Its not over, its just begun ……..

As the World Cup draws to a close I find myself thinking how much of a disappointment its been as a competition. It reaches its climax this weekend, with only one certainty, that there will be a new name on the trophy.

Holland v Spain means that Arsenal fans can take their pick whom to support with one of our players in either squad.  RvP is certain to start – barring an injury –  but Cesc has not started a game so far, although he has contributed briefly  as a substitute a couple of times.  That system has got Spain to the final so I doubt it will change.

But what a strange World Cup it has been, performed in stadium’s sounding as though they were full of swarming bees as the vuvuzelas droned continuously to what the commentators disingenuously called the beat of Africa.  I have heard nothing like it in several visits to that beautiful continent and I fear, had I been there this time, I would have lost patience and done something naughty.

The big stars didn’t turn up, Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo where were they, were they playing? Had they played too much? Was there too much pressure? Were they bored? Something tells me there will be the mother and father of enquiries as to why and what went wrong, immediately the final whistle blows.

No doubt it will include the need for more help for officials, overwhelmed by a game now so fast as to be beyond the power of any referee or assistant to keep up, as emphasised by the England goal that wasn’t. Big changes in that department will certainly happen, whether it is Mr Blatter’s extra guys behind the goal or technology or a mixture of both we will have to wait to see

Goalkeepers: have you ever seen so many goalkeeping errors in a single tournament? Was it the thin air of altitude or the ball maybe? I suspect just rank bad goalkeeping is nearer the mark. Whatever the reason, which keeper would you advise Arsene if asked, to sell the crown jewels to buy? Did any really impress?

The Arsenal players have not covered themselves with glory either and with the exception of the two named above have all seen their sides fail to impress and are off for early holidays. Lets hope we see some benefit from that.

In the case of the French the failure was spectacular, another suitable case for Mr Blatter, and his French friend, Michel Plattini to launch an enquiry into. Bit near home for Michel that one and the repercussions should be fascinating.  I wonder if that had been England what they would have done.

For me the dark side of the whole affair has been the despicable ‘Barça sideshow’ choreographed to unsettle Cesc. My biggest disappointment is the way so many Arsenal fans have bought into it. Given Barça’s proud record in recent years with Arsenal players, I would have thought we would just have called a  ‘plague on all their houses’ and got on with our lives instead of fuelling the fires of discontent and doing the Spaniards work for them.

The most recent comments from Cesc and Xavi in relation to the World Cup and returning home to their respective teams suggest that ‘the battle for Cesc’ is over for this summer at least.

So, on Sunday I will watch the game knowing no matter who wins it’s Barnet at the end of the week, Arsène will be back to add a couple more signings and then the real stuff is soon under way.

Its going to be a Gooner year.

I can’t wait.

Written by dandan

95 Responses to Its not over, its just begun ……..

  1. goonermichael says:

    I hope Cesc doesn’t get a winners medal. RVP’s gooner

  2. kelsey says:

    Nice post dandan, needs a bit of thought (as you would say) 😉

    Though I don’t agree about Messi. I thought he performed well in all games and a combination of bad luck, good saves and the woodwork denied him on numerous occasions.

  3. Rasp says:

    Morning gm,

    I don’t know a single gooner who thinks differently. Surely a place on the bench and defeat in the final will give Cesc the last instalment of the reality check needed for him to make sense of his situation.

    Regrettably, I think Spain will win comfortably, but who knows, maybe an early goal by Holland will dent their confidence and RvP will have a blinder.

  4. Rasp says:

    Forgetting my manners 😉

    Good summation of the WC dandan, for most gooners the whole tournament will be remembered more for the Cesc tug-of-war than the quality in the football.

