Bould Over, Theo & More

If you’re looking for a scapegoat to all of the Arsenal woes then starting with Pat Rice is a good place it seems. His knees have been giving him gip as my Gramps would have said; retirement was supposed to happen last summer but Arsène talked him out of it. This time it is going to happen and not a day to soon as the disrespectful frequently observe. If Pat has read some of the abuse he has received online, there will be no deferral of the decision again.

Saturday felt bizarre in this respect. Talk of a club function is all well and good but it was an opportunity missed to celebrate the career of a long-standing club servant. In fact it was typically Arsenal for this to happen. Perhaps there is a good reason for this that will become clearer over time. Did the upper echelons of the club believe that the negativity surrounding him needed to subside before any appreciation could happen? If that is the case, it is an absolutely shameful reflection on Arsenal supporters.

Heir apparent is a tough choice. Overwhelming favourite from the outside is Steve Bould who has done an excellent job with the younger players, the momentum behind this choice already gathering pace. Having strong opinions is one thing but Bould needs to be persuasive as well; it’s no good shouting loudly when nobody listens. Tony Adams is another name mentioned, dismissed in favour of an internal promotion with Neil Banfield also mentioned. I am not sure if that is a diplomatic answer to the former captain whose managerial fortunes have fluctuated to say the least.

Taking the Assistant Manager role is less of a risk for Bould and the club. Managerial potential will become evident in a quieter way, out of the limelight and Bould’s influence can grow over time enabling a seamless transition to replace Wenger when the time comes. Either that or as Liam Brady will attest, management is lot harder than youth work. It is an interesting prospect for Bould. He was, in media terms, the quieter of famous defence. That translates into a perception of the least likely to stay in the game post-retirement. Arguably he has been the most successful in that sense although Dixon and Keown are palatable pundits.

It is natural to presume that he will have a positive impact upon the defence. That cannot be taken for granted, it is easily forgotten that Pat Rice was a capable right back himself, a double-winner. The problem for Arsenal is curbing the natural attacking instincts of the defenders, Kieran Gibbs for example, was particularly adventurous on Saturday which was a little foolhardy given the lack of cover in front of him. In his defence, having his manager exhort him to overlap is mitigating enough. Worryingly, notably in the second half, the attacking impetus came when Vermaelen and Koscielny both forced a path to the central striker. Maybe it is the manager’s attacking instinct that needs curbed?

Elsewhere Theo Walcott – not a Bould protegé despite some reports this morning – is set to return to action on Sunday at The Hawthorns. Walcott’s absence has seen more marked appreciation of his play, tempered by his inconsistency, and was partially the reason for a lacklustre first half. Gervinho’s presence on the right neuters his threat and noticeably his more dynamic moments came from the left when Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretching the Norwich defence on the right. What the arrival of Podolski means for either remains to be seen.

Transfer rumours are picking up pace following on from the German’s signing and it ties in with the manager’s desire to have his new players delivered before Euro2012. This morning’s Player du Jour is Yann M’vila. Depending upon which source you believe, M’vila is either (i) signed but kept quiet, (ii) has given his word that he will sign, (iii) all fees agreed, just the t’s to be crossed, i’s to be dotted, (iv) meeting with the club this week or (v) total fantasy signing as €22m is out of Arsenal’s price range.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 8, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 520 Comments.

  1. if we get M’vila, then its great news, looks like the deal may have been done, but its Arsenal, and we have to wait for confirmation. The boss is working early in the market, and that is always great to see.

    Good write up

  2. Is Twitter down or something? Not one comment yet??

    I hope Steve Bould does well in the assistant manager role if he is indeed promoted. I do like the idea of promoting from within for the coaching and managerial roles if possible, much as most fans like to see youth team players come through to the first team. He’s done well with the youth team so probably deserves his chance.

    I don’t know anything about M’Vila, but if he’s as good as I’ve heard then he’d be a welcome addition.

  3. i remember someone saying on this forum that he/she wasnt that happy that the podolski deal was announced before the norwich game, cos it seemed as though the season had finished..

    well i can empathise, but the thing is that cologne’s season was ending on saturday, and that was their last home game, so i think the cologne fans deserved to have a proper chance to say goodbye to podolski. hence i think that was why the deal was announced.

    won’t expect any other deals to be announced before the season ends though.

  4. whos gonna take over the youth team then?

  5. i agree 100% with point (v) !

  6. I am very happy with Bould as the new assistant to Wenger. He has proven his quality over the last several years with the youth set-up and I think that he might especially be able to extort an influence on our younger first-teamers and help them. I am also a huge fan of the concept of promotion from within so I am equally happy that Banfield is supposed to become a first-team coach. Just curious to see who will take over the youth and the reserves now.

  7. Anonymous was me, not sure what happened there.

    Good question about the youth team korihikage, there should be plenty of ex-Gunners who might fancy the job though. Would it appeal to Martin Keown for instance? I think Adams would feel it’s beneath him after being in charge at a couple of clubs. Maybe a Keown-Bergkamp dream team 🙂

  8. The Podolski deal was ultimately announced by Cologne, we would have looked silly to then not make a comment. The timing was very un-Arsenal really though a nice distraction, quality player on the way.

    M’Vila is a difficult one, would club or player commit on the move in the absence of confirmed CL football. Huge outlay for Arsenal (25m if you factor in salary costs over the period of contract) without the cashflow from 3rd place. Again very un-Arsenal.

  9. i like keown as an ambassador of some sorts.

    bergkamp coming back would be massive.

  10. but bergkamp is afraid of flying ……

  11. Don’t even know what all the fuss is about*regarding the assistant manager* pat rice, steve bould, tony adams – any of them could have been chosen.
    It might have been said before but the reason people were having a go at pat rice was because they were too scared to insult wenger so human nature forced them to look for an easier target*scapegoat*

  12. will he drive to japan for them preseason tours ? … haha…

  13. I am certainly not going to get excited over this until it is officially announced.

    If it does go through it highlights a definate change of policy when it comes to tranfers though.

  14. Paulie Walnuts

    Excellent observations as usual YW,

    Pat Rice is a legend. If Sunday marks the end of his active involvement it should be honoured in some way.

    Personally I`d give him a testimonial for his forty or so years of honest, unselfish hard work.

    I would then move Bouldy up to number 2. He knows the club & Arsene`s ways & I believe would take it in his stride. He`d also be an imposing figure on the bench & prowling the technical area. Big Tone ? Love the guy but he always looks half nuts to me these days , plus I don`t think we`ll have room for his piano in the changing rooms.

    As for the defence, it`s best we leave that one for another day ! We certainly could do with a Theo day on Sunday.

    Finally , I don`t see us spending over £15M on a defensive midfield player somehow. Not when we have someone like Le Coq around.

  15. For some reason I’m not really worried about losing our CL spot, even if the unthinkable happens and we drop points to West Brom. I feel it is in Arsene’s destiny somehow to always qualify for the CL. I dearly hope we beat WB though, just to be able to end the season on a high.

    On the assistant manager issue, I don’t know anything about Bould. I’m not even sure his appointment will make any sort of difference to anything. What do assistant managers do anyway, other than being first in line for the caretaker position when a manager gets sacked?
    Which is why I’ve always shared YW’s disappointment and bemusement with the abuse that Pat Rice gets, as if he had anything to do with our ‘issues’. However, I don’t think he gets abuse because the doomers are looking for an ‘easy target’, as Yogi thinks. I’ve never heard of a doomer who doesn’t abuse Wenger at will. Everyone gets abuse from doomers, the manager, his assistant, the medics, Ivan, the board, everyone. Equal opportunity abusers, one could say.

  16. I never knew so many people wanted Pat Rice out. Whoever comes in I hope they can make Wenger change his ‘one formation whoever, whenever, where ever we play, regardless if our players are out of position. I know when you have a lot of injuries sometimes players have to ‘take one for the team’ but Wenger is so dogmatic about his phylosophy. It could never of happened but just imagine if José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix had been our manager. We might not be able to sit on the moral high ground but the veiw form the top of the table is a lot better. Maybe Wenger will prove everyone wrong, next year.

  17. The Real Stew Black

    Morning. Thank you YW food for thought. I watched the ’71 cup final the other day and Pat Rice was a hell of player wasn’t he? What a servant to our club. He certainly wasn’t afraid of bombing forward whenever he got the chance.

  18. But has it occured to anyone that maybe the financial restraints/shackles put on wenger might finally be off and he will be able to identify his first choice targets, scout them, then sign them.
    Also, if i am not mistaken we tried to sign m’villa towards the tail end of august last year.

  19. The critisicm of Pat Rice was plain stupid. Nobody outside the club really has any sort of ieda of what his role was, and more importantly what his impact was. How he can be blamed for anything is daft.

  20. 44 years of service to be precise – it is very easy to see the scums of the earth even through a football perspective … John terry/Legrove/Suarez

  21. I can’t believe am saying this but i miss walcott – the speed, finishing, blind alleys, miscontrol, inconsistency all rolled into one, hope he is fit for westbrom, we need him.

  22. The position of youth coach will take on an extra dimension next season with our involvement in the Next Gen tournament. A sort of U-19 Champions League. So it will indeed involve flying….(so for that, but that point only, fair point on Bergkamp’s phobia). The Next Gen tournament could grow into something a bit special. So even though momentum is with Bould (re:AW assistant), might he not want to stay on with the youths? WHoever takes the youths, it’ll be a fantastic job to get.

  23. An assistant is an assistant. All this talk of AW needing someone to question him and challenge him is just b****cks. When I have an assistant, I use them to bounce ideas off, sure. But to challenge me on my decisions? No thanks. Having said that, there is of course, no harm in a fresh face coming in. And I think in this situation, it’s very likely to prove positive. But I’d hazard a guess that Pat Rice has assisted Arsene Wenger pretty well over the years. He deserves a decent send off.

  24. Why would signing M’Vila be un-Arsenal like?

    A 21 year old potentially world class player (and French!)?

    That to me seem’s like exactly the kind of business we would normally do.

    OK, The reported price is higher than what we have paid in the past, but like inflation, prices will and have risen over the years.

    We paid £13M for Nasri 3 years ago, who at the time was at a similiar stage to his career at M’Vila is now.

  25. Mr Bean

    You are living up to your name with that stupid as feck comment man! Mourinho? At a club with fuck all to spend and you think he’d do well?


  26. The fact you think the formation syats the same, with no slught twaeks or changes makes me wonder if you even watch our games.

  27. Matt

    The transfer fee is paper talk isnt it anyways? Probably closer to £15m, which wouldn’t be too prohibitive given the current climate and the players age, experience and (apparant) talent.

  28. Language Dexter! Language!

  29. Ha! Sorry Mingus! 🙂

  30. I agree Dexter.

    Albeit a fairly important point in any deal, If you forget the transfer fee he couldn’t be anymore of an ‘Arsenal-like’ signing.

    Besides – the fee will be undisclosed anyway!

  31. The Real Stew Black

    Dexter – just ignore him. It’s a silly wind up.

  32. khalifa

    ‘It might have been said before but the reason people were having a go at pat rice was because they were too scared to insult wenger so human nature forced them to look for an easier target*scapegoat*’

    certainly doesnt seem the case to me 😀

    many people were having a real go at wenger as well..

  33. The Real Stew Black

    Dexter – Sorry I meant that in response to your comment on Mr Bean.

  34. @Matt

    Purely the size of the deal in terms of money, not the quality of footballer, us being a club not exactly known for such extravagant moves in the market. An alleged 17m fee plus the overall cost of the deal with wages etc is quite a huge investment by the club before CL qualification (which we will) and also actually having unloaded the additional costs within the squad.

    Coupled with the possibility that with more tactical discipline we have an outstanding option to play a more defensive role in Song, and a young understudy option in Coquelin who has been very impressive on his chances this season.

    I hope we get him, seen him a few times and he is a quality footballer. I have just supported Arsenal for quite a long time and don’t associate our club with spending €40m up front on players. It would represent an incredible change in approach by us, some may suggest a penny dropping with Wenger that this is now what it takes to actually challenge.

    We take pride in how we manage ourselves within a self-sustainable business model, these new costs will have to be offset in some way. Is it the more peripheral squad members or is something else happening?

  35. anyone thinks anyone is leaving, given the 25 squad players rule?

  36. How is it that certain followers (I am reluctant to call then fans) call for loyalty from players yet slash off a true Arsenal legend like Pat Rice has served this club more than most? Good luck Pat only when you are gone well some realise what a true legend you are at this club.

  37. Best case scenario for me anyway, would be for Bould to be promote to assistant manager and then Keown given the U18s or Reserves job, meaning he becomes part of the coaching set up. Then further along the line, the likes of Henry, Pires (maybe) and Bergkamp come back to where they belong.

    A touch romantic I know, but I am a sentimental soul. 🙂

  38. AW S strategy had changed regarding new signings. In years past he prefered to wait for all others to finish their business and then move in for his targets. Semi successful but the moneybags still move in for our players, even though they didn’t really need them. Therefore ,outbidding us and getting the players.
    He is now doing his buying before anyone else so as to surprise them when they are not ready and geared to move in and foil our moves.
    Just saying. Maybe it is true.
    Good morning all.
    Good to have you back HUNTER 13.
    now behave for the good of the discussion. LOL

  39. @Steve,

    ‘It would represent an incredible change in approach by us, some may suggest a penny dropping with Wenger that this is now what it takes to actually challenge.’

    I disagree.

    If you take inflation in to account, the reported numbers are not really any different to what we paid for Nasri 3 years ago, so it is not that much of a sea change for us to do the deal, even at the numbers being suggested.

  40. Of the 17 non-homegrown players on the EPL squad list at 2nd February, Henry and Benayoun have/will return to their parent clubs. Of the remainder, I would have said that Squillaci, Arshavin (sorry George) and Chamakh are likeliest departees. Which leaves space for 5 non-homegrown players to be listed. Bear in mind that things will get complicated over the next season or two as younger players pass the age of 21 thus having to be named. I would suggest that this summer is, all things being equal, the last opportunity for a ‘mass’ clearout by the manager.

  41. Steve

    I think we are slowly seeing the manager given more funds TBH. I really like Coquelin, his versatility will mean he gets games, but he could be a fantastic central midfielder IMO.

    I think IF we signed M’Villa that may well be because Song is off. I in no way want that to happen, just think it might. The club may have tried to get hom to sign and now they need to look at a replacement. Controversial!

  42. Spending large sums before the transfer window has even opened is very un-Arsenal like I would think. Can’t remember us doing it in the past.

  43. I can’t recall, but did we sign Wiltord for a shed load of money early too?

  44. Korihikage, when i hear people saying we need fresh ideas you know they are beating around the bush, instead of saying openly they want wenger to change, so if wenger will not change then there must be a change somewhere else *this is where pat rice comes in* – just one of my many theories on the issue. Also another theory is they are dumb as hell and are just plain stupid.

  45. On the playing side, the signing makes total sense.

    If we are looking to improve next season, the obvious negative of this season is that we have conceded too many goals.

    We have very good defenders, in fact you could argue we have some of the best in the league in certain positions – Sagna, Koscienly and we have a more than competent goalkeeper, so why do we concede so many?

    Perhaps it is the protection, or lack of, we offer our back 4 – it would certainly appear so.

    When winning titles in the past, albeit in a different formation, we always had 1 dedicated defensively minded central midfield player (Petit, Gilberto) alongside another who was at the very least disciplined defensively (Vieira).

    You could argue at the moment we do not really have a true ‘stopper’ in the mould of a Makelele or Gilberto, which may be part of the problem of team’s getting at our defence too easily.

    I have been saying all along that the potential signing of M’Vila may well be to complement Song to try and make us more solid when required.

    The other thought could be a potential move back to 4-4-2 of course!

    With a more defensive centrail pairing – would that work? Would that allow RVP and Podolski to play as a front 2?

  46. arsenalandrew

    Pat Rice will get the mother of all send offs when the time is right but probably not just before a key game is played and a superstar player just happens to be displaying his Player of the Year trophies.

    Yes, he WAS a great player and remains one of our all-time greatest servants.


    It’s interesting that the start of our season saw us suffering badly ahead of the signings of the calming Arteta and Mertsacker, two players who have again been absent as the season draws to a close. Add Santos and Benny to that list (who of course came off towards the end of Saturday’s game) and one can immediately see what an incredible contribution these new signings have made this season.

    I would go as far to say that in their respective positions both Artera and Per have been as influential, relatively, as RVP, up front.

    That’s some impact, and some loss.

    Despite the brilliance of the squad and the vast potential coming through the ranks, logic suggests Arsene will be looking to improve our chances next season by acquiring back up at the same advanced level of these three players …


    13H13 – 10.13pm yesterday – great post and great summary of the serial injustice AFC have endured over recent years. This list goes to the absolute heart of my belief in the need for the urgent introduction, in sensible measured stages, of technology in the governance of the game. As a club we are not alone in suffering the myriad ‘bad calls’ but I suspect (subjectively) that the collective impact has been greatest on us purely because we have been so close to breakthrough results on so many occasions over so many seasons.

    Great to see 13H13 – our nuclear option – back on the blog; hope he keeps his ‘collateral damage’ to a minimum. The reappearance of the trolls the moment we suffer any kind of set back is truly nauseating. Sometimes it makes sense to just unleash the whirlwind that is Hunter upon them.

  47. Stew you are not remotely mistaken.

    Regardless of whether the shackles have been removed, the picture of Arsenal’s financial capabilities is opaque to start with and I do not understand Hunter’s bizarre assertion that this is
    a) out of our price range and
    b) cannot be worth it because he plays for Rennes

    Especially as it was apparent we not only bid for MVila last summer but that we also put in a significantly higher bid than this for Hazard last year.

    As for where he currently plays, well we just spent £12M rising to £15M for a 17yo player who plays for Southampton! I’m more interested in the fact that at 21 M’Vila is a starter in the French first team and has been for over a year.

    Add to that, that the deal would obviously be done through structured payments and that we will have other money coming in from player sales and it does not seem ridiculous at all. It equates to just over £17.5M which is in keeping with the £16M which was given to us yesterday.

    £17M is around the amount I recall as being offered last year but Rennes played hardball – and held out for £20M – at least that was the story!

    Regardless we have been here before – our signing of Reyes was capable of rising to £17M – and Arsene was at pains to make it clear that he is prepared to spend big for the right player. As a final point – some seem to think the amount is ludicrous because he is not the right quality of player. What utter balls.

