Man Utd Flops Show That Arsenal Can Dominate English Football

If you ask Pep Guardiola which team were his most difficult opponents en route to winning the Champions League, I can guarantee that his answer won’t be Manchester United.

It will, of course, be Arsenal.

In yesterday’s final at Wembley, United were clueless and gutless.

They scored with practically their only attempt on goal and for the rest of the game were chasing shadows. In the final half an hour it was clear that they had given up. They had been beaten on the pitch and beaten in their heads. It was almost embarrassing to watch their lame capitulation.

If the referee had been the same card-happy Swiss dipstick that we got for the second leg in the Nou Camp they would also have been down to 10 men long before the end.

Rooney blustered around the place with his familiar “you spilt my pint” expression. He took his goal well but otherwise was completely ineffectual. If he’s the best that English football has to offer it’s no wonder we’re so bad in international tournaments. He’d be lucky to make the bench for Barcelona.

Valencia might as well have been IN Valencia for all the good he did, Giggs looked more superannuated than super injuncted, Carrick and Park spent the game chasing shadows and I had to check the team sheet to be sure that Hernandez was playing.

The fact that Vidic and Van der Saar had good games was all that kept the score respectable.

And as for Evra… well, watching it in North America, there was a great moment towards the end of the game when the Fox Channel co-commentator said: “It’s men against boys.” (Evra, you’ll remember, made the same gloating comment about us last season).

When the cameras cut away to the claret conked Caledonian after the third Barca goal he looked as utterly defeated as I’ve seen him since the Invincibles used to dish out regular drubbings to his teams. He knew there was no chance of repeating the flukey 1999 win this time round: for one thing he could see that his players had no fight in them.

From an Arsenal point of view it just made me angry.

This is a very ordinary United side and certainly the weakest English champions for a very long time. If Arsenal had had a little more maturity and composure this season we would have won the league at a canter.

Contrast yesterday’s game with our recent matches against Barcelona.

This season we deservedly beat them 2-1 at The Grove. And at the Nou Camp we were well on the way to knocking them out until the aforementioned Swiss conehead sent off Robin van Persie in what looked then and still looks now like a premeditated act of vindictiveness or corruption.

Up until then Barca had hardly had a clean chance on goal. And even after the sending-off we were only one Bendtner touch away from putting them out of the competition. With only 10 men. In the Nou Camp.

At the final whistle Guardiola looked as relieved as you’ll ever see him.

Last season they absolutely outplayed us in the first half at The Grove, but unlike United we didn’t give up. We came back at them like tigers in the second half and earned a 2-2 draw from 0-2 down. We were well beaten in the second leg because we were bereft of half the first team through injury.

So – and I apologise for the delay – it’s time to return to the message of my headline: how the United defeat yesterday offers hope for Arsenal.

In the Arsenal Arsenal comments after the game I noticed this statement from TotalArsenal: I reckon that over the next few years only Arsenal(‘s style of football) will have a serious chance to beat Barca in the CL. Come on Arsène, buy us a few decent players and we can do it!”

I have no great love for Barcelona. They tarnish their brilliant footballing reputation with cheating, diving and simulation. But they play a brand of football which is quite mesmerising.

It also feels absolutely modern, a turn-of-the-wheel in how the game should be played (and yes, I know its roots go back to Total Football and beyond to the great Brazil side of 1970). United’s play, by contrast, looked unsophisticated and old-fashioned.

I agree with TotalArsenal: In the EPL only Arsenal have a footballing philosophy that can hope to match the Catalans.

Which is why there are grounds for optimism for Arsenal. Our end of season collapse was pretty dreadful, but I don’t buy the argument that it was our system that made it happen. In fact it was our system that got us to a point at the end of February where we were in a cup final, we had beaten Barcelona, we were still in the FA Cup and we had a serious chance of snatching the league title.

What happened subsequently was, in my opinion, about a lack of maturity among the team in general and about a lack of quality in some of the players. Both these failings can be put right by letting some players go and by bringing in some more experienced personnel. Arsene Wenger has said that he will be doing both these things this summer.

Arsene’s experiment is not just about trying to win things with young players. It is also about trying to win things with a Barcelona style of play. This season I believe he has finally realised that the existing squad can’t quite pull it off, but his response will be to create a squad that can do it. And he’s right to try and do so.

I expect more up-and-coming coaches to start to emulate Barcelona’s style. This is the new wave and we need to surf it or get left behind in the doldrums, which is exactly where United are heading.

There is considerable talk of us slipping out of the top four next year. Some of our more negative supporters even have us finishing mid table.

But they’re wrong. I firmly expect us to come much, much closer to being champions next season than we have done for six years. I believe we will dominate the league with the same, modern style of play that has led Barcelona to dominate Europe. And then we’ll beat them too.

Saying that you trust Arsene these days is exposing yourself to ridicule from many quarters. I don’t care. I do trust him, and I will enjoy the humble pie that his critics will be eating this time next year.


162 Responses to Man Utd Flops Show That Arsenal Can Dominate English Football

  1. Note to administrators – the moderation is on so if you could check in pending every so often to see if any of our guys have been stuck that would be great.

    The mancs will be feeling a little sore this morning and we don’t need to be their punch bag lol

  2. goonergal says:

    Hilarious Manure fans coming on to arsenal sites to have ago at us, deal with it you got beat far and square, and barca did’nt even have to cheat dive,or feign injury, they just played you right off the wembley turf, congratulations to guardiola and his boys, at least we gave tehm a game, sorry two games.

  3. Jazbo says:

    If Nasri, goes to UTD them more fool him.

  4. Danish Gooner says:

    Barca-Arsenal at the Nou camp,shots on/off target 18/0,it is a bit rich to say they didnt deserve their win,the last 35 minutes were like watching the Alamo and at The Emirates we were very lucky not to be down by one,two or even three at halftime.if Wenger takes the same blinkered View on those two games no wonder he sees the glass as half full instead of half empty.

  5. Judith Le'Strange says:

    While I agree that Wenger did extremely well in his early years, over the past few years he’s bought in rubbish in both defensive roles and goalkeeping. If we’re to start challenging for trophies like this season we need a strong defence as well as a very good goallie, no detracting from Chesney who has done quite well, we need someone in the mold of Lehmann eccentric and yet capable of saving. Plus if Nasri and Clichy want to leave let them but get good money to add to our transfer kitty, and also get rid of Eboue, Denilson and Bendtner and buy men not 5’6″ players, we need men who can challenge and take a challenge without crying everytime they’re kicked. So go for Cahill or Samba and a couple of midfielders, plus Chamakh needs to start scoring again and given a few more games to prove his worth

  6. chas says:

    Great optimistic post, Rocky.

    I still wonder how Barca would get on week in, week out in the Premier League. Also, how good they actually are when Messi’s not playing. Regardless, what a great final and I won £25 for David Villa being last goalscorer. 🙂

  7. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Totally agree. We are so close, but where does one find a Messi? Put him in our team alongside Cesc, JW, Nasri, RvP and Theo and we have the PL & CL winning side.