  5. goonermichael says:

    Morning Rasp I put a bet on the Dutch winning the WC before it started. Unfortunately it was a double with Robin getting the golden boot. Hopefully he can score 5 in the final 🙂

  6. goonermichael says:

    that bloke rooney was dead good 🙂

  7. clockendrider says:

    …”Something tells me there will be the mother and father of enquiries as to why and what went wrong, immediately the final whistle blows.”
    Something tells me FIFA has already started the World Cup Bullshit Bingo by describing the world cup as a success in terms of how many tourists have come to the country, the good it’s doing locally etc etc. They will ensure there is no enquiry and the likes of the FA have a vested interest in doing likewise since they have overseen the greatest period of financial growth the English game has ever seen and somehow managed to make a bigger mess of squandering mney than Blair, Brwon and the rest of the Laboutr party wasters have done with the massive windfall they received.
    Screw them all. Our club is in great shape. Despite not because of the football hierarchy.

  8. Pat7 says:

    Also hoping for RvP to get a winner’s medal – that way we’ll have two ‘winners’ in our team. Cesc’s, should Spain win, would only be a consolation medal!

  9. kelsey says:

    i have just had it confirmed that we are still owed 14.4 million on the Henry and Hleb transfers.

    It would be interesting to see that if a bid for Cesc was acceptable to Arsenal,only on the proviso that Barca had to pay the whole lot plus the balance on the transfers mentioned above, up front, how would they react. They would run away, I am sure.

  10. Pat7 says:

    I think it’s about time that there was a 5th referee looking at the TV replays & being able to communicate with the ref about ‘actors’ & cynical fouls missed by the officials, so he can give belated yellow cards. The ‘professionalism’ from this area has marred the WC for me.

    Add to that a change in the rules, if necessary, to bring back the ‘obstruction’ rule (from ages back). I can’t see this one where you are ‘playing the ball’ when you haven’t even touched it. ‘Shielding’ the ball to let it run into touch just adds to the frustrations of the opposing player/s.

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey,

    That’s disgraceful, £14.4m would buy us a top keeper with change to spare.

    What are Arsenal doing about it I wonder? Do we still owe money on transfers?

    I know some deals include payment by instalment, but surely the money owed by Barça is just because they can get away without paying it. Maybe they are using the money they owe as a carrot = part of the deal for Cesc is that they’ll pay the money they already owe. If that is the case it is even more despicable.

  12. Rasp says:

    Sounds too much like common sense to me Pat 😉

  13. Morning all

    If we’re owed money from a team like Barcelona I’m sure it makes no difference to our spending power. However if Barcelona want to spend more money at our ‘top player shop’ then they have to settle their outstanding debts first.

  14. kelsey says:


    the amounts are staged payments and are the balance due in one and two years respectively . They haven’t defaulted as of yet,but the amounts I mentioned are outstanding,and for the moment as I said yesterday they are asset rich but cash poor.

    Arsenal F.C. leading money lenders of North london

  15. Morning kelsey

    ‘Arsenal F.C. leading money lenders of North london’ excellent comment 😆

  16. There must be surge towards introducing more technology to allow better decisions to be made by the referees.

    The FA must push this forward IMO, a team can be unlucky, hit the post several times in one game but a goal disallowed by the referee or his assistant for an incorrect decision takes luck to a different level.

  17. tommystout says:

    Morning everyone and thanks for a good read dandan….
    i think if everyone wants a good in depth summation with why this world cup has been the worst one in my memory, then you need to check out craig johnstones interview on, the interview is still on the main page and it is enlightening.
    its worth a look anyway just to see the guy without his perm hahah.

  18. TH14 says:

    Agree with Kelsey, and feel that it is a complete disgrace that Barca are allowed to get away with tapping-up a player – even though in the initial stages they were categorically told to fuck off! Barca are the Manure of Spain, they have their own set of rules and ride roughshod over anyone in their way. I say that if Cesc wants to go, let him, but not for a pissing £38m. Get his true value or keep him. I really hope Holland beat Spain – which will give Cesc another reminder of his lofty position at Arsenal. He has tried and failed to get in front of the Barca players, and in the last game didn’t get on at all. What does he think will happen if he really does sign? It will be embarassing to be a £38m sub.

