Cazorla Want Is A Signing, Wages Mating Dance & More

So the Malagese deadline passed and the Spanish FA then extended it. No sign of Santi Cazorla at Highbury House but they couldn’t find the keys to the broom cupboard under the stairs. With the keyholder on holiday, Ivan may have to wait until tomorrow to be able to peak and see if the Spanish midfielder got caught up in the cleaner’s mops and buckets. Santi’s choice of disguise was better than that of his agent. According to Daily Mirror spies, Julio Llorente was seen in London thrashing out personal terms for his client. Thrashing in London? Was the meeting in Soho? Or just with a group of ex-public schoolboys? Or both?

Anyway, this one has the legs to run and may well be into next week before the game plays out. New owners coming in, bills to be paid, sheikhs whose rattle and roll betrays their empty pockets. It is the makings of the another Arsenal footballing novel. With that in mind, Arsène‘s words strike a chord that Chuck Berry might have enjoyed,

Overall we are not mega-rich because we do not have unlimited resources. A club can buy players like PSG has done or Manchester City or Chelsea, with unlimited resources, but overall football suffers.

Europe at the moment is like the Titanic but we live in football like nothing matters. More than ever we have to run our club in a strict way because it looks like everybody suffers in Europe. I would be surprised if football is not touched by it at some stage.

If you look at debt in football across Europe at the moment it is quite massive and we have to be responsible. We have to be ambitious but also make sure we are not getting in trouble financially.

There is nothing new in the mantra; self-sustaining is often confused with parsimony and profits. It is neither; profits are reinvested at the moment in the playing staff. The derision that the policy brings obscures issues, how the club invests this money and the salary policy whilst inter-related, can be dealt with separately. Ivan has stated that the salary structure is being re-aligned but with players on contract, that is not an easy task since the club is legally bound to honour those terms.

It has caused problems in selling those surplus to requirements, notably Sebastian Squillaci whose move to Bastia fell through because they could not afford to pay him that which he desired. Resolution of this will take time and in today’s world, that is a precious commodity. Too many blithely dismiss this by telling us that if we got rid of the ‘deadwood’, we could pay Robin van Persie what he wants. Were that it was that simple.

My view on that is shifting somewhat. Instead of strengthening an opponent, I would rather Arsenal kept the player for the final year of his contract, forcing him to see it out. Anyone who believes we owe him his freedom has forgotten the nature of his website statement. It doesn’t matter if Vos or someone in his employ wrote it, Robin takes resp0nsibility for that. Or sacks his agent, if the intent behind the statement did not represent his own views. He will be thirty by the time his contract ends and as such diminishing returns set in over the coming season. It might be that next summer he decides he wants to stay and that fits with Arsenal’s plans. If he goes, he goes. A disaffected player can be disruptive; van Persie strikes me as too professional to be that. I could be wrong but that is my instinct.

As it is, Arsène has bigger fish to fry but offered some warning that ransom demands won’t be met,

It is difficult for us because the wages in some other clubs are very high. But of course our players quite rightly compare themselves to the players of the other clubs.

In other words, we have our salary cap and won’t go above it. International football has long been a place for sowing the seeds of discontent. Players talk about their wages, you only have to read any book by footballers from recent times to know this practice still goes on. It gives them the chance to gauge their own value and to put out feelers if they are unhappy, knowing that an international colleague will make that discontent known.

A lot of figures are thrown around without any substance. In the case of Theo Walcott, the current favourite conspiracy theory is that he wants the same that was offered to Robin van Persie. I suspect that is not the case although he probably would not turn it down if offered. And let us not forget that this is the mating dance, posturing to show the world their feathers. The clubs do it by claiming poverty, the players do it via their agents drumming up feigned interest from other clubs and the media mix it all together for the public to lap it up.

Elsewhere, Steve Kean is eager to prove his managerial aptitude by signing ParkMamadou Sakho is going to leave PSG with Arsenal amongst the usual suspects put on ‘alert’ by this news. God forbid that the player’s agent might have already contacted Dick Law. Meanwhile Yann M’vila has been heavily linked with bastions of multiculturalism, Zenit St Petersburg as Arsenal’s interest in Victor Wanyama is prolonged by his agent. More I am sure will emerge over the next twenty-four hours. God I miss Soap.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on August 1, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 329 Comments.

  1. ” the media mix it all together for the public to lap it up.”

    Ain’t that the truth. Nice one YW

  2. First? Two days in a row? Twitter is a charm! 😀

    Anyway, nice post YW. Good morning all.

    Wage structure is a difficult and a sensitive topic, because it has to be phased out over a period of time. Instantaneous results are just not possible. Imagine you getting a salary of 2000 pounds a month and because your company is changing the structure of its business, your salary goes down to 1500 pounds. Imagine how you would feel? It willl cause an unnecessary rift between the employees. We can see the changes in the wages at which players were signed last year, it was prudent and hierarchical, it will change over a period of time. We just have to rough the tide!

  3. Morning Steww. You beat me?! Unfair 😀 How’s your tooth crack?

  4. Siriam, it seems to be ok. Not much of a tooth to start with truth be told. It’s just a bit flappy. I like to post first to stop the silly ‘1st’ business. I think it demeans YW’s fine blog. Of course by racing to be first to stop people racing to be first I am perversely enough joining in.

  5. My view has always been to hold on to RVP unless, of course, the bid was ridiculously high. The thing to remember is the impact of the original transfer fee when it comes to putting a value on a player. In RVP’s case it was small and amortised away long ago. In Theo’s case it was somewhat larger and although it too probably left the books some time ago it will still rankle and require the Club to seek to get it all back – and more. We face a future of fewer and fewer fees being applicable as more and more players see out their contracts and move for nothing. The transfer market as we know it may well be in it’s final throes.

  6. Best first post in years steww

  7. Don’t Yogi. I can’t bear it. Exposed for the fraud I am.

  8. Nice write up YW.

    Also I think I maye have found something which may know the balance of the earths orbit. A positive media piece!

    My work for today is done.

  9. but our inability to move move these players on points to us having grossly overpaid them in the past. its amazing how bendtner hasn’t been sold after his euro.

    these are points which were vigerously denied by you and some others. to most it was obvious why our wage bill is large and we can’t sell players.

    there is very little difference to what we do and what city do, the major one being they can afford to do it. we overpay many of our mid range players as do city

  10. I find the complete absence of a media generated frenzy about Theo’s position to be very interesting. Every day we get something new and often contradictory on Robin, today being the classic example with regards to Juve who yesterday were going to break the bank but today after one day are losing interest. Fickle Italians eh.

    While each day more often than not utter silence about Theo, maybe a cursory sentence chucked in at the end to fill space.

    This is after all one of the current and next generation of English stars (as in national team players). Perhaps there is a secret knowledge or acceptance that for all his posturing he is going to stay, he’s too nice to shit on Arsene in such a way.
    Or perhaps the sense that Arsenal is the best club for him, a view expressed on here by people from both sides of the Theo camp.

    It’s August 1 ffs, he has not signed, he’s free in 6 months, he is not a 29 year old with a chequered past in terms of fitness, surely his situation is as pressing as van Persie.

    Even supporters don’t seem as obsessed about it.

  11. Theo might well be doing the same as RvP; waiting to see what offers are in the offering for him. Unlike RvP however, the offers will not be from clubs of the same status. Theo will stay, simply because he won’t get a better gig anywhere else.

  12. @Steww

    Haha! Caught ya in the act.


    A Winterburn wrote that article. Says it all.

    About keeping RVP, I think once we get all our signings in place, we will have a relook, we will let the situation drag till the end of the transfer market, to extract the best money on the deal and also to see if we can hold on to him for the year.

    Best thing would be to add to the squad, hold on to him until January and see how it goes. Will he really want to leave the squad in January if we are fighting for the title?

    Like YW mentioned, I still think he is absolutely professional and he has to be too, if he hopes for a good signing fee + wage packet once he is released with us by the end of the year.

    YW, no one ever seems to be mentioning about the money inflow from the property that we just sold for 30 odd million pounds. Maybe that with the initial transfer chest has given us the power to add more to the squad.

    Coming to think of it, with the commercial deals coming up for renewal in 2014, we would do well to win something in this year or next, to get the maximum value from those deals. Winners get more and that’s how it is. If Cazorla and Sahin deals are signed, I suspect this is one of the reasons why we are ready to spend money in this window.

  13. Robin is not waiting for anything, he knows exactly what offers exist for him as his agent will have sounded out all clubs in advance of them going public as they did. He will for example know that Barcelona are not in the market for him but Utd, City and Juventus are.

    What’s causing the delay is those clubs willingness in relation to City and perhaps ability on behalf of United to meet Arsenal’s current valuation. A valuation that will drop as the month progresses as the club accepts it has to sell him. Like what happened with Cesc last summer. For all PHW’s statements in the Daily Star that we would not sell for less than … ultimately a lesser deal was struck.

    Van Persie will leave this month.

  14. Steve – “A valuation that will drop as the month progresses as the club accepts it has to sell him. Like what happened with Cesc last summer.”

    The two situations are not comparable. Cesc was bound to a five year contract, therefore the cards were stack in our favour. We just managed to balls it right up. We are dealing with the RvP situatio better, even though we have less control in the situation.

  15. As a well-respected commentator on football and of all things Arsenal, you amaze me with
    the view that Van Persie should be held for the final year of his contract.
    What, apart from moral high ground, could possibly justify such a stand.
    Every poor performance would be blamed on him……”his mind is elsewhere”.
    The atmosphere in the dressingroom would be heavy to say the least.
    The vastly strengthened team would be delayed a whole season before being able to re-group and move forward, (Podolski wouldn’t have a number!).
    In the January Window we would have a month of frenzy with lowerind bids due to a shortened delay before a Bosman.

    YW, Please do an about turn and restore your credibility. 😆

  16. Steve

    I am not sure, but I would accept a deal of around 20 million pounds and north. Reinvest the amount in the squad.

  17. Andy

    I would contend that the two situations are very comparable – in both cases the player has made it clear he wants to leave Arsenal and in both cases the club is publicly making noises about wanting to keep him. The club’s stance being page 1 paragraph 1 of how to conduct a transfer, Malaga have done the same on Cazorla, Spurs on Modric …

    You’ve mentioned the contract but surely one could debate the relatively useless role it played last summer. It ultimately meant nothing and we sold the player at a value that some would argue was a steal for them.

