Nine Eight, We’re Gonna Win Nine Eight

As most of you know I like nothing better than looking for positives in an Arsenal performance, I also like to give our players credit where it is due, unfortunately following the display yesterday it is very difficult to do either. That is not to say that we had a strong side out, it was probably the weakest eleven we have fielded at Old Trafford, maybe ever under Arsene Wenger. It was certainly a lot weaker than a side which was roundly dismissed 6-1 back in 2001. That side was Seaman, Luzhny, Cole, Grimandi, Stepanovs, Pires, Viera, Parlour, Silvinho, Wiltord and Henry, admittedly they played a full strength United with exception of Cole and Giggs.

Compare that team to the one that took the field yesterday and perhaps the result looks better. I stated on Twitter yesterday at half time, and maintain now that add Gervinho, Wilshere, Vermaelen, Song, Sagna and Gibbs into that side and put Rosicky, Coquelin, Jenkinson, Arshavin, Djourou and Traore into the squad and the team looks a lot healthier and the squad a lot thicker.

It has often been said that we have lacked a spine in recent years, yesterday it was till absent along with a couple of limbs and very possibly a heart. We took the field with a team that had only two combinations that plays regularly together (Theo/RvP/Arsh and Kos/JD/Sz) around them and in between them were inexperienced or untested at this level players. That side from 2001 was missing one combination (the Centre Backs and Right back) that was painful enough, now take out Pires, Viera and Parlour and you get something like the side we put out yesterday regarding cohesion and familiarity. It is possible to carry maybe one or two players, not at Old Trafford necessarily but it can be done, to carry six is a very big ask.

The game started badly for Arsenal, United were chasing everything at high tempo and forcing the defence and midfield to rush passes which were easily picked off by United’s midfield and defence. To give credit to United they got a feint whiff of fear and went for the jugular.

The warning signs were self evident, after another uncontested long ball was won too easily by their defenders two quick passes later and Wellbeck was racing into space, Koscielny did very well to catch up and deny a clear shooting opportunity, minutes later and Coquelin was forced into tidying up when Young looked poised to shoot.

Despite these moments no one on the pitch in blue was capable of taking charge and just putting laces through the football for ten minutes or so, continually trying to pass and retain possession as is Wenger’s methodology rather than realising that we just needed to fight for possession and do everything possible to quieten their attacking endeavours, if this meant turning their back four and letting Theo chase lost causes then so be it, better than presenting possession in our half every time we lost the ball.

It came as no surprise when United opened the scoring, following more sloppy defending and failure to properly clear lines Anderson received the ball on the edge of the box and lifted a ball over the back four to Wellbeck who outmuscled Djourou and headed in from close range. The worst thing about this goal was the fact that the ball bounced before Wellbeck headed it home, as the ball bounces Djourou is trying to hold off Wellbeck whilst Koscielny is waiting for him to deal with it, I don’t think Szczesny can come and get it as the ball bounces on the penalty spot. He could have dealt with the ball after it bounced better but the fact remains it should never have been allowed to bounce and that is after all the first law of defending.

Five minutes later Johnny Evans pulled down Walcott and gave us a chance to get the match back on level terms. Unfortunately for the team and us fans Mr Reliable became Mr Sitter (sorry). I don’t think I have seen Van Persie strike a ball so weakly from open play let alone from a dead ball from 12 yards out. The penalty was so weak that even if De Gea had waited for the ball to be kicked before deciding which way to go he would have been able to save it.

As all good teams do United punished our profligacy from a nothing ball into the box Traore could only head the ball into the path of Ashley Young, he picked the ball up Coqeulin got close and he shifted the ball and unleashed a super strike from 23 yards out, as expected of a midfielder Coquelin gave Young very little to aim at but he conjured up an impressive strike that no keeper would stop.

The game continued to be very open, in fairness we were looking beaten already. With five minutes of the half remaining Jenkinson trying to compete for an aerial ball was naive. Young ran across his path and bought a cheap free kick. Up stepped Rooney to bend a pearler into the top corner.

Just before the half time whistle was sounded to give us a relief from the pain an uncharacteristically poor clearance from Evra was won in the air by Ramsey, Arshavin played to Rosicky he picked a lovely pass to Walcott who finished quickly between De Gea’s legs.

By half time in 2001 we were already 5-1 down, could Wenger work some magic to make this group of players believe that they had a chance still?

With the Arsenal fans giving a heroically tragic twenty minute rendition of “We Love You Arsenal” at the start of the second half things looked a bit brighter, we enjoyed some possession, and were at times dangerous going forward, the problem was United could now resort to their normal default setting against us of soaking pressure and counterattacking.

In that period Arshavin managed to miss the target when easier to hit it, Van Persie had a fine volley saved by De Gea. Admittedly United were still creating chances and Szczesny was called upon a number of times to keep the score respectable.

Wenger obviously thought Coquelin was looking tired or wanted to try to add something different and introduced Oxlade-Chamberlain for his Premier League debut. Soon after Djourou was deemed to have fouled Rooney off the ball, Rooney picked himself up to curl the ball into Szczesny’s side of the goal from the free kick. This is the only goal I will lay at the feet of our keeper who I thought performed well in difficult circumstances, shifting two paces to his left gave Rooney an enormous target to aim at and he didn’t need inviting twice. That said the wall was rooted to the floor.

Unfortunately that let the floodgates open again and soon United were 6-1 up, Nani cooly finished having found himself in acres of space in the eighteen yard box with Traore and Jenkinson both five yards behind the centre backs to make it five. Number six came soon after when Ashley Young picked Park out and he in turn found the bottom corner with his shot.

Amazingly there was still time for more goals, at least the next was one we could cheer, Arshavin dropping deep played a searching ball that the ever willing Jenkinson ran on to before delivering a good cross which was headed away, Jenkinson was first to the second ball and headed it back across the box for Van Persie to smash home a consolation, if only he had struck the penalty so true.

The task of damage limitation was made harder when Jenkinson received a second yellow for a foul very similar to that in the first half, this time Hernandez cut across him and Jenkinson was over eager, tangled legs and received his marching orders. Jenkinson was found out of his depth today, but I will say one thing in his defence he does not hide, he works tirelessly for the team and I still think we will see better from him.

Walcott was forced into playing right back and was soon nibbling at the heels of Evra and allowing Webb the chance to award the obligatory penalty to United at Old Trafford, Rooney wanted his hat-rick and stepped up and smashed it home.

Unfortunately there was still time for Ashley Young to pick out the top corner again in the ninetieth minute to complete the rout.

So how to summarise?

We were played off the park, as we were in 2001, the blog world was not as prevalent then as it is now, most of us only had dial up modems, but how would todays blog world have reacted to that one? Would Wenger have been demanded out? We would have surely missed out on two more League titles, three FA Cups and a trip to a Champions League final. All achieved after Wenger’s last darkest hour.

Should we expect Wenger to send a team to take the field playing two banks of four and go for the draw? Thats not in our make up as a squad, we fans criticise the big clubs for coming to the Emirates and doing the same, would be a bit hypocritical to encourage him to do it now. Fact remains at 1-0 we could have made it 1-1, at 3-1 we could have made it 3-3, we didn’t.

Some of the players that let the team down today were those more experienced the ones that you need to help the younger players out, but with so many missing pieces of the jigsaw it is almost impossible to expect the side to function anywhere near its best, remember Wigan away last year?

Wednesday certainly seems an eternity ago, are we at rock bottom? Probably in the Premier League.

Can things get better? Most definitely, with suspensions ending soon (Frimpong back for Swansea, Song and Gervinho back for Blackburn away) and hopefully some news about Wilshere and Vermaelen returning to the side sooner rather than later we should be in position to start winning games again very soon. I still remain excited by the possibilities of line ups that our full squad can produce.

Are we as unlucky with injuries as it appears? Definitely

Has ill discipline cost us 6 points? In truth Song/Gervinho or Frimpong/Gervinho would not have made a massive difference today, and I’m not going to be angry at Gervinho for slapping Barton, or Frimpong for being enthusiastic, I will criticise Song for petulance though.

Has Wenger got the desire to do it again? I hope so, if he decides to walk, I have serious doubts over what we as a club will achieve this season, this assembled group will play for their Manager of that I am certain. I’m not sure another manager would get instant results with this group of players so to change now without anytime to bring in players would be madness.

Are our away fans the best in the Premier League? Absof***inglutely and they deserve better than yesterday for their support.

Written by Gooner in Exile

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313 Responses to Nine Eight, We’re Gonna Win Nine Eight

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, I’m almost as upset by the fact that a diehard supporter like yourself has had to write such a piece as I am by the result.

    The comparison with 2001 is valid. The manager was younger and hungry for success then – contrast that to the downtrodden man we saw in front of the cameras yesterday.

    The Board should have realised that he needed more support and maybe even some firm coercion to act more decisively – whether he wanted it or not!

  2. Rasp says:

    I’d like to hear what the slick Mr Gazidis has to say about the situation. His empty words earlier in the summer lead me to question his credibility and motivation.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent and brave post match GIE.

    You are a true Gooner.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    My big hat is off. Well done, and your line about spines and limbs is an absolute classic :-)

  5. TT says:

    Gazidis is Wengers creature…..

  6. Rasp says:

    No TT, I don’t believe so, more likely Gazidis is Kroenke’s ‘creature’

  7. don says:

    loved the sight of greedy Arsenal chiefs taking off like some shameless skool kids caught pants-down in an act of theft……………of cause they are thiefs…otherwise how could any administrator in their saneful mind
    let a club of Arsenal stature go this low….we are now gunnering sympathy from our most fierce rivals who “dint want to score more from the leakiest team ever..”
    this is gut wrenching..

  8. RVP15 says:

    What a diabolical performance but i think it was for the greater good.

    The likelihood of us winning at old trafford were slim at best, but the thumping left nowhere for wenger to hide and must surely foce him to buy.

    This was taking one for the team. It wouldve been worse if we’d snuck a draw or victory and went into the next 2 months with the squad we currently have.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I tickled the subject about an hour ago, but don’t you think Stan might be a very worried man right now. Lets suppose for a minute the man doesn’t give a shit about Arsenal and it is only the money, well, without CL Footie his investment is not going to look good, and without a player or three that fourth spot looks at least tricky.

  10. harry says:

    Well GIE, it was worth venturing out from under my quilt for a fine, synopsis of the events of 28th august 2011, the turning point in the history of our fine club. Well done and even a tad restrained?

    Although I feel there was certain players out there alot more culpable than others, with some even conducting gross negligence in direct proportion to the wages they get, hell I’d on a written warning…..at minimum.

    It would be churlish at this juncture to single out players, all i will say is that 2 maybe 3 players came out with any sort of credit…….

    It is a soul searching time for fans, players, the manager and the board, maybe even the tea lady, just what does she put in that teapot?

    We can all rrightly argue we saw this coming, but that would be harsh, circumstances and factors out of wengers direct control have as usual transpired against us, what was that rumour of a curse been put on the foundations at the emirates?

    Excuses aside, tiredness, numbers etc…..The basic set up was wrong from the start, we gave them ahead start and couldnt take the PLENTY of chances we had to peg them back.

    What we struggle to do and wenger is naive at not setting this in motion when needed, yes when we play our arsenal way and keep the ball, its great, but when its going wrong and sides are scoring for fun, we cannot shut up and hold, that is our biggest problem that needs addressing, closely or equal to shooting with goals as a result……..

    The 2nd half started brightly for 10mins and went to give them a game and rvp and AA had very good chances to score, both guilty of poor shooting. Then as was very predictable, we give away a free kick and concede.

    But its the next 5-10mins that cost us, rather than regroup, hold ground, giving no quarter we still attacked, absolutely suicidal……..

    They got their tails up and gave us a firm spanking, to be honest in the end, the scoreline flattered us!!

    Wenger, the players and the board must act now.

    I am of the firm belief that with 3 additions we will still compete and I wont set anymore targets than that until I see who we get in. Lets pray for Jack and TV, we need them back……….

  11. Rasp says:

    I agree Micky, but if we haven’t already done the groundwork to sign the required players, we will not be able to get the deals done in the next 61 hours, then it doesn’t matter what anyone says – we’ve left it too late.

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Jeepers, how hard can it be. The Federal Reserve and their sleazy chums managed to salvage the world economy in less time!
    We have dosh and the shops are open, crack on.

  13. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    GiE

    There is no doubt you are Arsenal through & through. But in short Arsenal was butchered, hung drawn & quartered, & the away fans had to stand there & take it.

    Those who are on the payroll @ Arsenal have shown no respect to the fans, & IMHO deserve no respect from the fans. They, all of them, are a disgrace.