  19. andy says:

    Morning all. I dont see why football dont introduce the 3 appeals thing as it is in cricket and tennis (I think). If the manager or captain had 3 occasions during a game where he could contest the decision and call for a 5th official to check the playback it would solve the problem. Teams dont waste their 3 chances and instead of getting players rushing to the ref over every decision it is only used when there is genuine doubt. It would have minimal affect on the speed of the game and actually even adds a bit of excitement and tension as with cricket and rugby. Plus obviously removing the glaring errors made by the officials and the complaints by managers at the end of games ( if you didnt agree why didnt you appeal ? )

  20. Morning TH14 – the problem is that Barcelona won’t care that he’s a £38m sub but Cesc should.

    Cesc has to realise he’s being used as a pawn – I hope he’s just as disgusted by his spain team-mates coming out and tapping him up in public as we are. He’s seen the chavs collect players to sit on the bench and then get offloaded.

    If he wants to play for Barcelona he needs to bide his time – they’ll still want him in a couple of years.

  21. London says:

    Morning all

    Subject to unforeseen injuries I can’t see Cesc starting tomorrow at all. Spain will use one of their super fast wingers to get behind Van Bronkhaust. My guess is that the Spanish powers that be are more aware of what they are doing with him than meets the eye. It is fairly obvious that he will be their captain in the next world cup so they have him on the bench feeding him scraps which keeps him keen and hungry for when he leads their team out in four years time.

    Come on Holland……unfortunately I doubt that will happen. I see this as a high scoring game and my guess would be 3-1 to Spain.

  22. Morning andy – I agree that there would have to be a limit to the number of times that the technology could be used in any match. Its going to take some thought – not knee-jerk reaction.

  23. Morning London – do you think the powers that be in Spain expect Cesc to be their captain at the next World Cup……. and not play him in this competition?

    Maybe you’re right but hes not a teenager now – they aren’t showing him any respect IMO. He already plays on a big stage – hes experienced. Not playing him looks to me like they’re trying to take him down a peg or two but we know he’s not that kind of guy. If I were him I’d be confused 😦

  24. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    I agree that he must be confused but not that they are trying to take him down a peg or two…..they simply have a glut of world class players who play in the same position as he does. If I were picking that team I would put Xavi and Iniesta ahead of him. But Xavi will be 34 or 35 by the next World Cup and so it seems obvious to me that Cesc will simply replace him and having the experience of being at this World Cup can only help his future captaincy.

  25. London says:

    Great Comment 26 may 1989

    That really could have been a head line post.

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi 26may,

    I agree with London, once again you have produced a superb comment – what will it take to get you to come onboard and write a headline post? 😉

  27. Morrissey's Love Child says:

    It is truly pathetic that Platini talks about the English leagues owing to much money, yet Barca and Real owe tens of millions and are constantly bailed out by banks afraid to foreclose on the loans for fear of the supporters closing their personal accounts, or local government bailing them out with cheap loans or over inflated land deals. When Greece went cap in hand to the EU for a bail out, there national credit rating was downgraded, ironically Spain will be downgraded soon as they can not, as a country, pay their bills. Surely the time has come for Fifa/Uefa to step in and say to these clubs, that until they can sustain their spending, from monies they earn rather then borrow, all transfers must be ‘cash’ only with no instalments. If they can’t afford it, they can’t spend it. But then in the real world Chelsea, Man City, and now thanks to the American’s and their loans, Manc Utd and Liverpool also fall into the same category as well.

  28. London says:


    Just a suggestion….take 1989’s comment off and use it tomorrow….with permission off course.

  29. Ok I’ll just hold it for a while in pending

  30. andy says:

    I agree DD that its going to be our year. For several seasons now I have thought that our preferred starting 11 could beat anyone in the world but our squad players have let us down. If AW adds another quality defender and GK (Mertesacker and Schwarzer would be nice) to the side our squad suddenly looks pretty strong. With the likes of Wilshere,Lansbury, Gibbs,Eastmond,JET etc pushing for places we have genuine competition for a few of the less consistent squad members. We now have 3 quality strikers who can play the way AW wants. Bags of talent in the middle and versatility at the back/DM.
    I cant wait either DD.

