Five Arsenal predictions for the start of the new season

In ten days time, we will be licking our lips at the imminent prospect of live premier league football.

I have really enjoyed watching Arsenal in the friendly games: not the results, which are meaningless anyway, but the individual performances of our players.

It was great to see Diaby and Arteta again. The former is looking sharp and fit and the latter is still working on regaining full match fitness.

It was also good to see Gibbs and Gervinho looking really sharp and full of desire. Eis-Eis-Baby had two great cameos late on in the game, and it was no coincidence that he scored on both occasions from inside the box, by simply being at the right place at the right time, whilst remaining very cool when it mattered most. The Ox also showed he is getting close to regular first-team footie. There were plenty of other positives too. Arsene has tried a lot of our youngsters and some seem to have made very good progress over the summer.

As I am writing this, rumours are getting stronger and stronger that Santi Cazorla is joining us, and if this is true, Arsenal will have strengthened themselves with a Spanish, a German, and a French international, which will add a lot of experience, quality and attacking thrust to our team.

I also liked what I saw from Ramsey during the last two Olympic games for Team GB, as it looks like he has rediscovered some of the form he showed at the start of last season.

So, how is next season going to pan out? This is always notoriously difficult to predict and I would like to invite you to make your own predictions today, in the comment section below.

Prediction one: We’ll make a strong start.

The first five games are against Sunderland (h), Stoke (a), Liverpool (a), Southampton (h) and City (a). I like it that all the away games are not easy: it means we will be fully focussed from the start. From our last home games against Norwich and Wigan during last season we have, hopefully, also learned there are no easy teams anymore. The best thing is that Arsene has a strong squad to choose from and he is not hindered by having to qualify for the CL this time.

Prediction two: Koz will replace Sagna at the start of the season, at least in the tougher away-games.

TV is like to be named our new captain, which means he’ll automatically play if he is fit. If both Mertesacker and Koscielny are also fit, I reckon Arsene will play all three of them. They are too good to leave on the bench and by putting Koz in the RB position he makes our defence more solid (and less adventurous) and does not have to leave either Koz or the BFG on the bench. As soon as Sagna is back and all three CB’s are fit, Wenger will be left with a bit of a selection problem.

Prediction three: we will play with one striker and five midfielders, and score more goals than last season.

I predict we will play very differently compared to last season. Brave Sir Robin (great name Chas!) imminent departure means we will go back to strong domination of the midfield, with most of our goals coming from our midfielders rather than our lone striker. The lone-striker will be more of a holding striker, who often plays with his back towards the opponent’s goal. The aim for him is to hold on to the ball or bounce the ball back towards the midfield in such a way that the midfielders can move forward and create all sorts of concerns for the opponent.

This will make us less predictable and less one-dimensional and, just as we did in the first half of the 2010-2011 season, we’ll score more goals again. It also means we’ll have a lot of possession again and pass the ball round a lot, but I reckon we will be a lot more direct this season, including players being allowed to shoot more from distance (as we have witnessed during the friendly games already this summer). The midfield fire-power will include the likes of Podolski, Theo, Cazorla, the Ox, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Santos and Diaby.

From the little footage I have seen of him, Giroud looks like a very capable holding striker and Podolski would be very capable in that position too. I reckon Giroud is first choice and the Pod will start a lot in midfield this season. Chamakh will be our back-up holding striker and I would not at all be surprised if we start with the Moroccan in the first few games, as per rumours that both Giroud and Podolski will be eased into the PL.

Prediction four: We’ll leak significantly less goals compared to the start of last season.

Admittedly, it won’t be very hard to improve on last season’s goals conceded during the start of the season. But I reckon Wenger and Bould will have drilled the team on how to defend as a team, and having our key players of Koz, TV, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Song, Arteta and Szczesny all fit and raring to go is also really good for us. We need to hit the ground running as I expect the Chavs and the Northern Oilers to set the defensive tone from the start with lots of clean sheets.

Prediction five: Podolski will settle in quickest of the new signings and will be our top scorer after the first ten games.

Podolski is a great striker with a very good shots-per-goal ratio. Arsenal play the sort of football were he will be given plenty of opportunities and this combined with his hunger, professionalism and experience means he is likely to hit the ground running. It will be very quickly: Sir Brave Robin van Who?

These are my predictions for the start of the new season. But what are your predictions? Are they in line with mine or totally different? You can let us know by leaving a comment in the section below.

Cheers,

Written by TotAl

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148 Responses to Five Arsenal predictions for the start of the new season

  1. Kevin says:

    Great article
    I really hope predictions 1 and 4 (our season start and defence respectively) turn out successful more than anything else.

