Jones and Smalling: should Arsenal care?

I’ve always had the impression that the stories about Arsenal matching the offers of manu for Smalling and Jones only to be turned down as being a yarn purposely spun by the manu PR machine in a sad attempt to redress the balance after we publicly rubbed their noses in it for missing out on Ramsey. It is worth remembering that Ramsey was a self confessed manu supporter as a kid, it is also worth remembering just how much the Arsenal PR machine revelled in telling anyone who would listen that it was the fact that Arsène Wenger interrupted his summer holiday to speak to Ramsey and family personally rather than the mere Gary Neville who manu sent that swayed team Ramsey’s final decision to sign to the good guys.

It makes very little sense for Smalling and Jones to have wanted to sign for Arsenal regardless of what we offered whereas it makes complete sense for them to want to sign for manu. In the pecking order up there they only have Vidic and Ferdinand in front of them, the latter of the two is, as we all know, becoming more and more injury prone meaning that either Smalling or Jones will have a serious chance of breaking into that first team in the not too distant future.

At Arsenal, by contrast, they would have to get passed Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou. I have never been one of those people who believes the grass is always redder in Manchester and I refuse to start now. Koscielny and Djourou are better than Smalling and Jones and Vermealen is better than them all.

Very simply, the manc pair have a better chance of first team football in the red half of Manchester than they do with us and that above all was, in my opinion, the reason why they signed for who they did and the very same reason that Ramsey signed for Arsenal.

Let’s sign Cahill.

I love the way so many Arsenal supporters trot that line out. Whenever I read it I want to ask the author: how many times have you been to the Reebok to see him play? Most people who cry out for him to be signed have next to no idea just how good he really is. I have never been to the Reebok but there is nothing that I have ever seen that convinces me that Cahill is better than Koscielny. That being the case, why on earth would Cahill give up the opportunity of playing first team football to sit on our bench? I know injuries are common but what if we don’t get our usual quota? He could waste one of the most important years of his football development due to lack of playing opportunity and let’s not forget that we are not Man City who can afford to double someone’s wages as compensation for rotting on a bench. Cahill will want to play first team football and that will not be guaranteed at Arsenal so for the same reason that Smalling and Jones never came to THOF I do not expect to us to sign Cahill.

Don’t get me wrong.

I might think that Vermaelen and Koscielny are a better combination than Cahill and either of those two along side him but that is not to say that I think everything is rosy in Arsenal’s defensive garden. The idea of going into the coming season with Squillaci in the squad fills me with horror; he is about as mobile as a wooden stake driven into the ground; Bartley would be a better fourth choice CB but like Cahill a season of potentially warming the bench at Arsenal was never going to float his boat — solution: Jagielka, he can play anywhere along the back as well as giving Song a bit of competition for the DM spot. The Englishman with a Polish name offers as many possibilities to the defence as the Ivorian with a Brazilian name offers to the attack.

So Arsène, as soon as you have had your coffee this morning here’s what to do: sign Jagielka, sort the Nasri contract out, tell Barcelona to sling their hook and we are good to go.

Written by London

175 Responses to Jones and Smalling: should Arsenal care?

  1. goonerstan says:

    Good read. You just won me over. Actually I thought kozzer had a wonderful first season he was one of the shining lights along with jack the lad and RVP. Here’s hoping he has a wonderful second season.

  2. Reality Check says:

    Quite an attention-seeking and biased piece, most probably written by a 12-year old. Vermaelen is the only Arsenal defender who could get into Man Utd’s, Chelsea’s or Man City’s squad. Nevermind first team.

    Djourou and Koscielny are both error-prone, average defenders and Smalling is easily better than both of them, while Jones will prove this season that he is better than them too. So yes, as Arsenal fans you should care that England’s future centre back pairing have signed for United instead of Arsenal, especially given the defensive difficulties the Gooners have had.

    Remember, only Arsenal can finish fourth in a two-horse race.

  3. Azm Aftab says:

    “Koscielny and Djourou are better than Smalling and Jones and Vermealen is better than them all”
    I have admired Vermealen, he is a natural. But Koscielny and Djourou are no way better than Smalling at least! We havent seen much of jones really so i wont comment on how good he is. But if Sir Alex spends $18 million on a player, more often than not the player has what it takes to be a world class talent.
    While we develop the future of english football Arsenal are most welcome to keep living in fools paradise.

  4. goonerstan says:

    Then get the hell on to your blog you twat. Its arsenal arsenal blog for crying out loud not a manure stinking one. Why don’t you do yourselves a favor and go blog there. Stupid trolls.

  5. Danny_27 says:

    Absolutely spot on with Cahill – he’s English and the media think he might be the next big thing so, in desperation for signings, fans start clambering for Wenger to sign him. Don’t forget the biggest match of his career so far…a 5-0 defeat to Stoke in FA Cup Semi-Final…

    If Koscielny were English he’d be grouped in with Jones, Smalling, Cahill, etc as potential International stars and his errors would be brushed under the carpet too.

    It’s amazing too that people disregard the amount of scouting, etc that goes on before signing a player rather than Wenger sitting in his office watching that bald chap on Sky Sports News telling him who he should sign.

    We do need another CB and I think Jagielka’s ability to play “utility man” is a good shout but let’s just see what, if anything, Wenger has up his sleeve. Like every fan, I love seeing transfers come in but they HAVE to be the right players…not just signing players for the sake of simply signing someone, anyone, who can play football.

  6. Beastando says:

    This is ridiculous. Yes I am a United supporter but I’m not being biased when I say Smalling and Jones are a lot better thank Koshielny and Djourou. If Arsenal had a Smalling and Jones partnership last season, they would of probably won the league. You seem to forget that Smalling is only 21 and Jones is 19. If you had signed both of them, you would be boasting that they could be your CB pairing for the next 10 years – two future England starting 11 CB’s too. All I’m saying is, try not to be bitter mate. I’m not sitting here saying Gibson is better than Ramsey because its not true, but to say your current central defenders ( bar Vermalean) are better than Smalling and Jones is just wrong imo.

  7. Myles says:

    What a laugh, the gunners are a faddng force, not one decent defender, gk’s that have continuously fail in the big matches, star players leaving and deluded fans, manager in dreamland thinking he’ll win the league with the players he got. Ye need a new defence a experienced gk.

