Wenger Has Made Two Signings That Will Transform Arsenal’s Season

While we all wait eagerly to see who else will be added to Arsenal’s squad this summer, it’s worth pointing out that the two most important signings have already been made.

Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere were signed to long term contracts in June and November last year respectively.

Given the near certainty that we will start the new season without either or both of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, it is tempting to feel downhearted.

Losing Cesc, in particular, would be a body blow because he is rightly regarded as one of the top players in the world. For the statisticians among you, I believe he was named as the most effective player in Europe last year.

But even were he to go I just cannot join the ranks of the breast-beaters and hair-wringers, precisely because we have Jack and Aaron waiting in the wings.

Jack has already demonstrated – in just one season of first team football – that he is one of the best players in the EPL.

I was challenged in comments recently to outline what Jack currently contributes to the team (as opposed to what he might contribute in the future).

The more I thought about it, the more obvious it was that his contribution is phenomenal: short passing, medium passing, long passing, defence-splitting through balls, vision, ability to pick out attackers’ runs, non-stop effort, tackling, tenacity, courage, leading by example…

Frightening when you think that he is not the finished article yet. But he is already good enough for the England manager to build the national team around him and he was one of the stand-out players across the whole of the EPL last year.

Aaron’s development, as we all know, was delayed by the thuggishness of Ryan Shawcross, but he made a welcome return to the first team towards the end of the last campaign.

Before his horrific injury he was showing a Gerrard-esque ability to dictate play, pass the ball and make surging runs into the box. He also has a knack for finding the back of the net (something Wilshere has yet to acquire).

Again, he is an outstanding talent who will prove to be one of the best midfielders of his generation.

That Arsenal should be lucky enough to have two such prodigies available to us is a cause for huge optimism. I fully expect them to form a midfield partnership that will be unsurpassed in the English league for years to come.

Incidentally, I rate both of them as already having more talent that Samir Nasri. I love Nasri’s dribbling ability and his finishing, but whenever he has played in the so-called Cesc role he has looked lost and the team has struggled. He does not have the vision or passing range of either Wilshere or Ramsey.

If Cesc stays for one more year I will be delighted. But if not, it will be time for the next generation to step up.

Get ready for the Jack and Aaron show. It’s going to be something really, really special.



130 Responses to Wenger Has Made Two Signings That Will Transform Arsenal’s Season

  1. Djofils says:

    Excellent post mate.

  2. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Took the words right out of my mouth! I think those two can be immense next season and we have good reason to be excited by what they can bring to the table. Jacky boy is a proper midfield dynamo who isn’t even afraid to mix it with those monstrous c**ts from Catalunya – sorry, I mean with Barcelona – and Rambo is a metronomic presence already capable of conducting play like Placido Domingo (ok, he’s not a conductor but you catch my drift).

  3. Totally agree Rocky. Great post. If they get injured we’re done for though.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Superb Rocky,
    At the beginning of last season, I imagined Jack would be little more than a fringe player. Now bear in mind that many people at Arsenal believed Ramsey to be the better prospect, my mind is at boggling status. Cannot wait.

  5. spyder says:

    Thats very encouraging, the team has a great future with those two players, who at no time will be suffering home sickness and asking to to go.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM Hi,
    Changing tack. If you are having a bad hair day, do you take it out on some unsuspecting client? Not that I think you are being a tad gloomy today or anything 🙂

  7. Rasp says:

    Great post Rocky, I’m in total agreement.

    I am hopeful that Frimpong will get first team opportunities this season and progress at the same pace as Jack and Aaron. Unfortunately he looks like he has chosen to play for his native Ghana instead of England and so would probably be off to the ACN along with Song.

  8. Otis Ruddock says:

    At long last, I thoroughly enjoyed your post bud, Excellent!

  9. shehzad says:

    excellent post, i also feel song has developed considerably last year, he will probably never be the best DM in the world, but i think he is already better than the likes of lucas, keita, busquets etc. and if the future of our midfield is jack, aaron and song it makes me feel all warm inside, the problem ofcourse is cover and experience, we need strong backups.

  10. goonernim says:

    Spot on mate. As well as that, Wilshire and Ramsey have had experience in the reserves and carling cups together. The brilliant thing about ramsey, post injury, is that he hasnt been afraid to get stuck in. The finish against manure at the end of the season was really well taken and he has been made Welsh captain ahead of Gareth ‘planet of the apes’ Bale. If Song learns to stay back and sit in front of the back 4 (like he did in all of our big game wins last season) these 2 lads can really do the business.

  11. Really agree with you this morning Jack is really going to be a good player this season and Aaron looks like he is coming back to his best form. Hoping Cesc is having a good think about not leaving us this season as l cant see him getting many games now Thiago has come of age what a player ! Cesc really has to think where he will be better of first name on team sheet and captain or go across the water and sit on bench. No brainer if you ask me ?

