Replacing Ljungberg & The Emirates Cup

Armand Traore is looking forward to the game against Paris Saint-GermainArsenal players geared for Emirates Cup

A number of Arsenal players have expressed their excitement about the Emirates Cup tournament that begins this weekend. The Emirates Cup is the first of two pre-season tournaments (the other being the Amsterdam Tournament, hosted by Dutch side Ajax) that Arsenal will compete in before the competitive season begins and involves three other big European clubs; France’s Paris-Saint Germain, Italian champions Inter Milan and Spanish side Valencia. Arsenal kick off the tournament with a match against Paris Saint-Germain and young left-back Armand Traore has said he absolutely cannot wait for the game.

“I still have not made it yet and I need to impress the boss and make him believe that I can do it. As soon as I heard PSG were coming to Emirates I was really happy. I was a massive supporter of PSG when I was younger. I used to go with all my friends on Saturdays to cheer them on.”

Traore is currently Arsenal’s second-choice left-back after fellow Frenchman Gael Clichy, and will have an almost impossible time displacing him from the starting team. But at 17 he still has a big future ahead of him and it is great to hear he is looking forward to making an impression on manager Arsene Wenger. From the evidence that I have seen from him in Carling Cup matches and the two pre-season friendly matches against Barnet and Genclerbirligi he definitely has the raw talent to eventually nail down a first-team position at the club.

Van Persie is happy with bigger pre-season gamesVan Persie and Toure delighted with big games

Another player who is looking forward to the the games against Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan is Dutch striker Robin van Persie. Supporters will know that van Persie has not played a game for the club since he broke his foot after scoring during Arsenal’s 2-1 Premiership win over Manchester United. Van Persie has stressed that he is not yet back to full fitness but is looking forward to some more challenging matches than the previous two friendlies against Barnet and Genclerbirligi:

“I am up for this tournament. I am not 100 per cent yet so I’ll be using the Emirates Cup to get my touch and my fitness back. It is PSG and Inter Milan, two strong sides. But I think it is better to play two big teams in pre-season. It gets you to your level quicker.”

Even with the signing of Croatian striker Eduardo da Silva I cannot stress how important the Dutchman will be to Arsenal’s success next season. He looked odds-on to bag over twenty goals for the club last season until injury struck him down and a couple of Emirates Cup goals will do wonders for his confidence going into next season. Van Persie’s comment that playing better sides will improve Arsenal’s preparation for next season is spot on and has also been echoed by one of the club’s real leaders, Kolo Toure:

“They will all be tight games. Playing teams like these makes us much better prepared for the season to come.”

Wenger’s pre-season preparations have been excellentWenger’s preparation is spot on

Whilst the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have spent millions on new signings the greatest advantage that Arsenal has over these sides is that the club’s pre-season schedule will have the side perfectly prepared for the start of the season. Wenger has lined up matches with the aforementioned Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan, as well as two other big fixtures against Lazio and Ajax in the Amsterdam Tournament.

One of the most difficult things that any Arsenal supporter could attempt to do at this point in time is predict what the side’s starting line-up will be next season. Wenger will want to see how the likes of new signings Eduardo, Bacary Sagna and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and younger players Theo Walcott, Denilson and Johan Djourou (to name but a few) will go against more difficult opposition before he nails down a favoured starting line-up. Arsenal’s young squad have all to play for going into next season and it will do the club’s pre-season preparations no harm at all.

Mancini - however unlikely - would be an ideal signing for ArsenalWho – if anyone – will replace Ljungberg?

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I thought the exit of Swedish midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg drastically reduced Arsenal’s options out wide and, as a result, a replacement should be brought in. Wenger hinted yesterday that Emmanuel Eboue is set to play a more attacking role in the side but in my eyes that still leaves a gaping hole on the left side of the midfield. Wenger favours Tomas Rosicky as the first choice left-midfielder but in my opinion he is better utilised centrally behind the two strikers, where he plays for the Czech national team. Regardless, if Wenger wants to continue playing 4-4-2 then he must sign a replacement for Ljungberg. But who could that replacement be? It is absolutely impossible to try and predict where Wenger will pull any signing from and so I will refrain from doing so. However, I would like to point out two players who I believe could provide the answer.

