Buy Some ……… Players

Written by Loh

Finally, after days of reading various rumours and tabloid stories on Arsenal’s potential transfer targets and the continuous never-ending Cesc and Nasri sagas, we at last, get to hear from Wenger himself on what is exactly happening and to be bluntly honest, it doesn’t sound too promising….

Well the good thing is Wenger has confirmed that he will be fighting hard to keep both Cesc and Nasri. How successful he is remains to be seen.

In the case of Nasri, if what he says is true, and his main motivation is to win honours, then I struggle to see how Wenger can convince him to stay especially with what he had said now on his planned transfer activities (which I’ll talk more later). If Nasri wants money, if rumour is again to be believed, we are offering him up to £110,000 per week now which is probably what he can earn elsewhere. Only difference is he is probably thinking he can earn as much elsewhere, but has a better chance of winning honours and hence, potentially further inflate his wage demand the next time he negotiates a new deal (assuming he will be a key player in his new team)! So the only chance I see of Wenger convincing him to stay will be down to 1 word:- LOYALTY! And sadly, loyalty is a rare virtue in modern football.

As for Fabregas, based on the current situation, I see him as the more likely one of the two to be in an Arsenal jersey come next season mainly because of his long term contract. All indications show that he will not want to tarnish his reputation and relationship with the fans and he will probably not publicly force a move to Barcelona (unlike Dani Alves who I now rank jointly top of my hate list with Evra). However, how the long running soap opera will affect the performance of our captain again remains to be seen. We all know his heart is probably by now, firmly set on returning to Barca although I really can’t see why he wants to move so quickly considering he will more likely than not, end up behind Xavi and Iniesta on the midfield pecking order. So perhaps Wenger can use this again as a reason to convince Cesc to perhaps give Arsenal 1 more year (again).

As I said at the beginning, how successful Wenger will be in trying to convince his 2 star players to stay remains to be seen. And I do agree with the pundits and fellow fans that a statement of intent will need to be made to prove to these players that we mean business! And what better way to do this then to really strengthen the squad and bring in some big name signings. Now unless the Board is telling us a whole load of bull c**p and Wenger is happily playing along with it,  there is money available. However, we are not seeing anyone walking in through the door!

We are led to believe that the Gervinho deal is very very close to finalisation but due to the Alvarez case, I will only believe it when it’s officially announced. Wenger’s statement doesn’t seems to sound too convincing either saying he doesn’t want to give too much details as it usually complicates the deal – a somewhat contradictory statement.

What really annoys me however is the fact that Wenger says that he is now only looking at 1 or 2 more signings!! Counting Gervinho, this means we would have signed only 2 or 3 “big name” players (assuming the next 1 or 2 signings are indeed big names). This again contradicts with the statement he made earlier where he said he will be “extremely active” in the transfer market. Is his earlier statement then misunderstood and being “extremely busy” means all we are doing is identifying players but not tabling a bid to actually get the player in?

Anyway, how is the signing of 1 or 2 more players going to help in trying to convince Cesc and Nasri to stay? All of us know that we are probably 3 players short as of last season to give us a chance of challenging for honours. With Clichy gone, to me, that makes at least 4 as I am really not convinced that Gibbs is even remotely ready to be our first choice leftback. Many agree that he should be given a loan stint first to get more experience before he is deemed ready. But Wenger seems to see Gibbs as ready and is now unlikely to go for a replacement which means the £7 million we get will probably end up as profits on the balance sheet and not reinvested! This to me is a major risk that Wenger is taking but he may see something  in Gibbs that I don’t.

Back to the issue of “1 or 2 signings”, we know we seriously need a new centreback so that’s probably 1 of the signings Wenger is referring to. Question now is who? The Cahill story seems to be getting a little stale now with Coyle stating that no bids have been received (how the tabloids is getting info on us offering Lansbury, Vela or Bendtner as part of the deal and how close are we in geting Cahill to me is a mystery unless you can buy a player without putting in a bid or you can do it without the team’s manager knowing it). There’s really not much news at all on the Samba end apart from Blackburn bidding for a new defender. Dann seems to be heading to Stoke now so who are we expecting to see in an Arsenal shirt? Hopefully it’s not another unknown French player as that really doesn’t make any statement of intent at all!

So, excluding a CB that we definitely need (assuming Wenger also sees things our way, which he has a tendency not to), is our other “possible” signing someone that we have been linked to? A player like Mata or Vidal or Benzema or perhaps it’s just Oxlade Chambelain? The first 3 names will probably makes us happier rather than the signing of yet again another untested youngster but knowing Wenger, a youngster might well be the favourite here!

But is 2 new signings really enough? Wenger had said 1 or 2, so we might even end up with 1! In my opinion, it’s NOT enough. Where is the DM that we so crave? Where is another proven striker that will complement or cover for RVP? And I haven’t even mentioned the need to find some quality squad players to replace those that are definitely not performing although our inability to offload these players now is fast becoming a major stumbling block.

How is Wenger going to convince Cesc and Nasri even if he said he is going to fight hard to keep them with a plan that sounds something like “we are buying players to strengthen but the core of the team will still be the same as management has complete faith in the existing team to finally wake up and deliver when it matters!”

I am sorry Mr. Wenger, if this is your transfer plan and your plan to keep your 2 big players, I am afraid you are going into a nuclear war with just your bare fists and a broken sword.

I have been trying very hard to be positive. I have been telling myself that things will change and Wenger knows what he is doing. I have been hoping that behind all these rumours, Wenger and Ivan are doing something preparing for some major surprises for us and one fine day, I’ll get to read the announcement that we have signed some top top quality players.

However, when I read Wenger’s statement, I just couldn’t help but to write this long post to  express my frustration and air my opinion.

Lastly, in Wenger, I probably still place my trust (after all he has led us to glory), but please Mr. Wenger, heed the advice of us fans. You might be great, you may have revolutionalised English football when you first arrived and you have unearthed many rough diamonds and turned them into precious stones, but the world is changing.

Things are not the same now. Many teams are cherry picking our young talents and it’s no longer so easy to find rough diamonds … So please BUY SOME F***ING PLAYERS!! And I do mean big name players!!!

