Yossi-r, You Can Boogie

The Bank Holiday here in the UK last Monday has thrown things out of kilter with realisation that today is Wednesday which means Sunday is a lot closer than it feels. And focus on Sunday, Arsenal must. The visit to West Bromwich Albion is significant on many levels, none of which has to do with the signing (or not) of Yann M’vila or anyone else for that matter.

Third place guarantees qualification for the group phase of the Champions League, the new mantra that this is better than the qualifying round. I am not sure why the trip to The Hawthorns seems to be vexing so many. It is not straightforward in that The Baggies have been playing relatively well and cannot be taken lightly. Yet for a team that has hinted that it is not far away from being able to lodge a title challenge, it is a fixture that ought to be routinely won. Despite the clamouring for gloom, the reality is that Albion have beaten Arsenal just twice in 14 meetings in the 21st century; only one of them was at The Hawthorns and Arsenal have won nine of the remaining twelve clashes. History is not weighing as heavily against Arsenal as some would have you believe.

One reason for optimism is the form of Yossi Benayoun. His goal against Norwich was a cracking finish although I am not sure that Arsenal will pursue any further interest in his services, despite his resurgent form since February. The Israeli was one of the flurry of signings at the end of the summer and appeared to be a curio in amongst it all. His attributes were easy to see: experience at big clubs, experience in big matches. To counter that was the fact that he had never really nailed down a place at Anfield or Stamford Bridge, never really able to make himself an automatic first choice.

He has managed that in the current Arsenal squad although with others coming in and younger players more experienced, I do not think that would be the case next season. His abilities though make him an ideal squad player, someone to bring off the bench when the occasion warrants. It is this characteristic that I wish Andrey Arshavin possessed; being able to switch form on and off. That is the mercurial Russian’s achilles heel. Perhaps Benayoun’s experiences at Chelsea and Liverpool lend him more readily to that situation?

Either way his contribution to this season’s charge, cough and stumble into the Champions League places, should not be underestimated. He has given us his average goal return and the ovations that meet his departure from the pitch show a genuine affection for the player whose efforts are appreciated, his commitment seems to lack the hollowness that normally gets associated with footballers:

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 in third place, I don’t care about anything else. When I finish I will have to decide about my future. I am supposed to go back to Chelsea first and then we will see what the future holds.

Nobody can argue with that nor I suspect would anyone argue with his place being retained in next season’s squad.

What shape that squad takes is anyone’s guess. The emphasis on youth is now bearing the fruit of its labour as more players reach majority age in the football world, passing twenty-one and requiring their own berth in the 25 man squad. Headaches of this type are the ones which the manager would prefer, rather than focussing on who is injured.

If you look at the list of players on loan, those who have already played a significant number of games for the first seem unlikely to have a long-term future at the club. A revitalised Arshavin might but he would need to be prepared to be accommodated on an irregular basis – probably ahead of Gervinho in the queue to my mind, if he is back and at his best – but ready to compete with Podolski on the left. The others – Bendtner, Denilson, Vela – I just cannot envisage a future for them at Arsenal where they have voluntarily remained, kicking their heels all season. Maybe a space could be found for the former duo but they would still take a place in the squad that might be better employed by someone else.

That is the shape of this summer. What I cannot fathom is how, for example, the signing of M’vila would lead to the sale of Alex Song. I mean I can fathom it but the assertions that this will definitely happen are baffling. Rumour and conjecture cease their limited entertainment value when passed off as an indisputable fact. That a player may genuinely be able to compete for their place in the squad is apparently inconceivable. That’s the Premier League era for you, neatly encapsulated. And if you need a further contrast, visit Arsenal On This Day to find out about harder and much darker days.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 9, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 346 Comments.

  1. Bonjour YW comme d’habitude cetait une interrasnte lire

  2. YW – Nice post as always.

  3. Mister_Walnuts

    Fuck! It’s Wednesday? I’m supposed to be at work!!!!! Roll on Sunday. Who is going to get our last minute winner to clinch it? Yossi is a candidate….. maybe an even more unlikely source like Kos? You just know it’s not going to be simple or easy…. that would be just too….well…. er…. easy. The race for 3rd eh? Who’d of thought there’d be such a thing 20 years ago!

  4. Yossi needs to start at WBA, but so must Theo and Gervinho oh and the Oxo Kid! 🙂

  5. Lire, Ras? No, I’ve avoided that currency ever since Frank had his Turkish Arse Whistles.

  6. Dean Williams

    A team that has managed three mini- (or perhaps, not so mini-) crises in a single season cannot really be judged as “not far away from being able to lodge a title challenge”, can it? When even the prospect of a CL place (rather than an actual trophy) induces a dose of end-of-season-choking, realistic hopes surely begin and end with also-ran top four places for the foreseeable future.

  7. YB has been a total pro and seems to have fitted in well.

    We were actually very good for a lot of the second half against Norwich, so if we do that again and our finishing is a little better, and we concentrate for the whole 95 minutes we’ll be fine.

  8. i would welcome our little russian and mexican and brazilian and not so little dane back, though i agree with you I don’t see it happening, as much because none strike me as being happy to be squad players at this point. so selling them seems to be the most likely option, or in the case of the brazilian, another loan.

    still, their combined fees probably pays for m villa – that is a healthy contribution in itself.

    I agree yogi – his arrival does not mean song departs. it means song and art can take a break and rotate, especially the former. it also probably puts pressure on ramsey and our twitter master to perform. c o q it seems to me might become a right back, against his wishes. boy has too much talent not to play.

  9. Dean

    Given the spending power of the 2 teams above us and at least 2 below, top 4’s about right, so any improvement on that (say 3rd place) is progress.

    But I imagine you don’t want to hear anything positive.

  10. Spending power or willingness to spend?

  11. Nando – None have given any real indication that they can positively affect our club for a sustained period apart from AA (I am including Bendtner in this), so given the restricted squad numbers I really hope that we sell all three of them. All decent enough players of course, just not good enough for Arsenal.

  12. Willingness/Ability to spend is an age old argument. And one that nobody really knows the answer to, despite the furious number crunching by some fans. What is for certain is that we are not in the category of both Manchester clubs and Chelsea. Possibly even Liverpool.

    Despite our helter skelter season, come the final lge table I think we have done pretty well all things considering.

  13. I go with spending power.

  14. We are 5th on wages and probably 20th on player expediture this season, so 3rd seems like quite the achievement.

  15. pedantic george

    “James Olley ‏ @JamesOlley
    Confusion over M’Vila. Player’s camp claim deal (& fee) agreed, #afc sources say they are no longer interested. Am believing the latter now.”

    Well that was a waste of a day

  16. @PG
    If it turns out true, just too funny. So we all got our knickers in a bunch (well, save for you and LG) and in the end he’s not comming.

  17. Steve

    You are being intentionally obtuse I take it? If not, then you are a bit of a tabloid headline reader then man.

    WE have the same/similar spending power as man City, United, the chavs and scousers?

    Or are we trying to run the club how clubs should be run, ie, you spend what you can afford and don’t rely on artificially pumped in ill gotten gains.

    Jeeeeez, are we really discussing this?

  18. james Olley is consistently anti-Arsenal so anything he says I would disregard anyways.

  19. According to James Olley of Evening Standard infamy, Arsenal have walked away from the M’vila deal although the player & his advisors believe the deal is agreed.

  20. Yogi

    Love the disco themed title of today’s post BTW. Groovy!

  21. Yossi deserves to stay atleast for another year. His work rate is immense. He has the experience i think him along with Rosicky will be vital for us next season. Yossi can be a good squad player for us.


  22. goonerandy,

    “not good enough for arsenal” is a little loaded.

    Let’s say rather that they do not fit into our scheme or style of play at the moment. Arshavin for example might be plenty good for arsenal, but as he seems most comfortable with the team built around him as a second striker, he is not a good fit. Ditto Vela has been lights out in Spain, but in a less physical environment – doesn’t mean he is not good enough, just more suited to a different climate or style.

    Regardless – we agree basically.

  23. pedantic george

    I agree with khalifha,and disagree with Steve.

  24. Either there was no interest ever in M’Villa and it was all started so that a few Gooners would have something else to slag off the club about (Steve probably) and the club would look like they aint being as competitive as they can or should be. Or Olley is just chatting complete bollocks as usual. I have found him to be nothing but a shit stirring fucknut.

  25. Vela is a great little player, but I dont see him coming back to us unfortunately; Bendtner has basically burnt his bridges but there have been bigger turnarounds in football, but again, I would say he is off; Denilson; cannot see him returning either.

    Arshavin is quality and I do hope he returns, but I have been saying that for ages now, so apologies for the repetition, i say apologies for the repe… 🙂

  26. George

    I think you should be petitioning the club to get Andrei back for our last game of t’season. Can we do that? Well, can we?

  27. Ah, George, finally we agree on something.

  28. M’Vila – I’ve been confused from the beginning. Why pay 17-odd mil for someone when you have Le Coq in the squad? Maybe M’Vila is better, but 17 mil better? I doubt it. Le Coq is at a stage now where he needs more regular outings in the PL/CL as Song’s relief player to give him the chance to show he can do it regularly at that level and to find out about his physical durability.
    Yes, M’Vila would strengthen the squad but as there is a 25-man limit for CL, that means leaving out someone else, long term as he’s only 21. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get someone a bit older with PL experience to give Le Coq another season to mature into the player it seems to me he has the potential of being? Or does Le Coq’s age mean that he could be outside the 25-man squad yet still be eligible to play? I don’t understand all these rules 🙂

  29. pedantic george

    Just to confuse matters further
    “Ashburton Grove ‏ @ashburton_grove
    To calm nerves, we’re definitely interested in M’Vila but the club are telling journalists no deal is finalised. Talks have taken place.”

    Its enough to mash your swede.

  30. Hang on a minute – I don’t think anyone said or thought the deal was done on ACLF!

    I was consistent that it was all speculative but that we do know that there is big interest on AW’s part.

    This now smells a bit like the Joel Campbell deal – it might be that the clubs are close but AW is playing hardball over money. All speculation of course – but what else is there? 😉

    As regards Yossi – been a pleasure having him. A good pro. I felt he was perhaps under utilised at times but that seems to have bee the story of his career…

  31. Re James Olley, maybe his “Arsenal sources” don’t like him either and are trying to screw him 🙂

  32. Dexter mate

    I am not in the slightest being obtuse. I was similarly accused last week when again I did nothing but innocently voice an opinion on an issue that is not the doctrine of 99% of support. Fuck all to do with being obtuse.

