Delusions of Grandeur or Pragmatic Objectivity?

Posted by dandan

The Arsenal blogs are a discordant bunch this week. The mixed mood and extreme opinions are fuelled by the lack of any meaningful Arsenal football action for the next couple of months and the open wounds of the end of season disappointments still smarting.

Blog posters it seems, view the team with either their glass as half full or half empty in various ways; as either bottlers or young men brutalized and wearied by injuries who failed at the final hurdle through inexperience from which they will surely learn.

Is Wenger  a genius or a charlatan?

The Board are a bunch of misers on the make or prudent custodians laying down the foundations for future success?

Is the club on a downward spiral devoid of ambition or just a couple of players short and on the brink of the good times again?

Blogger’s frustrations are not helped by a media circus desperate to fly off to South Africa for the World Cup and who, devoid of any real news, daily publish lists of players, supposedly offered, wanted, scouted, rejected or about to be signed or sold by the club.  Most of this errant nonsense is made up to fulfill a deadline and taken up by other hacks for the same reason yet still purveyed as the truth.

The extent of this nonsense can be easily tracked on the list alongside this article.

Take for instance the Cesc Fabregas story first filed by two journalists in Spain. Both are well known for their involvement with the two major Spanish clubs and are clearly playing their part in the political machinations of the Presidents as they seek to whet the appetite of their constituents, the fans, prior to election time. At the same time and as an added bonus, they destabilise our club, often cynically followed by a mealy mouthed apology.

So whether true or not these stories are digested and reiterated across the blogs, polished and repeated not only by legitimate fans, but also by interlopers from other clubs who loving such negativity, masquerade as Gooners and post them repeatedly as the truth.

So where does the truth lie, what are we really as compulsive Arsenal followers?

Are we sad people with delusions of Grandeur about our club and it’s position in football hierarchy or pragmatists whose objectivity is only coloured by the stats and information we daily imbibe?

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140 Responses to Delusions of Grandeur or Pragmatic Objectivity?

  1. London says:

    Morning Dandan

    Believing that Cesc is going or believing he is not has become a bit like the glass is half empty or the glass is half full.

    As a regular on here I always enjoy and appreciate your posts.

  2. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all,
    Personally speaking I can say I am quite sad, but that’s got nothing to do with AFC !
    However, what I do feel is that post invincible we really were in a great position to kick on and establish a period of dominance so that we really could be considered one of the big hitters.
    Sadly the hasty deconstruction of that team, with far from ready replacements being drafted in, means that the golden opportunity we had went and now we find ourselves scrabbling to re-establish ourselves within the elite.
    As for the performance of our team last season – I fear the complacency that certain members of our squad showed in their effort levels in the last few games against Wigan & Fat Sam’s rabble showed the metal strength we had shown in the Hull, Stoke games seemed like a fluke and not a sign of a new maturity. I hope I’m wrong on the last point though.

  3. spanner says:

    We remember our good times so well as AW turned us into a heavyweight team on a shoestring budget.We must now be aware we have everything in place to kick on, stadium, training facilities,successful youth set up,etc…the envy of most other clubs. A few years without a pot is ok by me so long as the club is totally secure and self generating.
    All the same I wouldn’t mind if from the list alongside was bought Lloris, Cahill, Hazard/Melo/Arteta and Balotelli.
    I am sure we could at least get the keeper, (an extra 10 points a season with a top GK as we all know)
    tootle pip

  4. GunnerPete says:

    1) Arsene is neither genius or charlatan..he is just a good manager who has done us proud, but mainly in rebuilding the whole club.

    2) The board have been and still are, the most miserly in the UK considering their income. BUt I do not want a board full of foreign opportunists.

    3) The club has always been afraid of constant success. I can go back to 1950 and can remember great teams like the 71′ double side who were brilliant and would have gone on to 10 years of trophies IF the board had invested instead of profitering…in fact every time an AFC manager starts to win things suddenly…we become a selling club and make profits on our star players…that is the AFC board now and for the past 60 years.

    In a nutshell…The Arsenal are always 2/3 players short of winning the lot. Even when we have sold our latest star that money will not be used by the manager. It will provide the board with nice dividends and sit in the bank making even more. We will watch the opposition spend and spend on quality and Arsene will bring in cheapo kids from Africa. Nothing will change …sadly.

  5. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Thought provoking post dandan ;)

    As one who is often labelled as a ‘glass half empty merchant’, I take mild exception to being classified as a pessimist – everyone, of every shade of opinion, believes they are a realist. If I were a pessimist, I would be predicting us failing to get into the CL next year, finishing below totnum and having another trophyless season.

