Arsenal Lifeline for Chamakh?

It’s no secret that “transfers out” remain as much a priority for Arsenal this summer as “transfers in”.

Leaving aside the likely departure of Brave Sir Robin, Arsène Wenger has stated that any more arrivals are contingent on selling players who are surplus to requirements or who want out.

The players in the Out Tray include some or all of Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner, Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci, Johann Djourou, Lukasz Fabianski and Ju-Young Park.

If you can detect the sound of creaking when you read that list, it’s because those players are often referred to in the Arsenal online community as “Dead Wood.”

The conventional wisdom is that they all failed to reach the standard required for Arsenal. Some (like the defender we so optimistically christened “the Squid”) through not appearing to have sufficient ability, others (like the Walt Disney character known as Little Andrey) through lack of application.

Most fans would probably be happy if all were shipped out in the next few weeks, especially if there is a decent few million quid coming back in the opposite direction.

But hold on just a moment.

Lest we throw out any babies with the bathwater (a particular risk for the tiny Russian, it must be said) maybe it’s time to take one last look at those players we are so eager to discard.

Could any of them still contribute to the Arsenal cause?

In the Poll below I would like you to vote for the player (or players) whom you feel could have a chance of going on to have a successful career at Arsenal. But first let’s take a look at the individuals concerned:

Marouane Chamakh

Our carefully coiffured Moroccan is one player who, to my mind at least, has not been treated fairly since moving to the Hallowed Land of N5, either by Arsène or the fans. In his first season, while van Persie was still injured, he showed himself to be a very capable front man, holding up the ball well and scoring goals. When the Dutchman returned, Chamakh got very few opportunities and was never able to find his groove again. The reason I feel Arsène was unfair to him is that, although we may have acquired him as a Plan B, we hardly ever played to his strengths. Ironically, in a team without van Persie and with a more direct approach to attacking (as the arrivals of Podolski and Giroud seem to indicate), the Chamster might just come good again.

Nicklas Bendtner

I will always have a soft spot for Nicki B. He is a ludicrous character, with an ego the size of Denmark and as much self knowledge as a Satsuma. But he can score goals and got some vital ones for Arsenal over the years. He has never had the class to be an Henry or a van Persie, but as a back-up striker who is used to the Premier League… could he still have a future?

Andrey Arshavin

Remember that winning finish against Barcelona? Remember the four goals away at Anfield? What about the superb cross for Thierry Henry’s winning goal up at Sunderland earlier this year? There’s no question that Arshavin has class, but he also often appeared lazy and uninterested. Mind you, he has spent his entire time at Arsenal playing out of position. He’s not a wide left attacker – he is a classic “creative”, someone who sits in the hole behind the front striker. Arsène is said to be scouring world football right now for a creative attacking midfielder. Maybe he already has one…

Sebastien Squillaci

Poor Sebastien. He arrived at the club two seasons ago as, you would imagine, a third or fourth choice CB. Almost immediately Thomas Vermaelen got an arrow in his Achilles and was out for an entire year and our other defenders were so injury blighted they might have been Irish potatoes. The Squid actually played some very decent games for us, but coming in and out of the team, always with different defensive line-ups, meant that he soon started to cop the supporters’ wrath for bad results. His time may well be up, but he is a better player than many seem to think he is.

Johann Djourou

The Big Swiss may be the least deserving of a place in this selection, as there is little evidence that Arsene has any intention of selling him. However, his name regularly appears in the fans’ hit lists of defunct timber. His Arsenal life has been badly hit by injuries and he proved last season that whatever his merits as a CB, he certainly ain’t no right back. But, he has also looked very, very good when he gets a proper run alongside one of the senior CBs. At the very least he has a strong case to be considered an excellent fourth choice CB.

Lukasz Fabianksi

I suspect many Gooners would be happy to keep our only remaining Fab as back-up to Szczesny. The problem appears to be that the older of our two Poles-in-goal wants regular first team football. His error-strewn past means he will never get the top job at The Grove (despite Szczesny’s best efforts to out-Fabianski him). But would you keep him if he was prepared to remain as Number Two?

Ju-Young Park

Er… yes… ahem… Anyone got any ideas what he’s like?

Now – time to get voting – and remember, you can vote for more than one player.

RockyLives

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148 Responses to Arsenal Lifeline for Chamakh?

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Couple of questions here Rocky,
    What does the “other” box mean? I would like an”other” player to stay at Arsenal :-)
    And, who is Ju-Young Park?
    I vote Arshavin, because in small bursts and on rare occasions..he can.

  2. wambam says:

    Arshavin, not as a starter, but we need a good bench too.

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Hey Rocky where’s the “None of the above button”?

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Norfolk,
    Could be the Park one. A lost in translation issue :-)

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wambam,
    A plus point in favour of an Arshavin tick is that I think he is more than happy to bench warm, pick up the weekly envelope, and pop onto the pitch once in a while.

  6. wale says:

    let give this guy a chance again Betner can do it

  7. Kevin says:

    I believe if we have Podolski and Chambo to start on the wings like most Gunners agree, we can bang in crosses for Chamakh to score. His biggest strength is his aerial ability. Give him a chance. Wenger is known for converting players into performers they never thought they were. He was right about Henry for example. Maybe we can keep Arshavin and strengthen our bench (something we’ve lacked over the last few seasons).

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Just popping into the house for a few minutes whilst Mrs Raddy scours the beach side markets.

    Firstly, i hope my fellow AA’ers are enjoying a fine summer.

    Secondly, congrats to Mr Wiggins ……. Awesome.

    I remain unhappy about RvP. I said at Easter that The Italian press were stating he was Juve bound, despite my protestations it appears to be true.

    My vote went to Nik. Not because he has a future at AFC but because He is so amusing.

  9. Bryan says:

    Chamakh – I agree has been unfairly treated
    Bendtner – to big ego, must go
    Arshavin – I believe is Wengers fault for continuesly playing him out of position
    Squillaci – Never understood why we bought him, never ever rated him & I dissagree with you he is a very poor player
    Djourou – Think he has gone backwards & is a liability, in danger of pens conceded with this guy
    Fabianksi – Absolute rubbish, I would prefer the fat bloke down the pub as second choice keeper
    Ju-Young Park – Never been given a chance, another why did Wenger sign him

    I would keep Arshavin & give him a run in his correct position

  10. james says:

    i think that we should keep them all. Lets face it, we wont get much for RVP despite what Arsne says/thinks and Wallcott will either go for next to nothing this year or for nothing next year. There is no money for new transfers, so keep them and hope that Spuds fall apart again, because if theu dont, and only lose Modric, we will need to win the Champions league to be in it for 2013/2014.

  11. Bryan says:

    Not very positive James, have more confindence in our team.
    If we lose RVP & Spurs lose Modric, you think that means ther’ll catch us up – We have a better team than we are given credit for, its only all the billionaire teams that have stopped us from winning things

  12. james says:

    Bryan i think that you are totally wrong. Spuds have a much better and talented squad, we have the winning mentality, that was the difference last season and of course RVP who scored something like 80% of all our goals! I am unsure anout Pod, I think we will not be happy with him, Giroud may be ok, but mark my words, we are n trouble…

  13. Bryan says:

    I dissagree, Spurs have a decnt team but so do we. If we get Wilshire & Diaby staying fit this year, that will make a big difference.
    I think Pod will do alright. If you take RVP out of the Arsenal team other players will score, I garantee you after all scoring hasn’t really been our problem for many years, its been defending & I think this could drammatically improve with Steve Bould promoted

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    You are a slacker. Make the most of it dear fellow :-)

  15. chas says:

    I’m a bit meh about the lot of them, Rocky.
    If they go I won’t be upset, but some could be useful as squad players.

    Bryan,
    It’s not very nice to talk about GIE like that. :)

    james,
    Are you the spud who used to go on ACLF?

