One Of Us Speaks – Don’t Forget Where We Were

I hope it never happens, but if one day an unreasonable person puts a gun to my head and asks who I’d prefer as a friend – Nasri or Fàbregas – I think I’d take the former.

Here’s why – I reckon most footballers are quite difficult to get on with. All that money at such a young age must make them feel a bit too important. And the drive that gets them to the top of their sport means their minds probably don’t work like everybody else’s.

Early on they need to decide between friends and career. As adults they uproot their families and drag them around the world with them. And that’s before we get to fidelity in relationships.

The thing about Nasri is that he’s forthright and he won’t sugarcoat it for Arsenal fans; he left because he wants to win trophies in a team in which more talented players would do the work for him, and was able achieve that at a club that has spent the last four years “building” the most expensive squad ever in English football.

Man City were always going to win the title eventually. If building a winning team is like bridging a ravine, then City have done it by filling the hole with the expensive wreckage of a succession of collapsed bridges. And sorry to get all righteous, but if you look closely at the mess you might even spot a few thousand migrant workers from India and the Philippines.

Anyway, back to our two favourite sons. Nasri like most footballers is unsentimental, disloyal and headstrong. And so is Fàbregas, but at least one is honest. While Nasri’s agent, harbouring years of bitterness since the Marseille match-fixing scandal, was waging a personal war against Arsène Wenger, Cesc was pussyfooting us with a kind of soft strike.

Because bloody hell, that chronic hamstring knack cleared itself up pretty quick. Within days of his transfer he was on the pitch for Barcelona. And since then he’s stayed fit all season, unctuously claiming his love for Arsenal, probably out of some fixation with being wanted, even by the people he stepped on.

Why am I dredging this up now? Well that is the scene that faced the manager as he planned Arsenal’s 2011-12 season. A flaky captain feigning injury to get a move, and one of the stars of the previous season, also desperate to leave, being used as a pawn in Jean-Pierre Bernès’ scheme to cause as much trouble as possible for his former rival.

They were drawn out, for different reasons, and no doubt demanded all of our administrative resources. When they were finally resolved, as late as possible, we had to get to work and find replacements with the clock ticking. Yes, it was a trolley dash, but we’d figured out the shopping list a long time before. Looking back, only Park’s dramatic hotel raid and kidnap seems like a bit of a punt.

By this point though, the club’s youngsters were stumbling through a brutal fixture list. Udinese are formidable opponents to meet in a qualification stage that in the past had given us teams like FC Twente and Celtic. No weaker for having sold their stars, Udinese are now the third-best team in Italy.

I don’t need to remind you who we had to play in the Premiership and what the score lines were in August and September. It might seem implausible to you, but we really did lose to Liverpool during those difficult weeks.

All of this – losing two important players, trying to get the newer players to integrate into the side, and facing disapproval from most quarters – has made the achievements of the manager and the team since then more impressive. No, we didn’t win a trophy, but I think Arsenal fans are a bit more realistic about the Premier League pecking order now.

When you’re in a league with Manchester United, who are the big worldwide football brand – from which they derive commercial revenue the likes of which the sport has never seen; or when you’re battling Chelsea and Manchester City, who have spent the GDP of developing nations in recent years; it pays to take a little perspective.

And I’m no prophet of the past. I knew the team would improve, but in October I was worried where we were going to end up. I think everybody was. Every time Wenger faced the press he was asked if he was going to resign. At one point they were wondering if he was worried about relegation. He had to cope with all that and keep the team focused on fighting its way back up the table.

Arsenal fans recognised that the situation was grave, and also responded. Whenever I was at the ground last season it felt like everyone was digging in together. In 2011-12 the stadium felt more like home than ever, to me at least.

In the end the turnaround was pretty quick. We were near the top by Christmas, but after that the injuries began to bite. We had to cope without our full-backs and their replacements for three months. Football boffins like Jonathan Wilson have banged on about how important wide defenders are, but I never took them too seriously until we had none.

I’m not sure, but I think in a spending league we sit around fourth or perhaps fifth in the table behind Liverpool. Our wages are higher than Tottenham’s but for Arsenal players, European football isn’t an aspiration; it’s home. We don’t well up when we hear the Champions League theme before matches; for us it’s just the ambient noise on another midweek evening. And it’s been like this for 15 years straight.

So to wrap up, I don’t think footballers would make great friends, but this season more than any other rammed home the fact that in spite of all appearances they are actually human beings. And there isn’t a football fan around who wouldn’t like to see guys like Abidal, Muamba and Petrov playing the game they love again as soon as possible.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 404 Comments.

  1. Gunner From Nigeria

    We will get there. Time would explain it all

  2. “he left because he wants to win trophies in a team in which more talented players would do the work for him”

    Rubbish. Nasri left for money.

  3. As Qui Gon Jin once said, patience my young peduwan!
    Great article!!!

  4. “The thing about Nasri is that he’s forthright and he won’t sugarcoat it for Arsenal fans; he left because he wants to win trophies in a team in which more talented players would do the work for him”

    Except he doesn’t admit the second part of that sentence, and that’s what pisses people off. When trophies were on the line last year, he bottled it, he wasn’t good enough, 2 goals in the second half of the season, one on one with the keeper against Birmingham and he failed, so he left for more money, and where his contributions won’t really matter, because as you said, better players would do the work for him, and yet he acts like Arsenal isn’t worthy of his efforts.

    @#$% Nasri.

  5. Gunner From Nigeria

    In respect of the struggles of the early months of the season that just ended i believe one the manager’s best quotes as regards when he was asked about his future was when he said:

    ” You (the press) have been consistent in wanting me out and, i have been consistent in wanting to stay. So we have both been consistent.”

    I just remembered this quote when i saw the resign bit in your piece.

  6. Gunner From Nigeria

    The importance of our continuous qualification for the champions league vis-a-vis the financial implications as it affects winning or not trophies when compared to other clubs is stated in this brillant piece.
    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2012/arsenal-survived-relegation-by-one-point/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+7amkickoff+%287amkickoff%29

  7. Wow, what a week. Happy camper here. Thank you team and gooners are proud of everywhere.
    Here is hoping for a very positive off season and a stronger more confident bunch o kickass footballers coming back at the starting him for next season. Rest well if you can and get well soon BACARY and JACK and ABU. WE NEED EVERYONE .
    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!

  8. Gunner From Nigeria

    The failures of the likes of Nasri during the second part of the 2010/2011 season shows the the flaws of that season in terms of character of certain players.
    That we ended this season with more goals and points despite the terrible start is a serious indictment on that squad that involved the likes of Fabregas and Nasri.
    As much as talent is good, without hardwork its of no use.
    Compare the attitude of the players this season and the last, it shows the mental capacity of any player is very important ala Fabregas.

  9. I can’t seem †☺ understand where u̶̲̥̅̊ got d idea that cesc was faking his injuries from. Shouldn’t ў☺ΰ b more worried that because we dnt av a large enuf qty in our squad we tend †☺ keep playing players who ar injured therefore aggravating their injuries?

  10. I think it’s a fair deduction, Offlong. Clearly there were other factors as well, but he was too injured to join our tour or play a minute of preseason with us, but got on the pitch in the fiercely contested Supercup against Real a few days after leaving. Seem to remember that Rosell had also cited his injuries as a reason Arsenal should drop the asking price.

    The other part isn’t really connected.

  11. Some people’s memories of Fabregas are a bit skewed I think. Clounded by bad feeling no doubt. For a number of years he was our best player by a mile, and often dragged us through games when we were not playing well. He didn’t cover himself in glory when he left, but lets not re-write history to make ourselves feel better. There wasn’t one Arsenal fan who was not conerned when he was missing from the team and any team would be improved by him being in the side.

  12. PV4’s take on the situation:

    http://www.football365.com/news/21554/7763183/Vieira-Gunners-must-keep-RVP?

    All common sense, but his last few paragraphs about Arsene having to convince RvP that he can win siverware with us is key.

  13. Great article and i tend to agree with everything you said . Here is what i said on twitter as well ” if someone offers you 3 times your salary and has a greater chance of sucess than your present employer what you you do” . That’s what both Cesc and Nasri did. Cesc is smarter than Nasri and hence the hamstring and the strike behind closed doors.

    What Wenger has done this season is amazing but he is responsible for it as well. Why pay high salaries for people like Denilson and B 52 that nobody wants them. Pay players what they are worth , we are not in a communist country where everyone is paid equal.

    Next season we may not win , but atleast the reasons must be right i.e. we invest in the squad early on and play with spiirt.

  14. Amen to your last sentence. I can’t find anything in your post to argue with except that regarding cesc and nasri , I dislike nasri more . I know cesc was playing both side of the fence for at least one year and had lost his faith and wanted to leave for a quick few trophies( oh the irony) , but he broke all of our collective hearts when he chose barks. Still ,there are eight years of memories, good and bad , that makes him a few degrees less of a twofaced jerk than his bluemance accomplice. .i see us getting possibly one more marquee player and that’s about that. Hopefully we can retain either one of FABIANSKI OR. ALMOUNI.

  15. OOU you write fantastic articles but I feel you are going alittle easy on Nasri, He did leave for the money and if he’d admit it most of us wouldnt be as pissed off at him as we are. As for Fabregas, he was all coy and played us because he thought he was guaranteed trophies at barca but thank karma he didnt win any this season, who knows we might end up winning some before he does.

  16. Anyone who doesn’t think cesc refused to play for us the last two months of last season or that this didn’t have an effect on the final outcome and responsible for jacks injury all this season, is sadly too far gone to care about correcting.

  17. Bradys right foot

    Anybody think with the uncertainty at Liverpool that Lucas would be availible. He’s tactically immaculate and the best holding player in the league.

  18. Nasri left for the money and the fact that he was more likely to win a trophey with a club which were pouring millions into their team. I don’t like that he did it, but that is the truth of it. Better wages and more medals.

  19. goonerkam – Amazing conclusion.

  20. FIRST LADY, your boy KOSHER. covered himself in glory this past season. He was FANTASTIC. fast becoming a great leader and a clutch player for us. Wish my LAKERS had a few like personalities on their roster.

  21. Thanks Andy. I agree with your 839.

  22. The way he talks, Nasri doesn’t sound like Adebayor, who’s so money-oriented it’s crazy. I think he’s about the trophies. He was impatient and an ungrateful sod who wanted to be in a winning team as quickly as possible. It will all feel pretty hollow when he looks back on it. That’s my take. And when i look back at how he left, compared to Fabregas, it feels like there was less guile involved.

  23. If he’s fit, I’d think about taking Lucas as well, Brf.

  24. Nevertheless, the rest of this team didn’t ask for the hand that was dealt them. They took the initial shock and came back fighting. Strong and fearless . And some sacrificed. More than others. One player we have had his leg broken twice. ,IN ONE SEASON. They should and must be applauded for their spirit and fight back.
    RED AND WHITE.

  25. Nice piece……fab went to watch F1 when his team mates were busy on the pitch….a great servant and unloyal one too

  26. If POOL get a renowned and accomplished manager the majority of their players will stay. I would rather have had Kenny stay at that job. At any rate, they wouldn’t be able to challenge the top three this coming campaign.

  27. It would appear that we are now red,white and blue

  28. Offiong,

    25 man rule?

  29. rubbish post.

  30. Sugafly @ 7.24

    So spot on.

  31. So true FRANK. I think I’ll pass on buying this year kit. The away kit is so not ARSENAL.
    morning boozer. How’s the hangover.

  32. Good article, balanced views in my opinion.

    So people think Nasri left for money, so what? He signed a fixed length contract with Arsenal and owed us nothing more than that, because of the way in which football operates the club had no choice but to sell him when he came down to 1 year left (sound familiar?). Okay he probably said some nasty things at the end but we’re all adults, we’re not shy of saying such things about others.

    He perhaps did not cover himself in glory last summer in the eyes of most but equally nor did the club in how they managed the whole episode. I think it was very clear to most external people that he was not going to sign so why it was not closed off much much earlier in the summer is a bad reflection on how we did our business last summer. We refused to countenance interest from United and then sold to City. Nasri despite being ‘gone’ still played for us in the Liverpool game and put in a 100% professional shift.

    There is also a 100% plausible argument that he left to win trophies and believed City offered him a better route to that, already happened. That’s not to say if he stayed with us for 4-5 more years he would not have won something, who knows. It’s all down to belief in Wenger’s vision which I mentioned yesterday with regards to van Persie’s talks.

    Quite why any supporter expected undying loyalty to the Arsenal from Nasri is beyond me. They’re not like us despite what they tell journalists.

    Older people will recall that Liam Brady, my first ever Arsenal hero, left the club for money. You can dress it up as new challenges and the lure of Italian football etc but ultimately his decision to leave was financial and to a degree disillusionment with the club.

  33. birdkamp @ 815 and OOO

    fabregas’ injury was not necessarily a strike. By that stage he was going to leave. Perhaps the club was preserving its investment? If you were auctioning your house tomorrow would you have an open house party tonight?

  34. Hmmm, who’s more treacherous, Nasri or Cesc….

    Impossible to say without more facts about what actually transpired. Someone made a good point yesterday that Nasri continued to play for us, where Cesc didn’t. This clearly makes Nasri look slightly less cuntish, but do we really know that Cesc refused to play? Or his absence was due to the ongoing negotiations of his sale?

    Maybe it wasn’t even up to either of them? Nasri could have been played as part of a negotiation tactics to squeeze out more money from the Sheikhs, who are certainly more prone to overpaying than Barca.

    Maybe there was just a lot more sentimentality on Wenger’s part on the Cesc affair, such that instead of driving a similarly hard bargain, he opted to let him go as soon as he realized the boy was adamant (and/or as soon as Barca came up with an agreeable price)?

    Cesc has always had a rather nasty unpleasant streak to him so who knows, its not outside the realm of plausibility that he would refuse to play. But I struggle to believe that a) he’d do that to Wenger and b) the club would let him ‘get away with it’.

  35. It could also be the case, that Arsene could see just how affected Cesc was about the whole saga, and decided it would be counter-productive to play him?

    If so, it could aslo means that Wenger could see that Nasri was, on the other hand, an emotionless professional, who really didn’t give that much of a shit.

  36. Steve – Good post.

    Adam – I have made the same point several times myself. Despite it being the most obvious possibility (it happens all the time), most around here still prefer to believe he went on strike (no evidence for it, but hey). personally I don’t think he would have done that to Arsene due to their relationship.

  37. Henristic – Yup, all good points. I am sure soon somebody will be along to blast that common sense out of the water though with some “facts” 😉

  38. The crazy thing is it took the getting rid of Cesc to get in more better players, in the 7 years cesc was he he was surrounded by a bunch of mediocre players like Almunia, Denilson,Bendtner Fabianski, all making big gaffs costing us dear.. Cesc would have been a great addition to this squad this season and we might have ended up sticking some numerals up on those stands..

  39. pedantic george

    I was told to say goodbye to Boozy last night by Yogi so
    GOODBYE BOOZY

    I think Nasri was nore about the money and the status he felt it gave him.But I much prefer him to that pathetic weasel Fabregas.
    Great piece OOU

  40. I’m saying what I think is most plausible, but obviously the facts are incomplete.

    Now, I know that what they say should be viewed with caution, but in June and July we were hearing over and over from Barcelona officials and players that Fabregas was doing everything in his power to make the move happen.

    As for protecting him from injury – that’s also possible, but then these were preseason, matches which are hardly intense. And it seems he was keeping himself in good nick, because he was fit and ready to play for his new club.

  41. O.ne thing to be said, cesc believed in the project and had faith for eight years. Eight. That other test wasn’t here long enough to even be considered an exgunner. I he did owe us at least one or two good years seeing as to he spent half of his three years with us on the doctors office getting over his injury. But I agree, the fucker is emotionless. Don’t know about professional. Part of that. He took the easy way out. He doesn’t care about his legacy. Only the bottom line.

  42. more painful split wasn’t it george, the Cesc one.

  43. OOO, I like the discussion you are provoking – it has got me thinking about the whole situation – but I am not sure that you can take much about either of them as friends by what WE KNOW about their circumstances. We are a long way off, assuming much about both of them.

    As someone who moved many miles from home in order to further my career, I often say to my friends in my current home city that I would like to one day return to my home state.nthe opportunity tonwork with one of my childhood heroes? There was never any dishonesty there. We all knew it would come and as it turns out, Cesc actually left too late. Then is a big part of me that is glad he didn’t win a trophy of significance with Barca but he was consistent. So I feel that Cesc was actually always honest and I think that every time he play for the shirt he gave 100% for the shirt.

    None of us know what Nasri said to those around him about his future but I know that I have never thought to publicly declare to the world that my career is wonderful because I left this I used to work with and that they are not good enough to work where I now I work.