    My realism (others pessimism) relates to the indicators suggesting we are not going to sign a new GK and the hope of a CB is fading fast :(

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks for your comment GunnerPete and welcome,

    You paint a more detailed picture of the opinion I was trying to express.

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Raspers – how goes the cricket ? I might make myself available for your lot(ball & chain’s permission allowing) if your standard of play is less than stellar and you are desperate enough!
    I have my own kit and am great at polishing off the French fancies during the tea interval.

  8. Rasp says:

    Great news chary – we only had 8 players on saturday – so had a long hot ‘energetic’ afternoon in the field. Let me know which saturday you are available, we’ve only had a full team once this season.

  9. tommystout says:

    intelligent post DD, had to read it twice bud, its a bit early for me.
    i consider myself a positive thinking gooner, whatever is going on now does not bother me. i think the annual summer rape we suffer from the hands of barca, the club the press and the players has to stop. we must make a stand, no more players are allowed to go on the cheap…. if we get 60+M for cesc then i think thats a good thing. What is not a good thing is bending over submissively to barcas advances!

  10. Wade says:

    For me it seems more and more obvious that Wenger is taking the bullets for the board. This is a guy who hasnt hesitated in spending healthy (not excessively) in the past on valuable players and was open to playing negative football to bring the trophys in (United FA Cup final 2005).
    However, I dont believe that we now have the players, nor can afford any that can pull off such results anymore and sadly, its all turned into a waiting game till funds are available.
    check my blog: http://icemangunner.blogspot.com

  11. Alfa says:

    Hi all, some interesting thoughts as always but I think we have to stay objective as well.

    Chary, you say we are ‘scrabbling to re-establish ourselves within the elite’, but then what do you think the elite are? As we are 3rd in the EPL, top 8 in Europe (losing to the team even van Gaal calls the best in Europe) and 5th in Europe in terms of revenue, what would you take as being in the elite? My view is that we are in the world elite and I’m still pleasantly surprised that we are.

    GunnerPete, hi, like your thoughtful comment. By ‘foreign opportunist’ do you mean Stan Kroenke? Usmanov? Our shareholders are in the majority foreign opportunists just like Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Man City etc. Spurs more debatable but ENIC are hardly a traditional UK based business. I agree with your point 3 wholeheartedly. I said on this blog last month that we are a selling club at the moment.

  12. Rasputin says:

    Thanks for your comment Wade,

    We operate an open policy for new bloggers to come straight on to the site, but you went into moderation due to the link. We do not encourage cross linking simply because some may take advantage and use this site as an advertising board – but you’re welcome!

  13. andy says:

    Good post DD. As fans we obviously want The Arsenal to be proved as the greatest team year upon year. Its interesting what Gpete says about the club being afraid of constant success. I have no inside knowledge of the running of the club but must confess that it does seem to be right. Why do players see other clubs as bigger than ourselves ? Why are Barca or Real better teams to play in ? Is it that we dont pay enough or simply fail to show the ambition which the best players quite rightly crave ? I hope that the board have been cleverly planning their finances and AW has done a tremendous job with one hand tied behind his back but if we believe what is being stated are they now at a point where they really can put up the funds to push us on to the next level.

  14. London says:

    Morning Rasp

    I can’t remember anyone ever labelling you a “glass half full” merchant LOl are you sure that’s what you meant.

    Sometimes you just know how to cheer my Monday mornings up ;)

  15. Rasputin says:

    Morning London,

    Haha – you’re right, that is the opposite of what I meant, I’ve edited myself, thanks for the info :)

  16. The Law says:

    So, GunnerPete, can you explain your issue with “cheapo kids from Africa”? If it were cheapo kids from England, you’d be fine with it, right?

  17. steve says:

    gunnerpete
    you are so spot it’s not true I’m an old Arsenal man remember just the fiftys teams end of anyway but you are on the money near but no cigar with the tossers in control always not going the extra mile 70s team
    sell the super star in Charlie mac @ the back, even David Herd to the mancs Geoff Strong to the mikey mousers

  18. Alfa says:

    Morning London, hope you are having a good one.

    Chamakh 5/1 to be our top scorer next season. Seeing as Cesc was top scorer this season and RvP hasn’t managed a full season for a while, they look like pretty good odds to me.

  19. Rasputin says:

    Morning Alfa,

    I’d just like it to go on record that I predicted that Chamakh would be our top scorer 6 weeks ago :lol:

  20. Alfa says:

    Morning The Law. Are there any cheapo kids from England? They tend to be spotted and signed up here long before they are old enough to play at any kind of senior level. With the ‘homegrown’ rules coming in that will be even more the case. It is pretty much happening across the world now, not sure there are any left in Africa either. India seems to be a possibility, I know that Arsenal have some involvement there with academies etc.