    Also, have you considered the face that Robin might stay? He is the best holding striker in the prem at the moment. That would strengthen us even more.

  2. Kevin says:

    fact* ^

  3. Darrell Leong Mun Cheng says:

    Top prediction: We will win the league.

  4. Ayodeji says:

    Cazorla wil b d biggest hit.

  5. Candid gunner says:

    Arsenal will make EPL even more attractive, more possessions, more goals, less leakage and ultimately, win the league. You’re so much on point!

  6. Candid gunner says:

    Nice read peachesgooner, thumbs up!

  7. Englishmik says:

    I am excited. Last season was a last minute defection and panic. This year our star hold out has seen 3 quality players already in place (to take his place) with a possibility of more to come, and the season hasn’t even begun. If Jack gets back (talk about a new signing) and we can avoid some injurys I think we have the best squad and potential in the EPL. OK Robin it wasn’t about the money only Arsenal’s ambition. Arsenals ambition have made you close to redundant. Roll up your pants its too late to save your shoes..

  8. Adrian says:

    Cazorlas signed!! It’s been confirmed.

  9. WiganGooner says:

    Cracking article as always TotAL :)

    Arsenal.com have confirmed Cazorla.

    Absolutely delighted. Ambition Mr Van Persie? We’ve got it in spades.

    WG

    P.S. Happy happy :)

  10. wazeer says:

    great article…
    All predictions are possible,
    Depend on wengers list for the match,
    it will a great season for us Gooners

  11. jnyc says:

    Fun post TOTAL, i agree kos in tough matches at rb, or moving there in a match to become more defensive. Also agree with more goal sharing with the new group, a season like rvp had last year causes some players to shy away from going for goal, though theyd never admit it.pleease gervinho – shoot! And definitlely more shots from distance. I hope that continues from preseason.

  12. bops says:

    Gervinho will go into double figures – both goals and assists.

  13. jnyc says:

    FINALLY! only one thing left to say— NEXT. ..

  14. Arsenal is going to be the best next season with the new team perhaps is going to murder,assassinate,slaughter,kill any opponent team,one can say kudos to the club.

  15. henrychan - indonesia says:

    TA / TotAl.. I agree with you for 1, 3 and 4..
    And I wonder if we really play 4-5-1.. with 5 midfielders..
    It would be very interesting..

    But I don’t agree for 2 and 5..
    Kosc is our best CB.. Not Vermaelen..
    Jenkinson, Cosquelin and Miquel must promoted to take the risk..
    Our Top Scorer will be still RvP..
    Either you like it or not.. He will stay.. hehehe.. Face it..
    With 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 formula.. No one is better and proven than RvP.. And that’s for real..

    I’m a little worry about Ox, Eisfeld and also Lansbury..
    They all very good..
    But.. with Santi and Sahin in.. Ramsey and Diaby comeback stronger.. and Rosicky + Wilshere back from injured.. And sure we have Song and Arteta.. They will be bench a lot..
    Ox is not a striker.. he can’t compete with Gervinho, Walcott, Podolski and RvP..
    Hope Wenger will find the best of ten great midfielders and mix it smoothly..

    Go Gunners..

  16. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I sent this to RvP 2 months ago via twitter.

    babe = RvP
    love = goals

    He’s staying, Arsenal will win the title. Arsene Wenger plans 2 go soon, but when he goes he will go out with a bang.

    Up the Arse!

  17. eddie lancaster says:

    Love your thoughts. I also feel that arteta wȋ̊ℓℓ be our main source of ball possession and song wȋ̊ℓℓ be made to sit back a little bit if we are to concede little to the opposition.
    Also with our formation player like santos and Sagna may find it hard to move upfront often and our main striker should be Giroud and Podolski just like Begkamp and Henry

  18. gnarleygeorge9 says:

  19. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks TA,

    Bad management
    No ambition
    Flawed policies
    Wont spend money
    Kronke, Gazidis and Wenger only it for themselves
    Crap players
    FFP wont help

    Of all those on the list, and there are many more, the bigest sin of any Arsenal fan is those who proposed the Club lack ambition. Ambition is Arsenal.

    We have had to bide our time, be paitent and sensible, and all this whilst a significant minority of our support, who know nothing about football, and the economics and politics behind it, have screamed for drastic change.

    I think we will win the league this season, but if we dont we will give it a crack the following season, and the next, and the next.People can be sure of one thing, if Arsenal fail to win major prizes in the next few years it will not be because of lack of effort or ambition.