  12. sleepinggiant says:

    Truthfully, Ramsey has been a pale shadow of the player he was before his injury in most of the appearences he has made since his return. He is miles away from assuming this kind of responsibility. There is no way a club like Arsenal can be relying on pairing three from Wileshire, Ramsey, Song, Diaby and possibly the completely untried Frimpong in our central midfield. We are short at least one, probably two players of what the manager calls ‘super quality’ in this area if Cesc leaves.

    We have become so sad. Every year our resources are decimated further and we all try to convicne ourselves we are ok with what we have. We’re not. WEve gone from champions down to being second down to hanging onto the CL places every year. We are in a dreadful decline which will continue unless we start to show the ambition of a top club.

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp morning,
    Pondering the development of Frimpong makes me think that the addition of a seasoned player like Parker may not be so silly (height issue aside). He is far from my Vertonhen/Fernando suggestions but still would probably serve a purpose.

  14. Savage says:

    Even if Cesc stayed, his nagging injuries would require regular service from these two.

    Gerv’s first goal was a thing of beauty, but what about the vision and the pass from JW?

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky,

    It looks like we may be trying to sign Mata – but as a replacement for Cesc, Nasri or both?

    I’ve already chosen a song for him…..

    …….’What’s the Mata you, heh, shudduppa you face’

  16. Rasp says:

    I suspect that Savage is correct and Cesc may indeed be injury prone – which could partly explain Barca’s low valuation on him.

    If he is, should we take some responsibility for playing him so much when so young – and are we in the process of doing the same thing with Jack?

    I am reminded of the impact that over-playing in late teens had on Michael Owen.

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Re your second para. I do agree with what you say, however I don’t think it would take much to get things right back on track. One monster signing for the defensive spine of the team would more than tip the balance for me. A dominant DM/CB. A Toulalan/Vertonghen type.

  18. Rasp says:

    Micky, apparently others have wagered my house that we will sign a big, top flight defender – unfortunately I don’t think I’ll need to start packing.

    I agree with you, it should be our top priority.

  19. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If true, he sounds far more likely a replacement for AA. Sorry.

  20. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Don’t you know that Rambo only just came back from being Shawcross’d at the end of last season? He’ll be like a new signing!

  21. paul says:

    We didn’t sign joel campbell

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, a great post – with a very clever, cheeky title 😉

    Ramsey and Wilshere are a great prospect. A few days earlier, after watching Koln – Arsenal, I described them as the new/young Iniesta/Xavi pairing of Europe. There is one thing I do not agree with you, though: your leaving out of Song. Both Ramsey and Wilshere need Alex Song, as much as Iniesta and Xavi need Busquets. It is this trio of SoRaJa that will make the difference for us during next season and so on.

    It looks like Wenger is thinking down the same lines, and is now spending his money on improving our wingplay and (hopefully) our defence, rather than buying more central midfielders. With Diaby, Frimpong, and Arshavin available for those roles, it seems to make perfect sense. I am also sure that either Cesc or Nasri will be here next season, so the future looks bright.

  23. If anyone knows of a spare ticket for Sunday could you let me know. I need one for my son. Thanks

  24. Paul
    Was that a delayed reaction or did I miss something someone said?

  25. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, oh what a joyous Post, you have reminded me of what we have instead of wondering about who we might or might not get.
    (no, I don’t understand me either, but the feeling is gooood). 🙂

    Paul, thanks for that, I hadn’t heard! 🙂

    Better off without him I suspect.

  26. WiganGooner says:

    Great Article Rocky,

    I too agree, amongst the many that the Jack, Rambo combination will be the fulcrum for our midfield for years to come. They’re dynamic, creative and work well as a combination.

    With Song as the foil for their creativity and movement I can see a very interesting future ahead.


  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Me thinks Paul is referring to the box at the top of post/website ‘summer commings and goings’

  28. John says:

    I am hoping that Jack and Aaron will be our Giggs and Scholes or Xavi and Iniesta.

  29. Red Arse says:

    I feel that I have been quite cheeky to poor old 26, our resident lawyer, lately.

    So to make up, I thought I would give him one of my nice lawyer jokes, and I am sure he will appreciate it. 🙂

    — A lawyer and a pensioner were sitting next to each other on a long flight.

    The lawyer thinking that pensioners are pretty dumb thought he could get one over on him pretty easily, so, he asked if the senior would like to play a fun game.

    The pensioner was tired and just wanted to take a nap, so he politely declined and tried to catch a few winks.

