So Much Tapping Up, Let’s Get A Plumber In

As Britain awakes to another bank holiday to celebrate Liz’s reign, European transfer windows have opened ajar to let in the vaguest hints, nods and winks to be transformed into chases and races for signatures. As the clouds gather over St Paul’s, their epicentre will be over Highbury House as Shinji Kagawa signs for Manchester United (for the geographically challenged, Japan is not part of Europe which is why that deal could be concluded despite Euro2012 starting this week).

Missed opportunities will be lamented, inactivity berated, all ahead of tomorrow’s Q&A session with Ivan Gazidis. Not a happy environment for the meeting to take place in, good news of the sort which would lift the clinging atmosphere likely to be in short supply.

Robin van Persie‘s contract is still not resolved and having agreed not to talk the media about it, he told everyone that next season he will be playing Champions League football, preceded by “Juve? They are a great team, of course“. Sub-editors rubbed their hands with glee at the Dutchman’s teasing play, doors opened in media minds that have long been closed in life. It cannot be all one-way traffic as the press look to see if Arsenal will signal their intent deeply enough for van Persie to stay; Lucas Biglia is fast becoming a hardy perennial in the same way that Sebastian Frey and others have been in years previously. Cigarettes carry health warnings, so should transfer gossip: it’s ‘Azard-ous!

The clamour to cut the wage bill is being met, Oguzhan Ozyakup has gone to Besiktas for £570k plus 25% of any sell-on clause. He can renew his acquaintance with Emmanuel Eboue in the Superliga and may even find himself facing Tomas Rosicky as Eskisehirspor chase his signature. It’s a catastrophy, I tell ya, a catastrophy! Losing two of our top five in the Player of the Season! Bring me the head of Alfredo Gazidis!

Having seen former comrades tapped mercilessly through the media, Laurent Koscielny has decided that he is having some of that and is weaving his magic on Yann M’vila and Olivier Giroud. Well, at least he can say, “Look, I am now a French international having played for L’Orient. If Arsenal can do this for me, what can the club do for you“. Of course, I am sure that he will be more sophisticated than I but frankly if it has the same outcome as the pressure Mertesacker put on Podolski, who cares if Koscielny uses the subtlety of a baseball bat over the head and shipping the duo to Arsenal in a diplomatic pouch. Football is after all a results game, no matter the method.

It does raise uncomfortable questions for Arsenal supporters. So many of our players through the decades have been subject of amorous public advances by other clubs that we are heartily sick of it all. A school of thought believes we are The Arsenal, we should rise above it and continue in The Arsenal Way of doing things properly. We are no different from others, except more discreet. Viv Anderson last year told the comical tale of Don Howe turning up at his house to secure the full-back’s signature. The Don was nothing if not concerned lest he be spotted, wearing a cloth cap to disguise himself. It conjured up the image of Don arriving in a Nottingham suburb Bob Stokoe-stylee (ask your parents, kids). Perhaps Arsène does the same? Lederhosen for Podolski’s signature, a waiter serving moules for Biglia?

Now I know I have battered on about Theo Walcott for the last few days but if anyone wanted proof that there is an agenda against the Arsenal player, consider Exhibit A from this morning’s Sun:

The new England boss spelt out his reservations at the weekend when he said: “The thing about Theo is that he has had quite a few chances in the team. It seems to me that quite often when he has started games people have said you need someone else in there.”

Hodgson did indeed utter those words but there was more after that suggested he does not care what other people thought before, Walcott like everyone else had a clean slate, etc. It was platitudes of course and I am sure that Hodgson has indeed already made up his mind but not at the behest of public opinion. Hype was worn thin in Theo’s case and now you see the downturn, underlining the point I made yesterday about managing expectations. Anyway, I’ll look at that in the Euro2012 previews to come this week.

For today though, that’s yer lot. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 5, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 228 Comments.

  1. The Real Stew Black

    Hello YW just wanted you to know I’m still reading thought it might be rude not to comment at least once in a while.

  2. pine apple

  3. Great point about kagawas transfer. Also theo I feel ain’t going to get much action. Unless as you mentioned milner in effect takes lampards place.

    I can’t see how anyone can disagree with the theo smear campaign. It was hinted that rooney, lampard didnt like him personally last tournament. Is it because he’s part of that frenchy froggie blokes lot. Is the feeling toward the club in general spreading to our individual players, especially the english ones?

  4. Lu-lu-lu, Lukas Podolski!
    Lu-lu-lu, Lukas Podolski!
    Lu-lu-lu, Lukas Podolski!
    Lu-lu-lu, Lukas Podolski!

    sorry Yogi, I needed a picker upper…..

    I say forget the plumber and let the tapping up continue
    Nothing’s official till July 1st anyway

    Theo need not worry ’bout a thang
    “Just do your best when your number’s called son, let them write the words for ya!”

    Good luck to Roy Hodgson..a gentleman.

  5. As long as one of our players is part of the winning team, I’m good.
    That means anyone but Spain

  6. barugahare alex

    I like soo

  7. barugahare alex

    lets pray for our arsenal

  8. though for the most selfish of reasons (at least for pg & I), Russia would do. We need the lil’ prince back, in CM, helping us to a 2013 double!
    “bring back and free AA23!”

    (sorry i backed the Irish last week but I changed me mind..they’re goonnerless)

  9. Q to all: do u really want to see Samri lifting the Euro cup???

    my A: …but I love Koscielny.

  10. Theo and AlexOx not playing too much in an england team that may struggle to get out og the group. Suits me, they wont be subject to the media aftermath of an early england exit and will be able to head off to refresh for pre season.

    Kahawa will do well at UTD, a handy player and there are plenty of handy players out there, in fact we have a few on our books too, the 2 above included.

    ‘LAURENT KOSCIELNY could get a shock call-up by France against England’ – Well its hardly a shock is it? I mean hes in the squad, so he can actually be picked by the manager who selected him. Hes just had the season of his life at club level. And in his last run out for France he has outshone Mexes (with another chance tonight i believe). I wouldnt be shocked at all if Kos started, especially as he would have already played against the likes of Welbeck, Carroll and Young and trained all season with Theo and AlexOx. The more you think about it the more sense it makes.

  11. I’d be shocked if Kos DIDN’T play, DeiseG.

    I mean, how good would that make the French defence?

  12. pedantic george

    Of course people like Rooney and Fat Frank don’t like Theo.
    He is an bright,intelligent,smart ,polite and thoroughly decent young man.The exact opposite of them .
    They dislike him for much the same reasons that the gum chewing managers dislike Arsene.
    It can best be described as “jealousy”

  13. Els – maybe it’s just because Theo is shit? (I very much doubt Rooney and co would have a problem playing with Jack or the Ox)

    Man Utd have signed Kagawa. Gutted but once they were in for him I guess them that was that. He’s become used to winnings things. Why would he want to go to a club who play solely for profit?

    Wish I was going to the meeting tomorrow, although probably best not as I’d end up getting arrested! Hope they rip that bastard Gazidis a new one…….

  14. pedantic george

    LAURENT KOSCIELNY is the best defender in the league.
    (how that works when he is only second best at Arsenal ?I am still trying to get my head around)

  15. pedantic george

    “Wish I was going to the meeting tomorrow”
    What RGG,you busy at you AA meeting?

  16. Hahaha RGG. What a miserable prick. Give yourself a stroke, why don’t you.

  17. RGG..take a brisk run, hop, skip & jump back to Le Grove you simpleton who’s used to winning things. U reek of weakness!!!

  18. The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
    The sun has got his hat on and he’s coming out today
    Now we’ll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
    The sun has got his hat on and he’s coming out today

    Well all except where RGG lives. Miserable bugger.

  19. Quality’ Yogi, today’s post has me fully satisfied, err but where’s desert – Aotd.

    I watched the last french match, koscielny outshone clichy,mexes and debuchy defensively, he has to start.

    On transfers, ozyakup’s sale is quite unexpected, rosicky to whats the name? is a joke, but funny enough am not laughing.
    Hmmm, hazard and kagawa are officialy off my transfer wish-list, everybody has one right? Well i do and in terms of attacking midfielders belhanda is the last i know of so we wait and see.

    The AM position shouldn’t bother me much but it seems like there is a catch to the ones we have at the club.Rosicky is quality but has he ever played a full season with us?, we know about wilshere’s injury and ramsey’s form so i wonder if wenger is thinking about buying a player for that position.

  20. khalifha

    Arsenal On This Day has the whiff of Arsenal Rebellion from 1981.

  21. Rgg

    What a pointless twat you are, hurry up and fuck off.

  22. Ah Yogi, you know how i like it, a bit of history garnished with red & white.

  23. Great post, YW.

    Im not a money man, but nobody takes the profit anywhere; it goes back into building up the club.

  24. Its hilarious how these sky sportsspoon fed sheep get all bent out of shape over players they had not even heard of till some lazy hack linked them to us, or the chavs. ManU sign some player n the whining starts. Arteta wouldnt even register with the tabloid headline lips movin readers, yet for me, he’s the best signing we’ve made in ages.