    Fundamentally here you have an asset which is going to depreciate from €20m to zero in 6 months, an asset who remember has very publicly agitated for a move.

    I personally just do not believe a club that runs itself in the way that we do will let that happen. I by now fully accept that many disagree.

    YW opened today by stating his belief that van Persie would be too professional to be a disruptive element which you would hope to be the case. A lot of people were convinced he would sign a new contract as they were making evaluations of his character despite never having met the man in their lives. Professionalism doesn’t come into it. A bridge has been crossed. Professionalism would have been keeping his mouth shut and allowing the situation to take it’s natural course.

  18. Steve – I take your points, but this:

    You’ve mentioned the contract but surely one could debate the relatively useless role it played last summer. It ultimately meant nothing and we sold the player at a value that some would argue was a steal for them.

    is the bit that I think emphasises my point. The contract was useless becuase we did not manage the situation better. The contract ensure that we have the aces, yet we did not use them.

    We could have eaisly said “he is worth £50M (not unreasonable). Come back when yuo have that type of cash. If they did, we could have sold. if they didn’t, Cesc remained our player until they did.

    We don’t really have that luxury with RvP for reasons that you have pointed out.

  19. bobbyp

    You’re using hindsight to judge Bendtner’s deal. At the time, there weren’t many complaints.

    The ground you are standing on is constantly shifting.

  20. “A disaffected player can be disruptive; van Persie strikes me as too professional to be that. I could be wrong but that is my instinct.”

    I know you said you could be wrong and all but seeing how believing in him got us these past few weeks, I wouldnt hold my breathe. unless the offers are too low and not worthy I think he should be sold, for the simple fact he thinks he is too good for us!!!

    A very nice post by the way, why most people cant get what Wenger says is beyond me.

  21. I love the way the club are berated for being a selling club and then Presto! the problem is we can’t sell players.
    Ah, the silly season.

  22. Yogi;

    It’s good to read that you have finally come round to my thinking; keeping RvP makes sense to me, especially if we do manage to sign Cazorla.

    The lack of activity all across europe, apart from the likes of the chavs and les chavs de Paris is telling I suppose. Some clubs have done zilch business still, while others, like Milan are in the black to the tune of over £50m.

    The fact that the likes of Squillaci havent moved on makes it obvious the role of agents in the modern game. Where you’d assume a player would not entirely be happy about taking a wage drop, but would rather play than sit on their fat wallet for a few seasons. Yet thanks to the Mr 10%er, these players refuse to lower their demands.

    I don’t see the same situation with bentdner, nope, I think he is holding out for a ‘big’ enough cub for his ego. Then again, he could always fuck off to malaga in some kind of swap deal? 🙂

  23. Steww – A clever play on words there my friend. It is the fact that we seem to sell very good players whilst stuggle to sell blindingly average players which is the issue. As you well know 😉

  24. @GA

    You really don’t take in to consideration that Cesc was literally on strike during preseason last year.

    Wenger just granted him the wish to go, because he did not want to keep an unhappy player. Classy of Wenger, but it has to be more ruthless when the players treat us that way.

  25. One thing is for sure; if we do keep RvP our forward line will be as good a any in Europe. Especially if either of Podolski or Giroud hit the ground running (or at leats jogging after AW’s recent comments on both).

  26. What a tweet by @RealYoungGunner

    “Many claim Wenger is out of touch with modern football. The truth is; he’s in touch with reality.”

  27. Siriam;

    Shhhhuuuush, Andy likes to think of Cesc as the model Pro and refuses to believe he acted in anyway like a twat last summer.

  28. My sources tell me the Cazorla deal is already dead i’m afraid. Malaga have over publicized our interest to generate interest from other clubs, and push his price up (and its worked). We have moved on and left him for other clubs with open purses while we look for uncommercialised targets.

  29. Assume RVP is a professional.

    If we win something this year, the value we get from keeping him is more than the value we get when we lose him.

    Two things, winning a trophy means more gate revenue (more games played) and more prize money (winner’s money)

    Better commercial deals during renewal time.

    If the club thinks long term, it will surely take in to account all of this while dealing with RVP.

  30. GA or so we assume/are led to believe etc etc. Fact is none of us have the first clue about the club and it’s transfers in or out until they are officially announced. It’s all bollocks and what I can’t stand is people who get on their high horse about it. Get cross about something you actually know to be true by all means.
    And of course by ‘you’ I don’t mean you personally GA but anyone basing an entire argument on the flimsy card house of media and social media speculation.

  31. Sriram – That is pure guesswork though. It was never hinted at by anybody at arsenal, yet people seem to spout that quite a lot. So I didn’t take it into consideration as it is not true.

    Just as YW stated that he believes RvP to be professional and not disruptive, I think Cesc was in the same mould. I highly doubt he would have done that to AW given their relationship.

  32. Dex – Silly of me not to make things up I know……but hell, I can be quite crazy like that.

  33. Steww – All good points and I agree with them all. But which post are you reffering to mate? Genuinely I can’t tell.

  34. Andy; Gazidis himself even mentioned the situation. It aint my fault you would rather disbelieve it, yet are quite happy to jump on the club for things with less factual information. Quite telling is that old fruit.

  35. BUT, I am definitely not going to get into more ye olde news again.

    Way too boring man.

  36. nicky

    Podolski can be given 9. Rather than holding them back, it gives AW the chance to bring Podolski and Giroud into the fray in a more balanced way than chucking them in at the deep end. It also pisses the Mancs off.

    Sod the incoming fee.

  37. @Dexter

    Can’t blame him mate, we all believed he was a model pro before he acted that way.

    It was especially very tough for me to deal with it, because I grew as a fan watching Cesc Fabregas play.

    But it was just the realization that whoever leaves, Arsenal goes on as classy as it always does.

  38. Dex – Mentioned what? He said Cesc had gone on strike? I don’t remember seeing that.

    But yes, you are right. Old news and old arguments. Such a waste when we have so much more recent stuff to argue about 😉

  39. We’ll still have to wait and see what happens. This is all part of the deal. The season starts August 18th and let’s hope the guys are ready.

  40. If RvP stays (and remains injury free) I wonder where that leaves Giroud? He only plays through the middle, so I wonder if AW may start resting RvP more, or even playing him in a differnt role to allow Giroud game time?

    I can’t see our new £12M player being Chamakh’d.

  41. Excellent post, especially agree re RVP.

    I suspect he is struggling to get salary offers a million miles north of that on offer at AFC. For him not to sign a new contract – either with us or a new club would represent a MASSIVE gamble on his part, given his propensity to injury.

    The stage is already being set to enable a face-saving u-turn from the player as our recruitment this summer hits over-drive and his demands for evidence of ambition are met.

    The fact that neither Theo nor Alex S are exactly breaking doors down to get away tends to support this, in my view.

    If AW succeeds in holding everything together – retaining our top players AND building upon these fantastic foundations with this influx of some of Europe’s top talent, he will create a playing infrastructure currently like no other.

    As already pointed out, when we win stuff this season, and continue to build and strengthen incrementally during upcoming transfer windows, we will quickly be able to sit back and watch the value of our sponsorship deals soar.

    Our finishing line is already in sight as AW’s vision of a self-sustaining club – playing and being run the RIGHT way – becomes a reality.

    A reality that, compared to the likes of Man U is a relatively debt-free reality.

    A reality that, compared to the likes of Citeh, Chavski and Malaga is one free from 3rd party reliance and owner-whim and a prayer.

    And a reality that, compared to the likes of Rangers and quite possibly Portsmouth is a secure reality that will see the club set up safely for decades, not merely for a season or two ahead.

    I think this summer will see the club go into over-drive, with or without Robin.

    But ideally with.

  42. Good morning all.

    If RVP does leave it will be for a vast sum of money. We are under no obligation to sell him he is in the last year of his contract and if Wenger feels it is more beneficial for him to see out his contract to help bed in the new players I am sure he will be giving the power and come January “if” we are in touching distance of the EPL title he would be a fool to still want to pursue a move away.

    I feel that Theo is simply waiting to see what happens with RVP as is Song most likely too.

    I really hope we get one of either Sahin or Corzola on a permanent basis, I have been a fan of sahin for a long time and actually think he is the better of the two players the classic deep lying playmaker with ability to carry the ball whilst under extreme duress.

    On the issue of wage structure the truth has finally dawned on the financial hierachy at Arsenal that our wage structure was too rigid and most definitely overgenerous to young unproven talent.

    On the issue of unproven talent I was extremely happy to see Serge Gnabry has signed his 1st professional deal with club, the boy is IMO at the same age on the same level if not higher than young Jack at the same age, although I am the same person that had high hopes for Bendtner too I guess application has a lot to do with his faliure to make it at Arsenal.

    If we really want to offload players deemed surplus we must be willing to accept slightly below market value so the buying clubs can afford to pay their wages and more importantly they get off our books.

  43. GA – my wife would say “If you don’t know I’m not going to tell you”

  44. Fucking ell! Roque Santa Cruz is STILL at Man City! Thought he’d left years ago. Blimey.

  45. Never dig up the Cesc situation. It only gives Andy an opportunity to blame the club hierarchy for being inept. Repeat a lie often enough and …..

  46. Steww – My wife says the same. Bizzare creatures that they can be.

  47. But seriously you can’t think of or find one post which is based entirely on transfers? Transfers which haven’t happened yet. How about the crap like this:

    “but our inability to move move these players on points to us having grossly overpaid them in the past. its amazing how bendtner hasn’t been sold after his euro.

    these are points which were vigerously denied by you and some others. to most it was obvious why our wage bill is large and we can’t sell players. ”

    How much of that can the poster possibly know to be fact? I’ll save you doing the maths. It’s a big fat zero.

  48. Arsenalandrew

    “If AW succeeds in holding everything together – retaining our top players AND building upon these fantastic foundations with this influx of some of Europe’s top talent, he will create a playing infrastructure currently like no other.”

    That is some statement.

  49. On the Cazorla matter – It may be all smoke and mirrors but in some ways this reminds me of our bid for Arshavin, who like Cazorla was intent on coming to AFC. His agent and Zenit used the press to blast the offer as below the Russian’s value and to bluff and bluster. In the end we know who blinked first.

