Giroud Puts His Left Leg In, Loads Put Their Right Out; The Arsenal Hokey-Cokey Is Under Way

So Olivier Giroud‘s move is confirmed with the usual platitudes and ambitions on display. The French international emulated most of his squad colleagues in failing to shine at Euro2012 which frankly counts for nothing; it is club form upon which he was selected and that consistency brought him to Arsenal.

The additions of Lukas Podolski and Giroud to the squad underline that last summer’s lessons have been learned. Not in the signing of quality players but in understanding presentation of transfers allows them to dictate the agenda. Strengthening before selling has quashed criticism with widespread approval for the strategy; it makes for a more pleasant feeling, one where the hopes and expectations of a new season can grow without an overspill of negativity due to summer activities.

Of course there remains the question of Robin van Persie’s future to vex minds. Understandably the media coverage causes distress to some but that should not be treated with contempt; there are genuine concerns that one of the world’s top strikers might leave. This discomfort is underpinned by the loss of Cesc and Nasri, following on from a decade where there was constant speculation over the futures of the likes of Henry, Vieira and Ljungberg.

It is not just supporters who feel the frustration, the manager alluded to it in the Dutch media recently voicing his disquiet that richer clubs steal players he has developed, budget constraints at Arsenal meaning that competing with those seemingly bottomless pockets is difficult. The players say they are leaving because they have ambitions to win trophies, conveniently overlooking their own contributions to those failures. That is not absolving anyone from blame but we need to recognise that whilst the buck stops with the manager, any number of factors can influence results over a season. Some are in the control of the club, some are not.

With van Persie, we know nothing except the speculation which surrounds him. In terms of his future, he will decide what is best for him with the answer found once he has sifted through the ambition, money and family reasons. Whatever rationale is applied, I am not sure the club could do much more. We simply cannot compete on purely financial terms; there is no point berating Arsenal for not paying him enough since the pot for wages is finite at the club.

Ivan Gazidis recently spoke of paying for the future potential of players. That applies to van Persie as much as it does Bendtner. With the Dutchman, there are more grounds to be optimistic that he will deliver the goals needed to challenge. His record stands that scrutiny, the Dane’s does not. Yet there is still doubt, no-one knows how his finishing will be next season; you just hope that it does not suffer by comparison to this one.

With players moving on, the pot available becomes bigger but a contract negotiation is not as simple as agreeing a weekly wage of £150k per week. How that is split between guaranteed salary and motivational bonuses, pensions and all manner of other aspects make them more complex than the simplistic presentation we read in the back pages. With Glasgow Rangers on the verge of ceasing to exist as a result of tax evasion, clubs are acutely aware of making sure that everything is watertight lest they be landed with a large and unexpected bill from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Arsenal have already been stung on this with a House of Lords ruling in 2005 landing them with a retrospective tax bill. It is the last thing that they need.

Speculation about his future is not going to abate until it is resolved. Last night saw authoritative claims that the Dutchman had agreed a deal with City with an astronomical wage quote. I don’t think that to be correct; the sum is less than Rooney earns at Manchester United if reports are to be believed. Perhaps he has agreed the deal but Arsenal are refusing to allow him to leave until all of their transfer activity is completed, certainly for new signings and that includes all positions.

This morning sees claims that the deals for Vela to Sociedad and Squillaci to Bastia have fallen through. With Denilson also returning from Sao Paulo and Zenit denying anything is in place for Arshavin, it seems at first glance that we will have two squads worth of players next season. Despite those reports contradicting ones earlier this week, we still know nothing about their futures. The rumour is that when the members packs are despatched from Arsenal, this year’s gift is to be 10 tonnes of salt for use when reading transfer gossip.

The long summer begins as Euro2012 reaches its conclusion. There is but brief respite before pre-season training begins and before that the first qualifiers are played (next week the Sammarinese, Andorran and Faroe clubs meet their counterparts from Luxembourg, Malta and Northern Ireland).

Speculation is all part of football; it exists even whilst the season is under way. It’s the way of the footballing world; always has been, always will. Remember 99% of it is wrong and as for the other 1%, well, we’re all allowed a lucky guess every now and then.

’til Tomorrow.

 

 

Posted on June 27, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 261 Comments.

  1. I didn’t know that Frank.

    How strange.

  2. Mornnig YW as per norm a wonderful, WE’ll just have to wait and see how the RVP negotiations etc pan out…

  3. I switch on an almost daily basis from thinking RVP is off or is staying. It will be better for all concerned to have an answer either way asap. At least you can say we have a couple of players already signed to cushion the blow if he does leave. But what a mouthwatering strikeforce we would have if he stays.

  4. egbebi ridwan opeyemi

    welcome olivier giroud. May God let you raise trophy for us.

  5. Good Post, i’ve been a fan since 96-97 season and is it me or do we have this problem every just about every year with our best players being linked to another team. we always have to wait and see what the player wants to do, just once i would like one of our players to say i’m not going anywhere i’m gonna stay and make a real go of it. i’m sick of every year sitting for 2-3 months waiting to see what our star player is gonna do. true not all go but the majority do. imho its not looking good for RVP, we have signed two top strikers in a system where we play with a lone striker(yes podolski can play on the wing) but somebody is gonna be sitting the bench if RVP stays and what top player wants to do that? hopefuly Jackie boy will be fit for the season to lead us to glory 🙂 anyway its gonna be a long summer and i’m dreading it. C’mon arsenal.

  6. Limestonegunner

    Nice one, YW. We called it hokey-pokey out here.

  7. Bananas.

    Call him ‘Alfihar’, Bob.

  8. Hopey pokey is icecream is it not?

  9. Oh dear. ‘Hokey pokey’ is ice cream. Seem to remember Linda Thompson singing about it in biblical times.

  10. antplays – you say someone will be sitting on the bench if RVP stays and performs like last season. Thats true to an extent, but hot often did we have a game sown up and didnt sub RVP. How often would it have been nice to rest RVP but have a quality replacement? And tell me if he goes to City (seems the only place that can afford him , right?) who will besitting on the bench there? They have even more strikers than us………………I dont understand why City would be in for RVP – if not to just weaken a rival because they have money enough to do just that and not have to worry……..

  11. Fact is, having done some early transfer business upfront, we’re in no rush to conclude the RVP deal. Man City will need to offload some strikers of their own in order to free up cash to buy RVP. Not because they have a shortage of cash, but because of FFP. They’re looking to off Tevez and Adebayor, I would think, as a minimum but given that neither of these players has been involved in the Euros and they’re still at City, there don’t appear to be too many takers at the wage levels they’ll be looking for. Given RVP is under contract to us, we’re under no pressure to sell. Once they get rid of their glut of forwards, they’ll have a load of cash and will be in a rather more pressing need to buy a striker of quality. Putting us in a better negotiating position around price.
    For once, we’re the ones with the better hand to play. And I isincerely hope Gazidis and Wenger will look to play that hand out….

  12. Yogi a very nice read this morning, the last paragraph sums it up very well though I think in recent times speculation has gotten out of hand since it is taken as the gospel truth.

  13. Limestonegunner

    Just shouldn’t be trying to sell RvP to City, nor should he be accepting such a move to a league rival. He’s not Nasri, he’s Arsenal’s captain. As much as Cesc is derided here, he would never have gone to another English club, and RvP’s character is of a higher standard, I feel.

    Hopefully he is reflecting on his Euro experience and coming to the right conclusions.

  14. LSG,
    At the end of the day, RVP is just another footballer passing through our club. Best we don’t project our own love for the club on employees who don’t necessarily feel as we do….

  15. Always tease tease tease
    Siempre – coqetiando y enganyando
    You’re happy when I’m on my knees
    Me arrodilla y estas feliz
    One day is fine, next is black
    Un dias bien el otro negro
    So if you want me off your back
    Al rededar en tu espalda
    Well come on and let me know
    Me tienes que desir
    Should I stay or should I go?
    Me debo ir o que darme

  16. DeiseGooner – big fan let me say first of all, and yes i agree with you 100% about not being able to sub him off last season and it prob did hurt him towards the end with fatigue. thinking back though what world class star has seen out his career at arsenal since Bergkamp, and the famous back 5. i don’t see him going to CIty though i believe he is a lot smarter then Nasri, if he goes it will be to spain or italy if anyone overthere want him.

  17. Sensational Arsenal

    Lets not bash RvP until he leaves. True, he is taking his own sweet time, whatever the reasons are. If he does leave, it will be very sad and Arsenal fans will have a reason to feel agreived. Lets not jump to conclusions though.

    I believe there are plenty of reasons for him to stay. Lets just be positive.

  18. Lets not get too disappointed if we dont sell any players. we only have 30 players over 21. we could simply leave 5 out of the 25 man squads for premier leagie and champions league and it doesnt necessarily jave to be the same 5. for example name 20. then the remaining 10 are split into 2 groups one for the cups and one for the leagues. my 10 to be divided are everyones favourites to leave squillaci botelho eastmond denilson lansbury arshavin park bendtner chamakh vela in fact add martinez shea and a few defenders/midfielders and u have a fairly capable carling cup/fa cup squad.
    my 20 for all competitions szcesney fabianski mannone sagna djourou koscielny mertesacker vermaelen gibbs santos song arteta rosicky diaby ramsey walcott rvp giroud podolski gervinho. then u have the unlimited u21s .

  19. CED & LSG;

    Very good (divergent) points dudes. I agree with both to a certain extent. I feel the club is in a very strong bergaining position, in terms of dealing with the player (and blood sucking, piece of blackest coal for a heart agent/adviser) as well as any interested clubs.

