Arsenal’s Asia Tour could define the side’s 2011/12 fortunes

The following is a guest post from Gareth McKnight of

The next two weeks may very well make or break Arsenal’s season, as the ongoing transfer sagas of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are potentially set to be solved, and the current squad’s abilities to be assessed on the upcoming pre-season tour to Asia.

The squad that faded away at the end of last term is seemingly set to be reshuffled, with some of the senior players leaving and new faces hopefully arriving. The group that traveled to participate in fixtures in Malaysia and China should be the bulk of the team that challenges for honours in 2011/12.

Wenger on tour in Malaysia

Señor Fabregas has remained in England, sparking speculation that the Spaniard’s return to Barcelona is nearing conclusion. With Jack Wilshere emerging as the natural leader in the team’s midfield and the ongoing will he, won’t he nature of situation, a conclusion one way or the other is needed. An injection of foreign currency and the departure of a captain, talisman and mercurial talent looks likely.

Arsene Wenger stipulated that Cesc has stayed behind to recuperate from a muscular injury; this may be partly true but it looks like the Frenchman is planning for next term without Fabregas. The pre-season games are a method for the side to finalise tactics, gameplans and get ready for the Premier League season starting on August 13th; the fact that Fabregas isn’t travelling would lead us Gunners fans to believe he isn’t going to be lining up at St James’ Park on the first day of the season.

The Spanish international wants to go – let’s face it. He recently purchased travel insurance and took a break to New York whilst in the off season, using the holiday as a chance to meet up with former club great Thierry Henry, who now plays for the New York Red Bulls. One would hope Thierry urged Fab to stay in England, but the fact that the striker had a successful spell with Barcelona, which included winning the Champions League, may mean that the advice could have been on the contrary.

Nasri’s situation is more promising, as although some Gunners would not be overly phased if Cesc left, the majority want the former Marseille man at the Emirates. Nasri has went on the tour to Asia, which hopefully shows Wenger’s defiance that he will not be sold to either of the dreaded Manchester clubs, and contract running out regardless, he will help the club push forward this season.

With a few new faces in the mix and a good start to the campaign, Nasri may be convinced to have a change of heart, and feel that silverware is a real option with his current employers.

With Gervinho’s transfer all but done, if Wenger can add another one or two new players and get the best from emerging prospects such as Ryo Miyaichi, and it could yet it could be a historic season for the Gunners with or without Fabregas.икониПравославни икони



  1. You know, there is all this speculation about losing and gaining midfielders and strikers. To be honest, it annoys me. We didn’t do well in the tail end of last season because of defending. Why are we not getting defenders in, particularly since Clichy is now gone!

  2. Why do people ignore the fact that for Cesc to go to Barca, Barca must first put in a realistic bid for him, something which they have said that they won’t be doing?

  3. @fey; the problem is wenger – he will accept even 10million for Cesc if the player says he wants to go. He has no control over the players – you can bet your horses life that cesc will be sold for less than 30mill

  4. At the press conf it was more double talk and bull from Wenger today, the man who refuses to spend money is willing to lose any fee for Nasri by holding him prisoner for 12 months. Having just wasted £12million on a striker/winger/midfielder (does anyone know what he really is?) that we don’t need Wenger now says he is happy to forfeit £25million on Nasri. Yeah, of course you will. Wenger goes on to say if we lose Cesc and Nasri we will become a small club. Ahheemm, if you hadn’t been such a dreadfully wasteful manager over the last 6 years handing trophies to other clubs these players would want to stay. As soon as Wenger boastfully stated winning isn’t everything it was over, the players took him literally and gave up. Interestingly following Wenger’s stupid remarks today, Ferguson has come out and said Man Utd won’t sign Nasri because the turncoat Frenchman has agreed to go elsewhere. Yes we are definitely living in a Wenger Wonder World. We are all wondering what guff he will come out with tomorrow.

  5. I agree that Nasri is a must stay. And please Mr Wenger can you change your tactics? Once The Gunners establish their lead play some defense, shut down the opposition and win ugly for the points please!

  6. I dunno. If I win the Euro Lottery tonight (£166M), I will sponsor a player to the club. Who do you want? I will also purchase a seat near AW, what would you like I whisper in his ear? You godda love it M.

  7. I would not be able to sponsor a player with the size of The Lotto jackpot here! I know top rate defenders are at a premium and expensive. But what about some tactics changes on the training ground? As to who I want I dunno? Who is available and who would you like to see in Arsenal Red A?

  8. I will be there watching Arsenal play for the first time. I just hoping those players will stay and continue to help our team and win something. As on Nasri and Fab situation, I just hope that we can convince them to stay or at least, one of them. Just don’t know what happen with our players, playing one or two seasons, showing their talent and go. I don’t know which side I should blame. The manager or the player?

  9. @shard, I think Thatcher played her part in producing an unproductive environment for youth sport and activities. My mother was still a teacher back then and i recall her talking about it. My other half sister is also a teacher who is very much into sport especially girls basket ball. She is one of the few teachers who take students around the borough playing against other schools. Her only reward is the joy of victory for she also experiences what BIG Sam discribes. My children also paticipate in less sport after school than i did. The eight year olds school does not promote competitive sport, they say winning is shared by all. More and more green belt areas and football pitches i use to play on as a young man has been sold off to developers. Most of it is under concrete. The other factors are also Financial Growth or Free Markets, Shares, Play Station, Sky TV, Cars, Fast Food, parents working longer hours not being around to monitor what children eat, all modern living. But Thatcher “iron Lady” years was the route or genesis of it all.
    By the way, hopefully Big Sam has been monitoring and learning what you guys are trying to do at the Emerates but also add a little LLLLLLLLLLong ball to it.

  10. @young gooner, if you were one of the players considering moving to a bigger club what would you want to hear from the manager that might convince you to change your mind by signing a new 2 year contract or honoring the existing one. Do you think making some early major signings do the trick, dont you think thats what its really all about.
    @Andy, do you think that “reshuffling” a deck of cards can define anything, especially as it consists of the “bulk of players” that “faded away” at the end of last season.
    I really hope this possible scenario has not even been entertained in the mind of Mr Wenger for it could be a very cold and long winter.

  11. Hey guys, first time posting but would just like to say.. KEEP THE FAITH, we are beginning a new era at Arsenal and now would be a silly time to jump ship or call the “project” off.
    Unless you have not realized, the team has gone through a rebuilding stage, and we are almost back to where we were before we lost Highbury and Henry.
    So again, keep the faith, support the club through good times and bad, and c’mon Wenger bring us a solid defender and our new number 9: Karim Benzema!!!!

  12. @theicehammer
    What can we do? If all those players that left us and move to a “bigger clubs” stayed, Arsenal would be a great team and Wenger might not facing these kind of challenges. This team might consists of experienced players and already win something by now. But I don’t think the transfer plays all the part. It’s a mixture of determination and money. They don’t want to admit it but who don’t want to play with a club that can give you 180k a week? I think big clubs today can be describe as “clubs with crazy amount of money”.

  13. Our uncertain season start will, as usual, end uncertainly. Brace yourself for Europa guys, this coming season or the next. There is no doubt about that. It is inescapable. Staying at the top 4 should be an achievement not an anyhow right for Arsenal. For now, we have lost the will, means, choice of resources and priority to there. I will be very glad if we dont make the CL this season and the next


  14. The Chicken man strikes again I see..


    I agree with a posting above that people overlook the fact that Barca still have to pay a fee that will be approved. No one knows how Cesc feels about the whole transfer anyway. Maybe he’s pissed off at Barca not paying the required fee as well, not to mention say he’s got worn hammies. In my view, he may well want to go, but I do not doubt that he loves Arsenal. If he were to go, he would have left a task unfinished. That may be his choice but not his choice alone. Besides, anybody who says Cesc should just go, is off his rocker. Even with his injuries he was the most effective playmaker in the EPL last year, and his stats and commitment as well over the last 5 years have been unmatched by any midfield player in the world.

    The Nasri situation is different. Nasri is more replaceable and I think IF..IF there is a 20-25 million pound bid for him, he should be sold. But I read a suggestion somewhere as to why the statement from Wenger about keeping Nasri. It is a bluff, either to increase his price further, or also, when you consider that ManU, Chelsea, ManCity have a need for a creative midfielder NOW, not next year, and that the FFP means that this year might be the last where huge transfers and wages are paid, then Nasri may not find himself such willing and eager suitors next year. That makes sense to me, though it is a high risk game admittedly.

    Ferguson is a s***stirrer.. He also said Nasri might stay at Arsenal, that is possible too. Basically he doesn’t know.

  15. @ice

    I’m sure the BIG FAT **** is a very wise and intellectual man.

    Again, as I said, it is nothing against West Ham. I quite like them. But I despise the gum chewing thug of a man that has taken charge there. And I’d be very surprised if he played anything but long ball.

  16. @younggooner, i still believe the position is not as bad as it might sometimes seem. The majority of the players are all very good no matter how some of them are slagged off by you or i. The main problem from where im sitting is that Wenger has got the balance between attacking and defending wrong. Meaning he has asked to many offensive creative lite weight players to become physical and mentally aggressive. The players did it in certain stages but the task becomes more taxing on their bodies the longer the season went on as we saw and have seen in the final run in or business end of the season. I believe the players all recognised what was amiss which is why they seemed to loose heart. That element of Wengers team that is missing need not cost vast amounts of money. How much would a Scotty Parker cost if offered a two year contract. The expensive question is wlll Arsene do it different? Like you, im aching to see the days of 8 years ago when your football was so thrilling and electrifying to watch.
    “hopefully” up de ammers.

  17. We are under 1 month away from the season starting & we have not improved the squad, this tells me we won’t improve it, therefore we must believe that we will see the same results as last season, battling for fourth.

    This pre-season is a joke, what is Denilson doing there? Why isn’t Gervinho there? Glad I’m not going to the Emirates Cup, I won’t pay to watch this poor squad.

  18. I agree with Shard, if we have to lose a player, lose Nasri. A talent like Cesc doesn’t come along often and you’ve got to note that he’s been ultra consistent these 3 or 4 years, despite playing with poor players so often. Imagine what he could do if playing alongside players of true calibre. Nasri only came to form during those 3 months but was otherwise invisible for the rest of the season. Its obvious he’s a talent, but imo, a replaceable one at that.

    IMO, build a team with the axis of Sczeney – Vermaelen – Fabregas – RVP (fit one), complement them with true quality, and I will be very positive for next season indeed.That said, I’m disappointed that till date, much of the deadwood (Almunia, Denilson) is still around, and we haven’t signed a player of true calibre yet (Gervinho looks promising but hardly a world class name).

  19. Trinidad what are you babbling on about.

    Rebuilding what for the last 6 years. Team is back to pre emirates. That shower in malaysia are not fit to lace the boots of parlour, bergkamp, camp freddie etc.

  20. @vcc i think @trini is a small islanda…he knows what i mean. Just watched the replay of the malaysia friendly, im sure its just about marketing for the aposing team were really poor. Arsenal would have got a better work out playing my lot. Really nice to see Frimpong get a run out for he is a player i watch grow up when my son first joined the acadmey. i believe he is worth waiting for and should add that extra strength in the middle of the park. 4got all about Traore, at least he has some experience. Just about to watch the Liverpool game, not sure who they are playing (guandong sunray cave in guangzhou) Looks very hot and sweaty and many new players on show. Could they get one of the places in the prem.

  21. I hope they come a bit further than Malaysia next time. Would like to watch them play in Sydney one day. Not a big enough revenue earner alas.

    be interested to hear from someone who watched more than the crappy two minutes or so on you tube that i caught, about our team and shape etc. The young Japanese guy, Miyachi – have heard good stuff about him and the new fullback, Jenkison.

    Good to see them finally playing football again!

  22. Nasri isn’t really the standard of Cesc, for what he is demanding he is having a laugh. He had 6months of good form for all the time he has been here. Gorcuff is a much better player in the same age group for France.

    I hope Wenger don’t make the same mistake as he did with Gallas/Flamini, loyalty dosen’t exist in football anymore, maybe for a few only. I saw the Malaysian game, Arsenal are very lucky to play against a Malaysian side that was starstruck by the occassion and the same tactical deficiencies exist, Squid is still a disaster waiting to happen.

  23. I don’t think the first game of preseason, should be looked at too closely and to read too much into it would be meaningless. However, my impressions from the game , Traore is lightning fast. I couldn’t judge his defending in the game at all though. Ryo was very good, very determined, and he can cross with either foot. Too bad about the work permit eh? Frimpong was just average, but he is coming back from injury and considering his monster of a pre season last year, deserves some time.. Oh I agree with laninja about Squillaci. That header back to Mannone with the attacker rushing in from behind was just foolish. Ramsey had a good game, but he is no Cesc. His pass to Walcott for the goal was sublime though. Surprisingly, Rosicky played quite well, even apart from his goal. I can only hope it lasts. Oh and Arshavin looks much leaner, fitter. Vela can only score chipped goals and has no right foot, but showed some pace and vision. I forgot Jenkinson. He looked solid enough, and was no slouch either, though not the quickest. Didn’t do much attacking. The players in their interviews before leaving for Malaysia said that he was very strong as well. (Walcott and Vermaelen mentioned this)

    Well that was my impression of the players. Does anyone know if the Official site is showing the reserve pre season games?

  24. @shard and everyone else that might be concerned, i also watched the liverpool game on espn last night and although they scored 4 they conceeded 3 to a team i cant even pronounce “guandong sunray cave”. Not a good display at the back not sure that it means much though as it’s far to early to judge players. Ive heard on talk sport they have just sighned Downing, not that i rate im much. Agree with your appraisal on the performance of Arsenal. Do you think Walcott will be played down the middle especially as RVP stills seems to be playing mostly that number 10 role and at times seemed to be dropping into the mid field. Vela still does not seem to know when he should or should not shoot. Will Wenger ever adopt a no.9?

  25. Yes, the game was shown live on the official site for free. Good to see our boys again. In Arsene I trust.

  26. @ice

    Liverpool are buying all the English talent they can, even at inflated prices. I can only assume they must be worried about meeting the Homegrown rules. Henderson for 20 million, Downing 20 m, Charlie Adam, and I’m sure there were a few more. I wouldn’t want Downing at Arsenal. I still haven’t been able to properly look at how we are in terms of the 25 squad rule and the homegrown rules. It is also confusing as the rules regarding certain guys like say Traore, or Botelho aren’t quite clear to me, as in do they count as being registered in England despite being out on loan to another country? I do know that Walcott and Gibbs need to be registered in the 25 now, and so will Traore. SO players definitely need to leave before we can buy. Hopefully the Almunia and Bendtner deals will be done soon and we’ll get some players in.

    Regarding Walcott, I think that is the plan. Unless there is another striker coming in. Something I’d like, but I doubt will happen. Gervinho will probably play down the right wing and Walcott will move up front. In January we’ll be losing Gervinho, Chamakh, Song (if the Eto’o fight is resolved and Eboue. If Van Persie gets injured that’ll mean we have no striker. So I would think Walcott will be played there, though as Isaid, I would want another striker in the team (could be some youth player stepping up too, if good enough)

  27. I was in the stadium and I know that Arsenal just played like a training game. But they beat the same team that lost to Man Utd for just 3-2 last year. Man Utd won the league though. Of course we cannot judge the team because they just came here for the marketing strategy only. Chelsea and Man Utd always come here. Jenkinsen is quite big and Miyachi is very determined. Nasri look determined too. Troure is a hell fast. Vermaelen can jump very high, it is something that makes the crowd impressed.

    Btw, I don’t know how these players can bring us glory. I mean, how can we win the league with this team? What ever things happen I still love Arsenal and I’m looking forward for this season to start. Just hope for another new players to come in. I’m quite agree with some of you about selling Nasri. Replace him with Juan Mata please.

  28. Oh! and I forgot. Rosicky looks very good. He impressed me and my friends too. Just hope he get his form back.

  29. @shard, if if if, Eto’o some how finds himself signing for you boys you will win the prem. Inter are my italian team, i even have the 2009/10 shirt, and i think he is one of the best 4 strikers in Europe even when played wide right or left. He has electric pace over 20 yards is tricky skillful can create and score goals. With the overall poor defending in the prem he is guaranteed 25 goals. 35 if Wenger allowes him to play as a number ninnnnnnneeeeeeee with RVP just behind. Although there are the problems of transfer fee and wages. Also Nasri must sign a new 3 year contract. If he is allowed to leave on a free it will almost be as if Wenger has loaned him for 1 season for 20ml.

  30. Ice,

    Don’t make me dream. I’d swap Nasri for Eto’ and pay 10m extra if it would mean that he came over. But that simply isn’t going to happen. Eto’o and RVP up front? I’m still drooling I think 🙂 I think Football Manager would be the place to try that now..But that amount of money and wages for a 30 year old with no resale value? It is impossible that we sign him. To be honest, I’d take any unknown player who is an instinctive finisher. Someone like Eduardo, or like Hernandez. that little Mexican was the reason manU won the league (apart from the referees :))

  31. I have a bad feeling that there won’t be any defensive additions. To anyone here who watched Arsenal’s press conference in China, you will get what I mean. I feel a little hurt by what Arsene said…I don’t mind us being weak defensively, being ridiculed by the tabloid but when the manager said we are not weak defensively I could feel my heart break into pieces.

    Using the same reasoning that we are a young team, the same reason he said 6 seasons ago just makes it even worse. The most thing that hurts is its coming from our beloved manager, who we adore and have always supported…I’m not an expert in football but this is just getting to the point of patronizing us loyal supporters. Condescending response to us in the most sublime manner, I really need time to think this over.