123 Responses to Buy Some ……… Players

  1. Rasp says:

    Morning all, Loh is a new blogger on the site and asked if he could ‘be our guest’ and write a post.

    We are happy to give him the opportunity to air his concerns regarding Arsenal’s transfer policy.

    Blogging has adopted the form of ‘football therapy’ for supporters in these testing times.

    Loh’s well expressed views reflect the way many supporters are feeling.

  2. tau says:

    certainly agree wth you on a number pf issues, Gibbs being not ready, the need for another CF, CB. i eually share the same fears on us not reinvesting in squad players as direct replacements for Nasri and Fab. Its frustrating @ times t listen to wat AW says regards players n transfere.why arent w bidding fo players like Sneider, Eto-o. I also see us falling down the perking order, this year is our last in champs league

  3. asd says:

    Why the hell is Loh talking out his backside when we’ve just announced the Gervinho signing and confirmed that both Cesc and Nasri are staying? Terrible debut really.

  4. goonermichael says:

    Well written post and I agree with a lot of it. I think buying 3 players (plus Jenkinson) is busy for Wenger. I’d never imagined 5 or 6 coming in. If Nasri and Cesc stay then I think that’s probably as much as we could have hoped for. I’m worried about Gibbs as he seems to pick up injuries quite a bit as well as his inexperience. I’d rather barca just coughed up and Cesc went though. If he does stay and he puts his heart into it I’d happily eat humble pie (haven’t got a hat).

  5. Hey. IT’S BEEN CONFIRMED,GERVINHO IS AN ARSENAL PLAYER. I would be happy if wenger kept Fabregas and Nasri then just buy a CB. Th team is great alredy.

  6. Rasp says:


    The post was written before the Gervinho deal was confirmed.

  7. Wonderman says:

    Hi Loh, congratulations on your maiden post a great debating piece, and as Rasp has said many supporters would agree with your sentiments…I am not one of them. My view is as follows

    a) You were probably not aware at the time of writing, but Wenger has just confirmed this morning that both Nasri and Cesc will stay this season

    b) With the advent of You tube and Championship manager we have fans all over the world believing they ‘know more’ than someone who has been in the game for decades. I urge some of you who know so much to volunteer to assist on a local Uefa B course, you will soon be reminded of the knowledge gap you possess.

    c) For me Fit Starting 11 is as follows Sczezcny, Traore, Vermy, Djourou, Sagna, Song, Wilshere, Cesc, Nasri, Van P, Wallcot.
    Bench: Fabianski, Kosser, Chamahk, Arshavin, Ramsey, Gervinho

    That leaves out Mannone, Lansbury, Gibbs, Vela, Rosicky, Diaby,Frimpong, Jenkinson, Eboue, Squillaci,Eastmond, and Jet

    I have omitted Bendy and Almunia as we know they are going and done the same with Denilson as I dont think he will get anywhere near the first team next season. I also think Squillaci will leave.

    Where is the scope for more than 1 or two players there? I cant see it

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning wonderman, do you think that AW will keep Nasri for another season if he doesn’t sign a new contract?

    I cannot believe we would let a player worth £20m now go on a free in a year’s time – it goes against all the ‘financial prudence’ we have shown these last 6 years.

  9. Rasp says:

    My view is that if Cesc and Nasri stay and with the purchase of Gervinho and one top quality CB, we will be considerably stronger than last season and able to fight on all fronts.

  10. Wonderman says:

    Morning Rasp,

    Well only one of three things can happen now

    a) Nasri signs a new contract and stays
    b) Nasri doesnt sign and goes
    c) Nasri signs and is then sold.

    Personally I am not worried about the potential loss of £20m as I believe our prudence is focussed more on what we pay for players in transfers and wages. Plus I would imagine that his ‘book value’ is almost amortised anyway. Also I dont buy that Man U or Citeh would pay that much for a player they could get to sign a pre contract in January

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Loh, great maiden post on AA. Like Rasp says your views are well expressed and are shared by many other supporters.

    I am not one of them though. I don’t believe we need to sign big name players to make the final push. The reasons for this are:
    1. Our team is maturing every year and Wenger is right to see this as a major strength compared to our direct competitors
    2. Vermaelen and Ramsey are back and whether it is a cliche or not, this is like two new signings. We also have installed a ‘new’ GK and I feel strongly that our defence will improve significantly next season with Sagna – Djourou/new signing – Vermaelen/Koscielny – Gibbs/Vermaelen/Koscielny
    3. Especially if both Nasri and Cesc stay, we have an incredible number of quality central midfielders, in fact we have so many we can make 4 quality combinations in this crucial area.
    4. Wenger has said he wants to strengthen defence but I see that as a need to improve our cover arrangements for injuries, fatigue and suspension. Cahill would be great but he is not a ‘big big player’ (yet).
    5. We need to strengthen on the wing: Wenger is working on it and I trust he will find us the gems for a good price, once again. Gervinho looks like a potential gem to me.
    6. A top quality striker would be nice, but I trust in Chamakh, who needs to be given a good run of games again. If Bendtner goes, I’d rather we buy another winger (I see Gervinho firstly as a winger) and move Theo into our group of strikers (RvP, Chamakh, Theo, Gervinho)
    7. It would be nice again if Arsene would get us a proven LB, but Gibbs should get a chance and we always have the option to move TV or even Koz into that area for a while if Gibbs would start to struggle. I trust Wenger to make the right call on Gibbs’ readiness.

    So, Cahill, Gervinho and another winger, if Bendtner does indeed go (which I still doubt very much as a certain Ego might be in the way), would be enough for me. But maybe I am simply too optimistic and you are right that we can only make the next step if we buy big name players. I am not sure though whether Cesc and/or Nasri will only stay if and when Arsenal buys those big players, but you might well be right again. Only the future will tell.

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi Wonderman,

    My guess would be that Nasri signs a new contract but with a clause or precondition that says he will be allowed to leave next year if £’X’ amount is offered or some similar stipulation.