    The rest of your article I agree with.

  44. I dont know one could say Wenger acted like a guilty man in the Cesc saga??

  45. AW sure. Misjudged. That one. Or maybe he changed. The end result for ARSENAL was , two steps forward one step back.

  46. I hate iPad autocorrect.

  47. that was a very nice piece yogi , only i want to ask you something

    since you can see and accept that past feuds between monaco and marseille were resurfaced in the summer … how come you dont accept that wenger;s feuds with the english establishment could also result in them trying to make life difficult for him ? each in the area where they can do it of course …the marseille people could hit him either in transfer or champ leag and the establishment here pretty much whenever they want….

  48. hunter, YW didnt write post. birdkamp/ OOU did.

  49. Steve
    If every quality player associated with arsenal had a mindset like yours, we would not have any good players left in our team because they want to leave for more money. We have the 4th highest wage bill, so am guessing if the no 1-3 clubs come for our players and offer them more money we should just roll over and let them tickle our belly, no? Fact is, nasri was/is a coward, we were competing for 4 trophies last year but he did fcuk all in the second half of the season to help us achieve our goals, he is nothing but a lazy, good for nothing bench standard player that has a higher estimation of his own talent.
    Also the little runt only played the liverpool because of wenger not because he had any respect for our club.

  50. *** wrong*** i am terribly sorry …its not yogi …sorry birdkamp …sorry…..it aint my fault …jose did it …cuervo..

  51. Yogi/big Al

    I think hunter should be banned form using the words english, englishman, british, british gas, british airways, british home stores.

  52. Andy,
    To be fair, it makes sense to hate Cesc more, as he was clearly the bigger loss. He (not Nasri, Adebayor, etc) was the poster boy of Arsene’s youth project. He worshipped Arsene, had talent in bucket loads, was an absolute pleasure to watch on the pitch, etc

    It’s just our bad luck that he had to be Catalan, and Barca had to have been dominating at the time they did.

    Wilshere is a much better candidate for that position. Equally talented (in my view) and not likely to be pining for a return West Ham anytime soon. By the time he matures, we’d hopefully be able to surround him with the talent/experience/squad depth he’d need to shine with us, winning every trophy available.

  53. i agree that both were cowards who preferred to have others winnign it for them …and thats a huge disappointment for wenger too…all the workhe put in those guys and they bailled out like ….mammas-boys….

    But then again….lets think about it ….like adults…..nasri? where si he from? marseille…what connections does he have with arsenal ? None…strictly professional….who are the players whom i expect to be a bit more than just professional when they wear the arsenal jersey ? they are my wilsheres, my walcotts, my frimpongs, my ramseys my gibbs, my oxlades etc etc…why? because they are locals or from the country and have been from under10 at arsenal..they are also fans of the club..grown inside…not all but you get the icture. and with them i include the songs and clichys and cesc and robins who were “kidnapped” a bit later ..in their mid -late teens.

    when i have the example of ahsley cole….arsenal through and through apparently from the academies and all…..doing what he did …how on earth can we really blame the french and spannish guy ? … thats where i have issues ..

    yes very disappointed they abandoned wenger when he needed them…but cole pissed over arsenal football club and the manager and his previous employuers co -workers …everyone at arsenal basically….the nasris and cescs only failled wenger…after all they came here becuase of him … not arsenal…

  54. OOU, BIl Al, Birdkamp (are you Gervinho in disguise?). Good post, as ever. I do think it is time to bury the past – we have other fish to fry (this coming from someone who is still haunted at the memory of Hleb kissing the Barca badge on the day he transferred). I do worry about Theo … it’s as if he’s stalling on a contract because that what everyone else seems to do!

  55. Bil Al is, of course, the Guernsey spelling of Big Al.

  56. One possibility regarding cesc. Maybe he was throwing a tantrum because AW was reneging on their original agreement the year before. As to letting him transfer to barka the next season. Maybe AW wanted to persuade him to stay at least one more year.

  57. I appreciate sentiments, quotes, analysis on Cesc & Nasri as a review of the context to the early part and build up to the season; but I find the comments, views and actions of a host of current players, as well as Rice and Wenger, more telling, accurate and interesting. In different ways, Cesc and Nasri were obviously not acting with utmost integrity or interests of Arsenal in the latter stages of their careers there, and whatever they did or said served to distort many realities.

    I therefore think they not important to any Arsenal current narrative, except to state explicitly that they both destabilised Arsenal, severely, and the club has had to pick up the pieces. It is a common irony that the victim is often blamed for the crime; simply put Arsenal gets blamed for “losing” such players when I find virtually no evidence of wrongdong by Arsenal in either case. We tried our best to keep them, we made it clear we needed them, we made offers, we were loyal to a fault, we were building a team they were an integral part of; they left for reasons that, at best, were self-serving. Fuck em.

    I would love so much more to hear and consider the views of Arteta, Per, Santos, RvP, TV, Mozart, Wenger, Rice, Wilshere, Song, Theo, Sagna, Kos and many others about what this season represents and how we performed. My viewpoint, which I think is justifiable, is that Arsenal turnaround in 2011/12 was nothing short of magnificent, that we easily showed Arsenal is close to the top two, and that the great Arsenal style of play is more alive than previous seasons.

  58. Humter @9:42, very good point.

    Truth is i didn’t care about na$ri, i was only desperate for him to stay when it became obvious that fabr*gas was leaving to join the assembly of cunts – the little weasel slowed our game down and was always thinking about himself, how many assist did he have in his last season, 3! in all competitions – arsenal don’t even miss his mediocre ass.

    Also, nasri was never going to be worldclass, this is what yogi wrote on him last year when he was about to move.
    “Nasri was infuriatingly inconsistent, incapable of realising his potential, unable to move from being very good to having star quality. The missing ingredient for me, was not being able to lift the side, to carry them when times were tough. A £200k weekly wage will not hide those deficiencies. In his defence, age may allow for that responsibility to develop, being in his mid-20s he has time but the seasons pass quickly and I hesitate to say whether he will take the necessary steps”.

  59. Hi Zim, thanks and I totally agree. I mentioned to korihikage on twatter – this one was posted on Tuesday, and looking at it again, I think I could have edited it a bit. Really, I wanted to make the point that both of them screwed us, and we had to battle back from there, but took too long to get to that point, so it ended up dominating the whole thing.

  60. Haha Jose cuervo. Lol
    Reminded of the CURVEY Basterd last year. Funny he won’t come on aclf now a days.

  61. i dont know if we can exclude him from world class status at the age of 24 whjatever he is….and to be honest the first half of last season he was on fire …some of the goals he scored were very difficult..very precise …tottenham first in the 2-3 for instance…i still cant figure out how he did what he did and then squeeze it from the narrowest of angles off balance while on a pirouete of some sort.. he is a good player no doubt …in his game against manure with city he was mocking united..holding it ..zig-zagging..pass & go ..he was a nuisance to them for 90 minutes,,mighty performance there ….

    as technical ability he is world class….as a character ,a leader etc etc ..of course not..

  62. I agree with ZimPaul

  63. And now he has not improved that city squad, just another mercenery living off other people’s work.

    I wish somebody could have just shoved a football down cesc’s throat, all that rubbish about wanting to go back to his boyhood club, Yea right! If barca was in the 2nd division would he be making such lame excuses? Fact is he saw that barca was the most successful club(without his sorry ass) and he was desperate to leave, i mean he was already draped in barca clothing during the world cup. Now tell me who the bigger cunt is between cesc and nasri .

  64. cesc as well ….i mean his mates were winning champions league, euros world cups ,,,and he was in rainy london looking at eboue and the rest and wanted to cry …. understandable

    imagine wilshere getting signed by stuttgart as a 15 yearold and when he gets to 20 arsenal starts winning what barca started winning …and jack wants to go home …what stuttgart?

  65. I also argue, strongly and with good reason, that neither Fabregas or Nasri are/were quite as a good or effective as many think. Cesc is indeed a great skill, but despite the flickers of brilliance, and sometimes exuberance, had an annoying habit of slowing Arsenal’s game. He was not the complete article. Nasri had some extraordinary moments amidst long periods of showy ineffectiveness. Now here’s a thought: Song and Wilshere are respectively better players, and will be seen to be so, over an entire season, and overall contribution to the team.

  66. Hunter, cesc was world class, messi is world class,v.persie is world class, na$ri should not be mentioned among such distinguished company, so keep your opinion on world class players to yourself.

  67. Re your points Andy and Adam, in Nasri’s defence he atleast played upto the last game when he was our player, why would Fabregas get preferential treatment on that front?it is not like Barca were offering us 80m for him.

  68. I always like your pieces OOU, and don’t mean to be picky.

  69. Twatter ???

  70. Khalifha @ 9:43

    What on earth has my personal mindset got to do with anything?

    You criticise Nasri on your belief that his sole motivation was money, a “coward” as you put it. Do you resent new signings who join us because we offer them more money than their current employers?

    And to be honest to describe him as “nothing but a lazy, good for nothing bench standard player that has a higher estimation of his own talent” is laughable playground comment.

    I assume you did not hold that opinion of him when he played for us. I assume if Theo decided to leave this summer you would use such terms to describe him in the future, reminding everybody of the inconsistency in his game which some like to focus on now.

  71. well i did distinguish between his technical ability and character….. i think ….. plus he is still young….

    do you ocnsider hleb world class ? he aint no leader,,,no real dominant fighter or anything…not big game player or anything but when he put the ball on the grass and it stuck at his feet i thought i was watching zidannes cousin with extra speed at times…

  72. Zimpaul, when it comes to slowing our game down na$ri was the major culprit – One thing is for sure fabreg*s and Nas*i will never be the same players, both are playing with shackles on and no longer the point of attack in their team, give nasri 2 more years and he will be playing in bangkok or malaysia, okay that sounds far fetched but i expect him to get sold soon.

  73. Fabregas had a wonderful start Barcelona, I saw some truly excellent goals, and it confirmed for me he is not the responsibility to be a “proper midfielder” as YW would have it, but a striker/midfielder. In the latter stages of the season Fabgregas has looked more and more ordinary at Barcelona, preferred and eclipsed by several youngsters there, unable to gain a foothold as an automatic starter, and the team unable to retain their previous status as “the world’s best”. At Arsenal Cesc had a real chance at the accolade “world’s best midfielder” as Wenger thought as much about his steady development as a central pivot with attacking flair as about how best to utilise and fit him; at Barca he is nowhere even near any such description as “world’s best midfielder” or even “world’s best young midfielder”.

  74. Steve, i called nasri a coward because he is a coward, he did not fight for trophies during the 2nd half of the season, he just decided to go to city and hide behind the back of better players like silva and aguero, for that he is a coward. Also, if theo wanted to leave my opinion on theo would surprise you.

    Hunter, nasri and hleb are not worldclass, they are very good players but thats it. Playing in arsenal makes a player look better than he is, and u seem to use the word ‘worldclass’ loosely, what is your defination of a worldclass player

  75. Hleb was Arsenal’s lock picker, a Wenger favourite role. We haven’t quite had one like that since, although I think that was supposed to be the point of Arshavin. They are rare. Ryo seems geared that way, but early days.

  76. Zimpaul, exactly! Wenger allows his players to express themselves on the pitch thats why the players that leave us never perform at a higher level or eclipse their arsenal form – Hleb,adebayor,nasri,flamini are not world class, they are very good players.

  77. I thought Ryo was the speedy winger type? As opposed to the highly technical velcro touch midfielder player that Hleb was.
    Can’t say for sure though, as I haven’t seen that many of the former’s games.

  78. Jasus, we are gonna have enough of the ‘will he stay, will he go’ bullshit with RVP this summer, and maybe even similar with Walcott/Song without having to drag up god awful memories of last summer. Its time to let it lie – that is of course unless this summer pans out the same as last!!

  79. Zimpaul

    dont really think ryo is a lockpicker. ryo is more overmars. hleb was really good at dribbling and creating space- just that he doesnt score enough goals. and he knew he made a mistake leaving arsenal.

    i think gervinho is a bit of a dribbler like hleb….

    and can we please stop talking about fabregas and nasri?

  80. Neither Cesc or Nasri are world class, very good players yes, but not world class.

    If they were world class they would of led us to the Title and CC last year.

    At the time I was disapointed to see either leave, but understood the reason’s why, Cesc is a boyhood Barca fan and at the time they came calling they were the best team in the world, so why wouldn’t he want to go back?

    Nasri is a boyhood Marseille fan, and has already played them, he has no great loyalty to Arsenal, and whether you think it is right or wrong, why should he? That is the way in modern football unfortunately, loyalty is at a premium.

    Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I have seen many, better player’s than those 2 leave / retire from our club over the last 20-25 years that have saddened me a great deal more – Rocky, Adams, Bergkamp, Merse, Wright, Henry, Pires etc.

    The one thing I have noticed though is that AFC has always still been there, and always found other players to step up to the plate to replace them, so Nasri and Cesc no longer warrant any significant amount of time thinking about them.

  81. what is your defination of a worldclass player

    a player who can “talk” to the ball and the player who can play in any of the top leagues first teams 11. plus international.

    and then i have the geniuses who are at another level…..bergkamp zizu r.baggio seedorf etc etc

    you could say that the real worldclass player is the player who whenever need , no matter the difficulty ..will shine through and that he will want to do it every time ..thats what sets you apart from the rest..imagine schummacher…getting the title was not enough..he wanted 7! ..zelico obradovic….23 out of 27 finals won….these people are sick geiuses and world class at what they do…..zidanne..demolished brasil in wc final…memorable goal against leverkusen in ch.l final..panenka chip against BUFFON in world cup final …there are no words…

    ronaldinho for insatnce….trully world class….unbelievable player ..but he didnt have it in him to do it ALL THE TIME …

  82. I’d heard previously that we had accepted a bid of £50m for Cesc from Real but he refused to go anywhere other than Barca. After that he started sulking and missing games through ‘injury’!
    Nasri has always flattered to deceive. Occasional moments of brilliance but mostly does flowery stuff without getting anywhere. A bit like Modric really but with a few more goals. £25m was a price deal for him

  83. gary neville…100 titles or whatever he has …..100 caps champions league 100 caps englandf whatever …world class ? fuck no.,…….

  84. could wayne rooney score 20 in italy ? pffffff like fuck he could ….

    would he survive in spain …judging by how munain and co surrounded him and didnt leave him an intch i doubt it too …

    but can we say he aint world class….i can..but people wont agree with me …..

  85. I totally agree with OOU (Birdkamp), ZimPaul and Pedantic George on tis issue.

    What gets to me is the rank nonsense that somehow the club was negligent for allowing this “crisis” to occur. If we accept that Arsene Wenger is probably one of the smartest football managers in the world (voted the best last year) then why do many (goonerandy being the most consistent) conclude that we simply allowed it to drag on and sold Cesc at a cut price. Why do we want to grant the Catalan mama-boy all the slack in the world when he was most culpable in having even his parents and the mayor of his hometown agitate for him to go to one-club only, thus limiting his market value. As OOU quite rightly observes, he refused to play even a pre-season game because of his hamstrings but within days of his transfer he was busting a gut in the Spanish super-cup. Give me the f*cking Marseille mercenary over Cec anyday. He is in it for the money but when we needed him to play, one week before his transfer, he suited up. He may have dillied and dallied and, as 7amkickoff observed, did not make a single successful tackle but he damn well played.

  86. well, the post was about them two and if one doesn’t learn from his past , he is bound to repeat the same scenario over again. But we can talk about other more pertinent issues.

  87. is john terry worldclass ? lmfao….. peopel cosnider him though …….

    i dont think he would make it in any other league..perhaps only the scottish .. 🙂

  88. AW S relationship with cesc was on a different level than that of nasri. That is why nasri played and cesc wasn’t made to.
    ARSENAL. deal with their players on a different plain than other clubs do. That is one of the reasons why I support them as many others do.

  89. I really enjoyed watching ROMARIO. he was defenatly world class.
    Cesc could have been. That for sure.

  90. “Neither Cesc or Nasri are world class, very good players yes, but not world class.
    If they were world class they would of led us to the Title and CC last year.”

    Cesc is world class. Nasri is a very accomplished player more than capable of game winning performances. What we needed when both were here were another 1 on Cescs level and 2 or 3 om Nasris level. Players like Arteta, Podolski, Mert, Szcz…..

  91. haha romario …i hate him….tremendous player of course but i never liked him….he is at courts to make his goals count against brasilain air forces or rio de janeiro plumbers league official so that he surpasses pele who got 1000 goals playing unofficial frinedlies in the jungles…hahaha

  92. arsenalandrew

    Great article, very thought provoking.

