Let’s get down to the important business ……….

So the Champions’ League 2012-13 is upon us. Here’s a bit of info and ill-informed thought on our oppo this time around.

Schalke 04

Stadium: Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen (61,000 capacity). Has a retractable roof.

Manager: Huub Stevens (Dutch, appointed in September 2011)

2011-12 performance: 3rd, but 17 points behind champions Dortmund. Lost 10 games and conceded 44 goals.

The players: Their most significant players are probably Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (“the best box player in the world at the moment” said his manager in April), Jefferson Farfan (good quality right winger) and Christoph Metzelder (experienced though slow defender). The loss of Raúl to Qatari football will be a big loss – he had two excellent years at Schalke, and worked very well with Huntelaar. But the dangerman remains Huntelaar, as confirmed by 48 goals scored in 47 games last season. Control him and we’ll be a long way to dealing with Schalke.

The fans: Club has 100,000 members. Recently departed Raúl said “In each game, how they [the Schalke fans] live for the club, it’s almost like a religion if you want to put it that way. This is really wonderful.” And having gone there in 2001 when we lost 3-1, I can confirm it is a great place to watch football, there is a real passion for football and for their club.

Olympiacos

Stadium: Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus (32,000 capacity).

Manager: Leonardo Jardim (Portuguese)

2011-12 performance: Olympiacos are the reigning champions and are Greece’s most successful club; they have won 14 of the last 16 league titles. (Being a fan of their bitter rivals, Panathinaikos, must be even more annoying than being a Spurs fan.) Last season, they conceded only 17 goals, so they may be pretty effective at the back.

The players: This is a team of veterans. There will be at least one familiar face, in the form of Roy Carroll. The loss of the Greek Super League’s leading scorer, Kevin Mirallas, to Everton will hit Olympiacos hard. But they will look to Rafik Djebbor and experienced Marko Pantelic to make up the difference. Ariel Ibagaza, David Fuster, and Djamel Abdoun will be the principal creative forces.

The fans: They will be intense, as we know all fans from south-eastern Europe are. Their rivalry with Panathinaikos is called the “derby of the eternal enemies”. The derby in February was abandoned due to rioting, which included throwing firebombs and resulted in multiple injuries being suffered by police officers.

Montpellier Hérault SC

Stadium: Stade de la Mosson (capacity 33,000)

Manager: René Girard (French)

2011-12 performance: For the first time, Montpellier were crowned French champions.

Given that they started the season simply wanting to avoid relegation and they were competing with PSG’s money and the experience of Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille and Lille, that is deeply impressive. They had only finished in the top three once before, more than 20 years ago. They’ve had some great players in the past, like Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona and Carlos Valderrama, but winning the French title was a genuine shock. Their win was based on excellent home form (they won 16 out of 19 home games). Here’s what Girard said on seeing his players become champions: “It just goes to show that everyone can beat everyone and that money isn’t the be-all and end-all. We’re a club of mates, a club that brings young players through and gives them a chance. At the end of the day, it’s worked out well for us. We played some great football, with a well-balanced team and I’m overwhelmed.” Donchya love it?!

The players: The squad is based on youth, nurtured in-house and recruited from elsewhere – sound familiar? Losing Olivier Giroud to us will hurt, he was joint top scorer in Ligue 1 last year. But they have a bright young creative talent in the form of Younès Belhanda, and will be looking to him to weigh in with goals and assists. His manager has likened Belhanda to Robert Pirès. High praise indeed. They also have former Pompey striker, John Utaka. In defence, Henri Bedimo and (if we, Milan or someone else haven’t signed him) Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will provide a tough shield to get past.

The fans: After last season, they’ll be euphoric. Beyond that, I can’t say much, but coming from a university town in a pretty part of France, I’m sure they’ll be charming.

*************

So overall, we’d have to say the draw has been pretty kind to us this year. It won’t be completely straightforward (Olympiacos did beat us last year, for example). But this is a group we should feel we can cope with, and enjoy.

Written by 26may1989

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406 Responses to Let’s get down to the important business ……….

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very impressive and informative 26. Thank you.
    Really big “thank you”, in fact, as I can now confess to have been moments away from answering the Peaches call-up. Thank goodness a bright and bushy tailed football expert stepped up. I was about to give anticipated weather conditions and the likely quality of pre-match nibbles for each venue. Phew!

  2. rhyle says:

    Comment lost in the ether…

    Morning all…great summary of our CL challenge, 26.

    Think Schalke will be a bigger test than many have it down on paper (especially away) but you’ve got to fancy us to top the group.

    I’m making a pledge today…”I promise not to lose the plot, make any judgements or shout and scream on TDD until 23.01…at which point, if we’ve made no signings…I’ll probably go MENTAL”.

    Have a good day, AA’ers…may it be littered with top, top, top quality signings…

  3. oz gunner says:

    cheers for that 26, really great informative round up of our champions league opponents. As far as I’m concerned it’ll just be business as usual for us. Few early wins in the group stages, followed by tight games as we rest players. I’m still laughing at man city’s group though. Come on real, ajax, and BR

  4. chas says:

    Superb, 26.
    Much, much better than I could have done.

    I quite fancy a trip to the Veltins Arena. Any idea where the away fans are seated?

    Is that Freddie Ljungberg gone to seed in the Montpelier photo?

  5. chas says:

    Micky,
    I’d still like a run-down of the pre-match nibbles if you have the time. :)

  6. Big Raddy says:

    26. Thanks. I am envious of your Schalke experience.Looks a fine stadium and definitely worth a visit.

    Our group has two national champions and 2 teams who finished third. We must be favourites but I have a feeling it will be a tight group and possibly go down to the final game.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Freddie ….. :-D

  8. chas says:

    BR, everyone thought we had a tough group and the mancs had an easy group last year. :)
    None of them are easy.
    I really hope it doesn’t go down to Olympiacos away.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Loving this already:
    “Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta’s agent has claimed that the Italy international has turned down a move to Championship side Watford”
    Turning down a move to The Hornets! Is the man insane?

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Can I double ROLF BR’s “Freddie” :-)

  11. Red Arse says:

    Thanks for getting me up to date with the oppo.

    Now what have you got to tell me about today’s transfers.

    Have we bought anyone? No? Bloody hell and only a few hours to go😜

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Nice summary 26, for me it’s a good group for us to progress from. Failure to do so will set some alarm bells ringing.

    NikB in Turin but apparently it’s another loan deal.

  13. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    i think i’ll cry if we don’t get anyone! I’m hoping for a late minute swoop for M’Vila (it’s only fair being on the winning end of a whole window saga for once)

  14. kgooner says:

    Schalke were pretty good against Bilbao in their Europa semis. Of course they had Raul then but still, descent opponents.

    ION, this transfer window is depressing : (

  15. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz,

    I don’t think it will be M’Vila.

    Once Arsene goes off someone, especially regarding their character, he does not change his mind.

    AW was very light hearted and jocular at the press conference, rather than showing his normal transfer window furrowed brow, and I think that is because he is relaxed and not sweating on buying anyone.

  16. Total says:

    Great, fun post 26! :)

    I agree with Chas’ last sentence @10.07. Olympiacos away is most likely to be our hardest match and hopefully we are sorted by then.

    I love the Montpellier background stuff. Simply a wonderful story. Imagine a team like Norwich or Swansea winning the league in the UK?

    A little bit more background on Schalke and their manager Stevens:

    Schalke, like Dortmund, is another Ruhrgebiet team where football is very, very popular. Apparently, when Dortmund had to play Bayern at the end of last season, the former received over 450,000 ticket requests for the game. Absolutely amazing. I have also heard that most season tickets are very affordable and the team is known as the people’s club. Your Raul quote sums it up nicely.

    I know Huub Stevens very well. He started off his managerial career in the early nineties with being in charge for my boyhood team Roda JC. He totally transformed Roda’s football with strong midfield possession and pressure tactics and they were unlucky not to become Dutch champions in 1995. Roda finished just behind Ajax, who under LvGaal won everything that year. Roda collected more points that year than previous years Dutch league-winning teams.

    After Roda Stevens went to Schalke for his first (six years) spell at the club. He won the UEFA cup and a couple of German cups with them. After that he managed a number of German and Dutch teams whilst looking after his wife who became quite ill, which sat him back quite a bit professionally. He is now back at Schalke and I reckon they will do well this season in Germany and Europe, mainly because of Stevens excellent management skills. Internationally, he is a bit of an unsung hero, but he is one of the best managers I have come across.

    12 more hours and the fecking TW is shut and we can finally rest and solely focus on our football. Hopefully it all ends in a positive with a few necessary departures and one or two additions.

  17. Arsene wenger is a big headed fool,all he knows how to do is sell quality and good players and buy some ass hole,instead of him buying more experience player to strenghten d squad,but let see wat the bitch is planing for the few hours left before d transfer window for dis year closes till january,i love my club arsenal,love u fans,gunners for life ?

  18. Total says:

    ‘instead of him buying more experience player to strengthen d squad’ – are you for real?

  19. rhyle says:

    Just seen Harry Redknapp in my local newsagent – weird – he’d bought the Sun, sold it back to the Newsagent for half the price he bought it then bought it back AGAIN for three times the original price…he then walks out of the newsagent, sparks up a fat la-dee-dah and starts telling strangers walking past what a top, top, top paper the Sun is while laughing maniacally.

    It’s been a strange day all in all…

  20. 26may1989 says:

    Morning everyone, and thank you for kind comments. And Total, excellent additional info – I thought you might pop up with some more inside Dutch info, but that’s excellent stuff.

    Looking at the way the fixtures have fallen, probably the only tough bit is that our away game vs Schalke is three days after our visit to Old Trafford. That won’t be much fun but the rest of them don’t look too bad.

    Chas, re away fans at the Schalke ground, I think the photo Peaches/Rasp have put up may be taken from the away section or near it – I remember being in a corner section, a bit lower down than that. And re the Freddie lookalike in the Montpellier photo, that’s the club President – PHW with dyed hair anyone???

    Today and transfers? To be honest, I’m not expecting much beyond completion of various outward loans. I’d like to think we’d go for Yanga-Mbiwa, Cabaye and Dempsey but I’d be very surprised if any of those happened. We shall see.

  21. 26may1989 says:

    Blimey, Alessandro del Piero has signed for Sydney FC.

  22. oz gunner says:

    dat guy is crazi. wat bout da experienced playas he bought ova da last 2 yrs?

    (hold on, whats that you say? He speaks better English then me!)

  23. oz gunner says:

    I think Cabaye would be a luxury signing, and Arsene makes the profits. I could never see him paying a large fee for a player who has been Wenger’d (definition: picked up for cheap and sold for a large tidy profit).

    We already have players in the team who are far superior than him. He’s a poor mans Arteta or Jack. Not to mention if Diaby gets a good run going he keeps Cabaye out of the French team

  24. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks 26, personaly i dont want any more players in this window. The squad we have is good enough to have a crack at the league and Champions League. If we can keep our players fresh whilst mounting a chalange on both fronts, then we have a great chance.