    Danish. Always enjoyable to read your positive view of Arsenal. Thank you

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Rooney running around with the “you spilt my pint” expression. 🙂
    In fairness to the Scouser, he does give it 100%, and why didn’t they start with Nani?
    Anyway, enough about them. BR, I agree with you, RvP is better suited to that role.
    The only chance Cesc would have of getting into that side right now is rotating with the 31 yr old Xavi, so my advice to him is stay put.

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Did anyone else hear the commentator said it could be Guardiola’s last game!! I think they may reconsider that one now their first choice, Fat Sam, has signed up for an empty stadium in East London.

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    You need Marmite.

  11. deejaybee says:

    “claret conked Caledonian” Priceless. I would disagree with the term ‘men against boys’. It was more like men against girls

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Help. I’m in moderation, and I am almost completely innocent!

  13. Gooner in Exile says:

    Nice post Rocky.very enjoyable and all valid points made.

    Our Messi? Dare I suggest JW ….. Everything I have seen of him as a youth player was attacking midfield with quick feet, mind, and goal threat. We haven’t seen that side of his game so much this year but for me his the future of our attacking moves.

  14. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    A fantastic Post, yet again.

    I entirely agree with you, and I too echo your closing sentiment about our style of football, with 1 or 2 reinforcements, proving Arsene right when we win the EPL next season.

  15. Danish Gooner says:

    I have no beef with you Big Raddy but i just cant get myself to be positive about the current Arsenal.i really,really,really want to find something positive but it fails me.I felt sick to my stomach watching Barca tear United a new one,it is exactly ten years ago to the day when Wengers Arsenal crashed out disappointingly in the group stages to a very ordinary Juventus and he said the famous words “We will win it next year” very confident he was.It is all nice and wonderful that we can keep qualifying for the cl but in the end we have as much chance of winning it as i have of pulling Shakira !! i find that very disconcerting.The fact that Wenger is getting found out every year in Europe just confirms to me that we are in it with the wrong manager he used to be domestic king but now he is just an also ran as important as David Moyes or Harry Redknapp basically he is at best irrelevant. He keeps harping on about how much we should trust him,he said that 4 seasons ago and it is the same every year.He promises to do this and that and taking his chequebook to this nad that tournament and then coming back with a french defender that is so out of his depth it gets embarrassing.It is like borrowing your best friend a tenner and expecting it back in a week and then the weeks go buy and he finds every excuse under the sun to not pay it back,in the end you just get tired of it and end up loathing him,exactly the same has happened to my relationship with Wenger,it is strasined to say the least.

  16. WiganGooner says:

    Nice post – well thought out and delivered.

    I do disagree that our style is paramount to our success, indeed but for the form of RvP I think we’d have been in a worse position than we have found ourselves in.

    The only ways to get results against Barca are to compete at a high pace and try and out football them or follow Mourinho’s path and bully them and try and nick a goal.

    We don’t have the personnel for the Mourinho way and it’s not Wenger’s style but we gave a good fist of competing when we had the ball and in that we did perform better than ManYoo but over a season we didn’t apply that focus every game. If we had we would have won the league, of that I’m certain.

    This raises more questions than answers – Why couldn’t we motivate ourselves against lesser teams? Where is the professional pride, determination and will to succeed?

    Frankly I’m still not quite over how embarassing finishing fourth really is when we had the opportunity to win the league.

    It seems our lack of professionalism could cost us more than this wayward title if reports about Samir and Cesc hold any water.


  17. RockyLives says:

    I just had Shakira on the blower. She wants your number….

  18. RockyLives says:

    you weren’t even born innocent 🙂

  19. V.C.C. says:

    As I have said on many occasions/site’s, this year, IF ONLY Wenger had bought quality instead of persisting with players because they are French.
    If he had paid a little more and got Cahill (instead of Donkey Squillaci and Koscieny) and Suarez (who was available) IMO we would have cracked the premiership this season.
    I agree with Rocky Lives, we only need tweeking a little, BUT that little needs to be quality (Top money spent). Clear out the dead wood and use that money to get a Centre Half and Forward.
    Come on Arsene listen to your fans!!!!!!!

  20. Danish Gooner says:

    She is so sexy !!!

  21. johnQ says:

    Hernandez was actually offside before he assisted Rooney’s goal..

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Danish. As you may know I am a Danish Gooner as well. In fact this afternoon I am going to the FCK V Aab game.

    I understand your frustrations but disagree with your conclusions. Sure, we are not good enough, the facts speak for themself, but I really do believe we are very close.

    We need a couple of players, no more. And I do not agree at all about needing another CB. Kos will improve on a fine first season and alongside JD and TV with Bartley coming through we have enough.

    As to you views that AW is at the same level of AW, well , you are entitled to your opinion. I think you are wrong.

  23. Gooner in Exile says:

    VCC what makes you so sure Cahill is better than Koscielny. It is very easy to look good amongst average players.

  24. Danish Gooner says:

    I think Wenger needs to learn from Barcas midfield,they have incredible work ethics and they are one hundred percent comfortable on the ball and when they get the chance they actually take a shot at goal,something our players could learn a lot from.People easily forget that Arenal played as well as Barcelona did when we tounced Leeds away from home 4-1,it was total football,admittedly against inferior opponents but it was as beautiful simplistic as the current Barca side.Nothing is impossible and i have a dream that i or at least one of my kids will watch Arsenal win the Cl but i am afraid that it will take a complete overhaul of the entire club to do that.

  25. Danish Gooner says:

    Are you danish and do you support FCK or Aab ???

  26. Danish Gooner says:

    Opinions are always split,maybe i am right maybe i am wrong time will tell but currently i do not enjoy watching Arsenal and i have been supporting them since the early eighties.I do feel that a great club like Arsenal should be able to win the CL and it frustrates the hell out of me that we keep failing.

  27. Danish Gooner says:

    Have a nice one in Parken.

  28. kelsey says:

    Watching last night I thought to myself how close we are.When you have players like Inesta,Xavi,Messi and Villa together with ball retention the defence hardly ever gets tested.barca are vunerable in defence,the trouble is that the occasions are few and far between.

    No high crosses,everything on the ground and they literally tire opponents out .
    Wenger no doubt wants us to emulate them, but we need better players.
    messi has to be one of the greatest players I have ever seen.You can’t teach those skills and I love watching him.

    A comment I heard I thought was quite amusing.Van der Saar does more running during a match than Berbatov.

    What grates me most is this United side is no great shakes and we literally gifted them the title.

  29. RockyLives says:

    I agree that the work rate of the Barca players – the way they close down the opposition so quickly – is superior to ours.

    I think I differ from you on how deep a problem it is and how difficult the fix might be. I don’t think the club needs changing from top to bottom. Some relatively small changes of personnel and a better (more mature) attitude can go a long way to making us more like Barca.

    JW, Ramsey, Nasri and co are growing up aspiring to this style of football. If we can add a bit of experience I think we can succeed.

