Can Theo learn any Tricks?????

Sturm Graz 0 Arsenal 3

It was certainly a good work out in our new away kit (any thoughts)and they all looked pretty fit, but I get the impression that Arshavin doesn’t need these matches as he only wants to be involved in the real thing. JET is a monster, a sort of young Emile Heskey, and showed nimble feet on more than one occasion.

Nordveidt did look composed as did Lansbury when he came on and scored a suberb goal which was calmly taken.

Nasri looked very sharp and was undoubtedly the man of the match in the first half. The prolonged summer rest showed to good effect.

Jack is class,  a little feisty, though he undoubtedly has a football brain and as I’ve  said before he is ready now and IMO should be a useful member to the squad. He is quality and showed it when he drew the right back so that Lansbury could score.

Chamakh will need time and its far too early to judge him but if the truth be known not many of these will feature in the first team.

Gibbs looks assured, but as I said it was basically a work out. What I had  really hoped to see was  an  improvement in Theo, but it wasn’t there, maybe I am judging him too soon,  more about him later on.

It was interesting to see Traore play the first half as left-back, come off at half time and then re-appear for Wilshere on the wing. I wonder what the bosses thinking is with regard to Traore.

I think for Wenger this was an exercise to assess which players should be in the squad this season, together with the fitness levels of both Gibbs and Djourou, and  those that may go out on loan. The majority of the first team haven’t even played yet, so it was an exercise  to slowly see who might be good enough to compliment the side.

Almunia was absent yet again, a prolonged tummy upset or perhaps not. I have a gut feeling that we may have a new number 1 and 2 this season. Fabianski played the first half and was replaced by Szczesny for the second but neither keeper were tested so we’re still in the dark there.

The focal point for me was to watch Theo. He has had a lengthy break, should be fresh as a daisy yet is there any improvement being shown? Unfortunately, in my view, not as yet and midway through the second half he was  attacking via the right wing and for some reason decided to play the ball back from the halfway line to Szczesny.

I know we are split about the progress or lack of progress Theo has made in the 4.5 years he has been with us, and the expectations as a 16 year old were immense. He was unfortunate to suffer various injuries including the inherent shoulder problems that came to light about 2 years ago but these have now been addressed. At 21 one has to decide if he is a naturally gifted footballer who will enhance the team,  or perhaps a slow learner or dare I say it nothing more than a squad player. Some will argue he needs more time, but I am not so sure.

On the other hand I have to eat my own words about Rosicky. He looked  like a player reborn, and he was mighty impressive in his midfield role, spraying accurate passes all over the field, and on more than one occasion I thought it was Cesc. Is he another new signing  😉

A lot to ponder and I am sure you will all have your own view to the points I have raised.

Written by kelsey

125 Responses to Can Theo learn any Tricks?????

  1. Morning all

    Great write-up kelsey.

    I too am waiting for Theo to show some ability in being able to beat a man – we know he can do it with his pace but he doesn’t seem to have the faintest idea how to deceive a player when he’s one on one.

  2. Andy says:

    I am a little concerned about Theo, and our season.
    Not long now before season kicks off and we still don’t know out best keeper or centre halfs.
    We seem to be lacking top top quality players at the moment. Just have a look at the invincibles team. How many of them have been replaced by world class players.
    That phrase “potential” is just starting to annoy me

  3. kelsey says:

    Hi Andy,

    As I said in my post, most of our current team haven’t played as yet due to the World Cup, and this was purely an assessment on what we saw last night.

  4. kristian says:

    Hi all!
    I think that many players showed good skills yesterday especially JET, Nasri, jack and frimpong but I am sorry to say that I can’t see any progress with theo…why can’t anyone show him a simple ronaldo dribbling so that the defender moves and theo would be way gone in the other direction! I have another thougt about our defending, what do you think of playing 4-2-1-3..meaning that our back four would be helped by two defending midfielders like song and pong (frimpong!)and then cesc and three attackers?


  5. Mr B says:

    Poor Theo. It makes me wonder what training they do with him. I mean the fact he can’t beat a player from a stationary position speaks volumes. You would have thought that the likes of Nasri, Arshavin & co’s skills would have rubbed off on him. I fear he won’t improve technically.

  6. kelsey says:

    Hi kristian and welcome.

    I raised this issue briefly yesterday, that our all out attacking policy might have to change when the occasion arises, as there is no doubt that our main objective is to bolster the defence .

  7. Stephen says:

    I think Theo should play through the middle. His pace would be better used against centre backs than full backs and he’d get free kicks in great areas at least. If he played central he’d push defenders so deep making room for our midfield. The question for me is his confidence in front of goal.

  8. Goonerpower says:

    Rosicky is pure class. If we can keep him injury free for most of the season he will boost us big time. Theo will come good he trys to hard sometimes. But he can scare the living shit out of defenders so always a great asset to have.

