Alan Goat’s assessment of Arsenal v Portsmouth

Due to an hard-earned break relaxing at the beach I missed the Portsmouth game and am unable to comment.

Fortunately though, a friend of mine who goes by the name Alan Goat on the blog did see the game and filled me in. AG, a female fan and a very new fan at that, is still learning about the game but made a host of comments about the match which I have compiled below.

  • Generally a sloppy, slow-paced, tentative performance by Arsenal
  • A real B-Grade feel to the match in general
  • Lots of aimless passing, no-one was in the box, no-one seemed to want to win
  • Nasri was the best, Bendtner the worst
  • Our defence as a group performed very well
  • Adebayor was disappointing and missed two good chances
  • Papa Bouba Diop acted like a pansy throughout the game and AG was happy to see him go off injured towards the end
  • Aaron Ramsey is really cute
  • My thoughts are that a win and a clean sheet was the best result possible even if the performance was far from perfect. It’s a good way to end 2009 and I still don’t feel we’re right out of the title race yet. However, as I said after the Villa game, the manager needs to make a couple of signings and without them will will be battling for fourth.


    Have your say on AG’s assessment on Arsenal v Pompey by leaving a comment.



    1. Good call Alan Goat – definitely agree on RAMsey – no one is going to pull the WOOL over you, as we all know you would just spread it all over the floor!!!
      Agreed Spanish Fry – a win is a win.

    2. Bendtner was not the worst. Ade was. Flibbidi-flobbing around in that way of his like a very tired person trying to find his trousers in the morning. Falling over needlessly. Standing around scatching his head. I say that and I’m an Ade fan. He was woeful and lethargic to the point of somnambulism.
      Ramsey definitely has a future. There’s something about him – like a young Steven Gerrard.
      I’d say Bac Sag was our best player but Nasri did put in a good shift.
      I just also want to say that although I’ve no idea what to make of William Gallas, and I’ve never considered him a real Arsenal player, his goal was incredibly brave, putting his head right in there where James was punching and he must have known that was coming. It was a great header and, one has to admit, the kind only scored by class players. He’s one of the few we have left…

    3. I agree with AG’s assesment of the game except for Bendtner, he worked hard throughout the game and Diaby won the ball in good areas. Nasri must play in the middle more often, he is very creative and has great vision. Vela deserves a place in the starting lineup, Ramsey too. I think loaning Ramsey and Wilshere to the lower EPL teams would be a wise move.

      If most of the injured players return, we will be able to finish 4th even without new signings. But we want to win the championship so we must sign 2 or 3 new players. If we get Arshavin it will be for about £16m, not £20m. I love Veloso, he would be great for us, he is a carbon copy of the Flamster and he would do wonders for us with Cesc as his partner. Yaya and Inler are also a good players, i wouldnt mind having them either. Forget Alonso and Ribery, they are probably worth £50m combined, Wenger will not spend so much cash on them. My choice would be Arshavin, Veloso and Inler, there will be alot of competition in the team and that would be a good thing.

    4. To me, Nasri was the man of the match. Adebayo is a baby striker. Always behind opponents. Bendtner is good for second half and not first half. Vela is good. We should sign three players – Striker, midfield and defender

    5. I forgot about Vela. He does look like he could be a major headache for defenders. fast, tricky and skilfull. He was a good sub.
      While we’re in the fantasy land of “Let’s buy This’n and let’s buy that’n” I’d like to see us buy some more Brits ss another commentator, i forget who, said in a recent post.
      I think I’d go for, let’s see… Mathew Upson: ex-Arsenal anyway.
      Zat Knight: 6′ 6″ defender who can score too – as we found out.
      Gareth Barry: Already good but would be even better in a decent team.
      Michael Owen: Goal poacher who would probably work well with any combination of our other strikers.

      He he – this is fun. I can see why you other guys do it now.

    6. Arshavin and Ribery would be a very good combination, We will be unbeataable if this would happen, Id rather put everything on on those two players, especially Ribery.i woud rate Ribery on the same level as Messi, above Ronaldo and Kaka,I think he is one of the best in the world., but not really exposed as Messi thats why he goes for cheaper price,for 25M we would get him.Ive changed my mind after watching the Portsmouth game, and i defntly think that we have to buy Big players and ex[pensive one even only 1 but 2 or 3 wud be our best bet for the tittle.AG was absolutly right talkin about our performance yesterday,We have almostly got out of this game with a draw,except for one thing I have noticed:Fire was there, but we could never get so much composure.Diaby is defntly gud in the middle of the park and I coud defntly see the psycological impact of his goal agst Villa after a very gud run with Eboue he has increased a lot i9n confidence.I also dont know why didnt AW play RVP and Toure?These two are our greatest so far!!!Bendtner shud defntly go on loan,even thou he has tried his best yestday but coud nevr get the best of a winger like.All of us muist focus now on whats gonna happen next week with the transfer, who AW woud buy?Who wud be the best realistic player we could get to lift our game and affordable for us?

    7. Yes yes, name dropping is fun!

      Haha I admit that I often fall into this but I dont see it as a bad thing- I am a fan and like dreaming of what our team could be…

    8. nasri was best and ade was worst. ( huge ade fan that i am ).
      Enough and more entries for signings . So I will just say who needs to GO :

      1. Eboue – I like him , but poor lad cant be in Arsenal.
      2. Silvestre – If we’re having someone, get someone better Boss.
      3. Bendtner- A good talent, but surely we cant wait forever for him to become consistent can we ?
      4. Denilson and Song – We need someone with better speed and size. Must say Denilson is the hardest working guy in EPL today. But…

    9. @ gunnersson Silvestre must have only been intended for a single season anyway, surely? He can stay til May.
      Bendtner needs a loan out again to get himself sorted without the pressure.
      Eboue needs a spell in the reserves. Denilson on the subs bench.
      Song’s the most interesting one because I thought he was very very poor until just before he got injured at Villa when he looked like he might have suddenly bloomed into what he’s supposed to be. So I’d wait on him.
      For me the only one that has to comepletely go is Diaby. I know he does good things (very occasionally) but I just don’t believe we’re ever going to see any more from him that what he’s already shown – which is not good enough. Good enough for EPL? Maybe. good enough for Arsenal. No. Never. No way. Absolutely not. Ultimately he’s a dead weight just filling a space that should be filled by a real dynamite, crackerjack, shit-hot, make-things-happen Big Club player. We cannot keep playing games hoping that Diaby is going to be ok today.

    10. spanish I know you and some others love the Bendtner but he just makes me crazy. I spent what felt like the whole game yelling RUNNNNNNN!!!! at him. On a positive note Nasri, Sagna and Gallas were looking good. A win is a win and I’m happ with it.

    11. Thank you, Gunnersson. Top man. It’s a rotten thing to hate your own players but really, they’ve generally played so poorly all season(for Arsenal standards)that we can’t be blamed for losing patience with them either. Yet the reality is that’s what we have to do. I can remember when AW came in and started making changes one of the most likely candidates to go was Ray Parlour who was very annoyingly crap. But something happened to him over a space of time and he came real good and was on quite a few occasions at least our most energetic performer.
      Having said that our ideal first choice team, in the unlikely event of everyone being fit, should be something like:
      Sagna, New Defender, New Defender, Clichy
      New Midfielder, Fabregas
      Walcott, Rosicky, RVP, Ade/ Eduardo/New striker

      On the bench: Fabianski, Djourou, Song, Denilson Nasri, and whichever strikers aren’t playing.

      What do you think?

