Arselona is Closer Than We Think

Wednesday night has left all right-thinking Gooners rightly depressed. Another season with no silverware, lots of debate about whether we’re moving forwards or backwards, whether Arsene has taken us as far as he can.

The following thoughts were penned after the second Barcelona game but before we played the Spuds. They are shamelessly optimistic but, even after this week’s despair, I still stand by them:

What was your reaction to our mauling at the hands of Barcelona? Most of the Gooners I know fell into two camps. The majority – philosophical sorts that they are – took it on the chin. They felt we couldn’t have been expected to do much more against the best team in the world, particularly with so many key players injured. They shrugged their shoulders, smiled ruefully and put it down as one of those things, before turning their focus back on our battle for the Premiership Title.

The other camp – the minority – saw, in the huge gulf between Barcelona’s performance and our own, a damning indictment of the Wenger ‘experiment’. “The Invincibles wouldn’t have rolled over like that,” they howled. “It just goes to show that Wenger has spent five years building a house on foundations of sand.” (I’m not a builder, but apparently building houses on sand is not a good thing. Not sure how they manage in Dubai, but that’s another issue altogether).  On the face of it these were two very different views: one fatalistic, one pessimistic, and the sparring between both groups spilled across the blogosphere for days.

But were they really such different viewpoints? In fact, on closer analysis both the shruggers and the shriekers were agreed on one thing: the current Arsenal team and style of play is a million miles behind Barcelona’s: at our best, we may be the sexy pretty things of the EPL, but when we share the catwalk with the supermodels of the Nou Camp, we’re revealed for the Essex slappers with ladders in their tights that we really are.

And this is where I would like to offer a different angle, a Third Way, as Tony Blair might put it.  After much thinking, pondering and scratching of the head after the two Barça games, I find myself reaching a tantalizingly optimistic conclusion, and it is this:

We are nearly there. We are not far from being Barcelona.

I reached this conclusion by thinking about what was really different between the two sides. The trite answer is that Barça have more money, better players and their players work harder.

But let’s examine those points: More money? Yes, they have been spending more than us (almost £100m in the last year, let’s not forget), but thanks to judicious management Arsenal are about to enter a period where we will have solid cash to spend on players and a sound financial footing for the club.

Better players? Messi is a marvel, Iniesta is incredible, Xavi is something very good that begins with X… all their players are comfortable on the ball. But think of it this way: If Tomas Rosicky was dropped into that side at the expense of, say, Pedro, would Barcelona become shit or would TR slot right into their pass-and-move footballing ballet? Cesc in for Iniesta – disaster for Barca, or business as usual? Nasri in for Keita? Clichy in for Maxwell?  Would the player weaken the team or would that amazing team accommodate the player?

With an Arsenal shirt on, Rosicky had a stinker in the second leg, but he is a player of real class, great technique and a footballing brain as we have seen on many occasions. So, too, are Nasri, Cesc, Song, Vermaelen and others. If Arshavin was playing for Barcelona we would be drooling over his performances. True, we don’t have a Messi and, on balance, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and co are a little ahead of our players – but not by much.

Arsène has assembled a group of players who, with one or two exceptions, have the ability to play in the style of Barcelona. So why aren’t they? Why are they less than the sum of their parts?

One answer is that, good though our players are, we’re really missing maybe two truly world class players – a striker and a midfielder – players at the top of their game and at the right age – 25 or 26. Well, with the improving financial situation at Arsenal I fully expect Wenger to sign them this summer (and I mean two world class players in addition to a keeper and a central defender). I believe AW has hinted in his post Barca comments that he’s ready to do just this.

The third point is that Barça’s players work harder, and that one’s difficult to dispute. But in the early part of the season we, too, harried and pressed our opponents whenever they had the ball – it led to us outplaying ManUre at Old Toilet, even if the points went astray. After seeing Barça’s style up close, I believe Wenger will place greater emphasis on this part of our game in the future. He will add work rate to technique.

But there’s one big, big difference between Barcelona and Arsenal that I have not yet mentioned, and it is the most important one of all: Barcelona have won things, this Arsenal team have not. Barça’s team swept all before them last season and this year it has allowed them to play with even more confidence, even more freedom, even more swagger. It explains why they work so hard and it partly explains why they’re so good when they have the ball.

If Arsenal had that collective self-confidence, Rosicky-Cesc-Nasri-Arshavin-Song would be running up possession stats to equal the Barça boys.

The current Arsenal crop is very, very close to breaking its duck. Even though, following that oh-so-painful defeat at Sh*te Hart Lane, we’re not going to do it this year, it’s really important not to despair or turn on Wenger and the squad, because next year will be even better.

Wenger will bring in new, mature players this summer who have the required technical ability but who also have the engine for a high tempo pressing game. No other team in the Premier League could remotely hope to get close to Barcelona’s level of playing simply by the addition of two new players, but we can. We are streets ahead of other English teams in the style we play, and with a few modest adjustments we’ll no longer be bullied out of games by the Chavs and Mancs.

Arselona, here we come.

RockyLives

164 Responses to Arselona is Closer Than We Think

  1. Patrick 7 says:

    Good post. Don’t forget that we’ve been playing with a massive handicap this year with so many injured. Lack of rotation has cost us further injuries & lack of sharpness which makes life that much harder, probably why we had to win it in the last 10′ so often.

    I still don’t understand why Wenger made it even harder by not using squad players that WERE available like Ramsey before the break, Wilshire, Vela & Merida. That probably affected their form/outlook and probably their chances of being risked later on!

  2. Stewart Stanbra says:

    Absolutely spot on!

    It is easy to despair (very easy) but you are correct, we are fighting with one hand behind our back financially.

    This will improve in the next few years.

    Although we all CRAVE trophies, it is good that we have sensible people behind the scenes to ensure our long term future as a top club.

    How many other managers could have kept us in the Champions League Knockout stages so consistently – with SIGNIFICANTLY less resources.

    It is not an ‘experiment’ by Arsene it is a necessity, as he has no resources to do more, and he takes the vile criticism on the chin.

    In fairness what he has achieved is remarkable….

    Great artists are usually most respected after they are gone. The Emirates transition will define our clubs future and we have the BEST people doing this for us.

    Contrary to reports Arsenal Directors DO NOT take money from the club in Dividends, so reports of them holding money from Arsene and ‘lining their pockets’is grossly unfair – they are selfless Arsenal people.

    We are the Arsenal and we are the best football club in the World – we will soon have the team to follow….fingers crossed that we can afford those few players to make the difference….