    Nasri is a professional footballer who promised us little and, some might say, delivered even less. He came and went. Few genuinely mourned.

    The fundamental problem with Cesc was the massive contract he signed was clearly viewed by Arsene as effectively a licence to build a team around.

    In leaving when he did, regardless of the other background details, he was biting the hand that had fed and nurtured – indeed, loved – him, for many years.

    As the great Brian Clough would surely have observed: he let the team down, he let his manager down and he let himself down.

    In his haste to join the Spanish gravy train, the fact that he also let millions of his fans down worldwide quite possibly never entered his head.

    Ironically, he was the one departee who I would have expected to be successful unlike most if not possibly all(?) the rest. Sure, Nasri has just won the league but has hardly covered himself in glory with an at best patchy performance record. The Curse of Arsene is still very active.

    Robin, beware.

  93. “If building a winning team is like bridging a ravine, then City have done it by filling the hole with the expensive wreckage of a succession of collapsed bridges.”

    Brilliant line.

    My feeling is that any contract talk we ever have should consist of only one question. Is your head and heart still with us? If yes we do what we can to keep you, if not there are plenty of players willing to give 100% for the Arsenal. We are bigger than any one player. Look at how the morale improved this year when we got rid of players whose hearts weren’t in it. Cesc, Nasri, Denilson, Bentdner, Vela.

  94. and on to more important things 🙂

    EURO – 2012 / POLAND – UKRAINE / OFFICIAL PANINI STICKER ALBUM
    ==========================================================

    I need :

    No. 51, 60, 74, 215, 217, 232, 236, 237, 253, 256, 295, 298, 330, 341, 361, 366, 396, 444

    I Have nearly 300 stickers all doubles for yourself or your kids/nephews etc

    who wants to trade ?

  95. It is truly sad for the game of football that many of these ‘ diamond in the roughs’ that chose to become mercenary gypsies for the moneybag teams, will never realize their true potential. Sad for all of us not to be able to enjoy watching them fully develop..

  96. pedantic george

    Haven’t read all the post yet (but I will) but Hunter seem to be taking some scalps today.
    Cesc is a weasely disloyal prick of a boy/man.But World class he definitely is.

  97. no no i dont take scalps from fellow gunners ..only from spud trolls..we are all freinds here …just talking 🙂 its friday …thank god 🙂

  98. SPOT ON. ARSENAL IS BIGGER AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY ONE PLAYER.
    @13H13, hahaha. Stickers?? LOL

  99. pedantic george

    “arsenalandrew | May 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    The fundamental problem with Cesc was the massive contract he signed was clearly viewed by Arsene as effectively a licence to build a team around.

    In leaving when he did, regardless of the other background details, he was biting the hand that had fed and nurtured – indeed, loved – him, for many years.”

    THIS

    This this fucking this.Why cant everyone see it ?????

  100. @13H13, hahaha. Stickers?? LOL

    oh yes !!!! haha !! remember when we were young and our mom/dad would only get us one or two envelopes with 5 stickers inside and it took us ages ….or with our few pocketmoney we could only get like maximum 5 envelopes or so……. well now i go and buy a whole box 100 envelopes x5 stickers and i release the complexities that the past austerity measures had created in my psyche… 🙂

  101. what about broken promises then eh?? what if wenger convinced cesc to sign up as he convinced cesc we would win titles and compete and buy top players?? only for cesc to see us limp to 4th and seing fabianski drop one in the net or almunia throw one in the near post or denilson jogging around doing nowt. now if we bought arteta , mertersacker, bennygoon and gervinho when cesc was still here and a proper keeper for the 8 years he might still be here, although he probably would not be in all truth but he would have at least won a proper trophy.

    right i’m off to bang my head against a real wall aswell.

  102. The fact is that both players screwed Arsenal fc. I agree that if Nasri were as special as he thinks, he would have stepped up to the plate against Birmingham in the cup final last year. Van Persie did and was only unfortunate to have hurt himself when he equalized. If he had stayed on, I believe we would have easily won the cup. Where was Nasri in that game? Nasri is by no means a bad player and would have added something to this squad this season but the real loss was Cesc. Not Nasri and not Clichy. I believe though that Wilshere has the same potential Cesc had when he was younger and would become a more massive player in the future than Cesc.

  103. I knew you was unhinged hunter.

  104. Good stuff Big Al!

    Cesc backheeled us out of the CL and then wanted to go to team he (and the ref) he put through. All of this almost immediately after signing a big contract. He didn’t even try to right a night he considered the worst of is career. The lure of what he thought would be instant glory but Not so fast my son, not so fast, its not as easy as it looked after all.

  105. Haha. Hunter I think the operative words there are ‘ when we were young’
    Anyways enjoy mate. Who do you think will win the euros??
    Holland, Spain, Germany???

  106. unhinged ? what is that ? good or bad ?

    nonono cesc didnt backheel us out of cl…….it was clichy fault..put replay on ..yo will note barca dominating us in our area and they try to make break from left side and ball hits clichy in the nuts and instead of staying down and running the time he got up to go on the offside line …too late….an expereinced left back would have stopped the play and rendered cesc backheel irrelevant.

    also that night was the night wenger decided to kick bendtner out the club…the previous year bendtner entered camp nou and scored a ballsy goal…and ever since he was busting arsene;s balls fo wnating to be in fornt of van persie even….so when van persie got off..wenger obliged..show me your balls nicholas…and nicholas played like a pussy…i have never seen wenger ripping into a player live in a mtch as much as he did to bendtner when he fluffed wilsheres golden assist……

  107. Who do you think will win the euros??

    Roy Hodgson 🙂

  108. Do we hate Henry?? didnt he leave coz we could not compete? did he not ask wenger when this team will be ready or if it will ever be ready? then left us in the shit??there is a pattern here isnt there…the non patience in our top players. next up rvp. there is more chance of rvp following the yellow brick road oil invested path out of the emirates then there is of him staying, with our history im not fecking olding me breath. we just all live in the non reliable hope.

  109. for you goonerkam

  110. correct duke! henry left and he wrote a letter ..hahah…and went to the club that would win the championsleague for him ….the club against which he failed to score three one- on -ones in the final……made valdez a hero….ahhhhhhhhhhhh poor robert pires !!!!!!!

  111. what?!!!?????!1 chelsea;s new signing marco marin ????!!!when??? nooooooooooooooooooooooo….!!!!!

  112. marco marin is that cheech marins brother??

  113. DUKE, I have no doubts what so ever that cesc would still be at ARSENAL if we had won a few competitions. If we could just keep our players from becoming unsettled and disillusioned by the suger daddy teams. To be fair to ARSENE and ARSENAL though, we couldn’t have had two of this and three of that and such. We were in transition and we were building an state of the art stadium and facilities. Cesc should have realized this was not going to be a short term project. As it is , in my opinion, he jumped ship exactly at the wrong time. We will see this year.

  114. no he is werder bremen not cheechee ..he had wonderkid status a few years ago….

  115. Well thank you my friend. I’ll make sure to stay away from it. 🙂

  116. yeah hunter, a pre-contract signed a while ago i believe

  117. hahaha, Roy Hodgson.
    I pick Greece. lol

  118. to be honest i thought the title was “when we were young” as the first line of the chorus says….oops …in re to stickers ..lol..

  119. I agree with duke and hunter on Cesc.

    I should also point out to shotta is that no one KNOWS for certain that Cesc refused to play.

    You guys seem to be basing a large chunk of your argument on something you don’t know for sure, or in ACLF speak, an opinion. This is not a necessarily bad thing, except that this particular OPINION is presented as FACT by some of you.

  120. greece ? miracles only happen once … lol…

  121. yeah hunter, a pre-contract signed a while ago i believe

    damn ..so the future for chelsea sees mata and marin on the flanks ……dman them russian money launderers…

  122. marin kinda went off the boil though didnt he, post his ‘wonder kid’ breakthrough a few years back….still only 23 and they got him for silly money – 6 mil or something

  123. Henristic – surely even you would agree that Cesc signed a massive long-term contract.

    He then failed to honour that contract. Still with us, H?

    That may, or may not be, incontrovertible fact.

    But it’s closer to fact than mere opinion.

    What do you reckon?

    Whether he one day regrets doing this is, admittedly, supposition.

    The fact that I think he let a lot of people down is most definitely my opinion.

  124. yeah true deise but then again xavi was getting bitchslapped till the age of 25 – 26 thereabouts ..and henry though also a wonderkid was off the boil till he arrived at arsenal …. frank lampard and gerrard were getting bitchslapped by the viieiras ..i guess its the way it goes …till 23 they show us what theyre capable of and after 26 -27 and IF they develop their maturity they might be able to do it constantly and win titles, beocme great, legends whatever.

  125. Looks like Roman has decided to take Mansur on. Get ready for some head butting. Best o luck for the rest of us poor folk or those with principals.
    I remember that song hunter. Nice.

  126. I don’t miss either of them. Both were mentally weak when it mattered and Cesc was not even a good captain. Their heads were too quick to drop. Some of current crop may not be on a level technically with these players, but they make up for it in heart. Arsene finally seems to moving away from these flaky players and bringing in players who are more robust

  127. arsenalandrew

    Anonymous | May 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm – that was me, ArsenalAndrew, Henristic!

    WordPress really f***ing about now; it must know YW’s abandoning it and is going on strike, claiming injury, generally pissing about ….

  128. I would have to agree that I wuold choice Nasri over the Cesc anyday of the week. I hear people say o Cesc was our best player and dragged us through plenty of games but for me when your world class and Captain you shine in the biggest of matches. You go out there and bust you ass off until you have nothing left to give and then you give even more but most importantly your honest. Cesc was none of that and granted Nasri never really did it either but Cesc was suppose to be the gold standard because that’s what he wanted and Arsene an Arsenal wanted him to be. Yes I have looked at Cesc career as a whole at Arsenal and if you look and truly think about it, he was part of the problem and Barca is finding that out now. He’s a ball stopper in teams that pride themselves on 1-2 touch passing and he doesn’t work defensively on teams that prided themselves on pressing high and winning the ball back almost instantly. For all the good that he did think about this, last season in the CC Final he didn’t perform, at a time when we could have won silverware he was shit when a truly world class player and Captain would have willed his team to play and led by example he was complete shit. Against Barca last season he was shit and I honestly believe that his backheal was the dumbest play I have ever seen from a world class player and Captain EVER!!!!!! Atleast Nasri told us and promised us nothing other than he was going to play when called upon no matter the circumstance or situation. Cesc for me is what is wrong with professional football these days, a man talented enough to win and lead a team but with no heart, no soul, no stand up.

    Above all that the thing that made me lose any and all respect for Cesc was the fact that not only did he sign a massive contract then for the next 2 years not play hard and fight for his team. But he turned his back on the coach, the fans and the club that gave him everything. When faced with the opportunity to atleast be a Captain if not a man he failed; those cunts from Barca and for that matter all of Spain drapped Cesc in Barca shit whined bitched and moaned about how much of a slave master Arsene was and when he was seen in public quite often wore Barca shit and not once did he ever say “yea i want to go back to Barca but at this time I am Captain of Arsenal”, hoenstly if he would have done that I would have respect for the man and would have been understanding but he didn’t. Nasri he’s a cunt to but he makes no mistakes and speaks the truth and has told everybody that he wants to be rich adn win silverware. His loyalty only is to himself and I am fine with that because he is honest about it.

    Finally RVP hurry and put pen to paper! Then Alex Song and THeo you follow!!!

  129. arsenalandrew

    H13H – each time I press play on your St Etienne video it refuses to play (is the interweb broken today or summat?). Is that the cover of the very old Neil Young song from circa 1972? The kind of song The Real (but currently absent due to summer recess) Steww Black would play on his excellent radio show?

  130. A agree with Henristic, Duke and Hunter regarding the Cesc debate.

  131. ”last season in the CC Final he didn’t perform, at a time when we could have won silverware he was shit when a truly world class player and Captain would have willed his team to play and led by example he was complete shit.”

    Didn’t Fabregas miss the CC final due to injury? Believe me, I blame him for a lot of our failures, but I don’t think I could go that far. 😛

  132. Great News: Dortmund want to sign Bendtner and are really interested!! Is it possible that Arsenal’s bad luck is finally turning: we get the Podolski deal done before the season ends, RVP has a healthy full season, Song becomes the best DM and arguably best midfielder along with Yaya, Mozart stays healthy, fuck nevermind Diaby only played like 2 mins all season. O well fuck all!

  133. arsenalandrew

    C (12.32) – nice!

    Certainly the appalling shirt draping nonsense by the Barca players was the point I personally turned on Barcelona.

    Imagine if we’d done that to one of their players?

    They’d be burning the bloody thing.

    Total and utter disrespect doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  134. Unfortunetly Nasri has been vindicated in his move. He has won the PL and has more cash in his bank that when he was with us. I don’t imagine he is crying into his Hot Chocolate each night lamenting hte fact that he does not play 100% of the games for City.

  135. Is that the cover of the very old Neil Young song from circa 1972?

    hi andrew …ehmm i dont know really ..only heard it from them ( st ettiene) ..check it in youtube

  136. I see Fabianski has asked to leave this summer. That means we will be in the hunt for another keeper.

  137. C, I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said but I doubt Cesc played the cup final against Birmingham. I think he was injured.

  138. @Bobo

    Sorry I’ve gone off my rocker blaming the cunt for shit he wasn’t even apart of. O well he probably lied about his injury. What a shitty Captain he was. Cesc is such a cunt he made Pep not even want to coach Barca anymore hahahahahahaha!

  139. Neil Young….excellent artist. I saw him a few years ago and he is pretty decent live. Recently I have been playing “Hey Hey, My My” on guitar. Great sludgy riff.

  140. Fabz and Almunia on the way out. Szcz is undoubted No1. So experienced backup is in order. Jaaskelainen or Gordon on a free??

  141. This Cesc discussion is boring and old. He doesn’t play for Arsenal any more, didn’t win anything while he was with us, left us in a right mess and has gone on to do nothing with his new team. Who cares?

    As for the people defending him… I can only hope you defend and support Arsenal as well as you attempt to defend former players.

  142. @Arsenalandrew

    If we would have pulled that shirt drapping on a player British media would have absolutely buried Arsenal deeper than they try to now. But no Spanish media embraced it and basically called Arsene a cunt for not letting Cesc pursue his “dream”.

  143. i trully believed fabregas was injured that is until he did his medical at barca and they said he was 101% fit… hmm it left a bad taste …

  144. I honestly believe that any Arsenal fan who truly defends what Cesc did and how it happened should really take a look in the mirror inregards to their own charater.

  145. c …..i disagree with that ..and its not necessarily defending cesc ..its about recognising that the boy didnt have it in him to LEAD , to become the inspiration for his teammates…the de facto leader of arsenal as wenger hoped. to be honest since he aint that type why not sell him and make money out of him..wenger can find others cescs there is no problem..its his loss.

    and besides arsenal will be better without him..not relying on one player..everyone has to chip in now …group gets closer, fights together …and the ones who feel betrayed will want to prove the ones who left wrong …and they will !

  146. All I see he did was ask to leave the club. Disapointing without doubt, I was gutted when he left. But lets not make out he has murdered somebody. The club could have easily stook to its guns and told him he was staying.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am pissed with him for leaving, but the way some are carrying on you would think he was Ashley Cole.

  147. arsenalandrew

    GoonerA – yes, he’s great live although getting on a bit now! I’ve seen him three times now, here in London and took my brother to see him in Hammersmith a couple of years ago. After the gig, my brother (who is ten years older than me and was responsible for getting me into Neil Young in the very early 1970’s) told me that was the first concert he’d been to in his life!

    Way to go, for a first concert!

    That “Hey Hey, My, My” riff was one of the first ones I taught myself on guitar when I was a teenager, “Like a Hurricane” one of my favourite songs.

    ***

    That media ‘blackout’ on RvP (if genuine) is concerning, to say the least.

    As I said a couple of weeks ago; it’s gonna be a long, long summer ….

  148. My feelings on Cesc’s time at the club are one of disapointment. We had a rare talent at the club, but for me wasted the opportunity to exploit his talents. As has been mentioned, if we had signed the likes of Areta and Podolski whilst he was still at the club I think we would have won plenty.

    As it was, he had to partner Denilson and had the likes of Bendtner to aim at.

  149. pedantic george

    He was worse than Cashley Cole.
    An absolute twat he is.
    Nasri is twice the man Cesc is,and he is a total cunt.

    And Duke you are a fucking hypocrite.You were moaning about how Henry had let us down ,when he got his statue,So don’t come over all forgiving now.

  150. Billy's Boots

    Good article, OOU.

    ZimPaul, arsenalandrew – excellent contributions.

