A point earned or 2 points dropped?

Well I will say from the outset, that for me it is the latter, despite coming from 2 goals down. Once again there were many positives from this game, in our attacking department, but that can’t gloss over the bad aspects of our defence.

theo equaliser

At the start of this season I would have happily argued that we actually had top draw defenders in our squad, but that what we lacked was the cohesive discipline to make it work as an effective unit. The sort of instinctive understanding that only comes from drilling it into the players on the training ground, so that everyone understands what their role and job is at all times when defending.

After this game, with the defensive frailties shown, which are not isolated incidents this season, I have started to question whether this is the case, or if basically our defenders just aren’t good enough for the level that Arsenal football club require, and should be aspiring to. I didn’t feel that Liverpool had to work very hard for their chances, while I felt they made us work hard for ours.

As I watched this game I remembered a comment regarding our defence from yesterdays post. I looked back through them and realised that it was Rasp that said it, and I feel it summarises my feeling after this game, so I will, (more or less), quote :

“Much as I’d love to sign a top striker I am adamant the problems lie in our defence. If we fail to make top 4 it will be down to goals conceded not failure to score”.

After watching this game and reflecting on it, in conjunction with other games this season, I find it hard to disagree with this assessment.

I couldn’t fault the general effort and urgency with which the team played in this game, which has been an issue recently, that we have all mostly been aware of. In fact I thought we were genuinely excellent in our attacking play for much of the game and should have had many more than 2 goals. Unfortunately to counteract this both of their goals involved a mix of poor positioning of our key defensive players at the required times, and a critical failure to clear our lines when the opportunity was there, in other words putting it into row Z. As a result, in addition to their 2 goals we presented to them, we offered up a few other gift wrapped opportunities to them, and could have seen more than the eventual 2 goals in the against column. This game could have easily gone either way but, for me, we were overall the better team. Our performance with the ball was very good but without the ball, well…….

A quick question to the AA faithful from me would be, “if we had Sol Campbell, (in his prime), and Vincent Kompany, currently as our 2 CD’s, would we have conceded the goals as we did in this game”?.

I have always advocated that a top notch defence gives you a platform to attack more freely through the attacking players. Better defensive players can make you a better attacking outfit. Poorer defensive players, for me, can drag your attacking players back to help bolster the defence and make you less effective in attack. I would surmise that we need serious consideration in this department and lo and behold we have less than 24 hours in which to possibly address this issue. It could be argued that it is more the way we train and defend that is the issue and not the quality of defenders, but could an issue like that really go on for so long at a club of this standing? I will let the AA responses determine whether it is the quality of the defenders, the way we drill them. Or a bit of both.

We have now been the nearly team for many years. I do however, feel that this team is close now, and that it requires only a couple of i’s dotted and t’s crossed to complete it. Onto the player ratings :-

Szczesny 6

He made a couple of his normal good stops, but was in no man’s land on a couple of occasions and still needs to make better decisions on when to come out and when to stay on his line and let defenders deal with the danger.

Sagna 6

Still improving after injury, but I still don’t feel we have the energetic box to box attacking full-back we used to have. Slipped for the comical first goal.

Mertesacker 5

At times his positioning and reading of the game is top notch. Tonight it was not so. We know he lacks pace, but when he is on form he overcomes that, but not tonight. Is it a permanent worry or just temporary? Turned his back for the comical first goal rather than take one in the face and stop it.

Vermaelen 6

Was covering a lot for under-performing team-mates tonight. Not been so good in recent weeks but I still feel he is a top CD and will get back to his best. Failed to clear for the comical first goal.

Gibbs 7

Looking the top class LFB he was destined to be dependant on injury. Lets hope the injury tonight is very minor.

Wilshere 8.5 and my joint MOTM

He is the real deal. The Arsenal and England teams of the future will be moulded around him. Most of our drive came through him

Ramsey 6

Decent, but I feel there are certain games he suits more than others, and it probably wasn’t this one. Ramsey, to his credit, is always a trier and will run all day for you, but I felt this game needed a more dominant defensive CM to release Cazorla and Wilshere. Near the end Ramsey looked like his legs had gone.

Cazorla 8

Not bad in the first half but excellent thereafter. A truly world class performer who plays with a genuine smile on his face,

Podolski 7

No goals but he is always a threat and was a constant thorn in their side. On another day he possibly gets a hat-trick.

Walcott 8.5 and my joint MOTM

Some things didn’t come off, but he always seemed to make the keeper work. I thought he was a constant worry for them whether he was attacking from wide to provide for a team-mate, or going for goal himself more through the middle.

Giroud 8.5 and my joint MOTM

Like Walcott a constant thorn in their side although in a different way to Theo. The 2 of them seem to be striking up a very good partnership working off each other.

SUBS

Santos for Gibbs 6

Not dreadful but not great either. I believe there will be many worried fans checking on the severity of Gibbs injury today, on transfer window closing day of all days.

Written by GoonerB

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261 Responses to A point earned or 2 points dropped?

  1. GoonerB says:

    Mmmm. I think a couple of those ratings may be a bit suspect GoonerB. You must have written them late after a few light ales, and not adequately reflected on them in the cold light of day. And 3 joint MOTM…..You will maybe need to explain your reasoning for this later.

  2. what are we doing even i can see we have the making of a great team,but aw just wont buy the two or three players that will complete the squad.where is our leader.

  3. Jeanette Kliger says:

    Isn’t it time we faced facts? AW started out with the best defence in England and has subsequently dismantled that part of our team. Anyone can see that Santos just isn’t good enough, so why bring him on at all? TV can’t cope with the responsibility. For god’s sake, the BFG is an established part of one of the best defences in the world, but he is surrounded by class not inferiority.
    AW leads us on every January. As one joker said on Sky this morning, “It’s the last day of the transfer window or, as we Arsenal supporters call it, Thursday!”. Love it!
    We shall see…

  4. slime says:

    Good write up GB and sums up how a lot of us will feel about last night, however, I have to disagree on a couple of ratings. Giving anyone the same or even less than Santos doesn’t make sense to me, he was the worst player on the pitch. I also thought Ramsey was decent last night.

    As for LB signings today, there are a few options available, problem is though that we are back in the region of signing 2nd choice players rather than getting in a top notch LB. Tough to get someone permanent knowing that Gibbs is back in a few weeks.

    Cissokho from Valencia. Been linked with a PL switch already this window and may be available.

    Izaguirre from Celtic. Was red hot a couple of seasons ago but did have a long term injury. Celtic would probably sell at the right price.

    Willems from PSV. We’ve been linked with him already and is a Dutch International at only 18.

    Bedimo from Montpellier. Been linked with PL already and might be a cheap alternative.

    Adriano from Barcelona. A short term loan might be an option as Jordi Alba is first choice these days.

    Meade from Arsenal! Was great on his CL debut, but may not have the size or experience needed for tough CL, FA Cup and PL games coming up. We could also use Sagna or Verm as cover.

    On another note, Begovic might be worth a bid with Butland heading to Stoke. Can’t see it though.

  5. Rasp says:

    :lol: Jeanette … Thursday, love it!

    I put this comment up earlier on the old post ….

    None of our 3 CB’s are top quality. they’re all good players but all flawed in some way making it easy for opposition managers to exploit our weaknesses.

    When you look at it the £8.5m we paid for Kozzer (an unheard of defender at the time) it looks ridiculous now, we could have bought Cahill (pre chav interest) for not much more than that.

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the report GB. The game had some of the best attacking and worst defending we’ve seen all season. The offensive side of our game is really improving and Theo and OG are providing plenty of firepower.

    I think Pod too is looking much sharper and put his drop in form of a few weeks ago down to the fact that he had a niggling injury.

    As for the defence, if I had a magic wand I’d take it apart and start rebuilding from scratch.

    And as for AW’s “we are working very hard on transfers” … we are either incompetent or telling porkies.

  7. Manthan says:

    Rasp,
    Point about is cahill is valid… Cahil is better then kozz… I had seen people saying in AA that we need a singing to finish in top 4 dis season including me… But after yesterday match i feel we need a bit luck on our favour to finish in top4 we have good team to finish top4 tough they are not good enough to win the title.. Yesterday’s match sagna slipped that was unknowlgly we cannot blame him for that and this season we had conceded 13 goals due to mistake by our defenders as per stats… so if luck is in our side we can surely make in top4 still there is a time.. Yesterday i had somebody quoting 3-2 win for arsenal but OG missed crucial goal and we cudn’t win……..

  8. Manthan says:

    Last season van der weil was availble for £7m but arsene didnt bid for him and he went to PSG now gibbs is out injured and we are in very big problem for next three weeks… I dont know why arsene dont spend its frustrating now…..

  9. Morning all, thank you for the write up GoonerB – I know how hard it is to write up a draw/defeat so well done.
    As you may guess I am not surprised by the events of yesterday and not even a bit annoyed by our presumed inactivity over the window(other than 3 players loaned out).
    I have been looking on wins as a pleasant surprise, and of course as I don’t have SkySports I look forward to Thursday night European football for us on ITV4 or Channel 5.
    UTA !

