Give Chamakh more starts, and Arsenal might be all right again.


 

 

A passionate defence of an underrated Gunner, who deserves more respect!

Marouane Chamakh is an enigma to me. My gut feeling tells me he is a very important player for us, and yet his performances to date have been regarded as unimpressive.

Unimpressive if you compare him to Robin van Persie, and look at the hard stats of ‘total goals scored’ and ‘goals scored per game’; unimpressive if you study his body language – he seems uninterested, and unhappy with himself, and isolated and lost amongst his teammates. But statistics and perceptions are not all and everything, and I have learned to trust my gut feeling a bit more over the years.

Recently, the super-gelled Moroccan has come under some fierce criticism from fellow Gooners, and I feel a need to stand up for him. I believe Chamakh is a vital player for Arsenal and – here comes the controversial part – not as a sub, or a so called bench warmer, a squad player, no: Marouane’s real importance for Arsenal is to lead our attack from the start far more regularly.

I can imagine you saying now: you are a mad man: have you seen him recently? He just scored one goal and missed many opportunities – he is rubbish, get rid of him. Chamakh started three games for Arsenal this season: Udinese, Shrewsbury and Olympiakos, all three home games, and all three we won. RvP started 9 games in the same period of which we only won 3, drew 2 and lost 4. I can imagine you saying now: RvP has been (one of) our best player(s) and our bad start to the season has nothing to do with him: our problems lay somewhere else. I would ago along with that for now: it is early days and we have had to endure a topsy-turvy start to this season, so it would be wrong to pull any conclusions yet. Still, it is not unremarkable that we won 3 out of 3 when Marouane started for us in recent games.

I am not that keen on statistics. In fact, I can hardly listen to SKY Sports live commentary anymore, for the simple fact that statistics are thrown at us constantly, and very often these are totally useless and distract us from watching the game in peace. They like to use stats to have an indirect dig at Arsenal, cleverly leaving it to us to pull their (readily projected) conclusions. However, I realise I cannot say on this blog that Marouane Chamakh should get more starts, simply based on my gut feeling. So, I did some statistical homework regarding the previous season, and this is what I found:

Marouane Chamakh:

Started:  27 games (all competitions/ Arsenal only).

Team Goals during MC games started:   65 goals – on average 2.41 team goals per game.

Individual goals during MC games started: 11 goals – on average 0.41 individual goals per game.

Games won during MC games started: 16 wins – of all games started with MC 59% were won.

Games drew during MC games started: 6 draws.

Games lost during MC games started: 5 defeats.

Robin van Persie:

Started:  26 games (all competitions/ Arsenal only).

Team Goals during RvP games started: 48 goals – on average 1.85 team goals per game.

Individual goals during RvP games started: 18 goals – on average 0.69 individual goals per game.

Games won during RvP games started: 13 wins – of all games started with RvP 50% were won.

Games drew during RvP games started: 6 draws.

Games lost during RvP games started: 7 defeats.

So my gut feeling was right all along: Chamakh is an important player for us and compares well with Robin van Persie.

In fact, when Chamakh started for Arsenal during the 2010-2011 season, we scored significantly more goals (2.41 goals per game compared to 1.85 for RvP) and we won more games (59% compared to 50%) than when RvP started during that same period. Yet, the latter one is loved and respected and the former is, shall we say, less appreciated. You might say that MC is a striker and he should be judged on his goal scoring record, but for me that does not matter anywhere near as much as his contributions to us winning games. And btw, 0.41 goals per game is not bad at all. RvP’s 0.69 goals per started game is of course phenomenal, but if Arsenal – as a team – score less goals and win less games then this is, overall, less valuable to us.

For me, there are two reasons why Chamakh is less appreciated. Firstly, he is far less effective as a substitute. Marouane is simply not a super-sub and will probably never be one, but this is having a big impact on how he is perceived. Secondly, his contributions to our team are far less visible then those of RvP. He works hard and often with his back towards the goal, linking well with his fellow attacking midfielders, creating space and opportunities for them. This will not get him into the big headlines, as strikers are almost entirely judges on goals and assists – the curse of statistics.

When RvP plays, other attacking players appear to work hard to get him in goal-scoring positions – in a way ‘outsourcing’ the responsibility of scoring goals to him only. When Chamakh plays in games from the start, there appears to be more collective responsibility for scoring goals and he works hard to allow the midfield to move forward into the danger area, and to put his fellow attackers in positions to score goals. Of course, like every other Gooner, I would like him to be more selfish and hungry at times, but as the stats above indicate, his role and contributions to our team are more valuable to us than we think.

To give you an illustration of this: the other day, against Olympiakos, Chamakh was heavily criticised for his performance. He did not score, wasted a couple of good opportunities, and he did also not have any direct assists. Yet, both goals would not have happened if it was not for him. For the first one, he took defenders with him into the box, whilst the Ox was left with space to take, relatively unhindered, a shot from the best possible position (he took it well, mind you!). For the second one, he created the space for Santos to take a shot to the near post of the goalkeeper, who had no choice but to get a bit closer to Chamakh, so Santos could not play him in. You might say, I am clutching at straws, but football is a team sport and it’s often those sort of relatively small things that can make a real difference to whether goals are scored or not, or whether we win or lose.

Chamakh deserves more respect from us and, I for one, hope that he will get to start a lot more games for Arsenal this season.

Chamakh oh Chamakh
Not scoring, yet winning still
unveil your merit!

TotalArsenal.

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179 Responses to Give Chamakh more starts, and Arsenal might be all right again.

  1. Adam says:

    This just has to be a wind-up.

  2. Gooner in Exile says:

    TA that is a fine post in defence of a much maligned player. However I need to know whether Cesc was playing in the games to see if it is just Cham/RvP comparison.

    But a bit like Henry RvP is becoming the focal point of attacks and that makes us a bit one dimensional, as you say football is a team game and creating space for others has always been overlooked by viewers of the game, only when you listen to top pundits (normally ex coaches) do you see these minor details.

    As I said recently I dislike when keyboard warriors express disrespect for players in the shirt of Arsenal with insulting language. But I’m sure we will see a lot of it today.

  3. Kingkongkirk says:

    Excellent Post! With much disagreement with my fellow fans, i have always said, we look more dangerous upfront, when MC is there. Even if it’s from an Aerial perspective.!

    Can’t understand it, but why doesn’t wenger either play RVP in the Fab role, with MC ahead of him, RVP is just as good a passer as FAB, or the other alternative, PlaY AA, behind RVP in The FAB role. It would give us alot more fluidity!

  4. Red Arse says:

    Morning TA, :-)

    An admirable attempt at redeeming Chammy’s reputation, and some good statistical research too.

    Clearly he has something about him, especially in the threat with headed goals, as he showed this time last year, but it has been fleeting.

    His form, when he has played, from January onwards has been pretty abysmal, and it has not been nice to see, because I cannot help but feel an empathy for any Arsenal player in turmoil.

    The dilemma is that either we accept he is with us for the long run and therefore we have to make the best of what we have got, weaknesses and all, and give him our support and respect; —-
    or we say he is just not good enough and Arsenal should not have to make do with a sub-standard player who will drag us down, and hope AW gets rid of him and buys a quality CF more suitable for the aspirations of a top club like Arsenal.

    Despite your valiant efforts, the case is not proved.