  14. Rasp says:

    You might be right Micky, but the clubs and the agents will want to squeeze every last drop from the deal and the whole world knows we are desperate – we’re not in a particularly strong bargaining position. I would suspect that any player we sign now, could have been recruited more cheaply before we got into this last ditch situation.

  15. Fatgingergooner says:

    Great post.

    Wenger does look drained but I think the end of the window and an International break may get him rejuvenated again. This preseason has aged every gooner an extra 10 years or so (tho it doesn’t seem to have affected the age of our squad!). We will have players coming back from injury and suspension and the team will have a more solid look about it.

    I just hope AW has the energy left to get a couple of steely players in before the window closes. We lack leadership and the ability to get stuck in when times are tough. Arsene has lost touch with the fact that the ability to play pretty football has to be earned in the first 20mins of games. No good being great on the ball if you are awful without it.

  16. Double98 says:

    It is always darkest before the dawn… my unwaivering faith in wenger is waivering – the only thing that got me out of bed this morning was that the last time we were humilated at old trafford – we won a double the next season.
    It lit a fire under Wenger and he picked up Campbell (his only marquee signing) and Kolo Toure and the double02 (no relation) and invincibles team were born

    Having said that – Wenger has no right to humilate the fans like yesterday.
    None – Well be hearing about this for decades!!!
    The scars will run deeper on the fan than the player.

    Everybody with half a clue could see a tanking coming down the line and that is even with gerv, song and frimpong.

    Jenkinson and Traore cannot be expected to play against manchester united
    Coquelin? replaced by Oxlade Chamberlein?
    Arshavin is a luxury player that we cannot afford.

    And now we are buying some Korean with a mediocre pedigree in french football???

    Who’d come to this team?

    In Arsene we trust a little while longer.
    Right now we are playing at a division 2 level.

  17. Rasp says:

    Morning Fgg,

    I don’t know how often you read the site, but whenever you come on you leave great comments. Have you considered joining our list of authors?

    We have an interesting two weeks ahead, maybe you’d like to air your aspirations in a headline post?

  18. goonermichael says:

    So it wasn’t a dream then?. Shit. Great write up. I agree with Rasp we have left it late for the transfer window. I can see a panic buy in January to try and salvage 4th but that’s about it. Even if we get all oir plyers fit and back from supension we are only on a par with last seasons tean at best so I don’t feel confident. Competing for the league? No chance.

  19. Danny says:

    Thanks GiE – I actually feel a bit better after reading this coz I felt worse this morning than I did last night, but this is the bottom of the pit and theres only one way to go and that’s up. We’ll destroy Swansea – that will be the start of the season for us.

  20. Danny says:

    ….and Lady Bracewell-Smith is definitely right about the board even though I feel sorry for Ken Friar – he’s a descent bloke.

  21. gunnern5 says:

    The debacle of Sunday the 28th is history – a very sad day in our history. Certainly the worst and most gauling loss I’ve ever exerienced.

    My biggest concern is the affect it will have on Arsene, he is a proud man and the result and the manner in which we lost will eat at him more than anybody else. Us supporters feel pain but to him it must feel like he watched 16 years of his life disappear in ninety minutes.

    We are totally dependant on him to get his head back in shape and lead us out of this mess. The two week break could not have come at a better point, it will give him time, behind closed doors, to work with the players and attempt to rebuild their confidence.

    My expectations for this season have always been minimal and with that in mind I hope to see Arsene re-jig this team for the future. I really do think we have the potentail to be back at the top but it will not be achieved by adding 1/2/3 ? players in this transfer window it will take a complete rethinking on the part of both the manager and the board.

    Have they got it in them ?
    Will the media lay off Arsenal?
    Will our supporters give Arsene any more time?

  22. Red Arse says:

    Morning GIE, and all you good people! :-)

    A truly wonderful Post, brilliantly written and laced with great insight. You have always produced good Posts, of course, but that catapults you right up there with Rocky, especially given the circumstances!

  23. Tokala says:

    Have to disagree…have the impression the team will not give their all for the manager… RVP for instance seems to have lost all belief

  24. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all (again) thanks for the comments (RA i’m flattered)

    The wife allowed me to play with heavy machinery and I’ve been out mowing, I think she thought the result was a dream too!

    Danny I’m glad it helped. :)

    Rasp it was certainly a difficult task, how to be critical without over egging the pudding. And how to find any shimmer of salvageable material.

    Harry there was certainly some restraint it would be easier to pick apart every goal and see where the problems were but in my opinion if fans couldn’t see for themselves they don’t understand football, there is no point teaching regulars here to suck eggs. And I think the shortcomings were borne out of the combination holes I discussed.

    Anyway enough metaphors for me onwards and upwards. :) Forward Arsenal

  25. evonne says:

    GiE – bless you, i wish I was as level headed as you :( thank you for such good post

  26. chas says:

    Superb effort in the most difficult of circumstances, GIE.

    Double98, I’m not sure you should talk of our new Korean and pedigree in the same sentence, it might confuse him. :)

    Do you think our negotiating team are busy brokering deals on a bank holiday?

  27. Rasp says:

    GiE, you’re a better man than I. There is no hiding place for us fans any more than the manager. We have to man up and try to do better :P

  28. Rasp says:

    Morning chas,

    I believe the window closes at 11pm, with an extra couple of hours if a deal has reached a certain stage.

    That means we have just under 60 hours. I’m sure we are working on some deals, but we can’t predict what the selling clubs will do let alone the agents or players.

    Nik B is apparently already gone – but where and to who?

    Surely there must be some movement tomorrow. I’m not sure that being a Bank Holiday will necessarily restrict the process.

  29. Patza says:

    I do not think this can all be blamed on Arsene, I realy think the players must stand up and take accountability for this performance.

    I have never seen a side in the premier league that after the 1st goal, all their heads dropped and it just looked as they didnt give a flying F@#k about the game, i was so dissapointed in the players they had no heart no ambition, it just seemed like they were going through the motions out there.

    Even with 6-8 players out can you see Man u players just giving up after 20min of a game, and i highly doubt that Sir Alex would go into a changeroom and give the speach of “I belive in you”, our players all needed a good kick up the backside and half time to come out fired up and pushing for the full 45min.

    I realy hope Arsene went into the changeroom at the end of the game and gave all the players a piece of his mind, because I realy think they need it, They wear the Arsenal jersey they should be proud to do so no matter what, I was thinking through the game that if I were to wear a Arsenal Jersey against Man U i would leave my heart on that pitch and fight tooth and nail for everything, but for our players this is not the case.

  30. kelsey says:

    One of the hardest days to write a ost GIE and well done for that.

    I left a few comments earlier this morning which were largely ignored.
    We have had 5 years of experiments and now we have reached an all time low.
    I still for the life of me don’t understand why we didn’t transfer cesc and Samir months ago and now which ever way you look at it we have a very average squad with the inevitable injuries just to add insult to injury.Absolutely no leadership n the pitch and not nice to see Walcott and Jenkinson having a go at each other, a very bad sign indeed.

    I can’t see us turning this round into a top 4 place and we will be back to square one or even wore.RVP and Walcott have the option to renew or not in January and we will have to wait and see.
    There was absolutely no leadership on the field and Arshavin is woefully out of form.We need far more than 3 signings and it’s a big ask to expect players like Lansbury,frimpong MiguelCouquelin, chamberlain to step into the plate possibly even in the group stages.
    results don’t lie and I ask myself has Wenger the strength to turn this round before he becomes seriously ill .
    The wto week break may help but remember United had key defensive players missing.
    replacing Wenger at this time is no option but I still think something is wrong within the club.
    Nasri and grevinho are good pals, gervinho signs and nasri is off.
    now our midfield general is 19 year old Wilshere who is currently injured.
    We can all accept defeat but this was a humiliation.

  31. harry says:

    Well I am now truly stumped, amazed, confused, puzzled?

    Traore is having a medical at QPR…………

    Whereby I dont think he is a first choice LB for us, he is an understudy………

    So at LB we have Gibbs out continually injured and no cover, bar moving our best CB across………………..?

    I will stop myself from Rant mode for approx next 60hours then I shall unleash………………

    Note to self:

    Stay under quilt……….

    And no GIE, Sagna is not under there……….

  32. Mickeyk says:

    Wenger keeps going on about his record of buying good players and he did find good players years ago but them days are over.he has also bought some of the worse players I have ever seen at arsenal .steponovs/Jeffers/almunia /denilson/eboue/cygan/there just a few .there were plenty more if you look through the record books .now he just buys kid who won’t answer him back .he also keeps saying we can’t match the other clubs for wages but there not all going for the same players .we just don’t won’t to pay them the wages there after.also we must have the worse medical staff in the English league and no one has done anything about it for the last five years.the club is a mess .I hope the Russian buys kronke out but I can’t see it kronke will run us in to the ground before he goes.hillwoods and gazidis are an embarrassment to the club they got a new stadium the best surporters in London the most expensive tickets in the world long season waiting lists and they still f..kit up.oh the prices have gone up what mugs there taking us for it’s a shame .today I fil sad about what’s happened to my football club we’ve got nothing to be proud of were a laughing stock but it’s not funny.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent post Exile.

    We’re all feeling sore about this, and so we should. Losing that way underlines the need for action, however belated. But I’ll be the first to say here that we need a bit of perspective on this.

    One thing yesterday did not tell us was that our first team is poor. And nor did it really say much about our usual back-up. The truth is that this was a hastily cobbled together team featuring a ragbag of players, a number of whom would usually be a long way from the bench, let alone the first team. It’s a side that I’m sure hasn’t come close to playing together in training, let alone at the fortress-like home ground of the reigning champions, who also happened to be on form.

    I reckon the first choice side is currently: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Wilshere, Gervinho, Walcott and Ramsey. Which is close to the sides that beat United in April, Barca in February and Chelsea in December. So what is missing in terms of personnel?

    It might sound deluded the day after we shipped eight goals (and it could have been more) but I still don’t think we need radical surgery in defence: one solid CB recruit would do for me, so that we push Squillaci down the pecking order. And at DM, while I wouldn’t mind a quality signing being made, I feel pretty comfortable with options of Song, Frimpong, Coquelin and the CBs.

    For me the priority is on the creative side. People reject the idea of PaCY because they’ve not heard of him and because he comes from unfashionable Korea (accompanied by semi-racist remarks reserved for Asian players about them being signed for merchandising purposes). If he’s recruited it would be to fill a squad role, making the signing of a Tevez type utterly unrealistic. I wouldn’t mind PaCY being signed, I trust Wenger and co to have assessed him.

    But what I am aching for is a star player to replace Cesc, someone who can impose himself on any match, unlocking defences and provide a goal scoring threat of his own. And this is where I have the greatest concern. If we signed a megastar, I really do think our season can be brought back onto an even keel. Without it, we’ll be depending too often on the failing talents of Rosicky and Arshavin. And we’ll be sending messages to our key talents that they’re on their own, that they won’t be supported, despite having seen Cesc and Nasri sold, and that after years of necessary under-investment.

    Can Wenger and the Board deliver that star player by Wednesday night? I have profound doubts, but I’m holding my breath.

  34. Red Arse says:

    OK here’s my take. Probably mean F’ All to you guys, but it will be cathartic for me in coming to terms with a very sad game.

    We can analyse and re-analyse what happened and point the finger at the Board (aka Silent Effing Stan), the manager and/or the team, until the cows return from their holidays with 26!

    But — yeah, here it comes the ignoble ‘but’. There is an easy way to rectify all of our concerns and produce a championship winning team, and it is very easy and quite painless!!

    Let me give you a hint. Do you remember, back in the late 90′s/early 21st century, there was a sh*t team, on the verge of bankruptcy, and doomed to slide, deservedly, into the oblivion of lower league football?
    Yes that’s right. It was the abominable Chelsea!

    Suddenly they were bought by some weird Russian who started to lob £50 grenades around like confetti, at all and sundry, despite the misgivings and downright opposition of many Chav fans at the time.

    In next to no time, regardless of who was managing their team, they barged their way up to the top echelon of the Premier league, elbowing Arsenal aside at the same time. Within a short time they were challenging for and winning trophies.

    A “one off”, many of us thought, but Manure, deep in debt, decided to respond in kind, and added to their debt by increasing the monies they spent on high end transfers, and soon they were back matching and beating Chelsea at their game – and sod the debt burden.

    The thoughts of a well run, commercially sound, corporate vehicle were a distant memory for both of them. They were football teams, even if they were only the ‘toys’ of their masters, desperate for and determined to win trophies.

