Give it a rest Arsène ………. why not rotate?

I just want to point out that this view comes from a fairly new football fan but more importantly an  Arsenal fanatic. Because I am been new to the game, I probably watch more than my share of non-Arsenal matches, in my quest for knowledge. I note the way other managers use their squads, and then I look at our talented team. I am well aware of the players not available due to injury at any given time, as all of us are.

I am constantly frustrated by the feeling that we have players who are getting run into the ground, while on the other hand, we have talented eager people getting rusty, and possibly disgruntled, on the bench. Both of these feelings are compounded even more by the fact that we never do early substitutions.

Let me start with this example: Sagna has just returned from a serious, long term injury – also one very similar to his previous leg break. Before his return, Jenkinson was filling in more than admirably. He was mentioned as a candidate for MOTM often, also being recognized by the media and the national team. So, as we heard that Bacary was close to his return to the team, I thought about how he should probably be used.

To me, there certainly was no reason to rush him any faster than necessary, but I did worry about Jenkinson getting too many minutes from the beginning of the season. But still, a great problem to have. Why not give Sagna enough match time to regain sharpness, then make sure he gets an occasional week off, to keep him healthier, and Jenks sharp. Now, it feels to me, (despite the new contract)  like Carl has fallen off the map.

Before the Tottenham match, or maybe the previous one, Sagna was a doubt, and had to pass a fitness test before the game. Wouldn’t that be a perfect time to have him take a day off, considering his recent injuries, the run of games he played, and the quality of the backup for the position? I know he doesn’t want to sit ever, but few players do, and the manager has to get them used to rotation.

Why is there such fear, that we must start our absolute best 11 for every match? It’s not as though there’s a frightful drop off in quality with the example I just cited. It’s not like last years RvP – Chamakh situation.

Arsene fills our team with international quality along with young, promising players. I just don’t see us resting our best or working in the rest of the squad, in any prudent manner.

Cazorla, to my eyes, takes a more than usual beating, because he plays at such a high level of effort, he is marked harder than anybody on the pitch by the opposition, and because of his size, they try to rough him up as much as possible. Even if you don’t like the drop off in class to the second or third choice, he must be given some time to recharge. The same goes for Arteta. I think we are seeing some fatigue with our midfield. I really don’t want Jack to be overworked. I know he has been subbed for, but that’s not the same as a week off, considering how long he’d been out.

I won’t waste your time going through all the possible options that we have to give our guys some rest. There are plenty.Including some versatile players like Arshavin, Ox, Coquelin, who can do midfield and other positions pretty well. They might even be inspired to excel by the opportunity. I wouldn’t be surprised that even if we have a fully fit squad with Diaby and Rosicky, Arsene would over use Cazorla,and Arteta, though probably a little more careful with Wilshere (learned the hard way).

Our recent midweek match with Montpellier as an example, a good opportunity to work in Jenkinson, or rest either Santi or Arteta in midfield. If we don’t trust ourselves to tweak the starting 11 in a match like that, how will we ever be confident.

At the back, I think we need to keep our top 3 CBs fresh. No one likes a rusty center half, so when Gibbs returns to LB, we must keep that in mind- and he is another that should not be playing 2 matches per week, or for or five in a row. Not with his history. I don’t care if it’s Santos, Vermaelen, Yennaris, Miquel (I’d like to see Ignassi a bit more).

We can’t approach every match selection as if it’s a Champions League final. But that drives me to my final point ———

Something that many of my complaints come back to : We are often in this position because of how we do our business. The feeling of having to start our best players always, with no margin for error, because of our perennial slow starts to the campaign. This comes from late bargain hunting at the end of the window, or general disorganization at the top regarding contracts and such. All made worse by a ridiculously impractical pre-season in which our players (even the ones who signed early) had precious few minutes in matches together, in some cases, almost no time to gel. Terrible for a club with youth and a high turnover like ours. We can still do tours, but we must set up more practice matches.

Even having noted that situation, it’s no excuse not to rotate a lot more than we do. Keep everyone better rested, fresher, sharper, maybe happier- and who knows, we might even see a few less injuries that way.

Written by Johnnie nyc

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136 Responses to Give it a rest Arsène ………. why not rotate?

  1. oz gunner says:

    Couldn’t agree more jnyc. We’ve got the depth now use it. Santi, Arteta, Podolski, and Mertesacker must be getting knackered. Giroud also.

    We went from giving youngsters a go all the time to now never at all. Jenks and Sagna should be rotated more, Miquel time at LB, Coquelin to come in at either central midfield positions. Jack and Ox for Santi. Eisfeld and Yennaris could pop in a bit more.

    The season is very long and we don’t want another January form slump

  2. Excellent points made Johhnie. I like the cut of your jib, sir.

    A game like Wednesday’s did seem to be an ideal one to rest some of our long term injury returnees, or if not at least make some earlier subs so the fatigue that sets in later in the game doesn’t lead to little hamstring pulls, muscle strains etc..

  3. para says:

    “Keep everyone better rested, fresher, sharper, maybe happier- and who knows, we might even see a few less injuries that way.”

    Completely agree.

  4. John Gee says:

    And then what happens? We leave out Sagna, Wilshere, Cazorla etc and don’t get a result !! If they are carrying knocks then by all means give them a rest, if not they should play. Too much is made of players being tired. Players want to play, and that includes the automatic choices.

  5. oz gunner says:

    John Gee it’s not like we need to rest them all at once. That will create too much of a shake up. One or two at a time shouldn’t upset the apple cart too much. Our squad should be good enough to allow Jenks and Coquelin to come in for Sagna and Arteta. Or a game against lowly Villa should mean we can rest Santi and play ox as AM

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    Good post Johnnie, but I think you make it sound a lot simpler than it really is.

    Rotation depends on the depth of a squad, the quality of your players, the type of competition and the team you are playing.

    The teams with the biggest squads and the deepest pockets tend to rotate the most frequently.

    We appear to have a lot of depth but when you peel back the veneer you find that it’s paper thin, we are saturated with potential and crying out for top class players.

