I Really Didn’t Want To Write About Jack Wilshere

It’s true.

During the game on Saturday morning I found myself getting more and more frustrated with our little English dynamo.

And it crossed my mind to write today’s Post about Jack Wilshere and some of the things about him that annoy me.

Among others – based on the performance against Manchester City – they included sloppy passing, bad positional play, tracking back like Denilson on Valium and appalling body language.

The last was the most annoying.

When will Jack learn that the correct response to being tripped, or to losing possession of the ball in a tackle and ending up on your arse is NOT to lie on your back emanating frustration, disenchantment and victimhood? The correct response is to bounce straight back up and get back in the game, thereby minimising the disadvantage you have caused to your team.

Jack Wilshere v Manchester City

It’s true that Jack is fouled disproportionately often (although that may have something to do with the style of his play); and it’s true that – at times – it may be necessary to try and make sure the referee knows you have been fouled; but the default position should be to spend as little time out of the game as possible.

Lying on the ground sulking means you are not in the game. And not being in the game can have bad consequences.

I won’t criticise a player just for having a bad game – they all do at times. But emanating more negative vibes than Leonard Cohen performing a Smiths tribute is just not acceptable.

Jack had a bad game on Saturday and compounded the problem by behaving immaturely: flipping off the home fans was simply the icing on a cake made of petulance and poo.

But, as I mentioned earlier, I decided not to write a Post about why Jack has been getting on my nerves lately.

And I’m not going to.

Apart from anything else, I believe in supporting our players and not scapegoating them and I know many regular readers and contributors to Arsenal Arsenal feel the same.

In fact, on sober reflection (and some not so sober reflection later in the evening), I realised that where we are now with Jack Wilshere is more or less exactly where we were with Aaron Ramsey this time last year.

The frustration with Ramsey last Autumn began as murmurs of discontent, then grew into howls of outrage and disappointment every time he misplaced a ball before mutating like a cancerous cell into vile abuse and hatred towards the young Welshman on Twitter and the internet.

Thank Dennis that Aaron was strong enough as a person to weather that storm. I am convinced it was only a minority who got on his back, even at the ground (and only an infinitesimal and infantile minority who sent the abuse) but I hope all who doubted him are enjoying their humble pie now.

Jack’s case is similar. He has clearly not got back to his best form since returning from his long injury absences. Like Aaron last year he has been played in different positions and, similarly, has been struggling at times

In Ramsey’s case his true supporters kept trying to remind the doubters of the remarkable promise he had shown before being utterly Shawcrossed.

And now I’m here to do the same for Jack.

If you ever doubt for a second that Wilshere will not turn out to be an Arsenal great, have a look at this YouTube clip  “Jack Wilshere v Barcelona.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP_pCG9Cmio  It contains all his moments from the game in February 2011 when we played Barca at the Emirates and beat them 2-1.

Jack was just 19 and this was a time when Barcelona were not just the best team in Europe but – according to many commentators – the best football team of all time.

At the heart of their midfield were the peerless Xavi and Iniesta and in that game Jack rose to the level of his esteemed opponents and even outdid them. All of us who watched that game knew we had an exceptional young player on our hands.

We still do. He’s going through a difficult time and is yet to find his true place in this new look, top-of-the-table Arsenal team. But, like Aaron Ramsey, he will come through it. He has shown enough good moments even in this disjointed season to remind us all of the quality that we still have to look forward to.

Arsene Wenger got Aaron Ramsey to achieve his best by sticking with him, playing him through the tough times and (at first) urging him to simplify his game.

Whether or not that approach will work for Jack I don’t know – Arsene gets paid a small fortune to figure that one out himself, and I’m sure he will.

I’m also sure that part of the process of putting Wilshere back at the heart of what’s good about Arsenal will involve a few well-chosen words in his ear about his behavior on the pitch  – including his body language.

I would be happy to bet that by May we will be talking about Jack Wilshere as a £50 million player.

RockyLives

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172 Responses to I Really Didn’t Want To Write About Jack Wilshere

  1. arnie says:

    Lovely stuff, Rocky. I have developed a prior belief that Jack has an attitude problem. But I will cast this opinion aside and read the post. Back later.

    But before that, this is what I had written at 9:46 am

    Motning, all. Nice discussion.

    Dhakka: You dont need the pill. You are an epitome of positive nervous energy!!! :D :D

    Good discussion, Raddy, Micky and Evonne. I am in the Evonne club. Another case to not forget is Rangers. This race to grab superstar idol “have-beens” is financially bonkers, morally bankrupt and completely devoid of creativity.

    Ah well, Henry leaves, so what do you do, scout the world for a like for like replacement. We think we find one, pay a fat transfer fee and salary, and then find he is not doing the job. Put him in the bench and go scouting again. Where is the creativity in doing this? Even a dumbo (AVB) can do it. Where is the idea of building a team? Where is the idea that we are a club where players and fans participate in a journey? where players are not bought in to hurt opponents and warm benches and spoil the atmosphere by useless negativity. Most importantly, the above strategy fails more often than not.

    Having said all of this, I am happy to discuss and listen to WATA if he puts in a post. Nay, he says, everyone knows my position, so I am content to have a rant. A post is not about self-glorification, it is about putting forward some ideas so that everyone can put in their two pence bit and debate in a civil and constructive way.

  2. Manthan says:

    RL,

    great post mate!! Yesterday night I was watching same video and my god what performance it was against likes of Xavi and Iniesta… He would have star by now but unluckily for him he got injured.. I don’t understand why our players only get injured more example are TR7, Daiby, BSR , Jacky… Imagine a fit daiby he could give battle to toure..

  3. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, and a special greeting to Rocky with thanks for a thought provoking post.

    I hope that it’s only the “Ramsey” syndrome that is affecting Wilshere at the moment, he may be firing on all cylinders but not neccessarily in the right order. Fitness could still be an issue, certainly there seems to be a concern about injury in his play, any tackle has him grabbing at his ankle as though fearing the worst.

    He could now have a prolonged period in which to reflect on his attitude, should the FA decide to ban him for the petulant gesture to the City fans.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky

    Perfect sense, and the usual classic lines. Thank you.

    I’m with Norfolk on the “Ramsey Syndrome”. I think Jack is trying too hard to make an impact, instead of doing the simple thinks efficiently. Look back at the beautiful elegance of That Goal.

    I do expect a rumble in Little Venice today :-)

  5. I`m actually surprised it`s as high as that !. :lol:

  6. Räsp says:

    Excellent Rocky, I hope this view is adopted by all supporters.

    I agree he’s trying too hard, he doesn’t look fit and at the moment it doesn’t appear his head is in the right place – but what a player he has shown himself to be, and there’s more to come.

    He is young and been under the spotlight from an early age suffering the burden of expectation. I am no psychologist, but I felt that it would have been an act of kindness to bring him off early in the 2nd half against city as his frustration was palpable.

    I’m sure in time he will rediscover his form – but it could take a while as this season is going to be a rollercoaster with unrelenting pressure to get results.

