Is this midfielder Arsenal’s second best player of the season?


There would be little value in doing an opinion poll on who has been our best player of the season. No doubt, a vast majority would opt for our captain, top goal scorer, and the PL’s Player of the Season, Robin van Persie. But it all becomes a lot more difficult when we have to choose our second best player of the season.

There have been many fine performances throughout the season, but not many players have actually been able to play through the whole campaign, with only the odd week out as a result of a slight injury. Only a small number of players were fit, and judged good enough, to play more than 70% of the games: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Koz, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott, and Ramsey (and of course RvP). Rosicky and Ramsey both had good spells this season but have not done enough for me to be included in a shortlist for ‘second best player of the year’, so I suggest we choose our favourite out of the remaining six players (but feel free to suggest any other player in today’s post comment section).

Szczesny – Played 48, 29 clean sheets

He has had a good but not a great season imo. Wojciech makes us feel generally comfortable when he plays in goal and although he has made a few mistakes this season, I think most of us will agree that he has done well. He has enjoyed only very few periods of consistency with regards to the four defenders in front of him, which of course does not help when trying to get some defensive reliability and solidity. He has done enough though to be our Nr1 in goal again next season, but it will be interesting to see whether Arsenal will buy an experienced back-up keeper who would provide a bit of healthy competition for Szczesny. Not my second best player of the season.

Vermaelen – Played 39, 6 goals, 2 assists

He has had a good season, but again, not a great season. Thomas was a key player in our unbelievable recovery in February and March, but in the last few games of the season we have been able to see a few weaknesses. We all love his tenacity and energy, his surging forward runs, and his ability to battle with any attacker, on the ground and in the air. But in those last few games, he should have been one of the players with the intelligence and experience to maintain our shape and defensive discipline, and to lead our team at the back, and for me he did not do that enough. Not my second best player of the season either.

Koscielny – Played 39, 2 goals, 2 assists

He has been our rock in defence throughout the season, and he formed a fine partnership with both Mertesacker and Vermaelen. Especially his partnership with the BFG seemed to get the best out of him. He plays with his heart on his sleeve and has improved physically, as he seldom or never was outmuscled this season. He reads the game well and can play with focus and discipline. In every game, he seems to play a number of wild forward passes which usually end up with the opposition’s defence, but other than that he had a pretty faultless season. If we take into account the whole season, it is fair to say that Koscielny has been our best defender. Koscielny is a strong candidate.

Arteta – Played 37, 6 goals, 3 assists

He has been our rock in midfield, and surprised many of us with both the position he occupied, and the skills he has displayed at Arsenal this season. We all loved his unselfishness, his work-rate, professionalism and the joy with which he played football for us in the last eight months. He has been the vacuum-cleaner in our midfield and linked up defence with midfield, and midfield with attack seamlessly. Since his injury, Arsenal have struggled to stick to its formation and play with composure. He has also scored 6 goals in 37 games, but his assists (three) were a bit on the low side, even when we take into account his deep position in midfield. Another strong candidate.

Walcott – Played 46, 11 goals, 13 assists

This season, he has been our best winger, and he produced the third highest number of assists of all our players (RvP was second 14). At the start of the campaign, there was a fair bit of criticism for Theo, but since then he has shown the thickness of his skin and the brightness of his football brain. 11 goals and 13 assists in 46 games is a pretty fine return, and during this season he has grown into a man. He scores goals and produces assists against any opposition – for example, this season he scored against the Mancs, Chavs, Udinese, and the Spuds (two). I would love him to sign a new contract and become a long-term Gunner, but I am not sure whether that will happen. He has really impressed me this season, but has not done enough to be my second best player of the year.

Song – Played 46, 1 goal, 16 assists

This season, the big question surrounding Alex was whether he has been neglecting his DM duties with the blessing of Wenger. A lot of fans have given him stick for not being disciplined enough in protecting the back four, which they regard as his main duties. Alex has suffered a lot from Arteta’s season-ending injury as the Spaniard proved to be his perfect partner in the centre of midfield. For me, Alex Song has been a phenomenal player throughout the season. I am convinced Arsene has asked him to play a free role in which he both helps out defence and supports the attack whenever he could.

A lack of creativity in midfield forced us to play Song in such a demanding role, and he has revelled in it. Other than Yaya Toure, I cannot think of another midfielder with such a diverse skill-set. Yes, he is a slow starter in games and loses the ball unnecessarily too many times, but these are minor compared to what he has brought to the team. At crucial times this season he has been world-class, both defensively and in terms of producing a high number, and match-winning, assists. His performance against Milan at home was one of the best I have seen in an Arsenal shirt this season. 16 assists in 46 games is simply exceptional – with two more than RvP and three more than Theo he produced  the most assists of all our players! At the end of the season his performance dipped a little bit, but overall Song has made a tremendous contribution to our team. Another strong candidate.

My choice

For me, the strongest candidates for second best player of the year are Koscielny, Arteta and Song, and taking the whole season into account, I think Song just shades it. I really hope he signs a new contract and Arsene is able to make him an even better player in the next few seasons.

But who would you choose and why?

TotalArsenal.


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231 Responses to Is this midfielder Arsenal’s second best player of the season?

  1. [...] Is this midfielder Arsenal’s second best player of the season? [...]

  2. Andi Foster says:

    Absolutely not Song. For all of his “Hollywood” passes, his positioning at times has been appalling and he seems to have lost the ability to play a simple game

  3. aaffie says:

    sorry not song he forgets to defend….arteta does his drty work

  4. Smudger says:

    Koscielny and Arteta are miles ahead of him. We need a disciplined midfielder to protect the back four, or we need a creative player who doesn’t waste the ball often. Song is neither.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Andi, I suggest you judge Song through what Wenger is asking from him, rather than what you expect from him.

  6. hassan says:

    Wenger sign good players like belhanda,giroud,kigawa,hoillett,jan,nd den sell chamakh,ramsey,daiby,gervinho,benayoun,sequilacci.

  7. The font says:

    You got to be joking song been the worst performer over the last few games being dispossessed and giving the ball away being out of position has been the main reason for our poor season do your research and look at his opta scores

  8. elijah bartels says:

    MIKEL ARTETA!!!!!!!!!!

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    The font, it is a season’s review. Song did not play his best football in the last few games, but then who did?

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Peaches,
    How we love a button pushy post :-)
    Thank you.

  11. disco Stu says:

    Artea, simply because the team hasn’t been the same without him. Before WBA we’d played 8 games without him (obviously after he signed) and we hadn’t won a single one, lost 4 drawn 4…. To the naked eye the team also looked totally differently both offensively and defensively. On offense he worked so hard to make himself available the player with the ball always had at least 2 options. Without Arteta and with Ramsey and Rosicky occupying the same spaces Song was often left with no one to pass to. Defensively Arteta’s work rate rubbed off on everyone else, we didn’t close the opposition down with anywhere near the same level of energy or tenacity.

  12. goonermichael says:

    Sometimes Song looks a bit disinterested. I think the passes for some of his assists have been fantastic but he shouldn’t be looking to do them all the time.

  13. goonermichael says:

    I voted for Kozzer. I think Arteta has been immense too

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    disco Stu,
    Your 10:01 is my serious answer. Bang on.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    Disco, that is a fine comment. Fully agree that Arteta has been very important for us this season. For me, he is a close second, but it is the difficulty of the role that Wenger gave Song, and the way he performed it, that made me choose him.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi GM, I think Song is seldom or never disinterested, but his demeanour/body language could suggest otherwise. He is an introvert character who sticks to his tasks.

  17. Well articulated exposition of the options there TotalA, as I’ve come to expect from a TotalA post, sombrero, doff, you, to.

    I come down, after a moments pause, on the side of our Basque midfielder – Arteta.

    Without him our midfeild loses cohesion and discipline more frequently and it only took a few seconds for him to be off the pitch and Wigan waltzed through our midfield and scored 2 goals on my last visit to the Grove.

    Add to that his fantastic attitude to play as well as his obvious happiness at playing for us then the choice of second best player for us is easy – a no brainer.

    Mikel all the way.

  18. Imaikop ubaha says:

    He’s d right guy, final.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My real answer is The Ox. Here’s why. We were never going to win anything this season, therefore top four was rightly the priority, so along the way I want to see signs of genuine promise, and players who will provide those buttock clenching moments of excitement.
    Of course The Ox is not yet the worlds’ greatest player (we are two seasons away from that) but he fills me with hope and is the type of player that can brighten the gloomiest of days.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    7 votes in the “another player” box. Interesting. Some Chamakh fans maybe?

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Chary, it is a close call re Arteta – he has been fantastic this season. But 16 assists, with an attacking midfielder in front of him all season, is simply phenomenal. Without those assists, we would be joining the Chavs on ‘Thursdays Channel Five nights’.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Micky, Ox is a brilliant prospect. :)

  23. potter says:

    He is an introvert character who sticks to his tasks.

