Kieran Gibbs: the key to Arsenal winning the league.

I can’t get that Benfica game out of my head, have you ever known a pre-season friendly in which one team brings on their best players at the beginning of the second half? Well, that is what I reckon the Portuguese did on the weekend, demonstrated perfectly by the introduction of enormously talented Argentinean international Pablo Aimar. This is the equivalent of us fielding the side we did for the first forty five minutes then keeping the same side for the start of the second except replacing Rosicky with a fit and raring to go Fabregas.

Benfica may have been better in the second half but they were still good in the first, as I have said before, probably better than seventeen of the twenty teams in the EPL and yet we found a way to initially contain them before finding a way past their talented defence. This bodes well for the forthcoming game against Newcastle.

We could have and should have been better, Rosicky and Ramsey are all very good but neither of them offered Song any real support and when playing top class opposition which is what Benfica are then our Alex needs a bit more help than either of those two can offer. In a nut shell — we missed Wilshere. A midfield of Song, Wilshere and Ramsey would have been better balanced and as a consequence much more effective. Rosicky was picking up the ball deep in our half and doing his usual drop of the shoulder enabling him to go past his man but then all too often his pass would not find an Arsenal player, we would lose possession and find ourselves back under pressure again.

But all this is a side-show, our attack looked good the inter play between The Gerv, Arshavin and RvP was impressive again, however, I couldn’t help thinking that with the introduction of Fabregas this attack would be unstoppable. Cesc picks the ball up deep drops the shoulder, goes past his man but unlike Rosicky his next pass finds a red shirt more often than not. This is the difference between a ten million pound player and a sixty million pound player.

A few people have posed the question how should we deal with Cesc when it is so obvious that he wants to leave, the answer is, if he stays, just thank your lucky stars; he is the most talented player we have and he will set that attack on fire.

Anyway the second half against Benfica was the second half; they must have really wanted that little cup, presented to them at the end of the game, in view of the players they brought on whereas it was clear that Wenger was using it for what it was: a pre-season fitness builder.

I want to say a few words more about that game by focusing on Gibbs but putting it in the context of the end of last season.

I think Harry wrote recently that he felt it was the fact that we didn’t score enough goals after Christmas that let us down more than any thing else. I remember thinking he is right, I totally agree with that. Harry was met with a barrage of comments insisting that the collapse of the last nine games was down to the defence and very little to do with the lack of goals. I was taken aback for a while but I have thought about it some more and I am back agreeing with Harry: it was the lack of goals rather than the defence that caused the bulk of the problems.

Look at the last nine games of last season they include teams like West Brom, Blackburn, Villa all teams that we should have beaten and yet they all found a way of drawing or beating us by employing almost the same tactics every time: allow us to pressure and hit us on the break. We dominated those teams with seventy percent of the possession or more and yet we could not find a way to put them to the sword.

Enter our new white knight: Kieran Gibbs, this man is going to offer so much more than we had last season. As an attacking force he is head and shoulders better than Clichy, superbly demonstrated by his pass to RvP for the goal on the weekend and by the way did you notice where The Gerv was for that goal – right place, right time again (love it). Gibbs is going to enable us to punish those teams above a whole lot quicker this season, forcing them to come out which will negate their ability to hit us on the break. This I hope will lead to a calmer reaction from the defence. What about Gibbs the defender? Cross your fingers and hope that Vermaelen plays out there when some real defending is called for but humour aside there are very few games in which teams try to attack us – Barcelona, who are difficult for any side to face, but really after that, who?

I have read a couple of comments saying that we should take the money for Nasri while we can, reminding us that we only really got two good months out of him so grab the money now. How can I put this, Nasri is the most talented French midfielder of his generation he is going to be one of the best midfield players in the world, if you are irritated by the fact that he hasn’t signed quicker, ponder this. Do you think that things will be different when Wilshere only has one year left on his contract, do you think Wilshere’s agent won’t shop around, do you think City won’t come calling, will you say oh just sell him? I think not. Nasri should stay and will stay.

Which brings me to what will probably be the last time I will ever be able to write about the most talented player we have at the club: well certainly with the same reverence I save for players who don the glorious red and white. The loss of a sixty million pound player is going to have a serious impact (the club may value him at 40 but to me he is worth far more). Yes, I know we will survive but that doesn’t stop the pain of the imminent loss of what could be so different, so amazing with the attack that we have now assembled – In the words of Total Arsenal: Barça might want you but Arsenal need and love you.

Written by London


159 Responses to Kieran Gibbs: the key to Arsenal winning the league.

  1. WiganGooner says:

    Awesome article London.

    It’s been nice to see in pre-season that my thoughts re: Gibbs has been galvanised by Arsene in pre-season. I really rate Gibbs as a successor to Clichy, I think he is miles more dynamic getting forward and I love his energy in defence, even if he isn’t the finished article yet.


  2. Wh says:

    Yes spot on, the key for us to winning the league is an inexperienced left back that can barely stay fit or on his feet. Forget the fact that we are losing 2 creative midfielders, it was the left back all along which is was the key. Well done.

  3. jjgsol says:

    If the reports today are true, then it seems we have given in and sold CF for much les han £40m, which is a disgrace. If he still has 4 years left on his contract, why sell hiom now for an undervalue. Even if he says he won’t play, then let him sit in the stands until he grows up and relaises that a contract is a contract.

    If it is correct, then all the fans are entitled to feel that we have been et down by him and the club.

  4. jjgsol says:

    let don, not et down.

  5. jjgsol says:

    let down, no let don. Sorry.

  6. Steve says:

    You’re as deluded as AW… I admire your optimism though

  7. WiganGooner says:


    In a situation where the player himself is determined to go, where he is mentally at-sea and not dedicated to the club you have to make a decision, do you let your prize asset rot in the reserves and hope he has a change of heart or do you take the hit?

    As fan’s we should appreciate what Cesc has given us, be strong enough to realise that player-power is what it is and everyone has to sell players that they don’t want to lose sometimes. Look at Christiano Ronaldo.

    It is the way of the sport, there isn’t anything we or Arsenal can do about it.

    Cesc’s transfer to Barca is a buyers market, in a one-team auction the buying club can play hardball and I’m reasonably happy to get away with the reported £35 million and the 4 million of loyalty payments outstanding.