    And then? …… and then, along came another oligarch, this time effectively state sponsored owner, who having seen what money could do spread around liberally and obscenely, decided to buy another deadbeat, good for nothing club.
    And soon, as we watched with growing irritation and despondency, another football megalith took shape before our eyes promising to take on and beat the ‘old’ money of Manure and Chelsea.

    What to make of all this? Well forget the forthcoming FFP regulations, and all the other well meaning but ineffectual bumf trotted out by UEFA and FIFA politicos who well know what side their bread is buttered on.

    This money driven takeover of football is not an isolated phenomenon, confined to the UK, it has already sent out its tentacles into other failing European league clubs, such as Paris St Germain and Malaga, now owned by Arab oil money.

    So, at last, to my conclusion and solution. This cycle of mega monied clubs is no passing fad. This is already the only way to have even a chance of winning trophies and we as fans have to accept being perpetually cast into the gloom of belonging to a second tier group of ‘well run’ corporately sound clubs, with no hope of ever winning anything, or say “sod it, football is not just playing attractively, it is playing attractively and winning trophies.”

    If that is the case, we will have to hope that Silent Effing Stan takes his profit and sells out to an oligarch of our own, so that we are, once again, competing on an even playing field!

  35. 26may1989 says:

    Traore is being sold? Bizarre. Assuming that means there’s a player coming in (it must, mustn’t it?), is this really what our efforts need to be spent on in this desperately crucial time? Not that I really have huge faith in Traore, after watching his eccentric performance yesterday, which saw him drift across the defensive line, at times as far as the RB position. But is this really the time to be dealing with swapping over the back-up LBs?

  36. chas says:

    Morning Rasp,
    I hope you’re right regarding the bank holiday. I was thinking that someone like the adorable Phil Gartside might be sweating his arse off down the local massage parlour on a bank holiday, that was all.

    I think the trouble with Traore is that he is not a full back. If the rumours are true, let’s hope we actually go out and buy a proper one.

  37. Rasp says:

    Baines in and Traore out would be a super deal.

  38. 26may1989 says:

    Good points RA, a good long term perspective on the financial currents in football.

    But I detest oligarch/sheikh driven football, and would lose interest in football if it really does go that way (and it might). What’s the point cheering for one rich guy’s wallet against another’s? Might sound puritanical, but I just find it boring, and am not hoping we’ll join City and Chelsea in cheating their way to competing with England’s one genuine megaclub, United. Platini said recently that there are alarm bells ringing across football due to the influx of big money, and he’s right. I just hope he can reverse the trend. Given the scale of the vested interests, I’m not that optimistic.

  39. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, I agree, getting Baines would be great. But that’s a mighty big “if” at this stage. I’m just losing any faith in our ability to manage this transfer process in anything approaching a rational way. Hope I’m wrong, of course.

    Given that we’re meant to be going for Jagielka, Arteta and Fellaini, plus Baines, maybe we should just merge with Everton and be done with it.

  40. London says:

    Oh please let that be true: Traore to QPR would mean a new LB absolutely no doubt about that. If there was one player that yesterday proved no longer had a future at the club is was, I am afraid to say Armand, nice guy but for the length of time he has been at the club if he couldn’t step up then he never will and yesterday he was very poor.

    Jenkinson’s lack of pace may become a problem but it would be wrong to write him off this early.

  41. Rasp says:

    Absolutely 26m, being desperate, having upwards of £60m in the kitty and leaving it to the last minute doesn’t exactly put Arsenal in a strong bargaining position to get a good deal.

    The window is not closed yet, but I can say that at this stage, we have handled the our transfer dealings very poorly.

    Who’s really to blame? – I have no idea.

  42. VCC says:

    Fellow AA’ers. I think many on here need to take off the rose coloured glasses and stand up and smell the roses.
    This is the lowest I have felt during Wenger’s reign. Is he pressing the self destruct button?
    He has now assembled a far too longer list of mediocre players.
    Sunday 28th August 2011 only highlights this.
    I know the do gooder’s out there will shoot me down to have the audacity to criticise Wenger, but this has been coming for some while now (hence the lack of trophies).
    Too many blunders have happened this summer, and others.
    IMO the one of the biggest being, why spend £15 million on yet another (hope for tomorrow, OX) when surely this money could have gone towards a proven centre half.
    Vermaelen, top quality with either Cahill/Jags and Kos a good back up.
    Djourou should be shipped out to Barnet. L know you guys hate personal attacks but, come on, Djourou was awful yesterday and he is one of our experienced players, he is in the same mould as stepanovs/silvestre/squill/cygan.
    Wenger has missed the boat, yet again in this transfer window.
    We have become also rans and if not careful will slip into a mid table team.

  43. harry says:

    26May1989, that sounds so much nicer than 28August 2011, doesnt it???, oh i digress…………….

    Unfortunately, 26m, you might as well lose interest in football, because FFP or not, that is the way it is going and it is already on that path to oblivion……..self destruct, implode it will one day……..

    Man city, Malaga, PSG, Chelsea, Anzi, some right old household names in that list………..financial doping has been rife for years in one form or another, government backed teams abroad, or Mafia backed……..its all the same………

    We have are own Oligarch in place already but unfortunately our board have handcuffed him to the railings…….

  44. London says:

    I think one of the main reasons the club finally gave in and allowed themselves to take a hit on the Cesc and Na$ri deals was to give Wenger a fighting chance to reinforce the squad before the window completely closes.

  45. harry says:

    VCC, i agree and understand most of what you have said in someparts…….I dont think as many of us on here as some people think wear the red coloured spectactles, just perhaps we are all a little more patient and have a deep sense of respect for what he has done in the past.

    He has this window, he hasnt quite missed the boat yet, to sort it out. Then believe me I will start asking some serious questions…..

    VCC and others who mention it, please can you remember that we have NOT spent 15million on AOC………….., althought I agree there is more pressing needs that require addressing, he was on that transfer since xmas, should he ignore it?

  46. Red Arse says:

    Hope you and your family enjoyed your hols 26, and I am glad you brought the cows home to roost!

    I intuitively agree with you and your lack of enthusiasm for oligarch footie, and that echoes the sentiments that were first expressed by many Chavs, when Abramovich bought Chelsea.

    Trouble is, Arsenal run the risk of becoming also-rans in this uneven battle, and support and commercial money will soon ebb away as it becomes impossible for us to win a trophy, and this in turn will increase the already bitter division between our own fans which is really not acceptable.

    We are between a rock and a hard thingy, whichever way this pans out.

    Returning to a subject that has exercised both Rasp and myself is the increasingly poor communication between the well named Silent Stan and the fans.
    It is appalling how little ‘honest’ information we are given.
    In the past we have rationalized this as being ‘because it would jeopardise or negotiating position’, but I think that is simply a convenient excuse to keep us ignorant. Negotiating what? I would ask.

    In the present climate, rather than everyone finding fault with poor old Arsene, I am coming around to the view that I would rather ‘sup with the devil’ and take on Chelsea, Citeh and Manure at their own game.

    Yes, I included Manure in the above, because, unlike you, I find they are equally culpable. In the real world they could not possibly justify the reckless abandon with which the Glazers run that club.
    Which, of course, is why they took it out of the public sector and its requirement for opacity in management, and into the laxer private sector.

  47. London says:

    How can people not see the parallel transfer policy that is in place at Arsenal.

    In one lane there is the policy of buying young exciting talent when it becomes available, Wlshere, Szcezney, Gibbs, Ramsey, Walcott and yes Oxlade-Chamberlain.

    In the other lane there is the policy of buying experienced players when available Gervinho, Vermaelen, Arshavin, Rosicky

    Just because we have brought Oxlade-Chamberlain does not mean we cannot buy other experienced players.

  48. Rasp says:

    It is inconceivable that we would sell our last remaining fit LB without a ready made replacement already in the pipeline – isn’t it?

  49. BARUMGOONER says:

    Traore to QPR is the best news I’ve heard today, we must be getting a quality lb with Gibbs as cover.

    Excellent post GIE.

  50. London says:

    We became financial also rans the day Abramovich brought Chelsea, the board and Wenger realised this ages ago and in an attempt to combat this immediately adopted a policy that puts as much onus on the youth policy as it does the acquisition of experienced talent.

  51. Rasp says:

    I have a sneaky feeling that we may be in behind closed doors talks with Everton for more than one of their players – actually, for ‘sneaky feeling’ that should read ‘clingy onto the hope that’

  52. wally says:

    Not to worry. We’ve got Park “Super Quality” Cho-Young coming in.

  53. London says:

    Rasp

    Budge along and make room for the rest of us to cling to that straw.

  54. mark says:

    United fan coming in peace here. First off really detailed article which makes a change from most of the rubbish most websites chuck out on a daily basis. Informative, honest and not filled with hate which is a rarity in this “anyone with a keyboard can be a pretend-journalist era!”

    2nd, it must be hard to endure that kind of scoreline and still look for positives. I’ve seen it happen to us yet i’ve been more hurt by 1-0′s than the well-deserved thrashings. It’s a long season as they say.

    Your fans were brilliant for a start. Well deserved score for the team, not so well deserved support from the fans for some lazy performances. We were good but, some players, walcott, V.Persie aside, were terrible. Felt sorry for young Jenkinson and Coquelin who had nightmares of a game but will learn from it as the season goes on. If Van Persie stays fit you’ll push for 3rd or 4th. Hard to take when City have come out of nowhere and Utd (for the moment) look on form. (true footy fans know that form is temporary..class is permanent.)

    Stand by Wenger. As stubborn as he is when it comes down to spending, he hasn’t seen you struggle so much as he has lately, and his pride will push this team on. He looked really drained after that game and needs the fans on HIS side (not just the players side!)

    Don’t blame Wenger. He fought for several years like Fergie did with Ronaldo, spurs are with modric, but eventually the rich will get their playthings. Nasri will warm the city bench towards the end of the season, cesc will warm barcas for 70% of the season. It has taken two of perhaps the only 3 world class players at Arsenal. (V.Persie being the other). That would impact anyone. Wenger will buy an unknown, he’ll become a star, city will rob him, Wenger will rebuild again…. trophies come to those with history. As a United fan I know this is true. Arsenal have a winning history just like us, Liverpool etc. Class is permanent and eventually re-shows. You’ll spank someone else youselves 8-2 this season, I wonder who….?

  55. Rasp says:

    :P London,

    Well I’m thinking of who is as desperate to sell as we are to buy = Everton. It won’t happen, but Jagielka, Baines and Arteta could ease a lot of our problems – but would probably get them relegated.

  56. Rasp says:

    mark,

    Thanks for the comment. I’d never have thought that one of the most uplifting comments of the day would come from a United supporter.

    I hope our team can give you a better game back at the Emirates.

  57. Jamie says:

    London- I agree re transfer policy.

    Rasp – My hunch is that we might be signing a centre back comfortable at left back or even a couple of centre backs following yesterday’s debacle.

    I think we will get Cahill and Park, I think Mvila is a possibility.

    It sounds like they are a fair way down the track with these deals.

    To my mind we need one more defender and attacking midfielder on top of that which I’m no sure we will get.

  58. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp @ 12.20pm: “It is inconceivable that we would sell our last remaining fit LB without a ready made replacement already in the pipeline – isn’t it?” Yes…… but having watched them chickens come home to roost after a ludicrously miscalculated and complacent summer (and Rasp, I think you and I have both made the need for early transfer action this summer a theme of our posts in the last few months), I still feel very worried about any effort at all being spent on selling players. (I exclude those such as Almunia and Bendtner who are mentally out of the door already.) Bottom line, I just don’t trust the club to do what is needed before deadline day.

    But we can hope, perhaps Everton’s financial woes will enable us to bag a couple of their seasoned pros. Certainly Moyes has been laying the ground for departures. Baines plus Arteta, with Cahill from Bolton and PaCY from Monaco? Not really what I think is needed in terms of wanting a megastar in, but that would be better than nothing. It’d help if our players could learn to stop getting sent off.

  59. BARUMGOONER says:

    I agree entirely London, the problem lies with the fact that there is not enough experienced quality left at the club to teach and protect the raw talent coming through. I am very excited about the future with ping-pong, ox, lansbury, Jack, Rambo, Gibbs, Ches, Jenks, Theo. And when you add to that Gerv, RVP, TV, kos, sagna, song and a rejuvenated TR what are we worried about ? It’s a mental thing and my biggest problem is that the club and inparticular the manager has been too pre-occupied with the players who dont want to wear the shirt and took his eye off of what really matters. Unfortunately the last couple of big money buys have both gone sour for us but that shouldn,t stop us from trying again.

  60. Rasp says:

    Hi Jamie, Cahill is ours if we want to stump up £12m’ish – a no brainer you’d think.