    Whilst this admittedly would not be a ‘fancy signing’ like Hazard, M’Vila has been widely touted as the next Makalele/Viera. At 21 he is already a mainstay in the French national team and has been a regular since the end of the World Cup. That does not happen – in the French National Team – at that tender age and in such a prominent role unless you really have something about you.

    He’s a very strong tackler and his eye for a pass and execution is unusually strong for a DM too – he actually broke distribution records for France over the last year. A mouthwatering combination: a player who can win the ball and then release it quickly and judiciously with a proper range of passes. I can imagine one team with fast wings and a killer front man who would particularly benefit from such a player.

    Look we know this is a player Wenger covets – and with what I have outlined above I’d say option (v ) is the most stupid assertion of all – this signing is possible and entirely plausible.

  48. morning

    dex. mvilla IS coming 😉

    the way is see it is that hes coming in for diabys spot..
    frimpong will go back out on loan..hes only 21 and hes missed almost two years..hes so far behind le coq he’ll need to go back out i think
    le coq will be used as backup to all the midfielders and the wingbacks so he will get games a plenty, epsecially if sagna has any setbacks with this secong leg break…i like jenks but le coqs summat else..

    song will stay too..

    diaby however is always crocked and i think this is the year AW has had enough..not that hes being sold, i cant see AW giving up on him but mvilla will come in and plug the gap he leaves when he misses entire seasons and leaves us short of options..

  49. Well,signing one player very early (like we did with Podolski),isn’t necessary un-Arsenal. I think we did it with Koscielny and with Gervinho for example. Not necessarily before the season ended early, but at the beginning of the transfer window. But signing TWO players so early, now that must be unheard of in the recent history of our football club!

  50. Why can’t we look at it this way, the building of the emirates that weighed the club finance down has been lifted, now wenger is able to identify targets and sign them, perfectly logical.
    Goonerkam, the reason i would say wenger waited for others to sign players was because he knew he could not compete with them, and maybe, just maybe mvilla choose arsenal over other clubs – although nothing has been confirmed yet.

  51. Fair points Matt.

    He is a quality footballer as I said. I will be delighted to see us do our business early in the summer and then be 100% ready come August.

  52. arsenalandrew

    Interesting comments about Alex Song over the last few days.

    Yet another player I have admired over many seasons.

    My biggest fear is, as others have said, that he was told he would not be getting a stellar pay rise and Arsene may just be preparing to sell him to the absolute highest bidder (ie, most likely, Arsenal North, Real M or Barca).

    The expectation of this level of sales revenue could well be driving Arsene to work the markets aggressively in his pursuit of his targets.

    I hope he doesn’t go but equally I have every confidence in AW to do what has to be done to the greater benefit of the club over any player.

    In Arsene, I will always trust.

  53. AA

    Don’t understand the logic of not holding a celebration just because RvP was photographed. Surely recognition of Pat’s efforts is as meritworthy.

    As for your observation on collateral damage. Less than a week, I bet.

  54. This summer is going to be crazy, who’s staying, who’s coming in, exciting times ahead.

  55. wenger did say he had 4 days to convince robin to stay
    and these players have been tracked since last year at least..

    if theres a time for them to come in early its now..the players and the managers have all said they are leaving this summer..we have to move in this window..or they;ll go somewhere else

    finishing third will let us know where we stand financially and the sponserships are up for renewel soon,as well as the players up for sale..

    bearing in mind transfers are paid over a 3-4-5 period anyway in most cases weve got the money to do it if we are really serious about it..

    22mil is fuck all..not when once the player gets his groove on hes going to be worth double 21 as well…

  56. Paulie Walnuts


    Cashing in on Song would be a surprise but yes it could happen. Man City may be the destination given their spending power & their obsession with buying from us. RVP wouldn`t take it well though – unless he`s going with him…..

    So , just how DO these transfer rumours start ?

  57. You just will know what will happen with RvP. He will go to the Euro’s with no contract agreed, Arsene will say he is not worried, and it will be sorted on his return. The RvP will drag over the whole summer, you just watch.

  58. Jonjon, true that, thats another aspect we failed to look at, we have to convince rvp to stay *i think we all agree money is not his motivation*, so what better way to do that than by making high profile signings.

  59. arsenalandrew

    Yogi – I just don’t think they could have done justice to Pat with a round of applause. Bear in mind that RVP’s trophy wares was displayed (with Robin!) to a less than half-empty stadium; it would have been a hideously underwhelming send-off. The other option – immediately after the game was equally likely to have been ruled out by the tradition of the end-of-season lap of honour. Again, in front of a stadium more than half drained, inexplicably, of the ingrates claiming to be fans …

    Pat’s not left, yet – big game on Sunday!


    The clock is ticking for Hunter …

  60. probably going to see a fair amount of players going out this off season, and wages maybe coming down

  61. finish third and unviel a couple of big signings..ones already in..

    turn round to robin and ask him if hes still stalling..
    if he does, it matters not, hes here for one more year..

    if we have our squad sorted this summer, one more year could be all we need to do something special..

    he may sign next year 🙂

  62. a french mate of mine told me mvilla is really class.

    maybe we should loan diaby out for a season to make sure he really gets fit?

    i think us signing players early is good in that whatever happens, we have already got the replacements in. but somehow i can just see our new signings being targetted at the euros. touch wood.

  63. I dont understand anyone making light of Pat Rice’s contribution to our club but i do understand the need for a change-up of coaches every now and then. So lets see Pat off with a big thankyou and welcome Bouldy (and Neil Banfield) to the first team setup. What an opportunity for them both. And well done Arsenal for recruiting from within, theres a lot to be said for continuity when it comes to coaching. How many first teamers will have worked under both Steve and Neil and will actually have them to thank for their arsenal careers?

    As for M’Vila – YES PLEASE! He will be a star.

  64. Goonerandy
    “You just will know what will happen with RvP. He will go to the Euro’s with no contract agreed, Arsene will say he is not worried, and it will be sorted on his return. The RvP will drag over the whole summer, you just watch”
    -You are like a rainbow, so bright and colourful, you have given me belief that Rvp will stay – geez man, talk about negativity.

  65. I think we may well see a more solid looking lineup, in terms of the midfield next season. As AA asserts, we have a great back 5, so something needs looking at in terms of the cover infront, as well as the tendencies to go ape shit crazy gung ho too much!

    Wow Andy, its not like you to take the pessimistic angle on something man! 🙂

  66. lol andrew …cheers for the support !!

    i want a european superleague and to hell with the epl…..overrated anyway…. and lets see if italian german and other refs are as vindictive as the english ………

    wenger is made to feel a criminal for producing great football and being sensible with transfers… lol ..maybe its too bitter a pill to swallow for all the smiths here who think that because they discovered the game noone can tell them anything or show them a different way. ….

  67. goonerandy

    that could well happen. in which case, it would be nice to know that we have got replacements in.

    has anyone read heblogswhenhewants? i think he gave a very plausible account of what happened over last summer.

    i think this summer, we have the money not to get screwed over.

  68. Khalifha – You don’t think it will happen that way?

  69. .as anyone read heblogswhenhewants? i think he gave a very plausible account of what happened over last summer.

    you mean the two part trilogy ? haha…great read..laughed my butt off…

  70. Gunner 4 life

  71. I think Pat Rice deserves a massive deal making of his contribution to the club. A half arsed ripple from an emptying stadium after a disapointing draw is hardly the time or place in my opinion.

    Let’s give him the proper platform during the summer at the Emirates Cup, or 1st home game of the season.

    Thanks Pat, you truly are an Arsenal legend and deserve a statue of your very own.

  72. Gunners 4 life

  73. Dexter

    very good idea!

  74. why rvp will sign:

    he’s gonna be named as the club’s player of the season, and that award would be presented on the first home game of the season. so he would be there to captain the team and collect it 🙂

  75. korihikage
    i went through a period a few year back when i watched alot of french football and mvilla, as well as capoue and sissoko were the young solid midfielders that stood out for me

    the other two have shot off the radar i dont know where they are now i think capoue may have got a move but sissoko could well be still at toulouse….but mvillas come on leaps and bounds..stalwart in the french team already and a one man band at rennes..and they are 3rd -4th in the french ligue i think..

    hes some player…i hope weve got him

    the story is weve missed out on vertonghen to the spuds so mvillas been wrapped up..

    i was kinda hoping we might have nabbed JV as well but those fucking spuds are getting too close for comfort..

    you know its not a good thing when they are threatening our league position and stealing our transfer targets..

    only one team in NL..we need to put our foot down and show em who the daddy is..

  76. Dex, there is no emirates cup this year, we are off to Nigeria and the Far East, not to mention USA…………

  77. Dexter,

    The Emirates Cup isn’t happening this summer hence the club going to Asia and Africa on tour. The Olympics mean that The Met can’t cope with the crowds. And not being funny but there will not be any more of a crowd in the ground before a normal match. Had the club announced something, people would have made the effort. Or more would, anyway.

  78. Interesting observations about Song.

    The club does really have to be more aggressive in it’s handling of players who are coming towards the end of contracts, and I would see having 2 years left as coming towards the end.

  79. goonerandy

    I don’t think we can lose out in the Van Persie contract situation. If he doesn’t sign we keep him for another year and he goes on a free. But its not that simple, fans might get on his case so does he want that to happen? I wouldn’t after being such a highly regarded player for the club.

    Wenger needs to be strong, he needs to tell him you will sign or you will stay and play your heart out for another year. The early signs are this is what will happen. So even IF he doesn’t sign before the Euros, Wenger will just carry on and hope the best CF in the world does put pen to paper.

    We can’t find better, and its worth the financial risk to keep such a great player with us.

  80. interesting: i dont recall seeing song in the video of the home kit launch.

    i am not sure if vertonghen was ever our target..

    well he has just been crowned player of the season in holland, and the media will be creaming over themselves if he signs for the spuds. spuds will apparently be runaway champions next season.

  81. dessaily : mvilla is better than vieira


  82. I think we could ask for our first home game to be delayed by 5 minutes to slaute Pt ‘Mr Arsenal’ Rice. It might even give some Gooners enough time to actually turn up too!

    Win/win situation!

  83. If we ever let Diaby go we will regret it. Wenger knows it that’s why we have held onto him and not given up hope.

    Will he go this summer, well after another season in and out the team Wenger’s persistence must be wearing thin. If this Vila is coming in like everyone is reporting then someone surely has to make way.

    Ramsey will get better, he has had a hard time of late but we have seen his quality.
    Frimpong and Coq… chances will be limited for both but Coq will be favourite to get a squad place if a DM is brought in cos of his versatility.

    A lot will be determined on the outcome of our attacking players.. Chamakh, Arshavin, Bendtner and Benayoun. If all 4 are not with us next season maybe we can sacrifice an attacking replacement for an extra defensive minded body in the shape of that Vila.

  84. Why would he go to spurs! There infourth and if we win at west brom they might not even get champions league! Not to mention how finacially strained they already are! Seems like his waiting to see if they qualify!

  85. I think Arsehavin will return. The fact there is not an International tournement next summer will make sitting on the bench occasionally easier to bear. We need him too, we have lacked top class attacking flair, IMO, someone who can create something from nothing in a tight game, as well as the goal threat he possesses. The fact we have Podolski could see him in a more central position finally.

    Frimpong, as JJ suggests needs a loan due to his wretched luck with injuries, meaning Coquelin will be playing as back up fullback and DM. However, if he shows real progress over the pre-season, he could even be 1st choice. He has the potential to be a top top player.

    Not sure I would be too bothered if we didnt sign Vertonghen TBH, as I would really like to see Bartley given a chance. However, if Kyle is not part of the plans, then a CB/defender would be required and young Miquel can get a top flight loan to help his development along too.

  86. chris – as talented as Diaby is, we have never got the benefit of said talent. The last few times hes tried to make a comeback hes injuried himself again and we go round and round. I feel its time we cut him loose and if he can make a career elsewhere all the best to him. I hate to say it but i think hes broken beyond repair

  87. andrew
    point you raise is good

    ive just seen the JV quotes on spurs and the mans talking about financial package..
    that makes no sence.
    are spurs the only ones in for him??

    player of the year in holland??

    and its spurs financial package that has him set on them…

    bollox if you ask me..

  88. Limestonegunner

    Rumours always fly; it is surprising how many veterans are being pulled into discussing it. I think Jonny said it well, though. Most enjoyable is hunter’s attack on AW if the price is 22 million Euros–how quickly this sort turns! So he’s lost the plot now?!? George, you got your wish, but you may soon regret it–I give it a day.

    Very fine post, YW. Maybe Pat Rice can be honoured during halftime of our season opener.

  89. Chris – True. But we also said that we would not sell Nasri and Cesc at the same time and then did exactly that, so who knows what will happen should RvP not re-sign?

    My worry is that if RvP does leave (I don’t think he will) we are again losing one of our better player in the summer. We really need a summer of keeping our talent and suplementing it, in order to imrporve and challenge for honours.

  90. One thing is for sure, if we do sign M’Villa we have a dirth of players in central midfield. Arteta has been our most consistant player this year, whilst Rosicky has been in great form in the past few months. Wilshere to come back also. The likes of Ramsey won’t get a look in and would doubtful even make the bench barring injuries.

  91. I would have thought us doing our business early is due to two things:
    The farce that occured last summer leaving us scrambling around for players after the 8-2 debacle and our desire not to repeat this.
    Doing everything we can to keep a certain Mr Van Persie at the club, by showing our intent to buy decent players. Details of the Podolski were revealed months ago, which is very “un-arsenal”.
    Andrew10 – stop moaning about referee’s decisions and “injustice”, this mentality is part of the problem at Arsenal. Did ref’s cause us to concede 47 goals, or was it the team?

  92. My biggest fear would be if we lose Theo, Song and RVP all at the same time. When we lost Cesc, he was just one man and even though the majority of play went through him, this is something that can be compensated by tweaking the tactics slightly as we did. And losing Nasri, well, he wasn’t that important to begin with, so in him we lost a good squad player but no one who was integral to the team.But on the other hand losing the three of RVP, Song and Theo, that would be like having our spine ripped out. All three are very important to the team and losing any of them would be a massive blow, but all three?

  93. lime.. attack on wenger ? ..maybe you didnt read it properly for in fact i have defended his sanity and that i consider him way to serious to spend 22 million euros like a muppet for some guy from rennes…. especially when we have like 7 midfielders already…..unless he has told them that the 22 million will be paid in 10 years at 2.2m installements per year. which club would accept such an offer ?

    it would be better for our club to invest that 22 million for training and scouting schools in south america , preferably brasil, and use silvinho and gilberto silva connections….

    ” how quickly this sort turns” …explain please……

    yogi it will be less than a week for sure …maybe even in the next few minutes lol …… i see lime is quite itchy ….

  94. i am really just waiting for sunday.

  95. pedantic george

    Yeh,Chrissgooner is back,
    Where have you been?

  96. goonerandy – whilst we would indeed have plenty of players for the midfield positions i have no doubt that all would get plenty of game time and it would make certain of a dangerous bench when things needs changing during the game. Whatever you say about a 25 man squad, its a strong bench that can really make the difference.

  97. BigM

    Are you another effin Rain Man obsessed with numbers? 47! 47!

    Jeezus get a fucking room with carol Vordamen already! 🙂

  98. korihikage

    I agree man, its just that the nerves have really set in and by discussing anything other than the game at the hawthorns, helps a little.

  99. Suppose it might be 1st team football! But I can’t imagine they can offer any more financially than we can!

    And it all depends on champions league football!

    Can’t imagine Harry rednknapp being the most charismatic negotiator either! :/
    Seems like unites could get him if they wanted or city

  100. i think it might be a case of vertonghen realising no one really wants him that much, so he has ended up hoping to go to the spuds?

  101. When Vertonghen said it was all about the financial package, has anyone told him that the figures mentioned were BEFORE ol Twitchy McBung had taken his cut?

  102. Can’t imagine Harry rednknapp being the most charismatic negotiator either!

    ….Hey der Eijax Tserman, me’s wacha dis vertonga n;d ‘l ofah 25 yeys ?

    …ik spricht kein cro magnon , repeaten bitte aus english

  103. We will see CL play next season.

    As Arsene faces a three match sidelines ban by UEFA, it would certainly add extra tension to any new assistant. If we finish 4th, then its additional pressure for the pre-qual tie.

    Pat Rice might be asked to stay around into the Fall…….

    Regardless, Arsenal and its fans have been blessed by his commitment to the club.

  104. Trouble is Hunter, you’ve shown your lack of football knowledge in your 12.36 comment. God knows what you thought of Koscielny before he was signed. “Lorient? What the fack do we want someone from League Two for? He’s got to be crap.”

  105. On Pat Rice, I do hope that he does get a proper sending off because he truly deserves it. On his replacement, I honestly have no idea what might happen because there are great choices but each with their own pros and cons.

    Absolutely fantastic news on Theo as we desperately missed his right side domination and unmatched pace on the flanks. We need the 3 points and who better to help us get them then RVP’s assist man, not only that but he is thoroughly missed. I do think that RVP is key to Alex Song adn Theo signing this summer as they do all seem to be pretty close. But it also makes no sense for Song to be sold as i think that his true value and class have yet to be seen. If/when M’villa is signed i think it is actually what Arsene envisioned when he signed Diaby, a player that not only can break up play but distribute and dominate the middle of the park with Song thus allowing our AM the freedom to roam about and attack at will not worrying about to many defensive responsibilities.

    We do have a multitude of midfielders and i think some will naturally be sent out on loans but i also think some will have their amount of game time dropped. Naturally i think Frimpong is off on loan and Le Coq is going to stay as his ability to cover not only in the midfield but at LB/RB is key. I imagine our 1st choice midfield next season if M’villa does sign will be Song M’villa and Jack(if coming back strong and better than we remember). I’m sure Arteta, Lil Mozart are going to a massive part of it but what of Ramsey and Diaby. I think the signing of Podolski has essentially pushed Ox into the middle for games and sub appearances so this is a interesting dynamic as well. I can envision our 1st XI being:


    That XI is not only litered with world class young talent but world class talent in their prime.

  106. What the fack do we want someone from League Two for? He’s got to be crap.”

    now that is your own personal conclusion and your own fantasy talk for there is no way you can ever know what i thought about laurent konscielny. right or wrong?

    i trust the manager , not the media…..if wenger spends 8million for someone we ve never heard before i know the money has been spent on a good cause…a bird told him to get him …..but 22 million for flavour of the months just cause the media want to play with arsenal is not on..

  107. I would imagine Arsenal have been working continuously through this season to orchestrate a direction for those on loan, Arshavin, Benny, Vela, Bendtner, Denilson plus the situations for Almunia and Squil.