    However, I see the selling of any of our better players to City (or the chavs, other mancs for that matter) a complete no no.

    And I would hope the manager and Gazidis feel exactly the same.

    But anyways, it is all STILL pure speculation. Vieira was out the door to Real, everything was agreed and we were about to sign his replacement (Carrick) until the player just couldn’t bring himself to leave the Arsenal. Now, I have my own opinions on that particular episode, but I feel it’s pertinent here, nonetheless.

  20. Really funny title this morning, made me laugh. Wonderful post by the way as usual.

  21. ClockEndRider | June 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

    “Given RVP is under contract to us, we’re under no pressure to sell.”

    If he is 100% not going to sign then I would suggest we are under considerable pressure to sell. Am I the only person who thinks he cannot be allowed to go into his last season to then effectively become a free agent in 5 months?

    A 15-20m asset being allowed to depreciate to zero in that time. Arsenal is a business after all.

  22. CER not CED, sorry.

  23. How much of players contract is guareented and how much is performace based? Can the club opt out if the player is not perfroming up to expectations?m How much time does RVP have left on his contract? Can the club force him to play out his contract?

  24. Steve

    I am of the opinion that keeping RvP for one last season and then seeing him leave on a free is not ideal, but acceptable IMO. I think AW wanted to do similar with nasri but this was blocked by the board.

    However, with RvP, I think we have a stronger case for allowing this to occur. He has been with us a lot lot longer and perhaps, just perhaps he should be afforded this opportunity.

  25. Also Steve his age will be against him in a years time. That big money move may be now or never. Remember what Elvis said?

    Just like a willow,
    We would cry an ocean
    If we lost true love
    And sweet devotion
    Your lips excite me,
    Let your arms invite me
    For who knows when
    Well meet again this way

  26. Surely Elvis sang that? He might have said it when he first read the lyrics, I suppose. Maybe ‘vocalised’ would be more apt?

  27. It was actually a conversation between Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe in 1978. Costello quoted Presley’s lyrics to illustrate a point about the Social Contract.

  28. Dex

    I would disagree completely mate. Don’t wish to sound negative and be abused on that basis, but he should be afforded fuck all. He has been offered a contract on we assume an enormous amount of money within our business model, he is entirely within his rights to accept it or not and would leave with the best wishes of most fans I assume (though I do love seeing how quickly fans turn on former idols who dare to take up employment elsewhere).

    We’re a business, a very well run business. A 20m sale for example, top end of the figures being guessed at, virtually negates the cost of the two players we have signed this summer. Two signings incidentally which ‘allows’ us to countenance his departure. As has been said a few times now those two pieces of business puts us in a very strong position in a sense.

    Still does not mean we can allow the above scenario to happen. You could argue that havign already committed to the spend of Podolski/Giround then any van Persie fee for example = M’Vila.

    It’s basic finances of running a business I would think. Many, you included I suspect, disagree.

    As it stands I expect us to be taking a hit on a few other players, those we may assume to be getting a fee for could well be allowed to leave either for free or on a much lesser deal simply to reduce a somewhat bloated salary bill.

  29. Limestonegunner

    Best for whom, ClockEnd? You should speak for yourself there as I don’t have a problem imagining that players at a club for 8 years might also feel that in pursuing their own best interests they don’t want to hurt those they have worked closely with. I don’t see any benefit to strengthening a league rival and would hope our captain understands that as well as the club officials.

    Several good points, Dex. I am firmly in the camp of keeping RvP for competitive reasons if he is committed to captaining us next season but not yet ready to sign an extension. We could win the league with him leading a stronger side and that will be worth much more financially to the club over the next several years than 15 or 20 million pounds.

  30. Dexter, I’ll have to disagree with you here. We would be letting a very valuable player go for nothing if we let him run his contract down. While we might have signed players who look like good replacements, we all know that is not necessarily how it works out, for every excellent buy there are several who don’t quite do it for one reason or another. Turning down 20m+ (I think he’d be worth that at least and possibly a good deal more) would be something no business could countenance. If he does go then getting the money in the bank would allow us to strengthen should Podolski and/or Giroud not work out and if they do, then there’s more in the pot for other targets.

  31. Steve;

    I would only countenance the selling of a top player, IF it was to a foreign team. No way to another PL team man. I also think it is a bit of a false economy selling for £15m-20m and then trying to get someone in who provides us with the same amount of goals/assists etc.

    Players leave clubs on frees all the time, but when it looks like it might happen at Arsenal it’s suddenly a massive deal.

    There are loads of permutations that come into play though. RvP might have a very poor (for him) season, he might sign a bumper new deal and be crocked, or be sold and be crocked, or he could see out his final year and then sign on with US again.

    It isnt as simple as viewing him as an asset that we have to collect some revenue for. But I said exactly the same thing about Nasri! 🙂

  32. Steve, I agree we should cash in if he won’t sign. The problem the club have is that the players have a lot more power now. Even if we wanted to cash in, the player still has the final say on where and thus effectively when he goes. If the club won’t sanction a move to a rival, the player can just run down his contract and then go to them for a free. I’m sure we didn’t want Nasri going to City, but that was where he wanted to go and so that is the only way we could cash in in that situation. Hard to stomach but if VP wants to go to a certain team there isn’t much we can do about it at this stage.

    I’m still hopefull he will stay though. I certainly don’t think he’ll go to City. Remind me again why Real and Barca are not being touted as potential bidders?

  33. I’m guessing that the blessed words of RVP, his holy mother, the father and the rest mean little for those fans who are fans of the flail and self flagellation.

    Ah well.

  34. RVP would be a fool to leave. We are on the threshold of greatness. I hope he is smart enough to.make the right choices for him self ,the club and his family. Money is not everything.
    Nice lyrics STEWW.
    I was thinking more along the lines of the CLASH and their song’. Should I stay or should I go’…

    Or better yet ,Paula Cole and her song’ where have all the cowboys gone’….

  35. While not ideal i wouldn’t mind keeping RVP at the club even if he doesn’t sign, simply because we are a better team with him in it. However, to have him run out his contract while the captain of the club (different matter if he was winding down his playing career) doesn’t really sit well with me. You want your captain to be the glue in the team (like he was the season just gone, he did a great job) and not the one looking to move on. For that reason I think it might therefore be more beneficial to move him on if there is no agreement on a new contract. And that’s not even taking into account the transfer fee he would bring in.

  36. Agree LSG

    Block4; You have kind of rejected your own point there man, and agreed with me and LimestoneG! 🙂

    Buying a replacement is a massive gamble, when we have someone in house who can bang in the goals for us. Why sell him to City? makes zero sense to me. And the figures currently being quoted (£15m) although astronomical in real terms, are peanuts in terms of this crazy ass football world.

    Unless Real wanted a swap involving Benzema, or something similar like that, then I personally wuld keep him.

  37. How can RVP be putting us through this?? i’m starting not to like him very much

  38. Deise

    So you wouldnt like the captain to erm, captain the team for 2 seasons, but are happy with him fucking off after only one season?

    That makes loads of sense man! 🙂

  39. LSG at 11.10,
    I am speaking for myself which in the absence of personal knowledge of the player, is all any of us can do. I am also using the experience of having watched lots of players leave the club. In many cases, these players have at one time or another professed undying live for the club. They’ve still left though. Im too long in the tooth to be investing emotional capital in people whose only real connection with the club is in the employee/employer relationship. I would love the player to stay. However if he goes we will survive. If he decides to run down the last year of his contract i will be surprised. A the end of the day a 29 year old with a poor injury record going into the last year of a contract bears all the risk.if he goes sooner we want to maximise the price. It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.

  40. For clarification i do actually think he will sign and stay, why he has not done before now I of course have no idea. Perhaps he hoped or expected interest from Spain as Markus has alluded to above.

    My point above is simply that if he does not sell then in my opinion the club has an obligation to try to do the best deal possible for the club.

    Dexter is correct of course when he states that “Players leave clubs on frees all the time, but when it looks like it might happen at Arsenal it’s suddenly a massive deal” but I cannot remember it happening often with that top level of players that van Persie is part of.

    I wonder how Mr Kroenke’s American mind would deal with this. 20m or nothing?

  41. No Dex what im saying is if hes decided hes not going to be around in the long term but is moving on after the season ends, then its not really a good thing for the team to be looking to a captain who is already in the ‘out tray’. I wouldnt be happy whatsoever seeing RVP leave, i want him to stay. But I want him to sign a new contract and stay and not just stay because hes under contract.

  42. The key word circulating at present about Van Persie is “speculation”.
    I can’t help feeling that the easist job in the world today is to be a sports writer on a national daily.
    Provided you can write reasonable English, you sit down and compose the most utter rubbish about players and clubs from “the Baltic to the Adriatic” (to quote a well known statesman).Nothing is too bizarre a subject.
    As far as Arsenal and Van Persie is concerned, while I would like him to stay, the recent signing of Podolski and Giroud, together with the return of Wilshere, Diaby (and a rejuvenated Ramsey) convinces me that we have a far stronger squad for next term, with or without him.
    Accordingly, let the speculation continue undiminished. Let the newshounds earn their corn the easy way for a few more weeks. Behind the scenes, the Emirates staff carry on buying and selling, oblivious. in calm preparation for our next campaign.

  43. Limestonegunner

    Just because he doesn’t sign now doesn’t mean he has to leave. He captained us superbly last season amid all the media speculation. If he is committed and decides he wants to hear all offers at the end of next season including Arsenal’s, we should only sell if it is to a foreign team.