    M’Vila is a powerful midfielder and so wouldn’t go amiss but does he have the vision and passing skills we need? – maybe.

    The Park deal is done, that is why he’s already in my list of ins and outs.

  61. BARUMGOONER says:

    26may.

    I for one dont want a megastar. Give me 3-4 seasoned premiership players anyday. Baines, Arteta and Jagielka please Mr Moyes. Plus Parker

  62. Jamie says:

    Cheers Manc Mark. True football fans act with class well done.

  63. Rasp says:

    26m, all true. We will know in 59 hours. I haven’t hidden my pessimistic view of our likely transfer dealings as you say, but I’m hurting with everyone else.

    Once again we have to lower our expectations. At this point I’d settle for being in the top 8 by the New Year with a mathematical chance of competing for top 3, but that would require one of manu, city or chelski to suffer a serious lack of form.

  64. 26may1989 says:

    Nice comment there, Mark. As you say, class is permanent.

    United were superb yesterday, every bit as good as our defending was bad. The balance of the emerging side is impressive, and it even looks like it’ll be the making of Rooney the man. Or perhaps that’s just the effect of his weave, makes him feel a bit more secure…. Personally, I hope your lot wipe the floor with the pretentious Chavs and Shitty this season, but I have a horrible feeling that the title will end up at the Wastelands with the Arse old boys. Anyway, well done for not just rubbing Gooners’ noses in it, on a day we’re all feeling mighty sore, hope you come back another time.

  65. Jamie says:

    Rasp, agree with your assessment, would like to see Arteta and Samba on top of that but I can’t see it.

    The three we are talking about would add some depth.

    On another note, what the he’ll did Warnock see in Traore yesterday that made him want to buy him?

    Maybe he is looking for a scapegoat.

  66. pat says:

    Great post GIE – dark days indeed. WTF is wrong with our players? As well as problems of a thin squad we seem to be also attacked by an injury curse.

    Its a very tough situation for the players still uninjured and available to play in terms of pressure to perform etc (yeah thats why they get the big money sure – need to step up for the big games etc). Its one of the failings of the project youth is that there was no real experienced head out there to rally the troops. I am sorry RVP is not the guy able to do that by giving the lads a shout – he inspires by scoring a great goal etc. I dont think he is right for captain. I would have Vermaelen captain but then refer to my 1st point of the injury curse.

    I really hope the cavalry is on the way otherwise its going to be a very tough few months until Jan. Does anyone think that a super star signing could be possible? Do you think anyone in the Arsenal mgmt has the cahonies to go for the Sjnieder option?

    At the minimum I think we have to see personnel like Baines and Cahill come in. Injuries / form demand it. And given the mood / climate we would almost have to get the likes of a Snjeider in as well – they (mgmt) have back themselves into a corner which this result has given them absolutely no where to hide. They have money. It must be spent.

    The 28th must be avenged!

  67. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Barum

    I agree with the need to bring in a solid LB (assuming we really are selling Traore today) and CB. My problem is the idea of replacing Cesc with someone like Arteta. Don’t get me wrong, I like Arteta, but we’d be trading down. Arteta looks pretty good playing at a club like Everton, and I’m sure he’d do ok for us. But I think we need better than that.

    Anyway, I’m off out for the today, check in later on. Have a good one.

  68. pat says:

    Im not a fan of Arteta, I dont think signing him is going to put the fear into the likes of Man U / City / Chelski.

    I would have thought we would be aiming a little higher to replace the likes of Cesc. Squad player maybe but not someone who is gonna light the place up.

  69. VCC says:

    How do you guys feel about having Kaka on loan for a year if we have a gentleman’s agreement not to play him against Real if the fixture arises.

  70. Rasp says:

    Hi VCC, Kaka would be great if he could stay fit. Wesley Sneijder would be the ultimate midfield option but his wage demands make it highly unlikely.

  71. VCC says:

    Hi Rasp…..
    My drum is still banging. All I am saying to Wenger is give into your stubborness just once and pay £12 ish for Cahill and £7 ish for Baines and get Kaka on loan for a season.
    This would bolster the defence and give us creativity up front with goal scoring ability on three fronts = Kaka/Gerv/RVP.
    THis would raise our chances from my earlier post of mid table to competing for a top 4 place.
    £20 million ish with loan salary for Kaka would not break the bank.

  72. mark says:

    Cheers for the replies. Last post and I’ll leave you alone to work out Plan B for Wenger…..!!

    Let’s not forget Rooney was out the door this time last year, but we talked him round. Our fans were crying out for Schneider in july but sometimes a team doesn’t need a big name signing, just THE RIGHT SIGNINGS. Like you, we buy young players and develop them (don’t forget that Smalling, Jones, Oxlade’C’, Wilshire and Ramsey (Cesc’s replacement btw) were all targets for us and Arsenal so there’s not much transfer difference between us (we don’t haggle for the prices tho :P, sort it out Wenger!!!)

    You sold Nasri and Cesc, great players, we sold Ronaldo and built, Liverpool (who are a team to watch and are quietly building and improving) sold Torres for big money and he’s not set the world alight. It’s not hindered Liverpool one bit, and for me, will be the making of them. No big name signings, just THE RIGHT SIGNINGS. I was skeptical about Young joining us, but he looks like he has been at united forever. Not a big name, just the right fit for us. Wenger will do the same. As for the Korean lad, our Ji Sung Park is always picked for Semi finals in Europe whenever we’re lucky to be there. Why? He deserved it. If Wenger signs someone, that’ll be the same reason why.

    Chelsea are a long way off the top two. Personally, I think Arsenal, one game happily forgotten, will be pushing for 3rd with Liverpool and Chelsea and it’ll be very, very close.

    Lastly, we played really poor and got a good season last year, so teamwork is as vital as so called big names. List the signings Wenger has made that weren’t big names but who have helped make Arsenal “Arsenal!!” Viera, Henry, Pires, etc.There’s loads and that’s not to be forgotten just because your team had an off day at the office.

  73. Red Arse says:

    Arsene said in an interview yesterday that he was not interested in buying Arteta.

  74. VCC says:

    Rasp = Sneijder is a no go for me Arsenal/Wenger will never pay that sort of money on one player.
    My three are well within our budget, just look at this and tell me we would not compete =
    Szes
    Sagna Vermaelen Cahill Baines
    Song Wilshere
    Gerv RVP

    KAka

  75. VCC says:

    Sorry and Ramsey

  76. Rasp says:

    I doubt Baines would cost as little as £7m VCC, but I’d go for him any way.

    Enrique was the £5m option and we chose not to pursue him it would appear, shame because he played very well for pool, against us.

  77. Red Arse says:

    Well said Mark. :-) And thanks.

  78. Rasp says:

    No, I agree VCC, Sneijder is a non starter. My best and most likely scenario from the names that have been mooted is: Baines, Cahill, M’Vila and we’ve already done the deal for Park as the 4th striker.

  79. VCC says:

    Don’t know anything about M’Vila ????
    Is he black/.white/pink or yellow?
    Where has this one come from?
    Please, Please don’t let him be a five footer. If Wenger is willing to push the boat out I wouldn’t mind having a go/chance on Fellieni. Would help with his height and physique. What do you think?

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, what a masterpiece of a match report you produced today!! You are the Nelson Mandela of ArsenalArsenal, seeing positives in our darkest hours, yet not hiding from the painful truths at all. 10 x chapeau to a true Gooner :)

  81. Rasp says:

    VCC, from wiki

    Yann M’Vila (born 29 June 1990) is a French football player of Congolese descent who plays for French club Rennes in Ligue 1. He operates as a defensive midfielder and is described by his club as a player who possesses “excellent defensive abilities” and “impressive physical strength”

    He’s 6ft and a defensive midfielder so wouldn’t on the surface of it appear to be what we need since we have Song, Frimpong and now Coquelin all of whom are DMs too

  82. VCC says:

    Rasp = Well if he’s not what we need at present, he will certainly be purchased by Arsenal. This is based on their recent signings, I know this is a little tongue in cheek but have to say is my feelings at the moment.
    Do we all feel that Pat Rice contributes anything at the moment???
    I’m all for getting someone/new face, in. Freshen things up a little.

  83. Rasp says:

    VCC, Pat Rice does exactly what is asked of him – and that’s not very much. He’s been a great servant to the club but has never functioned as an assistant manager under AW in the true sense of the title.

  84. fatgingergooner says:

    Cheers Rasp,

    I do read this blog quite a lot as i cannot stand the Football Manager and Doom Mongering comments that appear on the other blogs.

    Would love to write something worthy of this blog though not sure i am capable of such things!!!

    Will be happy to send over a draft or something and if you feel you want to post it then that would be great.

    Keep up the good work and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep it positive. So sick of the negativity within this club at the moment

  85. BARUMGOONER says:

    Right i’m of out for the day. Here’s hoping for Baines, Cahill, Parker and Arteta. (yes i’d like Kaka but cant see it happening) Arteta is no Cesc but Aaron/jack can be, Arteta would just be extra cover

  86. Rasp says:

    Great stuff fgg,

    Email it to arsenalnuts using the link in ‘Be our Guest’ at the top of the page. Your writing style is perfect for the site – you are more than capable :P

  87. Gooner in Exile says:

    Mark you prove my point about fans intense navel gazing at their own clubs problems. Sometimes it takes a more distanced view to appreciate the circumstance we are in.

    As you say Young was questioned, as have been others even SAF doesn’t always get it right as evidenced by Obertan and Bebe. What he does do well is get the likes of Cleverley and Wellbeck into PL teams where they will be used (I don’t know if it’s part of the loan deal ie you can have him but he must play if fit). Compare them two years ago to the players we saw yesterday and it is evidence of how much they benefited. As Wilshere did with his time spent at Bolton. Most of our youngsters end up in the lower leagues which is no help to there development.

    I am with Mark in the fact that I believe the team has still plenty to achieve this year (agreeing with a Man U fan wonders never cease :) )

    My two most depressing match reports have topped and tailed an awful 6 months for Arsenal fans, let’s hope we have got it all out of our system now.

  88. VCC says:

    Rasp. Agree Pat Rice has been a great servant for the club. I used to pay to watch him in an Arsenal shirt many years ago. But I feel we need a freshen up, and certainly someone who is prepared to stand up to Wenger and give their opinion.

  89. Gooner in Exile says:

    Think our injury problems are bad? At least we haven’t got a player who broke his leg on a golf cart!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14702158.stm

  90. RockyLives says:

    Well done GiE
    Very thoughtful and reasoned post in the circs.
    I have maintained all summer long that AW would do the biz in the transfer market (based on his own words).

    It’s not too late, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult now, not least because the “selling” clubs don’t have time to find replacements for whomever we buy.

    Also the 8-2 thrashing will hardly help inspire the likes of Kaka and Sneijder to join us.

    Now is not the time to start dickering over the small change. If, for example, we think Baines is worth 7m and Everton want 12m, it’s time to give them 12m.

    If we don’t significantly reinforce, this season is going to be a bumpy ride. I agree that our theoretical first team, if all are fit, looks pretty strong but (a) it’s as strong (on paper) as last year and (b) we NEVER have all our best payers fit. It’s incumbent on the manager to prepare for worst case situations.

    Sunday was a worst case situation – but we weren’t prepared.

  91. RockyLives says:

    *it’s NOT as strong on paper as last year

  92. Big Raddy says:

    I think the BoD will force AW’s hand in the transfer market. They must know that a poor run of form and non-qualification for next season’s CL will have a disastrous effect.

    I can guarantee there will empty seats at the Emirates unless action is taken in the next 48+ hours, and the knock-on effect will be painful

  93. Gooner in Exile says:

    Wow refunds for yesterday’s brave travellers…kind of

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-thanks

  94. Gooner in Exile says:

    Raddy empty stands are already starting Swansea home is on General Sale, when was the last time that happened for a PL game.

  95. pat says:

    I say Sjnieder because he is world class and its time to bring in proper world class reinforcements. Guys that are proven – thats the important thing – proven at world class level. Sure he is going to demand top dollar – but you cannot argue he is a top player. Or Kaka – but his star has waned perhaps. If we can get either of them or both (ya ok a dream) on loan – cool. Yep agree that the wages are a “problem” for the club.

    But isn’t the club owned by billionaires?

    Then there is the defensive reinforcement – Baines, and Cahill or Samba. Seems like these are the minimum, but if we are to truly compete on all fronts/competitions again it seems we will need alot more than just that. Seasons hardly started and the treatment room is full!

  96. Rasp says:

    GiE,

    I’m really sorry, in the rush to get your post sorted I didn’t notice that you’d given it a title and so I came up with the first thing that crossed my mind – I hope you don’t think it detracted from your article.