    AW has always used the League Cup to rest his 1st team squad and rotate with seldom used squad players or up and coming youth.

    However you do make a good point in the case of Sagna/Jenkinson –
    giving Jenks a few more games may have been beneficial to both players, but I think AW was looking ahead and wanted Sagna back up to speed for the Spurs and Montpelier games.

  7. John Gee says:

    Yes oz gunner and we know our record against “lowly clubs”. Remember Norwich, Sunderland Fulham etc. Consistency of performance comes with consistency of personnel. Of course rotation is necessary. That is what the Capital One Cup is for. Arsenal were the forerunners at introducing youngsters in that competition. Arsene will know from training whether players are going stale. That is the time to give them a rest.

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    JYNC,

    It just struck me, AW has a built in rotation system, it’s known as the sick bay.

  9. oz gunner says:

    @ John Gee

    Consistency is definitely needed you are right, but we also have to be mindful of complacency within the squad. Get the starting 11 thinking they are going to play every game and they might get too comfortable. Get the squad players thinking they aren’t getting games they will revolt and cause unrest within. But don’t you think he played Diaby too often? We should of been playing him here and there (true we didn’t have Rosicky and Jack to fill in, but we did have Coquelin who could have been given a run of games to produce). based on his injury history

  10. Simon says:

    Easy to say drop players when we have won init? The Montepellier game could v gone wrong on so many levels and we only got bac into it during the second half.

    Some level of consistency is required in every team , I agree we shld use our substitutions more but when it happens that we r chasing almost every point now would u take many risks? For instance we dropped BFG for Kos when chelsea where at the emirates….still regret that decision till date. Dec and January will v a lot of games..with the FA cup and carling…we can rotate then….

  11. So Sparky has been sacked, not surprising really, but Big & Randy will be happy.

    What odds for Rangers to employ a certain melty faced tax dodger to replace Hughes ?

  12. goonerjake says:

    As long as the players are not injured you ALWAYS play your best eleven. Thats how id do it thats the way the invincibles did it and it worked out pretty well then

  13. GoonerB says:

    Well done Johnnie. It is brave to put out a post that you know will divide opinions and this will likely create some debate and differences in viewpoints. No problem for me, I think healthy and reasoned debate is what this site is all about.

    I don’t wish to sound like I am sitting on the fence but I agree with both viewpoints that we need consistency but need to rotate also. The problem is we have quite a few that probably need a rest and have a tough away game at Everton coming up straight after the weekend. As such I would probably go for a few more changes at the weekend than I would ideally like but keep the cavalry on the bench and hope we don’t need to call on them. Ferguson has done this with Utd in the past and seems to manage it.

    All those that could do with being rested for various reasons of having played too much or not overplaying if they have just returned from a long injury, would for me be; BFG, Sagna, Arteta, Wilshere, Santi, Podolski, Giroud. Not an insignificant list if you are trying to rest them all, especially as I believe walcott is out and we still don’t have Gibbs, Rosicky or Diaby back yet.

    You would have to chance a couple of those at least on Saturday and hope they don’t get a fatigue injury and also may need to chance 1-2 rookies in the side, and as I say have the experienced players starting on the bench. To throw in my tuppenceworth I would go with a starting line up, (in the favoured 4-3-3), as follows :-

    Szcesny
    Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Miquel/Meade
    Arteta Coquelin
    Chamberlain
    Gervinho Arshavin
    Giroud

    That gets the BFG, Sagna, Wilshere, Santi and Podolski a break. Ideally I would want Arteta and Giroud to have a breather also but if walcott is available for Everton we could play him up top or still as a wing forward with Podolski up top. I would give Arteta a rest against his old club and ask him to do a job for us this weekend. What do you guys think?

  14. Oh dear, looks like we are lumbered with “Em****es” on our kit till the end of the 2018/19 season.

    Even worse the ground naming rights don’t change – it’ll be the same till 2028. :(

    No problem I’ll always call it “Ashburton Grove”.

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Johnnie,
    I tried to make this very point both prior and post Montpellier, but you make it far more convincingly.
    You are spot on about the relationship with injuries, and Arteta looks half the player just now, so how much less effective would a replacement actually be, despite that player being of a lesser quality?
    I think as far as the squad is concerned, we are ok up top and at the back, but the fragility in midfield due to the lack in depth of quality terrifies me, which is why earlier this morning I said we were badly in need of a world class defensive midfielder.
    Heaps of work to get through, but I had to pause and comment on such a superb and bang on post.
    Well done, and thank you.

  16. GoonerB says:

    Another point for those that maybe don’t think rotation is so necessary. At the end of last season some of the media, pundits and many Spurs fans themselves were putting their end of season collapse down to the twitchy ones refusal to rotate his squad through the season. They indicated that he kept playing his strongest 11 and that was great when they were fresh early on in the season but in the end many players ran out of steam. I don’t know if this is true but they certainly should have had 3rd nailed down last year and something went wrong and I don’t personally think it was down to the spotlight on the England managers job as some would believe. Just saying……

  17. goonerjake says:

    Is the £150 million for both the shirt deal to 2018/19 and the stadium naming to 2028? The arsenal website is a bit unclear on that

    “£150 million deal which grants the airline a five-year extension to their shirt partnership with the Club until the end of the 2018/2019 season. ”

    “As part of the deal Arsenal’s home will continue to be known as Emirates Stadium up to 2028″

    Because £150 mill until 2028 aint that great.

  18. Agreed G Jake, it also includes training kit rights so it’s an average-middling deal, not a great deal.

    Tieing yourself into a deal till 2028 does seem rather a leap of faith, who knows what growth in the Premier League there’ll be till then ?

    I think I’ll do what Chas does and rip off/colour in “Em****es” on the front of the shirt if I ever do buy another top.

  19. goonerjake says:

    Dont worry about colouring in emirates on your shirt the last two i had emirates peeled off in bits, latest shirt i have i hand wash it in cold to prseave the neatness.