    Keep the faith fellow supporters.

  32. Wenger is taking a huge risk if he thinks we don’t need a dominant CH, i’m hoping his latest comments were either tongue in cheek or he doesn’t want to show his true intentions. Cahill would be a perfect fit for us, he has all the qualities that we require. If we have money to spend to strengthen the team, Wenger has to act & give us hope that we can compete with our rivals. We are not asking him to outbid Chelsea, City, United or Liverpool, just move on the deadwood & sign players who are hungry to play for a big club and achieve success. I know we have till Aug 31st to conclude any deals, so i’m gonna be patient, but if we come to the end of that period & have not done the business in the transfer window. I will be one unhappy Gooner.

  33. That’s why some fans said Arsene is an ignorant. When many people said that we are too expose in defensive area. Wenger said no. I’m not blame the manager here nor the fans, I believe there will be some addition there but I’m sure it will be just one addition after this. That’s how Wengers work. I’m confidence enough there will be no Samba or Cahill but just someone that never came out in the rumours and many other sources. Just wait and see. That’s how Wenger did recently.

    Just to make sure that I’m not put too many hopes, I also think that one addition is enough at the LB or CB. I don’t want to see Verm to be move into the left side. I hate it because he is very good at CB. We need him there. Also, I want to see Song to stay at the front of the back four not moving too forward like he did in many games last season. When he goes for the African Cup, Koscielny might be ready for that position. That’s why we need a CB but I think Djourou is good enough to be in that position. So LB is a priority because I don’t think Gibbs or Troure is ready for that position. Hopefully, the set pieces problem can be fix by now.

  34. For all those wenger lovers who said, “wenger knows all the problems we have and he will address it in the summer” has he????

    If i had the choice of having one area of the team strengthen this season it would surly be defensively , because that’s where i think we have been the most at fault, i would have preferred a defender that this new kid for france.

    Wenger’s Quotes I don’t think we are weak defensively but we are an offensive team. Sometimes that exposes our defenders a bit more than other teams.
    In open play, we were one of the better defences but we conceded too many goals on set-pieces and that is where we want to improve this season.

    And that Arsenal bloggers is wenger in a nut shell, LIAR, LIAR, LIAR, LIAR.
    Every dam year the same thing, the team is young, what rubbish..

    Wenger every day you open your mouth you prove to me that you have lost the plot and far past that, you are an IDIOT.

  35. @kel didn’t u know, that being weak @ set-pieces does n0t meen your weak defensively it just means your a little weaker at jumping as high as your apponent when standing next to them in the penalty area. The fact that you conceed a goal has nothing to do with defending just how high you jump. So if the players learn to jump higher they will improve. Man oh man!

  36. FFS come back AFTER the transfer window closes on Aug 31 will you? Right now the record player seems to be broken. The quotes I have read are that he still intends to buy. And do we really want someone from a mediocre team and think that is going to fix everything?

  37. Yes. Wenger’s an idiot. Of course. THAT explains everything… Oh wait, except the 3 league titles, 4 FA Cups, 15 years of Champions League football on a mid table team budget, a world class stadium and a brilliant youth system, all the while playing some champagne football. Still, I agree though, because it’s as simple as that. Wenger’s an idiot.

  38. On a sidenote I did not read the quotes I watched Wenger speak at the press meet. If any of you have a chance to catch it on cable, watch the whole thing. Just take time and absorb it all.

  39. @laninja

    Will do. But while you can read something from it all, I don’t think you can take everything at face value. What is said in press conferences isn’t necessarily what he actually believes. (LIAR!!!) I share the same concerns as you that the defense won’t be strengthened (though it needs to be even apart from a signing), but it’s reached a stage where some fans are just to eager to put down whatever happens. It’s Cahill or bust, and that just isn’t true, nor right.

  40. Yes, only a preseason match against Greentown, yes it was hot, but this doesn’t explain the difference in quality of defense between the first and second half. Arsenal has to get another CB without question and another winger. I felt like I was watching a match from the end of last season, no difference.

    The board also needs to tie down Nasri or let him go. This team absolutely cannot go into mid-August with continuous worries about defense and whether Fabregas and Nasri are staying or going. It just can’t happen.

  41. Liverpool conceded 3 goals to the Malaysia XI team. They won the game for 6-3.

  42. Mancini was “out of order” with his tapping up of Arsenal player according to Arsene, the original ethics and respect of football needs to return! Should i take that at face value. I dont think Aarsene is an idiot, a huge irritation or an eccentric perhaps, especially after partly inheriting and designing a winning formular (silverware). I would consider he knows exactly what “he” wants to do with your football club in respect to adding new acquisitions to the squad and finances. Whether it fails or not “does not appear” to be his main issue (board, share holders) for later he might slightly tinker with his previous plan but always remain on a similar path. Only wish he would be more open with the supporters instead of just saying i take “full responsibility” and when it fails nothing realy chances.
    The friendly against Greentown was a good match to watch especially the 2nd half. So many chances created by Arsenal but only one converted. Walcott looked sharp when inside, crossing still far short of what is required. Charlton boy looked good and can cross, Chamakh not in the box enough to recieve them. Concerned with CH position.

  43. @shard, did you see any of the city “friendly” against Club America, well Clichy played quite brightly and his crossing down the left was very good. He did not look suspect in his defending because he had more than adiquate cover in front of im for when he ventured forward. There was always someone available to fill in the whole. He will be a missed, especially @ a reported steal of £7m. He is reported to have said that the reason he left was because “he was tired of being also rans” The proof will be in the pudding.

  44. Ice,

    Initially I felt Clichy could be improved upon. But when I looked at his stats just before he left, I became convinced that it wasn’t him that was the problem, but that our system put too much pressure on him. His tackles and interception counts were very high, as were the percentage of successful tackles. Only his heading stats weren’t great, the rest pointed to a top class LB who was simply being overworked and asked to put in too many tackles and interceptions. Which would suggest that he would do very well in a more defensive set up like at City. When he left, I said I expect him to be in the Premier League team of the year.

    We’ll struggle to replace him, and if we play the same system and rely on Gibbs and Traore, I have a feeling we’ll get murdered down our left flank. Still.. Time will tell.

    oh and about his comments.. Who cares really? No footballer will say I moved for the money, and all will claim that they moved to ‘win things’. Moving from a club like Arsenal to one like ManCity wouldn’t make me think that it is a very real motivation, and definitely not as admirable as appears. Arsenal not winning was as much down to him as anyone else.. Though I’m sure now we’ll have some fans over here claiming that it shows our club is in decline.

  45. @shard, now that Vela has scored a couple of goals in as many games, do you think he deserves a second chance in the first team and if so, where is his best position.
    Also i guess all or most players who leave Arsenal through choice whether successful or not get paid more and why would it be impossible for a player to want to leave in order to win things or for a fresh challenge, especially after giving it so many goes. At that age it make no sense to take a step down from ones ambitions. How many people does any fan know that gives his whole working career to one company or employer.

  46. I’m not convinced by Vela but I do think he deserves a chance to show what he can do. At least he’s got some pace. I think he’s a striker, but can’t play up top on his own. Most likely will play on the wings. He can finish as well and seems to have good instincts in terms of where to be to get goals. It’s just can he do it consistently? Can he score from more than just the occasional chip? We’ll find out I guess.

    Oh what I meant about Clichy is more that for me, the sign of a winner is that he beats the best, rather than seeks to join the best. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to win. Just that I don’t agree with the move to win philosophy. AT least from a team that challenges for titles.

  47. I have now come to the conclusion, that no matter how intelligent, insightful, researched, experienced, comical, plagiarised, frustrated, angry or violent any comments on this and I’m sure many other blogs are, they have no point except for our own entertainment and amusement.

  48. @antek, just like the News Of The World, its all an entertainment industry. People like us would not have to summise as much if these people with the info just told the truth. But mind you some of the blogging of “Shard” makes me think he might be involved wid this phone hacking. SHARD,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,SHARD,,,,,,,,,,,,im only joking mate!!! Im of to work.

  49. Boys,,,,still no new signings whats going on. Only three weeks to go till kick off. Anyone out there there ther the th (echo)! Hello……………………………………………………
    Watched the Yids last night (ESPN) in South Africa, against champians Orlando Pirates. An excellent and exciting 1-1 match with Orlando deserving to win based on chances created and style of play. The Yids have also clinched deal to sign Young Ivory Coast (Cote d Ivoire)sensation Souleymane Coulibaly (u17) who ended up with Golden boot.
    Did anyone watch Dennis on ESPN Classic Legions, those were the days. Off to work.

  50. If Shard started blogging I think the UK mainstream media would “shard” themselves.


    It’s my second last week of University holidays, I’m bored and with no signings on the horizon I’ve clearly turned to writing awesome stand-up.

  51. Imagine if Arsenal drew 1-1 with Orlando?! The haters would be on the next plane across the Atlantic with a Gooner lynch mob.

    I watched some of the $hitty V Vancouver game (also on ESPN here in Oz) last night and I wasn’t too impressed by their overall play. Then again, having not seen our Asian game’s I dare say Arsenal wouldn’t be too much better.

  52. @Gruggy while watching Shitty, as you put it, dont you think they ave the opposite problem to Arsene’s boys, that is too much muscle, not enough creative technique and ability to keep hold of the ball for long periods. Perhaps each club should be a feeder for one another. What about Ade for starters!
    Still no new signings i can see, oh well, no news is good news.

  53. If this guy fails to get someone like sneidjer and samba, then we are not ready to win anything yet. Everything gets worse when the team is not even training to defend set pieces, talkless of training to score from them. We are just some bunch of beautiful SHIT.

  54. @ice,

    Agree totally. When you’ve got an absolute tank like De Jong on the bench, you know that your midfield has too much brawn. Imagine De Jong, Song and Fabregas as our midfield? Suddenly Shawcross thinks twice about hacking our boys. They (City) have a brilliant creative mind in Silva, but surrounding him with guys like Barry, Milner and Toure leaves the poor guy running around on his own. Although I will admit that the latter surprised me with his technical and attacking abilities last season.

  55. @Gruggy, what you mean good feet for a big man. Im interested to know if you watch any Ozzy rules, ive been giving it a go for a couple of years now, not sure of all the rules yet but quite an exciting game. The only thing against it is how easy it looks to score. Are the stadia as large as they look on TV?

  56. @Ice,

    He (Yaya) definitely re-defined himself as an attacking midfielder, rather than just a holding/defensive player like he was at Barca and Monaco. The most frustrating thing is that he actually trialled at Arsenal in 2007 (?) and Arsene opted not to sign him.

    Regarding the Aussie Rules, you’d probably have more idea that I would mate. Living in Sydney (traditional Rugby League town) I’ve never watched a game of AFL in my life, and plan to keep it that way. Advanced Russian Physics makes more sense to me than AFL!

    The MCG (the prominent AFL ground) is absolutely huge. I was there a few years ago for a benefit concert and was absolutely amazed by the size of it. Think 21st century Colosseum .

  57. The lads at tea time were discussing us yesterday and where we may finnish in the league this season. Well, a top four place, according to them, will not be got. They are a mixture of Liverstoolians, Milwallese and Gillingham supporters.
    Any truth in this?

  58. @Antek, @Gruggy is it true what i hear about the bid Arsene put in for Jagleika, Talk Sport Radio said that an offer of £10-£11 mil was made for him which was turned down. Apparently it was exactly the amount that was made last season, embarrrrrisssingggggg, or what (if true).
    What is he trying to do, will he turn to the fans and say “the club did make an attempt” hoping that you will except his reasoning for no new CH, or is it just because the club really is potless or is just his opening bid and hopefully will be increased at a much much much later date. Perhaps he does not even really rate the player!
    Any ideas

  59. Ice, yes my man, I’m afraid a lot of us feel they are a tad condescending up there (AW and that Gaz fella). The crack between us and them is widening. I think even you guys (those I’ve spoken to anyway) are more excited about a season in the Championship (and Millwall) than we are about this season (more dread actually). Just look at the intent from the other clubs. How much have Sunderland spent (etc) and you know it’s because they want to do better. We only did well last season because CH and MU were a bit slow. Watch LFC next season, they will easily reclaim their top four finnish. It’ll be a battle between MC, us and (maybe) TH for fourth. 20/8 will be a HUGE game! If only AW would mix up his tactics a bit. Alex is building a team around the defeat to Barca and we’ll be the practice opponents in that respect. Cheers.

  60. ….and, according to tonights Evening Standard, Jag is out of our price range, which translates to ‘NO HIGHER BID’.

  61. @Jay.D

    I have to imagine it is true. Wenger was adamant last week that Nasri was staying, now all of a sudden it’s not completely sorted. Sounds to me like someone from upstairs told Wenger that Nasri is not going to be allowed to leave for free.

    Wenger has also said that Nasri’s issue is not money. IF it is not money, then I hope the issue is that Nasri is sick and tired of playing on the wings and wants to finally play more centrally to advance his career. Therefore, if Cesc leaves next week, then I hope that the next piece of news is that Nasri will agree to stay.

    IF the issue is that Nasri is tired of being at Arsenal then he is an @$$hole and needs to be sold yesterday.

  62. @LAGooner

    It would be absolutely ridiculous if Nasri left on a free. That part on Wenger though sounds quite possible, and it would mean finally people on the Board are tightening some of their loose screws.

    That would be rather interesting. See for me, I like Fabregas and it would be great if he stayed at Arsenal provided his performance is at the calibre of an above excellent player, the type he is. However, given the fact that he has not provided as such consistently, something that if Nasri was given the central role would do well in, I think he can go to Barca. It saddens me because it does seem like he’ll bench warm more often than not, or he’ll come on in the insignificant matches to give the main stars (Iniesta and Xavi) a break. That’s not how it should be for him, but I did not notice any sort of stance by Fabregas. He has not defended his position staunchly, especially being the Captain, which would have been nice to see. Do you think Barca will fork out this week? For Wenger, this is the last week he’ll accept a bid for Fabregas. I do think Nasri could and would do a much better job if Fabregas wasn’t playing the central role. We saw that right?

    I’m sorry, I’m going on and on a bit here. I’m just frustrated that neither players are settled. If that last part you mentioned is true, he would really be hated by Arsenal fans wouldn’t he…let’s hope not. I hope things between Fabregas, Nasri and the other clubs linked to them, finishes this week at the latest. I’m sick of all the bs in the media about them.

  63. Its the last week of july, pre season well and truly under way and Squillachi, Bentdner, Almunia and the rest of the deadwood are still on the payroll whilst our promised ‘ busy transfer window’ amounts to the unknown, untried at PL level Gervinho, who is off for two months after christmas to the ACN…..just thought Id mention that.
    I just hope your all ready to be told ‘we tried our best’ and ‘ we wont be held to ransom for over the top valuations’ when we dont recruit and basically forfeit CL football next season.
    Wenger I have to admit is very clever in the way he manages to do this every year, putting in insulting bids to other clubs that even us arsenal fans know are way under the asking price so that it looks like an attempt was made, really its just for show, then he talks in extremes about how signing players for 25M will result in a football clubs implosion which is also utter nonsense, the money arsenal have brought in on player sales alone in recent seasons should merit some reinforcement, let alone the emirates revenue, tv money and sponsorship deals.
    Wenger whinges about Barce undervalueing Cesc then does what he does with the Jagielka and Schwarzer bids, he manipulated Bordeauxs situation with Chamakh and now we find ourselves in the same boat with Nasri.
    My faith in the board and Wenger has just about elapsed, I have no confidence in either when it comes to identifying a player and getting the deal done quickly, there are too many games being played to save the odd half million here and there and the selling clubs are right to be offended, its bad business carrying on this way and weve lost Alverez, Jones and Campbell through stalling and one-up-manship….when a nineteen year old unknown costa rican elects not to sign for a club like Arsenal your in trouble, whatever about Jones choosing Utd over us.
    Bentdner 9m, Almunia bag of crisps, Diaby 4m, Nasri 20m, Cesc 30, Squillachi bag of peanuts, Eboue 4m, Rosicky (sigh) 7m
    Ricardo Montilvo (one year left on fiorantina contract proven international) 12m
    Jagielka/ Cahill- either or BOTH. 15m
    Tim Cahill 12m
    Fernando Gago 10m
    Affelay as part of the Cesc deal, lets say we let cesc go for 30 + this guy.
    You take in 70m, a pack of peanuts and pack of crisps for the deadwood and you re-invest with these guys and still have a profit of 21m.
    Then you are a serious outfit and you have a board and manager who actually look like they want to win something.

  64. @JayD,

    It’s The Sun, of course it isn’t true.


    I would love to know how Moyes and Coyle create these transfer fees for two players who aren’t starting XI Internationals. Anything above 15m for Jagielka or Cahill is too much imo. But, the former may be more likely as Moyes needs to sell in order to buy.

  65. @Shambo,

    Gago? What rubbish. Have you watched any of the Copa America recently? His performances for the national team are almost as bad as they are for his club. Gago is not, I repeat, is not a better player nor midfielder than Ramsey or Wilshere. Heck, if I’m being serious even Diaby is a thoroughly better player.

    I do agree with the Fab for Affelay swap though. He (Affelay) is a classy AM who can play on the left, right or behind a striker. Think Nasri, but with more pace and adaptability.

  66. @shambo

    I think all a 19 year old unknown Costa Rican not signing for Arsenal shows is that he’s stupid or greedy or both. Nothing more, nothing less.