(1) Alessandro Mancini (Roma) – I’d thought about this a little while ago but the name was again brought to my attention yesterday by a comment from regular reader GunnerShabz. It does make sense. He currently plays wide on the right for Roma and bringing him in would allow Hleb to move over to the left (where he performed so impressively for previous club Stuttgart) and challenge for that position with Rosicky. Mancini has the pace and workrate, and his tendency to play wider on the park would give the attackers more space in the area. He’s available and reportedly valued at around £11 million which, in my opinion would be well worth the money.

Don’t laugh! I believe Petrov would do a great job for Arsenal(2) Martin Petrov (Atletico Madrid) – This is a far more debatable option (due to Petrov’s age) but everything I have seen from the Bulgarian has impressed me. He’s a lightning quick left-winger and, unlike many of the current Arsenal squad, is quite a powerful player – similar to Chelsea’s new signing Florent Malouda. He may be a bit old at 28 but I believe he would provide a good second option if Arsenal struggle for width again like they did last season. He is available and valued at around  £6.2 million.

So there you have it. I’m interested to hear your opinions on these suggestions. I’m expecting to cop a bit of an ear-bashing for my Petrov selection but I guess that’s all part of the job. Before I go I thought I’d also let you all know that I’ve signed up for Arsenal TV on the official Arsenal site, which means I’ll have full coverage of all of the Emirates Cup and Amsterdam Tournament games. There’s plenty of interviews and highlights for me to sift through as well so I’m hoping this will improve the quality of my posts on the Arsenal FC Blog, but we’ll see how it goes.

Have your say on the Emirates Cup or Ljungberg’s possible replacement by leaving a comment.




  2. hey, spanish you toke my advice lol

    martin petrov is going to tottenham you know

    alessandro mancini would be a brillant signing he can play left and right of the midfield, he was a wing back before and is a versatile player, which wenger loves

    £11m to £13m is needed to get him from roma

    another player wenger does admire is simao sabrosa, ricardo quaresma

  3. oh yeah am going to the emirates cup on sunday, watching valencia vs paris sg and arsenal vs inter milan

    just hope its sunny at least

  4. Who says Wenger is going for those oldies, He wants is young and restless team to deliver season.
    They will do definitely do it.
    UEFA Champions league
    FA CUP
    FA Premier League
    and if possible the FA League Cup( Carling cup)
    Thats what we want.

  5. What I don’t understand is how everyone has basically already written Arsenal of this season.I think we are going to be stronger this season than we were last season.”I have eight reasons,”
    1.We have got use to the Emirates stadium
    2.Robin Van Persie is back to fitness,”Looking at a good 20-25 goals from him this season.
    3.The young players that we have will have gained another year of experience,Like Fabragas,even though he was our best player last season he is going to be even better this season.
    4.William Gallas back to fitness hopefully will stay fit.
    5.Rosicky has had his first year in the premiership and it normally takes at least one season to get use to the premiership.
    6.Eduardo Silva has the potential of scoring lots of goals if you go by previous goal scoring records.
    7.Adebayor is going to be even better this season in goal scoring.
    8.The young talents would be good without Henry and Ljungberg.!
    We still need Robinho as a Ljungberg replacement.
    ”What do you all think”?

  6. well i honestly think Ljungberg’s departure from arsenal is a big plus to us based on the fact he wasnt just a bit part player in the team last season but also one that hasnt contributed nothing compared to what we were used to seeing from him and also he can only get worse at this stage not any better. ‘i only said that cos of then comment he made about the gunners being dead’ but speaking about replacements for him i have 2 people in mind too-
    1st would be quaresma the guy is just unbelievably good at playing football and thats exactly what we love at arsenal he can play both wings and would be such a valuable asset for the team cos he is the kind of player that can change a game for you when all is not working well all in all would be a great addition and option to what we already have.
    2nd would be robhino i think just like quaresma would be an arsenal favourite if we can get him just because these are the kind of players that can change games and win matches and win trophies because i think we are due some our beautiful emirates stadium deserves it

  7. I think people are right to write us off. We have lost our best player afterall. The squad will definately be better than last but in comparison to those around us we may have gone a little bit backwards in terms of quality.