    RvP, Theo, and Song. I can see our squad for next season pretty much finalized by June 1.

  108. Itl probably signal the end of modrics career at spuds… If they can’t afford to pay adebayors wages and verthoghen would demand 100 k how are they going purchase an pay more players on top of that!

  109. @13hunter13 | May 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Can I have a hit of whatever the hell you were smoking when you made that ignorant footballing comment. Have you actually watched him, I truly do doubt it. The man breaks up play and distributes and is exactly the type of player that teams are built around. World class talent who dominates in the middle of the park, I was reading some french reports and news on him and they are saying could be equal if at worst to Viera but under the right direction could be better, interestingly enough Arsene just happens to be the type of manager who nutures and teaches young players and with that talent creates world class player. FFS mate go be a Spud.

  110. ”.but 22 million for flavour of the months just cause the media want to play with arsenal is not on..”

    Flavour of last 2-3 years more like.

  111. pedantic george – very busy at work but always made time to read the blog !

    goonerandy – I agree. I would say losing Van Persie would be an even bigger loss than Cesc was. He is our main striker, our only striker that can score right now, our leader, and he seems to able to motivate the team when we need it most. He is more of a leader than Cesc was it sounds like from the training pitch and around the club too. On top of all that he is probably the best CF in world football right now. I can’t see Wenger letting him go, we will make him stay another year and let him leave on a free if we have to but that wont benefit anyone.

    Van Persie doesn’t seem the type to allow that to happen. Surely we can tie him to a new deal even if he wants to leave, tell him to give us another year or 2 and we will listen to offers like we did with Cesc if his heart is set on leaving.

    I don’t see us losing out on this one whichever way it pans out. I have faith that Van Persie wants to remain a gooner too.

  112. Hunter @12.36 – “some guy from rennes” WTF are you on about?

    Please have a look at my 11.13 post – I don’t care if you respond to it but to just carry on spouting the same dismissive, uninformed nonsense is pointless.

    I’m guessing Wenger might have a better clue of things than you – after all he has scouted this nobody from a nothing club for a very long time – and we all know he is very interested. Chelsea were interested last year as well and Inter Milan are currently rumoured to be our chief rivals for the deal.

    You might think £17.5M is a waste of money but plenty of people said that about Oxlade-Chamberlain and they have all gone pretty quiet now.

    As for your South American training and scouting schools…well perhaps, when you have finished advising Wenger about global scouting, you can give the scientists at CERN a hand with finding the Higgs Boson? I imagine it’s just down the back of the sofa.

  113. players out , sqilly, song, benny, arsh, park, cham, bendy vela?, several other loanies, loan, ramsy, djourou,frimpong, mayachi, wellington, campbell some others, ??? it sounds true re mvilla, i think ile get some of the above right but not sure, with the numbers some have to go, sunday is our cup final, i dont want to have to wait until cl result, i think BM will win, but im happy to cheer on chelsea if we get third, and desperate to cheer BM if we dont, pat rice was a first team player when i started watching The Arsenal,respect for his loyalty throughout the years should be given a special moment, its churlish to say the least not to stand up and applaud him,

  114. Paulie Walnuts

    I find it impossible to believe JV has a straight choice between us & the Spuds. There has to be more to it if he chooses them – either we`re not interested or his dog will open a Monaco bank account.

    I`m not sure it really matters where players come from either. You could reel out long lists of players from both sides of the tracks to back up opinion but the bottom line is how they perform for us once they arrive.

  115. C | May 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    look buddy im doubting the notion that wenger or arsenal will spent 22 million on any individual, not necessarily mvilla talents …

    if you didnt figure it out then i apologise for not making it as clear cut …..

    and no i dont give hits of my personal stuff to unappreciative people…. 😉

  116. @Dr Nick
    Why would you want to cheer on Chelsea??

  117. “if wenger spends 8million for someone we ve never heard before i know the money has been spent on a good cause…a bird told him to get him …..but 22 million for flavour of the months just cause the media want to play with arsenal is not on..”

    So you would rather have him spend 8 million on a player never heard of trusting your manager but on a player that has been scouted and we tried to sign last summer you dont trust. I guess you thought that signing Jenks was a better signing then Mert since Mert cost more

  118. Hunter

    You bought the derision on yourself with the line,

    “like a muppet for some guy from rennes”

    There you go.

  119. C

    I think arteta will take songs place in your team, but in a couple years , a midfield of JW/MVL/AOC.

  120. evil,
    cause it would mean we have third, and i prefer the prem to have control back of that trophi, ours next year

  121. C – do you know what is truly frightening about that team you picked? That midfield are all remarkably ‘complete’ players:

    Without the ball they can all do the breaking up & intercepting side of the game and they all know how to put in a proper challenge/tackle.

    With the ball they all possess the full range of distribution for the speed up the wings and overlapping mobile full backs – or cute balls into RVP.

    This would scarcely change were you to replace Jack for Arteta – though perhaps Jack’s tackling is more committed.

    The only question, one might ask, regards goal contributions but there is much to come from JW on this front- I have no doubt.

    I like it.

  122. @hunter

    You doubt he would spend but how can you say that and he bought Arshavin. O wait we were all just imagining that he spent that money or the 13M at the time for Nasri. Guess we were all decieved. Arsene along with Arsenal have stated that if they find a player worth the money they would spend it and you say you trust your manager and as will all money Arsenal I doubt we will ever know the true fee.

    Its all good wouldn’t want it anyway if it makes me have the thought process on things that you do.

  123. Anyone think that AW doing business early has something to do with the weak value of the euro?

  124. C | May 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    but konscielny is a totally different circumstance first of all …… without scouting and without any trials……one of the people in france that wenger possibly trusts with his eyes closed told him to get him…and when such people tell you to get a player you do it and ask questions later.

  125. Yogi’s Warrior | May 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    well the last muppets who went for the flavour of the month got carrol ………they also paid way over the odds …..

  126. Hunter – you’re dribbling drivel.

    Come back when you’ve sobered up.

  127. C | May 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    arshavin came with a 5,5 m payment up front and the rest in installments depending on appearances …the 15 million figure that the media quote does not exist ..

  128. @Dr Nick

    I think Arteta would come off the bench but i do think that there might be more rotation.

    I completely agree with you about all 3 being complete and IMO i think thats what Arsene is going for. With 3 complete players we would be able to press up higher up teh pitch and still have the defensive cover with players that can play both as you say “full range of distribution for the speed up the wings and overlapping mobile full backs – or cute balls into RVP.” I do think like you say with Arteta the game might slow a bit but it would be interesting to see Arteta pushed up higher as a do think that he can do the job.

    The worry would be goal’s from the midfield but i do think that say 15-20 from all 3 combined would be idea due to the improved goal scoring threat of the wings with Theo and the proficient and efficient Podolski.

    Say RVP gets 25-30 again next season, Podolski gets 15-25, Theo gets 10-15 that’s a good from your front men while getting a combined 10-20 from that midfield would be idea.

  129. keep walking jonny

  130. So Arteta is losing out despite being Arsenal’s best midfield player this season?

  131. There kis seriously no need to antagonise the situation jonny. You wouldnt catch me doing anything like that.


    I too think the lack of goals would be a serious concern with that team man. But it looks good. Jack will need time in order to fully get back to match fitness, might be a few more months still.

  132. @hunter

    your a walking contradiction my friend. You say “one of the people in france that wenger possibly trusts with his eyes closed told him to get him…and when such people tell you to get a player you do it and ask questions later.” but then you criticise for possibly spending 22M(a figure that hasn’t been confirmed and made up by the media) on a player that we have scouted .

    then you spat on about “arshavin came with a 5,5 m payment up front and the rest in installments depending on appearances …the 15 million figure that the media quote does not exist” but again don’t know the exact figure or contract they are talking about with M’villa unless you are a scout for Arsene who is trying to lead us all off.

  133. Ooo snappy comeback! How to recover from such a barbarous put-down?!

    Look you can’t expect anyone to take you seriously when you repeatedly dismiss a player (who you clearly know little about) and then insist it is solely a concoction of the media in spite of the fact it is common knowledge Wenger has been interested in the player for ages.

    Don’t blame other people for the fact you are making yourself sound foolish.

  134. Fuck of Dex! 😉

  135. *off*

    Dammit! 😀

  136. Jack (when back to full fitness) could take Song’s place in yiur midfield and Oxlade-Chamberlain takes Jack’s forward midfield slot. Arteta could play the other slot too. There are many permitations;

    -Arteta – Jack
    —- Arshavin—
    Song – Rosicky
    –Oxo Kid–

  137. @Dexter
    Yea Jack will need time and thats why i also spoke of Arteta and LIl Mozart because the fact that they are proven and if need be and probably throughout the season will play massive roles they can do it and not diminish the level of play. Teh odd man out is going to be Ramsey who i do think should go out on loan as I did this year until Cesc and Na$ri left and then the rash of injuries.

  138. Haha! Jonny!

    In the interrests of conciliation I am going to suggest that what Hiunter meant in his earlier posts was that M’Villa is the media’s flavour of the month and is another over hyped, over priced average player a la most of the signings made by Dagliesh.

  139. I am not sure if M’Vila is already at the level that Arteta is. From my point of view, M’Vila seems a bit limited on the offensive side, compared to any of our other midfielders, but he might be the strongest defensively. I believe that next year we’ll see a familiar starting midfield with Song – Arteta – Rosicky, but that might change over the course of the season. I feel that a midfield of Song and M’Vila behind whoever spearheads our attack would be far too defensive to be used against most teams. But I firmly believe that M’Vila will be the first on the bench

  140. C

    I think, all things going well, that Aaron will be fine next season. He wont have as much responsibility resting on his shoulders as he has had this season.

  141. @Dexter | May 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Thus making Hunter sound even more ignorant for comparing Daglish’s scouting to that of Wenger(not saying he gets it right all the time but…) since Daglish bought Henderson, Adams, Suarez, Carrol, Downing and Wenger bought Arteta, Mert, Santos, Ox, Jenks, Gervinho

  142. Having a midfiuelder who is more defensive than offensive works for me Evil!

    That midfield trio again lacks goals for me. Unless we have 3 forwards who can guarantee us pelanty of goals then, oh wait! We’ll have Theo, RvP and Lukas!

    Case closed! 🙂

  143. Billy's Boots

    Good post, YW.

    It seems to me that ‘versatility’ may be becoming a key part of the club’s strategy.

    Song can play DM with the best of them, and we know he can also open up a defence with a pass like very few others. With M’Villa in the side, Song can go forward knowing that there is someone to anchor the midfield. Podolski provides similar versatility in that he can play wide or in the middle. Le Coq, AOC, TV5 have all done reasonably well (if not better) playing multiple positions this year. Walcott, as we all know, would love a chance to play in the middle (as, surely, would Arshavin).

    Perhaps this strategy (if it is one, and not just a coincidence) is AW’s way of getting strength in depth without having to (or being able to) spend hundreds of millions like Citeh.

  144. @Evil
    I dont know about Song and M’villa playing together as to defensive as Song does have 15 assist this season not to mention countless others that were missed. M’villa is interesting because for Rennes he plays as their lone steel but for France he not only breaks up play but is fantastic offensively with his distribution.

    I agree with you but I wouldn’t mind seeing him go out on loan and be able to play a full season and develop i.e. Jack and Song

  145. @Dexter
    I feel that Song – Arteta – Rosicky is perfectly balanced. Both Song and Arteta are equally offensive and defensive in their work, while Rosicky is very strong in the tackle and willing to work hard defensively. On the other hand having a midfielder who can neither add goals nor assists (speaking about M’Vilas record over the past couple of years in league and national team) would disrupt that balance in my opinion. I think that he will have to develop further before he can be considered a definitive starter, but having someone like Arteta in the club will surely help him a lot in that regard.

  146. look c , spending 8 million for a player that wengers advisors told him on is not as criminal as spending 22 million ….. and by the way 8 million is within the bracket of spending arsenal has conducted the last 15 years or so ( highest still being wiltord i believe at close to 13m)

    the arguement that wenger has scouted him therefore he will be willing to pay the amount is a bit difficult for me to accept as wenger had also scouted eto drogba czech cristiano ronaldo etc etc etc etc…….

    now if kroenke has decided to appeal to the fans by allowing wenger the funds to do the deal that is a compeltely different story……..but ill believe it when i see it and if wenger trully pays 22million for any player then i guess he would opt for some SUPER PLAYMAKER instead of a dm…..

  147. Oi Wenger stop spending all that f**king money. 🙂

  148. Hunter it is 22 million yoys about 17.5 million pounds, Not so different to the cost of Wiltord (allowing for time span)

  149. Innit Dupsff, what the farkin ell is he doin splashin the cash like that! 🙂

  150. @hunter

    Again my friend you forget that Wenger paid 13M for Na$ri and no matter how you look at it $15M of Arshavin. Again if you remember with Cristiano Ronaldo Arsene was all in before(and only him and Fergie really know) something happened and he went to Manure. Again unless your an inside source it actually makes pretty perfect sense to spend the money on a player that is very Viera and from all publications can be better than Viera to shield the back 4 thus allowing our AM and fowards and even CM to play with more freedom. It seems in the system we play that 2 of the most crucial positions are AM and DM and while Song is the best DM in the PL he came to us as an AM who happen to be a bully and thus now is becoming the perfect CM. AM we have Rosicky and i envision Jack filling that role so why not. but like i said you must be on Arsene’s pay roll and have insider information that we dont.

  151. Even more rumours today about another big signing. I hope we get it all over before Euro2012 then we can all relax for the summer

  152. i disagree on the 15m figure for arshavin…nasri was wonderkid of marseille.. little zidanne they called him there ……again different circumstances…

    and if mvilla was really better than vieira he would have already been at arsenal …..

    and i insist …we have 4 or 5 players who can play dm…..other than rosicky who can create in this squad ? rosicky is 31-32 and plays 2 good games and 7 bad ones……

  153. Yogi:

    Another great post. If there is such a thing as a blogosphere deity then you are that higher being.

    I can’t believe that anyone would say anything bad about Pat Rice. Its just silly. I have said many times that I would like to see the boss freshen up his coaching staff but that does not mean there is anything wrong with any of the individuals he has. Just a group dynamic that needs some new blood I think. I hope Pat get a fantastic send off and he has an even more fantastic retirement.

    If we really sign M’Villa, I for one will be ecstatic. Getting 2 top notch signings before the season is finished, especially one like M’Villa who hopefully signals a renewed emphasis on our defensive solidarity. It also seems to signal a change in our policy of ultrafrugality. I am getting goose bumps already. I love the smell of new signings in the morning.

    I think we will come out in Saturday’s game and win comfortably against the Baggies. (I love that name). A brace for RVP to finish an incredible season for him.

  154. arsenalandrew

    MORE rumours, Dups? ANOTHER big signing?!!

    Despite the cold and the rain this is already turning into the longest summer and the season’s not even over yet!!

  155. I see Hunter is back making outlandish posts and spouting “facts” as only he knows them. The joy.

    I wonder what he will make of it if indeed we do sign M’Villa for the prices been bandied about? After all he said Wenger would have more sense than that.

  156. I don’t know much about M’Villa other than he is highly rated. People should really stop saying he is “better than Vieira” though as that is a bit daft. PV4 was possibly the greatest ever midfielder in the PL. Certainly in the top 5.

    I hope we sign him.

  157. GA

    It was Desailly who said he was better than Vieira. Maybe he meant at his age.

  158. gonnerandy if we indeed sign mvilla it will tell us that kroenke has decided to give wenger the keys to the vault……….. nothing else ……

    and if were gonna start spending 22 million for defensive midfeilders then i expect us to also make 30 and 40 million deals for the acms and future strikers we might get.

    who needs usmanov when you got silent stan heh ……

  159. Do they smell like victory Bill? 🙂

    Hunter – “2 good 7 bad”??!!!!

    Rosicky has been fabulous pretty much all season – he’s also defied medical science by proving himself able to play massively more than anyone thought possible. His consistency, especially in the second half of the season has been one of the most joyous things to watch this season – do you even watch this team?

    Just wait till Stew reads those words!

    Moving on – as for the discussion regarding offensive/defensive side to MVila – he is certainly not limited offensively but he doesn’t go on the kind of forays, or the expansive game, we see increasingly from Song.

    AW has said in the past that you have to play to a player’s strengths – with this in mind he cannot be unaware that Song is simply NOT a DM.

    Signing MVila would be tacit admission of that and that AW believes that this side needs one and would herald his liberation from this shackling tag.

    Of course no one knows for sure if this deal will happen (it may even depend on Sunday’s outcome) but it is certainly entirely plausible and I do not think the price is remotely outlandish. But then, unlike Hunter, I have actually seen him play quite a few times.

  160. @Hunter
    Hows it different circumstances, Na$ri was wonderkid of Marseille and M’villa is the wonderkid of Rennes…both sought after players at a young age from Ligue 1 with tremendous talent not to mention tremendous potential. Same circumstance.

    If you recall last summer Arsene tried to sign him but Rennes said he’s not for sale not to mention there was rumours he didn’t want to leave due to the Euro’s like so many players such as our own Arshavin(wanted to do anything to make sure he could be fit and ready for his country). We have 4 or 5 plays, im just gunna try and think logical right now. Le Coq could do a job there i will give you that as he has shown but his versatility and the fact that he is so young and we have needed him in other places such as RB. Frimpong, isn’t quite ready and even Wenger was the one who made that decision by sending him on loan which i expet will happen again. Maybe Diaby but he can’t seem to stay healthy long enough to put together 60 mins let alone a full 90, should i continue. Whats wrong with having a world class talent as a DM and then hav a world class Alex Song. You are probably the same person who has been criticising Arsene for not spending money and now that he is your questioning him because of who he is signing. I can think of 4 or 5 play makers: Lil Mozart, Arteta, Jack, Ox, RVP, Song.

  161. Evil:

    In a team with as much technical skill and passing ability as we have we surely could afford to have one player who wasn’t as good in that aspect but excels at defending. We have taken great pains to have the “balanced” team and balanced players you describe for the last several years and the results have been mixed. Hopefully, (at least from my point of view) this would signal a slight shift in our philosophy. We will always be an attacking team and Arsene always will have an attacking ethos but a little more pragmatism with regard to conceding fewer goals seems reasonable does it not?