  8. Dave says:

    Typical bitter nonsense from a 6 years potless ARSEnal fan. Explain to me mate, having just won our 12th league title in 18 & been in our 3rd Champions League final in 4, do you seriously think we give a toss about Ramsey? Also please clarify in light of our obvious superiority how the hell you can claim that Jones and Smalling could have felt it easier to get in above the best central defence partnership in the Premiership!? If you’re interested in writing you need to not only know how to string a few words together but to back up your points with some fact otherwise your articles will be seen through as the biased load of rubbish this is.

  9. Gooner In Exile says:

    London you’re much younger than I thought 😉

    Nice piece I find very hard to disagree with.

    Apart from the costly CC error I would like someone to show me 3/4 other errors that Kozzer made.

    Just go back and watch Barca home and away and tell any of us that Kozzer isn’t a quality defender. Oh and then watch the CL final and see how easily Vidic, Evra and Ferdinand were twisted inside out for the first Barca goal.

    Djourou in all honesty probably came back too early from the shoulder injury up until that point he was probably our best CB.

  10. dandan says:

    Very sensible and well written article, London well done. No doubt our defensive signing will take place soon, Fab is interesting maybe the threat of playing him in the CL qualifier Will galvanise Barca’s thinking.

    As for the antipathy shown on here to marketing speak, when dealing with the press what else does any company use. Buzz words also abound in all professions and for any one to take exception to this is perhaps a shade naive in this market driven world. Especially given the flack the club has taken in recent seasons for there supposed lack of marketing expertise, now foreign tours market speak and disinformation will become part of the new business plan our American imports are obviously implementing.Sadly no doubt market speak will continue to irritate those who who still view Arsenal as a football club rather than a business

  11. London – I love it when you write a post 🙂 Koscielny was for me one of the surprises of last season and although he and Vermaelen didn’t get a chance to forge a partnership I’m really looking forward to that happening this season.

    He has grit and determination in bundles. The mistakes last season hopefully won’t be there now that he has more experience. I watched him have Thierry Henry in his pocket last Sunday – and before I get slaughtered that it was an aged Thierry Henry, I have to say that Thierry pulled out all the stops and had a very good game in front of an Emirates crowd that simply adored him.

    It would be a great shame to stick him on the bench in order to accomodate Cahill considering we paid £11m for him which as an unknown was pretty remarkable.

    I agree that Jagielka would be a great addition, a multi-tasker, when have we had one of those????????

  12. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh goody United fans to tell us how great they are. Well done on realising this blog is biased towards Arsenal.

    JD 24, LK 26, TV 26.

    Vidic 30, Ferdinand 33

    Do you see why the author thinks Smalling and Jones have a better chance of progressing at OT? especially now OShea and Brown have gone.

  13. Morning Chaps, flying visit here, well worded piece even if I don’t agree with all of it London. In any case if it winds up a few more Surrey-based glory hunting plastic mancs all the better.

    For my mind I think Kozzer should be behind the Verminator and a replacement PL experienced CB with aeriel dominance.

    With the injuries we get Kozzer will still get 25-35 games in this season and if he improves further this season maybe he can displace either of the 2 first choice centre backs in time.

  14. Beastando says:

    ^ I agree that it would be easier for them to get a chance now that Ferdinand is injury prone, i do agree. But what pisses me off about this is the part that says Smalling and Jones are worse than your current defenders ( except Vermalean, hes class). How can any Arsenal fan deny that they wouldn’t want a £7m potentially world class player in Smalling instead of a £20m player in Cahill who is overrated?

  15. London says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I have to go out today so good luck to who ever holds the fort.

  16. It seems to me the plastics think Jones is already great when he has played exactly how many competitive games for them ?
    Anyway, must be off now, best of luck with the Surrey-Kuala Lumpar axis(the mancs) my fellow Gooners.

  17. pridders says:

    to all the united fans on here, I think you’ve understood a few key points. London isn’t saying that koscielney and djourou are better prospects but they are currently better players and that arsenal currently have 3 cbs better than smalling and jones, whereas united only have 2 and one of them is getting older and far more injury prone. He is NOT saying that arsenal have a better defence, as vidic is the best cb in the league, just ahead of kompany, just that itl only take one or two injurys, which with ferdinand will become far more common as he ages, for them both to get a game, whilst in the current pecking order it would take 3. Plus vidic and ferdinand are both older than all three of our cbs and so it would take longer for the younger prospects to outshine them, whereas I can see smalling taking over from ferdinand full-time in a few years. So overall, I agree with his points on that an also agree over cahil and jagielka, this and a few over articles have put me more in favour of jagielka than samba because of his versatility, so overall, good article

  18. VCC says:

    @ London. Your criticism of Arsenal supporters wanting Cahill and not seeing him play at the Rebok…..Bolton do play away games too!!!!
    In your request for Jagielka, and your analysis of players, how many times have you seen him play at Goodison Park?
    IMO Cahill is better than Jagielka, he is younger and certainly better than all our CB’s bar Vermaelen.

  19. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the post London, unfortunately I shall be playing cricket so I’m not sure who will hold the fort. The post is not tagged in any way to attrack manu supporters although I welcome their sensible repsonses.

    dandan@ 10:18, I don’t support a business, I support a football club that is currently putting its business ethics ahead of its footballing priorities. This I believe is a mistake and sooner or later they will realise that the football has to be the first concern if you want to make lots of money!

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Bastard. You write a “Utd Calling” post, then bugger off for the day!!
    For what its worth, I wish we had Smalling.
    I hate Utd.
    Right, off out for the day.

  21. Aidan Furey says:

    Im an Arsenal fan, but I couldnt close my browser without replying. The suggestion that Smalling and Jones went to Old Trafford over Arsenal in order to find first team football belongs in a pantomime. Vidic and Ferdinand are WORLD CLASS centre backs.

  22. Red Arse says:

    I have done my stint holding the fort against the loopoes, so I am off too!

    Well written Post, London. 🙂

    The only point I would make is that if AW had signed Smalling, I doubt he would have bid for Jones as well. AW is still only looking to sign one CB.

    Physically Smalling (should be called Biging) stands at 6’4″ and is both robust and a good player IMO.

    Oddly enough, both he and his immediate family are all Gooners, but money does talk at the end of the day.

  23. callygooner says:

    Interesting piece.Trouble with the fanatics is they settle for risk and expect to win the league on a wing and a prayer. Kolsceny showed some promise last season I wouldn’t for a moment write him off. However he made a number of real howlers and his tackling in the box is reckless. He will get better, but we cant sit back for another season while he gets there. Yes Jagielke for all the reasons given and Kolscieney as first reserve where he should have been last year.He’ll get lots of chances not least because Gibbs will be injured and Jagielka can cover there.