  30. V.C.C. says:

    Hi Gooner in Exile…. As I said “IMO” thats what is great about the friendly banter we all enjoy about our wonderful game. I have to say I agree with many on these sites that on paper Manchester United do not frighten me, and yet they won the premiership. I think that was mostly because the opposition was not good enough more than they were outstanding.
    The scenario could have been OH SO different, IF we had a couple of top performers as I suggested………without the cock up against Birmingham and MANY stupid mistakes against the so called “Lesser” teams we and NOT ManUre would have won the league and also the FA Cup, that almost was the case, then would people have raved about Manchester United winning things, that scenario COULD have been a reality if only we had top quality defenders and a striker to support Van Persie.
    My line up would be :-

    Sagna Cahill Vermaelen Gibbs/?


    Nasri Wilshere Fabregas

    van Persie


    Subs:- Lehman. Walcott. Koscielny. Ramsey. Djourou.

    Sell Bendtner. Arshavin. Chamakh

    Clichy. Squillaci. Denilson.

    These sales would easily pay for the purchase of the 2/3 (? Baines) players I have mentioned.
    It is my strong belief that this team would have WON the FA Cup and possibly WON the premiership.

  31. goonermichael says:

    That was the funniest thing |’ve seen for ages last night. Did chickadick even touch the ball? All those cockney reds I saw in holborn station last night aren’t so smug looking now I bet.

  32. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey you’re right about the high crosses.

    One thing that really amused me last night was when Barca had a corner they didn’t just lump it in the box, they always passed short and moved it around, sent only three in to the box, what would be the reaction if Arsenal did that? In fact as I watched it I thought why don’t we do it, we so rarely score from corners that it hardly seems worth it.

    I think the one difference between us and Barca is workrate in getting the ball back, but even for the first ten minutes Barca didn’t set about that task as much as they normally do, it was almost like they lulled United into a false sense of security at the back, and anyway their clearances just fell to Barca defenders. When United tired Barca started hunting in packs and winning the ball back in dangerous areas.

    Alves and Abidal were much less attacking than they were against us also.

    But in the end they made their possession pay, and yes they did score twice from outside the box, but when was the last time you have seen anyone afford Arsenal as much space out there as United gave Messi and Villa for the second and third goals.

    However it is true that United can win the PL playing that way, they could not beat Barca, in fact if you look at Man Utd’s run to the title they probably had one difficult game (Chelsea) on route to the final. Compared to Barca who had to beat us and Real Madrid before reaching the final.

  33. London says:

    “What grates me most is this United side is no great shakes and we literally gifted them the title.”

    I share this irritant.

  34. Gooner in Exile says:

    By the way I do hate this nonsense about Samir and Cesc wanting away because of the teams failings……they’re in the bloody team and they should do something about it a bit more often.

    If they are saying these things I think it is further evidence of the lack of taking responsibility that appears to be a condition afflicting a few of our players

  35. BillyBOY says:

    Arsenal play similar brand of football as Barsa but it wont succeed in the Premiership that why you are in 4th position and the league doesn’t lie. At Emirates in the first half you were lucky to be only 1 nil down it could have been 6 or 7 and they scored a good goal which was disallowed. Man Yoo were below par against Barsa but then again which team isn’t? Take off your arsenal tinted glasses and you will see very well. Everyone is talking about how they rip ManYoo apart but nobody is saying anything about how ManYoo split them apart to score their only goal. As matter of fact Barsa second half goals came from mistakes. Van Da Sar should have saved Messi long range shot and Nani should have cleared t5he ball which led to Villa goal(if you really watch this game well you see that Barsa defenders don’t mess about in danger zones, they clear the ball quickly.

  36. Gooner in Exile says:

    VCC nice team although I’m not sure about Suarez.

    I think of all the names that fans would like to see join in the summer only two players have had numbers better than our current player in their position, that is Scott Parker and Baines.

    And actually those two positions (Defensive Midfield and Left Back) are key to the performance of Centre Backs, with our lack of discipline in both these positions we leave our CB’s exposed. Tony Adams or Keown would never have allowed the midfield to leave them so exposed, in fact when they did (early days of Petit and Viera) TA went and had a word in AW’s ear about what was needed from the midfield two.

  37. goonermichael says:

    Another difference between us and Barca is they have better players 🙂

  38. London says:

    “Cockney Reds in Holborn”, I think I have just found an exception to my aborence of eugenics.

  39. goonermichael says:

    I don’t know what that means 🙂

  40. Smiffy says:

    Barca’s work rate is better than ours.

    Barca’s defence is better than ours.

    But we could get away with both of those in the EPL I think, as we are the only team who dominates possession similar to Barca. The big difference is that they play 4-3-3 with three class goalscorers (who are also excellent footballers) up front. We play 4-3-3 with RVP up front and a creative No 10 on one side (Nasri), and the incredibly hit-and-miss Wallcott or on the other.

    This is an absolutely crucial point. Barca play posession football, tap-tap-tap so that they can eventually put one of these three in a position to score a goal (tap-tap-tap-bang if you like). We play possession football so as to…er put one of our creative footballers in a position where he can make another passs (tap-tap-tap and er..tap). Its not as stupidly simple as players having a shot (though it would help), its about having the players up front who are good enough to instinctively know WHEN to shoot instead of taking a counterproductive pass. Football intelligence in other words.

    So something that would inevitably improve us is the purcase of two forward/wingers to play either side of RVP. The downside? These players tend to be the best players in the world, so will cost money. And also, of course, Arsene appears mesmerised by creative, non-goalscorig no 10’s (Eden Hazard). Nothing wrong with that, but I think an over-reliance on players such as this, to the detriment of more attack minded players has imbalanced the squad and is the single biggest difference between Barca and Arsenal’s playing sytles.

    To sum up? We may not topple Barcelona, but with our resources and playing style we are probably better positioned than anyone to try. But we wont. Because FC balancesheet is more concerned about bottom lines than winning trophies.

    Oh the frustration of being so near yet so far.

  41. Gooner in Exile says:

    One example of why Jack could be the next Messi

  42. Bstrum says:

    I’m actually far less surprised that Arsenal fell apart than with the fact that no Arsenal player has physically assaulted a referee after another shocking, incorrect, and dishonest call or lack thereof against Arsenal. Without papering over the lack of character shown by some of the current players, I would think that many of us would find it near impossible to keep our composure were we exposed to the continued biased refereeing in England. I maintain that English referees deliberately stole the title from Arsenal in the 2007/2008 season beginning with that fateful February day in Birmingham. The way it works is that the smaller clubs get shafted by English referees in favour of ManU and Arsenal get shafted in favour of every other team.

  43. Lucy says:

    I am really satisfied with Barca. Don’t dream Arsenal will buy world class player, rather buy teenagers, grow them until they get matured— and sell for any other clubs. Always complaining to Referee, opponent players, etc. Don’t hope for trophy. Next season, Arsenal will finish 5th next to Man united, Man city, Chelsea and Liverpool

  44. London says:


    Perhaps a selective sterilisation plan needs to be established, what do you reckon?