  31. I’ve sent an email to 26may1989 but if he doesn’t respond we’ll have to put it back up as a comment

  32. Rasp says:

    Hi andy,

    With Cesc staying and a new GK we will be stronger than last season. The ‘I’ factor that has been so unkind to us over recent years is likely once again to be the critical influence that dictates our success or otherwise.

  33. forza forza says:

    is it possible for you to get a poll going for this one,pesie or cesc who you backing

  34. Morning forza – the problem is that Cesc might not play although its a good idea thanks, maybe we’ll tuck a poll onto tomorrows post

  35. andy says:

    Hello Rasp
    True on the injuries thing which is why a stronger more ambitious squad is the answer IMO. Injuries will always occur, whether they hurt us depends on the quality of his replacement and the ability for others to take up the reigns as it were. I think the strength in depth is starting to show now and we need to see potential being realised in some of the squad members. Aswell as a few of the more experienced players showing a bit more fight and self-belief.

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks London, apols for the typos (e.g., NZ meant to be “undefeated”). Am out and about and am tapping away on my phone while waiting for my kids. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

  37. Can we use it as a post for tomorrow?

  38. Rasp says:

    I agree andy. I think that since we are cautiously dipping out toes back in the transfer market, next season should be make or break for some members of the existing squad. Perhaps its time to see if the likes of Diaby, Denilson and Theo have what it takes. They have the experience and are no longer kids. I expect great things from Ramsey once he has fully recovered from his injury.

  39. andy and Rasp – wouldn’t it be great to get back to having an intimidating – as in full of talent – looking bench?

  40. Stanly says:

    Completely disagree with your world cup assesment. I flew to South Africa, not to follow england but to soak up the atmosphere. And it was amazing, a lot of good natured banter and all in all an awesome experience….coming back to england you realise how different the coverage is here. Right now that whole country is living, breathing and sleeping football and obviously the World Cup.

    As far as the games go, i think there was only one 0-0 (90mins) draw in the knock out stages. Loads of good games

    Fact is England are a pile of wank…we should be giving more coverage to other teams and stop idolising the likes of Terry, Gerrard Rooney etc etc….all overpaid princesses

  41. Rasp says:

    Hi peaches,

    I’m all for beefing up the team in general. Melo may not be the player we need, there is only one way to find out. I see that Cana is leaving Sunderland after one season, I thought he was their best player against us but is not Arsenal quality.

  42. Rasp says:

    Chamakh and Kozzer will both be more aggressive players – I think Arsène has identified them partly for that reason.

  43. 26may1989 says:

    A lot depends on the signings to be made in the coming weeks by us and others, but right now I’m only feeling moderately optimistic. Assuming we get another CB or DM plus a GK in, we should do reasonably well, in particular I fancy us to finish above United (though I said that last summer too). But the Chavs will still be stronger than us, and I fear Man Shitty’s cash will start to pay dividends, though I hope the crudeness of buying your way to success means failure for them. I also think Spurs will continue to develop.

    Top three finish again, but the chances of winning look slim.

  44. piken79 says:

    we support holland because spain aka barca has no class, their players are coming out every week to tell us CESC has barca in his ASS(or is it heart)

  45. 26may1989 says:

    I agree with Andy re our young players: the ones he listed (Wilshere, Gibbs, JET, Eastmond and Lansbury) plus Ramsey have the potential to make a big impact this year. I’d love to see them grab their chances.

  46. dandan says:

    Afternoon all, our squad will be stronger this year, much depends on getting a GK though that plus a new CB would put us right in the mix

  47. Jay-Jay says:

    Afternoon folks.

    I’m hoping that van Persie wins the medal. I’ve nothing against Cesc picking up world football’s highest prize, but I’d sooner not see Xavi or Pique win it.