    Which ones are those then,? If you mean not following runners ,getting caught out of position , and living on his undeniably occasional good passes , which unfortunately are outweighed by all the poor ones . Then I suppose you have a case.

  24. kelsey says:

    Good article TA.

    Kos gets my vote.He started off as so many nervous,clumsy and uncomfortable on the ball but he has grown in staure this season and has been called up to his national squad.A good signing.

    Song is a bit of a one trip pony for me.His chip to RVP has come off a few times.He rarely starts a game well, his passing is also erratic especially in the first twenty minutes,as if he needs time to get into a game and my gut feeling is that he is one who will leave this Summer

    Arteta has played well but also took time to come into his own and his best period was just as he got injured.

    Park is the mystery signing of the decade.

  25. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, interesting post TA and you seem to have lit the blue touch paper again. It seems some people cant just give an opinion and understand your reasoning, choosing instead to insult.

    I understand your reasoning but for me it’s Arteta. And it’s for a very simple reason. He makes the defence behind him better and the attack in front of him better. And that goal against City will live long in this Gooners memory.

    That goal demonstrates also what he has sacrificed for the sake of the team, he has been as you say the vacuum cleaner because he needed to be for the team, but given the opportunity he showed in that moment what he can do when allowed.

  26. slimgingergooner says:

    I’ve voted for Kozzer, who is by far our most improved player this year.

    Song is not a DM and the stat of 16 assists prove this. He is a classic box-to-box midfielder who has had to fill in a more defensive role due to the lack of an out and out DM. He has been excellent in the DM role for a couple of years now, so much so, that people get on his back when they forget that he is only covering and doesnt perform to his best ability.

    If the stories about M’vila are true then i expect Song to be pushed forward like he was against West Brom, and this will give us the ability to win the ball further up the field, like he did at West Brom for Santos’ goal. I hope he signs a new contract because he has all the attributes to be a world class box-to-box midfielder, just like Yaya.

  27. henrychan - indonesia says:

    No way.. Arteta is the 2nd best player..
    We almost never win without him..
    We certainly can’t count Song contribution by his assists only..
    He is a DM.. Not an AM..

    But maybe.. he will be good as an AM.. who knows..???
    So we must bring a great DM..
    And this mean M’Villa.. But not so easy to bring him..

    If not, we can consider Sneijder..
    I admire Sneijder very much..
    He is very powerfull Midfielder.. And a creator in Dutch team..
    And as I often say.. he is a dutch..
    Maybe.. just maybe bring him will keep RVP stay..

    And Stefan Savic could be another alternatif..
    I think City will sell him.. I just feel that way..
    He can play MD and CB also.. He still young and very potential..

    Go Gunners..

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Kelsey, Koz had a superb season and about one in four voters agrees with you. I love the guy and he has made good progress this season.

    Song is the opposite of a one trick pony – it is his variety in skillset that makes him both so good AND vulnerable to becoming a Wenger experiment. In that light, he did extremely well this season. :)

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, good point about Arteta’s ‘sacrifice’ for the team, and yes that goal was one of the highlights of the season. But so was Song’s assist in the home game against Dortmund…. ;)

    Hi HenryC, look at Slim’s comment to understand a bit what was requested of Song this season.

    Slim, that’s it in a nutshell!

  30. teejay says:

    Its difficult but I will close my eyes & pick Arteta.

  31. Double98 says:

    Arteta – Games won when he was missing – 1 and that was only because he dressed up as Martin Fulop and played for the baggies last week

  32. mark the kiwigooner says:

    NOT Song…..he made some nice passes for some great goals but was not consistent. Second best player of the season must be our panic buy (lmao) Arteta!!!! Look how we have missed him in the last few weeks.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Song is slightly in the lead at the moment, and I would like to urge those who are voting for him to post a message on here as well – so there is a bit of balance, if you know what I mean :D

  34. Rob Lucci says:

  35. lapidarij says:

    Rosicky! He was pulling, he was magic!

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi KiwiG, yes we have missed Arteta this season, but to describe Song’s 16 assists as ‘some nice passes’ is undervaluing what they have meant for our season. Many of them were match winning assists and with only one less of them we could be fourth or worse now.

  37. henrychan - indonesia says:

    TA.. yes I agree with slimginger..
    But I don’t really know what is box to box midfielder is?? hehehe..

    But do you agree with me for Sneijder..???

  38. james says:

    SONG

  39. Rob Lucci says:

    I think Song forces himself too much to help out the attack caused by a non-existent of a playmaker on our side this season, and with 16 assist, who can blame him for having a such confidence?

    That’s why I really2 hope we can buy a playmaker this summer so that Song didn’t have to forces himself to help out the attack and focusing more on protecting the back four.

    Anyway, since Podolski said that he can play as a playmaker as well, maybe we will not buy anyone this summer, though I hope Wenger can make a cheeky move for Kagawa.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    HenryC, I have mixed feelings about Sneijder. Nobody is quicker and more accurate at the same time in instigating a deadly attack. His shooting is phenomenal and he has a good footballing brain. But, he is a difficult, egotistical character who could easily not fit in at Arsenal, and he is also too expensive. As he is getting older, he will also become more injury prone. So, I cannot see it happening.

    Did you see the Indonesian Gooners’ video Chas posted yesterday evening? Very impressive! :)

  41. Taiwo says:

    Alex song did lot for arsenal this season, he played as defensive and attacking midfielder

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Rob, good points and thanks for the photo-link. If we were to buy a classic DM this Summer, then I can see us move to (my preferred) 4-1-2-3, with Song/Jack, Song/Rambo, Rambo/Jack, Rosicky/Diaby etc in the ‘2’.

  43. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Rob.. very nice pic..
    So we must do the same next season.. Sell 6 deadwood..
    Almunia, Fabianski, Squilacci, Bedtner, Vela, Chamakh is a must..
    Park and Arshavin could give a second chance..

  44. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Yes I do watch.. There are from Bandung.. A great place to go on weekend.. hehehe..

    Sneijder is my favorit one for this reasons :
    1. He is dutch, he can make RVP stay..
    2. he is almost got the best player 2 years ago..
    3. He is the midfielder General.. look what he has done for Ajax, Madrid, Inter and also Holland..
    4. He will leave Inter for other clubs..
    5. His price is not too expensive like Hazzard or M’Villa..
    6. And most of all.. He is very mature.. And hard worker..

  45. chas says:

    Great post, TA.
    Joint second goes to Kos and Arteta for me. I voted for Kos because he had less votes. :)

    Arteta is one of those players you only fully appreciate when he’s not there. The true heart of the Arsenal Rhythm Section, ticking along like a metronome.

    I love the way Kos plays. Sometimes this season it’s felt as though he’s been trying to hold the defence together single-handedly. A true warrior. I was pleased he grabbed the Totteringham’s day winner.

    I agree that Song has had a good season with a series of fine assists. Credit to the lad for keeping on trying to thread or loft the ball forwards to the strikers even when many such attempts fail.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    HenryC, I don’t think RvP and Sneijder get on that well and they failed ‘to connect’ during the WC in S-Africa. He is on a lot of money, believed to be more than 200k per week, and Arsenal will not break their wage-structure for him. So, I think the chance of him joining us this summer is less than 5%. He is a good player though!

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Chas :)

    Koz’s progress this season has been fantastic and he clearly has become our favourite defender right now. It will be interesting to see who will be our preferred CB pairing next season. My money is on Mert-Koz.

  48. Noobgooner says:

    Song at some point did not have a clearly defined role, hence his recent ‘all over the place’ runs. Both attacking and retreating defensive runs. We shouldnt forget that he’s been playing full 90mins almst all thro the season- only rvp chesney and kosc can match that. Combine all that fatigue and multiple roles, cut him some slack. A fine effort IMO.

  49. Destiny says:

    I think song is d second best

  50. GunnerN5 says:

    How soon you forget the player whose right it is to play and whose name should be 1st on the team sheet – and he doesn’t so much as get a mention; I give you —–
    Aaron Ramsey…………

  51. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, :-)

    Feeling very fragile having just got back from you know where, and thought that I would see what my friends on AA are up to. :-)

    Your Post is up to your usual standard of excellence and on a subject that is bound to cause some discussion.

    Your summary and reasoning first of all had me swaying towards Kozzer, then swinging back towards Artetatatat, then I did a little shimmy towards Singalonga Song.

    None of the other candidates came close in my opinion, so I stoically ignored your blandishments in their favour.

    Let me see.

    Without Kozzer our central defense lacks cohesion and my heart sinks whenever he is unable to play. He is an absolute must to play alongside either Tommy or the Jolly German Giant. Key player.

    Farty Arty at the hub of midfield makes the team tick. He links up the defence and attack beautifully, and the proof of his worth is evidenced by how much we miss him when he has not been available. Key player.

    And then there is Desert Song. His shambling gait and apparent slow motion movement hides his true worth. He is the rock in midfield against which even the toughest opposition crashes and burns.
    When needed in defence he can cover the ground with an effortless looking ease to close down, and he is the master of the crunching tackle, before switching into attacking mode, where he is capable of wonderful defence splitting passes …………… or awful groan inducing passes to imaginary Arsenal players only he can see! :-) Key player.

