Arsenal’s Keeper Teaser and Teeming Midfield

I heard on a reputable podcast that Arsenal have made a bid for Asmir Begovic, Stoke’s much-in-demand goalkeeper. The claim was made by a well-informed journalist who went on to say that Chelsea have already made two bids and that Begovic will move there in summer, if true, this raises a few talking points:

Why are Arsenal looking at a new GK?

Why are AFC playing Fabianksi when his contract is running down and there is no talk of a renewal?

Given that Begovic is just 25, it would indicate that AW has little confidence in Szczesny and sees him as a No.2. Why?

And lastly, if true, why do the Chavs always steal our transfer targets??

Another area for discussion is how the team will line up on Saturday for the game against Norwich. AW intimated that both Theo and Little Jack Wilshire will be playing. Given the excellence of Rosicky and Ramsey at WBA, should they be dropped?

I cannot see an easy solution to our midfield combinations. Arteta and Cazorla are certain starters in every game (unless fatigued) which assuming a 4-4-3 means there is just one midfield place available with 3 very good players vying for it. Wilshire has to be the front-runner for the shirt; he is a brilliant player and adds much to the team, but we have looked better without him! And then there is Coquelin, who will surely leave in summer if he does’t get more pitch time – 2 minutes at WBA will not satisfy his ambitions – or will Coquelin inherit Arteta’s position?

Unknown

Is Wilshere tall enough to do this?

We have been winning playing a 4-4-2 with Gervinho regularly moving across the attack. His unpredictability adds some much needed “chaos” to the more prosaic work of Giroud. In my opinion, we have missed Walcott, our top scorer and a much improved contributor to the team. Not often mentioned is how TW works much harder tracking back and tackling, he tends to be attacking from deeper as a result.

Rosicky is one of our favourite players. I only know one fan who doesn’t love this guy (you know who you are!), and why? Because this is another player who plays with a smile on his face, and he has the drive necessary to propel his team. Whenever TR7 gets the ball he moves forward – none of the tick-tacky for Tomacz, he wants to get the ball into the box as quickly as possible. Mr Wenger said the other day that “

“He’s (TR7) such an important player who turns the game forward, brings movement into the game, makes a game look simple and you feel when he has the ball that something can always happen. Not many players have that in their locker.

“Before he played too far away from the box. I always played him wide but I put him in a position where he is more central now. He’s more dangerous to score.”

But will Rosicky start on Saturday? I doubt it.

written by Big Raddy

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99 Responses to Arsenal’s Keeper Teaser and Teeming Midfield

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    BR, you ask the question ..why are Arsenal looking for a new ‘keeper? Because the existing ones are just not good enough, Fabianski demonstrated on Saturday his propensity to give away possession every time he got his hands on the ball during the last twenty minutes. Wenger obviously sees something wrong in Szczesny’s temperament and Mannone is… well Mannone.

    Let’s face it we haven’t had a really top class ‘keeper since “Safe Hands” Seaman left. Before anybody mentions Lehman, let me remind you all of his nickname…”Mad Jens”.

  2. Red Arse says:

    Nice one, Raddy :-)

    Szczeney played for the U21s last night, (they lost 3:2 to Liverpool) and that tells me that not all is well with him. By all accounts he did not acquit himself too well.

    Personal problems? Simple loss of confidence, stemming from that awful display in the European Championship for Poland? Who knows?

    If we sign Bergovich, or anyone else, they will be the new No.1, and I think either or both of Flappy and Chezzer will be shown the door.

    With regard to the team selection for the weekend, I suspect Jack will only come on from the bench, if at all, so Rosicky will continue, and I cannot see why Rambo would drop out anyway.

    As for Theo, I still do not ‘get’ him. He played very well before signing his contract, and he was well worth a new deal, but then his performances tapered off, and even Arsene had to comment, recently, that it was not related to the signing of his contract.

    I disagree that Theo works harder at tracking back and tackling, that is simply not part of his ‘package’.
    However, in isolation that is not a problem because his forte is threatening the oppo with his speed, and scoring goals. He is tho’ infuriatingly inconsistent, and always has been.

