No Resting On Your Laurents

When the news of the day around Arsenal includes the stage being erected for a Coldplay gig, you know it is quiet times. Laurent Koscielny came fourth…pffffft, who cares? Player of the Season will be Jack Wilshere Robin van Persie, surely (a) recognition of the Dutchman’s efforts and (b) his marketability. Unless of course, a real surge of protest votes came at the last minute, fed up with the contract saga, and Gervinho is going to cap his debut season with a gong. Somehow I doubt it.

Koscielny is candid about his improved form this time around, in his own words happier on and off the pitch. Transfers are an interesting subject. Not in the gossip or the chicanery which surrounds the deal itself but in the club’s attitude to the players. In their recently revised book, Soccernomics, Simon Kuper and Stefan Syzmanski offer an interesting insight into football’s attitude to new players: get on with it. Very few offer, for example, dedicated staff who assist with the players who are relocating.

When you think about it, it is at once a strange state of affairs yet utterly expected. Clubs invest millions – Eden Hazard is expected to cost Chelsea about £80m over the course of his contract. £80m. And Chelsea will do very little to help him settle. His will be the least complicated type of move; single male, no family. Others are not so fortunate, left in hotels with children to school, etc. It cannot be an easy adjustment; it can be hard enough moving to different areas in the same country, let alone cross borders with language barriers and associated cultural differences.

Koscielny had to deal with his family settling in this country as well as himself. It is little wonder that new players sometimes struggle to settle at a club or take time to rediscover their form. None of this matters to supporters though; patience wears thin very quickly and judgements formed in those early stages are hard to change for the positive. It is quite easy for them to become more entrenched and negative.

Koscielny bucked that trend. Derided when he was signed because of the club and league he came from, the centre back has turned things around in opinions. Factor in his contribution to the Wembley debacle and you see the enormous strides he has made to become a French international. That is recognition enough of his personal form this season.

It is an example that you hope Gervinho follows. The initial hope trailed off post-ACN. That may be issue again with the same competition arising this Winter. The disruption that tournament wreaks is not unique to the Ivorian but Arsenal need to be prepared for this eventuality. I am sure it will be a stick with which he is beaten metaphorically speaking, during the coming campaign.

A quiet day and I would be surprised if that changes before next Wednesday. Why then? Ivan is hosting a Q&A session so expect any good news on that morning or at that session. Arsenal On This Day marks the anniversary of Ted Drake’s death.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 210 Comments.

  1. Premier…1st

  2. 3rd?
    FIRE. ROBSON. IDIOT.

  3. I concur Kam!

    RASERS!

  4. I voted for Kos in player of year as robin has won PFA and golden boot..Regarding 3G I am confident that he will prove his critics wrong this season

  5. Yogi

    Hazaes had some very complimentary things to say about Gervinho, including he’s the best player he has played with. Not saying much that really though, although Vermealen won’t have been best pleased.

  6. Arteta 5th and Koscielny 4th?! Most ridiculous poll since Graham.

  7. “khalifha | May 29, 2012 at 11:31 am
    Ah yes khalifha, sometimes i ask myself who is the bigger enigma between George and khalifha, they both post good numbers but yet am not quite sure what to make of them. When they’re good, they’re good and when they are bad, their game will be woeful and thats the biggest problem, there is no middle ground, ”
    _____

    Post of the day khalifha. 🙂

  8. Arteta 5th and Koscielny 4th?! Most ridiculous poll since Graham.

  9. “His will be the least complicated type of move; single male, no family.”

    Hazard has a young son with his long-term girlfriend.

  10. Edan dzeko wants out?
    B. Munich?
    Hell, come to the ARSENAL. I have always rated him.
    No one sacrificed as much as BACARY this year for the team. A true inspiration. The award should have gone to him. Just to lift his spirits up. Vice captain material.
    UP THE. GUNNERS!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Lew

    Shows how much interest I took in him!

  12. Rosicky voted 3rd !

  13. Kam, again I agree with all points made man.

    Dzeko would be an awesome addition, much better than De Thug.

  14. Yogi

    Your right too, only know it from some puff piece I read in the last few days that I won’t get the minute and a half it took to read back.

  15. Interesting Djourou quotes from Switzerland given that he has been talked about a lot in the last few days here:

    “My situation at Arsenal is not easy. I’ve never played so little and especially not in my own position. If an interesting offer comes, I’ll look at it carefully.”

    From @JamesOlley on Twitter

  16. YW, only the clueless could not see Koscielny’s qualities after his debut season. Kudos to him for making it much easier for all, dimwits & geniuses alike.

    What say ye ACLF…to the Arse pilfering Josh McEachran If Chelski careth not for the boy?
    I kinda like him

  17. I know DEX,
    its like we. Are on the same wavelength.
    Who do you folks pick for euro 2012. winner and runner up.??

  18. I could tell Kos was going be a star player from the first few times I saw him, despite the few costly errors he made early on. His play had a certain grace and surefooted-ness that none of our other defenders have, not even Vermalaen. He reminds me very much of Rio Ferdinand at his best.

    He would be my no.2 player of the season. He’d be followed by Sagna, Song, and then Arteta/Rosicky/Theo. RvP obviously the numero uno.

  19. I could tell Kos was going be a star player from the first few times I saw him, despite the few costly errors he made early on. His play had a certain grace and surefooted-ness that none of our other defenders have, not even Vermalaen. He reminds me very much of Rio Ferdinand at his best.

    He would be my no.2 player of the season. He’d be followed by Sagna, Song, and then Arteta/Rosicky/Theo. RvP obviously the numero uno.

  20. Soooo…

    5th – Arteta
    4th – Koscielny
    3rd – Rosicky
    2nd – ?
    1st – Van Persie

    Joint 2nd for Song, Sagna and Theo then…

  21. Germany winners and Spain runners up.

  22. I think I would quite like to see a CB pairing of Koscienly and Djourou again. They did great together. The flak Johan got is symptomatic of today’s fair weather media fed fans.

  23. I mean, I grew up watching Gus Caesar FFS! 🙂

  24. The compilation video of Koscielny available on Arsenal.com is arousing me very, very much and I am currently at work. That’s not good.

  25. Evil

    Think yourself lucky you aren’t at school and just been called to the front of the class.