    Take Man U for instance everyone is talking about Nani but I have seen Anderson play first hand and he is devastatingly good.

    Liverpool: Torres good, Babel decent and they have got a couple of people I have not heard about before.

    Chelsea: If I could be bothered to keep up with such a boring team they might have improved.

    Spurs: have actually stregnthened significantly.

    I feel we can still challenge but our players really have to take a massive step up WRT their overall play and some players like Niklas, Dudu etc. who do not have premiership experience need to deliver. Long and short of the story is our chances are slim ………… but existent ;)*

    *come on i’m a fan I can’t give up hope.

  8. Fair play for arsene to show again backing to the young guns buy not signing big name players. But as a afc fan im really getting tired of the lack of respect he is showing us the FANS yes ive said it because frankly we know we aint winng the title. Not even the carling cup these days is a ‘mickey mouse cup’ and why yes why dont we sell to those billionaires, even so i still dont believe mr.wenger will spend. It really irratates me to know that all theses world class players want to play for us ohh how we wouldve been a force. But i guess we have to wait (sigh) for these kids to grow fill the boots our once great invincibles filled. p.s my fellow gooners dont think arsene will buy anyone look more to some lil south american boy playing in the streets of sao paulo in his bare feet picked up by mr.grimandi to hit the back pages… (sigh)

  9. Damnnn… Wemger didn’t want spend big money to buy a big player… it’s not problem,… if wenger want buy a talant player…
    i suggest: Buy Royston Drenthe!
    Buy Royston Drenthe!
    Buy Royston Drenthe!
    Buy Royston Drenthe!
    Buy Royston Drenthe!

  10. i think royston drenthe would be an amazing signing but can we compete with real madrid, barcelona and chelsea for him.

    i know he would love to move to the nou camp, barca got frank rijard as manager and to play with “fantastic four”

    but we have got a chance to nick him, if arsene is interested, ken friar is doing the transfer dealings at the moment

    alessandro mancini would be a brillant buy, as spanish fry side he is a quality winger, i dont think many teams are interested so we can get a deal with roma and they have bought giuly from barca and £11m is a fair price compared to what else is on the market

    ricardo quaresma, arsenal fans honestly we wont get him, il be shocked if we do get him, i cant see wenger spending £18m+ for him, thats what porto want a fiqure that much.
    i would love to see him at arsenal, i can just imagine him on the wing but i just cant see it.

    angel di maria, well the jury is out if its true or not, but this guy would be a great buy, he is got a lethal left foot and is a true left winger we need

  11. I certainly think that losing Ljungberg is a big loss, despite his ‘bit-part’ status last season. He’s experienced and still possessed a deft-touch. I’ll guess we’ll soon see anyway considering he’ll be a walk-on player at West Ham. Experience in the premier league counts for a lot – look no further than Scholes and Giggs at United.

  12. If Wenger doesnt like to spend lot of money let him buy roma’s talented wingers. Around 11 -15 million is what arsenal need so hleb goes on left and rosiky stay’s in center. Or another amazing winger great for arsenal is ricardo quaresma around 10 million, and also plays on the right

  13. Rafael van der fart. A player wasting his time in hamburg…
    We should spank wenger’s ass. he is still snoring…
    youth will do good for arsenal but u need a mixture of experience to complement.

  14. After some doubts,I’m now really confident about the Arsenal team for this season.
    There are several players ready to step up to the next level.It looks like Wenger is planning to play Eboue on the wing and Sagna at right back.Could do with another decent winger,my choice would have been Robinho but Angel di Maria would be great for us.