    I heard an interview on the radio, with an ex-player who did not really make it. The guy explained that he was fast, altho’ not as quick as Theo, and he maintained that from the age of 12 his coaches had concentrated on that speed to the exclusion of any particular ball control, tackling or awareness coaching.

    In fairness he was not claiming to be as good as Theo, and he is now only a semi-pro footballer, but his coaching experience might throw a light, perhaps, on what might have caused Theo to be a speed merchant first and foremost without much dribbling, ball control or tackling ability.

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    BR,

    Another question you ask…”is Wilshire tall enough to do this?”

    As Rosicky (5ft 10ins) is standing on the ground, Wilshire (5ft 7ins) needs only to jump 3 inches to perform the same feat. :-)

    Arteta in his present form and fitness fully deserves his starting place and unless he suffers either a serious injury or catastrophic loss of form will continue in his position for at least one more season. If Coquelin doesn’t like his present position, on the bench, tough!

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, some important questions.

    If it aint broke, don’t fix it! – I’d keep the same starting line up and put Jack and Theo on the bench with a view to bringing them on if the situation allows. The team has to come first at this juncture and the current team is doing just fine.

    Gervinho and Ramsey are fitting in well with the balance of the side. Maybe AW should stop buying midfielders who can only be at their best in the centre and consider an out and out winger for his next midfield purchase?

    I’d take Begovich in an instant and make him number 1 without hesitation, he’s a big confident keeper and could save the team 15 points every season. Sz has shown mental frailty and that is something a keeper should never suffer so I’m hoping the ‘rest’ and time to reflect will help him reassess his attitude and help him come back a more balanced professional.

  5. Red Arse says:

    NG,

    Jack Wilshire has asked me to inform you that he will be taking action against you for calumny!

    He is a gigantic 5′ 9″ (almost) and not a puny 5′ 7″ as you allege! :-)

  6. “Given the excellence of Rosicky and Ramsey at WBA, should they be dropped?”

    No room for sentiment!
    Play your strongest team, always, provided the players are fit.
    Example: even when Jenkinson is doing OK, he’s automatically replaced by Sagna when he himself is ready to regain his ‘rightful’ position after a break (pun totally intended).

    Stop being so girly, BR – man up!

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Big Al. My wife is very “girly” and she takes most of the difficult decisions!

    IMO we play better with Walcott than without, particularly at home. I would keep Ramsey in the midfield 3 and bring JW on at 65 mins

  8. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Again I agree with norfolk.
    I said it yesterday or the day before that either Wenger or the goal keeping coach seem to get it wrong every time. The problem is that keepers are the most high lighted players when it comes to bloomers.
    Fabianski was going to be the next best thing and his nerves went.Szsney is young and OK, a tad arrogant but takes risky chances and his distribution isn’t good and even at his young age that should be better.
    We tried for Schwarzer 2/3 seasons ago,Hughes wouldn’t sell and now we have one keeper out of contract, another showing poor form and a dad who is doing his son no favours and Mannone. Quite frankly not good enough yet i can see Fab keeping his place to impress so he gets a new contract elsewhere. He looks better than before but is by no means perfect.
    I wonder if Sezcney got a mental loss of confidence at the euros and i remember last season at Spurs he was lucky not to be red carded for one of his rushes to the head to come charging out of his area.
    As for Norwich, not concerned whoever plays but after seemingly waiting an eternity Rosicky is the rosicky of old and should retain his place but knowing Wenger who knows.

  9. kelsey says:

    I disagree raddy ;)
    walcott is now the highest earner at the club and his performances are as usual totally inconsistent regardless of the fact that the stats say differently.
    His goals usually come late in a game this season when the points are secure and we have a big score,a bit like london buses you wait half an hour for one and then three come along nose to tail.
    Stats well his goals have amounted to two of our wins if you get what i mean.
    He has improved but if i was playing at the club knowing he is the biggest wage earner I would be a little upset as IMO he doesn’t warrant it,yet the club said they would look at restructuring the pay deals. again IMO not a good start as others will demand more who are better and more consistent than him and our wage bill keeps going up unless we get get rid of all the deadwood on our books this Summer.

  10. evonne says:

    good post Raddy, ta very much
    ‘ His (Gervinho’s) unpredictability adds some much needed “chaos” to the more prosaic work of Giroud’ – that’s really funny, but also accurate. I happen to like Gervinho and still have high hopes for him, but he does test my patience at times.