  10. slime says:

    Manthan,

    Van Der Wiel is a RB I think, and we bought Jenkinson instead, we just highlights the other side of the argument to all the transfer discussions we have on here. Van Der Wiel £7m or Jenks £1m? Money isn’t always an indicator of quality, but if you constantly shop in the bargain bin then you will inevitably end up with a few Santos or Chamakh’s! Whereas if you shop in Harrods then the odds on getting these duds reduces a bit.

  11. oz gunner says:

    Thanks for the post match GoonerB, definitely 2 points lost last night. Gibbs and Diaby continue to leave question marks in our squad, we know what they are capable of but what do we do when they are injured constantly?

    @ Manthan & Rasp

    I disagree, Koz is a better player than Cahill. Cahill commanded a small transfer fee because there was 6 months remaining on his contract at Bolton. However, because of his low fee he wanted a big wage which priced out a lot of teams (including us). Kozzer has struggled with injuries and hasn’t had a run of games this season. Compare that to last season when he was arguably our best player behind RVP, and only topped by Kompany in the best defenders in the league.

  12. Rasp says:

    I disagree oz, Cahill is a more reliable defender than Koz who has always demonstrated moments of madness. The collective nervousness/fragility of our defence is now affecting our keeper.

    Defenders have to be the bedrock of the side, big, strong and brave but above all reliable.

    We definitely need a utility defender who can cover when others fail – its probably too late for Jagielka but he is the type we need.

  13. Rasp says:

    Its quite simple, if we do not have top notch defenders or for whatever reason we are conceding too many goals, then we need a player/players who can sit in front and protect them – but that would reduce our attacking ability.

  14. FBK says:

    agree with GoonerB – ratings too generous. Andre Santos v poor.

  15. Rasp says:

    I refuse to make Santos the scapegoat for the collective defensive problems. He’s been the same player that we scouted and chose to buy. He was good going forward last night and made some very good defence splitiing passes …. he’s Brazillian and that’s the way he plays.

  16. Red Arse says:

    Well done GoonerB Good. :-)

    When Arsenal at last got going in the second half, it was possible to enjoy the ebb a flow of the game for a while, and I am sure that the neutrals would have loved watching it, but as an Arsenal fan, my concern that we needed the three points, and were doing our best, even at the end of the game, to present them to a very average Liverpool really got to me.

    In my years of supporting the Gunners, I have rarely seen such an inept defensive performance.

    I said earlier today that Mertesecker is fast becoming one of the worst CBs that I have seen — Stepanovs is moving over as I type — and I really believe it.

    Leave aside Santos, he is not really a LB, and won’t stay for long, but the whole back line, and the keeper, are constantly put on edge and do the most ridiculous and (un)funny comical things, usually in a blind panic.

    Mertesecker is like a stationary lamp post that the opposition simply walk around, that leaves a hole in the defence that the others try and cover for, which means leaving their own positions. Result? chaos!

    There are those, like you GB, who see merit in PM, in that, provided he is judged only on ‘reading the game’ by sticking his foot out to intercept passes, think he does a good job.
    But that is not enough for an Arsenal team who want to scale the heights. He needs to have some pace, some turning ability and to be able to pass the ball somewhere other than sideways to TV or back to the keeper — who sometimes then wants to entertain us with a Cruyff turn.

    Perhaps GN5 has the stats, but I am sure that we defend better as a unit when we field Gibbs, Kozzer, TV and Sagna, not just with a better ratio of goals against, but as a cohesive unit with the midfield.

    This is a subjective opinion based on what my big blues eyes have seen, and if other peoples’ eyes tell them something different, that’s fine – just do not expect me to change my mind any time soon.

    It is all very well supporting our players during the game, and I do, but you are right, Arsenal should aspire to better, so it is not wrong to be constructively critical and call it as you see it — this defence is simply not good enough, and it is not enough to blame the midfield, or the coaching, or the goal keeper — these players collectively are not good enough as a unit, and individually Mertesecker is not good enough!

  17. slime says:

    Rasp,

    First and foremost Santos is a LB. he didn’t demonstrate any qualities last night that are needed at LB. he missed tackles, was out of position and too unfit to cover his CB’s. it’s not a case of making him a scapegoat, as we have all admitted that all the defence was shocking last night, but he needs to go. How can he possibly be that unfit and play in the PL?

    As for Cahill and Kozzer, both are capable of excellence and stupidity. I think they are pretty even, but it’s fair to say at the moment that Kozzer’s form is far worse. If he gets a run of games again then I expect to see the Kozzer/Verm partnership that we were all excited about 18 months ago. I would still like to see Chiellini though! ;)

    I agree with you Rasp on the midfield side of it. You have to defend as a team, and once again the system we are playing does not give the right balance. Early in the season the team concentrated on secure defending and the attack suffered, now we are getting our forward game back and the defence suffers. For me, the key is having that one monster midfielder (Fellaini!) who can sit, has the legs to get around and be disciplined, strong and organised. We tried to stick a ball playing midfielder in there in Song, but he wasn’t disciplined enough. The fact is we haven’t had that player since Flamini, and we have suffered for it.

  18. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, good write up GoonerB and you have indeed highlighted the key cause for concern, and the problem is individual mistakes are costing us and have done for most of the season….

    The first goal was as you say comical, but for me the second goal is the worst albeit with an unfortunate bounce of the ball, but there were five red shirts and Szczesny and one Liverpool player, and somehow we couldn’t deal with him, Rambo made a good challenge, Santos bounced the ball back to Henderson and all had been suckered towards the player and ball rather than give room to pick up the pieces.

    From an attacking point of view we were great at times, especially the second half, and we did probably deserve the win, and hence that’s why the defensive frailty is costing us.

    Here’s a question….much has been made of brining Steve Bould in to work with the defence, and I think noticeably we have a better shape when defending this season, however is that reliance on shape and too much thinking about where they should be standing affecting their natural abilities as defenders.

    Despite above criticism of Kos I still think he has been the best defender at the club in the last two seasons, but lack of game time this term affects his performances when called upon. He is brave, quick and intelligent.

    As Rasp says Szczesny is now showing signs of being affected by those in front of him, which is never a good sign as he appears to feel the need to help out when the defenders should be in control of the situation.

    Vermaelen is capable of clearing that ball on the first goal, Sagna is capable of staying on his feet, yet somehow they manage not to and we gift the opposition a goal….if I was Arsene I’d be tearing my hair out, Bould is lucky he is already lacking the necessary follicles to do that.

  19. Manthan says:

    RA,
    Mertesecker just lack in pace but his tatical understanding is very good… He had a bad day yesterday we cannot blame him for that problem with arsenal dis season is v dont have a DM and we are doing many error like loosing the ball or slipping will defending…. out of 29 conceded half of them are due to our mistake not because of opponents smartness… But we have better team in attack then last year hope we will finish in top4 and next season we buy some quality… this window is already about to over so forget about new singings now……

  20. Rasp says:

    Thanks slime, I think my point re Santos is that at the age of 27 when we bought him (29 now), he was the finished article and defending was never the strongest part of his game (strange when you’re a defender I know). He’s looked quite good when he’s come on in midfield.

    Young players can work on improving their game but late twenties Brazillians who like to party and crash fast cars are unfortunately not going to put in the hardwork in training it appears.

  21. Jason says:

    Our attacking is hitting high form. Arsenal can score goals with any opponents at the moment. However,
    It is so sad to watch the team do the defensive work. Liverpool were lucky to score the 2 goals. If Arsenal defended (p.s Santos) better, especially the 2nd goal, we had won the game.

    2 things I observed during the pool game.
    1. Santos is not the right player to play as left back. He can’t protect his defence area. Just see the liverpool 2nd goal, how he did his part during the peocess of the goal? If he was a better defensive player, henderson had not have the chance to go into that shooting position. Santos should learn how to protect his area more than go forward as an attacking midfielder, he tends to go to middle of the field, which I can’t understand how a left back can be allowed to do so?
    2. Ramsey was always taking too long time to pass foward. Most of the time once he decided to pass, it ended up side-pass or back-pass, or been cut off by opposite players. In 1 or 2 occasions during the last 5 to 10 minutes, if Ramsey did a little bit better by passing the ball to Wilshire or Cazorla or anyone else in the attacking area, Arsenal’s attacks might not been cut off and a winning goal might have been produced. Ramsey needs to get this improved to be a better player.

    To sum up, it was a 2 points dropped. So sad to say.

  22. Manthan says:

    Slime,
    Santos is not a LB. he is brazilain and he use to play LWB so he has more attacking workrate then defending so we cannot blame him for that and arsene wenger knew dis while singing him……

  23. Manthan says:

    Gie,
    I totally agree with you that dis year we are defending well as a unit then last year but problem is v are loosing the balls and we are gifting the goal away to opposition…..

  24. kelsey says:

    Rasp, i will have to start charging royalties as you keep nicking my comments :)

    RA, you and I agree 100% about Mertesacker, I have never wavered from my view.

  25. Shard says:

    GIE,

    You might just have cracked it with your 4th paragraph, regarding Bould’s influence on the defense. I said yesterday that I didn’t think it was an issue with the system or the coaching because generally the shape does seem to be good. Much better than last season in fact, and we also generally are better on set plays as well. I think it is a mental issue, but have been racking my brains to figure out what could be behind it. Maybe it is that they are concentrating too much on what they should be doing, rather than trusting their instincts. If that is the case, then this won’t go away quickly. The shape is still important to maintain, and it is only with time that the new(er) ideas will become second nature to the players and not lead them to heap too much pressure on themselves. So maybe we do need a striker after all to just go for a score more than you concede approach.