  50. I definitely need some fresher “news” to lap up.
    This RvP milk has expired for me.
    I do not care what happens.
    We’ll be fine either way.

  51. * Milk: — Gulpable up to a week after the date passes, but expect a steady decline in taste and nutritional value.

    * Mayo — Can last a month after it expires.

    * Yogurt — Still OK a week to 10 days after expiration.

    * Eggs — As long as they’re well refrigerated, they last 3 to 5 weeks past the date on the carton.

    The story notes that expiration dates on eggs are governed by states of origin rather than a federal mandate.

    What rules of thumb do you use to determine whether or not old food is safe to eat?

  52. Steww – Yeah, all true. It is the same with our financial situation. Many profess to have some sort of working knowledge on how much have have/don’t have. But it is all bollocks.

    Shotta – “Repeat a lie often enough and …..”

    Heh, ironic you should post that.

  53. Shotta – Is he “intent” on coming to Arsenal? I have not seen any quotes saying this. If you have not either, I refer you to Stewws recent posts.

  54. Just realised that I am going to miss the first match of the season. I am at a music fesitval in Belguim so have no chance of seeing it 😦

  55. u-21 + NextGen matches adds up to 21 games between Aug – Dec,
    not bad for our young guns

    will this reduce loan-outs?
    who owns the NextGen Series?

  56. We’re going to win the league!!

  57. “And the chief executive revealed that Cesc Fabregas wasn’t committed to Arsenal last summer – as revealed on this blog when he refused to play for us at all during pre-season when he was fit.

    Gazidis said:

    “Me trying to sell you that selling Cesc Fabregas is a step forward for Arsenal – that’s a pretty hard sell. From a technical perspective it clearly wasn’t. But in terms of what we got out of Cesc and what we got out in terms of players who are committed this year and wanted to be here, those of the type of judgements you end up having to make and my goodness, those are so, so difficult.”

    It should be remembered we didn’t get Cesc’s true market value because he would only sign for Barcelona and that pulled the price down, meaning we were unable to buy a world class replacement for him. Will I remember Cesc in a good way? Not after the way he treated the club last summer.”

  58. “At the time he reportedly told the police that he had no insurance or proper number plates on the car because he had a “friend who sorts that out for me”….???

    man, we need to sell off this dufus ASAP before he lands in prison somewhere and complicates our “expected cash-in” till….

  59. Swnsea’a ‘briilliant’ passing style wasnt that brilliant after all it seems. Their passes were intercepted the most that any other team. Or maybe it just means they tried to pass loads more than any other team?

    Liam Brady left for Juve on this day in 1980.

    Frimpong’s been fined £6000 for his tweet. Medicine taken and time to move on.

  60. Andy at 10:59 am –
    You conveniently left out my disclaimer that “it may be all smoke and mirrors”.
    I know where you are going with this but I never claimed to be an ITK. Keep digging away.

  61. Dex – I thought you we going to let it lie 😉

    But, as you have brought it up, could yuo highlight the bit where its says he wsa on strike please, as I can’t seem to see it. It says he wasn’t committed, and I accept that as the guy wanted to leave. But that is nothing like going on strike.

    IG mentions “what they got our of Cesc” in the last year. 9 Goals and 17 assists is pretty decent I think, so his output was still good. The comments about only signing for Barca pulling the price down is garbage. If we were trying to get rid of a player, then it is fair comment. But we wasn’t.

    We should have stuck to our price. If they didn’t come up with ity, he would have carried on being an Arsenal player until they did. As you have just evidenced, even an uncommitted Fabregas still had a great output and impact on our season.

    Yeah, I do think think we didn’t cover ourselves in glory with that transfer. Meh, life goes on.

  62. Frimp fined 6000 quid for twitting “yid”, Dufus52 fined 5000 for driving w/o a license and insurance…

    wonder how much John Terry’d be fined for twitting “yid” while driving without a license & insurance?

  63. Andy; Ha! I know I said I’d let it lie, but regardless what YOU think, or choose to believe, the underlying consensus is the player was fit, yet refused to play.

    We will have to wait for Arsene’s book to know the whole truth though. 🙂

    The bit about the transfer price was the words of the blog author BTW.

  64. Top marks Yogi.
    Soap……..great stuff.

    August arrives to open arms. I find our current roster capable of providing the most exciting football in seasons.

  65. Dex – “yet refused to play”

    Stated nowhere. Even in IG statement. I think you are employing shotta’s last sentence in his post at 10:47. 😉

    Shotta – Not all all. That is just how the post reads mate.

  66. Apparantly Juve’s coach Conte has been fined £200k and banned for 3 months for match fixing.

  67. Andy;

    Seriously, I am not to blame for your complete inability to retain information. Do you forget your keys alot, or where you live, what your missus’ name is too?

    I bet you do, but you wouldnt remember! 🙂

  68. 3 Months? That is disgusting. The ban should be much longer than that.

  69. I am not sure……maybe.

  70. I imagine they dont want to hurt Juve too much, so soon after the last match fixing scandal. 🙂

    Kinda makes a mockery of John Cross’ piece about Juve signing RvP on a £190k after tax.

    No doubt this will mean he is now going to ManU to the hacks.

  71. Corruptness seem to be much more ingrained the the Italian culture than other places. Maybe it is not a big deal to them as it is to us.

  72. I’m not sure what some of you lads have been reading/smoking, but VP is gone. At this point I would take any offer over 20 million and let’s move on to fuck. Sick of his name at this stage.

    Cazorla, never had any hope of that deal happening so if it does it would be a massive bonus. But given the wages he is probably on, as well as the increase we’d have to offer to alow for the difference in tax rates, I’m not sure he would fit into our wage structure.

    bobbyp, do you understand the basic principals of an auction? Why the hell would we sell players at the beginning of the window?

  73. And some people think our new kits are bad;

  74. Andy – thanks for the 365 link – it prodded me into making my main bets for the season. After all articles like that have a habit of proliferating and that’s not good when the punters and bookies take note.

    The odds on Betfair are c1.5 (bet a tenner win a fiver) for a top 4 finish. I think that’s pretty remarkable as Wenger has nailed top 4, 14 years straight. plus can anyone really imagine Spurs or Liverpool taking 4th?

    Personally, I think it is far more likely we will take third than lose fourth.

  75. Markus;

    It is your OPINION that RvP is gone. Nothing factual about what you just said there.

  76. The girls are smashing this rowing – unbelievable scenes!

  77. Stunning isn’t it!

  78. But they’re slowing down – one of them’s lighting a ciggy, they think it’s all over!

    It is now!!!

  79. Dexter, every single comment made on here is opinion. It is implied.

  80. There has been some good moments so far. The mens Gymnastics team even the other night was great. And watching the 16 year old Chinese girl absolutely destroy her field was amazing.

    All these feats after 100% dedication of training the human body. But I am still marvelling in the beach vollyball 😉

  81. Glover & Stanning you fucking legends. Utterly delighted for them.

    First GB women to ever win any Olympic rowing medal.


  82. Markus;

    You need to tone down your shit then man.

  83. Thank fuck for that! I was tempted to stick a tenner on TeamGB not getting a single gold medal!

  84. arsenalandrew | August 1, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Amazing post sir. Salute!

    I totally go with this view. We are very close to where we want to be, provided the landscape remains the same as it is now.

  85. Markus – the implication becomes a little immaterial when people state things as though their opinion is beyond all doubt.

    See Steve’s post @9.50 as a classic example.

  86. You could have named several posts just today Jonny.

  87. Dexter you should have seen what I was going to post. I did tone it down.

    Jonny, I didn’t present anything as fact or beyond doubt. I’m stating opinion. It’s not my fault if people read opinion as fact. That is the reason we have the bloody silly season in the first place.

  88. Indeed.

  89. “However, the rules of the ban apply only to the bench, locker room and interview area on match day.
    Conte would still be able to train the team on a day-to-day basis and give talks before the squad actually get to the stadium in both Serie A and European competition”

    pretty soft…. gelato bets anyone?

  90. “In Italy there are big problems and your league is at a level lower than the Premier League. Serie A is at a low level now,” Corriere dello Sport quoted him as saying.

    “There is no reason at all why a great player would come and play in your league. The Italian league was once extraordinary, and I remember well, when the league had 16 teams and each team had it’s own champion. Now it is not the case.”

    …In an outspoken interview with the Italian press, Arsene Wenger not only bet an ice cream that Robin van Persie would not move to Serie A, but he labelled it as an inferior league.

    …i hear Robin likes to WIN @ everything….maybe even gelatos!

    boomer’s d-day is 5 days away…

  91. Jonny | August 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    My statement was an opinion, nothing more.

  92. Does it say what Conte has actually done?

    It is fairly difficult to “fix” a team sport (results I mean) unless the whole team are in on it. I am asuming that given the length and details of the ban it can’t of been anything “that serious”?

  93. Andy;

    If memory serves, it was when he was coach/player at Genoa.


    It was the “what have you been smoking, RvP is gone” comment. Kinda inflamatory mate! 🙂

  94. “But I am not afraid of competition. It’s a big club, and at every big club there is a lot of competition.”
    -Jan Vertonghen

    2012: from AJAX to Tottenham…how the mighty have fallen

  95. A tippy top post YW.

    ‘van Persie strikes me as too professional to be that. I could be wrong but that is my instinct’

    That’s more then just instinct YW. We have some evidence. If RVP wanted to resign he would have wanted to do so at least before the summer tourney, at best during the season itself. He did not re-sign. But unlike others he did his job on the pitch whilst the season, the football was still on. Quite well.
    He did not act as the IG quote above described, something the whole world saw (apart from GA it seems). Which is why the manager is much more chilled this summer (but don’t tell GA, we don’t want to ruin his fun).
    So, why were not people calling RVP a ‘****’ during last season? I don’t understand and I don’t want to understand!

  96. SSN ‘understands’ Cazorla’s due in this week for a medical.

  97. Steve – maybe it’s just me!

    I just find it annoying when people tell me they know the future – especially in such unpredictable times.

    Closing your post with “Van Persie will leave this month” reads as though you believe you’re clairvoyant and are you are merely sharing your oracular wisdom.

    If it’s just ‘your opinion’ and you’re not trying to sound as though you are telling us what is going to happen then maybe an “I think” or even “I am confident” would read less like Nostrodamus..? 😉

  98. Finsbury – the most damning thing IG said was that Cesc was not as committed as some other players. How people can conclude from that quote that he went on strike is amazing.