    And I don’t understand why people are so willing to criticise the signings we do make? Koscielny had a very good first season, and yet he is held up as an example of a poor purchase, and in this case you are criticising the purchase of Gervinho who won the league and cup double last season in France, and is a regular international for Ivory Coast. I fully agree that we need some further purchases but to exaggerate all the negatives and use them as showing that our club has no ambition or are not going to finish in the top 4 is not healthy, nor is it true.

  67. @Gruggy mate as far as the transfers go the only three players i have seen in my life that are worth over £1,000,000.00 are Maradonna, Messsssssssiiii, and Van Basten. But at todays stupid prices or market forces and given that you were David Moyse for a day, remember im not saying that you are, just pretending, would you except Arsene’s offer…..well there’s my point.
    @L A Gooner, dont you think it’s possible that the players talk to one another about where THEY believe perceive recognise discern or understand what direction the club is heading
    in based on what they or their more experienced past or present colleagues have experienced in the past 5 or 6 seasons.
    It could be possible that Nasri does not want to be in a similar position as Fabregas where he might feel that the club is not doing enough to match his ambitions(Fabs) for wanting to win the prem and because of milage on his contract (Fab’s) can not get away. As per Clichy i think( not saying im right, im just saying )they have had enough. If i was a well payed player for a big club i would look at the situation exactly the same way. If it were my son i would hope he would look at the situation the same way. Forget about being a fan for 1 minute, what would you advise your son to do if he were in that same situation with Newcastle and a move to Arsenal were possible and he had one year left on his contract. Would you call im an “a$$hole!
    If you win nothing major as a player not many people remember you and the money does not mean much, Its about the glory or WINNING. GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL.
    By the way does a very good player become rubbish only when he wants to leave a club and is still wanted by the fans.
    @SHAMBO, where you been mate, missed you. What do think about our signings so far (Big Sams that is) Do you think we can bounce back with a bang.
    Did you watch Gervinho’s performance on ESPN, could he have that killer instinct in front the box. i noticed he went off after 26 minutes, whats the latest on im. Good goal by Jenkinson (joke). Did you notice the amount of chances missed after Gervinho went off.
    Lastly, what tag name has he been given, what about Ivor (Ivorian) the Engin ….
    Off to watch final of Coppa America, URUG V PARA.

  68. @theicehammer,

    Definitely understand your point and the reasoning. However, I generally have a problem with players declaring they want to go elsewhere to win something. In my mind, when a player makes such a statement (or its reported he has such a belief, and in all fairness to Nasri he has been absolutely quiet for the most part) it suggests two things: 1) his teammates aren’t good enough, and 2) he is not, in part responsible, for the team’s lack of success. IF this is a part of Nasri’s motivation then, yes, I have a big problem with it. Now, despite my criticism of Nasri’s alleged stance towards the club, my biggest beef is with Fabregas. Nasri has a contract that runs out in a year. He has every right to see out his contract and not re-sign, no matter what his motivation may be. That is his right as a professional and I definitely do not begrudge him that.

    Fabregas, on the other hand, has gotten off scott free in this whole debate and it is absolutely a shame that he has not been roundly criticized. Cesc Fabregas is under a contract that goes until 2015 or whenever. That is his obligation and one that he chose to make. This stuff about his boyhood club and family is ridiculous. Whether Cesc has been quiet about this SHOULD NOT count in his favor in this regard.

  69. @LAGooner

    A few days ago, I would have said that Cesc has actually behaved honourably. Because he hasn’t just been quiet. Even though he has pretty much said he wants to go to Barcelona, he in fact has said that he is happy at Arsenal (that isn’t necessarily a contradiction). He has said that he will never disrespect the club even if Barca want him. Basically he won’t engineer a move away. It’s just that those sort of statements are not reported very widely.

    But, as of now, I’m quite annoyed with Cesc, and I think he’s being ungrateful, and dishonest. I can see no other reason that Arsenal and Arsene aren’t being more bullish about this otherwise. The Nasri situation is a tough one for us to manage, but the Cesc situation shouldn’t be. He has many years on his contract, he is our captain, and highest paid player, and the team has been built around him. This shouldn’t even be an issue, and the club should easily be able to tell Barca to go do one. The only thing that can affect that, is Cesc himself putting pressure on the club. Apparently he stands to lose a lot of money if he asks for a transfer directly though. I think we’re being lied to here because as I said, I can see no other cause for us being so meek about this potential transfer. We should still make Cesc feel wanted but maybe it is time for some tough love in that regard. You are right that he is not without blame here. Much as I hate to say it, that is the conclusion I have come to. Remember Wenger saying that Cesc can only go if he is unhappy at Arsenal? Maybe that was to tell Cesc to come out and be honest (and lose out on the loyalty bonus at the same time) and that just might get him his move. I don’t think he will do it though, because he will still want to maintain good relations with the fans in case the move doesn’t happen.

  70. @ice

    Mate, there is no way to know what motivation a player has. Most likely it’ll be a combination of various factors. But this argument of not being supported enough, or moving because I am a winner etc just don’t cut it for me. Sure, if you stop looking at it like a fan and look at it as a job, then fine. They’ll move. But in that viewpoint, money becomes the primary factor. Contracts offer players security, they do not TRAP them. My take on this is, if a player signs a contract and wants to win things, he should stay and see it through, and make it happen, or say that he gives up, is a failure, and will try to succeed in a new team. Saying that I haven’t been supported is nonsense. Who was Cesc Fabregas 6 years ago? Who says Ramsey won’t be the go to guy in 5 years time? Why does Cesc get his chance and Ramsey shouldn’t?

  71. What I don’t understand is the bollocks about “wanting to challenge for titles”. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Arsenal a good chance of winning four trophies six months ago?

    The Mickey Mouse Cup should have been ours, had RvP not been sent off or Bendtner knew how to finish, we would have played Man U in the CL final. Had a few unlucky refereeing and defensive 50/50’s gone our way during several league games during March-April, the league title could have easily ended up in London.

    Yes, they are all a mosaic of ‘what ifs’, but the players and the media need to examine the reality of 2010/2011 a little more closely before claiming that we didn’t challenge last season and are incapable of doing so next season.

  72. Dry dry dry blog…..
    I said it here that Gervinho was good, i also suggested we get Odemwingie as well, but thinking about ACN in January and then again, maybe not. It wouldn’t be a bad idea though.
    Wilshere was excellent.
    Arshavin showed lots of class.
    There was a lot of spark about Rosicky, I hope he sees loads of game time this season… Was really impressive.
    Miyaichi just seems to be a bit more intelligent than Walcott.
    Jenkinson was very very okay, 3rd goal was no fault of his.
    Gibbs WILL do well.
    Chamakh SHOULD be SOLD immediately so we can utilize Vela and maybe B52 more. It was nice to see Gervinho show him how runs should be made. I dont even understand why Arsene changed his tradition and bought a REALLY slow striker (who fears shooting so much he prefers to lay passes for Wilshere to shoot instead).
    Frimpong seems a faster Song, he breaks up play and provides direct counter attacking passes.
    All defenders were okay, nice to see Vermaelen again though, it was a very nice workout for the team in my opinion.
    Czczesny should be No1 this season, I guess he’s earned it. Even though I always thought Mannone was our best keeper.

    Gervinho/Arshavin/Miyaichi VP/Gervinho/Walcott Walcott/Gervinho/Miyaichi

    Wilshere/Nasri/Arshavin Song/Frimpong Nasri/Rosicky/Arshavin

    Gibbs Vermaelen Koscielny/Djourou Sagna

  73. Mr Shambo

    No offence mate but I am sure glad you are not running our transfer policy. Cahill? I ‘m an Aussie and love his guts and heart playing in the green and gold but I don’t see him as the type of player we need, And your estimates fpr Jagielka (and I do want us to get a player like him) are totally random. Who is to know how much Everton will take? They are not exactly flush. I am sure that the negoiations will continue as long as necessary and if we are serious about getting him and Everton are willing then they will eventually agree on a price. You gotta ‘aggle tho’ first!

    As for the prices you quote for our deadwood – well unless I am not mistaken we haven’t exactly been flooded with bids. Bendtner for all the talk has had no serious offer. Rosicky? Would you pay 7 million for a player who is clearly (and sadly) impaired by serious long term injurues. Shit we couldn’t even get anyone to pay us for Denilson so we have had to ship him out on loan. Had to laugh about Almunia’s price. It would have to be a very small bag of crisps for me!

    Still plenty of time to get the deals done.

  74. Hi Drew Hi All,
    Thanks for the posting well done and much needed.
    My big concern is that in the end we’re really not going to do much at all and will present a side that looks very much like the ones that could not get the business done for the last 5 plus years and counting. I will however be very happy to be incorrect on that point.
    @Gruggy Thinking of doing the business congrats to your boy Cadell. I honestly thought as late as stage 16 that he would choke or crash or have one of his strange Tour mishaps but I was wrong. He is in fact THE MAN. The World’s are in Denmark this year. Flat windy course no climbs over category 3. Can he do the double?????

  75. @GunnerBoss,

    Thanks for the review. I’ve only managed to see small highlights of the Köln match, and they’re grainy at best. Gervinho’s performance certainly was encouraging. It’s refreshing to see a player who knows how to time a run! Especially considering he only had a week or so to train with the squad. I remember too fondly a lot of our attacking runs being thwarted by the opposition’s offside-trap last season.

    I will disagree on your assessments of Chamakh though. Every squad needs a player who is more adept with his head than his feet. A good ‘targetman’ who can holdup the ball and lay it off to supporting midfielders and wingers can be incredibly effective if used well. Considering that Arsenal generally play a 4-3-3, with two quick wingers (Theo, Arshavin, Nasri) having a player of Chamakh’s quality can potentially allow our wide men to become more involved and use their skill, speed and technique beyond the usual duties of simply cross and pass. The importance of physical attributes in the EPL is well known and documented, considering the vast majority of our offensive players are well under 6’0 (bar Nicky B and Chamakh) having a physical rock in the middle is an asset, not a liability given the right play. I will note however that the above hypothetical’s aren’t always played out as accurately on the pitch. Like others on this blog I’ll happily defend Chamakh’s performance last season and his place in our squad.

    I too am expecting Rosicky to have a decent season. At least an improvement on the last two or three anyway. With his role in the squad under pressure and question, there’s no doubt that Tomas wants to prove his worth and repay the club for their faith during his injury plagued 2-3 years. Too often fans and pundits alike forget just how brilliant the guy was before he began suffering those terrible chronic injuries. In my opinion, apart from Cesc, he is without doubt the most intelligent footballer in the squad. He also has the experience, both club wise and internationally that fans and commentators have said that Arsenal require most.

    @ Shambo,

    As a fellow Aussie and Tim Cahill fanclub member, I too would decline on any attempt to sign him. His style of play does not suit Arsenal. His main strengths are his ability to know where to be at what time and his disguised aerial prowess. As someone who hasn’t missed a Socceroos game in years (granted our last coach didn’t exactly encourage attacking football) Tim doesn’t possess the technique or passing range to fit into the Arsenal system.

    Regarding Jagielka, Everton’s reported financial state (or lack thereof) is of major benefit to Arsenal. If negotiations become drawn out as they are reported to be, surely Everton wouldn’t be willing to compromise what would be a large transfer for them by refusing to negotiate. With the season a mere three weeks away (I may have wee’d a little bit after writing that) Arsene would not be in a position for more drawn out negotiations. Despite some fans’ criticism, the transfer deal for Squillaci was quick and without complication. In terms of paperwork, a near perfect transfer. If the saga with Everton drags on another week to ten days, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsene swiftly plucks a player from the continent.

  76. Welcome to the League of Couch Managers Gunnergirl. Shift up people, we need one more space on the sofa.

  77. @Gunnergirl,

    Will you require a fiddle for the “Wenger out!” bandwagon, or a half filled glass for the eternal optimist part of the couch?

    As for Eboue, he was close to leaving last Summer and I wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves before the start of the season. It’s clear that he is merely a deputy to Sagna and is completely ineffective as an attacking midfielder. As a personality I love him. His antics during the world cup (V North Korea), his bizarre warming up routines and everything that is “Manu” is refreshing in an age dominated by serious and pretentious professional footballers. There’s no doubt that he’s a key part of the unity and comradery in the dressing room, and a key factor to Gervinho’s settling-in. It’s a tough one. As a player I would like him sold; as a team-mate I want him to stay!

  78. Thanks for the offer Antek, but no thanks. I rather let the professionals handle it, whatever the situation. I’ve stayed away from offering insights because I’ve found here that some men are very easily impressionable and also have arrogant and bullish attitudes, well at least, towards your football. However, I quite like the discussions that take place, here on the comment threads. There are many things I would like to say about those who really are “Couch Managers” but I won’t. Those who offer personal insights and opinions have my respect though. They’re not pretending to know all, which a lot of men do.

    Back to football. I don’t think Wenger should leave. Yes he has led us into a barren trophy patch, but he also led us through many victories. I do believe we are on the cusp of victory and that some tweaking is needed. Criticism for lack of tweaking is expected, obviously but people are often too critical. I believe that a player such as Christopher Samba or Gary Cahill would be a beneficial asset to the Arsenal squad as Gervinho seems to be. I personally do not rate Phil Jagielka quite high.

    Gruggy, that is very true. Some of his wild antics are the splash of cold water that is needed in football as opposed the foolish rolling around on the ground like a bunch of pansies when coming in small contact with another player. Like Mario Balotelli. Ridiculous player, but his show-piece against L.A Galaxy was a laugh. Unfortunately, for the good of Arsenal, I do think he should leave. Although, I do not see any new player coming in for him.

  79. I was prepared to give wenger one last chance to actually start investing properly in the team but like the last 6 years he has failed. Every season what we see on the pitch is getting further diluted while this man gets away with it scott free. Another season of possibilities shot down in flames around march due to injuries and poor form. Will this be wengers last year? Many of us think that his removal is long overdue. Starting the season on a downer….u bet.

  80. Any club’s dealings with Samba are on a temporary hold whilst the Asian Cup is underway in Hong Kong. I have no idea where Bolton are having their pre-season tour (if any) though.

    Out of Samba, Cahill and Jagielka, the latter is definitely the player I rate the least. Anything over 10-12m max is hugely overpriced. Especially considering for the same price (rumoured) Arsene could sign Samba.

    The Jose Enrique front has gone quiet as well – intriguing weeks ahead that’s for sure.

  81. @Gruggy,

    Do you know when the cup is due to end? It would be good to get some news on a progress of contract with Samba. As gunnergirl said, Wenger claimed to definitely sign one more defender? Who would you want out of those 3? I would pick them in the order you listed them.

    Also, it’s funny, Valencia president might not want to sell Mata, but he prefers Arsenal over the rubbish spurs and according to his Dad, he’s looking at the offers. I don’t think anything will come of it, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

  82. @terry, Good day mate, what would you consider to be “the type of player ” Arsenal need for as far as I’m concerned based on the last few seasons the Arsenal boys did lack “guts and heart” when the going got tough. And what is this “who is to know ” about. Its a stupid statement (Cliche’). Blogging is mostlyl based on conjecture or opinion or theory thats lacks sufficient evidence which most of the time is impossible to obtain.

  83. @Gruggy, good day mate. Listen mate, i really thought we had all decided that the team already had enough players that posessed that certain style of play that is “technique and passing range” as you put it. It has not worked mate….,up till now anyway.
    Are you saying that the team does not need a player with good positioning sense, timing of tackle and areal power (Sol Campbell Captain Tony Adams), if so then Im flabbergasted mate. What ave we been talking about the last few seasons and which games ave you been watching. Arrrrrrrraaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I give up @shambo.

  84. @gunnergirl, love to ave you with us and looking forward to reading your own personal take on it all. I do hope, like some, you dont take to serious. Go girl!
    By the way, as far as i have been told by new first year scholars at your academy, JET is no his way out to Ipswich for just over £1ml which really makes me disappointed. I hear he does not want to play in the CH position, which is whare Arsene wants him. Its such a shame for he is far better than Frimpong and should be playing in his position. I ave been watching im for a while and was really looking forward to him in the first team. Thats footy.

    @gurggy, what about the people in between, its not just about your either with us or against us.

  85. theiceammer,

    Did you say JET is better than Frimpong? Anyway, I totally disagree with u.

  86. @ice without a doubt a strong defender and possibly a decent defensive midfielder as back up or better than Song.* Cahill ain’t either. As for the cliche, I had to go back and see what I wrote. Don’t get it other than the previous comment I was referring set out Shambos shopping list and prices as if he was going to the local Aldi (bit more pricey obviously). Me I am of the view that we are close to where we need to be. No point throwing the baby out with the bathwater (cliche alert) and start dismantling the whole structure and playing style. I can’t stand this we need British steel crap that some people bang on about.
    *obviously if Cesc and Nasri go then we will need to replace them but that’s a whole other blog…

  87. @Ice,

    I think even Ray Charles would say that Arsenal need stronger, bigger and more dominant players in the mould of Sol/Adams and so forth. But I’m sure that the majority feel that these players are required for defence, not offence. But having said that, a striker such as Lukaku would suit any team nicely as well.

    The Asian Cup final is on either tonight or tomorrow, with the third placed play-off (involving Blackburn) on the same day. So I’d expect Rovers to be back in England by the start of the week.

    I’m not usually one for speculation or rumours, but this is what University holidays does to a bloke!

  88. Well, according to the bookies, we’ll still finnish fourth this season above L’pool and below MCU. What doesn’t change, stays the same.