    So, who to choose? Well I have made my mind up, and the answer is blindingly obvious.

    Our team is all the poorer without any of the three of them, and so let’s not shilly shally here, they are ALL joint Second Best Player, because each of them is a KEY player in our set up!! :-)

    Well that’s taken my mind off things and taxed my befuddled brain instead! :roll:

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Gn5, read the post mate, and save your sarcasm for somewhere else.

  53. Scott says:

    It has to be Arteta or Kos. We fell apart when Arteta was injured at the end of the season. Kos by far our best defender.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Noob, great comment – that’s it in a nutshell!

    RA, I thought you would be undergoing the dreaded procedure today – hope it is all over for another week now! :)

    I cannot let you get away though with making no choice – time to get off the fence! :)

  55. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    What I love about this Post is that you are able to put together such coherent, articulate and positive reasons for any number of our players who could be considered as Second Best player in the season.

    But in life there has to be balance and where would we be if there wasn’t one negative, ludicrous and unpleasant sneer.
    Best not to react, my fine Dutch friend! :-)

  56. Red Arse says:

    Bit of an ordeal today, TA, so I thought having splinters in my arse from sitting on the fence could not hurt much more!! :-)

    But as you force me into separating them, I think Kozzer would just cross the line first as he seems to have the biggest todger!! :-)

  57. potter says:

    Song is a match of the day player , when his passes are accurate and devastating they get replayed time and time again however when they are not they are not shown. 90 minutes a week gives a different perspective.

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Gn5, I am not going to bother with you, it would simply be a waste of time, as it has been many times before. So, continue as much as you like, I don’t care and I wont respond to you again.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    RA – how long does a procedure take?

    Kozzer has been fantastic and who can argue against him having the biggest todger?! :)

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Potter, interesting point. I have watched many 90 minutes games this season and for me Song has almost always delivered the goods.

  61. Rasp says:

    Hi TA, thanks for a challenging post

    It will come as no surprise that I opted for Arteta – for the reasons given by GiE. I’m afraid Song would not come in my top 3, but perhaps joint 5th with pretty much the rest of the 1st choice players.

    I would award the player of the season jointly to RvP, kozzer and Arteta, they’ve all been pivotal and formed the spine to the team with Sz for most of the season.

  62. Red Arse says:

    It can vary, TA, but usually a couple of hours, altho’ like today things can just go awry for no apparent reason and it takes much longer to ‘fix’ things.

    Of course there are some seriously ill people in the Unit having treatment without any fuss, so don’t take any notice of me, I am just a jelly baby!! :-)

  63. Patrick O'Neill says:

    I agree, it is Song’s body language that seems to show him disinterested – we would be lost without him in MF. Song gets my vote.

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for commenting str8bat :)

    I cannot agree with your assessment re Song: would always include him in our spine this season, but I do agree re RvP, Kozzer, Arteta and Szczesny. I would also include Mertesacker.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    Aahhh, Str8bet = Rasp! :)

  66. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp, :-)

    Could not disagree with any of that.

    I know it sounds odd, but I am really looking forward to the pre-season and seeing who we have bought, who we have let go and who is developing out of the myriad of youngsters and loanees now back at the club!

    Excited? Moi? ………………….. You betcha!! :-)

  67. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I think Rasp is technically known as ‘Chucker’ to his opponents, something to do with his curve balls!! :-)

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    hear, hear PoN :)

    RA, as you know, dealing with pain is a personal thing – people have different thresholds. So, you are fully entitled to feel a bit sorry for yourself – I would be exactly the same! :)

  69. Rasp says:

    Hi RA,

    My awards to most important player are:
    Joints 1st – RvP, Arteta, kozzer
    4th Sagna
    5th all the rest (including Song :roll: )

    My view is that Song has improved in some areas (pinpoint passing for assists) and regressed in other areas (out of position and passing to the invisible man)

    I am disappointed that Song with his experience and time with with Arsenal has never taken control of the midfield. To repeat myself, we need a midfield general, a Yaya/Vieira type and unfortunately Song does not seem to be that player.

  70. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Thanks. :-)

    I will catch you and the other guys later!

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp, do you really mean that: ‘he has never taken control of the midfield’? Wow, there have been so many games where he carried the midfield, even without the support of Arteta. Milan and Chelsea at home are two great, recent, examples.

  72. oz gunner says:

    busy as buggery but couldn’t resist a TA post (then again who could).

    Kozzer for me, I love how he goes about it! I wrote a post about passion and determination at the start of the season, and in all honesty Kozzer never really came to mind! But this season he has proved just what a warrior he is. He gets belted from pillar to post yet bounces straight back up (others would roll around for minutes…not Kozzer).

    Props go out to him for indentifying his physical weaknesses, working on them in the pre-season, and then coming back a much better defender. That shows character!

    I like Song as a player but i don’t know what it is about him. He has all the physical traits but i think it’s that vibe he gives off (going through the motions) that rubs me the wrong way. Give me a future frimpong/coquelin any day.

    cheers TA

    @ RA

    hope all is well and the recovery is swift!

  73. str8bat says:

    Hi TA, yes I do. He has been very strong and seldom lost a physical battle buit his positioning has meant that he hasn’t been in a place where he could control the midfield. Arteta has controlled the midfield more than Song.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Oz :)

    I like it that you add the word ‘future’ when you speak about Coq and Frimpong, because at the moment they are still years away from what Song is capable of right now.

    A lot of regular AA’ers have chosen for Koz and it is a bit of surprise to me that he is still quite a bit behind our central midfielders in the poll.

    Take it easy, will you?

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp/8, agreed to an extent, but I still think this has a lot to do with what Wenger has asked him to do this season.

  76. victor says:

    i gv it up 2 song

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Our friends from the Guardian got it quite a bit wrong this season…

    ‘Back in August, when we asked our writers to predict what the final table would look like, then added everything up and divided by whatever in a process that seemed fairly mathematical at the time, this is what we came up with (actual positions in brackets):

    1 Manchester Utd (2)

    2 Manchester City (1)

    3 Chelsea (6)

    4 Liverpool (8)

    5 Arsenal (3)

    6 Tottenham (4)

    7 Everton (7)

    8 Sunderland (13)

    9 Fulham (9)

    10 Stoke (14)

    11 Bolton (18)

    12 Aston Villa (16)

    13 West Bromwich (10)

    14 Newcastle (5)

    15 Wolves (20)

    16 Norwich (12)

    17 QPR (17)

    18 Wigan (15)

    19 Blackburn (19)

    20 Swansea (11)’

  78. Kullkid says:

    KOSCIELNY has done so much 4 arsenal deffence, plays with so much confidence, though, nt strong enough but gives so much power when he’s battling d ball wit his opponent, he loves 2 deffence rather than goin upfront 2 attack Looking into d whole season, personally i think he deserve 2 be in no. 2 spot, follwed by song

  79. khalifha says:

    I voted for koscielny but it was almost like flipping a coin to choose between him or song – song has been magnificent, hardly missed a match and contributed so much to our team, i understand why some people get pissed off when he starts to venture forward, but he has been given the liberty to do so, i don’t know why that is so hard to understand – #commonsense

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Kullkid and Khalifa, fine comments! :)

  81. khalifha says:

    TotalArsenal, no man, i should be thanking you – quality blog. I watch all arsenal matches and its plain to see that without song in our midfield we would suffer immensely, they say you don’t know what you have until you lose it and a classic example is arterta but song hasn’t missed a match since his ban for stamping on barton (anyone remember the 8-2 loss? Tell me we didn’t miss song) – lets appreciate what song has done instead of moaning as usual.

  82. Bayonne Jean says:

    Really, really difficult choice(s). Are we talking about “2nd best” or “2nd most valuable” to RVP? If second best, then my vote’s on Koscielny for all of the reasons cited in the comments, and his consistency through the season. If second most valuable, then that has to be Arteta.

    Here’s a really easy poll question: Which manager do you want to see back in the PL on promotion: Ian Holloway or Sam Allardyce? That one’s almost as lopsided as which is your favorite North London side: Gooners or LWCs?

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Jean, HolloalltheWay :) It would be sad for WH fans but absolutely fantastic if Sammi Allerdici does not make it.

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Khalifha, if you look at the poll results until now, you will see that Song is battling it out with Arteta. This comes as a bit of surprise to me, but it shows that many Gooners out there really appreciate what Song has meant for Arsenal this season. A top player who will be duly missed if he were to leave this summer.

    Can I ask you politely where you are based?

  85. jnyc says:

    I go for arteta, then a close call between kos and song. Maybe a tie. Then scezny. Good post i was thinking about this same question after the season finally ended,trying to put it all in context.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Johnnie, plenty to write about my friend, so get your creative juices flowing! :)

  87. I see Pennant has admitted driving while drunk, without insurance and while banned.
    Obviously Pullis has made a mature man out of the former bad boy.
    He’ll have plenty of time to contemplate his actions dutring his 8 week stretch doing bird.