  162. Rosicky has been fabulous pretty much all season –

    no not all season …only in the last 1/4 of the campaign and more precicely when arshavin got sent back to russia ……….. alarm and wake up call from arsene ….. 😉

  163. @Jonny
    I wonder how often you’ve seen M’Vila play? From what I gathered, he has no eye whatsoever for goal. I am not even sure if he has ever scored from open play in his career. Of course, scoring goals is not everything when it comes to being offensive, but from the 5 or so games I’ve seen him play in this year, he seems to be a player that poses little to no danger going forward. I just think that he has to work on that part of his game before we can consider him a worthy successor to someone like Arteta.

  164. @Jonny
    I’m glad you made reference to Hunter’s Rosicky comment as he was part of the run were we beat Milan, Spuds and Newcastle which would make 3 good one’s plus played well against Manshiteh and Manure.

    People let us not all forget that Hunter really is an Arsenal insider on Arsene’s books probably 1 of his most trusted scouts thus his wealth of information and facts.

  165. @Bill
    No. Playing Song and Arteta together has seen us concede few enough goals. It was only when we had to play differently because one or the other was out that we leaked more.

  166. Dups – Yeah maybe.

    Hunter – You can’t assume that it has anything at all to do with Kroenke. Maybe Arsene just rates this guy really highly and is happy to spend that amount on him?

    Jonny – Can’t agree there mate. Rosicky was not that great during the first half of the season at all. The 2nd half has been a differnt matter though; he has been fantastic.

  167. I am all for signing a midfielder who is more defensive. We leak too many goals; the signing makes perfect sense.

  168. Hunter
    Ma man, you dug yourself a hole yet you are still digging – just stop now.

  169. We have looked shaky since Arteta’s injury.

    Rosicky has been great almost the entire season hunter, now you are pissing me off too man! 🙂

    I think (I know its speculation) a midfield triumverate (sp.) of M’Villa – Song and Arshavin would be f**king immense! 😀

  170. The Real Stew Black

    First name on the team sheet? Mikel Arteta.
    (they don’t bother putting Robin down that’s just a given)

  171. @Khalifha

    I completely agree with you!

  172. M’villa is the wonderkid of Rennes

    first time i hear that.

    as for the comment ” You are probably the same person who has been criticising Arsene for not spending money and now that he is your questioning him because of who he is signing.”

    can i ask you something ? do you see me undermining you in any of my posts ? do you see me creating my own conclusions about your way of thought ? or your background or misrepresenting what youve said ? or doubting what you may know ?

    where do comments like that come from ? you are assuming there my friend, youre making hypothetical statements ” you are probably the same perso who has been ..” ygi did it too with konscielny ……funny trend there…..

    lol if you knew anything about my personal views youd know that whether wenger spends or not is not his decission but the decission of the owners ….but anyway you can continue with whatever you got on your mind …….

  173. The Real Stew Black

    Anyway can’t stop and read this transfer stuff, don’t know why but it makes my scalp crawl. hate discussing it. I’m going to spend the afternoon perfecting Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder on the bass guitar.
    See y’all.

  174. I think if you had to rely on the media you wouldn’t have rated Koscielny till 2/3rds through this season. Likewise you wouldnt have noticed how well Tomas was playing either till quite recently.

  175. Nice way to spend the rest of the afternoon I must say Steww

  176. hahah yeah right i dug a hole becuase i dont belive its prudent we should spend 22 for a dm when the best creator in our side is semi crippled and approaching 32? ok fair enough


  177. pedantic george

    “..other than rosicky who can create in this squad ? rosicky is 31-32 and plays 2 good games and 7 bad ones…”

    Never mind Stew.Jonny,…………..
    Hunter,2 days ago I said I missed you .
    And you post shit like this?
    Since the Spurs home game he has been the best mid field player in the country.He as not had a bad seven minutes let alone 7 bad games.
    I think you have missed the shift in Arsene’s thinking.M’Villa is much more likely to be bought for about £17 million than a show pony like Hazard at considerably more.
    Please don’t make me look stupid for supporting you,by talking absolute crap.

  178. Limestonegunner

    We’re getting involved in a silly little tizzy here about a possible signing. No need to bandy about on a big hypothetical with someone whose rhetoric is deliberately antagonistic. The only thing relevant for me at this point in the discussion is to observe how much hunter’s rhetoric mirrors the doomers on the other side of his special coin of extremism. He’s left him really open when he said at the very end of yesterday’s comments:
    “22 million euros ? for mvilla…..does wenger have a ” eff me” tattoo on his forehead ? stop dreaming…if wenger actually pays 22 million euros for some guy from rennes then he has trully lost the plot..and i dont think he has”.

    So if it is true and AW ends up signing him for a reportedly hefty fee, what then Hunter? I invite you to come on here and start abusing the manager, because that’s essentially what you are doing with such disrespectful language only very thinly covered by “I don’t think he has”. And nice try with the, it only means Kroenke has loosened the purse strings line–thin veneer again. We can’t draw that conclusion just to save you from making foolish statements. Don’t let ideology and pride cloud your judgment. Just admit you went over the top to try and rubbish the rumour. Some of your fans will forgive you then.

    For the record, I doubt the rumour is true myself even though I believe that AW might indeed have been interested in him last year. I’ll be delighted if it happens but there is the important matter of winning our game at WBA and qualifying for third. Once we do that, I’ll be more inclined to believe we can recruit other players of this calibre more easily and that we’ll feel assured that we have the CL income to help pay for it.

    Save your ammo for the crazies who will be out in force if that doesn’t happen.

  179. pedantic george

    “no not all season …only in the last 1/4 of the campaign and more precicely when arshavin got sent back to russia ……….. alarm and wake up call from arsene ….. ”
    Fucking Hell you are getting worse.
    Arshavin was allowed to go ,not sent packing.
    Which I am beginning to think is what will shortly happen to you.

  180. Calling any Arsenal player a cripple is way out of line.

    Yellow card! 🙂

  181. Limestonegunner

    And clearly the loss of Arteta is affecting our team play. The big issue right now is whether we need to make any adjustments to recapture the fluidity Arteta’s recycling of possession has typically given us.

    For me the decision is: do we start Jenks at RB and Coquelin in midfield to bring that dimension back. Can Coquelin do some of what Arteta does, or Song with Coquelin doing heavy defensive duty? Actually, Song is excellent at holding the ball-despite players ganging up on him– using his immense strength, but he’s less good at keeping it moving quickly. I’d have Coquelin try that perhaps. It just isn’t Ramsey’s game and Coquelin has fresh energy. If he hadn’t missed the last several weeks but had been playing a bit more, I’d feel more comfortable. I love his passion, energy, and drive–quite a good passer too–but he’s very experienced and this is a pressure filled game.

    Tough one–thoughts on this?

  182. so if i get this right …napoli are mugs who paid ONLY 12 million for a ready experienced midfield dog like inler who is 26 – 27 by the way ( the perfect age) and wenger and arsenal will pay 22million for a 21 year old in rennes who dessaily says is better than vieira ?


    how much did city pay for yaya toure again ? oh look ..its 24 ..for an expereinced champions league and la liga winner but sure lets give it to rennes for their 21 year old wonderkid … ……..


  183. “the important matter of winning our game at WBA and qualifying for third. Once we do that, I’ll be more inclined to believe we can recruit other players of this calibre more easily and that we’ll feel assured that we have the CL income to help pay for it.
    Save your ammo for the crazies who will be out in force if that doesn’t happen.”

    I agree thank you for bringing me back!

  184. lol george ..come on ..i love the russian too …but wenger had enough and told both of them to own up or eff off …. the russian went to save his euro campaign and the czech decided to work a bit …

  185. Rosicky was actually very important during our CL campaign. He played in most of the games and was good at linking up with Beny. But obviously only in his natural position he could show his true quality.

  186. I can’t believe that I won’t be able to attend the last ga,me of the season! It is going to kill me as it is, but relying on sky sports, or the BBC will mean 2 hours of torture!!! Hopefully I will be near a laptop so i can post on here and at least have some good banter to take my mind off things.

    Thats assuming George and hunter are otherwise engaged! 🙂

  187. Limestone – Yeah, I thought that as well. Jenks to full back and Le Coq into midfield. It would mean 2 changes of position though, and is Jenks or Le Coq even match fit after so little action recently? I suspect Ramsey will start again with Le Coq (or even Djourou) at full back.

  188. Limestonegunner

    Why get wrapped up in the where would M’Vila play and with whom hypothetical controversy? At the very least, he adds to our depth in an area we could use. Just look how knackered Song is–how many games has that fellow played! And now that we have Arteta, it is the perfect circumstance for young central midfielders to learn from. With our injuries, how often is this a real question anyway!?! Get a grip folks–there are far more important issues to discuss right now.

  189. We need to score about 15-20 more goals and we need to knock off the same number in the conceeded tally – to that end we have signed what i believe to be a 15-20 goal striker and a defensive midfielder (possibly!) whos raison d’etre on the football pitch is to shield the defense and keep the ball moving while letting the offensive players do their thing. Approx 30 mil in transfer fees for 2 full internationals in early and mid 20s respectively – good business in todays market by anyones standards….surely?

  190. Hunter – You have no idea of what (if anything) Wenger said to AA and Rosicky. AA was let out on loan as things were not working for him and it was unlikly he was going to get much game time I would wager. It was still a strange decision really. Rosicky? Where do you get that Wenger even held a conversation with him? The same place as normal……your mind.

  191. Limestone

    IF Arsene was to play Jemkison at RB, although he has not played much, he is very athletic and TALL, which could aslso be important given how they are good at set pieces (well against anyways) that would allow Coquelin to partner Song and Rosicky in midfield, which I would be in favour of.

    However, i am not sure the boss would want to have that many raw recruits in the team for such a must win game?

  192. Limestonegunner

    GA, I agree it is less likely and Ramsey will probably start. But I’d definitely prefer Coquelin at RB over Djourou. We need to attack and LeCoq gives us more there and Djourou will be on the bench in case of problems for Verm and Kos–I’d rather not shuffle the back line in case of that–fewer changes in the middle of the game the better. Last time that happened we gave up a quick goal because we were still getting organized and used to where we were playing.

  193. We need to score about 15-20 more goals and we need to knock off the same number in the conceeded tally – to that end we have signed what i believe to be a 15-20 goal striker and a defensive midfielder (possibly!) whos raison d’etre on the football pitch is to shield the defense and keep the ball moving while letting the offensive players do their thing. Approx 30 mil in transfer fees for 2 full internationals in early and mid 20s respectively – good business in todays market by anyones standards….surely?

  194. pedantic george

    Hunter ,Bollocks.
    As soon as you profess to know what was on Arsene’s or the players lose all credibility.
    In fact you are doing nothing more than making shit up.
    There is nothing worse than listening to people who think they know what has been said ,by whom ,and to who.
    It is utter utter tosh.

    Dexter,fuck a duck,again.

  195. @Limestonegunner | May 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Le Coq man that position but his inexperience is something that I think could work in our favor as he has shown little fear. I wouldn’t mind maybe Benayoun in that position or since more than likely we do need the 3 points and will be going for the win maybe Rosicky and the Ox with Theo and Gervinho outside. I think the Ox played really well in that position against Milan and i think he could do the job and then when he does get tired bring on Benayoun or Ramsey to help soldify the midfield at the end. what do you think

  196. pedantic george

    Oh ,I see Andy beat me to the punch.

  197. Yeah Hunter don’t make George look stupid – it’s not only cruel but you’re also putting him out of a full time job. 😀

  198. Paulie Walnuts

    Anyone thought about the possiblity of makeweights in any M`Vila deal ?

    Squilly perhaps. Or maybe someone like Diaby on loan to find some form & fitness (not Le Coq though please). Even Gervinho now we`ve got Junior Hoillet coming in could be an option.

  199. Deise; Agreed.


    Yeah, it has to be Coquelin at RB, if Jenks is not given the nod. How long did he play on Saturday? Must have been nearly an hour (was it?). He should be fit enough for next week.

  200. @Evil – I’ve seen him 2 or 3 times – no more than that. I was visiting friends in Paris and watched his stand out performance against Luxembourg last year – completed something ridiculous like 90% of his passes. His passing really is as standout as his defensive side.

    At Rennes he is deliberately pegged back and is an incredible defensive shield – he might have the ability to score goals but I don’t think I’ve once seen him have a go.

    Never did Makalele any harm.

    @Paulie – I’d forgotten we even had Squilly! Literally!

  201. pedantic george

    “We need to score about 15-20 more goals and we need to knock off the same number in the conceeded tally ”

    Ha ha ,fucking genius.
    That will definitely do the trick.Such a simple game.

  202. Limestonegunner

    Dexter, that’s what I alluded to in terms of LeCoq’s inexperience. He would have been in a better position to start if he had played more over the last couple of months while he was out injured.

    Probably too risky, but so far without Arteta our midfield has not looked dominant in either possession, defending/organizing ahead of the front 4, or in creating.

    Rosicky is the exception and has been playing well but needs a good platform behind him. Frankly our creation has come from the wings, I’d say. Fullbacks and forwards combining and cutting inside to play with Rosicky very far forward. I don’t recall as much building through the middle, but I could be misremembering our patterns of play.

    I might start Theo and Benayoun but plan to bring the Ox and Gervinho on for one or the other. Theo’s got to be a bit rusty–so we could also bring him off the bench and start one of these ahead of him.

    I can’t help but feel that with his improving performances the last two games as a sub, that if we are chasing, we will definitely see Chamakh. How great would it be for him to get a big goal in the box or set something up for RvP by making space and pulling the defence to him with his aerial or hold up play?

  203. Evil @ 2:44:

    Song and Arteta have been together most of the season and the goals against column still paints a rather bleak picture. You can come up with rationalizations to explain everything, and even I will admit that there are some mitigating factors this season, but haven’t we been looking at this whole issue with our rationalization headset on for enough years now? I don’t know if M’Villa is limited attack wise but lets be honest. We play well at the back for stretches every season but several years of history shows that sooner or later our urge to get forward gets the better of us and we loose our organization and thus we are consistently inconsistent.

    We should be able to have 1 or 2 players in the first 11 who mainly focus on defensive solidarity. If having one “defensive minded” player limits our ability to score goals then we need to change our attacking tactics because they are far too fragile to hold up over the course of a season.

  204. Deise – I would agree with that. It will definatly be good business if it goes through. If we manage to tie down the players at the end of the contracts we will be set for the new season and will get a full pre-season without any disruptions for a change.

    Can’t see us making many more signings after that. A left back would be nice, but not essential.

  205. Limestonegunner

    C–that is an excellent point. Coquelin seems made of stern stuff and might play with more freedom and boldness and without expectations. The last thing we need is the infernal handbrake that comes on when we get nervous and worry about making mistakes rather than taking the game to the opposition with quick decisions and move the ball and ourselves around the pitch decisively.

  206. There’s no need for any gung ho shit from the off next week. If we can stay solid and stifle whatever attack WBA try and muster for long enough, the crowd will quieten down and the Baggies will be happy enough to play out the last game of the season before their jollies. Pairing Song with Rosicky with Benayoun infront would probably be my fisrt choice, although I like the idea of the Oxo kid there too. Thats assuming Theo and Gervinho are on the flanks.

  207. pedantic george

    “Even Gervinho now we`ve got Junior Hoillet coming in could be an option.”

    He is not good enough IMO.
    Anyway where is that coming from?A Sky Sports source?

  208. Bill – Decent points. It would be all too easy to think that we conceed too many as we are too attacking, but yet we never top the goalscoring charts at the end of the season.

  209. Limestonegunner

    Nice thinking there Paulie. But you know we might have to subsidize the wages very, very heavily. Rennes is a small club and those players are making hefty sums by Ligue 1 small club standards.

  210. pedantic george

    Bill,I would be very interested to see what the goal against column looks like for the games where Song and Arteta have played in front of a balanced back 4.(ie with fullbacks)
    I would be willing to bet it is considerably less than a goal per game.

  211. A left back Andy??? Surely a new tea lady is the number one priority?

    Seriously, a fucking left back?

    We need back up to Szczesny and you want a left back???

    Sorry for using up all your question marks Jon Jon BTW! 🙂

  212. Limestonegunner

    Dex, I have not seen Benayoun play effectively in central midfield. The times he has played well are left in the front three. Can you remember an outstanding game in midfield?

  213. I see it is back to ganging up against hunter13 .It was just his opinion whether right or wrong and he is entitled as much as anyone else.Come to think of it anything as far as transfers are concerned is opinion and hearsay until the player puts pen to paper and the club confirms or unveils him.

    Whichever player the club chooses to buy whether known or unknown and either for peanuts or whatever top dollar I will trust them to do what is needed to be done.

    Still crossing my fingers on the last game of the season, us being us and the football gods almost always screwing us up I am a tad nervous but hopefully Darius, Kenyan gunner and I cheering together will see us through! 😀 hopefully it wont turn out to be another of the infamous meetups where we end up watching the game at the same place and not finding each other (Limestone, Irishgray, Consols, matt and yogi know What I am talking about lol)

    Fungunner so cool that you have been to East Africa,where in particular if I may ask?

  214. Paulie

    Can’t see Hoillet coming in at all. He’s over 21 so counts as non-homegrown and until players such as Vela, Squillaci and others are removed from the squad, there simply isn’t the space with Podolski and potentially M’vila coming in. Bendtner and Denilson are both homegrown but presumably won’t be staying.

  215. @Bill
    I actually checked the numbers and with Song and Arteta both playing, we conceded ~0,9 goals a game, which I think is okay by most standards. My point is that we don’t need to improve on when Arteta and Song are both playing, because that’s a very balanced combination both defensively as well as going forward. But M’Vila allows us more flexibility in the game plan.

  216. Limestone

    We dont need an outstanding performnace though man, we need a solid one. At least for the 1st half anyways!

  217. First Lady

    It’s not so much his opinion that gets people’s back up, the manner of delivery that causes him all sorts of trouble.

  218. Yogi

    Is Hoilett not considered homegrown then?

  219. pedantic george

    Oh evil has sort of done the job .
    Evil could you do it again and just for the games where we had fullbacks in the team?

  220. Dex – A tea lady? All those dirty foreign types don’t drink tea so there is no longer any need for a tea lady 😉

    Yeah, you are right; if Fabianski goes we will need a back up to Tech9. Promotion from within maybe. I say a left back as whilst liking Santos I am not 100% convinced, and I don’t think Gibbs is good enough for Arsenal’s No1 left back. I know plenty do, but that is just my take on it. Not essential mind, both are decent enough players.

    Limestone – Benayoun himself has said he prefers playing in the wide area’s and does not see himself as a central midfielder. Rosicky has been in excellent form as our advanced midfielder so why change it?

  221. pedantic george

    Firstlady,pretending to know what has been said and by whom,is not an opinion.Its stupidity.