    Arsenal have greater spending power than we have exercised in recent times. This is not the fantasy of bedroom Championship Manager but reality borne out by annual financial statements with regard to retained profits within the business. It is also a line rolled out annually by Mr Gazidis when asked on this topic, normally he qualifies the statement with “if Arsene wants to spend…” etc.

    Some have suggested that the spending at the end of last August was to a degree ‘forced’ by events at the beginning of the season, would we have been so busy if Old Trafford had not happened for example.

    There is also surely scope for calculated spending and assuming debt as long as that debt is manageable.

    We are not in the realms of City or Chelsea who have the backing of a super-rich owner (which we of course do but nobody wants us to go down that route). Liverpool are a slightly unique case in that 18-24 months ago they were in serious shit until the new owners came in and effectively wiped the slate clean. United arguably are in a worse financial state than we are.

    There can be no doubt whatsoever that our board – rightly or wrongly depending on where you stand on the issue of our business model – does not have the willingness to spend compared with our direct rivals. It was suggested yesterday that the actions of this summer to date (at which time it was assumed M’Vila was coming) are the releasing of purse strings as such.

    I see then you have another childish dig at me @ 11:41. Show me anywhere I have slagged off the club?

  33. Positive is good. I like positive. It’s Yogi’s “hints at… title challenges” that I wish we could get away from.

  34. pedantic george

    I cant believe Yossi has been unable to find a good dentist in London.

  35. Dexter, i think arshavin is an enigma, half the time he is playing, you wonder if he is interested at all or maybe thinking deeply about his next move – usually the next move leaves the defender shitting his pants. BUT, most players of that nature must have a high rate of end product else they will look half hearted and lazy to supporters. Classic example is berbatov, genius at a lesser and insignificant club like spu*s but lazy and unmotivated at a bigger club – yawnited.
    There has to be 100percent commitment from arshavin for him to succeed at arsenal again.

  36. Coquellin doesn’t yet count in the squad numbers, dk, so it is not an issue with him and M’vila

  37. Anonymous at 11.56

    There’s a bloody simple way to get away from such hints…

  38. pedantic george

    As YW rightly tells us ,a lot can be implied by your tone.Steve

  39. I really want Yossi to stay….

    Sign him up, sign him up, sign up…sign him up, sign him up, sign him orup

    phhheeeepppp (excuse me)

  40. Re Yossi – I thought we should have taken him while he was at West Ham. Then he went to Liverpool. We could have got him from them but he went to Chelsea. Now he’s with us, it seems a crying shame to let him go (although I suppose the 25-man squad rule comes into play here too).
    To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, to lose him once, Mr Wenger, may be regarded as misfortune; to lose him three times looks like carelessness.

  41. I hear what you say about Song, but if the signing of M’Villa actually comes to fruition, where does that leave the team line up and remainder of the current midfieldcrop.

    Assuming that both he and Podolski are nailed on starters and assuming Wilshere will automatically drop back in, and Theo has little compitition on the right. That leaves one place for the following:
    Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Chamberlain, Rosicky, AA (??), Yossi (??), Gervinhio and that is all before you start looking at current loanees and fringe players.

    Something or more importantly someone has to give.

  42. Steve

    You only said it from an innocent childlike quest for answers did you? Oh do fuck off.

    You are simply towing the doomer line that we have not spent money that is simply lying around being used to keep Peter Hill Wood in cigars port and oxford brogues.

    WE have had a bout £25m to spend in the last few years, and thats including wages etc.

    So spare me your victim act.

    And the ‘childish dig’ at 11.41 was a fucking piss take, lighten up, you doomer twat. 🙂


  43. Well, Yossi is exactly the kind of player we need. Experienced, able to guide the youngsters coming through but at the same time capable of doing a job when it’s asked of him. A very useful option to have in the squad.

  44. Meh, I am going to forget about it until something concerete happens. It is unlikely that most of the people giving “inside” info actually know what is going on.

    It makes me laugh when people like to make out that they “are in the know”. Realistically, how many people know the details of a transfer negotiation? Not many I would wager. Once the deal is done more people may be privvy to some of the details, but until then there are likely only a handful who know the details.

  45. YW, Thx for the clarification regarding Le Coq. Still think that bringing in a 21 year old puts a big obstacle in his way – Song is only 24.

  46. Nice one Yogi
    Yep, I’d be happy to see Benayoun signed. Useful Squad Player. (Horrible phrase) At what point in your career do you accept that being a USP is what your life has become? Come to think of it, I think I’m pretty much a useful squad player. In life.

    Dexter, I’m listening to that Lonnie Liston Smith track and we are so going to beat the Baggies! That is how we’re going to play. But not too reckless! Tight. But free. If the boys could play with headphones on then that would be the track….Oh but then RVP wouldn’t hear the whistle and get booked for putting the ball in the back of the net 0.5 seconds later.

  47. King Salami

    You want to know where players will fit in?

    Easy, the medical centre has bunk beds now, so no problemes there man.

  48. The problem or benefit – depending on what angle you want to look at it- is that our ‘defensive midfielders’- and i use that term lightly is have too much skill to be placed in such a disciplined role, from the stats i have seen of m’villa in regards to his number of goals and assists, he has no attacking inclination whatsoever – so buying a DM makes a lot of sense.

  49. @Andy
    I’ve seen people that seem to now what happens on the training pitch, what happens in boardroom negotiations, how our coaches communicate with Wenger etc. It’s no wonder we always take forever to get anything done when seemingly all of Arsenal are so busy informing several hundred of people that are “in-the-know” about all the confidential stuff happening behind closed doors!

  50. mingus

    Hahahahaha! Ace man!

  51. jonny

    I know man, no one suggested it was a done deal either. Just discussing the whys and wherefores of signing him, or not. And how he might fit in.

    He and Song could play together, or him and Arteta, then when jacks… Oh I am doing it again!

  52. A simple statement that the club could probably have spent more in recent years has you labelled a ‘twat’ and a ‘doomer’.

    Great. Playground stuff of course.

  53. Evil – Amazing eh?

  54. Metersacker and arterta would have been perfect for this match – both are calm, assured, experienced and leaders on the pitch. O metersacker, why? – i blame that shithole called the stadium of lights and their plantation field.

  55. pedantic george

    “Assuming that both he and Podolski are nailed on starters and assuming Wilshere will automatically drop back in”
    Why on earth would we make those assumptions?

    I think(ok Dexter I will do my own jokes ) that the game has changed,Any team hopping to win the league has to win more games than in the past,Get more points if you will.Chelsea and now City have made it a squad game rather than a first team game,if you will.
    Therefore I believe we are somewhat late too the party ,but none the less ,joining in.
    The reason why we are late is going back to Steve’s question,Is it because we now can or because we now choose too ?

  56. And the ‘childish dig’ at 11.41 was a fucking piss take, lighten up, you doomer twat.
    I have had to resort to quoting myself to try and point out to you that it was, you know, tongue in cheek.

    Pffft, where’s that freshly painted wall? I think I’ll watch that for an hour or so.

  57. Guys, Who is going to prepare the lasagne, am busy so someone else has to do it this time – please lets be discreet about it, we don’t want the spuds complaining to the f.a now, do we. Extra salt also, sunday is going to be fun.

  58. pedantic George

    Your own jokes? You havent done one of them since 1978 man.

  59. pedantic george

    Jeez.I agree with khalifha again.On both points.
    Steve ,I told you why Dexter thinks you are a doomer twat.Dont you listen?

  60. Khalifha

    Haha! Good point man, but i think the spuds had that for their pre-match meal before the Villa game. Dont know if we can chance it, trying to sneak a few laxatives into their lasagne again!

  61. nice little sermen today..

    interesting our record v the baggies..to be honest ive never been worried about them,
    its only been the last few years ive cringed when ive heard they are our next fixture, but then again, almunia aint in net no more..
    we will win on sunday..no probs

    im one of those that like benny and hope we can keep him for another year..
    he seems like a really nice chap and hes not a bad squad player to boot..i dont think anyone can really say for the games hes given us this season he hasnt contributed..

    as for mvilla…alex song is the only defensive midfielder we have and even hes not that defensive anymore..we are too top heavy with similar players in the midfield and its one of the reasons why we let teams drive jumbo jets through our defensive set up, everyone wants to score or assist these days, we seem to have little options when it comes to throwing a grimandi on and protecting the back 4..bearing in mind our fullbacks are wingbacks and we need them to bomb forward..someone has to defend, preferably the CB’s and at least one of the midfielders..its that simple..
    when ppl are saying we miss arteta for his defensive nous you know the manager has an area of the team he needs to address…
    mvilla would be a welcome addition to song…although i wish song would return into the old classy, silky smooth, super strong, ball retaining, play breaking defensive midfielder/CB hes top class at as well….this assist hes perfected seems to have gone to his head as well as lots of other peoples..it seems he doesnt have to do anything else anymore for some reason.
    alex songs a beast when alex song does what he does best..its why i was personally upset with him at the weekend..i dont think he even attempted a tackle..never mind make one..
    those assists are great but lets not forget its not his entire game..

    song and mvilla can play in the same team..especially in the away games or the squeeky bum games where we need both belt and braces..

  62. Re lasagne, from what I saw, it was Villa who had eaten the lasagne.

  63. Yeah, Sp*ds must’ve eaten fish considering how badly they’ve choken.

  64. There can be no doubt whatsoever that our board – rightly or wrongly depending on where you stand on the issue of our business model – does not have the willingness to spend compared with our direct rivals. It was suggested yesterday that the actions of this summer to date (at which time it was assumed M’Vila was coming) are the releasing of purse strings as such.
    No doubt? Why is that? Because you choose to believe they have not made funds available out of spite? Or because they want it all for themselves? Utter baseless nonsense. You want to believe that as it concurs with your negative viewpoint, and please don’t go all childlike innocent on me again.

    Praps, the purse strings have been loosened (although we have no idea at present how much is going to be spent, or recouped) due to the simple fact that, we were told money would be too tight to mention (I can do it too Yogi!) for a number of years due to the stadium repayments etc and seeing as we are a few years down the line, funds are there.