  26. sube says:

    We cannot defend = we cannot win any trophy.

  27. Shard says:

    Thank you for the post GoonerB. Definitely 2 points dropped, though I suppose we were also lucky not to lose the game. The frustrating part about the first half yesterday (apart from the goal) was the amount of ‘near chances’ we had. We were so so close to really creating a great chance, but it just wouldn’t happen. The ones we did create were missed or saved by Reina. We played well overall, but we had to work so hard for our goals, while Liverpool were pretty much just handed theirs.

    It was also frustrating to see so many loose balls just break Liverpool’s way. Did anyone else feel that way? Everything seemed to be falling for them.

    Not to hide our flaws (as if it’s possible) but should that not have been a penalty to us for the trip on Podolski? And what was the foul against him given for when he won the ball and would have been through on goal?

    One other gripe I had was with Walcott’s goal celebration. He had a good game overall, and it was a very good finish, but it was so frustrating watching him cavort around looking for some personal glory when the game still had to be won. He should have been running back to try and score again instead of carrying out some idiotic pre planned routine.

  28. Mike says:

    BUY DEFENDERS! MERTESACKER IS NOT UP TO IT! SANTOS IS A JOKE! SAGNA IS GETTING OLD OR UNWILLING!

    2 POINTS DROPED DEFINITELY!

    OUR DEFENSE IS ALMOST RIDICULOUS!

  29. Shard says:

    RA,

    I never knew you had blue eyes. So that’s blue eyes, and a red arse. The facade of words is starting to reveal a picture, and so far, it ain’t too pretty :D

  30. Red Arse says:

    Shard, and good morning to you too! :-)

    Your avatar is defined as being: A piece of broken ceramic, metal, glass, or rock, typically having sharp edges. How very true!

    But I suspect that, perhaps, another definition might suit better: A tough sheath, scale, or shell, especially that of a beetle.

    Beetles get crushed by blue-eyed, fair haired, 18stone Yanks!! :D

  31. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Never mind a striker or a defensive mid-fielder, buy us a back four that can defend and a ‘keeper who can keep.

    Offer Everton £20 million for Baines, that will be a start, Butland for £3.5 million is a steal, failing that, forget Villa and buy Victor Valdes from Barca instead.

    How many years is it since we had a reliable ‘keeper? I guess it was when Seaman retired.

  32. Morning all

    I was at the game last night and thoroughly enjoyed our attacking play which was jaw droppingly wonderful at times. It was the frst time for a long time that I walked away from the ground thinking ‘what a shame, we probably should have won that game’. We were much better than Liverpool and although they could have hit us on the break to score more, they didn’t.

    I’ve also been pondering why the defense go to pieces as soon as they are called upon to actually deal with an attack and like GiE above I feel they are thinking too much about what they should be doing rather than doing it …….. a bit like the hand-brake that Wenger speaks of in relation to the attack. It’s as if they’re terrified of the ball. The inability of a PL player not to be able to hoof a dangerous ball into rowZ is ridiculous.

    In addition I’ve been wondering why we don’t seem to be alive in the first half of games, what component of the team isn’t clicking and more I wondered WHO isn’t around in the first half. It may not always be the same player but last night it was Cazorla who didn’t appear to be on the pitch for the first 30 minutes. I wonder why?????

    Obviously our defence/defending is costing us points and last night we dropped another 2. On another night we would have won that game 5-2.

  33. slime says:

    I have an issue with Wenger and it’s his unwillingness to buy players for positions where youngsters are coming through. It may have worked with Cesc, Wilshere and Gibbs, it has also failed with Bendtner, Bentley, Vela etc. we all saw that we needed an experienced keeper 18 months ago, even if it was just for cover. We are also seeing that letting Song go and not signing anyone on the hope of Frimps or Le Coq coming good hasn’t worked. I understand these players could be great in future, but what about the year or 2 whilst we wait for them to develop? We end up in no mans land.

    On another note, we seem to get a lot of bad luck on the field, but off it we get plenty of good luck. How many times have we dropped points and others have failed to capitalise? It happened all last season and this one too. Maybe that’s how our luck works!

  34. Red Arse says:

    We could and should at least have won it 2:0, Peaches, if the defence had resisted the opportunity to do a vaudeville turn, without the painted faces and red stick on noses, we would have! :D

    Glad you enjoyed it at the stadium, I did too, watching on TV, but seeing the replays of the defensive lapses over and over — not so much! :-(

  35. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the comments guys, I can’t reply to all but I am in agreement with most of what you are all saying.

    Shard, I thought it was a penalty on Podolski but I think they could have had one when TV seemed to double hand ball it so maybe this was one of those cases where it evens itself out.

    We need better cover at LB and I would go with any one of Slimes earlier suggestions if it means a step up in our defensive cover in this area. Gibbs is playing too well for a Leighton Baines type signing so I feel we need a back up player that is better than what we have currently.

    RA, I am starting to agree more about Mertesacker. His lack of pace is a worry, but that is not something we can berate him about. What surprises me is how often he has pushed forwards to the right of centre and leaves those gaping holes to the side of and behind him. With no recovery pace I wonder why he is so often pushed up into, and caught in these positions. What is the tactical thinking behind why he is so often found in these positions? You are right when you say this leads to chaos because it drags either TV or Kos out of position in a desperate attempt to cover.

    Many of us yesterday felt we needed a TV / Kos CB pairing yesterday as their attack was more about pace and movement than aerial threat. Did AW drop a clanger in playing Per ahead of Kos for this game? Has he played him in a game that was always likely to expose his deficiencies?

    I now feel that we need a dominant CB who has that blend of size and strength, reasonable pace, and body on the line bravery. I use a current acid test where if we could clone the Sol Campbell of around the 2003 period, so we had 2 of them, would any of our other 3 CD’s get in the first 11 ahead of him. For me the answer is no, and our current 3 are actually technically better on the ball, but you would sacrifice a bit of that for his complete no nonsence defending. I would feel the same if we did this with Kompany. This may be the expensive player that we now need to splash out on.

    Ramsey is playing better and I have not been one of his detractors, but for me he is no defensive midfield linchpin. The second goal, we allowed Henderson to Waltz through us as if he was Messi or Maradonna, which he is obviously not. There was a great slow motion replay shot shown on Sky that stuck in my mind where, as he gets his shot away you have Santos, Per and Ramsey all surrounding him, but none of them actually stopping him. I wondered if those 3 were respectively replaced by Cole, Campbell and Vieira does Henderson get his shot away. I don’t think so. So for me this highlights all the areas of weakness we all point out regularly. Poor defensive quality LB cover, no beastly DM linchpin and no dominant beast of a CD. Over to you Arsene.

    Sorry a bit long but am away for a bit now so had to say it all in one go. see you all later.

  36. Shard says:

    Yikes.. Next time I’ll just say Good Morning Mr RA. How do you do?

  37. Bryan says:

    Good write up GoonerB
    Rasps comment is spot on too & as much as it would be great to sign a striker the quality of David Villa there is absolutely no doubt that it is defenders & a DM that we need most.
    Also what frustrates me is, at other clubs if players are not performing, they get dropped & Sagna has been diabolical for the last 10 games or so, again he was awful last night.
    As for Santos, I am totally confused how he has been a LB for all his career as he is totally clueless in that department.
    I believe Vermaelen has got worse each season & is no Captain.
    Gibbs is Okish but for me not an Arsenal level LB & is so injury prone.
    BFG is well slooooooow.
    Even Szczesny doesn’t look as good as last year & his terrible kicking & farting about with the ball are incredibly dangerous, although you gotta like this guy ;-)
    We need a new back 5 in my opinion & they need to be drilled correctly & start man marking, not zonal

    It looks like we need to be buying a LB before tonights deadline because we are in trouble if we have to play Santos there.

    I thought overall we deserved the 3 points last night, Jack was unbelievable yet again, what can you say about the guy.
    also thought it was strange that while we had the momentum Wenger didn’t put a sub on, I would of put Diaby on for last 15 mins, Ramsey slows everything down to much I feel.

  38. Manthan says:

    Whatever we guys dicuss here about tranfer or the DM addition but in the end we will never sign quality AW want to make the name by making raw talents to quality star…… He quoted once saying if i will retire from arsenal will never go to other club rather will go to Africa or India to nurture kids…. this guy will never listen…. Arsenal winning PL again is very far i guess :-( :-( :-(

  39. Red Arse says:

    I am well, Shard, thank you, and I hope you are too! :D

  40. Manthan says:

    Yesterdays game attacker gave 110% to win but we didn’t won if these continues i fear more players will start leaving arsenal because at the end of the day result matters and which we are not getting…

  41. Adrian says:

    Rasp I guess you didn’t see that terrible pass from Santos in out own half in the 90th minute which almost allowed Liverpool to score a last minute winner. Good at going forward is a perk, but more importantly the tendency to not give away stupid reckless passes is more important.