    Oli Banjo, are you that guy from Deliverence who plays such a sweet tune, or that other one “Hes sure got a pretty mouth aint ee”

  25. Just popping in …… quick update anyone????? What’s happened ……. anything??????

  26. rhyle says:

    Nope…nothing to see here, Peaches…signed a 17 year old goalie and let 2 players go (Park, Bendtner confirmed) but that’s it…

  27. Need another striker then ….. what about Chamakh?? Is he packing his bags yet???

  28. Rasp says:

    I’ll pack them for him :roll:

  29. Aha there you are, I’ve just texted you :lol:

  30. Rasp says:

    Been on a bike ride, shame we’ve still got Chamakh, Squidgy and Arsh, but there’s still time ….. :(

  31. I’m sure someone else must have already remarked on this but if Nik’s move to Juve was a dream come true what about Richard Wright’s move to City – he must be floating!!!!!!

    That has to be the most bizarre move of this whole transfer window hahaha City just love ex-Arsenal players don’t they ;)

  32. Now Rasp, no sad faces please, it’s a gorgeous day and you’ve been on a bike ride :)

  33. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rasp, ime driving him to the airport as we speak. He says hello, but more importantly goodbye.

  34. Why isn’t Squidgy a free man, surely we only signed him for two years????

  35. Making lunch ………

  36. Total says:

    What’s cooking Peachy?!

    Oz, very funny @12.00 :)

  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just heard Birmingham pay Zigic £50k a week, we really need to reassess what we think is a lot of money when looking at our squad players

  38. GunnerN5 says:

    So gfar Arsenal have not confirmed NB’s loan to Juventus.

  39. rhyle says:

    Anyone got any plans for the weekend? Had any good news? jokes? Riddles? Scary stories? Something to take my mind off of the nothing…lol…

  40. Red Arse says:

    Ohhhh, dear!

    A lot of long faces on here tomorrow!! :-(

    But, seriously, we really do not need anyone else.

    Up Front:
    Gerv, Poldi, Giro, Theo. — (Any 2 from 4)

    Midfield:
    Arshavin (?), Cazza, Rambo, Arteteteta, Diaby, Eisfeld, Rosiky, Oxo, L’il Jack, Coquelin, Frimpong. — (Any 3 from 11)

    Defence:
    Mert, TV, Kozzer, Djourou, Gibbs, Cpl Jenks, Santos, Sagna, Miguel. — (Any 5 from 9).

    Keepers:
    Chezzer, Flappy, Man One, Martinez — (1 from 4)

    In Total:

    Arsene can pick a first team of 11 from 28.
    That seems pretty good cover to me.

    It would be nice to have another versatile DM/CB but in a way that is being greedy. :-)

    Whatever happens — keep smiling! :-)

  41. Red Arse says:

    ryhle,

    Just for you, to ease the tension, but don’t let Peaches’s mum know!

    Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and Elton John were walking over a bridge.

    Kylie tripped and got her head jammed between the railings.
    Without a moments hesitation, Robbie pulled aside her G-String, and bonked her!

    He then stood back and said to Elton, “Your turn!”

    Elton immediately burst into tears.

    “What’s up?” asked Robbie.

    Elton sobbing said, “My head won’t fit through the railings!”

  42. RockyLives says:

    Thanks 26 – when you volunteered late yesterday to do a Post about our ECL Group I was expecting a few paragraphs to kick start some conversation.

    But that’s a really, really good, enjoyable and informative breakdown of our three opponents. Well played Sir!

  43. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    In you optimistic run-through of our options you omitted a certain Mr Chamakh.

    I have a wager with Mr Rapser that if the Chamster does not leave he will bag a double figure goal tally for us this season. A whole Peroni is resting on the outcome!

  44. 26may1989 says:

    GN5, no announcement yet re Bendy but the Guardian do have a photo of him arriving at a clinic in Turin.

    Red Arse, you’re probably right, though I’d give honourable mentions to Yennaris, Gnabry and Aneke as well. All of that said, I’d feel a bit better if we had one more attacking option in there.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Gracias, Senor Rock.

  46. RockyLives says:

    If we don’t sing anyone else, I will be mildly disappointed but not all that bothered.

    The only thing that bothers me is the parade of depressives who will start commenting on here to tell us how we’re all doomed, the Board only want to line their own pockets etc etc.

    What price we hear from GhostFace late if we sign no-one?

  47. RockyLives says:

    *sign
    …although singing would be easier.
    If Arsene just burst into a few verses (to the tune of O Sole Mio/Just One Cornetto) of “Oh Lionel Messi, Give him to me…” then we could put up a headline on Newsnow saying “Wenger sings Messi”. It would get a million hits :)

  48. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    26 doesn’t do things half arsed. I don’t listen to either of you (TA and GiE included) when it comes to these ‘quick’ posts. If they are rushed and quick what hope do the rest of us bloody have!!!!

    @ RA

    With afobe and campbell out on loan as well surely someone with some premier league experience will come in. I mean it’s 2 new ones plus two wingers with not much striker experience. Dempsey would fit the bill i’d imagine, or something of that nature.

  49. rhyle says:

    Redders :thumbs up: sir!

  50. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky Feller, :-) 26, :-)

    You are both right!

    RF how could I have possibly overlooked Chamahk?

    In fact, you will have set the mighty 26er’s mind to rest in his desire for another attacking option.

    Problem solved!! :-)

  51. Adrian says:

    Hopefully we’ll sign at least one more player before the deadline, if it was up to me preferably a center forward :)

  52. RockyLives says:

    Adrian
    It seems very quite from the “buying” side at the moment, despite bits and pieces of rumours (Essien, Fellaini). But it wouldn’t completely surprise me for AW to pull a big rabbit out of the hat before 11pm.

    I must admit, whatever happens it will be a relief to know that our squad is our squad and we can just get on to concerning ourselves with playing football.

  53. RockyLives says:

    *Aaaagh! “quiet” not “quite”.

    Bad typinsons today!

  54. GunnerN5 says:

    26M,

    Bendtner failed his medical – his tongue wouldn’t stop wagging.

  55. Red Arse says:

    Adrian,

    If I was a gambling man, rather than a gambolling man, I would stop jumping around like a flea on a hot griddle, and bet that we will not get another forward.

    If I was allowed to choose a new player, {price etc being a consideration} I would go for N’Zonzi. An excellent player who is tall, strong, skillful and tough, and going for a Song. :-)

    I hope you liked my play on words — not mis-spellings Oz!! :-)

  56. 26may1989 says:

    Marouane Chamakh, yes, that definitely puts my mind at rest……

    In the weeks before we signed Chamakh, when I was on holiday in France, I schlepped over to Bordeaux to watch this exciting new talent we were about to nab from the then French champions. And in what was one of his last games for them, I thought he looked great. What a pity…..

  57. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    With Bendy’s history are you sure it was his tongue?

    Then again ………………

  58. 26may1989 says:

    “If I was a gambling man, rather than a gambolling man” – love it! :)

  59. oz gunner says:

    haha brilliant RA

    I hope there are a few surprises when I wake.

    I must go, I’m reading a book on anti-gravity.
    It’s impossible to put down!

  60. RockyLives says:

    Oz – Haha – love the anti-gravity gag.

    There was a tweet from Arsenal Gent yesterday that said: “I’m hearing Higgs-Boson to Arsenal. Not a lot of weight to it at the moment though.”

  61. Total says:

    Ooh dear somebody had to mention Chamakh; the ultimate cyber red rag for the Rasper :D

  62. Red Arse says:

    Thanks for that Oz, the book must be very uplifting! :-)

  63. Bryan says:

    Basically players signed cost 40M & players sold 40M, so us making another signing is even less lightly because heaven forbid we would be down in transfer dealing for the first time since the world began ;-)

  64. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    Higgs Boson is a very elusive character, he has never been seen — a bit like Park! :-)

  65. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Park has gone out on season long loan.

  66. Rasp says:

    From goal.com (they never lie :roll: ) “Arsenal striker Chamakh targeted by Besiktas” … I hope their aim is good, I don’t mind painting the cross hairs on his forehead!

  67. Norfolk Gooner says:

    He’s gone to Celta Vigo.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    You just want him gone so you don’t have to pay up on the Peroni front!

  69. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Park, that is not Chamakh.

  70. Bryan says:

    with cross hairs & chamakh in the same sentence, your bound to miss :-D

  71. Red Arse says:

    Bryan,

    Are you saying the Rasper is cross eyed, and unable to hit the cross hairs on a rather cross chammer?

  72. Bryan says:

    Maybe lol I know I’m going cross eyed scouring the net to see if we are going to buy someone

  73. Rasp says:

    Haha Rocky, you were never going to win that bet. Do you know his full name is Marouanne Kudnahitta Cowsarse Withabanjo Chamakh

  74. Rasp says:

    I hate to say it, but there could be some truth in the Michael Essien stories

  75. goonermichael says:

    The “outs” list is getting longer

  76. Red Arse says:

    I have popped in and out a bit today – the clinic, Glic, in case you are reading this – :-) , to have a look at Sky Sports, and over the afternoon they seem to have looped into repeating themselves over and over again.

    That may be psychological as I cannot give a stuff about other clubs transfer moves! :-)

  77. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp,

    “Marouanne Kudnahitta Cowsarse Withabanjo Chamakh”, Priceless! why didn’t we know that when we signed him?

  78. Red Arse says:

    Rasper,

    I think you are confusing him with his cousin; Mary Anne Ilooklike Acowsarse!

    It’s those droppy eyelashes! :-)

  79. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Still don’t think there’s anything in the Essien rumour, as soon as he has settled in, he’d be off to the ACN. Even so, he could certainly do a job for us, but wages may be a problem unless the chavs are going to pay them.

  80. Red Arse says:

    droppy = droopy, whatever ………….

    anyway they are luscious, languid, long, tickle your whatnot eyelashes

  81. Rasp says:

    Does anyone know when Frimpong will be fit to play again?

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Only 345 minutes left to make a deal!

  83. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp,

    Just in time to go to the ACN!

  84. Rasp says:

    Bloody hell NG, I’d forgotten he had opted to pay for Ghana, he could never have deputised for Song any way.

  85. RockyLives says:

    Rasp – Chamakh :)

  86. Rasp says:

    Pool, the bookies and the pundits are all pretty cock sure that they’re going to turn us over on Sunday.

    Time for the pod and Giroud to find the back of the net. The only thing that worries me is that Sahin will make his debut – it was worth getting him just to prevent him going to pool…… hope I’m wrong.

  87. Red Arse says:

    Just to distract those of you who are chewing your fingers to the knuckle — I read in the london Evening Standard, earlier in the week, about the trading of 20 Arsenal shares for £17,000 each.