  15. SF: Petrov, though a very good player, is a bit too injury prone for my liking.. Basically we’d be replacing Fresddie with a another Freddie. Mancini would be quality. His adaptation could be aided by the Brazilians in the squad. Robinho I would love, but regretfully not the wing answer.. Quaresma would have been signed already.. his value will only increase. Drenthe is a hell of a player too. However, it would just end up in a bidding war, and AW only wants players who are 100% committed to the Club. I still dont think Eboue is the answer on the right, and if we dont sign a winger now, we defo will in the january window. All in all though, I think this is going to be a fantastic season for us, and I cant wait to cheer the boys on this Sunday against Inter!!!

  16. Did you say Simao and Quaresma? Now that would be something especially Quaresma. He is a bit of enfant terrible but a hell of a player: Speedy, cheeky and shoots from hip. That would be something to lick the lips over. But its only a dream

  17. i think wenger should go for Quaresma and somebody like mancini. we want to challenge man.utd and beat teams like chelsea. pls help me sign more players my prof.

  18. Atletico Madrid winger Martin Petrov has been given permission to fly to London to hold talks with Spurs (The Sun) adding more scope and width to this ongoing rumour. Will he join Martin Jol? I didn’t think so at first, but the flying winger has many admirers, and given the rate of spending at White Hart Lane, coupled with the clear-out of deadwood, it seems a very real possibility that Dimitar Berbatov will have a fellow Bulgarian to chat to.

    Ooops stop letting our transfer targets out of the bag SF.

  19. I think he will probably join Tottenham, but that doesn’t stop me thinking he would be a useful signing for Arsenal. Everything I have seen from him has been good, and apart from sam nix’s comment that he is injury prone, I think he would be a good signing. Having said that, Mancini would be pure gold!

  20. watching the game

    nothing impressive really, the pitch is crap

    abou diaby looks impressive

    hleb looked good on the left side

    eduardo just needs to used to the system, he looks good on the ball, need more sharpness
    he did have 3-4 chances

    bendtner looks like a target man, holds the ball, goood flick ons, good feet.. he could be a threat this season

  21. Hleb was awesome on the left and looks better than Rosjcky; he was really playing on the wings. I think that’s his best position. Think Theo should have started on the right, again we missed so many chances especially Dudu. He still needs time to adjust but his touch was great. Randall is another big future; well I’m hurting that we lost this game but Salzbug did well.

  22. *Bump*

    And that is the sound of reality hitting me in the face.

    So frustrating, I mean the quality is there for all to see but our ducks never seem to line up. We need a new wide man most definitely.

  23. but if Arsenal plays 4-4-2 and Hleb is on the left and Eboue in the right we just can see one player betwen Fabregas or Rosycky in the center because the other one have to be the full back (Gilberto or Diaby)

  24. No doubt Petrov is a good player.. just at 28, he isnt going to get healthier. Werent as sharp tonight and the pitch was poor, which does little for our game. Bring on the weekend…

  25. 1-0 loss then. I didn’t catch the game last night despite my yapping on about Arsenal TV, but I’ll check it out at some point today. Interesting that William Gallas was captain…

  26. Its just pre-season, it dont mean much to me, lookin at other results, Feyenoord 1-1 Chelsea, Hibernian 3-0 Bolton, MK Dons 3-2 West Ham. The players are just streching their legs, gettin their fitness back, the loss means nothing, the pitch sucked so im just glad no one picked up an injury.

  27. Yeah I’m not too worried. Looking forward to watching the game and seeing how the likes of Eduardo got on. Just thought it was interesting that the man everyone loves to hate was captain for the day.

  28. Maybe its an attempt to keep him happy? So he will stop talkin about what Arsenal is “not” doing and keep his mind on playing?

  29. hey GunnerShabz im a big fan of valencia!! can u let me know how they go and who they play! would love a match report of that game! cheers

  30. I hope not as well, i still would like to see Gilberto as captain. He looked more vocal when he was captain of Brasil in Copa America, i’ve never seen him on that level of leading a team on the pitch as he did in Copa America. Even tho Fabragas would like the armband, to me Gilberto makes a good leader, i think as the games with Brasil shows he steps up very well to being captain.