  42. Red Arse says:

    Did anyone else notice that a real professional like Carragher just does things instinctively that goes far beyond the running, tackling and passing duties of a CB?

    Last night while we were in full flow, and looked like scoring a hat full of goals, he took a free kick from the Pod on the chest, and went down pole-axed.

    He then took 6 or 7 minutes to ‘recover’ (and this from a plastic ball strike which would have stung, but not knocked him out).

    The result was only 4 minutes extra added for injuries, and we lost our momentum and almost gave the game away at the end.

    Now that is what we are lacking in our team — it is called nous — and, instead, we seem to specialize in the headless chicken department! :-)

  43. Manthan says:

    I don’t understand why do people blame Santos he is not good LB I agree but its because of AW he is playing as LB….. He was LWB in his previous club…..

  44. Bryan says:

    Red
    totally correct, I said that to the person sitting next to me, when it happened. That is proffesionalism & I would love a Carragher guy in our defense

  45. Shard says:

    It’s a bug’s life RA, and I’m scurrying along. Doing my best to not step on the toes of fair haired Yanks and their pet woodpeckers.

  46. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for a good write-up GB.

    Lots of positives to take from the attacking side of things last night… but lots of negatives from the defending side.

    Szcz is a decent young ‘keeper but not good enough for Arsenal.

    Sagna has gone as a top flight player.

    TV and BFG (and the non-playing Koz) are making too many individual mistakes for it to be a coincidence.

    Gibbs is OK but every time he starts to establish some form his hammy goes.

    And Santos…

    Either we have sub standard players or there is something wrong with the way they train or the way they prepare mentally.

    TV and BFG can be very good, and I reckon if you slotted either into Man City’s back four they would be very solid. But our defenders when together seem to spread panic amongst each other.

    As GiE said, TV’s air swing would be laughable at Sunday league level.

    Perhaps we’ll sign five defenders and a goalie today :)

  47. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I was saying exactly that to my watching companions when Carragher went down “winded’.

    We had a real head of steam at the time and he very cleverly killed the momentum and quieted the crowd.

    Clever barsteward.

    And exactly the sort of nous we seldom show.

  48. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    I enjoy your interjections, as well as your reasoned and balanced comments, so you certainly do not bug me!! :D

    Of course, technically, a bug can step on the toes of Yanks and Woodies, but that just tickles!! :-)

  49. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, :-)

    I always love your prose, but ‘my watching companions’ had me curled up with amusement picturing you as The Mekon, surrounded by his Venusian minions, The Treens.

    Maybe that is why you are always travelling around the world — scoping out the best way to invade us!! :D

  50. slime says:

    Your spot on about Carragher, I noticed it at the time and like you guys say, it’s what we miss. It was the same with us when we went through a period of letting midfield runners counter attack against. We never tripped them early and gave cynical free kicks, we would always let them run through.

    Manthan,

    The reason Santos gets blamed is because LWB and LB are not very disimilar, and at 29 years of age he should be able to see what’s going on and keep his position. Giving away sloppy passes, being totally unfit, and being outmuscled by Henderson have nothing to do with LB or LWB. I understand its Wenger who’s brought him to the club, but it’s him who goes on to the field and puts in inept performances. If a Championship RW is skinning him then he’s not good enough to play anywhere near our defence. If he was a LW then his defensive qualities wouldn’t be such an issue, but he’s not.

  51. RockyLives says:

    Redders :)
    World domination plotted from a bar in Alexandria :)

  52. kelsey says:

    i think this two hour stint in the local brothel instead of a protein filled lunch is the main reason for the lads stumbling out of the blocks.
    I agree with Rocky just buy a completely new back five in the 10 hours remaining and we should improve.

  53. dandan says:

    The woodwork is on the move again, it’s bulging at the seams.
    As disaffected football fans, keyboard close to hand,
    Fill the blogs with fantasy’s,the signings of their dreams,

    Forget it cost silly money; or that class players just won’t move,
    Forget they are probably in the Champions league and still have points to prove.
    Ignore the fact that it’s mainly the second rate in winter who are for sale,
    And countless unemployed managers have bought them before, and failed.

    So sure you can buy Brazilians those of the Santos type,
    But a Baines is not available,short of a mega bid unreal.
    So fellows come on back to earth and just forget the hype,
    Cos the pacey defender we require or the midfield man of steel
    Aint quite as easy to find and buy, as it is to write your tweet.

  54. Red Arse says:

    Nice one, DD, :-)

    Is it an original from your might pen? Perhaps you can set it to music:-)

    At base, the internet blogging sites are doing their job, allowing everyone who needs it the palliative of letting off the steam of their frustration.
    Or just letting off – maybe? :-)

  55. Bryan says:

    Dandan
    that is very true but we have let afew possibilies slip by in my opinion, one was a certain M’Vila which I happen to think was exactly the player we needed, has a nasty side to him but would just sit in front of the back four, went for in football terms, peanuts ;-)

  56. dandan says:

    Good effort Gooner not easy at that time of night.

    All my own work I am afraid Red A.

  57. vp says:

    Gooner B, thanks for the match report. You were right to credit RedArse for his comments as they were spot on.

    All in all, considering we were 2-0 down (perhaps could have been more at the time) we should look upon it as a point gained. I don’t see it as six pointer -don’t think Liverpool are a threat to fourth spot. Lets not forget that Spurs and Chelsea also dropped points so its not a total disaster. We looked good going forward but I’d still like us to purchase one world class striker, as despite our poor defense display, that would have made the difference yesterday. Giroud’s come on leaps and bounds over the last few weeks, but I can’t help feeling (perhaps a tad bit harsh) that if he was of the Mario Gomez mold and better at converting chances we’d have won yesterday and probably be about 7-10 points better off this season.He has the tendency to make things look harder then they are at times. For me, he’s a great option to have on the bench, but whether he should be our main striker game- in- game- out throughout the course of a whole season is open to debate.

    It goes without saying that we also need a solid CB too, and ideally someone in midfield who prides their game on protecting the back four. If we strengthen in these areas then i can see us becoming a real force next season round.

    Our Year end accounts seem to reflect healthy gearing and liquidation levels and there is no reason why the club can’t go out and spend at least £40-50 mill over the summer. Bear in mind, If we do not make it into the top four (and not make money from disposals) then i think that the club may have to swallow a P & L Loss to get us back there. I don’t see the club forgoing its interest cover ratio (profit/Interest) for a season which is why qualifying for the champions league is of paramount importance. Given the fact that we are ahead of schedule with the finance costs, i don’t understand why Arsene Wenger still maintains that the club MUST show a year end profit of £20mill to cover these interest payments. He makes it sound as though its a mandatory criterion laid out by the bank. From what i understand, all they ask is that we have £30mill in current assets-I don’t see how creating a ‘one off’ P & L will dishonor this agreement. This attitude may have been acceptable during the earlier years due to the manor in which bonds are discounted, but we can not continue to hide behind long term debt instruments to justify short term capital injections. Particularly when our competitors are getting further and further out of reach. It’s made worse by our CEO’s constant references to it being ‘healthy debt’- so why is it preventing us from spending then?

    We will not buy anyone this window due to the uncertainties regarding the top four and thus future cash projections. If the club were to go out and spend big this Jan and then fail to secure CL then this would invariably create a 31 May 2013 year end loss. In the club’s eyes this is more of a risk then not spending and not qualifying for the CL as the destiny of the P & L would still be in their hands. Ultimately for an investor, It’s not how much you make, its how much you make in return for the money invested (ROCE). We are operating at the optimum ROCE for our owner. More investment would not necessarily increase the ROCE and, until it does, it makes no sense for Kroenke to loosen the purse strings. I’m not sure as to whether missing out on a year of CL football will be enough. It would probably take at least back to back failures, for the club to start investing to anywhere near to its capacity.

    I genuinely believe that we’ll make top four this year as I see Chelsea being drawn into the fight as well. I wouldn’t rest my hopes on us splashing the cash over summer. But due to the new sponsorship, I do however expect our top players to remain at the club (which hasn’t happened for a while), and so perhaps to this extent, small progress would have been achieved. I don’t know how tolerant the fan base would be to the club still doing this in three years time, but with the club already buying another two years, I wouldn’t expect the club to start exploiting its financial capabilities anytime soon. I for one am not going to be dissapointed if we do not purchase anyone today having prepared my self for this scenario. For the forthcoming summer, I suggest you do as well.

  58. dandan says:

    Bryan M’Villa was a judgement call based on character reports, guess the club had more info than we do.

  59. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    How’s this?

    To call a fan a plonker is a very degrading name,
    And in my opinion it’s a very great shame;
    And the man that calls him plonker is not the fan’s best friend,
    And no sensible fan should on him depend.

    A Gooner is a man that ought to be respected,
    And by his club shouldn’t be neglected;
    For he supports our cause, and subjugates his life,
    Leaving behind him his chores and even his dear wife.

    No thanks to McGonagall — a very strange poet! :D

  60. dandan says:

    Err RA what’s a plonker :-)

  61. Red Arse says:

    You have me there, DD, but I know a handy man who often tells me stories of people he has done work for.

    “Oh, he’s a right Rodney” he often said, until I asked him what a ‘Rodney’ was – “Yeah well, a Rodney is a plonker – see?”