    My prediction is this. Next season we will go close to winning the title and with a bit of luck end up as Champions. The real victory will come in two years time onwards were Arsenal will recapture the glory of its dominant era of the past.

    “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring”

  20. simpdon says:

    What a difference from the start of last year. Last year RVP had to show up for every match or we had no finishing. He was amazing especially considering that he always had two sometimes three marking him. “Robin Van Persie he scores when he wants.”

    This year we have an abundance of scoring options. It will be impossible to double anyone like everyone did RVP last year. This years song will be “Arsenal, we score when we want.”

    It’s good to be a gooner.

  21. Gus says:

    This is an actual comment I saw on le grove. I’m not attacking the individual or the website and I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion but come on! How can anyone be so pessemistic on a day like this!?

    “Poldolski giroud Walcott Arteta Ramsay Carzola Santos verm kos jenkinson Schezny

    Bench. Martinez, mert, Gibbs, diaby, gervinho, chamack, coqelin

    Assuming song and rvp are sold, and wilshere will never play again that is our probable starting squad for next season. This will probably mean we have a net spend of 0. Still the worse defence in the premier league I can’t see us succeeding. A new left back dm and striker are a must.”

  22. Bryan says:

    Total

    I like most of your predictions but the one I really hope your wrong on, is that we start Kos as right back.
    As I have said to you before I would sooner have us play Coquelin or Yennaris there than any of our CB’s out of position.

    Terry

    Sorry I dissagree with you on one of your points, as I believe Arsenal have shown lack of ambition over the last few years, selling your best players consistantly for 25M plus & not replacing them with proven quality & seeming to be happy to just qualify for a CL place is not showing ambition in my opinion.
    Fortunately this year we are starting to show some big ambition at last.

    Cazorla is a fantastic signing to add to our other 2 quality signings if we get either another defender or DM in I will be estatic :-)

  23. chas says:

    Nice post, TA and thanks for the mention (even though it wasn’t my idea).

    I love your predictions. Conceding less goals is essential for a successful season. Scoring more should be easier with our three additions.

    How many points from our first five games would constitute a strong start? 10 or more?

    I like this picture. :)

    New Arsenal signing Santi Cazorla with Mikel Arteta

    Wiki says Cazorla is 5′ 6″ and Arteta 5′ 9″ . This photo from Arsenal suggests otherwise.

    http://twitpic.com/agi3q2/full

  24. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Bryan

    Arsenals ambition is not determined on a year on year exercise. It is a strategic plan going forward over much longer periods. I have been hearing this lack of ambition stuff for the last five years and to be honest have always found it ridiculous. You work, and evryone at the club works damn hard, within your current economic and political envoirement and plan long term to a time when you can reach the top. This is what Arsenal Football club is all about.

  25. Rob Lucci says:

    Bryan,

    The only ‘best player’ that we have sold in the last few years is Cesc Fabregas.

  26. Bryan says:

    Rob, you have got to be kidding, we have been losing top players every season, starting with Viera who we never really ever replaced. Selling Nasri, like him or not for 25M, Adi, 25M but did we re invest the money …….no we didn’t because even when we panic bought last season surely we already had money to spend in the first place

  27. Bryan says:

    Terry
    I appreciate that we can not spend like the sugar daddy clubs & I like the way the club is run correctly although I am not happy with the board as I think they treat us with contempt.
    I still not understand why we are charged the highest prices in world football for our season tickets & do not really go into the transfer market the way we should (until this year)
    I can not agree with you about the ambition side, I don’t like to say it but I believe we have lacked ambition – Ashamovs letter was spot on with a lot of what he said in it & I don’t want him taking control before I have that thrown at me.

    on a lighter subject

    Chas
    I saw that pic of Cazorla & Arteta & thought that Caz must be even shorter than 5` 6″ or is Arteta standing on a box :-D

  28. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Bryan, your wrong to say that money was not reinvested, it has just ben reinvested in different ways to purchasing ready made replacements. If you dont take my word for it look at the Accounts. The difference between now and the last five years is that the Club is now at a stage were it can aquire ready made players over the age of 25 because of increased and expected future revenue gowth and potential rivals transfer activity been curtailed, either by bad planning or FFP.

    Arsenal have been planning for this coming period for the last several years and when Directors, past and present have called for paitentce and to have belief that our time will come, many have chosen not to listen.

  29. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers, Total, good post. And well done for timing it to appear on a good news day for all of us.