    New goalie? I’d keep Fabianski. Is Begovic really good or is he yet another Eastern European with great potential?

  11. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thank you Big Raddford

    I would like the club to bring in another keeper. i rate our two keepers but it would be nice to have a bit more experience there.

    Wilshere walks back into the team. i would drop Rosisky and play Jack there keeping Santi on the left. Theo can watch from the bench, his time will come again. Probably after Gerv misses 3 sitters. hahaha

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi TMHT, I’m a huge Jack fan, but we’ve been winning without him and the team has looked balanced and cohesive.

    We have a history of focusing on a ‘star’ player and I don’t think it is always healthy for the team.

    When Jack is on the pitch he demands the ball, he pulls the strings and a lot of our play revolves around him; when he’s not, the other players seem to take more collective responsibility.

    Obviously Jack represents the future of Arsenal and I’m sure over the summer we will look to find the chemistry that gets the best out of him and the team, but for the time being, I think I’d stick with the winning formula.

  13. Big Raddy
    To be perfectly honest I agree with almost everything you say.
    I have no problem at all as regards Ramsey and Rosicky keeping their places, if that’s what Wenger chooses. Whilst both score very few goals, neither does Wilshere. The qualities of those three players lay elsewhere. And each brings something different to the table.

    In the case of Walcott, Kelsey is as accurate as anyone can be. Inconsistency has reared it’s head again now he’s got his big contract… however – [scenario/question] – in the final seconds of the last game of the season, with a single goal required to finish in the top four, which will give us European Champions League football next season – who would you want bearing down on goal at speed with only the goalie to beat… Walcott or Gervinho?

    Which brings me to my number one grouse right now: Gervinho. “One ‘goodish’ game” [to quote Norfolk Gooner] and he’s better than Garincha, better than Best, better than Boa Morte, in the eyes of some (though not me).

  14. Big Raddy
    ps: thanks for the STATS-FREE post.

  15. Hi Rasp
    “When Jack is on the pitch he demands the ball, he pulls the strings and a lot of our play revolves around him; when he’s not, the other players seem to take more collective responsibility.”

    You’re not incorrect in what you’re stating, as, generally, the team (collectively) is more important than any one individual; however…
    …replace “Jack” with “Liam”
    …replace “Jack” with “Cesc”
    …replace “Jack” with “Gazza”(?)

  16. Rasp says:

    Hi Al, glad I’m not incorrect :)

    I think your point is that a top quality player will always improve a team? We only have to look at England sides in recent years to see that picking the best 11 players doesn’t always constitute the best team.

    Jack is still evolving as a player, he will need to start scoring more goals to move to the next level. With his ability and insight, he needs to be surrounded by players who are on his wavelength and that chemistry takes time. We don’t have the luxury of time to experiment in these last 7 games.

  17. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi Rasp.

    Yes, i understand your logic.

    My gut feeling is that by bringing him back we will secure ,more points by the end of the season. But you make very sound points.

  18. Rasp says:

    Hi TMHT, I think we will find out as I do expect AW to start with Jack in the next few games. At this juncture its just down to points, points, points – and whatever blend of personnel is required to secure those points is alright by me :)

  19. As TMHT says, I understand your logic, and it’s difficult to argue against it.
    But (!)… here we go again…

    Hoping you’re old enough to remember these players:
    Would the following creative, talented midfielders have been left out by their managers due to their ‘logic’ and sound reasoning being the same as wot yours is.

    Just a few that spring to mind (without surfing) as I’m busy cooking: Bobby Charlton, Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, Martin Peters, Alan Ball, Johann Cruyff, Michel Platini, Eric Cantona, Colin Bell, Alan Ball, David Beckham, Ossie Ardiles, Charlie Cooke, Gianfranco Zola, Ruud Gullitt…

    I’m not being OTT by naming quality established players. These were the best at their respective clubs and Wilshere is (arguably?) our best midfielder at present..

    Would their managers play ‘em or leave ‘em out?
    If they were fit, they would play.

    You don’t want to change a winning team, Rasp? What teams did we beat recently? Five of our last 6 opponents, as I pointed out to Rocky yesterday, were out of the top 7 Premiership positions.
    We could have won those games with Donald Duck in Wilshere’s place.