  24. Scott says:

    Koscielny is a much better player than the self professed experts,who blame him for everything including WW2,realise. He,RVP and Wilshere are the the players who finished the reason strongly. I agree we need another central defender as a back up,but him and Vermaelen are as good a pairing as any in the league. So close last year,and with no Vermaelen! No,the defense is nowhere near as bad as most want us to believe. Jagielka,Cahill-15 to 20 million,seriously?

  25. Red Arse says:

    Rasper, the names Smalling/Jones in the title will be like a candle calling to the Mancs moths.

    Stand by for acrimonious outrage.

  26. Kenyan gooner says:

    Its unbeleivable how man u fans are trying to compare vermaelen,koscielny and djorou with smalling and jones!!is it because all our top defenders are not english and the three cost us a mere £20m compared to smalling and jones who cost a combined £30m?would you rather play the man u pair or the arsenal ones in a game??koscielny handled barca very well in his first season in the premier league something that rio and vidic couldn’t in their 5th?or whichever season playing together in the premier league!!the less said of vermaelen the better..his game speaks for itself..as for djorou,can smalling or jones silence drogba for 90min??not to forget our very own bartley,miguel and jenkinson who cost us peanuts and will be equal if not better than smalling and jones!!as vermaelen said,we only need to work on small and finer details and we will be ready to go injuries permitting!!as for goalkeepers,i am cock sure de gea and kuzcsak aren’t rated any better than szcesney and fabianski with the later being in pole position of being polish keeper no1.

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well said Kenyan

  28. Rasp says:

    After having written this on the tail end of yesterday’s post ….. “On a side issue, who remembers “I’ve taken a gamble” when AW signed Bischof? OK the gamble didn’t pay off but I don’t blame him for taking it – this guy Joel Campbell would certainly be worth the ‘risk’ but I gather there are contractual and visa problems. He’d probably be another Balotelli but he would bring some excitement to the squad.” ….. it is now being reported that we have done the deal ….. I hope its true but the reports are unconfirmed

  29. HateTheMancs says:

    Reality Check – how old are you? Probably not even 4, coz you cannot bloody read!! Read the post again, then the site name ‘A R S E N A L A R S E N A L’ , and then crawl back under the stone

    Same goes for all the half wits mancs

    GunnerStan – well said

  30. Gooners are Dreamers says:

    Why don’t Arsenal win a single trophy with them then? Surely if they are better than the pair touted as the next Vidic and Ferdinand it means they have every ability in the world to win a trophy (I will count even the Emirates Cup. Smalling and Jones touted as successors to Vidic and Ferdinand who everyone in the world knows they are world class and yet why couldn’t a pair better than them couldn’t win a trophy in 6 years? Easy, it’s because the Gooners are living in the dream. Koscielny played a good game against Barcelona and he is touted as a defender better than Ferdinand and Vidic when Smalling played well whenever he in on the pitch, it’s just so obvious Gooners and their manager never fail to amaze us in spotting a good defender (Latest being Jenkinson, that own goal is simply fantastic).

  31. goonermichael says:

    I enjoyed the post but I’ve had to skip through the quotes as I’m wound up. You’ve really brought out the heroin using, northern scum. I hate the concieted, arrogant, glory hunting twats. London, You’re not 12 are you? Did I remember to say I hate the mancs?

  32. goonermichael says:

    How godwere smalling and jones in the U21? We won that without conceding didn’t we?

  33. goonermichael says:

    I seem to remember the northern scum talking up jonny (i’m shit) evans. What happened tro him?

  34. arsenal fans are all deluded says:

    oh wow – if your arsenal players were as good as you feel they are they would have won at least one trophy last season – but remember every game that they lost was due to goals that were not defended well enough and those lost games meant that arsenal did not win a single trophy (or anything else even) so stop saying that your players are better because they cannot prove it merely because they lack any credential to prove it ……. they are always going to be regarded as “nearly men” while you call united supporters glory hunters. well i for one am proud to be a glory hunter cos the club i support is covered in it ….. so stick that in your pipe and chew on it

    oh as for the laughable fanciful stories about one or two games against Barcelona united’s players still have trophies and winners medals in other competitions to console them while arsenals players are empty handed so all you brain dead arsenal fans would do well to remember that before trying to bait united fans

  35. wenger if u like buy quality or not one tin I no is dat this season u will be beating black & blue both home & away this season u can’t escape it even if care is not taking u not even qualify 2 champion league dis season onless u change stupid policy of buying premature babies. Mr lier

  36. goonermichael says:

    wanker

  37. Evonne says:

    London – excellent post, thanks. You are a great analyst with ‘inside-like’ knowledge of the footballing world. But how about Chris Samba? What do you think of him?

  38. h says:

    Myles and his Manure pals – we, the Arsenal fans are not even remotely interested in your opinion of our Club. We could not give two shits what you think. Please don’t waste your time, coz your views will not be read, replied to or considered. Piss off to your own site.

  39. HateTheMancs says:

    StretfordDave – come on you Citeh!! I hope they will wipe their blue arses with your shirts!! If we cannot win it all, I hope Citeh will!

  40. Stretford Dave – this is an Arsenal site, don’t bother coming back please

  41. How do you feel about the manks Evonne 😛

  42. HateTheMancs says:

    Peaches – are you on duty? Don’t envy you

  43. kelsey says:

    I just deleted a post by the way which had one letter on it.

  44. Evonne says:

    hate the Mancs, the red ones more than the blue!!!

    London wrote a great post, fine analysis, outstanding knowledge and those so-and-so come here and dare to insult us all. Fuming!

    Morning Kelsey x

  45. Jamie says:

    London did right a good post.

    Peaches – Do you need a match report for tomorrow or do you have it sorted?

  46. arsenal fan says:

    Booooooooooooooooooo!

  47. Arsenalfan says:

    To all you who say kozzer isn’t as good as jones/smalling should look at his barca performance. Even the ‘great vidic’ looked out of his league against them. My point is kozzer has an exceptional ability to read the game as well as other abilities but the 2 young are only suited to the English league because they are physically strong and all the rest of it whip someone like kozzer is a footballer as well as a defender

  48. Evonne says:

    Arsenalfan – yep, he is very good indeed. Please don’t go mad with me for bringing it up over and over again, but I am sooooo beaming with pride – Koscielny’s parents are Polish; he, Szczesny and Fabianski often chat in Polish, bring on Jagielka to join the club. It is not often that I am proud of my heritage, but on this occassion, how can I not be 🙂

  49. Gooner In Exile says:

    I will reply once to the Mancs, where in the post does London say Koz and Djourou are better than Vidic and Ferdinand…..that’d right nowhere.