  89. For those Oz based Gooners, ESPN is showing the Arsenal V PSG and Arsenal V NY games live this weekend.

    Instead of further speculation about additions and subtractions from our squad, how about naming a lineup for the Emirates Cup?


    Gibbs – Vermaelen – Djourou – Jenkinson

    Ramsey – Wilshere

    Nasri Gervinho


    Not sure whether Miyachi is permitted to actually play in England, despite it being a friendly? I’m hoping he is as his pre-season form as been quite promising.

  90. @gruggy
    Thanks for the heads up re the Emirates Cup games – will be setting the foxtel iq to record them! Like your line up although surprised no place for Almunia! Or Bendtner…

  91. Ice,

    Walcott is injured again so he cant start.

    And i assume Terry is taking the piss as Bendtner is in Portugal about to sign for Sporting. and Almunia will never play for Arsenal again I hope.

    We need Samba and Mata.. Cesc to leave. Nasri to stay and go on afree next year unless we win some silverware this year.

  92. Top of the class Boris. My serious line up would be; Sz, Jenjkinson, Fantastic new CB signing, Vermeulen, Gibbs, Frimpong, Song, Ramsay, Gervinhno, RVP and Miyachi

    Not saying this is my choice for starting the permiership but there are a few players I have not had a chance to see before like the Japanese kid, the scorer of the own goal of the season and Gervinho, plus this Frimpong kids who Ice speaks highly of.

    Minus 8 degrees this morning where I am so looking forward to seeing the crowd in the Emirates in gorgeous English summer weather!

  93. Watching Sky Sports news, looks as though there could be some more signings after all. £34m for Mata, does that mean Fab’s is going after all.
    Watch the Liverpool latest friendly against Galatasaray last night ESPN, they took another tanking and shipped 3 more goals without answer.King Ken looking worried.
    @Terry, your putting me under pressure
    @Borris, what’s he done now. Chamakh will have to take his place in my line up. What do you think of the mid field

  94. hey guys, apparently Wenger has splashed out 18mill for Juan Mata according to and It could be true, since Mata is supposedly claiming to go to Arsenal already or something of the sort, however these sources aren’t what I’d call trustworthy. Skysports does report that Valencia President has said there has been no approach for Mata. If Mata does come, is that the end of Fabregas? Or Arshavin?

  95. @theicehammer,

    I do believe it’s a combined bid for Mata and Jagielka worth £34m. £19m for Mata and £15m for Jagielka. £34m for Mata would be a bit much and completely un-Wenger like in my opinion…although, we might need a couple of “un-Wenger like” decisions if we have to seriously challenge for trophies right up til the last breath.

    The purchase of Jagielka would be sad in my opinion as we still have Gary Cahill whose manager has openly said that he will consider large offers and also Samba who I’m sure does have a CL desire and a potential urge to go to Arsenal as he has mentioned before. I hope he still retains that desire.

  96. Good news for footballing fans like myself, there is a 99 percent chance that i will be at the Emerates cup due to a couple of freebees from very good friends. A shame Fab’s wont be on view. Is there anyone out there who might be at the tournament, if so, perhaps we can arrange to meet during the intervals. I promise not to wear my WHU shirt.
    @JD, I make u right (34m), but wouldn’t you say making “large offers” (Cahill*) or British prem players is also “un-Wenger like”.
    Also i can’t see Arshavin leaving the club cause i think Wenger has to much of a soft spot for him especially as he is one of the few players who does not seem to have to do any defending after the ball has been lost. To be honest i think he should be allowed to have a floating/free role in that left to middle area, similar to Thierry during the good old days (INVINCIBLES).

  97. @Ice,

    If the Mata transfer does eventuate, I hope that Arshavin can return to his roaming behind the Striker role that suits him best. Few can forget the way in which he tore up the continent at Euro 2008 doing exactly that. With Mata cemented on the left and Walcott and Gervinho sharing the right, it should allow Andrey a chance to float around, weaving his magic.

    I think you’re being a bit harsh regarding his defending (or lack thereof). Certainly, at the beginning of last season, and the season before he was the laziest defender on the pitch. There’s no arguing that. But towards the end of last season I believe he showed huge signs of improvement in both intention to win the ball back, and his actual tackling. It was either the Fulham or Liverpool game (?) where he put in some absolutely crunching and successful tackles.

    I’m biased because I love the guy to bits. After the Barcelona goal last season, he’ll forever be a Gooner legend.

    @ Terry,

    -8!? I was out last night int 2 degree temperature in just a shirt (Sydney), but that seems warm by comparison.

  98. @gruggy, can you remember against Liverpool i giving the 4 finger sign, hopefully we will see more of that this season, without the other four that is. (bad defending then)
    What was the shirt made of by the way! Any one going to the Emerates Cup?

  99. Henry never played the floating role during the invincibles, Bergkamp did. After the demise of the invincibles, did Henry move centrally. This was around the time Cesc replaced Viera. Even then Henry never played centrally, thing with Henry is he’s so good positionally that he always anticipates an attack forming a split second faster than the last opposition defender.

    The Arsenal squad now may have excellent short passes but the invincibles team are more simmilar to Barcelona in terms of mobility, counterattacking speed, and they are not shy to shoot. I can safely safe that squad can play in each other’s position without blinking an eye.

    Anyway that was then and this is now, looking forward to a relaxing tournament before the season proper. Keep the faith gooners.

  100. Watching the Boca game. Second goal by Ramsey is outstanding! Good to see Arshavin has dropped a few pounds. Perhaps there is hope yet.

  101. 2 Boca goals in 3 minutes. Both on our miscues. Leaving off where we picked up?
    There is still time to turn it around but the backline will have to tighten up and play smarter.

  102. Hmmm, 2-2 draw. I’ll probably catch hell for saying this so soon but it looked an awfully lot like last year.

  103. @Ice,

    The four at Liverpool, ah memories…

    I received an impromptu ‘come and get drunk’ for a mates’ birthday last night, so I wasn’t able to watch the game. Hopefully it’s replayed on ESPN sometime today.

    From what I’ve read, defensive calamities sound like the source for both Boca goals?

    How did Traore go? Sounds again like Gervinho was our best.

  104. Talk about a game of two halves! On the plus side Gervihno looked really good – good pace, two feet. I also like what I saw of Frimpong in the first half. Defensively we looked comfortable. Second half totally different, we just seemed to lose our way. Collectively anonymous is how I thought we looked in the second half with two sloppy goals conceded. And why was Chamakh playing so deep or so wide? Looked totally out of place. Surely at least if confirmed to Wenger about the need for a new CB. Squillaci as fifth choice is about right.

  105. @terry, was happy to see how defensively sound Frimpong was and some of his offensive play was good also. Would suit a 4/2/3/1 system with Song playing in the other defensive position, depending on who the team were against. At right back Jenkinson put over some consistent crosses and got forward well considering, Defensively he was caught on the wrong side of his attacker and gave the ball away to often when making a simple pass.
    Im worried about the CH position, players must deside when to play football and when to defend in an old fashion way. Chamakh did nothing for me. Does not punch his weight at all and was not in the box enough when crosses came in……as i have stated before. Looked far to slow (preseason perhaps). Gervinho did well in spells and i was happy with the left back position (Traore) very quick going fwd and tracking back. Lots to work on. 5/10 for performance of team.

  106. Djourou needs to improve,he´s been playing rather badly for me,towards the end of last season,and he´s not improving with the pre season,i mean,i remember him playing for the swiss national team against germany,he really was not on his game error after error followed him in that game,instead i´m seeing an improved squillachi,who it seems, has started to adapt to the english game DJ has been at arsenal awhile,i need to see something better than what he´s been showing me,the 2 goals we let in yesterday was mostly his fault,and i don´t understand why ppl are pointing at squillachi,as if it was his fault, i´ve been watching these pre season games and i think squillachi second season is gonna be ok,he didn´t even know he was gonna play so many games last season,here´s a guy who thought he was gonna be fourth choice CB,ends up playing a majority of the pl games last season. But dj needs to improve for real,the goals yesterday was too cheaply given.

  107. is there anywhere on the net I can watch highlights of the pre-season games? Thanks.

  108. @antek,
    Looks like the Emerates Cup will be going over seas this season. I could not believe that Arsenal did not score a hat full of goals against N.Y.B. They had so much posession in the final third. And what a way to conceed the equaliser which guaranteed the MLS globe trotting team the victory of the tournament. When will this Arsenal side learn and only a few moments after the commentator spoke about it. Almost a laughing stock im sorry to say and i know its only a friendly. Old habbits die hard.
    Im sure Martin Keown was really embarrassed as co commentator. He tried his best to defend the undefensible. Robby Savage really gave im a hard time.
    i watched Man City beat Inter 3/0 with a very good performance. SRF is looking good.

  109. Thanks Shard.
    It’s funny, my missus is a Pole and no un-Polish people can pronounce Szczęsny’s name properly: Sh-chouw-snee.
    Great goal son!

  110. Ice,
    I’m not going to try to change your mind mate, but the ESPN broadcast was as full of it as is possible. Savage isn’t even annoying with his anti Arsenal rhetoric because it’s so clear he has no idea what he’s talking about. The only intelligent opinion in that group was Keown, and contrary to your take on it, Keown did not defend the indefensible. He was harsh on Djourou yesterday, and he was quite clear where defensive flaws lie. All he did was bring some context to where Arsenal are, and what it would take to fix it by saying that simply buying players won’t solve everything. Savage, and Stubbs especially, almost made it as if Keown was on trial there, but he handled it remarkably well and didn’t give in to the obvious attempt to get him to spout the same Arsenal in crisis stuff.

    Oh and the defending was poor for the goals, especially against Boca, but as you say this is pre season. The only thing embarrassing as an Arsenal fan today was the people who booed at the end. If they can’t take a result like that in a meaningless pre season game, then they don’t deserve to win anything anyway. It’s the same thing as last year. Getting down on the team instead of helping them win is foolish and self defeating.

  111. I haven’t seen the game yet, although I’ll hopefully catch the replay in half an hour.

    Regarding ESPN, 99% of their commentary is absolute balls. Tommy Smyth is the largest walking turd on the planet, with absolutely no clue about anything. The others just seem to recycle the usual, mainstream UK media rubbish. Without a notion of independent thought or analysis.

    However, I’m looking forward to hearing Keown’s commentary.

    On the upside, good to see Thierry win another trophy.

  112. Those tickets were on general sale. Most regular match day supporters would not have gone, so I don’t think we should take the booing too seriously. These lot (and why not) wanted an exhibition. AND! MU go and beat Barca 2-1.

    Is anyone out there brave enough to predict where in the league we will finnish?

    Love monday mornings!

  113. The ‘G’ poster was myself for those wondering.

    After watching the game, it was a friendly pre-season game played like, a friendly pre-season game. Nothing overly exciting and the side never really moved from second gear.

    It was my first viewing of Gervinho ‘live’ (not in a highlights package) and I was suitably impressed. He showed great speed, strength and how to time a run. He was unlucky to not add to his already growing goal tally. I can’t wait to see him in action against Newcastle in a few weeks.

    Ramsey played well. A few good chances and a lot of crisp passing. Rosicky too looked energetic and eager to impress.

    I’m not really too fussed with the result. People who over-analyse pre-season fixtures are the same type of people who take political polls seriously.

  114. @shard its only fools like u who can take up the mediocrity which unfolded in our faces at the emirates cup.This is a real indicator of what is gonna happen. With the highest ticket prices in England the fans have all the rights to boo these fools down. The writings are on the wall and its not too late for Wenger to bring in a good defender. Otherwise we are destined for Europa .This is not even negotiable for us.

  115. Dalano,

    You are a moron i guess.
    Who cares. Ask yourself, would Afobe or Bentley play against Newcastle?

  116. Delano,
    You are a moron i guess.Who cares. Ask yourself, will Afobe, squillachi, Frimpong ,Traore Bentley or even Ramsey play against Newcastle? Jealousy people when they see any little thing they always speak negative. The league has not yet started , so I would advise you to wait for the league to start first before talking rubbish. Go hung transformer.

  117. Opus feels Delano was such a moron, he had to post it twice. I won’t insult Delano but I’ll certainly disagree with his comment on Shard’s comment. I was watching the match and even if it is only pre-season, the fans at the stadium should be belting out Arsenal chants to give the team the morale boost they need for the up-coming season. If your own fans disregard you, you feel like you’re a failure and your confidence drops and consequently, there will be a greater tendency of losing faith in your own ability and that’s when more of the lack of shooting and all the rest comes in. It’s a chain effect. The players need confidence. The fans shouldn’t be boo-ing the team. Yes, there is a lot of frustration. I love Arsenal a lot and I too am deliriously frustrated at many of the goals the teams ships in. However, at no point would I ever boo the team. That’s disrespectful for one, I mean if you can’t give your team respect, than you shouldn’t be supporting that team, simple as that. Two, the players often perform for the fans as well as the team, they get that extra motivation. So no matter what, I’ll always be saying “cumon guys, you can do better than that! You’re good players! Don’t lose faith!” Not “oh you’re shit! Why can’t you play well?! Why can’t you win?!”

    There is no substitute to optimism and right now, with the uncertainty with players, I really think the team could do with a lot of optimism right now. So if anyone here goes to the matches or is planning on soon, please keep this in mind and spread it at the match.

  118. On a side note I caught some of the ESPN coverage and that’s the first time I think I have ever heard Keown speak and I am almost ashamed to admit I was surprised he was so articulate and intelligent! Who’d a thunk it, a defender wiv brains. Savage on the other hand is a tool.

  119. Guys, it is expensive to support Arsenal. If your food is not up to standard in the most expensive restaurant in the country, you would certainly send it back to the kitchen. Now say you were grabbing a quick pissed bite at a dodgy chicken/pizza shop called Tottenham Hotspur, you would not fret so much if your spicy wings were tasteless and boring. Cheer up, things will change, most of you probably have a good 40yrs support ahead of you. Ooh to, ooh to be, ooh to be a…GOONER! Funk them all, hate the opposition not your own (ok, you can hate AW a bit if you wish).

  120. Boys please please dont slag off players like, Afobe, Frimpong, Traore or the rest of the young up and coming, they all have much potential. Only consider what Arsene is trying to do and comment on if you believe it will work or not. All i can say weather friendly or not the patern seems to be continuing. Mistakes at the back seem to be forming a babbit. How serious is Arsene taking it. Does he seriously believe in this team system as he makes out, has he ever said that something is not working, if not why not.

  121. @theicehammer
    I have no problems with potential, but when you speak of mistakes at the back it IS a habit not becoming. It was a habit last year and the year before and it has’t changed because (so far) nothing has happened to change it.
    Tell me honestly you don’t think this is last years story this year. I want no part of slagging our lads but this I think is what is collectively pissing us off. You can see it coming for a mile away yet no steps are being taken to change anything. By this I mean in Players,coaches and/or tactics.

  122. Guys lets now be objective here. We are all in full expectations of Gervinhos attributes and indeed no one contests his impact upfront. Tell me who felt the same with Chamak. For heavens sake what is Squillachi still doing at the Emirates. We are tactically the same. We don’t know when to close out a game and don’t know what to do to kill of a game.Why on earth does the defense have to move all those meters away from our goal. We are victims of counter attack traps by both superior and mediocre teams. This is all Wengers fault. We attack in bulk score few and we are instantly pegged back and concede in bulk. This is not rocket science its only one team in the world that can attack in bulk and score in bulk while conceding few goals that is Barcelona because they possess the ball and play with conviction.It’s worthless paying lots of money to this cocoon of tycoons in return for mediocrity. There is no difference between this season and the past 5 years. Grace your selves for Europa this time around guys. Just stop this wishful thinking that miracles will happen.

  123. @leftcooast

    You say nothing has changed.. Well Arshavin and Szczesny have both said they are working on set pieces, and that they will play a more aggressive pressing game. After the Boca match and after the Red Bulls match, Wenger pointed out that we weren’t pressing as much, and that we still have work to do on set pieces, and defending. How often have you known him to mention any problems in public? Oh but one thing has changed. We are now marking zonally as opposed to man marking on set pieces. That wasn’t the case last year. And Martin Keown said that they used to play Zonal marking as well. He was going to elaborate but ESPN presenters thought it was more valid to ask where Red Bulls would be if they were an English team.

    The fact remains that we conceded goals, and lost forward thrust only when we had a raft of substitutions. Plus we are in pre season. This was nothing but a training exercise, and it really isn’t the stage to judge the team.

  124. Cocoon of tycoons. Good one delano.
    There’s not much humour on this blog.
    “angry……like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.” George Costanza.

  125. @delano

    I don’t understand why you are so quick to announce our team as Europa League bound when last year we challenged in every competition. I am excited and optimistic about this upcoming season. I am sure that you are not the only one who doubts this team, join the band wagon, but you have to give them a chance to prove themselves. It’s your duty if you are truly a fan of Arsenal to show support.