    Your line is very similar to those espoused on a certain blog we were chatting about last night.


    George, we got another one man.

  65. Hmmm, i like today’s pedantic george better.

  66. Yeah, you two have made up, how sweet! 🙂

  67. Regarding the triangular conversations about Song – M’Vila – Le Coq

    I’m going to give our manger and coaching staff the edge on knowing what the club needs over my football worldliness.

  68. Dexter, ha ha, you know what would be funny as hell, if we could slip a couple of viagra pills in their tea, i would pay to see the look on their faces during the match.

  69. tftp, yossi has been very good for us this season when he has played, come up with a goal or two, but for me that is that, im hoping we are moving up a little in intention next season if i am to believe what im hearing re transfers, so players like benny, arshy get a stong thank you, but their gettin gon a bit and i dont think they could have as strong an impact as some of the younger players coming through, as for the loanees i would like to see the mexican back, hes scored 12 goals this season in la liga i think he can replace cham, i hear hes happy there though, i so hope we win on sunday, its like liverpool away all over again, only like you say we should be favourites this time

  70. Evil, i can’t wait for the excuse the spud fans will use on sunday – if its not lasagne, its the f.a trying to tap up their brilliant manager(that was not even considered for the England job)

  71. PD,

    Even if my starting assumptions are incorrect, the number of midfielders on the pitch at any one time remains the same. (Unless you are Alex McLeish)

    That still leaves perming 5 from a list possible numbering nearer 15.

    And my point that someone has to give, remains.

    im with you regarding YB. And more importantly all this transfer talk and rumors. The season isn’t over and 3rd place hasn’t been tied up. I hope the crew is fully focused and ready to fire on Sunday. I know there are ways we can secure third without having to win the game but im hoping for a convincing win nevertheless. Two reasons.
    Send a message out to the league as regards to next years campaign.
    Send Patrick Rice onto his retirement years with a good win.
    UP THE. GUNS!!!!!!

    OH, and pray Birmingham doesn’t get promoted back to EPL. either Southampton or Cardiff would do for me . Along with Reading.

  73. Squad for next season, as of now, with under 21s at start of season marked with U:

    Szczesny (U)
    Martinez (U)

    Jenkinson (U)

    Wilshere (U)
    Rosicky (U)
    Coquelin (21 on Sunday, Yogi – what a birthday present that would be if he starts)
    Frimpong (U)

    Van Persie
    Chamberlain (U)

    That makes 25 with 6 under-21s (the U by Rosicky is a joke based on how he’s playing at present, not a typo). Ignores loanees like Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson, Vela. Also there are fringe under-21s like Afobe, Miyachi, Miquel. Also included Martinez as 3rd goalkeeper instead of Almunia (for wish fulfilment reasons).
    So there is plenty room for expanding the 25-man under-21 squad, if the budget can take it.
    Bring on M’Vila!

  74. And the “Loser of the Day Award” goes to:

    What a tosser!! Will someone please put my mind to rest and tell me that is NOT Jonny Neale!?

  75. pedantic george

    TR7,Diaby,Arteta,Jack ,Ramsey,Le Coq.,Song and M’Vile(from what you asked)
    That is 8,how do you get to nearer 15?

  76. The key to the 21 cut-off is their age on 1st January 2012 so it is not as simple as saying that they are over the age at the start of the season.

  77. He’s too fat for Jonny, Irish, but I can see why you thought it might be him.

    Keep Yossi, sell the others.

  78. I’m all for signing up Yossi. When he takes the pitch, I know what to expect in his performance, regardless of the Arsenal opponent.

    100% effort with or without the ball.

  79. Well, James Olley’s really put his reputation on the line:
    “… the Gunners are adamant that he is not on their wanted list.”
    As for the comments about his temperament, with Karl Henry reportedly on his way to Villa, I would have thought M’Vila would have been very useful in at least 2 games next season.

  80. 9gerianGunner

    This signing if it happens will be a very good addition,it would allow Wilshere to play as an attacking midfielder similar to Rosicky and to a greater extent Messi.

    Song Coquelin Arteta Villa at DM,Wilshere,Ramsey,Rosicky,Arshavin as AM,Diaby as a midfield general,Benny,Gerv,Chambo,Walcott as wingers,RVP,Podolski,Chamark as strikers.

    The combinations would be endless like Song Arteta Wilshere, Villa Arteta Rosicky, Coquelin Arteta Ramsey, Villa Song Arshavin,Coquelin Song Rosicky.etc

    The competition is slimmest in central defence

    That’s when all are fit.

    Big one to Benny,crucial goal vs Aston Villa

  81. i dont really care about the financail thing or the squad allocation thing anymore.. it sends my head into spins

    all i know is that weve got money and weve got space in the squad..

    specific numbers i care not..

  82. mattgoonerknight

    goonerkam | May 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Southampton are already up with Reading.

    Cardiff are out.

    West Ham are in the final to play Birmingham or Blackpool.

    I hope West Ham are promoted.

  83. mattgoonerknight


    So spend some money on some players then?

    I think AW can appease you there!:)

  84. pedantic george

    I would have liked Blackpool up .But Holloway has been a bit of a twat towards us this year in his column.

  85. Naah, Blackpool although I do tend to fall more into the ‘Anyone But Birmingham’ camp.

  86. Speaking of loans, here are the stats of our players on loan:

    *Nicklas bendther: played;28 Goals;8 Assists;5. Top goalscorer and assist for sunderland.

    *Carlos Vela: Played:34 Goals:12 Assists;7. Top goal scorer and assist for real sociedad.

    *Andrey arshavin: scoring goals and getting assists (what?!)

    These players can’t even get into our first team.

  87. No, anyone but west ham(sam allardyce people; long ball, injuries to our players and general anti football). We don’t need stoke 2.0 in the league.

  88. Yogi, there is definitely an issue with the ‘notify me of follow up comments’ button. It defaults to ‘on’.

    A real pain. Anything you can do?

  89. Pedantic, i hear you, holloway’s column used to be interesting.

  90. @Irish Thanks mate – love you too!

    Funnily enough my X-Wife’s name is Sarah!

    But seriously whatever that guy did, even if she already forgave him for it, she should dump his sorry ass, for having absolute ZERO self-respect.

    Cringeworthy or what?

  91. khalifha

    Yep, for the most part I don’t think Bendtner and Vela could handle the pressure (at their ages) of having to deliver for Arsenal on a consistent basis. As for Arshavin, goodness alone knows why he lost his way although he is more of a Marinello / Petrovic / Nicholas figure, crowd-pleasing signing whose indifference we forget when he produces his mercurial moments.

  92. mattgoonerknight


    That’s why they’re on loan to teams who aren’t as good as us – no?

    On the other hand, I find it funny how Benny has made a genuine contribution to The Arsenal, while his parent club, which is 3 places in the league below us, deemed him surplus to requirements.

    It really is indicative of how Chelsea have recently perceived us as the also-ran neighbours by allow Benny to come here in the first place. If they fail to win the CL they have massively underachieved.

    Arsenal, back where we should be as the best team in London!


  93. arsenalandrew

    And so the Silly Season starts, promptly enough.

    As I said yesterday, could be a loooong (if not hot) summer ….

    Agree with not wanting any of ‘Big’ Sam’s teams in the division; pleased for Southampton though.

  94. Billy's Boots

    Good post, YW. Interesting point about Arshavin’s ability to come off the bench versus YB’s. It’s a comparison that is unfair to Arshavin as he is seen as a game-changer; I don’t get the sense that Benayoun is judged in the same way. I like both players, but Benayoun must have the easier task.

  95. MGK
    thats pretty much the gist of it

    happens every year
    players come players go..

    i just want it to be a massive improvement on last year..
    which cant be all that hard to achieve to be honest..

  96. pedantic george

    I think Andrei Arshavin is the second best player we currently have.
    Unfortunately for him ,and the rest of us,his style of play does not fit our current shape.Vela is also in the same boat.
    Both could play if the shape was change to 4,2,3,1. but I dont think the boss has a mind to change the shape .
    But for arguments sake this is how I would have us line up.


    Song ,Arteta
    Theo ,PVP,Andrei

    2nd eveven and cover

  97. The thick plottens re MVila – no real surprise there. Sigh.
    Although if we were interested last summer (and we were) I doubt he is off our radar completely – Wenger probably just has a price in mind.
    Or of course it could equally hinge on CL qualification and that kind of thing.

  98. pedantic george

    “khalifha | May 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    No, anyone but west ham(sam allardyce people; long ball, injuries to our players and general anti football). We don’t need stoke 2.0 in the league”

    OK, now you are taking the piss.Making me agree with your every post.
    But Hey,Spot on.Anyone bar West Ham.

  99. The Real Stew Black

    Yogi, can I just say that this is your best ever cheesy disco related title. I’m off to play the original.

  100. I agree with Khalifha

    Anyone but West Ham for me, so hopefully Blackpool.

  101. George – I would agree with that if you are talking about talent alone. But talent alone is not enough; an effective footballer needs the application to suplement the talent. Unfortunately AA was/is sporadic in this respect.

  102. Afternoon Gooners. Turn your back for a few days and the whole place shits itself over gossip. Our interest in M’Vila has been around for over a year, why has everyone suddenly started talking about it? I can find no source.

    Anyway he won’t replace Song since Song can play anywhere on the pitch. If anything he’ll provide incentive for Song to sign an extention (please!) knowing he won’t be reigned in as much. I’ve waited patiently for the day we let the lad off the leash. But I’d probably be happier if it came about because of Coquelin forcing his way into the team. That lad has grit. Haven’t seen M’Vila play to be honest, so can’t get too excited, but if we can negotiate for around the 8/10 million mark then why not.

    Yossi? Yeah, we’ll have him too. But someone has to go.

  103. mattgoonerknight


    AA wide left?

    Haven’t you always championed that the number 10 role was both his best position and where he should be played?

    A regular starter on the left of a front three hasn’t really “happened” for him of late (pre-loan), so the new option of Podolski in this role will make a starting birth even more difficult to see.

    It looks like the type of line up you might see when chasing the game / pushing for the winner in the last 15 minutes, but as a starting 11? No so sure.