    The lawyer persisted, saying that the game was a lot of fun….”Look, I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me only £5. Then you ask me one, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you £500,” he said.

    This caught the pensioner’s attention and, to keep the lawyer quiet, he agreed to play the game.

    The lawyer asked the first question. “What’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon?”

    The old boy didn’t say a word, simply reached into his pocket, pulled out a fiver, and handed it to the lawyer.

    Then it was the pensioner’s turn. He asked the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?”

    The lawyer used his laptop to search all references he could find on the Net. Then he sent emails to all the smart friends he knew; all to no avail. After an hour of searching, he finally gave up.

    He woke the senior citizen and handed him £500. The old ‘un pocketed the £500 and went right back to sleep.

    The lawyer went nuts not knowing the answer. Finally, consumed with irritation, he woke the pensioner and asked him, “Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?”

    The old boy reached into his pocket, and handed the lawyer £5, and went straight back to sleep.

    Just as well 26 is my friend!! 🙂

  30. 26may1989 says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Very good RA…….my ex-friend! 😉

    Nice post as ever Rocky, the day for our future midfield pairing, Ramsey and Wilshere (backed up by Song or someone similar), is definitely drawing near. That said, it would be silly to think we wouldn’t be hurt by the loss of Cesc, and even of a lesser light such as Nasri.

    But looking round at our domestic rivals, I don’t see too many midfields to be scared of: Young, Anderson, Fletcher and Nani at United; Malouda, Lampard, Ramires and Anelka at Chelsea; Silva, de Jong, Barry and Milner at City; Downing, Adam (or Meireles), Gerrard and Kuyt at Liverpoo’; and Bale, Modric, Sandro and Lennon (plus vdV as withdrawn striker) at Spurs. All good, but an Arsenal four or five built around Ramsey and Wilshere would be just as good.

    Barcelona would be a different kettle of fish though…..

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Good one RA 😉 Only in a joke will you ever get the better of a lawyer.

  32. Samchixp says:

    Talk of our midfield, i think we’r doing fine right there. When it comes 2 our defence; i fear a lot. Dat’s where our major concern should be right now.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Put like that, no the competition doesn’t look too daunting. However I’m sure the midfields will all have additions come the start of the season and I really fear who Villas-Boas may bring from Porto.

  34. London says:

    Always good to read your posts Rocky, I agree completely that we have a bright future with Wilshere and Ramsey at the club.

    I was tempted to stop writing after saying that but to avoid discussing a player’s short comings would make for a very dull blog in my opinion.

    I think I have located the precise area where we differ; I could be wrong so please don’t be offended if you think I am way off.

    The Cesc role: I hope you noticed that his role last season was very different to the season before.

    Last season we had Song and Wilshere playing in front of the defence with Cesc, having more goal scoring prowess, operating further ahead of those two.
    When Cesc got injured Wenger tried to play Nasri there which made sense as there had been a few occasions when he shone after being relocated towards the end of the game.

    But, and here is where I agree with you, when Nasri started a game playing the advanced midfield Cesc role of last season he seemed to fail every time.
    Ramsey, being a goal scorer, used to play the advanced midfield role with great affect before his injury; he is gradually making his way back into the team.
    Wilshere never played the Cesc role at all, the advanced goal scoring midfielder of last season, he played in between Song and Cesc, the linking role if you like and we both agree he has all the skills you point out above this makes sense.

    Here’s the problem: Wilshere cannot replace Song as I have said many times he is not able to shield the defence on his own and in addition he cannot play the advanced midfield role because he is not a goal scorer (yet) and because of which Ramsey or Cesc are better suited.

    We could continue as we were with Song and Jack playing in front of the defence and Cesc ahead but goal threat is reduced more that it needs to be.

    Song has to play, Ramsey will score goals, which leaves the playmaker or linking role for one player and the whole basis of my argument is that I think we are more likely to win the league this coming season with Cesc playing there rather than Jack. Fabregas has all those skills you mention above plus he scores goals, the more goals, the more points, the more points the more chance of winning the league.

    Hopefully you can see this is not an anti Wilshere comment, I do not believe that any of my comments ever have been such, it is my view on how and why Arsenal are more likely to win the league playing one particular system rather than another.

  35. goonermichael says:

    The internet says Cesc is staying now. At least he’s got a good pre-season in this year 🙂

  36. 26may1989 says:

    You’re right Micky, e.g. there must be a good chance Modric will be wearing blue soon.

    But I tend to think Samchixp is closer to the truth in saying it’s the defensive side of things that is the area of real concern. In Vermaelen and Sagna, we have a solid half of a defence, the questions are re the other half. Despite Gibbs’ unimpressive 2010-11, I trust Wenger’s judgment that his time has come (I certainly expect him to do better than the declining Clichy). But (as almost every Arsenal fan in the known universe has been baninging on about) it’s at CB we have the greatest need. Djourou and Kos are ok but neither is the reliable foil we need for Vermaelen. And anyway, Squillaci is clearly not up to the mark, so at the very least we need to replace him as 4th choice.