    I hope the Ox too can come back into the side quietly, but we must not forget that he and Jack will want to impress to get on the plane to Brazil – so maybe it will be a test of character for them both.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Thanks. As always informative and amusing.

    I was thinking along the same lines …. a beseeching JW lying on the ground does nothing for the team, watch Flamini when decked – he is straight up and back in play, foul or no.

    Having AR as a role model will hopefully see Jack become the player we all know he can be.

  8. Sav from Australia says:

    Nice one, Rocky. I suspect yours will indeed be the verdict come next year May.

    I haven’t seen the banner before, but is Rocky Mondays a regular feature now?

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s remember this:
    Jack is 21
    Aaron is 22
    Look at the difference a year can make :-)

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Sav. Has been for about a year!!

  11. AVB has left the Spuds !.

  12. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shame I ws enjoying his reign …. What was that about downward spiral?

  13. dhakka09 says:

    City got Barca in CL draw, lol

  14. RockyLives says:

    Morning all. Early start for me today.

    What a comedy club the Spuds are.

    The rumour is that Hoddle is going to take over as caretaker for the rest of the season.

  15. RockyLives says:

    ManUre get a bye into the next round (Olympiakos)

  16. Gööner In Exile says:

    Real or Munich looking likely

  17. arnie says:

    Oh dear!!!!! Great, great stuff, Rocky. Let me say at the outset that I am one of the people on here who has been watching Jack very carefully. Fantastic talent, young, hard working and a Gooner out and out – a very good place to start. The negative is an attitude problem, and a big problem at that.

    Let us put the recent history in perspective. The smoking incident, the arguably racist rant against the inclusion of Januzaj, Sterling or whoever in the England squad (clearly none of his business as a player), lying on the ground to proclaim the world’s injustices piled upon his tender shoulders, and last but not the least, the finger trick. FFS, give me a break! Its back to the future!!!! London 1960s, A Clockwork Orange.

    Wield the stick, I say!! :D For me, this is much greater transgression of the Arsenal spirit than Flamini’s tailoring lessons. But then, I am sure that’s just me, at least on AA.

    The problem is that if Jack were similar to Aaron on the positives, he is the exact antithesis on this attitude issue. The bigger problem is that, he seems to me to be carefully planning this “angry young man” image. If managed well, this works well sometimes in British society. It would probably make you a hero, other things equal, for patrons at Old Toilet. Unfortunately, Arsenal fans are different, they are discerning and they are critical.

    Yes, he is young, perhaps impressionable. But 21 years old, Come on, not 3 or 10 or even 15. People at his age would have retired from military service having defended the country well in wars. People much younger would have been Olympic gold medallists. I can go on, but you probably get the idea. He needs to grow up, and fast. Otherwise, I fear the worst.

    However, this worst case scenario will not emerge. As Rocky rightly says, plans are in place. “Arsene Wenger got Aaron Ramsey to achieve his best by sticking with him, playing him through the tough times”. Yes, play Jack at every opportunity. I do not see why he should have been subbed against Shitty. Yes, he was Shite, but he would have to play through the pain and disappointment and come out a hero. That is life. If you can, you are a Gooner, otherwise …

    “I’m also sure that part of the process of putting Wilshere back at the heart of what’s good about Arsenal will involve a few well-chosen words in his ear about his behavior on the pitch – including his body language.” Yes, we like a good old-fashioned stick once in a while. And, do not forget, if you are a Gooner, behaviour off the field is important as well!!!! :D :D :D

  18. RockyLives says:

    Chavs get Galatasaray.

    I think we can only get Bayern Munich now… hey ho.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bayern

  20. dhakka09 says:

    We got Bayern in CL. Bring it on Guardiola, eh? :s

  21. RockyLives says:

    Not getting a point in Napoli could be very costly.

    Still, a tie against Munich is fantastically exciting to look forward to.

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow
    City Barca, and Arsenal Bayern.

  23. Gööner In Exile says:

    Yawn Munich

  24. arnie says:

    Arsenal v Bayern Munich. Been there, done that!!!!! :D

  25. RockyLives says:

    How does the real draw compare with the predicted one that was posted a couple of days ago?

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    When do they announce dates for fixtures?

  27. arnie says:

    Yes, Rocky, it was in our hands. Failing to get a draw in Naples was poor, getting only a draw against Everton was poor. Both can be costly…..

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky
    Good question. Can’t remember which day Chas posted his conspiracy tweet. Love to see it.

    I have a look back shortly. Important, but short, meeting at 11:30.

  29. RockyLives says:

    And there you have the differing fortunes of North London’s two Premier League clubs summed up in 10 minutes of breaking news…

    The Spuds sack yet another failing manager…

    Arsenal draw the reigning champions in the ECL and look forward to a thrilling round-of-16 tie.

  30. RockyLives says:

    AVB to WBA?

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here it is

    UCL_Fraude @ucl_fraude
    Follow
    MANCHESTER UNITED-MILAN, PSG-BAYER LEVERKUSEN, BAYERN-ARSENAL, CHELSEA-ZENIT, DORTMUND-GALATASARAY.

    5:33 PM – 12 Dec 2013

  32. Sav from Australia says:

    Raddy, now that I think about it…Rocky’s posts tend to come after the weekend match…and Monday is right after the weekend! [slaps forehead]

  33. arnie says:

    Rocky @ 11:28. Could be, the timing looks curious!!!!

  34. RockyLives says:

    Sav
    But what you correctly identified as new is the ‘Rocky Monday’ masthead that Rasp has created. He has other mastheads for other days.

  35. RockyLives says:

    arnie
    To be honest I just liked writing it :)

    AVB to WBA? TBD

  36. Sav from Australia says:

    The draw…is fixed! But funnily enough, I am not sure if Arsenal should fear any of these teams.

  37. Sav from Australia says:

    Thanks Rocky, I had given up and thought the masthead had been there for a year and I was just really, really unobservant. hehe

  38. arnie says:

    Rocky: :D :D Great stuff.

    Sav: Arsenal does not fear anyone. But the point is that the draw is also fixed, probably. Perhaps shows us how deep corruption runs in football.

  39. evonne says:

    Rocky – that’s a very good reminder, seeing Ramsey now I forgot how clumsy he looked at times. I get cheesed off with Jack when he starts throwing the toys out of the pram, but he is a baby, he is not fully grown yet.
    I love the lad, he makes me laugh when he charges at opponents twice his size doing the windmills with his arms, he has his heart in the right place. You are absolutely right, he will come through, give him a couple more months.

    £50mil? Nay, make it £80, that’s more like it.

    Leonard Cohen – great artist but each album should be accompanied by a box of razor blades, just in case

  40. evonne says:

    Bayern – can we do it again?

  41. Big Raddy says:

    So we get to play both of last year’s finalists.

    Exciting tie and one we can win. Shame we are at home first.

  42. This is a great post, Rocky. Excellent perspective. Well done.

  43. RockyLives says:

    Cheers MW
    How have you been? Haven’t heard from you for a little while.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Spurs eh! Couldn’t make it up could you?

    I am sure it wasn’t AVB’s decision to sell the ape. And the BoD said that patience was required to bed in a new team, which it is. So who shows a lack of patience? The very men who told Spurs fans to be patient!!