  26. @adamstony6 on twitter is FAKE

  27. 23 comments to date and not one reference to the anniversary of the passing of Ted Drake.
    Sic transit gloria mundi.
    One of the Arsenal legends of my era, a burly, fearless, centre forward (not a striker!) of the old school and an idol of all schoolboys in the 1930’s.

  28. Nicky

    And also the man to bring Chelsea their 1st title win. Not a lot of Chelsea fans know that.

  29. for the euros i do think germany will be champions. in fact, i have already placed my bet on them. and i am betting on italy to beat spain in their opener too.

  30. I hope that Germany win it. I wasn’t overly impressed with Spain during the World Cup. The beautiful attacking football of the Euro 2008 turned into defensive possession football if there has ever been such a thing. Spain were pretty much toothless up front (mostly down to not playing a certain Francesc Fabregas very much when he was in killing form) and primarily kept the ball to prevent the opposition from playing. Very, very tedious and boring to watch.

  31. I have just read the tea leaves in the bottom of my Perry Groves mug and they tell me we will have some very interesting Arsenal news very soon.

  32. nicky

    There is in the post!

  33. @dupsfookcuf
    Better grab one quick, I have a feeling that those might become collector’s items. Don’t see them restocking them in the near future. (And probably for the next 20 years)

  34. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/may/29/wayne-rooney-answers-questions

    Interesting article by Jonathan Wilson about the combination of mental and physical processes involved in implementing moves that sometimes turn into jaw dropping feats by athletes.
    Wish he didn’t use Rooney’s overhead kick as example though. I can think of much better instances that required greater skill and didn’t depend on the huge slice of luck that Rooney benefited from. Bergkamp’s goal against Leicester City for example, or Eduardo’s against Burnley.

  35. Why is Sagna nowhere near this top 5? A quality, consistent performer who quietly goes about his business. An absolute lion for Arsenal.
    Kos is a quality defender now, looked as though he had the potential last year despite the errors and he went away in the summer and beefed himself up a bit and he looks the business nos.
    Arteta – A very good buy, shows that buying proven premiership hardened players (rather than French ligue 1 players) can definitely pay off. Shame he wasn’t at Arsenal a couple of years ago.
    Walcott- defintely needs to stay at the club. We have nowhere enough creative players/goal scorers to allow him to leave.

  36. You do know we signed Koscienly from L’Orient and not Leyton Orient right Big Moaner?

  37. And Sagna wasn’t signed from Aston Villa either.

  38. Makes me laugh the unintentional hilarity of some posters.

  39. Dups

    Did you read the “good for banter” bit in the product description…I wonder what kind of banter that would be?? 😀

  40. Anirudh

    Not the kind they wanted.

  41. Dexter, keep playing dumb, so i got pissed off for no apparent reason, right? Am sure it didn’t have anything to do with your hokus pokus bullsh1t comments.

  42. Khalifa
    You’ve got to be the easiest poster to wind up that I’ve seen on ACLF.

  43. Exactly khali, you jumped straight off the deep end as usual, thinking my comments aimed at Robson, hansen et al were aimed at you. You seem a bit paranoid and quite unstable.

  44. Henristic;

    I’ve never liked you! 😉

  45. I enjoyed that rooney interview, not the initial page to the link you sent henristic. Its always fascinating to know what goes through the minds of footballers and managers alike while on the pitch.
    Infact, one of my favourites was reading the interview on dennis bergkamp describing the goal he scored for holland against argentina in the 1998 world cup, Classic!.

  46. LMAO I can’t…..

  47. Dexter, still playing dumb i see, theres no need for me to go into yesterday’s comments, the fact is you were giving me grief on walcott the first day i posted here, ‘theo basher’ ring any bells, so why don’t you shut up and play dead, arsehole.

  48. Nice post Yogi:

    Gonna be a long summer. Much as I enjoy your posts I am hoping for a few more guest posters. George was excellent. How about Cbob, Evil, Major Maria, FunGunner, Henristic, GoonerAndy. May be even Dexter although I hope he gets a bit more creative with his insults then he did @ 1:45. 😉

    Kos has been a beast this season. He has certainly exceeded the expectations I had after he came. He looked sooooooo skinny. He has really won over the fans the old fashion way, by playing well. I like him paired with BFG. Having someone at his back that he knows will be at home gives him more freedom to roam and that is when he is at his best. He seems to have a 6th sense that allows him to know when to take more risks. He does not seem to leave us out of shape and disorganized. Very smart player. Hope he continues to improve. With the players we have there is no reason in the world that we can’t get our goals against number down to around 30. Especially if we add someone like M’Villa.

  49. I don’t get wound up, okay, okay a little bit, jeez! A lot, i get wound up a lot.

  50. Thanks Bill, I’m just recovering from the sting of that back-handed compliment.

    If people feel the urge to write, they know how to get hold of me.

  51. Good ol’ Dex.

    I imagine you wander about with a giant spoon all the time.

    For stirring. Or poking people in the eye with.

  52. On to the football, i think there has been a knee jerk reaction to vermaelean’s defensive errors towards the end of the season, isn’t that what we preach against here?
    I remember the match we played against norwich away from home, the central defensive partnership that day was Metersacker and Vermaelean. The reason why i remember that match so vividly was because of how dominant vermaelean was, he towered above holt and morrison both on land and in the air, if verm can return to that form none of our defenders will be able to touch him. So all this talk of koscielny/metersacker combo is quite frankly a knee jerk reaction to 2, maybe 3 mistakes tops.

  53. Khalifa

    Let’s put it all behind us dude. No need for any animosity…. much! I’ll even promise to bury the spoon, erm, I mean hatchet.

    Whataya say old pal? You do make me laugh man.

  54. Bill;

    You should condider writing something for the blog man. I’d love to read one of your guest posts dude.

    I am having a bit of trouble sleeping lately.

  55. On to the football, i think there has been a knee jerk reaction to vermaelean’s defensive errors towards the end of the season, isn’t that what we preach against here?
    I remember the match we played against norwich away from home, the central defensive partnership that day was Metersacker and Vermaelean. The reason why i remember that match so vividly was because of how dominant vermaelean was, he towered above holt and morrison both on land and in the air, if verm can return to that form none of our defenders will be able to touch him. So all this talk of koscielny/metersacker combo is quite frankly a knee jerk reaction to 2, maybe 3 mistakes tops.