    It will be interesting to see how the “vote” goes today! :-)

  5. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz, :-)

    I saw your comment earlier this morning, and had not realised you were a film buff. Your Lancelot quote from Excalibur was extremely apt, and well done for thinking of it.

    I am again impressed! :-)

  6. jiz says:

    Chamakh is absolute pony. You really are clutching at straws

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    An interesting post TA, but not one I can wholly agree with I’m afraid.

    My main issue is why did we buy him in the first place. We needed, we still need, someone who is a proper striker. Chamakh’s past history shows that the type of performance we get from him is exactly what we should have expected.

    He is only half a striker. He can head the ball well but is very poor at shooting? He can take defenders out of position but he can’t beat a man with a trick or turn a defender. He is not strong enough to hold the ball up for any length of time.

    If we bought him as a link-up midfielder who can pose an aerial threat in the box then we’ve got exactly what we wanted – but we’ve needed an out and out striker since Eduardo’s leg was broken and we still haven’t got one with Chamakh.

  8. frankie frankie says:

    Give Chamakh more starts and we will be relagated.

  9. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Good post TA,

    Despite what some people think Chamakh is a good player. Whether he fits into our style of play is another question. I think this is a case of a player been procured to add something different to the squad. This term ‘adding something diffrent’ is always very dangerous for the player in question since his qualities might not gel with the exsisting setup.

    Regardless of all of this, we should realy cut this guy a bit of slack. His match time is in fits and starts, not ideal for any player,his confidence is low and he needs support, not the abuse and antoganism he gets from certain sections of the crowd.

  10. Davi says:

    I don’t think the comparison is fair because RVP returned to a side that was very short of confidence, following the CC defeat, and under constant attack from referees. Chamakh was playing at the start of the season when players like nasri and arshavin were still fresh and doing relatively well. The stats show what we all (should) know – Chamakh had a good start to last season, and is capable of doing a good job for us.
    In any case, the team is crying out to go back to 4-4-2 so that chamakh or VP can start connecting with and making space for a strike-partner, rather than having to feed off balls played into an isolated position.

  11. Davi says:

    Rasp – there are so few strikers like eduardo. He had fairly average pace and strength, but was just so smart in his movement and cool in his finishing – he could turn anything into a goal! I have little doubt he would have been as big as henry had it not been for his injury. He was the last real gem that wenger picked up out of nowhere, and would have led us to the title in 2008, but unfortunately it was ruined for us.
    To find another like him would be an incredibly difficult task. Also, if we are going to persist with this 4-3-3 formation, he has to be an even more complete forward, as eduardo couldn’t play up front on his own so effectively.

  12. Kevin Williams says:

    I had high hopes for Chamakh when he arrived hoping he would be a talisman for the team, leading from the front. But this hope has gone. But I don’t think it’s all Chamakh’s fault.I think he would be more effective playing along side a mobile striker with pace which would mean a change in formation. Or in the current formation a midfield that have an eye for goal and are going to contribute between 7-12 goals each as in teams go by.
    Chamakh is not the kind of striker who is going to create chances for himself or crack one in from 25 yards so he needs quality around him to succeed.
    I cant imagine to many PL defenders describing Chamakh as a hand full to play against, so aggression and urgency are two more facets he needs to add to his game.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning RA. Different sort of post today, isn’t it? :)

    I am sure you will not be the only one who will take that stance today. You say his performance has been abysmal since the start of 2011. But since the start of this year, he has started only 9 games (of which 3 during the new season). Of those 6 games since January up unitl the end of last season, he only started once in a PL game (last game of season against Fulham), the other 5 were cup games. As I said in the post, he is not a super-Sub, but if and when he starts for us, Arsenal achieve better results and there is nothing substandard about that, and In our system of 4-2-3-1 that we play he is as good for the team as any striker out there.

    As a final note, Barcalona let both Eto and Ibrahimovic go in recent years – both top-top strikers who did not suit the Barca system. Our system is pretty similar and it requires strong central midfielders and wingers who come forward and want and can score goals. Chamakh fits this system very well imo.

  14. Davi says:

    @Kevin – Chamakh was a handful at the start of last season. He would put defenders under pressure all the time. His confidence has dropped since, and I guess so has his workrate.

  15. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    When Chamakh first came to the club he was dragging defenders all over the place and allowing the likes of Theo, Cesc and that bloke who went to City to run into the gaps, and it was working a treat. Chamakh needs pace and movement around him so he can show his qualities.

    He reminds me a bit of Alan Smith, but that was 20 years ago in an era when big guys with no pace playing up front were the norm.

    Good player, but wether Arsene will get the best out of him in this current setup is open to debate.

  16. oz gunner says:

    @ TA great post backed up by some key stats.

    MC was getting hit from pillar to post when he first came here, but he was scoring. Its as though he is not physically up for the EPL and has since gone into his shell, not putting himself into the great positions he once did. His lack of a shot worries me, as does his need to pass when running in one-on-one with the keeper.

    @ RA

    haha cheers, been to bali countless times so i’ve got more dvds than you can poke a stick at, and my lack of sleep leaves me watching dvds well into the night (however AA now feels the void). It is a classic

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi Davi, there are strikers out there – I have high hopes for Joel Campbell when he can finally play over here. Chamakh is far too ‘dainty’ he lacks aggression and physical presence. A striker should make a real nuissance of themselves to defenders. Compare his game to the likes of Sturridge or Wellbeck – they look hungry to score – Chamakh looks scared.

    Whatever it was that went on last Christmas it wasn’t 6 weeks off for fatigue – that is 2 weeks out, he was affected psychologically I believe and that has impaired his game ever since. I don’t think he has gelled with the other players or is mentally or physically suited to playing in the Premiership.

  18. Rasp says:

    Sadly I can’t ever see AW playing 4:4:2 which would definitely suit Chamakh’s game.

  19. Chinedu uniport says:

    All this gut feeling means nothing unless he scores.I think Afc should try T.henry(loan)-in form this season,or osaze odewingie(nigerian)

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, I knew this would be a post you would class as one that you would publish but not necessarily agree with yourself. I respect your views as always.

    As I wrote in the comment to RA, the system of football that we play does not function that well with a ‘proper’ striker – as you call it, and I think you mean a classic striker – as we become to narrow/reliant on that striker to score our goals. I like your description of the link-up midfielder, and that is what he is in a way: a link-up striker/midfielder who works with the attacking midfielders to create changes and score goals by whoever gets in the best position.

    It would interesting to know who Arshavin, Cesc and Nasri preferred to play with last year…

  21. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    On a side note, what is going on with Chamakhs hair? if he continues to persist with all that obscene gel he will soon be contacting me to refer him to my Transplant Surgeon.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    TMHT – some fine comments today :) Does your surgeon also do confindence transplants?

  23. arsenaloudin says:

    Robin van Persie & Marouanne Chamakh
    Andrei Arshavin Theo Walcott
    Arteta & Song
    Santos Kosceilny & Mertasacker Gibbs
    Szescney

  24. ne says:

    we need to push for 442. 433 is killing the defence with new guy..

  25. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi TA,

    Yes indeed, a good transplant will certainly give you more confidence. The only drawback is that confidence is fragile and sometimes can be replaced with paranoia when you think someone is looking weirdly at your transplants. Come to think of it, if Chamakh is lacking confidence now, what will he be like when all that gel eradicates his barnet, poor bloke will be suicidal.

  26. fatgingergooner says:

    totally agree TA.