    Sooner or later we will draw or lose a game, and it may well be because we needed, and missed the calibre of Jack Wilshere.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Sorry Al, you’ve got it all wrong, as I shall now demonstrate with some statistics…

    OK, the last bit was a joke :)

    But you are wrong and Rasp is right. I don’t think any of the players in your list would have walked into their respective first teams at the age of 21 after an injury (and following a much longer term injury) while the team was winning.

    In fact, if I could even begin to know where to find the data, I would indeed find some stats to prove the point (namely, how many games did these players start at age 21?).

    And as for saying that the recent wins we’ve had were a walkover (Swansea away?) I know you don’t really think that and you’re just having a bit of a wind-up…

    Like all these “easy” games we’ve already lost this season (Blackburn at home; Bradford away; Swansea at home; Norwich away etc etc etc).

    If AW has found a winning formula (which he has) he should not mess with it lightly.

    In any case, Rosicky is at a similar level of skill and ability to Jack – and if injuries had not blighted his career he would probably be talked of as one of the best in the world.

    In fact he’d probably be at Barcelona now :)

  21. RockyLives says:

    Good Post BR but dammit – you used up about four great conundrums in one Post. You could have eked them out for the rest of the week!

    As for our ‘keepers… I’m not exactly Mystic Meg (at the start of last season I wrote a Post saying Arshavin would be the Premier League player of the year :oops: ) but I did sound quite a few warnings about the over-hyping of Szcz.

    He’s a young man and I don’t think he’s shown enough to demonstrate that he can be a world class ‘keeper. But if he takes this on the chin and works hard maybe he could be.

    I would just rather we had the finished article while he’s learning.

    Fab’s doing OK but I imagine he’ll be off come summer.

  22. RockyLives says:

    Wow. Those comments killed the blog, didn’t they?

  23. First it’s stats, now it’s conundrums.
    Rocky’s here, everybody!

  24. Bayonne Jean says:

    Two matches in 72 hours (albeit both at home) would point to some change, but the main change for me would be to give Giroud a rest vs. Norwich, but have him on the bench if needed. Bring him back in to lead the line vs. Everton. Norwich would also be a good place to reintroduce Podolski and Theo up front with Gervinho. And possibly slot in Jenkinson at right back, with Sagna on the bench as emergency central defender.

    I know that leaves five (Rosicky, Wilshere, Arteta, Santi, Ramsey) for three midfield slots, or four for two if Arteta is a given. That decision is above my pay grade…..

    And thanks for posting the end of season prognostications for Gunners, Chavs, LWCs. Didit, in the (unlikely?) event no one is spot on, what’s the tiebreaker?

  25. RockyLives says:

    Bayonne
    In the event of a tie, the prize goes to “best use of statistics in a Post…”

  26. jnyc says:

    Great job Raddy. Drive is the right word for Rosicky.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    It’s not your comments, or mentioning conumdrums that is killing the blog, there is something very fishy going on!

    I responded to BR at 10:20, regarding a comment he made concerning Theo, in which I made a point about his (Theo’s) consistency, or lack thereof, only for it to fall into a black hole.
    Response? Nada.

    At 11:50, Kelsey, making no reference to my earlier comment on the subject, made a similar reference to Theo’s inconsistency and at 12:55 Big Al responded to him.

    There is either a weird time delay going on, or my posts are invisible to everyone else.

    I am beginning to wonder to myself (and to anyone else who can read my invisible posts) what is the point of blogging on here?

  28. RockyLives says:

    Come on Redders – you were involved in lots of chat yesterday (very amusing and often quite enlightening).

    I think that just because people don’t respond directly to a comment does not mean that they have not read and appreciated it.

    I have read all the comments today and enjoyed them all. Some I agreed with, some I didn’t (hello Al :) ) and some just gave me food for thought.

    But I didn’t have time to respond to everyone. I promise you Norfolk, Terry, Kelsey, Rasp, Evonne etc that I am not being rude and that I enjoyed what you had to say.

    I write loads of comments that get no direct response, but hopefully they add in some tiny way to the richness of the blog and the enjoyment of those who visit the site (most of whom, let’s remember, NEVER comment).