  104. i think we’ve still got him, jonny..

    i dont see why we would track a guy for 3-4 years and have a couple of bids turned down to walk away when the player and the club are finally ready

    rennes seem to think its a dont deal but i dont trust agents, especially with the likes of inter sniffing around..

    sounds like an agent playing up to me..
    rennes ready to sell
    mvilla ready to come
    wenger ready to buy
    agent says make it 40% cos inter are involved
    wenger calls his bluff says deals off
    mvila wants wenger
    mvilla tells agent to shush

    arsenal get their man 😉

  105. pedantic george

    I disagree Andy(no surprise there eh?)
    I believe his playing style does not fit,I think he gives and does his best,always.

  106. George

    4-2-3-1 is the formation man. And playing Arshavin wide left caused all the crap in the first place! Some groupie you are ! 🙂

  107. George – Ah, c’mon mate. I like AA as it goes. But the amount of times he has lost the ball or misplaced a pass and then just stood there was infuriating to watch. And that has nothing to do with our style of play.

    I think he did work had in bursts, but all too often didn’t. In a lesser side where he could be the main man and have the side build around him, thus relieveing him of most defensive responisbilities (like Le Tisser at Southampton) he would be excellent I think. You can’t carry players at the top level though.

  108. mattgoonerknight


    We’re one game away from the last game of the season, a game that will hopefully secure us CL football next season; transfer speculation is going to be rife!

    M’Vila – if you haven’t seen him play, why are you suggesting that 8-10 million would be worth a punt? What if he is truly “worth” the 17million or so pounds that is being suggested and he is willing to come?

    If AW is willing to spend big on a young talent, I’m certainly willing to get excited about it!

  109. Stick Podolski wide left, Arshavin central behind RvP and Swap Vermealen for Mertesacker and that is a top 11.

  110. Further to that, many seem to think he would be best suited as our advanced midfielder. That is nonsense IMO; he does not have the defensive discipline to play there as when we lose the ball the advanced midfielder drop back a bit. AA is not a midfielder.

    It is simliar to thos that call for TV5 to play midfield. And in the past Toure in midfield. The boss does not play them in those positions……because they would not be very effective there. He see’s them every time in training. If he thought TV5 would make a fine defensive midfielder, he would simply play him there. But he doesn’t, and for good reason.

  111. pedantic george

    I am changing my mind and going with Dexters line up.
    God how good is that?

  112. mattgoonerknight




    A question of semantics?

  113. Mattgooner
    Yes i know, i just wanted to point out the talent we have in our squad (other clubs best players can’t get into ours)

    Pedantic, i don’t understand whats going on too, maybe you drank too much coffee.

  114. MGK

    Semantics? No, didactics most likely.

  115. mattgoonerknight

    That is good PG as Dexter’s line up is better than yours.

  116. Stew,

    On next week’s show? The Real Stew Black Is Disco Stew.

  117. andy

    No mate, the number 10 position can probably get away with the least amount of defensive work. Your assertion is totally wrong. What a surprise! Having Arshavin wide left and not tracking was one of the reasons behind his demise, IMO.

  118. Okay lets see how dexter’s idea looks on paper(better for the eyes).


    Sagna Mert Kos Gibbs


    Walcott Arsha Podolsk


  119. mattgoonerknight


    Didactics = boring, pedantic teachings, no?

    I was using it in the sense of 6 of 1, a score + 4 and a bakers dozen – 1 of the other : )

    Right, lunch over!

  120. @Dexter
    Spot on. as a number 10 it’s important to apply early pressure to the opposition midfield, but at the same time you are not required to jog up and down the flank like a winger. If you don’t track your man as the number 10, there is still a midfield in the way but if you don’t track your man as a winger you have 2 v 1 on the flank.

  121. The Real Stew Black

    Assuming I’m still alive next week YW

  122. mattgoonerknight

    (score + 4) ÷ 4
    (bakers dozen – 1) ÷ 2
    and 6 of 1

    Or something like that. I’m losing it.

  123. Did i just leave, Ox Chamberlain, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arterta and Vermealean out of that lineup – i must be drunk.

  124. mattgoonerknight, 17 million is too much for potential. You could argue we paid similar for the Ox but he had the English premium. I really don’t think we’ll go above 10 million without maybe selling or exchanging a midfielder of our own, and rightly so. We already have 8 players competing for 3 places.

    Jack, Diaby, Arteta, Ramsey, Song, Rosicky, Coquelin, Frimpong

  125. mumbaigooner

    Markus @ 1.50

    My thoughts exactly.. Le Coq needs to be given his change (even if we sign M’villa)

  126. at YW lire is the French verb for read…Was just anthoer- different way to say as per usual excellent post..

  127. arshavin could easily play centrally if we went with belt and braces in deep midfield and balanced the act..

    with AA playing behind podolski robin and theo it would be an awesome foursome

    we wouldnt need to go gung ho with everyone chasing the ball like its a playgroung kickabout..

    keep it tight, win it, give it and hold your position while the attackers strut their stuff and break on a back peddling defence..if it breaks down weve got players wating to win it back and off we go again…

    pretty much how we played in every wenger era up until the invincibles..
    until we decided it would be good fun to have 11 attackers on the pitch and then suffer years of 3-3’s 4-4’s and dismal defending that makes your blood boil considering some of the defensive units weve had over the years..and that includes under wenger..

  128. khalifha

    That formation is shit as it has only 10 players. 😉

  129. 2nd team:


    Jenks Djo Verm Santos

    Arterta Coquelain

    Oxlade Wilshere Ryo


    Shit, i did it again, i forgot: Gervinho and Ramsey

  130. er….the mygoaldentimes thingy is actually keysersoze

  131. —————————————-chesny————————————
    ——————————-arteta ———- song —————————-
    —–walcott——————-arshavin/rosicky ————–gervinho—–
    ————————podolski—————–van persie——————–

    269 / 11 = 26.9 average age

  132. ras

    I know – it was an in-joke.

  133. 296* /11 = 26.9

  134. Markus

    I agree, the fee is exorbitant, but the player is alot more than potential, kust as Nasri was. Saying that, I too would rather it was Coquelin in there, because that would mean he has developed sufficiently to be considered 1st choice material. I am sure that day will come mind.

    Your list of midfielders isnt as big as it looks though. Jack, Diaby and Frimpong cannot be considered yet, while Ramsey has been very out of sorts lately, but that’s purely temporary I am sure.

  135. Hunter

    Good that you have thought about a formation to use when all our full backs are out injured.

  136. Has anyone else noticed how Khalifha has managed to swap Santos for Gibbs?? 🙂

  137. Mygoldentimes, my bad, arterta should be there.

  138. Hunter

    Ahh, the old 1-2-2-3-1 formation I see.

  139. keyser 2.24 Hahaha! 🙂

  140. It will be good to have M’Vila solely because he is different from any player we have. From what I hear he is more Song than Arteta in tackling and more Arteta than Song in retaining possession. We don’t have a player like that at this point. What M’Vila will give us is another option. All players are different, nobody is a direct replacement for anyone, it is more about having the option to play different midfield combinations. Horses for courses thing.

  141. mygoaldentimes | May 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    lol…haha ! ..we dont need them … walcott and gerv will just have to run a bit more ..they are young they are healthy they can do it ..plus kons and verm can cover dr and lr and song and art to cover them if necessary or if you want throw sagna and santos instead of theo/gerv….

  142. mvilla aint potential..dont let the reletively young age fool ya..
    10mil is way too low..
    way way too low
    hes played more times for france than diaby has..

    hes got room to grow but his games developed..hes a few levels above just being potential..

  143. Here’s a view of AA you might like George. 😉


    Oh and the article too.

  144. I know the season isnt over and we have been discussing what is tantamount to nothing more than some (almost) baseless rumours way more than usual, but for me, atleast, its a good distraction and a way of not thinking too much about the nerves and worries about Sunday.

  145. @Dexter
    Yes, Sunday is like a proper up final, isn’t it? It’s a must-win game like we haven’t had one in quite some time. I just hope that the players don’t show any nerves…

  146. It’s daft demeaning MVila as mere ‘potential’ (and self serving). £17M IS a bit much (I think we all agree there) but it’s certainly not SO overpriced as to refer Wenger as a muppet who has lost his marbles.
    I wonder if the same people would refer to Wilshere as mere ‘potential’ and, by extension, what value people would place on him?
    Being different types of player it’s a bit apples and oranges but, regardless, Mvila has a good deal more experience than JW.

  147. Dex @ 2.45 – isn’t it funny how it upsets some people? I understand that some people prefer not to talk about things that may or may not happen but that’s fine: Don’t do it then!

    Getting annoyed with the people who prefer to indulge in it, or actively enjoy it, seems rather draconian – to each their own.

    I’m with you – it’s a welcome distraction and it’s nice to think about the future and what potential signings might add to our next campaign for victory.

    BTW – can I just be clear on this: I also had noticed that the season is NOT YET OVER. 😉

  148. Great post as always.

    On Yossi, I have always enjoyed watching him even when he was running the show for West Ham. I wouldn’t mind signing him because i know when he steps on teh pitch he will do a job not to mention he is loyal to the team that he is playing for and thinks only to help them succeed which is rare nowadays.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Vela return because i do think that he has matured and he could be the supersub goal scorer that we need and so many desperately long for. If he had the mind set, he could be our Chicharito where he comes off the bench and gets us 10 goals a season but that is a mindset not many have. Bendtner and Denilson I honestly wouldn’t want back. But Arshavin I wouldn’t mind having back if he could take Yossi’s mindset to just go out there and do a job but i fancy both him and Yossi would have a hard time getting a game with Podolski coming and Jack’s return not to mention that the Ox can play both centrally and wide as Arsene has done throughout the 2nd half of the season.

    On M’villa, I truly think that we are going to get him I just think its a bargain ploy that they use all the time here in the states. The player wants to go somewhere the agents being an a$$hole and then the player and the team that wants him both get their way and the agent has no choice. But I read some of the early posts from today on here and they are greatly misunderstanding or have a lack of reading ability because yesterday we were purely talking in speculative terms not to mention NOBODY ON ACLF said the deal was done.

  149. Same here jonny and dex, why do think ave been going on about formations – anything but westbrom today.

  150. Dexter – “No mate, the number 10 position can probably get away with the least amount of defensive work. Your assertion is totally wrong

    But our midfielder is not playing as a typical No10. Hence why I called it an advanced midielder. Rosicky is putting a mammoth shift in at the moment. Could yuo honestly see AA closing down like Rosicky?