  97. No worries Rasp, it wasn’t really any great thought into it, although I figured out what it should be about 2pm today

    “Gooners of a Nervous Disposition Look Away Now”
    :D

    Although that could work for a last minute Transfer Window article :)

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Can we sign loan players outside the transfer window. I seem to recall clubs loaning goalkeepers in March?

    Almost a whole day of the 3 remaining days has passed without incident.

    As has been said many, many times, it is ludicrous that a club of our size should be in this situation. We are not any old club, we are The Arsenal, currently the 6th best club in Europe and a seeded club in the CL.

    It is madness to suggest we cannot attract players but also that the management of our wonderful club have allowed this predicament.

  99. RockyLives says:

    BR
    I think you can only make loan signings outside the TW in “extreme circumstances”

  100. evonne says:

    Mark – thank you

  101. evonne says:

    Raddy – Wenger doesn’t want to/not allowed to sign, he was very clear about it last night. We, the fans are desperate, they, the board/manager have a different agenda. Scarey, bloody scarey time

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We will be getting in a top left back in with Gibbs relegated to back up, won’t we?
    Mmmmm…I really doubt it. Gibbs to No 1 with a cheapo coming in I reckon.
    .
    GM,
    You say we are on par with last season. I think you are being very nice. Look at the Out’s and compare that with the In’s.

  103. evonne says:

    Micky – did you see my anagram for Mother In Law? Woman Hitler :)
    Is yours gone yet ?

  104. Rasp says:

    There was one thing AW said in his post match PC that I didn’t like, it was something along the lines of “In England, when you lose a game, you think the only answer is to buy, we have players in the squad etc etc” That’s not word for word, but the message is clear.

  105. evonne says:

    Rasp – yes, those were the words that stuck in my mind: in England you think the answer to everything is to buy….bla bla bla.

    It is not just in England, in a competive market you have to invest to keep up with the competitors

  106. Rasp says:

    I know evonne, of course we need to buy, its not a knee jerk reaction, we’ve known all summer. We’ve just sold our only fit left back for a start, not to mention the gaps in midfield due to Cesc and Nasri’s departure.

  107. London says:

    And I would say he has a valid point.

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Oh yes. You are at the Eastern end of this great country of ours. Didn’t you feel the cold front moving up from the West early afternoon yesterday.
    .
    Rasp,
    Those were very worrying words. I suppose the optimists would say that was a negotiating message for sellers! If Harry was just a smidgeon better looking I would be after a place under his duvet until midnight wednesday.

  109. pat says:

    especially after selling your number 1 asset Cesc Fabregas!

  110. Rasp says:

    As a general point it is valid, in the context of the game and the predicament Arsenal are currently in, it was hardly constructive.

  111. pat says:

    They have got to be bringing in decent reinforcements surely. soccernet talking about the gunners bringing in Alex from Chelski?

  112. London says:

    How many times have people on here described Ramsey as Cesc’s heir apparent, hundreds is the answer and yet when it happens the same people run round screaming we must sign, we must sign.
    As for knowing all summer that Na$ri was leaving, well is that true, has it always been certain that he was leaving? It wasn’t so how do you buy a replacement for someone you are not certain is leaving, I suppose you could buy a player just in case but oh, wait, he did do that and the player’s name is Gervinho.

  113. Rasp says:

    Well I’ve known all summer.

    What’s this all about London?

    You have posted comments on here earlier in the day saying that you wanted us to sign a left back – or have you changed your mind about that?

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    I totally agree that Gerv is an excellent relacement for Nasri and I believe will be more effective over the course of a season.
    Now let me ask you a question. We are signing two first team players. Which positions would you like to see those in?

  115. London says:

    Rule number one

    Never believe anything Wenger says about transfers; the statements he makes are not aimed at the fans they are part of on going negotiations.

    If Traore leaves we will get a new LB although like Micky I agree he will be Gibbs’ understudy rather than the other way round.

  116. Rasp says:

    Is rule number two – never believe anything London says about transfers? :lol:

  117. pat says:

    I dont like the “understudy” category – I would rather see a quality player that is actually going to provide competition for a place. Also in Gibbs case a decent quality replacement in case of injury – like now! Baines fits that criteria IMO…. I love Gibbs as a player he is just having no joy with injuries.

  118. London says:

    Fair enough I deserve that.

  119. kelsey says:

    i am with VCC at 11.58. I think some of you are living in cuckoo land.We are in a right mess and removing Wenger isn’t the answer..I don’t mind losing that’s part of the game but it was an embarressment to see how exposed we were yesterday.Many on the pitch were hardly third choice players.
    In Feb we were fighting on 4 fronts and i don’t accept the club didn’t know cesc and samir were leaving. now we need at least 4 players minimum and i would love to know what kroenke is thinking .

    buying an understudy for gibbs, christ i hope you are wrong.

    We need players in every position and leadership on and off the field.
    I can’t see us remotedly challenging for forth just look at our last 14 games and with different players than yesterday.something is drastically wrong.

  120. pat says:

    Fair call about Wengers transfer press statements London – its about negotiation etc – also maybe the Alex talk is part of the strategy to get Cahill…

  121. London says:

    It’s funny how people have no compunction about forcing Gibbs onto the bench for what could be the best part of the season and yet if I said we should get someone taller and a better goal scorer than Wilshere this site would go into melt down, why is that?

  122. London says:

    Pat

    The more coming in the better.

  123. pat says:

    @Kelsey 5:20pm “i would love to know what kroenke is thinking .”

    After the last game he would be thinking they F’d up big time.

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey Hi,
    I agree there’s something wrong behind the scenes, but what and who I have no idea. I am as doomist as you are and said my bit on here before the first ball was kicked. I said we would draw with Newcastle, beat Udinese and lose the other two. Tragically I was right and even more tragically I predicted seventh or eighth in the League. I still believe this as we stand as I think the morale will implode and we will not have the will power to claim a top four spot.
    However, I also said what happens in the window will effect my final call.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Why would anyone go into meltdown because we sign someone better than we have. If yesterday proves anything, it is that suspensions and injuries do happen from time to time and there will be plenty of opportunities!

  126. London says:

    Micky

    It was a bit of a flippant comment please ignore it.

  127. BARUMGOONER says:

    London, I can only speak for myself but I like Gibbs and would love for him to be first-choice but going by his previous record we will be lucky to get 20 games from him. I think he needs a good recovery period or he will continue bouncing from one injury to the next. For me it must be a player with epl experience who can slot straight in as number 1……..?

  128. BARUMGOONER says:

    More than likely though it will be a french-african who no1 has heard of playing in kazakhstan.

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    You are unignorable :-)
    I also have to say that during these dark days, your selfish side is shining brightly. The invitations to spend the days behind the famous sofa are rather thin on the ground.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyway, what’s the answer to my question. The two priority positions to be filled, anyone?

  131. London says:

    Barum

    I hope Wenger surprises us and buys someone with EPL experience.

    But if Everton put a ridiculous price tag on Baines (which they will) what should Wenger do?

    Although, that said I simply do not believe that if Traore is allowed to go that Wenger hasn’t got a replacement lined up and if he is from Timbucktoo then so be it. Who amongst us knew about Gervinho before he arrived and I for one am very happy that he has joined the club.

  132. London says:

    Micky

    Is that two and a LB as it looks like Traore is on his way or is that two including a LB

  133. evonne says:

    1 CB
    2 midfielder, preferable all arounder, that can score and defend

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Most fans I have spoken with over the past 4 summers have known which areas needed strengthening and those areas remain weak (apart from the GK, though kelsey disagrees!)

    We have needed a tough and large CB, a tough tackling, disciplined DM (and as good as Frimpong may be he is not the immediate answer) and a fox-in-the box.

    I wanted a left sided attacker to add some thrust when AA is off -form (like now), we have signed that men/men.

    Now, we are about to lose the second of our 3 LB’s. And have sold our creative and unpredictable players without replacement.

    What is the going on? Because if AW has a masterplan he needs to share it with the fans.

    As to Ramsey, I like him but he is a Ray Parlour and we need a Liam Brady. On which note, get well soon JW.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Forget LB for now.

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    With you on CB.
    Raddy,
    Maybe the Labrador Muncher will be the fox.
    For me,
    An AM, and he (or she, I’m getting desperate now) must be a dead ball specialist. We have lacked one for way too long. Look at Rooney yesterday.
    Right, off outside to show my children what a dead ball specialist really is!

  137. London says:

    I bet you cannot remember which significant team was beaten at home by this Arsenal team below?

    ————-Szczesny

    Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou,Clichy

    —–Ramsey,Song,Wilshere

    ——Walcott, RvP, Arshavin

  138. Big Raddy says:

    London. I have trouble remembering my wife’s name , let alone who we beat with that team!

    MU?

  139. Gooner in Exile says:

    The great transfer debate continues. And still none of us will know what is really going on until the Manager is long gone and only then if he has written memoirs.

    Let’s look at the squad :
    GKs:
    Szczesny
    Fabianski
    Mannone
    Almunia

    Defenders:
    Sagna
    Vermaelen
    Miquel
    Koscielny
    Gibbs
    Jenkinson
    Squillacci

    Midfield:
    Wilshere
    Song
    Ramsey
    Frimpong
    Rosicky
    Lansbury
    Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Diaby

    Attack:
    Van Persie
    Walcott
    Gervinho
    Chamakh
    Arshavin
    Myachi

    That’s 25 players we can add Park to that pretty much.

    Defensively we are short a left back and a centre back (although is Wenger considering the left footed Miquel as an optio to cover at full back?)

    In midfield we are definitely short a creative force.

    Up front we do not have a lot of “experienced” pace if Theo or Gervinho are missing.

    Obviously I have not included another myriad of youngsters in the reserves that can be called upon as at the moment we need to focus on the need to pull this team together.

  140. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oops missed Djourou out of defenders

  141. London says:

    Exactly BR

    That team beat manu, I can’t remember the point I wanted to make lol

  142. Rasp says:

    Totally agree GiE. The need for a LB is now a top priority IMO.

    Should we continue to waste Sagna’s talent at LB when/if Gibbs is injured? – No.

    London,

    You weren’t going to make a point, just imply that we performed better without Cesc and Nasri :roll:

  143. Big Raddy says:

    Do you imagine that AW expects Diaby to develop into our creative MF? He always talks him up and Diaby has played very well for France.

    He has the unpredictability we lack at present.

  144. kelsey says:

    I have an ally in mickey.We are not doomers just realists and could forsee what was going to happen ages ago. That makes us just as much supporters than those who only ever see positives.one can’t paper over the cracks anymore and it was avoidable.
    Apart from Cesc,Samir and Clichy, how come suddenly traore is being sold, how come eboue was sold how come bendtner is off and how come rosicky gets a new deal for an over 30.Arshavin i think is 30 this month,he will be off and depending on how the season pans out RVP and Walcott could also easily walk/
    Why?
    I think a lot of it is a directive from kroenke, cost cutting to the maximum and promote various reservesand then hopefully buy one or two at the eleventh hour.
    Strange way to run a business.it will have a huge negative effect on the fan base and we are in for another few yeasrs of experiments.
    City can only buy so many players.
    i think kroenke more than anyone is accountable and it will be interesting to see his reaction if the shares plummet.

  145. Steve says:

    It would be a dark day indeed for Arsenal if Wenger were to be forced out.

    With Wenger, Arsenal have a distinctive approach to the game, both on and off the pitch. On the pitch the team’s style is instantly recognisable and admired globally, or at least it is in the part of the world I live in. Neutrals and even fans of our competitors are forever expressing their admiration for the way Arsenal play.

    Off the pitch Arsenal has tried to deal with the craziness of financial doping in a way that’s just as distinctive as the way the team plays – by unearthing young unknowns and tutoring them to become much better players. These players flourish in the Arsenal system, but so many of them revert to mediocrity when they leave to play elsewhere.

    Only Wenger can produce Wengeresque players and in turn these players make Wengeresque teams that are distinctive and give the club its aura, character, image, ethos, call it what you will. Everybody knows what Arsenal IS. And that’s something truly special that very few clubs possess.

    Replace Wenger with another manager and we lose that. We become a Villa, a Newcastle, a Spurs. Teams that have no discernible personality beyond an inability to cope with financial doping, frequent changes of manager and the occasional pop at Europe. Teams on a treadmill of mediocrity, numb of expectation because they know, realistically, they can’t mount a challenge to the top three. Only Arsenal can. The reason we’re all hurting so badly is because we know we can do better. We actually believe Arsenal can punch at the top weight.

