Jagielka, Cahill and Hart ….. a glimpse of what might have been? – written by Rasp

Written by Rasp

After Dawson’s unfortunate injury (ahheerrmm) playing against Bulgaria last Friday, we saw the defensive triangle of English players that many had wished we could have signed this summer – and I thought they looked pretty good, but then again, they weren’t up against the most testing of opposition.

Of course the idea of us signing any of those players was just unsubstantiated speculation fuelled by a national press expert at feeding the paranoia of football fans. There is no concrete evidence that these players were available, willing to move or even the subject of interest from Arsenal.

The likelihood is that all three will all play against Switzerland tonight, so we will get a second chance to assess them. Are they any better than our trio of Vermaelen, Koscielny and Allmunia?

Vermaelen and Jagielka are very similar in height and stature. Jagielka has had two very good seasons at Everton and looks comfortable in international football. He’s strong and brave, good in the air, reads the game well, experienced (he’s 28) reasonably quick and dependable – all of which applies equally to Vermaelen, who at 24 is just coming into his peak. TV has captained club and country and scores more goals than the Evertonian, so although Jagielka is a good player, all in all,  I’m very happy to have our future captain (?) at the Arsenal.

Cahill and Koscielny are physically quite different. Cahill is 6ft 2in and powerfully built. He too is very good in the air and also looked the part when he came on for England. Both are developing their game at the age of 24 and can only improve. Cahill looks a reasonable footballer, but I’d say Kozzer has the edge in that department. It will take time for Koscielny to settle into the English game but he has huge potential. I thought he was better than TV against Liverpool but was outmuscled too easily by Diouf against Blackburn. If LK can develop into a ‘TV clone’, we will have an excellent CB pairing. He is more capable of playing wengerball than Cahill and is said to be working on his strength for the physical challenges that lie ahead.

Joe Hart can do no wrong at the moment and on current form, is probably the best keeper in the Premier League. It’s too easy jump on the bandwagon and draw unflattering comparisons between Hart and Almunia, – so I’m just going to list a couple of elements of Hart’s game that make him such a good keeper. He is confident. He has very strong wrists so when he makes contact with the ball it generally flies out of the danger area. His distribution is good and he communicates well with his defence. I expect him to be England’s number one for many years.

Almunia has my full support and has made an excellent start to the season. It is obvious that his confidence is fragile, but the more decent performances he can deliver, the more assured he will become. He should take strength from his team-mates, Eboue and Bendtner, who defied their critics and won their way back into the hearts of the fans.  The resolve of the defence and willingness of all the outfield players to ‘defend as a unit’ will also play a part in Almunia’s fate. Of course he will make mistakes – all keepers do, what is more important is how he reacts to setbacks. Arsène’s policy will be to give his keeper total support and that’s the way it should be.

We will know by Christmas whether the affable Spaniard has risen to the challenge. I would suggest that he is in the last chance saloon and if his form slips, we may yet sign another keeper in the January window.

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99 Responses to Jagielka, Cahill and Hart ….. a glimpse of what might have been? – written by Rasp

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post RAsp.

    I believe the reason AW signed Kos and not Cahill was financial. Surely it would have been better to sign a player with PL experience and one who is so good in the air. However, Cahill would have been twice the price of Koscielny, and as we know, our manager is a parsimonious trader.

    Perhaps Cahill has some behind the scenes deal with MU who must need a new CB soon, and the man refused to come South. We cannot know, but to me Cahill was the more prudent signing.

  2. Fishy says:

    Of course the idea of us signing any of those players was just unsubstantiated speculation fuelled by a national press expert at feeding the paranoia of football fans. There is no concrete evidence that these players were available, willing to move or even the subject of interest from Arsenal.

    So why bother with your article then?

  3. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy,

    Cahill is impressive in the same way that Hart is impressive – they’re big strong, no nonsense players. I agree with the financial aspect, but also I have a feeling that Arsène prefers his players to be a ‘slim athlete’ as opposed to a ‘brick outhouse’, maybe because they potentially have greater stamina?