    Is it just me or was their something athesiticly nice about the small three letter JVC that looked nice

  20. I wish JVC could be our sponsors again, maybe we could defend like the famous back 4 again if they did ?

    Yes, I know:straws, clutching, etc… :)

    Actually anyone else would be good as sponsors instead of those bunch of cruds..

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    Goonerjake,

    It seems clear enough, the new deal extends the shirt sponsership for five years and the stadium naming until 2028.
    So we will be able to get another shirt sponsership in five years time.

    When asked about this the Emirates divisional senior vice-president, corporate communications, Boutros Boutros. agreed agreed?
    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Emirates and Arsenal agree new £150m deal

    Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines, and Arsenal Football Club have today announced a new £150 million deal which grants the airline a five-year extension to their shirt partnership with the Club until the end of the 2018/2019 season.

    As well as being one of the biggest deals ever struck in the game, the agreement, worth £30 million a year for five years, extends and deepens one of the strongest and most recognisable partnerships in sport.

    The new agreement was formally concluded today at Emirates Stadium by Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis and Emirates divisional senior vice-president, corporate communications, Boutros Boutros.

    “This is an exciting day for Arsenal Football Club and all our supporters,” said Ivan Gazidis. “This agreement is a testimony to Arsenal’s approach and to the capabilities we have developed in recent years as well as the strength of our partnership with Emirates.

    “The original deal with Emirates was a key facilitator of our move from Highbury and this next phase of our relationship will be just as critical to keep us at the top of the game in England and Europe.

    “Emirates is the perfect partner for Arsenal and we are delighted to have agreed a new partnership. Emirates is a world-class brand and by flying to more than 120 destinations across six continents has a truly global reach. This reach will play an important role in our own ambitions to further extend the depth of our following around the world. The fact this partnership will continue for many years to come underlines how much both organisations value and benefit from the relationship.”

    As part of the deal Arsenal’s home will continue to be known as Emirates Stadium up to 2028.

    The Emirates brand will also continue appearing on the front of Arsenal’s playing and training kits and the new agreement contains a number of marketing rights, which come into effect immediately, to ensure Emirates can engage with Arsenal fans in the UK and abroad.

    “Arsenal’s strong appeal around the globe and ambitious approach to the game parallel our own approach to business, making them a valuable partner for our brand,” said His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

    “We continue to see immeasurable value in our global sports sponsorships and our sponsorship with Arsenal is no different. The Club has been an important enabler of the growth of our business over the last decade and we are confident this will continue as part of our extended deal.

    “This partnership remains a perfect combination of two truly global brands. Through our global network and carefully-selected sports sponsorships Emirates is able to unite and engage fans, and coupled with Arsenal’s worldwide fan following this makes for a strong match,” added HH Sheikh Ahmed.

    As part of the partnership agreement the Arsenal soccer school in Dubai, which launched in 2010, will also continue. Since the school opened more than 4,000 youngsters have trained there and are often visited during the term by Arsenal’s first-team players.

    Emirates first signed its sponsorship agreement with Arsenal in 2004, providing the airline with naming rights to the stadium until 2021 and a shirt sponsorship that began in the 2006/07 season.

    Aside from European football club sponsorships, Emirates is also an Official Partner of the FIFA World Cup™, the Official Airline of a number of golf tournaments internationally and supports a range of high-profile horse racing, tennis, rugby, sailing and cricket events across the globe.

  22. Bit slow today, everyone out catching a bit of autumn sunshine ?

    I saw Twitchy in the Shepherd’s Bush Kwik-fit getting his car window greased..looks like he’ll be getting interviewed from there soon.

  23. richie says:

    @Charry66 I’m not like you

    em•ir•ate ( m -r t, -r t )
    n.
    1. The office of an emir.
    2. The nation or territory ruled by an emir.

    Emir meaning “chieftain” or “commander”, is derived from the Arabic root ‘-m-r, “command”. Originally simply meaning commander or leader, usually in reference to a group of people, it came to be used as a title for governors or rulers, usually in smaller states, and in modern Arabic is analogous to the English word “prince”. The word entered English in 1593, from the French émir.[1] It was one of the

    I like our stadium having a royal connection we used to be Royal Arsenal after all :)

  24. Red Arse says:

    richie, is that a smiley??

    Who taught you that, I wonder? :evil:

  25. That’s cool richie, as this isn’t a political blog I won’t go into the exact reasons for my position on Em***tes.

  26. kelsey says:

    Johnie in principal your post is good but i doubt the theory can be put into practce looking at our present squad.
    One can’t double up in every position and then put into the equasion, the players on the brink of the first 11 and then add the constantly injured players plus the various players out on loan.of which, most have no future at the club..The balance of the whole squad needs altering and that will take time and a certain amount of money.
    it has been stated before that we have several players on high wages who we just can’t sell, again mainly because of the wage structure.

  27. jnyc says:

    Im not saying we should expect as much rotation as a man citu who are deep from money. More like manu, who keep their players involved and get great contribution from everybody. I think we have better quality than them, so we shouldnt have to overuse our strongest players all the time. —– but most of all we need to have the faith and confidence that we can rotate one or two per match and not worry or miss a beat.

  28. richie says:

    The way I’d like to see us rotate is to keep bringing through the kids! We’ve got so many youngsters with so much potential, that they should keep getting a look in at the top level I’m not of the Hanson brigade! Remember him?

    Alan Hansen, on August 19, 1995 announced on Match of the Day that “You’ll never win anything with kids” However, we now all know that SAF’s team of youngsters including David Beckham, the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were able to win the title, and also win the FA Cup, securing the first of what was to be two consecutive double-winning seasons, a feat never before seen in English football.

    Hansen he has since admitted this to be the biggest blunder of his media career.

    @Redders I just copy and paste but on TA’s I can’t there’s a block

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here are my danger errr’s
    Ist XI (BACK UP):
    .
    Pod (Ger,AA) Gir (Pod) Theo (Ox)
    . Santi (errr?)
    Arteta (errrr) Jack (errr Diaby ROLF)
    Gibbs (Santo) Verm (Kos) BFG (Kos) Sag (Jenks)
    Sz (Vito)

    And yes, someone can be back up in more than one position. All my errr’s are in midfield as Ramsey, Coq, Pong are not good enough yet.
    In other words, one great defensive midfielder could cover for both Art and Jack, and would probably play on average every two games assuming zero injuries to either Jack or Arteta.