    Rocky,
    Has Arshavin ever played in the hole? He seemed to play left side for Zenit in his purple patch and similarly for Russia recently. He wasn’t even lazy for Russia!

    http://www.sportskeeda.com/2012/06/09/what-went-wrong-for-andrei-arshavin-at-arsenal/

  16. james says:

    Bryan, you are one of the Wenger sheep that believes everything will be OK. We have lost in the last 3 seasons all the best players and have retained the shocking and the injured. We were blessed to have RVP in our ranks to save us. Relying on 2 crocs like Diaby and Jack is the stuff of the desperate. Remember, you are putting a lot of hope in a 20 year old boy that has been out for a VERY long time. We have had one good season from him, no one knows how he will return, but even if he is OK he has an appalling goal scoring record!!!

  17. chas says:

    richie,
    You keep putting great comments on the previous day’s post. I hope you don’t mind me referring to it?
    Pigeon fanciers. :)
    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/koscielny-for-captain/#comment-179891

  18. Bryan says:

    James, I am not one of the Wenger sheep as you put, I am far from happy with the way the club has been run & in my opinion they show lack of ambition but I can see the bigger picture than you.
    You are telling me Spurs have a better team than us, sorry but can’t see that, player for player in each position no way.
    Without Wilshire & Diaby last year we finished 3rd, we started awful & had an awful January too, Spurs had one bad run.
    We have survived without RVP most seasons as he’s normally injured, yes he had a great season & scored most our goals but if he isn’t there to score them other players will. Do you believe if RVP goes to Man U that both him & Rooney will get 30 goals each, hell no they wont.

  19. double98 says:

    Chamakh and Arshavin have suffered from an incompatibilty with Fabregas and the 4-3-3

    Chamakh is too blunt an instrument to be the single focus of the attack. he needs a partner 10 yards away not 20. Keep if moving from 4-3-3

    Arshavin needs to play in the centre like he does for Russia.. Cesc blocked that position and Wenger was never convinced he had the physical ability to play in the centre of midfield in the EPL.
    For me he could have been better than modric. Keep

    Bentdner – he is a main man, He will get better and better with age and praise, he needed a run in the side but his coming of age coincided with RVPs first injury free period in his career, if given a chance he’d score a lot of goals and then pimp hisself out to city we’d get 30-40mill for him – Keep

    Squillaci – Jim’ll fixit put more compentant people into arsenal training sessions – Dump

    Djourou – Was a lion that grew into a cat. Need to find his mojo. Think he worries about injury because he was robust and now he is powderpuff – Loan

    Fabianski – needs a loan spell to build confidence… wenger rates his as one of the best keepers he has seen – we have never seen that – Loan

    Park – Military Service- Loan – Play

  20. evonne says:

    Rasp voted 112 times, that’s cheating :)

    Nick for me, completely unpredictable, could surprise the opposition and own fans, keep him. Rest can go.

    Thank you Rocky for the post, I love the Walt Disney character expression, so fitting

    I am off to enjoy the ‘rear event’, perhaps I can manage a darker shade of pasty white today. Peaches is black :(

  21. Dick Swiveller says:

    Just gonna chuck a few numbers out there:

    4-4-2

    It’ll make either Chamkakh or Arshavin instantly more useful, it’ll give us a little more up top when it’s needed and give us a use for all these ‘box-to-box- midfielders and the more ‘proper’ wingers we now have.

  22. Bryan says:

    Yep I agree Mr Swiveller, I actually like the 4-4-2 formation & think we could use it more, especially at Home against weaker teams

  23. glic says:

    I like this kind of post, nice one Rocky.
    I loved Bryans`s thoughts on Flappy . :) Is this the GIE connection chas ?. :lol:
    I would keep none of them as It stands, but If they were all guarenteed to play in their proper position It would be a toss up between Bendy ( I would have saved some money and kept him instead of Pod ) and Arshavin .

  24. james says:

    Bryan, this is a very interesting debate, and one that should happen more within the greatest fans in teh country.

    But klets face it, RVP was the ONLY person that scored a material number of goals last season. I agree that he did not do so in previous seasons but in those years we had Henry – gone – Ade – gone – Cesc – gone Nasri – gone…. can you see where I am going here???

    You are correct to highlight defence as a particular weakness, it is. We were exposed last year and could again this year. The problem, is that our defenders are in teh main average yet are paid superstar wages (excluding City, Utd or Chelsea wages) that means we cant offload them to a Stoke or a Sunderland.

    Spuds have bought two players that would have been great at the Grove, that defender would have been perfect with Vermalin and that Icelandic midfielder will score many goals this year and could be their Lyndberg. Instead we have Pod, who flatters to deceive, yes he has lots of German caps – like a certain German defender in our ranks I could mention – but club level his record is not all that in a weak German league. He is no bettter than Chamack!!!

    But lets be honest, Spuds have Van der Vart, Bale, Lennon, Parker and Sandro that would walk in to our team, as well as the 2 new boys and their full backs are as good as ours.

    What do you think?

  25. glic says:

    I will mull it over in my mind who I vote for as I go for a 4 mile Tour De Lezant ( 2 legs, untill I find a place to attach a bell on my uni-cycle , any suggestions ? ).

  26. Bryan says:

    The german league is week is it, sorry mate but I dissagree again.
    Bayern should of won the CL & Dortmond have some unbelievably tallented players at their club.
    Also Pod has scored 48 times for Germany, think that speaks for itself & how can you compare him to Chamakh lol Pod also scored 17 times for a side that was relegated last season, think your judging him by his poor showing in the EURO’s.
    For me our 2 signings are just as good as Spurs, I’d be a lier if I said I didn’t want us to get Vontegnon because I did.
    Rumours say Van der Fart is going to Germany & do you rate Lennon cos I think he’s crap, 1 game in 10 ain’t good enough.
    Sandro would walk into our team, now that is funny, certainly wouldn’t walk into my team,I think he’s average.
    Asumingly we bought Pod & Giroud as goal scorers so that explains not having Henry’s or Ade’s.
    admitingly I am hoping we are going to make a couple more signings, would still like a DM or defenetly a creative one.

    Looks like will have to agree to dissagree,
    yep we are not going to win the league but that is always going to be very hard with the buy success clubs but I certainly believe we are a better side than Spurs.

    Oh & by the way I don’t think we have got the winning mentality over Spurs either lobecause none of these players have won anything for us other than RVP & even that was 15mins of Cup Final

  27. boomergooner1727 says:

    chamakh will never get the proper run he deserves unless everyone goes gimpy so it’s only fair to him that we let him go, unless he’s genuinely enjoying his hookah and wages, which is probably the more likely scenario. i almost feel like papers make up rumors of clubs’ interest to rile us up…

    bendtner should go. we can get decent money for him and i don’t care for his ego. i appreciate the good times but he has had some downright pathetic performances wearing the club shirt. glad he’s not on the tour and hope we can find him and his undies a happy home.

    i’m really not sure how we could get the russian motivated again, and with his recent exploits at the euros i can’t say i’d be TOO sad to see him go. i would thank him profusely for giving us what could/should have been tie against barca and wish him the best in the future.

    i’m not one to drag squillaci’s (or any arsenal player, really) name through the mud but he’s making too much money to stay. sadly, he will probably run out his contract since no one buys dead wood unless they are building a fire…and unfortunately it’s summer.

    djourou is homegrown; pretty sure that’s his saving grace. most people forget that he was arguably our best defender a couple of seasons ago (when we had no one else) and as you point out, he is capable of solid performances when he gets pt, unfortunately he’s 4/5th on the list. on top of that he’s a well-capped international for his age and without a massive offer he’ll be staying put.

    i’ll keep it short, flappy should go. best of luck, yadda yadda yadda…

    and lastly park. who knows? shows genuine promise in his youtube clips (lol) but seriously why did we BUY a reserve who can’t even get into that first XI? was he supposed to be the koscielny of our offense (diamond in the rough, from france, etc.)

    gotta move *at least* a couple of these lads; each of which has done something commendable in red and white so i hope we can all tone down the animosity towards those who cause frustration. however, as someone else pointed out, the squad limit is 25 but you can have as many players under contract as you like. let’s add the depth we need even if it means a higher wage bill for a bit, depth is all we’ve been lacking…

  28. double98 says:

    James – weak German League? their 2nd placed team came second in the CL.
    They outplayed Chelsea for most of the game.
    They are virtually as strong as the EPL – in fact the three clubs that were relegate Cologne, Kaiserslutern and Hertha would probably not have been relegated from the EPL last year.