    If we keep Nasri, the only midfield question is at DM. I’ve seen little in preseason to suggest Frimpong is ready, so I think we need to get cover or competition for Song.

    But we shall see.

  37. Gooner In Exile says:

    Top post Rocky, indeed it gives mr a feeling of well being. What I think Jack and Rambo have over Cesc is pace, but pace has never been a requirement when you have the ability to create your own space and conduct the play at a tempo to suit you, which is what Cesc delivers.

    The best thing that Jack does at the moment is move forward, no matter who the opposition he is able to drop a shoulder and gain five yards without touching the ball, that is a valuable skill.

    Like 26 I share concerns over too much football too young that Cesc has clearly suffered from, I think though that Jack having had a few years in youth and reserve football is probably more use to dealing with this, and he has a Messi like ability to bounce back up no matter how many times he is dumped on the ground.

    I don’t want to see Jack play in the deeper parts of midfield except when helping the defence move the ball out along the floor, in my mind he should be allowed to play he has vision, quick feet and a goal scoring ability that he just needs to be in the position to use. Yes he has a goal scoring ability, we have all seen his goals in the Emirates cup, we have seen his goals from the reserves. But on top of that we have seen the thunderous volley at Wembley against Birmingham which came crashing back from the cross bar. My point is he was rarely in the position to shoot due to the players in front of him throughout last season, I will eat my scarf if he doesn’t score ten goals this coming season.

    Perhaps we need a new feature on the site scarf eating promises and how close or otherwise we are to eating it.

    Also has anyone thought about running a Fantasy League for the coming season, for the site participators to prove how knowledgeable we all are 🙂

  38. London says:

    The old cover or competition for Song chestnut, it comes up every preseason and rightly so as, on the surface, it makes so much sense but for the life of me I cannot see how it would work in practice.
    If the hypothetical player is better than Song then it makes sense that he should be first choice which means that Song could face the whole season on the bench. I know there are always injuries but that will not stop him from thinking it; the result is that he will want to leave for regular football else where and that would mean that we would be in the same position of wanting back up or competition.

  39. London says:

    Wilshere certainly has goal scoring potential but someone remind me, how many goals did he score in the league last season?

  40. 26may1989 says:

    Just the two LJ goals last season, London. But then the early Cesc years provide a good comparison: in his first full seasons, he notched three, then five and then four goals, mostly with fewer assists than LJ.

    Goal-scoring is definitely LJ’s weak suit, but I do think, as with Cesc, that will come with time.

    Agreed that cover for Song is an old chestnut. But with Denilson gone (ish), what happens when Song’s unavailable? Diaby? Frimpong? Ramsey? Koscielny would probably be the best from what we have. But I’d still like to have someone else in there.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    great debate going on here, started by London’s excellent comment,followed by great reponses by GiE and 26. Jack’s (lack of) goal scoring is an issue, but a small one at this stage (although, Cesc hardly scored many goals himself this season). How many assists did JW already produce during pre-season? That is were his value is and I think he will match Cesc in number of assists this season. The one other big difference between Cesc and Jack is his trust (as mentioned by GiE): that wonderful-to-watch ability to move into space with the ball and take on defenders, which creates opportunities everywhere. Only the best footballers have this skill, and I cannot get enough of watching Jack do it.

    I also think Wenger is making a clear shift towards utilising / scoring more goals from the wings as well as midfield, hence his purchase of Gervinho and apparent interest in Mata. Wilshere, Song and Rambo can boss the midfield, utilising the wing players to full efficiency and hopefully starting to score 20-30 goals between the three of them as well.

    Of course, I would like Cesc to stay as his experience is invaluable and the likes of So-Ra-Ja still need him to guide them through the last stage of their development. But, it is not incomprehensible that we would survive successfully El Capitan’s departure. As said above, I believe Wenger is changing the system to accomodate the triangle of Song, Jack and Rambo.

  42. London says:


    As I said, for the life of me I can’t see how it would work in practice. What self respecting player would want to come to Arsenal just to sit on the bench for the best part of a season?

    I just want to clarify something. 19 for 19 I agree both Wishere and Cesc were/are great talents. My comments are based on who would be better playing just ahead of the DM, which will be Song, in the forth coming season. This is not to suggest that Wilshere will not be as good if not better when he is the same age as Cesc. I just want to see Arsenal win the league.