  126. While some people play the ostrich,(Hiding their heads in the sand),others have stated exactly,what has been wrong with this arsenal. for a while now we´ve known fab had his heart set on barca,why don´t you let him go and get some1 else? You know whats gonna be really stupid,after all this haggling,he´s still gonna go,and even if he aint going to barca,as a coach,i wouldn´t let him near the team,cause he don´t wanna be here. Think alex ferguson would have tolerated all this,if it was Man u? what happened with stam,beckham,van nistelroy ,christiano ronaldo? Man proved nobody is bigger than the team,and thats why they are winners.The nasri situation has been going on since last season,we verbally agreed a contract and kept him waiting for the paper work,only happens at arsenal! Now you blame him,when others are offering more weekly pay for him,i think we should blame ourselves for where his head is right now,had we tied him up to a deal,this wouldn´t be happening.And,we always offer peanuts for other players,and hike up our own price for our player,(Fab 40 mill,anyone?) Don´t you guys see what is happening? Something is really wrong with the team,everton´s jaga is who we want now? Then pay the price,you must have known they were not gonna sell him for 10 mill,no way,then why offer it? Except,you are trying to fool the fans,into thinking you really wanna buy somebody when you really don´t. Samba,ten mill would have gotten him,but we choose to bait them with 6 mill. Cahill,same scenario.sure,the price they are asking for him is too high,but we can still make a deal,if we offered something substantial,but like the penny pinchers we are,i´m not even sure there was even a bid for him,from us,and we were promised that the defensive situation was gonna be addressed,now real fans are scratching their heads and wondering what the hell is going on? We cannot be paying the highest gates in the premiership,and be like this.something has to change! Or its gonna be drastic,if the fans are paying so much,men,i´m sorry they got a right to boo,what they term as a pathetic display,in a sea of broken promises.

  127. Yes because Nasri’s agent would have so much incentive to tell the truth. It’s never about money with players is it? You know. It is one thing to be frustrated with some things at your club. It is quite another to simply say that no one at the club has any idea what they are doing and that every bit of news against the club is some kind of gospel which should be used as a stick to beat the club with and hence prove some pre formed opinion right. Basically, if you decry EVERYTHING about Arsenal. You are not Arsenal fans. I”m sure people are intelligent. Yet if they choose to believe such nonsense without any thought then seriously, I have to doubt their motives and allegiances.

    Call me whatever names you want, call me someone who thinks everything is alright at the club. I don’t, but everything is far from rotten either. Except much of the fanbase. Oh no one denies your right to boo. Free speech and all that. But if you do boo, I am simply exercising my right to call you a stupid, self defeating, muppet. Free speech cuts both ways. I’ve seriously had enough of fans who’d rather bring the team down than back them, because it gives them some sense of power and accomplishment.

  128. @shard
    OK if you say so but I’m seen this movie enough times now to know how it finishes.
    Again I’ll be happy to be wrong but doing the same thing and expecting different results is well, Wenger.
    Also, tell me this. How many top players (including the ones in our side) WANT to play for us. I don’t mean to make more money I mean for the pride,passion and the challenge of fighting for The Arsenal?
    @Antek Great analogy! I guess no soup for us.

  129. @leftcoast

    I almost wrote another post to you saying that I am worried about our defense too. I just think we aren’t doing the same thing. Our defense isn’t as bad as is generally talked about anyway. Conceding the least number of goals from open play suggests that the high line works well enough, though more pressing won’t be unwelcome in the least. Set pieces were the real problem. That REALLY needs to be worked on. Apparently it is being done, because Arshavin for one doesn’t seem to be the sort that simply toes the party line. We’ll see if it’s succesful, but as I said we seem to have moved back to zonal marking. Oh and I do think we need another defender. Squillachi should be no more than 5th choice. That is unless we can get rid of him. Which I doubt can happen.

    As for your question. I’m sorry. That is complete speculation and there really is no way of knowing. But, we never really bought superstars anyway. I don’t have any worries in terms of us being able to attract the sort of talent that we require. Big names they may not be, but that isn’t the Arsenal way anyway. Not just since Wenger came here. I really can’t think of a genuine superstar that we have ever bought apart from Bergkamp.

  130. Of course your right. The sensable thing to do is to wait until real game situations come along and see if we can get this thing sorted out. But I did that last year and the year before and the year before that…ad nauseum.
    Thus the visceral reaction. Slow motiom train wreck season 6 the sequel”s,sequel’s sequel. Yep I’m plenty uptight and not alone. I won’t name call or slag our coach,players or fellow bloggers because it’s not right living win or lose. But I’m not happy with how thing seem to be re-re-developing. How could I be?

  131. @shard
    PS. perhaps you have not heard the latest training table news.
    Abou Diaby is injured all next season. (humor Argh)

  132. I just dont know what to say any more. I mean, if im watching my ammers make the same similar mistakes time after time after time i get pissed off because the team bagan making those mistakes before i got pissed and started booing, not the other way around. As a hammers supporter i have the right to call Chicken Shit, Chicken shit, especially when i have already been served it up many times before. Im not payed to make the players play better, i pay to hopefully watch the players play better. If i asume something is wrong about a team and games go by and i view the same mistakes hapening then i finally say that is shit and ask for the manager to solve it, if he does not after a given time, then either he or the players are not good enough. There is nothing wrong about being pissed off with ones team through lack of performance and mistakes. Its a natural thing to be especially after one is constantly being made to feel disappointed. @shard its as simple as that. I love my kids and my wife but even they sometimes piss me off and i let them know what i expect. Does not mean i no longer treasure them, just that they have been taking me for granted. just like if i constalntly let my wife down in bed she would finally get pissed off. @shand do you now understand.

  133. No matter how bad it gets (or perceived to be) it could be worse. We could be West Ham supporters 😉

  134. Ouch! Do u think they will televise one of the WH/M’wall games?
    Anyone know any good jokes?

  135. @shard – nice one mate. I am sick of the negative talk. I am excited about the new season – I think our first choice team will be as good as anyone – it’s the other 8 or 10 back-ups* who we need to step up to the plate when things get tough and injuries hit us. And surely we can’t possibly need to use four keepers again this season. Almunia if he is still here has to be behind Arshavin in the keeping order! Would still like that extra defender though…
    * these are the players I am thinking of: Fabianski, Ramsay, Arshavin, Rosicky, Diaby, Djorou, Walcott, Koscielny (assuming we get that elusive CB), Chamakh. Can’t see them in my first XI when all players are fit and available.

  136. Am shocked that SQUILACHI is not among them. Am just sick and tired of looking at Fabregas face. He is at best like a wife who tells you he loves the other man and not you. Until he goes we can’t get good players like Mata Juan. We need SAMBA if we cant get in Cahill bfore the season begins.Otherwise Europa is written all over us and Nasri will be smartly walking away from a sinking ship come next yer in May free of charge. Only a stupid coach can condone such mediocrity apart from Ferguson.Wenger has totally lost a vote of confidence apart from a few myiopic Wengr die hards living in a fantasy world and hope for miracles.Finishing 4th will be a dream come true for Wenger against the big spenders. Dont forget that we pay the highest ticket prices per match .How can some one manipulate human beings to such an extent and they continue paying. Season holders please go!! to pay.The fact that no one is interested in either Almnia, B54,Diaby, Denilson,Squillachi,Chamakh shows you how poor Wenger is getting to interms of taking arsenal to another level .He is simply living on borrowed time

  137. ‘Dont judge the team til the season starts’, then it will be ‘dont judge the team till the end of the season’, what a load of bull.
    The fact is we have only really threatened to win the Carling cup the last few years, copenhagen also contested the CL but that does not make them a big club like Arsenal, all due respect, whos ambitions should be seriously higher.
    Finishing the last eight CL, or fourth in the PL or a semi final of the fa cup isnt success for Arsenal football club, its a minimum ask for the fans paying for the tickets and merchandise.
    Hillwood has come out and demanded patience from the Arsenal fans, I mean the cheek of this guy….do you want six more years?
    Wenger has come out and said that Arsenal football club will continue to be run as a business and will only use the money it generates from revenue as a source of funding, whats the point of having Kroenke and Ushmanov? He also said, being a business that we have been successful in turning over profit and will continue to do so, so my question is, where does this money go?
    Now the average smartass Wengerite will tell you its gone into the stadium re-payments, but like Iv said here before, if when we were at Highbury and planning our move the board said ‘ok well move, but when we do we cant sign anyone of quality till 2016’ then thats just a joke, they planned the move for years before we even started building and money was saved on signings and investment was made back then, aswel as the apartment blocks that were then built and sold where highbury used to be.
    You wouldnt tell your wife and kids that your were moving to a new bigger house but that you could only have one meal a day for a few years, its ridiculous to phathom that business men of this stature didnt have a repayment plan in place that didnt include been miserly in the transfer market, which is what we have been under Wenger, as tight as a ducks arse and often getting bids laughed off from the selling clubs.
    Now, understanding the fact that there most certainly would have been money available to buy without our club falling into the abyss, an extreme Wenger uses to scare us all into believing that if we bought a star we would implode and cease to be, ask yourself now, where does the money go from the sales of players who have forced moves like Ade/Kolo/Clichy, which with these three alone would stand at nearly 50M………..50M my friends.
    Now we move on the the current reality, which is that we were told in no uncertain terms that we would be active in this summers tranfer market and that it would be a busy old summer for Ivan and Arsene. The Asia tour came and went, then the Emirates and now we have one game left before the CL qualifier, to me, and this is just me, I find that to be the final exposure of the liars that are Wenger and the board, we are being told that we are waiting for the nasri andcesc situations to be resolved. what a load of utter bollox, we should be buying players so that these guys shouldnt want to leave in the first place, yes Fabregas is a Catalan but being surrounded by mediocrity and consistant under-acheivement isnt exactly compelling him to stay, as loyal as he is and as much as he loves Arsenal.
    The booing sunday was a disgrace, I was there with my younger brother having come across from ireland and even he couldnt understand such crap for a pre-season game, especially with king Henry there for the day, but hey, whos worse, a disloyal paying fan, or a lying neglegent board and manager, who does the book stop with?
    2 wins in our last 11 games in all comps. Hmmmmm

  138. Main current point……..I cannot believe that AW would contemplate signing Barton….I think I might return my season ticket. Having seen 5 friendly matches, am not too excited by the performance, same old style, too much passing around in midfield ending with wasted high crosses to no threat in the box, no penetration, and defence wide open. A suggestion…the excellent Gibbs is not a fullback….play him forward, probably LW… is so obvious and clearly the way he plays, he wants to do so.
    Read a few of the above blogs….much rubbish (Ramsey as a sub !!!!) and inane……do agree AW past his sell-by date as a coach, tired, lacks imagination, no ideas on defence, nor how to use Walcott, consistently out-thought by other managers,

  139. I was mildly confident of Mata’s signing a week ago, sanity has now kicked in and I’ve now gone somewhat cold on the idea. If he signs, brilliant. If he doesn’t’ it’s not the worst possible outcome. A CB is much, much more important. I think every Gooner, and everyone involved in football knows this. So surely Arsene does. Unfortunately it’s neither up to Arsene, the club or the fans. We all know he (thankfully) wont pay overs for average players. Such as 20+m for Jagielka.

    Although, I still feel as if any substantial signings will occur in late August after the second champions league qualifier (23rd/24th). As this will have a substantial impact on the clubs attractiveness to potential targets, as well as the transfer kitty. This is an unfair reality which must be kept in mind by all Gooners before criticising the club. It’s easy for papers to say that ‘Arsenal can offer Champions League football’, when in fact, our participation in the proper parts of it aren’t even guaranteed yet. If we don’t go further than the play offs (I believe the draw occurs on the 5th?) then we’re no better than Spurs for 2011/2012.

  140. Shambo

    ‘Dont judge the team til the season starts’, then it will be ‘dont judge the team till the end of the season’, what a load of bull.

    I judge the team every day.. No problems with judging the team..

    “The fact is we have only really threatened to win the Carling cup the last few years”

    Not true. We’ve threatened to win the UCL once, the Carling Cup twice, the League twice in these 6 trophyless years. But at least we are achieving the ‘minimum ask’. So why the chest beating then? Achieving the lowest target is still success. It’s all relative and everyone wants more, but it isn’t failure. Even on the field, let alone all the stuff off it.

    ‘ok well move, but when we do we cant sign anyone of quality till 2016′ then thats just a joke
    Now let’s be fair. Since the move was announced, have a look around at what has happened in the world of football, and especially in the Premier League. Abramovich took over a near bankrupt Chelsea who were a decent side, and turned them into the home of the mercenaries with his millions, and singlehandedly pushed up the market rates all across the world. Since then you’ve had Spurs spending obscene amounts, ManU continuing and increasing their spend, you had sponsorship money go up on an unprecedented scale, and you have wages going up exponentially. And of course now add ManCity to that pretty picture. All this pretty much coincided with the period that our spending had to be curbed. Oh and we had a financial crisis in the world which impacted our property business that you mentioned.

    But we have what Liverpool, Spurs, even Chelsea want. A new stadium. It’s a huge project that we have managed incredibly well. In a few years, the front loaded deals will run out, our shirt sponsorship will be able to cash in on the market rate madness, and we’ll have the products of the long term youth strategy bearing fruit. You can say that we have the highest ticket prices and that’s true I think (though being in London contributes), but that’s because of demand (I hve said before I’m not in favour of pricing fans out). Let’s say that demand wanes off and our gates fall off by 20000 fans. That’s 1/3rd of all fans. We’ll STILL have more bums on seats than the likes of Spurs and Liverpool, and Chelsea. Basically, there are worries, mainly because we have gone down an entirely untrodden path. We’ve built a new stadium and managed to stay competitive using our own resources, at a time when the footballing world has gone mad with money. We may appear tight with money and you can acuse the board if you like. After all everything can be seen in different ways without all the facts. I just don’t think that they have not been looking at the club’s interests. It is no mean task to oversee a stadium move, and really if they were only looking to sell, then why was the same Mr Hill Wood’s initial reaction to Kroenke about not needing his sort or his money? Kroenke was brought in by Dein, who then went to Usmanov and sold his shares. Kroenke was brought on board after Usmanov got there, possibly to avoid a hostile takeover. If they only wanted to make money, Usmanov is apparently richer and willing to offer a higher price. Why wouldn’t they just sell to him? The facts (such as they are) I’m afraid, don’t fit the theory of a greedy board, businessmen (and women) though they are.

    At least we agree (sort of) about the booing

  141. Ice

    No I don’t.. I don’t get how booing the team helps anyone but the opposition. Regardless of any frustrations, justified or not, it remains a selfish and self defeating/self fulfilling act.

  142. @Terry

    You are assuming of course that Nasri and Fabregas are staying? I’d still disagree about Walcott though. He offers us a directness we miss sometimes, and he does his fair share of tracking back. What I’m worried about, apart from how the Nasri and Fabregas situations are managed, is about January, when the ACN comes along and we lose Chamakh and Gervinho. That means we’ll have only Van Persie and possibly Walcott in attack. We also might lose Song (have Cameroon qualified?) and possibly his understudy in Frimpong too. That’s too many players to cope without.

  143. Well at this point in time both Nasri and Fabregas are still here. Walcott frustrates the hell out of me. He just hasn’t developed the consistency he needs. I agree that he is better more central than out wide. is crossing is crap. Fair point about the African Cup but I just had a quick check and my reckoning is that Cameroon are unlikely to qualify. They are currently 3rd in their group (only top team qualifies, plus second place from group K and top two runners up from the other ten groups.) But don’t take that as gospel!

    And @Eddie my thing about Ramsay being sub is that with our current squad I can’t see him being an automatic starter – but I think he is great and I think we’ll see more of him this season now that the injury is a long time behind him.

    And finally, where’s the blog host extraordinaire? Come on Andy, time to rev up for the new season or are you too busy indulging in wursts, weisbier and frauleins?!

    “Henri Lansbury has failed to agree terms on a new contract at Arsenal and the young midfielder looks set to leave, with Blackburn Rovers and Swansea City among the interested clubs”

    Wenger never again.Please

  145. @Shard,

    Can’t agree more with your posts.

    Regarding the ticket price, people need to remember that we have the most modern, state of the art stadium in the UK. In one of the most expensive cities in the world. High ticket prices are expected. If we were in say, Blackpool’s position, I could maybe understand the opposition. But then again, I’m a Gooner who lives on the other side of the world, and I don’t have to fork out the money every week/year.

    If Fabregas stays, Ramsey is a definite starter. If he stays, he’ll rotate with Fab, Song and Wilshere. Some people forget just how talented he is.

  146. @Gruggy/Antek, you have analysed the ammers situation based on their performances and come up with a logical statement which, to be honnest i agree with because it is what has been happening , fact, truth, reality, a given etc….. But how difficult a thing it is to do when it concerns your team! I walk it as i talk it.

  147. Hey! I wasn’t dissing W’ham, I was trying to to get everyone to lighten up a bit.
    In a way y’all are quite lucky because a bump on the head will be a lesson learned. Unlike us, Wenger (or anyone else) does not seem to be held responsible for any of his actions and everything except the football results get highlighted as successful.
    And, by the way, we’re having a competition at work, one of prediction, and my choices are:
    CH League: Man U
    Prem: Chelsea
    Ch’ship: West Ham
    Div1: Huddersfield
    Div2: Crawley

    If Mr Parker does stay and with your support (I’ve been to Upton Park – not an Arsenal match tho – and there’s a much better vibe there), you will more than likely be automatically promoted or get to go to Wembley for the play-offs, so you should have an exciting season ahead that I’m sure you are a lot more confident about then a lot of Gooners are.

    I am genuinely interested in the W’ham/M’wall rivalry, having good mates on both sides.

    So sorry if I offended you and I’m sure most here would agree that it’s good to have your point of view on this blog.