  4. Rasp says:

    Hi Fishy,

    I bothered, because a lot of supporters bothered to show their wish to sign these players by posting comments on this blog to that effect. A more salient question would be, why did you bother?

  5. Big Raddy says:

    I would say that Song is a brick outhouse and a man I would avoid in a dark alley!!

    So too is Squillaci …..

  6. 26may1989 says:

    Morning Rasp, thanks for that. I’ll be the first to recycle Stewart Robson’s comments on Jagielka after the Bulgaria game: “I’ve been reading lots of reports about Jagielka being a really good player but I watched him all night and he made some really poor decisions defensively, in terms of where he should be, trying to step up at the wrong time.” I quite like Jags but Robson’s comments (as ever) have the ring of truth about them. (As an aside, when will one of the big broadcasters pick up on Robson, he’s a far better analyst than almost all of the current pundits?) On balance, I’m happy we didn’t sign Jagielka.

    I agree with Raddy re Cahill though, I think there’s more to his game than the traditional “Take the ball or take the man” lump. Cahill will move to a big club some time soon and when he does, I think he will become a very important player. I also think he’d fit in at our place. For all the reasons Raddy cited, Cahill would also be less of a gamble than Koscielny, who clearly has talent but who will of course need time to develop.

  7. 26may1989 says:

    Oh dear Fishy, missing the point there aren’t you?

  8. Mojo says:

    Absolutely agree with all you say. Let’s get behind Manuel and give him all the support ANY Arsenal player deserves….except Adebayor when he was at Arsenal because once a c…t always a c…t…! I’m just kidding! Ade did some wonderful things for Us. Will never forget that bycycle kick in the CL. Magic!

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning 26m,

    I was impressed with the way Cahill came on for England, it was an example of a young player seizing his opportunity. I thought he looked better than Dawson. If I had my way, Lampard, Terry and Ferdinand would not play for England again.

  10. kisekka says:

    whether we like or not, those are the keeper we have per now. So it would be wise to give them ful support.

    In wenger we trust.

  11. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree Rasp – it’s time to move the England squad on, and begin a building process with an eye on the 2014 World Cup by focusing the squad on players who are up to 26 y.o. If that means endangering qualification for or moderate success at the 2012 Euros, so be it. The trouble is our footballing culture, fuelled by the tabs, is so short-sighted, it will always pay for the coach to play safe and pick the likes of Terry and Lampard even though they have a very limited shelf-life now.

    I’m not filled with confidence at Capello’s decisions last week, picking a squad and especially a starting line-up, that were essentially the same as in South Africa. I also don’t really trust Pearce to run the U21s to best effect, in particular to get the best out of our new generation. Beating Portugal away was a great result but, for example, I don’t see how JET is passed over in favour of the likes of Muamba, Danny Rose, Jordan Henderson and Jack Cork.

    There are some excellent young English players, especially at Arsenal, Villa, United, Chelsea, Spurs and City, I just wonder whether their potential at international level will be realised under the current regime.

  12. tommystout says:

    with you on that one rasp, i like the shape of this latest england team, just get gibbsy in for cole and lose the chavs for good!
    anyway here to talk about arsenal, and im happy with our defense, they are talking the talk about the need for clean sheets and less focus on attack, now lets see how they walk the walk.
    Funny i thought that about almunia, eboue came back from the brink as did super nik, now its almunias turn, i hope he can step up but GK is a different kettle of fish, more prone to confidence issues as their errors are usually more costly than those of outfielders.
    Anyway i hope he does well, but i feel that we will probably buy in January. Joe Hart looks a class act, and when i see him in goal i only expect him to be beaten by something special – this is how your GK should be – a daunting last line of defense.
    i hope that we will soon have one but like i said b4 i think this will come in Jan.