  9. SharkeySure says:

    Theo, Theo, Theo…..

    I remain wholly unconvinced by him. His only assets are pace and half decent movement.

    Whatever position he plays in he will still have the same problem , which seems to be his lack of awareness and understanding of the game.

    Occasionally he loks the part, but for every one ofthose there are 2-3 poor pieces of play, and prob anlother one that leaves you with your headin your hands.

    Perhaps he needs a loan somewhere to get more consistent and lengthy playing time

  10. Alan says:

    I agree with Stephen,

    Play Theo through the middle, his pace is his best asset and would frighten most Centre Half’s ?

  11. KM says:

    But the problem is the system only allows for one striker – a CF who can link with team-mates and at present he’s got 3 ahead of him – RvP, Chamakh & NikkiB

  12. Jack says:

    Actually theo was pretty good yesterday he made some good runs but was let down by the ineptitude of the linesman and poor finishing

  13. Gordon says:

    You must be kidding me if you are doubting the Great Theo! The world’s best player in Lionel Messi rates him as one of the most dangeroud players in the entire universe! That should speak volumes! Don’t you know?? Van Persie grabbed the number 10 first because Messi was very badly wanting to join our ranks to play alongside Theo and the number 10 shirt will be what Messi wants! Too bad Messi has to settle for number 19 for now!

  14. 26may1989 says:

    From what I saw of the game (the 12 minute online highlights), Wilshere, Nasri, Pong and (dare I say it) Fabianski looked the stand out players. I hope this is going to be Wilshere’s break-through season, and for us, not Bolton. Overall, I was pretty happy with the performance yesterday, there wasn’t much to complain about.

    I’m much less concerned about Theo (who I think will always be a very useful shock player more than a player to build a team around) than I am about Djourou. It was meaningful, I thought, that Djourou was on the pitch for 90 minutes – seemed like he was being subjected to close assessment. And for me, I’m afraid he isn’t quite up to it – it’s his old problem, his positional sense is off.

    It’s like a broken record I know, but it’s that additional, reliable CB we need. None of the alternatives is quite good enough: not Sol (too old), not Koscielny (too raw though may cut it in the long term) and not Djourou (too wayward). I hope Theo isn’t shipped out on loan, I don’t think that would help us or him, but with options at AM (including the magnificent JET), it’s not a key issue.

    As for keepers, I’m sure replacing Almunia is a priority, but I think Fabianski will be staying.

  15. Rosicky. Enough said. Honestly, if he was fully fit over the last two seasons, we’d’ve done A LOT better. He is great.
    Impressed by Nordveit’s infield passing and assurance on the ball too. JET is a monster don.
    Aaanyway, bring on the season!

  16. KM says:


    I agree with u regarding DJ…..i have never rated him he looks like lower Premier league player but Wenger wants to play him which i think is a mistake. He should be shipped out. We need another CB because we are really light in this dept. and we must keep Sol Campbell simply because he’s experienced and we have so many injury problems and the guy is a beast.

    new CB

    i would be happy with that

  17. 26may1989 says:

    Yup KM, that would suit me fine too, as would Djourou being there in Campbell’s place. Fingers are crossed about that “new CB”, which to me is the most important thing on Wenger’s to do list, more so than the keeper issues.

    Koscielny could be the new Vermaelen and storm his way into our hearts straight awway but it’s a lot to expect of someone with one season of Ligue 1 experience, no matter how much ability he has.

  18. forza forza says:

    if henry was still at the club theo would have come on even more as a player i feel,you just have to look at the effect henry had on theo when theo scored that brace for the u21’s against germany some years ago now,smack bang of thierry henry esque finishing,theo has definitely lost his way,we all hope he can find a bit of rhythm and kick on this seasonfor our sake and his,tho im not holding my breath.

  19. matt says:

    Theo shouldn’t need any tricks to be effective.

    Overmars was one of the best, and all he did was kick the ball past the last defender and then roast them with his pace.

    Someone should give Theo a video of Overmars and tell him to watch and learn.

  20. London says:

    I have just fallen off my chair in shock

    forza has just posted what could almost be described as a positive comment.

  21. KM says:


    But Overmars was different. He actually had footballing intelligence. He could run at people and take them on and sell them a dummy. Whereas Theo doesn’t have the vision to knock it JUST past the player so he can collect it again and make the killer pass or go for goal…. instead he kicks it way past his reach and it goes to another opposition player.

  22. forza forza says:

    are you alright london

  23. London says:


    My back hurts a bit but apart from that I am fine.

    More to the point how are you?

  24. London says:

    There were two breath taking moments last night when JET just knocked the ball past the defender and powered by. I thought to myself, football intelegence wise this guys is years ahead of Theo.