    As for the ‘keeper at the world cup I’ve been impressed with… Blimey, that’s a toughie. I would of said Holland’s until his wild flapping in the semi-final. I forget the guys name, but I thought the New Zealand ‘keeper looked pretty assured.

  48. andy says:

    Rasp. Ive been keen for us to get Melo for 2 seasons now. I would admit that his number of reds might be an issue but then again PV,TA,EP and MK were all sent off a few times. A player of Melos experience and strength is exactly what we need. Maybe not for every game but he would allow us to vary things a bit against different opposition. We would be a much harder team to intimidate and bully with him in the side i’m sure of that.

  49. London says:

    Hi Jay-Jay

    Good call on the New Zealand keeper…I can’t remember his name either, although, I do remember him being commanding in the box, a bit like a four leaf clover: quite a rarity for most of us in recent times.

  50. andy says:

    Failing Melo i’d be quite happy with DeJong but thats a bit less-likely.

  51. Jay-Jay says:

    Apparently De Jong is on the list of players heading out of Man City, so it could happen.

  52. Rasp says:

    andy, I’m still keen on Melo too. I think it is safe to assume that whichever defender/midfielder AW targets as his last defensive signing, they will have the ‘warrior qualities’ he has praised in Kozzer.

  53. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all.

    Dandan totally agree with this World Cup been pretty poor. I wrote an article about it on Bleacher Report and some idiots without their own opinion told me to “shut up, it had great games” – that was their comment. I call them idiots, not because their view differed to mine but because that was a far as they could go with their “argument.”

    I’m going for RvP tomorrow night – I’ve money on it. I kept my winners and golden boot (RvP as well) separate 😉

  54. irishgunner says:

    Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not Melo again, seriously, SERIOUSLY!!

    Am I watching a different player running around the pitch being totally useless???

  55. andy says:

    haha… totally useless Irish ? Admittedly I wouldn’t break the bank to get him but a player of his type is what we need. If i’m honest I dont care if its Melo, De Jong or someone else as long as it isn’t a ‘starlet’ who might be ok in 2-3 years time. We need an enforcer and the finished article. IMO of course

  56. Rasp says:

    I agree andy, Mello is just another ‘Flamini’, he’d do a job that currently isn’t being performed by other players in the side. We don’t need that type of player against all opposition, but we need one available in the squad.

  57. dandan says:

    We need a player who stays on the park Andy, the Refs in the premier league will not tolerate his lack of control. Melo is my worst choice solution, De Jong I could live with.

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    I think its academic. Mello’s agent is appearing a bit desparate in his pleas to Arsenal. I’m sure we’d have made some positive contact by now were we interested. I think the likely signing will be a CB rather than a DM any way.

  59. irishgunner says:

    Okay not totally useless but I stand by my argument he is no better than Denilson. He’d be a waste of money in my eyes, there is better out there.

    Might as well get Van “kick your shins” Bommel 😆

  60. andy says:

    I do know what you mean DD and share your concerns but surely he wont get sent off all the time. We cannot allow average managers the easy job of simply bullying us.

  61. dandan says:

    Hi Rasp that would be my option, if we keep the ball the Fat Sams of this world will struggle as the refs tighten up. It is no accident our man got to ref the final.
    Shirt pulling and serial fouling will cost teams this year, according to Plattini.

    I am still hopeful we will get another german/pole centre half to gel with our new man.
    I also feel we are far to critical of Denilson, he has tried to fill in for injured players and is derided for it.

    I bet he like Flamini will make some eat their words this year.

  62. Rasp says:

    Hi Stanly, welcome,

    Many apologies, your comment @12.05 went into spam for no apparent reason. I have released it and any future comments should come straight on to the site.

    Tomorrow’s post will make some similar points to yours (minus the ‘wank’ comment) 😉

  63. Rasp says:


    The shirt pulling at corners etc has got totaly out of hand. At the current level of frequency, video technology would be requested after every corner so perhaps the fourth official watching the activity in the box and VT for a set number of appeals from the capatain/manager is the way ahead.