    I do agree with those saying Kos should be considered for RB duties only in real emergencies, with Jenks, Yennaris and Coquelin all being preferences. Kos is an epic CB, first on the teamsheet for me. And full backs need more mobility than he has.

    But while Bryan and I are on the same page on that point, I have to back up Terry on the ambition point. We’ve sold good players in the past few years because we have had to be conservative with a massive infrastructure project on the go, and then because the sugardaddy money clubs appeared. I take the view that what Wenger has achieved from 2004 to 2011 is nothing short of amazing, and better than the trophy winning years. The ambition is, as Terry said, all in the laying of foundations for us to reap benefits for years to come.

    I am however delighted to see we’re now back in a position where we can spend money and buy more mature players, as well as recruit younger players. City represent a monumental obstacle but things are on the up for us.

  30. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Bryan,

    Arsenals ambition and startegic thinking has been centered around the self sustaining model. This is not an indicator of lack of ambition it is just the parameters in which this ambition operates.

    i am not saying the Usmanov approach is right or wrong, just different.

    Ultimately ambition is demonstrated by the people within the club through the quality and effort of there work, and there is no greater work ethos than Arsenals.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Terry,

    I’m with you on Usmanov but I believe that he is unfairly maligned.
    Folks tend to put him down based only on their feelings with no factual evidence.

  32. Bryan says:

    Terry
    I am not saying that people at Arsenal do not work hard to achieve things but my view will not change & I dont think it is the biggest sin of an Arsenal fan, when we made the move to the new stadium they told us that repayment of the loan will not hinder our investment in new players which it clearly has.
    Sadly in todays world everyone wants things yesterday,
    If Arsenal are the greatest team in the world in 50 years time it is no good to me lol we need to be competing for trophys
    I will agree with 26may that Wenger has produced miracles each year that there is no doubt.
    I will not go any further with this because I see no point as I think we both have our own interpretations, but I am actually the most confident ahead of a season this year than I have been for quite a while

  33. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I agree GN5. Prima facie Usmanov just seems to be offering a different apraoch. I just feel that his ideas about rights issues and the like are not nessecary and we can, and will, in the long run be succesful with the self sustaing model.

  34. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No problem Bryan, i respect your points. Lets hope we both get we want and Arsenal win something major this season.

  35. kgooner says:

    Oh, the orgasmic prospects. Mouth watering. The best thing about this squad is that its an improvement on last season so we have all the reasons to be optimistic. The depth will help us challenge bagging two trophies. In the eventuality that RvP stays, it’ll turn out into an avengers sequel.

  36. chas says:

    One question I forgot to ask……..
    Why is there a picture of Wenger kicking a water bottle in this post?

  37. DidIt says:

    Aside from the usual fluidity and elegance, and the fact that I agree with nearly all of your post Total, you know I cannot go along with the Kos to RB bit.
    Injury to Sagna and Jenks and its off to 3-5-2 baby :-)

  38. DidIt says:

    Afternoon 26,
    “I am however delighted to see we’re now back in a position where we can spend money”…. not sure we are quite there yet. Once new sponsorship deals are in place, then yes. Let’s see how the transfer books balance come the end of the window. I believe they will, and should, balance.
    We are now in a position, thanks to the brilliant signing of Cazorla, to get the most out of our front three.

  39. Bryan says:

    well if we get really desperate, I do a really good impression of Djourou at RB, I’m bleeding awful there too :-D

  40. chas says:

    Some nice photos from Germany

    Santi

    Santi Cazorla of Arsenal

    Song

    Alex Song

    Prince Poldi

    Lukas Podolski

    Koscielny and Vermaelen :)

    Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen

  41. Bryan says:

    looks like someone just told Kos & Verm Spurs are gonna win the league next season ;-)

  42. Hi all

    Total is already on holiday and so won’t be popping in to make a comment sadly.

    chas – when I saw the pic of Arsene kicking the bottle in the post I took it that TA was feeling lighthearted about Arsene, he probably couldn’t find a pic of Arsene skipping along ‘Morcambe and Wise’ style but would have used that if he could :)

    Great news about Cazorla. Anyone else think that Brave Sir Robin might be feeling like he spoke too soon about the direction of the club – ‘yaboo sucks to you’ springs to mind :D

    I have to say that I do think that AW has been looking awfully thin recently though :(

  43. Mr DidIt – as you’re about did you have a post in mind ……..

    We’re going to need posts for this week please anyone ……………

  44. Izuchukwu Okosi, Lagos, Nigeria says:

    Whether Robin van Persie stays or goes,Arsenal need another striker WHEN Chamakh,Bendtner and Park leave. A profile DM is imperative;Gregrory van der Weil,Eslam Ramadan,a goalkeeper I won’t mention his name here(!) and perhaps a central defender WHEN Squilaci and Djorou leave

  45. DidIt says:

    Hi Peaches,
    Only saw your email an hour ago. Can you hold on to them. I need to make plans.