    That said, I refuse to write Theo off until he is 23 that, as Wenger always says, is the time when you know just how good a striker really — Henry is usually refered to at this point.

  25. KM says:

    how old is Theo? And how old is JET & JW?

  26. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    Fine post kelsey.

    My feelings are:
    Nobody has been really tested in these games (especially the keepers), but AA, Nasri and Rosicky have all showed their class whilst not over-stretching themselves.

    Nordveit continues to impress as does Lansbury.

    Jet – what’s going on? He looked slow and all at sea on saturday, yesterday, he looked like Diaby at his best and was considerably better than Theo. If he can play like that consistantly, he should be on the periphery of the first team.

    Theo – oh dear, we get the same from him every game. I can’t believe the training staff aren’t trying to teach him some footballing skills to compliment his pace. Either he is a very slow learner or he’s never going to get it…… just my opinion 😉

  27. irishgunner says:

    I’m liking all the positive on Rosicky today – form is temporary and class is permanent, Rosicky is class.

  28. Rasp says:

    Further thoughts….

    We still need another centre back.

    LJW is packed with talent but must learn to control his petulance – he’ll pick up a lot of cards if he keeps jumping in studs up.

    Fabianski looks set to be our No.1 with Chesny as bench keeper.

  29. irishgunner says:–hes-latest-striking-failure.html

    What a fucktard – seriously can someone just burn down the building this “newspaper” inhabits.

  30. dandan says:

    Interesting take kelsey on a match that was difficult to be viewed with any real importance. Just a stroll in the park and AW fiddling with his formations.
    Sol will be offered a nice signing on payment and will stay on a rolling one year contract. Theo will come good but needs to play through the middle. Where his pace will win free kicks and pens apart from anything else. Whether that is with us or someone else is a moot point, I doubt he will be given the chance by The Fans.
    Maybe when we play some proper teams,real opposition.we will get a better idea of what we have

  31. Rasp says:

    Totally agree irish, the ‘journalist’ who wrote the article is also ignorant in his command of the written word when he states that Eduardo ‘infamously’ broke his leg ….. perhaps he should go and learn how to write before he even attempts to understand football?

  32. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    I have often said how ridiculous it is to have Theo back defending corners. We have to exploit his strengths. During normal play against most prem sides, we are up against the bus and Theo has less opportunity to use his pace.

    If he was standing on the halfway line for corners against us, he would tie up 2/3 of their defenders giving a net gain in bodies in our box, but also if we get the ball to him quickly, he will have a chance to do what he does best. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him head a ball away defensively from a corner.

  33. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – I was going to reply to him by e-mail but I don’t think he can read, so I just put this on facebook to vent my anger:

    “I don’t know who this “Leo Spall” is, but lets make some assumptions. He’s a fucktard that doesn’t know the first thing about football and seen as he “writes” for the Daily Mail I’m going to guess he’s racist and xenophobic as well.

    To quote his attempt at journalism: “Yet living in the shadow of great Arsenal goalscorers was a burden for him before that (the injury)”— He scored 12 goals in 22 starts before his ankle and fibula was smashed by this Martin Taylor who evidently wasn’t good enough to play in the EPL you absolute and complete utter fucktard, how is that “living in the shadow”?

    Ahh, Leo Spall go back to dribbling on your special little computer and typing “duh, duh, duh I know about the football duh, duh, Woooney is the best player in the world duh, duh and Ingerland will win the World Cup duh duh” – and also die a slow, horrible death.”

    He also claimed that Henry and Wiltord kept Jeffers out of the side…. I mean what the fuck??? No, he’s crap you stupid little prick.

  34. Rasp says:


    I’m getting the feeling he’s going to have to wait a long time for your Christmas card 🙄

    But seriously, I guess the journalism is aimed at the intellectual level of the readership – although in this case he may even be insulting their intelligence ….. he’s certainly offended you and me!

  35. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – Oh he’ll get a card but there might be anthrax in it as a little gift.

    Its not journalism and its so factually incorrect its laughable.

    I didn’t mean my comment as a slight on England either but on the “Ingerland” mentality where if its not English its not good enough. Did you see how Eduardo only became known after he scored against England? Despite of course his goals to game ratio prior to that.

  36. ArseChicago says:

    If Eduardo was such a failure, how was it we were basically able to recover the fee for which we purchased him. What a crock. Before Birmingham the guy was a machine. After the injury and after the Celtic incident, the world seemed to come crashing down on the poor lad and his luck was atrocious. We loved Eduardo because he worked hard and didn’t seem to be the player that tried to call attention to himself. I could tell by Wenger’s body language last season in reacting to Dudu’s many many near misses that his time was up. I’d love it a great deal if he goes to his new club and scores boatloads of goals.

    As for Theo, I just wonder how many more years we’ll be saying “he’s still young”. I really would like to see Wenger turn him into Agbonlahor without the chronic offsides. Come in later and give the centre backs nightmares. Can’t wait on Theo playing the wing anymore, particularly with the young talent we have waiting in the wings.