    I posted recently about how when MC has been brought on after 70 mins or later he has never scored for us. Something like 12 games where this has happened. If you look at his starts his record for Arsenal is pretty good.

    To get the best out of him he needs to be starting games, with the current performances in the team he is definately worth a punt.

    stats dont lie and as a starter his are decent.

  27. Gooner in Exile says:

    Some good points this morning which I agree with. Especially with regard to about other players around him.

    The more I think on it the more I see truth in this post. In fairness to Chamakh he is often sent on when we are chasing a game, defences are packed and we have too many forwards in the final third. This is when he is least effective, he needs to be a player that receives ball (back to goal) plays in a winger and turns for the box, this only effective on the counter attack. Also so many defences are now well drilled to hold positions and zones that he cannot pull players out of position in these stages of the game.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    TMHT :) You do not want anybody looking weirdly at your transplant, agreed!

    Maybe there is a subliminal message in his overdosing on gel: he feels he is not gelling enough with his fellow players…

  29. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA,

    I think we can demonstrate how easy it is to politely disagree whilst listening to what the other has to say :P

    My issue is seldom with the player as they will invariably give their best – my concern is why we went for a player like Chamakh when we weren’t going to play to his strengths.

    I can’t ever see Chamakh blasting the ball into the top corner from outside the box, he doesn’t have the capability unfortunately. Sadly we have very few players who would have even taken on the shot that Walker produced let alone scored from it (yes I know he won’t make a habit of it either)

  30. boyo says:

    i rate stick him and van persie up front and drop ramsey play 4-4-2

  31. chas says:

    Flippin heck, what a great in-depth post, TA. Top stuff.

    This made me laugh….
    http://bit.ly/prKHVf

  32. chas says:

    Saw this elsewhere, hahaha

    “Newspapers report this morning that Chelsea fans are all up in arms about plans to move out of stamford bridge…..A Chelsea fans spokesman called it an “outrage’ and said “The club can not bulldoze 6 years of history just like that’….”

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    FGG – you are right. In fact, I found out that Chamakh came on as a substitute 17 times (very often for just 5 minutes) in all competitions last season, and he never managed to score a goal. Yet, RvP came on 7 times as a substitue and scored an incredible 6 goals, almost one per game! This reads to me as, start MC more regularly and have RvP come on as a sub when necessary. Obviously RvP is a great striker too, but different, and he should start a lot of games as well. However, if we do start with RvP we should not use MC as a substitute: everybody loses if we do that.

    Hi GiE, thanks for the support. I can honestly say that I feel confident if and when Chamakh starts a game. Our team stats are solid when he starts. It is really important now that the likes of Theo, Gervinho, Arteta, Ramsey, Arshavin and the Ox buy into our system of contributing and scoring goals as much as possible. For many reasons, and let’s pray RvP does not get injured again during this international break, we should avoid to become too reliant on the devastating Dutchman (of whom I am a big fan as well of course).

    But I am also sure there are other strikers out there who can do an even better job at the ‘holding attacker’ role.

  34. Chinedu uniport says:

    What Afc need 1st is a creative & strong mid field,visualize this7;-arterta;gourcuff;hazard ;& song or granero in the midfield.We just need a 15-20 goal striker 2 pair Rvp & we are on

  35. barbes says:

    the issue of the success and failure of Chamakh lies with wenger decision to form a duo attack between RVP and MC. i suggest come January 2012 Wenger should bring in goucuff, chamakh partner in crime in france and wenger will experience the unexpected despite his ruling out arsenal for the title chase.

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post TA and excellent to be back talking football :-)
    I happen to think this is a great post for a slightly oblique reason. NB has (sadly imo) gone and RvP is about to be injured. Then what? MC will be given a starting berth as CF, so quite apart from anything else, he is about to need our full support.
    Clearly he has not set many things on fire since his great start, however, remember Adebeyor’s first season? We must also consider two other things. The club from bottom up is structured around the ball on the ground. Second, how many times last season were both MC and NB played wide? Ooops run out of space

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, you are right – he is not that sort of striker. He reminds me a bit of Nwankwo Kanu who scored about 1 goal in every four games for us but he was great at link up play and holding on to the ball, allowing others to get into attacking positions. Chamakh does this too, but if you are looking for red-blood testorone 30 goals a season striker then he is clearly not your man.

    I guess it is my DNA-alliance with total football that makes me less worried about the goal scoring record of a striker, and more focussed on a system of play that works for us best. I am not against 4-4-2, in fact it would refreshing to play this for a while, but like you and others have said, I cannot see it happening soon, and there is a key role of MC in the 4-2-3-1 – akin to total football – system we play at the moment.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Micky, good points. Hope you are feeling a bit better again? :)

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    Drugs are good and they are very clever :-)

  40. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    TA’s post about Chamakh raises some fundamental issues that goes beyond the player himself, r.e. the system and formation we play. I think Rasp alluded to this in one of his responses.

    I found it interesting that after the game on Sunday Arsene was asked a question about our away form, and responded with a rather curt ” This system gained us the best away record last season”.

    We have played 3 in the middle since 2005, when teams started playing 3 themselves in there to stop our 2 from playing, unfortunatly often successfuly.

    Could there be a stratejic rethink about our system and tactics going on with Arsene and the coaching staff?

  41. kelsey says:

    TA,
    chamakh is more of an emotive subject than an enigma.

    he is nearly 28, came on a free and has a goals ratio of 1 in 4 in the PL yet he has only scored rarely in the past year yet he hasn’t played as you point out, a full game very often.
    Best converter of headers i believe in the CL before he joined us, but a striker or fox in the box, he is not.We have enough players who just lay the ball off to another.
    If the injnction is in his head still, i don’t know but weighing everything up there isn’t much i have seen in him that makes me think he could be our saviour if something went wrong with RVP.
    I think as he was on a free it was more of an experimental transfer and i agree with rasp that he is another “nice” boy.

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Nice Boy” :-)
    That’s not very nice is it?

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For all the 4-4-2’ists out there. Do we really have the players to make the system work? I think not, whereas I do think we have the players to make 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 work. Its just that I don’t think AW necessarily gets them in the right order.

  44. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    It doesn’t take much to change a struggling team (relativly speaking) into a succesful one.

    The double season of 98 springs to mind. Two things happend that year that stick out to me. One of course was the introduction of Anelka and the other was tactical. We started the season withh 442 with overmars and Parlour wide. Arsene changed it and asked Ray to come inside more, offering more protection, and allowed Overmars on the flank to concentrate on his offensive duties, and we all know what happened after that.

    I am now currently fantasising of some kind of repeat of 98 for this season and it feels good.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Kelsey, As I have said in earlier comments, it is all about both the system of football we play and what you and I, and others, focus on when judging the qualities of a striker.

    And yes, he is a phenomenal header of the ball, as Chas’ video showed again, but how many quality crosses do we deliver into box with our 4-2-3-1 football system? Both Clichy (luckily now gone) and otherwise fantastic Sagna cannot cross a ball for the life of them, and our wingers often struggle as well.