    You also seem to think Vermaelen played a whole season….. He didn’t.

    Now hold on to those thoughts and think before you type.

    In my mind Verm and Kos could be a very good pairing, in fact any two of our three will work.

  50. harry says:

    Morning all, fine post London……..Certainlty stirred the brain dead northern monkeys into scrawling their uneducated dross……..

    I dont agree with everything you said, but most………

    Vermaelen is better than them all that you quoted, ie Smalling and Jones. (and ferdinand, but not vidic close though)

    Jones is actually a half decent defender and would have been a good capture, he can play football on the ground, he has a good touch and tackles well. Smalling is atrocious at best, he has the touch of drunk elephant and the turning cirle of the QE2…..

    Kozzer had a very good season and bar the CC, I cannot of any other really bad mistakes………He is miles ahead of smalling, but Jones would have pushed him. The match for me was Barca at home, he went home with Messi still in his pocket……My only issue with Kozzer is that he is too nice…..!!!Grow a set and be more aggressive……

    Djourou has struggled at times and has a propensity to make glaring errors through indecision (called clichyitis)… I had high hopes for him and have defended him staunchly in the past……..But he only had a handful of decent games imho, he lacks belief and his game depends on who he plays next to……..He is better than smalling, but probably not as good as Jones as a defender. Slightly better in the air than Jones……..

    I agree that I would have kept Bartley rather than Squillaci, but he will benefit in the long run playing week in week out…….I agree with the deal if we have a call back option, but I am sure we probably dont……….

    I agree that Cahill is slightly over rated, but he has good potential 15million max, jagielka is a good utility player but not an outstanding defender with stature……….and is getting on…..12million max….

    The player I would still go for is Samba (would pay 12-15million ie slightly over the odds but he is what I would want),….

    Samba is a manbeast, he has the heart of ten thousand siberian tigers, a powerful leader who will never say never, he is at the right age and can also play in DM role……and also play up top and cause issues when needed. Its a no brainer for me, he is the architectural opposite to most all other players in our squad which gives us a more natural balance……….

    So for me, Have your coffee, sign Samba and Joel Campbell…..Tell Nasri to sign an extension now or sell him and buy mata / turan / or get Hleb back in. Tell Fabregas look we want 40million or your here for another season……….And give Lansbury a squad number now…………………………..I hope he has a blinder tonight……..

    And for all those man utd fans who think we are a fading force, we beat you at ours with Nasri and Fabregas missing so kiss my Arsenal………..Come on you rip roaring reds………..

  51. Gooner In Exile says:

    Harry whilst overall your comment is sound I have to raise one question:

    HLEB!

    Now I liked him and was sad to see him go but what kind of stick will AW get for signing a player who was the main figure of criticism for the dontshootwontshoot clan.

  52. harry671 says:

    Gie. I understand. But hleb is arsenal styled already fits in and costs minimal…he is still quality

  53. goonergal says:

    Excellent post London ~ without some of the annoying negativity to go with it, I find it quite amusing that man u people come onto our blogs, as I for one would never even bother to read any of their’s, they are still upset about Ramsey no doubt, Kos will prove himself this year, not really bothered about Cahill, Jagielka does not seem to be interested in coming to london regardless so Samba is a possibility I just think that he may be a bit slow for our game, Campbell looks promising, I believe he scored twice in the under 20’s world cup for less thatn a million he looks a real bargain.

  54. WiganGooner says:

    Afternoon all, Great post London 🙂

    It seems most of the posts recently seem to set the feline amongst the avians and that can’t be a bad thing.

    Firstly I’d like to start off with a sympathy request, living only 24 miles from Manchester I now am faced with more Mancs than you can shake a stick at and I often have lengthy discussions about football and such.

    I have noticed Manc’s never like to give anyone else any credit, however, in a discussion the other day a manc said he’d take Vermaelen and Koscielny off of us given the opportunity as he thought Vermaelen is the next Vidic and Koscielny has awesome mobility and tackling sense 1v1,

    I cant fault his observations, save for that I know we wont sell them to the Mancs.

    Just remember everyone, empty vessels make the most noise.

    We’ve got our pride, we’re still the biggest club in london and we will win a trophy this season.i’ve got money on it.

    WG

  55. WiganGooner says:

    Also, putting my Wise old WG hat on for a second, I will tell you this;

    Vermaelen and Koscielny will be a very formidable partnership this season, they can compliment each other well and I think it will really come good.

    I think our re-vamped back line has real promise, I really do.

    WG

  56. WiganGooner says:

    Keeping my hat on for a sec, I reckon if Miyaichi gets a work permit then Nasri will be sold. Mata will come in if Cesc goes.

    What ya reckon?

    Some great points above Harry, I love the idea of getting Hleb back, it might even sort out Cesc’s head as he loves old Alex.

    WG

  57. harry says:

    Hi WG, yep Cesc does love Alex and also Alex could say, look Cesc, it aint no greener over there, you’ll be on the bench alot and it just isnt Arsenal, stick with Arsene and lets win a trophy……..

    Hleb knows he made a mistake, would give us some experience and he can still kick it so to speak……He quoted his undying love for us as he signed for the brummies…..SO why not and he would be a heck of alot cheaper than many options…….

    I am so disappointed in Nasri, but cannot complain too much, he is playing the system and hasnt done much wrong. I would rather get money for him than let go for free next season and if Ryo can get a permit, the kid is electric……Not bothered about Cesc, Ramsey can make us forget him, with Jack they will destroy teams……

    I agree WG Vermaelen and Kozzer will be a great partnership, its just if TV gets injured again we will struggle…..

    Goonergal, Samba isnt as slow as you’d think and he would compliment what we have, could even throw him into the DM role…..Sol came back and he is no Usain Bolt……..

    We are unfortunately lumbered with the most fickle fans in the premiership, we need something to lift the negativity and give us a boost…….

    We have a very difficult start, compounded by finishing fourth last season, Udinese are no mugs…….with the away leg sandwiched between Liverpool and United…….!!

  58. goonermichael says:

    I’ve just read that Cesc has flown out to Benfica this morning. Probably bollocks I suoppose. Feel stupid posting it already. I’ll get my nanny goat.

  59. ne says:

    hahahahaha…from last year i have opted for jagielka. His the one we looking for, consistent and a quiet leader type, that will mix perfect with our “boy” squad. Him, varm and rvp will make the boys works harder a bit with some needed discipline…instead fooling around the whole day in training.

  60. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking post London.