    Of course I’d rather not lose him, but its hobson’s choice, there is no win in this situation for Arsenal.


    I would say we have plenty of talented midfielders who can step up this season, with the right purchases we will do very well indeed. Why wouldn’t Gibbs have a positive impact? Do you not think he is better than Clichy’s performances of last season?? I do.


  8. WiganGooner says:


    It must be horrible in your world of negativity. Why can’t real Arsenal fans be positive about Kieran Gibbs who I believe is an awesome talent and Capello does too.


  9. dandan says:

    I met a fairy today that said she would grant me one wish. “I want to live forever,” I said.

    “Sorry,” said the fairy, “I’m not allowed to grant wishes like that!”

    “Fine, “I said, “then I want to die after the Arsenal Doomers get their collective heads out of their ass!”

    “You crafty old sod,” said the fairy.

  10. dandan says:

    Super Post London…. thank you

  11. jeezlementary says:

    i agree with you jigsol, with time on the bench it would surely dawn on him that a contract was signed without a gun pointed to his head

  12. WiganGooner says:

    @DanDan 10:03

    Awesome 🙂 heheheh

  13. GunnerPete says:

    I have to say that I would love Arsene to play Gibbs on the left up front and Arsharvin where that Spanish bloke used to play. Gibbs has made more goals for us in two years than Cliche & Cole did in ten.

    Nasri……yes of course we would miss him but money is calling and he has never shown the loyalty or love to AFC that Cesc has…so sod him, let him go, asap.

  14. WiganGooner says:


    Totally agree mate, though with Cesc moving off the wage bill perhaps we will offer Nasri super-money to stay? Thus making Nasri Arsene’s Super-Quality signing?

    Ouch…bit too cynical for positive old me? 😛


  15. g.clarke says:

    nice to read positive comments as other fan type people happy to drag team down before season starts arsenal have new young players who will go for it a good basic squad and more to come the press bash arsenal enougth without fans arsenal will be there abouts end of season if people get behind them

  16. WiganGooner says:


    To be honest, we were always going to lose Cesc to Barca. All of his childhood friends are there. A fair majority of his international colleagues are there and his idol, Pep Guardiola is there.

    Forget Barca DNA, it’s just plain old peer-pressure.


  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cracking post London it’s very rare I find anything to disagree with you about, but the only small gripe I have is your view that TR and AR did not help Alex Song. My view is that Song rarely helps himself in the DM role.

    Other than that I share your view that the attack let us down as much as the defence, and that the loss of Cesc is in no way good for the team

    DanDan :D.

  18. WiganGooner says:


    Hear hear, totally agree with you.


  19. kelsey says:

    Nice post london but we have different opinions about the club we support.

    I mentioned a few days ago that scott dann would be purchased and that is now at the final negotiating hurdle this morning.

  20. WiganGooner says:


    Totally agree with you, especially about the loss of Cesc, but as with all things, Arsenal will endure and we will prosper.


  21. kelsey says:

    If we are a so called selling club how come we bought gervinho and Oxe chamberlain for approx 23 million.

    The situation with fabregas appears to be finally settled and discussions between barca and arsenal have been going on for an eternity so a deal should have been done at the end of last season.i will not argue the pros and cons of a very talented yong man who has been with us for 8 years,but in an open market he would have demanded a much higher transfer fee.
    nasri will go to city but just to ease the pain for Arsenal fans I expect that to be nearer the end of the month as he is banned for the first leg CL qualifier.
    The world and her mother know where the weaknesses are in our side and that is primarily in defence and i would argue none of our 4 keepers are top class,Szchney needs an experiened mentor, but Wenger has a blind spot foranyone who is not attack mined.
    We bought Jenkinson for 1 million who whilst at charlton went on loan to non league Eastbourne.
    Now with days before the start of the season we have several injury doubts and whoever comes in will have to adapt very quickly, and with fabregas gone our whole style of play will have to change.
    Wenger has a plan A but no plan B or Plan C , which many more clubs know how to stifle as proved by some of our losses last season,and I still beliee there has been some unrest at the club behind closed doors and gazidis is a disaster as a PR man.
    Almunia,Eboue,bendtner and vela are most probably leaving and many reserves have left.
    I have always believed we pay average squad young players too high a salary but i also understand that it is a risk or balancing act with young players to see if they mature to be first team players of stature.
    Every year we are written off and the main difference is that since we last one the league the game has changed, wages have gone through the roof and we can’t compete anymore with the big three.Financial stability will be maintained and those who want Wenger out must ask themselves whoever came in would they get the hundreds of millions to invest in the squad.With the present BoD the answer is no.
    Fighting for 4th is realistic to me anything else would be a bonus.

  22. WiganGooner says:


    Have personal terms been agreed yet? Or a medical scheduled?


  23. Scott says:

    Barcelona have been petulant in their dealings- they have lost a lot of respect through their actions. I am very happy,however, that I am reading more and more positive comments on the club,quite the opposite of the drivel served up over the last six weeks. The club has a lot to look forward to thus season,as do the fans. Bring it on.

  24. WiganGooner says:


    Good points, though I do think Jenkinson has good potential, I certainly think he is already a better defender than most give him credit for.

    I agree with the changing in the game, the financial constraints we are under has caused us to lose out on key transfers and someone upstairs needs to answer why, for the sake of a few grand a week we couldn’t stump up for the likes of Alonso, Schwarzer and know that although we are taking a hit short term, the long term benefits to the team would outweigh that.

    Also, I have always wondered if we had been more successful in the last 6 years would Cesc be leaving for Barca at all?


  25. kelsey says:


    I can’t answer that re Dann, only what i was told about an hour ago.I know for a fact we seriously want him,but negotiations can break down.Birmingham are just the sort of club we might be able to hold the upper hand with.

  26. WiganGooner says:


    Fair do’s, thanks. I agree with Birmingham, we’ve done plenty of good business with them in terms of loaned players so perhaps there is still some good-will there.


  27. dandan says:

    From Todays Times.

