Arsenal Fall & Is Arsène Really Sahin Something?

Excellent stuff from Danny Boyle last night in the Olympic Opening Ceremony, an impishness the choreography with the NHS fading out into the red. I hope it was narrated well in whichever country you were watching; if not, the bit with the nurses and beds, frightening children was not a biting social commentary about childcare but a reflection of children’s literature. I am not a fan of opening ceremonies but this was a notch or twenty above the usual Uefa and Fifa fare. He chose a decent musical soundtrack, even if The Kinks were The Troggs, The Beatles The Who and Queen absolutely baffled Mrs YW. Mind you, she knew who The Jam and The Specials were which is a vast improvement on when we first met. Those hours of brainwashing have not been entirely wasted.

Which is probably a technique Arsène wishes he could employ on the local press in the Far East. Having been irked by reporters asking only about Robin van Persie in Beijing, according to tweets this morning from Hong Kong, the first two questions from a local reporter were about the Dutchman and when the club would enjoy a cash injection to enable it to catch up with the parvenues. The usual deflected answers were put to one side as his irritation showed through at press conferences in Beijing, is the tension getting to him? I doubt it, more likely his annoyance was from having watched his hotch-potch side give a good account of themselves and lose somewhat harshly by two goals to Manchester City.

In terms of the overall performance, it was quite good. The passing was decent and good chances were created. It was encouraging to see shots coming in from outside the area and with no recognised first choice strikers on the tour, that is not surprising. It is something which should be encouraged in the Premier League; there will be plenty of worse performances by first choice goalkeepers compared to yesterday’s good outing from Pantilimon.

Luck certainly eluded Arsenal; I doubt that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could repeat the feat of hitting both posts and having the ball spin to safety in another 500 attempts. The difference between the two sides was clinical finishing. City afforded Arsenal as much space as Jenkinson did in the build-up for both goals but when the chances fell to those in red, shots were blocked, blazed and skewed wide of the net. Positives can be gained from that.

Yes, there will be concerns about positioning for the goals conceded. Jenkinson was culpable of affording too much space but the problems started higher up the pitch, his rawness showing as he tried to rectify them. Context tempers concerns; in the intensity of a Premier League battle, the tackles fly in and the midfield would have been more hotly contested as the moves progressed. I am sure that Steve Bould will be working with the young full back to ensure he learns from this experience.

The manager is not overly concerned, publicly at least,

Overall what is important for us is to see everybody play and give everybody competition. We lasted 90 minutes at quite a good level.

That is probably right. Despite media attempts to make the situation out to be despairing, I am not sure many are worried at this stage. We know there is work to be done, last season showed that. But it also showed there is a strong base to work with and that is sometimes forgotten. It is illogical to believe Steve Bould could have an immediate impact when the squad has not been together for more than three weeks, a lot less in some cases. There is a similar amount of time before the visit of Sunderland to The Emirates on the opening day and the work needed will take place on the training pitches at London Colney.

City were one match further into their preparation and that I think is where I am uncomfortable with this summer’s build-up. Previous summers have seen the club play half-a-dozen friendlies; at the time of writing there are just four, and only the visit to Cologne for Giroud and Podolski to be managed into the team. That seems a touch light although there is time I suppose for a match to be arranged in the fortnight break between Sunday’s friendly and the German trip.

Away from the pitch, the hype surrounding transfers showed no sign of quelling with Nuri Sahin apparently signed on a year’s loan according to reports from Spain. It was the footballing equivalent of a hurricane warning as that deal was then downgraded to a loan deal with a Premier League club, the Turkish international was reportedly a makeweight in the transfer of Modric to Madrid making that club seem more likely to be Tottenham. Santi Who?

Arsène denied that any transfers were close, which is his code for something is actually happening, and cleverly chose his words – even in anger – over van Persie; nobody had contacted him about the Dutchman since the original bids except this morphed into him denying the bids ever happened in the subs room as the headlines were hastily drawn up.

That’s it for today, the dying embers of this fleeting summer are in the air. Enjoy.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on July 28, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 256 Comments.

  1. Morning YW…..earlyish post..

  2. Yep Ras, early for a Saturday.

  3. Nice intro from Boyle. Great if it would be ‘for everyone’!

  4. @SiuFay reporting we bid E23 m for Cazorla yesterday.

  5. Real want to move Sahin on so they can add Modric to the squad. I think Sahin is a crackin player as is Cazorla. If there is any truth to either rumour of them coming to us maybe we are just keeping a few irons in the fire in case something happens to scupper our plans

  6. hey, is Bould travelling with the group or is home to train and work with others? Or even to put fear of god in rvp?
    Any word on Tomas and Chuks? Heard they were excellant y’day.

  7. It wasn’t bad in parts but the NHS bit was surreal.

    I was interested to see that Hong Kong competes, yet is part of China.

    I assume we cam in as the United Kingdom’ as we weren’t in the ‘g’s.(I went to bed at this point). Yet we are ‘Team GB’

    Strange that the entry was decded on rather odd alphabetical terms. So, for example, the ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ entered as an ‘F’ not an ‘M’.

    I did discover that there are countries that I still hadn’t heard of.

  8. I thought Chuks Aneke had a god game yesterday-Has a bright future me hinks..So you YW “You Done To Much Much to young” ” Down in the Tube station at Midnight”?…..I Think “Im going underground” for next few days..

  9. Was at the races yesterday so missed the game, but having seen the highlights on AFC we were a bit unlucky.IfI you’re going to take shots from outside the box you have to work the goalie and we certainly did that. On our defensive errors for the goal, I think its something we are generally guilty of anyway, giving the attacking team too much space. We did the same thing for the Malaysian goal. I’m lookiing forward to seeing Steve Bould knock that out of them. Its nothing particularly revolutionary, if you are in the face of the man with the ball he can’t score. It is important to keep your shape along the back line, but not at the expense of giving acres of space to the opposition.

  10. cb

    Host nation always comes in last.

  11. What pleased me about yesterday’s game was the number of shots we had outside the area. No less than 19. i hope this is the shape of things to come.
    Apart from that, I already find excitement in watching our younger element perform. At last it seems to me that Wenger’s youth policy is bearing proof.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s game in Honkers against Kitchee before the lads return home and pre-season really starts.

    No comment on Yogi’s report on the opening of some athletics meeting in London.
    It was far too long and involved for most crumblies and I adjourned for bed, armed with a small malt, well before the end.
    PS I’m still trying to work out who the Specials were. My wife wonders whether they could have been the children of that guy who once managed Chelsea.

  12. Ah, thank you, Wavey. You live and learn.

  13. ‘I’ve talked a lot with Abdullah Ghubn and with the Sheikh and this would not be representative of their mentality. It would send out the wrong signal ahead of our Champions League campaign. If significant offers come in for players they are worthy of consideration, but I don’t think Santi will be leaving for €20 million.’

    Does this mean we aren’t in the running any more? Would hate to see him go to someone else in the Prem after we have courted him.

  14. Top of the morning everyone –
    Tend to agree with you YW in that we can do with one or maybe two more preseason games –
    HUDDERSFUELD. OR MAYBE NOTTINGHAM FOREST – like what I have seen so far.

  15. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Wow – I am not really into this whole five rings shebang (would rather have the World Cup), but that was quite something.

    Re: the NHS/Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the link with children’s literature – it’s a little obscure maybe, but JM Barrie donated his royalties from Peter Pan – “Second on the right, and straight on til morning” – to GOSH in perpetuity. A benevolent sort, of the type who shames those who partake of the current mania for offshoring.

    (And when one of Johnny Depp’s kids got really sick while he was filming at Elstree or somewhere, she got whisked into GOSH and they put her right. He donated $1m as a thank you. And he had played JM Barrie opposite Kate Winslet in the film Finding Neverland, about the genesis of the story.)

    The Voldemorts, the Cruella de Vils – I fear they reside in our current government, who would put an end to free healthcare for little kids at the point of need.

    “This is for everyone” – TBL, fabulous! Saw that man collect his Gold Medal from the Royal Society. Puts Gutenberg in the shade. And Heatherwick: bus designer, bridge designer, seed palace king, and now copper flower flames a speciality.

    Here’s the soundtrack (from the ToryGraph, sorry):

    Dizzee! Tiny Tempeh! Arctics! God Save the Queen AND Pretty Vacant – who’d a thought?

    How goes the football? I have not been paying attention. Have we got Santi yet?

  16. ‘No [I am not interested in M’Vila]. We wait on [Abou] Diaby and [Jack] Wilshere.
    ‘When you look we have Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin, Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Diaby.
    ‘In defensive midfielders and box-to-box players we are not short if they are all coming back.
    ‘If we have setbacks in pre-season it could be different.’

    He didn’t mention Rosicky in that list, but we are short of an AM with our current injuries. As already discussed, we are starting the season with only Diaby fit to play in the AM role (although I think Ox should be playing there as well). Its a hard role to define, but I think its the role of ball carrier, the guy who runs at defences with the ball. Arteta and Ramsey seem more suited to the role of the holding midfielder, the guy who sees it all in front of him and sprays the passes around. Ramsey is a fantastic passer and I think it knocked his confidence a bit asking him to play a bit further forward last season, he tended to be a bit hesitant when he was the player driving forward and seemed to slow play down to see what was going on ahead of him. I’m assuming that Arshavin will be going (unfortunately), but we should at least keep him until January and let him run at defenses from the middle of the park (where is PG when you need him).