    13h13 – top tune.

    aa – this week I finally managed to remember to listen to Steww’s show. When I tuned in, he was playing New Order and then shortly after name-checked YW. Perfect timing!

  151. @hunter

    Your missing my point, I dont care that we sold him or that he wasn’t a leader. My point is if your Captain and want to be Captain you dont let somebody shit on the club you Captain. That is my issue and why I say defending a man of that character IMO doesn’t make any sense at all…Like i said Na$ri left and made no qualms and didn’t sign the new contract and said he was chasing silverware and didn’t pledge his future to Arsenal and even suited up when called upon. But Cesc I dont respect the man for what he did and the shirt drapping and all that while still saying nothing but yea i would love to play for Barca without ever standing up and atleast saying you know what I am Captain of Arsenal now but I do want to play for Barca.

    We are better without him and RVP is the best Captain since Viera. IMVHO I truly believe that if we would have start in 17th like this season and with Cesc as our Captain and the way he throws in the towel when anything goes bad that we would have been relegated because like you said “the boy didnt have it in him to LEAD , to become the inspiration for his teammates”. So Fuck him!

    RVP is teh Captain of Captains and leader of this team. His fight, heart, desire, courage, and never say die attitude is what fueled this team and will fuel this team on this upcoming season and lift a trophy even if its just the FA cup but the PL and CL will do as well.

  152. George – Worse than Cole? I really don’t think so. Cole was meant to be Arsenal through and through but was caught in a hotel negotiating a deal with Chelsea officals. Sorry, Cesc does not even come close to that twat.

  153. arsenalandrew

    I quite liked that Ashley Cole – at least he had the decency to make himself a complete laughing stock. The idea that he nearly crashed his car as he realised he’d be unable to survive on a mere £55k a week is still a classic, in my book.

    Can’t recall what he has ended up winning but to earn the opprobrium of an ENTIRE nation takes some doing.

    Well done Cashley.

    But like Nasri, I doubt he’ll really care, long term.

  154. pedantic george

    Oh I wish people would just fuck off with this “we should have bought him this player,we should have given him better players” Arsene did ,does and always will do what is best for the club within the financial parameters he is permitted to work.You know ,the real one that he is privy too ,and we are not.
    Fucking Champ,Man generation gets on my old tits.

  155. Billy's Boots

    There is a certain irony in speculation that RVP is holding off on a new contract until the club conducts its transfer business: it seems to me that his signing would be a strong signal to possible recruits that Arsenal is a strong club and going in the right direction.

  156. @GA

    I have to agree with George on this. Yea Cole was caught but for 2 years Cesc was drapped in Barca shit and was Captain I repeat Captain and had just signed a massive contract had the team built around him.

  157. We should have though george, missed opportunities, whatever the cause of not doing so was we definately lost out for not adding to the squad then.

  158. arsenalandrew

    Billy – Steww’s show is genuinely excellent, isn’t it!

    I suspect some might think it’s because he’s a fellow gooner and ACLF’er that he gets the plaudits for it which is a pity because it is WELL WORTH a listen – also very funny and erudite as well as having a consistently superb selection of music and never the obvious stuff.

    Mind you, he’s cried off in recent times due to man-‘flu or something.

    He’s let his station down, he’s let his listeners down etc, etc.

  159. C – Fair one, but Cole is worse for me. Fabregas’s reasons for wanting to go to Barca are understandable. Cole was all about the cash and did so in a very sneaky fashion.

  160. Your missing my point, I dont care that we sold him or that he wasn’t a leader. My point is if your Captain and want to be Captain you dont let somebody shit on the club you Captain.

    well to be fair ..wenger was at fault for making him captain…cesc did not want to be one and wasnt up to it because he ALWAYS knew he will leave …. and he knew that wenger had trapped him ..sort off.. hehe ..

    i admire wenger;s faith and positive nature but lets be honest he made it very obvious that his plans were reliant on cesc..part of that reflected negatively on the rest of players …and wenger was emotionally a wreck mostly due to fabregas rather than nasri;s departure…..

    he invested way too much emotionally on cesc tomake him feel special for arsenal and it backfired without it being 100|% wenger;s fault though …as someone else correclty said , had barca not been as dominant he wouldnt be so desperate to go….

    i will also make a case for the constant slagging arsenal would recieve, the humiliating defeats and the mocking from media and rivals and the sense that the team was a bunch of losers who couldnt cope with epl;s physical play….why should cesc deal with all that nonsense ?

  161. @hunter

    I understand your point and agree with you on the fact that Arsene was an emotional wreck after he had left because he did invest so much. But investing is what you do when you think about building something around a talented player. Your right why should he have to deal with it but then again if you didn’t want o stay at Arsenal then WHY SIGN THE CONTRACT? Its all good now because its Barca’s problem and my old college roommate lives in Spain now and he says that people their and media there are blaming Cesc for messing up the natural flow and beauty at which Barca play and a major part in why they didn’t win the CL and La Liga. Honestly he can dig his own grave at this point because while he was talented true indeed I’ll take RVP as my Captain and as the best player on my team over Cesc any day of teh week.

  162. or to put it another way …why should fabregas put his legs in the fire to win titles for arsenal when he saw what happened to eduardo and the lack of protection the arsenal players got from those who were supposed to protect them ( referees) ?

    when hleb didnt get his penalty against liverpool he decided to leave ..he could see arsenal wasnt respected ..henry has mentioned something similar in the past ….

    when the players can see that arsenal spendig ability will be limited till the repayment they will deduce that their chances for silverware lie elsewhere…thats a big disadvantage wenger has to work with..and its the boards fault…then again i cant expect the board ( traditionally conservative) to risk spending fortunes on players just to make cesc and theothers feel better. they have a schedule and they will keep on it and whatever weneger manages in the meantime is a bonus.

    and although it must have been crucially painful for wenger to see cesc leave he shouldnt have invested so much emotionally on him….. i dont believe a smart manager like arsene never considered the possibility that the first crop would get burnt from the pressure and expectations but it happened so brutally he couldnt deal with it in the beggining. i am willing to bet money that the early season hesitations were mostly because wenger had to re-think his whole approach with these youngsters after what cesc did to him..i trully do….he may have felt he is alone in a sport where values and loaylty had been lost.

  163. pedantic george

    “why should cesc deal with all that nonsense ?”

    Oh please .Are we to feel sorry for the pathetic little wretch now.???
    Really???
    He can forever fuck pigs in hell for me.

  164. Hunter – Your recent posts seem more, well, reasonable and less mental. Has somebody hijacked your account 😉

    I find myself agreeing with some of your posts which makes me feel a little funny inside.

  165. no george not feel sorry for him …but for goodness sake look what happened ot eduardo ….. why should any professional be subjected to the aggressive nature of some neanderthals who cant cope with the fact the “foreigner” own them at football ?

  166. oh george i hope mourinho and madrid fuck him senseless and he wins nothing there too …but i cant ignore the cuntish behaviours our foreign young players had to face here …. in fact i am shocked that the club did NOTHING to protect them …they left wenger on his own to yell and the media turned him into a caricature….bastards ..

  167. Does anyone here read Arsene Wenger’s blog?

  168. arsenalandrew

    For me, the most interesting part of last summer’s saga wasn’t so much who left but who came in.

    Specifically, given the speed at which the new recruits were identified and secured – and (with I guess the exception of poor old Park), the sheer excellence and subsequent contributions of these signings one can only assume that contrary to media-led myths about behind the scenes chaos and the supposed lack of preparedness, au contraire, the landing of Per, Art and Benny alone were major coups.

    Whilst RvP’s brilliance has quite understandably captured the headlines, it was these signings that were, ultimately, in many ways season-defining moves by AW and in their own way, equally brilliant.

    All in all, we did quite well out of it, on balance.

    But as Deise hints, had we been adding the above three to the squad rather than simply replacing Nasrigas …

    And that, I’m pretty sure, just comes down to money, the cost of stadium repayments and the cashflow; I’m certain ‘doing the obvious’ will have occurred to Arsene, over the years.

  169. pedantic george

    Hunter that does not effect this

    “arsenalandrew | May 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    The fundamental problem with Cesc was the massive contract he signed was clearly viewed by Arsene as effectively a licence to build a team around.

    In leaving when he did, regardless of the other background details, he was biting the hand that had fed and nurtured – indeed, loved – him, for many years.”

    That is the difference.He fucking knew his importance to Arsenal and Arsene and pretended to have bought into it.
    No,he is a cunt among cunts.A despicable low life piece of shit.

  170. Yea, hunter has made some very good points – am still patiently waiting for the day i can use this line …>>The hunter has now become the hunted

  171. Im wondering what the club doesnt want RVP to talk about – his gagging order/agreement seems a bit excessive does it not?

  172. @Khalifha

    No but send me the link and I will.

    @hunter

    The points your making are valid yes but at the sametime you must also realize that for many it wasn’t about him leaving we are ok with him leaving. It was how he left that is the issue, the media, Spainish cunts, Barca cunts, his parents, his friends all bashed Arsenal and Arsene calling him ever possible name in there was and Cesc allowed it embraced it and was apart of it. A true slap spit and punch in the face for a club that gave him everything. You say he was loyal to Barca, I have no problem with that at all but atleast stand up and be a man and say I am still an Arsenal player and Captain and yes I want to go back but until it happens I have no reason to constantly be drapped in Barca shit all the damn time and I can atleast utter a word to my Spanish teammates or atleast a statement saying I’m an Arsenal player not a Barca player until otherwise noted.

  173. pedantic george

    Arsene ,have you ever considered that buying top class ready made players might improve the team and make us more competitive?

    “Eureka,That is it.What I have failed to see all these years,”says Arsene!”Quick Ivan ,pass me the cheque book,I have some shopping to do”

  174. george i agree but that is wenger;s side …..not cesc;s side …

    i agree he betrayed us, i agree he bit the hand that fed him and gave him the opportunity , i agree with all of that 100% and he is a massive cunt for betraying WENGER.

    BUT

    he didnt grow with arsenal flags in his room …he had no idea what arsenal was prior to henry era, he felt alone in terms of carrying the burden of the team …it all got too much for him and opted for something that even henry did….

    some of these things i feel wenger could have foreseen or to put it better not bank so much on him…the contract extention i belive was with in mind to keepa high value for negos and the remote possibility in wenger;s ever positive thinking mindframe that he could turn the boy;s head around.

    we wont miss any sleep over him …fuck him…

  175. pedantic george

    I agree with c,yet again.

  176. Deise – I was wondering that as well. I don’t really see the relevance.

  177. c i havent painted barca;s methods in any glory have i ? lol ……. one of the reasons i started hating barcelona was the manner they treated us…before that i was full of praise for them and their football …lol ..but after the catlans put the shirt on him and were disrespecting arsenal and wenger i even sided with the archcunts mourinho and ronaldo hoping they destros them …and for me to side with mourinho..terrible terrible….hybris…

  178. Anyway, as enthrawling as all this is, the first German Beer festival of the season near me has started today. So I am off.

    Laters 🙂

  179. “we wont miss any sleep over him …fuck him…”

    Best thing you said all post Hunter, I completely agree with that.

  180. OOU – another marvelous read.

    I’ve moved on from the past. Cesc, Nasri, and likely RvP…… have their own lives and in some cases families that are their priority over fans loyalty expectations.

    Arsenal can only offer up to 130k/week which will not likely keep a player who can attract $200+k/week. $70k to $100k extra a week is a lottery winning situation for them.

    In my era……young kids playing sports (and good at it) had specific player idols and favorite clubs they dreamed about. Their room was likely decorated with posters and memorabilia and they envisioned playing (one day ) for that club.

    Today’s young super talents, well…… their on the internet twittering or using other social media. The need for instant gratification is exampled everywhere. Their poster is financial security regardless of the currency pictured.

    They’ve grown up and witnessed most great players never devoting their careers to one club. There are exceptions, but a dying breed.

    Just my opinion, but Arsenal need to continue changing our business model. As we can never compete (wages) with City, Chelsea, RM, Barca, PSG, and their will be others…..we must buy under the radar talent in the 24 -26 age bracket (Kos, Ver, Gervinho) or players like Podolski whose situation, international experience at a club going no where, is a good fit for Arsenal.

    Do not give up hope for Arsenal. Look at the talent at Bayern Munich and yet Dortmund is taking the prize. All the talent at Barca, yet they could not beat Chelsea.

    Lets face it, if Jack, Aaron, Ox, Ryo – continue to develop as we all know they will……3 years from now Arsenal and its fans will find ourselves returning to dreading the summers.

    There are over 200 footballing countries. Talent is out there.

  181. C.
    Try this >> http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/arsene-wenger/

    Le boss just submitted a new post 2 hours ago on the bayern/chelsea final – try going through the archive and get back to me on what you think, personally i love reading his column, what goes through his head.

  182. Nasri? We loved him when he was here, loathed him when he left. Cripes, it’s just football. Why can’t we just forget him? Probably because he isn’t even liked by his own teammates. I understand he’s a precocious little shit that didn’t get what he felt he was entitled to only because he didn’t work hard enough or deliver when he was supposed to.
    I still admire Fabregas. He missed his home. He had the opportunity to play alongside Xavi and Iniesta or he could play with disengaged Arshavin or petulant Ebboue or arrogant Bendtner. Going home was an upgrade for him in teammates and lifestyle. A chance to be with the greatest team in a decade. Even from a footballing perspective he could still learn from training and playing with Xavi and Iniesta. What was Bendtner going to impart upon him other than a desire to get drunk and smash Geordies’ vehicles?

  183. @Khalifha

    Yea I work for the government and naturally that site is blocked but I will definetly read it when I get off and let you know come tomorrow.

  184. pedantic george

    Philmar ,Are you a full shilling?
    Why not say
    “he could have stayed and played with RVP,ROSICKY JACK & kOS? Rather than talk about players who were just squad players?
    I will tell you why.because you are a chump.

  185. Interesting article. But I think you missed something. Nasri does NOT want to be your friend.

  186. George/anonymous,
    Not sure how long it will take you to realize that in this modern football world, contracts are largely pointless as an indicator of a player’s intention to stay at a particular club. This is not my own insight, its pretty much conventional wisdom these days. Unless our management have been stuck is some kind of time capsule, I don’t see how they wouldn’t have seen that too.

    As hunter said, it wasn’t Cescs fault that the whole team was built on him. You have to blame the manager for that. The boy didn’t ask for the job, and was clearly the wrong candidate for that sort of task. He wasn’t a natural leader, was too young, and never stopped saying how much he wanted to go back to Barca,

    Like I said before, Arsene misjudged his own ability to turn Cesc’s head towards Arsenal for longer. To quote hunter, he was way too emotionally involved.

  187. Come on Hunter! Cesc agreed that he messed up, so are you telling me that he does not know what he is talking about? He made a stupid pass that initiated the go ahead goal; he was the one that put the defence on backfoot at that point. That is quite creative though, to blame Clichy.

    No GA, all he did was not leave the club. He signed a long term contract and then acted the fool the next season and did not give his all for two season’s. He sulked like a brat, allowed his Barca team mates to disrespect Arsenal both on (grabbing our players by the throat) and off the field. Defend him, that is ok, but lets be real about it.

    I am quite sure that Arsene said something to the effect that a player (Cesc, I am sure) should not just run away from the little difficulties and that he believed that a player (Cesc) should stay carry this team to glory. That lone dispells many things that are being said about the expectations.

  188. You have to blame the manager for that.

    Blame is a very negative term , i feel. wenger had his plans..just didnt work out as he hoped.

  189. Cesc missed his home! lol!

    Cry me a river to backside!

  190. paul sorry for enraging you …..but i know what im watching…..thank you.

  191. @Paul-N

    You make very good point about the whole grabbing of players by the throat. I have watched many El Classico’s ecspecially as of lately and you watch the players that all play together on the Spanish national team play and they are constantly going after each other grabbing each other and fighting for the shirt that their wearing and yet you NEVER saw that from Cesc. Honestly I hope Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso continue to target Cesc when they play because Ramos is notoriuos for choking Barca players just ask Xavi and Inesta.

  192. Wenger was too emotionally involved? lest we forget it is Cesc who calls him a father figure. Wenger saw something in him (as a teenager)and knew he could guide him to be one of the best players to ever play the game. He knew that he could create a dominant side with him and win things. That seems to Arsene’s mindset, no?

    Also, a long term contract that is signed is signal of intent as far as the Club and manager, so it is not just about emotions. I think to say that is dismissive and unfair.