    A bit(very) off topic but a question for Raspers (and Big Randy, but I suspect he is still safely ensconsed in his Italian idyll).

    I have a 1981 Washburn(Right handed) and was thinking of flogging it and getting a Stag G2 (left handed) with a tremolo arm (but only 1 volume and 1 tone control as opposed to the pair of each the Washburn has) mainly ‘cos the Washburn feels so heavy round my neck and it’s not a proper left-handed one.

    What would you do if you was in my position Raspers, stick or twist ?

  88. allezkev says:

    Mikel Arteta for me…

    Wish we had signed him 4 years ago.

  89. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Frankly, thats another fantastic effort from you TA

    My vote goes to Song. I have absolutely loved Kozzer since his debut at Anfield and have never had any reservations about him. He’s ha d a fantastic season…but for me Song just brings too much to this team that we all love so much.

    For each of his misplaced passes, there are another ten or more that go straight to another another player, often with only one touch. You’ll also find that he is constantly making himself available to get another player out of a sticky situation, even if he puts himself under pressure and occasionally loses the ball. As a team we are averse to hoofing it long, and without Song showing for short passes we’d really struggle.

    I love that Song never seems tio realise he is having a bad game….no don’t laugh, hear me out. He can misplace two passes in a row or lose it twice in a row, but he will still want the ball to makes passes 3, 4 and 5 as soon as possible. He’ll still take dodgy passes fro defender sto ease the pressure. I guess I’m saying that he simply never hides, or lets his self belief drop. His willingness to keep going has paid us real dividends this season., especially late on in games when others around him are running on empty or losing belief. Think of his Fergie time assists, and his late backheel attempt vs Norwich.

    Lastly, when Balotelli tried to take Song’s leg off, someone eon AA aske who remonstrated with Balotelli on behalf of their fallen colleague (melodramatic or what !! lol). The answer was no one, because that’s primarily Song’s job in this team. Example: Stearman (Wolves) barges RVP in an off the ball incident. Ball goes dead and who’s up in Stearmans face within 10 secs giving him what for, and more importantly raising awareness of what just happened to the officials.

    If I now start to bang on about Songs sterling defensive work, in clearing both low and high crosses, slotting in at CB, and breaking up opposition attacks before they start ….then I might as well have written a full post for tomorrow in celebration of his poll win today !!!

  90. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Khalifa…quality comment.

    Stick around or come back soon

  91. Bayonne Jean says:

    Did anyone catch the Bayern – Dortmund German Cup final? Bayern was completely dominated; does not bode well for CL final, though Chelsea is not nearly as dangerous as BVB.

    There’s much to admire about BVB. They play the right way — press the ball, direct quick forward passing, without any Barcelona tippy tap and diving, solid in defense. Plenty of talent too, with solid CBs and FBs, midfield with Gotze and Kagawa, Lewandowski up front, and a sharp young manager.

    Worst sight of the GL final: SAF up in the stands licking his chops. Wouldn’t be surprised to try to sign up a bunch of their players.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Sharkey, I salute you! What a fantastic comment, and you are right: it is post material. :lol:

    I am delighted to see so many fellow Gooners voting for him today. Alex deserves it.

    Away for a while now, back this evening.

  93. TotalArsenal says:

    Bayonne, they are building something impressive at Dortmund. Both our games against them in the CL are among my highlights of the season. Tactically it was of a very high level and we just about edged them.

    Really gone now.

  94. Hi all

    Great idea for a post TA, for me it’s not Song, he had some great games but Koscielny gives everything every game and has grown into a warrior – he gets my vote.

  95. We need posts, posts and more posts so please get some into my store cupboard for the days ahead.

    Thanks ;)

  96. Arsene`s vertigo cheque book says:

    This is simple, Marton Fulop. 1 game, 1 goal ( he pushed Santos`s assist in ) 2 assists, CL sorted . Legend !.

  97. jnyc says:

    Honestly, khaliffa is really on point, i like your view. Look forward to hearing more. Another intelligent gunner for AA.

  98. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Chas 11.37 – “Credit to the lad (Song) for keeping on trying to thread or loft the ball forwards to the strikers even when many such attempts fail.”

    Thats exactly what I love about him !!!

  99. herbsarmy says:

    Hi TotalA,
    whilst I applaud your effort, no Arsenal player has stood head and shoulders above the rest with the exception of RvP, and when our brand of football doesn’t work, which happens far too often, a lone striker doesn’t work either.
    Alex Song is symptomatic of everything that’s currently wrong with Arsenal. How many MotM performances has Song had this season? More often than not he lacks any drive or motivation. He’s played a couple of killer balls through for RvP to finish off. How many times does he do that, compared to the matches where you wonder if he’s on the park at all?
    Arteta has been a decent signing, and the glue which has held the midfield together, but he is not a player to take us to the next level. He’s never represented his country.
    Ramsey deserves time to develop, and has been over-relied upon.
    Giving Tomas Rosicky a new contract after a couple of good months in six years?
    Relying on an injured GK because we can’t trust on the reliability of Fabianski says everything about what we’ve become, and there’s a chasm between the two Mancs and ourselves that threatens to get even wider.

  100. jnyc says:

    I think sixteen assists qualifies as a little more than a couple killer passes. I would love to see a video of songs assists this season, most were beauties. I know he misses some long attempts, but not every good attempt was converted either.
    ——- i am worried we may lose him because he had such great stats this season. Especially italian teams. I dont see him as technically good enough for mourihno –( as rumours suggested ) or barca. But i want him to stay and get an agressive dm like mvila as well. This would show we are serious. Less than both would be disappointing. Coq not ready for title contending team yet frimpong must be loaned out again, too raw by far.

  101. herbsarmy says:

    Hi JYNC,

    our football is as schizophrenic as our support, it can be devestatingly brilliant or life-less and impotent.
    Had it not been for Marton Fulop on Sunday we’d have had no 3rd place or St Totteringham’s Day to celebrate.
    Arsenal are very sub-standard at the moment, and whilst I’ll agree that when Alex Song can be bothered he is quality, he lacks the hunger to do it consistently. And that reflects the state of the club.

  102. herbsarmy says:

    *Apologies to you, JNYC!

  103. goonerjake says:

    Hi all,

    This may be a bit off topic…actually when i say off topic i actually mean totally off topic. Did anyone here that IDIOT Adrian Durham today? He was having a dig at The Arsenal yet again saying were the Invcibles all that AND they did not deserve the award for best ever prem team.

    What is wrong with him, he must be a closet Totteringham supporter because otherwise his bias against The Arsenal makes no sense! The only other explanation is he has a lot of Spurz mates, because I have noticed on my travels down the country from were I live a lot of Spurz fans get on the train at Peterborough and that is were Durham is from, maybe as he spends time their he gets contaminated with those Arsenal hating idiots.

    And its not just Durham the entire British media (few exceptions i agree eg .Kenwo and Dicko) seem to hate the Arsenal…. again WHY???

    I am sure they dont know themselves. Where i know it comes from is the dark days of one nil to the arsenal and what some considered boring football. However if you ever asked these so called broadcasters to say why they dont like the gunners i am sure they would not be able to tell you why. The cretins.

    its hard to get inflection as you read but please be assured i was shouting in anger this post

    Yours goonerjake

  104. Hi goonerjake – you’ve been sucked in …….. if you must listen to talkshite you have to know that their whole raison d’etre is to seriously upset gooners …………. laugh in their faces, they’re just one great big wind up.

    Regards

    peachesgooner

  105. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    Durham is an absolute …………………… and I heard his crass comments too. He delights in his anti Arsenal crap because it keeps his ‘hits’ high for his moronic show.

    Apparently his tirade has provoked such a response on Twitter that it is ‘trending’, which of course he is loving.

    Sadly, he brings out the animal in me and I would happily put a large fist thru his ugly face, and a size 12 foot applied to his arse with 19 stone behind it, if I got the chance.
    My defence? A blameless history and unacceptable and belligerent provocation of a decent and committed band of Gooners, including me!!

  106. Rob Lucci says:

    Alex Song led the League in successful through balls per game with 0.7 (24/90)

  107. Hi RA – he knows exactly how to push our buttons ;)

  108. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    SharkeySure on the 3rd Oct (day after loss at SHL):

    Amidst our worse start in how long, I’ve seen plenty to be positive about so far. In the main its seems to me as those we have foregone a little bit of flair and finesse in favour of a bit more steel and grit. In Coquelin we have rolled yet another one off of the conveyor belt who fits in almost seemlessly with the way we want to play.

    Look at the money Liverpool have spent and how they laboured against 10-man Everton, struggled for so long against us, and got battered 4-0 at the Lane.

    We’ll still finish above them and the Toots this season (ie top 4). £100 to charity if I’m wrong

  109. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Ps. That was to an email group I’m part of …not here on AA. Not one person responded on that point about us finishing top 4. There’s about 20 people in that group

  110. If every one of his successful through balls led to a goal and then he gave possession away which led to us conceding then they weren’t worth much were they.