  43. Ade says:

    Its will b d best season 4 arsenal 2011 to 2012

  44. London says:

    I see that Joel Campbell has made it back onto the signed list, is this now official?

  45. 26may1989 says:


    To be honest, I doubt Wenger will buy another defensive midfielder, and will cover Song from existing resources. But I still think we will be vulnerable not having someone able to cover more convincingly than the players we have already. I also have my doubts about Song, and feel we could do with having some real competition.

    As to your point about who would join only to be cover, well, doesn’t that apply across the board? Gervinho for instance can’t be too sure he’s about to step into a nailed-on place in the first team.

    Re Cesc and LJ, I think we agree: we’d be better off if Cesc were to stay, the man’s a genuine star, the best player we have (and yes, I do include RvP when I say that). But assuming he goes, LJ has already shown, in possibly one of the most impressive debut seasons by any player in recent memory, that he already has a lot to offer. We will continue to reap the benefits of that. I just hope he doesn’t lose his way in his off-field lariness (which many seem happy to ignore, whereas a player like JET gets slammed for lesser offences – but that’s for another day!).


    Very interesting thoughts on possible changes in our system – I hadn’t thought of it like that, but you could well be right.

  46. goonermichael says:

    Some more sad news for the music industry

    Justin bieber has been found alive in his apartment

  47. Rasp says:


    No the C & G’s list has a mistake that I cannot rectify until this evening. I was in such a hurry to egt JET on there that I forgot to remove Joel Campbell – he has not signed for Arsenal

  48. 26may1989 says:

    Well I thought GM’s Bieber comment was funny……

  49. goonermichael says:

    I’ll get my coat

  50. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for all the comments.

    Don’t stop packing – that big defensive signing will happen!

    Thanks for a brilliantly analytical comment, most of which I agree with. If Cesc stays he is clearly the first name on the team sheet, in which case I see us lining up as:
    Defence x 4
    Cesc Jack
    Attack x 3
    When required this could switch to:
    Defence x 4
    Song Jack
    Attack x 3
    This would require Song to be disciplined about his defensive duties (or, more precisely, for AW to instruct him to stick to the DM role, as opposed to instructing him to have a box-to-box role, which I believe is what happened last year).
    So where does this line-up leave Ramsey?
    I think it means he comes on in many games as a sub for Cesc or Jack for the last 20 mins; he starts all our cup games and he starts some league games when we need to rest Cesc or Jack.
    We do not know yet if he is fully back to his best following the broken leg (although the ManU performance at the end of last season was very encouraging) so this allows us to reintroduce him to first team action in a structured way.
    Then, if we lose Cesc NEXT summer, he should be ready to step up alongside Jack.
    You rightly comment on Jack’s goal scoring ability (or lack of) but with the prodigious pace of his development I would not be at all surprised to see him find the net regularly next season. Even if he doesn’t, I agree with TA and 26may that that is not a real requirement of him: his job will be to provide assists for the many other goalscoring options we have in the team.

  51. RockyLives says:

    You were clear as a bell!

  52. RockyLives says:

    Regarding the cheeky title – I never feel guilty about trying to bring new readers to this excellent site!

  53. RockyLives says:

    Are you out there? When are you going to be in Niagara?

  54. RockyLives says:

    I thought it was funny (my daughter can’t stand JB, even though loads of her school friends adore him).

  55. RockyLives says:

    Aaah, talking to myself again…

    How you doing Rocky?

  56. RockyLives says:

    Fine thanks, you?

  57. RockyLives says:

    Fair to middling.

  58. goonermichael says:

    It’s quiet on here Rocky

  59. Red Arse says:

    Who is Justin Blubber?

    Damnation, now I have lost my cool pop image.

    I suppose you can hear Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in the background? Well it’s not me —- must be the Rasper!! 🙂

  60. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, GM,

    You two sound like a couple of naughty school boys talking after lights out! 🙂

  61. RockyLives says:

    I always imagine you to be a man of the finest taste, be it in wine, music or, of course, football.

    I hope you haven’t scared everyone off with your little joke 🙂

  62. RockyLives says:

    “like a couple of naughty school boys talking after lights out!” 🙂

    Pass the tuck box GM!

  63. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, not only great quality Posts but the fecundity of your cerebrum has to be seen to be believed. Like shelling peas —- pop — out shoots another excellent Post.

    We will have rename you ‘Genius’! 🙂

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I simply cannot understand your logic at 12:37. If we buy someone who is better than someone we have then that is progress.
    Our cover last season was not good enough. I think you are saying buy better cover, whereas I say buy better first choice then logically the cover too improves.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Afternoon Rocky and RA.