  30. jnyc says:

    Hi Kelsey, montpellier is not a good team this season, for example, so couldnt we have given a break to one of either santi or arteta, then sagna or podolski? That way all of them wouldnt be looking at 3 matches in a 7 day period. Thats the kind of schedule we need to keep an eye on with jack also, but at least he has been being subbed first lately. —- we know that almost any team in the PL is a threat also, so we must show some confidence, or no one will ever be rested.

  31. jnyc says:

    It worries me to make these deals so long term? It makes me think that either we expect no titles, because if we are locked in, we wont be able to get the huge increase that top teams get. Why not make shorter deals, so we can capitalize greatly on any success? It seems playing it safe, or expecting not to be a top team.

  32. Exactly what I was thinking Johnnie NYC, it does seem to imply we expect further mediocrity/status quo if we have no room for manoeuvre in the future.

    Like I said before it’s not a bad deal, per se, just not that good, imho.

  33. kelsey says:

    jnyc
    it’s all a matter of opinion.I have stated many times a good team is based on a good regular back 4 and consistent keeper.then you go into midfield and then forwards.

    I think we are still short of 3 players of class, to get the right blend, if we are talking about really challenging
    We have used 4 keepers already this season, thee of them aren’t good enough for a team with aspirations to winning a trophy.

  34. jnyc says:

    True about the keepers Kelsey — but being more optimistic, maybe mannone isnt horrible for a number two for what he has shown? But i would prefer a more experienced backup keeper personally.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    We are always 3 players short.

    A couple of seasons ago it was a GK, DM and RW. Now it is a LB, DM and ????

    Jnyc. Very interesting post. I don’t agree with rotation in any PL game. We have to put out our best team …. always.

  36. Red Arse says:

    A very enjoyable Post, Johnnie, and with a well thought out cause and effect theme with some sensible remedial recommendations. :D

    As with every thing in life, balance is all.

    We must endeavour to play our best team, where possible, injury and fatigue allowing, and that will also be impacted by Arsene’s priorities in terms of which competitions he regards as the most important, particularly where CL and EPL fall within two or three days of each other.

    In addition, there would be no point in playing our ‘best’ team in a dead two legged rubber, for example, and it would be more beneficial all round to give the youngsters, our hopes for the future, a chance to gain experience and confidence.

    Nice one, J. :D

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Chary you are right. I am not by nature a vindictive man but Hughes is my weak point. Dreadful manager and a very nasty player. He and Shearer were the worst ankle biters I have ever seen.

    How a man with his managerial record gets extremely well paid jobs is beyond me.

    I like QPR and really hope they are not stupid enough to take Redknapp but fear they will.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Very well argued Post Johnnie.

    I’m sitting on the fence with Gooner B (see, we’re still thinking alike!), because I can see arguments for consistently putting out our best 11 and for not running those same players into the ground.

    Coming at it from the point of view of the squad, I think the following players can all do a decent job in the first team if they are rotated in (I have omitted the sick and the damned):

    Mannone (not entirely convincing, but then nor is Szcz).
    Jenks
    Santos (not as bad as recent hysteria would have us believe).
    Djourou (has performed at a very high level as CB. But we must NEVER, EVER play him at FB).
    Miquel
    Ramsey (but not out wide)
    Coquelin (borderline – he may be a bit below the level required).
    Arshavin (should be getting more games)
    Oxo
    Chamakh (don’t laugh – he could do fine in the OG role now that the team is used to playing to that type of striker).

  39. RockyLives says:

    Bugger. I just wrote a very long comment. When I posted it it vanished.

  40. RockyLives says:

    Oh! It’s back.

    Weird WordPress shenanigans.

  41. kelsey says:

    There is a sale going on in a stationary shop in Shepherds Bush

    biggest discount is on large brown envelopes.

  42. Red Arse says:

    I think you are being very harsh on the GKs, Kelsey.

    Mannone has not been in the Joe Hart league recently, but then neither has Joe Hart. Young keepers are prone to making errors and because of their unique position in the team they seem much worse than the mistakes made by outfield players. The golden boy can very soon be unfairly judged as having feet of clay.

    The above is true, in particular, regarding young Martinez who I think over the next 10 years will gain the experience and maturity to be an extremely able keeper. An opinion, and not a fact, but time will tell.

    In any event, how many top class keepers are there in football, and available?
    How many would want to come as a backup to Chezzer?
    If the new guy became No.1 would Chezzer stay? If not we are back to square one.
    If the new guy was not a top class keeper but just an older, ‘back up’ keeper, why would we want him?

    I am unconvinced by the assertion! Sorry, Kelsey. :D

  43. jnyc says:

    Thanks RA. my view of rotation definitely involves incremental balance. Never too many changes at once for PL or CL matches, and only when the drop off in quality isnt severe. Thats why i like the jenkinson example. . And RADDY, i think the best eleven on any given day is not always the top names, because one or two may be at less than their best due to fatigue, which only increases if they continue without a break. Is a tired arteta so much better than the alternatives.? —–But, Sone of this should be alleviated with rosickys return. He really has an impact on our midfield depth.

  44. Looks like Twitchy is a shoe in for the QPR job Radders – all that guff about the Ukraine gig was just negotiating tactics/pressure from his agent.

  45. jnyc says:

    Hi Rocky, i almost TOTALLY agree with your list and comments for each, like djourou at cb and santos. But people will kill us for that one. Coquelin im not sure about yet, but if he was the only change in the eleven, we should be able to try him on rare occasions. i didnt even laugh at chamakh, but thats too much of a drop in quality for me. Im not comfortable with him yet, if ever.

  46. Hi all

    Harry taking over at QPR is going to be such fun ……. he’s going to strip the slimy scummers bare :) :P :lol:

  47. Well he’s parted company with MoTD already Peachy, so at least we won’t have him ruining our Saturday evening viewing anymore.