    (Arsene does know! But can he now act on what he knows….I hope so!!!!)

  3. dandan says:

    Super stuff Rocky very well written. As you know I to am an optimist and have been dismayed by some of the chest beating and hand wringing of the past couple of weeks. You IMHO have got it in one there, We HAVE progressed this year and Arsene will back that up with some buys and a realignment of the squad, juggling the leavers and the young ones comming through.
    Roll on next season.

  4. Rasputin says:

    Excellent upbeat post Rocky.

    Welcome Patrick and Stewart,

    Yes, it’s all too easy to dwell on the negatives after a disappointing week. Football is so popular because it focuses the emotions. In the cold light of day, our club is in a very strong position.

    Unfortunately the dealings at boardroom level are beyond our remit, we just have to hope that the major shareholders have the club’s best interests at heart or at least will see future stability and success as the best way of protecting their investments.

  5. dandan says:

    Rasp, what have you seen from the board that would lead you to worry that there intentions are not in the clubs best interest.
    Wenger is no mug and from where I sit, seems happy that his project is protected and can roll on

  6. Rasputin says:

    Morning dandan, our future is not necessarily in the Board’s hands. Usmanov is not on the Board and no-one knows where Lady Nina’s shares will end up.

  7. Alfa says:

    Stewart, I think our board are OK, but don’t doubt for a moment that they are making a great deal of money from Arsenal, quite intentionally. Dividends are not the only way to make money. Think about how much the value of their shares has gone up in the last 10 years.

  8. Rasputin says:

    Quote from PHW reported this morning….

    “We have got more money than we’ve had for a long, long time and we would like to spend it. But we want to spend it sensibly,” he said.

    “There is plenty of cash, although not in comparison to Manchester City.

    “So we have got to look for others. We clearly cannot compete in the transfer market with them.

    “I am sure Arsene is always reviewing the situation – he has got a very open mind.”

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent post Rocky. Well written with some tasty turns of phrase.

    It is clear that with a fully fit first team we are a quality outfit and would very likely be EPL Champs. But….. how do we eradicate our injury woes?

    The impact injuries are unavoidable, but why do we have so many calf strains, groin strains, muscle tears etc ? It must be due to inadequate conditioning

  10. Rasputin says:

    Morning Raddy,

    kelsey posed the question – “why when our players are fitter than other teams do we suffer more injuries?”

    I think that is precisely the reason. The more highly tuned a car, the more likely it is to develop problems.

    The highly skillful players suffer the most because they place more strain on their joints/tendons etc and also invite more tackles.

  11. Perry Groves says:

    Great to read a well thought out and balanced article for a change. You are absolutely right that no other manager would even have been in touching distance of the title and CL every year with the resources we have used (look at what the tiny totts have spent only to finish 5th), but we can hope that Arsene can finally splash a bit of cash for a player or two who will really make a difference.

    I think the only thing I’d agree that Arsene may have done wrong is not to use more squad rotation, particularly against the lower teams, so that our top players have the energy to still play the pressing game at the end of a long season, not just at the start.

  12. dandan says:

    Rasp the days of sole owners are in my opinion fast disappearing. The red knights are on the move at Utd and Liverpool football club announced a few minutes ago that they under their new chairman are up for sale. They are expected to be bought by a consortium which is a board by another name.
    Arsenal Will I am sure not become the plaything of a single person.

  13. Ben says:

    So glad to see a more positive review of the team. When our team lost, everyone got blamed, so typical, and the funny thing is they try not to blame injury. I am proud with this team no matter what others said, I want this team won more than others, and I truly believe in coming years, we are going to dominate, like Barcelona & Liverpool! Well said.

  14. Danish Gooner says:

    We have to sort out that miserable defense and midfield,if we get 20 percent more stabiltity in defense we will win the league because we can easily score a lot of goals ande then we have to find a way to win ganes easier then we do at present.

  15. leon says:

    i dont this team has that many injuries its just there team lacks depth of squad this team realy should 20 top class players in the squad at least but they dont they only have maybe 13 at best

  16. DPT says:

    Well written article, agree with your view 100%

    Chamakh, Lloris, David Villa, a combative midfielder (in the Gattuso mould) and a Centre back = SORTED!
    We will be winning trophies for fun for the next DECADE!!

  17. Rasputin says:

    Welcome to the new bloggers, and thanks for your comments.

    We need to recreate a strong spine to the team. Up until RvP’s return, we were weak at the top and the bottom. With a fully fit Cesc and Song and RvP and Chamakh up front that only leaves the GK and CB’s. If we can make two signings it has to be in those positions. If we can stretch to three, I’d go for another midfield enforcer. JD can fight for his place at centre back and I’m sure he’ll make plenty of ‘squad appearances’ next season. Sagna’s future is now in doubt so a RB may be a surprise signing.

  18. browny says:

    One other way to consider it. If you took Messi out of Barca but they had an otherwise full strength side they would still be a great side. if you then put that side against our fully fit first 11 the game would be very equal. Messi is a devastating player in a great side. We had a great side with PV, RP, DB, FL a few years back even if you did not include Henry, but Henry could have that devastating effect in a game to make us even better at times than a great side. Barcas first 11 minus Messi vs ours are fairly equal with both teams boasting top players. We have not had our own devastating player since Henry in his prime. A player like Messi may only come along every 20 years and we may all just have to accept that while he is around they have an edge that no other team can overcome. The simple fact is that even the expensive likes of Ribbery or Aguero cannot match Messi so is it worth spending fortunes on them now. I think we have to add some experience to the team and we will be one of the best around next year, but as there is no other available Messi out there the key is to spot the next 18 – 19 year old that has his early blueprint. That player may never get to messi standard but we should try and identify that player and go with it. For me a player that has the same type of dribbling style, balance and burst of pace is Eden Hazard. If he could be refined and made consistent and add regular goals to his game in another 3 years (22 then I think) he could become that devastating player that makes a great side unbeatable.

  19. Rasputin says:

    Hi browny and welcome,

    I think Nik’s work rate has been fantastic this season and he has scored some really important goals, but when you see him in direct comparison to RvP, Messi, Drogba etc it reveals him as more of a ‘Kuyt’ type player. I’m hoping Chamakh can be everything you see in Hazard and will forge an understanding with RvP and the attacking midfielders.

