Mikel Arteta – 2011 / 2012 Unsung Hero.

Deadline day 2011. Arsenal fans eyes still wet from the departure of our beloved captain Fabregas, while being furious about the controversial departure of Nasri, whom was dubbed ‘$amir N€$ri’ (rightly as well).

Then a moment of madness, well a day of madness, from Mr Wenger, 5 signings. Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Park on permeant deals, while Benayoun’s transfer was a season long loan.

At sometime around 3 o’clock on deadline day, news hit that Arsenal were interested in Everton playmaker and fans favourite Mikel Arteta, in which he was automatically compared to Fabregas, and was said to be replacing him, even though they are two different players completely. An hour or so later, news hit Arsenal were unwilling to pay what Everton wanted, so dropped interest in acquiring his services. An hour or so later, news hit again that Arsenal had approached Everton again about signing Arteta. Pictures of Arteta arriving at Everton, going to speak to presumingly to the manager and other various senior board members were shown on every sports new channel. Just after eleven o’clock, Arsenal announced the arrival of Arteta.

Immediately after the transfer was completed, different opinions began to arise of just how good Arteta was. One opinion was that the acquisition of Arteta, alongside the other four signings, was a sign that Arsenal FC were changing slowly into a team that had players just below the bar of ‘world class’ like Fabregas, Nasri, and could not obtain players like Hazard. Another one was that he was a poor mans Fabregas, mainly due to them both being Spanish, and Everton playing him in a similar role to Fabregas, and he was Wenger’s panic buy, as he has wasted weeks in replacing Fabregas since his departure. One more, was that he is not good enough for Arsenal, and is a short term replacement for Nasri just until Wenger has time to replace him and Fabregas properly in the January February transfer window.

31st of July 2011. Arsenal are hosting the yearly Emirates Cup tournament. Day two, Arsenal vs New York Red Bulls. All of the light is obviously on Henry’s return to Arsenal, and possibly his last (Who could have guessed he would have return on a loan deal). A more experienced team were played, which included Wilshere. Wilshere is taken off with an ankle injury, but nobody expected it to be anything worse than a month, he was promised to return to start the season. The light is again put on Henry, who had been denied the chance to play for the Arsenal team for the last ten minutes. Wilshere’s return date kept getting delayed by Arsenal, and soon it became apparent the midfield three would have too be Arteta, Song an Rosicky, a player whom had fallen out with the Arsenal fans. Arteta was deployed into a centre defensive midfield role, next to Song in the formation 4-2-1-3. This was a surprise to Arsenal fans, as he was expected to sit behind the attackers like he had at Everton.

We had a terrible start to the season. But finally, after seven or eight games, the bond between Song and Arteta became clear. They would both control the games tempo, and when Vermaelen, an extremely talented attacking Centre Back, would charge upfield, therefore leaving a large gap in defence, Song would slot in to that position. Arteta would then become the sole Centre Defensive Midfielder. If Koscielny would then also attack, or Song wasn’t where he should be, then Arteta would become the temporary Centre Back.

Arteta also, would then get Song to move into the centre of the pitch, and would then attack, sitting behind the attackers, for example against Blackburn, West Brom, and most notably Man City.

The partnership between Arteta and Song, would become a valuable asset to Arsenal, helping us to overtaking the spuds after months of ‘Mind the Gap’. As Vermaelen and Koscielny began to play regularly together, their partnership began to appear. Van Persie already had chemistry and Walcott, and developed a strong partnership with the Ox, not so much with Gervinho though. When all of these partnerships came together, it was clear that this Arsenal team had improved, the turning point being the game against the spuds. We have started the game like we had started the season. Not midfield or defensive communication, and a dive put us two nil down. But Song and Arteta began to grab the game by the throat. Song brought the ball forward and it fell to Arteta to assist Sagna. Song put the ball in the Van Persie got and scored from. Arteta tackled the spuds useless left back and it fell to Song to thread Walcott through.

Arteta did this all the way up the Wigan game, where he has sidelined due to an injured ankle. 6th of March 2012. Arsenal vs AC Milan, Arsenal four nil down on aggregate. Arteta is absent due to being knocked unconscious against Liverpool a few days later. The Ox, a winger, plays in Arteta’s role. We win three nil after dominating the game. Arteta was giving his all in the game against Liverp`ool, and was accidentally injured. We lacked his creativity and dominance on the ball, I believe if he has played, we would have won the game by four or five, but either way gone through against Milan.

Another attribute Arteta possesses is that he has an incredible ability to see when the games tempo is not helping his team, and he gets himself fouled. This is a great attribute for Arsenal to have, as the way Wenger has set his squad up, is that they control the games speed, have the ball for long periods in the game, and if that isn’t working, then we concede almost half the time. Arteta see’s this happening to his teammates, and when he has the chance, he will win the ball back and then wait until a player attempts to tackle him, and he flicks the ball forward and gets fouled, giving the team the ball back, control of the game, and also a rest if they have been under it for a period of time. This is proved by him being the most fouled player in the Premier League in 2005/2006, as he played every single game Everton played in. He missed a few games in the following season, including last season, meaning he missed out on a few fouls.