  48. kelsey says:

    RA,

    I actually thought and have thought for a number of seasons that we should have bought someone like friedal whilst Szscney is still learning. mannone for me is not good enough and fabianski unforunately appears to have lost it. it wasn’t that long ago many thought fab would be the answer whilst szsney was out on loan.

  49. Well what chary :) How are you?

  50. RockyLives says:

    Johnnie
    The thing about Le Coq is that whenever he played last season I really liked him. He was tidy on the ball and worked hard. This season his performances have been a bit off. No idea why. He has the potential to be good.

  51. RockyLives says:

    Kelsey
    Couldn’t agree more. Szcz should be a highly promising back-up behind a 34-year-old ‘keeper.

  52. I’m fine Peachy, although you’ve noticed my 2 stage comment posting – as the wrodpress comment box collapses when I log in, I have to start my comments off by phone, then I edit them after.
    I think wordpress hasn’t forgiven me for swearing in one of my match reports for Tim.

  53. I agree with kelsey and Rocky about Szczesny, he should have had an experienced keeper to learn from.

  54. chas says:

    Nice post, Johnnie.

    If we didn’t always know who our best X1 were it might help on the rotation front.
    Whilst agreeing Jenks is an able deputy for Bacary, I can also see that the Frenchman needed games to get back his match fitness. His injury was impact after all. If we’re worried his leg will break again because he is playing too much, we are in trouble.

    Cover for Santi will be sorted soon as ‘Sicky is only 2 or 3 weeks away. Just imagine if Abou had stayed fit after his cracking start to the season. :)

  55. chas says:

    Szcz must have learnt a lot from Almunia.

    When not to play rush goalie for one.

  56. neamman says:

    I lean more towards Johnnie nyc opinion. There must be room for some players to be rested. Santi and Arteta immediately spring to mind. That being said the last game of the Cl may see some rotation plkus the league and FA cup. My preferred solution is to..whenever we are able, some games we cannot …bring on a youngster for 15-20 minutes in most games. Get them acclimatised slowly.

  57. neamman says:

    I dont mind QPR, I used to see them on trips to the UK if Arsenal and Orient were not playing. Now they are back in the EPL I wont but if they get relegated again I would. I also used to see Charlton occasionally in the old Valley back in the 60s.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Have you given the wall builder the boot?

  59. johnnie nyc says:

    Chas, great point about the nature of sagna’s injury. i like your thinking i just hope to see a bit of jenkinson soon.

  60. Micky :) – I just prayed that when I woke up this morning there weren’t any more down!!!!!!! Although I’m sure plenty will tell me it shouldn’t have happened, it was an isolated 1 metre wide, 3 metre tall block wall sitting on a mere damp course and that was their excuse :roll:

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    No keying in to anything? No supports?
    Sack ‘em

  62. chas says:

    It’s going to be on Grand Designs soon. That’s right, peaches, isn’t it?

  63. chas says:

    Is one of them called Yosser Hughes?

  64. It’s ok, a humungous crane arrived early this morning and there are now steel beams holding all the walls together :)

  65. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    Now you have begun to convince me. I thought you were talking about Mannone Martinez and Shea, as Flappy has not played for months.

    So if your 3 duff keepers were Flappy, Mannone and Shea I would have to agree with two of them, so not that far apart after all.

    I do not agree with you, Rocky and Peaches that an ‘experienced’ keeper should be brought in so Chezzer can learn from him, though I respect the opinions of others, as ever.

    Are there any examples of older keepers being brought in ahead of a promising youngster already established in the first team? Any? :-)

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    You respect the opinions of others, eh?
    I don’t. Anyone who doesn’t agree with me that we need a quality defensive midfielder, and that rotation is good, knows absolutely less than me :-)

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good news Peaches. I was going to suggest some glue, but reckon steel beams will help quite alot :-)

  68. jnyc says:

    I like the idea of an experienced back up, so he wont be so nervous if pressed into service in a big spot, or unexpectedly. Im not looking to replace szcezsny, i consider him good enough number one, and dont want to slow down his growth.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Johny.If it ain’t broke ….. Top players want to play every week. Do Messi or Ronaldo get rotated despite the fact that both teams have superb subs for them?

    If a player is out of form then we have adequate cover (except GK). Coquelin is going to get better with games but as far as I can see Arteta has only had one poor game since signing and that was Fulham. He was very good in the last 2 matches.

    The Invincibles team was never rotated apart from through injury.

  70. Red Arse says:

    Agree with that Johnnie!! :-)

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh dear, looks like I can’t respect Raddy :-)
    Raddy, Ronaldo and Messi are very special physical specimens

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. A DIY man after my own heart. Glue, gaffer tape and a staple gun are all one needs

  73. Big Raddy says:

    More special than TH or Santi?

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just got my respect back :-)

  75. Big Raddy says:

    It was my DIY skills wasn’t it? :-)

  76. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    I have a question of high portent for you. The fate of mankind as we know it depends on your answer!!!!!

    Why do we say ‘do it yourself’ or DIY, and not ‘do it myself’ or DIM? :D

  77. goonerjake says:

    JUST SAW THIS QUESTION ON ANOTHER SITE, ITS WORTH RESTATING HERE

    What will Arsenal do with £150 million?

  78. goonerjake – talk about it :) maybe spend some :) It’s worth remembering that they don’t get it all in one go :)

  79. Red Arse says:

    goonerj,

    They won’t need to sell our best players to break even, unless we lose the £30m per annum income from the CL by not qualifying, in which case it is back to square one.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    RA. You are the wordsmith. Tell me …….

    Over here it is marked DIY followed by “Gør dig Selv” (which means do it yourself) – strange it should be GDS or GMS (gør mig selv)

  81. goonerjake says:

    Watch the Free Vids on Arsenal Official, apparantly we will get a big share of the money straight away. They noises coming out of the marble halls is Arsene will have the money.

    I find it hard to believe that the money will be given to wenger, and even if it is i find it hard to believe wenger will spend it. I think the club as a whole will continue to act in a autere way regarding player transfers and wages, I do agree with the whole concept.