    That is a fantastic price to pay, valuing the club at approx £1 billion pound. £1,000,000,000. (Need GIE to confirm) :-)

    Oddly enough, Usmanov has said it was not him doing the buying, and I tend to believe him.

    Why? Well last year he was going crackers trying to make his 29% shareholding reach 30% by paying ‘silly money’ for additional shares.
    That would have given him access to the club’s confidential management accounts and documentation, but those naughty Premier League managers decided to change that rule whic meant he would not get access, even at 30%. (Kroenke had nothing to do with that — of course).

    Therefore, there would be nothing for Usmanov to gain fro buying more shares.

    That leaves the intriguing question — who would?
    Certainly not Kroenke, any more than Usmanov, but maybe there is another predator out there, and at those prices, Kroenke would make a phantasmagorical profit (close to doubling his stake) on his original investment and might sell!! :-)

    Probably bollix, but it does draw the limited facts together – don’t you think? :-)

  88. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Right! It’s starting to get dark up here in wildest Norfolk, time to crack open a nice bottle of Bordeaux.

    I shall look in again before bedybyes.

  89. Total says:

    Chamakh 29 Chamakh 29 Chamakh 29 Chamakh 29 Chamakh 29

  90. Red Arse says:

    Juventus confirm Bendy has been bought!

  91. Rasp says:

    RA, it’s being reported that he’s signed a one year loan deal with an option to buy at the end.

  92. 26may1989 says:

    RA, given the appreciation of AFC share price over the past few years, and the possibility of a contested takeover which would further drive up the price, buying the shares could be viewed as a sound investment in its own right.

    Rasp, I am really looking forward to Sunday’s game – the press, as they always do, are in love with the latest new manager at Anfield, and are giving him an easy time despite his having garnered just one point. If they want to write us off (yet again), fine. With a more open game than we’ve had in our first two games, I think we could see something very interesting on Sunday. But then I’m always the optimist….

  93. Rasp says:

    Thanks 26m, I’m inclined to agree and feel positive that when we finally get to play a team whose sole aim isn’t to stop us, we’ll see just how the new players are gelling.

    I’m hoping we’ll get the ball forward through the midfield more quickly and that Theo plays and rips them apart :P

    It’s the sort of game where you can anticipate some very tired legs after 70 minutes so hopefully their game yesterday will have taken its toll.

  94. Red Arse says:

    Two engineering students were biking across a university campus in Colorado, when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?”

    The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, “Take what you want.”

    The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit you anyway.”

    Come on GN5, I need some joke support here! :-)

  95. Red Arse says:

    Gooner fans are clearly split into two camps, the glum types and the optimistic types when discussing matters Arsenal.

    Here is a philosophical look at the situation.

    To the optimist, the glass is half-full.
    To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty.
    To the bloody lawyers, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    OK — so I have tweaked the joke to amuse myself!! :-)

  96. rhyle says:

    Watching Ian Dowie trying to piece together a sentence is like watching a dog try to catch it’s tail. Quite funny at times but ultimately painful…

  97. Red Arse says:

    Relax, guys, the transfers will happen or they won’t.

    We have a wide spread fan base on here and each type seems to deal with things in a predictable way. Look!

    The graduates on here with a science degree ask, “Why do we do that?”
    The graduates with an engineering degree ask, “How do we do that?”
    The graduates with an accounting degree ask, “How much will it cost?”
    The graduates with an arts degree ask, “Do you want fries with that?”

    Ring any bells? :-)

  98. 26may1989 says:

    And an accountant wants to know why you’re wasting money on a glass that’s obviously too large.

    Laters everyone.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Signed anyone?

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cripes, just zoomed through comments, and I guess the answer is no. Not yet, I hope. Surely, an injury to Arteta, and we’re in trouble.
    Nic gone? Essien? Really?
    We need that DM.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Hold hard young man.

    If no-one is signed we still have a great squad.

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Most worrying comment of the day goes to 26:
    “no announcement yet re Bendy but the Guardian do have a photo of him arriving at a clinic in Turin”
    Dirty Sod!

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    We went to pieces without Arteta, and that was with Song. We need an experienced DM. I don’t think Coq or Frimpong are ready to take on City/Chelsea/CL etc

  104. Adrian says:

    What do any of you think about getting Benayoun on loan again? IMO that would be great, but it seems Pool are interested too..

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really like our signings to date, but if we end the window with a net £’s transfer surplus and no DM, I will be very pissed off.
    Still think we will sign an experienced one yet :-)

  106. Adrian says:

    Well if a center forward isn’t brought in, my second choice would be a DM like Micky said. Though tbh it seems unlikely that anyone will be brought in unless they are on loan.

  107. Big Raddy says:

    I would like a DM as well but think we would cope without. Once JW returns and with Coquelin a year older and more experienced plus Diaby and Santos vying for a place, we will do better than last year should Arteta get injured

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cope!! Another yikes, particlarly when you mention Diaby and Jack.
    DM needed.
    Adrian,
    Much as I like Benny, we have saved money on wages and have a kitty surplus and I’d like that all on one quality defensive midfielder.

  109. rhyle says:

    All I’m saying is that, if it’s the same at 23.01 as it is now…Jack better be ready to hit the ground running when he comes back…

    No pressure… :-D

  110. goonermichael says:

    Doesn’t look like we’re signing anyone. Big mistake really. I think we need a striker. I think we have a great 1st team but we lack a bit of quality in depth.

  111. goonermichael says:

    A person I know (who knows far more about football than me. Not hard) says we won’t play with a DM and that we’ll be much faster attacking wise now Song has gone.

    Le Coq is a player and he’ll feature this season.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Can’t we make an improved offer (and CL Football) for Moutinho, only for the deal to tragically fall through over personal terms at 22:59. For fun.

  113. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    @6.28
    So evil.
    So brilliant. :)

  114. RockyLives says:

    By this time last year we had had pretty strong rumours or confirmations on all the in-comers.

    Which leads me to think there’ll be no surprises after all.

    Hey ho.

  115. rhyle says:

    Disappointed. Looking forward to cracking open a bottle of Gavi once the kids are in bed…

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Early night for them I think Rhyle

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Still plenty of flights due into London this evening from France and Belgium (them being the residences of Messrs Biglia and M’Vila)

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off for a sniff around

  119. rhyle says:

    Gavi open…one sip and “silver lining” thought occurred to me…

    Worst summer EVER (yes…worse than last year which was the worst EVER at the time) is likely and we’re STILL better than Spurs…

  120. Adrian says:

    My sentiments exactly goonermichael. We just need that little bit more depth for the forwards..

  121. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rhyle good choice of wine, it’s like raising a toast to NikB on his departure to Turin. (I honeymooned in Gavi if you’re drinking a bottle of Villa Sparina I might cry, I’d cry even more if it was their sparkling Gavi as I’m not allowed to drink it whilst the wife is baking a future Gooner).

  122. Arsenal22 says:

    Essien on loan is probably the only transfer left open to us as he’s not in Chelsea’s squad tonight. I agree we could do with a striker otherwise we are relying on Chamakh as 3rd choice. Improvement on last year though when he was 2nd choice!!! ;)

  123. dandan says:

    If you guys are fed up with the rumour mill, come and join me at the cricket looks like we are going to win for once. :-)

  124. Slimgingergooner (Arsenal22!) says:

    Just as i say that, news on Sky Sports is that Di Matteo said Essien left out of squad due to chance of a loan move!

  125. evonne says:

    poor chavs :)

  126. johnnie nyc says:

    26 ! fantastic, detailed, in- depth and professional article.. i could see it in a newspaper or major sports website.. theres so much i learn from someone as knowledgeable as you. ——————————————
    RA, TMHT–you know im a HUGE Arsene fan, and im not the type to scream for alot of player moves.. i like our depth in midfield, and even in defense.. — i would like a quality strong DM, but we could survive without- i guess…
    but the one area that im NOT satisfied with is Striker..im happy with giroud, but he cant play every match in every competition. our second choice striker Podolski is going to be logging alot of minutes on the wing..he was brought in to bring more goals from that position, not to depend on the one striker completely like last year. we cant afford the slightest injury up front.————————– I know we cant have the riches of depth up front as City and Chelsea, i wont even name all the players they have, but what we have is not worthy of a big club that is challenging..i did expect us to add an attacker this week.. I am a very positive minded supporter, but i WILL be disappointed if we dont improve that situation. there should have been a plan for a decent backup when we decided to take the money for VP.— i’m still hoping, Arsene.

  127. Slimgingergooner says:

    oh…but he also says he cant go to Arsenal :(

  128. johnnie nyc says:

    Goonermichael, im with you.. attacking player needed.. to me its a glaring weakness in depth

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Johnnie,
    Don’t mind telling you I’m going to soil myself if we don’t strengthen our midfield defensively. The new Stevie B defence has not been tested, and we all know they had inadequate defensive help from midfield last season. Since then, we have flogged Song.
    We lose Arteta, and we’re in deep trouble.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Up front, we can use either Pod or Giroud centrally if either is injured. Also, Santi will add enormously to our attacking threat.
    Not ideal I know, but I still don’t see this area as our weakest.

  131. GunnerN5 says:

    Chelsea are getting mugged by Athletico in the Super Cup –
    down 2-0 after 19 minutes.

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back for a look in later.
    I think I’m going to be the only real doomer on here if things end as they are :-)

  133. johnnie nyc says:

    its true Rocky,, depressingly quiet on any Arsenal news or rumours..

  134. evonne says:

    GN5 – yep, good game :) Falcao is awesome

  135. glic says:

    Enjoyable read 26 thank you.
    I dont think we will get anyone in. Even though I dont expect us to really compete for at least 2 years, I am still disappointed, cant help it, all the other teams fans seem to be enjoying themselves. :(
    I still dont know how City, Chavs and especially Spuds manage to work within the FFP with what they are spending and we make money and cant !.
    So Park has left and was seen with quite a few bulging luggage cases. In other news, Battersea dogs home have pleaded for the return of a kennel full of puppies that have been stolen !.

  136. johnnie nyc says:

    Micky, we’re not doomers, so we’re allowed to show disappointment if it comes to that. still a strong team overall..

  137. Red Arse says:

    J,

    I agree we could do with another forward, as backup, even if it is Afobe, (out on loan unfortunately) but AW said three weeks ago he would not be buying a forward.

    From experience, it has been the case that when Arsene leaves the riddles alone and makes a clear statement he does not go back on it.

    No forward for you, I am afraid!

    An Arsenal ‘source’ has said we will not be signing Essien on loan.

    Transfers In?
    No rumours, no comments – no chance. As I said earlier, we do not really need anyone, especially not a past it loan player.

  138. GunnerN5 says:

    Great paragraph from an article about the potential loan of Essien.