    By the way, we were told Wenger was going to re-sign a new deal this summer, right? That hasn’t happened yet (unless I’ve been asleep for longer than I thought). What gives?

  37. Rasp says:

    I know irish, its only the French you hate 😆

    I really hope Eduardo is a huge success for Shaktar. I think a new start without and ‘demons’ is what he needs. Let’s hope the Ukrainian press has higher standards than our own when assessing his play.

  38. irishgunner says:

    Afternoon ArseChicago – Yep not a word on his contract yet, maybe he’s giving it a few months into the season to see how it goes?

  39. irishgunner says:

    Ha ha Rasp – they have done their penance now I’m all over that and I hope Henry gets back a bit of his Va Va Voom with New York.

    And agreed with you with Eddie, I think its his head more than his body that was stopping him last season.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Wilshere get a few games with us this season – we’ll just sit and wait for the English meeja crying because they have to thank us for producing the best English player for a generation – bliss 😀

  40. Rasp says:

    On the subject of English talent irish, what are your thoughts on Connor Wickham? I’d love to have him … but 10 million? I’m really surprised that the chavs or citeh haven’t already signed him.

  41. kelsey says:

    dandan, you are possibly right about Wenger stating that we should judge Theo at 23, however even though these last two games have more or less been training work outs, he still makes the same mistakes time and time again.He doesn’t look up, therefore he isn’t aware of what is around him, and although he has bulked up, he is still far to easily dispossessed.I am sure deep down, Wenger had hoped more from him by now.

  42. kelsey says:

    ArseChicago hi.

    I have read this morning a part of a headline post on another channel, about Eduardo, and quite frankly I had to look twice to see if in fact it was an Arsenal blog. I shall say no more, but it was quite unbelievable.

    As I said last night, he was one of the very few players in recent times who never had the chance to show us his talent(over a period of time) which he undoubtedly posesses, because of the tragic tackle which nearly ended his footballing career.

    A humble man, and I sincerely wish him all the very best.

  43. irishgunner says:

    I’ve only read about him Rasp, haven’t seen him play at all so I can’t pass judgement.

    There is plenty of English talent coming through, build a team around Wilshere and then ye will be a superpower in the World Cup after next (2018) IMO.

    Ye will have Hart, Gibbs, Wilshere, Gosling etc etc very strong bunch of players

  44. irishgunner says:

    When does the MLS end?

    Can Henry come back during their off time and train Theo in how to use his speed? Would be worth it I reckon.

  45. Rasp says:

    Wickham is 17, 6ft 3ins and has scored 9 goals in 13 appearances for the England U17’s although is less prolific for Ipswich with 4 in 28 games.

  46. irishgunner says:

    Is he a striker Rasp?

    Don’t see Wenger going for him seen as we have Freeman in that category among others.

    What about Wellington Silva, isn’t he coming in January? Maybe he’ll be our new number 9?!

  47. Rasp says:

    On a different subject, I can’t see Fulham letting their keeper go until they have appointed a new manager. Now Jol has said he’s staying at Ajax, it could take until the end of August until the matter is settled.

  48. Rasp says:

    I don’t think traditional No.9’s are necessarily in Arsène’s plans, but Wickham is a big bugger of a centre forward.

  49. irishgunner says:

    I think Ajax wouldn’t agree on compensation. Jol is a good manager – right shower of mugs Spuds are for letting him go.

  50. kelsey says:

    I see no one has had any thoughts about Traore coming on twice last night.I can’t fathom it out….. anyone.

  51. irishgunner says:

    Did we run out of subs?? I didn’t see the game. He came on for Wilshere wasn’t it?

  52. irishgunner says:

    Also – UEFA have brought in the extra officials behind the goal line for this season’s Champions League.

    And, what will happen to Benzema and Ribery? Jail time or nothing?

  53. kelsey says:

    yes, he did come on for Wilshere after about an hour, having played the full first half.

  54. ArseChicago says:

    I don’t know much about Conor Wickham, but I can’t think of a more British sounding name. I want Wenger to buy him just because Redknapp apparently wants him. I occasionally read Young Guns blog and it seemed that Benik Afobe and Wickham make a great pair up front. Quite an array of youngsters Arsene is amassing at the club. Certainly makes it difficult to decide when to draw a final conclusion on players like Walcott or Diaby.

  55. ArseChicago says:

    Kelsey, I think I know what blogsite you’re referring to re: Eduardo and it makes me a touch angry. Yeah, maybe we’re all too wistful about Eduardo leaving but forgive us for loving the team and growing attached to the players. There’s a time and place to be cold and unfeeling about footballing decisions that are made at the club. With Eduardo, how can anyone not feel disappointed that his Arsenal career not materialize the way it could have? We’ll all move on in a few days; it was the right decision. But it’s virtually impossible to be dismissive or uncaring about how things could have been.