    1 of 1
    Arsenal can move on with the departure of Fabregas, Oliver Kay Football Correspondent
    Last updated August 11 2011 12:01AM
    In conventional wisdom, the sale of a club’s leading player has the effect of creating a dark cloud over the stadium, over the training ground and over the head of every supporter.

    It says everything about the protracted, wearying manner of Cesc Fàbregas’s departure from the Emirates Stadium that Arsène Wenger will hope yesterday’s breakthrough can have the direct opposite effect.

    There can be no mourning at Arsenal over the departure of Fàbregas. He was — and, until the deal finally goes through, still is — their most celebrated player, but his heart and his mind have been in Barcelona since last summer. It is high time, now that the European champions have decided to bring some much-needed realism and urgency to negotiations, that Arsenal let him move on so that they can start trying to do the same.

    The drawn-out saga — 434 days from June 2 last year, when Barcelona’s first offer of £29 million was rejected, to yesterday’s breakthrough in negotiations — has proved painful for Arsenal. It is easy for Wenger and his players to talk of being focused but, along with the Samir Nasri contract affair, it has blighted their summer, creating a fog of uncertainty that has been unwelcome for a club and a team at a crossroads.

    Fàbregas will be gone within days and while his team-mates will be sad to see the back of him, there should also be feelings of relief and perhaps even liberation at the end of a stultifying saga. There is also the problem with Nasri, whose contract is running down and whose head has been turned by Manchester City, and the presence of such malcontents as Manuel Almunia and Nicklas Bendtner, but by the time the transfer window closes on August 31, those issues will have been resolved for better or worse.

    In Fàbregas, Arsenal are losing a top-class player, but one who was less effective in his final season, whether because of injuries, a hangover from the World Cup or, the most popular theory, a sense of longing for Barcelona. He produced some excellent performances, memorably during a resounding 3-0 victory away to City in October, but for a captain and a perceived talisman, there were an awful lot of matches where he fell short of his high standards, outshone by Nasri in the first half of the season and by Jack Wilshere in the second.

    It is to Wilshere that Wenger will look now. Robin van Persie will be given the captain’s armband, but Wilshere has, like Fàbregas before him, become an essential member of Wenger’s team as a teenager.

    Fàbregas was only 18 when, to widespread surprise, he was backed to carry the midfield after the sale of Patrick Vieira to Juventus in 2005. Wilshere, 19, progressed so well last season that he looks equipped to carry the torch.

    It is as well that Arsenal already have the talents of Wilshere to call upon, albeit not, because of injury, for their first games of the season. With Nasri regarded by team-mates as another likely departure by the end of the month and doubts surrounding Andrey Arshavin, Wenger has signed Gervinho from Lille and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton and will surely make another attempt to lure Juan Mata from Valencia in an effort to reinvigorate his squad.

    Then there is the defence; with Arsenal these days, there is always the defence. Wenger is an ideologue, not given to the idea that all ills can be cured in the transfer market, but last month’s £10 million bid for Phil Jagielka, rejected by Everton, at least showed a desire to reinforce a defence that rarely holds firm in the biggest matches. More authority, more leadership and more experience are essential — and, although there are three weeks before the transfer deadline, the focus can be put on acquiring those qualities.

    It was not, though, meant to end this way for Fàbregas at Arsenal. He was always expected to return to Barcelona one day, having left their academy as a 15-year-old, but the hope — his and Arsenal’s — was that he would do so after winning a sackful of medals and trophies in England. He won the Community Shield in 2004 and the FA Cup in 2005, but from the ages of 18 and 24, his only tangible success has been with the Spain national team.

    What are Barcelona getting? A player not yet in the Xavi Hernández or Andrés Iniesta class, but one capable of performing in such elevated company. English football will miss him, but, the deal done, Arsenal can at last move on.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Morning London,

    Well unlike that smooth talking (writing) old charmer GIE, you and I often have very different views – (and, logically, me with GIE too it seems). 🙂

    However, I think that is an interesting, excellently thought out and structured Post. Kudos!! 🙂

    It made me rationalize my own thought processes about the end of season debacle, and I now realize I was ‘blowing in the wind’ swayed by first one emotion and then another.

    — Giving away sloppy goals in the air? Yep, it has to be that flaming short arsed defence.

    — Terrific possession and domination, but unable to score? Yep, again, it’s that infuriating tippy tappy, side to side style of football we play.

    Reading your article made me stop and consider that I have blamed the defence for all our woes and called for a new, tall CB with a bit of a rough edge. And that seemed right!
    On the other hand, as I said above, I and many others, have bemoaned the elegant but frustrating tippy tappy football. And that seemed right too!

    So what the hell? Well both points of view are right, in their own way, and we might just as well throw in the lack of an ‘in the hole’ midfielder to link defence and attack and make the whole more cohesive.

    It seems that AW agrees with you too. He has already gone out and bought the Gerv and Oxbow (Myaichi) for the additional attack options, now or the near future, and has started to do something for the depth of the defence with Jenkinson, and if reports are to be believed there will be at least one more CB to follow. The release of Clichy has opened up competition between Gibbs and Traore at left back that can only bode well.

    That leaves the Nasri/Cesc situation to be resolved. They are going — your hat – my shorts – will be served up on a plate shortly, for your ineluctable smorgasbord of delight! 🙂
    But what then? Well it seems inarguable that AW will pursue his interest in Wossa Mata and I have heard rumours – yes rumours – that another top notch midfield maestro will follow.

    Your post has cheered me up immensely this morning, by letting me cogitate and come to the conclusion that my cup is definitely at least half full, and rising — and bollox to the despondent, despairing doubters with their glasses leaking and less than half full.

    For that, thank you! 🙂

  29. WiganGooner says:


    A fitting article and an excellent summary of the saga. A good read, thanks for re-posting DanDan.


  30. jackson kafuuzi says:

    the author if this article does NOT mean well for Arsenal.
    he could be a spurs or disunited fan

  31. WiganGooner says:

    @Jackson Kafuuzi

    I think you have the wrong end of the stick me old china. London is a true gooner as are most of those who post here.