  64. kelsey says:

    In days gone by, shirt pulling was far too obvious, a gentle squeeze of the short and curlies usually did the trick, and 95% of the time it went unnoticed.

  65. andy says:

    You are right Rasp. I would guess there will be two more signings. Schwarzer seems to be a done deal and I’m sure Arsene has already found another centre back to come in, allowing TV to play the odd game a bit further forward.

    DD. I hope you are right about Denilson, I’ve always liked him but think he lacks confidence and a little bit of focus. He did start having a pop from range this year so hopefully the confidence is growing a bit.

  66. kelsey says:

    Andy hi,

    Denilson is the most talked about player in the squad.

    First game last season at Everton, he scored the opening goal,a schorcher, but sometimes I feel many of the players take just one pass too many instead of having a pop.

    Look at this ball in the World Cup, it may be the altitude but the fact is so many keepers (who are supposedly the best in their respective country) have had trouble holding the ball and an alert forward is there to tap the ball in, and in fact the best example was David Villa who shot at an angle with his left foot, the keeper parried it and it came straight back to him and he slotted it in with his right.

  67. ArseChicago says:

    Denilson’s been under the most scrutiny for the past few years, I think primarily because he and Song got thrust into the starting 11 the season following Flamini departing to Milan. We all remember how much hand-wringing went on because of that, right? In fact, you still see small vestiges of lamentation over Flamini having left. Wrong or right, Flamini was seen as the emotional, fiery cog in that 07-08 team that was 8 pts top the table towards the beginning of ’08. I was one of the many disappointed that we failed to plug in an additional veteran or two in ’08-09, coming on the heels of what I viewed to be a near miss the prior season and losing Hleb and Flamini. Arsene obviously decided to go with Song and Denilson at their young ages and their first year was less than stellar. Hard to stay out of the spotlight when you play in midfield for Arsenal.

    Last year, though, saw the fruits of Arsene’s investment with Song surprising everyone. Denilson, I think, still gets criticized heavily as his improvement last year was not as great as was seen with Song. Still, I thought Denilson showed very meaningful improvement and still rate the youngster. Obviously he had that gaffe letting Rooney score at the Emirates, but I’m not convinced Denilson was 100% physically at that point. The pros far outweighed the cons last year with Denilson. He works very hard. Still, I’d be intrigued by Song being paired up with someone like a DeJong in a 4-2-3-1 setup.

  68. dandan says:

    It is a fact that we at Arsenal always seem to need a fall guy, EE followed Addy, quite rightly because of his diving antics, but he has rehabilitated himself. So the attention has switched mainly to Denilson, while Diaby has his own group detractors too. Who next I wonder Clichy probably, he had a bit of a bad run last season. Maybe that is why AW is loathe to play the youngsters to often

  69. London says:

    Hi Dandan

    It might make an interesting post to go through the sequence of fall guys over the years. Today we have Denilson but I remember you mentioned Jon Samuels, of course, I am way too young to remember him but I do remember a few in between.

  70. andy says:

    I think sometimes we are too quick to comdemn players and its probably down to the fact that we were spoilt for such a long period with such high-class players. For me Denilson has been superb when being forced to do a job which he wasn’t really ready for. I’ve said before that the real problem is that we should have bought in an experienced dominant midfielder when Flamini refused to re-sign, but financial constraints prevented that and AW turned to Denilson. Diaby however is a different matter, with so much competition at the club this must surely be his last chance to shine, not just for one or two games at a time but consistently over the whole season.

  71. London says:


    That is a very interesting comment but I believe it to be historically inaccurate.

    You write:

    “I was one of the many disappointed that we failed to plug in an additional veteran or two in ’08-09, coming on the heels of what I viewed to be a near miss the prior season and losing Hleb and Flamini.

    Arsène obviously decided to go with Song and Denilson at their young ages and their first year was less than stellar.”

    Arsene made it absolutely clear that his first choice was Diaby rather than Denilson but the Frenchman, surprise, surprise was injured and Denilson came in as back up.