    As Finsbury pointed out, his mom, his dad, his wife have all suggested not very long ago that another English team is basically out of the question. I don’t see what’s so hard to get about the concept. Frankly this is a silly discussion. If you want us to do well next season, as an Arsenal supporter you would want to keep RvP here if you are confident he will give us full football commitment. That is AW’s call and some quick cash shouldn’t be the first consideration if we can afford to forgo the transfer fee.

    Someone show me a player equal to RvP in goals, assists and leadership for 15 or 20 million?

  44. Jeff, you do it to yourself.

  45. I doubt if RvP is considering leaving. But of course I know nothing about his intentions or whether he has been offered new terms.

    Arsenal as a ‘business’ is not the way I like to support my football club. However from a financial standing it makes more sense to allow RvPs contract to run down than to sell him to the Little Mancs. With him we can take a shot at the EPL and Champions League and make a net financial gain. Without him that would be more difficult. Handing him to the opposition would make it even more difficult. I have also factored VAT into that which I suspect some of you haven’t.

    By the bye though.

  46. I never knew our lastest shining is left footed. IF van persie stays a front three of left footed players. Cant wait for this next season to unfold.

  47. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t ROBIN specifically rule out shitty as his destination. And if it comes to that why I hell would we sell at 16-20 mill. His valuation should surly be at least double that.

  48. Different rules for special players. Like Didier.

    Call me Krazy but somehow, even it is the last year of RVPs contract next year, I can’t see him changing his twitter page to another clubs colours whilst he is still the Kapitan.

  49. Limestonegunner

    How much more valuable is a player after becoming a PL league winner?

    With RvP next season, Podolski, Giroud, and a healthy Wilshere, a veteran backup GK, perhaps M’Vila or another midfielder, I think we have our strongest chance to compete for the league. I certainly would concede nothing to the Mancs or Chelsea with that strength and depth of talent and experience.

    With the new TV deal bringing an extra 25 to 30 million and CL revenue assured for next year, I don’t see the money for selling RvP as worth it.

  50. goonerkam
    I did the Clash in my first post. Great minds and all that .

  51. Ahhh what a nice bloke 😉 – Talking to French newspaper L’Equipe on Wednesday, Giroud, who arrived at the Emirates from Montpellier on Monday, was keen to dampen media speculation the Dutchman is now set to leave Arsenal.
    “When you make the decision to join a great club, you know there is already a great forward,” he said.
    “I know what to expect.
    “Van Persie is a fantastic player who was outstanding last season. He has been at Arsenal for eight years, I hope I will have time to adapt and improve.
    “Anyway, I don’t go there to take his place.”
    Giroud added he had been close to signing for Arsenal’s rivals Chelsea, explaining that the Gunners’ French connection was a major factor in his decision to head to north, rather than west, London.
    “Why did I choose Arsenal rather than Chelsea? Because it is a club I love. And I thought it would be easier for my adaptation.
    “Arsenal is a great club, the facilities are wonderful, but I feel it is a club that takes big care before signing a player, notably considering human values.
    “There are French players. There is also Arsene Wenger who let me understand he really wanted me.
    “Chelsea is very nice, it is a great club, but I am not convinced (coach Roberto) Di Matteo knows who I am.”

  52. Limestonegunner

    Excellent Frank. No imagination these folks who want to sell him at the drop of a hat because they can’t bear to be in limbo for two seconds. Too many computer games I suspect and bad career/working environments.

  53. Limestonegunner

    Very very good from Giroud. Handled that quite well and twists the knife into Chelski a bit. I’m taking a shine to this one. I had my questions, but he’s settled my mind with an impressive display of political acumen. Sharp.

  54. So you did STEWW, so you did. I didn’t know you were fluent In Spanish too. Great song.

  55. I can completely understand the rationale for selling a player rather than let him leave for free, especially if said player would refuse to put in the requisite effort etc. However, RvP, I feel would play exactly as he did last season and work just as hard.

    Frank and LSG have made points that I completely concur with.

    And nicky also. The football hacks have the easiest jobs in the world man. It is all speculation and we really shouldnt get worked up about it, either way.

  56. He is the real deal LIMESTONE. Jewroo is the one. IMHO, he had a tremendous part in winning the ligue one for his former team MONTPELIER.

  57. Limestonegunner

    Clock, also bye, he’s not just another footballer passing through the club. 8 years is quite some time, two more and it is testimonial worthy. He’s the double player of the year, our captain, and one of the club’s top scoters historically. Last year he did an amazing job to save our season and inspire a new team spirit. His career has been dogged with injuries and he had a spot of trouble as a young man, but AW and Arsenal stuck with him and supported him well through it. Giroud talks about human values being attractive to him in Arsenal’s philosophy and AW’s approach. It is part of what makes this club special. It is not at all out of place to expect that club and employees would respect some of these values in this case. No sale if at all possible and not to league rivals.

  58. Yogi is spot on:
    With van Persie, we know nothing except the speculation which surrounds him. In terms of his future, he will decide what is best for him with the answer found once he has sifted through the ambition, money and family reasons. Whatever rationale is applied, I am not sure the club could do much more. We simply cannot compete on purely financial terms; there is no point berating Arsenal for not paying him enough since the pot for wages is finite at the club.

    ClockEndRider’s response is as wise as we will get:
    I’m too long in the tooth to be investing emotional capital in people whose only real connection with the club is in the employee/employer relationship. I would love the player to stay. However if he goes we will survive. If he decides to run down the last year of his contract i will be surprised. A the end of the day a 29 year old with a poor injury record going into the last year of a contract bears all the risk.if he goes sooner we want to maximise the price. It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.

    Majority-owned by a capitalist billionaire, if I might add.

    But I doubt it will silence those fans who who think the transfer and wages pot is infinite and who want the club to show “ambition”.

  59. I agree with Frank,LSG and Dexter. I wouldn’t want to sell Rvp even if he doesn’t sign.

  60. goonerkam I’m as fluent as Google. Literally.

  61. Good morning all…..and another quality post Yogi.

    Has anyone read a current update on Sagna’s condition?

    He is such an important spoke in our defense and team attitude.

    This broken leg has me concerned for his contribution for the upcoming season.

  62. Arsession

    Howdy doody!

    Not heard anything about Sagna’s condition, is there anything on the Arsedotcom site? Tell ya what, I’ll avva kwik butcha’s an let ya know Geeze.

  63. Limestonegunner

    Kam, nice to have you back on the comments–didn’t watch enough ligue 1 to know but glad to hear you endorse the spirit and heart of the player.

  64. Limestonegunner

    Agree session, I expressed concern a few weeks ago about his return–two breaks in the same spot is a worry whether he comes back strong. Let’s hope so. If you find any news, do post it here.

  65. If RVP does go to City – I still don’t think this will happen – then I am no longer sure what the point is any more.

    As a strikeforce City currently have –

    Tevez
    Dzeko
    Aguero
    Balotelli

    And before that they had already signed –

    Robinho
    Jo
    Santa Cruz
    Adebayor

    Some of those players are still on their books.

    Football has been pissing in it’s own well for a while but, were this to happen, it would represent an outright act of vandalism upon our club. City have no need for RVP in order to win the premiership or any other trophy – frankly it would be represent a damning indictment of their or any decent manager’s capabilities to suggest otherwise.

    I few have echoed this already but, on a personal level, football is at a crossroads for me.

    The ‘might is right’ attitude of those with obscene wealth is increasingly disparate and increasingly sickening across all levels of society: football is just a microcosm of that. I condemn this with genuine vehemence in other walks of life and yet my love for the game, for the values of this club, has held me back from leaving…thus far.

    If the Arsenal cannot hold true to their principles and actively compete, without being targeted and stripped of our best assets and effectively sabotaged then what is the point in developing new world class talent?

    What is the point in competing when the game goes from the desperately uneven to clearly rigged? What is the value of such a victory and what good does it pose the premiership anyway?

  66. @Jonny
    And I think the irony in all that could very well be that if RVP would go to City he could find himself out of favour in a year or two like other strikers before him.

    But I fully agree that getting RVP to sign is for me much more important than just keeping one of our most important players. If he signs for us, it will tell me, that there is more to football than just money, that football players aren’t all mercenaries just looking for the next highest pay check, that all the passion we put into supporting our club actually has a meaning.

  67. I’m not even sure what you guys are worrying about – he’s gonna stay anyway. What we SHOULD be discussing is how we’re going to fit all of these world class players in to a team.

    Go on then… WITH RvP, what would be your first choice 11?

  68. Jonny

    I can echo a helluva lot of your finely worded sentiments there man. My love for football has been on the wane of a few years now and IF it were to happen then it would be yet another small nail in the coffin for me.

    Well said that man.

  69. http://www.dgquarterly.com/through-the-transfer-window-2

    Very interesting. So less than 10% of transfer rumours actually came true.

  70. Limestonegunner

    Agree with your eloquently expressed sentiments Jonny.

  71. Limestonegunner

    Nice, Avaris. So then, here’s mine:

    WC
    Sagna-Kos-Merts/Verm-Santos
    Song-Arteta-Rosicky
    Walcott-RvP-Podolski

    Bench: Ox, JW, Giroud, Gervinho, Gibbs, Verm/Merts, Keeper

  72. @avaris

    Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Santos

    ——— Arteta — Song

    –Walcott — van Persie — Podolski

    ————– Giroud

  73. ‘The players say they are leaving because they have ambitions to win trophies, conveniently overlooking their own contributions to those failures.’

    damn bloody right, Yogi!!!

  74. Yes Evil but then all 97.6% of statistics are made up on the spot. 😉

    Although in Jibber’s case that actually rose to 100%.