  32. Red Arse says:

    Morning Dandan, 🙂

    Given Murdoch’s famous stinginess in charging folks to read the Times on line, I expect, for your transgresions, you will be getting a knock on your front door ——- right about now! 🙂

  33. Bradster says:

    My gripe is that Wenger is concentrating so hard on replacing Fab and Nasri but nothing on proper strikers.Where we have a cracking central 3 in Song, Wilshere and Ramsey, Arshavin in Fabs pos and quick wingers like Walcott, Alex, Ryo and Gervinho.
    There’s no more out and out strikers other than RVP (who is injured again). From what I’ve seen of Gervinho, he can perhaps do it up front but looks more like a winger to me.
    On Gibbs, looks great going forward and a lot to be desired defending but we thought that of cole too. My worry there like everyone else is his injury proneness.

  34. Red Arse says:


    You are totally wrong about London who is well known on this blog and is an avid and supportive Arsenal fan.

    We don’t know you — so please explain yourself or your reasons for being so rude to him — or sod off! Your choice!

  35. Red Arse says:


    You have missed out Chamakh, and what about young Afobe, or have you written them both off?

  36. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Well London, my advice for you is to not watch the TV when he is paraded infront of the Barca faithfull.

    Infact some of you may need to get a new tele. In the week of rioting, you may be able to get it on the cheap 😆

  37. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    We have postponed the trip to Blighty. We’ve decided on a more laid back relaxed environment like Syria.

  38. WiganGooner says:

    I’m of the belief that Chamakh has the quality to succeed at Arsenal. I do think he is a good player and when back on form he will be a real boon for us.


  39. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    6 years its been since Arsenal won a trophy. For some Gooners its been 6 long years, & the key ingredient in all this has been Cesc Fabregas. The Club has revolved around a player who has wanted out for a while now.

    IMHO, thank God he is finally going. No player should ever be bigger than the Club, but this boy has been, via Arsene Wenger.

    Now Arsenal Football Club will be able to move on & develop a style based around a team/a squad, not just one particular player, so long as the money received from him going back to where he belongs ( & Nasri) is spent wisely.

    This my Gooner friends is the beginning of the rest of our Arsenal lives. & I for one am looking forward to it.

    Bring on the Gordies 😈

  40. WiganGooner says:

    I wonder if the departure of Cesc will be the death of the 4-3-3 or will we continue with it?

    Will we see a greater tactical fluidity with changing formations to suit opposition?

    Interesting times.


  41. Red Arse says:


    Wise move!

    You are right about the future, which I am sure will be just as exciting as the early 2000s.

    I agree with your sentiments, the Cesc era is over — let it go, say I.

    There’s no point looking back at the past — player come and players go, but we fans are with the club …. for life! 🙂

  42. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    You are right, the Cesc era is over, & it bagged zero trophys. The Cesc experiment was a failure.

  43. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    So its the Gordies this weekend then. A fixture that has more longevity than any thing the rest of Europe has to offer. Its going to be tough, but The Arsenal has a score to settle, so I’m expecting 3 points.

  44. Red Arse says:

    I hope you are right.

    If, (OK when) we get the three points it will also help to remove the scar of last year’s 4:4 nonsense.

  45. WiganGooner says:


    I really think we will get a good result up there and it still won’t be enough to silence the negativity.

    I am getting frustrated with it to be honest.


  46. Red Arse says:

    The Totteringham/Everton game is off tomorrow.

    Apparently, the fans can’t stand the sight of so many ugly players after the recent violence.

  47. VCC says:

    Super post London.
    I totally agree that Gibbs is miles above Clichy, he is a better defender (then who isn’t) and certainly light years better crosser of a ball ( then who isn’t) but I have a hunch that Traore will push him hard this year, I’m not too worried about the left back position as so many people are.
    Fabregas WILL go shortly and I am sorry to see him go, he will be THE player we will find extremely hard to replace, but fingers crossed Jack and co will/might just fill the void.
    I differ with so many on here about Nasri, for me he had 6 months super play then the rest was mediocre, so with this in mind I would take the £25 mil and get a replacement ??????, time will tell, lets see how good he is with Citeh.
    My major concern is/has always been with our central defence, I take on board that Kos might come good after another year, but for now we need another strong defender, this is the area that all teams attack us from. Wenger’s philosophy is if they score 2 we will score 3, this has let him down the past couple of years as our attack has not been prolific as we would hope, ala Van Persie’s injuries, Bendtner’s inept performances and Chamaks lack of premiership experience.
    As the day draws nearer I’m having deja vu……My head says we will struggle to win anything but my heart says YES we are ready.
    I still await the answer to my request of Wenger for that hours pint/chat at his local. My list of questions grow almost daily now.
    1 = Why have you not strengthened our defence? 2 = Why have you not strengthened our defence? 3 = Why have you not strengthened our defence? etc…etc….etc… Oh sorry it’s the same old question.


    Lets put this into perspective. Gibbs is a young lad who has hardly played a game and has been hampered with injuries. Yet this is enough evidence for people to question him and in some cases even write him off.

    I would raher trust the evidence of my own eyes which tells me this is a kid with all the ingridients required to be an excellent full back for us.

    There is also the little matter of Arsene Wenger, one of the greatest managers of the modern game, having faith in him.

    Some gooners realy have to grasp that patience is a virtue and give these boys a chance.

  49. evonne says:

    London – great post, minus the last para, made me cry again 😦
    Today I hate football, it’s nothing but heartache! I think i will follow the advice and do a girlie things from now on

  50. VCC says:

    evonne…”The last para”
    Cheer up….we THE ARSENAL will pull through, we WILL move on….NO one player is bigger than the Team.
    We moved on after Thierry…..Bergkamp…..Vieira…….Wright……….George…….
    McLintock (sorry just had to put that in, lol)

  51. WiganGooner says:


    😀 Echoing my thoughts again. I’m sure ‘arry will be trolling through some bargain bins instead.


  52. evonne says:

    VCC – but have we fully recovered??

  53. WiganGooner says:

    Early press conference scheduled with Arsene Wenger at 9am tomorrow.


  54. Rasp says:

    Great post London, sorry about my late arrival. Gibbs really impressed me in his offensive play against Benfica, I have no doubt he is already better than Clichy in that department (and will continue to improve). The rest is down to our coaching staff training the midfield to cover when he goes forward – something that rarely happens.