  25. Please, please lets not blame sly sports for everything, even without sly sports RGG would still have been dumb, stupid and a certified shit head, lets try give the ol rat bastard his due.

  26. pedantic george

    Is there anyone who plays the position better that Arteta in the League?I don’t think there is.So that makes his a tremendous signing.
    I believe he is in line for a pay increase.Good .Well done the board.

  27. pedantic george


  28. Dex – Speaking of Arteta, it seems hes asked for his contract to be reviewed!

  29. Deise, you beat me to it, i was going to post that link also. Contract renewal after 1 season?

  30. pedantic george

    Arteta /Song/Rosicky is the most balanced and effective midfield three I have seen in a 4,3,3, formation.

  31. Khali

    I wasnt blamin snn man, we all watch it, the difference is that intelligent folk can sift thru the transfer bullshit n see it for what it is, filler material.

    George. Tru man and i think he deserves a pay rise too.

    As for the tappin up. I would like to think its a bit different to the systematic n choreographed mass tapping up we have had to endure. And it is simply our players honest responses to media questions!

  32. I’m just looking forward to four years down the line when we have Gibbs, Wilshere, Theo, Corporal Jenkinson and the Ox passing the ball for fun around other national teams. Maybe we’ll have unearthed a gem of an English forward by then, too. Until Jack’s pinging the ball around in the middle of the park our boys are going to be victims of the lack of technique at Hodgson’s disposal. No point having players as offensively gifted as Theo and the Ox as passengers on his parked bus.

  33. Surprised no one really discussing the Ozyakup sale – seems very disappointing, as he’d been doing well through the youth team and reserves. And to let him go for less than £600k too. Anyone else concerned, or is there a back story/other reason we’re letting him go that I’m not aware of?

  34. The thirst and demand for new signings is not a new thing. Chelsea sign Hazard, United sign this Korean lad, we’re clearly sitting on our hands and doing fuck all, falling further behind our rivals.

    Nicely overlooking or forgetting that we have already added Podolski to the squad, a player (and deal) which I think could eclipse the above two in terms of success. We have signed a top quality footballer there at an age and stage of his career where hopefully he is peaking. Whether or not he is to be van Persie’s replacement we can only deal with as and when that becomes clear.

    Arteta as Dexter has said was our best signing last season, best for a few years I would agree. He’s a player that simply allows others to play, well schooled as he is intelligent enough to know that on 99% of times in midfield the obvious and simple ball is the best. There is one or two younger players in the side who would do well to note this. His presence in the squad is brilliant for the likes of Ramsey & soon Wilshere who can take so much from his game.

  35. pedantic george

    Deise,it will have been a condition of the contract that if he met certain targets he would get a review.
    Makes sense if you consider him taking a wage cut.It is right and proper.

  36. Desise

    Thanks for the link dude. I imagine it was part of the deal to review it after the season n improve the terms if he did well. I think we can all agree he did.

    Khali. Arteta took a pay cut from everton to sign for us man, i’d say a hike in wages is justified.

  37. yeah george i get that, might have been something tied into his fitness/games played also, as there was a bit of a worry on that front wasnt there? Hes a player that just makes you feel relaxed when hes in the team, you know you will get 100% effort and top quality football from him.

  38. Dexter, a very good signing indeed this Arteta. He is worth a pay increase! I hope that the an effort to sign Benayoun will be made. Thankyou for the top notch post Yogi. And, you are worth a pay increase as well. I enjoy this blog like no other.

  39. Yeah, Arteta having the contract reviewed. Have to say fair dos there. If only we had two of him.

  40. pedantic george

    It may also have been a clause that was tied to us Qualifying for the CL.

  41. Well said Steve.

    I think the worries over RvP are only natural given last summers events. It will certainly test the nerve ends of many a Gooner!

    George the only issue i have with that midfield and its quite a big ub! Is the lack of goals.

  42. pedantic george

    Yes I wonder what is happening with Yossi.Its all gone quiet there.

  43. pedantic george

    Oh Dexter,
    You are right and now I am fed up.
    I forgot about goals.

  44. Top Arteta up with some of the monies we were paying Benny 🙂
    Or maybe from Denilsons wages, he looks like he may have played himself to a contract with Sao Paulo

  45. Two Owls, not so sure we’ll land Benayoun. At his age he’ll be looking for a 3+ year deal. Not sure we’d be willing to offer that, especially since the wages could maybe be better spent in other areas.

  46. Having Arteta around will only benefit the likes of Wilshere, Aaron, Coquelin, Frimpong, Song as well as the team in general. Great signing.

    Here’s to a few more in a similar vein.

  47. As for impact signings, I would rate Kos’s addition last season. (along with Arteta this season)

  48. I wouldn’t imagine there is any mystery at all regarding Yossi.

    I am not 100% sure about his contract situation @ Chelsea but unless he is a free agent as of June 30 then I would imagine he may have to wait for a new manager to come in and make a call on him as a squad player or not.

    If he is free to leave then I would imagine he is looking for a better proposition than we can offer for a player at his age, playing time and perhaps length of contract. He would for example be a great signing for a club like West Ham who have come up and will need experience and quality in an effort to stabilise in their first year back up. You would suspect he would play a lot more often also and without wanting to state the obvious that is what footballers want to do.

    He will want to weigh up all his options of which we perhaps may be one, not sure I would see us as being in the driving seat all the same.

  49. I am quite sad that Ozyakup is bein released, i thought he looked impressive whenever i saw him and he was highly rated by Bould n Banfield. But i imagine Arsenes new number 2 had a say in matters. I am really looking forwatd to seeing Stev in the dug out with the boss and also what impact he will have.

  50. Is Arsenal in crisis … again? The sky falling down … again? It seems today’s post, summarised, is: “No news for today aside from a minor sale”. Wenger will announce his team for 2012/13, I am being presumtpious I know, before the start of the campaign. It will not include Kagawa, Hazard and Hulk. It will include one of the most exciting Arsenal line-ups in a decade. I feel certain in my bones.

  51. Markus, and I’m not so sure that we will sign Benayoun. Although he is indeed an older player, he played like a man many years his junior towards the end of the season. Worth the expenditure as a squad player with little in the way of complaints from the man. He stepped in during Artetas’ injury and played like a champion.

  52. ‘Pot/kettle
    … pedantic’

    I knew ‘you’ would pick up on my comment @11:10 George, surely ‘you’ are not trying to insinuate that ‘you’ also post in the same manner? seeing as ‘you’ are not willing to let sleeping dogs lie (notice how many times i used ‘you’, you’re always the instigator George).

    If anyone deserves a pay rise at arsenal it is definately arterta and koscielny. So i hope arterta holds them by their balls and asks for nothing less than 100k a week ….. i joke, i joke.

  53. Steve,

    Don’t recall seeing Yossi’s name on the PL released players list. Could be wrong and I don’t have access to it right now to check.

  54. I liked Benayoun, he worked really hard, didnt moan and scored sum important goals. However, i’d like to think we will use the funds available to sign a top class certain stater and also give improved deals to those with a year left and also others with TWO years remaining, so we can hav a year off from this will he won’t he shizzle!

  55. There I was, enjoying the daily post from the inestimable Yogi, only to have my ruminations disrupted by an imbecile going by the handle of ‘RGG’. However, balance to the Force was restored quickly by the swift and brutally effective interventions of PG, Aman, GK, and Dexter; thanks, lads, you saved me the trouble of accusing the twat of being a rarseclart. Oops.

    I for one hope that both our lads contributions are from the bench, but also realise benefits signified through assists/goals/both. That way, I hope there’s less chance of them getting injured through participating in full games, although I guess there exists the risk of our lads sustaining injuries from’tired’ opposition players.

  56. Based on performance I’d have no problem with Arteta getting a pay review.

    However, I am astonished to hear he was supposedly on £70K a week at Everton.

    That’s a lot of coin for a club that is utterly skint. I never imagined they paid anyone those kind of sums.
    Did anyone watch the Stadium’s of Hate programme? I had missed it – chilling, powerful stuff
    and a worrying insight into the dangers of awarding the European tournament to Poland & Ukraine. Worth a look if you have a spare 30mins.

  57. VAN PERSIE ? what are the latest news please ? …… and song ? …signed yet ?

  58. What a pity about Ozzy – I think we have to accept there are just too many people ahead of him for him to get enough playing time.

    That said I wish I knew why we did not instead sort a UK based loan deal for next season – he only signed a new deal last year and was arguably the best of our reserve players.

    One would have thought a season on loan would most likely have increased his value…

  59. Okay, I will make a statement that is probably going to lead to abuse here, but here goes anyway.

    In respect of the Arteta story in this morning’s paper he should only be discussing a pay rise with the club, or we should with him, if it is contractually binding issue based on whatever was agreed – performances, CL qualification etc. or if he only signed a relatively short term contract at the time (3 years) and it is now prudent to renew it.