  111. Just being realistic ;)

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’re a bounder and a rogue Sharkey,
    I remember the bet as if it were yesterday.
    “£100 to charity if I’m wrong. £100 to the DidIt Trust if I’m right”.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    When does the transfer window open and where are the rumours?

  114. Hi Micky – transfer window doesn’t open until 1st June I think.

    The Daily Mail have the scoop on Robin’s new deal they think ;)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2144463/Exclusive-Arsenal-offer-130-000-week-5m-signing-fee-Van-Persie.html

  115. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, Redders, is it ok if i give him a kicking after youve knocked him unconcious?

    Nice post TA, got to be Kos for me with Song and Arteta running him close. For sheer ‘hope’, obi won kin obe style, its got to be young Alex Chamberlain, great player in the making that boy. Lets hope he dont turn to the dark side.

  116. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    I could hear you shouting Jake…loud and clear as I had a window open !! :-)

    But as the RHWP (PeachesG) says – its all a cunning plan to get hits. Ignore them as you would a ……

    Ok guys, I was merrily rolling thru that sentence and now I’m stuck for a ‘something you ignore’ simile. Help..??

    * I did check that Red Arse was gone before asking ;-)

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting Peaches.
    Naturally I hope he stays, but also that we seriously strengthen the first team squad. Podolski and two high quality first teamers are needed in my book to even think about competing at the highest level.

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, nice to see you back here. I have seldom or never seen Song have a bad game, or one in which he does not give his all. He is a total warrior, but he does it in a humble and intelligent way. A very fine player that would easily fit into the Mancs team, blue or red. I hope he stays and plays many more years in red and white.

    Clearly, you continue to be disappointed in Arsenal, which makes me wonder how you would be feeling now if we had not manage to finish third this season.

  119. herbsarmy says:

    Chief Inspector Shark of the Karma Police.
    Is it true you delivered the final hammer-blow that got Timothy Evans hanged?

  120. How much do we think Man City will offer our Boy Wonder?

    He couldn’t go to another premiership side though could he? Whats the point in your wife wanting to stay in London and you going to work in Manchester :lol:

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    RA at 7.16 Awesome! I love it when you kick ass! :)

  122. TA – if Song stays, you need to sit next to me for a game next season :)

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    HiTerry, have you been away for a few days/ did your Mrs ban you to the shed with a bag full of carrots? :)

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, I would be delighted to sit next to you and discuss our only Song! :)

  125. herbsarmy says:

    Hi Total,
    how would I feel if we hadn’t finished 3rd? Probably the same.
    Garth Crooks said to Martin Keown on Sunday that RvP will never win the CL with Arsenal, and Keown couldn’t disagree.
    We are not good enough to compete for major honours.
    Why do you think Arsenal fans are more divided than at any other time in their 125 year history? It’s because people are not only tolerating under-achievement, they are passionately defending it.

  126. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Alright Didit….

    I didn’t want to bring it up…. but I sent your your cash by Lobster Express about two weeks ago…as I was supremely confident.

    I reckon its in one of the pots that got away…. ;-)

  127. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi TA. Its amazing what 12 red roses can do to a womans heart. Thought about chocolate but it might have been taken the wrong way hahaha. Anyway, back to hot dinners for me.

  128. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Right – quick note that is hopefully oblique to most but glaringly obvious to one or more others.

    I have just deleted my first response, in favour of this one.

    I’ve already given my permission for a certain person to be given my email address for any further correspondence they wish to have with me.

    I really do hope thats clear.

    Oh and don’t give me any ideas by talking about hanging….

    I guess thats not quite as oblique as I had hoped..oh well.

    Mods- feel free free to delete/edit once said person has had time to read it. Or just delete it now and mail it to him/her…

    With apologies to everyone else…

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, Garth Crooks knows nothing – he just says whatever is most popular. Fans of teams are always divided unless they are winning major things at any given time. I trust the board and Wenger to build something special again, but I can understand that you and other feel different about things.

  130. jnyc says:

    Hey Herb. Why the apology? We’re having a good discussion back and forth. U make some good points, some, i hate to say, may be true. I admitted songs shortcomings in saying that a world class squad like madrid wouldnt take him as a dm, some would say lack of effort also. Hes far from perfect. I also think when given a task, he can do it. I think he filled in at cb a couple times and did well. Either starting, or after subs to change tactics.

  131. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    I’ll grab a seat the other side TA…classic pincer movement.

    We’ve all seen how well we perform as a team without Song haven’t we…?? The willingness to take pass after pass uunder pressure in the middle of the park is truly comendable. Look how safe so many others play it from a similar position.

    I really wouldn’t swap Song for any mf in the world. For all of Yaya’s ‘magic moments’ he simply doesn’t hold his side together in the way that Song does ours (ably assisted by Arteta of course)

  132. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    That mf in my last post is the English one…not the US one ;-)

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    hear hear Sharkey

  134. the ghost of glic says:

    I like Aidrian Durham .He makes me laugh, so why should I hate him ?. Every day on Drivetime, he does the Daily Arsenal, in which he has a pop at us, but I still find myself laughing, he`s a shock jock, who tries to wind us gooners up ( his two producers are gooners, so he does it even more ), if you fall for it, you need treatment.
    The latest one is to have a pop at the Invincibles ( voted best team of the PL over it`s 20 years ), but I have found myself wondering whether he is right on one of his points, which is, The Chavs got 95 points the year after the Invincibles ( fair enough, like City this year , they bought the title ), surely more points is what counts ?.
    Over to you , possibly fuming AAers. :lol:

  135. herbsarmy says:

    Total,
    that rebuilding has been on-going since we moved to The Emirates 6 years ago, so that ‘we could compete with the MU’s and Real Madrid’s etc. Being 19 points behind the team immediately above us is not competing.

  136. herbsarmy says:

    JNYC,
    the apology was for getting the JNYC the wrong way round in my first response to you.

  137. kelsey says:

    You can’t blame Wenger if he develops players and then oone or two of the money rich clubs dangle a carrot, as the temptation to accept will nearly always be taken.
    If the above Daily mail story is true, that is a hell of an offer by our standards,but will it be enough, and in two years time the same thing may happen with Wilshere.
    The club cannot compete it’s as simple as that, so to limp over the line into third is a remarkable achievement after our dreadful start.. 27 goals this season from RVP and his assists in the PL, would be a very hard act to follow.
    Finally as i have said many times I support Arsenal and don’t care a flying fig about Spurs or any other team,though i have a soft spot for Malaga who from years of relegation going like a yo yo in and out of la liga have clinched a CL spot this year. Imagine if they were in our group :)

  138. …….. still need posts people ……………….

  139. Hi kelsey – I think you’re right about the club having to be wary what offer they put on the table for Robin. Not only Wilshere in two years, what about The Ox too …………..?

  140. herbsarmy says:

    Hi Kelsey,
    if we can’t compete at the top table, shouldn’t that be reflected in the pricing of season-tickets as well as the manager’s salary?

  141. kelsey says:

    Use my laat comment and expand on it peaches :)

  142. Thanks kelsey, but I haven’t got time ……………

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    Herb, MU won nothing this year, Uber-rich Madrid has not won the CL for 10 years, Inter and Milan are rubbish this year and will win nothing important, Bayern were humiliated by Dortmund twice in four weeks…that’s football. From a trophy point of view we had 7 lean years, but I still loved it. Silverware will come again and in the meantime we play some fine football, and enjoy the ride.

    Sorry, I just don’t see the need to be so gloomy, but once again, I respect your views.

  144. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, we can just vote for our third favourite player tomorrow…. :lol:

  145. kelsey says:

    Hi Herb,

    I am constantly hearing about the price of going to football at Arsenal but also other clubs .No one is forced to go and I am sure many that go are ccorporate invites. liverpool have changed their policy even more, so.forget season tickets,if you want a ticket for a game one has to buy ten at a time as of this present season, and many can’t afford it especially in that area..people complain in general even at city at the cost of a pie or a hot dog. it’s not right but we are not the only club that charge excessive prices.
    Personally I believe AW is worth every penny,especially this season but I still believe his hands are tied and that we probably have had the best of him.
    if money was no object a Morinho or whoever could take the club to a higher level, but it isn’t going to happen for a while.

  146. That’s true TA but people like something new to read aswell as pressing the buttons ;)

  147. herbsarmy says:

    How often do we play ‘fine football’ Total? Short answer, not often enough, and definitely not since we lost Arteta to injury.
    From this point in time, between AW and SAF, who will win a major trophy first?

  148. kelsey says:

    Sorry I meant 27 points not goals.

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    Who knows Herb? I can only look back and compare the two over the years Wenger has been at Arsenal, and what our man has done for both Arsenal and football in general is unsurpassed. I am not talking about the size and content of trophy cabinets but about the beauty that has been brought to the game – quality rather than quantity. In the period I have been following football with an ability to understand it enough, I have only known three other men who have had a similar profound impact on the ‘beautiful game': Rinus Michels, Cruijff, Sacchi.