  21. Alfa says:

    Hi Rasp, what were the odds then? 10/1? Hope you got a few quid on :)

  22. david says:

    its funny people keep saying sahko when he aint even in the france squad for world cup gotdamn FM lol

  23. RockyLives says:

    Good question to pose Dandan. It really does seem there’s a lot of polarisation in supporters’ viewpoints. However I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between both camps: the board have been stingy and we shouldn’t have broken up the Invincibles so quickly, but at the same token we were always going to struggle to win the top prizes while the new stadium debt was being handled (particularly after the Credit Crunch kicked in).
    This summer will tell us a lot. If Rasp’s worst fears are realised and Chamakh is the sum total of our acquisitions, then the accusation of being unambitious really can be levelled at AW and the Board.
    If we go into next season with MC29 plus a new GK, CB and MF then I think we can start believing that the good times are about to roll.
    My secret fear is it will be somewhere in between – ie, MC29 plus one CB, which would be most disappointing.

  24. c gander says:

    gunnerpete sums it up the reality for arsenal, Vieria ,anelka, brady,stapleton,overmars,petit, all shifted for quick buck.

  25. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Alfa, to me a genuine elite club is one that consistently challenges for trophies and is feared by the opposition as a well as being a club that other teams players would envy playing for.
    Our last signing aside do we get many Barc/Madrid players saying “My dream is to play for Arsenal”?
    Going back to that “fear factor” in the Invincibles era we WERE an elite club, but you can hardly say today many teams fear us as the game plan to defeat us is all too easy to execute.

  26. Edmond Dantes says:

    Lets look on the bright side. We did once have players like Cygan, Stepanovs etc. playing for the Arsenal. Now we have Fabianski.

  27. SPECTRUM says:

    The question we should be asking is ; “Why hasn’t Wenger ALREADY signed more players yet ?” Surely his scouts have targets they’ve been monitoring for a long time.They must have a good idea who they would want ? So why haven’t we swooped for some by now ? Their value and price will go up after the World Cup, so NOW is when we should be making our moves.But all we hear is “Arsenal linked to so and so”, e.t.c. e.t.c.
    When was the last time you recall us signing someone EARLY on and without LENGTHY negotiations ? We usually leave it till late or at the last minute.Then the cream of the crop are already snapped up by other clubs.
    On the Schwarzer possibility – he’s a top keeper, yes, but at 37, hardly one for the long term ! A younger one please !

  28. Alfa says:

    Chary, fair point. I always dreamed of playing for Arsenal but I suppose that doesn’t count :). I can see by your definition that Barça, Real and Man U count as elite. But how many really big players say they dream of playing for Inter or Bayern these days, yet they won the CL? I would say Liverpool used to be elite but obviously not now. What about Chelsea? Their best player (Ivanovic) said earlier this season that he dreams of playing for Real.

    Chelsea and Man U don’t fear us and that bugs me because they definitely used to. Don’t you think Barça did though, at least until half way through the second leg? That’s why they played out of their skins.

    We are not a superpower and maybe we could be. Another example might be in relation to managers (and I don’t want AW out, just speculating). When the time comes to chose our next manager, will we be linked with Mourinho/Capello/Guardiola etc? Or will we find an ‘up and coming’ manager or someone with ‘potential’, which is after all what Arsene was?

  29. Alfa says:

    Spectrum, I think we are all sceptical about the likely number of signings but David Villa aside, has anyone announced any big signings yet?

  30. Edmond Dantes says:

    Our next manager will probably be someone called Poindexter. I won’t be surprised. One can imagine the headlines then.

  31. Alfa says:

    Edmond

    You mean Grant Poindexter, reserve team coach in the MLS League 2? His statistics are amazing. Fluent in Croatian. Adebayor has said ‘it is my dream to play for good ole GP’.

    Good to have you posting here again.

  32. Edmond Dantes says:

    How could I leave out Silvestre?

    Anyway Arsene will probably bring in a player on the final day of the transfer window. A bargain buy. The same player that was linked to Blackpool. Another in the Silvestre mould Im guessing.

    Whenever a world-class player is linked to Arsenal its probably best to dismiss the thought immediately. Because such a transfer will never come to pass.

    Initially, Chamakh was linked to West Ham. Are we competing with West Ham? Thats a rhetorical question but Im not even going to answer it. We could not even cough up the extra dough needed to land him earlier. He could have helped in the run-in.
    We just dont seem to go for the same players that Chelsea, Manure, Barca or Madrid are interested in.