  20. gunner17 says:

    don’t get carried away.

    all we need really is (1)another tough forward (Chamakh – sorted), and (2)a good central defender to partner Vermaelen.

    we could trim some fat and get rid of the likes of diaby and denilson and almunia, but they’re all capable of contributing to a championship-winning season. they do have some worthwhile talents. they don’t NEED to be replaced.

  21. gunner17 says:

    i wouldn’t mind if wenger repalced denilson with someone with more gut-busting energy and ‘rattle’ though…

  22. nice piece but what your missing is when barca didn’t win anything for 4 years they brought in 03

    Ronaldinho€32mil

    04
    Deco€15 mil(plus Quaresma for €6 had a offer of 32€mil),
    Henrik Larsson,
    Ludovic Giuly €7mil ,
    Samuel Eto’o €24mil
    and Rafael Márquez

    we are close but unless we start combiening the youth with real quality……….

  23. Livers says:

    I understand it took Barca 6 years without winning a trophy by breeding the youngsters into the Barca way. It’s a hard wait but something I’m hopefull of seeing flourish soon..

    Keep the Faith

    Nice post Rocky 🙂

  24. Livers says:

    Fair point RSD, but we have bought Arshavin, Nasri and Rosicky in too……need a “worldy” to come… somewhere

  25. Morning Perry Groves – your comment at 10.07 got stuck in moderation I’m afraid. I have absolutely no idea why but you’re on now.

    Very good post Rocky, my dark cloud is lifting slowly. I love the idea that Arsène could be buying a top class striker and midfielder in addition to the new keeper and centre-back 😉

  26. dandan says:

    What keeper will he go for Sebastion Frey perhaps.

  27. Livers says:

    The problem is Peaches we hear the same noises each year about money to spend etc etc and for the past 2 seasons certainly have been waiting right up to deadline day disappointed..

    Chamakh will be the only forward…. maybe a Melo (incidentally voted Juve’s worst signing of the decade) and probably Wes Brown…*sigh*

  28. dandan says:

    LOL Livers,Cheer up mate. Just imagine being a scouse today how would you feel then

  29. every window we have “30 mil” yet we only spend ~10.

    fair point livers we have signed a “worldie” in aa but he found the prem hard

    melo is only juve worst signing cos they wanted an attacking mid not a holding

  30. frey would be good but would prefer lloris but if we signed him we couldn’t afford a ch and a hm

  31. Rasputin says:

    I don’t think we need another forward if Chamakh is coming. GK, CB and possibly a utility player/brute of a midfielder

  32. Livers says:

    RSD, I know Melo plays out of position for them.. very strange by Juve..

    I don’t think AA’s heart is in it to be fair.. lately he lacks stamina and puff..

    I’d be more than happy with a new keeper (Lloris or Akinfeev) and a CB is essential in my eyes

  33. Livers @12.28 and there I was being optimistic 😉 😉

  34. Livers – I’m with you, new keeper and a CB. We know we can score goals just can’t stop them hitting the back of our net 😦 😦 😦

  35. Rasputin says:

    I think some players will also leave in the summer. Gallas, Merida, Silvestre and possibly Vela are the most likely.

    I don’t want to let LJ go on loan to Bolton next year, he has proved for them that he is Premiership quality. His statement wasn’t well timed and I’d guess that Arsène doesn’t appreciate being ‘prodded’ in that way., so he may have shot himself in the foot.

  36. What has he said rasp? I’ve missed that …….

  37. London says:

    Hi Rasp

    What did LJ say?

  38. London says:

    Superb read Rocky, a very classy post indeed. My favorite part up there is the “Shruggers and the shriekers” Lol

  39. dandan says:

    How about some of the other Loanee’s, will they stay if we buy new players, as they are already behind young players in the pecking order. Jet for instance

    Does anyone know how the pay scales work with our Loanee’s do we pay them premier wages or are the reserves scaled down

    Providing Gibbs and Traore are fit would not be surprised to see Arsene cash in on Clichy, we have other good youngsters comming up behind them.

  40. Rasputin says:

    LJ was ‘quoted’ as saying something loosely interpretted as …. “I want to stay at Bolton next season, if I’m not going to feature at Arsenal” … he did of course say that his preference was to play for Arsenal. You can’t blame him for preferring 1st team Prem football to our reserves.

  41. Hi dandan – Clichy is such an Arsenal man though it would be terrible to let him go – he’s come out and said he’s not interested in moving to another club a few times.

    Maybe its time for him to became a square peg – or cultivate Traore/Gibbs to be left wingers, that way they are all cover for each other.

  42. I’m sure all the loanees would like to be playing regularly – good for Jack though, the Bolton lot have great things to say about him.

  43. dandan says:

    Problem is Peachey, when Arsone plays people out of position he gets lots of flack and if we buy new players we cannot play them all. It makes sense then to use our production line to make money to use to buy these new guys.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Hello All. In America so joining late. Thanks for all the positive comments. I’m kind of surprised at the general sense of optimism – I was expecting to be slaughtered for being a naive loon with rose-tinted spectacles. (Still time though!).
    Some brilliant points made in the responses. I’m placing a lot of faith in Wenger’s own stated opinion that if we didn’t win anything this year then it’s time for a re-think. That re-think, IMO, will be to carry on playing the Arsene/Arsenal way, but bring in some top, top quality.
    Rasp – I love Nik for his effort and attitude but you are spot on about where he fits in in the pecking order.
    And Peaches – so glad your cloud is lifting – hate to see you sad!

  45. Thanks Rocky – you’d better hope the volcanic ash cloud has lifted else you’re stranded in LA – difficult to feel sorry for you really 😉

    dandan – I am one of those that slaughters the great man for playing people out of position but mainly thats because he makes things so complicated. Clichy with Traore in front of him or Gibbs with Clichy in front of him is not ever going to be a disaster in my eyes – I always thought playing Cashly and Bridge like that would work for England and I wasn’t alone 🙂

  46. RockyLives says:

    Peaches, during the period when England just couldn’t find a left-footed midfielder for love nor money I could never understand why we didn’t go the ‘two left backs’ route. Cashley, for all his loathsomeness, can be really effective going forward.

  47. tommystout says:

    Great post RL, you may have got a roasting on other site but this site is pretty much a positive & optomistic board. Arsene Wenger bitching aint the done thing here.
    I for one am very positive for the future, barcelona have shown us the way and its up to arsene to see that its implemented within our resources.

    Great title by the way.

    Why is jack called LJ Rasp? i was really thrown by that one!