    Not sure — but the tone implied it was pejorative. It doesn’t rhyme with anything does it? :D

    As you probably know, poor old McGonagall wrote loads of poetry, but, unknown to him, he was and still is deemed to be the worst poet that ever lived.

    I quite like his stuff, because it is unwittingly pretentious, and quite disarmingly innocent — altho’, in fairness, I did change some of the words in his poem in praise of Tommy Atkins!! :-)

  62. Redders., there is a catch phrase from the BBC sitcom “Only fools ‘n horses” that goes something like “Rodney, you plonker!” said by one of the lead characters to his younger brother, and yes, it is a pejorative term, what you yanks would call a “douche bag”. :)

  63. RockyLives says:

    Apparently we’re going to buy a Bong.

    Perhaps Chamakh took the old one to West Ham with him.

    (Gaetan Bong – Cameroonian LB from Valenciennes)

  64. Rasp says:

    Thank goodness we sold Song, we could have had Song, Bong and Frimpong on the pitch :?

  65. RockyLives says:

    When I say Cameroonian, I mean he is from the African country, not that he is a Conservative supporter.

    Although for all I know he may be.

  66. Rasp says:

    We’ve just signed Tiddl-i-po from China to join them

  67. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I think you will find it’s actually the chinese GK One Hung Lau. :-)

  68. Red Arse says:

    Thanx, CharyB, :-)

    I know of that show as it seems to be replayed every Xmas, but I cannot say I have watched it.

    So Rodney is a plonker — but what DD asked me is — what is a plonker — any clues? :D

    Serves me right for trying to write colloquialisms that I don’t totally understand! :-)

  69. Red Arse says:

    Rocket,

    What are you doing in Alexandria — is it safe? :-)

  70. Bryan says:

    I think most of our players have looked like they have been smoking from a bong before many of our matches this season :-D

  71. Bryan says:

    Red
    a plonker is slang for what us males have between our legs (not our balls) haha

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A Cameroonian LB from Valenciennes
    Is that a homeless, thong wearing, version of AA’s own LB?

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shit, that doesn’t sound right at all.
    For those who don’t know LB, he’s gambled away his home and all his clothes bar that one garment. Yikes.

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Okedoke, now we’ve cleared up that stink, can I say:
    Great post GoonerB, and thank you.
    For me its a point lost, although I would have said the opposite at half time.
    This slow start business is most difficult to explain, but thinking specifically about the CB’s, do they ever actually talk to each other?

  75. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really haven’t helped the flow of the conversation, have I? :-(
    Try this: Oi dandan, have we signed anyone expensive yet? :-)

  76. Red Arse says:

    No, Micky, we are trying to figure out your “For me its a point lost”, as a businessman can I recommend a good accountant – like me!! :D

  77. I thought we were good going forward last night. What we didn’t do until late in the game was press them when they had the ball. Suarez really impressed me how he helped his defence.

    Santos isn’t a defender. I read an explanation of his role some time after we signed him. He’s critisised here for not being defensive enough but critisised in Brazil as being too defensive.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, I see what you mean RA, but what I meant was errr…. had we scored we would have only been awarded the two points because errrr…..the FA would have duducted one point on account of the very unsavoury goal celebrations between Theo and the stark naked female from the upper east stand.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM
    Santos too defensive. Bit like Szczesny is :-)

  80. GoonerB says:

    I love that girl Micky. Always brings a smile to my face.

  81. I really thought we would buy someone but it’s not looking good. When we bought Arteta was there any talk of it beforehand? I seem to remember it coming aout of the blue.

  82. dandan says:

    Must be something interesting going on Twitter has crashed :-)

  83. I like Sczesney and think he will be a fantastic keeper. For both of their goals he made the save. First one wasn’t cleared by Ramsey and the second bounced off Santos.

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GoonerB,
    We both know exactly who I’m talking about :-)
    Still laughing about the Santos line. “Oi Micky, that Arsenal team of yours has a rubbish defence”.
    “We know, way too defensive”.

  85. It’s over capacity dandan. justin beiber must be trending

  86. MickyDidIt89 says:

    dandan
    You are probably the last person I would have thought (me aside) even knows what Twitter is

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM
    Too defensive that Szczesny. And people wonder why I support Brazil. Great attitude to life and football.

  88. oz gunner says:

    @ Micky

    Dandan is trying to stay with the times! Especially considering Kelsey no longer holds verteran status thanks to him be ousted as a young bon jovi look-a-like!

    But he did warn me when he said: “I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me, and it’ll happen to you, too.”

  89. Norfolk Gooner says:

    If we had better centre backs AND a defensive midfielder (Ramsey may develop given time) then we could afford to have wing backs like Santos. BUT we don’t so we can’t live with the kind of disastrous defensive performance put up the Brazilian.

    Now Gibbs is injured…again! We will be back to playing Sagna at left back Jenkinson at right back (if he hasn’t already gone out on loan to Stoke) or playing Vermaelen there instead.

    In other words back to the cock ups and chopping and changing of last season.

  90. oz gunner says:

    *veteran

  91. Bayonne Jean says:

    GB, could I amend your requote of Rasp’s comment as follows: “If we fail to make top 4 it will be down to DUMBASS goals conceded not failure to score…” I’m sure every side’s followers think that most goals they concede should never happen, but the true neutral would almost certainly nominate Arsenal as the side that take the gift of giving to extremes.

    The one word that most of us would use to best describe an ideal defender is STALWART. It encompasses a lot of attributes, many of which are mentioned in previous comments: brave; strong; match-savvy; reliable (as in physical – isn’t brittle, capable of playing every match – as well as being positionally sound); consistent; and most of all, ASSURED. Stalwart is a term that would apply to the Adamses, Keowns, Campbells, Dixons, Winterburns, Vieiras of yore. Sadly, none of the current defenders would currently be viewed as true stalwarts, and even more worrisome, the two most talented central defenders (TV and Kos) have these inexplicable calamity streaks that creep in which undermine the assuredness of the team defense.

    To be fair, stalwart defenders do not grow on trees, not many sides have a surplus of them, and they are not generally available in the shop window. Most that do get shopped are fraught with squillaciesque attributes. So what are the solutions? One: develop your own young ones – one or two defensive Wilsheres would do nicely. Two: make it a priority to find the one or two on the market that would make the difference, and pay (or overpay).

  92. Rasp says:

    QPR’s 27 signings since May 2011
    •Neil Warnock: Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jay Bothroyd, Anton Ferdinand, Luke Young, Armand Traore

    •Mark Hughes: Federico Macheda (loan), Taye Taiwo (loan), Nedum Onuoha, Bobby Zamora, Djibril Cisse, Jose Bosingwa, Ryan Nelsen, Park Ji-sung, Robert Green, Andy Johnson, Junior Hoilett, Fabio, Samba Diakite, Esteban Granero, Julio Cesar, Sam Magri, Stephane Mbia

    •Harry Redknapp: Loic Remy, Tal Ben Haim, Yun Suk-Young, Christopher Samba

  93. Gooner in Exile says:

    I hate AA when i can’t get on all day, too many good comments and too little time to reply.

    If it was another blog you could scroll through most of them as pointless one liners, so much harder to do that here where everyone puts time and thought into their posts, well apart from Micky who just floats about mid Atlantic and dreams of howitzers :D

    Micky, Dandan is a welcome Twitter presence providing his brand of instant Arsenal Supporter Zen and clarity.

  94. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp,

    That’s what happens when numb-nut owners buy football clubs, thank goodness we’ve got Wenger to prevent Kroenke from running wild. :D

  95. Gooner in Exile says:

    Samba is allegedly on £100k a week……..i hear the sound of Tony Fernandes whimpering in a corner. I do hope he has these players on reduced deals if relegated, otherwise i fear for the future of QPR.

  96. Gooner in Exile says:

    If Hoillet isn’t playing at QPR I would strongly consider bringing him into the Arsenal set up, assuming this is Arshavins last year, i think Hoillet would be a very useful impact sub on the wings.

  97. GoonerB says:

    GIE, Can I suggest you save yourself some time and ignore my comments which are by and large normally pointless.

  98. Gooner in Exile says:

    They’re definitely large GoonerB :D rarely pointless though.

    Right off to do more work, see you all later when we have signed 4 players.

    Still amazed that Graham has decided Sunderland is a better club to be at than Swansea, i know he isn’t playing, but Wembley final foregone for the sake of £10-20k a week, O’Neill has almost as bad a history as Redknapp of ramping up wage bills.

  99. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Jack butland going to stoke for 3.5 mill.
    Why don’t we sign him good keeper will challenge Sczesney for the no 1 jersey.

  100. Shard says:

    Because we already have a young talented Goalkeeper to do that Sheep. Damian Martinez. What we need is an experienced, older keeper to mentor Szczesny and challenge him.

  101. Bryan says:

    Agree with you there Shard

  102. evonne says:

    Becks to PSG?? ey, what’s that all about?

    Mr B, great post, thank you. I think you were a tad mean with the ratings of some, but other than this spot on.

  103. kelsey says:

    Luton has turned down our offer for Santos plus £2 million.

  104. Rasp says:

    NG @ 3:56 :lol:

    Beckham is doing a great job in the charm offensive to win over the French – he’s donating his salary to a children’s charity over there … what’s not to love?