  13. Wonderman says:

    I also think Wenger is looking at Bartley closely to decide whether he will be the ‘new Centre back’. Which I dont have a problem with. He is English, taller than Cahill, quicker than Samba and has been with us since the age of 16.Plus he has had good loan spells with Sheffield U and Rangers

  14. Rasp says:

    One thing is for sure, Nasri is conducting himself in a far better manner than Modric …… good to see the spuds getting a reality check on the pitfalls of ‘success’

  15. goonermichael says:

    Bendtner is gone apparently TA

  16. Yoyi says:

    I don’t agree with this post at all. This same squad we got have been close on all grounds for seasons now. You can’t say we are behind the pecking order, not a fair comment. If fab n Samir are staying, according to arsene, then I dont see a problem with this current squad. We dont need a striker, gervinho is a player that is capable of playing in all fronts, right, left and centre. We have got vela and homely much more hard working ashanti. We don’t need a CB. dj n kos played most of the games last season. They have added a lot of experience on their plate. Don’t forget that vermelean is back, someone who had less than 10% of playing time. We just signed Carl jenkinson, someone who can play right left centre at defense. Buying a CB wouldn’t help our situation, it would just had to current players leaving. We don’t need DM, we got that beast frimpong. If u saw him last season on pre-season, you would knw where I’m coming from. This squad is bless with quality, we don’t experienced players with ego to come and damage the club i.e gallas. I mean look at man city last season, always fight in training ground, players with stupid atitude i.e tevez n co. We don’t what that at the arsenal. What this team lacks is the experience of winninng tropies based on obv reasons. But that doesn’t mean we need to pack our squad like man city. A team would gain sure experience by going tru failure first, then respond to that as a group, that why arsene is fighting to keep this team together n not buy a trophy but rightly win one.

  17. Wonderman says:

    Hi Rasp,

    agreed as that would be a favourable compromise

    Hi Total,

    I’m not convinced that we will buy a new left back. Whilst I dont think Gibbs is ready yet, am I the only one who thinks that If you wanted a defender to learn his trade than Italy would be your choice of finishing school . In Traore we have a 6′ 1″ left back who is as quick as Clichy, more powerful and from what I remember can actually cross. The time in the bench over their coupled with the daily training in Italy must have improved him

  18. Wonderman says:

    Nasri is merely taking advantage of his contractual rights, no more or less than either of us would do in his position. He has been a model with his behaviour

  19. Rasp says:

    Morning Yoyi and welcome,

    Good comment. I suspect that AW has an idea of a re-shuffle of the defence using the current players available that may see an unexpected face at LB or DM – there are certainly many permutations using the squad we have.

    The presistent rumours linking us with CB’s suggest that a new defender was certainly an option that the club was considering.

  20. 1strangers says:

    My ideal choice of players to buy will be Mata and Mertesacker. If Downing fetches £20m, then Juan Mata is a bargain buy at £21m (according to report). Also perhaps AA can raise some funds by selling Nicklas Bendtner or Denilson for at least £10m.

    Ideal squad (Starting 11)

    Sagna, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs

    Nasri, Wilshere, Mata

    Gervinho ,Van Persie, Walcott

    Fabianski ,Ramsey, Arsharvin, Chamakh, Alex Song

    Reserved (selected):-
    Traore, Rosicky, Diaby, Vela, Mannone, Squillaci

  21. evonne says:

    Loh – thanks for your post, interesting read

    Scum might actually do us a favour; if Levy sticks to his guns some players might finally learn a lesson and stop fecking about when it suits them

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, I have been away for a few days. Bendtner gone, are you sure? Where, how, what?

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Wman, you might be right re Traore. I just have not seen him play for a long time now. Wenger let Clichy go without much of a fight, so he must have a plan….

  24. Yoyi says:

    Morning Rasp

    Fair point about the rumors on arsenal move for a CB. what I fail to understand is that if sure rumors are true, why hasnt arsene tabled a bid or come out openly like the way he has done with the siging of gervinho. I’m guessing he going to wait and see with the current squad whether or not we actually need 1. Personally I don’t think we need 1 but my judgement is so mere compared to wenger so let’s see. But based on past situation, I could see wenger by the end of september coming out saying the squad is quality,we don’t need new signings. I agree on the situation at LB, Gibbs may not b there yet but any new, based on the ones we have been linked with may not do a better job than clichy done. Mayb execpt from baines who I see as a better LB than clichy. But with that said, I dont see 17million fir a LB as a fair price. Seeing what wenger did with Ashley cole departure, I wouldn’t b suprised or angered if we stuck with Gibbs. The only issue there is his injury record which would mean another van perie in the startin eleven. For all this reasons, Ima be keeping a close eye on pre-seasons to check on the players. Also traore may have improved, we never know. I think wenger would make his mind up on who to buy after the Asia tour or so. I’m just hoping stweat downing news is a fat rumor caus his wimpy not good enough for arsenal

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    1strangers, you like attacking formations then? Poor Jack on his own in the middle being a namesake of all trades?!

  26. goonermichael says:

    He’s been left behind (from the Asia tour) with Almunia so they can both sort out thier moves. He’s already said he would leave and unlike denilson there are probably quite a few teams that would take him.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, I would be so surprised if Bendtner goes this season. He will only go to a club with fame and where he can play regularly. I cannot see any top European team offering him this at this stage.

  28. London says:

    An extremely well crafted post Loh.

    Bloody Wonderman has just said everything I would have lol. I agree with every word especially the view of Traore: Italy, defending, hellooooo.

    Nasri signs a new five year deal and stays with us for another four years, this might sound a bit fatalistic but surely it is reasonable that players want to experience life at different clubs during their relatively short careers.