    No doubt some lemon will come in, pick up the easy points and thence become another “saviour”.(hopefully not Laudrup though he seems to be the favourite)
    ,
    Knee-jerk reactions and appeasing the fans will not make Spurs a big club, it just confirms them as a laughing stock!

  45. LB says:

    Hahahahahahaha

    Spuds, what a shambles.

    Bayern ooooh, good tie.

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Heck Raddy. Laudrup going there is a very nasty thought.

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dates Round 16
    Ist leg 18–19 & 25–26 February 2014
    2nd leg 11–12 & 18–19 March 2014

  48. Morning all

    Dates now confirmed

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Peaches,

    Mmmm, 2nd leg on my bloody birthday. That’ll be popular with my children. Still, nice present from me to me :-)

  50. Manthan says:

    Was Spurs right to sack AVB? It was Levy mistakes.. They could have got player or two instead of getting so many players at same time..

  51. Manthan says:

    Rasp I remember you telling getting soldado.. :D thanks god we signed him…

  52. Sav from Australia says:

    Yeah only too right about the corruption. There are always vested interests in football. I just hope for a reasonably fair referee – anything near a level playing field and we have the measure of that lot from Munich.

  53. Feng says:

    getting stale…would have liked Real or PSG for a change heh

  54. Sav from Australia says:

    Off topic: do any of you follow the England cricket team? I am from Australia but I’m not Australian, so I always have a soft spot for England during the Ashes, especially with the ‘sledging’ that has gone on in some recent years by certain Australian cricket teams. The young man Stokes looked good this evening but the commentators over here couldn’t resist calling it as if England had already lost the Ashes. With the crazy WACA pitch literally cracking up, if England pull it off it will really be a wonderful performance.

  55. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Rocky

    I love Jack but if he must insist on all this sitting down then please take a cushion out on to the pitch. These hard surfaces can play havoc with ones rectum.

    I once went out with a girl who was a bit of a hippy and enjoyed sitting down in the park. Didn’t get no action. To busy walking like a Cowboy to worry about any of that.

    So Munich hey? Once we knock them out, is the quarter final draw a free for all, or our possible opponents narrowed down?

    Villa Boas sacked. This upsets me. I so wanted this fool to stay. He had Erickson and Lamela at his disposal but persisted in playing a midfield of athletes.

    Now we have the nightmare scenario of Totnumb acquiring the services of one of the greatest managers in the world, Harry Redknap

    Bad use for Geoff from Sky to. Having to lob Harry £100 through Harrys car window every time to get the scoop on how the legendary one is close to the fantastic signing of Darren Bent.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sav

    Serious question. Which bit of the draw makes you think it’s fixed?

    I’d say, along with City, we’d be the last teams the likes of Bayern or Barca would have chosen to play.

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Glenda to Spuds would be hysterical

  58. Bryan says:

    I don’t think Jack’s been as bad as your making out & thought he had been in good form lately scoring a few goals on the way.
    Yes he wasn’t great against City & agree he should get straight back up but he also should not be played wide either.
    Should of played Santi in my opinion & I think it was a very strange decision resting Gibbs as I think he is better than Monreal by far & has pace which Monreal seriously seems to lack.
    Really need to beat Chelsea now as we just can’t seem to beat the top teams bar Liverpool

  59. Daniel Levy really has egg on his face over AVB ……. some spuds are saying that AVB is an imposter, he’s not really a football manager, that the Chelsea players worked it out but it took spuds losing Bale for them to realise.

    Bale won them so many points last season and this season they’re only where they are because of some lucky decisions.

    Andy Jacobs must be having a field day on talksport :)

  60. Cockie Monster, 10:27 : Brilliant !

  61. Sorry to spoil a Monday lunchtime with a nag but we don’t have a game until next Monday and so we’re going to need lots of posts for this week …………… starting with tomorrow.

    More nagging to follow ………….. :lol:

  62. Bayonne Jean says:

    ODE TO AVB ON GETTING THE P45
    (to the tune of you know what…)

    (Preamble)
    Some football teams are bad
    But yours did make us glad
    Tiny Tots can make you swear and curse
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
    Don’t grumble, give a whistle
    And then you’ll see that nothing could be worse…

    And……always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)
    Always look on the light side of life…(Whistle)

    Shite Hart Lane can make you rotten, and there’s something you’ve forgotten
    And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
    When you feel you’ve got to pee
    Don’t be silly AVB
    Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing.

    And…always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)
    Always look on the right side of life…(Whistle)

    But you must admit, your Spurs were really shit
    And Bale is peeling plantains down in Spain,
    A hundred million quid, oh you naughty kid!
    And there goes Levy’s money down the drain…

    So… always look on the bright side of death…(Whistle)
    Just before you draw your terminal breath…(Whistle)

    For life can be a turd
    Gard’ning leave’s the final word
    But Spuds supporters aren’t very bright
    Forget about your sins – silver linings, give a grin
    At least now you can stay home Spursday nights!

    So…Always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)
    Always look on the right side of life…

  63. Norfolk Gooner says:

    AVB’s sacking confirms Spurs as a laughing stock.

    To sack the manager for failing to create a team out of the rag-bag collection of miss-fits bequeathed to him by Old ‘Arry and foisted upon him by Director of Football Franco Baldini is laughable.

    The absentee owner, Joe Louis, needs to get a grip on both Daniel Levy and Baldini, they are the ones culpable.

    For Arsenal supporters these shenanigans brighten up a dark, gloomy Monday afternoon.

  64. Peaches, did you get my mail ?

  65. Jean, that’s hilarious. Great choice of tune too.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Love it BJ :D

  67. JanMan says:

    Great post Rocky, spot on. I believe a lot of JW’s problem is all of the English hype that has been placed upon his shoulders. By that I mean all of the comments that he is the savior of the English National team. How many times when he got a knock was the injury referred to as being bad for England? Never bad for Arsenal? JW is a very young, very rich, unmarried father with two kids and most likely has very little sense of responsibility.
    He has a high frustration level and like someone else mentioned, simply tries to hard because of the weight upon his shoulders. Somehow or other he has to get “his” game back, get his head down and work hard as I truely believe he is capable of being a massive star one day. Sadly at the moment I think he is a long way off of that mark.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent BJ. Have to learn it and sing it to my Spurs mates.

    Since AW came to THOF Spurs have had 10, yes, 10 managers not including temp managers Pleat and Clive Allen.

    I am so lucky that I chose to support The Arsenal. I come from a Spurs family and lived equidistant to both grounds.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    MUK. You may recall that the BD game was on Mrs Raddy’s birthday ………….

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Janman. Exactly as I see it..

  71. RA says:

    Well, Rocket, that was absolute codswallop rolled in a two week old kipper and wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper!

    I have waited a long time to say that, but unfortunately I have had, in desperation, to resort to a load of old codswallop myself to call your Post a load of codswallop, because as usual it was cleverly insightful as well as reflectively mature and to paraphrase, it was yet another quality gem from Toronto. :-)

    Jack’s performances recently are like the illuminations emitted by a lighthouse, one moment absolutely dazzling, and then fading to nothingness before coming around to bedazzle us once again.