    Well received by most, completely misunderstood by a few.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Very good post Londinium
    I have a lot of hope for the Vermscielny axis, but not without some reservations.

    It’s interesting that many of the games cited as evidence of Kozzer’s ability are the ones against top opposition teams who try to play football (Barca, ManUre, Chavs). And indeed, against those teams I would feel very confident in him and Verm as the starting CB duo.

    However (sorry, I always seem to have a ‘however’) we struggled defensively last season against the big, physical sides who don’t try to play on the ground but prefer playing for set pieces or just hoofing the ball into the box for the ‘big men’.

    My analysis may be hopelessly simplistic, but I felt we needed more height and physicality for those sorts of games, and I’m not sure that Verm/Kozzer offers it. They seem a perfect partnership for ‘European’ football, but not necessarily ideal for some of the industrial footy played in the EPL.

    In the games v Stoke, Blackburn etc might we not be better off with Verm/Samba or Verm/Cahill? Or even Kozzer/Samba or Kozzer/Cahill?

    Obviously the biggest argument against such a plan is that neither Samba nor Cahill would be likely to join us on the basis of only playing in the unglamorous blood-and-thunder games and sitting on the bench for all the glamour games.

    Maybe Djourou needs to emerge as our ‘big man’ for the Stoke/Blackburn games… But I’m not entirely convinced by him. He doesn’t seem to use his size as imposingly as he might.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Best laugh of the day “Smalling should really be called Bigging” 😀

  63. Evonne says:

    WG – how much? I put £40 on 15:2 for the EPL, but am toying with the idea to up it a bit

  64. Darrell says:

    Wow u haven’t won anything in 5-6 years so u make a column about are young defenders. Well vidic and rio are miles better than any defender you have at your club your just mad cause cesc is leaving and nasri is leaving too ha ha

  65. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    good call on that comment, but i also lost it when i read the comment on samba “has the heart of ten thousand siberian tigers”

    @ 26

    not to sure what you ment by the comment in the yesterdays post. please clarify?

    at the end of the day jags and cahill are ridiculously overpriced, and even samba will cost us a pretty penny. Out of the 3 though i’d choose samba because as others have stated kozza and verm look like a great pairing

  66. goonermichael says:

    Evonne
    You can get 10-1 for the league.

  67. hatethemancs says:

    Darrell – is it or 6 years? It cannot be both. You cannot even count to 10 you dimwit

  68. Evonne says:

    GM – where????

  69. goonermichael says:

    Darrell
    Go and read the post again. Sorry I forgot you may be from manchester.

  70. oz gunner says:

    all these manure fans must be pretty sad coming onto an opposing teams blog. Also making comments about our keepers haha i’d be a bit worried about their situation at the present, an inexperienced keeper (VDS was world class and saved them on many occassions), rio is falling apart, rooney is growing hair so now women might actually go for him now (more scandals), scholes is gone, giggs secrets are revealed, and evra is still a piece of sh*t!

  71. HateTheMancs says:

    I have recently read some psychology behind blogging. Apparently those trying to cause controversy get their kicks (buzzword: instant gratification) when they are replied to. Which means if you don’t want them to get their high, you simply ignore them. BUT I CANNOT DO IT, they really get on my tits…..stop swearing, this is a family site

  72. RockyLives says:

    Oz
    “Samba has the heart of 10,000 Siberian tigers”
    I don’t care about his eating habits as long as he flettens Shawcross.

    Re the Mancs – it’s funny that most of them seem incapable of reading London’s post before commenting. Where does he compare our CBs with Rio and Vidic? He doesn’t.

    Mind you there were one or two earlier who at least made their comments respectfully, so I have no objection to them joining the debate.

  73. HateTheMancs says:

    Oz – good summary of that scum

  74. HateTheMancs says:

    Hi Rocky – what time is it in Canada now? Mid morning?

  75. oz gunner says:

    @ Rocky

    why stop there?my list would be alot longer…

    Nani
    Evra
    Vidic (we want that penalty dammit)
    Adebayor (if he ever starts again)
    The entire spurs lineup bar friedel (actually he has cost arsenal a few points in his time so he can stay!)
    Bent
    Drogba (you single handedly ruined senderos’ career and have always been a thorn in our side)
    Hunt
    Reina
    Fat Frank
    John Terry (diaby didn’t get the job done)
    A.Cole
    Kuyt
    Park (damn that fluke goal)
    Rooney
    Diouf
    Barton
    delap

    A hell of alot more but i can’t remember

  76. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    Just popped in for a minute to say I enjoyed the accountant joke.
    Thank you! 🙂

    Hi Oz, hope you get to see the game against Benfica tonight. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we go without Cesc and Nasri.

    You will probably have to use matchsticks to keep your eyes open. 🙂

    Tomorrow, fellas! 🙂

  77. RockyLives says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    HtM – nearly midday here 🙂

    What time’s the kickoff?

  78. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    haha good call on the matchsticks. Its the midweek champions league games that get me though (there either on at 230 or 430. which are always pleasant when i start work at 6 haha).

    I’ll just have to download it off the net. enjoy the game

  79. HateTheMancs says:

    Babel for me, that penalty

  80. oz gunner says:

    so now nasri has an apparent ‘injury’ also. hopefully lansbury gets a good run out. i really want him to make it at arsenal (no more loans either).

  81. kelsey says:

    Nasri has had a bust up with Wenger apparently.Flog the sod for 22 million and let’s get on with life.

  82. Jamie – if you’re around, I’d like to accept your offer of a match report for tomorrows post. I’ve emailed you 🙂

    kelsey – can I email you?

    HtM – might call you 🙂

    Rocky – are you planning a trip to the UK that will include any matches soon?

  83. HateTheMancs says:

    Peaches – phone or front door?

  84. kelsey says:

    no problem peaches

  85. Carlito11 says:

    Evening all- been trying to keep up with all the debate on here- been one hell of a week it seems 🙂 About to watch my first full match on the Arsenalplayer- hope it doesn’t crash like last time 😳 Really glad that most on the site took a stand against booing earlier in the week although I have to say that I now have a better understanding of the mindset that would lead to it- some pretty political stuff going on but like most on here I’m just looking forwards to seeing the lads play

  86. HateTheMancs says:

    aha, blue eyes are back, happy days 🙂

  87. Carlito11 says:

    Alreet Evone! 🙂 Name change? Midfield are a bit disappointing so far- bypassed when defending and careless in possession…

  88. Carlito11 says:

    …and then Song plays the perfect thoughball for RvP- shame he didn’t put the chance away though

  89. Carlito11 says:

    Quite like the AA-RvP-The Gerv front three on the attack. Menacing

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Evonne/Carlito,
    Defence and attack good. Song good. TR and AR good squad players. Same feelings from me. Injuries down the spine to Rvp, Song or Verm and trouble looms. Still good to have saturday spent in the proper way.