    12. I forgot Vela so maybe he should just be the ‘New Striker’? I don’t know…thanks god for Arsene Wenger.

    13. @Oldtimer and Gunnersson,I have just watched the replay of the game, and i could see a lot of improvemnt in Diaby’s game,Ofcourse i have been alws an anti-Diaby gunner fan, i even used to swear at AW when he puts him on the startin 11, but his goal agst Villa has given him so much confidence that his game has totaly changed agst Prtmth.I think the guy hasnt had chance to find his real position on the field,thts why we all hate(ed) him but watchin Diaby playing in the middle of the park has been wonderfull to me and as well as seeing his gud run yestday agst Protmth was just astonishing.I beleive that Diaby can be a very gud assistant striker, attackin mdfldr, and i also think that he has finnaly found his real spot on the field and where in the field he can really show what he is really gud at.i think we must give him a chance on that position, I dontknw but Im kind of trustin and seeing a bright future in him on that spot.Only pbm he has to work on is his shot which is not strong and hard engh to strike the target.
      @Jess, I also did the same with Bendtner,yellin RUNNNN!!!when I watched the game.
      The thing I have noticed is: We had fire durin the Villa and the Portmoth game but the quality to create fast and gud run is a BIG LACK.I dont know why is this happening, things that Arsenal has been alws very gud at,clever passes and gud fast run has been alws a quality that differ Arsenal from any other team.This is the quality that has alws made the brand of Arsenal, but our team could not just deliver this kind of Footbal since the startin of this season.Most probably for me is because of lack of confidence,fighting morality,desire to win,in brief Psycological PBM, but all skillfull and talented players thou!!.

    14. @ Old Timer:-
      Your team includes 4 new players which won’t happen (certainly not in January). I think we have enough quality in the squad at centre back. Djourou (Robbie Kean’s goal aside) is beginning to look the part to me, and you admit Gallas is a class player. I think he’s looked miles better now he’s not captain and I didn’t blame him for ther penalty against Villa; he had to make a challenge, it was just one of those things. I agree we desperately need a DM to partnet Fab in the middle- I think Song’s come on well in recent weeks but he should be an understudy, not the main man. I’d play Ade and Eduardo up front. I know you’re a fan of RvP but to me he’s just not clinical enough. I know you disagree with me, but I still feel he needs 3 or 4 chances before he tucks one away- I think the 2 great chances he missed at Villa back up this view. To me, he’ll always be a scorer of great goals rather than a great goalscorer. Ade is much better in the air, and he can hold the ball up better than RvP. Eduardo is a better poacher and is good in tight areas. This, I think, would give us better all round attacking options. I’d also maybe go for Nasri instead of Rosicky. Apart from his appalling injury record, my opinion is that Nasri’s runs are better timed and he’s good at making space for others whereas Rosicky regularly ran into space that Clichy was attacking from behind. I agree with you that Sagna is world class- that goal line clearance at Villa was top drawer. I know we’re stuck with Almunia, but he’s average at best. When you look at Brad Friedel this season, you’ve got to think that if we’re prepared to buy players regarded as old and past their best (as we’ve done with Silvestre), Friedel would have made an excellent stop gap for a season or two.

    15. Aw had a very good excuse for not playing RVP yestday but what about Toure?? he is such an important player, I even beleive that he shoud take the armband when Fab isnt available.I really wish that AW will do his best to buy Ribery and Arshavin but Ribery is priority for me.He is a guy that we mustnt miss.Swap with Bendtner+10M for me, is next to impossible but why not buy him right away????since we ve been alws interested in him!!!!.

    16. I forgot about Toure! How could i foget aboyt Toure? That’s embarrassing. I knew there was somebody though…it was nagging at me. So, okay, maybe we need only buy one defender. And make him a big bastard. I’d make Kolo captain. I think he’s wonderful in every way.
      I’d have to lose Gallas just because I don’t trust him. I don’t believe he’s ever been commited to Arsenal. I don’t believe he cares about Arsenal. I think if a good enough team came along with a good offer he’d be off like a shot and not just because of recent events – i think he’s always been that way. He’s generally untrustworthy. He’s going to do something else really stupid if he stays i can sense it. He scores own goals. He gives away stupid penalties. His minds elsewhere.
      @Fatboy can you lay out your ideal team then, asuming all players fit? I wasn’t actually imagining AW’s going to buy 4 great new players but just saying what I believe we really need.
      And tell me if you think your team is really a match for the other top teams in the EPL and abroad?

    17. i think i love this mexican lad,he is fantastic,i watched a couple of times in la liga and he was awesome.
      arsene should give him more playing time,i think he is the best finisher arsenal has outside edwardo.without taking anything away from ade,van and bendtner.this boy makes scoring look easy basing a run in the carling cup.
      he too reminds me of robbie fowler.
      its not easy to get that class of fowler,edwardo,vela and bergkamp even when they may not score alot of goals.their finishing is over the moon.
      muhamed hirji mwesige
      fortportal uganda

    18. I would say AG was spot on. Ade – 2 fabulous chances! Nasri was the only real player wanting to win, once again Sagna and Clichy played well. Good defence for Silly and Gallas!!! I saw the game. I thought Diaby played well, super pass for Ades first miss. He really is good. We do need to sign a gd Cm as Cesc is out, still a DM, CB, winger n striker i think. Maybe a keepr too.

    19. vela, sagna and gallas were the best players on saturday. Toure is not the player he used to be. In my opinion he makes too many mistakes. He cannot clear a ball, every time he tries to clear he either miskicks it or head it straight to an opposing player.

      these are the players I reckon are not arsenal material : Eboue, Denilson, Bendtner and Song.

      Silveste actually had done nothing wrong since his move to arsenal. in all the games he has been involved in, he has performed well.

      Our problem is defending more than anything else. We make too many mistakes. Toure has made many, clichy has, Gallas has. And they have all come at a cost.

      One or two creative players and better defending, and who knows where that will take us….

    20. The performance was back to the basics sort of performance. I wouldn’t call it good or bad. You could tell we didn’t have pace on the left and lacked some understanding from time to time which only comes with having a consistent run together. Diaby played well for me. Defense was good and I think Bendtner did an admirable job on the left flank considering he is a center forward. Finally we saw Vela on the left. The problem we are having with Nasri/Diaby is that they are both good playing centrally but we have players that do a better job in there. Vela offers more threat on the left than the 2 of them and If I had to pick my first eleven, I would have Vela there instead of Nasri/Diaby. I think Nasri/Diaby/Rosicky are better suited to float behind a striker, with Rosicky/Denilson my picks to play AM in absence of Cesc. Whatever iteration I would come up with, Denilson gets the start. Based on form this season, I would bench Cesc for Denilson any day. Song plays well defensively, but my only grip is when he plays, we have to add more pace somewhere else, especially if he is partnering Cesc. My back 4 will be Sagna-Toure-Djourou-Clichy.

      Let’s face it, if Gallas had a bit more pace that penalty @ villa wouldn’nt have happened. It was a needless challenge though and a bit harsh imo. Gallas tends to committ a bit wholly and when he misses or get caught by a lucky block he is toast.

    21. The only player that is prepared to sacrifice themselves and attack the man with the ball as of late is Denilson. Everyone else tends to back off and wait for the attacker to do something first. The goal at Villa shows a player who after giving the pass, well before his teammate lost it, he sensed what might happen and move into a right spot and a right time to rob that ball. We currently have no one better at winning balls that high up the pitch than Denilson. And in most cases he wins it not by intercepting a pass, but from opponents feet. That is one very important piece for when the team is back to it’s full flowing best. We did that alot last season with both Flamini, Cesc, Rosicky and Hleb doing it. This season it is only Denilson. It is fair game for Denilson bashers to have a go at him but please accept the fact that he has been our most productive midfielder this season, and in my book, the BEST midfielder so far.

    22. I agree with TayGooner that this was a back to basics kind of performance. In particular, Diaby looked good to me; he was actually playing something like holding midfield for a change and while he isn’t a great tackler (he’s pretty poor) he was getting in people’s face and causing problems with his long body. There is hope in that! I also thought Bendtner’s linkup play was good, so I’m surprised at the criticism. I usually find his game worthless, but this time it was Adebayor who didn’t do anything.

      As for buys, we don’t need strikers. We need a creative and defensive midfielder to replace Hleb and Flamini, who were never properly replaced in the summer. It is looking like Arshivin. If it is, I hope he lives up to the summertime hype because our attack has become boring! (I never thought I would say that!)

    23. I was lucky to actually be at the match. I thought Adebayor was the worst on the pitch, missing a at least two clear cut chances. Arsenal would have two or three goals ahead if he had put away these certain goals. Any other striker would have buried them.

      Bendtner played very wide on the pitch for some reason – I’m guessing Wenger was trying to get some extra width, or perhaps he thought adebayor and bentdner were getting each other way.