    I meant to say a little while ago that I trust that all is well in the fledgling Rocket empire. :-)

  72. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Great day out on the horizon. Beer halls, litres of Lowenbrau served by busty waitresses, Eisbein mit Saurkraut, Schweinsaxe mit Kartoffen Salat, Knockewurst, Lieberkase and more Lowenbrau.

    Anyone with a ticket to spare?

  73. JanMan says:

    Arsenal can beat Bayern over two games. :-) :-)
    Arsenal won’t make the same mistakes that they did last time around!

  74. RA says:

    Hi arnie,

    What an intriguing conundrum you seem to be.

    Perhaps it is because I do not know much about your ‘status’ – married? children? or inclined to be didactic or free spirited etc (and fear not, on a public forum that is exactly as it should be).

    I raise the point because I am having some difficulty reconciling your usual persona which presents as a charming, avuncular and easy going blogger with whom it is a pleasure to converse on matters of mutual interest, which is in stark contrast to the apparently curmudgeonly, somewhat despotic and intolerant autocrat @ 11:19, who wants to discipline a young man of 21 years by wielding a knobkerrie and laying in lustily to the more sensitive parts of his anatomy because he is behaving like a sometimes unruly young man.

    Surely we have all been there as 21 year olds? And in my case I still occasionally indulge myself — by writing this comment, for instance!! :-)

    As I said – intriguing, and at the same time a very amusing insight into the world as armie sees it! :-)

  75. arnie says:

    Redders: An intriguing enigma!!!! :D :D Imagine the surprise when I return to AA after a few hours to find Redders trying to see sense and logical consistency in my ramblings. Brilliant! The truth is that I do not know clearly as well. I am on a voyage of self-discovery.

    OK,. so what information have I given out on AA? I am an university teacher, so I handle a lot of adolescent and post-adolescent kids, obviously some truant as well. Not in one country, but three: mainly UK (Scotland), the USA and Portugal, occasionally in Germany and India as well. I am originally from India, but I call Scotland my first home. My vintage is about the first manned moon landing. More later, maybe when we meet! :razz:

  76. evonne says:

    some Arsenal ‘fans’ are saying that at least Spurs have guts to sack a useless manager and the AFC don’t. There, for those who are still laughing at AVB

  77. arnie says:

    Redders: I can take “behaving like a sometimes unruly young man”. It is when “sometimes” threatens to convert to “often” when I have the enormous urge to bring the stick out of my closet and try to discipline!!!! Fits with my image of a grumpy old school master!!!! :razz:

    Seriously, though, I am not into scape-goating. It is a journey for the whole team, and it has to be undertaken together. It is a rough journey, and there are bumps along the way. Some of these bumps may have to be smoothed out sometimes. :D :D

  78. RA says:

    I hear what you say, arnie, and I do not really have a problem with that.

    An inherent cause for concern, for all clubs I guess, is that otherwise normal young men, who have huge sums of money thrown at them and are also often idolised by young and older fans are bound to find their moral compasses distorted in the world in which they find themselves.

    Jack will get through this latest finger flipping episode and will no doubt learn to be more discrete. :-)

  79. arnie says:

    Redders: Agreed. Jack has to learn that there is a bigger project out there, and that is not only about individuals. If you lie on the ground, or flip your finger, the loss is not yours (alone), but the team and the fans!!!!! He will learn, I have no doubt, but it may be bumpy. Age is on his side. But, Rambo is different, distinctly different still, at 22 he is leading his national side. That demands a lot of maturity! :D :D

  80. evonne says:

    I seem to remember some the Arsenal fans wanting Moyes or AVB to replace Wenger, dear me

    arnie – to be fair, Aaron is not doing a great job leading the Welsh team; he had been criticised for it

  81. arnie says:

    Evonne: first bit is shocking. oh dear!!!!! Some people are so clueless they will probably draw a piece of paper from a hat to choose which way they want to go next!!!! Oh dear!!!! It is like saying anything else will be better than what we have right now!!!!

    Re Rambo, yes he has been criticised, but for the performance of the team. Perhaps his leadership. But certainly not for his conduct on or off the field, or interactions with the media. Most players will be dreaming of the kind of reception he received in Cardiff, and that he earned through his respect for his former club and opposition on the day. :D :D

  82. RockyLives says:

    Howdy Redders
    I’m not sure the Rocket Empire had full fledged yet, although a quick peek or two above the edge of the nest has been achieved without disaster striking.

    But I’m a long way off being a successful entrepreneur like a certain purveyor of smoked meats who is know to frequent these parts.

    Are you still in the mid west? (or the West Middle? or the northern South?) – I do get confused with geographical descriptions of the US – such a big country.

  83. evonne says:

    I do not wish to appear as argumentative as RA or LB ( :) ), but not celebrating goals scored against the old club is seen by some as luck of respect for the new fans.

    Personally I think they should celebrate, but moderately, without going over the top like a certain traitor did.

    arnie – you will never, ever have to justify anything Aaron does or did to me. I absolutely adore the lad, have done for years

  84. evonne says:

    arnie – I told others, but not sure if you were born then so I will tell again. When as Rocky says Aaron was Shawcrossed I was on a mission to cheer him up. I recruited dozens of volunteers from around the world (all willing and unwilling friends and family) to send him postcards. Many, many, many went out.

    Only in September my friend from Poland was staying with me and we were watching a game. She asked ‘Ramsey? Is that the guy in hospital I was writing to?’ Yes, the very same my dear :)

  85. LB says:

    I love this conspiracy theory that AVB was a managerial imposter. It would be really funny if someone could super impose his head on that fake sign reader at Mandela’s funeral.

    It makes me laugh just thinking about it.

  86. chas says:

    Cheers, Rocky.

    Maybe Jack’s form suffered when he got that ridiculous haircut.
    Send him for a number 2, that’ll do the trick.

  87. Great post! I’ve written a post on Arsenal too! Give it a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

    http://lukehastings.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/christmas-comes-early-for-the-press-as-arsenal-slip-up/

  88. RockyLives says:

    luke
    you need to try a bit harder than that…
    you know, a comment or two about the Post; some thoughts of your own in response to it; some engagement with the other commenters…

    I genuinely wish you well with your blog, but a better approach to getting people from here to check it out would be to spend a bit of time joining in on this site first…

  89. arnie says:

    Evonne: lovely, absolutely lovely. Well done you!!!! :D :D On that note, did we do anything for Pat Rice? Its Christmas time, a good time to do it!!!! :D

  90. RockyLives says:

    LB
    My ears are ringing with the deafening sound of your silence today :D

  91. RockyLives says:

    Remember when they sent abuse to cycling Olympian Chris Hoy instead of referee Chris Foy? :D

  92. arnie says:

    Fantastic, Rocky …. :D :D

  93. LB says:

    Hahahahaha it’s in drafts Rocky.

    I started writing and got carried away, so I thought I might be able to help the blog and turn it into a post. It should get an airing in a couple of days.