  46. DidIt says:

    Peaches,
    Had some thunder pinched on the post front. Will get thinking.

  47. Hi DidIt – where have you been?????

    You all have to be very nice to me because a bad back has caused me to give up my Olympic tickets for today, harumph :(

  48. DidIt says:

    Just copied/pasted the new seasons fixtures. I see the CL Final is at Wembley. Not very exotic, but handy. Nice.

  49. I knew you’d all disappear as soon as I mentioned posts :lol:

  50. chas says:

    TA would be very happy if this was posted today.
    Arsene must be feeling a bit like this at the moment.

    http://fuldans.se/?v=tpoljgeecn

  51. Well done chas, thats hilarious :) :P :D

  52. TT says:

    TA, thanks for a fine article. Hope prediction 1 comes true.

    chas, Song in goal? Wow, talk about versatility. :)

  53. Just found two posts in arsenalnuts, thank you to Herb and mjc for those :)

  54. DidIt says:

    Excellent news. Pressure off. Out from behind the curtains lads :-)

  55. weedonald says:

    Good review and hopefully things will work as predicted but there are certain things yet to be avoided If we are to see a great season from the Gunners:

    1)Avoidance of serious,long-term injuries to key personnel….last season Arteta’s injury risked our 3rd place finish.

    2)The development of a new team chemistry and spirit so that all our new and returning faces integrate effectively into the Club,on and off the field.

    3)The possibility that teams like the Totts, Newcastle, Liverpool,and Everton knock off City,united and Chelsea on a regular basis…dropped points by the ¨big¨teams gave Arsenal their chance last season.

    4)The ¨return¨ to form of Diaby, Wilshere, Ramsey, Rosicky and Gervinho, Chamakh and Walcott, thus ensuring that AFC have strength in depth.

    5)Wenger’s successful planning for his tactical and strategic lineups for each game, depending on the ¨quality¨of the team they’re playing, will be crucial,now that he has an embarrassment of riches from the bench and on the field.

    6)Last but certainly NOT least will be what officiating we get this season. This is,perhaps, among all of the above, the least manageable and controllable. Will the PGMOL send referees who refuse to award penalties for AFC at the Emirates AGAIN this season?

    Here’s to a champions year!!!

  56. Flying visit – at last Cazorla’s in…now for Sahin/M’villa.

  57. RockyLives says:

    I am over the moon (to use a classic footballing cliche) about the Cazorla signing.

    If Sahin comes too… well, it will be amazing as he is a ready-made replacement for Arteta and/or Song if either is injured, but can also play an AM role if called on.

    In the last 12 months we have signed the following experienced, mature players:
    Mertesacker
    Arteta
    Santos
    Podolski
    Giroud
    Cazorla
    Gervinho

    Plus exciting prospects like Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jenkinson.

    This is a very, very different squad to two seasons ago.

    If we can get the strong start that Total predicts, anything is possible.

  58. evonne says:

    HELP!!
    I need 2 away tickets to Liverpool, 2nd September, can anybody help?

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    TotAl fine post.

    Terry your continued positivity despite paying “the highest season ticket price in the world” is infectious and being borne out now.

    Bryan very few tickets are the most expensive in the world, a lot are very fairly priced. I had the misfortune of taking on a client who is a Spud he rattled out the old line of all that money for tickets, I told him I paid £35 and he admitted he couldn’t get in to WHL for that as an equivalent red member. I said he wouldn’t get in Chelsea for that either, his son pipes up “I got into Chelsea for £20″, I said “Carling Cup?” to which he said “yes” and I said “try a tenner”. If you pay for a season ticket it’s fine to complain if you don’t have one ask the regulars on here who do whether it’s good value.

    And Santi has come to town, I’m a bit annoyed his so small, I thought we were getting away from the jockey types :)

  60. evonne says:

    Oz – just for you :) Grabarz who has just won bronze for Team GB is of Polish parents :) I knew you’d appreciate this info! His surname means Undertaker

  61. LB says:

    Chuffed to bits about getting such a skillful player as Cazola. This is as close as it gets to the Arteta — Fabregas combo we all know should have happened.

    I also love this signing for the powerful political message it sends through out the attacking midfield squad members.