  13. Rasp says:

    Morning tommy,

    This concept of players ‘winning over the fans’ is an interesting one. I have high hopes for Ramsey and he has never been anything but a crowd favourite, but it will be interesting to see how Denilson (the forgotten man!) is received when he returns. We have much greater strength in midfield now, so maybe he will get a chance to play in his favoured position rather than being thrown in at the deep end.

  14. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Rapsers, I wish I could forget Denilson !

  15. fitz124 says:

    I think it’s too easy to say get rid of Terry. Ferdinand, Lampard etc. The likes of Hart, Cahill and Jagielka are being judged on a friendly against Hungary and in Cahill’s case a cameo appearance in a stroll against a poor Bulgaria team. Tonight will be an interesting test of their mettle, away from home against a player like Frei who has the experience to drag them out of position and find the net. I don’t think Cahill will start but he has definite potential. From what I’ve seen of Koscielny he looks another good centre back signing and Vermaelen is class. But Hart V Almunia? No question Hart would be a better player for Arsenal

  16. dandan says:

    Morning all good talking points Rasp, 26 Re your assessment of Stuart Robson, he could have written this as a contribution to this post.

    However Robson, who played for Arsenal from 1981-86, reckons Almunia is superior to any of the potential transfer targets being lined up.

    “I don’t see that Schwarzer, the player that every body’s talking about, is a better goalkeeper than Almunia,” Robson told Sky Sports News.

    “I think Almunia’s a better goalkeeper than Schwarzer.

    “Shay Given is a very good shot-stopper, but most of the criticism of Arsenal’s goalkeepers is that they don’t come for crosses or haven’t been dominant in the air.

    “Shay Given’s not that goalkeeper. He’s a very good goalkeeper, we all know that, but he’s more of a shot-stopper than someone who’s going to dominate his penalty area.”

    Promising
    Wenger has several promising young goalkeepers in his squad already, including 25-year-old £ukasz Fabiañski, 22-year-old Vito Mannone and 20-year-old Wojciech Szczêsny.

    But Robson says Almunia is still the best of the bunch.

    “I think Arsenal can win the Premier League with Almunia in goal,” Robson continued.

    “He gets a lot of criticism, but I think he’s unfairly treated. He was understudy to Jens Lehmann and had to wait a long time, but I don’t think he’s as bad as many Arsenal supporters are making out.

    “I’m not sure Fabianski’s good enough. People tell me he’s going to be a great goalkeeper, but he’s made so many mistakes in his short career at Arsenal that it will be very difficult to win the fans back over and win the press back over.

    “Mannone had a good spell last year and saved Arsenal on a couple of occasions. He played brilliantly against Fulham, but he did make two high-profile mistakes.

    “One against Birmingham, which didn’t cost Arsenal, and one when Arsenal were 2-0 up against West Ham and he palmed a free-kick back into the path of Carlton Cole. It cost Arsenal two points on that occasion. He’s probably got a bit to do. I don’t think he’ll play too many games for Arsenal.

    “I still think Almunia is by far and away the best keeper Arsenal have got on their books.

    Strategic
    Robson did suggest that Alumina needed a bit more protection from the Arsenal defence.

    He says that Arsenal have strategic deficiencies when it comes to defending long balls and set plays – and he urged Wenger to rectify those problems.

    Robson said: “I still think Arsenal can win the league, but they need to improve a couple of defensive frailties that they’ve got.

    “One is when balls get played over the top and they play too high an offside line – and the other is when they’re defending set plays.

    “That’s where they’ve let goals in over the last three or four years and I see in pre-season that they’re still doing those same things.

    “It happened again against Liverpool. There were a couple of situations in the first half where they tried to play too high an offside line, there was no pressure on the ball and the ball got played in and one ball could beat the whole of the back four.

    “It’s not just about buying players; you have to have a defensive strategy. Arsene Wenger has got a philosophy of how they play. They play good football, they can open up teams and they’re as good as Spain or as Barcelona football-wise.

