abou for being injured is beyond me. I know he’ll come eventually.

  87. On a lighter note puyol and co takes 2 years to tap up cesc….per needs only 2 weeks for poldolski!!! heheheh

  88. Block4 – Whilst goal line technology is definitely needed, how often will it be used? I think you will agree it will not be used every game but there is almost always a PK decision either given when it should not be or not given when it should be, in every game. When a red card is given, the game has to be stopped for this to happen. When a PK is given, again the game has to be stopped. As this is the case, why not have a 4th official review the call and let him tell the ref if he has made the right call? Just like in the NFL, if the video replay does not show enough evidence to overturn the refs original call then it will be upheld but if it does it will allow the ref to make the right decision. The only ‘fundamental’ change this will bring to the game will be to remove all of Gareth Bales goals, how can that be a bad idea?

    C’Bob – I agree fully man. I recognized several names from back when i was on the 606 BBC thingy, they were proper assholes then and they are even worse now! Could you imagine sitting down in a pub, over a nice ice-cold cider, getting ready to watch The Arsenal, only to have a few of their ilk sit down beside you!? I honestly do not see how they get any enjoyment from constantly complaining about the team they claim to support. To put them in perspective, my friend Mark the Spud met me after the Milan game and collected his $40 winnings and then immediately bought a round for myself and 3 other Gooners. He did so because he had watched the game at home and was not ashamed to admit that he was devastated when RVP had that shot saved. This from a fucking Spud!? Every year we get to play the likes of AC Milan, Barcelona, Shaktar Donetsk (a close friend went to that game and said it was one of his top 3 football experiences and he has been EVERYWHERE) Udinese, Bayern, Porto and many other teams I could not be bothered to list. And we have one of the newest and greatest stadiums in the world! Fuck the Doomers!!! They are the type of person that if they won 10 million in the lotto they would be pissed off because if they had won it a month ago it would have been 20 million!!

  89. Seems that both Agüero and Silva have realised that top dollar is not everything and that the footballing culture at Arsenal is vastly superior. The business model is far less risky. To top it all, by factoring in the potential extended length of their careers brought about by working with AW and his team, they may well be financially better off in the long run. Excellent. May be worth a look, no promises from Arsenal but they may at least get a trial.

  90. Irish ,How can you make such a wonderful post and yet talk absolute shit about other things?

  91. It’s a talent George, what can I say? 🙂

  92. Managers can contest up to two decisions per match and request a video replay, with a third granted if the first two turn out to be correctly contested. Works for other sports. There can only be one reason not to implement this I’m afraid.

  93. As to which of the two is the talent I really can’t say!!

  94. Apparently London is a more exciting place to live than Manchester which tries its best but really is far too parochial. Both Sergio and David like a bit of culture, but all they get in Manchester is rain. I think they have had their heads turned, you know, I really do. Arsenal had better be careful. Might get accused of tapping up, trying to destabilise the Little Mancs players.

  95. @Irishgray, I do agree that the goal-line technology wouldn’t be used that often. On the penalty situation, OK, you could review a decision wher a penalty is given by the referee, there is indeed a break in the game. What about when a penalty is not given, but the attacking team feels it should have been? It seems that you are giving defenders a second chance on these decisions, but attackers have no recourse after the decision of the referee not to give the foul. Hardly seems fair to me, the best way would be to realise that referees are human and they make mistakes and get on with it.

    On a related note, I do think that all games where footage is available should be reviewed and retrospective cards issued for diving etc. This would, in my opinion, eradicate this kind of cheating in short order and therefore make the referees’ jobs easier and lead to less of these contentious decisions.

  96. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, let us now eschew the obfuscating Arsenal fans that are still capering, cavorting, frolicking, and dare I say it prancing around after last Tuesday’s bit of a do. Cap that Yogi and Jonny!

    Let us also ignore Mike Riley’s black propaganda visit to an Everton Fan site.

    The point I would like to make is: After 27 games in the EPL season 2010/2011 The Arsenal had acquired by fair means or foul – 56 points.
    This season 2011/2012 Arsenal have acquired by fair means or foul, ONLY, A MEASLY 49 points!

    The end must be nigh!

  97. Block4
    “On a related note, I do think that all games where footage is available should be reviewed and retrospective cards issued for diving etc.”

    Is this not the case already?

  98. When they saw that several ex-Arsenal players were willing to leave Arsenal for Manctown, they assumed this must be evidence that it was better to play in the North. Now they have come to realise that these particular Arsenal players are the thickest. Ones with a screw loose. Realising their mistake quite reasonably they want to redress the balance, make amends, reverse out of the cul-de-sac they find themselves in. I hope they are not too late, poor sods.

  99. @JD Gooner. No, it’s not.

  100. Personally I don’t think vidoe technology will work for anything other than goaline debates. If the person watching the video replay is as corrupt as some of the referees, then what difference will it make. Take Gareth Bale’s dive the other week as an example. It would still be given as a penalty if (insert dodgy refs name here)was watching the video and making the decision wouldn’t it?

    Being a ref is difficult, but its a whole lot easier being a corrupt ref. And when I say corrupt I don’t mean ‘paid off’ I just mean psychologically corrupt, or ‘starstruck.’

  101. One reason why I’m in favor of video tech is that it would make it more difficult to be a corrupt ref.

  102. No Mattyboy,I would not .Because they could not cite human error.
    Video technology should defiantly be used in cases of simulation and pretending to be injured/assaulted.

  103. The dilemma for FIFA and top flight football is that the stakes are very high. Clubs are promoted and relegated on the basis of referee judgements that are prone to human failure. There’s a lot of money at stake yet the issue could be resolved with instant replay. Dodgy penalties, questionable red cards etc are all game changers and there’s no reason to plead human error when there’s a solution.

    Claiming that it will slow the game to look at a 5 second instant replay is as ludicrous as claiming that using a condom will remove the pleasure from unprotected sex considering the consequences.

    The concept of challenges is also a credible one. So what if the game is slowed by 20 seconds. Divers in the game, time wasters like Rory Dilap, fake ‘ard men like Joseph Barton already waste enough time feigning injury and simulating

  104. Lest we forget – Ibrahimovic actually kicked the turf and fell down simulating a foul by Alex Song that earned Song a yellow card. That could have led to a goal and a suspension for a very vital player for us, and for what? Because Ibrahimovic is a diving punk?

  105. @Darius,

    I don’t agree with all you have said there. It’s not so much about slowing the game, which it undoubtedly does, but it’s more about how it can disadvantage either team based on the decision reached.

    If the defending team win the ball back cleanly and go on the attack then a break to study a replay will disadvantage them because if the penalty is not given then the team denied the penalty will be perfectly set up defensively when a potential break is on.