  150. GunnerN5 says:

    Herb; Re your 7:45pm

    Quote………….

    We are not good enough to compete for major honours.
    Why do you think Arsenal fans are more divided than at any other time in their 125 year history? It’s because people are not only tolerating under-achievement, they are passionately defending it.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………….

    Herb,

    I tend to think that if we keep VP and sign a strong/creative mid-fielder and a back up to Szczensy then we may be in with a shot at winning some trophies – I sure hope so as I would love that feeling at least once more before my time is up.

    So far as the division amongst fans – I cannot agree that it’s the worst division in our history as it’s always been there but it’s way more accentuated today than it has ever been and due entirely to the immediacy of the modern media.

    I can remember heated arguments among my family back in the 50’s
    so it’s not a current phenomenon.

  151. dandan says:

    Great respect TA for a super post and a well-argued defence of the same. Forgive me for not being around to help you sort “young Herb” out :-) I have my beadys on him though. LOL

    But I took a fall a couple of weeks ago and have been in pain ever since ,especially when at the keyboard. (I have also only been able to sleep/doze sitting up) …….Today I discovered I have done (broken/cracked) a couple of Ribs which kind of explains things.

    Let’s give it a couple of weeks see how the wind blows with player movement in and out and then no doubt we can have a rational discussion as how we appear to be progressing, Trying to second guess AW or the power of foreign money is at the moment pointless, more info is needed, no doubt it will appear.

    So Mrs 100% me useless dont it make you wanna spit :-)

  152. dandan says:

    By the way I realise the window opens on the 1st of |June but we will hear bits and pieces before then……….. Secondly I live near Peterborough I have not been tainted by spuds or Rent a gob Durham :-)

  153. Slimgingergooner says:

    Looking back at the season, I’m still shocked that we managed to get 3rd, and also that we amassed 70 points.

    I would say that for 75% of the games this season we played no better than average, and i reckon for about 50% of the matches played we failed to have 11 of our best 15 players as the starting line up. This tells me that a) Wenger is a genius for getting us over the line on bare bones, and b) next season can only be an improvement.

    If we can finish 3rd playing as poorly as we have this year then adding the likes of Podolski, Wilshire and hopefully some more talent can only improve us. Add to that a massive reduction in injuries next season and I don’t see why a trophy isn’t possible.

  154. TotalArsenal says:

    Dandan :)

    Firstly, great to hear your wife is 100% again. Sorry to hear you have cracked a few ribs and I hope you will recover soon.

    Really looking fwd to your next post – you keep us all sane here on AA! :)

  155. herbsarmy says:

    It’s my personal opinion that you are far too generous in your appraisal of AW, Total.
    Cruyff was the best footballer in the world when he played, and he initiated the culture of TotalFootball at Barcelona when he took over as manager in the late 1980’s. It is the same philosophy that they have utilised perfectly through Lionel Messi.
    AW attempts to replicate this blue-print with far less resources, and footballers of nowhere near the same quality.
    AW’s successful period was blessed with Dennis Bergkamp at its fulcrum, who like Cruyff was educated the Ajax way. Since Bergkamp retired, apart from 2008, we haven’t looked like we’ve wanted to win anything.
    What does finishing 3rd, 19 points behind 2nd place really represent in the bigger footballing picture, apart from CL qualification?
    Are we celebrating a non-achievement, or the fact that the money the CL guarantees makes our share-holders even richer?

  156. TotalArsenal says:

    It means wonderful Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with the best football on display, and we are taking part in it. The day we start poo-pooing that, we don’t deserve anything else but to disappear from the footie horizon.

  157. herbsarmy says:

    Hi Dandan,
    great news about your Mrs, not so good news about your good self.
    At least you’re able to post, which is good news for us, but probably of little consolation to yourself.
    Hi GunnerN5, I don’t quite go back as far as the 1950’s, but take your point. Today’s non-stop rolling news and Computer Blog sites mean that people are constantly heard and it has become a vehicle for people to “spleen” as TerryM would say. We’ve been the best many times before, but I am seriously beginning to doubt whether AW still has the tactical nous to put us back there.

  158. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all

    It got lively while I was away.

    First up TA I have a bone to pick. You said you were surprised that Kozzer hasn’t had more votes for Second Best Player. As you know my vote went to Arteta, but you assume RvP is my player of the year, in fact he is third for me, Kozzer is my player of the year so Mikel was my second. Why was RvP 3rd? He has done what is expected, score goals. Ok he’s scored a lot, but as your post suggests the assists must have helped his total. How many have been truly individual goals?

    Jake don’t listen to Durham, he is an idiot and as others have said they know Gooners have a huge support so like to get us to phone in and defend their club.

    I listen to TalkShite for six hours, Keys and Gray and then Hawksby and Jacobs then sometimes Danny Kelly. Despite there being two Spuds in that lot they’re actually pretty decent to us compared to Durham.

    As for Arteta not getting in the Spain side lets not go there please…unless you expect us to sign Xavi and Iniesta. It’s like saying Tevez isn’t a great player because he can’t get in the Argentina side. Or that Ian Wright was not good enough for Arsenal because he couldn’t get in ahead of Shearer and Sheringham, sometimes you are unlucky as a player, Winterburn behind Pearce the list goes on and on I’m sure.

  159. Herb – I agree with a lot of things that you say about the club behaving as if they have no ambition but as a group of supporters I feel we must celebrate the fact that we will be competing in the Champions Lge. As Total says, it’s Tuesday and Wednesday nights of fabulous football and we’re part of it.

    I’m not naive, I know what the extra revenue means but I love the Champions League and had we not qualified I would have been very angry.

  160. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I was pleased we secured third, but not surprised. We were always going to finish around that spot and if it wasnt for our poor start would have secured it easily.

    It amazes me that some people still think we have a bleak future or that we lack ambition. The reality is that we are capable of coming 3rd despite constantly losing players. If, and i admit its an if, we can keep our players next season we can win the title. The key word is “Excellence”, because that is what Arsenal is all about. From top to bottom the club strives and pursures excellence. if you have a cup of tea there it will be the greatest cupa youve had in your life, and if your a player there you will get the best education any player can have. These vaules dont come overnight and should not be underestimated. In Arsenals case it is the result of near on 100 years of hard work and it is why we will win big trophies again, and in my humble opinion it will commence next season.

  161. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Let me ask this question. How cam a club that pursues excellence in every thing it does lack ambition?. if you do not understand this concept then you do not understand the team you support. Its what Arsenals all about.

  162. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, if your boy needs any free accounting advice for the construction industry, email me and i will help the kid out.

  163. herbsarmy says:

    Hi Peaches,
    you are just too lovely to argue with, and who knows, if we get lucky we could have a decent CL run.
    Hi GiE – Arteta has spent his best footballing years playing below our level.

  164. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    TMHT., I actually wish I’d written that.

    I’ll wait a week before reposting it under my own name. Cheers

  165. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Ok I originally wrote about TMHT;s 9.44 …can I now extend my comment to also cover his 9.48.

    I’ll repost them as a single comment – cover mi tracks a bit !

  166. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Last one from me… extract from a mail I wrote earlier:

    “Its also pretty seismic to look at how poor Liverpool have been (and Chelsea to a lesser extent) after having done exactly what Arsene has been criticised for not doing – ie spending some f*****g money’.

    I never understand why people believe it guarantees you anything. City started with Benjani (!!!!!), then Santa Cruz, then Adebayor, then Tevez, then Dzeko, then Balotelli…and finally hit the jackpot with Aguero.

    From Benjani to Aguero with God knows how many millions spent (wasted?) in between. ”

    Benjani…lol

    Night all

  167. Terry – while I understand that the club strives for excellence from top to bottom something has gone a bit wrong lately. Take the goalkeeper situation over the past four seasons for example …….. Almunia still on the books even though he was a major liability, Schwarzer, Given, Freidel slipping through our fingertips, no back-up for Szczesny or rather no back-up that AW was willing to trust in the final few weeks of this season. How can a team be ambitious for success without a back-up goalkeeper?

    No back-up striker – what on earth would we have done if Robin had had any time out injured?

    The mystery signing of Park – can anyone explain it?

    The lack of training to help the team know how to shut up shop and hold onto a lead – do you really expect this to suddenly be addressed next season when it wasn’t this season?

    I could go on but it’s too depressing and I’m enjoying the fact that we finished in third but I’m not under any illusions that while we could have done a lot better we also could have done a lot worse.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be thrilled if your prophecy comes true, I’m just not sure why you’re so sure.

  168. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    I reckon its at least partly cos he really wants it to be true……

  169. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    We should all try to think like that …..I know I do.

    Right, really gone now….