    Everyone still hopeful on the transfer front? My guess is that selling teams are waiting til the end, just in case Man City comes sniffing around.

  56. London says:

    I don’t understand why some people have this idea that Walcott would be better in the middle rather on the wing. Theo only operates well when he is given space but ninety per cent of the time, teams come to the Emirates and park the bus. The man cannot operate in tight spaces; he doesn’t have the close control.
    Look what happened on Saturday, when the second half started he looked like he was going to rip Barnet apart so they put two men on him and he disappeared…….this is two Barnet players we are talking about, that’s the forth division not Blackburn for goodness sake.
    Walcott was so impressive before he came to Arsenal because he was afforded so much space in the second division with Southampton but now in big boys football he is all dressed up in the Emperors new clothing……..with a little boy pointing and saying…………you are not very good.

    Solution: send him out on loan to a club with a history of teaching football the right way…….Ajax

    Oh, and can we have Suarez.

  57. London says:

    The name Conor Wickham sounds Irish to me.

  58. Oh London thats a brilliant idea to send him to Ajax but it poses a bigger question – why can’t Arsenal teach him the tricks?

  59. London says:

    Theo hasn’t had a chance to play in the centre attack since he left Southampton and he is not likely to get another chance in the near future with the style the teams play when they come to the Emirates.

    There is a bit more space in the Dutch League it would be a stepping stone. As for the tricks, I think he is taught them at Arsenal but I don’t think he gets a chance to practice them in the EPL.

  60. London says:

    “Oh London that’s a brilliant idea” (Peaches)

    Can we have this written above, just below the words Arsenal-Arsenal 😉

  61. irishgunner says:

    The name Conor Wickham sounds Anglo-Irish 😉

    Is Conor Henderson going to make it with Arsenal? It’d be good to have another Irish international playing for Arsenal.

  62. Stephen says:


    Everyone knows the English papers are full of shit. After England were beaten by the Germans, it was all ‘we need young players blah blah blah.’ Then Spain beat them, not exactly a team of kids were they? Casillias 29, Puyol 32, Capdevila 32, Xavi 30, Alonso 28, Villa 28, Torres 26, Ramos 24, Pique 23, Busquets 22, Iniesta 26. Average age over 27.

  63. kelsey says:


    and the worst of them all is The Daily Mail .I once sued them, but that is a different story for a different time.

  64. irishgunner says:

    Stephen – To be honest I think all tabloids are full of crap so I really should expand from my ranting on English tabloids to worldwide tabloids. The ones in Ireland are equally as bad.

    I actually think England have the young players and maybe should do a Germany – use the next Championship to give some of them experience? What’s the point in keeping playing the likes of Beckham, Terry etc when they’ll not win ye anything? I’d be very excited by the young English players coming through and they seem more technically adept that those gone before them, suppose all that can change.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    Not that I care that much about how well England do, but I agree 100% with Irish: Capello should ditch pretty much the entire squad he had at the World Cup and start form scratch. Rooney should be retained, but all the other “senior” players/wasters should be forgotten. Allow a new squad to grow, even if that is at the risk of not qualifying for the 2012 Euros. Trouble is, will Capello have the guts to do anything like that? I can just see Lampard, Cashley, Gerrard, Terry etc all being given “one last chance”.

  66. Stephen says:


    There are great young players, but the FA couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. I support Ireland myself, so I watch England with a neutral perspective, but those players looked like they had no idea how to play with each other. National teams need to have a clear way how to play and know each others games.

  67. irishgunner says:

    26May – I really don’t care either but do care that the Arsenal youngsters get their shot and then hopefully do well.

    If I were Capello from the World Cup I’d retain Hart, Johnson, Cole, Barry, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, Rooney, Defoe and Dawson.

  68. irishgunner says:

    Stephen – that’s true. From an Ireland perspective it’d be nice to see the likes of McCarthy getting a run in the senior squad.

    I saw Gibson live for Ireland before and he looked terrible beside Whelan. Actually they both looked terrible together, we were actually shouting at one of them to go forward a bit, not to be stuck together – then we remembered we had an Italian manager ha ha

  69. SharkeySure says:

    Irish – Lampard !!!????

    His me me me style of play, shooting from anywhere, and his general disregard for ball retention seems to me to be a big big part of Englands problem.

  70. Daniyal says:


    I have to say I disagree with alot of you when it comes to theo. Theo will be a world Class. I thinking everyone is forgetting the point that at the speed he runs, you can’t do tricks. He is exactly how Ryan Giggs was when he was younger. The problem with Theo is that we are not really asking him to hug the touchline but rather come infield,where there are more defenders, and try to pick out passes. Also it should be noted that Arsenal forwards are awful at getting to the near post and far post anticipating crosses, many times there is just no one in the area. Clearly theo is quality, no squad player could do what he did to liverpool, milan and Crotia in my opinion. Just back him up and support him. He will be a world Class English Player soon.