    Not because he has had a good season.

    We don’t negotiate contracts down mid-term when a player is not performing well, or at all. Players don’t sign these very lucrative contracts with a gun at their head, if he agreed to ‘only’ 60k last summer then he was happy to.

  60. Another great post to get my mind thinking Yogi.

    Quite sad to see Ozyakup go but do imagine that Arsene has a master plan in place(please let me be right). Interesting though, Lil Mozart leaving is quite hilarious but it probably came off of somebody making a joke on ACLF and the British media taking it as facts, ol’ British media you always make me laugh.

    Honestly Manure can have Kagawa and the Chavs can have Hazard(both of whom I rate highly but now they can both fuck off), I think Podolski will have bigger impact then both of them due not only natural fit but more importantly I think physically and mentally he is better suited. Don’t get me wrong I think Kagawa and Hazard will do fine but they have not faced the physical demand that is about to come their way while Podolski has been a lone striker for Koln and many times gets the shit beat out of him and still keeps going.

    You speak and reak of shit!

  61. George you are probably right. Although I do think that with all the negative media surrounding our club it would be a little daft to think that knuckle dragers like Rooney don’t think “ook arsenal. fast man. baaaad”

    RGG you’re a silly one aren’t you.

  62. You may be right about Podolski, C. I think he arguably has a better chance of settling quickly due to age and experience.

    However if you think Hazard is not tough you are a long way wide of the mark. He may look slight, due to relative lack of height, but don’t be fooled – Hazard takes a lot of hits most games and keeps coming back for more. He is extremely accomplished at drawing fouls.

    If you are hoping he will be bullied out of a game you’re most likely in for a disappointment!

  63. @Jonny

    No that is not what I am saying at all about Hazard. I have been on record as saying he is strongly built and not easily bullied. The point was that Podolski not just because of age and experience but because he has been through the rigors of being a lone striker and has taken the physicality more often than those 2. I rated and still rate Hazard very highly but it also comes down to the squad as well and I think that Podolski will be more easily adapted because he essentially would be sliding in at the left winger/striker which he has played his whole life. As to where Hazard(who again can slide into any team) their will be a bigger adjustment for him because of Lampard and Mata wanting to dominate possession which is a role that has seen Hazard rise to fame. I’m interested to see how that works out for him because the 1 knock that I have consistently read about him from his Belgium coaches, Lille coaches and players was that he does struggle or become disengaged if he isn’t the focus. We shall see what happens though. Either way fuck him now he’s a Chav!

  64. Yeah, shame about Oz but I’m with johnny & C. Toom many ahead of him + masterplan in place. Good luck son, hope he goes on to have a great career & wehave 1st dibs on him if he ever wants a return to the PL.

    Yay! Hoillet’s “off to Gladbach”..

    Another one bites the dust…f**king AW, missing out on all the gems!

  65. young guns still IN: Miquel, Yennaris, Aneke, Afobe….

    …u know I think AW might have something here with this “young-CMs-that-can-play-FB” effectively (LeCoq, Frimp & Nico). Its such a bonus.

  66. I for 1 am high on Miquel, I remember watching him this season playing as a LB thinking, he looks so comfortable and poise on the ball not to mention his passing was excellent for being so young. Yea he made some youthful mistakes but always worked hard and didn’t fear any situation. I remember against Manshiteh he made a superb tackle on David Silva in the box when it looked Silva was through. Me thinkie he is a excellent choice for 4th is Djourou leaves or if he stays a nice season long loan would do the boy absolute wonders

  67. Hazard and Kagawa, and big-boy Hulk, have a rude awakening coming in english football. I don’t believe there is a league anywhere with better “dark arts” exponents amidst silently complicit refs. Hazard tough? We shall see won’t we? Kagawa hard-working? Not on the ground. Hulk strong? Oh, wait until he meets stronger, bigger defenders. Of the three, value for money spent, Kagawa is a very good buy; but also a very ManU type.

    What effect, I wonder, do the following have without transfer hissing and madness? Diaby and Wilshere coming into the 2011/12 squad; Ramsey having a rest after a packed season post-injury; Podolski arriving; Gervinho in his season 2 (well worn assumption that this is when most players show their value); ditto Santos; ditto Ox; Per back post-late season injury; ditto Sagna; Ryo arriving I hope? ditto Campbell maybe? Frim back? Le Coq bigger, better, more confident after initial test?

  68. back to today’s theme,
    read somewhere that Athletico Madrid still owe Porto 23m and were hoping Roman would buy Falcao for gazzilion millions.

    could we help them out by relieving of either Arda Turan or Adrian Lopez?
    i dig ’em both

  69. M’vila or similar aside, I always suspect Wenger plotting, plotting for that player that “unlocks defences” with one pass, a movement, a shot?

  70. I agree C, Miquel’s the future. I’d keep him for life. A loan deal’d be cool but only if Bartley’s deemed readier.

    I’m with u ZimPaul, can’t wait to see things unfurl.

    btw, who knows anything ’bout this Lucas Biglia fellow? Is he R&W-worthy? ..any better than Coq & Frimp?

  71. The player to watch for, in my own opinion, would be Ramsey above all others. He’s got it all. Skill, guts, stamina, a decent pot-shot, keep ball. Two seasons ago horrific injury. Last season, after a year away, over-played but kept going. Next season, after a rest?

  72. Zim: ” that player that “unlocks defences” with one pass, a movement, a shot?
    ….smells like that russki that scored 4 @ the scousers’…what was is name again?

  73. Yep, one of those.

  74. @Zimpaul

    You make an interesting point about Hulk, Hazard and Kagawa. I think because those 3 where so hyped could they be almost targeted? I could see it happening acspecially Hazard because he is billed as 1 of the best talents of his generation. Could he recieve the same physical treatment as say a C.Ronaldo to were every chance a defender gets to tackle him or lay wood they will?

    I agree with you on the transfer thing but I think Ryo and/or Campbell will go on loan along with Frimpong. Ramsey is an interesting case for me. Talented, no doubt but stuck in limbo if all are healthy and we sign a true DM, surely. Is he a box-to-box midfielder, probably not as he shone this season just didn’t seem comfortable at all, trying to stick a square peg in a circle whole. Is he an AM, probably but can he play the 1-2 touch free flowing futbol we play, no; but can he be effective playing 4-5 touch futbol with him controlling dictating play, yes. Is he better than Mozart or even Arteta in that advanced role or even Arshavin were he to come back, no not at all. But then say we do sign M’villa or Biglia thus moving Song further up the pitch with Diaby and Arteta and essentially moving Jack further up the pitch when fit and raring to go. So would a season long loan to where he is guaranteed 1st choice futbol along him to further his development be that bad, I would definetly say it would do a whole helluva lot more good than bad.

  75. Nice post yogi.

    It’s going to be a long summer. Lots of tapping up and media rumours going every which way. The silence regarding new contracts for RVP, Song and Theo is ominous, but the lack of solid rumours about them looking around or going away is encouraging so we just have to wait

    Very surprised about ozyakup. Hope he does well I thought he was in the top tier of our reserve players.

  76. @Aman

    Yea I think Miquel has everything you want and watching him in FA Cup matches and CC matches and even PL matches he just gave me a sense of confidence like he knew what he was doing. Not to mention that for a natural CB he sure looked very good and comfortable attacking down the left flank.

  77. Hulk must be related to drogba, i have never seen someone so big go down like a sack of potatoes. If hulk, bale and young could represent an olympic swim team and you won’t know the difference.
    As for hazard, whenever i watched him play he seemed to have messi like *cough* steroid *cough*, i mean stamina about him. For someone so small he is extremely hard to knock off the ball, à la aguero/tevez/rooney/ox, you know those small bulky players with low centre of gravity.

  78. C

    If Ramsey is good enough – which I think he is – then he will stay and compete for a place.

    If at his age and stage of career he is sent out on loan then his career at Arsenal is over.

  79. All our mids are expected to be multi-dimensional. Still, I see Ramsey competing (with Diaby? Song?) in more attacking role positionally. Unlike most, I don’t especially see Wilshere in a more advanced position; his skill is moving the ball out, getting the move going.

  80. Disagree with u on Rambo, C.
    No loan-out necessary. He needs to stay, play, get stronger and keep learning. He’s a responsible type, an el capitan who takes stock and will improve. I think of him as a more technically-skilled Lampard because of his pace. The goal-scoring & efficiency will come with greater experience.

    So yeah, no go nowhere Aaron stay home!

  81. anyone in twitter-touch with Jack or Abou?
    any updates on their recovery?