  46. sammymarvin says:

    Chamak is a great player, from his stats he has been very effective.The problem i feel is wenger and the board again i say the BOARD finally they are paying for there neglect and WENGER is a scape goat. Why on earth should we continue selling and selling, wenger had a vision but the board had a eye on the money, i mean Money, how i wish we listened to lady nina …… when she said the board members are all corrupt. what in God’s name will make wenger sell Nasri and Fabregas , now poor wenger is confused becos the board has put him in a tight coner. Back to the main topic wenger is not getin somethings right how will u play an arshvin as a left wnger when he is redhot playing from the central most of the players in our squad are good central attackers but wenger is making them play outwide look at walcott,bendner, and evn attime s chamak.let wenger give this guys there right role s and arsenal will be smoking chamak should play a top nine and van p an 8 eight while chamak has always been a target man fix him there let him start and he will start scoring

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    As its Marouane Chamakh day, I will leave you with a thought before I pass out:
    .
    …….MC
    Theo…RvP….Oxo
    …Jack Song
    Santo BFG Verm Sag
    …….Sz
    .
    Not too shabby.

  48. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sammy,

    With all due respect, its not the Board. Our latest figures show a wage bill of over 125 million, one of the highest in the league. No money has been extracted from the club by shareholders.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Micky, the drugs do work hey, in every sense :) But I like that line up very much – and the good thing is, sooner or later we can actually play that formation, and if it wasn’t for those rotten injuries, we could do it right now…. We need the patience of a saint at the moment. Enjoy the rest of your prescription :lol:

  50. clash says:

    Seriously unfortunate, that is the only way i can describe some comments here. folks, spare a thought or so for that Chamakh who came to PL from france, ran his socks out in the 1st half of the season and scored some good goals.

    He is much more than a decent player, who is excellent with head but frustrating with his feet. Sadly we dont pump in so many crosses to the box that he can nod in. He holds up the ball, take defenders with him and allows others to come in to play and score goals.

    Someone has mentioned that he is not brave enough. I dont understand that. A player who puts his head at almost anything in the air being afraid and sorts. He needs more match time and will only get better.

    Most of you, take a break and enjoy this goal:

    I havent seen Arsenal scoring a goal like this for ages.

  51. kelsey says:

    Well if his main asset is heading it’s not rocket science that he needs good crosses, so back to the training ground .

    I still believe in many instances we buy players and their natural instincts are taken away from them to play wengerball

    rosicky when fit was a good example.

    can we have a team of attackers who are clones of one another ?

    instead let players do what they are good at but then we have to have the quality of players who can do that, individuals who can change a game on their own , at least occasionally.

  52. Rasp says:

    Hi clash and welcome,

    There is nothing unfortunate about the comments on here, they are opinions and are expressed with due respect to the player (except a couple of blogsnipers who we tend to disregard). Nobody is denying that Chamakh is an excellent header of the ball and that we do not play to his strengths. The problem is his weakness in other areas, primarily the ability to beat a man, to take a touch and set up a scoring opportunity for himself, and his lack of a half decent shot.

  53. gunnern5 says:

    TA:

    A valiant attempt but I believe that you are defending the indefensible. His head has not been right since before Christmas and it’s outside influences that appear to have been the cause. We’ve all had the opportunity to surf and find out what has been reported and that seems to be the main reason for his poor form.

    When he arrived he was a breath of fresh air (same as Gervinho )but he soon went off of the boil. It could well be, as Kelsey eluded to, that playing AW ball takes away a lot of a players natural instincts.

    I read yesterday that Nasri has six assists in 7 games at Man C – as many as he had in 78 games for Arsenal. So it might well be that the AW way is indeed muting a players skill set.

  54. Red Arse says:

    All fans want to be supportive and committed to their team and its individual players. That is the common basis for us all.

    However, the opinions of fans are by their nature undeniably subjective (that is to say biased) and are governed by the likes and dislikes of the each fan’s individual personality and their personal experience.

    We, as fans, are all deeply involved with the club and each of us has an opinion on how we want the team to play or have our own opinions on the worth, or otherwise, of individual players.

    It can therefore be disconcerting to find other fans disagree with us.
    When opinions differ markedly, this can lead to heated arguments because these opinions are very personal to each individual and disagreement with another can also feel personal.

    An ‘objective’ assessment of the team or an individual player is based on solid fact, and not personal likes and dislikes, and is therefore (in theory) an unbiased and balanced view.
    However, this does not always bring differing opinions together either, because establishing what are acceptable ‘facts’ can also be problematical.

    Take statistics for example. The gathering of data is relatively straightforward and can be quickly agreed by all — where the problem lies is in the ‘interpretation’ of the data.

    In short – nobody’s mind or opinion will be changed by statistics alone, and neither will someone with a conservative personality readily agree with the view of another with a more adventurous personality, and vice versa.

    This is particularly true in trying to agree a common opinion of a football player’s worth, because the old adage holds true – ‘one man’s meat really is another’s poison’.

    X rates Chamakh highly – Y thinks he is poor, such differences of (biased) opinion are unlikely to be changed by either party however hard and long a discussion rages.

    Just go with the flow! :-)

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi,G5, I cannot find much truth in what is reported, nor am I really bothered about it. As soon as RvP was fully fit, Chamakh did get very few starts but we never lost a game in which Marouane started this year. His substitute appearances were indeed as you call it ‘off the boil’, but I do think his skillset suits our 4-2-3-1 style of play and am fairly confident that as long as he is given plenty of starts Arsenal will do well.

    Interesting those Nasri stats. He made a decent start for MC, but I watched him against Bayern Munich the other day and he looked as lost and hopeless as we got to know him to be at the end of last season for our mighty club. Footballers get found out, and defenders learn to exploit their weaknesses.

  56. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey you raise a good point, the video of DB10 and TH14 that TA posted yesterday, made me realise just how lucky we were to have those two up front. As you say players who given any situation or style of play could do what they wanted and change a game.

    I always remember Lee Dixon being asked by a fellow pro (can’t remember who on radio) about the way Arsenal played.

    “Is it true that Arsene only let DB10 move towards the ball wirh back to goal and everyone else had to move forward?”

    To which Dixon replied

    “No, Arsene just told us to play without fear”

    So basically apart from moving the ball on the ground that was our special weapon, unfortunately I think the team is now enveloped by fear. You can play without fear if you think your teammates will help you out should it not come off. I think this is where we struggle now, and comes back to this seasons constant complaint from me “failure to take responsibility”

  57. nals88 says:

    while you make some credible points, the only way i see chamakh as a starter is if we switch to a 4-4-2 system…he will never be put ahead of rvp in the current formation, but will wenger change the system?

  58. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    The way we play at times also favours MC over RVP, i mean how many games do we send the ball into the box and hope something happens (even though no one is in their, or its RVP by himself). Against spurs we sent in cross after cross yet is RVP going to win a header against kaboul or king? i think not. Most games this happens (the most obvious was Manure game that we won last year, where sagna sent in 479 crosses to either vidic or rio). Our plan B is cross yet with RVP it is hopeless, even the low cross fails as we never have anyone surging into attack the ball (walcott, AA never do, and are to small). The last player i remember attack low crosses and getting into the box whenever he could was flamini

  59. RockyLives says:

    Well done TA – that’s what I call a proper Post.

    I’m not sure what I think about the Chamster but you have given me food for thought.

    The stats you present are impressive (in his favour) but his goals came when we, as a team, were flying. RvP single-handedly kept us competitive in the second half of the season when, frankly, we were pants. Whether the difference was Cham, or whether it was the collective spirit/performance of the team is a very debatable point.

    I haven’t written him off, like many Arsenal fans. But I do agree with nals88 and others that we would see the best of him in a 4-4-2.