  91. harry says:

    Hi C11……..

    Reasonable first half, The G man looks good, great to have V man at the back again….RVP is pure class….with some not there in TW14 and JW19, things look ok………

    Really would love to see Henri get 45 in the 2nd…

  92. SharkeySure says:

    That was a cracking thru ball from Song.

    Passing that led to the goal was sublime. If Barca scoredthat goal the media would wet their pants

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Harry,
    I would love to see AA in the middle in place of TR. Still don’t think we’ll ever see the best of him out wide.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I had a quick change Sharkey.
    Long time no chat. Hope family all good.

  95. SharkeySure says:

    I screamed out loud when Verm ducked under the header that led to the early penalty claim.

    We’re very lucky that the ref had a very good view of it.

    You never call your keeper out to collect anything. As a CB you deal with everything unless your keeper tells you otherwise !!!

  96. harry says:

    Yeah Micky AA would excel in there….

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Would love to see Song, JW and AA in the middle.

  98. Gooner In Exile says:

    Something about The Gerv just made me love him a little more.

    Anyone notice when Sagna attacked and he was playing on the right he was already moving to cover the space left by Bac in case he lost it…..RESPONSIBILITY!!! Something we have missed for a while.

    Also good to see some disagreements and rollockings being handed out between the players. All good

  99. Carlito11 says:

    Hi fellas- not sure Song was great in the first half- needs to sharpen up some before Newcastle away. Harry any more thoughts on that ST? It’s only one block away from where I normally sit… missed the start of this half (dindins)- what’s happened? (apart from the obvious that they scored?!)

  100. goonermichael says:

    squilaci is useless

  101. Carlito11 says:

    Did we change everyone except Rosicky and The Gerv? Not happy with Fab2 on that one as well as the obvious scapegoating of Squid 😉

  102. Rasp says:

    Squillaci is very poor, he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the first team.

  103. goonermichael says:

    he’s not a scapegoat. he’s no good

  104. harry says:

    C11, yeah chat tomorrow?

    Squid boy needs to move on………..

    Here comes the boy henri………

  105. Rasp says:

    Chamakh may as well not be on the pitch – totally anonymous

  106. Carlito11 says:

    GM- I know! Just I posted before I saw your response- just messin about! Harry- nice one…

  107. Carlito11 says:

    Realistically we can’t even play ‘our way’ without Fab4 can we? Time for plan B and C but not really seen them tonight…

  108. harry says:

    I would rather see bendtner than chamakh……..

  109. Carlito11 says:

    Lansbury or Frimpong over the ball- scraping the barrel here

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very tough to take any positives from the second half. Our 2nd XI are not good.

  111. goonermichael says:

    I like the look of Traore. Squid is a super quality player

  112. Carlito11 says:

    GM 😀

    Worryingly for me was the fact that the defensive training AA mentioned in an interview looks to have had little effect- the “back 8” were all often caught in possession and out of position 😦

  113. gunnern5 says:

    Oh dear, that was sad to watch…………..
    It looks like our season may be a wish and a hope?

    We need to learn to shoot – the person in charge of transfers!

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    These are very worrying times, and on that low note,I bid ye all good night.

  115. SharkeySure says:

    Ahoy Mickey

    GIE. I was telling Wonderman about Gervs covering at h/t. Is it me or was Sagna jogging back instead of sprinting tonight..??

    I’ve got my doubts about Vermaelen after tonight. If Squid had got outmuscled for the 2nd in the same way, most would want hissm shot. Verm need to curb his impetuosity(?/ness), he needs to know that you can’t win every ball. Zonal Marking did a brilliant article on how he dives in and leaves holes. I’ll be watching him closely.

    Sz would have save dtheir second goal, and might have got a hand to their first.

    Frimpong looked very strong and very aware, ideal for PL football.

    AIMAR IS ONLY 31. Thats amazing.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ok positive average negative time again:

    AA, RvP, Gerv, Gibbs, Traore, Sagna, Frimpong (beast) – positive

    Rosicky, Ramsey, Verm, Djorou, Jenks, Szcz-Average

    Squid, Fab, Song, Cham – must do better

    Not enough ball time to judge – Ryo, Lansbury, Miquel

    Overall another good work out, if RvP is injured I hope we start against Newcastle with Gerv, AA and Theo as our attacking three.

    The worrying thing about the first half is our basic shape going forward as it leaves too many holes if we lose possession, would like to see 4-2-3-1 and the 2 must bloody hold.

    Too often in the first half did I see the Centre Backs with the ball and TR or AR coming to collect it with Song already in their half.

  117. HateTheMancs says:

    I didn’t know Axel Witsel played for benfica, he is an animal, broke more than one leg, ended a guy’s career.

    But it wasn’t him that fouled RvP, who should be wrapped in cotton wool instead of playing friendlies

    Henri looks good, real deal

  118. London says:

    Hi guys from your 12 years old blogging pal.

    Thanks for the support today, where do I say that Vermaelen and Koscielny are better than Vidic and Ferdinand? Stupid mancs.

    Anyway, a good first half, lots of positives, second half was just a bit of bonding for our stand ins. No biggy.

  119. Gooner In Exile says:

    It is also true that our first team played their second an their first played a weakening mixture of our first and reserves.

    Agreed about Bac Sharkey altho guess he doesn’t have to sprint back if he knows someone’s covering….still easing himself in?

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    London you make a valid point.

    We must remember that we rarely expect all of our youngsters/reserves to play together.

    I think one thong is clear from this game we cannot afford to play two central midfielders who are looking to get forward, one of TR, Ramsey.

    I’m
    Beginning to wonder if it shouldn’t look more like

    Sagna……Kos……..Verm…….Gibbs
    ……..song……………..Frimpong…….
    ………………..TR/AR/JW………………
    ….AA…………………………Gerv…….
    .…….………RvP………………

  121. SharkeySure says:

    GIE – take Chamakh out of the ‘must do better’ category and create a new one. I don’t like being negative about Arsenal players, so I’ll say no more than that.

    The Song Frimpong combination could serve us very well in certain games. I liked Frimpong, he just needs to stick to passing it simple and he’ll be fine.