  170. herbsarmy says:

    Hi TerryM,
    how long do we have to wait before this excellence bears fruit?
    We’ve scraped a CL spot from a mediocre season, and if it wasn’t for Fulop we’d be the one’s sweating on Saturday’s result.
    Chelsea and the two Mancs will strengthen in the summer, and nothing about Arsenal’s recent behaviour suggests they will have a response.
    Mancini is laying down the gauntlet to Barcelona and Real Madrid whilst we’re waiting around gambling on the FFP rules to make us competitive again. It’s hardly a battle-cry of intent is it.

  171. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Peaches, ime not saying a
    rsenal dosnt make mistakes. look at sharkeys comment at 10.02 to see how easy it is to make mistakes when you have unlimited resources like City

  172. Gooner In Exile says:

    Herb – the phrase “below our level” sounds a bit snobbish don’t you think? You criticise the club and some fans for being deluded about where we are at, but I think it may be you who deluded about what we are as a club.

    The reason I celebrate 3rd place is because i don’t expect to be dining at the top table, you seem to remember a false history of our club. And I say that as a fan who has been lucky, supported the club for 5 years and we won the the league cup, and many more after. This is the longest I have gone as a fan without a trophy, but it isn’t as long as City fans had to wait. Does it bother me? Not really its not why I go, how many players play their whole careers and don’t win a thing? How many fans live their whole life to not win the top league. There are a few 51 year old Spuds for sure.

    But back to the point it really doesn’t matter where Arteta played his football before, you can see if anything it has made him eager to show what he can do, if you think he has not added anything to us this season I’m not sure there’s a point in continuing the debate.

    If we are applying you’re rule that we can only sign players from teams on the same level as us we wouldn’t sign many players. Fergie signed Young who had only played for Watford and Villa. Carrick who had only played for West Ham and Spuds. Parker was apparently the signing of the season for Spuds aged 30 and achieved what in the game? It doesn’t matter what they’ve done before or where they played it matters what they an add to your team. Arteta added experience calm and organisation, plus commitment and responsibility.

    But I can see you are in one of those moods to grind an axe, so I’ll leave it there. It’s going to be a long summer for you Herb, and a miserable season next year unless you find a way to change the way you view what our club should be.

  173. Terry – the lack of money is not the whole problem, I feel there is a lack of planning, too much is too gungho and I’m pretty much a gungho kind of girl but just sometimes things do need to be a bit organised.

  174. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, if you feel RvP was not our best player of the season then you are entitled to say so. I think it is fair to say the vast majority believes he has been the best this season – otherwise we would have seen a lot more comments today saying the same as you do.

    Have you forgotten that not only did he score a lot of goals, and many important goals, but he also has been our best captain in many years?

  175. Anyway, I’ll leave you with this post from September 2010 ……. nothing changes it would seem :)

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/09/

  176. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches, the keeping situation is disappointing, but do you think Wenger forced Szczesny to play? I doubt Arsene has ever forced a player to play through injury, in fact Bergkamp
    used to say he wouldn’t do it because he didn’t want to damage himself further. He would have played Fab if he had no other choice. When Almunia signed his contract he was number 1 and playing well. But you say we can’t be serious if we have a poor reserve keeper remind me who the number 2 is at Chelsea, City and United. It’s not like Given, Schwarzer etc are plying their trade there is it. Chelsea have Hilario and Turnbull, City Taylor (yes he the ex Arsenal youngster now aged 31 with 68 career league appearances) and Pantimiliom (on loan from a Romanian outfit). First choice keepers do not want to come and sit on the bench at big clubs, it’s why Given left City at the end of the day.

    You say the defensive organisation wasn’t addressed but I suggest you read back in Arsenal.com to earlier in the season, I can’t remember if it was BFG, Kozzer or TV but they explained that they had been working seperately to address issues, and for a while it worked.

  177. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Greetings Herb, and hi Peaches,not all my last post appeared for some reason

    Our intent is there. Even more important than buying players RVP and even Arsene Wenger are our vaules, traditions and as stated, the pursuit of excellence. This is the bedrock of the club, which i think is unrivaled. These virtues are so powerful that we can finnish 3rd even when we get slaughterd by pundits, press, rivals and even by sections of our own support. We can give the league a good go next year and hopefully win it.

  178. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA I was pulling your leg ;) and also convincing myself that he wasn’t that important when he leaves :(

  179. Red Arse says:

    Herb, stop posting under Peaches’s banner! :-)

    What strikes me is how little ‘real’ info we get from the club as to its real aims and aspirations, [Mission Statement?] or how much money is ‘really’ ring-fenced for transfers etc, etc.

    I know it will be claimed that the info is sensitive and the BoD would not want to reveal financial details, but EVERY large corporation gives their shareholders and customers a general steer on how they intend to proceed, so why not Arsenal? (and without the PR spin).

    By not doing so the club’s hierarchy create a ‘black hole’ into which everyone interprets the ‘real’ situation according to their personal characteristics, spun from a dire lack of facts.

    Herb will convince himself one way, TerryM another, with most other fans floating around somewhere in between.

    Me? I just love the club. I want them to win everything and therefore I would be doomed to bitter disappointment, if I did not also realise that hope is impossible and cannot happen. So what?

    We are all different in the way we are made, of course.

    For me, the club, in an admittedly hard to explain way, is like a member of the family.
    You love them all, and even tho’ you may wish, occasionally, they did things differently, or behaved in a certain way, because recognizing their limitations does not mean being judgemental or choosing to either condone or condemn, because I am as proud as hell of their virtues, as well.

    You really cannot change people, introverts, extroverts, introverted extroverts or whatever combination, and why would you want to?

    Recriminations concerning family are pointless and unnecessary, because whatever happens you are still going to love them, warts and all, and that’s how I feel about Arsenal.

    That’s it.

    And Good Night, one and all! :-)

  180. Word on the street is that Rio is not included in the England squad ………….

  181. herbsarmy says:

    GiE,
    Arteta has been a decent signing, and you’d have to be blind not to see what he has added, but as I’ve said before, if AW was such a fan, why not buy him from Rangers?
    What I mean by a lower level is that he didn’t play CL football (unless you include two qualifiers in 2005).
    I expect Arsenal to show back-bone and bravery on a football field given the number of people their actions represent. They are being paid King’s ransoms, the very least they should do is earn it.

  182. swiftGunner says:

    We’ve only won one game (the last game) without Arteta this season. If Arsenal is a one-man-team then it is got to be Arteta.

  183. GiE – ‘and for a while it worked’ love you ;)

  184. goonerjake says:

    Thankyou All,

    I appreciate what you all say. And also Peaches thankyou scincerley and very very much for your comment. Truly i do get it i understand what Durham does, how he trys to upset us gooners, so does those idiots on bbc motd. I listen to talksport for the latest sports news while traveling in my car. What upsets me is the fact that these national broadcasters are allowed to broadcast such biased views.

    I never mind clear well thought out balanced views. And i know the station makes a joke about how Durham does upset gooners. I guess i just am a idealist who hopes that one day our great club gets the credit it deserves.

    Ps. Idea for a post is who do you think in our present squad is truly a gooner not just a player.

    My thoughts

    gooners

    Sagna
    Wilshere
    TV5
    Koz
    Rosicknote

    possible gooners

    Van Persie

  185. Rasp says:

    Sorry to jump in on someone else’s debate so late in the day, but I too would not be able to say RvP has been our top performer this season.

    I lean towards GiE’s view but as I have already said today, I couldn’t differentiate between RvP, kozzer and Arteta as they have all been outstanding.

    Kozzer because he just keeps getting better and better and Arteta because the footballing environment that Arsenal has offered him has enabled him to show what a truly great player he is and who knows, he may well have played for Spain if he’d had the chance to showcase his ability through Arsenal earlier in his career.

  186. herbsarmy says:

    Hi RedA,
    sorry to hear your news earlier, hope you get better soon.

  187. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches thanks for posting a link to the Song article from Rocky, I found this link further down the page and it’s a pearler from Rasp

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/wenger-is-not-very-clever/

    Sorry Rasp having seen you have just agreed with me I feel bad posting it, but blame Peaches as I couldn’t help read down the articles as it was before my time on the site and it made me chuckle seeing Cham described as a good finisher :D

  188. goonerjake – great idea, you can write it up if you want and email it through. You’re not going to run away now that I’ve nabbed you for a post are you?????? Don’t worry if you don’t have the time ;)

  189. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow Rasp, you never stop amazing me! RvP has been our best player by a country mile.You are totally overrating Arteta and Koz if you think their contributions are anywhere near those of RvP this season. RvP was great and the others were good – that’s the difference.

  190. Oh Rasp, it’s true, Chamakh and Squillacci but at least Kozzer was in there too :)

  191. I was trawling through old posts this afternoon to find my comment about Koscielny after the Swansea home game because I was so impressed with him.

  192. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, you are as sharp in the evening as you are early in the morning! I agree with you, why does the BoD not come out with a clear strategy, including some sporting objectives?! :)

  193. peachesgooner says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:07 am (Edit)

    Morning all

    We needed three points, I didn’t care how we got them because the new boys will undoubtedly make the team play differently and they need to bed in.