  60. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi TA,
    you do seem to revel in defending under-performing players, or those just not good enough.
    You get what you pay for, (although Arshavin could be the exception to that rule!).
    When it became universally known that we were chasing Chamakh, only one other EPL club were interested. Sunderland. And let’s be honest, ‘Fat Elvis’ (aka Steve Bruce) will buy anyone with a pulse capable of carrying a pair of football boots.
    According to Forbes list of richest sporting institutions world-wide, we are 8th, above Chelsea and Man City. They buy the likes of Torres and Aguero with real money, we get Chamakh on a Bosman.
    Symptomatic of why we’re sitting 15th, and AW (highest paid manager in the EPL) has already conceded the title, and Lee Dixon suggesting we will struggle to finish in the top 8.

  61. oz gunner says:

    Just confused as to why Bendtner was let go on loan when a loan for MC would of done wonders, and allowed him to regain in confidence. Also allowing us to keep a better player in NB. Yes NB wanted more game time, but surely he would of stayed if he was number 2 as he knows RVP’s track record for injuries, and also rotation.

    @ Kelsey

    good point about wegner training the uniqueness out of players. Gerv changed very rapidly, and rosicky after his world cup exploits hasn’t had a pop in years (although he was missing for very large chunks). Players should be left to play to their strengths, yes some need to adapt to the system but playing the likes of AA out wide constantly when his strength is clearly off of the striker is a waste.

    A prime example is a UFC champion by the name of Dominic Cruz. Whenever a person trains in martial arts or boxing their uniqueness is trained out of them with persistant technique drills over and over again. His trainers didn’t change his technique and it’s his uniqueness that has made him unbeatable and unpredictable. Our players have changed from that to very predictable, and its showing with our lack of goals and forward thrust

  62. oz gunner says:

    i do feel sorry for MC though, he is trying his guts out and when he misses chances he is very tough on himself to the point it looks as though he is going to cry. It must really be getting to him.

    @ TMHT

    haha good point, i didn’t notice until about a month ago when a mate from work brought it up. It looks like he uses a tub of gel everytime he runs out onto the pitch, something c.ronaldo can look forward to in the future.

  63. oz gunner says:

    @ Rasp/peaches

    i sent you an email, hopefully you received it

  64. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    TA. Nice post, I dont know what Bendy`s stats are but it would be interesting to compare Chamakh with him rather than RVP.
    I like Herb`s quote about us being the 8th richest sporting institution, we`ve also got 2 of the richest shareholders in the EPL( 2nd & 8th ), shame the wealthier one has less control! ( just an opinion ).
    RA. Your writing`s are so interlectual, you are like the “wiseman” of AA. there are two thing`s you should know about the “wiseman”.
    1st , He is wise.
    2nd, He is a man. :)

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, but that is the point of my post: he is not underperforming but of great value to us, if played from the start. 2.41 team goals and almost 60% games won is not to be sniffed at.

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    GLIC :)

    Bendtner’s starting game stats are well below RvP and Chamakh, although he did not get many opportunities to start a game last season. A decent first touch is paramount at Arsenal and especially in the ‘holding striker’ role.

  67. kelsey says:

    If you read up on Chamakh he is no idiot had a good schooling and by footballers standards is intelligent.

    The injunction is about a naughty night with some girls a few years ago when he was in The States, so I don’t think that is a major concern.
    Whoever it was that objected to the post, what are meant to do for 2 weeks, rubbish the club and everyone associated with it and think before we post with one liners like “Wenger Out”.

    We have been privaliged to see some really great players at the club which more or less started to subside after the invinsibles year and then the move to The Emirates (I hate that name) put major financial restrictions on the club though i have no doubt there were two gambles.
    Firstly project youth has not materilised as perhaps Wenger thought and secondly we just haven’t got the clout to compete with other clubs, such as City and therefore I hope Wenger will be a little less rigid in playing wengerball regardless of who is available.
    if he is it will take time perhaps another few years.
    finally we may lose other first team players next year but is it really that they want to play for clubs in the PL or is just money, the root of all evil.
    personally I will reserve judgement on some of the present squad as there is still a lot of improvement to aim for.

    Someone on here said to me when you lose 3 of your seasoned best players and then have long term injuries to 3 others any team would be effected.i can’t disagree with that but I would also add that the squad stength is not up to scratch and there maybe many reasons for that.

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz :) Fully agreed on the crossing issue. I am not a big fan of NB, would prefer MC to start games ahead of him.

    Rocky :) not sure whether 4-4-2 would suit us as a team better, but agreed on it being better for MC personally. But as long as we are playing 4-2-3-1, I really we believe we will do better with MC upfront than with RvP (in terms of total team goals and games won percentage). RvP is the better striker, but MC fits better into our team: we are less narrow and predictable with the gelman upfront.

  69. Herb'sArmy says:

    I didn’t say he was under-performing TA, he comes into the ‘not good enough’ category. Would he get into Chelsea or Man Utd’s squads?
    As Rasp said earlier, he’s not going to smash one in from 20-25 yards, because he hasn’t got it in him. That is something any decent striker should have in his locker.

  70. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    My hat off to you TA for your knowledge on stats, personally, I haven`t got a clue but I think (not 100% sure) Bendy played a heck of a lot of games out of position on the wing, not as a holding striker.
    I just prefer Bendy, He`s tall, not scared to shoot, good skills,faster than he looks( apparantly still holds Danish sprint records for his age ), younger and doesn`t lack confidence.

  71. RockyLives says:

    TA
    You’ve really dug out some Chamster supporters with today’s post – well done.

    It’s tempting sometimes to believe that the whole of the fan base buys into the negativity about certain players, but you have helped demonstrate that that is patently not true.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, we are just looking at different things in terms of what really matters for rating a striker. I can totally understand your point of view, it just is not mine.

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, I am pleasantly surprised with that as well! :)

  74. Herb'sArmy says:

    As David Coleman once famously said, “Goals pay the rent…”
    Is Chamakh capable of stepping up to the plate if RvP gets crocked?
    Even Tottenham have scored more than us, and played a game less!
    A striker’s primary job is to score goals, TA, no?

  75. RockyLives says:

    Hi Herb
    How are you?
    I’m undecided about Chamakh, but your 4.17 (about our lack of goals this season) could be seen as helping TA’s argument about starting with the Chamster – as we’re clearly not scoring enough goals when starting with Prince Robin.

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just been siiting in a church for my childrens school Harvest Festival, and while other parents contemplated the rude vegetable creations of the more creative pupils, I was thinking about our innability to cross a ball for MC. How’s this for a solution. We fill the balls with a 50:50 ratio of air to helium.

  77. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    If RVP gets crocked, what options ?.
    1, Chamakh.
    2, Theo to play where he want`s to play.
    3,Gervinho.
    4, The giant AA.
    5, BFG.
    6, Bring back Bendy. :)

  78. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky, Theo would still struggle to put one over!

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GLIC,
    “IF” RvP gets crocked? Now, I’m no stats man, but…

  80. Hi oz, if you’re about I can’t open the attachment, I’ve just emailed you. Could you copy and paste the article to an email please? :)

  81. Rasp says:

    Sounds like there is a chance we may get Denilson back from Sao Paolo as he’s not going down too well with their fans – now there is an unlikely hero if ever there was one……. topic for a post anyone?

  82. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Sorry , should have added Park to the list.

  83. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky. :)

  84. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Get Denilson back then, he can cross a ball cant he ! :)

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    If today’s performance on here is anything to go by, I reckon we can make Denilson sound like Maradona. We’re that good.