  222. Don’t worry about JJ’s question marks…it’s…the…ellipsis…that…he…lives…for.

  223. Evil – Also, somebody like M’Villa would provide competition for Song. Something he does not really have at the moment, and something every player should have.

  224. Limestonegunner

    Agreed, GA, but tell Dexter. He thinks we don’t need to be more than solid for the first half.

  225. We dont really have many options for the most forward attack minded midfielder do we? Thats probably why we could do with one, IF Arshavin doesnt return, or indeed if he does and Arsene doesnt want to play him there. Rosicky as the most forward option is the most likely, but I am assuming Ramsey won’t play due to being out of sorts. That leaves Yossi and Alex O-C.

    As for left backs;

    Santos was immense before his injury and I expect him to start on Sunday. Gibbs will be good enough.

  226. Limestone;

    We could always replicate the 1st half from Saturday for you man? Is that what you want, coz that’s what’ll happen! 🙂

  227. The same as most weeks. If we put in a performance, the formation/team selection will not matter. We are easily good enough to win regardless of personnel. It all depends if the players can be arsed, and bother to concentrate and apply themselves for the full 90mins.

  228. The Real Stew Black

    Right done that. Any other bas lines anyone can think of would be fun to learn?

  229. george, it is a simple game – those are the targets we have to aim for if we want to be on a par with the 2 manchester clubs this season – of course its easier said than done, but Polsi and M’Vila would certainly go a long way to helping that, woudnt you agree???

    I thought Hoillet would be homegrown as he was trained at blackburn from his teens??

  230. Yogi/George I try to keep out of the transfer sagas as much as I can because 90% of the time the rumours turn out to be bollocks.Maybe I should have stayed out of this one.

    “pretending to know what has been said and by whom,is not an opinion.Its stupidity”. and pretending to know what will happen in the future without first hand information is what exactly?

  231. The Real Stew Black


  232. @PG
    In games with full backs playing on both sides (Jenks/Sagna or Gibbs/Kos) and Song/Arteta both playing in midfield we conceded about 0,75 goals. But we had such a team available for less than half of the matches in the league.

  233. Firstlady

    That was what Hunter was doing, not george having a pop at you BTW.


    You know ‘Expnasions’ By Lonnie Liston Smith?

  234. Not Kos but Santos, obviously ~_~

  235. Santos has this bizzare style of tacking where he just dives in very quickly. More often than not he has gotten the ball so far, but I do think he will get caught out doing this. And when he does he will be out of the game as he committs to the tackle 100%. It is the exact sort of thing you are coached not to do as a full back.

    I do like him though.

    Gibbs is a decent enough player, but not nasty/aggresive enough to be a defender. i just don’t see him as our long term No1 left back. Hopefully he will prove me wrong.

  236. Steww – “Hit the City” by Mark Lanegan has a great little Bass riff. Pretty easy to pick up as well.

  237. Don’t worry, he will!

    So Santos is too aggressive and Gibbs too much of a wuss. Hmmm, interesting. 🙂

  238. pedantic george

    Yes Evil,thanks.
    That is exactly what I suspected .
    Have you seen that Bill ?
    That would be about 30 goals against in a season.Which is mid way between City and United.

  239. First lady – with respect, none of us are claiming that this will go ahead or to know what will happen. We’re just having fun discussing the possible ramifications and sharing info one a player who even if he does not arrive is certainly a player Wenger has been coveting.

    I’m not sure if you have read the exchange or just skimmed but Hunter really has brought these responses on his own head.

    I’m not quite sure why you think this many reasonable people would collectively gang up on someone just for kicks…?

  240. Dexter – Nah, not too aggressive, he just over commits himself with his mad tackling style. Fulls backs can never be too aggressive.

  241. I cant remember who mentioned us not being aggressive enough in extending player contracts and suggested starting talks when it is two or so years before it ends, in my opinion it really doesnt matter when talks begin as the Cesc saga taught us, even if a player has a 6yr contract and we want to keep him or he wants to stay if all parties involved are not happy it wont matter a jot.

  242. Evil

    Thios are very interesting and promising stats man. Wonder what Bill will make of em?

    I think if Santos had not have had that awful injury, his abilities would not even be a discussion topic. I still find it hard to understand why you don’t see how good he is? With Gibbs, the only downside i see is impetuousness which may be as a result of a desire to try and make up for lost time. But again, for me, he has all the attributes required to be a great LB for us for many years. Him and Andre are a great asset to the squad.

  243. The Real Stew Black

    Thanks guys will look into both

  244. George/Evil – But it is no good saying how we might have done with a full strength side, because that rarely happens in a season. Both Manure and City have also had their fair share of injury problems throughought the season. It is how you cope with these injuries that is the deal breaker.

  245. GA; Well, I hope he can be persuaded to leave those risky manouveures out for next season.

  246. George and Evil @ 3:28:

    No doubt we have played better during the games those 2 have been together but if we fall to pieces when they are not available then we have problems. A few thoughts.

    1) What percentage of games are both healthy? Arteta’s injury history has never been great. Does not mean he is a crock but it is a concern.
    2) Song will probably go to ACN this season.
    3) We have seen this sort of statistical anomalies before. We had a run last year where the defense was totally dominant when Djourou played. Do you really believe that was due to Djourou or the fact that the whole team happen to be switched on during that stretch. The latter is clearly much more likely.
    4)The fact that we have struggled with arteta out is partly due to his absense but I think but more related to the whole team losing focus and organization. If we are dependent on one specific midfielder to organize our defense then we are in big trouble. You can say that Man City had the same issue with Ya Ya during the ACN. However, they started out on an incredible run and just like any team they were due for a bad stretch and it does not mean their struggles during that time were all related to Ya Ya’s absense. Same logic with us and Arteta.

    I think Arteta is an excellent player and has been a superb addition but the bottom line is that even with him this season we have not been good enough at preventing goals. M’Villa seems like he could be an excellent addition to our team and hopefully help us with the improve the part of our game that has been by far our biggest issue for many years now.

  247. Andy

    I doubt anyone’s lost all 4 of their fullbacks for such a lengthy time before though. The signing of another DM makes all the more sense then doesnt it given our propensity for injury?

  248. Firstlady – “even if a player has a 6yr contract and we want to keep him or he wants to stay if all parties involved are not happy it wont matter a jot.

    Can’t agree with that. Of all teams, the Spuds showed how that situation should be dealt with in the summer with Modric. You are our player, you are under contract, and there have been no bids to match our valuation of you. Ergo, you are staying. Now be professional and get on with your job.

  249. pedantic george

    Firstlady .
    If you can find a post where I am ” pretending to know what will happen in the future without first hand information” I will ware the cloak of shame.

  250. Dex – I don’t see him changing so much at his age. Great when it comes off though.

    I agree that we was really unlucky to lose all of our full backs. I also agree that signing a DM is definately a step in the right direction. I am all for it.

  251. Looked into the France v Luxembourg game of last year – he really did run the show that day.

    M’Vila completed 92.5 percent of his 134 attempted passes in a 2–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying win over Luxembourg – the best by any France player in an international match since 2006.

  252. Johnny one man’s madness is another’s genius or something to that effect.

    “I’m not sure if you have read the exchange or just skimmed but Hunter really has brought these responses on his own head.”

    To answer your question I didnt just skim through the comments I read all of them so I am sure of what I am on about.

    “I’m not quite sure why you think this many reasonable people would collectively gang up on someone just for kicks…?”

    reasonable is quite subjective, atleast I think so and yes some people would gang up on someone just for kicks not specifically on this case but it has been known to happen.

  253. Bill

    The ACN is every 2 years (should be 4 but hey, thank that twat Blatter for that!), so Song won’t be flying off anywhere next winter.

  254. pedantic george

    Andy ,
    Your ability to state the obvious is staggering.
    I know very well every team gets injuries,My point was that for Bill to say Song and Arteta together had not prevented a poor goal against column was irrelevant if you are counting the games that they didn’t play together in.How can they be held responsible for them?

  255. pedantic george

    Dexter ,Keep up .There is a ACN next year .It is to put it in between Euros and WC from here on in(as it should have been).

  256. George that wasnt aimed at you specifically but I am sure you have seen it happen here afew times, makes me wonder if some people are psychics or if they work at Arsenal coz they say some things as if they were fact, worst part of it is even when they are proved to be wrong over and over again they rarely if ever admit to being wrong.

  257. If you rad all the posts 1stlady, then you will have seen that hunter was given ample time and encouragment to change tack or leave that particular thread altogether. Even when Yogi threatened him (nicely mind) with expulsion, he revelled in it and carried on.

    If anything, it should be him who you virtually take outside and give a good kicking to, not George, or Jonny.

  258. @Bill
    1)Song/Arteta have been starting together in 26 of our league games this season. Individually, both of them have started more than 30.

    2) True, he was gone this season, too. As you might’ve noticed, I wasn’t against M’Vila, I even said that signing him would give us more options in the long run. My point was that M’Vila shouldn’t replace either Song or Arteta because I feel that with him playing we would be too defensive-minded and have a midfield that’s lacking goals and assists. Until he develops into a more balanced player, he should be an option to use when we need a more defensive shape or in case of injury. Song and Arteta are as good a midfield partnership as we’ve had since Flamini/Cesc. It shouldn’t be broken up to blunten our attacking edge.

    3) Conjecture for which you have no factual evidence whatsoever. Or how would you explain that the same players would suddenly “switch off” with Squillaci playing?

    4) What kind of argumentation is “they were due a bad stretch of form”. Are you seriously saying that any problems City had with Yaya out where down to them “being due a bad stretch”?

  259. George

    NEXT YEAR? LIke in 2013? So not THIS winter???

  260. blimey First Lady, even I skim read some of them!

  261. @Dex
    Unfortunately, 2013. Yes, it’s idiocy. No, we can’t do anything against it.

  262. “Hats off to the Rovers fan who ran onto the pitch during the Wigan game and threw his season ticket at the (wrong) dugout.

    In the final home game of the season, it was quite the meaningful protest”


  263. Thanks Evil

  264. Evil –
    Song M’Vila

    is still a pretty well balanced midfield. Arteta can far more creative that he has been for us, and playing with those 2 would allow him to be.

  265. So, Song won’t be flying off halfway through a season then.

  266. @Deise
    What about Rosicky? In the form he has been in, I don’t think dropping him is an option.

  267. Dex:

    Everyone correct me if I am wrong but I thought they were having another ACN this year, for some unknown reason.

    Bottom line for me is that we have used this sort of logic for 5 years to explain why it will definitely be different next season. The scenarios we paint are always the same just the names of the players are different, but in end we have the same issues year after year. IMO its time to admit we need to be more pragmatic and less idealistic in our approach to defending. Mert was a step in the right direction and M’Villa sounds like a perfect DM who could compliment the technical excellence of the rest of our squad.

  268. @Evil don’t be ridonculous Rosicky has 2 good games and then 7 bad ones – everyone knows that.

    In fact the easiest thing to do would be drop Rosicky after 2 good games and play someone else for the next 7 and then bring Rosicky back for another 2.

    Hunter was right, this management thing is easy. 😉

  269. Evil

    Song M’Vila

    Song M’Vila

    Song Arteta

    M’Vila Arteta

    Song M’Vila

    etc etc etc

    take your pick

  270. Bill, you are correct. The next ACN is Jan/Feb next year (2013), in the middle of next season. As George said, it’s to put it on alternate years from the Euros and World Cup, so from then on it will be every two years, 2015, 2017, 2019 etc.

  271. Bill; I have no idea man? Not heard about an extra ACN being squeezed in.

    I think each season has been very different, ultimately we have fallen short for differing reasons IMO. We have no control over players being injured, or wanting to leave as well as loss of form. I do think we have made mistakes and they along with the other things mentioned have contributed to our lack of trophies.

    Then again, with what we have been through and achieved over the last 5=6 seasons, staying competitive is a massive achievement. I doubt many teams (without the aid of a sugar daddy) could have done as well.

    Its horses for courses Bill ol bean.

  272. The Real Stew Black

    Dex – that is a real good excercise for the fingers fast and up and down the strings – thanks
    G/Andy – like the filthy sound of that bass

  273. Its interesting that people keep saying that M’villa would make us to defensive yet he is an very good passer who is a great distributor. They say look at how many goals he hasn’t scored but as a defensive midfielder, I’m ok with that because he is our DM but think about it from this angle: maybe his passing would help us speed up play and say we play him Song(another very good passer) and 1 of Arteta/Lil Mozart/Jack, that would allow us to not only press higher up the pitch thus speeding up the tempo while still allowing M’villa to shield the back 4. We have all agreed that us playing at a higher tempo quick fluid passing and transitions from defense to offense is when Arsenal is at its best and most dangerous. This would allow 2 clinical finishers(Podolski and RVP) and 1 learning to be clinical but still provides assist(Theo) to have more chances while being even more dangerous.

  274. What is with this Song leaving talk? Come the heck on! We will have to deal with enough crap from others about players leaving, can we not add to that? No point in getting upset with the onslought of rumours, if we are going to create them.

  275. pedantic george


  276. pedantic george


  277. pedantic george

    NEED COVER!!!!!!

    you started shouting first

  278. Bill

    There is an ACN in 2013, re-arranging the football calendar on the continent. Apparently. Except nobody wants it bar Hayatou and even he’s disowning it.

  279. no george , respectfully, bollocks to the notion that the 30 plus yearolds will be carried by a 28 y.o van persie … if arshavin and rosicky dont own up and show the way to the rest who will do it? ramsey and coqlin ? or robin on his own ?….. rosicky had to feel the threat of being kicked out to start performing at the levels we know he can.

    now whether i was a witness of wenger;s conversation to them or how he put it across is irrelevant ….. ( im sure he did it in a civilised manner)… i see it on the pitch …my eyes are trained for such things you see … 😉

    if you think that wenger means walcott ( 23 y.o ) and a new transfer (gervinho) when he asks for people to help robin you are mistaken …the bell was ringing for arshavin and rosicky.. two exceptional talents and expereinced enough who for whatever reasons were not producing what they were capable of.

    i mean, considering their pedigree and their talent they should be our de facto leaders on the pitch with pires kind of stats…i did not see anything like that. neither did wenger.

    and for all of you shouting none of you has convinced me about mvilla

    yaya toure – champion and epl – 24 million to city
    inler – 27 year old very expereinced and far more ready than yann – 12 million
    mvilla – 21 years old …22million ….

    why ?

    in mvila;s position we have about 4 or 5 players already
    in rosicky;s position we have ….NONE …..

    so if wenger is gonna spend 22 million on an individual , history suggests he will do it for a striker or playmaker, certainly not a defensive player

    Now IF kroenke has given the green light to purchase players of that price range for ANY given position in the squad then that is compeltley different story and i dont see how you all got so agitated ..

    last week many blamed the midfield for the draw with norwich …i guess noone saw chesney or how many tap ins we missed in front of goal….so with all due respect …you each see it from your own perspective ….

    yogi, re delivery ..if i start delivering my disagreements to you or other peoples statements/ideas like you do to mine you wont like it ..and by the way i commented on the news bulletin of 22m mvila not on the opinion of a fellow poster/gunner…..

  280. Steww – Nice eh? I use the same riff sometimes when doing a solo on my electric.

  281. Dex:

    No one questioning what we have achieved given the limitations we have lived with, the question is what can we do to finally get over the last couple of hurdles.

    Every season we look at our team defense and find something that convinces many of us that next year it will be different but every year it the end product the following season has been similar. Some of the problems are different every year but there are some common threads and those commonalities seem like the logical place to makes changes if we are going to get out of this cycle and have this team move to the next level. Thats seems pretty straight forward to me.

  282. Hunter – “rosicky had to feel the threat of being kicked out to start performing at the levels we know he can.

    When did this happen then? I must have missed it.

  283. pedantic george

    I don’t know what you are trying to say.
    Song/Jack/Diaby/Rosicky all can create and assist.
    M’Villa is exactly what we need for cover and the future.IMO.

  284. Once again, Gibbs is a better leftback than santos.

    Forget the ‘stats’, stats will show you that parker has made the most tackles than any other defensive midfielder in the league, does that mean he is the best DM? No, it means he has made the most tackles – Stats will show you that santos has made more tackles and headers than gibbs, does that mean he is better? – what stats will not show is that santos has been a liability defensively, so shove those stats where the sun don’t shine. I rest my case.

  285. pedantic george

    Rosicky has been fantastic .It has been the first time he has been given the keys whilst fit.

  286. Limestonegunner

    Yeah, I suppose that is why Rosicky was given a two year contract this winter rather than just a single season. Very threatening sort of approach taken to him. But, of course, I’m not privy to the conversations taking place in the locker room and manager’s office like some others are.

    Hunter, you haven’t dealt with any of the real points, just recycling more of the same. Take some responsibility man. The whole thing calms down if you admit that these are your opinions and that you went a little overboard in your language about the boss. Nobody would be complaining if you said you didn’t think it likely because of the price and position–there would have been discussion instead of hyperventilating.

  287. pedantic george

    You chat shit .Has anyone ever told you that?
    Is a 25 cap Brazilian FB lesser than a half a cap English winger still learning where to stand? Mmm ,let me think???????

  288. Limestonegunner

    Gibbs has also made mistakes defensively, which is understandable given how young and inexperienced he is and how much football he’s missed due to injuries.

    Santos is experienced and has important qualities for defending in the PL. Plus he is even better going forward.

    Now that Gainsbourg has been exiled, I am probably his biggest fan on the blog. You really have to do more than just assert that he’s been a liability defensively and demonstrate how and when a bit more. He’s actually very canny as a defender, to my mind. As always, however, when any of the fullbacks go forward, you need central midfielders to recognized the situation and cover. Arteta does that, and that’s one of the things we’ve missed. His nous. Santos however has enough experience to curb the attacking when needed, I think.

  289. pedantic george

    Hunter meant no disrespect towards the boss,Of that I am certain.
    To suggest he did is to ignore months of previous form and consistent championing of the man.
    LG,you liked the FF then?

  290. Gains is exiled?

  291. Pedantic – now you are bringing up the number of santos’s caps for brazil – how many brazillians have you known that are renowed for defending, david Luiz,alves,maicon? – take a deep breath, okay.
    Also, did it ever occur to you that the so called ” best left back in the world” is the no1 choice for england. Chatting shit my arse.