Another attribute Arteta holds is that he is a pure footballer. He was reported to be on seventy five thousand pounds a week at Everton, their highest paid player in history. When he signed for Arsenal, it was said that he was being paid around ten thousand pounds less, so he was virtually paying ten thousand pounds for Champions League football. This is one of the reasons that I was happy he had joined Arsenal. I had always admired his skill for Everton, and everyone could see he was clearly their best player from the minute he arrived, but the fact that he went from being on a pedestal at Everton, to being just another player at Arsenal, and possibly in the shadow of other players, van Persie and Vermaelen, with a pay cut.

Arteta also scored one goal that stood out from the rest, his free kick against Aston Villa. I believe that showed his quality for set pieces, we don’t need Van Persie for everything!

Written by Miles

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146 Responses to Mikel Arteta – 2011 / 2012 Unsung Hero.

  1. Morning all, you’ll get no arguments from me about our beloved Basque battler; I was at the match where he got injured against Wigan and we caved in badly as he limped off.

    Oh, and haven’t we signed Mazola yet ? Cooooome on, sort it out Ivan !

  2. david says:

    Absolutely…He is a real professional.

  3. Rupe says:

    Arteta was awesome for us last year, one of our best 3 players along with RVP and Koscielny. So I applaud your applauding him.

    What puzzles me is a) the “unsung” tag (all Arsenal fans I know were singing his praises all season, and bemoaning his absence at the end, and most fans of others clubs that I know were acknowledging how well he was playing for us too) and b) the idea that there was some kind of problem between Rosicky and the fans (all the ones I know have always thought of him as one of our classiest players – it’s just taken him a long time to get over his injury).

  4. Iceman says:

    Arteta was immense last year, much to the disappointment of the media who insisted he was a ‘panic’ buy! Just hope we do get Cazorla to play alongside him – then the prospect of the title is real again.

  5. Miles says:

    Hi Rupe,

    It is titled unsung as when you ask any football fan who was Arsenals best player and ‘hero’ of the 2011/2012 season and 9.99 times out of 10 they would say Rvp, whereas I honestly believe it is Arteta, hence why I bought an Arsenal shirt with Arteta on. And Rosicky fell out with us, as his performances before last season were poor after his injury.

    Miles

  6. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Mikel Arteta is one of Arsene’s most astute signings. Experienced in the Premiership, he didn’t need half a season to get up to speed. A quality mid-fielder, he fitted into the Arsenal team like a hand into a familiar glove. A true professional, not a glory seeker.

    An example of what a seasoned player can bring to the club as opposed to the “potential” offered by so many of our recent aquisitions.

  7. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Miles,

    I don’t think Rosicky fell out with the fans, more that his persistent injuries prevented him from playing the kind of role his quality suggested he was capable of.

    Once he regained his fitness and confidence, he played a huge part in the chase for a Champions League place.

    Unfortunately, he is again injured and is not likely to to return to training untill mid September, so we are unlikely to see him play much before November. In the circumstances I sincerely hope that the stories about Cazorla turns out to be not just speculation.

  8. JM says:

    “Arteta also scored one goal that stood out from the rest, his free kick against Aston Villa. I believe that showed his quality for set pieces, we don’t need Van Persie for everything!”

    In my view, the winning goal against Man City @home stood out from the rest.
    (1) We beat the eventual EPL champions with that goal.
    (2) Arteta tackled & won the ball from Pizarro before unleashing a long range & low curler shot (how often do we score from long range) that beat the diving GK. (i.e. He won us the match by his moment of perseverance & genius)
    (3) We were snuffed out by Man City before that breakthrough. It could have gone to a draw (which could see us eventually missing 3rd place).

    Arteta ~> among the ranks of Pirlo, Xabi Alonso in the deep-lying playmaker role.

  9. Rupe says:

    Yeah I guess that’s true of non-Arsenal fans – RVP was more obviously important what with his goals. But (to my knowledge) most Arsenal fans were perfectly aware of how important Arteta was. I guess we know different Arsenal fans!

    And we’ll have to agree to disagree about Rosicky. Or maybe it’s a question of language… for me there’s a big difference between seeing that someone’s struggling because of injury and “falling out with” them. Even when he was struggling you could see the class of the man.

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:

    It’s official!! It’s on the Arsenal website!! Arsenal have signed midfielder……Serge Gnabry.

    The 17 year old Academy player has signed his first professional contract.

    More potential!!!

  11. You are naughty NorfolkG – getting our hopes all up for a moment. :(

  12. Rupe says:

    I guess you’ve not seen much of Gnabry then charybdis. This is great news.

  13. Lol Rupe, I’m booking my place for the open top bus parade celebrating our trophy haul now due to Gnabbers arrival. He’s the final piece in our jigsaw of football domination.

  14. Rupe says:

    Well I can tell you’re being sarcastic but can’t for the life of me understand why. You don’t want us to be signing youngsters? Thankfully, we’re not the kind of club where every signing is already world class.

  15. Nah, just kidding with you Rupes; it’s a bit like when I said in the summer of 2007 I was sad about the departure of our iconic french striker…..Jeremie Aliadiere.

  16. Timmy says:

    To sum is up, Arteta typified Professionalism, Tenacity, Teamwork, Accuracy, determination to succeed and Strength. What one needs in his mid-field position and as a football player

  17. Otim john bosco says:

    ARTETA is aworld class star.even Van persie cant control games like arteta does

  18. GUNNER BOB says:

    arteta is de man,any match he did nt play we lost.go check d record.