    As many have pointed out, there does seem to be a bit of “blogging fatigue” at the moment, perhaps because there’s a degree of Groundhog Day about our last few seasons and some people (like LB, according to Rasp) just feel the discussions are going round in circles.

    Personally I still enjoy the wit and the opinion even if many of the subjects are re-treads.

    OK, I’ll shut up, but basically that’s a long winded way of saying “please stick around Redders.”

  29. Big Raddy says:

    RA,

    Apologies. Not been anywhere near a keyboard my last comment.
    I disagree entirely about Theo. His return this season is vastly better than any other winger in the PL. He deserves his place and, if fit, has to start v Norwich and Everton.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Even the great Arseblog is quiet, both in terms of readers and bloggers.

    As said, we have our core and those who are around chat. Hopefully, things will return to normal nearer season’s end when emotions will be running high.

  31. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I apologise for not having made myself clear.

    It was not my intention to moan – far from it – (after all, I was just being nice about your conumdrums — they did black out the site) :-) but the lack of continuity for me lately has made me hesitate in offering a response to some interesting and/or amusing comments made by others on AA during the day.

    As you know, unlike most of you gainfully employed citizens, my circumstances mean I am often at a loose end and being gregarious, I like to chat, so I am doing so elsewhere more and more frequently.

    I would prefer to continue on AA, in some capacity, if that is possible, but as you will remember from NY, if I am boring the ass of the current babe, and catch the eye of a floozy, it can be difficult to extract oneself. (not from the floozy — from the situation) :-)

    Is all I am saying. :D

  32. Rocky
    Fair point(s) you made at 2.56pm, as did Rasp earlier.
    I’ve said I find it hard to argue.
    However…

    Wilshere’s age has no bearing on my points, whether he’s 21, 31, 41 or 91. If you’re good enough…
    But, seeing as you brought it up, here’s the age(s) of the players when they made their league debuts: Bobby Charlton (19), Glenn Hoddle (19), Paul Gascoigne (18), Martin Peters (19), Alan Ball (17), Johann Cruyff (17), Michel Platini (18), Eric Cantona (17), Colin Bell (17), David Beckham (18 / 20), Ossie Ardiles (21), Charlie Cooke (18), Gianfranco Zola (18), Ruud Gullitt (17)

    Rocky, these are not ordinary midfield players, they are all quality; all Internationals.
    And bear in mind please, these are only a tiny handful of names from my head (only then did I check details in wiki – quickly).

    Here’s just a few relevant details; wikipedia has the full histories.

    Bell: “The Colin Bell Stand” at the Etihard Stadium. Widely regarded as Man City’s greatest ever player [wiki]. Capped for England at 22yo.

    Ball: Capped at 20yo. World Cup Winner at 21yo.

    Beckham: Runner-up FIFA World Player of the Year – 2 times.

    Gascoigne: Capped at 21yo.

    Peters: Became Britain’s most expensive footballer when he joined Spurs. Regarded by Alf Ramsey as “ten years ahead of his time”.

    Hoddle: at 22yo was PFA Young Player of the Year.
    Only Liam Brady rivalled him when both ‘peaked’ at about the same time.

    Platini: Although a midfielder, France’s top scorer ’til Henry eclipsed his tally. Capped at 21yo.

    Cruyff: In 1999 voted “European Player of the Century”.
    Also voted 2nd place to Pele as “World Player of the Century”.

    And I stand by my thoughts and comments as regards the players listed.
    If and when fit, they would be selected to play, even if the team(s) were winning without them.

  33. I’m also at a loose end, and being probably the most gregarious bloke on this site, I like to chat too!…

    …HI RED ARSE, How’s it hanging?

  34. Red Arse says:

    BR,

    No probs.

    Actually, I am not sure what you mean when you say you disagree with me entirely re Theo.

    My comments had nothing to with his (goals) return this season, and I made no comment regarding his return to the team, if he is fit, other than saying Rambo and Tomas should continue in the team.

    My comment concerned your claim that Theo was now better at tracking back and tackling, with which I cannot agree. But I did say that was not important, but what was important was his speed and goal scoring.

    I made reference to his inconsistency since he signed his new contract, and the fact AW has found it necessary to say his recent loss of form had nothing to do with that.