    If a team is ahead in the game, what’s to stop an attacker throwing himself to the ground in the area knowing the game will be stopped and a replay watched? Another weapon in the timewaster’s armoury right there. He may then get a yellow card, but may think it’s worth it a “good” card to get in the footballer’s vernacular.

    I don’t think the issue as clear cut as you are making out.

  106. Overall I’m more in favour of a post match review and punishment panel.

    Goal line technology is a red-herring – it’s not without merit but it’s such a rare occurrence.

    As for replays not working for cricket – by and large they have. They have changed the game in ways that are only just being realised.

    Comparing cricket and football is impossible anyway – cricket is far more suited to the technological assistance as is NFL.

  107. Overall I’m more in favour of a post match review and punishment panel.

    Thats the one

  108. I really do feel sorry for Fernando Torres. It’s a sad Andy Carroll-esque non-starter story but also a decline as baffling as it is laughable.

    £50 million transfer fee and can’t even score a goal. Even Laurent Koscielny has got more goals than him this season.

  109. Block4 – I suppose there’s going to be pros and cons for each option considered.

    My thoughts were around challenges only for given decisions particularly penalties and red cards. If a penalty is not given and play continues, fine – it can go to an after match review – but since play has stopped for a given decision, why not make sure if there’s any doubt. The same could apply for goals given where there’s an off-side challenge – and if deemed off-side from the replay, the goal can be revoked before play restarts.

  110. Clerkenwell Gooner

    In the well-known YouTube clip of RVP as a youth, the only team other than Arsenal he expressed any interest in was Barça, and I can see several reasons why he might want to end his playing days there – he’s 28, his good mate Cesc is there already, and most of all, is there any professional footballer on the planet who would turn down a chance to play alongside Lionel Messi right now?

    David Villa is injured, and who knows what sort of shape he’ll come back in after his leg break? He is 30 already, and his powers of recovery may not be all that (see Torres, F.), although he recovered well from a similar injury earlier in his career.

    In attack, Barça has Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez, and some youth coming through, and also Bojan Krkic parked out at AS Roma with an option to buy back if he ever comes good. But are the current crop enough for a team that once had Henry, Eto’o and Leo as its front line?

    Why wouldn’t Barça want RVP if he wants them? And if Dein is his agent, don’t be surprised if it turns Nasriesque all over again.

  111. Darius ,It still would not stop a corrupt referee sending a player off for taking a shot at goal,for instance.

  112. RVP is not Nasri or the other coward.

  113. Darius, I can see where you’re coming from there. I just think it’s unfair that only one facet of the decision has the ability to be reviewed, that being when the decision is given as opposed to when it is not.

    On the point of challenges, would there be a limit to the amount of challenges during a game or a half as in cricket? If not we’d be there all day and night the way footballers are. Would only the captain be allowed to challenge a decision? The manager? Plenty questions there before any coherent policy could be implemented.

  114. Jony’s view at 3.24, definitely.

    Darius at 3.35, also good.

  115. Clerkenwell Gooner

    But Barca could not afford RVP

  116. Dups,that is exactly what Darius told me in the summer,about Cesc.In fact he promised me.I have never felt so let down by a trusted friend.

  117. George

    RVP will not be sold for £29 (€35) million

  118. If RVP was going to be sold there would be a bidding war.

  119. Unless he just want to go to Barca as he supported them as a boy.

  120. Dups,

    barca couldnt afford cesc either, to be honest. we were forced to sell at a cut-price.

  121. korihikage

    Only because Cesc wanted to go home to his ‘friends’.

  122. If the manager can get a chance to contest a call or no call, then it would work for both attacker and defender in pen decisions.

    We don’t have many decisions in a game but it would nice to get them right more often than not.

    Sure refs get it wrong but even if you deal with the player retrospectively for diving, what do you do about any points gained if a player dives and wins a pen. The Spurs and Pool both got gifts that could have taken point’s away from Arsenal.

  123. Technology would help get borderline decisions right. Of that there is no doubt..(love that phrase!!) And of course it has in cricket as it would in football. It just seems to have taken the stuffing out of cricket somehow. Wouldn’t be surprised if they reverted back to human error / umpires decisions.
    But like with most things, I’m probably wrong.
    Except for the soul-removing aspect. In which I’m right.
    And on the subject…Arsenal gave the game as a whole a much needed injection of soul over the last three matches. COYRs!!! Still buzzing from the 5pur2 match to be honest.

  124. Clerkenwell Gooner,

    Because RVP doesn’t want to go to Barcelona. He wants to fight here. That is a sign of a class player.

    Although I am surprised that you’re still supporting Arsenal, given how much you love Barcelona and looking out for their welfare as well.

  125. dups

    true that.

    the point is really though, if it’s just between arsenal and rvp, he would definitely stay.

    what i am afraid of is his agent telling him he needs to leave, either for trophies or for money, or simply because his agent has something against arsenal.

    if that is allowed to happen, i will be very sad, because a perfect ending to a perfect story would once again be ruined by some unscrupulous fellows.

  126. RVP is a class player. and i personally believe he is a class man as well. i hope he will show it to us when the time comes.

  127. The question about the PK decision making is a good one. I think it is a no-brainier to review a PK that is given as play is stopped but what about the decision that is NOT given? As Block4 rightly said, if an attacker is clearly fouled in the box but a PK is not given and the offending player then starts a move which leads to a counter attack that leads to a goal, should this goal be allowed to stand? I was really struggling but think the solution is in my original suggestion of reviewing PK decisions that are given. Think about it. If the referee knows that any PK decision will automatically be reviewed he will rarely hesitate if it looks like there was an infraction. The players on the other hand, both offensive and defensive, should also be fully aware that any penalty given under review will be, at the least a yellow for the offending player. The same rule shall apply to the attacking player, if after review the PK is rejected and the player is caught diving he shall receive a yellow card. Too often a player can be sent off or not depending on the refs decision, which many times has more of an impact than the single goal a PK may provide. PK video review I believe would solve almost all of theses problems. I am sure it may even create some unforeseen ones but I think it is the way to go.

  128. @ Jonny | March 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I agree with you on the fact that i dont think Wenger has faith in Park or Chamakh outside of the Carling Cup but do feel that Park will have the opportunity next year as I do feel Chamakh will sold rather early in the transfer market and Park will remain but I like you could be completely wrong in our thinking. With the youth that has shown promise given 1st team matches these past 2 seasons, we have the chance to be dominant. I look at the likes of Manure who everybody in England hold as the gold standard yet their 2 most talented youth players have both left in Morrison and Pogba while we have retained the likes of Ryo Le Coq Yennaris and Frimpong. It is clearly evident to me that our youth system is rivaled only by the likes of Barca but i could be wrong.