    Podolski flatters to deceive?
    International Record – 108 caps 44 Goals
    Rooney 75, 29

    He scored 18 goals in a relegated side last year.

    League record (including failed Bayern Munich stint)
    244 games, 94 goals
    Chamakh (in a weaker than now french League)
    270, 64
    Bergkamp for Arsenal –
    315, 87

    I am not saying he is Bergkamp or Rooney but he has some pretty above average scoring records,

    His failure at Bayern was more to do with youth, personaility and expectation than talent. – I say give him a go.

    Spurs players…
    Where would you play Bale? Midfield? or left back… he’d get in ahead of Gibbs but no chance fitting in to our midfield…
    Parker? He would struggle to get into our carling cup team… there are literally midfielders ahead of him.
    Lennon – ahead of Walcott? Ox? Rosicky?
    Sandro? ahead of Arteta or Song? – he wilted like the rest of them when we wrecked their season at the emirates.
    Van der Vaart – maybe… a fit wilshire or rosicky woul get my vote but that could be bias.
    Vertognen – Koscielny is proven and one of the best CD in the EPL
    Sigurdsson – Bench at best, for the carling cup team, ladies

    Modric? Wenger won’t play Arshavin in the middle and chose not to buy modric (he had first dibs) because of his physique.

  29. Bryan says:

    Well said double, hope that doesn’t make you a Wenger sheep like me apparently.

    I actually think it could be Giroud who could struggle more but I’m confident he won’t but if you think gervinho scored 15 goals in the French league & over here he can’t hit a barn door it’s worrying lol

  30. amadi benjamin says:

    i wnt park 2 remain in d club bt others should b flosh away

  31. richie says:

    @Peaches@9:30 “Its a long storey” but the short of it is I’ve got loads of connections to the Arse. I’m from Highbury and my Grandmothers house was within 50M of the ground. In the 60′s & 70′s Footballers were well paid compared to joe public but they weren’t rich. Most of them weren’t local lads so my Gran along with plenty of others close by used to rent out rooms, there was no state of the art London Colney training facility back then (Arsene had that built with sale money from Anelka) so training was all done close to highbury, often in the local parks I kid you not. Besides they weren’t all fit athletes like they have to be now, its now well know the drinking culture that was the tradition at Highbury. My grans living room often housed the players gambling culture, so there was often a card game running. There wasn’t many of our first double winning side that I didn’t know, moreover they all knew me because my Gran would half cut a carrier bag full of oranges and give me a crate of pint bottles of milk and send me off on my bike to where ever they were training. I was the refreshments boy, it wasn’t a sophisticated system back then.

  32. james says:

    Boys,

    Robbie Keane has a phenomenal International record – 53 goals in 120 games – but we all know how poor he is!

    Pod played for a team that went down, not the one in the final of the CL!

    Parker is someone that we could really do with, blood and guts stuff. Can you imagine a midfield with him and Song? You guys a very wrong about Sandro. He is a player that I admired for a while pre Spuds. Regular player in Brazil national team, and in Olympic squad. Very Dunga-esq.

    We were after Vertognen for a while, but i agree that Koscielny is a class act. The problem is that we only have 2 class CB’s then we have Championship defenders.

    All i am saying is in response to Bryans claim that our team man for man is better than Spuds, and I am not sure thatis the case.

    My concern is that without VDV we will struffle to score – who else is there that can score – apart from possibly Pod and G???

  33. james says:

    lets look at the evidence. Chamack bought because of his CL goal scoring efforts and now you all want rid of him. Gerv was a decent player in France, now you all want rid…. Park was bought to sell shirts and now….

    I said at the beginning keep them all because there is no money to spend, and they are the same players that Wenger believed in when he bought them!

  34. Bryan says:

    James,
    Didn’t think Robbie Keane done to bad to be fair, hated him though lol scored goals, more a second striker type for me
    I never liked Dunga either although was good at what he did but he was worlds ahead of Sandro
    Parker is blood n guts won’t argue with you there & my favourite Spurs player Bale would get in our side.
    You called the German league week not the teams my friend ;-) & 18 goals is pretty good, don’t you think for a side that got relegated – I really don’t think we will have a problem scoring, I’m more concerned about our defending

  35. Bryan says:

    The point is, if we can offload these “deadwood” players then we can get a couple of better players in surely ?????

  36. james says:

    mark my words – we will struggle this season to be top 4. all the problems that have been stored for years will come out and bite us in the …

  37. double98 says:

    Robbie Keane is so poor he played for Inter, Liverpool and Spurs twice… while not great he is a good goal scorer – your quintessential fox in the box – he works defenders hard and makes the most of the limited talent that he has.
    Calling him poor is like calling Linekar Poor – he is what he is – a player that will do well in cup teams but never win a league.

    Don’t think we were ever in for vertonghan, never bid for him and no room for him given Wengers belief in his 4 CBs
    So Mertesacker will need to up his game and Djourou will have to find his inner Lion or we’ll just have to hope that the centre of defence plays the whole season..

    Parker is gareth barry with a slightly angrier face,. an Honest yeoman that works his socks off but nothing that Wenger would ever contemplate buying

    Man for Man is very contentious especially in different formations. block by block we have a better keeper, defense and midfield. we have a better bench and reserve and the attack is brand new so we’ll have to see what happens.

    unbroken St Totteringham’s days from 1995-present kind of backs up the claim that we are better all round the park.

    Obviously that will end some day but it won’t be this year.

    We are going to win the league.

    You read it here first

  38. Bryan says:

    We will always struggle to get 4th or better, so will Spurs & Liverpool & all the other teams that have not got bucket loads of money like Man U, Citeh & Chavski but the fact that we came about Chavski this year just shows how well we did

  39. Bryan says:

    wahey double, were gonna win the league, thats confidence for you.
    How about us doing the Double, double ;-)

  40. Dominic Cassidy says:

    Arshavin’s game is all about speed and movement. When we play at dead slow and stop pace his effectiveness is wiped out.

  41. james says:

    we did well only because spuds fell apart and only by 1 point. You guys are totally delusional!

  42. double98 says:

    its a marathon not a sprint James… and its pre season, we just bought two new strikers… its time for delusion

    the spuds have all their delusions in february

  43. Bryan says:

    James, Spurs had a bad spell like every single team does at least once through a long season, we had 2 bad spells but still came above them, your the delusional one

  44. Shirley says:

    James

    Having an opinion is fine, even if many don’t agree with much of it. What Bryan was rightly objecting to was rather insultingly being called a ‘sheep’.

    Do you have an answer to Chas’s question @ 11:05?

  45. james says:

    am i a spud, no!
    but neither am i a spud hater for the sake of being one. fans that are, are sheep.

    i am voicing a concern, a relevant one, that when we lose RVP and Walcott we will struggle, big time.

    i think that there has been some horrible bad luck in that for the last few years, we have had a number of players that were poor or injured with 3 years left on their contracts, had a great season the following year, and then left us for fear of us losing them on a free. Examples, Nasri, Clichy and now RVP and Arshavin probably Walcott (although he is always poor and injured!).

    The board have been poor in dealing with these situations, and getting rid of Dein has destabilised the club.

    Losing Rice is the best thing that has happened to the Club in years, Look at Fergie, he changes up his assistants when things go stale

    So when you look at what we have left, compared to what we had 2-4 years ago, I worry, i think that you can be optimistic, yes, but be realistic at the same time

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    Richie,

    I was also born on Avenell Road, in 1937 at the Aubert Park end, both my parents families lived all around Highbury, in Highbury Hill, Stavordale Road, Drayton Park and Gillispe Road, we also had family in N7 on Caledonian Road, Liverpool Street, Mackenzie Road etc.

    The closest I got to Arsenal players was when I faked fainting and got to sit by the corner flag, the players would pat us on the head.

    Back in those days Islington was a very poor borough and most of the houses were rented.

    Next year will mark the 100th year of my family supporting Arsenal, my maternal grandfather watched the fist game at Highbury in 1913.

    Living so close to one another it’s entirely possible that our families knew each other.