  31. hey ronaldo7

    well i will give you a good report, basically guys

    when am off on sunday to watch the emirates cup, i will give u lot a good report

    am going with my wife, blady ell she wanted to come lol

  32. Martin Petrov is to injury prone. And I don’t think he’s good enough

    The wingers I would sign in order of preference:
    1)Royston Drenthe (young but probably one of the most talented)
    4)Alessandro Rossina

  33. Real Madrid are reported to be signing Royston Drenthe… how irritating.

    Also very interesting is that Atletico Madrid have confirmed the signing of Simao. Originally Ricardo Quaresma was thought to be on his way there, does this open up the chance for him to join Arsenal?

  34. ok then simao sabrosa is going to atletico madrid for £13.4m

    franco semioli has just recently joined fiorentina for £5.6m

    royston drenthe we have to compete with the spanish giants of barca and real madrid and the london rich kids chelsea, can we get him am not sure

    ricardo quaresma, id love to see him at arsenal but will wenger spend £18-20m on him i dont know, those bastards at real madrid are just pissing around with the reyes situation.

    i think wenger wants to sort that out then he will make a move

    alessandro rossina is not a winger, he is similar to rosicky, he is very talented and great on the ball, he likes to play up front or behind the striker

    alessandro mancini is something we should look at

    angel di maria would be great on the left wing.

    we need to use bendtner height in the box…

  35. hey spanish, we have a chance to get ricardo quaresma.

    i dont know why wenger has not identified him for a wing position.

    he can shot and got tricks, can beat his man and deliever some crosses

    like i said we have to take advantage of bendtner and adeboyor height

    yestaday gallas and toure are the same height along with sagna, hoyte and clichy not a tall back line.

    djorou and senderos are the tall ones

  36. You know what I find interesting; I was totally unaware of any interest in Petrov until I wrote the piece on him. Now I find that Tottenham previously made a bid and Manchester City are now interested. Very peculiar.

  37. wenger promised on a “super, super class player” now have we got the money to get him, am sure we have….

    wenger did admit he wanted to get him but theirry henry wanted out, so he had to change his plans.

    so i wonder who he identified then……

    we do need one more signing and it has to be a winger, yestaday you can just see we just attack through the middle and that red bull team just closed everything down.

    we hleb was being direct on the left hand side we caused problems.

    but we wont win anything unless we sort out the wing play.

    in wenger system we rely on the wing-backs – for some reason sagna did not go forward much and eboue did look clueless on the right.

    hleb has the potential to do well on the left hand side, rosicky looked really dangerous through the middle he looked excellent until he got injured.

    abou diaby well the more games he gets, the better he gets, he is an amazing athelete and strong in tackle, big and powerful and a good runner on the ball, just needs more games and then he will dominate the midfield

    denilson looked good in the first half, good upper body strength, using it wisely, again more games and he will be brillant.

    armand troare this guy is a good player, he has loads of tricks, very mobile and quick, he is strong as well, he is a boxer of course, i think this guy can play left wing you know, i think he has it in him. he has great balance and very athletic

    spanish, i dont care at the moment, who comes in, we need a geniune winger, who can play on both flanks would be excellent

  38. you can see what ericksson wants to do with man city,

    nery castillo – speed, dribbing, good finisher totally left footed

    nikola zigic – tall front man, target man

    martin petrov – good crosser of the ball, good on free kicks

  39. SF – I really do believe that other premiership teams scout the arsenal blogs. The two players City signed (Bianchi and the mexican fella) have been previously mentioned as possible signings, Babel, Ribery, Malouda, etc.

    Quaresma will come. And if he does, it will be like Reyes, 10m up front an 10m in “has to score so many goals” etc. type add-ons.

  40. Petrov to man City for £4.7m, subject to work permit… whew. SF, I think you should get a cut of the transfer fee!

  41. Gunnershabz, wenger must have been talking about trezeguet (hate spelling this names wtf?). i agree with you on Diaby, Denilson and Traore. for Ebuoe i think he was a bit clueless but it’s because it takes time to adjust from a defender to a winger. i still think we need a real winger though.