  33. Edmond Dantes says:

    Its my first time here Alfa I think. I sometimes post on Avenell Road. I was banned from Le Grove for no good reason. But Im glad to post here.

  34. Edmond Dantes says:

    Alfa. Nice bit on G. Poindexter for those who dont know him. The next “Arsene who” it seems.

  35. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes Alfa, I agree that Barca feared us in that we could(injuries/effort levels permitting) have played them at their own game, yet in the Premier League we are not feared because of our perceived physical weakness. Of course allied to referees willingness to favour so-called “committed” play over flair we are never going to prosper with a surfeit of smallish youngsters in midfield. The lack of on pitch leaders also makes opposition think our heads will drop with early goals scored and a lack of concentration will make us squander leads.
    Maybe I’m using nostalgia to over play my argument but think of the teams who would line up against us in the tunnel at Highbury and feel beaten before they took to the field looking sideways at the likes of Paddy,Manu, DB10, Sol and Monkey Man(Keown)?
    We still had one of our departees “dream” of playing for AC fairly recently and Reyes made it quite clear his love for Real pretty early on in his time here.

    Raspers, is it only Saturday’s you play, and if so when do you start to play? I can’t leave home till 12.30pm and I think you said your games are about an hour from me.

  36. Flint McCullough says:

    Interesting post Dandan.

    I don’t think we were in any sort of position to kick on from the Invincibles. The team had peaked from 2002-2004 & was clearly deteriorating after the kicking at OT. Time had taken its toll, money was tighter because of the stadium & Chelsea were distorting the transfer market, so it was not feasible to get like for like replacements for PV4, DB10 or Le Bob etc.

    So to still remain as competitive as we have been has been remarkable. Normally when you have to virtually start again you would be looking at mid table at best.

    I liken our current position to that of 1969 & 1988, developing sides not quite there but with much more to come. The difference is that our current team is much more talented but they are weighed down by the sheer unrealistic expectancy that abounds.

    This constant slagging off of the board & AW irritates me. The board have no ambition yet in 13 years we have risen in terms of stature from top 6 in England to top 6 in World football, with a magnificent new stadium that is about to now make us competitive in the transfer market in a sustainable way.

    Many of the people on this blog appear to be of my vintage so surely most of them will realise that we are still “pigs in shite”, despite these trophy-less years.

    The GG generation is the 1 that should have kicked on but didn’t. We did buy Alan Ball & Peter Marinello for shed loads of money after 70/71 but that was an ageing team, who had 2/3 seasons of sunshine but lost that little bit extra somehow.

    By the way Spectrum I don’t think that players are bought or sold in a supermarket, it is a little bit more complicated than that. Still early days.

  37. Alfa says:

    Edmond, I think maybe we had a bit of dialogue on Avenell Road. I’ve never posted on the Le Grove.

    Interesting about Chamakh and West Ham, I didn’t know that. Now that we have got him, West Ham are going after TH14, offering a 2 year deal, so perhaps they believe they are competing with us, at least.

  38. goonergerry says:

    AW is getting far too much criticism for decisions that are made by the Board at Arsenal. The Board tells us they have a wonderful financial model – so why do they decide to spend 100m income from capital sales and the remainder from the sale of players entirely on reducing the debt this year- and spend how much of that on the team? Zilch. That was not a decision made by Arsene.
    The Arsenal Board clearly do not prioritise investment in the team. There is a balance necessary between managing debt and investment in the team and this Board have not found it. What I do know is that there are going to be a lot of unhappy people at Arsenal when Cesc goes- and especially when he is replaced by teenagers and the money from the transfer goes to reduce the debt again.
    The trouble with the Arsenal Board is that there are not enough football people on the Board.

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi goonerg,

    I have frequently expounded the theory that AW has been a fall guy for the Board, but I am also critical of the Arsenal PR machine that seems to treat supporters like idiots a lot of the time.

  40. Alfa says:

    Goonerg, I think it is pretty clear that we were going through a much tougher time financially over the last few years than the board let on, and AW took most of the heat for it, although to be fair operating at low cost, developing youth etc. suits his style as well. And you could make a good case for saying that the board were right given that we are still Top 3 here and Top 6 in Europe. More to the point from my point of view we play great football in the right way which it is important to me, as important as winning cups.

    Rasp, I think the PR machine treats us like the audience rather than supporters or even members of the club, which amounts to the same thing as idiots a lot of the time. How else can you explain that traditional Arsenal favourite of times gone by, The Wonder of You, sung by someone who never even visited England but no doubt dreamed of one day playing for Arsenal.