  71. irishgunner says:

    I like Lampard as a player Sharkey over Gerrard anyway who I think fits your description more in my opinion.

  72. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches – “why can’t Arsenal teach him the tricks?”. I’m not really sure you CAN teach those tricks to anyone.

    Its almost a natural ability/instinct to feint the opposition, and/or to read your opponents subtle movements in the way that a player like Luis Figo did….or Bobby P’s ‘stop..start..see-ya’ move for beating his man.

    Likewise Rosicky’s twisting and turning to wrong foot opponents.

    Even a basic step over, if not done with a certain amount of natural panache, hardly fools anyone

  73. Hi Sharkey – so whats the answer then?

    Why did Ronaldo become the step-over king and why do hundreds of young boys want to do the same thing?

    How did David Beckham perfect his free kicks so that more often than not they hit the target and players and young boys up and down the country wnated to emulate him?

    I defended Theo’s crossing after the Barnet game and I hope he can consistantly put crosses into an area where players are waiting to knock ’em in but not controlling the ball enough to try and get passed a player is a complete waste of his pace IMHO

  74. irishgunner says:

    “Manchester United’s new signing Javier Hernandez, who scored twice playing up front for Mexico at the World Cup, will have the name Chicharito – which means little pea – adorn his shirt next season.”


  75. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed Irish. At least Lamopard sticks to the posoitin that he’s told to play.

    I think they are both overrated. BOth capable of great and wonderful things on a football pitch, but imho they are both limited to a completly high tempo style game.

    There is very little cuteness in play from either of them. Therefore they either explode and win a game single handed (esp SG!) or you forget they’re playing.

    I like cerebral MF players who can dictate a game even on their off days, who don’t rely solely on pace and power.

    Barry and Carrick are that ‘type’, so is Arteta in a slightly diffeent way.

    Paddy, Manu, Edu, and best of all Cesc. We’ve been blessed in recent years with players who can really run a midfield

    Oh, and can I throw Bobby P in as well..not CM I know, but I’m throwing him in anyway

  76. irishgunner says:

    I know you put “type” in brackets but I really think Carrick is a terribly over-rated player.

    Schweinsteiger is one of my new favourite players over the last year – influences defence and attack.

  77. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches – Free kicks are dead ball situations, which are easier to practise. All the same Beckham had a technique all of his own. He prob always struck a ball that cleanly I would guess. Chances are you would have noticed his ball striking ability since he was about 9 or 10.

    There’s a kid who my son plays with. Not the greatest all round footballer, but he has an ability to strike a ball so well with either foot (in open play)that its jaw dropping at times. I’m talking about half volleys on his weaker foot at 8 years old.

    If it was just about how much you practised then everyone would just keep at it until they were like Messi. Or practise Ronaldo step overs til they were as good at them as he was….

    My guess is that somethings you learn and develop natururally, some you work hard at, some are out of your reach.

    I like Theo, but he disappoints me, and when he does, I remind myself that he didn’t start at football til 10 years old. When I thnk of the development I’ve seen in so many kids between the ages of say 6 to 8 yrs old, I start to worry about Theo.

  78. 26may1989 says:


    Hart, Lennon, Milner, Rooney and Dawson, yes. But Lampard, Johnson and Cashley are exactly the types of players Capello should take the opportunity to ditch.

  79. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed Irish. Carrick is that ‘type’, but not the best example. Although if an English passport is part of the criteria,….then who else..??

    At least he tries to pass, move and retain possesion. Sacrifice himself for the team a bit.

  80. Rasp says:

    I’d give Ashley Young a chance in the England side too, he has plenty of pace and can cross.

  81. irishgunner says:

    26May – I left Johnson in cos I couldn’t think of another RB to be honest.

    Sharkey – see where your coming from regarding Carrick. Its not that I think he’s a bad player, he’s just not great.

  82. irishgunner says:

    Young missed on the WC squad didn’t he Rasp?

  83. 26may1989 says:

    Irish, I agree re RBs: it is shocking how England struggle to fill what should be the easiest position in the team.

    But I’d take Micah Richards (even with his failings) over Johnson, who was so so bad at the World Cup, it was embarrassing. Frankly, I’d put Gary Neville back in before giving Glen Johnson another go.

    And then there’s Craig Eastmond!

  84. Rasp says:

    Yes irish, I believe so. He’s not brilliant but probably deserves a chance. I don’t think Darren Bent was given enough games to properly assess his worth either.