  17. i knew that we wont win yesterday because we lack quality up front. like wenger said our striker are in london. but i’m must encouraged by the way we dominated the match especially in the first half.
    bartley did ok. miquel is the most improved player in the last 3 months. song arteta diaby were awesome trio. i like what i saw in aneke. he is like diaby but more handsome. is it possible for us to keep eastmond? i like his versatility.
    jekinson needs to improve very fast. too many players to compete with.

  18. Just caught up with the match on Arsenal player. Some really beautiful football, great encouragement to see such fluidity. Only great keeping and fractions of an inch saved City from a mauling.
    As far as the shameful comments I’ve read about Jenks – why can’t people focus on all the good stuff he did yesterday? Ther certainly was plenty to cheer about.
    What is the masochistic impulse to only concentrate on anything that goes well for our opponents?
    Shakes head, trudges off.

  19. riproarringred

    Ah bet Cameron enjoyed watching us celebrate everything he is trying to kill off last night!

  20. their second goal was offside. i think the woman assistant referee was still thinking of vermalaen caresing her and failed to sport the offside. we had a stone wall pen but howard webb we never see arsenal win any pen over his dead body. so it was a draw yesterday.
    on the first goal, i think gibbs not jekinson was at fault.

  21. After the game tomorrow theres a 2 week gap until we play Koln – was this the time we were supposed to go to Nigeria – by the looks of the pic above it was – surely theres gonna be at least 1 game organised in that time to get the new signings some game time before the season kicks off??

  22. the man of the match yesterday was their goalkeeper. what is he doing on city bench? i guess money is what can keep such a good keeper on the bench.

  23. The NHS part of the opening ceremony was a bit strange. To the outside world it looked like Britain took pride in having a health care system with doctors and nurses (of course other countries can be only envious because they do not have that).

    Steve Bold has a lot of work to do with the defensive shape. Of course this can not be done in 3 weeks. Good that the problems clearly manifest themselves at an earlier stage in the frendlies. There is still some time to work on them.

    Hope Diaby comes unscratched. I still see him becoming an important player for Arsenal.

  24. He is on City’s bench because he is yet another player they have bought and don’t use. City is where footballers go to die, they just get paid a lot to do it.

  25. sahins an incredible talent and im not sure if its a smokecreen for carloza or a back up option

    somethings definately happening though, i still think we need a couple of midfielders, a solid one and a creative one but i’ll settle for an attacking one and then we go with le coq as the solid one..

    wenger could maybe right about no bids being tabled for rvp..maybe UTD, city and juve have only made enquiries and gone away with their tails between their legs when we told them 30mil..

    saying that, if weve managed to bag players like carloza, podolski and jiroo, as well as contracts for kozzer, song and theo – robin may just have seen enough ambition for him to re sign..

    fingers crossed..

  26. pre season games dont mean anything..
    its about seeing what combinations work and getting fitness levels up..

    of course its nice to see a winning mentality but if theres a time to lose its these games..
    besides its better to play a few tough teams..

    going to austria and playing part time mountain league teams and smashing them 10 – 0 never seemed to do us any favours anyway

    we need to be pushed to the limits to get them ready for the PL…

  27. “The Voldemorts, the Cruella de Vils – I fear they reside in our current government, who would put an end to free healthcare for little kids at the point of need.”

    Sadly true. I must say I was prepared to be underwhelmed, these kind of huge corporate behemoth’s usually leave me cold, however I think it was a good ‘un. The NHS bit provided a sting in the tail.

    Someone sent me a link to a couple of tweets by delightful Tory tit Aidan Burley (who was dismissed for dressing up as a Naz at a stag do. The little charmer):

    “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!”

    and this pearl:

    “The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?”


  28. Rosicky wasnt mentioned in wengers list of midfielders because he wasnt referring to the attacking midfield. he simply listed his first choice 6 for the 2 that play in front of the back 4. rosicky lansbury chamberlain walcott gervinho ryo arshavin take their place in the 3 behind the lone striker. after this tour i would say that aneke has certainly put himself in the frame for a place in the 2 whilst eisfeld might have just done enough to be added to the 3. i think the big losers for not making the tour will be frimpong henderson and probably lansbury. for the lone striker role both chamakh and afobe have failed to convince so far meaning that podolski and giroud are the big winners with even bendtner and park probably having more chance of being the third option than the 2 that have travelled. defensively bartley and miquel have been the most impressive whilst gibbs appears to have won the left back duel with santos playing more as a left winger on this tour. i think that is the best place for santos and if i were wenger i would be looking to sign taylor of swansea who has looked better for team gb than jenkinson does for us even though he is naturally a left back and a damn good one at that. so i say taylor in for squillaci. cazorla in for arshavin. Replace rvp with llorente. I would get gouffran in for chamakh with bendtner and parks places in the squad going to lansbury and eastmond. i would then sell both fabianski and mannone bring in cesar and mvila or capoue.

  29. if Liverpool fail to qualify for the CL for the is it 3rd or 4th year on a row, can they still be seen as a big club?

  30. riproarringred

    I seem to recall us losing a friendly 4-1 to a Turkish team a few years back in Austria – Didn’t harm us to much as we ended up winning the double that season!

  31. We appear to have an abundance of wingers at the moment, with even Podolski being able to slot in on the left hand side if need be. I’m hoping to see more of Ryo in the coming season, but I’m not sure where we are going to play him. I know he can play on either flank, but he seems more comfortable on the right.

  32. opening ceremony to olympics, was poor. simple as. its not about china javing more money its was complete naff. one minute its live next they are showing recordings? and dizee rascal?

    regarding the game, doesnt mean much, we played them at the etihad and were lucky to lose and then played at the emirates and were better. we are not far away from city when we have full team. Cut out the mistakes and we will be good.

    also if RVP stays but doesnt sign a contract should we play him? have in the squad or let him rot? i understand he wants his last payday but he didn’t hesitate when injured signing contract extensions did he?

  33. Agree that the ceremony was overwhelmingly left wing.

    I still do not get the point with the girl and the boy apparently having a romance on the stage. What was it about?

    The Victorians and the Bond moment were good though.

  34. RRR
    i seem to recall us winning a double..been a while though now..

    its also been a while since someone last seen liverpools big club tag…

  35. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, you have lost me!

    Danny Boyle had a problem with cancer and therefore has an interest in the future of the NHS. IF politicians stopped interfering and let the professionals run the an NHS split into more manageable entities! There will always be empire builders and the NHS is affected by this.

    From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs. A good credo. An early morning jog through the hinterland of the old Soviet Union, or even the back streets of outer Moscow, one could see the brutality of the male to the female. Cleaning the streets does not require any intelligence and therefore females were obviously chosen.

    Those who have lost their jobs through outsourcing, have only themselves to blame for their own greed.

  36. I feel optimistic about d new season. Wit subsequent signings & more work in training, we shall win something this season. COYG

  37. people have a point though, saying that if RvP is not sold this summer he must sign a new contratc. why? beacuse he is as injuryprone as he is it would be a huge gamble for him to be out of contract with a major injury. And the chance for him to pick up one this year is huge…

  38. Fucking marvellous post there Clerkenwell – agree with every word.

    Emotionally I am gossamer thin at the moment which would explain why I had no cynicism AT ALL and largely cried throughout and am of compromised perspective.

    BUT…Boyle has, for me, rethought and rewritten the ceremony paradigm. Thank Jebus!

    It was a big fuck off to those – including me – who worried we might fuck this up. GREAT Britain – GREAT History and he utilised talented fuckers left, right and centre to remind us what we have given to the world. At times I am SO glad to be from this sceptred isle – deep down I always have been.

    The large strong NHS bit was just fucking fabulous – if Cameron HAD a soul he would been jumping like a frog in a frying pan. Him and Coe can fuck off for their hypocritical ideals.

    IMHO Boyle deserves a knighthood.

    Imagine what France would have come up with…HA!

  39. Outstanding spectacle – did we look good on the dance floor

    Great to see a master at w

  40. …..ork

  41. What a player Ramsey is. Love his passing. He can make things happen in that role for us in the coming season. I see him and Arteta swapping in and out of that position and with so many competitions again this season it is great that we have two very talented players who can take up that spot.

  42. Congrats (from America)

    Opening ceremony was scintillating.

    Disappointed for the loss yesterday but from what I’ve read yesterday and today, there are so many positives to take away. Excited to see Santos moved forward.

    Miquel has become a favorite to watch. Cool and calm with the ball, incisive with his decisions……great reader of the situation. For me he has a better foundation than TV5.

    Elated for no injuries and comfortable to have an underdog role with the media and pundits.

  43. riproarringred

    Heard on radio 5 today that Lord Coe was preparing to take The Queen up the Olympic Orbit!

    Never heard it called that before!…..