    If i am right which i may be, could the increased money recieved be given back in some way to the fans by lowering ticket prices.

    Theres a thought what would you want a) money spent on big transfer and wagers or ….b)The current ideals about buying and paying players with cheaper season/match day tickets.

  82. Gooner In Exile says:

    Johnnie it is very rare I can find nothing to disagree with in a post, so let me get the negative out of the way first, this season late August bargain hunting is no excuse.

    Now on to the meat of the post and the positives, I agree with all you say about rotation, and it’s not just the injuries I fear but the disjointed feeling that comes when too many cogs are changed at once.

    For me I would like to see more regular rotation of our men 1 at a time rather than wait until we suddenly have three or four as a result of injuries and suspension.

    But I think there is a time and a place and these days it’s in my opinion away from home, without the fear of moans and groans and calls of “get Sagna on” (or whoever has been rested) as the home crowd become angst ridden.

  83. Gooner In Exile says:

    £30m a year from Emirates and £25m a year from Adidas in the pipeline anyone going to complain about Gazidis salary now?

  84. Red Arse says:

    Damn, GIE!!! You have stolen a comment I was saving for the next person to say it isn’t that big a deal. :D

    £50m + per annum as against approx £14m per annum at the moment is a definite move in the right direction. And there will be more to come — but first we need a trophy!!

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    Jake,

    I cannot see them reducing prices but let’s hope, that just this once, they go out on a limb and buy a super talent like Huntleaar.

  86. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually RA it also proves that it’s not only trophies that ensure good commercial deals, and for the Emirates deal also proves you don’t have to shaft everyone to secure better deals.

    In the 30 odd years since shirt sponsorship started we have had what 4 sponsors? JVC, Sega, O2 and now Emirates. I just love the way we do things.

  87. GunnerN5 says:

    Pour yourself a glass on wine, sit back, and enjoy a good Arsenal read.

    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    Group hug as streak reaches 13

    Posted by Sam Limbert

    Arsene Wenger’s unflappability has paid off again for the Gunners

    In a season that has felt fraught with danger, it was both reassuring and enjoyable to see Arsenal progress from their Champions League group with a game to spare. With Chelsea and Manchester City either struggling in – or going out of – the competition, it is a testament again to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal the club have made it through the first group stage of the competition for 13 years in a row.

    It’s important to note such a record doesn’t fully compensate for the lack of a trophy, and people are still entitled to criticise the manager for not winning one of those recently. But the 13 years of consecutively making it through to the last 16 is an impressive achievement that is worth praising. In a time of much change for the club both in personnel on the pitch, and with the stadium move, to continually be in the latter stages of the biggest club competition in Europe is to be commended.

    This model of consistency has been further emphasised by Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking at Chelsea. While the Arsenal board shouldn’t just accept mediocrity and not properly challenging for major trophies, it’s risky to make a snap decision and sack a manager after a poor run of form. Generally, Wenger has recovered from bad spells, shown by the impressive Champions League record.

    The challenge is to convert one of these qualifications into the trophy. While Arsenal haven’t been in scintillating form in the Champions League this season, the possibility remains. Trophies can’t be won at this stage of the season, but as Manchester City and Chelsea have shown in Europe, they can be lost. It’d be better if Arsenal can top the group; however, last season proved there can be some big teams lurking even if you finish first so there isn’t always a huge advantage.

    The Montpellier match was much more low-key compared to the North London derby. In truth, it was always going to be. There seemed to be a mental and physical hangover from the high of Saturday’s win over Spurs, and the team’s fluency wasn’t great in the first half. However, the confidence gained from the derby meant Arsenal’s heads didn’t drop when things weren’t going their way. When chances did come in the second half, Arsenal didn’t shy away and weren’t tentative around the box, something that has been all too common this season.

    Jack Wilshere’s finish was assured after Olivier Giroud’s excellent header down, and hopefully it’s a sign his integration into the team is almost complete. In the lineup that started Wednesday, Wilshere hadn’t played with any of the other midfielders and front three before returning from injury, so while there is still time to develop his understanding with those around him, it’s a sign of how good a player he is to slot into the team as well as he has.

    Lukas Podolski’s goal was another one that emphasised the growing confidence of the whole team. I doubt Giroud would have been played that perfect chipped pass earlier in the season, and that Podolski would have felt confident enough to hit the ball first time. Both have grown into the team and combined to score a stunning goal.

    That match would only have seen a better goal than Podolski’s screamer had Per Mertesacker’s sidestep and dribble in the first half resulted in the big centre back scoring. Even he has gained confidence when attacking after his North London derby goal.

    There is still plenty of room for improvement in this Arsenal team. But before the derby, this week had the potential to be defining for the season in a negative way. Two wins later and the Gooner world feels a lot better. Some of the headlines have been diverted from from Arsenal, and that’s not bad thing as Wenger’s quiet consistency can help lead the team’s recovery this season.
    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    Sam Limbert is a lifelong Arsenal fan and has been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe.

  88. kelsey says:

    “We have been able to talk to Emirates about the payment terms and bring some of them forwards, so that we will have additional money in this financial year which will be able to invest in the summer.(from IG)

    bring forward

    What about some of the current cash reserves

  89. Shard says:

    jnyc,

    I have to say I agree with your post. I am a huge fan of Arsene, but even 10 years ago, I saw this as a weakness in him. He doesn’t handle squad rotation very well. It’s either very few changes, or too many. I don’t know how much we can complain about this because obviously he knows his job better. Looking in from the outside though, this does seem like something he could improve on. It probably has to do with his philosophy on loyalty to players and who’s first choice and who’s second choice. (Just a guess obviously)

  90. neamman says:

    an extra big name player vwouldnt hurt. It may help us keep talent.