    Let me make it clear that I am not saying that he did not 100% go on strike, because I can’t, because I don’t know that (the same as everbody else). So I can only base my opinion on what has been said. And nowhere does it say or even suggest that he went on strike. If it emerged that he had done this, my opinion on the matter would change very quickly.

    Maybe he came from from holdiday with a huge booze problem and turned into work 50mins late each day carrying a six pack of Special Brew? I know it does not say that anywhere, buy hell, that shows a lack of commitment as well. Why not?

    Fabregas also did his job on the pitch if you remember his last season. 9 Goals and 17 assists is not to be sniffed at for a midfielder.

  99. Forgive the source – but he is an Arsenal old boy and he has no right to be doing this at his age!

  100. I am confident that Andy is in denial 🙂

  101. Jonny – Quite so. Anybody pertainting to be a clairvoyant loses any credibity in my book. A fraud no less (not implying that on Steve).

    Me and the wife went to see one at a freinds not too long ago. We went purely becuase we thought it was a load of old tosh, and I was curious to see what bollocks she came up with. And she didn’t disapoint.

    Flew past anything I said which didn’t go with her spiel, and tried to build stories around anything which she thought had merit. She even told me that I was single even though my wife was sat in the room next to us. I find it amazing that people actually buy into this drivel. What do the spirits talk in ridles anyway?

  102. o Steve,
    pls note that was Nostrodamus NOT Nostrathymus!

    Andy on Cesc,
    9 goals and 17 assists……… u forget the 18th assist at the Camp Nou bro!

  103. Dex – Don’t be so coinfident in your confidence. It could lead you astray 😉

  104. Andy;

    What has the last season got to do with anything? It was the preparations for the following one man. You do keep making it look like you are trying your hardest to heap all the shit onto the club here man. Repeatedly stating his goals/assits from a season that NO ONE is doubting his commitment in, is kinda pointless and a tad odd IMO.

  105. Andy;

    I see a divorce on the cards 🙂

  106. Dex – I thought it was yesterday we were meant to announcing his signing. And then today. And now, sometime this week.

    It is almost as though people are just making stuff up. But I refuse to believe this is the case. Not on Twitter and other such respected media outlets 🙂

  107. On that fateful night, our ex-capitan’s true allegiance was plain to see…
    ironic now that our next captain’s itching for a nice sending-off !

  108. Oh man, to be a Huelva (?) supporter! Imagine having to buy your kid that strip. Scary stuff, Dex. [pic about an hour ago]
    Well done the rowers ~ quite emotional.

  109. Dexter @12:40, best post i’ve read in the days, take a bow.

  110. corr: ironic that our captain-after-Cesc is itching for a nicer sending-off !

  111. Dex – Yeah, that was a bit off track of me really. I had it in mind that people were questioning his commitment from the previous season as well.

    In all truth, I am not “trying” to heap shit on the club. That particular transfer really got under my skin as we let ourselves be bullied into accepting a relatively low fee for one of the best footbalers in world football. And he was under a long contract to us so we held all the aces. It just bugs me.

    I just believe that we could have got hell of a lot more for him. Jesus, look at the way the Spuds are holding aut for their valuation for Modric. A player who is not a patch on Fabregas. Yet the Spuds know he is under contract so they can just stick to their valuation. I just really wish we had done that.

  112. Andy;

    Well, I guess it is taking longer for these medicals to be conducted, what with all the others still waiting to be checked out by the medical department; M’Villa, Llorente, Sakho. Must be well cramped in London Colney man. 🙂

    I was disapointed about the fee we received and the gloating Barca did afterwards.

  113. nah Dex,…looks more like a group of jockeys about to play a friendly against Huelva.

  114. how will u feel if Madrid break off negotiations, Andy?

  115. I actually like both our new kits TBH. The home one has grown on me. Even dig the blue band around the sleeve.

  116. Aman – I couldn’t care less. But if Madrid don’t match the Spuds valuation he (Modric) will just have to get on with his day job.

  117. Limestonegunner

    Great write-up, YW. And of course I’ve been plunking for holding RvP to his final year since before the infamous letter, so I agree with your hopeful confidence in RvP’s willingness to be professional. Theo the same. It will also prove helpful, I think, in our negotiations with Theo, if we show some strictness with RvP.

    Let’s bag Cazorla and away we go! If RvP is g

  118. Jonny

    Aguero’s reaction says it all.

  119. the LOW CENTRES OF GRAVITY that will lead us to our PURPLE DOUBLE !!

    Santi 5′ 6″
    Jack 5′ 7″
    AA 5′ 6″…

    ..segue to video: “this is a finish of immense, immense quality” (AA @ Anfield II)


  120. Lads, Conte’s not getting done for match fixing, he’s getting done for failing to report ‘two instances of wrongdoing’ in a match fixing scandal when he was in charge of Siena (not Juve). As much as Juve have a bad rep when it comes to match fixing, this time they’re in no way involved, believe it or not.

  121. Hardy – Ah, cheers for that.

  122. The reason I believe rvp has to leave our club is because he released a statement along with his agent that disrespected the club, the fans and the manager that have supported and in some cases adored him over the years, in my opinion the length of his contract,the potential fee and which Manchester club he joins are all side issues,he’s either thick or greedy or both, time to get rid.

  123. “THREE ‘lil hobbits coming to blow your house down!”.

    ……i need a melody

  124. Jonny / Andy

    I don’t pretend to know anything specific to do with our transfer dealings, not for me the internet bollocks of being ITK which usually is an equally as uninformed bloke in the pub.

    I post opinion, nothing more. From now on i will state that.

    None of us really has a fuckign clue what is going on with relation to van Persie, Cazorla or any of them. Why only a few weeks people were celebrating the signature of M’Villa.

    Quite frankly it’s all bollocks and the sooner summer is abolished entirely the better.

  125. Quite YW. 🙂

    RIP – Gore Vidal. Interesting man – not enough men like him in the US.

  126. So one scenario is that the Cesc refused to play for us in preseason. The other is that the club made a balls of the situation and got bullied by Barca.
    The club has a very good track record of getting pretty decent transfer prices for players. The club sold Adebayor for more than 20 million, sold Nasri for more than 20 million despite the fact that he had only one year left on his deal, the Toure deal, Hleb, Anelka etc.
    The argument that the club somehow undervalued Cesc or lost all their “transfer market” marbles in this particular case despite showing previous prowess in such matters doesn’t cut with me.
    Another suggestion many have given is that Arsene did this some sort of favor to Cesc. Would Arsene hurt Arsenal to benefit Cesc? I don’t think so. Even if he did(which I don’t believe) would SK ever sanction such an undervalued transfer? Probably not unless Arsene can overrule SK. Surely not.
    Cesc was “injured” the whole preseason and still could manage to play for Barca in the Spanish equivalent of the Community Shield before the start of the season. Pretty decent recovery if you ask me, I wish Arsenal players had such an amazing “recovery rate”, what with LK and OG not being fit enough as of now to play despite having no injuries.
    I know which scenario I believe.

  127. hi, my name is
    Jack Andresanti
    and you are about to lose a football match.

    please notify by how much by ticking the appropriate box.


  128. sahil,

    “i believe Jack Andre ‘n Santi are our future/ treat them well & let them lead the way/ show them all the trophies they can possess in time/ give them a sense of pride to make it easier/ let the gunners’ purple double remind us how we used to be…..

    song re:The Greatest Love of All

  129. couldn’t wait 24hrs YW, f’give moi

  130. Hardy, you mean Dexter presented as fact something that wasn’t true. OMG.

  131. Markus;

    No I didnt, never said it was Juventus related. I said he got a ban mind.

    I feel a Tom Petty tune in the offing.

  132. Andy,
    Cesc talk is stale as an old tampon mate (sorry ladies)…
    sh*t, even Fat Sam’s back in the premiership….

  133. let the band play it up!

  134. Amen to that, Aman.

  135. The tune’s called; “The nit picker’s whine.” Its not very pleasant man.

  136. “not very pleasant” can wait for “when” Robin flies the coop, Dex

  137. Ah, come on now Dexter.

    Dexter | August 1, 2012 at 11:36 am – Apparantly Juve’s coach Conte has been fined £200k and banned for 3 months for match fixing.

    Hardy | August 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm – Lads, Conte’s not getting done for match fixing.

  138. Aman – I agree, it is.

  139. Juventus coach Antonio Conte will face trial for his role in the Scommessopoli match-fixing scandal after the Disciplinary Committee rejected his plea deal.
    The 42-year-old had reached an agreement with federal prosecutor Stefano Palazzi to avoid the prosecution process, with a three-month ban and a €200,000 fine the punishment that had been agreed for the Italian coach.

    However, the Disciplinary Committee presided by Sergio Artico has turned down Conte’s deal, which means that the Bianconeri boss will now go on trial and could face a year-long ban.

    Conte is charged with failing to report attempts to influence the outcome of two Serie B matches against Novara and AlbinoLeffe in the 2010-11 season when he was in charge of Siena.

    Yep, how wrong was I there? Erm….

  140. Wow, you are being well petty and nit picky there markus.

    The ban/fine is punishmewnt for involvement in the match fixing scandal FFS.

    What a tit.

  141. try this one Dex,

    “Tell me, are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down
    Oh, no let’s go!

    Let’s go crazy
    Let’s get nuts
    Look 4 the PURPLE banana
    ‘Til they put us in the truck, let’s go!”

    …speaking of bananas, where’s Frank?
    did he really sign off YW?

  142. Not entirely wrong but not entirely accurate either.

    I just found it incredibly hypocritical that myself and Steve should get criticised for the accuracy of what is clearly our OWN OPINIONS, and yet you have stated as fact something which turns out to be inaccurate.

    But whatever I’m hungry and cranky.

  143. Oh please, grow up man. And If you go back I started my post with the word “apparantly”.

  144. Aman;

    You are fucking crazy man! 🙂

  145. “but our inability to move move these players on points to us having grossly overpaid them in the past. its amazing how bendtner hasn’t been sold after his euro.

    these are points which were vigerously denied by you and some others. to most it was obvious why our wage bill is large and we can’t sell players.”