  85. irishgunner says:

    Heskey should have been tried at RB 😆

  86. 26may1989 says:

    Ashley Young is definitely worth an extended opportunity at international level, he’s a real danger man and I think could rediscover some of his form of a year or two ago. And I’d like to see Gabby Agbonlahor in the side too.

    But Darren Bent just doesn’t look like an international level player, I’m not sure I would bother.

  87. SharkeySure says:

    I’d keep Cashley in the England team, he’s the one of the few who knows his job and does it well.

    Off the field complete dickhead….football wise top class player. Doesn’t even pain me to say it…facts are facts

  88. Rasp says:


    I’m not convinced by DB either, but there is a real shortage of quality English CF’s. I agree Agbonlahor should also have his chance.

  89. Rasp says:

    Actually, if we just had 11 players who did the basics properly and knew how to keep the ball, we’d already have a much better team than went to the World Cup.

  90. Stephen says:

    As far as CF, I want to watch Carrol this year, I’m sure he’s one of the 378 players linked with Arsenal.

  91. irishgunner says:

    One thing I don’t buy into is that Gerrard and Lampard can’t play together – one stays back, one goes forward, its hardly rocket science.

    Who was it that said “Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win.” Thanks Lineker 😆

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Sharkey, of the many dickhead players in the England WC squad, you’re right, Cashley was one that is better than the rest. But England can afford to ditch him because (a) he’s 30 so on his way out and (b) we have Kieran Gibbs!

    It won’t happen but I would be radical and build the England squad for the next 5+ years around this lot (including a couple of older blokes):

    GK: Hart
    RB: Richards
    CB: Dawson and Cahill
    LB: Gibbs
    RM: Lennon
    CM: Milner and Wilshere
    LM: Young
    F: Rooney and Agbonlahor

    Others: Rodwell, Walcott, Adam Johnson, Daniel Sturridge, Mancienne, Jagielka, Barry, Eastmond, Lansbury and JET (!)

  93. SharkeySure says:

    Can’t disagree 26m.

    Irish. I don;t thin its that they’re too similar, more that they are both too selfish. So if you want one of them to stay back and not oplay thoer natural game, then you might as well just pick Hargeaves, Carrick or Barry and have done with it.

    Otherwise its like playing a great striker at full back.

  94. SharkeySure says:

    Re Carrick..from earlier.

    Almost any ManU fan you speak to, tells you that he was very poor this last season

  95. irishgunner says:

    ” more that they are both too selfish. ” – Can’t disagree with that.

  96. kelsey says:


    “Before I start a new chapter in my career with Shakhtar Donetsk, I just wanted to send a message to all my friends at Arsenal.

    “The past few days have been very emotional for me. Although I am excited about the challenge ahead with my new club Shakhtar Donetsk, I am so sad to be leaving my home for the past three years – Arsenal Football Club.

    “Arsenal is a very special football club and I will miss so many people – my team mates, all the staff and of course, the wonderful Arsenal supporters.

    “I would just like to thank everyone for your support during my time at Arsenal. When I first came to England, I could not speak the language and knew nobody, but as soon as I arrived I was made to feel at home and part of this big family. Also, I want to say thank you to the Arsenal supporters – you have been fantastic to me and always sung my name and I will never forget this.

    “I had some very difficult times with my injury, but Arsenal was always there for me – the medical staff, the management, the players and the supporters. Thank you everybody.

    “Although I have now left the Club, Arsenal will always be in my heart. I will always look for the Arsenal results and of course, I wish Arsène Wenger and the great players at the Club well for next season and the future.”

    Spoken like a true gent, I am sure I speak for us all and wish him a fond farewell.

  97. dandan says:

    Kelsey Sir David English was an Aquaintence of mine and a regular dinner companion at the Spanish restaurant just round the corner from Northcliff house, A real nice guy and a gent, and interesting companion for a long afternoon lunch.
    He deserved his Knighthood.

  98. CNN gbhj says:

    Is vela gonna be back on time to play any of the pre season games ???

  99. Davi says:

    Imo theo DOES need more time, but it shouldnt be with the arsenal first team. A loan would be ideal, but because hes had so much 1st team exposure (and a massive contract) it wouldnt make sense for us to do that.
    He does have some talent (not as much as vela or wilshere, mind) but hes not developing currently. He seems to be told hes ready to play, he just needs confidence. I dont agree with that. He has plenty of confidence, he still has a lot to learn about where to move and what to do with the ball.

  100. kelsey says:

    dandan you have lost me there I am afraid.

  101. cAng says:

    is vela gonna play any pre season games

  102. dandan says:

    LOL Kelsey Sorry, David English was the man who built up the Daily MailGroup for Lord Rothermere. He would be sad if he saw the paper now.

  103. charybdis1966 says:

    Kelsey @ your 6.18pm – I’m a little surprised more has not been made of Eddy’s departure here.

    I for one is saddened by what a thugs tackle and a witch hunting media have done to a player who could have been a legend for us.