  56. Hey Jonny boy!

    Yes, I do indeed walk around with oversize cutlery, while George goes about with a giant mincer.

  57. Are you bashing Mertesacker now Khalifha?

  58. Dex:

    Thats a better effort, you tend to get lazy and need an occasional kick in the bum.

    Yogi:

    You know how much I love your posts, so that was not a back handed compliment. Just thought you might need a break now and then. You are human I assume.

    I forgot about a guest post from Darius. He needs to make a come back. The man who invented a whole new category of fan (fence sitter) will forever be a blogosphere legend. Frank would be another good choice. I love his stories. Limpar will always be legendary but he seems to have abandoned ship.

  59. Dex

    Is bashing the mertesacker some sort of code…?

  60. Bill

    Actually, the quip to Henristic was perfect for the point I wanted to get across, as he ‘outed’ my jolly japes and wind ups.

  61. “Is bashing the mertesacker some sort of code…?”
    Hahahaha…

    I would absolutely love to read a post from Frank.

  62. Yogi

    It is now!

  63. Great post again Yogi.

    I do think Kos is the 2nd best defender in the PL only behind Kompany who unfortunately I do rate highly. I do think that Gervinho is going to come good, as I watched him play for LIlle and he was simply unplayable and he was scoring goals. I think he will come good and honestly we have the potential to be explosive with the best strike force in the league.

  64. C

    If gervinho can replicate and even improve his game from when he was at Lille, then we will have some serious options in attack.

    We just need to offload that useless fat russian lump.

  65. Dex:

    I disagree with your sentiment regarding Henristic. I think he is one of the best regular posters, but I respect your straight forward honesty about your opinion. Rose coloring the truth should be avoided in all things, don’t you think?

  66. Dexter, even if we bury the hatchet, i will still have an axe to grind. Yup i know , am good.

  67. @Dexter

    Yea I know he will come good. I mean for as much slack as people were giving Gervinho for not finishing(I will defend Gervinho, Theo and Song until I die) I want them to think about this: How many other players would have made that run and been in that position for so many tamp-ins or “easy goals”, not many to be honest. I mean this is his stat line from the season before we signed him: 53 matchs played, 18 goals and 11 assists. That means in 53 matches he scored/assisted on 29 goals which is a very good return of a goal/assist every 1.8 matches and that has pretty much his return over his career except last season. If he can give us something like that along with RVP, Podolski, Theo, Ox, whatever Chamakh can give we will have an unplayable strike force.

    Damn I need this summer to hurry and end!!!!!! I miss the Arsenal and can’t wait to watch them play again!!!!!!!!!

  68. I suppose I’ll go with Holland winners and possibly Germany as runners up.
    Thanks for the laughs DEXTER.
    RIP TED….
    PS.. Even though the Germans looked very lost in the friendly against Switzerland.

  69. Sorry about the last comment, i couldn’t resist.

    C.
    Am telling you man statistically koscielny trumps kompany in every area apart from aerial battle won 71% to kos 61%

  70. Bill;

    Do you even get what happened before man?

  71. I have to say that I haven’t particularly a big fan of Gervinho, and I remember saying as much last summer when the rumours of his transfer were gaining ground. I saw him play for Côte d’Ivoire a number of times and he didn’t strike me as a remarkably effective forward.

    From that pov, he hasn’t disappointed. If anything he’s overshot my expectation, and I hope that, unlike Chamakh, he improves on that in his second season.
    IMO, he has little choice but to improve because the signing of Podolski will mean further competition for wide places. If Poldo turns out to be effective in the centre of the front three (in Wenger’s eyes), then Gerv may not get too many opportunities to prove himself, because chances are Arsene will be playing a Poldo-RvP combo more often than not.

  72. I’ll go with the Dutch Euro winners with Germany as runner up. Not that impressed with Spain even though I do think a dark horse could be the French but thats only if 1. somebody other than Patrice “crybaby” Evra isn’t captain and 2. they find a way to actually enjoy playing with each other and allow Ribery, M’villa, Jeremy Menz(who I rate extremely high and would love to see him in the Arsenal red and white, watch this kid play he has great talent adn is just as pacey as Ox or Gervinho), and Marvin Martin control the midfield and flow.

  73. Henristic

    I think There are several options at present, in terms of playing positions.

    Podolski wide left and RvP central, or Lukas central and RvP behind him, with Gervinho wide left and Theo right. Or Podolski central, RvP wide right and Gervinho or Oxo kid left and Arshavin behind Podolski. Or the shiny new AM we are about to sign.

  74. Thank Bill, but jeez, you know how to throw those compliments around don’t you? Now I have an inkling to how it must feel to be Yogi 🙂

    Btw, Dexter’s quip was a joke (note the winky smiley). Its part of his usual bluster to cover up the deep affection he holds for me. Right Dex?

  75. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/may/30/euro-2012-russia-tactics
    In the Guardian today the Russian correspondent Ivan Kalashnikov, deputy editor at sports.ru, wrote:

    “Who is the player who is going to disappoint the most?

    I’d say Arshavin, although this isn’t very fair to the best player Russia has ever produced. He was a true leader at Euro 2008 but now he lacks match fitness, confidence and the trust of his team-mates. Advocaat says Arshavin needs playing time but the winter loan move to Zenit has only seen him performing “one out of five games at his level”, according to the club’s manager, Luciano Spalletti ”

    Even after the loan transfer he is still out of shape? Why is he forever out of shape? It would be great if he set the league and Euros on fire and Anzhi Makhachkala came offering rediculous transfer fee and wages for him. Chelsea were able to offload Zhirkov to them.
    But if Andrei’s still out of shape and underperforming….

  76. Come on Henristic, we don’t want george getting jealous now, do we?

  77. Dex,
    Unless Arsene significantly changes his team selection approach, what is more likely is that we’ll settle on more or less a first 11 (for big games) not far into a campaign. Pre-season and the first few games would be ‘audition’ for 1st teamers. If this is the case, then all of our wide players have to impress sharpish as they may not get too many chances to play themselves into form, especially if the player ahead of them is in great form.

  78. @Khalifha

    I know he does mate but I’m also talking sheer importance to his team factored in. If we lose Kos for a couple of matches, we have seen BFG/Verm partnership dominate or even throwing JD in their with either 1 but take Kompany out of Manshitty and we saw what happened.