  44. Limestonegunner

    Hi YW, nice post as ever. Your title prompted me to point out that Sahin’s last name is pronounced Shaheen. In Turkish script, there is a letter “S” with a tilda and a “C” with a tilda that are pronounced “Sh” and “Ch”, respectively, but these markers don’t show up in other language scripts that don’t have these sounds or write them with a combination of letters, as we do in English. So the pun only works, if, say Steve Maclaren or a Dutch speaker of English were speaking!

  45. Jonny 11.41 am – fucking marvelous post yourself – v well put but sorry to hear you are going thru the wars elsewhere.

    Poodle 10.18 – I think in their own heads Liverpool ARE a big club but assuming that might be true only serves to highlight the degree of their under performance in recent years.

    And it’s a relevant point because every season without fail it’s actually AFC picked out to under perform and generally fall by the wayside …

    I also think we are due to bite EVERYONE on the bum this year and every day that passes by without a farewell from RvP or Theo merely reinforces this feeling.

    RvP: Not Gone Yet.

  46. From yesterday’s match, Chamberlain and Miguel really impressed me, rea…lly. Oxlade was spraying the ball around the pitch like a seasoned pro, it is kinda hard to believe that he has hardly played in that position at senior level.

    Now Miguel was also impressive yesterday, what i liked most about him was his reluctance to play the false 9 position, a lil bit of defending never hurt anybody.

  47. Great post yogi

    Entertaining game. I think we looked good in attack and we were unlucky not to score. Always tough to score without your 3 top strikers. Chamakh does some good things but never really looks like he might score. Certainly exciting to watch the Ox. Don’t want to put too much pressure on him but I think he is truly a superstar in waiting. Hopefully nothing will happen to derail his career. Aneke and afobe look to be good players. Both are big lads and I hope they do well. Would like to see both go on loan to a PL team so we get a better idea of what we have.

  48. pedantic george

    Wont it be wonderful if we sign Cazorla,and that happpening makes RVP think we are matching his ambition.He might rethink and decide to stay at our pathetic little club.Oh how I will rejoice if that happens.
    However ,what if we sign a disruptive 20 year old Dutch player with a fragile physique?Surely it is players like that ,that will show him our true ambition.He could not complain about that could he? No? Could he?

  49. pedantic george

    Is it safe?

  50. arsenalandrew


  51. You got that wooden spoon out George?

  52. I thought last night’s opening ceremony was superb. Apart from McCartney at the end.

  53. arsenalandrew

    Honestly don’t know enough about Pod or Girroud other than what I’ve read here but whilst losing Robin probably won’t kill us, retaining him WOULD likely make us stronger so in that sense, yes, I would rejoice if he stays …

    Would you prefer to see him gone, George?

  54. pedantic george

    I would Andrew,
    I feel betrayed .I am not going to slag him off because he has not lived up to my expectations .But people should remember that he was the one who gave us the impression that he was the real deal.We didn’t dream it up.He deceived us.And intentionally as well.

  55. Nobody wants to lose the best striker and 3rd best player in the world, MY opinion. We just have to swallow our pride and hope he stays, provided he gives nothing less than a 100% , in other words GOALS.

  56. With regard to our defense I don’t think yesterday added any new concerns but it certainly did not give us any evidence that anything had changed. At this point after 6 years of suboptimal defending the baseline is going to be concern rather then optimism. I understand your point about giving Bould time to fix things but he has been with the team for many years and if he really knew how to fix the defense I rather suspect he would have helped do something before now. Besides how much time does it take to tell TV5 that he is the senior defender out there and he has to help organize the team. Instead our captain took more shots and spent more time in the opposition penalty box then our center forward. I don’t expect miracles but it would have been nice to see some evidence that we are working on something different. My guess is that this is the way arsene wants the team to play and Bould can not change that. That does not mean we are DOOMED and even I don’t think we will concede 48 goals this season but do far there is no evidence that any changes are in the way we defend are in the works.

  57. arsenalandrew

    Understand your sentiments PG; I honestly see a real opportunity for us this season and anything which contributes to our posing genuine threat to our rivals needs to be grasped (assuming consistency with AW’s plans).

    Our competitors would also love RvP to no longer be with us.

  58. The guys played well but this match shows where they need improvement. City showed us how to finish. Still it isn’t too bad for the guys second outting. Here in the states they showed the opennuing ceremonies. too bad what happened to England in the match against Sengal. That should have been a PK kick. Still the guys are playing well. brasil almost blew it.

  59. arsenalandrew

    Baselines? Turnovers?

    YW will be pacing up and down Yogi Towers, steam coming out of his ears …

  60. I won’t even kid myself, if Rvp gets sold we won’t be bringing in any striker, i read somewhere that Gervinho has been playing the CF role in training – keep the mutha.

  61. pedantic george

    khalifha ,behave.3rd best player in the world ? Never in a million years.

  62. pedantic george

    Andrew I also understand your thinking.
    He is an asset on the pitch ,for sure.But for me the price of accepting his contribution is too high

  63. I loved many aspects of yesterday’s 2012 opening ceremony: not least the politics behind Boyle’s use of the NHS and CND logos. However, the levels of confusion that we felt during many of the earliest parts could only have been exponentially increased for non-Brit viewers. We cringed mightily.

    On yesterday’s warm up friendly, already said.

  64. I’ll take all the guidance I need on basslines from steww.

  65. Bill.

    I agree with you, re the defence but you’re beginning to sound like a broken record.

    Firstoff, 6years!? You have got to be kidding me – We lost only 3 matches in the 2007/2008 and conceded less than 35 goals in 38 matches, 2008/2009 we again conceded less than 38 goals in our league matches, i think. Our problems ‘defensively began in 2009, Not 6 years ago. Don’t let trivial things like TRUTH or FACTS get in the way of your arguements, jeez.

    We MUST improve our defending if we’re going to have any chance of winning trophies, but bringing this issue up every day is not going to help Arsenal solve anything, just saying.

  66. Great posts by Harry, CLerkenwell Gooner and Jonny.

    Well put dudes!

    SV; Your far right political leanings are a problem you will have to deal with come the revolution. If you think that every nation has a health service similar to the UK’s then please show me, I might fancy emigrating, especially if the climate’s nice and warm?

    Reading AW’s comments it looks like we will be seeing quite a few of the younger players competing in the first team then. Perhaps even Eastmond still has a chance, which is something I thought had long gone.

  67. It was very interesting watching the game yesterday. I only caught a little bit, but as I watched the players coming on for the 2nd half, something struck me; the likes of AOC and Coquelin, bartley looked like proper blokes! Serious, focused and buffed man! I have an even better feeling about this season, I really do.

    George; fuck off will you!

  68. PG, like i said, MY opinion – Ronaldo and Messi apart, who do you think has more influence on a game than R.a.t? In terms of creating chances and scoring goals.

  69. khalifha | July 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm


    I agree with you, re the defence but you’re beginning to sound like a broken record.
    It’s taken you a while, but you are finally up to speed man. 🙂

    Bill would complain if we won every game 5-2. Those 2 goals conceded would be such a nuisance to him!

  70. Khalifha;

    Bill also likes to lump each individual season into one. He is a very simple soul. You trying to school him and telling him things like tyhe TRUTH and FACTS will fly straight over his head.

    Watch, tomorrow he will say exactly the same, even though you have blown his point out the water. I know, as he keeps banging on about the ‘lack of ‘ spending as much asn the DEFENSE, even though I have tried again and again to explain how things are, how we were all told things would be; new stadium; debt; long term sponsorship deals; recessions; yadda yadda.

    Its a waste of time, let him repeat himself ad nauseum. It’s how he likes it. 🙂

  71. Khali;

    I am getting like Bill here, sorry! But you could also have explained to Bill about the defensive formation where Song and Denilson played as the anchors after a poor run of games. We didnt lose a game for something like 22 games. However, the offensive side of the team suffered as a consequence.

    It’s a fine balancing act and definitely not as simple as Bill.

  72. Dex,
    Don’t be silly. Bill was on the board during that defensive run and he couldnt even bring himself to acknowledge the results or the change in tactics. Then or now. That would contradict the things he likes to repeat every day, so why would he do it?

  73. Especially if meant praising players he did not like.

  74. pedantic george

    Dexter ,Iam playing my “joker” apology from you.That I accepted in advance the other day.

  75. Dexter, ha, thats crazy man. I’ve seen you trying to explain things like ‘4 full backs unavailable’ and ‘lack of understanding between center backs’ to Bill, but i guess TRUTH and FACTS are just stupid terms used to confuse people.

  76. Or the, um, the ‘high line’. That at times is not so high but shush. We don’t want to upset the children by explaining to them that all great teams (or even normal teams that are playing well) that all football fans have watched like to control the tempo of games, including taking up different ‘lines’ during the course of a game.
    Teams that are a bit rusty at that kind of stuff usually are because they are inexperienced, still Gelling, or unsettled by things like injuries. Crap. There I go again. Writing about football.

  77. We all agree the Defence needs to be worked on thus the excitement about Steve Bould’s appointment. There are so many factors to consider, but Bill has chosen to ignore them because it will not suit his arguement, am i right or am i right?

  78. So: favourite Danny Boyle films?
    For me, Millions. A film about two brothers who find some farking money.

  79. er….trainspotting surely fins.

  80. top post jonny.