  19. Correct Bob, except for the very last game against West Brom, but the guy was vital to our cause last season.

    And, flippin’ ‘eck, haven’t we got Mazola in yet ??

  20. chas says:

    Incorrect, Bob.
    It was didn’t win (until the WBA game).
    First game of the season 0-0 v Newcastle, for instance.

  21. TotAl says:

    Hi Miles :)

    Thanks for a good post about a man with the best smile in football (except for Eboue of course!).

    If this doesn’t get Rasp and Peaches out to come out and play rather than do the daily post admin, I don’t know any more what is happening! ;)

    As other have pointed out, Arteta is well recognised by the fans as a very important player for Arsenal, and as such is not an unsung hero. I reckon that not Arteta, but Song and Sagna are our unsung heroes this year.

    You pointed out the importance of Song and Arteta being together in midfield, and I agree. Let’s hope they can play together most of the coming season as they are probably the best central midfield pair around. They need each other to get the best out of themselves and together they have all the midfield skills we could wish for.

    I really liked your observation of Arteta that he has “an incredible ability to see when the games tempo is not helping his team, and he gets himself fouled”. Very true: he is streetwise and very experienced to know when this needs to happen.

    I watched Arteta during the friendlies and it looks like he will need some time to get back to full fitness/ sharpness. Let’s hope for us he is ready in 3 weeks time.

  22. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, Miles.
    It’s obvious you enjoy writing these posts. Your enthusiasm shines through. Let’s hope Mikel has a great season.

  23. GUN says:

    Without Arteta in the team we won just a single game(on the last day of the season).

  24. jordan says:

    Great article miles, thanks. Also remember his finishing quality (winning goal vs. Man €it¥)

  25. Podge says:

    When I heard we signed Arteta my one thought was “Finally!!”. He was the exact player we needed and I wanted him at Arsenal since 2006.

    I only wished we signed him a year earlier, wit Fabregas ahead of the Song-Arteta axis we would have had easily the best midfield not playing their home games at camp nou.

    He plays the deep-lying playmaker role brilliantly especially as he is given a defensive duty. If Cazorla comes in then I think the roles of Song and Arteta will change a bit with Song being the more defensive and Arteta going forward more often as he has excellent long range shooting.

    In a few years we will be talking about the Arteta signing as one of Wenger’s best and most important.

  26. Rob Lucci says:

    Do you ever dream seeing Gilberto in Arsenal shirt again? Yep, he come again, with a hair! :-)

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Arteta is absolute class – for all the reasons cited already, but also because he’s a straght down the line, honest pro. That’s why I’d make him captain – much more suitable than these ego merchants we keep giving the armband.

  28. Ha ha, the Catalan Divers (Less than just a club, more a bunch of front bottoms in reality) are casting covetous eyes towards Alex Song.

    http://sportsvibe.co.uk/news/football/barcelona-consider-bid-for-arsenal-s-alex-song-18911/

    Does Dmitri have any Barca DNA I wonder ? Perhaps we should ask the king of all front bottoms and Barca DNA drinker, Xavi ?

  29. Nick says:

    Arteta is class. I was a fan of his for years before he came to play for Arsenal and now I love him all the more. He was an absolute rock in the midfield last season and it shows how important he is for us when you look at our record with and without him. I’m really looking forward to this season and hoping Arteta and his perfect hair will be fit the whole term. We need his calm, experience & free kicks this season (how many free kicks did RVP score on last season?).

  30. RockyLives says:

    Well said Miles.
    Others have already said it, but Arteta is an absolute gem. His skill is of a very high order (in any but the current era, in which Spain is lucky to have a huge crop of gifted MFs, he would have earned 70 or 80 caps. If he was English he would be one of the first names on the team sheet); his intelligence and maturity are highly developed and his character is impeccable.

    I, too, wish we had signed him a couple of years ago.

  31. richie says:

    I think Arteta is still an unsung hero because its only the smartist bloggers around (He says sucking up) :-) who properly recognise his immense abilitys and the colossal contribution he made to the Arsenal cause last season. I’m firmly with Podge I wondered why we hadn’t gone for him in 06-07 when we were reportedly linked because it was so obvious to just about everyone that he would’ve worked so well with Cesc. That would’ve been a combination I would’ve loved to have seen in our midfield. There are unfortunately still those amongst our “own”? That still don’t understand what his strengths are. Like our old invisible wall Gilberto its only when he wasn’t there (and Vieira of all people looked less convincing) that he was so badly missed.

    Arteta is in footballing terms is the ulltimate multi tasker, he’s like the wife, that can go about the house almost unseen, therefore unappreciated. Cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking and looking after the kids. There might be newer flashier models out there that catch the eye, but take the wife out of the equasion and your home is suddenly in a total mess. It not easy to list all the things Arteta does because he does so many things so well. He reads the game so well, and see’s the big picture, Where he is in terms of his pitch placement is so good, he intercepts by constantly being in the right place at the right time. He tackles, keeps the ball moving, and is always available for his team mates as an outlet. He was an essencial part of last seasons (get out of jail free card) 3 musketiers RvP (may he RIP) Arteta and Koscielny. I just hope he manages to stay injury free because we need him more than just about everybody.

  32. evonne says:

    Miles – good article, thank you
    Hardly unsung though, I’ve been singing about him in soprano all last season :)
    Rocky – 2 years ago we didn’t need him, we had Cesc and Fatso then.