  129. What a load of twaddle. Darren Dein is not anti-Arsenal. If he was he would not be representing RvP or any of the other Arsenal players he has been associated with. There is no evidence at all that he is agitating for players to move. I think there is distinct lack of knowledge or understanding about the way transfers and negotiations happen sometimes.

  130. Frank,

    i just have a general distrust of football agents. i really do.

  131. the money an agent gets for his part in making a transfer happen is enough motivation.

  132. You know a few then, karihikage? I suspect that there as many different kinds of agents as there are footballers.

    Not actually sure what this guy has done wrong apart from being David Dein’s son. He is a lawyer, he knows football and he knows AW, exactly the sort of person I would want sitting with me when I negotiate if I was a footballer.

  133. How much does David Dein get out of a deal then?

  134. Sorry Darren Dein? Or is it Derek Dein? Naaah, Damian Dein? Deirdre Dein?…..oh this fucking dementia.

  135. It’s Dean Dein isn’t it? Or is it Dean Deiny?

  136. “Gareth Bale has rejected claims that he dives and insists the only reason that he goes to ground so often is because he needs to get out of the way of potentially career-threatening tackles.”

    Not to gain an advantage then monkey boy?

  137. Frank.
    For the first time ever I find myself disagreeing with you.
    It is hugely in the interests of the agent to get a player to move club .Especially to a club that pays “Ubber Wages”
    They are paid on a percentage of the deal negotiated.What that percentage is,and how it is worked may vary,but still, a move like that for Nasri will net him more than an improved deal at his current club.
    At least that is how I see it.

  138. My understanding is that agents will be paid regardless of whether a player moves to another club for a transfer fee, or whether his existing contract is renegotiated for the player to stay at the same club.

    With Van Persie, he is sure to get a mother of all signing up fees that would have otherwise been part of a transfer fee. I would suspect Darren and his Tottenham supporting wife (her father was a Spud board member so she’s marked in my book) are eyeing either Van Persie’s signing off fee or a transfer fee to grab their 20% off. Money for the agent is a motivator – you best believe.

    I get the sense that Van Persie has more of Vermaelen’s attitude: When things aren’t working out, you stay the course, knuckle down and fix them to make it happen. You don’t blame Arsenal for “not winning trophies” when you’re clearly part of the mix. You take the challenge and bring the trophies home rather than run away to supposedly greener pastures.

    As for Darren Dein and his perceived impartiality, I don’t by it. He’s got form for shipping Arsenal players out. Once is understandable, twice is a pattern, and more than that is bang out of fucking order.

  139. Of course the get paid anyway Darius.
    They just get paid a lot more if there is a huge transfer fee involved.

  140. The class of Chelsea:

    Dismissal of Scolari
    “The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager … we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon. Unfortunately, the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season.”

    Dismissal of AVB
    “The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early. Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.”

  141. Jonny, I’m surprised Chelsea even bothered to change the wording of the dismissal. By now i am sure that some bloke at Chelsea has a document on his computer that he can simply load and then change the name of the manager. #terrible_attempt_at_humor I’m sorry people.

    Hey, it is music thursday… I am buying tickets to see radiohead today. Woot.

  142. @jonny

    True class they are. They probably just copied and pasted.

  143. Just a thought for Block4 and those talking about the penalty reviews.

    Granted, it may seem that a challenge only for penalties already awarded would be unfair if the opposite happens where one is not awarded and play continues. In this case, calling for a review would break down the current move or phase of play. One way of dealing with this is the ‘advantage’ system, where the challenge to a penalty not being awarded is suspended until the current move goes out of play – e.g. like in rugby, play will continue after the horn if the ball is kept alive.

    If the other team scores from the move – well, not much you can do but award the goal. If the ball goes out of play, but also in the alternative if the otehr team scores, there should be no barrier to the ref coming back to the ‘suspended’ challenge and even awarding a penalty if required.

  144. And George – get off my fucking tits. Barca got Fabregas for a Lidl price instead of the Waitrose value we wanted. Cesc made sure of that – so for the reccord, they couldn’t afford the bugger…hehehe

  145. frank,

    first time in a while we don’t see eye to eye.

    no, i don’t know any agent (thank god!), and yes, probably different kinds there are.

    i hope you are right, of course, regarding rvp’s agent.

  146. Hilarious – trust Chelsea to recycle their shit like that.

    I also loved Tech 9’s quotes on the fact that Chelsea is run by its English prima donnas. This boy has cojones.

  147. A question though?

    Isn’t Per Mertesacker doing the same thing we spit fire and brimstone about for 2 years while the punks at Barcelona openly tapped up Fabregas in the media?

    What if FC Koln don’t wan’t to let go of Podolski.

  148. Darius,

    i think the difference here is that podolski asked mertesacker about arsenal.

    whereas the barctards were saying we kidnapped fabregas etc.

  149. @Darius Stone

    Both Koln and Podolski have acknowledged that he was going to be leaving come the summer transfer market and they were just looking for the right team that could both fit Koln’s transfer policy towards Podolski and fit where Podolski wanted to play. The difference between the 2 is that, Barcelona drapped shirts and openly (from all players) said that Cesc didnt belong at Arsenal and that he would be leaving and that Arsene was this and that for making him stay and not allowing him to join the club he really wants to be at. While Mert did nothing but say that he has spoken to Podolski about the club and you haven’t heard anything from Arsenal players or the manager other than Mert. On top of that Cesc had pledged his allegiance to Arsenal but allowed and was seen wearing Barca shirts(i.e world cup) with his name on the back, while Podolski has said nothing of the transfer and again the only thing Mert has said that he was asked by Podolski about the club as 1 friend to another and Mert simply replied and told him how he felt about the club. Major difference and please dont compare Arsenal Football club’s pursuit of Podolski to that of Barcelona’s blaint disregard for any type of class in their pursuit of Cesc.

  150. c

    fully agreed.

  151. The media are really ramping up the RVP out of London talk now aren’t they? Now it is AC Milan that he is open to talks with. The best revenge is going to be when RVP pens a new deal and leads this team to their first trophy in years.

    I know everyone gets tired of the “can’t wait until next year talk”, but I think we are on the cusp of something really special and these shit pundits know it. They are agitating for an Arsenal collapse so they can be proven right. All year they have been made to look completely foolish and they are clinging on for dear life.

  152. vice

    the media’s creativity and lack of morals have no boundaries.

  153. Billy's Boots

    @ Darius – how’s it going, have you emerged from the doghouse? (I hope you don’t mind me asking!)

  154. Darius,you promised me Cesc was not leaving.
    Until you made that promise to me I was resigned to losing him.But as you are my official spokesperson(had you forgotten?) I took your word for it.
    You made no conditions,you assured me all would be well.
    You let me down and you should make amends somehow.
    I shall give the matter thought and let you know how you may recompense me.