    “But they’re not as good as those teams defensively because they have a strategy about pressing the ball and showing teams out wide when they need to.

    “I can’t see where that’s happening at Arsenal.”

    Lets hope AW has learned the lessons, our next match will be a good test, Bolton under Owen Coyle have added a fair bit of football to the up and at em fat Sam philosophy although the still employ it at times. That Little Jack was a key player for them last term shows how they are trying to move away from the long ball stuff. The combination of attacking on the ground football and high balls into the area will test our new defenses togetherness and the lack of discipline outlined by Robson.
    Mind you with Chamak so powerful in the air and Theo right on his game I would love to see some aerial stuff on the far post from Arsenal as in days of yore.as a change from the play it through the middle Cesc routine. Interesting days lie ahead I feel

  17. tommystout says:

    thanks for that DD it was a good read that i otherwise would have missed.

  18. Rasp says:

    Morning fitz124 and welcome,

    re: Hart v Almunia – you’ve stated what I implied! Now is not the time to criticise our own, but I agree with all you say.

  19. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan,

    Robson agrees with me that the team need to do more to defend to reduce the pressure on Almunia ;) Giving away silly free kicks in our own half and failing to track back are two areas where we could improve.

  20. 26may1989 says:

    That post isn’t long enough Dandan…………

    That’s another thing I like about Stewart Robson, he isn’t afraid to kick against prevailing views. And his assessment of the GK situation is well reasoned, even if we might have marginally different conclusions.

    Interesting to think that, after years of being at opposite ends of the style spectrum, Bolton and Arsenal could end up meeting in the middle, with both mixing stuff on the ground and in the air. But they still have that A1 tosser, Kevin Davies. (Yes, I know he’s good, but I hate him.)

    Davies or no Davies, I’m gagging for the Bolton game, not only will it be my first home match of the season, this wasteland of no club football does my head in. Still, we’ll then have seven games in little more than three weeks, culminating in the trip to The Bridge.

  21. tommystout says:

    what kinda game do you think coyle will be having bolton play this week rasp?

  22. tommystout says:

    why is the braga game listed as being ATVO?
    surely its on sky or itv?

  23. dandan says:

    Indeed Rasp I agree its a no brainer, if you don’t defend your keeper then he gets more shots on target to deal with and even if his success rate % stays the same more shots %wise = more goals.

  24. Rasp says:

    That’s a tough one tommy, he likes to play football but knows that won’t work so I think he may revert to the old Bolton.

  25. Arsenal Future Manager says:

    I always knew the only way England can ever win anything is to drop John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, n Frank Lampard, and make Steven Gerrard the permanent Captain.
    But on to Arsenal, even if they offered Joe Hart I would still want Almunia in goal because no matter how good Joe Hart is he hasn’t got that hunger that Almunia has got after not winning for so long u can tell the whole team is hungry for it even Vermaelen who just came knew we was so close last year so u already know he wants it, including Koscienly n Chamackh who said they follow the arsenal games while they were in france, and they fit in just well with the other players, so i would prefer Koscienly to Cahill n Vermaelen to Jagielka also Almunia to Joe Hart because of Almunia’s hunger and dedication to the team and also because we have Szchney, Mannone n Fabianski already.

  26. tommystout says:

    to be fair rasp, i think bolton will expect to be beaten and may play more openly to guage how far they have progresed under coyles management.
    or am i just wishful thinking. :-)

  27. Rasp says:

    tommy,

    It’s a dangerous scenario for Arsenal to go into a game expecting to win comfortably especially after an international break – I hope our lads are switched on.