    Yes, I fully agree. And my, how the deniers were cruel to me, sniff, sniff 😉
    Yogi, I don’t think it was ever claimed casting the deadwood adrift was easy, only that it was essential.
    I agree that I too am shifting to keeping RvP at least until January. If only because we do face Chelski, Shitty and Liverpoo all within the first 6 games. Trying a new style with new players with minimal preseason prep games is not ideal. And who knows, maybe a perfect storm will have erupted in January and some rich team in crisis will be in dire need of him. However. part of me wonders if he’d hold back afraid of a career ending injury. But Arsene knows best what RvP’s current temperament is like and if he’d be a disruptive influence. Modric reintegrated very well last year, maybe RvP will also.
    But ultimately it wouldn’t surprise me if he was sold for cash cuz I hear there’s 100 million pounds owed to people.

  146. To be fair the criticism I got from Jonny was like the critical equivalent of being kicked in the ankles by a two year old child.

    I share his opinion for what it’s worth, I would however expand and clarify that by saying my pet hate is internet retards who like to supplement opinions by pretending to be ITK, sources etc.

    My statement was just an opinion all the same.

    Robin van Persie will leave this summer. See, did it again.

  147. Philmar;

    Please tell me you aint trying to mount your favourite hobby horse again; Bendtner’s wages, are you? 🙂

  148. I find it remarkable that our interest in M’Vila had cooled while our need has increased. People counting on Rosicky to be a fit full time member of the squad was rather presumptuous. Song is still going to be absent in Africa for a while. It seems all the other clubs previously interested in M’Vila have stopped calling Rennes.
    All because he refused to shake Laurent Blanc’s hand? Silly lad. Who knew petulance could cost so dear?

  149. here we go again with..the “deadwoods”..!!

    such a rude word to call a living being still contracted to the Arse.
    pls change, abbreviate or delete that word, philmar

  150. Philmar;

    Not sure, but if the Sahin loan rumour is true, that would cover several absentees; Jack, Tomas, Song. While AW might see Coquelin as ready to step up? It would be sooooo nice to actually go into a season with a fully fit squad.

  151. ” Song is still going to be absent in Africa for a while”……Nostraphilmar i presume?

  152. Great post yogi:

    Sounds like the cazorla to arsenal is wobbling. I have no problem with the club if something gets in the way of a transfer of a specific player. Whats frustrating is that if the club really was seriously trying to spend more then 15M then it’s pretty clear they feel the need to bring in a CAM just like most of us do. If they don’t get cazorla they still need a player for that position so i hope we move on to the next player on our list. If there are no other players on our list then we need to be extra aggresive with cazorla. The debacle at was our GK situation a couple of seasons ago is another example. We missed on reina and I understand that but we would not have put in a club record bid if we did not need a new GK. CAM is perhaps the single most important out field position in our current version of Wengerball and we have no one that has been effective in that position on the squad until TR7 returns. Jack may have potential but he has never played there and who knows when he returns. Diaby has not played there other then a few cameos, Ox is an interesting option but a complete unknown, Aaron struggled at that position, Andrei has never played there for us.

    I agree with you regarding the RVP situation and hope we keep him unless we get a reasonable price. If we do get a good price we need to use the money to get that CAM we need. You quoted arsene as saying how important it is for the club to be financially prudent and letting an asset like RVP leave on the free next season would go against everything the club has done and believed in for many years. Same with Theo. I would be very surprised if RVP was with us next season.

  153. The Cazxorla deal looks even more “on” Bill, BTW. Doesnt mean I am saying it will happen (jeez, wouldnt want the blog’s real predant to have another hissy fit now), but things look more positive than negative old chap.

  154. Steve it’s heartening to know you hold my scathing remarks with such contempt. I think I need a sharper fountain pen. 🙂

  155. Philmar,
    Cameroon still have to beat CAPE VERDE over 2 legs to qualify for AFCON 2013!

  156. Jonny

    Not at all old boy. Simply that another poster here referred to them as criticism. I myself took no offence from them at all.

    I have been called worse.

  157. >Yogi, I don’t think it was ever claimed casting the deadwood adrift was easy, only that it was essential.


    You’d be surprised how many people genuinely believe buying and selling is very simple.

  158. I’m not sure we do need a player for that position – Cazorla simply sounds too good overlook. I’d value a decent DM over a CAM.

  159. Of that I have no doubt Steve.

    Where is George anyway? 😉

  160. “” Song is still going to be absent in Africa for a while”……Nostraphilmar i presume?”

    Nope, it’s public knowledge. You need to read more.

  161. DEADWOOD!!

  162. although I do agree we need to trim the squad, I find all this ‘deadwood’ terminology both distasteful and also hypocritical. When a player decides they want to leave for money/trophies they are lambasted for their lack of loyalty and called a mercenary or some such, but when a player who is currently on our books, and makes no noises to the press or anyone, so many call for their heads, wanting to expel them to the lower leagues on a smaller pay packet. I guess ruthlessness and financial considerations is ok from the clubs point of view, but not from a player?

    I’m not sticking up for RvP here, or any others of his ilk, but is it any wonder that some players decide to move on when it suits them career-wise or financially when they know fully if their form took a nosedive or they became injured/old they’d be consigned to the scrapheap without a moments thought.

    so yeah stop with the ‘deadwood’ – i agree some of them should move on for the benefit of themselves and the club, but FFS they are arsenal players and so stop referring to them as deadwood whilst simultaneously standing on a pedestal preaching about the moral vacuum amongst talented players.

  163. “You’d be surprised how many people genuinely believe buying and selling is very simple.”

    Well we are in the age of plastic 😉

  164. The Cazxorla deal looks even more “on” Bill, BTW.

    That a ‘fact’ is it now Dexy?

  165. sorry for the spelling/grammar mistakes – my work has a very old version of internet explorer which means anything after the first three lines is typed ‘blind’

  166. 7-9 Sept, 12-14 Oct AFCON qualifiers:

    Cote D’Ivoire have to beat Senegal..(Gerv)

    Morocco vs Mozambique (…for Marouane, wherever i may find him)

  167. I can’t believe grown adults are upset by use of the term ‘deadwood’.

    Poor fucking cherub footballers.

  168. 7-9 Sept, 12-14 Oct AFCON qualifiers (contd):

    Nigeria vs Liberia (f’ Me & Mr Moses)

  169. Dex @ 2:35:

    Hope you are right about cazorla.

  170. and finally from Your Arsenal , a special shout-out to our much maligned genius,

  171. your words are deadwood to me, Steve & Philmar.

  172. who said I was a grown adult?

  173. except these ones….”Well we are in the age of plastic”…lol, philmar

  174. “my work has a very old version of internet explorer which means anything after the first three lines is typed ‘blind’”

    I do hope you’re not being dragged into child labour.

  175. Jonny:

    “I’m not sure we do need a player for that position – Cazorla simply sounds too good overlook. I’d value a decent DM over a CAM.”

    I think we need both but I always think that. 🙂

    We have not been in the habit of making club record bids for players we don’t really need just because they sound good. Hopefully the early purchases this summer signal that our mindset about spending money may be slowly evolving but that would be very radical.

  176. “Please tell me you aint trying to mount your favourite hobby horse again; Bendtner’s wages, are you? ”

    No, no. Someone else rolled it out. I am just dusting it off so the ‘real’ fans here can fall off of it again. 😉

  177. caz as we will call him will be in red n white by next weekend, dont believe if you your too afraid

  178. Bill

    “the early purchases this summer signal that our mindset about spending money may be slowly evolving”

    The early purchases have been pretty much in line with what we would expect. We signed players like Gervinho, Arteta and even Chamberlain last summer for sums in the same ball park.

    If Cazorla is coming in for a fee in excess of 20m then his purchase will be offset IN MY OPINION by a sale of similar value. It’s our model.

  179. unfortunately steve it’s already too late – the IT systems in these sweatshops are absolutely shocking!

  180. oops – ateeb if you’re reading, please accept my apologies for making a joke about child slavery – it’s just not cricket!

  181. Steve @ 3:21:

    I share your concern but hope that things will be different this summer. So far we have made 2 significant purchases without a corresponding sale. The “middle ground” between the our old model and the Man city/Chelsea model is in site. Fingers crossed.

  182. “I can’t believe grown adults are upset by use of the term ‘deadwood’.

    Poor fucking cherub footballers.”

    Adults? What gave you that impression?
    Aman reads an article by Yogi where he describes the transfer process and how “the media mix it all together for the public to lap it up” and then a few seconds later he ‘laps up’ a media article about Cazorla coming to London for a medical sometime in the week. That sends him off skipping on the pavement while composing silly songs about us winning the purple double because we have “3 purple hobbits” : 1 who is not yet an Arsenal player, 1 who hasn’t played in over a year and 1 who might possibly never play for us again.
    yeah, adults. He objects to the use of deadwood for players who are actively TRYING to leave Arsenal yet he refers to the players he loves as hobbits.
    Adults? Steve, that was your worse post ever 😉

  183. goonerandy | August 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    That was a long post dude. no need. No need to speculate over Cesc’s fitness either. We can refer to comments from other players, such as Denilson, look at Cesc F Word’s conduct in his final six months, and easily conclude that he chose to F off before the season ended. He was not in a ‘fit state to play’, so he ended his Arsenal career just like Adebayor. by not being selected to play because he could not be trusted. That is not speculation. It is what happened. I also suggest you re-read IG’s comments. What he said refers to the above. It is quite clear. No need for a dictionary or a thesaurus. You are entitled to your opinion! But most other people, including those that work art the club, do not seem to agree with you. That is all. The End.

  184. Dexter, don’t resort to namecalling. You’re better than that, probably. I may be a tit but it’s not your job to say it. That position is filled. Besides I didn’t start the pedantry today, I was just defending myself.

  185. Apparently it’s in!!!!

    “Arsenal have agreed a deal with Malága for Santi Cazorla worth £17.3m”

    On Twitter but no source chasing Beeb contacts now…

  186. “The early purchases have been pretty much in line with what we would expect. We signed players like Gervinho, Arteta and even Chamberlain last summer for sums in the same ball park.

    If Cazorla is coming in for a fee in excess of 20m then his purchase will be offset IN MY OPINION by a sale of similar value. It’s our model.”

    Good recovery. We are still being frugal with our money. Note: not a criticism. We are buying quality players early in their career or quality players in their last year of contract.
    Value purchases!