  81. Anyone else concerned by the lack of friendlies ?,after tomorrow it’s cologne and that’s it,I’m sure the professor knows what he’s doing,thought we did well yesterday,just wish people would get of young jenkinsons back,I’ve got a feeling he’s going to be at arsenal for a very long time,he has an incredible engine and arsenal DNA obviously.Andrew rvp’s situation is beyond salvation,he burnt his bridges with a bloody great flame-thrower when he released that spiteful disrespectful statement, you’ll be drooling over our new number 10 within weeks I promise mate,robin van who’s he?

  82. Italy 2 Germany 1, anybody that watched that match would see that Defending is not as simple as it seems. Even with a back 5 of Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Hummels and Badstuber Germany’s defence was run ragged during the duration of the match.

    Throughout last season, we were either chasing a match or chasing a team ahead of us in league standings, we had to take risks and that in turn left holes at the back, but that does not mean we could not have done better, there is always room for improvement.

    Okay, now am done, thanks a lot Bill.

  83. arsenalandrew

    Mel – chances are, you will be proven correct re RvP.

    I think the reason I continue to clutch onto straws is the sense of waste I (we) feel having seen the club ‘invest’ seven years to get ‘just’ the one great season out of him. The feeling of being short-changed over-rides my ability to apply more normal levels of common sense to the issue.

    Agree wholly with your remarks re: Jenkinson btw. Given the nature of certain swathes of our support you may as well be wishing on a star. See the hostility Kos has had to overcome, for a comparison …

    No idea re: lack of friendlies – am guessing the Nigerian cancellation has added to the deficit though I’ve every confidence in AW, out of all of them, to get the side conditioned in time for the start of the season.

  84. Khali Dex Finsbury

    You guys are just jealous and wish you could be more like me.


    “even though you have blown his point out the water.”

    Ideations of grandeur and fixed delusions. Dex you would make a great study case for someones psychopathology graduate thesis. 🙂

  85. Nope
    Arsène really ain’t shahin nothing YW.
    Nuri ain’t the one we need..
    the mighty S-a-n-t-i’s the ONE for we.

  86. pedantic george

    I want to join the Jenkinson appreciation club please.
    I really like the lad .His heart is huge and he genuinely loves the club.So does Frimpong .So let wish him a speedy and full recovery.Dont forget he was doing as well as Jack ,until his first injury.

  87. pedantic george

    Dexter is a University student ,studying social work and pimpery.From what I can gather.

  88. arsenalandrew

    Okay George, you’re in.

  89. Is Bill Robson in disguise? Operating under deep cover, like.
    Just another “conspiratorial theory” as Bill would say but seriously.

    PS: I am trying to write like Finsbury but I have to admit there is nothing like the original.

  90. I won’t be left behind. Jenkinson has Arsenal “DNA”. We need more players like him, who hopefully won’t jump ship like other rats.

  91. arsenalandrew

    Sahil – you’re good.

  92. that looks like rvp’s room.

  93. Is it me only? Trolling the various Arsenal blogs, I have discovered that 90% of the time it is a teenager in around 6th Form age (12th grade for Americans) pontificating and slagging off players and coaches and owners. Their complete arrogance and hubris is astonishing. A piece I just read about Diaby sparked this post but it could be any player at the club who is not fashionable or doesn’t have a 20 million price tag.

  94. Bill; As usual, you have got my digits man. Bang to rights, jealous as charged!

    George; You are close enough with that description of me.

    Fins; Shush indeed, let’s not spoil their fun now.

    Andrew; I, like you, still hold out the slimmest of hopes our cap’un sorts his head out. Or what I mean is, that the club and manager get up to speed where our benevolent dutch deity resides.

  95. shotta; I think i saw that headline (was it the chronicales of Alunia?) I didnt even bother to open the link. Same goes for gunnersphere too. That dude has serious VVD (Virtualverbal diarrhea).

  96. Andrew you’ll have to be chairman of the jenkinson fan club, I’m no good at that sort of thing(I couldn’t keep a rabbit going with lettuce in actual fact)!-did you read the interview he did alongside his dad?-his dad let it slip that after he signed for us they both did a little jig outside wengers office.

  97. I have noticed that too shotta.

  98. I am sure that if things carry on, a manager will end up getting the sack due to losing a pre-season friendly! Talk about over reactions. Some fo the coverage of our warm up game vs the northen chavs was pathetically predictable.

    Jenkison is a fine young player, think he could be extremely important for us. Making a mistake or two is part and parcel of his development and making one in pre-season is all well and good, surely.

  99. Love that Jenkinson article. It says the room is untouched since his childhood, but he’s added to it. It looks like he’s had his away strip from last season framed. Good lad.

  100. Dex

    “Bill; As usual, you have got my digits man. Bang to rights, jealous as charged!”

    Admitting the truth is the first step towards getting better. Tomorrow we can move on to step 2

  101. A bit of a disappointment in the road race, GB team let the leading group get away from them in the last hour. Never managed to claw the gap back.

  102. Arsenal could easily concede less goals. play with a few DM’s like City or play mostly on the counter like United.

  103. arsenalandrew

    Okay Mel – you can be President tho, you called it first!

    Didn’t see the article but I was there for his first appearance at the Emirates – aware of his youth I was watching through fingers initially but he did really well. (Whisper it but I actually thought of a young Tony Adams at the time).

    Shotta/Dex – so much of the least informed criticism of the club is from youngsters with little or no perspective.

    Anyway, Wenger out.

  104. this beach volleyball is a great game actually..

  105. Dex – I didn’t want to name the offender, unnecessary and unmerited publicity. He is just one example. You nailed it VVD (Virtual Verbal diarrhea).

  106. Paul @ 3:50:

    Who would want to do anything like either of those clubs? United outscoring us and conceding less then us for each of the last 7 years and city having a 40 goal differential lead on us last season was all just bad luck and this year will be different. 🙂

  107. i thought the opening last night was really good. its the first time ever i did not fall alsleep during the opening ceremony. It was lighthearted, fun and enterntaining.
    Chinas was plain boring,boring and more boring. Chinas was” look at our grand might, are we not beautiful.”
    Atlest you got to giggle abit with the british one. The soundtrack was better too. It was very british but not in an arrogant way, which i thought the chinese opening leaned towards.

    I did not think it was leftwing neither, but it mirrored the reality of the city it is held in. London is multucultura, London is party and clubbing. London is a liberal cosmopolitan. Ofc if you are form a miningtown in Yorkshire this opening did not mirror your picture of britain but if you are from London it looks alot like what you see outside your window…
    Im not from the UK but have lived there for several years before. the opening for me was very british without being imperialistic.
    Maybe that is what peope were dissapointed about. there was no “rule britannia” shit. No arrogance, no strong desire to show off. Thank god for that. The world is changing so is the UK.
    Ofc the opening did skip important dark chaptes of the british history such as slavery and colonializm etc. but i guess diving into such would indeed have been a bit to left wing…..

    Wheter one like the new britain or not, now that is an entierly different question. I think Boyle gave a really good picture of it though.

    industry, rockn roll and the internet…lol

  108. oh and dont you just fall asleep watching United though? they are so zzzzz. even when they win massivley they are boring. that is rather impressive, to make your audience fall asleep even when you win massivley….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  109. PaulN – As Dex correctly recalled we once went 22 games unbeaten with Song and Denilson sitting. Came 4th that year I recall when Villa was supposed to overhaul us.

    BTW: Why should we waste the talent and vision that Song possesses to make these incisive through balls baffles me? At least 2 years ago I thought his passing was horrible. Both he and Wenger have made a mug of me. But we still have a large swathe of bloggers and plundits wanting him to sit deeper and make no contribution to our offense (sorry YW). Unbelievable.

  110. That is not the Arsenal way, Bill. We attack.
    Once we have all of our defenders in and settled, we will defend better. You cannot perfect your way if you don’t keep at it. Injuries don’t help either. I do think we should have changed our style when we had the injuries last season though.

    I think last season was skewed by the United match, quite a few very unfortunate own goals and some bogus penalties. United have a free ride on pens against for the most part.

    As has been said, we had the Invincible’s under Wenger and that team played attacking football. Once it is perfected we will kick backside.

    Shotta, yes, I do remember that. So Arsene isn’t as stubborn as Bill believes.

  111. arsenalandrew

    Volleyball looking good – lots of turnovers and well defended base lines …

    Poodle – I think Maureen’s Chavski was the most boring ‘successful’ side I’ve EVER seen. Even copious supplies of alcohol consumed in near lethal volume failed to lift their turgid performances – real ‘death of football’ stuff.

    There is a VICIOUS judo final going on right now – two chicks going nuts …

  112. Also, we all admire the pressing game of Spain/Barca. That did not happen overnight, it took years.

  113. Watching Southampton v Ajax on TV. I know it’s only pre-season, but they look like another of those promoted teams who has been well schooled in how to play football. Certainly going to take a few scalps when the season starts. Man City, Man Utd and us in first 4 weeks is going to be make or break for them. If they grab a win or even a draw from one of those they should be full of confidence. A couple of stuffings early on and it will be a long season.

  114. And Ajax score

  115. aa,

    i think the czecs are looking good….for the win.