    I went to the eye hospital today. I have some genetic disorder and are slowly going blind. I asked the consultant how long I have before I cannot see a thing and he said that quite long. I asked if long enough to see Arsenal winning a double – CL and PL he replied ‘No, sorry, not that long’ :) cheeky bugger

  33. You are kidding about your eyesight aren’t you Evonne ?

  34. TotAl says:

    Sorry to hear that Evonne. Hope the specialist meant decades when he said ‘quite long’.

  35. TotAl says:

    Hey Richie :)

    Do you really believe those three were the only musketeers?

  36. evonne says:

    Chary – no, not kidding, but we all have our cross to bear, you suffered too.
    Total – any news on your mate Robin? Where the hell is he going?

  37. True Evonne, but sad to hear about your lovely green eyes powers slowly(and I hope veeeeery slowly) dwindling.

  38. LB says:

    Hmmm, that is a very frustrating question: why the b-hell didn’t we buy him earlier?

  39. TotAl says:

    Hi Evonne, your second question is rhetorical, right? Well at least that’s where he can go for me.

    Here is hoping for medical science to develop a cure for your eye-condition before it is too late. Big hugs from me. :)

  40. RockyLives says:

    evonne
    that’s very sad (about your eyes) – but rest assured, you will see us win plenty of pots before your mincers give up the ghost.

  41. TotAl says:

    And this one: Gervinho threading the ball through the eye of the needle and eis-eis-baby being as a cool as a 30+ year old attacking midfielder.

    http://blip.tv/arsenalfc/goaaal-eisfeld-goal-gervinho-skills-vs-kitchee-2-2-6279190

  42. TotAl says:

    Hi Rocky, ‘mincers’ is that a North-London expression?

  43. RockyLives says:

    TotAl
    It’s Cockney rhyming slang: Mincers = Mince Pies = Eyes

  44. TotAl says:

    Thanks Rocky, very educational! :)

  45. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the links TotAl – I hadn’t seen those.

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if Gerv hit top form this year.

  46. RockyLives says:

    You’re welcome me old China. (china plate = mate)

  47. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Miles

    Arteta is class, experienced, and a team player. exactly what we needed. Even more remarkable considering he juggles his football with saving the earth with the rest of the Thunderbirds crew.

    Sorry to hear about your eyes Evonne. Let me give you the Terry diagnosis. The Doctor knows nothing about football. In the forthcoming years you will see the Arsenal win plenty of leagues and some juicy Champions leagues for Desert and you shall thoroughly and deservedly enjoy it.

  48. TotAl says:

    Me old China :)

    Gervinho coming good would be like a new signing, as Arsene would say! :)

  49. TotAl says:

    A video worthy of today’s fine post by Miles:

    Miles, if you are still reading, could you tell us a bit about yourself (where are you based, how long have you been supporting Arsenal, etc).

  50. glic says:

    e va va vonne
    I`ve prayed to the God of Mince Pies ( Mr Kipling ) and the God of Football ( Dennis ) and It`s being sorted.

    Thanks Miles
    This Arteta guy gets about a bit, he does a fancy bit of fencing stuff in Zorro wearing a mask , then he ” enter tains ” the ladeeez wearing a rubber mask and now he`s zooming about in Thunderbird 1 . FAB !. I thought he looked more like Captain Black of the Mysterons .

  51. evonne says:

    Thanks guys! Mincers :) never heard that one before.

    TA – you nosey parker :) Maybe Miles wants to remain annonymous. I love your European openess; nothing like a straighforward question – ‘Who are you dude?’

  52. Miles says:

    Nice video TotAl,

    I’m only 17, been supporting Arsenal since I could speak, been going to games ever since I could walk, seen us win the league although barely remember it! Essex boy, although I’m not like those mongs from the Only Way Is Essex, as you can tell from my writings.

    Miles

  53. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, i have a question of a serious nature and dont want any mucking about with the answer. Was Captain Black killed by the Mysterons and therefore dead when they possesed him, or was he alive but just possessed?

  54. jnyc says:

    Miles, excellent post! i agree with the theme, and love the writing. So many things mikel does go un noticed , he does all the little subtle things that help the team. Never flashy. Even the point about how he takes fouls. He is a master at this.i have seen people on blogs call him average. They just dont understand the game. He will be a great asset again to our new team this season. A complete professional in every aspect.

  55. Miles says:

    jnyc,

    yepp that was the point I was trying to put across. How I put it, he rarely does flashy things like Fabregas and Nasri do a lot, although it is even rarer for him to make a mistake. Brilliant player, my personal favourite, as I am young so obviously prefer attacking play than defensive play (If I play a match for example I attack a lot more than defend), but still prefer him to Rvp, he isn’t a money grabber, the opposite actually!

  56. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Only 17 years old Miles? Kudos to you my boy. When i was your age i couldnt even put my own trousers on never mind write an article. You must be the youngest author on here, mind you thats probably not difficult. hahaha

  57. glic says:

    Terry, they killed him and then repossessed him as he was behind with payments on a Martian time share appartment !.

  58. evonne says:

    Miles – blimey, what a nice well balanced and articulate young man you are! Pleasure to meet you!