  82. Brton = Barton

  83. @Steve

    I hear and understand what you are saying but I was looking at the following:

    AM: Lil Mozart, Jack, Ramsey, Arteta, Ox
    CM: Song, Diaby, Ramsey, Le Coq, Arteta, Jack
    DM: Song, Le Coq, Fim, new-signing

    The problem is that say we have a 1st XI:

    —-Arteta/Song/——Lil Mozart

    Subs: GK, Gervinho, Ox, Diaby, Jack, Arteta(if DM is signed and Song starts at CM), Verm

    He’s just not fitting but he woudl be able to play vast majority of FA cup ties and I guess through rotation but how often does Arsene really rotate. I wouldn’t mind seeing him on a season long loan knowing that he would get the necessary playing experience but also knowing that the following season Mozart would become more of a squad player and less prominent.

  84. But again what the hell do I know thats why Arsene is the manager and I’m a fan that wakes up at 7:55am to watch matches drinking, running, yelling, singing, sliding(dont recommend at all) who loves Arsenal. I’ll leave the tough decisions to Arsene

  85. I dont get this doubting of Hazard and Kagawa not being able to stand up to some ‘physical’ treatment. No one here doubts Theo or Jack and they are basically the same physical size and age. Our 2 started in the premier league sooner than these 2 and were fine. Hazard and Kagawa have played 2 full seasons at least in the french and german leagues – Gerv and Podolski didnt / aren’t getting same questions asked about them. Trying to make urselves feel a little better are we?? 😉

  86. C,
    Rambo is our 2nd/3rd-choice CM or AM which is perfect for his development.
    TR won’t give us more than 60% starts @ his age
    Jack & Abou are just coming off injury (fingers crossed)
    AA’s usually used for <90 mins and really only @ AM (fingers crossed)
    Arteta too I expect to play 80% of our games & will need to be subbed in some

    ….so there is more than enough playing time for young Aaron.
    -reduced starts should improve his efficiency

  87. Was watching the season review on arsenal tv today. (India, ten action)

    almost every goal we scored in the first few months of the season involved a ‘key’ pass from Aaron ramsey.

    he’ll be massive for us next season

  88. ofcourse we are deise,
    i hear kagawa and hazard have this mysterious ailment that makes them allergic to playing well if dressed in the colours red AND white.
    u must have heard of it….arsesuckophobia?

  89. C

    That’s all a bit too simplistic and Championship Manager for me

    Far too many variables have to come into the equation such as fitness, for example I wouldn’t even look to include Diaby as a functional squad member at this stage, unfortunately we have seen little to suggest that could happen. Perhaps he could have a full pre-season and start next season fully fit, become the player a lot of people suspect he could be. If not and I hate to sound mercenary but the time will have to come where the really big question is asked.

    I appreciate it is only a suggestion but in one scenario you have listed Arteta as sub. He is not going to be a sub if fit, he will play. It’s all well and good lauding the performances of Rosicky and also Song for last season but the basic truth of the situation is that neither of them would have been able to perform at the level they did had Arteta not been in the side to allow them to do so. It was his intelligent positioning and tactical awareness that allowed these two to play further forward and be influential in the side.

    A lot of people are assuming Rosicky to now be an automatic selection, which is understandable given his form in the last few months of the season. What about his form in the early months, or in the preceding years of his contract. How many people would have been calling for Rosicky to be a first 11 player at the outset of the last campaign? He has on occasions in the past shown himself to be as frustrating and wasteful a player as Ramsey did when his form took a turn for the worse last season. To Ramsey’s credit in my opinion he never hid.

    In relation to a player like Rosicky I would at this stage almost forget about last season, players will come back and start again in 4-5 weeks for some, later for others. If a player like Ramsey is flying in pre-season then he could just as likely start the season, how a player performed in April or May the previous season is irrelevant.

    All the above just goes to illustrate what a difficult job and balancing act Wenger has when players are fit. Midfield especially is an area where he is going to earn his money as none of the players (if fit) will take nicely to extended periods of not starting

  90. please, no loan for Rambo. Rambo indeed needs to bulk up and get stronger. imagine what he’d achieve if he were stronger? Jack as well. They need to get stronger which would make them more durable. Theo has benefitted by working on his upper body strength. Look what bulking up did for Nani and Ronanldo (the formerly thin one, not the fat tranny whore-loving one)

  91. No way Rambo should go on loan, hes fine tucked under Artetas wing, no better player to learn from…….

  92. So much for playing devil’s advocate. Going back to sit down now.

  93. DeiseG, although EPL is progressing, there are Stoke-like defensive teams, and lots of players like Fletcher or Shawcross, who’s job it is to physically contain fancy footwork players, and they are good at it. The degree of this is unlike most leagues, certainly French, Portuguese, Spanish; probably German and Belgian and Italian too. Cesc had his problems as a keep ball expert; Ramsey sure had his. It is unlikely Hazard has experienced the level of aggression he will encounter. All anyone is saying is “wait and see” how tough he is.

    Jack and Theo by contrast have grown up in this league, and Theo (of the two) had a lot of problems, and injuries, with physical play.

  94. Kagawa? I’m sure he’s a good player, I’ve seen him live but that is all I can say.
    He did not step once more into the breach after that useless D**M Song Billong had accidentally hobbled Gotze in the Dortmund home game.
    And he did not open up the reeling Arsenal D-fence early on in the season when ze German double winners were lucky enough to claw back a late equaliser with a long range strike.
    I wish that some of these concerned Arsenal fans would watch Arsenal games.

  95. Zim – sure wait and see, but i reckon they will both do fine and dandy. Alls im saying is that if we signed either this wouldnt be a topic for discussion as we would all be regaling each other on said fancy footwork, keepball skills and attacking nous these 2 have.

  96. Hazard will only have a problem with Premier League football if he wants to have a problem with it, psychological or whatever. He is not going to get kicked black & blue for 90 minutes every game, it simply does not happen no matter what type of stereotypes we like to create of certain clubs.

    Jose Antonio Reyes was a very gifted footballer who came to England and bottled it, he was on the receiving end of some unsavoury treatment but ultimately decided it was not for him.

    Ronaldo was a very gifted footballer who came to England and did not bottle it, became one of the best players in the world.

    By all means “wait and see” as has been suggested above, but the doubts and debate is only arising because he has signed for Chelsea, had we signed him you can be 100% sure that the same player was going to take next season Premiership by storm.

  97. I was going nothing more than just saying a loan wouldn’t be bad but also know that recent injury history suggests otherwise.

  98. Arsene on denmark’s chances 😀
    “The one you wouldn’t like to be is Denmark – whatever they do will be fantastic, because they are absolute favourites to be fourth,” he told Arsenal Player

  99. I read the Ozy maybe off on a loan…makes more sense…

  100. Ronaldothelesser said after his move that one reason he was up for a shift to la liga was to help protect his shins. He had no need to lie. He gained nothing from the statement.

  101. AW: “You should see Hleb’s shins after a game”. Yup. Reyes was a pussycat.

  102. I think some people were doing a little more than saying ‘wait and see’.

    Of course there are tough players and tough games but I have seen Hazard get kicked round a pitch before. The other team ended up with 10 men and half the team on yellows and Hazard played the full 90 setting up the winning goal.

    His ability to draw fouls is frightening (last time I saw it was Ronaldo) and as Khalifha said earlier –

    “For someone so small he is extremely hard to knock off the ball, à la aguero/tevez/rooney/ox, you know those small bulky players with low centre of gravity”.

    Enough about him.

    Anywho – where did you read it was a loan deal Peace?

    I agree Rambo is fine where he is – last season was his recuperation. I imagine he will ‘kick on’ next season.

  103. “I wish that some of these concerned Arsenal fans would watch Arsenal games.”

    Me too, then they might actually appreciate that we have some good players too.

  104. Fins – let’s be honest whilst Reyes often had reason for complaint he was also a terrible jessie at times – one of the few Arsenal players of recent years who was not adverse to overstating contact when it suited him. Eboue being the other obvious case.

    People went for him because they knew it got to him and was therefore effective.

    He should have been better protected but he did himself few favours either.

  105. I hate the summer for obvious reasons but more importantly I miss watching Arsenal don the red adn white!!!!!!

  106. “I would at this stage almost forget about last season, players will come back and start again in 4-5 weeks for some, later for others…how a player performed in April or May the previous season is irrelevant.”

    Good point

  107. If our guys are good as you all say they are we will win the league by 19 next season. 🙂

    I think TR7 proved that he still has a lot of game left. I think the fact that our attack improved after he started playing well pointed out how important an effective player in that position is to our game. TR7 is a year older and father time slows down everyone and obviously there is concern for his durability and ability to play the position over the course of a long season. Jack and Aaron are both unknowns at this point. Jack has never played the position and none of those 3 have been the goal scorer that we could really use at AM. I would love to see us get a top quality AM that can rotate with TR7 for this season. Not doing that risks struggling again next year if TR7 slows down or has durability issues. Jack will take several months at least to be back into full strength he and Aaron can rotate with AM, box to box playing in the cup games and if Jack is back to full fitness and is ready to go by Christmas then he or Aaron whichever is playing better will work their way back into the starting 11. Arteta also will play most games when he is healthy. I would also love to see us add a DM and allow Song to move into an advanced role more often and hopefully that DM could strengthen our organization and improve our goals conceded stats. If Diaby is actually healthy he would be a bonus and would play his way back into the picture but counting on him is wishful thinking at best.