  116. arsenalandrew

    Yes, Czecs are my favourites too (for the win).

  117. Don’t care who wins, just want it to go on as long as possible.

  118. Do they swap tops afterwards?

  119. arsenalandrew

    Someone looking suspiciously like Pedantic George has just won gold in the Judo (white robe, black belt, bare foot, you know the type).

    Volleyball ends tragically ‘early’.

  120. i think a lot of the time in the 22 game unbeaten thing our midfield was diaby song denilson eboue..we shut up shop, sneaked some one nils but essentially lost a lot of points due to about half of the games being draws..
    we can defend, we shut up shop perfectly to defend what we had against barca and everything was looking peachy until rvp got sent off for having a shot against barca, how dare he…
    its not our style though, were an attacking team, paul nailed it..
    id rather play 20 and win 15 and lose five by going for goals than play 20 and win ten and draw the rest shutting up shop..
    we can do either if we want, its just finding the right balance.

    dukey, beach volleyballs fucking awesome.

    george, where do i sign up for the jenkinson appreciation club..?

  121. @Bill
    Who said it’s down to bad luck? To continue our discussion from yesterday, I have actually waded through some numbers so I can now present you some facts and questions related to that!

    First of all: 2003/2004, The Invincibles conceded 26 goals with Kolo Toure and Sol Campbell playing in defence for the majority of the season with both players starting 35 times.
    Now, a year after, we concede 36 goals. Shock! Horror! So, what do you think, Bill, is that down to?

    a) mysterious coaching change
    b) the fact that Sol could only take part in 16 PL matches that season with Senderos or Cygan deputising in the others

    But let’s move ahead to the next year, 2005/2006 and we manage to improve our defensive record. Arsenal improving their defensive record! Now that’s something we haven’t heard in a long while. We only concede 31 goals that season.What’s the explanation?

    a) mysterious coaching change
    b) Sol being able to start more games and Senderos acclimatising himself to English football as it’s his second full year in the league!

    Let’s move ahead another year, we have now conceded 35 goals. So why the degradation?

    a) mysterious coaching change
    b) new defender coming in with Gallas, Sol leaving
    c) moving to the Emirates stadium because it sucks for defending! (this is a joke answer, don’t select it!)

    Now the glorious 2007/2008 season awaits. And with it comes a defensive improvement. Incredible! 31 goals conceded. Why could that be?

    a) mysterious coaching change
    b) Gallas has settled in

    2008/2009, we concede more. Very sad. 37 goals in fact. But how do we explain that?

    a) mysterious coaching change
    b) Gallas injured, only availbale for 23 games. Average goals conceded with Gallas playing: 0.78 without him: 1.23

    And so on, and so on. I think that there is a clear pattern to be recognised but if you have selected a) more times than b) in this quiz, I feel you haven’t noticed the pattern. Something with conceding more goals when there are changes to the back 4 and all that.

  122. Jonjon- You need to be approved by Mr.Chairman to join.

  123. arsenalandrew

    Excellent, Evil.

    I’ve not done the math but my guess is you could apply your faultless logic to last season’s experience also; we clearly conceded more apple turnovers with the entire de-fense out …

  124. arsenalandrew

    … before getting stamped in triplicate by Our President (can’t risk any fairweather supporters; they’ll be boos ringing around the stadium before we know it, not to mention black bags).

  125. Superb post Evil.

  126. sahil, i was impressed with jenks last preseason..
    hes a good prospect, although he needs time to get his game together..
    sagnas injuries were unforseen, who the fuck breaks their leg twice in 6months? so jenks got more gametime than i think even AW or any of us expected, sagnas normally an ox…

    pre season is a good time for him to learn a few things about his game before real games begin..
    you aint gonna learn if you dont make a fuck up or two along the way and nows the time to make the fuck ups..

    he’ll have strong competition from le coq i would like to think, although AW sees le coq in cm so im thinking jenks will be given the green light for the rwb role when the pl kicks off..

  127. Evil: Don’t you know facts are dangerous? They destroy myth and opinion.

  128. Paul

    I understand it’s not the Arsenal way but how can you say we play better attacking football when united has outscored us 7 seasons in a row? Last season Citeh was only the 3rd team in the PL era to score more then 90 goals. (I heard that somewhere and correct me if wrong). Point is you say they play boring defensive football yet citeh outscored us by 20 and outscored almost every English team in history since they created the PL? Isn’t the point of attacking to score goals? I understand the instinct to defend the team but claiming that we concede goals because we play attacking football and they play defensive makes no sense.

  129. arsenalandrew

    Looks like Jonny’s got some more work in the offing – he’s always breaking the internet.

    Guardian Tech ‏@guardiantech

    US National Security Agency boss asks hackers to make internet more secure

  130. backups are essential for keeping the squad fit..

    the invincible season went well because everyone stayed fit including those on the bench so the squad was rotated and the key players got rested when they picked up niggles..

    since then, the backups have been not as weve played players until burnout and ‘red zones’ and then wondered why its man down for a few months..

    the invincibles were a fantastic squad, not just a team..

    we’ll never get a squad like that again..citys millions would struggle to build a squad like that again..

    but we can have a great squad again..

    our problem over the years is that it first team was shit hot, after that weve been clutching at straws..

    we just need a stronger squad 🙂

  131. Agree about Jenks JonJon. And how good a prospect is Miquel, I think he could turn out to be a very good defender. Definitely one to look out for.

  132. arsenalandrew

    Team GB football playing really well v Cameroon – 2-0, beautiful second for our plucky women.

  133. arsenalandrew

    Hard to imagine a similar squad to the Invincibles, isn’t it JonJon?

    But I think the current squad is starting to get as close to it as we have been for a good while – and it’s the blend of experience and youth that is rapidly shaping up that is the cause of that optimism, for me.

  134. miquel impresses everyone becuase hes very technical..
    i think it will be a struggle for him at the minute becuase of the age and the contract lengths of the first choice 4 cbs..

    were probably looking at another 4-5 years before we really start to see him,..unless he turns out to be a wonderkid and he sneaks himself in..

    a few of the lads have done it over the years..theres always one who starts to shine and finds himself playing a few times so it wouldnt be fair to totally rule him out of making a breakthrough earlier than expected….

  135. AA
    it we pull this carloza deal off then we are set to go..
    we were strong everywhere last season apart from cm and forwards..
    if we bag carloza its been a tip top summer..
    we just need to keep the ones we already have here.. 😉

  136. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, Mrs Yogi and I must have the same problem?

    Evil, thank you. Senderos was a good player before being Drogba-ed. The interesting part was an interview he gave to an Observer reporter. Senderos has more languages than AW, at his fingertips. It seems that the young Cesc X….., did not speak a word of English when he arrived at London Colney. Therefore he was berthed with Senderos as a tutor at Noreen’s The Arsenal locum “mother”, lodgings. Noreen at that time was also the “taxi driver” for the pair of them.

    The cost of The Arsenal locum “mamas and papas” plus of course the “parents” of all the overseas newbies, are buried away in the Other Operating Costs. More senior players such as the latest pair, will be hotels, I suspect. Perhaps Per Mer and Kos (?) may be temporary landlords? Which may of course, help the lingua Cockney.

    Ducklings are best hatched and brought up by hens, by the more enlightened smallholders. When the ducklings are given their natural habitat, the hens are astounded and upset. The object of this little homily, is that new signings have to adapt to the bloggers on this site!

    No further comment is required!

  137. Bill, I did not say that City play boring, I said they play with more DM’s. But wait, you don’t expect a team that was assembled like City to do the business? They have about 5 very good strikers.

    Here is another fact for you, our offense also suffered with our fullbacks being injured because that is a major part of our attack. We also had a terrible start to the season for various reason’s.

    There are some things that United do better than us, well..they attack crosses and crowd the box. I also believe that United score more because teams play more openly against them, even City parked the bus against us last season. Teams play 10 behind the ball when it comes to Arsenal.

  138. Great work, Evil.

    I also broke down last season some time ago.We had two bad spells that also went in line with injuries plus our early season woes. When we had a settled back 4 we played great defence and went on two great runs.

  139. Our defensive issues (no one doubts we have them) are due to a combination of coaching, personnel, and injuries, imo.

    Bill is drawing attention to the coaching, maybe too much attention, but I have to admit he does have a compelling argument. But one really cannot discount the disruptions caused by injuries.
    We just have be smarter about planning for injuries. An example is the right back issue. Sagna’s recent injury record suggests he may not be able play as many games as we would like. Can we then blame injuries if it turns out Jenkinson is not a good enough deputy? I have my doubts about his ability and wasn’t impressed with him last season.

  140. henristic
    were you impressed with le coq at wb last season?

  141. arsenalandrew

    JJ – yes, agree; and without deliberately labouring the point, as you say, keeping the current first team on board would be helpful, to say the least.

    Paul-N – yup, I remember your breakdown of the season; that and Evil’s work today nails the point in my opinion.

  142. coaching was a problem though regarding the season when we had set piecegate..

    we were shit..fuck knows what we were doing in training but it looked better last year..