      Nasri, Diaby and Gallas were the best on the pitch I thought. Once Vela got on, Arsenal played a lot better as well.

    24. @Old Timer:-

      An ideal team’s always a difficult one, because it would depend on who we’re playing. So here’s the scenario: as usual, Wenger’s not bought anybody of note in January, but by some miracle we’ve reached the Champions League final. We’re playing Barcelona (not sure if this is possible with the way the current draw can pan out, but just supposing). My team would be:-

      KEEPER: Almunia (playing his last game as first choice keeper)
      DEFENDERS: Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy
      MIDFIELD: Walcott, Fabregas, Song or Diaby (this depends on who best settles into the role between now and May 2009. Neither is ideal, but as we didn’t buy anyone in January, we’re stuck) Nasri
      STRIKERS: Adebayor, Eduardo

      By the way, Barca take an early lead after Messi hits a post and Henry turns in the rebound. Just before half time we get an equaliser against the ruin of play as Nasri lets fly from 25 yards. The second half is all one way traffic, with Barca pushing for a second. Almunia makes several inspired saves, but needs Clichy and Djourou to hack clear after he fails to hold on to any of the shots he stops! With Barca committing more and more men forward, we get a rare breakaway in the 88th minute. Walcott flashes forward and looks to thread the ball across the six yard box where Ade is just arriving at the far post. Poor Theo scuffs his cross, but as the ball rolls slowly into the box, Fabregas runs onto it and plants a perfect “pass” into the near corner at the near post. The ref adds 6 minutes of injury time, and the smart money’s on us crumbling as we have done so many times before. However, we hold on and lift the most prestigious club trophy in the world. Arsene tells everyone how his policy of keeping his money in his wallet has worked perfectly, and that he doesn’t intend to buy anyone during the summer……..

      Well, it would be nice wouldn’t it! I’m getting as blindly optimistic as Spanish……..

    25. I dont personnaly see any pbm at our defensive performance anymore.I think the Arsenal staff and management read our letters to the club durin those crisis and accomplished a magnificent task on that matter as we could all see Song’s improvemnt on his defense and especially Deni’s defensive performance.I could also notice that AW has opted a punishement policy for those who make mistakes on the field ie: Djourou has been banned after Liv game… which means that there has been some action taken and severe decision has been made.What we lack now is creative run and quality passes, the Arsenal way of play.I barely see a fast launching counter attack durin the last 6 very surprised seeing some guys here talkin abt gettin rid of Eboue but as far as I could see, hes been the only one who has given a bit of that quality frm the day he came in, along with toure, deni,sagna, and clichy.Diaby wouldnt have improved his game like this if he didnt score and that goal was basicaly from Eboue’s run.If we watch th game replay, we will see that nicely.And to me,more and more of that is what we need, the more we do that, the more chance we have to score.I still remember what the Tv guy said during Villa’s game durin the 1st half when Deni scored our 1st goal:”…That was the only attempt on goal Arsenal have and they scored it..”What a shamefull comment!!!! We didnt have any single shot on goal,neither on target or wide, not a single one, which means we never attacked.I even think that our player are now too much concentrated on our defensive side than our attackin side, as Taygoon called:Laid back.We desperately need Walcott to be back.

    26. fatboy,i love this…i promise you this is going to long as eduardo,vela,van,rosicky are this space

    27. @ Radads RSA; There is no better team for creative and quality passes than this team. We don’t see it at the moment because they have been under preassure to deliver gritty perfomances and make sure we don’t lose. Somehow people are less kind when we lose after playing the arsenal way, compared to when we play crap-ball. 6 games undefeated and going, they will be back to their best when no one can describe our performance as “nervous”. When they start playing with smiles on their faces.

    28. LOL Fatboy, that would be nice mate. I can just see myself all sweaty and jumping for joy at the final whistle. But what are the chances of that happening ha?

    29. @ Taygoon

      People are less kind after Arsenal lose playing beautiful football, because usually IF they lose playing beautiful football, they at least had 3 chances they should have scored, but tried to walk the ball in, which gets very frustrating to watch. I’d rather the boys win gritty all the time, and only play beautiful football when they are 3-nile up on teams and can afford to miss chances. And seeing as tho we haven’t been 3-nile up in a while, i’d much rather them score ugly goals and win then try to scored beautiful goals and lose. That is one thing i think they have learned tho. You cant always play beautiful football and score goals, sometimes you have to get in the box and dig out a goal.

    30. I think all of our midfield have spent time learning how to tackle like Beckham, run alongside and shout boo! Denilson is one of the few prepared to tackle and the lad is giving everything he’s got and for that reason alone he deserves his place in the starting lineup.

      In my opinion the worst player on the field on Saturday was Adebayor, let’s face it he wasted two open scoring chances and failed to do much else.

      A new first team coach under Wenger is a must, someone to develop a plan “B” and come up with some new ideas. We need to inject some pace into the passing too many lateral passes are slowing the game down and passes are being made to players who are stationary. Defenders are being given time to get round the pass receiver and block off their runs and passing options.

      Nasri must play central midfield and Vela left wing, their pace and ball control provide variations to the short passing game.

      Speculation about ins and outs in January are pointless, wait and see.

    31. You bunch of sycophantic, bleating idiots! Get a clue. Wenger is doing what top managers all do when things are tough…he is placing all the pressure on HIMSELF and making himself the target of all the predictable abuse and brain dead, partisan, demagogues that pass for punditry in this quaint little region.

      Sir Alex does it, Jose did it, and Wenger has always done it as well. Do you think he does not know the media’s rather overt, niggling questions and how things will be spun? The man may be many things, but thick he is not.

      He’s very clever and knows exactly how things will play in the press and among the chattering, knuckle-dragging universe of supporters. He is club first and makes himself the target to take the pressure off the players. But nobody considers that at all. I wonder why? Could it be you fall for it every time like the reactionary, Pavlovian dogs you are?

    32. Pple, I saw this from somewhere and would love to share it with those of us that have not seen it.Though SF frowns @ it but I feel it will not be a bad idea if some of us reason it together
      “Arsenal are three or four players short of possessing a world class team. They had one two seasons back, and even arguably last year, but have regressed twice fold since. I would try to honour the traditional Red and White recruitment policy, while adding some much-needed experience, and proven quality.

      Gareth Barry could do a plum job in partnering Fabregas, and the Villa midfielder can even provide fine passes of his own. His versatility would also be an asset, and the fact that I would be weakening the club’s biggest threat for the fourth Champions League spot (Villa) by adding one of their best players would make the transfer crucial in both the short term, and the long term.

      Marc Janko and Brede Hangeland would both add height to the team. The former is currently Europe’s most prolific goal scorer, albeit in the Austrian Bundesliga. Nicklas Bendtner recently opined that he wanted regular first team football. I wouldn’t get rid of him completely, but the big Dane may benefit from a further loan spell away from the pressures and hyper criticisms that playing under the Ashburton Grove floodlights can bring.

      Janko is a tall striker (6’5) who is currently scoring an average of one goal every 44 minutes. His total for the season thus far is 30 (five hat tricks), and he has set up a further three goals for his team. While Bendtner is away, Janko would be the perfect understudy for Adebayor. And the transfer could also have a positive effect on Manu knowing that there is a proven beast of a targetman with good off-the-ball movement vying for the role that he offers the club. His aerial presence could also benefit the back four while defending set pieces.

      To further shore up the first third, Hangeland (6’5) could also be a good bit of business as he has constantly helped Fulham’s cause, and has helped maintain one of the best home records in the league with consistently assured performances at the back.

      Honouring Arsenal’s ethic of buying promising young talent would be achieved with the purchase of Gremio’s Rafael Carioca, who is sure to burst onto the world scene over the next few years. He is again, a central midfielder – in the box to box fashion – and has been hailed as the new Dunga. His high energy levels could go a long way in replacing the running man himself; Mathieu Flamini. Even though an agreement is in place with Russian giants Spartak Moscow, a watchful eye on the lad for the rest of the season may be a good idea, with a view to purchase in the summer.