    @Henristic

    Mate go watch Gervinho for Lille play and you will see the talent. I mean at times he was simply unplayable and even this season for us he has been unplayable with his direct and unpredictable runs and movement. Yea with Podolski coming in Gervinho will have to play better but mark my words Gervinho will come good when called upon. I mean we all imagine its going to get Podolski-RVP-Theo 1st choice but think about the Ox and Gervinho coming in with fresh legs and their direct style running at the tired legs of FB’s that have already had to face Podolski and Theo all match. I rated Gervinho from the 1st time that I saw him play for Lille because just like people are saying about Kos, the talent their some boneheaded errors i will say the same about Gervinho: great runs into the box taking on all comers and beating them, playing in great balls into the box, being in position to score just missing chances due to lack of comfortability. I mean he has consistently improved in his 2nd season everywere that he has played and helped Lille win Ligue 1 and Coup de France in his 2nd season where he scored both goals in the semi’s and provided an assist in the final.

  79. Hahaha, bashing the mertesacker with oversized kitchen cutlery….
    On a role..

  80. At this moment in time, Theo’s position on the right is pretty much guaranteed Henri. While on the left, there’s Podolski, Gervinho and Oxo kid. So, a front 4 of;

    New AM/Oxo/Rosicky
    Theo – RvP – Lukas

    Looks the most likely right now.

  81. Not sure Theo is guaranteed. It would depend very much on his form next season, against the form of Gerv, Poldi, and to a lesser extent, the Ox and perhaps even Ryo and Campbell.

    This is one thing to look forward to in the next season. Who will outshine the others? Preferably we’d want them all to shine and continuously cause Arsene a selection headache. I look forward to a situation where not of our forwards (including RvP) played up to 30 games because of effective rotation. That would really, really be nice.

  82. not=none

  83. @Dexter

    I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Ox playing both outwide and through the middle(given our injury history there).

    Striker: RVP, Podolski, Chamakh, Campbell, Afobe
    Wingers: Theo, Podolski, Gervinho, Ox, Ryo
    AM: Lil Mozart, Jack, Ox, Arshavin
    CM: Diaby, Ramsey, Arteta, Song
    DM: Song, M’villa(I have confidence), Le Coq, Frimpong

    IMHO Arshavin probably wont be back(George I’ll let you cry on my shoulder), and we really dont know how Jack, Ramsey, Diaby, Arteta are going to come back from injury and then there’s the Euros for Lil Mozart so Ox could play centrally.

  84. Gervinho is completely wasted wide right, as is the Oxo kid, while Poldoski plays best wide left or centrally. Ryo will be loaned out again and campbell is a complete unknown quantity, so extremely unlikely to be ahead of Theo. And again, he may well be loaned out.

    And I am not sure many players would want to play only 30 games man.

  85. C;

    Even when Jack does eventually return, I see him playing a similar role to Arteta’s. Hopefully, in time he will develop into a top notch AM and if it hadn’t been for that blasted injury, he might be there now, but still, he isn’t there yet man. That’s why I keep boring everyone with my incessant chat about us signing a new AM mate.

  86. C,
    Like I said, he surpassed my expectation, and I hope he does it again next season. I agree his speed and style will be a great option to have off the bench, but I’m sure the player himself would be hoping to nail a starting position especially given his age.

  87. I agree about gervinho, there’s definitely room for improvement there.

  88. pedantic george

    I believe Laurent Koscielny is the best defender in the League.However Yogi tells me he is not even the best at our club.
    None the less,I would not swap him for anyone.Including the excellent Kompany

  89. @Dexter

    Yea your right about Jack I had forgot to add him with the CM as well. It will be interesting to see how the midfield works out ecspecially if everybody stays healthy(hurry collectively knock on wood, throw salt over shoulder, and Diaby if you see a black cat just stand still FFS dont run you’ll hurt yourself). I also think that alot of Jack’s position and his future depends on if we sign M’villa because then I think Song will be 1st choice CM.

    @Henristic

    I think that if there is any place that rotation will be and Arsene will keep them happy is going to be outwide because of the options: Podolski/Theo, Gervinho/Theo, Podolski/Ox, Theo/Ox, Gervinho/Ox, Podolski, Gervinho, RVP/Theo, RVP, Ox. Literally the possiblities are endless plus Podolski can lead the attack and allow RVP to be a super sub against the “weaker” sides. I venture to think that next season a real possiblity in all competitions could/should be:

    RVP: 25-30 goals w/10+ assists
    Podolski: 15-25 goals w/10+ assists
    Theo: 10-20 goals w/15+ assists
    Gervinho: 10-15 goals w/10+ assist
    Ox: 5+ goals, w/5+ assists

  90. Dex,
    Regarding Ryo and Campbell. I know they could be loaned out (I used the terms ‘perhaps’ and ‘to a lesser extent’), but what if they aren’t? What if one or both of them stays and fights for a place? They both have the raw talent and who knows if one could make an Ox-type impression on the manager.

    Of course, players want to play more, but they’d take 30 games if it means the team doing well and the risk of injury is reduced. Why wouldn’t they?

    C
    Yes the Ox could play centrally as AM which given our 4-3-3 system puts him in the enviable position of being considered for selection in 3 different positions (AM, WL, and WR). Going by his performance in Germany, Poldi might be similarly favoured for the front 3 roles.

    On the other hand, Arsene has only deployed Gerv and Theo in the WL or WR positions. Both should be able to play as striker, but the manager is yet to be convinced, it seems.

  91. pedantic george

    c,thats sounds OK until you factor in that you have 4 players ,getting stats.,for only 3 places.All will likely lose some numbers if they are rotating.

  92. George,
    Did Yogi actually say that? I suppose if we’re speaking of defenders (rather than just CBs) then I’d agree that Sagna trumps Kos, for now.
    That may well change though if Kos keeps up his performance levels and stays fit.

  93. Henri

    I’d love it if they both stayed as that would mean they were doing well enough to be considered 1st teamers man. But that is such a hypothetical question (or is it two?) and you said Theo was not necessarily guaranteed a starting berth when for me, at present he is a shoe in, unless we signed someone, or he left the club. I don’t see anyone close to challenging him at present.

  94. C,
    Agree with George, you should perhaps include number of games played with your projected stats. Might help put your goals/assists in better perspective.