  187. And Wiggo 22 secs up in time trial.

  188. Jabberwocky – your ancient version of IE sounds fascinating; it wasn’t the prototype, was it? (Answer in under 3 lines will be fine).

    Wiggins looking good for gold …

  189. ooh, nice backhand there philmar….like a 3 year old kicking my ankles with his plastic shoes….u piece of deadwood

  190. not comprehending why the word itself ruffles some feathers aside, do you not see the hypocrisy of holding this attitude towards one group of players, but acting like a jilted lover to another group to whom you believe should live by an ethical code that you do not, or expect the club to live by? I’m all for clearing out some of the squad, and I too am a jilted lover when it comes to those searching for pastures new and full of cash, but shouldn’t we view players in our own team with even the slightest modicum of respect? I’m sure they dont give two shits as to whether you call them deadwood, but I am of the lss wealthy and altogether more sensitive sort.

  191. Pre-prototype – actually have to send a carrier pigeon with my three lines of wisdom to someone with IE1

  192. Jonny

    “On Twitter but no source chasing Beeb contacts now…”

    I translate this as waiting for a story to appear on Ceefax?

  193. There’s reports now that Jack won’t be back until November at the earliest! WTF?
    We’re going to win the league!

  194. also i should add: Steve, when I say ‘you’ I actually mean a lot of individuals who use the term ‘deadwood’ – I’m not au fait with your opininions on these matters so wouldn’t want to make a sweeping generalisation lest the pedants come for me

  195. FO Steve – I have several friends at the BBC – two of whom work in BBC Sport.

    Problem is I think they are both out doing Olympics coverage.

  196. Yes we are Caxter, yes we are going to win the league plus another

  197. Whatever Markus. You brought it on yourself TBH. I didnt call into question the accuracy of any post. As I already explained about 4 hours ago. Your insistence on trying to make an issue about the Conte match fixing punishment does you a disservce, hence the tit remark, which I will now retract. 🙂

  198. jabberwocky

    Two things mate:

    I treat Arsenal players with respect when they’re on the pitch playing for us, I support them 100% and without prejudice. Off the field largely I don’t give a fuck about them, I don’t pretend or fool myself that they love the club like I do, nor do I fool myself that some of them are any better as people than players of other clubs that we like to abuse.

    Secondly, I don’t ever act like a jilted lover when a player chooses to leave, nor do I reach for the now automatic crutch of deciding they are leaving Arsenal purely and for no other reason than greed. If a player wants to leave then good luck to him, loyalty is a bygone part of football. Players leave, new players come in and take their place. We still support.

    I have called Arsenal football players a lot worse than deadwood believe me. Never at a game though.

  199. 42 second lead! Wiggins gets gold!

  200. Yeah Aman, stop calling our players hobbits would you, you doomer.

  201. “although I do agree we need to trim the squad, I find all this ‘deadwood’ terminology both distasteful and also hypocritical. When a player decides they want to leave for money/trophies they are lambasted for their lack of loyalty and called a mercenary or some such, but when a player who is currently on our books, and makes no noises to the press or anyone, so many call for their heads, wanting to expel them to the lower leagues on a smaller pay packet. I guess ruthlessness and financial considerations is ok from the clubs point of view, but not from a player?”

    For the record jabberwocky I never called RvP a mercenary. He has every right to choose his employer and negotiate whatever wage he can. Others have called him a mercenary. If anything I have taken a lot of flack because I have defended players’ high wages on this board.
    Similarly I certainly never have called for players to be banished to the lower leagues for smaller pay packets. I fully support their right to earn the wages they negotiated with Arsenal. I am fully aware that respecting this right is causing us difficulty in moving them. I mentioned that weeks ago when I predicted it would be difficult for us to get a decent transfer fee for B52.
    And the players i have called deadwood HAVE all tried to engineer a move away from Arsenal and stated their desire to be elsewhere. AA gladly accepted a loan to Russia, B52 publicly stating he doesn’t want to return, Vela admitting he liked it better in Spain, Denilson stating his preference to stay in Brasil.

  202. Jonny;

    From earlier;

    I think a CAM is more important than a DM man. Ideally, I’d love cazorla and YmV, but the priority for me would be the the former. Our goal creation/scoring from CM has been low since a certain spaniard left us, replicating that will give us a massive chance of actually winning stuff.

    IF Coquelin can step up, then we could be set man.

  203. Here Wiggo, here Wiggo, here Wiggo!!

  204. Its a fine line regarding calling the players names. While they are still AFC players we should show them some respect. Once they piss off they are wankers/c*nts/rubbish/mercenary

  205. GA

    Dexter at 12:51 pm makes the other observation about Cesc’s conduct.
    I read the references by IG about when to keep a player as a fairly obvious reference although as Dex observes there’s actually no need to do so. Cesc was still a let down.

  206. ” ooh, nice backhand there philmar….like a 3 year old kicking my ankles with his plastic shoes….u piece of deadwood ”

    Well your hypocrisy does need to be called out from time to time.
    But hey, maybe you should write a childish nursery rhyme about it.

  207. Steve/Phillmar – as per my earlier caveat, my post was rather clumsily addressed to a ‘you’ by which I referred to a lot of people that bandy about the ‘deadwood’ term and in the same breathe castigate the likes of RvP, twasn’t a direct attack on you or putting words in either of your mouths with regards to this whole issue.

    I dont like the term ‘deadwood’, think it is disrespectful, but at the same time I dont lose any sleep over its use or consider those who use it as being automatically ‘not proper fans’ or whatever else the particular phrase-du-jour is being bandied about in the AKB v Doomer wars

  208. Im off now, so you can all call me what you want.

  209. Caxter…
    AW said October.
    ..the hacks prefer the song “Gone Till November”…i go with Le Boss..

    Jack gets back when Jack gets back…it’ll probably take him till 2013 to regain form.

    For now Santi’s about to ameliorate any losses
    ..i feel a song coming on?
    or not?….what the…..

  210. So how I feel about a player is governed by whether they are in a contractual relationship with Arsenal? and that once they’ve put pen to paper with another team that their personality/persona changes only at that instant?
    Nah, that’s too freakin weird and wrong to me. Sorry. if I don’t share that noble value. But I can try.

    Maybe i can change…

  211. Finsbury – All we know is that “he wasn’t committed”. We know that becuase IG said as much, and is was obvious anyway as he was wanting to leave. So yes, a huge let down. He let down AW more than anything.

    But (I repeat), there has never been any suggestion that he went on strike outside of internet blogs (that I have seen anywhere). Saying somebody is no committed is not saying somebody refused to work. And if he had gone on strike it would have been very easy for the club to garner support by saying what had happened after the transfer had gone through. As I mentioned earlier, I hight doubt that he would have done that to AW given his relationship with him.

    No point arguing about it though. If some choose to believe he went on strike (regardless of lack of evidence) makes things easier to swallow, go right ahead.

    Anyway, off home. Laters 🙂

  212. My only ‘problem’ with the deadwood phrase is it’s essentially meaningless in this context.

    Actual deadwood is lifeless and has no value. Unless one of our players has no resale value and can no longer play only then does the phrase carry any meaning.

    I suspect there is no deadwood at Arsenal Football Club.


    Now that Samir Nasri and his chum Adebayor on the other hand, effing driftwood, if ever.

  213. jabberwocky, I haven’t been posting here for long so i am not aware if others used the term deadwood prior to me. But by the reaction it elicited I thought I had introduced the term to the board. I assumed it wasn’t a popular common metaphor in England. I was presumptuous in assuming I introduced it and that you were referring to me, sorry.

  214. “We know that becuase IG said as much” – exactly.

    GA, you have misread me because I have not written tha he went on strike. And I also don’t care whether he went on strike or not in the summer, what happened before that, the summer before, the whole way he conducted himself, that was enough disappointment. I wrote that like Ade he was most probably dropped for his last few/couple of games. That is not a slur on Cesc I wrote when Ade left that I’d rather have kept him as 2nd/3rd choice behind RVP and Eduardo. I hope that is clearer.

  215. sahil…
    but i like hobbits!
    ..i equate them with genius….
    ok ok, i’ll just call them geniuses, our 3 ‘lil geniuses!
    …aah, today’s gallery’s in…thanx dude

    hypocrisy ?
    what hypocrisy, philmar deadwood?

  216. AA

    Oi reckon there’s plenty of deadwood. Tables, chairs that kind of thing.
    Boom Boom!

  217. Finsbury – Ah, right you are. Fair comments. My comments on the “strike” stemmed from an earlier conversation about the transfer fee and why we got stiffed.

    Much clearer. Anyway, as I said. I am off. German beer festival tonight 🙂

  218. “I suspect there is no deadwood at Arsenal Football Club”.
    the point exactly, thanks arsenalandrew.

    is it me or are you getting “turned on” seeing all of them together.
    AW has assembled a powerhouse squad……..DAMNIT!!!

  219. Ha – but even the tables and chairs have value, Fins! Especially the jewel encrusted ones in Club Level …

  220. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, owe be Nackin’ Vore?

    Cbob’s dew snails, jist a scat n’ ‘th be auver ‘th drecksill!

    I have not used that dialect in ages.

  221. add Carzola to this and the sky is most definitely the limit!!


  222. Maybe it is me who is stupid, I don’t deny it!.

    Cesc did not act professionally, RVP has. The contrast is there:
    – During the season, no doubt.
    – After the season, Robin says what he wants to say, and gives the club time to haggle (he needs a better agent!) or to get a replacement.
    Cesc, the less said, the better.

  223. Arteta’s 9 of 22 says it all

  224. All of them back together Aman. BFG is back in training, Diaby’s still fit, Poldi training, hell even Rvp training instead of faking injury. Definitely “turned on”.

  225. Verm takes a look around and smiles…who wouldn’t.
    10 of 22

  226. “hypocrisy ?
    what hypocrisy, philmar ?”

    Well Aman Deadbrain ,, hypocrisy is chastising people for calling surplus wantaway players ‘deadwood’ while calling current players ‘hobbits”.

  227. 4 of 22
    Now I see why you were calling AA a lovable hobbit. 🙂

  228. ..u know it, sahil.

    i like that the club photographer chose to show the veteran players only.

    shoot, even AA looks like he’s thinking..”top class vets..finally” in 4 of 22

  229. GA

    Enjoy the beer!