    Theo’s continuing growing pains seem to matter little to me at the moment.

  104. charybdis1966 says:

    Kelsey @ your 6.18pm – I’m a little surprised more has not been made of Eddy’s departure here.

    I for one am saddened by what a thugs tackle and a witch hunting media have done to a player who could have been a legend for us.

    Theo’s continuing growing pains seem to matter little to me at the moment.

  105. charybdis1966 says:

    Ooops, double post.

  106. barumgooner says:

    Great piece @6.18 Kelsey. Yet another player who has left our great club through sad circumstances but with great dignity. Good on ya edu. You can take the player out of Arsenal but you never take the Arsenal out of the player.

  107. barumgooner says:

    Chary. True but I genuinely dont feel the tackle was malicious or intentional, however the attitude of the media and indeed the governing bodies towards that dive was disgraceful. For a player to be singled out for exceptional treatment for a ‘crime’ which goes unpunished for the ‘star’ players on an almost weekly basis was both unfair and unwarrented. Yes he dived and we all saw it but to punish one and not another is and was shambolic. Out of curiosity was there any backlash or punishment handed out to TH after the game against the Irish ? ( by FIFA I mean, not the Irish)

  108. barumgooner says:

    I realise that nobody is there and im typing away to myself but the thing that Theo gives us if nothing else is a distraction. When Walcott is on the pitch teams are genuinely afraid of his pace (even Messi admitted that) so the extra defender is always looking for him therefore creating space for others. It is a team game remember. Besides that the boy is good, alrite he’s not the modern player who has been schooled in the art since he was in nappies like one of those annoying american child-star brats but he has got natural ability, and bags of pace. A bit of confidence and a bit more balance and the boy will prove his worth.

  109. Evening barumgooner – I agree with all the positives you’ve stated about Theo. I feel that maybe one of the problems is that often in the past the team has had too many inexperienced players and they haven’t been able to bring Theo into the game.

    Theo will shine given the opportunity but often he’s left out and when he gets the chance to be included he fluffs his lines which makes supporters doubt him.

  110. You sneak – you’ve changed your name – thats not fair but I have the controls so I know who you are 😉

  111. GunnerN5 says:

    Been a bit preoccupied today my cousin Wendy from Milton Keyes was vacuuming her house today and dropped dead – 48 years old – how sad is that?

    She was an avid Arsenal, fan just like her dad who is 84.

    Boy ones life seems so fragile when something like this happens.

    RIP young lady.

  112. […] Can Theo learn any Tricks????? Sturm Graz 0 Arsenal 3 It was certainly a good work out in our new away kit (any thoughts)and they all looked pretty […] […]

  113. Gunnermandude says:

    I think Almunia still has a say in the goal-keeping debate.
    Many under-estimate Almunia. He makes terrible mistakes… but he also makes the most impossible saves in the world.
    And I feel if Almunia gets ONE MORE CHANCE he will be BRILLIANT. He’ll still goof once or twice!

    There.. I’ve said it.

  114. barumgooner says:

    Haha Peaches, its onlt coz there seems to be a couple of Andys on here now. I wondered if you would notice.

  115. dandan says:

    Barumgooner, Well said, Theo will make his mark not just in the PL but for England too. Everything about the boy says class and intelligence, listen to him talk. A credit to Arsenal and his upbringing, if you subtract the time he has lost through injury over the last 4 years you will appreciate how little playing time he has had. A decent run and he will be fine. Chris twaddle started this nonsense and how often did he lose the ball trying to dribble right through the team, Put Theo in Villa’s team with guys who can not only head a ball but actually know where the penalty area is and he would have a hatful of assists.
    Barnet doubled up on him and instead of being seen as a compliment as it released his teammates it is seen as a negative because he doesn’t always dribble round them.
    Funny old game football.

  116. dandan says:

    TH14 is still at it, he scored against the spuds last night ln New York

  117. kelsey says:

    Morning dandan.

    I have gone mad, I have another post waiting in drafts.

  118. London says:

    Morning Kelsey

    Two posts in two days……Peaches’ whip marks on your back must be painful 😉

  119. kelsey says:

    she loves it (so I have heard) 😉

  120. kelsey says:

    denial is a river in Egypt 😉

  121. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Sorry to hear your sad news GN5.

    kelsey, did you see that your post for yesterday merited the ‘Top Post’ accolade from NewsNow?

    We are going to publish a rater feisty article from mjc today, it would be good if a few regulars are around as I suspect we may get some angry mancs coming on 😉

  122. SharkeySure says:

    Condolences G5.

  123. SharkeySure says:

    BarumG. I never could understand why anyone would use a name like Andy or Dave for blogging. Surely you’d always want something a little bit more distinctive – as you’ve now proven

  124. Rasp says:

    New post …….

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