  94. arnie says:

    The thrashing from Pool was good fun, but the AVB sacking is a bit sad. At least for me. Forever in our shadows, yes, but it would have been good to have a bit more fight from Spuds.

    Laudrup, I hope not. I have a lot of respect for the man. A club without a philosophy for the game is ultimately going to crumble, no matter how much money is poured in. And if there is an excess supply, all that does is indigestion. …. :D :D :D

  95. RockyLives says:

    haha – look forward to it LB

  96. arnie says:

    Raddy @ 12:08: “Knee-jerk reactions and appeasing the fans will not make Spurs a big club, it just confirms them as a laughing stock!” Fantastic, nothing to add!!!! :D :D

  97. arnie says:

    Given that there is a break for a few days, here is a nasty idea. We cannot run a poll as to who we want as Spud’s next manager, can we? Slightly below the belt, but will be fun, though ….. :D :D

  98. RockyLives says:

    arnie
    Excellent idea.

    My vote goes to the bloke who did the fake sign language at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

    (see also LB’s amusing suggestion @5.54)

  99. arnie says:

    Chas: brilliant. :D :D Can we have that one from the last day of the EPL last year once more please. ….. :razz:

    Rocky and LB: fantastic. Nothing beats having a laugh at the expense of the TotNumbs!!!!! :D :D :D Every time we have an indifferent day or two, they come and save us.

    Was there a comedian of the year award at the BBC Sports Awards?

  100. r0blucci says:

    HI everyone, and great post Rocky.

    On JW, I think the problem with his ankle prevented him to be the all action midfielder that we know he can be. Ramsey admitted that he have similar problem last season.

    I didnt think he has an attitude problem either, Its just whatever he does right now has been exaggerated by the media that love to criticised everything that is related to Arsenal.

    And his comeback from injury is not as bad as Ramsey, to be honest. The problem right now is that his performance is not consistent enough to be a sure starter for Arsenal. Sometime he had a good game, sometime average, sometime bad.

    Personally, I expect him to rejuvenate our season just like Ramsey did last season.

  101. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahahaha, Rocky, you crack me up man. The sign language interpretor at Mandelas funeral hahahaha

    The geezer is a convicted fraudster. No wonder hes been nicked before, imagine thinking you can do that and no one would notice. hahahaha.

    A dream team of Clive Allen and Tim Sherwood for me. Class.

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Transplant

    Which ex spud is a cab driver? They know everything about everything.

    Damn, that sign language bloke was funny. My wife knows Makaton, and was watching and eh’ing :-)

  103. Kgööner says:

    gervinho starts for ROMA against AC. any one remember him? Or his forehead, atleast?

    Great post rocky. exactly what’s been on my mind and heated discussion with some fellow gooners here at home. I really hope you’re right about his ‘Ramsey’ path. he has potential aplenty and if he can raise his game up to Ramsey’s levels, I feel the whole team will be boosted. That’s the secret sauce to us toppling European heavyweights. everyone stepping up their game at the same time! We’ll be immensely superior.

  104. Sav from Australia says:

    @MickyDidIt89 1:01 pm
    Sorry for the late reply, just woke up here.

    Well Man Utd and Chelsea got a much easier draw makes me suspicious. Also, when Barcelona were top dogs Arsenal drew them. Now Munich are top dogs, and here they come. Its not that Arsenal have less quality – or City for that matter – compared to Barca and Bayern IMO – its that the referees in Europe have their favourites the same as in the EPL.

  105. Well done, Rocky, a rousing, sterling defence of young Jack Wilshere, a subject I touched on very briefly in passing, yesterday. Because he displayed his precocious special talent at such a young age, he was thrust somewhat unwittingly into the glare of the public spotlight as Arsenal and England’s saviour. Then having built him up to put him on this ‘superstar’ pedestal, they started looking for his flaws and take great delight when he shows he’s an ordinary young man who makes the odd mistake, just like we all do. I also think some of the negativity around Wilshere is because he is a home-grown talent that Arsenal produced. But there is no doubt he is a quality footballer and hopefully will be for many years to come.

  106. chas says:

  107. Yes we lost so did the spuds .
    AVB
    Bring back Alan sugar

  108. chas says:

  109. Hi arnie,

    If I was articulate enough, a clever wordsmith like Rocky, RA, Gooner In Exile, Big Raddy etc., as quick-witted as MDI89 or Chas, or possessed the wit and comedic timing of TMHT, I would gladly submit a Post – I have done so in the past, as was pointed out to you by Gooner In Exile.
    I’ve only been visiting ‘ArsenalArsenal’ a little longer than yourself, and as with every walk of life, there are some wonderful people on here, but there are some who aren’t always particularly pleasant or well-mannered. But as it’s an open public forum, an individual has to regulate and conduct themselves appropriately, and life is difficult enough without turning your PC on and picking fights on the subject of your football team. Arsene Wenger’s managerial ability is just one of many issues that divide us Arsenal fans, but this particular site is relatively pro-Wenger, so it’s essential to respect that when commenting here.
    The quality of the Posts on here just keeps improving and there are some real heavy-weights who consistently write brilliant articles, which highlights my own short-comings.
    Blogging is an art form that constantly demands new and fresh ideas whilst remaining topical to keep its hungry audience interested, and no other Arsenal Blog does that better than ‘AA’.
    I hope that explanation answers your earlier concerns..

  110. arnie says:

    These were two fine comments, WATA. Well done you! :D :D

    If one were to rely only on the “heavy-weights”, this space would feel a bit lonely, would it not? Come on, it is so much more fun to be just a little bit open towards alternate views. Everyone can participate then.

    My views today were a bit against the wind, I knew it, and so did regulars on here. Does it matter a flying fig? :D No fights, just healthy disagreements. All in good spirit. AA is good fun!!!!

  111. arnie says:

    Chas: I still cannot find that funny video of Villas-Boas and Freund on the touchlines during the last game last year. :sad:

  112. arnie says:

    It was Raddy who posted this earlier. Found it!!!!!

  113. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Micky

    The Cabbie is Micky Hazard.

    He took me home from the West End once. I asked him how come he had become a Cab Driver and he replied that he was once unlucky enough to see Steve Archibald naked, and after recovering from the coma needed a new career

    Aparently David Pleat gave him the idea of driving a Cab. Pleat helped him pass the knowledge, sitting in with him when cruising areas like Kings Cross. He fell out with him at the end. Pleat refused to chip in for petrol money and always wanted to stop the Cab so he could talk to people, but just ended up haggling with them.

    Lovely bloke Hazzard. Totnumb should give him the job

  114. weedonald says:

    Common Gooners, the kids still a kid (21 isn’t mature) and is developing his own personality and style. He is just like any 21 year old, full of himself, a bit unsophisticated and even vulgar at times but full of piss and vinegar. He’s faced a lot worse circumstances in his short Footballing life and I am confident Wenger can straighten him out. Apparently AW had a ¨chat¨with him and read him the riot act….whatever that is in French!
    For those who are criticizing AFC for their ^performances since Everton, lets not forget the usual roadblocks and hindrances the officials, the FA and the EPL have put up. 3 Very heavy games in the space of 7 days is a bit much for any team. Wenger gambled at City and who knows what would have happened had the two offside goals counted. I still believe City on that day were better but chelsea will meet a revitalized,fully rested and reinvigorated Arsenal ready to prove their critics wrong….