    I realize this leaves us with a congested midfield. However, I have never seen a season where Arsenal ends up having too many healthy and in form players over the course of a full season. Running thin and starting with some question marks has been our MO for years and always seems to leave us a little short. I also realize that will probably not happen but its fun to think about. I am hopeful of the DM but TBH I would be shocked if the new AM happened.

  108. Bill, you say we need another AM, who do you have in mind?
    The only player i have seen play is belhanda, i think he would be perfect.

  109. Anyone remember this midfield.
    What happened?

  110. As a wise man once said, “if they don’t play for Arsenal, Fuck ’em”

    Good post YW

  111. Harry Redknapp: “To be honest with you, I think the Champions League is overrated, Premier League is enough for me.”

    What a knob

  112. Say we do sign M’villa or Biglia(wont believe it until put pen to paper, even before I said I hope or want) I say if Jack and Ramsey aren’t fully back and Mozart needs a rest I wouldn’t mind seeing a midfield of say M’villa/Biglia/DM, Song, Arteta.

    They are all perfectly suited to cover for each other with all 3 able to pick out a pass or make the killer pass. As we have seen they may not be goal threats every time they touch the ball but do have goals in them. Arteta’s has 2 or 3 strikes from goal that were perfectly placed or with pure power, just ask Joe Hart. Song has scored a couple as I remember his strike earlier in the season off 1-2 touches in the box and then put it upper 90 with his left. M’villa can pick a pass to deadly strikers like RVP and Podolski not to mention play Theo free into space: stat attack on M’villa, 2010-2011 season passes attempted 2341 passes completed 1989 both led Ligue 1, thats 84% from your DM!

  113. “As a wise man once said, “if they don’t play for Arsenal, Fuck ‘em”


  114. dupsffokcuf | June 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    He would have been humming a different tune if they had qualified!

  115. @Khalifha

    Moozart found his form, Song remembered that he use to be an AM and he can pass, Arteta was signed, Arsene seems to want to sign a true DM to partner with Song allowing Song to push foward, Jack got injured….come on mate keep up HAHAHHAHAH

  116. Khalifha:

    No clue who we could get at this point. The ones I know about other then Geotze (?sp) have been taken. Eventually I would like to see us move to a system that we could use someone like Ox in that position. Make it more of an attacking and goal scoring position, rather then having our team depend on that position for ball distribution and playmaking. The ball distribution could come from all around the pitch with the main focal point being the deeper lying midfielder. The idea of freeing AA23 fit into that model but it was never going to happen with our current setup. The way we play now we need the player at the AM to be a creator first but it would really makes us much more dangerous if he was also a better finisher. Hopefully TR7 age and durability concerns will not be issues next season. Either Jack or Aaron will have to step up to do the job if TR7 can’t continue the form he showed late last year for any reason.

  117. billturner90

    Hazard, Kagawa, Belhanda…..who will the media wankers peg as the next “must have” player?

    Khalifa seems to have bought into it. I will remind you that there are hundreds of attacking midfielders around the world, not just the 5 names that the DAILYFAILure has told us about.

  118. Passenal

    I not sure Levy will be impressed with Arry’s comments.

  119. @dups

    We are talking about the same person who put a bank account in his pets name and claimed he couldn’t read or write right

  120. C

    Good job Rosie was able to fill in the forms then 🙂

  121. pedantic george

    TR7 and Andrei should have doo’s and turn’s with the AM position.Unless Diaby is cured,and he can also spell them.
    We actually need a Cesc with a backbone in the medium term.

  122. what about Gourcoff, I watched him play last season and he is still an excellent AM with plenty of goals in him. I read(can’t remember exactly where) that part of the reason that he wasn’t playing that much is because him and his manager got into it quite a bit and the manager would bench him.

  123. @dups

    O ‘Arry and his bag of Spuds. Bale said if Arry stays he stays lol I tell you its like the blind leading the blind

  124. pedantic george

    C ,is that the type of character we want?
    More Arteta’s for me.

  125. Never been a fan of Gourcoff.

  126. C
    Gourcuff is a good shout but he has completely lost his form.

    I wouldn’t mind chambo in that position.

    Don’t just say shit like that without facts. I have watched all three play after hearing they were linked to us(not youtube). Besides, wenger has mentioned on his column for eurosport that he is a huge belhanda fan, i doubt he bought into ‘media’

  127. well two of the biggest transfer targets are already gone. pity about kagawa. i like him both as a person and a player, can’t stress enough. and being east asian myself, i have a soft spot for him. i get called kagawa when i play football here. such a shame he is going to play for a team i dislike so so so much.

    but then again, i dislike most teams in england anyway.

  128. Ganso would be the perfect AM for the Arsenal trust me when I tell you guys and gals. I have watched him from when he was 16 to now and he is the perfect AM. Blessed with unbelievable vision, touch, and can score. Go check out Santos online from the Brazilian League. While Neymar is unverisally recoginized as one of the greatest talents in the world trust me when I tell you Ganso deserves to be in that conversation because he is not only the engine that drives Santos but the Samba boys as well. They have built their whole set up around Ganso and Neymar for not only the Olympics but for the World Cup as well. Ganso thats the AM we all want and Santos is rumored to only want around 13-15 million for him. Trust he would be well worth it.

  129. lol C.

    Bill, adding just M’V to the CM crew we have is enough in my view.

    with AA as AM, he’s covered solidly in defense:

    and thats w/o bringing TR, Rambo, Frimp or Coq into the rotation.

    add a solid reserve keeper +/- a 3rd striker and we are good to go double time.

  130. The french fans booed him off the pitch against iceland. Gourcuff has too much baggage, but viera/henry were out of form when we got them so … ?

  131. billturner90

    Khalifa, i respect your opinions on those players. And yes they probably are pretty talented, and yes I would like to have them on this team.

    We haven’t signed any of those “media favorite” players over the past few seasons, and I don’t see that pattern changing.

    On another note, I am going to see Radiohead and Caribou this sunday. Yes.

  132. @PG

    It was from what I remember a spat over his injury and then he was saying he was fit the manager was saying otherwise and then he got benched but if I’m not mistaken nobody for Lyon wanted to play for the coach but I could be wrong it was a during the season.

  133. pedantic george

    Why buy an out of form AM (Gourcuff) in the hope that he might become world class ,when we have an out of form AM (Arshavin) who we know was world class.

  134. @Khalifa

    And how did signing those 2 out of form French players who were very good before playing for our French coach pan out, aaaahhhhhhhhh I remember they teamed up with another French winger, a beautiful Dutchman and they became Invincible. Not saying adding this play making French man would make us Invincible but I could see a double.

  135. @PG

    Your right so scrap Gourcoff and Arshavin and sign Ganso!!!!

  136. .”a Cesc with a backbone in the medium term eh?”

    I like Gourcuff some..Ganso too, some but why bother with expensive medium term solutions?
    I say forget them for the team as it is.
    2013/14 will be more appropriate for a super duper midfield maestro. Expensive BUT worth it.

    I hope AA @ the euros reminds us of what he’s best at playing in his natural position of distributor

  137. Gourcuff would be a good signing IMO. He probobly moved to Milan too soon and its kinds stalled his career somewhat early. Hes 25 now and after 2 good seasons at Bordeaux its not really happened for him at Lyon. Similar in a way to Podolski, his big move early in his career havent worked out they way he hoped but now in mid 20s hes ready to give it another go. Podolski will be hungry, so too i reckon Gourcuff – especially since hes been left out of the french squad for the euros! We could sign him up right now…….. 😉

  138. C, i watched a youtube video of Ganso, on your recommendation – he looks like a quality player – wouldn’t mind having him at Arsenal. Not a fan of Neymar’s style from what I have seen. Neymar seems to be a Ronaldo type of player.

  139. C @ 4:54:

    Gourcoff is another name that I have heard and sounds like he might fit into our system. I worry because that position seems to be the single most important in our attacking system other then RVP. TR7 was superb in the last 15 games last season. If he can’t maintain last seasons form for any reason we will probably be in trouble. Having lots of good options at any position is ideal but especially that position for our team. I have hopes that Jack will eventually become the player who takes that position for many years. However, the old concern about killing him is probably not reasonable. If he is as good as we hope then his class and talent will eventually overcome any obstacles. He is still a teenager. Same thoughts with Aaron.

  140. YW,
    Two points in your post on which I’d like to comment:
    1. “Football is after all a results game, no matter the method”.This seems to be totally against your previously unchanging thinking on the Arsenal Way.
    2. I’ve only heard a Hodgson interview once (after the Belgium game). Never have I heard so many statements made, immediately followed by qualification or correction. Not a good start as he did not come across as someone in total control of his utterances.

  141. RVP can play the role of an AM, with Podolski up front. But I would feel comfortable with one more AM. Gourcoff may be a good option he is done with his injury problems.