  148. @anteck, no probs mate. Infact just been talking to my mate on the phone (1hr30min)whoes son (u16) is now training @ your Shenley Training Centre with the first and second year scholars. He said that S Bould is a bit of a nut case and his language is terrible. His son even had the op to train with Fabregas, talk about leaving the dream. At the end of the day I just want to see the return of the fantastic footy you played 7-8 seasons ago because i know deep down inside my ammers never will. Now off to watch England u20s in world cup game against Mexice. We have been Chicken shit so far and were lucky that our keeper saved a pen. Still nil all.
    Ch league-Barca
    Prem-Man U
    Div 1-Charlton
    Div 2-Bradford

  149. @Ice,

    This place needed a bit of livening up, unfortunately it had to be at the expense of the ‘Ammers. But hey, it could be worse for West Ham. You could be Charlton? Or Leeds five years ago.

    If Parker stays, they’re a shoe-in for the Championship title.

    Fabregas trained today for the members session. Bad weather canceled the team photo, adding more fuel to an ever growing media bonfire.

  150. Not the best draw.. but I suppose Kazan would have been worse.. We should get through though.. Udinese don’t have Zapata, Inler, and of course Sanchez from last season. Of course, we could be without Cesc and Nasri too.. Oh Nasri and RVP are suspended for the first leg anyway thanks to Massimo Bussaca.

  151. If we wanna win anything, then we need another striker and another defender. We shouldnt be hoping on getting MATA for 30 mil, i mean that is way out of our price range. A certain Odemwingie costs about 4mil. I say we go get him.



  152. Ever heard of Marco Fabian? Attacking midfielder from South America…..this one has SPEED unlike Alvarez who we lost to Inter

  153. The excuse band wagon for the new season has started to rev its engine. That man wenger might use the cesc situation and also Nasri to lay blame if anything goes wrong,
    BUT all over the blogs nobody has given us a chance this season so maybe it might be our year.
    We have no new defender and frankly i don’t think anyone is coming @ least not a recognize one.
    Wenger promised us changes BUT as usual he has played with us again.
    What amazes me the most is how noone wants our players, MAU sold wesbrown and Oshea in a heart beat, (And i know you wenger lovers will say he sold them to old boy Bruce) But that’s besides the point they were sold, Hell!!! we can’t even sell Almunia, What is he still doing at Arsenal??? Bedtner is still here, seems he’s been talking for ever to other clubs, his price may be too high i guess BUT the quality aspect leaves a lot to be desired FOR SURE!!!! i would even take him for free
    We all know the rest.

    So the facts are there have been no significant changes to Arsenal at any aspect player wise or staff wise, most of you said “Wenger knows what the problems are and he will fix them in the summer so far Has he???. Regard less of the cesc and nasri situation the defense needs strengthening, why wait??, the defender, who ever he is must be integrated into the team, why take so long to address the main weakness in the squad??? I’ll tell u why he has and had no intentions to buy any defender, the everton bid was atrocious to say the least, this reminds me of the fulham saga last season.

    A while back i made a startling revelation concerning the similarities with wengers tenure at arsenal and monaco, his stay at these two clube mirror each other so much its amazing. He had early success at both clubs, he signed some good players, Monaco
    campained in europe then fell away in the latter part of his tenure. Now an excuse was given to me by Shard saying he left monaco (he got fired) and went to japan even though Bayern apparently wanted to sign him, because he became disillusioned with the corruption in France and football on a whole, that excuse is so much Rubbish its a shame. Why would a top manager turn down a big club to go to japan especially at that time the J-league is way bigger now than then??? I’ll tell you why because Bayen munchen wouldn’t put up with excuses they expect success on the pitch.

    We still have time to correct the problems we have and the champions league draw seems very interesting, this next 4 weeks will tell us a lot about Arsenal for the season to come.
    Wenger i will maintain and noone can convince me other wise your the biggest man at Arsenal because yo can do as you like and noone tells you spit. Your a stubborn selfish, idealistic manager who has lost his way totally, woefully tactically inept that any school boy manager can find ways to beat us, if this Italian club do their home work and talk to the right people and their manager has a Hint of tactical awareness were screwed.
    And on the booing that took place recently does it matter when they boo, now, or latter in the season, they booed last season as well, i think most of you miss the bigger picture and that is the fan are disappointed, noone will intentionally BOO a team they love BUT wenger has given them little choice, what else should they do???.
    All the blame lie squarely at the feet of Arsene wenger noone else the has the power to change but he refuses, time is running out.

  154. @kel

    Firstly, I never said Wenger left Monaco and wasn’t fired. You can knock yourself out finding all the patterns and similarities you want, but facts are facts. That story, of corruption in France, Bayern’s interest, Monaco’s refusal and subsequent sacking of Wenger is so well documented so as to not even be a matter of dispute. I can only conclude that this is the revisionist attitude that many people use to prove themselves right. The only thing you can dispute is Wenger’s motivations for going to Japan. Where I got that from is a book on Arsene Wenger by Alex Flynn and Kevin Whitcher published in the year 2003. But, if you are right, why don’t you also look at Monaco’s ‘progress’ after Wenger left? Believe what you want to believe, but your ‘startling revelation’ is a pile of horse manure.

  155. @shard, football supporters come in all shapes and sizes and with different opinions about what is and is not fact. Fact is within the eye of the beholder. All we can do is hold our hand up if the predictions end up being proved correct. Thats if we are big enough, and oh yes no slagging off.

  156. @ice,

    yeah, and someone else can twist around what I had said in good faith, and call it an excuse and be all sarcastic about it and that’s perfectly alright?

  157. @ shard
    Its official, wenger is your GOD FATHER or something of the sort, if things work out for the team this season i will gladly eat humble pie.

    Whose trying to prove themselves right????? you just said facts are facts. You never seem to apply that where its really needed. As it stand now i could never see Arsenal through your perspective because you bluntly deny the facts. Some thing that you always accuse people of.
    BUT your daddy wenger still has time to fix the issues so who knows maybe you might be proven write, as you put it.
    If you’re satisfied with the champions league every year, (which we have not won)3 titles in fifteen years, then that’s you, but am not, especially when better can be done.
    People can call me negative i don’t care that’s just my view, it didn’t start like this.
    By the way does that mean that if wenger leaves that Arsenals progress will be haulted,
    And you want people to apply logic.

  158. @shard
    Dude for the first time in my life I have to agree with kel. I’m not liking it though and should we get off to a good start or even have a decent season. ( final 8 in CL and the prem) I will gladly eat whatever humble pie is leftover cold with dead flies on it but I can’t see it. This so much more of the same even the players aren’t buying in.
    Those that can get out and have someplace better to go are going or trying like hell.
    And you and I both know all the names of the players who (based soley on their performances and not the content of their character’s lest I be accused of slagging)
    should not still be here but are.
    I know our manager is aware of it but is that enough? I guess I’ll have to wait and see if things are different than they appear. By different of course, I mean better.

  159. OK, tell me this, is there anyone out there who can honestly say that they are not a frustrated Gooner? And if not, then it is only our patience levels that are different. Yes? I am a self-confessed impatient bastard. Peace-out!
    Any world cup rugby union predictions? C’mon The Springboks!

  160. My previous post had nothing to do with our current season or transfers or anything of the sort. My disagreement with kel’s post was ONLY limited to the story about Wenger and Monaco, and my annoyance was because of his sarcastic tone towards the story I had told him about what had actually happened. If that is a matter of dispute, and someone disagrees, show me the facts of how I was wrong in what I said. As I said, that story is very well documented. People can believe what they want, but when in the furtherance of their AGENDA they indicate that I am lying or that I’m some Wenger acolyte when all I did is point at the facts, and might I add, ALL the known facts which means that those facts don’t lack context, about Wenger’s Monaco days, it is something I am not prepared to accept meekly. In any case, if he’s drawing the parable, why leave out what happened to Monaco when Wenger was gone? Oh because that has no relation with Arsenal? That was my point in the first place.

  161. As for ignoring facts..Kel..could you be kind enough to tell me what FACTS you are talking about? Remember..FACTS..Not opinions. If you give opinions, give me the FACTS to back them up, at least in some way.

  162. kel

    “By the way does that mean that if wenger leaves that Arsenals progress will be haulted,
    And you want people to apply logic.”

    No..But Monaco’s was. And all I was indicating was that Monaco and Arsenal have nothing in common bar a few superficial similarities. Thus your theory is flawed..

    Arsenal are going to last and prosper far after Wenger is gone. We have a world class stadium in one of the biggest cities in the world, and it hasn’t even begun to pay its full benefits yet. We’ll be able to sign new sponsorship deals in a few years time which will push us in the same bracket as the highest commercial revenue earners. We have a world class academy and training centre. We play in the richest league in the world, and we have dedicated fans around the world. We also aren’t, so far, at the mercy of the whim of a single oligarch or dictator, and that means that we’re existing and prospering on the basis of our own strength. All of that means that Arsenal will outlast any player and any manager. In fact, Arsenal might reap the benefits of the groundwork laid in these years, only in the post-Wenger years. And THAT is why I’m still onside with the board and with Wenger. They have built up a club, which had a rich history, but was nowhere near the elite in the world, and they have brought it to the brink of being a real superclub. The time for Wenger to go is drawing closer, one way or the other. But I do not doubt for one second that he has the best interests of the club at heart, and he does not deserve any of the abuse that is thrown his way. I shouldn’t have to clarify but I said abuse, not criticism. Still I’m sure you’d call me names again for basically stating the truth.

  163. Wow, Post-Wenger years. Not something I would have relished thinking about even a year ago. Is that what it will take? I hope not. Why doesn’t he help himself out by picking up one qualty defender? It would go along way with the fanbase and perhaps we might even get someone who could actually defend. Can’t have too many of them.

  164. @Shard,
    Not everything I say is directly aimed at you mate so try not to take offence to what I write on here, as strongly worded as it is at times its still just what I see and is my opinion.
    I really admire your steadfastness to your ideolgy on what a football fan, and more importantly, an Arsenal fan should be, it is definitely to be commended but sometimes, to me, it seems to be to idealistic, too black and white at times and maybe kel has a small point that you use and miss-use information to further your own point at times.
    For me, there is a middle ground where you and I may become better fans, obviously you are as loyal as they come and the fans should really get behind the team and manager regardless, but I also feel you should ask for a little more as an Arsenal fan, and you know Im not talking about trophies.
    I strongly feel there is a disconnection with the manager and some of the players from us fans, I just dont feel the same way about Diaby/ Nasri/ Chamakh/ etc, etc as I did about Merson, Rocastle, Parlour, Edu, Freddie etc etc…..iv left out the obvious legends like Adams, Vieira, Bergkamp as I wanted to stress the point that I could feel these guys loved Arsenal and loved the fans, whereas the three current players Iv mentioned, and more like them in this group, who are on bigger wages and are arguably technically better dont, to me, show me that. Il put it like this, to me Eboue is a far more important player than Nasri, he loves it at Arsenal and is loved by the fans, even after some rough times granted…..there are a thousand nasris out there so why cant we find one who loves Arsenal the way Pires, lauren, Kanu and Wiltord did? The only players in the squad who give me what these old Arsenal players did now are ,obvioulsy Wilshere, Vermaelen, Schezny, RvP, a happy Cesc, and maybe Song/ Rambo and Sagna….Walcott is too meek in this regard and my patience is running thin with him….wheres the passion with this kid?
    Id like to know who you think gives you the things you look for in an Arsenal player Shard….id be intrigued to hear that.
    To me this isolation problem has been overlooked by the manager who is also guilty of detaching himself from us fans at times. My highlight from last season was Jack Wilshere staying out after the Bolton away game and throwing his boots and gear into our travelling fans after another lead was thrown away for a defeat against a lesser team when we needed a win badly. The rest of the players had scarpered down the tunnel to the solitude of the dressing room….but even they couldnt get out of view as quickly as Wenger who has made a habit of racing down tunnels in recent years, sometimes only managing to shake hands with his opposite number by the good grace of crossing paths on the way….whats wrong with applauding the fans, a small gesture that Fergiescum never misses an opportunity to do?You never see Wenger walk down the pitch in front of the travelling Arsenal fans after a game, even after a loss Im sure he would get a warm ovation, to me thats what is sorely missed, you never EVER hear Wenger say he feels for the fans after a loss, or you havnt heard him say it yet about the recent seasons collapses and not so surprisng re-occuring themes, instead we are told that second is success, whereby the players hear this and go on to finish fourth and now face a tricky tie against Udinese, who by the grace of god have sold their better players because incase no-ones noticed weve only signed Gervinho and Jenks and unless youv the memory of a goldfish, then you know that anyone that does their homework can cause us problems….fa cup games against leeds and a 2nd division team whos name I cant remember are proof of that.
    We are where we are because of the mediocre signings of Diaby, Chamakh, Squillachi, Koscielny, Almunia, sprinkled with the Bentdners, Velas, Denilsons who should long ago been cast off, the proof is in the pudding now as NOBODY wants to sign these guys, and who can blame them, we will be lucky to give some of them away just to relieve the ridiculous wages we were paying them. We also have hit and miss guys such as Walcott/ Arshavin who will go hiding on a field if you let them. Then we have Cesc and HALF season wonder Nasri who dont want to be here.
    Wenger and Gazidis take it for granted that the Emirates should be full every second saturday, and they may be vindicated as the many who are not renewing their season tickets may be readily replaced by other eager buyers but that wont be the case forever.
    What have Stan Kroenke and Ushmanov done for Arsenal football club?
    I ask you mate, where is the needed change going to come from so that we arent on here arguing and watching the same fate unfurl in front of us again next season? Because, as of now, one week before we kick off, there is absolutely nothing different….I mean theres fellas on the treatment table already for christsake.
    The players and manager will come out and say all the right things, as they have done before, but sometimes you just have to be real with yourself and CL football next season isnt looking likely….a cup of any description is even more remote.

  165. Shambo,
    Hey man. No worries. That was actually a very well written post in my opinion. Apart from me misusing information. I’m not going to make your points for you am i? 🙂 Ok, let’s see. I think you are right about the players not having the same connection with the club as some of the others mentioned before. I also feel that is down to no senior players left at the club to pass on that feeling. Henry and Vieira learned from the likes of Adams, Keown, Dixon, Parlour, what it means to represent Arsenal. This group haven’t had that. I feel Gilberto should have been captain, and I really do not know why he was let go. However, most of those players probably just had to be let go because they were on wages that we couldn’t pay anymore. Still, it is a flaw in the planning. For me, it doesn’t overshadow the positives of that process but it is a slight blemish on it.
    Another factor for players not having the same feeling is quite simply that the football world has changed. There is easy fame, and even easier money to be found everywhere right now. That changes things. Would we have been able to keep Vieira if ManCity came in and offered 100m pounds for him and offered him a 300k salary? Will we be able to keep Wilshere for that matter. For all the strength of feeling that a club can create for a player, money talks. We never were on top in that regard, but only ManU were our challenge. Now it is much tougher to just compete.

    To do so, we basically paid for potential. We paid young players with potential higher wages than they would have gotten elsewhere, in the hope that they would blossom into top players. Players that could keep us competitive, while they improved. If we hadn’t done that, would we have managed to keep a team together? Remember Flamini left because he wanted more money after 1 season of performing. Adebayor had his head turned. Hleb liked his ice cream too much. Whatever the demerits of that, and they are evident right now as you point out, we can’t offload the ones we want to. The same is also the reason that we could finish at least in the Champions League places. Otherwise, we simply may not have been able to keep any of the players we wanted. It was just a risk we took. I don’t know. I feel like I haven’t been able to explain what I’m thinking about this very well.
    I guess I’m not sure if it was the RIGHT decision, but I’m not sure it was wrong either. Both paths have risks and I’m not sure which would have been the better path to take, even with hindsight. Also, keep in mind that when this was planned, ManU were our only competitors in the league. They’d had a much bigger budget than us for years and we were still competing. If Abramovich hadn’t come on the scene, I think we’d have won a few more trophies even in our transition phase. Surely no one could have predicted the Russian buying a club and causing such distortion in the transfer and wage markets?

    Dude, I’m loyal, and I know you are as well. Your loyalty isn’t under question here by me at all. Not for a second do I doubt that you care deeply about this club. Our club. I’m as disappointed as you are, and right now, I’m quite worried. But I was angry at a certain section of fans who have been predicting this team will fail WHILE we were still going for the title. That to me is unacceptable. Also, I would never boo at games because it only helps the opposition at the game, and the media write stories about a club in crisis.

    Ok, let me ask you this. You’re frustrated with Wenger’s transfer dealings possibly. His tactical changes maybe. Even his habit of not waving to the crowd (Please can we not compare the man to Rednose though. That is not someone I can ever respect, despite his managerial achievements. He’s a bully and not a subtle one either..But I digress) So you have issues with the management. But do you believe that Wenger has the club’s best interests at heart or not? If the answer to that is no, then I’m afraid nothing can convince you otherwise because we’ll never have completely accurate knowledge of to what extent his hands have been tied, and what the internal dealings of the club are like. If it’s yes, then we an pick apart and point out his many mistakes, and still conclude that it may be time for him to go. But at least you won’t feel that your club is being trifled with.

    About Kroenke and Usmanov. What do you expect them to do for the club? If it’s pouring in money, then that isn’t going to happen. Arsenal have gone down the self sustaining model, and quite frankly, I like it if it means we keep our stability, and character. Besides, wouldn’t all those years of sacrifice feel like a waste if finally we become like Chelsea in the end? 🙂

    Worried as I am about the new season, I don’t think we’ll finish out of the top 4. What we all have in our minds is the near relegation form at the end of last season. We are a much much better team than that though, and I’m not worried about the top 4. It’s the title I’m worried about. And please, can the fans show their frustrations in other ways rather than going to the game and booing the team? It becomes a self fulfilling thing if a team’s own fans keep shouting how bad they are. We all want the Arsenal to win. That should come before any frustration about prices, signings or tactics.