  193. we are in the 43rd minute ffs and clichy is given golden opportunity to stop everything and delay , break momentum of opponents, get breathers for his teammates, restructure, re focus …..he added in the ensuing panic of already being on the back foot… he rushed like some hero while holding his nutsack to get in line for the offside and fucked it up…. wouldnt an expereinced player stay down at such an occasion? of course he would…but when youre like a headless chicken running around trying to be a hero you will fuck it up.

    how many times have you seen chesney getting th eball in his hands in the 88:14 minute and throw it to a teammate by 88:18… EXPERIENCE…… i yell at the television when he does it…

  194. jenkinson in west brom ……i feared the worst watching him using arms inside the penalty area like a wrestler …i was thinking to myself ” is he an idiot?” – ” does he not know that the refs here will gladly give a penalty for that especially against us?” i was crapping myself watching him being gung – ho inside our area….

  195. Hunter, come on bro, do you think one of these “!” means that I am enraged.

    I also know what I have seen and many other’s and the man himself agree that what he did was complete rubbish. He blamed himself; that is something I commend him for, he was right.

  196. @Hunter

    Your speaking of experience and being a hero, then WTF was Cesc doing when he made that moronic back heal. Talented yes, idiotic more so in that case. That is when i truly knew that Cesc was a cunt and wasn’t giving his all for Arsenal.

  197. OOU:

    Another well written post. Thanks always enjoy Friday’s. I agree with your conclusion. This debate has been raging for the whole season and its nice to be able to get everyone involved by making it the topic of the main post. Truth is it really is a useless debate and has no real import to the team but it is an interesting subject so perfect fodder for a football blog. Great stuff, keep it up, this is going to be a long summer and finding things to talk about is always a challenge.

  198. Wenger gave Cesc a chance he wasn’t given at Barca. Wenger trusted Cesc when he was just 17/18 years old, probably no other manager would’ve given a player such an opportunity that he had at Arsenal. Cesc thanked Wenger and Arsenal by leaving at an unreasonable time in point. No one would’ve complained if Cesc hadn’t signed a contract after the one had with us or if he had left one year before his contract ends but to leave at the point at which Cesc did was just basically sh*tting on Arsenal FC for giving him the chance to become the best midfielder in the world.

  199. of course he admits what he did was rubbish because it was the most obvious mistake..but an experienced eye would have noted what had proceeded in the sequence of play… 🙂

    ok not enraged..definately itchy though …a tiny little bit…..with respect ..i love you all …no hussle from me… 🙂

  200. good piece birdkamp and this looks like its going to be another drawn out one.

  201. Hunter, Cesc lead to the panic so you cannot dismiss what he did. Just as the final pass and the goal is not the entirety of the goal, whatever you say about Clichy is not the entirty of the goal conceded. Had Cesc not made a bonehead move, Clichy would not have “rushed out”.

  202. “yes very disappointed they abandoned wenger when he needed them…but cole pissed over arsenal football club and the manager and his previous employuers co -workers …everyone at arsenal basically….the nasris and cescs only failled wenger…after all they came here becuase of him … not arsenal…”

    Excellent post. I find it hard to hate players that leave a team when you consider the way they were lured to the team. Players are mercenaries, just like me. I will leave my employer if I get a better offer in a better city in a better location….ect.

  203. PaulN,
    At the risk of pissing you off further…

    You’re the one who seems to be emotional about this matter (somewhat to be expected considering your unquestioning attitude towards Arsene)

    Are you saying Wenger wasn’t emotionally involved because Cesc calls him a father figure? If anything, the human tendency to reciprocate affection, makes it less likely that your assertion is true.

    Why would Arsene and the club ignore prevalent trends, and the players own behaviour/words, to insist in believing a long term contract is a signal of intent to stay long term. Why? Does this make sense to you?

  204. Your speaking of experience and being a hero, then WTF was Cesc doing when he made that moronic back heal. Talented yes, idiotic more so in that case.

    why lol… who told you that cesc at 24 had the experience to deal with such situations…..he had talent and vision..not expereince..and of course he fucked up there but clichy fucked up first…

    and inthe end of the day …cesc misplaced a pass cause he tried the extravagant ..i dont think he did it on purpose..he was stupid and unlucky at the same time , if it had worked out we would be praising his clamness in tight situations …but clichy getting hit in the nuts and not staying down to delay play 2 minutes before half time is criminal too….he played everyone on and the midfield had to come in front of our area in full panic mode….2 minutes beofre half time..two minutes before wenger pulled the ultimate plan .0-0 at ht….

  205. Hunter, in all of my years I don’t remember as pass like that. I have seen many defenders get out of position though, by trying to do what they thought was necessary at the time. What Cesc did is way out of the ordinary, do you agree? He is the most culpable because he initiated the thing.

  206. I find it difficult to see anyone to blame but Cesc. If you are in stoppage time of the first half and under constant pressure, you don’t look to play a fancy back heel at the edge of your area. At that point it’s just about surviving until the whistle.

  207. Evil,
    So you’re saying no one would be enraged at RvP if he “[doesn’t sign] a contract after the one had with us or if he [leaves] one year before his contract ends”.

    Or does his injury history excuse him?

  208. Since footballers don’t actually get bought and sold like cattle, it’s worth remembering what a transfer fee is for. Unless I have misunderstood, it’s a payment to a club to compensate them for releasing a player from his contract.

    When the contract expires, the club has no further hold on the player. So most contracts are terminated before their due date – either by the club and the player negotiating a new contract, or by a different club paying a transfer fee to release the player from his contract.

    If all this is obvious to you, it’ll also be obvious that, when a contract is signed between a player and a club, neither the player nor the club expects it to run to full term .

    So there’s little point in castigating a player for seeking release from his contract before it expires. It’s not a betrayal. It’s what everybody expects.

  209. red kangaroo

    Actually Cesc had a short time out with a hamstring early in the season. Another factor in his relative lack of injury is, I’m sure, that they don’t have to work so hard in the Spanish league. But I agree with whoever it was above who said that, after a good start, he really hasn’t shone in the Barca team.

  210. Bill,
    We aim to please 🙂

  211. Of course, it’s hard for us to understand why anyone would want to leave a wonderful club like Arsenal. And since we have many highly talented players, it feels personal when one of the best of them leaves.

    But in reality it’s all part of the employment merry-go-round.

    It seems that Arsenal behaves like a good employer. Excellent. It enhances our chance of keeping the players we want to keep. But employee loyalty only goes so far. If someone comes along with a significantly better offer, it could be too good an opportunity to miss.

    And we have to recognise that some employers can make vastly better offers than we can.

    So however distressed I feel about their leaving, I don’t believe either Cesc or Nasri behaved like a c**t. For different reasons, they both did what they believed to be the right thing for them.

  212. Great article! By the way, I would let RVP go. In fact I will never have a same level of respect for him now that he missed the chance to say ‘it is time for me now to repay Arsenal’s trust in me and lead this team in our quest for trophies’. I am sick and tired of excuses like ‘I need to win something’. What if Arsenal said a couple of years back ‘we need to win something….and you Robin are constantly injured, so we will have to offload you’. Nowadays, all you need to do to cover greed and lack of appreciation is to say that you move because you want to win something. Arsenal is bigger than RVP or any other individual player and Arsenal will be winning trophies in future. What if your trophy cabinet is not full? What is wrong with having a heart full of joy and good memories? What is wrong to leave in knowledge that an army of people consider you a hero because you did not desert them? You can show your grandchild a cabinet full of trophies or sit him in your lap and tell him the story that will show him the right way in life. Robin, Robin…what a disappointment.

  213. emotional? enraged?

    Do you just like to say things to make yourself seem smart or is it an attempt at humor?

    anyway, its all your’s; you are right.

  214. One problem I have with all this unemotional rationality is that, logically, you also have to accept that Adebayor didn’t behave like a c**t. Just have to console yourself with the fact that he’s clearly a complete pillock.

  215. Well, thank you merlot @ 2.58pm

  216. pedantic george

    Henristic.
    I am emotional about it.I will tell you that for nothing.

  217. What Cesc did is way out of the ordinary, do you agree?

    of course i agree …but i am talking about how it all started ..and it started because clichy did not have the experience to relieve the pressure when he had a perfect reason to do so. thats all.

  218. @Henristic
    If RVP doesn’t sign an extension and leaves next year, I will be sad to see him go and a bit disappointed because you’d expect him to show more loyalty, but I’d accept it. I wouldn’t despise him or anything.
    But if he’d suddenly start pushing for a move, that would be a different thing.

  219. Merlot, no one has said that Cesc was expected to stay for his whole contract but surely it was not expected that he would want to go within a year of signing it.

  220. Paul
    You used the word ’emotional’ first?

    The word enrages was clearly from Evil’s post (which may have, in turn, taken from hunter)

  221. lol PG,
    I think we all already get that.

  222. paul – n i will try givin you another example..

    remember the liverpool – arsenal champions league qfinal was it? at anfield …

    diabby scores the first one ….

    and then almunia the cunt….in a simple backpass sends the ball out for a corner..the fukcing twat …and hyppia scores…and people blamed senderos.

  223. It is important that we comment based on what people actually say.

  224. in fact we ended senderos career with us when he was one of the two defenders alongside kolo who set defnsive record in europe for arsenal….lol …..

  225. and i have another one …hleb against eindhoven…silly silly foul to give away….its taken and alex sends us out of europe ….. hleb shoudl know better than giving a foul there at that minute…shoudlnt he ?

  226. @Hunter

    Yes Cesc at 24 does have expierence because it wasn’t the 1st time he played and has played he was a regular and 1st choice no questions asked. You speak of all the talent that he had adn vision and all that talent but dont forget that at 24 he had been a regular since 18/19 so thats 5 years of CL football not to mention all the PL wars that he played in. A back heel at the edge of your own area is pure stupidity. You slam Clichy for not staying down but excuse Cesc for not just clearing the ball it doesn’t make sense.

  227. Paul-N | May 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    “Hunter, in all of my years I don’t remember as pass like that. ”

    You sure? Ramsey,Song, Arshavin (for instance) have made silly backpasses when a less risky pass should have been used. Sometimes it works, but they silly all the same. I remember reading once on here ithat its part of our entertaining and high risk approach to the game. I didnt agree with that position.

    Granted these examples are unlikely to be in such a high profile game, but we don’t play too many semi-finals

  228. yes c but he is still a 24 y.o and not even 30 y.o can deal with pressure sometimes …..

    and i dint excuse cesc. i have simply identified where it all started …i have said it three times already ….

    ia int defending cesc ..i look at the whole sequence of play…not the last pass.

  229. Henristic, sorry but I did not use the word emotional first, surely not regarding me. And, you are not pissing me off, I just don’t agree. Why are you intent on trying to make it seem as if am angry?

  230. Henristic, no, I don’t remember a pass like that in that instance, not just the magnitude of the game. Sure other bad passes have been made.

  231. ok i have spent the whole day “working” so its time to hit them places where they serve legal toxic substances. enjoy your wk every1 . BAYERN UBERALLES !!

  232. Henristic @ 2:52:

    In retrospect both AFC and Cesc made mistakes. Your point that everyone knew that he was going to leave at some point and that signed contract was no guarantee of his long term loyality. We should not have had our collective heads in the sand and should have known better then to put ourselves in the position we did.

    Nonetheless Cesc handled it like a classless jerk so its easy to hate him. The thing that irritates me the most is the nagging feeling that he gave less then 100% effort the last 1 -2 years and that his “influence” was a part of last seasons collapse. The whole team other RVP was involved in last years debacle but Cesc was the “talisman” and best player and perhaps if he had given “110%” the rest of the team may have followed him. Call that scapegoating if you want but last season we had the best squad in the league and our best opportunity to win the PL in the last 7 years, yet we finished a fading 4th. Perhaps a committed Cesc would not have changed anything but he should have been motivated for one last giant hurrah before he left.

  233. @hunter

    There’s always going to be a difference between a player that is 24 with no 1st team experience in a player that is 24 with 1st team experience. For that matter it doesn’t matter how old you are experience is experience you can be 15 and have experience because you have played the game and know what to do in certain situations. Experience is experience. Yes at 24 y.o I do deal with press and sometimes I don’t but I know that on the edge of my area I’m not going to try a back heel in extratime instead i’m going to boot dat shit back to the Emirates.

  234. when it comes to bad passes there is only one, and that is from the ex legend now a manc prick Viera when he gifted Giggs a run on goal as most of our players were running up the other end.

    so not only is he now a manc but he also cost us that fa cup.

  235. Just to clear Clichy’s name, he actually makes a tackle to stop a sure goal before Cesc backheeled and Messi scored the goal, Nasri was the player that should have been tracking Messi as he was the closest to him.

  236. pedantic george

    Bill ,I like the second paragraph.But the first one is tosh.
    The inference is the Arsene and the board cocked up .And the use of the term “we” is a disguise which allows you this slight.But I am on to you!

  237. oh and he left us aswell, whilst flirting to leave for years…

  238. pedantic george

    Ah ,the ever forgiving Duke is back

  239. arsenalandrew

    Fair points Bill. I have always been concerned when teams become too reliant on one player; it always seems to end badly …

    “Angry” Paul-N – agree, I also don’t recall high risk back heels in any of the other comparable (ie, massive) games I’ve seen Arsenal play – certainly not in that location of the pitch. I recall our having scored goals with back heels but nothing that risked exposing our defence in the way Cesc did that evening.

    At best, it was cavalier, naive, foolhardy, risky.

  240. I don’t know but If a man voluntarily signs a 6 year contract, is it naive to believe they will stay for maybe 3 or 4? Is it logical that we would think a player would be gone within 1? or want to go within 1?

    I don’t remember Henristic saying that he believed that Cesc would want to leave within a year and most were like “what the heck” when he started sulking. IF I am not mistaken, we were all quite happy that Cesc was signed long term as we thought he would stay for while. I think we are being selective here.

  241. I dont think Paul-N ever gets angry ever…unlike some. cough..geor,,,gough,,ge..

  242. pedantic george

    “I don’t know but If a man voluntarily signs a 6 year contract, is it naive to believe they will stay for maybe 3 or 4? Is it logical that we would think a player would be gone within 1? or want to go within 1?”

    This,this,this,this…………………………………and this again.

  243. @Bill
    “Perhaps a committed Cesc would not have changed anything but he should have been motivated for one last giant hurrah before he left.”

    I would tend to disagree with you. When your “tailsman” or Captain gives the effort your team will follow. When your “tailmans” or Captain is motivated then the rest of the team will follow. When your “tailsman” is dropping his head when a pass isn’t completed then your team will suffer. Look no further than RVP, we were 17th and in relegation, I REPEAT 17TH AND IN RELEGATION and our “tailsmans” came out with a fire, passion, never say die, motivated attitude and showed that when his team needed him most he would carry them and motivate them and bring them together and when a pass isn’t completed he’s going to run it down. So yes Cesc could have made a differenece and that is part of the reason why he is a cunt among cunts for me because he stopped playing.

  244. ” give nasri 2 more years and he will be playing in bangkok or malaysia, okay that sounds far fetched but i expect him to get sold soon.”

    He a great bench player. If he’s happy being a spare part on Shitty then he’s a perfect fit. He won’t get his current wages anywhere else in the world except Anzhi. I think he’s happy where he is.

  245. Limestonegunner

    Paul-N | May 18, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    It is important that we comment based on what people actually say.

    Very important and often missed.

    Bill, excellent points about Cesc; does leave a bad taste. The players are human and so are the manager, club execs, and board. To my mind, last year’s squad was still lacking in leadership and experience, things Cesc couldn’t or wouldn’t provide. But the two seasons before this last were excellent opportunities to take the league, which would have catapulted our club forward after the move to the Emirates. Unfortunately our young team wasn’t able to do it. Now ManCity has distorted the league further than Chelsea did. It was important to delay them this year, prevent them from winning the league before FFP (if it ever was to have an effect) might moderate sugar-daddy spending. Still, if we keep our players and reinforce, we’ll be challenging. Unfortunately, we are starting to realize that we might not hang onto RvP. So the cycle begins again.

  246. Thats what I think AA.

    Also, if Contracts don’t mean diddly squat, why are we so eager for RVP to sign one? So will we rejoice if he does?

    As the saying goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”.

  247. George:

    We are probably never going to agree 100% on anything so I will gladly take 50% from you. 🙂

    You can argue that the motivation of Arsene and the board was noble and honorable and no one doubts that, but in retrospect if they really believed that Cesc would honor his contract and stay for as long as we wanted, they made a mistake, how can you argue with that? I think its safe to say that even Arsene and the board are humans who do cock up occasionally, almost certainly not as often as I give them credit for, but no doubt more often then you do.

  248. I am not “angry” but Henristic it is very annoying for you to try to make Arsene and Arsenal seem like some new kids on the block. You are trying to make it seem as if they full well knew that Cesc would want to leave and signed him anyway. To try to say that emotions got in the way of business? how can that be true when Arsene has let better players than Cesc go?