  66. WiganGooner says:

    Afternoon all! 🙂


  67. James says:

    I wouldn’t call Wilshere a tackler. From a defensive viewpoint he offers nothing and merely contributes to Arsenal’s weakness out of possession. He can play practically anywhere in the midfield, but Wenger should be looking to buy a strong DM to partner him. Arsenal would be too weak in midfield with Wilshere, Song and Ramsey.

  68. RockyLives says:

    Afternoon Micky and WG
    Does this Mata thing seem like it’s going to happen? And if so, is he the Cesc replacement or the Nasri replacement?

    Loved “What’s a Mata you…” 😀
    Even though it’s premature to start making up songs for players who may never sign for us, I had been thinking along the lines of the Hakuna Matata song from The Lion King “Juan Manuel Mata, what a wonderful player…”)

  69. RockyLives says:

    Your 4.06
    Right back at ya!
    Keep those jokes coming – they always brighten my day.

  70. 26may1989 says:

    I don’t wish bad things for Denilson but how funny was his return debut for Sao Paolo? Away from home to a lesser team, SP were 4-0 up within an hour and then managed to allow it to get back to 4-3 (sounding familiar….?). They did hold out but Denilson got sent off at the end. Oh dear.

  71. RockyLives says:

    Seriously though, when I used to be a newspaper hack I got in the habit of being able to churn out words to a tight deadline, so when the Warrior Princess issues one of her calls to arms I usually try to oblige (what red blooded man can refuse her?).

    Unfortunately speed means they usually lack the deep insight and substance of some of the other regular contributors.

    Speaking of which, it’s about time we had another offering from a certain Mr RA isn’t it?

  72. RockyLives says:

    Where’s dandan today?

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I did the Hakuna Matata yesterday. So there!
    Regarding the Mata thing, I say great, but I would much rather see a DM. Imagine going into the season and losing Song early on. Nightmare.

  74. WiganGooner says:

    @ James

    Jack is a battler, he does tackle and can give you more in midfield than say Rosicky because he can create, tackle and provide momentum.

    Jack’s mentality allows him to dictate the pace of a game and we will see that more and more.


  75. WiganGooner says:


    I’d love the Mata transfer to happen, though he is more of a winger than a midfield schemer, perhaps he is being bought to replace Nasri and to placate Fabregas because is is going nowhere?


  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    How much do we think Cesc’s injury record alters Barca’s perception of his value. Given they hardly need him right now, I would not be staggered if they thought leaving him at Arsenal for one more year wasn’t prudent.

  77. RockyLives says:

    Your 4.45
    That would be good – keep Cesc, buy Mata and get 20+million quid for Nasri…

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Another question. If rumours of dressing room unrest last season are to be believed, who is the likely culprit?
    My money is on Nasri.

  79. Red Arse says:

    Hi to all you guys I missed earlier. 🙂

    I know I have said before that I did not quite understand the ‘Jack’ issue, and should probably not go over it again …… but I am an obstinate dude, so here goes.

    OK, it is maintained that he can not score — very questionable, in my opinion; and that he cannot defend the back line — a fierce little tough nut with a scything left leg, in my opinion also; BUT so what? his role at Arsenal is to be a wonderful creative genius in the here and now — the Rocky of the footie world — and that’s what he is — a creative genius par excellence; — all the other attributes are simply add-ons for the future, … if we are being greedy!!

    Am I missing something? as Micky is wont to say. 🙂

    Madame Butterfly is having the bad news broken to her as I type ….. and it’s breaking my heart too!
    Turn it down Rasper, I cannot stand tears on my keyboard. The Peacher might see!! 😦

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tell you what I am missing RA and that is some answers to my bloody questions 🙂
    I totally agree with you about Jack. He is the brightest of bright lights and at a time when we do have genuine problems to solve. Still, there is a way to go during this infernal eternal window.

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I was, in all ignorance, hoping that Arsene would do his business early and have a good long lie down.

  82. Red Arse says:


    My take on the dressing room unrest is that the cause was the tea lady.
    I understand, from my sources, that she was a staunch feminist who refused to serve tea to a bunch of unreformed male chauvinists … so there!!

  83. London says:


    Let me try and clarify. I would like as many DMs as we could possibly have but I believe that if a new better DM came in then Song would want to leave. If this new DM is better then I agree that it would be progress in which case lets stop beating around the bush and say we want a new DM to replace Song.

    26 makes a valid point when he says we have more forwards than we need so why shouldn’t we have more DMs. I think there are certain positions in which the rules are different.

    For example, if we brought the experienced Petr Czech then he would be first choice keeper and I don’t care what anyone says Szcesney will not wait around on the off chance of getting a game; he would leave.

    Song could walk into an awful lot of clubs now so if he were consigned to the bench I believe he would also want to leave for first team football else where.