  41. SPECTRUM says:

    Alfa – No, not many have made big signings yet.But our position is especially URGENT, for reasons we all know.And consequently, Wenger needs to pull his finger out, and get in EARLY before other (more ambitious) clubs beat us to them ! Otherwise we’ll end up with the crumbs. That was the point I was trying to make.

  42. andy says:

    The sad truth about a football club is its a monopoly. The fans can moan,shout,protest, call for a fall-guys head anything they like but they cant affect the board. What are we going to do stop supporting The Arsenal. No. Arsenal til we die and the board know it.

  43. Alfa says:

    Spectrum, I see your point. I still think most players in demand will wait for as long as possible before committing but like you and many others I think we will not be getting a big signing this season. It would be nice to hear some positive news earlier.

  44. Alfa says:

    Andy

    I think what you say is true but on the other hand there are casual supporters, committed supporters and people prepared/able to pay to watch the matches, and they aren’t all the same. If the board really mess up with players etc., plenty of people who pay to watch now will stop – Highbury wasn’t always full during various periods of time as many on here will remember.

    Already they are having some trouble selling Club level season tickets. The board will worry a lot more about that.

  45. Rasputin says:

    Alfa/Spectrum,

    We haven’t been seriously linked to the signing of any new player apart from Chamakh. We haven’t had a ‘surprise signing’ for many years. This year will have to buck that trend or the portents are that we’ll end up with no-one.

  46. andy says:

    True Alfa I’ve finished ranting now. On the signings thing though I dont actually want a ‘big’ signing. I’m not sure the big players truly suit us. I just want 3 quality experienced players.

  47. andy says:

    I was reading that Green is as good as ours and will sign after the wc. What dya reckon, any truth to it ?

  48. London says:

    The biggest signing we can make this summer is Cesc Fabrégas.

    Hi Alfa,

    Hope you are well, I have enjoyed reading your comments today, you really have got the hang of this and what’s more I agree with all you say…..well, almost the selling club thing grates but that is probably because it is used by many as a slur, I’m not sure if you mean that but hey ho, I told you it was addictive. Lol

  49. London says:

    The new CB is Djourou

    The new DM is one of Eastman/Ramsey/Lansbury/Wilshire

    And the new attacker is Chamakh

    That’s your lot boys.

    Who do you think will win the world cup? Lol

  50. tommystout says:

    to me the biggest signing is a new GK… if we signed cesc for now, it will be same again next summer and so on. aslong as we get the correct money and are able to spend it on replacement(s) then i’ll be happy, though i wont be if we don’t get a new keeper.

  51. tommystout says:

    i’d take green, andy… though as we keep saying they will more than likely go for a veteran like schwartzer so as not to inhibit chezzer

  52. andy says:

    Think ur right London. Djourou will be ‘like a new signing’ keeping Cesc will be ‘like a huge new signing’ Chamakh is done but i think we will get Green…..

    But I hope for Melo, Green and Upson and I’M GONA SAY IT EVERY DAY TILL IT COMES TRUE.

  53. Rasputin says:

    I’d be delighted to get Green – back to the good ol’ days when we had England’s No.1

  54. Rasputin says:

    Bugger!! London’s outdoing me in the realism/pessimism department :lol:

  55. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon folks – another fine post Dandan.

    Wenger is a genius held back by his own stubbornness but in the end if most coaches were as pragmatic as him, the world of football would be a far better place.

  56. tommystout says:

    hart may be englands no.1 tonight, and if he makes it his own it could be interesting to see what happens at eastlands with him and shay!

  57. charybdis1966 says:

    Don’t forget Andy, Djourou is a multiple new signing because each time he comes back from injury(about 3-6 times a season) he’ll be “like a new signing” – bargain

  58. andy says:

    haha like it chary

  59. irishgunner says:

    We have been linked with Mbia of Marseille and Cameroon – he can play as either CB or DM but rathers DM.

    Oddly he wants to play DM for Cameroon but has been slotted into CB while Song plays DM for us and also wants to play DM for Cameroon – of course a starting birth for Cameroon goes to the terrible Rigobert Song!! And Cameroon wonder why they underachieved for so long.

  60. dandan says:

    Afternoon all.
    I appear to have touched your pessimists button, have you guys no faith, if you had recruitment agency telling you that two firms want you and if you just hang on a bit, he will get you a better deal what would you do.
    IMHO Sir Arsene will sign a couple more but it ain’t that straightforward.

  61. irishgunner says:

    Dandan I for one have optimism coming out my ears – much to my detriment at the end of every season.