  143. its a different problem every year..
    its like one of those arcades at the seaside – whack a mole..
    or whatever..

    we just need a season where the squads got strength and depth in abundance, we can rotate for fun and theres no gremlins in the coaching

  144. arsenalandrew

    Volleyball’s back on …

    As a pal of mine says – “One for the Dads”.

    Whatever that means.

  145. ive watched it about 10 years and i still dont know the rules..

  146. i have no specific team either
    call me a glory supporter if you will..

  147. Evil

    Who has been changing our back 4? Whoever is managing the squad obviously needs to be doing a better job so we have some continuity. No?

    I am not going to spend the time and look but find another team that has had a stable back 4 and no injuries during the time period Last season united lost vidic, van der Saar, Ferdinand has been injured more then he has played for several seasons They had smalling and jones as their RB and enven had to play Carrick and berbatov as CB in one game.

    In 08/09 Chelsea lost calvalho and cole for about 1/2 the of the season and boswinga and Essien for the whole season.

    Spurs have been a better defensive team then us the last few years despite musical chairs in GK, permacrock ledley king, Michael Dawson, gallas out much of last yr

    Etc etc etc etc.

    Our goals conceded numbers for the last 7 years 36, 31, 35, 31, 37, 41, 43, 49
    At some point you have to stop blaming bad luck. I understand that you want to defend the club but if we keep blaming things that are out of our control rather then take responsibility then the problem never gets fixed

  148. Bill, even our replacements got injured. However, I am sure you know that Chelsea play on the counter. They sit back, so again, the style of play makes a difference. As I said, I believe we should change when we have too many injuries.

    Also, no one was talking about changing, people have mentioned injuries. Players do move on though. Campbell left to play for Portsmouth in Europe. What should Wenger have done?

  149. Gallas left to go to the Spurs also.

  150. arsenalandrew

    Bill – do you not recognise the degree to which our attacks begin with our defenders? In other words, our attack can be disrupted as much as our ability to defend when our defenders go down.

    The examples you give at 6.28pm are for players that are not especially renowned for their attacking contributions (with possible exception of Cole, maybe?). So they can more easily replace their defenders with other defenders without too much impact on their attacking performance.

    The nature of Arsenal’s game mean our defenders are far harder to replace when injury strikes; this kind of suggests that paradoxically, our defence is as much a weakness as it is a great strength – awesome when all systems are go, but vulnerable at other times …

  151. JJ,
    Actually I was. I thought he did better than Jenks. But the player sees himself as midfielder doesn’t he? And we might be needing him more in midfield?

  152. gallas did us a favour..
    he jumped chelsea to join us and he was awesome for a good few years and then when he turned shit he jumped to spurs on a massive deal..

  153. arsenalandrew

    Heroic manouvre by Gallas there, clearing off to disrupt the Spuds as his career wound down.

  154. Well, we have a great set of defenders now. I would prefer to focus on that. Bill would prefer us to play like boring Chelsea and spend like them also. I am thankful that Wenger does not feel that way.

    There is so much to consider in our last few season’s. To try to pinpoint the problem in such a manner is very hard to do. Like it or not, you have to deal with what actually happened and not just numbers.

  155. henristic.
    personally, after what i saw last season, i think le coq can play anywhere on the pitch, hes a real talent..
    i hope AW sees games for him this season and if the midfields about to be bulked up then id opt for him at rwb..
    i think jenks will start but if it turns sour for him i think AW will throw le coq in and make them fight it out..

  156. One more season from Gallas would’ve been nice with Tv5 & LK6, but yeah, very funny to see the Spuds spend so much farking money on him. Campbell also left for the cash. But don’t tell George or he might get upset!

  157. The recent comments between Sol and Arsene were funny.

    Sol:”Arsenal need to spend some funting money! Come on!”
    Arsene when asked to comment on Sol’s comments:
    “Sol Campbell has a lot of money, his gifts are welcome. If he gives us money, we will spend it, believe me. The best way always to give advice is to show example. Give your own money and we will spend it.”

  158. I never rated Almunia. Not ever, was surprised as hell when he kept the job as number one. I was shocked (and a tad gutted) when we nipped in ahead of City and signed ManU cast off Silvestre. Never liked him, but I could see the reasoning behind it; he was cheap, very experienced and versatile (can play in LB and CB positions). But I still never rated him. Squillaci has had a very bad press, even though I don’t think he has been anywhere near as bad as some make out. But he has had a number of poor games.

    But now we have a top class keeper. We also have at least 4 excellent CBs (Miquel has impressed me immensely, while Bartley has looked good so far in his fledging Arsenal career. I suspect one of them will be loaned out).

    WE have excellent fullbacks and deputies, so those positions are well covered NOW, IMO.

    Infront of the defence we have a brilliantly disciplined and focused Arteta, while in Song we have a player who can be a top notch sheidl as well as being a creative spark too. Getting the balance right infront of the back 4 is key and there have been occasions when we have been far too open. But with Arteta in the line up, this has improved greatly.

    I think it is the players infront of our defence that will improve our defensive play and by association, the holy grail of goals conceded. That was why I can see the idea of signing someone like M’Villa. But if the manager thinks we have the players in house to do this, then fair enough. Coquelin, Diaby and Frimpong could save us a shed load of money. Although, personally, i would sign the player! I think he is too good to miss.

    In attack, we have missed a creative force, since some spanish hombre fucked off. Therefore, when we have struggled to create openings and there have been occasions against tricky opposition, it puts added pressure on the defence to hold firm. This is something that Bill ALWAYS finds hard to get his little noggin around! 🙂 But it is a factor. IF we created goal scoring opportunities and went 2 or 3 up in a game, instead of being 0-0, the onus changes and so does the opposition team’s set up; from ultra defensive to more open and gung ho. Which is something that we have done, when trying desperately to force the issue.

    I find it an over simplification to trawl through past seasons and lump them together as if those seasons are one in the same. They are not, there are many subtle and not so subtle differences, although we do seem to have a knack of having lots of injuries to key personnel.

    I also prefer to look forwards, even when we are successful.

  159. AA,
    Your description of our strategy isn’t very complimentary compared to the other teams. It begs the question why we should choose such a high risk approach that seemingly never pays off. A style that doesn’t yield more goals and is more susceptible to injuries doesn’t sound like a reliable strategy for winning football matches.

  160. bill
    in 91 we almost went unbeaten under graham and he had tony missing for a few months due to a persistant, niggly, prison problem..

    mind, when you have the options graham had to play with bould and the rest of the boys at the back while tony was out its not a suprise we still cleared up..

  161. JJ,
    I agree at Coq’s talent. He has the surefooted style I like in my footballers. I’m not sure if he’s speedy enough for a long term RB though, and same goes for Jenks. I really do believe in zippy fullbacks, esp given the way we play.

  162. i hate to admit it but i agree with dexter..

  163. they are both fleet of foot henristic,
    maybe you need new glasses 😉

    i think le coq covers the ground well, not only that but he can control a football and there were times i was seeing him dribble around players..
    theres a hint of final ball as well..

    wenger had him on the left and the right and in the middle and in attack and he shone everytime..

  164. my team for start of season

    le coq—-kozzer— -TV——santos

    pick and choose who you want to put on the bench the options are endless and id sign mvilla if i could just to cover diabys potential long term absence
    does song go acn as well??

    theres possibly a call for a new gk but its not a priority becuase we already know our number one..whatever happens with the keepers happens that could wait until the last day for me but there you a nutshell…

  165. JJ,
    Neither is as fast as Sagna or even Eboue, not to me at least. I saw Jenks struggle to keep up with his attacker at times last season and I’m not sure Coq is any faster than him.

    IMO, you need exceptional speed to counter top class wingers and attackers. Experience can often reduce the need for speed, but we don’t have that option either.

  166. JonJon at 7:10 pm
    “i think le coq covers the ground well, not only that but he can control a football and there were times i was seeing him dribble around players..”

    Not to be pedantic JJ but I don’t think le coq is a full back. We all know similar concerns have been expressed by Wenger. Maybe fill in if we are stretched. I saw a little clip of him being outrun by Tevez in the City game yesterday that confirmed my doubts about him as a wide player.

  167. shotta
    yeah i dont see him as a rb either.. hes a midfielder.. all day long..

    but while sagnas out and everyone having kittens about jenks, its not essential we need a new rb is it..??

    unless sagnas fucked..but we shant think like that..

    santos is about as fast as my nan..
    we make exceptions…
    i still disagree..le coq has some speed..

  168. I should add that I’m happy overall with how the season’s shaping out so far (especially if we’re able to keep RvP). We’re well stocked in attack and have a new assistant coach who may bring something different to improve our defending. There is much to be optimistic about

  169. JJ,
    Santos is an experienced player. Besides he’s hardly considered a model full back, which is probably why there are still doubts over whether Gibbs is better suited.

    What don’t you agree with about Coq? I never said he was slow? He’s just not quick enough for a full back in a team like ours, especially considering his inexperience.

  170. good players have the first ten yards in their head.

  171. gain another ten yards with first touch..

  172. we could always play theo there 😉

    i do like gibbs though at lb becuase hes nippy, but santos has to get in the team somwhere i reckon..

  173. pedantic george

    JJ the cliche king of ACLF .
    Give it a rest mate.Us paid up members of the Jenkinson appreciation society are not having Kittens.