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

    But the bad news does not stop there for the midfielder. It turns out the only club that are interested in paying the his medical bills are Chelsea’s former rivals, Arsenal. Expect Essien to be hobbling on crutches through the doors of the Emirates at 23:55 which will be exactly five minutes after Arsène Wenger has blown the dust off his fax machine

  139. glic says:

    If we are loaned Essien our laughing stock value will rise a few points on the footsie 100 index !.
    How much are shares on the Arsenal Laughing Stock ?, or am I being taken in by that scoundrel Durham ?.

  140. evonne says:

    Did I say ‘Poor Chavs’ already :) Oh well, poor Chavs

  141. GunnerN5 says:

    It just gets better and better 4-0 Athletico.

  142. evonne says:

    yes GN5, poor Chavs :) and all the Gazprom adverts look pathetic now

  143. Hellooooooooooooooo anyone about?

  144. rhyle says:

    Twitter is an angry, angry place for Gooners tonight.

  145. goonermichael says:

    I’m avoiding it Rhyle. If we’d not signed Cazorla but got him now maybe the mood would be different. I’m a bit depressed actually. Essien is going to RM. I wonder if gooners now rate him.

  146. GunnerN5 says:

    As things currently stand this is the makeup of our “potential” squad.

    We have 7 home grown if we include Eastmond and16 over 21 if we include Chamakh and Squillaci for a quad of 23 two short of the maximum 25.

    There are 5 under 21’s who have different levels of 1st team experience, giving AW a choice from 30 players.

    Currently we have 4 injured players Rosicky, Sagna, Wilshere and Frimpong.

    Not as good a squad as I was anticipating, but still 90 minutes left…..
    for us the score?

    Djourou – Home Grown 1
    Gibbs – Home Grown 2
    Mannone – Home Grown 3
    Ramsey – Home Grown 4
    Szczesny – Home Grown 5
    Walcott – Home Grown 6
    Eastmond – Home Grown 7
    Arshavin – Over 21 1
    Arteta – Over 21 2
    Cazorla – Over 21 3
    Chamakh – Over 21 4
    Diaby – Over 21 5
    Fabianski – Over 21 6
    Gervinho – Over 21 7
    Giroud – Over 21 8
    Koscielny – Over 21 9
    Mertacker – Over 21 10
    Podolski – Over 21 11
    Rosicky – Over 21 12
    Sagna – Over 21 13
    Santos – Over 21 14
    Squillaci – Over 21 15
    Vermalen – Over 21 16
    Coquelin – Under 21 1
    Frimpong – Under 21 2
    Jenkinson – Under 21 3
    Oxlaide-C – Under 21 4
    Wilshere – Under 21 5

  147. evonne says:

    why is John Terry not on the pitch tonight?//

  148. 26may1989 says:

    Whoever said on the last few days that Chelsea are going to struggle defensively this season looks to be absolutely right.

    Have loved the look of Flacao for a long time, he is awesome.

  149. GunnerN5 says:

    26M, He could have scored 6 goals tonight.

  150. goonermichael says:

    Don’t think Sky even have cameras at the Emirates

  151. rhyle says:

    I’m an hour an half from busting out On The Waterfront quotes…

    Is there a greater pain than flirting with greatness only to have it always being that little bit out of reach..?

    Still…will enjoy the football this season with less pressure…hehehe…

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Didn’t we sign all three in the last ten minutes or so last time?

  153. GunnerN5 says:

    MD89, that’s true but we had heard rumours about them beforehand whereas today all is quiet – way to quiet.

  154. Shard says:

    Still hoping Micky? I was hoping for a couple of signings but I’ve accepted a few hours ago that we’re not signing anybody this window. We might in January, like we did with Arshavin maybe. I think we’ll see involvement from Eisfeld and Gnabry at some point in the attacking positions, and Coquelin, Frimpong, Eastmond, and Yennaris will be the cover in DM.

    Are they good enough? We’ll find out I guess, but maybe the academy will be our saviour this season. Can’t win anything with kids? It depends on how good they are, as we do have some experience now as well.

  155. goonermichael says:

    Arteta came out of the blue if I remember.

  156. RockyLives says:

    Gn5
    You’re right… it’s too quiet…
    aaaaaagh

    Just got an Indian arrow in my arm…

  157. RockyLives says:

    GM
    He came out of the blue, but on the final day (not in the final couple of hours).

    Arteta was a rumour, then it was all on, then it was all off, then it was confirmed…

  158. goonermichael says:

    Man city getting rid of Savic is the best business they’ve done. I think they’ll piss the league

  159. goonermichael says:

    :(

  160. 26may1989 says:

    Ok, I was feeling pretty relaxed about TW stuff, then I heard Dempsey could be on his way to Spurs. Now that’s annoying.

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For me, it is too quiet. In a spooky way , like they’re all hiding behind the curtains

  162. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26
    Spurs are always annoying. Its what they do best

  163. rhyle says:

    Twitter seems to be arranging an impromptu gettogether at 23.01 for an acoustic, choral rendition of Kumbaya…lot of negativity (not all of it for the wrong reasons…just most of it)

  164. evonne says:

    Micky – is tonight’s Falcao the guy you were banging on about last year or is there another Falcao?

  165. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’ll tell you what is really, really spooky, and that’s the brief appearance of Peaches earlier without the usual request. She knows something.

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    I don’t bang on about people. Gentle hints perhaps :-)
    No, is the answer. Last year I did most of my research at Montpellier.

  167. goonermichael says:

    Dempsey is official. he’s now a ####

  168. Total says:

    Micky, I seem to remember you were ‘banging on’ about Hulk last year…

  169. evonne says:

    Thanks TA for your support :) So who was banging on about Falcao?

  170. glic says:

    Total
    I think Micky was banging Dr Bruce Banner and made him angry !.

  171. 26may1989 says:

    Have Spurs really done well with their dealings? Sure, Lloris, Dembele and Dempsey in, but van der Vaart and Modric out. Unless they turn it round with Moutinho, they look weaker to me. Unless I’m forgetting about someone they’ve signed.

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    I don’t bang on about people. Gentle hints perhaps :-) :-)
    Nope. Not Hulk either. Actually I saw him live at the Olympics. Took my son to see Brasil Turkey. Was not very impressed.

  173. Total says:

    Evonneke, I don’t know. Maybe BR, he has an eye for a good player. :)

    GLicster, who is Bruce Banner?! :)

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The one you are all thinking I banged on about was Loic Remy of Marseilles. Bloomin’ great addition he would be an’ all.

  175. glic says:

    Thats Dr Bruce Banner aka The Hulk !

  176. Total says:

    Well Micky, Evonne and I have a clear recollection of you banging on about an Iberian-based striker last summer. I should look it up but I cannot be arsed. :P

  177. glic says:

    See, there he goes again , Banging someone !, put it away !, you will end up in a cell with Stretch !.

  178. Gooner In Exile says:

    26 Spuds are getting ready for project stadium build, big money players out, and AVB is culling a lot more too….Santos, Dawson, Jenas all going or trying to get rid of.

    Either that or Adebayor is on a lot more than we think.

    Is anyone else surprised Mark Hughes is being allowed to spend left right and centre? Hasn’t Fenandes seen the trouble City have had?

  179. goonermichael says:

    26
    They’ve also broken even but gooners on twitter seem to think they’ve spent money and we’ve been tight. I’m giving twitter a miss til Sunday. the bindippers look weaker to me

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    Ah, that would have been Porto midfielder Fernando. You see, I had been on holiday to Northern Portugual, and did some research there as well.
    Bugger I’m good to you lot.

  181. glic says:

    Have Spuds got Clint ?.
    We will end up with The Bulk, some Obese bastard from Phat City.

  182. jnyc says:

    I would have liked dempsey as a backup attacker. Super hard worker, PL proven, tough, cheap, wanted champs league. Would be nice to bring in when chasing a match against the bus. I understand wanting super quality for starting players but we need solid backups.

  183. Gooner In Exile says:

    What was the complaint last season?

    “all our business was done too late, we needed a settled squad like Fergie does business, wrapped up a few weeks after the end of the season”

    This season

    “we should do more last day business”

    There will always be moaners it’s just unfortunate the Internet allows so many irrational people to enter a debate.

  184. Gooner In Exile says:

    GliC I haven’t had a call and I don’t think I’d pass the medical at this time of night.

  185. This is so boring :(

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right. Off for a quick stimulant (gentle on them Glic :-) ).

  187. goonermichael says:

    Hope you’re not talking about the “action” on AA tonight peaches :)

  188. glic says:

    GIE
    I`m sure if Wenger hanged two Kebabs and a pint high off two walls, you could easy pass the beep test !.

  189. kgooner says:

    Evonne
    Terry was suspended. From the red card he picked on Champs League final. Maybe with him on board, less goals could have been conceded.

    Athletico just showed us money cant buy class! Nothin beats teamwork + a fantastic finisher.
    Arsenal better get their teamwork on.

  190. 26may1989 says:

    GM

    To be honest, the twitterati sound like a bunch of mugs.

    But as jnyc says, it still would’ve been nice to have someone like Dempsey in. I really like US players, they’re proper serious pros, give everything they’ve got, train hard, compete and no off the field, egotistical bullshit.

  191. rhyle says:

    GIE…think the moaning, regardless of the context it takes, boils down to one thing….

    We could’ve been contenders.

    I’m 29 mins early with the On The Waterfront quote…but I’m out of wine and eyeing a bottle of Barolo with…intent…

    Our first XI is fantastic (providing our strikers click)…but we’re an injury or two away from trouble.

    Still…On to Sunday…Liverpool away is always a nice game to put a smile back on a Gooners face with a good result…

  192. kgooner says:

    Some commentators on my UEFA cup broadcast over half-time.
    “falcao was in for a Chelsea medical over half-time” Cracked me up

  193. rhyle says:

    Twitter descends into petty racism…ah, we’ve reached the nadir. It’s switched off…

    Can understand why many are choosing passion over passivity tonight – all just want what is best for the Arsenal and many see the weakness of squad relative to others strengthening as signs of a difficult season (4 in, 17 out being the mantra)…but can’t see why there’s so much negativity on the first XI…

  194. Big Raddy says:

    We will sign someone – I checked the dregs at the bottom of my bottle of Barolo and the message was unmistakeable.

    26. 10.32 So do Koreans :-)

  195. Total says:

    Fernando rings a bell Micky, but I am pretty sure you were also keen on either Hulk or Falcao…

  196. Total says:

    What a load of Barolocks!

  197. RockyLives says:

    This time last year Arteta was an injury-prone journeyman who was no better than an “OK” signing; Benayoun was an injury-prone journeyman not good enough for Chelsea (so why should we think he’s good enough for us?); Mertesacker was slow and over-rated; Santos was a case of who??

    Everyone predicted calamity.

    No-one trusted Arsene.

    This year there’s more negativity, but I still trust Arsene.

  198. Total says:

    Hi Rhyle, the only conclusion we can pull is that we will not be playing with a typical DM this season. If you take that fact into account, we actually have quite a deep squad.

  199. Norfolk Gooner says:

    So! Nothing happening then. Goodnight all.