  48. Livers says:

    I thought it was LJ for Little Jack

  49. tommystout says:

    I C thanks livers

  50. I like to indulge in a bit of Arsène bitching when he’s upset me – sometimes he does make ludicrous decisions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire him enormously and can’t think of another manager that would have given us Champions Lge footie in the last 3/4 years working within the restraints he has.

  51. tommystout says:

    so if chamach comes as expected does RVP lead the line or does he step back into the whole? I kinda liked him leading the line once he got used to it!

  52. It is alright to have a moan you know 😉

  53. RockyLives says:

    True Peaches – nothing wrong with a good moan. My post today is very upbeat, but I’m not averse to a rant once in a while…

  54. GhostFace says:

    Big Raddy Says:
    April 16, 2010 at 8:07 am
    Ghostface. We are all entitled to our opinion. If my son came consistently second or third in class and showed touches of brilliance, I would be happy with that.

    But of course I would prefer him to be first …

    ————————–

    Inaccurate description.

    IF you gave your child 40million by selling off your cars and your house in order to give your child the best education possible.

    And instead of buying the latest text books for modern technology he buys a couple of 35 year old book that was used in the cold war because it was cheap and refused to spend the money on the tools he needs to educate himself to be first thereby shortchanging himself…you will not be happy with him.

  55. GhostFace says:

    At least I would hope not! As a father you should always want to know your child is applying the best of his abilities to the best of the resources given to him!

    And yet your very very very very happy?

  56. Phew …..

    Another boring Saturday except the mancs derby is on and don’t the totts and the chavs play tomorrow too. How gutted will we be if they all drop bucket loads of points – I can’t decide if I want the chavs to really stuff the totts and wipe the smiles off their faces or both lose 😉

  57. RockyLives says:

    Sad to say but true, we’re not going to win the league, so I hope the Chavs stuff the Totts good and proper.
    Mind you, I don’t want Citeh to get fourth place either. Is it still mathematically possible for the Dippers to do it?

  58. We need the chavs to draw a couple and lose one to make it look really close and the mancs to do the same all the while we win our next four games in style 😛

    Proper cheered up now 😀

  59. Sorry I lost my comment about pool getting fourth place. Its still on for them if totts and chavmancs slip up but just as likely for Villa who are a point behind and have a game in hand.

  60. Ibrahim says:

    Good post again.

    I like the mature responses here for the last (painful) arsenal defeats.

    We will be better next season for sure. With the same degree of improvement arsenal made comparing with the last season we should win something next year. With some extra palyers we will do it for sure. The other top 4 are aging.
    There a very big different(which I can not explain very well) between arsenal and barca .. the can defend on the opponents area very quicly. Nobody (except Wallcot) can counter them easily. Good teams can counter us very easly i think. You the moment when the heart begins to beat very fast and hard.
    thank you

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Ghost face . Thanks for the reply. I don’t see your point and when did I say I was v.v.v.v.happy? I said I am very happy to have AW as our manager, I always have been and stand by my comment.

    But as a person …. Yes, I am v.v.v.v.v. happy. Thanks for asking.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Some great comments on here today, makes for a fine read.

    However, we are in the same position we were last summer. We need the same areas strengthened. GK, CB, DM and CF.

    As for Eden Hazard, he could well be the new Theo. Flatters to deceive. I would rather give one more season to TW and if he doesn’t show by Xmas, ship him out in Jan.

    It is worrying to hear AW say that there will be no sales of players and he wants the squad to stick together. We have deadwood all over the squad. If they are squad members AW can pick them, so better they go.

    And what about all the players on loan?

  63. You see Raddy thats what depresses me – AW saying he wants to keep the squad together aaaarrrrgggghhhhh

    It means he’s saying one thing but means something else – for a change.

    I think the majority of the players on loan will be sold – theres nowhere for them in the squad if hes going to keep the squad together.

    Apart from LJ of course – if he sells LJ I’ll be ’round his house quick as a flash to give him a piece of my mind.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. It will be an interesting and I suspect frustrating summer!

  65. GhostFace says:

    You dont see my point because you chose not to.

    How can you compare AW to being your son coming second or 3rd and yet you say you want him to come first without even looking into what might have gone wrong or if he’s utilizing the best of his resources to the best of his abilities…i.e tactics, substitutions, transfers.

    If you dont want to understand its different from actually not understanding.

    I’ll leave it there.

  66. dandan says:

    Jesus what a couple of days we have had. 2x70ft high conifers have been removed from the garden over the last two days and some 50 others topped. The wife has had a fall and we lost to the spuds. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooow where the hell is next doors cat I want to kick it.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Ghostface. I respect your opinion, it just isn’t mine. Undoubtedly AW has made mistakes – who hasn’t?

    You believe AW is not the manager for us, so be it. You think there is better out there for Arsenal – I don’t.

    Your point about the use of the money from the sales of last summer is well made, but you nor I know what happens regarding AW’s transfer targets.

    Nor do you or I know whether the team reacts as he intends (looking at AW screaming at Theo on Weds. it would be reasonable to assume they don’t).

    Subs. Well it is your opinion versus a man who has managed at the very top level for most of his career. I may get frustrated when I see Eboue come on when we are one up with 20 minutes to go – but that is Arsene’s way.

    Finally, do you really believe that different tactics and substitutions would have won us the title? It is clear that injuries lost us the PL. And what happens when RvP etc come back from injury and we have signed very expensive replacements? This is a business not Championship Manager. Could AW have known that Vela and Eduardo would prove so unreliable? Should AW have signed a CF in Jan knowing that Bendtner was coming back from injury in Jan and had shown much promise prior to his groin strain? Particularly as he has (allegedly) targeted Chamakh who wouldn’t leave Bourdeaux until summer

    It is easy in hindsight to criticise what now looks poor management.

    I should make it clear that I do not believe AW is above criticism, he has certainly made mistakes, but I am remain happy to have him at the helm.

    I hope that is a decent response to your comment, As I said I respect your opinion but do not share it.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    DD. You have over 50 trees in your garden !!

    Hope the weekend works out better for you and your family (and next doors cat).

  69. dandan says:

    We have a ring of conifers all around the boundary Raddy which have been there thirty years. Thanks for your kind thoughts, next doors cat has legged it, LOL

  70. dandan – clear mismanagement of conifers IMO

    Oh dear, hope Mrs dandan is ok, you shouldn’t have let her cut down all those trees 😉

  71. I’ve just noticed we don’t have anything for tomorrows post – anyone feeling inspired……

  72. London says:

    Hi BR

    Top comment there.