  75. @avaris

    Chezza

    Per

    Kos Vermaelen

    theo song arteta jack Podolski

    RVP Giroud

  76. Szczesny
    Sagna – PerM – Koscielny – Gibbs
    Song – Wilshere
    Theo – AOC – Podolski
    RvP

    That particular lineup might have to be kept under wraps till about January 2013, but I really do like the looks of it.

  77. If we are to assume all are fit and playing to full ability –

    ————Scez
    Sagna-Kos-Verm-Santos
    —–Song——Arteta-
    ——–Wilshere
    Walcott-RvP-Podolski

  78. You speak for me there too jonny.

    We had a discussion in a pub with Muppet on this matter a few months back. Do you reckon our shared opinion on this subject will hold?

  79. That team is sick Dex – I like it a lot.

    Steww I see you have done away with the notion of full backs altogether! Madness! 🙂

  80. if city has already agreed terms with RVP, doesn’t that count as tapping up?

  81. Do you mean will we be too weak – too infatuated – to hold true to our words and walk away, Bob?

  82. Arsenal, and its indefatigable fans, virtually a byword for “fortitude” they are, have high standards on the matter of being in crisis. We a classy club, and we do not allow our standards on level-of-crisis to drop. We have a fantastic record having been “in crisis” according to the ever-accurate and insightful media for 7 seasons. If RvP won’t or can’t provide one, then Wenger needs to come up with one, and fast. At the very least you would have thought a crisis could be contrived by now. What is Ivan there for if not to assist technically in these matters? I know they say it’s “not that easy”, bla bla rhubarb and all, but seriously I could have pulled a decent crisis from the hat in a morning. What about “Santos homesick, demands weekdays in Sao Paulo”. Or “Wilshere emerges from rehab with one leg shorter than the other”. Or “Jenks demands captain’s armband or he’s off”. Or a rhyming crisis, “Ryo demands pay parity with Theo”. How about “Pat Rice changes mind, demands return”. It’s not THAT difficult is my point.

    It’s high time the club listened to the fans is all I’m saying.

  83. A chorus of Halleluja when he scores his first goal at the Emirates, methinks!

  84. Jonny – madness ? Really? Three at the back has been massively successful for a lot of top teams. Per is the Perfect sweeper (sorry) and Theo and Pod have pace and experience to cover back. Kos and verm can ease out wide with Arteta and Song Making a wall across the middle when we need them and then counter attack fast and fluid with utter luxury in the goal scoring department up top.
    Madness is just unrecognised genius.

  85. You know very well of what I speak Jonny. ‘That which can’t be spoken out loud in company’.

    For what it’s worth, I reckon we were right.

  86. I was being a little facetious but it would represent a very risky change. All signs are Martinez has pulled it together but it took the best part of a season to do so.

    Also a LOT of teams? How many successful teams play it currently?

    Barcelona flirted with but then reverted to a traditional back four. Then there is Napoli, who I believe still deploy it and err Wigan.

    If not outright madness I could at least say it at least would represent a very risky manoeuvre!

  87. Here we go, another kick to the nuts, just great.

    Steve, you’re real badass, do you get a cut in the Rvp deal? Ha! am joking man. But seriously, ‘its business’? This is not mc’donalds or Kfc you know, we’re not flipping burgers here at arsenal, so how have we now become a ‘business’?.
    Look i get where you’re coming from when you say losing £20M would be bad for the club but in this current football climate 20M can be used to pay the wages of a top player over a 4 year period talk less of transfer fees. So i say we keep Rvp no matter what.

    As for the media, they drive people crazy with their bullshit, just saturday i posted a comment that Wenger told the guys he was working with at F1 in France he was interested in signing Marco Reus ‘before’ he signed for Dortmund, on sunday the media started running the story with this headline ‘Wenger confirms interest in German player Marco Reus’, there was no mention of Dortmund as his new club, some even went as far as saying he was loaned to mochengladbac, sigh.
    But when it comes to Rvp speculation i don’t know guys, maybe if he actually signed a new contract people won’t have been speculating for the past 11 months, pfft, that can’t be the reason the media are writing shit.

  88. And by the way YW, I’m not sure you are being as helpful as you might with reasoned words and attention to detail. Wild guesses (or at least assumptions), emotive language, and an “it must be worse than they are telling us, it always is” attitude fuels more and better crises. With Spurs in the shape they are, it is likely – mark my words – that their crisis will be bigger than ours, and that is more than I can stomach. As for newbies City, jonny come latelies, it’ll take them years to build a crisis like ours. United are such a classless lot they haven’t had a decent crisis in years; they barely know the word. As much as I dislike Gerrard at least Liverpool have a permanent crisis, and Chelsea as ever are a crisis waiting to happen. So, let’s not pretend it’s easy. There is competition, and it gets tougher every year.

  89. Juve – do they? I hadn’t realised.

    Still I think you may have been slightly guilty of overstatement with “massively successful for a lot of top teams”! 😉

  90. ‘What about “Santos
    homesick, demands weekdays
    in Sao Paulo”. Or “Wilshere
    emerges from rehab with one
    leg shorter than the other”. Or
    “Jenks demands captain’s
    armband or he’s off”. Or a
    rhyming crisis, “Ryo demands
    pay parity with Theo”. How
    about “Pat Rice changes mind,
    demands return”

    Ha! Zimpaul, take a bow man, good stuff.

  91. Another superb post yogi. Thanks again

    Very happy about signing Giroud. Hopefully he will provide the sort of spark to us that he did for his team last season. I hope that if RVP does stay that the boss comes up with some way to effectively put both players on the pitch at the same time.

    The longer the RVP saga drags out the less optimistic I become. Certainly there is some major hold up or he would have signed by now i an not sure what I think we should do if he refuses to sign an extension. Here in the US players in the last year of their contract often have career seasons. They are playing for a big free agent payday. However the opposite seems to be true in European football. Our experience with holding players who want to leave has been negative in all cases that i can think of. In theory RVP could sign a pre-contract in January and then even the mentally strongest player would have a difficult time becoming motivated to play well for his lame duck team. Its uncommon for players of the level of RVP to play out their contracts and be available for free. I can’t remember any in recent times. That said selling him might also be a mistake. I don’t know the right answer.

  92. Napoli play 3 at the back

  93. Szczeny
    Santos TV Kos Sagna
    Song Arteta/Wilshere Rosicky
    Theo RVP Podolski

    i cant choose whom to start between Arteta and Wilshere, they both bring so much to the team.

    Rosicky is a definite starter for me as long as he is fit, there is no other player on his level in creativity in Arsenal.

  94. As world champions in crises, being Zimbabwean it comes all too easy.

  95. We can win a trophy next season, i can feel it inside me. Our squad looks well balanced, i mean we have players already at their peak, players with huge potential and players close to their peak, not to mention there are two quality players in each position and If Rvp can’t see that then its a shame.

  96. I think we can still play Arteta in the creative no.10 role(if Rosicky is not available) and play with Wilsere and Song behind him. And all round energetic mid trio

  97. Billy's Boots

    For an example of why the club should keep RVP even if he doesn’t decide to re-sign, look at Drogba and Chelsea (yuck, I feel so dirty making that comparison). How likely is it that they would have won the Champions League if they had sold Drogba last summer?

    I’m not saying that keeping RVP guarantees winning a trophy, but it’s a lot more likely with him than without him, even more so if the ‘without him’ option involved selling him to one of our domestic rivals.

  98. khalifha | June 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    You cannot dismiss the concept of ‘football as a business’ while take pride in or defend the club on it’s model of self-sustainability.

    Football is a business, a huge money business at the top level. It is that very concept that forced the club to ultimately take the money on offer last summer for Samir Nasri, perversely enough at the exact same time that the club allowed itself to be corralled into a financially false deal for Fabregas.

    As fans we are primarily (only) concerned with what happens on the pitch but we don’t make the decisions we are discussing here.

    We would no doubt be a stronger team with RvP, but we would not be a weak team without him. We’ve lost many, many big players before.

    The other thing is the bone of contention regarding who he could or should be sold to, vehement objection to him being sold to a domestic rival. What about objections to selling to clubs that in theory rival us for the CL, that being the second priority to the club in terms of silverware.

  99. Billy's Boots

    Good post, by the way, YW. After last summer, I have learned to ignore most of the transfer speculation. I used to enjoy it, but it’s gotten out of hand in the last few years.

    @ Bill, interesting point about ‘career seasons’. I seem to remember the last great season RVP had was when he was playing for a new contract (if I recall, the suggestion (rumour, really) was he wanted the same salary Adebayor had been awarded).

    Re playing out the final year of their contract, isn’t that what LeBron James, Paul Pierce and others have done in recent years? ie become a free agent? (I’m hoping this doesn’t resume the recent American sports discussion.)

  100. silver gunner

    I think RVP will stay our problem is impatience we expect too much from players at times the age of one club players is a thing of the past football is becoming like all other professions where money often talks and people will move to climb that perceived career ladder. RVP is at an age where he is weighing up all his options for his last big move or payday.

    I say we wait and see the fact that we have gone and done our striker acquisitions early means we can both will get a full preseason to train with their new team mates so if like last season this RVP saga becomes long and protracted we wont pay too heavy price even if he ends up leaving on the transfer deadline.

    This is what really annoyed me about last years dealings it seems lessons have been learnt in that respect.

    I’ve got to say I have been dreaming about this potential lineup.

    ———-Giroud
    Podolski, RVP,Theo
    ——Arteta, Song
    Gibbs, Kos, Verm, Sagna
    ——–Chezzer

    Here’s hoping….