  115. arnie says:

    weedonald: :D :D

  116. Just a thought. With AVB out, the FA Cup draw doesn’t seam so tough anymore, hey ?

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, here we go again.

    Can I be the first to ask what the situation is in the away ticket camp as far as the CL is concerned, oh handsome one?

  118. chas says:

    I very much doubt Ant and me will be going, so you have first dibs if we aren’t.

  119. chas says:

    Beware next time you shoo off that moggy!
    Must dash.

  120. Shard says:

    Hey arnie..Get those kilts out!! :D

    I took a week away from blogging after exams ended. Just went out with friends, plugged in my guitar, watched a few movies. Back now among the last of the Rocky’s Mohican Monday Madness.

    The Arsenal haven’t been doing so well since Everton. So maybe my lack of blogging has something to do with it. However unlikely that sounds, I’m not going to risk it from now.

    I see AVB got fired, which is sort of ridiculous, but that’s Spurs for you.

    Chelsea up next. We need a win in that game. The players seemed to lack belief against City. We’re good enough to get a win. Will we show it?

  121. Alright Micky,

    I see you found my comment somewhat challenging in terms of your own opinion, and I can sort of understand the logic of that.
    Of the four players I mentioned, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry would be the hardest to replace, no question.
    Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, not so much. Surely with Kolo already at the club it wouldn’t have been that difficult to convince his brother Yaya to join? And no if’s or buts, Gareth Bale would have made the ideal long term replacement for Pires.
    As for Leeds, Portsmouth or Rangers comparisons (which I know wasn’t you), people who know football and know Arsenal wouldn’t make such ill-informed statements. Leeds gambled on CL qualification and finished fifth, meaning Peter Ridsdale and David O’Leary spent vast amounts of money they didn’t have. Plus they don’t have seriously wealthy Old Etonians on their BoD, and geographically they’re at a big disadvantage to Arsenal too. Portsmouth were ruined by Harry Redknapp, who just spent ridiculous amounts of money that for a club that size with a run-down stadium that only holds 20,000 was never sustainable. As for Rangers, then owner David Murray allowed manager Dick Advocaat to spend £82m in the space of three years, which in a two-team league as it was at that time, is financial suicide, especially when you consider the SPL gets nowhere near the same monetary rewards given to the EPL. They spent what is still by some distance a Scottish record £12m on Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea.
    So none of those comparisons stand up with regards to Arsenal.
    Back to your point, Micky, I also think there has been quite a shift in the overall mentality too. The ‘Invincibles’ took on the best and beat them, home and away, I was even confident of beating Barca in 2006 until you know what…But since the departure of those players we never have rediscovered that swagger, and I do wonder if we’ll ever get it back.

  122. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    chas. You seek out some weird stuff :-D Thank you!

    Shard. Welcome back. Hope you get good results.

    Didit. I can’t do BM.

  123. Shard says:

    Hi WATA

    I don’t really know the context of your conversation with Micky, but I’d just like to pick on your idea of replacing Vieira and Pires. Yaya Toure couldn’t get a work permit for the UK and didn’t want to spend his time waiting for one in Belgium. It is why he went to Russia and then Monaco, from where he was picked up by Barcelona. Bale was a young left back who was only converted to play further forward much later in his career and was not a replacement when Pires left.. Reyes was Pires’ replacement, and then it was Rosicky. Both were more than good enough but didn’t work out as planned for different reasons.

  124. Shard says:

    Thank you BR. I’m just glad to be done with it to be honest. Regardless of how it works out.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    WATA. The Invincibles are unique in over 100 years of English football and it is unreasonable to compare any team to them.

    I agree about the finances. For every Pompey/Leeds there is a Hull, Everton or, Swansea. Financial prudence does not preclude quality on the pitch.

    I am 100% certain that every club in the world wishes they had signed Bale from S’ton!! It’s not that easy.

    And although I am a Wengerite it doesn’t stop me from seeing weaknesses. I was unhappy when the Napoli team was announced and his negative tactics were awful which have proved costly.

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi WATA
    My comment wasn’t a personal dig, but it was stimulated by your comment.
    It is simply that I feel it’s hard to replace finds like Henry and Paddy. We are making comparisons with real gems of players, and they come along very rarely at the prices we paid.
    Again, for every Bale that we missed out on, there are way more who look as good, but then fail at the highest level.
    As for the present side and direction of the club, I still feel we are perhaps two players short of a great side, and that would mean a Paddy and an Henry :-)

  127. Big Raddy says:

    MUK. Last line. Bang on.

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Raddy,
    Saw your comment about Mrs R’s birthday. Trouble is, my children still quite like me, and they’ll be mighty cheesed off if I’m not around. For me, a CL trip to Bayern is the ideal present :-)
    I’ll work on things over the next few days, although it wouldn’t be the same without you to nag me :-)
    Then again, without you, the chances of me finding my car, my hotel or even the ground would be greatly reduced :-)

  129. Hi Shard,

    to echo what Big Raddy said, I hope your exams went well and you get the results you want.
    To a point I agree with you, Reyes certainly looked the real deal when he first arrived, but I think he got home-sick which led to him being a bit lethargic and often looking dis-interested.
    Rosicky isn’t really a natural winger, he’s the creative hub, a number 10. He’s been very unlucky with injuries blighting most of his time at Arsenal, and though he has undoubted ability, I do feel he has been indulged a little too long, though obviously not to the same degree as Abou Diaby.
    As for Bale, yes he was a left-back when he first joined Tottenham, but at £5-7m would have made a perfect under-study to Gael Clichy, and if they could develop him into a £100m footballer, imagine what we could have done with him.
    I didn’t know Yaya Toure had work permit issues, so thanks for helping me see that, although it does seem a bit strange with his brother already playing here. Maybe we should have just gone for van Bommel then.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    WATA
    Messi was free :-(
    We could have at least out bid Barca with a tenner :-)

  131. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ps that was an attempt at frivolous humour, not sarcasm

  132. No problem, Micky, Big Raddy, as two of the stalwarts of this site, I value your opinions and feedback.
    Gareth Bale must have been available to buy when we bought Theo Walcott, BR? And if Tottenham could afford him, it would hardly have stretched our resources?
    I agree Micky, we’re not that far away, two players as you say, but that’s been the issue for the last four or five years, nearly there, but never quite doing enough to get it done.

  133. LB says:

    We should have definitely have noticed Messi’s talents and signed him before anyone else.

    This is the kind of argument that I would expect a twelve year old to put forward in a playground. The childish use of hindsight is staggering.

  134. Now you’re talking Micky :)

  135. Big Raddy says:

    WATA. That is my point. Given our relationship with S’ton and the purchases of both Theo and Ox it is highly likely Bale was on the radar, but at that time he was an LB and we were well served in that area with Gibbs coming through.