  95. PG

    You are right, Bacary Sagna is the best defender at the club, bar none.

    However LK is the best CB on current form. Whether that is still the case at the end of next season remains to be seen.

  96. George

    That’s four positions, not three mate.

  97. Guys this is it, the best formation, no arguements, no weakness, nathing, just perfect.

    Szesz
    Sagna Kos Verm Santos
    M’villa Song Wilshere
    Walcott V.persie Podolski

    All i want this summer is m’villa.

  98. @Henristic

    I agree with you but with Theo we must not forget how dominant he is playing with Sagna on the right not to mention our over reliance on that side. Gervinho I actually think is more comfortable playing WL and he could play centrally(as he has done for LIlle when they won the Ligue at times)but part of that problem is there happens to be a man named Robin Van Perie who outside of Messi and Ronaldo was the most unplayable player in the world.

    @PG
    I was taking into account mate that those stats were for all 4 competitions as I could see Gervinho and Ox playing alot in the FA, CC while having maybe Podolski leading the line at times in the FA.

  99. C;

    I’m guessing the Oxo kid plays less games? And maybe RvP plays a few games behind the main striker (LP) in your future world?

  100. Dex,
    You think Theo is a shoe in no matter how well the others play? Ok, agree to disagree. Me I think it depends on his form versus the form of the others.

  101. @Khalifha

    “All i want this summer is m’villa.”

    Completely agree with you!!!!!! But unfortunately Rennes Chairman said he isn’t going anywere until after Euros, meaning I want him to play like shit even though he has world class talent so that we swoop him asap!

  102. Henri

    What others? Who else has played there at all well? Theo would need to be suffering from some serious lack of form to be displaced at present, unless Campbell or Ryo do some serious business in pre-season. And AOC looks far better wide left or central

  103. Damn, how long will sagna be out for?

  104. fukin el khalifha…you turn coat…what happened to Gibbs??? i thought he was better then santos.

  105. dukeG

    I was waiting for someone to pull him up on that one. It would have looked like I was bullying him if I did it! 🙂

  106. C, definately, m’villa doesn’t even need to convince me anymore, ist match i saw him i knew the guy was the real deal.

  107. Just like with Santos? 🙂

  108. Dex,
    We don’t know how Poldi will turn out, and I don’t believe as much as you do that Ox and Gerv are far behind Theo in that role. But its ok to disagree on this.

  109. @Dexter

    Not RVP doesn’t necessarily play behind the main striker but I do think that alot of the balls that RVP was playing for Ramsey or Gervinho or whoever that were being missed this season will be finished by Podolski not to mention a more confident comfortable Gervinho and even more confident Theo next season. But again that’s in all competitions look, stat attack on RVP: 47 matches, 37 goals, 15 assist in all competitions this season and thats with countless misses by Theo, Ox, Gervinho, Ramsey, and others.

    Damnit I’m throwing stats around FML!

  110. Not sure there is any evidence to support you on any of that Henri, like I said Lukas plays wide left of central, predominantly, gervinho plays wide left etc. but its hot and I am out the door.

  111. C;

    Haha! Cheers mate, I love stats! laters

  112. Duke, that was agreed like 3 days ago, i checked out some stats on santos/gibbs and santos came up tops in most departments apart from No of time dribbled past Santos:16, Gibbs:5

    Dexter, ”bullying” … Lol, in your dreams right? Shithead.

  113. @Khalifha

    I watched him for France and then Rennes and his short and long passing are not only world class but are made rather quickly. I watched a couple of his matches and watching him pass and complete passes made me immediately think that his 1-2 touch passing would be perfect for ARSENAL!!!!!!!

    @Dexter

    This is a bully free zone

  114. But that stat also reasserted my fears, santos gets dribbled past easily, blah blah blah he is good on one vs one right?

  115. C, true again, his speed of passing is also another quality. I don’t if you notice this, but most players pass the ball slower than others, take for instance arterta and rosicky, what causes that?

  116. khalifha i think the problem with Santos’ “dribbled past stat” is his style of defending. He is basically stationary and then waits for the perfect moment to get a foot in a poke the ball away as the dribbler tries to get past him. It is very hit or miss. I guess the numbers prove that it is more miss than hit…oh well. Santos is a joy to watch.

  117. Come to think of it, it depends on your technique, it may be that rosicky has better technique than arterta.

  118. silver gunner

    Hi Guys, I think whats clear Ramsey is not best employed in attacking midfield he slows the game down and before his injury before Rosicky essentailly took his place and gave the boy a lesson in the art of playing in that position. That said I think Ramsey is a player of some promise and In a similar way that we did with Wilshire in his 1st season he should play a little deeper in order hopefully ragain that spark that made him such an exciting youngster before his horror break.
    I honestly dont think we need to made wholesale changes to our playing the priority must be actally bettering our squad with talent that is out there.
    If these rumours about M’Villa and dempsey are true I will be over the moon 🙂

  119. Will the thrill, yea, that style is risky but it also results in a high number of interceptions for him stat wise, my fear is that we will get punished from that left wing in an important match thus my preference for Gibbs.

  120. @Khalifha

    I think it comes down to imagination and how quickly things are processed. Take for instance a you say Lil Mozart, he has a fantastic imaginitive footballing brain that short passing he is quick thinking and quick passing but long passes it takes him a little longer but its always precise passing. As to where somebody like Xavi or Scholes they think 1-2-3 passes ahead no matter short, medium or long. Not to mention its also about anticipation. Cesc(I know extreme sore spot) isn’t a quick passer but is a precise passer that needs multiple touches to be able to make his passes. Thats why I laugh at people who say o well you can just make another Xavi or Scholes or Inesta or players like that that, they just aren’t grown everyday thats why they are so great and so rare. Jack is a player that even last season you could tell his potential in the speed at which he made decisions, it was like he was playing 1-2 steps ahead of everybody at times.

  121. Silver gooner, m’villa yes, dempsey? – Dempsey is already 29, take into account his wages, transfer fee and the fact that he will not be guaranteed a starting role in the team just sums up to ‘Hell no!.

  122. @Silver

    I think the issue of playing Ramsey a bit deeper is that he tends to push foward naturally and I’m not completely sure of his defending which that postition does require.

    @Khalifha

    We have been punished by Gibbs on the left as well lest we not forget.