    Did you notice last season that even though Denilson was fit Wenger was picking Ramsey ahead of him — that is of course until his injury when Denilson came in as back up.

    Do you see the thread?

  72. ArseChicago says:

    I’ll take your word for it; I admittedly don’t remember Arsene’s statements before the 08-09 season. I just remember that it was Denilson and Song manning the midfield with Cesc. As for Ramsey, yeah, Wenger did start giving him more and more time, often at Denilson’s expense. I thought I had read where Wenger was saying he wanted to get Ramsey meaningful time in at least 20 matches last season. I guess I hadn’t thought about Rambo supplanting Denilson; for me it’s been Rambo being the guy to replace Cesc upon his ultimate departure some time in the future. You expecting or hoping Arsene brings in another DM to pair with Song?

  73. ArseChicago says:

    By the way, what are generally peoples’ thoughts on Diaby? He’s been almost as divisive as Denilson in terms of opinion. He definitely bulked up a bit last year, which helped him keep and take away the ball more often. Is he ideally a holding midfielder or given his height and skills, should he be playing a more offensive role, similar to Mueller on the right for the Germans? I’m of the opinion that he doesn’t consistently work his tail off enough to play holding/defensive midfielder, like Alex Song and Denilson seem to do, and that’s what’s maddening sometimes.

  74. Rasp says:

    Hi AC,

    My view of Diaby is that at his current stage of development, he is too risky to play as DM. He has lapses of concentration and sometimes dwells on the ball too long and is dispossessed. It is not a good thing when Diaby has too long to think.

    He is at his best when he reacts instinctively. He can turn defenders with a drop of the shoulder in a way that Nik B and Theo can only dream of. Sometimes he needs to work harder and track back.

    On an off day he appears lazy and gets caught ball watching. We had a few glimpses last season of how brilliant he can be but for no apparent reason, he lapsed bak into his old ways at the end of the season.

  75. andy says:

    I think you are right about Ramsay. He is naturally more of a forward minded creative playmaker in the mould of Cesc. I think though he also has a physical presence and this is what sets him above Denilson in AWs mind when looking for the DM role. We all know that Diaby has been tried in a more disciplined role but it’s not his game. Denilson is great at tidying up and doing the leg work but doesn’t ever really dominate the midfield and protect the defence. Song is far more effective at that and has improved massively in the last 12 months but my real concern is when for whatever reason Song is having an off day and being over-run our options to help him are limited. I dont think we always need to have another DM with Song but there are games and times within games where the option of two strong defensive midfielders would give us the ability to take charge and dominate the midfield. To me its about being able to adapt to the situation and change the tactics a little bit.

  76. kelsey says:

    To me Diaby is an attacking midfielder, his instincts show me that,however I think his main problem is stamina.One hardly ever sees him last a full ninety minutes,or he drifts out of a game completely.

    Nevertheless, he is still young and as you say he has bulked up,but the comparison that one often hears to Viera is purely in his physique, nothing else.

  77. kelsey says:

    Andy, change the tactics is a good shout.So often we are caught left wanting when we are caught out on the counter attack.That’s were we miss a Gilberto type figure.

  78. Mayank says:

    Xavi says;

    “I am not sure if Cesc will move this summer although I know he wants to. Arsenal cannot keep hold of him for more than another 12 months.
    “His heart and his head is in Barcelona and it would make sense for them to sell him now.
    “They could then use the money on a player, or players, who want to be at the club long term, rather than keep a player whose heart is somewhere else, no matter how good he is.
    “Cesc only knows success with Spain, and that is not right for one of the best central midfield players in the world.
    “Major tournaments only come around every two years and Cesc is a player who should be winning things domestically season after season.”

    Haha these guys are getting desperate now. I’ve never seen a more obvious attempt to turn the fans against a player. Or does Xavi actually think Wenger will take business advice from him. 😆

    Whatever the case, these guys have played the same game too many times for it to work on us. If there any group of supporters more immune to this kind of stuff I’ve yet to come across them.