  292. @Hunter

    Back my friend, its interesting that you say the cause for Rosicky’s not playing up to level is “the threat of being kicked out to start performing at the levels we know he can” but what about the fact that he has been injuried and thus not fit back to performing to the way we know he can, lest not forget about injuries because they play a major part. Arshavin ran into the fact that he wasn’t performing regularly with the time give even though he still produced moments of pure class. You say Wenger didn’t ask Walcott and Gervinho to help but they are winger’s or wide strikers, thats there job is to help the main striker score goals unles I am mistaken in my assumption of their role’s on the team.

    You watch Rosicky now that he is healthy and ask the Spuds is he still class, ask Newcastle and Milan and everybody in the 2nd half of the season and when he has played in the CL is he still class I’m sure they will all agree he is. Even look at Arshavin, since going back to Russia he has helped lead them to the championship but again no class.

    I dont think you honestly can be conviced about M’villa until like Rosicky he puts in performance after performance. I mean you can even watch highlights or even go look at his passing stats or FFS use the internet and find a game of his at Rennes and you will see his value. whats even funnier is that Wenger paid 12M and it could go up to $15M for the Ox and he was only 17 so whats your point. Not every diamond found is found cheaply sometimes they cost money and if its money well spent then its money well spent.

    Your saying that there is nobody in Rosicky’s position yet Arsene has the Ox, Jack, Arteta, Arshavin; that would me 4 more others that can play that position which is the same number you said we had as DM, interesting my friend.

    Many did blame the midfield but many of those same one’s blamed Szczesny for have a bad game.

    You are right about 1 thing, we did miss alot of tap ins but that happens in futbol.

  293. pedantic george

    I agree with LG about Santos.
    I am his 2nd biggest fan .

  294. Again with slagging off Rosicky – the implication being that he has been goofing off all this time and has only recently made an effort because of some threat from Wenger.

    Ditto Arshavin.

    Weapons-grade busllshit.

  295. As far as GIbbs and playing left back, his positioning was poor against Norwich but overall he has been good. We are lucky to have him. Can you imagine that kid in 3 years?

  296. pedantic george

    No ,you do chat shit ,And I hope you don’t think Cashley is the best LB in the world.He may have been 5 years ago .But I doubt that even.

  297. @Khalifa

    dont mean to interject into you and george’s conversation but there was Cafu, Lucio, Juan, Roberto Carlos, even Gilberto Silva occasionally dropped back and played CB

  298. pedantic george

    Paul,Gibbs is a great prospect.Santos is a great player.

  299. Limestone, gibbs is a better player defensive – thats the most important aspect of been a fullback. Chelsea match away from home santos gave me nightmares, he was skinned time and time again by sturridge and mata – answer this, for the first time gibbs and santos have been fit for the same period of time, why has wenger left santos on the bench for the past 2 months?

  300. I am with Limestone, it is one thing to say that a player is a liability but another thing to prove that. Just because a players style is contrary, it does not mean that it is not effective.

    When we played Chelsea Santos did have a rought time in the first half but then locked the right down in the 2nd, not to mention his goal that tied the game; that was huge! He also put that Boletelli guy in his place. Class!

  301. Agreed George, but Gibbs has put in some very good performances none the less. I am with you though, I believe Santos should start.

  302. pedantic george

    Fuck me he is an expert on relative fitness levels now.
    It seem s I have underestimated the genius .

  303. Paul, can you name one quality winger santos has subdued in a match. Just one

  304. Pedantic, i always knew you were the love child of vinny jones, your stupidity knows no bounds

  305. Good grief there has been some crap posted here today.

  306. Santos is a great player, too bad the great man will be on the bench throughout next season. Ah, good times.

  307. Khalifha, when Santos was healthy he played well and we were winning, that’s all I need to know. Why do I have to talk about individuals?
    You are saying that he is a liability, thus you have to prove that claim. Just saying the word liability does not prove your point.

  308. pedantic george

    I am indeed stupid.At least you have gotten one thing right today.

  309. Hunter why do you compare Yaya & M’Vila costs. Yaya was 24 million in British pounds M’Vila is (rumoured to be) 22 million Euros. There is a huge difference about (7 million).

  310. @Dups

    Its best not to argue with Hunter as you will learn he is all knowing.

  311. Paul N, i said he is a liability because he constantly puts our defence under pressure with his gung ho and rash defending, the man is a mistake waiting to happen.

  312. Also, i gave the chelsea match as an example.

  313. Limestonegunner

    George, I thought it was a tremendous intervention. I live blogged it here at ACLF yesterday; here’s my report of the FF and your call: (But in brief, as Frank might say: George, you are a star!!)

    Limestonegunner | May 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm
    MGK, Mo is unbelievable: consistently finds the negatives, worries about everything, and talks for way too long.

    Has PG offered his pearls?

    Limestonegunner | May 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm
    Here’s George now!

    Limestonegunner | May 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    Well, that just fizzled out…

    Limestonegunner | May 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    Come back, George. Or get a better phone first.

    Limestonegunner | May 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm
    Cahill better than Mertesacker? Joke. Santos: fits in perfectly, injured and hasn’t been able to get back in. 20 caps for Brazil, class.

    Sagna: deliberate assault. He meant to stamp on him. Reckless endangerment. Media and MOTD didn’t show it. Makes George sick.

    Bravo, George! Bravo!!!

    Limestonegunner | May 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm
    What does Jim have to say, as it is unusual for a player to claim it was intentional by the other player? Just a coming together of players, or put his foot in, but nobody means to break the leg but there’s something there–letting them know they are there. Only Johnson knows, but it does seem like the perceived way to get at Arsenal, let’s bully them.

    Tom says they are that kind of player because they do that kind of challenge. It’s malicious.

    So Jim should explain why there isn’t a bigger media issue about the Sagna leg break, shouldn’t he!?

    mingus | May 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    Well that was a first for me! Just listened to you, george, on the fans forum podcast! If you’re always on, I’ll be listening in more in the future.

    Limestonegunner | May 8, 2012 at 12:04 am
    Mingus, George is a real regular on the forum. I identified him last year when listening–I knew right away that “George in Blackburn” was our very own Pedantic George! Although, I don’t think it was pedantic then–I forget what he went by.

    He regularly roasts John Cross, which is the most fun. Tom Watt is a delight, but some of the journos are fairly poor. I liked it better when there was a journalist and a fan with Tom, but they canned Iyare–maybe to get more callers on.

  314. george – Song/Jack/Diaby/Rosicky all can create and assist.

    only song can assist from all of them regularly as his stats have shown ..rosicky and arshavin should be boasting pires statistics15goals/15 assists per year minimum ..maybe even more since they are both far bigger talents that pires ever was and far more offensive minded than robert who was a central mid converted into a left side playmaker ( not winger)

    jack? diabby? no not yet ..i dont think they have the balls to take such a significant role on.

    and if we need a player to sit back and destroy we can find many for far less than 22 million ..frimpong can do that very easily , plus he will love it … .

    when you spend 22 million ..especially arsenal (with previous record expenditure being wiltord at 13m) then i cant accept that this money is going for a destructor is against the logic of the previous 15 years of wenger transfers …. therefore maybe something else is at play …

    lime …i aint interested ..i dont like your attitude …bye bye.. you wanted a fuss and you got it …so dont complain about hyperventilation … 🙂

    c … rosicky … we know what he can do …..we were also watching football in the 90s when he first appeared for dortmund ..together with totti i classify them both as europes last “tens” . however rosicky had preseason, had many opportunities and be it mental or physical he was not the player of the old…he has done amazing cameos lately granted but that dont mean that 32 year old rosicky will play 30 games next season scoring 20 and assisting another 15 which is what i need from my first choice amc/playmaker…….. so if im gonna spend 22 million ( remember i am arsenal , not city, unless kroenke has given different orders) im gonna spend it for “GOETZE” type players to put it bluntly ….if im gonna spend 22 million ill do it for the new cesc..not a destroyer. as for the ox, the ox is 17 y.o….we still have about 8 years till his value depreciates …

    rosicky is ten times the player lampard is technically and talentwise …look at fat franks stats and look at rosickys …. can rosicky give me what frank gives to chelsea ?….30+ solid performances 15-20 goals and 10-15 assists because thats what i expect from a talent like rosicky …. if he can fair dues i will give him my daughter so that he marries her …

    peace and enjoy the rest of your day

  315. pedantic george

    “C | May 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    dont mean to interject into you and george’s conversation but there was Cafu, Lucio, Juan, Roberto Carlos, even Gilberto Silva occasionally dropped back and played CB”

    I don’t think you will get a reply to that.Does not fit his argument and so will be ignored.

  316. Limestonegunner

    Unfortunately, instead of more appreciations, the rest of the crew were locked in a debate about dangerous animals in Africa. Of course, I dropped some knowledge, but only FG bothered to read the article. Everyone else is too much of a lightweight!!

    Btw, what was your alias at that time? georgerodger?

  317. @George

    I know but just wanted to give the facts.

  318. “Constantly?” I cannot say that I agree with that, however, that is exactly was got us in trouble last weekend and it was not Santos.

    What is worth noting though is that we usually win when he (Santos) plays. You have to wonder why his (seemingly) disregard for defence has not hampered us much more when he has played?

  319. I mentioned the Chelsea match, long time. He was not good in the first half but he locked down Chelsea’s right in the 2nd half and again scored the goal that really turned that match.

  320. Limestonegunner

    Indeed, Paul-N, we slowed down when Santos went off injured. It’s like the wheels fell off and we finally came to a standstill in January when no fullbacks for a month and a half and Arteta went out that we dipped in form.

    Santos is a beast of a player. Very unorthodox, but I expect Arsenal fans to be cultured enough to appreciate that rather than impose limited categorical thinking–I know, naive–and there is no way to say he isn’t a good defender. His positioning is good when he isn’t too far forward for an attack, but knows where to be when he is defending at the back, anticipates the play, has a strong tackle and the physical strength not to go down on the floor to carry off the tackle. This disorients players because he isn’t easy to go around and doesn’t dive in– he stands his ground and is big and strong with good feet, so he poaches the ball. Aerially he is extremely good defensively.

    Go watch his work with Brazil during the Copa America–very good defender.

    And we know what he brings in attack. Not the paciest–Gibbs has great speed. But Santos doesn’t have to rush as much as he follows the play and knows where to be. That’s experience and Gibbs will develop it over time.

  321. pedantic george

    LG ,Yes ,that is my name.

  322. Limestonegunner

    GA, how did you miss that? Gains was binned temporarily for some indiscretions and didn’t take it well, making the cardinal mistake of all–rudeness to the master of ACLF. There was no way back after that.

  323. pedantic george

    And thank you LG for your kind words.I really appreciate it.

  324. Excellent summary, Limestone! I agree with every word of that.

  325. Hunter why do you compare Yaya & M’Vila costs. Yaya was 24 million in British pounds M’Vila is (rumoured to be) 22 million Euros. There is a huge difference about (7 million).

    one gets a proven winner and champions league medalist and we get an unknown quantity rumoured to be better than vieira ( how on earth can such judgements be made i dont know)

    euros or pounds ..20 is a big number for an unknown quantity ..thats all …

    now if you were telling me we were paying napoli 22 million for gokhan inler it would not be as strange regrading price tag ( considering his age and experience and last 3 year form) but it would still be strange that arsenal would have a 22 million player as one of their targets to come and sit in front of vermaellen and konscielny….

  326. Santos is 1st choice LB period. Even if I wasn’t convinced before(which i was because i love watching him play ecspecially for Brazil) I am convinced now. Everybody talks about how Gibbs has more pace but think about the strikers that have more pace than RVP or even Xavi but those players might not be as smart futbol wise. Ill take a Santos any day of the week.

  327. pedantic george

    LG,and rightly so.There should never be a way back from that.Talk about lack of gratitude and appreciation.
    (exits full crawling mode)

    But seriously .I mean it.

  328. Limestonegunner

    So, all this has been preliminary to our lineups. It might be early for this. Maybe there will be more injury updates? I saw Arteta running around during the video for the shirt launch yesterday. Is there any chance he would be fit, at least on the bench?! Assuming not, here goes:


    Ox, Theo, Jenks, Djourou, Fabianski, Chamakh

    I’d like to go more attacking but it is away from home and experience trumps invention. If needed, Ox and Theo and Chamakh come in to get the goal(s) required. Defensive sub of Djourou at RB with LeCoq moving to midfield for Ramsey or Rosicky.

  329. and saying that Santos is first choice is no knock on Gibbs. I believe he will be an Arsenal great as long as he stays grounded. Yeh, we are lucky to have him.

  330. @Pedantic, shut up for a minute.

    I did not reply cause i missed that comment, brazil produce good defenders, why i made that statement is because they are not renowed for it, from what i have seen santos is not better than gibbs – it is as simple as that.

    Limestone, we slowed down because djourou was our rightback, gibbs was injured and gervinho was off to acn, not because of santos – we went on a 7game winning streak with gibbs as first choice.

  331. You all may not agree with me but you don’t make the decisions, so santos will be 2nd choice. Thank you wenger.

  332. Paulie Walnuts

    I`m going to wade in to the left back debate here & go for Santos. By some distance too.

    Gibbs has done OK & both are prone to leaving the back door open (oo-err) but AS would be my first choice when fully fit.

    It`ll be interesting to see who Arsene chooses on Sunday.

  333. Something different from the norm.


    Coq Kos Verm Gibbs

    Ger Song Rosic Ox

    Chamakh Rvp

    *Jenkinson is not match fit for such am important fixture.
    *Coquelain is always consistent.
    *We ended with the formation against norwich and it worked a treat.

  334. Limestonegunner

    Khalifah, I didn’t say it was only because of Santos. You don’t read very carefully or know how to follow logic. No one is knocking Gibbs. We are disagreeing with you about your foolish devaluation of Santos in order to strengthen your preference for Gibbs unnecessarily.

    The return of actual fullbacks was valuable to the team. Everyone recognizes that it is better to have Gibbs playing there than Vermaelen, Jenks, Coquelin and so on when Santos was injured after Gibbs had already been injured. The question now is whom to prefer for WBA and who would be first choice. If you can’t argue your case reasonably and in a reasonable manner, please don’t take it amiss when folks like PG respond in equally strong terms.

  335. Limestonegunner

    btw, I like your lineup but don’t think that is the way to start. At some point in the second half, we might see something like that given how effective it was in the latter stages at creating good chances. However, we do have to worry about organized defending because WBA have shown a knack at counterattacking goals with speedy players.

  336. Before his injury Santos was looking a real beast, it was gutting when he got crocked. Now he is fit, he is 1st choice IMO too.

    The chav away game was very early in the season and after a torrid 1st half where it looked like Santos was blowing hard after 10 minutes FFS! He really ame back strong.

    I love Gibbs and think he will be a dynamite LB,. but at this particular monent in time, Andre is the man.

    When any fullback bombs forward, as with CBs too, players need to drop into their position or position themselves so there arent massive holes i the back 4 as we are a very offensively set up team, there is bound to be times when we are left exposed. Shit happens, but we could still work on it a bit better. I think we will keep it tight on Sunday and try and pick WBA off.

    Thats why i think gervinho and Theo (if fit obvs) should start.

  337. Limestone, you tried to imply that our loss of form coincided with the injury to santos, i merely stated that other factors contributed to our form, and you say ‘i don’t know how to read carefully’, talk about hypocricy. Besides, this is not even an arguement – gibbs is already the first choice and santos is on the bench, make of that what you will.

  338. Billy's Boots

    @ Deise, I was thinking the same thing re your point about 15–20 more goals scored and 15–20 fewer goals conceded. PG, I acknowledge it may be somewhat facile, but I think there is plenty of truth in it. If we’re going to close the gap on the clubs above us, it makes sense to look at where we have fallen short. (Intuitively, we could all probably have come up with ‘improve the defence and score more goals’, but the goals statistics give a more detailed view of how far away we are.)

    I was curious to compare the home v away statistics. At home, Arsenal have conceded fewer goals than Manchester United and have scored more than everyone bar Utd, City, and, in all likelihood, Chelsea (who play their final home match on Sunday). We trail Utd and City by thirteen goals scored at home (City still with one game to play).

    Away from home (I refuse to write ‘on the road’), with one match to play, Arsenal have scored more (32) than any other team bar City (38, played 19) and Utd (36). Where we have come a cropper is in goals conceded on our travels: 30, compared to Utd (14) and City (17).

    Somewhat tongue-in-cheek conclusion: signing a versatile wide/central striker who will score 15–20 goals a season and, maybe, a highly rated defensive midfielder is certainly not a bad way to start to improve the squad.

  339. 2months out of the first team and counting.

  340. @Khalifha

    Gilberto Silva was only known for his defensive steel. Lucio and Juan in their prime were known as 2 of the best in the world. Cafu was known for being a no nonsense defender who made those runs up and down the flanks that we at Arsenal love to see from Sagna. Robert Carlos was actually very similar to Santos, very unorthodox defending yet a true class player and Roberto’s left foot and free kicks even to this day fill me with absolute joy to watch.


    I like your lineup except i wouldn’t mind seeing Ox start so we can get a couple early goals then bring in Ramsey with his work rate to help kill off the game. If Theo is fit he starts.

  341. Limestonegunner

    Again, you don’t follow logic very closely. That was a narrative of what happened. Losing our last actual fullback obviously had major consequences. I also noted that the loss of Arteta and a month and a half of playing CB’s out wide took a cumulative toll. The beginning of that narrative is the loss of Santos. Origin is not causation. Find an elementary logic book and try to practice using reason.

    I implied that Santos’ injury had a negative effect on the team, which had been playing very well up to that point. Very well.–we recovered our table position to threaten for CL football and won our CL group during that period. And there is no way you can suggest that the loss of Santos wasn’t damaging, so what are you on about?

  342. I have almost forgotten what wilshere’s game is like, when does this nightmare injury end?

  343. Limestonegunner

    C, fair enough. Where do you want to start the Ox, though? In central midfield? I don’t think he has shined there just yet. I prefer him using his pace, dribbling trickery, and ability to cut in and shoot or go to the end line and cross from out wide.

  344. Interesting quotes from Benayoun:

    “Since I came to Arsenal, I have always been committed to one club until the last game of the season, the only thing I want is for Arsenal to finish third place- I don’t care about anybody else.”

    “When I finish I will have to decide about my futur. I am supposed to go back to Chelsea first and then we will see what the future holds.”

    “I finish here in a good way. In the last few months, I have been more involved.”

    Wouldn’t mind us signing Benayoun as players like Vela, Bendtner, and the lot leave.

  345. @LG

    I wouldn’t mind him playing centrally ala the Milan match. But dont get me wrong the formation and players you have compliment each other and play well just look at the Norwich match. Was it just me or did Gervinho seem more effective on the left as opposed to the right the past couple of matches since Theo went out?