  122. SharkeySure says:

    You’re up late tonight London..?? Oh yeah school holidays…

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    😀 Sharkey (second comment)

    I’m still hoping Cham comes good.think he’s suffering squadplayeritis. Happened to Denilson and Rosicky last year. If they’re left to play with the standins in Friendlies, CC, FAC, they seem to settle at that level.

    If they showed the attitude of NikB in those games (ie trying to prove a point) surely they would force themselves into the reckoning.

  124. RockyLives says:

    I couldn’t care less about the result, and I’ve only seen the goals and brief highlights on Arsenalist, but…

    Gerv looks really dangerous and lively.

    Gibbs’ inch-perfect assist for RvP’s goal was exactly the sort of thing that Clichy has been unable to do for the last few years and gives hope that he’ll provide a number of assists this year. However, Gibbs’ half-hearted challenge for Benfica’s first was pure Clichy.

    Verm hardly showered himself in glory for the same goal, and Squidder’s pathetic leg-dangle non-challenge for the second was woeful.

    AW suggested there might be transfer activity this week. I hope he’s not just referring to Campbell.

  125. oz gunner says:

    I think alot of people have set extremely high expectations on verm (doesn’t help when we see squidge ‘playing’ so often). A year out of the game could mean that he takes a while to get back into it.

    @ GiE

    agree on the chamma situation, i really hope he snaps out of it. Is it to late to ask bendy to stick around?

  126. kelsey says:

    Morning,
    it’s very admirable that many of you remain upbeat,maybe i saw a different game.

    The real question is how can a squad colapse so dramatically in the last 3 months.Players are human and have bad run of form but what I saw yesterday especially in the second half was embarrasing.It could easily have been 4-1 and with every pre season game we look worse as a unit.I know we were missing key players but there was no fluidity in our play most of the game, passes went astray and our attack in the second half was non existent.

    gervinho excits me a good buy, but don’t let us kid ourselves about Sczsheny.he nearly gave away a penalty in the first few minutes similar to the CC Final,we need an experienced keeper now.Unfortunately there isn’t enough time left for things to be put right, and of course now more dreaded injuries.
    I am trying to look for positives at the moment and just can’t find them.
    At some stage during the second half I was just going through the motions of watching us play,knowing that it was fairly obvious that we were never going to score and no one driving on the team.Sad day for the 200 who travelled.

  127. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Your 10:04 level of optimism is very infectious, although my immune system appears to be getting stronger by the day.
    The defence issue is a given, but the quality of a Cesc replacement is beginning to really worry me.
    .
    Oz,
    Could not agree more about the Nic/Cham situation. Had Nic always been played as first choice stand-in for RvP rather than some lunatic winger, maybe he would have believed in a future with us. He at least has potential.

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    Just the man to have around at a time like this. A problem shared and all that.
    During the second half, I was thinking I was watching the worst eleven to take to the field in Arsenal Colours that I have seen in more than 20 years.

  129. kelsey says:

    Like Micky and many othere I have supported the club for decades and I think frustrated and annoyed is the way many feel at the moment with the squad,the manager and the club in general.

    Pre season is basically to get fitness going and change players around.We have played progressively worse as a unit as each game passes and if any one thinks that a magic wand will appear in 7 days and we will be a force to be reckoned with this season, they are deluded.
    So the Board want us to remain on course for financial stability fine so in that case set your sights low for this season then everything else will be a bonus. .

    I am sorry but this is a time of telling it as it really is.

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Kelsey,
    “Don’t leave me this way” in the words of The Pet Shop Boys, or “Should I stay or should I go” in the words of the Clash?

  131. kelsey says:

    Sorry mikey,

    that’s how i feel and I know most of you on here only see the positives but I don’t.

    Crisis what crisis 🙂

  132. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah Kelsey,
    Yip, agree. I do understand the self sustaining model ideal, however, I do think Arsene over does things on a loyaly to players level. If nothing else, any squad needs refreshing quite apart from addressing obvious flaws. In terms of expectation for the season ahead, I believe we will do very very well to retain a CL spot and I think in the present footballing climate, falling out of that particular club could be very damaging indeed.

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    loyalty sp

  134. kelsey says:

    Don’t leave me this way
    I can’t survive, can’t stay alive
    Without your love

    Don’t leave me this way, no
    I can’t exist, I’ll surely miss your tender kiss
    Don’t leave me this way, no

    Don’t leave me this way, yeah
    I’m a broken man with empty hands
    Oh baby please, please, don’t leave me this way

    very appropriate.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All being well (ie it continues to rain!) I am going to watch the Charity Shield which could actually be quite a terrifying experience. I’m scared.

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually Kelsey I am reasonably terrified that you know all the words to that one! (-:

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have even lost the ability to produce a smiley face. Things are bleak indeed.

  138. kelsey says:

    Well it’s 40 degrees here so off to the beach with the family.have a nice day. (Oh for a Yaya Toure)

  139. kelsey says:

    by the way i thought Harold Melvin and the bluenotes recorded the original,I know it was covered by many others but not by Eboue and Chamakh,( the pet shop Boys.)

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    With a heavy heart and seventeen degrees in the air, I say have a nice warm day Kelsey.
    Deserter!

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha Ha !

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, I’m off before an optimist comes!

  143. Gooner In Exile says:

    Here’s Exile…….in a Jack Nicholson scary way 😀

    Kelsey and Micky yes the second half was poor and the first was average.

    For me it’s the first time I’ve watched so many pre season games. So I have no real idea how this is different to others except not winning the Emirates Cup for a change.

    As for Szcz I thought he actually dealt with that situation well not at any moment was he liable to bring down the player so much so that the Benfica striker moved his left foot in to Szcz’s path to try and buy the penalty.

  144. Rasp says:

    Good morning, following a bad evening.

    I share kelsey’s feelings regarding yesterday’s performance. Football is a squad game and the 2nd half squad showed all the worst flaws that led to last season’s collapse. We cannot rely on the first teamers to stay fit. We apparently picked up injuries to RvP, Gibbs and Vermaelen yesterday.

    I can say without being accused of hindsight that this was all so predictable – as predictable as the last minute deal for Cesc and probably the same for Nasri that will be the main event in our ‘transfer activity’.

    Our club has shown an inabilty to learn from its mistakes for several years now and this coming season may well be the one where they don’t ‘get away with it’

    Manu, city and chelski are all shoe-ins for the top four, we will be fighting with 2 or 3 others for 4th spot, with pool favourites to get CL football in 2012

  145. Evonne says:

    Gosh, hardly worth getting up this morning! After reading today’s comments I feel like some duvet diving 😦 Come on lads, it was a friendly and it proves nothing! Since when the season can be judged by the preseason friendlies??