  47. Bryan says:

    James, I finally agree with you on some things you said there but if you hate Spurs it doesn’t make you a sheep, personelly I hate Chavski more than Spurs lol maybe that makes me a donkey, I don’t know.

    losing David Dein was a bad thing for the club, it is no coincidence that we have not won a thing since he left, secondly Steve Bould replacing Pat Rice (thanks for service) is also a good thing.

    Also yes we have had alot of bad luck with injured players the last 5 years

    Walcott going won’t be a problem as we have better replacements (although he’s much better than Lennon lol)

  48. double98 says:

    James

    Nasri – Played above average for 1/2 a season
    Clichy – Played below average for final 2 seasons with club
    RVP – injured missed 3.5 years of his 8 with the club
    Arshavin – counting on 1 hand his top drawer performances
    Walcott – the most criticised (unfairly imho) right winger since hitler (not unfairly) – AND Still with the club

    So in place we have
    Podolski upgrade on Nasri
    Gibbs – Meh as good as clichy in his final two years
    Giroud – downgrade on RVP (still at the club)
    Arshavin – Still at the club
    Walcott – Still at the club

    The OX is an upgrade on Arshavin or Walcott
    The under reliance on RVP is an upgrade on an over reliance on RVP

  49. richie says:

    @RL Nice idea for an article, like you I think the Chama’s been badly treated. He has strengths as a forward, but only if he’s played as a clasical No. 9 He can hold the ball up well and bring others in, he can head and he can finish. But he isn’t a modern day false No.9 in other words he couldn’t be RvP. or play the Henry role. There’s often talk about a team being built around certain players. The obvious example would be a Caroll type of CF who thrives on early balls crossed into the box. Thats Chama! Now we all know that Arsenal as a team don’t score many headers, because our crosses coming in aren’t in the high quality tick box plus they are rare. So as a team we were not in a position to exploite Marouane’s strengths, and he couldn’t very well insist on the team being changed to better suit his style of play, not with RvP banging them in from every angle. The thing is we’ve now bought a player who is also more of a classical No.9 Giroud so does that mean we are going to change our style of play and be more direct? If so that would suit Chamakah in the same way it suits Giroud. I’ve seen Giroud play and he seems to have good technique but I’m on the edge of my seat along with GIE wondering how Arsene’s gonna set us up now.

  50. RockyLives says:

    Good day all.

    Interesting Poll results so far.

    Arshavin is comfortably in front as the player more people would like to see stay with us (37%), followed by Djourou (20%) and Chamakh (16%).

    Only 5 votes for poor old Squillaci (1%) – even lower than Park (5%). I can only assume that those who voted for Park are simply curious to see whether there’s anything to him.

    As someone said earlier, there should have been a “Sell The Lot” option – but I forgot. Sorry.

    Personally, I voted for Chamakh and JD. The Chamster because I feel he might fit in better when RvP is gone. And JD because, as I said in the Post, he’s as good a 4th choice CB as we’re likely to get and most of his bad performances have been at RB.

    I was tempted by Arshavin because there is much about him that I really like, but his good moments are too few to merit keeping him.

  51. RockyLives says:

    Richie
    If you’re sharing a seat with GiE you really will be “on the edge” of it. He’s a big lad, is our crazy goalkeeper (rtd) blogger.

  52. RockyLives says:

    The thinking behind the piece, for what it’s worth, is that there may be many reasons why a player has not quite performed as well as expected and, with other changes of approach, some may be reinvented.

    No-one thought much of Flamini as a MF until his final season…

  53. Afternoon all, no surprise my vote went to the Meerkat. Did anyone else notice Wenger said that Jack may not be back till October ?
    I’m also feeling uncomfortable about Wenger placing a lot of trust in Diaby having a good show in the team, and by that I presume he means the on pitch team not the sick bay team.

  54. james says:

    Double

    What you write is so typical on blogs. Everyone that has gone/is leaving is terrible and everyone that is to stay is better.

    Honestly, how can you compare Gibbs to Clichy – for a start he has never completed a season, and for City he was great last term

    Pd vs Nasri – when you get Nasri playing that boy is class. Pod, is weak, you will see, tap in merchant, waste of money, and no better than what we have, he is more of a CF rather than a tricky midfielder a la Nasri

    Ox is better than Walcott, but that says more about Theo than Ox!

    Nasri – Played above average for 1/2 a season
    Clichy – Played below average for final 2 seasons with club
    RVP – injured missed 3.5 years of his 8 with the club
    Arshavin – counting on 1 hand his top drawer performances
    Walcott – the most criticised (unfairly imho) right winger since hitler (not unfairly) – AND Still with the club

    Arshavin has been wasted by Wenger, he is a true no. 10 and has been ruined!

    Arteta is a crock, Yossi has left us, and then we are left with 3 CF that are useless – Bendtner, Gerv and Chamack!

  55. james says:

    Ignore last message –

    Double

    What you write is so typical on blogs. Everyone that has gone/is leaving is terrible and everyone that is to stay is better.

    Honestly, how can you compare Gibbs to Clichy – for a start he has never completed a season, and for City he was great last term

    Pd vs Nasri – when you get Nasri playing that boy is class. Pod, is weak, you will see, tap in merchant, waste of money, and no better than what we have, he is more of a CF rather than a tricky midfielder a la Nasri

    Ox is better than Walcott, but that says more about Theo than Ox!

    Arshavin has been wasted by Wenger, he is a true no. 10 and has been ruined!

    Arteta is a crock, Yossi has left us, and then we are left with 3 CF that are useless – Bendtner, Gerv and Chamack!

  56. richie says:

    @RL my brother “G” can you please explain from where you get the idea that Shava’s normal position is in the hole or as a No.10
    He never played in that role for Zenit. He played for Zenit on the left, and his best performances were for Russia under Dutchman Dick Advocat who played him on the left of a front 3 in the typical Dutch AJax system 433. He never got played as a No.10 or anywhere other than left either front 3 or middle 3. Arsene on the other hand played Shava (sometimes out of necessity) everywhere in midfield and right across the front line. All the stats and ideed his own peformaces showed he played best when he could cut in from the left. When played centrally he’d always drift left anyway, so I strongly disagree that Shava has been more often than not played out of position by AW. Shava has nearly always been played in the position where he made a name for himself with both Zenit and Russia.

  57. richie says:

    P.S. back at Zenit on loan where is he being played? On the Left!

  58. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Rocky. thanks for the post. All i know is that if they stay then let them fight for there places.

    baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa baa

  59. chas says:

    richie,
    I tried to say that at 11:05, but, unfortunately with as much clarity as when Brave Sir Robin says he loves the club.

  60. chas says:

    baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  61. RockyLives says:

    richie
    fair point – I’ve never seen him play “in the hole” either, but then I never really watched him until he joined the Arsenal.

    I was under the impression (from the comments of others who watch more foreign footy than I do) that he had played there. Could be wrong though.

    Mind you, he has the right skill set to do that job…

  62. RockyLives says:

    Jamie
    I think some of us on here (but by no means all) can be guilty of wearing the rose tinted glasses when it comes to our players.

    But blimey mate, with your 3.08/3.09 you’re doing the complete opposite – you’ve donned the shit-spattered spectacles :)

  63. Bryan says:

    I might be wrong but I thought ashavin played a different role for Russia & I’m sure he wasn’t on the left the night he struck four at Liverpool, I think he was playing up front – I certainly have heard enough times that he hasn’t been played in same position as Zenit or Russia but I certainly wouldn’t bet my rose tinted glasses on it ;-)

  64. Bryan says:

    lol Chas that vid made me fall of my baaaa stool laughing :-D

  65. double98 says:

    James.

    Its preseason, and i have faith in my manager. so if its typical of blog writings then so be it.
    From my experience most blogs out there are representing your handwringing, doom saying prejudicial position. If we bought messi, you’d be complaining that we needed a presence in the box, or that he’ll never get back and help ou his fullback

    If all those former players you bemoan are so vital then why don’t we a/ win the league when they are there or b/ suffer any consequence when they leave?
    The answer is because we have 1 marquee player and that is Wenger.

    He built the team around cesc, then rvp.

    of course they are going to stand out. of course they will – he has 5 or 6 players exployed specifically to free up space for them.