  346. Limestone, you lost me at “find an elementary logic book”

  347. Great comments khalifa, arsenalandrew, Firstlady.

    But all this talk of M’Vila is giving me the uneasy feeling I had last week – that we fans are letting our focus drift away from this season – which is not over yet.

    @ YW, LG, jonnyneale, C

    I don’t know what your exact history with 13hunter13 is, but it seems extraordinary to me that you all got your knickers in such a twist about the advisability of paying an amount which, as one of you pointed out, is hypothetical anyway, for a player which we are only rumoured to be signing. Hunter didn’t think AW would/should pay 22m euros for M’Vila. Jamie Sanderson, for example, agrees – he loves the player but thinks he’s worth 15m euros. Big deal. What are you going to say if we sign YM and the fee turns out to be a lot less than 22m?

    Hunter has got into hot water with some for being pro Wenger, so I find it hard to believe that any of you honestly think that he is “attacking” Wenger.

    The original post, which I read this morning, seems to have been misread/misunderstood.


    @ hunter
    I’m sure I’ve recommended the scroll button to you before… Use it.


    @ Firstlady

    I went to Kenya, loved it. The landscape is mesmerisingly beautiful, the climate perfect. I stayed in Nairobi for the museums and shopping, also went on 3-day safari (which almost felt like a spiritual experience!) and in addition took a day trip to an island wildlife park – can’t now remember the name of it, but it was like walking through paradise – gazelles, giraffes, all sorts of birds. One of the best holidays I’ve had.

  348. Ls, I was going to respond by saying find one and shove it up your … But no, the base of this arguement was ‘who is the better leftback’, wenger has made his choice, so i will trust his judgement not your south american games expertise on santos’s defending. End of story.

  349. Wenger has not made any choice. Santos is just coming back from a broken leg and there is no need to rush him since we have a very capable Gibbs.

  350. Thats how it seems to me at least.

  351. Paul, sagna came back from a broken leg and went straight into the first team with younger jenkinson waiting in the wings – santos had an injury to his ankle, not a broken leg, he has been fit for a while now yet has only managed 2 substitute appearances because gibbs has kept him out.

  352. Jenkinson was also injured, identical situation with the left hand side.

    One thing i will apologise for is having a go at santos just to make my point, but nothing i said was far from the truth, santos makes me uncomfortable.

  353. @Fungunner

    It wasn’t about how much he should pay for a player or anything of that nature because the report is 22M(17m euros) so the evalutation from many is closer than what people think. the thing that got everybody talking to hunter was partly due to his comparisions and the fact that for me atleast he was saying Arsene should listen to his scouts and sign players due to trust in scouts i.e. Kos but then was saying that maybe we shouldn’t sign M’villa for said amount. While we were going back and forth I found it intersting that many times he was contradicting himself or made it seem like insider information he had and I was just asking for it.

    Either way we all know Hunter is pro Wenger but some of the stuff that spouts of his mouth and claims to be fact tends to be border line insanity. He was comparing the fee reportidly for M’villa to that of Inler, Yaya but failed to think about the amount being thrown around for the likes of Hazard and even Goetze which is double that of Nasri and even Cesc or the likes of Robinho(when Milan bought him for 15M). the fees change as not only inflation but the valuation of players changes.

  354. Fungunner

    It’s funny you bring up the speculated fee for M’Villa when hunter couldnt get his head round it, even after being repeatedly told it was NOT £22m! 🙂

    No offence, but WTF does Jamie Sanderson have to dow with anything? He is a fan, nothing more, his opinbions are no more valid than hunter’s, jonny’s, even khlaifa’s 🙂

    If you want to know what may have got up the collective noses of the names you mention, it might have something to do with the slating of some of our players.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  355. JonJon | May 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

    M’Vila played with Diaby in the French team, he is not a replacement for him. Apart from the fact that he is not yet confirmed as an Arsenal player. I am amazed that people complain about lack of quality depth and the fact that Song is over played and looks tired and then are so quick to speculate that another DM possibly coming in means he is off. Sounds more like wishful thinking to me. If M’Vila is coming he is likely to be an understudy to Arteta in place of Denilson who does not want to stay. He would probably need a year to settle and can be phased in. There is no reason why he cannot play alongside Song or any of our existing midfielders, if he actually comes. However, there is always a chance this could be another Mata.

    I also wonder why people who have been following the club for some time think that Arsene has suddenly woken up to the need to change his policy. The youth policy was bourne out of necessity due to the financial constraints of the stadium. One of the sensible things Hunter has pointed out in the past is that it is the owners of the club decide how much money the manager has to spend. They have chosen to free up funds in line with their business plan and Arsene is spending on the type of player he has always targetted. Solid, quality players slightly under the radar and within a reasonable budget, which a club without unlimited funds can afford.

  356. Khalifha, I knew you would say that but Jenks is a new player who has a lot to learn. Djourou will most probably play RB before Jenks does at this point. So, no comparison. Comparatively speaking, Gibbs is a much more seasoned player than Jenks.

    A break in the ankle is more difficult to deal with If I am not mistaken? because it is complex. We only have to look at Diaby to see what an Ankle injury can do.

  357. Sounds like a real misunderstanding of why Hunter was causing antagonism – it had absolutely nothing to do with the valuation side of things.

    Dex is right. Some of the nonsensical, critical comments he made about Rosicky alone are worth repudiating.

    What’s odd is that these are normally exactly the things to draw censure from you FG.

  358. At the end of the day most of the talk about Hunter and to Hunter was about the absolute ludicrous that he was speaking such as: “Rosicky has been fabulous pretty much all season –
    no not all season …only in the last 1/4 of the campaign and more precicely when arshavin got sent back to russia ……….. alarm and wake up call from arsene ….. “

  359. “Was it just me or did Gervinho seem more effective on the left as opposed to the right the past couple of matches since Theo went out?”

    No it wasn’t! First half he was trying to fill the ‘Theo’ role with Sagna, but their lack of playing time together was evident as their movement was clunky and they were practically getting in each other’s way. There was a real lack of natural communication and moves often broke down as he did not seem to know when to go outside or inside to receive the ball. Theo and Sagna have a fantastic understanding and it was just not happening. Then he moved to the left second half and he was liberated. He really got hold of the ball and ran at the full back the way he did in his early days with us. He also seemed to have a much better rapport with Gibbs. I understand that he played on the right for Lille, but he seems to be making a niche for himself on the left at Arsenal.

  360. Passenal

    IF we were to spend big money on M’Villa, I really couldnt see it being to sit him on our comfy bench. I am sure he and Song would compliment each other, as would Diaby, Jack, Aaron, Tomas, etc.

    However, i think it would be churlish for Arsene to assume Song is staying and not to be looking at potential replacements, just in case. I don’t imagine anyone on here wants Alex to go, you are being unfair and are putting words in people’s mouths.

  361. Paul, i knew you would know i was going to say that 🙂 – lets just wait for sunday.

  362. Yes, let’s just wait for Sunday and let’s also be thankful and happy that we have 2 fantastic left backs! 🙂

  363. “I understand that he played on the right for Lille, but he seems to be making a niche for himself on the left at Arsenal.”

    I completely agree. The thing at Lille was they played with 2 strikers up top with him and Moussa Sow and then Hazard behind them and now the left flank is his to rome and be free. I’m not yet in Arsenal game mode yet but how in the hell will defenders deal with our assortment of wingers next year. I mean Podolski and Theo 1st choice and then if they get tired Gervinho and Ox and even Chamakh or Park(if he is what is is for his country and even before he got to Arsenal)

  364. mattgoonerknight


    I thought Gervinho was really poor, shit even, in the first half on the right against Norwich (from my view high up in row 22): Sagna looked completely exasperated. Second half however, on the left, much, much, much better, very good even.

    Gervinho on the left for me (if he starts).

    I’ve just learnt, tardily I’m sure, that Theo should be fit.

    If true, this is great news. He surely has to start and on the right.

    Hopefully playing away will help the nerves all round and take some of the pressure of off Rambo. He needs an extra solid performance; a goal would be excellent for us and for him! Fuck who dies.

  365. Can we not recall Arshavin from Russia? hasnt their season ended?

  366. Liverpool or chelsea? – chelsea win 2-0, torres scores and dalgliesh gets sacked this week – aarggh

  367. Passenal

    >I also wonder why people who have been following the club for some time think that Arsene has suddenly woken up to the need to change his policy. The youth policy was bourne out of necessity due to the financial constraints of the stadium

    Because they never grasped the concept in the first place.

    >One of the sensible things Hunter

    Sensible? Hunter? Oh dear God, I’m off to lie down… 😉

  368. No Khalifha, not a chav win man. Don’t need them on our tails as well. I want the scousers to keep Kenny, will mean they do fuck all again next season.

  369. @Matt

    Yea I think the thing between Sagna and Theo is that Theo really does make intelligent runs and Sagna always finds him and they play off each other ecspecially since most of Theo’s runs are from teh balls Sagna plays for kinda of a push ahead and out pace everybody and that suits them and us as fans and Arsenal all around. Thus on the left Gervinho likes to attack with the ball at his feet and Gibbs and Santos are very good crossers on their over lapping runs and this suits them better because Gervinho attacks and then cuts inside but always with the ball at his feet and Theo does it with excellent runs.

  370. “I’d go to a night club & girls would come up and grab my willy. Just like that. There were hands everywhere. From behind, from the sides, pulling and tugging. I couldn’t do anything about it” – Freddie Ljungberg reveals that being a tasty dish + doing a Calvin Klein advert wearing just his pants = low-level sexual assault.

  371. Recall arshavin for 1match? Don’t think so – liverpool players look as if they want to jump off a cliff. I like the look of raheem sterling, he is quality.

  372. Yea Liverpool 2-0 revenge thus leading to us getting 3rd and then Bayern blasting the Chavs in the CL final and Newscastle staying 4th. I was reading online that Assoeo-Koto(or however the hell you spell his name) said he wants to leave Spuds and has already been promised he could leave if they fail to make CL. Would be great as he has always been a thorn in Theo’s side.

  373. mattgoonerknight

    How do I stop the ACLF email onslaught?

    I’ve got 1000s

  374. Dexter, when you put it like that a liverpool win will be nice but i don’t think they can.

  375. At the bottome unclick notify me of follow-up comments via email.

  376. Dex, if it is not wishful thinking, why is the first thing people think of that Song is leaving? If you are not one of those wishing him gone, why is it bothering you so much that I would suggest that as some peoples motivation? I’ve seen the speculation elsewhere and there are many who still think he is not good enough because he won’t ‘just sit and protect the back 4’ in line with their narrow minded idea of what a player who looks like him should do. Either that or they suggest that he is only interested in money. I have no idea where either thought comes from, but could speculate. His contract is not up next season and I’ve seen reports suggesting that his people have started talks about extending his contract. If he gets a good pay rise and knowing how he feels about AW and the freedom he gets to be more than a stereotype destroyer, why wouldn’t there be room for him in the team? If I’m wrong and he goes, fine, but why are we pushing one of our key players out of the team with this uncalled for speculation? Arsene has bought Podolski early, but I’ve seen very little speculation that he is a replacement for RVP whose contract is up next season.

  377. mattgoonerknight

    Sorry, done it.

  378. Also genuine question – I don’t understand this –

    “What are you going to say if we sign YM and the fee turns out to be a lot less than 22m?”

    I hope it is a lot less than £22M! Hunter is the only person who bought into that figure – but I think most of us were just pointing out that the figure is not totally outlandish. in spite of Hunter’s assertions he is not “…just some guy from Rennes” (where he is from is also irrelevant) and that it is clear that Wenger rates him highly.

    If he signs for a fiver and a pack of pork scratchings tomorrow why would any of us feel the need to say anything other than “Hooray! Wenger got his man!”? 🙂

    Non-Football Story Of The Day
    ‘A husband who stormed out after a row about his wife’s cooking nearly starved to death when he got lost in frozen forest for more than a month. Yuri Ticiuc, 69, walked out of the family home in Altai, Russia, because his wife’s soup was too cold, but lost his way in dense woodlands. “I walked and walked but after a few hours I didn’t have any idea where I was and I couldn’t find my way back,” he told local media. He survived eating berries and leaves and finally collapsed in a field where he ate grain from a haystack and drank snow until farm workers found him too weak and crippled by frostbite to move.

    “I thought I was going to die. The temperatures were sub-zero and I was getting really weak,” he said. “And then one day I heard voices and saw some farm workers. I called them and they managed to get me to hospital.” Doctors say he is lucky to be alive, but fear they may have to amputate his legs. “They are severely damaged from frostbite and it may not be possible to save them,” said a hospital spokesman. Yuri added: “No matter what happens, that’s the last time I criticise my wife’s cooking. Anything is better than rotten hay”

  379. mattgoonerknight | May 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Although Theo isn’t always as effective without Sagna behind him, his speed is always a useful outlet and keeps the opposition full back in his own half. His defensive work has also improved a lot.

  380. pedantic george

    Oh come on Dexter,
    The last thing we need at WBA is a fay lazy sulking unprofessional Russian. are tiresome and frankly a bit annoying.I think I don’t like you.
    Should I not like him Kate?

  381. Hahahahaha, john terry just got nutmegged

  382. Bill, you finally got me convinced. I’d like to see us play a more defensively minded game next season. To that end, having a player like M’Vila or whoever else would be great.

    Evil made the point that playing someone like Yann would negatively affect our attack, based on his stats of the past few years. I wouldn’t worry too much about this if in fact Arsene’s interest is legit, as it surely means he (Arsene) has already considered that possibility.
    Besides, M’Vila’s previous stats is no confirmation that he lacks attacking skills. it won’t be the first time a midfielder improves his attacking efficacy as his career progresses. Two examples being our own Song, and Yaya Toure.
    In Yaya’s case, although he started had a respectable 5 goals and 7 assists for Monaco, his career with Barca saw him become more defensive with goal/assists of 2/0, 3/1, and 3/7. Then he moved to City and suddenly he scores 12 with 6 assists in his first season, and 9/8 this season despite missing games due to the ACN.

    Who’s to say M’Vila’s career won’t follow a similar trajectory? Not that this would necessarily be a good thing, as that may just bring us right back to were we started, i.e., conceding too many goals because none of our midfielders want to stay back consistently enough.

  383. Pedantic, you don’t think you like me? – frankly am dumbfounded, speechless, my life cannot go on, jog on you son of a pulis, acting like a cry baby.

  384. pedantic george

    Khalifha,Just in case you don’t get it.Most likely too young .

  385. Hahahahaha, john terry nutmegged again.

  386. pedantic george

    Oops.too late ,the petulant child has seen his arse.

  387. Passenal

    There you go again, you are putting words in people’s mouths and assuming they wont players to leave because they might have raised the notion that said player could be off. Seems to me you are being a tad over sensitive. Should we stifle this debate because you dont like it?

    Given the recent departures and the nature of them, i think its pretty understandable that there is speculation about a players future. We have 3 senior players in a psotion that no one at the club, or fans, would want them to be in.

    And if you havent seen/read any spec about Podolski being RvP’s replacement, then I dont think you’ve been looking very hard.

  388. pedantic george

    Where is Muppet when you need a film buff?

  389. Carroll nutmeggs terry now, lord have mercy.
    Two racists on one football pitch.

  390. I wish terry would get maced instead of nutmegged (that was a spice joke)

    2-0 Liverpool – Terry looking like a twat. Chortle.

  391. Haha JT fell over AGAIN

  392. Very peculiar posts on here today. And thats not even taking into account of george’s output.

    Chavs and terry getting smashed. 🙂

  393. “Two racists on a football pitch” sounds like a joke set up…

  394. 3 nil, blimey they have fallen apart!

  395. Pedantic c’est je suis le cunt – don’t ask me what it means cause i don’t know, but you get the cunt part.

  396. Chelsea are getting their asses handed to them here. Delightful.

  397. pedantic george

    Dexter,go and fu,,,,,,,,, oh never mind .

  398. khalifha

    Now my Swedish isnt very good, but you just called yourself a c*nt there I think man.

  399. Dex, I think speculating about players leaving gives off a negative vibe even if you are not trying to be negative. We will have enough of that in the media. I see no positive in saying that Song is off. As far as I know, there is no reason to think it?

    Chelsea getting blasted!

  400. I predicted chelsea winning 2-0, i forgot that john terry’s karma was going to bite everybody on the arse.

  401. pedantic george

    khalifha .you seem a bit out of you depth here .
    Not the first time I have been called a cunt .Still it is about the most amusing retort you have managed until now.Not the sharpest knife eh?

  402. Terry looks like a Sunday league player and not a good one at that.

    Incredible effort from Torres.

  403. Dexter, nooo you judas you, i know le suis means ‘i am’. Aarrgh

  404. pedantic george

    Have I missed Dexter saying Song will leave?
    Here was I thinking he was only discussing options.
    Jeez,at this rate it will be music Thursday every day,because everything football will be off the agenda.

  405. PaulN

    That isnt what Passenal said my man. She took it upon herslef to spout unsubstantiated nonsense. And we’ve had a shed load of that today and I am not even l;ooking at George! 🙂

    Sorry PG!

  406. I must have missed the speculation about Song leaving – I don’t see that his place is under threat from any arrival more that he is being recognised as a different type of player.

    Regardless it’s not as though anyone is stupid enough to actually want him to go is it?

  407. George

    Aww thanks man. I definitely don’t deserve your support after my reprehensible ribbing!

  408. Pedantic, so am not the only one that thinks you are a cunt.

  409. Should have been a straight red for Essien – this is a great game for the neutral.

  410. pedantic george

    No you don’ are right about that you scoundrel.

  411. jonny

    Me and JJ (I think) were discussing the contract sitch before. Its not a nice topic, but the fact he and others have only a year left means there is a possibility of a departure (or more, oh no, I said it now, i am in the deep doodoo fo sho!)

    But as you say, i havent seen anyone post of read anyone’s thoughts ( 😀 ) about them wanting Song gone? That would be a crackers notion.

  412. “And if you havent seen/read any spec about Podolski being RvP’s replacement, then I dont think you’ve been looking very hard.”

    And there you go putting words into my mouth, I did not say that there was ‘no’ speculation, I said there was very little. I also did not put words in your mouth either, I specifically said that I have seen those comments about Song and know that there are many who think that. You may or may not be one of them. I do not know and I did not specifically accuse you of being one of them. And while you’re bandying the word ‘sensitive’ about, maybe you should look a bit closer to home. You are free to speculate as much as you want about anything you want to, just as I am.