    Your whole line of thinking is opinion based.

  249. Bill, no they did not make a mistake. If I trust you to do something and then you renege, you are at fault.

  250. …want to leave, within the early stages of his contract…

  251. Capello set to be Chavs manager. Now I honestly am starting to lose faith in futbol because a manager turns a team around they win the FA cup are in the CL final and he’s already replaced. Now what happens if by some godly chance the Chavs win the CL would Roman still fire Di MAtteo, and you wonder why Arene isn’t worried about winning a trophy all those fuckers are cursed HAHAHAHAHAH!

  252. anyway, good discussion as usual.

    I am out for a minute.

  253. Limestonegunner

    What about this agreement that RvP won’t talk to the media while with Holland? Why not just ask the player to put a moratorium on discussions in the media of his club future and allow him to talk about his past season and the Euros? I’m not sure I understand what we are afraid of him saying exactly. Presumably we are hoping to continue to negotiate? It seems very odd that the KNVB announced that RvP won’t be addressing the media as a result of their agreement with Arsenal. Why would they agree to that–what do they get from it. If it is RvP’s choice not to talk about his contract or future, he doesn’t have to. Is the KNVB getting an agreement from Arsenal not to distract him during the Euros with contract stuff?

    What’s the strategy here? Lots of questions. What do you folks thing is at stake here?

  254. Limestonegunner

    Good point, Paul-N at 3:47. At least it would mean that if sold, we would presumably get more money for him or because of his age, fewer teams would be willing to try to prise him out of our hands with a big offer. But a player who is 23 and has his best years ahead of him is worth paying for.

  255. no doubt its something dodgy or shady by the club limestone!!!

  256. C @ 3:43:

    I agree completely.

    Limestone @ 3:44:

    I don’t know about the 2 seasons before last year, but last season we were clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the league. That United squad was the worst Fergie has had in over a decade, City had not yet put their game together and Chelsea was mailing in their season. We went on that excellent streak in Jan and Feb and looked like we were ready. Again I don’t know if Cesc really could have made a difference but he really owed it to the club to die trying and if he was going to leave he should have made it his mission to leave on a high. Perhaps thats harsh on Cesc and clearly its crying over spilled milk but thats part of the point of Big Al’s post.

    I really hope your last 2 sentences are not prophecy.

  257. Paul @ 4:01:

    OK.

  258. ” give nasri 2 more years and he will be playing in bangkok or malaysia, okay that sounds far fetched but i expect him to get sold soon.”

    City can’t get rid of their overpaid players, so it’s more likely he’ll rot on the bench when they bring in Hazard.

  259. My belief is that Wenger’s project came close to fruition but collapsed the minute Adebayor and Toure were sold to Shitty. We came close the years before that. Flamini leaving on a free was also a seminal moment. Maybe we have to accept that with filthy Russian mafia and shedloads of Sheik oil money ruining the league (and Man U’s global brand reach) that finishing on top is asking too much. Anytime we get close our better players will forever be poached. Imagine what life is like for Wigan fans.
    I really think Shitty will make a play for RvP and ditch either or both of Tevez and Baloteli. AW is gonna have to convince the Arse Board to pry open the purse strings and buy some players this year to convince RvP to stay. I doubt it will happen. The Arse are run like a proper business and there is too much economic uncertainty, especially in Europe, for the board to spend so much. There is a lot of risk in these uncertain times. I believe it is their mindset that they will not be spendhappy since there’s no way they can beat the bigger 3 at that game.
    What if they buy 2 more expensive players, break the wage structure for Robin? Will this ensure that they finish higher than third? Will it bring bigger profits to the club? Probably not. I think they see their business model as being a frugal team that cheaply buys and develops up and comers yet still plays beautiful attractive football, sells out the stadium, sells a big star and STILL gets Champ League monies each year. Only when the team is at risk of falling out of the top 4 will they spend big (like when we bought Arshavin or after the Old Trafford defeat when we bought Merts, Santos and Arteta). I really think the board is not going to assume a lot of risk by buying a few expensive players just to keep Robin. There’s no guarantee doing so is going to improve the club’s bottom line. They still will sell out the stadium, they’ll still make the CL. Only if they stand a chance of making ot to that next level and challenge for the title would they do it. There’s no guarantee that RvP wouldn’t get injured next year.
    The board are sensible business men concerned about the bottom line. Although I’d love to see them keep Robin and buy 2 more class players I doubt the board sees favourable risk/benefits of such a proposition. They have Wenger, a manager that delivers a top 4 finish and CL lucre every year while still being a selling club (in the sense that he generates more in sales than he spends on the transfer market). Deviating from this model increases risk yet doesn’t promise much additional revenues/return.

  260. @Bill

    “Again I don’t know if Cesc really could have made a difference but he really owed it to the club to die trying and if he was going to leave he should have made it his mission to leave on a high. Perhaps thats harsh on Cesc and clearly its crying over spilled milk”

    I agree with you comment he did owe it ecspecially being our tailsman. Thus i think the problem not only with Cesc but with many modern footballers who have a sense of entitlement is that they don’t play hard. Yes I know the season is long but inorder to win you must play hard all the time. Even the so called “greatest team in the world” you watch and they are constantly working hard you watch them if they lose the ball you dont see Messi, Xavi and Inesta mopping you seem them pressing to get it. That is why we agree because he failed to play hard. We can all live with a bad pass or a missed shot but when you don’t play hard that is the problem. thus another reason why it __________(fill in the blank) us because you could clearly see that he wasn’t. Even as I have watched Barca matches he doesn’t press its like his sense of entitlement superceeds that of the team. Pep probably saw that and said “Damn I shouldn’t have bought Cesc he doesn’t fit, Fuck this I’m leaving before Cesc fucks us over and fucks us up even more.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA I’ll stop being an asshole now.

  261. Too bad this was in a pre season match. One of the best goals I have ever seen.

  262. Limestonegunner

    Philmar, perhaps you are right. The one problem is counting on getting top 4, always filling the stadium, and so on. It was pretty close again this year and the competition is greater. I believe however, and hope AW can convince the board, that with some reinforcements we will be challenging for the league and going deep in the CL. Bayern on similar resources has managed to get there twice in the last 3 years. If we could hang onto our players for once and add one or two to Podolski, perhaps we will be able to scale the heights.

  263. Philmar, Dortmund have just won back-to-back titles on a shoe-string budget, so personally I don’t subscribe to this defeatist attitude that we can’t win the league. Having richer clubs in the league is not an excuse. It didn’t stop us in 98, 02 or 04.

    As far as I’m concerned the transition to the new stadium is all but done and we can push on and challenge for years to come.

  264. “Philmar ,Are you a full shilling?
    Why not say
    “he could have stayed and played with RVP,ROSICKY JACK & kOS? Rather than talk about players who were just squad players?
    I will tell you why.because you are a chump.” – AntagonisticGeorge

    I think you need to consider Cesc’s mindset rather than insulting mine. Cesc PLAYED with Xavi, Iniesta, Piquet ect. and probably considered them more accomplished than the Arsenal greats you’ve listed.
    I imagine Cesc prefered playing alongside guys who’d won World Cups and Champions League medals. So then, I am a chump because I believe Cesc sees them as more accomplished than Jack, Kos, RvP and Rosicky? OK mate – best of luck to you too.

  265. RvP is not only continuing as Arsenal’s captain but he is now apprised of the club’s plans over the summer. I suspect Arsenal have asked KNVB to allow RvP not to speak to the press and media on Robin’s behalf. He doesn’t want to talk. Arsenal and RvP are in perfect sync.

  266. I also agree with that Bill. and not only him, but Nasri also was not playing to win. That is the issue with keeping players that don’t want to be at the team, not only are you wasting but usually don’t get their all.

    I have come to conclusion, if a players wants to leave, sell them with the quickness. If that is done, losing them will not be as detrimental to the start of the upcoming season.

  267. Fuck sake OOU! I thought we had finnaly got rid of this whole cesc issue again???

    So, looks like I need to reiterate this point, again;

    It’s funny how those so deternined to exhonerate cesc of any blame (how can you say he went on strike? He wouldnt do such a thing) are those who find it easiest to slate the club, manager and current players.

    Just saying.

  268. Limestonegunner

    Bill, I didn’t mean that we had the squad necessarily that season (09-10) to challenge but that the league was there for the taking. Chelsea wasn’t that great and Ronaldo had left ManU but they had not reinforced, City wasn’t yet capable of top 4. I agree with our other comments.

  269. “Philmar, Dortmund have just won back-to-back titles on a shoe-string budget, so personally I don’t subscribe to this defeatist attitude that we can’t win the league. Having richer clubs in the league is not an excuse. It didn’t stop us in 98, 02 or 04.”

    Thanks for your calm measured response. Dortmund only have to beat one Death Star mega-team in their league: Munich. Munich doesn’t come close to the spending power of the sheiks, Russian mafia and Manure Brand. Arsenal would win the Bundesliga.

    The sheiks and Russan mafia hadn’t been around long enough in 98, 02 and 04. We only had to beat Manure Brand back then. We didn’t lose our best players back then to our own league. Now cashley, Clichy, Ade, Toure, Nasri are being poached by teams in our own league. Didn’ happen before. Different economics back then. We psent more than we sold usually (but not much). Now we sell more than we buy.

  270. Markus @ 4.36

    Right on bruv! I concur man.

  271. Dex, I would say that is the best point on the matter.

  272. Limestonegunner

    I hope so, Frank. But if he was informed of all of that and wants to be in sync, it would have been better if he signed an extension. Is he waiting to see if we can execute those plans? If so, hopefully we manage to achieve our targets, but it would have helped those plans perhaps to be able to announce he is playing for us next year at least.

    But wouldn’t KNVB still want their starting striker to talk to the media about Holland and the Euros? What’s wrong with ruling out non-Holland questions?

    I certainly agree with you, Frank, that RvP has to be our captain next season. Forget about the contract, he’s still our player next year if the club wants him to stay. And he’s been a magnificent player and captain. I know we’ve had problems in the past with players who didn’t give their all or exercise leadership when they were considering departing, but I don’t think RvP is like that. He played this season without agreeing to an extension and we couldn’t have asked for more from him.

  273. Found it typically pathetic that vieira’s words were greeted by some Gooners as gospel, the whole truth and ‘how it really is’ regarding RvP situation.

    Of course he is privvy to the inner workings of AFC and does not at all have any sort of agenda does he?

    Utterly pig sick of some so called Arsenal fans. Hell bent to either defend or believe in ex-players over the current squad and manager.

    Up the Arse!

    I’m off out for beer.

  274. pedantic george

    If I ever got my name in red,some of you lot would be fucked.

  275. I think we are very close to winning the league. We have been but the players we had, that left, did not have the fight in them. I have not agreed with TheBigM for a while but I agree 100% with what he said earlier.
    A few additions, a few being more mature, a few being more settled in the PL, a few stepping up through the ranks and its on. This team is on the right track and we don’t need to spend a crap load of money. Such is the genius of our manager. I believe that RVP see’s this also.

  276. There’s an awful lot of shit being talked about Nasri and Fabregas. I understand being bitter because they left, but I think it’s a mistake to view their having left in this revisionist manner, as I think it glosses over what is potentially a bigger issue at the Arsenal. Putting aside the (churlish?) “He left, so he sucks” stuff for a second – I think we all can look back to the fight of the previous seasons and to some rather brutal European nights and remember things clearly. These were two exceptional Arsenal players (and frankly, I’d take either or both back in a second) In the last couple of years we took a lot of losses, but we only had a few players who tried to take a game by the scruff and win it all on their own. I only recall a couple of players who looked like they could kill after losses. I recall only a few players who looked like they could weep after losses. I only recall a few savvy (and at times nasty players,) who played with a chip on their shoulder. I remember a lot of “We’re learning”, “We’re young”….on and on. I recall a lot of players who seemed comfortable to hide behind the ready excuses of fans and the sometimes overly gentle hand of the ‘Boss’. I recall only a few players who looked like they might not sleep all summer because of yet another poor season.

    Now, a good number of you know me – so you know I’m not spouting some rash troll-material to spark a brawl. Not only that but you know, I love the ‘Boss’ and fully support “the youth project”.

    I refuse to speculate on who left for money and who left for DNA or whatever other foolishness…but as a supporter I can say one thing…the players that are leaving are the uncompromising, ‘F!!ck you” competitors. If you said the price of winning was to lift the North stands and flip it over – you’d find Fabregas looking for a hand-hold, and there were days when I suspected Nasri was carrying a shiv on the field. If this season showed us anything it should be what a real competitor looks like. Henry came back for just a couple weeks, and he still looked like he’d go for the opposition’s throat for the shirt. R v P has become mature now but I still remember him getting sent off for headbutting a goalie in the chest. He would take a hammer to you if meant winning. Jack? More than just bark there.

    I am worried that we are losing these players because they don’t want to play for a team that’s technically gifted but has no heart. Or as Nasri put it, too many players just picking up a paycheck.

    People keep saying that those games with Henry back felt different…in the stands as well as on the pitch. I thought so too. They were different. The game against Milan was different as well. We played with heart as well as skill. Nasri may very well be a money-grubbing prick, but that doesn’t mean he’s lying.

  277. ” I believe however, and hope AW can convince the board, that with some reinforcements we will be challenging for the league and going deep in the CL. ”

    Trust me. I would LOVE Wenger to do that but the man is an economics major himself. I suspect he carries the same mindset. If he truly believes he cannot challenge for the title by buying 2 class players then he probably wouldn’t suggest it to the board. Wenger probably takes pride in delivering CL every year despite being a selling manager. What he has achieved in the last few years is remarkable. He gets CL participation despite selling more than he buys!! Many people think he’s a crazed ideolgue idealist but I truly believe his hands are financially tied behind his back because of the new stadium. Unless additional spending can get us to another level then I don’t think he’d suggest it to the board. I truly admire Wenger’s integrity. We’ll see. I wonder if Arsene still wants some time to develope Wilshre, Theo, Ramsey, Ox, and a few others before he makes the financially risky moves of buying the missing pieces. i think buying Mvila, keeping RvP would only get us closer to the Manc clubs, but not past them both.
    Seriously – what are the risk/benefits of buying heavily and breaking the wage structure for RvP? I know we all want the team to win cups and trophies but the Board is more concerned about risk and bottom line.

  278. Limestonegunner

    Dortmund is an excellent example. Bayern themselves in the CL. Juventus in Serie A. They didn’t spend what Inter, Roma or Milan have spent and they built a stadium too.

  279. “As far as I’m concerned the transition to the new stadium is all but done and we can push on and challenge for years to come.”

    I’d LOVE that to be the case but I don’t know if this is the mindset of the board. Even last summer the board didn’t act when they could have bought Mata on the cheap. Only when the Old Trafford pasting occurred and we sat in 17th spot did they act.

  280. Philmar @ 4:26:

    I understand your pessimism but despite all of that we should have won the league last season. Despite the riches Man City and ManU will have down years and teams on a budget can overcome, perhaps not regularly but they can win. No doubt our financial model makes us perpetual underdogs, but we have to give ourselves the best squad that we possibly can because thats our only chance. You never know when fate will give us a chance and to give up and just hope for 3rd or 4th and never take any sort of risks is the only sure way to never beat the odds.

  281. Dex, what makes me laugh is that he say’s – “Losing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas last year was a big shock for Arsenal”.

    As if he did not engineer the Nasri things. He is so concerned, innit?

  282. All this talk about pushing us over the top and needing mature players is quite intersting. We have already shown that we have the heart this year and RVP to lead us we just need health. Look at my potential 1st XI with M’villa and with out, they can beat anybody encompassing both talented youth, mature experience and world class talent:

    SCZNY
    Sagna—-Mert/Verm/Kos—-Santos
    ———–Song————–
    —Arteta———–Mozart/Jack(eventually)
    Theo——RVP—–Podolski

    or

    SCZNY
    Sagna—-Mert/Verm/Kos—-Santos
    ———–M’villa————–
    —Song———–Arteta/Mozart/Jack(eventually)
    Theo——RVP—–Podolski

    Subs:Ox, Gervinho, Diaby, Verm/Mert/Kos, Mozart/Jack, Gibbs, goalkeeper

    We can challenge the problem that we keep facing is of injuries. We can win the league next season IMVHO and I’m not being biased. My friend who lives in Spain that I mentioned earlier even said that we have the talent to win teh PL and challenge in the CL.

  283. But Axis you take Nasri’s word for it, don’t you? So you defend players who left but you crap on the ones who stayed and tried to fight.

  284. Philmar @ 5:03:

    “I’d LOVE that to be the case but I don’t know if this is the mindset of the board.”