    Clichy was cat the last 2 seasons – before that he was in the cole class and a damn sight better than evra. Gibbs / Santos is not a weaker left back solution than clichy based on his final 2 seasons.

    I have no idea of where your podolski analysis comes from – he is by all reports a very accomplished player. One thing about german internationals is that they are never “weak” –
    He looks physically strong.
    Nasri is not that good. He’s also a divisive guy who cliqued up the dressing room at france and arsenal.

    OX being better than Theo says nothing about Theo – i only hope we can keep OX as i think he will cast a very big shadow over all english midfielders for the next decade. He is Rooney with intelligence. power pace strenght technique anticipation and awareness.

    Wilshire, Diaby, Rosicky are all injury prone but all would walk into the spurs side if fit.

    Arteta is a crock? we won 1 game last season that he didn’t play.in the last 7 years he has had one season that he played less than 25 epl games

    Arshavin was wasted by Wenger. ok.. i have said that but it was to allow Cesc blossom

    Bendtner, Gerv and Chamack – all paid the price of being in an attack built around RVP.

    The rumours about our demise are greatly exagerrated and the incessant predictions of our fall from the top 4 are getting boring.
    We’ve been listening to that since Vieira left.

  66. CAGooner says:

    Djourou is a better player, with a great attitude. He’s better than a lot of Gooners give him credit for being. And he’s proven to be a lot more loyal to the club than any of our marquee players

  67. Shirley says:

    James.

    There is a world of difference between expressing opinions which are views not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. That is what we all do on blogsites.

    This blogsite is well known for the tolerance and courtesy of its bloggers, and you are welcome to give your opinions and to postulate away to your hearts content.

    Unfortunately, you clearly permit your opinions to stray into a fantasy realm of dubious ‘fact’, and thereby deem anyone holding different opinions, or not agreeing with you, to be sheep or deluded. That is uncalled for — so stop it, please!

  68. Bryan says:

    CA he’s only been loyal because he has’nt set the world on fire, do you think he’d be loyal if Man City offered him 200k a week or Barca wanted him, noooooo he’d be off just like the rest of them, loyalty is a thing of the past

  69. evonne says:

    Rocky – Flamini and his final season. And Na$ri and his final season with us. And RvP and his final season at the Ems. I wonder who is going to be playing extremely well this season.

  70. james says:

    Double

    You are missing the point my friend.

    You are right many people have been citing the demise of teh Wenger revolution since Viera left. And in that time we have gone from being (literally) unbeatable to being happy with a top 4 position.

    We are further from winning the league than at any time since say GG!

    All those players that you talk about are substandard to the ones we witnessed at the club say 5 years ago. and in each of the last few years we are losing all the proper players that we had (except Theo who is crap).

    What are we left with Pod – a Polack not a German- and yet another French CF who will be another Gerv or Chamack

  71. Red Arse says:

    Hi D98 and Rock Man, :-)

    Your 3:29 and 3:44 comments are spot on.

    I thought at first i had mistakenly got onto another blog!!

  72. Bryan says:

    Evonne lets hope they all play extremely well this season ;-)

  73. james says:

    Evonne – yes you get my point – thanks for putting it in a way that people with rose tinted spectacles can read and understand….

  74. Bryan says:

    James, it is a much different environment in football to what it was when Vieira left.
    I’m not satisfied with finishing 4th, but how is it possible for us to compete with the billionaire clubs you tell me.
    What Wenger has achieved by keeping us up there is a bleeding miracle.

  75. Rob Lucci says:

    Slightly of topic, I’m really really jealous to any of you who can go to the games and see the player every week.

    I accidentally met with Arsenal player today at Batu Caves and it is really the best day of my life!

    Even none of them is a first team player I couldn’t describe the feeling I had when I meet them for the first time in my life.

    Though I’m a little bit gutted that Rosicky can’t make it to Malaysia this time around..

  76. richie says:

    @Gooner N.5 My whole family all lived in Avenell Rd and its continuation Ambler Rd I aslo had family just round the corner in Romilly Rd, my Great Grand father also stood on the terraces back in the day although in 1913 he would’ve only been 18 or 19. My Family had the Green Grocers shop in Blackstock Rd Between Gillespy and Monsel Rd diagonally opposite the Arsenal Tavern, ring any bells?

    Match days my Grand father was a comissionaire on the front door of the east stand. I went to the school nearest the stadium St.Johns. I had mates in Aubert Ct in the 60′s the Archer Family? Top floor highest block. Before the new training facility was built under the clockend you could watch the games from my mates balcony. As a kid if I wasn’t roaming the staduim I was to be found in the dissused Stevenson Ink factory in Gillespie. It was poor compared to now, many people don’t know that Finsbury Pk was a Black area like Dalston is now in the 60′s.

    My gran rented rooms to the footballers so I got to know all the first double winning team, I was on the pitch the night we won the first trophe of my supporting life the fairs in 70. Don’t you remember the barbers shop and the bookies on Gillespie? I don’t think a day past when I didn’t see a player coming out of one or the other in the 60′s The barber was Pat Rice’s Brother and if they weren’t in one or the other the players were in my grans front room playing card or amazingly for footballers subbuteo. The team often trained in Clissold Pk and part of their training was the run back to the stadium for a shower. The whole team would often run past my school and the most we’d do was wave, footballers were stars but not super stars back then. Well apart from Bestie of course.

  77. Red Arse says:

    Jamie,

    Are you Mystic Meg in disguise?

    – [D98} “You are missing the point my friend.”

    — “Pod – a Polack not a German- and yet another French CF who will be another Gerv or Chamack”.

    – “We are further from winning the league than at any time since say GG!”

    Give us a break!

    D98 is well respected on here, and does not need your feeble attempt at patronizing him!

    If you are not Mystic Meg then the ACLF guys are right — you are a Spud.

  78. james says:

    Bryan i agree with you totally – it is a miracle, all I have been trying to say is that we were very fortunate last season that Spuds could not win in something like 11 games and we snuck in and stole their European supper.

    This season, if they dont implode with AVB, i am concerned that our spot may be under real threat.All i was saying is that they do have some very good players – although they are as big chokers as Adam Scott when the pressure is on!

    Chelsea will buy more players.I dont know what to make of them. They have bought 2 similar players in Hazard and Marlin, and are supposedly to buy another one, Oscar. They will miss Drogba big time, and their other players are not getting any younger…

    Liverpool are no real threat.

    Newcastle are interesting. Did their punch above their weight? Will they have 2nd season jitters? Or will they progress?

    Here is a question- would anyone swap all our CF (except RVP as he is off) for Cisse and Ba???

  79. evonne says:

    James – if Podolski is a Polak then Koscielny is a Polak too

    I cannot agree with you about substandard players. I think we have exceptionally good players and a strong team. The fact that money talks affects most clubs losing their best assets to Shitty and to Chavs. Shitty without their billionaire owner were nowhere, we could wipe the floor with them.

    I am happy with 3rd last season and I don’t have rose tinted glasses. Perhaps you were deluding yourself in thinking that with relatively modest resources available to AW we can match Shitty? Of course I would like us to win trophies, but I have to accept that this might not be possible if super rich buy best players from us and from all over the world, we simply cannot match that.

  80. james says:

    i dont mean any disrespect or offence. My writing style is curt, but i was expressing an opinion and did not mean to appear to be patronising.

  81. Hi all

    Hope everyone is enjoying the weather. We need posts for this week but as there are games on I wondered if anyone wanted to volunteer for match reports …………. let me know if you do please ;)

  82. Turning to RvP, perhaps we now have proof of his faith as he appears to be practising Taqiyya on us by his deception….

  83. Red Arse says:

    richie,

    That is absolutely fantastic. Fantastic!

    You are able to speak about part of your life as if it were yesterday, and you were also part of Arsenal’s footballing history.
    That makes me want to buy you a pint to hear more, whilst being totally jealous!!!! :-)

    Awesome!

  84. james says:

    Evonne, I dont disagree with you, it has been marvelous what was achieved, all i am saying is that the edges are starting to fray a little…

    I take you point on nationality although i thought Pod was born in Poland and left for Germany as a child, whereas Laurent was born in France

  85. Red Arse says:

    Hi Peaches, :-)

    Perhaps Rob Lucci could do a first hand report of the game, if he has managed to get tickets for tomorrow?