    Spurs tried him there and he wasn’t good enough so they signed Ekotto, …. gave a Bale a go further forward and, hey presto, a brilliant player emerged. Pure luck, nothing more.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. BM out for me …. it’s my birthday and Mrs Raddy has plans for me ;-)

  137. Do you mean like trying to say Olivier Giroud is superior to Mario Gomez type of childish, or just the sort that drives those with their noses slightly up in the air, stark raving mad in despair?

  138. evonne says:

    I’ve argued with my almost ex for 25 27 years. I don’t anymore, what’s the point, we will never agree :)

    Listen guys what’s that about AVB being an impostor? Did he not win trophies with Porto (including an unbeaten season) or the guy that won with Porto is not the same guy that managed Spurs?

  139. evonne says:

    27 not 2527, though it feels like more

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I was joking LB. Making the point about hindsight being a wonderful tool :-)

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No Raddy, it’s my birthday on the 11th, not yours.

  142. BR – Arsene Wenger used to get highly praised for spotting certain attributes in players that meant they were able to play in different positions, and playing left-back or left wing isn’t a major tactical switch. Surely any manager would have seen that potential, especially ours.

  143. arnie says:

    Welcome back, Shard. Motning, all.

  144. arnie says:

    Micky and Raddy cannot decide whose birthday it is on the BM away day!!!!! Hilarious!!!!! :D :D

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie
    He’s a tricky fellow. Celebrates all birthdays. Lunar, Chinese, Clingon, Druid. He’s an awkward chap to sync with :-)

  146. LB says:

    And just for the record I never said that Giroud is a better player than Gomez.

    I said that Giroud is an up an d coming star of European football and Gomez is a fading one.

  147. arnie says:

    WATA: Leaving aside the snide remarks (I have thick and oily skin, they just slide off, you know). I, and we all, share your objectives. But, personally, I have two issues with your approach.

    The first is the benefit of hindsight, which LB has mentioned and has been discussed already. You seem to have identified Gomez as the next Suarez. Your claim is Arsene once had had fantastic skills in identifying talent, no longer now. But you have inherited some of his skills in crystal ball gazing, I am ready to eat my words if Gomez turns out to be a Suarez within the next two years. A healthy bit of sarcasm here, please dont get pissed.

    Second, I would love Arsenal to create another fantastic team, but to be creative about the process. Not to try and create a clone of the Invincibles. Trying to clone Einstein and the like is a fiction of genetic imagination which is utopian in design and politically a new form of Nazism. I dont want us to go there. We want to create a new Invincibles, which will be different, but as good or better. Your ideas as to how to go about achieving this aim are most welcome.

  148. Yes, Arsene can spot versatile players, and that’s one reason he’s been criticized by part of the fans.
    First that was : too few English players !
    Problem : English big clubs don’t sell to each other the kind of players that were needed.
    AW Solution : ok, I’ll raise them.
    Then, after Chavs and Shitty rose : buy, buy !
    Problem : no money.
    AW solution : buy versatile players who, even being few can hold different positions.
    New problem : good everywhere means not excellent anywhere : too much dead wood !
    And now that the dead wood is gone : Team depth !

    Sometimes I swear, I hate some gooners…
    And about team depth. Buying a striker this summer would have gotten us back to a BSR addiction problem. Buying in the midfield was wise in my opinion, especially because when you have the chance of signing Özil, well, you just do it !!! Buying a striker would have given us depth up front but not in the middle, especially considering Santi’s form this season and that despite last year’s promising signs, no one was expecting Rambo to be so amazing.

    So before criticizing the result, which is easy after the fact, please try to consider the situation in which we were when the decisions were made, Ollie was in great form, Poldy was amazing in august and Theo, our best scorer last season was very much in form. I’ll just add one thing : even if fatigue can be an issue, the Ollie injury everyone is so scared about must also be put. Into contrast with his last season’s only four days out ! So considering all this, would you go for a striker or a world class midfielder ?

  149. Hi Arnie,

    I don’t recall comparing Gomez with Suarez, one is German the other Uruguayan, quite different cultures.
    Gomez doesn’t need to be the next Suarez, more the other way round. Suarez hasn’t won a CL.
    And as I said to Big Raddy, the chances of Liverpool selling to Arsenal is virtually zero because they see themselves as a bigger club. Whether or not Arsene Wenger can still identify talent is a completely different debate.
    Gomez was linked to Chelsea, Man City and Real Madrid before going to Fiorentina, all three clubs are bigger than Arsenal right now. It’s hardly crystal ball gazing when his record is there for everyone to see.
    Yes it was a show of intent/ambition to target Suarez, but Arsene Wenger was ill-advised, and Arsenal were made to look quite silly in their pursuit. John W. Henry made it abundantly clear that Liverpool would never sell Luis Suarez to Arsenal, so in conclusion, Suarez was not a realistic possibility. Gomez on the other hand most definitely was, and at 28, a CL winner with 75 goals in 115 apps for Bayern Munich would have provided much needed competition for Giroud, and more importantly a bit more depth. Or are you saying that Bendtner is adequate enough cover for a club with ambitions of winning the PL? A player who has repeatedly expressed his desire to leave Arsenal.

  150. Benjamin – when a player of Gomez’s quality is available for £13m, the answer is both.

  151. Another question being : would Gomez want to come ?
    May I remind you that if we already had two first team German players, Arsenal only became very trendy over there since the signing of Mesut ! Leaves little time to go for Gomez…

  152. Why wouldn’t Gomez want to join fellow German team-mates?
    The only reason I can think he wouldn’t want to come to Arsenal is if he didn’t think Arsenal were a big enough club, or that they couldn’t match his ambition. He is better than Giroud and Podolski put together.
    It doesn’t matter now because he’s in Italy, but it has to go down as a missed opportunity to bring in a world-class striker for relative peanuts when compared to the transfer market overall, especially with the money Real paid for Bale.

  153. Olivier Giroud is not an up and coming star of European Football, LB, in the same way that we are not one of football’s super powers, unless you think wearing an Arsenal shirt automatically grants him such an elevated status.
    Whether or not Gomez is a fading star remains to be seen, he’s only two years older than Giroud. And do you really think Giroud is going to achieve as much in his career as Gomez has already? Extremely doubtful.

  154. Big Raddy says:

    WATA. You are assuming that Mr Wenger knows less about players than you!

    He will know if Gomez is available, if he is injury prone, if he smokes, if he likes clubbing, if he has a pink toothbrush etc etc etc. It is what AFC spend huge sums of money doing …. identifying transfer targets. Give the choice, he went for OG. You may think him wrong, it is your right.

    Onto Bale. Would that we all had a crystal ball. I would have bought a couple of houses in Highbury – now I couldn’t afford a bedsit!