    I am glad that TA is so nosey :)

  59. Miles says:

    Well Terry, this article was actually the first one I wrote, I sent in my other one, the ‘would we benefit from purchasing M’Vila and Cazorla?’ for some reason, and now I also write the match previews on Untold Arsenal, so before every game be sure to read them! I may also have some articles published in the Gooner, although I hope they are as good as this one, I think it is my best one!

  60. glic says:

    Miles might be the youngest on here, but ask my wife who has the youngest mental age !. :lol:

  61. Miles says:

    Thanks Evonne!

  62. glic says:

    Did any of you know that Arsenal have signed up to the new U21 Premier League and some of the games will be at the Emirates ( 20th August & 25th August ),. Our group contains, Blackburn,Bolton,Everton,Norwich,West Ham,Reading and West Brom.

  63. Miles says:

    do you have to put forward a list of players or can you play any u21’s? as wilshere could play for them to gain fitness

  64. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thats truly fantastic Miles. Mystic Terry sees a big future for you in the world of sports jounalism, keep it up.

    Cornwall, so your basicly saying that Captain Black was a skint drug ridden drop out who couldent keep up with his financial obligations. he should have been called Captain Crack

  65. glic says:

    Does anyone know of an unofficial Arsenal T-Shirt maker ( another website maybe ? ) ?, as I have ( what I think ) a great idea for a T-Shirt.

  66. glic says:

    Not sure Miles, but they will be allowed some over 21`s, have a look on Newsnow or Arsenal.Com .

    I think he was a smooth operator that Captain Back Sack and Crack !.

  67. Miles says:

    i don’t glic, but i do know where you can buy the new Arsenal home and away kit for £20 with a name and number

  68. evonne says:

    Terry – and from what I have heard you are still having problems keeping your trousers up

    Oh Glic baby :)

  69. glic says:

    As much as it it tempting Miles, I `d like an official one, so that the money goes directly to Arsenal and pays for a ” Super Quality ” player at some time in the future. Saying that, a dodgy one for my puppy would be handy, so where`s this site or other supplier ?.

  70. TotAl says:

    Miles, SEVENTEEN?! Wow, I would never have guessed that; your writing is very mature for your age!

    17 was one of my favourite years. First girlfriend, making love under green spotlights, listening to Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygen, again and again….those were the days. :P

  71. glic says:

    e va va vonne
    Terry`s a bit peeved at the moment, because in the Olympic lottery to get the rights to massage the Athletes, I got all the Womens Beach Volley Ball players and Terry got all the XXL Super Heavyweight Mens Sumo Wrestlers !.

  72. glic says:

    TotAl
    And Boy George was never the same after that experience !. :lol:

  73. Miles says:

    wow TotAl thats a tad too much detail for us I think, and yes 17. and glic the top is real, it comes from idonisia like the ones you buy off the website do. http://www.footballshirt2u.com/ it is great quality, got number 8 Arteta on my one!

  74. Miles says:

    or for small ones and the away kit http://www.soccertriads.com/

  75. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha. A true story Evonne. about 20 years ago i had an important meeting at work and overslept. In a blind panic i was out of the door within 5 minutes and on to a packed tube. Legged it to the office from Holborn tube and got there just in time when people were going to the meeting. When i sat down i felt something uncomfortable on my bottom. I stood up and then it dawned on me that my trousers were the wrong way round. the only person to notice was some temp girl sitting opposite me and she was finding it hard to control her laughter. By this stage i was mortified and stricken with panic and fear. I had to give a five minute run down on budgets, luckily didnt have to stand up but my terror levels were unbearable. At the end of the meeting i could see this girl exiting the door laughing uncontrolably whilst i just sat there shell shocked. Obviously i waited for everyone to leave and then went to the little boys room and shifted my trousers the right way round. Ive never been the same after taht. hahaha

  76. RockyLives says:

    TotAl
    “making love under green spotlights” – wow, is that a Dutch thing? (you know, shagging on a snooker table)?

    Miles
    I would never have guessed you are just 17 from the quality of your writing. Very impressive. Also, you have reduced the average age of the authors on here by a good 20 years :)

  77. glic says:

    What you saying Rocky, TotAl beat Rocket Ronnies best time with a 2 minute 147 TotAl clearance !.

  78. Miles says:

    thats what I aim to do rocky!

    well if everyone is that impressed then I am currently unemployed for the summer ;) I will do anything, had some experience as an admin, tech support, even a junior clerk. just throwing it out there ;)

  79. It was 20 years ago and I`m still on the drugs and having help, but the sight of that man crashing into the meeting with a 12″ subuteo player hanging out of his rectum has scarrred me for life . I was only a Temp but it lives with me permanently.

  80. evonne says:

    Terry – you ejeet :) but don’t worry, I paraded round the office with my skirt tucked into my knickers more than once

  81. Illybongani says:

    Giroud and Podolski not yet back in training, RVP on his way, Park off too (did he ever arrive?), Chamakh useless, Vela gone, Bendtner off…anyone have a clue where the goals are coming from at the start of the season?

  82. Illybongani says:

    …maybe Arsene’s copying the Spanish 4-6-0 formation???

  83. evonne says:

    Haunted – ha ha ha ha ha, excellent response

  84. Miles says:

    Walcott up front which I want, as well as Giroud, Pod and Arteta attacking, when Rosicky is back he can score again, and the Ox, and if we please god get Cazorla, then a few goals will come

  85. Another question
    Will there be another new home shirt next year to commemorate 100 years in North London ?

  86. VCC says:

    Glic 7:26. Can I buy one please?