  155. @Vice

    We are not on the cusp of something great my friend, we are on the cusp of dominating with our Captain RVP leading the troops with the likes of Diaby(who everybody has written off) helping out the likes Theo, Ryo, Jack, Ox, Song, Le Coq, Frimmers, Verm and the bunch and the media wont be able to do anything but naw on their pens and bang their heads on teh computers as they wont be able to write any more negative stories

  156. c

    they can write about liverpool, chelsea, and the spuds.

  157. Billy’s boots,as you can see Darius is currently in several dog houses .You will have to be more specific with your questions.

  158. @Korihikage

    They would write about how they are having a off year and Arsenal is having a off year dominating them. O wait they are writing that now when we beat all 3 of them that it was such a rare thing for us to beat Liverpool, Chavs, and Spuds.

  159. c

    lots of humble pie has been dished out recently, and the recipients are not happy. they are eyeing revenge.

    i love it how they conveniently say we are favourites for 4th now, without acknowledging that they were terribly wrong, having written off our chances only some weeks ago.

  160. If we beat the Chavs at home will will not finish lower than 4th.

  161. Yogi:

    Another great post thanks.

    Video technology and instant replays to help the refs seems like such a complete no brainer. The goal line technology is a place to start so I’m glad they are at least doing something.

    I am looking forward to Podolski, hope the rumours are true. Seems like a good buy and a significant upgrade to our back up striker position and he can also play in the wide forward slots. A good thing. Hopefully we can add one more attacking midfielder this summer and keep the ones we have.

    The RVP rumours are inevitable and not worth getting upset about. I am sure that everyone at Podolski’s current club are angry at the media and they all hate Arsenal. I understand that the media can be idiots but in my experience we as Arsenal fans do have a rather high self righteousness quotient which is one of the biggest reasons that the media and a lot of non Arsenal fans delight when we struggle.

  162. george,

    let’s hope by the time we play them, we are playing for 3rd.

  163. I dont think Robin will leave the club, even if he doesnt sign in summer..

    I think weve signed Podolski, and i think it would be better for the club if we held robin to his contract (which i dont think he’ll have a problem with) and play all these players together, at least for a year..I hope wenger has a similar ambition…

    Nasri was 23..We understood why the club would take the money in that situation but Robin is pushing 30 and is not a bellend like nasri…

    RvP wont bring us all that much..not a 29..henry went for 16mil at similar age..
    If we get anything over 20 mil then the club will be lucky and theres no point selling him at all, nevermind for less than 20mil..

    If we need to make some profits from player sales then there are other players on the fringes of the team who can generate the cash we need..

    I see no reason why he wont sign anyway, but either way i think he wont leave his year..

  164. Bill,

    i am not sure if the cologne pple are angry with arsenal. in germany, deals get done before summer. don’t know if that’s good or bad.

    i mean dortmund have already signed mönchengladbach’s reus. i think they see götze leaving after the euros, and hence have already gotten his replacement in.

    bayern signed neuer before the end of last season.

    so i don’t think the people there are angry with the media for the speculation. because i don’t think podolski is being unsettled by these. the wheels have already been set in motion long ago..

  165. Billy’s Boots – yes, I’m out of the dog house for sure, but with the proviso that until the end of the season, there’s no talk of 4th place battles for champions league. Good compromise I say.

    George, as Frank eloquently put it the other day, the difference between Cesc and van Persie is that Cesc wanted to run back home to mama. Van Persie doesn’t need to run to anyone. He’s got his own family born and growing up in London. He’s a Gooner.

  166. JJ,

    only problem is that if a player doesnt sign a new contract, has one year left, and the club doesnt want to sell him, the agent gets nothing.

    and what will the agent do?

  167. The use of Video Technology in professional sports is without question a bonus in terms of clarifying decisions. Hockey has been the first to use this technology on issues related to the puck crosssing the line. The National Football League has used Video Technology to clarify issues of receiving the ball in bounds and also matters related to the ball crossing the line into the end zone. In the NFL each coach has two possible attempts at questioning the decisions of the refs. The coach simply throws a flag onto the field and the refs are obliged to use video technology. If the coach gets it wrong, he has to forfeit. So, these matters are not taken lightly. Again, the refs frequently make the correct decision.

    Use of this type of technology in the Premiership and elsewhere in Europe would only enhance the game and possibly eradicate these terrible attempts at influencing the referee through a dive in the Penalty Box. Unfortunately, the scoundrels in football are everywhere to be seen! Box diving is a national sport in Europe. The Cheater unfairly influences games and, without penalty, his antics are reinforced. As a fan of football I would love to see the matter of the ‘Box Diver’ removed from the game. Incidently, if each Manager had two choices as in the NFL to question the veracity of the ref, it may also clear up Managers ranting on the touch line….well, some of it anyhow.

  168. Jon Jon ,If City had been in the market then(Henry) we would have gotten upward of £40 million for him.Even at 29 with a bad back from carrying a huge ego .

  169. ok, before i get attacked for implying that a player like rvp would have no mind of his own:

    i am just paranoid about agents and their influence over their clients.

  170. Darius.I know all that.Why are you telling me?
    I was just pointing out that you have form here.

    Robin will stay I believe.
    You still sold me down the river though about Cesc.

  171. It’s Thursday. Why aren’t Sp*rs playing?

  172. Kori @ 6:30:

    I don’t know how things go in Germany. I suspect that their fans don’t like to lose players and they believe that their own teams pursuit of players is honorable and those teams that pursue their players are not honorable. I doubt that the fans in Bordeaux were OK with the way the Chamakh transfer happened. Don’t know for sure but I suspect many of them believe to this day that he would still be playing regularly and scoring goals for them if he had not been unsettled by Arsenal.

  173. @kori
    Exactly, the situation with Podolski can’t be compared to the Cesc saga. Podolski already indicated in January that he is not going to renew at Cologne because he feels that the club hasn’t really done what they promised him they will do.

  174. @Bill
    If anything the Koln fans are more angry with management due to at the current they are only a couple points out of relegation and Podolski has long stated that if they were to get relegated he would bolt. Also not only Neuer has Bayern signed but also that Swiss international from Basil that Manure was chasing. From what i’ve read about Germany’s transfers is that many times they not only make the transfer before the window but also announce it so if there is publication saying that he has signed coming out of Germany then it would be close to normal.

  175. Football has become a win at all costs sport for most players. A contradiction really. Arsenal have had their fair share of penalties won by diving over the years have we not? We are not as popular with certain referees (for many reasons) as some other teams at the moment though.

    If RvP threw himself to the ground to win a pen in the last minute aginst Milan the other night I would have been extremely happy. Football fans are by and large a fickle, fickle bunch. Or is that just me!