  123. C, cumon man, you got me drooling for the return of wilshere, damn you!

    Interesting points you made and valid ones too, xavi, scholes, rosicky and iniesta are all quick and precise passers of the ball and it all boils down to speed of thought. I think fabregas had the most vision among the afor mentioned players, but i doubt he has the ability to control a match the same way xavi and scholes do, your thoughts?

  124. I hope reports of Hulk on teh verge of going to the Chavs is just more British media bullshit. They are building quite the attack over in Chavsland. Hazard, Mata, Lampard, Hulk thats quite a midfield but who the hell is going to defend and can they all play together that will be the question.

  125. “I think it comes down to imagination and how quickly things are processed.”

    So true. I was always wishing for Santos, AA23,Rosicky and RVP to be playing at the same time. These players are lightning quick with their passes and thought process. I can’t recall which match, but a moment stands out particularly. RVP moved towards the left touch line and him and Santos combined for about 6 one touch passes in a row between the two of them. The interchange ended with RVP putting Santos through on the left side. do any of you recall this?

  126. pedantic george

    c TR7 is better than Scholes.And better than he ever was.

    Arteta>Jack by a country mile presently.

    Laurent>any defender in the league.(marginally over Sagna)

  127. When i see wilshere play, i think of him as a hybrid of iniesta and xavi. He has this ability to glide past player à la iniesta with so much ease despite the fact that he is not the fastest, acceleration might also be the secret and the ability to control a match à la xavi with crisp and penetrating passes, not to mention the bite and steel he adds to the midfield – i think i just described a dream player, and he is ours!

  128. Pedantic, it depends. In terms of natural ability wilshere is ahead of arterta by a mile but if we’re talking about which player brings more to the team then arterta is your man.

  129. I can’t believe that this government is going to tax hot pasties…fucking outrage. They bring people so much pleasure. Just downright cynical it is.

  130. Will the thrill
    I know what you mean, the match that i was sold on santos was the west brom game, his control, touch, passing, shooting was just superb, samba magic. Rvp/Santos/Rosicky are light years ahead in terms of speed of thought. I remember the season before last in the champions league when Cesc/Nasri/Wilshere/Arshavin were tearing teams apart with their passing, they were always on the same wavelength tho nasri constantly slowed the game down.

  131. @Khalifha

    I was drooling all over my keyboard as I was typing so join the club!

    I completely agree with you on the Cesc comment his vision is truly world class but its also at a much slower pace and like you said can’t control a match the same way they can. While I do love his vision it was delayed at times and thus is why I think he has a difficult time playing for Barca and even for Spain because when you have players like Xavi and Inesta and Messi they are playing so quickly that it makes him look lost hence his struggles. To carry on even more with your point about so few being able to control a match as they do, because everything to them is in slow motion so they see things that other people will never see.

  132. @will the thrill

    I remember what match your talking about but that is the thought process that I am speaking about.

    Its not something that can be taught but a natural ability that not many posses. I watch matches and you can definetly see Mozart and RVP on a completely different page than everybody else because they are thinking quicker than everybody else. That is what Arsenal are built on though, the 1-2 touch lighting passing and why I think M’villa would be the perfect DM for us. Song for me is a good short quick passer which would fit perfectly with M’villa because they can play the quick passes while both being able to play the long ball(M’villa processes quicker but Song seems to process somewhere in the middle).

    @PG
    I wasn’t comparing who was better between the 2 just process of thought and theres no denying they are both world class.

  133. pedantic george

    I am moving back in here .
    I am getting dogs abuse on twitter.

  134. C I completely agree. I would sit down all the younger players in the squad and force them to watch a match solely focusing on Rosicky.

    Really what the players need to focus on is all the empty space on the field. Those elite players know what space should be occupied in order to open up the defense. Ramsey still has to think about collecting the ball and surveying the field. A player like Rosicky already knows where the space is, and only needs one touch to find the next spot where the ball needs to go.

  135. c TR7 is better than Scholes.And better than he ever was.

    Arteta>Jack by a country mile presently

    Doesn#t nae mean alot from yous though does it george you anti english raggamuffin!

  136. Georgio, that twitterverse is a dark, scary place.

  137. so Lampard is injured and Englan calls on Henderson?? and pepople wonder why nobody has faith in Englan in the EC? Henderson, Downing and Carron in the same team. The three most dissapointing signings of the season compared to their prize tag??
    jeezez..

  138. @will the thrill

    I completely agree with you. Rosicky knows the space on the field before it opens up. Ramsey to me is similar to Nasri only in the sense that they need 4-5 touches to be able to be comfortable and make passes thus slowing down our speed of play. RVP and Lil Mozart are such a joy to watch.

    @Poodle

    Yea Rooney mine as well not even go because I doubt England make it out of the group stage. Good for Arsenal though so Walcott and Ox can rest HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. seriuosly what the hell is England thinking with Henderson Downing and Carrol. Carrol I can semi-understand as he has the potential and was starting to play better later in the season with a couple of match winners but the other 2, I think they could ahve chosen 2 posters from here and they could have played better.

  139. Interesting choice for Liverpool manager. Thought Roberto Martinez was a sure thing but Swansea’s Rodgers is an interesting choice. He seems to prefer possession play but with I dont think all the players there will fit his system. So are we looking at some offloading but then who would take them HAHAHAHAHAHA.

  140. Very interesting posts today guys, enjoyed reading them. Especially the cat-fight between Dex and Khalifa spilling over from yesterday. Meeeooowww!!

    As if it isn’t bad enough that The Arsenal are not playing, FSC have decided to show England v. Uruuguay from 2006 (I think). Talk about scraping the barrel!! At least Robson is not commentating, be grateful for small mercies I suppose.

  141. @Irishgray

    They have been showing old England matches. Last night they showed England vs. Mexico (2010) right before the World Cup started. England won I think 3-1 but obviously that didn’t help their World Cup campaign that year HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

  142. @C

    I remember the day before Euro2008 they also showed the England v. Croatia game, which they also lost 3-2. Eduardo played great in that game if I remember correctly.

  143. why shud we sell theo mr. robison. in ur time were u playing lyk d way he iz today. plz iz not abt theo,think abt som thing else.coz theo can play any first class team in europe.he deserves wht he want!

  144. @Irishgray

    I guess its suppose to be for inspiration.