  29. adrian says:

    Good morning all:
    A lot of us seem to have forgotten that each team has to have a certain number of ‘home grown’ players. Thus we can’t exactly be throwing away cash at foreign talent. Bendtner, fabregas, are both classified as home grown, and so selling them would mean having to replace them with similar players. This gives me more reason to believe the downing rumours that are being bandied about. ( I can’t say that I’m exactly jumping for joy at the mention of downing though!)
    Also I think that wenger will at best add two more players to the squad, most likely another CB for cover. In midfield we have an embarrassment of riches in wilshere, ramsey, song, frimpong, arshavin, gervinho, rosicky, nasri(who AW looks set to keep this season), so another dm (not forgetting diaby) is not particularly needed.
    That being said, the transfer window doesn’t shut till august so let’s sit tight, and see what happens!umber of ‘home grown’ players. Thus we can’t exactly be throwing away cash at foreign talent. Bendtner, fabregas, are both classified as home grown, and so selling them would mean having to replace them with similar players. This gives me more reason to believe the downing rumours that are being bandied about. ( I can’t say that I’m exactly jumping for joy at the mention of downing though!)
    Also I think that wenger will at best add two more players to the squad, most likely another CB for cover. In midfield we have an embarrassment of riches in wilshere, ramsey, song, frimpong, arshavin, gervinho, rosicky, nasri(who AW looks set to keep this season), so another dm (not forgetting diaby) is not particularly needed.
    That being said, the transfer window doesn’t shut till august so let’s sit tight, and see what happens!

  30. Wonderman says:

    @TA just a thought, as if im not mistaken, both Traore and Gibbs are classed as home grown. Many fans are forgetting this rule when they start talking about buying this player or that player. What I am really pleased about is what is looking like the beginning of a british feel about the team. With Ramsey, Wallcott, Wilshere and hopefully Bartley, and Jenkinson coming through. I hoping that curtails the exodus to Spain every season

  31. WiganGooner says:

    Good morning all, great debut post Loh!

    Here’s a thought, before his injury Fabianski was turning in some awesome performances, so, who will be #1 next season?

    I don’t see why Fabianski can’t do the job. We all think Sczcesny is the future, but is he ready now?


  32. Wonderman says:

    Morning London ….sorry 🙂

  33. cin says:

    What i believe, Still AW is cheating fans by these kind o shit words.

  34. London says:


    People are saying that the Gervinho deal has been confirmed, I can’t see anything on, what is going on?

  35. Wonderman says:

    Hi WG,

    For me it’s Sczesny all day long, if only because of two things
    1.His superior size
    2. The defence seem more at ease with him.

    Fabianski does have superior kicking ability at the mo , but that is easily rectified.

    Will be interesting to see who comes up the winner though

  36. Rasp says:

    Hi London,

    It has not been officially confirmed by AFC, but apparently verbally confirmed by AW. Its just a matter of time, it may be Friday before the club make an announcement. I think he’s a very good buy as he is quick, direct and aggressive in his play and will add goals and assists.

  37. Wonderman says:

    London, if you are waiting for to be the vanguard of all arsenal news mate dont hold your breath. They are woeful at being first to confirming news which I always struggle to understand. Wenger confirmed it in an interview on touch down

  38. Rasp says:

    Hi adrian, very good comment.

    The only thing I would disagree with is that an incoming CB would be for cover – we have plenty who can cover (Jenkinson added to the list) surely if we buy a CB (and I’m beginning to think it is unlikely) he will be potentially first choice.

  39. goonermichael says:

    Wenger hinself has said Gervinho gas started training at Colney today.

  40. goonermichael says:

    Wenger hinself has said Gervinho gas started training at Colney today.
    Gervinho has come back from holiday and signed,’ said Wenger.

    ‘He had a medical on Thursday: we sent him back home to sort things out for two days. He has a family with children.

    ‘He came back yesterday and starts his fitness programme in London today. He is officially an Arsenal player now. I decided not to take him because he had had no training sessions.’

    Gervinho becomes the Gunners second signing of the summer, after Carl Jenkinson joined from Charlton, but Wenger revealed the club won’t be dipping into the transfer market to replace Gael Clichy, who joined Manchester City.

    ‘We have Kieran Gibbs, Armand Traore and Thomas Vermaelen who can play at left back so we have what we need,’ he added.

    Read more:

  41. London says:

    Thanks GM

  42. Martin 90 says:

    I think Wenger has got to sort the defence out as soon as possible. That has been the achilles heel of the team for the last 3/4 seasons especially at corners and set pieces. The only top defenders in the squad are Vermaalen and Sagna. All the other defenders are either too inexperienced or not good enough for top level football. A top left back and two tall experienced centre backs must be found otherwise we are facing another disappointing season as well as the loss of a top 4 place regardless of what forwards or midfield palyers are in the squad at the start of next season. By concetrating on Fabregas and Nasri ( both players want out I am sure) Wenger is taking his eye of the other pressing problems ( As usual!!)

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Wonderman@11.23, you might be right re a British feel about the team, especially if Cahill would come as well and Lansbury would make it into the top team.

    Great news about Gervinho, thanks WG.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Wonderman and WG, that is an interesting debate re Fab or Szcz. From an athletic and style point a view, there is not a more beautiful GK than Fabianski. There is something old fashioned / timeless about him. But Szczesny has that cocky confidence and dominance about him which is so important, especially in the PL where GK get challenged a lot more. I would love to see both of them succeed… but how?

  45. Wonderman says:

    ‘I would love to see both of them succeed… but how?’
    That is the $1m problem and one that I think only one man can win, talk about competition for places though !!. For me Szczesny has an authority about him that will put doubt in strikers’s minds. I mean to have your league debut against Man U and Champs League debut against Barca says it all. Whereas for me Fabianski always has a mistake in him

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Wman, maybe Fab should go on loan for 1/2 season, so he can get regular match practice. I think you are a bit harsh on Fab always having a mistake in him, but agree with you Szczesny is ahead at the moment.

  47. Wonderman says:

    TA you could be right on me being harsh, but a) I cant get out of my mind the sight of him slapping the ball into his own net in that champions league game and b) the numerous times he comes for crosses and doesnt get anywhere near them or doesnt come when he should. His mental disposition reminds me of Richard Wright

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Wman, fair enough. The only way to deal with those problems is to practice a lot and get a run of games. I thought he did a lot better during the spell before he got injured and Szczesny took over.