    It has been reported that Barc have scheduled a press conference for 3pm and Arsenal tomorrow morning – wonder what that’s all about 🙄

  55. Gooner In Exile says:


    Unfortunately a growing epidemic amongst Arsenal fans is to judge and pigeonhole our youngsters after watching them for half a season.

    Admittedly Wenger brings this on them by trusting them so young.

    Recent examples:
    Denilson,, Bendtner, Senderos, Fabianski, Djourou,Song

    Judged and written off when making appearances at 17-20, it’s not the Arsrnal way to rubbish youngsters. Would GGs first title side achieved what it did. How would the current fans react now if we bought three unknown defenders and a striker from the lower league and threw in a bunch of youth for good measure.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Hi WG, 🙂

    How’s it going dude? 🙂

    I am delighted you are going to be helping out Peaches and the Rasper for a while. Keep up to date with your own blog site too tho’!

    Where did you hear about the press conference?

    The local BBC News has just said “they understand” Arsenal have agreed to sell Cesc and Nasri by (before?) the week end. Perhaps that is what Arsene is going to talk about. I would rather he announced some nice new signings.

    Where’s London, to take the plaudits for his post? 🙂

  57. London says:

    Hi guys thanks for the kind words.

    A special thanks to WiganGooner for covering my back this morning.


    How do we know that there is a 9am press conference tomorrow?

  58. London says:


    I do, of course, agree that the blame for the collapse lies with both the attack and the defence, but hey I needed an angle.

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    I wager London is hiding behind his sofa keeping away from all media sources.

    I have decided to ignore any site or media outlet that uses the phrase “we understand”. Unfortunately that leaves me reading this site and listening to ClassicFM in a darkened room.

  60. WiganGooner says:

    Howdo RA 😀

    I do really need to write a pre-match for my website, which I will probably do tonight. I was delighted when Peaches asked me to help out here though and reasonably proud too. After all, I consider most of you my friends and its great to interact with you all and to be considered worthy of such duties is a boon.

    Dan Roan, BBC Sports correspondent tweeted about the press conference so I thought I’d put it up on ‘ere 🙂

    So no credit for me there 😀


  61. WiganGooner says:


    No thanks required, it was my pleasure to assist.


  62. Red Arse says:

    Hi GIE, aka the smooth charmer 🙂

    You have a point.

    Of those you mention the only one I got exasperated with was Denilson.

    He was actually OK and was never directly the cause of our poor performances, but he rarely inspired either. That said he did score the odd important goal. I suppose I thought he was capable of more, so perhaps it was just a confidence thing?

    I also felt sorry for Senderos. Drogba murdered him and he lost confidence, became the butt of the fans and was ‘binned’ far too quickly.

    The others were and are OK. Bendy looked like he was the total CF, playing him on the wing buggered him about too much. He will become a star somewhere if they play to his strengths.

  63. Davi says:

    Why does everyone forget traore? He’s been miles better than gibbs all through the preseason, and should really be ahead of him, especially given gibbs’ poor season last year.
    I have said over and over that I hope both these guys get an equal opportunity because I don’t think there’s anything between them in terms of ability. They both have everything they need to be world class fullbacks. Unfortunately it looks like gibbs is going to have to play really poorly for a run of games before traore really get’s a look in. Can’t see it otherwise.

  64. Red Arse says:


    It was only after reading your Post that I stopped and realised my concerns about needing a CB because of the perceived defensive problems, was blinding me to the fact I had also worried about the tippy tappy thing but had not thought about how we needed to correct that too.

    You helped me think it thru’ logically. 🙂

  65. neamman says:

    I believe that by the end of the season, injuries excepted, Traore will be our LB. The year learning defence in Italy will make him invaluable. No disrespect meant to Gibbs who I also rate but seems injury prone.
    I hope SN and CF leave tomorrow.. just so that we can move on. Lets bring in Mata and Barton or Parker and we will be fine.
    We still need a dominating CB and one striker.. Chamack just doesnt do it for me, I would rather we played NB at CF..his natural position.
    Anyway.. roll on saturday. I just brought our new away shirt so I will inaugurate it in front of the TV. I am assuming one channel at least will have the game here in Canada.

  66. London says:

    Hi GIE

    I am not really hiding or rather I am not in that kind of frame of mind. It all smells a bit fishy to me.

    There is nothing of substance to suggest that the deal is more likely to be done this weekend with Cesc than next or indeed after that. The Spanish papers have nothing and the English papers are just copying their leads; we have been whipped up into a frenzy of nothinness.

  67. Red Arse says:


    Read my comment at 10:54. It is inaccurate to say everyone has forgotten Traore!

    He has looked good in pre-season, because he is tall, fast and is now maturing well. Good to have them both competing for the LB position.

  68. London says:

    Hi Davi

    Good to hear from you again.

    Re Gibbs and Traore: who has more finesse it the opposition’s eighteen yard box?

    It’s a rhetorical question, Gibbs obviously does as he demonstrated in the pre-season. That said I do envisage games when Traore’s skill set will be more useful.



    Very good points.

    From a personal point of view there is nothing worse than hearing people trash young players during games, its completely counter productive.

    When you consider that these young players have taken us top four every year its quite a shameful indictment on some of the people that watch us play.

    If the critics put as much effort into backing the team rather than having a go all the time i think we would see beter outcomes on the pitch.

  70. Gooner In Exile says:

    Traore of course offers good depth to our left back position.

    But as he represents Senegal is another who may depart our shores when the ACN comes round. Assuming they are playing.

  71. Hi all

    I’m fed up of getting soaked 😦

    Need a post for tomorrow …………………..

  72. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for a positive and stimulating post London.
    I think Gibbs has the potential to be all the things you suggest he can be. My worry would be that the learning curve may not be smooth (particularly with regard to his defensive duties and possible injury issues) and that this impatient, antagonistic crowd of ours may start getting on his back if he makes a few howlers. As you (or was it Wiggy?) pointed out in comments, there are already people writing him off, which is ridiculous.
    With him and Traore fighting for the LB slot I don’t feel we need any reinforcements there.