  91. Shard says:

    kelsey,

    ADDITIONAL MONEY (Sorry, don’t know how to do the bold font)

    GIE,

    I love the way we do things too. And I’m actually glad we aren’t walking billboards the way ManU are. They also constantly proclaim themselves ‘the best club in the world’. That lacks the class of Arsenal who never SAY it. But we all know it’s true anyway :)

    Also agree with your point about the link between trophies and commercial deals. I think that is overplayed as a factor. It will help, but I don’t think it’ll be a prime factor for most sponsors. Emirates were apparently very interested in Arsenal’s marketing data.

    http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/emirates-crm-data-key-to-150m-arsenal-deal/4004892.article?

  92. chas says:

    Apart from the names, I only understand one word of this and that’s “Boom”.

  93. irish gooner says:

    whats a new football fan? how long have you being watching football?

  94. RockyLives says:

    Irish
    Where have you been?

  95. dandan says:

    evening all have just returned and seen the good news re extra cash
    . It bugs me that it is often quoted that we have number of players that cannot be sold because of the deal we have them on. I have been unable to locate any concrete evidence that this is so and would be grateful if any reader could provide substantiated background to these claims. Leaving aside the purchase price of said players which can be manipulated at the boards whim if a sale is desired, it is the salary element that must be the sticking point if such transactions are being scuppered, where, when and to whom has this happened.

    interesting article NYC thank you

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hi DanDan I think the only confirmed case is Chamakh with Fiorentinas chairman saying his wages were too much.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/fiorentina-deny-making-bid-for-arsenal-striker-marouane-chamakh-7931910.html

    €3m into his weekly will not be what most quote though

  97. Gooner In Exile says:

    Always said Hughes would struggle after the way he behaved at Man City and now it is coming to bear. Redknapp at QPR will be a laugh though. Hope Fernandes has deep pockets.

  98. Adrian says:

    Being more competitive in terms of players salary should offer no excuse for not getting Sagna and Walcott (who incidentally are the best attacking partnership on the right that we have) contract sorted out quick, right? Theres no point in getting huge sponsorship deal an then talk about attracting top top quality players if we can’t keep hold of our own quality players.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Adrian. Very good point.

  100. richie says:

    @Adrian Yes and no, IMHO we do things properly at the club, we have a wage structure and all the players at the club are aware of this.The fact that the agents of those same players will try all their shenanigans to obtain more money for their clients should be expected, but does that mean we (As a club) should roll over and break the clubs previously stated rules because, an agent tells his client I can get you more somewhere else?

    I think this is particularly important in this sugar daddy era, because we are not talking about a player asking for the going rate.
    This is all about players who have been bussy learning their trade at Arsenal gradually getting better suddenly saying, now I’m coming good I want more. I want you to break the wage structure for me, in Theo’s case I’m now the “man” pay me ex.

    Do Gonners think Theo is the man? Does Theo currently deserve more than Arteta, Santi, OG or the Pod? I like the fact that our club has taken a stance and that we aren’t even interested in joining SAF and trying to keep up with the Jones’s. I just don’t think any player is worth over £100K a week, never mind the ludicrus sums the “Oilers” are prepared to pay of nearly a million a month. I only ever want players who want to play for us at the club, so lets keep players who want to play for The Arsenal, and as for the rest well Bon Voyage!

  101. oz gunner says:

    agree Richie, sign or there’s the door. Arsene has done so much to theo, how does this get repaid? piss farting around with contract stuff, I’d be so tempted to throttle him if i was Arsene. He must be sick and tired of it every TW.

  102. oz gunner says:

    as fans i think we deserve a rest for a year at least. Hopefully all contracts are tired up for the year after so we don’t have to endure the stress

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Moning all.
    Richie,
    Good points, but apart from thefact I don’t think any footballer is worth 10k a week let alone 100k, can I add two things.
    Arsenal do not have a wage structure.
    The other is, I was talking to someone (not an Arsenal man) who loves his football and watches Arenal alot, and in discussing the Theo contract thing, I said about how he could not be the clubs’ highest earner.
    This bloke was adamant in his “Why not?”
    He explained how long Theo had been at the club, commercial value, age, contribution in goals and assists, showing improvement, and simple business sense.
    Very hard to argue against his cool logic.

  104. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    Give Theo the extra 15k or whatever, and he’s worth £20m.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My last point on this, I pretty much guarrantee the club have been kicking themselves for years they never found a way of giving Ashley Cole (or rather his agent) an envelope.

  106. richie says:

    Hi Oz our resident “downunder-er” I’m following the trend from yesterday when someone blogged “ballwinnerbacker”. Yeah damned straight we deserve a break, this bullshit that we are suffering every year needs putting to bed! Unfortunately the problem requires drastic action. IMO I think that if a player signs a 4 year contract and 20 months “in” won’t extend, then at the 24 month stage, that player whoever it is? Must be sold straight away period!

    If that became our clubs policy then we might break this cycle of players agents manipulating the situation, by stalling on re-signing for a whole year at the end of two years, so that the contract enters it’s final year which tips everything in their clients favor. I’d love it if we did this not because it would neccessarily act in our favor, but because it would be the right thing to do! i.e. show we are not gonna be held to ransom. Lets end up with players fully commited to the Arse! Not these me me me, I want types!

  107. oz gunner says:

    I agree Micky, if it’s only that much give it to him. In the last 2 seasons he’s come on leaps and bounds. If he’s bending us over a barrel then bugger off. He is better than any other replacement we could find

  108. richie says:

    Mickey why are you saying we don’t have a wage structure? I know a young lady in accounts that says we do!

  109. oz gunner says:

    here here Richie, say it loud! hallelujah!

    I’m 25 but my hearts age based on come from behind victories/losses and TW dealings means I’m 68.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Richie,
    Because we paid TH £200k a week for his last season.
    I’d agree we have a weird wage policy, but not structure.

  111. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Quite right Micky, it was 10 million.
    I have been thinking about TH14 returning . I am not sure if he would be a benefit on the pitch but some sort of position working with Wenger long term would be fantastic. I am sure he could motivate the players who need it,more than AW and Bould put together.he is a God to so many and he clearly still loves the club

  112. kelsey says:

    Can someone explain to me this new 150 million deal. I understand the shirt deal but the naming rights to be called The emirates Stadium until 2028 is part of the deal.
    How can the deal be with two seperate companies with the airline and addidas or have i read it wrong

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Kelsey,
    I don’t remember TH being particularly “motivated” in his last season, despite his ridiculous wages.