    SF- what do you think if adebayor supports RVP upfront instead of the other way round? first he is not selfish, second he creates lots of chances (something tht most people don’t seem to notice) and RVP just happens to be a goal magnet. Am i the only one seeing this?

  42. knightman,

    we just need killer instinct, we got eduardo who is a different option to henry, but rosicky played well with him in the early 20mins so that could be a good partnership

  43. ok some more players for you lot to consider

    elano – shakhtar – £8m

    daniel carvalho – cska – £8m

    alessandro mancini – roma – £12m

    ricardo quaresma – porto – £17m

    royston drenthe – feyenoord – £8m

    angel di maria – central – £5m

    some unknown geeza – unknown – undisclosed fee

  44. GunnerShabz: Unfortunately, only Elano hasnt been discussed ad nauseum here. I have to say I havent a danny about him. What is becoming more apparent is that there is an ample shortage of wingers that are available and able to improve our team. One thing is for sure, we wont move for anyone until Reyes is sorted out. Lyon interest is timely, and hopefull will help speed things along. That and our return to the UK.

  45. What has inspired me is Diaby’s performance.He is the new Vieira and even better.
    I think Diaby and Vieira have similar qualities but I think at the same time he is different from Vieira.He is more attacking than Vieira and also more skillful.
    I didn’t think Eduardo played that great.I blame the pitch,but he will score goals this season.I look forward to see him play in the emirates cup.
    Robinho on the way to Arsenal,”believe it or not ”it is live and coloured”.

  46. “Petrov to man City for £4.7m, subject to work permit… whew. SF, I think you should get a cut of the transfer fee!

    I’d gladly accept. That really annoys me that as soon as I suggest a player he is snapped up by another club. I honestly had no idea he was being chased and then, bam, Manchester City have him. Outrageous!

    “SF- what do you think if adebayor supports RVP upfront instead of the other way round? first he is not selfish, second he creates lots of chances (something tht most people don’t seem to notice) and RVP just happens to be a goal magnet. Am i the only one seeing this?

    I wouldn’t worry too much about this. If the two play up front then they’ll rotate who plays where. Adebayor is excellent when deployed at the top of a 4-5-1 but when it comes to playing 4-4-2 I don’t think it’s a matter of one supporting the other; the both do each role at different times.

  47. hey guys, i completely agree with you that we need to sign a winger quick, but last night i thought…what if he dont buy an out-and out winger, use clichy and eboue to get crosses in when we need them on the over-lap and play a 4-1-3-2.

    eboue/sagna toure gallas clichy
    walcott cesc rosicky
    RVP Eduardo/adebayor

    what do u think?

  48. hey sam nix, are u going to emirates stadium on sunday???

    am in orange quadrant upper tier block 93

  49. GS: Yes, I will be there on sunday in block 92.. I am really hoping to see Diaby v Vieira. I echo Joshua Asante’s belief that Diaby has the potential to dominate the midfield for years to come. I was lucky enough to see him play for Auxerre when he was 17, and my dad and I joked that we should give AW a ring and suggest he gets a transfer sorted. He has every attribute emualte and surpass his obvious likeness. I was really worried for him when his ankle was shattered last year. I was ready to jump in the car and go visit Dan Smith after that challenge. Assault is the only way to describe it. And the then care-taker managers comments still irk me to this day.. “In my opinion, I felt Dan did go for the ball and the lad knocked it away and he accidentally caught him,” said Ball. Ball needs a slap too. Anyway, I am convinced the midfield trio of Cesc, Denilson and Diaby will dominate for years.

  50. hey sam, how close are u next to me then???

    il be wearing the new arsenal tracksuit with training top, lol

    hey maybe i may get to dug out area pretending to be some important, ave a whisper in arsene ear

    buy quaresma

  51. ” Anyway, I am convinced the midfield trio of Cesc, Denilson and Diaby will dominate for years.”

    Yes, central midfield is certainly not our problem at the moment. If only we could sort out the wide positions.