    If you are talking a withdrawn striker in a 442, then yes, AA would fit the bill nicely. But that is not what we play and is more than likely the reason Arsene always plays a central midfielder in that position as opposed to a forward.

  151. It’s daft demeaning MVila as mere ‘potential’ (and self serving). £17M IS a bit much (I think we all agree there)

    LOL……………. yesterday you had different ideas……..

  152. Its interesting people refer to M’villa as just potential yet he has taken the reins and Rennes not to mention that he has become 1st choice for France. While yes he does have potential to grow even more his talent is undeniable and unquestioned, wait that sounds like a couple of our players:Diaby, Jack, Ox, Gibbs yet he is vastly more experienced then all 4. Jack full of potential, Ox and Diaby full of potential and all 3 talents undenialbe and unquestioned. I look at the situation from this perspective, if/when M’villa comes he will not only be able to give rest but also help strength our already strong squad and if sh$t hits the fan and he doesn’t(this is Arsenal we have seen it before) then our squad is still strong be Le Coq, while smallish in stature, is stronger and can do the job as well.

    Its Wednesday i have started to think even deeper about the ramifications of WBA. We win 3rd place secure CL secure and this is all after a shit start to the season that saw us in relegation zone, Doomers and “so-called” Arsenal fans calling for Wenger’s head, people questioning the talent on this roster and look we will finish above the Spud, the Chavs, Pool, and Newcastle all(except Chavs at points) where setting the season on fire. If gives me hope for next season but more importantly brings me great joy to say and be called an Arsenal loyalist adn fan.

  153. @goonerandy

    I doubt even if we did play with a withdrawn striker like during the days of Bergkamp and Henry, that position would be manned by RVP who i see as more of a Bergkamp like with Podolski up top. The issue then for Arshavin would be that RVP NEVER comes off the pitch when he plays.

  154. so wenger who can buy you and sell you 20 times will get mugged by rennes to get a 21 year old for 22 million (euros..haha) …when napoli paid 12 for inler and juventus 12,5 for vidal for 5 years …….and it bothered you that i hold him in much higher regard than getting mugged like a muppet whose lost the plot because of crying muppets in the stands demanding transfers and expenditures ? ….

    but oh wait just today youre discussing of him calling them on their bluff so as to drop the price …. .

    ha . ha …HA! ….

    jonny go open a dictionary thesaurus or whatever and try and find a new meaning to the word “nuclear” im gonna fry you if wenger is the one who mugs them off this player instead of them mugging us off 22 million for him …….. and equally you can fry me as much as you want if we do indeed pay such a figure for a player we already have covered by 4 others maybe 5…….

    you remember luca toni celebrations and batistuta or were you too busy wathcing merson and co lead us to 12th ? thats what im doing right now …… coockoo and shhhhhhhhhh ..to55-pot with your snide remarks …..

  155. FFS Hunter I did NOT have different ideas yesterday – I just don’t think paying slightly over the odds is remotely a problem, in order to get a long term target and in good time. To an extent I said exactly the same yesterday.

    The valuations some are spouting as being acceptable are little more then £5M pounds less – it’s not an inconsiderable amount by any means, but it is hard to understand how it can be defined as total muppet at one end and (at 5million less) a good deal at the other.

    By and large I like the way Wenger does business – but sometimes there is a lot to be said for paying a little bit more and getting deal done in good time and with good grace.

  156. Hunter @ 3.37 another marvellous cogent and coherent response.

    You sir, couldn’t even fry an egg.

  157. arsenalandrew

    He can break plenty though ha ha ha!!!

    I’ve no idea whether we will end up with M’villa (or what his true value is or at what price point one has to be considered a muppet to buy him at any given price) but when something gets this public, which is rare with AW (Podolski aside) one almost wonders whether it’s a smokescreen and the real transfer action is happening elsewhere …

  158. pedantic george

    My prediction is we will NOT sign M’Vila.
    We could use him ,but we dont need him.
    We needed Podolski.

  159. I’ll just leave this here:

    Interception Success :

    Koscielny 90%,
    Kompany 83%,
    Kaboul & Terry 81%,
    Vermaelen 68%

  160. @George

    The need for Podolski was massive as I think he will give us 15-20 goals next season and 10 assist. I honestly believe that we will sign M’villa as not only for insurance against Diaby but also because i do think Frimpong is off on a loan with the possiblities of Ramsey only to continue his development and allow him to boss some games, maybe a half season loan would do the boy wonders. It would be less pressure on his shoulders and that might be whats needed.

  161. Bloody hell. Can’t we have a bit of speculation on a rainy, miserable day to jolly us along?

    Why some need to fall out over a possible transfer is way beyond me.

    If Wenger wants him and gets the right price he will buy him, if not then…

    In the mesntime we know nothing asto what is actually going on but then we hardle ever do. Doesn’t stop us spouting off the rest of the time.

    Four legs good, two legs better.

    Mah-Jong anyone?

  162. I certainly agree the biggest priority is a GK plus a versatile CB like Vertonghen would ALWAYS be welcome.

    However I’d like to see more of Miquel and Bartley – it’d be lovely to see one of them come through and what I have seen of Miquel looks promising.

    There are decent cases to be made for either or both a DM or a Creative M.

    Joel Campbell and Afobe might be enough back up with the addition of Podolski…

  163. Prefer a spot of Go or Kensington, Bob.

  164. What has happened??? O___O

  165. @Jonny

    I think Miquel has great promise and when we needed him and he played LB(thus we not forget) he played really well. I truly think we need a DM thus freeing up Song to play CM as well as Arteta who can play as that AM when given the opportunity. Thats is actually where he played for Everton lest us not all forget.

  166. Aaah Evil, we’ve uncovered a setting change that allows Gravatars to work.

  167. arsenalandrew

    You tell ’em Bob.

    And yay, there was light …

    Jonny – is that some kind of dog collar on your gravatar? (At least it’s not a spuds shirt).

  168. Hm, but I liked the old grumpy face that Gravatar provided me with better. White shapes on a blue background just doesn’t cut it for me! But at least George’s meerkat is back. I am now confident we will win the league next season.

  169. Not just any dog collar Andrew, if you double click on it I think you can see a larger version!

  170. Evil bought time you loaded your own image up no?

    So long as it’s less scary than Frank on his bike.

  171. People’s differing view’s on M’Vila based on whether we have signed him or not makes me laugh.

    it’s a bit like when you were at school and you asked a girl out, and when she says no, you say that you didn’t like her anyway… (or did that just happen to me?)

  172. Gravatars are back . . . . I can see again!

  173. i think we should sell pretty much every player who is not in the first 11 to generate loads of cash, and then buy all the best players in the world.

    Why don’t our Scouts know who they are before everyone else!!!

    I am so sick of missing out on players like Lorik Cana!!!

    This club is a joke.

  174. Wow – 400 emails telling me about new comments on here! What happened there YW?

  175. Matt

    That seems like a cunning plan

  176. Nice collar Jonny

  177. Woof.

  178. arsenalandrew

    EXCELLENT, Jonny!

    Matt – I didn’t like a lot of girls at school 😦

  179. Yogi please make the default emai thing off.

  180. I have to admit that arguments regarding the shape of a team and a players ability to play within only a narrow scope of shapes does nothing for me. Good football players are adaptive! They will find a way to shine no matter what the weather.

  181. That’s okay Andrew – it’s perfectly normal to go through an experimental phase, at that age.


  182. pedantic george

    Two Owls.you should tell young Mr.Fabregas that.He thinks its the way forward. Apparently

    Yeah,Andrei has found his way home. Yippee..

  183. arsenalandrew

    Oh I liked them really, but the rebuttals …

    C – I’ve managed to switch my default email thing off but had to switch it off in both my iPhone and my laptop (the two places I read and post from). If you are posting from more than one then you may be reinstating the tickbox thingy off each time …

  184. Matt

    You’ve opted to follow comments via email. At the bottom of one of the emails, there ought to be an unsubscribe option.

  185. @Arsenalandrew and Yogi

    thank you!!!!!!

  186. mattgoonerknight


    I’m not sure about Campbell or Afobe being genuine back up just yet, although I’d also imagine we won’t see anymore centre forwards come in either so….

    I’ll be honest, I’ve not seen much of them, but judging by the figures, neither of them jump out as looking ready to be around the Arsenal 1st team. I realise Afobe was laid off for a long while but his goal scoring feats prior to this do not indicate he is ready just yet.

    Obviously back up is what it is: back up. But the back up still needs to be of a standard that can be realistically used when needed, not only for Carling and F.A Cup but more importantly to provide cover for injuries; rotation and to provide rest for regular starters etc.

    A few seasons back we had Adebayhore, RVP, Bendtner, dudu and Vela as 5th choice.
    I’m more than happy to see B52 take his shots (poor pun intended) elsewhere but it should be noted, despite his obvious flaws, that the boss often trusted him to play. Birmingham robbed us of Dudu. We know about the other prick.

    By all means, I’m sure Campbell or Afobe can perform the same role as Park and Chamakh, but this hasn’t provided us with options, merely players who will be called upon only in an emergency. In short, are we going to be happy to see Campbell or Afobe start a PL game; or come on late on to rescue a point / salvage a win?

    Podolski is clearly now main man number 2 up top, which is fantastic. I don’t expect something ridiculous like two more players of the calibre of Podolski, but ideally perhaps one more centre forward should be of a standard that he is trusted to play.

  187. @ mattgoonerknight

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Vela come back and be a supersub because i think he is a clinical finisher just neeed time to find himself. If he can take that type of approach he would be a vital part of our team. I doubt we see both but we might see 1, I think Park is going to surprise alot of people next season but also I was thinking; if RVP, Podolski and Theo start that would mean Ox and Gervinho would be on the bench thus i do think Arsene would just bring on 1 of them for a midfielder or defender and then put Podolski and RVP upto and have which of Ox and Gervinho play the wing. If anything i could see Park or Chamakh staying and being utilised as Chamakh was when playing a team like Stoke or Norwich or whoever where we can play balls over the top and let them go try adn win some and score some headers.