  49. Wonderman says:

    TA agreed, the injury was untimely, but then it allowed us to confirm what we were all hearing about Szczesny and dispell the shout for wasting money on Schwarzer or anyone else for that matter

  50. DM says:

    Hi all,

    Interesting post Loh, even though I disagree with the vast majority of it :p (Also, in the least insulting way possible, please try to sort out your grammar – commas in particular seem to be thrown in for fun.) Most of the points I would’ve made in response to this article seem to have already been excellently argued by previous posters.

    Here’s my dilemma. Everyone is raving about how great it would be to hold on to both Cesc and Nasri. Of course on the face of it they’re probably right – most of the last couple of months has been dominated by the media talking of their imminent departures, and how this would be such a terrible thing for the team. So holding on to them would certainly seem to be Wenger’s “up yours” to the media and to those who are dubbing us a “feeder club”.

    My problem – and it’s becoming more formed even as I type this – is, I think, with the very words that I’ve written: “hold on”. That we “hold on” to the players. Is this the right image to portray of Arsenal Football Club – one that appears desperate to “hold on” to their key players? Or should we be portraying a club that believes playing for it is a privilege of the highest degree? That any player who does not put their all into the club should not be playing for it.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ve got the answers. Cesc has never made a secret of his desire to go back to his boyhood club, but that hasn’t stopped him putting in sterling performances for us year on year. His loyalties are never doubted when it’s actually important – during the playing season (with a couple of possible exceptions *cough cough* Barcelona – and even then I stress the word possible). As for Nasri, the last month or so has been brutal in terms of the battering we seem to be getting from the press, but how much of it is really his fault? Is it so bad for him to be looking for the best deal around? That’s not rhetorical, by the way, that’s a real question – maybe the answer is yes.

    In an ideal world, these players would stay at Arsenal. But it wouldn’t be that we “held on” to them. It would be a case of them pledging their future to our cause. Certainly with Cesc, saying this is unlikely would be an understatement at best. So let’s say we sell Cesc – not because we have to, not because we’re a feeder club, but because his heart isn’t really in it any more and the time is right – and we get, what, £35-40M. That might not seem quite fair in an over-inflated market but the truth it’s still a lot of money and we could do a lot with it.

    But what about Nasri? With Cesc gone, I think his role becomes greater. He moves into the playmaker role and makes it his own. But surely this has to be a long-term plan, and for this to happen he’s got to state his desire to stay at the Emirates and help us recapture the glory days of (not so) old. So this pretty much depends him signing a new deal with us. I say if he does, great. If he doesn’t, let him go. Here’s another point about Nasri – £20-25M for a player that’s got one year left on his contract and has only had half a season in all his time with us where he’s really shined.. well that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me. More to the point, if we sold him to United (as much as Wenger seems to hate the idea), that would surely stop them buying Sneijder from Inter. I think that would be huge. I read an article on an MUFC blog just before that was comparing Nasri and Sneijder, showing their stats, and featuring a poll on who supporters would rather get. It was a lot closer than I thought it would be. Some stats actually leaned in Nasri’s favour, and at the time the results of the poll were 52% Sneijder to 48% Nasri. But come on guys, surely this isn’t a hard choice to make. Wesley Sneijder! Have you seen him?! He would be immense in United’s midfield and, as much as it would be great to have him in the EPL, I truly hope he doesn’t sign for them. So maybe giving them Nasri wouldn’t be the worst thing.

    Next problem – with me previously advocating that we don’t really need many players – a new CB, possibly another winger and a striker (maybe take one of those away with the signing of Gervinho) – do I now have to take that back if we sell both Cesc and Nasri? There are certainly scenarios in which if we stick with buying players to fill the 3 positions above, we could still field a very strong side, even without Cesc and Nasri. But if they were both to go, there would obviously be much stronger arguments to reinforce the side with proven talent in the middle of the park, where it’s so important.

    I know it’s all hypothetical as, at least for now, the word on the street is that they’re staying (whether I buy that or not is a different matter but we’ll see), but it’s an interesting thought for discussion.

    Sorry this was so long – hard to stop once you start! (Pringle, anyone?)

  51. Rasp says:


    I don’t know too much about Loh, but looking at his email, I think it is likely that English is his second language and he is abroad. In the circumsatnces I think he got his message across, we did a little editing but in general prefer to leave posts in the style of the author.

  52. Rasp says:


    You write very well and make good points – feel free to follow Loh’s lead and express your thoughts in a post on the site if you are so inclined.

  53. DM says:


    if English is Loh’s second language then fair enough, he did a great job (much better than I could’ve done in any other language!).

    I’m fairly new to the whole blogging thing so not sure exactly how I go about writing an actual post as opposed to a response, but if you let me know then I will certainly consider doing one at some point – though at the moment I think I’ve said what I wanted to! 🙂

    Interested to see what others make of my points..

  54. London says:

    “Pringle anyone” lol

    Interesting read DM hope we get to read a headline post of yours.

  55. DM says:

    London – thanks, that’s kind of you to say.
    Glad the pringle reference got a laugh 🙂

  56. London says:


    I can see three points in there: how much of the speculation surrounding his possible departure is down to the player himself? Common sense dictates that if anyone of us were players and we had one year left on our contracts we would explore all possibilities before committing to a contract that will almost certainly last another five years, so the answer to you question in my opinion is: no more that any other sensible person.
    Would United be happy with Nasri? There is hypothetical and hypothetical and that one is way out the park…….not going to happen. But interestingly you talk about how fantastic Sneijder would be in their midfield, I don’t think he would look to bad in Barcelona’s either.
    Fabregas and Nasri leaving just ain’t going to happen either, the former possibly, regardless of what Wenger has said today. But if Cesc does go it is not just Nasri who can move into the middle it is also Arshavin. The left will now be taken up by Gervinho which will force Wenger to find a new role (at last) for the Russian.

    I hope my use of commas has come up to standard.

  57. Gooner in Exile says:

    Afternoon all.

    Interesting debut Loh

    For me I am with Wonderman here in that I wasn’t expecting five or six players in, and I like the number of youngsters we are developing and they should be our future.