    I didn’t notice Wenger screaming at Walcott what happened?

  73. GhostFace says:

    Arsenal Football Club is more than a business.

    We are a football Club first. Then we are a business second.

    We should not put the business side of things first and then the football second. That is a misplacement of priorities imo. We would be no different than American Sport Franchises that are out to milk the supporter for every dime on false hopes/advertising promises.

    If we couldnt buy a striker in January we couldve very well have loaned one. Its lack of ambition. Or penny pinching. Or both.

    The Mancs had Henrik Larsson for 12games. Everton got Donavan and Senderos on loan.

    Championship manager?

    Wenger knew the squad wasnt strong enough otherwise he wouldnt have bid for Filipe Melo or Chamakh. But would rather have sacrificed our season instead of paying over the odds.

    That is putting the business ahead of the football and that is precisely one of the many reasons why he should go.

    We couldve spent the 40m on new targets apparently he spent the bulk of it on giving the likes of Eduardo, Almunia, Denilson, Vela and Craig Eastmond new contracts while refussing to reward quality like Arshavin and Gallas.

    You want to talk about tactics?

    We played the 4-5-1 last season and for all the moaning about our defensive woes and how we shouldve fixed them we conceded 37 goals.

    We played the 4-3-3 this season and have conceded 36 in 34. Thats well over a goal per game.

    Every season its the same old useless excuses Injuries cost us the title.

    Well. There is no point then once a player like RVP is injured we should all conced that our season is over and we cant do anything about that.

    Substitutions?

    I do not share your thoughts on Bendtner. I think he is a poor footballer and even worse striker nevertheless… RVP came too late on the bench and AW started with Bendtner.

    This was the biggest game of the season and RVP was left on the bench. I dont care what you say but that is unforgivable especially knowing that Fabgregas wouldve started had he been in that situation.

    A very tempered response and I can argue on with what you have written but to say that AW is the best man for the job especially since year after year he’s put us in a position where we’ve have to be even more dependent on him by rewarding failure and signing new long term contracts to the likes of Fabianski visa vi project youth its virtually impossible to agree with.

  74. GhostFace says:

    It sounds very silly.

    Playing it safe and risk losing the tittle at the cost of what?

    20-30m?

  75. Big Raddy says:

    Ghostface. Enjoyed the discussion and you make some very valid points.

    Let’s agree to disagree 🙂

  76. I think GhostFace and BigRaddy should have a face-off and we can all join in ………

  77. Big Raddy says:

    London. Theo ran the ball out of play when there was an easy pass on – AW went ballistic.

  78. GhostFace says:

    Injuries have been the excuse for 5 years and counting.

    But a quick question.

    What does injuries have to do with the lack of GK at the club?

    Does it take 20-30m to buy a decent keeper?

    Almunia alone cost us about 13 points

    3 points at spurs. 2 points at Birgmingham. 6 points versus the Mancs home and away. 2 points at Everton.

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Am I on pre-match for Sunday? Or I can knock something together for tomorrow and someone else can do Wigan.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    No argument there GF.

    See my comment 5.21

  81. Aahhh thats a good point Raddy – are you inspired to write something for tomorrow? Maybe it’ll be easier to find someone to write a pre-match for Wigan…….

  82. Big Raddy says:

    I went to see Jethro Tull last night at Tivoli (yes, I know I am an old fart but they were great). There was a guy seriously hammered in my row wearing an Arsenal shirt with a 52 on the back.

    At the break I told him he was wearing the best shirt in the auditorium and he told me he was NB’s Dad !!. Had he been sober, it would have been great to get him to comment on the site.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Not inspired but after a few more of the excellent chilled Corsican Rose I am drinking, I could be…..

  84. GhostFace says:

    Big Raddy Says:
    April 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm
    Some great comments on here today, makes for a fine read.

    However, we are in the same position we were last summer. We need the same areas strengthened. GK, CB, DM and CF.

    ————————-

    Well we are in agreement then! Looks like a disagree to agree then?

    Maybe the disagreement is with Wenger getting out of the club.

    If we are still in the same position after and Wenger did absolutely nothing to fix it a year later. Then he needs to go.

    You cant have your boss tell you to do fix something and a year later its the same way you left it. Actually much worse if you look at the goals weve conceded.

    He refuses to spend. He said he will and never does.

    So whose to say it will be different? It wont. So he needs to go.

    But then again. Agree to disagree. Or vice versa

  85. RockyLives says:

    Blimey BigRad, I thought I was the only one who still went to Tull concerts. It’s worth going just to count the beards in the audience.

  86. GhostFace – that is an excellent point about the goalkeeper and several on this site have suggested that Almunias errors have probably cost us the premiership.

  87. GhostFace says:

    Its Ironic.

    To be an attacking team without a clinical striker. We’ve become so predictable too. The crossing and heading for 90min against Wolves was a footballing all time low for me as a supporter. Fuck sake. If i wanted to see that. I would support the mancs.

    Ok rant over.

  88. GhostFace says:

    peaches

    I know i am the minority with the Wenger needs to go opinion.

    But i can honestly say ive had enough. I am grateful for what he has done for the club.

    Not the trophies per say because they are sort of a bonus but the footballing has been amazing.

    But even that has gone down the shitter.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    GF.

    He has spent but not as much as we would like. Last season he bought AA and TV. That is almost €30m.

    We need at top quality GK. Money no object. An experienced CB with back up of JD (should WG leave). A dynamic DM in the Flamini mould – the injury to Ramsey was a tragedy as he could have been the man – as back up to Song. And a Chamakh

    If I were manager, I would also look for a promising RB as competition to Sagna.

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. They were great. Finished the set with Aqualung followed by Locomotive Breath. I was a teenager again!

    p.s. I don’t have a beard!

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Better stop now, the wine is causing too many typos.

    Peaches. If you want a post for tomorrow …. just whistle. You know how to whistle don’t you?

  92. You put your lips together and blow – I’m blowing, please stop drinking for a while 😉

  93. GhostFace – I probably can guess what you’re going to say, but who would you have replace AW?

    I’m hoping for Pep Guardiola – I think it’ll be him and I’m willing to wait another year or two.

  94. Raddy – don’t worry about the typos, I’ll tidy it up for you 😉

  95. GhostFace says:

    Laurent Blanc

    Gus Hiddink

    Avram Grant

    Van Basten

    Steve Bould

    We shouldnt be afraid to hire a no named manager.

    Just like Arsene Wenger.