  188. Matt I still feel Chamakh could do a job as third choice – but it would be no surprise if he was sold.

    Who knows the story behind, or what will happen to, Park.

    Hard to say how well Campbell has progressed, but he clearly has talent.

    Afobe essentially lost a season’s development but I carry high hopes for him.

    Like you – I do not envisage further additions now that we have Podolski – after all we essentially only play one striker.

    It’s more a question of whether Wenger will sell Park or Chamakh or both of them…

  189. mattgoonerknight

    This looks fun:


    I’ve gone though it yet but I’m sure one or two names will jump out!

  190. This teams new shirt is way out in front of ours.

  191. mattgoonerknight


    Very nice but NSFW perhaps (luck I’m at home)

  192. pedantic george

    Well despite popular thinking,I think Chamakh is a good and valuable player.
    I hope he stays an proves me right,just like Andrei did……………………oh.

  193. No, definitely something weird with the emails/comments business. I keep turning my notification box off and when i check my emails, why, there you all are! Again! And a bloodygain.

    Stop posting!

    Incidentally Yogi, Was I to thank for getting the gravatars back?

  194. pedantic george

    Kos is in the French squad but Abou didn’t make it

  195. Bendtner – no way he can come back. He’s too immature and arrogant. Stereotypical full of himself athlete. He has been supremely gifted physically and has never lacked confidence. I suppose it has always been easy for him but at this level it requires dedication and hard work. He’s too busy boozing it up with Cattermole. He could be a great player IF he was dedicated but he doesn’t have that in him because he’s always found it easy because of his physical stature advantage – I suspect he’ll more likely be like Pennant. He’s someone whose priority is parting and having a good time. He’ll waste all his promise. Sell him while he still has some value. He strikes me as someone who has always found life easy because of his physical advantage and it is deeply ingrained in him that he will succeed if given a chance. He hasn’t realized that he HAS been given many a chance and that his lack of playing time is die to him not trying harder to be a success. He’ll be off to the pub to chat the birds and have people fawn over his celebrity.

    Vela – I suspect he just can’t adapt to life in London. As a Mexican, the way of life and weather in Spain is more suitable for him than it is in London. He too should be more professional and apply himself but London has too many distractions for a young healthy male such as him. For many footballers the temptation to be a big man about town is too great. They lack the dedication to be great players like Scholes and Giggs (yes, I said it). these guys probably like monastic lives and dedicate themselves to football rather than partying and birdmongering. Vela just won’t make it as a great player in a Champions league team because his focus seems to be on life outside of when he is wearing the shirt. He probably gets a lot of attention from the ladies – like Ronaldo (the self-centered one, not the fat one) he tries to look in fashion and to be the ultimate metrosexual. Life in London isn’t suitable for everyone and it affects some people’s play. It has distractions for young men with money. Like Bendtner, Vela has potential but I feel his focus is more one enjoying the seductive trappings of being a healthy rich male rather than dedicating themselves to being the best footballer they can be. In Spain the weather means he can be outside when he’s away from the practice field. In London in the winter he’s more likely to be indoors and I suspect he loves the life in Spain better. It isn’t easy for Englanders to imagine what it is like for people in warm weather countries to have to work/live/play football in the UK. Some adapt better than others.

    Arshavin – his heart and head isn’t in it. He can’t even seem to get his fitness to the proper level to succeed. He wants to be the fulcrum but isn’t. There’s psychological issues that can’t be overcome. He won’t be happy or successful as a supersub. He saved us in his first half season and he justified his price tag right there. But sell him while he still has value.

    Yossi – great squad player. But is that what he wants? I’d love to have him around again if he’s willing but there are many young bloods that need playing time.

  196. pedantic george

    Bob ,unsubscribe from the whole site,rather than just the days post.

  197. MGK

    That transfer sits has Kyle Walker at 13 million and the Oxo kid at 10 million. A 2nd rate young RB at that much?

  198. sits???? *site

  199. mattgoonerknight


    Haha, I didn’t say it was accurate, just fun : )

    I’ve just been trailing through the “Free ads”,

    Rodallega – I know, but as a third choice?
    Craig Gordan – (when did he turn 29?)

    This really is like Champ Manager!!

  200. I don’t subscribe to the site george, at least I don’t think I do.

  201. mattgoonerknight


    My main “problem” with Chamakh is that I don’t believe the boss has faith in him, not as a regular replacement for RVP anyway, and I can’t see that he’ll wan’t to be a third choice centre forward. As Jonny said, who knows about Park? Does the boss?


    Unless he’s found some steel, the Vela I remember flattered to deceive: superb against weaker opposition in the Carling Cup, ineffective in tough PL games. I think he’s happy playing regularly in the sunshine: he’s all but said adiós.

  202. Jonny and CBob

    Yeah, it is sad that some would take offence at the merest mention of a potential transfer and how said player might fit in. FFS, its a football blog! 🙂


    My point is, compared to the wide left where Arshavin was deployed, the hole behind the striker is less defensively demanding. Rosicky does indeed put a shift in and thats great, but the main focus for the player is offence and as Evil pointed out, there would be a couple of midfielders behind him (you know? M’Villa and Gourcuff 🙂 )

    I think Rosicky is playing that position behind RvP because we don’t have anyone else to do it. That for me is why we should be looking at filling that position and why we were probably linked with Goetze?

    Oooh, I just linked those two points, get me.

  203. mattgoonerknight

    want not wan’t

  204. Dupsff

    That Kyle Walker was on SSN last night. F**k me! He can barely and I mean barely string a coherent sentence together. Hunter makes more sense! 🙂

  205. Just to further Dexter’s point, Cesc was known to sometimes forget his defensive duties when he was playing at the top of our midfield. He didn’t put in a shift like Rosicky either and for the most part it worked.

  206. Craig Gordon or Jussi on a free please MGK!

  207. So Walker has learned well from ‘arry?

  208. I am sure if we had a top class attacking midfielder/forward who could create and score, but whose defensive efforts were a tad, erm, lacking, then we could forgive him no? Maybe in a few years the Oxo Kid will be that player, perhaps Jack next season? Or RvP behind Podolski?

  209. arsenalandrew

    Who was teaching who – Walker or ‘Arry?

    How did you get the Gravatars back, Bob? Was it when you re-wrote the code which has led to you being emailed a trillion times a day?

  210. Jonny

    I have wanted to see Bartley in the Arsenal shirt, playing for the 1st team for a few years now. I have no idea if he is good enough, although I remember a few Gooners telling me that Luke Ayling was the future CB at Arsenal and Kyle didnt have a hope. Well, Bartley is still on our books and Ayling? He’s playing elsewhere isnt he.

    I hope he gets a chance in pre-season before any decisions are made. perhaps a Premier League loan would suit all parties? That’s what I expect to happen to Miquel too. He looks a classy customer.

  211. pedantic george

    Andy is an effort first man.
    And when I say “effort” I mean running after the man with the ball all over the pitch like Scoty fuckin Parker.

  212. I agree with Bob, as always. Stop spamming us Yogi!

  213. Arry loves having Kyle at the Spuds. He makes even Arry look intelligent.

  214. Same applies to Afobe too, IMO. Not sure he is ready yet, while Joel could be seen as back up this season, but again a loan maybe what happens.

    The most interesting one is Ryo though, he;s had his prem loan experience and done well. If he looks good in pre-season, he could well be part of the 25 man squad.

  215. pedantic george

    Andrew.a few of us have been inundated with an Email for every post

  216. @ mattgoonerknight

    He does look quite the player over in Spain and wouldn’t mind seeing him for a couple games in a Arsenal shirt but the question isn’t about his steel because I’ve seen him play for Mexico on numerous occasions(being in the states we get all their international games) and the kid is fearless, I think the biggest issue is going to be his mental makeup and whether or not he could be happy being a supersub and helping us win trophies. Also I do think Park will suprise next season because he to is a clinical finisher as we have seen in the reserves and internationally where everytime he puts on the shirt he’s scoring, I just think like Pilmar said and many others it does take time for players to adapt to the PL.


    But I do think that Rosicky and even Jack and Ox are the type of players that we need in that position because we want to press and play uptempo, we have our fowards pressing and I think Rosicky understands that is where it starts . Thus why we couldn’t do it with Cesc because he didn’t and even for Barca now doesn’t do it.

  217. French newswires reporting that Margaret Thatcher has died.

  218. arsenalandrew

    I know George – I had literally hundreds until I un-ticked the box on both machines I use to view and post on the site.

  219. Thank you Ateeb. How’s London for you?

    Ahem. I asked Yogi why the avatars still appeared on ‘Arsenal on this day’. He said he didn’t know but would look into it.

    Lo and behold, a few hours later, avatars.

    I thank you.

  220. arsenalandrew

    Who’s running that Dups?

  221. Carla Bruni Sarkozy ‏ @CBruniOfficial

    S.E.l’Ambassadeur du Royaume-Uni nous annonce en ce moment la mort de Lady Margareth Thatcher.

  222. arsenalandrew

    Bob – can you get Yogi to look into whether we’ve bought M’Vila?

  223. Falcao, what a goal

  224. Falcao is easily one of the best and most feared players in the world. I know it might not seem like much but for the 2nd straight year the guy can win the Europa League and be the driving force behind both teams.

  225. arsenalandrew

    Apparently a hoax Dups (the death of Thatch, not Falcao’s goal).

  226. pedantic george

    “arsenalandrew | May 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm
    Bob – can you get Yogi to look into whether we’ve bought M’Vila?”

    Ha ha ,Now that is funny.

  227. AA

    Ah Ok. Can’t say I’m bothered either way.

  228. EarthwormJim

    Dups – a fake Twitter account – more’s the pity!

    According to some reports, members of the British public were seen to be congregating outside Thatcher’s door armed with pitch forks and flaming torches because they were so angry that she had let them down again 🙂

  229. No surprises here, I’d like to see Ryo in the 25!
    I enjoyed the recent comments on the LBs and the CBs. Being a self declared expert in all matters Pace I found myself discussing if Santos is much slower then Gibbs, if it matters, with a friend as Arsenal lined up to take a corner after a good start to the recent Wigan game (an early headed chance for BennytheGoon). As a horde of Wigan players flooded into the RB area, Santos stranded, I said “He’ll have have to run now”.