    I’m also a little inclined to question your estimation of Nasri. It feels to me that he is at a bit of a crossroads. He could go on to become France’s best MF and one of the best in the world. Or he could become on those talented but inconsistent performers who frustrate as much as they excite. I’m not convinced his all-round game is good enough to make him (as Monsieur Wenger would say) “super quality”. Obviously when he’s named man of the tournament as France win the Euros next year I’ll have to eat my socks, but there you go.

    On Cesc – I’m 100% with you. He is definitely worth closer to 60m than 35m because, quite simply, he is the real deal, one of the best four or five players of his generation.

  73. RockyLives says:

    I might be able t do something Cesc related…

  74. You’re just having fun doing research aren’t you Rocky 😉

  75. When I moved recently I found I had a stack of press cuttings from Fabs first season, remember the headline ‘Absolutely Fabregas’

  76. London says:

    Hi Rocky

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response, your view on Nasri is probably closer to reality. I still think he will stay but filling Cesc’s boots is not going to be easy for him.

  77. RockyLives says:

    If Cesc goes, Nas stays and AW puts the latter in the “Cesc role” then I would be worried.
    I see Nasri as a very different type of player to Cesc and I can’t see him being a like-for-like replacement. Although I suppose Cesc going would give us the chance to change the system if AW wants to.
    I share a lot of the sentiments expressed by others (of feeling a sort-of relief that the Cesc saga is finally coming to an end), but if I step back from it for a second I just get really sad that we’re losing such a great player.

  78. RockyLives says:

    I’m all researched out after looking up all Arsene’s summer quotes the other day!

    Anything I write for tomorrow will be pure stream-of-unconsciousness 🙂

  79. Good idea, straight from the heart 😀

  80. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, peaches,

    It’s a shame I used that last picture of Cesc today – it would have been perfect for Rocky’s emotional farewell 😦

  81. Just find loads of others Rasp – I loved the ones of him and Flamini after one of them had scored and I think the video of him scoring against the tots has to have an airing along with my favourite of all time – the goal against AC Milan which secured his place in my Arsenal heart forever.

  82. London says:

    I think you are all jumping the gun a bit here, we know he will go but I see no reason to think that it will be this weekend. The supposed press conference tomorrow at 9 is interesting but this still smacks of self promotion for the journalist who tweeted it.

    There is nothing in the UK or Spanish press to indicate that anything substantial has happend.

  83. London says:

    The goal from the kick off against spuds will always stay in the mind, as wil the AC Milan, the goal against Inter at Highbury was pretty important. What else is there, I can’t think?

  84. London says:

    By the way Rasp I really like your pictures up there.

  85. London says:

    I think tomorrow’s head line should be “I don’t see no fat lady singing yet”

  86. Penalty against Barca scored with a broken leg at the Emirates 😆

  87. London says:

    Ohh, good one.

  88. Maybe we should just have an open day for everyone’s favourite Cesc bits – just a celebration of his influence. We could do that even if he is staying …………….

    That’s Cesc bits not cesspits 😳

  89. London says:

    That makes more sense because I reckon it could still be a bit early for farewells.

    Although, that said I don’t really want to poke my nose into someone elses post, perhaps I should keep my opinions to myself………..

  90. You could well be right London and tomorrow won’t be the day, I’m sure we could all have a lot of fun searching Cesc stuff and enjoying other people’s choices.

    What do you think Rocky?

  91. RockyLives says:

    Might be a good idea to do a “favourite bits” post tomorrow Peaches – my piece won’t be an emotional farewell, but it can certainly hold until the news is confirmed.

  92. Can you come up with some kind of intro and save the farewell until the dreaded day then Rocky?

  93. Gooner in Exile says:

    Erm anyone thought that maybe just maybe the 9am Arsenal Press Conference tomorrow is the normal pre Premier League Press Conference?

    And its been scheduled for 9am as the team have to fly up to Toon in time for tea.

  94. Gooner in Exile says:

    I have a thought for a non Cesc post………it’ll be in your inbox in 5, in fact I know we will need a farewell Cesc post, but with the season 2 days away from kick off can we leave that til after the weekend?

  95. Steve says:

    I have an idea.

    Let’s boo every time the team does something good.


    Tackle. Booooooo!

    Pass. Boooooo!

    Goal. Booooooooooooooooo!

    That would put the cat among the pigeons. And raise a few smiles.

    Come on Arsenal! Booooooo!

  96. RockyLives says:

    Ha ha – very good spot!

  97. London says:

    Ooohhh, those clips are good, tell me again why are we allowing someone with a four year contract to leave?

  98. VCC says:

    RockyLives…….How many Canadian Gooners have we on here, do you know?

  99. London says:

    I’ve got the headline for tomorrow.

    Barcelona, just fuck off.

  100. Some of the things that Cesc does in those clips ( and a top 10 Fabregas goal compilation) we haven’t seen him do for years!!!!!!!

    I think someone stole our Cesc Fabregas – they gave us a good one but I bet Barcelona have the real one locked in a dungeon and Arsene has been trying to raise the ransom by not buying any players 😉

  101. Rasp says:

    OMG, I’d forgotten just how brilliant Cesc is in all the mayhem, some of the passes in the Cesc best Assists video seem lazer guided.

  102. London – somehow I knew that was coming 😆 😀 😛

  103. London says:

    In a rather distorted way I quite like the rifle associations rallying cry against banning guns in the US.

    From My Cold Dead Hand

  104. London says:

    We haven’t had an attack in years that he could do those kind of passes to, one of the things that frustrates me the most is that now we have.

  105. The sad thing is that Cesc should want to stay and win trophies with us and he doesn’t 😦

  106. Agree London, think of the balls he could put through to an onrushing Gervihno – its a mouthwatering prospect 😦

  107. Gooner in Exile says:

    Peaches I have sent you a non Cesc post for using if the Press conference is just the normal Press conference

  108. Just watched the Theo run against Liverpool in the CL game, he beat so many players and those he didn’t dance around just fell to the ground – amazing! Where did that Theo go? Maybe he’s in the dungeon too 😉

  109. Thanks GiE, did you sort tickets out for the Swansea game?

  110. RockyLives says:

    Post in drafts Peaches. Can be held until the news is definite (but will need a few tweaks possibly so it;s not out of date).

  111. RockyLives says:

    At the moment it’s me, Neanmann and Gn5 I think.