  86. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Rocky,
    ok-ish, bit lost and confused about the identity and direction of our club at the moment.
    Hope you’re good yourself.
    I’m not trying to rubbish TA’s sterling defence of Chamakh, it’s just that as soon as I knew we were getting him on a free, it put me off.
    It was another excuse for us not to spend real money on the sort of quality we should be bringing to the club. I want a Benzema leading our attack.
    He isn’t anywhere near the same quality as TH or Bergkamp, in fact it’s a big down-grade, that’s why I can’t get optimistic about seeing him wear our shirt. Of course I want him to do well while he’s with us, but part of me wishes he’d gone to Sunderland.

  87. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, :-)

    Don’t know if you got a chance to read my comment at 1:20?

    In it I said opinions were just that, and not facts. That leads to a dilemma, where either you support what we have got and believe he (Chamakh) can come good, or conversely form the opinion he is not good enough and hope he is replaced.

    You have obviously plumped for the latter. And why not? It’s a subjective opinion and many would agree with you from what I have read.

    That said, I don’t really understand what the Forbes Rich List has to do with it? Some of the richest people in the world are also the meanest. There is no correlation between a company’s value, and the purchase of new players.

    City and Chelsea have owners who are personally wealthy and have no interest in a company business model such as Arsenal’s.

    If I had my ‘ruthers’, I’d ruther have an athletic, speedy, goal scoring merchant than the rather cumbersome, shot shy Chamakh (sorry TA) and I think we have one already on the books, who, if he had not been injured (another one) would have turned out for us this season, and that is young Benik Afobe.

    So we are sort of in agreement! :-)

  88. Hi TA, very good in depth post about a player that shone and then has crashed spectacularly. Originally I thought he was just miffed – in a girlie kind of way – that RvP had stepped straight back into the team and he’d been dumped to the bench after such a flying start. Then AW started to say he was tired and burnt out after his excellent start and I began to be suspicious.

    Whilst agreeing that he’s not had much pitch time of late if he was any good wouldn’t that show by now???? I have watched him closely and he does seem to gesture for the ball but too often he’s not in very good positions or running away from goal.

    As others have said if we had good crossers of the ball he may have scored more goals – what’s the answer?

    I would have preferred we keep Nik and sent MC out on loan really.

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    After your sterling work yesterday RA, I agree with anything you say.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh jeeprers Peaches, do keep up. Helium filled balls.

  91. Rasp says:

    :lol: Micky

  92. Red Arse says:

    Hi Peaches, :-)

    Mayhap MC will get the opportunity to head more goals once Oxo get more game time too. Now he does know how to cross a ball.

    Hi GLIC, :-)

    Re your 3:44, You are a cunning devil, I don’t know whether to be flattered or offended — but to be on the safe side I wish I had lopped your head off yesterday!! :-)

    Hi Micky, my hero, :-) Not sure I said anything much really — no change there then!! :-)

  93. Red Arse says:

    Micky, are you trying to suggest MC would sound better as Donald Duck, a well known effect of Helium on the larynx?

    Actually to answer my own question — you are quite right – either about the D. Duck or high flying balls! :-) Unless you were talking about Mertesacker, apparently his ring aloud every Saturday at 3 p.m.

  94. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Only Sh` Mansoor is richer than our two major shareholders.
    1, Mansoor £20B
    2, Usmanov £12,4B
    4,Abramobitch £10.3B
    8, Kroenke £1.8B
    9, Glazier £1.64B
    Are our lot waiting to see how the FFP works out ?
    We are the shining light of self-sustainability which other clubs look upto, with the second wealthiest “owners”. Why are we,where we are ?.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    MC would improve enormously if he simply lost the ability to be in the wrong place at the right time.
    When he has played central, I have seen the odd cross whistling past the face of the goal, and when I looked for the lanky one, noticed he was down at the HMV Shop.

  96. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi RA,
    hope you’re keeping well.
    My only point in reference to the Forbes rich list is that we’re a big club, and just as Manchester Utd, Barcelona, Real Madrid do, we should behave like one.
    Are we a Sporting Institution, or a Corporate Bank? Whilst it’s all very laudible that we’re making huge profits and the club is celebrating what a great sustainable model we are, fans would much rather celebrate meaningful silver-ware, or at the very least show serious intent to compete.
    On-field success is key to securing the best long-term sponsors, and if we’re not winning those brands will not want to be associated with us.

  97. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    You have made me aware of my inadequacies. (no, not that Micky) :-)

    I thought when I first saw Theo as a youth player and also Bendy playing for our youth teams (I used to go and watch as often as I could) that they would both, in their different ways, be absolutely the biz for our first team.

    I am a bit disillusioned both with them and with myself (not getting into a discussion on Theo, TA :-) ) because I had such high hopes for them.

    I am still very hopeful that they will match my earlier predictions, because logically they are a perfect match in a big, fizzing goal scoring forward line. :-)

    (And yes, I still think Bendy will come back to us!)

  98. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    RA, I must confess, I nicked that remark from Blackadder, there it was a wisewoman!,
    If you had lopped my head off, I would have sprinted down the wing and put in a superb cross with it, right on Chamakhs head, 1 nil. :)

  99. Rasp says:

    From the admittedly few clips I have seen of him, I would say that Joel Campbell is a much more exciting prospect as a striker than either Bendy or Cham. I do hope that Lorient are doing a better job of curbing his off field excesses than Levante are apparently doing with Wellington Dilva.

  100. RockyLives says:

    Herb
    I certainly agree that we should be looking to bring in a top quality striker in January. We have the money – but whether we’ll be an attractive enough option for the “big” players is another question.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Rocky,
    I still think we are big enough and attractive enough to appeal to a top striker (We also have being in London on our side). I do like the way that some other clubs just add one top quality player each season, and I would have thought our shrewd dealings and youth policy would allow this within our sustainable model.

  102. Rasp says:

    I know you’re all going to raise your eyes to the ceiling, but I would say that it is extremely unlikely that we will sign a first team quality player in January – although slightly more possible that we may sell a player in that period.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Micky, :-) HMV shop — altho’ haven’t they gome bust?

    Herb,

    Cannot disagree with you about winning trophies.
    I think GLIC is saying much the same thing as you, in that we have 2 wealthy coots owning the majority of the shares in Arsenal, so why are we not spending their cash?

    Well their are a couple of reasons (and I am not necessarily in agreement with this) in that Usmanov altho’ a shareholder has no power at the club and is not even on the Board.
    He has not been allowed to spend his money on players, or to inject more cash into the club by the issue of additional share capital.
    His proposals were given short shrift by Danny Fizman who told him to take a hike with his money, and no deal on the capital injection.
    {My ownview is that it is unreasonable to refuse to recognise the shareholding of Usmanov, and he should be on the Board}.

    The other reason, which we are all becoming bored with me saying, is that Kroenke is a businessman and is very happy with a good business model that successive owners have subscribed to, and has said he sees no reason to put any more of his own money into the club, which he wants to be self sustaining.
    {My view is that he should read his own Accounts Report, which said the core of the club are the fans, who have aspirations for winning trophies} [Not verbatim, but that was the gist]
    In which case, a self sustaining business model may not be what the majority of fans want!

    Phew!! :-)

  104. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Micky,
    has AW ever bought/signed an established top-notch player?

  105. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, :-) You are right — eyes cast to the sky as riiiiiggght. Se what you’ve done?