    Monkey boy Bale is a regular cheat though and I think thats what pisses most off. Its okay to cheat ooccasionally but not 2-3 times per game.

  176. RVP is staying – let’s not contemplate the alternative. All the signs are the WANTS to stay.

    That’s the big difference with other players.

    JonJon – Zidane was 29 when RM signed him. A different player for sure but I’d want more than £20M for RVP.

  177. Bill,

    dont get me wrong.. the fans there will be angry to see him go: he is everything to them.

    what i mean to say is that there was some speculation in january that we might go for him. but that is all. all the news you have heard recently are actually rumours of a deal already being done (which isnt strange when you consider how things work in germany)

    so i don’t think there is any evidence that we have unsettled him through the media.

    the only comment to have come out from us is mertesacker saying podolski texted him, asking him about arsenal, and he gave his opinion.

    mertesacker didnt go on tv and called on podolski to leave cologne.

    on the other hand, how many barca players went on tv to tell fabregas to leave arsenal, to tell the world that we are holding fabregas against his will?

  178. another comforting thing about Podolski is that he to less money from Koln to try adn help bring them up and he has already stated that it is not about the money otherwise he would have left Koln last year. Podolski, RVP, Verm true class….Nasri Clichy Adewhore pure cuntism

  179. Matty…Could we not leave Arsenal out of the category of Cheater and apply this just to other teams?

  180. Not sure Gail did a lot wrong,
    Dont see him in the Ade bracket anywho.

  181. @ korihikage | March 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm
    Barca didn’t just go on tv and tell Cesc to leave Arsenal they drapped him with Barca shirts every chance they got and the 1 thing that never set right with me is that not once did you ever see Cesc try and take it off he always embraced it adn that is when i knew he was captain of Arsenal only by armband alone.

    Look at the likes of RVP as Captain, the players play for him and even the Captains of international teams that play for Arsenal i.e Ramsey and AA23 look at him as their Captain and thus he is the Captain among Captains for me and that is a huge reason why i think that he will stay.

  182. agents are ingrowing toenails in the footballing world..
    horrible fuckers i agree..but even the scummiest of scummy agent could not turn Robin against wenger, the club, or the fans and make him throw a tantrum in the summer..

    Thats what it will take for our hand to be forced into a sale…

  183. Rosicky’s agent saying he has negotiated deal with Arsenal.

    Courtesy of Goonertalk

  184. @PG

    I only included Gail because he went to Manshiteh

  185. It should also be noted that most Cologne fans aren’t mad at us. They were resigned to losing Podolski. They are however displeased that we got him for a mere 11 million because they won’t see much of that money. 10% is going to Bayern, another 3 million to a pair of investors. They would’ve hoped for a higher fee so that they can replace him with someone decent.

  186. jonny
    i would want at least 50 for robin..
    but we aint going to get anwhere near that..
    he’ll be 30 soon..hes had a career blighted by injury..

    any of the big clubs will just wait one more year and then go into a bidding war with his agent..the club will be taken out of the equation…so any club interested could save millions..

    we’ll be lucky to get them bidding at over 20mil this summer..

  187. george..
    rich clubs havent only just been invented..when henry left, barca, real, milan, chelsea.. all existed and all had cash..

    what difference would city have made..?? it would have added one more team to the long list of teams that could of bought henry for more than 40mil that summer if they wanted..

  188. JJ

    RVP is 29 in august.

  189. Two Owls – Yeah ok, I’m happy with that 🙂

  190. Paulie Walnuts

    My gut feeling is that RVP will stay – at least for another season. A continuation of our current form & a couple of tasty summer signings may even bring about a new 4 year contact. if he`s lucky. Obviously he`s got to get his head down & work a bit harder, especially on his finishing.

    Mattyboy,

    Yeah the cheating thing is only a crime when it goes against you. Same with dodgy decisions. One thing I reckon our lads could do a lot more of though is appealing. I don`t mean shoving the ref around or calling him a tw&t (even when they are) , but just letting officials know we`re not `avin` it occasionally. We`re too nice for our own good at times.

  191. ok so hes a month away from being 29 when his contract runs into its last year..
    dont see how those few weeks make much of a difference on the outcome to be honest

  192. Kori:

    I am not comparing the Podolski and Fabregas situations, they are totally unrelated. We can’t justify our chasing Podolski and Mert texting Podolski by saying its OK because “we aren’t as bad as Barca.”

    You can rationalize however you want. I have no problem with us going after players, In fact I wish we would be a more ruthless and I will happily pay for the text charges for Mert if it helps us get Podolski. I still get a smile thinking about the Spurs and Sol Campbell. I do get a chuckle out of the everyone screaming bloody murder about a story in the press that Man City might be after RVP, yet when the same thing happens to a player we are chasing its completely honorable.

  193. Surely no-one expects football players to negotiate their contracts without representation?

    That being the case I don’t understand why Darren Dein is considered to be a bad agent. In all cases where a player he has represented has left Arsenal, it was at the instigation of the player or Arsenal. Surely it is better for Arsenal that he negotiates the best deal?

    I could understand it if you were complaining that he had handled the negotiation for a player coming into the club and forced us to pay top dollar, but that is patently not true.

    As for RvP, it is precisely because he has chosen Darren Dein that I believe that the guy works in Arsenal’s interest. RvP is an Arsenal nut and an intelligent bloke at that. Why would he chose an agent who is not equally so?

    Reckon there is some pettiness mixed with a bit of ignorance going here, I do, I really do. Leads to prejudice that does.

  194. @Bill
    I think you are not understanding the situation. Podolski was texting Merts, not the other way around. What should’ve Merte done? Just not responded?

  195. Btw, I no more expect RvP to leave than I would have expected TA to leave. Not a chance. This is his lifetime’s work. It will lead to the next stage of his career. Talented player, superstar captain, extraordinary manager. You heard it here first. Ask Mancini. He knows about RvP and he knows where his destiny lies. Read his interview properly instead of accepting the pigshit lies spewed out from press, media and bloggers.

  196. Bill

    The deal for Podolski was instigated in January. The player himself wanted to stay put until Euro 2012

  197. and can i also say thats good news about rosicky, if true..

  198. Bill,

    for one, i am not screaming murder about man city being after rvp. let’s face it: anyone would want rvp.

    what i am not happy about is that journalists never write that maybe, just maybe, rvp wants to stay. it is just the same old story, again and again. after every game.

    and i naively think that we went through cologne first, which is the proper way. so yes, what we did was honourable.

    i am also aware that journalists ask questions in such a way that they can use the answers for a headline.

    regarding hazard, they probably asked wenger what does he think of hazard as a player. and wenger says he likes him as a player. it becomes wenger wants to sign hazard.

    i have no qualms with people saying they want our players.

    i have qualms with people saying our players should leave us, should join their team.

    see the diff?