    Next season I have us down for the treble – oh yeah :D

  62. charybdis1966 says:

    Ah, the wide-eyed optimism and innocence of youth, Maire.

  63. irishgunner says:

    Ha ha or the never ending delusion of the Irish :lol:

  64. Big Raddy says:

    IMO AW will make another 2 signings before the season starts.

    I agree with London that Cesc staying is this summer’s priority, followed by the GK.

    I would keep Fabianski becausse there is a decent GK in there, and sell the Clown. Primarily because at his age Almunia has little scope for improvment, and Fab at 25 will get better.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    DanDan. Another fine read.

    One sees the whole spectrum of life’s viewpoints on the blogs, from cynicism to optimism.

    The hard part is sorting the wheat from the chaff

  66. irishgunner says:

    But Almunia would be far better back up IMO – let’s face it, if we buy a keeper the chances are very high that he’ll get injured because we’re Arsenal, and I’d much prefer to see Almunia come on as opposed to Fabianski – he should go out on loan.

    Almunia won’t improve but he is a good sub keeper to have IMO.

  67. charybdis1966 says:

    LOL, I’ve never had the Irish down as delusional, however my avatar alter-ego did say “The Irish are a witless bunch”, but I didn’t.
    Radders, completely agree that keeping Cesc, new goalie and new centre back are the top 3 priorities and in that order.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    We disagree Irish. Both GK’s are fine shot stoppers and both have problems commanding their areas. Fab because he has little confidence due to his calamitous night at Porto, and Almunia because he is not a strong enough character. I believe Fab is the better GK at present.

    My point is that Fab can learn. But it has to be as a back-up.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I see a DM come CB being the next signing. Though I would prefer an out and out beast of a CB like Samuel or Lucio.

  70. irishgunner says:

    Keeping players has sadly become our new priority…

    BR – We do disagree ha ha if I’d to pick I’d keep Almunia because of his experience. There is a good chance that perhaps Fabianski is an average keeper who will never learn. Almunia is slightly less error prone.

  71. irishgunner says:

    DM come CB = Mbia

  72. irishgunner says:

    Oooh the England match is on ITV – I shall watch it woohoo is Carlos Vela-ela-ela-la-la playing??

  73. Big Raddy says:

    No surprise there Irish :-)

  74. irishgunner says:

    Lets put it this way: When Almunia plays I watch with my eyes hidden behind one hand, when Fabianski plays I watch with my eyes hidden behind both hands, a cushion and the couch…

  75. charybdis1966 says:

    Maire, is that geezer called “Stephanie”? Sounds possible to me as Wenger does like a utility player. I’ve seen the Hangeland rumours have re surfaced on other blogs.

  76. irishgunner says:

    Now this is thinking with your head:

  77. irishgunner says:

    Yep Chary that’s the one – hope he’s less feminine and more muscle than his name suggests ha ha

    Fun Fact: Dennis Bergkamp’s father wanted to christen him “Denis” after Denis Law but Dutch law stated it was too akin to “Denise” and too feminine and he had to add the second “n”

  78. charybdis1966 says:

    At least he’s a big ‘un, as far as I recall, Maire. The other 2 french african midfielders we were linked with are midgets, Blaise Matuidi and Mr Appiah.
    Less of a fun fact about DB10 – he grew up a fan of the Spuds, but he’s still god though.

  79. irishgunner says:

    I overlook certain facts about my heroes Chary – DB10 was and is The Man.

    Midgets aren’t all bad as long as they get stuck in, we just need a bulldog in midfield.

  80. charybdis1966 says:

    Incidentally, my renewal date deadline, as specified by my renewal pack CD, is the 8th of June; I think I’ll just wait till later to see who we’ve signed before then. Mind you isn’t June the 9th the first date we can officially register new players? If so, spooky eh? Or part of the conspiracy theory…

  81. Rasp says:

    Cripes, AA is good with his head! maybe Arsene wasn’t so mad to play him up fron on his own :roll:

  82. charybdis1966 says:

    True, tough midgets will do also, but we do need some height for set piece defence or attack – Diaby has the height but not the discipline or intelligence, IMHO.

  83. irishgunner says:

    It seems that madman that pretends to be a manager for France is going to make Diaby is midfield lynchpin at the World Cup – Will it be mean of me to sit back and laugh as it all falls apart for him??? Nope don’t think so :lol:

    Blanc will be a good manager for them though – he’ll actually use the talent at his disposal.

  84. irishgunner says:

    *Laughing at Domenech not any of the fine French men that ply their trade for the mighty Arsenal of course.

  85. Big Raddy says:

    I have just read that Barca are interested in signing Emmanuel Eboue as back up to Dani Alves !!