  105. kelsey says:

    evonne,

    it’s all about money and soon Mrs.B will have yet another designer collection made in france (via essex)

  106. Fantastic gesture by Beckham

  107. kelsey says:

    Goal.com revealed on Thursday morning that Arsene Wenger was planning a late swoop for a proven defender in a bid to shore up his leaky defence.

    The Gunners boss is also pursuing a specialist left-back after losing patience with Andre Santos and following the thigh injury suffered by Kieran Gibbs against Liverpool on Wednesday night.

    One option being considered by Wenger is to bring in a centre-half and switch versatile skipper Thomas Vermaelen to left-back.

    He has targeted Amorebieta, a Venezuela international, after learning of his availability.

    Bilbao president Josu Urrutia revealed on Wednesday that the club had withdrawn a contract offer made three weeks ago and admitted that “we cannot say that Amorebieta will be an Athletic player next season”.

    Wenger wants a permanent signing to integrate into his defence, who have struggled against top quality opposition this season.
    The manager is reluctant to use Gibbs’ deputy Santos at left-back during the absence of the Englishman, which is expected to be for around three weeks.

    Santos’ former club Fenerbahce remain keen on taking the Brazilian back to Turkey and a deal is possible if they can match his wages.

    most probably bollox

  108. Amorebieta is bollocks Kelsey. He’s travelled with his team somewhere and they’ve announced he’s not leaving before the summer

  109. slime says:

    Becks is a top lad.

    Surely someone in Brazil would loan Santos for 6 months and then we can get in a CB and move Verm to LB. Easy!!! :/

  110. evonne says:

    Yes Kelsey, some women will have their men for every penny they can lay their hands on, especially those in Essex

    Santos to Turkey??!! Pay them, send him recorded delivery NOW

  111. Rasp says:

    I know he’s probably the best option, but I wasn’t overly impressed when TV played at LB last season.

  112. kelsey says:

    i said it was bollox GM just filling in time

  113. evonne says:

    slime – yes, he is. Only Bill Gates donates more to charities than David.
    But beware lads, his designer underwear doesn’t look half as good on other men as it does on him. I spent a lot of money on DB shorts and the investment did not pay off :(

  114. kelsey says:

    GM was it you who crashed twitter :)

  115. evonne says:

    Kelsey – did you make up that story? Wow, impressive!!

  116. GoonerB says:

    I have my own designer underwear which looks great on me Evonne. All mine is recycled from old ships rigging and masts. DB eat your heart out.

  117. LB says:

    Good match report GB, thanks for the read.

  118. Lots of different sources are saying we are buying Nacho Monreal. (whoever that is) It looks likely apparently. He’s a football player.

  119. GoonerB says:

    Shard @4.46. I agree that it is the experienced keeper we need rather than another young promising one. Didn’t we have an option for Schwarzer some time back for under £5m but didn’t follow it through because we were only prepared to pay £1.5m or something stupid like that. Talk about cutting of your nose to spite your face.

    Rasp, I like you have also thought TV is only ok as a LB. For me he should remain a CB and be used as a LB in an emergency. Slime came up with some options for a back up LB that I had not heard of earlier today. I am sure we can get a decent upgrade on Santos. I am starting to think the big money should be spent on a top CD and DM.

  120. evonne says:

    GB :) show us a picture, go on….while we are waiting for our late signings we can do with some fun :)
    Rasp has already posted a video featuring his arse this morning, not bad, but you can beat it

    Rasp – I thought yours were exotic flippers, not the ordinary sardines

  121. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB. As I type this I have a friend talking to me on the phone backing what you are saying on this chap and apparantly talk sport are saying he is decent.

  122. Big Raddy says:

    Gooner B. Really good read. Thank you.

    Everything I think has been said above.

    I do not agree that BFG is the worst defender AW has bought. I think he is a fine player. It wasn’t so long ago that the partnership of Kos/BFG was working very well. BFG is out of form and needs resting.

    Hope we buy someone tonight and that Arshavin gets a dream one.

  123. evonne says:

    GM – fair play to you for admitting you don’t know who what’s-his-face is. Most guys pretend to know every player on every field around the globe; I was thinking about making up a story with a fictionary striker and ask what others thought of it

  124. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Ignacio “Nacho” Monreal Eraso (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈnatʃo monreˈal eˈɾaso]; born 26 February 1986) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Málaga CF as a left defender. He is currently flying to London, to sign for Arsenal, and even on a plane he is more useful than André Santos

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Wiki has already got Monreal signed for AFC !!

  126. evonne says:

    shall we be excited?

    sheep – “even on a plane he is more useful than André Santos” :)

  127. slime says:

    Arsene’s left the training ground. Think that says it all! Oh well, I still maintain that the better players are available in the summer.

  128. GoonerB says:

    Evonne, seeing me in my underwear is not about fun. I take it all very seriously, giving it my all with my best Derek Zoolander poses. Fortunately for you all I am rather computer illiterate when it comes to posting up pictures and videos.

  129. slime says:

    On second thoughts, maybe Wengers picking him up from the airport! Would be pretty happy with Monreal.

  130. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    Why did you pay all that money for men’s undies, you don’t need them — is there something you are not telling us? :D

  131. GoonerB says:

    Thank-you Raddy. I still think there are some games where BFG will do a good job but last night wasn’t one of them. I still feel AW maybe dropped a clanger by playing him and exposing him to Liverpools mobile and pacy front players, and that Kos was the more natural fit for last nights game.

  132. evonne says:

    GB ROLFing all over the floor!!

  133. Shard says:

    GoonerB @ 5.39

    Yeah, we apparently underbid for Schwarzer. But apparently we’d also bid 20m for Reina.

  134. evonne says:

    RA – it was a failed attempt to spice up my life a bit. Next time I am going to buy vindaloo to take way, cheaper and definitely spicy

  135. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    So we made two mistakes!! :-)

  136. Shard says:

    RA,

    It’s no joke. I would have been seriously disappointed if we’d got Reina. Especially for that much. But then, I wasn’t much enthused by the thought of signing Schwarzer either.

    Still, the bid for Reina does show that the caricature of Arsenal as being too careful with money isn’t entirely accurate. We just pay what we feel the player is worth to us, which is what all clubs do really.

  137. barumgooner says:

    Nicely written post GoonerB but i’m not sure I agree with a lot of it. Mostly the ratings tbh. Ramsey was better than a 6 I think and Jack was less than an 8.5. I think going forward JW looked good but imo failed to track back enough leaving Ramsey somewhat stranded in front of the defence. Santi is the playmaking mf and Ramsey is in the more defensive role, jack must be both and at times he can neglect his duties a bit. He is a great player and will be the heart of the team for years to come though. I do much prefer this style of football to tippy-tappy just need to add some discipline and order to the back 5.

  138. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Barum. I am not sure if agree with my ratings either.

  139. It’s on every newspaper website now

  140. Big Raddy says:

    GM. You were first with the news. Chapeau!

    GoonerB. I agree that last night we would have been better with Koscielny, but let’s be honest both goals were extremely fortunate. The first had Sagna slipping and two deflections, the last giving Szczesny no chance.

    The second was stopped by Ramsey and deflected off Santos into Henderson’s path, it could have gone anywhere.

    That said, the defensive frailties were there for all to see.

  141. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    I would have been disappointed to by either of those signings too.

    I do not go for the ‘old boy’ GK mentor theory. We already have ‘Mad Jens’ at Arsenal doing his coaching badge.

  142. Shard says:

    Well, the mentor, or coaching, bit is taken care of by Mad Jens, and by Tony Roberts who comes highly recommended by GIE :)

    But I still think we need someone to provide competition to Szczesny, and Fabiansky and Mannone aren’t it. Would Butland have been? Perhaps, but I don’t see the point of having two talented goalkeepers of the same age. That’s why I go for the older option.

    Among all this talk of transfers and what we need etc. no one seems to remember the 25 man squad limits. We need to carefully plan who we buy based on who we expect to break through from the youth system in the next 2-3 years. Clubs like Chelsea and ManCity can simply stockpile talent and play them in the cups. We don’t really have that luxury. One of the reasons I don’t think we’ll be buying a DM.

  143. Very excited to hear we could be signing our very own Nacho, such a shame he looks like Peter Crouch, not that looks have anything to do with a footballer’s ability :oops:

  144. Slime says:

    I would be delighted with Monreal. I’ve said a few times that we shouldn’t be looking to buy ‘back up’ players anymore and that if a player is needed then they should be able to challenge for the starting spot. It would’ve been easy to sign someone on loan for 6 months or get an older player in, but Wenger has managed to get the 2nd choice Spanish LB who is at a good age and will push Gibbs to start. If he completes the deal I will be delighted.

  145. ………. and he comes with his own song ……………..

  146. Red Arse says:

    So, Peaches, amorous and a songster — wow! :-)

  147. kelsey says:

    The signing makes sense.Malaga are cash strapped out of Europe next year and last night was the last straw with gibbs getting injured and well Santos is Santos.

    Impulse buying…yes.