  230. oh..ok, philmar
    shall we move on?
    care to peep the non-deadwood?

  231. Dex @ 4.01- I still disagree – for me, our two problems have been profligacy, converting chances, coupled with a leaky defence.

    There are many reasons for the latter last season – most of them very well discussed on ACLF. One of problems for me, and I know some do not subscribe to this is a lack of an out and out DM (a lack of cover for the defence).

    Seemingly Song offers too much and will not be restricted to simply breaking up play and anchoring the MF.

    Asking the immature and inexperienced Coquelin to be the answer is a clear gamble and, in any case, I do not see Coquelin starting ahead of, or playing alongside Song. I also do not see the versatile Coquelin as an out and out DM either. Frimpong pehaps but again…

    Perhaps the answer is just to better drill the midfield so as to better cover for Song’s forward forays or perhaps they need to decide on exactly what Song’s role within the team is?

    Thorny headaches for our manager.

  232. Deadwood- 1. A branch or part of a tree that is dead.
    2.People or things that are no longer useful or productive.
    Hobbits- A member of an imaginary race similar to humans, of small size and with hairy feet, in stories by J. R. R. Tolkien.
    I quite like hobbits, saving the world of men and all. Quite heroic.
    I don’t see the hypocrisy.

  233. (whipering to sahil… i almost lost it the day AA went on loan)…ssshhh!

  234. “Actual deadwood is lifeless and has no value.”

    It’s a metaphor and one can always find attributes that don’t apply.

    But deadwood does still have value.

    It just needs to be dressed up and repackaged. you know, add adjectives like “International Dane striker” or former “Russian Footballer of the Year:” in front of it.

  235. muchas gracias sahil @ 4:42pm

  236. Sure sahil – go on the street and call short men hobbits. Tell us the love you receive.

  237. OK Aman I will just chalk up ‘hobbit’ as a form of endearment.
    But I still want Sahil to do his hobbit namecalling on the street.

  238. It is very clear Aman meant ‘hobbit’ in a loving way. That was the point I was making. Why would I call anyone on the street who I don’t know a hobbit or use any other adjective for that matter- for any random guy I don’t even know. Are you deliberately being thick, Philmar?

  239. let it go philmar..are u not enjoying the pics before u?

  240. pedantic george

    YW said “Philmar

    You’d be surprised how many people genuinely believe buying and selling is very simple.”


    You’d be surprised how many people genuinely believe Philmar is very simple.

  241. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, I would suggest like earlier Guardian piece, a Spanish source Sid Lowe and now Francisco Acedo in Sky sports, have been used by British hacks? Francisco Acedo has only health reports on his Twitter account, after all that appears to be his main task?

    Málaga CF are up for sale and apparently have 2 weeks to find a lot of money. The touring party is now back in Malaga and are uneasy with the current situation. 4 players apparently on the “up for sale list”, including ??????, who in the next 48 hours ins flying into London so Sky sports is informed!

    It smells?

  242. “You’d be surprised how many people genuinely believe Philmar is very simple.”

    But not as many as decry you on this board for being a jackass George.

  243. I’m nervous that City are holding off on transfer activity. I know part of it is because they need to find homes for Ade, Santa Cruz and about 40 other out of favour players, but their propensity toward hijaking bids makes me uneasy.

    I hope they aren’t waiting for us to do the hard-work and then move in.

  244. I know there is are a lot of people that have no faith in the papers etc when it comes to transfers, but that said I have more respect ofr SNN than any of the others. I am not saying that evrything they print or state is factual, but for the most part it does come to pass.

    Markus, the inactivity at Man City is directly related to the players they are trying to shift. The club stated sometime back that there would need to be departures before further purchases.

  245. pedantic george

    Yes Philmar ,And look at the type of posters who decry me .Yes mate ,you are in good company.

  246. I wonder if the news about Park is true… a loan move makes sense in the event we cannot shift him as a transfer.

  247. Markus,
    Santi said NO to Madrid a while back, i doubt Shitty can pilfer him if he wants to be a gooner. And though team Malaga would def opt for the higher fee, another oligarch experience might be too much for him to chew (we hope)

    ..i don’t see why they’d need him though
    Robin and another CB (L) seem to be their 1st priorities

  248. Agreed Aman, Santi declined a move to Read Madrid in 2008.

  249. I see at the moment that the Spuds have 2 recognised strikers in Defoe and Saha, and you think we have it bad 🙂

  250. Cazorla?

  251. c’mon Miami, they have the supremely talented all-world Welshman.
    plus VdV, Ade and Parker tha dominator…
    i’d be very scared!


  252. I wasn’t specifically thinking of Carzola, but if he said no to Madrid he probably thought he wouldn’t get in the team. Same can’t be said for City maybe.

  253. lol, Aman… they don’t Ade yet and with Man City not willing to buyout Ade’s contract the move seems up in the air. I watch Spuds last night against NY and 1 injury to Bale exposes that entire team.

  254. Agreed, Miami. Some people don’t know how good we(Arsenal) have it, moan, moan, moan.

  255. Miami – not everyone agrees but I don’t see a whole lot of strength in depth within the Spuddy squad; take out the Diving Bale or VdV and they are a shadow of the over-performing version of the side that was so beloved of the media last season.

    Add into that a Manager exhibiting early signs of being way out of his depth in this league and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

  256. pedantic george

    Miami,Saha has been released.

  257. I just think looking at the squads so far with the additions of the new players that there seems a clearer division of the top 4 teams. I think Newcastle did great last year but they are no longer the surprise package and will find a repeat much harder to achieve. I think Spurs have a solid 11 but beyond that they lack depth.

    Chelsea have added players which should add a much needed level of creativity to a team which to be honest is terrible dour in their insipid play. But they will need to gel and that takes time.

    Man City and Man United will always be strong just with the squads and experince they have.

    Arsenal have definitely added strength in depth to their team, it was needed. The one concern I have is that Arsenal seem underdone as a team so far in pre-season. We should have add both new additions on tour.

  258. PG… nice, that leaves Defoe who wants to leave. Spuds cannot think that Bale is the man to play every position… surely???

  259. if they were smart they’d take Sahin + the 35 or 38m for Modric, bend over backwards for Adebayor and be tooled up for the fight for 4th.

    I like Sahin but we’ve got Mikel, Jack & Diaby…we don’t need him.
    Santi’d be enough, methinks…

  260. I do absolutely think that Bale is world class, but he cannot do it all.

  261. Aman, squad wise in the midfield I can see Aneke and Eisfled making playing time this year.

  262. Miami,
    not taking Poldi, OG & Per on tour and allowing them “rest up” might be a blessing in disguise if they gel on & off the pitch. Could yield an element of surprise to the team.
    With just over 2 weeks left, i opt for the positive

  263. World Class diver.

  264. Aneke & Eisfeld?
    Now that I don’t see unless we are inundated with injuries

    This is officially now a veteran team.
    There’s little or no room for youthful experiments.

    we’ve been insulted enough
    Time to win some metal!

  265. Aman, the issue with resting these new players is that as of right now neither 1 has played a single game in pre-season. Rest is fine but the pre-season tour hasn’t exactly helped the entire team gel as a unit on the field this summer. I understand the monetary reasons for going, but with the olympics ensuring no Emp Cup we are short on game time.

    Andrew, I won’t argue… he does dive but unfortunately it is part of the game now and ref’s don’t seem to interested in stamping it out.

  266. lol aa..

    look at this list Miami,


    how do Aneke & Eisfeld get any game time here?

  267. Aneke, Eisfled & Afobe are at the forefront of youngsters coming through the Arsenal system. I have excluded those players would have already played 1st team football last season.

  268. Miami,
    with the IQ and experience of Poldi I worry not
    I feel the same having watched OG’s unselfishness at play
    I feel Arsene’s really chosen well with both.
    Ditto for Santi if we get him.

    By this time next week I reckon AA will have told his agent to shut the f**k up!

    Robin…?, i don’t know
    he is after all dutch***

    ***i.e: a stubborn, independent thinker

  269. I don’t see Eastmond as being a 1st choice before either Aneke or Eisfled (just my opinion). I think Lansbury will be transferred this summer (could obviously be wrong). Finally, I think AA will be moved on if we do indeed get Cazorla.

    Jack is out until at least Oct. In addition, Diaby and Rosicky have consistently had injury issues every season so to think they are going to be available all season is a little wishful thinking (though I hope it does come to pass).

  270. It’ll probably be loan-outs and/or NextGen+U-21’s for all three this year.
    Aneke for sure is tooo green!

  271. Still need to see the back of Bendtner, Park, Squillaci and Chamakh. Vela has already gone, along with Denilson and Campbell (both loans).

  272. ..alas all speculation
    i’m just glad to see them training together
    and Sagna’s fit enough to dance!

  273. lol, I saw that video as well 🙂 we need Sag back and fit as soon as possible.

  274. Jonny;

    AS I said, I would love us to sign a player of the calibre of M’Villa. BUT us getting Cazorla makes as much, if not more sense.

    With Arteta in the lineup[ the goals conceded dropped dramatically. Now I am not suggesting we will be fucked if he got innured, but given the crazy injuries to the fullbacks, that is quite an achievement.

    What we will need to do, is tighten up both the back 4 and the rest of the field. Something, that I am quietly confident we will see. With a top class CAM infornt of him, it lessens the attacking burden that was on Song before.

    Song has demonstated he is a world class DM, Arteta can operate as one and so can Coquelin. Ideally we’d sign both types.

    Oh and great news about yennaris signing a new deal AND Afobe going to Bolton on loan.

  275. Meant to say something about the Bould effect on the defence.

  276. I think we should wait and see what Bill thinks about all this.

  277. Yeah, no point taking anything the players say about the new regime and defensive work. best to wait for our very own D-Fensive lynchpin. 🙂

  278. Has Afobe’s loan been agreed?

  279. Apparantly so MA. Off to Bolton, treading a well worn path.

  280. Good old Owen.

    Funny how a change of manager can change your entire outlook on a club!

    Down with West Ham.

  281. Nice move for Benik then, Bolton will be a side challenging for promotion back to the EPL so it should be great experience… especially the expectations of fans 🙂

  282. Owen Coyle will play him and have him ready for inspection this time next year.
    Good luck Benik

    …Go Nico, go Nico, go Nico, go Nico….
    my fave young gun.
    Sky’s tha limit, son..congrats!