  413. Terrible tackle by Essien

  414. pedantic george

    No Khalifha I find most thick dimwits think I am a cunt,so you are in the right company.
    So does Dexter BTW.

  415. Yeh Dex, Khalifha has given me a migraine to blow wow!

    just joking. ha!

  416. khalifha

    Mate, calling George, or any of the well respected (stop laughing Jonny!) posters on here a c*nt is not the way forward man. Be cool.

    Oh and do as I say, not as I do! 🙂

  417. mattgoonerknight

    Chelsea giving up on 4th is strange.
    Obviously they’re trying to protect players from injury / fatigue 11 days before the big one, but it seems strange to me.

    And downing still waits for his first premier league goal!!!

  418. £20 million well spent haha

  419. jonnyneale | May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm
    “Regardless it’s not as though anyone is stupid enough to actually want him to go is it?”

    You should check out le-grove…

    Actually Passenal’s post should be aimed at the crowd over there. I have not ‘seen’ anyone here who wants Song to go.

  420. Dex you’re such a merchant!

  421. There were a few comments earlier making it seem as if Song would be gone. Someone even noted that he was not in the pictures sporting the new Arsenal get up…smart man!

  422. Henristic:.

    “Bill, you finally got me convinced. I’d like to see us play a more defensively minded game next season. To that end, having a player like M’Vila or whoever else would be great.”

    I always knew someone as smart as you would get it after a while. If I were you, I would not be overly concerned since I am sure you would have eventually figured it out without my help. Its a no brainer really. 🙂

  423. Hahaha, simmer down pedantic, you won’t want to give yourself a stroke, trust me.

  424. Pass

    Nah, I didnt put words in your mouth, i just got yours a bit wrong; not seen any, instead of seen very little (big deal)

    Your opening gambit was accusatory and wrong, your 2nd go was more of the same and you didnt like being pulled up about it.

    Not my fault you are way too sensitive and want to filter any debates you dont personally like.

    If you dont like it, skip over it. Which is what I should have done.

  425. Downing could fall into a barrel of tits and he’d come out sucking his thumb.

    It really is deeply enjoyable; imagining the things you could buy for a ‘Downing’ whilst watching him prove his inadequacy week after week.

  426. mumbai gooner

    well said jonny.. downing is comedy gold

  427. Henristic

    Exactly man, not one poster on here has said they would be happy for that to happen. I really dont get it. And I dont mean in the same sense that George doesnt get it.

  428. Queen Dexter, your majesty – your wish is my command.

  429. jonny

    Ha! Love you too man 🙂

    Downing? WTF didnt we sign him? And he will be in the England squad too. Sheeeesh.

  430. Bout time you stepped into line khalifha. Now dont make me have to tell you again!

  431. Corr – spiky on here today or what!? 🙂

    Still more fun than the quiet days!

    Henristic – I’ll pass on Le Twat – they aren’t really fans or supporters to me

    Great work of Sky to brush over Essien’s two-footed straight red challenge at half time.

  432. Sign Downing but he’d cost at least one MVilla! Madness!

  433. Haha Bill,
    Don’t be surprised if I backslide at some point though. I can’t stand boring football, so if we don’t get the balance right and get too defensive (like we did at some point in the 08/09 season), I’d be the first to start hankering for the ‘old days’.

  434. mattgoonerknight

    This game is fun

  435. pedantic george

    Dexter .you always see through them first.

  436. Bradys right foot

    Who the feck wants Song to go apart the guy from Le Grove. Why would we want to sell our best players.

  437. Jonny,
    Unlike you, quite a few other ACLFers read them (or similar sites) from time to time, seeing as how they know exactly what the doomers are saying….

  438. I stopped dipping my wick into that poisonous well a while back ‘Ristic.

    MGK – yes, it is. Ace fun!

  439. arsenalandrew

    Passenal | May 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Interesting link to AW’s comments about the stadium – by coincidence I was pretty much marveling at the same thing on Saturday; think on here I likened the place to a ‘living museum’.

    It IS an awesome place, the Emirates – not surprising the lower ranked sides play out of their skins here, it’s the footballing equivalent of “All the world’s a stage …”

    And this Liverpool: Chelsea game is a Comedy of Errors. Not a good time to start getting thrashed, Chelsea (bad habits, ‘n’ all that) but works in everyone else’s favour, not least in helping the Scousers to paper over the chasms some might describe as mere ‘cracks’.

  440. “I stopped dipping my wick into that poisonous well..”

    Ha. 🙂

  441. Bradys right foot

    Im with Jonny Henristic, I don’t recognise the views from Le Grove to be that of Arsenal fans. I got banned for being too clever, the irony of which wont be missed on here lol.

  442. Henristic:

    “Haha Bill,
    Don’t be surprised if I backslide at some point though.”

    I know your type!! Get me all fired up and then backslide, you probably took lessons from my high school girl friend.

  443. BRF

    Yep, that isn’t a blog I read, ever, either.


    Dunno mate, you are pretty on the ball there too mate.

  444. Right on cue, choruses of “There’s only one Andy carroll” ring out! Haha!

    Now, if Dagliesh had fielded a team full of their kids and established players and not signed all the overpriced dross he has, they would have finished midtable and could have one a domestic cup. great manager.

  445. Bradys right foot

    PG good stuff last night btw on the fans forum.

  446. Jonny

    Perhaps its pre match tension man. 🙂

  447. I literally got banned from Le Grove with my very first question.

    Which was “Should the tagline on the site not more accurately read Where you can get an opinion, not have one?”

    Surprisingly Geoff failed to spot either the truth behind the words or the comedy gold they contained. I was put into moderation and banned without even being allowed to put my question to the wider audience of plankton.

    A sad day for plankton.

  448. George?, i got something to tell ya.

  449. arsenalandrew

    It’s funny but I’m sure once upon a time in the not so distant past Chelsea had at least two world class players for every position.

    Not any more, on this evidence.

  450. I don’t know what a ‘backslide’ is over in America Bill – I’m quite sure my high-school girlfriend never gave me one. 😉

    Incredible pass from Johnson for Carroll to completely fluff.

    Suarez, Essien and Ivanovic should all have seen red today.

    Excellent game!

  451. About once every several months, usually after a really good result, I always have the idea that maybe I should give Le Grove the benefit of the doubt, but usually after the very first sentences on that day’s article I am convinced that it’s better to stay away. Actually one of them is not THAT bad, but the other regular writer never has a good thing to say about the club or the manager. And the standard of writing over there isn’t that good, too. They are neither eloquent like Yogi nor funny as Arseblog can be (at times).They are just negative.

  452. Dexter | May 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    So it’s not possible to have a different view from you without having to deal with your petty insults? I will take your advice and add you to my scroll by list since you are such a sensitive soul. I wouldn’t want to upset you again by accidently responding to one of your posts with a comment that upsets your delicate sensibilities.

  453. Legrove bloggers are hedious set of people, i imagine that they all have horns on their heads with foam coming out of their mouths, they are more foul mouthed than george and dexter combined.

  454. pedantic george

    I think YW is hugely funny.
    Must cleverer with his humour than Arseblog.
    As indeed was Muppet and Limps when the used to guest.
    And oou is just a very interesting writer.
    I cant bring myself to read a blog written and commented upon ,by a load of khalifhas

  455. Oh dear, looks like someone is upset.

    It’s been a funny old day today.

  456. These 2 in particular!

  457. Hunter has got into hot water with some for being pro Wenger, so I find it hard to believe that any of you honestly think that he is “attacking” Wenger.

    er. no it was his xenophobic disregard for our history that did it.

  458. I can’t believe the amount of Arsenal blogs there are. I have seen about 4 lately I have never even seen before. There must be 30+. Perhaps a bit of an exageration there.

  459. @Dexter
    There are 100s. 30+ is probably just the really popular ones that get comments on every post.

  460. Pedantic, if i ever got lost on a deserted island with nothing to eat for weeks and i saw you on a plane i would use my last set of energy to write a sign that says ‘Fuck Off’, thats how much i despise you. O george, you bring out the worst in me.

  461. Fuck me! Talk about a free pass! Alan ‘Mullers’ Mullery has just said; Liverpool will be a real force next season!

    Based on what? Oh yeah, the fact they aint Arsenal! 🙂

  462. Gunners 4 ever

  463. From today’s Le Grove –

    “An interesting thing I’ve noted is how many of the pro-Arsene types seem to hate the fact we’re signing big. They’ve generally been the people saying we’re wasting £20mill on M’Vila and that Podolski is average. Jeez… lighten up. The same people said that about Arteta and Yossi in the summer”.


  464. Evil

    Blimey man! Thats a fecking lot innit! That gunnerspehre posts about 10 a day the speed freak!

  465. jonny

    That is unintentionally funny on so many levels man.

    The dude who posted it must not have heard of the Alanis Morrisette tune. (Wish I hadn’t TBH)

  466. Dexter, tu suis est fcukturd.

  467. As much as anything, i think the game tonight showed how different a game can turn out when players aint that arsed, or are not fully focused and on their game.

  468. khalifha

    doesnt the ‘suis’ change to ‘es’ or something like that? Polish isn’t my bestest language though.

  469. Seriously, it is incredible that Liverpool can be termed a force next season based on them beating a completely disinterested and much changed chav side. While once again, we will be termed ‘lucky to get 6th’.

  470. pedantic george

    That’s us told Dexter.
    Another vicious guppy attack.

  471. Without signing anyone and keeping (yes, keeping!) our best players, (oh and being a bit luckier with injuries) this team/squad will finish top 3 easy. Alot easier than this season.

  472. It really stings though george. 🙂

  473. Ah, tu che.

  474. pedantic george

    Who was that plumber who used to come on here and got binned?Said he spoke 6 languages and was in Mensa?

  475. Le-grove and its owners are a (bad) joke, but its one place to get a feel for what the doomers are thinking*.
    I don’t really care about their supporter credentials, but I in the past found it source of real time arsenal/football related information, although I find myself depending on twitter more and more for that these days.

    *Not sure thinking is the right word…

  476. I tried reading le grove when we went on our 7 game winning streak but they were still grumpy as hell, we beat wolves 3-0 but all those ingrates could do was complain, piss on themselves then complain some more, there is a very nasty character there called gambon, he said and i quote ”where is shawcross when you need him” trying to insult ramsey, also, i quote “somebody should just break ramsey’s leg and put him out of his misery”, what sort of human being is that.

  477. I think you’d fit right in over there khalifha. 😦

    Henristic will show you round.

  478. Yeah Khalif,
    Some of the posters there are truly despicable human beings, forget being arsenal fans. Its a shame they are almost even encouraged.

  479. Bradys right foot

    PG I thought that guy was a brain surgeon and ran a large humanitarian NGO in between hating Alex Song.

  480. Ouch, dexter that was harsh, how can you say such a thing?

  481. Henristic, its almost as if the worst arsenal fans found a place to gather and plot the downfall of afc, even spurs fans do not hate our club as much as they do.

  482. pedantic george

    BRF ,yes that was the one .What was his name?

  483. I wouldn’t piss on le grot if it was on fire.

  484. Was that the same guy that ran an organ donor supply shop?

  485. pedantic george

    Dups ,might I suggest you save it and piss on khalifha instead.

  486. The ex-world chess grand master? That the dude you’re referring to?

  487. Limestonegunner

    FG, I don’t know why you included me in your list, as I indicated I didn’t put much credence in the rumours, thought we had bigger issues to discuss, and only objected to his inflammatory rhetoric and pretense to knowledge of things we can’t know. Seems you missed the key points of my posts.

    And Khalifah, you’ve finally conceded my main point–there was no need to rubbish Santos to make your case for Gibbs. Congratulations. There’s more hope for you than many others as far as being able to have a discussion–I’m not giving up on you yet, but I will still be a bit patronizing! 🙂

  488. pedantic george

    Come on ,who was he?

  489. Bradys right foot

    He was referred to by a few names I believe PG, Gambons Gonad, Geoff Gimp the multi lingual Brain Surgeon. I think he was part of a faction called the “le grove illuminati” sent out to the interweb to inform Arsenal fans booing the new cheering and Alex Song is shit, i miss him.

  490. Khalifha,
    They can plot from now till kingdom come. Makes not a jot of difference to AFC. Its just a blog.

  491. I think the plumber was Alan suga

  492. Bradys right foot

    Last I heard PG he was renegotiating the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles with the Greeks and while he was there he was able to ease the concerns of the IMF on the process of the privatisation of some Greek antiquity sites and inform the Athens Arsenal supporters club that Alex Song is shit.

  493. Bradys right foot

    Thats the one Dups good old Shoogs.

  494. Pedantic, if i ever got lost on a deserted island with nothing to eat for weeks and i saw you on a plane i would use my last set of energy to write a sign that says ‘Fuck Off’, thats how much i despise you. O george, you bring out the worst in me.

    haha..comment of the day..

  495. pedantic george

    That’s the one Suga3.

  496. pedantic george

    Duke,I consider that job done.

  497. Are you guys talking about the genius that figured out a plan for world peace and found a cure for aids but hates alex song cause he is shit.

  498. Sorry, i thought we were talking about pedantic george.

  499. pedantic george

    Oh deary me.
    Duke,now do you understand?

  500. I was wonering why Steve Harmison was in goal for the chavs tonight. Looked like him. Although SH is probably a better keeper

  501. wiz,

    you do know george is like the Ron corleone on here and is an expert in monkey kung fu.

  502. Ha ha duke, pedantic george is a real pain in the arse.

  503. A regular love-fest on here today I see.

  504. pedantic george

    Well imagine Duke lining up with a Theo knocker.
    No standards some people.

  505. @ LG

    “13hunter13 | May 8, 2012 at 9:35 am

    22 million euros ? for mvilla…..does wenger have a ” eff me” tattoo on his forehead ? stop dreaming…if wenger actually pays 22 million euros for some guy from rennes then he has trully lost the plot..and i dont think he has.”

    I assume this is what you were reacting to? All the other stuff came later. I mentioned you because you fired the first salvo about this comment, calling it an attack on Wenger. It read to me as if he was doubting the likelihood of that being the price because it would be a lot for a player from the French League who is not a big name yet, and AW is too savvy to overpay. Might be right, might be wrong – I don’t know, neither does anyone else on this blog, but it hardly seemed like an attack on AW.

    @ Dexter
    The blogger who claimed to have broken the story claimed the fee was 22 million euros. As you can see, Hunter talks about euros.
    The example of Jamie Sanderson was just to show that other people questioned the price as well. Julien Laurens thinks it’s 18/19 million euros.

  506. pedantic george

    Fun ,I think iy was Limestone who called it an attack on Arsene not Dexter.
    But you are right ,It was not .

  507. pedantic george

    I really should read things properly before I reply .Sorry FG

  508. jonnyale”Sounds like a real misunderstanding of why Hunter was causing antagonism – it had absolutely nothing to do with the valuation side of things.

    Dex is right. Some of the nonsensical, critical comments he made about Rosicky alone are worth repudiating.

    hunter wasnt causing any antagonism …..some others were antagonised by his comment
    ” 22m for some guy from rennes”….

    we have witnesses … ..

    only they didnt know what hunter may or may not have in mind when saying that. they all assumed…drew personal conclusions on little evidence

    others assumed it was inside knowledge …others thought it was arrogant…others thought it was poor judgement of a player .. the xenophobic disregard of arsenal;s history
    (ahahaha..) ) etc etc.. that hunter aint a scouter .. or the owner or the manager

    and when the antichrist dared to suggest that the most obvious of our eldest players were musterbating on the pitch instead of really fucking the opposition then they got ANGRY ….

    luckily some sane people who read it all from the beginning actually saw/read it all werent as antagonised ( am i saying it right lime ? ..haha….or is this too much of an inflamatory rheotoric ? )

    now you can draw your own conclusions

    p.s 2: im no scout…but i challenge you in subbuteo, fifa, pro evo, tablesoccer, fm, cm, and then 5×5, 8×8 and 11×11 …just name the place and time..and make sure you dont bring too much money with you ..its a sin to steal from a church… 🙂

  509. 512 for a Tuesday?? holy moly. I ain’t reading through all that. Must have been some controversial shit. Like hippos deadlier than bees. Or something. Or another.
    Any ways ,congratulations to BOULDY and I hope you di us proud ,as always.
    Thanks to PATRICK RICE on nearly a half century of loyalty and hard work. WELL DONE SIR. A true symbol and ambassador for this wonderful of all clubs. Enjoy the golden years and lets see on the sidelines sometimes.
    One more game. One.more to this topsytorvey nerve racket of a season. Puofffffff. Lets go do it in a hail of GUN FIRE. WOY needs a good send off. Get you act together boys. Send all a message for the coming year.

  510. Hmm selective responding all round.
    Didn’t cause antagonism but others were antagonised by what you said? Great effort at making no sense.
    So certainly didn’t slag off Rosicky as being good only 2 games at a time and for only coming good in order to gain a new contract. Implying that he has been basically having a holiday during his time here.
    How would anyone have insight into the true effort he has put in?
    It’s a miracle he has fought back to a level where he plays at all.or the rest
    As for MVila – the fact is a widely sought after French international who is very highly rated by Wenger.
    We should and may well get him cheaper – but if Wenger overpays a little, for once, to get his man and get him early then that’s brilliant news for the club, for the fans and maybe even for convincing RVP to stay. It certainly would not make him a muppet.
    To paraphrase FG – how will you look if we DO buy him for £17M or any remotely similar sum?? You’ll have to call Wenger a muppet and stand by your assertion that he has truly lost the plot.

  511. “You’ll have to call Wenger a muppet and stand by your assertion that he has truly lost the plot”

    Which would be very interesting, given the crap he was spouting earlier in the season.

  512. @ pedantic george
    no worries. give the meerkat a cuddle from me.

    @ goonerkam | May 9, 2012 at 7:04 am

    “512 for a Tuesday?? holy moly. I ain’t reading through all that. Must have been some controversial shit. Like hippos deadlier than bees. Or something. Or another.”

    ha ha!
    Flying plague-carrying hippo-bees, now they would be scary…

  513. @ Firstlady

    Exclusive interview from our favourite German on Very impressed that his English hasn’t got worse.

  514. Good morning FUNGUN. HOPE ALL IS WELL. Lots of credit to you and FIRSTLADY and to some extent even DEXTER for coming to the aid of our misunderstood 13HUNTER13. ladies , I will confidently go to war if I had individuals like yourselves in the trenches fighting along with me.
    My advice to my man HUNTER is just to ignore the usual master-haters.
    Just tell them to jog on. Have a blessed day and stay away from those backstabbing hippo-bee hybrids.
    GOONERS. FOREVER.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

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