    The club is reeling right now, having just been used as a punchbag by the footballing equivalent of Mike Tyson. Hysteria is rising, and the Vandals are at the gate demanding the coach’s head.

    But I’d rather be reeling and snarled at, and know we have the footballing pedigree and potential to transcend this moment, than join the mob who would unintentionally turn us into scrappers playing pedestrian football with our highest hope a sniff at 4th.

    Because that’s what we’ll be if we force the manager out: makeweights.

  146. VCC says:

    GiE 6-23. Thats no miss, my Sunday centre half can do better than him, at least he has some balls and no way would he be bundled off the ball by welback

  147. kelsey says:

    Steve,
    good post but have you thought that it may well be the board that forces wenger out not the fans.

  148. VCC says:

    Please tell me Sky sports have it wrong, that Arsenal have made a bid for Yossi Benayoun.
    If this is so, it will be the last straw this week end for me.

  149. VCC says:

    Kelsey: 7-12. Not only will the shares plummet, but just watch the attendances fall.
    I was thinking of going to Marseille for the away leg in the European Cup, you can forget that, I’m not spending my hard earned money to go and watch the crap that was served up yesterday. Never been more embarrassed in my entire Arsenal supporting years.Whats more annoying I/we could see it coming, DOH.

  150. 26may1989 says:

    @Big Raddy: Diaby “has the unpredictability we lack at present.” I’m sure it wasn’t meant as a joke but I laughed when I read that, thinking not so much of Diaby’s style of play, more of the utter predicability of his succession of injuries. If any suggestion is made that he’s the answer to our problems, I’m likely to blow a gasket. He’s 25 and in his 7th season playing for our first team, and averages something like 18 performances a season.

    We need one player of real class brought in but I fear we’ll end up making do, if we’re lucky, with someone like Benayoun or Arteta.

    I’ve been a big supporter of the club moving stadium, going through a period of austerity while that was financed and even accepting high ticket prices. But that was all for an objective: to improve the club’s financial muscle so it could buy top quality talent whilst remaining sustainable. What the hell was the point of all that, including sacrificing our beloved Highbury and paying through the nose to go to games, if we can’t or won’t use what we have when the need is so clear?

    51.5 hours and counting.

  151. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. I really rate Benayoun though his fitness is a concern. HAzard and Kaka will not come and we need some creation. I would prefer Modric but Harry would be strung up if he came to THOF!

    kelsey. I understand your concerns and it is true you have been concerned about the squad for sometime. But how could AFC have stopped the sales of Na$ri or Cesc? The others he is right to sell. Why keep Eboue?(OK with hindsight he could have done a job on Sunday), NB or the others – we were calling for them to be sold just 8 weeks ago.
    What evidence do you have that it is Kroenke’s wishes? He would have to be an idiot to start his stewardship in such a fashion, and he is no-one’s fool. As a businessman he will not wish to see his investment shrink and though he has the opprtunity to sell to Usamov, the Russian will drive down the price if AFC are struggling. No – it cannot be Kroenke.

    Steve. I agree with every word.

  152. kelsey says:

    one of the worst things about the result is that it was to Sky’s lovechild and we will see repeat after repeat all year as they did with giggs’s goal in extra time in FA Cup semi Final.

  153. fatgingergooner says:

    If we had already signed a couple of experienced players and we were picking up Benayoun aswell then people would probably say it was a good purchase! The fact that we havent bought anyone else means that fans are going to be unhappy unless we get a superstar (which probably wont happen). If hes fit and available then get him into the club, after all, we need numbers.

  154. VCC says:

    26may1989. How right you are sir. What was the point of moving from our beloved Highbury if we are not going to spend some of the revenue on the pitch? The mind boggles at the way our Arsenal is being driven at the moment. This tape will self destruct in 51 hours.

  155. London says:

    Why on earth would the board force Wenger out?

  156. kelsey says:

    Raddy,

    of course we knew nasri and cesc would or could leave,but where are the replacements we should have lined up.

    I wasn’t talking about the ability or lack of certain players such as Eboue.I just find it strange that we are having a massive clear out but not (as yet bringing in quality to the same extent.) i have no evidence but one of us will eventually be right :)

  157. Big Raddy says:

    26. The Diaby comment was tongue in cheek. As you so rightly say, he has a season ticket on the treatment table.

    His unpredictability confuses his team-mates as well as the opposition. But I do like him – he reminds me of Rodney in It’s only Fools and Horses.

  158. London says:

    VCC

    Why do you think it will be yesterday’s crap that is served up in Marseilles and not the crap that beat Udinase?

  159. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Our squad was deadwood heavy, it needed pruning, The loss of many of the squad players allows the promotion of the outstanding youth to come through.

    I agree about the replacements. Let us hope they are coming.

    I bet your car I am right (but we will never know;-) )

  160. kelsey says:

    Am I on Arsenal Arsenal or ACLF ?

  161. kelsey says:

    Well at least you have the courtesy to address me by name Raddy. (By the way i don’t drive anymore)

  162. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. I don’t undertand you ACLF comment.

    & I always address you by name. BTW you probably still have a car.

  163. 26may1989 says:

    Raddy @ 7:43pm: “he reminds me of Rodney in It’s only Fools and Horses.” :) Excellent!

  164. kelsey says:

    My wife has the car, I just pay for it. I wasn’t addressing you Raddy.

    OK.Delete this if you will.
    my reference to ACLF was that the regulars only ever see positives regardless of say a game like yesterdaty, yet funnily enough yogi has loosened his stand lately to quite an extent.heaven forbid you say something against the grain they tell you to f*** off.
    .
    Here we get a more balanced opinion, and i wouldn’t like to see that change.

  165. VCC says:

    London 7-46 : No comment, your off the Richter scale mate.

  166. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Hope the wife won’t complain too much when I come down to pick up the motor.

    As at ACLF. I rarely read any other AFC blog (apart from Arseblog which is essential reading ).

    Here we have both sides of the argument without recourse to abuse. So why do I need to go elsewhere?

  167. VCC says:

    Chas 8-08. I thought I was at an all time low a couple of hours ago, but no it got worse, reports on sky say we are in for that world beater Yossi Benayoun. WTF is going on.

  168. VCC says:

    Traore agrees personal terms and has passed a medical with Queens Park Rangers.
    Nice one

  169. chas says:

    I heard Benayoun played left back for Hapoel Tel Aviv under 13′s.

  170. 26may1989 says:

    VCC, re your 8:01pm: be fair, the team at Udinese had nine first teamers in it, yesterday’s team had just four (and of those, only one, van Persie, came from what I think of as the inner core of Vermaelen, Sagna, Wilshere, Song and van Persie). The team put out yesterday was a creature of necessity, and I for one don’t think it should be read as meaning much for the team we will see during the course of the season, including when we head down to Marseilles – great ground that one, you should go!

    But none of that should take away from the urgency of our current situation. However the situation arose, we now go into the final hours of the transfer window desperate to make three, possibly four, big signings. I can’t believe it’s come to this, but I still hold out hope.

    If we end up signing Benayoun, I’ll back the player every time and hope he delivers the quality we need. But to my eye, he’s a 31-year old with an injury problem who is decent but not brilliant.

    Have just switched on Sky to watch Fabregas playing his first La Liga game for Barca – he’s looking good…..

  171. TotalArsenal says:

    Steve @7.17 What a well written and brilliant comment! :) Wenger will get us out of this again. Your fifth paragraph should hang above every Gooners’ bed.

  172. goonermichael says:

    I hate themancs nore than most things in life. I take my hat off to Mark the manc fan though. His comment made me feel much more positive. Unlike my (manc) friend who posted ” 8 2 b an arsenal fan right now”. Yossi would be better than no one. Although it doesn’t really bother me, calling Park “dog muncher” and related names. It’s probably considered a bit racist. I’m going through Seoul in a couple of weeks. If I can get it at the airport i might give it a try.

  173. VCC says:

    26may1989.
    Totally with you about our first team, but we need 3 singings and we could even challenge the top boys in my opinion.But FFS address the immediate problem and bolster our defence. Benayoun ?????? what has he got that we have not got already. Another sick note, I believe he has played only ten games since leaving Liverpool????? (ready to be shot down by London no doubt)
    Why oh why does Wenger not spend this ready cash on Cahill/Jags/Samba, we are crying out for a big proven centre half.
    So frustrated to keep seeing this type of signing, surely by now he can see this, or are we going to read his memoirs later stating he had a hidden agenda. It makes me think.

  174. 26may1989 says:

    Fabregas scores form Messie assist. Superb goal.

  175. harry says:

    Left back in the name of andre santos? know zip about him, but have been told we have bid for him and his wiki page is upto date already !!!

    “”On August 29, 2011, he joined Arsenal Football Club for a fee believed to be in the region of €7 million””

    Believe or not to believe?

  176. RockyLives says:

    Now we’re being linked with Fenerbahce’s Brazilian LB Andre Santos.

  177. RockyLives says:

    Beat me to it Harry

  178. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. Until there is corroborated evidence I remain cynical about the Benayoun story. But AW has previous …. Silvestre, Squillaci etc. A loan deal and a pay per play arrangement might be OK. It would be very strange to pay big money (or any money) for a player of his age and injury record.

  179. 26may1989 says:

    VCC, I think we’re agreed on much of that, though I think Benayoun has in fact only played eight games since joining Chelsea last summer. So it looks a little bit worse than you thought! Though I like London’s posts – they may be spiky but he’s quick to challenge assumptions and to take all of us back to the bigger picture.

    On the defence, I’m pretty sure we will sign Cahill, given that Bolton have already signed a CB. My concern remains further up the pitch. Van Perise’s comments today about there being no excuses for losing 8-2 read to me like further code for “Get some quality players in now”. Given his contract situation (expires in 2013), his comments need to be taken very seriously.

  180. London says:

    “Fabregas scores form Messie assist. Superb goal.”

    The girl friend you were madly in love with has found another man and is having a great sex life.

    I’m gonna need counselling for this one.

  181. Big Raddy says:

    How the hell did that wiki update happen so fast? Seems the type of player AW would sign and at 28 it gives Gibbs a couple of years to toughen up before he becomes our first choice LB.

  182. RockyLives says:

    Wow London
    We lost Fabregas who’s now scoring for Barca.
    And your ex is having great sex with her new bloke?
    You’re having a shitty week! :)

  183. VCC says:

    Big Raddy 8:56 = problem is, nothing surprises me lately with Wenger’s decisions. it’s driving me to drink (Echo falls rose,super chilled) San Miguels lager. It’s sofening the hurt, and boy am I hurting/frustrated/annoyed/angry/dismayed, and simply shot to bits after this week end and speculation as to who we are interested in.
    I need a holiday. lol

  184. harry says:

    Lol Rocky, sorry………

    another recent comment in Turkish media>? we have had a bid for Mario Goetze turned down……in region of 23million? Not sure to believe that one……….He is only 19……..so maybe…lol…

  185. RockyLives says:

    Interesting discussion today.

    Not many people wearing rose tinted glasses and there’s a pretty even split between those who are more concerned and those who are more optimistic.

    VCC, Kelsey – I share many of your fears but will reserve judgement until the end of the Window. Le Boss still has time to turn it round.

  186. VCC says:

    RockyLives 9:03. I’m not surprised he’s freecking ugly man.

  187. harry says:

    @ 26May89

    “”Given his contract situation (expires in 2013), his comments need to be taken very seriously.””

    hell yes, as is walcotts, which I know some of AAers wouldnt mind leaving, we need to keep these two and jack / TV / Rambo.

  188. RockyLives says:

    VCC
    Pass us a San MIguel will you?

  189. London says:

    VCC

    Instead of saying I am off the rictascale, whatever than means, try answering the question: why on earth would the board think of sacking Wenger?

  190. RockyLives says:

    London
    I wouldn’t presume to answer for VCC (who will no doubt answer in his own way), but why would the board think of sacking AW?

    The answer would be: if they deem he has obstructed the steps that need to be taken to secure Arsenal’s continued success as a football team and a business.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that this is the case, although there is speculation about it from a certain tranche of opinion among the support base.

  191. VCC says:

    RockyLives. = Wenger is and always will be God in my house, he has done more than anyone to promote our wonderful club, but I just want to get hold of him and give him a shake, and also have a few beers and ask his opinion why he feels reluctant not to bolster our defence, considering almost everybody and his dog feels we need to do.
    Contrary to many thoughts on here I am a Wenger lover, but I am entitled to my opinion, and will air my thoughts on here until I am banned.
    Like most here I want the utmost for my club, the wonderful Arsenal. They have been my life, just ask my wife.
    Oh and London, only joking, your not that ugly,nothing that a good mask will cover up.