  174. Le Coq shall rise again! The boy has it all, technique, speed, skill, tenacity , blah, blah, fuckin blah – I’m always comfortable whenever i see him on the team sheet, you know he is going to give a quality performance anytime he is on the pitch.

  175. arsenalandrew

    Henristic – I can’t quite make sense of your posts at 7.00 and 7.07; you seem to be saying our style is high-risk which doesn’t pay off – but then you go on to say you have a preference for speedy full backs. Surely, our style of play is dependent on zippy full backs?

  176. Paul N @ 6:36

    What’s wrong with sitting back and playing on the counter. A counterattacking goal is just as exciting as one that we score after 50 short passes. No?

    You tell me that both Manc clubs play defensive ugly football yet both outscored the invincibles by almost 20 goals. There is no way you can argue that our ball possession short passing style of play has been effective for us on either end of the pitch if the goal is to score more and/or concede less then the teams we are trying to surpass.

    AA @ 6:39

    See henristics reply at 7:00PM.

    Bottom line for me and the reason I hate all the talk about crooked referees and injuries and bad pitches etc etc etc is that It means we are focusing on things outside of our control and not taking responsibility for our results. . The more you make excuses and avoid looking in the mirror to see where the problems really arise then the less likely you are to fix those problems. How can we fix our defense if it’s not our fault? Truth is, that is our fault and we won’t fix it until we admit that.

  177. arsenalandrew

    Still not had JJ’s application papers for the Jenkinson App Soc.

    Mel puts his stamp away early of an evening …

  178. both lads can play on the left as well, and i can see jenks playing cb maybe in the future..


    now where do i pay, george?

  179. pedantic george

    I believe that if you have more than 65% possession then you are not taking enough chances.Playing safety first possession football does not create chances .
    Arshavin says you must be “brave” and try to win.
    I like Arshavin(I may have mentioned that once or twice) and his view on how the game should be played.

  180. Defence begins from the front, like attacks usually start from the back. The pressing game which Barca employ means that the front players harry the opposition as soon as they have possession, often in their own defensive third. The actual defenders are there to sweep up what gets through.

    So perhaps Arsene’s way of shoring up the defence is to utilise more defensive forwards like Podolski?

  181. If not LeCoq I’d play Nico @ RB.
    Keeps it simple, doesn’t over do it.
    Though he’s a MF also.

    Jenks’ heart is so red & white its this age of badge-kissing traitors.
    I expect him to keep improving

    Can’t wait for the Frimp to return.
    Even a loan’s ok as long as he’s getting game time.
    With constant play in a but 2 years he’ll be a monster.

    Gibbs really impressed me yesterday btw….

  182. AA,
    I don’t see any contradictions. Recall that it was your description of our strategy that I was referring to.

    What’s not to like about zippy fullbacks? All top teams have them. We need them even more because we play such a high line, and attack so much.

  183. pedantic george

    FFS ,In order to press like Barca for 90 minutes ,week in week out,you need to keep possession .And as I just said ,that means less risks and less chances .And no fucking Arshavin .So you can keep it ,thank you very much.

  184. Bill at 8:03 pm:
    PaulN can take care of himself but for heaven’s sake the point many of us have been making for years is that Arsene’s philosophy is to attack and not to sit back, soak up pressure and counter-attack. It is risky because when it fails for a multitude of reasons, but especially when key players get injured, we are liable to concede more than other elite teams. Is that too hard for you to come to terms with?

    You can barely conceal your disapproval of this attacking philosophy and as you can are aware, the responsibility is Wenger. He sets up the team, not the assistants. Unfortunately the vast majority of supporters especially those who constantly sell out the Emirates and the millions elsewhere who cannot do without Wengerball seem very approving of his philosophy. Now if you and Robson don’t like it, bite it. Like Robson, see how far it will get you.

  185. arsenalandrew

    Bill – If you are seriously suggesting defence is the best form of defence, then I suspect that’ll be a very lonely furrow you’ll be ploughing.

    The idea of watching AFC attempting to incorporate a style of play which consists largely of defending for 89 minutes and scoring on the break doesn’t exactly thrill and there’s every chance we’d struggle to sell out our games.

    Let alone stay awake.

  186. pedantic george

    Ha ah ,nice one Shotta.
    Did you see my post the other day about you getting my right wing post?

  187. pedantic george

    Have I been sent to Coventry?

  188. PG @ 8:24pm – Post that one again. I might have been at work at the time which makes it difficult to keep up with you and your misbehavior.:-)

  189. pedantic george

    Shotta .It was about Paying top player more ,scrapping Minimum wage and the youths.
    You expanded it because it seems only you got my suggestion that Ateeb and others were championing Right wing views.
    Me misbehave? Me? I think not.

  190. Barcelona seem to carve out a few openings George. And Arshavin is not necessarily excluded from my fantasy tactics, so don’t get yor panties up in a bunch 🙂 Winning the ball deep in their half and supplying advanced creative midfielders (like AA) is better than sitting back and letting them get at our defence.

    AA in the hole behind Giroud, Podolski and the Ox on the wings, with Song and Arteta dictating the midfield. Bring Theo on on the hour to crush them utterly. Surely it’s a no brainer…

    Our fragile beauties;, Wilshire, Diaby, Rosicky, Ramsey could be accommodated, tragic circumstances permitting. As could our malcontents.

  191. arsenalandrew

    Henristic – you wrote:

    “A style that doesn’t yield more goals and is more susceptible to injuries doesn’t sound like a reliable strategy for winning football matches.”

    At NO stage have I suggested or implied our playing style makes us more susceptible to injury. So you weren’t commenting on something I wrote; I don’t know where you got that from. Then (at 7.07) you then went on to herald zippy players – hence my confusion.

    I of course HUGELY admire zippy players but if I’m being really honest, I more admire those players who can read the game well (eg, Per Mert) as I think that requires a greater understanding of the game and greater levels of anticipation. As you rightly say, though, at Arsenal, we have a particular requirement for speed merchants and players that can both read the game and deliver pace are an especially rare breed.

    The likes of the great Bacary Sagna, quietly world class, in my opinion, are sorely missed both in defence AND in attack when they are absent from the side.

    Young Jenkinson doesn’t strike me as being especially sluggish but he DOES appear to show great signs of reading the game well. He’s young, he’s playing in one of the most unforgiving positions on the pitch so he will make mistakes.

    But long term I also believe, alongside many others, that he’s going to be around for a long time yet.

  192. Unfortunately the vast majority of supporters especially those who constantly sell out the Emirates and the millions elsewhere who cannot do without Wengerball seem very approving of his philosophy. Now if you and Robson don’t like it, bite it.

    Great shot Shotta

  193. arsenalandrew

    FFS – Not that I want to encourage George in any way, I too can see a great role for Arshavin in the scenario you describe.

    Which makes the rumours of him heading towards Fulham for half a dozen roubles especially irksome.

    On another note – the owners of Malaga have had a representative in town for a couple of days now and yet Carzorla’s future still appears very much up in the air …

    Not here yet … but on his way, perhaps?

    Could happen very quickly if it does, what with various governing body deadlines looming.

  194. Me thinks our problem is organisation and discipline. I don’t believe that we leak goals because of our attacking style. I don’t buy that argument at all because the best teams usually have score more AND concede less.

    We’re just not able to organise properly when it matters. Very often due to having to play inexperienced or less than capable backups, and possibly due to a less than optimal attention been paid to defending by the coaching.

  195. Arsenalandrew- I hope AW secures someone like Carzola or Sahin, before releasing AA.

    In my scenario it’s AA that Theo would replace when the little meerkat ran out of puff.

  196. pedantic george

    All I am saying is that in order to press like Barca you can only do it if you have a huge possession advantage .Otherwise you would run out of legs.
    In theory its great .But no team can do it without 70%+ possession.And that means no risk taking and subsequent ball losing.

  197. pedantic george

    “Me thinks our problem is organisation and discipline”

    Me does not agree ,and neither do I !

  198. AA,
    Mea culpa. By ‘susceptible to injuries’ I meant a style that is at higher risk of being disrupted when injuries occur. That was the point you were making right?

    Besides what any of that got to do with liking speedy full backs?

    I agree with the rest of your post apart from the bit about Jenks reading of the game. I have to confess I don’t see any great signs of that at all. He does have a wicked cross on him though. Jenks also does have a lot of goodwill due to him being a ‘local lad’. I wonder if this doesn’t influence some people’s perception of his abilities.

  199. Wharrever George 🙂

  200. And George, I agree somewhat with you point but I think its a bit more complicated than that (isn’t everything thou). For instance, Swansea seem to do a good-ish job of pressing without having overwhelming possession.

  201. *your point about pressing…

  202. You’ve got it arse about face George. By constant pressing with always three men attacking the ball, you gain a huge possession advantage if you win it and don’t give it back for a few minutes. In that time, you need to stroke it round the field tiring their players and allowing our own time to breathe.

    Yes, I know I’ve just discovered the wheel: when you’ve not got the ball, win it back, when you have, keep it or try to score.

  203. pedantic george

    Do they ? They rest by passing the ball around in their own half for ages. When they do not dominate possession the tend to lose.Which sort of confirms my point,that you cant press effectively without dominance.