    Can I point out, Rasper, that you are the only one who ever mentions Joel Campbell — only about 3 or 4 times a day. Is there something going on? You can tell us — we will keep your secret you naughty boy!! :-)

    GLIC, :-)

    Your 5:11 — perfect!!

  106. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    I think you could be right about a top knot CF coming in during the January transfer window. (I know it should be ‘notch’, but ‘knot’ gives me an out, if you are wrong!!) :-)

    In a couple of those heinous red tops, which some AAers find so deplorable, they were saying that Paris St Germain are really interested in buying our man Chamakh (TA could be influencing them already :-) ). If that is the case, we would need a replacement.

  107. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    That is slightly a “have you stopped beating your wife?” question at 5:28.

    Part of the genius of Arsene Wenger is his ability to buy promising young players and turn them into stars. His ‘own’ creations rather than buying someone else’s. Anelka, Cesc, Thierry, Overmars, Petit, Viera, Pires, Gilbert O’Silva spring to mind.

  108. Red Arse says:

    Right, that’s it. No one is talking to me, not even Kelsey!! :-)

  109. kelsey says:

    You called :)

  110. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey, :-)

    I’ve worn everyone else out.

    Anyhow, you can send our sun and warmth back please — or else.

    Actually, I think I would rather have Else! :-)

  111. kelsey says:

    There of course could also be a very simple reason for Chamakh’s loss of form.he may just be plain homesick and hasn’t settled in London as he thought he would.It happens.
    On the other hand as others have mentioned why let pinkie go even if only on loan..

    So my conclusion is that we may well be in for a striker in January,, two midfielders and complete back 4 :)

  112. Dial Square says:

    Ha Ha good post for April 1st

  113. Herb'sArmy says:

    No disrespect RA, you’re right to point that out, but that was at a time when we were only competing with Man Utd.
    He doesn’t have that luxury and time now. This for me is when he proves how tactically astute he is, and whether or not he can buy established ready made stars.

  114. kelsey says:

    It’s still about 30 here and i had to dip my toes into the pool.

    Anyone thinking of buying here now come and grab it.Nearly buy one ,get one free.

  115. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    O Wiseman( and it is a compliment). If FFP was to work, would Kroenke be the prefered owner ? and if it doesn`t work would Usmanov be the prefered one ( or someone even richer ) ?.
    My worry is the time scale for waiting to see if FFP works. By the time we get the answers , it may be too late and leave us years behind playing catch up!.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Herb,
    I like the Barca model (who doesn’t I know) of developing an homegrown nucleus and tarting it up with one mega star per season.

  117. Red Arse says:

    That’s OK Herb, I had not realised you had put a time scale on your question.

    Dependent on what comes up tomorrow, I might try and address your concerns regarding AW and his purchase of top stars (or not), which I quite understand, but I think there is a misunderstanding over what AW’s brief is.

    Glic, IF and it is a big ‘if’ the financial fair play regs are properly enforced, we will be in a better position than we are currently — for the future. However, all the ‘biggies’ have already raided the piggy box and spent big, so you can count on it that those purchases will not be affected by the rules. You are by definition therefore right, in that we are handicapped before we start – so to speak!!

    I think Usmanov should be on the Board of Directors. That way he keeps Stan honest and vice versa. The present set up is unusual and unsatisfactory.

  118. Red Arse says:

    To use a Micky-ism, I am offski!

  119. Herb'sArmy says:

    Totally agree Micky, we should have copied that model from the off.

  120. Herb'sArmy says:

    Night RA.

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening RL and other AA-ers, :)

    I don’t think we are getting a top-notch striker at the next TW, and unless we will start to play 4-4-2, I don’t think we need one at the moment either (although it would be nice of course). But say we will buy one and we keep playing 4-2-3-1, who would be better than Chamakh in making us score more goals than 2.4 a game when he starts and winning more than 59% of all games?

    In my view, it needs to be somebody who can do both play with his back to the goal, keep hold of the ball and link up really well, and score a significant number of goals himself. He needs to be both a team player (the holding attacker) as well as the selfish finisher. Two obvious candidates come to mind: Rooney and the Spanish Blondie but both are not affordable/available. Interesting to see whether anybody else can come up with an affordable/available option?? :lol:

  122. Herb'sArmy says:

    Benzema, Tevez?

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    I like Benzema a lot, but will he leave RM?

  124. dy says:

    it would make better sense and let everybody happy, just for once only, spend the cash and buy the best available. It won’t happen until next summer though.
    Benzema is very good to pair with RVP. I can envision the result if they work together.

  125. Herb'sArmy says:

    A lot of that might depend on our own ambition TA, and whether or not we’re still in CL.
    I mentioned Tevez, because at both West Ham and Man Utd he scored goals and his work-rate was phenomenal. Man City was a bad choice, and I don’t think he really bought into their vision.

  126. kelsey says:

    I remember a stat last year that when Djourou played we never lost or it might have been Djourou with someone else. he lost form completely so one can read stats in many different ways.

  127. dy says:

    it comes to the point where CL could be the focal point of attracting players to come and I’ve very little faith in Arsenal keeping the fourth spot or better this season. I think probably it’s next January, the last time Arsene would use all his old ‘tricks’ to lure players to join Arsenal. But now I can only dream.
    Referring back to Chamakh, he’s a good player, just different style and unfortunately only utilized as a back up to RVP, the system Arsenal plays at the moment just won’t accommodate both of them at starting line-up. And Arsene doesn’t take much risk.

  128. Fatgingergooner says:

    If AW is adamant on playing 433 then how can he justify buying a Benzema or Tevez?
    He wouldn’t buy a GK cos he had Szcsesny.
    He wouldn’t buy a DM cos he had Song and Wilshire.

    Why buy a striker if he’s got Campbell and Afobe?

    It goes against everything he believes in.

    As for Chamakh, I heard a while ago that he took part in Ramadan. Could that be part of the reason he is not firing so far this season and why he has played a bit part?

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    DY – good points. It looks to me that Arsene will give MC starts this season, especially for the low risk games and of course if and when RvP is injured or suspended.

    I never really thought a lot about Chamakh’s performances for us, but now that I have taken the time to look into it a bit, I feel pretty relaxed about him starting games for us instead of RvP. Those stats tell a strong story.

  130. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, I rate Tevez technically, but as a person/professional – not at all. He would just bring so much disruption and uncertainty, as he never stays anywhere long. We just could not build a team around him, and that is what we need to do more than ever.

  131. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evening all….one thing that has failed to win much attention in the media (no surprise as it’s mainly controlled by Murdoch) is that the EU has ruled that football can be watched in this country from a satellite dish picking up foreign transmissions at vastly reduced prices.

    They have decided it is anti competition to allow TV rights to be sold exclusively to individual countries. Or some such like, haven’t read in full I have only heard on radio in passing.

    This won’t just affect us when the current TV deal runs out in 2014 it is likely to affect the majority of the league (except the sugar daddied Chelsea and City). I guess it will apply to CL too.

    If true we as fans should expect to pay more through the turnstiles if Sky do not sign another £400m per year deal and if the players do not reduce their wage demands

  132. Gooner in Exile says:

    By the way all this talk of another striker?

    What do we do with RvP? I guess we wouldn’t have to worry about him renewing, one of them won’t want to sit on the bench.