      Both Barry and Hangeland would also provide Arsenal with something they seriously lack: leadership. The former has much experience wearing the armband for Aston Villa, while Hangeland is the national captain for Norway”

    33. Pple, plz dont get mad @ me on this post if u find any form of absurdness in it, we re all looking for a solution on a way forward for our team.

    34. Ice Baba, when I guy from a weak league scores lots of goals, but half of them hat-tricks, what does that tell you? It tells me that a lot of his goals are coming against really, really weak teams. How many good clubs can there be from Austria?

      But don’t worry — this kind of transfer speculation is a pretty harmless passtime for fans. I do it myself and no doubt say some ridiculous stuff. I’m hoping for David Silva myself — almost definitely a pipe dream.

    35. Great to see I’m not the only fairly new AND female fan around here! Thanks for your thoughts AG.

      I agree that Bendtner was the worse, but I usually feel this way. Ade was poor (his chances were so painful upon rewatch), but typically it seems that he works hard and carries his weight. NB no doubt has talent, but he just seems to be plodding along whenever I catch a glimpse of him–it’s frustrating. I wouldn’t mind seeing him loaned out at all.. he needs a confidence boost and a little more fight.

      I thought everyone else had a fairly good game, and a clean sheet is great for the team! That said, please please please Arsene sign a defensive mid NO MATTER WHAT. I think the whole team is carrying a lot of stress and worry over defensive errors/woes, and a little extra faith in the back may go a long way towards helping the offense as well. A Barry-Alonso-Y. Toure type sounds nice doesn’t it? 🙂 Anyone else, Arshavin or not, to add some spark and creativity going forward would certainly be welcome as well.

      Also wanted to say thanks as always for such quality posts all the time Spanish Fry! I always look forward to reading the thoughts around here.

    36. @ HD; Hey, we have all been new. I would like to believe I am still new here. New signings are always good. But being realistic, you won’t get world class players in January. I also don’t buy the experience talk as the most experienced player in the squad (Gallas) holds the record for the most mistakes which cost us games, including the championship last season. I am not talking about B’ngham. The penalty against Man U and the sorry defending for Chelsea’s goal. If we hadn’t lost those games we would be defending champions right now.

      It will be a crime against the club to loan Bendtner. at 20, he is way better than Adebayor was at the begining of last season @ 23. BARRY IS NOT OF ARSENAL QUALITY. He may be british and that is what interest some fans. I will pick Merida over him. He is just an overrated brit. Buying him will not improve our team. Alonso is an attacking midfielder. He can’t partner Cesc, he should be aiming to replace him.I will keep Denilson and Diaby before I buy Alonso. Rosicky is way better than Alonso, and we had a problem last season accommodating Rosicky and Hleb who are all AMs. We now have Nasri in the mix with Diaby, Denilson, Ramsay, Bischoff, Merida all being AMs. Ramsay may need a year or two to be the real deal, but I would play Denilson, Diaby and Merida any day @ AM. Ramsay is good and probably comes third to Denilson and Diaby, His problem is that he is trying to dribble and flick too much even when a basic pass would have been a masterstroke. He needs to learn a thing or two from Wilshere. His dribbling abilities and the quality of his passes are inferior to Wilshere’s.

    37. @ HD; you already have my respect. I like your comment. My first wasn’t as good as Spanish Fry could attest to.

    38. @ Mexican Gunner:

      I am Not being sarcastic. I have been watching Barry seriously ever since people started linking him with us and I can say confidently that I would not sign him to improve our squad. Remove his experience and I would stick him with our reserves.

      About Bendtner, he is a gift to us if we can keep him. Ade went 8 or 9 games last season without scoring playing 90 minutes of every game. Bendtner hasn’t scored in a few games and suddenly everyone wants him out. He is our 3rd birst striker behind RVP and Dudu. I rate Vela behind him right now though I think Vela is capable of changing that really quick.

    39. @ Tay

      I agree with you on Barry. I really wish Liverpool would have signed him so they would have been willing to sell Alonso. Barry isn’t that good at all. Song can do just as good a job as Barry so we may as well just keep him in there and save the money rather then by Barry.

      About Bendtner. Comparing him to Ade isn’t any better to prove he’s good. Ade is rubbish. A hard worker maybe, but i wish Arsene would of just sold that ungrateful muppet and bought a real striker with the money

    40. @ Demetrio
      Hehehe… You really hate Adebayor eh? I wonder why b/c he is better than most strikers out there.

    41. @ Gibbs

      I don’t really hate Ade, i just don’t rate Ade at all. You may think he’s better then most, but i dont think that at all. He isn’t better then Ashley Young, Rooney, Drogba, Abonglahore, Zaki, Torres, Anelka and the list goes on and on, just of players in the Prem who are better then Ade. And if you think of world wide, the list is even longer of forwards who are better then Ade. The man has the goal to his mercy and cant even put it on target. And that is a reoccurring thing not just a “bad game” as some Ade fans would try to claim. Even after his terrible finishing, i could forgive him for that, but for someone who felt he should be paid as much as Henry and then want away from the club if he didn’t get the money, i would expect him to come out blazing this year to prove his worth. Instead he has done just about nothing besides score a hat trick against another poor side like Blackburn and made me question even more why we kept this man. His disloyalty to the club that gave him a chance (the ONLY big club that would have ever game him a chance) is why i dislike Ade. He is ungrateful (and after only one season where most his goals came against terrible sides) and his ego is bigger then his talent.

      But i will say this about Ade. Azzurri have used a player like Ade in the system for a while now. I think when Eduardo gets back, Ade will look better if Wenger uses a similar system, because just like Luca Toni, and now Iaquinta, who set up Di Natale, Ade would be good, becuase of his size, used as someone who can take balls out the air to set up someone like Eduardo who’s finishing is almost guaranteed. That’s the only way i can see Ade looking like a decent player because he shouldn’t be the main focus of any forward pair. He misses too many chances, and it seems, he’s still trying to do his best imitation of Henry when trying to score.

      @ Spanish – Well Torre del Greco, which in the province of Napoli, not exactly the big city of Napoli. But its right by on the water, if you ever get the chance to go to Napoli, Torre del Greco is a must see.

    42. Lets just not criticise Ade when he did a “Bad” job last sunday.Players may have break on their prformance some day but generally Ade is a very gud striker to me.John terry said that Ade is one of the strikers who gives him a real headache on the pitch…Ade is fast,smart,physically fit, and strong, Id rate him far above Nistelroy or Ibrahimovic.Tall strikers are most of the time slow on their run but dominate on air strike or ball posession (Remember kluivert,Kanu..??),average size (or short)strikers are often fast, smart and have got dynamic lookin way of play etc…Basically, as fans, what we want to see is a mixture of both quality.Each type of strikers have their own speciality, eg:Nistelroy is one of the best on scoring uggly goals, he can score evn with his ear.Rooney is completely differnt style etc..Personally I think,Ade has got a bit of everything which makes him Polyvalent and complete striker:Tall but fast engh to over run defenders(May be not that fast as Rooney or DVilla or Robie Kean..)and as a Tall striker, he can really deliver the best of what his team require from him.But he can also do the same thing as average size strikers can do.For me he is just the best and we have to thank God that he is still there.By the way, we dont need barry,what we need now is a gud craetive winger as all our real ones are injured, especially RW.Diaby is now found to be very gud in the center attackin midfld, along with Deni, witht evn talkin abt Fab.Ramsey is also just an extra.I belv that if we dont buy, Vela woud be my best bet.Full back?? We have much more than we need excpet for Almunia.Defensive mdfldr has been sorted out since long time HD.That has been our pbm in the past.If you have noticed nicely, our team is even playing Manu like defensively.Everybody as well as Fab have improvd their own defnsive quality.We must remember thtthis is an 85% new and young team which is still learnin to perform the Arsenal way of play and has got all the qualities to do so but still lack of maturity and still need a gud psycological fitness.They were not growing as fast as AW was expecting them to.But we are now at a stage of what we call: SO FAR SO GOOD.This current team deliver us a totaly different game on the 10th of january witht talkin abt the return of walcott and the rest, as well as the new big names whos gonna land at the Emirates shortly.My best line up:
      Vela(or new LW)-Diaby-Nasri(Or new RW)
      Eboue is also a very h=gud option on the the RW.Thts it mate see u guys again after going now to watch the Villa game agst Hull city.I HOPE THEY WILL LOOSE THEIR 20TH GAME SO THT WE CAN STAY 4TH.I know that what ive said didnt look gud at all but this what happens when you luv Arsenal so much.I dont know abt u guys.