  148. ………and he’s probably the best left-back out there ……. so they say ;)

  149. kelsey – apparently the deal was being done for the summer but with the injury last night to Gibbs it’s been brought forward :)

  150. kelsey says:

    makes sense, peachie

  151. I’m listening to a guy in Spain oooohing and aaaaahing about him ……. :)

    Can’t find a good clip of the Nacho nacho man song but i’m looking :lol:

  152. slime says:

    Malaga signed a replacement for Monreal! Things hotting up!

  153. I do hope there’s no-one from Chelski ( we’d like a good new left-back too ) on their way to the airport ………. this could still get high-jacked :(

  154. Ooooh slime, are you getting excited too :)

  155. Just a shame he looks like Peter Crouch ……. :(

  156. Its’ catchy but I’m sure we’re too classy to have Nacho Nacho man ringing out at the Emirates :D

  157. slime says:

    Getting very excited Peaches! I don’t care if the lad looks like Sloth from Goonies, aslong as he can play! :lol:

  158. GoonerB says:

    We need someone to post up some footage of him. I wonder if AW may even consider using him and Gibbs together at times with one in the attacking left role. Gives us options anyway.

  159. GoonerB says:

    Is he as good looking as Martin Keown?

  160. evonne says:

    don’t worry Slime, he is only 1.78 tall, hardly a giraffe

  161. I’ll find some footage ……………..

  162. Bad news, not really anything out there GoonerB. I’m sure chas will dig something up when he gets online.

  163. Oooooh ……. who wanted Pepe Reina??????? Martin Samuel has tweeted that Pool have accepted an offer from us for him …….

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How can you not love this site. Others will be asking why we haven’t signed Messi, while here, we are discussing Evonne buying David Beckham Pants :-)

  165. GoonerB says:

    I don’t know what it says about me but I thought Nacho man was very classy. I can easily see myself doing it.

  166. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Off out for the evening. Pop in later for pants chat :-)

  167. Forget that …….. the Martin Samuel account is fake ………

  168. Micky – sort out GoonerB please, he’s going to let the side down big-time :(

  169. slime says:

    Surely not Peaches! I would be happy if Reina comes and tbh I don’t really care how much he costs aslong as the club feel they can afford it. Sick of counting Arsenal’s pennies, it’s hard enough balancing my own books!!! :lol:

  170. GoonerB says:

    Reina Peaches. I know there was talk about it but I still didn’t see that one coming. I can’t believe Samuel would put it out there if not true. He actually pulled off 2-3 good saves yesterday. He should have shown more loyalty to his new employers.

  171. GoonerB says:

    Nacho Nacho man, Nacho Nacho man……. Come on Peaches join in. It is really quite fun once you get going

  172. The font says:

    The best cb. Pairing we have is bfg. And. Kozzer the former the knowledge the later the speed and. Determination when they play we look solid. Nacho man Will take LB. slot and gibbo. May struggle to get it back. Along with isco. One of the fans favourites

  173. dandan says:

    Mickey: My kids call my Den the command module as I sit here surrounded by Desk top, Ipad, Stereo, flat screen TV,phones mobile and land line, Internet Radio,Etc Every time I go to the dentist they ask if I am having my Blue Tooth checked, cheeky buggers.
    Actually I find text and twitter handy for keeping in touch with the kids and Grand-kids plus following twitters with an Arsenal interest.

  174. LB says:

    Just been on the Malaga blogs….they seem pretty annoyed that Nacho is leaving…….seems a good sign to me.

  175. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Sent santos back on the plane to Malaga he’s free with a tin of tuna fish.
    “even on a plane he is more useful than André Santos.
    Much love
    Sheep Hagger.

  176. Ho hum ………. Nacho Nacho man ……. Nacho Nacho man

  177. dandan says:

    SSN confirm a Premier League club has triggered Diame’s release clause. Can’t name the club yet. Arsenal? Tottenham?? #AFC #THFC

  178. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Norwich got a bid of 9.5 mill on celtics Garry hooper.
    Mad money and some one has met the clause of diamie of wham do u think its arsenal.

  179. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Dan u got SSN news on !

  180. Shard says:

    We’re also getting a striker!!!!

    Benik Afobe’s loan deal has been cut short and he’s returning to Arsenal..

    Sorry folks. Had to be done. :D

  181. Could be Everton and Fellaini going to Chelsea :(

  182. Jack Sullivan ‏@jsullivanwhu
    Contrary to reports there has been no bid for Diame today from anybody. #COYI #WHU #whufc

    It was just dead-line day rubbish hahahahahahahaha

  183. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Brb later off to walk Limpar my Jack Russell

    Much love
    Sheepy ™

  184. Rasp says:

    Evening all, have we signed Messi yet?

  185. slime says:

    Love the Odemwingie saga! Turns up at QPR to complete a deal and is told to go away because no deal has been agreed and QPR are not allowed to talk to him!!! If I could do a red face, I would! :lol:

  186. slime says:

    Rasp,

    Monreal deal getting completed as we speak, hopefully! Potentially a top signing.

  187. goonerjake says:

    come on barca, play ball.

  188. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Where diameter going from Wham .
    Us spuds or elsewhere

  189. slime says:

    Apparently Monreal release clause is €20m but we’ve paid closer to €13m. Malaga must be skint! Wonder if they will throw in Isco for an extra few euros! :lol:

  190. Rasp says:

    We need a post for tomorrow folks … plenty to talk about after this evening’s events

  191. There are some disgusting wankers on twitter. It’s full of adults acting like spoilt kids.

    Simon jordan has the most stupid hair I’ve seen since martin fry had that hairstyle

  192. slime says:

    I follow Piers Morgan too, GM! :lol:

  193. I don’t slime. I’m busy blocking people.

    Someone earlier said that everyone who drinks in the Tollington is an AKB wanker. Could you imagine him walking in there and saying that?

  194. LB says:

    We’re getting a new toy.
    We’re getting a new toy.
    We’re getting a new toy.

  195. LB says:

    There is nothing childish about supporting a football club, it is serious business.

  196. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all,
    Just in from Wiff Waff.
    Are we talking “signings” or “pants”?

  197. MickyDidIt89 says:

    New Toy?

  198. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is there anywhere to follow this without twitterbook?

  199. slime says:

    GM,

    He probably wouldn’t be old enough to get in! :lol:

    There’s some real tossers out there. I get that some feel Wenger has run his course, but the hatred of him and some of the allegations are just unbelievable. Don’t get it.

  200. slime says:

    Right here Micky!

    Apparently its all but complete for Monreal, knowing Arsenal we probably won’t hear about the confirmation until tomorrow though!

    Wonder if Begovic will be available in the summer now Butland has gone to Stoke?

  201. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cheers Slime,
    “All but”…scary.
    Sky site is rubbish.

  202. slime says:

    Done deal, around £8.5 they think.

    Get in there!!!!! Well chuffed with that.

  203. Joe says:

    It’s done

  204. slime says:

    Million, not pounds!!!

  205. slime says:

    Manager Arsène Wenger said: “We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us. We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we’ve been able to agree this move today. Monreal is a strong left-sided defender with good experience at both club and international level. He is a technically gifted player, a good crosser in the final third and strong in the air. Monreal will add quality to our squad and of course, to our defensive unit. We all look forward to him playing for us.”

  206. slime says:

    Strong in the air and can cross, love him already! :lol:

  207. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, good news.
    Off to bed. Catch you all in the morning.

  208. slime says:

    Just to compare, this is what Wenger said when Santos signed:

    Wenger added: “He has experience in the Champions League and for Brazil and has proven he can deliver at the highest level.
    “We welcome Santos to the club and look forward to him having a big impact for us.”

    Not quite the same glowing reference! :lol:

  209. slime says:

    I see Simon Jordan’s time out of football has made him even more of a w***ker!

    On that bombshell, night all!

  210. I don’t know much about simon jordan except he screwed up Crystal Palace. the man is an utter wanker though

  211. Gooner In Exile says:

    Following on from that tweet I was informed by my barber on Saturday that someone “high up” in Norwich City who has haircut there also said that Arsenal came in for Ruddy, and the club faked an injury to prevent him leaving.

    I pointed out to the barber that that was a pretty pointless tactic, as surely they’d be better off with cash in the bank than a player they can’t play because of a “faked injury “

  212. Rob Lucci says:

    It’s great an’ all, but does still leave us with the Santos vs Arjen Robben issue though

  213. Manthan Davda says:

    Rasp,
    You had qouted other day that we should bring DB10 to nurture kids your wish will be accomplished i guess as liam brady is leaving DB is the strongest candidate to replace him hope we will see our lengend back to arsenal……… :)

  214. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Manthan
    That would not only make alot of sense, but be fantastic news.
    Mind you, I’d imagine he’d be wanting the managers’ job at some point.

  215. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, window thoughts….
    Bloody awful.
    Obviously good about Nacho, but it makes me thnk that without the Gibbs injury, there would have been no-one.
    Every football man and his dog knows we need some defensive stiffenning in mdfield.
    I think Arsene/The Club have decided to save the money to make up for the shortfall should we miss out out on CL.
    Like I said in a post, Low Risk Strategy.