  166. @leftcoast

    Post Wenger years don’t necessarily mean him being fired you know. I think he won’t continue after his contract expires in 2014. Our shirt sponsorship deal runs out the same year. I get the sense that we are almost hanging on till something like that happens, but we shall see I suppose.

  167. 5 minutes into the Benfica match and the Boss is already crabbin’.
    I know he feels the pressure and can’t help but think some deal of some worth must be in the offing.
    Yikes!!!! Too close to a penalty on our keeper.

  168. Did Van Persie going down make anyone else assume the worst? Not a bad run out that. Benfica started well, but we grew into it. We seem to be flooding the box more than last season. So that’s one positive. Djourou’s reading of the game needs to improve though. Gibbs has done well I think.

  169. @shard. Yeah dude that moment gave be a bad flashback and right after his neat finish. Wow! Kieron Gibbs is on! Are we going to forget about Clichy?
    Mystery coverage on the Johann/Bacary side of the box. I’m not sure if Benfica is picking them out or if they just like to attack down that side but we’re not clearing the area very efficiently.

  170. @leftcoast

    depends what pattern you are talking about? 🙂 The defending wasn’t very reassuring, even Vermaelen. But it still is pre season, and our first team got a decent work out and did well. Frimpong disappeared in the second half though. Aimar’s still got it. Used to be one of my favourite players.

  171. I haven’t seen any footage, but if you simply look at who was on the field in the second half for both sides, the narrative is obvious.

    Classy, experienced players up against youngsters who haven’t made their league debut’s, and fringe players merely after fitness.

    The sky isn’t falling. Am absolutely buzzing about the game against the Geordie’s next week.

  172. @ Gruggy

    Hear hear.. So am I.. I can’t wait for the new season. So what about the worries about the squad, all the transfers etc. Football is what it is all about, and I’m excited that it’s back.

  173. @Gruggy and Shard,

    I COMPLETELY agree! It has been a rough (European) Summer (for me it’s Winter), and it doesn’t look like we’re going to bring in the defender that we were promised, although I think we might, just nearing the deadline. Football is back! I’ll have finished my exams (albeit temporarily) on the monday following, so I can afford a little break in study to watch that match. I’m ready to watch the team I love in action once again.

  174. Have to agree with the last 3 fellas, it’ll be really good to have football back!! People think of me weirdly because I’m so passionate about football as a girl. Is that so wrong??

    Anyway, I’m glad someone acknowledged the 2nd half against Benfica as a partially flawed contest. I didn’t mind it, although it would have been nice to see them do better. The first half was pure class. Loved it!! It also seems like RVP still has his striking boots on. That could be very useful in this upcoming month. Newcastle, Udinese, Liverpool, Udinese, Man U. Absolute ripper of a month!! Hope the boys are up for the challenge. Cmon boys!! You can do it!!

  175. All the debate, discussion, tears and angst over the past few weeks has been about football. Finally, the football will actually get underway and the naysayers may have some explaining to do, or they may even be proved correct. Either way, as soon as I see Fab (or RvP) walk out first onto St James’, I’ll get that Arsenal tingle. Whether or not that tingle turns into a fist is irrelevant.

    @ Jay.D

    Good to hear that your exams are progressing, albeit slower than what would be desired. I’ve returned to Uni after five or so weeks off and it feels as if I never left! Where in Oz are you by the way?


    My impression of the Benfica game, particularly the second half was merely from match reports. So I’m glad (or was that relieved?) that the reports, and my subsequent assessment wasn’t too far from the truth. Great to see RvP’s away goal-scoring form is continuing. Wouldn’t be surprised if he opens the scoring in six days time.

    Udinese will be tough, but remember they’re somewhat of a shadow of their former selves. Three out of their top four players have been sold (Sanchez, Inler and Zapata), but Di Natale still has the class to tear up any side. Not forgetting that we’re without Nasri, RvP and Wenger for the first leg, AND the games fall among a very tough August – Newcastle and United away and Liverpool at home. It’s almost as if our season will be defined by the first four weeks.

    I’m currently watching the Charity Shield, and funnily enough, Clichy isn’t in the starting squad.

  176. I feel dirty cheering for United. True hate is defined when United aren’t the most repulsive club in Manchester.

  177. @Shard

    ‘No..But Monaco’s was. And all I was indicating was that Monaco and Arsenal have nothing in common bar a few superficial similarities. Thus your theory is flawed”

    Man the only difference between the two is the stadium and thats only because of the lenght of the time wenger has been here may be if he had spent 15 season there they might have built a stadium too, what i am comparing is the on the field similarities or let me be more specific the football side of things because most of the Arsenal fans can only boast about financies of late

    So let me deal with the first part, Monaco; they have won 7 titles in the clubs history,1961, 1963, 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2000 As a matter of fact only three other clubs have won more titles then they have in france. Interestingly out of the 7 one of them have been won by wenger, 4 of them before he came and 2 after he left. Also very interestingly they had just won the title in 1981-82 before wenger came in 1988 so they were no strangers to winning titles.
    Now you said ” Arsenal AND MONACO have nothing in common bar a few superficial similarities. Thus your theory is flawed”
    So lets compare Arsenal and monaco under wenger:

    Wenger spent 7 years at monaco and this is his record (they played good foot ball as well Just as Arsenal do now): 1 league title and Runners up coup defrance 1988/89,` 1 coupe defrace in 1991, UAFA cupwinners cup Runners up 1992, 2 second place finishes and 3 third place finishes, the last two season he spent at monaco they finished outside the top three.

    BUT that’s not the most interesting part,they won the title again in 1996/97 and 1999/2000 they also had high league finishes as well 2nd and 3rd. They fell away from 2005 to current and now they are relegated.
    Now some might say that maybe if wenger had stayed they might not have been relegated BUT that’s not taking into consideration that wenger oversaw Nancy-Lorraine demise to Ligue 2 because they got relegated so may be if they had remove him before they may not have been relegated.

    Now i don’t have to go into Arsenal’s record under wenger THAT is well documented since he has been here.
    SO any Arsenal fan worth there corn can look at these to statistics and see a matching pattern, Yes we compete at the top and in Europe and win the odd title here and there but competing and winning are to different kettle of fish.
    I respect wenger for all he has done but to me we gave him too much power so now he has become arrogant and cares for noone he is an idealist who refuses to change with the times in an environment that requires subtle changes here and there.
    Look at this season we were promised changes from all quaters BUT low and behold the same problem that we have for the last 5 seasons are still present we can’t even sell Almunia or bednter ( I think he is better that Chamkah)and we have a huge wage bill for players who know body wants how can you justify that to me.It is simple wenger is a liar and a conman I can’t trust him one bit base on past experiences, from last season to now we still can hold a lead, What are they doing in training.
    The facts are wenger is drunk with himself BUT he still has time to correct the faults because peoples wont be fooled for ever.

  178. I’m tired of this.. If you want to go back and look at Wenger’s career at nancy-Lorraine even (and why stop there, why not his playing career at Strasbourg) and somehow link that up with what Arsenal’s current situation is, and what it would take to ‘fix’ it, then feel free to do it. I’m not following you down that rabbit hole. Just don’t imagine and proclaim things about why Monaco fired Wenger when they did, about Bayern not getting Wenger, and about Wenger going to Japan supposedly because he had no offers in Europe. That is all I was arguing about. You have a nice theory, but you are moulding the facts about that period to fit your theory. It should be the other way round.

  179. @kel
    I totally agree with your compare/contrast on Monaco and Arsenal, but I’m not sure about Wenger being “drunk with himself”. yeah he’s stubborn and slow admitting to mistakes but this the flawed side of a strong-willed personality that has had its’ good points too and I don’t believe it comes out of a hunger for power. I do think he has too many jobs at the club and might be better off if he didn’t wear so many hats so-to-speak.On a not totally unrelated subject I think Seb Squilacci is a very nice guy and a fine person but he may never do in central defence. This is as mild as I can put it and if this is slagging then I’m afraid it’s time to take the gloves off long enough to slip in a horseshoe and then have a go,

  180. Did anyone watch the C Shield. Cant see Man City doing much more than 5th this season, they have all defensive players and not enough creative footballers. They made Man U look like Barcelona. Cant understand why the manager can not see that the team has the wrong balance of players.

  181. Ice – not that game because I’m a pay-tv-less Pleb. I did watch y’all v Cardiff on BBC1 tho.

    Others – you might as well talk about metaphysics for feck sakes. Let’s go back to 10 men trying to stick a ball in the net on the other side of the field. Seeing Wenger’s name here is like hearing that Zellwiger prat’s voice on yet ANOTHER CGI movie. He has FAR too much on his plate to be able to concentrate on the success of the first team.

  182. @theicehammer
    Yeah, I saw the game they City had a very Arsenal-like 2nd half. The first ManU goal was very poor set piece marking by Lescott. He looked like he wanted no part of the play.
    However,Tevez is back in training today and I think it would be a big mistake to sell them cheap.

  183. Gervinho is GOOD, I said so before we got him. Now we need another if we need that much desired competition for places. So, now can we please Get Odemwingie?
    Get Odemwingie
    Get Odemwingie
    Get Odemwingie
    Get Odemwingie
    Get Odemwingie
    The Mancs are damn too serious, check out their statement of intent by coming from two goals down….that was just awesome from a neutrals point i view. How do we cope with that? Look at the reserve defensive pairing for goodness sakes, they seem to be better than Vidic and Ferdinand together……..What do we have huh?
    WE NEED SOME BULK AT THE BACK for goodness sakes.
    Get in another striker and end this mad riddle WENGER.
    Sell Nasri and get in MATA. Or buy MATA and see if Nasri still wants to leave. Why on earth does he need to sale before he buys? We have two sugar daddies and NO MORE MONEY? We were supposed to be active in this transfer window, cant see that happening soon enough.
    Can someone tell this guy we need QUALITY?

  184. Mr. Wenger should have grab Wesney Sneijder as Manchester United is not sure of buying him.. he could have been a tram card for Arsenal,, like Dennis Bergkamp did..
    Arsenal need 3 players.. Cesc Fabregas should have give away to Barcelona.. Arsenal needs a good goal keeper,, they missed a chance , they could have bought Shay Give, or Uruguays goal keeper Fernando Muslera.. he is a wonderful goal keeper.. they need a good center back also, an experienced center back.. if they do this they have 1 pure 100% win da title this season ..

  185. Wengeristas: people who have faith in Arsene.

    Just read an interesting article in the Evening Standard by Jason Cowley where he uses this word. I have not seen it before.

    So, we pay £12M for a teenage winger but cannot offer £15M for an experienced defender.

    At work in Angel and the police are going past, sirens blaring, every few minutes. It’s kicking off in London again tonight! Anarchy in the UK.

  186. Expect to see per mertersaker in arsenal soon,i think wenger has been looking at him,but because he had been injured,he just kept quiet till he came through a match last saturday in the bundesliga,and boy did he look good! IMO,i think he´s going for him,cause i don´t see wenger paying all that money for the likes of jagielka,cahill,or samba,but 6 to 7 mill for metersaker makes sense to me.though i don´t see the sense in paying all that cash for an unproven winger,that just completed league one,hope now we can direct the money where its most needed.

  187. Shard/ icehammer,
    Whilst Im not gonna come on here giving out about money being spent, having been advocating for it for so long, Id just like to hear whjat you both think of the Oxlaide-Chamberlain signing.
    No doubt the boy is a talent and arsenal type but is it n ot getting a bit crowded in the youths/reserves dressing room now? Where are all these young signings gonna get the necessary gametime for them to develop, for me its over-indulgence at this stage.
    Oxlaide Chamberlain
    Bellerin and the other Barce youth we nabbed
    Samuel Galindo
    Pedro Bothelo
    Samuel Galindo
    Now throw in Bartley, Frimpong, Eastmond, Sanchez Watt, Afobe, Lansbury, Miquel…etc
    Then take into account that we already have young men such as Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Walcott, Traore, Jenkinson involved with the first team already…when all these guys reach their early twentys there will simply be no room for at least a dozen, we have this plan of building for the future but are neglecting the now, in two years we will have too many on our the books and have players we have nurtured seeking moves ‘home’ or elsewhere.
    The AOC signing is exciting but why 12M on another prospect instead of 16/17 mil on a proven defender………..seriously dissillusioned tonight.

  188. @shambo, must say i agree with you man, especially after witnessing what has happened to the players Wenger has had success with. They seem to get to around the age of 24-25 and want to move on due to the lack of winning things. Perhaps its inevitable for what would be the point of the academy other than grooming players for the bigger stage of another team.
    Oh, by the way, on Chamberlain, he reminds me a little of what i saw of Walcott during his days at Southampton, young, quick direct and not having to concentrate on crossing the ball to often. (also a very nice lad who does not say much) How long will we have to wait before he makes a real impact with the first team. 2/3 seasons with no real guarantees of consistant success. During that time i’m sure Arsene will try to alter his style of play. £12mil seems to be a little much for one so young, green and perhaps naive and to think Wenger wont pay 20% more for experience and “leadership”…… Strange. Total control.
    I also agree with your statement about building for the future. When will that arrive….. and stay. Watched highlights of the Benfica game, should you be concerned with the result and injuries. Talk Sport Radio has Arsenal finishing 6th this season…is it possible that the team is slipping. Shard, what are you expecting from the team within the first ten games.

  189. @Antek,

    Hopefully some Sp*rs fans have been (finally) arresed – thugs!


    Bellerin and Toral are both sixteen. Years away from pushing for a bench spot, or even a CC spot.

    Miyachi could very well be heading back to Feyenoord, Galindo will be spending this season at Gimnastic (, Wellington is yet to attain a work permit, so he’ll spend another year in Spain, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bothelo spends another year abroad.

    Bartley will spend this season at Rangers, and the others will play in the CC and feature in a few cameo appearances in the league throughout the year. Lansbury may be heading away permanently as well.

    While AOC is not the signing us fans think the club needs, it’s a sign of the changing climate regarding ‘Home Grown’ players. Many pundits and managers view AOC as the most promising young talent in Britain. Now compare that to 20m for Jordan Henderson. Which is the better signing?

  190. @Gruggy,

    I know what you mean! Some breaks just go by so fast and when you’re back it’s like oh hi! I remember seeing you….yesterday? I’m in Sydney. And loving it. How about you? Charity shield! nah, can’t even joke about that, not a fan AT ALL of NRL and the sort. I actually did want Man U to win that. Looks like they’re gearing up hard for the season. That was a sign of real intent which could be a problem, especially with the match away to them.

    It does seem like a bid for Mertesacker is likely doesn’t it? Especially given the price. I think Wenger will go for Cahill first though because of EPL experience. I’m kinda disappointed we’re not re-bidding for Samba. I really would have liked him in an Arsenal jersey before the end of this transfer window. Hope they’re not true, but there have been reports about a bid for Scott Dann. Without picking up Cahill and/or Mertesacker….no, AND, I would be severely disappointed if Scott Dann came in. My choices would have been Samba, then Cahill, followed by Mertesacker and if we absolutely got horribly rejected by all 3, then Scott Dann and then Jagielka. That’s in order. Although, Now with Verm AND Gibbs injured, I really do think it should be two new defenders coming in because Gibbs could be out for a while as reported, Verm, not sure. But with LB exposed, I really do think we need 2 new defensive signings.

    A OC looks like a very interesting and I completely agree with Gruggy’s very last post. It’s a very interesting buy for Arsenal, but I’m not sure how much A OC can help this season. Hopefully he can help out when players are tired, or in Carling Cup matches. We do need defensive signings though, and I know I’m being repetitive, however, the situation is getting out of hand with the injuries. With a very important opening month, I think Arsenal need to be mentally very charged up and ready. It would have been nice if the signings came in earlier so they could have played with their Arsenal teammates during pre-season and got more training. Instead, as mentioned on Talk Sport Radio, they’re going to be sorting out playing roles and getting used it all while playing league matches. That could be a disadvantage. Hopefully not.

    Anyway, really looking forward to the start of the season. Hopefully we can get all wins or wins and a couple of draws, maybe a draw away at Udinese. Football is back and I’m pumped!

  191. @Jay.D

    I’ve been greeting my Uni assignments with not as much enthusiasm haha. However, it’s only another three months until I’m on holidays for…three months! Ah, being a student has it’s benefits.

    I’m also in Sydney dude…Kinda. The Central Coast to be exact. But I commute to Sydney for Uni, so I guess I’m half-half. I’m trying (note : “trying) to assess whether it’s worth travelling down for the ‘big games’. And also whether other like minded (preferably) gooners would attend such a gathering. At the moment I have two and a half Arsenal supporting mates, and have often considered hitting up Star City for a North London derby.

    I too will be slightly disappointed if we don’t sign Samba. The guy is screaming (almost literally) for Champions League football and I believe he is too good a player to be involved in yet another relegation fight. And of course, he’d be cheaper than Cahill.

    As much as I rate Dann, I don’t think he’d be in front of Koscielny or Djourou in the CB department. Why waste money on a fourth choice CB?

    If you believe the media, a bid for Mertesacker looks likely. Which isn’t a bad thing. He’s an absolute beast height wise, is of a decent age and has international and experience in a decent league. The only notable weakness is his speed, which on paper wouldn’t be an issue for Arsenal, as Verm has a bit of toe and Gibbs/Traore and Sagna are super quick.

    I’m trying to not think, worry or get too upset about signings, or a lack thereof until the last week of the window. I seriously doubt whether anything serious will happen prior to August 24th onwards.