  87. TotAl says:

    Rocky, GLiC, Terry! :lol: :lol: :lol:

  88. TotAl says:

    Hi Illy :)

    Goals will come from everywhere, and Chamakh is only useless if you don’t appreciate what he is being used for. He will play again as a holding striker and will combine with 5 midfielders to find openings and allow others to score. I reckon Giroud will quickly become first choice lone-striker, as he is more gifted than Chamakh, but the latter will be not be a bad nr2 or nr3 in our 4-5-1 formation.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Miles a wonderful tribute to our Spanish matador.

    Like others I think he is unsung, there were many Gooners who were not seeing what he was bringing to the party. And that is everything you have mentioned.

    The most important aspect of his game is his ability to see what is required in front of him and behind him. The goal against Man City he created himself, he knew we had men back but he could also see City had opened up at the back so if he didn’t win possession we were covered but if he nicked it he knew he was in. In football choosing the right time is everything, doing it consistently is priceless.

    Compare to TV5 last minute run for goal against the barcodes = brilliant, making the same run for the whole of the first half away at Loftus Road = suicide.

    Like 26 I’d give him the captaincy, good to see some new commenters on. I’ve been away with Olympic fever.

  90. chas says:

    glic,

    I was thinking about doing something similar.
    The site below seems ok, the prices seem dead low to begin with but I’m not sure how much you’d end up paying. It was easy to upload an image etc. Their video takes you through the design and ordering steps. The design I had in mind looked a bit jagged in their preview, so I bottled out before ordering.

    http://www.clothes2order.com/

    This was my idea, to be printed on white T-shirts with the logo about 6 inches across. At least they’d be unique!

    http://twitpic.com/adz6pa

  91. chas says:
  92. Rasp says:

    Great post Miles, I have been singing Arteta’s praises all season. He was our most influential player last season and I expect him to be equally effective this season as long as he stays fit.

    Hi totAl, I know we’re never going to agree on this one, but Chamakh is supposed to be a striker (or have I missed the bit where the club said he was a midfielder). It’s purely my view but he is one of the least talented strikers ever to play for Arsenal in terms of his technique and desire to score goals

  93. richie says:

    @TotAl@4:56 I believe those 3 raised their game significantly. Enough to be classed as last seasons stand outs therefore the three musketeers (correct spelling thank you TA)

  94. TotAl says:

    Hi Rasp, lack of desire is projection on your part in my view. During the friendlies he tried hardest of all. His confidence was rock bottom at times last season, but I have never regarded him as lacking desire to score goals.

    He is indeed one of the least gifted strikers Arsenal has ever had, but if and when he is asked to play with his back towards the goal, in such a way that he allows the midfielders to get into promising/ scoring positions, he does a decent job. As a team we have scored more goals with such a tactic of a holding striker, and I reckon Giroud was bought to do exactly the same but, hopefully, better.

    As soon as Chamakh has the likes of Theo, The Pod, the Ox, Ramsey, Arteta, and hopefully Cazorla, to lay balls off to, he will proof his worth again.

    During the friendlies Chamakh made a few premium lay-offs to the likes of Gervinho and Santos, from which we should have scored.

    But who knows. Maybe we won’t go for 4-5-1 but 4-4-2 and he will get the service in the box that will play to his original strengths: scoring with his head.

  95. TotAl says:

    Hi Richie, the three musketeers is one of my favourite books, that’s why I know the spelling :P

    For me there are at least five musketeers if not six: I would add Song, Sagna and TheO.

  96. glic says:

    I like the design chas, I think that would sell very well.
    Mine would also be original and was hoping to find someone to print them if they thought they would sell and just ask for the first say 10 free and give them to fellow AAers. I might ask some of those stall holders around the ground next time I`m up.

  97. glic says:

    I haven`t forgot you VCC, I`d sell you one for nothing. :)

  98. Miles says:

    Rasp that is totally right, that is why I feel that he deserves the captaincy whether or not Rvp stays or not, he should have it striped for wanting to leave. Tv5 leads from the back anyway, but our attack is brand new now if Rvp leaves, so they need leader ship that Tv5 won’t be able to give them, but if Cazorla slots into where Arteta should be and he goes up field he can lead them. I would love to have another captains name on my Arsenal shirt, the last one i had was Henry’s name!

  99. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, whats the design?, Its not a latex vest is it? hahahaha

  100. kgooner says:

    This season is going to be fantastic. Deep squad and a super- sub RvP. With his top form last season, playing full 90mins and all through the season, this coming season, just 45mins is good enough for him to score a goal in ALL games. I am too eager to see how this season plays out. I dont’t think others appreciate exactly how these changes that Wenger is making will improve the squad. In this ectasy, i am assuming the Carzola deal will come though and RvP stays.

  101. oz gunner says:

    17!!!! bloody hell, that is impressive. It’s all been said above, great signing, he is Gilberto Silva v.2

    @ Total

    so it wasn’t after eating frinkandel’s whilst in a windmill wearing clogs?