  200. Total says:

    Unless, of course, Arsene will move TV into the DM slot. Ooh how I would love that! :)

  201. kgooner says:

    Rumours just in . . last minute grabs, Ba and Cabaye. Truthmeter?

  202. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    We dont need any more players. We are potentitaly the best team in the premeir league.

    My predictions are that Arsene is at home enjoying a nice glass of wine and watching emmanuelle on dvd. Gazidis is in a casino losing all his money and getting rather upset. And Dick laws is in bed having strange dreams after reading 50 shades of grey.

    The whole thing is nonsence and applies to clubs who failed to do there major business early i.e. us last year. Its just an excuse for those silly sky presenters to have a fake orgasim.

    The sooner we play and beat the scousers the better.

  203. goonermichael says:

    Rocky
    I think we are going to surprise people. I thought we’d get someone to replace song. not like for like.

  204. 26may1989 says:

    @Total 10:48pm: Agreed, I’d have liked one more attacking option, but the squad is deep (and I don’t mean they read Nietzsche).

  205. goonermichael says:

    Terry
    well said. you do have a hang up about naughty things though. Emmanuelle is showing your age.

  206. rhyle says:

    Hi Total – hope you’re in good shape. I have total faith we’ll be competing for a top4 finish with our squad as we have some decent back up.

    Although it’s not exactly convincing in terms of quality…our MF options being limited outside of Cazorla, Arteta, Ox…refuse to acknowledge Diaby as anything but an injury waiting to happen, unfortunately…could’ve been great – glad the thug who injured him has disappeared from the game.

    And let’s keep our fingers crossed we don’t get the same injury problems at FB / CB as we had last season…and we’re one injury away from Chamakh starting…

    Will shout, scream, sing my heart out game in, game out but…another summer where the squad is weaker.

    I’d be happy with Wenger chipping away at the squad if I thought he was creating David…but it seems he’s just breaking rocks…

    Gone are the days of selling Anelka for £20m odd…and bringing in both Kanu / Henry for less.

    Gutted.

  207. Big Raddy says:

    We could sign Michael Owen ….

  208. RockyLives says:

    Emanuelle!!!

    Phwoah!

  209. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, cant deny any of that GM.

    These sky presenters are unreal, one minute to go, one minute to go, oh my god 10 seconds to go. hahahaha

  210. Big Raddy says:

    One of my favourite films, best watched alone

  211. Total says:

    We will only play with one striker, 26, and can pick from Giroud, Podolski, Chamakh and……….. Theo. We are a bit thin on the wing with Theo and Gerv and the Ox, but then I believe we will play often a compact 4-5-1 and we can play the likes of Santos, Rosicky and Coquelin on the ‘wings’ as well.

    I know many people don’t rate Chamakh but he will be a decent stand in for Giroud, as they can play a similar role upfront.

  212. 26may1989 says:

    What was it Micky said he’d do if we didn’t sign a DM???

    Michael Owen? OMG…..

  213. rhyle says:

    Total…your post of 11:01…I can see where you’re coming from but it reads as:

    compromise, compromise, compromise

    if we can’t field our first XI…

  214. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    It appears Chamakh is staying.
    Mark my words – he’ll get into double figures for us this season.

    And yes, before the sarcy comments, I do mean double figures in goals.

  215. 26may1989 says:

    I’m afraid I don’t think Chamakh can even count as decent cover, Total. My view is he’s just not suited to English football. I do think we have decent cover everywhere else, I just would like to see something else as a possible candidate for impact sub. Never mind, all done now.

  216. goonermichael says:

    Total i agree. The team was palying to RVP’s strengths last season. Chamakh may have more joy this season. i think a couple of young players will come through and Le Coq will make an impact

    Emmanuelle 2 when the blonde girl tells her about her scene with the oriental schoolgirls is classic

  217. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky, Raddy, i recomend Emanuelle v Dracula. Excellent script and cineamatogrophy. Surprised Emanuelle didnt win an oscar for that. hahaha

  218. goonermichael says:

    Chamakh did well when the dutch bastard was injured.

  219. Total says:

    Hi Rhyle, Arteta, Ox, Cazorla or Diaby-Rosicky-JW10 and back up by Ramsey, Coquelin and Frimpong (and maybe Eisfeld, Yenaris and Aneke who are all making rapid progress).

    We are two injuries away from using Chamakh.

    FB – yes there is a bit of a risk with either Santos or Jenkinson as back ups.

    Biggest worry is possibly GK position.

  220. RockyLives says:

    I agree with GM’s Dutch Bastard comment.

  221. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    All nappied up :-)
    Staggered Chelsea did not get in another striker.

  222. Total says:

    Our super impact sub will be –> –> –> –> Arshavin….. :)

  223. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Also the way these sky reporters fawn over these primadonna players is sickening. “clint, clint, fantastic, whats it like signing for Totnumb, can i man handle you clint (sorry GM hahaha) please clint, please clint”

  224. Total says:

    I also agree with GM’s Dutch Bastard comment! :)

  225. goonermichael says:

    I like santos

  226. goonermichael says:

    Sorry Total Most Dutch are very nice people!

  227. rhyle says:

    Diaby – injury prone to say the least…Rosicky the same…JW been out for a YEAR…relying on these players can’t be considered anything but a mistake. There’s always Ramsey I suppose…and then, yes, you’re right…maybe we can lean on kids with a combined 1 Premier League start between them.

    You could be right about two injuries…like to think we’ll move Podolski into the middle before bringing Chamakh into the middle…

    Bottom line? Same as last year, and the year before and the year before…name for name, place for place…the SQUAD is weaker.

    I’m going to put on The Soprano’s season 2…I’m a bit drunk, a lot disappointed and don’t want to piss anyone off…just refuse to be suckered into an “it’ll be alright” mentality tonight….it’s going to be a tough season. Though it always was going to be.

    Suppose I should be glad we’re run “in the right way”…going to cheer myself up by looking at the balance sheet again…

  228. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    Biggest worry is an Arteta injury before Jack is 100%
    Chamakh…oh dear.
    I might leave you all to talk about porn.

  229. goonermichael says:

    I don’t think dembele and dempsey are an improvement on modric and van der faaart (dutch bastard). Sky are wanking over levy’s “financial prudence” you couldn’t make it up.

  230. Total says:

    26, agreed he is not a good impact sub, but if and when both Giroud and the Pod cannot play, he will do a decent job in taking over the holding striker role: holding on to the ball and combining with midfielders to create openings. In my view, he does that really well, although he will never get much credit for it.

    Maybe we will even play to his other strength a bit this season by putting some decent crosses in…. I am not the biggest fan of Chamakh but I can see why Arsene did not allow him to move on: he will fit the system and does not mind to warm the bench when so required.

  231. jnyc says:

    By the way, Falcao is always the example i use for a well run club, atletico madrid sold their best player aguero to man city (he probably wanted to go) they got over 30 mil i think, —- then they turned around immediately and spent all of the money on Falcao. How is it working out. ?

  232. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What bothers me most, and I’m a sustainable model man, is why have we made a net profit. £7m? That would have bought Biglia, for example. Hindered no-one’s progress and added defensive oomph to the midfield.

  233. Total says:

    GM, don’t worry – I am not hung up about my nationality. A Dutch bastard is a Dutch bastard! :)

  234. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Not worried at all. We have bought 3 players of quality, have the best two young players in England and have other quality players in all areas of the pitch. All we need is determination and a winning formula.

  235. Slimgingergooner says:

    Wether our squad is stronger or weaker than last season is debatable, but on paper, a strong squad means nothing.

    The facts are these,

    If we avoid the ridiculous amount of injuries that we had last season then our squad will be massively stronger than last years was on the pitch, which is what counts.

    If we can get Jack playing regularly to the best of his ability then he is better than any signing we could’ve made from the players that moved around in the window in our price range.

    We also have Diaby back who may be a bit marmite, but if fit could be a massive player for us this season.

    Players on paper are useless, it’s on the field that counts, and that’s where most of ours were missing last season due to injury. We are looking a much more organised team defensively and no doubt the goals will come.

    I can’t wait for the season to unfold. If its our year, then we as fans will have earned it for what we have felt over the last 7 years, if it isn’t, then we will deal with it like we have for the last 7 years. Either way, if the excitement and anxiety is anything like it was on the last day of last season then it will be worth it! Grab me a needle, heat me a spoon, find me a vein and inject me with the good stuff…..cos I’m a football junkie, and Arsenal is my drug!!!!

    COYG!

  236. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry, no-one will convince me Chamakh is any good.

  237. goonermichael says:

    plenty of English bastards Total. terry being a prime example

  238. Rasp says:

    Chamakh is pants …. he does not deserve the description of striker, he is a forward link up player who poses less goal threat than the average midfielder.

    26m is correct, he isn’t suited to the EPL. Diaby would make a better target man/striker than Chamakh who is the most goalshy striker I have ever seen. He won’t get close to 10 goals this season. The reason we haven’t sold him is because we are paying him way too much and no other club is daft enough to throw so much money away.

  239. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    So Wenger is clueless?

  240. goonermichael says:

    He looked ok when he first came Micky (didn’t say good) he only became pants when robin came back. I’m off to wash up (which I stupidly put off or the TW) Then I’m revisiting Chamakh’s early games on Arsenal player to try to convince myself that he’s not pants.

  241. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great comment Ginge. We look different this year, stronger, better. it will be great to win something this season but if we dont then we dust ourselves down and go again the following season

  242. Rasp says:

    Let’s just be generous and say that in this instance he (or whoever sanctioned the purchase) was swayed by the fact that he was on a free – we can see why he was free now :(

  243. goonermichael says:

    I don’t think he’s much good Rasp but I think he still holds a record for scoring in consecutive CL games

  244. goonermichael says:

    They tried to pay for him before he became free Rasp

  245. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp
    Pants works for me :-)
    Not that I’m in a very smiley mood.
    Boy, are we going to need some luck with injuries, and that Jack gets back to his best.
    Now I’m off to find some of that stuff Transplant is on :-)
    Goodnight my merry fellows.

  246. RockyLives says:

    Rhyle
    Or squad is MUCH better than this time last year.

    Last year we went into the season without a creative AM.

    This year we have a fantastic AM.

    We’ve lost a great striker and if Pod and Giroud don’t prove effective that will be a problem, but right now I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    Meanwhile in defence, TV, Koz and BFG are all comfortable with each other.

    We will do well.

  247. Total says:

    Rhyle, I appreciate your feelings and I am not saying it is all hunky dory (spelling?). I just reckon the boss believes he has got the squad to compete and in my view it is a good mixture between experience and raw talent, but it will all need to time to gel anyway.

    You mention Diaby, Rosicky and JW as injury-prone and we cannot rely on them, but the fact is that we are not relying on them. We only have to pick three central midfielders for every game from Arteta, Diaby, Rosicky, JW, Cazorla, Coquelin, The Ox, Ramsey etc.