  145. Paulie Walnuts

    Watching the quality of Koscielny is a little like discovering a brilliant but still unknown band or watching an unheralded yet brilliant film.

    You KNOW they`re incredible but cannot believe others can`t see it.

  146. C
    Check out my comment at 5:07 today and tell me what you think.

    Spain are tearing the south korean team apart, even torres has scored, no, no, not an own goal.

    My prediction for the Euros: Spain vs Germany in the final, Germany winning.

  147. @C

    Inspiration to do what? Change the channel? Did that already 🙂

  148. Eureka! I just remembered the player m’villa is similar to > xabi alonso, he has this unique skill of passing between lines. Damnit wenger, am on my fuckin knees, get this boy please! 🙂

  149. My prediction for the Euros…Sneijder and Robben continue to neglect RVP and the Dutch make it fairly deep into the tournament without causing any real damage.

  150. If anyone is really bored they could watch recordings of last summers U21 tournament.
    Now, I admit, my football brain is very tiny and teeny. But FFS Lansbury played better then that gr*t sniffer Henderson last summer.
    The less said about Fat Sam’s selection policy the better.

  151. Am sure park chu young is a south korean player, it looks like he was not called up.

  152. spain are looking pretty vulnerable right now. That’s twice South Korea has come within inches of a quality chance.

  153. @Khalifha

    Your comment was spot on my friend about Wilshire, he is the player that we have all been wanting in a AM and like you said he is OURS! He doesn’t have the pure pace but his quick bursts of acceleration are so sudden yet so graceful and he does posses that ability to control a match a la Xavi. Your ecspecially right about his bite and steel. 1 thing that I did notice that seperates him from everybody else his age that Xavi, Inesta and the lot posses is that the ball seems to be glued to his foot, his control is so fantastic for such a young player and it will only improve. I really do envision M’villa, Song and Wilshire dominating the midfield with ease.

  154. wow. S.Korea ties it up.

  155. Will
    The s.koreans have started to look dangerous, what! They have scored, i still expect spain to win.

  156. True…Spain’s defense looks like the Arsenal’s. When they lose possession there are so many gaps between players that S.Korea has an easy time getting the ball upfield and into a dangerous area. Final score?? 4-2 Spain.

  157. Favourite moment from Kozza’s first season?

    For me the failed shoulder barge against Diouf. Why?
    1) No goal came from the error (deal with it all you self-declared realists. Unfortunately all footballers bar Messi make mistakes in every game).
    2) It meant that he was a show off.
    3) He the skills to win that challenge through other means (slide?) but he chose to experiment with other armaments(& to show off!). Because he was interested in improving himself.

  158. @Irishgray

    Yes to change the channel. The only England player I actually enjoy watching outside of Theo and Ox are Gerrard. The rest are overrated(Rooney I do rate but wont admit it outside the paranthesis).

  159. @will the thrill

    Interesting take on the Dutch mate. I have noticed that for years that they ignore RVP no matter how open he is but if you watch when Hunteelar is the strike they are constantly feeding him. What the hell is that?

    @khalifha

    I think Park isn’t playing because he hasn’t played for Arsenal that much. Last I checked though I thought he was Captain?

  160. C, park is the captain.
    As for holland, i can’t believe they choose to play v.persie on the left, is huntelaar better than rvp? I doubt.

  161. Will, spain score again. Looks like your prediction of 4-2 is looking good.

  162. In as much as I hate the transfer gossip bullshit, this i hope and pray is true:

    http://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/arsenal/news/van-persie-agrees-arsenal-contract_29132.html

  163. And chelsea is building quite a team, Hazard, Mata, Torres and Hulk but trust me there is nothing to worry about. afterall we have Podolski, Rosicky, V.persie and Walcott, its all good.

  164. pedantic george

    khalifha.Park has been told he will not feature internationally because he is deemed to has dodged the army draft.

  165. haha Irish, c’mon man. “according to reports on twitter” is the equivalent of “a 10 year old with an internet connection made up some bullshit”

  166. Correction to my own comment @ 7.52pm.
    That error lead to a goal for the opposition. Arsenal won the game.

  167. @ will the thrill

    I know! I know! But dammit all to hell man, we need RVP!!!!

  168. yes we do Irish…don’t worry. he will sign…maybe 🙂

  169. @Khalifha

    I hope Park stays and puts in bags of goals like he does for South Korea.
    No I don’t think he is better but they seem to favor Huntelaar more as a striker and use RVP more as he was in his earlier days. I’m honestly not sure they any of the Dutch outside of Bergkamp even like RVP.

  170. Irishgray, yea seriously that link does not inspire confidence, there was a question mark at the end of the headline lol, are they asking us if he has signed?

  171. @Khalifha

    The Chavs are building quite the team Mata, Hazard, Hulk(once everything becomes final which you never know), Torres. He is the thing I was thinking about. So what of Sturridge, Romelu, Lampard and FFS they dont even have a coach. Hulk, Hazard, Sturridge all play the same position and STurridge is already known to cry. I just don’t see them coping with the loss of Drogba.

  172. C, the dutch don’t give rvp the respect he deserves, its all about robben the ‘flying dutch man’ (if you know what i mean) and sneidjer.
    Also, believe it or not i rate park, the games i have seen him play have impressed me, his touch, passing and most especially his spring, that guy can jump. The one area i can find fault in his game is his link up play, i think that is why wenger has resisted using him thus far.

  173. I never made this up

    ManCityMeltdown ‏@ManCityMeltdown

    I hate it when people say the city fans know nothing. apparently I’m thick for saying Lahm would be a good replacement for Dzeko

  174. Pedantic george, really!? I read somewhere he had problems with the national team but i didn’t think it was that serious

  175. pedantic george

    Dups ,behave ,You know it a spoof account

  176. Dups, lol, now that is a special individual.

    C, according to a writer on the dailyfail abramovic is buying all these players in preparation for guardiola’s coming, the plan is to change chelsea’s system to a more free flowing attacking football.
    But this is where they will encounter a problem, hazard and hulk are very self minded players, its all about me,me,me for them, i see difficulties ahead.

  177. @Khalifha

    I dont understand the Dutch and I think thats a reason why they can’t win. You look, they play something like:

    Robben—RVP—-Sneidjer
    ——Huntelaar——–

    and have one of the most feared fronts in the world yet they dont. Its like yes Robben is a brillant talent but FFS he isn’t worth building around just look how well that worked out for Bayern when they changed tactics for the final. All season they had been playing through Ribery, Basten, Muller, and Robben and then they say to the hell with everybody lets go through Robben.