  45. V.C.C. says:

    Gooner in Exile. Agree entirely with your comments on Full Backs, that is exactly why I would play Gibbs/? and sell Clichy.
    He has developed a strange habit over the past few seasons of taking his eye off the ball and even sometimes turns his back on it, check some old footage out, its really weird!!!!
    He /We have been caught out several times with this nasty habit.
    Whilst I think Parker has been superb for West Ham I would not buy him as I feel Song is better for us. Even at a pinch I would play Ramsey in that position over Parker, and save that money to help scrooge Wenger with the 3 buys I think we need to turn us into a WINNING team.

  46. Gooner in Exile says:

    there was supposed to be an embedded vid with my 12:20

  47. London says:

    That was such a good comment Smiffy…..until the penultimate sentence.

    You recognise that good wide players cost money and I assume you recognise that they are few and far between so when they come on the market they will be jumped on by our financial superiors and let’s be clear Real, Barcelona, City, Chelsea and Manu are our financial superiors all capable of out bidding us at every auction…..hence the need for an alternative…..enter Wenger and the present team that we have.
    It could be better and every fan would naturally want that but there is a gulf of difference between wanting it and being able to pay for it which has nothing to do with:

    “FC balancesheet is more concerned about bottom lines than winning trophies.”

  48. johnQ says:


    Arsenal will finish 5th eh? yeah, they said that last season too, and the season before that, and the season before that, and the season before that..

  49. kelsey says:

    “FC balancesheet is more concerned about bottom lines than winning trophies.”

    Got it in one, London.

    All this gossip about players who nearly joined us.I still think we will see more activity than ever compared to the last few seasons.

    Back to messi, players like him come along every twenty years or so.Did you notice that whenever he was near the box,the United defence stood off him or just didn’t know what he was going to do next.he reminds me of george best to a certain extent.

  50. George Thomas says:

    Please,the gunners have to win the title consistently before dominating. I don’t see it happening in a million years as long as nothing is done to fix the flaws in the team.
    First the rot every spring must be stopped. Why is it happening every spring for four /five years running?Why doesn’t it happen to MU/Chelsea/Spurs/MC/liverpool?
    Then the defence with a top gk is a top/top priority.
    The defence
    needs strengthening and no more cheap imports who will be out of depth in the epl.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RL, a super-fine post, written from the heart and full of hope for our future, all the way from sunny Canada. It really brightened up my Sunday morning.

    Arsenal are Arsenal and Barca are Barca. There are similarities in footy philosophies, but they have been developed separately and Barca’s ‘system’ is clearly the more successful at the moment.

    Is Messi the difference? Possibly yes. There is no ‘second Messi’ around at the moment. Ronaldo is a great striker/attacker but he is nowhere near as allround/complete a football player as Messi. It would be interesting to see how Barca would cope without him, but I reckon they would still be fantastic.

    What he represents for me in the Barca-system is the benefits they get from him taking on players: it creates space, momentum, possibilities/options, and chaos (in any defence, however good), and it is the greatest thing to watch in football. I have never seen a player who is able to keep the ball stuck to his feet like there is a magnet in both the ball and his boots, in whatever he does and in the tightest of spaces. Total, utter genius.

    We do not have somebody who is as good as Messi, and we might not see somebody like him (ever) again. But, we do have players who can take defenders on in a one-on-one: Nasri, Cesc, Arshavin, Wilshere (even Diaby) and within a (Ajax-based) totalfootball system that should be enough. A key principle of totalfootball is the ability to rotate players into different positions, and the success of the team is not dependent on the super qualities of an individual. Ajax, in the mid-nineties, showed us it can be done without an absolute superstar in the team.

    Howevr, we all agree that we do not have enough quality throughout the team yet, in order to play an unbeatable variant of Totalfootball. But as RL, and a few others have said in response to his post today, we are not that far off: just a few quality players can make the difference.

    Rather than change our style of play we need to make the last transformation (look at it as transformation to the final Russian Doll). If we can add quality and experience, and (HCAA’s favourite ingredient) grit, be a bit more lucky with injuries (especially down our spine (TV/JD, Song, Cesc, RvP), and can add a bit more coaching/inspirational quality to Wenger’s coaching team, the future could be very bright. Like RL, I believe that Wenger is the man to do it.

  52. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey thats true and when he didn’t have the ball Evra got sucked in which left a hole for Pedro to move into and Vidic left with no cover for the first goal.

    Did Valencia not understand SAF’s rotational fouling policy last night? He seemed to think it was to rotate who you foul on the opposition. 😀

  53. Adam says:

    Memo to Patrice Evra- Boys against men.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Lucy in the sky with no diamonds, I am happy that you are satisfied with Barca.

  55. Smiffy says:


    Only Man City are our financial superiors.

    The money is available to to the Arsenal shareholders if they choose to take it. Usmanov has made an offer to inject money, the old board refused it. Equally, Kroenke could inject some of his own personal money into the club if he wished. But he does not. It is ancient history to say Arsenal CANNOT compete financially with the others, and frankly is a load of garbage.

    Arsenal have chosen to be self sufficient, in an age where others choose not to be. Chosen. As in choice. The restrictions on spending are completely, totally utterly and undeniably self-imposed. As so many of the contributors to this site and others have set out very well, the Arsenal shareholders have more wealth than Chelseas, and the club generates more in its own income. Equally they have the same mechanisms of financing the club available to them as does the Russian. They CHOOSE not to. Absolutely nobody denies this.

    So doletsdrag our club into the mire saying that x and y are our financial superiors. They aren’t. By every conceivable measure, Chelsea in particular are our financial inferiors. We are opearting self sufficiency by choice. Its up to you if you agree or disagree. But it a fantasyland to say Arsenal cannot compete with these clubs financially.

  56. goonermichael says:

    ow arrogant does shrek look when he scores now? Wanker

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Bstrum. None other than SAF said MU were humilaited and given a hiding. One attack and two shots on goal do not make MU unlucky.

    AFC beat them, MU didn’t. Then we were shafted by a bent ref.

  58. Rasp says:

    Hi everyone,

    Apologies, I am working today and peaches has been away from her PC this morning so we’ve had to turn on the moderation. Unfortunatley for some reason this has affected some of our regulars. Your comments will show eventually but there could be a time delay.

  59. RockyLives says:

    Good point about the Messi effect. As Kelsey said, the closest comparison to him is probably George Best, who had that same ability to run through packed defences with the ball glued to his feet.

    Funnily enough, Nasri has shown that ability for us on occasion. But second half of the season he seemed much less effective. Was he found out by oppo defences? Or just a dip in form? He’s not at the Messi level, but if he can recapture those dribbling skills he can do what you suggest – namely, commit oppo defenders and make space for others.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    TA 12.53 Top comment

  61. London says:

    I am concerned that I did not make myself clear. So for the avoidence of doubt I think statements like:

    “FC balancesheet is more concerned about bottom lines than winning trophies.”

    are absolute bollacks.