    Ramsey: you have no devine right to that attacking midfield spot.

    Rosicky: your injuries are unfortunate but we will move on — with or without you.

    Diaby: you will be given a chance but that is all you will get, no favours will be given.

    Wilshere: attacking midfield…………………….ROFL

  62. LB says:

    GIE

    Same height as Iniesta, Xavi, Mata…….as you know the list of talented Spanish attacking midfielders goes on and on

  63. LB says:

    Hot damn, only 11 days to go.

    It’s getting exciting.

  64. DidIt says:

    LB,
    Love this line: “Wilshere: attacking midfield…………………….ROFL”
    and I have absolutely no idea what ROFL means

  65. evonne says:

    DidIt – me too :) just too shy to ask :) Right or F*ing Left ?

  66. DidIt says:

    “Right, Off For Lager?”

  67. evonne says:

    Can’t be, Theo’s too posh, only drinks the bubbly

  68. DidIt says:

    Sorry Evonne,
    Can’t stop to chat. Hope you are as excited as I am over Santi.
    Back am

  69. evonne says:

    yes I am, nighty night

  70. Rolling on Floor Laughing :)

  71. evonne says:

    Peaches – is it really? Simple if you know… :)

  72. Got a 21year old son ………….. say no more :lol:

  73. chas says:

    ROFLMAO

  74. chas says:

    BOBFOC

  75. chas says:

    I haven’t got a 21 year old son, just the mind of a 14 year old.

  76. evonne says:

    Monster – naive to the point of being childish?
    my son is too old and too sophisticated for such trivia :)

  77. chas says:

    haha, definitely.

  78. BOBFOC – that’ll be you then chas :)

  79. chas says:

    Haha, I’m more like BOCFOC.

  80. 26may1989 says:

    What Zonal Marking said about Cazorla when they included him in their best XI of last season: “Possibly the signing of the season, despite the significant transfer fee. Cazorla swapped Villarreal for Malaga – and as Villarreal went from 4th to 18th, Malaga went from 11th to 4th. He’s not the only reason, of course, as Malaga have shelled out other star names, but his consistency over the course of the season has been highly commendable. He’s not particularly fast and doesn’t score many goals from open play, but his positioning and movement marks him out as one of the most intelligent players around – he’s selfless and precise with his passing, and also one of the best free-kick takers in Europe.”

    Sounds good….

    Oh and nice to see that, of the 22 players they picked as the best, we currently have three (Cazorla, Giroud and some guy called van Persie): http://www.zonalmarking.net/2012/05/30/zms-european-team-of-the-year-201112/.

  81. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB I was half joking about our little Spanish wizard, but I was beginning to think Arsene had decided to go back to his tall, strong, fast selection methods.

    A whole ago I think I wrote that I pictured Robin and Arsene’s chat with Ivan working along the lines of a two pronged attack on Ivan involving the signing of other players. If it hadnt been for that statement it could look like that’s exactly what happened.

  82. Double98 says:

    This is the strongest squad i have seen since 03/04
    While the first team may not on pap-er be as good as the invincibles the depth is astounding.
    Man City may have a deeper striker roster but nobody in world football can out depth our midfield.
    We have 10 players who would walk into say the spurs midfield, 5 who could get into chelsea even after their recent recruitments.
    Our centreback 4 are as good as anyones.

    My prediction – Lose one game all season, win the league in april and Jack Wilshire to score the winner in the CL final after tackling Nasri in the arsenal box, breaking by himself and nutmegging clichy on the half way line and lobbing hart from the tightest of angles.
    He then runs up to celebrate the goal and in the process resets Vieira’s conscience who immediatly realises the errors of hiw ways as do Marwood, Platt, Toure.

    The next day the papers start to talk about it being a day since arsenals last title and rumours of a crisis have begun.
    Darren Fletcher not surprisingly has more bottom related injuries and Alex Ferguson hands his knighthood to Arsene, who uses it to convince Carl Jenkinson that Arsenal can match his ambition.
    Which is to meet a girl.

  83. DidIt says:

    Nice reading 26.
    I was driving along last night tying to find a channel to listen to the Olympics, and on 909MV (I think) there was a football idiot presenter saying we had bough cheap and would not be top four. They then went over to their Man in Spain, who absolutely raved about Santi.
    The bit I really liked was the charcter of the man. Also said Santi had spoken to his good mate Bobby Pires .Short of the long is that he only wanted to join Arsenal despite interest from others. Sounds like Arteta, who genuinely wants to play for us.