  52. arsenal to finsih 5th and why!!

    think Wenger’s golden period has ended. One of the problems Wenger every year again has to deal with is his ego. He might be a brilliant manager, but last 2 season’s have proven that his influence on his stars smaller, perturbing even, is once they have matured and grown an own voice. Think Cole, Pires and now Gallas. And Robin Van Persie, who might become their key player next term, surely isn’t a lad who will remain quiet. Expect some bust-ups between those two.
    Unless Wenger brings some more talents, but most of all \experience to the Emirates Stadium, I predict a dark future for Arsenal, especially if Spurs and Liverpool continue to improve.

  53. ronaldo7

    I agree with some aspects of your point Arsene is becoming too difficult and sometimes thinks he’s infallible. We need a true winger not Hleb or Rosicky. The team play without width so its easy to defend. Our old counterattacking play is now in tatters ‘cos we don’t have pacy wingers; except Theo who is still developing. Still, Gallas and Toure combination is not the best, Gallas seems to have gone backwards a bit. He’s still clinging on to players who’re not good Song, Senderos etc( I don’t rate Sendy and that’s my rightful opinion). However, POOL are not better, they will still continue to play long ball and defensive and will not help Torres and Babel. Spurs have not improved much even though they’re spending. They’ve been conceding goals even against 9th placed South African team. They’ve conceded in all their pre-season matches and last year we beat them without RVP. Spurs will still have the same forward combination which our squard players beat except Bent. Spurs are spending in anticipation of Champions League games, so if they don’t qualify, they’ll be in real financial trouble ‘cos EUFA Cup don’t bring in much money. We need wingers and AW should replace the players who’re not good for the team.

  54. ronaldo7: didn’t Ferguson go 3 years without winning anything before the premiership? Seeing as 2 seasons ago we got the fa cup, i’m going to give Wenger another 2 seasons to pull something out of the bag. Ferguson it seemed, was over the hill as well, patience is key to supporting any (hell, most) football teams.

    People are worrying about the comments about replacing Ljungberg, but as someone who has tried to figure out Wenger’s transfer policy for years and I think his mind works in a different way. He denied trying to replace Ljungberg, but I believe it will be the same as getting Eduardo for Henry. Eduardo wasn’t to replace Henry, it was to address a striker problem. The most likely options, Quaresma and Drenthe, are very different players to Ljungberg so are not directly replacing him – just adding to our wide midfield area.

  55. SF

    Have your read about Freddie’s deal with West Ham and what really influenced him to move there? 60+ a week and an image deal of 15+ thus putting him at 75+ a week more than if he’d moved to Florentina or even stayed at Arsenal. Arsenal also waived transfer fees as a goodwill gesture for his 9 years service to the club. With all these and what the club did for him; he still went on to insult the club. I like the dig against him by Clichy. It’s all about the money, no love anywhere.

  56. Ronaldo7: How can you say Liverpool and Spurs have improved when we’ve yet to see them play. You are basing this on the £50m they spent. Torres hasnt scored more than 15 goals in a season, as the main striker and captain(thus missing few games). Babel, though obviously very talented, was a dissapointment for me for Holland this summer. He played well in one game, and even then he wasnt spectacular. The he goes for £13m.. Spurs have spent a fortune and, in my opinion, havent improved their squad. ‘Pool will continue to lump the ball downfield to their forwards, all of whom are not goal scorers. £50m they spent will unlikely result in a goal glut. Wenger is a man of immense conviction, and will not change for anyone. The players you have mentioned were all past their best(Cole looks a quarter of his former self). They were either becoming a disruption, or they were too old. This has nothing to do with ego. Thats sounds, like the statement of someone who supports another club, looking in. “And Robin Van Persie, who might become their key player next term, surely isn’t a lad who will remain quiet..” “Their” key player. We have a team full of key players. RVP is one of them. I would nt want him to keep quiet. Thats woudnlt be him. Oh, and he cost about £3m. And I guarantte he scored more than babel and Torress combined!