  62. RockyLives says:

    That was clear 🙂

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, Nasri has indeed shown great potential this season, and that is probably why there is so much interest in him at the moment. He is no Messi, but that’s ok as long as the whole team offers a mixture of attacking options so we dont become predictable/ too dependent on Nasri. If we could add a third/better alternative to Arshavin (not consistent enough)/Walcott (needs space, less effective in tight areas) on the other wing, with Cesc and Wilshere in the middle (the Xavi/Iniesta positions), we could just become that complete attacking machine that we have in us. Would it not be great to find a player who combines the best of Arshavin, Hleb and Walcott in one. For me that would be either Affelay or Malouda, although both would be a gamble.

  64. London says:


    Kroenke became the majority shareholder how long ago?

    Uzmanov offered to inject money for what in return?

    You have conveniently avoided these two facts.

    To take the view that Kroenke should treat Arsenal as a play thing in the same way as Abramovich treats Chelsea is just a poor argument for saying that Kroenke should spend vast amounts of money without ever expecting to get it back, yes that is a choice but it is the choice of someone who has invested into a club for commercial reasons rather than to avoid the long arm of the Russian government.

  65. London says:

    “Kroenke could inject some of his own personal money into the club if he wished. But he does not.”

    This is the one that let’s you down; your argument is based on someone spending money with out ever expecting to get it back.

    Barcelona and Real Madrid overspend because they change presidents every four years and just like our governments they don’t give a stuff in what financial state they leave the country/club, for the incoming party/president when they have gone.

    The result is they will always be able to out bid us.

    Chelsea and Man City are the same: exorbitantly wealthy owners who do not ever expect to see their retune again.

    The result is they can both out bid us.

    Manu, simply have a larger income than we do.

    They can out bid us, but I expect this to change.

  66. Smiffy says:


    We all know that the motivations may be dubious.

    But thats not the point. Th point is that Arsenal and its shareholders are at least the financial equal of all that you mentioned other than Man City. And that independently of such murky issues, we are actually much better off than any of the other clubbs.

    What goes on in the heads of the money men is quite another matter. But it is an inescapable fact that, if the owners WISHED to inject the money, we could be buying at least on the same level as the otehrs.

    it is a different point altogether to argue wheter that is the correct thing to do. Just, plaese, stop peddling the myth that Arsenal does have the money. it does – in exactly the same way that the other clubs do (i.e you are talking about the wealth of shareholders). It is a question of the motivation of the money men as to wheter it goes into our club or their yachts. As I said, that is quite a different point to calling clubs our financial superiors, when it is an undeniable fact that they are not.

    But I do agree that we are not likely to see much of it, particularly with Silent Stan in charge

  67. London says:

    The more I think about this the more I despair.

    Has anyone seen those silly Norwich scarves the mancs wear?

    And why do they wear them?

    I thought it was in protest against the level of debt the owners have saddled the club with.

  68. John says:

    Need more depth to the sqaud, what won it for Man Utd was a lot stronger sqaud and yes in the centre of midfield we are better than them but defensivly and bar RVP in the Centre foward positions we need a whole lot more LB, CB and two more strikers that can actually compliment RVP and blend in when he gets his seasonal 3 month injury.

    Which Hernandez, Berbatov and owen do for Man Utd. Not like Bendtner who just gives nothing to the cause accept an over inflated ego, probably caused by the few fans that want him to play as the main striker and feel sorry for him.

    Plus we need to keep hold of our best players in Cesc and Nasri. GK problem is solved for another 20 years so that save money.

  69. kelsey says:

    I understood the first time,london.

  70. RockyLives says:

    This has been the season when AW has finally realised that some of his squad players are not up to it.
    I don’t blame him for persevering – he’s been proved right in the past with players like Song – but he knows changes are needed.
    Unfortunately I’m of the opinion that Cesc is gone – so we need to make sure we hold on to Nasri. While he’s not in Messi’s class, if he’s given licence to run at defenders he can unlock opportunities in the same way as the mighty Lionel.

  71. Those people wanting us to learn from United can just shut up now. It is teams like United that have tarnished English football. Their football is really boring despite sometimes being effective and none of their mental strength and character was visible when it all came down to the biggest match on the planet. This was the most enthralling final I’ve ever seen I’ve to admit.Not at all cagey.

  72. RockyLives says:

    the mental strength thing is interesting. Clearly United had more of it than us this year, which is why they managed to hang on to first place in the EPL. But it’s not a given – as their limpness last night proved.

    It is very hard to compete with Barcelona at their best, but at least Arsenal fought and worked against them. United pretty much threw in the towel with a third of the match remaining.

  73. Hi shub – I agree that it was a fabulous football match and one of Fergie’s biggest problems last night was that he had a rubbish bench – so much for depth in mank squad.

    Can someone explain to me why it was no disgrace for the manks to lose to Barca but we were ‘trounced’ at the Nou Camp – looked to me like the manks were ‘trounced’ last night.

  74. Morning Rocky – next time you put another team’s name in the title you’ll have to get up early to manage the scum’s comments 😉 🙂 😆

  75. RockyLives says:

    I did get up early (for once).
    There didn’t seem to be too many idiot Mancs knocking around, but I did release a few of our regulars from ‘pending’.

  76. I’m joking 😉 xx

    But have you seen the hits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. RockyLives says:

    I know!

    Btw – you are so right about the different media reception to Utd’s defeat. Why is that? It really does prove there is some sort of agenda against us. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, more that the press love to simplify and caricature things, and once they had settled on the Arsenal story as being “six years without a trophy and Arsene’s losing it” they made sure that every story was played out through that storyine.

  78. kelsey says:

    matron is back 🙂

    I have to say regardless of who he plays for Messi is something else.A pure magician on the ball, never argues when he gets hacked and never makes a meal of things.

    Wish we could get him for say ….eboue.

  79. RockyLives says:

    Messi + £££ for Eboue 🙂

  80. Red Arse says:

    I have read a very interesting and encouraging Post on the Another Arsenal blog referring to the nonsense AKB nomenclature.

    The supportive comments were also very indicative of the commonsense of the core Arsenal fans.

    Give it a read if you have a mo’. 🙂

  81. RockyLives says:

    I saw that too Redders. It’s nice to know that we’re not the only bastion of sanity.
    Well, I use the word sanity in its loosest sense 🙂

  82. Red Arse says:

    Just watching the Preston v Huddersfield playoff.

    Young Afobe seems to have a bright future, although I agree with a comment made last week by GIE that there is a little something still missing from his game.

    He often seems to be on the back foot, lacking anticipation, or as some of the cruder pundits put it ‘lacking a football brain’. That clearly is a nonsense, and he just needs a little more coaching to remind him that a team mate in a certain attacking position has limited options, and he has to help make those choices easier to take.

    I am still impressed with his physique and raw talent.

  83. Rasp says:

    Yes, that’s a nice piece in TOLG, I had thought of adding AKB/Doomer etc to our banned words, but eventually decided that everyone on here was grown up enough to avoid such silly terms.