  192. 26may1989 says:

    Harry, fyi, Vermaelen’s contract is also up in 2013.

    I see two scenarios facing us: either we reinforce the squad adequately within the next 50 hours, and we’re able to return to challenging for the top trophies, with our key players all convinced they should stay; or we fail to add sufficient quality by Wednesday night, and, the January transfer window being too late, next summer we get decimated by players refusing to sign new contracts, prompting the other important players (Wilshere, Ramsey, Gervinho, Sagna) to doubt whether they should stay.

    I’d love to think my pessimism is misplaced (I hope regulars here know me as one of life’s optimists), but the complete failure of the club to manage this summer with anything approaching competence makes me very worried.

  193. Rasp says:

    I wanted a replacement left back when Clichy left and now we’ve sold Traore and there have been no credible reports linking us with LB’s.

    I agree with kelsey, this situation defies logic and would be beyond incompetnce if it were just that AW didn’t feel we needed replacements, therefore there must be something that we are unaware of.

  194. VCC says:

    London 9-09 = |I have never said the board should sake Wenger, why would I want them to sack the most successful manager we have ever had. Apart from being so successful, he has given us all the thrill to watch our beloved Arsenal play the wonderful game that so many try to emulate. I think my sentiments are so easy to understand (perhaps thats why I am still doing 12 hour shifts at 61 and not managing a top football team) buy a proven centre half (cor, I almost got carried away and used capitals, but I know how much you hate them to press a point upon, hows that for restraint?)
    Enough of the friendly banter, If you want to kiss and make up I promise all I want, is a common denominator = success for the mighty ARSENAL. I love you lots. lol

  195. VCC says:

    Rocky = all the San miguels are gone (my favourite beer) but I have some Carlsberg exports I can tardis over to you.

  196. Ramgun says:

    The remaining Wenger believers remind me of Jonestown, Waco and the Hitler bunker in 1945.

  197. Rasp says:

    OK, just read that we’ve been linked with Andre Santos – a left back, that’s more like it :P

    He’s 28 so would maybe be in front of Gibbs for a season or two.

  198. Rasp says:

    in fact the report says that we’ve signed Santos for £5.5m ?????

  199. Danny says:

    Frimpong has pulled out of the England Under 21 squad coz…..he’s injured!

  200. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    He’s played a bunch of times for the national team and succeeded Roberto Carlos at Fenerbahce.
    Sounds promising…

  201. chas says:

    Have you seen the video of Santos on Arsenal Action?
    It’s got him scoring loads of goals. Doesn’t look like a left back at all. :)

  202. VCC says:

    Rasp 9:35 = Hope your right, but if this was your business, would you leave it this late?

  203. VCC says:

    Hey guys, this is getting promising, if reports are to be believed, Left back sorted, Centre half next, then a Centre forward. Hopefully no nightmares tonight.

  204. Rasp says:

    No VCC I wouldn’t. I hope we don’t go in for panic buys again.

    Santos is obviously a good player. It is reported that he is signing a 4 year deal.

  205. VCC says:

    Rasp 9:50 = So do I. That’s my sentiments earlier about Benayoun. Why would we need this guy? another sick note.

  206. Rasp says:

    I’m not keen on Benayoun, he is not the quality of midfield playmaker we should be looking for and he is 31 so we really would be shopping on the bargain shelf.

  207. VCC says:

    Especially when we could have purchased = Mata/Downing/Young ?
    No brainer for me.

  208. RockyLives says:

    I’m still holding out for one big surprise – Hazzard, Sneijder, Tevez – someone to really lift the spirits.

  209. evonne says:

    Hazard to have medical at the Ems tomorrow?

  210. Rasp says:

    Hi evonne, where did you get that snippet from?

  211. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, sadly you can cross Sneijder and Tevez off that list – the wages are way too high.

  212. VCC says:

    Rasp 10:08 = I think it was wishful thinking.

  213. Danny says:

    Sorry to disagree but it won’t bother me if Benayon joins us. He’s an experienced premier league midfielder since 2005 so he knows whats it all about. He was injured just like TV all of last year but hes ok now. He’ll help us in midfield moving the ball quickly to RVP plus he can score. I mean is anybody else available with 50 hours to go whos already living in London etc?

  214. 26may1989 says:

    Santos would be fine: a LB who also plays left wing, is a current and established Brazilian international, at 28 should be at the peek of his powers, and (due to Fenerbahce’s fall from grace) could genuinely be available for a low price. Gibbs and Santos sounds better to me than Gibbs and Traore, especially given that Santos could also play on the wing.

    Now if he could convince his compatriot, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (aka Kaká), to join, he’d be well into the good books.

  215. Mickeyk says:

    We’ve been linked with everyone .what a joke .kaka coming to arsenal what kidder made that up.here’s another joke what made qpr buy traore .we’ve had a right touch getting rid of him. People think wenger has got surprises up his sleve but he’ll let us down again.some of the players who used to play for us Henry berkamp Adams overmars veria petit seamen bould merson rocky Brady stapleton George wright keown Nelson macdonald Jimmy rimmer petrovic. who we got now almunai bentner it sends a shiver down your spine.ps can it get any worse?.

  216. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    I think the 8-2 and the reaction to it might have the effect of forcing some rapid re-thinking at Arsenal. That might well include the willingness to blow apart the existing wage structure for the right superstar.

  217. VCC says:

    26may1989 10:13 = Love it…Love it …Love it..
    That would mean =
    Szcz
    Sagna Vermaelen Cahill Santos

    Walcott Wilshere ????? Gerv

    Van Persie

    Kaka

    Bring it on

  218. kelsey – I’m with you on the ‘not a doomer but a realist’ type of gooner ;)

    I’m shocked that after spending 5 years with a ‘growing team’ we’ve now dispanded it and are now a poorer ‘growing team’

    Although I have to say I do like a Brazilian and a new left back is a necessity so I hope this Santos story is true.

  219. Rasp says:

    I agree 26m, for the first time this summer I could actually say we have strengthened in a position if we sign Santos.

  220. VCC says:

    Rasp 10:21 = £26m……whatever next. lol

  221. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches, having read around, I am 80% certain Santos is coming – thank god for that, for a while I was beginning to think we really had lost our marbles.

  222. Rasp says:

    :lol: VCC, maybe 26may should change his name to 26million if we sign Hazard for that figure?

  223. It certainly looks that way Rasp and sounds like a Wenger buy, had anyone heard of him before?

    What about Yossi? A Brazilian and a Yossi – I’ve always liked Benayoun I have to say …………

  224. I fear evonne’s comment was wishful thinking :(

  225. pat says:

    @Rocky 10:16pm

    It better have done something – the 28th must be avenged. Getting a hiding like that is an obvious signal that things must be done differently. Realistically is there anyone at the club who is at Cesc level right now?

  226. Gooner in Exile says:

    Mickeyk we have had some greats I agree, we’ve also seen a lot of duffers but in my opinion they were mainly pre Wenger…..midfield Selley and Hillier or centre back Caesar or Stefan Schwarze and Jensen together at the heart of midfield.

    Kaka just won’t happen he has already said he is going nowhere, why would he want to come and be kicked about in the EPL? And you are still citing media rumour as if it’s fact. The Benayoun story comes about because he said on Twitter “negotiating with several clubs”…. Any confirmation from Arsenal? No ok let’s assume the press made it up.

  227. VCC says:

    We are on a roll boys. keep em coming.
    Just need Cahill, and perhaps Hazard/Parker

  228. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry boys, the name’s not for changing….

    Good to hear that peaches likes a Brazilian though….

    Mickeyk’s a bit of a comedian isn’t he? He must be, saying “People think wenger has got surprises up his sleve but he’ll let us down again” before including four Wenger signings in his Best Of list of Arsenal players from the last 35 years.

  229. VCC says:

    GiE 10:29 = |Hope your right about Benayoun, only press talk.
    Also read on some other Arsenal sites that they would like Joey Barton to sign for us ?////?????
    I would put myself in a mental institution if that happened.

  230. Hi 26m – sorry you missed out on the match report ;) We’re going to be needing posts in the coming days so if you fancy writing something it’ll be much appreciated.

    Roll on the 10th September …………………………

  231. 26may1989 says:

    No worries peaches, there’s no way I could have topped Exile’s great write up of a painful afternoon’s events.

    I’ll have a think about putting pen to paper (fingers to keypad) over the next week or two. The next couple of days may have a significant impact on my tone…..

  232. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, Rasp, did you receive my draft post per usual email address?

  233. Mickeyk says:

    Wenger four signings in best of list .my point is he used to sign proper players what has happened to him and we used to have big names coming in not anymore .also ashavin is being disrespectfull he don’t care how he plays he’s just running down he’s contract for a free move why don’t we just sell him .

  234. Mickeyk says:

    Here’s a joke .we’ve got a great squad and a great manager

  235. harry says:

    To be honest, although Benayoun probably wasnt top of anyone’s list, including wengers, but sometimes you need to just go left field and take a gamble for a short term option, who has experience in the PL for a starter.

    He would be cover for Wilshere / Ramsey, he has had injury problems so cannot see him been a first 11 player…..

    Now if he was all we brought, i would be gutted……..

    But at the moment, Chu-young, Santos look pretty dead certs

    add to that……Cahill, Benayoun and maybe one other super talent?

    If we got that lot in, i would be content to challenge for top 4 and see where we get……..

    Perhaps wenger see’s yossi as an option now, so he doesnt get blackmailed and he’ll get the one he wants at next TW??

    Of you add those 4 to our squad it looks a lot healthier………

  236. TotalArsenal says:

    Mickyk: Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gervinho, Nasri, Arshavin – all ‘proper’ players. Who was ‘a big name’ when they were signed? Sol perhaps, but all the others became big under Wenger’s excellent management.

  237. Nasri is a great player. Who signed him?

  238. Benayoun Is a great player. Not in Cesc’s class (obviously) but very creative. I’ll be pleased with Santos too

  239. Mickeyk says:

    Ashavins shorts are to tight we won’t even buy him a new pair.

  240. TotalArsenal says:

    Harry, how sure are you about Cahill’s arrival?

  241. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Morning all,

    How good Santos is?

  242. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    :oops: How good is Santos?

  243. TotalArsenal says:

    Gnarley, just have a look at Rasp’s post @10.23.

  244. Mickeyk says:

    Ashavin proper player kos gervinho ? .I wonder about some football surporters they just don’t know about football .what is almunia still doing at arsenal that mans mentality is a danger to the club and the country.wenger hasn’t won a thing since he lost his glasses and can’t see a thing but he’s to tight to buy a new pair.

  245. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cheers Total

  246. 26may1989 says:

    That Mickeyk’s just not what he used to be, his insults just aren’t up to it these days.

    As Martin Keown (someone I believe knows a thing or two about the game) points out today (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2031546/Martin-Keowns-blueprint-rebuilding-Arsenal.html?), Wenger has only spent big on established names twice since 2000: once for Wiltord, once for Arshavin.

    If you want to slag off Wenger, Mickeyk, get it right.

  247. TotalArsenal says:

    26, in terms of spending big, I would add Reyes to your duo.

  248. harry says:

    Total……..not 100% that’s for sure. But think of all the centre backs he is most likely.

  249. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ok. mickeyk you’ve got all your best lines out just take the ridicule and insults elsewhere. Wit is not your strong point is it?

    My problem with Benayoun is whilst I think he would fit in to the style of play I’m not sure he is the type of character we need. See below for explanation.

    Something was said in an interview with Theo and Cesc that struck me as a problem last year and I still think it needs addressing. They were asked who leads the chest thumping battle cry when Arsenal leave the dressing room. They looked at each other laughed and said that’s not our style. I would guess on Sunday the most vocal players leaving the dressing room would be Chesser and Jenkinson and maybe van Persie. I don’t think it’s a matter of being British but a matter of the psyche. I had a vision last year of a very quiet dressing room. I hope Wilshere, Frimpong and Vermaelen add a bit more of that and that is the kind of character we should be buying in midfield and at the back.

  250. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, agreed about the need for more ‘vocal expression’ in the dressing room and on the pitch. Our spine has now 4 of such players – TV, Szcz, JW, RvP – and that is looking promising for us. On top of that we have the more introvert players who still give their all on the pitch: Sagna, Theo, Song and Koscielny (and possibly Gervinho – first signs are very promising).

  251. Gooner in Exile says:

    Okay just had a quick peruse on Twitter and the rumourmill is as follows:

    Elia (Hamburg)
    Benayoun
    Gotze (Dortmund) p/ex NikB + cash
    Park (although pretty much done)
    Santos (Fenerbache) (BBC reporter tweeting done deal)
    Cahill
    M’Villa
    Marvin Martin (Socheaux)

    Seems quite a list Wenger has been working on!