  96. RockyLives says:

    Sounds great Raddy. Last time I saw them was about a year ago at Hammersmith. I don’t have a beard either – I felt under-dressed.

  97. RockyLives says:

    Hi Ghost,
    I know you’re in the minority on this site but I can see your view is sincerely held. I still think Arsene will make us great, but I can understand why you and others have lost patience.
    If – and only if – we had to lose AW, then I’m with Peaches – give me Guardiola any day. he’s said he wants to work in England at some stage – and just imagine the names he would attract.
    Failing that, it would be crazy to go for a ‘successful’ boss with a totally different way of playing (like Mourinho).

  98. Listen to you two old rockers 😉

    Rocky – what you don’t know is that Raddy and I worked in the same record shop in the early seventies and found each other on LG.

    Even friends re-united can’t match that story I’m sure!!!

  99. GhostFace says:

    “But we always keep our policy. We manage within our resources and it is not because there is a bigger need that we will overpay the players, because we cannot.”

    You mean like paying Silvestre 50k a week and refusing to give Gallas a 2 year contract extension while cutting his pay.

    FFS. Arsenal.com is depressing.com

  100. RockyLives says:

    Now that’s real romance!

  101. dandan says:

    Peaches have sent you an email

  102. GhostFace – before I started blogging I used to read Arse.com avidly, absorbing every word that the club uttered – now I don’t ever go there for any info other fixtures. Its the worst kind of brain-washing if you ask me – I’ve turned into such a cynic 🙄

    And I do think that Arse.com is responsible for the young players thinking they’re film stars – actually Arsenal TV was really to blame as they started the trend of vacuous interviews to enhance a players PR.

  103. Oh hes much older than me 😳

  104. RockyLives says:

    The official website is as much value as Pravda! (For younger readers that’s the old official newspaper of the Communist USSR).

  105. SharkeySure says:

    Brilliant post Rocky. Just plain and simply brilliant.

    It is so true that we barely have a player who would look out of place in the Barca side if called upon, yet to listen to some people you’d think that 90% of our players were Championship or League One standard.

    Almunia has to go, and take Silvestre with him, and thats it. Everyone else offers something and its only Theo and Arsh that have left me a little disappointed overall this season.

    Again, what a post. Fantastic analysis, and rereally well written. I actually read it on my mobile at work this morning and I wasn’t gonna let it pass without a comment

  106. dandan says:

    Evening Sharkey How you doing, great post and lively debate today

  107. GhostFace says:

    How Arshavin is a disappointment when you’ve got Eduardo and Rosicky and Denilson in this team is anyone guess.

  108. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Sharkey, really appreciate the comments. I know not everyone agrees, but I do feel we’re close. As you say, a couple out and two or three in and just watch us go.
    I know people have picked up on Arsene’s comment about wanting to keep this squad together and have despaired. I prefer to take his meaning as being that he wants to keep the core squad together – which he certainly should. It doesn’t mean that he wants to keep it 100% as it is.

  109. GhostFace says:

    Rocky i respect your opinion but i have to disagree. The gulf in class between us and barcelona is as wide as Susan Boyle fatty.

    Wenger is not going to change a thing. There isnt any other way he’s going to say it other than saying what hes said to keep the squad together.

    What core would that be? With the likes of Denilson in midfield and Gallas off in the summer?

  110. RockyLives says:

    Ghost, for me the core is Verm, Cesc, Song, Clichy, Sagna, Rosicky, Nasri, RVP, Arsh, Diaby, Ramsey, Wilshire even Theo, Bendy, Eboue and yes, Denilson.
    As I said in the piece, we do need to strengthen with real quality. It looks like Chamakh-attack is already signed. Another midfielder, a CB and a goalie would do wonders and I really, really think AW is going to sign them this summer.
    You obviously don’t (and I’ve been just as disappointed as every Gooner at the lack of transfer activity in recent summers). Time will tell which of us is right.

  111. Rasputin says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Superbly written article today .. you’ve raised the bar for all of us 😉

    I’ve just got in myself. Funnily enough, I wrote an article titled B’Arsenalona on another site two years ago with a very similar sentiment.

    I find it hard to disagree with some of GF’s points. I understand where he’s coming from and I’ve made a mental note to myself to give up on Arsène if he doesn’t at least buy a GK and CB in the summer – but I’ve done a similar thing for the last 3 years and somehow can’t bring myself to want to see him go.

  112. GhostFace says:

    Lol

    Rocky that looks like a Starting XI not a core of the team.

    But yes we will have to wait and see. History shows he says he will sign players and then “…..”

    Last year and the year before that…we were saying what you are saying now. We only need 2/3 more players to dominate. But Wenger is fixed on making it impossible for himself. Kuddos you havent lost faith. I have.

  113. Rasputin says:

    I agree with peaches … it’s a bit worrying that AW has said he doesn’t want to lose any players, surely he can’t add to the already large squad without pruning/alowing natural wastage. I do hope he doesn’t start coming out with the contradictory statements again.

  114. SharkeySure says:

    Ghost 9.33 – Eduardo didn’t do a great deal last season and hasn’t exactly been racking up starts or minutes this season. Likewise Tomas.

    For me Denilson had a horrible horrible run of form around Jan/Feb, but either side of that has been OK, and he’s even had some very good games, some early season and some more recently. Plus his shootings been a pleasant surprise.

    Arshavin..?? Whats to say, some stellar moments but overall the look of a man who’s attitude is all wrong, for whatever reason. We saw in Euro 2008 that he could tear teams to shreds but also disappear when Russia needed him most (repeated for crunch WC games in 2010). Those lazy air shots of recent weeks have been very very disappointing. Maybe its me that likes a trier. He’s not been a dfisaster, but he’s disappointed me based on expectations built on his first half season.

    Walcott – oops you didn’t query him did you. S’understable !!

  115. GhostFace says:

    The core of the team imo

    Clichy, Cesc, Vermy, AA23, Sagna.

    Everyone else is replaceable.

  116. GhostFace says:

    and RVP ofcoarse

  117. Big Raddy says:

    It’s not true that Peaches is much younger than me …… at least not mentally.

    I agree Rasp. We have to get rid of the deadwood. Sign a GK of around 30 to get us through to when Chesney matures (about 3 years). Why not Jaaskelinen? – he is another Van de Saar who improves with age.

    Having watched the Nou Camp game for the first time earlier this evening (painful viewing), Denilson was our best MF. He will mature, and as third choice DM, he is good enough.