    There’s been some love for Brazil on ACLF. I liked Zimpaul’s collection of comments on Santos. I confess I got a little bored when there was a lot of transfer chitter chatter as those three big signings settled into the team. Sorry!
    Against WBA TV5 & LK6 had an early and easy outing. WBA had no strikers. Won’t be as easy this time.

  230. EarthwormJim

    Ryo is under the age of 21 so will not count towards being in the 25. You can have as many under 21’s in the squad.

  231. arsenalandrew

    Apparently a fake Carla Bruni Twitter account.

    The fake Carla had apparently also changed her relationship status on Facebook from “Married” to “It’s complicated” following the French Presidential elections …

  232. Atletico one up. Should be a good game.

  233. Lot of fouls in this game but a reasonable game

  234. Poor defending

  235. @Dupsffokcuf

    You pretty much just describe La Liga: Lot of fouls and poor defending.

  236. WBA are pretty good at set pieces (they did us from a corner last seasonif i recall) so playing Santos makes even more sense (sorry Khalifha!).

  237. @Dexter

    Thank you for giving even more reason why Santos should be 1st choice.

  238. Falcao has done brilliantly again this season. His market value must be in the £39m bracket now, I am surprised he isnt linked with Barca and Real. Although saying that, he probably has been all season, I wouldnt know! 🙂

  239. Ha! I wasnt being that precise, I meant £30m, sorry!


    He is 1st choice as far as I am concerned, but as I am sure khalifha will tell us, he hasnt got the shirt ATM.

  240. @Dexter

    I completely agree but we have spent the last 3 days saying that and yet the main reason that people keep coming up with Gibbs is that he has more pace and Santos is a liability but neither of those are backed by facts that Gibbs is better or should be 1st choice.

  241. @ YW
    I’ve looked at the subscription options and even though I am NOT “following” the blog, I still get emails. Not in their hundreds, but a few each time. Any ideas on what I can do?

    Big fan of Santos, my number one LB even though Gibbs has improved. I would love him to play v WBA along with LeCoq and Jenks, but is that too many changes?

    Per looking great and sounding v positive on the official site – lovely intelligent bloke. I will quietly nick him while Firstlady is not looking.

    cbob spake and lo, it came to pass, eh? Outed, matey. That beard in your old gravatar was a giveaway.

  242. Is Song auditioning for the Blues Brothers?

  243. Gibbs vs. Santos?
    Neither are complete players and have different strengths and weaknesses. Neither should be fist choice. Horses for courses.

  244. ‘fist’ choice? OK I gotta move to Firefox and spellcheck

  245. FG

    If Sagna was fit, I’d play Coquelin in midfield with Song. But seing as how Bacary is injured, I think he will play RB, although I think Jenks would do a job for us there too. But, yeah, probably too many changes

  246. arsenalandrew

    Gibbs is a terrific player and a great prospect but Santos is in a class above, the kind of player you wouldn’t bat an eyelid at if he was turning out for Barca etc. Whether he is some kind of liability(?) can be mitigated by having the likes of Mertsacker in the same side in the same way Arteta, who reads the game so well, can allow Song to forage forward without cause for alarm …

  247. philmar

    Santos has been dynamite for us. His injury lay off has made people very forgetful, IMO.

  248. FG

    At the bottom of the email it says “Subscription Options”. Will take you to a new page.

    Click on settings, then in the little box to block emails then save changes

  249. Santos is playing LB like no one else in the world. He is truly special. But I see Gibbs as someone who has the potential to become the number one English left-back in the next couple of years. Either way, I am very happy with both of them.

  250. @ C

    I recall recently seeing a comparison on defensive/attacking stats between Santos, Gibbs, Clichy and Baines (I think). Santos’ scores were as high or higher than Gibbs on all except one marker in the defensive stats and he scored higher in attacking areas as well. Perhaps the perception that he is a liability comes from the fact that he is Brazilian, unorthodox, takes more risks? He’s more unpredictable.

  251. why is santos considered a liability ?

  252. @ dups
    thank you! I’ll give that a go.

  253. It’s funny, it took some years to truly appreciate Sagna. Probably due to the fact he wasn’t getting props from the media. Even now, he is overlooked in favour of a media fave (English) flavour of the month, who spuds fans even don’t rate. Same is happening with Andre.

  254. Blackpool 2, Brum 0 and 40 mins to go. With all due respect to Chris Houghton, all he has done is put some gloss on the anti-football essence of Alex McLeish’s old theme. Mind numbing long balls for Zigic and King, bereft of creativity. Give me Blackpool any day.

  255. @FunGunner

    Please dont take my comments as if I am not a fan. I have always been a fan of Santos long before he came to Arsenal and think there shouldn’t be a doubt in anybody’s mind that he is 1st choice. I honestly think he is very unorthodox and thus does get a bad rap sheet but I love Santos. I have been on record as saying that he is 1st choice no doubt about it, and i honestly think that he is 1 of the best in the PL. Defensively if you watch he is always in the right place though people complain of lack of pace, he tackles firmly and when he does go to ground(which is rare) there are few better are not getting the foul called against him. Attacking wise, I mean FFS he’s a Brazilian FB they are the best attacking fullbacks in the world bar none. So FG Santos is 1st choice by far for me.

  256. Shotta

    As soon as the play off teams were sorted, i wanted Blackpool to win promotion. For many reasons, not least because Blackpool away is a great day out!

  257. @Dexter

    Interestingly enough Sagna and Santos aren’t the only ones but our very own Song. But I think that is because well were Arsenal and thats what the media does. Sagna is 1st choice RB with no competition for France, Santos is 1st choice with no competition for Brazil and Song is 1st choice no compeition for Cameroon and there’s no competition because all are world class talent.

  258. Finally Brum score after an exchange of passes around the Blackpool penalty area. At long last somebody must have gotten the message; long ball from the wings wont cut it.

  259. I also think Southampton and Reading, to a lesser extent will be great additions to the PL next season.

  260. Bilbao look clueless in this game

  261. pedantic george

    Only the other day on the Fans Forum Tom Watt was suggesting we but Baines from Everton.
    Now I like Tom,but I would not swap Santos for Baines.I really do not understand why anyone would underestimate him.For me he is a wonderful player.I really enjoy watching him play the game.That should count for something/

  262. C;

    I lost count of the number of blog posts I read slating Sagna for not having a great cross FFS! Well, they can’t even complain about that now. It’s that old disease, our players are shit, until they go somewhere else! Clichy’s been getting nuff love from some Gooners.

  263. “I also think Southampton and Reading, to a lesser extent will be great additions to the PL next season.”

    Better than Wolves & Blackburn

  264. George

    I could understand the clamour for Baines when Clichy left. But now? F*ck sake, I like Tom too usually, but he’s really let himself, his family and his old school down with that one.

  265. Dupsff;

    Without a doubt man.

  266. arlon King has missed two gilt edged chances. Whhile I type the Brummies score from a corner. 3-2 on aggregate.M

  267. Sorry for the typos. Haste makes waste.

  268. @Dexter

    I completely agree but what makes it worse is that Santos is better than Clichy. Yea i remember reading that about Sagna yet its funny because this year like last year, how many mouth watering crosses has he put in, not to mention the fact that is any fullback(outside of Santos) as good as playing the 1-2 with the winger and putting the right amount of touch on the ball so that it just falls beautifully onto their onrushing feet.

    I completely agree with you mate.

  269. Hold on Blackpool!

  270. arsenalandrew

    C & FGunner & Evil – absolutely right!!

    I’m finding it amusing that the standard ‘media-lag’ is causing the script to go wildly out of date as far as Arsenal’s defence goes.

    We had an awful start to the season blah blah, and freakishly acute injuries at certain times and all at once, in places. Bearing in mind no-one’s referencing Per, Kos or Verm in this sequence of posts and I honestly struggle to think of another side with a defence even half as good as Arsenal’s. A good pre-season and an absence of injuries will almost certainly see them turn Arsenal into an extremely hard team to score against especially if we get the predicted re-enforcement(s) in midfield.

    I’m no expert on either M’Vila or Vert (and I know Bob’s getting Yogi to look into this for us) but from the descriptions applied on these pages, those two players could well provide the strengthening IN DEPTH that we need for when the injuries etc do hit us. For me it’s not about replacing ANYONE; it’s purely cover and the ability to rotate throughout the season.

  271. @ C | May 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    We totally agree, I didn’t misunderstand the thrust of your comment – it’s just that the word “liability” caught my eye. I know some people think that about Santos so I was just musing as to why.

  272. arsenalandrew

    Talk about ‘end to end’ up at Brum!

  273. @Arsenalandrew

    We have the best collection of defenders in league when you think about Sagna, Mert, Ver, Kos, Santos, Gibbs, Jenks not to mention JD who starts for the Swiss. I just don’t understand why people lag on our defending when honestly we have had a healthy proper back 4 for very few games which plays on there communication.

    I wouldn’t hold my breathe on Vert since all signs point to him signing with Spuds and even confessing love for Spuds: “Tottenham are absolutely my favorite,” the defender told De Telegraaf, according to Goal.com. “Tottenham is a fantastic football club that has the tradition I want. They buy young, eager, offensive-minded players.” Even though i do realize the source but even yesterday there was talk of him recieving and working out the financial package if I’m not mistaken.

  274. @FunGunner

    My apologies. Yea that is the word so often used when people speak of Santos yet for all of Gibbs pace(not taking a shot speaking the truth) he gets caught out of position quite often and defensively its not just about pace. You can be relatively slow and be a world class defender because of your positioning, IQ and reading of the match; wait i just described Mert lol.

  275. *even though Mert and Santos cover alot of ground, Mert with his extremely long legs and Santos with his know how.

  276. Blackpool hold on. A victory for football. Just my opinion.B

  277. Hoof ball loses out. Praise be!

  278. Ha! Ditto shotta

  279. arsenalandrew

    Rock on, Blackpool! (sorry).

    C – Do you think Vert has got his clubs muddled up – he could have been describing Arsenal with that quote! Tradition?! Ancient history, more like …

  280. Limestonegunner

    George, that was an uncgaracteristically weak comment from TE. What of his love for Fellaini? I think he’s a versatile and tough player we might be able to use, but it seems he wants to recreate Europa League Everton over in N5?! What gives?!