  204. AA

    I am not suggesting we sit back and try to win every game 1 -0 or play “defensive” football. You can play good defense without playing defensive football. What makes football exciting is scoring goals and winning games. If you would rather see watch Wengerball no matter what the results then that’s your own preference and I can’t and don’t want to change your mind. Howver, saying the arsenal are the only team in the league that plays good football probably being a bit “rose colered” given our results and the way the rest of the world views the PL.

  205. pedantic george

    I know what you are saying FFS,FFS.

  206. pedantic george at 8:37 pm
    I thought you made an interesting point there pg, among many. Without going over the past week’s polemics it was funny how many of the financial prescriptions being offered will create other predictable problems in the long run. But unlike you I refrain from calling anybody a cnut. I respect YW too much as well having a well founded fear of the bin. 🙂

    Freedom for g69! Freedom for g69!

  207. pedantic george

    Bill ,Then fuck the rest of the world

  208. pedantic george

    Shotta ,I spent months in that bin .Its not a happy place.

  209. pedantic george

    And Shotta .My point is that only you seemed to get that point.

  210. arsenalandrew

    Henristic – No problem, I had a feeling we weren’t really a million miles apart, I just misunderstood part of what you were saying, no biggie.

    What struck me when I saw Jenkinson was the maturity and intelligence of his play (I’ve not seen him play since the season ended btw, so no comment on recent performances). He’s not the finished article – few are at his age – but there’s plenty more to come from him, I’m sure of it.

  211. George – I will take your word for it, about the bin that is.

    Which segues nicely into g69 – we need him around when Bill keeps up this incessant drumbeat. Give it a rest Bill, at least until the end of September. By then we should have 5 or 6 competitive games under our belt.

  212. You sure are a tetchymuthafucker pedanticGeorge.

  213. Well PG, it obviously did you no long term harm 😎

  214. pedantic george

    Just jesting FFS ,You know that ? right?

  215. Of course.

    yW – how do you do that smiley; the cool smile instead of the insane grin ?

  216. pedantic george

    Well it wasn’t much fun at the time Yogi.But we Meerkats hold no ill feelings.(and if you believe that you will believe anything) At least I learned when to put a sock in it.

  217. arsenalandrew

    Bill – I DO enjoy the style of football AW’s team have played this last decade and a half.

    I could be wrong but I think the players also enjoy football played in this spirit.

    But nowhere have I said, as you imply:

    “the arsenal are the only team in the league that plays good football”

    Why have you suggested this?

    Only one with poor judgement would make such a claim yet you have clearly linked me to this idea where no link exists.

    For the record, I think AW’s approach to football is capable of delivering great success both now and in the future.

    Largely because it has in the past – and he is capable of creating sides that not only beat their opponents but utterly dominate them.

    Only one with poor judgement would ignore this whilst attempting to propagate a belief in a style of football that is now totally alien to our club.

    Why would ANYONE suggest this?

  218. 😎

    8-( except ) instead of (

  219. arsenalandrew

    Takes a big man to walk away George.

    And an even bigger one to put a sock in it.

  220. Cheers YW 8-(

  221. Bill @ 8:03pm

    What’s wrong with sitting back and playing on the counter. A counterattacking goal is just as exciting as one that we score after 50 short passes. No?

    To appreciate the nihilism of this, you have to imagine what happens when both teams do it. Well, most of us have to imagine it, because there’s unlikely to be too many there actually watching.

  222. Fuck. 😎

  223. Andrew

    This is a never ending circular discussion it’s based on personnel preference. Anyway I need to go. Cheers, have a good rest of the weekend

  224. Each to their own Bill, but I’m not sure I understand YOUR preferences. Not meant as a slur but you sound as though you would be far happier following any of Maureen’s sides.

    Have a good rest of weekend yourself.

  225. Clearly there are times when it makes sense to sit back. Every top team will have to do it at some point. I like that we don’t make a habit of it though. Would hate for that to be our defining style.

    I think you’re on to something re Jenkinson. I can see him succeeding at the club in the long term mostly due to his desire and work ethic. Arsene clearly likes him, so he’ll get games. He just has to shown he’s willing to give what it takes. Gary Neville was never the most talented player, but he had the right mentality. Jenks could be our Gary.

  226. JJ, sorry I kept you waiting I hereby welcome you to the jenkinson appreciation society, Andrew sahil and George are already in there, help yourself to the sausage rolls and tizer.

  227. Henristic – dare I suggest it but Tony Adams wasn’t THE most talented of players but he was – and always will be – considered one of the greats of his generation and beyond.

    And I agree, there are far worse role models than Gary Neville to be measured against – time will tell, for sure.

    And talking of time – the netball’s just started on the Olympics so sleep beckons …

    (Some great de-fence going on there – might be of interest to Bill?)

    Night all!

  228. Congrats to JJ (go easy on the Tizer) … zzzzz

  229. I hate to admit it, but I have to agree with JJ.

    I too can forseee Joenks being played at CB in the futuro.

  230. Can anyone tell me what position Nuri Sahin plays please? People are saying he is a play maker type, while I have also read he is a DM.

    If we got him (on loan or whatever) AND Cazorla, well, blow me, that would represent an awesome summer’s business.

  231. AA:

    There has to be a middle ground between “Maureen team” and what we do. Even with the ultra aggressive attacking ethos we are not scoring enough and we have been a defensive disaster. I have never said we should park the bus but do I think we need to dial down the attacking aggressiveness until we can find a “sweet spot”. I think we should start with putting the brakes on TV5’s runs down the field and see if it helps us keep our shape.

  232. Dex- I can tell you that Sahin created the largest number of chances for his teammates in the German league two years ago when BVB won their first title in many years. To me he is more suited to the AM or the Arteta position.

  233. @Bill
    Thanks for your respone, it’s appreciated. You raise good points and I think Chelsea has already been addressed so what about ManU? I think a big advantage that they have, and that has helped them to integrate new squad members quickly, is that their defenders are immensely experienced as opposed to us. Last season Vidic was out, bet Ferdinand played 30 games in the league. The season before, it was the other way round. Unfortunately for us, we had this fluctuation of central defenders, with no one staying for particularly long. Every 2 or 3 years someone new has come in since the Invincibles, so it’s important that both LK6 and TV5 have signed long-term contracts because this will give us defensive stability that we have been missing for so long.

    As for TV5: how many goals have we conceded because he carried the ball to the opposition penalty box, lost it and we were caught out on the counter last season? I can think of one, against Norwich, and in that we had 5 players covering — and still conceded against 3 Norwich players.
    I think the far bigger problem with TV5 is his decision-making and a certain overeagerness to make the interception to try and initiate a counter attack. He will quite often move out of the back 4 when the opposition is between our penalty box and half way line. If he makes the interception, it’s great. If he doesn’t, the play is too close to our goal and no one can possible cover the gap he has left, leaving us exposed.

  234. Thanks Sahil.

    In that case then, I really don’t see us going for both Sahin and Cazorla then.


    Please stop being so melodramatic man. The defence isn’t a disaster. You STILL talk in absolutes and regurgitate previous comments even though people have repeatedly explained the subtle nuances and bleedingly obvious facts to you again and again. Last season, particularly at the start, we looked awful defensively, I was at old trafford and ewood park and was as depressed as you sound. But the defence improved out of sight as the season progressed, until we had the unnatural amount of injuries and also the home game with Norwich debacle.

    The defence has changed, the goal keeper has changed and now we have a new assistant to Wenger.

    What I am saying is;

    Let us WAIT and see how the team does once the season starts. I am hopeful we will see a marked improvement.

    Constantly going on and on about it now is crackers, IMO.

  235. I read the same in daily mail mgk. Good times.

  236. If there is anything to the Sahin rumour, then it may well be there is some doubt about jack’s potential return as well as cover for Diaby too given his injury woes.

  237. arsenalandrew

    Morning Matt, Dex, Sahil, everyone.

    For once TalkShite came up with a very interesting interview yesterday which launched my latest balloon of hope:

    Wise words to Bill, Dex …

  238. Buenas Dias Andrew. Thanks.

  239. arsenalandrew

    * Sorry, that last should have read:

    ‘Can’t believe I’m agreeing with Dex.’

    Sunny morning here in London; textbook conditions for the volleyball.

  240. Andrew;

    Thanks again. 🙂

  241. Given that AW is only ‘hopeful’ of an October return for jack and Abou’s previous problems, then it does make more sense (to me at least) why we have been linked with a loan deal for Nuri Sahin.

  242. Morning Andrew. Just watching the repeat of yesterday’s volleyball. Quite a game!

  243. Southampton want to sign Theo for £15m. Silly season indeed.

  244. Good point Dex. Our most recent loan deal was a pretty decent one (thanks for the memories, Benny). A similar contribution from a loanee would be most welcome.

  245. I can’t even be bothered to click on that link, Dex!

    Maybe we could sell them back Oxo while we’re at it – £20 million for the pair!

  246. Arsenal team to face Kitchee: Szczesny, Djourou (c), Miquel, Eastmond, Gibbs, Diaby, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Ryo, Chamakh.


    Today is officially signed, yesterday released from its contract by mutual consent

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