    @ Evonne

    I hope it is a long long way away, if needed we can track down Nasri and steal his eyes for you, beware though it will leave you susceptible to glazed treats and fried foods. All the best

  102. TotAl says:

    Hi Oz :)

    You could have added ‘in a bed of tulips’ hahaha.

    Are you ok and how is the winter over there?

  103. oz gunner says:

    haha you romantic, that just reminds me of wizard of oz, with terry and glic circling above as flying monkeys.

    freezing TA, I don’t handle the cold very well. 18 degrees during the day and i work with two pairs of pants, a thermal, shirt and jacket. probably summer temps for you all over there.

    Enjoy whats left of your night, uni beckons

    afscheid van de heer TA

  104. D'Vera-Cruz says:

    really need to share this video, arteta is an artist

  105. richie says:

    Hi TA I think Sagna’s a rock! Mr Consistant who’s always there I don’t really honestly know that he raised his game last season? because I always expect him to play at a high level and I’m not often dissapointed. I understand your thinking re -Theo & Song. Its certainly true Theo raised his game but we’ve been waiting for him to do that season after season and Song’s like an 87 Margaux he’s improving with time. Its just that obviously last year was RvP’s stand out after 8. For me Koscielny was finally fully acclimatised to the prem and showed what a brilliant player he is, and lastly we have my third Musketeer D’Artetagnan. No real need to compound on his atributes for it seems we are all singing from the same sheet.
    Dumas couldn’t have written it better.

  106. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp have you forgotten Ian Allinson? :)

  107. Rupe says:

    I think the point about Arteta being a strong candidate for the captaincy is a very good one. Here’s a story I heard from someone who works at the club… When Arteta arrived, he was shocked to see the extent to which the squad tended to segregate into set groups or cliques when relaxing at the training ground, and he said something to RVP about how they had to do something about it. Adding that kind of thing to his ability to use his experience on the pitch… definite captaincy material IMO.

  108. TotAl says:

    D’Artetagnan! I like it Richie :)

    Well lets hope that all five (RvP can go and copulate himself) maintain their high standards next season and a few others raise their own game and we’ll come good. :)

  109. richie says:

    TA I agree Chamakh is limited in what he can actually bring to the table as a striker, however its hard not to feel sorry for him. Played as a No. 9 in the Smudger role he can do a job, but Arsenal as a team haven’t played that way since GG got caught with his hand in the till. How can anyone be down on him? He might not be Smudger but then A.S was the best there was playing that role. Poor Marouane does a reasonable facsimile and will score goals if he is in the right set up, but he could never be an understudy to RvP after all the team was set up to facilitate the boy wonder, which is why I can’t wait to see how we’ll set up the new strike force of Batman and the Green Hornet without Robin.

  110. TotAl says:

    Richie, I like the way we play the ball with pace into Chamakh just outside the ‘D’ and the way he lays off the ball to an attacking midfielder, who then can combine with Chamakh again, or find a through ball to whoever runs into the box. We’ll score more goals that way than trying to launch greedy guts into a scoring position. I reckon we get double figure goals from Pod, Theo and Giroud, and 5-10 goals from Arteta, Diaby, the Ox, Ramsey, Santos, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, etc. As said earlier, I reckon Giroud is the perfect allround striker for Arsenal’s 4-5-1 system.

  111. richie says:

    I couldn’t agree more about RvP! I’m not down on Arsene for the time its taking I know its out of his control, but I wish it were morning on the day of the sale. The quicker the club can earn on him and he’s gone the better, I want Arsene’s mind to be free of the bereavement so he can focus on developing our current team, I think we could be in for exciting times ahead, as soon as we burry our dead.

  112. TotAl says:

    Richie, agreed. :)

    I am off to bed now. In August we are going camping in the areas around Carpentras and Nyon. Not sure whether you have stayed in, or visited those areas whilst you lived in France, but any tips (culture, food, etc) would be very welcome. :)

  113. richie says:

    I like fast attacking one touch football. The ball played at pace up to a front man is preferable to the slow possession stuff we lapsed into, which gives premier teams so much time to set themselves in to an optimal defence patern. A front 3 of Pod on the left Theo on the right and Giroud in the centre should score goals for fun. Well here’s hoping!

  114. richie says:

    TA I’ll think on France and get back to you.

  115. TotAl says:

    Cheers Richie et une bonne nuit! :)

  116. richie says:

    Aix en Provence is one of my favorite places which if memory serves me right isn’t far from where where your headed. The food is to die for and if you’ve go transport there’s more places than you could visit in a month!

  117. richie says:

    Ha Ha Tres bonne nuit cher mon pote! :)

  118. richie says:

    @ Miles; Very good post! Age has nothing to do with it – its a damn good post!

  119. Rasp says:

    I don’t know where all this fantasizing about Chamakh has come from. He doesn’t have a great touch, super control or a single trick to beat a player. All he is can do is be a brick wall to bounce the ball back off. I would reckon that he plays the ball straight back to whoever passes to him at least 50% of the time. As for playing with his back to goal – has anyone ever seem him try to turn a defender? Diaby has more skill in his big toe than Chamakh.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Rasp,
    I’m definately camping with you on this one. The man is petrified of the big oblong thingy with the string net attached to it.