    Are you disagreeing with both me and AW about that? :D

  35. Red Arse says:

    I am very choosy about who I reveal my hanging bits to, Big Al. :D

  36. Gooner in Exile says:

    Good evening all , I would have expected a far higher number of comments given the subject matter….but then i have been out all day and i suppose others have jobs too.

    As you all know I am keen on Szczesny, but admit he hasn’t had the greatest season. Do we need a more experienced GK? I’m not sure, i’d prefer to go find a better young keeper if we really think we need one. I agree with many others today we have not had a keeper 100% reliable since Seaman.

    As for midfield well I think we are well set, its hard to leave Jack out but given the current performances I’m happy for him to have some bench time, especially if we are worried about the dreaded “Red Zone” for him.

    I’m with others on Theo, yes he can be seen working back in our own third, but the question is why is he working back there, since his exclusion from the team we have been winning the ball back much higher, this goes for Podolski and Jack i suppose as they have both been out as well and we are seeing this pressure up the pitch.

    All season I have watched Santi pressure the ball, and too often he has looked behind him to see no one helping him, Gervinho and Giroud have both been working with Santi, and Ramsey, Arteta and Rosicky have made a good fist of helping them out.

    As i said the other day in some ways you could argue Wenger made too many changes at once, he has basically changed 5 players at once Pod, Jack, Theo, Verm and Szczesny out, Gerv, TR7, Rambo, Koz and Fab in. Was it Szczesny or Verm’s removal that has made us look more organised at the back, or both, was it Theo and Pod’s removal that has led to us being better defending up the pitch, or is it the removal of Jack and the inclusion of TR7?

    But i am not going to criticise Wenger for the changes as he had to do something drastic, especially after the Spuds result.

  37. Rocky’s hiding behind his monitor, licking his wounds…

  38. GIE
    So you’ve been out all day? And you’ve got a job?

    So…?
    Get a laptop.

  39. Red Arse says:

    Be careful, Big Al that he does not start licking you! :-0

  40. Red Arse says:

    Sad that Arshavin is thinking of retiring from football because he is so disillusioned.

    It seems there has been no interest in him from other clubs, and his Mrs has left him. Oh — and Arsenal do not want him either.

    N.B. this is reported in my local paper, so I know not whether it is true.

  41. Gooner in Exile says:

    Haha Al I have the laptop, its just a case of finding time, especially when driving, when they give me a HUD on my dashboard with full on internet browsing i’m not going to leave you in peace!

  42. RockyLives says:

    Slurp

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Big Al. 5.58 No arguing with that!!

    RA. I am a big fan of Theo and believe he will be a hugely important cog in the future success of AFC. Players develop at different rates and Theo has been slow, though his injuries have no doubt hindered his progress.

    If you don’t believe me about his defensive improvement watch him closely next time out. He is often to be seen backing up Sagna near his own corner flag. But until then, let us agree to offer :-)

    GIE. Could the reason we win the ball higher up the pitch be due to Ramsey being a more effective defensive shield than Theo? However, Theo brings much more thrust. Who would be a manager?

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Been a bad couple of years for the Meerkat.

    Lost his family, lost his place at Arsenal, lost the captaincy of Russia then his place in the team.

    No wonder he is disillusioned.

  45. RockyLives says:

    Now you see Al, you have fallen into my trap :D

    You have tried to justify your earlier comments by – drumroll – reaching for a bunch of “meaningless stats.”

    The stats as you have laid them out tell us nothing. So Colin Bell was capped for England aged 22? So what? How long before his next cap? Were there injuries to lots of other regulars that necessitated him having to be drafted in? Was he playing regularly for his club at 21? If so was he a first choice? How many starts? Were there any times when Citeh had a run of wins without him in the team and took their time bringing him back? Was he returning from a long term injury… and on and on and on…

    Hoist on your own petard Sir! (Redders will kindly explain what that actually means – and it may surprise you).

  46. Gooner in Exile says:

    RA i’d guess he would feel a little less disillusioned if he played a bit more, and he hasn’t exactly pulled up tress to make that possible.

  47. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Your local paper? The St Petersburg Chronicle?