    Are you up for it Rob?? :-)

  86. jnyc says:

    ROCKY, thanks for mentioning unfairness with chamackh. Everybody loved him the first half of two seasons ago. Of course he lost confidence, never being able to get good minutes with rvp so good for 18 months. I cheered so hard for him to score rather than vp when he came on late when we were chasing sone games.. A goal and celebration would have been great for him. I never saw lack of effort from him. But he shoild not play as a lone striker it seems. ——–
    I voted for djourou. I think hes a very solid fourth cb. —–
    JAMES, where to begin ? I was ready to agree on some things, till u started to put down our own guys. First of all, mertesacker was very good after his first couple of matches. Very dependable, exactly what we need at cb, steady, smart, not reckless. Only ignorant or casual fans dont see his qualities. AND THEN, to keep putting down podolski before he has even kicked a ball for us, just shows your outlook on life. Btw, to real fans, i think pod was bought to be more direct, agressive scorer than our current wingers, also to back up rvp. James, unfortunately, some of the other things you said were valid, i am concerned that we wont make any more moves, which would prove rvp correct somewhat. I do think we need to talk about that a little more here, i am feeling a little anxious about our lack of activity, i think we need to take less to get rid of some players, im worried that we are letting vp situation hold us up till the end, and we will lose talents to other teams. ——— And, i loved the post Rocky, we need to think about these players, since they mostly may be on our team. I will cheer any of them, even squillaci ;-)

  87. evonne says:

    Peaches – yes, we are all trying to be as brown as you!

    You have been bravely asking for new posts every day, but perhaps we should have a vote if we must have a new post every day for the next 3 weeks? I could accept just weekend posts when there are no matches

  88. GunnerN5 says:

    Richie,

    I skinned my knees on many occasions playing football on the cinder pitch at Clissold Park, I don’t know what was worse – getting the skinned knees or getting my ears clipped by my mum for ruining my clothes on the pitch.

    I went to school at Laycock but all of the schools were a tad battered after WW11, so school was only a place where we passed the time away until we could play football.

    We were a poor family so I had to be very creative in getting into the ground – but I rarely failed to do so.

    Some of my family names were Mackness, Juliff, Dudley, Andrews, Burton, Cardy, Vigar,

  89. evonne says:

    James you are right about Lukasz and Laurent. I am Polish so I always claim as many Polaks as I can:)

    Yes, we are weakened by Cesc, Na$ri, Hleb and Flamini and now him, the boy wonder. Could any of those significant departures be avoided? I think not. One player is almost 10% of the team and he happens to be the key member and a captain the loss is double

  90. GunnerN5 says:

    The situation with Walcott is really strange.
    His contract expires on June 30, 2013 but there does not seem to be any urgency on Arsenal’s part to start negotiations. In my way of thinking that can only indicate that he will be sold, otherwise they would start talking to him.

    Very odd that it gets so little press coverage.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Rock Candy,

    Sorry I did not compliment your Post earlier but it was a very apposite and timely question you posed.

    Apart from Djourou, I think they are all dead men walking.
    These particular players are only still on our roster because they are pricing themselves out of the salary market.

    When reality hits — and by that I mean, when AW whispers in their ears that there is no room for them in the 25 man squad, and that they face a season without football, even if they are drawing a nice fat salary – I think you will see them heading for the hills!!

    Personally, I believe a positive case could be made for each of them staying, which balances out some of the negatives, but I also believe the die has been cast by Arsenal’s management – for whatever reason – and their time (barring Djourou, with his lengthy contract) is up!!

    It’s great you are back in the Post production mode, it’s like candy for the AA addicts!! :-)

  92. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    I count you right on the Theo contract.

    An interesting comment came from Arsene when he was asked at the recent press conference about player availability, and he was very forthcoming. However, when asked about a flying Spanish winger called Cazorles (?) he grinned and said “I do not know him”.

    AW being coy about a winger and the lack of action on Theo’s situation, is probably me making 2 and 2 equal 5.

    BTW, reading the chat between you and richie is absolutely fascinating for me, and probably everyone else, too. :-)

  93. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Let them fight for there spots. When Alexander The Great was on his death bed all his cronies surrounded him and asked “Who do you bequeth the throne”, his answer was “To The Strongest”.

    This is a fresh start and its possible if one or two get the chance they might take it…………but i wont hold my breath. hahahaha

  94. Dick Swiveller says:

    For my money, Djourou is easily the best 4th choice CB in the Prem, versatile and with useful ‘physical stats’, so he’s the one out of those I’d like, ad expect, to see stay.

    For what it’s worth, I suspect James supports a team in North London but not the one that plays in red and white, the Freudian slip ‘I can’t see how we’re going to score goals without VDV’ gave him away imo; he was right too…

    (obviously, if you actually are an Arsenal fan James, a thousand apologies but liking Spurs that much, and Arsenal so little is a strange way of supporting us, takes all sorts though!)

  95. Dick Swiveller says:

    Red Arse, I see Cazorla more as playing in the middle and providing cover out wide rather than permanently winging, I wouldn’t say it means Theo is on his way out although I assume if his agent can persuade Chelsea they really need another winger then he’ll get the money he wants and be off.

  96. Reddawn says:

    I was reading on the Lady Arse site about the injuries RvP had sustained over the years at Arsenal. Blow me down with a feather, on the same page was an advert for the National Accident Line. How appropriate!

  97. double98 says:

    “Polack” is potentially offensive but lets assume that you didn’t mean that.
    I would say that to be a Pole, growing up in a German football world and excelling to the the national team, where you go on to get more caps than germany’s own roy of the rovers – Michael Ballack, indicates an amazing array of mental strenght, talent and work ethic.

    and how a Polack could be the same as a Moroccan or a Ivory Coast(ian) is mind boggling

    My point is that for every Cantona, you need a Deschamps and with out the Deschamps the Cantonas are fishing for seagulls.

    Wenger builds teams – his first two were wildly successful, his third was pretty, but ineffective.
    read my article – killing Arsene’s babies from last week.

    We stand on the cusp of his 4th arsenal team – 2/3 times he is wildly successful while on his worst day he is 4th.

    i am pretty damn excited by what he is going to do with this squad… Man City and RVP have pushed him from his comfort zone and great things often follow

  98. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Thanks for the kind words.
    To be honest it’s hard to think of something to write about in these dog days of summer, but I am instinctively resistant to a whole swathe of players being written off as dead wood.

    I absolutely second your comment about the dialogue between richie and GN5. Fascinating.

  99. glic says:

    Rocky
    I always fascinated by the word fascinating , It always reminds me of Star Treks Spock.
    You are now SpockyLives and I cant wait to see you do your Vulcan Mind Meld with that Syrup Klingoned to Terry`s head at the Tavern !. :)

  100. glic says:

    PS
    It will be fascinating !.

  101. Rob Lucci says:

    Red Arse,

    I have the ticket, but I don’t know whether I will go tomorrow or not since I have an exam on Wednesday.

    Anyway, thanks for your kind request for the post. I think it will impossible to write one though, because the quality of each post in this blog is very high.. :-)

  102. barumgooner says:

    Nice post Rocky, I agree that Chamakh must feel a bit hard done by, you cant score goals if you dont play and with Robin havin the season of his life he just hasn’t had a chance. I wouldn’t mind him staying. AA is good and true he’s been played out of position but i’m fed up with watching the lazy little fat….fella. NikB is imo a good striker who was unlucky to be injured at the same time as RVP or he would have made a big impact but he’s burnt his bridges with us. Flappy is probably good but needs to try his luck elsewhere with a clean slate. Squid was a mistake, not his fault but a panic buy who just doesn’t cut it at this level and Johan is a product of the dire days when we couldnt afford good players so had to accept average ones instead, he’s just taking the place of a Bartley/Miquel. My vote is for Chamakh but in truth JD will probably get another year til Miquel is ready.

  103. Rob Lucci – match reports are a piece of cake, by far the easiest article to write. You say who played well, who played badly, who scored and whether is was a fine win by the Arsenal or an undeserved defeat :) See, easy ……………………

  104. Red Arse says:

    Rob,

    Your comments are always excellent, and you will get great support from the AA regulars, at least, for any Post you may write.