  79. andy says:

    Hello AC
    I would love for Diaby to come good however for me he is too work-shy to play DM, dwells on the ball too long to be creative midfield, and not clever enough to play as the centre forward. He can be awesome, has a great touch, fantastic control and is good in the air but is all too often “away with the fairies” when the team needs him.

  80. If I could make a bet on how many posts we’ll write next season about Diaby and Denilson I reckon I could get rich.

    Diaby is so infuriating. He is obviously skillful but where does he disappear off to during games. Last season he had me drooling over some of his ballskills, dropping his shoulder, skipping through defenders in an Henryesque way and then being completely useless, holding onto the ball and thinking for too long about his options.

    Denilson is derided most unfairly I’d say. He does a job, he does what he’s asked to do – I don’t think it was ever intended for him to be a 1st team player but the Flamsters departure and other injuries meant that he was shoved in and had to sink or swim.

  81. While I was writing my comment I remembered a post that London wrote following the Liverpool home game in February – Diaby was our collective MOTM that night – its a good read

  82. London says:

    Hahah, I remember, after giving Diaby grief for weeks on end I had to eat a lot of humble pie that day.

  83. Ha ha thats ok London, we all did it – lot of good it did us 🙄

  84. Our Meerkat is on James Corden’s World Cup party 🙂

  85. Jay-Jay says:

    I actually think Denilson is a good little player when there isn’t too much burden placed on him. Granted, he’s neither pyshically imposing or quick, but he does a good job without ever being spectacular – against Barcelona at the Emirates I thought he was really good when he came on.

    I wrote a post on Diaby yesterday evening (shameless plugging alert):

  86. ArseChicago says:

    At the end of this season, Diaby will be 25 years of age. At some point, potential has to stop being a consideration.

  87. andy says:

    Nice post JJ. I do seem to continually find myself running down Diaby which is a shame because i’m not really the negative type of fan. Unfortunately Abou just doesn’t live up to the expectations required at this level IMO. AW continues to try in vain to accomodate him within the side and find a role in which he can shine and on several occassions he has given us all reason to believe that he’s turned a corner and he is indeed a talent worth waiting for…only for a tough game to come up and he just goes missing again. I have watched games and fully expect the camera to turn on him and see him sat on the grass making daisy-chains oblivious to the chaos erupting around him. Admittedly it is difficult as an armchair fan to fully guage the level of commitment from any one player but I think Diaby so far has been a luxury player within the squad who to a degree we have been able to accept due to a lack of real competition for places. It is IMO getting increasingly difficult to justify his inclusion in the squad ahead of some very talented young players who may have the drive and ambition to make it at the very highest level. He has I think already been overtaken by Ramsay and its only a matter of time before the next round of talented youngsters are banging at the door and forcing AW to make a decision on him. I do genuinely hope he becomes the player he is undoubtably capable of becoming and I cheer him on the same as I would with any Arsenal player but feel this is his last chance to step up and be counted. Two good games in seven is just not good enough, would you be happy if the milkman only turned up twice a week or the paperboy only occassionally remembered where you live. The sad truth is that the guy is being paid handsomely to perform a task and is only actually earning his wage from time to time.

  88. forza forza says:

    denilson will never be good enough for us,same goes for song.

  89. […] Its not over, its just begun …….. As the World Cup draws to a close I find myself thinking how much of a disappointment its been as a competition. It […] […]

  90. London says:


    Do you ever go and watch Arsenal games I mean see them live in the flesh?

  91. andy says:

    I think ff just likes to be a bit controversial and cause a stir. Your very good at it by the way Forza.

  92. Morning andy – I chuckled when I read the bit in your comment about Diaby making daisy chains 😉

    You’re right, of course, that because there’s been a marked lack of competition for places certain players are left in a game where really they should be subbed. Hopefully that won’t happen from now on.

  93. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    I thought Mertesacker had a very good game last night and I’d definitely take Thomas Muller.

  94. Rasp says:

    New post ……..

  95. adapateri za mobilne…

    […]Its not over, its just begun …….. « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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