  28. Davi says:

    I really think kos is the real deal. Defensively I think hes better than TV and hes very comfortable on the ball. His ability to spot danger quickly and the way he moves across the ground reminds me a lot of canavaro, but he needs time to adapt to the league and gain experience. I dont think he was really outmuscled against blackburn, he seemed to misjudge the situation and could have slid in to get the ball really. Theres no way he is weaker than diouff.
    I havent seen much of cahill recently, but jagielka is nothing more than an above-average premier league CB. He also missed a lot of last season, so it would be a big gamble for the sort of money they are asking. I dont think a side with title aspirations should be considering jagielka as a real CB option.
    Hart looks to be really great, but we were never going to get him. Szczesny will be just as good anyway imo.

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi Davi,

    You make some very good points. I share your optimism about Szczesny, but when do you think he will get his opportunity? If he is promoted above Fab2 and Mannone and plays in the CC, that rather leaves them out in the cold.

  30. pat says:

    Serve it up Manuel!!!

    Down here it kiwi land we call it a bit of “mongrel” which I think is a bit of what we need, and what we are actually starting to show this season. Not that the arsenal are going to start thugging it out but there seems to be a bit of steel in our players. Arse Fut Manager sums it up well – the hunger to win is there. Its kind of wierd but often its a great tackle that clatters the opponent over that gets a your team fired up and can sometimes help assert a bit of dominance in the game. My favourite moment of the Blackburn game was Wilshere scything Samba down (followed closely by Manuel telling Diouf to rack off) – maybe the boys are men now…

  31. Rasp says:

    :lol: pat

    Even Theo seems to have a bit more steel to him. All it needs now is for Arsène to headbutt Mark Hughes and our metamorphosis will be complete ;)

  32. JOEL says:

    Now that Cahill has been capped by England,his market value will only increase.I cannot understand why we didn’t buy him instead of Konscielny.It’s not that I believe that Konscielny is a bad player-I’m sure that in time he will prove his worth..But that’s just it!-He will undoubtedly improve over time but in the meanwhile he will make mistakes,as he did against Blackburn,which will cost us goals and ,inevitably,points.Cahill,on the other hand,is “Premiership Ready”.Coyle,was desperate to sign Wilshire on loan again and I’m sure that an agreement until January could have offset the Transfer Fee and given Wilshire the amount of 1st team game-time that he needs-and won’t get,initially,at Arsenal!If Wenger is happy to receive £16m for an aging Kolo Toure then he should be happy to pay a similar amount of money for an English Centre Back who hasn’t reached his prime and would be able to seemlessly fit into the Arsenal team.Unfortunately,we’ve missed out yet again and have also been left with an inept number one goalkeeper and his even more dreadful understudy.Whilst we all hope that we won’t be left to regret these decisions we all know,that Almunia,Flapianski and,probably,Koncielny will cost us points this Season!

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Joel. Of course they will cost us points. Just as every Arsenal player has and will. Kos’s mistake is highlighted by the resulting goal, but what about Chamakh ? The horrible miss when we were 5-0 against Blackpool could easily have come in a tight 1-1 at OT and cost us 2 points.

    The assumption that it is always the defence that “costs us points” is misleading.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    But I agree entirely with the Kolo point.

  35. dandan says:

    Joel unfortunately Cahill is priced for his Englishness and not his ability and as such is not worth the price being asked, particularly as we have more than enough home grown players and Koncielny is not in my opinion any worse a player than Cahill.
    He also has the advantage of understanding both English and French in a defence that has to learn to communicate quickly.

  36. Red Arse says:

    Nice Post Rasp, and an interesting angle on what were hot topics of conversation in the will we/won’t we speculation during the tfr window.

    I rather agree with Dandan. Cahill is an O.K. player but nothing more, and though I don’t really care about a player’s notional value, I think his value reflected his nationality before the squad HGP rules were revealed as a “farce”, as stated on this site previously.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi JOEL,

    None of us know how good Koscielny is, or will become, but if we were prepared to pay the price, I’d have taken Cahill over Squillaci because he is younger and bigger and I still believe that TV could be very effective as a DM.

  38. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    Now that is a good “ruther”. :-)

    Like you, I would ruther have taken Cahill than Squidgybum, because of the potential knock on effect for TV, as well as his age and physique.