  101. Dexter,

    I don’t see how I’m agreeing with you, you’re saying letting Van Persie wind down his contract is “acceptable” (@10:59), I’m saying it’s not. If he were not to sign on again then we take the chance that Podolski and/or Giroud can take up the slack. If they can’t then we’ve laid out £20m-£25m in transfers to replace Van Persie and got nothing back for him going. If we get the £20m+ for him that I think he’s worth then the worst case scenario is that we need to go and spend that money on someone who can after giveing Podolski and Goroud their chance. Obviously the ideal is that he stays and the team gets better, because it’s plain to see that him leaving affects the team negatively as there are so few strikers of his quality around.

    As for being confident he would continue to give the same effort if he were to go into the final year of his contract I would like to think so too. However, I would have thought the same of Fabregas when he was initially denied a move to Barcelona and held to his contract (and only for a year or so as it turned out), but now we hear of him not wanting to play in his final season etc. It would be human nature if a player who knows he’s got a huge move coming up in a few months time were to just pull back that 1% for fear of serious injury and scuppering that deal. That 1% can make all the difference in an environment as competitive as the Premier League.

    That all sounds a bit gloomy really, but the longer the saga goes on it just makes it seem more likely that he will leave. I just want him to sign a new contract with us as soon as possible! 🙂

  102. Jeff, I don’t like Wilshere alongside Song. It shackles Song too much because Wilshere is not experienced enough to cover him. After Arteta I’d rather have Coquelin or an experienced central midfielder yet to be revealed in that position. Give Jack the freedom he obviously wants to get forward.

  103. Ha, well said Zim.

    This is what the competition in the squad should look like next season. Honestly i don’t have the guts to name a First 11 anymore, imagine how wenger feels.

    – Metersacker/Vermaelean

    – Gibbs/Santos
    – Rosicky/Wilshere

    * Wildcards: Giroud, Alex Chamberlain, Ramsey and Gervinho

    *First choice: Szescney, Sagna, Koscielny, Song, Arterta, Walcott and Rvp. They have earned the right to be termed as guaranteed starters, that is only fair reason i can think of right now.

  104. ZP

    Be prepared for tomorrow’s tabloid-tastic approach. Can’t work out whether I want to parody them or whether they are too much of a parody themselves.

  105. Markus @1.38 if you are going to comment on my posts reading them also helps (usually)!

  106. Dex/Lime

    Nothing about Sagna’s recovery on Arsenal.co. (yet)

    Addition of Podolski and Giroud, signs that Arsenal are on the front foot this summer with signings.

  107. YW – Parody the fuckers as we could all use a good laugh mate

    As far as ‘Oliver’ goes, whatever the name means, I am starting to like him more and more!!! Check this out – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2165413/Olivier-Giroud-snubbed-Chelsea-join-Arsenal.html

  108. Steve, i just can’t entertain the idea of selling our captain. So far Nasri has shown he is no where near the 25M we sold him from so that can be termed as good ‘business’, but Rvp? 20 goals guaranteed, passion e.t.c he brings so much to the table and am sure the board will take all this into consideration before acting stupid i.e depending on their decision.

  109. “However, I see the selling of any of our better players to City (or the chavs, other mancs for that matter) a complete no no.

    And I would hope the manager and Gazidis feel exactly the same.”

    Anyone with a memory knows the answer to that one. Cashley, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy and Nasri were sold to chavs and Shitty. So no, the manager and Gazidis don’t feel the way you do. They run a proper business and don’t turn down their best business option because of an irrational overemotional hatred of a competitor.

  110. Philmar “They run a proper business and don’t turn down their best business option because of an irrational overemotional hatred of a competitor.”

    They would if they could but they can’t so they don’t.

    Jonny, yeah noticed you mentioned Napoli right after I’d posted that. Don’t be hurt, I mostly read your posts.

  111. Well Markus,
    i do not view Wilshere as a creative player just yet, i know he played some wing football years ago but im not yet convinced i would start Rosicky and Arteta before him in the creative role. 2 years ago when he and song played behind our prodigal son, Wilshere was fantastic. i see him as a modern box to box midfielder, he covered song a lot that year also.

  112. khalifha, if the captain wants to go because there are astronomical wages on offer elsewhere, then he’ll go later on a free. As much as we love RvP, people that run businesses have to make rational emotionless decisions based on the best long term interests of the business. They will probably sell him if he doesn’t put pen to paper and a decent price can be found. Sadly the best price will probably come from Shitty. If he doesn’t commit to the club I doubt they’ll let sucha valuable asset leave for nothing. Their hand is forced.

  113. Sorry Markus, I didn’t understand your post.

    “They would if they could but they can’t so they don’t.”

    They don’t what? run a proper business?

  114. khalifha | June 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Mate, we’ve sold our captain a few times in recent memory. Okay if you specifically mean this captain then different matter, you may have a huge emotional attachment to him.

    As for the guarantee of goals, there is no such thing. Fitness etc is a huge issue in such a statement, how many times before last season did he get 20 goals? 1, 2 perhaps?

  115. jonny at 1.31
    Nope I hugely understated the position actually.

  116. “I am speaking for myself which in the absence of personal knowledge of the player, is all any of us can do. I am also using the experience of having watched lots of players leave the club. In many cases, these players have at one time or another professed undying live for the club. They’ve still left though. Im too long in the tooth to be investing emotional capital in people whose only real connection with the club is in the employee/employer relationship. I would love the player to stay. However if he goes we will survive. If he decides to run down the last year of his contract i will be surprised. A the end of the day a 29 year old with a poor injury record going into the last year of a contract bears all the risk.if he goes sooner we want to maximise the price. It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”

    My sentiments as well. I doubt the suits that run Arsenal are going to let him run out the contract either. In their eyes he is a multi-million pound asset. Proper businessmen don’t let those walk out of your door for free. Over-emotional fanatics that watch the team from afar and who love players badge kissing antics might think differently. this will be resolved this summer – it’s in the team’s inerrest and as you demonstrate it is in Robin’s interest.

  117. Ooooh, hark at you, Mr Jonny. Wanting people to read your comments. When did you get all la-di-da? Get used to it – some buggers don’t even read the main post before commenting.

  118. Spot on, Steve at 2:28 pm

  119. Arsesession, LSG ,Dex- Sagna’s currently at Qatar’s Aspetar hospital. The treatment is going fine as of now, however still some time to go before he is fit.
    Here’s a pic of the rehab center.

    View this post on Instagram

    Aspetar hospital in Doha…

    A post shared by Bacary Sagna (@therealbac) on

  120. You write posts Yogi? When did this start happening?

    I only come on here to spread my profound wisdom and to annoy PG with long words. 😉

    Steww – fair enough, when you have provided better examples and a multitude of them, I’ll acquiesce to the veracity of the statement. 😛

    Markus – t’was just meant as a dig – my skin is thicker than that mate! 🙂

  121. Philmar, my 11:20 is what I said in more detail, if you aren’t into the whole brevity thing.

  122. Also looking at Juve they employ versatile left and right backs in that position – de Ciegle and Lichsteiner. These are players who though capable enough to be deployed as midfielders grew up learning the art of defence.

    I’d have more faith in your formation if it utilised our fullbacks – I don’t see either Theo or Podolski covering the defensive side of the role well enough. In Theo’s case I doubt he has the stamina to cover that much ground ans it would compromise both players effectiveness going forwards – even if they did have the ability/experience to cover in defence.

  123. ” Fact is, having done some early transfer business upfront, we’re in no rush to conclude the RVP deal. Man City will need to offload some strikers of their own in order to free up cash to buy RVP. Not because they have a shortage of cash, but because of FFP. They’re looking to off Tevez and Adebayor, I would think, as a minimum but given that neither of these players has been involved in the Euros and they’re still at City, there don’t appear to be too many takers at the wage levels they’ll be looking for. Given RVP is under contract to us, we’re under no pressure to sell. Once they get rid of their glut of forwards, they’ll have a load of cash and will be in a rather more pressing need to buy a striker of quality. Putting us in a better negotiating position around price.
    For once, we’re the ones with the better hand to play. And I isincerely hope Gazidis and Wenger will look to play that hand out…. ‘

    Clockendrider, I appreciate your analysis and the thought you’ve put in to it. I do think I am not 100% in accordance with the premise that Shitty needs to offload strikers before they put an offer in for Robin. They were willing to let Tevez rot for a long period of time last year. They bought many strikers before they had figured out what to do with the ones they were replacing: Adebayor, Bellamy, Jo. Shitty is not cash poor so I don’t know if they need to shed before they can buy I think it highly unlikely they’ll shed their strikers before they’ve bought. They seem to always have too MANY players, never too few. So I doubt we’ll find ourselves with a striker poor Shitty desperately in need of Robin.

    So, IF RvP wants to move for astronomical wages then we are essentially in a similar position to the Nasri situation last year. To the board’s credit they’ve gone out and purchased Podolski and Giroud so last year’s fiasco will not be repeated. We have cover if RvP leaves at the last minute and there’ll be no need for last minute buys.. I still think it is in Shitty’s interest to drag the transaction out as long as they can since that will prevent the Arsenal board from strengthening the squad further with the proceeds of any RvP sale.

  124. ” Philmar, my 11:20 is what I said in more detail, if you aren’t into the whole brevity thing. ”

    thanks for the clarification.
    And 11:20 is a very good post. Levelheaded, rational.

  125. Reading thru all the comments fills me with a lot of warmth & happiness.
    There is an abundance of intelligent love-for-the-cause here that clearly makes ACLF the premier blog in Goonerdom.
    You are a special one Yogi’s Warrior.
    Keep up the fantastic work, long live ACLF!

    By adding Poldi & OG, our squad looks to be on a whole new level.
    AW’s rejigging for greatness is 1 to 2 key decisions away from finality and silverware.