  283. Consensus amongst the rumourati is that Cazorla will be in London tomorrow for a medical.

    Let’s hope no-one catches a cold …

  284. No booing for the national anthems at the ‘lympic’s footie.

    Unlike for Suarez.

  285. Someone explain again why Team GB are playing Uruguay in the London Olympics all the way over in Wales, in a smaller stadium than Wembley with the added disadvantage of not being in London.

  286. Andrew @ 7:06

    “I think we should wait and see what Bill thinks about all this”


    The last 4 years have taught me to be skeptical about our defense. I have heard “next year will be different” every season for the last 5. Arteta is the latest in a long list off players who were going to be the critical missing piece. The season before it was the run of great results when Djourou was in the side that had myself and everyone else giddy.

    I really do think that we now have the best defensive players that we have had since the invincibles so may be this season does hold a more realistic hope. I don’t think our previous players have been bad players and history has shown that even the best players don’t defend well if they are caught up field, out of position, disorganized and lacking defensive discipline. Strong defending has not been a part of our “group culture” since the invincibles and that culture has to come from the top. Hopefully this season will actually be different. If you guys keep predicting the same thing year after year just by the law of averages you are going to be right eventually.

  287. its a return-to-silverware year, Bill, mark my purple words

  288. Andrew and Dex

    I actually agree with Dex that a CAM is a more pressing need right now then a DM. I would love to see both but hoping for that sort of expenditure is not realistic. I think Song can b e a good DM if he is told to do that. If he feels the need or by necessity he is our most creative midfielder then it may be a problem.

  289. I trust it actually pains you to agree with Dex? It seems to pain many people when that happens.

    Or is that just JonJon and George? [insert smiley]

    I’m loath to talk about the last four years as a bloc as I think there are key elements that apply to some seasons and not others. But, as other writers have pointed out, in recent years we have had to accommodate new players AND contend with tough injury dilemmas.

    Regardless of the ins and outs, logic (based on a stable defensive roster and relative lack of injuries) would suggest (assuming Sagna is not out long-term) that this season proves to be a return-to-silverware year as Aman suggests.

    Personally I’m feeling more optimistic about this season than at any time since the Invincibles (and that’s regardless of where RvP ends up).

  290. I think the need for a DM is less than the CAM as its alot easier (theoretically anyway) to break up play than to create.

    The players need to know when to sit and when to go forward. last season, perhaps borne out of urgency, there wasnt always this as players were caught upfield too often. But it wasnt always the case and there were many examples of good team defensive performances.

    Consistency is the key. I hope with work and training this becomes more of a natural thing.

    What we need is a time machine and then go get a 28 year old Gilberto Silva!

  291. Aman @ 7:59:

    Wonder where I have heard that before.

    If i keep predicting the same thing about our team defense every year, by the law of averages eventually one year I am going to be wrong. Hopefully this is that season. :).

  292. Agree Andrew and without any pain whatsoever! 🙂

    I have warned Bill many times about lumping seasons together as if they were all identical to each other.

    It really is annoying when he does that!

  293. For example, for the first time since Jens we have got ourselves a keeper worthy of the numero uno camiseta. We have also got a group of CBs as good as any team in the PL and we have a new coach who, according to the players is working hard on tightening up the defence.

    What’s not to like or be optimistic about all of that?

    Throw in a Giroud, a Podolski and (whisper it with me Aman)….. a Cazorla and we have muchas grounds to consider next season a good chance of winning something (Shhhhh…)

  294. Bill;

    I think we will win something every season, regardless of signings etc. That to me IS what one does man. Where’s the fun in writing off your own team’s chances BEFORE a ball is even kicked?

    Talk about sucking all the joy out of being a supporter man. At least wait till all our best players get injured come September 2nd to throw in the towel. 🙂

  295. Andrew:

    No doubt that each season is different but when the end result is consistently suboptimal even if for different superficial reasons then even the most optimistic has to admit that there is a pattern and probably some common thread. Just like a child who continually gets in trouble at school. You can explain away each individual incident but hopefully the parent is realistic enough to recognize that there is a pattern. We can’t fix our problems if we continue to deny that there is an underlying problem and make excuses for each event. We have had no shortage of capable players come thru our defense over the last 4-5 years. I hope that analogy makes sense.

  296. Dex
    There is a consensus that Cesc went on strike? Must have missed the memo.

    And btw, seasons don’t have to be identical for there to be an obvious trend. Pow. Pow.

    Now what other false argument have I missed that need quashing? 🙂

  297. (santi,,santi, santi)… Dex, add a returning Diaby & Wilshere complimented with auxillary keys to the attack in the hands of russia’s maestro, for 30-60 minutes a game!


  298. The analogy makes good sense Bill but do you not think the scarcity of funds may have had something to do this?

    We were never in a position where we could easily spend £xmillions to address the problems. I suspect you underestimate the complexities involved in setting up a squad for Wenger’s style of football.

    And the fact is, despite the evident awfulness of it all, we never finished lower than 4th in the league during a time when our nearest rivals were spending record amounts, so a sense of perspective is required here.

    When things go wrong there are rarely any quick fixes but I’m pretty sure we’re close now.

  299. Dex @ 8:28

    Don’t be so melodramatic! Your little smiley face does little to hide the fact that you need a good therapist. 🙂

    These are just our opinions about a sport. Your opinion and mine and Aman’s and Andrew’s plus $5 will buy an overpriced cup of coffee at starbucks and nothing more.

  300. Henristic

    You couldnt (s)quash an already dead fly man.

    The fact YOU arent aware of the cesc thing tells its own story. You afterall are the master of the non argument, the zero interest point.

    The 2nd ‘point’ shows how inept your football knowhow is.


  301. pedantic george


  302. understand the envy,
    we have AW….

  303. Bill;

    If you think that is melodramatic then you have some serious issues man. The smiley face was for the ‘joke’ at the end BTW.

    Maybe you get your thrills and kicks from being dour all the time, pre-empting seasons before a ball’s been kicked? Fair enough, each to their own.

  304. speak for yourself Bill,
    my opinions will be buying me
    dual purple celebrations come May 2013,
    thank you very mucho.

  305. Ooh, touched a nerve did I?

  306. Apologies Bill. I should realise that every one is different. You definitely aint the only fan who has the glass half empty approach.

    George for instance, he is such a misery in real life. He screams like a banshee if his local public house runs out of Malibu

  307. To be fair Dex, it’s when the little umbrellas run out that he gets most upset.

  308. pedantic george

    This isn’t real life?? Oh FFS.

  309. Cazorla will be doing a medical in 48hrs. What sort of news story is that? Doesn’t say if clubs have reached an agreement, etc.

  310. Oh jeeezus I forgot about when the umbrellas are gone. THAT is not a pretty sight to behod; An 18 stone man, dressed in an evening gown, full make up, karate chopping the pickled eggs and roundhousing the bar staff down at the Wigan Working Men’s club.

  311. They always keep a spare box to hand these days.

    Just not worth running out.

  312. Andrew

    Great thing about the boss was his ability to get good players on our budget. Attacking and scoring goals requires a lot of talent. Defending is also about talent but much more about organization, discipline and commitment. The defensive players we have had for the most part have been plenty good enough, in fact they have individually been better then some of the other teams despite our budget. However, the defensive whole has been less then the sum of the individual pieces IMO. Bottom line is we could debate all week and never settle anything but that’s a big part of the enjoyment of a sports blog at least to me anyway.

  313. “Personally I’m feeling more optimistic about this
    season than at any time since the Invincibles (and
    that’s regardless of where RvP ends up).”

    I was very optimistic 2 seasons ago, and somewhat share your feelings about this one, especially if RvP stays. I’m a bit concerned that the pressure on our new signings might be too much too soon if he leaves

  314. pedantic george

    “Bottom line is we could debate all week and never settle anything ”

    Well Bill,you have been debating it for the last two years ,non stop,that I know of.

  315. Just want Ramsey to come off now – keeps getting sliced down by Uruguayan thuggery.

  316. Dex:

    If we get cazorla and keep RVP for this season we will have had the best summer in a decade and certainly done a lot more positive things then I ever would have expected. Despite all my dourness I honestly believe we will improve defensively this season although I don’t think enough to make up the gap between us and the Manc clubs. If we continue to improve defensively and our young players develop and we keep the team together we have an excellent chance to catch the front runners in a couple of seasons. That big picture assessment probably does not meet your definition of glass half full but to me that seems rather upbeat. There are many individual things that I don’t agree with you about and we spend most of our time debating those but on the big picture I think this summer has been very positive so far and the club is moving the right way which has not always been true.

  317. Bill – you say “Great thing about the boss was his ability to get good players on our budget”.

    Is that a turn of phrase or are you suggesting this ability of AW’s is something that is no longer evident?

    It’s interesting that you think our defensive players have for the most part been good enough because that further suggests you’re issue is less with the players, per se, and more with the way they are drilled (their “organization, discipline and commitment”).

    Because this really betrays your loss of confidence in the way AW sets his teams up to play. Your objections are systemic in the sense that you can not accept we are set up as an attacking unit with a brief to win games – all games.

    As I suggested recently, I’m pretty sure you would feel more comfortable with supporting any of Maureen’s side which appear to me to be set up to a) not lose and b) to not lose.

    I hope you DON’T start supporting Maureen but do you see my point?

  318. George @ 9:17

    It’s been 4-5 years now.


    Ok. We have been down this same road many many times. I have never made a secret of what I think about our teams ultra attacking ethos. Maureens system works for him and his record speaks for itself. Bottom line to me is that other teams in our league and the rest of the world can play attacking football but still defend. They do a better job of balancing attacking and defending and end up being more effective at both then we have.

  319. AA,
    Can’t speak for Bill, but I don’t think your question is fair. It’s like asking those who want us to keep possession better (or score more, etc) if they’d be more comfortable supporting Barca.

    Bill’s clearly fine with supporting Arsenal. He just prefers a certain style.

  320. pedantic george

    I don’t think Bill will get his wish for Maureen style football any time soon

  321. Bad analogy, Henristic. Improving in one aspect is much different than changing your whole style of play.

    By the way, whats up folks?!

    Yogi, can you delete the comment that is in moderation?


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