  48. Red Arse says:

    @ 6:26, What are you thinking of offering me, Raddy? :-)

    It is not a matter of believing you, at all, it is just that my opinion about Theo’s defensive capabilities does not match yours. :-)

    Anyway, I have already said that Theo’s main attribute is his goal scoring skill and speed up front rather than his defensive abilities, and AW will balance one against the other, and decide his attacking prowess far outweighs his defensive limitations.

  49. Red Arse says:

    No, Rocky, I haven’t been to Florida for some years!! :D

  50. Gooner in Exile says:

    Raddy…. lost his family? I’ve just googled and am so glad i don’t read tabloids, some of the absolute crap peddled as news is unbelievable one headline “Is Julya Arshavin the new Worst Dressed WAG”…….wow The Daily Mail really is god awful newspaper

  51. chas says:

    Cheers for today’s post, BR.
    I think a new keeper is a good idea. Whether we find the right one or not is another matter entirely.
    Rosicky should keep his place as far as I’m concerned. Use him while he’s fit and playing well seems the sensible course of action. Jack will get plenty of time on the pitch in the run-in without forcing him back in as a starter.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, @ 6:31

    Big Al has blotted his escutcheon as well as being hoist by his own petard — and he hasn’t even washed it — or is that watched it? :D

  53. Rocky

    “Here’s just a few relevant details; wikipedia has the full histories.” is what I wrote. Maybe you missed it in your haste to get back to me :-) .

    As I’ve said, the full info is in wikipedia (elsewhere too, without doubt). Go surfing Rocky… the answers to all your statty questions as regards Bell, everyone else on the list, and many more are awaiting your perusal.

    Colin Bell
    1963–1966… Bury… played 82, goals 25
    1966–1979… Manchester City… played 394, goals 117
    England 48 caps, 9 goals

    Retired due to injury aged 29

  54. Red Arse says:

    Biggy,

    What the Hard Rock man wanted to know is how many goals Bell and the others had scored before the age of 21.

    Passing him off with dodgy Thai info won’t work! :D

  55. Colin Bell began his career at Bury captaining the team at a young age. In 1966 ( age 20) he moved to Manchester City and helped the team earn promotion to the First Division that same year.

    Second Division Champions 1966-67
    First Division Champions 1967–68,
    First Division runner-up 1976-77
    FA Cup winner 1969
    League Cup winner 1970, 1976, runner-up 1974
    European Cup Winner’s Cup winner 1970
    Charity Shield winner 1969, 1973

  56. There you go.
    Anyone else need their botty wiping?

  57. Red Arse says:

    Biggy,

    You have a blithely insouciant style of phraseology – and that cannot be denied!! :D

  58. RockyLives
    Position at AA: Windup Merchant

    2010-2013
    Posts 2,000… Stats 20,000… Replies…20

    Considered by many to have few peers.

  59. kelsey says:

    Red Arse
    don’t be such a sensitive middle aged bastard :)

    I haven’t left my house in a year bar doctors and dentists and that’s the truth.
    Yes I was playing bowls the year before but my illness comes and goes in bouts,I spent two years about five years ago housebound.
    my daughter is severley ill, i am basically agrophobic and in 12 days have to travel 14 hours by road, 24 hours at sea and then a further two hours by road to get back to the UK.How do you think I feel.

  60. chas says:

    The Colin Bell Stand always makes me laugh.
    Have you stood on the Bell End, Big Al?

  61. chas says:

    It looks like Colin Bell’s career successes were concentrated into his early playing life up to 24 years old.
    Perhaps he played far too often when he was young (even when coming back from injury) :)

  62. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Have you stood on the Bell End :D

    Al
    Away with your stand-alone stats, you tempter you!

    Kesley
    It’s nice to know that someone is going to great effort to get into England, while most people are trying to get out… :)

  63. Big Raddy says:

    I saw Colin Bell play on a number of occasions, both at Maine Rd & Highbury. IMO he was way over-rated.

    A Northern Denilson.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Oooh you are naughty …..but,

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Cracking first half in Dortmund. BD fans are fantastic

  66. chas says:

    The Malaga goalie is called Willy.
    There must be thousands of fans thrilled at the prospect of getting his name on their shirts.
    Perhaps we should grease his palm?