    I expect:
    Robin & Theo will stay and be a part of this next legacy.Song as well.
    I hope AA is retained for at least 1 season after which I hope he’s shown enough to warrant retiring a gunner along with TR.

    I can’t play Jack or Diaby till I’ve watched them play for at least 2 months.
    No raising of hopes here. Sagna’s out, so is TR.
    Only the presently fit make my 11

    Szcz
    Coq-Verm-Kos-Santos
    Song-Arshavin-Arteta
    Theo-Robin-Podolski

    subs: GK, Mert, Gibbs, Rambo, Gerv, Ox, Giroud.

  126. “Football has been pissing in it’s own well for a while but, were this to happen, it would represent an outright act of vandalism upon our club. City have no need for RVP in order to win the premiership or any other trophy – frankly it would be represent a damning indictment of their or any decent manager’s capabilities to suggest otherwise.”

    Football is a business. Players are employees. How is their poaching RvP any less of an act of vandalism than our purchase of Giroud from Montpellier? I rate RvP and see him as a considerable upgrade over cancerous me-first team-second players like Tevez. And Balotelli is always a liability since he can draw needless red cards which cost teams points. And they had no points to spare last year in their race with manure. RvP represents a large upgrade for Shitty.
    I just hope Patrick, Samir, Gael, Kolo and de Jong aren’t telling him great things about the club.

  127. Philmar;

    Are you a Primary (approx 4th grade) school science teacher? You dont seem to get the notion of Arsenal fans, you know? Gooners actually being emotionally tied to the club, hence some, not all, but some of their posts, ideas, comments being, well, emotionally charged.

    You have absolutely no idea of what it is like for real fans by the looks of all your posts.

    Or were you just being antagonisitc for the sake of it yet again? If so, Zzzzzzzzz.

  128. “Football is a business. Players are employees”.
    Philmar’s gusto’s delightful isn’t it?

  129. So football ISN’T a business and players AREN’T employees. Aman’s lack of understanding the real world is humourous.

  130. They run a proper business and don’t turn down their best business option because of an irrational overemotional hatred of a competitor.
    ———————————
    Once again, you demonstrate a real knack of knowing fuck all about being a football 'fan'. Its like you have read "how to be a soccer follower" instructions off the back of a cereal packet.

    Selling RvP to a domestic rivasl makes business sense, but zero footballing sense as it dents out chances of success, while increasing the likelihood of the rival achieving it. And animosity I or anyone else has for city, the chavs etc has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    The list you managed to draw up of ex-players is irrelevant, as I dont view any of them as any where near as important to us as RvP. Nasri, I felt would be a huge miss, but turns out he's just another selfish greedy twat and has hardly lit up the PL. I was actually happy for Ade, Kolo and Toure to go as the money was fantastic and they had served their purposes at Arsenal (hardly an irrational emotional decision is it) while cashley HAD to, after he gladly went to an illicite meeting and burnt his bridges. Sad, as he was Arsenal through and through, the club made him and he shat on them as he felt betrayed at ONLY being offered £55k a week (how many years ago?).

    But its old news and it really shouldnt need explaining to you why selling players to domestic rivals can bite you in the arse.

  131. i think giroud will be eased into the team. coming on for rvp, or coming on when we are throwing everyone forward.

    i don’t really think we will play a 4-4-2 with the two of them up front though.

  132. Aman;

    Oh his wonderfully cheery posts are a real bright spot of my day! 🙂

  133. Oh f’n hell, Bale isn’t going to piss off now ~_~. I was really hoping to see him and Modric go away so that Sp*ds can return to the mediocrity that birthed them.

  134. It also could be argued that selling RvP makes zero business sense as by denting our own chances of winning shit, we also dent the potential earnings from said success.

    But that’s enough of ‘discussing’ this with the blog’s equivalent of a menstrating hippopotamus. 🙂

  135. “You have absolutely no idea of what it is like for real fans by the looks of all your posts.”

    Sorry dex but I don’t use ubiquitous terms like REAL fans. You probably mean passionate fans. I know there are a few here, there’s also a few others who are levelheaded and whose passion and emotional investment doesn’t blind them from the reality, the economics of the business that is football.
    Is that meant to be antagonistic? Hell no. But will the overly impassioned self-declared REAL fan misconstrue it as such? Hell yes.
    As a fan of Arsenal I am able to see the team for its strengths and its weaknesses. I know when talking about what the team should do that things like player attitudes and salaries are important. A lot more important than whether they kiss the badge for your public consumption.

  136. Kori

    I dont see us playing 4-4-2 either and I know 4-4-1-1 is so old hat, but it would, IMO, suit the players we now have. RvP playing behind OG, Theo and Podz on the wongs with Song and Arteta/Jack in midfield.

  137. sahil

    thanks for the update on Sagna and hoping his recovery exceeds all our expectations!

  138. No philmar, you sound like you are discussing your tax returns. I feel sorry for you.

  139. No Hunter, you’re not held in moderation, you’re in the Spam Bin

  140. Dex:
    “You have absolutely no idea of what it is like for real fans by the looks of all your posts.”

    Philmar:
    “So football ISN’T a business and players AREN’T employees?”

    Philmar,
    you are a self-righteous bottom-liner who opts to negate completely what he chooses not to address BUT
    will willingly switch identities just to spread your “gospel” over and over and over again on ACLF?

    How much are you getting paid to keep this charade up man?
    or
    is my “lack of understanding the real world” too humourous to come clean?

  141. Yogi,
    can’t Hunter be allowed in the house for 30 mins just to rip the micro-cajones off delightless Philmar?

  142. Yogi;

    Is hunter THAT bad? Even worse than phimar? 🙂

  143. 30 mins, once a week?

    maybe Friday or Sunday?

  144. Chortle YW.

    The only upside I can see from an RVP departure is the inevitable crash on the odds of Arsenal finishing in the top 3/ top 4. If we are going to lose RVP, I might as well profit from it.

    Philmar did you write that book “How to be a football supporter for dummies”? Just wondering.

  145. Apropos betting, why aren’t there any bets on what the media is going to write? I’d love to wager some quid on that a majority of the media is going to say that we will finish outside the top 4.

  146. “Selling RvP to a domestic rivasl makes business sense, but zero footballing sense as it dents out chances of success, while increasing the likelihood of the rival achieving it. And animosity I or anyone else has for city, the chavs etc has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

    Yet Nasri, Cole, Toure, Adebayor and Clichy were sold to rivals. Can’t you’re your head in the sand to that reality. THEREFORE the business side prevailed over your emotional desire not to strengthen rivals. Sorry if I state the bleeding obvious. You can continue to bury your head in the sand or up each others’ asses and ignore the reality that players WILL be sold to rivals because this is a business, not your toy. You and the self-styled ‘real’ fans can continue to look at Arsenal as your personal play toy but I will follow the team knowing the people that run it are far more intelligent than you, are privy to much more information than you and operate it in their interests, not yours.
    If this reality upsets you, then grow up. And if my stating this reality is so upsetting to you that you see it as antagonism then you need help. I rarely write a word in anger but I am often subjected to personal abuse by many. It doesn’t bother me much because I realize it is from overly impassioned emotional fans. So, YES, I know EXACTY what it is to be what you call a REAL fan. It makes you overly biased about certain things and too emotionally attached to think rationally about others. “Oh no, please don’t sell RvP to a rival, please.” Uh, if RvP wants to go there he is going there. None of the actors gives a shit about what Dexter badgekisser or me think on this issue. Sorry. Too bad you didn’t have the same ability of Yogi to think rationally. His blog is what keeps me coming.
    Yup, time to grow up.
    Rant over and you are now dismissed.

  147. “Philmar did you write that book “How to be a football supporter for dummies”? Just wondering.”

    Not aware of that book. I suspect that’s required reading here.

  148. Dex

    A different kind of bad. And more of a pain in the arse to me.

  149. “It also could be argued that selling RvP makes zero business sense as by denting our own chances of winning shit, we also dent the potential earnings from said success.”

    Once again the people that run Arsenal are of a different opinion (see sales of Nasri, Cole, Adebayor, Clichy, Fabregas et al)
    They run a multi million pound corporation, stadium, football team and condominium project. Maybe you should apply for a position there since you feel it should be run differently.

  150. I wonder if by chance the following are related?

    4.11 pm > I rarely write a word in anger

    4.13 pm > Not aware of that book. I suspect that’s required reading here

  151. Philmar;

    Your ‘argument’ such as it is, has already been put to bed, as usual. It isnt my fault you do not, or can not see that. Your absurd rambling only makes you look even more pathetic.

    So, you ARE a primary school science teacher then?

  152. Ah yes, the age old debate of what is a “real fan” and what isn’t.

    The person who refuses to accept that things are anything other than fantastically rosey in the garden being lambasted.

    Thing is more or less all fans feel the same about the club really just some will look at things with a colder or more rational viewpoint than others. Doesn’t mean a person does not understand what it is to be a football supporter despite what some may say.

    Some of the comments made on here with regards to certain player’s abilities are quite frankly retarded in the extreme, and I mean that in terms of overly positive and negative yet only the negative comments would be jumped on. Acceptable to suggest a player is a world beater, unacceptable to suggest he is a bit shit – in truth both comments equally as ridiculous as the other.

    Not sure what right anybody has on here to judge another person’s credentials in terms of support. Actually I do, none.

  153. Yogi

    True man, BUT this one is a dead ringer for GUS. 🙂

  154. Steve

    >The person who refuses to accept that things are anything other than fantastically rosey in the garden being lambasted.

    Flipside is true also. Indeed, the flipside is more likely to bring the subject up and to deride the ‘rosey’ as a plastic whilst claiming to be the injured party in the spat.