  112. London says:

    That Theo is still there but he only comes out when teams are pressing us which is very rare.

    His amazing run against AC Milan and Liverpool are perfect examples of this.

  113. I watched Theo’s AC Milan run too.

    Teams just sit back and wait for us to unpick them now, they’re not interested in playing football, it’s really not fair. Who can i complain to?

  114. Gooner In Exile says:

    In the end Peaches I went for Liverpool, picked them up on the Exchange. All I was left for Swansea were £50 tickets in the gods so I decided I might as well pay that to sit in the Corner of the North Bank.

    Your half a Peroni will be waiting 😉

    Thinking of getting to London about 10am it’s a big game and I need to make sure everyone hears the My My Aaron Ramsey song going through the covered walk way. 😀

    Altogether now:

    We’re the North Bank, We’re the North Bank.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great Stuff London thanks, and I also have the line of the day award for your: “perhaps I should keep my opinions to myself”. Yeah right, and change your name to Bognor Regis while you’re about it (-:
    Back soonerish.

  116. goonermichael says:

    London. Love your comment. How about adding “you thieving pikey wankers” ?

  117. goonermichael says:

    Has the weekend game been called off yet?

  118. evonne says:

    GM and London – do it, insult, ridicule, upset them….anything to hurt them for what they are doing to us

  119. RockyLives says:

    From the Arsenal FC official site:

    “Arsène Wenger expects the future of Cesc Fabregas to be decided “very quickly” now.

    Media reports in the past 24 hours suggested that the destination of the Arsenal captain next season would be determined by the start of the Premier League this weekend – whether it be Emirates Stadium or Barcelona. On Thursday afternoon Arsenal Player got the latest from the manager.

    “That is completely the truth,” he said. “We hope it will be sorted out very quickly one way or the other. We’ll know very quickly.”

    Meanwhile the future of Samir Nasri is also under the microscope. Once again his manager wanted a speedy resolution.

    “The Nasri situation is stable,” said Wenger. “Again it is very difficult to speak about possible transfers but we are in a situation where we have to make decisions one way or the other. Ideally you want it to be sorted out before the season starts.”

  120. goonermichael says:

    Sorry Peaches. Have I been naughty? 🙂

  121. London says:


    That’s funny.


    My title was missing something lol

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    With my new shiny red memberships I’ve just scanned the site. Bloody hell there are alot of tickets. My son wants row 2 so that he can get a good picture of Cesc!

  123. kelsey says:

    Wenger’s latest statement sounds like a doctor giving a report outside the intensive care section of a hospital.

  124. Harry says:

    Evening all, cracking post london…..that bit about that Harry lad, so true, top bloke that…

    I agree that Gibbs has a pivotal role, as I do feel he will give the team a better balance than clichy did…

    Against benifca I thought Rosicky was outstanding for 55mins but then faded…….

    I undersstand youyr comments about Nasri, but I would sell him now for 20+ million rather than lose for nothing and tell cesc to stay……..Just not sure which way round it will end…but we will survive…and might even prosper….

    Anyway I have my tickets for Udinese, Liverpool and Swansea, cannot wait who is going to which games?

  125. Gooner In Exile says:

    Liverpool for me Harry

  126. harry671 says:

    Nice one Gie see you at the tavern about 11am

  127. I’m missing Udinese and Liverpool 😦 I accepted an invitation to have a week in France at my cousins house which is going to be lovely but I’m going to miss the first two games – unheard of!!!!!!!!!!!

  128. 26may1989 says:

    Can trump that one peaches: am on hols for the first two games, then two friends who’ve lived together in Cumbria perfectly happily for the last 12 years, had kids etc, decided to get married on 10 September. Thanks, that’ll be my season debut pushed back till well into September. Bastardos.

  129. oz gunner says:

    @ Kelsey

    haha good call on the doctors comment

    i don’t know if im being petulant or not but i will hate fabregas when he leaves the mighty arsenal. This isn’t henry or viera who gave their best years to us and then left gracefully. This is a player who ARSENE and arsenal made yet has hidden the last couple of seasons behind ‘injuries’ and the media. Those who think he is injury prone are naive, there is more to it than that (the whole season not just lately because everyone knows thats a crock).He was missing weeks and weeks with hamstring injuries, yet a hamstring injury will leave you out for anywhere between 1-4 weeks unless you have torn it from the bone. Its no coincidence that the year he plays the least is also the year he and wegner had the ‘talk’ which surely included him staying on but playing less so we can bring through the next batch. Or was it fabregas himself knowing that his ‘injuries’ are a win win because it comes across that we don’t want another injury prone player, and that barca can offer us less money because he is ‘injury prone.’ I guarantee once he touches down in barca his injuries will magically dry up!

    How has fabregas been respectful and handled the situation well? He used to come out and put the media in his place, but its been a long time since that happened, now we don’t ever hear from him. He is not an arsenal legend as some call him, to say so disrespects so many of the great players we have had over the years. To me he is just a sook who wanted home, a player who would rather cheer at the grand prix than our team, and a player who used us to become a name yet leave before hes reached his prime!

  130. oz gunner says:

    and as for reportedly adding 4 million of his own money into the transfer, are we really that horrible to play for?! is the place so miserable that you are willing to go to that extreme to leave the mighty arsenal?

    The team will lift collectively, just like we did when henry left. The best way to show that is go on to win the league, that way it reads loud and clear ‘sorry but you are not missed.’ I hope real madrid squash them like the bugs that they are this coming season

  131. 26may1989 says:

    Blimey Oz, quite a rant that one! Respect for that one.

    But I think the main thing to say is Cesc who? He’s gone (well, all but), our future is now elsewhere.

    I’ve been more critical than most over the years of Cesc’s capacity to disappear when needed, and have been stunned at many fans’ ability to ignore his rank performances while still castigating the likes of Walcott when they try hard but fall a little short of perfection. But looking back, let’s not forget the good things Cesc has done in an Arsenal shirt: the long-range goal at Milan, the from the kick-off goal against Spurs, his take the game by the scruff of the neck sub’s performance against Villa, his broken leg penalty vs Barca, his fantastic mach-winning goal at WHL a few years ago, and the innumerable slide rule passes or chipped through balls that resulted in glory for others. And let’s not forget the pizza he lobbed at Fergie, that’s got to be worth something.