  199. @Evil and Bill

    Evil you speak the truth, and Bill it was a situation where Podolski asked how life at Arsenal was and that was that and since they are such close friends Mert responded and left it at that from what i have read. To where the Barca situation they were the definition of being an old school c**t is and showed aboslutely no class at all in the way they went about it. Could you ever see the likes of RVP, Verm, Rosicky, Song doing what the so called classy Spanish of Xavi, Iniesta, Pique(Manure c**t 1st lets not forget so he gets my rage times 2), David Silva, and the likes. It got so bad that even the commentators that damn our club every chance they got were saying Barca and their players were and had taken it so far.

  200. And it’s rumoured to be a 2 year contract as well. Happy days! Wouldn’t mind seeing Rosicky finish his career with us!

  201. and yes, frank, i read mancini’s response.

    a very sensible answer.

    and as you said, it is just pigshit being spewed by the media.

    why don’t they write: rvp wants to stay at arsenal, which is so much closer to the truth?

    they cant- wont sell papers, wont work arsenal fans into a frenzy.

  202. The City story in itself is a non-event. I don’t really see it as tapping up from Mancini, he is not saying “We are actively chasing Robin and we will do everything we can to sign him.” What he is saying is that he believes that Robin will sign an extension with us but that Robin is obviously a top-class player everybody would want. However, journos always find a way to make the most out of something like that. It’s, after all, what they are paid for.

  203. Great news about Rosicky – great timing of the announcement as well.

    A friend of the family is a football agent and he says that when both clubs want to do a deal in principle, it is fairly common for the selling club to give permission for the player to sort out his playing contract with the buying club even before the clubs have agreed a fee. If you think about it, this must have happened with any new signings who have been unveiled on the first day or two of the transfer window.

  204. @ Evil | March 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    “The City story in itself is a non-event.”

    Agreed.

  205. Quite right,korihikage

    What I can never understand is why some Arsenal ‘fans’ seem to lap it all up? Must be a bit simple, I suppose.

  206. Bill, I see a lot of parallels in your behaviour to the behaviour of many of our ex-players turned pundits. You, just like them, are at times so desperate to portray a neutral point of view that you’d rather take a position that is critical of Arsenal — even if it’s incorrect — instead of risking that somebody could accuse you of bias or not being objective.

  207. “Wouldn’t mind seeing Rosicky finish his career with us!”

    Me too.

  208. I think he is all set to do that,FG, isn’t he? Fantastic player, love him to bits. We have a squad full of great characters. Best I have ever seen.

  209. Just heard Messi scored 5 goals yesterday. Five! He has now scored what, 46 goals this season. He really is a freak of nature and if he wasn’t existing at this particular point in history, RVP would be a very strong contender for player of the year.

  210. Tennessee Arsenal

    Podolski’s always texting me to ask me what I think it would be like if he moved to Chattanooga. That’s just how he is. I think Cologne fans understand.

  211. anyway, i think all this debate about tapping up stemmed from an innocuous question from darius asking if we did anything different from barca in the pursuit of podolski.

    and i think we have digressed terribly,

  212. Rosicky signing is an aboslutely stroke of brillance because he can not only teach but show young Jack and Ox how to play that advanced midfield role and(or whatever position since those 1 of those 2 are going to be playing in that position) how to play Arsenal football and the tempo that we wish to play at the highest of levels and maybe just maybe one day they will get a nickname like Lil Mozart.

  213. Evil,

    unfortunately, there is no need to be ‘neutral’. in fact, i am pissed off that our ex-players can’t be like the other pundits (read alan hansen). whats the point of being neutral? you love the club, so show it.

    the neutral ones should be the hosts of the show.

  214. @henristic

    Please dont forget that messi has the added advantage to basically playing with the same exact team year in and year out to where we can barely keep the same team from match to match due to injuries.

  215. i think wenger has learnt from his past mistake in letting the veterans go in favour of the youngsters.

    i think this time, he tries to strike a better balance. it helps of course that the player in question (rosicky) has less of an ego than say vieira. so it is easier to convince him to stay and play a reduced role.

    it is also time we bring back old stars like bergkamp, henry, adams to help out.

  216. I think the next 2 statues at Arsenal will be for Robin Van Persie and Arséne Wenger.

    Money isn’t the issue – the club broke the bank before for Henry, they will break it again if needed for Van Persie. I think the more important issue is that Van Persie has the opportunity to craft his name into the history books of the greatest club that has ever been. It’s his destiny.

    I remember the very first game I noticed Van Persie when he came on as a sub against Liverpool (probably not his debut, but I hadn’t really noticed him) in October 2004. We were losing 1 nil at the time and Van Persie scored the equalizer in the last few minutes.

    I was at a kids party that day and people were pissed off with me for bragging about this Duth kid who will be a star. To be honest, I didn’t even have a fucking clue if he’ll make it.

    But fast forward nearly 8 years on – and Arsenal has stood through and through with Van Persie through his highs and lows, nursing his injuries to bailing him out of jail when he was falsely accused of attempted rape.

    Van Persie has grown up with us to be the man he his and he is a proper Gooner. I don’t see him turning down the opportunity to become a legend rivaling even his fellow countryman Dennis Bergkamp.

    He is within his rights to ask Arsenal for a better financial package. He is within his rights to ask of Wenger to see more of what our ambition hiis and how as the captain, he can lead the team to that ambition. He is within his rights to sit attha table with Wenger and young Mr Grace.

    And then he shall go forth and lead the Arsenal to glory.

  217. When Robin signs that damn new contract, I think I’ll run around in the streets and hug random people.

  218. @korihikage

    My question wasn’t innocuous, it was very deliberate and intended to stoke up the debate it did.

    My sense is that however righteous we may think we are, we also need to bear in mind that other fans, other clubs see us as the aggressor. That’s not meaning that we have to be apologetic for seeking to sign new players and upsetting other clubs. As long as we do the business with class and dignity, business is business.

    Also, my issue around the ongoing sagas with players allegedly moving from Arsenal is not with other clubs, but with the insalubrious hacks and pundits who have made it their mission to divide and rule Arsenal.

  219. @C – Wilshere and Ramsey already have their nicknames.

    Li’l Jack Willy and Rambo.

  220. Evil

    I have it wrong then about the texts. I hope Podolski comes here and plays for us. I see nothing wrong with what we are doing. He and BFG can exchange texts all they want, but I suspect its getting a different spin in Germany. I am sure our Chamakh pursuit got a different spin in France. We choose to believe the version of events that we want to believe. The Barca thing was different because that went way over the top and got to the point of being ridiculous, but it has nothing to do with whats happening now.