    I vote for Rasp! :-)

  39. dandan says:

    Rasp I suspect Squillaci was brought in for his experience, to be brought on when we need to close the game down and marshal the defence which is why french speaking is important at the moment, he can slot in at the back, letting TV move into the holding role.
    We don’t need another Wigan fiasco, through defending to high, we do need a wise head at the back in these circumstances.

    By the way Little Jack is on the bench for the 21s

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi Red Arse ;)

    I agree with Raddy though really, he was probably already out of our price range before his England exposure boosted his value.

    We have identified (as in watched or had scouted) but not pursued some amazing players in the past – Ronaldinho and Ronaldo to name but two. I guess that is true of most of the big clubs. This Japanese fella looks really impressive, I assume his broken leg is not deemed to threaten his development.

  41. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    I suspect I rate Cahill more highly than you as a footballer. Like Raddy said earlier, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a £15m+ move to manu/chavs/citeh next summer.

  42. Rasp says:

    I haven’t seen enough of Squillaci to make a judgement and the reports are conflicting to say the least. He may well be as imposing physically as Cahill but I doubt his added experience in terms of age will stand him in better stead than Cahill who is used to playing in the Premiership.

  43. 26may1989 says:

    What’s interesting is how few centre backs there are around these days who are, without qualification, top-notch. For example, lots of people (me included) bang on about Chiellini, but he’s got more than a few errors to his name. Likewise Mertesacker, Puyol and Ramos. Vidic, Terry and Ferdinand all seem to be going off the boil, though Lucio has enjoyed a bit of a comeback. Pique and Maicon are probably as good as anyone right now, but they don’t fill me with awe the way TA, Baresi or Maldini did.

    For someone like Wenger, looking to buy CBs this summer, I can therefore see why he ended up going leftfield. Then again, that is the area of the market he likes to trade in.

  44. dandan says:

    I think that you are likely to see a downturn in transfer value by next summer, also players will refuse to move because new clubs wont match the salaries they are being paid.
    Football IMHO in for a shake up and players wont want to risk being marooned outside the squads of the likes of Arab city, no matter what salaries they are offered. So apart from Cesc and his move to Barca I see a period of stability at the better clubs as directors get real and rein in the shopaholic managers.

  45. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I remember Arsene forecasting the same thing about 4 or 5 years ago.

    He was wrong then and I think you might be as well. There will always be short sighted lemmings who will risk everything in the hope of achieving success.

    Chickens; home; and roost; spring to mind!

  46. Rasp says:

    You’re probably right dandan. I doubt a downturn in the transfer market would help us if we are seeking to buy since others would be looking to ‘shop’ as we do, but if we are bringing through young players, it would be good news.

  47. dandan says:

    As they say Red, one swallow doesn’t make a summer and the odd one might take a punt, but by and large I believe they wont, disaster is to close to so many of them.

    The only problem I see with that, is that our reserves might be seen as affordable targets, especially as so many now are classed as home grown and are going to struggle to get in the squad as the reach 21.

  48. Rasp says:

    dandan,

    That’s a very good point. I really hope we can find a way of keeping Kieran Gibbs happy. He is the future England LB and as we all know, not far behind Clichy in ability. He is ambitious and understandably frustrated at his lack of first team football.

  49. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I agree there is a potential outflow of our youngsters going to happen soon, for a variety of reasons.

    It would be a bugger if we lost a “good un”, but some of the others need to make a career elsewhere to free up the way for other more talented youngsters coming thru’.

  50. 26may1989 says:

    I’m sure we’ll hold onto Gibbs (and Clichy may be sold next summer), the issue Dandan raises is of more concern re midfielders: even assuming we do (as we all expect) sell Fabregas next summer, how are we going to keep Nasri, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin, Vela, Walcott, Emmanuel-Thomas, Lansbury, Coquelin etc happy? Nice problem to have and all that, and I love to see so many quality creative/attacking midfielders on the books, but there will be more to follow Merida out of the door in order to develop.