  155. WATA. I do apologize if you thought the ” I hate some gooners sometime ! ” was aimed at you. Believe it or not, it wasn’t. I was just trying to make a point about people wanting unrealistic things. Every time AW does something good, the ranting mob moves on to another problem to find and most of the time it is in total contradiction with a rant they had a year before ! It never fails to amaze me that for the very same reasons that a lot of us love our coach, some despise him. Some people value the discovery and nurturing of young players, some think we should buy already made players. And for you wanting AW to buy Gomez, there are probably ten who wanted him to sign Jovetic, twenty that wanted Higuain and fifty Suarez… The same way they didn’t come, what makes you think he would have. Maybe like you said, a lot of players don’t see Arsenal as a world class club anymore. But Özil changed that.
    Oh, and about the “maybe he had an ability to spot versatile players” (sorry, I don’t remember the exact quote), I think that Joachim Low stating that our 18 year old Gnabry could very well be in the German squad next year proves that he still has it.

  156. BR – He could have had both. Olivier Giroud was here a full year before Gomez was made available, and for a club that once boasted four WC winners in its squad, is it too much to have a CL winner on board? The fact that he tried to bring Demba Ba in on loan suggests he knew we were light up front. I don’t think we were ever linked with Gomez, but that’s exactly the quality a club of Arsenal’s stature should be looking at.
    I’m not suggesting I know more about players than Arsene Wenger, but save for one or two players, his signings over the last few years have not been brilliant, and a lot of times he has left us unnecessarily short in key areas.
    I don’t rate him as a manager anymore, BR, for me his swan-song should have been Paris 2006. He and his team ‘bottle’ it in the big games, and that’s been happening for a long time now. He doesn’t have it in his locker to tactically change a game in our favour, nor make an inspired substitution. We are one of the giants of world football, and we enjoyed that status long before the arrival of Arsene Wenger. It really angers me that we don’t have a solitary European Cup on our CV, and you may say ‘financial doping’, but we were playing CL long before Chelsea. Liverpool are only a bigger club than Arsenal because of their trophy haul not their infra-structure, and even they managed to win it in 2005. Arsene Wenger was good when French football was good, since 2006, both have declined, but we the fans still have to suffer a manager who has never been able to conquer Europe, and in reality can’t take us any further.

  157. No worries Benjamin.
    As good as Serge Gnabry is and promises to be, Arsene Wenger’s obsession for developing youth has sometimes been to the detriment of the clubs chances of winning major silver-ware. It has given us CL qualification and no more, which if you take into account we have a similar wage-bill to that of Bayern Munich, is very poor.

  158. On the whole Gomez story, I can’t follow you, sorry, you seem to assume that if we had wanted him, we would have had him… Hardly realistic. I wasn’t comparing Gomez to Giroud, I was comparing him with Jovetic, Higuain and Suarez. You might value Gomez, but I’m pretty sure these three are far more worthy, if not in terms of talent, at least in terms of age. If Suarez hadn’t forgotten he had agreed to suppress that 40 million close in his contract, he probably would be a gunner by now (Dennis preserves us). Can you blame Arsenal for being mislead in his race ?! If we hadn’t try to get Suarez when everybody thought he was available and seeing how well he is playing now, people would probably criticize Wenger for not going after him… It’s all a matter of priority.
    And if we had bought Gomez, I would probably be having this conversation with someone who thinks we should have bought Aubameyang, or someone else…

  159. That is a very negative attitude…

    And about the wage level : you obviously can’t compare two teams in two different leagues. I’d just point out that with that wage level, Bayern is the richest club in Germany. That is not the case for Arsenal. And with that same wage level, Bayern still does better than ManUre, Shitty and Chavs. So, as you can see, you can’t compare.

  160. Cross-wires here Benjamin, I wasn’t comparing Gomez and Giroud whilst talking to you, you asked a question regarding Gomez and I responded. I was talking to Big Raddy.
    What is negative about wanting your club to maximise their potential and be the best they can be? After all, Arsenal are the fourth richest football club on the planet, so they really should be doing somewhat better.
    Why do Bayern do better than those clubs you mention? (Although Chelsea did beat them in a penalty shoot-out in their own back-yard to win the CL). Because at the heart of their set up they have real football legends running their football club. Not just European Cup winners, World Cup winners too, people such as Franz Beckenbaur, Uli Hoeness and Gerd Muller all play significant roles, which is not something English clubs are able to replicate.having won our only World Cup back in 1966 (sadly without any Arsenal representation).
    Of the three players you mention, once Man City expressed a firm interest in Jovetic, we had no chance. Liverpool will never sell Suarez to Arsenal, and once Real Madrid moved the goal-posts with Higuian’s asking price the deal was stone dead, so none of those were realistic either. I only mentioned Mario Gomez as an example of the type of player a club like Arsenal should be looking at if they want to go to the next level. He is a proven world-class international striker who at 28 and for a price of £13m would have represented excellent value. I doubt whether Arsene Wenger even considered him as an option, but sometimes you have to show some bravery, speculate to accumulate. That’s what seperates winning managers from the also-rans.

  161. About the three mentioned players, I totally agree, your analysis is good, but it was something we couldn’t have known when we started the negotiations. Don’t you think they were in the same pool as Gomez ? If you use Gomez just as an example, that means that the way you wanted Arsenal to chase Gomez, you actually wanted Arsenal to chase a striker in the same pool as Gomez. Which is exactly what Arsenal did ! Judging the club on the result while claiming you question the intent is dishonest.

  162. No Benjamin, I’m not being dishonest. Of your three players, none of them are CL winners. Liverpool aren’t in Europe and Suarez certainly never won the CL with Ajax, Higuian is not a CL winner and has just dropped into the Europa Lge with Napoli, and since moving from Fiorentina in the summer, Jovetic has hardly featured for Man City (although I think he was injured for a while).
    Each of them might individually have that potential, but as yet it is still just that. Both Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuian claim Arsenal never officially contacted the club regarding a possible move for the striker, nor did the club make an official offer to buy Jovetic, which leads me to think both of those stories were media led. We definitely tried to buy Suarez, but I’ll be honest with you, after seeing him bite Ivanovic, I didn’t really want him at Arsenal. Again hindsight is a wonderful thing, because clearly he’s on fire since he cam back from the ban, and suddenly he’s a hero again.
    So of your ‘pool’ of players that might be approaching Gomez’s quality, Arsenal only officially tried to buy one, and were laughed at by Liverpool for trying to do so. Even then we left it a bit late in the transfer window to find an alternative so we were left trying to get Ba in on loan, which Mourinho was never going to sanction.
    Mesut Ozil is a fantastic signing, but how many attacking midfielders do we need as opposed to strikers? Olivier Giroud is marginally better than an Emile Heskey, but not of sufficient quality to seriously challenge for major trophies. His fresh-air shot against Everton was clear evidence of that, if any were needed.
    I said to someone on here if Arsene Wenger wins the CL in May he can write his own contract, I’ll extend that to include the PL, because I can’t see us getting past Bayern. It would be a fantastic achievement and an amazing comeback, sadly I just don’t think he has it in him anymore, but I would love him to prove me wrong.
    Good talking with you Benjamin, and if I don’t talk to you before, have a great Christmas, and a happy, prosperous New Year.

  163. Thank you WATA. Great talking with you too.
    I didn’t want Suarez at Arsenal either, he could be a Ballon d’or for all I know, I’d be sad to see him in an Arsenal shirt.
    Merry Christmas and a prosperous Arsenal year to you too !

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