  67. chas says:

    I’m so looking forward to unlimited broadband again. Couldn’t be arsed to go out to watch Madrid (which is the match everyone will be showing).

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Chas, Do you think if we greased his palm he would come?

  69. Big Raddy says:

    ooop. Don’t think that would pass the Peaches’ Mum test!

  70. chas says:

    He’d certainly fill a hole in our rearguard

  71. Big Raddy says:

    And stiffen the defence

  72. RockyLives says:

    We’ve had seamen between the sticks, so willy seems logical…

  73. RockyLives says:

    Blimey – anyone see Eboue’s screamer for Gala?

  74. RockyLives says:

    RM v Gala has turned into a cracker.

  75. RockyLives says:

    Just me again then… oh well… :(

  76. We do need a keeper
    And Jose maurino

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Cracking end to the game at BD, Fans deserved the win.

  78. Big Raddy says:

    SH, You got your wish.

    So it will be Germany vs Spain in both semifinals

  79. Gooner In Exile says:

    If all rumours are to be believed Mourinho is already tapping up players for Chelsea next season. I know he gives good copy but the PL does not need him, think that if true we can see odds for Moyes to United come down.

  80. 26may1989 says:

    Have just seen Eboue’s goal – bloody marvellous! Always loved that loon.

  81. 26may1989 says:

    Drogba’s goal was Henry-esque.

  82. Bayonne Jean says:

    Here’s Dortmund manager Klopp’s interview after Malaga:

    Really respect the way his side plays and competes, and his honesty, humor and passion. Can the board make sure to grab this guy to succeed AW?

  83. Manthan says:

    HI Goodmorning all,

    I think we need a new keeper. Because scez is still very young he will take 2 more season to become a complete player.. Fab is not at all good his luck is favoring him now he is still flappy we should release him he is not better then Scez.. I dont want to bring begovic because he will be costly I would rather go for Julio Cesar.. We all know QPR will get relegate and we can get him in less price and he is better then begovic in fact he is best keeper in PL this season I have not seen many QPR matches but from youtube highlights I can say he is best of all. We should buy Cesar play him for 2 season and then scez should replace him…(By that time scez would have become a complete gem)

  84. Manthan says:

    Hi Bayoone Jean,
    I agree with you I have said previously that kloop can replace AW. If anybody have got chance to watch BVB vs MANC match in Eithad you could have see his calmness and tatical knowledge.. He is young arsene wenger…

  85. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Great interview with Klopp.

    Manthan. Not a bad idea at all. Of course, Cesar has had more shots to save than any other PL GK

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Just reada “down memory lane” piece on Goonerholic about the 1998 season. Can’t believe it is15 years ago!

    Can anyone help me with is? ….. I have a distant memory of going to Highbury to watch an away game on a big screen set up on the pitch. There must have been 10k+ sharing the tension and the atmosphere was surreal as we sang and chanted to a TV screen!

    But I cannot remember who the opposition were – I have a feeling it was Barnsley. Anyone know?

  87. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sold on Klopp, was last year even after we knocked them out early of CL, more sold on his players, particularly, Reus, Goetze and Lewandowski.

    Not sold on Cesar, as Raddy says faces a lot if shots so you can appear to make a lot of saves.

    Begovic maybe…..but with all these keepers we can’t say for sure how they will cope with big time, and big matches and intense scrutiny, hasn’t worked well for a number of keepers over the years…..Foster and Robinson are two that spring to mind.

    If we are looking lower down the table for a good shot stopper then Mignolet would be in there, as would Al Habsi, but as I have said many times before its not all about shot stopping when you take the step up, it’s about concentration, it’s about control of your area etc etc.

  88. LB says:

    Southhampton away, Henry’s first goal, I took my son to Highbury as a treat for his second birthday. It seems odd now that I was changing his nappy while watching the screen. There may well have been other games but that is the one I remember for obvious reasons.
    Happy days.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks LB. Good to see your gravatar again and I hope all is well in LB World.

  90. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. One difference between those GK’s and Cesar is experience. He has it they didn’t (and we could add Stuart Taylor to your list)

  91. evonne says:

    LB!!!!!!!!!!!
    you’ve been cycling for ever

  92. Rasp says:

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