    Micky, if Arteta is injured, and JW has not recovered yet, Diaby or Rosicky, or (apparently) even Cazorla can take over, with additional support from Coquelin, Frimpong.

    I would have preferred Wenger to buy us a decent DM, but it wasn’t to be.

  248. LB says:

    Have we still got Arshavin?

  249. Slimgingergooner says:

    I don’t believe Chamakh is terrible, but he has lost all confidence.

    Remember when Torres started at Chelsea?

    He has10 times the talent of Chamakh but looked just as awful. The only way to get rid of it is to play through it, but at a club like Arsenal with RvP waiting to come on, that isn’t going to happen. Chelsea spent £50m on Torres, therefore they had to let him play through it or get slaughtered by fans/media alike. Fortunately, we didn’t have that problem.

  250. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rasp, the chamack thing is i agree, a bit of a joke. We just cant offload the bloke. It didnt work out for the club or for the player on the pitch, but as you know not every player will be a hit. Its time to forget about him, he will hardly get a kick this season.

  251. Rasp says:

    I think he holds the record for have the greatest weight of gel on his head gm. Strikers are unique, they are judged by goals/assists – that’s why they are generally the most expensive players to buy.

  252. LB says:

    I actually think it is very interesting that we haven’t got an established DM.

    There are less and less when we actually need one and when we do we have Coquelin.

  253. Rasp says:

    I agree TMHT, I don’t dislike Chamakh as a person because I know nothing about him. Cazorla has already interacted (in Spanish) with the supporters more than Chamakh has in 3 years. He just seems happy to take the salary and be a bit part player – we need more commitment from our players.

  254. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Chamakh will play this year and will score.

    I agree he was disappointing after his good start but he’s not nearly as bad as you’re painting him.

    (I don’t expect you to agree, by the way :) )

  255. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Total,
    “I would have preferred Wenger to buy us a decent DM”
    I just don’t understand why he didn’t. It seemed obvious we were short in this department, and that was before selling Song. Sorry, but no way can Diaby or Rosicky do that defensive job.
    I hope I’m wrong. Certainly wouldn’t be the first time, but I go to sleep now worried.
    Sunday cannot come soon enough.
    Really nite all.

  256. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    If, and i accept its a big if, we get a level of maturity from Wilshere and Camberlin in the new year that exceeds expectations, then that allied to the rest of our quality might just be enough to nick the league. It amazes me how people continuosly underestimate Arsenal, we have potentialy the best team in the premeirship for christs sake.

  257. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Night Micky. Fear not. We have a great team in the making.

  258. Total says:

    Rasp, cannot you see that Diaby would not last 10 minutes in that role. The Moroccan has ankles of a rhino, Diaby of a flamingo.

  259. goonermichael says:

    We’re not going to play with a DM. It’s not compulsory!

  260. jnyc says:

    Arsene needs to do something to help Chamakh get his confidence back. He looked lost, even in pre season. I have felt sorry for him, and i remember when he was playing great, it wasnt that long ago. We will need to use him now at times. Will theo get chances at striker in capitalone cup?

  261. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ime off to. Have to watch emanuelle series 37 “Emmanuel in space” (sorry GM) hahahaha.

  262. RockyLives says:

    Everything I’ve seen from Coquelin convinces me he’s a top class player. I’d be very happy with him playing DM if we want a DM.

  263. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, you’ll know by now that I place great significance in the way players conduct themselves. These are just a few reasons why I feel Chamakh is way short of being a striker of any merit.

    He deliberately plays with his back to goal but never tries to turn a defender.

    A high percentage of the passes he receives go straight back to the player from whom he received it after one touch.

    Once he has got rid of the scary ball he runs away and hides behind a defender.

    He pretends mock disappointment when he doesn’t receive thaeball but always leaves his runs too late to be a viable option for a pass.

    I could go on, but he is actually scared of putting himself ina position to score. He is lightweight in every way and is knocked off the ball far too easily for someone of his height.

    He has very little power in his shot (which I’ve scarcely ever seen) and he can’t take free kicks, corners or penalties – he’s a striker who is very poor at scoring with his feet. He can head the ball pretty well and that is the best I can say about him.

    If Podolski is to be a left winger and Chamakh is our 2nd choice striker behind Giroud then we are in trouble

  264. Rasp says:

    I completely agree with everyone re Coquelin. He is classy and will get better the more he plays.

  265. Total says:

    Night Micky, this is one for you to think about: who did the classic DM stuff for the Mancs over the last few years? And do you believe that Fletcher and the other good looking one, Carrick, were defensive heavy weights?

    It looks like Wenger just wants two deeper laying all-round midfielders with some defensive ability. Of those we have plenty.

  266. …….. all I know is that you can’t win a football match if you don’t score goals so lI’m hoping we manage to do that quite soon ……….

  267. 26may1989 says:

    Coquelin, Arteta and Ramsey are all better on the defensive side of things than Song was. Frimpong might get to the right level quickly too. And Vermaelen and Djourou could be very interesting candidates to play there if we had the need. Song’s contribution was better in other aspects.

  268. LB says:

    I expect nothing from Chamakh and because of that I know he will not let me down.

  269. Total says:

    Rasp,

    I don’t care whether Chamakh scores a lot of goals or not – what I care about is his contributions to our attacking play.

    I would like to wager a bet with you. At the end of the season, the average goals per game in which Chamakh has started, will be higher than 2.1 goals (with RvP we never got over an average of 1.95). If you say lower, the bet is on. A good bottle of Barolo should be the price of winning the bet. What you say? :)

  270. goonermichael says:

    I agree with total about the 2 deeper midfielders which is exactly what my cab driving client told me today.

  271. goonermichael says:

    m’bia the new qpr boy has a lovely smile.

  272. I think our all round defending is going to be the shining light of our season :) hope that’s not famous last words but in order that we really enjoy not conceeding we do have to score too :lol:

  273. 26may1989 says:

    For all the fretting about Chamakh, I’m not convinced we’d necessarily have to call on him that quickly. If Giroud is out, Poldi goes up front, with one of the other AMs (Ox, Gerv, Arsh, Rosicky, even Santos or Eisfeld) taking over. And after that, Theo can take the frontline job. Only if we need a hold-up player would we have to turn to Chamakh earlier.

  274. Total says:

    LB, you are a wise man! :)

  275. oz gunner says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO! no surprising news to wake up to!

    In saying that though I do love the squad and think we will win the lot with it. Like others have mentioned though we are relying a lot on not having to many injuries. The season is long, we play a lot of games, and we already have a few question marks on players like Rosicky, jack, and diaby. Bit worried on the striker front because I’m not a big fan of Chamakh, just wondering who is going to play in the cup games? No afobe, park, bendy or campbell. Could see Watt i suppose.

  276. Total says:

    You could be be right, 26. I expect us to play most games with a hold up striker and it remains to be seen whether this is a suitable role for Poldi. Chamakh could be first replacement for Giroud this season…

    I did not watch the game against Sunderland – how did Poldi do as a lone striker?

  277. I wonder what bsr thinks about Berb’s move to Fulham for £4m ……. :lol:

  278. 26may1989 says:

    I can’t help thinking that part of the thinking about not signing a forward is to allow space for Joel Campbell next season.

  279. goonermichael says:

    Can’t watch the Arsenal player highlights because the arsenal website is wank

  280. Total says:

    And of course there is TH’s potential winter visit………. :)

  281. goonermichael says:

    peaches
    that will be him in 2 years

  282. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    I hope both he and afobe continue their development because they look very promising.

    I’m hoping Afobe has a sturridge/welbeck type season on loan

  283. Haha gm exactly :lol:

  284. Rasp says:

    Total, arsenal.com list Chamakh as a striker, you don’t consider him to be a striker, you continually assess him as a midfielder. That’s fine, but not in keeping with everyone else’s view of his function in the team.

  285. Total says:

    Peaches, the last thing I like to think about now is what bsr is thinking.

    Are you gong to change chocolate legs to something more in tune with your philosophy of our defence? Something more meaty, sweaty, hairy perhaps?

  286. Total says:

    Raps, are you really that one-dimensional?

  287. Have to sleep ……. catch up tomorrow xxx

  288. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry peaches, am being thick: who’s bsr?

  289. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    That’ll do just nicely.

    I am also excited to see AA staying because I want to see him given the free role when santi needs a rest. He’s still got life in him yet at Arsenal!

  290. Total – I had Kozzer for a while but missed my chocolate legs especially once the season started …….. I’ll have a think ;)

  291. oz gunner says:

    Bugger it’s ‘no surrender, no retreat 2′
    With returning stars Rasp and TA, duck for cover people! We were warned of this day!

  292. The dutchman – doesn’t deserve capital letters anymore – brave sir robin yuk

  293. Total says:

    They are very you Peaches, I can see why you like them so much! :)

  294. 26may1989 says:

    Ah, get it now!

  295. Total says:

    Hi Oz, when is your court case?

  296. Rasp says:

    No TA, and my view is in keeping with the majority – so are we all one dimensional? I can appreciate that your compassionate outlook extends to defending an underdog, but your insistence that a player no-one else wants and AW obviously doesn’t rate is a valuable asset is perplexing

  297. jnyc says:

    26, your last comment made feel a little better. Now we just need to go and whip liverpool this weekend. We are much better than them, i hope we can break through. On Chamkh, his confidence is so shot, he needs a sport psychologist or something. Arsene needs to find a way to help him. I do remember when he was very good for us. Maybe they should just show him those highlights or whole matches. I do feel for him, Rasp, it does seem he is avoiding everything, or at best seems lost. I think dempsey would have been the opposite. Confident, aggressive. But i still will believe chamakh is trying his best.

  298. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed jnyc, we’ve had the rehearsal, time for some business this weekend!

  299. RockyLives says:

    I’m not unhappy with having Arshavin as an option off the bench.

    in fact I would start him ahead of Gerv and Theo against the Park-the-Bus teams.

  300. Total says:

    Rasp, what do you know about what Wenger wants? Of the three peripheral strikers he decided to keep Chamakh. The latter said at the end of the season that Wenger had told him he is part of his plans next season.

    I put the wager to you to proof a point about what Chamakh’s value is to our club. There are no sentiments involved in this, just pure appreciation of what the Moroccan brings to our team. Clearly, you just want to judge Chamakh on his goals/assists tally, and that way you will never appreciate his other, and in my view just as important, contributions to the team. That’s fine with me though.

  301. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    got told last week it’d be 3 or so weeks away (so much for the case being wrapped up in 5 weeks). Got asked to do some photo work at the school his daughters go to next week. Something to do with similar seeds being found that the prosecution had used to tie him to the burial site.

    Fighting crime by day, blogging by night! just the usual haha

  302. 26may1989 says:

    You read my mind Rocky – he had some interesting moments in the Euros, and had the experience of going back to Russia and winning the league. He could be our cameo man this season.