  57. “And I guarantte he scored more than babel and Torress combined!” that should read “scores” more goals…

  58. Harlan: I too LOVE Clichy’s statement. Cant wait to see Gael do him when we play the Hammers!

  59. angel di maria story is in the sun today, i do think we are siging this guy, i be happy with that signing

  60. SF – “I won’t play for any other team in England out of respect for Arsenal.” He cites “ambition” but then went to a team that waited till the last day of the season to escape relegation – and then are on the verge of losing their best player. Fuck it, he wants moolah.

  61. And before someone says “Yeah, but Arsenal sold their best player this summer too,” there is a difference. We came comfortably 4th without Henry, Tevez was the only, ONLY reason that West Ham didn’t finish below Watford last season. A team with a fit Ashton would be Uefa worthy, but it seems Curbishly is spunking 20+ on Anelka and Bellamy, too players who care for their clubs as much as terrorists care for airports.

  62. Too right. I dont doubt ol’ Eggy had some sway in Freddies arrival too.. both being Swedish and all. Probably sees it as a way to appeal to young Swedish players. Also, he doesnt really have to move home. But lets face it.. if ol’ Eggy and his money werent there, Freddie wouldnt be either.

  63. Also, its worth noting that we tied for 3rd last campaign, only to be edged by goal differential. An excellent indication of how good we could be if we could just stick that damn ball in the net.

  64. Two things:
    1) I don’t think Gallas will have the armband next season but I am glad he may be getting more responsibility towards how the team plays. He has had big, sensible ideas for how to stop little slipups (playing zonal instead of man marking?) and to make the team less mistakes.
    2) I’m not saying it is the full squad we should be starting with but, our squad seems a lot better than last years essentially 3rd place team. Forget about other teams adding to their squad, to add to what we had last year, we could have:
    A new goalkeeper good enough to fight for Lehmann’s place – Fabianski
    Two new fullbacks – Sagna and Flamini
    A new centre back – Sagna
    New and fitter wingers – Rosicky, Walcott and Eboue
    Two new strikers – Bendtner and Eduardo
    Now from last years team we have lost one and a half strikers (Henry played for half a season, so is half. Ali and Bap only played like half a man each), a quarter of a winger and a bunch of players that weren’t anywhere near the team. I know it not be a lot for some, but our team are a lot fitter (Gilberto unfit for the start as opposed to our whole team after the world cup), a lot more adaptable and there just seems to be a little more of them than last season.

  65. “Also, its worth noting that we tied for 3rd last campaign, only to be edged by goal differential. An excellent indication of how good we could be if we could just stick that damn ball in the net.”

    Yes and no. We wasted what seemed like a billion chance but we also scored as many as Chelsea. Slipping at the back is just as important, more so now we have a fit Van Persie and Eduardo so we have less worries about those chances going wasted.

  66. Good points. We need a general lift in consistency in all areas on the park. The difference between failure and success is very small and if Arsenal can tighten up a little at the back and put away some more chances then success is not unforseeable. I’d still like a winger though…

  67. how many times did we get scored on more than twice in a game? And how many times did we score more than two goals in a game?

  68. just curious… i remember feeling more frustrated with our inability to finish than with our inability to defend as a team.. apart from going down 1-0 too often..

  69. I assure you fellow gunners.Arsenal fc will kick ASS this season.Everyone has written us off this season but mark my words!!!!we will light the premiership on fire!! I ask of all you fellow gunners to let go of all the negatives surrounding our squad and prepare ourselves to witness the demorilizing of the manutd and chelsea dogs.LETS GO ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!11

  70. South African Gooner: A bit far away to get your arson on at Seven Sisters yes?
    I predict 3rd, out of race like febuary instead of november and a cup.
    Does anyone know what’s going on with the gunnerblog comments?
    Ok, I must go travel into London, am going to see Aimee Mann 😀

  71. Okay, South African gooner-Spurs are in South Africa now and we’re being slated for lack of ‘ambition’. How do you rate Spurs team for the coming season? Forget about last season when we beat them twice without Henry and RVP. You might have watched them play, so how do you measure them against the Arsenal? Be honest, don’t be subjective and tell us.

  72. i know da Gunners will put all da cups on fire. i believe ARSENEL is stil da best. but need some more attention my friends.

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