  84. KING gooner says:

    we’re the only team to have beaten barca in the cl-but to the manure loving english media we were lucky lol!they can’t except we were capable of it-i would argue over the two legs we gabe barca much more of a a game-they trot out barca missed 2/3 chances in 1st leg(every team does at some stage)but so deid we,they trot out we had not asingle shot in 2nd leg.convenietly forgetting that barca,up to the point rvp was sent off had no clear opportunity-after,yes,but against 10 men…MANURE were embarrassed last night,3-1 flattered could have been 5/6-1.easily.will the arsenal hating media make any comparisons.not a an earlier post pointed out,we gifted them the title tis question..

  85. RockyLives says:

    Got to head out for a few hours.

    Can anyone with moderator privileges keep on eye on things as quite a few regulars (like Red Arse) are going into ‘pending’?

  86. Red Arse says:


    I hope you noticed that I have been restrained in not responding to one or two comments earlier regarding Arsenals’ shareholders and pouring money into the club.

    To be honest, that was not just because it shows a monumental lack of understanding about how a public Limited company has to operate, as well as a fundamental ignorance of the UEFA Fair Play rules, that come in next year, restricting the finances invested in transfers.

    No — it was mostly because every now and then we get someone coming on and repeating the same tired old rubbish, and I could not be arsed to explain the errors of their ways anymore! 😦

  87. Rasp says:

    The Online Gooner kelsey

    Yes RA, thanks for exercising the self-control 😛

  88. Gooner76 says:

    What a great piece. If only more ‘fans’ could be as pragmatic in they’re assessment of things. We have the most forward thinking manager in English football. The system is fine, with the right personnel we are there. In my opinion had we won Carling, history would have gone on to be made and that was with this squad. With improvements and some trimming of fat we will dominate EPL……with Wenger at the helm.

  89. bigseg_bigseg says:

    if only arsene can listen to we belove fans arsenal is a good team to support

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    As happy as I am today that the Mancs were put to the sword yesterday, it’s only fair to say they had one player who battled heroically, and was almost as good defensively as Messi was in attack: Vidic. When he was interviewed after the game, you could see what it means to a true winner to be defeated by a superior opponent; especially the non-verbal communication said a lot. This poem reminds me a bit of that short interview.

    Losing the Game
    By Diane Ackerman b. 1948 Diane Ackerman

    On the face of this midfielder,
    a saint’s passion.

    Sweat brilliantines his hair
    flat as a seal pup’s fur.

    Thorns rake one knee, and fatigue
    is a train whistle that never quits.

    In his mind, the falcon of defeat
    slips off its own hood

    and sails into the vapory cold December,
    hangs like a crucifixion over the field,

    then slants down the wide thermal
    of his shame. Today 2 + 2 is algebra,

    and nothing will transmute
    his base metal to gold leaf.

    When crowd and players have gone,
    he watches the sun set

    under a tumultuous bruise of sky,
    below the empty grin of the bleachers,

    deep into the valley,
    a ghastly, yellow bile draining out.

  91. London says:

    Oh for goodness sake can’t someone just post the link so we can all join in?

  92. Red Arse says:

    Actually, Rasp,

    I was referring to the rebuttal Posted by the site, ‘Another Arsenal Blog’.

    The author, quite rightly, took exception to the AKB/Doomer titles attached to some sections of the Arsenal fans by ‘The Online Gooner’.

  93. London says:


    I just want to make clear that I am not saying that Arsenal do not have access to money, I am saying that other clubs have access to more.

    In the mean time Kroenke and Uzmanov remain competitors and while that is the case neither will invest money without caring if they ever get it back and so sadly the fact remains that the clubs I have mentioned can out bid us for players at every turn leaving Wenger having to find an alternative which some how he is managing to do.

  94. Hi London – I think it’s the Online Gooner, just had a look and I can’t find to what they all referring – if you discover it, can you let me know please

  95. Red Arse says:


    As I said in my 6:05, the name shown on NewsNow at 13:38, was ‘Another Arsenal Blog’, but your link is a help, thank you. 🙂

    But that was a rebuttal of another sites criticisms of so called AKBs. It’s not a big deal but I am pleased the author made the point.

  96. London says:

    It’s like the guy has collected every moan written on Le Grove and cobbled them together.

    My position remains the same: I can suffer those who want Wenger to be replaced but I cannot stand those who only seem capable of finding fault in Arsenal and incapable of ever saying anything positive.

  97. Those who want Wenger to be replaced still have no replacement for him so they look rather silly don’t they.

    It’s like trying to get a teacher that you don’t like the sack – not going to happen.

  98. kelsey says:

    Finally found the correct site as rasp misled me 🙂

    AS London says above the AKB rant is on onlinegooner.i was confused myself.

    Unfortunately there are other sites which take the same view as onlinegooner therefore I say it again “Are There Too Many Arsenal Blogs”.

  99. What we noticed last summer was that we got to a point when everyone missed Arsenal so much that even those with negative views were positive 🙂 and then as the transfer deadline approaches the negativity creeps in again 😦 and then dandan’s house is up for grabs 😆

  100. Hi kelsey 🙂

  101. kelsey says:

    Redknapp to Chelsea makes mr laugh the most.he most probably will buy berbatov back in some shady deal, but he has a court appearance on july 1st.

  102. Dgob says:

    Well reasoned and written article,

    Those curmudgeons of limited memory should breath deeply and decide whether to support the club (meaning the team, manager, board and history) or to take their support elsewhere. If you support any part of that list that makes up AFC, please consider which you should do for the good of the club.


    Take a coffee, sip slowly and contemplate the term loyalty. Teams, as with individuals, often need it!

  103. goonerbegood says:

    how about;




    ……………….. . CESC…… …………….



  104. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I don’t think there are too many Arsenal blogs.

    These people believe what they say, even if it does not make sense to be so damnably critical.

    It’s a way of letting them vent their spleen on blogs that are happy to reflect their views. Otherwise they would all be on here, and I, for one, would give up blogging, because stupidity drives me around the bend!

    Thankfully, there are far more rational Gooners out there.

    Like London, I do not pretend to be uncritical of Arsenal, the Board and Arsene Wenger, becaue I want success too, and anyway, no one is perfect.

    However, I try to couch my concerned criticism in a balanced and rational way, by also recognizing the brilliant success he has had and the way he revolutionized the coaching and dietary regime of the players and introduced a wonderful style of play, among other things.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Goonerbegood. You left out Messi, Chielini, Ronaldo and Bobby Moore

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, very funny.

  107. goonerbegood says:


  108. goonermichael says:


    Funny I was going to say something like that.

    Any mancs reading. lmao 🙂

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Goonerbegood, they might be affordable or not, who knows how much money we have exactly? But why these players in particular? I suggest you give a short explanation why they would improve us in your opinion, otherwise they are just names on a ‘sheet’.