    Loved the way Arteta just slipped into the other spaniard’s shoes and he’s much prettier – how fickle am I :)

    Koscielny will be an Arsenal legend – I love watching him and he doesn’t look anything like my other favourite centre-back of all time :lol:

  194. ……..need posts, posts and more posts come on lets be ‘avin ya ……..

  195. Have to sleep …… catch up tomorrow …………….

  196. Gooner In Exile says:

    Herb, he was at Rangers from 02-04 so was (20-22). Our midfield through those years.

    Parlour, Viera, Silva, Edu, Flamini, Fabregas.

    Just a thought perhaps we didn’t need him then

  197. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Glic :)

    The Invincibles are the best simply because they remained unbeaten whilst always aiming to play entertaining, beautiful football.

  198. Rasp says:

    TA ….. “Wow Rasp, you never stop amazing me! RvP has been our best player by a country mile.You are totally overrating Arteta and Koz if you think their contributions are anywhere near those of RvP this season. RvP was great and the others were good – that’s the difference.” …. you forgot to add IMO :lol:

  199. goonerjake says:

    I am very sorry Peaches, I really do not have the time,promise its not just an excuse in fact this will have to be my last note of the night plus ……. im more of an ideas man and like to leave posts to more articulate and talented people such as your very good self….. no seriously though when i have time i will send in a post it just when i put something down i want it to be ground breaking and motivational, i dont want to be remembered for some poor self serving totally biased piece of detritus. And most important to me is that it brings happiness and good information so that when other people do me the honor of reading it they do not think they have wasted their time.

    All the very best

    goonerjake

  200. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, fair enough, it does look like I present it as a universal fact. We look at different things and value different things, but you still amaze me with that statement though! :)

    I regret now I did not include an opinion pole on the very topic, just to have the ‘facts’ (I recognise it will always remain subjective rather than objective) in front of us.

    Question 1: Who was our best player this season
    Question 2: Who was our second best player this season

    I reckon RvP would get between 92-97% for question 1.

  201. Slimgingergooner says:

    Do people forget a season is played over 38 games? Fulop wasn’t the reason we got 3rd, the Arsenal squad was the reason we got 3rd.

    Just saying!

  202. Rasp says:

    TA, I hope you noted that I said I couldn’t choose between the 3, so RvP is my joint player of the season.

    GiE, re my post from 2010 – thanks, maybe now those who think I have entrenched ideas about players will read it and see how excited I was about the prospect of Chamakh playing for us. I have always judged by what I see not what others tell me I see and I always start from a position of hoping for the best.

    As far as AW is concerned, I do believe he is a genius, and in common with all geniuses, he has flaws that are a by-product of his exceptional talent and can at times detract from his ability to maintain a balanced approach.

  203. Rasp says:

    TA, we may well drop your poll in one day soon. But remember that the preceding article and the opinion of the writer will effect the outcome. I’m sure Arteta would have scored higher today if you had come out in support of him rather than Song in your post.

    I have no doubt that RvP would get most votes for player of the season but am also pretty confident that he wouldn’t get the 92-97% you predict as we are all biased towards our favourite player and not every shirt worn at the Emirates has van Persie written on the back.

  204. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rasp, yes I noted that, and it was that which I could not understand. :)

    Anyway, good night to all AA’ers. Thanks for contributing to a fine day of blogging. We have had 676 votes until now and Song and Arteta are totally level as we speak with 234 votes each. Let’s see what will happen overnight!

  205. TotalArsenal says:

    You could well be right there, although this argument would be stronger if I had put his name in the title, which I avoided on purpose. I also think I said a lot of positive stuff about the others and Song only just shaded it for me. The good news is we have a really good spine to build on further.

    Btw, forgot to say, thanks for adding the opinion poll to the post – you and Peaches made it look very professional again. :)

  206. TotalArsenal says:

    Really gone now :)

  207. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp, you know I love ya really :)

    Do I love Peaches enough to type a post on my iPhone.

    What to write about?

    I have an idea for a post but it needs research. So i need to come up with a short one (a first I know).

  208. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, and thanks for writing such a thought provoking post.

    Nite nite :)

  209. Rasp says:

    Good luck with that GiE ;)

    Incidentally I’m getting worried about Rocky, he always keeps in touch but its been 2 days since we’ve heard from him.

    I hope he’s alright, we’ve emailed him but so far no reply………. if you’re reading Rocky, let us know how you are when you get a chance

  210. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great chat yesterday.
    TA,
    Really sorry, I thanked Peaches in the morning instead of you. Nothing wrong in saying thank you to her anytime, but you definately deserved one yesterday.
    GiE,
    Done a post?

  211. Gooner In Exile says:

    Done a very short and sweet one Micky

  212. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Phew,
    I was about to do an even shorter one. Well in!

  213. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Herbs add balance and complexity.
    Just saying :-)

  214. Red Arse says:

    Mornings Peoples, :-)

    And I wasn’t going to write one, so that pretty much covers it.

    GIE = Short and sweet
    Micky = Short
    RA = Zilch

    Herb does add a necessary alternative view to the comments.
    He clearly cares very much, I just wish he could enjoy himself more. :-)

  215. Red Arse says:

    I am concerned about the lack of Rocky.

    Do you think WordPress are carrying out a vendetta against him because he wrote an uproariously funny. and totally justified, vilification of the Swampies? :-)

  216. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Exactly how good is Monsieur Belhanda?
    Let’s face it, something is right about Montpellier.
    I saw a figure of £7m being quoted!

  217. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rumours incoming that Ox has made Euro squad, good news if so as he will not be available for Olympics :D

  218. I’ve put GiE’s post in the store cupboard for use before Saturday, we have a GN5 stato post for today.

  219. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All from a very happy BR.

    Great result on Sunday which I am sure was down to my lucky preparations and the prayers of all AA’ers..

    BR’s afternoon: Setting – my Italian hideaway.

    Having asked Peaches (The Queen of Text) for sms updates, I get my first – Bennie scores. 2 text’s later and BR is not so happy, pacing the house, cursing and praying.

    A huge rain storm comes over the mountains and obliterates the phone signals in to the village …. it is very remote.

    Raddy becomes very agitated and thinks “Can I wait to find out what happens until tonight?” The answer is “NO”. So, he dons his wet weather gear and starts a climb up the mountain paths to get enough height to receive a signal. It is absolutely throwing it down and thunder is echoing around the valley.

    But …… Peaches sends her next text re:Santos. Deep joy and renewed hope. My sacrifice of getting soaked is paying off ……

    Another hour of discomfort followed a joyful walk back to the village to go to the nearest bar and start into the liquid celebrations.

    Peaches. Thank you so much

  220. Big Raddy says:

    BTW I voted for Koscielny.

    And agree with TA that RvP was clearly our Player of the Season. PL Player of the Season and yet just equal 1st at AFC? Illogical.

  221. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy,

    I seem to be coming in for quite a bit of stick on here for voicing my opinion – I’m not presenting my views as fact and having 2 year old posts dug up and presented out of context is a tad below the belt.

    I didn’t vote for the Player of the season. IMO RvP has been of equal importance to our team as kozzer and Arteta.

    The strikers always get the glory and are usually player of the season

    TH is our record scorer and DB was a football genius, but my favourite Arsenal player was Patrick Vieira because he held the team together and made it possible for everyone else to shine, he was a great leader.

  222. Kingston collins chimlambe says:

    Considering the fact that he is a defensive mid fielder I find the number of assists amazing.

  223. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Rasp :)

    I hope you weren’t thinking I gave you stick last night – I was very surprised you with you statement, that’s all. You are one of the best bloggers on here and add real value to any debate every time.

    BR, loved your description of going out in thunderstorms to get a signal. It reminded me a bit of my recent time in remote Scotland. :)

  224. TotalArsenal says:

    And the winner is….. with only 0.8% between them, we have a joined winner: Arteta and Song. Both as individuals, and as a pair, they have been awesome this season, and it can get even better next season if we can keep them together and get a fantastic AM in front of them (JW in my view).

    Thanks again for taking part – it has been real fun! :)

  225. Rasp says:

    Morning TA, no problem. I am well aware that my version of objectivity frequently differs from the norm.

  226. Rasp says:

    ……. New post ………..

  227. Roygunner says:

    Obviously,iτ̲̅’s Alexander Song Bi-long! All y’all critising him for leaving his DM position τ̲̅ȍ move upfront,Wenger instructs him τ̲̅ȍ do thaτ̲̅,so thaτ̲̅ he can give RVP balls(assists) ‎απd he has done thaτ̲̅ very perfectly! So,pls y’all stop de criticism! If not for the Goals RVP scored,Song would’ve been Arsenal’s player of the season! How can all of U̅ forget all his crucial assists τ̲̅ȍ RVP against EVERTON,LIVERPOOL ‎απd many others?

  228. Song is the second best player in arsenal

  229. Am one i like gunners but nw we have one problem 4 finishing wemger u surppose 2 buy falcao is good striker God bless gunners

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