    Why all the doom and gloom?? I am for one rather excited about this season! Do any of you think that Mancs or Chavs, or Scousers have better teams or less problems? I don’t think so, look closely at each one of them, they will be strugling for the 4th spot. Ok, it is going to be very tough, but for all, not just for us

    Fireworks in Tottenham all night, not far from WHL

  146. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’m beginning to think over here in Fantasy Land that this is a purposeful smokescreen and we will blow Newcastle away and then unleash Cesc against Liverpool at home…….

    Ok I said it was Fantasy Land…

  147. Evonne says:

    GiE – that’s more like it 🙂

    And let’s not forget that Kroenke is a shrewd businessman, he didn’t invest in Arsenal to see them going down. There is a new level of accountability now for AW, the players and the Board

  148. Evonne says:

    Told you so 🙂 🙂

  149. Rasp says:

    Morning GiE 🙂

    At this stage anything is possible including Cesc and Nasri both staying. The problem is that since it is accepted that they both want to leave, what kind of performances could we expect from them and what effect would it have on the rest of the squad?

    The positive effect that the Gerv’s energy and fearlessness has had is remarkable and just goes to show what an injection of life from a new player that hasn’t been bruised by our past disappointments can do to our game.

  150. Evonne says:

    Rasp – how do you know Nasri wants to leave?

  151. Rasp says:

    Morning Evonne,

    I haven’t spoken to Nasri in person and I am aware that he hasn’t give an interview where he has said he wants to leave. But he has been linked with a move away all summer and hasn’t denied the reports. The offers from City and his ‘convenient injury’ all make me 99% sure he wants to go. If it is all a ploy to get him a wacking great pay rise then I’d probably prefer he left any way to be honest.

    We will see whether he or Cesc are on their way out of the door when the squad for the CL league qualifiers is announced. If neither feature, I think we can take it as read.

  152. Morning Rasp and all – Jamie’s post is in drafts, can you have a look and see if you want to add anything please 🙂

  153. Evonne says:

    Rasp – yeah, at that point, yes, we will know. Until then we haven’t got a clue. Only Wenger and the Board know the truth and I strongly believe they are doing their utmost best to address a problem, if indeed there is one. I refuse to believe they are doing nothing to improve our chances of winning trophies in the coming season.

  154. Evonne says:

    Morning Peaches

  155. While some of us are confessing to not really enjoying the second half yesterday I have to admit to turning over the channel after Benficas 2nd goal – I just couldn’t see where we were going to score from – very sad 😦

    I know it’s only a pre-season but if at any time in the future we have to rely on Chamakh to either create or score we are going to be very frustrated.

  156. Dreadful rioting and looting in Tottenham last night – shops, police cars and a double decker bus burnt out, extended to Wood Green High Road too – absolute madness 😦

  157. Evonne says:

    Peaches – apparently an innocent man was shot by the police in an unprovoked attack on Thursday

    And there is me thinking that the Scum’s booing is louder than ours…

  158. Rasp says:

    Morning Peaches, I’ve done the necessary on the post – the rest is up to you 😛

  159. The guy that was shot dead on Thursday night was carrying a gun and seconds before had shot a policeman who wasn’t injured as the bullet lodged in his radio.

    He was travelling in a mini cab carrying a gun.

  160. Evonne says:

    Peaches – the community claim that he had no gun. Hence the rioting

  161. I think it’s safe to say that most of those that were looting and rioting late into the night had no idea about how or why the disturbance started.

    How does looting innocent peoples shops in a high road have anything to do with a police operation or anger towards the police?

  162. dandan says:

    Morning all, so glad the phoney war is over, we can now get down to the real thing, business will be done this week.
    3 points at Tooncastle next Saturday and some can lift their chins off the floor and join the merry throng. Have a nice day.

    Just off to the airport thence to Spain to kick a certain goalkeepers Arse. 🙂

  163. New Post ………………………

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    dandan,
    Spain is a ghastly place. Forty degrees. Yuk. Just ask Kelsey.

  165. south african devil says:

    it seems majority of the ARSEnal fans are smoking the same bad sh!t that ARSEn WHINGER is. smalling was immense in his first season and except for vermaelan, your other cbs are sh!t. if you all really think you have such great players..WHERE ARE THE TROPHIES. Just a thought..this coming season we will lookin for another trophy cabinet, for the trophies we will win….i guess ARESnal can donate theirs since it has not been used for the last 7 years.

  166. Reality Check says:

    How good was Vermaelen’s and Arsenal defending against Benfica?! Hahaha…

    Serioiusly folks, I have two very close friends who support Arsenal, please do not become as deluded as Liverpool fans and at least try to view your players with some objectivity, even if it’s just a tiny smidgen. Except Vermaelen exactly NONE of your back 5 would get into United’s or Chelsea’s back 5.

    Djourou and Koscielny are simply not as good as Smalling and I look forward to seeing evidence of that this coming season.

  167. Baz says:

    The point about Ramsey is laughable at best, how much has he done for Arsenal?

    And as for your defenders being better than Smalling, I’d just like to point out A LOT of united fans think Smalling is just as good as, if not better than Ferdinand and I don’t think it will be too long before he hold a regular England starting spot. I don’t know how good your defenders are the same way you don’t know how good our defenders are. But if you don’t think any of your defenders are better than Ferdinand then I can guarantee they’re not better than Smalling

  168. Reality Check says:

    How good were Jones and Smalling compared to Koscielny and Djourou? How silly does this article look now? Did you see Djourou’s and Koscielny’s defending for Welbeck’s goal? Comical?

    To answer the question posed – Arsenal should care A LOT that AFC failed to sign Smalling and Jones. They are head and shoulders above your central defenders save Vermaelen.

  169. […] found the superlative of both Smalling and Jones quite pleasing as just three weeks ago, a deluded Arsenal fan voiced his opinion that they were not as good as Koscielny and Djourou. Their comical defending for […]

  170. M16 0RA says:

    Ha ha. Well that was the kiss of death wasn’t it. Would you swap Koscielny and Djourou for Jones and Smalling yet?

  171. Michael says:

    Muahahahahahaha…. how utterly stupid and ridiculous does this blog post look now?!?! Yet ANOTHER defensive masterclass by messrs Djourou, Koscielny and mertesacker.

    The very simple answer is Gooners should be VERY bothered Wenger didn’t sign Smalling or Jones who are head and shoulders above Djourou and Koscielny. This is what delusion does to fans, it alters their ability to apraise their own players in an objective manner.

    Keep believing your lies, Gooners. Enjoy the Europa League!

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