  192. Grauniad reporting Man$ity about to make another big offer for Nasri. Sounds like we’ll take the money after all rather than let him play out his final year. All I can say is I hope he proves to be as good a buy as Adebayor and Toure have been for those cashed up northern chavs!

  193. @Gruggy,

    Ah, I see. The benefits of a student…always fun! Which Uni are you in if you don’t mind my asking?

    I see I see. I’m greater west. I’ve started to find lots of Arsenal friends and this particular blogging site makes me really feel connected, in a distant way, to Arsenal. I know it’s odd, but I love this connection. Star City…never been there. I’m still under age so I still have many many restrictions! In time, maybe we can catch a drink somewhere?

    Dann could be a buy like Squilacchi. Not a first team option, a back-up. But I would be really annoyed if that was to happen. We already have Squillachi as a very last resort, although I think he should go now and we also have Djourou and Kosc as decent back-ups.

    Regarding Samba, I was discussing with another Arsenal mate of mine, that even though he doesn’t have pace, we would be alright with him. He could be the rock we need at the back, a man that can hold his own and handle the rest of the defenders, while Verm is relatively quick and can start the play from the back with some quality passes. And of course, as you mentioned the LB and RB positions are equipped with pace. Although, unfortunately, our bid for Samba has been rejected. As I said though, 2 defenders would be nice. One at least this week. Especially because in my opinion, Gibbs is not ready for the EPL. He needs to be loaned out. He can maybe be as good as Clichy in attacking, with time, however he’s horrible at defending. Don’t like him as a LB. Don’t like him in the starting XI at all.

    Mertesacker does seem likely, doesn’t he. Since we had the bid for Samba rejected, and it doesn’t seem like Wenger will fork out money for what he probably thinks is an over-priced EPL player, I think Mertesacker can replace the Samba I was hoping for in defence. His international experience, age experience and his experience with captaincy can really help our defence out in my opinion. For a while I wasn’t looking forward to Mertesacker being bought over Samba, however, I’m warming up to him. He did have a pretty bad season in the last one, however, I do think he can give Arsenal the sturdy hand they need in the back.

    Putting aside Samba vs Mertesacker, I think Gary Cahill is going to be our next buy. He looks most likely and Wenger’s interest in him has vamped up since Verm’s injury, plus he already has EPL experience. If Wenger can fork out so much for a 17 year old talent, I’m sure he’ll fork out for a potentially title winning defensive pairing. Cahill/Mertesacker/Samba linked with Vermaelan. I really think that could be really interesting. My only worry now is LB. Do you, or anyone else reading this post, think that pushing Verm to LB and bringing in 2 of said 3 defenders in to fill in as CBs? Or maybe put one of them as LB? I might get some stick for saying that, but I’m desperate to get someone decent to fill in for Gibbs and Traore is not an option. I want to skip to the end of next week right now and find out our results and signings. It’s kind of exciting to think that it could help Arsenal play their beautiful football and actually win more games and hang on to leads.

    I also like the ‘homegrown’ issue you were talking about in a previous post. We do now have a few Englishmen among our ranks, which I am pleased about. I do think that Englishmen will provide better chances of good communication amongst the ranks.


    I completely agree with you. We really do have too many young guns for the future. I do think that a few of them will leave. The first two you mentioned, Frimpong and Afobe, in my opinion, are the only ones who might stay at Arsenal for a few years to come. The others don’t look like they’ll get too many big breaks too soon. Unless it’s a Carling Cup match. Although, Wenger might not take that easily this term either, especially given how close we were to winning last time.

    For both you guys and anyone else, what are your thoughts on Nasri’s supposed imminent move? It seems more imminent than before as Arsenal are allegedly demanding a complete upfront cash delivery for Nasri, and only then will they/we be letting him go to ManC. If Nasri was moving, I really do think it was a dumb move in regards to Nasri. Why on Earth would you pick ManC over ManU? He’s stupid to think of leaving Arsenal in the first place, but that never made any sense to me. However, I don’t actually want him gone. It worries me, because if Nasri is going out to ManC, then what’s to become of Fabregas? He was going soon too wasn’t he? Does that mean we lose both? I don’t think we’re quite ready for that just yet…

  194. Die Zeitung has Mertsacker moving to the Emirates within the next 48 hrs. They seem to think the deal has been done. I’m not so sure. I do think it will be either Nasri or Fab. One will go.I’m not sure what’s best. Cesc is eventually going to Spain but Nasri has shown this off-season he has no gunner blood in him. If we sell Nasri now we’ll get some cash however, knowing that his next years wages will be negotiable on this season performances we may get more out of him on the pitch.I guess there are worse positions to be in.

  195. I do not agree with this article. Every year, doom and gloom predictions about how Arsenal will not qualify for Champions league is paraded.
    Every year, Arsenal qualifies! Fact is, it is the exact opposite that frustrates fans, faulting at the last hurdle. Therefore, to start crying foul before the season has even started, as every other season, that Arsenal will not qualify for the Champs league is getting old.
    When the club finally pays the stadium off in full, and starts to profit from the sales of its shirts, there will be more money available! If not, then questions need asking.
    In the last few years, clubs like Man City have been buying big and buying now. Tottenham/Liverpool always splash large sums of money, have they won their worth in spending, I do not think so! Have they guaranteed themselves Champions league football, no! Spending like a child in a candy store for these clubs has not guaranteed success.

    Arsenal is run in an ethical way, a streamlined model of a football club and business that is the envy of many clubs around the world. A person would be a fool to want to change this. Arsene will not break his wage structure for anyone player or member of his coaching staff. The man has his house in order. What he has done and doing is immense! And I do not just say this in pure admiration. Let’s look at fact!(sounds of benitez)

    By sticking to his wage structure and tight budget, he faces enormous pressures. Yet he stays committed to the cause! He has the pressures of having to contend with big spending clubs who are buying top rated to world-class players every year like they are cheap as chips.
    Every year, he knows that Arsenal financially need champions league football, and every year they qualify and do better than expected. Every year, he sticks to his philosophy of playing beautiful football to entertain the fans. And every year he constantly delivers this and he still achieves the fundamental objectives to keep the club on course to be hugely successful in the future and Financially Powerful.
    When moving to the new stadium, Arsene clearly pointed out the objectives, stadium aside, and the other project was the young squad, tied into the debt of the move, and he had no choice but to rely on them!
    Last year, was a spectacular fail for trophies, considering they were in the hunt for all four trophies. But tell me, with everything Arsene has had to contend with, Arsenal still achieve above and beyond what everyone expected. Arsene was offered to take over at Real Madrid, yet he stayed to see the project through! Just think about it. Compare his loyalty to the fickle loyalties of the overpaid brats.
    Carlos Tevez is earning how much but cries about going home like a Schoolgirl only because now he can afford early retirement, and Ad-Ebay-Yoh(yoh…yoh) has been reduced to a gypsy! So when fans and pundits shout buy him buy him.. what’s to say we not gona have these problems all over again.
    Arsene Wenger is leading the way like a father, with morals and loyalty and tries to instil this in his young generation of players. This will hopefully foster a love and affection between them and the very club that gave them their success. This is something special.
    The signing of Alex Chamberlain is fantastic! It was only a few months ago, many fans thought we lost his signature to Man United, which left fans fuming. Things that were said “how come we are so bad at singing players” and “our rivals are always beating us to sign quality players”, I also heard that “we do all the scouting for great talent and then notify our rivals and let them sign our targets”.
    Now that Arsene has signed this player, beaten our rivals, these same fans are now saying, “well we did not need him”.
    Bah… humbug, temperamental like a woman on her periods! You are haemorrhaging nonsense!
    Ok fans want trophies. I know I do! But if you take a step back and look at the whole picture, would a man who does not care about the club, put himself under so much pressure.
    Yes the Chavs have spent loads of money and won trophies, “SINCE ROMAN STARTED HIS EMPIRE”. BUT what happens when that empire comes crashing down or decides to walk out? Fact is Arsenal cannot spend like Chelsea. If fans still do not understand why Arsenal cannot spend like Chelsea or Man City/Utd, I must assume they have the IQ of a cabbage!!

    Arsene Wenger has his heart rooted to the core of the club and people who criticise him for not spending big money, to put it simply, do not care about the club or its ethos. How can a person who has never had to pay for something, understand its true value, kinda like a friend who says he cannot afford an mp3 player so borrows your brand new expensive iPod and returns it broken and then asks so which one you buying next? These are the type of people, who want Arsenal to spend big and now! (I hope that made sense)

    To play beautiful football, to put so much faith and trust in this group of players, to play with so much financial constraint, to move to a new stadium, all of which would put massive amounts of pressure on any manager, have left him seemingly in a position of appearing to have failed due to the lack of trophies. Yet he has achieved more for this club, which many other managers wouldn’t even dream to attempt with more money at their disposal. He puts himself into the spotlight so that other do not have to. His job appears to be on the line as fans grow disgruntled, and still he will not break budget or wage structure even to save his job. This is a man who cares about the club. – Or he’s just nuts.

  196. @Xristos, You must remember Arsene Wenger does not spend what “he considers” to be over the odds for any player so i doubt that it would make any difference how much money the club or Arsene professes to have in the kitty after the stadium has been paid and shirts have been sold. Its all about profits to the share holders. Remember every year fans are told there is money to spend but Wenger does not spend it, spend it, spend it, spend it. Thats how a private business is run, it all about a return on the investors money. When you talk about winning worth in spending, at least they have wan something in the past 6 years and how do you equate it anyway. Has Manure wan its worth in spending.

  197. @ Shard

    I’m tired of this.. If you want to go back and look at Wenger’s career at nancy-Lorraine even (and why stop there, why not his playing career at Strasbourg)

    WOW!!!!! been off the blog for somedays and only now saw your post.
    You complain that people’s post are not factual, now i decide to give you some facts you as usual disregard them.
    You may or may not believe this BUT when i wrote this post about wenger’s tenure at arsenal and monaco a buddy of mine came over (he’s a Everton fan) and i had a bet with him for 50 bucks that this would be your response and as sure as day i was write.

    I’v always said i respect peoples views simply because its your right, most time people may not agree in a perfect world they would, always.

    But noone and i mean noone can convince me that wenger’s not selling us short to match his ego and as you always say (to say i told you so )
    I’ll be ridiculed if complain this much when the season starts because you know what would be the response ala (judge the team in may)
    Wenger has done very little to change my views on him this summer but time will tell

  198. So where are we gonna finnish this season? And who will be our top goal scorer?
    Howz my luck, 1st game of the season at home and I’m on a late shift!!

  199. @kel

    Please do not use that condescending tone. I only ask people to look at facts as opposed to things routinely propagated in the media because those are some very twisted webs of half truths and lies. And facts, or statistics, STILL do not tell you the entire story. I don’t claim to know the entire story either. I just don’t assume what I don’t know. and when I do assume, I say why I am assuming this, or at least try to. I’m not out here to prove you wrong, or prove myself right, and I actually AM tired of the entire talking about football. I really really am. It achieves nothing because people (myself included) talk about things that we have no information about. After all of this, I’m only here to watch and support my team and I can’t wait for the season to begin. I don’t care if you want Wenger out. He is here for now. Do you think undermining him, or anyone on the team, is helping Arsenal in any way?

    About Monaco. Since you insist..
    You said:
    1.Wenger spent 7 years at monaco and this is his record
    2.(they played good foot ball as well Just as Arsenal do now):
    3. 1 league title and Runners up coup defrance 1988/89,` 1 coupe defrace in 1991, UAFA cupwinners cup Runners up 1992, 2 second place finishes and 3 third place finishes, the last two season he spent at monaco they finished outside the top three.

    4. BUT that’s not the most interesting part,they won the title again in 1996/97 and 1999/2000 they also had high league finishes as well 2nd and 3rd. They fell away from 2005 to current and now they are relegated.
    5. Now some might say that maybe if wenger had stayed they might not have been relegated BUT that’s not taking into consideration that wenger oversaw Nancy-Lorraine demise to Ligue 2 because they got relegated so may be if they had remove him before they may not have been relegated.

    My response:
    1. Ok so you say that the only difference is the 7 vs the 15 years. And that he might have built a stadium at Monaco too if he stayed there 8 more years. I’ll come back to this in a bit, because I find the logic bizarre. But let’s see. I haven’t thought it through yet.
    2. Of course they played a certain style of play. It WAS wenger’s team after all. I can give more similarities than that. In fact you might have done the same earlier if I remember correctly. He brought in unknown players who performed to superstar levels, not the least of them being George Weah (who thanked Wenger in his 95 (?) World Player of the Year award acceptance speech), he gave some young players a chance (including a 17 year old Thierry henry) and he brought in some known players who were perhaps at a difficult stage in their careers (Jurgen Klinsmann) Though the last is something he doesn’t do anymore apparently.

    3. the parallel you are trying to draw here is that Wenger had early success at both clubs (and somehow this should count against him apparently), and then didn’t ‘win anything’. let’s see.. How much were Monaco spending on wages compared to the other clubs? How much on transfers? Any idea? Any chance Wenger might have been overachieving? Or did Bayern want him in 1994 because he was a bad coach who hadn’t ‘won anything’ for 3 seasons? The problem here is gauging success just by looking at trophies or league finishes. What he had done for Monaco was raise their profile. Raise their level. Despite losing their best players almost year on year. The youth structure he left in place there made them stronger even after he left. Petit, Thuram were Monaco’s youth products in Wenger’s reign.

    What did Wenger win at Arsenal, and what are the similarities? Let’s see. 98 league and cup. 2002 League and cup double.2003 FA Cup. 2004 League. 2005 FA Cup. What does that show? I have no idea because I feel it’s foolish to go looking for patterns only on the basis of trophies with no analysis of what the transfers were like. What the wage budget was. Who the other teams were and their wage budget, and many other different factors (including match fixing which took place in the French league, and would not surprise me if it were taking place now in Europe and in England as well..but I digress) So Wenger went 3 seasons without ANY trophy between 1998 and 2002. Since you want to compare it with Monaco. It was the exact same time since Monaco didn’t win a trophy and Wenger being sacked. Maybe we should have sacked him in 2001 as well?
    The point I’m trying to make isn’t just about trophies. It is that where a club finishes, what it wins, isn’t just down to the manager. There are too many other factors which simply find no mention among your facts. Who can say WHY Monaco were dropping off? I can’t with any certainty ascribe any reason to it, because I have no idea what the situation was there at the time. What their realistic expectations were (considering that they did have financial problems). or indeed why they sacked Wenger after fighting to keep hold of him, and not letting Bayern talk to him.

    4. is probably meant to show that Monaco had success beyond Wenger’s departure. I don’t deny that. But is there a possibility that Wenger actually develops the CLUB and not just the team? I think there can be no doubt about it at Arsenal, and perhaps he was actually doing the same thing at Monaco.

    This is where I return to the stadium bit. Do you know that Wenger didn’t build the stadium? The board did that. Why the board felt the need for it is because we had a waiting list of near 60,000. And ManU earned a million pounds per home match more than we did. basically we were falling way behind in the financial stakes, while we had a fan base that was enough to fill Wembley, but couldn’t get to Highbury to see the team. The stadium planning started in 2001 (?) I think, and by 2003, everything was in place. Anyway. Would ‘Wenger have built a stadium’ at Monaco? I think he would probably have kept them at a certain level, but that is just an assumption. However, even if they were strong, I doubt they could/would have built a new stadium, simply because I don’t think they’d ever have that much demand for their tickets being based in Monaco.

    5. This is just too…weird.. Because Wenger faced relegation with Nancy, he would have gotten Monaco relegated? Well, because Wenger has won the league undefeated, he could probably go to Everton right now and repeat the feat there. Does that make ANY sense? Sigh..and then you wonder why I’m tired.

    What you are doing, is looking at two clubs, based in two different leagues, with different teams, different finances, different fanbases, belonging to different eras, and finding a grand total of ONE common factor between them, ie Arsene Wenger, have set out to look for patterns where none exist, at least in terms of the data, or facts if you prefer, that you provide. If you look hard enough, you’ll find non existent patterns literally everywhere. It’s called white noise I believe.

    As you say, NO ONE can convince you that Wenger’s selling ‘us’ short to match his ego. Because he doesn’t spend the sort of money that you think he should spend? How do you know what his motivations are? If it is about his ego, I’ll back you in saying he should go and NOW. No one is bigger than the club.

    The problem with that is, that not only is that an assumption, it is an accusation. And it doesn’t stop at being an accusation at the manager, it extends to the board. And WHY? WHY do ‘we’ the fans have to feel that the board, and the manager are ‘selling’ us short, and then find reasons like their pockets, or their ego? Because we haven’t won a trophy in 6 years!!! It doesn’t matter that this is when we have moved to a new stadium, which tied us into long term deals, and which coincided with the arrival of super rich sugar daddies who throw money around like it doesn’t matter (the flip side of which is that certain clubs face an existential threat), and because the media can’t stop reminding us of how long it has been since we won a trophy. Face it. that’s all this whole thing is about. The rest of it simply doesn’t matter. What I find distressing is that you’d rather find fault with, and accuse the the ones who have built our club up to being among the elite, from much humbler backdrops. I guess the question is..Do you agree with the self sustaining model or not?

  200. @ Jay.D

    Hopefully you’re 18 soon mate, the only way to either drown an Arsenal sorrow, or celebrate a win is with a schooner! I’m at Macquarie University too btw.


    Great post.

  201. I’m not gonna get into ANY details here, but I have to completely agree with every point Shard made, down to the last question. Well said Shard.

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