  221. Fungunner

    So people might say that the timing of these rumours is because season ticket renewal time is close.

  222. RVP’s “career blighted by injuries”? That’s a very simplistic way of looking at it.
    I’ve been making this point for year’s: he’s never been an ‘injury prone’ player just had some terrible luck with challenges. There is a big difference.
    People are making the same mistaken assumption with regards Gibbs now – a metatarsal and complication followed by a hernia has nothing to do with being injuring prone.

  223. I agree with Jonny. If anything, RVP is prone to attracting bandits and thugs masquerading as defenders with instructions to stop him by any means necessary as long as they leave him breathing without medical support.

  224. @BIll
    As I am living in Germany and German is one of my mother tongues, I can confirm to you, that it’s not getting spinned in any particular way. In fact, most German media is rather upbeat about having another player of the national team playing for a foreign top club. In no article I’ve read in the German papers have we been portrayed as having misbehaved when it comes to the Podolski transfer.

  225. “Its okay to cheat ooccasionally but not 2-3 times per game.”
    good thing you don’t play poker in Texas, mattyboy. You will get shot with logic like that…just ask the resident texan, Bill.

  226. Evil:

    OK, I’m wrong then, I can’t argue with that.

    I guess the media in Germany has a higher standard and react differently. I wish I could say the same for the English and the US media.

  227. Jon Jon,Are you serious?
    City double the value of every player they show interest in.How much for Ade? Nasri? Barry? Milner? none of them worth half of what City paid.
    The others were no where near their level of extravagance.

  228. mattgoonerknight

    On the BBC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17295576

    £100,000 P/W….really?

    What will we offer RVP? More obviously, but this suggest we’ll dig pretty deep…maybe a change in the parity pay structure that exists?

  229. Matt,just how did you imagine me then?

  230. mattgoonerknight

    Btw, my new Gravatar is my new dog…his name is Persie!!!!!!!!!!

  231. Bilbao playing very well at OT. 1-1 HT

  232. And a handsome fellow he is Matt.

  233. Evil,

    where are you in germany?

    i am in munich..

    i agree that everyone seems quite happy that the players are going overseas. i guess it beats everyone going to bayern.

  234. bilbao are really looking good.

  235. mattgoonerknight

    PG, errm, younger I suppose (not a dig, just an observation) with received pronunciation.

    RP PG, perhaps : )

  236. MGK, OMG – Persie is so fucking cute! What kind of pup is he?

    I want one!

  237. mattgoonerknight

    Cheers PG

    He’s a French Bulldog (pretty apt I think) but I’m half tempted to pretend that he’s a very rare Dutch variety! The missus is happy with the name Persie (the spelling, too) so all is good!

  238. Rather than a bumbling old Northerner..

  239. mattgoonerknight

    Cheers Jonny

    He’s a French Bulldog, 5 months old…my brother breeds them so I got him for free! (well, on the proviso that he can be “used” when he’s older).

  240. Good God, look at the size of those ears. Bloody good. Watchdog he will make or. Maybe. A striker…..

  241. mattgoonerknight

    PG

    You didn’t bumble that much…

  242. mattgoonerknight

    PG

    Your cat’s eaten your meerkat

  243. My cat was called Dennis Purrkat,he was to gentle to eat anything.22 years and never saw his claws or teeth.
    I have a dog now and he would not have liked it one bit.

  244. Billy’s Boots

    @ Darius Stone (@DStoneArsenal) | March 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Glad to hear you’re out. That does seem like a reasonable trade-off. Now, how will you get back in George’s good books?

  245. mattgoonerknight

    Dennis Purrkat : )

    22 years – wow!

    Yeah, we’ve got two cat’s and there is some friction, but it’s only the 3rd day so hopefully in time they’ll get along famously.

  246. Billy’s Boots

    United losing 2-1.

  247. George:

    Dennis is back. Always my favorite avatar.

    Skrill @ 8:30:

    Its OK if we cheat as long as we don’t get caught. I still have mad love for Jens Lehmann hitting and kicking people around his goal or King Eboue shamelessly diving to give us a penalty in the CL final against Barca. You guys seem to love the whole choir boy thing but I have never been ashamed of being a trophy slut. 🙂

  248. Matt that is my new dog.
    Yes Bill ,but it hurts every time I see his face.That’s the only reason I changed him

  249. They’re much cuter than our bulldogs.

    Nice to see Man Utd losing 1-3 at home in Europe. Collectors item.

  250. Typical Scum penalty in the dying seconds! Idiot.

  251. They grow into their ears?

  252. mattgoonerknight

    What’s his name PG?

    Is a little red and white shirt for Persie taking it too far.

    I already know the answer but…

    How about just on match days? You know, just for the really big games ; )

  253. she has a little coat on,as it goes.Her name is Rusty

  254. Only on match days – but not outside the house – people will point and laugh at the wee man.

  255. The Red and White coat sounds good to me.You can never be too sad when pets are involved.

  256. George:

    Really awesome dog and thats a great picture. A him or her and whats the name? We have 3 dogs Millie Dillon and Courage and we are now up to 8 horses.

    How do you put your picture as an Avatar? I would love to add a picture of Norma Jean one of our horses as an avatar. I have fallen madly in love with her.

  257. Marcelo Bielsa’s teams are always fun to watch.

  258. Go to

    http://en.gravatar.com/

    and create your account, Bill.

  259. Bill key in Gavatar.com to a rowser and log in .
    Then download your picture,You may have to load the image to your desktop first.

  260. mattgoonerknight

    Just looked at some “shirts”, the only ones I can find are surprisingly hideous considering they’re red, white and have the club badge on them.

    Looks like a red and white coat might be the answer, PG.

    You guys got any thoughts on the touted £100k a week deal for Podolski? Sounds high to me.

  261. Cracking game tonight!

  262. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Lovely dogs, MGK and PG.

    That was just a fantastic performance by Athletic. A real eye-opener.

  263. I’d be amazed if he is on that much – would have thought 60-70K max would be adequate? Maybe he earnt more than I imagine or maybe he just heard how much Almunia was getting..?!

  264. Birdkamp? class my friend.Looks like we are all softies

  265. mattgoonerknight

    Thanks OneOfUs – as is yours and loving the red jacket of course, too!

    Right, bed I think – Percie’s worn me out!

  266. Cheers, PG. Guess so.

  267. @ dupsffokcuf | March 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    “So people might say that the timing of these rumours is because season ticket renewal time is close.”

    The rumours aren’t coming from us, but from Germany.

    @ mattgoonerknight | March 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm
    The signing isn’t confirmed yet and (Evil help me out here?) the original report in Bild said that the package would be “worth” £5.8. So it could be a lower wage with a big signing on bonus.