  142. @Peacefrog

    I am a massive fan of Ganso and he is like a Kaka at Milan but with better vision and touch. What’s funny about Neymar is that he used to be all tricks and speed and now he has turned into truly a player that can do anything and everything he wants to do whenever he wants to do in on the pitch. He reminds me more of a Raul with more talent and whats scary is that he is only like 20.

    I agree ecspecially about Jack and Ramsey but the problem with that is what if they take say 2-3 yrs more and Mozart has another injury. I dont know if we do sign anybody personally I want a DM we will see.

  143. But if im honest id rather see a more defensive midfielder come in (M’vila seems to be the chap right now) simply because we definately need to shore up our defensive game. We shipped far too many goals last season which put to much presure on us to always have to go gung ho in games, thus leaving our defense more exposed. Id have the utmost faith in RVP, Podolski, Theo, Gerv, Rosicky, Arteta, Jack, Song and AlexOx to create and score goals against anyone. Indivdually our defenders are excellent but could do with more cover in front of them.

  144. Aside from RvP+TR, AA’s speed of thought & movement was lost on the likes of Ramsey & Theo..even Chamakh seemed to sync up easier albeit in the screener’s role.
    Losing Jack, Abou, Cesc & Samri didn’t help either.

    AW had to accommodate whoever was fit & available and with RvP’s multi-dimension. Gerv started hot, Theo was on, Rambo too & AA became increasingly irrelevant. He’s tried but he’s not a true winger. Doesn’t have the detachment nor physique for it.

    Ramsey overplayed in CM but it was not until Arteta clicked that solidity returned and considering our bad start AW stuck with what was working.

    Last season was a season of desperate adjustment not experimentation BUT with it under our belts it’s time, I think, to bring back the St.Petersburg maestro
    and unleash him in his Mr. Universe-approved best position.
    Goonerworld needs to enjoy & re-appreciate Andrei Arshavin for the genius that he is.

    i’d love to see AW switch up his starters every 2 games at least.

  145. oh i meant Ramsey not Song, but in saying that Song didnt half to a good job with his assists this season gone!

    Frimpong id loan out and blood Coq more next season with a new dm to mentor him

  146. @Aman

    We are good enough to win the PL next season and to be honest even the CL but definetly do the double!

  147. corr:

    i’d love to see AW switch up most of his starters every 2 games.
    I believe most teams are really scared of the Arse, fit & healthy

  148. C, I have seen just one video of Neymar which seemed to highlight his trickery with the ball. Pele certainly has seen something in Neymar to declare him to be better than Messi.

  149. we just need our players fit and healthy.

    having said that, if you can find me a player suitable in terms of personality, price and ability, by all means.

  150. Diese @ 5:34:

    I am certainly on board with the defensive thing and bringing in a DM would be first on the list. In an ideal world I would love to see both a DM and AM but doubt that will happen. Hopefully TR7 will hold up as AM and Jack will slowly work his way into that position and may be first choice by March or April. Thats wishful thinking but IMO the ideal scenario for next season.

  151. ” — Harry Redknapp: “To be honest with you, I think the Champions League is overrated, Premier League is enough for me.”

    What a knob ” —-

    He’s a knob and a simpleton but I believe he is smart to say this. He has many players on his team that may want to leave in search of Champ League play. Possibly he is having a difficult time attracting players because Spurs are not in the CL this year. I am sure Levy doesn’t mind that Harry says this for public posturing. Ol ‘arry probably has a different message behind closed doors.

  152. @peacefrog

    What people in South American newpapers ecspecially in Brazil and Argentina say is that, Messi is so supremely talented obviously 1 of the best players in world but is part of his sucess due to the genius of Xavi and Inesta because he struggles terribly while playing for Argentina and its not like they have a bunch of Barton’s, he’s playing beside players like Tevez, Aguero, Di Maria all players who are universally considered to be extremely talented and Aguero and Tevez borederline world class strikers and players. While Neymar has produced regardless of club or country. Its interesting debate on this side of the globe though.

  153. Gourcuff has had a terrible season at Lyon. He was dropped by Blanc (his former coach during his emerging years in Bordeaux) from the French team.

  154. Aman@5.41 broadly I agree…but when does any team see us fit and healthy?!

    Fit & healthy would have made a HUGE difference in the last 7 years. 😉

    I think we’re on the cusp of something amazing but it all depends on strengthening from here – which means holding on to what we have and making 2 more decent signings (minimum).

    If this summer goes south – we could just as easily find ourselves in a tough battle for fourth.

  155. pedantic george

    When Henry left,our star player ,we were better the following year
    When Fabregas left,our star player ,we were better the following year
    Perhaps we should sell Robin?Or at least stop fretting.

  156. Neymar is good but needs more playmakers around him. Against Mexico he went one on three was stopped easily. Santos played Barca in the FIFA World Club Championship last year and was easily stopped. Messi out played him. This is Brasil’s problem. we can’t lose RVP. This will kill the guys.

  157. Jonny @ 5:58:

    No doubting that!!

  158. Agreed Philmar – Gourcuff would be a huge gamble right now. As PG says better to hold on to AA (though I still think he is as good as gone).

    BillTurner – Hazard and MVila came to prominence in the media in part because Wenger was interested in signing them. Ditto Kagawa for Fergie. The media spout some names at random but the examples you have cited are not especially good.

    I took interest in Mvila because Wenger tried to sign him. I did the same with Chamakh.

    I trust Wenger’s judgement and it piques my interest when he is after a player.

    There is a difference.

  159. @thegeeman

    Interestign point you make about the Mexico-Brazil match, if you remember he got fouled on that darting run (if were talking about the same run) and the defender got fouled. Yes he does need play makers but who doesn’t. Supremely talented, no doubt about it. Still learning at only 20 but with a phenominal goal return: Brazil 9goals in 17 matches, for club 107 goals in 181 matches in all competitions for Santos. The whole Santos got outplayed that day against Barca. Again for me though Ganso is the player!

  160. billturner90

    Jonny I understand where you are coming from and I agree. One can’t help but think about the past 10 players we’ve signed, and how many of them happened under the radar of the media.

  161. billturner90

    I think Dexter pointed it out earlier. No one foresaw the Arteta signing and his has turned out to be the most fruitful purchase in recent memory. Without Arteta in the lineup we only won a single game, which was the last match against WBA.

  162. @billturner90

    Dont forget Kos

  163. Yup Wenger’s certainly always good for a left field signing – I just wish he had taken a punt on him sooner. Always liked Arteta.

  164. “When Henry left,our star player ,we were better the following year. When Fabregas left,our star player ,we were better the following year” – But we wernt ‘better’ enough to actually win something, or in the case of last year even close!

    “Perhaps we should sell Robin?” – Na, how about we keep RVP, bring in reinforcements/upgrades and push on – not play replace the star player again and wait another season!

  165. @DeiseGooner

    I completely agree with you!

  166. pedantic george

    Just trying to ready myself for his loss.
    But yes Deise and c,you are both right.That is what we should hope for and work towards.

  167. @PG

    I’m not sure what the hell to do. RVP has said he loves this club, his wife and mother(for anybody married man knows the weight that carries) and I do believe that he doesn’t want to leave but am just not sure. I think if he leaves it will be more respectful and class than the one’s from last summer that shall not be named.

  168. I’m still torn on the idea of keeping RVP for another season if he won’t sign.

    Most people on here seem to think we should – I am not sure – I guess it depends on numerous factors.

    It would certainly create a difficult position between player and fans – each great goal would be like a shard through the heart!

  169. Upper Street Gooner

    The only year it appeared to have really positive affect was when Henry left and ade stepped up brilliantly. Last year all our amc combined didn’t replicate what a half fit cesc did the year before in terms of goals and assists, this is what our amc should be judged first and foremost on. We hail song getting 11 assists but look how many we conceded. We dont want song having to bail us out of games going forward we ideally would like our front 4 to do this so we can maintain better shape at the back.

    I just dont see how we can afford to lose RVP and Theo this summer again considering how incredibly reliant we were on their goals and assists last year.

    If we can keep them and bring in a dm who LOVES to defend, organise and intimidate first second and third in terms of his priorities plus added to better defending and attacking as a collective group i think we can have a excellent opportunity to challenge on all fronts.

  170. @Jonny

    I honestly believe that inorder for us to sign RVP we must already have a player in place that will allow us to continue playing and not alter to much of how we play or it could be a disaster. I believe that we should keep him and let him play his contract out because more than anything it will also be inspiration for the players to maybe say to themselves: “Hey we are the one’s on teh pitch so we must go out and play hard to win trophies not only for Arsene, the fans and ourselves but if it is a last hoorah for our tailsmanic Captain that we send him off with trophies.” I have seen it here in the states with the teams and players and this group of Arsenal players really seemed to enjoying not only playing together but playing for each other and fighting for Arsene and the red & white of Arsenal the same way that he has fought for each of them.