    Sell Sell Sell

  86. irishgunner says:

    We’ve no cover at RB then though.

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Do I detect a touch of bitterness Irish?

    & Dommmenech is clearly a quality manager. He prefers Diaby at DM to Flamini

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Denilson? Just joking.

    Of course EE isn’t going to Spain, it is another non-story

  89. irishgunner says:

    Yes, bitterness because Domenech has a job in this time of global recession.

    Bitterness is still talking about a handball 14 years on. If in 2023 I’m still mad then call me bitter.

  90. irishgunner says:

    Is Silvestre’s contract up or what’s happening with him? There seems to be no mention of him going back to France to end his career which I thought would happen.

  91. andy says:

    Perhaps he’s going to be our “experienced player” signing !! haha

  92. irishgunner says:

    LOL that’ll be Campbell

  93. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all.

    The spanish are great at football, tennis, motor racing, but Internet forget it. I am tearing my hair out, as I have such a slow connection, which is getting slower by the minute.

    dandan, great post and i have read all the comments, and must say it has been one of the best debates on here for a long time. “pigs in shite” is a new one on me.

  94. kelsey says:

    Is there any news about, as I have been playing a match most of the day, and as I said my internet keeps going down.

  95. charybdis1966 says:

    Well Kelsey, the Nigerian who was rumoured to have been about to buy a 16% stake in AFC has come out and denied it flatly – although he did admit t being a big fan of the Arsenal.
    Additionally Rob Green has been rumoured to be our replacement number 1, and there are a few other unsubstantiated transfer rumours: Sakho, Hangeland and Mertesacker.

  96. irishgunner says:

    No news Kelsey apart from Barca “faxing” through a 30million offer for Cesc :roll: Merida has officially signed a 5 year deal at Atl.Madrid and the Nigerian isn’t buying Lady Nina’s shares.

  97. irishgunner says:

    No-body bit on my Maradona jibe :(

  98. charybdis1966 says:

    “Faxing” through an offer, what a bunch of muppets barca are. Why don’t they just use a telex if they want to act like they’re in the 1980’s?
    BTW, how’s the Madrista’s Barca rant getting on, will we get to see it?

  99. irishgunner says:

    I think that might be made up Chary ha ha although Barca act like such a shower of *&^$%£” that it’d be not overly surprising.

    He’s finishing it as we speak so it can go up tomorrow if there is nothing or indeed whenever a day is free.

  100. charybdis1966 says:

    Good stuff Maire – I hope your mate does a good rant, that’ll bring the Barca glory hunters out in force I reckon.
    Msaybe a few Spuds might join in, you know the ones who bought the Barca shirts for one night in May 2006.

  101. kelsey says:

    It that for real a faxed bid for cesc. Rob Green wouldn’t be my choice, christ he’s English :)

  102. irishgunner says:

    Ha ha maybe – we’ll see how it goes.

  103. kelsey says:

    I know this is old news, but I can’t believe the arrogance of mourinho,staying in madrid and the team flew home to celebrate in Italy. At least he could have conducted himself better, even if it is a done deal at 10 million a year for him. Nice work if you can get it.

  104. irishgunner says:

    Its Mourinho Kelsey – least this time he didn’t throw his winner’s medal into the crowd… he always wants to be bigger than the club.

  105. kelsey says:

    Is carlos playing tonight, irish ?

  106. irishgunner says:

    Not sure Kelsey but I presume he would be if he is fit. He and Theo are the only reason I’m watching so I hope at least one of them get some time.

  107. kelsey says:

    I found this site, which is new to me, what do you think.

    http://www.ifotbol.com/

  108. kelsey says:

    I hope if they both play they don’t run into each other ;)

  109. irishgunner says:

    Haven’t seen the site before just have a peruse…

  110. Big Raddy says:

    The estimated cost of taking Mourinho to Real is €54m !! An absolutely insane amount of money for a manger and his back-up team.

    But ….. if Real go on to win the CL it would be worth it, and the little egoist has a fantastic record.

  111. Rasputin says:

    Hold that thought Raddy but don’t expand on it too much or you’ll ruin my post for tomorrow.

  112. kelsey says:

    Especially as the country is skint, with 22% unemployment and seriously in debt to the E.U.

  113. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – you still here?

  114. irishgunner says:

    I’ve put the Madrista’s post into drafts Rasp – it may be a tad long but I didn’t want to edit any of it. No harm in a bit long post :D

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Another chance to see Afobe in action for the England U17’s.