  216. MickyDidIt89 says:

    For some seriously bad news, I’m in London all weekend, and will still miss the Stoke game altogether as I’ll be eating a five year old’s birthday cake and flicking jelly at people.
    Really grim. In spitting distance of the stadium and still unable to go :-(

  217. slime says:

    Micky,

    Not sure I agree. Apparently ‘Nacho’ has been learning English for months now on the basis that he was being lined up for a summer transfer to Arsenal, but it was brought forward in light of Gibbs’ injury. The quality of the player indicates we are no longer looking at average players and I think there might be more to come in the summer, CL or not. That’s just my opinion though!

  218. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slime,
    Fair point, and I have no idea if the kind of player I’d really want was available anyway. Afterall, in this nuts world, we can no longer compete with QPR!!!
    I stand by thoughts that we cannot afford to be without CL football, and I know that many here disagree with that, but based on the way I thnk then we should have strengthened defensively.

  219. oz gunner says:

    I hope so Slim

  220. Manthan says:

    Slime,
    Spot on… Arsene was targeting him in summer but due to injury of gibbs we made a deal in winter and same goes for wyanama he will be approched in summer for sure….

    Micky,
    I totally agree after AW retires we want DB to be manager by that time he willl gain experience he loves the club…..

  221. Manthan says:

    I tried searhing Nacho skills in youtube but couldn’t find one… Hope he is a good player and he is spanish too so he will be fit in our system at the end of the day good move by AW we needed some1 in back 4… Hope he shines… I had read somewhere that Nacho cannot play against bayern due to some cup tie is it true…….?????

  222. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Manthan
    Wyanama would be good, unless QPR want him :-)

  223. LB says:

    And there was I getting all excited about our new toy and I read this:

    “Santos vs Arjen Robben”

    Cheers Rob.

  224. slime says:

    Micky,

    I don’t think 1 year out of CL football would affect us financially, afterall, we are getting an extra £30m in TV revenue from next season, so actually we would be no worse off, but going forward, if we want to compete, then I agree that we need CL football.

    Wenger has already made space for a CB by loaning out Djourou. That deal gives us a much better chance of offloading the player in the summer and then a replacement can come in. It wouldn’t surprise me if the deals already in place. We also have space for that defensive minded midfielder we crave, as Frimps, Le Coq, Diaby and Rosicky are all on the edge at the moment. People say we need a striker, but if Gibbs is now available as a LW then Pod can play there, or Theo. then there’s just a bit of GK cover and we are good to go. We don’t need lots of signings, just a couple of big ones, preferably at CB and CM. Again, feel free to disagree!!! :)

  225. Manthan says:

    Micky,
    Qpr is anyhow getting relegated this season for sure so there is no chance of him joining them… Main theart for us is MANURE hope he comes to us……

  226. Manthan says:

    Slime,
    We don’t need a striker.. We need a CD and offloading of all fringes player….

  227. slime says:

    I think Wengers just shown what he thinks of Santos by spunking £8.5m on Nacho! He must be furious with the Brazilian!!! That Liverpool performance has cost him his retirement yacht in Monaco!!! :lol:

    I would like to think Verm will play the CL games. We are only 1 CB injury away from Santos or Squillaci though :/

  228. Manthan says:

    Slime,
    Miquel is better then Squillaci :D :D

  229. slime says:

    I’m better than Squillaci!!!! :)

  230. oz gunner says:

    Miquel did do really well against City in the pre-season friendly.

    I’d prefer Meade in the CL, his debut against Olympiakos was very solid. Yes he is short but his speed is a real asset in that position.

    Here is his debut:

  231. slime says:

    It’s February 1st, which means we’ve come through a very difficult January with 1 win, 2 draws and 2 defeats, but more importantly, we are still in the FA Cup, CL, and only 4 points from the top 4. It’s not all bad is it?

    We have to kick on now in Feb, and I think a new signing always helps lift the mood a little. Every game from now is a big one, and we need to make sure we are in a good position heading into March, when we play a few of the teams around us.

    We are finally clicking into gear in front of goal, if we can just cut out some of these errors at the back then there is no reason we can’t go on a decent run.

  232. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Another Spaniard. Good.

    100k a week for Samba? The world has gone completely mad. Decent CB without doubt and I would have liked him at the Ems, but Harry loses all sense of perspective when spending others money. No wonder Spurs sacked him.

  233. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Relax LB,
    It will be Verm up against the Robben or even Steve Bould, but not Santos.

  234. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slime,
    We’ll disagree. I think we’d be far worse off without CL football. My feeling is that we’d lose an awful lot of corporate and that is a huge loss.
    Hope I’m wrong, and hope it never becomes an issue.

  235. oz gunner says:

    @ BR

    agreed. He comes across as the worst negotiator ever.

    ‘Arry: We want Samba
    Agent: 140k a week
    ‘Arry: 70k
    Agent: 90k
    ‘Arry: 100k and that’s my final offer!

  236. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Raddy,
    Although I agree with the madness angle, what’s ‘Arry supposed to do? No-one would go to QPR for any reason other than money.
    So hope they go down.

  237. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Offski

  238. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I echo your sentiments. Relegation please.

    And agree with your thoughts on the CL. It is vitally important

  239. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oz you forgot the box of dog food for Rosie needed to persuade Arry to go to £100k

    Morning all

  240. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I sum up the transfer window this way:

    “when you are happy you enjoy the music…. when you are sad you understand the lyrics”

  241. Big Raddy says:

    kelse. I heard this the other day.

    “If common sense was sold in the market, the stall holder would be the poorest person on the market, because those who have it don’t need it and those who don’t, don’t know what it is”

  242. kelsey says:

    Well it’s fairly obvious to me that if Gibbs hadn’t got injured we wouldn’t have bought anyone at all, though Monreal it is said would have joined us in the Summer.. It is not for me to judge our manager but there was always the possibility of Gibbs,Diaby and Rosicky all getting injured as all of their track records prove that.
    I don’t share the confidence of our manager that we have a quality squad and like it or not if we can’t get more consistency by the team on a regular basis and true leadership on the field from the first minute this may end as a poor season by our standards.
    What frustrates more is that it has been shown this season more than any other in the PL that anyone can beat anyone.More surprise results than ever before and though we have a huge deficit of points between us and United they are far at being the perfect team but SAF has a knack of making the right subs at the right time and is still the master of motivation and also choses his words carefully when speaking about the opposition he faces next..

  243. Gooner In Exile says:

    Like GM I have to admit to not having a clue who Nacho Monreal is….does £8.5m from cash strapped Malaga equate to £15m from a PL side, £5m from a French side (think Debuchy)?

    Hopefully he is the right man for the job, does he have qualities elsewhere, is he different to Gibbs and therefore an option for different game types/opponents or is he carbon copy and therefore a straight in/out replacement. Could Gibbs be released from left back to fight for his place in his old midfield position?

    How long is Andre Santos’ contract?

    Regarding those calling for a CB, I think the sale of Bartley shows Wenger is not concerned in this area, others have said Miquel has to be banging on the first team door soon, so when Squillacci expires in summer we can guess that next seasons CB options will be BFG, Koz, TV and Miquel. (I expect Djourou to move on). For me the only way we sign a new CB is if one of the current 3 leave.

  244. evonne says:

    Morning all
    It feels like Christmas Day again – you’ve been a good girl for at least 3 months before xmas, you’ve been waiting for great presents this time, xmas comes, you check under the tree….and what do you find?? Foot balsam!!

    i hope Nacho is better than my xmas presents

  245. Morning all

    Just editing a post for today from GoonerB, be back in a bit.

  246. kelsey says:

    When does our little russian’s contract expire. He’s laughing,nice work if you can get it.

  247. Manthan says:

    Gie,
    Valid point regarding new CB we have 3 firstchoice CB now and Miquel too… We are looking good now while attacking players are gelling well they understand each other… I have strong feeling if no one leave us from current team for next two years and with some good singings we can be again banging for title but big iffffffffff about people leaving us…………

  248. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE
    “Regarding those calling for a CB, I think the sale of Bartley shows Wenger is not concerned in this area”
    Can I just have one puff of whatever it is he’s on?

  249. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky :D

    Manthan others will say the bigger if is the new signings!

    Kelsey surely the meerkat would prefer to play. By all accounts he earns extra for appearances at Ems.

  250. Manthan says:

    Gie,
    True :D :D :D…
    AW formula of signing players are once star leave arsenal buy a new raw talent and replace him make him star and sell him….. :D :D :D

  251. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Manthan
    Nacho IS the summer signing, and if we don’t make CL and Giroud continues to settle into the prem and bag 20+ goals, wouldn’t City and so on be in for him?
    Non CL is a very bleak outlook imo.

  252. Manthan says:

    Micky,
    True Giourd,Walcott and JW all are star in making….
    Same player will leave arsenal saying they want new challenges in there life and want to win something….

  253. Manthan says:

    When santos came to Arsenal… Statements by AW was he has good domestic and International Experience but hardly he had played some 10+ game for brazil then how you can say he has very good internatiol exp… now same statment is been repeated for Monreal even he has very less spain cap… then even MANU can tell we had bought ZAHA who has very good domestic and international Experience(1 Game) :P :P but i have belif that monreal will be worth….

  254. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Spot on Manthan

  255. Did the slimy scums buy anyone? They need a striker don’t they and a replacement for Sandro hahahahaha

  256. New Post ……………………

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