  303. Rasp says:

    Hi jnyc, I agree Chamakh is a better player than we’ve seen of late and also that his confidence is low, but its been more than a year now and about time he showed some character and started earning his wages. He is too timid and that is not an attribute in a striker.

  304. goonermichael says:

    I still think we are better than last season.

  305. goonermichael says:

    Rasp
    I agree but he’s been in the shadow of the best striker in the country. If he can’t do it now he never will. I’d rather have Vela personally

  306. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    I agree, his overall game far surpassed theirs when it comes to late substitution lock picking. Gerv and theo need space (a luxury not afforded when teams sit back hoping for a draw), but Arshavin has a low pullback powerful shot, along with a great pass. Hopefully he plays with some more confidence because he could be very usual to the cause this season

  307. goonermichael says:

    We’ve all ignored the fact that Walcott is still here

  308. oz gunner says:

    @ GM

    I think he is the unmentionable party at the moment because we know Arsene has put a lot of trust in him to re-sign. If he does not then we are potentially down 15/20 million.

    He is really an unknown quantity though, we haven’t really seen him play as a striker yet. He thinks he is, but does Arsene? Hopefully he re-signs and he surprises us all

  309. 26may1989 says:

    Paul Merson thinks Stewart Downing is better than Theo – he took more coke back in the day than we thought!

  310. RockyLives says:

    Total – we finally wrung a tiny concession out of Rasp @12.37 :D

  311. goonermichael says:

  312. goonermichael says:

    great “supporters” we have

  313. Slimgingergooner says:

    I think Arshavin and Chamakh could be our underdogs this season, but only if they are given a chance. There seems to have been a shifting of the egos at the club and maybe that will help these lads in the dressing room. They are both capable, especially Arshavin, who still has the class to win any game in 20 minute cameos, but it’s just a question of wether we can get the best out of them. The fact that we don’t expect much from them could work in their favour.

  314. GunnerN5 says:

    A sad and pathetic performance by the management team, they started off like a house on fire and finished like a dead squid!

    This is truly a case of an opportunity missed – we were one or two signings away from creating a side that would have made us competitive – instead of that they kept us one or two players away from mediocrity – how sad is that?

    I wonder who measures their effectiveness and their compensation?

  315. Total says:

    Wow Oz that all sounds intriguing. Please keep us posted. Soon you will make the regional news again! :)

    RL :)

    Rasp is a tough debater and I am a bit fired up after reading some of the comments he made re Chamakh when I was on my hols. But I know he is a fair person and as soon as Chamakh would start proving him wrong he would change his opinion about him. :)

  316. Total says:

    That is a fine observation, Slim.

  317. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    would just like to wade in the chamack thing if i may.

    This is not about TA’s or Rasps debate about what the guy brings to the team its more a comment about the guys charachter. We have in the last few years see an exodus of players form the club and the arguments can vary about the reasons for there departure. For me personaly its about money. This indicates a weakness in mentality and at times it showed on the pitch were commitment to the cause was not all it should have been.

    Now lets spin the equation on its head and look at the likes of Chamack and Arshavin. These guys are doing the opposite as the leavers but there primary motives are the same, money. No one can tell me that at times these two did not lack the required effort when they played.

    I know a lot of people will counter this argument by saying that players are all the same and the inherent weakness is in the club not nessesarly the players and i admit that this is a strong point but i still maintain that on balance in the last few years these guys have let Arsene and the club down.

    For me chamack and arshavin are fundamentaly flawed and represent a legacy that failed to fulfill its potential. Of course there are exceptions to the rule and we might see one of these reinvent themselves and have a great season but somehow i doubt it

    Ok, i might go over the top sometise regarding our chances for success, but ive always believed in the ability of the squad, the previous incumbents just failed to fulfill there potential. This is why i am very positive and excited about the current pool of players at our disposal. Character and will to win is somthing that has to be displayed on the pitch but if you look closely you will see that its something very tangible in these current players

    We wiil have a very good season and i think we will bag one of the big trophies this year and if everything goes to plan in a couple of years could have the best team weve ever had.

    The Ghosts of 30’s are Stirring

  318. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    On the other hand we might come 10th, get knocked out of Europe early and sell half the team next summer. All good fun. hahaha

  319. Total says:

    From the independent:

    The Arsenal manager used to rely on a degree of patience and deliberation from supporters and observers. Now he sees modern hysteria and can only shake his head, bemoaning “modern emotional society.

    “There are instant reactions on every single media,” Wenger said. “Our society has moved from a bit of distance with events to a highly emotional society, because there is a straight-away reaction from the whole society on every single event that happens. We have moved from a thinking society to an emotional society and we have to live with that.”

    What a man!

  320. Total says:

    Haha Terry, good try but I don’t think Chamakh has ever had attitude issues. Just low confidence. And he was full of fire in one of the pre-season matches I watched him.

  321. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    The mans a class act TA. I will be delighted for everyone associated at the Club when we win our next big trophy, even the moaners, but i will be especialy happy for Mr Wenger. He will have deserved it.

  322. Total says:

    Agree with you though that the current squad oozes character and professionalism.

  323. Total says:

    So true Terry.

  324. Slimgingergooner says:

    For all the smokescreens and press talk, the simple fact of the matter is that we have swapped Song for Cazorla, Benayoun for Diaby and Podolski and Giroud for RvP. The only part of those dealings that is remotely worrying is the last one, but what choice did we have? Plus we now have an extra body up front compared to last season. Add Wilshere to this and are things so bad?

    We are 2 games in, let’s start the season positively instead of this negative shit all the time. TW is done, team is what it is, only time will tell if we are good enough.

  325. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cant agree TA. By virtue of the fact that he is still at the club, indicates to me an attitude problem. He is not a boy. he is an established international that knows that his playing time at Arsenal will be restricted but chooses to stay for the money. Is that not an attitude problem? i think so

  326. oz gunner says:

    cheers TA, will do!

    Very well said Slim! that’s a great way of putting it!

  327. Slimgingergooner says:

    TMHT,

    Just thinking about Wenger lifting another major trophy makes me cry!!! That man, wether he does it or not, deserves a lot more respect than he is ever given from some of the Arsenal fans. His treatment at times has been disgusting, and wether he’s on £6000 or £6m a year, he is still a human being who has done extraordinary things for this club. He made us so good that people were/are in hysterics that we haven’t won a trophy for 7 years, that’s how good he made us! What happens in transfer windows and press conferences shouldn’t define the man, 16 years straight in the CL with trophies collected on the way is what we will talk about in years to come. I would fucking love it if we won just 1 more trophy under Wenger.

  328. Total says:

    Terry, that is projection on your part. Does he stay purely for the money or for playing for the biggest club he can play for, even if this means he won’t play a lot of games? The only thing that really matters is what Wenger has said to him regarding his plans for him.

    If he chooses to rather be back up striker at Arsenal than main man at a mid table French or German club, then I don’t think that necessarily shows a lack of attitude.

    Slim, good points. You can also add that Szczesny, Gibbs, the Ox, Ramsey, Coquelin, JW and one or two others have also become a year older and are likely to be (even) better this year.

  329. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Absoloutly ginge. I constantly have visions of him lifting the Champions League and cant wait for that to become reality. No one deserves our respect more than Mr wenger.

  330. Total says:

    Anyway, un oeuf est un oeuf about MC, je suis fatigue! A demain mes amis. :)

  331. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I agree TA, it is my projection and i could be completely wrong. I tend to go with my gut feeling with these things. As i alluded in my earlier post there is a chance that he could have a lazarus moment and resurect himself and that would be great.

  332. RockyLives says:

    “we have moved from being a thinking society to being an emotional society.”

    Simply brilliant and true.

  333. RockyLives says:

    Although MC didn’t play much last season, when he did he often got good mentions in the match reports here on AA.

  334. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes, it is rather knackering TA. hahaha

    Night All

  335. Slimgingergooner says:

    Terry,

    Re Chamakh,

    I agree that there could be an element of collecting the wage and an attitude problem, but could you not also argue that maybe the man doesn’t want his legacy in English football to be that of a failure? Maybe I’m being a bit fantastical here, but if I had made a big move to a club like Arsenal and had started as well as he did but then gone wrotten, I would want to prove a point. It’s easy for Arsenal fans to use the money card due to the way the club is run and because of the shit we have had to put up with in recent years, but I won’t let myself believe that every player is a money sucking tosser!!! I may be talking bollocks as usual, but if Chamakh was so obsessed by money, I don’t think his confidence would be as low as it is. He would be prancing around like Bendtner, flashing his boxer shorts and his pink boots! instead he is hiding in the shadows, hoping his performances go unnoticed.

  336. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    ginge, i bet you chamakh prances around at home in a nappie.hahaha. No, of course you could be right and i hope you are.

    My Arsenal pyjamas are summoning me.

    Night All, and good afternoon Rocky

  337. goonermichael says:

    See you tomorrow.

  338. goonermichael says:

    Chamakh could have gone on loan and still got the same money in an easier league. he turned down a loan by all accounts

    Night everyone

  339. RockyLives says:

    I reckon Chamakh wants to fight for his place – and that if we develop a style that suits Giroud it will also benefit the Chamster.

    Nite All

    It’s even night time here in Canadia Terry :)

  340. Adrian says:

    So it seems that we’re following a pattern of ending our transfer dealings with a profit.. It also seems that the Arsenal Support Trust has reported that Arsenal has an estimated 50M of transfer kitty left accumulated from the past few transfer windows. Must say I am a bit disappointed that we started the transfer window dealings with a bang only to falter towards the end. Part of the 50M could be used to make another one or two quality signings, i.e a center forward and a d.m which could really give us a significant boost in competing in 4 competitions as we are stretched a bit thinly in these areas.

    And i agree with those who have lost faith in Chamakh, to me he isn’t suited to the EPL. His only truly decent ability as a striker is to win headers, honestly I’d be over the moon if Wenger had gotten another center forward instead of relying on Chamakh for depth or whenever someones injured. Pity really, as i felt that we were just one or two more great signings away from seriously competing for the EPL.. thought tbh this always seems the case every transfer window. Regardless, will be interesting to put all this behind till the January transfer window at least and gauge ourselves against Liverpool this sunday.

  341. Adrian says:

    Come to think of it, the depth of the GK position is somewhat worrying too, perhaps in more dire need than the DM position. We’re just one injury away from Fabianski or Manonne (Who hasn’t exactly been tested in big games and seem relatively inexperienced) and the way Szcesny’s ribs are acting up as of late is a bit worrying. Hopefully it is nothing more than a short term injury. Even then, having a decent back up keeper is great competition wise too.

    The spuds seem to have gotten themselves a peach of a keeper in Hugo Lloris, hopefully his first season in the EPL turns out to be like De Gea’s.

  342. chas says:

    Which would I prefer?
    Song v Cazorla = Cazorla
    robbing van pursie v Pod and Giroud = Pod and Giroud (partly because bsr turned out to be a complete front bottom and the whole of last season we filled our nappies every time he was tackled)

    Therefore on balance, I’m happy.