  110. London says:


    It’s not the players that you call for to be brought in that is beyond the realms of possibility it is the players you expect to sit the season out on bench that makes a mockery of your argument.

    Nasri, Walcott, Ramsey, Koscielny and Djourou will put in a transfer request tomorrow if they think they are going to be expected to spend the majority of next season on the bench and be in no doubt that is principal consequence of your suggestion.

  111. goonermichael says:

    I think we will buy a defender London so someone will have to sit on the bench. Maybe the new signing.

  112. London says:

    Hi GM

    There is a huge difference between what you are suggesting and what goonerbegood is suggesting. For what it is worth I think you are going to be disappointed if you are expecting a new addition to the defence.

    Vermaelen is back, Djourou and Koscielny will fight it out for the right to play alongside him and that leaves Scillaci as the genuine number 4 back up, he could even be number 5 if Bartley returns.

    So with that little lot, I can’t see Wenger using his limited budget in that area.

  113. London says:


    Why would any self respecting footballer sign for a club in the knowledge that he will be spending an important part of his short football career on the bench? It makes no sense. If the player is not good enough to get into the Arsenal team why on earth would we want to sign him?

  114. goonermichael says:

    I’m just going by rumours (so it could all be rubbish) That Squilaci is going and Bartley will spend another season at Rangers.

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    London, we need CB’s with height in the PL. Only JD fits this requirement and he is injury prone. Would be very surprised if we did not buy a CB this summer.

  116. goonermichael says:

    Sivestre 🙂

    Some would say Squilaci too.

    Michael owen

  117. London says:

    Ahhhh, fair enough, if players leave then that changes everything. If Scillaci goes then new CB it is.

  118. London says:

    I am going to have to dig out my post in defence of signing Silvestre again.

  119. London says:


    What we need and what we get are as different as N5 and N17.

    I don’t believe that Wenger is going to give up on either Djourou or Koscielny which meams anyone coming in is not going to be better i.e command an immediate first teams place whichin turn means that the replacement for Squilacci will be of a similar level. Although my bet it that he ain’t going anywhere.

  120. London says:


    Here you go, I wrote this some time ago.

    Why were united prepared to sell Sylvestre for so little?

    In the close season Sylvestre and his agent request a meeting with the powers that be at United to discuss Mikael’s future. United inform them that with the squad being as it is there will be very limited playing opportunities for Mikael and in view of that it might be wise for him to seek employment elsewhere.

    The agent says that in order for Mikael to secure a contract that gives him the same wage and in view of the loyalty that Mikael it is only fair that he be allowed to leave on a free; they agree on £750,000.

    The agent thinks Sunderland maybe Man City which Mikael thinks ok, at least I stand a chance of playing — then — out of the blue, all his Christmas’s arrive at once; Arsenal contact him, he tells his wife, she thinks, house in Hampstead, eating in decent restaurants, shopping in London with all the other French wags. That night Mikael gets best blow job he has had in months.

    Unfortunately we don’t, but we do get experienced cover for Clichy and we don’t have to worry so much about Senderos, next best thing.

    As for “Why were manu prepared to sell a player to us after 34 years?

    Sylvestre is small beer to them, whereas, he is a very welcome addition to us.

  121. TotalArsenal says:

    L, agree – he will not, even should not, give up on either of them. If we were to buy a Samba or Cahill, there would be healthy competition and good coverage for injuries. Maybe you are right that we first would have to let Squilaci go. This is the one position where we need to invest in height.

  122. Anyone want to write a small post for tomorrow?

  123. London says:


    Cahill would only agree to come to Arsenal if he thought he would get regular first team football. So on his hypothetical arrival either Djourou or Koscielny would, quite reasonably, expect to spend the majority of next season on the bench which understandably would not make whoever it is a happy bunny and would in turn force him to ask for a transfer, Wenger knows this and so in short I reckon there is more chance of you or I signing for Arsenal than there is of Cahill arriving.

  124. goonerbegood says:




    ……………….. . CESC…… …………….



    for the past 5-6 seasons ,we have failed to win any trophy,not cos we don’t have money or cos we don’t have the players ,for me the issue is the players we have never complete a season without been injured.


    it is nothing personal but a factful tip on why we haven’t won anything. around jan-feb we seem to always loose the core of our squad and then we rely on the others to do the job or by the time they come back from injury the season is already over.

    2.THE OTHER TEAMS KNOW OUR WEAKNESS..which is corners,long balls into the penalty area..and i feel we don’t have enough quality to deal with this.

    some players might not be happy but it will make competition very strong for places thereby letting the players realize we the fans deserve more.

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    London, I think we have to agree to disagree on this one. We need to double up on CB positions, in numbers as well as quality, in order to make it through another demanding season (I am excluding Squilacci). I don’t think either JD or Koz would quickly put a transfer request in if another good CB would be brought in. They are professionals who still have to become the finished article. We might have to wait all the way till after the CL qualifier to see who will be right in the end.

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks GbeGood, you are making a good point about injuries: they do seem to hit us at the wrong time and, to too many players simultaneously. Injuries also seem to last a lot longer compared to other teams.

    Why do you think Melo would be a good player for Arsenal? What do you rate about him, and what would he add to our current midfielders?

  127. London says:


    We are not disagreeing: I would love a new CB of a higher quality than Djourou or Koscielny, my point is that I cannot see it happening for the reasons I have stated above.

  128. barumgooner says:

    I am an Arsene supporter…kindof. But as much as I hate myself for saying it Manutd have won the league and got to the cl final with the worst side they have had in a decade. Take away injuries, excuses or anything else the scot goes out to win with what hes got at his disposal and Arsene tries to prove a point and look for an excuse.

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Ok London, you are right and I did not express myself very well in my last post. We would both want an additional CB, but you cannot see it happening as per reasons above.

  130. barumgooner says:

    Sorry about my above comment lads, a bit off subject. Personally I dont think AW will sign Cahill, he will imo be overpriced and Aw would rather find a rough diamond than buy a finished article. I agree that Kos and JD would be hurt but hey thats competition. When we bought Seaman I remember gg saying that Lukic was one of the best keepers in the league but Seaman was the best, thats the attitude that we need.

  131. TotalArsenal says:

    BG @12.06, you are probably right re price tag for Cahill. But he seems to want to come to us and then these things can become a little bit easier. Koz and JD are big boys who will fight for their place and could also be considered for other positions in team.

  132. barumgooner says:

    I like them both and feel that Cahill and TV with Kos and JD would be fantastic, however I have doubts as to whether Aw feels the same. As I said earlier i am getting a bit fedup with him trying to prove a point rather than doing what needs to be done. I am in no way one of the anti-Arsene wing but must confess to becoming a bit dis-illusioned with his attitude.

  133. TotalArsenal says:

    You are right BG – he has been testing our patience recently. I still trust he will do the right thing this summer.

  134. RockyLives says:

    This is a good article echoing the same themes as our post today.

    It’s particularly worth looking at for the two embedded videos of two of our young players’ contributions during the home game against Barca this season.