  51. dandan says:

    He is but the tip of the iceberg Rasp, Lansbury, Little Jack, Jet, Walcott, Eastmond, Watt and all those out on loan will want inclusion, which is another reason why an older CB acquisition made such good sense. Don’t forget your favourite candidate for right back Nordvelt is in that group and can play at centre back.
    The other side of course is it will provide even more revenue for the club and Arsene to use

  52. dandan says:

    Little Jack is comming on for the second half

  53. Rasp says:

    I am I right in thinking that if it ends nil nil, we’re out of the tourament dandan?

  54. dandan says:

    Depends on a whole heap of other results Rasp

  55. dandan says:

    1 0 Willshire assist, Wellbeck scores

  56. dandan says:

    2 0 bright?

  57. dandan says:

    3-0 commentator giving Pearce stick for not playing LJ from the start. asking why leave your best player out, says he changed the game.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    RvP out until earliest mid-Oct. which is AFC speak for Xmas.

    The purchase of Chamakh must have been with this in mind . – RvP is more wafer thin mint than chocolate. his fitness record is appalling.

    Still, it will give opportunities to Theo and Vela

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Hope Theo doesn’t start tonight in light of the RVP reports. On the other hand, it would be great to see him continue his run of good form.

  60. ArseChicago says:

    Just saw the link on espn.com about Van Persie being out til mid-October. I hope Wenger goes into this next offseason thinking about his transfer wish list as if Van Persie’s not even a part of the squad.

    So our captain really wishes he were elsewhere, our #1 striker is out for awhile, and our #1 GK is unwanted. If this team wins the Premiership, this would be Wenger’s most impressive feat.

  61. gunnern5 says:

    I just read that RVP will be out until mid October. On the bright side Nasri will start training in a few days.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    AC. You are tying into the media rubbish about Cesc. He says he is committed and I believe him.

    We have the weapons to win the title with or without RvP

  63. dandan says:

    Rasp have sent you an Email, you might enjoy

  64. London says:

    Bloody work, gets in the way of everything. Today is the first day since the site began that I haven’t read every single comment posted; although, I did read the head line post and very good it is, nice one Rasp.

    I liked that Tony Attwood comment, the last one yesterday, very interesting.

  65. Rasp says:

    Evening London,

    Theo played his part in Rooney’s goal and seems to have developed better close control when defenders are breathing down his neck…… oh shit …. and he’s off injured.

    Robin van Porcelain and Theo both out injured … welcome to a standard Arsenal season.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Unbelievable. Poor Theo – finally gets a decent pre-season and injured again.

    looked like a metacarsal….

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Maybe ankle ligaments. Nasty….

  68. Rasp says:

    Priceless :( we’ve got Bolton at the weekend, Theo is out injured and Cahill is nice and rested because for some ridiculous reason Capello favours Lescott. I am definitely not a Capello fan.

  69. Rasp says:

    Three games into the season and we’re down to 1 striker – and he’s only just joined the club. Kelsey was right in his prediction that we may be short of strikers.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Three strikers down after 3 games!

    2 strikers Rasp, assuming Vela comes home safely.

  71. Rasp says:

    Vela is very much 4th choice striker I’d say in Arsène’s eyes. He’s had opportunities to stake his claim and not impressed. We now need Chamakh to stay injury free for at least 6 weeks.

  72. Hi all – I’m just in – what happened to Theo :(

  73. Rasp says:

    Gone to hospital for an x-ray on his ankle peaches. It looked nasty on the slo-mo. I wonder if gunnerN5 has any stats relating to injuries – we must have come top of that league every year.

  74. Rasp says:

    I couldn’t give a toss about the England game now, its all been overshadowed by Theo’s injury. I can just hear the spud fans busily texting Arsenal supporters to gloat.

  75. 26may1989 says:

    Anyone remember the last time we sent players off for international breaks and they all came back without injury?