  171. Noticed there is not that much going on in the transfer market at the moment across Europe could be good for arsenal should be some real quality going on the cheap personally I think we will be able to pick up real quality for the right money if we can get the Dutch winger from barca for 6 million it will be a steal if you read between the lines Dempsey is on his way we were in for him last year and he has just had a better year

  172. And that thing about Rooney not passing to theo I have noticed that over a few games there is defo somthing wrong maybe shrek asked theo s nan out and she turned him down

  173. Podolski can play where RVP plays. So if RVP doesn’t sign a new deal hel be around while Poldi settles in and then takes over. Poldi can also play where Gerv plays on the left, moving Gerv over to the right or to the bench. Gervs second season should be better, hopefully he takes more responsability in front of goal as his instincts are good in and around the box.

  174. Why would Dempsey come to us? He’d be on the bench and he knows it.

    Unlikely if you ask me – he likes to play.

  175. Mexes instead of Kos again. Blanc you are a twat.

  176. Upper Street Gooner

    the font

    i think there is some genuine interest from our side in Dempsey.

    From a playing perspective he is a player who adds to the squad in terms of offering a genuine goal threat from the AMC position although i cant help but think he is a similar version to what we want Ramsey to become and we know how our manager feels at bringing in experience that could stunt a young potential star.

    I also look at it from a marketing perspective. These next 3-4 years are incredibly important for us to attract fans from the far east, africa and states. These fans are making their supporting decisions now and we cant be left behind. The signing of the first top top draw american player who isn’t a keeper who is in his prime would be massive for the club.

    One has to believe that our incredibly expensively assembled marketing team realise that the commercial contracts we make in 2014 are so important for this club. To do so with a major american and japanese player in our ranks could be huge

  177. A few reasons jonny – champions league football with a payrise to see out his playing days at the top of the club game

    But id rather AlexOx to get the game time centrally so he can take over from Rosicky.

  178. @DeiseGooner

    I completely agree with you about Gervinho next season and going foward. Every team that he has played for even from what I have read about his youth days says that his 1st year he is decent adn teh 2nd season on he is a true talent and constant goal/assist threat. He is always in the right spot just didn’t have the confidence ecspecially after the ACN debacle that his team faced but I bet we will see 10+ goals and assists even if he is a supersub running at FB’s tired legs after they deal with Podolski and Theo for 60-70 mins. Not only that but you make a great point about Podolski being able to slide in for RVP, that is key for me because that means that RVP can get rest. In matches that were winning 5-0 or 4-1, RVP can come off and Podolski can easliy slide to the middle and then maybe another match when Podolski tires and RVP is still running strong, Gervinho or the Ox can come in for Podolski. We have the potential next season to literally score at will with our explosive fire power and say Park or Chamakh stay and have confidence and through in a couple of icing on teh cakes: RVP, Podolski, Theo, Ox, Gervinho, Chamakh! that is quite the impressive striker/winger force at Arsene’s desposal!

  179. Upper Street Gooner


    Firstly arsenal fans need to get away from this notion of our favourite starting 11. We make up all sorts of excuses for not competing on 4 fronts but none of them ever seem to touch on the notion that we dont have enough quality to compete on 4 fronts. Even last years tiny 2 point improvement in the league led to us dropping out of cups earlier. Why not for once build the squad under the pretence that there will be lots of injuries and we may go deep in cups.

    Secondly the idea that Dempsey wouldn’t compete immediately for a starting spot is nonsense.

    Rosicky showed he has tremendous spirit and work ethic and is exactly the sort of excellent versatile squad player we need to keep our midfield full of energy. what he didn’t show last year was the ability to score or make enough goals.

    If we want to improve as a team we need to score more and concede less. One of our major problems at the back is the amount of players we always send forward. we can do this less if the players we use in attack do more. dempsey scored more goals in the past 2 seasons as rosicky has in his career.

    George said earlier that a midfield of arteta song and rosicky has the best balance of any 433 midfield he has seen. That midfield scored 9 goals between them last year and managed 20 assists. Those numbers are pedestrian considering the opportunities an attacking side like ours create, especially considering they as a 3 still dont shield us as well as other midfields

  180. @Upper Street Gooner

    Here in the states most people have already made their choice about team a couple of years ago and many have chosen Barca, Chavs, MAnure, Madrid, Milan or Manshiteh because they have expansive money. Personally living here in the states and being 25 and following Arsenal since I was 6 and my futbol coach taught me and loved Arsenal, I will say fuck all those teams! Dempsey doesn’t really have a following here in the states but Donovan does which is odd but you see more Donovan Everton shirts than Dempsey Fulhman shirts. The way to attract US fans honestly is by everything that Arsenal doesn’t stand for: being cocky, spending upsurd amounts of money, having players that are outrageously over the top, a manager/coach who speaks his mind and sometimes speaks crazily. The other day I compared 2 of the clubs I love, Arsenal and the Steelers, in the states people tend not to like either 1(the Steelers have a following but like Arsenal it is due to generations of support not to mention their playing style along with always competing and finally for what they stand for).

  181. c – i dont think we will see both Park and Chamakh here next season. Maybe one might stay on the books but at least 1 will go i reckon. Neither had any real impact on the first team last season, between them they made 1 start and 11 sub appearances in the league.

    Then if you add Vela and Bendtner to the mosk likely outgoings on the striker front, both have said they want to go, with Vela looking to have secured a future at Sao Paulo.

    Thats 4 strikers with little to no playing time for us last season and it seems little to no future at Arsenal

    30 league matches with 12-15 goals from Podolski next season will itself overshadow all 4 of those players last 2 seasons impact at Arsenal

  182. @The Font,
    By Jove, I think you’ve got it. Rooney got the Big E from Nan Walcott, so no passes from old Red Mist…….. OX C you have been warned!

  183. @Deise

    I think somebody isn’t reading the posts, I said:”and say Park or Chamakh stay and have confidence and through in a couple of icing on teh cakes” that means I expect 1 of them to be gone.

    Bendtner is almost assured to be gone as Dortmund have repeatidly said that they want him and are willing to buy him right after Euros. You ment Denilson secured a future at Sao Paulo with Vela securing a future at probably Real Sociedad. I personally want Vela to stay as I think he would be phenominal as a supersub off the bench ala his countryman and friend Chicharito but I’m not sure if Vela has matured enough to accept that massive role at a club.

    I need you also not to forget about the massive contribution that Chamakh did have for us when RVP was out injured and we needed and leaned on Chamakh to lead the strike force. Even at the end of the season you could see the confidence was coming back in Chamakh so don’t just throw him away yet, not to mention the lad said he wants to stay and fight for a spot.

  184. c – is that what that meant…..! 🙂
    Of course you are correct Vela at Sociedad and Denilson at Sao Paulo.
    Chamakh did a superb job when he first came and i thought he would continue to be effective for us, but he seems to have totally dropped off his game to the extent that he wasnt even let off the bench apart from a handful of games. I dont think hes a fit for Arsenal. What happened with Park wel never know i suppose.

  185. Upper Street Gooner


    But the whole point about the states is that the market isnt saturated yet. There are millions of fans who dont like football there are millions more women and children who play unitl college and then stop. The hardcore fans are mainly spoken for but what about tomorrows hardcore fans?

    Dempsey is on the cusp of being an elite player over here. to score 23 goals fro fulham is astonishing. If can be part of a very competitive arsenal side next year his profile over there will only grow especially with our smart marketing people. Its a huge opportunity for nike to reach US soccer markets.

    If we enter next season looking like this:

    ???? Juskallinen Gordon (both free)


    Miquel (loan)


    Frimpong (loan)



    Myachi (loan)

    Afobe (loan)

    This squad if we can keep our brilliant frustrating russian is good enough for me to think that is can rotate enough to compete on all fronts. There is depth in every area. I’m no expert on finances but if we cant afford m’vila and dempsey plus their wages we may as well give up

  186. @Deise

    I think Park has bags of goals in him, everytime he played he seemed to score or get some shots on goal but struggled to get 1st team action. With the reserves, for country he seemeed to score. I just think Chamakh had shell shock because he didn’t have a chance in hell once RVP got rolling and lost all sort of confidence but always worked hard. The last couple of matches he looked really good and hopefully it will carry over if he stays and if not then I really do wish him the best and loads of goals just not against Arsenal if we play him.

  187. @Deise

    There is no doubt in my mind that we can compete on all fronts ecspecially winning the PL. The key for us is that we must have some kind healthy run or even have key players healthy for long periods.

  188. pedantic george

    I take your point and have admitted we need more goals from MF .But I think that midfield is wonderfully balanced.

  189. Super goal from Benzema for France

  190. I think Dempsey will have a lot to offer us a 15 goal a season a/ m no nonsense all action player who reminds me of david platt at his best the mans a goal machine for a very average fulham side in our price range wages fold we could do worse

  191. Jack Wilshere ‏@JackWilshere

    I’m afraid to say I will be deactivating account for a little while as I step up my rehab and push for next season.