    Nice to see the Pathetic Sharks lose at home in the Europa League.

  268. And the Northern Chavs lose as well? Lovely.

  269. Are those the dog’s ears, mgk?

  270. On Bale’s theatricals.

    ‘I have to take a dive to save my career.’

    I always thought Chesney’s (plus or minus a few c’s and z’s) fingertips looked fearsome and in need of harnessing. You could see the intent when he stretched for the ball that Bale was in danger of possibly losing his whole leg to the beast. Have you seen the size of his nails.

    Pugg the comedian.

  271. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Ateeb, sorry to disappoint but I’m admirer of Barça and some of their players, wouldn’t class myself as an actual culé. But after seeing Messi’s manita vs Leverkusen on YouTube yesterday, it got me thinking about what I would do if I was RVP, and Barça had come in for me.

    In Messi, we are seeing something truly spectacular, and if I were a professional footballer, I would be breaking my neck to get into that team alongside him. I would want some of that, to try to measure myself against that. I can see why it was hopeless now that we ever thought we’d retain Cesc. Don’t believe the bullshit about him running back to mum – he wanted to play in that team with Leo. Period. Who the fuck wouldn’t? That is my point.

    And now Robin is having the season of his life, and maybe, maybe, as a result of that, Barça will come calling, (or else they can’t, ‘cos they’re broke, as others have pointed out above). But boy scout that I am, I have decided to prepare myself for the heartbreak in case RVP does go. And with Messi as the motivating factor, I wouldn’t blame him one bit.

    I hate it when good players leave us, but I’m no longer as naive as I once was about the difference between how fans perceive players’ affiliations, and how players perceive their jobs. Torres to Chelski disabused me of that, and Cole to Chelski before him; also our wantaways Hleb and Flamini, which was a hint of what was to come with Cesc and Nasri.

    If RVP goes, and I hope he won’t, my main concern is that we have enough in the locker to get the same number of goals as we would if he stays. That means regalvanising the goal-getting abilities of our midfield, as we seem to have become too dependent on the goals of one player. To this end, Jack certainly knows how to score, not sure how attack-minded Conor Henderson is, Rosicky seems to have rediscovered his shooting boots, Arteta has a powerful foot on him, as does Ramsey. Who else?

    Then it’s a question, in attack, of whether Ryo can deliver? Alex O-C already looks like he can, so then what about Joel Campbell, Afobe? Is Wellington still one of ours? Vela and Bendtner most definitely are, but are they coming back ever? Because Park and Chamakh look like a busted flush. I look forward to Goldi-Poldi-Hallelujah’s arrival, and as ever, the future could be bright.

    But I am tired of going through this bullshit every season when players don’t appear to be in a hurry to re-sign, defer talks etc etc, and I don’t trust agents further than I can throw them.

    I hold my hands up and admit that last year my patience had run out with RVP and his bad luck with injuries. I have been proved wrong this year, and I hope he does stay now.

    Also Alex Song.

    I would hate to lose either of them.

  272. Podolski is expected to complete a £10.9m move from Köln at the end of the current campaign and will commit to a four-year deal that, according to sources in Germany, is worth around £100,000 a week when signing on fees and associated bonuses are taken into account.

  273. Hee hee gotta love those pathetic sharks. 😉

  274. Clerkenwell,

    if i were a professional footballer, i wouldnt want to play with messi (assuming i am good enough)

    i am serious.

    you want to play with good players, no doubt. but you want to play with people whom you understand, trust and love.

    i remember rvp said in an interview a few years ago, talking about arsenal: it’s like being in love

    fabregas went to barca because that was his boyhood club. that was his childhood team. guardiola was his idol. he played with pique, messi when he was a kid. i am sad that 8 years couldnt change his allegiance.

    if there is one person on the barca team that rvp wants to play with, it is not messi, but fabregas. because they are good friends. let’s make that clear.

    this barcelona team is messi’s team. it is the best team in the world. but it is messi’s team.

    if i were rvp, i would admire messi’s team. but i would want to have my own team. and beat his team. that is the real challenge for me as a professional. that is my pride as a professional.

    but sadly, i am not rvp.

    in any case, all i want to point out to you is that: yes, rvp might want to go to barca. but it’s not because of messi and messi alone. it is because they have a good team, they play good football, they are winning trophies and fabregas is there.

    and players don’t just want to play with the best. they want to play against the best. going by your logic, wouldnt rooney, ronaldo all be asking to go to barcelona?

  275. Clerkenwell Gooner,

    I see Podolski joining Arsenal to play with the very great RVP himself. I doubt Robin would want to get into a team that will do without him. He matters much more here, he can lead Arsenal to glory. And I think he would be really excited with Podolski joining him. I think we have a fabulous bunch of players with much more heart than Barcelona players. They know it’s tougher to win here and they know the odds are stacked against them, yet they also know their own capabilities which could be translated into victories. Although the prospect of seeing a dream team is tempting for all of us, i.e. Robin playing with Messi and how they would play together, but I think that is something we would never see. But I am very excited with the Podolski rumours, I think him on the left with Robin central would do wonders for us.

    Given that this season we have operated with similar players in Theo and Gervinhio. Podolski brings something different to the team which would be crucial for unlocking tight defences. I am personally more excited to see that, rather than Messi with Robin. Not excluding how exciting it would be to see Wilshere and a fit Diaby to combine with Theo, Gervinhio, Robin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Park and the Ox. And more then me they should be more excited with playing with each other and a great like Robin on the pitch. As you mentioned, so many names, we do have a bright future. I think Yogi is right to point out that just because Cesc and Nasri left, does not mean Robin would do so as well. You cannot really determine why Robin hasn’t signed so far. He could have already signed for Arsene and perhaps just playing a role to get some deals going with the board or access to more funds for the team. So many possibilities, I wouldn’t take a pessimistic view regarding this matter. You can go ahead and enjoy the summer of speculation. For me however, he has already signed and his commitment so far confirms that. No drop in performance like Nasri halfway into the season nor dropping heads like Cesc. We are much better and stronger without those two now.

  276. Bill
    How do you put your picture as an Avatar? I would love to add a picture of Norma Jean one of our horses as an avatar. I have fallen madly in love with her.

    Oh dear, oh dear.

  277. Lordylordy lordy MD. your mind works in mysterious ways. lol

  278. Really late, but great post Yogi!

  279. Just Another Luke

    Should an offer for van Persie come along, perhaps he should seek Thierry’s opinion on whether Thierry himself was happier playing in the Barca team and winning trophies (without being that influential and as well loved) than had he remained in Arsenal and battled on to help Arsenal strive for honours? I’m not sure that the honest answer from Henry would be that clearly in favour of a move from Arsenal to Barcelona.

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