    43. We are settling for 5th people. 3 points behind Villa and Manure, 7 points behind the Chavs, and 10 behind ‘pool. Thats not bad, we are still in the race. 20 games without any loses will do, we can get a maximum of 95 points this season.

    44. So Villa got lucky again (OG) as they did with us (dodgy pen). It’s just a matter of if they’re luck can hold. If not we should end the season with that fourth place.
      I notice expectations of replacements have dropped dramatically in recent posts. A new realism seems to be setting in about what we can expect in the transfer market. I’m sure there will be someone but to my mind we really must must get a replacement for Diaby. That is the absolute minimum. I accept what others have been saying about his improving but do you genuinely think he can ever be world class or are you just being generous? Because world class is what we need in that position if we are ever to move above the fighting for 4th place level.
      The Arsenal webiste says of him ‘There are few brighter prospects in French football’ and ‘Wherever he plays, Abou is capable of popping up with a goal or two. ‘ We wish. That isn’t the Abou Diaby who’s playing in our team. Obviously I’ve nothing against the chap personally and I wish him well – somewhere else. I’m telling you, kids, if we stick with him he is never ever going to rise above average.
      Regarding the Ade debate I rate him although I accept he’s inconsistent. I also think he falls down too often and keeps trying to win fouls that are never given. As a result he spends half a game sitting on his arse holding his hands in the air. Forget that, Ade, and get on with what you’re good at. Being a handful to the opposition.
      In fact all strikers are annoying at times. Everyone of them. And you can’t blame Ade for missing chances as they all do that too. What’s important is – do they score as well? – and Ade does. We know he’s got good skills and can score crackers at times (like the Spurs volley) but he does tap-ins too, which is important.
      Also – although he missed the one against Portsmouth (and that was great defending), he does score those one-on-one with the keeper goals too. He’s big and strong. I think he enjoys playing for Arsenal. I think most teams would gladly have him in their armoury.

      @ Radads – I like and pretty much agree with your comments above but I’m afraid I can’t agree with the Diaby thing. Sorry.
      Happy New Year Gooners!

    45. Hey, Gooners. There’s another free on-line video on the Arsenal site. It’s an interview with that man you love to hate – Nik Bendtner!! I have learnt to love The Bendtner so I shall enjoy it – you other guys can hiss and boo!

    46. Love it! Great to see a women’s perspective! That’s why this is a good blog. SF keep it going! And, much respect to Mama Fry! Happy New Year….Go Gunners GO!

    47. I would love it if we signed that upstart Ben Arfa. Can you imagine the pandemonium in the dressing?

      It’ll be like fight night everyday!

      We’d have;

      Nasri V Gallas
      Ben Arfa V Diaby
      Ade V Bendtner
      RVP V Anyone that fucking breathes

      I’d seriously pay good money to watch that!

    48. am going to have my say on the whole Wenger debate. I have always been as Wengerite as one can get. Having supported this club for over 30 years I have seen some true dross in my time and my fair share of abysmal football.

      As such, I am grateful for what Wenger has given me as an Arsenal supporter. However I am a person that very much believes in natural progression and introspection is key. There isn’t enough introspection at the club and there has not been for an age now.

      I am of the opinion now after much reflection, that Arsene Wenger has taken Arsenal as far as he possibly can. I am aware of the heights he has scaled as Arsenal manager and for that we shall forever be in his debt. There is a bust of him in our marble halls for a reason.

      However. As the famous axiom goes in finance: past performances should not be an indicator of future performance. And Wenger’s past performances cannot be used as relativism for our current predicament. Just as Wenger was responsible for all the brilliance of the Arsenal in the past, he should equally be deemed culpable for the problems at the club – and believe me there Are problems.

      I am of the opinion that the turning point in all of this was 2004. I think it was absolutely imperative that Wenger ‘carpe diem’ and seized the initiative and signed a huge player for Arsenal that summer.
      That season Arsenal were voted the best team of any sport, in a number of global polls for their unbeaten achievement. The only team that occasionally pipped Arsenal to first was that miracle Greece team of the Euros.

      I have always maintained that this was Arsenal’s major opportunity to dominate English football for years to come and Wenger’s insistence on experimentation and relaxation cost Arsenal a period of dominance. Van Persie was an excellent signing that summer – but the real problem at the time, and this was articulated by quite a few of the fans I know; was that Wenger needed to take the big step up and take Arsenal to the next level.

      He could have done it. We had made more Champions League television revenue than any club in Europe that season, despite having only made the quarter-finals. Arsenal were The team of the hour. We could have hand-picked any footballer and that footballer would have been on the next plane to Colney to have his picture taken.

      Now herein lies my gripe and the difference between a winner like Ferguson, and an Idealist such as Arsene. Alex Ferguson won the league title for the first time in three years of wilderness in 2007. The first thing Alex Ferguson focused on in the aftermath of this was two things:

      a) Consolidation of his strong spine
      b) Improving his squad with quality additions.

      Ferguson took advantage of United’s situation. United had not been the most attractive of draws for their barren three years but that league title win boosted them enormously. Ferguson went out and within days of the Prem trophy being lifted, he had tied up deals for Anderson, Hargreaves and Nani.

      The result the following season was a league and Champions League double. We are still awaiting our first ever Champions League trophy.

      The consolidation Ferguson undertook was the most important aspect here. Ronaldo was determined to depart in 2006 after the World Cup, and again in 2007 after United won the league. Ferguson stood firm and let Ronaldo know in no uncertain terms that he would rather see him perish in the reserves. We all know how Ronaldo performed the following season.

      In stark contrast, Arsene Wenger set out to dismantle a team that did not actually require such extreme dismantling.

      It is one of the famous paradoxes of the modern day Arsenal fan that on the one hand they proclaim that ‘a raft of new players is not the answer’ but conveniently omit to mention the fact that of that team of 2004, only Toure remains. Arsenal is a completely new team, full of entirely new players.

      The biggest mistakes were that experienced professionals were not retained. Vieira should still be at Arsenal – perhaps not Henry. So should Pires though. These two players and Sol Campbell also could have added incredible fortitude to our current lambs to the slaughter.

      Arsenal’s moment was summer 2004. If Wenger had made one enormous signing there and then – and it should have been with a view to replacing a brilliant but aging Bergkamp, or even Pires – then Arsenal would not be where they are today.

      I am half-French and follow French football religiously. Arsene Wenger has previous in this respect. AS Monaco were a successful club that produced and acquired some of the most successful players: Glenn Hoddle, Lillian Thuram, Fabien Barthez, Martin Djetou, Enzo Schifo, David Trezeguet, Sonny Anderson, Thierry Henry, George Weah, Youri Djorkaeff, Frankc Sauzee etc….

      Now in the 1987 season I believe it was, Arsene Wenger scaled the heights. Monaco played some blistering football and blew the League away. They were crowned champions in 1988 and had far and away the strongest team in French football. Their individual players like Mark Hateley were banging goals in for fun.

      Monaco continued to do well and finished third the season after. In mitigation, Marseilles had been buying referees and the league was corrupt. Monaco continued to finish second and, had Tapie of Marseilles not been purchasing the league then Monaco would have won many more titles.

      However this does not disguise the fact that Wenger began to gently disassemble a very strong team. He kept them together after the league title of 1988 but inexplicably began to release players he had no need to release. He sold George Weah to Monaco’s rivals PSG – one of the most inexplicable moves of all time, especially when one considers what Weah went on to achieve. He replaced Weah with the talented but cheaper Klinsmann. However. A slow stream of under-skilled and clearly insufficient young players began to permeate the team. A few Monaco fans got irate about this but Monaco continued to finish as runners-up and third place.

      Slowly the team’s quality deteriorated. The Monaco president Campora had told Wenger that a certain amount of reinforcements were required but Wenger remained steadfast in his belief that his younger players on the cusp of development could do it (one of these players in his last season was Thierry Henry).