    We coasted through homegrown rule last season as so many were under 21 and therefore not in the 17 of 25 man squad rule. I still don’t think we have a problem this year if Cesc and NikB leaves however going forward that 8 home grown is set to get higher, we may need 10-12 homegrown of the 25 man squad, how many other teams would be in as strong a position as us to deal with it?

    I’d like to see Frimpong and Bartley step up to the team at times this year plus Lansbury and Afobe to be on the fringes hopefully JET gets switched on too. Wilshere should be there role model, no longer can players like Sidwell and Bentley complain about “I’m not French” when they move on having had few chances. Jack has shown what can be achieved through the ranks these boys need to force the boss to think about them too.

  58. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m also pleased there are so many new authors piling on board at AA. More sacrificial lambs for the Warrior Princess.

  59. DM says:

    London –

    Gotta agree with you on Nasri. When I hear so much speculation surrounding him in the media I can’t help but start to feel a little contempt for him, but the more I’ve had time to think about it the more I realise he hasn’t done anything wrong. I do hope that he stays with us, but only if he signs a new contract. If he doesn’t, it should be highest bidder time.

    Sneijder would, of course, be a great buy for Barcelona, too. He’s pure quality. Simple.

    Interesting that you bring up Arshavin switching position. I hadn’t really considered that at all. I’d come up with quite a few possible starting XI’s and formations for next year, all of which involved changing certain players’ positions around – i.e. Walcott RW/ST, Nasri LM/CM, Gervinho RW/LW/ST, etc – but Arshavin wasn’t in my thoughts at all. Where do you reckon he would be better suited?

    Your commas were a beauty to behold 😉

  60. Rasp says:


    Submitting a post is simple. Just write your article (preferably in Word) and email it to us using the link in ‘Be our Guest’ at the top of the page.

    Nothing is published without the author’s agreement, although as you can see from today’s example, some posts are time-sensitive and can be undermined by developing events.

  61. chas says:

    Nice post, Loh. 🙂

    Unfortunate that it has come out on day when some positive noises have come out of the Arsenal camp, but it is highly relevant nonetheless.

  62. WiganGooner says:


    Arshavin has often said he would prefer to play through the middle rather than stuck out on the wing. I think he would be awesome as the spear-head of a midfield three. He’s got a good shot on him and a low centre of gravity to help turn out of trouble.

    I’d put him in there in a heartbeat.


  63. DM says:

    Rasp – thanks, as soon as I’d posted that comment to you, I looked at the top of the site and saw the “Be our Guest” link.

    WiganGooner – Interesting. I’d be very interested to see what your starting XI would look like then. Who would Arshavin play instead of in the middle?

  64. goonermichael says:

    How funny is this?

    I am sorry it has taken me so long after the event to come back to you about the Arsenal Ball and the haircut Michael so kindly donated. The Ball itself raised £270,000 for Centrepoint which was fantastic. Michael’s haircut was auctioned along with a behind the scenes day at a recording of the X-factor and was bought by Arsenal player Samir Nasri for £4,000. I’m not sure if he will be having the hair cut himself or giving it to a friend!

    I hope he does. I’d make sure he stays 🙂

  65. California Gooner says:

    My nephew in France tells me that Gervinho is really top drawer. Now he is just barely a teenager, so I take his assessments with a pinch of salt, but he is generally really thoughtful about these things. Anyhow, here’ hoping he is ready to take the next step up under Wenger’s tutelage. THe Gervinho signing makes me think we will be attacking more at speed next season.

    One question: do people here see us persisting with a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 or what ever it is we were playing last year? Or do other see a switch in the making with us adding another central striker while dropping Van Persie back into a #10 role? If Cesc goes, I think we will see something more like a 4-4-2 with V.Persie dropping back or one of wide men tucking in to add extra bodies in the mid-field. If he stays, I’m not sure.

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oi One and All.
    That is polite in Portugual from where I be. Great post Loh, thanks, and sod the grammar. Will be keeping visits brief.
    Gervinho eh? Sounds good. Bye for now, must get me dongle out.

  67. RockyLives says:

    Very stimulating debut post Loh – which has unsurprisingly generated some excellent comments.

    I’ll make a couple of responses to your points:
    I never think we should examine in forensic detail the words Arsene utters in his press interviews. He is not reading from a script, he is talking conversationally and off the top of his head. So when he says “1 or 2 more signings” I think he means it in the way most of us do when we use the phrase “1 or 2” in conversation. In reality it could mean 1, or 2, or even 3.

    AW said at the end of last season that he would be “very active” in the transfer market this summer. To my mind, if we bring in Gervinho, Jenkinson (both confirmed) plus two others (TBC) and we transfer out a minimum of Bendy, Denilson, Clichy and Almunia, that would constitute Arsene being very active.

    That said, like most Gooners I share many of your frustrations and I respect greatly the way you have expressed them in a non-hysterical, rational manner.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Too many good comments to respond to, but I’ll throw in my tuppeny-worth on one issue:

    I am convinced Fabianski will be our No 1 next year, with Chesney No 2.

    I’m not 100% convinced by Fabianski, mainly because of his stature, which I feel is a bit small for the EPL. However, I also think Chesney is not yet ready to be our out-and-out No 1 and a season of playing No 2, where he plays in all the domestic cup games and in maybe 10 league games would help prepare him to be No 1 next year.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Leila89, hard to tell whether we continue with 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2. The former seems to work very well for us in away games and against the bigger teams at home. The latter could be employed during the majority of our home games to break opponents quicker and have a bit more variety in our attacks. With Gervinho and Theo on the wings and, and like you say RvP in the hole, we could also have Chamakh (or Bendtner) as our forward. In the centre of midfield we could have Song and Cesc/Wilshire, or even Song and Diaby, who should both shield defence as well as support attack if and when possible. It would mean that both wingers should be prepared to help to regain possession and RvP and Chamakh to put pressure on all the time as well. I would love to see a bit more 4-4-2 at home games this season. What is your preference?

  70. RockyLives says:

    So you might get to do Nasri’s barnet then…
    Can you shave AFC onto the back without him knowing?

  71. RockyLives says:

    Attacking at speed would be a good thing.

    Last season we were often too slow and predictable and allowed defences to regroup too quickly.