  121. oz gunner says:

    Morning all,

    I agree with you rasp, he just doesn’t suit our game whatsoever. He is/was good at getting his head on to crosses/corners but I think that was beaten out of him in the premier league. He was scoring a lot when he first game but you could see how much the game was taking a toll on his body. He was getting hit from pillar to post by bigger defenders (I could imagine big English centre halves not being impressed by losing aerial duels to foreign players), I can remember him getting hit a few times with elbows and heads. I think the physicality got to him and he went into his shell a bit (that coupled with a lack of game time left his confidence at an all time low).

    I genuinely feel sorry for him because last season you could tell when he came close to scoring the anguish/frustration on his face was getting to become too much. Sometimes it looked like he was about to cry. I do remember a few times last season he would have scored late had it not been for brilliant reflex saves.

    You can’t fault someone who tries so I could never say a bad thing about him, I just hope he finds another team so he can rebuild his career and get rid of his demons

  122. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, I struggle to see what it was about Chamakh that drew us towards him in the first place apart from the fact that he was free and he does have aerial ability so maybe it was an attempt at a plan B.

    Hi oz, well said. It’s not personal with Chamakh, I just don’t think he’s suited to the prem and I don’t want him to become the latest player we persist with that never comes good.

  123. oz gunner says:

    Surely Arsene won’t persist anymore It’s a toxic relationship for both parties, not to mention Giroud is better in all aspects. I think you are right about a plan B. Perhaps he thought Bendtner would develop quicker, he didn’t so went shopping for an alternative.

  124. LB says:

    When you consider how poor Chamakh is you realise how much hope we are placing on someone who has never played in the prem — Giroud. That is one hell of a gamble.

  125. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I think a Plan B is stupid, because what is implied is always the high ball. Bring on the big ‘un. Let’s go Wimbledon.
    Do Barca have a Plan B?
    If things are going either very well, or very badly, simply change the emphasis of play. Tactical bollocks stuff. Sit back a bit, attack more, fresh legs, someone have a bad day. That’s it.

  126. oz gunner says:

    @ Micky

    As the saying goes ‘Big men don’t get any smaller as the game wears on’, so if you bring on a plan B against tired worn out defenders and lets see who gets to the ball first, who can jump higher, or bustle harder.

    Then again I suppose it’s all the same in regards to a speedy player just with different characteristics. In saying that if a team is holding on for the win or draw they are going to close down the pitch giving no room to move, thus nullifying a players speed. You can’t really nullify a players height though.

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    I really don’t want to get doomy over Podolski or Giroud as they are done deals, and you recruited one of them :-)
    Giroud scores alot with his head which does make me take into account the crossing skills of Gerv and Theo, just when they are both getting good at the precise cut back pass :-(

  128. oz gunner says:

    If he doesn’t perform do I adopt the Arsene approach and stick by him? or do I sell him out and deny any scouting if things goes pear shaped?

    He is great with his head but I think of him more as a taller eduardo-type poacher. If he can’t use his head he will stick out a leg (either of the three), chest, armpit, whatever it takes. And we have eisfeld for the cut backs anyway!!!

  129. evonne says:

    Oz xx

    Another good goal from our Steph yesterday. Are you watching guys? If we had full equality in football, we would have Steph to score this season :) Will mixed sex teams ever happen?

  130. oz gunner says:

    Women playing sports??? when did this happen and who allowed it???

    Although samir minnelli frequents etihad stadium every now and then

  131. evonne says:

    Well Oz, some of the girls playing Brazil yesterday looked much more macho than the male counterparts. I recon men are too scared to allow girls into the game in case they become better then them, like with everything else really

  132. Highbury Moon says:

    More wiki-leaks ? The following appears on Cazorla’s Wikipedia page….

    “Cazorla represented Spain at Euro 2008 and 2012, helping the national team win both tournaments. in 2012 he signed a contract with English powerhouse Arsenal for an undisclosed figure for their 2012/2013 English Premier League (EPL) season.”

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Just popped back in the hope of finding you.
    I read your comment yesterday about your eyesight. I’m so very sorry. I couldn’t believe your: “we all have our cross the bear” comment. My God you are brave.
    Much love and a huge hug from me.

  134. evonne says:

    Micky – love you too, always xx It’s not really that bad, at my age I’ve seen it all, but there are many blind kids and that’s sad. Plus I love dogs, will just get a couple of labs next :)

  135. oz gunner says:

    I agree with Micky, you are very Brave Evonne. Made of real stern stuff.

    I disagree Evonne, the way it stands if a male got crunched in a tackle his life would be over and women everywhere would rejoice. If a male did it to a women it would cause that much of a stir he would be set upon by hoards of angry, non-bra wearing, hairy legged women. It will never happen. In junior footy when a girl played we didn’t know what to do. I remember thinking I could run straight through her only to get dropped to the ground…lesson learned (never trust a woman), I still don’t think i’ve hit puberty because of it!

  136. evonne says:

    Oz – ha ha ha ha :) You are probably right, the macho girls would get away with far more than the lady boys.

    Did you see Steph’s goal though? What’s the name of the girl that assisted, she was brilliant

  137. oz gunner says:

    Nah haven’t seen it, trying to track it down on youtube but not having much luck

  138. Bryan says:

    Arteta is a great player, that there is no doubt.
    i also don’t get the “unsung” hero & the Rosicky fallen out with fans comments but thats no big deal.
    RVP was deffinately our top player last term but Arteta was certainly one of our other outstanding players & hopefully he’ll be even better this season :-)

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