    I guess that may be the biggest problem of all. No one has any real idea what is the mindset of the board. He is not called “Silent Stan” for nothing.

  285. Not sure that we know that he has been given a contract to sign yet do we? I don’t think that either party has stated that there was a contract on the table on Wednesday. I would imagine that they just had time to outline strategy and plans and then sketch out the principles of any agreement between them. Contracts come a bit later.

    As for speaking at Oranje press conferences, journalists just cannot be trusted not to ask questions about Arsenal and his future. Simpler to just keep quiet. One thing is for sure though, RvP is getting thoroughly sick of the whole thing. You can see it in his body language.

    The agent fascinates me though. Why would AW and IG want to talk about the future of the squad in anything other than vague terms with Kees Vos in the room. Wouldn’t trust the fucker as far as I could throw him.

  286. Paul, I’m not taking anyone’s word for anything…and I’m not defending anyone either. I’m asking if you think that’s what’s happening. And let’s be honest…I’m hardly the first to question the effort of the team. What I was trying to say was let’s not avoid questioning our heart as a team because it’s easier to write off ex-players as traitors who weren’t that good in ‘retrospect’…

  287. Btw,if Arsenal asked and KNVB agreed then RvP is staying and KNVB know it.

  288. We don’t know what went on with the Mata situation but it does seem as if Arsenal tried to buy some players and it did not work out. With that why are we questioning the mindset of the board, they obviously want to win. I also think it is worth noting that we brought in some very good players and have already signed Podolski.

    It seems to me that we are really talking about signing “big” players.

  289. I don’t think anyone is saying that Cesc wasn’t one of the best midfielders the club ever had. Though it’s funny that we finished better after he left, but I don’t really think it’s down to him leaving. Just a coincidence, but a funny one.

    However, Nasri just isn’t anywhere near the bracket of being a top player. He is good on his day, but that he only managed to produce good form for a spell of 6 months while he was with us is telling. Compared to our three major wide players in his last season with us, Nasri wasn’t better than Arshavin or Walcott.

  290. mumbai gooner

    hats off to OOU….sometimes understanding YW is difficult as he is so articulate….this piece is fantastic, what a simple arsenal fan would 100% agree with

  291. Frank – if RVP signed surely it would be announced….no? Why hold off on that? It would delight the fans and help shift season tickets, right? I dont get the gagging order/agreement at all. Surely RVP is professional enough to just dodge any questions about his future? Being asked about his future by the press isnt any different than having it on his mind, so i dont see that its anything to do with concentration on Holland for the Euros. And what does hiding RVP away from the press gain the club?

  292. Axis, No, I don’t think so. The thing is that after their departure the team is fighting.

  293. Deise:

    PR has never been the clubs strong suit.

  294. Ok Paul, can we clear up a few things:

    1. You say you’re not angry but annoyed at my opinion. Don’t they mean the same thing? Besides you can’t blame me for thinking you got a bit miffed, as even hunter thought so.from the tone of your posts. Its easy to misunderstand these things when chatting online.

    2.You’re saying you called me emotional, and I used it back on you. What’s the problem then?

    3. You say this “It is important that we comment based on what people actually say” and then go on to misrepresent my point. I’m not the one making Arsene or the club look naive. I’m accusing you and those who keep arguing that the club’s management expected Cesc to stay long term of doing so doing so. My own belief, as previously stated is that Arsene always knew Cesc wanted to leave, but was hoping to convince him to stay longer.

    4. Its not unreasonable to then suggest that Arsene didn’t drive as hard a bargain as he could when he realized Cesc wasn’t going to budge (considering he was sold below ‘market value’). In which case, some emotion would have been involved. It happens, no big deal. Nobody takes emotionless decisions all the time.

    5. “I don’t know but If a man voluntarily signs a 6 year contract, is it naive to believe they will stay for maybe 3 or 4? Is it logical that we would think a player would be gone within 1? or want to go within 1?”
    In Cesc’s case its clearly naive to believe so when the player himself kept agitating for a move. One can hope of course, like Arsene did, but you can’t bank on it.

    6. “I don’t remember Henristic saying that he believed that Cesc would want to leave within a year and most were like “what the heck” when he started sulking. IF I am not mistaken, we were all quite happy that Cesc was signed long term as we thought he would stay for while. I think we are being selective here”
    I hoped it meant he would stay, but feared it was an ‘arrangement’ to get a better transfer price. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that thought that way.

    7. And yeah, this is all my opinion my man, I’m not pretending it is anything else!

  295. When you are a great player, you pull people us. You cannot do that if your head is dropping and you are sulking because you miss home. You cannot do that when your head has already been turned but another club. You cannot do that by being anonymous for a whole half of the season.

  296. pull people “up”

  297. “Dortmund is an excellent example. Bayern themselves in the CL. Juventus in Serie A. They didn’t spend what Inter, Roma or Milan have spent and they built a stadium too.”

    And neither lost their 2 best midfielders (Cesc & Nasri), best holder (Flamini), best striker (Ade), accomplished CB (Toure) and left back (Clichy) in the last few years. The degree to which Juve is overspent by the Milan teams is not close to the Arse situation. Look at the recent history. We are a selling team. We don’t even buy as much as we sell. Every transfer window enrichens the team. Compare that to Manc tams and Chelsea. The gap is much wider here.

  298. My point was that there was nothing to sign, Deisegunner

  299. pedantic george

    “Philmar | May 18, 2012 at 5:03 p

    I’d LOVE that to be the case but I don’t know if this is the mindset of the board. Even last summer the board didn’t act when they could have bought Mata on the cheap. Only when the Old Trafford pasting occurred and we sat in 17th spot did they act.”

    Everything about that post is rubbish.
    Mata was a done deal I believe and Chelsea came in and offered him a bigger wage and a £8 million signing on fee.
    Only when it was clear who was leaving and how much we had did they finalise the deals they had already prepared.
    Why am I the only one pointing this out to this chap?
    What has gone wrong here today?

  300. Henristic, you may be saying something different to you but I am dealing with what you have said.

    You say it is an opinion but you are trying to let Cesc off the hook with opinions?

    Cesc did not agitate for a move until after he signed the contract. The contract is the concrete part of this whole discussion but the only part you want to minimize? Based on the length of the contract the club expected him to stay for a while, that is the ONLY sensible conclusion I can come to.

  301. pedantic george

    And neither lost their 2 best midfielders (Cesc & Nasri),

    Really? when did we decide Nasri was our second best midfielder?
    He was never that.

  302. LG
    Maybe the gagging order was the club’s attempt to ‘learn’ from last years mistakes and minimise the media brouhaha last year. If so, not very wise, unless they’re able to gag his agent, and any bidding club. Its not as if much of the news associated with transfers come from the players themselves.

    Gagging might only drive the media frenzy I’m afraid.

  303. pedantic george

    Paul, that is the only sensible conclusion anyone should be able to reach,

  304. @Philmar
    Uhm, I hate to tell you that, but you are wrong. They lost Sahin last season who was their most important midfielder, they’ll lose Kagawa who has been their main creative outlet this season. They will lose Barrios who’s one of their two main strikers.

  305. Paul & George @ 6:06:

    If that is the conclusion then the club comes across looking naive. Naivity may be a well intentioned but it is a mistake nonetheless. Perhaps I am wrong but I think that believing he would stay for a while was a mistake that was evident to most people prospectively.

  306. “Mata was a done deal I believe and Chelsea came in and offered him a bigger wage”

    A done deal that wasn’t done is not a done deal. I suspect the board still believed they could hold on to either Nasri or Cesc at that point.

    “Only when it was clear who was leaving and how much we had did they finalise the deals they had already prepared.”

    So these deals were contigent on not losing Cesc or Nasri. This shows what I was saying: the board is cautious and not of the mindset to spend to push the team further than reaching CL qualifying spot. Not sure why you’re taking issue with that. If these deals were already prepared why weren’t they completed BEFORE the big matches with ManU and Liverpool and the Udinese CL match? Silly way to do business. I don’t know what you are taking issue with and calling rubbish.

  307. “Uhm, I hate to tell you that, but you are wrong. They lost Sahin last season who was their most important midfielder, they’ll lose Kagawa who has been their main creative outlet this season. They will lose Barrios who’s one of their two main strikers.”

    Doesn’t make me wrong. I said they didn’t lose 6 front line players like we did. You’ve countered that they’ve lost 1.

  308. pedantic george

    So make up your mind.
    You say “I suspect the board still believed they could hold on to either Nasri or Cesc at that point.”
    and accept that the others were lined up “in case” the two cowards left.So why would they sign them before they left?Why would we want Mata if we still had Cesc and mo money from any sales?

  309. Mata was a done deal I believe and Chelsea came in and offered him a bigger wage and a £8 million signing on fee.

    flipping el george you have some good contacts.

  310. pedantic george

    But you are right that the board does not want to spend money it doesn’t have in order to keep the likes of you happy.

  311. @Philmar
    You’ve counted players we’ve lost over a time-span of several years. I just counted the ones they lost in 12 months. If I wanted to, I could include also transfers from seasons before, where they lost for example Tinga, Petric, Frei.

  312. pedantic george

    Duke .Which part of “I believe” lead you to think I said “I know”.
    Or do you not understand the difference?Because I am sure some of the smarter posters could explain it to you.

  313. This is boring now. None of us really know what happened, we can speculate ’til the cows come home, but it will make no difference. We all have our own opinions influenced by our own world views and it does not look like anyone is going to change anyone’s mind.

    Philmar @6.33pm, perhaps because we needed the CL money or the money from sales to buy him? Also, if we failed to qualify or neither player moved we would have an extra player we did not need and would have spent money we did not have? There is always more than one interpretation of a situation in which you have little to no information. It’s easy to be wise after the event. Being a critic is the easiest pursuit in the world.

  314. pedantic george

    Duke .Do you remember Arsene all of a sudden saying “We will not do Mata”
    Dont you think something had just changed to bring that statement about.
    Also his agent has confirmed the signing on fee and we know Chelsea pay more than us .So what a you being a prick for?

  315. I never said you said you knew.

  316. george!

    this cesc debate an arff get you hot under the collar eh. now now with the insults don’t stoop to those levels.

  317. Honestly why are we still talking about the cunts aka Na$ri and Cesc

  318. pedantic george

    I did not mean to insult you Duke.Just to point out you were being somewhat aggravating.

  319. “The agent fascinates me though. Why would AW and IG want to talk about the future of the squad in anything other than vague terms with Kees Vos in the room.”

    Exactly Frank. Kees Vos is an agent, why would AFC outline their transfer plans to him? That could potentially be viewed as commercially sensitive information. AW also had ample opportunities to speak to RVP in a general way throughout the season. Doesn’t the captain usually talk regularly with the manager? I can’t imagine RVP being backward in coming forward with his opinions long before sitting down for this latest conversation. AW seems like the sort of person who would be willing to enter into a dialogue with someone he clearly respects. But ultimately as it is his responsibility, he will decide who the new personnel should be. We also need to remember there are at least 3 parties in every deal and however much we might want a player, other factors can prevent us turning our targets into reality.

  320. Paul,
    Why don’t you show where I’ve said something different from what I’m saying now then?

    What’s wrong with opinions? You regularly give them yourself.

    You keep insisting on this contract thing, but a contract isn’t really worth that much faith these days. Timing of the contract with respect to Cesc’s agitation isn’t very relevant either. He decided to leave and we should have adjusted our expectations to that desire earlier than we did. Its not a big deal for a player to NOT want to stay for majority of his contract. Its certainly not a big deal with other form of employment contracts outside football, so why hold footballers to a different standard?

  321. Philmar:

    We all realize what we are up against but even so history shows that teams like ours can beat the odds. The only way to do that is to put together your best possible team given the resources available and then be ready to win when we get a chance. The wildcard in the scenario is the willingness to take some risks to put the best possible team on the pitch. Who knows the real mindset of our majority owner and our other decision makers? Signing RVP is a risk and will probably require altering the wage structure but I would hope Arsene would be on the side of taking some risks and fight the board tooth and nail if they are balking, but its impossible to know how decisions are really made.

  322. pedantic george

    IHeartWengerBall ‏@Iamgoonerlocks
    Does anyone have the video of RVP when he signed his last contract, as usual he was injured and he was claiming the was no question of or if he would sign, once he knew that Arsenal wanted to resign him. Claimed he was now a fan, a gooner & loved the club. 1 fit season

    Yes quite.

  323. its like the old days again george when we used to argue alot, i thought we were over all that stuff!!!

  324. I think I have to stop favouring particular Arsenal players as they all turn out to be major disappointments, Wright, Vieira, Cesc, Nasri – I am clearly a poor judge of character! Actually, I got one right – Paul Davis has never done anything to upset me (so far!).

  325. “Does anyone have the video of RVP when he signed his last contract”,

    Funny you should say that George, I was just wondering the other day if I could be bothered to go searching for it, as I remember he took his time over his decision that time as well!

  326. “@Philmar
    You’ve counted players we’ve lost over a time-span of several years. I just counted the ones they lost in 12 months. If I wanted to, I could include also transfers from seasons before, where they lost for example Tinga, Petric, Frei.”

    Sure you can counter with players whose transfer value pales compared to the value of the players I mentioned. I didn’t bother to include the Senderos, Diarra, Silva and Eduardo level transfers; transfers at the same level as the players you mention. Actually, not even.
    Tinga wasn’t poached – he was released. Petric was sold for what 5 million? Frei – I don’t think he was poached by his Swiss team either. Looks like he was left to go as Klopp saw something better ariving: Barrios? i don’t think these were players Klopp wanted to keep whereas the 6 I listed were ones Arsene didn’t want to lose.
    I don’t think I am saying it is impossible to win a league on a shoestring budget. I’m saying it is harder in the EPL due to the presence of Shitty, Man U and Chelsea. Granted it is harder in La Liga.
    I just don’t think the Arse board sees it can be done THIS year. We were close a few years back but not this year.

  327. Maybe were all thinking about this the wrong way. Maybe he wanted to be focused for the Euros and didn’t want to deal with his contract or Arsene being classy and putting a gag order so that it wouldn’t be a burden to him at teh Euro’s.

  328. Ok, ok, ok. I’ll stop if Paul does 🙂

  329. pedantic george

    Duke ,what do you expect when you are deliberately poking me with the angry stick ?

  330. Perhaps we expect too much from footballers. The romantic notion of the old days, where a player stays with one employer through thick and thin is rare.

    Even Giggs and Scholes that people keep mentioning. Would they still be at manure of their club wasn’t winning so regularly and/or they being paid as much or more than they’d earn elsewhere?

    We should just enjoy the game, rather than put too much stock in the personalities involved.

  331. I dont recall many top clubs bidding for Giggs or Scholes, the way they do for our players, or even C.Ronaldo.

  332. I keep on wondering whether to go back to 2009 when he RvP delaying things – mainly because I can’t work out whether it’s a good sign that he took his time but eventually agreed to stay, or bad that he did so with the proviso that the club competed for trophies.

    It’s funny, because the truth is that we have competed – there was the CC final last year, and two campaigns where we looked like we had a chance, the first of which failed partly because he was injured.

    And sorry the post worked out this way. Really, I was just setting the scene for a look back at the season, but I guess I was still angry at Fabregas!!

  333. @Philmar
    Here I was thinking you were talking about the importance of players and not the money paid for them. The Bundesliga isn’t full of rich investors like the EPL, so it’s obvious that players don’t move for crazy money. The Gomez transfer a couple of years ago (and recently Dzeko, but that was obviously ManCity) might’ve gotten headlines but that’s not the norm in the Bundesliga. Tinga wasn’t poached, that’s true (I was just replying to your post at 5:43 pm so I am not sure why it matters if players have been poached?) but Petric and Frei were both important, they made up Dortmund’s strike force for several years.
    As for Barrios, Klopp actually wanted to keep him, but Barrios didn’t like playing second fiddle to new boy Lewandowski even if it were Barrios’ goals that won them the title the season before this one. And then came a big money offer from China where he’d earn crazy money.

    But I do agree that winning the EPL on a shoe-string budget is nigh to impossible. But then again, we came close in 07/08 and we had a decent shot at it last season. And if you look at what Newcastle did this season — or even the Sp*ds — they all managed to be competitve for a time despite having a really small budget.

  334. birdkamp, we have competed, but injuries have usually scuppered us and his in particular. I will be very disappointed if his first fully fit season is followed by his departure. Given his fitness record at the time of signing his last contract, the club showed tremendous faith in him. That it’s taken until 2011/12 for him to deliver should surely count for something?

  335. How can you compete with a club that offers a player more than a £million every month? That’s an inconceivable amount of money.

    And look, I know nobody knows what’s going on, but if, huge if, RvP heads to City I won’t hate him, just as I don’t hate Cesc and Nasri, but I will be disappointed.