  84. DidIt says:

    Morning G98,
    Let me guess the time zone you are in. Gin and Tonic Time? :-)

  85. DidIt says:

    We have the “IN” and “OUT” boxes at the top. Would love to see a Net Spend Total. Anyone know how much we have received for the OUT’s?

  86. VCC says:

    Morning Didit……..In,s are now sorted just want to see van Persie join the outs to Juve.

  87. Double98 says:

    Didit… This is as sobre as i get… :(

    When i am drunk i predict Henry and Bergkamp will come back and play for us and i weep uncontrollably for Freddie Ljunberg and Bobby P

  88. MickyDidIt89 says:

    D98 :-)

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    VCC,
    I think we’ve spent £38M. Will be fascinating to see what is recovered in sales to determine whether there has been a shift in policy.
    Clearly there has been a shift in the last year in terms of bringing in more experience which has to be good.

  90. LB says:

    Hot damn, only 10 days to go.

    It’s getting even more exciting.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wilshere as an attacking mid… ROFL
    I’ll see you with another ROFL :-)

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s pretend rumours are true and City are out of the running for The Brave One, leaving Utd as favourites, he must be having a few “yikes, have I done the right thing” moments.

  93. chas says:

    hehehehe, I’m sure the extra 50k a week will soften the blow.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really do believe he is after trophies not cash, but either way, everything was very cosy and cuddly with Arsene, now he’s got to go and work with those northern yobs Wayne and Ferguson, and what’s more, they will win nothing.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have a great conspiracy theory.
    The Board say: “Okedoke Arsene, here’s £38m. You spend it, what with season ticket sales, restless natives and what not, but you promise to flog off a few later and give us our money back. Ok?”
    Arsene: “Sure”….rofl, rofl

  96. chas says:

    Micky,

    Why go to a team that won feck all last season, then?

    Do you think we have to sell to balance the books by any chance?…..ROFL.

  97. evonne says:

    ROFL :) :)

  98. evonne says:

    Peaches – got the tickets, going to Anfield!

  99. chas says:

    How? they don’t go on sale until 10am today?

  100. chas says:

    Unless you’re sitting with the enemy, of course.

  101. chas says:

    Here’s a tattoo for the pair of you. :)

  102. evonne says:

    yes Chas, i’m at the other end :(
    It is my almost ex’s 50th birthday and it would be mean to sit him with the Gunners AGAIN. He’s never been to Anfield, but went to Highbury and Ems with me many times.

  103. evonne says:

    is it your freckly arm????!!!! OMG, that’s awsome

  104. chas says:

    Nah, not my arm.
    It’s a bit too visible for me, but lovely nonetheless.
    For me, visible when wearing a vest, yes; visible when wearing short sleeves, no.

  105. evonne says:

    double standards :)
    Are you going to Anfield? we could meet up before the game?

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    I think he was hoping for better than Utd…ROFL.
    ps
    I promise to stop ROFL’ing. Trouble is, you say it three times out loud and it does make you smile. I’m slow to the party I know, but for a long time I thought people LOL’ing each other were just being a bit lovey. Lots Of Loving each other.

  107. chas says:

    Micky,

    Do you really believe Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla have been bought to boost season ticket sales and placate “restless natives”?

    Podolski was signed before the season ticket deadline.
    Giroud was signed partly so that Brave Sir Robin didn’t have us by the short and curlies as the FFBW did.
    And finally, we were after Cazorla last summer but were outbid by a sheikh.

  108. chas says:

    Doesn’t Wenger have a plan of who he would like to sign each transfer window or does he just react to grumpy internet fans and the national press?

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No, no and thrice no, Chas.
    It was a comedy conspiracy theory. I do still think we may need to sell one or two, but we shall see.

  110. chas says:

    I keep seeing bloggers on other sites wanting to take credit for Arsenal’s recent signings, saying that it was only their constant criticism which brought about the situation. Makes me feel a bit sick.

    To me, that’s like saying the booing at half time in the Villa cup game when we were 2-0 down caused the fightback for us to win 3-2.

  111. chas says:

    Ah, a comedy conspiracy theory. ROFLMAO :)

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Stay away from Legrove is my advice, Chas.
    I bloody well hope they don’t start coming to games again, and even worse, turning up to The Tavern :-(

  113. chas says:

    Evonne,
    I persuaded Ant to go to Stoke on the 26th August. I doubt he’d be able to go three weekends on the trot to include Liverpool as well.

    Though I notice there is a gap after the dippers and before Soton at home. :)
    (Must be a bloody England international)

  114. chas says:

    I doubt I’d be able to get a ticket either.
    I’d imagine they’ll sell out to 10+ away credits.
    Annoyingly my ticket has 9 whereas Ant’s has 11.