  114. kelsey says:

    Can’t argue with that,but he is that much older now and it was just a thought :)

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Moving on to happier things, like todays game, I pretty much guarrantee Raddy won’t be opting for too much rotation :-)

  116. Adrian says:

    Unfortunately the ugly truth nowadays is that players are like divas, like it or not most of them play for the cash and live like rich celebrities. Yes, paying a man to play football anywhere near 100k a week seems absurd when most people earn that amount in a year or more. But that Im afraid is a matter of principles that goes out the window the minute football is involved. With the EPL increasing in popularity over the past 10 years or so and with huge revenues/tv deals every year from all around the world this was to be expected.

    The thing is if you had a friend or a neighbour who is doing the same exact job as you, and you’re just as good as him if not better at doing your job, would you be satisfied that he’s getting paid a great deal more than you? I am sure that at some point you get frustrated and the minute another company wants to hire you for an improved salary, its highly likely you’ll take it. That’s how the world works and its no different in football.

    Therefore, while it should be applauded that Arsenal has their own policy about wages that is based around equalness and fairness, I think its time that the people in charge take another look at it or we’ll get left behind by other clubs. This has been discussed to death but I brought it up again seeing that IG said that we’ll be more competitive in terms of player salaries and transfers. Well he should put his money where his mouth is and sorting out TW and Sagna’s contract would be a great start.

    I’m not saying we should pay them ridiculously high wages like the Chavs, but if its just a matter of 15-20k we should have sorted out Theo’s contract ages ago. Like someone said, Theo has been one of our longest serving players right now and noone can deny he has improved by quite a bit since last season. At least in the event we want to sell him he will have a great resale value too. I think its about right that the fans shouldn’t gave to go through another summer of seeing first team players leave, for the past couple of years we’re the only team that consistently loses players and this shouldn’t be happening time and time again to a club of Arsenl’s stature.

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Morning all

    TH used to live close by me and it was widely reported that the reason for his poor form in his final season was more for personal reasons than football. He broke up with his wife, had a nasty divorce and struggled to maintain his access to his daughter.

    Any of us who have been in this position know how hard it is to concentrate upon work.

  118. Big Raddy says:

    It is not a question of 15-20k p.w It is much more than that because a buying club will not have to pay a transfer fee to AFC and thus can put the money towards TW’s wages. If he is worth €20m and that is paid over a 4 year contract then it amounts to an extra 100k a week, which added to a basic wage of 70+k a week is way more than AFC will pay – and rightly so,

    The agents have all the cards and Arsenal will have to assess if any player is worth that kind of wage because Theo will be paid double the rest of his team-mates.

    Or am I missing something here?

  119. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey the shirt deal with Emirates is for their logo going on front of all of our kit (plus stadium naming rights (for longer than the 5 year shirt sponsorship deal).

    The shirt deal with Adidas will be for making the shirt (as the Nike deal is at the moment). This is normally up front payments and share of profits on Arsenal kit sales. Nike will not want to lose us, but Adidas are aggressively trying to find a replacement for Liverpool.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    What you say about TH’s personal life definately deserves sympathy.
    However, he had decided to leave us for Barca, trophies and wealth.
    Just like Van Persie.

  121. kelsey says:

    Thanks GIE, now I understand.

  122. kelsey says:

    Trivia question:

    Who is the only EPL team that went a whole season without a shirt sponsor.

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy that’s spot on regards Theo.

    Also I don’t like the way is expressed as only £15k-£25k more a week.

    Let’s assume its the top estimate that he wants (extra).

    So that costs the club £1.3m per year, but then TV5, Arteta, Podolski, Jack, Sagna, Ox, Santi etc start knocking on the door. and that £1.3m becomes £10m per year.

    The key thing about the two increased commercial deals (although Adidas not yet announced) is that we will have approximately £40m per year more income as a result. That £40m puts us in a position where we no longer have to sell to make profit each season. That can only be a good thing, but doesn’t mean we suddenly have the extra money to splurge on wages, that’ll happen when the TV money comes in.

  124. kelsey says:

    Just to add that they were approached by one company but the club felt it inappropriate to have DUREX on the fron of their shirts (this is not a joke)

  125. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not forgetting the whole wage thing is a joke.

    I recently had to check myself as I said how refreshing it was that Jenkinson was signing a 5 year deal worth £32k a week as if its a paupers salary!!

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Who should be the highest earner at the club in your opinion?

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    All about standards Kelsey :) although deeming Durex as inappropriate is old school thinking, but it did save us some terrible jokes at our expense.

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky…..Szczesny (goalkeepers union :) )

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I agree with your friend, for the reasons he gave Theo should be the highest earner (after AW)

  130. Shard says:

    Morning all,

    Kelsey,
    Was it WBA?

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Morning Shard

    WHU?

  132. Rasp says:

    Morning all…….

    ….. New post ….

  133. kelsey says:

    it was West Ham

  134. richie says:

    @Mickey9:15 Apparently not I was told Thierry gave his mate Arsene the job of getting him out of London anyway he could? Because he couldn’t face his problems in London. When he arrived at Barca those same problems hadn’t gone away, and he openly said to Barca and the world that, that was why he wasn’t playing well for them. He said in an interview on Spanish TV that if Barca wanted him to play better maybe they could find a way to get his daughter to live with him in Spain.

    In an interview with Garth Crooks on BBC Football Focus, Henry
    expressed dissatisfaction with the move to Barcelona in the initial year, amidst widespread speculation of a return to the Premier League. Henry described missing life “back home” and even “the English press”.

    We “the Arse” got the best deal because Barca paid us €24Mil and Henry stayed with them for just 3 years. Thierry got paid the going rate for Barca players and did well in terms of winning things but there was no guarantees of that.

  135. well said. we do lack intelligent rotation. the villa match was so boring for once I was shocked that it was an arsenal match I was watching.

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