  281. C

    I think alot of transfers might depend on where the specified team(s) ends up. It wouldn’t be a surprise if some players seemingly destined for one club, with outpourings of love for said boyhood favourite club, miraculously end up elsewhere!

  282. pedantic george

    Vert (whatever his name is) is the same age as TV,they play together internationally and were playing at Ajax together when we chose TV.The reason we bough TB and not him is simple ,Tommy is better.So lets not lose any sleep about him being a Spud.
    So ,having considered it fully ,my opinion is “fuck him”

  283. Sounds like Tom is simply following the herd mentality with his ideas of what constitutes a good player.

    Unlike all of us going on and on about M’Villa! 🙂

  284. @arsenalandrew

    I do except the fact that it was in response to questions about Spuds, which confuses da hell out of me be its the Spuds and when do they have tradition not to mention buying young, eager, offensive minded players unless he was talking about Saha and Parker and he just took the offensive minded part from Saha and the eager part from Parker(eager to tackle dirty and get booked) but the young part is truly baffling.

  285. Here we go again. I got ammo allday long.

    First, you keep saying that santos is the number 1(as if it is a fact) yet our number one has been on the bench for the last 6/7 matches, thank God v.persie and koscielny are not ‘number 1’ in their positions. Also, i did not use pace as a reason for my preference of gibbs, i merely stated it as one of the attributes he has over santos.

    Answer this, since gibbs became First Choice(N0 1) have we conceded a goal from a setpiece? City,stoke,chelsea – the biggest, baddest sons of pulis’s in the league.

    Gibbs will be number till thy kingdom comes. Aaarrgh!

  286. pedantic george

    LG,he does seem to like average players who run around a lot .Like Parker for instance.
    But he does make a lot of very good calls .

  287. @Dexter

    I tend to agree but I think playing time will also have something to do with it as well.

    Vert is actually 2 years younger, just helping you out my friend but the rest of your points are valid but he is still a very good player and would be a welcomed addition as our 4th CB.

  288. arsenalandrew

    C – yes, absolutely!! A very odd quote. And claiming to have been a Spud supporter as a kid – despite having perfectly good clubs to follow in his own country? Doesn’t add up, not a bit.

    As you said previously, I think Monday will reveal many truths – and that will depend on what happens 24 hour earlier.

    Not to ramp up the tension or anything …

    Good posts today – yesterday’s ACLF was bordering on Vert-scale weirdness.

    Early start in the morning – looking forward to YW’s report back, night all!

  289. Arsenalandrew, you are right man, joke apart i think he was talking about arsenal, maybe he got the clubs mixed up.

  290. mattgoonerknight

    What’s happened to Wellington Silva?

    Barely notched up 30 games in the last 2 seasons…

  291. Limestonegunner

    Hodgson to name provisional Euro squad next Wednesday. Hopefully he is spending a lot of time working on that between now and Sunday.

    Once he names a squad without JW, we can announce that he is fit for our preseason tour!

  292. pedantic george

    Oh thanks C .
    My mistake,
    khalifha.seems like you are a majority of one as far as Gibbs goes.
    Still ,as you seem to have knowledge about their relative fitness levels that is not know to the rest of us,we will all agree that you are right and everyone else is wrong.
    Next season ,after a full preseason,is the only point we will know the answer.

  293. @Khalifha
    That is probably the 1 of the worst indicators is goals conceded against set pieces since there are others defending and it could be Kos’s man or Verm’s man or anybody’s who gets free and scores. You say that Santos has been on the bench but the lad had a broken ankle and we know how tricky those are just look at Diaby. Please tell me how many times they have been fit at the same time and who started over the course of all competitions this season.

  294. Mattgooner, he scored in his last match for alcoyano.

  295. @LG
    “Once he names a squad without JW, we can announce that he is fit for our preseason tour!”

    Brillant mate!

  296. Pedantic,
    I guess its just me and wenger against the world – pre season is too long, can’t sunday show who is the no 1 leftback(our most important match thus far). You keep bringing up the point of fitness but do you honestly believe that? If arterta was fit today he would start on sunday – sagna broke his leg, recovered and made 1 substitute apperance against villa in the f.a cup and started the next match against bolton in the league, fit or not.

  297. C,
    I only brought up the set piece issue because dexter made a point that we need santos over gibbs in the WBA match cause of the away team’s strength at set pieces – santos or not we have been good in that area.

  298. @Khalifha
    Sagna brok his leg, recovered and made 1 sub appearance, very true statement but you failed to mention that we had a CB playing RB at the time and in the case of Gibbs and Santos, why not play Gibbs(2nd choice) until Santos is fully fit given our injury history

  299. Away team? – Home team.

  300. @Khalifha
    We have been good because we have been more organized but with that Santos is the better of the 2 inteh air I’m not just saying that because i fancy Santos over Gibbs but its been proven in matches.

  301. pedantic george

    khalifha.what c just said

  302. pedantic george

    well what he just said and what he sais just before that as well

  303. pedantic george

    khalifha,No,for the reasons c gave It will be next season before one of us is proven wrong.

  304. Also, coquelain played at rb(performing like a seasoned pro) before the bac was back(sorry, couldn’t help myself)

  305. Okay, lets wait and see, but you guys push my gibbs button when you start making comments like “santos is no1” (am looking at you C), “gibbs has potential but santos is better and a great player”(george, you!)

  306. pedantic george

    I think you will find I said
    “Gibbs is a great prospect,Santos is a great player”
    If you are going to quote me you must be accurate and not post what you want me to have said.

  307. We will wait and see who is manning the LB position wearing those funny looking new kits. Khalifha please learn how to Samba so you can teach young Gibbs and our favorite Brazilian will Samba as the 1st choice just like he did against the Chavs after he scored.

  308. well lads I’m off, until tomrrow.

  309. Pedantic, grumpy, grumpy, jeez.

    Santos can do the samba from the bench after watching gibbs score, good times.

  310. pedantic george

    I am not being grumpy,far from it.
    I just don’t want to be misquoted.If you don’t mind.

  311. C, goodnight man. Am off too, hope i don’t see pedantic george in my nightmares.

  312. Okay, sorry man, it was an honest mistake.

  313. pedantic george

    No problem

  314. “Bilbao look clueless in this game”

    finals are big games, and big games are for big players, or big characters . credit to bilbao. a local team with local lads, young , well done to them ! but athletico are no mugs they also have players who have seen more than bilbao youth.

    as for santos vs gibbs i cant believe youre even discussing it … lol…gibbs is a baby…

  315. Why were the players having an end of season party today? It’s not over yet boys.

  316. pedantic george

    Dups,that’s a point

  317. Seems a little premature to me George. Hope their minds are still on Sunday’s game.

  318. theonlyredsteve

    Where’s today’s post?

  319. CBob stop spamming my gmail account – I have never checked the offending box.

  320. Vidal Sassoon died, not Maggie Thatcher. Easy mistake to make.

  321. arsenalandrew

    A fringe celebrity if ever there was one; a case of hair today, gone tomorrow …

  322. just wanted to see if Norma Jean was back.

  323. Nooooooooo she is still missing

  324. Limestone @10.04

    No, we wait until Pearce names his final squad for Team GB and then say Jack needs to broaden his horizons so is going to travel with the first team squad. Just because he happens to be in the stadium, with his kit, well, it would be a happy coincidence if he were able to participate in a match.

    OK, here’s the gig today. The post will be up at lunchtime as I have more pressing matters to deal with before then. Lunchtime is a very broad timespan, anywhere between 10.30 and 2!

    Enjoy, play nicely and I’ll see you later.

  325. arsenalandrew

    A three and a half hour lunch break!!

    We MUST be in the presence of greatness – he’ll be denying he’s the Blogging Messiah next!

    And his Mum’ll be telling us he’s a very naughty boy.

  326. So Vidal Sassoon died. Does that mean Ramsey can score on Sunday

  327. Happy birthday DB10

  328. arsenalandrew

    I assumed Ramsey had put two away in training yesterday (with one disallowed – the infamous ‘Thatcher’ goal)?

  329. When I pop me clogs I want a memorial service like this.

  330. Please tell me he has freakily started ageing in reverse Dups.


  331. “A Cultured Left Foot finds reasons for optimism ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion A Cultured Left Foot”

    YW mentioned on Arsenal.com again. We will, soon, have to pay a subscription fee to read his musings 🙂

  332. Fungunner, it is always nice to hear someone came to my country Kenya and enjoyed their visit.

    It is bad enough My boy kozzer has been missing on my gravator and now I cant remember the password to reinstate him so dont you dare steal Mert from me but I am not selfish we can share. 😀

    Dupps nice clip.The first guy isnt he the guy from “a fish called wanda” I thought the movie was quite funny.

  333. Yea FL. John Cleese (Basil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers)

  334. Later guys. I have volunteered to take the missus shopping. Apparently.

  335. arsenalandrew

    A subscription fee to read YW?

    I told you he is the Blogging Messiah.

  336. dupsffokcuf | May 10, 2012 at 9:43 am
    “Later guys. I have volunteered to take the missus
    shopping. Apparently.”

    Lol, why do they always insist on having us take them? We’re clearly of no use during the actual shopping process, except maybe as a sounding board, or maybe that’s just me?

  337. Dups 9-19am
    Brilliant absolutely brilliant!

  338. Henristic

    My own use in shopping is two-fold: (1) Paying and (2) Carrying. Irrespective that she has her own funds and two arms, it is I who is deemed for more suitable for both roles.

    Right off to fashion a post from a pigs ear of the morning media.

  339. I used to particularly enjoy the third use – being asked my opinion about something of which know nothing and care about even less.

  340. The Real Stew Black

    I can’t have an avatar because gravatar doesn’t like the spaces or capitals in my new name. I am going to sit here quietly and cry.

  341. jonnyneale | May 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

    i dont believe that ..im sure you know a thing or two when it comes to strings and thongs ..and as for not caring..please…we all care ….. 😉 in fact, other than that and arsenal there is nothing else to care about for a man…oh and weed of course … i love it when im carried around bikini shops and check out the rest of women choosing and comparing and looking in the mirror and all that ….ahhh women… of course the threat of a slap is imminent at any time but thats life …

  342. Shopping is a three-fold experience for me.

    Before the paying and carrying, its patiently waiting through the deliberation of the decision.

    Which includes jonny’s “being asked my opinion about something of which I know nothing and care even less about.”

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