    Park also has a tremendous eye for goal. I mean even for our reserves and when he played in the FA cup and CC he always looked lively and like he was going to score. I think we will see more of the South Korean this season.

  178. George

    Did not think it was a spoof account assumed they just go round the city forums as the spurs & chelsea meltdown accounts do.

  179. pedantic george

    they make stuff up as well Dups

  180. The way i see it our players are on par with theirs.

    * V.persie – Torres

    * Rosicky – Mata

    * Walcott – Hulk

    * Hazard – Chamberlain(in2years)

  181. haha man. Chelsea playing free-flowing football?? They already tried that. They had 2 spanish internationals, a few brazilians and a powerful midfield, don’t forget about andres villa boas. He knows how to coach a footballing team.

    Personally I would enjoy it if Chelsea started to come out of their crab-like shells and try and play football. Last time that happened we witnessed a stunning match. CH3L5EA

  182. C
    With De jong and van bommel behind them, bada bin, bada boom, they win all their matches.

  183. @Khalifha

    I do think that Hazard and Mata will struggle to play together since both are the type to want to control the match but I do think Hazard is still a talent and would welcome him to Arsenal. Hulk is an interesting player. I have read many times that Hulk is a very me, me person(still supremely talented with a wicked left foot) and that is why he struggles to fit into the Seleção because he does prefer to do it on his own and anybody who knows anything about the Seleção know they are as free flowing as it comes. Not to mention some of those players wont fit into a free flowing system. There’s been reports everywere about Pep I’ll believe that when i see it, the dailymail the other day was saying Pep wanted to coach Manure and that’s the reason he left Barca.

  184. Will, and that match will live long in the memory. But honestly with mata, hazard and hulk they cannot be boring even if they tried.

  185. @Khalifha

    Hazard – Podolski.
    you could even put Mata – Jack(1 year)

    Yea let them sit behind them and let that front 4 attack not to mention VDV coming off the pine. O well I hope the Dutch get knocked out early so RVP can put pen to paper, then rest until the season starts. I know thats kind of selfish of me to say but o the fuck well i know most of you are thinking it!!!!!!!!

  186. C, right again, hazard and mata prefer a roaming role i.e No 10, you can’t have more than one captain on a ship, i see them ending up like titanic.

  187. @Khalifha

    The good thing though is they have nobody to defend at all because this isn’t going to do nothing but make Luiz and Cashley want to attack even more and Cahill and Terry can’t sit back there in defend alone(I honestly dont rate either of them highly at all. To me both are average at best.)

  188. C, i knew i forgot someone, definately Hazard – Podolski.

    V.persie usually gets injured at most of these sheendigs, holland out!

  189. C, first things first, keep rvp and walcott oi else our Fab 4 goes down the drain.

  190. Here’s a couple things I know are going to happen at the Euros:

    1. England wont make it out of the group stage thus allowing Theo and Ox to get some rest.
    2. Germany will make a deep run thus not allowing Podolski to rest.
    3. France will make it out of the group stage(same group as England except I have France and Sweden making it out) with Kos starting but wont it far past that because the French team is full of loonies and let Evra be their Captain(did they not learn from the World Cup FFS!).
    4. The Dutch will make a deep run and treat RVP like shit along the way.

    Here’s things I hope will happen:

    1. The Dutch get knocked out right after the group stage and RVP stays completely healthy and then gets proper rest again after putting pen to paper on a new Arsenal contract.
    2. The French get knocked out thus allowing Kos to get proper rest.
    3. M’villa not play up to standard or play like shit or hell even get benched thus not showcasing all his world class talent allowing us to buy him from Rennes at the same price.
    4. The Germans dominate play throughout thus allowing Podolski to continue his excellent form but allowing for him to be subbed out and get rest.

    Come on Futboling Gods, you have fucked with me enough its times for you to give me what I want!!!!!!!

  191. “for the euros i do think germany will be champions. in fact, i have already placed my bet on them. and i am betting on italy to beat spain in their opener too.”

    After chelski winning the CL, I suspect this is the year of miracles and England will win the Euro’s. If Greece can do it anyone can.

  192. pedantic george

    Passenal.Ever the optimist.
    Wonderful.

  193. @Passenal

    If England win the Euro’s I will honestly drink myself stupid because I place a bet here states with a friend of mine who is from London. He bet me $1000 that England would make it further than either the French or the Germans.

  194. pedantic george

    c one or both?

  195. I wonder if mr. IRISH GRAY will make it to any of euro 2012 games in Ukraine /poland. I remember you said you would make it a few months ago. It should be a blast.

    @ limestone gunner and mattGK
    if you guys have the email contact address @ ARSENAL from the petition we all Signed, please post it here so we can all write a note to the powers that be. Robson needs to leave. As an employee of the club he should know better than to make negative and destructive comments regarding any of our players.

  196. No we cant go to poland or the ukraine coz according to the bbc we will all die.

  197. The BBC & Slysports, Duke

  198. C

    hopefully the bet is for england to go further than both germany and france. otherwise you might be screwed.

  199. Passenal

    ok i am gonna place a bet on poland winning! 😉

  200. “I will stay at Arsenal forever. There will be no transfer for me”

    Thomas Vermaelen

    Come on RVP, please do the same.

  201. He better improve his positioning, or else i will get him out myself.

  202. As much as id love to believe 100% what Tommy has said, in reality hes only just last year signed a contract extention until 2015 i believe, so he will be the age RVP is now and who is to say he/we wont be in the same position then. Its just the way things work. Id love RVP to sign on and finish his career with us, and for Tommy to do the same in a few years time. Id love for them to be fans of The Arsenal just like we are. But are they, really??

  203. and he better cut out scoring all them goals aswell khalifha eh!

  204. Squillaci ” i will never leave arsenal, this is my home, my club, i can’t leave” :-), put down the knives, he did not say that lol.

  205. Deisegooner, someone’s been reading too much arseblog, am i right or am i right?

    Duke, you know that was a joke right. Theres only one verminator.

  206. funnily enough that was my second stop of the blogs this morning, i got here first though, but he does say the same as my thinking on players saying howe much they love the club but can as easy as that move on

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