    Go to the game!! Enjoy it! See your heroes!!!

    The boost you will get for your exams will be tremendous.
    As someone who has taken many exams, believe me, if you don’t know it now — you never will, another few hours are neither here nor there.

    Anyway, what an achievement, to be the first author from your part of the world to Post on AA.

    Don’t disappoint us!!! :-)

  105. RockyLives says:

    Rob
    I second Redders’ comment – you always make excellent comments on here and a match report can be very straightforward (and doesn’t need to be too long).

    And you’ll get your name in the list of authors at the top right of the site!

  106. RockyLives says:

    GLiC
    I did a mind meld with Terry. Now I’ve got a hairy hand. Most illogical.

  107. RockyLives says:

    There was some discussion about Theo earlier, with the conclusion that he’s likely to be off.

    I have a different take on the lack of media kerfuffle surrounding the fact that Theo has only one year to go on his contract.

    I reckon Theo intends to stay and has asked his agent to get him the best deal possible for his extension.

    These quotes from Theo today seem to bear that out:
    “I’m not at all fazed by the speculation. I actually don’t have a clue about all the reports. I just like to get on with things and work hard. My agent and the club will talk things out and when there’s something to be decided I’ll get involved.

    “Of course I am excited about the future of the club. Not many people recognise we’ve qualified for the Champions league so many years in a row. Now the next step is to prove them wrong by winning trophies.”

    I really hope he stays – he’s among the two or three most effective wingers in the EPL and gets an unfair amount of stick from some Arsenal supporters (in my ever so humble opinion).

  108. barumgooner says:

    Just realised I missed the Korean marketing tool. I dont know if it worked and more merchandise was sold but thats the reason we got him and thats why will will probably still have him next year.

  109. glic says:

    Spocky :lol:
    Fascinating and as you say most illogical, as I thought you would have ended up with at least a Hairy telescope !.
    Terry has since been in touch with me and has complained that he has contracted a rapid form of Pon Farr from you. He said that he`s version triggers every 7 hours and if he doesn`t mate in that time he faces insanity and death. he currently resides in a cardboard box somewhere around the King`s Cross area !.

  110. Rob Lucci says:

    Great news, Steve Bould was very vocal on training session today!

  111. glic says:

    Thanks chas for introducing me to, ” the daily mash”, I`ve bookmaked it as a favourite. There`s a lot of funny stuff on there including, ” New Arsenal kit from Teco ” , ” Bradley Wiggins targeted by Wile E Coyote and ” Andy Carrol to be released back into the wild “. :lol:

  112. glic says:

    Teco ?, Tesco.

  113. glic says:

    I will have to shift tomorrow, I`ll be chucking effing cakes out the window, Arsenals game is live on player and starts at 2:45 pm.

  114. RockyLives says:

    GLiC
    I’ve just realised that Terry’s syrup is not a syrup at all… it’s a Tribble!

  115. glic says:

    :lol: Tribble Trouble :lol:

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, away for a day and I see I have been mentioned in my absence.

    Always nice to leave an impression (even if it is just in the wall of the Tavern) :)

    I voted for AA, but could easily have gone for NikB, like Cham I feel he was often asked to play out of position and I also believe as fans we judged him too early, he is still only 24 and most Arsenal fans had written him off before he reached 23, which I think is unfair on the lad, he knows where the goal is, but I admit his ego does get in the way.

    As for why I voted for Arshavin, quite simply he has the quality we need in the final third, either to unlock a defence or finish a move. What he can’t ever be expected to do is track back, it’s just not in his game, but if he played at the top of the 3 and without another lazy out of possession player (RvP) in the line up maybe we could carry this side of his game?

    James @ 12:54
    “My concern is that without VDV we will struffle to score”

    Are you sure you’re not a Spud?

    Oh and Scott Parker? If you want a player who just puts himself in the way then i’d agree, watching England in Euros would prove that the ability to break up play is simply not enough.

    Oh and in sheep mode “if Spuds hadn’t got 1 point from
    11 we wouldnt be in CL”, but if Arsenal hadn’t list to Swansea away and Blackburn away we would have been 7 points clear, last time I looked the season lasts 38 games and whoever has more points proves who was better. Arsenal are better than Spuds.

    Szczesney = Friedel
    Sagna > Walker
    Ekotto = Gibbs
    Koscielny > Dawson
    Vermaelen > Gallas
    Song > Parker
    Arteta > Sandro
    Ramsey < Modric
    Gervinho Adebarndoor

  117. RockyLives says:

    Evening GiE
    Have you seen those Theo quotes?
    What do you make of ‘em?

  118. RockyLives says:

    Walcott > Lennon
    Rosicky > VdV
    Gerv Entire Spud Squad
    Wenger >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> AVB/’Arry/Jol/Gross/Pleat/Ramos etc etc etc

  119. GunnerN5 says:

    Here’s a report , supposedly quoting Theo.
    It does not sound very positive, as he confirms that he has no idea where he stands.

    …………………………………………………………………………………….

    Walcott coy on Arsenal future

    The future of Arsenal forward Theo Walcott remains unclear after the England international refused to confirm his commitment to the Gunners.

    By Gabriel Tan in Kuala Lumpur

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger previously expressed his intention of keeping Walcott at the club and there were widespread reports that the Gunners were set to offer the 23-year-old an improved deal in a bid to keep the speedy forward at the club.

    The former Southampton player, whose contract with Arsenal expires at the end of next season, was part of the England team which participated in the recently concluded European Championship and his involvement in the tournament meant that contract talks between Walcott and the North London club had to be delayed.

    “We were always going to wait till after Euro 2012 to hold talks,” Walcott told ESPN STAR Sports in Kuala Lumpur.

    Nevertheless, the lack of any updates on Walcott’s contract situation, nearly a month after the Euros ended, has fuelled speculation that he may leave the club during this transfer window.

    Recent reports have linked Walcott with a move to Liverpool and Chelsea, with both clubs allegedly ready to battle it out for the signature of a player Lionel Messi once described as “the most dangerous player he ever played against.”

    Walcott however insists he is unaffected by all the rumours, preferring to focus on playing football instead, and claims he leaves the contract negotiations to his agent.

    “I’m not at all fazed by the speculation,” he added.

    “I actually don’t have a clue about all the reports.

    “I just like to get on with things and work hard.

    “My agent and the club will talk things out and when there’s something to be decided, I’ll get involved.”

    The recent signings of experienced German international Lukas Podolski and last season’s Ligue 1 top scorer Oliver Giroud have sowed the seeds of optimism in Arsenal fans worldwide, with many believing that the club, which has consistently finished in the top four of the Premier League, is now ready to take the step up and win the title.

    Walcott has echoed those sentiments and despite the expected departure of club captain Robin Van Persie, believes the club is moving in the right direction.

    “Of course I am excited about the future of the club,” he proclaimed.

    “Not many people recognise we’ve qualified for the Champions league so many years in a row.

    “Now the next step is to prove them wrong by winning trophies”

    Walcott was in stellar form for Arsenal last season, scoring 11 goals and providing 13 assists in 46 appearances.

  120. RockyLives says:

    Haha Gn5
    I read that report and came to precisely the opposite conclusion.
    The way he talks positively about wanting to answer the club’s critics leads me to believe he has told his agent to sort out his contract extension and get the best deal possible, but that he has no intention of leaving.

    I could be 100% wrong though. Wouldn’t be the first time!

  121. chas says:

    I thought the Theo quotes were positive, too.
    It’s all about perspective, I suppose.

    GIE,
    You know I love you really. If I thought you couldn’t take a joke I wouldn’t do it. Impression in the wall of the Tavern. Haha.

  122. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I am party to the same tendencies, of course, but I cannot help chuckling at how we all pore over a player’s statement to glean what hidden information we can from it, rather like crones ruminating over runes or entrails for some message or divination of future events. :-)

    The sceptic would inevitably think that footballers, per se, are just not clever enough to hide a form of coded message in their rather banal utterances.

    “I would like to shag my mates mate”, said player X.