      In the 1993-4 season (think), Monaco’s form was highly reminiscent of our own at present. The more Campora the Monaco president demanded improvements, the more determined Wenger became to prove that his young team could perform.

      To be fair to Wenger, he had quality in that young team. Thuram. Henry. Trezeguet. Djorkaeff. But even they – yes some of the most talented and complete players of the last twenty years – were incapable of stemming the tide.

      In Wenger’s last full season as Monaco manager in 1994, AS Monaco finished mid-table. They were either 9th or 10th (cannot be arsed to check). A team that had gone from league champions a few years previously were not out of Europe altogether. Despite this, Wenger was given one last opportunity by the Monaco president. The summer was deemed to be the crucial period for Wenger to consolidate the team and add some serious recruitment.

      Wenger never did it. And Monaco started the following season disastrously, with a team that was clearly incapable of winning the French championship. Monaco were extremely patient with Wenger.

      At the time, Monaco were a big club. They played excellent football and were seen as an institution in France. Wenger was given plenty of time – from his league title in 1988 Wenger was given an additional six years to make Monaco into champions again.

      This is plenty of time in a league with chairmen as unforgiving as the French league. The result was that Wenger never even saw out the following season and was unceremoniously booted out after Monaco were humiliated at home 0-2 by little Nice.

      Now what is my point here?

      My point is that Arsene has previous in this department. Plenty of it. It is just that a lot of people don’t know about this because they do not follow French football, and no one can blame them.

      Wenger is a brilliant manager. What he did with Monaco and Arsenal is nothing short of extraordinary. But Arsene gets bored it appears and continues to possess this desire to redefine the manner in which things are done.

      After Wenger began releasing Weah and playing youngsters, Monaco never recovered. It appeared that when Arsene Wenger was dismissed, the major problem was that AS Monaco were only two or three quality players away from winning the title. The quality was there in their young players such as Henry and Anderson.

      It just needed the experienced adjustments (sound familiar?).

      As if to give credence to this theory, it so proved that those bellowing out for a couple of additions were proved correct: Jean Tigana (the nLyon manager) turned up at Monaco and bought Ali Benarbia and John Collins. He played Ikpeba and Schifo and after just one full season, Tigana had won Monaco the league championship that they had been unable to win since Wenger last delivered it in 1988.

      Now. The similes between Monaco and Arsenal at this moment in time are frightening. The only difference being that the Arsenal board would never do what Campora did -and dismiss Wenger. Nor should they imo as Wenger deserves more respect than to be unceremoniously booted out.

      However. There is cause for serious alarm. Arsenal are deteriorating at a rate reminiscent of the Monaco team that finished 9th. And believe me when I tell you that that Monaco side had players with far more talent than Alex Song, Manuel Almunia, Abou Diaby and Denilson.

      How about Thierry Henry, Enzo Schifo, Sonny Anderson, Franck Sauzee, Emmanuel Petit and Youri Djorkaeff and Lilian Thuram?

      Even with those players Wenger’s Monaco finished mid-table in a league which PSG (a team that had never won Ligue 1 before) won the title that season. To compound matters, it was Wenger’s inexplicable decision to sell them George Weah once he had developed, that came back to haunt them as Weah had an excellent season and ended up winning the league.

      Of course this is all in the past and like I said, it should not be held as an indicator of future performance. Despite that it has to be said that here and now – the present – does not favour Arsenal.

      Wenger’s old habits die hard.
      For as long as Wenger is the Arsenal manager then there is no question I will support him because I am an Arsenal fan first. However having assessed Arsenal’s predicament, I am of the opinion that Arsene Wenger has taken Arsenal as far as he possibly can.

      I cannot see it getting much better with this side. Arsene is talking of them needing ‘an extra year’. I do not think that’s the solution. I cannot envisage Song, Almunia and Diaby being far better than they presently are one year from now.

      I think there are far too many gaps and deficiencies in the team and we could discuss them all day: Goalkeeper, centre-back, holding midfielder, wide attacking midfielder, creative play-maker etc…That is too many players to compensate for in one fell swoop.

      Intensive corrective surgery is what this squad needs. Not slow and steady development – it has had four years to complete this process and failed.

      Like I said. So long as Wenger is the Arsenal manager then I shall lend him my support but I am of the opinion that he has taken this team as far as he possibly can.

    49. Im glad this year is over, it was a very bad one for the Gunners. Horrific injuries, cheated in the CL quarter finals 1st and 2nd legs, finished 3rd last season and lost to pathetic teams like Hull, Stoke, Fulham, Villa, Citeh and Burnley. Hopefully 2009 will bring joy to us Gooners.

      Well at least the Proteas made my year by winning the test series against Australia (sorry SF).

      Happy New Year folks, have a good one.

    50. Gazidis officially steps in as CEO at midnight GMT. I know we will get a few players with him around its guaranteed. Veloso, Given/Green and Arteta are fine with me.

    51. Anonymous,

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, but you are still short of calling a spade a spade. Why is that? Is your loyalty to Arsene or to Arsenal? If it is to Arsenal, then with the above you should have concluded that the manager should be sacked and a more ambitious/realistic manager brought in. Why do you suffer fools gladly?

      Why do people imagine that Mr. Wenger is indispensable? That is a most fatalistic thought and glorifies Wenger, who I must rate as an average coach. A brilliant coach must make average players look good or make big players play well. Wenger made good talents play well by 04 but quickly went on his self destruct route of youth.

      The man is the problem and Arsenal will not win any trophies ever with this Prof in charge. His time is past.

    52. Anonymous,
      That is a great analytical piece on The PROF. Arsenal is bigger than AW, unless the board is interested in mediocre performance and digging in for God-knows-how-long for trophies, then AW may be their man. I remember after the invisibles extraordinary performance AW talked about the shift of EPL dominance from MANU to Arsenal. It never happened and with each passing season it seems more and more unlikely, what with Chelski and the Reds demonstarting their hunger.Lately AW has been talking about not taking Champions league spot for granted, as far as that may be true, is not his job to make sure we in it year in year out?

    53. Johno,

      There are many to replace him with. So many coaches less experienced are doing a better job on their beat. I rate O’neal better than him. There are others like Phil Brown, mark Hughes, Rednapp, Rijkaard, Advocaat, Guardiola, Schuster, Hiddink. Hell, I haven’t even mentioned the terrific managers like The special one etc.

      Make no mistake, no man is indispensable!!

    54. Confidentgoner..
      Thumbs up..i do agree with you…
      there is time for everything..and as Anonynmous aptly put it there is probably nothing more AW can do for the Gunners….his best times may be over..remember what Gunners all time great TH14 said during the Cashley Cole transfer can we sale one our best player to out title rivals ?? it displayed a serious lack of ambition for trophies,,and he has been vindicated to date..apart from the FA 2005 cup win against Manu..nothing really of note..Big clubs know that its results that matter after all… Schuster, Rijkaard..Avram Grant, etc.even the special one.. are we really big?? a big club..

    55. Best wishes for all mates.May 2009 be the overleaf of the our 20 first match,and God may be always on our side on whatever we do.Wishing every single one of us to have a compeletely changed and uplifted life like the Arsenal game would be for this new year 2009.
      PS: Agbonlahore is the best DIVER Ive ever known.They were just lucky agst Hull but their time will come.

    56. Annoynomous,
      Typical revisionist history to fit in with your own point of view. The problem with this theory is…It neglects to speak of why the dismantling came to be! It’s not balanced at all in regards to AW’s full career. If it were you would aptly point out that the elder players became cheats by helping Lyon, Marseille, etc. by being bribed. No mention of Bernard Tapie and L’OM being banished in 92-93. Because they were found guilty of cheating. They had to relinquish their title in fact. It focuses only on two negative aspects of AW’s fruitful management career. You may also want to include how many championships Wenger gave Arsenal, Grampus 8, and all teams he managed. In short I refute your statements and claims altogether and dare say you may not be who you say you are;

    57. In regards to Arsenal’s current situation it’s frustrating of course! But,I guarantee silverware this year! Guarantee!