  133. dy says:

    its the line-up which has to change if playing Chamahk at center and move RVP to right. Of course it means not starting Walcott/Ox etc., an unlikely scenario. Personally I think this would give better result. Or RVP at center and Benzema to the right if we get him to join.
    Terez is a great player who can take on the whole defence all by himself, but also a big headache to deal with in the team. No, don’t think I want him either.

  134. RA, I rarely disagree with you but your 5:18 I do:

    “My ownview is that it is unreasonable to refuse to recognise the shareholding of Usmanov, and he should be on the Board”

    Would you advise say a company 25% owned by a Pension Scheme to do the same? (i.e. give a seat to a Trustee of the Pension Scheme) This man is at total odds with the direction the Board and Majority Owner see the business running. He could stamp out investment at any opportunity, demand release of equity into the shareholders pockets.

    Now I know it is the opposite and here we have a man in Usmanov who has made clear he wishes to bankroll a company to the future. So as fans we should be happy to see him arrive, but in all honesty when he gets bored, and when the PL ceases to be the league it is where will we be, will he want out?

    And lets be honest if anyone is going to get their hands slapped by UEFA for FFP it’ll more than likely be us as we all know they hate us!

  135. Herb'sArmy says:

    TA,
    at West Ham and Man Utd he was good as gold. Fergie wouldn’t have tolerated any of that nonsense.
    FGG, it’s all well and good sticking to your beliefs, but they’re not working. To let your team concede 8 when you’re supposed to be one of the leagues biggest clubs is just wrong. We need surgery, and the last-minute buys have failed to convince so far. I think it’s scandalous that we’re sitting 15th with a -6 GD.

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, Tevez left Fergie in the lurge – just said bye bye for more money.

  137. Herb'sArmy says:

    TA,
    Fergie would have had to pay £25m to keep his services, which City were quite happy to do. He was desperate to stay at OT, Fergie decided he didn’t need him.

  138. TotalArsenal says:

    HA, I don’t believe that at all. Tevez will never stay anywhere longer than two years and he and his agent will do everything to squeeze as much money out of football clubs as they can. Tevez technically/contractually belongs to his agent and, as the brilliant English saying goes, Arsenal should not touch him with a barge pole. We would not be able to pay his criminally high wages anyway.

    You know, I really do not think we need another striker. I far rather get a proper, top class nr10. Ideally Sneijder, but again very unrealistic.

  139. Herb'sArmy says:

    Maybe you are privvy to more information than me with regard to Tevez, TA. His time at OT was a two-year loan deal, and when that deal ended most of the media outlets were keen to put across that he wanted to stay, but if you know different, no problem.
    Sneijder is exactly the class of footballer we should be bringing in.

  140. SharkeySure says:

    A passionate defence of an underrated Gunner, who deserves more respect!

    Well played TA.

  141. SharkeySure says:

    Sneijder ..?? Who Man U couldn’t even afford wages wise…??

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    GLIC, for completeness, here are the stats for Nik Bendtner:

    Started: 14 games (all competitions/ Arsenal only).

    Team Goals during NB games started: 24 goals – on average 1.71 team goals per game (RvP = 1.85 and MC = 2.41).

    Individual goals during NB games started: 7 goals – on average 0.5 individual goals per game (RvP = 0.69 and MC = 0.41).

    Games won during NB games started: 7 wins – of all games started with NB 50% were won (RvP = 50% and MC = 59%).

    Games drew during NB games started: 4 draws.

    Games lost during NB games started: 3 defeats.

  143. oz gunner says:

    @ peaches

    just at work atm can send it back in at about 7 am (ur time).were you able to access the picture?

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharkey, I was just dreaming :)

  145. Herb'sArmy says:

    That is exactly what is crippling us Sharkey, and on the very day we’ve been declared the richest club in London.

  146. I’m in Seoul airport. we are in deep shit. I think it’s the end of an era. I can’t see us getting European football next season.

  147. Only just seen the highlights of the scum game. vander twat looked like he almost caught the ball for their first and chesney should have saved the second. I think wanting a ST totternigham day is the height of my expectations. I think we’ll finish below them though. Sorry to be a doomer but I think we are f*cked. Is Sagna injured?

  148. Just noticed the time in London. see you all later

  149. Hi oz

    I’ve got the picture, just not able to open the worddoc

  150. oz gunner says:

    just sent it then peaches, sorry for the delay

  151. Oz are you still there? Can you send the pic as a jpg?

  152. oz gunner says:

    no worries il sort it out now

  153. Its ok, clever me I’ve done it :)

  154. oz gunner says:

    haha well done, i sent it anyway, sorry i should of double checked that

  155. Gooner in Exile says:

    GM Sagna at least 3 months. Broken leg.

  156. Gooner in Exile says:

    This thing about us being Londons richest club I do wonder how calculated, I guess on Balance Sheet which makes sense.

    But footballing profit 2010-11 was £2.2m and even though that is after player contract depreciation (non cash movement) it highlights that if we decided to buy two £150k per week players our profit would become a loss of £13m. Yes there are several players we could release but we saw how that went over the summer.

    Property sales will not last forever.

  157. Hi GiE – I believe the club’s finances are being held above water by the property sales and as you say they won’t last forever so what’s gone wrong? We’re not self-sustaining are we?

  158. oz gunner says:

    @ GiE

    looks like we will need sponsorship deals that far exceed the previous ones just so we can compete. 2014 is when they expire isn’t it? the only problem is if the current form continues we will probably be offered less, that with the loss of champions league football would = one cash-straped arsenal

  159. Bottom line – can we afford our wage bill?

  160. On the button there oz :)

    On the plus side, if we hadn’t moved to the Emirates we’d be even more cash strapped so how do the scum do it?

  161. oz gunner says:

    * with

  162. oz gunner says:

    @ Peaches

    dodgy tax dealings

  163. evonne says:

    Peaches – do you still want me to make the announcement?

  164. Yes please evonne, I was just about to leave you a message. I’ve scheduled it for 9.30 – hope it works. I’m off to the dentist now and Rasp is not around. I won’t be back until 11.

  165. evonne says:

    Have fun and ask about the inlay/onlay options! Alf here.

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    An announcement? How exciting. You and Peaches are hooking up?

  167. evonne says:

    Morning Micky – yep, we are! you are all invited to the wedding at the Emirates! I have always loved Peaches, who wouldn’t?

  168. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Don’t let pure lust cloud your judgement. Love casts a complex web.

  169. Gooner in Exile says:

    Peaches as Oz says the Commercial deals cannot come soon enough, in the mean time wages have been inflated to astronomical proportions by City, other clubs (Barca) have renegotiated commercially.

    Oz I doubt the Spud wages are much different to ours Harry was looking for money to spend this summer and Levy didn’t give it, they had to sell to buy too, and get Adebayor on a cut price loan deal. Difference being Harry was moaning about it openly.

    I don’t really want to discuss accounts too much as we have not seen full published accounts. Allegedly they talk of £12m profit on summer transfers but I would guess this relates to outgoing (although that seems to small if just talking about Cesc, Nasri, Eboue and Clichy less their balance sheet value). Without full info to assess it’s hard to judge.

  170. Gooner in Exile says:

    On another point the property profits (had we not had a worldwide recession) were the key to the move and ability to be strong in the market with players, the downturn has forced the club to cut it’s cloth accordingly with the received outcome to continue to be self financing.

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    As a pure guess, maybe it is possible for football clubs to exist within the parameters of a self sustaining model, however it will limit your aspirations. I guess Man U are the only exception to this rule.

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