    Most of the poorer teams in the EPL base their approach on a strong, well-organised and very physical defence. If they are given the chance to set themselves up properly they are difficult to break down. We let them do it time after time.

    Unfortunately, one of the reasons we play that way is that we have built our team around Cesc. If Cesc stays (and, by the way, unlike most people on here I DON’T take AW’s words today to mean that Cesc and Nasri are definitely staying) I hope we can adapt the system to allow us to break faster.

    With Cesc’s vision and passing ability it shouldn’t be too hard to do.

  72. RockyLives says:

    No wonder Gervinho changed his name – his actual first name is Gervais…

  73. London says:

    I take Arsene words on Cesc to mean that you (Barcelona) are going to have to cough up a lot more if you want our captain.

  74. London says:

    Big call: Fabianski number 1 ahead of Szcezney.

    Humid, humid, humid I would imagine life in Toronto is right now?

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RL, agreed. I cannot see any reason Cesc would be in the way of fast-attacking football in a 4-4-2 formation. As long as he has options, he will not waste time and pass the ball where it needs to be. The key question is whether we are prepared to give up our possession football and become more MU like. I hope we’ll find some middle way.

  76. London says:

    I was under the impression that Gervinho came in from the left but someone wrote, I don’t remember who, that he comes in from the right this is confusing me, can anyone help?


    Sagna, Kosciekny, Vermaelen, Gibbs



    ———Nasri, RvP,Gervinho

    This I believe is going to be our principle team. Arshavin could be swapped for Ramsey, Nasri or Diaby but if I had to commit this would be what I regard as the main force.

    I am very worried about Cesc leaving and I do not expect us to sign a CB.

  77. London says:

    Hi TA

    My idea of a middle way is having the ability to switch quickly between 433 and 442 would you agree?

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    London, think you are right Gervinho comes in from the left. I have seen footage though where he came in from the right as well and scored (but less often so). Your formation looks good, although I am not sure about Koscielny and Vermaelen together, but we have had that discussion before (re signing an additional CB, and you might well be right that Wenger will stick with what he got). What are your views re RvP in the hole?

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi London@7.25

    Yes, you are probably right. Could we play 4-4-2 based around our possession & passing game though – 4-2-3-1 suits this perfectly – or does 4-4-2 only make sense if we can switch in an instant from defence, regaining the ball and boom boom boom, it is in the net: not waisting any time with unnecessary passing the ball around? A bit like Arsenal used to play under Wenger and MU have been playing recently. What I mean is, could there be a risk of clashing/incompetible styles?

  80. London says:


    I am not sure about quite a lot of it up there but that is my guess at the moment.

    It is difficult to know if RvP could play in the hole, has there been a time when he has. I think I need to see it before taking a view.

    I think it is right and proper that every fan wants to see the squad of the club he supports strengthened. I would certainly like to see more CBs but I just don’t think the person who matters agrees.

  81. kelsey says:

    If year after year we were a mid table team, never in Europe my expectations would be different, as believe me I have seen plenty of those years, too many for my liking .But we aren’t and surely the obvious questions are where are most vunerable, which players are squad players, which aren’t even squad players but for emergencies, which have a history of injuries and finally most importantly which are the players that could make the difference between winning and losing.
    I am not going to name players as most of us know who I mean, but when you get a statement like today that Gibbss or Traore could cover at LB that doesn’t fill me with positive vibes, in fact it is a backward step.As others have said the window desn’t close until the end of August but we always seem to do things in a strange way.gervino could have signed a week ago, gone back home for a couple of days to sort out arrangements with his family and then still had plenty of time to join the squad on their tour of asia.IMo we still need a top flight keeper and a central defender at the very least and remember next year Arshavin and co will be over 30 and the whole process will start again., by that i mean the over thirty rule should be looked into carefully,otherwise we will never have that bit of experience any team needs.Wenger has stated again today that we are an attacking side but in general all good teams are built from a resolute defence.

    This is my opinion and my opinion only.

  82. Gooner in Exile says:

    Never am I one to laugh at others adversity.

    Essien ruled out for six months…..

    Ok I lied that raised a huge smile in this house.

  83. London says:

    Is that the same Essien that so many Arsenal supporters wish we had over Alex Song? lol

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    London, I reckon RvP would be a different ‘in the hole player’ than Cesc or even Dennis. Less of a killer-passer, but a bit more like Rooney: clever runs into space, very direct with the ability to score from outside the box, good use of the wings and supporting his fellow striker and still dangerous in the box himself. With Song as DM and either Cesc, Ramsey, Nasri, Arshavin, Wilshere in the centre of midfield, the clever killer-passes are likely to come from that area.

    If you look at it, I just cannot see us holding on to both Cesc and Nasri: we just have too many quality, creative midfielder at the moment.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, it is a huge loss for Chelsea and I guess it is good for us, but I never like anybody getting injured like Essien just did. The only exception would be PatRice Evra 😉

  86. London says:


    I share the concern of your last sentence; it just seems too convenient for the club to sell.

    I am a huge RvP fan; the Boy Wonder can do no wrong no matter where he plays.

  87. London says:

    I wouldn’t shed a tear if Rooney found himself injured, they are nothing without him.

  88. London says:

    Always good to read your opinion Kelsey.

  89. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’d prefer to have too many than none. Haven’t seen much of Gervinho my concern would be is he more of the same or does he give us another dimension? One that could see Theo missing out?

  90. RockyLives says:

    VERY humid. I take it you’ve been here?

  91. RockyLives says:

    Peaches, Rasp
    Silly post added to drafts.

  92. RockyLives says:

    Does anyone have any idea of how we can find out what’s happened to Red Arse?

  93. Rasp says:


    I’ve just read your ‘silly post’ – it’s an absolute gem 😆

    We have a post from TA but he may wish to amend it in light of recent revelations.

  94. evonne says:

    Rocky – Peaches and Rasp have tried mailing him, asking around on other blogs, but nobody seems to have his phone number 😦

    I just hope that the old bugger is basking in the sun somewhere and could not give 2 hoots about this blog

  95. SharkeySure says:

    Vey well written post Loh, really enjoyed reading it (stylewise?) even though I didn’t agree with prob70-80% of the content. It was pretty disappointing that used the last couple of lines that you did. Seems to me like you popped out the room and someone else added them for a bit of a laugh.