    He is a big star in the making. However, we have seen many young kids fail to reach their potential. and we can just hope he continues his development at AFC, having turned down Barca

  116. Rasp says:

    Hi irish,

    I’m gonna let peaches be the editor and decide which post should go first. Mine followed on from the theme of dandan’s but I’m quite happy to let the Madrista’s go first as I shan’t be around tomorrow.

  117. Rasp says:

    I’ve just read the Madrista’s article and that is the one we should publish tomorrow.

  118. dandan says:

    Rasp I have got my line back for a second, have been on to india with BT for the last couple of hours,keep losing connection
    Sent you an email dont know if you got it, thought you could tuck that away for when you are short one day.

  119. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, got it …..

  120. Rasp says:

    After watching England’s lacklustre performance last night, I am still happy to sign Rob Green, but Joe Hart is a man mountain, 6ft 5in and built like a brick outhouse – you wouldn’t get many strikers knocking him out of the way. I just hope he’s coming near to the end of his contract so that citeh can’t be choosy who they sell him to – he’s gotta be worth £10-15m to us.

  121. irishgunner says:

    Morning all…

    Was an interesting game last night. Mexico looked more like a team going forward but were shocking at the back. Surprised Vela didn’t try to chip his chance over Green.

  122. Rasp says:

    Morning irish,

    Dos Santos was the best player on the pitch IMO – what a shame he’s a spud. I assume he’s on loan abroad for the same reason we had to loan out Vela. Totnum are going to have riches in their midfield/attack if O’Hara and Dos Santos return for next season.

  123. irishgunner says:

    The Spuds have signed Sandro too – so where all their midfield players will go I don’t know.

    Do you think Theo did enough? He did everything right by getting past his man but then messed up the finish on most occasions – he did whip in one good ball but really needs to cop on in the final third.

  124. Rasp says:

    I think Capello will take Theo to the WC but as the commentator said ‘it was a typical Theo performance’ – he was OK but could have been so much better. He needs to get his head up when he crosses and sometimes be more selfish and get into the box and have a shot. Aaron Lennon looked better in his ‘cameo’ appearance at the end.

  125. Rasp says:

    Can you believe it – Alex Pleb has warned Cesc not to got to Barca …. or another way of putting it would be “don’t be as big a wanker as I was “

  126. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I thought Theo was nervous, trying not to do anything wrong,or to clever, and as irish said he did whip in a telling cross.I think he lacks confidence still, that first half run when he passed to the offside Rooney, maybe a more confident Theo would have gone alone and had a shot.he is still getting disposessed quite easily.

    As to Carlos, he had two good opportunities, the second he could have done better, but he is a tad ring rusty.

  127. irishgunner says:

    Adam Johnson gave a good little cameo when he came on – might be too little too late for him though.

  128. London says:

    Morning all

    I was talking to a spud on Sunday and he was telling me incredulously that they have sixteen midfielders on their books.

  129. kelsey says:

    Let’s spare a thought for Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair.

    Arriving in a hotel in Dublin , he went to the bar and asked for a pint of Guinness.

    The barman nodded and said “that will be one Euro please, Mr. O’Leary” to which Michael replied “that’s a very competitive price” and handed over his money.

    “Will you be wanting a glass with your Guinness, sir?” enquired the barman. :)

  130. Rasp says:

    Does no-one else share my enthusiasm for Joe Hart? He’d eat Almunia for breakfast.

  131. Rasp says:

    In keeping with my outrageous claims of late :) I think there is now a good chance we will sign Gary Cahill.

  132. irishgunner says:

    If one could drink it from the tap then the answer would be “No, no glass please” :)

    I get bored of people in general moaning about Ryanair – it once cost me €5 to get to London – it costs me more to get the bus from my home to Limerick City. So he wants to charge a euro to use the toilets – oooh its why we’re all in recession :roll: they are all short flights, sort your bladders out people!!!

    END OF RANT :D

  133. London says:

    I reckon everyone shares your enthusiasm for Joe Hart but sadly City share it the most.

  134. irishgunner says:

    Now I’m not one for rumours BUT if we got £80million for Cesc I’d be a happy camper of course that is dependent on us buying a ready made replacement, a CB and a goalkeeper from that money.

  135. irishgunner says:

    How much is a red membership these days? Is it like the £30 mark?

  136. London says:

    I would be heart broken to see him go regardless of the amount of money we got for him; he is one of the most motivating reasons I go to every game at the Emirates.

  137. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Maire, yeah the standard red membership is thirty squid, but 28 if you pay by diecrt debit.

  138. More news today…

    General Information on Nuvigil and Modalert I think many of us have already experienced conditions of periodic sleepiness during the day……

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