    >Not sure what right anybody has on here to judge another person’s credentials in terms of support. Actually I do, none.

    Actually, it is not “on here”. That sentence should have read:

    > Not sure what right anybody has to judge another person’s credentials in terms of support. Actually I do, none.

    Just relating my experience from the blog comments.

  155. Steve;

    Nope, not at all. Its more to do with the obsession with calling another’s posts overly emotional. For me, its impossible NOT to be considered emotionally attached to the club.

    Sorry, that post is completely uncalled for on this occasion.

  156. Yogi – how can a man so smart as you have such illtempered followers? Do they get this stupid when YOU mention any of the team’s deficiencies? This is hilarious!

  157. Buttering up the blogger in chief won;t save you.

  158. YW

    Fair comments on both counts. I stand corrected.

    The ‘on here’ was specific to today’s bout of handbags.

  159. You are a teacher arent you? Or a Tax inspector, something officious anyways.

  160. 4.11 pm > I rarely write a word in anger

    4.13 pm > Not aware of that book. I suspect that’s required reading here

    Yup – you caught the rare moment. Surrounded by crazed jackals, I was , I was.

  161. Save me from what Dexter?

  162. If you weren’t Hunter, you wouldn’t have known I was talking to you :-p

  163. Steve
    Your post is ill timed and wrong. You need to hold back on the hair trigger fingers. The term REAL fan was used in a completely different meaning to what you posted.

  164. Ni Yogi, you are taking his posts out of context.

  165. dex

    we have to see. i think we will keep a 4-3-3 shape and if rvp and giroud play together, i see rvp on the right..

  166. Anyhow discussion is degenerating off topic. I’ll let the less intelligent posters reveal themselves by allowing them to make childish ad hominems for a while.

  167. “less intelligent” – Self praise eh? I wonder who used to do that?

  168. @Philmar
    Showing off thinly veiled arrogance by pretending to be “above” someone isn’t really going to lead people to engage in respectful discussions with you.

  169. Notoverthehill

    http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=mOehJypfWDA

  170. Dexter

    My point is still 100% valid.

    No person – not even you, the self-appointed judge and jury of ACLF – has the right or ability to question the support of another person for a football club which is what you have done today accusing a person of not having a clue how real fans feel.

    Each person is different, they articulate themselves in different ways, we often agree and we often disagree. The fan who remains sitted and silent for 90 minutes cannot be judged to be lesser than the one who stands and sings, the person adorned from head to toe in official club gear cannot be judged to be lesser than the person casually attired for an evening on Upper Street.

    A lot of points made today by both you and Philmar have been correct. You may not agree with his opinion and vice versa but there’s the thing, it would be utterly shit if all did agree.

    Hair trigger fingers? Get a grip man.

  171. are philmar, jabba, and USG related?

  172. Steve to Dex,

    “No person – not even you, the self-appointed judge and jury of ACLF – has the right or ability to question the support of another person for a football club which is what you have done today accusing a person of not having a clue how real fans feel.”

    Steve,
    U might not know but you’re stating the obvious.
    There is a whole ‘nother dimension to the “judgement calls” being made towards “Philmar” here, goes back a couple of YEARS actually..

    Granted, he makes many “correct” points
    but he doesn’t quite know when to stop, realize that others get it and just want to make their own correct points…

    A pretty tiresome OTT character,
    who’s been canned a couple of times only to reappear in new form, under a different moniker that restrains himself initially but eventually reverts to THAT guy…
    the one you choose to defend today.

    “Just respect other people’s opinions without responding to every statement, endlessly repeating how your’s should be the gold standard, Philmar!”

    Many have tried.
    No one’s kept up… till date.

    Good luck Steve.

  173. aah, back to Arsenal…(re-callibrating..)

    in a perfect world, with EVERYONE fit as a fiddle
    my first eleven would read:

    1. Wojciech Szczesny

    2. Bacary Sagna
    3. Andre Santos
    4. Laurent Koscielny
    5. Per Mertesacker

    6. Alex Song
    8. Abou Diaby
    10. Tomas Rosicky

    7.Theo Walcott
    9. Robin van Persie
    11. Lukas Podolski

    subs: GK, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arshavin, Wilshere, Gervinho, Giroud

  174. The Diaby that played for France in S. Africa was an absolute MONSTER!

  175. Billy's Boots

    On the whole football-as-a-business thread and employees joining rival companies, it’s worth noting that many businesses put a non-compete clause in their top employees’ contracts. It doesn’t stop their employees going to a direct competitor, but it typically requires a period of ‘gardening leave’, effectively stopping them from starting for, say, six months. However, like many things from the ‘real world’, this probably wouldn’t be workable in the football world (limited career length, etc). [“So why mention it?”] The point is that companies, like football clubs, generally do try to stop their best people from going to their direct competitors.

  176. Aman – hell of a line up. I’d pay money to watch that!

  177. Do we have a better chance to win the PL and CL with or without RVP? In that regard, is it better business sense to keep him or sell him?

    Somehow I think we sold players that wanted to leave for a specific team. Sure, one can list a whole line of players who have been sold but in what context?.

    If RVP acts a fool, he should be sold but, if he is dedicated, that gives him another season to committ. He could well leave but the upside is a better chance to win something major. I prefer that.

  178. ”(though I do love seeing how quickly fans turn on former idols who dare to take up employment elsewhere)”

    Steve, get real man, what do you expect? We shut up and move on? Its a shame the thousands of fans at the Emirates who booed Nasri don’t agree with you.

    ”Okay if you specifically mean this captain then different matter, you may have a huge emotional attachment to him”

    Again steve, of course i meant Rvp and yes i do actually like Arsenal players.

    ”If he doesn’t commit tothe club I doubt they’ll let sucha valuable asset leave fornothing. Their hand is forced”

    Philmar, this is true but luckily for me i don’t view Rvp as an asset, he is one of the top 5 players in the world, playing for my club. So excuse me if i am more concerned about results on ‘the pitch’ rather than a business standpoint.

    ”Anyone with a memory knows the answer to that one. Cashley, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy and Nasri were sold to chavs and Shitty” – Were any of these players sold because of business or because they wanted to leave? This is not relavant gee.

    Finally, this comment sums it up ”I wonder how Mr Kroenke’s American mind would deal with this. 20m or nothing?”

    Steve, Philmar, i have seen some laid back fans before but you guys take the biscuit. The most worrying part is you don’t know why fans let emotions affect decision making when it comes to Arsenal, ‘its business’ right, funny.
    Kroneke is that you?

  179. Korihikage

    2 of 3 were which is why he isn’t here any more.

  180. Limestonegunner

    Philmar, selling Adebayor and Toure didn’t affect out position. City were not yet a threat and we fleeced them for a CB we needed to replace and an underperforming want away striker with a corrosive attitude. Clichy also hasn’t really helped ManCity ver much and we upgraded with Santos. Nasri was more dangerous but we were offered twice his value. If City offer us 30-40 million, we should consider it but not for what is being bandied about. Moreover, now City are a major threat, which easn’t the case 3-4 seasons ago. RvP is different in a variety of ways from Nasri and more valuable to us in the season ahead.

    If you are competing with City, which we are now that they have put together a capable side after 4years of massive spending, a few extra million from them over an offer from Juventus or Real Madrid is not worth it. It seems these contextual considerations and subtleties of strategy are beyond your routine, financial business logic. Btw, everyone, there is more than one way to manage a successful venture or business.

  181. Lets look at the Rvp situation from this angle, do you think Wenger would sell Rvp and risk arsenal’s season by playing 2 strikers(Podolski/Giroud) that have never played in the Epl before as his first choice players.

    Personally, i think it would take Giroud at least one full season to settle so i can’t see him being first choice. How many players have we bought from ligue 1 that have settled quickly in their first season? Surely AW and the board will take this into consideration.

  182. pedantic george

    this is the best post in weeks,
    “ZimPaul | June 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    Arsenal, and its indefatigable fans, virtually a byword for “fortitude” they are, have high standards on the matter of being in crisis. We a classy club, and we do not allow our standards on level-of-crisis to drop. We have a fantastic record having been “in crisis” according to the ever-accurate and insightful media for 7 seasons. If RvP won’t or can’t provide one, then Wenger needs to come up with one, and fast. At the very least you would have thought a crisis could be contrived by now. What is Ivan there for if not to assist technically in these matters? I know they say it’s “not that easy”, bla bla rhubarb and all, but seriously I could have pulled a decent crisis from the hat in a morning. What about “Santos homesick, demands weekdays in Sao Paulo”. Or “Wilshere emerges from rehab with one leg shorter than the other”. Or “Jenks demands captain’s armband or he’s off”. Or a rhyming crisis, “Ryo demands pay parity with Theo”. How about “Pat Rice changes mind, demands return”. It’s not THAT difficult is my point.

    It’s high time the club listened to the fans is all I’m saying”.

    I hope the less intelligent reader get it.

  183. pedantic george

    in a perfect world, with EVERYONE fit as a fiddle and on form Andrei Arshavin is second name on the team sheet Aman,Bow your head in shame my man.

  184. Am seeing a lot of Metersacker in the ‘My First 11’ these days, lets not be too hasty here, Vermaelean is not injured.

  185. In the my – ‘in my’, relavant – ‘relevant’, sigh.

  186. steww, makes one drool doesn’t it…

  187. f’give me brother george…

    AA’d be alternating with TR every other game.
    But for continuity and to get matters rolling, especially for Diaby,
    i’d start Mozart.

  188. it is but a personal preference thing khalifa @ 7:03

  189. Yogi,

    when and what rule did i break?