    I’m a big fan of Arsene and often despair at the amount of flak he gets. However with his earlier comments about a busy summer, and now his latest comments about 1 or 2 signings, he does himself no favours whatsoever.

    I’ve set aside for now, the fact that we really can’t know now what WILL actually happen on the signings front, but its pretty clear that he’s not delivered a consistent message in this case. He must know that many fans hang on his every word, so I dont understand why he would make two very contradictory statements.

    In all honesty, I’ve always thought that we only needed one or two players, maybe 3 tops. I was quite surprised at the thought of a ‘busy summer’, as I thought it might mean less playing time for some of our players who are in the ascendancy. ie the likes of Chesney, Kozzer, Ramsey, and possibly Frimpong. These players may just be the ones who turn things around next season, or at least play a big part in doing so.

    I’m wholly unconvinced about Cahill at £17m, is he really an improvement over Kozzer just cos he’s English. Lets be clear on how unexposed he is at Bolton with two stay at home FBs.

    Chesney vs Schwarzer, or even vs Given, who’s barely 6ft tall.

    No thanks on both counts.

    Oh and ‘evening all’ , and ‘night all’ !!

  96. SharkeySure says:

    Quick word on Essien.

    I’m not gloating or over the moon about his injury, I think nonplussed covers my state of mind on that one.

    I can’t thinking how many times he’s ‘tackled’ someone in a fashion that could see them missing six months…or longer.

    He’s no angel

  97. SharkeySure says:

    Oh and all of those ‘tackles’ of his that I can recall, have all been cowardly ones. Never a head on 50-50 with all the cards on the table.

    What does that even mean…??

    Deffo nite from me now

  98. TA’s post has been amended Rasp and the new one is in drafts but you’ll need to move the photos

  99. goonermichael says:

    Why is ferguscum talking about our player? classless wanker.

  100. RockyLives says:

    can’t you get to cut his hair – and do a Sweeny Todd?

  101. goonermichael says:

    I’ll take his ears off if he doesn’t stay.
    Can’t believe how anyone has respect for that alchy scots wanker. Most managers say “I don’t talk about other teams players”. He is pure scum.

  102. RockyLives says:

    His players won’t shut up about our lot either.
    Even though they have been more successful than us lately, I think they really hate the way everyone says we play better football.

  103. Jamie says:

    Glad to see Gervinho in even if we are awaiting papers. I stick by my source for last week who said if we keep Cesc and Nasri and the is still a big if, it will be Cahill, Gervinho and one other.

    If one of them goes then there could be as many as six.

  104. Morning all

    I’ve been in two minds lately but I’ve decided, I really want Cesc to stay.

    AW is right, we are a big club and we should hold on to our big players.

  105. chas says:


    If he really wants to stay, peaches, I couldn’t agree more.

  106. chas says:

    I don’t understand why, if Cesc or Nasri goes, we will suddenly buy a left back and an additional centre back. Doesn’t make sense to me. We either need them or we don’t.

  107. evonne says:

    Sharkey @10:29 – ‘last couple of lines (….) Seems to me like you popped out the room and someone else added them for a bit of a laugh’ – ha ha ha, you are a star 🙂

    Yep, if Arsene is not careful he will lose credibility – is it ‘busy summer’ or ‘one important signing’? ‘Cesc and Nasri will stay’ – really? We shall see, but I cannot realistically see how those statements can be anything but contadictory or confusing at best.

    ….’many fans hang on his every word’ – absolutely, gosspel to me

  108. evonne says:

    Morning Peaches, Chas!!

  109. Gooner in Exile says:

    Here’s a thought……

    Wenger declares a busy summer.

    Board including Kroenke tell him if he wants to spend he has to sell.

    Wenger says 1 or 2 signings is what’s needed.

    Perhaps AW was trying to force the Board to release more funds? Seems like the Board was probably counting on Cesc going, or others like Denilson and NikB etc to release funds. They haven’t so limited spending money for AW yet again.

  110. evonne says:

    Morning GiE – plausible all right. I thought NikB was a goner?
    Apologies for wrong, but intentional use of the question mark 🙂

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really like your formation with AA in the Cesc role. Would love to see him there.
    I do not like the idea of RvP in the hole as he is our most potent goal threat and I can’t see AW shifting to 4-4-2. I happen to think it is his natural role but it would require a more prolific goalster than MC.
    Regarding the Essien gloating. Shame it it did not come to light on Sept 1!

  112. goonermichael says:

    I can’t believe Wenger is going to let Nasri run his contract down. It means it woould cost at least £24M for his services for next season. It’s madness.

  113. chas says:

    Maybe AW has taken so much sh*t in the past for being a book-keeper and running the club to a sustainable model, that he’s thought, f*ck it, I’ll just look after my team, try to make it stronger and let the board and chief exec worry about the finances.

  114. evonne says:

    GM – I agree, it would be madness. We must remind ourselves that ‘they know what they are doing’

    And I’d say it would be much more than £24m, his price plus the wages, plus the sweetener to stay. Someone said yesterday that perhaps the whole thing was staged from the start. Is it possible that it was, to avert attention from us chasing a bigger fish?

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Could part of a wage hike be tied in with a “now sign here you nasty spotty youth”.

  116. WiganGooner says:

    Morning all!


  117. Rasp says:


    New post……..

  118. macky says:

    morning all

    great posts!!

    my thought are we need to buy world class gk,lb,cm just to give us a stonger side for the long haul.and help finish at least in the top 3!
    fab need to sold if his heart’s not at the arse..and if he stays are barca going to be knocking next/every season?untill he gives in.nas should be made to resign or sold this season not letting go on a free,so new players can be brought in and beded in. i think wenger need to spend and not totally relay on the squard we have.if he don’t the gaps between us and the likes of manu, manc cheski will get a hole lot wider!!

  119. Free Offer says:

    Free Offer…

    […]Buy Some ……… Players « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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