  118. SharkeySure says:

    Rasp – someone on here (you?) regularly states that we are setting up to allow for more injuries. The example given is 6 Cbs instead of 4 etc.

    Could that be why its additions without departures.

    I echo the comment (who’s??) that the absolute must is a new keeper. any chance that it’ll be young Chesney..??

  119. GhostFace says:

    Sharkey

    What exactly do I need to querry Walcott for?

    In almost all his games back hes had either a goal or an assist and if B52 fancied himself as a decent footballer Walcott wouldve had way more assists.

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Evening SS. Hope all is well in SharkeyWorld

  121. SharkeySure says:

    Alright Raddy, Denilson weas possibly even better in the home leg. Came on around 25mins and bossed it.

    Bossed?? Might be an overstatement, but he had a very good game.

    Btw…many thanks for turning me on(?!) to this site !!! Hours I wasted going round in f*****g circles on the ‘other’ one, could kick myself. Lol!!!

  122. Big Raddy says:

    LOL GhostFace. Nik would have had to have telescopic legs to reach most of Walcott’s crosses. Like Twizzle (before your time!)

  123. Big Raddy says:

    My pleasure. On here we can dispute in an adult fashion, can’t we GF?

  124. SharkeySure says:

    SharkeyWorld..?? I live in Mrs Sharkey’s World Raddy.

    Keep the boss happy and the whole house is happy.

    Your still in the throes of newly/recently wedded bliss yourself I hope. ..??

  125. GhostFace says:

    Most of those misses against Burnley Walcott provided them.

    Walcott was sensational again in the first half against Wolves which gave him the start at Barcelona which he gave Nikk the ball again however sloppy it was (admittedly)

    The fact is Walcott is far better than Sagna or Clichy crossing the ball. And he almost single handedly creates those chances for Bendtner.
    Much like Arshavin.

  126. SharkeySure says:

    Ghost – crossed yer wires I think.

    I stated that two players disappointed me, you only queried one. I responded re that one, and stated CORRECTLY that you didn’t query the other one.

    If you’re querying it now then let me know. Its not a problem

  127. GhostFace says:

    Ofcoarse BR.

    Disagreeing makes conversation.

  128. GhostFace says:

    Sharkey thats exactly my point.

    I disagree about both players.

    There is absolutely nothing to be overly too disappointed about Theo and Arshavin.

  129. Rasputin says:

    HI sharkey,

    I’ve been saying we need a new keeper for more than 2 years. I also believe our style of play is a contributory factor to the level of injuries we sustain – but that is not necessarily a criticism.

    It’s the old conundrum, any decent quality player (with ambition) will not be happy to be a ‘third choice’ so we have to use the older players in the twilight of their careers or young players who hope to break into the first team. It would be nice to be able to name a first choice eleven where every player is ‘Arsenal quality’.

    Coquelin, Merida and Eastmond fall into the latter category = youngsters hoping to come through.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    GF. I am a big fan of Theo’s and really want him to come good. To me he is the future of the Club, insomuch as he is black, intelligent, English, humble and clean living. If only he could play like him, he would be the English Thierry (in media terms).

    Maybe the next face of Gillette.

    But the football comes first and he has a long way to go before he can be considered a top class player. That he has the talent to make it is undoubted in my mind, but whether he has the temperament is another thing. His decision making under pressure is simply not good enough. I have stated many times that Theo needs a long run of games to develop but can we afford to carry him?

  131. SharkeySure says:

    Ghost – Respectfully, your comment was very clear in ONLY querying how Arshavin could be a disappointment.

    Its pretty clear and still legible above.

    I’ll keep it brief re Walcott cos we’ve got diff opinions, ad there’s no problem with that.

    At times he just seems to play the game like he really hasn’t been playing it too long. Leaving the ball behind, absence of any tricks/skills for his one on ones, etc etc.

    Some of his off the ball running is exemplary, and when his tail is up, he is a real threat and can be a constant menace.

    But on balance, the games that I have forgotten he is playing in and his poorer moments have outweighed his positive contributions across the games he has featured in.

  132. London says:

    twizzle…..lol

  133. Big Raddy says:

    LOL Sharkey.

    Only one Captain on this ship and that is Moi. If my darling wife makes me happy, our whole house is happy !

    Fortunately we are mature enough to appreciate how lucky we are to have each other and peace reigns supreme.

  134. London says:

    The best thing I have read all day is that Wenger was pissed off with Walcott…..we need that…we need an angry Wenger; the more angry he is the more determined he will get.

  135. Big Raddy says:

    London. Showing your age ….. 🙂

  136. London says:

    Tull…..and I am showing my age…..lol

  137. Big Raddy says:

    I believe Wenger’s contract ends next year. IMO he is unlikely to extend and as such will want to go out with a trophy or two. I predict a lively summer.

  138. GhostFace says:

    Sharkey

    Youve said it all.

    “When it matters most”

    Walcott brought us from the grave when its mattered most. Against Barca Against liverpool on many occasions against Wolves…

    Injuries have severly hampered his progress. I am not one to make excuses for our players with injuries but the fact is Walcott has always been a slow started and eventually catches some form and then gets injured so it baffles me that people are shocked he has a poor game coming back from injury.

    If you look at 2 seasons ago when Bendy moved from CF to RW…Walcott benched him because he finally found his form.

    —————

    BR

    We are more in agreement than you give credit for! Apart from the injuries a player like Hleb had always said the in addition to experience he had to learn from the likes of Henry, Bobby P (however short lived) was to keep his head up to pick out the player instead of constantly looking down at the ball.

    That is something Walcott has to learn from an older player with bags of experience.

    Where will we find that? RosickY?

  139. SharkeySure says:

    Rasp. I think it was Ronaldo’s 40 yd strike that struck a chord for me. I just had it in my mind that I could have been a CB on the goal line and gotten closer to that with my head than Big Al did.

    But by the start of the season I wasn’t really howling for a new keeper, but Arsene dropped a real clanger in Jan in not getting someone in either as back up or take over/challenge.

    Big Al has been shocking this season, a few good spells in games, and the odd good game. But overall, even in games we’ve won (some comfortably) the signs are usually there – little or no communication, poor organisation, and poor decision making.

    When you get ‘the look’ from everyone of your defenders that frequently somethings up. He’s even rattled the seemingly mild mannered and even tempered Sagna

  140. Big Raddy says:

    LOL London. If I could do an embarrassed smiley, I would!

  141. London says:

    BR it has been great to see you on form, at your swash buckling best, today. Although I may totally disagree with Ghost he does seem like a decent chap.