    All this doesn’t alter the fact that if he gets injured then we are screwed and for that I do not have an answer.

  84. WiganGooner says:

    I wouldn’t fall off of my chair in surprise if Barca did leave Cesc with us, but ensuring that it looks like they did ‘everything possible but Arsenal wouldn’t let him go home’ so that Cesc is demotivated.

    I’m so sick of the comments from the spanish media calling us kidknappers, stubborn, evil when really all we are doing is trying to retain the services of an asset that we have paid for!


  85. Red Arse says:


    I had a ‘right to do’ (is that a phrase?) with some belligerent types on another site during my flitting bumble bee moment a couple of days ago.

    trying to answer a similar point to the one you touched upon at 5:15, I said that without all the facts no-one outside the Arsenal negotiating team knows what was done when, and with whom.

    It is possible that AW and Gazidis have been ‘in the market’ from day one, and have been knocked back by clubs unwilling to sell, or unable to meet the prices quoted, or been gazumped by poxy Manyoo, Chelsea, Barca etc.

    If that is the case they cannot say so without the mad mob deriding them for not trying hard enough, or dispiriting the ‘good’ fans unnecessarily.

    Transfers will come …… not the £30m or £40m variety ….. but they will come! Rasper’s house is on it!! 🙂

  86. London says:

    The bastards said they would leave it to the last day and it seems as though that is exactly what they are doing.

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Crystal clear. I want a new DM (but would be delighted to pay Song to hang about, pick up his weekly envelope and play 15-20 games a season).
    We really would be in deep trouble if he got a bad knock. We are very vulnerable in that department. Its why I keep harping on about versatile players like Vertonghen and Toulalan.

  88. Red Arse says:

    Hi WG, 🙂

    Some good comments by you, sir.

    I would have agreed with your 5:22, re Cesc, if you had said that some 5 weeks ago.

    But I think there is a new dynamic now.
    Cesc’s injury/reluctance to go on the pre-season tour and apparently his sulky attitude and refusal to deny the transfer speculation has caused a sea change at Arsenal.

    He has, I think, really upset Arsene who now is happy to let him go, for the ‘right’ price. in addition, unlike in the last couple of years, when we fans wanted Cesc to stay, the mood music has changed and many would like to see the end of the annual nonsense and for Cesc to go, provided he is replaced with a similar quality of player — not necessarily in the same position.

    The ceaseless wheel of time rotates and Cesc’s time at Arsenal has come and gone, in my opinion!

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think we are all going to have to bite something and play the “whatever will be will be” role. I agree though, it is boring.
    I still want to know who was the bad seed in the camp last season as I refuse to blame the Tea Lady. He is the one I want out and can damn well do a Hleb.

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am beginning to suspect that something fairly grim happened to Arsene. I really don’t think he likes defensive players. I mean, at all.

  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually not really my thing (ignorance more than anything) but went to Budapest two years ago for the Opera. The Opera House was unbelievably spectacular, and to top the occasion, ate in the Maria Callas Bistro next door.

  92. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, I don’t get the impression from goal celebrations that Nasri was unpopular with the big names in the squad. Chamakh didn’t look at all happy but again I don’t think he is a troublemaker – more of a brooder. It is possible that Nik would have a moan behind the scenes I suppose?

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think its fairly easy to separate the “100%’ers” from the “whatever’ers” and I am not sure its a senior v junior thing.

  94. Rasp says:

    OK Micky, I agree. Clichy always gave his all even if it included the odd cock-up, there are a couple who I couldn’t say the same about.

    I get the feeling that Mata is being lined in case we lose Nasri and Cesc – if it’s only one, I don’t xpect us to buy another midfielder.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No, I can’t see Chamakh as a troublemaker, just not very good. Yet, hopefully.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If we don’t sign a commanding defensive midfielder, then I’m forming a select committee. And we shall have meetings. And drink much.

  97. Rasp says:

    lol Micky, you want your DM and I want my big CB – I’ll join your drinking committee, but I think you’ll need to stock up on Absinthe

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    5 minutes til kick off come on Hajuk Split

  99. chas says:

    Ahhhh, absinthe and opium, the only way to get through a transfer window.

  100. chas says:

    Haha, GIE, I didn’t even know Pulis’s pulverisers were playing.

  101. RockyLives says:

    When the debauched French poet failed to turn up for sessions of the arty salon of which he was a member, apparently the reading of the register would go like this:

    Secretary: “Rabelais…. Rabelais?… Absent?”

    Other member: “Non, Absinthe.”

  102. London says:

    Comment of the summer, absolutely hilarious.

    chas says:

    July 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm (Edit)

    Ahhhh, absinthe and opium, the only way to get through a transfer window.