    Now, did he mean ‘mate’ as in a female sexual companion, or did he mean a male friend known colloquially as a ‘mate’? Or even a senior officer on a ship, maybe.

    Give three people the info and let them make up their minds as to was meant, and there would/could be 3 different choices, probably relating more to their personal subconscious predilictions.

    You say potato – GN5 says potarto – potato, potarto, tomato, tomarto – oh bollix, lets call the whole thing biase!! :-)

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas all taken in the spirit intended never fear :)

    Rocky on Theo I’m with you and Chas, if there was a deal to go elsewhere on the cards my thoughts are that we would be hearing a lot more about it.

    I guess one thing we need to consider is that Theo at 23 has time on his side as is in no rush to see Arsenal profit when he could pocket big next year as a free agent. It’s in the clubs interest to get him signed on the best deal we can before January when potential suitors can offer hin the world without fear of a transfer fee, but he is still young enough to listen to his Dad and hopefully he realises that Arsene has shown a lot of faith in him and he, as a big fish in a small pond, has marketing potential beyond what he could garner playing for Chelsea, United or City.

    Then again would any of us lose too much sleep, I would put him on a par with Clichy, not a huge loss to our squad, especially looking at the potential coming through. Let’s be honest with Pod’s arrival and Gervinho set for his second season, Ox knocking on the door, who is to say Theo is a regular starter next season.

    He has gone to Malaysia which should indicate positive news, however If I was to play devils advocate and view the club cynically I could just as easily say that the club has delayed announcements as they want to maximise merchandise revenues whilst in Asia as he is one of our golden boys to the Asian fans.

  124. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    You told me you only pretended to like GIE because you were scared of him!!! :-)

  125. Red Arse says:

    1 in every 80 people is clinically predicted to be a sceptic!!

    He GIE, there’s nothing wrong with you being AA’s scelerotic sceptic, whatever everyone else says!! :-)

  126. Red Arse says:

    Way past my bedtime, so I better go before you all tell me to Eff Off. :-)

    I will pretend not to remember anything tomorrow morning!!! :-)

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    Dictionary time.

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thanks for those Chas, good to see the youngsters play some good football, makes me wish we could stick a team in the Conference.

  129. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all, just back from camping in the New Forest. Bleedin marvellous. And I’ve caught up on Wiggo & Co: even more bleedin marvellous. Just don’t mention the cricket…..

    Nice vote-post, Rocky, cheers. I went for Arshavin for the same reason as many others: the littl’un has quality, if only Wenger would play him in position.

    Funny to see that old chestnut about Spurs having a better squad. With Modric and RvP halfway out of the door, the first XIs are fairly evenly matched (ours looks better to me though). But Spurs’ backup looks inferior: Gallas, Naughton, Bassong, Dawson, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Jenas, Rose, Livermore, Bentley, Pienaar, Saha, Giovani etc versus Mertesacker, Santos, Djourou, Jenkinson, Bartley, Miquel, Diaby, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Frimpong, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gervinho etc. The untested Sigurdsson looks their only really decent backup player. I’d take our squad over theirs every day of the week.

    And the legacy Harry’s left Spurs is the over-recruitment of older players and not enough youngsters brought through. AVB’s got a job on his hands to keep Spurs in the top five, let alone challenge for the title

  130. 26may1989 says:

    Here’s a question: our TV revenue is going to go up by something like £35m to £40m in the 2013-14 season, and that’s before the new overseas rights deal is done (Al Jazeira are rumoured to be in the market and willing to pay a lot). So would the club be willing to start spending some of that money now? That seems to be what the Chavs are up to.

    That massive increase in TV money is going to have a significant impact on the sums for FFP. Few journos seem to be saying much about it, but the logic of the increased revenues is that the likes of City and Chelsea are going to find it easier to meet the requirements of FFP. I know the maximum squad size means we can’t use the money to make more new signings before sales are made, but I worry that the club might be too conservative about using the new revenue stream that will be available to everyone in the EPL soon.

  131. richie says:

    @RL@3:27 The thing is Arsene tried AA in the middle more than once, in fact he gave him a run at it, probably convinced by the same arguements you put forward, him seemingly having all the necessary traits to pull the strings, but Shava didn’t do well there. He drifted left as mentioned before and he looked out of his depth.
    At one point I think Shava had AW perplexed, because he kept experimenting with him, I think he thought how can a player this good not be able to do more. I mean I like Shava but with his talent how he’s not one of the very best in the world baffles me, he has it all but it comes out a drip at a time.

  132. richie says:

    @Bryan3:38 thats what I said above Arsene tried Shava out everywhere, including as a centre forward. I think playing him there had some teams confused (Liverpool) for Russia at his peak under the lawyer (Advocate) he was a left foward winger, that was also where Zenit played him. I think the confusion comes from Shava himself when interviewed. I remember him being asked if he liked playing centrally and he said “yes”,so I think people took that to mean thats where he wanted to play. However when asked if left field was his more natural position he said “yes”. Of course the possibility exists that “yes” was the only English the little Russian had at his command. :-)

  133. RockyLives says:

    Richie
    I don’t recall AA being played in the hole by Arsene apart from a couple of occasions when we were blighted by injury.

    I certainly remember the dismal period when he was played as a CF. It want experimentation on AW’s part – we simply had no other fit strikers.

    This period occurred just after the Jan transfer window closed – a window during which lots of people were clamouring for the club to strengthen the offence (the ungrateful Dutchman was out injured yet again and Bendtner got crocked just as the window closed).

    With the Russian midget playing as our target man we had all the attacking threat of an arthritic sheep.

  134. richie says:

    @GN.5 – I used to play on the cinder pitches in Highbury Fields but I never remember the Arse training there, I think because they had a cinder pitch behind the clockend. They used to train on the grass pitches at Clissold and Finsbury (Finsbury Pk used to be Islington back then, now its Harrigay) In the 60′s & 70′s none of the local boys paid to get in! We’d spend the week running up to the game sorting out our in. I remember bunking in 3 times and getting chucked out twice for the Cassius Clay (AKA Muhummid Ali) Fight. I never had a problem getting in I knew the stadium like the back of my hand. My uncle who’s10 years my senior had a mate (a local boy I remember him well) called Dudley who was a right nutter?
    When I say nutter I mean a lunatic you wouldn’t want to mess with.

  135. richie says:

    RA@4:46 thanks “G” just a couple of locals having fun going over old time crap :-) I’d be amazed if I don’t know his family and he don’t know mine. I think my dad went to Laycock school I’ll have to ask him. It might’ve been Drayton Pk though.

  136. richie says:

    @RL Yes I remember the pocket midget did really well a couple of times as a CF but generally he was in the defenders pockets. I remember us being blighted by injury and Shava was the last resort, but I remember Shava getting loads of chances in the middle not in the league but in the cups. He never had a good enough game centrally to merit a second chance but Arsene kept giving him the position hoping he might come good.

  137. chas says:

    Matchday – ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  138. chas says:

    I don’t think this is about us at all, but I quite like it.

  139. Gooner In Exile says:

    Tim Cahill sold to Red Bulls? Bit of a waste of his talent.

  140. Hi chas – I was just thinking the same thing ……… we should have some kind of pre-match no? Anyone got time to pen a quickie? A few thoughts on their expectations for todays game ……. I have to deal with a man on a digger so anyone out there >>>>>>>>.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting reading through the Theo discussion .My wild guess is that AW would like to have kept Brave Sir Robin and flogged Theo to raise cash, but if for some reason BSR does find a club to win things at, then I think the club would want to hold on to Theo for fan appeasement resons.

  142. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rumour has it that Juve have come close to £20m offer and are prepared to offer RvP £190k a week. Best result for us I suppose.

  143. Oz gunner says:

    Another rocky special.i voted for other (henri lansbury) its his make or break,stick him in there arsene.id love to rely on diaby for an injury free season,but id also like to spend a night with natalie portman,unfortunately neither will happen.

    As for that twit james, if hes the same moron that used to frequent ‘arsenal insider’ a few years ago then hes not worth replying too.he is a doomer who often ripped song to shreads,crying for melo constantly.

    Pod no good and a tap in striker.you obviously know nothing about him,hes got a bigger left foot cannon than rvp

  144. New Post …………….

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