    58. @ hartwick89; Amen

      I do believe 2009 is going to surprise a lot of people. I can see us winning with the current squad. A team will be different without Cesc, which is a good thing because other’s were getting used to playing arsenal. As long as fans don’t try harder than they have already to kill any left belief in our players, they can hummiliate anyone. They have shown it already.

      Happy New Year Everyone. Of course me being in the land of Gazzidis, I have 7 more hours to languish in a 2008 I would like to leave behind as soon as possible.

    59. Gooner fellows; Really appreciate your comments. Happy new year 09 to you all.

      P.S. Wenger is still my Arsenal manager and I don’t want him to leave or gets sacked now. I repeat again: This Janaury is the biggest transfer season for Wenger in his Arsenal career. If he fails to deliver this time, then, I might change my mind. We are in a desperate need of at least 3 quality signings. It’s up to you Arsene!!!

    60. @annoymous;
      Same to you…Hard to read you though…Are you already drinkn? Wenger not capable of being sacked but he may leave! In which case whomever fills his shoes will probably have short term success; maybe even trophies. I’ll equate it to a dying fruit tree. One more picking and then nothing…Whereas right now we have a young tree that produces year after year…Past couple luck has gotten in the way!

    61. Wenger is not going anywhere. I don’t understand why this is coming up again. He’s not going to leave. Esp not when the team is in the condition. I mean maybe if the team was dominating English football, maybe he would want a new challenge else where. But he’s not leaving, and probably wont leave for a while.

      But to say that whoever takes over when Wenger leaves one day will have short term success is ridiculous hartwick. Once again, to say Wenger is the only man who can make Arsenal successful is to say that Wenger is the best manager in the world. Wenger is ONE of many great managers but by far not the best in the world. And for you to say something like that to me shows lack of respect to Arsenal. Arsenal is a great club and when one day, maybe 10 years from now Wenger steps out, we will have tons of interest from other great managers who would LOVE to manager Arsenal. There are plenty of men out there that would die to be in Wengers shoes who are just as good a manager.

      Our future is safe, even when one day Wenger leaves. We do not depend on Wenger. We do at the moment of course because he is our manager of Gods sake. But lets stop disrespecting Arsenal as a club by saying when Wenger leaves we are finished. thats a load of shit.

      And for the new year lets just stop talking about Wenger leaving period. He isn’t leaving, we wont leave us for a SHIT club like Real and he wont leave until he has Arsenal back on top of the Premier League.

      Happy new year to all!!

    62. Happy New Year All!!! This tree analogy is interesting. I aggree we’re this young tree with all the ripe fruit but maybe the fertilizer used should have more organic materials instead of additives/chemicals. You know sometimes you got to let nature ripen everything nicely for the picking. hahaha this tickles…Cheers everyone

    63. @Demetrio,

      Please I don’t DR Arsenal at all! My love for this team is an addiction. You are taking my comments out of context. I was responding to the comment of an annoyance; I mean anonymous…Please read the blog. At the end of the day I believe in Arsenal. I Back AW to get Arsenal as PL champions that’s all. His actions for the past ten years prove he will bring what we all want! Silver ware…If he leaves so be it. My hopes will rest with the next manager. My comments were in reference to AW not being able to take this team to glory. He can..he will.. you just watch!

    64. AW has built a legacy at Arsenal! To refute this is ridiculous. My point for short term success is that AW picked the right boys for success. Whoever takes over suggested by arsenaldamu & confidentgoner will reap success despite AW……That’s all!

    65. Ok… whatever. The point is people talking about Wenger leaving is ridiculous because he isn’t leaving. And he wont leave until he turns it around. But when he does leave we will be fine without him. Any thought that we will fall apart without him is just nonsense.

      It’s a new year, and everyone should just kill this talk about Wenger leaving. I can understand frustration with him but he’s not going anywhere. If he makes the right buys in January, he’ll have us a trophy this season. Not the league, but with some good buys the FA Cup could easily be won. CL is a stretch, but is possible if some of the other big teams struggle. Wenger will come good and get us back to the top eventually.

    66. Interesting discussion raised by Anonymous; much more subtle in his analysis than so many of the Wenger-haters. However, one thing that really annoys me is the names people throw around when they claim there are better coaches out there. Two summers ago it was Juande Ramos at Sevilla. We all know how well he worked out! Now it is Rijkaard or even Guardiola. People: Guardiola’s Barca has been playing some heady football. No doubt. But coaching Barcelona is nothing like coaching Arsenal. First, the team can and does pretty much buy whoever they want at whatever prices. Second, Johann Cryuff has stamped that club with such a strong identity, the coach really isn’t all that important. My point: there may or may not be a better coach for Arsenal out there, but I would place my money on the team getting worse, not better — both in terms of results and of course in terms of style — were Wenger to leave. What could be interesting is for him to find a stronger assistant coach in the mold of Carlos Quiroz. A strong assistant coach could help him avoid some of the pitfalls of his own biases…

    67. Confidentgooner.

      To mention Brown, Hughes,and Rednap in the same breath as Wenger makes me think you must have been imbibing the New Year spirit to liberally. Rijkaard, Advokaat, Hiddink, Schuster and yes Mourinho have all been sacked by big clubs as perceived failures. Guardiola has had half a season at Barca, and O’Neil will walk away if things get difficult or if he’s offered more money he’s done it before.

      A.W. may have his faults but I would infinitely prefer the continuity provided by his long term strategy than the short term rapid manager swapping we see in so many clubs these days.

    68. California Gooner

      A strong coach working under Wenger is something that I have been advocating for a while now.

    69. Pple,it has been really wonderful to read from great and intelligent Arsenal contributors. I must say that I am really proud to be part of this wonderful family.
      On this note, I want to wish all AFC fans a must ACHIEVE this 2009. All I ask is for us all to be positive and support our club like never before.If there is any word like GOLDEN WARE,we will pick them up this 2009.

    70. Happy new year to everybody,especially to SF who’s doing such a wonderfull Job on this Blog.Hope to have an interesting one during this transfer period.
      PS: Arsene Wenger is the destined coach of Arsenal, thats why the name of the team is ARSENAL coz its Ideal forver coach is ARSENE.

    71. Radads,

      It is either your way or I go take a dive by supporting Chelsea? Hitler would have been kinder than that. We are in cyberspace to share ideas and we may differ in our opinions but except you are God, how can you say yours is the superior argument, especially as mine has not been tried out? last time I checked, the blog is for Arsenal not Arsene Wenger.

    72. Johno,

      There is no Silver bullet with managers. The success of a manager in a club depends on so many things some of which even fans may not be privy to.

      Someone asked the question, who will replace Wenger and I listed out the managers I thought were efficint given their circumstances.

    73. Confidentgoner – you’re flogging a dead horse, mate. Of course you’re entitled to your opinion. It’s just not very convincing…

    74. Now that thw transfer window is open. Any ideas on whom were are targeting? Its great to be part of the great Arsenal family lets be tolerant on each others opinions.
      We looking forward for at least a trophy and well of course the breathtaking beautiful football played by our great team..HAPPY 2009 GUYS LONG LIVE THE GUNNERS!!!

    75. Any manager can manage Arsenal. That is not where the tricky part is. If we get some coaches we have to buy a whole new team for them.

    76. @cONFIDENTGONER,ofcourse I impose my opinion on that matter coz its a vital concern for the club.Sackin a coach is not like having a player leavin or signin in a club,You cant just fire a coach coz hes done bad jobs for 3months!!!!There’s a lot of factors interfering for a coach to succeed on his job, and The most disturbing thing about your opinion is that:You guys never look back on what AW has done for Arsenal,you just give ur opinion based on wht you’ve seen durin these last 3 months.Judge him on wht he’s done for the last 10years.
      This situation is a new chalenge that the whole club along with AW has taken based on the fact that they wanted to experience themself with a new idea(By playing young players) and especially coz of the possible impact of the global economic crisis.They were trying to keep themslef safe financially by not buying new or experienced players, meanwhile they have also concluded that having a young player fully experienced on the pitch at the age of 21 or 22 would be a great idea coz not only they are stronger and fit physically but also they could be sold at a very high price comparin to the price they have bought them from (They buy them talented and they will train them to become a real pro player ex: Fab).This is a fresh tactical and business idea that has been only experienced by the Arsenal team, and sound clever but just didnt work.ALL OF THIS DONT MEAN THAT AW IS A BAD COACH, HE IS ALSO EXPERIMENTING HIMSELF.To be more realistic,AW has even done a very gud Job by leading this “experimental Team” to the CL Knock out stage and at this stage of thePL.
      Firing a coach is a very important decision that every team has to put a very deep thought in.