  190. woah!……are u another incarnation of the “delightless” one, korihikage?
    or did u misunderstand YW’s 6:48?

  191. Second name on the sheet?! Must mean the transfer sheet. Only thing that makes sense. B-)

  192. aman, i really have no idea. but my question which led to yogi’s post at 6:48 was in moderation.

  193. Limestonegunner

    Thanks for re-posting the entire thing again, George, so that I could read it all over again. It helps to read things twice, as I am not one of the intelligent commenters for believing there are more than exclusively financial considerations involved in managing our squad.

  194. Limestonegunner

    Right on Paul-N at 6:33.

  195. kori,
    moderation might have been because u used that bad word..
    u know, GUS’ maiden name….
    the middle name in your 5:29..

    …get it now?

  196. aman

    OHHHH. feeling slow and stupid now

  197. pedantic george

    He who can not be names eh?
    Philmar is related .I don’t care what he says.

  198. i didnt know what GUS was. now i do. and now i know why george always writes jibba

  199. Arsenal Football Club are the leading scorers in this Euro tournament?
    Haven’t counted but I’d expect the Madridistas to take the lead by the end of the final game.

  200. interesting fins,
    let’s see:

    total goals: 5
    Bendtner 2
    Podolski 1
    Theo 1
    RvP 1

    total assists: 6
    AA 3
    Bendtner 1
    Theo 1
    Podolski 1

    source: http://espnfc.com/en/records/index/league/uefa-euro/season/2012/statsnrecords.html

    pg,
    can’t see AA leaving after what he dished out in ONLY the group phase!
    let the “fools” be hating….

  201. ..AA’ll look so good in the new home strip too…i think the blue was designed for him.

    ..of noble and aristocratic descent…aka great footballing IQ
    (lol)

  202. PG

    Not in the biblical sense

  203. The good fan bad fan debate. Wish there was a way to send that whole thread and that whole subject to the spam bin.

    Does anyone think we should resign yossi. He is the perfect squad player. You know exactly what you will get from him. . He can play multiple positions effectively and does not need that dreaded “run of games” to play well. That’s the type of player we need in the squad to be able to compete. Having players like him makes us a better team and would allow us to send some of the younger players in the squad on loan so they can develop their game and gain experience more quickly. Best of both worlds for the club. Ideally TR7 would have the same role

  204. Bill, the question is can we afford to keep him. He will not be fighting for a First team spot or even on the bench if everyone is fit.

  205. pedantic george

    Bill ,Philmar is a bad fan.Simples.
    If only because he is completely devoid of humour.

  206. Portugal look like they’re going to get shafted by the ref.

  207. I have seen a joke or two from Philmar, good ones too. Its he who shall no be named that lacks a sense of humour, thats just wrong.

  208. As much as i dig Yossi, with the squad as is, not unless its confirmed that either Jack or Diaby is definitely crocked for the season, I’d pass.
    AA’ll do.

  209. ‘Shall not’, pfft.

  210. Aman, when you say AA will do is it with your Heart or Head?

  211. methinks our away kit’s gonna be blue

  212. khalifa…..my head. He offers more in CM than Yossi….

  213. I don’t like to compare them. I really like them both BUT one’s genius the other’s tenacious

  214. Gawd! Was bruno alves raised by wolves, he is completely dominating Negredo, the ref is too soft.

  215. @BILL
    having witnessed what BENNY can do for us ,how eager do you think chelski will.be to loan him back to us??
    0-0 half time. Portugal is giving Spain a good game. They look like they believe they can pull it off. They are more dynamic and energetic too, due to the extra two days rest. Somehow I think the substitutions of the bench will decide this in spains favor. Come on NAVAS & CESC.
    anything but the lesser Ronaldo in the final.

  216. gkam,
    i’m going for Portugal

  217. AA, i don’t think we can afford to keep yossi due to his wages and 25 man rule but he is a lot more than tenacious, very silky type of player.

  218. silky?
    what type khali?

  219. The fans booing Spain and Portugal when they start passing need to get their heads checked. If they are looking for quick scores then basketball is always available.

  220. Aman, langerié(?) type of silky.

  221. Khalifha @8:40

    Yossi was one of our best players during the run in. I love diaby and always have but counting on him at this point makes no sense. Whatever diaby contributes is a bonus. You know exactly what yossi will give the team and it is almost always positive. He can play the odd game or 2 and be effective without needing a run of games to regain his form. Players like that are priceless over the course of the season and they make us a better team. IMO yossi is more likely to be effective as an occasional sub or playing the odd game here and there then any of our younger less experienced players.

  222. I see spain winning this one nil.

  223. Bill, stop beating around the bush ;-), you saying we should sign Yossi and replace him with Diaby in the 25 man squad?

  224. Wow, cesc and navas on. Portugal on the backfoot now. AMAN ,can’t stand Ronaldo and can’t. Stand ninne. So I pick Spain here.
    Roman would rather see BENNY getting old on chelski bench than in the red and white. Don’t see them loaning him back to us.

  225. Let me add Bill, that is a good idea but imagine if Diaby gets fit, i don’t know tho.

  226. Sergio Ramos is the spanish equivalent of Joey barton, thug like tendencies. Am telling you if ramos wasn’t a footballer he would probably be in jail, useless piece of shit.

  227. Khalifha

    No I don’t think we deep 6 diaby, I think we have committed to him. I do think we should buy yossi and m’villa and like I said yesterday I think we should send Aaron on loan for 6 months. I think that makes us a better team next season and gives Aaron a better chance to reach his potential more quickly.

  228. Wow, that must be eight or nine yellow cards. Ronaldos free kick.was pathatic. Just like his eyebrows.
    DUTCH coach quit.

  229. Bill, alright then, am a fan of ramsey so i whatever AW thinks will be best for him is good enough for me.

    Is it just me or are we watching Bale Fc vs Drogba Fc.

  230. Khalifha.

    I am a fan of Ramsey and diaby also and don’t advocate giving up on either. Don’t know how we manipulate the squad to bring someone like yossi on board, he is not someone we build our future on but he will make us a better team next season and we need to be better if we really want to catch the Manc clubs.

  231. How does Spain stay so organized defensively? They play a high line and send their fullbacks forward more then almost any other team. They have the record for the longest goal-less streak in euro history? They have not dominated the possession this game the way they usually do but still manage to keep a clean sheet.

  232. Ha! You just couldn’t resist, its funny how you seem to love the defending part of football so much.

  233. Why wasn’t Alonso sent off for that assault on Ronnie? Cunt.

  234. AA, i think a yellow card sufficed for the bearded one.

    I want to see spot kicks, fabregas or busquets to end in tears today, amen.

  235. But SHOULD it have been K? He made the challenge secure in the knowledge the worst that would happen to him would be a yellow card. So called professional fouls (ie, cheating, to use the old-fashioned term) should be red cards.

    Crap.

  236. pedantic george

    I agree Andrew .It should be red .Every time.

  237. Khalifha.

    Don’t really love it but I have never thought a team can win things if they don’t defend well.

  238. Alonso misses his penalty kick; what goes around …

  239. Ha, AA de cunt misses.

  240. Jammy little shit.

    How come Ronni didn’t take one?

    Bizarre.

  241. Hahaha. Ronaldos face. Priceless.
    cesc ,off the bench, rescuer of the Spanish.
    Now for the Germans to bulldoze the Italians.

  242. @andrew
    He was supposed to take the 5th one. I am not sure why teams insist on saving their best spot kick taker until the end. Spain did it with Cesc on numerous occasions, too.

  243. Funny how whichever team misses the first penalty kick in the shoot out goes on to win in recent games. It’s happened in tonight’s game, England’s and the CL final. I’m pretty sure I noticed it in other games this season as well, but those are the main ones I can remember.

  244. Evil – makes no sense, does it? Not the first time the Portugal coach has failed to get the most out of Ron.

    Looking forward to a Pod hat trick on Sunday and a good seeing to for Spain who are over-due one.

  245. This is just fucked up, i hope spain get what they deserve in the final. Just look at cesc’s face, pfft

  246. I can’t get cesc face out of my head now, just dandy.

  247. I’m so glad I didn’t watch it – talk about a rock and a hard place.

  248. You contextual bastards

  249. Limestonegunner

    Game of inches–Alves kick hits bar and bounced back. Cesc kick hits inside of post and it just bounces along the inside of the line for a goal. It wasn’t a very good kick but if it hadn’t been so wide the Pierugese keeper might have saved it.

  250. Limestonegunner

    Big props to the Turkish ref for giving Bousquets a yellow card for appealing for a card on Ronaldo for diving. Hate that play acting thug.

  251. @poogseee

    You non.contextual son of whore.

  252. Arsenal and RvPs ‘lockdown’ on any communications regarding the future of the player at the club has worked brilliantly. There is absolutely no information out there at all.

  253. Good game last night. First I’ve really enjoyed. Spain are beatable, they have tactical weaknesses, they are vulnerable to direct, fast football through the middle, especially at the tail end of games and Portugal have showed how playing a similar game to that employed by Arsenal v. Barcelona. So interesting to see how football is rapidly moving forward tactically. Arsenal are at the cutting edge.

  254. I have zero knowledge Frank, but I would have thought Robin and Arsenal are discussing a rolling (effectively annually renewable) contract, a la Bergkamp, which is a little more complex than the usual. The flexibility would suit both parties. In any event the reason for a seeming delay (which is not a delay at all) is that neither party wants to stop the relationship, but the terms of a renewed contract are not yet final. So what exactly does one say in that situation? Nothing.

  255. Goes to show how principled our captain is. He’s really matured.
    Great testament to AW.

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