  142. GhostFace says:

    Fabregas doesnt play on the Wings BR

    Arshavin is a better choice but apparently he’s disappointing too so.

  143. Big Raddy says:

    London. Very kind of you to say so.

    GF. Aaah I get your point. It is the accumulation of the Corsican Rose´. Is there any winger in the PL who looks up?

  144. Big Raddy says:

    Right. Staggering off to bed.

    Thanks for the entertainment. We will meet in the ether at another time.

    I give you all a cyber handshake goodnight

    UTG

    BR

  145. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s Ghosty re Theo’s injuries. My last line said ‘games he has featured in’ – half alluding to the injury situation.

    So yeah its been stop-start for Theo, and maybe you give him a little more credit or leeway for that than I do.

    My worry is that at times regardless of how rusty he is, he shows too many signs of having a hell of a lot to learn.

    The non pass from Diaby on Weds nite, was followed by Theo turning in-field, when he clearly needed to turn back out and give Diaby the 2nd option. Diaby got crowded and robbed, he then berated Theo for not giving him the 2nd option.

    Its those moments that have me thinking about him not playing football til the age of 10. I’ve watched a hell of a lot of kids football these last three years, and thats a lot of good learning time to miss.

    I worry that some of Theo’s best moments are ‘stopped clock’ ones. Ie even stopped clocks are right twice a day.

  146. GhostFace says:

    *cough*

    Valencia…Ashley Young…Even Adam Johnson

    It bothers me to say those names.

  147. SharkeySure says:

    Night Radders

    Dankse tog tog ! 😉

  148. SharkeySure says:

    Alright DanDan…..if yer still about.

    Saw your shout earlier but didn’t want to tack a reply on to a poorly written post about something else.

  149. GhostFace says:

    Hahaa! Sharkey

    Its funny how i can agree with BR and disagree with you on everything!

    One of the best attribute to Walcott is his off the ball movement…I remember the situation you speak of against Spurs right?

    Diaby shouldve played the ball with one touch but Diaby being diaby always had to dribble one man first and then lost it eventually to the second man.

    In fact Diaby being Diaby is one of the many reason why we lost to Barca. Held on to it too much.

    Theo runs off the ball are exceptional and are magnified because of his pace. The game literarily chances when he’s on the pitch because the fullbacks are shitting themselves.

    Diaby shouldve found Theo against barca at the Camp Nou on 2 or 3 seperate occasions but he chose to play it to Bendtner and the rest is history

  150. GhostFace says:

    Long and short of that rant is that I believe it is more down to Diaby’s poor decision making thant Walcott.

    If you are honest with yourself for a bit Diaby has been having the poorer game as compared to Theo

  151. SharkeySure says:

    C’mon Ghost – I even described it as a non pass from Diaby to highlight that it was Diaby’s error first. The second error of then failing to help Diaby out of a mess (of his own making!) was another matter altogether

    At 10.28 I said: “Some of his off the ball running is exemplary, and when his tail is up, he is a real threat and can be a constant menace.”

    But somehow you think you disagree with everything I say.

    Well if you keep reading only half of what I write that ain’t gonna change any time soon !

  152. SharkeySure says:

    Diaby has gone a bit backwards agreed. Disappointment over the season..? NO. Far from it.

    My expectations are set up at the start of the season, based mainly on showing from last season, and any other factors that crop up.

    I expected more from Theo and Arsh, and a lot less from Diaby.

    Revelations have been Tommy and Song. You left Song out of your ‘core’ or spine earlier..?? Que amigo.

  153. GhostFace says:

    My mistake. I guess i did half read that.

    I guess Theo was too busy trying to create some seperation from the defender instead of realizing Diaby was in trouble.

    I also do not share the views on Denilson.

    Watching Denilson look up. See Walcott and then pass to a Spurs player and have the ball rebound back to him off the spurs players chin only for him to look away turn back and then pass the ball to another spurs players is the type of stuff that exemplifies why he should never come close to an Arsenal shirt let alone be in one.

  154. GhostFace says:

    I think Song is Average.

    What he lacks in pace he more than makes up for it in power…but I believe that All Arsenal midfielders need to be a scoring threat..especially when you can expect much from our fullbacks going forward.

  155. GhostFace says:

    cant*

  156. SharkeySure says:

    Ghost – again, fair do’s re the half read stuff. You’re clearly a gent.

    I’ll leave Denilson for another day, but Song is my fave player currently, purely based on his continued improvement since last season.

    A lot of people claim he lacks pace and I just don’t get it. Well I half see it if I’m honest, cos he has a very languid style.

    What I dont get is that when he has a simple foot race with someone and wins it, a lot of people (mostly on LG to be fair) just don’t seem to see or recognise it.

    Most people also call Sol for being slow….I reckon we might ask a certain Mr Gareth Bale his views on that.

    Anyways its been good rapping with ya….

    I’ll read your reply but may not respond til later or tomorrow.

    Night Ghost (?!)

  157. GhostFace says:

    Night then Sharkey. Night to all. The conversation will continue some other time.

    For me Fabregas has been our best player and is undoubtedly in my opinion the best footballer in the world.

  158. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Rocky

    Arselonia may as well be Denmark to Tasmania by Viking Longboat if Arsene Wenger doesn’t replace Almunia with a Petr Čech type goalie.

    Le Gaffer is making noises about the need to bolster the squad, but he has made these type of noises before only to renig. So it comes down to this, can Arsene Wenger be trusted to do what he has said he needs to do.

    The clock is ticking, 6 years & counting. All the excuses like debt/paying off a magnificent stadium, project youth are becoming on the nose for a good deal of supporters, like Gordon Brown for you lot with is rhetoric. Its time to give the loyal fans what they want.

  159. RockyLives says:

    Hi Gnarley
    I’m stuck in America due to Volcanic activity (not a phrase I ever expected to use in my lifetime).
    “Arselonia may as well be Denmark to Tasmania by Viking Longboat if Arsene Wenger doesn’t replace Almunia” – that was very funny – well played.
    And I do agree. We need a new stopper. Sneeze may be great, but he needs a couple more seasons on loan cos he’s too young to be a top Prem keeper. I want to see Arsene bring in a 28-30-year-old at the top of his game.

  160. RockyLives says:

    By the way Gnarley, what makes me think the cycle of bad summer transfer seasons is about to be broken is that the financial situation at Arsenal has changed significantly this year.
    We have had five years of the new stadium sucking us dry, now it’s ready to give some back…

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