    The only thing I don’t understand is AW continually stating that we were seeking new signings since Song was sold. Why not manage expectations in a more intelligent way?

  343. Illybongani says:

    Just before I scoot off to work, my ha’pennys worth…Arsene has finally nailed his balls to the mast. 8 years of nothing will mean he will have to go. A major trophy will mean he is a genius and will stay until he gets bored and goes of his own volition. I just cant see one more year of mediocrity being accepted by the board. But then again, if they do it will say exactly what their raisin d’etre is…money making. At least we will finally know where we will stand. Watching VHS and DVDs of past glories to keep us amused.

    To all intents and purposes we will have become…Tottenham Hotspur.

  344. Gooner In Exile says:

    Adrian don’t forget the transfer kitty is also to be spent on new contracts for existing players, and also the wages of the players signed so it is difficult to just look at the ins vs outs.

    Cold light of day it’s time to look at the squad:

    GK
    Szczesny/Mannone/Fabianski

    RB
    Sagna/Jenkinson

    CB
    Mertesacker/Koscielny/Vermaelen/Djourou

    LB
    Gibbs/Santos

    MF
    Arteta/Wilshere/Diaby/Ramsey

    AM
    Cazorla/Rosicky/Arshavin/Oxlade-Chamberlain

    FW
    Walcott/Gervinho/Podolski/ Giroud/Chamakh

    Utility Youth Players
    Coquelin/Yennaris/Miquel/Henderson/Aneke

    The only squad deeper in all positions is City and Chelsea in some. Someone needs to write a post to give the Arsenal fans that need it a sense of bloody perspective!

  345. chas says:

    I don’t understand the accusation that the board are just “money-making”. If they don’t take dividends or an increased amount of money out of the club, is the accusation simply about their respective share values growing year on year?

    The graphic below shows the directors’ remuneration for the recent past compiled from the published accounts.

  346. Illybongani says:

    Sorry Chas…what was I thinking of? By ” money making” I obviously meant “self sustaining”. Silly me!

  347. LB says:

    “I don’t understand is AW continually stating that we were seeking new signings since Song was sold.”

    Chas

    The mistake is to think that that statement is aimed at us the fans….it isn’t, simple as that.

    This is simply an advert to players and agents that Arsenal are in the market to sign more players.

    Think about it: what better way is there of making these people aware?

    When it comes to managing our expectations think…..”I will only sign a player of quality, someone who improves the squad”

    Personally, I don’t even need this as I wouldn’t expect him to sign a load of old tosh for the sake of it.

  348. LB says:

    Who in the last two days has been signed that you wish we had?

    I can’t think of anyone.

  349. LB says:

    I just don’t understand why people belittle the idea of living within ones means when they most likely do themselves.

  350. evonne says:

    Morning all
    I have switched on my laptop. Did we sign anybody last night?

  351. kelsey says:

    I find it amusing that the majority of fans wanted Chamakh and Arshavin out and now some are defending the virtues of having them in the squad.
    Wenger clearly doesn’t rate Chamakh and neither do I. Yes he shields the ball back to goal and can also head well, but a striker never.Arshavin is a 60 minute player, brillant on his day, sees openings, is intelligent but has lost his way big time and is reportedly one of our highest wage earners.
    The back up keeper should have been addressed IMO

    Diaby and Rosicky need to remain injury free, though I doubt it and Jack is still a long way off from returning.
    Anyway all the best to the squad and I am looking forward to see how we perform tomorrow.

  352. LB says:

    If Diaby had belonged to Lyon for example people would be comparing him to Vieira and we would have been falling over ourselves to get Wenger to sign him.

    The thing is Wenger is right in many ways when he says that one of the best ways to improve a squad is to get your injured players back.

    There is of course that other small English talent we have called Wilshere.

  353. Morning Kelsey
    I don’t think many people are talking about virtues of having Chamakh. Rather trying to look for a positive in him because we are stuck wiyh him. I don’t mind Having Arshavin as a 60 minute player as long as he’s not relied on to defend.

  354. evonne says:

    GM – i thought so. Oh well, as soon as we are hit but injuries we will have an excuse for dropping points

    BTW Michael, could you not do something about the squad’s haircuts? They are so daft

  355. It’s not just the squad evonne it’s footballers in general.

  356. evonne says:

    GM – true :)
    Did other teams make significant signings last night?

  357. LB says:

    Very good question Evonne.

  358. Morning all

    You have to laugh at Arsenal.com, their leading article this morning is about Nikki B’s loan to Juventus ;)

    What shall we talk about today? Who’s feeling battered and bruised?

    Swansea can go top if they beat Sunderland at home this afternoon – football is funny isn’t it :lol:

  359. evonne says:

    LB – I found one important signing: Grzegorz Sandomierski [Genk - Blackburn] :) Other than this is Yossi going West

  360. MickyDidIt89 says:

    LB,
    Who on here belittles the idea of living within ones means?

  361. evonne says:

    Morning fibber – water shortage in Marbella?

  362. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Still amazed Chelsea going into the season with Torres as only striker.

  363. LB says:

    Read up Micky.

  364. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bad answer

  365. Forest fires ….. water shortage ….. it’s all the same isn’t it ;)

  366. Chelsea looked absolute pants yesterday although Athletico Madrid were really going for it …… talk about swarming and then breaking at pace!!!!!!

  367. Red Arse says:

    Morning Folks, :-)

    All well, I trust.

    Calm refection tells me there was an awful lot of dross (that horrible term ‘dead wood’, would not cross my mind) was transferred about yesterday, with the exception of perhaps Man City’s buys.

    We were off out of it! :-)

  368. Red Arse says:

    ‘better off out of it’ :-)

  369. LB says:

    That Nikki Bendtner really does not want to leave does he? In many ways this does work out well for both parties, if Juventus improve him it is not beyond the realm of possibility that he could play at THOF again, irrespective of he has said about that in the past.

    The big player in NB’s life is his Dad and it is his comments that are the ones to take note of rather than his hot headed son, well I do anyway. And throughout all of NB junior’s trials and tribulations at Arsenal NB senior has always come out and said NB junior is not going anywhere.

  370. I’ll change that for you shall I …. :)

  371. LB says:

    Well Micky, that is the only answer you are going to get because it is up there staring you in the face.

  372. I do wonder why he wasn’t more successful at Sunderland though …….

  373. evonne says:

    Peaches !! Behave !!

    I thought it was a good game last night. I thoroughly enjoyed Chavs getting the spanking. And the stupid fans singing ‘The European Champions’ :) :) It was 4:1 and could have easily be 6:1

    De Mateo first manager to be given the marching orders? Think so

  374. Micky’s poured himself another coffee and is reading through last nights comments now ……….

  375. evonne says:

    micky will be scrolling throught the comments for a while …. :)

  376. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Taking everything into consideration, I believe we are stronger after our summer transfer dealings.

    Our potential for success rests on only two things: how well and how quickly our new signings can adapt to the Premiership; and how lucky/unlucky we are with injuries.

    Keeping Arteta and Cazorla fit whilst having the personnel to give them a rest when necessary is vital, so Coquelin and Ramsey will hopefully continue to improve.

    Jack is a total unknown quantity, we can only hope he returns, returns soon and returns as the player we lost.

  377. Big Raddy says:

    Fine point made by LB. Would any of the transfers to PL clubs been welcomed?

    If we had signed any of them (apart from Essien) we would have been accused of shopping at the bargain basement. That said, both Spurs signings would have fitted but I doubt either of them would have taken a bench seat which is all that AFC would offer.

    I am also amazed that MU did not sign a creative midfielder. Cleverly is not the answer nor is Carrick/Anderson/ Scholes. Perhaps we are not the only ones who have to balance their books

  378. Who would you rather have to come off the bench Chamakh or Nik? I hope Nik does really well and comes back ……

  379. Rasp says:

    Morning Raddy, Dembele is a good player – but I’m not sure how he’d fit into our existing mix of midfielders.

  380. Oh no, sorry everyone, I mentioned the Ch word and didn’t realise Rasp was up :oops:

    Morning Rasp :)

  381. LB says:

    Peaches

    Your 8.41 sums the point I was trying to make perfectly.

  382. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    The only one for me would have been Garcia to City, although I know we cannot compete on wages, but as a transfer, he would be my answer.
    I still think we are in trouble if we lose Arteta before Jack is ready.
    That is my only area of concern.
    Up top, I think we are fine as Pod would be central stand-in for Geroud.

  383. Rasp says:

    Morning peaches, Nik for me every time :? A striker has to want to score and at least Nik B’s perceived arrogance means that he gets into the danger area and gives himself a chance of getting on the end of something.

  384. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Rasp. I agree Dembele is a fine player and Spurs have done well in the transfer market.

    Nik B to Juve is good for BR because La Vecchia Signora is the closest club to my holiday home and if I can get a ticket will go and see the fellow.

  385. Adrian says:

    I do not think the loan move to Juve for Bendtner is a bad idea for the club. Who knows, Bendtner might turn out to be a potent striker that fits well into Juventus’ system and start banging goals in left and right no matter how small the possibility. (IMO Bendtner isn’t as bad as what certain people make of him, hes not too shabby football wise for a 24 y.o, attitude wise its a different story.) If he does, we can bring him back as I rate him much higher than Chamakh. Or we can even sell him at a hike up price to Juve after the loan or whichever club that wants him.That way, its a win-win situation for us.

  386. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. We disagree about our fragility in midfield. I am more concerned about the right side of defence.

  387. LB says:

    We have seen the future and I for one am very excited about it.

    The first 45 minutes of the game against Cologne was no fluke……that will happen again.

    We have no one to Fear.

  388. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    I hope you are right about the midfield.
    On the RB, I do see your point. The back-up option is always hardest in a position where the first option (Sagna) is so far and away brilliant, as the back-up will always see little playing time.
    Jenks or Yennaris for me.

  389. LB says:

    Sagna, Jenkinson, Yanaris and then we can still play Koscielny there.

    The mistake is to judge Jenikinson on last season’s perfomances. Jenks seems to be the first person the Steve Bould sat down and talked to since his appointment as AW’s assistant and his game has changed beyond recognition in only the first two games of the season.

  390. LB says:

    Dembele or Carzola?

    No brainer.

  391. I wonder how much influence Steve Bould can have on Theo’s game too ….. he and Jenks play like they hate each other!!!! Now the kid gloves are off and I can see Bouldy grabbing a few more necks :)

  392. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    You asked who would we prefer, Chammers or Bendy. Can I politely respond — neither? :-)

  393. Redders – you’re not a Nik fan then? I think strikers need to play every game they can, they need their awareness of where they are and where the goal is to be really sharp.

    I hope Nik can be a bit humble at Juve, I hope he can realise that they know that he’s there because he hasn’t proved himself at us or at Sunderland

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