  252. TotalArsenal says:

    Elia is a left winger – I can only see him come to us if AA is leaving. Gotze is the big German talent, we never bought a German player under Wenger (except for GK Lehman), so would be very surprised to see that happen. M’villa is a DM – cannot see us needing him at the moment, and Marvin Martin I don’t know at all, but I have a gut feeling he might be joining us before end of TW.

    Love to see Cahill join us.

  253. 26may1989 says:

    Never bought a German player under than Lehmann? Have you already forgotten the epic talent of Alberto Mendez?? Or a bit more seriously, Moritz Volz? Anyway, Wenger (who speaks German and comes from Alsace on the French-German border) as signed others from the Bundesliga: Rosicky and Hleb come to mind, there may be others I’m forgetting.

    Anyway, good night all.

    Ps: The Daily Mail reckon we’ve contacted Inter about Sneijder. Yes, I do realise just how much faith one should have in the Mail. But I’m still going to try to dream of Sneijder (a Dutchie I’ve admired since his Ajax days) being unveiled this week as our new number eight…..

  254. pat says:

    i heard hazard was still in the “mix” but then ive seen player and club deny they are going anywhere…

  255. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    IMHO, Arsenal has been on a spiraling course downwards towards a crash & burn situation for a while now, and it happened @ OT.

    Talk about a monster size reality check for the powers that be :shock: There is no where for them to hide; no excuses to be made; it proves how out of touch The Board has been with the fans whom they have treated like mushrooms for years now.

    But wait a moment, have Arsenal just been relegated? No! Are Arsenal being forced into administration? No! What has happened is an 8-2 butchering by the Champions of England 3 games into the season.

    Now I’m not ready to let the powers that be of Arsenal off the hook right now, infact I will fart in their general direction for a while yet, but if ever Arsene Wenger should put his hand up to be judged in May its right now.

    My advice to a man who is seriously under the spotlight of blow torch proportions, if there was ever a time to reinvent yourself, its now. “Don’t think, don’t hope, do!”

  256. RockyLives says:

    Good comment Gnarley

  257. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I don’t think that my comments about us trimming the squad were understood properly.

    When I mentioned Eboue,Traore Clichy and Bendtner(most probly)all leaving,I wasn’t implying that they were good enough to remain at Arsenal but that it’s a long time since so many players were sold more or less at the same time.Eboue and Traore could have ben sold at least two years ago so I ask myself why now ?.I believe it is a directive to sell now and reduce the wage bill so that new players can be brought in at more competitive and attractive wages than pehaps they are earning at their present club.
    Same applies to denilson and vela, both out on loan, therefore reducing the wages.

  258. evonne says:

    VCC and Rasp — I am past wishful thinking, hope is all I have left :(
    But the Hazard goss was on the radio and here:
    http://www.caughtoffside.com/2011/08/29/arsenal-to-complete-34m-double-swoop-within-48-hours-medicals-planned-for-lille-and-bolton-targets/

  259. evonne says:

    morning all, apologise for bad manners

  260. 26may1989 says:

    I’m sure you’re right Kelsey, that one of the reasons so many players are being moved on is to reduce the high net wage bill. And it’s right that that be done. But there are also good football reasons to sell players who’ve failed to realise their potential in the way hoped. Hence for example replacing the lumbering Bendtner and the delicate Vela with quicker, more direct Gervinho.

  261. 26may1989 says:

    Good morning Evonne!

  262. evonne says:

    MickeyK re Arshavin – perhaps we cannot sell him coz noone wants to buy, have you any spare cash? Now that would be proper support for the club you love

  263. evonne says:

    Morning 26 – you have no idea how much you were missed here!! The blog was flooded at one point with so much negativity, that I stopped reading. GiE, Rocky, BR and London thought very hard their corner, but they could do with some of your support, defo! RA even tried to smoke you out by throwing a few insults at your profession :)

    Where is Dandan now???

  264. BARUMGOONER says:

    Dont get me wrong, i’m glad that someone seems to have put a gun to Arsenes head and told him to buy players but why oh why wasn’t this done in July or even july 10′. Mayeb just maybe $amir wouldn’t have had his head turned and still be Sami.

    morning by the way

  265. kelsey says:

    morning botth.I still wouldn’t be surprised to se arshavin leave as well if not now but by January.
    I believe he is our second highest paid player.

    what worries me is that with all the apparent turmoil at the club,The Russian who is a fraction away of getting his 30% will then initially certainly cause more havoc though some might think he maybe a better major share holder, but that will lead to more pressure on Wenger so i say again the board not the fans may make Wenger walk away.

  266. kelsey says:

    Where is the negativity evonne ? We are discussing a disastrous start to the season and putting forward different points of view as to why this has been allowed to happen.

    BARUMGOONER, i and a few others have said the same thing.Strange way to run a business.mark my words gazidis was the wort possible PR man to have chosen and i believe he is the mothpiece for kroenke.

    if we weren’t so passionate about or club we wouldn’t bother to comment.

  267. evonne says:

    Hi Barum and Mr Kelsey
    Barum – we don’t know if it is AW’s decision not to buy big. For what he know his hands might be tied up and he does his very best with what’s available. He is an ambitious man and he wants to win, remember the scenes with Pardew, Hughes, Jol and others who we failed to beat? That’s not the face of a loser. He is also a highly intelligent man, he knows that he cannot progress without investing. No, I recon PHW is the culprit

  268. evonne says:

    Kelsey – last few weeks were filled with negativity, long before the season started. The media had their part to play, but many of us blindly followed the trend. If anything last Sunday defeat brought us closer together, at least we are all gutted :(

  269. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I clear off into the desert for a while, and lo, there cameth a Brasilian Internationl Left Back.
    I promise to up sticks shortly.
    Morning all.

  270. 26may1989 says:

    Barum @ 7.32am: I agree, stabilising the current squad was one of the reasons we should have done our business early. That said, I reckon Nasri would’ve gone anyway.

    Evonne: Sorry not to have been around, especially if RA was besmirching my very fine, principled (haha) profession. I’ll be having words with him…..

  271. kelsey says:

    For all the greatest AW has brought to the club one could label him a control freak, and control freak don’t like to be told what to do. PHW is just a mouthpiece with 0.8% of a share and is the chairman, IMO he has no say in the real matters concerning the club.

  272. kelsey says:

    A Brazilian and a possible israeli = a tight nut ;)

  273. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Evonne,
    I think a major part of the frustration is we don’t know how the inner sactum operates. One thing I said yesterday was that SK is a very successful business man and falling out of the top four would have an horrible impact on the value of his investment.
    I still believe there could be major movement in the market today/morrow.

  274. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey morning to you too. :-)

  275. kelsey says:

    An then thre is Almunia. i read it was a done deal he was going to oil rich Malaga,but that has gone quiet.Surely he won’t be kept on the books ?

  276. evonne says:

    Kelsey – are you sure? A control freak, where does this come from?

    So in your opinion the not buying/buying unproven cheap players is all down to AW being a tight git? you might be right, but I cannot believe it!

    26 – go easy on RA, we need his humour here :)

  277. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Jeepers, all alarms in sync today. Hi 26, and hope you had a great holiday. Somewhere interesting?

  278. kelsey says:

    morning Micky,

    agreed but it doesn’t make sense at least in a business sense.

  279. evonne says:

    Micky – let’s just hope they won’t miss the bloody deadline

    Yes, the fact the we don’t know gives plenty of scope for speculations. I wish someone (Lady Nina) spilled some beans

  280. kelsey says:

    No evonne,

    You misunderstood.The written word is not one of my fortes.Is oxe chamberlain a cheap buy.he is to some extent a gamble.

    There is a link between being stubborn and having complete control and IMO AW doesn’t have it anymore, little rspectfrom cerain players which in the main we have shipped out and from the board.having said that, that is the modern footballer today,no loyalty just get as muh in wages as you can.it actually puts me off the game I have loved for years.

  281. evonne says:

    Hm, perhaps Annie Wenger will shed some light on the subject once the divorce is settled :)

  282. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If the Santos deal is true, the most interesting and encouraging aspect for me is that he had appeared on no tweeted linked leaked sources by someone close to anyone.

  283. MickyDidIt89 says:

    To clarify that gobbledogook, it means that absolutely any player could be about to walk through the Marble Halls (well, faux leatherette and lino foyer).

  284. 26may1989 says:

    Hi Micky. The hols were great, a combination of a stay in a cottage in beautiful mid Wales, camping for our annual trip to the Green Man music festival in the Beacons and a week in Ireland, staying in lovely Kenmare in County Kerry. Really great time. And now back to work. Oh well.

  285. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    Sounds right up my street. Had one of our greatest family holidays on a really beautiful narrow boat on a canal in the Breacons.

  286. dandan says:

    Morning all

    I am around OK Evonne Ty, Like you I believe that the club has been flooded by a storm of emotive negativity. But said I would not join the hue and cry until the window is closed and business done and will stick to that

  287. VCC says:

    Morning all.
    Fingers crossed we get a couple of players today.
    Will keep skysports on all day, wishful thinking.
    I.m hoping the Benayoun deal will fall through though.
    Catch you all later.
    Have a great day fellow AA’ers

  288. 26may1989 says:

    It’s a cliché, Micky, but there are so many wonderful places to see close to home. I’ve enjoyed my more exotic travels but it’s easy to forget just how much these islands have to offer.

  289. dandan says:

    26 @ 8:07

    Work!! Whats that? :-)

  290. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    Too right. I spent way in excess of a million pounds going to Portugal this summer, and great though it was, it had nothing of the “adventure factor” of mooring the barge in the woods and cooking on the river bank.
    Its expensive as hell, but the Scilly Isles are something else.

  291. Red Arse says:

    Morning People, :-)

    Well right on schedule we are linked with some mega signings on the penultimate day of the TW! :-)

    Well, Benayoun, Malouda and some Brazilian who I have been pining for that is.

    With any luck Arsene will tell us he tried to get them but it was not possible! Oh there goes that cynical streak, just because I am sulking, by thinking we would get in at least ONE really mega signing to replace our best TWO world class outgoing players.

    Perhaps Malouda and Benayoun are world class – I will wait until Arsene tells me they are that first before hailing them the second coming! :-)

  292. evonne says:

    North Wales is the most beautiful place on this planet. A sunny day during the lambing season beats any place hands down.

  293. WiganGooner says:

    Morning Pop Pickers!!

    Maybe he’s signing Benayoun because he always pulls something out of the hat against us? At least he has premier league experience..I’d love to know whether at 28 Santos will be playing second fiddle to Gibbs or will it be the other way around?

    Interesting times!

    WG

  294. Danny says:

    Last night on Wikipedia it said Santos had joined us for 5.5m – now its been removed. Does anybody know whats really going on?

  295. Rasp says:

    Morning, I’m very happy about the Santos signing, less about Benayoun – he’s not a top quality midfield playmeker just entering the peak of his career (Cesc/Nasri) I’m afraid it is more about the price tag!

    Cahill will cost more than £10m and Hazard probably more than £20m, let’s hope we are prepared to pay the going rate for top quality.

  296. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I suspect the Hazard deal is a dead duck.

  297. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasp

    Good morning good Sir! I agree, I like the idea of Santos, I’ve not seen much of him though. Has anyone any idea about him? Is he a rampaging full-back in the mould of Carlos, Cafu, Michel Bastos? Or is he a bit more pedestrian?

    WG

  298. Rasp says:

    It looks that way RA I agree, but you never know.

    I am relieved that we haven’t completely lost it and we are signing a quality player. I would love to know if the club view Santos as a replacement for Clichy or Traore – if it is for Clichy, why wait until the very end of the TW?

  299. Rasp says:

    Morning WG,

    I put a youtube compilation of him up earlier. He is an attacking FB and he scores goals. He has a Brazillian left foot by the look of it and he’s not afraid to use it!

    I have no idea how good a defender he is though, but to get in the national side he must be decent.

  300. Mickeyk says:

    Morning my friends

  301. Rasp says:

    Morning Mickeyk,

    It’s wonderful to wake up to some good news for a change. The Santos deal isn’t signed, sealed and delivered yet, but it is clearly going through bar any last minute hitches

  302. Rasp says:

    New post ………

  303. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    Someone must have dropped a hint to Arsene by threatening to fire a heat seeker missile up his Arsene if he did not spend, coz it seems Mertesacker appears to have been signed.

    Hey Arsene have you tried this beer, its really good :P

    http://www.ratebeer.com/beerimages/12236.jpg

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