    I really do feel that this was a great PL season, with more teams than ever that want to get the ball down and play. But if this RvP thing goes the way we’re all dreading…it’s going to be shit. Not because it might hurt Arsenal – we always bounce back – but because it’s just not fair. I sound like a kid, but that’s the only way I can put it!

  336. I am with you Passenal. We can only hope that RVP will look at the whole picture and Arsenal has done for him. I really cannot imagine him acting like the others. He seems a real soldier who will fight to the end.

  337. That’s for posting while listening to the radio – “..wanted to the get the ball down and play proper football..”

    Disappointed’s the word, Passenal. Acutely disappointed!

  338. I see the WUMs have had their rattles out.
    Let us look at the F.A.C.T.s:

    Ade mumbles & stumbles. Get’s dropped a few games before the end of a season. Ade-bye bye. He was dropped!
    Denilson last season. Comes back from injury, plays well, realises he’s lost a starting berth. Makes his intentions clear and asks to leave. And he doesn’t really play after that! When he does he’s not interested. So, dropped as well. but there was an interesting interview about captain Cesc F-Word.

    Captain Cesc F-Word: Now, I love my cescy baby. I wish I could have his babies but I can’t. Actually, that’s a lie. Anyway.
    I think he is the only Arsenal Captain I can recall who’s been dropped and then flogged off. Viera? Nope. Henry? I don’t think so. If anyone who’s had a season ticket since 1666 could clarify i would apreciate it. So, just to be clear, i dont hate Cesc, I just note that he was dropped whilst skipper. Gallas had his armband stripped. And then went on to have a great final season. Cesc, like the two above was either dropped or to quote AW (tis a good thing I can remember!) his head was not right. Just like Ade or Denilson then. What is ambiguous is how long was Cesc dropped for? Was he dropped at the end of the season? Based upon the evidence and previous patterns, the interesting interview with Denny, I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

  339. Great post OOU.

  340. mattgoonerknight

    So, is he going then?

    I’m finding it hard to way up the evidence objectively as I’m too emotionally invested, as is my pooch (see gravatar), Persie.

    “If” he doesn’t want to commit, shouldn’t we insist that he finish his current contract and give ourselves a year to sort the genuine replacement (I know there isn’t really one but something, ai) situation out? Demonstrate that we are going to seriously compete for the title /CL and that leaving for success does not equate with leaving Arsenal.

    I don’t think cashing in on him is an option, not in the summer anyway.

    Ps We’ll be FINE regardless: always will, always have been.

  341. mattgoonerknight

    REGARDLESS

  342. pedantic george

    I like Finsbury.
    And when I can decipher his posts I think I agree.with him .Usually.As a rule.I think!

  343. I admit. It. I cannot type. Or write. Very well.
    Fortunately there are those like OOU and AA who can write what I’d like to say in English.

  344. pedantic george

    Or should we flog him and use the money plus some more to buy someone really good.

  345. After Limey’s eulogy of George on the Arsenal player I conffess I gave it go. Good Stuff PG, but I have to thank Limestonegunner for giving the time of your appearance on the show after the Norwich game otherwise I’d have had to skip through a load of crap.

  346. Should we start the Cesc thing up again? the comments have died down ever since I put Henristic in his place and dropped it the discussion.

  347. pedantic george

    Never change Fins.

  348. pedantic george

    did you catch this week? Fins

  349. Chel$ki did not ca$h in Drogba last summer. And it’s a good tfor Chelsea that they did not do so. For starters, starting teh Drog gives them a chance tomorrow. If he’s fit.

  350. George, not yet.

  351. mattgoonerknight

    PG

    Not sure if you’re mocking my post but I’ll respond as if you’re being sincere.

    If he plays as he has, fulfils his duty and doesn’t sulk, a potential replication of the season and a half he has produced is worth more than what we’ll get for a then 29 year old on the final year of his contact.

    Also, “using the money plus some to buy someone really good” suggests that we could lure a 30million-ish pound player to us: if we cannot keep RVP, then…

  352. birdkamp | May 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I agree. I’m more disappointed about the circumstances surrounding the departure, than the departure itself. This time it would be the departure itself that would disappoint me the most. I really hope it turns out that I am worrying unnecessarily.

  353. pedantic george

    Fins 23.30 minutes in if you want to skip the rest

  354. pedantic george

    I was not mocking and I get your points ,But,I do think we could get a £30 mill player to come .
    Why do you even think I would mock?

  355. pedantic george

    Ok ,if you are tag teaming me I concede.
    Lets keep him regardless.

  356. mattgoonerknight

    fins

    Good point re. Drogba.

    No new contract signed. He wants 2 years, they want 1 = stalemate and potential freebie to rich US, Chinese or Russian club but existing contract is being seen out.

    Now, I know this cannot be used as a direct analogy to our own RVP situation but the notion that a player cannot complete his existing contract before either leaving or re-signing is a fallacy, a fallacy that I would be grateful if we didn’t continue to perpetuate.

  357. MGK – if he’s hesitating to sign on, he is taking a big risk given his age and injury history. He could get injured this summer or during the course of his final season. And I agree, £30m does not buy you much more than hype these days whereas we know what we’ve got with RVP and his team mates already know how to play to his strengths.

  358. Birdkamp:

    I would hope that he would stay if we can get him somewhere in the ballpark of what he could make elsewhere. If City offer 250/week and we offer 200 – 210/week thats in the ball park and I would be a little disappointed in him if he leaves. If City offers 250 and we offer 115 then I would be unhappy as a fan to see him go but I would not be disappointed in him and would not expect him to stay. Trouble is we will never know the real numbers other then what the rumour mills tell us. Not sure if that makes sense but oh well.

    Paul:

    I have said this before but IMO RVP has paid the club back for its patience by being one of the top 3 goal scorers in the world while probably making what someone barely in the top 50 goal scorers in the world would make. I think the 2 sides are as close to even as you can be. Loyalty should be a 2 way street, No?

  359. Limestonegunner

    Frank raised some good points. It still seems a strange thing, but hopefully he stays with us. Bouchra mentioned in her recent comments that she appreciated that Arsenal had stuck with RvP during his injuries. We can hope for the best.

    The Cesc/Nasri stuff is a big red herring. What we are concerned about is this summer and our chances for the future. How to overcome the financial disparity vis a vis ManCity, Chelsea, and ManU to challenge again for the league the whole season? The fact that several other clubs have done so, like Dortmund and so on, just begs the question: what do we need to do? What can we do in the PL, which seems harder to win?

  360. Lordy, lordy. Robin has a year left on his current contract and his next one is more than likely going to be his last at the top level. He’s played his heart out this season and is probably mentally knackered. New contract. 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? 10 years? £15m.£25m? £30m? Main striker? Support striker? Winger? Captain? Cut the geezer some slack for fucks sake….and whilst you are at it cut the club some slack too. This whole situation is being played by the press and media. How to deal with it? Shut the fuck up until everything is sorted. KNVB would you mind helping us out on this? No problem, great club, great player.

  361. I can’t help but be of the opinion that if he was staying then Wednesday would have wrapped up all the contract talk in a neat little bow and we’d already know the outcome. If he does leave then surely we’ll have to buy at least one more proven striker in addition to Poldi? Otherwise we’re an injury away from Park/Chamakh, just like we were all season.

  362. Frank | May 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Absolutely right Frank, but it’s easier said than done, when there’s not much else going on. I’m surprised at how much I’m getting pulled into it. We probably need the distraction of the Euro’s to take our minds off it. When do they start BTW?

  363. pedantic george

    Frank ,perhaps you could publish an agenda in the mornings then we know what topics are suitable for discussion.

  364. Bill, What was RVP to do, not score the goals? he is a striker. What about if he did not score that amount of goals? I am dealing with the team sticking by him in his rough times.

  365. Limestonegunner

    I agree with Passenal, MGK, and myself from earlier. RvP stays. Not worth selling him, imo. I hope the club authorities agree, but we’ll see. As far as next season, though, it’s fair to imagine he has a slight drop off. He’ll be tired after the Euros and need a break, so he’ll get a late start to the season like with 2010 after the WC. He really came on in the second half of that season.

    It is a big risk to RvP if we say we’ll let him go after next season if he hasn’t extended. Injury, age, having an off season, taking a chance at a new club that may not play to his strengths. He was made for Arsenal.

    Best for all concerned that he sign up with Arsenal and that the club reward him richly while strengthening this summer for our title tilt next season.

  366. There is no way in hell we’ll keep him just to see out the last year of his current contract. The board would never say goodbye to the best part of thirty million for one year of service from any player.

  367. Lets not forget that there were many who thought we should have sold the man. Big ups to the club for sticking by their wounded. I know of no other club that is so supportive. Diaby is a prime example; many want to get rid of that young man, but it warms my heart that Arsenal continue to stand by him. I would not expect Diaby to come in next season, mash up di place, and then want out the following season.

  368. pedantic george

    He would not have to leave after his year was up though ,would he?

  369. Limestonegunner

    Vince, there’s nothing to say he won’t extend next year. Last year we hadn’t qualified for the group stages at the time we had to make the decision on Nasri, I think. But now for competitive reasons it might be worth keeping him rather than selling this summer.

  370. mattgoonerknight

    PG

    Sarcasm, as well as bluntness and of course the eponymous pedantry are your obviously recognisable faces ; )

    The only way I can see us luring a 30million striker at present is if we pay around 10million over the odds for him. The players going for that money end up at the same 5 or 6 clubs and want the type of wages we cannot / will not pay.

    Passenal

    I think 30mill would buy us far more than hype, I’m just not convinced that Arsenal circa 2012 could attract a player deemed to be worth that much, thus the importance of keeping those that we already have, that are.

    Adebaywhoe – 24 million
    Nasri – 24 million with only 1 year left
    Cesc – 34 mill (?) and robbed at that.

    Due to AW, we make 25/30 £million players: we don’t, haven’t, and for the foreseeable future, won’t buy them.

  371. Passenal

    First match is Poland v Greece on 8th June

  372. I agree that we should keep RVP regardless. Well, if he is willing to stay. The team is building momentum, we really don’t need a repeat of last season, we must keep the morale high. lets give it a go next season; we just may win and he stay’s anyway.

  373. Limestonegunner

    The player we need to turn our attention to right now is Alex Song. He’s not at the Euros. Let’s tie him up.

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2012/arsenal-2011-2012-top-ten-10-alex-song/

  374. pedantic george

    mattgoonerknight
    None taken!

  375. I have never seen this before. Maybe its because I live in the US? Any how, a good RVP interview, if there are others like me.

  376. The same vultures that are circling now will still be circling even if he did stay without extending. I’m not sure I’d even want to keep a player who, chances are, would be out the door next Summer. I’m thinking about it this way: If we have a great season and win something, then he can leave with his held high saying he managed to lead us to glory (Cesc talked repeatedly about his regret for not being able to win something with us), and if we have another mediocre season then his reasons for leaving won’t even need to be discussed!

    What really pisses me off is that his indecisiveness (he’s had a LONG time to think about this) is going to affect our dealings in the transfer market until he tells us what he’s doing. If we’re going to have to replace him then we need to start trying to do so ASAP. Poldi can play on the left and will get into the team whether RvP’s with us or not, a specialised central striker’s going to want to know that he’s not going to end up on the bench playing understudy all season.

    I thought after last year there was no way the club would let this drag on, I can’t believe he’s left for the euros with nothing decided.

  377. pedantic george

    Vince “nothing decided” that we know of!.

  378. Clerkenwell Gooner

    £250,000 a week? OVER £250,000 a week? You have got to be shitting me.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/18/manchester-city-arsenal-robin-van-persie

    Birdkamp alludes to the situations of Abidal, Muamba and Petrov at the end of his post.

    How much is the NHS heart surgeon who raced onto the pitch at WHL paid? Does he get £250,000 a year, let alone a week?

    This is complete frigging madness. Not sure I can buy into this for much longer. Really.

  379. “I know what’s coming. I know no one beats these odds. It’s a matter of getting used to that. Growing up and realising that you’re expelled from your mother’s uterus as if shot from a cannon towards a barn door studded with old nail files and rusty hooks. It’s a matter of you use the intervening time in an intelligent and ironic way”. Christopher Hitchens

  380. Clerkenwell:

    I Nasri is worth 24M then RVP should be at worth at least 40M to them. You knew this had to start sometime.

  381. pedantic george

    I have just read that on FB Jonny…Oh yeh….silly me

  382. Why silly? It’s worth reading twice.

    If he accepts City’s filth covered coin, it’ll be interesting to see if RVP will attract the same opprobrium as other departees.

    Money ruins everything eh?

  383. People actually entertain the idea of Robin going to the Little Mancs? This is the real legacy of Fabregas and Nasri and the real reason for despite. The pair of them should rot in their own football hell.

  384. The Arsenal ‘fan’base is very unstable

  385. ‘Let this drag on…’ Get a grip, man. Its the middle of May and the season ended 5 days ago, ffs

  386. Interesting quote there Jonny.

  387. “First match is Poland v Greece on 8th June”

    Thanks Yogi. Not long to wait, not that I’ll be waiting on that particular match with baited breath!

  388. Your favourite man Paul! :0)

    How’s the little princess doing?

  389. Yeah Frank, and now he’s away for the next month. I know I sound deeply melodramatic, but the end of the season and his contract talks meeting wasn’t some unscheduled event that came out of the blue to everyone’s surprise!

  390. hee hee!

    Jonny, she is growing nicely, thanks. A true blessing from God. My favourite and I do disagree there though.

  391. I dunno Passenal, maybe they could make the match a bit more interesting. In fact all of them could be. Maybe they could all have a percentage of their national debt cleared for each point gained. So if Greece win, they solve their problems. Perhaps we could tailor it. When England play France, the winner gets to impose austerity or growth on the EU.

    Beats just going onto a pitch and trying to score more goals than your opponent. Actually, it would help because then all of those annoying sods who only like football once every four years or so, would actually have a reason to be interested rather just because it’s the cool thing to do.

  392. Paul lets leave the disagreements at the door – so long as you’re happy.

  393. Clerkenwell Gooner

    So if Greece win, they solve their problems. Perhaps we could tailor it. When England play France, the winner gets to impose austerity or growth on the EU.

    Genioooous, YW. It’s the Soviets vs the Nazis death match, only this time repeated as farce.

    Sick to death of this fucking shock and awe austerity bullshit. The problem is control fraud and the Ponzi credit inflation the global “investment” banks, full stop. Anniversary of Dickens this year, who opposed the debtors’ prison at the Marshalsea, but I say bring it back – for Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein &al. – and all those free marketeers who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag without government help. Bankers who can’t add up, f’chrissakes.

    Billions of $$$ have been handed over as bailout to these incompetent bastards that could be better used for schools, hospitals, housing, or more importantly, retaining RVP as an Arsenal player.

    Sack the banker $cum now. Put the deeply prudential Wenger in charge. Game over.

  394. That was in jest Jonny.

  395. CG

    Dickens had a vested interest in opposing the debtors prisons as his father was incarcerated at one point. He saw first hand the problems that they caused.

    YW

  396. You say we know the premiser league pecking order but think about it. City spent 4 years building this side spend hundreds of millions yet they only won the league on goal difference against the most average united squad who brought back a 37yr old midfielder.

    We were crying out for the same signings last summer and January as we are this summer.

    Again the mad professor just won’t spend and bolster the squad. How cam a chief exec come out after last summer having been mauled by 8 at ot and concede 4 to blackburn and say we kept our powder dry for Jan????

    Then in Jan when the squad is decimated with injuries and its clear chamakh and park are worse than useless do we get an ex striker for only 6 weeks.

    We bring the problems on ourselves. Wenger runs gazidis. He interviewed him for god sake. Expect more of the same this summer.

  397. OOU, you’ve mentioned the Philippines! That’s my country!

    Again great post from OOU! I still won’t be friends with both players mind you. They are like bitter exes who betrayed you. I believe most Gooners have been realistic this season, than in the previous ones. Finishing third itself is an achievement for this scrappy crew. Automatic qualifications to the CL group stages is enough to save the energies of our squad who are either just got back from Euro 2012 or about to represent their countries in the Olympics. Finishing above them and the Chavs is an added bonus for gloating that we are the best team in London. And Arsenal is indeed the BEST TEAM in LONDON.

  398. pedantic george

    “Again the mad professor just won’t spend and bolster the squad.”

    That is the kind of lack of respect shown to the great man that makes some people call people like you ,a cunt Gee.
    But not me.I don’t think you are a cunt.I wont call you that.The Hell I wont you cu……………..
    (ah John Wayne,I long for such simple times.I think I was born a hundred year too late.And on the wrong continent)

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