    For all those Gooners thinking of slitting their wrists, look at the performances of Jack Wilshire and Laurent Koscielny and rediscover some hope for the future…

  135. peachesgooner,
    of course united were thrashed in the final. but still media will love them and will focus on barca’s supremacy rather than united’s poor show.
    With Arsenal, it’s the opposite.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    I cannot understand the calls for Samba. OK, he is a big man and dominates the area,.

    We sold a big man to Fulham last summer

  137. London says:


    The problem in referring back to the GG era and the signing of Seaman was that there was only one team above us in the financial pecking order and that team already had Peter Schmicheal.

    Today, the only way we would get a David Seaman is if we signed him as a youth player because QPR would naturally want to maximise the transfer fee and would do their utmost to get mancity and Chelsea involved. I suppose it is possible to argue that they already have good keepers but we brought Seaman when he was 27. In today’s football climate he would have been snapped up at a far earlier age.

    Wenger does have the desire to have the best in the world but his balancing act if far more difficult than the one George Graham had to wrestle with.

  138. London says:

    If Samba was the replacement for Squilacci then it would make sense to me. That is to say with the return of Vermaelen he would come to Arsenal in the knowledge that he would be spending the best part of next season on the bench.

    But what self respecting footballer wants to do that?

  139. Big Raddy says:

    London I agree. It is part of the difficulty of discussing transfer targets – Koscielny had a fine first season and will improve. IMO he and TV will be excellent together. As you say, which self respecting top player will take a bench seat? We already have problems with players who are concerned about their futures (NB, Gibbs, Traore, Lansbury, etc). We lost Merida last summer because he was not prepared to waste his footballing career on the bench,

    So who will accept this situation bar a player at the end of his career looking for a final hurrah (and payment)?

    We have full Internationals who cannot get into the team in almost all positions (Eboue, JD, Gibbs, Ramsey, Diaby, Rosicky, AA, Vela, NB, Chamakh etc). Do we really need more?

    I believe we need another DM and a lethal left sided striker. And to buy them we will have to break our transfer record.

  140. Morning all

    We don’t have a post for today, does anyone who is around want to knock something up or shall we just chat on here? I’m happy to leave this one open until we have something new to put up. What d’you think?

  141. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Peaches, that seems a good idea to me.

    I have just emailed you the final version of a post which can be used either today or any other day this week.

  142. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning BRaddy, you are assuming that we will have again a normal season where two preferred CB’s play together the vast majority of the games. When is the last time this happened; and with our injury prone defenders it is unlikely to happen again next season. We have been so vulnerable in this area.

  143. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    TA, that’s a good point about injuries. Is it just our perception, or do Arsenal really suffer more injuries than other sides?

    The argument that the quick feet of our players lures the opposition into lunging tackles is valid. Another amazing feature about Barca is that their key players seldom seem to get injured. Messi is about the same age as fabregas but hardly ever gets injured despite being top of the hitlist in every game he plays.

  144. Red Arse says:

    Morning All, 🙂

    The problem you have all been discussing is very apposite, i.e. if you bring someone new in, then someone else will want to leave, or if you bring someone new in, then another bum will be warming the subs bench, which is precisely the conumdrum AW has been wrestling with for the last couple of seasons.

    I believe there are 2 main drivers here which Arsenal need to address, and urgently.

    The first is that Arsenal have not won any silverware for too long – whatever the reason – and this impacts on our commercial worth.

    Manure and even Chelsea, among others, are reaping the rewards of successful EPL and European campaigns.
    Why? All the ‘big’ companies want a piece of them and are prepared to pay a massive premium to be linked with sponsoring them. This money, if we were achieving the same success/sponsorship would go into the Arsenal transfer coffers.

    The second driver is the perceived lack of success by AW and his team by many of the Arsenal fans.

    Leaving aside the contentious arguments as to the reasons for this; the ‘yoof policy’, the lack of transfer funds, Arsene Wenger’s stubborness etc, this has the hallmark of a PR disaster.

    The fans’ dissatisfaction is clearly being transmitted to the players, (twitter/blogs etc) and is obviously counter-productive, and may well put off potential new players signing for us.

    In addition, the reverse of successfully achieving trophies and thereby engendering bigger sponsorship, is that lack of success is having a materially negative impact on our sponsorship deals, which leads to a diminution in available funds for investment in new players.

    In all business the old saw still holds true; ‘you need to speculate to accumulate’.

    I think we need to start from the position that the current situation needs to be addressed, and if Arsene feels he needs to bring in new and better players, he needs to do so with some alacrity.

    The fallout from this should then be dealt with as it falls.

    If player X does not like it – out – if player Y does not want to sit on the bench – out – because at base, if they were good enough, Arsene would not be forced into replacing him/them to achieve trophy success.

    Food for thought? 🙂

  145. Thanks TA for the post, we need to do some work on it behind the scenes for wordpress to accept the format so we can’t use it today unfortunately.

    It’s interesting that we have been hit so badly with injuries to our centre-backs recently surely they should be the strongest men in our pack. Are our centre-backs wimps? 😉

  146. Rasp says:

    Morning RA,

    All you say about achievements is true, but overlooks the one thing that cannot be argued- we underachieved last season. With the players in our squad, we should have won the CC final (one off game I know), we should have come top of our CL group and we should have pushed manu much closer in the prem – if not won it.

    The Chavs had been written of as contenders and yet finished two places higher than us. I think another fair assessment would definitely be – should have done better.

  147. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp,

    Not sure I overlooked anything, my paragraph was quite specific; -‘The first (driver) is that Arsenal have not won any silverware for too long – whatever the reason – and this impacts on our commercial worth -.

    Seems a pretty comprehensive statement.

  148. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, confidence in your ability and associated success seem often to lead to injury free periods for players, and vice versa: a lack of confidence and success seems to lead to more injuries.

    I just hate those repeated scenes of energetic-nervous chaos in our defence when we have to defend a set-piece (especially when JD is not playing and we miss his height badly).

  149. Rasp says:

    RA, it is a comprehensive statement. We don’t need to get into semantics, I just wanted to repeat the point that yes, we do need to bring in new players, but the main problem last season was that we didn’t get our current players to perform near to their potential with a couple of notable exceptions.

  150. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, you are making a very valid point regarding the commercial perception of our team. The media have us firmly in the corner of ‘masters of the passing game who never win anything’ which is not only unattractive to the fans but also to sponsors. How to turn this round though? We have only limited options to, as you call it, speculate to accumulate. An alternative would be to communicate and execute a clear plan of action/improvements, so everybody starts believing that Arsen(e)(al) means bl**dy business again.

    Early signs are positive this will happen this summer.

  151. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Peaches, hope it all works out with WordPress.

  152. There seems to be a bit of confusion, we definitely haven’t got a post for today so I’m sorry if you’re waiting for one to go up. Please carry on chatting on this one for the time being.

  153. Rasp says:

    New post…

    It’s a silly little one but should keep the ball rolling for those who want to blog on a Bank holiday

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