    Yes, his ego has grown to enormous proportions, and without saying anything in public, I don’t doubt that he’s played his part in engineering this move, but for his pure quality from a young age, I think legend is a fair description of Cesc. He may not reach the heights of an Adams, an Henry or a Bergkamp, or even a Parlour, but he’s been the focal point of our side during testing times.

    I will wish Cesc the best for the future. I’ll hate seeing him in a Barca shirt, and will resent the way they’ve gone about their business and ultimately underpaid for our best player, but to my mind Cesc’s done enough for us to go with good wishes.

    Nasri on the other hand, he’s just a greedy, under-performing little scrote.

  132. oz gunner says:

    @ 26

    No question he has done great things for us, and the goal against the scum will never be forgotten. However arsenal deserve to be treated alot better by one of its ‘legends’. The fans who have chanted his name loudly and supported him deserve more than silent treatment, and a sulky mopey player who doesnt turn up to games, flirts with barca and leaves at half time.

    Its hard to remember the good things when there tarnished by his recent exploits. But as i said im probably just being petulant and i’m used to Australian Rules Football players who bleed for their team and supporters.

    All we will end up with is a thank you during a barca press conference and a figure greatly under his true worth. It feels like a divorce where we came of second best, all the chest pumping was for nothing, their dirty tactics won out!

  133. 26may1989 says:

    Can’t disagree with much of that Oz.

    The behaviour of players these days is woeful. Like many others, I’m addicted to football, I devote considerable mental and financial resources to it. But I feel so little warmth for these avaricious, egotistical, cheating players, and the whole overblown colossus around the game, that in many ways I think I prefer other sports, cricket in particular.

    And watching devoted sportsmen and women in obscure sports, and who therefore earn peanuts, is so much more impressive than anything an individual footballer can offer, even if the game played at its highest level is still a thing of beauty. I don’t know much about Aussie Rules but it’s interesting to hear that they’re still made of sterner stuff than the modern footballer. Still can’t shake that addiction though.

  134. 26may1989 says:

    By the way, over breakfast this morning, I broke the news to my kids that Cesc is likely to leave us. My 5-year old just looked up and said “Bad Barcelona”. That’s my boy, well done.

  135. Gooner In Exile says:

    RvP, Gibbs, Verm, Ramsey, and Arshavin all fit according to AW.

    Wilshere has got his ankle in a boot and wont be available…..bugger!

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz and 26,
    So much of what you both say is true. One question that is nagging me. How did Utd get top dollar for Ronaldo who only wanted to join one club as well.
    Interestingly and in line with something Oz mentioned, the Utd team certainly galvanized and went on their merry way without the worlds’ second best player. They recruited Valencia and Nani, we got The Gerv and The Cube!.

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Instead of sitting here scratching my arse, I have just smooched around the Arsenal website and looking at matchday pricing. Holy Mama. Say the most expensive Club Level seat is £250, then for £650 they will kindly lob in lunch. What the hell are they feeding you that’s worth £400?

  138. The Cube 😀 😀

    Be fair Micky theres some Champagne too.

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I don’t want to get personal here, but what do you do between 5:30 and 7:30?

  140. evonne says:

    Micky – he’s blogging, just like the rest of nutters here 🙂

    Jadson – who the hell is he???

  141. evonne says:

    26 – you are a good Dad, you brought up your children proper! However, breakfast at 2am is bit early, no?

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Evonne,
    He’s a Brasilian whose built like a stick insect. Not what the doctor ordered.

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Have Chelsea bothered to sign any midfielders yet?

  144. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here is my pre-match.
    For me, this is the biggest opening fixture we have had in many years, in that we will need a confidence booster going into the new season. We have one, or maybe two, players in suspenders for the Udinese tie before games against Pool and Utd, and all these games before the window slams shut so any last minute signings will not feature.

  145. Morning all

    We’re going to need a pre-match and a match report this weekend as football is baaaaaaaaaaaaack.

    Can’t stay to chat, be back to nag later x

  146. Micky 🙂 – were you watching me – spooky

  147. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky drink espresso and get my nicotine levels up. Accompanied this morning by switching energy suppliers.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Switching energy suppliers? Wot, like Frosties to Wheatabix?

  149. WiganGooner says:

    Morning all 🙂

    New post will be up at 9:30. Will try and keep you guys posted with the info from the press conference.

    In the meantime, I’ve written a new article on mine if you fancy a read 🙂


  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Not to say told you so but anyone taking note of Press Conference?

  151. WiganGooner says:


    I am 😀


  152. WiganGooner says:

    Wenger: “I expect nobody to leave the club. (!) At the moment there is no news. What we want today is to focus on the players who can help”

  153. WiganGooner says:

    Wenger: “At the moment we have too big a squad. We are not in a position where we are short of players”

    Wenger: “Cesc is not injured, he’s not match fit. I don’t want to go any deeper than that”

    Wenger: “Cesc is not on strike”

    Wenger: “We want to have a fully committed squad on the pitch. What is important is that the players who play give 100 per cent.

    Wenger: “I have not been disappointed by attitude of Cesc or Nasri. They have been professional”

  154. Big Raddy says:

    Big Raddy is back in the house following an extended pre-season, felling fired up and ready for hostilities tomorrow. Not read a paper, not looked at an website for 7 chilled weeks, just basked ……

    Having read a few sites last night it appears some of our heroes are moving on . so be it, if they don’t want to play for the best footballing side in world football (almost) then let them leave and may the devil take them.

    A look at the career of Lassana Diara may be a portent for their futures – I understand he is Spurs bound, which tells it’s own story !!

    Peaches. If no pre-match by mid-afternoon is forthcoming, I will be honoured to write one.

  155. non the thao| non ket nam| mu luoi trai…

    […]Kieran Gibbs: the key to Arsenal winning the league. « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

  156. Levi Scharff says:

    Lyn, I’m no supporter of Wells Fargo but in fairness to them the appraisal issue is a Fannie and Freddie REGULATION.  Since they control almost all the loans made in this country we’re all going to have to play along.. For more on loan tips, you can check :-

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