  115. evonne says:

    Chas :( I’ve not been to Liverpool yet, bloody long journey. Let’s hope we win so going home is going to be a breeze

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I cannot make Sunderland, and next home game is in 2018 (or something) :-(

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    You are going with your Ex? Wow, very mature :-)

  118. chas says:

    The Stoke tickets have gone on general sale. Mind you as GIE says, at £40 a pop, it’s for masochists only.

  119. evonne says:

    Micky – well yes, he is my best friend and it’s his 50th birthday.

  120. chas says:

    I’ve never been to Liverpool or Everton, Evonne.

    Where on Earth would you park your car? :)

  121. chas says:

    Cradle-snatcher.

  122. evonne says:

    oi, monster! behave!
    no idea how we’ll get there; trains are very expensive, planes even worse, too long on the bus, have to drive…grrrrhhh. Maybe he’ll pay for the train? :)

  123. chas says:

    You’ll be fine. I was only kidding.

  124. Morning all

    Must be close to footie time as the early club are about ;)

    What must the brave one be thinking?????? Surely he doesn’t want to go to work with Fergie???????????????

    evonne – did you mortgage your house for those Anfield tickets?

  125. kelsey – I saw you were about the other day, hope you are well ;)

  126. chas says:

    peaches,
    The early club are usually about.
    You’d know that if you weren’t out shifting 14 tons of topsoil.

  127. chas says:

    peaches,
    He wants to follow in Frank Stapleton’s footsteps.

  128. True chas, very true …………… I’m only about today because I’ve injured my back :(

  129. Whatever he wanted he’s an idiot for opening his mouth …….. soon we’ll be hearing it was his statement that forced the clubs arm as if ROFL

  130. chas says:

    I know I saw that you had to give up your Olympic tickets. Sorry for mentioning the topsoil.

  131. LB – thank you for ……… ROFL :)

  132. chas says:

    peaches,
    I’ve seen his ‘statement of love’ being given that credit already.

  133. Topsoil pah ……………. got 3 tons of rootzone left to spread and 85 sq metres of turf to get down today ……. not personally you understand :)

  134. chas says:

    peaches,
    Isn’t it ‘force the clubs hand’ rather than arm? :)

  135. Arm ………….. hand all the same to me :)

  136. New Post ……………………

  137. Twisted arm ………….. strong arm tactics ………………..

  138. chas says:

    I might volunteer to do the Stoke match report if you twist my hand. :)

  139. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chas,

    If you’re going to Anfield the safest place to park is Sainsburys in Sunbury-on-Thames.

  140. Oguntuase Amos says:

    It is quite embarrassing that some self confessed Arsenal supporters lack analytical brains. How on earth can a club that has not failed to qualify for champion league or failed to make the top four in the EPL for the past fifteen years be described as lacking ambition just because the club refused to steal money or allowed thieves to invest their stolen wealth in the club so that it can buy players at outrageous prices? Are these their description of lack of ambition? This is very ridiculous. What then will you say of the likes of Liverpool, Tothenham, Newcastle etc. Does it also mean that the extravagant spending of questionable wealth to buy a trophy that City had not tasted for forty and above years has immediately transformed them to a club with ambition? What then is the value of consistency, consolidation of infrastructures and building of enduring structure over the years? Is it that this same Wenger has not won trophies in the past or is not capable of winning it in the very near future.? Is laying a solid structure for a very stable future not better than looking for dubious donors and floating stocks in questionable stock markets not better rather irrespectictive of your trophy collections? What is the relevance of the many collections of trophies by Glasgow Rangers now that they have been liquidated and have to reform and start at 4th tier league? Portsmouth won the FA league but where is the club now? Malaga that wanted to show that it had ambition is now facing the reality. Milan is now looking for investors to prevent its going into liquidation? Arsenal has ambition and has always showed that it has ambition. The other name of Arsenal is ambition but an ambition pursued in normal, systematic and ethical dimensions and not through dubious and questionable shortcuts and interim solutions. Arsenal has provided an enduring platform for a progressive ambition for many years to come. I would suggest that supporters that are not satisfied with the direction the club is going can change allegiance. Stop insulting the sensibilities of loyal gooners any longer.

  141. Jonah says:

    -Cactus Cooler – Take a break from the excitement to kick back and float this 1,200 foot lazy river.
    If you are in the water, you need keep jumping so that you wont freeze.
    Some could be considered samples while others more like trinkets.

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