    Seems the club are stopping the players from saying to much over the summer.

  192. Nicky Just been confirmed Walcott nan said she’s not going to euro s to dangerous my room is on the next floor to rooney but she would like to make it clear that her only. Interest is growing potatoes on his head

  193. ” Agreed Philmar – Gourcuff would be a huge gamble right now. As PG says better to hold on to AA (though I still think he is as good as gone). ”

    Personally I think Andrei is done as far as being an everyday elite player. He’s one that I would cull for new blood. In the Guardian Euro coverage I read a quote by his coach Spalletti (ex-Roma) at Zenit who roughly said he played at his level in only on 1 out of 5 games he played since he returned. Rare that a coach criticizes a player publicly. He is STILL out of match shape, even for the Euros. So even after returning to Russia he can’t be bothered to get in match shape (seems like a year now he’s been trying to get in shape which should be the minimum requirement of a footballer). Andrei was picked by the Guardian’s Russian correspondent as the most likely to be a disappointment at the Euros. I suspect his scoop pass to Thierry will be my last fond memory of him in an Arsenal shirt. He saved us his first half season, secured us Champions League spot and that was worth his transfer price tag. Just don’t know if he was worth his salary the last couple years. If only moneybags Russian team Anzi would buy him to stand next to Eto’o.

  194. I’m not saying Dempsey could not do a job but I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest there is any substance to the rumours.

    Furthermore he is not the top, top quality I would like to see added.

  195. Upper Street Gooner

    if we can go into next year with arteta, song, m’vila, rosicky, wilshere, diaby, coqulin, ramsey, dempsey in our squad competing week in week out we will have exceptional depth.

    both coqulin and song very able defensive subs as well. 5 needed for any match day squad.

    with this depth covering all areas all 4 comps can be targeted.

  196. Upper Street Gooner


    what is top quality to you?

    is international football a better bench mark than league football?

    Look where podolski international goals have come against in the main. pretty rubbish teams, thailand, licheinstein, san marino, azerbijan, khazakstan, south africa. do any of these teams defences resemble bottom of championship standard….nope.

    so his being top class comes from 3 very good performances from league seasons in germany. well clint has done that in the premiere league. i’m ecstatic with the podolski signing as its taking an excellent undervalued player from a smaller club who can reach another level in our system. The same is true of arteta, mertasacker, santos.

    kagawa is a trendy pick but look at what he has done in terms of goals and assists and compare that to dempsey.

    im not interested in erikson or kagawa i think we are close to challenging now if we get in the right players now. dempsey will take no time to adapt and can hit the ground running from a fresh summer.

  197. No koscielny in the french starting line up and nasri playing? Couldn’t be bothered watching.

    Provided we get M’villa this is what my 25 man squad would look like.
    First Eleven

    Alex chamberlain


    Players with the sign ‘*’ are not guaranteed their places.

  198. Let’s put it this way – when Wenger show some clear interest I’ll be more interested.

    All I have heard so far is media fluff.

  199. If we get m.villa who drops out arteta played a deeper role than song last season artetas stats stand out with the best songs do not but we have all seen song on his day and he can be immense will wenger play song further forward if that’s the case were will jack fit in i think there are growing proportions of away support who are not totally convinced about song s simple game the lob pass is great when it works but gives away possession when it fails

  200. Well said upper street about Dempsey but if we could get ericsen we would be ready to challenge on all fronts

  201. The font.
    The only reason i see one of Song or Arterta dropping out is because wenger will not spend £17M or more on m’villa(hypothetically) and leave him on the bench, not in 17million years.

  202. The font.
    Hell no on Ericksen, we have wilshere/chamberlain that are of similar age already in that position, who is to say if given the chance they won’t perform better than him. I definately see chamberlain scoring more goals than jack and ericksen.

  203. Jonneyneal Dempsey is proven premier league one in the hand is worth two in the bush

  204. Kos playing as DM for France in last 30 minutes

  205. Khalifa. Ericsen is rated the jack wilshere of Ajax he is slightly more adventurous than jack I rate jack already as one of the best in the world wilshere and ericsen would be better than any other pairing in the world

  206. Khalifa ox possibly will play in the hole his best position is not known yet but I agree another world class player in the making and watch out for serge gnarby

  207. The font.
    I havn’t seen serge play before. What’s he like?

    One dose of dailycrap coming up

  208. After watching England’s last few games & now France last few games I have come a conclusion. England have two chances. Little chance or no chance.

  209. Upper Street Gooner


    i agree.

    ericson is similar to young talents we have. dempsey would view us a his pinnicle move.

    we are ready to compete. there should be no excuses next year as to squad depth. no we cant spend like city but we can spend smarter.

    we have a very good squad of players currently and complimented by 2-3 excellent additions and a significant improvement in our application of our tactics then we can really challenge on all fronts.

  210. Chezzer sags verm. Kozzer merts m.villa. Jack ericsen. Poldy ox Rvp
    SUBs. Walcott Gervino gibbs miquel Dempsey song for me this would be the dream

  211. Sorry Yogi but i got another link here.

    Forgot that he is a free agent, then Surely Gordon is too good to ignore.

  212. I have a sneaky feeling we will sign m.villa and Dempsey but not ericsen and maybe giroud but I must admit I am finding it hard to find spaces for players I like I can not see wenger signing too many more I would like to see frimpy and coq given chances next year

  213. Johnny, redknapp is a sly devil.
    After refusing to sign a new contract for spuds in febuary while he was linked to the england job he now has the guts to threaten their chairman, i think they deserve eachother.

  214. Upper Street Gooner

    His issue is that he goes public, what he actually says is right. numerous examples across a plethora of different sports whereby lame duck head coaches fail to get the best out of their squads in their final years.

    He uses the media to apply pressure in his favour. Levy now has less wiggle room, failure to offer contract and resulting poor form is now on him. If he offers new contract harry wins. If spurs start really well he will have to offer harry a bigger contract than he would have been willing to do.

    It looks dirty and i love our manager not doing such things but its a common part of european football and arrry is very good at it

  215. “Seems the club are stopping the players from saying to much over the summer.”

    What makes you think that dupsoffkcuf?

    USG – you’ve almost convinced me about Dempsey – it will be interesting to see whether Arsene is thinking along the same lines!

  216. The font, am a big fan of both players, but at arsenal we don’t always get what we want, so i won’t get my hopes up for dempsey or ericksen but m’villa? I Want.

    We got 3rd place, if we don’t make the most of this summer i will be terribly disappointed.

  217. Upper Street Gooner


    i just think wenger learnt allot last summer. I think he saw the way nasri and cesc treated him so wont be caught unawares with rvp and walcott. I also think he saw the huge benefit of signing experienced players but also players used to the intensity of a quick, robust highly passionate league.

    Arteta was outstanding last year he was used to the league, comfortable in his family life and used to the unforgiving nature of the weather, stadiums and amount of games.

    German players have it similar with the budesliga.

    dempsey is desperate for this move a move he has worked his entire career for. Having him wilshere and rosicky all capable of playing against different opposition puts us in a wonderful position. that added to his marketing and relativly cheap cost makes me think we would be interested

  218. I get the feeling we would have moved for Dempsey already if we were actually interested.

    There isn’t anything to stop us having made an approach by now – he’s not playing at The Euros.

    That being the case it’s hard to get too excited about something which has from the start smelt media cooked and certainly does not seem like a priority.

  219. That brings you to dembele v dempsey which suits us better

  220. Johnny, if we are interested, the price Fulham are asking could be the stumbling block. The transfer window does not open officially in the UK until 1st July. He may not be a high priority signing so we could be waiting to see if the price drops later in the window. Arsene usually buys his main target early and then looks for deals later on. Remember, we still have players we need to move on to make room in the squad before we buy.

  221. Yup good points there Pass but all seems if, maybe and perhaps.

    To be clear I don’t think he would be a bad signing.- I am just a little sceptical at it being anything other than media fluff.

    Not really sure we should be looking for ‘deals’ this time – just want to get our 2-3 signings in the door in the best times we can.

    If only it were that simple eh? 😉

  222. I understand what you are saying Jonny, but as long as we are trying to live within our own means, we still have to expect ‘deals’ rather than ‘splashing the cash’. I am not the biggest advocate of Dempsey, but I do feel that USG has made some good points and has certainly got me thinking he could be a realistic option in the short to medium term while our talented youngsters mature with less pressure to perform immediately.

    Really interesting interview with Ivan Gazidis on I am glad he has spoken to all fans in advance of the AST and Shareholders meeting tomorrow – makes it harder for them to hijack the agenda

  223. Pass

    English window opens the first weekend after the end of the season if the player is already in the same league so someone like Dempsey for example could be signed now. The July 1st window is for international transfers.

  224. Tomorrow’s post is here from midnight:

    Unless of course you are reading this today, then that is the link to today’s post. Things could be messy if you are trawling through this at a later date when the best way to describe it would be, “The post for 6th June 2012”.

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