  103. London says:

    Top drawer Chas, top drawer mate.

    Don’t forget to invite me to your parties.

  104. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas I have an immense hatred of that team now.

    1) Tony Pulis
    2) being knocked out in FA Cup when Fabianski was flapping at everything
    3) Shawcross
    4) listening to the idiot Neanderthal fans at the Emirates last season
    5) Tony Pulis

  105. LaurieB says:

    Wonderful positive after all the doom and gloom/ Thanks mates for some very thoughtful opinions and thoughts express. The seasons nears and as I said last year “U GOTTA BELIEVE”

  106. RockyLives says:

    thanks Laurie
    keep the faith!

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    By the way I’m now ultra suspicious of our resident lawyer Mr 2×15-(8/2) (what can I say that’s the most Maths you’re getting from me at 11pm).

    Anyway as I was saying I am beginning to think our lawyer friend might have friends in the know…..

    Samba – “I want to leave and go to Arsenal to play in the Champions League, please sell me Mr Chicken Farmer”


    Although I think it’s more to do with having to feature in this ad

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE 🙂 What a chicken licken prospect!

    Peaches, Rasp. I have just emailed you a new post.

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Rocky, how do you do it? Your post is the second most popular one on NN today! Chapeau! 😛

  110. Donaldo says:

    The only way you replace Cesc is you buy Xavi and Iniesta

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    Donaldo, are you sure only Xavi and Iniesta?

  112. femi says:

    l don,t want cesc leave arsenal.up arsenal

  113. Gooner In Exile says:

    So Aguero is going to cost City £90m if you add in his £200k per week wages over the 5 year contract…I don’t see the FFP working!

    They are going to need to offload a lot of talent even with the Etihad deal to stomach those kind of numbers.

  114. Jamie says:

    Great post rocky and a smashing title to pull in the punters too. Still think Aaron and Jack are a bit raw for us to win a title but I rate them both very highly.

  115. RockyLives says:

    WG got there first a few weeks back with his article entitled “Arsene Makes the Best Signing of the Transfer Window – Guess Who?”

    The answer, in Wiggy’s case, was Pat Rice!

    Thankyou – glad you liked it.

  116. Jishnu says:

    wonder if we can get a swap deal for Cesc with Xavi in return 😉

    Yes wilshere and ramsey are excellent players but they also, like all others in the squad curently, lack that ability to face the big tests … yet !! We definitely need players who have won something, so that they can stand up to the big occasion and be role model to others like wilshere and ramsey … Unless this is done, we will be just evolving bright prospects, will win nothing and before you know it, it will be wilshere or ramsey who will be facing a transfer saga similar to cesc’s or nasri’s …

  117. Gooner In Exile says:

    Neymar would fit right in, a cross between Thierry and Dennis

  118. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    A fit Rambo certainly wets the appetite. The only thing is, Barca will probably try & tap him up. They are Arsenal voyeurs 😆

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have heard one theory that it is Neymar who is holding up the whole transfer merrygoround. Essentially, no-one can afford not to have him is the thinking, and of course he would absorb almost anyone’s transfer kitty.
    I have also read that he is unlikely to move this summer as Santos have the World Club game against Barcs, which is absolutely massive in S. America.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s what Barca say about us!!!

  121. Gooner In Exile says:


    Shame he will be out of our price league then. I now want him to go to Spain rather than a rival domestically after seeing that.

  122. TotalArsenal says:

    So true Micky! 😛

  123. Red Arse says:


    the ‘voyeur’ claim was first made by that ‘cultured’ prat Moanhio!

    Hi GG9, nice to see you up and running again! 🙂

  124. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yep, I’m about ready to start another season of red eye specials live from Blighty. That photo of Gervinho looks abit like…………………….Ade 😯

  125. Rasp says:

    Morning all, hi gg 🙂

    New post….

    ….. feast yourselves on a super maiden post from Camberwell Gooner

  126. Red Arse says:


    Have you arranged your trip to the UK yet?
    I think you said something about a visit to the Emirates and to Glasgow Rangers (?), but maybe I am dreaming …… again. 🙂

    You are right, Gerv does have an …. interesting …… hairstyle. 🙂 Rival fans will probably start calling him Gerv the Perv unless he gets a wider hairband! 🙂

  127. goonerzak says:

    While I agree about your views on Wilshere/Ramsey, I can’t agree that Samir Nasri has an inferior passing ability, it’s pretty clear why SAF wants him and where he wants to put him – to utilise his vision and passing ability in the middle of the park (something they lost with scholes)

    At this point I would much rather say goodbye to Cesc. It would be harder to replace 14 goals from the wing. Samir wants to win trophies and would want that at Arsenal, Cesc just wants to join his boyhood club above anything.

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