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Scotland losing at home to Liechtenstein?! Ha ha, something to warm the cockles!

  77. 26may1989 says:

    Shakiri, bloody hell!!! What a shot!

  78. Big Raddy says:

    Sign him up

  79. 26may1989 says:

    He’s like a Shaun Wright-Phillips with skill.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Let’s hope Cesc doesn’t get hurt playing for Spain tonight . They are 3 down at half time following a howler from Reina.

  81. London says:

    It looks like Cesc came through unscathed but only just the Argentineans tried their hardest to hurt him.

  82. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Good post again Rasp

    The message is there for all to see with the future of The Arsenal goalie position. The ball is definitely in Big Al’s court now. Shape up, or ship out…..more than likely to Tottenham Hotshit :lol:

  83. London says:

    Now I have read them all.

  84. London says:

    Is there any reliable news on Walcott?

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Is there a way we can have an injury column with the clubs estimates of a players return and their actual return?

    2 weeks for Theo – surely not.

    RVP- estimate was 3 weeks now we are told sometime mid-Oct.

    Nik – a smal groin strain – will we see him pre-Xmas?

  86. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy,

    I’ll look into it – the only problem is that we have to believe the definitive information is on arse.com and that is always slow to update. Maybe a link to that part fo the site would suffice.

    I can feel a post coming on about RvP (Robin van Porcelain) – is a 20 game a season player a luxury?

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Not yet London. The 2 week estimate comes from John Cross – the Gooner correspondent of the Mirror (?). At least he is a died in the wool Arsenal fan.

    Not a good night for some of the AFC boys. Cesc starting in the Spain side as they got trounced 4-1. I watched the game, Spain hit the woodwork 4 times and dominated possession. Reina was awful.

    Arshavin captained a defeated Russia team at home in Moscow.

    Though Diaby, Clichy and Sagna had a good win away to Bosnia.Not sure if Squillaci played

    Not sure if Rosicky played in the embarassing Czech home defeat to Lithuania-

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Write it Rasp. Can we get a season out of RvP and Theo combined? Are they worth the investment in time and money etc etc?

  89. London says:

    Apparently, Squidgy made his debut last night for the reserves against Blackburn in a 3-2 win I have read two write ups, the one on Arse.com and young guns and by both accounts it was a thrilling game.

  90. Rasp says:

    kelsey’s post about strikers a week ago turns out to be quite prophetic – the irony is that none of our players are out and out strikers in the ‘Defoe mould’. Incidentally, he reminded me a lot of his mate Ian Wright in his performance last night.

  91. London says:

    That is an interesting point: would an Ian Wright kind of striker suit our present game, the up side is that they will get the tap ins but the downside is that they add nothing to the collective defence, these two points also apply to Defoe for England, although, I suppose in his case there is no alternative….Hesky is not my idea of a credible alternative.

  92. Big Raddy says:

    Blasphemy Rasp.

    Go and wash your mouth out with soap and water (and your keyboard.)

    To suggest that the Sp*rsdwarf is in any way reminiscent of God8 (player not man) is nothing short of a hanging offence IMHO:

    What next ….. Modric and DB10 ???

  93. London says:

    Hahahaah you tell him BR

  94. Big Raddy says:

    But whether Wright would function well in the current team requires further investigation and would make a good post …….

  95. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi London, Squelchy did indeed play for the Stiffs last night against Fat Sam’s Stiffs(sounds like a skin head band) but it was a 4-3 win for us; mind you we let in 3 and guess who was in goal?

    Yup, Flappy – our starter in goal against the Spuds.

    Brilliant.

  96. charybdis1966 says:

    Also the opening goal, for Blackburn, was due to a Djourou howler – yes, the guy to who Wenger said “I sold Toure so you could get a chance.”

  97. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  98. [...] Jagielka, Cahill and Hart ….. a Glimpse of What Might Have Been? [...]

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