    77. Kolo Toure has put in a transfer request and it seems to me he is just trying to take the easy option.

      What happened to the fighter that we all loved? Why has he given up so easily?

      Kolo Toure and William Gallas have apparently had a falling out, so what! People fall out all the time. Its called life.

      I suggest that Kolo pulls his socks up, gets his head down and works hard at trying to regain his place in the Arsenal side.

      Now is the time to show what he is made of instead of sulking because he isn’t in the team. Believe me, thats what this is really about, not the argument with Gallas (if that really did happen)

      He has no one to blame but himself for not being in the side. He has been woeful over 2008 when played and seems out of condition.

      If he loves Arsenal as much as he says then he shouldn’t give up so easily. He should fight for his place and earn it back.

      He owes it to us Gooners. We love him and don’t want to see him leave the club. I want to see the old Kolo back, not the player we are seeing at the moment.

      Having said that if he has given up then sell him. I don’t want to say it but its the only option really. There is no point having a player who doesn’t want to be there, regardless of who he is.

      We must remember that the club is bigger than any person, and that includes Kolo Toure.

    78. Happy New Year and Happy Transfer Window 2009!

      1. I want Wenger to win Champions league with Arsenal; not to leave or get sacked. I want him to be the best manager in Europe AGAIN!

      2. We need 3 quality signings to challenge for Champions league this season. I will say Shay Given, Zapata and Cana this Janaury; all of them can play champions league football. It will not take more than 35 million for those 3 signings. There is a lot of rumour about signing Arshavin from Russia. Arshavin is a quality player for me with good right/left foot who can be our new Hleb with scoring abilities. However, he is 27(too old for Wenger) and expensive(20 million). I would say Wenger will buy him for not more than 12 million. Instead of buying him I would like to give more chance to Ramsey, Wilshere and Vela. If Diaby, Song and Denilson are good to run Arsenal midfield then, these kids are certainly better.

      My Arsenal team after Janaury:

      Sagna Zapata Gallas Clichy
      Nasri Ramsey Wilshere(Vela)
      ……….RVP Ade……..

      Every successful team is build under strong defensive unit. Shay Given on the goal, Gallas/Zapata at CB and Clichy/Sagna guarding the wings makes one of the best defense in Europe. This team can easily finish fourth and challenge both champions league, FA cup. On the latter part of the season, we will get more boost from Cesc, Rosiscky and Edu(Hopefully). Come on Wenger. Lets make a deal.

      Sagna Gooner!
      Best RB in the League.

    79. @ Anonymous: Take ownership of your comments. It is very hard for some of us to take you seriously if you don’t have an identity. I must say that your comments are ok(i havent read everyone of them though). Just take ownership of them.

      I want Gallas out instead of Toure.

    80. I agree with Gibbs, Nasri is very creative and has a wonderful futre with Arsenal. Although we may not have gotten the results that we wanted, With all of the young tallent that we have we are a promising young squad.

    81. @hartwick89
      Given,Arshavin and Alonso i see..Alonso may be a tough bet dont u think..we would have gotten him during the summer. Any other alternative for DM? We need some guy with a very high work rate Flamini, Gatusso English man may be…

    82. Just heard the board has told wenger that there wont be much money for him to spend so i dont think we wont be spendin much if any on the transfer market!

    83. Inler- from what I have seen of him he would be a great addition. All of a sudden it doesnt look like we are going to spend as much as we were thinking. I think I would be satisfied with any combination of Given/ Hangeland/ Inler. This doesnt address a Cesc replacement as much but with people getting healthy slowly it may be enough to see us through the season.

      We have the opportunity to grab Given and I pray Arsene takes it but I fear he will try to save money and keep Almunia. Giving him the armband doesnt help either but I REALLY hope we get Given + Inler at the very least…

    84. … Also I have a bad feeling about the Kolo Toure situation. Im an immense King Kolo fan but I have a feeling his time is up at Arsenal. If we do sell I hope its for a decent lump of money that we can spend elsewhere…

    85. Here my requests to Arsene:

      Sell Almunia to any spanish team.
      Sell Gallas to Milan or PSG
      Sell Eboue to Porstmouth.
      Gift Bentner to any Korean team.
      Send Mr. Potato Head back to Hollywood to made the third part of Toy Story.

      And here it is Arsenal 2009:

      ´ ´ ´ ´ ´ Stekelenburg ` ` ` ` `
      Sagna – Toure – – Mexes – Clichy
      – – – – – – Toulalan – – – – – –
      Walcott – – – Cesc – – – Rosicky
      – – – VanPersie – – Adebayor – –

      I will be ver very happy just with Mexes and Toulalan.


    86. Umm yea they would be great additions but IMO those are a bit of a stretch. Toulalan would fit right in though…

      Whats the deal with Flamini at Milan? Gattuso went down and they are looking for a replacement… does this mean he isnt working out for them? Maybe Demetrio who watches a lot of Italian league knows? Bringing him back would be incredible though it may just be a dream…

    87. I m reall desperate to see that happennin, having Flamini back in the squad will be just a totalturn around for us.Im a total Falmini and Toure Fan.Vry sad abt Toure’decision.What in the world is he doin? He is one of the best defender that Arsenal could have.I cant beleive this!!!!!!!

    88. I honestly dont see us signing anyone and i have felt this way even before this comments by Mr Hill-Wood. We already find ourselves in a scrap for 4th place – This will cost us £20-£30 million so a couple of investments in the squad are needed. We need to finish 4th or above as Wenger and some players’ futures would be seriosly in question.

      I go to every single game and this is killing me: To see the lads play so poorly and have no confidence destroys me.

      We need help and not an “internal solution” like Mr Hill Wood and Wenger suggests. You havent played Ramsey, Wilshire, Merida, and the likes this season as yet so you clearly havent got confidence in them when it comes to the crunch, Mr Wenger!!

    89. @arsenaldamu,

      call me crazy but Ramsay looks good CDM. He is as cool as I’ve seen…And, if Hill-Wood (incompetent) is being truthful(no cash)then he will be excellent. Arshavin, would be outstanding if I had to pick just one transfer though. Back to Hill-Wood! He needs to be removed if what he is saying is accurate. A lesson for all you young lads and money….In hard economic times you??? SPEND! In great Economic times you??? Save! Why is that you ask? That doesn’t make sense? Well it all has to do with value…Supply increases in hard times. If you have too much the value goes down. When value is down so is price…(could be Hill-Wood is waiting for summer when things get worse transfer rates will plummet; my thought though is Emirates is too big of an expenditure and we are over are head). The other holds true when Economics are good…Money is readily availble so people buy…as buying continues…Transfer rates increase because the supply decreases….
      My concern really is the lack of control with Gallas – Toure. I can see why we are 5th in the table. This is alarming to which these two have poisoned the team. AW needs to squash this and now! If I had to be critical of AW it would be in the head cases he brings in? Look up the country any rattles in armour? AW c’mon get the individuals out…and the team players in!

    90. Hey guys – just put up a very quick new post. You’re bound to be disappointed but I guess that’s the way things just go at the moment :S

    91. What is been told if I thought I went through a article it said that arsenal where ( was said arsenal are the third richest club in the world. We all so know that the world is going through the financial crisis. All are going through it but Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood came out with an article on transfer window. I mean what is he thinking we cant spend big in transfer. Boss somebody tell him we don’t have an experience and good quality midfielder and for that we have to pay. You people cant go on tell us that young midfield will grow and deliver. But you people use the past tense that is not required know we want results otherwise this could be one of the worst season of AW. I strongly feel we need good midfield player with good experience and one RWM or and LWM and one big nasty and importantly and English defender. Please AW listen to people and fans of arsenal. We need at least and one good midfielder this time around. We still believe in you and in arsenal but sometime you need player to prove yours decision and right now we are short of player with right experience and zest in most of the department.

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